Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dragging Out Of Bed

This last few weeks you may have noticed my absence from blogging. There is a good reason for that. I’ve spent 90% of my time in bed. Okay, now normally that would  put a smile on my face and a twinkle in my eyes, but the only twinkle you’ll see this time is from the residue of a nasty fever.

I’ve been sick. Which means I managed to get very little writing done, as well as blogging, commenting on blogs, reading or much of anything else. Whew!

I am finally back on solid food…sort of. Toast and soup. So why haven’t I lost any weight? You just know, someone (The Universe) is laughing their ass off at me and all this…

I went to the doctor. I was so weak I couldn’t drive myself, and they actually had to go get a wheelchair for me since they said I looked like I was ready to pass out. I have no idea what I looked like, but I imagine it wasn’t pretty.

So, after a shot and a bottle of pills I was sent home. I sort of lost a couple of days somewhere in the mix, because the werebear tells me today’s Sunday. Yikes!
I really meant to have a bigger newsletter this holiday month, with more neat stuff, but quite frankly, I’m too exhausted to do neat right now. And with the holidays fast approaching and family coming in from just about everywhere to converge on my house, I have a lot to do. Urgh…maybe I’ll just slip back in bed again.

Friday, September 28, 2007

What Makes A Hero?

As I sat musing about characters, I tried to define what makes a hero.

What do you think makes a hero great? Is it his body, his smile? Personality? Or maybe the way he interacts with the heroine?

Does he have flaws and do those make him seem more real? Maybe I should add a few quirks to his personality? Or give him something in his past, some tragedy he had to overcome?

All these thoughts ran through my head as I sat with pen and paper to “rough out” a hero. I like complex characters, so I start building them layer by layer, adding depth and flesh. Ooh, now I sound like Dr. Frankenstein, huh? LOL.

But in a way, authors are like that esteemed literary doctor. We take bits and pieces of what we’ve learned through our experiences and add touches of them to our handsome project. Maybe the quirk of a best friend, the special “moves” of an ex-lover, the sexy smile of a movie star, or the voice inflection of someone we once met. Then we combine those elements along with our imagination and create our hero, our imperfect but sexy and lovable man that will fall for our heroine.

So I ask you, what do you like to see in a hero and what makes a hero great?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cassandra on Cherry Pickin's

Join Cassandra and Jeff Dwyer, Barbara Karmazin, Marjorie M Liu, Deborah MacGillivray, Jacquie Rogers, and Dawn Thompson as they chat live with host, Rowena Cherry on Rowena’s internet radio show, Cherry Pickings, Sunday, Sept 23rd from 9pm to 11pm!

In honor of SEA OTTER AWARENESS week, the authors and reviewers will discuss selkies and other salty shapeshifting heroes from the sea.

The radio station is:
Instructions for how to listen are on that site. 

Saturday, September 15, 2007

When Setting Becomes A Character

Sometimes I get so involved in the setting of a story, in atmosphere, that the place becomes a main character. I try to curb the tendency and not detract from my hero and heroine, and yet…I enjoy reading books that develop the setting, using rich detail and ambiance to strengthen the plot and convey backstory.

The balance between setting as character and setting as, well…the backdrop against which my characters act, is a narrow crossing–at least for me.

In my very first short story, Cup of Fate, I wanted the farmhouse and the fantastical woods with their trees that bleed silver to come alive for the reader and become more than a simple location for dialogue and action, but a living, breathing persona.

Those trees in the silverwood were more than a mere forest, more than organic–they were sentient on a level we humans could not perceive.  They were a conduit for communication between our world and the alternate reality or alterrealm of Lugh’s world.

Being an erotic romance writer doesn’t mean skipping depth of plot or setting in order to get to the “good” stuff–the sex. To my way of thinking the entire book, including all the bits between the sex scenes, should be “good stuff” as well.

What do you think? When you read erotic romance, do you skip to get to the “good” parts, or do you linger over the story like one would a fine wine?

I think the mark of a good writer is the ability to lead the reader on a wonderful journey and to engage their imagination, and heighten all their senses.  I know that is what I want when I read a book. I want to disappear in the writer’s imagery, in the world they’ve created just for me.

I know that I want my readers to feel that same sense of excitement and surprise before the journey’s end and I strive for it with every story I write.

Monday, March 5, 2007


Or maybe the correct term would be geesed since there were more than one. Yes, I was the victim of a fly-by geesing.

I was minding my own business, when I heard a cacophony right outside my window. I looked out at my yard and there had to be twenty-three and a half geese outside! I say half, because one of them looked ready for labor. Or else they didn’t watch where they’d sat and got an egg stuck somewhere unpleasant…but I digress…

Oh–yes–the geese. The sound was so loud I couldn’t hear myself think, let alone write. So I opened my window and asked them quite politely to reduce the volume or I’d be forced to chase them off with my broom.

I swear I think one of them gave me the bird!

Anyway, I went out there, sans broom, and yelled at them to leave. They ignored me and went about their usual business. Not sure exactly what business that is, but it kinda resembled an Amway meeting.

So, I flapped my arms like wings and ran around, thinking to scare them off. The Canadian judge gave me a 8.75. I think I would have scored more, except for my less than perfect lift-off.
Who knew that they counted off for hopping?

The geese didn’t budge. Worse, they started pecking me and chased me back into my own house.
I went back into my room and sat at my desk, trying to ignore them. Oh, but that wasn’t good enough for them. No, they started pecking at my window and making crude gestures! Grrr.

That’s when it hit me. These were teenage geese! The troublemakers of their flock no doubt.
So I went into my iPOD and decided to drown them out with something no teenager likes. And then I spotted it–Polka! Oh yeah, that will teach them! I slipped the iPOD into my new iSound speakers and let her rip! Take that you naughty goose and gander!

Within a few minutes they flew off and I was able to get back to my work in progress.
Saved by Polka. Now, the weird part is I have no idea how a Polka song got onto my iPOD?

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Life's Simple Pleasures

Okay, I tried to keep this to myself but its too good to pass up. I gotta share.

My mum called me the other night and wanted to see if I’d like to sneak off to the boat, as in riverboat gambling. Our code word is brashopping. When Bear hears the words bra shopping, he tunes out. He thinks gambling is stupid and thinks I should spend any extra money I have (my money) on him, not wasting it. And to be honest, I don't want to hear his crap anymore about it, so mum and I developed our own code language to circumvent any snooping ears.

The talk went kinda like this:

“So what did your mom want?” He calls her my mom and not mum since he refuses to bow to her wishes. Mostly though, he calls her Endorra or crazy biddy–just not within her hearing. No love lost there. She gets the reference and calls him Durwood when she is peeved. When she is good and pissed, she refers to him as "The stupid thing my daughter did." LOL.

“Oh, she called to see if I’d take her brashopp–”

“Okay. Just be careful. When are you taking her?”


“Great. Have fun.”

“Yeah, brashopp–”

And he runs out of the room before I can finish. You see, the delicate male eardrum reacts violently to the word bra when combined with the equally fearsome word–shopping. Add that I'm going bra shopping with my elderly mum and he can't run out of earshot fast enough! lol

So, we manage our escape to the riverboat, with it’s blue-haired gamblers and smoke-filled clanging on that most auspicious of times—seniors day at the casino.

Mum and I have a technique. She likes to warm up her throwing arm by way of dropping about $100 on the one arm bandits soon as she hits the gaming floor. I stand by and watch her wheelchair, so no one steals it. She just knows that someone there will take it from her while she’s sitting on the swivel seat provided by the casino.

Oh, and they will totally disregard the bucket of quarters resting just to the right of the machine and in full view. Or her half open purse stuffed with chips from our last foray across the river.

After she feels sufficiently warmed up, we pass the blackjack and poker, and head straight for the craps tables. Seven come eleven–WooYAW!

There is this guy standing just to mum’s left. He is so hot, I can feel my fingers burning just from the need to touch that fine muscled, tanned and tatooed flesh. Chinese characters run down his bicep. I have to know what it means. Not being the shy sort, I lean over and simply ask. Without looking up from the table, he tells me. Love is Freedom. Ooh, my kinda guy. He believes in love, real love, and he’s buff as hell. Plus he likes craps. Too bad I'm not available. After all, I'm still with Durwood, lol.

I look over at mum. She is actually eyeing him. OMG! My elderly mum nudges me as she says, get this–”nice butt.” I kid you not! I almost choke on my Breathsavers mint.


“Well, it is. Most men’s butts are so flat you can’t get a good grip. Just like a pancake. Syrup would slide right off!”

OMG! I am now helplessly picturing my mother holding a shaky grip on Mrs. Butterworth’s and pouring it over this guy’s backside! Surely the floor will open up now, take pity on me and swallow me whole. I need clorox to scrub my brain, STAT!

I send a fervent prayer that no one else heard her comment. And then I look up at the hot guy and he is grinning at me.

Seven Out! New shooter coming out.

I realize it’s my turn to be the dice wielder. Mum, being ever so helpful, tells me to have the “guy” blow on them for me for good luck! Odder still, he leans across and does! Oh mercy!

I throw the dice and one of them hits the end of the table and rolls to a stop, five dots facing up. The other riccochets off a stack of chips at the far end of the table, smacks the stick man’s stick, then rolls to the floor.

My second attempt, and “the guy” blows his warm breath across the palm of my hand and the dice. This time the dice land squarely on the table. Shame it wasn’t the craps table I played at, but the one next to it. I see this as a sign I need to quit. But the guy encourages me to try one last time before they give the dice to a new shooter. I manage to keep them on my table. And miracle of miracles, I roll an eleven. Pay the lady!

I’m doing okay, holding my own and building a rhythm. I have a nice little nest egg of chips in front of me by the time I seven out. Mum is the next shooter, and she is amazing. Sevens, elevens, Horns, Points, Big 8, Big 6, Boxcars, Hard 8–you name it, she did it. Wow.

Even Mr. Biceps is impressed. Mum is excited, but also tired. I can tell by the way she’s getting pale and a little unsteady as she leans out from her wheelchair to grip the table.

She finally sevens out and we leave so I can take her out for a late lunch to celebrate. But before we go, the guy with the tats congratulates us and passes me his business card. On it is his work number…and his personal number. And he leans in and says, “Next time you plan to bring your mom to the boat, call me and I can help you.”

I don’t think we have a code word to cover this. Oh boy…

Now I gotta ask, was he flirting with me, or just sincerely trying to be nice, since he saw me struggle to wheel mum around?

I mean, I don’t have to call him, right? But I can still fantasize…oh yeah, I feel a new project coming on… :D

Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Year That Was 2006

So much happened in 2006, some good, some bad, and some absolutely freakin’ fantastic! :)
My first time out to bat as a fiction writer and I won the Amber Quill Heat Wave contest, starting me on a journey which has been exhilarating, but also coming with a steep learning curve. I’ve made so many friends, readers and fellow writers alike, and cherish each and every one of them. Ya’ll have been the best part of being published. For those who bought my books and entered my contests, I want to say thank you!