ALL QUIET SO FAR

January 16, 2012

Yep, 2012 is definitely starting on a quiet note. My darling husband was finally released from the hospital, which means I got to sleep in my very own bed, thank all the gods! I think we slept about 15 hours that first day home. But then it was a mountain of laundry, a mini-mountain of paperwork (still sitting on my desk, though the laundry at least is done.)

I want to thank all of you again for your thoughts and prayers for my DH’s recovery. It helped me get through some of those long, sleepless nights, and days, too.

My DH is very happy to be home at last, happy to have his books and his newspapers (he never did understand why we couldn’t send someone out for the daily paper–I think he confused the hospital with a fine hotel on some days – LOL!) And I’m happy to have my own kitchen and refrigerator, not to mention my own bathroom and shower. Plus, my elliptical. The exercise routine definitely suffered, but between meal deprivation and stress, I’m pretty sure I lost rather than gained weight, so no worries there. My back is very happy to be exercising again, gotta keep those muscles loose, and, of course, sleeping in a bed is much easier on my back than in a chair!!!

So, feeling very productive today. I put in a couple of hours on the new blog site. Getting very close to being finished. The design was done weeks ago by someone far more skilled than I. But I’ve got to transfer all of the old posts and pages, plus I’m reorganizing, and html code can be a troublesome thing. Still, it won’t be long now.

Working on the blog tonight, I somehow ended up with an Ugly Betty marathon on TV, and was too preoccupied to locate the remote and change it. Fortunately, the sound was down, but really … an Ugly Betty marathon?? I did finally change the channel and right now I’m looking at an extreme close-up of Spike’s gorgeous cheekbones, having found a Buffy marathon instead. btw I discovered several new shows while wandering through the hospital’s very limited TV offerings. Don’t you think if one is going to be trapped for hours and hours in a hospital bed that they could at least offer satellite TV? Of course, that might just be me. 😀

I read lots of books, but can’t recommend any of them so far. Currently reading Kresley Cole’s Lothaire. I love her Immortals After Dark series, and Lothaire is the latest. It’s too soon to tell, but I will say that the sex in this one is HOT. I did read PRIVATE #1 Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro, the second book in a non-romance, non-paranormal, straight thriller/mystery series which I really enjoy. I’ll post more on that later.

Hmmm. No new reviews this week, no new promo appearances–saving all of those for February and my very first Vampire Vignettes Anthology! Woohooo! But lots of writing going on as I finish off the Vignettes and get back to the Cyn/Raphael novella which is up next. And after that, I’ll finally turn all of my attention back to the ever-so-charming LUCAS whose story is dying to be told. The boy does have an ego, but then, don’t they all?

Hopefully, next week I’ll have some cover art for you–it’s so pretty and sexy, too. But in the meantime, I guess I’ll count my blessings that it was a quiet week, and get back to work on my Vignettes.

See you next week.

DBR

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THE HOLIDAYS ARE UPON US!!

December 19, 2011

And I still haven’t wrapped (i.e. bagged) my gifts. On the other hand, I have it on good authority that bagging (with appropriate tissue embellishments) is a completely acceptable form of wrapping.  Which begs the question of why I haven’t done it yet.

You all will be happy to know, however, that the reason I haven’t yet bagged my gifts is because I’ve been writing like a fiend. So there. Good excuse, right? 🙂

Still, it’s nearly the official start of winter, and my blog isn’t the only place where it’s snowing. Google’s gotten into the holiday spirit, too. If you enter Let it Snow into a Google search bar, you’ll get so much snow you can’t see your search results. At which point, you can hit the defrost button and start all over again.

And holiday sales abound this last week of shopping.  I personally avoid shopping malls, but I’ve seen the ads. My publisher ImaJinn Books is having a holiday sale, too. 25% off your entire order through 1 January–this applies only to orders directly through the ImaJinn website. They’re also having a contest on their Facebook page, giving away five (5) free books of your choice. Click the Free Books Holiday Contest (with the gold star.)

And Night Owl Reviews is throwing a web hunt with lots of cool prizes, including a Kindle, tons of books and gift certificates.

And I’m having a contest,too. It’s part of RomFan Reviews holiday blog hop. I posted a special blog hop entry HERE. The prize is any one of my books, winner’s choice, either Kindle or print format. All you have to do is comment, and be sure to leave your email address, in case you win. CONTEST CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT DECEMBER 23.

And, in addition to writing like crazy this past week, I did a bunch of review/recommendations. I’ve read a lot of books in the past few weeks, but only a few I’d recommend, and I’ve listed those on my What I’m Reading Now page, as well as on GoodReads.

And finally, from the sublime to the ridiculous, I was searching for an e-mail I deleted by accident, paging through my deleted folder, and I came upon an e-mail from … Best-Penis. Huh. I don’t remember meeting him. 🙂

Okay, good reviews, best penises and holiday gift wrapping aside, I’m going back to work (i.e., writing.) Hanukkah begins this Tuesday at sunset, and (surprise!) I’ll see you all before then. 😉

xxoo
DBR

I’ve got something different for you this week. My good friend and a wonderful writer, Michelle Muto, has released her second book, DON’T FEAR THE REAPER. Michelle reads every one of my books before anyone else sees them, and they wouldn’t be the books they are without her excellent input. Her own books are Young Adult—the first one, THE BOOK OF LOST SOULS, is about a teenage witch who has to face the darker side of her talents, and it garnered rave reviews. Her newest book, DON’T FEAR THE REAPER, is the story of 17-year-old Keely Morrison who sees killing herself as the only way to deal with her overwhelming grief and to reunite with her murdered twin sister. But Keely soon discovers that death isn’t the one-way ticket to heaven she expected. It’s a story of a sister’s love and a stranger’s faith, with lots of twists and turns in between.

I’ll see you back here next Sunday with more news on my beautiful Vampires! But now, as a special treat, I’ve included the first chapter of DON’T FEAR THE REAPER for your reading pleasure! Enjoy it, and I know you’ll want to read more. I did!

DBR
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DON’T FEAR THE REAPER.
CHAPTER ONE

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for they are with me.

I repeated my version of the psalm as I watched the ribbon of blood drift from my wrist. I’d hoped it would be a distraction—something to stop me from wondering what my sister’s dying thoughts had been. Exhaling slowly, I let the emptiness consume me.

Jordan had kept my secrets and I had kept hers. In the end, it came down to just one secret between us that took her life. Now, it would take mine. I should have said something, but nothing I said or did now could bring her back or make anyone understand what she meant to me.

Are you here, Jordan? Are you with me? Tell me about heaven…

I told myself Jordan was gone, never coming back, but her memories continued to haunt me. I had no idea if there even was an afterlife. If God existed, I was convinced he had given up on me. Not once did I sense he’d heard a single one of my prayers. I wasn’t asking for the world—I only wanted to know if my sister was safe and at peace. What was so hard about that?

She should still be here. It wasn’t fair.

I’d been the difficult one—much more than Jordan. For a while, I’d even gotten into drugs. Mom and Dad had worried I’d get Jordan into drugs, too. But I wouldn’t. Not ever. Besides, that part of my life had been over long before Jordan’s death. A small gargoyle tattoo on my left shoulder was all that remained of my previous lifestyle.

Mom and Dad started treating me differently after Jordan’s funeral two months ago. She and I were twins, so I understood how hard it was for them to look at me and not see her. Sometimes, they wouldn’t look at me at all. Mom went to the psychiatrist, but no one asked if I needed to talk to someone about what happened. No one asked if I needed sleeping pills or antidepressants. Yeah, sure. Don’t give the former addict pills of any sort.

Not one person saw the all-consuming suffering that gnawed at my soul. Why couldn’t anyone see? Jordan had been more than my sister—she’d been my Samson, my strength. I would have done anything for her, and yet, I’d failed her. I wasn’t the one who’d killed her, but I might as well have been. How could I ever live with that? My heart had a stillness to it since her death.

I shall fear no evil.

I couldn’t very well recite the first part of Psalm 23 because it said I shall not want, and I did want. I wanted to go back in time. I wanted my sister back. Clearly, goodness and mercy were never going to be part of my life ever again. In my mind, I saw myself walking through the iron gates of hell with demons cackling gleefully all around.

I didn’t want to die. Not really. I was just tired and didn’t know of another way to stop the pain. Doctors removed a bad appendix. Dentists pulled rotten teeth. What was I supposed to do when my very essence hurt, when the cancer I’d come to call depression made every decent memory agonizingly unbearable?

Before I’d gotten down to cutting my wrist (I managed to only cut one), I’d taken a few swigs of Dad’s tequila—the good kind he kept in the basement freezer. I’d used another swig or two to chase down the remainder of Mom’s sleeping pills in the event I failed to hit an artery or vein. Then I’d set the bottle on the ledge of the tub in case I needed further liquid encouragement. Instead of using a knife or a razor, I attached a cutting blade to my Dad’s Dremel. The Dremel was faster, I reasoned. More efficient.

It would have been easier to OD, I suppose. But I felt closer to my sister this way, to suffer as she’d suffered.

I recited the line from Psalms 23 again. It had become my personal mantra.

The words resonated in my parents’ oversized bathroom. I’d chosen theirs because the Jacuzzi tub was larger than the tub in the hall bathroom. Jordan and I used to take bubble baths together in this same tub when we were little.

Innocence felt like a lifetime ago. I searched the bathroom for bubble bath but came up short. Soap might have made the laceration hurt more so it was probably just as well. Besides, the crimson streaming from my wrist like watercolor on silk was oddly mesmerizing.

The loneliness inside proved unrelenting, and the line from the psalms made me feel better. I prayed for the agony inside me to stop. I argued with God. Pleaded. But after all was said and done, I just wanted the darkness to call me home.

I tried not to think of who would find my body or who’d read the note I’d left. I blamed myself not only for failing Jordan, but for failing my parents, too.

My lifeline to this existence continued to bleed out into the warm water. Killing myself had been harder than I’d imagined. I hadn’t anticipated the searing fire racing through my veins. I reached for the tequila with my good arm but couldn’t quite manage. Tears welled in my eyes.

Part of me foolishly felt Jordan was here. The other part feared she wasn’t.

Give me a sign, Sis. Just one.

I imagined seeing my parents at my funeral—their gaunt faces, red-eyed and sleepless. How could I do this to them? Wasn’t the devastation of losing one child enough?

No. Stop. A voice in my head screamed. Don’t do this. Don’t. Please…

I shifted my body, attempted to get my uncooperative legs under me. I could see the phone on my parents’ nightstand. I could make it that far. Had to. The voice was right. I didn’t want to do this. I felt disorientated, dizzy. Darkness crept along the edges of my vision. Focusing became difficult. A sweeping shadow of black caught my attention. Someone stood in the bathroom—not my sister. A man. Had I managed to call 911? I couldn’t remember getting out of the tub. And why’d I get back in? Did I use a towel?

Mom is going to be pissed when she sees the blood I’ve tracked all over the bedroom carpet.

“I’m sorry,” I told the man in black.

“It’s okay, Keely. Don’t be afraid.” Not my father’s voice. It was softer, with a hint of sorrow. Distant. Fleeting. Later, I’d feel embarrassed about this, but for now I was safe from the nothing I’d almost become. My teeth clattered from the chill. My eyelids fluttered in time with my breaths. The tub water had turned the color of port wine. The ribbons, the pretty, red watercolor ribbons were gone.

Dull gray clouded my sight.

A voice whispered to me, and my consciousness floated to the surface again.
“—okay, Keely.”

Cold. So cold.

“I’m right here.”

There was no fear in me as the man bent forward, his face inches from mine. He was my father’s age, and yet strangely older. His eyes were so…blue, almost iridescent. The irises were rimmed in a fine line of black, and the creases etched at the corners reminded me of sunbeams as he gave me a weak smile. The oddly. Dressed. Paramedic. A warm hand reached into the water and cradled mine. My fingers clutched his. I sighed, feeling myself floating, drifting. Light—high and intense exploded before me. No! Too much. Too much! I shuddered and labored to catch my breath, but it wouldn’t come.

Finally, the comfort of darkness rose to greet me.
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DON’T FEAR THE REAPER IS AVAILABLE AT Amazon US, Amazon UK, BN.com, and Smashwords.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET

September 11, 2011

Kind of a weird, sad weekend. Lots of TV and Internet coverage of 9/11, which made me very sad. Add to that the fires in Texas with all those homes destroyed — something I can relate to, living where I do in one of L.A.’s coastal canyons. We’ve been evacuated twice for fires in the many years we’ve lived here, and waited through a lot more fires than that. It’s a terrible thing. But then you think about 9/11, and all those lives lost, both on the day and in the wars that followed, and you realize the only thing that really matters is that everyone gets out safely. Most things can always be replaced, people can’t.

Okay, enough sad talk. Let’s talk about DUNCAN. I’ve been working with the artist this week and we’re very close to a cover. I’m excited to see the final product. I’m also working on the back cover blurb! Once my publisher okays it, I can put that up, too. None of it’s quite ready yet, but soon!

In the meantime, my vampires have received some very nice reviews this week! Joyfully Reviewed posted a review of JABRIL and then I discovered they’ve actually posted reviews of all my books, which was nice!

Soulswallo at Reading the Paranormal reviewed JABRIL, too. Another good review!

Overall, these reviews make for a very happy author. And that’s good, because I’m getting ready to start some serious writing! Although, I’m still obsessed with Buffy reruns! I’m up to Season 4 – Angel has gone off to L.A. (and his own show – LOL), Buffy’s in college (filmed at my alma mater UCLA – go Bruins!) and Wesley and Cordelia have exchanged the most awkward kiss in history! Cool. Riley (cute enough, but no Angel) has made his appearance and Faith’s in a coma. The good thing is that at about this point in the original airing of the series, I missed many of the episodes, so I’m hoping for a few I’ve never seen before!

I’ve updated my What I’m Reading Now with a couple of books, including the latest by Nalini Singh, Archangel’s Blade. Great book – the best in the series, so far, IMO. Dmitri is far sexier than Raphael (the archangel, not MY Raphael!)

Hmm, okay, they’re advertising the perfect meatloaf pan on TV – some pretty gross looking meatloaf. 😀

Speaking of ads, there’s a button down and on the right for Night Owl Reviews’ Halloween Hunt. It’s a bit of a scavenger hunt (remember those?) with lots of cool prizes. You can get all the details HERE.

All right, that’s it for me this week. Hopefully by next week I’ll have something more definitive on DUNCAN’s cover and blurb. Sweet!

Have a great week and see you all then!

DBR

D.O.N.E. That’s how! Yes! Duncan’s story has been told. You all won’t get to read it until December, but I sure loved writing it. And since today just happens to be my birthday, it’s a nice little gift to myself that I can send this one off to my publisher ahead of schedule. Well, that, and the spa visit I’m indulging in a bit later this afternoon, and then there’s dinner with my darling husband, of course. 😉

I’m not giving away any details yet. You’ll just have to wait for it. But next up is Lucas, my cowboy vampire—long, rangy and just a bit irreverent, even when it comes to the Big Bad, Raphael. I’m looking forward to telling his story, but not just yet. I’ll probably take a month off before undertaking the next big project. After all, I need to write a new Vampire Vignette first, right? And there are a couple of other projects I want to do some background on, maybe sketch out a couple of stories. Plus there’s that HUGE to-do list I’ve been adding to while I pushed everything aside to complete DUNCAN! lol

I do have a new interview coming up on July 20th, and another after that, but I’ll give you the details on those when they get closer.

In the meantime, I want to thank all of my readers who continue to buy my books and to tell their friends about them, and especially the readers who have left such wonderful reviews on Amazon and elsewhere. I’d be nowhere without all of you.

I’ve updated my What I’m Reading Now list and expect to add quite a few more books now that DUNCAN is on his way.

And now, I think I’ll stay up late and READ a book! (hee,hee)

See you next week.

DBR

I can’t believe the year is half over already! At this rate DUNCAN will be here before you know it! ;-D

The hot weather has definitely arrived here in So. California. I’m not much of a Summer person. I mostly hide out in air conditioned rooms and wait for the Fall. Hiding out in air conditioned rooms is good for writing, though! And that’s good for my readers, since I seem to remember promising a new Vampire Vignette by the end of Summer. Hmmmm.

I haven’t been getting much reading done lately, since I’ve been writing like crazy, but my good friend (and brilliant writer) Adrian Phoenix released the second book in her Hoodoo series this week, Black Heart Loa. Adrian’s hoodoo books delve into lots of magic (black and white), voodoo, hoodoo (yes, there is a difference) plus gorgeous nomads of the male variety. I love her writing and I love this book!

By the way, thanks to everyone who bid on my character naming for the L.A.Banks auction! I worried when I put it up there that no one would bid on it, but no! It did quite well, I’m happy to say.

Let’s see, what else can I say this week? My brain is so wrapped up in DUNCAN, that’s it’s difficult to force it down any other path. (The sexual innuendo in that one sentence should tell you where my mind is…for shame! LOL) So, I think I’ll just get back to it and do us all a favor!

Happy 4th of July to all my American readers and a belated Happy Canada Day to everyone up North!

See you next week!

DBR

Well, I survived the family wedding weekend this past week, including up close and personal contact with lots of miniature plague carriers. They lure you in with those adorable faces and chubby arms, and then you’re doomed! So far, no symptoms, but we’ll see if I can make it through the week!

A brand new review for JABRIL this week at Bitten by Paranormal Romance! 5 Alpha Howls for Cyn, Raphael and the gang. And there are new reviews coming in all the time on Amazon, too. Most readers love the books, a few don’t … that’s life as a writer. I don’t love every book I read either. (Which would be why I haven’t updated my What I’m Reading Now lately, since I don’t review, I recommend. So, if I can’t recommend what I’ve just read … the list doesn’t get added to. I do have one to add this week, though–Shattered by Karen Robards.)

Moving on to Auctions, as I wrote last week, L. A. Banks, author of the Vampire Huntress series, is critically ill and uninsured (who says we need healthcare reform?) Several people at RT Book Reviews have gotten together an auction on EBay to help Leslie and her daughter offset the huge medical bills. There’s all sorts of cool stuff being auctioned, including the opportunity to name a character in my 6th book (LUCAS). The auction winner will be named in the acknowledgements section and receive an autographed copy of the print book upon release. You can check it out HERE. Bidding has started, although in my experience, the real bidding doesn’t take place until the last day of auctions.

And now for giveaways, the Paranormal Haven giveaway and character interview is still live, so you can still check that one out (until July 15th.) And I’ll be doing a few more after I send DUNCAN off to my publisher.

On a related noted, the wonderful Adrian Phoenix is doing a ton of giveaways for her upcoming Black Heart Loa, which is the second book of her Hoodoo series. The book releases this week and I’ve already preordered my Kindle copy. A great series from a great author, so I encourage you to drop by her website HERE’S THE LINK, and check out the many giveaways, which include books and these really cool book thongs. I already have the full set! 🙂

A reminder again that I’ll be writing a new Vampire Vignette after I turn in DUNCAN (and after I’ve slept for about a week!) And I’ll be rerunning the whole set at the end of summer, before posting the new Vignette.

I think that’s it for this week, although I did want to mention that I’ll be reformatting the blog in a few weeks (as with everything else, post-DUNCAN. That post-DUNCAN list is getting very long!) Mostly cosmetic and an address change, but it won’t affect anyone’s bookmarks.

See you all next week, by which time I expect to say … DUNCAN’s story is complete!

DBR