Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

happy new year

I usually do this post on New Year’s Eve, but life sort of got away from me, as it does now and then. However, here’s a look back at 2014.


Well, I did finish the Guitar Book, and came up with a series idea based on the talent agency…had a great time pitching that at Desert Dreams, finaled in their contest with that book, and…let’s see…oh YEAH. Boroughs Publishing Group wanted the series, and I signed a contract with them in August for a short story and the three novels. Woo! (StarTide series!) Isn’t the StarTide logo cool???

StarTide card

I pitched the Ballet Book, finally finished it, and sent it off to Lovely Agent who wants to see it after I make some revisions because she really liked it but it didn’t quite have enough oomph in the non-ballet sections. So there’s that.

Went to San Antonio for RWA’s National Conference, where I was a lucky girl and got to spend time with the Boroughs peeps. Went to their open house, and was invited to their author dinner even though I wasn’t technically one of theirs yet. Spent some lovely time talking to Chris Keeslar, which is where I got the idea for the Christmas short story.  I also drunk-pitched said Ballet Book to a Lovely Editor at St. Martin’s, who said she loved the idea and (being friends with Lovely Agent), when the book is complete she’d like to see it.

TheChristmasStar_tempOnce home, I commenced writing like a fiend. Wrote, finished, and turned in the short story.  Christmas Star (only .99!) published in October, 2014! Yay…after almost two years of not publishing, it was nice getting back into the water. In December, I finished book 2 of the StarTide series, and turned that one in. Began Book 3.

Also in December, rewrote another short story I had, after being asked to submit one for a paranormal/sci fi box set for Irksome Rebel Press. As soon as my readers get that back to me, I’ll be turning it in.

So the count for 2014: finished 3 novels; wrote 2 short stories; had one short story published, went to two conferences. Oh, and I wrapped up my second year as President of Los Angeles Romance Authors, chapter of RWA. Whew!

2015 is my year

(2015 can be your year, too! There’s room for everyone!)

Here’s what my 2015 is going to look like, that I am aware of currently:

Writing wise: Finish Book 3, Rising Star. Write Caine Brothers Book 3, Demon’s Rage (Justin and Maggie). Rewrite the Ballet Book; send to Lovely Agent (and hopefully Lovely Editor). Brainstorm 2 – 3 novels/novellas for the StarTide series; discuss with Boroughs and write at least the first one.

Guarded Star, to publish in February.  Star-Crossed, to publish in April. And Rising Star, publishing in June.

Hopefully my short story will be accepted, and in the Lucky Stars Box Set that will come out on March 17th.

End of March, I will be speaking at the California Dreamin’ Writer’s Conference, where I’ll get to see lots of old friends and make new ones.

End of May, I’ll be at the Pay It Forward Writer’s Retreat, put on by the incomparable duo of Kendall Grey and Danielle Allen.

End of July, I’ll be in New York City for the RWA National Conference!!!

Demon Soul, Demon Hunt and Demon’s Rage will hopefully all be out in August or maybe September, with nifty new covers and finally an end to the story!

A StarTide holiday novella out in October/November, hopefully.

So, that’s my year.  Of course, life happens and things change. My fondest hope is that whatever changes happen are for the better, and that more gets out than less…

Whatever your dreams are, go for them. Be bold, in whatever manner fits you. And don’t let anyone tell you your dreams are too big. They are YOUR dreams, and so they are the perfect size.

Sending love and hugs out to you, and may 2015 be the continuation of All the Good Things!

All pictures (except Christmas Star) borrowed from Leonie Dawson)

All pictures (except Christmas Star and the StarTide logo) borrowed from Leonie Dawson.


Violet Midnight by Lynn Rush

Violet Midnight by Lynn Rush

cover of Violet Midnight



Let the Hunt begin…
Pursuing a normal existence by attending college proves difficult for vampire Hunter, Emma Martin, considering the mystical tattoo on her wrist glows whenever Vamps are near. And after three months of silence, the glow is back with a vengeance.

Jake Cunningham witnesses Emma using her powers and reveals a few of his own. Finally, after three years of searching, he realizes his newfound abilities must mean he’s a Hunter like Emma.

Thankful not to be alone in the fight against the Vamps, Emma finds hope and comfort in Jake’s arms. As she learns more about her new love’s family and its dark heritage, she may be forced not only to hunt them, but also to sacrifice her life to save Jake’s soul.

Stalk Lynn Rush here:

Website: http://lynnrush.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lynnrush

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13548020-violet-midnight A Rafflecopter giveaway

Go HERE, because there’s a party happening over there and there are giveaways!

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

Two Pinots and a Red Blend

Two Pinots and a Red Blend

In these days of high unemployment and global financial crisis, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10, unless noted otherwise.

I am a happy girl. Rain came to my corner of So Cal. Rain, hail, thunder, lightning, fires (from the lightning), mudslides (from the rain) and flooding (also from the rain). Who said California doesn’t have any weather?!!

When it rains, I like to dig out the stew pot and make a hearty stew, or perhaps a yummy, cooks-forever roast. Since I was at work, I couldn’t get to my happy place today, but the hubby did it for me! As I type, the roast and the bread machine are sending my olfactory senses into happy overdrive. So, for this weather, I’m hauling out three reds I haven’t talked about before – big enough for the roast beast, warming enough for the chill outside. (I even needed a sweater today, and not because of the air conditioning at work, lol!) It’s time to warm up with some red wines!

Clayhouse Red photoClayhouse Wines  Adobe Red, 2009  Central Coast  Alcohol 13.5% by Volume; at BevMo! on their 5cent sale, $17.04 for two.

On the Label: “The Adobe Red is a blend created for that rebellious, hedonistic red wine lover inside of you, rustic like the adobe but refined with sensuous dark fruit flavors. 52% Zinfandel, 25% Petite Sirah, 15% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah, 9% Petit Verdot.”

My Take: We bought this on the advice from the guy who works the wine tastings at BevMo. He can be pretty cheerless, but he led us to this wine so I forgive him, lol. Because, Hell Yes. I am a hedonistic, rebellious red wine lover and I’ve never tried to hide it. We just bought this wine during the latest 5cent sale. This wine is big but not too big; soft, but not too soft. It’s got the Zin I prefer (with a nice dash of pepper). It’s what I’ll be opening to go with dinner tonight (sorry, honey! I owe you a bottle).

My Rating: ~ Very, Very Drinkable ~ I can tell you right now, I’ll be going out and stocking up. At $8.50 a bottle, it’s hard to beat.

Trader Joe’s Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 2010 Russian River Valley Alcohol, 13.5%
by Volume; $11.99 at Trader Joe’s.

On the Label: Vinted and Bottled by Patrick Slater Wine Co, American Canyon, California (GOSH I love their labeling! But when I googled Patrick Slater Wine Co, I got Pat Slater, a female real estate agent up in wine country. So who knows who’s actually making the wine. Not that it matters.)

My Take: I liked this wine. As much as I didn’t think last week’s Trader Joe’s wine deserved the Grand Reserve title, this one does. It’s fruity, juicy, easy to drink yet holds up to food very well. My guess is this one will attain Slut status once it’s a little bit older.

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ And even though it’s over $10, I’ll buy it again!

Thanks to http://fogcityfoodie.com/2011/08/03/2009-piper-sonoma-pinot-noir-review/ for the photo (check out their review!).

Piper Sonoma Pinot Noir 2009 Sonoma Coast  Alcohol 13.8% by Volume; Not sure of price, but I think it’s around $16 at Pavilions; I might have gotten it on sale for under $10.

On the Label: “For over thirty years, Piper Sonoma has sourced the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes ripened to perfection by the warm Sonoma sun. We’ve crafted this excellent still wine from grapes selected from some of the most outstanding vineyard lots in Sonoma County.”

My Take: I am predisposed to love this wine. Why? Because one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve ever had at a winery was at the Piper Sonoma plant back in 1989. We watched them bottle sparkling wine, and we had a glass of Tete de Cuvee sparkling wine that was probably the best taste of wine I’ve ever had, ever. Ever.

But when I saw this wine in the grocery store, I circled around it for a couple of years. It should have been a no-brainer – my favorite sparkling wine maker, plus one of my favorite drinking wines should equal SPECTACULAR. But – I was worried. What if I didn’t like it? What if it was terrible? What then?

I got over myself and bought a bottle. We drank it. I bought another bottle, just to check it out. Sigh of relief. It didn’t suck!

My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ It is juicy, lovely, easy to drink – but not that much better than my favorite Smoking Loon Pinot Noir, and much more expensive. It does have a slightly greater depth to it, though, so when I want a bigger Pinot, I’d turn to this one. I think. Lol!

As usual, these are just my honest opinions, and always depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.

~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~

Demon Soul, Blood Dreams and Demon Hunt are all available for the Kindle! Have you fallen into the Caine Brothers’ world yet?

My Rating System: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!

I Heart Book Bloggers

I Heart Book Bloggers

There has been some kerfluffles between book bloggers and writers recently. I don’t know all the details (and I really don’t want to, either), but from what I could discover, errors happened on both sides. But I’m here to champion book bloggers.

cartoon photo of books

For me, I totally heart book bloggers. These people review books for readers, but they also do writers an incalculable service (whether or not that is their intent). Most of the book bloggers will put their reviews up on Amazon (I think – I could be wrong about that!), which gives a boost to the writer (no matter the rating). When you consider that the “magic number” of reviews on Amazon tends to be 50, those bloggers often make up the bulk of a writer’s reviews.

Whether it is a person who only reviews, or a blogger who tosses out an occasional review, it doesn’t matter to me. I have learned a very important lesson from a reviewer that I took to heart. See, she loved the first book in my Caine Brothers series, but she was pretty unhappy that the hero and heroine didn’t take down the villains together.

When I read that, I immediately understood her reasoning, and sympathized. But at the time, the ending kind of had to happen the way it did – the heroine had to win and win big, and then the hero also had to win and win big. They both had a lot to prove to themselves, so for that reason they couldn’t fight together.

But when I was writing book 2 in the series, I remembered this review and I knew, without a doubt, that my hero and heroine would have to take down the bad guy together. They were both strong people; their journey, though, meant they had to learn to let someone else in to help them. In fact, the only way this bad guy could be taken apart was by the two of them letting down their protective walls and working together.

Stack of booksWould I have come to that conclusion without that reviewer’s lament? Maybe. But I can tell you that bringing that up in the review made it impossible for me to forget; which ensured the outcome of book 2.

Reviewers are golden. Writers should, in my opinion, always thank the reviewer whenever practical (though I understand that some reviewers feel kind of creeped out when a writer thanks them for a bad review). Writers should also take bad reviews in stride, and not ever take them personally. In this market, to an extent, every review has value.

And then we get the other side of things: here’s an entertaining blog about the 5 meanest book reviews from the Huffington post. Now, I’m not encouraging book bloggers to write mean reviews, and neither is the HuffPost; as they say, sometimes any publicity is NOT good publicity.

But for the most part, book bloggers go into this game with a wide open heart and an insatiable love of reading. And because of that, I heart you all.


 Do you have a favorite Book Blogger? Enquiring Minds want to know!

DEMON SOUL, BLOOD DREAMS, and DEMON HUNT all available now!