Thank you!

On June 16th, the Many Shades blog will be closed.
The authors thank you for your readership and hope you will come visit them at their personal sites via the links to the left.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Goodbye, Goodluck, Update

I am sad to see this blog coming to an end. I have enjoyed my bi-monthly posts here as well as reading the posts of the other wonderful authors. New is good, and so is change so I don't see why this can't be a good thing for everyone.

I want to say thank you to CR Moss for creating this blog and inviting us all to be a part of it. And thank you to all the other authors who have made it such a joy to read.

Good luck to all of you, I know you'll put your creative juices to good use outside of this blog.

My last post here was about my construction zone of a kitchen, and so I wanted to update you all on that. It is nearly complete and so awesome! My husband is so very handy and has created a beautiful kitchen for me, just needs the back splash, which he is going to do in black mirror and trim. I think that's it. For the first time in seven years I have a dishwasher, its amazing!

Thank you hubby!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fatal Mistakes

By A.J. Llewellyn

My cherished and adored friend C.R. Moss has decided to close down this blog due to her many other commitments. I am sad on a personal note because I've enjoyed this place to write and exchange ideas with my fellow authors and readers. I came to know C.R. when she came on board eXtasy Books as a new author and sent me some news clippings she'd seen on Hawaii.
She thought they might be useful for my books.
I will never forget that sweet, generous gesture.
So, since I hate goodbyes I feel I should leave this blog with a hello.
Hello to all the new budding authors out there - and the ones who are working up the courage to submit books to publishers.
In the last few weeks I've had a ton of authors ask me to read their work. I do what I can. Many times, they listen to me and get published (ask Marianne Guenon) other times I think they use my photo for dart-board practice.
Mostly, their reactions are somewhere in the middle.
I am often stumped by the presentations I receive - so here is my list of do's and dont's to get all of you published.

1. This should go without saying but even if you are asking for an opinion, send your best sample. Check your spelling, check your storyline and send your BEST work.

TIP: I cannot stress this strongly enough. Dialogue is your friend. Read it out loud How does it sound? Quite often you'll see it's stiff and awkward. Reading aloud is a wonderful tool screenwriters are taught - make it work for you. It easily reshapes a clunky sentence to smooth.

2. Don't use colorful fonts or adorn your submission with twinkling images etc. Making your submission look "pretty" will kill your chances since the reader has to remove this stuff. The prettiest thing you can send an agent/editor/publisher is a decent book.
Most epublishers prefer Book Antiqua in 12" font, in RTF format with no spaces. I read an article two days ago where writers are submitting resumes and cover letters in white font. I mean...really?

3. Read submission guidelines carefully. AND FOLLOW THEM.

4. Don't send out weird gimmicks via snail mail. One author I know sent a single shoe to potential agents and publishers saying she would "go the distance to succeed." What can anyone do with a single shoe but toss it?

5. Don't send bribe gifts, even candy. Editors, agents and publishers are strangers and won't eat the candy. They will toss them out.

6. Don't badger the editor/publisher once you've submitted. They are busy and get slammed. Be patient and start work on the next thing!

7. Think long-term. If you are going to write romance, your story must have a HEA (Happy ever after) or HFN (Happy for Now) and leave room for a sequel. I had no idea my first book Phantom Lover would take off but with 14 books published in the series and a Christmas title in the works, I am glad I observed the forumula.

8. Read. I mean it. Read good authors. It's important to read the best and that doesn't mean you have to read in the genre you choose.

9. If you get a rejection and the editor/publisher takes the time to point out problems and invites you to resub - do it!
This is probably the most difficult decision you will have to make as an author. I always think the writer should be true to the characters. If the suggestions feel really wrong and you feel strongly about NOT reworking the piece, submit it elsewhere.
You night find the next publishing house loves the piece. Great! However, if several companies point out the same problem, it's time to revise.

10. Have fun! Get published and above all WRITE SOMETHING EVERY DAY. Writing is an instrument, like playing violin or the piano. Keep your instrument sharp.

Good luck and good loving everyone - you have any tips you want to share??

Aloha oe,


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

His First Week of Freedom

Last week I told you all that my youngest graduated from high school. I had thought that he would at least wake up a little to realize boyhood is almost over and he has to start looking at the real world with different eyes. Boy was I ever wrong as it looks as if the kid is barricading himself in for the long haul.  That's him playing soccer this past year. Not a bad looking kid if I do say so myself.

Me...I had wanted to get out of my parents house the moment I could. Our oldest wanted to do that as well but he understood it would take him a while. Unfortunately, it took him eight years and I’m not sure we taught him much after eighteen by not making him pay rent. Not that he expected a thing. He didn’t as the oldest always paid his own bills and did his own thing.

Now this youngest one is a lot different. He’s decided that this is his last summer and he’s telling everyone he does not want to grow up. Nope, doesn’t want it in the least. He wants to be able to sleep in, watch TV and play basketball all his life. He is in for such a rude awakening. Sigh.

Just wait until August when I am planning to go to Vienna with his dad. He’ll have to drive, get his own meds as he's type 1 diabetic, get his own food and heaven knows what else. Then again, maybe he’ll just call his older brother who has an incredible soft spot for the boy. We’ll see.

Here’s this week’s writing quote:

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

And isn’t this the true for us writers? There are times when I have so many stories running around in my head, my DH asks me about the voices or which world I’m in. Many times, I just look at him with a funny expression because I don’t even realize I’m doing it at all. LOL!

The funniest time was when I was talking to myself in the car. I forgot the youngest was with me until he started to laugh. I gave him a startled look the moment I realized he was still there. Thank goodness, I wasn’t doing a sex scene. I don’t know who would have been more embarrassed at that point.

See you all next week! Have a great one!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Wishing The Many Shades all the best, but I'm moving on

Hi folks, Erin Sinclair here.  I just wanted to let you know that this post is my last contribution to The Many Shades.  Come summer, I will be in school and heading towards my much cherished degree.  Between day job, school, writing and so forth, I'll be curtailing many of my online commitments due to personal life scheduling.

I have had so much fun participating in my friend, CR Moss' blog.  Thank you so much for reading my thoughts and ramblings!  Don't worry I'll still be around.  Stay tuned for more of me! LOL

I wish the best to everyone!


Erin Sinclair
"For love that's out of this world!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010


By A.J. Llewellyn

It's been said elsewhere that truth is stranger than fiction, but sometimes you can't help appropriating a juicy bit of truth and turning it into fiction and it still seems unbelievable.
Last year, whilst vacationing in Honolulu, a very good friend called me and asked if I would check on her holiday house she was trying to rent out. She was back here on the mainland working but she'd put it on Craigslist hoping to rent it. She was really in bad financial shape.
She had started to receive weird emails from people who'd seen the listing on a military site.
"I'm a bit worried," she said. "I have no idea what this site is. Do you mind stopping by and checking on it for me?"
What happened next is almost unbelievable.
My dad and I had planned to spend the day together so I drove us past the house and we were astonished to see a moving van in the driveway. We jumped out, confronting the people moving in. They insisted they'd just rented the place from a guy in Nigeria.
This is just the latest online scam and one that ended badly for the poor family who'd sent money to the fictional homeowner via Western Union. My friend meanwhile was forced to leave her job in LA, return to Hawaii and keep vigil on her home. Turned out the Nigerian conman had rented out the house to multiple, unsuspecting renters until the FBI put a stop to it.
I was astonished to learn how common it has become.
Scammers scan house rental listings, list them on obscure sites for a much lower rate, and scoop in the money.
They get around the issue of no house key for the new renters by telling them to hire a locksmith and the cost of a new key will be deducted from their next month's rent.
Except that there is no legally binding rental agreement. Just a lot of bad blood.
I've heard of a couple of friends whose exes put their addresses on Craigslist and told people to come and take whatever they want. This too is not uncommon.
When I agreed to pen a book for eXtasy's tarot series and was assigned the Judgement card, I thought this was a good premise for a novel.
I had fun writing The Vendetta, much of which is based on fact. Even the subplot of memorabilia verification.
As far as I can tell, scams exist everywhere these days. It's hard to separate truth from fact.
I think setting up a former lover for theft is heinous. Targeting complete strangers is also rotten. But how audacious to heist a house...and in my story, a Vendetta, which happens to be a valuable guitar.
As I wrote this story, I began to worry about the things that are valuable to me. They happen to be - in order - my animals and my laptop.
All my animals are micro chipped and as of last week, so is my lappy. It now has Lojack. so baby, you can drive my car. You can steal it (but why would you want to??) just don't upload it to the Internet or'll just give me fodder for the sequel.
Aloha oe,

The Vendetta is available NOW at
Purchase Link:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Life’s Moving Forward

Hope you all had a great week. I know I did as I got a lot of writing done and actually finished some projects. Not as much as I had hoped to mind you as this week my youngest graduated from high school. This means more time for travel and writing and me. Yippee! 

This week’s quote is:

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

I love this quote and I heard it a lot in my early writing years. Maybe because I read all those books on writing. Yet, after all these years, it is still a true phrase. You need to emotionally draw others into your world or they will never get the story you are trying to tell them.

I still read the writing books but with such a different eye. Today, I want help with marketing, saggy middles and how to fix all the little uglies which creep into a manuscript. The good thing is I have the hard part down as I do write every day. In the beginning even that was a challenge.

I can remember the first book I ever finished. I was on such an adrenaline high for weeks. I still get the high but it’s from a different perspective. I think every writer has a love/hate/love relationship with writing. The best thing to do is to overcome everything and just be the best writer you can be.

Here’s a little more for the writer in you. I came across these websites during the week and thought I would pass them on. You make get something from them which will make you a better writer.

Hope you all have a great writing week!


Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday Message for May 31

Happy Memorial Day!

Here's the message for this week: “What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.”

I found that quote on my friend's site. Not sure who the source is, so if you know, please let me know.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Art of Collaboration

By A.J. Llewellyn

My fourth book to be released with Amber Quill Press is The House of Driscoll (Book 1), coming out on June 6. It's a spanky-new collaboration with the uber-talented (and mega-sexy too!) D.J. Manly.
My work with D.J. has been the highlight of my writing career.
People often ask how D.J. and I write together when he lives in Canada and I live in Los Angeles.
It's easy thanks to the Internet, phone calls and that hard-to-find symbiosis that is any artist's dream.
Ever since he first approached me with his idea of a collaboration on a contemporary M/M book Black Point, which became the first in a series of best-selling books, this has been a magical experience.
I mean this in many ways. After writing a few books together, D.J, asked me how I felt about a vampire book and I was excited to collaborate on yet another series.
Blood Eclipse surprised us both, I think. We began to realize more and more how much we like working together. From the start, D.J. and I have found we have our differences as well as our complementary styles and the lines have started to blur--deliciously so--to the extent that our readers often can't tell who wrote what.
There was even a funny incident where D.J. and I got confused over who wrote a certain sex scene (he did) but still, it meant the world to me that our styles mesh so well that even we get lost.
It was a thrill to me when I was invited to submit to AQP and after my first release with Deeper Blue, asked D.J. to co-write Fawnskin with me. I hoped he would not find the book too dark since it revolves around a man hired to sit with the dead in a funeral home. I was ecstatic when he loved it. I like to think we are both versatile.
I do know we are both extremely dirty-minded. I think our readers love that about us.
D.J. was the one who came up with the entire concept for The House of Driscoll, our latest creation and I felt a good vibe...the same one I always feel when we start to work.
Whoever starts the work usually writes a few chapters and emails the other. The other one reads it and starts to work. As our series have progressed, we have stopped writing only from one character's POV. We overlap, interject, add, subtract, you name it.
I think the key is absolute trust and a total lack of ego. I think we share the same viewpoint. The story and characters must feel true, regardless of genre. I would say this is essential in any collaboration and I've learned over 17 books (and counting) that D.J. and I just 'click' creatively.
I don't think I am telling tales out of school by saying this but I never like the names D.J. picks for my characters.
Marcus became Matt in the Black Point series and I think our readers love him. And his husband Thomas.
In The House of Driscoll, the lead character Max Driscoll is a vampire who has been on this earth since the time of the French Revolution and has been summoned to modern day New York City to destroy his former lover turned nemesis, the vampire Galien.
D.J.'s original name for this character was Graham, of course, I hated it. With a bit of research, I discovered the name Galien, which was fitting for a man during the French Revolution.
Together, we've cooked up what I think is a damned fine story.
And it is only the beginning since it's the first in our new series.
I think D.J. and I are both visual writers. We love the power of story and we both love to write.
The symbiosis I was talking about was there from the moment he pitched the idea to me.
I love Max, Blue, Galien...all the characters who define The House of Driscoll. We hope our readers do, too.
To check out more about The House of Driscoll, please visit the Amber Allure site:

Aloha oe,


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Quote from Churchill

Okay, everyone, I have some deadlines, which are looming and I need to get writing. But I don’t want to forget any of you either. So, I’ll be putting up a writing quote every week with a little discussion. I will also let you all know if I have any interviews or the like for that week as well.

Today’s quote is:

Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe. -- Winston Churchill

I personally love this quote and I tell my crit group this all the time. You have to live life in order to write about it. You must have a belief in yourself that no one can shake – no matter what. This is the crux of being a writer, as you have to feel to be able to effectively put it all down on paper. Think about Churchill’s world – there were daily happenings, which made one cringe, but he kept a positive attitude and became one of the best-loved and well-known statesmen of his time.

I’m just pushing for being a good author with a decent fan base. LOL!

So far this month, I was at Gracen Miller’s blog. Here’s the link:

See you all next week and have a great one!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Agent Soundtrack

My friend and I have been on the quest to find agents--she more than I right now as I sucked up the courage and sent my contemporary to Harlequin. But she is looking for her perfect agent, that agent who will know her inside and out, who takes care of her and her writing. And I think that's fantastic. She knows what she wants and won't settle. I wish I was that decided in what I want in an agent. I've asked myself, "self, what are you looking for?" And self answers, "I want someone who will sell my book to the publishers, who will make me millions of dollars, and will wash my car. Cause let's face it, the car is filthy."

Just kidding. But I do want to find an agent who will accept that I can a bit needy/neurotic, and someone who will not take over my writing life, but who will encourage me to be a better writer. And it really wouldn't hurt to have someone more than willing to beat me over the head when I get too anxious and need to submit SOMETHING even if it isn't finished. I think my crit partners are tired of telling me to step away from the email.

So, my friend came up with her soundtrack to her agent search. I thought this was a great idea. Some of her songs are: Michael Buble's "All I Do Is Dream of You" and "Haven't Met You Yet." I thought of two more for her: Steven Curtis Chapman's "Wait" and from the Momma Mia soundtrack "I Have A Dream."

What would your agent soundtrack include?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday Message for May 24th

Recently I did a simple tarot reading for myself, to give me confirmation in regard to my intuition concerning the directions my life and career are taking. While doing a bit of additional research on the cards that came up, I found the following quote by Henry Ward Beecher, a clergyman, abolitionist and women's suffrage advocate of the 19th century & I felt the need to share it for this Monday’s Message.
"Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it only serves to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own."
And, for any of you who are curious, it was the Eight of Pentacles that came up in the ‘outcome’ position and the website where I obtained the quote is:

Happy Reading!
C.R. Moss

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My construction zone

I am currently living in a construction zone. Not that this is anything new. Since we bought this house seven years ago we have done something to every single part of it. Some things were small like new stick tile and paint in the laundry room when we were moving in. Some were huge like creating a gorgeous bathroom and office downstairs out of unfinished basement. All done by me and mostly my wonderful husband. With the occasional help of friends and family.

Right now we are in the middle of tackling the kitchen which has been a terrible eyesore for the last seven years, even though its been repainted twice. It had no dishwasher! UGH! And the counter tops were pulling away from the wall. It has been saved so long to be done since it worked and it was going to be a rather pain in the ass of a project and more expensive as others as well. But we are finally doing it and its coming along very nicely.

After only a week we have everything stripped out, the walls sheet rocked, mudded, primered and painted, the floor tore out and nearly done being tiled with a beautiful terra-cotta colored tile. Hubby plans to have it all done tiled and grouted today! YAY! I plan to take our girls shopping so we can stay out of his way...seems fair to me...

Tomorrow we should be able to start putting in the cabinets and very soon we won't have to live with out kitchen shoved into out dinning room and living room and live without a stove. Barbecue and microwave meals just are not enjoyable after a week of them. And since I hate fast food...take out is not always and option either.

So my construction zone is almost done, until the next project starts, which will be much smaller I am sure! I hope!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bling Me

By A.J. Llewellyn

Any author will tell you that we love what we do. Some lucky ones get to completely support themselves on their earnings, the rest of us either have full-time jobs on top of writing or, we take part-time work to supplement our incomes.
To be honest, I enjoy working. Being in the grip of the Protestant work ethic was ingrained in me from the time I had my first paper route at the age of nine in Bondi Beach, Sydney.
I don't mind juggling. I really don't. The busier I am, the more I like it. I get a huge satisfaction out of paying bills out of money earned from writing, but I also get a lot of fodder from my day jobs.
A few months ago, a friend of mine got me in with a celebrity assistant's club. I've picked up work here and there and have had the terrible misfortune of working a few times with an actress whose career is on the slide. I say on the slide because she recently lost her home to foreclosure due to her shopping addiction and...diminished income.
I accompanied her to bankruptcy court and small claims courts - all of these incidents will no doubt show up in my books some time soon - and I was even there when she went to a salon to get her asshole bleached.I swear.
This last one I did already use in The Book and the Rose.
Anyway, the Actress was pissed about moving from her oceanside digs in Malibu to -shudder- The Valley. Now, I happen to live in the valley and bitterly resent the constant jibes people from the other side of the hill make about my home town.
I've worked for Z-list Actress now for a few months and off and it has never been pleasant.
A couple od days ago, I helped take her dogs to the vet.We have a saying in my birth country of Australia. When someone is taken advantage of, we say, they saw her coming.Well this vet saw The Actress coming.
A routine office check-up for three small dogs turned into a $2,000 vet bill. It would have been more if I hadn't argued the point about unnecessary tests and phantom illnesses.Yesterday, her credit card must have been burning a hole in her pocket. We dropped the dogs home and traipsed along Ventura Boulevard where she shopped her heart out.
She dropped another $2,000 on an electric blanket, bought a new lap top at the Apple Store, some bling for her iPhone. Then she remembered she'd lost her iPhone and we bought a replacement.We stopped by my goddaughter's house where I deputized her to bling the new iPhone. I'm all thumbs when it comes to crafty crap.
My goddaughter however, was born to bling.The Actress and I drove off. I kept wondering how somebody who'd just been through bankruptcy and foreclosure was still able to spend this way.
She bought French underwear - a snip at $500 for two panties and a push-up bra - blinged dog collars for the pooches, new shoes - for her, not them. They all got tutus [I swear] - and then she insisted on having lunch.
I didn't want to have lunch. I had fresh bread and peanut butter at home. I was happy to go home and have that.
But oh no. She wanted a lavish lunch. Unfortunately, I know her well and have had terrible experiences with her before.In spite of her lavish public declarations that she would buy me lunch, I knew she would make my life miserable if I picked anything she deemed expensive. I ordered a cup of soup and an iced tea. I knew I could afford these should she gripe. And I just knew she would.
She berated the poor waiter and I begged her not to. I am always nice to people who handle my food. They could spit in it. Or worse.The Actress hauled out her laptop in the middle of this swanky restaurant as she tore through spinach salad, char-broiled salmon, apple pie and several cappuccinos. She shopped for more crap online - a lanyard holder for her new iPhone and new sunglasses.
She argued with her mother on the phone and didn't seem to notice how aggravated our nearest neighbors and the entire restaurant staff were.After being sniped at for four and a half hours, something came over me when she griped about the $7.00 for my soup and tea (tax and tip included).
I told her I couldn't take it anymore. I think I actually said I hate you. She looked shocked. I don't think she hears those words too often, except from her ex husbands.
She owed me $67.50 for the time I'd been her whipping post and dangled this over my head.I said I didn't care.
"You don't care?"
"No, I don't," I said.
I got up and walked out.
"Can't you take her with you?" the waiter begged.
My dear friend Kelly has quoted me from Benjamin Franklin who once said never to keep friends who are not like yourself. Somebody else once said - maybe it was Heidi Fleiss - we are guilty by association.
I didn't want to associate with an asshole boss. I don't care that money is involved. It's too painful dealing with such insanity. I drove home feeling both bad and good. It's hard to walk away from an income.
She apparently collected her cell phone from my goddaughter and was very sweet with her, paying her $20.
Then she drove to my place and somehow got into my building and showed up at my front door. She put on a marvelous performance.
I accepted her check for $67.50 and then said goodbye.
She hasn't stopped calling since. This morning, I found a pink diamante in my socks. My little ode to bling. And to her.
I dropped the bling off my balcony and deleted all her messages.
Maybe I am being foolish, but I think not. What about you? Would you put up with Miss Bling? I'd really like to know.
Aloha oe,


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When Life Intervenes

Recently, I've had some things happen which has made me question my life as a writer and I've run the gamut of emotions from weepy to out and out mad. These times also skew my world view and make me wonder about the big picture. During these times, I look at what I've done to get my motivation back. I look at old blogs, various other notes I've written to myself and other methods to get my groove back.

I was happy to run across this blog which I had written for someone else as it helped me a lot. Hopefully, it will say something to you as well.

Writing Blues

What’s a writer to do when they can’t write?

I have experienced this many times and most of them have been around the time when I have just finished a deadline of some sort. However, recently I have found I’m not up to my usual 5K per day and I’ve had to go back to some interesting stratedies I’ve developed years ago to get me back on track.

More importantly, I’ve been recently asked that question by many writers and I’ll tell you exactly what I tell them: It depends what you’re writing and what the problem is. And this is very true. You must be able to figure out just why you aren’t writing. It can be a variety of things which keep you from your goals.

First, if you’re ill, you just do the best you can. Since I have allergy days quite frequently in both the spring and the fall, I make sure my daily word count is exceeded on some days so that I can make up for those days of the pounding head. Illnesses of any kind aren’t good and you must heal yourself before you can heal your writing.

Now, if it’s because I can’t get my Muse going, that in itself is a completely different thing. There are a few techniques I use to try and get things flowing again. Here’s my list:

1. Listen to music – when nothing comes, I will sit down and listen to music as I attempt to write. Again, the type of music depends upon what I’m writing. Something classical just won’t do if I’m writing a battle scene so I make the music appropriate to what I’m doing.

2. Write anything – the day doesn’t always start good and I don’t always start on my story right away. Sometimes, the best I can do has nothing to do with what I’m writing. So I just write. Usually by the end of the second hour, I’m back on track for the story.

3. Plot a new story – I have a lot of series going and sometimes the best thing for me is to move away from the story I’m working on and start plotting the next one. For many of my stories, I am a pantser which means I just work it out in my head and sit down to write. However, when I’m working on a series I have to make sure that I don’t violate something I’ve previously done in the series. This also allows me to plan new and different things for the books. And it also just gets me back into writing.

4. Read – I can’t say this enough, read the genre that you write. If you’re doing urban fantasy, read urban fantasy, if you’re doing futuristic, read futuristic. You must know your market and you will never gain that knowledge unless you read the genre.

5. Take care of yourself – What I mean by this is get a massage, take a walk, talk to your kids, make love with your husband or significant other. It can’t all be about the writing because without you there would be no writing.

If none of these techniques work, then try to remember why you became a writer. Grasp that same joy and use it to elevate yourself to feel the creativeness rise in you. Embrace it when it arrives and make sure you nurture your muse as much as you can.

Being creative can be a finicky business and as a writer, you may need to do a variety of things before you can again create the stories you love. Just never give up on your dream to bring those stories to life because if you don’t, they will never get written!

Good luck in all your writing endeavors!

Have a great week everyone...and I should have some wonderful news next week!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Me, a cougar?

I always pictured cougars as being single women in their 40s, preying on young men in their 20s. Well just recently I told a friend about someone I met who is a young'in (20). I, a married woman of 33, saw myself as just being nice. I can't help it I have a flirty personality. It's just how I releate to people. So now several people are telling me I'm preying on this innocent guy.

I'm not whining, I actually kinda think being called a cougar is funny. I'm of the mind set that I want to play with them not raise them. So for now I guess I should be honored that someone thinks I am capable of corrupting an innocent boy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Something new

I'm happy to announce the release of the next book in my Dirty Little series -- Dirty Little Girl! This story follows Mary Jane's daughter Jamie Sue as she escapes life in the country and ends up in a big city, Las Vegas to be exact.
One bite and life will never be the same...
Tired of living with her crazy mother, Jamie Sue embarks on an adventure of her own seeking life in a big city. A strange urge prompts her to stop and stay in Las Vegas so she gets off the bus and settles in. When she meets her golden angel, Michael, she believes she’s found the love of her life, but things aren’t always what they seem. Will the bite of his love change her forever?
This story is a lead in to my June 15 release, Dirty Little Demons. I love the cover for it, too:

You can see the trailer for it here:
Dirty Little Girl is available at now!

Happy reading!
C.R. Moss

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion

Time for a little shameless self promotion.
Wait! Didn't I talk about POS (Promotion Overload Syndrome) last time? Yes! I did, but the truth is, I'm not as popular as some of the greats yet, so I gotta do what a writer does...promote.

Sessions was released this month and this story is especially important to me. No, it's not like that. Get your mind out the gutter! It's because this is the story that originally got me a contract. I know, pretty cool huh? And now my baby is out there for all the world to see. I'm so proud.

As the title implies, it is about therapy, but wait, don't knock it yet! I can just hear it now..."I all ready know the ending." Are you sure? This isn't your typical, girl has problems, girl goes to therapy and therapist fixes it with sex. Well, okay, part of it is any ways, but the story isn't at all what you think and that's what I love about it. I even mixed some B&D in it to help the characters along. Wasn't I sneaky?

If I did a good job with the story, you'll find yourself rooting one of the characters along, and hating the other only to find out that maybe you were wrong all along. Or maybe not, I don't want to give too much away.

Now, as some of you know, I am a lesbian erotica writer because...well, I'm a lesbian. Shhh...did I really just out myself? Krud! I gave it away, didn't I? Here's the thing, you're going to find f/f sex in every chapter, oops, session in the ebook. And its explicit. Oh, one more thing, you can read an explicit excerpt on my website: (For mature audiences only, please.)

Now the other side of me is the Paranormal books I've been working on. The Hightower Series.

Book 4, Lustful Torment is actually from Mistress Tamara's POV (Point Of View) and believe me, my vampires don't sparkle!

Oh, where do I begin? How about at the beginning? Book 1, For The Love Of Blood, introduces you to Tamara and Izzy. Again, I say, I am a lesbian erotica writer so you'll find a lot of f/f interactions in this series, too.

I would say that it's a must read series, but that would be tooting my own horn, and I won't do that. Instead, I'll quote my cousin David. "Damn girl, even my wife thinks your girls are hot!

In honor of non-sparkly vampires, we're having a Naughty Little Vamp June Extravaganza, and I invite you all to participate in the festivites! Starting on the 1st of June, stop by and leave a comment and you could win a prize!

See you next month!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


By A.J. Llewellyn
Meet Paco. He was a lost, homeless dog scavenging for food on a beach in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico when a kind hearted American couple rescued him. Josiah Allen and Erin docking fell in love with this funny-looking, adorable little guy and decided to give him a home. They went through all the procedures of traveling with a dog, took him to the vet, got him treated for ticks, an eye infection and got him all his shots.
They bought a special, airline-approved crate and trusted Delta Airlines to safely load the dog on board for the trip to his new home in Detroit, Michigan.
When the couple arrived, they were shocked to find Paco had not made the flight. Delta staff said they 'forgot' to board the dog but he would be cared for until he was put on the next available flight.
When they called the next day to check on his arrival, nobody knew anything and the story changed.
Delta said the dog somehow escaped his crate.
Where is Paco?
This is a devastating story when it is obvious Paco went through so much before this ordeal.
Now it appears that Delta's changing stories is especially worrisome. To top it off, the airline says they have stopped searching for Paco.
Is he dead or alive?
I've lost luggage thanks to airlines. A friend of mine lost his championship surfboard.
Nothing however compares to the loss of life, especially one that is entrusted to us. I am haunted by Paco's story because I am an animal lover and because I plan to move to Hawaii soon. I will be transporting three animals.
Should anything happen to my dog or my cats, believe me, the airline responsible for screwing up so royally will have more than a petition to deal with.
In the meantime, please consider signing the petition started by the wonderful Care 2 group which is putting pressure on Delta to keep searching for Paco - and to admit the truth about what happened to him. Paco's humans need 10,000 signatures to persuade Delta keep searching for the little guy.
Aloha oe,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Writing, Reading and Writing Some More

Hi everyone!

Life has been very interesting this week as my computer decided it was going to have a meltdown on Thursday. Trouble was, it took me two more days to really realize the whole darn thing. Sigh. And it was only in the middle of a chat I realized just how bad it was.

I tried desperately to fix it myself for an extra two more days and finally gave up this morning to call in a PC doctor. And man, did I get my money’s worth. After only two hours, the problem was fixed and I was back to receiving and sending email. Too bad, I have to rebuild some things because I reinstalled some software in hopes of fixing it all. That’s what I get for being impatient. LOL!

But I did an interesting thing on my forced exile from the internet and all my email. I wrote more and read more. Imagine that! LOL! And boy was it fun. I read everything I could get my hands on: books in my to be read pile, magazine that had stacked up and writing manuals I had purchased but never cracked open.

While everything was informative, there were a few standouts I’d like to tell you about. The first is a fiction book called Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch. This book has had me in stitches from cover to cover. I was lucky enough to met Gini at the Desert Dreams conference and she’s an absolute doll. Pick up this book and you’ll see what I mean.

The second was an article in Prevention magazine of all things. I have always read the last page as it by Ardath Rodale, one of the founders of Rodale books and a long time contributor to the magazine. Her column was always inspirational and I always took something away from the words.

So this month, they have a new person, Jane Smiley, doing the column and while her words were quite interesting, they more fit writers than the general populace. The column was titled It’s Nothing Personal and there was a section I found particularly interesting. ““There’s nothing personal going on here – but what is going on is worth contemplating.” Certainly this is a novelist’s mantra. We invent characters whose feelings and actions form into a plot – a plot whose beauties and terrors create a response in a reader’s mind. But it is also a wiser way of understanding the people around you. And how they have their own passions, motivations, and histories sometimes (always) that grip them in ways even they do not grasp – ways you don’t have to respond to automatically.” This woman’s husband had left her and she went back to the one thing she knew intimately...but I’m not sure if what she said is what she meant...and here’s where I’m coming from.

It is my contention as an author every character I create is personal and more likely than not, each of them male or female have something of me in them. It's true, writing can make you better understand your fellow human beings. Now in the big worldview of things, like during a critique session or even a review, it really isn’t you they are looking at but your in those cases, you do have to remember it really isn’t personal. But it’s my thought until you know a character as well as you know the mole on your own backside, it is personal because you are molding and shaping them into something everyone will love. Until the process is done, it is personal because that part taps into your psyche as well as your character’s. Until they are fully formed and hatched, they are still cooking. And in my mind, they are cooking until everyone, you, your beta readers and crit partners alike, are satisfied with the outcome.

True, you have the final say but if you go into a crit meeting and everyone hates that character, you as a writer either have to change their minds or rewrite the character. Now there are times when you might need to dump the crit group but if your writing is getting better with each meeting, I would sit back and see what happens.

Now the last thing I did more of was editing on my Where’s My Underwear story. And I’m doing a lot of reworking as I discovered some of my characters were not as cooked as I needed. I’ve had to dig deeper into them and since the hero and heroine have a complicated relationship, I had to make it sound possible.

In the not too distant past, a bestselling local author had told me she once had to dump around fifty percent of a book in a rewrite. I was appalled but can now see the truth in the matter. I mean, if the editor or I don’t like it, why would a reader? So in dumping a thousand words here and there, I’ve had to bring in the big guns and make each new section count even more by making it stronger and even more plausible.

What are your opinions on characters and how they come together? Do you all like strong well-developed characters? Or do you like the ones who have a little more fluff and are therefore lighter reading?

I’m interested in knowing what you all think. Until next time...


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm Late, I'm Late...

Well, two weeks ago I told you I was headed to a writing retreat and I had planned to write 3/4s of my book. I didn't get that much written but I was able to plot out the majority of the book. That's a great accomplishment because I am so not a plotter. I plot and I kill the writing mojo. It's like my muse believes if I plotted the entire story it's already written so why should I fill in the blanks?

Anyhoo... not only did I plot out that story I got story ideas for three other stories. Now if I can find time to work on every single one.

If you are looking for a fun weekend or a family vacation I highly recommend checking out These guys are super friendly and it was a great time away. With limited cell service (I had to contortion myself to get my signal) you didn't have to worry about phones ringing off the hook. So no work questions during my writing getaway.

Now it's back to reality and the day job. Oh, how I yearn for hayrides, smore's and nights by the campfire...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Message for May 10

The Person who is a master in the art of living makes little distinction between their work and play, their labor and their leisure, their mind and their body, their education and their recreation, their love and their religion. They Hardly Know which is which. They simply pursue their vision of excellence and grace in whatever they do, leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing. To them they are always doing both – zen text

C.R. Moss

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

I love being a mother. To me being a mother is the single most important thing I have done, or will likely ever do.

Being a mother gives me a sense of accomplishment on a daily basis. Just to look at them, healthy, happy, smart and beautiful. I feel like I have done something great in being a big part of all that.
Not that I am taking ALL the credit, but since its Mother's Day I suppose I can...just for a day or two anyway.

I don't think I could have become such an appreciative mother if it weren't for my own loving mother. She taught me how to be what I am to my girls. She is my role model for so much of my life and I hope I will grow old with my girls loving me as much as I love her.
I hope all you mothers out there have an extra special day tomorrow and get the chance to bask in all the glory that being a mother deserves. I certainly plan to milk it for all its worth. Make the family cook breakfast and do yard work and all that while I direct and relax. It should be a great day.
Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Home Stretch

Hi everyone!

This week has flown by and I am still very, very busy. I am putting the final touch on my submission to NYC of Where’s My Underwear and hope to have news within the next few weeks.

I have edited and re-edited the piece until it shines like a new copper penny.

But like every writer, I have doubts. Why is it when we actually do something very good, something so different that we question ourselves? Writers always want to tweak things to make it better but sometimes it is already very good.

That’s where Underwear is at this moment.

And still the story has a life of its own. LOL! Just this week, I entered another contest with the first line. I barely made it under the wire and the entry is #43. Go check it out at

That’s about all I have for now but I’ll keep everyone posted.

Hope you have a great week...see ya next!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Message for May 3

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden always advised his players, “Never try to be better than someone else; but never cease trying to be the best you can be. That is under your control. The other isn’t.”

"Be courageous. I have seen many depressions in business. Always America has emerged from these stronger and more prosperous. Be brave as your fathers before you. Have faith! Go forward!" Thomas Edison

C.R. Moss

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Playing on the Heart

By A.J. Llewellyn

In this tough economy, one of the most surprising and durable ways to make money remains the Internet scam. The most effective ones are those that play on the recipients' hearts.
These are cruel scams because they rely on the recipient's basic good nature to help out a friend. It also requires that the recipient has some funds as well...but here's how it works.
I know, because I have received one of these scam emails. I didn't fall for it, but I ALMOST did.
In my case, a boxer I used to be very close friends with emailed me.
In big letters starting with HELP, he told me he was in Las Vegas and had fought in a match. After he was paid and returned to his hotel, he was beaten up and robbed. He was now in serious trouble because he couldn't pay his hotel bill and jail was being threatened.
He needed $3,000 to get home. If I could wire him any part of that money, he would pay me back within a week of returning home.
I was initially furious since it's been two years since I heard from him and my last couple of emails went unanswered.
Retiring is tough for some fighters, especially when it's an enforced retirement [usually for medical reasons such as brain damage, serious injuries resulting in coma and/or brain surgery]by the state Athletic Commission with which they are registered.
After getting past feeling pissed, I was slightly concerned but very suspicious.
It was a detailed and in some ways credible email, but I checked, which lists each and every fight all over the world.
My friend was still listed as inactive and retired.
I then checked which slavishly covers every fight, even backyard brawls. Again nothing.
I was suspicious for other reasons, too. The email clearly stated he couldn't pay his hotel bill. Fighters don't pay for their rooms. Promoters do.
I was concerned enough to want to contact the fighter's parents. However, I first wrote back to the fighter at the email addy from which he contacted me, plus another one I had for him.
I said, "If this is really you, call me."
I received an email a few days later. It wasn't a particularly nice one. In fact he was quite nasty. He wrote from the alternate email addy I had for him and he said, "I hope you know this wasn't me."
We wrote back and forth and apparently the email hacker had swindled quite a bit of money out of people who still loved and cared for the fighter, including one of his aunts who sent him the entire sum. It was money she couldn't afford to send him, but she did it out of love.
The FBI is now involved and the fighter is deeply anguished at the wide net the hacker has thrown. All over the world.
He feels responsible. But he is not. I tried to cheer him up by saying he's obviously still loved and respected and he gets this. But somebody is making a lot of money off this poor guy by hacking his address book.
I hope this crook is caught. I think this is a particularly nasty crime because it relies on trust and love and that underneath it all, the hacker believes that there are still some good people out there.
There are.
Crimes like this however, chip further away at our already damaged humanity. We are a sick race badly in need of a moral overhaul.

Aloha oe,


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Realizing The Dream

I know I haven’t posted for a while I know…but there really is a great reason for this…and I hope you’re all as happy as I am about this.

I posted this message on my critique group loop on Friday, April 16, 2010 while still at the Desert Dreams conference in Scottdale, Arizona. Since that time, I have been working on what I’ve always called my breakout novel. You know it, I’ve been putting the first few chapters up here as my blog the past few times to keep it alive for me. Read this and you’ll see jus how alive it is!

Okay...I've got to tell you a story...and how it made me speechless. I know, I to impossible...LOL!

Part of this trip has been for me and a friend to get away. My friend, Brenda, loves books and has gone to an RT conference with me before. She's also an aspiring writer that I'm trying to get interested in RWA. She's also had a horrible time this year with her husband losing her job and 3 kids under 18. So this was my Christmas and birthday present to her. So today we did some girl things and didn't get back to register for the con until about 4 this afternoon.

I get my registration packet and start looking at everything as we'd found a quiet, out-of-the-way place to discuss where, what and when. I found my Realizing the Dream score sheets and pulled them out. I thought the score terrible, 48 out of 50, and knew I blew it. I put it back in the envelope and found my appointments with an editor and an agent. This is really why I came here and entered the contest. For the contest, you had to be an attendee and not published by a NYC house or represented by a NYC agent.

At the time I entered, I talked extensively with the contest chair as I had so many books epublished and I didn't want to take advantage of the contest. She assured me that the contest was for someone just like me. They wanted entrees from every genre and at every level. I sent off my entry and forgot about it until this week. And when I saw my score, I felt I had blown it because I know people do get perfect scores.

So, we're at the genre dinner tonight and they make some announcements, they do the raffle and then they turn it over to the contest chair. I don't pay attention because I've blown it in my mind. The first finalist was a gal sitting at my table and she jumps right up plus her enthusiasm is contagious. The next name they call is...mine...and I'm blown away. My friend Brenda pushes me out of my chair toward the stage and the gal at my table walks up with me. The third gal is from the middle of the room and we're all on stage.

The contest chair states how close the scores were and still I'm thinking, 'No friggin' way' and 'what am I doing up here?' And she announces the winner...and it was me...and I was speechless. I can barely say thank you to everyone because I am shaking so hard. The whole time back to my seat I'm thinking/saying 'OMG, I can't believe it.' And it took me twenty minutes of people talking to me to get me grounded.

I have an appointment with two editors tomorrow, Laurie Rauch of Samhain and Kate Sevier of Berkley Sensation, and one agent, Miriam Kriss. All these people were on the seven or eight (I'm not sure) judging committee who voted my proposal the best.

And can you all guess which one it was? Sigh. "Where's My Underwear?" garnered the top spot in the Realizing the Dream contest. Another thing, I would not be here if it weren't for each and every one of you. All of you had input to this story and have helped me every step of the way. I owe you all dinner and plan to take you all out when we can do it.

One more thing, I can guarantee they want changes...LOL! I hope you all are up for a final round of Underwear. I'd start now but I don't have everything here.

Thanks for all your support...let's see if I can bring it home!

This was one of the best things to happen in a very, very long time. I’ve been on Cloud 9 since it happened. I’ve also been working my butt off as every editor/agent I saw or described this story to all want a peak. So I’m polishing up the proposal and re-editing the rest of the story.

So see…I haven’t forgotten you…I’ve just been really, really busy. I’ll be back next week with an update on my progress. See you all then!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Road Trip!

I am super stoked because tomorrow morning I leave for a writer's retreat in San Antonio. Four days of writing and workshop and horse back riding. Oh, did I mention the cowboys? Our group is going to the gun range and the rodeo, and I can only imagine how much trouble I could get in to...even if I'm not trying.

The car trip could be as long as twenty (20) hours long which means I'll have many hours to write during the ride. My goal is to have my current manuscript well over 75% complete by the time I get back to town. If my husband were going with me, I would have almost the full 20 hours to write as he hates to be a passenger. Oh well, I'll take what time I can get.

I hope you all have a great week and weekend. I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to share when I get back.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Message for April 26

Here are some movie quotes...

"Don't think you are, know you are" - Laurence Fishburne, The Matrix
"Nothing is real unless you believe in who you are" - Sylvester Stallone, Rocky III
"It's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you" - Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby

How do these quotes strike you?

C.R. Moss

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chat at Ethan Day's



Sunday, April 25th is Gay Day at my Yahoo Group.  Gay Day is the one day a month when the best authors in GLBT Romance stop by to post excerpts of their new and upcoming releases. 

Love Grant.jpgZM_FugitiveColor_coverlg.jpgUnexpVin.jpgGardner_200x300Bound_to_Please.jpgmed_HeartAndHome.jpgTrina Lane - perfect union.jpgHeat2.jpgPool Boy Seduction.jpgRetribution.jpg 

The following authors will be generously offering giveaways you can enter to win:

AKM Miles – Love, Grant – Available April 26th
Andrew Gray – An Unexpected Vintage
Trina Lane – The Perfect Union
TC Blue – A Game of Chances
Leiland Dale – A Prophecy of Destiny
Jambrea Jo Jones - Retribution – Available May 3rd
Kimberly Gardner – Bound to Please
Stephani Hecht – Man Down
P.A. Brown – L.A. Heat 
Z.A. Maxfield – Fugitive Color – Available April 27th

The amazing Authors below will be popping in and out to chat & post excerpts from their latest books:

Lynn Lorenz – Pinky Swear
Amanda Young – Pool Boy Seduction
A.J. Llewellyn – The Book and the Rose – Available April 25th
Jamie Samms – Spinning & Life After
Kimberly Gardner – Blush from Red (An MLR Antho edited by Kris Jacen)
P.A. Brown  - L.A. Bytes
Lex Valentine – Where There’s Smoke
Clare London - Heart & Home

LABytesCover.jpgNMan_Down_4bab9a98ef4bb_97x150.jpgspinning_sm.jpgmed_BookRose.jpgWhereSmoke-250.jpgprophecy of Destiny.jpgRed.jpg tnPinkySwear.jpggane of chances.jpg

The day will begin from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST in the Ethan Day Yahoo Group where we’ll be posting excerpts, running contests for free books, and chatting about all the new and upcoming releases from your favorite authors.

From 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. CST we’ll be hosting another LIVE Chat which is pretty much a free for all, anything-goes-chat that’ll inevitably have you uttering the phrase, “What the f**k?” : )

***You will need to have Downloaded Skype in order to take part in the Live Chat.***
Once you’ve downloaded the FREE software, simply add me as a contact: ethandayonline -- and I'll be able to add you to the chat room!

I hope everyone will stop by to catch up with your favorite authors and join in all the fun!
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