Another entry into evidence, if you please. To whit: Why it takes so long for Marcella to write anything.
This is Hatshepsut trying to eat one of my earplugs. I write. After a few hours of writing, I take a break and do ten minutes of alpha state meditation to reset my brain. This includes some sensory deprivation – like earplugs – to help focus. It’s a great tool for problem solving in a story. When the timer goes off, ending my session, I’m supposed to get right back up to the page so I can record whatever bubbled to the surface during the meditation. Based on this video, you can see that isn’t happening.
At least I know about Hatshepsut’s odd taste for earplugs. The first time I discovered that she’d eaten my earplugs, and I do mean eaten – she’d left slimy, rubbery yellow and red bits of them all over the floor, I called the vet’s office in a panic. I figured she’d block up her system or be poisoned by the stupid things. No. Nothing to worry about. Not that the vet tech managed to get those words out over the phone. I gathered, from the gales of laughter, that my cat was in no danger.
I am sorry my post is going up late, but I was up until 1am last night trying to familiarise myself with my new phone. Yes, I have entered the 21st century and now have a phone that does more than, you know, make phone calls;). It is exciting to now be able to listen to music on my phone and share far more photos of my cat Emma than you ever wanted to see. But it is also rather confusing trying to figure out what all the buttons do and how to ensure that I don’t go crazy on my data use;). Still, I love my new TARDIS!
I was lucky enough to visit a friend and spend a glorious week on St. Croix, part of the US Virgin Islands. Now that I am back in snow and ice in Canada I have to share some sunny pictures to warm everyone up.
That was nice, right? I am clinging to the hope that now that it is March 1st Winter will slink away with his tail between his legs and beautiful, bouncy Spring will take over…I know, I know, but leave a crazy woman her dreams.
On the writing front I am neck-deep in book 4 of the Celestial Surrender series. It will be the final book in this series and tie up all the loose ends I’ve spread across the first three books. I am very excited to finally get around to telling Sydney, Jayden and Miguel’s story. They are all rather prickly at the moment, but fingers crossed, once I get deeper into it they will settle down and talk to me.
I am calling today the unofficial beginning of Spring. My plans for Spring include walking more and using less public transit as well as going to the Romantic Times Convention in May. Do you have any exciting or fun plans for Spring?
You may have noticed that we’re undergoing some renovations here at Darker Temptations. Posts may be a little sparse – but we are still here. And we are working on bringing you more authors and more content. Stay tuned.
On another note, everyone dreads April 15 in the US. It’s Tax Day. It’s almost a national holiday. The post office is open until midnight so you can get that all important post mark that’s dated April 15 – even if you waited until 10pm that night to start your taxes. (Though there’s a small contingent of us who look forward to it if only because it means that all of the tax hoop-jumping is finally over.)
This year, I have another reason to look forward to the date. My third novel comes out from Intermix. This one is Urban Fantasy, set in my neighborhood in Seattle (Ballard). I’ve turned the tea shop where I like to write into my heroine’s tattoo shop. (The tea shop staff are amused rather than annoyed, thankfully.)
Just got the cover last week. So here you go. I hope it means I can give a few other people something to look forward to on April 15. Besides taxes.
With the needle of a tattoo gun, Isa Romanchzyk has the power to create and destroy. In her shop Nightmare Ink, Isa helps those in need by binding the powers embedded in their Live Ink—the magical tattoos that can enhance the life of the wearer, or end it. But binding tattoos has earned Isa the contempt of her fellow artists—including her former lover Daniel.
When a friend comes to the shop with a tattoo on the verge of killing him, Isa can’t turn him away. For the first time in years, she works Live Ink into someone’s skin—something she swore she’d never do again. But breaking her vow soon becomes the least of her problems. Isa is horrified to discover her friend’s body in the shop, but the real nightmare begins when she’s abducted and inked against her will.
Now, as she seeks retribution from the man who betrayed her, Isa must figure out how to bind her Living Tattoo before it consumes her completely…
Nightmare Ink — Coming April 15, 2014 from Intermix - Urban Fantasy
I find it ironic that I’m not into Valentine’s Day, be it that I write romance. Some of my characters are much more into it – the more romantic being Skye, Ryan and John from Woodland Village. Their partners are either too pragmatic or too busy to think about what day it is…
Skye is an artist and has a creative and sensitive soul, and he is not afraid to display his emotions. His partner Drew is reserved and keeps his emotions close to his chest – so he’d have a difficult time with Valentine’s Day. The best he’d come up with is taking Skye out to dinner to a nice restaurant with an elegant and quiet atmosphere. I’d bet he’d skip on the present and rely on a card for his sentiment.
Skye on the other hand would give Drew something personal. Perhaps he’d create a painting for Drew’s office. Or frame a photograph of the two of them when they were relaxed and happy . It would be a reminder for Drew to stop and just what life has to offer!
Ryan is opposite of his brother Drew. He lives large and is not afraid to show how much he cares for Martin. He’d plan a weekend in New York, booking rooms into The Four Seasons hotel. They’d have dinner at One If By Land, Two If By Sea (since it’s romantic and has a ‘ocean’ theme) – a bit stuffy but Ryan would get a kick out of flaunting his relationship with Martin in front of stuffy New Yorkers.
Martin would get a tattoo where only Ryan could see it.
John is the romantic of the duo. Scott doesn’t like big crowds. He prefers to be in the background without attention focused on him. John is aware of this and would plan accordingly. He would take Martin to a cabin in the Appalachian Mountains where they would have alone time together. Scott’s present would be giving all his attention to John and not once turning on his laptop to write!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
You can check out my Woodland Village series at my website!
I have a new male/female romance coming soon with Musa Publishing. It’s a contemporary romance — sort of — the story set in 1967. Thinking about my heroine, Rose Red, she is a modern woman. She’s a free-spirit, intelligent and chooses to live her life the way she wants, despite society’s norms. Her problems are contemporary – trying to find love without compromise to her beliefs. There’s give and take, but she isn’t willing to give up her dreams for love, but rather, she wants someone who shares them.
This is a fun story and I loved writing it. I’m from Northern California and hung out in San Francisco and Berkeley. My sister went to UC Berkeley during the riots, tear gas and student protests. It wasn’t a stretch for me to write the setting and get the ‘feel’ of the generation that came before me. The era intrigues me because after 1964, America shifted cultural perspective –and it was on the cusp of major social change that shaped my beliefs.
I love setting my books in periods of social upheaval. I have another story coming soon that is set in 1913 – again, an decade of social challenges with the advent of women’s rights, birth control rights, women and work, unions, free love (yes, free love expressed before 1967). Strong, independent women wanting to improve women’s lives is a running theme in many of my m/f books that will be released this year and next.
Look for Formula for Love April 5 at Musa!
Love and Peace!
Apologies for the late hour of this post. And for missing my post last go around. I was finishing up a book, which was successfully delivered to my editor Monday morning. Which naturally means I’m now sick with one of those colds that makes you wish you could dig out the insides of your own head. Sorry. Too graphic? Yeah. From my side, too.
For the next few weeks, you may notice an awful lot of quiet hereabouts. We’re in the process of planning our themes and posts for the coming year. Stay tuned.
Beyond that and without a theme to rein me in, you get to hear “What I Got for Christmas and Why I Love My Family’s Blind Optimism”. It goes like this:
My family (Mom, Dad and sister) like to give me clothes for the holidays. I try not to take it as any kind of comment on my sartorial – erm – let’s call them missteps. I love cool clothes. But I *am* a geek. Thus it is that I’m more fashion victim than fashion forward. I’ve made peace with this. Mostly. It’s also one of the benefits of living aboard a boat. No one expects you to wear heels while you’re climbing in and out of a boat. Gel coat and cute shoes just don’t mix – not without one of you going swimming. Sensible boat shoes lead to jeans, which lead to comfy, oversized sweatshirts and well. Pretty soon everyone who knows you, knows to say ‘adult clothes, please’ when they invite you out for dinner. And that means ‘something with no bottom paint on it and no battery acid holes in it’. Occasionally, such items are in short supply.
So my family gives me clothes. Lovely things. Cute things. Things that are a size 0.
I adore my family, but I am not, nor have I ever been a size 0. Ever. I went straight from a girl’s 14 to a women’s 6. Or 8. Sometimes a 10. The funny part? They ask my size. I tell them. Medium. Size 6. If you’re buying 501s? 30×32.
And yet. every single thing I unwrapped was a size 0 or a small. “Try them on! You wear your clothes too big, anyway!” (Granted. I do. Because I like breathing. And layering. Lots of layering.) “No way will these fit,” I said. “I’m not that tiny.” My sister insisted I was so that little! When I couldn’t get the size 0 jeans over my hips, she shook her head and walked away, muttering, “I could have sworn…”
All of this used to depress me because it seemed like my family didn’t actually see me. They saw what they wanted to see. But it finally occurred to me that it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with their pasts – their aspirations. My sister held on to her jeans from high school – when she was legitimately a size 0. She’s had a child since then and she’s finally coming to terms with the fact that she’ll never be a size 0 again – her body changed in a wonderful way to give life to her daughter. But if SHE can’t be a size 0, damn it, *I* would be! Though, as I pointed out to her while trying on the jeans she’d give me, I’d be a size 0 only if I break both hips and my pelvis.
We laughed and laughed. I put back on my grungy, saggy Levis and she and I went to raid the Christmas cookies.
But, I do have obsessions with certain TV programs, an actor’s role, movies and/or books. If I get hooked on a show or a book series, then I watch or read it until I can’t get my hands on another one.
The first obsession I had was Dr. Doolittle – I read every one of Hugh Lofting’s books – that was followed by The Lord Of The Rings and then, all of Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries. TV programs – Dark Shadows – I remember coming home from school, anticipating 4:00 – luckily I was able to monopolize the TV at that time! Star Trek came later, my favorite The Next Generation.
I can crush on an actor’s role – and thinking about it – John Thornton of the BBC’s North and South would be one crush I had on a character. Oh, and Aragorn in LoR – yes definitely Aragorn – a sensitive and poetic kick-ass warrior.
Peace and Love,
Pride will be the death of him.
When psychic Nate Coleman dreams of a murder, he knows it’s a premonition. He can’t forget the image of his ex-lover with a bullet hole through his chest. Nate has no choice but to confront William and face the skeptical scientist’s ridicule.
Dr. William Ryner doesn’t believe in what he can’t prove. When Nate comes back into his life, it’s not to rekindle their love, but to bring up more of that mumbo jumbo that split them apart.
Despite William’s refusal to listen, Nate can’t ignore the premonition. And, William can’t ignore Nate. Before the gunman strikes, William must either trust in Nate’s ability
I don’t have many celebrity crushes. I think I’m too aware of not always getting what you see, especially with actors. Characters on the other hand… yeah, I crush on plenty of imaginary people. And they tend to have certain things in common.
The earliest crush I remember having is the Master. The perfect foil to Who’s Doctor, he was clever and witty, with a serving of snark for good measure. He was also a good antidote to the Doctor’s sometimes sanctimonious attitude. Because I’m Old School Who, my favourite incarnation of the Master is Roger Delgado, the first actor to portray him. Roger’s performances are fabulous, mixing charm with icy determination to create a villain audiences love to hate.
Moving on from the Master and Doctor Who, I was a fan of Buffy. My level of fan cranked up with the arrival of Spike. Though bleached blond hair doesn’t usually do anything for me, Spike’s blunt Britishness definitely appealed. He was almost constantly irritated and I loved that. Then there was the snark and a penchant for a long leather coat.
I don’t know why, but those things combined make my lady parts fizz.
Which leads me onto my next crush, and boy was this a biggun. Captain Bialar Crais. From the moment he stalked onto the bridge of his ship, I was a gonner. And then he spoke. Dear heaven, but that accent is sexy. He’d a lot of the things I liked going on actually – coat, accent, attitude, darkly exotic looks. And then the writers gave Crais a Tragic Backstory. His arc is probably one of the best in sci fi. He goes from manic villain through calculating ally to redeemed hero. Twelve years on and I’m still not over his rude exit.
Crais was the first character to interest me enough to write about. Doing that involved reading interviews with actor Lani Tupu, and the more I read, the more my crush grew to encompass him as well as the character. When there was a chance to meet him, I dived at it, even though it meant travelling all the way to Los Angeles. On my own. But it also meant having the opportunity to chat and he was as lovely as I expected him to be. I still follow him on Facebook.
The other sci fi show I was into at the same time as Farscape, was Stargate SG-1. Not having the same emotional attachment (I was in love with Crais and have never watched beyond his death), I’ve rewatched the whole thing over and over. I guess that’s how it started. The clue should have been in finding the later episodes more appealing, but it literally didn’t hit me until Samantha Carter hit him. I can’t even tell you how many times I’d seen The Quest before, but this one day, watching Baal sprawl in the dirt with a bloodied nose, something clicked.
Going back over older episodes, there were indicators as to why – he fitted the Certain Type. Heck, Baal embodied the Certain Type. Darkly handsome, witty, intelligent, snarky as hell, penchant for leather and destruction. When I caught Ex Deus Machina for the first time, with the building that was actually a bomb (literally – the walls were imbued with explosives), I was lost.
Baal is a really fun villain to watch. He has moments of utter genius (see above) and ones where I wonder what the heck he’s thinking. As he becomes a sort of ally to SG-1, he develops a skewed sense of humour and the ability to go about the right thing completely the wrong way. Trying to unify the Jaffa by brainwashing members sticks out fairly well as an example. Even in the post-series movie Continuum, his main reason for subjegating Earth was to save it from the rest of the Goa’uld System Lords.
The way Cliff Simon played him is incredible. I rewatch and rewatch and still find new layers. EDM was on just the other day and I realised the Baal clone goads the Jaffa into killing him because that was always going to be the end result and that way he’s not being tortured into giving answers.
That clearly indicates I’m not over this crush yet. I doubt I ever will be.
Happy 2014 Everyone. My task is to discuss celebrity crushes. In the spirit of the new year and auld lang syne, I thought I’d take a stroll down memory lane and look at my celebrity crushes over my life and see how the’ve changed.
It all started with Vince Van Patten, who owned my very young, very girlish heart. Apple’s Way star, pro tennis player. He even showed up in my dreams. While that sounds ordinary, I rarely remember my dreams, even as a child, so this was big stuff.
By the end of the 1970s, however Vince was out, Harrison Ford was in. Han Solo in Star Wars morphed into Indiana Jones, which kept him on my fantasy life throughout the 1980s.
Then I entered adulthood (or what passes for adulthood), my passion for science fiction thrived and Marc Singer sprang onto my screen in V and Beast Master. He may not be typically handsome, but I loved, loved, loved those long, strong legs, narrow hips and wide shoulders. Total body love that one.
The end of the 80s saw the emergence of one actor who still owns a piece of my heart–Antonio Banderas. I loved the quirky, dark humor of Spanish Director Pedro Almovodar, who used Banderas as his lead in many films. He remains a favorite, even as he has graduated to more steadfast father roles. That man is sexy at any age.
Enter Keanu Reeves, who reprogrammed my crushes with the adrenline rush of Speed and the, of course, the Matrix. If he is always Keanu, it is what I’m paying for.
2000 and 2010
And my recent passion, with a truly sexy Australian accent, plays a damn good super hero and can sang is Hugh Jackman. Also sexy at any age.
Who’s the earliest crush you can remember?