Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Visit to Eliza Jumel's Mansion in Washington Heights, NYC: I Made Eliza's Ghost Laugh!

Me on the Steps of the Jumel Mansion
In researching my latest historical bio novel, about Aaron Burr and his last wife, Madame Eliza Jumel, I visited her mansion in Washington Heights, NYC. It's beautifully restored and maintained, befitting the once-richest lady in New York.
You can also hear the many stories of her ghost wandering the mansion in a purple gown, rapping on walls and windows, and yelling at schoolkids to shut up!
One July night in 1833, Aaron, age 77, showed up at Eliza's door with the same minister who married him to his first wife Theodosia fifty years before. After several rejections of his proposal, she finally agreed to marry him in the front parlor (photo below).

Front Parlor
When she realized he was a gold-digger (as by then, he was broke), she began divorce proceedings, also charging him with adultery, as he had a mistress in Jersey City. In an ironic twist, she hired Alexander Hamilton Jr. as her lawyer. But in the most ironic twist of all, he died the same day he received the final papers.
When we visited on Sunday, my husband Chris & I were on the 2nd floor where the bedrooms are. I was standing in the doorway of her bedroom (Aaron's is across the hall), and said out loud that I wondered if they ever slept together, or always in the separate rooms. Chris said, 'she was so old, and he was 80!'
I replied, 'Well, from what I've read of him, he could still get it up.'
A minute later, Chris asked me if I laughed after saying that. I definitely had not laughed.
That means somebody else did! He'd heard a woman's throaty chuckle, NOT my voice at all.

Aaron's Bedroom
We were the only (living) people up there at the time. I'm convinced it was Eliza, eavesdropping on us, and I was able to give her a laugh.
Have you ever heard of a ghost laughing? I never have!
If you're ever in the area, visit the mansion--it's an unforgettable experience.
Visit the Jumel Mansion's website at

A Great Article: Not-Knowing: A Sometimes Unnerving but Utterly Reliable Guide

I read this article in an E-newsletter I receive, Creativity Portal.
Thanks, Naomi, for letting me reproduce this here.

I've written before about the need to accept, even welcome, not-knowing as part of the process of writing a book (see Writing a Book as a Quest). And today, having been home from doing a three-day spiritual retreat for about two weeks now, I am inspired to write about it again.

We want to know. We want to know things beforehand, ahead of time. We want to know where we are going, why we are going there, what we will encounter (and should thus prepare for) along the way. Will it be cold? Should we bring our thermal underwear? Should we make an outline of our intent, chapter by chapter, without yet having a real sense of what those chapters will feel like, will be like inside us? We should know where we're going. We should know how to get there. Certainly, if we're taking a plane somewhere, we want the pilot to know the destination, and for sure the route. No collisions, no delays. No surprises, other than perhaps wind currents, and the altitude needed to get above the clouds. And we tend to think that writing a book should be the same.

But unless it's one of those "paint by the numbers" kinds of books ("There are ten steps to having a better complexion, and here they are: Chapter 1, Your Skin Isn't Skin Deep; Chapter 2, Eat Healthy Foods," etc.), it isn't the same. There are factors that come into the picture that you can't really know until you're standing inside the territory of your book, or at least inside your desire to write it. Sometimes writing a book is a lot like the decision to enter therapy: you think you're doing it because you have difficulties with, say, your boss. But as time goes on and the defenses that usually hold you up begin to melt, in the course of being seen and understood within a compassionate therapeutic relationship, you find out that what got you in the door was only what they call the "presenting problem" ~ the issue that got you in the door. You're really there for something else entirely. You're there to encounter the Self that got left behind ~ to catch a glimpse of its presence, to weep for its needing to disguise itself when you were young, and to call it back into your heart as devotedly as it is calling you.

This is a very frequent occurrence in therapy: we think "something's wrong with me, something's not working for me," and so we go in for a fix, as if we were a car. But if we are alert in any way to the passion of our soul, and if we have chosen an adept and loving helper, we find that we are on a much more important quest: the quest for our real Self.

In my experience ~ writing my own books, and working with my clients ~ the same thing often happens in writing a book from the deeper Self. We start with a desire ~ and we may even downplay the significance of the desire, may tell ourselves we want fame or fortune or a good credit for our career ~ and step in: perhaps with nothing in hand, perhaps with a sterling outline, perhaps with old notes or journal entries, or shelved vignettes or ideas. And then, somewhere down the line, right away or much later, we realize that we are on the trail of something tremendous, to us at least ~ and we have no idea how to get there, what to do. We thought we were starting out with a Triple-A triptych guide, and then here we are, surrounded by lupines and blue sky, and a road that bends so windingly that we can't see past a few feet, if at all. We thought we knew, but we don't, now. We are in territory unknown. We may fear this; and yet something calls us forward. What is going on?

What's going on, in my direct experience, is that we have somehow made our way into the same territory in which we can find ourselves in good therapy. The "presenting goal" of the book may fall away, or change direction, change its tune, leaving us feeling not in charge anymore. We can give up, we can panic, we can turn on ourselves in rebuke and dismay.

But this would be a great mistake. For we have made it past the invisible electric fence of our defenses ~ and though we don't yet recognize the territory, we are close to the door of the divine within. Some welcoming presence (though perhaps too long-forgotten to feel known at all) has beckoned us into the interior, so that we may become more still and get our bearings in a land we don't yet recognize as our own.

What guidance is it that refuses to take direction from our controlling intellect, and insists on taking us into unknown places, waiting until we slow down and begin to turn on the light of our hearts and shine it into the crevices of our inner being?

Who is leading us astray from our outlines, and bringing us to our knees so that we might feel the velvet-softness of the grass beneath, which we couldn't even see before, in our haste to get to our goal?

How can we trust that these places of not-knowing are gifts, are God's love poured on us, so that we will have to stop and look and listen within to what is being born, what threads are shining and weaving themselves into a wholeness that our controlling minds never could have found on their own?

When I was on my retreat, away from the pressures of ordinary life ~ bills and to-do lists, concern about my loved ones, about "too much to do and too little time" ~ I had the luxury of, among other things, reading certain spiritual books. As the Jewish High Holy Days were in progress, with the Day of Atonement soon to come, I picked up a book by Abraham Joshua Heschel, and read a section about prayer; and realized that I knew what he was talking about, not only from my own experience of praying but also from my own experience of writing a book.

"The purpose of prayer (Heschel wrote) is not the same as the purpose of speech. The purpose of speech is to inform; the purpose of prayer is to partake.

"In speech, the act and the content are not always contemporaneous. What we wish to communicate to others is usually present in our minds prior to the moment of communication. In contrast, the actual content of prayer comes into being in the moment of praying. For the true content of prayer, the true sacrifice we offer, is not the proscribed word which we repeat, but the response to it, the self-examination of the heart, the realization of what is at stake in living as a child of God. These elements which constitute the substance of prayer come into being within prayer." — Abraham Heschel, Man's Quest for God (NY: Scribner's, 1954, p. 16, Italics mine)

Can you sense the similarity between writing deeply and prayer? We think we're supposed to step up to the plate all polished and ready to go; but in the moment of encounter, all we have is what gives itself to us in the moment. And that's what opens up everything.

We cannot pre-order our words, though we may want to, may want to reassure ourselves that we know what we are doing, that we are good, we are worthy ~ as if our worth depended on any of these things. All we can do is be present to the deep stirrings of our hearts, and then call out (in writing, in this case) and be present to the divine's response (also in writing). So we can view writing a book as prayer-and-response: God calls us, we hear the call, we pick up the pen and write our way into the wilderness; and then, when we think we can't recognize the surrounding countryside, or ourselves ~ who we are, were, will be ~ God writes us into full existence, and our strongest urge is to fall to our knees in gratitude beyond any possible words.

Writing from the deeper Self calls us to know who we are, and to live there ~ at least to return again and again, as to a home once locked away and miraculously re-found. To write a book from the deeper Self is to treasure our deepest nature, and give it room to shine on its own terms. Is there a better gift to give ourselves, or our loved ones, or people whom we will never meet, but who will meet themselves because of us? Aren't there books that have lodged inside us as our own heartbeat ~ perhaps some read as a child? We are the legacy we will leave behind, because we took that journey, left the markings, left on a light to show our readers the way back home. •

Copyright © 2009 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.

About the Author | More by Naomi Rose
Naomi Rose, Book Developer and Writing Coach, has successfully used her “Writing from the Deeper Self” approach to help people with an inner-directed focus write the books of their hearts. This organic approach to writing provides a gentle, listening way to bring forth what's within onto the page, without pushing or forcing anything. Drawing from transpersonal studies and over 30 years in the publications field as a writer, editor, consultant, and book developer, Naomi specializes in working with first-time book writers. She lives in Oakland, CA, and her website is

Copyright © 2009 by Naomi Rose. All rights reserved.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Paranormal Author Michele Hauf Guesting Here Today

Dear Lovers of Paranormal Romance,

Today my guest is Michele Hauf, paranormal romance author. Michele has been writing for twenty years. Her first novel, a vampire romance, DARK RAPTURE, was published in 1997. She’s since published over 20 works in historical romance, paranormal romance, fantasy, and action/adventure. Michele will be popping in and out today to answer your questions. Meanwhile, here is an in-depth interview I did with Michele which will tell you about her!

If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?

Read a book purely for pleasure. To much reading for research or interviews lately. Sigh…

What kind of books do you love to read? Why?

I will read any non-fiction on 17th or 18th century Paris. Historical romances are my first love, and if they have a paranormal element that’s a bonus. Only read paranormal contemporaries. Am trying to expand my reading horizons, and recently finished The Time Traveler’s Wife, which I really enjoyed.

What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to?

All sorts: Metallica, Def Leppard, Neurosonic, Disturbed, Adam Ant, Annie Lennox, flamenco, Soundtracks, Ricky Martin. And no country. All right, so I do like Wynonna.

What is your stress buster?

I don’t have a lot of stress. It’s not really a word in my vocabulary. Stress is just how you view things. If you don’t view it as anxiety-causing and horrible, then it will not be, no matter the situation.

What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you==re sad, sort of a comfort food?

Pizza! And chocolate.

Describe yourself in one word.


If a fairy grants you one wish and one wish only, what would it be? Why?
To rewind the world back a century, regarding the technologies and chemicals we use in our foods so we have a fighting chance and can all live healthier lives.

What's your biggest regret in life?

Can’t think of anything.

What is the most adventurous thing you==ve ever done?

Went to Paris for ten days with a couple writer friends.

What makes you happy/sad/disappointed/frustrated/hopeful/angry? (Pick one)

Fresh green grass, cats, books, and smiling kids make me happy.
What are your wildest dreams/fantasies/kinks/quirks?

To move to France, live in a quaint little cottage, and to actually be able to speak and read French so I wouldn’t die of frustration living amongst the natives.

How would readers find out more about you? Also, I blog (almost) daily just about my writing life in general at:

When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?

Started Dark Rapture in 1990, finished couple years later. Sold in 1993.
Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? What are they? How did you overcome them?

Editorial volleyball with an author is never easy (being volleyed from editor to editor because mine had left the company). Also, when a line you write for (Bombshell) ceases publishing, that can be a challenge. But I always forge ahead, ever writing, focused on the current story.

How did you feel when you receive your first contract? What did you do? Any celebratory dinner, dance, event, etc to commemorate the occasion?

It was very exciting. I remember the day perfectly. It was a Friday afternoon, and for some reason my hubby was home from work early, taking a shower. I got the call, and I was so excited, I ran into the bathroom hopped into the shower (fully clothed) to tell hubby the good news. I think we went out to Olive Garden that night. Simple pleasures.

Any writing peeves, things you wish you could improve on, things you do with exceptional talent?

Peeves? I have a horrible addiction to using the word ‘just’. I just can’t stop it. I actually just have to do a ‘just’ draft, where I just go through the mss. and search for all the ‘justs’ and take out just like…ninety percent of them.

Exceptional? I think I tell a pretty good story. ;-)

What kind of books do you love/hate to write? Why?

I love any book I write because I’m writing something I want to read. The fact I can sell it, and other readers like it as well, is a cherry on top!

What do you think about editing?

I love the editing process. I really appreciate any comments or suggestion my editor may give me. I feel any book can always be improved upon. The few occasions I’ve not been given edits, I felt somehow deprived of an opportunity to make the story better.

Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason?

I have a nice little office. Usually write well in the mornings, good in the afternoons, and horribly in the evenings.

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books.

It varies, but most often I have two characters who I see together and then I figure how to pull them apart. Maybe some major plot point is involved at that moment. I’ll play with the characters in my head over a week or two, see if they really do have a story. If so, then I start drafting it out.

My current release, MOON KISSED, features Severo the werewolf hero. He was a small secondary character in a previous story. I’d never intended to write him in a bigger book because I had no interest in werewolves. He kept bugging me though, and when I realized he was very lonely and just wanted happiness, I found a heroine for him.

Also, when creating my characters, I need to have pictures. Before I even write a single word I must know what they look like. So I will surf the internet for my idea of what they look like. Use a lot of celebrity pics, but sometimes a page torn from an advertisement in a magazine may have the perfect face as well.

What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc?

Donald Maass’s Writing The Breakout Novel.What is your must-have book for writing?

See above!

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

Just write. Don’t worry about all the ‘rules’ and stop fretting about whether you’re doing it as well as the next writer, or if your story will fit into a pre-determined slot. Just. Write. Write the best book you can. Then revise and edit. And then revise and edit again until you have what you feel is a great story. Send it out. And then start writing again immediately. Always. Just. Write.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

Right now I’m writing paranormal romance. I love the paranormal element and it allows me to create a world I want as opposed to the one I live in (which isn’t a bad world at all, I just like faeries and vampires and all those other fun creatures). I have written historical romances. Would love to do more of those some day. I did a few fantasies for Luna. Great fun. And I’m currently also writing under the Alex Archer pseudonym for the Rogue Angel series which is high action and adventure. (The Alex Archer pseudonym is written by about six different authors at the moment; check copyright in book to see who wrote the one you are reading).

Among those that you've written, which is your favorite book and why?

I just completed revisions for HER VAMPIRE HUSBAND, which was supposed to be a Nocturne but now has been changed to an April HQN release. I LOVE this story! It’s the hero and heroine. They are too cool for words. I want to be their friends. I want them to love me as much as I love them. I want everyone to love them as much as I do. ‘nuf said. ;-)

Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot?

I’ve always got something going on in my head. Daydreams, stories, ideas. Some will just float to the surface and linger, wanting their story to be told. Yep, always taking notes. Not so easy to do when driving, but I have a notebook and pen ready in the car for when I need it.

Which book is the closest to your heart? Why?

DARK RAPTURE, because it was my first.

Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why?


Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you? Why?

I think a little bit of me is in all my characters. It’s hard to avoid.

Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why?

Creed Saint-Pierre in Her Vampire Husband. He’s a thousand year old vampire lord who is the key to preventing an all-out war between the vampires and werewolves. He agrees to an arranged marriage with a werewolf princess.

Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?

Sometimes. I just follow along if that happens.

Tell us more about your current release.

Out this September are Moon Kissed, “After The Kiss” and I have a short story in Critters of Mossy Creek by a small press called Belle Books. Moon Kissed is Severo the werewolf’s story. After the Kiss is actually a ‘what happens next’ story that follows Moon Kissed. It looks in on the hero and heroine six months after their happily ever after to see if they really are. Don’t you ever wonder, after you’ve closed the pages of a book, what happens to the hero and heroine now?

Moon Kissed: (first chapter online)
After The Kiss:
Critters of Mossy Creek:
Any new projects, work in progress?

I’m working on the Of Angels And Demons trilogy for Nocturne. It’s got fallen angels, Sinistari demons, vampires, halo hunters, and muses, all rolled into a bunch of adventure. I think the first book, Angel Slayer, will be out July ’10. This is what my pub schedule looks like (so far) for 2010:

January: Dark Awakenings anthology - Nocturne
March: “The Vampire’s Tango” – Nocturne Bites
April: Her Vampire Husband – HQN
May: Rogue Angel: The Bone Conjurer – Gold Eagle
June: “Halo Hunter” – Nocturne Bites
July: Angel Slayer

Monday, August 31, 2009

Paranormal Author Michele Hauf Guesting Here on September 1

Paranormal author Michele Hauf will be a guest here tomorrow, Sept. 1. Read my in-depth interview with Michele, and she'll answer all questions from visitors.
Please stop in for some lively chat with Michele!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FaceBook "Fan Page"

I'm working on a 'fan page' on FB. Meanwhile, check out my regular FB page, there are 5 Diana Rubinos in the world, but I'm listed first! I've reconnected with several of my grammar school classmates (Alexander D. Sullivan School, P.S. #30, Jersey City) Class of 1971. We're planning a '39 and holding' reunion next year---39 years since graduation, that is! Going to bring all my Partridge Family albums! Have a groovy day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A BLOODY GOOD REVIEW - 4 Stars from Romantic Times!

From Romantic Times:
**** HOT

Don’t expect typical fang-sprouting bloodsuckers on this cruise. These vampires are Roman Catholic and they love garlic. An animated cast of characters populates a story that’s seductive and comical. It’s fun, frantic and fabulous. Board The Romanza and set sail on a high-seas adventure that promises a bloody good time.
Romance writer Mona Rossi needs to pump up sales, so she organizes a luxury cruise for authors. Her main squeeze, Fausto Silvius, signs on as the ship’s doctor and hopes to make Mona his wife. Nights of passion are one thing but Mona isn’t ready to become one of the undead. Then Fausto’s ex Lucrezia Borgia shows up, claiming their divorce wasn’t legal and he needs to return to Italy with her. She’s not the only one after Fausto. A lunatic extremist group called the Vampire Ball Busters is stalking him. If anything else goes wrong, Mona may have to jump ship. – Gail Pruszkowski

Friday, July 31, 2009

Book Giveaway Contest on Two Lips Reviews

Follow this link below and find the icon hidden on my website to enter the Two Lips contest & win some goodies!

Another Book Signing!

I'll be signing books with authors Denise Robbins and Frances Mallary at the Salem NH Barnes and Noble on Thurs., August 13 from 6-9 p.m. We'll also have a Q and A session with members of the audience to chat about our craft! Join us if you can!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Do A Virtual Tour of My Cape Cod Condo--and Rent It If You Wish!

Click on this link to do a virtual tour of my new condo on Cape Cod, at the beautiful resort of Ocean Edge in Brewster. (I recently 'traded up' from a two-bedroom to this 3-bedroom.)
This is available for rentals, too!

Found Through Facebook!

I recently signed up with FB mostly to promo my books, but when several long-lost cousins and high school and grammar school classmates began finding me, I was glad I'd finally joined. I've been catching up with friends I haven't seen in 38 years, and cousins in their 30s and 40s I remember as toddlers! It's been pretty amazing, I must admit. I'm still learning my way around it and all its features. A great way to link the world as long as you don't get hooked!
Check out my FB profile if you're a member!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Book Signing Saturday

I'll be doing a book signing at the Toadstool Bookstore in Milford, NH this Saturday, July 11, at 2:00.
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Remembering Farrah

I just heard that Farrah Fawcett passed away today. I admire her courage in her battle with cancer, and know she's in a much better place. Heaven has a special 'angel.' My thoughts and prayers are with Farrah's family.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Guest Author Emily Bryan Today, June 23

Today I'm hosting wickedly witty historical romance author Emily Bryan.
Her latest release, Vexing the Viscount, is on sale now.
Lucian Beaumont has to be the most stubborn man in England, but he's met his match in Daisy Drake. When they join forces to search for a lost Roman treasure, they learn you only vex the one you love . . .

Emily Bryan, Light-hearted historical romance

My guest today is Emily Bryan. According to Booklist, she writes “Wickedly witty historical romance!” First published in May 2006, her 6th title, VEXING THE VISCOUNT, is on the shelves now. For the interview today, my words will be in bold and Emily in italics.

Tell us more about yourself, Emily! Readers love to know about the authors, and this would give you the chance to make them feel close to you!

First, thanks for having me here today, Diana. I’m very much like everyone else. I have a DH and family I love, two dogs who act as my writing assistants (you can see us in action at, a mortgage, a ravenous reading habit, and a work history as varied as a patchwork quilt. The thing that makes me different is the answer to your second question.

If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Given two hours of free time, I will sit down with my laptop and make things up.
Why? Because I’m a writer and that’s how I make sense of the world.

What kind of books do you love to read? My reading tastes are very eclectic. I read romance of almost all sub-genres, plus thrillers, mysteries, historicals and Christian fiction.
Why? Because I’m terminally curious and always looking for a good story.

What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to? I hold a vocal music degree, so classical music is a serious passion of mine, especially opera. But I also enjoy Santana, Josh Groban and Alicia Keys.

What is your stress buster? Cruising. I’d rather be on a cruise ship, or remembering being on one, than just about anywhere.

What is your favorite food? Ice cream. If there was no ice cream in the world, I would be a size 6!

Describe yourself in one word. Curious

What’s your biggest regret in life? I wish I’d started writing sooner.

What is the most adventurous thing you've ever done? Wow, it’s hard to choose because I’ve had so many wonderful experiences.
I have
~ sung at Carnegie Hall.
~ driven a snowmachine across Yellowstone Park without freezing anything important off.
~ flown in a Cessna 182 from Seattle to Kansas City and lived to tell the tale.
~ been surprised by a barracuda while snorkeling in the Caribbean.
~ lost track of how many times I’ve been to Europe.
~ ridden an elephant. (not recommended. Very bony spine!)
~ worked one summer on an archeological dig in Greenland.
~ learned to surf in Honolulu.
Ok, now one of those things is a bald-faced lie. (Told you I like to make things up!) If you want to make a guess about which one I haven’t done in a comment, I’ll ‘fess up if you’re right.
How would readers find out more about you? Please visit my website at and my blog

When did you write your first book? I started writing in 2001. After several fits and starts, I finished my first marketable manuscript in 2003. It was MAIDENSONG, a Viking romance, and was published by Leisure Books in May 2006 under the name Diana Groe.

How long did it take you to write it? I wrote it in about 6 months, but if you consider that I had to write two other 400 page manuscripts in order to learn how to write, it took about 2 ½ years.

Did you encounter any obstacles in writing? I had to understand reader expectations for the romance genre. Joining RWA put me on the right path in that regard. If you are an aspiring writer, joining that fine organization and attending the local meetings are the best advice I can give you.

What do you think about editing?
I’m very grateful for my editor’s input. Frequently I’m too close to the work. My editor can see things I’d miss. That said, the last manuscript I turned in (MY LADY BELOW STAIRS, a novella in the upcoming holiday anthology A CHRISTMAS BALL due out September 29th!) had virtually no revisions. I love it when a story comes together!

Where and when do you write? If you checked the pic of my dog assistants on my website, you already know I write in a recliner with my computer on my lap and a puppy at each hip. Sounds lazy, but it gets the job done.

How do you write? I’m a quasi-plotting pantser. My characters come to me first. They spend about a month whispering their secrets to me. Then I put together a working synopsis and stick it in a drawer. At that point, I’m off to the races. I write linearly from beginning to end. If I get stuck, I consult the roadmap (the synopsis).

Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books. Oh, boy! You caught me. I’m going off the reservation for my current WIP, STROKE OF GENIUS. I sold this one on the basis of the title and a two paragraph blurb. I don’t have a synopsis. I’m experimenting with free pantsing again. I think it’s important to mix things up and try new things to keep the process fresh.

What books can you recommend to aspiring writers to improve on style, character development, plot, structure, dialogue, etc? I have a bibliography listed on my website at Write Stuff .

What is your must-have book for writing? The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

What is your advice to aspiring writers? Creativity is a muscle. Write every day.

What genre(s) do you write? I write light-hearted, sexy historical romance because that’s my favorite type to read.

Among those that you've written, which is your favorite book and why?
That’s like asking a mother which is her favorite child. I love them all. They all gave me fits. Now that they’re out on their own in the big bad world, I’m proud of each one.

Where do you get your ideas? Do you jot them down in a notebook, in case you forgot? Ideas are everywhere. You can pluck them out of the air. But if I get stuck, just getting out and about, observing people and how they interact, will often jumpstart me. Writers are keenly observant. We watch for not only what’s happening, but why.

I wish I was organized enough to jot ideas down. I guess I figure if the idea is a good one, it will come again. When I studied music history, I learned that the composer Verdi was so lazy if he dropped a sheet of manuscript music, he’d rewrite it rather than bend over to pick it up. Guess I’m a little like that with ideas.

Which of your books feature your family/friends, etc? What characters are modeled after them? Why? I’ve never modeled any characters completely on a single person. Making things up is the fun part, you know. However, some of the things that have come out my hero’s mouths first came out of my DH’s or my dad’s. The secondary character Isabella, an aging courtesan, who appears in both PLEASURING THE PIRATE and VEXING THE VISCOUNT reminds me a little of my mother. (Stop that! I mean it in a good way!) Isabella is clever and entertaining, like my mother, and has my mom’s bone-deep beauty. (Of course, my mother was never a courtesan, but if she had been, she’d have been a top-tier high flyer!)

Which of your heroes/heroines is most similar to you? Why? I guess they all have a little piece of me, or of what I’d like to be, since they all came from my imagination. None of them spend their days wedged into a recliner between two dogs with a laptop computer, so I can’t say I’ve written one terribly like me.

Who is your strongest/sexiest/most lovable/hottest hero/heroine? Why? I love them all, but I had great fun writing Lucian Beaumont, the hero in VEXING THE VISCOUNT. Lucian is a virgin at the beginning of the story, but he’s eager to learn and a very quick study. When Daisy, the heroine, masquerades as a French courtesan and offers to teach him, well, those scenes were a riot because all Daisy knew was what she’d read in a real courtesan’s memoirs.

They have a wonderful time trying to figure it all out together. Well, actually, several wonderful times.

Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?
Absolutely, you must follow your characters. Romance is character-driven fiction. If they are forced into a plot, the writer becomes a puppeteer. Romance is more about ‘why’ than ‘what’, more concerned with ‘who’ than ‘how.’

Tell us more about your current release VEXING THE VISCOUNT (Leisure Books

Vexing the Viscount is part treasure hunt, part mystery, part naughty discovery of some pretty steamy sexuality and part comedy routine. But mostly it’s the journey from one heart to another. It’s how Daisy and Lucian fall in love and commit to each other—while uncovering an ancient Roman treasure, undoing a Jacobite plot, and making very practical use of a courtesan’s memoirs.

Any new projects, work in progress?
Oh, yes! My next release is coming September 29th! It’s a novella, my first foray into this shorter format, as part of A CHRISTMAS BALL—an anthology with USA Today BestSeller Jennifer Ashley and Alissa Johnson.
All our characters are in attendance at the same Christmas ball, and YOU are invited too. There is an excerpt on my website of this story and all my others. A CHRISTMAS BALL (Leisure Books 09/09) is available for pre-order now at

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my current love, my new WIP- STROKE OF GENIUS (Leisure Books, summer 2010). A Bostonian heiress takes romantic advice from a brilliant, though cynical, artist on how best to snag a titled husband. Sparks fly when he realizes he’d rather be the object of her affection than her tutor.

I’m doing a really fun contest right now that will allow one of my readers to name an important character in this story. The winner of the contest will receive my entire backlist, plus a thank you in the acknowledgment page of STROKE OF GENIUS. For complete details on how to enter please visit

Thank you for having me today, Diana. I’d like to offer a signed copy of PLEASURING THE PIRATE (I’ve been told it’s a great beach read!) to one lucky person who leaves a comment or question here on your blog today. Good luck and I hope to hear from YOU!

Be sure to enter my STROKE OF GENIUS Name a Character Contest This lovely badge is courtesy of BookReviewsByBobbie

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome Roxanne Rhoads!

Today I’m hosting story strumpet, tome loving tart, eccentric night owl...these are all words that can describe freelance writer and erotic romance author Roxanne Rhoads.

Her newest release is Torrid Teasers Volume 59, featuring The Questioning Concubine and Renata to be released June 15 through Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. Here's the direct link to the sales info:

Here’s Roxanne’s bio and interview below, with links:

When not fulfilling one of her many roles as wife and mother of three, Roxanne's world revolves around words...reading them, writing them, editing them, talking about them. In addition to writing her own stories she loves to read and review what others write and operates a site, Fang-tastic Books, dedicated to her favorite type of book- anything paranormal. Her favorite genre is paranormal romance but she'll read just about anything featuring vampires, ghosts, witches and whatnot.

Roxanne writes everything from articles to web content as a freelance writer and poet. Her erotic and romance stories and poems have appeared in Playgirl Magazine, several print anthologies, in ebooks and on numerous Web sites including:,,,,,,,, and

Currently two of her short paranormal pieces appear in the anthology Sexy Paranormal Bedtime Stories available at, Her Christmas erotica e-book, Tasty Christmas Treats, is also available at Eternal and both Eternal Press releases are available in print at

Her story "The First Brick" appears in Lasting Lust: An Anthology of Kinky Couples in Love available at

Later this year two more of her erotic paranormal novellas will be released through, Insatiable and Eternal Passion.

When not reading or writing, Roxanne loves to hang out with her family, play with her cats, craft, garden and search for unique vintage finds.

You can visit her at and

1.First of all, people love to hear publishing stories. Can you tell us how your first sale(s) came about?

I have always been a writer but never tried to actually publish. After returning to the world of writing grew frustrated after I kept receiving rejection after rejection for my work. I said to my husband half joking that I should start writing about something I really know he said go for it. After thinking it over I did just that. My first erotica story was written and sent out and accepted by Playgirl Magazine. Since then every story that I have written has been published on a website, in an ebook or in print.

2.What is your favorite genre to write in?

Paranormal erotica. There is something about the world of the paranormal that can add extra sizzle to a steamy story.

3. Please tell us a little about your new book.

In Torrid Teasers Volume 59 there are actually two short paranormal erotica pieces.

The Questioning Concubine features a witch that has come home to find out who killed her parents. After exhausting all traditional and some paranormal methods of discovery she does the one thing a good witch should never do...summon a demon. All she wants is answers but the demon wants something else...the pleasure of her body.

Renata is the story of a vampire named Renata who lives a quiet life in a small town because she fears being caught by vampire hunters. She is no ordinary vampire and needs sex as much as she needs blood. One night while out hunting she comes a cross a canie that intrigues her. She knows she should leave him alone but can't. Tony is exactly what she fears most, a vampire hunter. But he's not out to kill least not after he realizes he is as attracted to her as she is to him.

4. How do you devise your plots/characters?

They usually come to me. I can be in the shower, watching a movie, eating lunch or anything and it's like they tap me on the shoulder and say "Hello, here we are! Go type."

Most stories I sit down and write and I just let it flow. There have been a few that I plot and plan ahead of time but mostly it all comes as I write. I don't pre-plan my fiction.

5. What does your writing schedule consist of? A certain amount of words/hours per day? When the muse strikes?

I work every day, whether I actually get any of my fiction writing done...

Some days it is all about scheduling blog posts and interviews, marketing and working on promoting myself and my web sites. Plus I review other people's books so I work on that a lot as well, plus I write non-fiction articles and poetry so I have to work on querries and submissions with those. So my fiction actually gets put off most of the time, I squeeze it in after every thing else gets done. I wish I could focus on it more but I have to keep money coming in.

6. How can people keep up with your new releases? By visiting my sites and

7. Can you give any advice to authors who are struggling to be published?

Don't give up. Make connections with other writers, learn the world, learn the way things work and be able to accept rejection and criticism.

8. How long were you writing before you got your first publishing contract?
I have been writing since I could hold a pen in my hand but professionally I didn't get a real paid writing job until 2005. I received my first ebook contract also in 2005, my first print book deal in 2007.

9. Do you write full-time or do you have another job/career?

I wear several job hats but the one I focus on most is writing, so pretty much yes I am a full time writer along with being a wife and mother of three.

10. Finally, what are your favorite books or authors, and what kind of music do you listen to?

I have so many favorite books and authors (check out my site dedicated to them

Most of my favorite books and authors are in the paranormal romance/ urban fantasy genre: Kim Harrison, Laurell K Hamilton, Colleen Gleason, Jenna Maclaine, Madeline Alt, Annette Blair, Kresley Cole, Anne Rice, Vicki Lewis Thompson, J.R. Ward, etc

Music...I listen to a little bit of just about anything and everything depending on my mood. I have everything in my playlist: classical, heavy metal, country, bluegrass, hip hop R&B, rap, pop, and fun eighties tunes from my childhood (Cyndi Lauper anyone?).

Roxanne Rhoads
Freelance Writer, Author, Poet

Check Out My Erotica Stories

Tasty Christmas Treats now in ebook and print

Paranormal Bedtime Stories now in ebook and print
Contains my stories Halloween Surprise and Sea of Blood

Lasting Lust: An Anthology of Kinky Couples in Love
Contains my story The First Brick available at

Torrid Teasers Volume 59 available June 15 Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
Featuring Renata and The Questioning Concubine

Justus Roux's Erotic Tales 2
Contains my poem Waiting Patiently

The Mammoth Book of Erotic Confessions Available Soon
Contains two of my erotic confessions

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Erotic Romance Author Guest Tomorrow, June 18

Erotic romance author, story strumpet, tome loving tart, and eccentric night owl Roxanne Rhoads will be a guest here all day tomorrow. Check out my interview with her and find out more about her sizzling books!

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Review of Traveling Light

Reviewed by Martha E.
In the present, Leigh Halliday sleeps in the bed once owned by King Richard III, and wakes up in Richard's bed, but in Richard's time, 1485.In 1485, Guy Blakamour, trusted knight of King Richard, believes Leigh is Sandrissa, the wife he'd never met, having arrived for the wedding planned by the king.Leigh knows that Guy was recorded in history as having been executed for treason and drowning his first wife. She discovers that Guy's 'treason' and 'drowning' of his wife was a setup by a Welsh clan who's hated Guy's family for centuries. She puts her life on the line to clear his name and attempts to return home--with Guy, whom she's grown to love.Review: This is a nice Time Travel filled with rich detail of the historic time period. The characters are very likeable with interesting conflicts. Leigh is a modern, educated young woman who is struggling to recover from the pain associated with the death of her husband. Suddenly she finds herself in Medieval England married by proxy, with the groom looking forward to consummating the marriage! Based on what she has read about her “husband”, Guy, she is distrustful and wary. Although there is no denying that he is a really good looking knight and she is drawn to him.Guy is really a very honorable man and faithful to King Richard. Guy has lost all those he has loved - his parents, a brother and sister and his first wife and son. He blames a curse by the Llanwddyns, who have long been feuding with his family. He was willing to marry Sandrissa to gain lands and men, as ordered by his King. He hadn’t planned to wait to consummate the union until the actual church wedding, but he finds he is willing to compromise and try to woo the lovely, intelligent lady he finds in the king’s bed! The story focuses on Leigh’s efforts to avoid consummating the marriage and getting back to her own time. She is able to earn money in an interesting enterprise. When that money is taken, she realizes she must stay and help Guy, whom she has begun to love. Finally she realizes how to get back and she tries to convince Guy to walk away from a losing battle and go with her instead.The story moved along well with interesting glimpses of the medieval lifestyle in dress, customs, surroundings and brutal intrigues and politics. However, because of the blurb, I kept anticipating Leigh trying to save Guy and getting him to return to the future with her. I kept waiting and waiting and that didn’t happen till very near the end of the book so it was a bit of a distraction! Also, there were parts of the story that seemed rushed and missing some depth that could have been there. But all in all it was an engaging read. I recommend that you get the book, ignore the blurb (or don’t get distracted by it like I did) and enjoy the story!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vampire Romance Novel Giveaway Friday, June 12

Dear Vamp Lovers,
I'm giving away a copy of A Bloody Good Cruise on the blog of erotic author Roxanne Rhoads on Friday.
Go to
Also check out her blog at
Have fun!

Monday, June 8, 2009


My fellow romance and paranormal author Margaret West interviewed me on her blog today. Check it out at
She has a great blog, too!

Monday, June 1, 2009

New Review of A Bloody Good Cruise

Another great review of my vamp romance, A Bloody Good Cruise, from Patricia's Vampire Notes.

[Reviewed by Patricia]
Mona Rossi is a romance writer whose recent books haven't been selling like they used to. What to do? Perhaps a luxury cruise for romance writers. Mona knows she can easily put something like this together, and she does.
Being with so many talented writers is certain to give her ideas for a new dynamite series. Also a cruise will be a way to have some fun time with Fausto, the special, gorgeous vampire guy in her life. It just so happens Fausto works as a ship's doctor for the cruise line. With this perfect setup what could go wrong? Plenty of course.
A band of vampire hunters have Fausto on their radar. This particularly nasty group, referred to by the vamps as Vampire Ball Busters, believe all such beings are the essence of evil and should be eradicated. To further complicate matters Fausto's former wife, the infamous Lucrezia Borgia, is onboard. She insists that their divorce was never legal therefore he should leave that human, Mona, and return to Italy to live with her, Lucrezia.
Many more complications arise in this lively, comic adventure cum romance. A fun treat for a lazy afternoon.
Go to Patricia's Vampire Notes for reviews and more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fans of Crime Novels and Jack the Ripper Buffs--Two Great New Books Out!

Dear Kindred Souls,
My friend and award-winning author Brian Porter now has two new titles to his credit. Take a peek!

The Voice of Anton Bouchard Now Available on

Mythica Publishing are delighted to be able to announce they have not only acquired the print rights to award-winning author Brian L. Porter's superb short story collection The Voice of Anton Bouchard, but have now released this title in print format.

Originally published in e-book format by Stonehedge Publishing, Porter's novel A Study in Red - The Secret Journal of Jack the Ripper was the winner of The Preditors & Editors Best Thriller Novel of 2008 Award. Mythica is delighted to have the opportunity to showcase this superb collection of his short stories.

As the city of Paris swelters in the grip of a summer heat wave, a serial killer dubbed "The Butcher Beast" stalks the dark streets of the great metropolis, dispatching his victims with increasing brutality and savagery. Author Brian L. Porter goes deep into the mind of multiple murderer Anton Bouchard, revealing the thoughts and the events that have shaped the life of that most heinous of society's misfits, the serial killer! This definitive collection of tales from the pen of the author includes a second tale of multiple murder in "Breathing to Death," and also takes the reader beneath the ocean, beyond the stars, and deep into the cellars of an English country mansion. Finally, we are treated to a four- chapter preview of Porter's latest novel Under Mexican Skies. A truly remarkable journey through the mind of an extremely talented author! Other titles in the collection are Red Sky in the Morning, An Alien Abduction, Bodies in the Cellar, The Sound of Silence, Megalith, and of course the taster of Porter's forthcoming novel.

ISBN 978-1-907108-05-1


Further details are available at

The e-book version of the book is available via Stonehedge Publishing or through Fictionwise.

A Review of The Voice of Anton Bouchard

Mr. Porter carries through on the promise of his earlier works, delivering plot twists and elements of amazing imagination in a collection of stories that will entertain, provoke thought and satisfy. I recommend this as a refreshing read for both mystery/thriller and sci-fi fans and people like me who have not read much in either genre. It definitely has something for everyone. ~ Kristina Dalton author of Vampire's Lover, The King's Right, The Ring, Taken, Unleashed, Untold

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Do You Want Book Exposure?

Fellow authors, go to
to get your books out into the world.

Welcome New Followers!

Thanks for joining, Dark Angel! Drop by any time to talk about books, writing, anything in the universe.

Time Travel in Paperback ... Visit the Mount Vernon Museum ... Paranormal Investigation in NH!

Dear Kindred Souls,
Traveling Light will be out in paperback in a few days. I first wrote this in 1993 and was never 100% happy with it, til I began working with Carol Craig of The Editing Gallery, a very thorough and insightful editor. She suggested some elements that made the story complete and full. Eternal Press bought it, and now it's ready for the world!
If you haven't yet been to the new museum at Mount Vernon, it's worth every minute of travel. Just got back from there--it's fascinating how the experts were able to reconstruct General Washington's (why they call him General & not President, I'm not sure) appearance at age 19, 45, and when he was inaugurated (with only one tooth remaining in his mouth!) It also displays a set of his dentures, made of animal and human teeth (no, he never had wooden teeth). He went through several sets of dentures in his lifetime. That's why he doesn't look all that happy in the Gilbert Stuart portrait that hangs in every classroom and is on the dollar bill. Poor George. And he would've survived that cold he caught if antibiotics had been invented.
But it's well worth the trip--and of course the house & grounds are always gorgeous and so full of history and energy!
You want to read a great book about Martha, pick up Washington's Lady by Nancy Moser--written in 1st person from Martha's point of view, a vivid portrait of the times, the war, and their relationship.
My friend Judy just stopped by--she just bought A Bloody Good Cruise--thanks, Judy!
I went on my third paranormal investigation on Thursday night with the great CC Carole,, and a fun group. We did a ghost hunt at the Tortilla Flat restaurant in Merrimack NH, built in 1776. A man named Zacharias died in one of the rooms, and when we asked questions of the spirits, my dousing rods answered all our questions. I've never had such great response. My first two investigations yielded nothing--maybe I'm getting better at it.
Pix & YouTube videos to follow.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Time Travel Released Today!

Dear Kindred Souls,
My time travel romance, Traveling Light, was released today with Eternal Press. It is on sale in paperback at Amazon. Here's a short blurb:
In the present, historic preservation architect Leigh Halliday makes a daring move--she sleeps in the bed once owned by King Richard III, and wakes up in Richard's bed, but in Richard's time, 1485.
In 1485, Guy Blakamour, trusted knight of King Richard, believes Leigh is Sandrissa, the wife he'd never met, having arrived for the wedding planned by the king.
Leigh has more than the obvious reason for wanting to return home to her own time--she knows that Guy Blakamour was recorded in history as having been executed for treason and drowning his first wife. When she realizes she can't return home, and probably never will, she finds out that Guy's 'treason' and 'drowning' of his wife was a setup by a Welsh clan who's hated Guy's family for centuries. She puts her life on the line to clear his name and attempts to return home--with Guy, whom she's grown to love. But he won't go with her to the future until he's fought beside King Richard in battle--the battle she knows Richard perished in. But did Guy survive the battle? She has no way of knowing--so she must get Guy out of the fifteenth century. One more trip to the King's Bed, but she returns to the future--without him. She believes he's lost to her forever, until a call from the police two days later brings miraculous news--someone has turned up, claiming to be a knight from the fifteenth century!
Guy has returned to her, and together they prove that true love can transcend time.
What makes this story unique is that I’ve created a scientific explanation for traveling through time, without hitting the reader over the head with technical explanations. Simply put, the ley lines that cross England can transport a person through the time continuum—no one knows for sure why. But this blend of supernatural and scientific makes this story plausible, and fires up our imaginations about the mysteries of the universe.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Welcome to my Blog!

Dear Kindred Souls,


After some trial and error with help from my Webmaster, unknown passwords and usernames, and various other tripups, I've finally gone live! I'll be posting about books I've written, books I've read, books on my mile-high TBR pile, links to friends' and authors' sites and blogs, and postings about my other passions such as history, music, the paranormal, astronomy, and whatever hits me that I need to pass on to the world.My website,, is also up to date. Contests, pictures, YouTube videos and other fun stuff to follow.Please stop by and say hello! --Diana

My Latest Novel Now in Paperback

My latest title, A Bloody Good Cruise, a chick lit vampire romance set on board an Italian cruise ship between Sicily and Malta, is now on sale at, or from my publisher, Eternal Press,
My vamps aren't 'traditional' in the sense that they have pointy fangs, sleep in coffins or abhor garlic (are you kidding?? My vamps are all Italian!!!)
They come from a long line of vampires dating back to Ancient Rome, and became that way because of a mutation--a scientific explanation I briefly discuss in the book. The story's theme is tolerance--the vampires 'come out' on an international TV show, The Cutting Edge, and only want to be accepted for who they are. The tagline really is "Why can't we all just get along--even if we are a bit weird?" After all, what IS normal????
(if you are reading this and consider yourself 'normal' please post right now--I'd love to hear what your idea of 'normal' is!)
If you'd like A Bloody Good Cruise bookmark, please Email me your snail mail addy.

Upcoming Guest Blogging

My first guest spot was on the blog of author Emily Bryan, on May 5. I'll be on the blog of Roxanne Rhoads,
on Tuesday, May 26.