Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'll Have What She's Having

I'm happy. And yes, I do feel like a room without a roof. I'm even happier than this gal...

Is that a clump of cilantro on her head? Seriously, what's going on there? Oh, well. I'm happy because my first collection has just been picked up by Excessica Books!

If you're not familiar with Excessica, it is one of the biggest and most successful publishers of erotica in the industry. In fact, when I wrote Hot Secrets, I took it straight to Excessica, but they weren't open to submissions at the time, which is why I self-published. Two years later, they reopened to submissions and immediately accepted Hot Secrets. It will be released by them in October.

So whoopedy-do! And pass the cilantro!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why Waitressing Should Be 1 of the 7 Deadly Sins

I've waited my fair share of tables. And sure, there are good things about waitressing, like free food and bunions. Wait, no. Not bunions. Like... uh... free food and exercise. Because no matter how many french fries I stuff into my face, as long as I'm waitressing, I stay in pretty good shape.

But there are sucky things about waitressing, too. Like when the food is not free. If I've just worked a double shift and cleaned what I'm pretty sure is urine from a high chair, you seriously expect me to pay for those french fries? Which cost you .0000008 cents? Lame.

Here are some other sucky things about waitressing:

  • Vindictive management with unjustifiable, over-inflated egos.
  • Coked-up vindictive management with unjustifiable, over-inflated egos.
  • Coked-up vindictive management with unjustifiable, over-inflated egos who leer at the waitresses.
  • Showing up for a shift and being cut after two tables. I had no idea my time was so worthless!
  • Dine-n-dashers. They should eat their meals in prison.
  • Shitty tippers. Everyone should have to wait tables for 6 months. Then there would be no more shitty tippers.
  • Clueless parents. Okay, I don't think they're actually clueless. I think their brains have been eroded from so much sleep deprivation, whining, and poop that they willfully shut down any previous inclinations they may have had toward acceptable behavior in a restaurant. 
  • Sidework.
Perhaps I sound too bitchy. Yes, that was a bit of rant. Here's the offset.

  • I have friendships from this industry that will last for life.
  • I'm an excellent tipper and always kind to my waiter.
  • I excel at the clean-as-you-go method in my own kitchen.
  • I have calves of steel.
  • I can now highlight my silverware rolling skills when applying for a job.
  • Not all managers are sucky.
  • Some customers rock.
Most days, though, I'm pretty sure Dante waited tables.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Yoga Fail: When Good Thoughts Go Bad

The hardest part of yoga, for me, is not "standing forehead to knee" (though let's be honest, I'm years away from that pose). The hardest part of yoga is the mental challenge, to keep my thoughts from running away and staying in the moment.

Here's an example: The instructor says "you want to get your forehead to touch your knee" and I think... forehead to knee, forehead to knee, almost there, this would be much easier for my friend C- because she has such a long, elegant nose, she wouldn't have to bend as far, they sure are a nice family, they're going to miss their two oldest kids when they go on that trip this summer, I hope their plane doesn't go down, losing a child would be unbearable, I can't imagine how they'd recover if that happened, the grief would be crushing. 

And just like that I'm not in the moment and depressed about things that have not happened and on the brink of tears.

Here's another: This class is going great, I'm in the moment, I'm happy, yay for me, life is beautiful, life is beautiful... Life Is Beautiful was a really good movie but man it broke my heart, what the father did for the son and I don't think I'll ever get the image of the smile on his face as he marches to his death out of my head.

And there I am on the mat getting choked up about the Holocaust.

So that's my big challenge. Staying in the moment, staying positive, and keeping thoughts of suffering and death out of my practice. By comparison, "standing forehead to knee" doesn't sound so hard, after all.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Yoga Fart

The room was packed. We were a third of the way through an eighty-minute hot yoga class. And it wasn't even while doing a pose, but while turning around to sit down on the mat and take a rest. And no, it wasn't me. But it could have been.

The woman was between me and the wall, but her mat was a few feet forward of mine, which pretty much put my face in line with her butt. Since it happened when we were sitting down to take a rest, there was no music on. The room was quiet. And it wasn't a tiny fart. It was a big one, unexpected, because when you're sitting down to rest, you have your guard down about that sort of thing. It echoed throughout the room. It was unmistakable. 

What could anyone do but continue on? Pretend it didn't happen? The next sound in the room was the instructor advising us to "Take deep, rich breaths." Being in the position I was, I didn't really want to take deep, rich breathes. "And focus on your intention." 

Focus, I thought. Focus on your intention. My intention is always the same: kindness. And that's what I focused on. I focused on sending kindness to the woman who'd let one slip. I sent kindness and love and understanding. I sent calm and peace and comfort. No one will laugh or point or think any less of her. I sent the assurance that we all experience these moments at some point, that we're all in this together. With every fiber of my sweaty being, I sent positive energy and friendship her way. I sent a reminder that yoga is not about judgement. That the mat is a safe place. And that everything is going to be okay. Because sure, it wasn't me this time. But it could have been. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Is a Blog Tour Worth It?

Last month I did a blog tour with Pump Up Your Book. This is the sort of thing that you could arrange yourself, contacting book bloggers and asking them for reviews. I was daunted by the time involved and opted to pay for a tour instead. There are different levels of tours that come with different price tags. I chose the $199 version.

Here's How It Works: You provide the tour company (in my case, Pump Up Your Book) with your cover art, first chapter, bio, media links, and maybe a short interview or guest blog. The more expensive, longer tours will require more posts and information. You are then given a tour page and schedule. Here's mine. As you can see, the tour ran from April 7th to 30th with links each day to the site where my work was featured. To get the most out of the tour, each day you see where you are featured and share the link through your various social media outlets.

The Good: 

  • Most of the reviews were positive and some of the bloggers go the extra mile to post their reviews on Amazon, not just on their own site. 
  • Pump Up Your Book made some phenomenal ad graphics that went out on Twitter during the tour. 
  • Internet buzz, meaning increased mentions of my name and book titles, translates to better internet rankings for both my books and my site. 

The Not-So-Good:

  • That buzz doesn't necessarily translate to an increase in sales. 
  • Some tour stops are identical, meaning on Thursday, a blog features my bio, cover and synopsis. Then on Friday, a different blog features my bio, cover and synopsis. It's hard to promote these stops to followers if you're showing them the same thing you showed them yesterday.
  • Some (but not all) of the blogs (ie tour stops) are very amateurish sites which make you question whether you really want them to "feature" you.

So, the big question... was it worth it? Yes. I gained genuine fans along the way, a few critical and insightful reviews, and I'm a firm believer in trying everything (when it comes to marketing) at least once. Will I do it again? Probably not, but PUYB was fun to work with and I'm glad I had the experience.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Guest Post at Lori's Reading Corner

As part of my recent blog tour, I wrote a guest post for Lori's Reading Corner which you can read HERE. It's about banning bullies from the page and the evolution of humor in writing. Because if you haven't heard, bullies are no longer the in thing. If you write humor, I hope you'll take a look and share your thoughts.

In my next blog I'm going to recap the blog tour from the writer's perspective. Was it worth it? Did it translate to sales? Let me crunch some numbers and I'll report back. In the meantime, don't forget to wish your mom a Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Trips Down Imagination Road

As part of my blog tour, Sylvie and the Spark was recently reviewed by Trips Down Imagination Road. Here's what they had to say:

I received a copy of Sylvie and the Spark in exchange for my review.

Sylvie broke up with her boyfriend Dave because there was no real spark between them outside of the bedroom. Shortly after a pair of twins move into the hall opposite, though Brent and Jonathon couldn't be more different. At first Sylvie goes for Brent, classically handsome and seemingly interested, though it turned out to not just be in her. Slowly she gets to know Jonathon and discovers that the brother she should be with was right there all along.

Sylvie and the Spark is a novella that captures the every day love life of Sylvie, and it is every day, which is what I loved about it. Firstly there was her mediocre relationship, then the perfect one that wasn't perfect, and finally the one that should have been all along.

It wasn't just Sylvie's relationships that worked on an every day (and awesome level). She works at a diner, because she wants to (something that I can most definitely relate to!), and her relationships with her mother and co-workers all seemed like normal interactions. To be honest it was refreshing to have such a normal heroine as opposed to the perfect girl who has the perfect life.

Also the author got the awkwardness of first time sex with a new partner spot on. A lot of books have the smoothest run up to sex every time, even if it is the character's first time. But in Sylvie and the Spark there's the awkwardness of having a new partner, and yet with a realistic way of it working.

There were funny moments in this book, oh my God moments and all out sass, everything that makes a good and realistic romance! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Humble Your Warrior

I’ve practiced yoga for years. Hot yoga for the last few months. But last Friday I felt like a complete newbie.

I’d heard people talk before about sudden waves of emotion during yoga, about getting weepy or panicked, needing to rest. It had never happened to me before, so perhaps my inner warrior grew a bit… cocky.

The hot yoga class I take is an hour and twenty minutes. I went every weekday last week, so by Friday I was on my fifth day in a row. The first half of the class was great, though I did notice that it seemed even hotter than usual, well over 105˚. During the second half of the class, I found myself thinking about death.

That’s odd, I thought, as death is clearly not the intention I set at the beginning of this class. 

But it wouldn’t go away. Death was in my head. The deaths of loved ones, my own death, and whether or not I was going to die of a heart attack right there on the studio floor. I backed off, went to child’s pose, focused on breathing out longer than in. I couldn’t slow my heart rate and my throat began to choke with emotion.

Then I did something I’ve never done before. I left early. Never bailing on a class is something I pride myself on. After all, I’m the person that suffers through a class even with the worst of wardrobe malfunctions (which you can read about here). But maybe my pride had grown out of hand. I had to leave. I mouthed the words I’m sorry to the instructor, who graciously smiled and mouthed back it’s okay.

I’ve had three successful classes since then. I’m glad that it hasn’t happened again, but I also know that I’ll be okay if it does. It’s a practice, after all. And every now and then it’s good to humble your warrior. 

I don't see the word death in there anywhere, do you?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pump Up Your Book

Last month I contacted Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book about setting up a blog tour. Now this is, of course, something that any writer with an internet connection and a little extra time can set up on their own. But any writer with an internet connection and a little extra time can also set up their own book cover, and I don't advise doing that, either. Sometimes you have to hire outside help which, in the long run, will likely pay for itself.

The blog tour for Sylvie and the Spark starts this coming Monday. Click here to see what you can expect when hiring someone to set up a blog tour. When it's over, I'll blog again about how it all went and what that translated to in terms of sales.

Here's another gem (links to a Twitter picture) from Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book. Pretty cool, huh? If you want to learn more about blog tours, click the image below (no, I'm not paid a cent for clicks, just want to share something I've found which I think is worthy). Happy touring!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sylvie on Strike

Book 3 of The Sylvie Series is now available HERE.

When Sylvie catches Jonathan in a compromising position with one of his sexy students, hell breaks loose. She’s determined to stay firm and stay out of the bedroom until their relationship is sorted out, one way or the other, but the presence of a new coworker threatens both her resolve and her marriage. The hilarious cast of The Sylvie Series returns with mayhem and mischief in the third novella of The Sylvie Series, SYLVIE ON STRIKE. 

But wait! If you haven't read the first two in the series, please check out Sylvie and the Spark first. It's available HERE and perfect if you love mischief and laughter. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Yoga Wardrobe Malfunction

I've pretty much worn the same exercise top for the past four years. It's a gray t-shirt. Boring and old. In light of the fact that my yoga obsession has a reached a fever pitch of late, I decided to treat myself to new gear. I went to Title 9. Note: I cannot afford Title 9. I went anyway and bought four expensive tops for yoga. They are colorful and have elastic to keep parts in place. They are tank tops with cool necklines that I'm sure have fancy words to describe the cut, but I don't know what those words are. In any case, I was very excited.

I went to one of my regular classes. I arrived late and the room is small, so I was relegated to the front, right next to the teacher. We began with opening awareness and the setting of intentions. The usual drill. I felt good in my new top. I felt downright fashionable.

We stood and the heat kicked on. The room was already warm and this was not a hot yoga class. The heating system was simply malfunctioning and forcing us into a hot yoga class.

We began a standing series. We flowed. And it quickly became apparent to me that my cute little new top would not, in fact, contain my breasts. This, despite the presence of what I considered a built-in bra. They hovered dangerously close to escape during down dog, but then really threatened to break free when I came through for up dog.
This is a picture of upward facing dog. Except this woman was smart enough to secure her breasts first. 

Shit, I muttered, which completely contradicts the peace-love-free-calm-happy feeling that I strive for in yoga. I tried to discreetly tuck the girls back into place a few times. But when you're standing at the front of the class and everyone else is facing you, discretion is tricky. It simply wasn't going to work.

The heat continued to malfunction and pour into the room from a vent above me. At the same time, I admitted defeat and put on my hoodie. It was my only option, other than leave. The hood fell down over my face on every forward fold, the ridiculous amount of clothing I wore, combined with the relentless heat, made me extremely uncomfortable, which again, contradicts the whole point. But I finished the class with my boobs hidden from sight. For which I believe my classmates are truly grateful. I still love the top, and it will look great with a pair of jeans. But when it comes to yoga, I'm going with my old gray t-shirt.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Relaxation and Ax Murderers

I'm a big fan of meditation. I try to listen to a hypnotherapy session a few times a week. This is a twenty minute recording during which a voice assures me of my general competence and fosters optimism about my dynamic and compelling future. Seriously, I'm not making this up. And while it may sound a little flaky, it works.

Last week I decided to listen to my meditation recording while relaxing in a hot tub. I could ease my mind and muscles at the same time. It would be the do-it-yourself equivalent of paying big bucks to be pampered at a spa. This is what I told myself.

I put my headphones on, blocking out all other sound.

I closed my eyes.

But after a few seconds, I stopped focusing on my dynamic and compelling future and started imagining an ax murderer creeping up behind me. Because there I sat, marinating in the hot tub with my eyes and ears closed off from the world, the perfect victim waiting for this guy to come along...

So I'm going back to meditating while in the safety of my home and behind locked doors, because I've learned that suffocating terror is a direct impediment to optimism. You learn something new every day.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

You Are What You Eat (and Watch, Breathe, Hear, and Feel)

You are what you eat. We all know this to be true. If you eat healthy, you'll be healthy, and vice versa. Except for the occasional person who defies rational science and manages to break these rules.

I've found the same to be true in other things we consume. Not just food, but music, culture, images, advice. If you take in the negative, it will be nearly impossible for you not to BE negative yourself. Not that I'm in favor of turning a blind eye to the real but negative issues affecting our world, but there are a lot of needless negatives that we consume on a daily basis. In an effort not to turn into these things, here's my list of 8 damaging things I vow to eradicate from my life:

  • Useless, hurtful Facebook rants that in no way instigate positive change or understanding.
  • Depressing movies. I can appreciate the artistic aesthetic, but I need to consume these in moderation. Life's too short to be sad.
  • Scary movies. What I said before. Life's too short to be scared.
  • Music that brings me down. If it doesn't bring a smile to my face or at least a vague sense of peace, I'm skipping it.
  • Talking heads. I love the band. Hate the angry political instigators.
  • Gossip and Tabloids. I'm making a conscious effort to recognize these for the false and damaging things that they really are. 
  • Television comas. I never wake up thinking, "Gosh, I wish I'd watched more t.v. last night." I always feel better when I've gone to bed with a book instead. 
  • Couch time. A good day requires physical movement. This one's non-negotiable for me. 
Here's to more light in your life. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New Kid on the Mat

I started yoga at a new gym. Granted, I'm no expert.

This right here...

Yeah, that's not me. I'm not even close.

But I have been doing yoga for many years. My mat shows sufficient deterioration, I can hold a pretty good dancer or camel, and my twig is nothing to sneeze at, either.

Recently I decided I wanted more yoga in my life, so I began attending classes at a new gym, to supplement the ones I already take. It's wonderful. I feel fantastic.

EXCEPT for the fact that I can't help feeling like the new kid on the mat. The new classes I attend are overcrowded and the regulars seem particularly wary of new attendees in an already cramped studio. Of course, the classes are crowded for good reason. The instructor is phenomenal. But as much as yoga involves strength and flexibility, it also involves peace and love and calm, and I'm not feeling much of those things when my classmates shoot daggers at me for adding one more body to the room.

They're not mad at me, of course. They're angry with the facility for providing its members with insufficient studio time, but they're taking it out on me. It's like being sold a ticket to a sold-out theater. It's not your neighbors fault, it's the theater's fault!! But wait... peace, love, and calm. That's better.

I spent much of the last class with someone else's shoes in my face. I was pressed up close to the wall where others had stashed their things, and by the end of the hour I'd built up a healthy resentment toward a particular pair of zebra print Danskos. (Peace love calm peace love calm)

I'm not giving up on the class. I'm going to suffer through being the new kid on the mat for as long as I have to. Most of my classmates will stay, but some will come and go, and eventually I won't be the new kid anymore. When someone else comes along to fill this role, I'm going to scoot my mat over and welcome them with a smile. And I'll sure as hell move my shoes out of the way.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Blog Tour Coming Soon

I’m gearing up for a blog tour. This is a way for indie authors to get the word out about their work. You prey on the generosity of book bloggers, those dedicated readers and reviewers to whom many of us owe our success.

A blog tour involves getting the attention of bloggers to gain greater exposure through their sites. Hopefully, those bloggers specialize in the genre in which you write. A writer or publisher will also offer giveaways during the blog tour. Any writer can set up a blog tour on her own by doing a little research of blogs relevant to her work. You can also hire a company that specializes in this type of PR.

A blog tour for Sylvie and the Spark will take place in March or April. If you have an erotic blog and would like a review copy, please email me at

Happy blogging, happy reading. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Funny, Sexy, and Free

Sylvie and the Spark is a free download right now on Amazon. Here's the link.

This is the first novella in a trilogy. It will make you laugh and turn you on. Now if only it would exercise for you, too, it would be perfect. Download it, read it, and please please please review it. You'll know after the first chapter if it's for you or not. Go on, give it a try.