Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I hate that word with a burning passion. I am a complete and utter wuss when it comes to confrontation and conflict usually leads to confrontation... and I don't do well with confrontation. Anyone who knows me knows this much at least.

I've been going through edits from one of the other Menagerie ladies on my latest endeavor... which she dared me to do... anyway she made a comment that made me groan. Sweet and sexy story, but not much of a conflict to keep them apart... or something like that, I don't have the document open to give you a verbatim quote. But, there was that dreaded word... CONFLICT!

*sigh* Did I mention I don't like conflict? Well, that's not the whole story... I don't like to write conflict because any conflict that jumps into my over filled brain is alwasy, "Done that" or "used too much" and I really don't like to torture my characters too much. Yanno?

Another story I've been working on has too much conflict to the point that my crit partners weren't even sure they liked my heroine as a person, and I realized neither did I and I thought she was incredibly immature and that drives me insane. I have to rewrite major scenes to make myself happy and still keep my "voice" in it.

Am I the only one who has a hard time putting conflict in their stories? Am I the only one who, when a conflict DOES present itself, finds that THAT conflict is cliche or ridiculous? Help! I wish there was a book I could order that had a list of helpful conflicts: you know with a table of contents chart in the front where you combine circumstances from group A, hero personalities from group B and heroine personalities from group C and it tells you to go to this page and there would be at least one full page with all sorts of suitable conflicts to choose from. Come on, you know you want one too! And since this is April Fool's day, I refuse to believe any of you that tell me there is such a book... :::narrowing eyes::: You know who you are!

How do you deal with "no conflict" in your stories do you search around in your head for a conflict or does it just come to you as you're going along? HELP!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Author Interview ~ AP Miller

Today, our latest victim... er... guest is the writing duo known as AP Miller. So grab a cuppa and sit back and relax while we all get to know each other better. Welcome, Andrew and Patti!

Let's get started. Where are y'all from?

Patti: I was originally born and raised in New Jersey, but made my new and permanent home in the great and beautiful city of Las Vegas, Nevada where everyday is a party!

Andrew: I was born and raised in San Diego, California in the small suburb of Poway. I moved to Las Vegas when I was nineteen and have been here ever since.

Oh, that's right y'all live here in Vegas with Kealie! So, tell us your latest news?

OOO We have lots! First of all our latest book, "Good Guys Deserve Bad Girls" has been released with Noble Romance and getting 5 star reviews which we are very proud of! We are working on several different projects at the moment, some of which are a big secret and will reveal themselves in time. But our reading audience will be quite pleased and excited.

Sound exciting, can't wait to hear what the secret is! Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes, both Andrew and I would like all women of all ages, colors, ethnic group, shapes and size to know that you are beautiful no matter what, and that whatever anyone has to say about you is the farthest from the truth. Our characters are based on the reality that women and men for that matter are human, that we all have feelings, and there is something very special about each and every one of us and we should never feel bad about ourselves, but learn from each other.

That is a beautiful sentiment. I can't wait to read your book, it sounds lovely. What books have most influenced your life?

Patti jumps in first: Well that's a no brainer...it would have to be Jane Eyre. My biggest influence was HG Wells and his famous book War of the Worlds which I read at the age of twelve and laughed all the way to the end.

Andrew: The works of Robert Heinlein, Anne McAffrey, Lois Bujold, M. Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," and the Torah.

Wow, that's quite a wide range of genres! Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure we would love to! "Good Guys Deserve Bad Girls" is a love story about a human man and a succubus. It really wasn't supposed to turn out that way. Pathrusim was there to corrupt his life, but instead fell in love with him. The book can be found at www.nobleromance.com

Sounds like a fun book. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Thirty-six and each one of them holds a certain place in our hearts, but out of all the books we would have to say Lone Huntress because Lisa is the type of character every woman can relate to. There are many soft spots in the story that will make you cry.

Do You hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Absolutely! We get a ton of e-mail a day. One of my favorite quotes from one of them is "When I grow up I want to be a Librarian!" Our most well received book thus far has been Librarians Dont Get Married...our readers can't seem to get enough of all the juicy love scenes.

Really, can you blame them! Now for the "Absolutely Nothing To Do With Writing Questions": Are you a morning person or a night person?

Patti (I think she rolled her eyes here): Heh! I'm definitely a night owl. My mother used to tell me that for years. My best writing is done with the cartoons on, a rum and coke next to me and in the wee hours of the morning.

Andrew..on the other hand, is a morning person.

What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Well, I love all animals but I'd have to say Dogs because they are very faithful and snuggle you when you need them.

Andrew said: Dogs, because our social groupings are so similar. They see us as superdogs and we see them as little humans.

What book(s) are you reading now?

I began Dianna Gabaldon's Outlander series years back, I just adore that woman, and if you haven't yet begun the series please do read it. Right now I am still in Voyager which is the third book in the series..it is a very powerful time travel love story set in Scotland...believe me, you will fall in love with it. At the present moment Andrew and I love having story time at night so we are reading The Voyage of the Dawn Tredder, a story in The Chronicles of Narnia.

I will have to check it out. I'm sure several of my friends just gasped that I haven't read them before. Anyway: Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one?

Actually I cried during many movies. The one that gets to me every time is Lord of the Rings, Return of the King when Sam comes to the rescue in the end by barreling up MT. Doom with Frodo on his back.

OH, I love that part too! *sigh* Do you hate what you look like in pictures? Why or why not?

We both hate getting our pictures taken...I for one don't feel it captures my true identity and makes me appear very different from the way I look in reality. They never seem to come out the way you'd like them to unless they are professionally done.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be many things, I began an early career in theater which led to the Editor in Chief of my high school news paper. From there it was Marine Biology to Teaching, to the Medical Field, and back to Writing professionally which began back in 1989.

Andrew wanted to be a super hero!

LOL, I want to be a super hero still! What does your family think of your writing?

My parents are gone but Andrew's family thinks it's incredible and they are always extremely supportive as are my son and daughter. They enjoy telling everyone they know when our books come out or when the reviews come out. There is never any negativity. This is our career, not a hobby so they all know this is a serious thing for us. It has been for many years for me and I wouldn't have it any other way.

It's amazing when our family supports us. Y'all are lucky to have that! When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Patti Replied: I wrote my first book when I was in the seventh grade.

It was about Jack the Ripper and how I was able to solve the murder. I mailed a letter to Scotland yard and told them it was the Artist..I never did hear back from them but years later one of my favorite authors did the very same by solving the mystery and that time they did listen.

That's amazine! What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

Fairly easy. Andrew and I have our desks facing one another in our master suite. We talk story ideas the majority of the night, begin working on them and go back and forth on the books already begun. It's very lax. We are both laid back so it comes easy. We don't have a set schedule, we just decide on any available time of the day.

Sounds like y'all work very well together. Thanks so much, to the both of you, for sitting down with us today. Sorry you had to take the leopard print couch, but hey it IS rather comfy. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know y'all better.

Y'all can visit AP Miller at their website, MySpace or blog.

Good Guys Deserve Bad Girls by AP Miller
You know what “they” say . . . . There are girls you don't take home to mother. There are girls you don't date on a serious basis. There are girls that are fun to be around, but that you never, ever consider for marriage. They're not nice girls. They're bad girls . . . and you should never fall in love with a bad girl.

Or so they say.

But if all that’s true, then what is it about bad girls that make good guys want them so very . . . badly?

Andrew is definitely a nice guy. He’s a hard-working, decent Christian fellow. Good with his hands, honest, honorable, and does the right thing by his family and his church.

Pathrusim is definitely a bad girl. About as unchristian as you can get, what with her being a demoness, straight from the pits of hell itself. She wants to wrap Andrew around her little finger, and enslave him for all eternity.

But what is it about Andrew that draws her to him? If she's such a bad girl, why does she want so badly to have a . . . nice guy?"

Special Content Alert: Biblical scripture references, moral dilemma, good vs. evil

See what reviewers have had to say about their latest book:

"a titillating read" from ParaNormal Romance. Read the entire review here.

"Good Boys Deserve Bad Girls is one of the best stories I have read in a good long while." from Manic Readers. Read the entire review here.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Not THE squee moment but A squee moment nonetheless...

We have book covers for our short stories. I know, not a big deal in the big scheme of things but still a fun moment.

I have to do a very short post today... as pain-killers and muscle relaxers cause a very short attention span right now. Not sure how I did it, but I injured my shoulder this weekend and can hardly move that arm. It's in a sling and I'm doped to the gills..... sooooo I'm typing slowly and one-handed. Grrrrrr....

Anyway, I'm super excited about having book covers for my three short stories over at Whipped Cream, thanks so much to Judy at Goddess Fish Promotions. Goddess Fish designed our website as well. Aren't they great!

Anyway, you can see the rest of our covers here at our bookshelf on The Menagerie website. Fun, huh! Hope everyone has a better day than me! :-D

Monday, March 23, 2009

Author Interview: Shelley Munro

Give a big Menagerie welcome to today's victim guest interviewee: multi-published author, Shelley Munro!

Shelly, welcome to the Menagerie! Why don't you start by telling us where are you from.

I live in Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand. I've traveled to a lot of beautiful and interesting places throughout the world but New Zealand is home, and I can't imagine living anywhere else. The climate is great--we're semi-tropical--and although it rains on a regular basis, especially during winter, we don't have snow. The temperature gauge never goes that low. We spend a lot of time outdoors and have a choice of beaches to visit should the desire arise. We're a small country but many New Zealanders have done great things. We're determined and innovative. If anyone tells us something is impossible, we find a way. With that sort of background, I knew I'd become a published writer one day. All I needed to do was apply myself and work hard.

Writing IS hard work!! Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Oh, yeah. The hardest thing is keeping my butt in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard to actually write. Once I get started, I'm fine, but some days getting started is a real challenge and I'm a procrastinator Queen. I find I work best when I have a routine. I make myself write a set number of words each day. I tend to work best in the mornings, but if I haven't done my daily word count by the afternoon or evening, I keep working. Sometimes I'm really late to bed but I make myself do the writing. Once I've done the day's word count, I'll do some extra words or promo and of course, I have to fit in the dreaded housework some time.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

At one stage I wanted to be a vet. I still love animals but I'm not so good with blood so that idea died a pretty quick death. After that I wanted to be a teacher like my mother. I actually applied for teacher training college but they turned me down. Funnily enough I ended up working in a bank and then going back to a technical college to train in accountancy. When my husband and I traveled overseas I worked in pubs and also kitchens doing cooking and cleaning and lots of dishes. I'm so glad I ended up writing. It's a dream job for me and I love every moment of it.

What do you think makes a great story?

For me it's the characters. The characters are what stick in my mind after reading a good book. I mean who can forget a great character like Stephanie Plum or Eve Dallas, and I just adore all the characters in my Middlemarch Mates series. The Mitchell family and their friends feel like family to me. I worry about them and their problems as much as I worry about my own family. They're very real and vibrant to me.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I'm currently working on book eight in my Middlemarch Mates series for Ellora's Cave. The series features a feline shifter community who lives and works in the small country town of Middlemarch. (The town is real and you can read about the background behind my Middlemarch Mates series at my website.) Most of the Middlemarch felines are black leopards, but I'm introducing three tigers in my current work in progress. They're bringing a bit of drama to Middlemarch with them and trouble that will rock the current town residents. I'm almost done with the first draft and will probably start on book nine, which will also feature mainly tigers, as soon as I'm done.

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

Are you kidding? I can barely focus enough to see in the mornings. My husband wakes me up and drags me out to go for a walk (because he decided he needed to lose weight) and when we get back, I have a cup of tea and feel semi-awake. I usually check my email and blog before I get to look in the mirror. My first thought is usually, "Oh, heck. Not another bad hair day." followed by, "Shoot, I walked around the block and people saw me looking like this." Yep, that's normally the way my thoughts go.

What is the strangest thing you've ever eaten?

I'm a vegetarian and have been for some time. I did try crocodile when I visited Zimbabwe. That was actually quite nice - slices of deep-fried crocodile tail. Probably the strangest thing I've eaten is dried grasshoppers in Central America. They were fairly salty and their legs got stuck between my teeth. Dried grasshopper is not something I'd recommend for a tasty treat!

What is your favorite animal?

I love big cats - tigers, lions, leopards and cheetahs. I've been lucky enough to see lions, cheetahs and leopards in the wild during trips to Kenya. I'd hoped to see tigers when I visited Chitwan National Park in Nepal, but we weren't lucky enough. We did see a sloth bear and also rhinos with a baby. That was really special. My love of big cats has morphed into my writing since many of my paranormal stories are about feline shifters. My husband and I are planning a trip to South Africa next year and hopefully we'll see more cats in the wild.

Actually it was hard to choose my favorite animal because whales also intrigue me. I've whale-watched all over the place, off the Maine coast, Vancouver Island, Hervey Bay in Australia, Alaska and Kaikoura in the South Island of New Zealand. In fact, I have an orca shifter story coming very soon from Ellora's Cave. It's set in New Zealand and I had a lot of fun doing the research.

I don't know about you, but I can't stay up past nine at night! What about you? Are you a morning person or a night person?

Definitely a morning person. Although it takes me a while to kick-start in the mornings there is nothing better than a new day. It's quite windy where I live but the winds tend to be worse in the afternoons. Don't ask me why because I have no idea! I blame my love of mornings on my father and also my husband. My father is a farmer and even though he's almost eighty, he still gets up at five-thirty most mornings. Until a few years ago, my husband worked at a job where he needed to start early. I guess it's a habit for me now to wake up early.

Do you like thunderstorms?

Only if I'm inside while the thunder and lightning are putting on the show. I like to feel safe and keep dry. When we visited the US last year, the afternoon lightning shows surprised us. They were quite scary and something I was glad to witness from shelter. Our lightning in New Zealand is very different. We might have one or two storms where we have both thunder and lightning each year. The perfect number in my opinion!

Brief bio: Shelley Munro writes hot and spicy romances for both Ellora's Cave and Samhain Publishing. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and a bossy wee dog. You can learn more about Shelley at www.shelleymunro.com or visit her blog www.shelleymunro.com/blog

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I DID IT!!! Cherry = Lost

Dear heavens... finally... I did it. For the first time. And I'm feeling a little sick to my stomach about it. It was exciting... scary... a little painful.

Did YOU feel this way your first time?

I submitted something.

I challenged Kealie to a writing duel -- write a complete story in 24 hours and it had to be at least 7500 words.

And, you know what? We BOTH did it... sort of!!! Mine was 8,000, hers was just over 12,000 and it took us from late Weds to Friday. So, yeah, a little more than 24 hours but pretty dang close.

I sent mine to a friend who actually earns money as an editor. She found my typos and grammar boo-boos and plot inconsistencies. Thankfully, there weren't many. And I got it back, polished the pogees out of it, wrote a query and synopsis and sent that sucker off.

And now I want to vomit.

But... there will never be another first time. And, you always remember your first, right?

And now, I'm moving on to my next. I'm a story whore... what can I say?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Depths of My Nosiness

I told y'all I'd tell you about the second experience that brought my nosiness and author mentality even further to my attention.

The way my home is positioned on our street with my living room windows facing out to the street of a major walkway through our neighborhood gives me ample oportunity to people-watch. Yet another trait I have that causes me to be nosey.... I love to study body language and try to figure out how they feel about each other: The teenage kids so new to their hormones and socializing; The young family walking with the mother and children in front while father brings up the rear, watchful and smiling; The men coming and going from work, and the moms picking their kids up from school (we live across the street from an elementary school). I love to watch the teenagers who seem to think the low wall butting from my property up against the sidewalk is the perfect place to stop and rest... talk... wait... or argue.

My favorite sight this last week was when I was working in my living room on my laptop and looked up to see a young couple leaning against the low wall in an obviously loving embrace. He was sitting on the wall and she was leaning into him. Her hands in his hair, his on her hips and they were kissing in the most loving way and I was caught in their tableau. But it wasn't just the intimacy that they had no difficulty sharing with others around them... it was the fact that she was dancing. All through the kiss her body was swaying and bouncing in a joyful dance.

Wow, was that kiss so powerful that she had to dance for the joy of it? I checked her ears... no ear buds... she was hearing her own music and it added to the sweetness and joy I could feel coming from them and their kiss. While I was a bit of a voyeur, this couple brought a smile to my face and had me asking: I wonder what she hears when she kisses him? Does she hear music for every part of her life? Does he hear her music too somehow, and that's why they seem to be so good together? I just REALLY liked watching them. They were in no way inapropriate for their surroundings, but I don't think they would have cared anyway.

What do you see when you look at others? Do you file their every nuance and laugh away in your brain to be taken back out for future clarity?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Author Interview ~ Cinsearae/Mistress Rae

Hey, everyone! We've recently changed up the format as far as Guest Authors/Bloggers. We will now be doing interviews. And the very first author to brave our couch here at The Menagerie (and let's face it, she MUST be brave if she's letting us interview her. Here's our chat with Cinsearae S. author of The Abraxas Series:

All right, M'dear, why don't you tell us your latest news?

Currently, I'm working on my latest series, ABRAXAS, a dark, paranormal romance. I had the first three novellas of the series combined into one book, with free chapter downloads available from each novella on it's webpage Http://Bloodtouch.webs.com/abraxas.htm. I've also got character profiles, pics and trailers there as well!

Sounds interesting! How did you come up with the title?

I have NO clue. It just popped in my head. Seriously. When single-word titles like that just pop in my mind, I figure there's a rhyme and reason to it. And as I write, it all comes into play...

Is there a message in this series that you want readers to grasp?

Pretty much that there's a divine connection to everything in this universe; it's simply that many choose not to recognize it, or try to fight against it. Some of the characters in my story possess a spiritual power that they are trying to understand and work with, and so they have to grow and learn with each book.

So, how much of the book is realistic?

Small amounts here and there. Some topics are esoteric, or magical--things that 'mundane' folks may or may not believe in. A few of the more personal things that the characters talk about in the books are based on actual life situations and conversations...I just won't say exactly where, lol.

What are your current projects?

I'm currently working on books 4 and 5 to the ABRAXAS series. They're going to get more involved, with more interesting, complex characters, to say the least!

Who designed the covers?

I'm strictly a DIY gal, lol. It's more fun that way. I design covers for other authors too, and design covers for Jaded Silence Press as well. Details are at my website, Blood Touch.

What does your family think of your writing?

Um...I actually don't tell them. They KNOW I write, but as to letting them read it...heck no. I'd be embarrassed to. I have erotic scenes in them! lol!

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Read other's works; pay attention to their style of writing. Check out movies of your favorite genre; this will help with 'visuals' when you write your own stories. Pay attention to general conversations in the street. You never know when you can apply it to something your own works. And keep a pen and notepad with you at all times. You never know when the muse will strike. Lastly share your stories with folks you can trust to be honest with critiques.

And now for our fun/crazy/goofy/nothing-to-do-with-writing questions:
What animal do you think makes the best pet and why?

Ah, I'm a bit biased. I've had hamsters since I was 14, and still keep one or two at a time. They sleep all day, and are pretty much self-sustaining. I have one now, and of course I have to keep him out of reach from my two crazy-as-hell rat terriers, Hades and Chaos (and yes, they were named that for a reason, lol!)

Do you hate how you look in pictures? Why or why not?

Sometimes--it all depends on the angle and if it was candid or not. I HATE candid shots!!! They seem to get you at your worst! If I take pics, I do them myself (self-timed cameras are the BEST!), or make sure I'm prepared first before someone takes one for me.

Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

I doubt if anyone still does it, but sometimes I'll put double exclamation marks at the end of a sentence, then turn the two dots at the bottom into a smiley face, lol.

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

"Ew." (yep, that sums it up, lol.)

What’s a saying you use a lot? Where did it originate from?

"Dammit, dammit, DAMMIT!" (and I think it originated from that Adult Swim show, "Robot Chicken"...)

Have you ever eaten a crayon?

No, but I've tasted white, school paste. TASTED, not eaten, lol. Very minty-fresh.

What is your favorite animal?

It's a toss up between a fruit bat and a raven.

What is your heritage?

My dad is from Puerto Rico. My mom was African American, and there is also Blackfoot Indian on her side as well. I found out that my great grandmom on her father's side was Caucasian, but I don't know the nationality. I'm actually trying to do some family-tree digging.

Have you ever cried during a movie? If yes, which one and why?

Ooo there's a few...When Leo died in Titanic (Who hasn't? lol.) and when Christopher Reeve died in "Somewhere in Time" (again, who didn't?) and I still get a bit misty eyed when Frank Landella 'dies' in Dracula (the 1979 version)--that one is my personal cult fave. And (I won't admit this at any other blog or reviewer ever--I can STILL get misty eyed at Pocahontas on occasion...yes, the Disney cartoon version!!!)

Have you ever made a crank phone call? If yes, explain what you did.

I came VERY close. I was in junior high, and I just dialed some number at random. When I heard this really loud, nerdy voice say "Helloooo?" I freaked and hung up, lol. The sound of his voice just totally threw me off. Never attempted to do a crank call again.

What is your favorite pizza?

Just basic pepperoni. I dont mind mushrooms or green peppers on occasion either!

What is one thing scientists should invent?

Something that could visually record our dreams. Ooo, then again, that might NOT be a good idea....

Are you a morning person or a night person?

That changes like the moon phases, lol. For a month, I can stay up almost all night, and the next month, I can barely stay awake past ten!

Do you like thunderstorms?

Oh wow, definitely, and the more lightning, the better! There's a power in thunderstorms that I respect.

Do you sleep with the light on? Why or why not?

I USED to when I was little, but it was my fault--I was too young when I saw The Exorcist--and seeing Reagan crabwalk backwards down the steps was what freaked me out the most--not her spinning head, or her upchucking pea soup....that WALK made me keep the lights on for a MONTH

Thanks so much for letting us interrogate... ahem, I mean interview you today! It's been great fun getting to know you better.

Y'all can visit Cinsearae at her site: Blood Touch

And you can buy her series here:

The Abraxas Series by Cinsearae S.

Christine Vargas is an independent, young working class-girl violently swept into another world--a world deemed unrealistic and impossible by many, a world under the mundane one she is so used to. During her physical transition, she has to come to grips with new powers she has been bestowed, and join up with her new 'Lord', Ryan Price, a gentleman of high social status, and twice her age. Her 'new family' is a motley crew of young vampires, and among the family are two rebellious twins trying to dethrone Ryan and take over the clan with their own legion of bloodthirsty (and drug-hungry), zombie-like vamps. Only Christine can determine the outcome of the oncoming battle and must chose quickly before the unthinkable happens. This is only the start of the strange, twisted, and mystical life Christine is now a part of, as more scarier situations present themselves to her, Ryan, and their delicate ABRAXAS clan--and sometimes, the 'monsters' aren't quite what you'd expect...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Trailer ~ The Abraxas Series by Cinsearae Santiago

The Abraxas Series by Cinsearae Santiago

Christine Vargas is an independent, young working class-girl violently swept into another world--a world deemed unrealistic and impossible by many, a world under the mundane one she is so used to. During her physical transition, she has to come to grips with new powers she has been bestowed, and join up with her new 'Lord', Ryan Price, a gentleman of high social status, and twice her age. Her 'new family' is a motley crew of young vampires, and among the family are two rebellious twins trying to dethrone Ryan and take over the clan with their own legion of bloodthirsty (and drug-hungry), zombie-like vamps. Only Christine can determine the outcome of the oncoming battle and must chose quickly before the unthinkable happens. This is only the start of the strange, twisted, and mystical life Christine is now a part of, as more scarier situations present themselves to her, Ryan, and their delicate ABRAXAS clan--and sometimes, the 'monsters' aren't quite what you'd expect...


Want to see your book trailer here? Go here to find out how!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Call For Submissions

We at the Menagerie really enjoy the challenge of writing an erotic romance story in only 1000 words for Whipped Cream reviews... in fact, all three of us have done it more than once (you can see all the links to stories on our website here). So, when we heard they were a paying market AND offered free advertising, we had to let everyone else know. Here's what was posted on their Yahoo group:


The Long and the Short of It is now a paying market for flash fiction, romance stories with a HEA. In exchange for your short romance story of approximately 1000 words, we offer $5 (payable on acceptance and via Pay Pal only) and a free one month book cover or banner ad (a $10 value). The author will also receive a link on our website to their personal webpage and/or blog.

For more submission details, please go to
http://www.longandshortreviews.com/submissions.htm .


If any of y'all submit to them and are accepted, let us know! We'd love to give you a shout out (and, of course, run right over and read your work).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nosey McNoserton

Yup, that's me! I'm so freaking nosey! Have you ever really stopped to ponder how truly nosey we as writers are? How we watch the world around us and file our observations away to be pulled out later?

Why is this on my mind? Well, two experiences this past week have really brought my attention once again to how insanely nosey I really am!

The first was when my friend showed up on my doorstep and announced she was kidnapping me: "I know you don't feel good, but you need to get out of the house!" This has become a rather familiar refrain, and my argument that I'm tired and my chest hurts and I just don't want to go anywhere falls on deaf ears more often than not with her... so I relented and we went for a drive since I refused to change from my yoga pants and t-shirt (those of you who know me know that I HATE leaving my house any less than presentable... and yoga pants aren't presentable!). Going for a drive is one of our favorite activities, because we are both NOSEY!

The area we live in has a wide range of economic circumstances from government housing to rental apartments to multi-million dollar homes within a couple miles of each other. One of our fave past-times is to drive by the huge homes and try to imagine what the inside looks like... and see if we can possibly peek in the windows as we go by. Told you NOSEY!

Imagine our surprise when we drove down one street to find an Open House sign in front of one of the more elaborate (read gaudy) homes we'd been speculating on. We gleefully parked the car and trotted up the slate driveway. Me in my yoga pants and her in her jeans and sweater... at least she looked more presentable than I did. Hey, you never know if someone wearing yoga pants can afford 1.9 million dollars. Just saying.

Unfortunately... or fortunately depending on your outlook... the inside of the house lived up to the absolutely... colorful... exterior. We both quickly came to the conclusion that if we were to live there we'd have to whitewash everything and start over. BUT, my writer's brain went into overdrive: What kind of person lived there before the bank took it back? Had they been happy with the way it turned out or had they simply marked time there? What circumstances brought about the bank foreclosure?

I'll explain the other incident next week, but I wanted to know if everyone else has the same... neuroses?

Anyone Up For A Free Book?

Silly question! Of COURSE you are!

Our good friend Kimber Chin let me know of this opportunity. Her book Invisible is being offered up as a free download from her publisher Champagne Books to celebrate eBook Week! How cool is that?

SO, if you're interested (and face it who isn't?) you can get it here:


or a more "roundabout" way:

Kimber's Site

Thanks so much to Kimber for letting us know.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Let Us Interview You!

We Wild Women will be interviewing authors on this blog every Monday!

If you're interested in being interviewed on here on our blog, please feel free to
send us an email -- we'll send you a list of questions to answer. We'll schedule you for a date once we receive your responses, and will try to accomodate your needs as much as we can.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Brought to You by the Letter "B"

Today is "B" day in my latest endeavor to make sure I have something to blog about. And, after Kealie's post, all I can think of for "B" is...


Oh yeah.

So, just for fun (and heck, for inspiration -- because I don't have a model in mind for my hero in "For Better or Best", a WIP that is about to undergo a massive overhaul) I decided to see what came up in my Google Images when I searched for Beefcake. I hope I get something (someONE?) hawt!

Um.. no... ew... sorry -- I'm so NOT turned on by Mr. Muscles. Next?

HAHAHAHAHAHA.... :::picks self off floor::: ... this isn't looking so good. Next?

OKAY! Now we're talking... yepyepyep... come to mama, honey...

You know... he's cute, and I really prefer a man with little or no body hair (am I alone in this?), but he looks oddly underdeveloped in this picture, don't you think?

HEY! I know this picture. It belongs to someone's book cover... um...

::steps away to go look:::...YEAH... here:

And then we have our last couple.... Yum.... not in love with the baldness, but the rest? Oh yeah -- HE'S not underdeveloped...

I think I've saved the best for last. What do you think? HUBBA HUBBA...

Okay, I'm feeling inspired. Time to go write... and fantasize....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Inspiration Anyone?

*sigh* Instead of writing, I've been playing. Not that I haven't gotten some writing done... just not as much as the voices screaming in my head would like. I have two that are particularly eager for me to get to a certain scene... anyway. I thought since I am drawing a bit of a blank I thought maybe y'all would like to see a couple of my inspiration collages.

I like to do these collages at the start of each story then print them out and stick them up on the wall and/or in my writing portfolio. Helps me to remember who is who and what they look like... and their personalities ... because if I don't keep them straight you end up with muddied waters... characters... whatever. LOL

So, here is the collage of the main characters for my Alpha story:

and here is the collage for one of my heroes in Alpha:

If you click on the actual photos you can get a closer look... if you so desire. LOL

So, what do you think? Inspirational?

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's a TIE!

That's right, y'all have spoken. We have not one but two Best of 2008 Hotties. Guess we can't just be satisfied with one... we need two to keep us satsified here at The Menagerie. So, without further ado the winners are :::drum roll::: ...

Niko Calin

Henri Castelli

These gorgeous men will hold a place of prominence over there --->>> in our sidebar until the hottie of 2009 is crowned.

Thanks so much everyone for voting. Don't forget that we'll have another voting session every couple of months so that we aren't overwhelmed with hotties at the end of the year.

Promo Op ~ Let Us Interview You!

We Wild Women will be interviewing authors on this blog every Monday!

If you're interested in being interviewed on here on our blog, please feel free to
send us an email -- we'll send you a list of questions to answer. We'll schedule you for a date once we receive your responses, and will try to accomodate your needs as much as we can.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Book Trailer Promo Opportunity

If you are an author looking for promotional opportunities, then we here at The Menagerie can help. We have set aside Sundays to play your Book Trailer, if you have one to share.

Let us know if you think you would like us to post your book trailer on our blog as part of your ongoing promotions campaign. Just email us at: menagerieauthors@gmail.com and let us know what days would work for you. As sometimes the demand is great for a certain day, please give us more than one day in order of preference and we'll check our schedule.

Hope to hear from you.

~ The Ladies of The Menagerie