Plague Nation Launch Party!!!

Plague-Nation-cover WHEN:  Tuesday, April 9th, 7:30pm PST

WHERE:  Mysterious Galaxy Redondo Beach
2810 Artesia Blvd, Redondo Beach, California 90278

I’m going to be traveling south and celebrating the release of my second Ashley Parker novel at the amazing store Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach. They know how to do book events and I am so thrilled to be having the launch event there! I hope you can make it!

Author Pat Bertram Talks About Consistency

I am very happy to welcome the talented Pat Bertram to the Den today for a stop on her whirlwind blog tour for her latest book, Daughter Am I.
  Hopefully you won’t have any trouble viewing the cover here. 🙂 

A little bit about the book:

When twenty-five-year-old Mary learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents–grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born–she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians–former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love with Tim Olson, whose grand-father shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim must stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.

“A delightful treasure-hunting tale of finding one’s self in a most unlikely way.” –– Publisher’s Weekly

I’m currently in the middle of Pat’s second novel A Spark of Heavenly Fire and am enjoying the read thoroughly.  I mean, it has a deadly disease (I’m a sucker for plagues), romance and suspense.  What else do I need?  The fact that it’s a well-written page turner is also a plus, of course!  Pat doesn’t waste any time getting to the action and her narrative skills are superb.  

 A little about A Spark of Heavenly Fire just ’cause I like it so much:

In quarantined Colorado, where hundreds of thousands of people are dying from an unstoppable disease called the red death, insomniac Kate Cummings struggles to find the courage to live and to love. Her new love, investigative reporter Greg Pullman, is determined to discover the truth behind the red death until the cost — Kate’s life — becomes more than he can pay.

“Bertram’s characters are heartbreaking and real. I love Kate. Absolutely love her.” –Rachael Wollet, freelance editor

Some good stuff here, yes? Yes!   

And now, please welcome Pat Bertram to Zhadi’s Den as she talks a little about the importance of consistency in writing!  If you need me, I’ll be curled up in the corner reading more of A Spark of Heavenly Fire…


“Consistency makes a good pumpkin pie — you don’t want globules of pumpkin ruining the texture of the smooth filling. And consistency makes a good story — you certainly don’t want globules of untruth ruining the texture of your readers’ belief. I admit I’m stretching for a seasonal analogy, but still, the point is that readers will forgive a writer anything except inconsistencies that make them stop and think, “I don’t believe that.”


I started reading a fictionalized version of Princess Di’s accident — according to the author, she didn’t die, but was given a new identity and is living in Texas. Let’s forget that this book is inconsistent with my reading habits. I do not read books about celebrities — this one just fell into my lap and I was desperate for something to read. Let’s forget that this story is inconsistent with what we’ve been told about the accident, because perhaps the author can somehow reconcile his reality with ours, though I will never know. The internal inconsistencies — the inconsistencies that the author himself created — made it impossible for me to finish.


Supposedly, the man who created the post-accident life for Diana also spirited away the Shah of Iran. According to the author, the Shah lived fifteen years beyond his supposed death in 1980. The operation was so secret and so successful that no one knew about it. But . . . It took only this one very high profile achievement to assure a solid client base. Word travels quickly in the very elite circles of power. Now the demand for his services is always in excess of his ability to produce.


What?????? If no one knew that the Shah survived his death, how could word travel? And if word did travel, how could such high profile clients remain “dead,” especially since most of them were hiding from those in the elite circles of power?


It’s almost impossible to keep inconsistencies from slipping into a story, which is why self-editing, though vital, cannot be the final editing process. We see consistency, because we see what we meant to say. Others only see the inconsistency. I am grateful to one of my editors for finding this particular inconsistency in Daughter Am I. The editor wrote, It’s not clear here whether or not Mary completely removed her shirt. If she did, when she stood up and ran to the bathroom, then turned around and had the conversation with Tim, she’d have been completely topless. Given their feelings for each other, and their state of undress, it seems unlikely they would have been able to have such a lengthy conversation without biology taking over sooner.


Oops. I completely missed that. Mary took off her shirt so Tim could massage her sore back, and when the massage turned heated, Mary (engaged to someone else) runs from her feelings and hides in the bathroom. Inadvertently, I had her brazenly opening the bathroom door, standing half-naked, and starting a casual conversation — not at all what my poor innocent Mary would have done. After traveling halfway across the country in the company of seven old gangsters (well, six gangsters and one aged ex-night hall dancer) she’s lost most of her naiveté, but still, she would not have flaunted her naked breasts.


Naked breasts may pale in comparison with undead princesses, but the inconsistency could have dammed the flow of the story for discerning readers. So, the moral of this tale is, if you remove your heroine’s shirt or other apparel, make sure you remember her state of undress.”


Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and a lifelong resident. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Daughter Am I is Bertram’s third novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Also available are More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.  To follow the rest of Pat’s blog tour as well as read the previous tour posts, go here.

Kicking off Ravenous Romance’s “Ornery Eleven” Author Tour!

Zhadi’s Den is proud to present the Ravenous Romance Ornery Eleven Author tour in their very first stop of the tour! The journey here was merry due to a variety of beverages smuggled onto the bus and the kind of behavior you’d expect from 11 rowdy writers ready to meet their public!  To kick off this event, we’ve got Holly Schmidt, co-founder and editor of Ravenous Romance to say a few words about the company and the tour!  Welcome, Holly, to Zhadi’s Den!

“Welcome to the Ravenous Romance author blog tour!  Ravenous Romance is an online publisher of erotic romance audiobooks and ebooks.  We publish novels and short stories by a number of best-selling and award-winning authors, and we feature a book a day at  On our site, you can also download a FREE short story and FREE audiobook sampler.  And we’re so sure you’ll love our books that we offer the only money-back guarantee in this business. In the four month since we launched, Ravenous Romance has been featured in The New York Times, The Sunday Times of London , Publishers Weekly, Galleycat, and Romantic Times. We’ve had reviews in dozens of romance blogs and have also received a number of great customer reviews on our site and on affiliates like Audible, Fictionwise, and Amazon, where many of our books have been bestsellers in their category. We launched December 1, 2008 and we’ve published over 150 books.  

Ravenous Romance is a partnership between three longtime publishing executives who see digital publishing as the future and erotica and romance as the most exciting categories.  On this blog tour, our amazing authors will be chatting about their books, their inspiration, and their experiences with Ravenous. We hope you enjoy the conversation.  Please join our Yahoo group for more personal interaction with our authors, sneak previews from cover photo shoots, giveways and more!”    


Thank you, Holly!  Now we’d like to introduce our Ornery Eleven authors, 11 romance and erotica writers who all bring something unique and different to Ravenous Romance’s cornucopia of sexy delights!


Elle Amery writes contemporary romance with highly descriptive, erotic love scenes. She sets her stories in small towns where what goes on behind closed doors—and sometimes out in the open—will rock your world. Elle focuses on the complex nature of her character’s personalities and the dynamic interaction that builds as two people fall head over heels in love. She lives with a menagerie of animals, both adopted and wild, in northern California


Neve Black has been writing since she can remember and opted for a degree in English Literature. She mostly enjoys writing about subjects that scratch the under-belly of society; thus her love of erotica. Her stories can be read in the on-line magazine Oysters and Chocolate, various anthologies, like Swing and the e-book publisher, Ravenous Romance, to include her first novel, Sex through the Zodiac, which was published in January, 2009. 

Angela Cameron is the author of several published works that range from paranormal romance to erotica to suspense, such as the Italian vampire Blood & Sex series. Her worlds are full of diverse characters with plenty of action. Oh, and don’t forget the tie me, slap me, and kiss me sex. She’s a huge fan of both chocolate and peanut butter. And she listens to more rock music than anyone her age probably should. 


Savannah Chase writes erotica, and she writes romance. Whether you want sweaty sex or sweet romance, she’s written just the thing for you.  Savannah started putting pen to paper as a young schoolgirl. Music inspired her to write lyrics, which eventually turned into stories. Her stories have gotten better, longer and so much more erotic as the years passed. Savannah is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Toronto Romance Writers, and Erotic Authors Association. She currently resides in Canada. Her first Ravenous Romance release is Special Delivery featured in the Men In Shorts: An Erotic Anthology.  Sèphera Girón enjoys writing about the human condition. She loves and aches with her characters and eagerly explores where their adventures may next lead. Her current work with Ravenous Romance includes five erotic books from the Sexstrology series as well as others.   



C. Margery Kempe is the pseudonym for a medieval scholar who teaches at a small liberal arts college in upstate New York.  She writes erotic romance as well as horror and fantasy, while employed as a full time English professor, for which she publishes and lectures on medieval studies, film, popular culture and creative writing at conferences nationally and internationally.  Her first novel for Ravenous Romance is the thriller Chastity Flame.


 Lisa Lane lives in Las Vegas with her husband and their two cats.  She has authored over a dozen novels and screenplays, as well as numerous short stories and essays, and she prides herself in her ability to move between different genres and formats.  Her literary influences include Olaf Stapledon, Kurt Vonnegut, and Anne Rice.  Lisa likes to keep busy, often working on multiple projects at once, and recently finished a work for hire screen adaptation for a Hugo award-winning novelette.   Inara Lavey is the romance-writing nom de plume of a San Francisco mystery writer and former B-movie actress who has lived many of the experiences she writes about in her sensuous fiction. She has traveled throughout Europe, and worked in the uncharted wilds of Hollywood as a screenwriter, a script doctor, an award-winning documentary producer, a stunt woman (her background is in theatrical sword-fighting), and actress in more than one cult classic. She has a deep passion for all things feline, and for many years has worked with her beloved tigers, leopards, jaguars and other exotic cats at an exotic feline conservation center. Another love is the sea; she adores living by the beach, surfing, strolling the strand and beachcombing. Her many friends know she can always be tempted by bad movies or good wine, preferably combined. When she is not hard at work writing or preparing for the coming zombie apocalypse, she can be found doting on her cats or swordfighting with her Irish lover.  Jamaica Layne is a hot new rising star in the erotica market. Her critically acclaimed debut erotic romance novel, Market for Love (rated FOUR STARS by Romantic Times Magazine), was released in print in October 2008 from Virgin Cheek Books, and she also has many erotic books and short stories slated to appear from Ravenous Romance over the next year, including the five-book Vital Signs series, A Capitol Affair, and Knight Moves.  Ms. Layne has also edited two bestselling erotic short story anthologies for Ravenous—-Experimental and Power Plays.  In her “other” life, she is a playwright and journalist. Her plays have received productions and staged readings at thirty-plus small and medium-sized theater companies in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, Phoenix, Ohio, Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. She’s also written articles for the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Cat Fancy magazine, and many other major publications. She lives near Chicago with her husband and son.  EM Lynley works in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, sexy man-on-man action. She spent 15 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.  

Isabel Roman has been writing fiction for several years. Her stories range all over, from Victorian Druids to 30s speakeasies to contemporaries, all with a lot of hot monkey sex. With a degree in American History, no time period is safe from her. Neither are werewolves, ghosts, or magickers as in her erotic historical paranormal series Dark Desire of the Druids. She is also an obsessive fan of the Sharpe series, science fiction, audiobooks, and her life’s blood, chocolate.

Join all of our marvelous authors and blog hosts on the tour!  Each stop will feature one author in particular, a question of the day to be answered in depth by said featured author, as well as shorter answers by the other 10 of our Ornery Eleven.  We’ll include an excerpt from one of the featured author’s books, as well as a giveaway.  Three stops will also have a surprise $5 gift certificate to Ravenous Romance, but you won’t know which stop until the tour is over.  And if you comment at all the stops, you will automatically be eligible to win a $25 gift certificate for Ravenous Romance.  That’s five e-books by your favorite authors!  Plus you’ll visit some great blogs and websites. And now the schedule for the rest of the tour!4/19 – Jennifer’s Random Musings Elle Amery
4/20 – UnboundLisa Lane
4/21 – Talk About My Favorite Authors Angela Cameron
4/22 – Kissa StarlingEm Lynley
4/23 – The CountessJamaica Layne
4/24 – PNR Inklings Blog at ParaNormal Romance –  Sèphera Girón
4/25 – Wicked Thorn and RosesIsabel Roman
4/27 – Sia McKaye’s Thoughts on…Neve Black
4/29 – Bryn GreenwoodC. Margery Kempe
4/30 – Bookwenches Savannah Chase
5/1 – Neve Black Inara LaVey
5/2 – Night Owl Romances The Fabulous Wrap Up Stop!

Remember to leave a comment; it automatically enters you to win a copy of the book of your choice from one of our Ornery Eleven!  We’ll also be giving away three $5.00 gift certificates for Ravenous on three random stops.  You won’t know which ones until the tour is over, so visit as many as you can!  And if you leave a comment on every stop in the RR Ornery Eleven BBT, you’re eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Ravenous Romance!   And visit us on our new Ravenous author blog for the latest from Ravenous Romance’s growing number of authors!  Thanks so much for stopping by!  Please visit Jennifer’s Random Musings tomorrow, April 18th, for another question of the day and our first featured author Elle Amery! 


Upcoming Virtual Book-signing Events

My friend and fellow writer Steve Prosapio, is holding Bookdays on his blog, virtual interviews and book drawings with four writers, including myself.  Steve’s blog is here.  Below, in his own words, is a more comprehensive description of the events.  Please stop by his blog, both on the dates mentioned and just to check it out!  And yes, a free copy of MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon, will be up for grabs!


They say that March comes in like a lion…


But I’m hereby declaring the next thirty days, “March out and buy a book” month! In support of that, I’ll be hosting virtual “book-signing” events each Wednesday this month on my blog. In fact, I’ll no longer refer to the fourth day of the week as “Wednesday” any longer. It’s now called “Bookday.”


Okay, that last part might be a bit over the top, but the “book events” will be fun.


Without further ado, here’s who will be joining us:


March 5th – Chicago, IL

Geoffrey Edwards, author of Fire Bell in the Night, a historical novel set in antebellum South Carolina that centers on the trial of a man who helped an escaping slave.


March 12th – San Francisco, CA

Dana Fredsti, author of Murder For Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon, an almost-cozy murder mystery about an acting troupe that specializes in spoofing, not sleuthing…until bodies start stacking up. 

March 19th – Sienna, Italy

My review of Too Much Tuscan Sun by Dario Castagno, a memoir of a Chianti tour guide. I recently met Dario at a book signing. I’d corresponded with him from time to time since purchasing his book in 2005.


March 26th – New York, NY

Seymour Garte, author of Where We Stand:  A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet. This nonfiction work explores environmental topics and suggests what we can do to better care for the earth. 

Stop by for any/all of these events on my blog. Interviews with the authors will be posted and some of them have agreed to stop by the blog that day to discuss their work and answer questions from the audience (aka the No Bull Gallery). You do NOT need to be registered with Live Journal to participate. You can post anonymously (hit the “anonymous” button after clicking your comment), but please make sure to put your name on the post. Books and/or gift cards will be given away on the Friday following the visits to those who participate.


Don’t miss out on your chance to “mingle” with published authors (and win free books)!


Again, these events will be held ON MY BLOG on the posted dates. I will be “replaying” the interviews, so to speak, on my home page but if you want to win prizes, come and post to the BLOG itself. “

Drawing for Three (3)! Copies of Murder For Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon…

…will take place tomorrow night at approximately 7:00pm Pacific Standard Time.  I’m compiling the lists from my lovely blog hosts, must type it up, cut the names into separate strips of paper, then put ’em in my handy dandy fedora, stir ’em up, and pull out the winners.   Whew!  I’ll be posting the winners on my blog as soon as I finish the drawing and will also send the names to the seven hosts so they can post the winners as well if they so desire.

Thanks again to everyone who followed the tour, whether or not you left comments!  And a huge thanks to Elysabeth, Dani, Kat, Blaize, Nessa, Mr. Fab and Redzilla!  You all rock (can I stil say that at my age?) and made this experience a fantastic first blog tour for me!

And now to sip some very lovely Rosenblum Abba Syrah and read the rest of DARK TIDE by Elizabeth Forrest…

Taking a breather…

I spent my three day weekend writing up all the posts for my Blog Book Tour for (get ready for shameless self-promotion here) my murder mystery MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon.  By me.  Dana Fredsti.

Google alert?  Are you paying attention?  Pingoat?  Say you’re there!

I have not had such a focused period of writing for ages.  It felt great, but dang me, my fingers hurt!

I’m saving my big thank you email till the end of my tour, but I just have to say that my blog hosts and their blogs are all awesome.  Or is ‘awesome’ too late ’70s/early ’80s an expression?  Oh well, too bad!  ‘Cause they are.  Please scroll down a post and check out the tour schedule, bookmark those blogs and visit them often!

I’m currently reading Smoke and Ashes by Tanya Huff.  She writes urban fantasy/…not romance, but…well…okay, I don’t know what genre this is.  But she’s now up there with Barbara Hambly as one of my favorite writers.  The books are funny, horrific, smart, and just plain fun to read.  My favorite line to date in reference to a character who’s a vampire (I’m paraphrasing here ’cause I left the book at work):  ‘Henry wore his blandest expression; blood wouldn’t clot in his mouth.’   I laughed out loud when I read that.  On the Muni.  People moved away from me on the train.

I just finished Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement and give it two thumbs up for mystery afficianados and animal lovers alike.  It’s easy to tell the author has spent a lot of time with dogs and cats and an equal amount of time honing her writing skills.  Can’t wait to start the second one in the series!

Speaking of series… Time for me to get to work on MURDER FOR HIRE: The Big Snooze!

My First Official Appearance as a Mystery Author

San Diego Mystery Club Appearance

This was taken at the San Diego Mystery Club meeting in November.  I’m happy to say I’ve lost a full dress size since then, but quite pleased with how cleverly (and kindly) the photographer (thank you, Bill!) hid my butt with a copy of the book cover.   I’m gonna have him photoshop all future unflattering photos!   This picture was taken five minutes after arriving at the hotel restaurant where SDMC holds their monthly meetings.  We were fresh off the plane, which was delayed over an hour, and our Avis rental car.  I drove in record time from Charles Limburgh Airport to Hotel Circle South, arriving at the meeting minutes before dinner was served.  The lovely hostess took one look at my frazzled expression and handed me a glass of wine, which you see in my hand. 

Gearing up for the Great Blog Book Tour of 2008!

Dang me, this blog book tour thing is a lot of work!  I was told by the Yoda of (that would be Dani) that I need to put a sitemeter on my blog.  The secret of adding this sitemeter is hidden somewhere in my WordPress dashboard, possibily under ‘widgets.’   I have gone my entire life without the need for widgets (which rhymes with ‘midgets’, ‘fidgets’ and ‘gidgets’, doncha know…) and suddenly I’m forced to explore this strange new world of cyberstuff.



Upcoming Blog Tour

Yes, that’s right.  I’m actually going to DO this blog book tour I’ve been dropping hints about for the last month!  It’s going to start the Monday of the third week of January.  If I had a calendar nearbye, I’d give you the date.  but I don’t and I have felines lounging on me and can’t get up to check.   Does this make me lazy?  Perhaps.  Or does it make me a good mother?  I prefer to look at it that way.

So I’m gonna be doing interviews and guest posts at…six different blogs, hosted by six diversely talented writers and bloggers.  Still working out the logistics, but we will be having several drawing for free copies of my book, MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon.  If you win, you’ll have to bake your own chocolate chip cookies to eat while reading it, but the book itself will be free.

I will be posting a schedule with the dates and urls of the blogs I’ll be visiting and hope you’ll stop by all of them and check it out!