Happy, Happy, Happy….

I have been tagged by fellow writer, Bryn Greenwood (one of the funniest and darkest writers I’ve ever read) to list six things that make me happy.  Coming from Bryn, this is kinda funny in itself.  I would have expect ‘Six Things That Make Your Skin Crawl’ (TONGUE blood, Bryn!) or ‘Six Things That Make You Want to Stab Someone’s Eyes Out.’  This happy thing…it was a surprise. Bryn’s own post on the subject was a delight to read, btw, and I highly recommend it.  So follow my links, people!

Okay.  Six things that make me happy.

1. Cats.  If you’ve followed my blog at all, this will not come as a surprise to you. I love watching them, fostering them, curling up in bed and having all my babies vie for my attention and ‘real-estate’ (I am prime real estate to these felines). I love watching them play and do all the silly, graceful and totally feline things cats do. They have kept me sane during some very dark times in my life.

2. Chocolate (’cause Bryn forgot to mention it).  Yes, I am a Chocoholic and while I don’t need to consume huge quantities at a sitting, I need my square or two of dark chocolate and/or my mocha on a daily basis.

3. Walking on the beach during almost any weather.  I don’t know if it’s the negative ions the sea air is supposed to put out there, but I am rarely happier than when strolling along the beach, scavanging for beach glass, driftwood, shells and the occasional shark tooth or animal bone.  I love watching the waves, especially the huge combers with the ‘ghost waves’ of foam breaking on top of the wave itself.  Watching surfers (and surfing myself when I can) is a joy – the casual ease of the accomplished surfer when he/she drops down into the wave…it’s like watching a Greek god.  Watch BIG WEDNESDAY for that last surfing sequence and you’ll see what I mean.

4. Bad movies.  Oh, you knew this was coming.  The badder, the better.  Not indifferent bad.  Not boring.  But gloriously, hideously, over the top horrible.  SHOWGIRLS, I love you!  Even better, though, FEMALE MERCENARIES ON ZOMBIE ISLAND.  There is nothing worse out there.

5. Reading. Anywhere, anytime.  I keep books in the bathroom at work and home.  I read when I walk anywhere, including down the hall at work to get a glass of water.  Even when I’m busting my ass to meet a writing deadline, you can be sure I’ll tuck a book or two into the schedule in those spare moments I’m not at my computer.

6. Those rare moments in life when I’m filled with such pure joy, I can barely stand it. I never know what will spark this sensation. But there are just times when I’m suffused with such happiness, I am positive everything is right with the world.

7. OMG, the fake trailers in TROPIC THUNDER.  Bwahahahahah!!!!!

7. tagging someone else!  HAHAHAHA!  I tag Marvin, Jean and Morgan! Bwahahahahah!!!!

Introducing Marvin Wilson: Spiritualist, Author, and All Around Nutball

“Own Fiddler is the personification of lack of personal responsibility. The world owes him a living, even though he’s done nothing to earn it. It’s always someone else’s fault, even when his actions lead directly to unfortunate consequences for himself and others. But when one of Owen’s selfish acts inadvertently results in the death of someone near and dear to him, he’s forced to re-evaluate his life and self-serving attitude. Is it too late for him to change? I’ll leave you other readers to find that out for yourselves.

Marvin Wilson has written a modern day fairy tale in which there are very few shades of gray. Good and evil are clearly delineated and every cause has its effect, be it positive or negative. Told in straightforward, sometimes earthy language, there is no ambiguity in Owen Fiddler’s world. Wilson uses some fun colloquialisms and down to earth expressions in a refreshing and effective way, such as ‘she nailed him butt good’ when a wife catches her cheating husband doing it doggy style with a bar floozy. There are a few problems with shifts between past and present tense in places, but for the most part the narrative voice is clear and unique – Wilson is first and foremost a storyteller who happens to have a moral in his story: that of the importance of taking personal responsibility for one’s own life. A straightforward story with humor, compassion, and with the lines between good…

and evil…

drawn clearly in the sand.”

The above is the review I wrote after reading Marvin Wilson’s novel OWEN FIDDLER. Getting to know Marvin during a blog challenge (write one post a day for a month or self-destruct), I discovered a warm, witty, eternally optimistic and goofy friend and I’m proud to be hosting him on his very first Blog Book Tour. After discussing the possibilities for his stop here (insightful interview with questions by yours truly or perhaps a thoughtful discussion on writing by Marvin), we decided to let the protagonist of his book put in his two cents. So, without further ado, let me introduce Owen Fiddler!

A Preface – Written by Owen Fiddler

I ain’t much of a writer. I just kinda live my life. Simple guy. Try and have a good time and try and find sum kinda happiness, ya know? My friend, Marvin Wilson, he does the writin’. So when he said this friend of his, some crazy cat lady name ZZ, wants me to write a pre-face to his article, I was like, “What the hell is a pre-face? And why me? You sayin’ I’m two-faced or something?” Just being funny. I ain’t that stupid. Lately I been tryin’ to read more. I actually finally got around to reading that book Marvin wrote about me. It’s pretty good, OK I guess. I mean, he writes it up pretty honest like. But I still don’t believe all that mumbo jumbo (bleep) that’s supposed to happen at the end. Afterlife and god and spirits and all that (bleep)? Gimme a brake.

So I ain’t gonna keep ya long. Got paid today an the pubs callin’. You understand. Only place I ever really get happy. But I will tell ya one thing ‘fore I go. When you read my book, Owen Fiddler? Well, don’t think I am so awful terrible different than you. You will probably think I’m a selfish jerk and a really bad guy. And in a lotta ways that is true. I ain’t much to write home about. But Marvin sez this about me, and I know its true. I ain’t so very different than anybody else. I am just the po – what’s the word? Potential. That’s it. I’m the potential inside all of us. I’m what happens when you don’t give a (bleep) ’bout nobody but yourself. Not like I din’t used to try. But life has been hard for me. Finally I just gave up and now I only look out for me. Ain’t my fault I’m this way. Life is a (bleep). But we ain’t all that different, you an me. So just – ahm, just don’t be to hard on me, OK? Don’t be too quick to judge.

Thank you, Owen! And now it’s time for my favorite nutball spiritual writer, Marvin Wilson, to talk about why he is a writer.

I wasn’t meant to be a writer. Nope. I was supposed to be a NBA all-star. That’s what I requested of god back when I was a spirit-being seeking diversion as a physically incarnated human. But god jipped me. Yup. God jipped me right out of my genes. Put me into this 5’8” quite white body and robbed me of any speed, ability to jump or shoot the rock. Also with a propensity for gaining weight. Good joke, god.

I held onto my dream, though. All through my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and well into my 50’s. Law of Attraction, right? Even before the LOA became popular I knew the principle. Believe it, own it, be thankful for it even before it materializes, and it will come to pass. Well (bleep) the LOA. Didn’t work. Not for me. Now here I am a fifty nine year old slow graying geezer with no championship rings and no harem and no millions. Thanks a lot, god. Well, I mean, if there is a god.

If there is a god, then why didn’t I get to be a Magic Johnson or a Michael Jordan or a Kobe Bryant? Huh? Wanna tell me that one? And if the LOA really is true then why do I have to write for a living? Try and tell me that one. Sucks. Life sucks and then you die. I asked to be 6’8” and god shorts me a whole foot. I ask for speed and instead he gives me crack. I ask for artistic mobility and he gives me arthritic disability. Very funny. I wish I’d never been born.

So I’ve finally let go of my dream. I realize I’ll never be a NBA all-star in this lifetime. It hurt, letting go of my passion. Hurt really bad. To one day wake up and have to say to yourself, to have to move out of denial and admit it, finally, that … well, chump, you’ll never be that adored American idol. No. You have to write books. That’s your pathetic little row to hoe.

And that’s why I became a writer. I’m pissed. Pissed at god. So I created this character, Owen Fiddler. Owen gets to say what I’ve always wanted to say but didn’t ever have the spiritual balls to say it. And people need to know. They need to know that there is no god and that this stupid stuff, this LOA crap is just bull(bleep). Period.

Now everybody that believes what I just wrote, please stand on your head and read it again upside down.


Truth is I love writing. I don’t know what I would do without it. Probably take up synchronized swimming or something. Maybe become a hobo. I have a gift and I love using it, expanding it, learning more about it, studying it, finding out just how far I can expand my mind with it and reach out to others through it. Michael Jordan could fly twelve feet high in the air taking off from the free-throw line and thunder dunk the rock. Me, I can write. Pretty darn good too. Maybe I’ll never be the Magic Johnson of the literary world, but if I can make some people smile, cause some folks to think, give out some spiritual insights that help some brothers and sisters out on their way, then I’m down with that.

In the end, it’s not about how much money you made or how famous you became in this magical mystical journey we call life on earth. No. In the end, it’s all about what you did with the gifts you were given and how much of a legacy you left behind by the fruits of your labor. Who did you touch? Who did you help? How much healing took place because of your labor, the result of your love? Did you try your best? Did you care for others? Did people benefit from your existence? It is said that if you love what you do for a living you will never have to work a day in your life. True dat. I do what I love. It is not labor. It is love.

I love writing.

And in the end, there is only One Love.

Can’t argue with that.

Thank you, Owen and Marvin, for visiting the Den and sharing your thoughts and experiences. Tomorrow Marvin will be visiting Savvy Verse and Wit, giving an “overview of the transformation from the undisciplined “freebird” Hippie of yore into the structured disciplined writer “living life on purpose” type of person he is today, and how that transformation affected and was affected by his taking up the arduous task of establishing a golden years career as a published author.”

For the rest of the tour schedule, go here.

This has been around before…


…but it never fails to crack me up.  False metaphors forwarded to me by Mike Thompson, author of The Curse of Al Capone’s Gold.   Thank you, Mike!    You’ve saved me an hour of writing my next post.  🙂 

 1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.


2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.


3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.


4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E.coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.


5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.


6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.


7. He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.


8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.


9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.


10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.


11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.


12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.


13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.


14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.


15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.


16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.


17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.


18. Even in his last years, Grandpappy had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long it had rusted shut.


19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.


20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.


21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.


22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.


23. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.


24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.


25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.


26. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.


27. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.


28. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

I have nothing to add other than stay tuned for Marvin Wilson’s stop on December 9th as he continued his whirlwind blog tour for OWEN FIDDLER!

And Today’s Guest at the Den is…


I am delighted to welcome Jean Henry Mead, here to promote her new mystery novel A VILLAGE SHATTERED.  I met Jean through Make Mine Mystery, a new mystery author blog, and was delighted when she asked me to be one of her hosts on her Cyber Tour.  I admit to having a small ulterior motive when I said yes.  I knew I’d get an advance review copy of her book to read. And I can think of few greater pleasures in life than than a new mystery novel, especially one in which the protagonist shares my first name. 🙂

Before I turn over the floor to Jean, a few words about the book.  It’s the first of her Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series, featuring two 60 year-old feisty windows living in a California retirement village in the San Joaquin valley. Their friends and fellow members of their club the Sew and So’s start dying in alphabetical order, victims of a serial killer who has stolen their membership roster.  Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty realize their name is on the killer’s list and decide to try their hand at crime solving to discover who’s hiding in the notorious ‘killer’ San Joaquin Valley fog, before they too become victims.

This book was a pleasure to read, starts off with a bang and never slows down.  The body count rivals that of a season in Cabot Cove, but I found the two protagonists much more realistic than Jessica Fletcher.  The supporting characters are equally well fleshed out and quirky, and some of my favorite moments in the book are when the surviving Sew and So’s are forced by the seemingly inept Sheriff to pair up and cohabit-ate for their own good.  The inevitable clashes of personality and lifestyle occur despite the life or death situation, and Jean does a stellar job of handling this believably and humorously.  Definitely a good read, plenty of suspects, and red herrings for any mystery lover!

And now, without further ado, here’s Jean to tell you a little more about her book and her tour!

Getting ready for your first book blog tour is both exciting and a little scarey. Lining up 15 hosts who are willing to host your blog is a mini nightmare during the Christmas shopping season, although buying books as gifts is a great idea. At least we writers think so.

I was lucky that everyone I asked agreed to host my tour and all have been very obliging, even when I asked some of them to interview my novel characters. That meant reading my book and getting acquainted with them. I have some unusual characters, so interviewing them could not have been all that easy.

For example:  Dana Logan and her friend Sarah Cafferty are widows living in a retirement village where their friends and club members are being murdered alphabetically. When the newly elected sheriff bungles the investigation, the two women decide to solve the murders themselves. Dana is a mystery novel buff and Sarah’s a private investigator’s widow.  Sarah’s a little flakey but Dana manages to maintain a cool head.

Marvin Wilson will be interviewing Sarah Cafferty on December 11 at his “Free Spirit” site and Dana will be interrogated by Beth Groundwater on December 6.

Sheriff Walter Grayson was a police dog trainer before he ran for sheriff and half his department quit when he took office. They accused him of running the sheriff’s department like a dog kennel.  Emma Larkins will be interviewing the sheriff at her site on December 5. 

Dana Logan’s beautiful daughter Kerrie is a journalist who not only lost her job but her fiancé, and shows up unexpectedly on Dana’s doorstep in the middle of the killing spree. Although she helps in the investigation she also becomes a potential victim. Vivian Zabel will be interviewing Kerrie on December 7 at her site.

Lillie Ammann  will be interviewing Micki Lagundos, a Portugese woman who lives in the village and is another potential victim. The sheriff has assigned every widow a buddy for protection, save one, and Micki’s partners keep turning up dead, so she feels as though she’s running a boarding house. You’ll  get to know her better after reading Lillie’s insightful questions.

The sheriff’s prime suspect is Pat Wilson, an alcoholic womanizer whose wife Betty was the second murder victim. Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty think he murdered the other women to cover up his own wife’s death. On December 13, Holly Jahangiri will be interviewing Pat, if she can find him sober.
The rest of the tour will consist of interviews with me:  L.J. Sellers on December  3, as well as Angela Wilson  and Ron Berry on  December 8.  Ron will also write a book review the following day and Angela will run an excerpt of each of my latest books on December 9 and 10.

I’ll also contribute a few articles about writing for Helen Ginger, Charlotte Phillips, The Rule of Three (writers from the  British Isles, Australia and the U.S.) and Morgan Mandel at her Double M site.
Please join us on the tour. The entire schedule is available here.While you’re there, please sign my virtual guestbook and view my book trailer. Be sure to leave a comment at any of the above sites to be eligible for the three signed copies of my Village Shattered novel to be given away.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks to Dana for hosting my blog tour.

And thank you, Jean, for being my guest! 

*Note – I had to take the book trailer out as it unformatted my blog for anyone using Firefox – please check out Jean’s book trailer on her website, linked above!

Tomorrow’s the Big Day!

Yup, tomorrow is the official launch of the Ravenous Romance website.  The launch will include author sites, a book and a story (story by yours truly under the pen name Inara LaVey) and I’m not sure what else, but I’ll definitely be buying the book and checking out the site!

For those of you who enjoy humor, romance and more sex than my mom would like to see, please check out my story!  If it’s not your cup of tea, I will not be offended ’cause, well…after all, my mom won’t be reading it. 🙂  The story is called SUCCUBUSTED.

And on December 2nd, please stop by to meet Jean Henry Mead and read about her new mystery A VILLAGE SHATTERED.  I’ll remind you again tomorrow.  🙂  And on December 9th, Marvelous Marvin will be here promoting his book OWEN FIDDLER.

Short post today – I’m off to work on RIPPING THE BODICE, my WIP for Ravenous!  It’s due…well….soon.  VERY soon.

Coming up in December…

…the Den is going to be hosting a couple of authors on their blog book tours!  I’m pleased toannounce on December 2nd, Jean Henry Mead will be interviewed about her newest mystery,A VILLAGE SHATTERED, due for release early December.  I’ve been informed by impeccable sources (okay, by Jean) that her protagonist’s name is Dana, which is a fine name for a heroine.  Jean will be here at Zhadi’s Den on December 2nd, and I’m extremely chuffed to add this will be the kick-off of her blog book tour!  Check out Jean’s website (link above) for more information on her previous books and work as a journalist.  Jean is also a fellow blogger on Make Mine Mystery and wrote a fascinating post on physic mysteries.My other guest is going to be author Marvin Wilson, promoting his book OWEN FIDDLER.Marvin will be visiting the Den on December 9th.  I will be posting a short review of the book, along with a humorous piece written by Marvin with a preface written by Owen Fiddler, the ‘world owes me a living’ protagonist of the book.  In Marvin’s own words, he is ‘a spiritualist Christian, an author, who has the audacity to write novels.’  He’s also a total nut who refers to me as ‘monkey butt.’  🙂  He is also another Make Mine Mystery team member!I will be sharing more facts about both these authors as the time draws closer for their tour stops.  No sense in spilling the beans all at once, eh?And remember, if you leave a comment before Nov. 8th, you are automatically entered in a drawing to win a copy of MURDER FOR HIRE: The Peruvian Pigeon.  That’s my book, doncha know…  🙂