Sunny Monday

It’s GORGEOUS outside today.  Sunny, warm and quite Southern Californian in its balmy breeze.  Definitely a change from San Francisco’s usual June Gloom and fog shrouded hills.  Not that I’m complaining about the fog.  It is one of the reasons I moved up here.  But I do admit a little sun now and again is welcome.  It’s nice to get some color and remember what it was like when I had my perpetual golden tan.  Ah, the blissful ignorance of youth…

I had a great weekend.  Twilight Tour at EFBC/FCC (to read more about it, go here for my post at Fatal Foodies); wine and snackage (Seeduction bread, olive oil, uber rich cheese and wine) with my sister; a gorgeous drive back up the coast early Sunday morning; and then a full afternoon at home, including beach walkies, writing and getting the laundry done.  I honestly can’t (and won’t) complain!  

Ooh, and thanks to my relentless walking and new love affair with my pedometer (I’m average 12,000 steps a day), I have lost enough weight to fit into some really nice summer pants my sister gave me.  And…yes…I do believe…yes, my waist is slowly but surely returning!  

I am in a very good mood, especially for a Monday. 

The Next Step!

I’ve mentioned my skill at walking and reading…so this is obviously the next step in Dana’s evolution as a multi-tasker!

 “Walk and type at the same time! Walking upright is a sure sign that you’re evolved, but we think you should take it one step further and walk upright while computing. The Connect-A-Desk is a new product that gives you the ability to use your laptop with both hands free, to type while walking or standing. Includes the laptop harness & desk, everything you need to use your laptop computer while standing. Works with any size laptop, notebook, or tablet computer. Adjustable to fit any size person. Quick and easy to put on and take off and ergonomically designed for comfort. It’s truly mobile and portable, no need for a laptop cart or stand. Connect-A-Desk makes any laptop truly mobile. Taking notes with a full size keyboard while having the ability to move around can be of great value to almost any laptop user.”

I really really really want this… 

Taking a Break from Erotic Romance, back to my Mystery roots!

Tuesday night I participated in a mystery writer panel along with fellow authors Ann Parker (Silver Rush mysteries), Mark Coggins (August Riordan series) and Camille Minichino (Periodic Table mystery series) at the Castro Valley Library.

To the right are me and Ann, while below Ann and I listen in evident fascination to Mark.  And below that you can see throngs (yes, that’s right!  Throngs!) of audience members coming up after the talk to buy copies of our books.  That’s Camille at the far end of the table, btw.  All in all a very satisfying event!


Picture me as the cat.  Then imagine the toy as Time.  MY time.   My increasingly decreasing FREE time.  Is it any wonder I clutch it to me with teeth and claws much as Bug Bear hordes his favorite stuffed mouse?

Oh, I know what you’re thinking.  “This is just another excuse to show a cute cat picture, isn’t it, Dana?”





Maybe just a little bit.

But after taking the last week off of writing and now getting back into my schedule with a new book deadline of May 1st, I really do feel like Gollum with his Preciousss when it comes to free time.  I guard it jealously.  And unlike Bug Bear and his toy, I don’t play fetch with it.

Ripping the Bodice Cover!

Or ‘Squeeee!!!’  EIther expression works.  Anyway, I just got the jpg of my new book cover with Ravenous Romance and am VERY happy with it.  To quote my own sell sheet:

Got sex and romance on the brain? So does Cassandra Devon. She also has hard-boiled private eyes, dashing pirates, jet-setting super spies and other sexy rogues entertaining her in her surprisingly explicit subconscious. All these erotic daydreams make it hard to stay focused on Cassandra’s current dilemma: namely, rebuffing the advances of Connor, a wild Irish rascal who wants to play the starring role in her fantasies. Cassandra is only interested in getting together with Raphael, the tall, dark and handsome man of her dreams. May the best romance hero win!

Walter Mitty meets Erica Jong in this wickedly funny and sexy hot comedy-romance from the author of Succubusted.

My original cover concept was this:

A play on a stereotypical historical romance cover from the ’80s: our heroine, Cassandra (lots of long, wavy dark brown hair) bent over backwards in the steely armed embrace of a tall, dark auburn-haired, muscular man kissing her neck. He’s either bare-chested or dressed in dashing pirate/cavalier garb. Cassandra, however, has her green eyes covered with glasses and is reading a romance novel, cover clearly visible, over the man’s shoulder. Her expression and interest are clearly more on the book than the man holding her.

While I still love my idea, I am equally fond of the cover the Ravenous artists came up with.

Ripping the Bodice will be out on Ravenous Romance…(drumroll) tomorrow!  So if you like comedy, romance and a little bit…okay, a lot of sex, please check it out!

A Brief Respite

As you all know (‘all’ being you kind people who follow my adventures via my blog posts), I have been working on a non-fiction book, What Women Really Want in Bed, along with fellow author and childhood friend Cynthia Gentry.

The draft is due the end of President’s Day Weeked, so when I’m not at my day job, I’m working on my chapters for this book.  Okay, I took last night off ’cause it was my birthday and there was champagne to drink, friends to hang out with (they threw me a surprise party!) and presents to open (I’m up to date on The Walking Dead graphic novels!). But tonight it’s back to it.

I discovered this weekend that good zombie movies (as opposed to ones like Zombie Night or The Dead Live, which are so bad, they have their own drinking games now) are the perfect background for working on this project.  I’ve seen them all, so they don’t distract me too much and I can focus on the work.  However, they also provide a backdrop that prevents me from getting glazed or eye-strain from staring at quotes and my computer screen hours at a time.  I know, I know…I’m weird.  But hey, it works!

Tonight, however, instead of zombie movies, I turned on the TV and found Zorro, The Gay Blade on the Fox Movie Channel.  Truly George Hamilton’s finest hour…well, hour and a half or however long it runs.  “Remember, my people…there is no crime in being poor…only in dressing poorly!”

This movie cheers me up no matter how depressed I might be…perks me up when tired…and makes me giggle every time Zorro’s FAbulous brother Bunny shows up in one of his brightly colored Zorro outfits with matching fringe on his gold hat.

Okay…back to work!

Sometimes the Outcome is Actually BETTER Than We Expect

Dave and I took Zhadi (my beloved Saturn SL2) into one of the last remaining Saturn dealerships in the Bay Area this morning.  Her (yes, she’s a ‘she’) Service Engine light (and why can’t I get one of those?) flashed on yesterday during one of the infrequent occasions I drove into work and the engine started chugging like the moment in A Little Engine That Could when the reader is REALLY worried the Little Engine can’t.   I made it to work and then on my work related errand later that morning, and then home again, although I had some serious doubts for a while as she lurched and coughed her way up an incline on the 280.

Sadly my beloved Saturn of Colma, an easy 15 minute drive (or tow, if necessary) shut its doors permanently and without warning a few months ago. Research turned up two remaining Saturn dealerships: one in San Jose and the other in Santa Rosa, both about 60 miles from San Francisco.  We chose Santa Rosa because it’s just a much prettier drive going north on the 101 and also because it’s smack in the middle of Wine Country.  The biggest issue was simply whether or not Zhadi would make it another 60 miles.

Well, Zhadi was the Little Saturn That Could and we did indeed arrive safely at the dealership where Dave and I spent about three hours working on our respective writing projects (a car dealership is, btw, a GREAT place to focus ’cause there is just nothing else to do there) and waiting for the news.  I was pretty much expecting the worst. Blown engine, dying transmission.  Upwards of $3,000 juggled somehow on low interest credit cards.  I’d already had my panic attack, so now it was just a matter of ‘how bad is it?’

Jen, the service manager, poked her head around the corner of our little computer cubicles around 11:15 with a big smile. “It’s not bad at all,” she said. “You need new spark plugs and the engine filter is dirty. Oh yeah, one of your brake lights is out and needs replacing.”

All in all, less than $300.  Not a drop in the bucket, mind you, but comparatively speaking, SO much less than I expected!  Happy dances were performed and we were out of there by 12:30, in time to have lunch and do a wee bit of wine tasting before driving the very happy Zhadi home again.  All this and a productive writing day too!

And as a postscript, please go check out my current blog post at Ravenous Romance. It’s PG rated! 🙂 

Some people don’t take me seriously…

…when I tell them my brains have been sucked out by kittens.  These people obviously have never been in the room with two five week old kittens who’ve only recently discovered the power of swift (if clumsy) locomotion. Little furry jumping spiders, skittering, hopping and hobby-horsing around the room, up and over low lying obstacles (we have a tall cat tree turned on its side, providing hours of fun tearing around carpeted tunnels), then running over to check out any available human.  Evidently we smell REALLY interesting.

I can literally watch them for hours.  I don’t, of course, because I am a: not home to do so and b: when I am home, have my writing quota, plus our permanent horde of felines needing attention.  But it’s amazing how much time can pass when hypnotized by staring kitten button eyes.

That’s all I got tonight, folks.  I feel the pull of the kittens.

Can’t. Resist!