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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New release today! Love Under Will in the Mammoth Book of Hot Romance!

Today my story in the Mammoth Book of Hot Romance is now available online at, near you!

That's right, my very first release straight into bookstores!

Angels who serve the Powers That Be must work to fulfill Divine Will, or become one of the fallen. An overwhelming assignment weighs upon Aliyael’s angelic shoulders: return Julael, a recently fallen angel, back to his rightful place among the rest of the seraphim.

However Julael brings not only challenges towards her perception of angels and humanity, but to her heart as well. Can she rescue him from the darkness, or will she fall with him? Or worse yet…for him?

Buy link:

For more info, go here:

Love & Magic,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New release! Love Under Will in the Mammoth Book of Hot Romance is now available in the UK

Love Under Will, a short paranormal/urban fantasy and erotic romance story in the Mammoth Book of Hot Romance is now available in the UK!

You can order it online here:

If you live in the US, you can preorder it here:

It'll be arriving in the US August 23rd!

You can read more about this story here:

Love & Magic,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Site back up!

My site is back up and running as of the start of the weekend. I'm in the process of updating it, but the news page is very current:

And for those of you in the UK, look for a happy surprise! Check out the url for details.

Love & Magic,

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.2

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

FYI:Website temporarily down

My website was forcibly taken down by my hosting company, and I'm in the process of getting the nameservers transferred over to my new webhost so it'll be up and running again.

Once that's set I will let everyone know.

Sorry about this and for the record, I advise everyone to avoid Freeservers/ like the plague.

Love & Magic,

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.2

Saturday, April 16, 2011

So, you want to be a writer...

A lot of people come into this profession wide-eyed and unknowing, and learn as they go along what being a writer as a career entails. Heck, I entered the same way and found out quite a bit that I never would've anticipated. Some things were more obvious than others while a few details took me by surprise.

I'm writing this post so those of you who are new or considering breaking into the field are less surprised and more prepared for the reality of being a writer.

So, without further ado, here goes:

1) Writing involves self-promotion, and your publishers are not responsible for doing that for you. 
 This is the big shocker for many, self-included. Most enter thinking all you have to do is write, and people will magically find your works and purchase them. Not so. Being a writer means you have to be willing to put your neck out there so people can find you. That means putting up a website, registering a domain name in your name (or pen name), blogging, and engaging in social networks both online and offline.

What do you do if you're an introvert and are horrible at talking to total strangers about your writing, let alone trying to promote yourself? Join up with other authors and promote as a unit. It'll take some of the pressure off of you and will make you more visible for less effort.

2) You have to be willing to deal with constructive criticism, and constantly improve in your craft. This is the area where some people will balk at. After all, if their book was accepted, what's wrong with it? But if you look around at how people's unedited works do not make the grade and how embarrassing it would be to be in the public eye and have obvious grammatical mistakes, typos, sentence structure issues, you'll understand what a huge service your editor is providing you. Not to mention the chance to become an even better (and hence more successful) writer. 

So be nice to your editors, folks. They're your gold and your chance to shine.

3) You have to adhere to the standards of your publishing company(ies). Different places will have different themes, house rules, editing standards, you name it. You may not like all of it or agree, but it's there for a reason, often to establish enough commonality among their works to make an ease out of the editing and publishing process. Other times it's very exacting standards so they can be sure of high quality works going out their door. Remember, it's their reputation on the line.

4) You have to respond well (or not at all) when you take a hit on the chin, especially in regards to negative reviews. There is NEVER a single writer who does not get a negative review. Usually it boils down to different reading tastes and interests: you just won't be everyone's cup of tea, and you'll have to accept that. Heck, I have a negative review on Goodreads from someone who clearly doesn't like reading about vampires or lesbians, so why he chose to read a particular work of mine is beyond me--I can only conclude masochistic tendencies. :) The only way to respond to these things is not at all. If they're a reviewer who agreed to review your work for them, you thank them for their time and move on. Take the high road; you'll benefit more from it in the long run. If there's something in their review you can learn from for the future, take it. And keep on plugging away.

Whether writers like it or not, this is a profession which requires dealing with people and being in the public eye. After all, it's people who make up your readers, your fanbase, and potential investors in your future works. That's the reality of the business. It's a lot of hard work and effort, but it's also very rewarding. I'm happy to say that I've met many wonderful people as a result of being a writer, and have been in all sorts of amazing events and situations which I never would've been in had I not become published.

And above all else, I still love to write. It's my passion and will forever be such. And as long as you can maintain that passion, you can do what it takes to stay in it.

Love & Magic,

Monday, April 04, 2011

Author lament: too busy promoting to write?

An author has decided to leave the field after years of unsuccessfully trying to promote her works, and she brought up a point I've heard before in various rants and discussions time and time again: how can an author be successful and still have time to write?

Many of us have day jobs or families to support as our primary time suck, and very few of us are full time writers. In fact, I don't know of any full time writers off the top of my head and I don't think even most NYT bestselling authors are there. It's not just the economy; this isn't a profession you can get rich off of. This is a labor of love where you have to put the energy into it or perish. "Publish or perish" is an oft-heard cry, and it is true. It's been said that the best promotion an author can have are new releases, and this is also true.

In the days of social networks, online chats, blogging, and emailing lists (which many authors refer to as "loops", don't ask me why!), some of this load has been taken off of us. But the rest really comes down to time and fortune, fortune being in the right place at the right time and taking the time to do it.

I write because I love it. When I say that it's work and requires work, that's simply truth. It's something you have to constantly strive to improve in and stay on top of in order to continue producing good and better works. It's a labor of love and must remain such in order for it to be "work that isn't work". When it ceases to become that, it's either time to try and put the romance back into the craft or consider a hiatus or even a permanent departure from the field altogether. Sometimes you can put too much in too quickly and burnout. I think nearly every author has had burnout at some point in their career, and it can greatly impact your ability to put out quality works, or any at all.

Like every valuable thing in your life, you have to determine for yourself what you're willing and able to put into it, and evaluate often. Sometimes life has to come first whether we (or our readers) like it or not.

What are your thoughts? Writers, have you ever battled with this and if so, what did you do? Readers, what are some of your own ideas on this issue?

Love & Magic,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Evolution and technology

I posted about my "geek toy squee" here earlier, but I never realized before how dangerous this gadget is nor why it is the number 1 bestseller at

The thing with the Kindle is the instant gratification. Whereas before you may have thought, "Ooh! I really want to read that book. I guess I'll have to go to the bookstore/library/online store." Now it's "Ooh! I really want that book! *clickclick* And it's mine!"

I stumbled upon this recently when I decided to reread the Dark Tower series by Stephen King as I haven't yet read past Wizard and Glass and wanted to finish the whole thing. Then it hit me--I could read it RIGHT NOW on my Kindle! Click, click...ooh, shiny! This is dangerous for the bookworm and perhaps rather like a dream come true. I don't have to wait to get to a bookstore or library, I don't have to wait for mail delivery. I can get my book NOW! 

How is this dangerous, you might ask? Well, eventually these books cost money, and I can definitely see how someone who may have only bought books once or twice a month--or less--can suddenly be buying a whole lot more. Especially given how fast I read.

Anyhow, just finished up book 1 of the Dark Tower series, now reading book 2. I love this series.

Love & Magic,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

With increased daylight comes increased joy

Spring equinox has finally arrived (but here in Boston and in a few other parts of the northeast you'd never know it), and it's time to well, enjoy longer days and increasingly warmer weather. And for those of you who celebrate, a Happy Spring Equinox and/or Mabon to you!

What do you look forward most to at this time of year? What do you dislike? I personally could live without daylight savings, but beyond that I am always eager for more sunlight and warmer weather. I think I'm living in the wrong climate! I am glad for (eventually) having no more snow, no more shoveling, breaking out the t-shirts and shorts and going out for runs outdoors.

Is spring your thing? 

Love & Magic,

Release recap!

It's been a pretty busy year so far, and more releases coming! I figured I'd outline them here in one blog post in case any fell under the radar.

Available now:

Catch the Touch of Blue is a paranormal romance in the Dreams & Desires vol 4 anthology at Freya's Bower, whose proceeds go to benefit A Window Between Worlds which provides art supplies and training to battered women's shelters. Get either this or the anthology in either Kindle or print and support a good cause!

Blurb: Isobel, an artist, possesses the ability to see auras around others. This secret has kept her from sharing her gift, and herself, with others since childhood. She meets John, a quirky yet outgoing man who demonstrates not just interest in her paintings, but in her as well. With each encounter he draws her out of her shell, and she finds herself falling for him. But dare she trust him with her secret?

You can also buy them direct from the publisher:

Catch the Touch of Blue - ebook
Dreams & Desires vol 4 - ebook
Dreams & Desires vol 4 - paperback

Pisces is a f/f science fiction erotic romance in the Sapphic Signs at Torquere Press and is available in ebook format.

Blurb: Marissa Balik would do anything to get away from her job on Jupiter Station, including transferring to another post on board the space vessel Ichthyes, whose destination and true objectives are not what they initially appear. Soon she’s thrust into a world where alien technology, space exploration, and solving mysteries are every day events, and the new assignment proves to be complicated further by her increasing attraction to its captain, Victoria Van Maanen.

When a mission turns both strange and dangerous, Marissa must fight not just to keep from succumbing to her feelings for Victoria, but to stay alive. Can she rely both upon her wits and her captain to survive?

The Oath, Book 4: Anointed, a paranormal/dark fantasy/BDSM erotica is now out with Freya's Bower! You can get it in either ebook or Kindle format.

Blurb: Years ago, Lila pledged herself to the Greek god Dionysus, and the act of devotion changed her entire life. Now, her desire to serve has brought her to the doorstep of a secret society known only as "The Order". Through sexual magick and ritual submission she can become her truest self and achieve her magickal destiny.
But the trials of the initiation challenge even the strongest of wills. Can Lila's transformation through erotic servitude bring her closer to fulfilling her dreams?
Anointed: Transformed through sacrifice, the Hierophant must consecrate Lila as the worthy vessel after he receives the ritual blessing from his two attendants. This is her lesson in what it means to be anointed.

The Oath, Book 4: Anointed - ebook

Coming soon - now available for pre-order:

Love Under Will, an interracial paranormal erotic romance featuring angels and fallens angels will be out with Constable & Robinson this summer in the Mammoth Book of Hot Romance. 

Blurb: Angels who serve the Powers That Be must work to fulfill Divine Will, or become one of the fallen. An overwhelming assignment weighs upon Aliyael’s angelic shoulders: return Julael, a recently fallen angel, back to his rightful place among the rest of the seraphim.However Julael brings not only challenges towards her perception of angels and humanity, but to her heart as well. Can she rescue him from the darkness, or will she fall with him? Or worse yet…for him?

It's now available for pre-order on Amazon:

Love & Magic,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kindle! Also known as "tech toy squee"

At long last, I have acquired through the whims of fate and fortune the wonderful gadget known as the Kindle. Already I have been reading the latest Shape magazine, the Onion newspaper, and some various freebies I found while surfing the Kindle site. I also have been taking a look at the Dreams and Desires vol 4 anthology I am in and sampling the rest of the authors' work. It looks fabulous, and I'm really loving the stories in here! My only regret is that my Kindle doesn't support color so I can't see the cover in its full glory.

What uses have you found for your Kindle? Do you play games, read news? Do you get your favorite books on there or do you discover new ones? Or do you only prefer the free reads? Any great finds you'd like to share?

I'd love to hear your stories and tips. Meanwhile, I'll be here hugging my Kindle. It's an awesome tech toy of squee, and can see why it's a bestseller.

Love & Magic,

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Gods bless the snakes, the Irish, and all things green

Happy Wear and Consume Green Things Day! As someone of Irish descent, I hear grumbling about how the holiday perpetuates the drunken Irish stereotype. From those who enjoy wearing green and drinking, I hear "Woo! Yay holiday!" Fellow pagans spend time complaining that the "snakes" St Patrick drove away were in fact the Druids and this day celebrates the persecution of ancient pagans. Then I hear some more about how the Irish were once discriminated against too, and this holiday is a nice reminder to appreciate Irish culture and that there was a time when we didn't--nor were we necessarily proud to be Irish.

You might be thinking, "Can't we all just shut up and drink our green beer?"

This holiday isn't going away. I live in Boston where it's been enshrined into almost religious significance, on par with the Red Sox and bitching about the MBTA. So folks, here's my suggestion: spin it into something positive. Discrimination and prejudice sucks, m'kay? Maybe after you're wearing beer goggles everyone looks the same and you can party with your neighbor instead of worrying about their nationality, religion, hair color, or ethnicity. Alcohol is the great equalizer and besides, who doesn't look good wearing green?

Perhaps I am being a bit too flip, but there's a core of seriousness to this post. I think we've lost our ability to allow ourselves a chance to just celebrate for the fuck of it versus turning it into a sounding board/soap box for our pet cause. The holidays are notorious for either "Putting the Christ in Christmas", "The pagans were honoring Mithras long before you were born", or "Hannukah isn't even a high holy day!", so it's almost a given that there's a longstanding tradition of making holidays into either a religious or political issue. We as a culture have forgotten how to have fun. We're too busy telling little kids Santa isn't real, handing out religious pamphlets, or yelling in editorials about minorities being oppressed.

Am I saying discrimination isn't real? Hell bells, no. I still run into bullshit in regards to pagan belief and actually worked at a job where a co-worker overheard me talking of deity in the plural, pulled me aside and said, "You shouldn't talk like that in front of everyone." This was for a government job. And yeah, in regards to stereotypes the drunken Irish thing probably stopped being funny a while back too, but even I snickered at the "Irish yoga" shirt:

It's inevitable that I've offended someone by this blog post. If you are, I can only state the following from the bottom of my heart: "It's not easy being green."

Love & Magic,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If it ain't broke, don't fix it: US remakes of UK shows

Why does the US have to remake every freakin' UK show? The simple answer I can come up with is this: money. They want to make money off of UK shows already proven successful and it's the only way they legally can. Beyond that, I can't think of a single, solitary reason what the point could possibly be. Greed and laziness, that's what.

Nine times out of ten, the US version is a total travesty, barely watchable if at all. The original humor, dialogue, and various plot points get either misinterpreted, butchered, or just downright missed altogether. I've also concluded I don't get 90% of American humor, but that's a topic for a whole other blog post.

I'm sorry USA, but the only shows stateside I've found to be good thus far are Supernatural and Fringe. Being Human, Misfits, Doctor Who, and Torchwood are all fabulous shows from the UK. Maybe it's due to the fact that science fiction and fantasy shows are taken a lot more seriously over there than here as opposed to being dumbed down for the kids or sexed up for the desired 18-25 year old male demographic. 

Instead of being copycats (and terrible ones at that), why not look and see what makes these shows work and apply that to more original entertainment? Why remake them with horrible acting and a ton of extra special effects to compensate? I admit to being a little leery of Torchwood coming to be filmed here in the US but given the same production crews and writers are in on it as they are in the UK, I will give it a shot. It's certainly a far different scenario than a US remake. Maybe if more US-UK cooperative efforts would occur, the television industry over here could get an education.

Who knows? Maybe the horrible film remakes will stop then, too.

Love & Magic,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

On the importance of living

A lot of us are saddened by the tragedy over in Japan. It's something we can't wrap our minds around; thousands of lives suddenly snatched, gone without warning, in what seems like a fucked up, random fashion. For those of us not directly connected with anyone from there, it may seem a bit distant to us. We feel compassion and are horrified, but on some levels perhaps we just don't get it. Maybe we can't. Perhaps that's okay.

I lost a friend of mine yesterday; he went to bed and never woke up last morning. He wasn't much older than me--in his 40s at most--and for reference I'll be thirty-three next month. His birthday would've been tomorrow. Too damned young, too sudden, so random...I'm in shock. I suspect I'll be in shock for a long time. He was a nice guy, one of those people whom everyone knew and liked. Just a genuinely great guy, quick with a smile. It's yet another loss I can't wrap my head around, but in a different way than my inability to process what's going on in Japan.

The only way I can really wrap my head around the Japan thing in a way which brings it down to earth is to try and picture thousands more like my friend, their lives abruptly cut short by a vicious act of nature. And then I get it--it's that people thing. People living out their lives day to day, and catastrophe hits. I'd love to be able to leave some uplifting, inspiring commentary to somehow tone down the impact of what I'm saying here, but I really can't. There's nothing cheery or inspiring about sudden, random death which snatches away a life in progress, leaving a person never to return. 

All I can really say is this: live your life in a way which reduces regret to either little or nothing. Don't spend so much time caught up in bullshit that you forget the people around you. Don't expect people to always be there; they could be gone tomorrow through no fault or intervention of any one's. You can't picture this now, just like you couldn't have envisioned a quake and tsunami ripping up Japan, or me imagining someone around my age dying of a heart attack, full of life at a club one day and gone the next. But you don't need to be able to comprehend such things in order to appreciate those around you.

Live for the now, don't just breeze through it. It's precious, and on a whim it can be gone.

Love & Magic,

Friday, March 11, 2011

Natural disasters, and praise for the Internet

I remember back when Katrina first hit New Orleans, and my scrambling to get in touch with people whom I knew lived there, many of whom have since moved some never to return, and some who plan to move back at some point. Frankly if it weren't for the Internet I never would've known what was going on, nor would I have known if any of my friends were okay. Thankfully they're all fine and have been fine since, but not everyone was so lucky.

I'm feeling that same sense of gratitude towards the Internet today, as I also have friends in Japan, which just got hit with a massive earthquake today. Tsunami warnings are in affect for Hawaii,  the west coast of the US, and various other locations, so there's concern there. We haven't heard the last of this one just yet.

Be happy for the Internet. It brings us together and makes this world a bit smaller--not to mention the peace of mind to know how people are doing.

If you've been affected by these events and/or live in these areas, please check in here. Let us know you're okay. I'm sure not everyone will have good stories to tell, but I'd rather know than not. Keep us aware. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Edit: To send Red Cross $10 to help Japan, text 90999. I hear it doesn't work in Ireland (possibly UK as well) so I'm currently hunting down alternatives and will update when I have them. For now, visit their website at and make a donation directly. Thanks!

Love & Magic,

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Health tips, anyone?

I love passing along and exchanging health tips. Here are a few from me:

1) Keeping a water bottle at my desk at work and at home. That way I can make sure I get my 10+ glasses of water daily. I used to think that I didn't do well in the mornings; I'd wake up barely able to open my eyes, dizzy, and unable to focus. Turned out I was just suffering from mild dehydration on a regular basis. So I drink more water and I'll be using in a humidifier during the winter months.

2) Always taking the stairs. You'd be amazed how much of an impact going up and down stairs during your daily commute and at work can make to your health.

3) Bag lunching it when I can, and keeping healthy snacks at work. My place has a snack system complete with cookies, chips, granola bars, candy--and none of it is particularly healthy! So I keep veggies and hummus on hand if I get hungry so I don't turn to junk food.

4) Drink green tea. Studies have shown it can help with your digestion and weight loss goals.

Those are just a few from me! Does anyone have any of their own to pass along? C'mon, don't be shy! :D

Love & Magic,

Sneak peek of Mammoth Book of Hot Romance, coming this summer!

Check it out, Constable & Robinson just posted a sneak peek of the Mammoth Book of Hot Romance on "Love Under Will", my paranormal erotic romance, is listed in the contents:

According to, it'll be released on August 23rd of this year. In the UK, you can get it in July. On both and, it's now available for pre-order:

Is it summer yet? :D

I'm really happy with this story. It's set in Boston and is about an angel named Aliyael on assignment to bring back a fallen angel "to the fold", so to speak. However, she's utterly unprepared for the challenges he's got in store for her! I hope people will enjoy it. 

You can read a bit more about it here:

Love & Magic,

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Self-publishing: Viable or no?

I know of a few authors who are self-published who do remarkably well for themselves. Their writing is amazing, well-edited, and they have been quite successful in gaining new readers.

Back in the day, you didn't touch self-publishing. In the hierarchy from top to bottom, it went from Print Published, Print and Ebook Published, Ebook Published Only, and Self-Published with each level having a greater amount of stigma as it went down the chain. The implication has long been that ebooks are not "real books", but with the advent of the Kindle and the Nook, this is finally being refuted.

Now it's falling to the last holdout of the claim to what is considered to be "real" publishing: those who are self-published. With the latest press regarding one self-published author, Amanda Hocking, this appears to be one more erosion in the long-held paradigm of what passes for a "real" book with "real" publishing. The argument against self-publishing is pretty similar to the ones often made against ebooks: supposedly they are badly written, poorly edited, and that traditionally published books are the only ones worth reading. In truth I find just as many embarrassing typos, bad editing, and awful writing in traditionally published books as I do ebooks, regardless of whether or not they have a publisher or are self-published.

It would seem that eliminating the middle man may be a boon to some who want to get their works out there. On the other hand, a one-man shop can be difficult to run. It's no secret to any writer that without an additional pair of eyes to look at your works, editing issues can occur. But as with any situation, these can be overcome regardless of what publishing route you take. One might also be able to make the argument that success is your proof: if you are self-published and you are successful, then obviously you are doing something right.

So what do you think? Is self-publishing good or bad? Does it stand the chance to become an alternative venue? Why or why not? What would be the advantages and disadvantages to choosing such a path in your writing career?

Love & Magic,

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Oath, Book 4: Anointed now available at Freya's Bower!

The journey of Lila's initiation continues in book 4, Anointed, now available at Freya's Bower!

Come explore a world where magick, sex, BDSM, paranormal erotica, secret societies, and ritual drama meet...all in The Oath.

The Oath - Book Four: Anointed - Coming soon to Freya's Bower
by Adrianne Brennan
Genre: BDSM/Fantasy/Paranormal
    Years ago, Lila pledged herself to the Greek god Dionysus, and the act of devotion changed her entire life. Now, her desire to serve has brought her to the doorstep of a secret society known only as "The Order". Through sexual magick and ritual submission she can become her truest self and achieve her magickal destiny. But the trials of the initiation challenge even the strongest of wills. Can Lila's transformation through erotic servitude bring her closer to fulfilling her dreams? Anointed: Transformed through sacrifice, the Hierophant must consecrate Lila as the worthy vessel after he receives the ritual blessing from his two attendants. This is her lesson in what it means to be anointed.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Is there truly such a thing as bad publicity?

According to those who willingly get in front of a camera and spew their latest controversial opinion, they would say, "No, absolutely if you'll excuse me, I have to bite off the head of a live animal on stage." 

Are such types of people victims of the "fame monster"? Or can they have the potential to at least spin the negative publicity into something positive and rise above it? I've often wondered if people either don't realize that what they're doing is a detriment to themselves, or they truly just love the attention in all of its forms.

What do you think? Is there no such thing as bad publicity? Or should celebrities abide by the concept that with "absolute power comes absolute responsibility"? If the bad press isn't something that's completely their doing, can they have the power to turn it around and transform it into something good?

Love & Magic,

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Exercise kills stress DEAD

I seriously don't know what I'd do without exercise. No joke, I mean it. I work out to a number of fitness programs, my core one being P90X. While much of it right now is geared towards getting into prime shape for the Avon Walk in May (39.3 miles, baby!) it's also a good source of stress relief, helps me sleep better at night, raises my metabolism, makes me fit better into my clothes, et cetera, et cetera.

It's funny how many people I know who tell me they hate exercise. My response is usually, "You're not doing it right." There's this thing called a "runner's high" which I also get after a good yoga session or weightlifting that is worth the sweat alone. I know of people who work out until they puke, and without a good trainer to monitor them it's likely they're overtraining and doing damage to themselves in the long run. Exercise shouldn't hurt; it should be challenging while you're doing it, yes, muscles unaccustomed to the workouts will be sore after, true, but you shouldn't feel sick or dizzy afterwards. If you are, take it down a notch or two!

I used to be one of those kids who hated gym class. I did just enough to squeak by and preferred being on the computer or playing D&D. I was never into sports, didn't comprehend why people did any of this stuff, and avoided it as much as possible. It wasn't until after I came back from college and in need of losing at least eighty pounds that I gave exercise a try. Quickly I discovered that bad days didn't feel so bad after a good yoga session and that if I watched tv while I worked out on the elliptical, the time just flew by. Before I knew it, I was down 100 pounds and fitting into clothes I once swore my hip bones alone couldn't wear.

There are days when I lack the amount of time I'd like to get my workouts done. For that, I swear by the ten minute workout. One exercise per minute, a different one each minute, and give it all you've got. I use Tony Horton's Ten Minute Trainer for that, and swear by the cardio workout on there. I can work crazy hours as a software engineer and not get home until 10 or 11 at night, so I do my best to workout in the morning so I know I'll be able to collapse at night if need be. And also, it's a great replacement for that cup of coffee!

My advice to people who want to get into shape is this:

1) Avoid plateaus. Vary up the workouts and never put all of your exercise eggs in one basket. Your body is very, very smart and will adapt quickly. Doing the same exercise over and over again will over the long term not produce the results you get in the beginning. 

2) Stretching: you want to warm up beforehand, then do stretching, THEN go into your workout routine.

3) Women, stop worrying about "bulking up" on weights. Men bulk up because they possess far greater amounts of testosterone than we do. We are simply incapable of bulking up, and the muscle-y women you see in the mags frequently take supplements to look that way. Put down the one pounders and start lifting heavier weights. If you're doing 10-12 reps with little to no effort, increase the weight. It should feel challenging on the last couple of reps or you're not lifting enough. If you want to see examples of fit and trim women who lift weights, pick up a copy of Oxygen or Muscle and Fitness Hers magazine.

4) I firmly believe in the trifecta of cardio, strength training, and yoga. The three combined is a powerhouse. Try to get each into your week: cardio 3-4 times a week, strength training another 3-4, yoga 1-3. I usually do cardio in the morning, strength training at night, or yoga in the morning, cardio at night...whatever works for you! I like combining both interval cardio and steady state each week.

5) If you can't deal with gym memberships due to their schedule or your lack of funds, get exercise dvds and workout at home. I took the liberty of transforming my basement into an exercise room after the floods last year destroyed a good chunk of what was down there (and yes, it was a furnished basement). Do what you can!

6) You don't need exercise equipment to get into shape. You can run or rely on your own body weight for resistance. There are plenty of exercises online if you Google that can help.

7) EAT RIGHT. All of the workouts in the world will not correct a bad diet, and if for some reason you get sick or are otherwise held up in your workout routine, all of the crappy food you ate will come back to haunt you, and before you know it your weight will skyrocket. Eat healthy carbs (potatoes, whole grains, fruit), plenty of veggies, and lean protein. Avoid processed foods, fried foods, and unnecessary sugar. Read labels, shop at farmer's markets, and learn to love the joys of the veggie. I recommend replacing at least half of what you consume for animal protein with veggie sources of protein--again, lean and not fried!--and you'll see a dramatic difference. I got into eating veggie burgers for this reason alone! Morningstar, Boca, and Amy's are my favorites but I really prefer Amy's. If you have a restricted diet due to food allergies or intolerances, there ARE ways around it. Quinoa is an excellent grain which is both soy and gluten free, is good for fiber and iron too. Lentils and beans are also fabulous, and I never have anything bad to say about chickpeas, ever.

8) If you don't have a lot of time to work out, don't stress it! Studies have shown all you need is a good ten minutes a day. Run up and down stairs, take it outside, follow a quick workout on tv or dvd. Length does not necessarily make strength.

I'd post more, but I'm about to go out for a morning run. :D Hope this helps!

Love & Magic,

Friday, March 04, 2011

The Oath, Book 4: Anointed is coming to Freya's Bower next Tuesday 3/8!

I know it's been a bit of a wait but I hope it'll be worth it. :D

The Oath, Book 4: Anointed will be coming to Freya's Bower this coming Tuesday on 3/8! 

Only one book away from the end of the tale, and once they're all out, they will probably be combined into a single volume at some point. :)

For more information on this and other books in the series, go here:

Love & Magic,

When life interferes with living

As some of you on Facebook and Twitter already know, I've undergone not one but two unexpected job changes in the past two months. The first job had me working all sorts of long, crazy hours which left me unable to do much other than occasionally work out, sleep, and feed my cats. 

I know a lot of you have families, more than one job, and are often the caretakers of at least one generation. Given how full my own life is, I give my blessings every day that the only people in the world I have to worry about are my two adorable kitties and whether or not they are fed, cuddled, and have their litter boxes cleaned.

But when do you do when you know you've hit the wall, and it's either you change your life or you start to fall apart? At what point do you say, "I've had it, I NEED more time in my life for the things that matter." This question is especially directed at fellow writers and anyone who has a primary career which is NOT writing. Have you ever hit this point and if so, what did you do about it? And how did you know when you had gotten there, what were the warning signs and how did you cope?

Love & Magic,

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A new book release to support an old cause!

When I was invited to contribute to the Dreams and Desires vol 4 anthology, I was thrilled. I was even more ecstatic when I heard its proceeds go towards a worthy cause: donations towards A Windows Between Worlds, which provides art supplies and art training as therapy for battered women’s shelters. It was the chance to do something positive for many women. Four million women per year, in fact.

I hope that you will consider purchasing either my short story in the volume, or the entire work in support, both of which have been released today. It will be out in print in a few weeks for those of you who prefer that format, but for now both releases are out in e-book:

Blurb for Catch the Touch of Blue

Isobel, an artist, possesses the ability to see auras around others. This secret has kept her from sharing her gift, and herself, with others since childhood. She meets John, a quirky yet outgoing man who demonstrates not just interest in her paintings, but in her as well. With each encounter he draws her out of her shell, and she finds herself falling for him. But dare she trust him with her secret?

Love & Magic,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's crazy author appreciation week! :D Plus, news. Lots of news.

First off, apparently I am up for two awards, one for Best Paranormal Author in the LRC 2010 awards and another for Best Author in the P&E 2010 awards.

Here are the links to vote for the curious:

LRC 2010 Best Paranormal Author:

P&E 2010 Best Author:

Also, some firmer dates of upcoming releases, as I am sure you are all wondering what came of my hiding away in the author cave for most of last year:

Feb 1: Catch the Touch of Blue in the Dreams and Desires vol 4 anthology with Freya's Bower

Feb 14: Pisces in the Sapphic Signs series with Torquere Press

Feb/March: The Oath, Book 4: Anointed with Freya's Bower

July: Love Under Will in the Mammoth Book of Hot Romance with Running Press (Robinson Publishing in the UK)

That's it so far! News will be forthcoming on Blood and Spice, the sequel to Blood and Mint Chocolates, plus book 5 in the Oath series soon!

Love & Magic,

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