Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Funnies



Two guys go hunting. Jerry has never gone hunting while Joe has hunted all his life. When they get to the northern Wisconsin woods, Joe tells Jerry to sit by a tree and not make a sound while Joe checks out a deer stand.

After he gets about a quarter of a mile away, Joe hears a blood-curdling scream. He rushes back to Jerry and yells, "I thought I told you to be quiet!"

Jerry says, "Hey, I tried. I really did. When those snakes crawled over me, I didn't make a sound. When that bear was breathing down my neck, I didn't make a peep. But when those two chipmunks crawled up my pants leg and said, 'Should we take them with us or eat them here?' I couldn't keep quiet any more!"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Saturday Book News

death card imprinted book coverJPEG

Jaclyn’s Ghost by Dorlana Vann

A quirky and romantic supernatural mystery

After fashion model Jaclyn Jade is murdered, she has 48 hours to uncover the reason she didn’t advance to Heaven. With the help of an intriguing ghost of a man who died in the 1920s and a psychic who can speak to the dead, her search for answers initiates a quirky journey of self-discovery. Personalities, eras, and worlds collide as the mismatched trio try to solve the mystery of Jaclyn’s death.

Available now at Fictionwise and AllRomance e-books

Published By: Tease Publishing LLC 
ISBN # 978-1-934678-52-7

Print Available Spring 2009

Supernatural Fairy Tales blog


Jaclyn’s Ghost excerpt:

Jaclyn stared at the stranger. Nothing made sense. He wore a black jacket over a double-breasted vest and dress pants. Clearly it had been bought off the rack, but still, it was a bit much for a burglar. She also wondered why he hadn’t left when he had the chance. If he wanted to hurt her, why hadn’t he even tried? The way he leaned against the doorframe, his arms crossed, he almost seemed to be amused by her chaos. “Did someone hire you to pull a prank on me? Is that it? Are you an actor? Just tell me what’s going on and who’s in that bed, and maybe I’ll tell the cops to go easy on you.”

“If that’s truly what you want.” He held up his hands and took a couple of steps inside the room.

“Now, you’re starting to piss me off. Just tell me who is in my bed!”

He grinned. “It’s you. Well, the former you. You see, now you’re you, and that’s just a body.”

The man stood a handshake away. Jaclyn tried to ignore the hazy luster around him—too much to think about at that moment—but she couldn’t disregard his attractive face, his square jaw, and his deep black eyes, which at that moment seemed insanely sincere. “Oh... my... goodness.”

“I know... it’s really crazy.”

“No. You’re psychotic.” Without giving herself another chance to chicken out, Jaclyn marched over to her bed and tossed back the bedspread.

Her mouth fell open as she took a step back. It’s just a trick. It’s just someone who looks a lot like me and went to a great deal of trouble to play a joke. She had the same long blonde hair, the same fair skin, the same nose and the same... everything.

Jaclyn decided to wake the imposter and tell her to take her boyfriend and get the hell out of her apartment. But when she reached down to shake the woman, her hand went smooth through the shoulder like it was made of smoke. She jerked her hand back immediately and took an apprehensive breath.



“This is an extremely high paced book, full of mystery and paranormal experiences. I give it 5 stars for its incredible uniqueness.”

“I found myself wanting to know more almost from the first page. This story made me laugh out loud and I had an almost constant smile on my face.”

“Although JACLYN'S GHOST—DEATH CARD is short at just 102 pages, it is long on suspense, humor and romance.”

Thursday, October 23, 2008


With deep regrets...

The signing scheduled for November 1 at Torrid in Austin has been cancelled.

Please watch future announcements for signings in the Central Texas area to catch me or my friends.

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Horse Dancing

I don't watch a lot of Dressage, but this was beautiful.

Make sure you have your speakers on. The horse keeps beautiful time with the music. A very well timed display of athleticism and grace. And the horse is gorgeous.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This Week: In Diana's Head


Are you a tone deaf reader?

I think I might be.

There's always discussions happening somewhere about who has what voice, or how one writer "sounds" like another in style, or pace, or even content. I don't care.

I just read a duet where Christine Feehan is paired with Susan Sizemore. 1017300  Both were great stories but here's the thing. I didn't find a huge boulder in between the stories when it came to how they sounded in my head when I read them. I read them with hardly a break between either.

Now if I was reading, and I have been, MaryJanice D., that would be a huge change of voice and moreso of writing style, because it's a first person story. And rather wacky at that. But right after Susan's story, I grabbed an American Romance (Harlequin) off my shelf. This is where I began to wonder if I'm tone deaf.

Or if more than likely I'm just more apt to read the story for the sake of the story before anything else. Y'know... Weirder things have happened.

So are you tone deaf? Can you "hear" the writer voice and nuance in your mind as you read their words in your internal voice? And do you give the characters voices? I know I do. But I can't with my own characters.

But that's another blog altogether.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Funnies

1. Constipated People Don't Give A Shit.
2. Practice Safe Sex, Go Screw Yourself.
3. If You Drink, Don't Park - Accidents Cause People.
4. Who Lit The Fuse On Your Tampon?
5. If You Don't Believe In Oral Sex, Keep Your Mouth Shut.
6. Please Tell Your Pants It's Not Polite To Point.
7. If That Phone Was Up Your Butt, Maybe You Could Drive A Little Better.
8. My Kid Got Your Honor Roll Student Pregnant.
9. Thank You For Pot Smoking.
10. To All You Virgins: Thanks For Nothing.
11. If At First You Don't Succeed ... Blame Someone Else And Seek Counseling.
12. Impotence: Nature's Way Of Saying "No Hard Feelings".
13. If You Can Read This, I've Lost My Trailer.
14. Horn Broken .. Watch For Finger.
15. It's Not How You Pick Your Nose, But Where You Put The Booger.
16. If You're Not A Hemorrhoid, Get Off My Ass.
17. You're Just Jealous Because The Voices Are Talking To Me
18. The Earth Is Full-Go Home
19. I Have The Body Of A God ... Buddha
20. This Would Be Really Funny If It Weren't Happening To Me
21. So Many Pedestrians - So Little Time
22. Cleverly Disguised As A Responsible Adult
23. If We Quit Voting Will They All Go Away?
24. The Face Is Familiar But I Can't Quite Remember My Name
25. Eat Right, Exercise, Die Anyway
26. Illiterate? Write For Help.
27. Honk If Anything Falls Off
28. Cover Me - I'm Changing Lanes
29. He Who Hesitates Is Not Only Lost But Miles From The Next Exit
30. I Refuse To Have A Battle Of Wits With An Unarmed Person
31. You! Out Of The Gene Pool!
32. I Do Whatever My Rice Krispies Tell Me To
33. Where Are We Going And Why Am I In This Handbasket?
37. If Sex Is A Pain In The Ass, Then You're Doing It Wrong ...
38. Fight Crime: Shoot Back!
39. If You Can Read This, Please Flip Me Back Over.
[Seen Upside Down On A Jeep]
40. Remember Folks: Stop Lights Timed For 35 mph Are Also Timed For 70 mph.
41. Guys: No Shirt, No Service - Gals: No Shirt, No Charge
42. If Walking Is So Good For You, Then Why Does My Mailman Look Like Jabba The Hut?
43. Necrophilia: That Uncontrollable Urge To Crack Open A Cold One.
44. Ax Me About Ebonics
45. Body By Nautilus; Brain By Mattel
46. Boldly Going Nowhere
47. Cat: The Other White Meat
48. Caution - Driver Legally Blonde
49. Don't Be Sexist - Bitches Hate That
50. Heart Attacks ... God's Revenge For Eating His Animal Friends.
51. Honk If You've Never Seen An Uzi Fired From A Car Window
52. How Many Roads Must A Man Travel Down Before He Admits He is lost?
53. If You Can't Dazzle Them With Brilliance, Riddle Them With Bullets.
54. Money Isn't Everything, But It Sure Keeps The Kids In Touch
55. Saw It ... Wanted It ... Had A Fit ... Got It!
56. My Hockey Mom Can Beat Up Your Soccer Mom.
58. All Men Are Animals, Some Just Make Better Pets.
59. Some people are only alive because it is illegal to shoot them
60. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
61. WANTED: Meaningful overnight relationship.
62. BEER: It's not just for breakfast anymore.
63. So you're a feminist ... Isn't that precious.
64. I need someone really bad ... Are you really bad?
65. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder



With thanks to:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Book News

Runners Moon

Book 1:  Jebaral

Blurb -

He was one of thirty-one aliens who had landed on this remote world and dispersed among the populace, unidentifiable because of their shape-shifting abilities.

Jebaral had hoped for a life. A chance to be free after escaping years of slavery and cruelty. But when he met Hannah Pitt, there was no way he could turn away from her or from the feelings she evoked in him. But neither could he accept her offer of a future filled with laughter and promised. After all, she was human; he was nothing remotely human.

Worse, the Arra were out looking for their lost cargo and they wouldn’t stop until every body was accounted for. Could he risk loving this woman? Would she even accept him for what he truly was?

Little did he realize that all his choices would soon be taken away.

* * *

Excerpt - (Warning: Adult Content)

The woods were less than twenty feet from the rear of the motel. Sliding between the trees, Jeb waited until he found a tiny clearing. Once he knew there was no one else about, he shed his clothing and dropped it on the ground.

Naked, he lifted his arms until they were away from his body, and he sighed as the false skin slowly sank into his pores.

The air was cool on his freshly-revealed true self. In a minute or two, after the moist residue of the recede evaporated, Jebaral began running. Pushing himself to go faster, pumping his legs until he was almost a blur, he sprinted through the surrounding forest. Leaves and branches slapped against his impervious hide where his natural covering acted as body armor.

There was nothing on this world, outside of their most fearsome weapons, that could hurt him. He had taken some of the worst torture the Arra could devise and he had survived. Now he was free from the horrors he and the others had faced when the Arra had landed on his world and captured them. To force them into a life of servitude with whatever race paid the greatest price.

Servitude. Or perhaps worse. There were many races out there whom the Arra provided flesh for the banquet tables. It was a well-known fact that Ruinos had some of the tenderest meat beneath their tough, protective hides, which was why Barandat Vor had been plundered with gusto for the past ten or so generations.

Jebaral shook his head, hoping to clear away the worst of the memories. His people’s history was vague now. As a race they were nearly extinct. He would not be surprised to learn that the thirty-one escapees to this planet were the last of their species.

The land dipped drastically, opening up to a small valley. He stopped to survey the beauty spread before him. He loved the way the moon bathed its milky glow over the land. The Earth gave up its secrets to him in ways the inhabitants of this world couldn’t begin to understand or appreciate. A big lungful of the night air told him many things. It spoke of creatures large and small scurrying among the foliage and above the trees. There were other humans in the aromatic stream, but they were far away, most of them tucked inside their homes.

Other humans.


He turned to glance over his shoulder. Several miles separated them, but he could still feel her. Hear her breathing slow. Smell her sorrow. Sense her worry and unhappiness. She wanted him with her in that bed that would be his downfall if he gave in to his urges. To this need flooding every cell in his body. Bowing his head, Jebaral groaned at the impact she had on him.

Of the thirty-one Ruinos who had escaped, eleven were female. They were the sum of a civilization that once had numbered up to over twenty million.

Of the eleven females, three had been mated and were past child-bearing. Four were children, not yet old enough to seek, much less take, a life partner.

That left four females. Four, whom the fate of an entire race rested. And their future looked even more bleak. A Ruinos female would not be able to conceive until she had found her true life partner, and their blood had merged.

On the ship he and all the other males had approached the four females, wondering if they would be bonded to one of them. To everyone’s disappointment, nothing had developed. And now with the survivors scattered all over the continent—perhaps all over the world by now—it would be a miracle if any of his race managed to reproduce.

Jebaral sniffed as a large, warm-blooded creature ambled by. It also paused and tested the air to see if the strange creature was worth getting alarmed over. A silent war waged. Tensing, Jebaral prepared himself to run again, when the animal huffed irritably and went on its way.

A smile came over his lips. The lesser intelligent creatures of this world were of no danger to him. Only the natives who walked on two legs would ever prove to be worthy opponents.

Soft rain began to fall. Jebaral lifted his face and reveled in the cold mist. It felt good on his true skin.

His thoughts went back to Hannah and of the moment he realized he was bonding to her. His fork had been dirty, and she had reached over to pluck it from his hand so she could get him a clean one. Their fingers had brushed, and he had nearly fallen onto the floor when the emotion slammed into him with the force of a runaway truck. It had been the first time they had touched. The shock had lasted all day and all night, leaving him stupefied and in denial until he had gone back the next morning to the diner to see if those same feelings came back. They did, and they were stronger.

There was no way he could deny that Hannah was attracted to him. That tangy, lemonade smell surrounded her every time she came over to him. He could hear her heart literally running when she caught sight of him. Or whenever she sat down in the booth across from him to chat for a moment.

She was innocent. Totally trusting. And miserable beyond all description.

Her life essence was pure, which had shocked him. Although she had lived with a man for a couple of years, and they had performed sex numerous times, there was no awakening in her. To Hannah, the act itself was meaningless. Instead, she thrived on the closeness that came afterwards, on the feeling of being cared for and belonging. Of being held and cuddled, and nurtured.

She had never orgasmed, or else her woman scent would be different from what enveloped her. That fact had driven him to her. It had sunk into his blood, tainting him forever, and leaving him hungering for her like a starved man.

Jebaral knew that when he took Hannah–

Shock like a surge of lightning exploded inside him. When he took her.

He dropped his chin to his chest. He would take her. It was unavoidable. The one act would clear up so many things. One night, one joining, and one of two things would happen. Either there would be no blood mating, cleansing his mind and body of his need for her. Or he would never be able to leave her for the rest of his life.

The nerves running up the insides of his thighs began to quiver with anticipation. He felt his manhood rise and stiffen in the wet, chilly air. It was not uncommon for a Ruinos man to take a female when they both believed theirs was a true joining, only to find out that it was a misconception. Simolif believed his brother’s attention toward the woman was one of those false feelings. Yet, for the sake of Jeb’s emotions, and for the sake of their species, they both hoped it wasn’t.

He turned and began to race back toward town and the lodge motel. Hannah was asleep now. Her body had finally succumbed to the medication she’d taken. When he returned he would slip back into the cabin through the window he’d left open and crawl under the covers with her.

They wouldn’t attempt a joining tonight. But it would have to be soon. He didn’t know how much longer he could keep himself secret from her. Or how much longer he could abstain from claiming the sweet promise of her body.

Above the treetops the moon had risen like a bright coin. It would be full in another couple of nights. A harvest moon, nearly blood-red and pulsing like an imitation sun. Jebaral could feel his blood coursing throughout his body. These next few days would be crucial. But by this time next week either he and Hannah would still be sharing the tiny bungalow, adrift within the sensations of their bodies reawakening, or she would staying there alone. Without him. Because if theirs was not meant to be a true bonding, he would not be able to remain with her. Ever.

The thought was enough to make him flinch in pain.

Runner’s Moon: Jebaral
Book 1 of the "Runner’s Moon" Series
An erotic sci-fi romance novel
by Linda Mooney
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press Torrid
Size: 61K
Genre: sci-fi erotic romance
Heat rating: sensuous/explicit
Buy Link:
On Fictionwise:


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This week: In Diana's head

ist1_6135370-heart-in-the-brain Why can't we....

  1. have more faith in ourselves?
  2. believe in the good before the bad?
  3. smile a little more?
  4. help a person who needs it without expecting something in return?
  5. accept that life won't always have the answers? Neither will we.
  6. treat each other with a little more respect?
  7. respect any writer's success, no matter what the format, or area?
  8. listen with an open mind?

I know. I'm feeling philosophical today. Actually, I've felt this way for almost a week. I've had some crazy ups and downs the last few days. Being pushed, shoved, pulled in all kinds of directions.

This is one of those times when I wish I hadn't started publishing my work. Oh, don't get me wrong. I highly enjoy writing. I hate the drama of publishing. It's suppose to be a business. I understand business. I don't always understand publishing.


Because no two houses treats it, or does business, the same way.

It goes like this. You walk into Target, you know what you're getting. Clothes, the little food bar on the side (in most cases), a jewelry stop. It's organized. Then you walk out and go Wal-Mart. Same idea. You know that they both have shipping and receiving, packaging, Human Resources, Managers et al.


Hardly. In most cases, you have one person who wears many, many hats, or in the larger houses, several people per division. Neither model promises you a safe, I'm not even talking prosperous, situation. I hate that so many people in this industry lie, bully, cheat their way through it. That's not a business, it's who can be the biggest B!tch in the schoolyard.

Yeah, I guess I sound jaded. I think I've earned that particular color of green myself, and it isn't green with envy, believe me. It almost, almost, makes me fear what will happen if I should happen to get New York. If people think epublishing is a joke, not a "real" publishing credit/book/whatever, I say let them try it. See who comes out on the other end in one piece and still writing.

People drop off every year because of the "business" of this industry. So my philosophy?



Try and make me quit. Whatever this "business" throws at me will make New York look like a walk in the park when I get there.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

an old but new review for Kiss

Google alerts popped up on this one today. From the Romance Studio. Old in that they still had it from the original publisher, new in that it's just now being posted.

A Five HEART review!

This is one of the most powerful love stories I've read recently. Diana Castilleja has done a fantastic job molding her characters, both good and evil. Titania and her band members, Diego, the villains, all come alive with her descriptive use of words that help us visualize them.

With this book the author shows us to what lengths good people or, in the case of Diego and Nathan, vampires will go to stay good. Diego has survived, grown, lived without ever taking a life or turning a human to his way of life. He's also lived without love, without people, without joy because he has a conscience. She contrasts that well with the villains who have no boundaries around the ways and means they will use to create more evil. They're sociopathic as vampires, as power hungry as they probably were when human.

Dee Dailey, September 2008

Diana Castilleja || Diana DeRicci
Best Selling Author

Half size

Sunday funnies

Sorry for not posting the actual funny, but for the sake of infringements and blahblahblah stuff of out of print strips, I found this comic of Calvin and Hobbs that pretty much expresses how things are going right now.

Moving along swimmingly and someone has to stick a wrench, or in this case, an actual stick, into my mojo....


ETA: It would help if the link went to the comic strip in question, right? *sigh* sorry.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Book News



Talk about a house call! All Ellen wanted was to get her ring out of the bathtub drain; what she got was a rude plumber who made her clean out her closet, bled all over her bedroom carpet and fainted. Then refused to let her pay her bill! What’s with this guy?

This guy – Rick Braswell – is having a midlife crisis at thirty. Ever since making a house call for that crazy Ellen Anderson, Rick’s crisis has turned into crises. He’s having the worst luck of his life, and every accident and injury involves Ellen. And yet there is something about her that makes Rick want to beat the jinx so he can love the woman.


Jennifer’s Blog:

Purchase Link:

The Jinx Excerpt:

Rick stalked back toward his desk and sat down on the chair, took a few deep breaths, and waited. He had been doing a lot of that lately. Another minute or so wasn’t going to kill him. The door opened just wide enough for Denise to slip inside. She pushed it shut behind her and sprinted to him.

“She wants to see you.”

“By all means, show her in. And then go home.”

“It’s not five o’clock yet.”

“It is somewhere. Go home.” Rick emphasized the last two words.

“Maybe I should…” Denise shifted from one foot to the other.

Rick gave her a look, which shut her up. She was a good secretary, a caring person, his right hand here. But he wanted her gone. Rick wasn’t sure what was going to happen when Ellen walked through that door, but he anticipated it could get ugly. He’d rather not have a witness here to see his downfall. He had been humiliated enough already in front of too many people. He was sure he was the laughing stock at the hospital. Everybody was getting to know him on a first name basis. Heck. He should get some kind of discount for all the business he had been giving them. He hoped his health insurance

didn’t drop him.

Without another word, Denise opened the door and exited. In Richard’s head, the theme from “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” began to play. On cue, Ellen appeared.

She turned and faced him. She had the stance of a gunfighter down pat—legs braced, back straight, and stiff posture. And those eyes—those gorgeous blue eyes—were boring into him. He felt like an ant being incinerated by a sun ray through a magnifying glass. The music got louder. She was a heck of a lot prettier than Clint Eastwood.

Dressed in a white sleeveless dress, Ellen was showing a good portion of leg. Her hair was pulled up showing the smooth line of her neck. Rick remembered kissing the soft skin there. He broke out in a sweat. Oh, man. Get thecoffin ready. Rick didn’t think he was going to be the one standing when the smoke cleared.

What are the reviewers saying?

Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction gave The Jinx their “Fanstastic. Stays of the Shelf” Button. In their review, WRDF wrote, Jennifer Johnson’s book, The Jinx, is a hilarious read.  Following the “courtship” of Ellen and Rick is a study in mishaps at a graduate level.”

The Long and Short of it said, “The author’s skillful writing and slightly warped sense of humor make this a thoroughly delightful read…. Jennifer Johnson is a romantic comedy author to watch.” LASR readers voted The Jinx the Best Book of the Week.

Simply Romance Reviews had this to say: Written with a flowing style with lots of visual imagery, The Jinx was a hysterical read. The bantering about of the fee for retrieving her ring out of the sink was awe inspiring. Truly entertaining, I kept finding myself wondering what new, horrible ways the author would come up with to torment poor Rick. I started reading this late evening, and really had to force myself to put it down and go to bed. Then I was up first thing the next morning to finish it. Love conquers all, including high insurance rates. Give this lighthearted read a try.

Midnight Rose quipped “Hey! Get your butt out of that chair and give me some cat food.”

Oh, excuse me. That last comment is not a reviewer, but my cat.



I grew up as a flower girl named Francesca in Uruguay, making my first “B” movie at fourteen. I was a sensation locally, but, tragically, the world did not appreciate my talents. My lover, Bruno, intent on killing me because of my infidelity, forced me into fleeing to the United States, the land of new beginnings and redemption. I have a dream that I am a North American woman from Alabama, USA. I go to Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia and later to Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. I am called to serve in the church as a minister. My dream continues that I marry a man who teaches math and that we have two children who share with us in our happy existence in Kentucky, far away from Uruguay and my checkered past. In my dream, my name is Jennifer Johnson. It is a common, yet lovely name, which allows me to be free from the clutches of Bruno.

Oh, wait. Maybe my dream is my life. Yes, it is! I do, however, love to create other worlds to dream in and fall in love with. I wrote my first love story in seventh grade. It was about two teenagers who meet at beach camp. They get stranded on a top bunk of a bed by a wolf. I kept this epic novel in a bright pink notebook and carried it with me everywhere. It disappeared one day and; alas, the young lovers’ story was never resolved. If I had finished it, it would have been a happy ending because I’m a big believer in happy endings! And I’m still hoping that pink notebook will show up somewhere. P.S. I can’t take credit for Francesca – she’s from an old Kids in the Hall comedy sketch.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weeeeeeee!!! My newest cover!

Check this one out... It's for Trusting Delilah, book one of my shifters... and holy moly but is it sexy...

Tentative release Jan/Feb of '09.... I can't wait.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Please join us at Romance Divas THIS WEEKEND!

Friday October 10th and Saturday October 11th, we will be joined by some huge names in fantasy and fantasy-romance for a workshop on what the difference really is between the two genres.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

This was cute...

A Sunday funny....


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Book News

The Lovers Knutt


The Lovers: Destiny's Prerogative

By: Karen Michelle Nutt


Published By: Tease Publishing LLC

ISBN # 978-1-934678-62-2

Word Count: 32,000

All Romance E-books:


Destiny's Prerogative by Karen Michelle Nutt

When Dr. Shay McCormick died, there was no white light, no loved one to comfort her.  There was a half-man, half-jaguar there to greet her.  He's a decedent of the nagual, a spirit guide.  It isn't her time and he leads her to safety.  Shay wants proof shapeshifters exist.  Her curiosity leads her into a world of danger and to Gabriel Cruzado.  Fate threw them together, but despite their differences, they work together, eliminating a threat to their future. Destined to be lovers long before he touched her soul and she saved his life.

Chapter One

Demetrius Cruzado loosened his tie as he thought about his visit earlier today from Antonio Vertiz. 

Vertiz ran the local pub in town where most of the preternatural beings hung out.  He asked Demetrius to look into the disappearance of his son, Tony, a sixteen year-old werejaguar, who went missing two months ago.  Demetrius practiced law; he didn't run a detective agency.  Because Vertiz and his father went way back, he made a few calls.  To his chagrin, he discovered a rash of missing person reports had been filed in the Los Angeles region alone.  At first the cops assumed the gangs were retaliating against each other, but now the faction targeted teenage weres--good kids with no history of trouble.  

A few years back, his cousin at the San Francisco PD told him they experienced a similar problem.  The police ferreted out a cult--humans whose motto stated: Eliminate shapeshifters from existence.  Demetrius knew it had been too quiet.      

Before he left the office, he put out a bulletin alerting the nearby were community to watch for suspicious behavior.  How he detested humans who acted out of fear and not facts.  Weres in general didn't threaten mankind.  Sure, an occasional rogue shapeshifter reared his ugly head, but statistically speaking, humans murdered in greater numbers.

Demetrius headed down the long hall of the family estate glancing at the portraits Gabriel had painted of jaguars, large, strong and determined.  Demetrius had to admit his brother's talent surpassed the conventional in the way he blended the colors triggering the painting to life.  At first glance, one would only see the scenery until the optical illusion revealed the animal, as if it could leap from the foliage. 

Gabriel finished a painting yesterday for the preserve's auction.  Demetrius hoped his brother remembered to deliver it.  With Gabriel's change nearing its peak, he'd been unpredictable.

Demetrius opened the mahogany wood door to the study, flipping on the lights as he walked in.  He dropped his briefcase by his recliner before heading to the sidebar to pour himself a glass of wine.  He sipped, the dark liquid held the aroma of mint and black currant.  He let the silky texture linger in his mouth before he swallowed.  “Aah, exactly what I needed.” 

He intended to indulge again, but a sound pricked his ears.  His face tightened, his adrenaline level spiked as he scanned the room for the intruder.  Spotting a whispery movement near his desk, he placed his glass down, keeping his gaze locked on his prey.  He moved with swiftness born to his kind and lunged.  He grabbed the intruder by the scuff of his shirt and hauled him up, eager to do damage.   

“Holy …” Demetrius bit back a curse. “Gabriel, what are you doing?  I almost drove my fists into your skull.”  Demetrius let go of his brother, shoving him aside.

Gabriel slumped forward. 

“What in the world?”  Demetrius' hand snaked out once more and steadied him.  He pulled out the desk chair, letting his brother fall into the seat.  “What's happened to you?  Are you hurt?”  He scanned for injuries.

“I'm spent,” Gabriel rasped out, his massive shoulders heaving with each breath he took. 

Demetrius took in his brother's appearance and frowned.  T-shirt halfway tucked into his jeans; his thick dark hair matted to his head, while trickles of sweat dripped down his face.  His normally bronzed skin appeared pasty and blotchy.  Demetrius' eyes narrowed to slits as he realized what caused his brother's rapid deterioration.  “You channeled, didn't you?”

Gabriel met his gaze.  “I had to.  A lost soul wandered between life and death.  I couldn't ignore the plea.”

“You know it's too risky for you right now.  It's near your time.  You could have been lost.”

“Better me than the woman I guided back.”

Demetrius' right eyebrow rose.  “A woman?  Your grandness of honor staggers me.”

Gabriel breathed an exaggerated sigh.  “How do you live with yourself, Demetrius?  How do you pretend the souls aren't out there?  We're the descendants of the nagual.  The Jaguar is our brother and we are one.”

“I accept we are shapeshifters.  No, correction.”  His voice had risen.  “I embrace it, but I do not risk my life to save a human who would rather see us dead.  I will do business with them, I will live among them, but I will not risk my neck by playing hero in the astral plane.”  His cold eyes sniped at him.

“You need a human to mate,” he reminded his brother.

“Need?  The statement is a perverse joke in itself.  We're ordered to take one and change them so we may strengthen our numbers.  They're hybrids, Gabriel.  I can smell them a mile away.  They aren't born weres and you would be wise to remember the difference.”

They stared at each other with eyes the same color of golden brown.  Gabriel took a ragged breath as he spoke.  “The woman, this lost soul, accepted me in my were state.”

Horrified, Demetrius snarled.  “You appeared to her as a jaguar?  Even if she couldn't project her own illusion, you should have.”

“I couldn't help it.  The changes in my body interfered with my shifting.”  His tongue moistened his lips.  “She didn't fear me.  In fact she seemed more comfortable with my animal side.”

Demetrius rolled his eyes heavenward. “All fine and interesting, but where was Sandra when you were risking your life on the astral plane?  She should have stopped you.  Until you bond, you shouldn't shapeshift or channel.  Did you forget what we were taught?  I don't understand why the two of you are prolonging the mating ritual.  Do it already or does Sandra find some perverted pleasure from your suffering?”

“She's gone,” Gabriel stated.  He clutched the chair and squeezed his eyes shut. 

Demetrius pierced his lips together as he noticed Gabriel's pallor turn a nice shade of green.  “What do you mean gone?” 

Gabriel opened his eyes, the unspoken pain illuminating them.  “She left me.”   He swallowed hard.

Demetrius remained silent until the information hit home.  “She can't leave you.  You marked her.  She let you.”

“I didn't initiate the final bite.  She couldn't deal with becoming what we are.”

“Now,” Demetrius threw up his hands.  “She decides this now.  Dammit Gabriel, you should have taken her anyway.”

“Not against her will.  I don't want a mate who will despise me for changing her.”

Demetrius heard the slight warning in his brother's voice, but he chose to ignore it. “You only have to mate once every year.  She could stand you for that long.”

Gabriel slammed his fist down.  The sudden movement cost him.  He swayed and he gripped the side of the desk.  Demetrius cringed as he witnessed his brother swallow back the bile threatening to come up.  After a few seconds, he gained control again.  “I want someone willing to take the bite, be my partner for life,” Gabriel insisted.

Disgusted with his brother, Demetrius couldn't stop the heavy dose of sarcasm from dripping into his words.  “Well fool, I can see how splendidly true love has worked out for you so far.  You've run out of options, haven't you?”

“I'll deal with it.”  Gabriel leaned back in the chair.

“How are you planning to do this?  If you haven't looked in a mirror lately, you look like shit.  You're body is already giving into the changes and in little over two weeks it will be the full moon and too late to help you.”

Gabriel clamped his mouth shut.  The ringing silence drew out. 

Then it dawned on Demetrius how his brother planned on dealing with the situation.  He wouldn't mate.  “You're insane.”  He threw up his hands and backed away from the desk.  “No one has ever survived, Gabriel.  Don't let Sandra's rejection guide you in your decision.  Choose someone else.”

Gabriel rubbed his hands over his face.  “It must be my mate's prerogative.”

“Oh stop being a martyr.  So what if Sandra didn't want to be a werejaguar.  If you aren't aware of the options, it's also your choice to live or die.”

“You are being overly dramatic, Demetrius.  I may survive the change.”

“And be what?  If you survive, you won't blend in with the humans.  Your animal side will become dominant.”

“Then put me in the Feline Wildlife Preserve.  The Cruzados donate enough money to them?  I'll live out my days there.”

“Fine stupid ass.  If you survive, I'll see you're placed in a nice cell for the rest of your life.”

“Hey, look at the bright side, I may combust eliminating your worries.”

“Fabulous,” he scorned.  “I'll let our parent's know their eldest son decided to take a cosmic nap instead of taking a mate.  If you were so bent on finding your soul mate, you shouldn't have wasted your time with a human who didn't give a damn.” 

“She cared,” Gabriel defended Sandra. 

Demetrius' gazed pinned him down.  Everyone knew Sandra Tupac's father suffocated her with his perverse shaman rules.  The woman jumped at the sight of her own shadow, but Gabriel loved lost souls.  No one could deny he hadn't tried, but Sandra's fears were more than Gabriel could handle.  “Love is not what it's cracked up to be,” Demetrius said.  “When my time comes, I'll pay for a woman.  We have the money.  That's the advantage of being a Cruzado.”

“I think your plan constitutes as prostitution.”

“I'll marry her.  The Cruzado name alone is worth its weight in gold.  She'll have prestige in the were community and the money to go with it.  All she'll have to do is sleep with me once a year.  Frankly, I don't see how that's a bad trade off.”

“It sounds cold and lonely.”

“And your way sounds so much better.  Now tell me where Sandra is holed up.  I'll drag her ass back here and you'll deliver the mating bite.”

“I won't do it.  I gave her my word that she would be safe.  Don't you dare give her another reason to fear us.”

“The surprises keep on coming.  You knew she feared us, yet you stayed with her.  I don't care how good-looking the woman is the grief she's given you isn't worth it.  Now you'll die for her so you can prove your human side of compassion is the dominant.  Get over yourself.  This is survival of the fittest.”

“I said leave it.  It's my choice.”

Demetrius' nostrils flared as he scrambled for another argument to sway his brother.  At a loss for words, he slammed his fists on the desk and left the room.


“I should handle this on my own.”  Demetrius played with the idea before he vetoed it.  He might need help.  “Lucas could lend a hand.”  He played with the idea and cringed. 

Demetrius preferred control and insisted on order.  The laid back youngest Cruzado, by two years, knew nothing of organization.  He preferred to spend his time at the beach, lounging in the sun without a care in the world.  All werejaguars loved the water, but Lucas took it to a new level.  Beach bum status fit him to a tee.  Dark hair streaked lighter by the sun, and his skin held a tropical glow all year round.  His wardrobe consisted of t-shirts, board shorts and flip-flops.  Demetrius didn't mind the casual look, but the guy didn't own anything else.     

Lucas was here now.  Demetrius convinced him to stay until the special dedication dinner at the Feline Wildlife Preserve.  So he'd be here for at least a couple of more weeks.  That reminded Demetrius, he needed to find something in his closet for Lucas to borrow.  Being about the same size, it shouldn't be difficult.  

He didn't knock, but burst into his brother's room.

Lucas leaned over his surfboard, probably examining it for dings.  He looked up with an upward jerk of his head in greeting.  “Hey.”

“We have a problem,” Demetrius announced.

“Yeah?  What kind of problem?”  Lucas continued to work on his surfboard.

“Sandra left Gabriel out to dry.”

“Man, that sucks.”

Demetrius rolled his eyes.  “It will if we don't find someone to take Sandra's place.”

“Us?”  Lucas' attention riveted to him.  He put his board down and focused.   “Don't you think Gabriel should choose?”

“He won't.  He doesn't want to jeopardize the woman.  He's afraid he might harm her.  She might be allergic to the were gene.  She might die.  Blah, blah, blah,” his sarcasm dripped nastily.

Lucas' brow furrowed.  “Sure it might be risky, but he has to take someone.  Granted a soul mate would be preferred, but he can't be choosy now.”

“Exactly.” Demetrius threw up his hands relieved Lucas joined him on the same page.  “However, sainted Gabriel will have nothing to do with it.”

“So what can we do?”  Lucas shrugged.

A slow smile spread across Demetrius' face as a plan formed in his mind.   “We bring a woman to him.”

Lucas chuckled joining in on the joke until he met Demetrius' somber expression.  “Oh come on.  What are you going to do?  Hold Gabriel down and hope the woman takes advantage of him.  Besides, Gabriel will never forgive us if the girl dies.”

Demetrius harrumphed.  “I didn't say I had all the details worked out.”

“What do you have worked out?”

“Uh …” Demetrius rubbed his chin.  Then he remembered something Gabriel told him.  He looked at Lucas with a smug smile.  “Gabriel channeled.”


“He made a connection with a human, revealing his jaguar form.  He marked her soul.”

Lucas nodded.  “It could work.  The were DNA won't be such a shock to her system.”

“Exactly,” Demetrius said.  “All we have to do is find out who she is.”

“How do you plan on accomplishing that feat, calling every hospital to find out who had a near death experience?”

“No.”  He smiled.  “You are.”  He turned and headed for the door.   

“Oh come on, Demetrius,” Lucas whined. 

“And,” Demetrius looked back at his brother, his gaze taking in his brown board shorts and t-shirt.  “I'll have a suit ready for you.”

“Suit?  What for?”

“For the fundraiser at the Feline Wildlife Preserve.”  He grinned as he continued on his way.   

“Fine, but I'm not wearing shoes,” Lucas called after his brother.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

This just in....

The Soft Edge of Midnight, by Stella and Audra Price are up on NOR for an Award! Nominated!!! Woohoooo!!!

And there's some awesome company on that poll. So go vote!

Best Erotic Paranormal

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This Week: In Diana's Head

ist1_6135370-heart-in-the-brain News! News! I have news! I'll be signing on Saturday the 4th in San Marcos!



I'll be showcasing THE ETERNAL KISS! My first print release. I hope you'll join me and my fellow authors.


Here's some more good stuff happening! Royal Blush Authors is holding a contest for the month of October. Have you ever seen Chicago? Then you'll appreciate the screenplay take on this contest. Several authors have pitched in and given their Best Villian for this contest. Go read and chose. The goodies are well worth it, donated by one of the RBA authors.


As an aside, I just want to thank all the folks who participated in the Forbidden Hunt through Forbidden Publications. It was a huge success and the winners will be announced soon on the website. Watch for your name!


And for me, a PSA:


Stop signs are NOT conditional! Please do not run stop signs.


Thank you for reading!