Monday, October 13, 2014

Just Released! STORM SURGE!!!

This book has been a long time coming. A super thriller, the nano technology deeply researched. An exciting, fast read.

When international private investigator, Jack Orten hires on to protect a businesswoman and her daughter from a serial killer threatening their lives, he discovers the killer is one of a number of genetically engineered assassins implanted into American society. 

As a CAT 5 hurricane rages ashore in the Tampa Bay area, Jack struggles to keep his feelings for Julie in check and her young daughter safe while battling nature and an unstoppable monster. Trusting it all to family or love may not be enough to save them. 

Check it out on Amazon or at The Wild Rose Press website.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How Stephen King Inspired Me to Write Young / New Adult

I love a good scare. Terrorize me with your haunted houses and chase me with chainsaws through your corn mazes. Since early childhood, I’ve loved scary movies, gruesome monsters and anything that made my pulse race too fast. I loved reading (and writing), but when I was a young reader, R. L. Stein and his Goosebumps series wasn’t around yet. Very few frightening books existed for young readers. I devoured the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mystery series, but while interesting, those stories were too clean, too neatly wrapped. The characters used no curse words, never even considered drinking a beer or stealing a bit of dad’s scotch, and death was never bloody or messy. Like all good stories, they each had their dark moments, but the threshold to true terror was never crossed.  
Then came Stephen King.

Reading Carrie changed my entire outlook on books, and cemented my intense, lifelong love affair of everything spine chilling and macabre. I loved being terrified of the vampires in Salem’s Lot and the Werewolf in Cycle of the Werewolf (the book that inspired the movie, Silver Bullet). I hated the clown in IT, yet I couldn’t stop reading the book, praying those poor kids survived its evil reign. Pet Sematary disturbed me so badly, I set the book down and didn’t finish it for eight years. Yet I still continued to read his books, despite falling asleep many nights with the light on. Oh, and the nightmares. I’ve always suffered from bad dreams, but reading King planted seeds in my brain, which sprouted in my sleep and ripened on the pages.
Needless to say, my books are dark and a little frightening. I love writing urban fantasy and horror, and anything gloomy and provocative.  
Yet over the past few years, I have been more and more drawn to young adult books over adult novels. Of course, I had to wonder why? I also wondered, when had “YA” become a rigid designation? Carrie is a novel about teens, as are several of Stephen King’s books. (IT, The Body, Christine) Many of his books also have teen characters and adult characters who play equally important roles, such as Under the Dome, Needful Things and (again) Cycle of the Werewolf.
I was told a few years ago that teens would never read books with adults in them. Teen books should only have teen main characters, and this had become the solid thinking of the big NY publishers. NOT TRUE! Millions of readers, young and old, have enjoyed Stephen King’s stories. Yet Carrie hardly resembles the YA books of today. The Hunger Games, with their violence and oppression, come close. So do the later, darker Harry Potter books. And while these are the exceptions, their wild popularity should send a message to the world – teen readers love a good story as much as adult readers. And while I agree that teen books should have teen central main characters, they can also have Hagrids and Dumbldores, and Haymitchs and Effie Trinkets. And would Under the Dome have been nearly as interesting without the dynamics of Big Jim Remmie and his lunatic son, or the delinquent, out of control teen police force? And let’s not forget the brave, yet flawed kids, Angie and Joe McAlister, and the brainiac,   Ben Drake, who figure out the mystery.
I love writing scary stories, and I love writing about teen characters. But the teen years are messy and filled with explorations and self-discovery. Drugs, sex, drinking, swearing and bullying are real issues that kids face every day. These are the years of raging hormones and out of control testosterone. Where breakups feel like the end of life itself, and emotions run hotter and more volatile than the lava bubbling in Mt. Etna’s steaming crater. I want to tell stories that reveal true teen life. I want to awaken people’s emotions, make them uncomfortable with stories that are scary and raw and relatable.

And more than anything, I want inspire a new generation to sleep with the lights on.   

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jump Starting the Blog

How many of us have started blogs, only to back off for a myriad of reasons. My biggest problem has always been content. What can I write about that anyone else would want to come to my blog, out of all the millions of blogs out there, to read?

Well, I finally figured it out. Yes, a blog needs to be interesting. Beyond that, anything goes. I have a lot to say. Maybe you want to hear it, maybe you don't. Maybe something I say will help you, maybe not. But I'll never know unless I really give it a try, right? I can't control what other people do. All that I can do is write the best blog possible, and let people know about it. But if I don't try, I am doomed to failure.

So I'm back! With one new book released on the 13th of this month, and another due out on the 27th. And more to come! If I had four books picked up, I MUST have something worth saying right? Well, we'll find out.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure of writing, publishing and reading. And marketing. Let's not forget that one. Ask any writer. The book writing is the easy part. Telling the world about it, now that's the hard part.

I look forward to meeting old friends and new!

And here is my shameless marketing - PLEASE , check out my latest release from Curiosity Quills, Sin! If you liked the Iron Queen series, you will love this book. Sin is quirky, sarcastic and smart.

Later this week I'll be posting information for my release party on Facebook! There will be book giveaways and a few Amazon gift cards! Please check back!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness

Review of Star Trek Into Darkness

Directed by J.J. Abrams. With Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch

Some days I think I'm too jaded. Yes, the special effects were super special. Yes, there was a fairly good plot. But I just wasn't feeling the love. I don't want to spoil anything for those who have yet to see it, but when something happened to make Chris Pine sad and angry, I wasn't feeling it. Later, when Spock was getting teary, I wasn't feeling it. My favorite character in the whole movie was Khan. I almost hated to see him taken down. (not giving anything away here) My second favorite was Scotty. (Simon Pegg) He is such a funny guy. I think once a movie reaches a certain threshold of special effects and explosions, my mind just goes numb. Desensitization, I suppose. (The same thing happened when I watched the Hobbit. I actually grew bored with it.) In my head I'm thinking, "yeah, yeah, that was cool, but let's get on with it already".

All that being said, I DID enjoy the movie and I will watch for the next installment. I smiled when they paid homage to the original series at the end. But if it tells you anything, if I really love a movie I will see it in the theater at least twice. (I saw Avatar six times in 3-D) And I won't be seeing this one again until it comes out on DVD.

Would I recommend it? Heck, yeah, it's Star Trek!

My Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Iron Man 3 starring:
Robert Downey Jr
Gweneth Paltrow
Don Cheadle
Guy Pearce
Rebecca Hall
John Favreau
Ben Kingsley

I saw this movie in 3-D, which I highly recommend. I know many critics don't agree with me, but this Iron Man was my favorite. I really enjoyed the story line, following the creation on an anti-hero. How things that seem trivial to us at the moment can have tremendous repercussions in the future.

In the very first scene, in Tony Stark's past, he humiliates a man and demeans a beautiful brilliant scientist.

Fast forward fifteen-ish years, and imagine the consequences.

Yes, there is a ton of action and blowing things up, but personally, I LOVE the special effects in today's movies. (some people have accused me of being a man in another life, yikes)

As always, there is a lot of humor, an exciting script and an insanely clever bad guy.

My rating: 4 Stars 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Friday Foodie Fun - Gluten Free Quinoa Pancakes

Some of you have asked for the recipe for Quinoa Wheat Free Pancakes. These pancakes are light and fluffy and have a somewhat nutty flavor (from the quinoa)
I hope you enjoy!

  • 1¼ cup gluten free oat flour **
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup rice flour **
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 11/2 cups buttermilk **
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  1. Mix together the oat and rice flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and oil.
  3. Add the egg/milk mixture to the flour mix. Stir until just combined.
  4. Fold in quinoa.
  5. Cook on a medium-high heat griddle, about 2-3 minutes each side, or until you see the bubbles popping.

** You can make your own oat flour (I do). Use a food processor to grind down old fashioned rolled oats until they reach a course flour like consistency.  
** Start with 1/4 cup rice flour. If batter is too thin, add the rest.
** If you don't have any buttermilk on hand you can make your own adding either 1 1/2 tsp of lemon juice OR white vinegar to the measured milk and letting it stand a few minutes.