Category Archives: Inspiration

A Perfect Song

I’m back again! If I keep this up, I might end up blogging every day! I don’t think so though LOL

If you’ve followed my ramblings over the  years, y’all should know by now that I associate nearly everything with music. People, places, events, etc. I do the same thing when I write. Usually I just let my playlist roll through songs while I write, but with the second book in the Caressed by Starlight serial, there’s one song I actually didn’t listen to much because it isn’t in my playlist. I would hear it in the car. A lot. As in nearly every time I would get in the car and it happened almost exclusively while I was writing Adding Tyn.

Each time I heard it, it made me think of Tyn-Hy the Cold. As with most books I write, I start out with an idea of what my characters are like and let them show me who they really are. That’s what happened with Adding Tyn. I thought I knew who this cyborg was. I didn’t know the half of it! He was a lot more complex than I intended, with an internal struggle that broke my heart for him and for the target of his desires, En’Daria.

So today I’m going to share the song that I would swear Three Days Grace wrote for him, it’s that perfect for the story.


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Feeling the Pull

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was lazy this weekend and still flying high from my book release. The feeling of euphoria hasn’t subsided, but it’s a little more manageable now.

Lately I’ve been struggling with the need to get away. Not anywhere special, just somewhere that isn’t my house, isn’t a conference and isn’t work-related. Over the past four years, all the traveling I’ve done has been for conferences and while I’ve enjoyed them, I’m not able to completely relax. To just be me me, not the Danica me. I want to go somewhere and just waffle around if that’s what I feel like doing, or sight-see, or just sleep the entire time in a new environment.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of fun at conferences and hanging out with my writer friends, but sometimes I just want complete aloneness. You know, me, myself and I so we can get to know each other again. I think it’s important for everyone to do this once in a while since it helps you find your center again, clear your mind and rejuvenate you. It’s also selfish, but sometimes you have to be selfish, right? In my case, I really think a trip like that would help me clear my writer’s mind. I’m not experiencing a block, but I am feeling bogged down by my characters who all want their story written first.

So if I were to go somewhere for a long weekend, if I do decide to take off, where would I go? Somewhere laid back and soothing to the soul. Maybe some place like Savannah, Georgia, or a cabin in Tennessee. Maybe St. Augustine, Florida to poke around. Am I going? Eh, I don’t know. But I’d sure like to try sometime before summer.

How about y’all? Do you ever go on a vacation alone just to have some “me” time? If you could take a trip for that purpose, where would you go? I’ll be over here checking hotels and drive times 😉

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Veterans Day

I’m going to keep today’s post short. Mostly because I forgot about it until just now. I know, I’ve become such a horrible blogger! But I have so much going on, it’s easy to forget a lot of things.

Like giving thanks to the people who serve and have served our country. I’m sure I might have mentioned this before, but a lot of men in my family have been in the military. My grandfather joined the Army Air Corp right before World War II and was actually on his way to Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was attacked. I don’t remember many of his stories except that he hated pineapples after his stint there and he got to dance with Grace Kelly for a few seconds as part of a USO show. I thought that was pretty awesome.

My stepfather’s dad did a stint in Europe at the same time. Normandy Beach and I remember sitting with him and listening to his stories although I couldn’t tell you what they were. I just liked to listen to him talk and look at his medals. I thought that was pretty awesome too.

My uncle was an MP in the Army, stationed in South Korea. He doesn’t talk much about those days, although I think whatever he saw and did over there eventually brought him happiness because he met his wife there. Sure, they’ve endured a lot since then, but they’ve always had each other and I think that’s amazing.

My stepdad joined the Navy when he graduated high school. He became a Seabee. I used to laugh at his stories because part of the basic training was swimming and he couldn’t swim. When it was his turn to dive into the pool and do his thing, he dove straight for the side and sort of floated until he got to the other side. He totally cheated, but he did his thing and went to Vietnam. I was lucky to have gone to his company reunion when I graduated from high school. I say lucky because I got to meet the men who were in the pictures he brought back from Vietnam with him, talk to the people he talked about rarely. And they were great. We watched old slide shows of the guys’ time there and listening to them rag on each other, get choked up about someone they lost…It was touching. It wasn’t the senior trip my fellow classmates had, but it gave me a new appreciation for our military.

They sacrifice so much for the citizens of our nation. They give pieces of their hearts, their souls to doing what so many of us wouldn’t even think about doing. And they do it with pride, honor. That’s something everyone should respect and be grateful for. Because while everyone is born to take, not all of us are born to give and that’s what our veterans and current service men and women do. They give and give.

So today, I’d like to give my thanks to them all. To the veterans who keep our history alive with stories they share with the next generations, to the families and friends who’ve lost loved ones fighting for freedom, to the men and women who are serving now, doing their best to keep us free, there aren’t enough words to thank you for what you’ve done. But you have my thanks all the same.

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Time Flies

Happy April Fool’s Day. Which makes no sense whatsoever really. Who wants to be made a fool of? Meh. April Fool’s Day isn’t a big deal for my family since they prank each other all the time. This is just a blip on their radar.

No, I’m going to talk about how fast time is flying. Because really, I can’t be the only one who realized we’re in April. Already. Already! It seems just like yesterday we were celebrating making it through the Mayan End of Days and we’re now in the fourth month of 2013. FOURTH! Am I the only one having trouble wrapping their mind around this?

I had such huge plans when 2013 started. I had eight, or was it ten, books planned for the year. Do you know how many I’ve written since the start of the year? Two very short stories. I’m close to finishing the third, but hello. Eight, or ten, stories a year means I’d have to write a story every month and a half. And they can’t all be under 10k words. No, they have to be more than that. But the one I’m trying to finish now is testing me. Oh those sneaky characters!

For those of y’all wondering, yes, I am working on the third book in the Cajun Heat series. It’s tentatively called Primal Flavor and it’s about that bad boy chef and baker, Zach Trahan. And let me tell y’all, he’s tested my patience. What was supposed to be a quick, hot read has turned into an emotional mess. I didn’t even know Zach had all of these feelings, but he’s surprised not only me, but also his heroine. This story has surpassed the previous two Cajun Heat books in word count and it doesn’t seem ready to stop yet. However, I’m almost positive I can get it finished this week. So that’s one more book down for the count.

Should be a major yay, right? Hmph.

Finishing Primal Flavor only means I have eight months to write the fourth book in the series, two contemporary romances I’ve got planned for a series, another short story or two (an exokita and a spoof), a sci-fi I can barely wait to get my hands on again, possibly another paranormal (a spin off from the Cajun Heat series), and a contemporary romance I have a title for, but no story yet. Yes, I do come up with titles first sometimes. It just happens that way. And don’t even get me started on all the plot bunnies that popped into mind yesterday while I was at the zoo. Mais, it’s enough to make me crazy.

I have to buckle down, so it’s probably a good thing we don’t have anymore holidays coming up for a few months. Okay, okay s there’ll be a whole week I won’t write because I’ll be at RT, but after that…it’s on! And that means the next time I lift my head from the grindstone, it’ll be October and I’ll be in Ohio for RomantiCon. Right?

How about y’all? Has time been flying for you? Or do you feel like a kid again and the days keep dragging?


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The Great Swag Scramble

Sorry for being such a downer yesterday! I swear, I’m not normally that woe-is-me. Or at least I try not to be.

Anyway, sometime yesterday morning I realized we’re nearing RT. Sure, sure, we still have fifty-three days and all, but really…that isn’t enough time when you have things to do! Like me. Oh man, I have things to do. I have clothes to buy and outfits to figure out. I have my hair to fix and get all awesome (you know I have to get something special for this convention, right?). 

Then I have to start figuring out what kind of costume I’m wearing for the Ellora’s Cave Disco party. Meh…I want comfortable so I’m thinking I’ll wear jeans and a vintage style t-shirt with like Orange Crush on it or something and go all Farrah Fawcett on my hair. *flips it over her shoulders and lets it blow in the imaginary breeze* So that’s one outfit. I think. I have to get dressy clothes *mutters* and things to wear the rest of the time. Jeans are good the entire time, right? It isn’t like I’m important or anything…maybe I can get one of those massive, floor-sweeping skirts so I can pretend I’m girly.

Oh and I have to get swag. Swag is perhaps the most important part of a convention for an author after their wardrobe. The swag readers pick up at a convention is something they’ll (hopefully) have for several weeks, months maybe even years afterward. It’s the hope of the author that once the conference is over the reader will utilize the swag and think of the author and her books. I’ve had Romance Trading Cards (which I’ll have this time around as well). I’ve had guitar key chains and sewing kits (for Primal Song and Primal Design). This time, I’m going to try other objects that have my logo on them like the header at the top of this page. Nothing too suggestive, just my name and info. I think. I might need to see if they can put my website on the items I chose.

But the point of this is, I spent several weeks wondering what I was going to get for this convention. If I was pimping out a book, I’d choose something from the book for the theme, but since I’m pimping myself as an author…it’s a little more difficult. I mean, I want this to be stuff people want to keep, but I don’t want something too bulky either. *sigh* Ah well. I’ll probably change my mind a few million times between now and the deadline to get items.

Oh! If you’re not going to RT, but want to be a “part” of the experience, RT and ARe are teaming up to give readers a chance to participate from home. Click on the Book Expo button on the right sidebar for details.

What conferences are you going to this year?


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They’re Over

I’m not an athletic person, but I love to watch sports. The Olympics, Summer and Winter, are like Heaven for me. I’ve spent the last two weeks glued to the television as much as possible, watching as many events as I could and now they’re over.

*sniff* I’m sad, although I will say London put on one hell of a closing ceremony. I loved it. Of course, they played some of my favorite songs. If I cried while John Lennon’s “Imagine” was playing, that’s because I’m a sap. I sang along with Russell Brand and the Kaiser Chiefs who did a great remake of “Pinball Wizard”. I jammed out with George Michael and did a little sofa techno dancing when Fat Boy Slim popped up.

But it was this moment that I think I enjoyed the most:

I love Monty Python and was thinking right before this performance, “Why aren’t they doing anything by the guys? They’re as British as they come!” and then Eric Idle falls out of the cannon with “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”. I was whistling and singing along. My cat didn’t appreciate it at all.

I can’t remember enjoying an Olympics as much as I did this one. From our amazing athletes to the inspirational stories of these hard-working Olympians, I’ve never appreciated a summer games more. And no, I didn’t spend the entire time ogling the male athletes. I did actually watch the events.

Did you watch the games or were you inconvenienced by them? What was your favorite story?


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Admiration, I Haz It.

The Olympics are here, the Olympics are here!

Sorry. I’m a little late announcing that, but I was too busy ogling my fantasy man last Friday to mention it. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been glued to the television all weekend. Friday night’s opening ceremony was great. I loved the way they made the history of England a massive stage production, incorporating England’s most famous authors, musicians, and historical figures. It was fantastic.

I also loved watching the parade of countries. My nephew and I were playing a game to see who could probably guess what sport each country’s flag bearer played. I was right most of the time. *buffs her nails* I also loved watching their excitement. Is there anything more amazing than representing your country in a battle for the medal? Each athlete is an ambassador to the world and they all looked thrilled to be there.

I’m not an athletic person. The closest I ever came to playing a sport was trying out for softball when I was in 8th grade. I didn’t make the team. I was a band nerd. That’s okay though. I’m not into running. *shudders* But I still admire people who push their bodies to the limits, who test their skills against others.

So yes, I watched swimming (even though I can’t swim), diving, water polo, and gymnastics this weekend. Was I the only one admiring the male swimmers’ physiques? I couldn’t have been. Oh and not just them but the men’s gymnastics teams. Hello, Louis Smith of Great Britain, it was lovely watching you flex and twist. What can I say? I’m an erotic romance author. Of course I’m going to notice those lean, muscular young bodies exerting themselves. Heh.

I’m an equal opportunity cheering section. While I will cheer on the Americans, I found myself cheering on Rebecca Addlington in the hopes she’d bring home the gold. The American, Allison Schmit won the silver, but I really wanted Rebecca to win gold for the Brits. It seemed fitting to me that she do something that amazing with her country hosting the Olympics. Hopefully she’ll carry it home with the 800m freestyle.

See? Normally I don’t watch things like swimming or gymnastics, but when it comes to the Olympics, I watch nearly everything. I can’t tear myself away. I’ve been this way since 1984 when the Olympics were held in Los Angeles. I was eight years old and I dreamed of being like Mary Lou Retton. That never happened, but I’ve been addicted to the games ever since.

I’m going to lose a lot of sleep over the next two weeks from the games playing. And my book coming out this Friday, but that’s okay. Sleep is overrated. Not really, but I’m sure if I drink enough coffee during the day, I’ll start to actually believe it.

What are some of your favorite summer Olympic events?


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Leave the Hat On Please

Today I’m over at Ramblings of a Chaotic Mind talking about something very weird I’ve seen while on Bourbon Street. Comment to win a copy of You Bet Your Banshee!

Continuing this month’s theme of stripping/dancing/taking off clothes, we have something in a slightly different genre.

For those of you who’ve never seen The Full Monty, you’re missing out. It’s one of those movies I will watch over and over again, not just because it’s cute and funny and British, but because it’s a good story.

For those of you who have seen the movie, you can probably guess what today’s song is. Yup, it’s “You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Tom Jones. This song was originally written and performed by Randy Newman and covered several times. I’m not playing the Joe Cocker version because I always feel like poor Joe is about to have an aneurysm when he sings. I think Tom Jones’ version is smooth and sexy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a good quality video of this version, so you’ll have to make do with very bad graphics.



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Cajun French: Do-Do

It’s been a while since I did a Cajun French post, but I’ve been gathering information again so hopefully there will be more.

Today’s phrase is do-do (pronounced doe-doe). It means “sleep-sleep”. Remember what I said about the Cajun French/English language and intensifiers? Well, this sort of falls into the same category. I imagine anything could be an intensifier depending on how it’s used. A Cajun comedian who goes by the name of Poo-Poo Broussard is a little infamous for his phrase “My lips are chapped, chapped”. If you’re in the need for a little laughter, you should check him out.

Do-do though, is short for dormir which means sleep. Parents would tell their children, “Make do-do” or “go to sleep”.

You’ve probably also heard this word used in the phrase fais do-do which isn’t the same thing really. A fais do-do is a party, or like an informal jam session in today’s terms. People, probably extended family, would gather around, play music, dance, and eat. My own personal belief is that it was called a fais do-do because it was what adults would do while their children were sleeping.

There’s also a song called “Fais Do-do”which is a lullaby. I don’t know the words except for a few, but it’s one my mom used to sing to us when we were young. When holding babies now, it’s almost second nature to hum the “Fais Do-do” song to them.

I hope this post didn’t make y’all go do-do cause that would just be embarrassing.

Yay for the upcoming weekend! I have a book release Monday and good news on the way so I’m definitely not going to be making the do-do easily.


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Cajun Music vs. Zydeco

I got the idea for this post from a discussion on Four Foxes One Hound, the group blog I’m part of and thought it would be a fun way to show the differences between Cajun music and Zydeco.

According to a site I found, Cajun music comes from the Acadians who were forced to leave Canada. It borrows some from Creoles of African descent, country and western, and in some cases, rhythm and blues. It’s a mishmash of genres. From what I gather (since I don’t speak Cajun French), most of the songs center around ill-fated love, death, and loneliness.

This Cajun French song is called”Jolie Blon”, or pretty blonde.

Zydeco is not Cajun music in origin. It was created by the Creoles of African descent who borrowed elements of Cajun music. They kind of copied off each other, pretty much which is kind of funny and probably why people get the two confused.

Zydeco became more popular after WWII and was heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and jazz. It’s considered party music now, but like most songs in the R&B genre, the songs were about hardship.

The song I’ll play for the Zydeco side is by Buckwheat Zydeco called “Tee Nah Nah”.

The major difference I find between these two similar genres is the instrumentation. Zydeco uses the accordion and washboard, while Cajun music relies heavily on the accordion, fiddle, bass, and drums.

What do you think? Can you tell the difference? Which one do you prefer? I’m partial to Cajun music, myself. It’s the perfect music to listen to when I’m going fishing or sitting on my porch.

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