Category Archives: Just For Fun

#RoseCityComicCon Aftermath

This weekend was a crazy mess of fun and exhaustion. My second ever comic con and first time at Rose City Comic Con. It was so busy Saturday I barely got away from the table! Got away a little more on Sunday, but there was so much to see, I only caught a fraction of it.

It was so great seeing readers I’d met at Wizard World Portland back in January. A couple of them literally hunted me down so they could grab their copies of Kissed by Eternity! lol I met new readers, too, and got to introduce them to the Sunwalker Saga and Dragon Wars. Plus some great artists, authors, and assorted cosplayers. I even got to fangirl over iZombie! (Yes, the writer was there and he signed a copy of the first comic book for me. SQUEE!)

Bonnie, me, and author Miranda Mayer taking RCCC2015 by storm!

The best part of Comic Con is hanging with my peeps, Bonnie (assistant and uber awesome formatter) and Miranda Mayer (fantasy and Regency author). I can’t imagine doing this without them! In fact, we’re already signed up for RCCC2016 next September! Put it in your calendar. You won’t want to miss it! You can get tickets HERE.

Retired Wonder Woman
Retired Wonder Woman
My signed copy of iZombie!
Green Arrow
Medieval Green Arrow


And don’t forget to come see us in February of 2016 at Wizard World Portland. More geeky goodness! You won’t want to miss out on the fun!

The Research Continues: #Burlesque, #Bookbinding, and #Badassery

With my epic European research trip well over, it was time to turn my attention to other research that needed doing. In my quest for a new, interesting vocation for one of my characters, I found myself at the Oregon Burlesque Festival of an evening.

While there I met up with the super awesome Lacy Knickers who gave me a run-down of all things burlesque. She packed a whole lot of info into the fifteen minutes before the show started. Secrets I may reveal in a novel one day… ;-)

The entire review. I've added pixelation for the faint of heart.
The entire review. I’ve added pixelation for the faint of heart.
Lacy Knickers and yours truly.
Lacy Knickers and yours truly.







What I came away with was one word: Confidence. These women (and men) came in all shapes, sizes, and ages. There was cellulite, stretch marks, and wobble. And yet every single one of them BROUGHT IT! They were fierce, filled with self-confidence, and absolutely badass! I loved it!

In fact, watching them gave me just the inspiration I needed for a new character. Like them, she’s sexy, fierce, and badass. Definitely of the paranormal variety. I can’t wait to introduce her to you, bit for now she’s a secret. Shhhh….

I also attended my first SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) event. It was a bit of a bust, being poorly attended and with not nearly enough sword fighting to please me, but I did learn a thing or two!

For one, I took a bookbinding class. Granted books came into play a few hundred years AFTER my Roman persona was around, but what the heck, right? I found it fascinating, a little frustrating, and likely something I will include in a future novel. Likely something Regency. Because it’s kind of awesome. I may even go crazy and try my hand at making my own notebooks for plotting. But don’t hold your breath.

Yes, a Roman is binding a book. It could happen.









I also had the unique opportunity to hold a falcon! Oh, she was tiny and sweet.  I couldn’t believe I actually got to get that close to such an amazing creature! It may be that she appears in a novel, as well! Who knows? But I did learn some interesting tidbits about falconry that are now rumbling about in my brain.

SCA_Me and the falcon best









And that’s the beauty of life, isn’t it? Anything and everything can inspire you to indulge in creativity. And creativity, as they say, feeds the soul.

My First TV Interview! #Fox12Oregon #MoreGoodDayOregon #RomanceNovels

Wow! Such exciting news! I was asked by the awesome AJ Harmon (contemporary romance author and USA Today Bestseller!) to be part of an interview with Fox 12 Oregon for their new show More Good Day Oregon.

For a cool press release on the interview, click HERE.

It was a lot of fun! We got to chat about romance novels, Fifty Shades of Grey, paranormal romance, and how our lives had changed since we became full-time writers.  Our host, Stephanie Krelavich, really helped make it a fun afternoon. And, of course, it’s never boring when a bunch of romance authors get together to talk about all things romance!

I can’t wait to see the interview. You can catch our segment on the show More Good Day Oregon on Fox 12 Oregon at 9am on Monday, August 3, 2015. In the meantime, you can meet all the authors in this little video I made:

Here are a few pics AJ’s hubby Brad snapped of the afternoon:

Laughing peeps
All the author peeps! From L to R: Melody Anne, AJ Harmon, Heather Carver, Shéa MacLeod, Anie Michaels, SM Stryker, Cassia Leo
Me and Cassia Leo
Filming Cassia.
Me and Melody Anne
Melody and I having a laugh.
Me with Stephanie Krelavich!
Here I am with our awesome host from More Good Day Oregon: Stephanie

Epic #ParanormalRomance Research Trip: Paris (Pt 2) – Okay, Technically Versailles

The MASSIVE palace. No wonder the peasants got a bit peeved!

Although I’ve been to Paris a few times, this was my first trip to Versailles. And let me say, WOW! I don’t know which was more astonishing: the palace or the hordes of tourists.



Every room in the palace is pretty epic, but the throne room is particularly breathtaking. I swear it reminded me of the Sidhe King’s palace in the Sunwalker Saga! (Why does my brain always go to paranormal romance? Gee, can’t imagine!)

The Sidhe King’s palace. Er, I mean the throne room at Versailles.









The hallways have the most amazing vaulted ceilings of creamy stone. Again, reminiscent of the palace in the Other World. But I can also imagine it after dark with only flame to dimly light it. What lurks in the shadows at the Hunter passes by…?

Can you imagine Morgan getting attacked by the big man-boar thing? That axe could really take a chip out of the floor. (See, there I go again with the PNR!)

Even ordinary hallways are anything but…ordinary.









Even the furnishings glittered with magic. I think I must have a soft spot in my heart for the impossibly gaudy.


I want this writing desk! They won’t notice if I ‘borrow’ it, right?

And I totally need this chandelier in my bedroom. I’m sure it’ll fit.









The famous Hall of Mirrors was every bit as magical as they tell you it is. Except there are tourists. Lots and lots of tourists.

I swear you could hardly move for the crush. This must have been what it was like during a party! Only with better clothes.



Selfie time! This is my friend Lyn. You might recognize her from the video I did in Paris.














And there were an inordinate number of men in cravats. If you follow me on Facebook, you know how I feel about a man in a cravat! Alas they were not real men, so we had to leave them there.

And that, my friends, was the end of our adventure in Versailles!

More to come!


Epic Research Trip: #Paris Pt. 1 – Tasty Beverages, the #EiffelTower, #LoveLocks

After a brief sojourn back to London, my next stop on my Epic Research Trip was Paris. I’ve been there before. Twice. But neither trip was specifically with writing in mind (although I included quite a bit of the city in Kissed by Moonlight).

Paris with Lyn Day 1
On the Rue Cler with travel buddy and fellow Paris enthusiast, Lyn.

It was good to be back. Although the quirky little hotel in the 7th Arrondissement had us on the top (7th) floor with a broken elevator and the steepest stairs I’ve seen outside a ladder. Um, yeah. Bit of a challenge that, but we managed. Instead of coming and going, we left in the morning and didn’t come back until bed time. Instead we’d sit in front of a little cafe on Rue Cler, have our dinner and drinks, and people watch. How very Parisian of us!

No idea what building this is, but I love the architecture and the light.
If you don’t know what THIS is. I pity you. ;-)






Our first day in Paris consisted of walking. And walking. And walking.

Since our hotel was so close to the Eiffel Tower, we started there before crossing the river and meandering along it to discover some very interesting art.

Escapee from Jurassic Park.
I guess butterflies like skulls? No idea.





Then we sauntered through a park that was wall-to-wall (grass-to-grass?) statues.  We passed a bridge flanked with golden pegasi before turning left toward the Luxor Obelisk and the former sight of the Bastille.

One of many.
Guardians of the gates.
The bridge.
Luxor Obelisk










We meandered up the Champs-Élysées and then wound our way back toward the river. We even got a chance to see the love locks before they were taken down for good.

Love Locks on the Pont des Arts.

Once across the bridge we headed back to Rue Cler and our little spot at the cafe where we indulged in the Parisian past-times mention above.

Paris Beverage Day one
A tasty, refreshing beverage.
The Cafe on Rue Cler Day One
The cafe on Rue Cler where we people-watched.






It was an exhausting and magical day.  So many ideas. So many great places to write into future books. I’ve got a few plots churning away in my head already…

Next up: Versailles!


Shéa & Sheena’s Excellent #Atlantis Adventure (#paranormalromance #urbanfantasy)

Those of you who have read Spellwalker might remember that Noah and Emory had their first date at a place called Cartlandia. Imagine a certain reader’s surprise when she found out Cartlandia is a real place! Check out this video where my sister Sheena and I show you around and talk deep fried ribs, sweet potato pie, and Atlantean food.

Mega Research Trip: #Prague (Pt. 2)

My last full day in Prague was rather chilly and overcast. But there were still amazing sites to see and adventures to be had!

View of the cathedral at the palace.

We wandered into the more modern part of the city only to find this lovely trolley which had been turned into a restaurant. What to do but try it out? The food was pretty tasty, the ambiance perfect, and the heat lamps very much welcome.

This trolley is now a restaurant serving pasta.
So, of course, we had to stop for lunch.






I also found a bit of cravat porn, so that was cool. ;-)

Yes, this is a real person!






The streets of Prague are just so…atmospheric. I can totally see a chase scene happening here. Explosions! Hail of bullets! Vampires!

The streets of Prague. Perfect for a chase scene.





A sobering and informative trip to the Jewish Cemetery.  There are 12,000 gravestones here, but more than 100,000 bodies! The stones date from 1439 to 1787.

Jewish Cemetery
Memorials at the Jewish Cemetery





And of course, plenty of gothic architecture to keep a person’s brain working overtime. Seriously, the city is so inspirational.

Randomly gothic buildings everywhere!





We did a ghost tour that night which was fascinating.  Granted, the tour guide was a total arrogant jerk, but at least he was also informative and somewhat entertaining. How’s that for a dichotomy? lol

Next up: We’re off to Paris!

Mega Research Trip: #Prague (Pt. 1)

I don’t know what it is about Prague, but it’s like you can just FEEL that there HAS to be vampires living there. Or if there isn’t, there should be.  I can totally envision Morgan and co. running through the cobblestone streets taking names and kicking ass. Supernaturally speaking, of course.

Yours truly.
An amazing view across the river into the old town.





It’s especially atmospheric as the sun sets, creating an epic backdrop for the palace and other interesting buildings.

Palace against the sunset.

On the second day, we visited the palace itself.  The complex is MASSIVE. It makes the castle of the dragon king, Drago, look downright scrawny! (Not something you want to tell a dragon.)

View of Prague from the palace the next morning. Oops! How’d that filter get there?
Tacky tourist pose with palace guard.






The cathedral on palace grounds. MASSIVE and oh, so very gothic.
Yours truly, again. This time in the palace complex.







Trust me, you WILL get fit walking up and down the extremely steep hill to the castle complex. Our hotel was about half-way up that hill. It was so perfect.

View on the way down.
View on the way down.





I can also totally see a romantic suspense or a murder mystery taking place here. And, believe me, the ideas are churning!

Next time: More Prague!

Mega #Research Trip: Day 4 – Rambles in #HydePark, #Mayfair, and #NottingHill

I totally lucked out on this Mega Research Trip of 2015. My friend and fellow author, Emma Jameson, was also in London doing some research of her own (She’s got two AMAZING cozy mystery series. I can’t recommend them enough). We were able to hang out and combine our research adventures.

First stop: Hyde Park. One of my favorite places in London. You will no doubt recognize the name from a couple of my books. Morgan gets into it with a vampire in Hyde Park in the second Sunwalker Saga novel, Kissed by FireThe park also makes an appearance in my contemporary romance series, Notting Hill Diaries.

Hyde Park in the morning.
The fabulous Emma Jameson lounging in Hyde Park.






Our next stop was Mayfair. One of Emma’s series is set largely in Mayfair, so this was a natural for our agenda.

See that ridiculously shiny car below? That was just meandering through the streets so of course I had to snap a pic. Good thing I did. It inspired a scene in the upcoming Sunwalker Saga: Witchblood novel, Deathwalker.

I also found some great pics of the inspiration for the mysterious basement apartment in Kissing Frogs(If you’ve read it, you know what I mean!)

This uber cool car makes an appearance in the upcoming Witchblood novel, Deathwalker.
The mysterious basement flat from Kissing Frogs. I used to walk by such flats every day on my way to work in Mayfair.
The mysterious basement flat.
Grosvenor Square near the American Embassy.










A church in Mayfair.
The Mayfair – a pub near my old office. We just had to pop in for a pint!







Finally, we had to skip over to Notting Hill for some research. With Kissing Mr. Darcy coming up this fall, I knew I needed more fodder. I certainly got it! From the quirky shops to the pastel houses, everything was so inspirational. I can’t wait to add all kinds of fun things to the book. Including some flirtations with handsome gentlemen. ;-)

A typical row of houses in Notting Hill. Much as I imagine Kate’s flat to be in Kissing Frogs.
Chloe, however, is a more colorful sort. She lives in one of these. Painted purple, naturally.
Of course we HAD to take a picture in front of this sign!
One of the many cute little shops.
We had to stop here for refreshment.
More Notting Hill Goodness.
A Notting Hill pub that will most definitely appear in the books.


















It was certainly a busy day! Next up: More adventures in London. AND stay tuned for Prague!



Mega #Research Trip: Day 3 – Of #Architecture, #Mermen, and the #Beatles

I’ve fallen totally behind on posting pics of my European Adventure. Where were we? Oh, yes. Liverpool! (You can find pics of my first day in Liverpool HERE.)

The architecture is amazeballs. That’s all I can say. A lot of Victorian era buildings. Lots of fun wrought iron work and bas relief work and whatnot. I was snapping photos constantly!

My favorite is the one of the mermen. It makes me think I should include those in the Sunwalker Saga: Witchblood series. What do you think?

Love the Celtic knotwork.
Something so fun about these lamps. Makes me think of steampunk goodness!
And, of course, the British know how to build a gorgeous church building.











This World War II memorial plaque gave me all sorts of feels. I mostly took it to show my grandfather (who was a soldier during the war), but I thought some of you might find it interesting. Yeah, total history geek here. Will I work it into a book? Maybe so.

WWII memorial plaque.
WWII memorial plaque.





The Cavern Club was a great deal of fun. It will DEFINITELY be appearing in a book. For those who aren’t Beatles fans, this is the first place they played. Loads of other famous people have played there, too. I was there on St. Patrick’s Day of all things! The booze was flowing, the music was excellent, and the atmosphere was perfect for supernatural hijinx.

Me and some dude. LOL


Cavern Club








Liverpool is definitely on my list of favorite places in the UK. And it will definitely be the setting of a future novel. Or two. ;-)

Next up: I’m back to London for shenanigans with my friend and fellow author, Emma Jameson.