Saturday, December 31, 2005

It's amazing what a few weeks vacation will do for one! I just sat down this morning and wrote ten pages for the novella I'm submitting to Lady Jaided magazine. Ten pages! Because I write only part time, that's a lot for me. I love it! Wish I could do it all the time.

Have a great and safe New Year tonight...and if you play...Play Safe!


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

For the past two weeks I've been doing something I haven't done in two years...taking a vacation. Yes, you read that right. While I've gone away with family for weeks at a time, my trusty laptop has always gone with me. This time, however, I haven't gone anywhere...but I haven't written either. This has been the longest spell away from writing that I've taken since Ellora's Cave first accepted Secret Submission. It was needed, believe me.

There are always so many plots and characters vying for my attention, that taking time away from them has been unthinkable. I don't want to lose any of them who might pay a short visit before the Muses pull him or her away and give her or him to someone else. But I've found it difficult to focus these past few months, ever since Cabin Fever was put to bed. In the past 12 weeks I've started and abandoned no fewer than six stories. SIX! And not just a few paragraphs...I've written between 2 and 6K on some of these. Enough to start developing character and plot...enough to introduce conflict and desire!

And yet, each one loses focus...or at least, I lose focus and then the story stops spinning. So I decided, with the holidays approaching, that I would take some time off. Walk away and refresh. And that's exactly what I've been doing. Just enjoying my family, enjoying the bright lights, the shopping and the bustle, the quiet and the scents of church. Just enjoying life.

Today I went so far as to boot up my laptop. It still works. I love the Myst games and got both Myst V for Christmas as well as the soundtrack to the original Myst. While I answered emails and took care of business on the family computer, I listened to the sounds of Myst on my laptop. Didn't write...but have spent several hours today in someone else's world...puzzling out their secrets and learning their culture. Makes me think a fantasy of my own is in my future....

Rest assured, I am not stopping my writing career. I'm having way too much fun to stop. But this time was needed to "sharpen the saw" (thank you Stephen Covey!). Very soon I shall pick up that laptop, sort through the various beginnings I have vomited into files and see if there isn't something there that can be salvaged. If not, I'll start anew. Sort of fitting...a new year...and a new story.

Play safe,

PS. Ruth won first place in Annie's poll...congrats writing pardner! You're the greatest!!!

And I'm third, for those who wanted to know....LOL... I'll take the bronze!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Wow! If you haven't seen Anne's Page, you need to take a look. She's a great fan of Ellora's Cave books (and others), and next week she's running a poll just for fun. I'm torn, however. While it would do my ego good to see me place in the top three, I really want Ruth Kerce to place first...she's an incredible author and a good friend. Too bad Ruby Storm isn't on the same list...or maybe that's a good thing. The three of us wrote DIAMOND STUDS together and have become great online pals ever since.

You'll note there are now a few links in the sidebar. Sooner or later I'll figure out how to put headings for them, but for now they're just listed with one blog under my own and EC's webpage. I'll get Lauren Dane's and Anne's links up soon. Blog on!

Off to see King Kong...

Friday, December 09, 2005

I have been playing around with this blog's formatting...trying to add a counter (not successful) and trying to add a set of links along the side (moderate success there). I do not "speak" HTML, but in order to change the look or accoutrements of the blog, it is into the code I must wander.

And wander is a good word for what I do when I get there. "Code," according to Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary (my favorite edition, copyright 1963) means "a system of words or other symbols arbitrarily used to represent words." I like that word: arbitrarily. It seems so...appropriate. For to me, HTML (HyperText Markup Language, in case you were wondering), is a code in the truest sense of the word. You cannot just read it, you must first understand what each of the signs, symbols and words stand for. User friendly, it ain't.

I love technology. I love the gadgets and gizmos and the ease. Point and click technology is the best thing since sliced bread. And I chose to host my blog precisely because they have templates and I don't have to do much other than type. But then one looks about and sees all the toys on other people's blogs (if you haven't seen Lauren Dane's, you're missing a real treat) and one wants all that, too!

But "all that" requires HTML knowledge. Sigh. So I've been trying...mostly by trial and error. So if the blog on occasion looks odd, or things don't point quite to the site I meant it to, please bear with me. I added a set of links along the side today and at the bottom of the page, I added a link to a place that will show you who links to my blog. Except the link at the bottom is pointing to someone else's stats...and you have to put my name in the search on the top.

Dinner is ready...and I must go. Life calls. Please forgive the wierdness and check back again later. Perhaps the HTML fairy will have visited and fixed it all.

Play safe,

PS. Okay, I successfully moved the "who links to me" link to the sidebar (Yay for me!) and it now points to me, and not some other dude (whew!). Off to try and limit the archive list that seems inordinately long....

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Curiouser and curiouser...

There are times I definitely understand Alice. This is one of them.

Exposition: Ebay tells Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc, that it can no longer carry Secret Submission on EC's ebay store. Reason? Near as I can tell, the book should be listed in the Mature Audiences section of the site, not the General Public section. Will set aside discussion on that at the moment and continue...

Rising action (or complication): A few moments ago, I happened to be checking other online booksellers to see how many of the eight books I've written (and published with Ellora's Cave) each of them carry. None carry all eight. Borders (and hence, Amazon, since the search is one and the same) carries five of them; Barnes and Noble carries four.

Out of curiousity, I went to Ebay's homepage and checked the listing for Diana Hunter; books. Imagine my surprise when I found FOUR booksellers selling the same book the publisher of the book had been told NOT to sell! Check the search results yourself! (for the record, I am not Regine Sands and we have never met, and I am not the author of The Ritalin Free Child...although her book looks quite good.)

As Artie Johnson used to say, "Verrrry interesting....but stoopid!"

Climax and denoument to come...

Play safe,

Saturday, November 12, 2005

It's official...I'm going to attend the Romantic Times Conference in May. Just bought my airline tickets and registered for the conference.

I need to say a public thank you to my husband here. Making reservations and trying to decide between this flight or that one and waiting through the load-in times as I change from one to another trying to find the best me a gigantic headache. After ten minutes, the numbers start to blur and I just want to take the computer monitor and send it through the window. Especially when I find the flights I want and then get the, "I'm sorry, we cannot process your flight at the moment. Try again on Tuesday when the moon is full and Mars descends to Earth."

Okay, so I'm being a bit sarcastic. The error message isn't nearly so mythic. I'm a bit cranky and out of patience. So Thank You, honey! You found flights that get me where I need to be with a minimum of fuss. So come on, May! I'm ready to party in Daytona Beach!

Been working trying to write a book in a month. It's not a new concept, although I've never tried it before. Hope I end up with decent material! Won't give any spoilers just's only the 12th and there are still 2 1/2 weeks to the month...anything could happen!

Off to watch the second half of Return of the King...I love Tolkien and enjoy Peter Jackson's movies. Yes, I own the extended edition. Yes, I've watched every single extra on the DVD...not only for this movie, but for all three. Yes, that makes me a Tolkien geek...and I'm proud of it!

Till later, play safe,

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Update on the Ebay banning...Secret Submission is still banned. Not my other books, however. It appears it was definitely removed because of a complaint. Wish I could figure out the exact policy. How many complaints about material does it take for them to remove it? And is it permanently removed or does the publisher (in this case) have the right to ask them to reconsider?

So many questions...and not many answers. Thank you to all of you who have written me or commented here on this matter. I wish I had more information for you. The best I have is that Ebay considers the book "misfiled" should be under their Mature Audiences section of their site. Guess I really don't have a problem with that...but then why aren't ALL the books there? Is that a better placement for them? At the moment, it appears to be a rather selective and subjective application of their code.

I've decided I cannot let it get to me. EC is looking into it from a legal standpoint and I'm going to wait to see what happens on that end. In the meantime, I'm going to continue writing hot, sexy romances (okay, I never stopped ) . And I'm going to continue playing around with forms and structures...and subjects...that may make some people uncomfortable. It's good to be pushed out of one's comfort zone every once in a while and discover that life has many flavors. I just happen to enjoy exploring the sexual flavors of BDSM. Let others take the more common tastes.

But that's what's wonderful about a free society...each person has the opportunity to try whatever taste they wish. I can go down the street and choose between a Mexican, Chinese and Italian restaurant...why can't I choose what kind of sex I want to write about? I'm very lucky I'm protected by a Constitution that, so far, still guarentees me that right to free expression. Are there people who would like to curb that right? You bet!

Oh, dear...I seem to have climbed onto a soapbox that really has little to do with Ebay and their removal of my book. They are a private company and have the right to allow...or disallow...items from their Internet Garage Sale. I understand that and respect it. It is my hope, however, that they will examine their own policies and not let censorship creep in their back door.

As for me, I'm going to continue to write...and watch.

Till safe!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I"ve been banned!

Ack! Erk! Gahhhh......

LOL So much for death scenes... Never was any good at them anyway.

I've just recieved word that Ebay, that incredible marketplace that sells anything... Ebay, where everyone can be a capitalist...will no longer allow Ellora's Cave to sell my first novel, Secret Submission (still available in print if you order through or via an email to

You heard me right. Secret Submission has been deemed too hot for Ebay. How was that determination made? I haven't a clue. Probably someone saw the cover or read the blurb, saw that it was about BDSM and then freaked. By the way, Jaid Black's The Possession, Lora Leigh's Menage a Magick and Tawny Taylor's Private Games were also banned. All books that have BDSM as a theme.

Theme? Wrong word. BDSM isn't so much a theme as it is a sexual I obviously feel should be savored, explored, tasted in many different ways. I remember the first time I had a cup of coffee and told my mother later that it was disgusting. I didn't understand how anyone could drink it. She asked me how I had it and I told her it was "black." She laughed and told me I needed to experiment to find out how I would enjoy it. Two sugars? Cream? There were thousands of ways to prepare the drink most American's can't start the day without.

I never did learn to like coffee...but BDSM as an expression of one's sexuality should be approached the same way. Silk scarves and spread-eagled? A simple blindfold as he explores your body...or perhaps has you explore his while you can't see. Perhaps it's just one telling the other, "don't move and let me taste every inch of you." Simple, yet not vanilla.

And if it's more? If it goes to whips and chains and Doms and subs...heck! all the way to Masters and slaves...what is it but still an expression of sexuality between consenting adults? Just as some need their coffee strong and black, so some need their sexuality with hearty flavors.

Banning books is never right. Voltaire said it best: "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." The free and open exchange of ideas...even when couched in vital to a democracy, is vital to a society that sees itself as healthy and growing, is vital to an enlightened people that understand the most dangerous weapon an enemy can have is a closed mind.

So, what to do about Ebay? Not sure on that one. Am open to ideas. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to write sexy, romantic stories exploring the various flavors of BDSM because I want to and because I need to speak out against those who would silence me. This author is not going to go silently into the cyber-void.

Without apologies...and waving my red flag of defiance, I am still playing safe...


Saturday, October 29, 2005

After a wonderful ego trip in Chicago...a dose of reality today. Let me start at the beginning....

Border's Books holds regional meetings with all the district and store managers of a particular area. Ellora's Cave was invited to the regional meeting for the upper midwestern states and EC asked Jaid Black, Tawny Taylor and me to attend with them and to help represent the company. Honored, all three of us accepted and Jaid (being the founder of the company) gave a speech. Unfortunately, I didn't get to hear it as my flight home was at the same time. :(

The trip, however, was glorious. We were treated like celebrities every the terrific staff of the Crowne Plaza (the one right near the airport in Chicago), by the Border's personnel, and by our own EC bosses...Patty Marks and Jeania Uplinger. I practically didn't need that plane to fly home!

And then...reality. Every once in a while I check my sales ranking at, more out of curiosity than anything else. Most of my readers purchase my books through EC (for the downloads) or brick and mortar stores (for the paperbacks). So yesterday, I go to and check the listing for SECRET SUBMISSION. Imagine my surprise to discover a new review! I'm always eager to hear what people have to say about my book and even if they didn't like it, I like to know why.

Well, there are two reviews of SECRET SUBMISSION (DIAMOND STUDS has only one and IRISH ENCHANTMENT and TABLE FOR FOUR have none). The one that's been there a while is glowing, and the new one...isn't. I got trashed. No, more than trashed. I got beaten to a pulp, stomped on, and left in the gutter.

Now, like I said, I know what I write isn't for all people and I don't expect everyone to like it. But her one comment, about the fact that "there was no romance, not even the slightest bit," got to me. You can read her whole review here.

I had to think about it a while to understand why her comment ticked me off so much. Like I said, I know BDSM isn't for everyone. And that's when it hit me. It's not just that she's dismissing me, she dismissing everyone who's involved in the lifestyle as well. There IS romance in that book...a ton of it. But it isn't sweet and pretty, it isn't all hearts and flowers. And it isn't vanilla. It's softly's the thorns instead of the roses (in fact, there's an incredible non-fiction BDSM book called SCREW THE ROSES, SEND ME THE THORNS that explores the psychology of D/s and a whole lot more). All my writings explore a different type of romance than the traditional.

I read through some of her other reviews and that became clearer...she's reviewed lots of books and I think it's wonderful that she takes the time to write down her thoughts. She admits this is the first BDSM book she's ever read...LOL...Secret Submission is rather tame compared to some of the online stuff...although it is pushing the envelope in print fiction.

To the readers of my books who also read this blog, I have a request. Take a moment and write your own reviews of not only my books, but of the books you read. Just a line or two is sufficient for I've read other's reviews there that are huge! LOL Your comments help writers to understand how the world views their work. Plus, it's a great chance to let the world know your opinions. my soapbox and off to write a whole lot more BDSM... with romance!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Eight books in three years.

Who'd a thunk? Of course, only three of them are full-length I guess that really comes down to a book a year, with five short stories thrown in for good measure. Except HOOKED is novella length, not short story....

Okay, so there's no rhyme or reason to my writing. I write what comes down the pike...tried my hand at two anthologies and might do a third, but only with Ruby Storm and Ruth Kerce...they're great partners to work with and we've already started discussing ideas for another set of stories. But it wouldn't come out for over a year, so I have no sense of urgency yet. And I truly think I write better...or at least more...when I have a deadline hanging over my head, self-imposed or otherwise.

I've been piddling at several stories, but none of the characters have yet grabbed me by the collar and screamed, "ME! Tell MY story!" That's sort of the only way they get page time. So I keep doodling, going from one started manuscript to the next (I think I'm up to five now) hoping that, this time, a character will step up to the plate.

In the meantime, I've been refreshing my batteries...or, going back to Stephen Covey, 'sharpening my saw' by scrapbooking with my daughter, playing solitaire (LOTS of solitaire...Spider is the current weapon of choice for idling away my time...), gardening and following hurricane news. I have relatives in Florida...Fort Meyers to be exact. So once again I've glued myself to the TV.

Today's a celebration day with the release of CABIN FEVER. So tonight, I'm going to kick back, relax and tackle that cast of characters tomorrow.

Till later, play safe!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I went to a terrific series of workshops today and learned a slew of 'stuff' about some of the new internet tools. Not only blogging, but RSS and podcasting and wikis as well. Lots I had heard of, but haven't yet had the time to play with. Guess I'll be making that time...although it will mean I need to set aside my latest story.

And what is the latest? LOL Depends on the day and my mood. I've thought about a sequel to Secret Submission...and actually written about 4000 words or so exploring Sarah and Phillip's move to a 24/7 relationship. Already have a title, too: Submission Revealed.

Then there's a Civil War historical novel I've been working on for several years. Thought I'd dig it out and give it another go. The story is a true one...about a man and his brother who enlist in the same Union regiment in August of 1863 and end up prisoners of war four weeks later. The story follows their first year in the army...from their capture at Harper's Ferry to the battle of Gettysburg a year later. I'm thinking of it for Cerridwen Press.

And then there's another one I haven't yet begun to write, but have been researching off and on for the past 6 months. More off than on. I had just about given up on it...but every time I do, the main character's name shows up in some odd place and gets me thinking again. We'll see where that goes.

Of course, I also have a fantasy novel I've been trying to start for two years...the synopsis is all set and I love the story, but can't seem to get the characters to sit still long enough to show me the opening scene. I've written about five starts...and not one of them is worth the computer space they take up.

See now why I might as well take some time to learn the whole RSS thing?

Till later,

Play safe!

Friday, September 02, 2005

What with all that's going on down south, I have decided to forego September's contest from my site. Those in Mississippi and Louisiana who have lost their homes need far more help than I can supply, but what I can do, I will do. Instead of holding a contest this month, I'm sending a donation to the Red Cross. Thank you for understanding.

Play safe,

Thursday, September 01, 2005

All the news is about Katrina lately...and with good reason. How many Hollywood disaster movies have been made about the destruction of an American city? You'd think we'd be prepared for it, having seen it on the big screen so many times. But since Hollywood isn't known for its realism, we've dismissed just such a possiblility from our collective conciousness in our very human typical, it-can't-really-happen attitude.

And yet, it has. Not only the destruction, but the mayor of New Orleans is now calling for the abandonment of the city. I have a picture of him standing on top of a governmental building shouting out to the city, "Abandon ship! Abandon ship!" It isn't a pleasant image...watching an entire city turn heel and sink.

At the moment, dealing with survivors is the problem of the day. Where to put them...what to feed them...thousands of refugees streaming into surrounding towns, villages, cities. The next problem to creep up has been the looting. I don't think anyone begrudges those who steal to eat or to supply their family with basic needs...but just what the hell do those people think they're going to do with anything electronic? What are you going to plug it into? And by the time you get it through the water, will it be worth anything?

Someone in some news article concerning the looting said, "Disasters always bring out the worst in people." I beg to differ. Over the years, I have seen only the best sides of humanity emerge from some of the worst tragedies. Perhaps I'm naive...but I prefer to look at all those who have opened their homes, at those who have donated time, money, goods...rather than those criminal few who expect to make a quick buck. THOSE are the truly naive, because all they could want is being offered not only by huge organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, but by individuals. I know of one man with a boat who was in Florida. He filled his boat with ice, medical supplies, food...and headed over to do what he can. And he's not alone.

Those are the true heroes...the men and women who stop what they are doing and pitch in to help. And those heroes vastly outnumber the looters who are stealing for the sake of stealing. It is important to remember that. Roughly five percent of the population gets ninety-five percent of the media coverage. There are far more humanitarian stories than there are looting ones, no matter what the press says.

Donate to the Red Cross...give blood if you can. Help out the Salvation Army in your area. I hear Loew's building supply is matching funds for those who donate through them, up to one million dollars. Money is what is needed right now. Please give what you can.

Thank you...and BE safe...


Friday, August 19, 2005

I'm off to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio in two hours...I can't wait to see everyone at EC's headquarters! Don't know if they'll make this August booksigning a yearly affair, but I won't complain if they do. Gives me a chance to meet with fans and hobnob with the wonderful people who publish my books.

Originally I was going to bring my family along, but then we couldn't find a campground in the area. At least, not one within 20 miles of the bookstore. I'm surprised. So they're staying home and I'm bacheloretting it at a hotel for the weekend. I know. Big sacrifice. Actually, I really do enjoy my kids and have gone with them separately on mini-vacations this summer. It was a wonderful way to get to know them as teenagers. So much angst in those years...

I hope to see some of you in Ohio! Play safe,

Friday, August 05, 2005

Where did the month of July go? Did anyone see it? Or was that the blur I saw going past when I took a glance up from my computer?

So much time, so little to do.
Wait! Reverse that!

LOL -- Saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and thought it charming...although Gene Wilder will always hold a special place in my heart as Willie Wonka. Johnny Depp has created a wonderful characterization as well...isn't it great when Hollywood can get it right TWICE?

Let's the past month I've finished a short story that I've submitted for next year's Caveman series from EC (will let you know as soon as I know if it's been accepted or not). I've also begun research on a new historical fiction and begun rewrites on a previously written historical.

Now, I know what you're thinking...Diana Hunter writes contemporary bondage romance, not historical anything. But I'm a woman of many talents (or so my husband tells me ), and have had these other pieces roaming around in my head for a while. So while I wait to get CABIN FEVER back from my editor so I can do the final edits, I'm...playing.

Speaking of CABIN husband and his sister and some friends and I went wining recently (NOT in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. If you don't already know, there are over 100 wineries nestled between, around and beside the lakes...and most of them make award-winning treats for the tastebuds. That day we rented a limo (we're not stupid...we don't drink and drive!!!), and visited nine wineries on the shores of the Seneca and Cayuga lakes.

Now, what does all this have to do with CABIN FEVER? Hazlitt Vineyards, a vineyard that planted it's first vine in 1852, has a wonderful white wine called....Cabin Fever! I was delighted to find it a sweet wine (my tastes run to the sweeter wines....give me a good port anyday!)...and I bought several bottles. On August 20th, I'm doing a book signing...and intend to give away a bottle of it in a special drawing for those who attend. You can find details on both my website ( and on my newsletter (

So I have been keeping busy, even if I haven't been blogging. To those of you who made it to the Romance Writers of America conference...I hope you all had a good time. Perhaps next year I'll be able to make it!

Till safe!


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

People ask me how I come up with the characters who populate my novels. I've said before that, once I know they're name, I'm all set. Most of the time, the story just writes itself.

But every once in a while, a character will surprise me and change mid story. Then I know I'm doing more pushing than the character is. For example, I'm working on a short story for EC's Tales from the O-asis series for 2006. The main character is a bit of a rogue, and that's the problem. How do I keep him sympathetic in the reader's view, yet allow him the latitude he needs to be truly the dominant personality he has? I keep trying to take him one way, only to discover, half a page later, that the story's at a dead end. Why? Because the character has stopped talking and I'm trying to force him someplace he doesn't want to go.

Same thing with the heroine. I tried to give her a backstory that would account for her behavior, but she's having none of it. She wants the hero. Period. No hidden agenda, no childhood angst, no conflicts hiding in the wings. She wants him to fall in love with her. And everytime I try to get her to put up more of a protest when he takes her to bed, she turns to me and says, "Why? This is exactly where I want to be!" Ya gotta love women who know their own minds.

I expect to have this story finished by the end of the has no name yet, although I've been toying with "New York Oasis." We'll see.

All right, enough gab. I'm off to get the two of them to finish this story...
Play safe,

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

With summer officially here (school's out!), I've spent the past several days getting to all the cleaning I don't get to otherwise. Amazing how much dust can accumulate behind things. Now I know why my grandmother insisted on moving all the furniture when she did spring cleaning!

I've also begun work on a short to submit for EC's Tales from the year's Cavemen series. Only about a third of the way through...will see if it comes to anything. Right now the hero and heroine are having an interesting conversation and feeling each other out, so to speak .

Other than that, I'm just getting my house in order!

Play safe,

Friday, June 24, 2005

Busy week! Just finished my first edits for CABIN FEVER...yes, I took a long time doing them. LOL If you read my last entry, you'll know what else I've been working on! But it's in to my editor now and soon she'll send it back for another go-round (and hopefully the last!).

HOOKED comes out this coming Tuesday or Wednesday, so I've started a contest for that. It's going well...lots of new people entering I haven't met before, and that's always cool. I love chatting with fans that have been around a while, too. Although I know everyone by their email addy rather than their name!

Now to get to work on the next novel...

Play safe!

Friday, June 17, 2005

IRISH ENCHANTMENT is now available in paperback! Hooray! I have often said, "Stitches in Time," the piece I have in that anthology, is my favorite of all my stories. Just a bit of fun...

June is a busy month as the school year ends for my two children...last concerts, recitals, dance performances...and so I'm a bit behind on my edits for CABIN FEVER. My goal is to have it back to Pam no later than the 25th...and I'll make it. I only have 70 pages to go. Of course, they're the toughest 70 pages in the book. The climax at the end and the resolution are always the hardest parts for me to write. I really like getting to know the characters in a book...and if I really, really like them...then I don't want the book to end!

But I know there are readers who are eagerly awaiting this plus-length novel (73K and rising). So I shall put my nose to the grindstone and get back to work...

Play safe,

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I haven't been posting lately because things have been happening too quickly to keep up with them! HOOKED is supposed to be out at the end of June, but since I haven't seen the cover art yet, I'm waiting to do a big announcement. Don't want to get everyone's hopes up and then have to backpedal. So that's on one burner.

On another is DIAMOND STUDS...the anthology I wrote with Ruby Storm and Ruth Kerce. It's due out in paperback in July. I have seen the cover for this one...LOL...three gorgeous rear ends, only this time WITH jeans! The three of us are cooking up a great contest to celebrate it's release onto the shelves of the bookstores. That pot's simmering!

On the third burner is IRISH ENCHANTMENT, the anthology I wrote with Sahara Kelly and Tielle St. Clare. I have to admit, the short I have in that book, Stitches in Time, is one of my favorites. This book is also coming out in print...soon. Don't have a date, but I know we're close.

And of course, on the last burner is CABIN FEVER, which is a plus-novel currently in edits for Ellora's Cave. I'm about halfway through this series of edits and expect one more go-round after this one. Pam (my editor) and I are both very picky and don't want to release anything until we're both sure it's as tight (and sexy!) as it can be.

But of course, one dish is completed, off the stove and already the table, and that's an article in the July edition of Ellora's Cave newsletter on the confusion caused by the term BDSM. The term means so many things to so many different people...I figured it was my turn to take a stab at it.

So a great deal cooking in Diana Hunter's kitchen of erotic romance!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Okay...I know you've heard this before...but HOOKED is finished! Yes, again. At just a few words over 15K, it was decided that it should be longer so readers feel like they're getting their money's worth. LOL

So I've spent the past week polishing into a nice, little jewel that sparkles in all sorts of light. It's now a bit over 17K...and we'll see if that makes the cut.

So now it's back to CABIN FEVER...although I'm going to need to back up quite a few pages and get a running start again. One of the problems with working on two novels at once is keeping the characters straight. I don't want Tania to sound like Isabel...they're totally different women. Or Jim to sound like prefers the jungle of the boardroom, the other the jungle of the wilderness.

Am I teasing you? You bet!

Play safe,

Sunday, May 22, 2005

A special hello to Joy and Linda and Paula and Debby! It was wonderful seeing you at the Border's booksigning in Farmington, CT yesterday. What a great time!

Mary Wine flew in all the way from California for her two signings...and boy are her arms tired. It was great to see her again. She's a wonderful go-getter when it comes to selling EC -- we have no better saleswoman than Mary! If she saw someone browsing in the romance section, she was over there like a flash, chatting with the woman and asking her if she might like to try something a little spicier. Nine times out of ten, the customer was at our table within a minute, ready to learn all about our books and Ellora's Cave! I love working with Mary!

Sarah McCarty is no slouch, either, let me tell you! When she saw we'd been put in the back of the store, she marched right up to management and demanded that we be given better placement, preferably right near the romance section. When Brenda came in from the EC bus to back her up, the manager didn't know what hit him! LOL Needless to say, we were in the center of the store where customers had to pass by. We let very few go by without a hello and many stopped just to see what the fuss was all about. Nice job, Sarah!

We had a great time and met many people from all over the world (including a delightful woman from Ireland who told us her incredibly romantic story about how she met her significant has all the makings of a wonderful book!). I still can't believe Joy came all the way up from NYC to see us.

And now it's back to the laptop for further edits of HOOKED (this is going to be one special story by the time we get done with it. Many, many thanks to Pam Campbell, my editor, for all the time she's spent helping me polish this jewel!). Till later...

Play safe,

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A great brouhaha is brewing over two recent blog posts (other blogger's work...not my posts). In the first, a fellow writer bemoaned the poor writing she found among erotic romance books. In the second, a gentleman announced that the publishing of ebooks, on the whole, was a failure.

We all know there are good writers who get published...and there are terrible writers that get published. But the glory of living in a democracy, is that, should you put any group of people together from any and all walks of life, give them a pile of books, and you will get an extremely lively discussion about which writers belong in which category. I'm not a fan of Charles Dickens (not that he ever wrote erotic romance, but no one can deny A Tale of Two Cities has romance as its backbone!), but my husband thinks Dickens is one of the best writers ever to exist. So is he a good writer or a terrible one? Depends on who you ask. The blog writer who bemoaned the poor writing is allowed her opinions. I don't have to agree with them.

As to the failure of ebooks as a viable publishing alternative? Hmmm...methinks he hasn't heard of Ellora's Cave! Or, for that matter, several of the ebook publishers that cater to the romance genres. The examples in his article came mostly from the non-fiction side of the aisle, although he did reference other literary forms. He also seemed to think that most ebooks eventually were printed out by the purchaser for easier reading.

He could be right on the last comment. I don't know how many readers actually print the books they buy online. I know I don't. I don't have a neat little reader-ma-bob either. I read them right at my computer screen. For some, I know that's a problem, but my eyes are in that in-between stage right now. LOL I use bifocals for distance and closeup work...but the computer screen is exactly the right distance away that I don't need assistance! That's why, if you ever see me, you'll find my glasses perched on top of my head in easy reach if I need to see something across the room or read a piece of paper. But if I want to talk to you, I have to take them off. Otherwise I'm doing the head-nod thing trying to determine which part of my glasses work best to see you!

So to answer each tempest in a teapot with a dash of my own spice: there are good and bad writers of every genre. Read the authors you like; ignore the ones you don't. And don't bury the ebook publishers just yet...they're still alive and kicking in my experience!

Play safe!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

To paraphrase an old movie: what would happen if they gave a booksigning and nobody showed up?

Many thanks to Julie...our one and only attendee at the first stop of the EC bus tour! I'm afraid Borders didn't quite do the advance advertising we'd hoped...although the timing was also against us. Seems two major colleges in the area had their graduation ceremonies this everyone who would normally be in the bookstore was occupied. Even the mall next store which is normally one of the busiest malls in the Albany area, was empty when I went shopping afterward.

Oh, well. Jennifer Dunne and I had a great time talking with Julie and getting to know each other better as well. The EC bus is resplendent, of course...and many people stopped by to talk to the staff there. LOL I think Jennifer and I might have had more traffic if we had been out by the bus!

Still and all, it was great fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again in 2 weeks time in Farmington, CT. Several fans have already told me they'll be there...and I look forward to meeting them in person! Very cool.

My editor sent CABIN FEVER to me yesterday for the first go-round of edits. Darn point of view is shifting again. Not sure what got into me this winter that all of a sudden I keep head-hopping. One paragraph of what she's thinking...the next in his head. Enough to drive a reader to thinking she's watching a tennis match! Gotta fix that.

Off to work!
Play safe,

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

HOOKED is no longer a Quickie. With only 115 words to go before reaching EC's guidelines for a novella, I'm having another go at it and pushing it to the longer length. Wasn't a hard decision to reach...when I went to fill out the cover request and got to the question about the hero's appearance, I couldn't remember if Jim had blonde hair or brown. And what color were his eyes? I didn't have the foggiest.

Now, if the author can't remember the basic physical characteristics of her hero, how on earth does she expect her readers to remember? "More visual detail" is the mantra my editor hammers at me...and with good reason. So tonight, I shall be rereading it with an eye towards throwing in key phrases to give the readers a great visual image of hero and heroine.

Sooner or later, I'll stop tinkering with this story!

Play safe,

Monday, May 09, 2005

Have been working on the edits for HOOKED all week. I sent off one version to my editor...she sent it back saying the sex needed to be hotter. At the moment, it would get an "S" rating, not the more coveted "E" (for Erotic) one. So I figured, no problem...just have them play a little more, right?

I love it when my characters understand there's another whole level to a scene that I didn't even realize was there. Jim, the male protagonist, finally shouted it in my ear: "This scene is about sensation, idiot! Where are all the wonderful sensations I can put Tania through? Would you just write them in please???"

And like the obedient writer I am...I'm giving the Dom what he asks for...

Of course, now we're skirting the novella length instead of EC's guidelines for a Quickie....

Back to work for me...need to give that Dom something to do with his hands....


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I spent both Monday and Tuesday getting caught up. DIAMOND HEAT is almost ready for print...Ruby, Ruth and I had to go over the galleys and spot any changes that needed to be made. Not too bad, I only found 2 mistakes I'd made and one that was a spacing error. Our changes are now in, so that should be released in paperback sometime over the summer. July, maybe?

I also started a business plan. When I sold my first manuscript, SECRET SUBMISSION, to Ellora's Cave, I had no idea that a writer's life was more than just writing the books. LOL Boy, do I know better now! Promotional items, webpages, newsletters, conventions...the list goes on. I begin to understand why JK Rowling is having trouble getting a book written!

So now I'm beginning to actually think of my writing career like a business...and that actually has brought about some exciting ideas. Nothing I'm ready to announce...but lots I'm considering for the website. Need to get a DBA (Doing Business As...) form and go from there. So much to keep in my head!

Today I'm hoping to find some time to work on the short story I have underway for the next Caveman series. It needs to be in by September. And my editor has told me I should have edits on HOOKED and CABIN FEVER back soon, so those will take up my time quickly.

Back to work! Play safe,

Monday, May 02, 2005

I do apologize for not posting yesterday, but when you read about my day, you'll understand why.

It all started early. Anxious to get home, Angelica and I headed down to the lobby to go souvenier shopping. We made our purchases, then noticed the very long line for the shuttle bus. After some discussion, we headed back up to finish our packing and head out. If we had to wait in line for the bus, with no guarentee that we'd make it on that particular run, we figured we'd best get in line now.

The checkout went smoothly and the clerk handed us a form to fill out for comments...boy, did we have comments for them! Believe me, the hotel WILL be getting an earful because we'll be sending our remarks by we have lots of time to get the phrasing exactly right .

The first bump came at the airport. Curbside check-in. The attendant cannot find our flight...then discovers it's been cancelled and all the passengers shifted to a flight that leaves 15 minutes earlier. Grateful that we'd given ourselves plenty of time, we were not distressed at the news. Until he told us we were not showing up as passengers FOR that flight. In fact, we were not showing up at all. On any flight. Going anywhere.

Some tense moments followed as he tried first one thing, then another. Resigned to having to hassle with the ticket counter, we had picked up our bags and turned to go when he called us back. For whatever reason, our names, which hadn't been on the screen earlier, suddenly popped up on the flight when he refreshed the screen. Relief!

I gotta tell you, I love flying. I had so much fun! Especially banking...making those turns makes me feel like I'm on a ride in an amusement park. Way too cool. Just way too cool.

Chicago -- O'Hare airport. No problems landing. We go to leave the plane and the pilot is standing in the cockpit door saying farewell to the passengers. I swear, he's twelve. I'm not kidding. Skinny little thing who can't be out of puberty. There's a good reason they don't let you see the pilot until you're safely on the ground!

We grab a bite to eat (neither of us had eaten yet and it's now after 11:00) and head for the gate. Just get comfortable when the gatekeeper announces our flight is "over weight" and needs to be lightened by three passengers. Wish taking pounds off my thighs was so easy! They'd give a $250 flight voucher to any passenger who volunteered to take a later flight. LOL Angelica and I headed right for the counter. I'm no fool.

The later flight took off at 9:44 (it was now close to 3:00 pm). The airline would give us the flight voucher as well as a $20.00 food voucher and bump us to first class if we agreed to give up our seats on the scheduled flight. Didn't even need to discuss it. We agreed.

So now we have several hours to kill in the airport. A restaurant not too far away from the gate looked promising, but since we had time, we wandered a bit to check out the other places. Except those darn bags get pretty heavy after a while, so we went back to our original choice, the Chicago Tap & Grill at Gate G. I was wearing my "Got sex?" T-shirt and the waitress laughed out loud when she saw it. I turned around so she could read the back and she said, "Ellora's Cave? I LOVE those books!" I grinned and gave her my business card (everything else was packed...gotta start thinking ahead....) and signed it for her. She was so excited!Let me tell you, I've never had better service at a restaurant before! She hadn't read any of my books, but she sure knew EC! And if you're reading this...Hi, Diana! (yes, our waitress and I have the same first name!)

The restaurant was gracious and no one tried to kick us out, even as I sat there nursing a Coke after dinner and typing away furiously on my laptop (had a great idea for a short to submit for the Ellora's Cavemen series...wrote 6 pages waiting for the plane. See? You guys win by our taking the later flight, too!). But after a while it started to fill up and when tables became scarce, we decided to make a graceful departure.

Our flight was on time and things went well, until we went to get on the plane. We were first row...great seats! Only the idiot businessman in the seat across the aisle had put his briefcase into the overhead instead of under his seat because he wanted the extra leg room. But that meant OUR carryons had to go in the back cupboard. You know...the one all the way at the BACK of the plane...the one you can't get to until everyone else is already off? GRRRR. Not happy campers about that. But the flight crew was gracious and the city gorgeous beneath us in the dark. It looked as if someone had scattered brilliant amber diamonds on a black velvet cloth to see the lights of the city below. I watched until we climbed above the clouds and we couldn't see anymore.

We landed at home just before midnight. By the time we got our bags (which, amazingly, had been transferred to the proper flight!) and drove home, it was almost 2:00 am. As I said, I apologize for not writing yesterday, but now you see why.

Very soon I shall put the quiz up on my newsletter site for the wonderful readers I have. Some of you I met in St.'re ALL terrific. I won't spoil it and tell the wonderful surprises I have for you as prizes for this contest...but let me say, I was thinking of you at RT!

Take care and play safe,

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Well, I'm not sure I can recommend this hotel, but other than the accommodations, I've had a great time. Today the entire EC family had a great breakfast and I think just about everyone from the offices was there. With EC authors attending, it was quite a crowd! Patty Marks and Crissy Brashear gave us great news about the company and how it's growing (they've bought a new building!) and an update on what's coming this year. Let me just say...the news is exciting an wonderful. I am so lucky to be writing for a great publishing company!

After that, it was time to get ready for the big booksigning. One person told me there were 300 authors...from Heather Graham, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Laurell K. Hamilton to me! It was great to meet with so many readers and fans, including Sha herself! Hi, Sha!

The Mr. Romance competition was a lot of fun. Nine gorgeous men competing in a Question & Answer session, in Datewear and finishing up in a Posedown. And let me tell you...those guys can pose! I'd take any one of them on my covers! And under them, too!

Okay, I'd better stop before I get myself in trouble...Hi, honey! I'll be home tomorrow!

Play safe,

Friday, April 29, 2005

Before I begin today's adventures, I forgot to tell you about the Hospitality Suite here at the convention. EC has a table staffed by authors and I was there yesterday from 4-5:00. What fun! I got to meet so many readers...and I finally met Renee -- a long-time member of my group~ Hi, Renee! I sat with Denise Agnew and Patrice Michelle and we had a great time.

Today's activities got started with a breakfast mixer given by Avon Publishing. We made it down late (sleepyheads!), so most people were already gone, I'm afraid. Workshops again this morning...I went to listen to our very own Raelene Gorlinsky on a panel with Anna Genoese from TOR/Forge, Susan Grant, Sue Kearney and Linnea Sinclair discussing Plausibility Problems and Solutions in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Now, does that mean I might have an SF or Fantasy up my sleeve? You bet! It's a fantasy, but not a romance. Probably will come out via Cerriwidden under another name...but that's a different discussion. Hmmm...have I teased enough?

I also went to listen to Anna's presentaion with Melissa Ann Singer to hear about the happenings at TOR/Forge...I've been reading fantasy since fantasy was only one set of books ... JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It was great to get a chance to sit there as a reader instead of an author and listen to all the wonderful things coming our way in the next year.

RT gave a Salute to the Buyers luncheon where we heard Sue Grimshaw, Waldenbooks Romance Fiction buyer, speak about some of the trends in publishing. You won't be surprised to to know that, although book buying is slightly down this year, two genre are selling off the shelves: paranormal and romanterotica! In fact, she mentioned EC by name in her speech as the premier publisher of romanterotica in the market today. All other publishers are scrambling to get where EC already is!

Cheyenne McCray and Eden Robbins gave a great mixer in the afternoon, but I was late 'cause I was IMing with my husband. We got to chatting and...well, you know how it goes! Tonight's Vampire Ball is still going on, but I'm beat. I love the life of an author, but these parties are doing me in! LOL

Tomorrow is the big booksigning. I'm tremendously excited about that. I can't wait to meet more readers! Besides which, tomorrow is also the Mr. Romance pagent...and we all know that's the real reason we're all here! I'll have a full report tomorrow night on all the gorgeous, hunky guys that are here.

Play safe!
Wow, what a day! But let me start at the beginning...

Because I'm still on New York time, I woke early. We had set the alarm for 7:45 (the first mixer .. ie, breakfast.. started at 8:30), but I was up by six. Ended up being great because my husband and I IMed for over an hour. There are days we don't get that much time together when I'm home!

The breakfast mixer was hosted by our own Lori O'Clare, Lora Leigh, Mary Wine and Jaci Burton and let me tell you, they put on a great spread. I had a walnut muffin that was huge! I got a chance to talk with Patty Marks and Crissy Brashear for a bit...there are some great things coming for EC! You ain't seen nothin' yet!

Afterward, Angelica and I headed up to beard the lion in his den...otherwise known as the Front Desk Manager. "He" turned out to be a "She" on the daytime shift. "She" was quite pleasant, very helpful and tremendously apologetic. We went back to the bellhop's desk for her to begin tracking it down...and lo and behold, there sat my box...right out in the open, with my name and room number on it. Not delivered. Not secure. Right there. Were we ticked? You bet!

So we gave her what for, she apologized some more and I told her I wanted it delivered to my room by the time I returned at noon. She also told us she would have the bellhop's superior contact us at some point during the day to get more information (which, by the way, he never did -- perhaps tomorrow?).

The good news is...I have my promo notepads back. The bad news is...I do NOT want to carry 47 pounds worth of them back home on the plane. LOL After mapping out a new promo plan, we decided to put the notepads out on Promotion Lane and hope people would still pick them up. They're going like hotcakes! We've gone through almost half of them already.

And yes, I still have some home, so I suspect whoever wins the contest on Monday will be getting one. Then you can let me know if the hullabaloo was worth it!

I'm afraid we skipped the Awards Luncheon. The workshops on promotion in both the morning and the afternoon sessions were great, but we were tired and decided on a quick lunch at The Grill (a very pricey restaurant in the hotel) and a nap. Gotta be rested for the party at night!

Cerriwidden launched today and EC had a nice mixer with lots of fresh fruit, cheese and crackers and a fruit punch. Raelene Gorlinsky helmed the mic and there were lots of goodies (chocolate, of course...and a neat traveler's manicure set).

Tonight was the Masquerade Ball, and I wish I could tell you I wore a costume, but alas, I did not. There just wasn't room in my suitcase for everything! But plenty of others were dressed magnificently. Our very own Mary Wine and Lisa Stoddard were two of the five winners of the costume contest. Lisa wore a white and royal blue jester's costume and Mary wore a beautiful Victorian lady's dress...complete with corset and the requiste "S" shape. But the piece de resistance of her outfit had to be the mask...covered in the same material as her dress with feathers dyed in the same hues. Yes, I have pictures and will upload them to the group soon as I figure out how to get them off my camera!

And so another exciting day in St. Louis draws to a close...till tomorrow, play safe!


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Wednesday, redux...

What's that adage about if it can go wrong, it will? The day hiccupped and I ended up with a major problem.

You see, ahead of time I sent to the hotel, via UPS, 2 boxes of notepads with my website and promo info imprinted on them. The intent was to put one notepad in every bag EC gave away at the party tonight. 400 notepads in total. There were 100 notepads in the smaller box; 3oo in the larger one.

UPS is a good company and true to their word. By 4:30 this afternoon, the two boxes had been delivered to the hotel. And then the hotel lost the larger of the 2 boxes. Yes, you heard me. Somewhere between the delivery dock and the spot where we were stuffing bags (2 floors down), the hotel managed to "misplace" 300 personalized notepads.

I did not have a happy face.

Good thing Angelica is here, let me tell you. She's very good about taking care of matters like this. Unfortunately, the box was still missing and the bags needed to be done. So, instead of putting the excerpt booklets out on the table as planned, 300 of them went into the EC bags in place of the missing notepads. And on Promo Alley? Well, let's just say it's a good thing I brought a lot of bookmarks!

So yes, I can be flexible and adapt as needed. But let me say that the hotel darn well better find that box, or I'll be asking them for the replacement value!

On to better the EC party...What a blast! So many cool people...Arianna Hart, Cheyenne McCray...dancing with Camille Anthony (let me tell you, the girl has some moves!). The EC cover models were there and I got a hug from Rodney Chapman, whose wonderful face and physique graces the cover of 'my' TALES FROM THE TEMPLE III. Over 40 gift boxes were given away as door prizes -- so many authors donated great prizes!

The party is still going, but we've conked out. The day has been long for us, even after a short nap this afternoon. Tomorrow the day gets started at 8:30 ... so till then, play safe!


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

This is way too cool. I have to admit...I've only traveled by air once before in my life...and that was 24 years ago in a short puddle jump that lasted less than an hour in the air. Today was great! I had a wonderful time flying! We were over 6 miles up in the air and I couldn't stop writing about it. So many wonderful images that will come in handy later, if I have a heroine that goes flying....

Many thanks to Angelica, my promotions manager -- a seasoned traveler who knew where to go and what to do. She pointed and I just did what she did. We arrived at the Millennium Hotel with no hassles...and almost an hour early! American Airlines sure get points for that.

After checking in (no, my promo materials that I sent on ahead are not here yet -- not panicking, not panicking), we put out 50 excerpt booklets for TABLE FOR FOUR and toured the area to get the lay of the land. Then back upstairs for a nap -- we lost an hour in changing time zones. And since our flight out was so early, I'd gotten up at 4 AM.

Rested, we headed back down to the lower lobby where all the action is -- and came back up almost immediately when we discovered only 7 excerpt booklets left! Have put 50 SECRET SUBMISSION booklets out now.

Speaking of SECRET SUBMISSION -- it was reviewed in this month's Romantic Times Magazine -- FOUR STARS!!!! I'm very psyched.

Have re-met Ashleigh Raine, Ruby Storm, Titania Ladley, and Heather Osborn. Have met for the first time, Jordan Summers and Camille Anthony. What a great group so far!

Off to get ready for the EC Fantasy party tonight...will write more later. Till safe,

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...."

Ya gotta love John Denver! One of my favorite folk musicians. Only I'm not going as far as Colorado...this time. "Only" to St. Louis.

It didn't take me as long to pack as I thought it would (thank goodness!) my husband has decided to take me out to dinner tonight as a sort of send-off. See why I married him? He's taking the kids for the next five days...and they're going to have to deal with Daddy-taxi instead of me.

In an effort not to overpack, I'm probably forgetting something. But my philosophy is simple: if I don't have it -- I don't really need it.

Take care and play safe!

Monday, April 25, 2005

In 36 hours, I land in St. Louis. This is quite an adventure for a gal who has never been further west than Battle Creek, Michigan! I can't wait to see the Mighty Mississippi up close and personal.

I have everything laid out...and have been receiving reports from some authors already there. The weather is getting warmer. Good in the Northeast it's in the 40's...and with snow in the west, who knows what to expect?! But since we'll all be warm and safe inside a hotel and surrounded by books, who cares what the weather is doing?

Take care and play safe!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Packed my carryon today...let's just hope the airport people don't weigh it! I decided to take all my promo stuff with me on the plane and put only clothes in my suitcase. Figured that way, should my suitcase not arrive in a timely manner, I'll still have the important things. Heck! I can run out to a discount store and buy a blouse...but I can't get personalized notepads and bookmarks at Walmart!

So we managed to get most of it in my carryon...and what didn't fit, Angelica is taking in hers. Between the two of us, we've got it covered. I hope.

See you at the EC party in six days!

Take care and play safe,

Thursday, April 21, 2005

And so the countdown to the Romantic Times Convention begins! In one week, I'll be on a plane, headed to St. Louis, MO...Can't wait to see the big arch! I spent two hours today organizing my wardrobe! Need five outfits for the nighttime activities and five daytime ensembles. Since I'm flying out, I don't have room for much in the way of costumes, so for the evening affairs I've decided to go sparkly and elegant. Need to save the space in my suitcase for promo items!

Speaking of promo items...for those of you attending the RT convention, stop in at the Hospitality Suite Thursday afternoon between 4-5:00 pm. I'll be at the Ellora's Cave table. Mention this weblog to me and get a special gift!

And for those who cannot attend the the newsletter for an important announcement soon. I'll be holding a special contest for those who can't be there. (Here's a hint: each day I'll post my adventures in St. Louis here on At the end of the convention, there will be a quiz!)

Till safe!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

What a difference 6 weeks makes! The weather here is sunny and should hit 70 today. Already I've transplanted some plants and raked off the garden this morning. Now I'm settling in to spend a quiet afternoon with my imagination.

HOOKED is a new story that is currently in its second round of edits. It's a short story...but sometimes those are the most sex served quickly! Won't give too many teasers just yet...let's just say I had fun playing around the various uses of the word that serves as the title (to HOOK a man, to be HOOKED on something, a HOOKER, to come get the point...).

I've been so busy writing, I have neglected this blog once many apologies. I really need to do something about that. I've written a plus-length novel that is also in edits and that's taken up most of my time. The working title for that one is CABIN FEVER. One of the most challenging novels I've ever written because there are only two characters throughout 95% of the book. The primary focus of the story explores their relationship as it grows and then falls apart (don't worry, it does have a happy ending).

Of course, these two created themselves as do all my characters. Although I start with a basic framework, by the time I'm finished, the story is often completely different. As the characters come to life on the page, they begin to tell the story in their words. I might give them life, but they give themselves depth and personality.

Over the course of the next week, I will be gearing up for the Romantic Times Convention in St. Louis. I hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The snow is really coming down here in the northeast US, and it's that fine, slippery stuff that I hate to drive on. As a result, I spent the day inside, snuggled on the couch with my laptop propped up on my knees, a cup of hot chocolate at my side...and wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more.

In fact, I wrote so much, I finished not one, but TWO stories today! The first one is an as-yet-untitled full-length novel for Ellora's Cave. I've been working on it off and on since July and today I wrote the last paragraph and sent it off to my editor.

Everytime I send my editor the first draft of any of my works, I get butterflies in my stomach. It takes me forever to gather my courage and click "Send." There's something nerve-wracking about letting someone else see what I've been working on for the very first time. I don't get nervous when I send her a second draft, or a third. Only that first.

And today I sent not only the unnamed novel, but also "Hooked," a short story I'd written before. Since I finished the novel by noon and still had several hours before the family returned home, I decided to give it the rewrite it needed and send that in, too.

Whew! So for the first time in almost 2 years, I don't have a story hanging over my head. I don't quite know what to do with myself! Perhaps I'll do something I haven't done in a long time: take a walk in the snow....

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Okay, I didn't win a CAPA (Cupid and Psyche Award) from The Romance Studio. That's all right, it really IS fun just to be nominated. And speaking of nominations, Table for Four is nominated for an EPPIE from the Electronically Publishing Internet Connection group. This is a huge honor and I'm grateful for the nomination as one of the top erotic romances of the year. Unfortunately, I cannot go to the award ceremony, held in Long Beach, California, as I've already made arrangements to go to St. Louis for the Romantic Times Convention a month later. But I will be there in spirit!

I've just about finished a new novel. I've just the resolution to finish and then I can send it off to my editor for her fine-toothed comb. For those who've never had the honor of working with a great editor, let me tell you: the editor's work is invaluable to the writer. My editor, Pam Campbell, has the most wonderful knack of finding every spot where I got lazy and pointing it out to me. Without her eye for detail, my books would be dry as the Sahara Desert. Her favorite phrases for my first drafts are, "more visual detail," and "moresexmoresexmoresex"! LOL

Seriously, a writer knows some of the flaws in her book when she submits it; the editor finds those and more. Taking to heart the criticism an editor gives, can give an author a chance to add the spit and polish every book needs. It is the editor's work that helps mold a rough draft into a work of art.

Let me conclude this paean to editors with a hearty thank you to Pam for all her work on all my books. Whether they win awards or not, we have a great time creating them!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Okay, so my mom knows what I write, but won't read it. That's okay...I think I'd be embarrassed if she did. On Saturday (yesterday) I take both her and my daughter to the mall for a girl's day out. Of course, I want to stop in Waldenbooks and see if they have any of my books on the shelves, but Mom needs to stop in Claire's for a necklace. I send the two of them into Claire's and I head over to Waldens...since I'm not really sure I want my mother to see the naked woman on the front of TABLE FOR FOUR anyway.

Well, they have a smattering of EC books...3 or 4 of Lora's, a few of Jaid's, Lacey and Anya, Shiloh... all represented with one book apiece. But not one Diana Hunter. :(

As I walked in the store, one of the clerks seemed quite friendly and asked me if I needed help. I told her no at that time, but as I was leaving, she asked me again and I told her she was out of Diana Hunter books. She seemed surprised and then laughed. "I can't keep those books on the shelves!"

I said, "Well, that's a good thing, really. 'Cause I'm her." (Brilliant, witty dialoge, I know)
It took a moment to register with her and then her eyes got really round and she said, "You write for Ellora's Cave?"

I nodded, grinning.

"Oh my God...I'm in the middle of TABLE FOR FOUR right now...I love it!" She then proceeded to introduce me to every one in hearing distance (turns out she's the manager) and begged me to do a signing.

Now, my ego's feeling pretty good by this point and my mom comes in with my daughter. I introduce them to the manager who is still gushing about EC books and that she apologizes for there being such a small representation on the shelves, but that they fly out almost as fast as she can load them in. "Come back in three days and there won't be one left, I guarentee!"

As we're leaving (and my mother is in shock, especially since she's heard several people in the store now gush over my books), the manager walks past me and says, "I have to tell the clerk next door that I met you...she's going to be so jealous!"

We're walking past the store next door and I look in through the glass. The manager motions to me and I know she wants me to come in. So I go...with mom and daughter in tow for another gush session. I leave, promising to come back for a signing when my next print book comes out.

I couldn't stop grinning and my mother looked at me and said, "I had no idea..." Talk about great timing! Neither one of them (mom or daughter) quite know what to do with me...but they sure had a great time!

Diana(still on cloud nine a day later)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

It didn't really hit me until I went to update my webpage...a new year means a new page for the website. All the old announcements are relegated to an archived page, clearing the way for new news.

A while back I was feeling a bit depressed because I had only one book in the pipeline (off to the publishers) and the one I've been working on has been giving me some trouble. I expressed my frustrations to a friend and he asked me how many books I've published in the past year. I counted up and was amazed to discover I published four separate pieces in 2004. The year before that, I published only one. Still, in a year's time, I had written, rewritten and published five stories. Needless to say, I quit feeling sorry for myself.

Still, it's a challenge to keep up with all the stories running through my head clamoring for attention. I'd like to give them all their time in the spotlight, but can only deal with one piece at a time. For 2005 I have one release that came out today and another that's under consideration. Future pieces are still in my computer and in my head, with pages being written every day. As I look forward to the upcoming year, I have no idea how many pieces will see the light of the bookstore...but know I continue to write and continue to listen to the stories these wonderful characters love to tell.