Saturday, December 05, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I've kept a list entitled "10 Things I Want to Do Before I Die" long before The Bucket List (a good movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman -- what's not to like) made such an idea popular. Recently I've made mention of the list on another blog and several people wondered where the idea came from.

I have to give credit to Sister Joanna of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. She was my religion teacher Junior year at Bishop Kearney High School. Creating the list was something she assigned us. We had to have it completed and turned in by the end of the period. The items didn't have to be school-related, in fact, she encouraged us to Think Big. "If you don't envision yourself doing it, you'll never even try," she told us. A woman ahead of her time.

Now, I was a pretty concientious student (honest! It said so on my second grade report card!), and I bent to the task, concentrating hard and thinking about all the things I wanted to do with the decades that stretched before me. One has all the time in the world when one is seventeen. The first items came quickly: write and publish a book (yes, have had that dream for many, many years), go so far out to sea I couldn't see land (I'd just finished reading Moby Dick, can you tell?); fly in an airplane; go to Europe.

The next tasks required a little more thought. Fly in a hot air balloon, go so far north I could see the sun not set. A few girls giggled as they exchanged papers, sharing their silliness. They wanted husbands and children and a house in the suburbs. Didn't need to look at their paper to know that's what they'd written.

But I wanted more. With the exception of writing and publishing a book, the others all had to do with travel. Places to go, things to see, life to experience. Would I ever actually do any of them? Who knew back then?

The minutes slipped by and still I had only six things on my list. What other things did I want to do? Fun things...not involving work. I had a sudden thought and scribbled two ideas down quickly: canoe the Erie Canal from Albany to Buffalo and to walk the Appalacian Trail from Maine to Georgia.

I sat grinning at those two for a good five minutes. I didn't even know if the entire Erie Canal still existed. So much of it had been redug and rerouted in the early 20th century that the canal even had a different name now -- the unpoetically named Barge Canal. But both these ideas appealed to the romantic in me, since I could do neither one alone. I didn't need to write down "get married" on my was a given in my mind.

But that still left two more dreams to come up with. Ten things I wanted to do before I died...smiling mischiveously I wrote down, "Go into outer space." Why not? I had to envision it before I could make it happen...well, I could see myself sitting comfortably in a Saturn V rocket being hurled upward, making a space walk with a thick tether to the command module. Yeah. Definitely going into outer space had to be on the list.

One more. Less than five minutes to the end of the period. I shrugged and let whimsy take over. None of this was serious anyway. She would read the lists, slap a grade on them and hand them back. And Sister had specified ten things, so ten there must be. Shaking my head I wrote, "ride in the engine of a steam locomotive and shovel coal."

Done. Bemused by the entire exercise, I went on about my life, throwing away the paper at the end of the year along with all the other accumulated notes, labs, and worksheets.

I didn't give it another thought until a month into summer vacation when I went to visit a friend who had a cottage on Coneseus Lake. Her sister knew someone who worked on the tourist railroad that ran between Lakeville and Livonia, NY. We wandered down to the train barn to see him and he was just taking the engine out and hooking it up for the night's run. The three of us (my girlfriend, me, and the train engineer) fell to talking and he asked us if we wanted a ride over to the station.

We didn't have anything better to do, so we said sure, thinking he meant for us to get in one of the passenger cars. But he gestured to the engine and said, "Hop on, then!" And there I was, riding in the engine of a steam locomotive, the hot boiler just a foot away, the huge beast thundering under my feet. I couldn't stop grinning.

By the time we pulled into the station, I had begun to wonder. If such an unimportant thing on my list could come true without my even trying...what about the other things on my list? Would it be possible to go so far out to sea I couldn't see land? What about actually walking the Appalacian trail? I still didn't think going into outer space was realistic, but the others...

When we got home that night I borrowed a sheet of notebook paper from my friend and rewrote my list. Looking it over, I made my decision: I WOULD do all the things on the list and what's more, every time I did one, I needed to add another. The list would always be at ten items. That way, I'd always have something to look forward to and wouldn't get bored.

I know other people prefer to cross things off and feel a great accomplishment in saying things like, "Three down, seven to go." They feel as if they're headed toward a finish line and life's a race to get things done. I'm afraid I'm not like that. For me, these are end goals in and of themselves, so when one's done, it gets crossed off. There is a great satisfaction in crossing it off, too. But another gets added because I never want to become complacent. There are always new horizons, new activities to do.

So, what have I crossed off? I've flown in an airplane and a hot air balloon. I've written and published a book (14 so far!), I've ridden in the engine of a steam locomotive and I've learned to weave on my very own loom. That last was the one I added since I'd ridden on the train. I've also gone so far north that I saw the sun not set and I've shot a shotgun (another later addition to the list).

Still to do? Walk the Appalacian Trail, canoe the Erie Canal, go so far out to see I can't see land, go into outer space and parasail from the back of a boat (another added item), go to Europe. Yes, I know. That's only six. I need to come up with four more, especially since I crossed three of this summer.

I'm open for ideas! Let 'em rip...what four things should I add to my list so I still have 10 Things To Do Before I Die?

Monday, October 12, 2009

For some reason I couldn't cut and paste into the blog over the weekend, so I ended up sending both these posts as newsletters. This, however, was the original place for this post and I included the one from earlier...well, just because. :)

Romanticon 2009 is over and, my glory, did I have a WONDERFUL time. This has been a truly relaxing, professional…marvelous weekend. Between the EC staff, the readers, the models and the authors I doubt there were many more than two hundred people here and it was the perfect size.

The Author Mania sessions gave us a great chance to chat with readers…and have entire conversations with them. No one felt rushed and the convention books EC provided with that held the schedules, handouts and places for signatures was a stroke of genius. Everything all together in one book…and more than one reader (and author!) made the attempt to get every single author's autograph.

I presented at two sessions: Using Second Life and the How to Write BDSM panel. The Second Life presentation was Saturday morning and had about fifteen people in attendance, over triple the number that came when I gave a similar presentation at RT a few years back. Several authors downloaded the program right here at the hotel and are inworld already. I can't wait to meet them again in SL. Their questions and enthusiasm is catching!

For the panel discussion, Joey Hill , Tawny Taylor and I all gave tips on how to write good BDSM novels and I have to say, I was truly impressed with the level of discussion between and among those in attendance. There were about 25-30 people who came and the questions and comments were terrific. We only stopped because we were out of time, but several of us continued the discussion out in the hall afterward.

Are you seeing the trend here? The level of professional discussion about writing blew me away. It's the first time I've ever had such wonderful talks with authors (and readers) about the craft of writing. Sometimes we talked about the tools (got a great tip on using the comment feature in Word to keep track of details, but I don't remember who gave me the tip. If you're reading this and it's you…let me know so I can give you credit!), and sometimes we talked about the content.

In fact, I'd have to say that was the best part of the entire weekend: the ability to talk openly about subjects that are often step-children at other conferences. Ebook publishing, erotic love scenes, werewolves, vampires, using online tools to promote – all these topics and more were spoken of seriously and with great passion and knowledge. Definitely the best part of the conference had to be the opportunity for quiet, scholarly discussion.

Because the number of attendees was small, it was possible to see everyone. I know I've been to larger conferences and found out after the fact that someone I knew was there and yet we never crossed paths the entire time. That wasn't the case here. I think I spoke to nearly everyone at least once. Ruby Storm said it felt more like family and she's right. So many of the authors I'd seen before and had brief conversations with…but this time we sat down and really talked. Truly a wonderful opportunity!

And so a huge THANK YOU to the EC staff who made it possible and allowed us to realize that our niche genres have just as much scholarship, just as much craft, just as much planning and thought as books published by bigger houses. THANK YOU for bringing the authors and readers together to renew friendships and forge new ones. We may be the step-children of the romance world, but we are not alone. THANK YOU for showing us that.

Play safe!
It may seem like I've disappeared from the universe, but let me assure you, I have not. For the past three months, I've been pretty silent on every venue: my newsletter, my blog, even Second Life. I walked away from the Internet, from promotion...and unfortunately, from you, my loyal readers.

Why? I had to. I've spoken before of finding the balances in life, whether between promoting my works and actually writing the stories or between home and work, family and everything else. Since publishing my first novel in September of 2003, I've managed to maintain that balance. Everyone and everything got an equal share of my time and energy.

But earlier this year, I got out of whack. I was spending hours in Second Life doing readings (sometimes as many as a dozen a month!) and nothing else was getting done. I wasn't writing, I wasn't keeping up with my blog or newsletter, and worst of all, I was losing touch with my family.

In May, I took stock of what was going on and realized I needed to change up what had become a habit. I slowed down my readings considerably and wrote a newsletter and several blog posts. But it wasn't enough. I needed what amounted to a refresh. I needed to walk away, get my priorities back in order and set forth once more.

And so this summer I did just that. I unplugged totally. I went into Second Life only to pay my rents and nothing else, spending no more than five minutes inworld about every two weeks. I didn't post to the blog, didn't post to the newsletter -- I only went to work and, more importantly, rediscovered my family. They're actually wonderful folks with a huge well of patience and I love them very much.

During those months I spent a great deal of time at our cabin (it still feels very new to me, especially since there are still rooms not touched. But that's another post for another day. Which is coming, I promise. But I digress...) and my husband and I spent two weeks on vacation - without the kids (another whole post in and of itself). Because I teach, I had the time to renew and reflect -- something I'm always preaching is important, but forgot to practice myself.
But every catepiller eventually has to emerge from its self-inflicted cocoon, and I hope, as I emerge from mine, that I can be as beautiful as a Monarch, although at this point, even a cabbage-white will do. Expect more posts from me (although I'm sure they'll be as irregular as always) and look for me again in Second Life. I have some new ideas and am writing a new Studs story (Ruth Kerce , Ruby Storm and I are at it again!), so watch this space for announcements.
Thank you, my dear readers, for your patience and understanding. My sincerest hope is that you have found the balances in your life. Until later,

Play safe,

Monday, August 31, 2009

I've been hacked! If you try to access my website right now, you'll get nothing but some !@#$ boast. I'm pissed as so far one reader has written -- she was trying to order a book but couldn't because of the $%^& idiot. How many lost sales will this mean?

And why me? Why my site? GRRRRR

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I orginally wrote this as a reply to Kassia's post at Booksquare, but got on my soapbox and decided it belonged here rather than taking up space in her comments section.

What got me started was this quote from her post: "The competition for books isn’t necessarily other books as much as everything else in life."

I remember the day after my daughter was born, I reclined in my hospital bed leisurely reading the Sunday paper. My doctor walked in, laughed and said, "Enjoy that paper. It's the last reading you'll do for a while." I laughed too, not realizing how prophetic his words were to be.

In the space of one birth I went from a reader who read several books a week to one who read NO books for the next ten years (unless Golden Books count). I just didn't have the time and when I did, I was too exhausted to do more than plop in front of the mindless TV and let it wash over me. Only in the past two years have my old habits crept back into my life -- my daughter is in college and my son graduates high school in one more year.

Do the math. That's SEVENTEEN YEARS of not buying books, not having time to read. Seventeen years of not supporting the publishing industry (well, except to write my own books and hope others weren't in the same predicament as I was).

And what happened to books in the seventeen years I was gone? The price skyrocketed! Talk about sticker shock! I was buying new books at $2 - $3 before. Now I have to troll the bargain bins to find new books under $10 and those are paperbacks that have been out a while. With one kid in college and another heading there soon...the price for a brand-new, fresh off the shelf book is too much money.

So where do I turn? Ebooks, of course. I can afford those, even if I can't afford a pricey reader. And that, in turn, limits my reading time to when I can get the computer. But computers have so many other cool things to do (like read Booksquare :) )...

No, the world isn't making it easy to read books anymore. And publishers aren't making it any easier.

"The competition for books isn’t necessarily other books as much as everything else in life." That sums it up pretty well. Thanks, Kassia!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One week to go! I cannot believe how many times I've repacked my suitcase in my head. I don't do this much advance planning when going with the family in the car, but being limited to one suitcase, one carryon and a purse (which I normally don't carry) is driving me insane!

Why am I expending all this mental energy? Because next Tuesday my husband and I leave on a thirteen-day tour of Alaska! You should be proud of me, by the way -- I didn't put that last sentence all in capitals. Yes, I'm that excited!!!!! (I'll make it up in exclamation points)

The trip has a sad beginning. Last summer, my sister-in-law was killed while riding her bicycle. She wore a new helmet and had gone for just a couple of miles in a leisurely spin around some country roads. At one point a small truck passed her going in the opposite direction and she made a U-turn after it to head for home. Unfortunately, she had her headphones in and the music on and didn't hear the Harley coming up behind her. They collided and she was killed instantly.

She and my mother-in-law had long talked of taking a trip to Alaska. Always it was, "One of these days..." But with my sister-in-law's death, it was "never." My mother-in-law had lost her husband of over 50 years just a year and a half earlier and losing her only daughter so suddenly was really, really hard.

But she's stubborn, my MIL, and we love her for it. She beat leukemia and she beat this the same way -- with determination and prayer. As the beneficiary of her daughter's insurance policy, she felt terrible about taking the money, then realized she could make their trip come true in a very real way. So in one week, my MIL is taking her remaining two sons and their wives (of which I am one) and a niece to Alaska to commemorate her daughter's life and desire to see Denali.

So there's some bittersweetness to this trip. On the down side are our memories of a life cut too short (she was just 40 when she died). On the up side are our memories of a vibrant life that played hard, laughed often and gave more than she asked for. It is the latter that we celebrate on this trip.

And so I will go back to agonizing over whether I really need that third pair of shoes and which blouse goes best with that skirt (which one will roll up smallest!!). And with every item I pack I'll think of Michele and smile with tears in my eyes.

Play safe everyone. Please.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

If the price of the IRISH ENCHANTMENT anthology put you off getting your hands on a copy of this novella, now you can buy it all by itself. That's right, STITCHES IN TIME , featuring Seamus O'Brien, my very favorite character of all (shhh...don't tell the others!) is now available as a solo download from Ellora's Cave. And whoooeee! Wait till you get a look at this cover! I'm pretty sure you don't need much imagination to figure out what those two are up to!

I'm including a short excerpt below, but there is another on my website (look under IRISH ENCHANTMENT till I get the pages updated!) plus reviews of the story's original release here . So, with no further ado, from STITCHES IN TIME:

Liam didn’t answer, since Maggie opened the door at that precise moment. His reaction was immediate. Dressed in lacy, navy blue baby doll lingerie, Maggie’s shapely body was revealed in all her glory. Liam’s eye traveled from the graceful curve of her neck over her alabaster shoulders to two beautifully shaped breasts just hidden by the dark, silky material. In the coolness of the room, little buds blossomed at the tips and Liam’s cock stirred. His eyes continued downward toward her narrow waist and well-formed thighs—and that was as far as he got.

Blushing to the roots of her hair, Maggie rushed across the room and scrambled into the bed, pulling the blankets up to cover herself. She had paced for several minutes in the bathroom, trying to gather the nerve to make the dash. Now she glared at him from the safety of the bed. “Believe me, Mr. Finnerty, had I known I would be sharing a room with you, I would have packed differently.”

He grinned and the devil was in his eyes. “No doubt you would have, Ms. Andrews, no doubt you would have. But now I have visual proof that there’s a passionate heart that beats behind those tailored suits.” His grin grew wider. “I, however, do not have to worry about what to wear to bed…” Liam stripped off his shirt and tossed it on the floor. His naked chest glimmered just as Maggie always thought it would; a gorgeous, muscular torso faintly covered with soft dark hair that glimmered in the soft light of the hotel room. Her sudden intake of breath was audible in the quiet room.

To cover her reaction, Maggie feigned shock. “Well, you’re not sleeping in the nude tonight! I’m tempted to make you sleep in the tub.” She had been, too, but had discarded the idea as childish and immature. They were two grown adults stuck in an uncomfortable situation, and she didn’t need to get all melodramatic about it. But she had known she wouldn’t make it to the bed without some comment from him about her sleepwear. What she hadn’t been ready for was his complete appreciation for her appearance. Despite her intent to keep her distance from him, his obvious enjoyment of her teddy gave her a very warm feeling inside. A feeling that resided way too low for her own comfort.'s that for a teaser? And Seamus isn't even in that little piece! You'll have to read the except on my website for his introduction. :)

I'll have an update with the doings and goings on for August in a few days. Till then, check out STITCHES IN TIME and play safe!

(reposted from my newsletter)

Monday, June 01, 2009

BEA has come and gone...and what a great time was had by all! Unfortunately, several people who wanted my books weren't able to even get in as I didn't realize there was a fee even just to walk around the exhibitor's booths. But that's okay...EC brought twenty copies of three of my books (SECRET SUBMISSION, SUBMISSION REVEALED, and WINTER STUDS) and they were all gone within a half hour of being put on the table.

I have to tell you, there is something wonderful about getting to the last book, signing it, and then looking up to see there are still ten people in line who want a copy. I felt bad that they didn't get one, but to see the demand for it? Very heady stuff. Several people told me they came to the booth just to see me. I tell you, my ego got a welcome boost on Saturday!

Of course, then I came home and my husband and kids reminded me that I'm just me. That's why I keep them my ego doesn't inflate TOO much! :)

I stayed with friends (shoutout to Joseph and Linda!) who are wonderful hosts. They let me flop in their studio, which is only about eight blocks or so from the Javits Center. I brought a friend with me who had never been to the Big Apple, so it was fun to see the City through a n00b's eyes. We did the TKTS booth on Friday and got tickets for The 39 Steps -- which was wonderfully funny! It's a send-up of the film noir conventions. Definitely worth seeing!

On Saturday we went to Bubba Gump's in Times Square (LOVE their cocoanut shrimp!) and while we there, we saw 44th street being blocked off by these huge garbage trucks and more police officers than I've ever seen in one place at one time before. A limo came out from between the trucks, and drove past our window seat...You got it! It was President Obama's limo (after having dropped him off, though)! He'd taken Mrs. Obama out to dinner and was on his way to the theatre. Very cool to be a block and a half from the President of the United States! No sighting on our part, but we at least saw the hulabaloo and the limo!

Took the train home Sunday morning (taking the train in and out of NYC is the ONLY way to go!) and am nearly caught up with all my emails, twitters and postings. Next booksigning? The Romanticon in October. Get your tickets early!

Until later, play safe!

Monday, May 11, 2009

SUBMISSION REVEALED is now out in print! I know several of you have asked me, "When? When? WHEN????" and my answer today is, "Now, Now, NOW!!!!"

If you've forgotten, this book continues the tale of Sarah and Phillip from SECRET
SUBMISSION and deals with the question, "What happens when a very private kink suddenly becomes very public?" When Sarah's submissive role is exposed, Phillip finds himself in court defending himself against the charge of domestic abuse as the details of their sex lives are pushed into the spotlight.

So head on over to the publisher's site (please note: NONE of my links here go to Amazon, although the book will probably be available there soon. I'm still mad at them) and pick up a print copy today.

PS. If you're at the Book Expo America, stop by the Ellora's Cave booth between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 30th. I'll be signing and would love to meet you!

Play safe!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Okay, beating a dying horse here. #amazonfail is now officially (because I declare it to be) #apologyfail.

Too many people are referring to Amazon's brief and only statement on this weekend's debacle as an "apology" when in truth, it is nothing more than an explanation of what went wrong. Some even go so far as to say WE should be apologizing to Amazon! This is kowtowing to corporate elitism of the highest magnitude. Yes, Amazon screwed up and had explained how it happened. But no, Amazon has not yet apologized for their mistake.

For me, it is too early to post a "post-mortem" on the entire affair. It isn't finished. Not till the apology comes.

Randy Pausch says a good apology consists of three things: 1) I'm sorry, 2) It was my fault, and 3) What can I do to make it better? Amazon has done only the second of those two, although they do imply they will make it better by not doing it again.

I'm a writer -- language is important to me. I want the words. I need to hear the words, "I'm sorry" come out of Jeff Bezos' mouth as he accepts that his company did 1) a lousy job of responding to this publically (they can learn from Dominos) and tells us what the company will do in the future to assure us such a thing won't happen again (and I don't mean giving away trade secrets as to the arcane world of coding, but the safeguards they will put in place so one person cannot hold so much power to wreak so much havoc).

Come on, Amazon -- an apology is what we're truly missing here. We've all learned from this episode. But before I can even entertain the thought of ever using your company again, I need to know I'm important to you.


Monday, April 13, 2009

By now I'm sure most of you are aware of the story of the Giant Bookseller Who Didn't Give a Rat's Ass. Yesteday I spent much of my evening watching the twits come in, hundreds at a time, as Twitter kept pounding against Amazon like relentless waves against the sea cliffs.

The metaphor is apt. Over and over people have asked for explanations, being given only two explanations that are far from similar: "it's policy" / "it's a glitch". The waves kept pounding, the rock of Amazon kept ignoring. In a world where information travels at nearly the speed of thought, this company that runs it's business at those same incredibly fast speeds -- just closed it's collective ears and turned it's behemoth back on authors, publishers, journalists, readers. This is never a good business decision. In fact, Kelley Eskridge has a great post explaining just why this is Bad Business Practice on so many levels.

In the meantime, the blogosphere has erupted with the same vehemence as the Twitter posts (#amazonfail is the hashtag to follow, although #glitchmyass is addictive as well). All day long people have hollered at the cliffs, first asking, then demanding, then pleading for some sort of answer as to the largest question of them all: Why?

Amazon has finally answered and truth to tell, the answer is sadly lacking. The reply is a bare three paragraphs with little information. The whole thing was an "accident" -- no one should take anything personally, or seriously for that matter. Just a little mistake. Go away and everything will be fine. Why do I think the White Cliffs of Dover just turned into the Wizard of Oz and we're all citizens of Munchkinland?

As of last night, all Amazon links have been removed from my website and will not return. While some Twitterers have wondered (sarcastically) what will happen to the brouhaha once Amazon apologizes (sorry, would link the tweets, but they are already lost in the waves of new tweets), the reality is, I will not go back. The trust is broken -- I cannot count on them to take care of matters in a timely matter, nor can I trust them to be honest with their clientele. While I think it's premature to predict this will lead to their downfall, the entire episode has lessons for us all about doing business in this instant-message age (again, see Kelly's post).

Join the conversation -- everyone else is! And btw, no...the rankings are not yet back for any of my books.

Play safe,

(edited to fix link)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I don't always agree with the Smart Bitches, in fact, sometimes they tick me off. But that's okay, 'cause that's their purpose in life and on the web: to keep the rest of us from becoming complacent -- about anything.

But when the gals are right, they're right. And so I provide this link to support their effort to add a phrase to the lexicon. In case you haven't heard...

Amazon has recently (yesterday) stripped all gay, lesbian, transgendered, erotica, romance and other "adult" content of their rankings, making all such books in these genre difficult to find on their site. No longer will such works containing any of the above be allowed to be on any bestseller list for Amazon. And yes, that means SECRET SUBMISSION is no longer on the Bestselling Erotica list -- because Amazon no longer has a Bestselling Erotica list. If they don't list it, it doesn't exist, you see.

And that's the worst of it. If you go to Amazon and type my name into the search bar? Only one of my books comes up (Getting What She Wants) and that's because they haven't realized Pocket books also published some erotica titles yet. Give it time. EVERY SINGLE OTHER BOOK OF MINE NO LONGER EXISTS AS FAR AS AMAZON IS CONCERNED.

So my website will be changing links as soon as my webmistress can get to them and will send people directly to the publisher for all print AND ebook copies. I will no longer support a business that doesn't want to acknowledge my work.

Be warned, Amazon is setting itself up as the morality police and censoring the search results. Please spread the word...if you're on Twitter #amazonfail is the tag. Link to the lexicon change and let's get this news out there!

Play safe,
a fuming Diana

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Hello A/all!
After nearly a year of writing and a little tweaking, STRESS RELIEF is ready for release. Mark your calendars for April 17th to get my newest ebook from Ellora's Cave. Want a sneak peek? You can see the cover here and let me say, you're going to LOVE the colors! A big change from the dark past :). You want more? Okay, here's the blurb:
Meg Turner needs to relax. Between her job, her mother and the loss of a good Dom, she’s all wound up and needs a good flogging to relieve her tensions.
Rand Arthur is a busy man with a company to run. He doesn’t need commitments, but when his friend asks him to take Meg on as a new sub, he agrees, knowing there’s nothing that relieves stress like flogging a willing back.

But by the end of their first session, both see something in the other neither expected. And neither wants to change the rules of their relationship and risk losing it all.

Don't forget to vote for me as Best Writer at the Bondage Awards . You can vote once a day till Saturday, midnight. Thank you!

Oh! Did you know SECRET SUBMISSION has been on the Bestselling Erotica list at Amazon for nearly two months? I'm thrilled! If you're one of the one's responsible, thank you! And if you want the sequel, SUBMISSION REVEALED , you can check it out here.

More? You want more of my newest? If you insist...Here's a brief excerpt from STRESS RELIEF to help you through your day...

The whip fell across soft white shoulders that had never done hard lifting or heavy labor. These were shoulders used by friends to cry on, shoulders that pushed nothing stronger than a pen, shoulders that carried little more weight than a heavy wool coat in winter.
But now the whip cracked across their whiteness, leaving a trail of raised skin behind, forcing a cry of pain from the woman who hung from chains by her wrists. The woman who gave her shoulders to another to abuse—and excite.
Her head see-sawed back and forth as second crack raised another welt across her shoulder blades. The penis-gag in her mouth gave her the freedom to scream as loudly as she wanted and she gave into the urge, channeling the pain out of her body through the use of her voice. Her muffled cries came out as moans as a third stroke left its mark on her unblemished skin.
With her legs cuffed to a spreader bar that, in turn, fastened to the floor, keeping her balance was out of the question. So was keeping her sanity. When a fourth and fifth blow followed in quick succession, she threw her head back and howled, the pain forcing a catharsis of all her pent-up stresses. Tears that never came easily coursed down her cheeks as her cries turned to sobs and the bottom of existence came up to hit her in the face.
All the troubles her friends had laid on her shoulders, all the issues with money, her parents’ divorce, all the problems facing the world came pouring out of her soul. Barely aware that her legs were released, Meg’s heart poured out all the poison she’d held inside for far too long in salt tears that striped her cheeks in sympathy with the stripes borne by her shoulders. Each crack of the rawhide whip pulled the pressures from her, and when Jack released her wrists, she collapsed into the strength of his arms as he lowered her to the floor and held her tight.

Remember, this book releases April 17th! Only a week to go (and a day, but whose counting? Okay, so I AM!!!)

Play safe,

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wow! I never expected the wonderful response I got, but THANK YOU! I sent out over 50 copies of STITCHES IN TIME to those who emailed me. The offer is now closed as the week is done, but now I know people DO read the newsletter (and follow me on Twitter -- and read newsletter!).

A reader wrote that she enjoyed the opportunity to revist Maggie and Liam and I have a confession to make. My favorite character is in this book, and neither of them are it. I really, really enjoy Seamus O'Brien, the leprechaun in the tapestry. I had a lot of fun writing him -- in fact, he has no current published equal among my characters, although Mr. Underwood in STRESS RELIEF (my upcoming release) just might run him a very close second.

What about you-all? Any favorite characters of mine? Who would you like to meet in a dark alley or on a cold winter's night?

Play safe -- and thanks!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Did you know this week is READ AN EBOOK WEEK? What a wonderful way to go green and help save a an ebook!

The blogosphere has been filled with discussions of the Kindle 2 and new IPhone apps that allow you to download and read ebooks in comfort. Some say ebooks are popular because of the ease of use, others because reading a novel electronically keeps nosy neighbors from judging you by your book choice. Whatever your reason or your device, the reality is that ebooks are taking off as a medium of reading.

To celebrate the mainstream finally catching up with what a lot of us already knew, and to honor Mother Nature (the original International Woman) by letting her keep a few of her trees, I am offering a free download of one of my novellas to anyone who emails me this week. What novella you ask? Since it's March and we soon will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day, what better story to celebrate with than STITCHES IN TIME, a tale that includes a romantic hero and a sexy heroine (of course!), the city of Dublin at this most festive time (appropriate, don't you think?) and one very nefarious leprechaun who is determined to get our hero and heroine together if it's the last thing he does (and it very well might be!).

So celebrate READ AN EBOOK WEEK with me and send an email to Put "Free ebook" in the subject line so your email doesn't get lost and I'll send along a copy of STITCHES IN TIME -- on me!

Play safe -- and Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Sunday, March 08, 2009

It's hard to self promote, I've decided. We're taught right from the beginning that bragging just isn't done. It's okay to be proud of your accomplishments, but one should never brag about them. And yet, isn't that what a lot of promotion is? It's saying, "Here! Look at me! Look at how wonderful I am! Buy me! Buy my books!"

And now The Bondage Awards are accepting nominations and I find myself putting the word out there and asking for people to go nominate me. And if, by some outside chance I actually end up in the running, I will be going back to my readers and asking them to vote again -- taking time out of their busy days to put in a vote for me as Best Bondage Writer.

LOL...Best Bondage Writer? See what I mean? Talk about chutzpah! And yet, that's exactly the award I'd love to win. And if I just keep quiet and don't tell people about it, then nothing happens. And when I DO tell people, I sound like an egotistical, promotion-hungry author who doesn't have anything better to do but troll for votes (sighing).

So maybe I should just face facts: if I want to get nominated, I need to be the publicity whore and beg for votes. Hmmm..."beg for votes"....perhaps the better metaphor is a submissive begging to come?

I will end this rambling post with one last thought:


Play safe,

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Good news! My editor has accepted my newest manuscript, tentatively titled Stress Relief. She's done her first read-through and is now going through it paragraph-by-paragraph and making her notes; she'll send it to me when she's done. Then I go full-blast into rewrite/edit mode and with any luck, we'll have a finished piece by the end of Februrary. After that, it's in the publisher's hands and comes out in their first available release slot. So keep your fingers crossed and maybe it will be published by this summer :) .

This is a newsy post, I guess -- since I have many plates in the air right now. Remember those plate-jugglers on the Ed Sullivan show (yes, I know. I've just dated myself)? That's what I feel like right now. I have a Second Life Valentine's Tour of readings, I've already begun a new manuscript, I'm recording some short stories for audio release, and am reworking an older set of stories for retelling in a brand-new way. You know me -- always keeping busy! Read on for details.

While finishing Stress Relief, I bowed out of Second Life for a while. Needed to concentrate on getting that puppy finished. But I'm back now, giving occasional readings in two sims for January. Come February, I have a five-stop tour planned to read my Lovestories -- a collection of short pieces (some erotic, some sweet romance). As a part of this I'm writing a new piece to add to the body of work. At the moment I have five in the rotation; this will give me six.

Connected to that is the audio recording. Since these stories exist nowhere for publication and several people have asked for copies, I've decided to keep them "in the air" as Taylor Mali would say and offer them as audio stories. I recorded a few over the summer and am now finishing them up. My wonderful songwriter husband is creating music for the opening and closing tags and is working as my producer on the project. Won't be fancy -- my "recording studio" is my study and our "mixing board" is the computer. But it's amazing what a home system can produce nowadays! My goal is to have them finished and available by Valentine's day.

Yes, you did read that I already have another work in progress. This is a shorter piece (novella length) that will be offered under a different name to a different publisher. Ellora's Cave does not publish hardcore stories and this will be my second venture into some of the VERY dark undertones of BDSM. Since it isn't a "typical" Diana Hunter book, I write with a different psuedonym. Endings aren't necessarily Happily Ever After and the sex isn't always consensual in these books, so beware! That should be finished by the end of February and off for consideration to a strictly BDSM publisher.

And then there's the last project, which will take the longest to see light, I suspect -- simply because of its complicated nature. Two years ago I started a serial in SL called As the SL World Turns. The theory behind it was to present a series of stories with different leading characters in each thread. The threads would interweave and separate as the characters wandered around SL meeting new people, seeing new sims, having new adventures. At first, I bit off more than I could chew and planned for a new adventure every two weeks. But RL has a way of saying, "What are you thinking? You have other responsibilites, you know!" So I went down to one new adventure a month. And then one every two months...and you get the picture.

If I didn't have a full-time job on top of all the writing ideas/projects I have, I think it would have worked. But I just couldn't devote all the time to it that I wanted and so it has died a slow death. This week I pulled it out of SL, taking down all the episodes while I thought it through.

Another way of telling the story has come to me, you see. A more interactive way. I've always been intrigued by the hypercard idea, ever since I first worked with a Mac back in the late 1980's. Telling a non-linear story definitely intrigued me. Then I played Myst...and got hooked on the idea. But until now, I couldn't figure out the right medium. I'm not a visual artist (at all!) and I can't write code (there's a reason people refer to it as a foreign language!). I only have words and like it or not, words are read in linear form. So how to break out of that?

I think I've got it now. I'm starting with the threads of As the SL World Turns, renaming it As SL Turns (I think), and going interactive with it. There will be a central starting spot (in SL) but several "colors" one can choose from. Each color is a different character. Won't matter which one you pick or what order you go in. At the end of the notecard is a link -- a place to teleport to for the next episode. Or perhaps several links, depending on what you, the reader, want to do next. Think the "choose your own adventure" books. Only here you can actually wander through the places where the story takes place.

Okay, I'm rambling now :). Lots of plates in the air -- let's hope I can keep them all spinning!

Play safe,

Monday, January 12, 2009

I made the mistake of reading some blogs this past week I shouldn't have read and I'm afraid that put me off writing for a while. Sort of like getting the taste of sour milk in your mouth and then not being able to eat anything 'cause it all tastes bad. I won't link to the blogs I read as I don't want to perpetuate the flaming and overall bad manners on display.

But it did get me to thinking about professional behavior, blogging and trolls. Trolls by their very nature are "gotcha" kind of people. For whatever reasons, they get their jollies from poking and prodding and finding one's sensitivities, then blowing them wide open. While I don't understand their motives, their actions are clear, as are their results. Far too often they succeed in making someone show their vulnerable side so they can then rip it apart. Paparazzi and blog trolls are cut from the same cloth.

Professionals, of course, rise above the fray and don't get involved. Ha! Easy to type, not so easy to do. I pride myself on my professionalism in my day job and like to think I bring a lot of that to my writing career as well. Was I sore tempted to jump in and make a soothing comment or two this past week? Of course I was. But I didn't. My cooler, professional side prevailed and I closed the window I'd opened before I could post a reply.

There's no point, you see. The trolls will circle and taunt and wait for one to break from the herd, then pounce. So any sane and sensible words I might have offered would only have succeeded in giving them more opportunity to try and lure someone out. Maybe even me.

Do I sound snobbish with this post? I suppose so. Because while I firmly believe in everyone's right to their own opinion, I also believe that where their civility ends, my rights begin. No one should have to put up with rudeness, no matter how much I might disagree with their comments. So I will be polite to the trolls, not because I think I'll change their behavior, but because I will not sink to their level of vicious behavior.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Good morning. I'm afraid this isn't going to be one of those cheery, let's-make-this-the-best-year-ever New Year's posts. While I'd love to sound the trumpet of optimism (I really am a glass half-full kinda gal, honest), this article has had me steaming for the past few days.

It seems Britian is considering a bill that would regulate pornographic images and ban those deemed too "extreme." They go on to define "extreme" as: "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character" -- words so general as to mean nearly anything. I've seen some pretty obscene pictures of carrots in my time -- would those be banned along with pictures of naked humans? In order to make sure this won't be the case (your carrot pictures will remain safe to keep), the bill further stipulates that the regulation covers pictures of any acts that are life-threatening, or acts that appear likely to result in harm to a person's genitals or breasts.

Getting the picture? The BDSM community in Britian is outraged and with good reason. The article details much of the controversy and I won't insult your intelligence by repeating it all here. But there is another aspect of this bill the Huff Post article doesn't take into account: the written word.

Once censorship begins, it rarely stops at the first bill to pass legislation. The people who want to remove choice from our lives only look around for the next target after the first one is passed. The leap from banning images that detail BDSM activities to banning books that contain BDSM activities is not a large leap at all. And from there? Would those who want the ban go so far as to try and outlaw all BDSM activity as well? The steps are precariously small from photography to stories to activity.

As avid readers of my books already know, I'm fascinated by the D/s dynamic, especially as it relates to male Doms and female subs. Every one of my stories explores some aspect of BDSM and most include some sort of bondage. EVERY bondage activity can result in potential harm, EVERY D/s activity can lead to physical danger, EVERY sado-masochistic activity can result in trips to the emergency room. That's why I'm always touting the TPE (Total Power Exchange) mantra of "Play safe, sane and consensual" both in my books and in life. The BDSM community as a whole understands responsibility -- and if people want to swap pictures about what they do, I just do not understand why others find it necessary to care.

To be fair, the couple behind this push in Britain lost their daughter to a careless decision on the daughter's part. She chose to play with a man who was neither safe nor sane. I truly am sorry for their loss and my heart goes out to them. But please do not color an entire community by the actions of one individual. Censoring is never the answer.

Have a happy New Year -- and PLAY SAFE!