Welcome to Julia Talbot's blog!

Welcome, everyone! Here's where I blather about writing, life with my wife BA, and my two basset hounds! I love to hear from readers, so comment here or email me!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Things I'm looking forward to in 2016: A list

Sherlock! The Abominable Bride. Jan 1 on PBS. Then Jan 5 in the theater

Changeling Press has graciously allowed me to start compiling the Elemental Ops and Desert Dragons books into print volumes, which I'll self pub. I hope to have El Ops for Coastal Magic! Eeee.

Setting new intentions for the year. I actually love to revisit what I wanted to accomplish in a year, whether I did or not. I like to look forward, too, armed with new challenges.

New places to travel. I've never been to Daytona Beach or San Diego. Been to Vegas and Orlando, but there's always something new to see there, right?

The challenges of both me and my wife living with chronic injuries and illnesses are ongoing, but I;m confident that we'll overcome. Or at least fight like tigers.


I have so many ideas I'll never die, y'all

Not if I have to get them all out first.

What are you looking forward to?



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Best thing you can give an author for Christmas

I had a great Christmas.

I want to thank everyone for that. This is mainly a thank you to the readers for the best present ever, which was An Alpha in Sheep's clothing spending a week at #1 on All Romance ebooks. I've made it into the top 40 on all of its categories on Amazon, too, which is a huge happy making thing for me. I loved writing the story so much because it's really all about wolf culture. Rand and Tate are both perfectly honest about why they start a relationship, and it was fun to see them progress from a pure business arrangement to something more.

If you're still in the mood for magic, give Rainbow Brew a try, a co-write by me and BA! Clicky!

Love y'all!



Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

New release: An Alpha in Sheep's Clothing

Sing a song of accidental alphas and total bottom boys...

That would be An Alpha in Sheep's clothing. My first self pub that's not a reprint. Thanks to the amazing J for her very professional edit, to my betas and to Kris Norris for the awesome cover!

Which is here!

Here's the link to All Romance

And Amazon

Here's the official blurb!

Rand never sets out to find trouble. He’s a lone wolf and he likes it that way. Too bad he always seems to attract the kind of jerk who wants to start a fight, even in a tiny Colorado town where he stops to have a beer. What surprises him when he wins this fist fight, though, is what kind of perks come with the victory.

Tate knows he looks big and strong and that he ought to be able to overthrow the alpha of his tiny, damaged pack. Too bad he’s really more omega than alpha, or even beta, and all he wants it to be a strong wolf’s bottom boy. When the pack tells him about Rand, Tate thinks he might have found the solution to all of his problems. Now he just has to convince Rand to stay.

I'll post a sexy snippet later!



Sunday, December 13, 2015

Moose! Or how I decided to write a weremoose for Santa's sleigh

I was sitting around in June or so, thinking, I wonder what the theme will be this year for the Changeling Christmas Hot Flashes. I had this amorphous idea of a Santa obsessed elf who worked in sleigh engineering... So I emailed Publisher M and said, hey. And she said, OMG. The theme is reindeer games.

See, the other boy was a weremoose who wanted to be in on the reindeer games...

So, yeah. I was onto something. Like psychically. So I wrote it. It's funny. Cute. Silly and hot. It's a top 20 bestseller on All Romance!

Here's where you get it! You can also get it on ARE and Amazon.

Here's the nummy cover

Merry xmoose y'all


Saturday, December 05, 2015


Pumpkin muffins with maple frosting. Hello December!



Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Xmoose is coming

what do you get when you mix a Santa-obsessed elf with a moose shifter? Well, Merry X-Moose, naturally

Coming soon from Changeling Press

Check it out here!



Saturday, November 28, 2015

what a wonderful time of the year

I have my girl, our friend Sean, my MIL who is a hoot, and we had my stepkid and his wife. We had pie and cookies and turkey and stuffing and rolls and and and

Soon there will be Santa Fe and the tree lighting. The weather is up and down, but we love the seasons.

Best wishes and thanks to all.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

the myth of a homogeneous experience

During a discussion of my last blog post on FB, the assertion came out that the "general you", in this case, a women writing m/m, tends to write "flat, two dimensional characters who in no way resemble gay men".

Now, I'm not going to get into the tired old argument about cross gender writing and whether men should write women or women should write men or what sexual orientation has to do with it. If writers only wrote what they were or what they knew personally, most of the great books and the lion's share of bad ones would never have hit the bookstores, brick and mortar or virtual.

No, what I'm having thoughts about today is the idea of the homogeneous gay man. Or the typical lesbian. Or the typical man or woman.

I'm terrible at sweeping generalizations in everyday life. "Those bitches!" I'll holler at the TV if I'm unlucky enough to see a housewife show when I'm clicking through late night channels, "Oh my God, it's the lesbian prison women! Because all women in prison go lesbian!."

But in my heart of hearts, I know those generalizations are full of caca. There is no such thing as the gay experience, or the lesbian experience or the Disney experience.

There's just people.

See, this is why I was so disappointed in the argument presented to me as, "Well, you have some valid points but I'm person X so I know and you don't, so there." To that particular person, my characters (the general me or specific me, take your pick, as I'm sure he did) may not in any way resemble a gay man.

But to, say, my friend Steve, who's ex-Navy and who had more sex with Marines than he could even remember on any given day, my "sex-crazed maniac erotic romance" resonates with his experience so much that he has me send him my books to beta so he can suggest ever more acrobatic sex. Or there's my old friend Scott, who went to Halloween one year as Pan, and who loves my werewolves and vampires because he's a gamer and thinks those things should exist, damn it.

I have readers who love my contemporaries because the men are just dudes who love dudes, and I have readers who hate that because they want their gay men to be sensitive and open with their feelings. One way or the other, someone may love what I write, and may say "OMG yes that's just like I see things and feel things" or they may hate what I do and say, "No, that's not my experience".

That's totally fine. That's what writing is. But to suggest that because I don't share some mystical connection or mind meld about a whole group of people because I'm not a member of a secret club? Well, that's just an argument you can't win with me, because I know such a thing doesn't exist, God knows, I know a lot of short haired, flannel wearing, clog stomping dykes. That doesn't mean that all lesbians dress, act, or feel the same way I do, and I hope I would never present us all as a shared hive mind.

In other news, it snowed! We got our Thanksgiving snow early!

Now, that's something to be tickled about



Friday, November 13, 2015

Objectification, Divisiveness and One Author Calling Bullshit

It seems like there always has to be a kerfluffle in the writing world. Especially in romance. I happen to be very active in the m/m romance community, even though I write all genres and genders of romance, so I see these explosions daily.

The latest is an anonymous article about the objectification of gay men by romance women. You can read it here.

I have lots of feels here and I will try to list them in a relatively coherent way, off the cuff as this is. I may not achieve literary crit greatness here, but bear with me.

One, I find the argument in the article specious at best if you take the first lines as the premise of the whole commotion.

"As a gay man, the M/M Romance genre makes me extremely uncomfortable.

A lot of women in the genre, both readers and authors, seem to fetishize physically attractive gay men. Not all women in the genre are like that, but a substantial amount."

Hmmm. Because het romance readers never fetishize hot het men. Because before m/m conventions had go go dancers there were never Ellora's Cavemen flexing their muscled, oiled bods at RT. As the former owner of the first exclusively GLBT romance publisher, I can tell you long before we had naked waiters at the UK meetup there were hot cover models carrying mermaid dressed authors across the stage at the Fairy Court ball. Romance is about the fantasy. Period. The article fails to address this.

Second, as the L in LGBT, let me talk about how straight men have objectified my "people" for decades. Do we even get romance novels? No, we get bad porn reels with big boobed porn ladies pretending to be into one another, all for men to enjoy as a fantasy. Because most of us lezzies of a certain age have never seen our partners look like that...

I'd also like to note that the pics accompanying the anonymous post are more likely to be found on a gay porn site than a m/m author's FB and are there for shock value. Here's more what I see on my facebook and on m/m book covers. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=505808079586315&set=a.248987658601693.1073741828.100004713810507&type=3&theater

Am I saying this guy is 100% wrong? No. Am I calling bullshit? Yes.

On the eve of a gay man being appointed Director at Large of RWA, what I see in this article is divisiveness.

Yep. There's the go-go dancer groping commentary. I've seen both genders and all sexual preferences do this at all kinds of events. Do I love it? No. In fact, my main objection to sexy male models parading around at cons is largely feminist. If I would object to a woman being viewed that way, I have to give equal time to the guys. But that's my issue, and I don't go if I don't want to see it. The porn fest masquerading as lit is another comment in the article. This is causing authors to defend romance. It's not all sex! they say. Sex is bad! Bullshit again. You don't like erotic romance? Don't read it. But don't tell me it's not valid, and that het romance doesn't do the same thing. Listen to Can Johnson talk at a panel about alpha alpha heroes and tell me het romance is any less interested in the heat.

Romance is a valid genre, with a huge, diverse following. We don't need divisiveness and we don't need all the tired old accusations of objectification just because our genre is mostly about women taking their sexuality into their own hands. As a m/m romance author, I think my genre is also about acceptance and love, because many a reader has told me they didn't believe in gay rights until they read a m/m romance. How can that be bad? Own what you read and what you write, and sure, fight for understanding and equality. But don't try to blame all the ills of the world on a go go dancer and a couple of smokin' hot novels... I'll call bullshit.



Monday, November 09, 2015

can't keep up

I feel like I'm drowning in my lack of social media.

Send minions

Or houseboys

Sunday, November 01, 2015

A Halloween Emergency story

So, Halloween went well. Candy all handed out by 8:30. Our friends Bessie and Matt stopped by with their kids. The dogs were calm. We had a lovely fire in the fireplace.

Then at bedtime, one of us took 37 units of short acting insulin instead of long acting Lantus...


BA is type one diabetic. I'm type two. We both take Long acting insulin, and she takes 3-4 shots a day of short acting. We keep the bottles in separate places and they're different sizes, but when you've had as long a day we had yesterday, it's easy to make mistakes.

The good? No one died. We called 911 as the doctor told us to in such a sitch. The EMTs said hospital for monitoring was voluntary. After our glorious stint in the ER Wednesday, we took option 2. Testing every 10-30 minutes for 2-3 hours and lots of juice and rice. After the first harrowing hour of plummeting blood sugars, it evened out. By 4am we went to sleep without setting an alarm to wake us to test.

No lasting harm. But man. Don't do that, y'all



Monday, October 26, 2015

Minerva Howe? what the heck?

I know I've told y'all who Minerva Howe is before now. She's me! She's my kinkier, BDSMier side.

If you've been following along, you know I have two books out as Minerva right now. Chosen Wolf and Found Vampire are both biting, spanking, dubious consent in no no yes do me kind of way books out from Resplendence Publishing. They're both m/m, and they sort of walk the line between lifestyle BDSM and paranormal D/s.

My newest release, out tomorrow with Samhain Publishing, runs right over the line into BDSM as a life choice. It's also a mmf historical 1790s femme domme.

Oh. y'all, I'm so proud of this. It's a true menage, with all three characters needing each other to be complete. It's smokin' hot, and full of all sorts of dominance play by both femme domme Felice and cool as a cucumber Simon. Matthias the sub burns so bright with need. I love them all so much, and I hope you do, too.

The path to love isn’t always a straight line. Sometimes it’s a triangle.

When Simon realizes his dearest friend is in real trouble with gambling, whoring and daredeviling, he hits on the perfect solution: provide Matthias with an outlet for his self-destructive urges. While Simon would be more than willing to take on the task himself, Matthias has always fought their “unnatural” attraction.

As London’s Mistress of Discipline, Felice Grey wears her independent and scandalous reputation with confidence. She’ll take on Matthias for one night as a favor to Simon—even break her own rules to let Simon watch. She never expected that Matthias’s struggle against his feelings for Simon would touch her heart, or that she’d feel drawn to both men. Especially since Simon’s dominant nature makes it unlikely he’ll bend to her will.

Simon, barely surviving the night’s session, withdraws to his country estate in hopes that his two favorite people will find each other. Felice and Matthias must make a decision—let happiness fall by the wayside, or pursue it—and damn the risk.

Find it here!

Friday, October 23, 2015

bad blogger too sad to post

been down this week. Lots of bad news in the writing world and lots of people I know directly, personally affected. Sad and tired. I'll try to get back to it this weekend as I have a new release next week at Samhain under my Minerva Howe BDSM name!



Friday, October 16, 2015

The Tortuga Talbot household in D & D

Chaotic neutral BA 

Lawful good Sonny

Chaotic good Julia 

Lawful evil Sadie 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

costumes I wish I could wear

I always wanted to be one of those curvy girls who could wear skinny. You know what I mean. Put on a corset and look like am Old West painting or a Victorian wet dream.

Sadly, I'm more... big all over. Tall. Broad where a broad should be broad, to quote Vicky Bliss, but also squishy. So, here's an ode to all the costumes I wish I cold rock for Halloween and can't

The saloon girl. No one wants to see this much of my 45 year old skin stuffed into a corset and fishnets. Trust me.

The Georgian lady. Ah, y'all. Side panniers. Powdered wigs. Dangerous Liaisons. I love this look. I do not have the stomach for a stomacher. Nor do I have the boobs for conical stays. I wish. Oh, how I wish.

damn you Marie Antoinette

Any superheroine.

when I was wee I wanted to be Wonder Woman. I thought she was stunning. She had an invisible plane! But alas, I am not built for a star spangled leotard.

I have rocked a gypsy, a ghost, a gargoyle and a witch, though!



Saturday, October 10, 2015

halloween season

today's movie count

The Awakening- 4 stars

Twixt - 1 1/2 stars

Haunter - 3 1/2 stars

I never used to watch scary movies. Action adventure, sure. The Mummy? Absolutely. Real horror? No way.

I would have nightmares. I was always kind of scared of the dark.

Then I met my wife, who convinced me there's nothing there in the dark that's not there in the day. Okay, that was kinda terrifying to begin with but I figured it out. Grins. Every once in awhile something will still scare me but now it's in a good way. Sometimes we need to be frightened so we remember how good we have it every day.

So far, nothing today has been scary. Clever, yeah. Really bad in one case. But not scary.

It's still two weeks until Halloween ;)



Tuesday, October 06, 2015

the life of a basset

Wake up mom

Bark a lot at the kids walking to school

Dentistick snack



have a few kibbles



A lot







Saturday, October 03, 2015

the worst movie in a long while


BA and I are trying to watch one new to us movie. Today we watched 1303. It's a horror bit about a haunted apartment.

OMG y'all, this was terrible. It had Rebecca DeMornay and Mischa Barton so we thought, hey, not bad. No. No, this was the WORST.

Incomprehensible. Poorly written. Badly acted. By the end no one cared.

We gave it one star on Netflix.

So, what movies would y'all rec?



Thursday, October 01, 2015

writing on days I don't want to

Some days I just don't feel like writing.

Take today, for instance. BA and I try to get up at 7 am so we can start writing days. We write from 7 to noon, and from 12:45 to 5 ish. A lot of times 3:30 to 5 is spent in edits, social media and more, but sometimes if one of us is in hard deadline, we keep going.

Today I wanted to sleep until 9 or 10. I wanted pancakes for breakfast. (I settled for a Jimmy Dean eggwhite and turkey sausage bowl). And today I want to work on a miniature crazy quilt for a dollhouse and watch Sherlock.

But, since I write for a living, I'm here at my computer, alternating fiction with blog posts. Romance is, well, romantic, but writing is work. My wife always answers the "How do you deal with writer's block?" by explaining that the mortgage has to be paid. That's so true. Even writers have days where they want to call in sick or disinterested.

So, I'll put off my crazy quilt until 5 and write about moose shifters.

Because I'm a writer, and that's how I roll.



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

where have all the cowboys gone?

this is a question for stock photographers, because I know cover artists can only choose pics that they have access to.

So I ask. Why do we have all these Guido types with spray tans and bandannas under their redneck straw or leather hats doing the armpit sniffing pose?

Now, don't get me wrong. I have nothing against Guidos, spray tans, or fitness models. But when I have to help my wife, who writes a very specific brand of Texas cowboy, find a cover model, I want, well, a cowboy.

There's an old song by Conway Twitty, called Don't Call Him a Cowboy (Until You've Seen Him Ride). In this case don't slap a hat on a guy with no shirt on and call him a cowboy.

See, there are all sorts of cowboy hats from the low crown Texas straw Stetson, to the high crown, curly brim high mountain hat. They all have a few things in common, though. They come in felt or straw. They do not come in leather. They are not worn by celebrities like Toby Keith or Bret Michaels. They are not bought in a tourist shop at Myrtle Beach or at the Margaritaville in NOLA.

As a side note, the redneck leather hat that most closely resembles a civil war cavalry hat is what the slimy, jerk of an ex used to wear and call it a cowboy hat, and is never, ever an appropriate hat for a BA Tortuga cover. Ever. Julia would rather bash herself in the head than see it on a cover, thanks.

A real cowboy hat can be bought at a western wear store, a rodeo, and in some states, Wal-Mart. Approved manufacturers include Stetson, Resistol, Justin, Larry Mahan and many, many more.

I am begging for real cowboys to come back into style. They're hot. Trust me.



Saturday, September 26, 2015

A story about my Mom

We went to an estate sale today during our mad yard sale run into Old Town. BA and I love weird and wonderful stuff, and today at yard sales we got a bizarre hanging chandelier for our dining room to replace the generic wal mart model our predecessors hung. At the estate sale, we got a frankly odd table with an oval top and two tiny shelves on the bottom. Maybe a candle stand with a place for a tinderbox? Maybe a lamp table with a place for oil? It has little metal claw feet, which makes me so happy.

Anyway, estate sales are little glimpses into someone's life, and today the gentleman in question made me think of my mom. He was a military man, so there were uniforms and foot lockers and more than 20 years of insignia. He made wooden toys, soldiers mostly, but he had some trucks and cars, wooden toys for smaller kids.

Mom loved her Army days, would have retired if she could have, but back then women got married and pregnant and they got an honorable discharge. She made wooden toys for years, loving it when a little kid latched on to a car or a truck and wouldn't let go.

The biggest thing that hit me today, though, was the workshop the man had set up. There was a workbench (sadly a built in and not for sale) that made me think of all the hours my mom spent out in the garage with the dog, sitting on her stood in front of her workbench. She'd have a cigarette dangling out of her mouth, a block of wood in her hand that she would turn into something amazing. I spent a lot of time in her various shops over the years, sanding parts, gluing in pegs. She would chat with me, or we'd sing with the radio or we'd just work, but we were content to spend time together. The smell of sawdust and wood glue will always make me think of her.



Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Release- Emerald Eyes

Oh, y'all.

It's been a long time since I visited Club Bloodrose.

I mean really. I started this series eons ago with what is, chronologically, the second book. The Werewolf Code. In that book, which intros a werewolf named Deke and a vampire named Kasey, a terrible mutation is being introduced to make people into werewolves. Deke mentions he and Kasey met at a BDSM style slave auction at a club, and all the readers said, what? We want to see this.

So I wrote An Itch to Scratch, which introduces Jonny, owner of Bloodrose. Yummy.

Then, in Belling the Cat, Jonny meets his match in a panther shifter named Luc. I admit now that I was in a hurry to finish that one to fill a slot someone else left gaping open at the publisher (which was my business back then) and if I had been a reader when that book came out, I'd be seriously pissed ;)

After a few more stories in Bloodrose, and several offshoot books about Cereus, Jonny's paranormal resort, y'all finally yelled loud enough.

Emerald Eyes is the sequel to Belling, and catches up with Luc and Jonny, as well as Luc's twin brother, Yves, and his new bodyguard, Reuben...

Yeah, it's really entwined. This book really explores Luc's life, making Yves the star, but digging into Jonny and Luc's relationship with Deke and Kasey, as well. I hope to continue that arc in Cereus at some point soon.

Here's the deets.

Get Emerald Eyes here!

This week, Belling is on sale 20% off, as are the Bloodrose shorts.

When Jonny, the owner of club Bloodrose finds out his shifter mate Luc has a twin brother, he decides Yves needs protection from the bad guys who have tried to kill Luc. He sends Reuben, a werewolf security agent, to keep Yves safe from the killers. And from Yves himself.

Reuben has never met someone as determined to find trouble as Yves. The guy has this obsession with a set of emeralds, a dead younger brother, and some kind of demon ritual. All of this should make panther shifter Yves a bad bet as a mate, but that doesn't keep Reuben from falling hard. Can he and team Bloodrose keep everyone alive long enough to convince Yves they're made for each other?

Author note: While the story can stand alone, this book is best when read as a sequel to Belling the Cat.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Julia's Best Travel Tips

I love to travel. I go anywhere I can, anytime I can. I've traveled both domestically and abroad. I love Malaga and London, hate NYC and Atlanta. I have been in cabs and on trains, have been dragged across Rome with a man named Orlando carrying my suitcase and I've eaten squid ink pasta in Venice and gluten free Falafel and pita in Portland. Over the last fifteen years I've learned some great tips for having a good trip.

Don't go with someone you don't get along with pretty well. I've been to Italy 3 times, and every time there was one person who dragged down the fun level. Now, that's not to say anyone was a jerk, but if you don't see museums at the same speed or if one person wants to shop and sun on the beach and the other wants to hit historical sites and sights, you're gonna have a problem. I can't wait to go to Italy with my wife. We travel well together.

Don't get into the cab with the crazy Russian driver. I learned this in LA. Our party split into two cabs and BA and I got the crazed man who decided it was a competition. He damned near killed us. However, we have found that if you get a cabbie who will chat with you then talk! Don't just sit there. We've learned all about 1950s French Quarter NOLA, downtown Pittsburgh during the steel era, how thw Queen's Guard in London all learn to talk through closed lips so they can pick up women, and how police work pays in Houston, TX. From carriage drivers we've learned that they used to use homing pigeons to get football scores to the newspaper in Texas, that mules are more surefooted on cobblestones than horses and that the bull fighting ring in Malaga Spain is their pride and joy.

Pay for the better hotel. Don't stay in a cheap hotel. Get the best one you can afford. Not luxury, unless you're into that, but a good, clean, comfortable hotel. After a long day of walking about, the last thing you want is to come back to a gross bed and nasty carpets. Do your research online, make sure the hotel has the amenities important to you. Pool? Beach access? Room service? Gluten free food. You don't have to compromise in this competitive day and age.

Eat and travel and expect things like a local. I can't tell you how many people I've seen say, "This isn't like home." Lord, people go all over the world and eat McDonald's. Seriously, y'all. Bust out. Don't eat the menu touristica, as they say in Italy. Wander off the beaten path. Try the weird seafood soup. Go to the food truckk court. See the real.

There's so much more, but I'm out of time.




Wednesday, September 16, 2015

my favorite Coastal Magic Authors

We all fangirl, right? Some of my favorite authors will be at Coastal Magic Con in February.

Carrie Ann Ryan, Christopher Rice, Shayla Black...

Yeah. bestsellers, much.

Still, some of my faves, who are also bestsellers, are people I feel lucky enough to call friends.

Andrew Grey. I met Andrew at either Authors After Dark or GRL in New Orleans. Sorry, babe, I can't remember which. He was there when BA and I got engaged, and this summer he spent a week with us in Texas, meeting all the family. He writes lovely romances and yummy adventures and he's a genuinely good guy.

Kiernan Kelly. I've known K for 10 years. I published her first book. She's hilarious, fiercely loyal, and insanely talented.

TC Blue. Tis has been in my life almost as long as Kiernan. She's honest, wicked snarky, and will give you the shirt off her back. She spent an entire convention after BA went gluten free providing my girl with free Kind Bars just so she could have food.

Damon Suede. I met Damon in New Orleans at AAD. We bonded over literary theory in romance. He was sweet enough to dance with me though I had a terribly injured foot. He sweats, but so do I. He's my wife's evil gay twin.

Sean Michael. What can I say. This will be Sean's first public con. O.O Sean introduced me to my wife, and I have known this freakishly cool Canadian since 2000. Fifteen years. Whoa.

BA Tortuga is my wife. We got married in June last. We got engaged at a romance con. We got together over a romance publishing house. I couldn't do it without her. And she's a hell of a writer.

Come see us all at Coastal Magic in February! Click here to go see the website!



Monday, September 14, 2015

My favorite beaches- Coastal Magic theme week

Hey y'all!

I'm getting promo together for Coastal Magic in February. why now, you ask? Well, it's February 4-7. Starting in October, we have trips and guests and holidays and birthdays and BOOM. It will be here.

Since it's in Daytona, I thought I would share my favorite beaches.

Myrtle Beach. Oh lord, y'all, I spent time here as a kid. Dad loved the beach, and he would take us down in April or October just when the off season was ripe. We'd collect shells and play games on the boardwalk and -- hey do they still have the dinosaur goony golf?

Ocean City, Maryland and Chincoteague Island, VA

I spent summers here as a teen, staying in my best friend's parents' RV and eating crabs and shrimp, swirled chocolate vanilla soft serve and fries with malt vinegar. We'd go bay fishing and watch the ponies and ride bikes all over the place.

Anything in the Bahamas or St Marteen. Blue water, white sand, umbrella drinks. Hoo yeah.

The promenade at Malaga, Spain. Orange and olive trees. Horse drawn carriages. Okay, so there's not much beach and a lot of big ships, but I love it.

The tiny beach at Turbatt's Creek, Kennebunkport, Maine. A glass of wine, a rocky beach in Maine, and an old lighthouse in the distance.

Coastal Magic will be my first beach in Florida. I've only been to Orlando. Eeee.

Come see us! Click here for website!



Sunday, September 13, 2015

Author Burnout

In this day and age, in order for an author to stay current, we must produce a lot of work. Not just writing books. We have to do blogs and Twitter and Facebook and Google Plus and Instagram and conventions and signings...

Yeah, you get the picture.

Now, I could complain, but I love my job, so here's how I combat the three major areas of Author Burnout. Writer's block, editing freakout, and social media fatigue.

Note: These are my cures. Feel free to comment and tell me yours!

Writer's block is something I rarely suffer from. I get stymied on one story, I just move on to another for a bit. Still, there are times when I really get myself in a bind, write myself into a corner and have to stop for a bit. That's when I pull out one of two tried and true techniques. One is to take a notebook (analog, folks. no tech here) and go to a coffee shop. Somehow going longhand and old school makes a different part of my brain kick in, and I often find I can get back on the horse. The other thing I try it just getting out of the house. No work, no notebook, nothing. Just turn the sound off on my phone and get going, out to dinner or to a museum or anything that gives me a new experience and people to watch. We forget how solitary we are sometimes, working alone at a keyboard. If you write romance, you have to see how people interact sometimes... Just go.

Editing freakout. OMG this is the one I am most guilty of, y'all. When you're a published author, you may have a book coming out in October, February and March and have them all in edits at the same time. Content edits, line edits, final line edits... It gets dizzying. Now, I thank God for my editors every day. I love that they make my books better. But after a pile of edits slashing through your prose, your characters, your plot, I start to take it personally. It's simply human nature. I begin to freak out. I troll Goodreads and Amazon obsessing over any bad reviews that prove I suck. It's a downward spiral.

This is when I step away from being an author for an hour. I read a book that is not mine. I call my brother because at this point my wife is either like "Let's kill them all!" or "Oh, would you shut UP". Sometimes I vaguebook, I admit, but that's always a bad idea.

What I find works the best is another creative hobby. This is why so many writers knit and crochet and color adult coloring books. I pick something quick, a project I can finish in a day, like a dishcloth. Boom Instant sense of accomplishment. Sometimes the editing process seems never ending, but a nice chunky yarn scarf? No one critiques that.

Finally, there's social media fatigue. Even though we all live in the electronic age, authors are essentially introverts. The constant pressure to stay in the public eye means we need to be out there writing blogs and doing tours, Facebook posts, Twitter, and a host of new social sites popping up means a writer can not only be utterly swamped, but it means I can waste a lot of time I should be writing surfing the Oatmeal or Grumpy Cat.

I know a lot of authors who cope with the inundation of social media by using a service like HootSuite to schedule their social media and do it all once a week.

I pass no judgement on this, but it doesn't work for me. I find spontaneity important in the little social details I share, and I like to post about 85% about something not my books so no one feels overwhelmed with promo. So what I do is schedule my days. I look at my author Facebook max 3 times a day. I may only post once, then read and like other people's posts, but I try hard to limit my surfing. I get free phone apps that help me post pictures to Twitter, Instgram and Tumblr. These apps, like Word Swag, help me create interesting content from regular phone pics. I pick a theme for the week. This week all my Pinterest pins for work relate back to a WIP about a spa owner who runs a GLBT friendly hotel. Just jotting down the theme for the week, the blog posts I need to make, and the places I need to touch each week on Sunday keeps me from feeling completely overwhelmed.

Please share any coping strategies you use with me!

XXOO Julia

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Sunday, September 06, 2015

First world problems the tech edition

went to upgrade my phone today. I need an up to date smart phone for my writing business, frankly, and my camera has to be up to par to support my destashing through Ebay and Artfire. (PM me on Facebook for links to jewelry and yarn etc)

So, we go to the ATT store. Did we forget to update our phones? Yes we did, so we had to do it there. Three hours later we've updated, upgraded, and grocery shopped in between, and are home. Do I have a phone? No. It's plugged in trying to upgrade to the new OS, which, you know, I think should be on the damned phone already. It's taking hours, y'all. because I made the mistake of trying to download all my darned apps at the same time.

If I ever get to use use my new phone I'm sure I'll love it.

When I get this frustrated, I remind myself that I can afford to shop at an organic co-op and upgrade my phone on an installment plan...



Friday, September 04, 2015

I was going to do TBT but it's Friday

but I can't find any pics on this machine

Sigh. And my dropbox only has new stuff

So I'll tell a story instead.

When I first met my wife in person, I went to Texas in February or March and melted. They took me to Chuy's and we waited outside forever and I melted some more. I was dying. Colorado at that time of year is a tough one. Colorado: 40 degrees. Texas: 68

See, in Texas, spring comes on Valentine's Day.

My wife came to visit me the first time in October in Colorado. It was lovely. 70 and sunny the whole time until the last day. Then it rained and the high was 58.

She about died.

Now we've been in Albuquerque for 2 years. This is our third fall. Yes, despite the 85 degree highs, it's fall. How do I know? BA broke out her jeans yesterday. She loves the seasons now, and it looking forward to cooler weather. Now when we go to Texas? She's the one who melts.



Tuesday, September 01, 2015

What I'm reading right now - Late summer edition

What I'm reading this week.

I just bought my first Brandon Shire book. I'm a sucker for blind stories, and this one says it's a blind gay romance. Afflicted, I think the title is. I will let y'all know how it goes!

I've been re-reading my old Jo Beverly books. I do love her Rogues and her Mallorens. I started a historical. It's her fault.

I've also been reading my get organized storage magazine O.O

What are y'all up to? Rec me, people, or I'll just keep getting free books on Bookbub and not reading them.



Saturday, August 29, 2015

snippet saturday WIP Desert Dragons 3

Here's a bit of my current work in progress, the as yet untitled Desert Dragons 3

Somewhere along the line, Oliver had lost control of the situation at his dragon sanctuary deep in the Chihuahuan desert of Mexico. His tiny earthship house was full to the rafters with big, burly men. And Banger. And a clutch of almost ready to hatch dragon eggs that were making his own multitude of dragons nutso crazy.

Babies? Bittybitty babies. Azul and Turquesa, his most loved bonded pair kept babbling in Oliver’s brain. He was going to hit them with a rock.

“Babies. Lots of ‘em.” God, how was he going to feed this many? Love them? Keep them from eating each other?

“Mmm. Dragon deathmatch.” His lover, Arturo came to stand next to him in the kitchen, sliding an arm around his waist. “You’re thinking so loud.”

“I’m sorry?” Was he? He didn’t know. “How is the scary hurt dude?”

“Sleeping. I gave him a shot of morphine from the med kit.” Arturo sighed, kissing the top of his head. “We’re gonna need more space if this keeps up.”

“People are going to start wondering what all the gringos are doing here in the desert.”

“Yeah. We’re also going to have to figure out a new supply chain.” Arturo tugged his braid, which he thought was going to be more gray than red soon.

The little sting was sort of happy making, though. “Yes. How are we going to feed them all? Where are they all coming from?”

“I don’t know.” Arturo paused, clearly thinking hard. “If it makes you feel any better, that was what Keon said. Ice’s guy in the mountains? Then he said he needed more people to bond with his dragons, so maybe it’s a numbers game.”

“Oh. Really?” That meant the dragons weren’t just exploding here, though. That meant there was something else happening. Something bigger than all of them.

“Yep. You just got a new clutch, right? Maybe that’s why. Some of your older babies needed to bond.” Arturo turned him, tilting his face up for a kiss. Tactile man.

He opened right up for it, his body threatening to beat his mind to death if it didn’t shut up and let him have this.




C 2015 Julia Talbot

Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Bloodrose Primer

For everyone who has been asking for another Bloodrose book, that time is September! I think the 23rd? I'm a dither, and will get a solid date when I can go look.


The new book is the sequel to Belling the Cat, and it finishes the arc started there while introducing Yves and Reuben.

I'll give y'all a good rundown on Emerald Eyes closer to release. For now I'll talk about the series.

The first book written was The Werewolf Code. It's a mystery where Deke and KC, or Kasey, the main characters, are already together. They have a genetic mutation to deal with, and someone with a lot of rage. They're detectives here, working a case.

When it came out, everyone wrote and told me they wanted to see Deke and Kasey's beginning, so I wrote book 2, which is chronologically book 1. An Itch to Scratch. It introduces Jonny as the owner of the Bloodrose, and it shows Deke being auctioned off as a meal for vampire Kasey. Voluntarily.

Then comes Lean on Me, which introduces Aiden and new Bloodrose manager Jared, a psychic and a werewolf.

Then Incomparable, which is bar manager Ashe and Nikolas, a performer at the club. This is the one I would redo if I had the time. I focused too much on the sex and not enough on the romance I know is there, and I think it's hard to buy the happy ever after without telling their whole story.

In the collection Bloodrose: A Collection of shorts, former manager Duke gets a lover, and Deke and Kasey and Jonny get some fun.

Then there's Cereus, which is also a Jonny business venture. A paranormal vacation paradise on land owned by a dragon. Building, Opening, Training and Rescue, and they all happen between Belling and Emerald Eyes, which is out next.

Hope that helps prepare everyone for Emerald Eyes! All stores are available at All Romance, Amazon and Torquere Press.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Guide to Julia's dragons

A lot of folks have been asking me the order of the dragon books I have out at Changeling Press.

I'm always happy to natter on about my books, even if I am scatterbrained as hell! I forget I have new books to promo, I forget to email people, and I forget to compile series...

So, the dragon story actually starts in Mixed Breeds: Hunted. Find it here. Now, this is a mmf menage and there are no actual dragons, but it's interesting to note that Damon was a member of Elemental Ops, and he flakes out of them in this book.

Then we start Elemental Ops. Ice, Teamwork, Found and Vanished, which, incidentally was meant to be Lost but the publisher said they had one of those already.

Then Desert Dragons. Turquoise Trail is first, then Coyote Dance. Right now I'm working on Earth and Stars, and there's one more planned before I move to Mik's tribe in the Pueblo area of New Mexico. There are at least 10 more dragon books planned O.O

It's like the dragons are just overrunning my brain. We're just at the tip of the iceberg.



Friday, August 21, 2015


Man, it's been a long while since I've been so glad to see a Friday. I see fro-yo and copious craft room time in my weekend.

Maybe I can even con BA into frogging my badly $#@%ed up knitting for me. Cackles.

What are y'all's plans this weekend?



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

my Ebay obesssion

I might have mentioned a few weeks ago that I was selling stuff on Ebay.

We cleaned out a bunch of stuff in the garage and kitchen overflow. We sold a pasta roller set. A French language set from a famous software seller who hates reselling so will remain nameless. A bunch of books. Jewelry.

It's a fascinating look into human nature, and might be a wee bit obsessed.

You never know what will sell for way more than you think. What you think will sell for lots of money never does. People who buy big stuff pay right away. People who win shit for .99 never want to pay and you have to open unpaid complaints with Ebay. People still snipe each other.

I've also bought some jewelry to resell lately, and I have some advice.

Read descriptions and look at pics. Set a top bid and stay there. Don't get suckered into bidding more than it's worth through excitement and innate competitiveness. IOW don't get all hyped up and hope for more than you're really going to get ;) Easiest way to get burned.

I love old stuff. I love to but it and sell it. Bit soon I might have to put down the Ebay app and back away slowly ;)



Monday, August 17, 2015


I am not the queen of rewrites. I will try to make what I have work.

Sometimes though, you have to kill part of a story. Scrap it and start over. I hate it, but it happens. Like a surgeon, you have to cut out the parts that kill the flow. wah. It hurts.

I wish I could ignore the need, but there it is.

Hormonal train? Oh yeah



Friday, August 14, 2015

BA Tortuga and her Cheerios

Some 7-8 years ago now, my wife BA was diagnosed with a severe allergy to wheat and gluten. Not only does it cause internal bleeding and skin issues, it causes terrible nerve pain.

As you can imagine, she immediately went Gluten Free. I did at home, as well, only splurging when we ate out. The other party we lived with at the time, well, no. But that was the story of our time together and that's why that person is gone. (Huge, happy grin)

Now I;m fully gluten free as well, as nerve pain and eczema are not my friends.

This means no Shredded Wheat. No wheat anything. We gave up a lot. One of those things, thanks to possible cross contamination was Cheerios.

I am fond, but mostly indifferent.

BA missed them SO BAD.

6 months ago a gluten free blog told us Cheerios were going the way of Chex and going GF. BA has been bouncing and checking the cereal aisle every week since.

Well, today, guess what.

This is a happy day



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A hard day at Black Rock

Okay, y'all, I'm going to whine.

No, not wine. Whine. Really whine.

I love my job. If I don't make that clear enough, let me say it again. I love being home with my wife and writing and plotting and even all the crazy promo we have to do.

Today has been tough, though.

I find it really difficult not to take things personally. I have struggled with it all my life. When I waste weeks writing on a book that will never fit the call I'm writing it for, I get snarly. While this book will no doubt sell to another publisher, I am now 3 weeks behind on all my deadlines, and half through with a book that has no home.


The few other troubles I had got fixed, but they still rankled, and man, I just need some time with my foam roller.



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

drowning in deadlines

send coffee and chocolate. Here, I'll demonstrate

You can always drop by if you have anything that pretty!



Friday, August 07, 2015

What I'm working on and a new dragon book!

Let's see

Out now! Desert Dragons 2: Coyote Dance

Buy it here!

Banger wants to save the day. Mik wants to save the world. What they really need is to save each other.

When Banger wakes up in an earthship house in the desert, surrounded by dragons, he knows his whole life has changed. Add to that the fact that the man he's been chasing for years has a new lover, and he's pretty sure his day can't get much weirder. Which is when Cereyshe accidentally trips trying to save his friends and shoots someone.

Mik has never been shot on a first date before. When his spirit dragon Piasa tells him to go to the little compound in the Chihuahua desert he's expecting dragons, maybe smugglers, but he figures no one could expect Banger. Even as Mik falls for Banger, his new lover decides he's a danger to the baby dragons he's there to help, and Banger ends up kidnapped by a white slaver in the desert. Can Mik save Banger from danger, and keep him from hurting himself?

Publisher's Note: Coyote Dance is best enjoyed after reading Turquoise Trail (Desert Dragons 1).

It's on sale, too!

what I'm working on now.

Desert Dragons 3. Daniel, a coyote shifter introduced in DD2 and a new dragon keeper

Cereus whatever the new title is...

A new wold shifter novela

A contemporary for Dreamspinner about a former lifestyle sub and a cowbpoy



Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Monday, August 03, 2015

Updates and news about my website!

Hey y'all!

I updated the coming soon and new releases pages up here on the blog.

Here's the new releases! and here's the coming soon!

In other news, I'll be getting a new website soon! I know my updates at Juliatalbot.com have been sucking wind. SUCKING

The amazing Kris Norris has designed me a new one and BA is working on getting all my books up. With covers! Blurbs! Stuff that's out of print is gone! Yay! A few weeks and it will be live!



Saturday, August 01, 2015

Why defending romance makes me crazy

I read smut. I read chicklit. I read romance, gay and straight and otherwise.

I also happen to write all of these things.

I see a lot of articles defending one or more of these genres at the expense of the others. I see a lot of people validating their romances simply because men read them.

Crackling static.

Why? Why do men have to read your genre for it to be serious and worthy. Why do we have to put down erotica or say "mind candy" is bad and I write serious shit, Jim!

We write what we love to read. I had a professor in college who told me at the beginning of my lit career, "Never be ashamed of what you love to read."

I have echoed that here many times, and I always hear it in that Mainer accent my prof had.

I'm sick of the word defending popping up all over when it comes to what I adore. Fuck that shit. These days I think I'll just start slapping people with my heaviest paperback.

Love, Smut loving angry woman,


Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Full Moon Dating!

Does the butt shaking happy dance!

Full Moon Dating: Gage and Hamish is out! Yay!

My amazing cover from Kris Norris. Uhn.

Gage and Hamish are a novelette in a series and probably ought to be read that way. I'm getting into the FMD mythology pretty hard these days.

Here's the blurby

Cat shifter Gage is an impossible bottom. No one has ever been able to tame him, even if he wants them to. He’s willing to keep trying, though, and when he finds out about the paranormal dating site Full Moon Dating, he puts himself in their hands. He longs for someone who will take him in hand and make him like it.

Hamish is a bear shifter who plays too rough for most subs. Gage sounds like just what he needs, so when Full Moon matches them up, he’s happy to see how they get along. Can he convince Gage that he’s the one to make the man toe the line?

And here's a wee bit to get you going!

"This one is on me." Hamish flagged down the waiter. "You're sure?" He wasn't a moocher. He paid his own way. "I am." Meeting his gaze, Hamish smiled. "I won't be expecting anything, I promise." "Well, thank you, man. Let's go explore." "Sounds good." During the day downtown Boulder was all coffee shops and tourists. At night, the main drag was all twinkly lights and locals out for the evening. Joggers and craft beer enthusiasts. He grabbed his jacket, the night air cool, even in the summer time. Hamish moved close, that big body radiating heat. He approved. He had to resist a good hard snuggle. They were in public after all. Maybe there would be snuggling later. Gage liked to keep his options open. The street was bustling, and he ended up hanging close to Hamish to keep from bumping the crowds. Hamish chuckled. "I have this urge to hold your hand." "Yeah? Don't lose me, huh?" "Nope. Crowded tonight." Hamish turned off on the side street leading up to the Hotel Boulderado. "Friday night shenanigans." "Yeah. I didn't think about that when I asked you to meet me here. I'm not antisocial or anything, but that's a heck of a crowd." "It is." A group of men turned the corner, moving together in a way that screamed wolf pack. Hamish stiffened next to him. "This way, maybe?" "Uh-huh. Together." "I would never leave you to them, kitty. They have to go through me." "I'm pretty good, one on one." A pack, though? Not so much. "They're looking for trouble," Hamish murmured, and it wasn't an unfair statement. Not the way two of them turned over a trashcan mounted on a chained platform. He took Hamish's hand, a low rumble building inside him. "Oh, hell no! Look at the gays!" They'd been spotted, and just at the right fucking time. Damn it. "Fuck." He growled long, his shoulders rolling. "Just keep going. If they start something, get your kitty tail to the hotel and have the front desk call the cops. Got it?" Hamish sounded different. Feral. "Not leaving you to the wolves." "Hey, I just have to hold them off until the cops get here." He got a wild grin, and he thought maybe Hamish was on an adrenaline high. Gage pulled his phone out, dialing 9 and 1. He never had time to type in the other 1. The wolves attacked in a rush, and his instinct was to leap, take the first one that reached for him. Instead, he kept his back to Hamish's, going with safety in numbers. He heard Hamish roar, and heard flesh connect with flesh. His sound was more a scream, wild and totally terrifying. The wolves focused on Hamish, following the hunting pattern of their pack, but more than one lashed out at Gage. He fought back, snapping and snarling, his hands tipped with deadly claws. "Fuck! Get them. There's just two of them!" The head wolf had a memorable voice, a deep bass growl. "Hamish, I got your back." "I know." Hamish sounded certain. That was good. It felt like Hamish was huge, vast. Who would take on a full-sized grizzly? Even in a pack? These assholes had to be on something. He kept his back against Hamish, his eyes feeling like they were burning in his skull. He slashed out and caught one wolf under the chin, causing a howl. He heard two more go flying, Hamish roaring. Gage heard the thud as he was hit before he felt it, the pressure sending him flying. Hamish went nuts, flinging wolves everywhere, bellowing his name. He landed on his feet, his head spinning as he fought everything he couldn't see. Damn it, were there more now? It seemed as though an endless number of wolves were all over them. "Hamish!" Fuck, help! "Gage!" Hamish turned, leaving that broad back vulnerable, but tearing into the wolves trying to kill Gage. Utterly magnificent. He managed to stay upright, fighting with all he was. The sound of a siren was what finally drove the pack away from them, even though Hamish fought like a demon to keep them at bay. He slumped against a fence, sucking air, eyes rolling. "Come on, Gage." Hamish picked him up under one arm. "No waiting for the police."

Buy it here!

AMazon buy link ARE buy link

The other books, in order, are Aiden and Ben, Coy and Denver, and Evgeny and Feng.



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monday Monday- wait is it Tuesday?

Sure seems like Monday. Google Docs hates me. Cut my toe open yesterday. Had to frog my scarf again.

I want an eclair.

Stamps foot.

Gage and Hamish out tomorrow!

Available here for preorder.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

Vintage Jewelry Love

So I recently rediscovered a love of mine from my antique dealer days.

Vintage jewelry. I adore weird rhinestone stuff, crazy old pins and earrings, weird pop beads and bizarre cocktail rings. The weirder the better. Since I have very little room for collectibles, I'm selling most of what I buy at yard sales on Ebay. Yesterday I got to research a Miriam Haskell shell shaped stickpin. 1950s. Neat thing. People lover Miriam Haskell. She was like Tim McGraw. She didn't design her own stuff, but she sure knew how to pick a designer.

Today it was a lovely sterling silver and turquoise pendant. So neat.

I love hauling out my loupe and looking at marks, though man, my eyesight is way worse than it was it my 20s. o.O

Here's the stickpin

Such fun!



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

knitting woes

I suck at knitting.

Now, mind you, my stitches are lovely. I can follow a pattern. I know a decent number of stitches.

What I suck at is paying attention.

I try not to stop in the middle of a row. But I do. Then I get turned around. Not kidding.

Seed stitch. Knit perl knit perl. Next row. Perl knit perl knit. Right? So easy. Makes a lovely rib pattern. I frog every third row because I can't tell what a perl stitch looks like vs a knit. My wife, who can, is left handed, so she inevitably tells me to start with the wrong stitch and I inevitable lose count, even with a row counter.

I suck at gauge. My stitches are always too tight, so I have to go up a needle size.

I get a third of the way through a project and quit. I have a third of a sweater. Five one third finished scarves. One scarf I was halfway through a beaded knit and lost it in a move. That one really pissed me off because it was a) expensive yarn b) a gift for my Aunt in Law.

So, why do I knit? Well, it allows me to buy really neat yarn. It's actually relaxing at the time I'm doing it. It's something to share with my wife.

I still suck at it pretty badly



Monday, July 20, 2015

joy of the day

my big joy of the day is that Alan Jackson has a new album out today. I adore him, but even more than that, my girl loves him so much that she's bouncing and happy.

One of the very first big gifts I ever got her was tickets to an Alan Jackson concert. We were in different states and she was still, er, stuck with the evil ex, but we were BFFs already, and I wanted her to be able to go. There was a big old mess with the tickets being on the ends of two different rows, which I didn't know about, but she was so happy. Joe Nichols opened for him, and that was the first time she told me Joe could sound like anyone from George Jones to George Strait.

We've since seen some 50 or 60 concerts together, from 14 Tim McGraw shows to Texas singers no one but BA and I have heard of. We've seen George Strait 5 times. Sugarland. Luke Bryan. We even took BA's sister K to see Poison and Def Leppard. We've seen Alan together once, at the Dallas Stampede rodeo, where we had standing room only floor seats.

I still remember the very first concert I ever got her tickets for, though, and how much she loves Alan Jackson. Every time I hear him, that's what I think of.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

my favorite things about yesterday

I learned all about Finnish silver hallmarks. Not for a book, but for selling a pair of earrings on ebay. Thanks to the detailed markings I know it's .916 grade silver, it was made in Helsinki for export, the designer's name, and the company. Also they were made in 1957. So yeah, if you have a burning passion for Kalevala Koru, hit me up. I have a pair if 1957 screwback earrings in an in an unusual pattern.

My wife and I sat and talked at dinner about how we came to fandom and what fandoms were our faves. Sure, we know all this already, but I love our rambling dinner conversations. I can sit and listen to BA talk for hours about how she and Darth Velma used to go to cons in Santa Barbara together. Then I regale her with my fannish horror story about getting to Baltimore to meet an online friend only to have her flake at the last minute and screw me out of a place to stay and a hot meal on a really shitty rainy night in Maryland. Suffice to say we did not remain friends.

edits on Desert Dragons 2. Hoo. I have a new editor, and she's not read the El Ops or DD1. Ack. This series just can't stand alone at this point, and I'm struggling to add the backstory she wants me to without making the story sound weird and pedantic and repetitive. Such are the problems of tight 3rd person specific. If a character isn't thinking it, I can't put it on the page, so huge chunks of exposition don't happen.

I needed to knit something. I started a new scarf. I don't get that urge as often as BA, or as author friends like Amy Lane or Ariel Tachna, but I love a chunky yarn and a seed stitch.

Weekend, ho!


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

10 little known facts about Julia

Bad blogger. No doughnut.

The niece came to visit. She's 6.

Wow, was that exhausting. Twisted up my bad foot, too, which sucks. Still, we had a ball.

So, ten unknown things

I used to be an antique dealer. Did it for 5 years. I still do Ebay stuff under my real name.

I love to paint. I suck at it, but I love it. I make goddess dolls out of painted gourds.

I may have bassets now but I grew up with German Shepherd mixes

I eat super clean now but sometimes I dream about McDonalds. True story.

I love American Ninja Warrior. Love how they all root for one another.

I used to love the really dark comic books like Witchblade and the Darkness. I read them for free at the bookstore I worked at, so I was never too much of a comic geek, but I did get asked to go on a date to Denver comicon. Since he was married I said no.

I want a pick-up truck. We have an SUV, but dude. I want that hauling capacity.

I love to co-write with my wife BA Tortuga. When people review our books and say we sound too much alike without knowing we're married I cackle madly.

I have a cashew allergy that makes me sick as a dog. Please don't use this against me.

When I was a teenager I wanted to be a journalist. I found out I was way better at features, and then fiction.



Tuesday, July 07, 2015

romance is a wonderful genre!

I love romance books.

I love the happy ending. I love the crazy big misunderstandings. I love the amnesia, secret twin, lost heir stories. I love historicals with lots of heaving and throbbing.

I adore it all.

I'm baffled by romance writers who don't read romance.

Yep, I said it.

Never let someone make you ashamed of what you read. Never act ashamed of what you write. Glory in it. Put sprinkles and whipped cream on top of it. Screw politically correct and author ennui. Don't be a hipster about it. Love is worth reveling in, and so is the fiction it creates.

I love me genre. *sparkles*



Saturday, July 04, 2015

Putting the human face on civil rights

When my niece was just a baby, her parents moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina. She wasn't quite 2, if I remember, and thanks to a rather small-town in PA with a rather big time habit of not renting or selling homes to people of color, D had never seen a black person until she went down south.

The first black person she met up close and personal was my Aunt L's dear friend, Jessie Mae. At the time, Jessie Mae was 80, and while old, was neither weak, small or frail. She was the grandaughter of former slaves, a field worker her whole life, who in 1987 still had no running water or electricity. She was 6'2", weighed over 220 and had a voice like a freight train whistle. She scared my baby niece to death, and her momma was all aflutter, worried that Jessie Mae would be offended.

Jessie Mae's answer was, "You let that baby alone. She'll figure it out. I gots (she always said gots) to be scary to that child, the way I look, but she'll she how much I love her."

She was right. D finally got real brave and let Jessie Mae hold her against that enormous bosom that had comforted me and my brother for as long as we could remember, and that was that. D fell asleep. Boom.

Children learn that there's nothing to fear pretty quickly as long as people are good to them.

We could all learn something from that. Instead of mongering fear, we could all try to do better by each other. Remember that I'm not a number, or a statistic, or a sinner. (Sorry folks, one more person tells me they can hate my sin and love me and I'll lose it). I'm a person. A human. So are you. We don't have to agree, but we can at least admit we should all get the same start in life. A level playing ground.



Thursday, July 02, 2015


waaay back ;)

My brother holding me as soon as I was old enough to get pics taken.

My and my bro in the snow in Las Cruces with his dog Peewee.

Happy TBT!



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Random weekend round up

What I learned this week: Some days are amazing, some days are okay, and some are just not meant for me to be on the internet.

Friday was amazing. The outpouring of love and acceptance, with a few sad exceptions, thrilled me. Thanks to all the rainbow allies out there: gay, straight, and everything in between.

Thursday we went to Rodeo de Santa Fe. The arena is like a tiny Texas town might have, but the quality of contestants was like Denver or Austin. Loved it. However, I25 between Santa Fe and Albuquerque at 11pm? Daaaark.

Saturday was not my day to be on the net. Trust me, if you see something misspelled on an Ebay listing, it's appropriate to message someone and let them know. (Damn you autocorrect and British spellings of china). It is not appropriate to send a 2 page rant with lots of ALL CAPS.

What else?

July is a banner month for me. June 30 my Samhain MMF menage comes out. It's been on presale for ages (am I supposed to say that?) but it's almost out for y'all to read!. Click to go get it.

Bear Wanted, the first in a new series, The Grizzly List, is up for preorder today. MM bear and cat shifters. Find it here!

I also have a story in the Plaid Nights anthology at TQ, out July 15. My single title short will be out the same day as the anth, and it's call Some Like it Scot. The anth is available for presale here now.

Looks a little more like that Vikings show than a Scot, but I promise, my story is a fun contemporary set in Austin! There's something for every reader in this one.

Full Moon Dating: Gage and Hamish comes out July 29. As soon as I have a cover finalized and a presale, I'll holler!



Friday, June 26, 2015

Love Wins

Historic day, y'all

Love Wins 06/26/2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Have anthologies gone the way of the album?

Anthology order used to mean something.

Hear me out, because it's true, even if it means I'm old. Just like albums when I was a kid, anthologies told a complete story, one that had an ebb and flow, and there were certain places an author wanted to be to know their story was one of the best in the anthology.

Lead off. This is my place in the Hot Off the Press Anthology from Dreamspinner (get it here) and I was surprised and honored to get it. That means the editor thought my story was strong enough to be the very first story readers saw, that it would pull the reader in and make them want more.

Final story. My wife BA got this honor in Horsing Around, edited by Vincent Diamond. This is the spot to anchor the whole anthology, the last glimpse of this book the readers see. The lasting impression.

The middle. Right smack in the middle. Story 5 of 10 for example. This means your story is there to keep readers going. Often this story is longer or shorter than the others, something really different in pacing.

I have to admit, I'm spoiled enough to have seen my stories fill these spots that when they don't, I'm disappointed. Sad. I'm not saying all stories in an anthology can't be stellar. I think I've been charmed to be in some of the best company in the business that way. I'm just saying that to an old broad like me, anthology order is like listening to Abbey Road in order, the way it was meant to be heard. It matters.

Does that matter to a modern reader at all? Thoughts?



Monday, June 22, 2015

Book of Love Pinterest

I have a book coming out at Samhain next week. I'm so excited, as this is my first MMF menage coming out new since my last EC release, and that's been a bit. I love the idea of a magical book that brings together two paranormal experts and a beleaguered bookstore babysitter in a small Colorado town. I hope y'all love it, too.

You can preorder here!

What you might not know I have a Pinterest board for the book. I'm terrible at changing captions on the pics but there's some fun stuff. Linky here!

Please go check it out and feel free to repin things!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

When I think Tim McGraw

Our 14th time seeing him




Wednesday, June 17, 2015

the best job ever!

That's right. I have the best job ever. Ev-ar.

I love writing. It gives me a happy. It also gives me an excuse to be nosy and observe people, as well as eavesdropping and speculating...


I love my job.

That is all.



Who wouldn't eavesdrop on them?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Weekend warriors

dude, what happened to the day off? We shopped, we dined, we came home and rearranged a lot of furniture and reworked the craft room. Man, my feet hurt. Good day, but tomorrow I am vegging!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

when high school never ends or why romance is a small world

so a friend of mine had a pitch session at RT with an editor from a press I really know nothing about.

Apparently, the pitch didn't got quite as planned, with the editor saying the book wasn't really for them before the pitch was over. No harm no foul. An editor needs to know what their house is looking for, and no one wants to waste their time.

That's not the high school moment here.

The high school moment comes from another editor from another house sitting nearby and laughing at the pitching author in a mean girl sort of way because they knew, and don't particularly like, one another. Mind you, my friend has never published with, or spoken poorly of, this editor or her house, so she's a little confused as to why this person seems hell bent on disliking her, but that's the way the world works, right? People sometimes just don't like you.

Okay, so here's where I get grumpy. This isn't high school. This isn't a coffee klatch. This was a professional person representing her publishing house at an industry convention. So where does she get off pointing and laughing so obviously that everyone else in the room was truly uncomfortable?

Back in the early days when there were about four epublishers, we used to sit around and remind each other that romance was really a tiny world. That we couldn't dish on anyone because it was bad business. I got burned badly once by blurring the line between friendship and publishing, in fact, so much so that I never discussed my publishing with an author friend ever again.

I think that as industry professionals we all need to remember that when we're out there representing our work in a public place, we need to worry about our own shit. No responding to reviews in a crazy way. No hating on other authors and feuding to make ourselves look better. And no taking obvious joy in someone's lack of success in such a malicious way. There are enough readers for all of us, but more than one has told me lately they just want to read, not deal with all this industry drama.

I know I would never work with that particular publisher now, no matter how good they might be, which is something else I'll never know, right? People are people, and we all have bad days, but there's not enough room in my world for such unprofessional meanness.

What's y'all's 2 cents?



Monday, June 08, 2015

good things

just a few good things for Monday.

Made my personal word count goal last week

I got apricots at the store

our apple tree has apples growing for fall

Tim McGraw in 11 days

A week until my birthday and our anniversary

Finally catching up on life

Mystic U box set is out at Amazon and All Romance Ebooks!



Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The power of the New Mexico sun

When BA's Daddy was here at Christmas, he complained about the sun here in New Mexico, about how darned bright it was. How powerful.

The wife just looked at him and grinned and said, "Well, you are a mile closer to it than you are in Texas."

This time of year it's almost like living in that Pitch Black movie before the pitch black part starts. The sun is so powerful we all wear hats and sunscreen just to walk the dogs. The beauty of it is, though, that when you step into the shade, boom. Ten degrees cooler. Sprinkle some water on your skin and let it evaporate. Bam. Ten degrees cooler.

The intense sun also creates this rugged landscape and quality of light that captures the imagination. I've written a lot of books set in Colorado, and many in Texas, but these days New Mexico is what inspires me. My girl is pretty fascinated, too, so expect some tales from both of us set under the hot New Mexico sun.



Sunday, May 31, 2015

weird little things about being a romance writer

Things no one tells you when you set out to write for a living in romance.

Not all publishers and editors are for every writer. You think a publisher does romance, so do you. Hoocha hoocha hoocha, boom. Not so. And different editors within that publisher have different loves. Fight to find the best fit for you.

Romance is an underappreciated genre. Not by readers, thank God for them, but by the literary machine and by many writers themselves. Don't be ashamed. Be proud of our genre and sing its praises as what it is. Romance is the only female dominated genre in the world. Celebrate that!

Everyone will tell you about the book they want to write/want you to write. This can be annoying if you let it, but I prefer to let it make me proud. This means I am making a living at the very thing hundreds of folks wish they could do and admire.

Your family will come to RT and goggle and say, "This is what you do?" Well, one week a year. Maybe a few more if you do some of the other cons. Frankly, the rest of the time I sit in my PJs with my bassets and type...

There will be haters. Anytime you do a job where the general public is involved in deciding your fate, there will be people who threaten to burn your books. (I heard an author say this about a publisher's books at AAA and was amazed that someone who had no beef with them that I knew of could be so nasty for no reason). I say don't let this get to you. Say hooray for the haters, because that means you're big enough for someone to notice and be jealous/angry/freaked out about you.

It's all about the readers. Every time someone tells me," I loved book X," or, "You made me cry" I have this warm glow all over. Write romance for the love, for the happy ending, and for the reader. Do that, and it will all be okay.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Austin Author Affair 2015 wrap up and a note on events big and small

We got back Monday Sunday, but Monday I really got back into the swing of life and was able to work.

After RT, we turned right around and did the Austin Author Affair in poor, flood-ridden Austin. Thankfully, we got to show Andrew Grey Austin before the flood, and we got out in the nick of time. All good thoughts and prayers to everyone suffering from the rain in Texas and elsewhere.

AAA2015 was a small event, a mixer Friday night, a signing Saturday from 12-5 and a karaoke party hosted by Torquere Press on Saturday night.

While the event was small in size, it really packed a punch. The mixer was a bit of a miss for me and BA as we were so pooped, and we snuck out after hugging on all of the fans who wanted to see us and all of our author and reader friends.

The signing rocked, though. What we lacked in huge crowds we made up in readers who wanted books. I met a lot of amazing folks, and got tons of hugs and sold all but two of my books.

The highlight of the karaoke party was signing backup for Bronwyn Green on Rumor Has It with Paige Prince and Jess Jarman. We had a blast!

We skipped out of Austin in between storms and got delayed in Denver due to a late plane from Ohio of all things. We're home now, though, and happy to be back to work.

Now, I have something to say about the recent nastiness between a certain big event and some smaller ones. I won't name names because I take everything with a grain of salt, and since I can see no way in which a feud benefits anyone, I won't give any of them free advertising.

What I do want to do is ask everyone a question. Why would anyone fight about this issue? A big event with tons of parties and panels is great for me as a writer because I get to meet lots and lots of people and talk about my books. The booksignings at those events, though, are marginal for me. Readers are so laden with free books and swag that paying a formal bookseller full price for a book by an author they might not know seems silly.

At a small event, where there are no panels and only a few parties, the booksigning is all about the books. The readers there want to buy books, want to get signed copies from their favorite authors, and want to meet new authors and try out things they've never heard of. I always sell well at these kinds of events, and I'm tickled anytime I'm invited. I also love start up events, because who knows who you might connect with there, rather than seeing the same people at every event.

Basically, each kind of event is valid, everyone has room to grow, and everyone needs to just (In the words of Liz from Shaun of the Dead) calm the fuck down. If everyone minded their own business instead of someone else's, we could all read and write and not deal with so much drama.

Hugs to everyone who made our two weeks in Texas amazing.



Monday, May 25, 2015

RT 2015

Took me awhile to process RT in Dallas. So much happened that was good, and I had to live with it a bit.

We arrived late on Wednesday night, so we missed the party that evening. All we managed to do was have room service and collapse.

Thursday we were up bright and early to have brekkie, beating the crowd so I could then go be at the Samhain No Wating Dating, an author speed dating event. The fans were so cool! Most of them had never heard of me, though a few came to see just me, but everyone was super positive about my upcoming book, Book of Love.

BA's daddy came in for supper Thursday night, and had a ball watching all the corseted ladies go back and forth to the Steampunk party. He's recovered so much better than the doctors expected, y'all. We also hit the All Romance Ebooks cocktail party, which was a blast.

Friday we ended up booked solid, with club RT in the morning, then the Dreamspinner LGBTQ Apples to Apples game. OMG y'all, that was a hoot, and DSP has the most amazing authors and readers and staff. < BA's mom came in on Friday, and we got to spend time with her and go to some big old parties. We hung out with Andrew Grey and Amy Lane and Laura Harner and so many other amazing peeps.

Saturday we set up for the book signing, and that was crazy! Busy as anything. I loved every moment.

Finally, we worked the Fantastic Day party hosted by Dreamspinner. Gave away tons of books and swag and just worked the room like pros. Boom. Damon Suede MCd, and that made me laugh like a loon.

Once the weekend was over, we spent the next week with Daddy BA and Andrew Grey before AAA in Austin, which is a whole new post. So much fun, y'all! As soon as I get pics downloaded, I'll post!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Not my RT recap

I have many feels, lots of squeals and some pics of RT2015. I'll post a recap after I've had a few days to recover! MIss everyone already. So many amazing hugs.



Monday, May 11, 2015

Writers are all potential readers, don't forget

I recently saw an example, on a closed author loop, of an Author Behaving Badly/ I usually take rants with a grain of salt. We all need a safe place to vent. However, this author went far beyond that, and thus assured that the first time I ever heard of them will be the last time I want to. That's okay, this author says I'm not their market. I'm another author.

*crickets chirping*

Okay, here's where I get real and expose my fierce reader side. I buy upward of 15 books a week. Some on Bookbub, sure, but I also go through the ARE newsletter, the new products on my fav publishers, and Twitter and Facebooks. Some 75% of what I buy is romance, and half of that or more is GLBTQ of some sort.

This person had just assured that I will never buy one of their books, nor will I rec them, which I am wont to do with my fellow GLBTQ authors even if their stuff isn't my cup of tea. That's a lot of potential sales to lose because you can't behave on an author loop...

Writers are some of the most prolific readers I know. Don't tell me we're not important in the marketing process, and you'd absolutely better not tell me I am less of a human being because I don't have a certain appendage...



Wednesday, May 06, 2015

what happened to the week?

whoosh. Hump day. Gone. what the heck?



Sunday, May 03, 2015

Six Random Facts Sunday

idea stolen from Sean Michael via BA Tortuga.

1. My favorite movie is the Mummy, but I think the best movie I've ever seen is Gladiator. It's clever, beautiful, and mostly well-acted. 2. I was a clown for a while back in my early twenties. I'm sorry.

3. I always wanted to have a name that lent itself to a nickname. My real name? It doesn't. But I did have a nickname my mom used. It's a cartoon character from the 70s.

4. I love western art. I went to the Cowboy Hall of Fame in OKla City when I was 7, and fell in love with Remington. I collect Jack Wells, who began the PRCA Art Association.

5. I love country music, but I also adore 90s alternative. Eve 6, Matchbox 20, Green Day,

My favorite food is spaghetti and meat sauce a la my mom with salad and garlic toast.



Thursday, April 30, 2015

Updated my new release page

You can see it here! My new book from Resplence, Found Vampire, is out! It's the sequel to Chosen Wolf, and it could stand along but it might be confusing. Check it out!

In other book news, I have a Bear shifter story coming out from ARE in July, a Full Moon Dating (Gage and Hamish) coming out in July from Torquere and my mmf femmedomme has a date from Samhain in late October. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Happy things for a sunny Tuesday

Just a list

Looking forward to seeing everyone at RT and the Austin Author Affair

Bestseller on ARE for Turquoise Trail: Desert Dragons 1

Unexpectedly good royalty statement

My girl's toe looked better this am

Oatmeal for brekkie

The sun is shining. Here in the Burque, we get squirrely if we don;t see Mr. Sun for 3-4 days like it's been the last few. O.O

It's my FIL's birthday! Happy birthday, Daddy!

Sleeping puppies

Y'all rock.



Sunday, April 26, 2015

It takes longer to heal as you get older

I mean duh, right? Both BA and I are struggling right now with feet. I have a hammer toe that came from my injury last fall that keeps getting torn up. Podiatrist wants to do surgery, but I can't do that until BA's meds are evened out and she can drive all the time. She's dealing with the toes that were dying when she had her blot clot. They have bad nerve pain, and one shows signs of a possible ulcer.

We're both so over this, y'all. At forty something, though, it takes a lot longer to heal, and the resulting frustration is a nightmare.

On the good side, since this mess started with BA's artery, I've lost 8.5 pounds. I've cut out almost all sweets but dark chocolate and the occasional treat. (On the new eating plan I get a cupcake or cookie or some such once or twice a month). However, my cravings have all but gone, save for the occasional wistful glance at the Chocolove Toffee Milk bar at the store.

I'm eating 8-10 servings of veg a day, and fish 3-4 times a week. O.O

I might just get healthy yet.

But then I have a night like last night. A heavy rainstorm blew in and every joint in my body swelled up. I have a joint in my foot that gives me intense nerve pain when I swell, and couldn't sleep. That's when I start to despair that no matter what I do right, I'll never feel good again. Getting old sucks, though I guess the alternative sucks harder.

All this sitting with my feet up means more writing, though. I've subbed 3 novellas in the last 2 weeks. Woo!

Now, what do y'all do for auto-immune arthritis?



Saturday, April 25, 2015

need more hours in the day

edits on Found Vamp? Check

Cover art for ARE title out in July? Check

Postcards for May cons? Check.

Word count? Laughs hysterically.



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The bathroom is turquoise

Not kidding. We had painters come in today and do the very dull and tiny guest bathroom a bright turquoise. OMG y'all, what an awesome color. It manages to be both Southwest and beachy at the same time.

Don't get me wrong, I have no desire to live at the beach. None. But, thanks to flip flops, which feature heavily in our past, we have a great many weird pieces of flip flop and beach art. They go well with the turquoise walls now, and the rainbow dotted towels also match.

We also painted the fireplace wall in the middle of the front room a bright, heritage New Mexico orange red. What an amazing color. I love it. It's on the La Fonda register, a historical color from a famous Santa Fe hotel.

I can't wait until we can afford the kitchen.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

catching up on work

Still have a few publisher loose ends to catch up, and then some tax stuff to do, some accounts to cancel, etc etc. Looking forward to writing more and worrying less.

Some good news coming this week, which I will explain in detail.

Need to clean the writing room, formerly known as the office, and get shit ready for the week. Also need to get ready for cons and do a newsletter and update my website

run run!



Thursday, April 16, 2015

rearranging the office since the life has changed

today we need to rearrange the purple office to make room for the recliners we got at big lots. BA needs one for her recovery so she can put her legs up. We're both still going to have a desktop in the corner of the room but really, we do most of our writing on laptops now. Why not be comfy? I can't believe that only 4 months after giving up grueling spreadsheet sessions I get to work in an easy chair.

Dude. That's cool.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

how we all sound like the seagulls in Finding Nemo

So, I read a post today wherein an author essentially compared all of us authors doing promotion to the seagulls in Finding Nemo: a loud group of homogeneous individuals who make a lot of noise leaping at the book market shouting, "Mine!"

My analogy. Hers was more fish slapping dance, but you get the idea. The author of this article told us all to shut up and write. I have said that more than once, to more than one author, but I would never tell an author not to promote. Then, on an author loop I'm on, a relatively new author told us that an authority had told him to stop promoting to other authors on social media and focus on only readings and signings.

I kinda feel like I can address both of these statements with a single well-blown raspberry.

Do I agree that the best way to sell more books is to write more? Absolutely. As a publisher in a recent past life, I can't tell you how many writers put out one novella or novel and then sat and waited to be the next great American star. Nope. Doesn't work. Do I agree that a lot of what we do on social media hits other people just like us? Sure.

But here's the thing. I'm an author. A former publisher. A non-fiction ghostwriter (hire me! I do blog posts). And I read. I buy 10-15 ebooks a week. Some, admittedly, on Bookbub, but I buy a lot of random romance off Twitter, Facebook and ARE's newsletter.

I've also made great connections through my author marketing. I got my first contract with a menage romance thanks to stalking an author I liked on her Twitter and getting in on a contest for a book contract.

Now, I will say that these days I temper my time on social media. I like Twitter more than Facebook, where my author wife prefers Facebook. So we focus our efforts differently. I do try to go to signings and such, but travel is expensive and social media is free. The key in not "pushing" as the blogger in question calls it is to post about other things in your life most of the time and advertise your books less.

Write good books. Absolutely. But never believe you're not engaging readers on your social media even if most of what you see is other writers.

Go forth and promote!