| Wednesday, August 30, 2006
| The cat is winning...
|I'm at war with my cat. She was orginally an outdoor cat, one we could never get into the house for more than a few minutes. Then, as soon as we moved, she decided at 7 years old that she wanted to come indoors and see how the other half lived. That's fine, except for the clawing and she keeps peeing in inappropriate places--namely my office rug.
I'm at my wits end. She's not sick. Not untrained. Not lacking for attention. I think she's just a grouch. She had always been a little hoity toity and has to have her way. Well, the other day we butted heads when I caught her doing it again. I yelled, she looked at me like 'whatever', we played the dominance game, she pouted, I won...or so I thought. But, this morning as her retaliation, she peed on my shoe. Not the floor around it, not enough to make me think she's old and couldn't hold a full bladder. Just enough to perfectly cover the top half of my sandal where the ball of my foot went.
Any cat lovers with ideas?
*no cats were harmed in the making of this blog*
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 3:29 PM
| Monday, August 28, 2006
| I love Monty Pythons
|Take the quiz:
Which Holy Grail Character Are You?
Well, now, uh, Launcelot, Galahad, and I, uh, wait until nightfall, and then leap out of the rabbit, taking the French, uh, by surprise. Not only by surprise, but totally unarmed!
Quizzes by myYearbook.com -- the World's Biggest Yearbook!
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 3:39 PM
| Authors and Answering Fan Mail
" I never know if a author wants feed back from readers or not.I did write to quite a few who didn't even bother to answer..and as I know authors are real busy writting and promoting their books,but if after a send feedback to an authors 3-4 times and never get a answer I will not buy their books any more. I guess maybe that's bad to feel that way but I spend a lot of money buying books and love letting authors know I read the newsletters and books they have.I even had one who will forever go nameless that wrote me and said she didn't have time to answer people and she'd prefer I didn't write.Seems she only cared about her feelings and editors opinions.
I have to also say that EVERY author whose books I have bought on this list has answered me and I have even become friends with a few. Which I love lol.I have some whose books I always buy and others that I have a list of to buy.
I'd love to know how authors really feel about readers who send feedback and praise their works.If they want feedback from newsletters..and email they send to the list.Would really make me feel like i'm not being a pest to them.
I think you are all so talented and just love praising books...I have a group of friends who count on me to tell them what books to buy because I buy so many lol. "
Let me start by saying. I LOVE FANMAIL! Readers often tell me what they want more of and I listen. I try to answer each and every one when I can. However, *disclaimer time* I cannot respond to or read book ideas or proposals--esp on my series. Those often get deleted without being read. It's a legal thing.
Okay, on to the comments...
Wow, I can't believe one actually said not to write. I can see an author not being able to get into a lengthy conversation due to time constraints, but not to take time to a least say thank you to a reader who took the time to say they liked the book? Well, I guess since I don't know the whole situation, I can't really give a full opinion on what happened.
For me, I know I try to answer all emails personally and as soon as I can get to them. If I don't it means it never came, got deleted as spam by accident [or was say a Dragon Lords book idea that I will not read for legal reasons (see website disclaimer along the bottom of the pages)--or should say, won't continue to read as soon as I see the words 'I have an idea for the next Dragon Lords book...' or some such thing], the email was bounced or I just haven't gotten to it yet. There is a lot of behind the scenes that goes into a book and sucks away time--which readers don't always realize. I myself didn't realize before publication how much more there was into publishing a book beyond writing and edits.
Oh, how I sometimes miss the days of being unpublished with endless time and freedom to just sit down and write with no other worries. But, then, I remind myself it's nice to have a job and get over the self-pity pretty fast, lol.
As to the authors who didn't answer, how long did you wait? I know some take up to three months or more to get through fan mail. With the volume recieved there are some days where answering fan mail would be all the author does. And, with that considered, they'd be out of a job if they didn't please thier editors/pubs/you the readers with new releases and met deadlines. Add onto that the fact that they might be on the road doing signings or tours, promotions, interviews, marketing, meetings, plus family life and obligations, and it makes for even less time to get everything done. And many authors write as a second job, with full time employment elsewhere. It's a lot to fit in.
Now, that doesn't mean not to write. I'm just trying to expain what life is like for many authors.
Let's say an author gets 10 fan emails a week, 40 a month and takes 2 minutes to read and answer each one. That's 1hr and 20 mins a month. Very doable. But, let's say an author gets 10 emails a day. That turns into 300 a month. And using the 2 mins per email, equals 10 hours a month answering emails. (um, I did that math in my head, so be gentle if it's wrong, lol) We won't even talk about those national bestsellers, international superstars of an author. (lol, since I'm not one...er, yet....I can't even being to imagine thier volume of mail)
By the way... if you want to help me be a superstar by doing a personal campaign on my behalf, I will gladly look over your proposal with avid interest and ALWAYS answer your mail as soon as I see it, lol Now hiring... fan club directors--a very thankful job with no pay and plenty of hours. LOL
Truth be told, it usually takes me more more than 2 minutes to answer a single fan-email because I'm looking up links to direct the reader to, or am trying to answer questions about a series, or characters, ect. Sometimes the answers can be found on my FAQ page or on my website and I'll direct readers there.
Digression---Oh, and in case I forget to mention it. We sometimes type all day in front of the computer and our hands and eyes can get to hurting.
Ah, if fan mail was the only thing in our inboxes... There are the book review requests, interviews, editor demands, wannabe and new writers wanting advice, ect.... For me, it's not unusal to spend a few hours a day answering emails. I try to spread them out and keep up on them as they come in, but it's not always possible. But, I'm lucky to own a business outside of writing and can check email during the day without fear of being fired by myself. Not all authors are so lucky.
I think most authors like hearing from readers, like knowing what they enjoyed about a book or that they just enjoyed it. Unfortunately, there are times when we're overworked, tired and have had so many opinions thrown at us, we can't see straight. Just remember authors are people too. (hey, I see a t-shirt coming, lol) and most of us are just trying to do our best.
So in conclusion...
Authors come in all different attitudes and personalities. Don't give up on us all if one was mean to you. Many of us know we owe success to our readers. Without you, we wouldn't have a job. Even as an author, I've had other authors who've been mean to me and who I won't buy from because of it. And then there are those who are so sweet I buy their book because they were nice to me, a somewhat relative newbie in the scope of things.
I hope this helps explain things. Feel free to post any questions that arise from my comments, or state opinions. As I've said, I LOVE hearing from readers.
Thanks faerytubemaven for the comment!
To ask questions you'd like to see blogged about email me at michelle_pillow (at) yahoo (dot) com
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 10:21 AM
| Saturday, August 26, 2006
| Mailing Lists and Finding New Authors
|Recently, someone was asking about mailing lists, and adding readers to them. I was curious to hear your thoughts on it.
Here are mine...
I only add people if they request it. I HATE when I'm added to lists and didn't ask to be. It's a pet peeve. My inbox is flooded enough and I equate unasked-for newsletters and mailings to spam. A lot of readers go to groups, blogs, yahoo, or websites to keep up with authors and books. Then others like the mailing list. At most, I'd simply send them a request to join or to say 'hey, if you're interested, check this out' and leave it at that, but not automatically sign them up. Mailing list sign-ups (unrequested) happens to me a lot and I tend not to buy the book/author (or even read the message) because I keep track of that info elsewhere--like websites. I think other readers might feel the same way.
Then again, some other authors might have had luck doing this and I'm just not 'aggressive' enough, lol. Maybe it's because I spend so much time on the computer, that I like things as streamlined as possible. I don't do it, but would be interested if someone out there has and has gotten great response by sending out such mailings. (and no, I won't personally hate or ridicule you if you do it, lol--so don't get the wrong idea) If you have, how do you go about it--aside from contest sign ups?
IMO If you run a contest, I'd make sure they know they're being signed up. Or, send a confirmation email so they know what they're doing. If they get back and say, yes! then add them. (also a good way to weed out bad emails depending on who you go them (IE paper sign ups) ) I guess spam just annoys me personally to the point that I will not buy the medication/book/special enhancement/computer software more out of principal than desire, LOL. Weeding out the inbox already takes a long time.
So, how do I personally get people on the mailing list? Post the link everywhere--website pages, myspace, occasionally sig lines, during interviews or online features, contest posts (separate from contest--unless it's a join my mailing list contest). Make mention of it when answering fan mail--because they already like you :). Then, I offer the alternative Yahoo newsletter group so they can decide how they want to do it. I can either send them the mailing list email personally each time a book comes out, or they can go through Yahoo and manage it themselves. (but not everyone uses groups or yahoo, so it's nice to have an alternative)
I'm curious to hear reader and author thoughts on this. Feel free to give ideas, rant (do not blast an author by name, please), or just give an opinion.
Readers, have you ever found a new author by mailings? How do you find new authors? What are your thoughts on Mailing lists and what information do you like to recieve? Do you have other preferred methods of being reached by new authors?
Authors, what methods have worked best for you in gaining new readership?
Michelle M Pillow
- Sign up for Mailing List(book notifications): email@example.com Subject: Add me to your mailing list
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 11:32 AM
| Thursday, August 24, 2006
| What scares you?
|I admit it. I'm such a girl when it comes to being scared. For me it's snakes(thanks mom, lol) and spiders. The creepy crawlies give me the creepy crawlies. I try to be brave, hold my breath, but it doesn't work. I even get the shivers seeing them in science textbooks. It's not so bad that I can't see them in cages or be in the same---VERY large room with them. I can watch them on TV, holding my protective blanket, of course. Whoever invented the sheet was a genius. Who else would have thought of such a simple way to keep the boogie man out of our beds?
So the Creepies are my "unnecessary" fear, the fear I'm doing nothing about and gladly avoid having to face.
Some fears are universal--fear for family, for friends, of being hurt, of being broke. That's just part of being human, of caring, the little alarmbell we're implanted with to make us act reasonably.
But then there are the other fears. The fun ones. The fears I like to face, like suspenseful horror films, the kind that give you the feeling you get when driving alone on a dark road with only a few gallons of gas.
So, having thought about what scares people, I've started a list of fears below. Add to them with your own. They can be universal or uniquely your own.
(LOL, I should say I'm not scared of all the things on that list, just listing some fears in general.)
- Feel free to add to the list
- What's your greatest fear?
- What's your teenie tiny little fears that would be easy to overcome but you just don't want to?
- Have you ever overcome a fear (even the small ones)?
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 8:20 PM
| Wednesday, August 23, 2006
| Super Sweet Sale -- and prizes
Lots of prizes this week - all you do is make a purchase to be entered! Winners will be chosen to win a variety of print books!
ALSO, from now until September 30, 2006, every purchase will count toward a drawing for an ebook reader! The winner may choose between an eBookwise, a Palm Tungsten E2, or an HP IPAQ rx1950!
PLUS, you can enter the drawing without making a purchase by sending a postcard with your name, address, phone number, email address, and how you heard about MBaM to this address:
My Bookstore and More
2932 Ross Clark Circle #384
Dothan AL 36301
All postcards must be received by October 31st, winner will be announced on November 1st, 2006
Come see our SALE PRICES on ebooks!
All Trade PRINT books are ON SALE too! 10% off cover price plus FREE Shipping!
FOR MY READERS:
If you haven't had a chance to pick up Realm Immortal 1: King of the Unblessed, this is a perfect time to do so!! You can get caught up on the series in time for Sept's release of Realm Immortal 2: Faery Queen! :)
To Buy Book One in Print : http://www.mybookstoreandmore.com/product_info.php?products_id=83
To Buy Book One in Ebook:
To Read More About Book Two:
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 2:49 PM
| Monday, August 21, 2006
| A Favorite
I love this project. If you're not familiar with it, AKA you've been living on Mars in a bubble shield by candlelight,"PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard."
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 11:27 AM
| Wasting Time in Blogland...
|How many hours a week do you all spend reading blogs? I admit, I usually reserve the pleasure for once or twice a month, then spend hours catching up on what everyone is doing. Then, what's worse, is I usually start playing with the blog template which leads to a mess that takes hours for me to fix. So today, instead of the normal blog possession where I mess up my template, I've decided to write this in hopes of exorcising the blog demons.
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 11:12 AM
| Blogging Experiment
I am participating in a blogging experiment hosted at dearauthor.com. To enter the contest, put up this blurb, image, and trackback and you are entered to win the following prize package.
- $200 Amazon gift certificate
- Signed copy of Slave to Sensation
- New Zealand goodies chosen by Singh
- ARC of Christine Feehan's October 31 release: Conspiracy Game
You can read about the experiment here and you can download the code that you need to participate here.
SLAVE TO SENSATION
Berkley / September 2006
Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.
Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.
Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities�or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 11:00 AM
| I need a hero... superhero, that is
|(post questions at end)
I love superheroes. I love their angst, their impossible odds, their arch-enemies, their super powers, their super sexy outfits and cool gadgets and hot modes of transportation. With all the movies I seem to be watching lately with superhero themes, it got me thinking about the one superhero story I did for NCP.
ULTIMATE WARRIORS Though I enjoyed writing it, this book wasn't really planned for me. The anthology project came up and when I talked about doing it on a whim, my husband told me, 'Honey, you're not really a superhero type of girl' LOL He does know how to motivate me, because I remember thinking, 'Oh, yeah?' and a short time later, SILK was born.
Silk by Michelle M Pillow
Ebook ISBN 1-58608-491-7 ~ Released August 7, 2004
PRINT ISBN 1-58608-701-0 ~ Released June 24, 2005
BUY LINK: http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/ultimatewarriors.htm
But thinking of superheroes had me opening my old notes. I'd forgotten how much I planned for this--series wise. Honestly, I don't know if the superheroes will ever live to see the light of a villain's eye, but once, for a brief moment in a notebook only I read, they did live extraordinary lives (you'll have to take my word for it)
With all my other projects, this book seems to get overlooked more--even by me. I know, I know, how can a writer forget about a book she had published? Well, I don't forget, I just don't exactly remember to mention it. In a career where there is Dragon Lord frenzy (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) my poor Superheroine had been brushed from the limelight.
So in honor of this great unsung woman who saved the world, I'll introduce her now....
In order to keep his secret formula from the enemy, the dying Dr. William St. James made the impossible choice. He injected the only sample of it into his daughter, killing her chance at a normal life so that an elite superhero may be born. Now, ten years later and utterly alone, Quinlan St. James is still torn between the woman she could have been and the superhero, Silk, she has become.
Nikandros is an immortal Protector, sworn to an eternity in the service of good. His is a lonely existence, one chosen long ago. Believing that Quinlan might be selling her father’s formula to the highest bidder, the Protectors send him to seduce the reclusive billionaire. However, instead of a coldhearted conspirator, he discovers a lonely woman with a heart of gold—and a secret identity. Now it’s up to him to prove her innocence without blowing his cover.
PRAISE:"Michelle M. Pillow’s SILK is probably the best offering in the ULTIMATE WARRIORS anthology." Love Romances, Jan 2006
"This story is worthy of any and all accolades possible. The world building is beyond the pale and the story of Silk is unique... Kudos to Michelle Pillow for a phenomenal read."In the Library Review5 STARS! "With believable, dynamic characters and a plot with many twists thrown into the mixture, Michelle Pillow has penned a tale that will mesmerize readers." Ecataromance
4 1/2 Blue Ribbons! "Michelle M. Pillow’s SILK is the last story and is a great finale for this wonderful anthology." Romance Junkies
More Rave Reviews: http://www.michellepillow.com/silk1.htm
Silk by Michelle M. Pillow:
© copyright August 2004, Michelle M. Pillow
His touch burned into her skin like liquid fire, as he clutched her arms in what must have been desperation and panic. It was more memory than any grown woman should have of her father. Everything she had been was lost in that moment of betrayal--a violation worse than death because it could never end, could never be escaped.
The father gave her life, but the scientist took it back. She had been sixteen, in the prime of her youth. He killed her that day. Her father--genius, patriot, madman, scientist--had been given no choice and in turn didn’t give her one. He was dying. It was her or the enemy. And so he chose the impossible. He chose the death of his child in exchange for the birth of a new elite superhero.
That is why Silk could never hate her killer.
Quinlan St. James gasped as coffee spilled over her dark designer pantsuit. Blinking, she glared after the hoverboarders who trailed by, laughing rudely at her. Their boards glided noiselessly over the uneven sidewalks of Pierson Park, carrying the spike-haired lads to their next victim.
She clutched her newspaper under her arm as she leaned over to pick up the cup and throw it in the trash. She didn’t mind the kids, not really. They were just being young and obnoxious. She should have been watching for them, but her mind was clouded with other things. Brushing the brown droplets off her suit with the back of her hand, she sighed. The suit was stained, but it wasn’t like she needed to be anywhere that it would matter.
Quinlan turned around and headed straight back to the quaint little sidewalk coffee vendor. The man behind the counter wiped his hands on his twenty-first century green apron and automatically handed her another cup. As she made a move to reach for her card, but he smiled and waved her away. Quinlan nodded at him and walked back over to her customary bench beneath the shade of a tall oak tree.
She took a small sip before setting the cup down. Coffee was better in the old district. They still ground it by hand and brewed it in refurbished coffee machines. Flipping to the science section of the New Pierson City Times, her face fell as she saw her father’s cheery expression staring at her. Quietly, she scanned the feature article on him.
Ten years after his unexplained death, Dr. William St. James, renowned genetic engineer, will be inducted into the Scientific Achievement Hall of Fame this weekend. Dr. St. James spent the last two decades of his life fighting the war against genetic diseases ... work that is the foundation of modern genetic study....
Quinlan narrowed her gray-green eyes, refusing to cry about things she could not change. She looked silently up at the bright blue sky. Clouds peeked down from behind the tree limbs and the dark skyscrapers of the oldest section of the city. Nearby, the motor of a 1950 Chevy Fastback revved as it gave tourist rides around the historical section of the park.
Quinlan frowned. The newspaper wasn’t telling her anything she didn’t already know. Sighing, she turned back to the article anyway.
The official induction will be held at the St. James Estate in East Bend this Friday. It is the first time since Dr. St. James’ death that the home will be opened to guests. Dr. St. James’ daughter, Quinlan St. James, owns the estate, a renovated castle from England.... Miss St. James is ... a reclusive billionaire. An invitation only cocktail party will follow the official induction, where some of the scientist’s papers will be on display for the first time, along with some of his earlier inventions. All items are being donated to the Genetic Science Museum.
Even now caterers and decorators invaded her home. It was the whole reason she’d come into the city. The giant photograph the museum had sent over of her father had been staring down at her for days, bringing up a myriad of emotions she didn’t want to feel.
Quinlan’s eyes skimmed the rest of the article before carefully folding it up. It didn’t even come close to describing the full truth of her father’s work--the strange late night visitors they’d had while she was growing up, the coded messages he received at all hours. She didn’t care. Let the public have their fairy tale version.
Grabbing her coffee, she stood and walked over to the trashcan. William St. James’ face stared up at her from the paper she held, smiling in a crooked way she still remembered. She didn’t smile back. Hesitating slightly, she threw the article away.
* * * *
Nikandros Grant pulled his hands from the pockets of his blue jeans as he pushed off an old fashioned light post. He liked the historical park. It reminded him of a simpler time in human evolution--before technology advanced so far that even walking across a city or stopping to flip a light switch became unnecessary.
Trailing over the uneven cement path, he followed the slender beauty he was watching. She stood, walking over to a trashcan as she finished her paper. Looking down at the small leather wallet in his hands, he smiled. The hoverboarders had been a perfect distraction. Although, when Miss St. James had dropped her coffee and went to retrieve a new one, he’d been worried she’d discover it was missing.
Passing the trash, he glanced over to the side. He saw the article she’d been reading neatly folded on the top of the pile. His old friend’s face smiled up from the black and white photograph. Nikandros let loose a quick, humorless chuckle at William’s 2-D expression. Silently, he nodded at the photo. William had been a good man.
Quinlan hardly looked as he had imagined her when he first found out about her plan to make William’s personal documents public. She didn’t take after her father at all. William had been a squat, short man with a sunny smile and laughing blue eyes hidden beneath spectacles. His daughter was a tall, slender woman with a serious face and wide gray-green eyes that pierced silently as she studied everything around her.
His gaze automatically strayed to her hips and thighs. Wicked thoughts danced in his head and he wanted to groan his sudden wave of sexual frustration to the world. Nikandros grinned in his wickedness. He was a man after all and it was his assignment to ‘watch’ her. She was beautiful, which would make his job of seducing her all the more pleasurable--and all the more dangerous.
After studying her case file, it was determined that a new love interest is just what a woman like her might need. Seduction was always a dangerous game and Nikandros knew he would have to be careful and not get too involved. It wouldn’t be hard. He had never gotten too involved before. Besides, he had to find out exactly where her sympathies lay. He only hoped William would forgive him for anything he had to do.
Quinlan was a recluse that kept to herself. She didn’t have a job, as she was independently wealthy, thanks to her inheritance. She didn’t have any close friends, no serious boyfriends or known lovers. She didn’t own a pleasure droid like most rich women. She didn’t go to sex clubs or belong to sexual consent groups. Although, he had been able to uncover the fact that she did have a subscription to some pretty risqué magazine-discs. It at least proved that she wasn’t completely made of ice.
With an inward groan, he watched the flexing muscles of her backside. His hand twitched. With a figure like that, it would be a sin for her not to use her body to its full potential.
Quinlan took a corner, rounding slowly away from the park to a more private section of the historic district. She seemed more intent at staring at her coffee cup than looking around at the shrubbery landscape. Taking the opportunity to approach, Nikandros began to jog after her.
"Miss!" he called lightly. "Miss, wait! I believe you dropped this."
Quinlan blinked at the sound, but kept walking. She was lost in thoughts of the past and the speech she would have to give to her father’s old colleagues. Some of the old men had been hounding her for weeks, ever since the announcement that she was donating a large portion of her father’s work to the museum. It seemed they all wanted a piece of it first.
It wasn’t her idea to get rid of the boxes of old stuff. When Henry Thompson, the museum’s head coordinator, first contacted her with the news of her father’s induction, she thought it a very fitting place for his life’s work to go. Besides, with the added publicity of her father’s career and death, old skeletons would come out of the closet to play.
Feeling a hand on her arm, she jolted in surprise.
"Miss," Nikandros said, smiling brightly for her.
Quinlan turned at the sound, blinking to see who’d stopped her. Her wide eyes moved up to a face. She was startled to see such a handsome man trying to get her attention. For a moment, she stood, just staring at him. His teeth were white and straight, hidden beneath the most gorgeous mouth she’d ever seen.
His body was in fine shape, if the strength of his hand was any indication. His eyes were dark, almost black in their solid piercing depths, framed by the slashing of his masculine eyebrows. His dark brown hair was a perfect match to his steady gaze, combed back into a short easy style that fit well with the blue jeans and T-shirt he wore. He smiled at her, but she could feel there was more to him than that heart-stopping look.
Quinlan shivered. She could feel a potent heat coming from him and it disturbed her. Glancing down at where he touched her arm, she watched him slowly draw his hand away.
"Miss?" Nikandros said, wondering at her distrustful look. Did she suspect him? Her eyes traveled gradually over him and he felt his body begin to stir at the feminine interest. Quinlan blinked. Nikandros’ grin widened in masculine invitation and he added, "Your wallet."
Quinlan looked at his offered hand, frowning. Feeling her pocket, she did indeed find her wallet to be missing.
"Ah, thanks, Mr. ah...?" she inquired, taking it from him. She clutched the thin wallet in her hand, taking pains to put it into her breast pocket for safer keeping. She must really be distracted today.
"Nick Grant," he answered, holding his hand out for her to take. Quinlan took his warm palm in hers. He watched her face to see if she recognized the name. If she did, she didn’t show it.
A memory pulled at Quinlan, but she blinked it away. Nick was a common enough name, as was Grant. She gave him a kind, distracted smile. When he didn’t let go right away, she pulled her hand back and said, "Thank you, Mr. Grant."
Her voice was soft, unintentionally sultry to his senses. Nikandros glanced down at his palm. Her hand had been as smooth as silk--almost too smooth. He rubbed his fingers absently over his palm, wondering at it.
"No problem," he murmured, his tone dipping ever so slightly. As he looked at her strikingly alluring face, he almost forgot what he was doing. Her light brown hair blew in layers over her shoulder and she absently pushed it back as she turned from him. She began to walk away. Rushing, he again stopped her, this time with words. "Would you like to go get some coffee, or something?"
Quinlan gave him a small smile. At the playful pull of her look, desire shot through his stomach like a spark. He swallowed and his throat suddenly went dry. She slowly lifted up her coffee cup at him, and said, "Thanks anyway, but I’m good."
Nikandros swallowed down his disappointment as she walked away. Although, he knew that it was better that she left him. The Protectors would expect a report. The first contact had been made. That was enough for now.
Nikandros sighed heavily. He was old enough to know when a woman’s look held more than passing curiosity. There was a cunning mind hiding behind her eyes. Quinlan St. James was definitely up to something. It was his job to figure out what. If she planned on selling her late father’s formula, as they suspected she might be, it would be his job to stop her.
Quinlan kept her pace slow as she crossed the street and made her way to the long transport limo that waited for her. The driver nodded at her as he opened the door. Her home was about thirty miles outside the city, but with the new transit system in place, it would only take her about ten minutes to get there.
Once alone, she slid across the seat to look out the tinted window. She felt the tires jolt as the limo’s wheels pulled from the street and folded under the car. The car floated soundlessly over the road.
She didn’t realize the slight smile of interest that came to her face as she saw Nick Grant walking along a side path. Her lips parted with a heavy sigh, even as her eyes took in the muscles playing along his firm backside. It had been a long time since she felt a jolt like that when first meeting someone.
It was a good thing she hadn’t struck up a conversation with him. She had seen the heated cast of interest in his eyes when he looked at her. The last thing she needed was a man complicating her already complex life--especially now of all times.
Her home was usually locked up tighter than a maximum-security prison complex. Whoever wanted her father’s formula wouldn’t be able to resist coming to the celebration, particularly with all his papers going for public display. It was quite possible the man responsible for her father’s death would be there. It was up to her to discover who, out of all his colleagues, had betrayed him. Then, she could finally put her father’s memory to rest. After all, it had been ten long years of waiting.
The limo sped up and Nick was blurred out of her life. Quinlan doubted she would ever see him again. Sighing, she leaned back and sipped at her coffee. It was just as well. A woman like her could never keep a relationship.
* * * *
East Bend was a small suburb of Pierson City. The St. James Estate sat just on the edge, far away from the neighbors. Quinlan’s father had bought the ancient family home and moved it from England in his youth. He’d built a stone wall around the edge of the property. It looked serene, but if anyone tried to scale it, they would be in for a stunning electrical shock that would leave them paralyzed for days.
The only way in was through the front gate. The wrought iron bars were well guarded by robotic security. The guards never slept and they never left their post. They hardly even moved to acknowledge the limo, but Quinlan knew their eyes scanned the vehicle to identify all passengers. They would only find her. The robotic driver would register a pulse that the guards recognized.
The yard surrounding her home was green with spring grass. Flowers were beginning to bloom on the landscaped lawn. Little cobblestone trails weaved over the garden, intermingled with statues and benches. In the center was a tiered water fountain with no water. Its old stone was cracked ever so slightly and it was overgrown with vines. Quinlan didn’t have the heart to fix it.
The square castellated home stood tall against the sky. It wasn’t a full castle, just the part that could be restored after so many centuries of decay. It had a narrow stained glass window in the front by the thick oak front door and smaller, framed windows spread throughout the sidewalls. The old stones seemed to have a life of their own and as a child Quinlan loved to touch them, claiming she could feel their energy.
Coming to a stop, the limo door opened automatically. Quinlan stepped out and the limo drove off to the garage. Sighing, she walked up the round sweep of steps leading to the front door of her home.
Her butler was there to greet her in his very formal uniform. He bowed low over his waist and said, "Welcome home, Miss."
Quinlan handed him the empty coffee cup. He was mechanical like the rest of her staff, so she didn’t bother with pleasantries. "Any messages?"
"Fifty-two, Miss," said the butler.
"Any not pertaining to my father?" Quinlan asked wryly.
"No, Miss," answered the butler/giant answering machine.
"Send the standard replies," ordered Quinlan quietly.
"Very good, Miss," answered the butler. Going to his post by the door, he plugged himself into his adaptor. His eyes closed and Quinlan could hear the faint sound of a ring as he began to call back her pre-recorded messages.
A long sweep of stairs went up the right side, carpeted with a plush red down the center. The banister crossed along the second story to leave a top section open to the front hall’s view. Quinlan ignored the giant portrait of her father staring down at her from the top handrail. The ceiling was high in this section of the home, reaching up to the top of the second floor and arching with picturesque stone cornices. White satin sashes crossed over the walls and roses wrapped around over the stone handrail leading upstairs.
Taking the steps two at a time, Quinlan reached the top of the stairs. She ignored the mechanical maid units as they bustled about at lightening speed. She had them programmed to work, never acknowledging her. She might be lonely, but she would not lower herself to programming herself some company.
Crossing over the opened area, she turned down a long hall and opened the thick oak of her bedroom door. She stripped the stained jacket from her shoulders as she walked across the luxurious rug covering the stone floor. Her shirt was soon to follow. A maid unit clicked on in the corner and went to retrieve the clothing. Quinlan tossed her slacks at the unit and the maid caught them.
"Menu six," Quinlan said, ordering her food for the evening. "Privacy."
The unit scurried off with the clothes, taking them to laundry and shutting the door behind her.
"Fire," Quinlan murmured, flinging herself onto the oversized poster bed. She lay against the silk of her sheets, turning her head to watch the flames dancing in the large marble fireplace. The orange glow flickered over the stone walls, caressing her nearly naked flesh with its softness. Thick velvet curtains were opened over long floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the side garden. Quinlan ordered them closed. The room was instantly shrouded in a softened darkness.
She pulled all four pillows to her body, curling around them as she closed her eyes. Unbidden, the image of Nick Grant came to mind. She was alone. She would never see him again. There was no one to watch her fantasize. She imagined the pillow beside her was his naked chest. She ran her hand over it and snuggled deeper. For a brief moment, right before she fell asleep, she didn’t feel so alone.
END EXCERPT QUESTIONS FOR... WELL, ALL OF YOU :)
- Do you like superheroes/heroines? Movies? Books? Comic?
- What's your favorite?
- And, perhaps the most important question---What super power do you want and what would you do with it?
I thought the premise for My Super Ex Girlfriend was hilarious--the very idea. And I like Uma.
I could never pick a favorite, but I liked the newest Batman (the beginning, I believed they called it), I like the 'um, classic' superman and by classic, I mean my classic, as in Christopher Reeves trilogy, LMAO. How you respond to that will so tell your age.
I want the power to clean with the point of a finger. I'd make a fortune with it, lol. I also want the power of fire and ice.
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 3:22 PM
| Friday, August 11, 2006
| Things I've learned this summer
- monkeys are for sale and my husband not-so-secretly wants one
- people walk funny on the summit of Pikes Peak
- a person can survive on coffee and rye chips
- cats sometimes need furrcuts
- an unattended pool will turn into a pond rather quickly
- wild animals know my address and seem to think we're a sanctuary
- I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up
- a person can also surivive on pretzel pieces, preferably chedder
- if you don't shave, scary things happen during a full moon
- I am not a gardener, no matter how hard I try
- some plants need water more than once a month
What did you learn this summer?
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 8:13 AM
| Wednesday, August 09, 2006
| I know I've been hiding, but I've got a good excuse...
I've been working. Really REALLY working. First, the book updates.
I just finished Realm Immortal 2: Faery Queen for Samhain (Fantasy Romance). It's contracted, I just turned it in and on the schedule for.... September. Yep, of this year. Gotta love that fast turn around. :) Did book one sneak away from you?
I've also got a super sexy book lined up there for October in the Talons Collection. These covers are some of my favorite. In fact, I'll post them here later, but for now here's mine to the right. (along with the new cover for Realm 2)
S & S Pocket Books has picked up print rights to Taming Him (ebook at Ellora's Cave) as part of their anthology collections they're doing. It's available for preorder HERE.
Ellora's Cave just released Call of the Sea and book 2 Call of the Untamed is set to release Jan 2007 (tentative date). And for you fans who have so patiently harassed (lol) Mandy and I for Pleasure Cruise 2: Date with Destiny, you're in luck. It's contracted and turned over to the editors. So feel free to harass them for it. Just, um, don't tell them I sent you. :)
Virgin Publishing's CHEEK will be releasing my third full length with them, Bit by the Bug, Jan 2007. Looks like Jan is going to be my month, lol. And there is talk of them picking up the sisters books to this series---YEAH!!!! I love this book and am happy that the publisher seems to feel the same way. The sister book is currently my WIP.
And, don't worry, I haven't forgotten you Dragon Lord fans. The series is continuing on... Lords of the Var are coming in print. Book one is out already, The Savage King and the rest should be out by early next year. Then starts Zhang Dynasty. Book one, Seduction of the phoenix is already out, picking up where the Lords of the Var leave off. I just turned in Temptation of the Butterfly for consideration. Not contracted yet, but done. :)
Many have asked about more Dragon Lords and Var books.... Well, hmm, that's top secret information right now, but I do have ideas, lots and lots of ideas....
Not enough of an excuse, you say? Hmm, well....
I've also wrote a small article for RT, just a short little thing, but still VERY EXCITING in my little world. I call it Michelleland and I am Supreme Ruler and I.... Oh, um, I just remembered I decided not to announce my takeover of the world yet....sorry, continuing on....
I had a birthday. I had a booksigning on my birthday. I met Lorie O'Claire, very nice woman, and some wonderful fans! *waving to you all*
OMG--- I took a bio photo. As you may or may not know, I'm a freelance photographer. It's so much easier for me to be behind the camera. Baby steps, Michelle, baby steps. Some of you might recall my idea to make my bio pic an anime figure? Now I have to decide if I like it. I had to. RT needed one to go by the little article thingy. And, I'm running out of excuses. Two years of saying, "I'm going to a photographer will send as soon as I have them" is starting to look a little suspect. I can hear their thoughts now---Really, what kind of photographer is she going to anyway? Two years. What did she have to summons him (or her) from the dead?
But, perhaps, most important-- I got the Princess Bride on DVD. Dread Pirate Roberts Edition.
And if those excuses for disappearing off the map don't work, well, here are some others:
- Aliens stole my brain and replaced it with a baby monkey
- I ran out of red toe nail polish
- I am a secret agent working for very secret people working on very secret thingies
- The dog ate my computer
- Revenge: My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die (how many of you read that out loud, lol, and with the accent?)
- I was kidnapped by vampires, rescued by lycans
- The ghost keeps using my computer. He won't let me on.
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 5:01 PM
| Wednesday, August 02, 2006
| get any strange emails from me lately?
I don't think you all would have, but until I get the problem solved, I thought I'd post this--since I know one person who did today (Aug 2) who's contact addy was on my website for legit purposes. I would hate to think anyone got something offensive or strange that I didn't send to them. I am working with the website hosting service to take care of the problem.
Due to spoofing, the email address michelle @ michellepillow.com is no longer in service. If you received something offensive or even at all from this acct, it was not from me. This acct was set up to receive fan mail and to sign up for book notifications (a service that will not be affected if you are on the list--the address will simply change). I do not mail out on it. If you received an email you believe to be a spoof, feel free to forward it to
Thank you for you understanding,
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 9:48 PM
| New Fund to Help Sick Authors (not me)
"The Save The Quiet Kitty Fund is here to help authors in crisis...Our friend Camille Anthony was diagnosed in 1989 with Pulmonary Sarcoidosis...We hope to raise enough money, with your support, to not only cover Camille's current medical expenses, but to help other authors in crisis."
Go here to read more:
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 3:45 PM
| Tuesday, August 01, 2006
| Winner List - Michelle PIllow's July Scavenger Hunt
|Thanks to all the readers and authors who helped make this a great success!
Michelle M. Pillow
Questions – 1. In her featured interview this month, name five movies Michelle M. Pillow thinks are great.
2. Name one of the book series talked about in Michelle M. Pillow’s feature interview this month on E-E.
3. From her website, www.michellepillow.com, name the Harmony book listed on the front page (hint... look under Latest Releases).
4. From her website, www.michellepillow.com or the E-E interview, name one of Michelle M. Pillow’s books
released with Virgin Publishing.
Link to answers - http://www.erotic-escapades.com/AOMMichellePillow.html
Prizes Donated: 4 PDF downloads including –
Realm Immortal: King of the Unblessed, Samhain Publishing
Maiden and the Monster, Ellora’s Cave Publishing
WINNER - "Trecia Phillips"
Galaxy Playmates: Quartz, New Concepts Publishing
WINNER- Dana J
Zhang Dynasty: Seduction of the Phoenix, New Concepts Publishing
WINNER- Pam Gardner
Question - In Futurelove, Candy first suspects Collins to be from what part of the world?
Link for answer - http://summerdevon.com - Click on Futurelove Excerpt.
Prize donated: One e-copy of a Summer Devon book of the winner's choice
WINNER- Kimberly S
Mandy M. Roth
Question – Name one of Mandy M. Roth’s current bestsellers
Link for answer – http://www.mandyroth.com
Prize donated: Download of King’s Choice
WINNER- Lois Condra
Question - What books are listed on the Coming Soon page?
Link for answer - http://www.sydneysomers.com/coming.html
Prize donated: Winner's choice of a download from my backlist.
WINNER- Shuck Ying Chin
Question - How many erotic romance ebooks has Ann had published?
Link for answer - http://www.annjacobs.us/ebooks.shtml
Prize donated: Winner's choice of a download of any of my available books.
WINNER- Amy Toohey
Question - How long has Stefan been waiting for someone who could open the door?
Link for answer - http://www.jessieverino.com/thekey.html
Prize donated: A Samhain Publishing gift certificate.
Question - Who is trying to kill Tessa Long?
Link for answer - http://sherrillquinn.com/wst_page4.html
Prize donated: A tote bag that reads: "When all the little girls wanted to be ballerinas, I wanted to be a vampire."
WINNER- Lori Tomlinson
Question - What is the hero's name in Highland Mist
Link for answer - http://www.donnagrant.com/highlandmist
Prize donated: Choice of download of Highland Mist or Highland Nights.
WINNER- Tara Woods
Question - Who is exerting himself in the interview process?
Link for answer - http://www.shelleymunro.com - Read excerpt for No Holes
Prize donated: Download of No Holes Barred: Stranded.
WINNER- Maria M
Question - In Emerald Ice, what is the name of the island Tia finds herself transported to?
Links for answer - http://www.alexisfleming.net or http://www.alexisfleming.net/emerald.html
Prize donated: Download of A Handyman's Best Tool.
Question - What book is the prequel to American Beauty?
Link for answer - http://www.ashleyladd.com/Purrfect%20Justice%20excerpt.htm
Prize donated: An electronic book of American Beauty.
WINNER- Deb Frischkorn
Question - What is Ambrosia Kennedy's profession
Links for answer - http://www.adriennekama.com/books.html or http://www.adriennekama.com
Prize donated: PDF of Wicked Delights.
WINNER- Kim Westgaard
Question - Which Ellora's Cave book received 4.5 blue ribbons from Romance Junkies?
Link for answer - http://www.marywinter.com/
Prize donated: Download of Water Lust.
WINNER- Valerie Bongards
Question - In Tamed by the Tiger from the Wicked Delights anthology, what type of paranormal creature is Sanjay?
Link for answer - http://www.kate-hill.com/eroticromance.html
Prize donated: A download of Wicked Delights.
WINNER- Cathie M
Kally Jo Surbeck
Question - What is the most recent contest FOR THE LOVE OF finalled in?
Link for answer - http://www.kallyjosurbeck.com/latestnews.htm
Prize donated: PDF download of Shades Of Doubt, Book I Luck Of The Irish.
WINNER- A Richard
Question - What are the names of the five amorous authors?
Link for answer - http://brendawilliamson.com/
Prize donated: PDF copy of Sword of Rhoswen.
Questions - Three books from Melissa's Federation CTD series is included in the print Voices Carry.
What are the names of the three heroes and heroines?
Link for answer -http://www.authormelissaschroeder.com/voicescarryprint.html
Prize donated: Choice of my print books Operation Love or Voices Carry.
Question - What is the name of the book Tilly Greene has coming out in September 2006 with Samhain Publishing?
Link for answer - http://www.tillygreene.com/BOOKS.htm
Prize donated: $10 Victoria Secret gift card.
Questions - Two parts to the question (both short & simple). What did the man Angela was attracted to do for a living?
And did he wish to be stuck in a cabin with her during a blizzard?
Links for answer – Part One: http://www.myranour.com/booksncp/tamewolf.html
Part Two: http://www.myranour.com/booksncp/tamewolf-chp1.html
Prize donated: HTML download of To Tame a Werewolf.
Question - What are Tawny's four upcoming print releases?
Link for answer – http://www.tawnytaylor.com/UpcomingTitles.html
Prize donated: Winner's choice of a download of any of my available books.
WINNER- Karen Gray
Question - What is Rykers Second Rule?
Link for answer – http://www.samanthastorm.com/excerpts.html - See Eye of the storm Excerpt.
Prizes donated: A download of Eye of the Storm and a Samantha Storm coffee cup with some Kona Hawaiian Coffee.
WINNER- Tammy Garcia
Question - What terrible secret does Christopher Bartholomew discover about his future mate?
Link for answer - http://www.tylerblackwood.com/SeventhDragon.html
Prize donated: A $30 gift cert to Amazon.com
WINNER- Linda Perry
|posted by Michelle Pillow @ 9:55 AM