Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Number 27, Kobolds, and Connections

So, since I have commandeered the 27th of the month on the Mocha Memoirs blog for the next several months, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Jessica Housand-Weaver. I published the thriller, “The Scream of the Siren” with Mocha Memoirs Press and have also published and won awards for various short stories and poetry.

I’m feeling philosophical today, so I’m going to go ahead and discuss the number 27 since this is my
day of the month to titillate you. 27 is just a simple, relatively ordinary number that can’t possibly have anything to do with writing, right? WRONG! I am going to discuss how something like the number 27 can be used to make associations and even get ideas for writing. This should be a license to make manic correlations, brainstorm, and get the creative thought processes going. Everything in our lives, our world, and our relationships are so interlinked in layers upon layers of symbolism and meaning—and it can all be conjured up simply by thinking of a name or a number.

Take the number 27.

The first planetary nebula to ever be discovered is Messier 27, also known as M27, where it blazes 1,360 light years away in the Constellation Vulpecula. In fact, you can see it with binoculars if
you wanted. Those of you who aren’t astronomy fans, bear with me. The M27 is also an Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR) developed for the United States Marine Corps. Totally different M27s here. You are going to get two completely different feelings thinking about M27 the nebula and M27 the automatic rifle.

The magic is that the associations happen in the brain making connections based on context, knowledge, comparisons, and emotions. M27 by itself is just a letter and a number. We attach the significance. In a sense, we even create the objects themselves inside our own heads and determine what they mean to us. (This, of course, has quantum physics implications which I will spare you from in this blog)

This is pretty much the same thing that writers do when they write. Readers do it too as they read. So our brains are communicating and making connections between us across space and time.
Ok, ok. So, what about the number 27 and writing? How can we connect them?

Let me bounce around a bit here. The atomic number for the element Cobalt happens to be 27. If you don’t already know, cobalt is a beautiful blue pigment with a haunting, glasslike hue. It has been used since ancient times for objects such as ceramics, particularly Chinese porcelain, jewelry, and in paints. It also has uses in concrete, magnetics, ophthalmoscopes, as a coenzyme for digesting certain vitamins, and as a metal.

Now here is where it starts to get entertaining. The name for cobalt is based off a goblin from Germanic mythology and folklore called a kobold. Long ago, miners named the blue minerals “kobold ore” because they blamed the goblins for the poisonous, arsenic-containing fumes released during smelting that often polluted the other more desired ore.

Goblins, you say? Now this sounds familiar, something you might read in a fantasy novel. Something a writer might write.

The legends of kobolds describe several different types. One type is a capricious spirit that lives in the home and protects the household. The people living in the home are required to take care of them and feed them. In return, the kobold will help out with chores and even bring wealth. However, if the kobold is neglected or insulted in some way, it will often play a malicious prank on its hosts. Some of the fairytales of people trying to be rid of an annoying kobold are quite humorous.

As mentioned earlier, some kobolds make their home in caves and mines. They are excellent miners but tend to be very tricky and sometimes dangerous for miners to deal with. There is another group of kobold-like traditions associated with those that went aboard ships with the wood used to build them. These kobolds often helped sailors with work or could even save a sinking ship, although they could also become angered if disrespected and reap havoc on the ship.

Besides ancient legends and mythology, kobolds have made their more modern appearances in novels such as “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman and “Protector” by Larry Niven. They have also been made popular in role-playing games with fantasy elements.

The act of writing can be compared to a kobold in a lot of ways. You have to practice, respect, and nurture the skill or all that pent up energy leads to all kinds of less than positive outlets in your life. Believe me, I know.

By the way, all kobold’s aside, 27 is also the number of books in the popular Xanth fantasy series by Piers Anthony. If you are a fan of fantasy fiction, you should definitely read them.

So, hopefully now the number 27 has been given a little more substance. We’ve made some more connections regarding what had, at first, appeared to be just another day of the month. The number 27 now seems a little less ordinary. It has applications to something more than math or a banal date. But really, could I be featured on just any average day of the month? The number had to have significance, had to mean something associated with writing, had to connect us all in some way.

If I wanted to sermonize, I suppose the moral of this blog could be—make the connections and you’ll find a meaning worth sharing.

You can find Jessica's webpage at: for current news and publication information. You can also view her Facebook page at: or follow her on Twitter at: J_HW

You can find her debut thriller, “The Scream of the Siren” at 

Photo credits: <a href="">sofi01</a> / <a href=""></a> / <a href="">CC BY-NC</a> <a href="">Astro Guy</a> / <a href=""></a> / <a href="">CC BY-NC-ND</a> <a href="">mharrsch</a> / <a href=""></a> / <a href="">CC BY-NC-SA</a>

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The question of sex.

I was intrigued by a quote I saw on Facebook;

"Sex" is not the answer. Sex is the question. "Yes" is the answer.

As a person that writes quite a bit of sexy time in her work I'm always asked, "Why sex?" To which I want to reply, "Why not?" Why does it have to be such a taboo as a writer that I've said yes to sex? I mean after all, when done right and with consent, sex is a marvelous thing. I mean, a life changing experience, that can turn a frown into a really, I've had some frowny face moments and WHAM, a little sexy time makes everything better. The best part of sex is I don't actually have to be doing it to enjoy it. A little bit of titillation (giggle) between the pages of a well told story can but me in the loveliest of moods.

As a writer when sex is the question rather than the answer, I feel it makes my story that much better. I don't just write sex because that isn't very interesting to me. I want a story, a narrative that transport me to another world, where I see the subtle intricacies of how one is desired and desires. Lust and Love can be bedmates in this tale or silent observers that each have a role, separate from the other. Sex as a question can be whispered very softly, purred against the soft shell of a sensitive ear, or declared rather boldly with a well placed word. Sex as a question isn't the only one but when asked I want the character to want to say yes, over and over again.

So, yes, sex please.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Series Question...

Okay, so it's my turn at bat! Greetings my name is RaeLynn Blue!
 As a writer, I find that I like word puns and word play. So today's blog title, "A Series Question," is a play on the phrase, serious question.

I write series of stories and I find that over the years I rather enjoy it. So much so that I have an entire blogspot just dedicated to my different series of books. To check it out go here.

One of my hottest series, The Otherworld Attendants, actually started here at Mocha Memoirs Press.  The first two sizzling stories can be purchased at MMP and were two of their first titles published.

Isn't that cool?

The wonderful thing about this series is it's urban fantasy romance. It's similar to Kim Harrison's novels or other urban fantasy stories,but of course, with my own special wickedness thrown in.

Don't believe me? Just check ou the blurbs below for more information. If you've already read one or all of The Otherworld Attendants, books, feel free to comment your thoughts on them.

The first title is called, An Open Lure

Blurb: Zuri Hines is on the brink of beginning her new life, minus her ex-boyfriend. Yet when she ends up stranded in Oklahoma, she feels her plans starting to unravel. As a mysterious man publicly performs self-stimulating acts, but only if she watches, is she flirting with danger?

Or entertaining an old fantasy? Jake Lysette has been in many women’s beds and has devoured the sexual energy of even more since becoming an incubus.

Yet when a freak blizzard leave him stranded in Oklahoma, will a shy, strong-willed Black woman be the key to satisfy his ravaging hunger for eternity?

The first title is called, An Open Melody.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is full of fun, sex, and adventure, but trumpet player Tiffany Ladden's good time and trust left her homeless and stranded in the city's legendary French Quarter. Betrayed, abandoned, and weary, she plays on the street corner for tips, tunes more lively than her spirit.
Ryan Coswell's father had been an Otherworld Attendant. Ryan had been one also, but having attended the needs of an incubus, Ryan never expected to become one himself. But he has, and his ravenous hunger is difficult to contain. He comes to New Orleans to feed and to continue his quest to find the one. The one woman whose energy, spirit, and desire can sustain him. When he hears a stirring melody, he can't stop himself from following it. Seduced by the trumpet's notes, Ryan is undone by the woman playing them. Now all he had to do was convince her to stay with him forever. Should be easy for an incubus.

The latest installment in the series, is called,  An Open Heart. Don't let the cover art fool you. It's a seductive, fast-paced story involving an entirely new set of characters.

Blurb: Too good to be true... Felicia met the man of her dreams. And lost him. When she awakens one day to find Jet gone, her world comes crashing down.

Jet, an Otherworld Attendant, pledged his life to fulfill his contract to serve the vampire Orion. A botched ritual turned Jet into a Shade, a soul that resides neither in this world nor the next.

Felicia's open heart once welcomed Jet without question, gifting him with unconditional love. He'd thought to hide his past -- and its dangers -- from her, to keep her safe. But even leaving her wasn't enough.

The ache is still fresh when Jet returns to defend her against an enemy who threatens not only her life, but his, as well. Battling her heartache and fear, Felicia must decide if she can open her heart to Jet again. Her love is the only thing that will give him the strength to save them both.

You can find all of my stories at Amazon and Each story is a stand alone novella in the Otherworld Attendants  universe.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seven Questions with Selah Janel!

Hi there, MMP-heads! Selah Janel here! I'd like to give a shout out to Nicole Kurtz who urged me to blog for MMP and who are all-around awesome people!

So the fourteenth is my little day of the month to spread joy and terrorize the masses. I know everyone is starting out and feeling their way through what they want to do, and I'm no different. I love writing, especially speculative-based fiction: fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, sci-fi, fairy tales, and everything in between. So far, I have one title with Mocha Memoirs Press, the Christmas fantasy story Holly and Ivy. Other than that, I'm pretty quirky and like a lot of geeky things. I've also done work in costume design and construction, puppeteering, acting, singing, and other stuff like that. As a blogger, I really dig exploring the nitty gritty of genres and talking to authors and getting inside their pointy little heads. While I love asking writing-oriented questions, I thought it would be fun to do a mix of questions on my posts here, so that everyone can get a feel for not only our awesome writing, but our horrible personalities that come with it, heh, heh, heh.

I'll be my own victim this month, and the  questions will mostly change each month. One other thing I'd like to do is give every person I interview the chance to give me a word, a genre, or topic, and I have to write about 500-1000 words on the subject, fiction or nonfiction. So here are seven random things about me to kick off this thing:

1. If you could be a fictional animal, what would you be?

I would be a were-velociraptor. (I may have gotten the idea of were-dinos from a friend of mine but dude...WERE-DINOSAURS!!) Seriously, think of how cool it would be? Every time the moon is full I could climb into people's houses, hide in their kitchens, and re-enact scenes from Jurassic Park! Think of the fun to be had in state parks! Better yet, think of how amazing it would be to hide out in a museum with an animatronic dino exibit, change, and then scare all the late-night security workers!!!

2. Favorite guilty pleasure food?

Chocolate chips. I have a huge thing for chocolate chips, and if there's a bag around, they're lucky to make it into a cookie. I eat them plain, with coconut, with peanut butter, in oatmeal...yeah, I have to watch myself sometimes because I can eat a whole bag very easily.

3. What character of yours that you want to hang out with?

I'd love to have a day with Ivy from Holly and Ivy. She's such a free spirit and so childlike, and I'd love to spend an afternoon acting like a kid and going nuts in the great outdoors. It'd be fun to play pretend and run around down a hill, through a pine forest, and around a lake. I can be a little anxious at times and it would be fun to let that all go. I'm sure Ivy could keep me laughing and keep me forgetting about the outside world for a while. Plus, I'd love to know what it's really like to be a faerie and what she really can and can't do, that kind of thing.

4. Favorite thing to listen to while writing?

David Bowie is my favorite and my go-to, but I also love instrumentalists like David Garrett, and other stuff like Zeppelin, Motley Crue, AC/DC, G Tom Mac, and a lot of classic and hard rock.

5. Genre you're scared to death to write?

Probably romance since I'm a horribly hardened cynic, but don't totally count me out. If an idea is there, I'll go for it. So far I just haven't really thought of a great idea I could turn into a really good romantic story.

6. Weirdest thing you've ever made?

Probably either the synthetic human skin dress with matching "hand" bag or the giant demon that straps to my bag...I get a lot of design ideas and I like horror conventions, so things like that are bound to happen.

7.Favorite thing about Mocha Memoirs Press?

The community! Every author is so talented, and everyone is really positive and supportive. It's great to be around people like that, and exciting to be around so many different types of creative people.


And now, Siobhan Kinkade has given me the topic of Obsolete Words. Since she foolishly didn't specify, I'll write a short bit of fiction with the prompt. Ahem.

Karyn started to open the giant, antique volume laid out on her bed, but Gavin stopped her. “Don’t,” he warned.

“Why? It’s just an old book,” she pointed out, shrugging slim shoulders as her fingers stroked the scroll work on the leather cover.

“That’s just the point,” he hissed, dark eyes fiery and intense. He was only five years older, but his status as mage in their secret community made him seem ancient in times like these. It also gave him a chance to throw his ego around. “You have no idea what these things contain. If you crack that cover, read what’s inside…if those words hit the air, hell, even if they don’t,” he babbled, running a hand in his dark hair.

“It shouldn’t matter,” she sniffed and pulled the volume closer to her. “It was in Gram’s closet and no one claimed it. I’m the only one she has left. Ownership goes to me.”

“That doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing!” he practically shouted. “One glance at the wrong kind of phrase…you could unleash all the powers of the unknown without even trying, "Karynia.”

She grimaced at the use of her full name; at least he hadn’t mentioned her title and made it worse. “Aren’t you curious? Or maybe you just want it all for yourself.” He’d been getting cocky lately. For all his knowledge and wisdom, his arrogance very nearly got their little suburb found out by the rest of the Woodhaven population.

His face tightened. She’d either ticked him off or hurt him, it was hard to tell. “You come from an old line. 

"I’m just trying—”

“To look out for me. Whatever,” Karyn sniffed.

“Words have power, Karynia,” he whispered, leaning towards her across the mattress. That close, she could smell a delicate mixture of cologne and sweat; he’d gone running that morning, of course. “Especially old words,” he whispered, glancing down at the cover. “Especially obsolete ones.”

“It’s not like I’d know what I was reading,” she pointed out.

“It doesn’t matter,” he insisted. “Words like that…they slip through your eyes and ears, slip into your mind, yank your soul and have their way with you. You’re merely the vessel to give them what they want. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t crack the cover.”

 Up close it was impossible to ignore the sharp planes of his face, the furrow between his brows when he was stern and focused. It was so different from the few times that he laughed and his face lit up like fireworks, dancing over his face and otherwise serious demeanor. She bit her lip and sat upright, twisting her fingers. When Gavin glanced down at her hands she quickly moved one  to her hair and twirled an auburn strand around her right forefinger, the finger that wore her grandmother’s ring that designated her as ruler of the little band of outcasts in a modern world.  The silver with its carved knots and runes glittered under the lamplight in the small room. Gavin reached for her hand and she quickly pulled it away.

“You’re so skittish. You can’t be that skittish if you’re going to be a leader. Not about anything,” he rebuked, but there was a sly, teasing glitter in his eyes. Suddenly, she’d had enough. Enough of his know-it-all attitude, enough of his always being around but never really establishing if he was there to help or harass her, enough of the way her stomach tightened and danced every time he came into view. Her stubbornness reared and she lifted her chin in defiance.

“Oh yeah? I’ll show you skittish,” she snapped and slapped the book cover open.

“Wait—“ Gavin gasped and lunged forward, grabbing her wrist. In that moment his eyes inadvertently flicked down, down to the mattress covered by the polka-dot bedspread, down to their joined hands…down to the ancient, slithering script on the page.

And then it happened. His body tensed and he shook fiercely. His mouth snapped shut in a thin line, spittle leaking out the edges as white foam.  His beautiful chocolate-brown eyes rolled back in his head, his hair falling across his face. A low whine came from him and his head tossed from side to side.

“Gavin?” Karyn whispered and tried to take her hand back.

The mage’s hand tightened on her thin wrist as his body snapped and relaxed. Slowly, his head raised up. Eyes darker than chocolate, dark as ink, burned up at her through the long tendrils of his hair. The smile that curled his lips was not arrogant so much as triumphant and cruel.

“You should have listened, little priestess,” he laughed. The voice was not his, but the ancient sound of words that hadn’t been whispered, viewed, or even thought about for thousands of years. His face morphed into something unfamiliar and dangerous as he slowly tugged the gasping woman across the bed, right over the book’s pages, which were mysteriously blank.

Find out more about Selah at....


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"SK Presents" - The Beginning

Morning, everyone.

[Pause for loud coffee slurping.]

I'm Siobhan Kinkade, and today is my first day playing on the MMP blog. I had this big, bold plan for what I wanted to talk about and how I was going to go about promoting my fellow authors around here. I had it all laid out. I was good to go.Then real life stepped in and kicked me in the butt. All my plans got shot in the foot and now I feel like I've been shot too.

But that's neither here nor there.

So here's what I'm going to do. Since March is here and I'm completely unprepared, I'm going to use myself as a guinea pig first.From this month forward, I'll be having Q&A sessions with different books from the MMP catalog. Each month will showcase a different title in the catalog with five questions to pique your interest.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to buy the spotlighted book and read it. Or, if you've already read it, give me your answers in the comments. Oh, and if you haven't done it already, use the contact information I provide for the author to hunt him or her down and tell that person what you thought of the book. We authors love to hear when our work is appreciated.

Next month you get the answers to these questions, along with a new book and new questions. Stay tuned, kids. There's good stuff coming up.

Oh, and be sure to tune in tomorrow for a visit from one of my partners in crime, Selah Janel!

Q&A #1:
Contemporary Military Romance

1. Rhea Blackmon is a military wife. Why doesn't she want to attend the base Christmas party?

2. Who is Sebastian?

3. What is the significance of the change in party location?

4.Rhea gets a surprising Christmas present that night. What is it?

5. What's the significance of the artwork in the bottom left corner of the cover?

BUY THIS BOOK: MMP Store | All Romance eBooks

South Carolina native Siobhan Kinkade has been writing for fun since she was a child and still enjoys building worlds across the romantic fiction spectrum filled with strange twists and happy endings.  With five novellas, one novel and three short stories under her belt, she brings to the literary world a unique blend of humor, emotion, and wild ideas filled with dark themes and strong characters. In addition to writing she is also a voracious reader, wanna-be chef, and video game addict with two full-time jobs: administrative and social media professional, and mom to a precocious toddler with an affinity for computer keyboards.

Visit Siobhan:
Facebook Author Page:


Monday, March 11, 2013

My Birthday Is Thursday - Time For An Assessment

E. A. Black writers horror, dark fiction, erotica, and erotic romance. She lives with her husband, son, and four cats near the ocean in northeastern Massachusetts. Visit her web sites. Romance: Elizabeth Black. Horror and dark fiction: E. A. Black


Hi, there. My name is E. A. Black, and my birthday is in three days. March 14.

It's also Steak and BJ Day. Oh, joy.

I normally assess my life progress around New Year's Day but the panic really sets in on my birthday. Thursday is also Steak and BJ Day. Steak and BJ Day is the dude's answer to Valentine's Day. Guys who put out for chocolates, fancy dinners, and flowers on Valentine's Day demand payback exactly one month later. They want steak. BJs. Toss in some beer. . . They're easy to please

A month later, on April 14, is Cake and Cunnilingus Day. Women had to have the last laugh.

Since I'm fortunate enough to have my birthday fall on Steak and BJ Day, I can't help but think about my sex writing. I have one story with Mocha Memoirs Press called "Alicia". That one is a short romantic horror story. Most of what I've written is erotica, erotic romance, and non-fiction sex articles.

Yes, I make my living writing smut. :)

"Alicia" is sort of related to this writing in that it's a sweet (albeit dark) romance. "Sweet" means "no sex". You won't find my characters doing the backseat Mambo in that particular story. You'll find explicit sex in my other short stories, novels, and novellas. My question for myself on my birthday is this:  Do I want to continue writing erotic fiction and non-fiction?

Yes, but I want to expand. My horror has been getting published over the past year. "Alicia" was one of the first stories, published October, 2012. I got the idea from an episode of "Medium". Remember that old TV show, starring Patricia Arquette? Alicia is a young, kind woman whose abusive husband regularly beats her to a bloody pulp. She's trying to get out of the marriage intact. Her good friend Eric - who is in love with her - comes to her rescue when she flees home in the middle of the night. But things are not what they seem, as always is the case in stories like this one. Here's a brief excerpt:
 Eric stepped out of the shower and a foul stench—mingled with the crisp peppermint of his shampoo—smacked him in the face and left a coppery taste in the back of his throat. His stomach heaved. Confused, he looked around the room to figure out where the smell came from, but he couldn't pinpoint it. Dread clung to him, dark and sticky, ruining his relaxed mood. The light bulbs over the sink hummed, casting harsh yellow light about the room. He shaded his eyes against the glare, trying to see. 

Why were those lights so bright? Something was terribly wrong in his peaceful world, and not knowing what it was frightened him.

His wife Alicia brushed her teeth as if nothing was unusual, while the stink of rot lurked beneath the cool mint of his shampoo. Why didn't she notice the smell? 

He leaned towards her to place his hand on her shoulder, and she turned her face towards his for a kiss on the cheek. Ugly, purple bruises darkened her eyes. He pulled away, repulsed and alarmed, not quite sure what he was seeing. One side of her face had swelled to a dark mask, not unlike a pumpkin that had been left outside in the damp earth to rot. An angry red welt encircled her throat like a bloody ribbon wrapped around her neck. Frightened, he reached out one hand but he couldn't bring himself to touch her swollen face. Touching her would make the vision real and it couldn't be real. 

Alicia spat in the sink. Two of her teeth bounced against the porcelain. Blood tainted the paste. 

"The girls are running late again." Alicia's bloodied mouth leaked crimson and white toothpaste. Why did she act as if nothing strange was going on? He gaped at her, not understanding what was happening. The safety of his home evaporated as she spoke with her raw, torn mouth. "Make them wolf down their cereal, and toss them out of the house before they miss the bus."

"Alicia, who did this to you?" Eric asked. She did not answer him. She brushed her teeth, running the brush over her ragged gums where the teeth had been knocked out. His stomach heaved again, and he swallowed hard to keep from vomiting. He wanted to knock out the teeth of whoever had assaulted her, but she acted as if nothing was wrong. Why?

The phone rang. Who would be calling him at this hour? It wasn't even 7:30 yet. He asked Alicia again who had done this to her, but she didn't answer him. She dried her torn mouth, and then she smeared foundation over her face. To his horror, the foundation did not cover her bruises. It only made them look uglier and even more purple.

Eric walked to the phone and answered it.


The phone continued to ring. Eric's steam-hazy mind knew that that wasn't supposed to happen.


Eric woke up in bed to the ringing of the telephone on the dresser next to him. His wife, Carol, stirred at his side.

Things only get worse from that point on.

This year, in honor of my birthday, I plan to achieve the following:

1. Finish my erotic novel "Alex Craig Has A Threesome".

2. Finish my horror novel "Hell Time".

3. Walk on the beach more often this spring, summer, and fall.

4. Publish more erotic fairy tales.

5. Do more book readings.

Being born on Steak and BJ Day makes me think about sex and writing. I have my work cut out for me this year.

If you like sweet poignant romance with a touch of the macabre, you'll like "Alicia". You may find my other horror and dark fiction stories at my E. A. Black Amazon Author Page.

If you prefer your romances with a bit of spice, check out my Amazon Author Page for more of my fiction.

Pick up your copy of "Alicia" at this link on Amazon:

"Alicia" -Dark Mocha Bites

Here's the Mocha Memoirs Press web page for the book:

"Alicia" by E. A. Black - MMP

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go buy some T-bones.