New Web Site and Blog
I've recently launched a brand new web site
- and moved all the blog entries here to the new site, so I won't be maintaining this blog anymore. Please stop by http://www.rachellechase.com/
and check out the site and the blog - and let me know what you think, while you're there.
Also, SIN CLUB
comes out November 27, 2007. Woo-hoo. Take a peek at the brand new book trailer - cool, huh?
Renee Berglund, Artist Extraordinaire of Monkapaws
, artist and owner of Monkapaws
, is a warm, wonderful, enthusiastic, and talented woman I met at a street fair a few months ago in San Francisco. I instantly fell in love with her work and asked her to create some pieces for me. And voila, she designed and created the beautiful mirror and pendant
Since she's such a terrific person, I wanted to introduce her to you, too!Rachelle
: How did you come up with the name “Monkapaws” and what does it mean?Renee
: I have a giant Bernese Mountain dog and his name is Guinness. But I call him "Monkapaws.” Many pet owners may relate – to the numerous pet names that one can develop out of the tender devotion for our furry babies. The name developed because Guinness is just that in every sense – he's a crazy monkey and always bouncing around on his back paws – if one can picture that image. He also has enormous giant white paws. So, somehow, the name “Monkapaws” stuck and he is referred to it by many.
Hearing it in a business context makes my husband and I laugh to this day. It is hard not to- knowing most clients don’t realize that “Monkapaws” is in reference to our enormous bouncing monkey with giant white paws.Rachelle
: What made you decide to start the business? How long have you been in business?Renee
: I developed Monkapaws about two years ago when I was tinkering around with
old typewriters. My first piece of jewelry was a pendant for myself. Many people loved it and I made many as gifts. My unique designs made it very special and then I decided to try and sell them. I started out very small, hitting local shops and telling anyone that would lend an ear about it. My designs then became increasingly popular and I eventually ended up selling my pieces to the public at art and wine festivals in the Bay Area and also at Santana Row in San Jose. I have a loyal following of customers that love the pieces almost as much as I do. So it is very rewarding in all aspects.Rachelle: I'm now one of your loyal customers - your jewelry is beautiful. How do you come up with the ideas for your pieces?Renee:
I guess it is just one of those things, like thinking out of the box. I think I have taken the typewriter keys to the next level and really enhance their beauty through my work. It is almost as if they are individual antiques and deserve a special place to exhibit their real beauty. That is where I feel my art comes in. Most of my work is a direct reflection of the beauty that I love and want to express in them. But the real beauty lies mostly on the simplicity of the typewriter key itself. I am just the 'middle man.'Rachelle: What do you like most about making a piece of jewelry? Is there anything you like making more than others? (i.e., necklaces vs. bracelets, etc.) Renee
: I looovveee making the altered art collage pendant pieces. That is my true passion, where my expression has no boundaries or limits. I guess it allows me to unleash my inhibitions and express the humor I see in life that can be expressed in my work. I also do not create anything that I personally would not wear – so I guess that lets me keep it real.Rachelle: How would you describe your work? In other words, what makes a Renee Berglund piece unique?Renee
: I think I have taken the vintage typewriter key to the next level, the life ever after. To me, it is like wearing a piece of history and I just add embellishments to enhance the story/detail.Rachelle: When you’re not creating gorgeous pieces of art, what do you like to do?Renee:
I love riding my horse. And when I am not doing that, I love hitting garage sales and flea markets, looking for that discarded item that I may incorporate into my work. I love yoga. I am also a labor activist and am involved in several aspects of the American labor movement that directly affects our community and our essence of the “American Dream.” And I love to immerse myself in my collection of historical fiction in the wee hours.
But if I had to state my favorite, it would be hanging out with my husband and my Monkapaws. That is the best! My steadfast relationships with them both have given me confidence and encouragement. Without them, it would have been impossible to have come this far. And without them, Monkapaws would probably not exist. So, thank you, Tobbe and Monkapaws.Rachelle: And thank you, Renee, for sharing a bit about yourself and your work!
PG Forte: Waiting For the Big One
I've got a treat for visitors because today, I have a special guest -- author, PG Forte. PG Forte, whose name rhymes with "foreplay," writes novels and novellas in the romantic suspense, psychic fiction, and erotic romance genres. Her current book, Waiting For the Big One
, published by Liquid Silver Books, is an erotic romance about Gabby's quest to find "true love and ultimate pleasure. "How long have you been writing and what made you choose erotic romance?PG:
Well, I've been writing forever but in terms of seriously writing books, it's been almost eight years. I'd written most of a nine part paranormal romantic suspense series and was searching around for a new project. Several of my critique partners pushed...er, encouraged me to try writing an erotic romance and the result was Waiting for the Big One
.You write “dark-edged paranormal romantic-suspense,” romantic-comedy, and more. Why do you like to write different subgenres of erotic romance?PG:
Variety? lol! I have a hard time settling on favorites in any area. I have several favorite colors, several favorite perfumes. I love coffee and tea, red wine and white, Spring and Fall...and Summer...and Winter. Well, you get the picture.
So it's the same with writing. I wrote my first book when I couldn't find exactly what I wanted to read. And, typically, it turned out to be something that combined genres. I just don't like being confined to any ONE thing.What do you like most about writing? What do you like the least about writing?PG:
I guess I like the characters the best. I fall in love with almost all of my characters and it's just fun getting to know them. But creating worlds and sharing it with readers...that's a real close second.
I suppose what I like the least is how easy it is to lose your idea. Sometimes I'll be working away with a whole scene clear in my head and yet the slightest interruption can make it just evaporate before I can get it pinned down. That's painful!!I love the premise behind you new book, Waiting For the Big One, where your heroine, tired of the “standard issue, plain vanilla kind,” is waiting for the “ultra orgasm.” How did you come up with that idea? Can you tell us a little bit about the book?PG:
Well, I had the title and the seed idea--that everyone in LA was waiting for something, either their big break, the big earthquake we all know is coming, or something else--for a long time. When I was searching around for an erotic romance idea, it seemed like the perfect jumping off point. And then I read about various Tantra Yoga ideas--female ejaculation, Amrita, and so forth--and the whole thing came together.
Basically the story is about an aspiring actress named Gabby. She lives in LA and works as a dog walker to pay the bills. She's in lust with her Yoga instructor, Derek, but they've become friends and she doesn't want to jeopardize their friendship by getting into a sexual relationship with him.
Derek wants Gabby as well, but he wants her to recognize her feelings for him go beyond friendship and he figures he can wait her out.
Unfortunately for Derek, however, Gabby's getting pretty sick of waiting. So, when an adorable, hunky guitar player moves into her apartment building, Gabby decides to go after him--and she enlists Derek's help to get him.
That's when the real fun starts!Your friends know you as the “Queen of Angst and Torment.” How did you get that title?PG:
Because I like to torture my characters. Especially my heroes. There's nothing quite like a tortured hero. lol! I have to admit, however, that there's a great deal more angst in the longer, romantic suspense books. My current series is fairly short--not as much room for real torture there. But I do try.When readers pick up a PG Forte book, what can they expect to find? PG:
Well, there will be heat--that seems to be one of the constants, which is why my critique partners were so insistent that I write erotic romance. You'll find strong, well-rounded characters because, as I mentioned before, I adore my characters. And, hopefully, even in the darker stories you'll find humor because I love to laugh and I love to make my readers laugh as well--oh, especially through their tears. Come to think of it, maybe it's not just my characters that I love to torment. Hmm...Thanks to PG Forte for being a guest today. For more information about PG and her books, please visit:
Worst Dates: Parents, Prison and ... Penis?
On Sunday’s episode of “Chatting with Chase
,” I interviewed Todd and Terry
, the hilarious guys who have turned a box of romance novels into dating gold on “The Lonesome Losers Show
,” which airs Saturday nights on http://www.readersentertainment.tv/
For amusing highlights of the advice they shared, please visit my MySpace blog entry, “Interview with Todd and Terry – The Lonesome Losers
” or listen firsthand here:
At any rate, some folks were nice enough to send in “worst date” experiences before my show. While some were covered on “Chatting with Chase,” there were some good ones that we did not have time to cover. For example:
“… He brought his parents with him. He picked his nose, studied it, then ate it. He had coupons for the meal but still asked for split checks … I told him because of his horrible dating techniques, I am now a lesbian
“… Dinner is almost over … he says to me in this very matter-of-fact tone, ‘By the way, did I tell you that I spent two years in prison for almost killing a man?
“… guy showed up wearing old ragged jeans and a faded out shirt … He took me through the drive through at Arby’s for dinner … He started driving out of town through the back country … He said he was taking me to see his family’s mountain cabin
“A while ago, I joined an online dating service. There was this guy who emailed me … his picture showed a nice-looking, tall guy … [on the date] this overweight, short guy rushes toward me, grabs me by the shoulders, and kisses me on the cheek … He told me he lives with his mother and masturbates while looking at Penthouse, but now, he was masturbating while looking at my online pictures
“I was walking along the marina on a first date when the guy went to hold my hand. Me: Aw, your hands are cold. Him: Yeah, I think all my blood just rushed to my penis
Now, I think that these are pretty bad. Care to share your worst date?
Labels: Chatting with Chase, Interview, Lonesome Losers, Rachelle Chase, Todd and Terry
My Playboy Radio Play Date Debut
When my publicist, Victor Gulotta
, emailed me to say I was going to be a guest on Playboy Radio
, my mouth fell open.
“Oh my God, I am so not
He reassured me. Not to worry, I was going to be a Play Date.
“Oh my God. What’s a Play Date? I’m not a Play Date, either!”
He assured me that he and the producer felt I’d be perfect for the show. And even more good news: 2.5 million listeners.
Needless to say, for my first ever radio appearance to be with Playboy, in front of millions of listeners, I was both excited and nervous.
But off to Los Angeles I flew.
At the radio station, host Tara Mack
and show producer, Kevin Dalton, walked me through the details. There would be rhyming games, guessing games and more, all geared to test the ‘dating’ skills of male callers. Callers would provide answers and I would judge the appeal of the answer to a woman, thereby deciding the caller’s fate: Whether he’d remain on the line and/or win prizes or get disconnected, thereby ending the ‘date.’
Five … four … three … two … one … We’re on the air.
The show is fast-paced, with a Beat the Clock kind of feel. Feeling like Speed Racer, I zipped through the answer to Tara’s question on where I got my ideas for my books, unknowingly racing towards Life’s Most Embarrassing Moment #1
In the midst of a game where callers had to create unique verses to Roses Are Red, Tara turned to me, “Rachelle, do you know a word that rhymes with ‘poet’?”
I smiled, saw the word 'Moët' in my mind, and blurted, “Mow it!”
Oh. My. God. I’d just mispronounced a word that – when pronounced correctly – doesn’t even rhyme with ‘poet’ in front of 2.5 million listeners. My panicked brain searched for a way to save face – like, maybe I could suddenly develop a Southern accent and claim my mispronounciation was due to my accent.
Tara, gracious as well as a radio personality extraordinaire, zoomed in with the save, letting me cop the writer’s block excuse.
Onward to Life’s Most Embarrassing Moment #2.
Determined to redeem myself after the 'Moët' debacle, I saw my opportunity. A caller had to rhyme with ‘yellow’ but couldn’t.
“I know!” I said, excitedly. “Roses are red, violets are yellow, when I look at you my legs turn to jello.”
If I had been Tara, I would have rolled my eyes by now. Instead, she gave me a prize that made me laugh. “Congratulations, Rachelle. You’ve won a date with yourself.”
Despite these blunders, I did, indeed have fun. I was able to somewhat coherently state my thoughts on the appeal – or lack thereof – of caller’s statements. And on one of the games where I had to make my ‘date’ guess the word I was thinking of without saying it in order to test his listening skills, I took him to the final round. And watching Tara juggle technology, sound effect prompts, signals from the producer, deliver face-saving comments for me, handle callers, and deliver witty comebacks, all the while being polished, unruffled, and entertaining was a sight to see.
So, many thanks to Victor, Tara, April, and Playboy Radio, for the awesome experience. And special thanks to Kevin and Tee, for giving me a crash tour of the Playboy television studio on the day before a holiday weekend.
Labels: Interview, Playboy radio, Rachelle Chase
Rachelle Chase on Playboy Radio 5/25/07!
I've got some exciting news to share ...
On May 25, 2007, I'll be Tara Mack's guest on Playboy Play Date
, 2:00-3:00 p.m. PT, on Sirius Radio 198. Here's how the show works: Host Tara Mack presents dating scenarios, callers supply answers (and may win prizes), and I select winners based on the best answers. I'm flying to L.A. to do the game show live, in-studio -- and, afterwards, I just might get a tour of the Playboy television studio.
I hope you'll tune - or better yet, call in to the show at 1(877) 205.9796. It should be wild!
Labels: erotic romance, Playboy radio, Rachelle Chase
SEX LOUNGE Finding Derek CONTEST
is finally out! And to celebrate, I've just launched the SEX LOUNGE Finding Derek CONTEST
, an online contest that seeks the American male who resembles Derek Mitchell, the hero of my book.
We're looking for the perfect Derek. And we intend to find him. Participants will be asked to post photos, audio clips, text, and video (later) to convince celebrity and other online judges that there's no better Derek anywhere in the world.Current judges include
- Bill Rosenfield, Executive Producer of Grammy award-winning Broadway productions, such as Oprah Winfrey's THE COLOR PURPLE
- Gail Jones, Owner/Director of Talent+Plus/Los Latinos Agency
- Stephanie Block, Editor-in-Chief of Tango Diva
More judges and prizes are still being added.
We're looking for great guys to enter
and one lucky judge to enter
to join our celebrity judges. Both will win fantastic prizes! And, once voting begins, so will web site visitors.
Help me celebrate by entering and visiting www.FindingDerek.com
Life Will [Continue] to be About the Chase ... Won't It?
I’ve always loved the elderly.
Some of my happiest memories are summers spent with my grandparents ... Holding Grandaddy’s hand and chattering non-stop as we walked to Mr. Lee’s store, then sitting on his lap and listening to stories of Pancho Villa. When I tired of that, I’d scramble onto the sofa next to my great grandmother, Te-Te. Armed with a pair of tweezers, I was honored with the task of plucking her chin hairs.
Other times, the days were spent with my other grandmother – going shopping downtown, rolling around on the department store floor in the throes of a temper tantrum ... uh, anyway ...
Never did I think that I
would be elderly.
And I still don’t think I will be – until little things surface to remind me. Like, when I go in for my annual eye exam, and my optometrist says, “You know, you’re going to need bifocals soon.” Or when, in the middle of a dreamless sleep, I suddenly wake up, sweating and unbearably hot, and think, “Oh no! Was that a hot flash
?!” Or like, when I move close to the mirror to put on my mascara and exclaim, “My God, is that a chin hair
The final straw – the thing that finally convinced me – was the sudden appearance of A.A.R.P.
announcements in my mailbox.
But I don’t think I’ll mind being old – it’s the getting there
that is sometimes shocking – since I’ve had such great role models. None of my grandparents let a little thing like age deter them. Sure, it slowed them down, but it didn't stop them. Just like is hasn’t stopped Elsie McLean
, the golfer who landed her first hole-in-one at 102 (did you see the video? She gets around better than I do!) or the 95 year old woman
who set a trap and caught a thief.
That’s how I want to be when I’m older. Still pursuing the things I want to do in life. Still living and believing that “life is about the chase...”
Do you think about getting older?
Labels: Aging, elderly, life, living
In Search of a Great Opening
My guest on “Chatting with Chase” this month was Leigh Michaels, author of 75+ romance books and On Writing Romance, her recent release from Writer’s Digest Books. (You can catch her interview here if you missed it). During the interview, Leigh read opening paragraphs that had been submitted prior to the show and critiqued them on the air.
Well, since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about openings. And my struggle with my to-be-revised-for-the-hundredth-time opening to Running Away has provided me with … what, class? … Right! Yet another procrastination opportunity. For now, I must stop working on my book and go comb my personal romance library for other author’s books that contain openings that I like.
Here are some of the favorites I’ve (re-)discovered ….
“How can you tell it’s a scrotum?” Reggie turned the page sideways, then a full 180 degrees, then back to what she assumed was the original orientation. – Delicious, by Jami Alden
This immediately grabbed my attention, making me wonder why Reggie can’t tell it’s a scrotum from whatever she’s looking at, why she’s looking at it to begin with, and where the story’s going to go from here.
One moment he was a faceless stranger standing on a Mexican street corner; the next he was opening the passenger side door and sliding into the rented orange Volkswagon Rabbit beside her. – Wild Orchids, by Karen Robards
Need I say more? Who wouldn’t be hooked, wanting to read on to see what this stranger is going to do to the heroine? Ms. Robards has led me to suspect an adventure will follow (and it does).
AN ENORMOUS .357 MAGNUM, AIMED POINT-BLANK BETWEEN her eyes – that was Gus Featherstone’s first clue that something had gone awry with her plans. The second was the black ski mask the gunman wore and the terrifying glint in his dark eyes. Apparently she should have been more specific when she arranged to have herself kidnapped. – Blush, by Suzanne Forster
Similar to Wild Orchids, I’ve got another potential ‘kidnap’ tale here. (Oh goody!) But not only am I thrown into the midst of the action, Ms. Forster has given me the premise for the whole book in that last sentence. And since it’s such a unique premise, I can’t wait to read on.
The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken. I have never before had occasion to make the comparison, for never before today, have I seen a head in a roasting pan. But here are forty of them, one per pan, resting face-up on what looks to be a small pet-food bowl … - Stiff, by Mary Roach
I was hooked on Stiff from the back cover blurb but when I started reading this paragraph, I knew I had to buy the book. As if a book on dead bodies and what happens to them wasn’t compelling enough, after reading this, I knew I wasn’t going to get a clinical discussion or a bunch of mundane facts.
A woman didn’t have to stand on the corner to become a prostitute. All women at some point in their lives have exchanged pussy for goods and services. The best tricksters could barter for homes, cars, diamonds, furs, and enough cash to maintain a five-figure bank account. The unsophisticated females, oblivious to how much men would pay to bust a nut or have their dicks sucked, were happy with a movie, a meal, and a few lies about how much the man loved her … - Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This, by Mary B. Morrison
Whoa. This is real, raw. What has made this woman become so jaded? I’m ready to read on to find out. And then, when I realize it’s a guy thinking this, I’m doubly intrigued.
So, I’ve shared a few of my favorites. Comments? Thoughts? What's your favorite opening paragraph from a book?
Labels: authors, Opening paragraphs, writing
Antonio Banderas Wants to Be My Friend!
Imagine that Antonio Banderas asked to be your friend. Wouldn’t your heart skip a beat? Wouldn’t your breath catch in your throat? Wouldn’t you become the living embodiment of every cliché ever written in a bad romance novel?
Well, that’s what I became this morning when I got the news. Oh. My. God. The Antonio Banderas wants to be my friend!
And then, reality swirled through my body.
What were the odds of the Antonio Banderas being logged onto MySpace, checking out my profile, and inviting me to be his friend? Even I, not always the quickest one to jump to obvious conclusions, knew the answer to this one:
Slim. Incredibly, impossibly, slim.
So …while it’s not quite the same, I am honored that an Antonio Banderas fan wants to be my friend. Hey, six degrees of separation and all that. It’s only a matter of time before Antonio, himself -- right after Oprah -- comes knocking.
After that bit of good news, I left the house and my neighbor stopped me, handing me a box. Once again, that heart-skipping-a-beat-breath-catching-thing happened.
Only, this time, it was real.
For as I ripped open the box, copies of my very own book, with my very own name on it stared back at me. I was looking at real, live editor copies of my book, Sex Lounge
, which won’t be out until May 2007!
Which means, it’s real. Now that I feel it in my hot little hands, I really do
have a book coming out. Woo-hoo!
And the good news just keeps coming. I got my first published Sex Lounge
review from Joyfully Reviewed: "The sexual tension in Sex Lounge was enough to make me sweat. More than once my heart rate sped up in time with Nichole’s as Derek’s sensual and sinful seduction began. I enjoyed watching these two characters fall for each other. Sex Lounge was truly a delight to read. I became as obsessed with reading Sex Lounge as Nichole was obsessed with Derek. Unable to put the book down, I read it completely and totally in one sitting. One long, steamy sitting. Rachelle Chase has my attention with this release and I would love reading more from her." ~Talia, Joyfully Reviewed
So was your day as good as mine? Did Antonio Banderas invite you to be his friend?
Labels: Antonio Banderas, book review, Sex Lounge