Saturday, November 10, 2018

November is for...

Ah. Yes. Some writers do the NaNoWriMo thing.
I don't need that nudge, thank you. I've never needed it. And it wasn't even in existence when I was writing with a pen or pencil and typing it all out on a typewriter--when I had one--once upon a time.
Now it's the computer and that's a blessing because I no longer have a huge callous on my middle finger at the first knuckle.

Now it's just typing on a keyboard, and nearly half of the letters on the keys are worn away. My computer is 10 years old, going on 11. Happy birthday!
As of this writing, I've gotten my second mystery sent to my publisher. I'm currently waiting on some covers--supposed to be new ones to help boost this, my next new series called
Lainey Quilholt
Lainey is 17 years old as this 1st book opens, and turns 18, then goes on to college in the next book. This mystery series is for young adults, or those who just enjoy a murder mystery. 

The first books is called Party to a Murder.

This is the current cover, I expect it to change in a few weeks.

Lainey, a 17-year-old small town girl, has no idea she's about to be involved in a grisly murder investigation.

After young Arline is murdered, Lainey's suspicions arise. Why does everyone seem to hate this girl? While digging for clues, she discovers that blackmail could be the motive. Trying to understand her friends' hatred for the murdered student, she finds herself in the middle of a second murder cover-up.

Clues lead to several other people, including Lainey's friend Wendy... and the more she wants to prove her innocence, the more it looks as if her friend has done the deed. With Sheriff Weeks's help, Lainey delves into who had most to gain by killing Arline. But can they find the killer before it is too late?

My next offering is called An Invitation to Kill.

When I returned from my hiatus from writing this summer, I began writing what I thought would be the next book, Until We Murder Again, but it takes place in the winter, and I felt I needed a book that takes place in the Fall. Something around Halloween. And in the back of my head I really wanted to tackle something serious, and more scary, like a serial killer. Something like this in the small (made-up) town of Montclair, Iowa, would have everyone worried, and Lainey, especially when she finds victim #3 in the woods behind her small college.

The ideas came and I went with it. Then the first paragraph came into my head and the next and the next and before I knew it, I was writing it.

This one, the third book, will be called The Serial Killer Beside Me.
(I just couldn't resist this title!)

Not wanting to get ahead of myself, I'll end this here. My next book should be out soon, and I'll be posting it. I just wanted to wet everyone's appetite for this next mystery, or my mysteries in general.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Opening Sentences

Some say the opening sentence in a book should be the hook that keeps the reader reading.
Earlier this week I was given a chance to send my opening sentence of Ascension to the Book Life Editor, and did so. This is apparently a little contest they have on a monthly bases. I don't expect to win.

However, I thought this was a pretty good idea for a blog post and thought I would plop the opening sentences of each of my novels down here. Not just from Sabrina Strong series, but my other books as well. So, here goes. Let me know if you feel any one of them urges you to find the book at Amazon, and at least read on.

The full moon poured silvery light down around me as I arrived about eight minutes late for my job interview with a vampire.

Cold, hard ground beneath me--it was as though every bone in me had been broken.

A sudden hot flash blazed through me

"You're cooking the gravy too hard!" Grandma Rose grumbled, peering over Constance's shoulder.

The man with shoulder-length dark blond hair and edgy smile sat motionless in the shadows, in a wooden bar chair, waiting.

He wiped the blood from his mouth.

"Mistress Zofia!" The peevish voice jolted Zofia out of the dream she was having.

His lips moved against her ear, sending shivers of pleasure down her spine

"I can't do this!" Margo said, her voice shaking, on the verge of tears.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Trill 5 Star Reviews

I guess I have a collection of good reviews. Not all my reviews are in this category, but it's encouraging. Encouraging me to continue to get the series done, for sure.

I have the top 5-star reviews below:

5.0 out of 5 starsGolly
on August 27, 2016
Read the first of the series, fell in love with the characters and bought the second. Read through that in two days, and have just purchased the third of the series. These are excellent, I will be purchasing all of the books in the series. I thoroughly enjoy the characters and their interactions, the settings are imaginative and her writing is quite enjoyable. The language can be a bit coarse on occasion, and the sexual content is vivid. All in all, an entertaining series.
on August 30, 2018
This is Donna again. Another page turner with Trill. Lorelei's writing makes me feel like I'm right there. Sabrina isn't boring at all. She's constantly getting hit with something. If it isn't a possessive vampire, it's demons that want to kill her, and now her best friend was bit and is a vampire. Love the pace of the story. Next is Nocturne. Can't wait to get started.

on March 23, 2017
Excellent take on vampires and the Sybil idea is intriguing, I am looking forward to the next installment as Sabrina comes into her own

on March 9, 2017
Wow!!! I thought the first book in the series was good but I think this one topped it.
You know a good author when you can imagine yourself in the book and this author has it in spades! The characters really come alive for you.
I hope to read lots more from this author and would highly recommend this series to others. I plan on reading everything I can get my hands on, too.
on June 3, 2016
Wonderful follow up to the 1st in the series (Vampire Ascending) - I feel like I have not lost my place in the story at all!! So many wonderful characters, twists and turns - (and easy to keep straight on all of them!!) -Sabrina learns more about herself and her role in the Vampires world - and shifters and... (that would be telling... lol) - Cannot say enough about this series - off to #3 - then #4.. not surfacing for air until I am done!!!
on July 14, 2015
Holy Moly there's a lot of action, betrayals, hidden agendas, claims and power trips happening in this book... gotta love it. Excellently crafted story with fascinating characters. Great second book with answers and more unanswered.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Make Vampires Great Again!

When I think of vampires, I think of the all-time greatest DRACULA!

But times have changed, and, let's face it, we want the vampire to have more fun than just stealing a woman from another man and carrying her down to his crypt.

Sure, he was something to fear... but the women found him irresistible.

Back when I was growing up, it was Johnathan Frid in Dark Shadows, who caught my interest and held it, and I became hooked on anything vampire--which was not easy to find back in the 60's or 70's. 
Who knew the roll would be revisited in 2011/12 and Barnabas Collins played by Johnny Depp--yum!
At any rate, my interest in vampires never faded, and when I began to write, I had to write about vampires.
Over the dozen years from my teens into my twenties the vampire took on a slightly different cast. Sure, the vampires are still horrific blood-suckers, but here in a newer version of Dracula, Frank Langella came off as (at least to me), the underdog who only wanted his wife back. I felt it really captured the romance in the story.

And then Gary Oldman was cast in the roll, and I had an even firmer grasp on why I loved the story and why it could be retold as a love story.

Then, of course we should never forget about Ann Rice who wrote Interview with the Vampire(1994) who would forever change how we look at vampires. It wasn't Dracula running around trying to find his re-incarnated wife, but the chronicles of a man turned into a vampire and his life there after. What she did for everyone, writers of books or movies, changed the whole dynamics of the vampire from that point on.


Aside from the vampires that sparkle in Twilight

there have been a sea of movies and TV shows with the vampire in the lead rolls. Some are detectives, such as in Moonlight, and in Forever Knight. I can't possibly list all shows and movies, and so wont here.

We've also had the southern vampire, created by Charlaine Harris
which became an HBO series (and didn't adhere very well to the actual books, I might add, but hey, she made her money).

The truth of the matter is vampire stories still sell. Why?
Because women have turned to these paranormal romances for escapism.
Back in the day, there were no such thing as paranormal romances or urban fantasies with vampires thralling the women. It was under the heading Horror. Now books and shows with a woman becoming the vampire hunter.
And we have Buffy to thank for that...
Of course I refer to 1990's TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a very original idea by Joss Whedon. It was smart, hard-hitting action with great story lines, and hooked a whole generation on vampires. (Thank you, Joss!) 
We'd never go back to the traditional vampire who so repulsed us in the beginning of the long, long reign of the vampire.

The concept of vampire's getting lucky with women, or being unlucky and being staked, has matured. I know what sort of books are out there, still trying to peddle off a basic romance plot (boring, because you know the main characters of woman and man--which ever is the vampire--will come together in the end), with at least one vampire in the lead who will either fall in love with the opposite sex, or at least fall into bed with them.
They always have a sexy/suggestive-looking cover with a juicy title and captivating hook.

With that in mind, my publisher felt that a sexy-looking woman on the front cover would help the sell, with some city-scape in the background--because the stories sometimes take place in the city (Chicago), along with a full moon (because Sabrina is bitten by a werewolf in beginning of first story, and I follow that in each book).

Where do my books fall in this area?
Although they may be listed as a paranormal romance, they're far from the normal idea of a romance novel.
I went about writing this series with a touch clairvoyant as the main character, who learns she is the sybil and must eventually give birth to a half-vampire, half-human, but not with any old vampire--and there are plenty of vampire males lining up for the job. Sabrina is "picky" and during the course of the series isn't nuts about getting pregnant, no matter who she settles down with.
However the powers that be (demons), are adamant about her becoming pregnant, and when she doesn't, they go ballistic and begin attacking her at every opportunity, and with everything they've got.

In all there will eventually be 8 books in the series. At this time there are 6 in the Sabrina Strong series. Ascension is the first book, and from the link you can catch the full description and an excerpt from the book, along with some reviews.

partial from editorial review of Ascension from Readers' Favorite
 Bell doesn't just show the surface of the characters, she digs deeper and shows different sides to the characters. Sabrina's relationship with Tremayne is probably the most complicated. He takes an automatic interest in her, so he begins to sway her with glitzy presents and seduction, while also maintaining the fact that he's a super powerful and dangerous vampire. Nicolas is the first vampire she meets and, though he has a definite connection and flirtation with her, he assumes a protective role toward her. Dante is a shapeshifter shaman that acts her partner and bodyguard, who forms a strong connection and friendship with her. Her relationship with Heath is probably the sweetest, because he's laid back and always seems so genuine, an easily likable personality, and he never seems to have an agenda. A thrilling start to a series, Ascension is equal parts vampire romance and equal parts murder mystery; a story that's charming and endearing with a strong-willed heroine that will captivate you.

Now that I've chronicled the vampire fiction/movie/TV in a nutshell, and hope you've enjoyed it, I'd like to ask one last thing of you today before you depart. 


Saturday, September 1, 2018


This is review from Donna (my super fan) for Ascension

You can see she is very enthusiastic over my writing.
 A MUST READ!!! August 29, 2018
I'm using my husband's acct. because I don't have one yet. My name is Donna. If you love vampire books, this is a MUST read. I couldn't wait to get them. I read the first 2 in 4 days. Just couldn't put it down. Lorelei's writing keeps you on edge & guessing. I love the story line. Keeps me wondering what's next. I've never been so excited about a series. I wish the 8 book series could be made into a movie or dvd for each...Read More

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Super Fan

My books have been out there for a few years, and I've had book signings, and met people who bought my books. But once in a while I get someone who is a super fan and buys every one of my books--I have to remind myself now and then people actually do read my books--but I never meet them. I merely see their reviews, which are always wonderful.

But then there's one fan that's out there that doesn't yet know about my books.

I didn't know about her, either. And it was just chance we came together, if I hadn't sent that email, she'd never have known I wrote her type of fiction.

So, when I sent an email to this motel up in Bessemer, MI, asking for availability, it was a surprise, after a few back and forth emails, she said she realized I wrote vampire fiction. It was the way my signature is on my email. You know, author of Sabrina Strong series, after my name. She took the trouble to investigate, and then wrote to tell me she was a fan of anything vampire, werewolf, shapeshifters, and listed the authors she reads.

Well, I wasn't about to let this go by without taking advantage of the opportunity, and sent her some direct links to my books. But she wrote back saying she didn't have an e-reader. She likes the actual books.

Again, I wasn't about to let this one slip through my fingers. I said I had a few copies and I'd bring them up. She said she was looking forward to meeting me.

I was as flattered as I could be.

So, earlier this week we drove up through Wisconsin--about a 7 hour drive. We wanted a short 4-day get away before I had to go back to drudgery, which is work, and Dennis finishes his seasonal work as well.

We wanted to go see a few places we'd only visited the year before. This time we would stay in The Traveler's Motel (a nice Mom & Pop motel-very clean), two nights, and get over to Bayfield, Wisconsin. This motel is just a few miles into the UP of Michigan. Beautiful country. Clean air, and much less humidity. Oh. And almost no real crime, unlike where I'm from.

So, we arrive on Tuesday in the afternoon. I walk in first, and she's standing behind her short counter and I stick out my hand, "Lorelei Bell," I say.

Oh, she was very happy to meet me. We chatted, got our room, and I told her I'd bring her the books I brought after we got settled. Donna runs The Traveler's Motel, a 12-room motel all by her self. She said she once upon a time hired someone, but they didn't clean it the way she wanted. Her husband works elsewhere, but he does all the maintenance on it, when needed.

I'd brought two of my first books in the series, plus I had Spell of the Black Unicorn, hoping she would take it too. She did and paid full-price for them, refusing to take a discount I was willing to give her. She said "I'd have bought them on line, full price anyway." And, "This is your bread-and-butter." She, being a business woman, knows this.

The next morning we were getting ready to leave for Bayfield for a day of shopping, and enjoying the sights, and she came out early--she gets going early, by the way--and told me she had read my first book Ascension, until 9:00 last night. She told me what she was trying to figure out with this character or that, and I had to keep my mouth shut about certain things in the book, of course. She was so excited about having an author (she called me famous), staying in her motel. I only wished I were a little more "famous" than I am, but she was just tickled to have me there, she even called her daughter, who lives in another state, to tell her about having me there.

When we left the next morning, to travel up to Copper Harbor, and then home, we talked to her more about my book, and other things. She'd already sent away for the rest of my series and the sequel to SBU, Spell of Dark Castle. She had only two more chapters left to read and was itching to get her work done today so she could finish it. She really loved the way I wrote. She said she doesn't like when an author puts in too much description. She just needs a little information and wants the story. I said I do too, and that's why I write that way.

Anyway, she had to take a picture of us together to sent to her daughter, and for her memories. I also took a picture because I felt tickled to have such a wonderful, new fan.
Donna & me in front of her hotel in Bessemer MI

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Oregon coast... FINALLY!

If you recall, last post was about our horrible experience at a Motel 6. We left early, had a good drive, but not long, to coast. Finally we'll reach our destination.
It's 8:30 and we've reached Reedsport. Fog had been with us a distance. Above is picture of the beautiful forest we traveled through. I've never seen a forest quite like it--very mixed woods. Must be awesome in the fall. And as we got closer, I noticed that moss grew on the tree limbs, which makes sense as the air is dense with moisture. And yet it's cool, and refreshing.
As we get even closer I'm seeing these Tsunami signs posted. It's a real deal here, folks. Wish I'd taken a picture of one

My husband informs me we've driven 2,199 miles to get to highway 101, which goes up and down the coast from California all the way up through Washington.

10:30: We've yet to see water, but I begin to see sand on the hillsides, and then... water. The ocean. My eyes tear up, and we slap a hi-5er. 
We find a drive down to a sandy beach, parking. Signs point to a drive up to the lighthouse. But we're too excited! Dennis gets on his sandals, and walks out to get his feet wet. He turned 60 this summer and had this one thing on his bucket list--to see the ocean. And there he is in the water.

We spend a lengthy time here. I pick up wonderfully rounded, black rocks for my collection. I also find the very brittle shells of small crabs. Might be the dungenous ones, and blue muscle shells. I pick these up as well. I take a video on my camera, as Dennis takes one too, for memory-sake.

The iconic rocks in ocean along the shore which I've seen picture of and wanted to see so badly in person.
Learned later this was Hecta Head. Below is a picture of it I found on Internet. We were in the portion of shore which you can't see from this picture.

We could have explored more, but we had to move on, we had to find some place to stay. Our lucky break it was Thursday.
We drove on, excited about being here, but searching for a place to stay. We see a sign that says Yachats Inn, named after the town. It was pretty much on the end of town, and we swung in. 
Gray buildings some two-story others ground floor, situated on either side of the black-top drive.
It was still early, even though we stopped along the way to see the sea lion caves, to eat up some time. But we went into the office and a woman greeted us. Asked if there was a room available. Yes, there was... "The best view of all the rooms," she said.
"We'll take it."
"I can only give it to you if you take it for two nights."
"We'll take it.
Our room wasn't ready, but we were able to see its twin on the other side. Upper floor in one of the two-story buildings. We walked in, not sure what to expect--well, it was a condo! kitchen off the living room, separate bed room and bath.

We needed to buy groceries, seeing that we would be staying here for two days. But we were also hungry, and went to a local restaurant and had halibut and salad--opting out of "fish & chips" for the healthier choice. The halibut was battered in gluten-free batter.

This is an areal view of Yachats. Very quaint, and when we were told that every establishment closed at 9 PM, we said we liked that. It's wonderful to find such a gem!

And this is view off our deck. We could hear the ocean from here. Dennis didn't understand why we had a fireplace (below).
Well, we found out that it got down into 40's at night. During the day, it didn't get out of the 60's. It was chilly enough for jeans--which we brought--and sweats at night--which I didn't bring, and had to use the extra blankets to sit outside in afternoon, drinking my wine and staring at the ocean. We were able to spot whales spouting in the distance during dinner, and after, just before dark.
More to come.

I'll end this section with these thoughts as I sit home, missing the ocean:
Dennis and I were on the same wavelength--as we usually are, it attests to our togetherness after 30 years--and we both felt a pang in our hearts when we came home. I found myself tearing up a lot feeling as though someone I loved went away. I can't explain it any better than that.
The sound of it, the sight, and the pure air. Both of us felt very good, physically, during our stay here. I didn't cough, or sneeze and my knees were feeling fine as we clamored about on the rocks to get down to the shore the two days we were there. Coming home it was horrible humidity. I began to cough more and more. Felt sluggish and had to push myself to do things around the house.
We'd love to become beach bums, someday, and live on the "Good Coast". I don't know if that can happen. But... we do want to go back, soon.

The ocean seems to have stolen our hearts, calling to us to come back.
I think we'll find a way to make that happen.

November is for...

Ah. Yes. Some writers do the NaNoWriMo thing. I don't need that nudge, thank you. I've never needed it. And it wasn't even in ...