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.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Oregon Coast Bount: Part 4...Motel Hell

Route 7 west
We spent the whole day on beautiful, winding mountain roads, but it became tiring--for both of us. I don't know how my husband drives them so well, but he does. We've been to the highest passes out west, even went up to Pikes Peak, around the tightest hair-pin turns, and he's on top of it. I sit in passenger seat and I do not lie when I say I do hang on to the chicken hand hold. I trust him, but I don't trust other people coming the opposite way.

Add to that, there were very few places to get off to take a break. We did stop for gas--and for pee break. As we drove up a young Pakistani came up to the driver side and asked if he could pump our gas for us. Of course, being from Illinois you don't trust anyone, and also from seeing news in Chicago, you think someone's going to car jack you. My husband questioned him his express desire to pump our gas for us. He said it was actually a law that we could not pump our own gas in Oregon. News to us. Dennis said he'd pumped it at a truck stop earlier. He then said, "Well, sometimes they are lazy."

Whatever. I had to go and find a rest room. The gas was pumped and Dennis did not trust to hand the guy his credit card, and paid cash for it. Also from hearing how people can steal your credit card #. Doesn't anyone get that in Oregon????

One other unusual thing happened while Dennis was paying inside for the gas, I learned later, he said some woman had made a purchase and the man tending the counter had put her things into a plastic bag. And she complained and asked why he didn't have paper bags. Which was odd to us, at the time, but later, after we'd been to coast, and made purchases, we noticed they did not like plastic, and in fact they charge for recycled plastic bottles when you buy them. I could understand this. They don't want their beautiful coast/ocean to be polluted by plastic.

We drove on, noting there were plenty of areas to camp, and in some places there were cabins, or motels along the way. We had entered pacific time zone earlier that morning--another first.

Our trip went along or across the Powder River, which looked high. The lodge pole and Ponderosa pines reminded me of Colorado a bit. We climbed to 5,000 feet elevation at one point. Nothing to us, just made your ears pop and fill and pop a few times. It was a quiet drive, hardly met anyone on the road. People with trailers and RV's pull over to let you pass--it's actually a law here.

Continued driving until we came down into a rather wide valley, just miles from John Day (a town, but also known for archaeological digs). We stopped in a cute mercantile in Dayville. had everything you'd need like beer, food, ice cream (I was eyeing it, okay?), and gifts. The shop boasted it was established in 1896. We bought beer, used the bathroom and I took a few pictures. You never know who you might meet along the way.

We continue on seeing Mt. Hood along the way. We didn't stop again, because of time, I wanted badly to take a picture of Mt. Hood sticking up with a healthy coating of white on it, but our windshield was plastered with bugs. We needed lunch. Once again, getting somewhere to eat a decent lunch--or any food--has been our worst nightmare. The only place in this one town we thought we might try was a Dairy Queen. What a disaster that turned out to be. First of all, if you want a salad, they didn't have French dressing. Who doesn't have French dressing? Dennis is lactose and gluten intolerant, but he knows his limits. Ranch dressing was out and so was whatever vinaigrette dressings they had. So, he tried the chicken sandwich. Bad idea. First of all, he didn't want a sandwich, but a salad (avoiding the bread), so he tried to just take off half the bun. There was pepper all over the damned thing. He couldn't eat it. My salad was hardly inspiring, but then, this is a fast food place. What could we do? This town, Redmond, was a congested town, Sisters was a smaller, cute touresty town, but it was buy @ noon hour.

Finally at end of day we got into Eugene, which is on Route 5, and to the north, before you get into Washington, is Portland. We were dog-tired. After a long day of driving, Dennis doesn't want to drive anywhere to find a restaurant. Thus, the sight of a Denny's next to a Motel 6, was ideal.

Parking was tight, and that was only the beginning. This room cost us less than last night--clue #2 not to stay.

Here is my review from Trip Advisor:

Dirty, No Extras, Parking is tight

Reviewed 3 days ago
The only reason we chose to stay here is because we'd been driving all day, and we saw the Denny's restaurant next to it. Right away the parking is tight. Not everyone has a small vehicle. We happen to have an F150. There's absolutely no way you can park in their tight parking places and have room to even open your door. We were told to move our truck. My husband had a long argument with woman who was management. Apparently she didn't get it and kept saying "these are regular sized spaces"--for maybe a Fiat, okay?
Next: NO EXTRAS. No clock, and I was surprised we actually got a TV. No tub, just a shower, but no place to put a bar of soap, or shampoo. I put them on the floor. When we tried to use the only chair (cheap plastic thing you might have seen in a school 30 years ago), there was a dust bunny size of a cotton ball, and something sticky spilled all over it. My husband had spilled a little water on the floor, and wiped it up with a paper towel--the towel came up BLACK.

I won't go on here. Obviously this place is bad. I don't know who gave it a 5-star, but management must have paid them to do so.

You stay at your own risk. Never again.
First of all, the floors were dirty, the bathroom had a white tile and you could see someone's dirty footprints all over. Obviously they didn't take a mop to this place. The main room was wood. I'd think someone could have taken a damned Swifter over it w/o too much sweat. There was NO TISSUE--even if they were of the sandpaper variety, there was none. Virtually no room around the sink to place much of anything, like your toothpaste, tooth brushes and so forth. When we went to take our showers, there was no place to put soap, or shampoo. There used to be, you can see the holes where something had been at one time. When we thought to bring in that ugly chair to put clothes on, well, it was filthy. Dennis took a Wet One over it. Obviously no one has sat in it, or moved it, in years.

I didn't even get into the argument over the parking melee. First, our phone rang, perhaps an hour after we'd been there. Dennis had parked outside our door as soon as someone left the spot. Now, let me make this clear. We have a Ford F150. Nothing larger than a normal pick up, but you could not park in the slot provided and get out of your vehicle, I swear, because when we first parked, I had about ten inches in order to squeeze out of my side. Getting everything out of the back was a bit of a trick as well. We have over-large doors because of the way the back doors are short and open toward the front.

Anyway, the phone call from management talks to Dennis for a few minutes and I can see this is getting him agitated the more they go over and over the parking business. He hangs up on them, but goes out and tries his best to situate his truck. There's a pick-up next to ours. A guy who's been walking around in swim trunks--yest there was a pool, and I would question it's cleanliness--since we got there. Dennis suspected he either came here often/knew the manager. The woman manager came out pushing a cart and saying things like "these are standard size parking spots". Well, you saw my review on Trip Advisor, and it was true. These were tight parking spots. Even cars would have a challenge in not dinging the next car with their door. The argument went on and on. When it comes to my husband, when he knows he's right, he will argue the other person until they give up. Which they did, especially when he said he'd call Mr. Tom Bonnett about it, in a joking/sarcastic way. He brought up everything about the room that was far below standard, saying we didn't even get a box of tissue. She had some standard answer, but I don't know what her problem was.

The Homeless & Hungry
The next morning, we went to Denny's for breakfast. Went as early as we could. At least the breakfast didn't disappoint us. A couple of people were walking outside in the lot in the half-dark. They looked homeless. One walked past our window, in fact. Later, when Dennis was loading up the truck, one of them approached him--actually, he stepped out and there she was. She had a dog. She explained she was trying to get food from the hotel (well, good luck with that!). One thing about my husband, he is kind hearted. He saw she had a dog, and that she was really sort of off, or out of it. He asked when she'd last had something to eat. She said maybe two days ago. He came back and grabbed some chips and offered her water. She said she needed something sugary, so he grabbed a Coke out of our cooler. We literally had very little food, but snacks and water and a few drinks on us. So, she went on her way. It's terrible seeing this, coming in contact with one who has so little. Giving money might not help, but maybe it would have. But when you travel, you don't want people to know how much you have on you. We travel with cash and credit card in order to get us through our trip and back.

The next post will get us to the coast. The experience was totally different, and we really didn't know what we would see. I will have pictures. And lucky us, we did find a place to stay right there on the coast.

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...