Signed Cover Art

If you'd like to receive a signed cover art postcard, email me at isobael at gmail dot com. Include your name and mailing address and I'll get them in the mail to you.

March 31, 2010

Newsletter Available...

The April newsletter is up and ready to go...

You can access it on my website at - just click on Newsletter and download it from there.


You can go to and access it there.

Both versions are in PDF form so you will need Adobe Reader...

March 30, 2010

Found it!


I found it!

I'll have to ask Mom to make sure, but I remember it like this.

However, it's translated as Li, and not "Dee", so I'll need to make sure it's right.

So, my name would be:

Mango Salsa - easy

2 medium mangos, ripe and juicy - peeled and cubed
1 medium ripe tomato, chopped
1 TB ginger, ground into small pieces
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 tsp jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tsp honey or agave syrup
juice of one lime, to taste
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
sea salt, to taste

Mix everything together and refreigerate for at least an hour before serving.

March 29, 2010

3x5 cards or 8 1/2x11 paper for plotting?

8.5x11 for plotting...well, to get ideas down on paper. Actual plotting now is done in OneNote that came with my Office Suite. I used to write in a notebook, transfer it to Word, then from there, in Word, do an outline. As I'm writing the book, I use a copy of the outline because I inevitably switch things around, move plot points to different chapters. This helps me for when I go back and write a synopsis.

Random Babbling...

When I was in Taiwan, I bought a book. It was the only book that wasn't a kid's book, in English. It was called "Dream of the Red Chamber". I read that book a few times while I was in Taiwan, but I was 14, so I didn't understand the story beneath the story, nor the mythology beneath and behind the story.

I'm not sure where that book went, but I'm looking to replace it. I think amazon had a copy and I could order it from Borders. I heard there was a miniseries made from it, but I think I'll stick with the book.  TV and movie adaptations usually suck. LOL

My new story idea is coming along. There just isn't a whole lot of info on Chinese faeries. So, I'm making it up as I go. Gotta love being a writer. =)

I really dislike the name translator things online. I know what my name looks like in Chinese, but when I do it online, the results are way off.  I'm trying to find my name correctly written. I've found the first two symbols, but the last two I've not been able to find.

Apparently, most sites say this is my name:

 Nope. It's not. Actually, the first set of symbols in my name are:

I can't find the last set of symbols.

Actually, here's what it sort of looks like, hand written. Don't mind my handwriting. I suck.

I do know the first two symbols mean heavenly, or faerie, or immortal...

My name stamp, using Old Chinese writing looks like:

Yeah, I couldn't remember if Kwan Yin had to face toward me or away from me, when I stamped, so the stamp is the same, just seen both right side and upside down.

This is my name stamp:

Check this out...

I'm a guest blogger over at Sonya Clark's blog! Check it out:

Thanks, Sonya! =)

March 28, 2010

Checking in...

Good morning, friends.

This week, I have my brother and sister-in-law's children, my nephew and two nieces, while they're taking a vacation in Jamaica. sis-in-law is suppose to drink a couple of tropical foo-foo drinks for me! Our first night went very well. The youngest, 3, fell asleep on the couch last night. The two older kids 9ages 6 and 9), plus my daughter (12), stayed up until 10pm, then I sent them all to their beds. They were up at 6am! LOL.

It's a lazy day today, for them. I told them they didn't have to change out of their PJs. They're running around like little heathens and laughing.

Friday, Mom and Dad came over for dinner and I had a little chat with Mom about the story I'm planning/researching. She gave me some great input on the Chinese myths and beliefs, so I'll be incorporating those into the story. Basically, I'm starting this story from the very beginning (again), and writing it fresh. It's going to be (loosely) based on an old Chinese faerie tale, but with a more modern twist, as well as a bit more westernized.

March 25, 2010

New Look...

It's Spring, time for some Spring Cleaning.

With that, we did a little changing of the look to the blog. =)

With the new banner, I also have a little button people can use for links.  Just link back to this blog.

Anyway, still reworking the plot for my new story. Major revisions there. However, I think it's a better story. =)

Oh, well, bed time for me. Five a.m. comes early for me when I need to get the hubby off to school by six.

Thank you, new followers. =) Feel free to chime in and comment on anything you read. Tell your friends to join! LOL.

Thank you...

First and foremost...

Thank you, Sonya Clark, Piedmont Writer, and BreiaB for your comments. I intend to write this story as I originally intended to, with Chinese characters.

Although, I did cave and started a second version in which the Hero is non-Chinese in his human form.

I was struggling with this story because of the very issue of ethnic main characters. I didn't want  it to be too Chinese and either be offensive, or give fodder to any fires.

Last night, I had a dream about the story. It was like watching a movie, in which my characters made themselves known to me, and I saw how the story was going to go. The Hero was non-Chinese in my dream, but the heroine was.

I'm going through the plot outline and rewriting parts this morning. I'll go in and rewrite parts of the story as well.

Sometimes, dreams can be rather helpful things. =)

March 24, 2010

What do you think?

Welcome to the new followers! I'm up to 34! Sixteen more and we'll have our first contest...

Wrote this on one of the mailing lists I belong to. Thought I'd post it here and get your input...

I'm writing my second novel in which the characters are Chinese, although the novel is set in a fictional city in Washington state, current day. It's a paranormal romance.

As I am half Chinese, this is sort of a nod to my maternal heritage.

However, I'm a bit worried about writing it TOO ethnic. Obviously, current day and in the US, it won't have a "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" feel, nor will it be some Jackie Chan/Jet Li feel either. Some western paranormal myths don't translate well to Chinese, nor do Chinese myths translate well to western.

I'm wondering if my making the main characters Chinese will be a problem in trying to shop it. There are some Chinese names, customs, and words being used, sprinkled here and there. The heroine is half Chinese...with paranormal abilities.

How much is considered TOO ethnic? Is having non white characters (in any form) a detriment in/to the paranormal romance/romance genre? Will I need to shop it differently because of the non white main characters?

What do you think?

March 22, 2010

Weekend in recap...

Didn't get much writing done this weekend. Had the eldest niece over to spend time with my daughter. Went to my parents' on Saturday so Spike could help my Dad with some yard work. while he was doing that, I took the girls down to Mom's work and did some shopping for container gardens. Bought seeds: lavender, chamomile, basil, cilantro, spearmint, carrots, and radishes. Bought a couple large bags of potting soil, a couple of buckets, a few hanging pots. Oh, and I bought a package of my favorite flowers. I love Calla Lilies. They were out of the white ones so I bought "Burst" which is a hint of burgundy/red to the callas.

Sunday, all the seeds were started, except for the carrots and radishes, and the callas went into a large pot I got from my parents garden shed. I also finished the little project I gave myself on Friday. I'm telling you, I can NOT wait until I hit 50 followers here so I can have my first contest.

It only took me a couple of hours to make two. apparently, I zoned out when arranging the little flowers. The first one was an experiment to see how I could do it and my daughter got it as a little gift. The second box is much more put together and prettier, so this one is going into the prize vault. Even Spike said he was amazed by how well I put them together, that I had my Dad's creativeness in putting something together out of nothing.

I want to make a few more! =)

My next ones, though, will definitely be experiments. Different finishes and paint techniques.


How was everyone's weekend? Do anything fun and exciting? =)

March 19, 2010

Oops... =)

So, tonight I've been alone. Spike took our daughter down to Olympia to some friends' place and I stayed home to do some writing.

Come dinner time, I was going to go and get something to eat. A treat for myself. Well, I got a wild hair to go to Michael's (if you don't have one, you are missing out! It's an awesome craft store!) and I ended up spending my food money on stuff to use for my contests.  Oops!

All I have to say is that my first contest is gonna have some kick ass goodies. =) We just have to wait until I reach 50 followers before I can hold my contest.

The new story is coming along. I finished chapter one last night. It's a little on the short side for word count, less than I'd like, but I've gone through it a couple of times and can't really find a spot I can add to without junking it up. I might make a couple more passes through it just to see what I can tweak. the end of chapter one is awesome. Has a dream sequence with a sword fight. *Grin*

I SOOOOO can't wait for this new story to get written and submitted. If it goes for publishing, I have LOADS of ideas for creating a contest prize for it. LOL...

Yes, getting ahead of myself there. =)

March 18, 2010

Book cover promo postcards...

If you haven't already gotten your "Moonlight and Magick" promo postcard, message me at isobael dot liu at gmail dot com with your name and address and I'll get them into the mail for you!

These questions are fun...

Who would win in a fight: pirates or ninjas?

Neither. Shao Lin monks would whoop both their butts. =)

What song do you want played at your funeral?

OOooo...I know this one! Annie Lennox's "Lovesong for a Vampire". Ever since I heard it from Bram Stoker's Dracula, end credits...I KNEW it would be a song I'd play at my funeral. To this day, I still will cry when I hear it.

Who was your first crush?

I can't give his name. He's on my Facebook friends list. LOL. I can say he was a year ahead of me in school, it was junior high, and he was nice to me, even if he "broke my heart". I was probably pretty pathetic, so I don't blame him. I don't know if it was really a "crush" as much as it was a bit "hero worship".

Questions that didn't get posted yesterday...

Blackwater or Willow Creek? ;P by synderryn

That's evil. =P

Each game has it's own perks and plusses, as well as minuses. To be honest, I will have to admit Las Vegas (Damien's game) was my first SERIOUS chronicle and Isobael's creation stemmed from there. BlackWater ties with Las Vegas due to the emotional investment I had and still have. To the extent of writing stories using BlackWater and its characters. Willow Creek was fun, lighthearted...and I loved the social interaction our characters had.

Would you ever let the villain win?

Wow...that's a good question. Hmmm.

If I was writing outside the Romance genre, yeah, I'd let the villain win, although it would probably be in a series, so while the villain might win in one book, he might not in the next, and at the end of the series, he can't win. But, as long as I write romances, it has to have the Happily Ever After and this means the good guys win. =)

Would you rather be a famous musician or a famous actor?

Can I be a famous Broadway star and be both? LOL Umm...I think musician. I think musicians can be ugly and no one cares that much...but you have to be either very connected or very pretty/handsome to be an actor and make it.

March 17, 2010

Werewolf or Vampire?

OOOoooo...toughie. Would I rather be one or the other? I'd have to say Vampire. Would I want one or the other as a lover? Werewolf. *Grin*

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Trek. =) Star Trek: The Next Generation being my fave.

How many short stories did you write before attempting a novel?

Three that will never see the light of day, four posted on the internet, so seven total before my first novel. =)

March 16, 2010

Checking in...

31 followers...*Dances*

If you notice on the right hand side, there's a Facebook Fan site button. =) Clicky, clicky..

Writing is slow but sure. 3,000 words for chapter one so far. The Heroine has met the Hero and he is amused. She is not. He's an arrogant SOB...she wants to take a sword to his head.

Oh, so much fun... LOL


I'm enjoying a cup of tea, finished messing around with the Facebook fan page...and am catching up with my best friend.

*whispers* I snuck her name into the dedication of my novel...*grin*

We're getting close now. I'm so nervous.

March 15, 2010

Tea order!

Our tea order came today!

Hehehe. I say "Our" when I mean "Mine". I'm the big tea drinker in the house. =)

Today's order...

English Breakfast Blend 1/4LB
English Breakfast Blend 1/4LB
Earl Grey De La Creme 1/4LB 
Earl Grey Royal 1/2OZ
China Lichee 1/2OZ
Cinnamon Orange Spice Tea 1/2OZ
Vanilla with Finest Madagascar Vanilla 1/2OZ
Cocoa Cardamom Tango 1/2OZ
Holiday Dream 1/2OZ
Chocolate Cream with Cocoa Pieces 1/2OZ

I love those 1/2OZ sample bags. You can't beat a pot and a half of tea for a $1.00...and to try out the tea to make sure we like it is great.

Like, we're now drinking the China Lichee. We've discovered that it's not all that great. It's not bad, just not our...well...cup of tea. LOL. So, we won't be ordering it again. Out a $1.00. That's it.

I love Earl Grey De La Creme...Mmmm...

March 14, 2010

Because guns are for wimps...

I've spent the better part of the past couple of weeks sunk into a depression in which I could not write. Nothing I had interested me. The WIPs I had been working on so diligently irked me.

I spent time watching movies, my favorites that always gave me some form of inspiration before, but nothing worked. Not even reading my favorite authors.

I was on edge, I paced, I was restless and irritable. Nothing interested me. Not shopping, not the library, not going out. I sat at my computer and stared at the screen as if something would magically appear.


One night, while lying in bed, I realized something was happening in my mind. The beginnings of a spark was trying to form. Weak and faint, I carefully nurtured it. I sheltered it. I slowly, and with infinite care as not to smother it, fed it ideas and what ifs, letting it grow on its own, until the spark became more that just a little spark.

I have, in my mind, a story. It's a story I have no ending to, nor am I entirely sure if there's a middle. I only know there's a beginning, but I'm not worried. All stories start with a beginning.

I realized the process from nothing to this tiny spark was a lesson, one I think a perfectly good lesson for me to learn.

Don't push myself where and when I'm not ready to go yet.

I have one novel about to be published. I went from writing it, to editing, to submitting, to being picked up, to editing, to trying to promote myself and my book, to trying to write more stories, while trying to keep up with my falconry, my family. I never once gave myself time to sit back and just breathe. Even now, while writing this, I'm also writing the beginnings of the new story, while trying to figure out how to better promote myself, and not worry that the soon to be released novel is going to bomb, and OMIGAWD, WHAT ABOUT REVIEWS?!? WHAT IF IT SUCKS?!?

I was forced to take a step back and not write until the dust settled.

I'm still worried. I'm still struggling. Best of all, I'm still writing.

I just started the beginning of my next novel. It has nothing to do with "Moonlight and Magick". I'm digging a little into my heritage, using Chinese characters. Paranormal romance. With swords, because I love swords.

Because swords are bad ass.


(By the way, I also own guns, so really, the title is a joke...)

March 13, 2010

Checking in...

Not much to report...

Just finished going through my galley proofs and just finalized. No more changes now. From here on out, it's "publishing" time. I can not wait for May 3rd!

Noticed I have 30 followers now. Thank you, everyone! It means a lot. =)

Once I hit 50, I'll hold my first contest.

I've backed off from Twitter. It's been more of a pain than anything. I use Facebook a lot more instead.

I have a story percolating in my brain. It'll be nice to write again. I've been under a long stretch of sheer boredom, depression, and writer's block. Nothing seems interesting anymore.


March 8, 2010

Isobael's Cioppino

Cioppino is an Italian Seafood Stew, or soup. (I prefer to call it soup as it's brothy, whereas a stew is thick. Why yes, IMHO Manhattan clam chowder is a soup and New England clam chowder is a stew!)

This is MY version of Cioppino as I didn't have all the ingredients listed on the original recipe and used what I had on hand.

1 TB butter and 2 TB olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 TB minced garlic, or 2 TB garlic paste - I buy the huge tub of minced garlic from Costco.)
2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes (I used diced - no salt added.)
1 small can of tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups of clam broth (we had cooked clams over the summer. The water used to boil/steam them was filtered, cooled, then frozen to use for soup. If you don't have this, use chicken broth and a bottle of clam juice.)
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 bag of frozen seafood mix, thawed
1 pound cod fillets, cut into cubes
4 tilapia fillets, cut into cubes
(Cod and tilapia fillets can be bought frozen at Walmart, in 1 pound bags. I just use a bag of each.)
Frozen mussels (Again, Walmart has a bag of frozen, cleaned and cooked mussels. Has two sections in a bag. I used 1 section.)
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp - peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper to taste

Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large stockpot, add garlic. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until soft and fragrant.

Add tomatoes to the pot (break them into chunks as you add them). Add broth, bay leaves, basil, thyme, oregano, water and wine. Mix well. Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp, seafood mix, mussels. Stir in fish. Bring to boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 5 to 7 minutes (if using fresh clams, cook until clams open, discarding any that do not open after this time.)

Ladle into bowls and serve with warm garlic bread, or better yet, serve in bread bowls!

March 7, 2010

The State of Isobael...

If there's nothing more I hate, it's a double whammy of bad luck.

I've been dealing with a sudden case of depression AND writer's block, although I'm not sure if one feeds into the other, or one is caused by the other. Either way, it sucks major suckage and I'm rather tired of the whole thing.

I have stories upon stories all rambling around my brain, none of which really want to lend a hand in getting down into my word processor program. There are days I even wonder WHY I'm a writer when I can't seem to write.

In the meantime, I've been going through some of my old stuff, trying to clean them up, edit crap out now that I've learned a few new things. It's slow going, and watching the word count decrease in leaps and bounds makes it even more depressing for me.

It's a neverending cycle, isn't it?


Hey, for something different, go check out my other blog. My falconry blog. See some pictures of my kestrel. =)

Also, Romance in the Backseat is having a conference.

Bloggers and Publishers have the same goals, to bring in readers.  This Conference is to discuss what is working online to promote books and what we can do better.  How can we work together and with authors to bring readers online?  What are Publishers goals in working with Bloggers? What are Bloggers and Reviewers looking for?  Join us for panels, discussions and giveaways.

Check out the link and read up on what's going on!