Playing for Keeps

Author Diana Rose Wilson

This website is for Diana Rose Wilson and her upcoming events and releases of her books including the Forbidden Secrets series.

Filtering by Category: writing

Only eat the best chocolate

I write because it's fun. Even at the point in the process I’m stuck in right now, where I have to force out every….single….word……I remind myself that this is fun. 

It should be fun.

I began this hobby because I loved creating life in fiction form.

It’s a bit like eating really good chocolate.

I only want the good stuff, because, it’s not healthy for me, but I don’t want to live without it. Life is too short to waste on bad quality chocolate. It's also too short to waste on something that doesn't bring me joy.

When I first started writing, I wrote Fantasy, but I heard it was hard to get published and so I put it aside. When I began writing Paranormal Romances, I was told the exact same thing. I thought about writing something that sells, even though I didn't enjoy it. I decided to just go for the good chocolate; the stories that made me happy.

Now, as I’m forced to come up with something new, better, and marketable…. I wonder if it’s worth it.

Would I eat bad chocolate? Should I just stomach it?

I work to make money to support my hobby.


My writing  was once my fun time. Is changing my genre going to better my situation? Gain me readers? Can I craft it with honesty without my passion and joy of the story behind it?

I don’t think so.

So, I’m going to keep on eating the good chocolate and write the stuff that makes my heart happy. To hell with that chalky, waxy crap! (And hey, you should write what you love too and totally kill it!)

March 25 2018 Goats Oaks and hillside.jpg

Reading Order

“Where do I start?”

It’s a question I usually ask when someone recommends a new author to me.

My stories are made to fit together.  If I do this right, there will be big, epic, awesomeness <TM> as all lines converge. At least there will adventures (good and bad) for all involved.  Some books you can read out of order without the risk of spoilers, but others really work better in sequence. (As of April 2018)

The chronological order option:

An End to Summer (Spirit Lands)

Lies that Blind (Spirit Beasts)

Wicked Masquerade (Forbidden Secrets)

Snow Mistress (Forbidden Secrets)

Taming the Brat (Forbidden Secrets)

Blood Feathers (Forbidden Secrets)

Paying the Dragon’s Price (Forbidden Secrets)

Dangerous Seduction (Forbidden Secrets)

All Thorns Eve (Gems)

Heart Bound (Forbidden Secrets)

This is the 'From Reality, Straight Down the Rabbit-Hole' reading option:

Wicked Masquerade (Forbidden Secrets)

Snow Mistress (Forbidden Secrets)

Taming the Brat (Forbidden Secrets)

Blood Feathers (Forbidden Secrets)

Paying the Dragon’s Price (Forbidden Secrets)

Dangerous Seduction (Forbidden Secrets)

All Thorns Eve (Gems)

Heart Bound (Forbidden Secrets)

Lies that Blind (Spirit Beasts)

An End to Summer (Spirit Lands)

Other mix-and-match order:

Although I recommend reading about Ursa, you can jump in at Blood Feathers (Forbidden Secrets). After that point in the series you might run into spoilers.

Lies that Blind (Spirit Beasts) and An End to Summer (Spirit Lands) can be read at any point. The stories don’t hinge on the later or earlier books of any series as of the posting of this timeline. They share characters with the other series that will give you glimpses into things to come, or provide insight on things that happened.

All Thorns Eve (Gems) and Heart Bound (Forbidden Secrets) should be read after Dangerous Seduction, but can be interchanged in the reading order.

To current readers:  What say you? 

What order did you read the stories?   

Of the sea and air.

Of the sea and air.

Happy Book Birthday!

Yay!  Dangerous Seductions is out today

Amazon                        B&N                        IBooks                          Google 

I've been waiting impatiently to share this with everyone.  It's challenging to be a book-parent(Story Creator) and keep all these secrets inside without sharing them with anyone.  I look forward to hearing what you think about the story and hope you enjoy it.

I put together this electric music list and I hope you'll give it a listen to while you read.  I realize that there's a mixture of types of music and it might not all be your speed, but I tried to go for songs that either inspired me when I was writing, songs that resonate with the story and songs that were requested for the list. 

Dangerous Seduction Playlist


I'm happy to add more music, just leave a comment here or on any of the social links! :D 



Sneak Peak - Spirit Beasts 2 ~

I wanted to share this from my Work in Progress for the second Spirit Beasts book. :D  Events in this scene happen right after Lies that Blind:

Chaze bared his crooked teeth. “Someone real stupid went and split my lip.” There was a definite nasty sneer towards Dave before he tapped his temple and then turned and continued to lead the group of firefighters off towards the building.

“Chief?” Dave rasped.

Frankie too was having trouble reconciling that information. She’d assumed Chaze was just a biker. Well, of course he would be more than just a hulking brute on a motorcycle. It explained the leathery skin, and his rasping voice. Is that how he earned the horrible scar across his throat?

“Knights Valley crew.” Mano turned back to Frankie. “Let the kid check your arms. He’s….” He wiggled his fingers and Frankie wasn’t sure if he was trying to convey ‘safe’ or ‘one of us’ or ‘mystical’. Maybe everything.

“Knights Valley? You are so full of shit.” Frankie’s head spun from more than the pain in her arms. Knights, rooks, kings, queens and….

“Read a map, Mouse.” Mano smirked at her.

Christopher pulled her against him when she tried to lunged for Mano. “I’m not letting you go anywhere until someone looks at your arms.” His jungle green gaze trapped her when she looked up at him. Christopher Harris-Wallace stood almost seven feet tall, and he was utterly perfect. He had smudges of ash and blood across his high cheekbones, like war-paint. He held her as though he wanted to shelter her from the world, rather than protect the world from her.

She didn’t frighten him.

She was pretty sure nothing scared him.'

March 2018 Knights Valley 3.jpg

Book Cover Love - An End to Summer

First, I would like to thank my awesome cover artist, Kelly Martin (!  She has done ALL my books so far and she is so great at making my vision come through in images. I am amazed and awed by the results.

Take, for example, my request on the cover for An End to Summer. I wanted one of my heroes to have feathers for hair.  It's kind of a part of that character in the story.

Kelly and I had a few back and forth exchanges where I sent her suggestions; 'like a Hawkhead parrot, but also kinda of like a cockatoo, but don't make it look goofy. Oh, and also?  He needs to be sexy. '

I'm demanding. I know. 


I mean, the look is supposed to look a little unusual and a little silly, as Alexander finds it in this first introduction here:

              There was something strange about the warriors though. Their hair was brilliant red banded with stripes of purple and blue.  He realized with a shock that what covered their head was not hair but feathers.

              The man at the center of their group looked over at their approach, his haughty features guarded. He seemed the youngest and handsome in a razor-edged way that made Alexander stare. He swept a look over the stallion with an arrogant little curl of his upper lip.  Then his eyes fell on Alexander.  The feathers on his head lifted into a comical crest like a cockatoo.

               It looked ridiculous.  Thankfully his cough of amusement sounded like a rumble rather than mirth. There was nothing funny about the glares that the men fixed on him.


I think Kelly did an outstanding job picking out Alexander and although I wanted him to have his scar, I think that might have been a bit much for the cover.  What do you think? Would you have rather seen him scared face if possible? 

A sketch of Alexander.&nbsp;

A sketch of Alexander. 


A 'story' about scars?

As part of my ‘5 year goals’, I’m taking a creative writing class. Not only as part of the steps to get where I want to be, I thought it would be fun. So far it’s enjoyable and a little unsettling.  I’m being pushed out of my comfort zone to be more social and meeting people in class and reading my 'stuff' aloud. Ugh.  It also allows methe opportunity to have some structure in my writing. While I like my nightly routine, lately I haven’t been as dedicated to my work.  My latest assignment is to write something (Poem or prose) about the question: How Did You Get that Scar?

I instantly thought about Chaze and his scar and the story behind how he got it.  What say you, readers? Want to know how Chaze got his scar(s)? Or should I just write something fluffy or introspective about the scars in the soul we cannot see?  I’m not above some navel gazing and throwing down some super fluffy metaphoric nonsense about that or any number of little things.  HOWEVER—I’d spend the weekend on a mini Chaze story too. There’s no romance in that story though. Just want to warn all ya’all.

I thank you for responses. ;)  In advance.

27'ish days until An End to Summer!&nbsp;

27'ish days until An End to Summer! 

90's Cosplay throwback

I promised I would send pictures of my 90’s Mercedes Lackey cosplay and I have found a picture.  It’s not so great quality but it's what I have.  Here it is. ;)

Oh, here's some details!

Oh, here's some details!

You can't even see the awesomeness of the embroidery and beadwork I did but-just imagine it's way cooler th

You can't even see the awesomeness of the embroidery and beadwork I did but-just imagine it's way cooler th

I think it was someone’s birthday and they were getting spanked but for the life of me I can’t remember.  This was a Dragon Con ‘pajama party’ event with a reading of Owl Flight before it came out and there were shenanigans in progress.  Being socially awkward as I was/am, I was just trying not to completely melt down like an uber dork. I’m sure I said/did something awkward and uncomfortable to those around me. Thank goodness I’m not plagued by those memories.  

I do recall being in the elevator with Mark Shepherd and I was so nervous I thought I was going to faint.  He was very kind but it had to be awkward for him.  Sorry Mark.


Hotty bodyguards. &nbsp;

Hotty bodyguards.  

There was also this strange thing that happened that year at D*C, apparently there were death threats (?) and so ML and her people had two security guards with them.  It seemed perfectly reasonable at the time but looking back it seems really odd, particularly when you see pictures like this from one of the panels. 

And at the end of D*C they had an auction and I won this pretty necklace and the line edits of Winds of Change (Half of it anyway, somehow the organizer of the event tricked me and I never did get the full manuscript. Still worth it.  Used to dry my writer's tears for many years. Just kidding, we all know writer's tears are pure alcohol and must be bottled with care.)  

I wonder if she ever wonders: 'Where did I put that necklace.....?'&nbsp;

I wonder if she ever wonders: 'Where did I put that necklace.....?' 

And now that I've shared my memories with you, I'm back to sewing for my latest obsession.  I'm not even going to Confluence where Sharron Lee and Steve Miller are attending. :P  I'll be in Florida, hanging out with Sci-Fi Romance writers at the RWA conference.  

I'm putting the jacket and vest lining in today and hopefully will have pictures soon!

Thanks for reading! I can't wait to meet more writers and discover new obsessions! 

Noreetuh - New York, Summer 2016

Once or twice a year my husband makes the trip to New York where he tends all the IT and phone systems for Per Se and Bouchon and their supporting office.  I try to tag along with him as often as I can totourist and grow ideas/plots or write.  I’m rather fond of the trips as they were the reason I came up with Frankie.  Talking with some of the chefs in New York who have gone to Yountville for cross-training and their culture shock, I couldn’t help but want to create some city characters and toss them into my version of Yountville.

This is my first year in New York when there’s not a blizzard.  Oh no, it’s steamy hot this time of year.  Not nearly as bad as Alabama in August but not the comfortable dry-heat of home either.  Last time we visited, during the big snow storm, we were going to stop by Noreetuh but the bad weather and cold kept us closer to our hotel. (Yes yes, I have fragile California skin.) The three co-owners used to work at Per Se and hubby wanted to stop in and say hi and he’d heard great reviews from co-workers.

I thought it was going to be more of a Japanese fusion food and was delighted that it’s more of a Hawaiian fusion cuisine.  So we decided to try three different courses between us so we could trade dishes and wines. 

I am not a food snob. In fact, it is quite embarrassing for me at times when we attend highbrow/holiday events at TKRG.  I mean, I like food and I like wine but do I have a refined pallet? I don’t really think so.  So I pretend.  A lot.  

I’m not giving a bite by bite account of the meal but it was amazing.  The Big-Eye Tuna Poke with Macadamia nuts, pickled jalapeños, with seaweed was paired with a Grüner Veltliner; an Austrian white wine.  Oh, this might not be anything to you other foodies out there, but as a writer who has a character who is Hawaiian and Austrian; it was kind of a dorky-geek moment for me.

Yes, the rest of the meal was fantastic too!   Here are the rest of our shared dishes.

Pork-cheek pot stickers with spicy kimchi sauce.

Hawaiian Hearts of Palm, Hazelnuts, orange, pecorino Romano

Mentaiko Spaghetti, Smoked butterfish, aonori, chili

Mochi-crusted Black Bass, Pole beans, Chinese bacon, fermented black bean

Bruléed Hawaiian Pineapple (With the fruit fresh from the islands!)

And Chocolate Haupia Sundae

What I loved about this meal is I felt comfortable.  A good tasting meal with fantastic customer service and I didn’t feel like a wanna-be even once. 

I'm the girl who takes pictures of her friggen food now. &nbsp;Great!

I'm the girl who takes pictures of her friggen food now.  Great!

Copyright © 2016 - 2018 Diana Rose Wilson