Friday, May 28, 2010

Congrats, Johnny

Hey, it's me, Selena. Just wanted to say felicitaciones and high-five to Johnny for finishing the book that features me as the protagonist. Well, a fictionalized version of me. I know as well as he does that there's the laborious editing process to come with changes to be made and all that, but it's still a happy occasion to get that first draft completed, printed out, and in your hands. So we're going out tonight for Margaritas and steak fajitas to celebrate (with his lovely wife Virginia, of course). Thought I'd dress up for the occasion and wear the Stuart Weitzman peepsling heels in Adobe Serpent he got for me to say thank you for helping with VIPER.

He's been bugging me about my father's career with PEMEX and my undercover work in Mexico years ago because he's already thinking of the next book. He has to - the ending of VIPER is such a shock that it begs to go on. Looks like he's stuck with me for another year or two.

The poor fish.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Finished draft of VIPER

Yesterday I wrote those wonderful and frightening words, THE END. The first full draft of VIPER is done. This sequel to BLEEDER features a minor character from BLEEDER as the protagonist, Latina insurance agent Selena De La Cruz.

I pushed very hard these past two weeks, since Commencement at my college, hoping to deliver a draft to my editor by the end of May as I'd promised. So it is ready, a few days early. I've sent a copy to my Latina reader who checks the ms for cultural accuracy and sensitivity, correctness in the Spanish (she's a professional translator), and to provide general feedback. So far she likes it and says I'm getting the Latina stuff right.

The editor suggested that we might be able to do all the editing, rewriting and designing over summer and aim for a Christmas release. So here's hoping.

The draft came in at 60,000 words, 311 pages, a bit shy of what I'd hoped for (65-70K, 320-350 pages). But this happened with BLEEDER, too, and I'm not too concerned about it.

So now I'm thinking ahead about promotion - well, only a little - but I don't want to count too many chickens before they hatch, as it were. I have plenty of promotional chores for BLEEDER at the moment to keep me busy, too.
For now, I'll mix a Margarita (Selena likes them) and relax a little.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Catholic Writers of Long Island conference

Catholic Writers of Long Island: Growing Together Spiritually, Artistically and Professionally
CONTACT: Lisa Mladinich 631-421-6119
For Immediate Release

Charitable Event Launches New York Writers' Group

Huntington, NY-Catholic Writers of Long Island, which is poised to become the first local chapter of the Catholic Writers' Guild, will hold a full-day conference at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, 440 West Neck Road, Huntington, New York, on Saturday, June 19th, 2010 from 9:30-4:30pm, entitled, "The Word Made Flesh: A Day of Encouragement and Enrichment for Catholic Writers." Signed copies of good Catholic books, theater tickets, and other valuable prizes will be raffled off and proceeds will benefit Catholic Relief Services, which is a 501[c]3 organization. All are welcome, including nursing mothers with their babies.The event's keynote speaker, Rick Hinshaw, editor of the Long Island Catholic, will receive the Catholic Writers' Guild's "Lily" award for Meritorious Achievement in Catholic Arts and Letters. Other speakers include: award-winning author and publisher, Josephine Nobisso; author and composer, Alexander J. Basile; retreat leader and host of "Among Women" podcast, Pat Gohn; and author and seminary rector, Msgr. Peter Vaccari. Msgr. Charles Fink, Director of Spiritual Formation for the seminary, will be the homilist.The event emphasizes connectedness in the Body of Christ and supports professional networking via breaks with refreshments and a special bonus; early-birds will have bios and contact information listed in ¼-page sections in the program, an added value worth $15. Mass, Rosary, and buffet lunch included. Tickets before June 1st: $25 for adult early-birds and $17 for student early-birds. From June 1st-June 15th, tickets: $35 for adults and $25 for students. Meal head-count closes June 15th.

Register at: and click on the "Catholic Writers of Long Island" link in the left sidebar under "Important Links." Add your 100-word [max] bio in the "comments" section, or mail check and typed bio to: mater et magistra, P.O. Box 251, Hamlin, PA 18427 and put "LI Writers" in notes section.

To learn more, see Facebook page for "Catholic Writers of Long Island" or contact chapter president, Lisa Mladinich, at

Friday, May 14, 2010

Selena's ride

If anyone wants to hear Selena's car, they should visit, scroll to the bottom, and click the mp3 button. That's her car.

Monday, May 10, 2010 review of Throne of Tara

"Desjarlais has carefully researched the history of this saint and vividly brought him and his world to life. An easy and interesting read. Great chance to learn some little-known Church history in a way that is as entertaining as it is educational. " reviewer, April 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Here's the RELICS video trailer to accompany amazon review I just posted.

RELICS review


I love stories of castles and knights, but there is so little good stuff written about this part of our history. Desjarlais is a master of historical fiction--weaving vivid descriptions of the food, clothes, beliefs, politics and habits of the time into a story that grabs hold of your imagination and doesn't let go! For the guys, there's plenty of swordplay, action and intrigue. For the girls, there's romance and uncertainty. I never knew what a key role the collection and preservation of relics played in the history of the Catholic religion. It's also great to get into the mind of someone who might have lived in that time period and see how similar their dreams and struggles were to our own. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about the days of the Crusades and doesn't mind learning a thing or two in the process!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

June Book Signings

So these are a month away but maybe it's worth announcing now. I'll be at the following venues in June:

June 5, Saturday, 2-5 PM, Barnes & Noble
2498 S. Oneida St., Green Bay, WI 54304

June 12, Saturday, 1-5 pm, Barnes & Noble, Oakland Place Shopping Center

2439 Sycamore Road, Dekalb, IL 60115(815) 787-3234

June 26, Saturday, all day (probably 9 am to 6 or 7 pm?), Creekside Books

(part of the town Strawberry Festival)

W62N596 Washington Ave., Cedarburg, WI 53012

contact: Glen Switalski, (262) 546-0004