A K-Beauty skincare product review: This one is a game changer, I mean it!

CC CREAMI admit I’ve never written a blog post ever that is a review for a skincare product even though I’ve spent most of my adult life searching for skin care that actually promotes a visible improvement in the appearance and texture of my skin. I am moved to write this review for a couple of reasons. One, because now more than ever is a time to celebrate and highlight Asian-owned businesses and to recognize the incredible contributions to our society by Asian people and Asian-Americans; two, because I have found something truly good and which has helped me and it’s always important to share that so other people might find and benefit from it.

Several years ago, life led me to an AMAZING line of K-Beauty skin care products, all of which I use but one of which I will highlight today because I use it the most frequently. The line is called CURECODE and is what I would call a “game changer” dermaceutical because it produces a quantifiable improvement in the skin of a much deeper breadth and depth of products usually launched for skin care. There are formulas in this product you will not find anywhere else and which actually delve into the cause of the skin’s dryness when used regularly, rather than treating the symptoms temporarily. I have been using CURECODE since 2019 (I’ve lost track of the amount of time precisely). I have been a devotee of this company’s products since 2015 and have found various ones better for different needs, but I will get to that in the review.

First to explain how I came to be using CURECODE, since I’m not a beauty blogger known for product reviews and want to give a complete pitcure of why I am soooo enthusiastic about CURECODE. (This explanation will include a review of another of the company’s products from another line as well, just do you don’t get confused.)

ATOPALM MLESince my thirties (I am almost 52) I had been on the search for a face cream that would keep my skin always looking like it did when I was in my 20s. Okay, that is NOT a realistic goal, but it is realistic that a truly effective skin cream can make visible and quantifiable improvements to the skin. Little did I know what the near future had in store for me. In early 2016my path led me to read about a formula made by a K-Beauty company out of South Korea called ATOPALM MLE. Multi-Lamellar emulsion, which is effectively a bio-identical skin barrier that actually tricks the damaged skin barrier into absorbing it as part of the skin barrier itself, resulting in repair that enables dry and sensitive skin to draw in larger amounts of hydration and hold it in as effectively as strong healthy skin would be able to do. Sounds like a huge claim? It is NOT.

I asked the company for a sample of the ATOPALM MLE Intensive Moisturizing Cream and used it for several weeks on my face and neck. At first I didn’t notice a difference, then I noticed a large red splotch I’d had on the side of my neck for a few years began to shrink. I became a devoted customer of this cream and have been buying it ever since.

me holding CCIn the meantime, however, the company was working on developing new lines that could help with various skin challenges at different intensity levels. Hence, the emergence of CURECODE in late 2018. CURECODE contains the MLE but it also boasts a new patented formula called NEUROMIDE which (bear with the science here a moment), is a bio-identical agonist of the part of the gut microbiome that is connected to calming inflammation in the skin. In other words, when applied to the skin, the formula is designed to spark off the skin’s own endocannabinoid system in the skin barrier and stimulate healing. Another lofty claim? Again: IT WORKS.

I asked for samples to try the CURECODE Double Barrier Cream and used it for a few weeks. I loved the creamy yet non-greasy texture and when I had dry areas of the skin, it relieved the dryness.

However, I was lax about applying it to my hands. Dumb me, because I could have benefited much sooner. For most of my adult life, I have had scar tissue around the cuticle areas of my thumbs, a combination of too much cuticle clipping in my 20s, dry skin that peeled off and I would peel it off until it was sore, as well as writing with pens for many years in the days before I used word processors and typewriters and had dry calluses. It was nasty. I used hand cream intermittently but couldn’t ever heal the thumb areas. Sadly, I cannot find the BEFORE photos I took of my thumbs back when I was trying to heal them.

All I have now are recent AFTER photos when I realized that using the CURECODE Double Barrier Cream each night before bed and covering the troubled area with a bandaid for a couple of weeks was actually helping the skin become normal again.

Here are my thumbs healed:

right thumb

left thumb

left thumb

CURECODE Double Barrier Cream is THE best hand cream I have found overall. I’m continuing to apply a generous dollop each night and rubbing it into my hands to keep them healed and hydrated. As I’ve gotten older, my skin has gotten more sensitive and dryer and the CURECODE Double Barrier Cream is the cream I’m settling on for the long haul. Now I’ve found what works, I don’t need to keep searching.

Just as a note: I still use the ATOPALM MLE Intensive Moisture Cream for my face every day and I’m thrilled with how it keeps the redness out of my skin and the skin barrier stays soft. I am prone to rosacea but don’t need to worry about it emerging because the MLE formula in the cream keeps the skin barrier strong and healthy. I’m not big into selfies but in the spirit of full disclosure and review, here is one. Keep in mind I’m turning 52 next month so I consider this skin at my age to be much much better and softer-looking than I could have hoped for.

my skin I am showing the side that had the big red splotch in the curve of my neck and it is a small dot that continues to fade. I use the cream religiously since I first tried it and this is the overall improvement and effect. It is money well spent and truthfully, the prices are very budget friendly, considering you are getting dermaceutical-level products. I am done with any of the others I’ve tried, I kid you not. If you looked in my bathroom medicine cabinet, you wouldn’t find I’ve bought any other moisturizers for my skin than the ones I’ve mentioned here.

As a quick disclaimer: I am not being paid to review or endorse CURECODE or ATOPALM. I LOVE these products and want to share the love. Anyone with sensitive skin, very dry skin, skin prone to issues like eczema, atopic dermatitis, etc, I urge you to give these a try. Don’t just use it for a few weeks though. Make your trial a few months to give them time to build the skin barrier back up and then see if you experience why I love them so much.

You can find these and more on the company’s dermartology.com website.

Take care! Sedonia

An Open Letter to Trump Supporters in the Face of My Father’s Passing from COVID-19

DadDear Trump Supporters,
Yesterday, April 27 at 10:11 a.m., my father passed away from complications of COVID-19. He is one of the many who have died alone in a hospital bed with no one he loved close by. He was my dad. I loved him. He, like you, voted for the current president, Donald J. Trump, and followed him the way you do, taking the words that come out of his mouth as fact and transcendent truth, in the face of all contradictory evidence.

Like you, he believed COVID-19 was fake news, a hoax cooked up by Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats to try and ruin his presidency when impeachment failed. Like you, he was quelled by the president’s assurances that the virus would weaken and be gone by spring, that more people would commit suicide because of quarantine than by the virus, that everyone who wanted a test could get one, and on March 2, 2020, that pharmaceutical companies are “to have vaccines, I think, relatively soon.” Trump dismissed the urgent need for self-quarantine as soon as possible when he could easily have urged every citizen of the nation to quarantine and practice social distancing to help people save their own lives and the lives of those they love and of their communities. Because his words, attitudes and actions are your guide, my dad, like so so many of you, refused to quarantine in the crucial weeks that COVID-19 cases began infiltrating the US.

On March 20, I received a distressed call from my sister. “You won’t believe the conversation I just had with Dad. I called him and he was in Peter Pan Diner, having lunch! I said, Dad, you shouldn’t be in there. You don’t know who’s preparing the food or who sat at the table before you. They could be infected. His answer was, ‘It’s clean in here.’” Two weeks later, he was admitted to the hospital after growing weak and disoriented and then, testing positive for Covid-19. Now he is gone.

I have to say, I do not understand your mentality. I watch on the news how so many of you claim to be pro-life, even going so far as to protest abortion clinics. Yet, now, at a time when trying to preserve human life is crucial, you refuse to take the measures that would help prevent a life-destroying virus from spreading and killing untold numbers of people. Worse, there are those among you who are actually protesting the safety measures taken by state governments to slow the spread of the virus while they work on getting tests and, hopefully, a vaccine.
Do you really believe that somehow you who love and support Donald Trump are magically immune to the virus? Obviously that isn’t true. My father completely agreed with you that Donald Trump should be our president and supported him unfailingly and unquestioningly and now he is gone. He left behind people who loved him and now mourn him after not having had a chance to see him one last time and to be near him. There will be no memorial service because those of us left behind are doing what we can to protect our health and the health of those around us. It is our duty as human beings, to each other. It is what is decent and right and true. Apparently, you don’t feel this way and people who may not have gotten sick, are sick and dying from this pandemic.

Of course, everyone dies at some point. Death is a fixture of our existence and we all must face this passage. However, these past few weeks of my father’s deterioration chronicled only in phone conversations with a doctor and one video call in which I got to say good bye before his consciousness had waned to the point he couldn’t see me, have driven home the heartlessness of those who refuse to practice social distancing and self-quarantining. The heartlessness of those who protest the crucial safety measures in place with guns on the steps of government buildings. There are actual people affected by your attitudes and the actions resulting from those attitudes. People who are losing loved ones because they believe in someone whose words claim to have their interests and safety at heart but who, in the clinch, did not tell those he knows would have listened to him to get inside and social distance.

In all honesty, I don’t expect you to be moved by this letter or to change your viewpoints. I am not so naive. I am too well-versed in what it is like to have a family member who voted for Trump and I understand there is nothing anyone can say that elicits any other response than angry defensiveness of obvious stupidity. However, in the face of these facts, at least you can’t insist that somehow believing in Trump will magically protect you from the pandemic. This letter is a way of my processing my grief and utter frustration at the situation, not only my own frustration but that of so many who have protected themselves and the ones they love from the get go, as well as that of people in the same situation as myself: a loved one ill and dying in a hospital bed and unable to be near them and say good bye. If someone reads this letter and does have a spark of, “hey maybe I’m wrong and what I’m doing is hurting people and possibly causing people to get infected,” great. But I will not hold my breath. I will just continue to process this great loss and mourn someone who, while I totally disagreed with everything he stood for politically, was my dad and whom I loved and will miss.

I thought I was writing M/M Romance – turns out I…wasn’t?

HisBeautifulSamurai24Since 2006 when I wrote what I thought was my first M/M Romance, Danny’s Dragon, I believed I was, as an author, becoming part of a genre that would speak to women who loved reading about men falling in love as well as gay men who would want to read the same thing. I was quickly disillusioned.

I shortly learned that M/M Romance, having emerged from slash fiction was not truly considered part of gay fiction because M/M Romance is about fantasy pairings of men and not concerned with the issues and real emotions and sexuality of real gay men. Understood. M/M Romance obviously emphasizes fantasy (as it does in het romance. I have read a bunch of both and the feelings elicited in me as the reader are nearly identical, hence my inner measuring stick for what qualifies as romance regardless of the gender of the pairing involved). What I wasn’t aware of as time passed were the heated debates, or what seems like at times, the war between M/M Romance authors (overwhelmingly women) and gay male authors who were for the most part, being clearly alienated and discounted, judging by many of the responses to their expressed distress.

Initially, when I heard about these conflicts, I thought to myself, ‘well, romance readers are largely women and romance writers are largely women. The romance book industry always pulls in the largest sector of book sales each fiscal year so it makes sense. One has nothing to do with the other.’ But one day I thought to myself, ‘how would I feel if there were a group of non-Jewish authors writing very successful books about Jewish people, making those Jewish characters unrealistic or factually wrong and then if I spoke up about it, getting told to shut up and that it’s none of my business even though I’m Jewish? Hello!’ I would be so upset and feel that something very wrong was being done.

I only heard peripherally about all this heated debate. It was like being in another country which is quiet and mostly deserted while turbulence rages somewhere else, unheard and seen. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t know about what was happening. I was an M/M Romance author after all. Wasn’t I one of the writers who was exploiting gay men to make money? I looked a lot at this question and years later I’m still not sure of this answer. I didn’t set out to exploit anyone. I set out to write the stories that were burgeoning in my heart. The fact that my books have always had a small devoted following made up almost equally of men and women that I was aware of made me question that possibility. I continued on writing what I write, the stories that were organically inside me to express, thinking, I’m just a sleeper M/M Romance author. After all, my books had happy endings, plenty of love scenes and emphasized the developing relationship between the two love interests, even if droves of M/M Romance readers didn’t find them interesting.

Then, after all this time, a few days ago, I had a revelatory experience. I had a conversation with a gay male colleague who has always been an ally of my work. He told me that my work doesn’t fit into any category and that one of the things he loves about the romantic pairings in my books is that one of the men is softer and yielding to the other man but the other man is also tender and caring, and that this dynamic speaks to something he craves in a gay romance.

Wow! His words made a huge light go off. I have actually been reeling ever since. I began to Google the term: gay fiction vs. M/M Romance and found other colleagues’ well-read blog entries about the distinctions between m/m and gay fiction, all addressing the issue with intelligence, thoughtfulness and clarity. I absorbed what I was reading and although as an author and then as an author-turned-publisher wherein I had to define genres in order to list titles on my publishing sites I had already figured out many of the technicalities of genre, I just had not been able to apply them to my own work. The writers’ explanations were helping me clarify the content of my own writing after what has been years of staggering around in the dark. It was no wonder I hadn’t been aware of the genre conflicts going on because I was floating around, far from even the periphery, not fitting in anywhere.

I am still trying to work out where my books fit in in all this. The men who’ve read my work have always praised it, much to my delight. While there is always HEA or HFN in my stories, I was never told the men in my books were unrealistic. I have never been able to portray men with that that world at their feet kind of confidence, doing and saying things that real guys wouldn’t do and say. They don’t vie for dominance, which is one of the characteristics I’ve learned is common in M/M Romance. I like them to be sensitive and protective. I like them to have some neuroses here and there left over from childhood experiences that they learn to find healing for with the man who is their love interest. Sometimes they say the wrong thing or act like a jerk and have to apologize. Some of them are vegetarian, more than one has taken in a stray animal. Which perhaps the characters in many other authors’ books have done. I’m not judging. I haven’t read enough of them to make that determination. I’m just trying to figure out where my books fit on the spectrum. I have tried to begin writing the business billionaire mogul type character in an Armani suit kind of story but I can never get more than a couple thousand words in before I am delving into his deep psychological past and making him other than a jet-setter in the corporate world I personally despise and then focus on his personal development and the mutually healing interactions with his growing love interest. But because there is always a Happy-Ever-After of Happy-For-Now and the characters, once they meet and begin to fall in love, only ever have sex with each other, which is not always the case in real-life relationships, my work can’t really qualify as “gay fiction.”

So… I write romances between men that don’t really seem to be the kind of M/M Romance that is wildly popular. I don’t write gay fiction that expresses the concerns and issues of gay men today with the exception of a character having come from a homophobic family and having to work through the fallout of that upbringing. And I don’t write what could be considered slash fiction or yaoi-inspired fiction, although that latter category is another one I fancied I was writing and realized I was wrong. Setting a gay romantic story in Japan and having Asian characters does not automatically make a story yaoi. Hello again!

So what genre is it? I thought of a possibility. Perhaps “gay romantic fiction” would be the name that encapsulates my books (and the work of other authors as well). Stories wherein the main focus is on the developing romance between the two heroes within the broader context of solving a murder mystery or some such plot arc, but also contains more emphasis on character study and personal growth and at times, spiritual consciousness?

Yes, perhaps “gay romantic fiction” would be a more accurate moniker? No doubt there are other authors (some of whom I know personally) whose work fits more into a genre of this name. What do you think?

Thanks for reading! Best, Sedonia

Pre-order She Belongs To Them Both (Werewolf/Paranormal MFM)

I’m so excited that She Belongs To Them Both is now available for pre-order at Amazon! It releases from Ai Press on March 24 but can be pre-ordered today. Following is a blurb and excerpt. Hope you will want to check it out. Warmly, Sedonia
200x300 (1)She Belongs to Them Both
Sedonia Guillone
Genre: Menage; M/F/M; Paranormal; Shapeshifters; Werewolves
Imprint: Ai Press
Length: Super novel
Price: 2.99 USD

Pre-order from Amazon Kindle

Cover art: Louca Matheo

Two werewolves are her chosen mates for life!

A paranormal romance that will take you from Boston’s legendary Chinatown to Beijing to the plains of Tibet…

Since he was bitten three years ago on the plains of Tibet, Jie Sing has fought back the ravening beast inside him. His attempts are unsuccessful until the stars lead him to the woman destined to be his mate, half a world away in Boston’s Chinatown. Fighting a deadly rival to keep her, Jie finds that in Megan’s arms, their passion keeps the beast at bay. Then Jie receives an urgent call summoning him back to China. Jie’s ex-wife in Beijing has accused Jie of attacking her in the street and had him arrested. But that’s impossible, seeing as he’s in America with Meg! Who is this “twin”—and why does Meg need to make love to both of them?

Publisher’s note: This book was previously published at Ellora’s Cave Publishing under the title, Kiss of the Werewolves.


Only then did she become aware again of their surroundings. The motors hummed and vibrated through the small space, reminding her they were in the plane lavatory. She couldn’t help smiling to herself. Before Jie, something this wonderful, this erotic would never have happened to her.

Finally, when they were rested, they maneuvered in the tiny space, worked around each other to do up their clothing. Once dressed, Jie took her in his arms again and nuzzled her hair. “Now,” he said softly, “we should both try to get some sleep.” His hand slipped into her hair, cradling her head. “As soon as we get to the hotel and settle in, I have to contact Su Lin.”

Meg sighed. “I know.” She wished she could just enjoy the languorous aftermath of their lovemaking without the specter of meeting Jie’s ex-wife hovering. She was tempted to ask Jie to just let it go, not to bother defending himself. But she knew how guilty he felt and how important it was that he was cleared of Su Lin’s accusation.

She let her thoughts wander to the stranger whom Su Lin thought was Jie. A strange tingle shimmered down her spine. Who was this man who looked so much like Jie that Su Lin thought he was her ex-husband? As a woman, she felt she would know Jie anywhere, even if he’d changed physically and she hadn’t seen him in a long time. She had taken Jie into her body and heart. He was imprinted on her very soul, as no doubt, he was on Su Lin’s. That thought made jealousy simmer deep in her gut, relieved only by Jie’s tender adoration.

Jealousy aside, the truth remained. There was something strange going on—though it couldn’t possibly be more bizarre than the fact that the man she loved changed from a man into a wolf-like beast at every full moon. They would obviously have to see this mysterious stranger and Jie would need to identify him while they were in Beijing in order to prove to Su Lin and to the authorities that he had been in the United States at the time of the stranger’s arrest.

“What are you thinking, Meg?” Jie’s gentle tenor cut through her musings.

She looked at him. Guilt snaked through her for all her private thoughts. She searched her heart for the words she really wanted to say. Now was no time to express fear and jealousy. “I was thinking how much I want everything to work out.”

He rested his hands on her shoulders and nodded. “Me too,” he murmured.

Jie left the lavatory first and she followed him after washing her face and smoothing and repinning her mussed hair. Then she went out and took her seat next to Jie, trying to get some rest with her hand laced in his.

Pre-order from Amazon Kindle

Acts of Passion redux is now out there :)

Acts of Passion (A Jack Cade/Michael di Santo Novel of Suspense)
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Genre: LGBT; Gay Romance; Mystery and Detective; Romantic Suspense
Length: Novel
eISBN: 978-1-937796-13-6
Price: 2.99 USD
Print: ISBN13: 978-1523246526|Price: 10.99 USD

Buy from Amazon|BN Nook|Kobo|Google Play|AllRomance Ebooks

When a man is found in his apartment, appearing to have committed hara kiri with a samurai sword, Boston Homicide Detective Jack Cade suspects more is going on than what it appears. The department’s criminal profiler has left and a new guy is taking his place. At first, Cade is skeptical of Dr. Michael Di Santo. Di Santo seems so absent-minded and too neurotic to be effective. But he is brilliant and hot and Cade finds himself falling hard and fast, both in lust and in love. The attraction is mutual, although Michael’s past demons haunt him, keeping him from getting too close. Together, they begin to unravel Michael’s emotional knots even as they close in on a killer, another brilliant, wily person whose sights are now set on Michael.

Publisher’s note: This title was previously published at Ellora’s Cave. It now contains a previously deleted scene for reprint with Ai Press.


Studying the front area of the building, he wandered down the flower box lined stone walk of the apartment building and turned to face it. Crime lab workers and patrol officers moved around on either side of the yellow crime tape, keeping the building cordoned off until Jack gave instructions to clear out and retain only the apartment as the crime scene.

Jack stepped aside to let someone go past him and bump! Smacked into something.

He turned. “Excuse me, I’m—” Or rather, he’d bumped into someone.

The man was adjusting the glasses Jack had apparently knocked off his face. “You’re in a crime scene,” Jack said.

“Yes, I know.” Almond-shaped brown eyes seemed to study Jack from behind round lenses. He looked Asian, yet sort of…not Asian at the same time. His dark brown hair was styled in a conventional way, parted on the side in short layers. The crumpled navy suit he wore, complete with diagonally striped tie against a light blue dress shirt made him appear as if his mother had dressed him for a spelling bee at school even though he was probably about Jack’s age. Forty.

Jack blinked. He was taking absolutely too long to find out who this man was. Then light dawned. Of course. “Dr. Di Santo?”

“Detective Cade?”

“That’s me. Hope I didn’t break your glasses.”

Di Santo touched them on each side as if to check. “No, they’re fine.”

Jack watched the man’s hands as he gingerly adjusted the frames. Nicely shaped fingers. Clean, trimmed nails. “Sorry I bumped you that way.”

“No problem.” Di Santo cleared his throat. “I hope I can be of help to you.”

Jack started. “Me too. This way.” He led Di Santo into the building and up to the apartment. “As I told you on the phone, I’m not so sure this was a suicide.” He let Di Santo precede him into the apartment and followed him, observing the way the slim man took in the surroundings on his way over to the victim.

Jack explained his suspicions and then let the man work. For what seemed a long time, Di Santo wandered about then stood in the center of the room, his gaze on the coffee table. His hand disappeared into his jacket pocket and pulled something out, which he popped into his mouth.

Jack watched him. Watched the man’s cheek bulge on the side while he sucked on whatever it was in his mouth, his gaze intent on the coffee table and victim. He then approached Jack and Jack heard the click of hard candy against the guy’s teeth. Finally Di Santo turned and knelt by the body.

Jack saw the professor’s eyes widen, especially on the hilt of the knife. “What is it?”

Di Santo seemed to ignore his question, staring at the knife. “Were his hands on the hilt of the knife or over his face when you found him?”

“Over his face.”

“Okay. Please open the robe so I can see the wound,” he said to Murphy.

Murphy did as he asked and Di Santo gazed for what seemed five straight minutes at the vicious cross-shaped cut in the centre of the wound.

“Jumonji giri,” he said, nearly in a whisper.

“What?” Jack looked between the knife wound and Di Santo.

The hot-yet-nerdy man was still staring down, seeming to ignore him. The candy in his mouth clicked several times against his teeth.

“Dr. Di Santo?”

Michael Di Santo looked up, his eyes seemingly far away yet intent at the same time. “What kind of movies did this man watch?”

Cover art: Louca Matheo
Jacket design: Les Byerley

Need a Ghostwriter? 5 Essential and Compelling Elements that my Ghostwriting Will Bring to Your Story

SedoniaAuthorPicPerhaps you have a fabulous story idea. You have a cast of characters in mind and a fascinating world in which to bring them alive, but you just don’t have the hours it takes to craft a book because you are running a business or taking care of your family, or anything that is taking your time away from writing. Or, you don’t feel that the actual writing is your strength. That is where a ghostwriter comes in. A ghostwriter can fill that gap for you because writing is what he or she does. A good ghostwriter can take your ideas and your characters and build them into a compelling, wonderful story that you will be proud and excited to give to the world.

What, exactly, as your ghostwriter, is my role in bringing your ideas and characters to life the way you envision them?

1. The first important ingredient is simple: the same loving, heartfelt dedication that I give to my own stories when I craft them. When you present me with whatever materials you have amassed so far, whether you have a simple story outline and character profiles or you have a paragraph presenting your basic story idea, I enter into your world. Your characters become as important to me as they are to you and I spend time with them in my imagination. I take whatever you have told me so far about them and begin the process of fleshing them out. You want your characters to be compelling. Perhaps they have a dark secret, a torment that drives them to do the things they do. You want your readers to become intimate with them, whether the character is good or evil, to care about what happens to them. If they love a character, they will want to see that character complete his or her goals, to end up with his/her soulmate, etc. If the character is an antagonist, my goal is to make them sufficiently hate-able that your readers will root for their ultimate defeat.

2. Believable and fascinating world-building. Perhaps you have already constructed a profile of the world in which your story takes place, or you have the basic idea of the world you envision. If your story is paranormal, perhaps with vampires or shapeshifters, ghosts or psychic abilities, then watertight world-building is absolutely essential. Whatever world your story takes place in, the world needs a set of hard and fast rules in which it operates. If you’ve watched Star Trek, then you have a sense of what I mean. Nothing random can happen there. There is a prime directive that all startships must follow and the different species that they come into contact with also have their own rules that govern their physical beings. As your ghostwriter, it is my job to do the same for your world. If you don’t already have the rules in place, then a large part of what I do is to build them for you, to discover the origins of those rules and work them into your story. For example, say you have vampires in your story, what are the rules governing their hunt for blood? Can they go out in the sun? What is the process by which they “turn” regular mortals, etc. These questions must be asked and answered in order to make your setting the best it can be. Of course, if your story is set in the regular world as we know it, the process is a bit different, but no less important. Your setting must still be brought to life with careful and consistent detail.

3. A story that hits the ground running. Beginning a story can be the one of the most difficult parts of the writing process. However, it is also one of the most important and must be given special consideration. If you think of some of your favorite stories, no doubt, one of the things about them that made you love them was the way they pulled you in from the start, making you want to find out what happens, and unable to put it down until the satisfying conclusion. As your ghostwriter, I must create that opening line for you, that compelling beginning that rouses your readers’ curiosity and keeps them turning the pages. There is a variety of techniques that can be used, for example, opening with your character in the middle of a dream or nightmare that plunges your reader directly into their inner world. Another one could be starting in the middle of an action or intriguing thought of your main character or villain. I will find the possibility that best suits your project.

4. A strong plot that brings your readers on an enjoyable and satisfying ride. After hitting the ground running, you expect your story to keep going at the same compelling speed. Just like watching an Olympic track race where the continuing speed and strategy keeps us on the edges of our seats, your plot will need to have continual tension, introduce new obstacles and carefully-placed sub-plots that deepen your story and invest your reader in your world, maybe even enough to build a series that will keep them coming back for more! Each chapter must end on a hook that will make your reader unable to put the book down. “Five more minutes,” they will say to themselves, “and then I’ll go to sleep.”

5. Toe-curling romance and irresistibly sexy heroes and heroines. If your story is a romance, then the above-mentioned elements are non-negotiable! Character-building is, of course, also a crucial element to writing a great story. Whether your destined for true love characters are a man and a woman, two men or two women, as your ghostwriter, I must strike a careful balance between making the hero and heroine larger than life and flawed enough to be truly human. This combination will make your story jump off the pages. Your readers will fall in love with them too, and root for them to the end, wanting them to overcome all obstacles, inner and outer in order to have true love. If your story includes love scenes, no matter the heat level, the physical love must be a direct manifestation of the growing intimacy and trust between your two love interests. The language used can reflect whatever you prefer: more realistic, gritty language, or softer, sweet terminology. A good ghostwriter can customize this for you. But mo matter what language you use, you want your readers to sigh with romantic scintillation even while they are fanning themselves.

Of course, if you are in the process of searching for a ghostwriter, you want to feel confident in that writer’s experience and abilities. No doubt, you will want to see the person’s credentials. There are many samples here on my website, but I can provide a sample e-book and detailed resume for you as well when you contact me.

I also have extensive experience in non-fiction writing, particularly copy writing and newspaper articles (My byline has appeared in The Jewish Journal and The Lubec Light). I have compiled the memoirs of A Holocaust survivor into a booklet which is in the archives of the United States Holocaust Musuem in Washington, D.C, and in the Judaica Collection of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL.

Below are a few more distinctions I’ve had the honor to receive for my writing:

~ 2007 – LGBT Romantic Suspense novel, His Beautiful Samurai was used in an online Gay and Lesbian Literature course at Diablo Valley College, San Ramon, CA
~2005 – Novel, Lady of Two Lairds, Finalist, Historical Romance, Passionate Ink Contest, Romance Writer’s Association of America
~2005 – Lady of Two Lairds, finalist, CAPA Awards, Finalist, Historical Romance, The Romance studio
~2008 – LGBT Romance, Men of Tokyo: Sudden Bliss, Finalist, Contemporary Romance, Rainbow Awards
~The Bite Before Christmas, LGBT anthology in circulation of Harvard University library
~Numerous works awarded Recommended Reads from Fallen Angel Reviews, Joyfully Reviewed and Jessewave Reviews.

Let’s discuss your project today! Please contact me either by email: sedonia.guillone@gmail.com, cell: 561-306-2876 or the contact form of my site. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mis libros en español!

Estoy tan feliz de que algunos de mis libros estarán disponibles en español! Señora de Dos Lairds es el primero, ya disponible desde Ai Press y luego, en un futuro próximo, Su Hermosa Samurai (misterio, homoerótica). Sé que ha habido una falta de romances en lengua española y espero poder hacer tantos libros disponibles como sea posible en Ai Press. Aquí está la información sobre Señora de Dos Lairds. Muchas gracias! Sedonia
señoraLairdsLarge23Señora de Dos Lairds
Autor: Sedonia Guillone
Género: Menage a trois / histórico / Highlanders
Largo: Novela
eISBN: 978-1-937796-69-3
Precio: 5.49 USD

Calificación sensualidad: 4 llamas-Las historias tienen escenas de amor frecuentes que son explícitos y se describen utilizando el lenguaje gráfico y directo.

Compra e-book de: Ai Press|Amazon Kindle|AllRomance Ebooks

Arte de la cubierta: Les Byerley

Una mujer. Dos rudos y guapos highlanders. Ella los ama a los dos. Afortunadamente, ellos están dispuestos a compartirla…

Leda MacGregor ha albergado un amor secreto por el apuesto Laird Duncan desde que tenía dieciséis años. Cuando este la culpa de la muerte de su esposa, ella se vuelve hacia su hermano Ian para que este la consuele y encuentra que su corazón es capaz de amar a dos hombres.
Ian MacGregor sabe que su corazón pertenece a Leda, su amiga de la infancia. La desea con más fuerza que a cualquier otra mujer que ha conocido. Sin embargo, se debate entre el deseo de su corazón y el curso que su vida debe tomar. Cuando por fin es libre de amar a Leda, son separados por un cruel engaño.
Duncan MacGregor aprende cuan poderosa es fuerza del perdón de Leda y con el paso del tiempo, crece su amor y la desea de una manera que nunca creyó posible. Cuando su hermano le rompe el corazón, la toma para él. Entonces el destino trae a Ian de regreso, aún amando a Leda…
Una mujer. Dos rudos y guapos highlanders. Ella los ama a los dos. Afortunadamente, ellos están dispuestos a compartirla…


La poderosa presencia de Duncan llenó la habitación. Lo sintió escabullirse tras de ella. Las manos fuertes del Laird se cerraron con suavidad pero con firmeza en sus caderas. El calor de sus manos quemaba por debajo del fino algodón de su camisa de dormir, presionando en su suave carne con fervor posesivo.

El momento había estado anhelando durante años había llegado.

“Phyllida.” El aliento de Duncan acarició un lado de su cuello, haciendo que sus párpados cerrados revolotearan. Se puso de espaldas contra él, deslizando sus manos por sus caderas, a través de la suave redondez, femenina de su vientre. Sus manos se posaron en su pecho, los dedos índices de cada mano rozaban peligrosamente cerca de la parte inferior de sus senos.
Leda se permitió descansar contra él. Se deleitó con la dura protección masculina de su cuerpo presionado su espalda. Duncan la hacía sentir tan segura y cálida. Sus ojos se abrieron cuando la dureza de su erección empujó en la hendidura entre sus nalgas. Su respiración profunda y poso sus manos sobre él, permitiendo que sus dedos exploraran el calor de piel, las venas, y su oscuro cabello rizado de sus fuertes manos. Su aliento, ahora ronco y desigual, latía en sus oídos, convirtiéndose en promesas eróticas. “Duncan, te he fallado. Lo siento mucho.” Ella comenzó a llorar.

“Calla ahora”, le dijo.

En silencio, miró por la ventana abierta a los árboles y al césped. A lo lejos, colinas verdes bajaban por el lago Garmond en los confines de la cañada.

“Mi hermosa Leda”, susurró Duncan. “Te perdono.” El tenor de su ronca voz, más potente que el mejor whisky, envió acaloradas emociones a través de sus pechos, y su corazón le dolía con la liberación de su culpabilidad. Su perdón fue más dulce, más curativo que un bálsamo. Poco a poco, tentativamente, deslizó su palma hacia arriba, por su pecho, a las suaves ondas de sus pechos…

Leda se sentó de golpe, su pecho jadeaba. Hundió la palma de su mano en la frente, recuperándose. Había tenido sueños similares sobre Duncan en los últimos cinco años, y siempre la sacudían. Pero ninguno tan intenso como este.

La húmeda brisa del verano, flotaba por la ventana abierta, levantando suavemente las cortinas de gasa blanca. El temprano rosa de la salida del sol se mostraba por encima de las distantes colinas.

Su sexo seguía pulsándole con la locura del sueño y sus pezones hormigueaban en contra de su camisón. Las sensaciones la llenaban de culpa. A causa de su incompetencia, Duncan había enterrado a su amada Caitlynn y a su hijo muerto el día de hoy, y ella, Phyllida, ni siquiera tenía la decencia de parar sus románticos deseos— no, su lujuria— para el miembro del clan que había amado en secreto durante años. Especialmente cuando fue por su culpa que Caitlynn murió.

Leda exhaló y volvió a caer sobre las almohadas, con el corazón encogido dolorosamente. Empuñó sus manos para que dejaran de temblar. Por enésima vez, repaso todas las posibilidades en su mente, viéndose a sí misma detener el flujo de sangre que había escurrido la vida de Caitlynn. Había empleado hasta la última gota de los conocimientos de partera y de enfermería que su madre le enseñó. Sin embargo, la horrible sensación que podía haber hecho más la atormentaba, como una piedra bajo su piel.

Acomodándose más profundamente en la cama, se quedó mirando la salida del sol. La finca ya se sentía más oscura y sombría, sin Caitlynn, la hermosa mujer que había traído la luz y la risa al sobrecargado laird, lleno de responsabilidades. Cait fue un fuerte contraste a su marido, quien llevaba el peso de sus responsabilidades con un aire pesado. Duncan sorprendió a todos los que conocía durante su corto matrimonio, porque él había pasado esos cinco años llenos de las risas que ahora había perdido.

Ahora Caitlynn se había ido, y Leda tendría que vivir el resto de sus días sabiendo que la había matado.

De repente, Leda recordó que Ian, el hermano menor de Duncan, estaría en casa esa mañana para el funeral. Ella e Ian tenían la misma edad y habían crecido casi toda su vida juntos. La idea de verlo, a su compañero de juegos infantiles y su mejor amigo, fue lo que la hizo sobreponerse y forzarse a sí misma a levantarse de las profundidades de su suave colchón. Calzó sus zapatillas y cruzó la habitación a su guardarropa. Abriendo bien las puertas, pensando en que ponerse. No era que tuviera mucha elección. Había preferido siempre el uniforme de todos los días que era una blusa, pantalón, suéter, y botas, a las faldas y vestidos.

A pesar de su tristeza, Leda sonrió espontáneamente ante los recuerdos que le vinieron a la mente. Caitlynn, que había sido la encarnación de la feminidad, había intentado una y mil veces, sin éxito, romper con su atuendo masculino. A pesar de que Leda se había sentido siempre como una boba junto a la esposa de Duncan, la ropa masculina la había protegido, manteniéndola invisibles a los ojos de los hombres, especialmente de Duncan. Si no la notaba, era mucho más fácil ignorar el hecho de que nunca podría devolver el cariño que guardaba a su tutor. Además, nadie podía montar a caballo, escalar montañas y árboles, y explorar las orillas de un lago en un vestido de té.

Audrey asomó la cabeza por la puerta. “¿Necesita una mano, Señorita Leda?”

Leda sonrió a la mujer, de mediana edad, y que si se preocupa de la condición social. Antes de que su padre se perdiera en el mar, en su barco de pesca, Leda había pasado los primeros años de su vida en una cabaña rústica en las Orkneys, y nunca había sido una criada. Nunca creció acostumbrada realmente a ser atendida. “No lo creo, Audrey. Gracias.”

Audrey frunció el ceño e irrumpió en el cuarto de todos modos. “Yo no le creo, Señorita.” En un soplo de faldas almidonadas, se dirigió a una cómoda y sacó un corsé y medias de color oscuro de un cajón.

Sneak peek at the third in my samurai trilogy

(photo of an onnegata (male kabuki actor in female role) from weheartit.com)

As some of you know I have been working on A Samurai for Aoki the third in my samurai trilogy. (Previous books: Flying Fish and Blind Love. If you’ve read them, then you’ve met the beautiful kabuki actor Aoki who longs to find the samurai who will be his true love. Aoki is a wonderful character, kind and sweet and a good friend to those in his life. But he has not had good fortune in finding the man of his dreams, in spite of how lovable he is and how willing to love.

I realized it was time for Aoki to find his Happy Ever After. And it will come in what is, for him, a most unexpected place. He just has a lesson to learn first that he had no idea he needed to learn. But isn’t this the story of our own lives? Which is what, to me, makes this story universal even though it is set in feudal Japan between a young samurai, Toho, (whom we also first meet as a boy in Blind Love but who is now grown into a handsome young man,) and an onnegata (male kabuki actor who played female roles). I hope you enjoy the snippet I’m posting here. Please bear with me the long time it is taking me to finish the story. Since I also am a publisher, I don’t have as much time to write.) From my work in progress, A Samurai For Aoki (unedited. Final version may differ):

Toho dreamed again about Aoki. It was the same dream he always had. Aoki’s beautiful face with its delicate features smiling down at him. Warmth sparkled in Aoki’s eyes, a gaze full of love and sweetness, dark liquid pools in which Toho felt enveloped, wrapped in safety and unending compassion. Aoki’s long hair curled and flowed, tresses that gleamed like liquid ebony with sunlight glinting off of it. Toho smiled up at him, as Aoki himself were the warm sun, bathing him while he slept. He could feel the teasing brush of Aoki’s hair on his cheeks. Aoki held out his arms, inviting a protective embrace. Aoki’s embrace had always made him feel as if he’d be all right.

Only this time the dream changed. Aoki’s smile faded. Distress filled his pale complexion. Lines ringed his eyes and deepened across his smooth forehead. His reaching arms flailed and he began to fade, as if made of mist. Toho gasped and reached out to him, grasping desperately. He got handfuls of Aoki’s kimono but Aoki slipped from his grasp. The more Toho reached, the more Aoki faded. Until he was gone…

Toho fought for breath. His chest heaved. What he’d thought were Aoki’s sleeves in his tight fists was, in reality, his own bedding. He sat up. Sweat made his kimono cling to his torso and odd tingles coursed over his skin and through his thigh and calf muscles. While the ghostly whispers of the nightmare ebbed away, he raked a shaky hand through his hair. With a long breath he lay back and stared up at the ceiling. The faintest light of dawn stole through the window slats. The brazier had burnt out during the night, allowing hints of the crisp autumn air to cool his sweaty skin.

On the other side of the brazier, his fathers stirred on their futons. He listened, hoping he hadn’t woken them. They worked hard and needed their rest. He’d have been happy to stay in the one of the dojo’s sleeping rooms with his father’s students but neither Hirata nor Sho would allow that. They were fiercely protective.

Toho took another deep breath. Usually he awoke from his dream feeling refreshed, calm and happy. Not today. Something was wrong. Aoki was in trouble. Toho felt it in his bones. Guilt flashed through him as it did several times each. He’d not yet kept his promise to Aoki to return to him. Both his fathers had made him promise to wait until the first day of his eighteenth year. Well, that day was drawing close, but if his nightmare had any truth in it, then he couldn’t wait until then. Aoki might be in trouble…

A shadow loomed over Toho. In the next breath, Sho was kneeling beside him. His father could move as silently as a cat or a ninja.

“Toho, are you unwell?” Sho, who’d been trained in the arts of acupuncture and herbal healing as well as massage, picked up Toho’s wrist. Immediately, Sho’s fingertips pressed into his pulses.

“I’m fine, Father. Just a bad dream.”

Sho nodded and continued his careful listening. When Toho was a child whose parents had been brutally slain before his very eyes, Sho was the one person in whom he’d been able to take refuge. He couldn’t expect Sho simply to give up his protective ways and let go simply because Toho was now a grown man. And yet, he had never quite gotten used to Sho’s razor-sharp perception. There was no keeping any secrets from his father. He listened another moment to Toho’s pulses and then set his hand down. “You dreamed about Aoki-san again?”

Toho sighed. “Yes. But this one was different. It wasn’t good. Something was—“

“Toho, are you all right?” Hirata came over and knelt beside Sho. His dark gaze fell on Toho. Hirata too, fussed over him too much sometimes, but after what Hirata had recently revealed to Toho about his own past, Toho could easily forgive him his over-protectiveness.

“Toho had a nightmare. About Aoki-san.”

Toho sat up. “In my dream nothing really happened but Aoki-san looked so troubled, so frightened. That’s never happened before. Maybe he needs me to go to him. I did promise I would return to him. And…” Toho hesitated before finishing. “I’ve missed him so badly.” When he looked up, both his fathers brows were furrowed, as if Sho and Hirata knew at once what he would say next. “Please, let me go to him. Let me keep my promise.”
Sho and Hirata were both silent. Toho felt their tension in the very air and his heart sped up. “We’ll go with you,” Sho said.

Toho felt a wave of shame, something he hadn’t expected. For some reason, he’d always assumed that when he returned to Aoki, he would do so as a proud samurai, not the damaged peasant boy he’d been when he and Aoki had parted. How could he do that with his two father, both accomplished swordsmen, surrounding him? “But, Father, how can I ever prove myself to you if you are always protecting me?”

Finally Sho cleared his throat. “You expected to make this journey alone? If it’s about keeping your promise to Aoki then what does it matter if we’re with you?”

“And since when would you need to prove yourself to either of us, Toho?” Hirata said. “You’re our precious son.”

Toho bowed his head again. The cool air in the room had dried his sweat and he pulled his kimono tighter, squaring his shoulders. “I want Aoki to…be proud of me.”

“I have no doubt Aoki would be proud of you if you showed yourself with us beside you,” Sho said. “Just to set eyes on you again and see what a fine young man you’ve grown to be would fill him with joy.”

Toho felt his back muscles clench. Both his fathers had proven their strength and merit as swordsmen and as human beings. Why did they insist on depriving him of his chance? “But Aoki adores samurai. Even as a child I noticed his preference, we spent so much time together.” Toho even remembered the little alcove at the entrance of Aoki’s home, across from the tokonoma, the altar that held the statue of the Buddha, where a weapons rack provided storage for the weapons of samurai who came to call on Aoki. Samurai loved kabuki actors, especially Aoki, who was exceptionally beautiful and graceful.

“Aoki loved you before you were ever a samurai,” Sho said, his voice tight. “Before Hirata ever adopted you, you were Aoki’s special boy.”

“Sho-chan,” Hirata said, his hand on his partner’s shoulder, “In all fairness to Toho, I do understand what he’s saying. I can understand how Toho would wish to prove himself. After such a prolonged absence, he’s worried that Aoki will hold him to a new standard.”

The furrow in Sho’s brow deepened. “And what indications has Aoki given in his letters of such a change in attitude? Every time he’s corresponded with us he sends only love and well wishes and hope we’ll all see each other again before too long.”

Toho looked down. He had no answer. Sho was right, of course. Aoki had never expressed anything to him except complete love and acceptance. It was himself who’d changed. As he grew older and his body became a man’s body, he’d noticed the change in his thinking and feeling. He was no longer that little boy Aoki had loved and helped to heal. That’s the person Aoki loved. The beautiful graceful man he looked up to as a motherly big sister had never met Toho the samurai.

“Toho.” Sho broke the silence. “Please, understand my position. No matter how old you are, how skilled you are, you’re my little boy. I’m not a samurai. I don’t think as a samurai. You don’t prove your worth as a human being by living the laws of Bushido.” Sho sighed, his brow deeply furrowed. “You’re asking me to let go. To let you go…to let you…grow up.”

His father’s words moved Toho to rise and go over to him. He knelt down by Sho who immediately covered Toho’s hands with his. “I’m sorry, Father.”

Sho pulled him into an embrace. The bond between them had formed the moment Sho had first come to treat Toho. In the wake of Toho’s parents’ murders, Toho had lain on a mat in his uncle’s tiny hut, staring up at the ceiling, paralyzed by the trauma of what he’d witnessed. Sho had been the first person he’d looked at, spoken to, trusted when he’d come back to life. He knew that Sho would keep him by his side the rest of their days if he could. When Sho finally ended the embrace he sighed again. “All right. But I expect you to post a message to me every few days, to let me know what’s happening and that you’re all right. Promise me.”

“I promise, Father. Thank you.”

YGG Magazine cover time! Whee!

You can imagine my absolute ecstasy when Yaoi A GoGo (YGG) Magazine approached me to have Ai Press featured in their main article for the next issue! Moreover, our book covers would be pasted all over the front cover of this premier magazine for fans of the yaoi genre of M/M romance.

So I just wanted to share the excitement, which got even better. I didn’t know that Soy Sauce Face (one of the personal faves I’ve written, also got an incredibly beautiful review. The reviewr gave it basically a 5/5 stars and she said if she could, she would give the sex scene 8/5. I am floating, needless to say.

There are other cool things in this issue. It features Ai Press (of course that’s me), Ahn! Con, great fiction by upcoming authors and Gorgeous Cosplay Master, Alfred Xiaolay!

I have to admit I really didn’t know anything about cosplay until recently. I’d heard of it but I didn’t know that there are people who really can make themselves look exactly like the characters in our favorite mangas. Truly amazing!

Oh before I forget! To celebrate this wonderful happening, there is a 30% off sale ALL titles at Ai Press. Coupon code is YGG at checkout.

Anyway, thank you so much for letting me share. I hope you will check out the article and the magazine and maybe

Guest super model Darell Ferhostan!

I’m so excited and honored to feature the elegantly beautiful Darell Ferhostan on my blog today! I first stumbled across some of Darell’s modeling photos on another blog and was immediately transfixed. As you know, we romance authors are always hoping to find real life people who fit the beauty, grace and intelligence of the characters we write and he absolutely does that! I recently worked up the courage to approach Darell and ask if he would be a guest on my blog. To my joy he said yes. :) Darell has appeared in Elle and Rolling Stone magazines and has recently graced the runways of Elle and Vogue fashion weeks in Bangkok. I know he is so busy so I only asked a few questions that would let us get to know him a little bit.
Some basic facts about Darell:
age: 21
where from: Indonesia
favorite foods : grilled tuna or salmon

Sedonia: Could you please share with us how the path of your life led you to modeling?
Darell: A stylist found me on Facebook and asked me to do a test shoot. After that he sent my photos to an agency and i got a contract with them.

Sedonia: If you were to write your autobiography, what would be the wisdom you would want to impart to anyone who read it about your experiences?
Darell: Everyone is different. Don’t try to be someone else because you are special. There is something that we can’t do like others can do, but there is something for sure we can do that others can’t do. Believe in yourself first, and others will believe in you.

Sedonia: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not modeling?
Darell: Traveling, making new friends, test new food, learning about new culture, and learning about different art from each country because i really love art.

Sedonia: Do you have a philosophy of life that you endeavor to live by and would you mind sharing it?
Darell: Don’t ever let anyone take your dream from your soul.

Thank you so much, Darell!

(All photos posted with permission from Darell Ferhostan)