Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

Well, I'm looking forward to seeing our Kindle account. I don't think I'll ever need to buy another book as long as I live, thanks to you.

I had lunch today with Clark and we discussed your upcoming release of Lady Bea and the unfortunate need to publicize. I also told him about that recent author meltdown with all the fun loving drama on blogs and Twitter and now Amazon.

Oh Carol, do you know where this is going?

Clark has volunteered to be your nemesis. Wasn't that sweet of him? He'll start a blog and do some reviews that nobody will read and then he'll review Bea and give it three stars. You can go over there and f-bomb him a few times and you'll be famous.

We also decided to make it more amusing for the masses: the fight needs to go to Twitter also. We're planning our insults already. Well, yours can consist of fuck you and a few those who can't write: review.

The best thing about this is the hundreds of people who will show up and say that they'll never buy your book because of your behaviour. You can respond that you don't want or need some plebian minds reading your book anyway.

So what do you think? Clark is sharpening his pencil as we speak and coming up with headlines. My favorite so far? The Seduction of Lady B was a Definate C. And you know what you say? Fuck you.

Isn't being a writer fun?

Dear Lori

I've decided to buy the Magic books by Ilona Andrews in e-form. I don't know if PB books are put together more cheaply these days, but my copy of Magic Bleeds is already falling apart, which is a bummer because so far, that is THE book in the series.

You might think that excessive rereading is to blame. You would be wrong. I don't know the correct terminology, but the first 'split' happened during the initial read, and I'm not one who bends her books backwards. A second 'split' appeared during the second read. I wonder if they used bad glue?

Anyway, that's the book where Kate and Curran finally get straightened out regarding their relationship. I'm sure it will have many more reads *grin* and so I'm making sure I'll have a book to read! I'm not in a hurry to buy, but just giving you a heads up.

In other news - had more proof today I'm a genuine Old Fart. Took the morning off to go to the dentist (and they count it as vacation time or sick time, your choice) and discovered my appointment wasn't today. Senility has set in.

Shit. I'm off to read Magic Bleeds again.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dear Lori

What's the old saying - you can always count on death and taxes? Yeah.

I've been gathering the gloom and doom to take to the accountant. OMG, half our income seems to go on truck repairs and the other half on fuel. No wonder I never go anywhere, lol.

I've been taking breaks and toodling around the internet.

Did you know Barbara Hambly's entire backlist has been bought and will be available the end of this month on Amazon and BN? Unfortunately, the prices are the same as if it were a new release, $7.99, but she's one of those authors worth that amount IMO and I've pre-ordered The Ladies of Madrigyn. I'm so glad we kept the link on the sidebar; I've been keeping track of this and it's finally happening. :-)

The way I figure, I can handle one or two Hamblies a month and I am one happy camper. *grin*

Tomorrow I have to renew my drivers license. I'd rather be shot than take another horrible, ugly, disgusting picture! But it's the law, and I'm nothing if not law abiding, but this is a true test of willpower and strength. Blech!

Hope you got home okay. Oh - did I mention I now have a bookcover?? Heh. Well, I do. :-D

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

I'm getting ready to go visit my sister for the weekend which has to be the worst timing ever since my new book releases Monday and I have things to do.


I'm looking forward to the drive. If I know my daughter, chances are she'll doze in the car and I'll have quiet time during a three hour drive. Quiet time to let my mind wander and ponder and then before I know it, I'll have scenes and conversations rooting in my head and a book to be written.

I was remembering how the most productive time of writing used to be when I had a long commute so I had all that quiet time. Its the readying of the field for planting. I can't write if my mind has no time to wander.

I remember a long time ago I was walking downtown to a bus stop and everything that caught my eye I'd figure out how to make a story from it. A couple talking, a lamp post with crumpled paper at its base, a store front.

I feel like my life has changed and I don't have those quiet moments anymore. I'm always rushing. There's something to do, somewhere to go. And if I'm not moving then I'm worrying about bills and chores and work. There's no time to sit and let the world go away.

I miss the quiet in my own mind, Carolyn.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dear Lori

Guess what?

Go on - guess!

Oh, alright, I'll tell you then. It's here. I now have my own bookcover. *grin*

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

I'm gonna say it again: I'm tired of sex!

I'm reading The Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas and enjoying it greatly. She's a good writer and I must admit that she has me laughing out loud many times. I love when an author makes me laugh out loud.

But... (and this but is almost as big as my butt), I don't read about a fourth of the book. Because you see the H/h have their romance and their sparring and it's good stuff. Oh my, it's really good stuff. But then they fuck. Or they make the beast with the two backs. Make sweet love till the morning comes. They do it. The train goes through the tunnel. They do the dirty. Ride the hump train. Get sweaty. Boogie till dawn. Get down. Bump uglies. Rut like animals. Bump like bunnies. Hump like hippos.

You know. They have the dreaded sex.

Oh Miss Kleypas, I love you. I adore you. I implore you to please please please stop writing so damned much sex.

Once they do it they have to do it again and again. You know, like we did in our thirties when we hit our sexual prime and became those women our mother's warned us about and our father's suggested our brother's find. We was dirty. We was hot. We was all about the sex.

Unfortunately that's where Miss Kleypas' books go also.

So there I am reading this amazing book, laughing out loud in McDonald's while the kids played and I stole their french fries and read on my Kindle and life was amazing and then the characters had sex. And they had sex again. They had sex over and over and over again and each time was described and well frankly, I got bored.

It's especially tiring when reading a series in order, as I'm doing with the Wallflower books. Four books and in each one at some point I start skimming through multiple sex scenes to get to the good stuff. (The good stuff = story.)

I figure by the time I'm done with Book 4, I'll have read the equivalent of three books and skimmed one entire book worth of writing as I avoid all the sex.

I love you, Lisa Kleypas. But can't you keep your character's pants on?


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dear Lori

Have I ever told you how I hate the time change? Oh, surely I must have, I mean it happens twice a year and by the time I adjust to one, it's time for another.

I don't know why they affect me so adversely; it's only a damn hour, but it seems to be a significant one, at least for me. I'm draggin' ass, girl, draggin' ass. Can't sleep when I'm supposed to and can't stay awake ditto. You know what that leads to - mushy brain syndrome! Aaaack!

In short, the time change sucks. Just thought I'd make my stance on that clear, lol.

In other news: I was thinking earlier about books that had impressed me enough that I remembered them. Heh. Always a chancy thing, my memory. To my surprise, there were several. Of course, they stuck in my memory for different reasons, but still - what an accomplishment huh?

The very first one, the first 'adult' book I ever read - and in HC too! - was Little Women. I can't tell you how many times I read that book and I always cried when Beth died and I always went 'yes!' when Jo finally got together with Mr. Bauer. *sigh*

I don't remember which I read first, Forever Amber or Gone with the Wind, but oh my lord! What a pair of heroines! And yet each writer managed to make me feel empathy at times with the heroines. They weren't 'good' girls, but I understood them. No HEA in these books, especially poor Amber, who got what she deserved, but had to travel thousands of miles to get her (presumed) comeuppence.

And of course, there was To Kill a Mockingbird, the best of them all. I fell in love with Atticus Finch. He's a template for the perfect hero, IMO. The book packed quite a punch, because in my little corner of Canada and at my tender age, I was completely unaware of the injustices done by humans to their fellow humans, deliberately, with eyes wide open and hearts tightly closed.

I read Lord of the Rings, but frankly I think he could have used a romance editor, lol. I never could re-read those books.

There have been other books and series I've enjoyed, but none made the impact those four did. The Dragons of Pern, The Deeds of Paksenarrian, Hawaii, and more too numerous to list. Romance-wise, Flowers from the Storm, Lord Ian and Lord of Scoundrels rocked my world because these alpha heros were terribly flawed and some of them didn't recover completely but they still fought for their HEA.

I used to be an eclectic reader; now I have to have that HEA, so that limits me a bit. Still, I have no problems reading first person, I hear a lot of folks won't touch it. All I can say to that is they're missing some good reads - the Magic series by Ilona Andrews comes to mind first. LOVE that series!

It's 8:00 pm here and already I'm ready for bed, can hardly keep my eyes open, so this Old Fart is signing out. As Scarlett would say, tomorrow is another day.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

We were talking earlier about DABWAHA, the Dear Author/Bitchery fantasy romance league (or whatever it's supposed to be). This year you aren't playing and I am. And I'm going to do something I don't usually do but I'm going to pimp the vote for an author and then let me explain why.



Meljean Brook is leading the Dork Squad and she's truly getting her dork on to win this contest. What does she win? Nothing really. So why is she doing it?

Because Meljean really likes her readers.

I figured this out awhile ago when I saw how nice she was on Twitter and Facebook. There are some writers who are on those social media programs and even though they pimp for readers to friend them, but they don't want to interact with readers or even acknowledge them. Readers for some writers, are just a status for how many they have.

Meljean doesn't play that game. Oh, there are many who don't (Tessa Dare and Victoria Dahl and the amazing Dakota Cassidy, to name a few) and Meljean.

I think a lot of that has to do with this little book she wrote called The Iron Duke. You know that book Carolyn because well, you've been one of it's most vocal pimps. I know you got me a copy and Lea. You've told all the women on Underground about how much you loved it. You've become a steampunk knowledge base because of that old Iron Duke.

Meljean would love you, Carolyn.

Books sell because of people like you, Carol, and Meljean knows that. I know that too. I wasn't that interested in steampunk but when it won over my best friend like it did with you, then it became something I was willing to try. You talked about it and people listened. You blogged about it. You put it on Goodreads. And you were the reason for not only your sale and mine but also Lea and Cheryl and I don't know who else.

I could tell you about some of the prizes Meljean is offering on her blog but it doesn't matter. I'm not doing this for that and I won't be entering any contests. I want people to realize how much they matter as readers to authors.

Meljean isn't out there pimping the dabwaha vote for any reason except to say thank you to the people like you, Carolyn, who made Iron Duke a best seller and a phenomenal book. It's the readers willing to try something new and tell others that make a book successful.

You, Carolyn, are one of the reasons that Iron Duke is even in the running for best book on dabwaha. Meljean thanks you.


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dear Lori

I was reading a freebie the other day and I had to stop because my eyes were glazing over. Now, it might be I just need new glasses but that wasn't the whole reason. I was bored out of my skull.

You might say, well what do you expect with a freebie? You might, but I hope you won't. I've found some gems amongst them, not to mention sometimes more well known authors will put up one to celebrate a new book or announce republication of their backlist. Hell, I got Outlander for free!! You can't beat that with a stick. :-) I guess I really need to make more use of the sample function ...

Anyway, going by the blurb, this book ought to have been a good read. For me, it wasn't. Why not? Because I didn't like the author's voice.

What is authorial voice? Is it the same from book to book? Would you recognize a particular voice if one book was third person and another first? Would you know I wrote both Lady Bea (third) and TL (first)? What constitutes an author's voice?

Is it just good or bad writing? If you don't like an author's voice, is it because s/he over describes or uses convoluted sentences or goes on and on and on with inner thoughts to the point of ad nauseum? Perhaps the sentences are awkward or s/he belabors the obvious.

Is it that the writing's good but you just don't like one or more of the main characters? Maybe you don't like their sense of humor. Maybe they don't have one, lol. Maybe you wonder what on earth anyone would see in the hero. On the other hand, there's authors that can make the unlikeable very likeable indeed.

I don't know what it is, frankly. I suspect the book I couldn't finish suffered from lack of depth and labored dialogue. At times the dialogue seemed to be nothing but an infodump. Plus, at the point I stopped reading, I didn't like either the hero or the heroine. She might have pulled me around though; perhaps I should soldier on.

In the meantime - what is voice?

Hope to hear from you soon, darlin'.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

Do you believe there's another one?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

Well look what I get to share. The cover image for Sugar B's Back in Town. She'll be released in June by Lyrical and this cover has me swooning.

I am trying to understand how I ended up writing a southern story when I've never lived in the south and your debut novel is based in England and we all know the McCulloughs are banned from international travel until 2024.

Guess that's part of what makes us writers.

I won't be very much fun this weekend sweetheart. I'm finishing the line edits on Sugar and getting a last round of edits done on Hot, Hexed and Bothered (no, don't ask) so I'll be locked away with my own words and a buttload of Cadbury chocolate.

Thank you Cadbury.

I'm also going to get my curtains hung, my lamp hung, find a man who's hung... wait, scratch that last one. But not too hard, he's sensitive. Just kidding. This weekend should be very busy and hopefully have good things accomplished.

Right now though I'm going to stare at my cover a bit more and be thrilled. Those are some good looking people. And that's a gorgeous piece of cover art.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Dear Lori

I found the search thingy!!! I shall start to tag again. :-D

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

I have to eat crow. Or at least, eat this lovely slice of pumpkin bread while admitting I was wrong. Vampire Academy was better than I originally thought and I finished it in a rather obsessive glom. So I apologize Ms. Richelle Mead (or Michelle Read) for dissing your book. It was a compulsive read at the end and what can be better than that?

(My pumpkin bread was pretty good though.)

I don't feel a great desire to read Book 2 right now and I'm torn between starting any one of the 400 books you've stashed in our Kindle or buying some Meg Cabot. One of my Goodreads authors has been glomming the Cabet backlist and it looks like it might be fun. Then again, I do have a Heyer waiting and there's that girl with a dragon tattoo that everyone seems to love.

In happy news, I got the mock-up cover for Sugar B's Back in Town which was awesome! I like the Angel Lane cover but I love Sugar's cover. When it's a go, I'll post a picture so I can cock my doodle doo over it.

Romance books are nothing if not a complete pleasure for hot men on the covers.

Otherwise, my cold is lingering, I'm malingering and any minute I'm going to have to pee. My bladder is the size of a crushed raisin right now but that's Old Fart TMI.

Have a great day dear.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

Well this is a fine kettle of fish you've got us in. *tsk tsk*

Okay, we're not really in a fish kettle and if we were I'd most likely be the guilty party. I've gotten quite used to that in our friendship ... I drag you into something and then later watch as you get in more trouble than even I dreamed. (Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Interestingly, this is somewhat the situation in Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (or Michelle Read). It's a YA book that lots of people seem to be hooked on and I thought it worth trying.

The heroines in this book are um ... a vampire half-breed who isn't a vampire and a vampire who is a vampire and well, it's a little complicated and the writing is giving me a headache almost as badly as understanding her world building.

I don't think I'll be finishing this.

I did finish The Princess and the Penis by R. J. Silver. Now that was easy to finish. Liked the world building in that one: innocent princess, disembodied penis and dirty older women who said all the sorts of things that dirty older women say. Skip the YA and go straight to fairy tale phallises. So much more satisfying.

I'm sure there's something else I have to say or do but right now I can't think of it. Writing is stalled while I'm still sick, my kitchen isn't even clean for heaven's sake!

Oh wait... I watched Celebrity Apprentice and David Cassidy got eliminated immediately. Quite heartbreaking. Not that he got eliminated but that he got old. I told Mollie that he was the Justin Beiber of my generation and she expressed pity. Damned kid.

MeatLoaf is on the show too and I have a certain soft spot for the man. I still love his voice and he's now a grizzled looking middle aged man. Kinda hot in his own way.

Okay, I'm going to clean my kitchen and then have a nap. It's not easy being a dirty old woman, you know. And especially not one who needs something to read besides confused half vampire, half angst-demons. Ha! I think I just came up with a new YA trope: the angst demon. I'm a bloody genius.

Love ya Red,


Friday, March 4, 2011

Dear Lori

Spring is trying to sprung here in the south. Pear and plum trees are flowering. They always remind me of Anne of Green Gables and the descriptions of the fruit trees therein. They are truly beautiful and lacey is just the right adjective to describe them.

Magnolias are blooming too. They make me sort of sad; the life of the blossoms is so brief and the base of the trees are surrounded with purpley-white petals scattered about haphazardly. A beautiful death. Soon the azaleas and forsythia will get into the act and finally the crep myrtle.

This time of year the south is like a fairyland. This is also the time of year we have the Pilgrimage, a tour of some of the stately historical houses, set against a backdrop of pink and white and yellow blossoms.

On a completely different note, I just finished C S Harris' Where Shadows Dance, the sixth of the Sebastian St Cyr mysteries. I don't really give a rat's ass about the mysteries, it's the relationships that have captured me. I love Sebastian. He's a highly intelligent and honorable young man, who's seen and experienced a lot of bad things in his short life. Although each book has a self contained mystery, the romantic arc stretches and grows throughout all the books. In the beginning, Sebastian is involved with two women, Kat Bolyn and Hero Jarvis. Emotions change slowly. Characters take their time gaining new insights.

Since Sebastian is such an honorable man, I think that Kat's role in his life will change and become smaller. The ending of this book gave me hope that eventually he would find his HEA. I can't wait for the next one!

I love series like this one and the In Death books. Things don't get squeezed into a tiny box but are allowed room to evolve believably.

Thank you Connie for steering me to the St Cyr mysteries. I owe you one, lol.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dear Lori

I...um...made a slight miscalculation.

You remember those books I'd preordered? It was so easy, just a single click.

And what books they were! Patricia Briggs' new one, River Marked; Julie James' A Lot Like Love; C S Harris' newest Sebastian St Cyr mystery Where Shadows Dance; a new-to-me writer, Seleste deLaney with Badlands.

Weeelll - it seems they were all released on the same day, March 1. I hadn't bothered to note the release dates and got quite a surprise when I booted up ye olde computer. A couple of those books are rather pricey too.

I hang my head in shame. And give thanks that Friday was payday. And I promise to do better in the future.

But OMG! What a haul!

Last, but not least, I'm so glad you're feeling better. You can't keep a good woman down, lol.


PS: I'm not tagging anymore because I can't find a seach thingy, so why bother?

Dear Carolyn,

It's 2am and I'm hacking up a lung and not sleeping. No matter how lovely winter is, it doesn't agree with our fragile constitutions.

I can hear you laughing now. The only thing fragile about me is my eyesight. Otherwise I'm a damned battle-axe and proud of it. But I am laid out by this cold and it's making me quite miserable.

So 2am and Mollie is sleeping, I'm sick and my Kindle sits on the table just a slight reach away. Should I try reading? Should I try writing? I know I won't be trying to sleep any time soon. Heck, I have the line edits due on Sugar (oy) and you know how I'm looking forward to that.

I will try to write a bit but I'll probably end up reading. I'm not reading any of the million of romances on our Kindle or even the literary fiction. Right now I just want to read about woman and food. I'm afraid to eat when sick like this for fear of nothing staying down but I devour the books like they're the nourishment I'm missing. The stories are the author's but also they become mine somehow. I relate to food writing in a basic way that's inexplicable but oh, so deeply satisfying.

Funny how we share so many reading tastes but this is all my own. You love your werewolves without me and I share these women's stories in my orgy of gluttony.

I think one of the reasons this writing is so resonant for me is because it is almost like eating. I read slower when I read non-fiction and I savor the words more. When women write of food I slow down and apply the stories to myself. I have chopped, kneaded, savored and sauteed. My hands feel the dough, my senses recall the scents and tastes. I'm flooded by the words in levels of experience and pleasure.

Oh here I am rhapsodizing about food. What's new with that? You might not be surprised to hear that the first thing I did when I came home from work sick was make a pot of chili. I just needed to smell the chili powder and sweet onions cooking. It made me feel just as good as a nap did.

Well ... 2:30 am now and I'm thinking about baking. I won't be able to eat anything but it would make me feel wonderful in its own way.

I'll talk to you later today dear when daylight is on us.