Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dear Lori

I mourn for my state.

281 people killed over 6 states. 195 of them were in Alabama. The count is still climbing.

Whenever I see or hear people pontificating or acting like the lords of creation, I'll remember this. Nature can slap you down right quick and then grind you into the ground just to be sure you get the idea. Modern technology, human intelligence, human pride - none of them can control Mother Nature.

Makes our little internet disputes seem less than nothing, doesn't it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dear Lori

To get the real scoop on what I'm about to say, you need to check out the Bitches, where it's all laid out with links and everything. We all know links and I cannot coexist. :-)

It seems there's a teacher in PA, an English teacher. Been teaching for 25 years, is considered an excellent teacher, and is well loved by most of her students.

Ouyt of the blue, she became an exposé on the local TV station. A group of parents (there were 4 in the group I saw) feel that she shouldn't be teaching their naïve, innocent teenagers, because - get this - the lady writes erotic romance for Ellora's Cave under the pen name of Judy Mays.

She'd never announced this. She'd never assigned any of her books in the classroom. It was her private life and she kept it completely apart from her day job.

Suddenly she's on the fast track to be a pariah. One of the group of women even intimated that she might be a pedophile, abusing children because of her nasty habits. Teachers are not allowed a private life, evidently, and like the women of Salem they must be pure as the driven snow, with no lustful thoughts and most certainly no sechs. To write it down? To put lust and sechs into a meaningful relationship, where the characters learn and grow and earn their HEA? Anathema! (Did I spell that right?)

Anyway, there's a little corollary to this stupid story of Puritans run amuck. Of course, the Romance community gathered 'round in support. Some were buying her books so she could pay her lawyer, should she decide to sue.

I don't post much on other sites, but I could sure show my support by buying a book. The title of one in particular caught my eye-Rednecks 'n Roses and I hied myself to Amazon to pick it up.

I'd forgotten I'd heard somewhere that Ellora Cave prices were rather high. Ms Mays books run from $6.99 to $9.99. The book that caught my eye is $6.99.

Can I get it? Huh? Huh? And if I do, will you read it? Huh? Huh? (it has a vampire ...)

Okay, I've made an executive decision. I'm getting the damn book, even though I seldom read erotica. I support Ms Mays and her right to write. She got a damn raw deal, for no reason at all, because the 'reporter' never bothered to get t'other side, so it was a damn unbalanced story.

I hope her community and her school will support her rights as an American.

And as a human being.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

Thank you for thinking of me when you bought that Jill Mansell book, Miranda's Big Mistake. It was the sort of book I love: women's lit with a revenge story line. What a shame the book sucked so badly.

Oh Gawd, the women in this book were such gits. Miranda was ridiculous. First she meets Greg who just happens to be married (separated) from his pregnant wife. They fall madly in love in like... no time at all. Then she meets his wife and gets engaged to him and then finds out the truth and they trick him and it was a yawn.

Then she meets another man. It's twue wuv and after a week of twue wuv he dies in a car accident.

Then she ends up with the guy she should have been with in the first place.

Every other woman in the book meets the perfect man and it's all twue wuv. Seriously though Carol, these women were absolute gits.

The pregnant woman is a complete doormat and even though she's shown as growing (and meets her twue wuv too) at no time does she kick her ex hub's ass as he deserves. She doesn't really do anything honestly. None of the women do really. They get treated badly by men, they get treated badly by other women and well, they're just gits.

Seriously, any man falling in love with these gits gets what he deserves.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

It's hating on the women time.

So some literary fiction author won a Pulitzer and then put down chick-lit which turned into a free for all with those who love genre fiction being upset and those who don't being snobs and no matter which way you turn it's all the same: hating on the women.

I swear to God, if you have a vagina someone wants you to feel guilty. You like romance? Guilty! You have a dirty mind? Guilty! I'd be afraid to admit that doing laundry give me pleasure. I might be thrown into jail, for heavens sake!

I just read a rant that a woman wrote and she had the gall to suggest that chick-lit is a term embraced by those readers and authors of the genre (I thought we were calling it women's fiction these days). Then the writer trashed Jennifer Weiner something awful because she has the gall to write well, not be embarassed by what she writes and having a name that the author in a third grade attempt of juvenile petulance, mocked.

Carolyn dear, feminism is dead. And it was killed by women.

I'm glad whoever it was won the Pulitzer. I really am. But I wish she hadn't put down other women. It feels like she's all excited to get into the boy's club and now she wants to put down the women who weren't allowed in.

And I'll tell you something else. I love chick-lit/women's lit more than I love literary fiction nowadays. And it isn't for the escapism value. I love it because it's a blend of humor, drama and romance wrapped up in an adult voice that I can relate to. I like it because I like it. And I don't need some pretentious wonk telling me to aim higher. If I aimed any higher I'd probably stick an arrow in God's eye.


Dear Lori

Got the galley for Lady Bea last night, and right off the bat I found an error in the damn blurb!!

Now I really have to squinch my eyes and read the damn story - in detail - again. I think I hate Bea and I really don't care anymore if she gets her HEA, lol.

July can't come soon enough. It'll be time to shed Bea and get it on with TL. At least TL thinks she's funny. ;-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dear Lori

Just a small note to say thank you.

Because of you, I'm in a very good place. A place I would never have tried to achieve on my own.

I'm being published. (Que noise makers and pop the champagne!)

Now, this is the way I look at it.

Some people may sneer and say 'Ah, but you're not New Yawk published. It doesn't count'. To that I reply, well hell, there's lots of folks that aren't New York published but by damn, there's lots of folks that aren't published at all. Period. So that's a check in my column, right?

And you know what they say about the internet; stuff put there never quite goes away, so now, in my own small way, I have a bit of immortality,

I don't want to be a little fish in a big pond. I don't want to be a big fish in a little pond. I'm grateful to be swimming in any pond at all.

I'm not sure I'd still be writing if not for you. You challenge me, you get me excited over storylines and such, and when that doesn't work, you nag. You encourage me by listening when I get caught up in the process and you slap me down when I need it.

There's a fine line between being a hack and writing what's in your heart and you pushed me over it. We're not alike except in one thing, okay two. We value honesty and we like to talk the talk about the writing process.

So thank you. ♥

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

Oh what a mess.

I work with a woman who has written a book. And she's decided to self publish. Well, actually she's going through a vanity press who's told her all sorts of bullshit about how easy it'll be for her to get bookstores to sell her book and arrange book signings.

I asked her if she's done any research into the self-publishing choices and she said she hadn't. I tried to open her eyes a little and gave her a number of websites to check out.

But she won't, Carolyn. She thinks that a book in her voice with editing done by her friends and a cover done by a vanity press and no web page or previous publications is going to be easy and make her a success.

My heart aches for her. It really does. She's so excited about finishing her book and I want to encourage her but who encourages people they like to jump off a cliff?

If there's one thing you and I have learned it's to do our homework. And we know never to go into things blind. We might make mistakes but they were chances we understood.

Oh well.

I'll be there to tell her that publishing is a hard business when her dreams aren't realized. And maybe if she wants to try for book number two, she'll research a little before.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

What do you think about self-publishing?

I shouldn't have read JA Konrath's blog but I did and he got the idea started. Then I was reading an article about publicizing your book and it said something similar, along the lines: the best publicity is a well written book and a back list.

So I've been pondering. Thinking about the work of self-publishing vs. the prestige of New Yawk publishing vs. the relationship with the ebook publisher.

It's a slippery slope of possibilities.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dear Lori

Has the Kindle killed my writing career?

Perhaps, perhaps.

The town I live in has no bookstore, never has, not really. I was in a lot of book clubs, the ones with the undersized hardbacks and that should have limited my buying, but somehow it didn't. Probably because I'd forget to decline the monthly selection. *sigh*. It got to the point we had to have bookshelves built to hold all those books.

Then Amazon came along. I don't remember how long it took me to find it, but when I did ... oh lord, I was in heaven. Paperbacks began to abound in my house. There was no room left at the inn, not even in the attic.

That slowed me down and around that time I began to write. For some years, that was my passion and I read very little. But that was okay, because I was creating my own stories, for my own pleasure and I was content.

Then along came the nefarious Kindle. The one click wonder. The self gratification guru. I began to read voraciously again and my output of written words declined to almost zero.

Now - the problem may be that I'm old. It may be that I'm in some sort of cycle. For sure I'm not looking at writing as my main career; I'm hoping like hell my next career will be retirement.

But I have to hold the Kindle to some of the blame. Kindle and all of its free books.

Well, that and my lack of willpower. Bad me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

We were talking the other day about voice: what it is and what it means to a writer. You said something to me about how I try to sound like my favorite authors sometime and it just doesn't work.

You're right. (I almost wrote: you're write.)

I've been reading a lot of stories I've started and never finished. Lots of stories that petered out at the 13,000 word mark. One of 30,000 words. And none of them really sounding like me.

I give up.

From now on, I'm going to stop trying to be the next Sarah Addison Allen or Meljean or even the buttsechs writing team. I'm just going to write what I write and let myself loose.

The world might never thank us.

But I thank you. I'm writing better in one day than I have in months. My heroine is a first class screw up with a looney life. She works for me. And she sounds so damn good I already love her.

I like this voice. She sounds like someone I know.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Dear Lori

What I am about to tell you will have you shaking your head and looking over the top of your glasses at me in disbelief. I know this, and yet I'm gonna say it anyway.

I've discovered a new series. *grin*

Yes indeedy, after much searching and some agonizing, if not downright traumatizing, reads I struck gold. The best part is, there's already seven books. :-D

The series is World of the Lupi by Eileen Wilkes. I gobbled up book one, Tempting Danger, devoured book two, Mortal Danger, and am about to finish book three, Blood Lines.

Why these books? Damned if I truly know. I like both the main characters. I like the secondary characters too. I like the world she's built - there's a faint resemblence to Ilona Andrew's Magic books, but nothing overt. Magic is returning to this world too, just not in as destructive a fashion. Also, while there are other paranormal creatures, so far the author is concentrating on the Lupi and their main adversary is She who must not be named and various and sundry demons.

I like the way she used the mate bond; it's purely physical but there's room to fall in love. When it first hits, the couple can't be too far away from each other, which makes things rather interesting, since Lily's a cop and Rule is the heir to his clan's leadership. The different magics she describes and uses are fascinating too.

I guess is all comes back to voice, that thing that's so hard to pin down. I've seen other attempts along these lines that left me cold. And bored. I just didn't believe in the world. Someone writing these books has to be good enough to suck in the reader, have her believing that, yes, it could happen this way, it all makes perfect sense within the confines of the laws of that particular world.

Good writing helps too. This is some good writing. It flows.

I'm reading these books too fast; soon I'll run out, but I can't slow myself down. Damn Kindle! I know, as soon as I finish the third book, I'll be downloading the fourth.

I'm so easy. Weak and easy. And fortunately plumper in the pocketbook than I usually am, so what the hell.

Luckily the other half doesn't know the password to the bank account,lol.

Hopefully you'll try one of these books, or the Magic books one day. They really are amazing.

But if you don't, I'll love you anyway. ;-)


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hot Hexed and Bothered

Hot Hexed and Bothered

I had a little time on my hands and made a book trailer. Really, a bored Lori is a dangerous Lori.

Dear Carolyn,

Writer's Gone Wild is doing blatant promo for me. Isn't that sweet?
Later I'll tell you about the book I read that made my eyes leak numerous times. But check out the blatant promo. It's fun and nice of them.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

Goodness woman, we haven't blogged in ages! We also haven't talked in awhile. Life has been reprioritzed recently, hasn't it?

Mollie has been sick and my life has gone from work, book promotion, writing and chores to hanging out in bed with a coughing, sneezing, feverish nine year old and trying to make her feel better. Not much you can do except push liquids and be there.

Heck, I haven't even brought my Kindle down. That tells you how focused I've been.

I'm going to try getting back into my WIP. It's my first major world building and so far, it's fun but not necessarily effective. I see many rewrites in my future.

So I haven't read anything, haven't written anything, have nothing to say.

Guess there's a reason I haven't been blogging. What's your excuse?


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dear Carolyn,

I was lying in bed this morning playing with my new phone. Yeah, I joined the ranks of big weenies and got an iphone. And I loves it. Loves loves loves it.

Technology is so damned awesome.

Anyway, I checked email in bed and played on Twitter and listened to my daughter's songs which all seem to dirty... whatever happened to The Partridge Family anyway?

But I got a text from my brother. He's a Tom Clancy kind of reader. A little sci-fi for fun but he loves those books that have military and exploding things and all that sort of thing.

Bless his heart, he texted me that if I don't have a new book out soon he'll be reading Harlequin soon. I laughed my rather large ass off. I've converted him and I'm so proud.

So just for my brother....

Dear Lori

I've been in the mood for paranormal lately and actively seeking new books/series to suit my palate. I took a chance on Taste Me by Tamara Hogan. (How's that for a sorta pun?)

I couldn't quite connect with this one. The lifestyle was way beyond my comprehension and while I have no objection to reading about different lifestyles, this one was not for me. It would probably work real well for someone younger (say, about 100 years younger). I am an Old Fart, after all, and my old fartiness came to the fore with this book. When I say incubus and rock and roll concerts, does that give you a hint?

I started it with high expectations, saw where it was going and said to myself 'Ptooie', because I do say things like that frequently. I also use 'Pfftt' quite often and did so for this book. It's one of those books where, after you get past all the lust and internal yearning, you realize everything could have been settled with one honest conversation, but then we wouldn't have a book, would we? I loved/hated the hero. The heroine (who is a siren and can bring out everyone's lust) did try to pin down the hero, trying to find out where the hell he was coming from, but she got nowhere fast.

I confess, I ended up skimming through much of the book.

On a more optimistic note, I have the first book in the Gardella Vampire series by Colleen Gleason, called The Rest Falls Away . It's evidently an historical, so maybe I'll fare better because I'm rather historical myself. *grin*

I have no idea why I'm telling you all this. You don't even like vampires, except for Susan Squire's. Gonna post it anyway. Ha!

Is this a review? Nah, because we don't do reviews. This is an opinion, a simple opinion. Like/dislike - simple as that. No book dissection. No opinion about the writing because - hey - who am I to talk? I'll just say I'm not into incubi, sirens and rock and roll put all together and leave it at that.

It was a damn good premise though. Wish one of us had thought of it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Oh My Goodness Carolyn!

Stop buying books! My poor Kindle is groaning from the weight of your mighty credit card.

However, if you plan on buying books then more like The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen. Oh my gracious, that was an excellent book.

I love Miss Allen anyway since she wrote Garden Spells which is on my all time best books evah list. Sugar Queen was delicious and The Girl Who Chased the Moon wasn't my fave but this is oh my.

Peach Keeper was a little of everything but a lot of the romance. And not the kissy romance but the people getting to know each other and their souls are lighter because they're together romance.

A little like you and I but with less kissy noises over the phone. j/k

I devoured the damned book. Like a juicy peach, dare I say. Gobbled it down with words dripping on my chin and when I sucked the last bit from the pit and licked the last little dew drop of juice ... hell, I was almost tempted to start reading it all over again.

Forgive the bad metaphors and all Carol. This book was just such an amazing delight and Miss Allen has such a fan girl in me that I can't help but gush.

Love ya Red,