Sunday, December 30, 2012

Moving to a New Year

Oh I'll be glad to see the end of 2012. This has been a hard year for a number of reasons but I'm intending to turn it around in 2013.

And already I've seen a lot of improvement in regards to my writing. I placed Beauty and the Baritone for sale and it's been selling. I'm no E.L. James or even EW James or LOL James but for me, Lori Green, it's fun and exciting to see sales.

The other cool thing is that I'm seeing sales at all retailers. So Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance, Kobo and Smashwords. I've never seen that before.

Apparently people like thinly disguised fan fic starring my best friend, without anal. Who knew?

I'm going to making a minor announcement soon about Marinated Publishing (yup, still exists) and a new writer under the Marinated Banner. We hate her guts but she sells in Great Britain (I really don't understand Brits. They call the bathroom the loo and they buy bad porn.) (Isn't E.L.O.L. James British? Ha. Point to me.)

This is the year that my daughter will start eating. I say that based on the holidays and she's been eating some of my cooking... enough to make me stop worrying that she'll starve to death.

This is also going to be the year of Elle's Designs. Trust me. My girl Lea/Elle can rock a cover with the best of them and we're going to show you. Get ready to place your order.

More than anything, I think this is the year of getting it done. I'm the Queen of Procrastination and 2013 will be the year that ends. Which means my kitchen will get painted, my bills will get paid off and my Hollywood Heroes series will get finished.

And for Carolyn? Well, that's for her to share.

Yoo Hoo, Carol? Time to tell us what's going on.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Back to Hawking the Wares....


When beautiful soprano Carolyn (heh) shows up on the doorstep of baritone Mateo Lopez (hee) neither is aware of the journey they are about to take. Carolyn claims she wants to be submissive to the broken, bitter baritone (alliteration!!) but he is too broken and bitter (LOL!!!) to trust.

Lots of hot smexxing, some pulled muscles and a believe it or not, a HEA.

Oh yeah. I did it. I done wrote a dirty story and put my BFF in it. At least this time there was no anal. It was my Christmas gift to her *snort*.

Only 99 cents at the below mentioned retailers:

AMAZON

SMASHWORDS

BARNES AND NOBLE

Coming soon to Kobo, Books on Board and Apple iBookstore.


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Leave your email address in the comments and I'll send you for absolutely free, a Kindle copy of Yesterday's Headline:

It's my hot Hollywood romance, absolutely free because everyone should get a gift for Christmas.

Only good for the 24th - 26th.

Then we're back to hawking our books for money :-)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi

I've been on a reading binge recently and have been tearing through books in an almost manic need to devour words. Simple Jess by Pamela Morsi was picked up as one of Dear Author's daily deals and what a sweet read it is.

At the beginning of the book, I felt the language was slightly stilted and difficult to read. Since the story is very years ago and the people in the book were highly uneducated, it was an interesting read because the author tried her best to sound authentic (and did a good job).

I did start to enjoy the book and soon was ripping through it, unable to put it down.

The story is as follows: widow Althea is being forced to marry by Christmas day. Despite the absurdity of the situation, it's a real dilemma for her as she's a woman who can't run the farm her dead husband left her, her mother in law wants to have more control over her and the town is uncomfortable with her choice to remain independent.

Jess is a simple man who was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck so it cut off oxygen to his brain. He's a good man, hard working, able to remember instructions and seeking his own independence (of a sort). Jess ends up working for Althea, he's going to help her prepare for winter and in return she'll gift him with her husband's hunting dogs.

To say Jess is a perfect romance hero is problematic since he's simple, words get caught for him and he can't express himself. But he's honest, pure, capable of being a provider and ultimately, he's romantic in his own way and very aware of his own sexual feelings.

It was simply brilliant. And when Jess and Althea finally come together, I had to stop reading for a while because it made me feel overwhelmed by the emotion in it.When Althea got her Christmas present, I had tears in my eyes.

The supporting characters (especially Mavis and Eben) have a compelling story and I think Ms. Morsi created a character in Eben that truly took one of the most disolute bastards and made him sympathetic.

If we gave stars, this would be a 5star review.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Motorcycle Man, 2

Okay, I have to swallow some of my words. Not all but some.

I finished the book and it was a compelling read. I had issues how Tack, the hero manhandled Tyra, the heroine and those issues weren't resolved. Some of Tack's moves were well explained later but during the first half of the book there was a lot of physical manhandling that stuck in my throat and wasn't ever acceptable.

But the story was a fascinating read. It was marvelously dirty in the best way possible. The sex was nasty, just as sex should be.

The dialogue (mostly Tyra's) was pretty *yawn* and the weirdness of having 3/4ths of the book in first person from Tyra's POV then switching to other POVs was whack (in a bad way).

Would I read K. Ashley again? Yes. Am I enthralled and wanting to immediately tear through her back list? No.

But I'd say that if you want a different kind of romance with a different kind of hero, this could really please you. But be prepared to have your teeth ache throughout for different things

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley

Carolyn bought the book based on the crazed fan-girl vapors everyone on the internet seems to have when this book is mentioned. Carolyn told me that she loved the hero (just like the rest of the reading population).

I'm maybe 40% through the book, am getting quite pissed and wondering what the hell the author will do next since we've already had the Russian mob, kidnapping, family sneak attacks and the greatest alpha-hole hero to strut across a page.

I can see why so many women adore Tack, the hero. He's a politically correct rape fantasy. He physically overpowers the heroine all the damned time and refuses to accept anything she says because he knows better. He infantalizes the heroine, disrespects all of her boundaries, tells her she loves his abuse and then she simpers and says deep down she really does.

She's just a girl who likes a man to walk into her home, treat it like it matters not, man handle her whennever he wants, refuse to hear her when she needs space, doesn't accept the word no but it's all okay because he'd never hurt her and he has cool tats.

I seem to be mssing something here. I do know that if that man showed up in my daughter's life, I'd be buying a shotgun and I'd use it.

I don't know if I'll even finish the book. Every time Tack forces Tyra into a submission hold so he can tell her how she feels or what she needs to do, I want to scream.

Seriously, anywhere near my daughter and I'll shoot you asshole.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Uncertain Magic by Laura Kinsdale

There are a number of Laura Kinsdale's backlist books on sale, or perhaps it's the regular price for them. I bought two or three and just finished reading Uncertain Magic.



Blurb:  Roderica Delamore is an heiress and should be a prize catch—except for an embarrassing and magical secret. She has the ability to hear the thoughts of those around her and has never been able to trust anyone as a result. So she dedicates herself to raising her family’s prize thoroughbreds and resigns herself to a life without romance—until she meets Faelan Savigar, the Earl of Iveragh, a mysterious, roguish Irishman whose thoughts are entirely closed to her unusual perceptions and she discovers that she has finally met the man she has been waiting her whole life to discover.

He is called “the Devil Earl,” and is as enigmatic to everyone else as he turns out to be to Roderica. He is also impoverished, damned in society by dark rumor and innuendo, and, for all she knows he could be a liar, a swindler or worse but his secrets stir her and Roderica is prepared to entrust her life—and her heart—to an enchanting stranger.



I don't know that I'd call the Devil Earl 'roguish', not as that word is usually used, which implies a modicum of humor. Faelan is all angst but I found it a guilty pleasure to watch him fall under Roddy's spell.

The action moves from England to Ireland with wonderful descriptions of the Irish countryside and of the Irish revolt.

I'm not a good reviewer, but I wanted to share the pleasure this book gave me. I love an alpha male who's gentle with his woman; I love watching him fall under her spell, no matter how hard he fights it.

The only complaint I have is that the ending seemed rather abrupt. It just sort of ended; I could have used another chapter or an epilogue to settle me down

I'll still recommend this book though. I liked both the hero and heroine, I even liked the supernatural elements.


Amazon

B&N

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

WRITE !!!!

Lea and I started sending writing inspiration to one another, mostly cribbed from Facebook. Some are amazing.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Random Thoughts

So Carolyn is celebrating finding the right anti-depressant and my pharmacy screwed up my order for mine so I've been out for a few days and won't have any for a few days more.

I so need them.

However, I was having some surprisingly random thoughts this morning in the shower and thought I'd write some of them down so Carolyn and I can discuss them later ad nauseum in one of those discuss everything including the kitchen sink phone marathons.

Starting with: the kitchen sink. Mine is broken. The faucett thingie is dislocating from it's mooring. It might be an easy fix but it fills me with dread.

So people are still insisting that Obama is a Muslim (*sigh*) and that makes them wacky but nobody seemed perturbed about the idea of a Mormon in the White House. I find that highly disturbing. I mean seriously... a mormon? Have you ever read about that religion? They make the rest of them look sane. Seriously. (And I insist the Angel Maroni was Italian and talked with his hands. Ha!)

Speaking of insane, I was also thinking about the separation of religion and politics and it occurred to me that the Catholic Church is just as political as Washington DC. Maybe we should first take the politics out of religion before we try taking religion out of politics.

Or not.

At work I was waxing poetic about holiday decorations and music (I'm such a Lifetime holiday movie kind of gal) and my boss said I was more Christian than Jewish. I chose not to be offended and instead agreed with a caveat: take Jesus out of Christianity and I'd be all over it.

That's the basic Jew in me. We agreed to one God and we just can't break that agreement. (You know, it's why we're the Chosen People and the rest of you are wanna-be's.) Again with a Ha!

And then I was thinking about how mouthy women or women with strength are disliked so intensely by other women. On a persona note, I'm obviously a mouthy woman and I'll stand up for myself. I always have done well with male bosses but women bosses hate me. And I'm so not adaptable to becoming less me.

I'm writing an erotic love story and currently my WIP looks something like this:

Yadda, yadda yadda... more yadda.
~~insert sex~~
Yadda yadda yadda on with the plot....

Seriously, there's little notes to insert sex throughout the WIP. I hate writing sex, it's so damned hard. But this romance kinda turns me on (emotionally) because the heroine thinks she understands her need for debasement but she has no real idea. It fascinates me.

Okay, those were my showering thoughts. Wait till I do a post about how my mind works during the morning commute to work. Oy vey.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Small Miracle

For three or four years now I've been struggling against depression.

At first I refused to even consider I was depressed, no matter what friends said to me. Sleeping a lot was just a sign of old age, that's all. Changes in my routine and failing to keep up with my duties didn't faze me at all.

I quit writing. I mostly quit reading and everything else. I did manage to haul myself out of bed each week day and get myself to work, where I could still function although much slower.
.
Finally when my production had dropped to almost nil and I'd fallen asleep at my desk twice, I gave in and saw a doctor.

The problem with my depression is that the cause is still ongoing, and probably will be until I die. So I must get myself under control and thank God they've made medications to help.

One vitamin B12 shot later and a couple of months of Celexa, plus changing to Women's vitamins, and I'm a different person. I can stay awake, lol. I'm reading again and am more productive at work.

Don't be afraid to admit it could happen to you. It can happen to anybody, for any reason or even no reason at all. The main thing is to not be stubborn and get some help.

I hope to find the desire to write again real soon. I don't want to give up writing. I have so many unfinished projects and they nag at me, but I still don't have any strong urge to take them up again.

But I have faith now. I never would have believed the change in me. So someday, the good Lord willing, I will be writing again.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Holiday Mayhem

I am so not a Black Friday kind of girl. I don't do crowds if avoidable and I can't abide the idea of getting up at midnight to stand in lines for the hope of getting a deal.

Today is the day after Thanksgiving and it's a day to pull the holiday decorations out of the closet, to bake some cookies, work on Carolyn's holiday porn (hee) and just be thankful that we have a roof over our heads and heat and the ability to pay our bills.

I'm grateful that I have such an amazng friend and fabulous partner in crime and writing with Carolyn. We've been friends for eight (?) years but I feel like she's been in my life and heart for a lifetime. I don't know that I would ever have gotten published without her belief in me.

I'm also grateful for my mini-me, Lea. She goes along with my crazy ideas, she has more crazy ideas than mine and together we totally get each others obsessions (Pinterest, anybody?). We haven't known each other long but I think we might be estranged cousins or something, we're so similar.

I'm grateful for this blog. It's fun to share space with my bestie and we can write about books, about writing and about nonsense. I'm very grateful that others read us on occasion and even comment but truly, I love having this space with my friend and sending our voices out to the vast unknown.

So today we'll be putting up lights and hanging out. Nutcrackers will take over all available surfaces and we'll ho-ho-ho our way into the weekend.

Hope all the rest of you have joyful days.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Now go buy our books and make us thankful.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Butt Officially Kicked and Happiness Ensues

I finally fell. Nano kicked my butt again (I've only completed it once) but this has been a wonderful experience and even though I'll never make the 50,000 word count, I'm still a part of nano and loving the experience.

I started a story called Three Pines a couple years ago and at the time it was a basic romance with a little magic realism tucked in. It quickly became unmanageable with too many storylines and way too much angst for me to handle.

I decided to rewrite it this nano. Pare it back, focus on one couple only.

Didn't work.

My story still has too many people with their own angst and too much shiz going on and it's making my head hurt. Plus I fell behind on my wordage with nano and I'm way too far behind to get caught up.

But... the story has bones. Good bones. What's written needs to be rewritten and I think I need to change the heroine's job again (too much cooking going on) but I see what it is now and where it can go.

I won't get 50,000 words this nano but this time I got a story that can work. So I win.

I heart nanowrimo.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Surviving Survivor

I don't usually write about my love for the TV show Survivor but I love it, I do. I've watched every season but one and although there have been some real snooze fests, it usually holds my interest in wonderful ways.

This season had the return of three players who had all played before but left the game for medical reasons.

This is Jonathan Penner.

Penner is possibly one of the best players to ever be in the game and he's worth watching.


Lisa. She might look familiar to you because she was a child star: Blair from The Facts of Life. Only two people have recognized her and that's Penner and Skupin, two of the returning players and older men. A few others in the same age group haven't and the younger players just think of her as the church lady.

I've been fascinated with this season because Penner is my favorite player, second only to Boston Rob. He's smart, conniving, athletic yet decent. He'll do whatever to stay alive except he hasn;t betrayed his word and he plays with dignity.

Lisa is also fascinating. She's in an alliance with one of the most banal players I've ever seen on the game: Abby She's loud, rude, insulting and thinks so highly of herself that it makes one afraid. Watching last night when things went bad for her, it was amazing to see her anger and petulance.

But last night had an amazing moment of Penner and Lisa talking (twice). The first time he was talking about her child stardom and he totally got in her head about her insecurities. I've never seen a man play a woman so well. That picture above is from that moment. He had Lisa in tears.

Later he asked her how in the story of this Survivor season how she wants to be remembered. A loyal person or a good player. She chose loyalty but thankfully her closest ally didn't (thank you Skupin for fucking over your alliance, they deserved it since they don't like you at all).

There are other players this season who are worth watching. Denise, a 41 year old sex therapist who's an amazing athlete and good at cutting through the bullshit. She's in tight with Malcolm who is the resident eye cansy as well as a super decent guy and good athlete.

Pete is a dark haired cutie who thinks he's the game mastermind but he's mostly hot air. I look forward to seeing him and Abby get voted off because quite frankly, they're mean and take up space. Abby is such a bad player that that in physical challenges the two other women, both twice her age make her look like an ass. I mean, they're ferocious. She sits on the sidelines and worries about her manicure.

In fact, they had to choose teams for a challenge and the two older women were chosen and Abby wasn't. Everybody knows a loser and she's a sterling example of one.

Anyway, I adore this show but this season has me breathless in anticipation for the next episode every week. I have a major love on the Penner, I really like Lisa and her game, I want to grow up and be Denise (or have some sex therapy with her)...

Just brilliant. Wednesday nights are my favorite night of the week for this reason alone.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Best Kid Ever

Tonight on Facebook, Carolyn's son messaged me to ask if I was talking to his mother because he was having phone issues and wanted to pass on a message.

The message was that he'd had a date the other night and encouraged her to buy all his mother's books for her Nook. Apparently the cost of a date with David is an investment in his mother's writing career.

I love this guy. I sure hope his date did too.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Story Within A Story

So nano is kicking my butt and I'm having a wonderful time. I fell behind on election day and I'm trying to make up the words I missed. It's going okay and I'm enjoying the pleasure of a deadline.

I'm working on a magic realism kind of thing and one of my characters tells stories. Well, more than one does but Maria tells many stories and they all have something to do with what's going on but they're couched in symbolism.

It's fun and interesting to try and write stories of another culture. I don't know Mexican folklore at all so I'm researching a little and trying to make it sound somewhat authentic.

I used to love reading Yiddish/Jewish folktales and now it occurs to me that I should write something involving those. Damn, why didn't I think of that before?

However, I love writing the make believe folk tales. Since magic realism is best known for its Latino authors, it's good to give a nod of the hat to their culture. I hope I'm doing it well.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Amazon is a Life Saver

I'm truly coming to rely on Amazon for just about everything.

I wanted something light but traditional for the Thanksgiving holiday dessert and I found a recipe for pumpkin pie that didn't involve baking and which did involve Jello instant pudding. I never knew they made pumpkin pudding, which proves you're never too old to learn something new.

I don't live in a big city, so my choices are limited. I ran to WalMart on my lunch hour today but struck out. My husband was going out for milk when I got home with the car, so I asked him to look at Winn Dixie. Hell, he doesn't even know where the pudding mixes are located, so I figured my chances were low to nil that he'd come home with  a couple of boxes.

And then - he became my hero! He said, and I quote, "Why don't you try Amazon?"

So, I did.

And it was there! Under Grocery and Gormet Foods!

Now I can try the recipe, which I found at Kraft Foods. You wanna see it?

Kraft Pumpin Pie


Triple-Layer Pumpkin Spice Pie


2 pkg Jell-o Pumpkin Spice Flavor Instant Pudding
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 cups cold milk
1 graham pie crust (6 oz)
1 8 oz tub of Cool Whip
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 tbsp honey

Beat pudding mixes, cinnamon and milk in medium bowl with whisk 2 minutes; spread 1 1/2 cups onto bottom of crust.

Stir 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip into remaining pudding; spread over pudding layer on crust. Top with remaining Cool Whip.

Refrigerate one hour. Meanwhile, cook nuts and honey in skillet on medium-low heat 2-4 minutes or until nuts are caramelized, stirring frequently. Spread onto waxed paper, separating larger clusters. Cool.

Sprinkle nuts over pie just before serving.


I've found lot of things at Amazon that I can't find in my town. It saves me money. Not only am I a Prime member, so there's no shipping fee on most things, but it saves the cost of gasoline. I no longer have to go to a larger town/city and fumble through stores I'm not familiar with. I fear the shopping bug was left out of my genes (unless it's books), something my friends just can't understand.

I'm experiencing a lot of things I never had the chance to in my younger years. The internet is a window into the big bad world, but there are enough good and enjoyable things to keep me coming back for more.

Hope you find all the things you need to make a fabulous Thanksgiving meal.
 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Elation, Election and Word Count

Okay, we have no fear of anything and are willing to talk politics and religion on ye olde blog so can I say, with the conviction of a woman who has enough chocolate stash: GOOD JOB MR. PRESIDENT, NOW GET TO WORK!!

Although my state was all mail in ballots and so they won't make final announcements yet, it looks like we passed same sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana. Woo-hoo! I'm gonna get stoned and marry Lea!

Kidding aside: I cared deeply about the same sex marriage and want to see it happen in every state. Our society is grown up. Let's stop finding people we can deny rights to and instead give equal rights and move on.

This is a bright morning indeed.

Unless you're looking at my WIP. I got my words written to get caught up for Monday but then didn't get anything written last night so now I'm 1,500 words behind. I'm not going to sweat it. I have a 4 day weekend and plan to nose to the grindstone to make it happen.

And the story is starting to make sense now so yay to that too!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Well and Truly Fucked

and not in a good way.

300 words short of my nano goal for yesterday which means that today I need to write 2000 words and I have a problem... I don't have any idea what to write.

I am so fucked.

All my characters are introduced. What they mean, or are going to mean to each other, is spelled out. But... it's like I have a group of actors on stage and they're all looking at me for direction and I don't know what to tell them.

Someone needs to do something but what.... I don't know.

Why is writing so fucking hard??????

(And since its nano I might end up writing 2000 words of utter shit tonight. As long as it gets wrtten.)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Making the goal

It's very early on in nano land.

Day 2 was just completed and I made my word goal. It took all day but I did it.

My goal is to write the damned 1667 words daily. I'm not aiming for more, I can't accept less. It's been so hard to write recently and this is my kick-start to remember what I love about it.

Of course it's hard to get the story moving because I walked into it without an outline or plot decided. It was actually the night before nano started that I decided on what story to write.

But I'm happy. Lea and I are inspiring each other, her word count makes mine look sickly but it's so far, so good.

The nanwrimo moment

November is the month that writers sign on the dotted line and Satan has their souls for a month. Oh wait... wrong month. November is Nanowrimo -- national novel writing month. The idea is that 1667 words written every day in the month of November and you'll have a 50,000 word novel completed by the end of the month.

Does it work? It certainly does. Water for Elephants, The Night Circus and Sugar B's Back in Town were all written during nanowrimo. (Okay, that last one was mine.)

The point of nano is to write. To turn off the internal editor and just get those words written and the story told.

Lea is doing it this year with me and it's a pleasure to have someone you're close to having the same experience. There's a real high in meeting your daily goal. A real clench when you want to go back and make it better but there's no going back. Nano is about going forward.

There are lots of people who put down nano because there's a lot of bad or unedited writing that comes out of it. Well, who cares?

I do it because I need the stimulus to get the words on a page. I need my ass kicked and I need to be pushed.

This is only day 2 and I haven't met my goal yet. In fact, I'm going to take a nap and worry about it later. The book will get written. And nano gives me faith.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012




HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nanner, neener, nano


It's almost nano time.

I'm going again this year and happily talked my mini-me, Lea, to do it too. And we've been discussing our plans and I started thinking that maybe it's time to let the universe guide me and not to plan at all.

I had an outline and character studies started for the story I intended to do but now I'm thinking no.

I'm considering going into this with no idea at all. Start writing and see what story decides to be told. It could be wonderful. It could be terrible.

It'll probably be crazy and frustrating and creative.

I've been working so hard to be a writer like all the other writers. To sell and be a little more successful and hell.... it stopped being fun.

Fun is when you write because the writing is what you want to do. Fun is when you don't care if it makes sense. Fun is when you laugh out loud at your own craziness.

Nano seems like a perfect time to have some fun.



Soulless by Gail Carriger

OMG! I'm reading this book the way I eat cheese popcorn. Big, greedy bites and reaching back in the bag for more.

I love this book and am seriously depressed that I'm almost at the end.

It's a steampunk that isn't really steampunk. It's funny. It's romantic. It's quirky. It's original.

This book alone was worth the price of a new Kindle. If you haven't read it, you must.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Seasons

Talking about the weather is a cliché, but I just have to. It was the most beautiful day here today.

My favorite seasons in the south are spring and fall. The temperatures are moderate in the daytime and cool to cold at night. In the spring it's a kaleidoscope of color, with azaleas and fruit trees bursting into bloom, along with the delicate yellow or white blossoms of the forsythea.





People have been planting more maple trees, so the fall colors range from brilliant yellow to dark red and every shade in between. Spider lilies pop up and bloom in unexpected places and the robins gather in flocks to weather the coming winter months before flying back north again.




But it's the weather that I love. Today the high was 74° under a hard blue sky - not a cloud in sight. Tonight it's going down into the lower 50's. The windows are open and so are the doors when someone's here. The fall comes into my home. I never sleep better than at this time of year.

It almost makes up for the heat and humidy in the summer.

Almost ...

Monday, October 22, 2012

R.I.P. Mrs. Penelope Wigglesbottom

My Kindle died.

I think it was Kindlecide.I 'll be questioning the suspects soon.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Authors Against Bullying

There are a number of authors today who are blogging in support of Standing Up Against Bullying. Carolyn and I are small small fish in the author ocean and weren't invited to join (oh dear) but I do agree with the sentiments and am joinging in with my own story.

Well actually, it's my daughter's story.

My girl is now  11 years old. She's beautiful, smart, funny as hell and obviously the apple of my eye. No... she's the entire fruit basket.  She's also a tomboy who keeps her hair super short, shops in the boys department for clothes and would rather die than wear pink or be considered girlie in any way. (Her girliness is really there though, but I never point it out. Scared of spiders, loves lotions and face masks....)

In third grade she developed a little crush on a school friend. A girl school friend. Third grade. 8 years old. Yup. Innocent as pie. Sweet. Adorable in fact.

Unfortunately my sweetheart told a friend. Who told a friend. Who.... you get the idea. In no time at all kids my kid didn't know were asking her if she was a lesbian. She didn't know what a lesbian was. A friend (?) of hers said he saw her putting her hand between another girl's legs. She was devastated.

Her crush wasn't sexual. She might or might not be a lesbian. It doesn't matter. This was an eight year old with an innocent crush who was being teased and treated badly because she told a friend.

We did our best to put a stop to it. The principal at my daughter's school was amazing and within a day the rumors stopped. I don't know what he did or who he talked to but it ended. Mostly. The problem is that the words were out there. The lies had already been told.

It's come up again. My baby has been approached by kids she doesn't know and asked if she's a lesbian. Does she like girls? Her answer is to walk away. But it hurts her. It's said to diminish her and trust me, it works. She feels bad about herself. She hurts because she knows logically that sexuality is undefined and what she decides in her life is her business and hers alone. She knows it. But it's hard to believe it when someone you don't even know is in your face asking if you like pussy.

I hope the rumor dies one day and never comes back. On the other hand, my amazing child is on the cusp of discovering more about herself and who she might one day find attractive. I worry that if she does come to discover that she's gay, how much others words will hurt her. I want her to be happy and I'd support her in any way. But other kids won't. And to see the child you adore wounded because she might have feelings that someone else doesn't understand is just heart breaking.

We need to fight bullying in any and all ways we can.

Do it for the kids.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Fox in a Box Being Doxxed

Over here at Dear Author there's a fascinating discussion about Doxxing, i.e., outing the anonymous online trolls. And others.

It's a brilliant discussion and what I love about it is that it's really ambiguous. Do I believe in outing others? No. I don't. I think the asshats behind the GoodRead Bullies have shown us how random and stupid that is.

On the other hand.... a man who is well known on a popular board for starting boards to celebrate the sexuality of underage girls, the hatred of non-whites and the joys of punching a woman in the face... okay, I'm having a problem supporting that guy's anonymity.

So he was outed by Gawker and now he's lost his job and revealed as the major scum he is. Do I think he should have been outed? Well honestly, I do. Because I think predators can't act unless they're guaranteed silence and secrets. Take those things away and you might have one less man abusing a child or woman.

On the other hand, I don't think that a flaming asshole online (and God knows, there's millions of that species) deserves outting just for being a major asshole. And I know that happens also.

The problem is that Doxxing, right now, might be one of the only solutions to exposing people who like to prey. Unless women, as a community, could get together and rip those places apart. We're so damned powerful when we choose yet so rarely do we choose to go into those places as a tidy mob and rip those assholes wide open.

We're so good at fighting each other but so bad at fighting together those men who would find pleasure in subjugating and hurting us. Imagine the power we'd have if we took over those boards with our comments and refusal to allow men to victimize.

That's a lovely fantasy I'm having right now. Shame it's just a fantasy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Comments Change

Right now we're changing comments not allowing anonymous only because we're getting someone spamming about 50 comments daily selling online drugs. Hopefully this stops the spam. If not, oh well.

Stop Judging, Start Listening

My brother is a Republican. He's a member of the NRA. He also supports same-sex marriage, pro-choice and keeping Medicare and Social Security untouched.

I'm a Democrat. Super liberal in many regards but I have HUGE issues with immigration (I sound totally right wing at times) and my beliefs about foreign policy are all over the board.

And we talk. What's surprising, especially to us, is how often we agree. We never used to but we've both been riding the tsunami of this recession, we've both paid for children and worry about our kids, we have a lot in common. And as we talk we discover that a Republican can have some very liberal views and a Democrat can be pretty stodgy about certain things.

In some of the places I like to go on the internet, I've been appalled at how much people try to silence other people because they disagree. The my way or the highway crowd are all out there. But more than that, there's no listening to other's views. There's no interest in respecting that just because a person doesn't have the same POV that you do, it doesn't make them wrong or a bad person. It just means they have a different perspective.

The haterz are the ones who quickly shame those who disagree. They're quick with labels, full of hyperbole and drowning in their vat of self-righteous, politically correct virtue that they can't hear anything past the pats they're giving their own backs.

You know who they are. They don't. They're shocked when someone takes issue with them or their perfect points. They fly off the handle when people disagree and they run to their blogs and buddies and point out everyone's wrongdoings.

God, start listening people. It wouldn't kill some of you to stop talking and realize that we're all different. Not everybody sees life the same way you do. We all have different influences in our lives that shape us and decide us. Learn more about others.

Listen.

You might learn something.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's Hard to Write

I'm not speaking for Carolyn, only for myself. And I have to say that it's just becoming harder and harder to write. Hard to write posts for the blog, hard to write books, hard to write anything except the occasional three line email to Lea.

I don't know why the writing urge/muse likes to hide in her hole. Sometimes there's times the words don't stop. I had one day where I wrote 5,000 words in about three different sittings and none of it was pressure. And that was only about two weeks ago.

Now I sit and stare at my Word documents and think I'd rather take a nap.

You can't be a writer if you don't write. Maybe I'll be a napper instead.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday


He followed me into the kitchen and I opened the freezer.

It was hysterical watching his face take on what I liked to call the guppy look: wide eyes, mouth opening and closing with nothing coming out.

“I wasn’t joking about having food in my freezer.” The foil packets were stacked like little aluminum soldiers, each carefully labeled with contents, date of preparation and cooking instruction. They were two deep on each shelf and even on the doors. I barely had space for my ice cream.

“You’d never have to leave,” Butch said. “Hell, why do you?”


**From Butch Cassidy VS The Zombie Girls

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Writing Smexy

I'm working on two different stories and yesterday I was in the same place on both: at a love scene. In both stories the sex is an important part of the relationship: in the contemporary the H/h spar but they come together with heat and humor.

In the erotic romance they'll be using sex as a way to break down barriers between themselves and the world. The sexual encounters between them must advance the story and emotional arc.

I love writing sex but I hate writing sex at the same time. There's nothing more tedious than penis in vagina but ultimately, that's what sex is, right? Although there are a few other places the penis can go but you know what I mean.

So how does a writer convey heat and passion and all the great things that exist in the encounter but not have it sound like a sex manual?

What are some of the best sex scenes you've read and why?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Did SteamPunk Originate from Dr Who?

I've been watching Dr Who recently on Netflix, working my way through all the seasons (although not the beginning of it back in 1900 whatever). Anyway, started with the Christopher Eccleston season (and what a fun, sexy Doctor he was) and now on the last show of the first David Tennant season and was thinking that Dr Who really introduced a lot of steampunk elements in the show.

The show where they went into the alternate universe where zeppelins dotted the skies and they had the cybermen.... the wonderful show with Mdm. du Pompadour (or however its spelled) and the clockwork aliens.

I wonder.



Friday, September 28, 2012

Is Serialization the Next Phenomena?

Hell if I know.

But I do know I like free things and I like even more free things that are well done by authors I like and respect.

So, here's a link to a free serial novel by the husband and wife writing team of Ilona Andrews. I intend to fully enjoy each chapter as it's posted, and I hope you'll check it out and enjoy it too.


Clean Sweep

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

No New Book for Me

I don't have a new book to tout. Pity, that. But I'm beginning to see why some authors, such as Lavryle Spencer, retired. Not that I'm comparing myself to her and I have no idea why she retired. But if you're a person who doesn't have an active or over active fantasy life, writing can become difficult.

These days, I can't buy an idea. Wouldn't it be nice if ideas came in egg cartons? You could stock up on a dozen or so and it would keep you going for awhile.

However.

I have Lori.

Unfortunately, Lori ideas don't always mesh with Carolyn sensibilities. For example, I could never have done a thing with the idea that led to 666 Angel Lane or the more angsty Stone Crow. Some Lori ideas only Lori can write. And that leaves me ... not writing.

However again.

I saw this Nora Roberts video over on the Bitches and the interviewer asked her about retirement. Would she ever stop writing?




What would she do with all those plots and characters in her head? Nora replied. No, she would never retire.

So, I must read more. I must watch some carefully picked TV shows and movies. I must try to climb out of my shell and start collecting my own characters and plots and then maybe, just maybe, I'll start writing again.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yesterday's Headline


We don't do a lot of promotion here on ye olde blog and we like it that way. But sometimes we want to talk about what we've written and so we do. And I shall.

Yesterday's Headline is a book I wrote about modern Hollywood. The heroine is named Kipper Dale. I imagined her as a black Jennifer Aniston: beautiful, a little insecure, on a successful ensemble television comedy. Gave her a nightmarish, actress mother and a bad-boy, addict father.

The hero was based on that guy there.

Paul Levasque, aka Triple H. In the book his name is Hurst (Easton Hurst) and he's a businessman, a little rough, big and sexy and smitten immediately by Kipper.

I chose to write about Hollywood for many reasons. I'd read romances based in the industry and some were so ridiculously wrong that it pissed me off. One book I'd picked up got discarded after the first page when the director, during a taping, changes the script and decides the H/h should kiss.

Could never happen.

I'm not an expert but I know a lot from reading and added research. I do wish the book had gone a little more into the celebrity side of fame and maybe that can come into a later book. What I wanted to do with this was write something that was based more in reality, that had a H/h who were a little different and that I could have some sexy fun in the writing.

I enjoyed writing the book because the characters were awesome. I loved Kipper who was intelligent and funny and finding her way through the Hollywood maze. I adored Hurst who was single minded in getting what he wanted and was pure alpha, yet never stood in Kipper's way.

I'm working on Book 2 with Kipper's best friend and Hurst's brother and they're fun too. Lisa is a monster maker and Butch is a lazy boy who gets by on his looks and charm. I wanted to have it done this month but I failed in my time management.

Then there's book 3 with a woman who is not very feminine and a hero who's a professional wrestler. Those two are a kick in the pants.

I do love me some Hollywood stories.

Buy from Amazon

Barnes & Noble

All Romance ebooks



Friday, September 21, 2012

Teaching an Old Fart a New Trick

My daughter has entered middle school and with it begins an introduction to algebra. For Mollie, that's no big deal. She's good at math. In fact, we discovered that they wanted to move her a grade ahead in math because her math scores warranted it (I said no for personal reasons).

But Mollie loves her some math.

I hate math. I mean, I have always hated it with the passion of a thousand exploding suns. I flunked algebra. Flunked. Got an F.

So Mollie has decided to teach me math. Right now we're working with base numbers, exponents and the proper methods of solving equations (parathensies, exponents, multiply, division, add, subtract) aka PEMDAS (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally).

I thought it would be as hateful to me as it was in 7th grade. Maybe it's because I love the teacher or maybe getting 40 years of life since 7th grade changed the brain but this is fun. I'm getting the basics and my daughter is throwing her homework problems at me (she already completed) and I struggle but slowly I'm figuring it out.

I'll never be a math wiz but I'm delighted to have this second chance to learn it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Meeting the Husband

I just got to squee...

Yesterday I met Frank Krentz, the husband of 30 years and true love of Jayne Ann Krentz. Yup, I did. And when I realized who his wife was I totally became a crazy fan girl and gushed over his wife's writing so hard you'd think my juglar was cut. Lots of gush.

Anyway, Mr. Krentz was a delight and told me that his wife works her ass off daily, she had so many books rejected before she got accepted that they could have filled a big dumpster with them and she's generous with her time in helping other writers.

Goodness.

I feel like I almost touched writing greatness.

And the best thing was being able to tell Mr. Krentz about how much respect the romance reading community has for his wife. And how much her books influenced me in wanting to write romance.

It was awesome.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Politics and Social Media

I have to be honest and say that FB is about all the social media I deal with. I have a Twitter account but really never use it any more. I do like Goodreads but only for the reviews. I belong to no groups and hardly remember to review books myself.

But I do spend time on Facebook. And I've been watching people get all bent out of shape about the politics and the people posting links to articles and videos and whatnot.

Today, a woman I "friend" on FB said she was going to unfriend anybody who posts political links. She apparently doesn't mind the pictures or jokes or George Takai reposts by the thousands. She doesn't mind the man-candy photos or the constant sales pitches by other authors.

She really minds the people who care enough about our country that they're investing their time and thoughts into the future of it. She minds that people are trying to choose a leader and a future for the US to guide us the next four years.

Funny cat videos are okay. But don't you dare mention any politics or thoughts you have about social programs, the future of Medicare or who'll have the power to influence the world we live in.

Good to have priorities.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hmmm ...

I haven't pushed our books in awhile ....



*trudges wearily to window*




"HEY!  BUY OUR BOOKS!  PLEASE!!


*trudges wearily back to bed.*

Saturday, September 15, 2012

50 Shades by "Morgan Freeman" (not really)

The narrator is a comedian Josh Thompson who does celebrity voices. This is still the funniest thing I've heard in ages.

Thanks Lea for the link.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Secret to NOT Writing

Lori thinks I'm writing again, bless her heart. I only wish I were.

I do hunt and peck a bit, but ideas are slow in coming and never seem worth the effort once they arrive. A writer without ideas is not a good risk.  ;-)

You see, I went off my anti-depressant meds. It occurred to me that probably most of the adult female population of the United States are on some form of anxiety or depression meds. General practioners hand them out like candy. Four people in our office are on some form of this medication, from Paxil to Lexapro and all points inbetween. So I consider I've never been offically diagnosed as depressed; the pills were a stop gap during some horrific times. As it is for other women.

What that says about our sex (omg, I reread this and thought it was the other kind of sex. Let me rephrase: what that says about the female sex ...) is nothing I want to contemplate. What it says about me is that I hate being in a crowd or running with a herd of sheep (or cows, I'm not picky), and I was tired of being tired. So I took myself off it.

I kid you not, I was sleeping almost 24/7. When I wasn't at work I was in the bed and not just resting, I was sawing logs, honey. Just ask Lori. She kept waking me up when she called. *sigh* Always tired, always exhausted. Nothing got done, and all the sleep didn't help. I just wanted more.

For years I've been lacking energy, since I went through menopause and I couldn't figure out why. I'm long past menopause, but it continued to get worse. When I went on the anti-depressives after my son got arrested, I plummeted into a type of hell because all the symptoms doubled or tripled. Looking back, everything seems hazy, like I wasn't quite there when things were happening.

I have more energy now that I've stopped the medication. I can feel the difference. The dust bunnies are quivering in fear. Heh.



But now I have emotions. I can't talk about my son without crying, or at the very least tearing up. It's harder to push the whole situation away, put it out of my mind, pretend it never happened. And now I can't sleep - oh God, the irony!

So, I started to write a bit, but my mind is filled with 'what if's' and all the why's and, of course, the well known 'why does the universe hate me? why me?' stuff. Seems that whether I'm sleeping or not, the writing grinds to a halt.

I'm getting too old for this shit, but I don't particularly care for the alternative.

Eventually I'll get this 20,000 word short story done, but Lori will be old and gray and so will everyone else, lol.

Avante!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Musings

Every Monday night is RAW, a wrestling show. Mollie and I watch and we're shaken right now, one of the commentators, Jerry Lawler, apparently had a heart attack during the show. Commentary went silent which was very strange and left us feeling very shaken.

Get better soon Jerry the King Lawler.

**

A bunch of writerly wonks have a petition (?) on the internet stating they disapprove of sock puppets and will never engage in any behavior that isn't Godly or self serving. I especially appreciated how so many of them managed to work in the information about their own work.

Writers are truly becoming the most self-serving, boring group of people on the internet.

**

Pinterest is my life. Nuff said.

**

Per Dear Author (who has gotten more boring in the last few months), EL James had the unmitigated gall to stop a party planner from using 50 Shades as a party theme because nobody should piggy-back on another's success.

The irony, it burns.

**

Carolyn has started writing again. This makes me so very happy. If you haven't read her then you should. Song of Life, which has the suckiest title ever, has some of the best writing.

Read it, my minions, read it. (I'll send lollipops to those who do.)

**

And because my chest still feels thick:  Get better Jerry Lawler. We're praying for you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Have a Mini Concert!


Proms in the Park.  Hyde Park, London. 40,000 in attendence to listen to an all star cast.

These are my guys. I love them to death and all of their music. Introducing:

IL DIVO!!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Cruise Dilemma

There was an interesting post over at Smart Bitches about 50 Shades/Twilight and what the appeal is. The part that fascinated me was that nobody was talking really about the spanking/butt pugs as being the *wow* factor but rather the discussion centered around the experienced older man/innocent young girl paradigm.

And I read it and couldn't stop thinking about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

There have always been allegations that Katie Holmes auditioned for her job as Tom Cruise's wife. And apparently there's a Vanity Fair(?) article coming out exploring how the Church of Scientology was behind a great deal of it.

Somehow there was a fascinating similarity for me in the 50 Shades and T.C. stories.

Cruise fascinates me because he's unquestionably talented and charasmatic. But there's something very wrong with him. It seemed to manifest itself when he ended his marriage to Nicole Kidman and then it's hung around him since then. If someone were to suddenly show that T.C. has a sex dungeon in his house or that he sacrifices goats to the spirit of L. Ron Hubbard, I wouldn't be surprised.

Katie Holmes seems to have married Cruise, had a baby, escaped being near her husband as much as possible and once the contract was up, filed for divorce as quickly as possible while breathing a sigh of relief so loud that it was considered a storm warning in part of the country.

I think Tom Cruise is Christian Grey. (I say this having not read 50 Shades but believing that Tom Cruise is Christian Grey.)

I hope that one day somebody writes a tell-all book that really tells all. I'm fascinated, I can't help it. There's something wrong in that dynamic and like 50 it becomes intriguing and engaging and kind of dark and wrong. And I'm hooked.

I want more.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Meet Kaitlin Branch and Valeria



Sometimes, ya just gotta let your hair down.

Mache Harcming is an airfoil pilot having a bad day.  Forced to make an emergency landing on an unmarked dirigible, he discovers a genius inventor, Valeria.  She is beautiful, fascinating, and unlike any woman he has ever known before.  She’s also dangerous.  Mache is certain if the CEO of her company, Elthgo Inc., discovers his presence aboard her aircraft, he will die.

But Valeria begs him to stay.  And stay he does, hiding in the vents of the airship whenever the CEO visits.  How can he refuse such a beautiful woman.  More importantly, how long will the ruse last before he’s found out?

WARNING: Brief torture scene

A Lyrical Press Steampunk Romance, coming November 5, 2012!

Some questions we asked Kaitlin.


Steampunk is a relatively new genre. What attracted you to it?

Originally it was a visual aesthetic to me - I saw it a lot at Anime Central and Anime North when my husband and I attended in 2010.  But then I discovered that several friends of mine from high school and earlier were pretty into the genre.  Suddenly I was up to my neck in Steampunk and decided it was the most amazing thing ever.  The costuming is some of my favorite, because it is easy to elicit really strong visuals while writing, but another aspect is the alternative history.  A friend is working on a Steampunk novel set in a world where the civil war breaks out again and basically decimates everything.  Finally, the opportunity to put a fresh face on an old story, in Valeria's case, Rapunzel, was pretty much irresistible.  


Did you find that the genre already had certain elements you had to include? Is there a little or a lot of leeway in creating a world?

 As mentioned before, there is a huge amount of flexibility in the Steampunk world.  One can be on land, in the air or in the sea with Steampunk, just as they can be in the Victorian, Civil War, or even a brand new Dystopian era.  However, there were three things that I knew I just had to have, simply because I dig them.  First, a dirigible.  When I attended a Steampunk formal in my hometown of Omaha, NE, I wound up sitting at the Airship Captain table, and found myself carried away with thoughts of steam powered airships.  Second, corsets.  I wear them, I love seeing other people wear them, and most of my other either don't have the setting or the characters to pull it off.  Finally, goggles.  Because if all else fails and you need to look Steampunk, toss on some epic goggles and you'll be covered. 


Tell us a litte bit about your characters.

The cast for Valeria is rather small, but the characters pack a punch!  Mache Harcming is essentially a good guy with a big case of the 'young and not sure what to do with his life'.  He is a pilot for what boils down to a package delivery service which was established once the first big airships were able to fly consistently and constantly.  Cheap overheads get the best of him when his glider breaks down, and he's forced to make a landing on a strange airship.  There he meets Valeria, a brilliant inventor.  Valeria is incredibly intelligent, working for a large industrial company, however he quickly finds that in some ways, she's also very naive, having been alone on the dirigible for most of her life.  These characters were kind of challenging to write, because I had to walk the line between the "she's smarter than him, but hopelessly naive" trope and inevitability.  I'm hoping I managed it!  


Is this your first published novel?  Do you intend to continue with this genre? What else are you working on?

Valeria is my first published novel!  While I do plan on writing more Steampunk in the future, I'm currently caught up in a paranormal romance series.  The first book of that, Pandora's Ring, has been contracted with Lyrical Press, though it's still too early for a release date.  I'm also polishing up the first book of The Athele Series, a high fantasy series co-written with my husband, which will be coming out with WriteLife LLC sometime next year. 


I'm always fascinated by the processes other writers go through. Do you have any habits as a writer? Do you need to listen to music? Have pictures that represent your characters?

Oh man!  Well, for starters, I'm one of those writers that subsists on coffee occasionally.  To that end, wherever I am settled, I often have to find one specific spot in which to write, and make it a writing space.  This space is more often than not a coffee shop of some flavor.  Here in Korea where I currently live, it's a little frozen yogurt and espresso place called Yogerpresso (get it?  Yoger...presso?).  In my hometown I was known as "that one girl with the hat who writes" at one of the local Panera Breads.  However, I've also taken over un-used front rooms and certain chairs in the student center at college.  Then, yes, I do need music.  Sometimes it's just a noise canceler and people deterrent (people are less likely to bug you with headphones in, I've found) but occasionally I'll hear the perfect song for what I'm writing, and that'll go on repeat for several hours.  While the pictures aren't like, necessary  per se, I do enjoy my Pinterest boards, which have both likenesses of my characters and inspiration for new characters.  And hey, more epic Steampunk pictures can never go amiss!

Friday, August 31, 2012

My Favorite Heroines

I admit it, I read books for the heroines. Oh, give me a Lord of Scoundrels and I'll be in a tizzy for the hero, but truly, nothing loses me quicker than a heroine that I don't love.

Like Quinn in Crazy for You by Jennifer Crusie. Quinn is every woman who happens to be the woman I'd like to be. She decides she wants a dog and in a short time, that one decision starts life changing events in the lives of everyone around her.

The hero Nick is cool. But Quinn is the coolest. I want her to be my best friend, my sister, my neighbor and the heroine of more books.

Another favorite heroine is Ella in Lisa Kleypas' Smooth Talking Stranger. Ella is a nice woman who tries not to make waves and smooth the waters around her. She's got a boyfriend she gets along well with, a family that is broken and when she's forced into caring for a child and trying to discover her sister's secrets, she still tries to do it as nicely as possible.

I love when she finally starts accepting her own wants. I love that she allows love into her life even though she knows it might destroy her.

Oh and Daphne from Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible. Oh lord, this book is a delight. Daphne is a brilliant woman who has to pretend not to be brilliant and when her brother (aka, her beard) goes missing, she ends up with Rupert, a loveable dumb ox who isn't as dumb as he appears. Those two are hysterical.

I love when Loretta Chase writes dumb men and smart women. Nobody makes a dumb man look better and gives a witty heroine a better spotlight.

And last but never least, I have to mention Liz/Abby from Nora Robert's The Witness. She's one of the smartest, saddest heroines you'll ever meet. Carolyn kept saying that all she wanted to do was hug her and I completely agreed.

She's a woman who should have folded from the events of her life but instead she perservered and made a life one could admire. The hero Brookes was great but it was Liz/Abby who was the heart and soul of the story and oh my lord, she made the book one of the best I've read in years.

So those are my heroines.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Well hell ...

Since Lori chickened out of the hero challenge and informed me she is heroine-centric, I shall go ahead and list my other heroes.  Bah and humbug!!

Ok, the first was Curran of the Magic Series by Ilona Andrews. (Check out her blog link on the sidebar.) He's a wonder, but I admit I could never handle him. Still, a girl can dream ... ♥

My second choice was Roarke of the In Death series by J. D. Robb. Suave and sophisticated, rich as Croesus - or was that Midas? - but still hard as nails and willing to kill when he has to. He appeals to me because of the way he understands Eve and helps her to understand herself. He's a wonder of a man and I always think of him looking like a young Pierce Brosnan. ♥

Third choice was Christian, Duke of Jervaulx. His strength of character and the sheer stubbornness that enabled him to overcome his affliction are so admirable. He's a man who pursues what he wants and is willing to humble himself to obtain it. What he wants is Maddy and by God, he deserves to win his dream. ♥

Sebastian. Sebastian, Sebastian, Sebastian. The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas. He ended one book a villain and we are privileged to watch him fall in love and change his priorities in this one. Poor Sebastian - such an alpha, thinking himself a rakehell and so dangerous. Brought to heel (in some areas ;-) ) by a woman. I lurve Sebastian. ♥

Last, but certainly not least, is Raphael, the Archangel of New York in the books by Nalini Singh. He's an immortal, has lived through terrible things, is remote and hard but there's something in him that allows him to love a mortal and because he does he changes; little changes but essential ones in a relationship. I don't know how much of Raphael we'll be seeing as we learn the stories of his Cadre of Seven, but I expect he'll change even more as the series progresses. He'll never become the emotionless, cruel, solitary being that his peers are. Love Raphael too! ♥

So.  All my choices seem to be alphas. How is it then that I tend to write betas? I don't have an answer, but I love that too, lol.

Lori - tsk, tsk, tsk.

Sssh!

It's quit here on ye olde blog, let's talk in whispers and not wake anyone up.

We're actually quite busy and that's caused so much blog silence. Both Carolyn and I have been writing and plotting and planning and lusting after Spaniards.... you know, the usual. But it does take up a lot of time.

I've rediscovered my home improvement gene which has been dormant for a long time. Thank Pinterest for that. So organization and projects are also taking a lot of time.

We're doing well though. Except for these damned allergies. And this damned election.

But these too shall pass.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yuck

I saw this on Facebook and was disgusted.

Not all authors feel this way. I don't.

I write because it's what I choose to do. Nobody has to read what I write and certainly nobody has to pay for it. I'm not a special person because I write and I don't deserve anything extra for it.

If you choose to read: awesome for you. If you read something I wrote, cool. But you owe me nothing beyond the price of the book and I expect nothing from you.

And give something back? When did writing a book become a charity? And the end where you're urged to leave high star ratngs. Even worse.

Please readers, don't ever think you owe an author anything. Ever. Our choice to write a book is not making you beholden to us for anything.

This disgusts me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Apologies

Carolyn and I have discussed the hero posts but writing the darn things have kind of gotten left behind right now as we boh seem to have found our writing mojo and we're working our asses off.

I'm happy happy happy that we're both writing and enjoying it.

Sorry sorry sorry but blog gets ignored a little.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Accept ...

Lori's challenge with the stipulation that we talk about one hero at a time.

I came up with five heroes but to list them from least favorite to top favorite is impossible. They all have different attributes and they all have some similarities.

So, today I'm going to talk about Ilona Andrew's Curran in the Magic series (also known as the Kate books. :-) ).

Curran is about as alpha as you can get. He has to be to keep his leadership of the packs of shapechangers. He has a sense of humor though,  and like all shifters is partial to practical jokes.

He's also slightly paranoid. Okay, a lot paranoid. Both he and Kate recognize this, but Curran won my heart with his heroic efforts to let Kate do her thing. He doesn't alway succeed, but he tries. He just can't let someone he considers his, let alone loves to distraction, fight alone. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't, but the love he has for his mate is never in doubt. I like that such a strong, disciplined character softens around Kate and he does, you'll never convince me otherwise.

Kate understands him and so do we, the readers. Lord, I'll never forget their first meeting. All Kate knew was that he changed to some sort of cat, so she calls 'Here, kitty, kitty.' Sometimes Kate lacks common sense, lol, but she sure caught Curran's attention.

So, that's my first pick, Ms Lori. Your turn now. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I Need a Hero....

Carolyn and I love to talk about heroes. Isn't that why we're writers? And romance readers? We love heroes. And some heroes are more than just characters you love, they become men you crave because in reality it seems, real men are just like us: faulty and imperfect.

The best heroes though.... I can't help thinking of almost any written by Loretta Chase. Sometimes they're dumb, sometimes they're playing dumb, sometimes they carry the nickname Beezlebub. And almost every single one of them has captured my heart.

Lisa Kleypas' new book, Dream Lake, has a hero who is approaching alcoholism and bitterness. He's all sharp edges and dysfunction and the only of her Friday Harbor heroes that mattered to me.

I'm not a great fan of the alpha-holes and I guarantee you a book with a Navy SEAL would have me running faster than a Weight Watchers meeting. Yet, I like a man who can take care of things. I just prefer a man who can allow the heroine to take care of herself.

I'm currently working on a story with an unemployed, unmotivated hero. It's my goal to end the book with him still unemployed but very motivated to making the heroine happy.

Anyway, this is a shallow post on a subject we can and should spend a lot more time on. So I think I'll challenge Carolyn to do a post on her five favorite romance heroes and I will also.

Chime in with your own.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Random Friday Thoughts This Thursday

I just saw a blog that a woman has subtitled Thoughts of a Soon to be Famous Author. I don't know if I admire her chutzpah or want to smack her on the side of the head.

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Sales for Yesterday's Headline, in the matter of a week, surpassed royalties I received for the entire of last year with three books at two different publishers. I can't see ever choosing a traditional publishing route with that as a result.

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Marinated Publishing is working on another anthology of short stories centering around DIY projects. We have four talented ladies working on it and I have to say that what I've seen that Carolyn has done makes me salivate. Very excited to see this project happen.

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I got a 50 cent royalty check from Noble. Go team Noble. snorthahasnort

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So I mentioned before my intense dislike of the Pinterest pinners who pin pics of celebrities suggesting that they're characters in the pinner's novels. But then I had an a-ha moment (not involving a catchy 80's tune and a cool video with pencil drawings) and it occured to me that those writers are in fact writing fan fic with real people.

Go pinners! Embrace the fic!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

As the withered withers widened...

the tan, slim strap of her espadrille slackened and slid, baring the curvaceous chunk of dusty, dry heel that had been a-wanderin', a-wanderin'.

She only wanted to stop and slate her thirst. That dank maw in her craw of unsatiated desire for the wet wonderland that was water.

A straw! A straw! Her kingdom for a straw.

She stumbled and only kept from falling because of the touch of a stranger.

"You'll want to be watchin' yer step, ma'am."

She chuckled sounndlessly, guffawed silently, chortled noiselessly. She knew where she'd be looking. She didn't need a stranger's warning.

She kept walking.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

BFFs via the Interwebs

So we got a nice little review for Letters From Greece which wasn't memorable but the reviewer seemed to love the idea of the friendship between the two women coming together from the internet. I imagine the reason it resonated so strongly was because the reviewer probably has a BFF she met via the internet.

Carolyn and I met on a fan forum. Lea and I met on a different forum of the same fandom. I believe the Smart Bitches met on a pet forum. I met Tom Clancy on a writer's forum (okay, I was bragging on that one a little.)

Of all my male friends, I don't recall a single one ever mentioning making a great friendship via an internet forum. Yet women do it easily.

I dont know why. I have theories.

Via the internet we don't judge on looks. So Carolyn and I are both young, slim and gorgeous. Of course we've seen pictures and we know the truth but when I think of the other fart, I see a young woman despite knowing what she really looks like. And in my mind that means I'm still young too.

We don't compete. Not sharing physical space lends itself to a greater generosity (I believe). I have never experienced the kind of generosity as I have from Carolyn and Lea from any other person on this planet. Including family, I'm sad to say.

Without the face to face we also miss the small things that we might hate about each other. I don't sleep with Carolyn's husband (because I'm a whore) and she doesn't hide her dust bunnies in my home (because she's allergic to cleaning). It works for us.

I like to think that in Letters From Greece, the two women there are the two of us in different circumstances. I believe that Carolyn and I would easily find our comfort together and let our bellies hang out and be free to point out those little chin hairs that need plucking.

I love that someone out there read the book and probably related to the friendship above all else. Because that's what it was all about.

And Carolyn? Stop UPSing those dust bunnies. Mollie's room can't take any more. And I think they're breeding.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bev Pettersen

I've discovered a new-to-me author, Bev Pettersen. I tried one of her books when it was free for Kindle. I started reading, and I swear to God, it read like the beginning of a Dick Francis book. Really, it did.

But Ms. Pettersen writes of romance in the Canadian racing world. It's not surprising she reminded me of Dick Francis because she too is a retired jockey and knows all the ins and outs of the racing world.

I don't think these books need to be read in any particular order. I recommend then for anyone who likes horses and racing, along with a large dollop of romance.


Fillies and Females: 

Becky Rivers yearns for a loving family and carves out a home as companion-nurse to an aging Texas matriarch with more opinions than horses. Bruised by years of neglectful foster care, she avoids the limelight but is forced to team up with charismatic horse trainer, Dino Anders, in order to salvage her employer's venerable race stable. Soon she is caught between a murderer and a ruthless saboteur...and her only ally is a man she isn't sure she can trust.


Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash:

Jenna Murphy, a dedicated horse masseuse, relies on her job and street smarts to support what's most important...her younger sister. But when the Thoroughbred Wellness Center experiences a hostile takeover headed by a charming but ruthless corporate shark, both her heart and career are in jeopardy.



Color My Horse:

Jessica barely knows one end of a horse from the other but shoveling manure is preferable to letting her conniving grandfather yank her chain. The only problem is that her new boss is a little too strict...and far too sexy.

She can handle sleeping in a rundown stall as well as the occasional encounter with a creepy trespasser, but a lovable old gelding and his uncompromising trainer threaten to break her heart.


Jockeys and Jewels:

Racehorse trainer, Kurt MacKinnon, resents being yanked into undercover police work. But when his ex-partner is murdered, Kurt is determined to find the killer and moves his third-string Thoroughbreds to the backwater track where his partner was last seen alive.

Julie West, a struggling and dedicated jockey, pins her dreams of an elusive win on the new trainer in town, never suspecting she's a person of interest--and not because of her riding skills.

Kurt didn't expect his contrary colt to flourish under Julie's feminine touch nor for his own rusty heart to soften. However, his deceit sucks them both into the cross hairs of a killer, and suddenly much more than their love is in danger.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was going to try to put individual links and stuff, but the honest truth is, I'm doing good to get the pics up in some sort of order. However, I will try to link to the "Big Three" ho ho ho.

AMAZON

B&N

ARe

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Gunmetal Magic

I just finished Gunmetal Magic and loved it. I remarked to Lori that it seemed so short, I wasn't ready for it to end.

Over on her blog, Ilona Andrews says she's been getting email complaints that the book's too short. She says the book is 111,407 words in Word.

Good lord, I never realized. The book whipped by so fast, it seemed much shorter. Plus, I could never carve out a big enough chunk of time to just sit down and enjoy a long read.

I see what it is. When a writer and a book are good enough to pull you into their world and keep you there, time flies and you just don't want to let go. You don't realize how much is happening and that eventually it must end. This is what Gunmetal Magic did to me.

I'm going to make time and reread at my leisure instead of inhaling it in big gulps, taking time to savour the characters (especially Roman ♥), the plot and the writing.

I love those crazy boudas and I think Andrea will fit in just fine.  :-)

Saturday.... in the park

I just wanted to show Jake.

He's utterly devoted to my daughter and she's training him in ways I never would have believed. She has him sitting, speaking, laying down, crawling, going off leash and returning when called. I took him off leash and he ran away. Huh.

But he's a doll and I adore him so I took him on errands and to reward him to him to a small park in the neighborhood. He had a great time and so did I.

Being that today is Saturday, I should mention that Carolyn has been instructed to write 500 words on a new story by tomorrow evening or I shall humiliate her by posting nekkid pictures I have. Oh yes, blackmail, thy name is Lori.

Watch this space. Carolyn was warned.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Recharging

Carolyn told me to go read the Ilona Andrews blog post today and I did and it meant a lot. I finally feel like I can say what I totally feel and that's that I'm tired. Bone-deep, pure exhausted.

This last year I've gone through a huge upset in jobs leaving me in a less stressful job but one with a lot less money and benefits. I've had three book releases (or has it been more?). My daughter is moving on to middle school, we got a dog, there's been enough anxiety to fuel a small nation and I'm just freaking tired.

I find that my interests right now are almost all about the home. I have projects I want to do and organization I want to try.

I feel like I want to be more present in my life and less focused on trying to write something that might sell.

I need to recharge.

Marinated Publishing is going to put out an anthology of stories that I'm excited about and I have my Hollywood Heroes stories that I haven't lost my enthusiasm for. But I think I'll let those develop as they may. Right now I want to hang a mirror in my hallway and make a seating area in a small space. My kitchen needs to be painted and it needs a new floor.

Writing is less fun as it becomes about sales. I need to find a way out of that rut.

So I'm going to paint. I'm going to learn to tile a floor. And I'm going to have a nap.

God, I'm so damned tired.