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.


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.

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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.


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*


*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.


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:


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!