Monday, April 30, 2012
I'm a practical, boots-and-jeans kind of gal. Writing always supercedes housework! (Horse work also supercedes housework...)
As a writer, I write award-winning fantasy romance for Samhain Publishing in a series called the Guardians of Light - Duality, Hedda's Sword, Lycan Tides, Dust of Dreams and Riever's Heart. I'm a Tolkien & Joseph Campbell groupie, and have developed a reputation for solid world-building. I like strong, sassy heroines and complex beta heroes. I love putting a lot on their plates and challenging them do the ONE thing they thought they'd never do. I don't give them what they want, but in the end they always get what they really need.
I'm a plotter, not a pantser, and I edit as I go, even in rough drafts, which makes me slow. I constantly tweak and layer. I SUCK at NaNo! <LOL>
The make-or-break in romance is character chemistry, not just of the hero and heroine. I like a broad palette of characters. At every encounter, no matter how small, interactions are fueled by conflict. Everyone risks something to lose, everyone has something to learn. They fight and challenge. They listen and bend and grow. For the hero and heroine, it's a dance. Eyes, a glance. Hands, a touch. Voice, a whisper. It's retreat and chase. It's opposites and the unexpected. It's the staus quo turned on its ear. Duality isn't just a title, it's a concept I blend with the Hero's Journey throughout the series. My guiding light.
I look forward to hanging out with you and sharing my little corner of the universe in the months to come.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
This time, I made the effort of using as little electricity as possible. And that meant....no computer for the day.
I thought this would be a no brainer. I use the computer at work everyday so hey, for one day, I'll take a break. ACK!!
I had to keep myself busy, or my fingers would be typing www.facebook.com real quick. So I did a lot of reading (which was great; I'm almost caught up on my TBR pile!), cleaned my apartment (and threw out/recycled a lot of stuff), and took a nap (which was heavenly!)
But I had also wanted to get some writing done. So out came the pen and lined paper - and you know what? I miss writing long-hand. I used to do this a long time ago, and I still have some old stories kicking about, with scratch marks and little notes in the margins.
I'm going to continue doing this; once a week for a start. Just sit down with pen and paper and slowly build a story in one of my school notebooks. Maybe I need a break from the computer; this should help.
Friday, April 27, 2012
All pix in the blog from http://www.dorisday.net
- My enduring relationship with my husband, now more than 45 years.
- My enduring relationship with my writing profession, now more than 32 years.
- And my enduring relationship with my devotion to my intellectual stimulation, now more than...well, let's say...lots of decades!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Robert the Bruce. Then the baby frowns, cries a bit, pulls a bit harder and hey presto they’re up, wobbling, but they take a step, then another and another and suddenly they're running, your baby is entering the school running races, marathons, they're at the Olympics. Good dream huh. In fact that trying stuff is just like a writer’s journey. Each book we write has a journey. Our characters journey, the way they cross the barriers of hardship and challenges to get the end desire (to run/succeed/fall in love). Then there is our own journey in writing that specific book, finding its soul and essence, falling in love with the characters we are creating, struggling through the dreaded sagging middle. It's a journey in itself. But what about the journey of a newbie writer. Once upon a time we picked up a pen (or finger to the keyboard) the moment after we’ve finished the best book we've ever read. It inspired us. Or maybe the book was the worst we've ever read – and that inspired us too. We can do this. We can write better than this. We WILL write a book. It'll be a best seller, the next GREAT (insert your country of choice here) novel. And we start...and stop and start and stop. But we do finish. We hit send and that baby flies off into the big wide world only to come crashing back to earth and us with it when we get a rejection. Oh, stupid publisher, what do they know? But silly us or hard-headed, determined us, we do it again, and again and yes, you guessed it, and again. And repeatedly those babies fall into oblivion of the dead manuscripts that don't get past first base or maybe they do, the publishers love the partial, they might even ask to see the full manuscript, ask for revisions – of course this isn't overnight as we all know this is over months and months and yes more months (years – eeek) and then the letter comes. It's not a thick envelope. I used to know if I had a rejection or a revision letter before I even opened it depending on how thick the envelope was. Thick was usually 2 page and rejections didn't take up more than a brief paragraph or two! So this becomes our journey – we write, we submit, we get hopeful, frustrated, cheesed off, and we keep going on the treadmill. Then hey presto we've got A CONTRACT. How exiting. The dream. The call. Success. But wakey wakey sweetie, you gotta get up the next day and do it all over again and again and yep again. Remember it's a journey. But what happens to real life while you're on this wonderful exciting and frustrating journey? Sometimes other parts of our lives get left behind, forgotten, as we concentrate on the holy grail of a contract, we forget about real life. The other day I was sitting in my office at home and outside I saw a Monarch butterfly float passed. I stopped, entranced by this vision of beauty. That boatful little creature made me realise what I had been missing. I had forgotten to stop and witness life around me. Then there were the family of qualis wandering around my yard. (oh they are sooo cute). Then there are the piles of books on my to be read pile. Why are there piles? Because I am a writer who ashamedly has forgotten why I started to write in the first place. I have forgotten to read books. I keep thinking I don't have time, that I must must must keep sitting at the computer and writing and wring and editing. I have forgotten to fill my well. Well...(pardon the pun) next week I go into hospital for surgery. I’ll be there a while (hence I wont be around to answer your comments as I’ll be under the surgeon's sharp blade), but I digress. When I got told the date of my surgery a week ago I thought great, I’ll take the laptop and I can write xxx number of words a day and that'll be bla bla bla... you get the idea. STOP JANE! When will you stop, breathe and rejoice in the journey.... So the laptop is staying home and instead I’m taking a pile of books and I’m going to go back to basics AND read – because reading was the thing that started me on this wonderful, exciting, rewarding, always challenging journey in the first place. But ...i must say, one thing i hope to get cracking on, maybe inspired by what i'm reading is the kind of sequel to He's the One. Zane Harper really needs his story told. Happy reading (and writing) everyone Jane Beckenham www.janebeckenham.com ps Many thanks to Abbey Macinnis who inspired this little post in a very timely manner when she sent me this link about our journeys.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
If you don't know me, allow me to introduce my self: I'm Liz Crowe. And I write Romance for Real Life.
The kind that offers second chances, forgiveness, bad behavior and good, and characters you might encounter in your every day life.
I've been busily getting some new branding elements down to match my new slogan. This "hop vine tattoo" image I will be using on everything, including book spines from Tri-Destiny, business cards, book marks, websites the whole shooting match. The vine tattoo itself graces the bicep and shoulder of a couple of dudes I've written about and of course, shows my love for my 'day job' that of owning and marketing my craft microbrewery.
Vegas Miracle is hands-down one of my favorite stories. I like these people so much it's about as close to total HEA as I'm willing to go even.
It will be re-released on May 1 with my new publisher Tri-Destiny and YOU my sweet 'n sexy compatriots are among the FIRST to see the the kick ASS new cover by my ass-kicking new artist who is responsible for my branding banner, and all new covers for the super-hot Realtors series!
Love this gal....now for Vegas Miracle:
And the excerpts in order of heat, beginning with PG-13 through Holy Hell Can I Read this At Work?:
Monday, April 23, 2012
A Teen Tale: The Boy Who Forgot
Mike ran out the door after his brother Chuck on a dark, cold morning. They ran towards the bus, trying to make it before the driver slammed the door and drove off.
Mike mumbled "Man, it's fricking dark out here. I can't see crap."
He tripped several times, but was finally on the bus, sitting in his seat. As soon as his breathing slowed, he realized how quiet it was. It's NEVER quiet on the bus. What the hell was going on? It was also still dark. Usually he at least saw the lights of someone's iPhone. Wait, his eyes must be closed because he was so tired. He tried to open them. Nothing. He heard his brother voice.
"Mike?" whispered Chuckie.
"Yeah, what Chuck?", snapped Mike.
"Where is your head, bro?" he whispered.
"My head? What the hell are you talking about?" Mike yelled.
"You have no head. It's like it fell off your neck or something. Man, this is REALLY freaky." said Chuck.
Mike tried to open his eyes again, and nothing happened. He slowly reached his hands up to where his head was suppose to be. Nothing. Wait a fricking minute, he thought, "I was talking to Chuck wasn't I?"
"Chuck?" he whispered.
"Yeah, Mike?" said Chuckie.
"You can hear me, so how I can be without my head?"
"Well, it's kind of weird, but I'm hearing you in my mind."
He realized then that all he could hear was Chuck's "voice", but nothing else. Damn. No head. No ears. No mouth. Damn, his mom was SO going to kill him.
"Mike, mom just called me and said I had to tell you something." whispered Chuck.
"Great. Was she mad?" asked Mike.
"Well, she was actually giggling. But you know mom, she's always had a warped sense of humor.", Chuckie said.
Chuckie snickered, but it had an edge of hysteria to it. Mike felt his brother grab his arm, and squeeze.
"She wanted me to tell you, word for word "I KNEW one day you'd leave your head at home. Didn't I always tell you that you would forget your head if it wasn't attached? Get your butt back home, so I can put your head back on your body! Geesh, Michael, what am I going to do with you?"
"Moms. Why do they always have to know everything? It really sucks," said Mike.
Brenda Hyde has been a freelance writer of home and garden articles for over 20 years, and now she's working on a series of cozy mysteries while blogging about her characters in the fictional town of New Harvest, Michigan. Visit her at http://harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com/ or her book review blog at http://moonsanity.blogspot.com .
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Happy Earth Day! Best~ Adele
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Now, the books I feature are from authors who were not afraid to be soulful, sappy, and/or suggestive when it came to their heroes. So, grab a seat, and pick up a pen and paper (or fire up your eReaders) so you can add these to your TBR collection.
When Malcolm entered the room, Heather stiffened, but didn't turn to him. "Heather." He set his hand on her shoulder. "We can go."
She slid out from under his fingers. "I'm not going anywhere with you."
"Going to solve this mystery on your own then, are you? Going back to your flat, then?"
"No, but I...." Whatever thoughts raced through her head, she refused to share them. Instead, she sipped more of her cofffee and kept her gaze focused on the far wall with the window. Outside, darkness crept over the horizon, squeezing out the orange and reds of the late afternoon sky.
"Every time I close my eyes, all I can see are your fists pounding into that man."
Malcolm crouched before her and lighty bumped his fist on her knee. "He was there to hurt you. I wasn't about to let that happen." When she said nothing, he continued. "Heather, I'm still the same man."
She shook her head. "Oh no, you're not. Where I come from B & B owners don't have moves like that, don't know how to handle weapons like experts, and don't talk in code like spies."
"I'm not a spy."
"But you're not just a B & B owner either."
"No, I'm not."
~ Alexa Bourne, Her Highland Champion
Carried away by her own response, she failed to notice that he was still looking at her, waiting. She tingled as he spoke her name. Tenderly, his eyes melted into hers. She could not find her voice. She could barely breathe, and she hungered from the memory of his mouth upon hers. Praise the saints. What was the matter with her?
He leaned in close and whispered in her ear. "Lass, your eyes show me what ye are clearly thinking. I suggest ye remove your hand from my arm and your eyes from my kilt."
~ Victoria Roberts, Temptation In A Kilt
"I could not prevent this terrible thing from happening, but I will hold her now, and keep her safe. If the Almighty sees fit to take her this night, he will have to pluck her from my arms. If she lives, my face will be the first thing she sees when she awakens.”
~ B.J. Scott, Highland Legacy
She hesitated outside the narrow space.
“You’re not afraid, are you?”
“Not of the horse.”
Jack chuckled. “I’ll be on my best behavior.”
“For a warrior or a soldier?”
Keeping her eyes on his broad back, she said, “I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.”
She slipped inside the pen bedded with clean straw and turned almost in awe at the horse towering above her. She patted his sleek neck. “He’s beautiful. You could start a new line with him.”
“Yes. He’s the finest I’ve ever known. But God help me, Karin, so are you.”
A current charged through her at his words and the emotion behind them. She swiveled, lifting her eyes to the intensity in his. “Why do you need the Lord’s help?”
“You have no idea,” he said huskily.
~ Beth Trissel, The Bearwalker's Daughter
Renee Vincent is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Hello fellow Sexy Divas!!
I got back from RT 2012 in Chicago this week and I have to say I had a BLAST! I'm still recovering from the book signings, parties, after parties and late night chatting sessions in the hotel room.
There is something electrifying about having the opportunity to hang out with writers and readers, the chance to talk shop and actually have people around you who are not only interested in the same things, but EXCITED about them too.
There were so many highlights for me, and I thought I'd share a few of them here with you.
I got to share a room and hang out with the charming and talented Delphine Dryden, Cara McKenna and Ruthie Knox. Yes, that's right, four women sharing two beds. We got cozy and none of us snored!! The late night/early morning conversations were worth their weight in gold to me. Plus, I got to spend valuable face time with my friends.
This year I participated in both the E-Book Expo and the Book Fair. There is something crazy and fun about being in a room with hundreds of other writers and being able to spend time with readers. I actually had people come up to chat who've read my books. I know, I know, but it still strikes me a odd even after having been published for six years. I loved every second of it, even though it was very loud.
You haven't lived until you've had a chance to play Erotic Pictionary. I haven't laughed that much in my life! I got to co-host the Carina Press Bingo reader session, laughing as I tried to make up sentences from the random words we selected from a bag. There were so many informative session that I wasn't able to make, but had heard about. Next time I go, I want to try and do more.
RT provided lots of opportunities to pitch to editors and agents. I found myself getting in line more than once and even walked away with some requests! Now I need to get back to the hard work of cleaning up that submission and sending it off. :)
The parties at RT really are the highlights of the week. From hip hop dance parties (I wore electric blue hammer pants), to flapper dresses, highland fae and cocktail parties, there was something for everyone. The Carina Press cocktail party, followed by the Harlequin dance was probably my favorite event.
Yes, the week is as exhausting as it sounds. I'm still recovering from the week! That said, I'd go back in a heartbeat. Maybe I will too!
Multipublished author Christine d'Abo loves exploring the human condition through a romantic lens. She takes her characters on fantastical journeys that change their hearts and expand their minds. A self-professed sci-fi junkie, Christine can often be found chatting about her favorite shows and movies. When she's not writing, she can be found chasing after her children, dogs or husband.
Christine is published with Carina Press, Ellora's Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and Berkley Heat. Please visit her at www.christinedabo.com and come chat with her at Twitter Christine_dAbo.