Friday, October 31, 2008
Happy BOO DAY, Everyone! I love Halloween, always have. Maybe it's the idea of slipping into silly costumes and pretending, if only for awhile, that we are somebody ELSE. Somebody who might not be quite normal, which of course, we all really are. Maybe.
Yesterday Kelley was talking with us about her kids' Halloween costumes. They are little ones and I had to say...ahhhhhh. It brought back so many memories of things my kiddos wore for Trick or Treat. Do you have some of the same memories?
Now I'll admit, I always spared no expense when it came to costumes. Yeah, I'm silly that way but I always just figured they are only young once and I want GREAT pics for the scrapbooks. I have a son and a daughter. My son is grown and gone now and my daughter is a high school senior so there isn't more dressing up around here and I have to say I miss it. So after I talked with Kelley about the costumes and the little ones, I started to think about some of the things my kids wore. Boys always seem to want to do spooky stuff but my very favorite of his was when he was very little, about four, and I bought him a spider costume. The body of it featured a big padded belly and the spider legs were attached to his arms and back with heavy black string. The back of the costume had "tails" like on a tuxedo. A head piece included a colorful bow tie and top hat. It was the cutest thing ever. I didn't feel so bad spending the money on it because later I sent the costume to my sister in Florida and my son wore my nephew's very cool costume the following year. So...we share the love in my family.
My little girl was almost always a witch with tulle, sequins, satin and lace. Once she was a ladybug with the cute red sequined wings and matching headbang with glittery antenna. I've also bought those neat little butterfly/fairy wings that attach at the arms with elastic. Inexpensive and easy to work with.
What kinds of cool costumes have you done for your kids OR for yourself? Any funny, funny ideas?
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Have you been naughty or nice? C'mom, I won't tell. *snickers*
Clearly, since Halloween is nearly here, it's time to start talking about Christmas. LOL So, how many of you prepare all year for Christmas? You shop all year long, you plan your time off all year long, you even have the menu figured out in advance. Show of hands! Who does that?
Or how many of you are last minute shoppers. You wait until....Christmas Eve to shop. You scramble around and grab what you can, where you can. You dodge the other last minute shoppers, go from store to store and check off the list as you find 50+ last minute gift items. You can show me your hand, it's okay! I was this person until last year. What changed?
Honestly, the internet.
Now I tend to do a lot of my shopping online. Things we might not find in the stores, or something the kids saw online that they really want. We do try to get lots of buying done, right here at home. I know some folks have talked about things not shipping in time, or having the wrong thing shipped, etc. That's never been out experience though. However, we don't buy EVERYTHING on line. Just some things. Then we go to the stores and get the rest. I actually love shopping with my husband at Christmas time. We plan ahead. The kids get picked up by grandma, and the hubby takes the day off work. Then we make up our list on the way to the stores, go where we want, have lunch together, and we take our time. It's a fun day out for us.
Though I do have a confession to make. Certain people get gifts, others get gift cards. That makes the shopping way easier! Is this because we don't care about the 'others'? No, but I for one like gift cards. It means my girls and I can go shopping after Christmas and have a fun day without it costing us a fortune. I love being able to pick out my own things. My mom gets me a gift, then a few gift cards, one usually to Barnes and Noble. I loooove that B&N gift card. LOL I personally like to get my neices and nephews gift cards to the favorite stores, like Best Buy, American Eagle, Claires, Hot Topic, etc. I can't keep up with everyone's taste in video games and music and clothes, but if I get them a GC at say, Best Buy, then they can go and get whatever games and CDs that mom and dad DIDN'T get. Also, for the older girls, I like to give GCs from places like Bath and Body or Victoria's Secret. Who doesn't love fragrance or a cute set of PJs? But I might get the wrong size or the wrong color. So, to avoid everyone standing in the return lines, gift cards are the way to go in our family. It saves them trouble, and gives them an extra day of shopping for gifts they actually WANT!
So, how do you approach the madness of Christmas spending? Do you even celebrate Christmas? If not what do you do instead. I'd love to hear about everyone's traditions, not just a select few! :) So spill!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I love a good tortured hero. I don't know what it is about them but an author really hooks me if she can write a good tortured hero that tugs my heart strings but doesn't make me feel like he's whiny. I recently finished the Twilight Saga. Totally didn't think I'd like the books. I'm not big on first person AT ALL and I don't really read YA (except Harry Potter of course). A friend of mine wanted me to read the books so badly that she bought the first one from Amazon for me and had it sent to my house. I dove in and was immediately hooked. I devoured all four books in one week then crazy as it sounds, turned around and started them again. Edward is the ultimate tortured hero. He hates what he is, truly believes that because he is a vampire that he had no soul, and fights his overwhelming hunger inside him for Bella's blood. The whole book he is at war with himself for so many reasons. He knows he shouldn't stay with Bella but he loves her so much he is incapable of staying away. I fell in love with his character. It surprised me how much his character touched me. How his inner demons pulled me in even though the book isn't in his POV. He is the tortured hero to me and I can't get enough of him.
Another book with a seriously tortured hero is In Your Wildest Dreams by Toni Blake. It's one of my favorite books of hers. Jake hooks me, speaks to me and I feel the pain of his past. Is there anything like that feeling? When an author can draw you in like that? It's amazing.
Do you like tortured heroes? What is it about them that speaks to you? If not, what is it about them that pushes you away?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I'm new at the whole promotional thing and yes, I do chats and blogs, myspace and other little things but now it's time to buy GOODIES!!!
Personally, I love hitting a convention's GOODY ROOM and collecting all the neat little things. Some I'll later toss out and others, like pens and magnets I'll keep. So lately I've been struggling with what works. Some time ago I posted about promotional ideas and we had some great discussions. One of our blogger friends suggested make-your-own magnets and I really latched onto that idea (thanks Molly). About a month ago, I hit Print123.com and found some really pretty biz cards and then I stumbled across business card magnets at my local Office Depot. Cheap, cheap, cheap. I LIKE CHEAP. It was about six dollars for 25 magnets. I picked up two packages of them. They have a peel off sticky back and I've been attaching them to my pretty biz cards.
I also ordered some oversized postcards. Yeah, I know everyone said they'd probably get tossed but in a moment of madness I ordered them anyway because my Breath of Magic cover was just too pretty to ignore. Got those in the mail the other day. On the flip side of these, I listed all my current and future releases and contact information.
So now I'm on a direction for what I'll send and the next step is PENS. I know it's cliched maybe but that's what I'm going to do. I've researched candy bars, key chains, and all kinds of stuff but I keep coming back to the basics. The aren't that expansive and all I need to decide is the color of the pen, the color of the font, and what I'd like to SAY on them. What colors do you think are more appealing? I've had my eye on a very pretty purple but the pinks and reds are nice too.
Any suggestions? I'd like to make a good impression on the Aussie readers. From what I hear they are very much into e-books in Australia and it's a growing market. It would be nice to pick up a few readers from Oz. Any new things out there that deserve a second look? What catches YOUR attention among all the promotional stuff out there?
Monday, October 27, 2008
My daughters and I laughed out loud. "Can I just spray a little PAM down there right before the baby comes out?"--Angie ROTFLMAO!!! That line had me in tears! Or this one: "With a little luck I could be pregnant right now. . . I said too much for a first date, didn't I?" --Kate
If you haven't seen it yet, you definitely need to rent it!
Now, since I'm in the mood to laugh, what other movies should I rent? Gimme some titles! My life is nothing but stress, stress, stress. I need laughter dammit! LOL
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I'm sharing another of my favorite poems today. This one is Phenomenal Woman by the talented Maya Angelou. Enjoy.
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Friday, October 24, 2008
Maybe I'm feeling nostaligic and remembering things. I grew up in a pretty small town, did the college thing, the mom-with-little-kids thing and now I'm facing an empty nest. Nothing like that to make you evaluate where you ARE. Once my daughter leaves home, I'll still have my writing and my writer FRIENDS and I know they'll help me get through things. Locally I have acquaintances but there aren't many who understand what I do everyday, nor do they care. Writers are solitary people, as a rule. We are spinning our words into interesting (we hope) stories. We deal with our editors and publishers. We promote our work on loops and blogs and during the times we are out in public, we are observing probably more than we are actually participating. Does that make sense? Or is this just me? I don't know.
One thing I DO know is that some of the nicest people I've met in the entirety of my life have been within this little world of ours. I have a handful of friends, all of whom I've met in the past couple of years and I honestly believe I could tell any of these women ANYTHING and there would be no judgment or criticism. Maybe it's because we observe the world so closely that we identify and empathize with others on an emotional level. Romance writers are decent people (both men and women) who explore the power of love and deal with emotional issues every day while producing their stories.
I share everything with this group of talented people. We read each other's work, we brainstorm, we discuss our kids and our work and I realized yesterday how lucky I am to have such strong friendships. When one of us has good news, I tear up and grin from ear to ear. I am there for them as they are here for me and distance doesn't, in the end, mean a damn thing. It's nice to know.
So in honor of the coming weekend, write a friend and tell her how much she/he means to you. Mine keep me going, keep me sane. Hugs to you and thanks for the friendship.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Well I had one. Her name was Amy. Amy was a year younger than me, but she was big for her age, and cunning. We were in like fourth and fifth grade at the time. She always found interesting ways to torture me. Sometimes it was running me down on the sidewalk as she rode her bike. Other times it was spraying me with the hose as I walked past her house to get home from school. Amy taunted me all the time. Until one day she pushed too far. Literally. I was walking with a friend and Amy came up behind me and pushed me in the back. I stumbled and fell. I didn't confront her, just acted like it didn't bother me and went home. However, my brothers saw what Amy had done. They, being the rowdy bunch they were, told me to get back out there and teach Amy a lesson. I was scared. One, I wasn't the confrontational type. Two, Amy was a mean little bitch. I didn't think I could beat her. My brothers felt differently. They knew I could take her. Still, I pleaded my case. What would mom do if she finds out I've been fighting. One of my brother's piped up and said, I'll handle that, you just go out there and show Amy what happens when she pushes a person too far. I took a deep breath and went outside. Amy stood in the neighbor's yard, taunting me more. Yelling at me, calling me a chicken. The neighbor lady was frowning at me. Basically calling me a bully, because poor little Amy is just misuderstood. Yeah, don't get me started on that one. All the adults thought Amy was a sweet little girl who wouldn't hurt a fly. *snort*
I didn't go to Amy, that would have put me in the old hag's yard, instead I stood in my driveway and waited. My brothers were on the front porch, watching. I shook I was so scared. Finally, as predicted, Amy came to me. No way could she pass up a chance to torture me some more. First let me explain something, before I tell you what happened. I'm the youngest with three older brothers. I learned early on how to defend myself, even if I didn't quite realize it at the time, I did actually know how to fight. So, Amy, being the idiot she was, came at me. First she tried a punch, which I evaded. Come on, seriously? Do you even know how many punches I've evaded over the years?! Hello! Brothers here! Then she tried a kick. I grabbed her leg and shoved it upwards. Amy fell on her ass. It was a concrete driveway, I knew that hurt. She jumped up and gave me this look then ran over to old lady Hall's house. I waited. Amy never came back out. Amy learned a lesson that day. If you push someone far enough, they WILL fight back, even if it's not in their nature to do so.
So, as you can imagine my brothers cheered, 'way to go, sis!' They were so proud. LOL Mom never found out, surprisingly. Though I knew Billy would keep his word. No matter what, I knew he would have gone to bat for me.
Why do I bring up this little episode. Things have come back around. Now my daughter is being picked on. Not physically, but verbally. A friend at school takes great pleasure in calling her names. Prostitute, slut, pocket whore (because Kati is short). The list goes on. Kati is like me, she rolls her eyes and moves on, she's not confrontational. She's not a slut and she doesn't see the point in defending herself. Everyone else at school knows Kati isn't those things. She has a lot of friends, the girl who talks shit, talks shit about everyone. She enjoys the backstabbing, spreading nasty rumors, calling people names. She just simply finds joy in it. The thing is, I know this girl. I know she doesn't come from a bad home. There's no abuse or secret reason why she's this way. Truly, some girls just enjoy being mean. There, I said it. I refuse to make excuses for her. She was not raised to do these things. Her siblings are not this way, at all. So what's the answer? As a mother I want to call this girl's parents and tell them what their daughter is doing. I've told Kati that. She cringes when I say that because clearly I may as well slice her throat. Having mommy come to her rescue is about as embarrassing as it gets. If the taunting is bad now, you can imagine how much worse it would get, right? So, I told Kati the other day that I know she doesn't like to confront this girl. It's not in her to do that. But at some point she's going to have to face her fears and stand her ground. I don't think that day is too far off. And I think that when it happens, she'll be stricking a blow for just about every girl up at the school, because they've all come under this bitch's verbal attacks at some point. Is telling Kati to get in this girl's face the right thing to do? Yes. Why? Because sometimes it's important to stand up for yourself. It's just that simple.
So, have you been bullied? What was the solution, if any?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for letting us pick your brain. We're so glad to have you here at Three Wicked Writers.
It’s a pleasure to be here with you today, and thanks for the invitation.
1. Why did you decide to become an agent?
I had an amazing opportunity to work with Karen Solem , and I was at a place in my career where I wanted and needed a change. It was fate and I jumped at the chance. I’m so glad I did!
2. In what ways to you try to shape/mold a writer's career?
Every writer is different. Some writers want intensive focus on career building, other’s need help editorially, some feel perfectly happy where they are—so each writer’s needs are unique, and depending on what they are, I try and meet them in ways that will facilitate their creativity, and their business. Some examples could be building their brand, editorial help, market / publicity advice, goal setting (short and long term), coaching, managing creativity in the writing profession etc.
3. What are the benefits of having an agent? Do you think a writer really needs representation?
You’re asking an agent if I think a writer really needs representation? Why of course they do! Ok, not all authors need an agent. But…
The biggest benefit to having an agent is this: We work for you! We are a conduit between the author and the industry.
We advocate for you. We sell your work, we negotiate contracts, we demystify and simplify the ‘business’, we coach clients when challenges arise, we cheer when milestones are reached and goals are met.
4. What is the most FUN aspect of your job?
Selling an unpublished author’s first novel is very very fun. Traveling and meeting all of the talented authors we work with as well as potential clients is always fun, reading for a living? FUN!
5. What current trends are you noticing in the market? What do you see publishers really clamoring for?
Currently I am seeing more interest in meaningful, inspiring, heartwarming work, be it contemporary or historical. Times are tough right now (and that’s an understatement) I believe that the market is reflecting a desire for comfort and security—a good book to fall back on can lift us up.
OF course, I am not a trend heavy person—I think the market always looks for good books, regardless of genre. If you are an amazing storyteller and can engage the reader instantly there is a market for you.
6. What type of books are you specifically looking for?
See above. I would personally love to find an uplifting women’s fiction; I love stories featuring a slice of life, with strong women characters and a layered cross generational family arc—plus a little magic thrown in for good measure.
7. Do you like to get the full MS from an author or query, synopsis and first three chapters?
first three chapters, synopsis and your query letter of course.
8. What are the word counts you'd be willing to represent with a new client?
I represent category romance and single title length work.
9. How would an author go about contacting you? Do you have a website?
Website under construction. You can email me a query @ Jennifer@klsbooks.com please do not send me children’s work, non-fiction (unless you are the next Elizabeth Gilbert !!) or novella length work. Allow 6-8 weeks for a reply, and this can vary depending on my work/travel schedule.
Another big thanks to Jennifer for stopping by today!
Lots of my friends don't get to watch this because they don't get HBO but I'm hoping they'll pick it up when season one comes out in DVD. It's absolutely spellbinding and I wouldn't dream of missing an episode.
What is it about vampires in books and movies that intrigues us so much? Who are some of your favorite vamps and vamp authors? I first fell in love with the whole idea of vampires after reading Christine Feehan's Carpathians and then along came Sherrilyn Kenyon and J.R. Ward. Gotta admit, these alpha heroes are hard to resist. Are you a vamp-fan? What was your first vamp book and who are your faves?
In an aside...any Trueblood watchers out there? What the HELL is Sam? Is he a shifter? What? I'm dying to know.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I'm talking about relaxing...what did you think I meant? *wink, wink*
What's your favorite ways to relax? I found myself not able to do much of that this weekend. I wanted to, tried to, but things kept me busy. Normally my favorite way to relax is to just grab a book and plant my lazy butt on the couch. I don't move unless it's to snag something from the cupboard or go to the bathroom. Comfy clothes, a cozy blanket, maybe a great big chocolate chip cookie...sounds like heaven, huh?
Sometimes I like when my husband builds a fire out back, in the woods. We bring blankets, beer, some peanuts, then just sit and watch the fire and chat about nothing. Let the time slip by enjoying nature.
Also, I'm a big movie fan. I love watching one of the Harry Potter movies, or The Mummy, something fun and full of adventure. The girls and I find just the right spot on the couch, close the curtains and doors and turn the sound way up. We pop popcorn and pretend we're at the movies. It's great!
This weekend was filled with business, family visits, and chores like laundry and dishes. NOT very relaxing, but you'll have that sometimes.
So, what's your favorite way to unwind after a really busy week???
and no, this isn't my dog, it's just a picture I found on the internet, but isn't he adorable?!
::::NOTE TO AUTHOR::::
Anyone interested in a writing contest with NAL Publishing, check out the Manic Readers website for details!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I'm a huge fan of poetry. The words of poem can speak to my soul on very deep level. I have journals full of poetry that I wrote as a teen and young adult. Putting my feelings to paper helped me deal with some really rough times in my life. Today I figured I'd share one of my favorite poems with you. I didn't write this one. I'm not even sure who did but I love the words.
Comes the Dawn
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead, with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans, and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. .
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to leave you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure;
You really are strong, you really do have worth.
And you learn, and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Obviously Suzanne has a great sense of humor. She was, naturally, appalled about this cover and had no control. She immediately went on her website and offered SMILEY FACE KITS to cover the hero. Funny.
Now these covers are completely FAKE and done by a very funny guy named Longmire. Don't know if you've seen these but they are a hysterical take on romance covers. Check out Longmire Does Romance Novels for even more of this great stuff. So in honor of the weekend coming and because we ALL need a good laugh on a daily basis, I've provided a little sample of his work. Do you have a favorite?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The other day I told Regina that I really want an ebook reader and I'm not waiting until Christmas to have one, dammit! I've been saving little bits of cash here and there to buy me an ereader. I had every intention of getting the ebookwise, it's affordable and convenient and I've heard good things about it. When I told my husband that I'm going to buy myself an ebookwise (at $140 that's damned cheap!) he said, why not buy the new Sony. I said, because I don't have that much to spend. He, being the sweetie that he is, has offered to pay half, so I can have the Sony ereader. He's the electronics man around the house and he seems to feel I'd like the Sony ereader. So, for an early birthday present (Nov. 17th) we're going to get me a Sony ereader. Yay! This means no more sitting at the desk to read an ebook. I can carry it with me to games and cheer competitions. I can sit on the couch and read an ebook. I can download hundreds of ebooks and even my own too. How cool is that, right?
But this got me to thinking. There are several cool ereaders on the market today. I'm curious, which one do you have, or WISH you had?
The Kindle, Amazon's baby...
The Sony, of course Sony couldn't let Amazon have ALL the fun...
or the Ebookwise, affordable and the size of a paperback... If you DON'T have an ereader, I'm curious why? Is it the cost? Is it just that you haven't gotten around to buying one? I kept blaming it on the cost, but the truth is, with all the paperback books I've bought just this month alone, I could have had that damned ebookwise! I added it up. I went to barnes and noble once, I bought a few books off Amazon, and I went to Borders twice. I've spent $110 on books...and that's not included the two times I went to the UBS and bought books...Is that crazy or what?
It's funny how we justify $10 and $20 at a time, but dropping $100 or $200 suddenly seems like such a big deal. Think about it for a second. How many books have you bought the last few months? And be honest! Here's another little test...how much have you spent in cell phone bills in the last few months? lol
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Well not for me. I LOVE fall. Season wise, it is the most wonderful time of the year for me. I don't get to enjoy some of my favorite aspects of fall now because...well I now live in Southern California and we don't really have seasons here but there are so many fall comforts that I miss from living in Oregon: the cooler, crisp weather, the hues of orange, red and brown leaves scattered on the ground and hanging from the trees, inhaling the sweet scent of hot apple cider as it brews on my stove, and most of all, curling up on the couch all day long in my jammies while I listen to the rain pitter patter on the roof while I'm reading a good book.
I love it. It warms my heart just thinking about it. Unfortunately I'm still wearing flip flops and using my air conditioner half the time. I'm sure to others that sounds nice but as much as I love the warm air and sun teasing my skin, I miss the changes in the season after a long, hot summer.
One of my favorite things to do as a child was collecting fall leaves. I remember picking out the best leaves I could find, tracing them with crayons and paper or just grabbing hand fulls and throwing them in the air. I loved the warmer days yet cooler nights where we could have a little bonfire and roast marshmallows. Yeah, sure, it rained sometimes on Halloween and I would be totally bummed but now when I look back I cherish the memories of getting soaking wet in my hunt for candy.
Let's hear some of your favorite fall memories. What is your favorite season and what do you like best about it?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Yep. I love him to pieces but we behaved like a couple of two-year olds having a tantrum. By the time the morning rolled around, I realized we were both tired, sweaty, and stressed and that's what happened. Yeah, we both realize these things pretty quickly and I think this is probably why we'll celebrate our 26th year together at the end of this month. We tend to talk things out and have no big problems realizing why sometimes, we act like children.
When the kids were little, we used to take a break from the "child-rearing insanity" by having DATE NIGHT once a week. We didn't do anything fancy most of the time. Just a nice dinner, maybe walk around the mall or drive through neighborhoods to check out landscaping ideas. Just dopey stuff but we were together...two adults who have built a life and are raising kids and all the other good things.
For some reason we got away from all that and now we're staring an empty nest dead in the eye. Okay. I've been thinking hard about this and after our little spat and the goodwill we felt over the weekend when it was all over, I've decided that it's time to re-institute DATE NIGHT. It might not be anything big. Maybe dinner. Maybe one night I'll surprise him with a nice bottle of wine and music on the back patio. I figure it doesn't have to cost a lot of money.
I don't know. I'm beginning to think sometimes we lose little bits of the reasons we fell in love in the first place but in the end, the foundation remains strong. Kind of like a nice house that you bought when you first married but now it needs a fresh coat of paint or some new carpet. Yeah, I KNOW. Weird analogy but you get the drift. So I just told him I was putting my foot down. We're going to have date night again and the smile on his face warmed my heart. Hm. Suppose he's been thinking about this too? I like to think so.
What do you do to keep the love alive in your marriage/relationship? Want to share some interesting ideas? Not asking for kinky here...lol, just the little romantic things you might do to keep things purring along. If you aren't in a relationship, how do you envision you would work to keep the love alive?
Monday, October 13, 2008
I did this when I discovered Feehan and Kenyon too. I read one, then bought the rest in the series and couldn't get enough. Sadly, I read too damn fast. I end up catching up, then I have to wait forEVER between books.
Even more frustrating is when you discover an author who writes the types of stories you love, but then they change their style and leave you hanging. Don't you hate that? I had one favorite author do thhis recently and it's really upsetting. I miss her books! I end up re-reading the old stuff, just to get my fix. Ugh! I hate when an author changes. Being an author myself, I totally get that you have to follow your muse. You can't write what others want, you can only write what feels right to you. Sometimes, that means changing your style. But where does that leave the readers who've followed you faithfully from the beginning? I'll tell you where that leaves them, it leaves them out in the cold! Sure, we'll try to read your new stuff, but it just won't be the same. Let's face it, we readers hate change. We fear change. We know what we like and we don't want it being screwed with.
Has this happened to you? Have you had an author totally change their style on you? Did you feel strangely betrayed? I know it sounds crazy, but the truth is, I feel betrayed when I think of it. I derived such joy from this particular author's books. Now, it just makes me sad, as if I've lost a good friend or something.
Instead of dwelling, I've moved forward, found other authors to fill that empty space. There's so many authors out there, I know I'll find another one who has a similar style, it's just a matter of finding her. In the meantime, I have Lora Leigh's SEALs and Breeds to keep me company. Not too bad when you think of it like that, huh? ;-)
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Do you Kindle? I've heard really neat things about them. I don't have one but I'd love to in the future. Why do I want to know you ask???? Because the first book in the Friday's at Luciano's series, Getting Lucky with Luciano is now available on Kindle!!!
Responsible, workaholic bookstore owner, Kaylee Daniels is ready to add a little bit of spice to her life. She doesn’t have a lot of spare time but what better way to try and occupy her free time than with a no strings attached affair with hunky Italian restaurant owner, Luciano Valenti. The man has had her fires burning for the past six months. The only problem: she can’t be around him without turning into a stammering klutz. How is she supposed to seduce a man she can’t even hold a conversation with?
Since the first Friday Kaylee Daniels walked into his restaurant she’s had Luciano on edge. The foxy woman spilled more drinks than anyone he’d ever seen but something about her got to him, bad. Luciano doesn’t have time in his life for anything serious. Hell, he doesn’t want anything serious and Kaylee is definitely a relationship kind of girl. Or so he thought… What happens when two career minded people decide to spend a little more time on themselves…and each other? They just might find themselves getting lucky along the way.
Reviews:5 Ribbons from Romance Junkies
GETTING LUCKY WITH LUCIANO is a delicious tale from the first word to the last. Ms. Nyrae has delivered a novel full of witty dialogue, courageous, independent characters and sexual heat that can't be denied.
4 Stars--Romanctic Times Magazine
Readers will ride waves of exhilaration that flow into mind-blowing sexual tension. While the title alludes to the outcome, the passionate tides and surges are what fascinate from the onset.
Luciano groaned as Kaylee pushed against his chest. “You’re on your lunch break, Bella. Ignore it.” He tired to kiss her hoping she would forget the phone that he was two seconds from pulling out of the wall.
“It will only take a second.”
He shut his eyes as Kaylee eased out from under him.“Thank you for calling Bookends. How may I help you?”
Luciano laid there, rock hard, on edge, and for a moment, resenting her damn bookstore. He watched her talk to whoever spoke on the other end of the phone, her beautiful, dark-skinned body naked from the waist up.
She wore her braids tied up in some kind of bun on top of her head. Did she have any idea how sexy he found her? How much he hurt right now with the need to have her? Possess her? Even if it was only for, Luciano raised his arm to glance at his watch, thirty eight more minutes.
Without thinking, Luciano stood, stripped, and walked over to her slowly. He smiled. She studdered.
“Umm. Yes, I can order that book-”
Luciano pulled her braids from the bun watching them fall against her breasts. Grabbing her hair, he pushed it over her shoulders to lie against her back. He lowered his mouth to one pert nipple and sucked.
“I… I can’t look up the price right now,” Kaylee said into the phone, sounding a bit breathless. “Umm. The computers,” she studdered. “They crashed. Can you,” Luciano sucked harder, enjoying her unique taste as it tickled his tongue. “Call…back…later?”
Luciano moved to her other breast treating it to the same care. He didn’t want to lose any of his time with her today. Kaylee was strong and independent. He knew she would really kick him out at the end of their forty five minutes.
“Thanks,” Kaylee hung up the phone with a loud click before grabbing his head to hold it to her chest.
“Don’t think I’m letting you get away with that,” she told him. “I won’t tolerate-”
Luciano silenced her with his mouth. She tasted sweet. He felt like a volcano seconds to eruption.
Lowering his hand, Luciano eased into her pants and pushed one finger inside her. As soon as her muscles loosened up to accommodate him, he added another. Her body clamped tightly around his fingers. Her velvety, wetness urging him on. He wanted to explode right then.
“This is much more fun than that phone call, Kaylee,” he said a mere inch from her mouth. “Don’t you think?”
“Yes, but Luciano-”
He didn’t give her a chance to finish but again grabbed her mouth in a searing kiss. His fingers moved in and out of her warmth while she moved her hips to the same rhythm.
She panted against his mouth. “Yes. Please!”
“That’s it, Bella. Enjoy yourself, let yourself go, enjoy the pleasure I’m giving you.”
He smiled, his erection throbbing with need, his pride soaring because of the passion he witnessed in her honey brown eyes. His body ached to possess her, to feel her tightness clamped around his cock. He needed to give her this pleasure first before he took her. Moving his fingers faster he felt her muscles begin to tighten, to pulse. His smile grew as she gripped him, her fingernails digging into his skin.
“Let loose, Kaylee.”
As her name left his mouth, Kaylee came, her breathing labored before she collapsed against him.
“My time isn’t quite up yet.” Luciano lifted Kaylee into his arms, her legs automatically locking around his waist. He reveled in the feel of her wrapped tightly in his arms. She was warm, soft, and spent. At that moment, for the first time, he wished he didn’t have to go back to work, but then, she’d still kick him out anyway.
Buy on Kindle
Buy from Barnes and Noble
Friday, October 10, 2008
A few days ago I had the tv on and they were running an ad for the re-digitized version of the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty. Yeah, I love Disney so of course I had to look and I couldn't help kind of smiling when the Wicked Queen showed up. What is it about Disney villains and villainesses that is so naughty, so rivetting, so...FUN! They are always colorful and give the audience a reason to cheer. Now, I happily admit, I'm a Disney fan from way back. I loved Old Yeller and Pollyanna and the original Parent Trap but the animated stuff really has my heart. There's just something so romantic and wonderful about the princess finding her prince while the birds, rabbits, and mice cheer the happy couple. And of course, no decent Disney movie would be complete without the wicked villain/villainess who tries to tear the two apart. To me, they've always seemed just a bit smarter, more clever and well, more like us than the lily-white pure heros and heroeines. Bad of me to say, I know, but there you have it.
One of my favorites was Cruella from 101 Dalmations. Her overall appearance is so well, VIVID, but I think what is even nastier about her is that she pretends to be friends with the owner of the puppies. I think most of us can connect with the idea of a "friend" who isn't really one at ALL. My other favorite villain is Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, my all time favorite Disney movie. The entire movie revolves around people's perceptions or misperceptions about beauty. Of course, Gaston is beautiful even when he's singing....and every last inch of me's covered with HAAAAIIIIRRR". God, don't you love that?
In regular movies I have to say that Alex (Glenn Close's character) in Fatal Attraction was downright creepy and in books...there are sooo many but I have to say the serial killer from Linda Howard's Dream Man completely freaked me out. Maybe it's because you don't really "see" him through the entire book, you only see his actions. To me that was completely creepy. Of course there are many, many others and too many to name.
Perhaps the best villains are three-dimentional. They have vulnerabilities and redeemable qualities despite the fact they are also so evil. I remember attending an RWA workshop years ago that was given by Tami Hoag. Never forget the title of it: Twisted Minds, Psychopaths are People Too. Funny. It was all about creating an unforgettable villain and was my most informative class. Making the villain always ugly and outwardly reprehensible is taking the easy way out. Maybe that's why I like good old Gaston so much. How could such a gorgeous guy be such a dipwad?
Do you have a favorite villain or villainess? Who is the naughtiest, meanest, most hateful creature to ever grace the page or the screen?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Winner of Michelle's contest is: Rebekah e
email Kelley Nyrae email@example.com
I'm going to vent to you all today. What else is new, right? LOL
Here's the thing. The kids have been off all week for the county fair and it's been a crazy busy week, let me tell ya. The other day we went to the movies to see Eagle Eye. Great movie, by the way, but the dork with the cell phone pissed me off. What's with people who have no cell phone manners? Is it really that hard to put the thing on vibrate? Okay, here comes the venting part...
Sitting in a movie theater and the idiot behind you can't seem to remember to put his phone on vibrate. What's worse, he has no idea that talking loudly into the phone will NOT help with poor reception!
Driving down the highway, in the fast lane, and the lady behind the wheel is texting. Texting! AND she has a little baby in the car seat in the back. My husband and I were furious when we saw this. She's texting, on the highway with a baby in the car. What, it couldn't have waited until you got off the highway? It was THAT important? No, my bet is she's trying to figure out what to have for dinner later. Grr!
Standing in the bookstore and the woman next to you is talking into her phone. She's being so loud and annoying that half the store is listening to her giggling about some friend who just got a bad hair cut. Seriously, it is NOT necessary to shout into the phone. And if you're going to backstab your friend, do it after you leave the damned bookstore. You really don't need to backstab her in front of an audience...or do you?
Sitting in church during a gorgeous wedding ceremony...and someone's cell phone goes off. Yes, this really happened recently at a friend's wedding. Why is there always at least one person who forgot to turn their phone to vibrate? I felt so bad for my friend who was getting married because this person's cell went off for quite awhile before the woman could get it out of her purse and shut it off.
Trying to have a conversation with my oldest and she's constantly texting. Okay, does that drive you parents nuts or is it just my daughter that's that text crazy? I find myself yanking the phone out of her hand just so I can get her undivided attention.
Here's the thing. I have a cell phone too. I love how handy it is. I love the security of having it in case my car breaks down or something. I love being able to get in contact with my kids when they're away from me. But, there is a thing called manners here! Am I right? Does it drive anyone else insane or is just me??
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
So, my kids and I are doing homework at the kitchen table last night, all warm and fuzzy, bellies full, brimming with happiness of the kind only corn-dog dinners and shared silliness bring. My homework? Putting together content on Lifetime’s “drupal,” the digital system that publishes all our online stuff and is tech-supported on, like, three continents.
Suddenly, I cause a glitch and groan in pained frustration, jamming my fingers into my hair like some damn Regency romance hero, crying, “Shooooooooooot!”
And my 11-year-old son -- his voice shaded oh, so sweetly with precise, pre-adolescent sarcasm – deadpans, “What’s wrong, Mom? Didja’ misspell orgasm again?”
OK. That was so one of those times I lament offering my son open communication about all things sexual – and ever letting him stumble across my work. Because I feel almost as if I’ve created a monster, despite the fact he assures me all’s well, because, and I quote, “It’s just those three little syllables, Mum: Pyoo-ber-tee.”
Now, I understand it’s not so unusual for males of the species to have sex on their minds pretty much constantly from the age of 11-ish. And I remember being wicked – no pun intended, Misses Wicked! – curious at that age, too about “doing it” and boys and the stuff “nice girls didn’t do.”
Oddly enough, as much as I thought about boys and sex – which was nearly constantly -- I never thought much about the actual, well, boy parts. I didn’t even know how to pronounce penis until I hit junior high.
Now, part of the reason I love erotic romance is the way it celebrates the correlation between growing commitment and intimacy in a relationship, and heightened enjoyment of sexuality in that love match. But in addition, I adore the fact that in my favorite erotic romances, there’s dialogue and prose and imagery chock-a-block with my most favoritest male body part, the name of which easily trips from the tongue these days.
And for as often as I read it and revel in its myriad lengths and girths and outrageous antics, I simply must admit I never, ever, under any circumstance, tire of reading the word cock. Yet I know writers struggle with ways to describe that delectable member – and some ( one might say tragically misguided) readers tire of the same-old c-word tag.
To that end, I thought I’d share with you a nifty-yet-sophomoric little site I found today that could help erom authors frustrated with trying to find new ways to name the boy (and girl) parts. It’s called ThingyNames.com http://www.thingynames.com/ -- a place where folks go to find out what names couples give their genitalia.
When you hit ThingyNames.com – and we’re all adults here, so make sure you’re up for the “sex and swinger personals” ads – you’ll find you can vote on the pet names, co-own a name (Who knew someone else named their Va JJ, “Lawrence of a Labia”) or just sink into the train wreck that is ThingyNames.com.
Authors? When you write your next erotic masterpiece, feel free to thank me in the acknowledgements thusly: To Michelle, who taught me that a cock by any other name is still, well, a cock – and just as sweet.
You shouldn’t have any problem getting that through editorial.
What’s your favorite body part in erom? Why do you think women respond to female as well as male genital imagery in erom? Does “graphic” dialogue, imagery and prose add to or take away from your enjoyment of a love story? What are the best terms you’ve ever read for parts?
Thanks, Misses Wicked, for sharing your digs with me today! And, would you please not show this to my mom?
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I'll admit at the very beginning of my crazy, little journey, that was my goal too, but no longer. Admittedly, in those days, e-books were a glimmer in someone's eye and paper books and New York was the only game in town.
Things are different now and do you know what I say???? YAY!!!!!
I know many e-pubbed authors who make great money and everything is handled electronicially. There are no paper copies, manilla SASE's, and the acceptance/rejection time is much shorter and release dates are quicker. The quality of covers is also much improved.
A friend of mine once sent a requested manuscript to a major New York publisher and it took almost two years for her to get a big fat R. Fortunately for her, an e-publisher loved the story and they found a home for it. I'm sorry guys, that's just RIDICULOUS. She waited forever and never had her emails (after a year of waiting) answered. How unprofessional and impolite. How long does it take to show common courtesy? Just askin'.
So what's the appeal? Is it just having a book that you can "hold in your hand"? Or is it that we feel we need New York to get that nice little ego stroke? Is it about respect? Hope I don't offend anyone by saying what I think but I could care less about all that stuff. Maybe it's that I have reached an age where I no longer need to impress, I don't need my ego stroked, and I get checks from my publisher on a regular basis. I write what I love to write and I love my publisher, too.
As for New York? It's actually one of my favorite cities and yes, I'd go back at the drop of a hat but send them my work? Probably not. I'm perfectly happy right where I am.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sapphire and Aries Demas are twins with a secret. Since the awful day their parents were killed, they’ve been in hiding, fearful the same fate will befall them. But Sapphire’s tired of all the lies. Tired of living a half-life. When she stumbles across an unconscious man while hiking through the woods and brings him home to heal, she sees something she wants for herself. But trusting an outsider could prove dangerous.
Investigative Journalist Adam Richton is supposed to get a story. He’s never failed before and doesn’t intend to start now. But the instant the beautiful and mysterious woman rescues him, he forgets all about his career. Now all he wants is Sapphire. Any way he can get her. But when he witnesses something extraordinary, his curiosity is aroused and his reporter instincts go on full alert. As he learns Sapphire’s deepest, darkest secrets, he’s not only forced to believe the unbelievable, but also choose between his job and something way more shaky, love.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Weekends are family times, running errands times and, in general, the two days everyone needs to decompress so in the spirit of giving everyone a little break we'll just pop on to share fun (or HOT) pics or update everyone on what's going on in our professional/personal lives. Sometimes we'll share our reviews, excerpts, works in progress or just gab.
Most of you know Killer Curves came out at Ellora's Cave in September and the reviews are beginning to come in. I'm pretty excited because they've been pretty good so far. I tend to not go on loops and give a SHOUT OUT when I get these because, dang it, I always feel like I'm bragging my butt off but I'll share today.
Buy it HERE!
The Romance Readers Connection-4
J.T. Sims is one of racings hottest drivers and he knows it, but he's never forgotten the one woman he knows is perfect for him, Carrie Martin Salem. Carrie is the widow of his best friend. When her husband died in a fiery crash she left the racing world and J. T. behind. Once in Texas Carrie vowed she'd never return to the world of racing.Then J. T. stepped out of his truck at her front door and all those feelings Carrie had tried to forget came rushing back again. One look at J. T. and she knows it's more than sex J. T. is after, but is she willing to take that risk again?J. T. is determined to prove to Carrie he's not her former husband, but he knows she will have to decide if she wants him or just the hot sex he can give her. This time the killer curves J. T. faces aren't on any race track. Will love await him at the finish line or only more heartache?KILLER CURVES is a great story. There are some hot scenes, just read the opening, but there is a great story of romance and love written within the pages of KILLER CURVES as well. There is also a story of coming to terms with our fears and the past. This is my first story by Ms. Carlysle but certainly won't be my last. The characters are realistic and engaging, and the story is one that is hard to stop reading. Fans of the world of racing will find KILLER CURVES another winner.
Literary Nymph Reviews-4 Nymphs
Nymphs reviewer: Bramble Nymph
Being married to a racing mega-star wasn’t easy for Carrie Martin Salem. When a devastating crash resulted in Mark’s death, she left her glitzy and glamorous life in the public eye to lick her wounds in private in Mesquite Creek, Texas. Even though racecar driver J.T. Sims was her husband’s best friend, he was always there for her whenever she needed support. Now three years down the road, does she have what it takes to change their relationship from being just friends to lovers?Though Carrie wants to come across as a tough, mature woman, she is still hurting on the inside. At times, I just wanted to strangle her already dead husband for turning her into an emotional coward. It is clear that J.T wants the woman badly and is determined to put his point across. He is no doubt sexy but his flaring temper makes him appear childish at times instead of an understanding man. They already have a dormant relationship and J.T just has to show up at her doorstep to fan out the flames.The sex that they share is explosive. The raunchy episodes are totally uplifting for Carrie’s soul as she seems to come out of her self-constructed protective shell each time J.T takes her passion soaring. The plot relies heavily on sex as it was meant to wash away Carrie’s burdens and doubts. I do agree that all of it changes her point of view but I would have liked more conversation along with jaunty episodes in the bedroom.The author deals with their emotions carefully near the end, making the story incredibly romantic and sensual. The fear of pain and loss makes most of us respond as we do, and Ms. Carlysle sleekly brings all the feelings together. With the excitement and adrenaline rush familiar to the racing circuit, Killer Curves overcomes a hard hitting bend in the road to love!
Review: Killer Curves By Regina Carlysle
By Kimberley Spinney on Sep 20, 2008
Reviewer: Kimberley Spinney
Sensuality Rating: Sizzling
Star Rating: 4.5 Stars
Author's Website: http://www.reginacarlysle.com/
Killer Curves is a fiery read with plenty of drama and sensuality. This is a perfect read any time of the year. There is passion and drama in abundance as well as sensuality and emotion. Regina Carlysle has created a beautiful story of loss and love that will captivate any reader. This is a sensitive and sensual story that is an absolute must read.
After the death of her husband in a fiery crash, Carrie Martin Salem left the world of the racing circuit and retreated to Texas vowing to live a quiet and safe life. But old memories dig deep, leaving her longing for the friend she left behind. From the moment J.T. Sims steps from the cab of his truck, Carrie knows it’s more than friendship she feels for the hottest racecar driver on Earth. J.T. Sims never forgot the beautiful wife of his long-dead best friend. She’d had her time to grieve. She’d had years to pull herself together and now it was his turn, his time to reach out for the love he’s always wanted. His mission becomes convincing the pretty Texas lady that she’s strong enough to take what he’s offering. Nights of hot passion and days filled with love.
Killer Curves is a fabulous story by a gifted author. The characters are thoroughly developed and highly likeable. This is a definite must have for readers who like a little spice in their lives. I can not wait to see what this author has in store for us next. If Killer Curves is anything to go by then it will be a sensual feast.
Carrie Martin-Salem was in a bad relationship with her race car driver husband, Mark. Though he died three years ago, Carrie still has trouble getting over how badly their relationship ended. However, she is ready to try dating again. Just as she makes a date with a local man who has been pursuing her, a spontaneous visit from a man from her past makes her giddy.
Race car driver J.T. Sims has never forgotten his friend Mark’s widow, Carrie. J.T. always longed for the lovely and sweet woman and he decides it is time to make his intentions known, even three years down the road. When he shows up, sparks fly. But is Carrie ready to let go of the guilt and fear she still feels surrounding Mark’s death? Can J.T. show her that love is what she is missing in her life?
Romance Junkies- 4 Ribbons
KILLER CURVES is a delicious and sexy read! J.T. shows Carrie just what she has been missing from her life. He is passionate, affectionate and quite clear about what he wants from their new relationship. J.T. wants Carrie as his wife, his friend, his companion in the future. I found that even sexier than all the intimacies they shared. J.T. was definitely a bit of a player and it took him awhile to finally understand what he wanted, but once he realized he was missing Carrie from his life, he made his move. Regina Carlysle did a good job of showing Carrie and J.T.’s relationship evolve in a short time. This is a compact story but it does not show in the relationship. KILLER CURVES is a fun read! Carrie and J.T. have a nice rapport and trust in each other, and that is the best kind of love.
Friday, October 3, 2008
When I read a book I have to like the heroine but I have to fall in love with the hero. Today I thought we'd talk about some of our favorite romance heroes in books! Alpha or beta, tortured or fun-loving, what kind of hero does it for you?
Jake--In Your Wildest Dreams by Toni Blake
He's one of my favorite tortured heroes. Super sexy, super tragic but oh so delicious!
Noah--Too Much Temptation by Lori Foster
Um, can you say yum? Love this man. Alpha, sexy as hell, protective and strong. Need I say more?
Kyrian of Thrace--Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon
I don't know what it is about him but I love me some Kyrian! Love his sarcasm and confidence. Confidence is a big one for me.
Houston--Houston we have a Problem by Erin Mccarthy
This is one of my favorite Erin book. Houston is a riot and so darn alpha.
Figured I'd post a few hotties to jog your memory a bit too.
Who are some of YOUR favorite romance book heroes?