Friday, March 30, 2007

Shameless Beggin'

I found out last nigth that Ravenstar's Bride has finaled in the Best Overall Science Fiction Romance Category in the Fantasm Awards!
The voting goes on until May, so if anyone is so inclined to check out the long list of categories and finalists [you have to scroll down to the end for my category, btw]
There are some brilliant authors on the list and some kick a$$ titles so be sure to go and vote for your favorites!!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The frog really croaked

He did it. He hung up the lily pad, bought the fly farm, kicked the chum bucket, however you want to put it, Jiminy the Fifth Grade Frog has bitten the dust.

He was a good frog with aspirations to travel the world. On Wednesday, he decided the time had come to break free the confines of his watery abode. He leapt for the dream, and landed on the carpet. Since no one was home but the dog, Jiminy's quest reached epic proportions. He crawled, or hopped through three rooms, ending up at the front door, where, he realized, he could not reach the door knob.

His hopes of hopping to greener pastures dashed, he waited for the end.

When I came home from shopping I found him, covered in lint and terribly depressed. I rinsed him off and administered frog massage, which kept him going through the night, but alas, come morning, he'd crossed over.

Blessed be, Jiminy, we hardly knew ya!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen Things I’d Want to Be if I Wasn’t a Writer

1. A psychologist [I like to analyze people’s motives for doing things they do]
2. A medical transcriptionist [Since I could still work at home]
3. A graphic artist
4. A gardener [I really do like plants. They don’t care much for me, though]
5. A zoologist [I love animals]
6. A bookstore owner [If I didn’t write them, it might be fun to sell them]
7. A restaurant reviewer [dream job – get paid to eat out??]
8. A forensic anthropologist [dream big, right? I watch too much BONES]
9. A photographer for National Geographic
10. An FBI profiler [how cool would it be to catch a serial killer?]
11. A millionaire [writin’ ain’t no way to get rich, that’s for sure]
12. A lady of leisure
13. A forest ranger [seriously, I think it would be fun]

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Inspirational View of the Day

I'll be here if you need me. But my cell phone is OFF.

The future of writing about the future

I'm over at Star-Crossed Romance today speculating about the future of writing. Take a gander!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Moon Magic

Originally this list was going to be one of my Thursday Thirteens but since it doesn't really tell anything about me, it doesn't actually fit the meme. Therefore I figured I'd post it today.
The following is a list of the Thirteen Full Moons for 2007 [in the Northeastern US, at least. The dates may be slightly different elsewhere.]

January 3rd
February 2nd
March 3rd
April 2nd
May 2nd
June 1st
June 30th [Blue Moon]
July 30th
August 28th
September 26th
October 26th
November 24th
December 24th
* Blue Moon - the second full moon that occurs in a calendar month. This year, June should be an interesting month, since anything that only happens 'once in a blue moon' should happen then. ;)
Stay tuned...I'm thinking of putting some blue moon lore into one of my stories...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

New Cover!

The new covers for the Midsummer Night's Steam Anthology collections from Samhain are ready. They are smokin' hot! Here's mine for La Mirage, which will be part of the Sand, Sun and Sex anthology available in June.
Get ready to sweat!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What Makes a Hero Sexy?

I hear the word bandied about an awful lot - sexy. Nowadays cars can be sexy. Shoes can be sexy. I've even heard of mixed drinks being called sexy. Sure, there's that elusive quality when someTHING is hot, sleek, new...whatever. But one of the things that has always drawn me to romance and romance novels is the sexy hunk between the covers [of the book that is].

No one can argue I suppose, that sexy is a physical thing. Bulging biceps, a smoldering glance, a come hither smile...sure. But I find real sexiness a little more complicated. This picture above, which I found on the back of the booklet that comes with the Season 5 Smallville DVD set [just bought it yesterday!] got me thinking about this topic. To me, it's classic sexy.

Why? There are no bulging biceps. Other than Clark's hands, there's no exposed flesh, no writhing bodies, no glistening sheen of sweat on straining male muslces...[excuse me a minute, I need a cold drink]

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. Why is this picture so sexy? Well, Clark is undeniably good looking for starters, but more importantly, he's playing the hero full out here. He looks mussed - like he's been in a fight. I abhor violence in RL, but in fiction, damn that's sexy. He looks indignant - angry. He's mad as hell that someone hurt his woman. [Okay, so Chloe isn't 'his woman' - dammit, she should be. You all know how I feel about that.] It's terribly sexy that he's mad as hell. His got his arms around her, protecting her, cradling her...sigh. Gotta love it. And you know damn well, he's going to save her if it takes everything he's got. That's sexy in spades.

Now, I'm not here to debate the 'damsel in distress needs to be rescued' angle. I'm a bit old fashioned and I think it's sexy when a man rescues his woman. Not that in the 21st Century she always needs to be rescued. But he should at least try. He should be capable and willing to risk his life for her and he should be mad as hell if someone tries to hurt her. Chivalry may be ailing but it ain't dead. Chivalry is sexy.

So there you have it. Sexy traits in a hero: Mussiness. Indignance. Protectiveness. Mad-as-hell-ness. Not an eleoquent list, I know. And not complete. What do you think makes a hero sexy?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen things on my bulletin board

1. My ‘Make Progress Every Day’ sign. Ever since I put it up, I do believe I’ve made progress every day.

2. My release calendar. I have a three column table with thumbnails of all my books and their release dates. It comes in handy a LOT.

3. A four-leaf clover that my son found. We taped it to a piece of white cardboard.

4. Three key chains. They’re too nice to put my keys on and stuff in my purse, so I display them like art.

5. Copies of the best seller lists my books have been on. A perpetual AttaGirl for me.

6. A reminder card for my next dentist appointment.

7. A Serenity pin. [I’m a Firefly fan.]

8. My RWA membership card

9. Guidelines for my next Amber Quill Amber Pax submission. I haven’t started writing it yet. Egads.

10. My Submission calendar – who’s got what and for how long?

11. A teeny tiny bumper sticker that says: The Meaning Of Life Is To Live It

12. The phone number for PSE&G, so I can call in my reading if I miss the meter reader.

13. A little paper bottle that came in the People magazine. It has wildflower seeds pressed into it and you’re supposed to plant it and water it and they will grow. I’m waiting for nice weather so I can plant it outside and see what happens.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

PS: I tried a Mr. Linkys. If it doesn't work, leave your URL in comments and I'll add you here:


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sin and Redemption

One of the things we writers talk about and worry about and maybe even obsess about is the idea of having a theme in our work. It’s a little different from branding and perhaps even more important.

When I first learned about theme, I sat down and thought about the bulk of my work and realized that I do have an underlying theme to my work. It’s Redemption – or maybe more accurately, Sin and Redemption.

I like characters who have something to atone for, real or imagined, big or small, they have some mistake to fix, some hurt they need to make up for before they can truly be happy. It isn’t always my main character either – in Conjured in Flames, my first novel, there was Graciela, the “alien” sorceress. She was bad to the bone, but she did have a moment of clarity where readers learn a little bit about why she was bad and hopefully feel a little bit sorry for her.

In Bonfire of the Vampires my heroine, Abby, is a vampire killer [note I don’t use the word slayer]. She’s forced into it as a means of survival. In the sequel, Fresh Blood, it’s my heroine’s sister, the misguided Elena Talbot who needs redemption. Her sins against the heroine, her twin sister Erica, are too numerous to count.

In Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf, hero Daniel must atone for his attempt to run Emilie’s business out of town. In The Soul Jar, Chance struggles to get Bree to forgive him for leaving her and in The Rebound Guy, Lauren deals with her tremendous guilt over using her best friend Eric as an emotional balm when her boyfriend cheats on her.

This theme occurs in most, though not all of my stories and hopefully it’s a salable point. I’m the writer who writes about forgiveness, earning it from others and from ourselves, and about overcoming the bad you’ve done to make good and move on.

If you’re a writer, what is your theme? If you’re a reader, do you find you look for books with particular themes or can you identify the theme of your favorite author?

Monday, March 19, 2007

We sprang ahead - now what?

I'm over at Star-Crossed romance today, lamenting the lack of spring around here. Having been buried in ice this weekend, I'm a bit cranky. I've always believed that if we have to be subjected to Daylight Savings Time, at the very least we should get nice weather to go with it.

In other news...

Thanks everyone for commenting on my last blog post! I added a bunch of new blogs to my roll so please check them out! If you still don't see your name, let me know. I plan to do a little blog hopping every day!

In yet other news...

In case you didn't hear me squeeeeing...I have an agent!! I've accepted an offer of representation from Book Cents Literary Agency. I'm completely jazzed about it taking the next step in my career path.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

New Release on the Loose

My first single author anthology is available now!

Unleashed contains Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf and The Demon of Pelican Bluff.

Stay tuned for an update, I'm currently making some changes to my blog template, which will probably take me all day because blog code baffles me.

For more info on Unleashed - go here!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Stereotypes Abound

So there was finally a new episode of BONES on Wednesday night. Grisly murders, snappy dialogue and lightning fast forensics...gotta love it.

But... and there’s always a but...not long into the episode comes this little exchange. Jack and Cam are discussing Dr. Brennan’s new book, Red Tape, and how the murders are copy cat killings of those described in the novel. Cam says she hasn’t bought Tempe’s novel because she deals with death all day and doesn’t want to read about it for kicks. The conversation goes like this:

Jack: So for kicks you read?

Cam: ...feminist trash. Woman finds her power, leaves her oppressive husband and discovers freedom and fulfillment with an artist who knows how to cry and makes love like an animal.

Jack: books?

Cam: Pretty much.

What’s wrong with this picture? What Cam has described is basically an erotic romance. Of course someone as high brow as her has to cover up her embarrassment by calling it ‘trash’ and ‘feminist trash’ to boot! She sputters a little before responding to Jack’s initial question, because she doesn’t quite know how to describe her guilty little pleasure.

I think that’s sad and it just feeds into the stereotype that an intelligent, professional woman can only read this kind of stuff if she has a good excuse. Her job is too stressful to read mystery novels, so she reads for escapism. What’s wrong with that?

Why couldn’t her character have just had the guts to say, “Oh, me? Well, I like a good solid romp. I’m not interested in boring testimonials or pop-culture self help. I can’t stomach the latest sob fest or coming of age novel. I want a good, sexy adventure story that I can sink my teeth into and have fun reading. And...I didn’t read Dr. Brennan’s book, because I’m jealous as hell of her.”

That’s how I would have written the scene.

BTW – I do LOVE that the main character in Temperance Brennan’s novels is named Kathy Reichs. LOL.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #2

Thirteen of my Favorite Lines

1. Frankly, Scarlett, I don’t give a damn.
2. Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?
3. Wherever you go, there you are.
4. To boldly go where no man has gone before.
5. One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
6. I am not a crook.
7. Where’s the beef?
8. I’ll be back.
9. Don’t worry, be happy.
10. You can’t handle the truth.
11. Play it again, Sam.
12. Romeo, Romeo, where for art thou, Romeo?
13. Go ahead, make my day.

So, can you name where they all come from?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. Tilly Greene
2. Dragonheart
3. Christine D’Abo
4. Angela James
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Why is it... can’t remember to close the front door in the winter, but they always manage to slam it closed on a nice day?

...the dog always has to go out the moment I sit down to write?

...when I have eight bills to put in the mail, I only have seven stamps?

...socks go into the laundry in pairs and they come out alone?

...I always forget the most important item on my shopping list?

...toothaches always happen on the dentist’s day off?

...when I buy bananas no one wants them, but when I don’t I hear, ‘How come there aren’t any bananas?’ kids can roll out of bed at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, but not on a school day?

...whatever I make for dinner is exactly what my husband had for lunch?

...there are either three good TV shows on at once, or there’s nothing on at all?

...whatever expensive thing I need goes on sale the day after I buy it at full price?

...if I misplace a coupon, I won’t find it again until after it expires?

...when I remember to take an umbrella with me, it never rains?

And finally...

Why is it that it ALWAYS rains if I accidentally leave my car window open a crack?

Swimming Through The Mire

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...or so sings Dory the forgetful fish in Finding Nemo.
It's good advice. Sometimes in life the only thing you can do is just keep plugging away. Take one more step, write one more paragraph, no matter how hard it is.
One of the downsides of creativity, at least with me, is that real life can interfere with the creative process so easily. When creating is a hobby, that's okay. You can put your project aside and go back to it when you can think straight, but when creating is your job, your vocation, you have to keep swimming, even when you don't feel like it.
Yesterday I completed first round edits on Rogue Theta, my upcoming Ellora's Cave release and I did some contest work. Now I'm clear to get back to my WIP and start editing a finished novella that needs to be submitted - also hopefully to EC. It wasn't easy - not because the edits were hard, but because my mind just can't focus right now. I don't have the luxury of falling apart...not that it's really a luxury. In fact, it's more of a luxury to have a lot to do. Keeping busy, even when you don't want to be is sometimes the best thing.
And if you stop swimming, you will drown. Ask any shark you know.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Memento Mori

Valhalla (Old Norse Valhöll, "Hall of the slain") is Odin's hall in Norse mythology, located in Gladsheim and is the home for those slain gloriously in battle (known as Einherjar) who are welcomed by Bragi and escorted to Valhalla by the valkyries. The main gate is called Valgrind, which is described in Grímnismál as a "sacred gate", behind which are the "holy doors" and "there are few who can tell the manner by which it is locked". The hall itself has 540 doors, so wide that 800 warriors could walk through side-by-side, walls made of spears, a roof made of shields and benches covered with breastplates. It is said that there is room enough for all those chosen. Here, every day, the slain warriors who will assist Odin in Ragnarök, the gods' final conflict with the giants, arm themselves for battle and ride forth by the thousands to engage in mock combat on the plains of Asgard. At night, they return to Valhalla to feast on roasted boar and drink intoxicating mead. - Wikipedia

For Jeff

His journey continues

March 9, 2007

Blessed Be

Friday, March 09, 2007

Things are heating up...

Over at the Samhain Weblog today [wish I could say the same for northern NJ]. Sasha Knight, the fabulous editor of Samhain's upcoming Midsummer Night's Steam Anthology, is blogging about the stories that will be included.

If you want to get a sneak peek some of the fantastic stories that will be coming out this summer, hop over and read the comments section - it's long but worth it. Here's a list of the authors involved and the titles of their stories.

Blackberry Pie by Bonnie Dee
A Scorching Seduction by Marie Harte
Catching a Buzz by Ally Blue
Full Disclosure by Mary Wine
Bad Moon Rising by Leeanne Kenedy
Beyond the Tears by Michelle Cary
La Mirage by Jennifer Colgan
Take Me by Mackenzie McKade
Fijian Fling by Sami LeeHoneymoon
Castaways by Dawn Halliday
Nut Cream by Jade Buchanan
Fantasmagorical by Annmarie McKenna
Hunk of Burning Love by Veronica Wilde
Ladies, Meet Red Hot Alaskan Men by Nancy Lindquist
One Night on a Balcony by Samantha Lucas
Liaisons in Jubilee by Jamie Craig
Second Wind by Dee S. Knight
Custom Ride by K.A. Mitchell
Skin to Skin by Dionne Galace
Spontaneous by Karen Erickson
Knotty Girl by Maggie Casper
Marielle’s Marshall by Beth Williamson
Sealed with a Kiss by Lila Dubois
Taboo Desires by Amanda Young

Better buy an air conditioner now while they're cheap. It's going to be one hot summer!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Websites I Visit

This is my first foray into the world of Thursday Thirteen. I thought I'd start with a list of places that keep me entertained on the web.

Thirteen Websites I Visit

1. Romance Divas I couldn’t live without dropping by RD a couple times a day
2. The Samhain Weblog Great blog posts by Samhelions
3. NetflixGotta have my movies
4. GateWorldI’m a Gater from way back
5. Yahoo Games because I don’t procrastinate enough
6. Pam Pong I’m an Office shipper, can’t help myself
7. The Quilters Cache I’m addicted to quilt blocks, what can I say?
8. Free Translations great for research and [shh, don’t tell] homework assignments
9. The Hubble Gallery puts ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ in perspective
10. Vista Print love fast and easy business cards
11. My friend Jessie’s Etsy shop cool crochet fashions and stuff
12. Baby Names World need help naming your characters? I do
13. Ellora’s Cave gotta scope out the new releases!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Anni

2. Shiloh

3. Ciar

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Word of the Day

Main Entry: pro·cras·ti·nate from the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary

Pronunciation: \prō-'kras-tə-'nāt, -\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -nat·ed; -nat·ing

Etymology: Latin procrastinatus, past participle of procrastinare, from pro- forward + crastinus of tomorrow, from cras tomorrow

Date: 1588

transitive verb
: to put off intentionally and habitually
intransitive verb
: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done
synonyms see delay
— pro·cras·ti·na·tion \ noun
— pro·cras·ti·na·tor \ noun

Some days...I'm just raring to go. I set up all my stuff in a pile and I work through it. I accomplish.

Other days...I'd rather shovel snow than actually get work done.

Today is one of those days. Must...resist...the urge to waste time...must... I promise I'll get to work as soon as I sharpen all the toothpicks and paint the dog's toenails and prune the poinsettias and restack the dishes and count my thumbtacks...somebody help get me motivated, please?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Guest Photographer

Today's photo is courtesy of my son. He's been running around with his new digital camera and as it turns out, he can take pretty good pictures!

This is the infamous Kit Cat. He's Saber's uncle - by adoption of course.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

New Release!

Available today from Amber Heat...
A Calculated Risk by Bernadette Gardner
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-000-8 (Electronic)

Tarrant Kane was bred for one thing: military command. When the war ends, his forced retirement leaves him with more money and free time than any man should have. His new objective becomes learning how to be a civilian.

Kane's self-imposed mission gets a little easier when he meets exotically beautiful Nola Rule at the exclusive resort on Sensuron. Nola offers him intense carnal pleasures and something he craves even more than sex: a challenge.

But Kane’s dalliance with Nola comes with a steep price. When she disappears after a night of unbridled passion, he realizes that falling in love is a risk he isn’t prepared to take.

Genres: Science Fiction / Futuristic
Length: Novella (21k words)
Click HERE for a steamy excerpt!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Contest Winner!

The Pick Your Favorite Cover Contest Has a Winner!

I received over 80 entries in the contest – thank you to everyone who participated – I’m thrilled with the turnout.

It was a close race:

Third Place went to: Conjured in Flames

Second Place went to: Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf

And First Place goes to: Immortal Lovers

And now for the Winner of the Contest:

Joy Isley

Joy will receive a signed copy of Immortal Lovers, or if she already has it, her choice of one of the other books listed in the contest.

Congratulations Joy!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Where would you do it?

No, not IT.

Where would you write, if you could write anywhere? Do you prefer a blank room, quiet, cozy, with no distractions? Or a panoramic vista with inspirational views everywhere you look?

I like this place - wish it was real.

I find I'm too easily distracted though, to have a lot going on around me when I write. I know JK Rowling wrote in coffee houses while her baby slept in a pram nearby...and she still writes in public from what I hear. If that's what it takes to have my characters become a household name, I suppose I could give it a try, but I really don't think I'd get much done.

First of all I'd have to go somewhere far away. I suffer from small-town-itis, which means just about everywhere I go nearby, I run into someone I know. In fact, just the other night, we went out to dinner at a restaurant we hardly ever go to a few towns away, and as we were leaving I ran into one of my daughter's preschool teachers. Fortunately I was there to eat, not to write.

I need solitude to get my best work done. Even the computer distracts me. My desk is near a window that looks out on the street, so I'm constantly pulling back the curtains to see who is driving or walking by - was that a dog? Look at all those birds...ooh, there goes the mail carrier, better check and see if he left me something I can take to the bank...

And then the phone rings. Then the dog wants to go out and then he wants to come right back in again. Then I remember I have laundry in the washer that needs to be put in the dryer. Then my pen runs out of ink. [Yes, I write long hand when I really want to accomplish something, because I hate to stare at a blank computer screen.]

So I definitely would like a quiet, idyllic setting in which to get my work done, but if this was my office...I'd probably be taking a walk rather than writing.

What about you?
In other news:
CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of the 2007 AMBER HEAT WAVE!
There were seven winners out of over 200 entries.
For the list of winners, go HERE.
Welcome aboard everyone!
Tomorrow I'll be announcing the winner of my Pick Your Favorite Cover Contest. I've already received more than 80 entries and the vote is close so if you haven't entered yet, hurry up! Yours may be the deciding vote!
Go HERE for contest rules.
Good luck!