Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trying to Forget Sarah Marshall

So last night, the complete lack of decent television compelled me to visit Blockbuster. I rented Forgetting Sarah Marshall which stars Jason Segel [oddly enough, Marshall from How I Met Your Mother], Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis.

This movie was the talk of the town when it came out, and I’d been looking forward to seeing it...Now I can add it to the list of movies I’m glad I didn’t spent $10 bucks on.

It had its funny moments. Seeing Jason Segel in the full Monty, however, was not one of them. That, I think was one of the big draws. Few movies, even R rated ones, bother will male frontal nudity because, let’s face it – who needs to see that? I certainly did not.

No offense of course to JS who seems like a really nice guy and does a wonderful job on HIMYM, but he ain’t no romance hero. If you get my drift.

Yes, I know. I’m being somewhat sexist. Romance writers tend to rail against the idealized female figure – we prefer to write heroines who are not size 0 [like Eva Longoria, who recently made news by tubbing out to a single digit nothing from 00 which is apparently in Hollywood, the new size 2]. We’re tired of the blond, blue-eyed nymphettes who are lovely enough to be runway models, yet brilliant enough to be astrophysicists. So who am I to be less than impressed with a male physique that’s not streamlined, tanned, waxed and oiled?

I offer my sincerest apologies, however, I’m still going to do my best to forget Sarah Marshall. I imagine I will have a much easier time of it than Jason Segel’s character did.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hot Hot Hot!

Here's my sizzling new cover for A Rogue's Redemption, sequel to A Rogue's Reward.
Redemption will be coming this November from Amber Quill.
Here's the blurb:
Fallon Robard, captain of the all-female crew of the Gabrielle, made her most difficult decision when she abandoned young lovers Rhea Galant and Lord Sheppard York on a deserted island after Sheppard’s father refused to pay the ransom for his kidnapped son. Now, months later, Sheppard’s older brothers, Jacob and Jon, have tracked down Fallon. The handsome twins seek to avenge their brother’s suffering and demand Fallon repent her crimes. When faced with punishment at the hands of two masterful men, will Fallon get more than she bargained for, or just what she deserves?
And here's steamy excerpt excerpt, rated R for language:
Fallon crouched in the shadows of the cell, the freshly oiled links of the shackle chain clutched in her hand. She hadn’t bothered struggling after Jon York locked her up. She knew the friction of the iron cuffs would only damage her wrists and leave her less able to defend herself, so she’d remained as still as possible for hours, contemplating her next move and wondering what flaw in her character had led her to wish, even for a fleeting moment, that Jon might have fucked her when he had the chance.
That at least, she could relate to. If they’d tied her up and taken turns, or even just threatened to use her to sate their base male urges, she’d have understood their motives. But these strange games, binding her here, shackling her there, telling her things that caused her pain rather than simply hurting her physically—none of that made sense.
Of course, she had to wonder why it even mattered to her what the elder York brothers wanted from her. They’d get nothing that they didn’t take by force.
She held the chain tighter and strained to hear their footsteps. For a while they’d been above her in the infirmary, and she wondered if they’d found the knothole through which the crew often observed prisoners. They could watch her if they wanted to, but they’d still gain nothing.
Now one of them approached. The lock on the cell door rattled, and she allowed herself to hope it was Jon. His soft, sensual touch with the drying cloth had given her some hope he might be more easily manipulated. Being one step away from his father’s seat as governor, Jacob had apparently already lost his ability to feel compassion. Jon, at least, still obviously possessed a soul.

She knew instantly it was Jacob when the door swung wide. It wasn’t the scar that gave him away, but the flinty quality of his stare. The shadows behind his piercing gaze made her heart beat faster with an emotion she couldn’t name. When he looked at her she felt as naked as she’d been this morning on the deck.
Fortunately the savory aroma of soup chased away all thoughts of attacking him with the coiled up chain. She tore her gaze from his and followed the path of the food tray which he set before her on the floor.
“I don’t need to ask if you’re hungry. I can tell by the look in your eyes.”
She ignored him and concentrated on not licking her lips. A fresh biscuit accompanied the soup, and her stomach rumbled at the sight of it.

“Come here if you want to eat.”
Fallon considered refusing, but how long would she last if she starved herself? Glaring at him, she dropped the chain and shuffled over to the tray.
“Sit.” He didn’t wait for her response, just lowered himself to a cross-legged position before the still-steaming food. He then burrowed one hand into the pocket of his dark trousers and pulled out a length of black silk. She recognized the sash from her wardrobe. Woven by a blind artisan in Port Royal, it bore threads of silver and gold that lent a sparkle to the cloth in any light.
Jacob held it up in both hands. “This is for you.”

“It’s an expensive napkin, milord. I’d rather wipe my mouth on my sleeve than ruin a fine piece of work like that.”
He hesitated a moment, then laughed. “I’m not so jaded that I would use silk as a lapcloth. This is a blindfold.” His smile faded on the last word, and Fallon shivered. Her quizzical expression prompted his further explanation. “Sheppard told me at first he was not allowed to remove his shackles while he ate. Rhea fed him. So I will feed you.”
“And I can’t watch?”
“No. You’ll need to rely on me…to trust me.”
Again Fallon considered refusing, but her traitorous stomach protested loud enough this time for Jacob to hear. His flawed eyebrow twitched, and Fallon felt herself blush. “Fine.”
He leaned forward and fastened the sash across her eyes with quick, efficient movements. This was a man familiar with tying knots, or at least accustomed to blindfolding women.
His masculine scent rode over the aroma of the soup for a moment, and beneath the cloth, Fallon closed her eyes. She recognized clove and wild mint, a fragrance popular among gentlemen of the aristocracy.
When he finished his task and pulled back, she tried to follow his movements and gauge his position, imaging how he looked and how he might be looking at her.
“Are you ready?” His seductive whisper left her lightheaded, or perhaps that was hunger. Fallon had to wonder just what he wanted her ready for.
She listened to the blunt scrape of metal spoon on wooden bowl and waited. “Open.” The word struck her like an arrow. Her heart thudded, and her clit throbbed when she considered what else she might open upon his command besides her mouth.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Did you miss me?

I usually ask DH that question when I get back from somewhere that I've been for any longer than say six hours.

His response, usually accompanied by a sly grin, is something along the lines of: Were you gone?

I was gone this weekend - at NJRW in Iselin NJ at the Hilton Hotel, which last year I believe was the Sheraton Hotel.

Confusing as the venue was, I had a great time rooming with Jen Baum. We always have a blast and this weekend was no exception.

This convention was a bit different for me, however, in that I didn't look at is work. I wasn't there to schmooze, to sign, to pitch or even really to learn. I was there to get away for the weekend and a have some fun. It was nice not to have the stress of dealing with an agent or editor appointment or worrying about having to hawk my books at the signing [though it was fun last year]. This time I got to shop the Book Fair [limited myself to four books to go along with the 7 books I got for free], and I didn't feel rushed.

On thing I did learn this weekend in spite of my desire to just kick back and have a good time, had to do with promo. I haunted the goodie room as I usually do and took note of the types of things authors brought. As in the past I've noticed this: PAPER GOODS DO NOT MOVE!

If you're planning to spend money on promo items, I would suggest thinking twice about dropping a lot of money on paper book marks, business cards or even brochures or post cards. Anything not attached to a fun item like a beaded book mark, a piece of candy, a candle, a seashell, whatever, usually does not get touched.

If you want your name to be seen, or someone to take an interest in your books consider the following: Giving away free books [You may think, wow, that's expensive, but even giving away a dozen copies of your print book puts a dozen readers in touch with how you write. You could make a fan for life.] Attach your post card to a gift of some sort - my beaded book marks still moved pretty well, though it wasn't the free for all grab fest it has been in previous years. I came home with a box full, but the ones I put out did get taken. Invest in pens - seriously, writers can't resist pens or small notepads, these things move. Provide something useful - sticks of gum, packs of tissues, candles, matchbooks, etc - an item a reader will use will attract attention.

Disclaimer: I'm no marketing expert. I speak only from the experience of watching what people were taking and what they were not taking from the goodie room. In my opinion the most important thing is to get your writing into the hands of readers, not just your name.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

NJRW - Episode 4

Tomorrow I'm off to NJRW's Put Your Heart in a Book Conference. This is my fourth year going to the conference and I've always had a great time.

It's awesome to be able to hang out with so many writers - and I won't lie, it's also fabulous to get away from the daily grind once a year. I won't have to make a bed, wash a dish or cook a meal for two days. It doesn't get better than that - except when it's for more than two days.

Catch with you on Monday!

Monday, October 20, 2008

There's a new hottie in town

Admittedly, the last Season of Smallville was utterly dismal. I'd almost given up watching - seriously who wants to see Chloe marry Jimmy? Gimme a break.

However, with the return of Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow [oops, did I just give away his secret identity?] there's now a reason to go back to Kansas.

Here's a question - how do you think Justin would look as a blond vampire?? Bwahahaha!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Paranormal is Normal

Or so says Garrett Husveth of Haunted New Jersey Paranormal Investigations.

The kids and I attended a lecture given by Mr. Husveth at our local library last night, perfect timing for Halloween! The presentation was fascinating and we learned a lot about real world ghost hunting [ a boring and expensive hobby according to the investiagtor who also co-wrote a book in the subject of hauntings in New Jersey].

Ghost hunting seems to be mostly about setting up tons of electronic equipment and waiting, sometimes months, for something to happen.

Over the more than 20 years Mr. Husveth has been investigating paranormal phenomenon he's actually had some amazing experiences and collected hours and hours of EVPs - or electronic voice phenomenon recordings. He played a number of these EVPs for us, some of which were quite spooky.

He also played what appeared to be actual 'spirit' communications [different from ghost EVPs] that were recorded by an organization that specializes in Instrumental Transcommunicaition - or conversations with the spirit world. Apparently this isn't something new, nor is it a fringe vocation, as the US Air Force is reported to have been experimenting with EVPs and spirit communicaiton for years.

All in all, we enjoyed the presentation, though it took some of the shine off of our obsession with Ghost Hunters [TAPS] whom Mr. Husveth calls 'the best of the worst.' I'd wondered if some of what we see on TV might be staged or tweaked for the cameras and I won't spoil anyone's fun, but meeting a real life paranormal investigator certainly puts a new spin on this topic.

Do you have any ghost stories to share?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What's your Portmanteau Name?

I can see you looking at me like I’m crazy – and I am a little, but I’m serious about this question.
A portmanteau word is a word formed by combining parts of two others ie emoticon, blog, frenemies, celebutante. Modern vernacular is full of them and it’s spilled over from words to names.

It started with celebrity couples like Bennifer [Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez which later became Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner]. Then there’s TomKat [Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes] and of course Brangelina, which needs no explanation. Then they started doing it with individual celebrities. We all know JLo and now there’s LiLo [Lindsay Lohan] and SamRo [her girlfriend Samantha Ronson] and I’ve even seen ScarJo [poor Scarlett Johansen.]

I wonder if the trend will ever catch on among authors? Will we be discussing NoRo at the next conference? SherKen doesn’t sound right. Maybe KMMo for Karen Marie Moning? I think having an ‘o’ in the name makes it easier to smash, not sure why.

It doesn’t work too well with Bernadette – BernGard? Yech. But I suppose I can get away with JenCo.

How about you? Can you portmanteau?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

No. Can. Do.

I should never have even considered it, but there was nothing else on and I didn't feel like leaving the couch, so I put on the Presidential debate.

Big mistake.

I know, as a concerned tax payer [rather a terrified, disgusted, disillusioned taxpayer] I should be interested in what the candidates have to say, but to me...I don't know, it all just seems like a big show.

I don't believe either of them really know what they're doing and I don't believe either of them is making any promises they will be able to keep even if they wanted to. If politicians did half of what they promised they would do, we wouldn't be in a paralyzing financial crisis right now. So how can either presidential candidate get up in front of the nation and really expect people to believe they know how to make things better in four short years?

I ended up yelling at the TV, so I turned it off, went down to the basement and plotted out a quilt. I haven't done that in a while and it was relaxing to move little bright colored pieces of fabric around.

When it comes to election day, I really don't know what I'm going to do. I'm so tired of voting for the guy I think will do the least damage. I hate to entertain political dabates on my blog, but does anyone have some real insight into who might actually know enough to help the country rather than just compound the problem once they get into office? I sure as heck don't.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Picture of the week

I came across this while going through some old photos for a project DS has due the end of the week. It symbolizes my mood of late.

In an effort not to be too much of a downer, I'll probably be blogging sporadically for a while. But I will be looking for more inspirational photos.