Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Blessed Samhain!

Otherwise known as, Happy Halloween!

In addition to working on my new paranormal WIP, today I'll be going Trick-or-Treating with the kids, carving a Jack-O-Lantern like these I made a few years ago, and making some Halloween brownies. [And of course Blogger is not responding, so the picture may not be there. I'll try again later to add it.]

The kids have parties and parades at school and then their friends are coming over so they can trick-or-treat in a hoard. We usually end up with the biggest gang on the block. The weather is pretty warm today, so that means we won't need to be dragging heavy coats around like some years.

Today's update: The Demon of Pelican Bluff was submitted to Amber Quill yesterday for the Beastmaster Pax and I've been given a February 2007 release date! So that's two releases lined up for the new year with The Rebound Guy scheduled from Samhain in early 2007 also.

Here's the rough blurb for Demon:

Something is on the prowl in Pelican Bluff, Minnesota. When the mayor of the small town calls in cryptozooloist Laurel Jensen to investigate strange sightings of a winged, demon-like beast roaming the forest, she can’t resist. It’s not her passion for the unknown that draws her, though, it’s her need to come face to face with the creature that’s been haunting her dreams.

Laurel has seen the beast, too. He calls to her, eager to lure her into his clutches and claim her for his own. Certainly not a run-of-the-mill cryptid, more than a clever hoax, the beast is real, and it’s searching for the perfect mate.

National Forest Service Ranger Cade Morrison draws the thankless task of escorting Laurel on her search for evidence of the beast’s existence. Cade knows the mayor is looking for publicity to attract tourists to the Bluff and he doesn’t want any part of it. But he does want part of Laurel Jensen. Or maybe all of her. Too bad he’s not willing to share her with the The Demon of Pelican Bluff.

And here's the blurb for The Rebound Guy:

Catching her boyfriend in the act with another woman, should have made Lauren James angry, indignant or even depressed. Instead, it made her horny. The only man in the world she trusts enough to help her through the sting of betrayal is her best friend, Eric Reynolds.

When Lauren shows up at Eric’s apartment, it doesn’t take much for her to seduce him. She finds solace for her trampled heart and bruised ego in Eric’s capable hands. After an unforgettable night of passion, Lauren wakes to the cold reality that she used Eric to get revenge on Matt. Will Eric forgive her, even if she can’t forgive herself?

It just occurred to me, Laurel Jensen, Lauren James...Do you think that's confusing? Considering they're coming from two different publishers, hopefully not. I really need to make that character name table I've been meaning to design.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Do You Think It's Spooky When...

...I'm over at Star Crossed today talking about spooky happenings. Drop by and post your own shost story!

And, be sure to stop by the Amber Heat Authors blog and read the installments of our Halloween Round Robin, The Gathering! [Be sure to scroll down and read from the bottom up!]

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ravenstar Recommended!

I just got this in my e-mail today:

Five Angels! A Recommended Read... , Jennifer Colgan’s, Ravenstar’s Bride is a treat... I could not put it down. Ms. Colgan’s skill keeps readers engaged and delighted throughout the entire story. I am hoping this is not the last story we will see with the Istrians. Truly well done. – Amanda, Fallen Angel Reviews

Tori and Kree [Ravenstar's Chief Engineer and Second-in-Command] will be on my case now. They've been clamoring to have their story told for years now...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Twisted Thursday

Today I’m over at the Amber Heat Readers Loop with some excerpts from my sexy sci-fi’s Ken’ja, More Than a Fantasy and The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1. Come join the Goulish Gala Extravanganza!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Updates, Updates

I finally updated my website. For some reason I could not upload the new pages that include The Adventures of Molten Man, No. 1. [It's available now, btw! As you can probably tell by the fact that the cover art appears in the side bar. If you click on it, it's a buy link, too!]

I just love this cover! Even though my husband says real super heroes don't wear their spandex that tight.

I think if they had a butt like Molten Man's they would.

Anyway, I'm closing in on the end of my Beastmaster Pax submission. I think I've settled on a title, though I wonder if it sounds sort of like a Nancy Drew mystery.

What do you think of The Demon of Pelican Bluff? It really is the title that fits best. I've toyed with calling it The Avatar, but the reference is just too obscure.
I'll probably just be hitting 30,000 words and all I really need is a great last couple of lines to really bring it home. Of course this is the hardest part. I should probably let it sit for a day or two and something will come to me, but I love that feeling I get when I write THE END and I really want to get there. I love having finished things that I can submit and even though I know where this one is going, it's the idea that I've accomplished something, another story to put out there.

Ah well, back to the drawing board.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

When it's done right...

I just finished watching The Lake House starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves and all I can say is:
This was undeniably the best love story I've seen in a long time and that includes movies, TV and books. I was blown away. It left me sobbing on the couch. Good thing DH is at Uber Con this weekend because he hates when I cry at movies. He doesn't know what to do with me.
This movie has a paranormal twist to it that makes it absolutely fabulous. I wish I'd written it. I wish I'd seen it sooner. I wish it wasn't over.
Rent it. Buy it. This is romance.

Friday, October 20, 2006


It's been one of those weeks. I did get quite a bit of work done on my Beastmaster anthology story and I'm liking it, but between the wacky weather and various aches and pains, I just can't wrapy my head around office work this week.

Today started out rainy and terribly humid. Up-side - we closed on our refinance today! So hopefully we will be on a more stable financial road in the coming months.

The rain turned into a driving wind storm that soaked the house [I left windows open this morning!] and was followed by sunshine and a bitter cold wind.

I have a stiff neck for some reason - damn those pillows. I have yet to find the perfect combination of pillows to sleep on. I'm PMSing and half asleep.

TGIF I suppose. Tonight I'm curling up with Dr. Who and Battlestar Galactica, but until then, I've got to get some work done if it kills me. And it just might.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sun Dogs and Interdimensional Portals

It's been a week already and I'm really not looking forward to going to my offices this week. I'm supposed to be in Edgewater tomorrow and Saddle Brook on Friday and guess what - all I really want to do is write.

My WIP is shaping up for the Beastmaster Pax and I can't wait to see how it ends. Plus I'm still rolling that TOR-targeted single title paranormal around in my head. I just don't have the time any more to actually 'go to work.'


I shouldn't complain. So instead I'll dwell on my reviews at Literary Sass and I'll leave you with this shot my son took during our Liberty tour.

Cool, huh? What's interesting is that at NJRW I attended a very cool panel called Metaphysics 110 in which we discussed spirit photography. The author running the panel [and shamefully I cannot remember the correct spelling of her name so I won't even try to screw it up here] showed a similar picture and said this was actually a dimensional portal and that portals follow people. If you know where they are, you can step through. Fascinating concept for a story...though I certainly hope my eight year old doesn't go stepping through any portals into other dimensions. He's not even allowed to cross the street by himself.

Here's another one he took too:

Now it looks as if the portal is closing. Yes. I'm definitely getting an idea for a story. And I still have to go to work...bigger sigh.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm a One Shot Wonder!

I haven't been this excited about a good review in a long time. I'm thrilled to announce that The Soul Jar received a coveted ONE SHOT from Literary Sass Reviews from both Literary Sass and Bibliophile Bitch!

I have to admit I was a bit scared to sub to them, they don't blow sunshine, that's for sure. I almost fell off my chair when I read their posts today.

I'm soooo psyched!!

Off to tell everyone I know.

For more about The Soul Jar, my latest release from New Concepts, click here!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The New Colossus

After the success of my Goodie Room blog entry, I almost hate to move on, but I got some great pictures during our trip to Ellis Island and Liberty Island this weekend and I had to share.

My son has been wanting to see the Statue of Liberty so we decided to go on Saturday. We took the Circle Line and bought tickets that would allow us to go inside the base of the statue. I'd seen it from a Circle Line cruise years ago, but I'd never been on the island before. It's quite amazing.

Here are some facts I didn't know:

The statue is made from copper sheets that are no thicker than two pennies pressed together.

The original torch was also made of copper sheets, but holes were cut into it and glass put in so that the statue could serve as a lighthouse.

The original torch now stands inside the base of the statue. A new torch, covered with gold leaf, has no lights inside it. It reflects sunlight during the day and is lit with floodlights at night.

The statue remained its original copper color for about twelve years, then turned completely green.

The staircase up the arm into the torch has been closed to the public for 90 years. Water leakage caused by the conversion of the torch contributed to decay and instability of the arm.

The spiral staircase leading up to the crown has been closed since 9/11. Even Liberty State Park employees are not permitted inside.

The New Colossus is the title of the poem donated by Emma Lazarus to a fund raiser for the statue and later engraved on its pedastal.

Liberty Island

Ellis Island

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Observations from the Goodie Room

Contrary to popular belief, going to a writer’s conference isn’t all fun and games. Sometimes we writers learn things, too.

One of the things I was most interested in was what promo items make the biggest splash. In fact I’m so interested in this, I plan to make it part of the theme of my upcoming contest [stay tuned for more details!]. For now, though, I decided to use the NJRW Goodie Room as a laboratory.

I made several trips to the Goodie Room and I took notes on what was available there. Three tables chock full o’stuff made for quite a shopping spree for anyone interested in picking up some fun and informative do-dads.

I made a list of the most prominent items and I’ve rated them with stars (1 to 5, 5 being best) as to what items disappeared the fastest. Of course, having someone pick up your promo item is no guarantee that they will buy your book, but at least it gets your name into someone’s hands and maybe, just maybe, they will be curious enough about you to visit your website or type your name in at Amazon. I’ve come to realize we don’t do promo to make sales, we do promo to get name recognition.

Here, in my humble opinion, are the best ways to get your name recognized.

Wedding type favors (Bubbles, champagne flutes) * * * * *

Rings (plastic holiday themed or book themed) * * * * *

Candy (chocolate, lollipops, Life Savers, etc) * * *
(I noticed people took the candy and left the promo attachment behind)

Free paperbacks * * * * *
(If you can afford to do this it’s a great idea. What reader can resist a free book?)

Paper book marks *

Business cards *

Key rings * * *

Book flats (signed or unsigned) *

Post cards *

Note pads (plain or post-it) * * ½
(I’m always attracted by paper, so I went for these, but you know how many note pads I have already?)

Pens (and pencils) * * * *
(Writers can’t resist pens. I imagine readers can’t either. I came home with at least a dozen of these)

Condoms (alone or with other items) * * ½
(I think some people might have hesitated to take these, though they got a lot of comments)

Beaded book marks * * * * *
(The ones I made disappeared like hot cakes)

Perfume * * * ½

Nail polish * * * * ¼
(This happened to go well with the book title that was being promo’d)

Charms and necklaces (inexpensive plastic beads) * * ½

Magnets * * *

Calendars * * ½

Matchbooks * * ½

Buttons * * *

This is, in no way casts aspersions on anyone’s promo items. The various things that were available were all very classy and obviously represented a lot of work and in some cases a lot of expense on the part of the authors. These are just my observations as to what seemed to attract people and entice them to pick up an item and keep it rather than just look at it and set it back down.

I hope everyone going to a convention or considering making promotional items finds this helpful.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Star-Crossed Blog Day

I'm blogging at Star-Crossed today about Breaking the Boundaries of Love. Check it out!

In the mean time give a look into the new sci-fi novel by my fellow Diva
Crystal Jordan:


Available October 13, 2006 from Cobblestone Press (http://cobblestone-press.com)

Jain Roberts' spaceship was supposed to dock at the new colony on the water world of Aquitilis. Instead, she crash lands after 500 years in cryongenic freeze on an icy mountainous planet. A planet populated by monstrous predators and shape-shifting bears. Kesuk, the Arctic Bear leader, rescues her from the snow, but the laws of his people say she is now his slave until she repays him for the favor. He intends to give her over to the first trading vessel bound for Aquitilis, if he can convince himself to keep his hands off of her.

To find out more about Crystal and her books visit her gorgeous website: http://www.crystaljordan.com/

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Postcard from Reality

It was a wonderful 30 hours - and now I'm back. NJRW is just way too short for me. Too much fun crammed into a little over a full day.

I'm still wired from it. I had a blast, as I expected. After lunch at Bennigan's with DH on Friday, he dropped me off at the Sheraton and I checked in. I love the rooms at the Sheraton - they're very plush for a reasonable amount of $$. I registered and perused my conference packet and took a little time just to relax.

Then I attended two workshops: Secondary Characters and the Magic of a Series, and Writing a Partial that Sells. By then I'd gotten in touch with Kat Mancos from Star Crossed Romance and we were able to meet up with Jennifer Elbaum, Rene Lyons, Bianca D'Arc and Angela James of Samhain Publishing. I was so thrilled to meet everyone! We all took a quick ride to the Macaroni Grill where we met up with Stella Price for a wonderful dinner. Then back to the hotel for the Golden Leaf Awards ceremony and the fabulously chocolaty dessert reception.

Once the reception was over I was exhausted and totally jazzed, so naturally I didn't sleep well, but since I had to be up at 6:15 to make the breakfast presentation, it really didn't matter.

Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer were the keynote speakers for breakfast, and they were a hoot! We all received copies of their book, Don't Look Down, which I can't wait to read.

After breakfast I fit in the aptly titled, You Don't Have to be Crazy to be a Writer, but it Helps panel given by Victoria Alexander and then it was time for my agent appointment! I won't go into details at the moment, but it was a rousing success and I got a request for a full of my paranormal novella and a partial of Matchmakers!

After that I took a little break, then attended Zen and the Art of Publicity and Promotion with Jade Lee. After lunch, two more panels and then the Literacy Book signing. I was lucky enough to run into Liddy Midnight before the signing. In addition to the eight books I got for free, I picked up three more at the signing. [Cause my TBR pile isn't quite big enough to warrant its own zip code yet, but I'm working on it.]

After I said my goodbyes it was time to head back to reality. DH and the kids picked me up and transported me back to the castle where I returned to my role as Cinderella [before the ball]. LOL.

I have a ton of notes to turn into blog entries and much to do, but I'm completely energized by the whole affair. It was fabulous to meet so many Divas and Divas-To-Be [Kat, this means you!] and the ladies of NJRW are wonderful. [I'll be looking into joining up - it's on my To Do List, I swear!].

Well. Whew. Time to relax and regroup. Catch you later!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Put Your Heart in a Book

I'm off to the NJRW Put Your Heart in a Book Conference in Iselin this weekend. I can't wait to get there!

Last year I had a blast. I had dinner with Liddy Midnight and Jenna Peterson on Friday night, met Linda Sawicki from Dorchester on Saturday and met a handful of wonderful authors at the Literacy Book signing at the end of the conference.

I also attended a number of wonderful workshops and enjoyed fantastic presentations from the conference's keynote speakers.

Oh, yeah, and I had two wonderful days to myself surrounded by romance authors. You can't beat that with a stick.

I'm hoping in the coming years I'll have the budget to attend more than one conference a year, but for now, this is the one so I try to make the most of it.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone there and I'll be back with a full report on Sunday or Monday [depending on how tired I am.]

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

How Cool is This?

Immortal Lovers (ペーパーバック)

I was Googling myself [blush] and I came across the page for Immortal Lovers at Amazon Japan!


在庫状況(詳しくはこちら): 通常1~2週間以内に発送します。 この商品は、Amazon.co.jp が販売、発送します。

I don’t know if the Japanese characters will translate to blogger but they’re very cool. Apparently the book costs 1590 yen. I don’t think these means it’s been translated into Japanese – OMG – how cool would THAT be? I’d have to buy a copy just to look at it.
Nevertheless it’s awesome.

In addition, while searching Google, I found a Five-Heart review for Flight of the Valkyrie that I didn’t know about!

Here’s a snippet:

Five Hearts! Flight Of The Valkyrie by Jennifer Colgan is a dynamic love story, taut with suspense, intrigue, betrayal and true love marked by the hottest love making imaginable. Ms. Colgran has truly outdone herself with this one. I wasn’t able to put it down. The sexual tension as well as the suspenseful tension kept me awake and reading to the end. [This is] one you’ll want to read again and again. – Karen H., The Romance Studio

Gotta love that – the hottest love making imaginable! And it isn’t even one of my e-Rom titles.

It’s the little things that make my day.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

How to Ruin A Romance Hero

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the FOX show Bones. I love the witty repartee, the sizzling sexual tension, and the heaping gobs of science – not to mention David Boreanaz. I tune in faithfully every Wednesday night, crank up the volume, hush the kids and give the dog an evil glare if he even THINKS he needs to go outside between 8:00 and 9:00 PM.

FOX regularly broadcasts a Viewer Discretion warning, which would normally turn me off of a show because I don’t like gore, excessive violence or depressing crap. This week’s episode should have included a much stronger warning. NOT because the corpse our crack investigative team had to identify was found liquefying in a bathtub full of corrosive household chemicals, but because the sexual antics of Agent Seely Booth were just nauseating.

Why do TV shows do this? Do they know NOTHING about romance? It’s more than obvious that Booth and his brainy heroine, Temperance Brennan, have the hots for each other. In fact viewers have been conked over the head with it a bit in the first season. But what did FOX choose to do now that the angst has been well established? They toss Booth in bed with his ex. [Eye roll] All right, I can put up with that if I must. Though I’ve always thought one of the cardinal rules of romance is you don’t want to see the hero in bed with a woman who is not the heroine. It just isn’t done. Okay, it has been done now and then, but it’s not the preferred way to do it. It can sour your readers [or in this case viewers] on your hero right off the bat.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, after one of their classic riffs, Tempe and Seely part company at the end of the episode and he goes off in search of the caustic new administrator Cam [added to the show this season for what purpose? Oh, yeah – there is no purpose.] Like Seely and his ex, he and Cam have a past. Now, we’ve established that Booth was a busy guy. He’s parked his SUV in a lot of different garages over the years apparently. And to drive that point home, last scene – SPOILER ALERT – and yes, it spoiled the episode for me – he’s in bed with Cam.

Pul-ease. This would just never fly in a romance novel. Establish your hero as a man-ho and you lose that connection. Your audience [female audience anyway] has torn his name out of the heroine’s little black book. [The male audience loves him and wants to be him at this point, but they don’t count.]

Why do television shows do this? I can say with almost complete certainty that if they added a romance writer to their team, things like this would not fly. I can’t guarantee their ratings would improve, but I could guarantee that the producers wouldn’t have to go around whining their usual whine: “We will never see the lead characters get together because it would ruin the show.” No, it wouldn’t ruin the show, if it was done right. Let a romance writer do it and you would be able to see a steady progression of a relationship, not this namby pamby back and forth, he loves her, he doesn’t love her, he loves her, he’s sleeping with someone else to keep the tension high crap. Viewers would be happier. The shows would be more satisfying.

I’m not saying the plot should be all hearts and flowers but for heaven’s sake, can’t they learn how to craft a good romance and let the viewers enjoy it?

That’s my rant for the day. Off to craft some romance.