Monday, April 30, 2007

A few more stars...

I've been a bad blogger lately, I admit it. I really slacked off this weekend, but I'll try to be better now, I promise.

I'll start by quoting from the new review of Unleashed that's in the June issue of Romantic Times Magazine:

3 Stars...creative storylines and comical dialogue make this an enjoyable otherworldly experience. - Lisa Kelly, RT Magazine, June07, pg. 136.

Not surprisingly, one of the 4 1/2 star-Top Picks went to my CP, Eden Bradley for her first Bantam release:

The Dark Garden...a riveting tale of complex relationships...and a deftly handled subplot rounds out this amazing novel. - Gail Pruszkowski, RT Magazine, June07, pg. 126
Did I mention I was one of Eden's CP's for this book? ;)
So the moral of this story is, if you're in the mood for stargazing check these out. They're both available through Click on the covers for links!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Explore Infinite Worlds!

Bernadette is now available in Print!

Infinite Worlds
by Bernadette Gardner
ISBN-13: 978-1-60272-998-8 (Paperback)
Genres: Anthology / Collections / Science Fiction / Futuristic / Fantasy / Shapeshifter / Action / Adventure / Superheroes
Heat Level: 2

Description: From the depths of the ocean to a man-made asteroid, love is universal and the possibilities are infinite. Previously available only in electronic format, these steamy tales of futuristic and fantasy erotic romance have now been combined for a paperback edition! Included are the stories...

-- Ken’Ja
Thal Warrior Tige D’Vron battles the biological imperative of his people. Can Zira, a mere human, withstand the mating frenzy?

-- More Than A Fantasy
When Mara Zander’s dream man walks out of the pounding Aegean surf to claim her, she discovers he’s much more than a fantasy...

-- The Adventures of Molten Man (No. 1)
Paige Weller has sworn off dating superheroes. Can a regular guy melt her heart, or will it take someone extraordinary?

-- Renna’s Sacrifice
A delicate balance of power requires a young woman’s sacrifice. Can she give up the man she loves to ensure peace on her world?

-- A Calculated Risk
Nola Rule’s mission is genetic espionage. Her target is Tarrant Kane. Every move she makes is a calculated risk and the greatest danger she faces is falling in love.

For more information on Infinite Worlds, click here!

Infinite Worlds is available through Amber Quill Press at Amazon. com!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #8

Thirteen Things It Would Be Nice to Have

1. Dual citizenship – maybe the US and Australia?
2. A photographic memory – I’d settle for a decent memory
3. Perfect pitch – I can’t carry a tune in a bucket
4. A sense of direction – I get hopelessly lost in the mall
5. An Oscar – not that I’m an actress, but wouldn’t it be cool to have one?
6. My own personal bathroom – that I didn’t have to share with anyone else
7. A small, live dragon
8. A chauffeur – preferably a hot one
9. An award winning garden
10. A winning lottery ticket - I had to put this in, come on
11. An ancient artifact – willed to me by a long lost relative
12. An invitation to dine with the Queen
13. Violet eyes – naturally violet like Elizabeth Taylor, no contacts

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, April 25, 2007

RT and the Power Lunch

Well, now that half the romance community is off slinging back umbrella drinks and pinching cover hunks at the Romantic Times Convention [jealous much? Yeah, a little], the rest of us have to find some way to amuse ourselves.

In between sweating over the final fight scene of my WIP and my editing job, I'm having lunch with Jennifer Elbaum today! We can make it seem like our own mini-version of RT.

When I get home, I have to power through this final scene and get moving. I need a break from un-vampires and my muse is begging me to write some sci-fi.

In other news:

Reviews are coming in for The Demon of Pelican Bluff! Here's a sampling:

3/4 Stars! When Cade and Laurel finally get together they burn up the sheets, mountain trails and the caves the beast inhabits. Their steamy sex is so well written that it had me looking for my toys. - Oleta M. Blaylock, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

5 Lips! The Demon of Pelican Bluff is a definite must-read that you don’t want to miss! With enough sexy hot chemistry, the flying sparks will cause your pulse to race and your legs to cross and squeeze. –Kerin, Two Lips Reviews


Don't forget, Demon is available in electronic format by itself or in print combined with Wolfsbane: Aspect of the Wolf in UNLEASHED!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A small and tasteful dance of joy

My computer is fixed!!

Whew. I was worried there for a minute. Turns out it was just the fan that needed replacing and it was under warrany! How often does that actually happen? Most appliances are designed not to breakdown until the warranty expires, as we all know.

Now I'm back up and running - not that I have time for running. I've got to get something for the next Winterguard bake sale, catch up on laundry, and locate some styrofoam balls so my son can make a visual aid for his next book report. That involves a trip to the craft store, which is a place I should never go by myself. Lord knows what goodies I'll come home with.

Cleaning up the house and the yard would also be a good idea...SIGH. That's the problem with warm weather. I feel like I should be doing ten things at once, yet I don't have the energy for it. Maybe I'll just sit here and enjoy the quiet of my new computer fan...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cyber Stress

I'm over at Star Crossed today talking about the perils of technology. See you there!

And thanks to technolgy for some reason I can't embed a hyperlink in my post, so here's the URL:

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My computer needs a vacation

I'll be scarce over the weekend on my loops and at Romance Divas. My computer is acting up - the fan, which has always made a lot of noise, is starting to sound like a dying moose.

DH is taking it on Monday to replace the fan and hopefully that will solve the problem. I've actually had to turn the machine off because the noises it's making are unbearably loud.

Keep your fingers crossed this is all that's wrong with it. I did a massive backup yesterday so my files are safe and I don't want to burn anything out, so after this blog post, I'm shutting down for the day.

Friday, April 20, 2007

How resourceful are you?

I've always wanted to be one of those people who can make something out of nothing. Sort of like Martha Stewart but without the expense account. I once saved all the shoulder pads from a bunch of old blouses with the idea that I would make a quilt out of them, and in my candlemaking phase, I saved all the leftover wax from any candles I had to make new ones. I sort of stopped that when I found out I could buy a big candle for a buck at the Dollar Store, but I still have my moments when I don't want to throw something away.

At my office, I've been known cut stacks of old documents to make scrap paper pads and I even saved my kids' old crayons up when we got the Crayola Crayon Factory for Christmas one year. [We used it exactly once and the kids don't color with the new crayons we made because they're 'too pretty.']

Maybe it's the pioneer spirit in me. I figure I must have been a pioneer during one of my lives and that rears up and inspires me to want to make wreaths out of the grape vines that grow wild in my back yard or plant seedlings in plastic pudding cups.

I used to think I was pretty good at this recycling stuff. I tried and I'm sure I saved a buck or two here and there by hanging on to the salt and pepper packets that come with the fast food salad sporks, but then I saw this in the Riplpey's Museum and I realized, I can't hold a reconstituted candle to some people.

The dryer lint mural. Here is a woman with pioneer spirit I'll never be able to match.

On that note, I'm going to go make Christmas ornaments out of used toilet paper rolls. Have a day.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #7

Thirteen Advertising Translations

1. Less fat! [More carbs!]
2. Improved taste! [We added more sugar]
3. Costs less! [Because there’s less in the package]
4. Improved packaging! [Harder to open]
5. Vitamin fortified! [Tastes like medicine]
6. Made with real juice! [From half of a very small lemon]
7. No salt added! [It’s naturally full of salt, we didn’t put any more in, though]
8. No sugar added! [But you’ll wish there was.]
9. 30% more, Free! [Because we upped the price]
10. Kids love it! [Because it’s bad for them.]
11. Part of a complete breakfast! [If you ate for four people]
12. No cholesterol! [But there’s plenty of other bad stuff in it.]
13. All natural! [Except for the preservatives.]

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, April 17, 2007

Something cool

Check this out! I found this in the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum in Niagara Falls. It's a vampire killing kit circa 1850. Note the wooden stake, the vial of holy water and the tiny Bible.
Wicked cool.
I have a sneaking suspicion this may end up in one of my stories.
In other news:
Congratulations to

Terri Shaw!

Terri is the winner of my Infinite Worlds Contest at Novelspotters
She'll receive a signed copy of Unleashed
A beaded book mark
And a surprise gift from my goody stash.

Thanks to everyone who participated especially despite the Yahoo glitches!

Have a great day!

Monday, April 16, 2007


Random. It's a word I hear all the time now. It's my daughter's favorite word. Everything she says includes the word. "Some random dude in my class today was...blah blah blah..." "We have random homework." [How does that work I wonder? Does the teacher just say, "Pick a page from your book and do it at random?"] My favorite is: "That's so random!"

Isn't everything that happens is sort of random? I guess it depends on how you look at it - some people say chaos rules and nothing has a plan or a pupose. Everything is random. Others say there is a master plan to the universe and everything happens for a reason. I'm in the latter group. I think even randomness is planned in some way. It's all part of a larger scheme of things.

On that note:

Today I'm posting a random page from my work in progress over at Star-Crossed Romance. It's random page week, so check in for excerpts from all of our WIPs.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Fantasy vs. Reality

There's a fabulous post on Jenny Crusie's blog today that stirs up a lot of fascinating topics under the umbrella of writing romance.

First let me say, I agree 1000% with everything Ms. Crusie says about the whole kerfluffle that's ruffling feathers in the romance universe right now, but most expecially I agree with this:

This is where I make my disclaimer: I hate rape romance. I also hate those romances where the hero is emotionally abusive to the heroine; those aren’t romantic, either. And I loathe baby romances; anybody who’s ever had a baby knows what a kid will do to romance. Also I don’t like badly written romances; I think people should learn to write well and publishers should only publish books with good writing. And while we’re on this, any romance novel that makes God more important that the romance story is not a romance, it’s an inspirational novel with a romance subplot, and I don’t like them, either. And you know that romance plot where the heroine fights another woman for the hero? Catfight novels. Hate those. And . . . - Jenny Crusie

Beyond that, I don't want to rehash the argument of what consistutes a romance and what doesn't. We've been through this with the erotica argument a few months back and no one wants to be lumped into the 'shrill minority' any less than I do. [wink, wink]. But I will say the post got me thinking about the idea of letting readers [or rather assuming that readers CAN] think for themselves and distinguish between reality and fantasy.

Now, everyone knows I'm a fan of fantasy and not so much a fan of reality. If I liked reality all that much, I'd probably be a stock broker, not a romance novelist. However, I do believe that I can happily spend a great deal of my time in a fantasy world of my own or someone else's devising and still be able to function well enough in the real world - and know the difference between the two.

I've long held the belief that if someone reads a murder mystery, they will not become a murderer because it seemed like a good idea in the book. I don't think someone reading a western will run out to Arizona and start roping steer, nor do I think that a young woman reading a romance will sit on her tuffet forever eating her curds and weigh and waiting for prince charming to ride in on his white horse, while perfectly acceptable relationships pass her by because she thinks that's how things work in the 21st Century. I don't think the average romance reader is TSTL.

That's why I write romances in which the hero and heroine sometimes don't use bith control. [Egads!] I write romances in which no one worries about STDs. [Unconscionable!] and I write romances in which, sometimes, the hero and heroine do jump into bed only moments after they've introduced themselves [and in one case the intro actually does come after!] [Yikes, what's gotten into me?]

I don't do this because I don't have a firm grip on reality. Let's face it, sex in the real world is a risky business. Relationships are like minefields, life is rough and bad things happen, especially to people who don't pay attention. But I don't write PSAs. I write fantasies. Whether they're set in New York in 2007 or on Rigel IXX in 3472, they're all fantasies and they're made for women just like me who spend an awful lot of time in the real world and want or rather NEED to get away from it for a while. I respect my readers and because I do, I show them worlds and relationships where everything works out in the end. I do that because I know my readers can handle it. They live in the real world, just like I do, and they deserve a break, just like I do.

Thanks, Ms. Crusie for your insightful post!

In other news:

I'm at Novelspotters today talking about Bernadette's Amber Heat releases. Stop by if you get the chance. My contest will be open until 5:00 PM EST Monday, April 16th!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I took the plunge

I got a MySpace page.

I know, I know. I vowed I'd never do it. But since the gang at Star-Crossed put up a page, I figured I reallly needed one.

Check it out. It's a Bernadette only site. Jennifer is too shy to be on MySpace, but Bernadette is a wild thang so she jumped right in.

Here's the addy:

Please friend me, if you're so inclined. I just learned how to post comments with those nifty sparkly graphics so I'll be visiting my friends periodically with messages.

Ultimately I hope to post some excerpts on the blog there and some more pictures. Check out my slide show! I can't believe how well it turned out.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The View...

...from the room was the best part of the trip. We had a nice time walking around the area, seeing the little museums and the bird aviary and taking pictures of the falls.

Here's some of the best shots:

This is the view of the American Falls from our room on the 30th floor of the hotel. There are massive iceflows at the center of the falls that will take until about mid-May to melt completely.

This is taken from the walkway next to Horsehoe Falls on the Canadian side. You almost feel like you're in the water. All the railings and the plants in the area were covered with perfect coatings of ice from the constant spray. The water at the very edge of the falls, is only about two feet deep but with nearly 600,000 gallons of water going over every second, no one could stand there and not be swept over.

This is a view looking up from the tunnels under the falls. It was like stepping out into the middle of Antartica. The walkway below, where people often stand in the summer time, was completely covered with ice and snow, so we had to remain on the landing, which is covered with a wooden roof that has square windows cut in the side for picture taking. I thought the sound would be defeaning, but it wasn't that bad. I'm sure in the warmer weather, the constant cold spray is envigorating, but we were chilled through.
It's nice to be home and to get back to work. I've got a lot of writing to do and I have to prep for my Novelspotters chat on Sunday. More details coming.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #6

[I'm posting this on Wednesday because I won't have Internet acces on Thursday.]
April 12 : Thirteen Good things about turning 40

1. I’m old enough to order a drink without having to show my photo ID.
2. I’m old enough to watch NC-17 movies.
3. I’m old enough not to be shocked by NC-17 movies.
4. I’m old enough to say, “I’m too old for this crap.”
5. I’m old enough to know better.
6. I’m old enough to do what I want anyway.
7. I’m old enough to vote and jaded enough to know that it is a popularity contest.
8. I’m old enough to run for president and smart enough not to want to anymore.
9. I’m old enough to know I can take care of myself.
10. I’m old enough to know I can take care of someone else.
11. I’m old enough not have to apologize for being hormonal.
12. I’m old enough to gamble and wise enough to keep my money in my wallet.
13. I’m old enough to not need candles on my birthday cake, but not too old for presents.

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!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Catch you later!

We're off to the falls. Don't worry, I won't miss Thursday Thirteen! See ya' when we get back.

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's not fair

Do I look like I know anything about computers?


I get stuck with all the hard jobs. Today, for instance, Mommy is too busy to work on her computer like she usually does.

She's packing for her trip. Everybody - and I mean everybody - is going away, except for me. I have to stay home with Nanny and Opa and Kaka while the rest of the pack gets to go on a trip.

And on top of all that, Mommy asked ME to blog for her today so she can do laundry, and clean out the fridge [and I didn't even get any of the leftovers. She just threw them all away!]

I'm just going to pout for a while. And then maybe
I'll find something to chew on.

It's a dog's life, I tell you.

Next she'll probably want me to finish writing that silly sucknopsis thing she was ranting about yesterday. SIGH

I should have gotten a job with the Fire Department. Then maybe I'd get a little respect.

I know how to really annoy her - I'll go post naked pictures of myself on MySpace! Then she'll be sorry she gave me her passwords! Bwahahahaha!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #5

Thirteen Things I could Live without

1. Bugs – Except butterflies and ladybugs, the rest can go, thanks
2. Telemarketers – no offense to anyone who does this for a living, but egads, do companies really make any money by annoying people to death?
3. Super Models – we’re all fed up with the unrealistic body images and bitchy attitudes, aren’t we?
4. Evangelists – I wouldn’t mind them so much if they didn’t keep getting caught with prostitutes, ya’ know?
5. Reality TV – which might not be so bad if it wasn’t more fictional than fiction
6. Perfume samples in magazines – sorry, instant headache for me
7. Clothes in size 0 – 0 means nothing – hello, if you can measure the size, it’s not 0
8. Play dates – I don’t mind the concept of letting my kids play with other children, but why can’t we just call it ‘playing’ since it really isn’t ‘dating’?
9. Co-pays – what’s the point of paying your doctor $20.00 just so the insurance company can pay him $100.00 more on top of that? Why can’t the insurance company just pay all of it, then?
10. Junk mail – I wish someone would stop cutting down trees to print advertisements for things I don’t need, so I can throw them right in the recycling bin, and they can be turned into more advertisements for things I don’t need
11. Cyber-petitions – I see people trying to get signatures on internet based petitions all the time and the one thing I’ve always been told is, they’re not worth the paper they should be written on. If you want to do something for a cause, make a stand or be heard, splurge for paper and get people’s actual signatures. Someone’s name on a computerized list doesn’t mean a hill of beans to the government or anyone else
12. SPAM – in the can and my in-box. I never cared for faux meat of any kind, and let’s be honest, who’s going to read an e-mail entitled: incorporatingh better looking sluts right noW!?
13. Shoulder pads in women’s clothes – the ‘80s are OVER people, we learned that padded shoulders do not make our waists look thinner and when manufacturers make shoulder pads out of material that shrinks in the wash, they’re just defeating their own purpose

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!

The dreaded sucknopsis

I may have ranted about the sucknopsis before, but it bears repeating, so I'm going to do it again.

sucknopsis - 1. n. the distillation of a complete manuscript into less than five pages of plot highlights, written in intriguing and sparkling prose so as to entice an editor to buy said manuscript without having read it in its entirety; 2. n. a form of torture for writers

My unvampire WIP is going great. In fact, I'm in the home stretch - and I was happily planning to spend today writing THE END. I'm not complaining, mind you that my lovely agent has stirred up some interest in this book and that my finishing it ASAP is imperative. Egads - that's great! But of course, finishing the dern thing, means having a synopsis ready to send to editors, along with a full or partial manuscript.

Insert loud sobs and much wailing and gnashing of teeth here.

I may have ranted about the sucknopsis before, but it bears repeating, so I'm going to do it again.

Why do I hate the synopsis? Why do cats hate surfing? When the synopsis is done, my fur is wet, my eyes hurt and I look more like a rodent than a feline. That's why.

She's lost it, you say. Yes. I admit, I go a little nuts when I have to distill 90,000 words down to four or five pages of salient plot points. After all, I have tons of salient plot points. What if I miss an important one? What if I dwell on something that isn't as important as something else? What if I make my novel, currently in my humble opinion, my best work, sound like a mish-mashed movie of the week? What if I'm confusing, bland or down right incoherent?

In essence, what if the synopsis sucks?

I know, I know. Positive thinking. I positively hate writing the synopsis. It's actually harder than the blurb and usually less exciting. This is crunch time, and I hate crunching 360-400 pages down to five. It's just not fair.

I'm off to find a towel and a catnip mouse.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Is it a conspiracy?

Is it just me, or do things seem to be getting harder on line? Blogger for instance, which just had a massive overhaul, started out looking like it was easier. No more waiting for that doomsday clock to click away hoping your post made it into the system and didn't get lost in the ether. Now, one click and it's there - yada, yada.

I find that a couple things are harder. Posting pictures in my sidebar is a lot more difficult now. I don't know why, and I'm the first to admit I have a steep learning curve when it comes to computer stuff, but sheesh. I thought I had it licked and now I struggle with it.

The word recognition feature that keeps auto spam from popping up in the comments section of a post, is also harder to deal with. The code words used to be five letters or so, skewed and wiggly to make them a little hard to read. Now they're eight or more letters all jammed together and more often than not I don't get them right on the first try.

When I go to comment on someone else's blog, [or even my own] I get that dialogue box warning about unsecured items. Not once, but usually twice, it pops up asking me if I really, really, really want to see what's on the page. Why can't it just trust me the first time I click on OK?

Don't get me started on Yahoo. Used to be, posts got lost a lot or showed up days later. Now they show up - five, sometimes ten times over just to be sure no one can miss them. And all the mail from my loops shows up in my in-box marked at SPAM. I can't turn on my SPAM filter anymore because almost EVERYTHING I get would end there.

What gives? Is it me? Am I technologically handicapped in some way, or is it really that all the bells and whistles added to these programs to make them more efficient have actually made them less so?

Anybody have a theory?

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Power of Positive Thinking

I spent Sunday sniffling and sneezing and shoving tissues up my nose. The antibiotics I'm on for the Strep throat I had earlier in the week don't do a dang bit of good for the cold I got ON TOP of it.

But I'm not here to complain about feeling crappy all weekend. In fact, I'm here to try to do the opposite and put a positive spin on it. Why?

Well, the upside of being too sick to go anywhere on Sunday, and too hopped up on cold medicine and penicillin to think coherently enough to actually get some writing done, was that I decided to stretch out in bed and READ.

Egads! I must be sick. I NEVER have time to read anymore. Granted my TBR pile is spilling out of the closet, but in true bibliophile form, I had to read a new book that just came via UPS.

My SIL made me buy it. She didn't hold a gun to my head, but she was sooo enthusiastic about it when I saw her last weekend that I figured I'd better get in on what all the hype was about, so I bought it.

The Secret, edited by Rhonda Byrne

This little book percolates a wide range of teachings by some well known, and some more obscure teachers and visionaries down to a very simple principle by which all things can be accomplished in life. In essence it touts the power of positive thinking.

Now, that's a very simplified explanation and if you really want to understant what The Secret is, read the book, or buy the video, which is also available and equally praised by my sister-in-law.

I read the whole book and I enjoyed it for the most part - there are a few paragraphs that tend to scream in CRAYON - meaning they talk way down to readers which I don't like, but for the most part the message is clear and consistent and one that I can't dispute.

If you can visualize something, you can achieve it. I've felt that way for a long time. I also feel the reverse is true and that negative feelings and thoughts beget negative circumstances.

I think this is an important lesson for everyone, but it hits home even harder for writers because so many of us deal with the negative impact of our choices every day. People tend to think the desire to write a book is a silly pursuit. It's a pipe dream, it's frivolous and should only be undertaken as a hobby, IF you have absolutely nothing more important to do with your time.
So many of the writers I've talked to have dealt with opposition from their family, their spouses, and their co-workers, and romance writers [not to mention Erotic Romance writers] have it even worse. I don't want to belabor the sore points that we all know, the passive agressive questions, "When are you going to write a real book?" "How come you're not rich yet? I thought you had a book published?" "Why would you want to waste your time writing a book?" I could go on, but I won't.

All I'm going to say is, The Secret is one we should all take to heart when it comes to our dreams. See it, believe it, and you can do it. And if it helps, shove a tissue up your nose.