Friday, August 31, 2007

$330 Mil

No, that’s not the amount of my next advance.

That’s the payout on the Mega Millions Lottery tonight.

Of course we bought tickets. Hey, you never know.

What would I do with $330 million?

Well, besides recreate that scene from Indecent Proposal where Demi Moore rolls around in bed with all the money, I honestly don’t know.

As we walked away with our tickets this evening, my husband said, “I know what we’d do. We’d buy you your own publishing company to publish all your books.”


I don’t want my own publishing company. Too much work. Writing is fun. Publishing is a business. If I was stinkin’ rich, I’d want to have fun, not worry about all the ins and outs of a tough business like publishing.

I’d still write. I’d still edit. I’d spend some real money on promo – LOL! I’d pay someone to make book trailers for me.

I’d buy a house by the beach and set up my office so I could watch the water. That probably wouldn’t be conducive to getting much work done, though. But I’d be rich, so I really wouldn’t care.

Don’t worry. The odds are against me winning the lottery. I don’t have the lottery winner’s gene.

But hey, you never know.

PS: Speaking of winning things, I'm going to announce the August winner of my Backlist Bonanza Book of the Month Contest tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Thirteen # 26

Thirteen Great Shows to Rent and Get Hooked on

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Joss Whedon, nuff said

2. The Office – the British version, you may need subtitles to understand what’s going on but it’s a lot of fun [watch this one before you watch the American version because unlike most British TV, the American one is better.]

3. The Office – the American version – best in large quantities. Watch five or six episodes at a time and trust me, you’ll be hooked

4. Coupling – the British version – Hil-ar-ee-ous! Better than the British Office in fact

5. Angel – Joss Whedon, nuff said [but if that’s not enough, David Boreanaz]

6. Cold Feet – another British dramedy – funny and strangely compelling

7. Charmed – come on, the sister witches are a lot of fun, you know you love them

8. CSI: Las Vegas – if you’re into crime scene investigations this one rocks

9. Bones – I don’t need to rent this one, I watch it, but if you haven’t tried it, now’s the time get caught up

10. Battlestar Galactica – who would have ever guessed Cheesy sci-fi from the ‘70s could translate this well to the new century? Hot, hot stuff.

11. Firefly- Joss Whedon [Oh heck, don’t rent this one. Buy it. It’s THAT good.]

12. Dinosaurs – if your kids were too young to see this one when it aired, rent it, it’s ridiculous and my kids lurve it [so does my husband]

13. Stargate SG-1 – okay, so I own all ten seasons, but if you want some excellent sci-fi, start with Season 1, this is one great show

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, August 28, 2007

Lightning Strikes Another E-Pub

It’s been a rough summer for e-publishers. First Triskelion and now Mardi Gras Publishing will be closing [or already has technically closed] its virtual doors.

I’m blogging about it because several Mardi Gras authors have asked that the word get around to please not buy their books.

I hate asking people not to buy a book, but the problem here lies in the fact that any sales of Mardi Gras titles now, while they still may be available at other venues such as Fictionwise, will produce no royalties for the authors.

One of the worst fears of a published author is not getting paid for their work. Let’s face it, we all started in this business for the love of writing. A few minutes worth of research and you find out writing isn’t a get rich quick scheme – it’s more of an ‘if you’re lucky you’ll become mildly financially solvent over the long haul’ type of scheme. Most hard working writers don’t make the big bucks, so when a publisher goes under, especially having a history of not paying royalties, it’s a further kick in the pants to the authors who have labored over their work in hopes of getting that check that boosts them from ‘aspiring’ to ‘professional.’

I don’t know the background on Mardi Gras. I never submitted to them and I haven’t met or dealt with any of the principals of the company, so I don’t know what extenuating circumstances might have caused them to fold, but in defense of the authors who are now without homes and the books that may hang limbo waiting for bankruptcy court to sort things out, I have to say I’m disappointed.

Writing is a tough business, but publishing is even tougher. The Internet has made it easy for people to start up businesses and for some to make a lot of money fast. Would that we all were so lucky, but publishing, like writing, if done right, is also not a get rich quick scheme. Any publisher that wants to stay in business and deal legitimately with authors needs to understand a few basics:

1. The money doesn’t roll in. Sorry, it’s not a no risk enterprise. You’ve got to have some financial cushion to keep you afloat.

2. It’s a business. That means personal attitude can’t get in the way of doing what needs to be done.

3. Life goes on around your job. Anyone can suffer personal setbacks and some are more difficult to bounce back from than others. This may sound callous, but if you’re running a business, you can’t fold up when your personal life goes to hell, and if the time comes that you absolutely cannot handle working anymore, you owe your co-workers the decency to give them a little time to prepare for your departure.

4. Your books are your products. Authors know this, but I think sometimes publishers forget that they own the books they sell as well. Publishers who breathe down authors' necks about promo are often forgetting that they need to get out there and sell the books also if they want to make a profit.

My heart goes out to the Mardi Gras authors and the Triskelion authors who are still scrambling to figure out if they can get their rights back and resell their books elsewhere. For now, please don’t buy any titles published by these companies because all the sale will amount to is another royalty check the authors won’t get.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Book of the Week

Here’s a little tidbit about this week’s book of the week.
Nola Rule, the sultry, sexy corporate spy and ‘anti-heroine’ from A Calculated Risk was originally played by another sultry, sexy secret agent type. I changed heroine’s halfway through writing A Calculated Risk because I was also working on my Ellora’s Cave release, Rogue Theta and I thought the woman I’d set up against the incomparable Tarrant Kane belonged in a slightly different universe.

Onika Ramos isn’t the heroine of Rogue Theta, but she makes an appearance toward the end of that story in preparation for her own sordid tale of intergalactic intrigue.

How does Onika feel about being kicked out of the starring role in A Calculated Risk to play a secondary character in Rogue Theta?

You may just have to read the story to find out. ;) For now, read on to meet Nola Rule, the bad girl who got the lead role in this week’s Book of the Week.

A Calculated Risk by Bernadette Gardner

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.

Five Angels! A Calculated Risk is ...loaded with intrigue, along with some powerful sensual seduction, Ms. Gardner fashions a story that acts like a magnet from the first page. -Linda L., Fallen Angel Reviews

Kane sensed her approach even before he saw her. Fifteen years running Earth-Sec had taught him a thing or two about surveillance. Even shielded by thick, dark sunglasses, he'd felt the weight of her stare from across the room, and he relished it. Most of the women on Sensuron seemed intimidated by him, and he hadn't yet figured out why. This dark-haired beauty was different. She seemed utterly confident in herself, and that drew his undivided attention immediately.

Unbidden, his military conditioning kicked in. He assessed her as she approached the bar, gauging height, weight, and general build as if she were the enemy. He had to stop thinking like that.

After spending his entire life as a soldier, he'd come to Sensuron to learn how to be a civilian. Now that he had the money and the time to indulge his every fantasy, why couldn't he stop thinking like a general?

He turned slightly, angling his body to face her as she sidled up to the bar. He made himself take in the details of her appearance the way a wealthy, healthy single tourist would, rather than the way a jaded, career security specialist would.

Her jet black hair hung in soft ringlets down her mostly naked back, just brushing the waistband of a golden yellow thong bikini. The scrap of fabric left her perfectly shaped ass visible to detailed inspection, and Kane wasn't the only male in the area who had indulged. The entire resort was crawling with barely dressed females, but this one commanded a much greater percentage of admiring glances.

First, Kane allowed himself a good, long look at her legs. Like most of the women on Sensuron, she wore high-heeled sandals that accentuated her luscious curves. Thin straps wrapped around her calves and a chain of sparkling platinum links dangled around one finely turned ankle.
She flicked a curtain of hair aside, revealing the equally scant top of her bathing suit. Shimmery triangles of nearly transparent fabric hugged the peaks of her breast, tented by the hard tips of dark nipples.

Her profile was all sensuous curves. A strong chin and patrician nose were softened by a light olive complexion. Unlike most of the wealthy female patrons of Sensuron, she carried just enough weight to give her a very feminine softness. No bony angles or visible ribs detracted from her perfect hourglass shape.

Kane dragged his gaze up to her ruby lips and for a brief moment he entertained a vision of those lips poised to swallow his cock. A mouth like that was made for one thing...

"What can I get for you, Ms. Rule?" The bartender leaned forward, nearly diving into her generous cleavage. Kane gave him a disapproving look.

On Sensuron, the staff was not allowed to hit on guests.

"I'll have a Martian Sunrise, with two slices of passion fruit, please." She didn't even glance at Kane. Her suddenly stiff posture made him realize it might have been obvious how intently he was staring. Had she noticed he was breathing deeply, taking in the sun-warmed aroma of her glistening skin? He hadn't expected the scent of a woman to be so intoxicating, and he indulged in a brief glance toward his crotch where his swim trunks had become marginally tighter.

She stood motionless, her chin high and defiant, while the bartender prepared her drink. When he placed the frothy pink concoction on the bar, his eyes again dipped to that sweet valley where Tarrant now planned to spend a good portion of his very first vacation.

"Charge it to my account," she said, reaching a manicured hand toward the drink.

"Put the lady's drink on my account. Kane 745," Tarrant said, seizing the opportunity. He turned to her, meeting her curious gaze. "Perhaps you'd like to join me at a table by the pool?" Smooth, he thought. During the early days of the war, on the rare occasions he'd sought female attention, he'd followed the lead of his regiment and offered to buy the lady a drink. In the outlying colonies, that technique had never failed to get him laid.

Here on Sensuron, his offer earned him a wilting glare. She turned her head very slowly in his direction, and her lips drew into a pucker that made his cock pulse for attention.
Her eyes were amethyst, the color of Sensuron's sky. They held an odd mixture of amusement and...contempt.

"I'm flattered," she said in a voice that told him the opposite was true. "But I really didn't come here to pick up a leering playboy. I can afford my own drinks. Thank you." She curled her fingers around the stem of the glass and lifted it with a little more force than was necessary. For an instant Kane thought she might hurl it at him, but instead she brought it to her mouth and took a long sip. He nearly came when she licked those lips with a slow swirl of her tongue.
Then she turned her gorgeous back on him and sauntered away, her nearly bare bottom swaying in a way that made every man present drool just a little.

"Hmm." Kane sat back, torn between dumbfounded shock and unbridled lust. In all the years he'd served Earth-Sec he'd fought in countless battles, won most of them, and limped home from a few. He'd never been shot down with such precision before. He'd also never backed away from such an obvious challenge.

With his target in sight, former General Tarrant Kane began to formulate his battle plan.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Different Kind of Hero

Romance heroes these days are pretty straightforward. They’re big and buff and usually dark and dangerous. They have penetrating gazes [and other things] and they usually walk around shirtless – at least on book covers.

Normally I’m enamored of the science fiction or paranormal hero. Jon Crighton of Farscape, David Boreanaz’s Angel and even Smallville’s Clark Kent fit the bill and often fuel my writing fantasies.

But how about a different kind of hero? Someone without the swagger and the super powers, someone whose gift is cerebral and his manner is genteel. He’s not a gun or fang-wielding crusader and he can’t fly without an airplane but he’s heroic nevertheless.

I’ve been catching up on episodes of CSI: Las Vegas lately [I’m on Season 2 – and I have a real dilemma. Do I start watching Season 8 this September or hold off until I’ve caught up on the five intervening seasons??] and I find myself fascinated by the lead character.

William Peterson’s Gil Grissom has me enchanted. He’s smart, wryly funny and usually plays the calm in the middle of a storm surrounding his team’s murder investigations. He doesn’t do much hand to hand combat, or scooping up women and carrying them off to safety, but he’s just cool enough to be mysterious and completely intriguing.

Any CSI fans here? If not, who’s your ‘different kind of hero?’

Pictures are from the following sites:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Thirteen # 25

Thirteen Things Google says Bernadette wants...

1. Bernadette wants the originals of all still pictures on her computer – sure, that would be nice.

2. Bernadette wants to find a spot with shallower water – because Bernadette can’t swim?
3. Bernadette wants to go see a Gehry building now – a who?
4. Bernadette wants to be a ghost – being a vampire would be a lot more fun, I think
5. Bernadette wants to do it as if he wasn’t here – hmmm, I’m not touching that one
6. Bernadette wants every animal lover in Ireland to join together and come to the aid of the badger in its hour of need. – those poor badgers. Please help!
7. Bernadette wants Barratt to put things right – yes, damn you, Barratt!
8. Bernadette wants to set up another one for us soon – another one what?
9. Bernadette wants Julian to fall in love with her – oh...well, sure. If he’s cute.
10. Bernadette wants Bella to be one too – a vampire?
11. Bernadette wants her sea salt – yes, I love my sea salt.
12. Bernadette wants to show it using the number line – nah, sounds too much like math
13. Bernadette wants us to buy her stuff – of course I do! Why do you think I’m bloggin’ my heart out like this! Plus, it will benefit badgers everywhere, so please help!

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, August 22, 2007

Updates, Updates...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Here's the cover art for my next Amber Quill release coming in September.

I may have posted the blurb before, but here it is again, just in case anyone missed it. ;)

Dark and dangerous, bounty hunter Damen Cantor leaves Lea Vargas breathless. His gravelly voice rides over her like a caress, making her skin tingle and her knees weak. He’s the only man that has ever intimidated her and she doesn’t like that, but since he’s the perfect man for the job she has in mind, she’ll have to deal with it.

Born into a life of privilege as an heir to the Vargas Industries fortune, Lea has never wanted for anything until now. No amount of money can cure her beloved sister, Darya, of Lorcan Syndrome, but perhaps a Braxan healer can. Darya’s husband, Troy, hasn’t returned from an expedition to the forbidden world of Ambrax, though, and time is running out. Lea’s only hope to save her sister lies in enslaving herself to Damen Cantor and braving a landing on the male dominated planet, from which visitors rarely return.

In yet other news...

I also submitted my story for the Amber Quill Alien Nation Pax which will be coming out next spring. This time I'm way ahead of the game. Here's the blurb for Thieves In Paradise:

Kol A’Kosu, an Antarean bounty hunter, is on the trail of another rim colony criminal. Gifted with visions that show him future events, he’s already seen himself capturing Charity Foster, the beautiful Human selenite thief, but that’s not all he’s seen. His visions have never been wrong before, but this time there must be a mistake. He can’t possibly take a Human as a bond mate, or worse, subject her to the painful rite of separation, the only way to dissolve the intense sexual link that draws Antarean couples together.

Charity faces certain death at the hands of the Magistrate of Valencia, but before she loses her life, she’ll lose her heart to the man assigned to bring her to justice.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Books of the Week

I made a new slide show on MySpace to highlight my books of the week. This week it's all about the print books, baby!

While I was surfing yesterday, I popped in to and took a look at the ranks for my print books. Interesting numbers...I don't know quite what they mean as far as sales go, but here's the breakdown:

Ravenstar's Bride 182,787

Unleashed 185,112

Hunters 610,067

Immortal Lovers 934,609

Infinite Worlds 1,005,580
Conjured in Flames 1,279,912

I wonder how much the numbers change if you sell one copy of a book, or ten, or a hundred?

Well, I'm hooked.

Completely and utterly hooked. Someone over at Romance Divas recommended the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, and I decided, what the heck. I've only 40 books in my TBR pile, why not give this a shot.
I read the first two books in the series and I'm hooked. It's such a pleasure to read something that's fun, fast paced and just a little bit farfetched.
Now I've got to collect the rest of the series...sigh. Gonna' have to go shopping...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Art class is in session

I found the 'smudge' tool in my Paint program.
Now I can fingerpaint on my computer when I should be writing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday Thirteen # 24

Thirteen things Google says Jennifer needs...

1. Jennifer needs a cold really. I’m fine. Honestly.
2. Jennifer needs a smack daddy...I know I’m hopelessly na├»ve, but what’s a smack daddy?
3. Jennifer needs sooo, sooo many ways.
4. Jennifer needs to leave some mystery in her life...I have plenty of mystery thanks. Like where do those socks go when they disappear from the dryer?
5. Jennifer needs to be thankful for being discovered...damn skippy I do.
6. Jennifer needs to do five things...only five??
7. Jennifer needs to get laid...ROTFL. My DH tells me this all the time.
8. Jennifer needs your votes...yes, I do. Vote for me and I will end narcissism in your lifetime!
9. Jennifer needs to develop age-appropriate language for social bet your effin’ a$$ I do.
10. Jennifer needs a man...several, in fact, who would be willing to clean out my basement.
11. Jennifer needs your help again...I’m a pest, aren’t I?
12. Jennifer needs to move on really badly...yes. I need to get over the fact that there will never be a sixth season of Angel.
13. Jennifer also needs financial guidance...that would assume that I have finances. Which I don’t. I’m a starving writer, doncha know?

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, August 15, 2007

Skin is In!

Yesterday I signed the contract for another Ellora's Cave release!
Skin will be Bernadette's foray into the's the blurb:

Her body is his canvas.

When Makena Brady walks into SkIntense Body Art, she expects nothing more than a little prick, and a small tattoo to satisfy her quest for independence from her ‘good girl’ lifestyle. What she gets instead is a sensual awakening.

Darq Stone is an artist and Makena’s body is the perfect canvas. He works his magic on her, bringing her to the edge of reason with a temporary tattoo airbrushed on her inner thigh. Enthralled by the excitement of lying nearly naked while he paints on her, Makena yearns for more, but can she handle the real thing? Darq is more than he seems and once he brands her with a permanent mark, she’ll be his forever.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Book of the Week

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 Demon of Pelican Bluff...

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
Cade Morrison eyed his surly reflection in the small mirror that hung next to the door of his office. The slate blue eyes that stared back at him narrowed in determination to hide their weariness. He'd have to keep his sunglasses on this morning, even though the sky was overcast and the weather service had predicted rain by noon.

He rubbed at the dark stubble coating his chin and vowed once again to bring a spare electric razor to keep on hand for these nights he spent at the ranger station. Far too frequently these days, he'd found himself making do with yesterday's shirt and a quick scrape with a disposable pilfered from the emergency supply cabinet.

As much as he detested the idea of hosting some quirky, National Enquirer type pseudo-scientist for a fruitless day's expedition into the woods, maybe this whole charade would put an end to the "sightings" and allow him to go home and sleep in his own bed on a more regular basis.

So despite his lingering headache, blood shot eyes, and five alarm coffee craving, he had to play nice with the nut job from the university for the sake of his own personal hygiene if nothing else.
"Damn, damn, damn..." According to his watch, she'd be here any second.

Cade made a quick circuit of the office, grabbing his hat and glasses, self-consciously checking his uniform shirt for sweat stains and downing a final gulp of lukewarm decaf. He cursed Joe Fortin, his health-conscious weekend relief ranger, for stocking the supplies based on some nutritionist's recommendation rather than the needs of a man who got four hours of sleep on a good night. Without that burst of caffeine, Cade would be lucky not to end up curled in some bear's den for a long winter's nap. He'd just have to stop off at Thacker's General Store on the way to the lake to get his fix. If the lady scientist complained about the delay, that would be too bad.

The tentative knock on the door, delivered on the dot of nine A.M. caused a sigh, followed by a brief prayer for deliverance. Cade hadn't heard a car pull up on the gravel lane below, or heard footsteps on the two-story flight of aluminum stairs that led up to the station.

Not only was the lady scientist damnably punctual, she was stealthy besides.

"Come on in." He decided against rushing to the door to open it for her. After all, he didn't want her to get the impression that he was in any way pleased by her arrival in Pelican Bluff.
The door opened with its usual whine and creak just as Cade slipped his aviators down the bridge of his nose.

Backlit by the gray-white sky, she was little more than a slim silhouette at first, dressed in faded denims, hiking boots and a down vest and matching backpack right out of the latest Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. He'd expected that. What took him by surprise, though, were the rich chestnut curls, stunning baby blues, and that sweet mouth pursed in a curious grin. For one riveting second, he was lost.

Oh, hell. Why did she have to be hot?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Day Off

Tomorrow I'm taking the day off and we're going to the beach for the day. Hopefully when I come back I'll have some nice pictures of my own to post.
My Backlist Bonanza Book of the Week will be The Demon of Pelican Bluff, and I will post an excerpt tomorrow evening, so check back.
Also, this week is Amber Quill Week at Romance Excerpts Only, so I'll be posting excerpts there from all of my Amber Quill titles. Remember if you read an excerpt there and comment to me about it through my e-mail, you will be entered to win in the August drawing of my contest.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The "I" Generation

I'm not talking about the alarming rise in narcissism in our culture [thought that's a good topic for another day]. I'm actually wondering about first person POV.

I've been a die hard third person POV writer forever. Except for my blog, I like to write about characters who are OTHER people. I like the idea of being a silent and omnicient observer in the lives of my characters. I like jumping from heroine to hero and seeing through different eyes as I write a scene.

I've always thought third person POV gives readers a better insight into the characters because they can know what everyone is thinking.

However, I've been reading a lot of first person books lately. Namely, Elizabeth Vaughn's War series, all written in first person, Drop Dead Sexy by Tate Halloway, and currently the Stepanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich and I have to say, first person is starting to grow on me.

I always felt that writing first person would actually put me too much into a character. I preferred watching from the outside so that nothing that happened to them would be too personal. It's happening to someone else. Taking on a first person stance, can be daunting. When I write, I will become my character and all her experiences will be first hand.

That could be scary. It's an emotional risk. Can I handle feeling someone else's emotions, rather than feeling my own emotions for someone else?

Right now I'm working on two WIPs. One is an erotic sci-fi in third person with three points of view - Hero, Heroine and a Secondary Character who will play both a Discarded Hero role and somewhat of a Villain role. He's complex and hopefully adds a little bit of unprecedented depth to the story.

And I'm writing a new quirky paranormal that begs to be told in first person. I don't know why. I just feel like I need to be in the heroine's head for this. The stuff she's going to go through - will be a hell of an adventure and I don't want her to go through it alone while I watch from the sidelines taking notes. I want to be there with her and help her through it step by step.

What are your thoughts on first person POV? Do you feel closer to a character if they are controlling the narrative, or do you feel distanced from the secondary characters? Do you prefer to watch a story unfold from the sidelines, where you know everything, even things the characters don't know, or do you prefer to be in the trenches and seeing the story happen from one central location through the eyes of the protagonist?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a line!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #23

Thirteen Superstitions

Have you ever noticed how many things have negative [or positive connotations] in society? I compiled a list of some of the better known superstitions from The Dictionary of Superstitions by David Pickering.

1. The Albatross – this large sea bird has been associated with bad luck on seagoing vessels
2. Black cats – often associated with witches and witchcraft, black cats have taken a bad rap throughout history
3. Chain letters – against the law because they’re just downright annoying, usually promise good fortune for keeping the chain intact and tragedy for breaking it. [largely replaced by chain e-mails which are just as annoying]
4. Friday the Thirteenth – Friday in general has a lot of bad connotations, apparently stemming from it being the day Even offered Adam that apple
5. Eclipses – these have been harbingers of doom for centuries and have apparently heralded the deaths of royalty, the coming of plague and the beginning of wars
6. The Evil Eye – every wondered if looks could kill? It’s long been believed that they can.
7. Walking under a ladder – I always figured this was a bad idea just because something might fall on you
8. Pennies – Pennies from Heaven are good luck, but I was always taught never pick up a penny that’s tails up
9. Ravens – and black birds are portents of evil and possess the ability to foresee death
10. St. Elmo’s Fire – not just a movie starring the Brat Pack, this electrical phenomenon can bring good or bad luck depending on where it occurs.
11. Scythe – a weapon associated with death, though apparently crossing two scythes at the foot of a cradle will protect a newborn child.
12. Sickle – similar to a scythe in shape, it craves blood and must draw blood to bring good luck [seems a bit contrary to me]
13. Thirteen – the number of witches in a coven, the number of full moons in a year, the number of superstitions on this list

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, August 07, 2007

It came outa nowhere...

A summer cold.

I have a sore throat, stuffy nose and general feeling of having cotton stuffed in my brain. Yet I feel compelled to sit at my computer and try to get some work done.

What do you do when you're sick? Do you take to the couch with a box of tissues and some sherbet and watch movies until you feel better? Or do you just keep plugging on until you collapse?

I hate the inconvenience of being sick. I can work through the sniffles and the mad dashes for more tissues, but it's the overall blah feeling that really gets on my nerves - the feeling that says, "Just go lie down." I look at the dishes in the sink [Fly Lady is on vacation] and the dinner that needs to be made and the laundry that needs to be done and I Just. Can't. Bring myself. To. Do. It.

Which makes me feel guilty. So I blog.

Anybody have a solution? What's your summer cold remedy?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Today's Backlist Book is...

More Than A Fantasy is part of the Forbidden Amber Pax published in May of 2006. While MTF is certainly erotic, I consider this one of my more romantic titles. You need to read it to find out why.

Forced into exile on a private Aegean island, Mara Zander longs for freedom. Prince Tiran of Atlantis has watched the red haired beauty from afar for weeks. When he breaks the centuries old law that forbids contact with humans, he discovers he’ll have to compete with his brother, Poseidon, to win Mara’s heart and set her free.

Five Angels! More Than A Fantasy is a wonderful short story with an imaginative plot, a delightful heroine, and two very intoxicating males. Bernadette Gardner has created a unique story centered around the desire to have your fantasy come true and what a wonderful experience it can be when it does. – Shayley, Fallen Angel Reviews

Excerpt from More Than A Fantasy by Bernadette Gardner
Copyright 2006, Amber Quill Press

!!Warning: This excerpt is a bit naughty!!

The late-afternoon sun cast Mara's shadow, long and straight, ahead of her in the sand. She lay on her stomach, on a double-sized beach towel, with her back to the rising tide and watched a miniature crab dig itself a burrow one damp claw full of sand at a time.

A copy of Pride and Prejudice lay unopened next to her. She'd almost begun to read the book half a dozen times, but at the moment, the familiar story just didn't appeal to her. Not that watching a crab was so fascinating, but at least it was something she couldn't do in her apartment back home.

She crossed her arms and lay down her head, letting the breeze from the water lull her. Her breathing slowed and she fell instantly into the shallow sleep of boredom where her fantasies took shape.

When she lifted her head again, two shadows framed her own on the pale dunes. Startled, she pushed herself up and turned around, clutching her gauzy beach cover-up over her breasts.
Good Lord, this was already an excellent dream. Her vivid imagination had conjured two incredible male specimens.

The one on the left had hair the color of sun-bleached wheat and eyes like polished beryl. He was a mountain of ripped muscle--massive arms, broad chest, narrow hips. Naked and wet, he strolled toward her, a magnificent erection growing between his powerful legs with each determined stride.

The one on the right was her dark fantasy lover from yesterday. Bold blue eyes locked hers in a gaze she couldn't break. He matched the blond man step for step, muscle for muscle. His cock was longer, jutted higher, where the other's was thicker and tautly ridged like some exotic dildo.
Mara licked her lips. Which one would she have first? Maybe both at once?

Her hand dropped away from her cover-up and she arched her back so the material pulled away from her breasts. She spread her legs, wondering which one of them would reach her first.

Eenie meenie meinie--oh!

The blond one grabbed her wrist and pulled her to her feet.

"Tell me what you'd like me to do to you, woman," he said, then laughed. Mara didn't like the sound, but that didn't stop her from letting her thoughts roam to which way she'd let him have her first.

"We should let her choose, Poseidon," the dark one said. His blue eyes sparkled when he looked at her, and the sound of his voice made her shiver with pleasure. The blond's response just made her shiver.

"We chose her. Any female should feel honored by that, Tiran." He dragged her against his chest and banded her waist with his thick forearm. "Will you walk with me, or should I carry you somewhere where I can bed you properly?"

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Candied Fruit Slices in your writing

Too much is too much. Of a good thing, that is. You hear this adage a lot and it’s definitely true in all things. Too much sun will burn you. Too much fun will wear you out.

I’ve learned the hard way that too much of something can be bad – like when I used to love those gummy fruit slices, you know the ones that look like orange, lemon or lime slices [they have cherry too] and they’re covered with sugar? They used to be my favorite candy. I’d devour a box of them in less than a day. What made them so good? They’re not around all the time, at least my supermarket only seems to carry them around certain holidays. The good ones weren’t cheap, so I’d buy a box of 12 or 16, however they came, and I’d savor every tangy, sugary, fruity bite.

Then I’d be done for a few months until the next holiday came around and I found them again.

One day, DH found them at BJ’s [the club store] in a tub. There were probably 50 slices in each tub and they were cheap. He bought me two tubs.

My eyes lit up, just exactly like a kid in a candy store. I ate, and ate and ate my way through one tub. And halfway through the second tub I picked up a fruit slice and looked at it and felt nothing but utter disgust.

The second half of that tub got thrown away, stale and hard. And I’ve never had a candied fruit slice since. I ruined the joy of it for myself. What had been an occasional and much anticipated treat, a guilty pleasure, became an overindulgence.

Too much of a good thing.

How does this relate to writing? It does, trust me. Everything in my world relates to writing somehow.

Just like candied fruit slices, too much of anything in your writing is also a bad thing. Too many adverbs, too many adjectives. Too many characters in a story. Too many POV switches in a scene. Too many sex scenes. Too much angst [yes it can happen].

Treat these things like candied fruit slices and use them sparingly and with purpose. If you put them in by the tub full, your readers will get a stomach ache and they may toss the stale remains of your story away in disgust.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

I just read...

...Venereus by Sherri L. King and all I have to say is - WOW!

Erotica done right [let's face it] can be hard to come by [no pun intended]. If you're looking for something that's incredibly well-written check this one out.

I devoured it - feeling somewhat like Khira, the succubus protagonist [I won't call her a heroine, because this isn't a romance, it's erotica. Hot, hard and fast. There are no hearts and flowers here, but trust me, you won't miss them.] Like Khira, I couldn't get enough. I'd have read the book in one sitting if my haphazard schedule actually allowed me that much time to sit.

What impressed me most about Venereus is that Ms. King really knows how to string words together. There's no stumbling along, none of those speed bump sentences that always crop up in books that you have to read a couple of times to get the gist of. Her language flows effortlessly.

The story is packed with sex, but unlike a lot of erotica and erotic romance, the often raw encounters never seem gratuitous or repetitive. I didn't roll my eyes once - I wouldn't have risked missing a single word.

If I hadn't spent the last of my book money on Venereus, I'd be off to buy more of Ms. King's work, but her other stories will just have to wait until I get paid again.

Thursday Thirteen #22

Thirteen Reasons Amber Quill Press Rocks!

And I’m not just kissin’ butt either. I really love Amber Quill! Here’s why:

1. Faboo cover art! Come on, you’ve all seen Molten Man’s butt. ‘Nuff said.
2. Huge backlist! They’ve got tons and tons of titles!
3. Amber Paxes – five stories at a discount! Feed your need to read.
4. Excellent author relations – questions, comments, problems dealt with in a timely manner
5. Friendly people! – Everybody is super nice.
6. Stuff gets done – fast and efficient. I’m never sitting around wondering what’s going on or when something is going to happen.
7. Amber Heat – hot stuff!
8. Amber Allure – don’t be shy, if you like M/M or F/F there’s something for you
9. Impressive author list – and not just because I’m on it, twice.
10. The Amber Quill Rewards Program.
11. They put my very first print book in my hands
12. Gimme Fever Fridays on the amberheat readers list
13. I’ve got a new release coming in September! Look for Forbidden World: Ambrax in the Rugged Pax this Fall!

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, August 01, 2007

U-4EA is a best seller!

Here's the Amber Heat July Best seller list:


1. Claiming Hannah - Sherrill Quinn
2. U-4EA - Bernadette Gardner
3. Test Of Truth - April Reid
4. Anything You Want - Megan Hart
5. Galaxy Gone Wild - Brit Blaise
6. A View To Possession - Adrianna Dane
7. No Choice - Adrianna Dane
8. Armed And Amorous - Deirdre O'Dare
9. Firebreather - Marie Harte
10. A Real Man - Caitlyn Willows

Check out those names! I love being grouped with the hottest writers at Amber Quill. In fact, I love Amber Quill and tomorrow I'll bring you 13 reasons why. Stay tuned.