Sunday, September 30, 2007

Backlist Bonanza over today!

The Backlist Bonanza Book of the Week Contest ends today and to celebrate a summer of great reading I’ve decided to pick two winners!

Congratulations to the September Winners:

Christy Allard and Ruth Palmer!

Christy and Ruth have won a free download of Hunter’s Mate by Bernadette Gardner.

Congratulations Christy and Ruth!

And thank you to everyone who participated in my contest this summer. I’ll be planning more in the coming months so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ssssssizzzle and snap

A bright spot in these dismal few weeks of revisions - I got the cover art for my upcoming Ellora's Cave release and it ROCKS!
I'll be turning in first edits soon and hopefully have a release date in 2007.
In other news:
This Friday, October 5th I'll be off to NJRW's Put Your Heart in a Book Conference in Iselin, NJ. On October 6th I'll be participating in the Book Fair and signing my Amber Quill Press print books. I'll post more details later in the week.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Life it about taking chances

So sayeth the kitten. He's decided Saber is nothing more than a big 'ol cat toy and torments him endlessly by jumping on Saber's wagging tail and biting it.
One of these days he's going to see what it's like when Saber opens up a can of Whoop-Ass on his little furry butt, and I hope I can get a shot of that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

How many licks does it take...

to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll lollie pop?*

And how many revisions does it take to smack a WIP into shape?

I've gone through two full, page by page, line by line, word by word edits of Uncross and Skin. I'm exhausted and still not satisfied but I can't look at this stuff any more.

I think tomorrow I'm going to work on something new just to clear my head because I can't stand seeing stuff I've already written and rewritten and rewritten anymore.

* Three, btw. In case you were wondering. The official answer is three.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

'Tis the Season

It was strange to actually have something new to watch on network television last night. I'd almost forgotten what it was like.

After spending the summer running pell mell through my Netflix cue, I'm not used to watching commercials, but I sacrificed last night so I could watch the premiere of How I Met Your Mother, one of my favorite shows.

It was cute and enjoyable of course, but the new show on CBS afterward had me rolling.
The Big Bang Theory is about a couple of science geeks living in the big wide world. I know science geeks. They're hilarious.

I'll predict right now the show won't last long - why? Well, you actually have to listen to the dialogue to get the jokes - a lot like British TV. Lines like, "I've never reneged on a proffer of sperm before," might leave a lot of people going, huh? But that's just what I like about it. Characters arguning string theory is funny to someone who grew up watching Star Trek along with Sesame Street.

Update on writing:

I've done second round revisions on Uncross my Heart and it still needs some more tweaking. I'm working on second round revisions of Skin which is going a little bit easier and I'm dying to work on my WIPs. I'm making progress one syllable at a time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

New Release Available Today!

Available todday from Amber Heat!

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 landing on the male-dominated planet, from which visitors rarely return.

Here's a short excerpt:
“Damen Cantor.” It wasn’t a question. The man who’d directed Lea here had described him perfectly. His black hair was cut short and spiky and he wore the brown vest of an independent trader. Massive hands curled around the slender glass of what smelled like bootleg vodka. The muscles cording his bare arms flexed at the sound of his name, and he pinned her with a gaze that had the same effect on her insides as if he’d jammed a hand into her panties. Her clit responded with a curious pulse, eager for an introduction, but Lea ignored the reaction.
She wasn’t looking to get laid, though later that might be part of the bargain. She certainly wouldn’t object if it became necessary to—

“I’m not interested.” His voice rode over her like molten lead, making it hard for her to move or speak.

“I-I’m not a...”

“Whore? In that outfit, Cherry, what else would you be?”

Heat rushed to her cheeks and she straightened her spine, letting her fingers trail off the dusty surface of the table. Up until this moment, there wasn’t a man alive who intimidated Lea Vargas. She would take on anyone with a set of balls to match his bravado, and she never backed down from a challenge, but Damen Cantor, bounty hunter, left her speechless.
He flicked his gaze across the bar toward the exit, a wordless dismissal.

“I want to hire you.” The words tumbled out fast, and she wished she had the strength to pick up her drink. With her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth, it would be near impossible to say anything else.

His lips curled in an expression that might have been a smile or a sneer. “I doubt you can afford me.”

“Ten thousand a day is your going rate, I believe.”

He lifted his glass and took a single, measured swallow before responding. “Plus expenses.”

“There won’t be any expenses. I have a ship and I have a landing permit for Ambrax.”

Several nearby heads turned at the mention of one of the forbidden worlds, but Cantor silenced any curious murmurs with a sweeping glance of his ore-black eyes. He leaned back in his seat and scowled much like the bartender had, only the expression served to make his handsome face more sensual rather than cruel. Dark brows knit over those bottomless eyes. “Didn’t whoever put you up to this explain that I don’t have a sense of humor?”

“This isn’t a joke.”

“Of course it’s a joke.”

Lea tugged the zipper of her suit down an inch and snaked her fingers inside to where a slim pouch rested against her bare flesh. A moment later she slapped a wrinkled paper onto the table.

He gave it a casual perusal, though his gaze lingered on the official Federated seal. “You’re not the first person to come up with a landing permit. Anyone with a bucket of cash can—”

“It’s not a forgery.” Interrupting him was a gamble. Lea’s heart thundered.

“I didn’t say it was a forgery.”

“I need a good pilot and a guide. You were recommended. Do you want the job?”

He pursed his lips and stared at his half-empty glass as if contemplating another swallow.

“You’ve been mislead. I’m not a ferry service, Miss.”

“Vargas. Lea Vargas.”

“I didn’t ask your name, but since you made a point to tell me, let me rephrase my response.” He sat forward, and Lea fought the urge to step back. She probably should have used an alias, but her name usually opened doors for her. Vargas Industries, the Company, owned Soffran and ten other planets stretched across four systems. If nothing else, the name was a guarantee that she was good for the money.

“I don’t play games with rich bitches. I can tell by the look of you, this is personal, and I don’t need those kinds of complications. Not to mention the fact that I would never take a woman to Ambrax, and if you have to ask why, you should be back in your daddy’s mansion polishing your nails.”

Lea allowed herself a curse under her breath. “I’m not na├»ve, Mr. Cantor. I know why Ambrax is forbidden.”
For more info on Forbidden World: Ambrax drop by my author page at Amber Heat!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The view from my desk

It's hard to work with a cat on your lap. Or on your keyboard. Or on your mouse. Or on your papers.

Topper has decided my desk is a fascinating place to spend the afternoon, therefore I learned to read manuscript pages through cat fur. It was fun and challenging.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quick update

I feel like I've completely dropped out of cyberspace. I haven't even really thought about any insightful blog entries in over a week and you know what... it's damn liberating!

Not that I haven't enjoyed blogging, but I just can't split my brain four ways this month.

Current projects:

Revisions of Uncross My Heart - ST paranormal, un-vampire novel as requested by Publisher X [hopefully the revisions will catch, and I'll have some mega news in the coming months]

Revisions/Edits of Skin - paranormal novella for EC - looks like it may turn into a catagory novel if I flesh it out the way I want to, which is cool because I've got a sequel planned

Release of Forbidden World: Ambrax - stay tuned this Sunday for the release of Bernadette's next Amber Pax story. This one is beyond sizzling on the heat scale!

Prep for NJRW - more details to follow, I'll be signing three of Amber Quill print releases and having a giveaway contest for a copy of Infinite Worlds to anyone who signs up for Electric Romance while at the conference.

So with all this on my mind, I'm drawing some blanks when it comes to anything else. I feel like part of my brain has just shut down. Hoepfully I can kick it back into gear when these revisions are done.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pulmonary Fibrosis

September 22nd through the 29th is National Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Week. Pulmonary Fibrosis is a debilitating disease marked by progressive scarring of the lungs that gradually interferes with a person's ability to breathe. There is no cure, and currently there is NO FDA approved treatment. The disease is fatal, within 5 to 7 years of diagnosis. Approximately 128,000 people in the United States have IPF, and an estimated 48,000 new cases develop each year. You can learn more about PF at The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis' website.

The Coalition for PF takes donations via check, credit card, even PayPal. You can donate by clicking the link below:

Please Donate!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bad Blogger

I don't mean Blogger is bad [though it could be better, ya hear that, Blogger?] I mean I've been a bad blogger this week.

It's been a whirlwind week and once again it's almost over and I'm feeling like I've gotten very little accomplished. I didn't even do Thursday Thirteen this week.

Here's a quick update:

In addition to our new family member, who, while cute and furry, has required a lot of attention and some expense to get him fully settled into the household, I've been asked to make some revisions on a manuscript by a NY publisher.

I've also got editing, promo and general upkeep to keep up with, so I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment.

For that reason, I may not be blogging as much in the next few weeks, or spending time on my Yahoo loops. My priority is reworking my manuscript as requested. Eye strain is making it hard for me to spend a lot of time on the computer so a few things will have to give.

I do plan to attend the NJRW conference and book signing on October 5th and 6th [assuming the book stock I ordered arrives before then, otherwise I will not be signing, because I don't intend to sit at an empty table and try to look happy about not having books to sign]

I'll be making some announcements here and on my yahoo group, Electric Romance as the time gets closer.

In the mean time, I'll be gearing up for the release of my next Amber Quill title, Forbidden World: Ambrax on September 23rd so stay tuned. I'm not dropping off the face of the earth, just digging in, butt in chair, to get the work done.

My contest will still be running, so remember, any comments will be entered to win the September 30th drawing. Thanks again to everyone who has participated so far!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm the cat's mother

Sometimes everything just comes to a grinding halt and life takes a big old left turn.

4:30 PM my friend K calls me. "Come over here right now and bring your children."

Me: "What's going on?"

K: "You have to see what's here."

Well, guess what was there.

You guessed it. A kitten. All black, approximately 8 weeks old, a little girl. She's gorgeous, but in this picture she looks sort of like a cross between a bat and a bear cub.

K couldn't keep her. So guess who was at the store at 7:00 buying cat litter and toy mice?

Saber is in the dark about the whole thing. He won't like it one bit. I'll be off to the vet tomorrow for a checkup, but I'm pretty sure this is the fourth child all those psychics predicted I would have.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My balogna has a first name and my orange juice has a newsletter

It seems everybody’s got one nowadays. No, not an opinion. A newsletter.

Of course most writers have them. I have a newsletter group – or an announcement group, I suppose. I haven’t tried writing a newsletter because I’m not sure I’d have enough news to fill it up.

My orange juice has no such problems, though. I was having breakfast this morning and reading the back of the carton because it was there, in front of me and I discovered that my OJ has its own newsletter.

To sign up, you just have to go to its website.

Amazing. I wonder if my toothpaste has a website and a newsletter too. Or my cheese.

I’m not being facetious – well, maybe I am a little bit, but I have to ask, how much could orange juice really have to say about itself that it requires a newsletter? What would you get in an orange juice newsletter? Updates – Hi, I’m a little bit more orange this month than I was last month. Thought I should give you a heads up.

Maybe, ‘Pulp contest! Send in your funniest pulp stories and win a car!’

How about, “Citric acid and you. Just the bare facts.”

I don’t I really need that much information about my orange juice? Or any other product in my fridge for that matter? I’ve got the nutrition info panel and I’ve got a customer service number in case the OJ or anything else might not live up to my expectations, but do I really need constant updates about the state of affairs in Orange Juice world?

Maybe I’m jaded. Maybe the modern quest for a constant flow of information about all subjects all the time begs for orange juice newsletters but sometimes I just find it overwhelming.

Do you subscribe to any newsletters for household products? Aside from perhaps the occasional coupon, do you get any value from it? Do you look forward to reading it?
Do you use any product that doesn’t have its own newsletter but should?

I’d love to know. Maybe I’m missing out on a wealth of information on orange juice and I’d hate to be out of the loop.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Or maybe love is 4 Stars from Romantic Times

Gail Pruszkowski of Romantic Times Magazine had this to say about Infinite Worlds in the October issue:

4 Stars! Gardner’s stories may be short in length, but they’re long on entertainment. Well-thought-out plots offer a quick escape, and unique settings and convincing characters take readers into unexplored realms of sexual pleasure.

Also in the news:

Kudos to my faboo CP Eden Bradley for her 4-Star review of The Darker Side of Pleasure, her new BDSM anthology.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Love is apparently, a warm puppy

I'm skipping Thursday Thirteen this week because this is just too cute and I had to post it.

A friend of mine sent me the link about a puppy born in Japan with a heart-shaped marking on its fur.

I want one!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Bells and Books

School started today!

While DH and I waltzed through our morning routines, the kids dragged themselves out of the house, shoulders drooped, feet shuffling, spirits dimmed.

I remember the feeling well. They don’t believe me when I say someday they will look forward to a new school year with barely contained excitement. All they can see is toting home bulging book bags, spending hours staring at long division and having to endure the horror of writing essays and reports and vocabulary sentences.

Meanwhile, I have the house to myself again! Though I’ve got tons of work to do, I once again have the luxury of putting my feet up and cracking open a book without hearing the plaintive wail of ‘What’s fer lunch?’

I can poise my pen over a blank piece of paper and know that I can actually write a word, a sentence, even and entire paragraph without interruption.

If I want to go out, I can jump in the car and go without having to cajole anyone to find their shoes and haul themselves out of cyberspace long enough to go with me. I can talk on the phone without someone hovering in front of me waiting to ask the musical question, “What are we doing today?”

Ahhhh. I don’t know where I’ll begin – too many choices. Maybe I’ll just meditate for a while before I do any work and give thanks for the peace and quiet. I know it won’t last long. The bus will be back this afternoon and there will be forms to fill out, books to cover, last minute trips for school supplies and lots of moaning about how much work the teachers will expect of their tired and mushy little brains.

But until then...I’ll be on the patio with my feet up, a tall glass of lemonade in my hand, and a blank sheet of paper.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

August Backlist Winner!

Okay, so I didn't win the $330 million. Shucks.

But someone won something just as good - okay, slightly comparable.

Okay...not even close to $330 mil, but hopefully enjoyable nevertheless.

Congratulations to the August Winner! Of my Backlist Bonanza Book of the Week Contest:

Cathy MacDonald

Cathy’s prize is a download of The Demon of Pelican Bluff by Jennifer Colgan!

Don’t forget, my Backlist Bonanza Book of the Week Contest continues all summer. The final prize will be awarded on September 30th.

To be entered to win, just stop by my BLOG, at MySpace each week to read an excerpt of my Book of the Week and leave a comment, or e-mail me at or with any comment or question about my books. I’ll draw randomly from a list of all commentors to award the monthly prize.

Congratulations Cathy!