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Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Sorry I've been missing in action the last few days. I've not only got a new editor, but I'm working on a new story for a contemporary erotic novella. So I've jumped into my writers' cave and am thrashing it out.
Being a novella length, it shouldn't take me too long, then I'll be back to working on the sequel to Personal Protection.
I've lined up a new feature for the blog post starting in September. Since the Hauberk series follows characters within the security industry, I've been contacting people I know who can offer tips to keep you safe in real life. First up (On September 1st, or August 31st for those of you who receive my newsletter) is Kathy Bennett, who is not only a writer, but also a Los Angeles police officer. Here's a peek into her bio:
Her primary duties, in addition to street patrol, are to be a liaison between the citizens of Los Angeles and the LAPD. She educates and assists the community in crime prevention and quality of life issues. In 1997 Kathy was honored being named Officer of the Year.
Then on Wednesday, MJ Fredrick is my guest blogger. So keep checking in every day. Don't forget that every time you leave a comment you qualify for my end of the month Reader's Appreciation draw. This month's winner will be announced tomorrow.
Friday, August 28, 2009
And earlier this week, I received a wonderful review for Personal Protection over on Beautiful Reads. BR is the new sister site to Bitten by Books. Shell, whom some of you may know as our very own HockeyVampiress, gave my novel 5 stars, and wrote this:
This sequel to Private Property, which introduced us to Sam, is a fun and sultry ride from the author’s warning to the very climatic ending. The kinks of the BSDM life are brought to the pages in tantalizing bites while the overlying erotic love of the two are entwined with emotion and humor. The story itself lead me to figure out who the conspirators where in this mystery before they were revealed, but the dialogue and interactions between the two main characters and the staff of Hauberk Protection kept me entertained throughout. This was more than a delectable and arousing romp, and I highly recommend this book and the previous book in the series, Private Property. I will be watching for more of this up-and-coming author and can’t wait for this one to come to print.
HV sure has a way with words, doesn't she? Parts of this are going to be printed at the front of Personal Protection when it comes out in March.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Today's guest blogger, Allie Boniface, grew up just about 60 miles south-east of where I currently live. Although to drive there, it would take me most of the day - mainly because most of those 60 miles are over Lake Ontario. Nowadays though she lives with her husband in the New York city suburbs and teaches high school English. Allie currently has three books out with Samhain, all of her "One Night" series.
If you’re a Facebook fan, you’ve surely been tagged on the “15 Favorite Books” note. The rules? Take no more than 15 minutes and list the 15 books that have had the greatest influence on you, or that have stayed with you years after reading them. Last week I finally sat down to come up with my list, and the results were interesting.
Since I was a lit major in college and graduate school, some of the so-called “classics” ended up on my list. But so did a few not-so-well-known books, along with some contemporary favorites. What didn’t were any romance novels, besides Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. And so I wondered why I ended up writing romance, when I never really read it.
Then I took a closer look at my list, and I realized that most of the 15 books have happy endings. More than that, they explore the human heart and human nature and the relationships people form with the world around them. And I thought, “Oh, okay. That makes sense.” Because those are the things I most like to explore in my own writing.
Yes, my novels fit into the contemporary romance genre, balancing ever-so-carefully on the edge of women’s fiction, as well. While I love writing about romance and sexual tension and, of course, creating a happy ending for my hero and heroine, I also find myself exploring the what and the why and the how people end up together, along with what they discover about themselves in the process.
What do your 15 (or 5, or 1) favorite books say about you? If you’re a writer, do you write in the same genre(s) you love to read, or something much different? Does it matter? Is your list a collection of many different genres?
Here are my favorites…wanna share some of yours?
- Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon)
- Up a Road Slowly (Irene Hunt)
- It (Stephen King)
- Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
- The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
- The Pact (Jodi Picoult)
- Looking for Alaska (John Green)
- Alive (Piers Paul Read)
- Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
- The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
- The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
- To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
- The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
If you want to find out more about Allie, you can visit her website: www.allieboniface.com Or her blog: www.allieboniface.blogspot.com
Oh, and since I like to help my guest authors get something back for being my guest, don't forget to visit Samhain's site, and take a look at--or if you feel inclined, and I hope you will be, buy--Allie's latest book in her One Night series, One Night in Napa.
*Edited* Allie will be giving away a copy of her One Night in Napa, or any of her backlist, to one lucky commenter. So leave a comment and tell us what your favorite 15 books are!
Can anything really change in 24 hours? Can everything?
A One Night story.
Journalist Grant Walker has one chance to salvage his job and his relationship with his domineering father. Terrorists have kidnapped a fading film star’s son, and Grant has scored the first interview with the grieving mother. Even better, a new twist has just arrived on the scene—an illegitimate granddaughter who hasn’t been heard from in seven long years.
It’s the story of a lifetime, and all Grant has to do is deliver.
After discovering a terrible secret about her birth, Kira March left home vowing never to return. With her father kidnapped and her grandmother cracking under media pressure, it’s up to her to find and destroy all evidence of that secret. Trouble is, a reporter has weaseled his way into the house looking for answers—and he isn’t leaving until he gets them.
Yet as the hours pass, Kira finds herself falling for the very man who could destroy her. And when Grant comforts her in the wake of a midnight tragedy, he remembers why it’s a bad idea to get emotionally involved with an interview subject. Especially when the family name is on the line.
Warning: This title contains a hunky hero who thinks he knows it all, an unconventional heroine who’s out to prove him wrong, a ticking clock, family secrets, and enough sexual tension to heat every corner of an enormous mansion…especially when the power goes out.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
In yesterday's cartons were: Beth Kery's Sweet Restraint and Wicked Burn (two very hot contemporaries that caught my eye during my Birthday Bash), Victoria Dahl's Start Me Up (another contemporary. I've already read, and thoroughly enjoyed the first in the series Talk Me Down), Alex Beecroft's False Colors (an historical m/m romance which has received tremendous reviews) and The Smart Bitches/Trashy Books' Beyond Heaving Bosoms. (Which I plan to quote from if I'm ever invited to speak to my local literary group - you know, the one that told me that romances are written by and for people with an eighth grade education.)
Yeah, I'm all over the place in genres aren't I? I mustn't forget to add to the mix ...
I also received Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs (before it's official release date - woohoo!) which I'd pre-ordered from Chapters months ago. It's the latest in her Alpha and Omega series. This is another book that I sat down and devoured in one sitting. It's not a romance per se. (It's listed as being the second in the series, but the third book or second and a half, since the characters and their relationship were originally introduced in an anthology called On the Prowl that you really should read in order to understand Anna and Charles' relationship. If you have a Sony Reader, they carry Patricia's story Alpha & Omega as a stand-alone purchase. Heather Long has done a really good summation of the first two stories here.)
I went over to Patricia's website to get a blurb, but she doesn't have one. So I turned to the Chapters/Indigo site - this is what they had:
Mated to werewolf Charles Cornick, the son and enforcer of the leader of the North American werewolves, Anna Latham now knows how dangerous being a werewolf is, especially when a werewolf opposes Charles and his father is struck down. Charles' reputation makes him the prime suspect, and the penalty for the crime is execution. Now Anna and Charles must combine their talents to hunt down the real killer or Charles will take the fall.That has got to be the worst summation of the book. That is a very small part of the entire story. I think it covers maybe 1/10th of the storyline. When I first read it, it also made me think that Charles' father (Bran) was struck down, not the werewolf opposing Charles. Sheesh!
So what is the storyline? (Warning, I suck at blurbs, that's why I have someone else write them at Samhain.) Charles' father Bran has decided it is time for the werewolves to join the fae and come out in the open, so he's called the werewolves of Europe to meet with his representative Charles to give them fair warning. While some participants agree, others do not, especially one blood-thirsty French werewolf. While they're discussing the matter, there is a band of vampires attacking Omegas. Charles is finding it difficult to keep his mind on negotiations while trying to protect his mate, Anna from successive attacks.
First off, like writing blurbs, my ability to write reviews sucks. I can't define exactly what it is that I like about a book that I like, although I usually can tell you why I didn't like a book strangely enough. So what follows is not a review but more of my ramblings of what I liked and what it's solidifed in my thinking about writing.
I read a comment on another blog that the reviewer didn't like relationships that were already established. I don't mind that type of story. I'm not locked into the "first they meet, then they fall in love, then they marry and that's the end of that" type of story. I like watching Charles and Anna find their footing in their rather unusual relationship - their wolf halfs decided they were a match when their human halfs barely knew each other.
In Hunting Ground, they've now been together for a month or so, and they're on a bit firmer ground, though Anna's still shaky when it comes to matters in the bedroom thanks to some extremely abusive behavior from the pack's alpha and the others of her old pack. I liked watching how Charles fought to keep her safe, even when it meant cutting her out of his thoughts, which made Anna feel even more vulnerable. Where on occasion in the first books, Anna's cringing bugged me (this is TOTALLY on me -- I cannot imagine anyone having gone through what Anna went through without reacting the way she did. My reaction in no way reflects on Ms. Brigg's writing), in Hunting Ground Anna's making strides to push past her fear, to accept her wolf half and is exploring what it means to be an Omega wolf (which means she's got the alpha side but without the need to fight to assert her dominance. An omega exists outside the pack ranks and by their very nature brings a peacefulness to the others in the pack so Omegas are to be treasured.)
I have to admit, the one character I adore in this series is Charles. He is one HOT werewolf -- he's half Native America and half Welsh. His father is the head alpha - the Marrok - of all North American werewolves. Though he's extremely dominant/alpha himself, but not dominant over his father, his dad uses him as his henchman - his enforcer - which goes against Charles' natural nature.
It was one of those books I didn't want to end, I wanted to see the next one and find out more about how Charles and Anna's relationship developed. Okay, so I just wanted to read more about Charles. ;)
When I first decided I wanted to get serious about my writing, this is the type of story I wanted to write. I even have an old fantasy storyline that follows one couple through three books. But I wasn't sure if it would sell. I think after reading Ann Aguirre's Blue Diablo - that follows Corinne Solomon who is reuniting with her ex-husband (not romantically --yet--but in order to save his mother's life), Patricia's Hunting Ground has confirmed for me that it can be done. I'm going to give it a shot with an urban fantasy plot I've been fiddling with for a while now.
So if you like urban fantasy with romantic elements, as opposed to having that "meet/fall in love/marry HEA" at the end, where the relationship progresses over a series of books, you should enjoy Hunting Ground.
Monday, August 24, 2009
There's been a bit of an upheaval that I've been debating whether to mention on here or not. But since the announcement was made publicly last Monday I figure most of you already know - Samhain's executive editor, Angela James, who is also my editor, left Samhain and has gone to a brand-new publisher called Quartet Press. QP plans to start a new line of romance ebooks under the brand name Quench Romance.
What does that mean to you? More choices of where to buy romances.
What does that mean to me? It means I don't have an editor. Yet. Samhain's powers-that-be are in the middle of assigning Angie's 70 or so authors to other editors. From what I've heard from other authors in the past week, almost everyone I talked to has lost an editor during a shuffle at some point. I'm not stressing (much), it's part of the process. But in the meantime I'm plugging away on my galleys of Personal Protection. That's keeping me upbeat.
No, I'm not talking about big wooden ships when I'm talking these types of galleys. Galleys are the final copy of the manuscript, set up in the format the book will be - with the little scene dividers and graphics and all the proper fonts and layout that make a book a book. It's the author's first glimpse of what her work will look like in actual print form. Yes, much petting and oohing and aahing goes on. It's also the last chance an author has to correct their work and make sure it's shiny and ready to be printed and bound and sent to the bookstores. (Personal Protection is set to be released March 1, 2010, by the way.) Now, that's not to say I didn't go through this process before the ebook was released. But when you've written a story, sometimes your brain fills in what it thinks it wrote instead of seeing what's actually there. The advantage of ebooks is that if there is an error it can be corrected for future versions. Samhain even encourages readers to let them know if they've found an error so it can be corrected.
Reader comments and reviews are always welcome and may be placed on the book’s information page. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We strive to have the most error-free books possible, but should a typo be found, feel free to let us know.With print books? Once it's printed, it's permanent so that's why going through the galleys are so important. It's that last chance to make sure not only there are no typos, but there are no inconsistencies. (*head desk* yes, I have found a couple things I missed even after the line edits - no, I'm not telling, but if you've found anything, let me know today so I can fix it.)
Some publishers send the galleys to authors already printed - at the Sherrilyn Kenyon booksigning a couple weeks ago, she raffled off a copy of the galleys of one of her books. I still wonder if the person who won it knew what she was getting. (It was a 2 inch sheaf of papers clipped together and stuck in the original envelope it was delivered in.) For myself? I'd love a peek at Sherrilyn's galleys.
My galleys were sent as a PDF--Samhain's committed to going as green as possible-- so I've gone through them once on the screen (with a 23 inch monitor, I can look in detail.) I sort of defeated Samhain's green policy because once I finished the electric look-see, I printed them off, put them in a binder and am going through them again because sometimes you can see things on a printed page that you can't see on an electric page.
That has to be done and sent back to Georgia by tomorrow. When I haven't been working on the galleys, I've been taking a serious look at my WIP and the Hauberk series in general, drafting out character sketches for future characters and plot lines for future stories. Making sure that everything's in place for when my new editor is assigned as I'm sure she'll be asking questions about the series. So I've been keeping my head low and plugging away. And then I'm going to be hard at work on the next book in the series so if I do go missing a day or two, know that I'm hard at work, slaving over my keyboard. At least that's what I'll tell my new editor ;)
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Today's snippet is all about the setting where the story takes place. I've pulled my clip from my erotic novella, Private Property. It's set in Texas and so starts out with the heat of mid-July evening, and then moves inside. While the estate Jodi Tyler has broken into is air conditioned, she discovers there are different types of heat ...
Copyright 2009 Leah Braemel
*Warning: Adult theme*
Jodi blinked in the light as Sam gently peeled the blindfold from her face.
“It’s all right, honey, I’m not going to hurt you. But you’d better slow down your breathin’ before you pass out.” He cupped her face with his huge hand. “In through your nose and out through your mouth, all right?”
Somewhat dazed that she was trusting him, she followed his direction, forcing air into steel-banded lungs. The trembling in her legs and arms gradually subsided.
“That’s it, sweet pea. Remember, I would never do anything you didn’t want me to do. I’m going to let you free, but first you have to promise to listen to my proposal, all right?”
“Mark?” she asked, forcing air from her lungs. “What have you done with Mark?”
After a moment’s hesitation, Sam moved aside.
Her eyes widened to see Mark lying on a gargantuan bed. Heavy leather straps restrained his arms and legs, spread-eagled until he resembled a prisoner in the dungeon of a medieval castle. Except the bright room she found herself in resembled no medieval castle she’d ever seen.
Mirrors lining the walls and ceiling reflected the bed. Overstuffed multicolored pillows of various shapes were scattered across the floor, dislodged from the bed no doubt by Mark’s struggles. A giant flat-screen television loomed at the end of the bed, a second hung over the headboard, yet another was mounted flat within the mirrored ceiling for the ultimate viewing experience from any angle. A leather sling hung in one corner while chairs and a bench had been grouped by a large unlit fireplace. More cushions and wedges covered in leather and velvet and silk were heaped upon them but didn’t hide the leather restraints on the arms.
There was no ambiguity about the purpose of the room—it had been designed for every sexual position that she could have dreamed of—and several she couldn’t.
Don't forget to check out the other Snippets:
Friday, August 21, 2009
Vivian Arend is hosting a Cowboy Countdown Contest and she’s popped in today to ask us to join her in getting ready for her latest release, Rocky Mountain Heat coming August 31st to Liquid Silver Books. And she’s got a question for us:
What’s the most ‘Country’ place you’ve ever visited?
Leah here: When I think "country" I think cowboys. I think of stockyards and long horns. Of the slow drawls of the cowboys who wrangle the cattle wearing their ever-present cowboy hats. I think of saloons and bar fights and show downs in the dusty street outside. Where have I found all that? In the most country place I've ever visited -- Fort Worth Texas.
Welcome to the Six Pack Ranch, where one sweet young thing plus the Coleman boys equals trouble with a capital T.
Six Pack Ranch, Book 1
Blake Coleman is old enough to know that acting on impulse causes nothing but a heap of trouble. But when trouble’s a blonde wearing a cowboy hat with slim legs that go on forever, what’s a man to do? Wanting the sweet girl next door is just wrong. Hell, he was the one that taught her to ride a horse and now all he can think about is riding her. The responsible thing to do is keep his hands off.
Jaxi has other plans for his hands, and his heart. She may have considered Blake a big brother once but that was a long time ago. She’s all grown up now and ready to convince him that she’s just what he’s been waiting for.
Add the complication of two sexy younger brothers who have suddenly noticed Jaxi and things heat up fast. Blake’s gonna have to decide if a little trouble is worth fighting for.
Answer the question in the comments to be entered to win the prize in the Cowboy Countdown. For more info you can also visit Where Dreams Become Reality.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
- I Heart Book Gossip
- Sharon K
- Flchen1 (fedora)
- Sharon JM
- Shelley Munro
- Sue L
- Cathy M
- Amy M
Timestamp: 2009-08-20 12:10:45 UTC
Tetewa, since you left your email address in your comment, I'll be contacting you this morning, so please check your inbox (and your spam box just in case.) Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
"Oooo, a new story...I want that. NOW!" My inner writer child screams.
"You have to finish this one first." My outer rational mom explains.
"No, I don't want that one anymore. I want that shiny new one. Give me! Give me!"
"No, you have to wait. You're almost done with this one. Now sit down and help me clean up the mess you left in chapter 4."
"Aww," My inner writer child sulks, but sits down to help.
"You'll thank me later," My outer rational mom says; knowing the inner writer child is learning an important lesson. The inner writer child sticks her tongue out every time the spell check highlights a word.
So, now that I've opened my brain and let some of my crazy out, it's your turn. You don't have to share your inner dialog (unless you want to) just answer the question. I would love to talk about this with you.
BTW: I am on vacation today and am hopefully answering any questions and comments from the beach. YEAH ME! Feel free to virtually put your toes in the sand and join me :)
What do you do when a great idea hits and you're still working on something else?
Thanks again for stopping by and a big THANKS to Leah Braemel for having me as a guest on her blog. As a special thanks stop by my contest blog for your chance to win my book and a T-shirt! Good Luck!
Kristin Callender : )
Reviews & more of The Truth Lies in the Dark can be found here:
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
If Christine were a heroine in a novel, she'd be a perfect example of an alpha character. Driven, focused, able to juggle many balls in the air at the same time, and typical of a good heroine, always manages to take time to help out her friends.
First, I want to thank Leah for letting me take over her blog today. She’s a super great friend that way.
*tackle hugs Leah*
I’m thrilled to be here and have the opportunity to talk to you about my new release, The Bond That Saves Us. This is the fourth and final book in my Eternal Bond series from Ellora’s Cave.
I’m often asked how I came up with the idea for the series, and did I have everything planned out from the beginning.
The simple answer to that question is no. When I sat down to write book one, The Bond That Ties Us, I wasn’t even thinking about publication. It was only after that first release hit the e-shelves that I started getting asked for more.
Call me a super shocked new author.
Once I came to the realization there was indeed enough interest in the Eternal Bond books for me to do more, I had to figure out where I would take the stories next. It was clear in my head who each of the subsequent books would follow, but I needed to determine order. Sara was my natural second choice. I knew her the best from book one, and a plot quickly came to mind. Books three and four had me guessing a bit. People really wanted to see Taber’s story. Funny enough, I’d never intended him to be anything more than a secondary character. Amazing how many people wanted to know more about him.
That left Sean as my last story. The more I thought about it, the more it felt right for him to be last. The trauma he suffered in book one left a very deep emotional scar, one he wanted to hide from his friends. It didn’t feel right for him to jump into a romantic relationship when he held himself responsible for the deaths of hundreds of colonists. I would take a special woman to help Sean forgive himself after everything he’d suffered. I didn’t have a grasp on his heroine at that point, so I let him sit.
As a side note, I’m a pantser…normally don’t have a clue about what I’m writing until it comes out. I do mull plotlines over though—usually when I’m doing the laundry or mowing the lawn. I think about the characters and how they interact with others and their environments. I’m a firm believer in character driven plots. As a reader, that’s what I gravitate towards. It’s one of the things I look for in the TV shows I watch. Certainly, it’s one of the things I strive to do as a writer.
Back to Sean. It was a month after Taber’s story had been released that I started working on Sean’s story. It took me a while to come up with the basic plot and who would be moved into Sean’s life. Then, Amy popped into my head.
Oh she was great! I’d been watching a lot of Battlestar Galactica, Fringe and Supernatural at that time. I loved the women on those shows, and the strength of character they had. Amy took on a lot of those traits—independent, resourceful, with a strong sense of family. She had the inner strength Sean needed to kick him out of his darkness and into a better place.
Here is the blurb:
Captain Amy needs money and the Catallian race can provide it. The race showcases the best pilots the sector has ever known. Amy plans on winning it with the help of her new copilot, the mysterious and sexy Sean—as long as she can keep her sex pheromones in check. But her attraction to Sean kicks her body into overdrive, overwhelming them both.
Sean has left friends and duty behind. Intending to heal mind and spirit, he joins Amy as her bodyguard and copilot. Sean has no interest in forming a bond with Amy, even though their lust for each other is undeniable.
As the two find themselves battling their uncontrollable attraction, they are forced to fight a drug lord intent on fixing the race—even if it means taking Amy and her crew out of the running permanently.
The Bond That Saves Us is now available at Ellora’s Cave. You can find all the Eternal Bond books here: http://www.jasminejade.com/s-234-eternal-bonds.aspx
I’d love to hear what you think of the series! Comments (positive or constructive) are always welcome. You can find me on my website at www.christinedabo.com, Twitter—Christine_dAbo, or by my email email@example.com
Thanks again to Leah for having me here today.
Christine's first book, The Bond That Ties Us, is firmly on my keeper shelf. It's one I often pull out and examine to try to figure out "how she does it" when I'm stumped on a plot point or a scene. So today I'm going to be giving away a copy of The Bond That Ties Us to one lucky commenter.
Since this is going up a little bit later in the day, I'll not pull a winner until Thursday morning, so check back on my blog then.
Monday, August 17, 2009
No, actually I was scared enough that I couldn't open it. (Yeah, that thick skin I need to develop? I'm still working on it.) So I emailed my critique partners and said "Can you look at it and give me a thumbs up or down?"
An email came back from Marley saying "It is SOOO thumbs up." Yup, it sure is.
Ho boy, it SURE is! Here's a sneak peak:
Once again, Ms. Braemel demonstrates her ability to create a vibrantly refreshing story that sizzles with a burning sensuality, all with a depth of emotions that will unlock the reader's hidden desires. Personal Protection weaves a compelling and intriguing tale layered with an edge of incredibly intense conspiracy that is sure to have the reader's interest captured. Ms. Braemel outdoes herself with her well-defined and larger than life characters. For those who love bad boys, Sam Watson is sure to please with his smoldering hot desires and sexy as sin body, all with an attitude that portrays a delicious alpha hero at his finest. Rosalinda Ramos is an absolute dynamo package of stunning sensual woman with a feisty kick butt attitude and a touch of vulnerability that is utterly engaging. The strong secondary characters work well to add excitement and page turning adventure to this memorable story. Sam and Rosie's sexy shenanigans scorch the pages, offering enough spice and erotic love play, including a touch of BDSM thrills, that is so vividly described it is spellbinding. The ending showcases the author's wickedly devilish sense and humor along with her emotionally intense and heart-wrenching sense of the healing power of love will touch every part of the reader's heart.Shannon of The Romance Studio? I <3 you, 5 times over. Have you got your copy yet?
This is a delightful tale of deception and passion that is sure to stand the test of time. It is hard to believe that this is only the second book this amazing author has written! I can't wait to see more from this author.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Way back in 2007, I wrote a story involving a merman. Since I'd recently been to Banff National Park, I based it on a couple lakes out there, Moraine Lake and Lake Minnewanka. So I had to laugh when I saw this article talking about a tiny ground squirrel who pushed himself into some tourists' photos on the shores of Lake Minnewanka that has since gone viral.
Take a look here at some of the photos he's since popped up in ... What's your favorite?
Oh, and link to this video was going around on Twitter. It was just too good to leave another week for next Sunday's randomness. It's rather long (7 minutes) but you really do need to watch the progression of the emails from curious to passive-aggressive to well, let's just say her true colors come out. It's written by a guy from Toronto who has a blog here.
In the sidebar on Youtube he says:
During the Summer of 2007, I had the opportunity to backpack around Europe for 2 weeks. I talked about it often before I left. My girlfriend however, although great in many respects, was not the world's greatest listener. I left on Friday June 1st. Despite even calling her to say goodbye the night before, she never realized I left. When I arrived home 2 weeks later, I had several emails from her, waiting in my inbox...
Inspired by truth, written for fun
If that's a true series of emails, he is SO much better off without her. (I'm curious - if you opened up your email and saw a string of emails and one saying "Open this first and don't open the others" would you open them anyway? I know I would.)
And now I'm hearing plot bunnies thumping down the hall...
Saturday, August 15, 2009
For today's Snippet, we're talking character. I waffled between posting an excerpt or doing something a little different - a character interview, but decided this section of Personal Protection gave you a bit better insight into both Sam Watson and Rosie Ramos than an interview could do.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Sam Watson owns a bodyguard company called Hauberk Protection. He's being stalked - he's been receiving pictures that have been altered to show him being shot or with a target over his chest. He's also had someone break into his apartment, bypassing their security to leave one of the doctored photos on his bed. Despite all this, he's ignored the threat to himself and refused to accept any bodyguards. His second-in-command, Chad, has brought in reinforcements and is forcing him to accept his own personal protection...
Chad tossed the file folder on Sam’s desk, then hitched one hip on the desk. “Sam’s also received threatening calls to his home phone.”
“Three.” They looked up as one, startled that Sam had rejoined the conversation. “You’re making it sound like I’ve received dozens. I’ve only received three calls.”
From the corner of her eye, Rosie saw Chad shaking his head in frustration.
“Did you recognize the voice?” she asked.
“No. It was a male, no accent that I could hear, street noises in the background but nothing recognizable.” He bit the words out. “First time he talked about how he’d seen me that day and how easy it would be to take me out. How he wished he’d had his gun, then he hung up. He’s gotten a bit more creative since but nothing specific about what I did to make him want to kill me.” He resumed his study of the parking lot.
“What’s Caller ID show?” Kris asked.
“He’s using pay phones at various locations around the city,” Chad answered when Sam didn’t respond. “We’ve checked the addresses, but so far there’ve been no security cameras near the phones. When we dusted the phones for prints, they’d been wiped clean.”
While Kris, Chad and Andy continued to discuss who might have that information, and how easy it might or might not be to find, Rosie let the conversation flow past her and observed Sam ignoring them all. He had eschewed protection for three months, and even now stood in front of a window, a clear target. Was he trying to prove his invincibility? That he wasn’t afraid?
His eyes scanned the rear parking lot, the field beyond. Alert. Aware. But not an ounce of fear.
Maybe he was being driven by guilt. Did he have a death wish? Because if he did, that would make her job that much harder.
She glanced back down at the photo of the leggy blonde. What she wouldn’t give for another eight inches in height and blonde hair. She’d tried peroxide once, but it wasn’t worth the trouble, not with her complexion. But maybe she should consider it again if that’s what it took to get Sam Watson’s attention.
In the reflection of the glass, his eyes met hers. She wanted to look away, but couldn’t, the darkness of his gaze drawing her in, compelling her to keep the contact. There was heat in his gaze, need.
“With all due respect, Mr. Watson, may I ask you to move away from the window? If someone is watching, you’re presenting a good target right now,” Rosie said, glad to hear her voice was steady.
There was a moment’s hesitation before Sam sat in his chair. There was a flare of frustration in his eyes before he veiled his expression.
No, not guilt. Frustration at having to place his life in someone else’s hands. Sam Watson was a pride-filled ego-driven walking pile of testosterone.
I’m not letting this whacko get you on my watch, buddy. Better a hit to your ego than your life.
As if sensing her challenge, Sam leaned back, dropping his chin to his chest. His gaze dropped from hers to her lips, then made a leisurely perusal of her chest before slowly travelling a reverse route and catching her gaze once more.
Don't forget to drop by the other participants' blogs and read their snippets too...
Friday, August 14, 2009
I think Elaine's cursing me after yesterday's post, LOL. From her posts here and emails she's sent me privately, she ended up buying more books than she'd planned to, thanks to the great sales over on The Book Depository. (Now I'm wishing I'd set up an Affiliate account, LOL.) Of course, she got me by emailing me that Patricia Briggs' books are 50% off too. I own all of Patricia's books but most are in ebook format and I'd desperately love them all in paperback too, so I had to step away for a while myself. Sooo tempting.
I'd written the post on Wednesday but set it to auto-post yesterday, so I was chuckling when I signed onto Twitter yesterday and saw the Smart Bitches tweeting about how they liked The Book Depository. Talk about a great segue into promoting my blog. I replied to them, and included the name they'd tweeted to originally. Turned out they were tweeting to Kierson Smith of TBD. He read my reply and in turn read yesterday's blog post and replied on Twitter with this comment. Isn't it cool that my little blog got the attention of someone who has the power to change a company policy? (Whether it happens or not, I'm just thrilled that they take the time (and energy) to pay attention to their Twitter mentions.) Thumbs up to The Book Depository, and Kierson, for that great marketing savvy.
Last Friday I posted about having to change my heroine's name (OMG where has the week gone?) I still haven't made a decision, but I have narrowed it down from some of your suggestions and some others that have been made via various emails from friends. I've put a poll up on the side so you can vote for your favorite. I've included the full name and possible nickname for the heroes to call her. And if you don't like any of those, feel free to leave a comment here with more suggestions.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Yesterday, I got an email from Elaing8 confirming that her prize from the Birthday Bash had arrived. She was asking me about where I'd ordered it from - The Book Depository - and whether it was worth it as opposed to ordering from Chapters or Amazon.
So I started to answer her, explaining that in order to supply books for my birthday bash and not end up paying double the cost thanks to Canada Post, I had to find an alternate way to get books to the winners. Thanks to a tip I found on Twitter from Jane at Dear Author, I discovered The Book Depository. There are actually two Book Depository sites - the main one based in Britain, and one that's based in the US, the BookDepository.com.
In order to make my point that usually the books cost about the same whether I ordered from Amazon.ca, Chapters-Indigo (the main Canadian chain), or The Book Depository, I looked up how much I'd end up paying for Maya Bank's Sweet Persuasion. It was a book I had earmarked that I wanted to buy and so chose it at random. Chapters? $13.35 CDN. Amazon.ca? $13.51 CDN. The Book Depository UK? $13.53 US BUT only TBD offered free shipping. Considering that both Amazon and Chapters would add on about $6 - 8 for shipping and then I'd have to add in postage from my house to the winner's, that tipped the balance toward TBD. And I'm really glad I did, especially since my winners turned out to live in Australia, Germany, Finland and the US. (By the way, it doesn't matter how much your book costs or how big your order is. So even if all you order is a $3 Harlequin, you don't pay any shipping. Host, if you're reading this, unfortunately they DO charge to ship to Croatia :( I checked. Yours is going to have to be sent through Canada Post.)
While I was checking those figures though, out of curiosity I clicked on the BookDepository.com website link. Imagine my surprise, and ecstasy, to discover the US site had Maya Bank's Sweet Persuasion on for 50% off. I ended up buying Julia Quinn's It Happened in London and Stephanie Lauren's latest in the Bastien club - Mastered by Love. All for 50% off. Three books for the cost of what I would have paid for Maya's one if I'd picked up Maya's book in person at the local store.
So if you ever order your books online, don't forget to check out the Book Depository for their sales/prices too. (Oh, and you can get books that aren't available in the States too - check out Wendy the Super Librarian's post from yesterday about ordering a book only available in Australia.)
By the way, author Skylar Kade has interviewed me over on her blog - I'm giving away a copy of my novella, Private Property to one lucky commenter.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In her website bio, she refers to herself as "secret agent mom". Today she's "secret agent writer" since she had to hide to write this post. (Maybe where she's hiding is TMI? Nah, I've had to resort to similar measures. And places.)
Alas, I wish I could say I'm sick because I kill people in my books (though I've done that) or because I have a particularly deviant mind (um, no, can't argue that either), but the truth is, I am just out and out ill. Infected. Gross, to be perfectly honest. As is the case of most mothers, my son brought home plague from school. He likes to bring one home at least once a quarter, but this one is truly epic. Like, cough until you're about to lose consciousness epic.
You're probably thinking this qualifies as way too much information, right?
Yeah, it probably does. Sorry about that. The reason I bring it up is that regardless of sickness, us odd little author types still gotta keep up with the responsibilities. (Though, please, forgive me any typos, vision is a tad blurry at the moment.) And just like every one else, we gotta suck it up and keep going. But thankfully, I am also possessed of an awesome hubby, who at this very moment is watching our twins despite being sick himself while I hide in the bathroom to write this post. See, the girls are in destroy mode--if you don't have kids, the destruction mostly applies to your nerves, but your stuff takes a hard hit too--so I'm not entirely sure how much time I have. Consider this Secret Agent Post!
But, while I'm hiding, huddled here in the dark, I'm going to tell you all about my husband and why he's a romance writer's fantasy. And not just the obvious stuff either. (See comment about deviant mind) He watches independent films with me. He finds me music for inspirational purposes. He cooks and tries to eat what I make for him. He also makes the most valiant effort not to ralph afterward, too, so bonus points for him.
Mostly, I just love how he inspires me all by himself. Quietly strong, always supportive. I'm pretty sure I'd have broken irreparably without him years ago. In the two times my world has shattered, he's the one that has always held me close until I was back together again. You just can't write heroes like him. Something always falls short.
So do me a favor. Share with me your favorite things about your favorite hero--real or imagined. A random winner will be chosen from the comments for their pick of any ebook in my backlist. :)
Dee is multipublished with Samhain Publishing - including her newest release, Love Me Knots. If you want to know more about her, visit her website, or follow her on Twitter. Oh, and what's her newest story about?
Nothing twists you up quite like love…
When she interrupts what looks like a tryst in her fiancé’s office, former heiress Krista James has only one thought: “It’s over!” True, they both signed a marriage contract that didn’t include a love clause. But she’ll be damned if she gives the two-timer the satisfaction of knowing she gave up her heart along with her hand.
How to say goodbye to a man who makes her forget her own name in bed, and all her principles everywhere else? Simple. Run.
CPA-on-the-rise David Ellison thinks everything is perfect. Perfectly planned, perfectly ordered, perfectly moving forward. Until he arrives late—again—for a lunch date. Suddenly he has a broken engagement, a guilty receptionist and a missing fiancée.
Tracking her down is easy. She’s traded their honeymoon tickets for a luxury holiday for one. Reasoning with her? Impossible. Especially since they always seem to end up in bed, in the shower, on the floor…everywhere but at an understanding.
David didn’t follow his woman all the way to Tahiti to return home empty-handed. To get her back, he’s even prepared to empty his heart of all his secrets.
Question is…is he prepared for hers?
Warning: Emotionally repressed, sexually gifted accountant on the loose in Tahiti, intent on seducing his lady back into his life and completely redefining the phrase “awesome lei”. Mai Tais and fresh ice recommended to counter the extreme sexual heat.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
I know it probably sounds weird to think that an author can get excited about meeting another author, but believe me, we have our fangrrl moments too. Especially by uber-successful authors like Sherrilyn Kenyon. (She's earned her fame though, I don't want to give anyone the idea that her success came easily to her.)
This is about half the crowd - I'm standing halfway back and there are as many in front as these people, plus lots standing around me to the sides.
In one of the strangest coincidences of the evening, when I was standing at the checkout counter buying Sherrilyn's newest book, Bad Moon Rising, the customer two in front of me was having some issues with her debit card. So I was chatting with the customer directly in front of me about a Twilight greeting card the store was selling. She said something about the sex in the book, or lack of it, and I laughed and mentioned how it was so different from my books. Turned out I was chatting with Anara Bella, another Samhain author, who apparently lives only blocks away from me.
I also met up with commenter/reviewer/tweeter HockeyVampiress and author Karen Dale (remember, she guest blogged for me on July 18th?) But just after they came in I had to go pay for my books and by the time I got back with Anara it was time to go listen to Sherrilyn. It wasn't until I was driving away hours later that I realized I'd forgotten to get a picture with them both and started kicking myself.
While we were waiting for Sherrilyn to come out and speak, they gave out raffle tickets. Then while Sherrilyn was signing, her friend Dianna Love drew tickets and gave away prizes - shirts, pins, bracelets, etc. Anara was the lucky winner of this t-shirt. (Darn it, I really wanted that shirt, and Hockey Vampiress was coveting it too, LOL.)
I'd gone with my friend, Nikki, who I met in the romance section of this store when I was buying a Lora Leigh novel a while back. We got to chatting and I mentioned I was an author ... and well, Nick's become not only a fan but a friend.
Nikki won something too. (for the life of me I can't remember what it was she won, LOL)
I didn't win anything. I didn't even get one of the bracelets they threw out to the crowd. *imagine a pouty face here*
Oh, yeah, I did win something ... Sherrilyn's congratulations for making into the Published Authors Network of the RWA today. (It doesn't mean anything to anyone outside the RWA, LOL, but I was chuffed.)
Monday, August 10, 2009
I'll post pictures tomorrow.
In the meantime, don't forget to drop in and visit last week's guest bloggers Ann Lory, JoAnn Smith Ainsworth and Delilah Marvelle and make them feel welcome. (Ann and Delilah are having contests, and JoAnn has a free download if that's an incentive.)
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Ugh, the fabric's all pulled out of square, but it'll be straightened when I lace it for framing. The design is by a Canadian designer Lynne Nicoletti. She has a few patterns that have hidden designs in them. The images in this one? Josiah Henson, a slave who escaped to Canada and helped other slaves arriving in Canada from the underground railway--he's widely thought to be the inspiration for Uncle Tom's Cabin; the two-metal two dollar coin (twonie); the first bars of Oh Canada; the call sign from one of the original Avro Arrows; the three penny moose stamp; the Union Jack, replaced in 1966 by the now-familiar Maple Leaf; the telephone - Canada is the home of Alexander Graham Bell; a nod to our French heritage - a fleur-de-lis; a mention of Tom Longboat, a native Canadian long-distance runner; the time of the winning goal in the Canada/Russian 1972 hockey game; and an inukshuk (a rock formation used by Inuit people that means in its very basic form "I was here."
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it when it's finished. I've been thinking of getting it framed and donating it to Curly's school. (I have SO many designs waiting to be framed that I have no wall space left.)
All that's left is filling in the white background. So I did a few lines of it then when I get bored I switched to this pattern:
It'll end up looking like this one. I started this one during that long spell last winter when my father was in hospital and my mother was dithering about putting him into the nursing home. The pattern was given to me by one of my mother's friends, so I'm stitching it for her. Before getting serious about my writing, this pattern probably wouldn't have taken me more than a week to stitch, but as I said, I've not been doing anything but working on my writing (marketing, publicity and yes, writing) so they've been sitting in my sewing box for 18 months now. One little birdie to do. If I put my mind to it, it really wouldn't take long to finish. (One extra challenge I added in for myself - instead of sewing it on 14 count fabric I'm doing it on 22 count fabric - so it's that much smaller and a bit harder to see. Which has altered the pattern in a way - the little guy on the right? He's completely outlined and has all the little jutty-out hairy parts that the pattern calls for, but because it's so tiny you can't see them.)
It used to be that when I sat and stitched my fingers would be sewing, but my mind would be mulling over the next scene, working and reworking it until I got it the way I wanted. Yet yesterday? My brain was completely quiet. It was NOT a comfortable feeling. But it also gave me time to watch some TV and get into some conversations with Gizmo Guy and Curly. And listen to one of my favorite songs by Brandi Carlile, a song and singer that author Lisa Pietsch introduced me to a while back.
At first it was the lyrics that drew me in - especially for someone who just turned 50 (All of those lines across my face/Tell you the story of who I am/So many stories of where I've been/And how I got to where I am) but the strength of the singer's voice sucks me in too.
If you watch this version (embedding has been disabled or I'd post it here), I loved the video except for the three guys behind her, especially when they started singing. I kept seeing them as vampires or worse, Lessers from JR Ward's BDB books. I haven't a clue why, but they creeped me out.
Tomorrow I'm heading down to my local bookstore to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon who is visiting for a booksigning. I'll post some pictures on Tuesday of that. And hopefully have an autographed copy of one of Sherrilyn's books to give away in a future contest.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Before I started the Birthday Bash, I was taking part in Snippet Saturday with Lauren Dane, Anya Bast, Jaci Burton and a whole group of other ladies. But with the Bash going on I had to back out for the month. So I'm thrilled to be back ... today's Snippet Topic is "First Touch." That special first time the hero and heroine touch, that moment the spark goes off and sexual awareness ratchets up. Or not.
This snippet is from Personal Protection ... Sam has just come into work at his bodyguard/security company Hauberk Protection. He's decided to do a little target practice at the firm's firing range and discovered one of his operatives, Rosalinda Ramos, already there...Enjoy!
He’d been hard pressed not making a move on her the night he’d fulfilled his obligations and taken her to dinner. While he’d wanted to see if he could add a little oxygen to the fire and kick start the inferno, he’d held back. He’d had to. She was his employee after all. So instead of making a move, inviting her up to his place or pressing his case when he’d escorted her home, he’d been the perfect gentleman. At least that’s how she’d described his behavior the next morning, much to his disgust and everyone else’s amusement.
But damn, it was getting tougher to maintain his hands-off policy. That element of danger and the heat he was sure would envelop them both was too enticing to resist.
If he just had the right reason to breach her defenses…if he could find some way to let her make the first move.
Rosie straightened and took two more shots. Both shots were low and outside, yet the center of the target had a good half-dozen holes from where she’d been firing before he’d arrived. Interesting, had he thrown off her concentration?
Seeing his opening, he strode over to her. His body touching her in all the right places, he wrapped his large hand around hers over the gun barrel, repositioning her fingers. Dayam, it was like holding a sparrow, her hands were so tiny.
He leaned down and nudged her earmuffs so he could murmur in her ear, lowering his voice to a whisper, “It’s better this way.”
Her pulse jumped, racing beneath his fingers. Oh, yeah, that ember was definitely burning brighter. He should have made a move that evening three months before. He should have invited himself into her apartment at the end of the evening, given her more than a chaste kiss on her cheek. He should have put on some soft jazz—Diana Krall maybe—pulled her against him as they danced so she could feel what she did to him.
“Thanks,” she said, her tongue darting out to moisten her lips. Did she realize she was doing that?
The scent of her shampoo—apricots—filled his senses. She always wore her hair in a rigid bun making him wonder if her hair were long or short, curly or straight. He had the strange compulsion to pluck the pins taming it just to satisfy his curiosity.
Yeah, he’d watch that hair spring free from its confines, push her jeans down—no, she wouldn’t be wearing jeans, she’d be wearing that little black strapless number she’d worn to dinner that night. Even better. He’d push the skirt up as he slid his hands up her thighs. Then he’d remove her thong and go down on her. Hell, he wanted to stretch her petite body over the firing counter right now and pound into her from behind.
He nearly groaned when her breasts brushed the side of his forearm. The heat of her body snugged up against his blasted a shot of pure lust to his groin. Dayam! If she turns around right now and sees the hard-on you’ve got for her, you’re gonna get yourself sued, boy! Or your dick shot off. If not both.
Going against the natural instinct to grind against her, he eased his hips away from hers and resettled her earmuffs back in place.
Muttering something about needing to get back to work, he whirled back through the soundproof door and tossed his earplugs into his locker. D.C. didn’t need him here—he could work out of the Atlanta office, no problem.
Atlanta. Where there were no spitfires with bitable asses to tempt him. Maybe then he could avoid future cases of blue balls he’d constantly been dealing with lately.
Don't forget to visit these sites to read more 'snippets' about the first time their hero and heroines first touched.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Others? Some--most--of the others weren't as easy. Jodi Tyler, the heroine from Private Property? She went through a couple first names before I settled on Jodi. Oh, Jodi was the name I wrote on the very first draft, but then I waffled because frankly I don't like the name Jodi. I think it's a hard name. So I tried a few other names on her before giving up and admitting she's "Jodi." It suits her. She's a tough kick-ass former cop-turned-security expert. Where the name came from, I haven't a clue. I still don't like it, but it's her name and I have to accept it.
When I'm trying to decide upon a name I have a baby name book that I flip through, I have links to quite a few online naming sites. I look at its geographical origins, its meaning, its diminutives, alternative spellings. I google them to make sure I'm not taking the name of someone famous. Can you imagine reading a book where the hero is someone named Stephen King? As a reader, I think it would pull me out of the story every time I saw the name as I'd flash to a mental image of the author which is probably not what I envisioned for my hero. (No offense to Mr. King, but I'd rather my characters be unique.)
I've discovered I also have a tendency to choose names that start with the letter C. Why? I haven't a clue. In Personal Protection, I originally had Chad, Chris and Cooper. One of my critique partners was having trouble keeping them straight. Luckily all I had to do was change the spelling of Chris' name to Kris. (He is another that came to me already named as when I think of him I think of Chris O'Donnell. Actually most of the characters in Personal Protection came to me with their identities in place.)
However, in my latest work-in-progress my heroine has not co-operated with me. She won't tell me her freaking name.
She started out as Ann (without an e, thank you.) A very proper British lady who swears like a sailor. Then I thought. Ann and Andy, Andy and Ann. Raggedy Ann and Andy. Nah, too comic book. Besides Ann was originally created for Chad but when I decided Andy's story needed to come next in the series I made the mistake of trying to force her onto Andy thinking, hey, Andy doesn't swear, wouldn't it be funny if his heroine swears like a sailor? Except she didn't get along with Andy, so bye bye Ann, hello Charlene/Charley.
Ooops, another C. (It took me 6 months to notice this fact though.)
So recently I changed her name to Natasha/Tasha for short. Except that name's not working either. You see when I think Tasha, I think Russian.I think of umblemished ivory skin that has never seen a heavy sun but is used to lots of snow.) Or of course, the beautiful late Natasha Richardson. But Andy's heroine's mother is African-American though her father's not, and the name just doesn't fit.
So I figured I'd put it out there and let you toss out some suggestions for favorite names. Here's what you probably should know about Charley/Natasha/whoever ...
As I said above, her mother is African-American, her father is not. When I think of her, I think of Alicia Keyes. She's tall - 5'10, 5'11. She keeps her hair in braids most times, and it's about the same length as Alicia's is in the picture to the right. She's an only child. She's strong, but she's got secrets - not her own but other people's secrets that she's promised to protect. She's a lawyer. She knows what she wants and goes after it, although that fact gets her into trouble at the very start of the book when she and Andy ... well, you'll have to wait until I finish the book, get my editor to buy it and it gets released to find out what she does.
Her name can't start with an A (because I've already got Andy.) And it can't start with a C because Chad and Cooper figure prominently in this book and a lot of readers get confused by names that start with the same letter. Other characters names to bear in mind? Scott, Roger, Danita, Sandy, Sam, Rosie, Kris, and Troy. Wow, I just noticed -- apparently I like names that start with S too!
Oh, I'd like a name that has a short form, a diminutive that the guys (Andy and his brother Daniel -- yes, it's a menage story) call her where others might refer to her by her more formal name (Charley vs Charlene.)
(Have I mentioned how much I really like the name Charley and how much I think it fits her? And how much it's killing me to have to change her name? But I really do think it has to go unfortunately.)
So help me name my heroine.