Monday, May 28, 2007

Bugs, the Movie. Two Hours I'll Never Get Back

It's been a while since I've posted, but I had to add this. I saw Bugs yesterday at the movies. I was expecting a horror flick. Instead, I wasted two hours of my life I'll never get back. UGH!!!! It wasn't a badly acted movie, but it was advertised as a horror flick. Not. It was more a psychological profile of some wacko who turns a grieving mothering into another wacko. Supposedly the movie was a broadway show. Had I known this beforehand, I wouldn't have seen it. The movie was slow, and yes, character driven. But I wanted bugs, dammit. Nada. Lots of bug noises, cicadas, crickets, spooky visuals. Two loonies getting crazier minute by minute. But no bugs.

Save your money.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Check out Samhain's authors at Love RomancesCafe

Hey! Today a bunch of Samhain authors, me included, were/are chatting at LoveRomancesCafe. Click on the title of this post and you'll zip on over.
For my part, I offered a download of A Scorching Seduction, coming out June 1st, for the winner of my contest.



Friday, May 18, 2007

Winner of the Tempting Traditions Contest

Congrats to Anna Lisa for winning a download of Tempting Traditions. I'm still playing catch-up on the excerpts and contests posted on the Raven Vampire Nightclub Reader loop. Great stuff, and a big thanks to Michelle Pillow and Mandy Roth for hosting it and inviting authors to attend.

Don't forget to check out the May Day contest on my website. Deadline for May Day is Tuesday, May 22nd at 8pm EST.

Thanks to all who participated in the contest.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

On Writing: Backstory

A friend of mine recently wrote that she was having problems with her story. She didn't have the hero and heroine meeting right away, and her critique partners kept giving her conflicting advice about how much backstory to have at the beginning as opposed to weaving through the book.

To any of us who write, backstory is one of the most tedious problems to deal with. You, as the author, have constructed a history and a world in which the your characters live. But how much of that do you tell the reader up front, how much do you integrate into the story as you go, and how much is actually relevant to the story as a whole?

New authors--yes, I was guilty of this too--try to tell you everything at once. But a firm rule of thumb for a good story, for an author, is to show the reader what's happening, not tell the reader what's happening. For example, if Joe has a fear of heights, don't simply tell us. Show us by trapping him on the roof of a building. When he looks down, he grows dizzy, panicked. Or involve some dialogue to describe a past incident in which Joe displayed a fear of heights. But the dialogue has to mean more to the story than just to tell us what happened. By inserting that dialogue, it has to move the story forward, as well as provide some cleverly inserted backstory.

To me, there's nothing more offputting in a book than having to read through ten pages of character history when I just want to see what the heck's going on.

On my friend's other dilemma involving when the hero and heroine should meet, there's no hard and fast rule. But remember, you (the author) have to hook your reader into reading the next page. I know that I like when the hero and heroine interact. And if they don't meet until page 170 in a 200 page book, 1) it's not a romance, and 2) By page 50 I'll have dropped the book, if I can even read that far into it without groaning.

A little writer food for thought.


Monday, May 14, 2007

I've been tagged...8 things you didn't know about me

I've been tagged by Tina Gerow, reknowned author of Into a Dangerous Mind and Stone Maiden (to name a few of her books.) I'm supposed to tell you 8 things you probably don't know about me and then tag 8 other people. Hmm, okay. I'll try not to make this too painful for you.

1. I played JV lacrosse at Penn State University my freshman year, even playing a Varsity game against Dartmouth. I was goalie, and we won that game. :)

2. I take as much milk and sugar in my coffee as coffee. But come on, it's coffee. You have to do something to make it palatable.

3. I have little patience. So say a few prayers for my kids.

4. My father taught middle and elementary school kids for 35+ years, so I have a HUGE appreciation for teachers everywhere.

5. I grew up taking vacations at the shore in Cape May, New Jersey. And I just love ocean and sand. Nothing quite like it. I hope we can someday retire up there.

6. I'm a procrastinator, and have to work very hard not to do tomorrow what I should have done today. Blame my mom. I was born 2 weeks late. Ahem, just kidding, Mom.

7. I've never met a person from Texas I didn't like. (Even you, Gladys, I liked! haha)

8. I'm a sucker for roses. They smell good, they're pretty, and you gotta love something so beautiful that comes complete with thorns.

9. People that smile all the time irritate me. No one is always that happy. And if they are, they need a definite attitude adjustment.

10. I've spent my life surrounded by men. In grade school up through high school, most of my best friends were boys. In college they were too, and throughout the Marine Corps, my stint in IT, and working for a trucking company, I worked primarily with men. Then I married my husband, inherited a boy (and girl) and had two more boys. I think I'm a testosterone magnet. :)
Oh, now I have to tag 8 people...hmmm. Check out these stellar authors.
Enjoy your Monday!! Marie

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I just wanted to wish all mothers everywhere a very happy Mother's Day. My family took me to brunch after church, then let me relax for a day...of course, it's almost over, and I'm sobbing as I look at the mountains of dirt all over the house. But my kids also gave me cute gift certificates I'll be using this week. The 17 year old is doing dishes for a week, the 14 year old laundry for a week. Not bad!! And I got a foot rub from my husband, a chore he hates almost as much as cleaning his crap off the floor in the closet. :) What a day!!

Hope you all had a great day, and I'll chat at you tomorrow.


PS... Love ya, Mom!

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Mother's Day Contest & Embarrassing Moments

Congratulations to Lisa Williams. Lisa has won my Mother's Day Contest. Happy Mother's Day to everyone and thanks to all who participated. The monthly reader contest for May will be posted next week, so keep an eye on my website.

I must say, the funniest "most embarrassing thing your child has ever done" post involved a child sitting on her mother's lap in a waiting room at a crowded restaurant. As happens, a sudden lull hit the room when the little girl said, in a LOUD voice, "Momma, you have a mustache." How funny, and how totally embarrassing. Needless to say, the mom explained ot her girl she didn't have a mustache. And she had an upper lip wax the very next day.
Gotta love kids.

Marie :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Firebreather #1 at Fictionwise!!

I'm all agog. Yes, I said agog. Firebreather just hit #1 at Fictionwise for Erotica. I am thrilled!! The book's been doing very well at Amber Quill and seems to have hit the readers' happy spot. It sure as heck hit mine.

Here's a short teaser (PG-rated, the excerpt, NOT the book) from Firebreather...

After a quick good-night to her family, ignoring the scowls on her brothers’ faces, Lea grabbed her coat from the front coat check and fled out into the blustery night. She waited briefly while a valet fetched her car before driving home as safely as possible. October had brought black nights and gusts of wind to Weaverville, North Carolina, and she had no intention of crashing in the short half hour it took her to return home.
Driving onto the Venlay estate, twenty acres of prime, mostly-level property in the mountains that had been in her family’s hands for generations, Lea finally relaxed for the first time that night. She had the next three days to herself, not having to return to work until Tuesday. And the relief that afforded made her truly smile for the first time in days. Winding through the driveway, past the main house to the groundskeeper’s cottage deeper onto the property, she grinned with contentment as she parked and exited the car.
It was a small house, but it was hers. A quaint cottage with enough room for two to live comfortably, and one person to live like a queen. Shedding her heavy woolen coat, she made her way through the comfortable living room to her personal paradise, the study.
Wooden floors, floor to ceiling bookcases and a to-die-for leather chair she’d spent a fortune on, the study—the study?
“What the hell?”
Long claw marks scarred her prized leather desk chair. The papers she’d worked so hard to publish lay in shreds on the floor, mingling with the scattered remains of her text references and priceless Dracon journals.
She quickly reached for the cell phone stuffed into her jacket pocket now laying on the floor and dialed the main house. “Barbara? Hi, it’s Lea. I’m back for the night. Just wanted to see how you’re doing.” The housekeeper chatted easily and soon hung up, easing Lea’s mind. At least nothing in the main house had been disturbed.
Determined to keep control, she leaned down to salvage an ancient book she’d only recently acquired. It had taken six months to locate Reem’s Lost Arts, of which only a handful had ever been printed to begin with. Unfortunately, her “burglar” must have understood its significance, for only the binding remained, the interior pages ripped free.
Straightening, she surveyed the rest of the damage, praying it looked worse than it actually was. A few broken book bindings, strewn papers over the floor, and a busted desk lamp seemed the extent of the damage—except for Reem’s book. And the chair. And that destruction she took personally.
Burglar my ass, she seethed as she began the painstaking business of setting her study to rights. No point in calling the police, since Dekker owned half the force. Rich and irritatingly sexy, a lethal combination. If the damned man weren’t Dracon, she might be inclined to cut him some slack. But she found it hard to pity his flaws when his strengths shone so brightly. And informing the police of the break-in might enlighten them to her little side-gig, the source of her true happiness and, hopefully, eventual career.
With two overbearing brothers who considered dragons worse than demons, Lea had never felt the desire to share her alter ego. No one but she and her editor knew that she had written several professionally credited articles, and a best-seller, under a pseudonym on the shapeshifting Dracon clan. Years of family research combined with a fierce fascination for the half-man/half-dragon creatures had instilled in Lea a need to understand, and to help others understand.
Despite what she’d said to her sister, Lea didn’t hold any prejudice against the Dracon. Against one in particular, yes, but against them as a whole, no. The stories she’d heard as a child had been just that, stories. She’d been young when her father died, and seeing the beauty of the creatures as they flew through the air had been more than enough to paint them in a surreal, almost mystical light. Even today, she’d give anything to fly among the clouds.
And much as she hated to admit it, Ferin Dekker turned her on as no one ever had, no one real, anyway. Her dreams, however, were another thing altogether. Lusty and provocative, and decidedly carnal, unlike her boring, all-too-real existence. Shaking herself from the heat beginning to overtake her sense, she frowned down at several cracked CDs and collected more scattered paper.
Yes, the Dracon were a people to be studied, to be treasured for their differences. However, rifling through her study and ruining her favorite chair were not the actions of an estimable race. She could only pray her burglar had attacked randomly, and hadn’t realized just how much she knew about the mysterious clan.
Glancing again at the careless destruction, Lea’s anger flared, but she dropped the rest of the papers she’d been gathering as a sudden thought hit.
“Oh, no. Not my hard drive.”
The computer looked untouched, but when she turned it on, nothing happened. The monitor flickered to life, but the screen remained blank. And that’s when she noticed the small holes on the side of the tower case. The back of the computer showed a large gaping wound, where someone had ripped out the hard drive.
Curses streamed from her mouth like a river, and while she raged, she raced through the hallway, praying the asshole hadn’t also located her hidden safe, where she kept a handy backup drive.
Once in her bedroom, she stopped. What if whoever had begun the job of screwing up her research hid in her house even now, waiting for an encore? Glancing furtively around, she waited for the smallest sound to alert her to an intruder. After several quiet minutes, she opened the faux-panel of her nightstand and entered the digital combination to her small safe. When it clicked open, she breathed a sigh of relief. The backup lay on top of her first-edition published articles and her great-great-great grandmother’s illegible journal.
“At least I’ve still got you,” she murmured, relief making her lightheaded.“And I’ve got you,” a familiar voice said with satisfaction, scaring the hell out of her.


Have a good one!


Monday, May 7, 2007

Flaming Posts

I've been hearing on some loops about some flaming posts concerning a recent ebook review. Flaming, in case you didn't know, is a negative comment, insulting and most defintely derogatory. Apparently, someone didn't like a book they read and said so on their blog. Then a bunch of idiots sent anonymous replies to the reviewer bad mouthing everything from the reviewers own novels to, well, whatever else bad you can think about.

Look, I've read ebooks I don't particularly like, and if asked by a friend, would say why I didn't like it. But posting insulting things about the author or reviewer who dissed the book is not only unprofessional as an author, immature and unnecessary, but cowardly when you won't even use your own name. It takes a lot of time to write a book, so even if I think one is crap, I still respect the author who took the time an energy to create it. I just figure the book's not my cup of tea. Hey, people loved the movie Jerry McGuire, and I hated it. Yes, I hated it. And though I'm no Tom Cruise fan, and never have been, I like other movies he's been in. I just didn't like the whole Jerry McGuire plot. Go ahead people, bring it on. I have debated this issue to death. :)

Of course, that's another rant entirely. Suffice it to say, if you don't like what someone says, be mature enough to agree to disagree. Character bashing isn't necessary.

My two cents.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

Time to Crack the Whip

The weekend has come and gone. I finally unpacked from RT. Heck, it's only been a week! I have so much promo stuff it isn't funny, but my old critique partner didn't get to go, so I'm giving her some stuff. I couldn't believe the amount of free books each attendee received from that conference. Paid for itself with free reads! On my way home from the conference, I read a few stories from my Secrets anthologies and EC collections. I like the shorter stories because I can get through them easily. Once I finish the current projects I have scheduled, I'm going to sit back and read for fun. But between the conference, my mom's visit at Easter, and the past week catching up, I'm behind on my writing.

Time to crack that whip! I'll be updating my webpage with a May contest and some new excerpts. And I'll have my newsletter out soon as well.

Have a nice night, and the end to a beautiful weekend.


Friday, May 4, 2007

New Cover for Whispers: TEMPTING TRADITIONS

I have to say I really like this cover. The guy is hot, and I love his eyes. Yeah, *snicker* it's his eyes I'm in love with. Tempting Traditions will be coming out with Whispers Publishing sometime this summer. To read a short blurb, click on the blog title.
I actually have a lot of releases coming this summer. From Loose Id, Tied and True and Reaper's Reward. Both are contemporary erotic romance, and pretty hot. :) From Samhain, A Scorching Seduction, a short story and part of their Midsummer Night's Steam collection. Two heroes, one heroine, LOTS of fun in the sun.
I've finished a butt-load of edits and am now working on Guardian's Redemption. Man, I meant for this to be done by now, but with RT and my other stuff, it got pushed back. I'm hoping to have it done by mid-June. Cross your fingers!! Guardian's Redemption is the final installment in the Storm Lords series, and is going to be a larger volume as it will completely stand alone from the other works, while also giving answers to those questions books 1-4 asked. Can't wait to finish this!! I'll be posting sneak peaks as I go, so stay tuned to my newsletter and website.
That's all for now! Chow

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Life After RT

Well, hello there! I've been told I'm a slacker for not posting about RT yet, especially when I said I would on my website. Sorry... I still haven't unpacked. As soon as I returned home on Monday, I set my suitcases on the floor, bonded with my kids and hubby, (youngest turned 2 yesterday), and once everyone fell asleep, I started on some overdue edits. *sigh* They never stop.

RT was GREAT! I had the best time. I grafted myself to some RWA chicks from Phoenix. Woohee. Do those ladies know how to have fun. In particular, NCP author Samantha Storm, a split personality with more names (Cat, Hey You, Wacko) than fingers, and Teri, a loud, aggressive ex-MP who had me laughing so hard I cried. Heck, when in costume, both Cat and Teri had much funny and unwelcome attention. Cat from a very old man gaping at her tremendous bosom, and Teri from a policeman wanting to arrest her for solicitation. Too funny for words.

The conference introduced me to some wonderful authors, readers and book lovers alike. You just can't lose when surrounded by people who like romance.

I'll post more tomorrow on my experiences with RT. But I have to say, I'm so incredibly glad I went. And you don't get a better roommate than my friend Gladys. :)