Monday, March 31, 2008

The Future is Here

I just received edits for my futuristic romance, The Perfect Creation, and it stimulated the creative center in my brain. I've been wondering what to write next, and I think I'll take a trip into my futuristic world set in the Vrail System. It usually happens that when editing a project, if I have secondary characters that interest me, I'll get ideas for more books. But I don't need to reread this story to know where my other characters are headed.

So next on the agenda, a romance about two outcasts, Ryen and Drekk, who just might be each other's salvation.

I haven't written a strictly m/m romance before, and I'm not sure if these characters will go that route or not, but Ryen needs a lot of help to get where he needs to be, and Drekk's the man to get him there. I hadn't intended to set them together, they just kind of grew out of the storyline of Erin's story in The Perfect Creation.

And after Ryen's story, his other sister, Anin, is begging to have hers told. The lucky woman just found two Ragga protectors, men with more strength than is good for them. But they've been a little restless lately, so it's time to settle them down, I think.

More later...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where does the time go?

Whoops. My last post was on Wednesday!! Where have I been lately? Staring at this funky picture for days on end! haha, just kidding. Why, I've been here, in Georgia, trapped with small children, indoors, while it rains. Ack. So on the homefront, this is what's new....
  • Working on the second book in a new paranormal series. Done third chapter Friday.
  • Getting ready to work on some edits for my new publisher, Total E-bound (hi, Claire!)
  • Updated my website, and fooled with a practice Word Press website so much it crashed
  • Trying to figure out what new project to take on next.
  • Participated in a contest at RJ today, where they're giving away a TON of books
I'll try to do better next week.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Release

I DREAM OF DRAGONS Volume 1 now available from MBaM, Amazon, and Borders!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dealing Without Deadlines

I am in an odd state right now. No, not Georgia, though being down south does have its eccentricities. No, right now I'm without a deadline. I normally work with one or two deadlines in the back of my mind. But I've completed pending works and am currently without a due date to finish this current work.

Baffles the mind.

So I need to take on another project or push for this one to be done soon. Why? Because I'm one of those people who works best under pressure. Ever have too much time on your hands and still you fail to get anything done? Then you have too many irons in the fire, yet you finish everything on time and perfectly? That's me. So I'm thinking to give myself another month before I start working on something new. But what new project? Another Ethereal Foes book? The final installment of the Firebreather series? Or maybe a new project about a squad of mercenaries with some strange abilities... hmm. Not sure where to start. But if I don't write about a chapter a day, I feel as if I'm slacking. And God forbid I get a good night's sleep instead of writing into the A.M. Ack. Today I feel well-rested, and I feel guilty about it.

But at least if I pick something else to do I can stress myself into better performance. Here's hoping.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Today's Heroine

I find this an interesting topic of discussion. Just what do readers want to see in today's heroine? The trend seems to be in kick-ass, smart, strong women who don't really need a man so much as want a man. Keep in mind I'm not talking about historicals, in which the heroine has to suit the times much more. Today there's no law that says a woman can't own land, run a business, or have sex whenever she wants to (within reason, not publicly), so her constraints are much less than those of women long ago.

That said, I'll talk about what I like in heroine. Sure, I like reading about blond bombshells. Women who can eat like a horse, yet still look as slim and graceful as a gazelle. And maybe I find these women fascinating because they're not like me. I do, however, need my heroine to be intelligent, decisive, and strong, even if she makes bad decisions and chooses not to lean on the hero when she really should.

Physically, I like the woman who is attractive in her man's eyes. She can be a size 14 or 18, or a size 8. I like it when the women look like women, because reading about heroines who look like young waifs or young boys makes me think pedophilia, a HUGE no-no and turn off to reading anything romantic, at least for me. She can be of any race, creed or color, but I'm not into lectures about prejudice from authors, and I've read some IR books where this seems to be the author's sole purpose for writing it. Nothing wrong with mentioning the heroine's trials and tribulations, as to flesh out her character, but not at the expense of the romance.

I want my heroine to be comfortable in her own skin, or if she isn't at the beginning, to see her embracing her heritage by the end of the book. And to be honest, sometimes it's refreshing to read about frizzy haired, large breasted, ample waisted women that are so sexy and irresistible to their men. Of course, in many of my books, I'm writing about women who are wolves, vampires and aliens as well. And that makes for an interesting take on what really means "beauty" to the masses.

I also like to read about women in their late twenties and thirties. When I was just in my early twenties, I liked them younger. But I now have a hard time relating to the 16 or 18 year old heroine anymore (historicals), or even the "wise" twenty-three year old, especially since I remember how unwise I was back then. I like her to be in her late twenties to mid-thirties. Not that I won't read about a fifty or sixty year old woman, but I don't identify with her as much. And I think of books centering around women who are grandparents (or of that age) as women's fiction, not so much romance.

I'm currently plotting a book in which the heroine is in her mid to late twenties, and biracial as well as a human/alien hybrid. She's pretty kick-ass herself, but she needs that someone special by her side to show her just how wonderful she really is. And I say "needs" someone because she doesn't "want" anything more than to accomplish her mission day in and day out. A strong yet lonely young woman with an ax to grind. I can't wait for her to meet the hero.

And that's my take on what I like to see in a heroine. I'm interested in what readers want to see in their heroines. :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wake up, Self!

Why oh why am I screwing around when I should be editing? I've been going through my manuscript for a new paranormal and am taking out a bevy of unnecessary adverbs. Sadly, I've never realized how many "ly" words I use. Ack. And it's a painstaking process. Because after only half an hour, I start to resemble the dude in the picture sleeping in front of his computer...only I'm not a dude. haha
And now I'm off to go pick up my son, taking me away from my computer yet again. But when return, I'm promising myself a good couple of hours of solid writing time.... I hope.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

#3 on Fictionwise

A Royal Continuum is #3 in its category on Fictionwise. Thought I'd announce it before it moves. There. Now it's announced. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Congratulations to debbi236@... for winning the First Quarter Contest. Books, chocolates, candles and more. And a nice basket to put them in.

Again, Congrats to Debby. And thanks to all who participated.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

When It Rains...

...It Pours

Well, it's really hit the fan this time. Rumors about publishers invariably hit all the hot spots, to include authors, readers and the rest of the romance community at large. We've seen Mardi Gras, Triskellion, and Venus Press, to name a few, suffer from discontent and eventual demise. Sadly, NCP has hit the discontent meter as well. Let's hope this is all rumbling that can be fixed.

Take a gander and feel free to post, be you an author, readers, editor or agent. And note you can post anonymously in case you're worried about anyone reading your comments. But it's really worth a look. And some of the posts go back a few days, so check them out thoroughly.

Dear Author

Karen Knows Romance

Maya Reynolds

Ellen Ashe

I'd love to post a statement made by NCP, the publisher, but they remain quiet at this time. And sadly, I'm not even sure they're aware, or even care, about so much discontent because they seem very removed from their authors. Well, I guess the future will tell its own tale as we wait and see.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

6 Reasons to Buy an eBookwise e-reader

And no, I'm not getting kickbacks for promoting this reader. I did extensive research before requesting this particular e-reader for a birthday present last year. Man, was it only last year? Now, my only requirement was that I needed it for ebooks, not for emails or organization. That in mind, here are some great reasons to purchase an eBookwise e-reader.

  1. Long *ss battery. Mine lasts 11-13 hours at a recharge and I use it all the time.
  2. It's backlit, and I read at night next to my husband, who is not a fan of the overhead light while sleeping
  3. Low cost, comparatively
  4. It only functions as an e-reader and nothing else. Simple.
  5. Ebookwise is easy to download from and less expensive than other sites
  6. It's the same size as a book and has a great ergonomic handhold
  7. It takes all kinds of formats, and with the EBW librarian, you can convert tons of files
Consider that I'm not afraid of technology, but I like things, as I already mentioned, simple. I only use my phone to make phone calls (oh, okay, and for the occasional snapshot.) It's great to be able to carry a ton of books in one device, especially for travel. So if you're considering purchasing a handy-dandy electronic reading device, consider the eBookwise e-reader.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Here's a story I haven't talked about in a good long while. In 2006, NCP put out to their authors the concept of an anniversary edition anthology. A bunch of of came up with some wonderful stories, and two Phoenix Rising anthologies were born.

In Phoenix Rising I, my contribution is Deception's Calling, an urban fantasy/futuristic type tale revolving around a special detective squad. Detective Summer Amora Michaels is new to Spec Squad, an elite group of psychically gifted police officers within the 54th Precinct. Her squad leader, Lieutenant Drake Nichols, is a no-nonsense, take charge officer who leads with brutal efficiency. He’s also the man she and her partner have nicknamed Hotbod, the man every woman under the age of ninety lusts after, except, of course, for Summer. She’s a professional who lives for the job. Unfortunately, her job and her newly discovered heritage are starting to clash. For Summer is more than a jumper and eavesdropper, she’s also a mythical, very human succubus. When none other than Lt Drake Nichols answers her Calling, misunderstandings and memory lapses abound. But Summer’s not the only one with secrets, and when Drake takes charge in the bedroom, all bets are off.

To read an excerpt, click here.

And don't miss the other stories in this anthology by several talented authors:
Nightshade by Morgana de Winter
Arrested Desires by Michelle M. Pillow
The Wolf of Cnoc Meadha by Sherrill Quinn
Morpheus by Alicia Sparks

Monday, March 10, 2008

Chapter Two?

So okay, I've rewritten Chapter One of the tentatively titled The Devil's Deep. I like the title, but I'm not sure if it'll keep. TDD is the second book in my new paranormal series, and I had to rewrite chapter one because it introduced WAY too many alien phrases and backstory up front. There's nothing like buying a book, not realizing it's part of a series, and being completely lost. I like the books that can be read as stand-alones, but are so good you go back to the ones before and after it.

That said, now chapter one sounds fine. Great. Chapter Two? Crickets are chirping in the silence... haha Actually, I wrote a rough outline of the story prior to finishing this recent rewrite, and now I'm totally off track. But that's part of the fun of writing a new story. I'm filled with enthusiasm, no deadlines but my own, and am without distraction on this story.

So now that my heroine has regained consciousness, on to chapter two...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Flash of Fun

So last night the family watched Flash Gordon, the 1980 cult classic that way back when only pushed me further into the world of scifi and fantasy. Funky colors, Queen tunes and a wonderful plot taken right out of the old Flash Gordon comic books. Football player saves the world...only in America.

I forced the teenagers, I mean, I gently coerced the teenagers into watching it with us. To their surprise they liked it. My little boys loved it too, and it wasn't too gory or violent so that was a plus. It made me remember why I like such over-the-top movies. Great adventure, romance, and the violence isn't so extreme that you have to bar your doors and windows for fear the neighbors will think you're killing someone with those loud screams (as I did when I watched Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween).

Schlocky fun, and a definite "see" if you haven't already. Not to mention, Max Von Sidow plays a wicked Ming, Sam Jones and Timothy Dalton are hot, and the hawkmen rule.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Gonzo for Family

I spent the week with visiting family down from PA and did no work at all. I think I read my emails one day out of five, and though I had the shakes from being off-line for so long, it was a nice break to see family I hadn't visited with in a long time. (Note: The guy with the orange nose to the left is my grandfather. heh heh)

I actually reworked the first chapter of my newest paranormal novel, deleting half of it and rewriting it. It works MUCH better now. Since this is the second book in a series, I have to make it stand alone as well as continue with where book one left off. Too much backstory at the beginning will alienate, and frankly, bore readers. But not enough will confused people. It's a tough balancing act, but with nothing else to do but work on this story, I'm thrilled to be walking this particular tightrope, distraction-free.

So though I was "back" Monday, I really returned to the craft today. You might say I went "gonzo" over my family's visit, but all good things must eventually come to an end.

Chow, Marie

Monday, March 3, 2008

I'm Back!

I spent the weekend in Columbia, SC at the Celebrate Romance conference. I had a blast!!! There were about 60 people there, more readers than writers. We had wonderful discussions about romance, the subgenres within romance, and what readers want. I met a ton of nice people, to include Sherri Lee and Teresa D., a writer for Freya's Bower. And I tried really hard not to sound like an idiot by gushing over Sabrina Jeffries. She signed my copy of Let Sleeping Rogues Lie and was really nice, very down to earth. And she's now #2 on the NYT bestseller, so kudos to her.

Isabo Kelly, who writes for Cerridwen Press, gave a fascinating talk about mythical creatures. And Sara Reyes from Fresh Fiction discussed her book club down in Dallas. Hysterical! Her talk made me want to move down there tomorrow.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. I even finished editing a manuscript and sent it off, much to my delight. Of course, upon returning, I had to clean my house like a mad woman. I have relatives visiting for the week, and the kids and husband "tried" to help, needless to say, I'm redoing everything before they arrive in a few hours.

So more cleaning and less typing. I'll post some more tomorrow... But I'm glad to be back!