Sunday, November 30, 2008
I haven't been writing as much lately, due to the holiday, but Monday is just around the corner. Am I wrong in wanting to shout, "WOO HOO"? Hey, as I see it, it's a win-win. My lovely children go back to school, and I go back to writing at a decent hour.
I've also started running again, if you could call it that. Granted, it was more a walk/run this morning, but I actually exercised. I refuse to wait until the new year to "resolve" to get into better shape. Better to do it now and stick with it, I say.
And have I mentioned that my mother is coming to visit next week? I love my mom, but I cringe at hearing "you've put on some weight." It's hard to have a mother's who's a beanpole. The woman is like 115 soaking wet, and she complains she's gained weight. Whatever. My problem, I take after my dad when it comes to weight gain. What can I say? I've never met a donut I didn't like. And down here, there's "sweet" attached to everything--sweet tea, sweet potato pie, Crispy Cremes (well, that glaze is sweet.)
Oh crap. I just posted this on the wrong blog. Okay, now it's fixed. *sigh* I need another cup of java. Enough of my blather, now it's time to get back to work...
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
So stupid me decided to try it AGAIN last night. I was up until 4 in the morning, but I got the site up and running. I lost all my old themes (different WordPress templates or backgrounds) so I spent a lot of time going through more on the Web. I set up a ratty looking website, just to see what my Marie Harte website might look like.
You'll notice I haven't changed my website yet. I don't know that I will. I need some better graphics, but I definitely need a site I can maintain myself. When I have changes, I have a lot or a little, and I don't plan on paying through the nose to change an "a" to a "the."
So that was my night. A waste of time? You bet. Especially because I'm hurrying to finish a free read for Samhain due Friday. Wish me luck.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This movie takes off where the last left off, the first Bond sequel to be made. The title was taken from an Ian Fleming short story, but the movie was written strictly for film.
Why are so many people complaining about it? Because Bond has depth. He doesn't sleep with a dozen scantily clad women. There aren't gadgets and gizmos aplenty. No cool car that can shave ice while defusing a nuclear bomb. Instead, Solace gives us a Bond that's rough, driven and cathartic. You can almost see his emotional growth as he deals with the pain of Vesper's death and betrayal. I thought the storyline was wonderfully done, tying in Bond's private drama with an intense, plausible plot.
While I liked Casino Royale better, this is a must see for any Bond fan or action-adventure movie lover. Terrific chases, locales, and a stellar leading lady (Olga Kuryenko). M (Dame Judi Dench) is wonderful, as always. I can't say enough about this movie, but that to give it it's due, it's a must see. And it goes without saying that Daniel Craig is my favorite Bond to date--sorry Sean.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
A naughty holiday joke to break up the work week. I think it's hilarious.
A family is at the dinner table. The son asks his father, "Dad, how many kinds of boobs are there?"
The father, surprised, answers, "Well, son, a woman goes through three phases. In her 20s, a woman's boobs are like melons, round and firm. In her 30s to 40s, they are like pears, still nice but hanging a bit. After 50, they are like onions."
"Yes, you see them and they make you cry."
This infuriates his wife and daughter, so the daughter asks, "Mom, how many kinds of 'willies' are there?"
The mother, surprised, smiles and answers, "Well dear, a man goes through three phases also. In his 20s, his willy is like an oak tree, mighty and hard. In his 30s and 40s, it is like a birch, flexible but reliable. After his 50s, it is like a Christmas tree."
"A Christmas tree?"
"Yes -- dead from the root up and the balls are just for decoration."
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The end of the year is near, and to celebrate I'm giving away a TON of new books. Nothing like finding a new author or story to make your day complete. It's an easy contest. Simply answer the following question to be entered to win.**
What's your favorite genre (of romance) and why?
Send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to win. Contest ends Dec 3rd, so I can mail the prize and avoid the holiday rush.
**Note, winners outside the continental United States will win a "package" of ebooks, to equal that of the prize being awarded in print books. Well over 2 dozen!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
It started when I got married. Continued through small children, who grew into teens, a job with harried truck driver, some of whom didn't understand the words "customer" and "service" go hand in hand, and has trickled down to a 3- and 5-year-old who think they rule the world. No longer do I issue non-judicial punishments or office hours. Instead it's time in the corner, a lack of TV or computer games, or the requisite spanking. And yes, I am all for hands-on discipline.
The military makes thing simple. In a five paragraph order, the mission statement tells the 5 w's: when, who, what, where and why. It's spelled out in black and white, in traditions carried out with pride. When a superior wants answers, you give them. When a subordinate is tasked with an agenda, that subordinate gets back to you or suffers the consequences. Questions don't go unanswered, phone calls are returned and plans stick to specified timetables.
Unlike the real world, and specifically unlike the world of publishing.
Agents and editors "lose" manuscripts, authors don't read submission guidelines and waste everybody's time. People miss deadlines and readers are at times stuck with badly edited, and worse, badly written books they shelled out good money for.
My answer? Throw in a couple of "Yes Sirs" and "Yes Ma'ams," institute a policy of mandatory good customer service, and punish offenders by throwing them in the brig. A fantasy land? Sure, but one can always hope. Sometimes I really miss the Marine Corps...
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
It’s out. It’s available. It’s finally here. The release of a new book is always a reason to celebrate. As a reader, it means there’s something new to discover. Love and romance, sex and action. As an author, it’s that final journey, from the idea seedling to the fruitful expression of labor.
I’ve been waiting a long time to see my characters find a happy ending. It all started with the idea of a family. Four brothers who must find a way to defend their homeland and the people they love. This was my first attempt at a series.
I don’t know how other authors do it. Several of my books I had intended to be stand-alone, when a secondary character would shout out for a sequel. In the Storm Lords universe, I’d always intended a series. The tale of good versus bad, but not necessarily light versus dark.
So I created the Storm Lords. In this case, they are the Royal Four, the last surviving Light Bringer warriors who harness elemental energy. Identical quadruplets who are tall, dark and handsome. Oh yeah. That had “potential” written all over it. Just into the story, however, I knew the series would be told over five books. Each brother had his own story. The Prince of Fire, the River Prince, the Wind Mage and the Earth Lord. But there was something more, a huge presence keeping them together. Their uncle, a powerful sorcerer, ageless yet ancient. Arim Valens.
In the four books preceding Guardian’s Redemption, Arim guided his nephews and fought against the evil plaguing his land. He was always a strong, sensual presence. I knew he’d be a main part of the resolution in the overall story arc of the books.
He had a past never before explored, but hinted at. And so in this last volume, Arim will deal with his past, and in so doing, cement his future. The line between friend and enemy will blur, and a startling truth comes to light. The chance for love, for redemption, is there, if only Arim has the courage to reach for it and surrender to his feelings.
Want to find out how it ends? Buy the book!!!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Finally! Guardian's Redemption is now available from Total E-Bound.
I've been waiting for this for a while. Arim's tale, finally told.
Here's a short blurb and excerpt to follow:
The final battle between Light and Dark is at hand, and only love can save them.
They call him the Guardian of Storm and Killer of Shadow, a magic user more powerful than any Tanselm has ever seen. Yet for all his power, Arim Valens has let his nemesis and ex-lover, Lexa Van Nostren, slip through his grasp time and time again. For three hundred years Arim and his sexy Dark Lord have battled each other. Only one thing could bring them together. Tanselm - a magical land filled with riches, power, and an underlying sentience overflowing with love for creatures both Light and Dark. To save Tanselm from an encroaching evil, Arim will risk it all, and if it means working closely with Lexa, so much the better.
Arim wars with his duty to the land and with his own perverse need to see to Lexa's safety, even knowing that the dangerous woman can take care of herself. Lexa won't surrender easily, no matter how much she needs him. And it will take all of his power and compassion to heal hurts both old and new, and to redeem himself in the eyes of the only woman he's ever truly loved.
Lexa woke with a groggy sense of her surroundings. The last thing she remembered, Jonas had been visiting. After her shock and disappointment that Sava had clearly shared her whereabouts after she’d explicitly told him not to, she’d welcomed Jonas with a grudging “make yourself comfortable.”
He had, and he’d informed her of life in Tanselm. After that… She rubbed her temples, surprised when she felt the rustle of soft cotton over bare flesh. Feeling her belly and legs, she realized she lay naked on her bed.
“What the hell?”
After sitting up, she put her hands to her head to steady her swimming vision. How had she gotten in here? She’d spoken with Jonas, shared his concerns about the encroaching Church of Illumination, tried to gauge ‘Sin Garu’s next move and tossed ideas about his possible whereabouts. Jonas had made her a cup of tea, Earl Grey, her favourite, and they’d relaxed and popped in a movie. A touch of normalcy to give the illusion Lexa was no more than a tired working woman taking a holiday. And then… this?
A male groan made her start and she stared around her. She saw nothing. He groaned again. Realizing the sound came from the floor to her left, she leaned over the side of her bed.
The sight of the naked male left her breathless and had her heart racing like mad. Arim Valens, her ex-lover, ex-friend and the man she couldn’t stop wanting even after several centuries, lay on her floor bound in Dark-hide rope. Lexa blinked several times and leaned farther over the bed, trying to validate the incredible sight before her.
“Arim?” she whispered, not expecting him to respond. Jonas must have drugged her. A knockout with hallucinogenic side-effects. Perhaps a Djinn poison? But she was immune to most toxins. Perhaps the demon’s hold on her soul had made her more than magically weak, but physically ill as well?
“Sava, you bastard,” Arim slurred, struggling in the binding around him. He looked uncomfortable, though scrumptiously naked. Sprawled as he was on the floor, and at an awkward angle from the chair, she figured he’d been tied up in it and had fallen out of the leather recliner onto the floor. The position he now laid in allowed Lexa a view she hadn’t seen in way too long.
A creature of Light, Arim had golden skin—a tanned complexion that highlighted the muscular contours of his form. Though a sorcerer, Arim looked more like a warrior. He had powerful shoulders, a broad chest and ropy arms thick with strength. His legs were both long and well-developed, and the flesh between his thighs was thick, long and growing as she stared at it.
Shocked, she glanced back at his face and saw the Killer of Shadow staring up at her with a look of hunger she hadn’t seen in what felt like forever. His response to her made her wonder, again, if she was experiencing odd effects from the drug Jonas must have fed her. Because Arim only ever looked at her with hostility or rage, never with lust clearly riding his dark brown eyes turning black with desire.
“Blue?” Arim licked his lips, his gaze leaving her face to linger on her chest.
Blue, what he used to call her when they’d been in love. And later, what he called her to remind her of how much they’d lost. It had been some time since she’d heard her nickname uttered in such a raspy, sexual tone. To her mortification, her nipples hardened under his stare. Her womb clenched with need, and had she not known better, she’d think Arim had cast a spell. Unfortunately, her body always clenched in his presence, and today was no exception.
“Where are your clothes?” he asked, seemingly taken with what he could see of her as she leaned over the bed.
Not embarrassed about her looks, Lexa nonetheless backed up onto the bed and lay belly-down, giving Arim no more than a view of her face. Bad enough her magic was all but gone. She needed at least the surface protection of the bed to gain a psychological edge against her powerful opponent. “What are you doing here?”
“Here?” Arim tried to sit up but could only lift his head before he gasped and leaned back. “The damned Dark-hide is stealing my energy.” The minute he admitted his weakened state, he froze. “Are you behind this?”
The lust flaring between them faded as his suspicion took hold.
“I might ask you the same.” She scowled at him, wondering why he couldn’t have stayed silent longer. At least give her a minute or two to enjoy the sight, if not the sound of him. But no. He had to ruin it by opening his big mouth. “Why are you here? How did you find me?”
“I didn’t.” Arim swore. “Sava duped me. Set me up and brought me to you. Said Jonas--” He stopped suddenly, his jaw clenched so tight Lexa wondered if he was in pain.
Arim’s eyes burned a bright red, making him look very much like his firestarter nephew. She was reminded again of his ties to the Storm Lords, his royal nephews so close to restoring Tanselm to what it once was… thanks in no small part to her.
The smug look she sent him had him snarling, and he roared as he tried to break free of the magical ropes. Such a temper. A pity it made him that much more attractive. For all that Arim was one of the most powerful Light Bringers she’d ever met, his anger had always been incredibly Dark, and one of his more attractive features. Too bad it had taken a terrible tragedy to show her his true colours.
“I repeat. Jonas what?” she asked again, her libido under control.
“Did Jonas fuck you in here? On that bed? Is that why you’re naked and I’m tied up? To watch while that traitor takes what’s mine?”
Lexa’s mouth dropped open in shock. She didn’t know what surprised her more. The insane tripe Arim was spouting, or the notion that he considered her his. “Are you out of your mind?”
He glared up at her. As he stared, she realized what it was about him that was different. Not his nudity or even his presence in her home, but the absence of his aura. She focused on the magic inherent in his being. To her astonishment, she saw… nothing.
“Arim, what’s happened to you?”
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Below the Surface
Marcus Storm, the River Prince, doesn't think he'll ever find a mate worthy of him in a world devoid of magic. And with the sudden presence of evil invading this supposed "safe" realm, time's running out. But his well-earned conceit and sure charm don't seem to be helping his cause. Tessa Sheridan would be happy to put the sexily aggravating Marcus in his place. Unfortunately, her fierce attraction to the arrogant Marcus, her new and unwelcome powers of telekinesis, and the embezzler at work trying to frame her are all distractions she can't handle. Luckily for her, Marcus is all too willing to show her his passion runs deep, and his love is just there below the surface.
To read an excerpt, click here
Aerolus Storm, the Wind Mage, is less than enthused to marry, and even less excited about the troublemaking female destined to be his. The Aellei are a troublemaking race steeped in deception, trickery and a fondness for games. They make poor allies and even worse enemies. Self-appointed protector Alandra le Aelle has no intention of making things easy for him. Wading through her illusions will take all the skill he’s built as a sorcerer, but finding the truth of her heart will take all the skill he’s learned as a man.