Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Suck My *** ***** ****

I was going to post some pictures of my dining room furniture, but this email from my grandfather, yes, grandfather, had me laughing so hard I cried. If you're a huge fan of Reno 911 (like I am) you'll get an extra big kick out of this. If not, just imagine what you'd say in the same situation.

NOTE: ADULT CONTENT--Language

video

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Excitement Over a...Table? Yes, Indeedy.

I'm this excited. And it has nothing to do with writing, unfortunately. I've been painting my dining room and refitting it with furniture. My old set was ten years old when I bought it...nine years ago. I have a newer set, a gift from my mother that cost $$$ to ship from Oregon. A table and chairs, minus the seat cushions and nuts and bolts thanks to a hapless transport company. But I still needed a buffet/bar to hide our small stash of booze.

Hooray! I found one today, as well as an awesome antique hidden china cabinet that's small yet full of character. It's actually nicer than the buffet, in my opinion. Not sure where I'll put it yet, but it's MINE. Dibs. I'll post a picture of it here tomorrow after they deliver it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day


Remembering those who've fallen for us, who fight for us, and who defend our country day in and day out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Because I Can

Yeah, I'm taking the easy way out this morning. Another picture. But it's so darned pretty, I have to share. This is the cover for The Thief of Mardu, coming out from TEB in November of this year. Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm in Love...With this Cover!

Lurin's Surrender will be coming out in July from Total E-Bound. The book is five times better, and I should know because I nearly killed myself redoing the whole thing. But I have to say, this cover thrills me!!!! I'm mesmerized by the burst of blue, the cool colors and fonts, and the pretty people don't hurt my eyes either. WOWZA Thank you TEB!!!

An excerpt for Lurin's Surrender is coming soon to my website, so stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pins and Needles

So this morning my publisher sent me the new cover for Lurin's Surrender, to be released in July. I've done extensive work on this book so that it feels like another novel altogether. This was actuality the first full-length novel I wrote. It's hard for me to believe it ever came out the way it did, but I can happily say I've learned a lot in the four years since its release.

What's go me on pins and needles is that I've got a terrific editor working on the book, and the new cover is incredible! I want to share it, but I can't yet, not until my publisher gives the okay. Man, I'm just in love with it. For some reason, I'm grabbed by the bright blue sparking from where the sun hits one of the planets. The guy is hot, the chick is sexy, and I'm stoked about the book. I can't wait to share it with you all, as soon as I have it in my hot little hands, er, computer.

This cover accompanied the 2004 version. In this one, the guy is strong but his face is turned away from us at an odd angle. The woman always bothered me because she looks so young, which makes me slightly ill. Still, it's a pretty cover. I've many times questioned NCP's editing process, which apparently doesn't exist anymore, but I've never denied they have terrific artists.

But my new cover totally rocks. It's newer, snazzier, and just, well, better. See what you think when I post it, hopefully tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Release! Circe's Recruits: Hale



CIRCE' RECRUITS: HALE is now available from Loose Id!

In the three years since Project Dawn disbanded, Hale continues to fight the good fight. Now civilians, his squad--Circe's Recruits--work for a private organization bent on cleaning up the mess left in the wake of Project Dawn's rebirth. Pearson Labs continues to create Circs, people who have been genetically changed. When needed, these Circs take on an altered form--one neither man nor animal, but something in between. But unlike the squad, the Circs coming out of Pearson Labs aren't sane.

Hale's dreams are more than nightmares--the prophetic doom of a beautiful woman he doesn't know and a man he wishes he'd never met: two people meant for him that are too involved with his enemy for Hale's peace of mind. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and Hale's beast won't accept less than the woman and man destined to become his mates. Then word arrives that Pearson Labs is finally coming down, and Hale has to race to save his mates from the fallout. Can they survive or will their love crumble under the enemy's chaos and deception too close to home?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices, ménage (m/f/m with m/m sexual interaction), sex in shifted form, violence.

To read an excerpt, click here

Sunday, May 17, 2009

FINALLY!!


I've been working on Lurin's Surrender (to be released by Total E-Bound) for DAYS. LS was my first novel released years ago. It was interesting to go back through and read it again. Holy Crap! Talk about needing a rewrite. It just showed me that even back then, NCP was not into edits.

Having learned a good bit in the time since, I think I'm a much stronger writer. And I'd hope, a better one. So my intent to polish the story turned into a rebuild. All week long and ALL DAY today I worked on that @#@#!! story. I just sent it in to my publisher.

Fingers crossed. In July, when my revamp of The Thief of Mardu was going to be released, LS will be taking its place, followed by The Thief of Mardu later in the year. Though all the books can be read by themselves, some of the characters are mentioned again later in other books. Captain Mara finds her mate in Lurin's Surrender, and Catam of Mardu, one of her bounty hunters, finds the love of his life in The Thief of Mardu.

The Fas brothers, Nu and Set, recently had their story told in Creating Chemistry. And it's fun to see them interacting with their crew in the first books. I loved those guys!

Next on the horizon for TEB, a werewolf tale, and then a follow up to Creation's Control, following Tarn, Drekk's distant relative. An alien even among aliens who's full-out headed for love...and doesn't know it.

Chow for now, and on to new work!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dazed and STILL Confused

So an interesting thing happened to me two days ago. Normally I wouldn't write about something like this, but I think I need to write it down to make sense of it.

My son attends Mother's Day Out, a kind of church daycare, during most mornings. He has several friends, and I've since made friends with his friends' parents. One particular friend is very outspoken, funny, and staunchly Roman Catholic. Now I was raised RC, but I'm not strict about my beliefs. I have a lot of issues with church policies, but that's for another discussion.

My good friend and I talk about matters. She knows I'm a lax Catholic and that I write erotic romance. I thought that would throw her when we first became friends, but she often tells others I'm an author and makes a big--nice--deal about it. She's even read a few of my free reads, even the R-rated ones when I warned he to read the PG story. She also talks about sex more than I do, joking and teasing, so that I felt comfortable being myself around her. Mistake.

The other day my friend started calling my work "porn." She'd been to Barnes & Noble and had picked up a copy of Feral Attraction. She skimmed through it and read three passages full of sex. Hello? It's erotic romance. But she kept calling it porn, joking yet not. Then she went so far as to say she didn't respect my writing. Now I'm all for agreeing to disagree. I don't believe gay people to go hell for being gay, that abortion should be a choice for anyone but the woman involved, or that women should not be priests. But I don't mind that my friend disagrees with me, because I respect her right to think what she likes (even if she's wrong...wink.)

But after the porn discussion (which I did my best to ignore two days in a row) and after several minutes of futile discussion about the differences between erotic romance and smut, we took our children out for a playdate. Later, and I'm not even sure how the topic came about, my friend started questioning me about my views on abortion, Obama, and a few other odds and ends that slip my mind. I was startled to talk about such serious matters outside our kids and families in a McDonalds, but I answered honestly. A few minutes later, she told me she thought we'd have to take a break. ??? She really likes me, but she doesn't want my son corrupting hers. My first real WTF moment with this woman.

I was shocked. I told her my 4 year old wasn't likely to discuss abortion or politics with her son. Both kids get along famously, and her little boy is both well-mannered and nice. But an innocent that would be tainted by my child?

I had to leave to run some errands, and we kind of left it at that. A suggestion that "maybe" we should take a break.

I admit I was a little hurt, a lot angry, and more, stunned. It came as a shock because I've never made it secret what I write or what I think when asked. Yet all of a sudden, I was labeled as having questionable morals and my son was tarred with "sins of the mother."

I tolerate others' viewpoints while not agreeing. I don't paint her child as a holier-than-thou type simply because the mother is rather forceful with her opinions. And I genuinely like this woman, who is a very positive, smiling person most of the time and is pleasant to everyone. So I'm just baffled as to what motivated this whole scenario. Why throw in my four year old as the guilty party if she's really upset with me?

There. I've typed it all out. And I still can't make sense of it. But I started feeling paranoid, like this whole flare up was another erotic romance writer attack, the kind most of us have suffered at the hands of so many "religious" people. Not a romance writer attack at all, I don't think. But I was feeling the burn.

Proof is in the pudding, I say, not in how many times you attend mass. Want to be a good Christian? Be nice, treat others the way you want to be treated, judge not (lest ye be judged) and believe in God.

I'm not perfect and never claimed to be (except to my husband.) *smile* Maybe the summer break will give me time enough to forgive this incident and maintaing a friendship, if a more distant one, with this person. But I'm Sicilian. So forgive and forget won't work. Sicilians, hell, Italians, never forget.

Hope your Friday is happier than mine. Now back to edits...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Weight on My Shoulders

That's me (figuratively), sitting with a pile of work to do that's a split second from crashing down all over me. The good news is that Total E-Bound is interested in my prior futuristic books no longer under contract. The Thief of Mardu was scheduled to come out in July, but TEB would like to put out Lurin's Surrender first, which was the first book I wrote set in my futuristic Vrail System. So, I'm working hard to re-edit that first book. (And boy, did it need it!! Added to that, I was already working on a werewolf story for their Over the Moon collection, and I'm also in the middle of another, larger project only a third of the way done. My kids are ending school for the year, and I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get teacher gifts, attend school events and cook dinner on time. (We did pizza last night. Tues night we ate close to eight at night!)

I also just realized I missed the deadline for my newsletter contest, and I'm way behind on several items I thought I'd have done before school ended. And that's to say nothing of the odd happenstance that occurred yesterday, one which totally threw me for a loop. I'll blog about that tomorrow.

Right now, I have to get back on edits for a very patient publisher. Chow!

Monday, May 11, 2009

June Bug Contest

To enter to win the bundle of books* pictured below, please send me an email (marie_harte@yahoo.com) with the subject line: JUNE BUG CONTEST. Make sure to include your physical address. Then answer the following questions and you're entered to win. Contest ends June 17th. Good luck!

* Do you like your summer reads to take place in the summer, why or why not? Do you prefer other reads to take place during the season you're reading them?

*The box of books is only a valid prize for those entrants who live in the continental United States. Any non U.S. wining resident entrant will win a bundle of electronic books, to make postage a heck of a lot easier.

Prizes must be claimed within 30 days. Email me for details.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

STAR TREK Review

STAR TREK 2009


Rating: A+ because it's been such a long time since I lost track of time during a movie. This one gripped me from beginning to end. Holy cow. What a terrific show!!!!

Breakdown:
Acting: A
Plot: A
Special Effects: A
Direction: A
Casting: A

I just don't know what else to say except watch the movie. Whether you're a Star Trek fan or not, you won't have any trouble following the plot, the characters, or the grandeur of the space epic. Incredibly well done. And you know, I loved Dr. McCoy "Bones" on the original, but Karl Urban simply IS Bones in this installment. What a great movie!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Movie Month

I'm not normally a huge movie buff. I'd rather wait for DVD than spend almost ten bucks on a movie surrounded by idiots who could care less about making noise and answering a cell phone during movie time. And don't get me started on the *sswipes that bring small children to late night showings of horror films.

That said, I'm really surprised at my interest in the movies released this month. First, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I saw it the night before it actually released at a midnight showing. Tonight I'm hitting Star Trek with my husband. Angels and Demons, Terminator: Salvation, and Pixar's new Up! are all soon coming to the screen.

In June there's Land of the Lost and Transformers 2. In July Harry Potter returns, along with Ice Age 3 and Public Enemies, and in August GI Joe, which could be hit or miss, and District 9 (about alien refugees in Africa, directed by Peter Jackson of LOTR fame--and when I say alien, I mean from outer space).

Talk about a lot of movie watching... Which leads me to believe I'll probably see only one or two of them at the theater and check the rest out on DVD. Now if I could just bring myself to watch Rock n' Rolla, I might find I like it. Thank God for NetFlix.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mighty Mjollnir

It's been raining here this week, and my children often have a difficult time with thunder... or at least, they used to before they learned who's really making all the noise.

Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, Thor's mighty goats. And then there's Mjollnir, Thor's might hammer, which also accounts for some of that booming noise.

Sure, I take artistic license in explaining things to my kids. But having seen Next Avengers, they're even more into Thor than they were when I just told them about the Norse Gods. Yeah, I'm brainwashing my kids early. Mythology is just about the coolest thing out there to spur fertile young minds into imagination.

Before cartoons, television, and even books, storytelling traveled via word of mouth. To explain the everyday as well as the unique, people created myths. Imagine a race of gods that looked human and had human foibles. That could explain away any number of things. And knowledge obliterates fear. Much better to believe the sun rose and fell chased by a giant wolf than to wonder where the sunlight went and if it would ever come back again.

Odin and Frigg, Thor and Loki, the Aesir and the Vanir. Who wouldn't think Valkyries are just the coolest chicks ever? Odin's Shieldwomen who flew over the battlefields and selected which heroic dead would feast in Valhalla, a Norseman's heaven? And to think that Bifrost-- a rainbow bridge--connects Asgard to Midgard, or heaven to Earth? Forget the pot of gold at the end. Let's go to heaven early and knock back some mead and roast pork with the gods!

Okay, I'm getting carried away. But my point is that Mjollnir, Thor's might hammer, made sense to my kids. Thunder isn't so scary now. And when it's cloudy or rainy, we look to the sky to see if we can see Thor's chariot, or at least the hoofs of his goats.

Is this interfering with their religious upbringing? I really don't think so. We don't pray to Thor, and my kids aren't in training to pillage and plunder. We won't start that until they reach third grade. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Lackluster Tuesday

Ever have so much to do and get nothing done? sigh. I'm scattered today. Between housework I normally avoid and two stories I need to get done, I'm doing nothing but hemming and hawing. In other words, not much. I also still have two Netflix movies out, and my inclination is to avoid them so I can get some writing done after I watch Fringe.

Burn After Reading and Rock n' Rolla are on the menu for viewing....if I ever get to them. See? More stuff to do...

Enough about my lackluster Tuesday. I'll bore you no further. Here's hoping tomorrow's more productive...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wolverine, the Review

Whew. It's been a rough couple of days. Friday I was miserable going on no sleep. The Wolverine movie Thurs night was great, but after I got home after 2 a.m. my kids were up with issues. Needless to say, I was a wash on Friday. Sat and Sunday were a bit better, but I managed to get a cold--or sinus problems, since I live in the devil's garden down here in Georgia. Pollen to the nth degree.



SOOOOO. The review I promised of X-Men Origins: Wolverine...

An enjoyable movie and a must-see if you're an X-Men or Wolverine fan. This is a movie about Wolverine. Though the trailers make the movie look like it's chock-full of mutant escapades, it's a movie about Wolverine with an ensemble cast. Gambit, DeadPool, and a few others make minimal appearances. I'm still not sure why Emma Frost was even needed, since she has one or two scenes in the whole movie, yet she's prevalent in the trailers. (?) Wolverine's main squeeze is cool, and the plot works really well. Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Liev Schreiber (Sabertooth) are incredible in their roles and make the movie work, despite a few slow spots that intefere with the pacing.

I love comics, but I'm not a die-hard fan, so I wasn't bothered by inconsistencies comic fans have mentioned. But I wish I knew why the movie maker introduced so many darned mutants when he only focused on three or four at most.

Still and all, an entertaining film. I'd give it a B+. Very violent, not much sexual content, and a terrific story.