Friday, July 31, 2009

Hello, and Goodbye

Sorry for my weeklong absence. Been frustrated lately, but more on that tomorrow. Tonight I'm going to the dinner theater. A Sherlock Holmes mystery. Can't wait.

Have a great Friday night.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My New Addiction

I don't have HBO, Showtime, Starz, or any of the premium channels. Just good old basic cable. So yes, I regularly miss all the terrific shows everyone has been watching for years. Case in point: Dexter.

As a member of Netflix, I can watch movies online. And they just happen to have seasons one and two of Dexter available for direct viewing. The other day I watched episode 1. Then 2. Then 3...until I'd stayed up the entire night watching all of season one. Holy crap, what a killer show!! And I don't mean that literally, though Dexter is about a sociopathic serial killer.

What makes the show so great is the characterization of its anithero, as well as the people he works and "plays" with. His foster sister, whom he wishes he could love and feels some fondenss for. The police he works with in his job as a forensic specialist. The flashbacks of his relationship with his now dead father. Just incredible depth to these characters. And Dexter--he's a killer who knows he's a killer and accepts it, while wishing he could be like other people. Feeling, loving, connecting. With a terrific ending to season one and a great beginning to season two (I already saw the first episode), I can't wait to finish this series. I believe season three starts this fall on Showtime. What a kick.

Now I suppose I'll have to catch up on:
True Blood
In Therapy
Six Feet Under (on video)

But not until I've gotten some writing done. Man, the entertainment I've been missing is killer on my ability to actually live beyond TV. Ack.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I'm at Hitting the Hot Spot Today

Come on by Hitting the Hot Spot. It's all about men and women, and how we're different.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Driver's Dilemma

Look, I'll admit I'm not the best passenger. But my husband knows this. For ten years I've done the majority of the driving when we go anywhere. I have issues, I freely admit. So I should have known better than to let him drive us to Atlanta yesterday. (I had an ebook I wanted to read, so sue me.)

Is it so wrong to cringe, grip the hand holds and pray when the truck shows no signs of stopping though everyone else does?

GRIPE: read other traffic, slow when they do.

Must we speed up when exiting I20? Hello, it's an offramp. Slow the &^%$ down! And if it doesn't matter where we park, why bother trolling up and down the freakin' aisles when there are fifty parking spots open in the back of the lot???

Plenty of questions, no answers.

And to add something funny--the other day I was driving into the Robert C. Daniel's Parkway, where Target and a variety of other stores are located. Some idiot driver in front of me is doing 10 mph in a 30mph zone. I waited a bit, rode her tail a few seconds, then beeped. Come on. You don't know where you're going, pull over and look around. Don't waste my time crawling. So I beeped. Husband had a meltdown. As if I'm the rude one for obeying driver's etiquette laws.

ETIQUETTE: Don't pretend you're the only one on the road. Think about your fellow drivers and put a stop to moronic driving habits. i.e. The Turn Signal is there for a reason...

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Facebook FEN-omena

Can someone please explain Facebook to me? At first, I thought it was another MySpace, which I find not only difficult to use, but not worth the effort to keep up with. (Obviously I'm not working enough with it to uncover its potential.) Facebook is so popular now. My teenagers have it. My husband has even jumped on the bandwagon, and now is in contact with a few friends he went to high school with.

Do you use it? Do you find it taking up a lot of your time? See, this is what concerns me. I'm already struggling not to check my emails and surf the web when I should be writing. Do I really need to give myself another reason to avoid my characters? Or am I missing out on a good thing?

Some say you can network with it, but do you? Or is it some chatty thing? I'm not that technologically challenged, but I'm not keen on jumping on trends. Twitter still eludes me. But Facebook is looking like a networking/friending opportunity I should look into.

Any thoughts on this topic would be helpful. Thanks!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Girl Sarah

Sarah. Sara. An angel, a shapeshifter, a secondary character. She just keeps begging to be put into my books.

I'm not sure why this name keeps cropping up in my work, but when perusing an older book of mine the other day, I was surprised to see a secondary character named Sara. That led me to the realization that I've used her name in other books, and namely as the heroine in In Plain Sight, a recent release.

I don't like using the same name for different characters in different books. It not only confuses me, it confuses readers. Unfortunately, Sarah isn't my first redundancy. The first book I wrote for Amber Quill, Darkson's Forfeit, starred Roane Paxton, a warlord from a barbaric land. And yet, low and behold, Roane Weston is the hero of Circe's Recruits: Roane.

What can I say? I don't keep a spreadsheet of the names I use. I can normally remember who's featured in each book. Take for example Hale, of Circe's Recruits: Hale. He was going to be Hal, but somehow that didn't fit. Problem is, Hale Reaper is Ethan and Trevor's brother (from Reaper's Reward and Satyr's Myst), and I intend to write about him in the future. Hmm, I think I'll give him a nickname. Or maybe he'll go by his middle name, whatever that is.

Perhaps it's time for that spreadsheet. Who knows? But I will say, I don't think Sarah will make another appearance as a new character anytime soon. Nor will Hale, or Roane, or .... Well, let's leave it at that.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Born Every Minute

You know, there really is one born every minute. A sucker, that is. A sap, a gullible individual who should know better, yet still has the rug pulled out from under his/her feet.

It shocks me that authors are still signing contracts at questionable publishing houses. With the advance of the e-reader, the growing recognition of books in the electronic medium, and any number of savvy bloggers out there telling one and all what's what in the publishing world, how are these newbies missing the warning signs?

Granted, I've been around the block a few times. I know what to look for. In fact, just the other day I was scrambling to put together a 5000 word fictional piece for a publisher's contest, only to realize that the publisher didn't have anything in print other than some of the owner's books! Needless to say, I'm saving that story for a rainy day.

Sites like Dear Author, Karen Knows Best and Smart Bitches Trashy Books are just a few blog sites that comment on the down and dirty in romanceland. Authors are so accessible via the Internet that it's not funny. How hard would it be, as a new author, to simply email a few authors at a certain place to determine whether or not to even try subbing there?

Then again, you do need to be wary. A long time ago, I asked an author at New Concepts Publishing what she thought of the place. She praised it up and down, so I kept some of my reserverations about late publishing dates and odd edits to myself. Imagine my suprise years later to find I'd been chatting with one of the owners. Yeah, it pays to be careful. But how many owners of any place can there be? Ask six or seven people, if need be.

Some things to be wary about when submitting to an electronic publisher, in my humble opinion:
  1. They refuse to edit your work. No, you're not that good. They are that bad.
  2. They expect you to pay for cover art. Not legit.
  3. They are not at all flexible on their contracts. (Some folks may not mind this, I do mind this.)
  4. In the two years they've been in business, they have only a handful of authors. Hmm, the owners, maybe?
  5. Crappy covers that look like you made them. Sorry, truth hurts. But bad covers don't sell books.
  6. They won't give you a publishing schedule--denotes disorganization and hurts your ability to promote. Not good.
  7. They change your publishing date without asking or telling you. Whamo, the book suddenly appears. Yeah, it happens. Get out while you still can.
  8. Anytime you speak up on a publishers' author forum, other authors bat you down for asking legitimate questions. Not a good place to be.
  9. Poor book distribution. As in, the publisher is the only company selling your book. No Fictionwise, ARe, Books on Board, Amazon, etc. Unless they're as big as Elloras Cave, you might have a problem.
  10. They've been in business all of ten days. You want to take a chance on them, but there's nothing on their About Us page of their website, other than that they like to read romance books. Um, so do I. But I'm not a publisher.
These are just a few eye openers. Yet I know of a few places up and running, right now, that work as if numbers 1-10 are a mission statement. And they have new authors signing up daily, desperate to see that book published--read, lambs led to slaughter. *sigh*

Writers, I know it's tough. I have to remind myself of this constantly. But publishers should be as happy to have you as you are to have them. You're doing no one a favor by submitting. It's your work, take pride in it. And familiarize yourself with the good and bad in the industry before tripping down the rabbit hole of regret. Trust me, I know of what I speak.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Harper's Island...What a FINALE!! (no spoilers, safe to read)

My guilty pleasure. I LOVED this short series. Harper's Island is a gory murder mystery, a "Ten Little Indians" meets Hannibal Lecter, but made for TV. Each week a cast member, or two, has been killed off, making us wonder just who dunnit. Is it John Wakefield, the psychopath who murdered so many seven years ago? Or someone closer to the wedding party returning to the island?

The show had so-so ratings. Many called it cheesy, pretentious, outlandish. Whatever. I call it some murderously good clean/dirty fun. At the beginning I thought I knew who had done it. I changed my mind a dozen times throughout the thirteen episodes it aired. I irritated my husband to no end by shouting out several different scenarios as we watched the finale. Yet I feel vindicated! I was right (at least one of those times.) I hesitate to go into more detail about the show, not wanting to spoil it for anyone who's TIVO'd it or plans on watching it On Demand, as I did.

What strikes me is how eagerly I awaited every episode. I'm not a gore hound. I don't mind horror movies, but I like mine with plot. I also appreciate a good thriller or mystery. Yeah, Harper's Island had its share of cheese. Some of the decisions made by characters were plain wacky and there to continue the story. The schmaltzy wedding, the odd characters, the OVERLY annoying little girl... But the show hooked me and didn't let me go until the end. Which is probably why they aren't renewing a second season, because somehow the folks that make decisoins about shows heard of my interest. sigh

All in all, this is one series I wish would be coming back. I'll blog more about it next week, once I pass what I consider the "safey zone" in not spoiling things for people who missed the ending.

But I've gotta say, it was a true pleasure to watch each week. If you haven't seen it, you're missing out. Check the website for back episodes.

*A note of interest: Jim Beaver (who played the sheriff) and Katie Cassidy (who played the bride) are both veterans of Supernatural, my favorite show. I know I sound like a dork, but I just had to mention it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise!

A few months ago, I was tickled (yes, people under the age of 90 do still use that expression) to find that Loose Id wanted to put two of my titles in an omnibus print book. Since Loose Id doesn't put all that much of their stuff into print, I was thrilled to be asked.

Imagine my surprise that the book is already out there! I remember someone mentioning a month starting with JU, but I was thinking July.

Well, Tied and True, the print compilation of Tied and True and Reaper's Reward, is now available at your local book store. I'm really excited and can't wait to hold me very own copy.

Product Details

  • ISBN: 1596328819
  • ISBN-13: 9781596328815
  • Format: Paperback, 276pp
  • Publisher: Loose Id, LLC
  • Pub. Date: June 2009
  • Price $11.99

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

RJ Poll Winners

A while ago, I asked for readers to vote at the RJ Readers writing contest. The voting continues until November, I think, so every week you should continue to vote.

I offered a chance to win a print book for those who participated. I randomly chose, with the help of my 5 year old, the following winners:
  1. tunie_68
  2. pambook
  3. lesliejanef
  4. bossu49
  5. tamjeang1
Thanks to everyone who participated, and I look forward to more from Romance Junkies, so a big thanks to Cat as well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I must be living on another planet half the time. Not sure how I missed that yesterday was the 6th, a release date, for cripes sake. So without further adieu, Lurin's Surrender is now available at TEB!
For Captain Mara Seni, being a bounty hunter is what she does, not who she is. But her latest bounty makes her question her job. He’s tall, dark and handsome. But a rapist? A murderer? And why is the victim in question more intent on keeping him than putting him in jail?

There’s something off about Lurin Vez, and it’s more than his good looks. Though she shouldn’t care, Mara’s not going to stop until she finds out the truth. But when the truth turns into a love brighter than the sun, it’s all she can do to withstand the heat.

To read an excerpt, click here!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Laughing With God

What a great title for a book. Alas, it's already been snagged in a song. "Laughing With" would be more accurate, a terrific song (and not from a religious album, by the way) by Regina Spektor.
I listen to satellite radio, a big Sirius fan, and one of the channels I tune into plays indie rock. Lesser known artists with a heck of a lot of talent and great music.

So if you want to hear something worth listening to, check her out. You won't be disappointed. The album, FAR, is terrific.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Bad List

This is probably not the best time to be blogging, as I'm in a foul mood. But what the heck? Might be interesting.

Today on my bad list:
  • Teenagers who take life for granted
  • The lack of manners that's everywhere
  • People who feel they MUST hand you religious documents simply because you smile at them
  • Cashiers who refuse to say hello
  • Pushy salesmen
  • Small children who don't understand the word "no"
  • Telemarketers, specifically the NRA, who calls DAILY
  • The humidity in Georgia
I'd love to comment more, but I like to refrain from obscenities on my blog. How's your day going?