Tuesday, August 31, 2010
*Note, any non-U.S. resident winner will receive an online B&N gift certificate.
Monday, August 30, 2010
My rant today is about the giggle. I just can't read it in another book unless the subject doing the giggling is a child. Women rarely giggle. The word conjures to mind high-pitched laughter, a girlish shriek, or vapid amusement. So if a woman is giggling, I'm picturing an immature, pretty young thing big on boobs and short on brains. Yeah, I know, a stereotype, but what can I say? I'm ranting.
I read a book the other day about two grown men. And they giggled. Grown men, one alpha, the other a sexual dynamo. In between domination scenes and trust issues, they giggled. WTF? Totally threw me out of the moment and out of the story. Had I not been holding my ereader, I might have thrown the blasted book against the wall. Sure, there were other things wrong with that particular story, but really. When's the last time anyone heard a grown man giggle?
There are so many other words to express laughter. Laugh, chuckle, titter, chortle, guffaw, snigger, snicker, howl, crack up, etc, etc. So I'm making a plea to all those writers out there wanting to add some amusement to their books.
To all of you. PLEASE. No more giggling unless your character is a child wanting childish things. NOT an erotic romance between grown folks in lust or in love. Ack.
My Monday rant, for what it's worth.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
I shouldn't be, but I'm still amazed that in this day and age women's fiction is largely ignored by the mass media. I subscribe to Entertainment Weekly, a magazine I really enjoy. But I can count on one hand the number of times they've reviewed a romance book or a chick lit novel. Why is that? My local paper never does romance reviews, nor have I ever seen them in USA Today or The New York Times. Why are thrillers and mysteries and literary fiction more worthy than romance? Romance is a leading genre selling in the market. It's a billion dollar industry. I'm not sure of last year's sales, but according to RWA, in 2008 romance accounted for 1.37 billion in sales. That's a lot of green!
So why is romance still touted as the red-headed step child? Because the vast majority of its writers and readers are women? I'd really, really like to know.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I read more news at Dear Author stating that Dorcester had also let go two of its editors, leaving only Chris Keeslar. This sounds just bizarre. Is Keeslar the last remaining romance editor, or the last remaining editor period? The two editors let go are Leah Hultenschmidt, who edited romance and Don D'Auria, who edited the Leisure's horror line.
As a writer, this whole turnaround makes me more than a little uncomfortable to submit anything to Dorcester any time soon. Dorcester didn't grandfather in this new change, so authors anticipating print releases, who spent money on advertising, got shafted. Though that was no doubt not Dorcester's intent, it happened. This on top of rumors about late royalty payments is a red flag.
As a reader, I'm left feeling a little clueless. I happen to like ebooks, so I wouldn't mind purchasing Dorcester titles the way I do the current books I buy. But trade? I'm not into trade size unless I love the author already. $14 or more is a lot to drop on a book, and way too much to chance on a new author. I'm having a contest on just this topic, what readers prefer to read, and a lot of the entries I've received say readers want print books they can hold. Mass Market size to be exact--in other words, more affordable books.
I really wish Dorcester and its authors the best. I can only imagine newer authors' frustrations at finally getting published, only to find the dream of holding a book in their hands in a brick and mortar book store has vanished.
But you see, that's one of the big pluses of the electronic world. My books never go out of "print." My titles are always available on the electronic shelves of my publishers, and with the prices of ereaders going down everyday, the accessibility of reading something in your hands goes up.
It'll take a while, but eventually we'll see ebooks and print books in the same light. Heck, I already do, but the vast majority of people still not comfortable with technology are holding out. Yes, there is something to be said for the texture and smell of an actual print book, the thin layers of paper, the black ink and the light whisper or subtle crinkle when you turn a page... But if you're like me and need space to house those hundreds and thousands of books, you really can't go wrong with an ereader. One small memory card can hold what four bookshelves in my reading room do!
Just some food for thought on this fine Thursday.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Good news! Julian's Jeopardy is at Amazon, just waiting for them to throw it up on the Kindle lists, so no, you can't see it yet, but it's there. (As to when they will list it, that's up to Amazon.) It's also up at Fictionwise.
Now, I don't have a Kindle, but management tells me you can use the PRC format available at Loose Id to read on your Kindle. I was happy when they added the EPUB format, because I have a NOOK. In any case, the book is out there and circulating.
And for those of you who may have missed the news, Gunnar's Game will be out in November. Just a few more months and all of Mrs. Sharpe's secrets will be revealed. Well, not ALL her secrets, but the ones that involve anyone with the title of Circ...
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sometimes I've forgotten the flow, the characters, or the author's voice, and it's like a gentle homecoming as remembrance seeps in with every word read. Lately, I've been on a Jayne Ann Krentz kick. I love her Arcane Society series. Then there her older contemporaries, which are just as fun. I have her work in paperback and hardback, under all her names: Krentz, Castle, Quick and James. No, I'm not a stalker, just a fan who's been reading her for years.
There are other authors with tons of books on my shelf: Christine Feehan, Sabrina Jeffries, Angela Knight, Lora Leigh, Josie Litton (when will she EVER write a new book????), Johanna Lyndsey, Julie Garwood, and a ton more. I also have Poe, Eddings, King and Koontz next to Joseph Campbell, Bullfinch's Mythology (favorite book ever) Shakespeare and Milton.
So much to read, so little time to do so. The lamentation of a devoted reader, surely...
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
I'm reading the little notes I leave myself at night and have to laugh. At night, when I'm willing and able to work, I have to convince myself to get some sleep. At one or two in the AM I'm roaring to go. But if I give in to temptation, I'm not worth much of anything the next day until after ten, at least. And I've got a lot to do this week.
Lists help me function. They organize me and give me a little clarity on the bigger picture. Making deadlines and setting a viable work schedule is my key to being successfully self-employed. And I'm not just talking about meeting deadlines, but making them. Unless I'm on contract, I'm my own boss. So if I want to get releases out there, I have to first write them. I'm all for lazing about and reading a good book, so I have to make sure I stick to a schedule during the week. And now that the kids are back in school, I can use the day to write, write, write. I sure did miss it during the summer.
But as George Costanza would say, "I'm back, baby! I'm back!"
Friday, August 13, 2010
Man, is this book a pain in the butt. Dialogue tags everywhere, weird commas, extraneous text that gets in the way of the story flow, and more. I'm cutting and cropping and fixing things everywhere. Today is my last day, and I can't wait to hand the story off to my editor. Then she can fix the stuff I missed and get it back to me to correct.
Though annoying, edits are a writer's best friend. Really.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
The Prince of Fire needs a woman hot enough to withstand his heat, and he finds one who’ll set his heart and body on fire, in more ways than one.
The land of Tanselm will fall to evil if four identical princes wielding elemental powers fail to find their intended brides. Thrust into the parallel realm of earth to escape death and insure a future for their world, they have one mission and one mission only—to find their destined affai.
Darius Storm, the Prince of Fire, is impatient and frustrated to be so far from his home. The foreign world into which he’s been thrust lacks magic. And the women lack the inner power and strength to truly connect with him. His work at a local nightclub only brings him into contact with more unsuitable prospects. Until Samantha Brooks walks through the door. She’s a beauty with the fiery passion to meet Darius head-on, and a special magic all her own.
To read more, click here.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Turns out, Despicable Me (in 2D) was a terrific way to spend an hour and a half with my kids--boys ages 5 and 6. No foul language. No sexual references. No weird moral messages. This movie is about a villain trying to live up to heavy standards his unforgiving mother has set in place. During the course of his efforts to steal a very, very big prize, he comes upon three adorable orphans and tries to use them in his big plan. Except the kids are cute, laugh-out-loud annoying, and bring out a side of the villain he didn't know he had.
The minions (little yellow dudes) are part of the charm. Very funny stuff. My kids watched the whole thing and didn't once complain about being hungry or having to go to the bathroom. That in itself should tell you the movie was awesome. But I'll also add how much I enjoyed it. The movie didn't talk down to me or my kids. It's worth the matinee fee. I'd give it a solid A.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Here's the cover Embrace the Shadows nominated...
The lack of sex didn't bother me at all because the main character was so well-drawn. Though it took a while to adjust to the author writing in present tense, the story really flowed. A bit slow at times, but decent pacing overall. And through the whole of it, I kept reading on, waiting to see that main character find love again and find happiness.
Except that didn't happen, and I was left feeling cheated and with a WTF?? in mind, realizing I'd wasted several hours pouring through the book.
When I read a romance, I expect a Happily Ever After, an HEA. A Happy For Now--HFN, isn't as satisfying. But if I know going into the book to expect an HFN, I can deal.
However, erotic ROMANCE should have the romanctic HEA. The book wasn't erotica. It wasn't fiction. And though the writing was very well done, the characters well-drawn, and the story catching, that ending robbed me of any satisfaction I might have felt with the book. The author has hinted at a sequel, to find out if the hero, with all his issues and angst, will find that HEA, but honestly, I could care less. Like I need to spend more time reading about a relationship with no guarantee it won't peter out?
The point of romance, to me, is a good story that guarantees a happy ending. If I want reality, if I want sadness and unending misery, the daily drudgeries of life, I can watch the friggin' news or read the paper. So I get really ticked when I spend money to be entertained, only to be feeling robbed in the experience.
Ack! All I can say is that I'm not going to chance more on Fictionwise for a long while. Tied and true, I guess, will work for me.
The Rantings of an Annoyed Reader