Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Look Mom, Bestseller!

Julian's Jeopardy is a bestseller over at Fictionwise, #8 in erotica. Hurry and look before you blink and miss it. hahaha It's like a curse. If I mention a book doing well at a distributor, it inevitably follows that the book is soon off the bestseller list and I end up looking like an idiot for bragging about a #304 ranked novel. But hey, maybe this time I'll get lucky and my mother will see this. Proof I did make a good list, for real, truly. 'Cause, you know, I do have a habit of making things up for a living.

Congrats to Beth C.

The Winner of the August contest is Beth C. Thanks to all who participated!

I'll share my findings with you tomorrow, or later today, about what you readers seem to prefer when it comes to book format. Interesting...

Contest Reminder

Today is the last day of the August Contest. The randomly selected (U.S. resident) winner* will receive a box of print books, to include works by me, Cynthia Eden, Linda Lael Miller, Joss Ware, Katie MacAlister, and more. For details, click here. Contest ends tonight.
*Note, any non-U.S. resident winner will receive an online B&N gift certificate.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today's Pet Peeve: The Giggle

It's Monday, and I'm peeved. No big surprise there. It's noon and I've only had one cup of coffee. But I'm on a writing roll, so that's my excuse.

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

TRS Party Winner

Congrats to Witchywoman for winning a copy of The Fire Within. Thanks to all who stopped by this weekend, and don't forget, my August contest ends on the 31st, that's Tuesday. (For contest info, click here.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Win Books!

Win a free book at today's mega release party! TRS August Release Party. Check it out.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday's Food for Thought

I still am not sure how exactly I found this article. One link lead to another to another, but I'm so glad I found it. Jodi Piccoult and Jennifer Weiner answer questions about fair treatment by the press of women writers versus men writers. Here's the article...

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

The Digital Pandemic Hits Dorcester Books

There's a new buzz in the writing world. Dorcester Publishing is going digital and POD--Print on Demand. Dorcester has been having financial difficulties for some time, so to try to recoup their losses,they are moving from mass market books to electronic and a few trade size volumes that they will print up as ordered, thus saving waste. (Note: The difference between mass market and trade is size and price. MM are the 6.99 softback books you find on the shelves, whereas the trade books are larger soft covers that normally sell for several dollars more.) Note the picture for a visual. Mass Market is on the left.

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

Julian's Jeopardy--now at Fictionwise and Kindle..?

I've had a few readers asking me when Julian's Jeopardy will be available on the Kindle.

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

The Re-Read

I have a library, what I call my "reading room." Okay, it's actually the formal living room, but we sure as hell ain't formal 'round here. So I took most of my books and filled a wall of bookcases, in addition to the built-in bookcase that came with the house. These are my keeper books, and there are well over five hundred, easy. I know, that's a small number for a so-called devoted reader. But you know, as I looked at my books the other day, I realized I've read each one at least 3-4 times, if not more. Like those found in a real library, my books are there for my pleasure any time. I can't explain it. I know how the stories will end, yet I'll still read an entire book over again.

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

Your Take on Series

I'm blogging today at Hitting the Hot Spot. Stop on over and give me your take on series romance.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Contest!

NEW CONTEST to win this bunch of books. See my newsletter for details.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Release Date Update

Release Dates Forthcoming:

Enemy Red--Sept 6th, Total E-Bound (TEB)
Below the Surface--Sept 13th, TEB
Foxy Lady--Sept 21st, Samhain

Gale Season--October 11th, TEB

Aftershocks--November 8th, TEB
Gunnar's Game--November 9th, Loose Id

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Julian's Back

Today I'm over at The Romance Reviews. They are having a huge contest and Julian's Jeopardy is one of their prizes. I blogged about Julian's Jeopardy and some difficulties I had with the book. Come on over and check it out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday, Monday

I have that old song in my head, Monday, Monday, by The Mamas and the Papas. Remember them? It's dreary here, something different from the usual sunny skies. A good day for sleeping in...or not.

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!"

Happy Monday.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I've been editing the past few days. Normally I don't mind edits, but the ones I'm working on are for a book I wrote a few years ago. Aftershocks will be released from Total E-Bound in November.

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

Awesome New Cover for Gunnar's Game

This is the cover for the final Dawn Endeavor book, Gunnar's Game. I have nothing else to say, except, WOW !! Huge thanks to Justin James, the artist.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Fire Within Releases Today!

Today marks the release of the first of my Storm Lords books, The Fire Within. Now available from Total E-Bound, The Fire Within introduces the Royal Four, four elemental princes from another world who are sent to Earth to find their affai--their royal brides.

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

Despicable Me Review

Yeah, I know. The movie came out several weeks ago. But to avoid the kid crush, we waited to see it. I couldn't figure out what to expect from trailers. Would the movie be cute? Obnoxious? Insulting? Annoying? Funny?

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

Cover Clash

At the Embrace the Shadows blog, a blog "For Lovers of Paranormal Romance," there's an ongoing contest called Cover Clash. Seems that each week, they post covers they like and readers vote on them. The Fire Within is up for this week's contest. Check it out and vote if you're so inspired. I did. (Big grin) I have to say, I love Total E-Bound's covers. And my Storm Lords releases are rockin'.

Here's the cover Embrace the Shadows nominated...

A Rant: HEA vs. HFN

I'm in a really bad mood right now, and all thanks to a book. I took a chance on a purchase through Fictionwise from an author I didn't know. The blurb looked interesting and the writing (from the excerpt) drew me in. A character tries to come to grips over the loss of his lover and find his way into a new relationship. The book was listed in erotic romance. And honestly, it was more a romance than erotic romance, because there wasn't much sex in the book, though the few scenes there were had graphic descriptions.

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