Saturday, December 31, 2011

#1...Into the New Year

Not sure how long it will last, but Closing the Deal is #1 at Samhain on this auspicious last day of 2011. A good sign for the new year, I'm thinking. I'll take it!

Happy New Year to everyone, and may 2012 be a prosperous, happy, healthy year for us all.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Three More Days

Just three more days until we usher in a new year. I can't believe this one has flown by so fast. Have I done what I wanted to do in 2011? Am I ready for 2012?

I've been through several life changing events this year. Since I've never considered change a bad thing, I'm pleased to say I'm happy where I am now, not only physically, but emotionally. Sure there are things I wish I did better, and others I hope to improve, but my resolutions are to stay strong and true to myself. Everything else will follow suit.

Writing has been my steadfast companion throughout my adult life, and I know I wouldn't want to live without it. A few friends of mine were discussing writing several days ago. They all write, so we have a common tie linking us together, aside from the camaraderie. And we all agreed. Paycheck or no paycheck, we'll write until we're buried six feet under. That's a resolution always in the making and in the doing. To continue to create, as much for others' enjoyment as for our own.

So to 2012, I say, bring it on. I'll still be writing, still listening to my characters and jotting down their stories. :) Any resolutions coming your way?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Release: CLOSING THE DEAL

Hurray! Today, Closing the Deal releases from Samhain. It's a fun, sexy contemporary featuring Derrick Warren and Sydney Fields, first introduced in the bestselling Enjoying the Show.

Here's the blurb, and a link to an excerpt follows.

When stubborn meets sexy, love is up for grabs…but one of them is playing for keeps.

Derrick Warren has lusted after Sydney Fields ever since he first spotted her, and after months of intense phone conversations, he’s finally got the delectable redhead all to himself.

All he has to do is let the old Warren magic do its thing…until an ex with an axe to grind shows up. Before he knows it, the perfect date ends with Sydney’s wine in his lap. Now she’s not taking his calls. To his utter shock, he realizes he’s going to have to work to win her over.

Thanks to her mother’s bad example, Sydney is determined to never need a man. Just when she’s moved Derrick to her “loser” column, though, she’s tricked into giving him another chance. To her surprise, he not only satisfies her deepest sexual fantasies, she finds herself actually craving his company.

But when she realizes they’re making love, not just having sex, her old instincts kick in. Because she’s starting to like the man, not just his body.

And that, more than anything else, scares the hell out of her…
Product Warnings:
Look out for a stubborn redhead who’s not afraid to throw her wine, her opinion, or her body at the annoyingly sexy architect determined to keep her for his own.

To read an excerpt, click here.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Have a very merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Contest--Hurry to Check it Out

Ack! My post was all set to go yesterday, and yet it never arrived. In any case, I had a terrific interview at Book Reviews & More by Kathy. She also posted a giveaway for Closing the Deal, my newest release from Samhain that comes out right after Christmas, Dec 27th. You can still get in on the contest, I believe. For details, click here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Review: TALSON'S MATCH

A new review from JERR--Just Erotic Romance Reviews--for Talson's Match.

Title: Talson’s Match
Author: Marie Harte
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Reviewer: Elizabeth Charles
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Heat Level: H

Romy traveled to Port Chase to commence an undercover investigation of some problems at his family’s shipping yard.
Before he arrived, his Otra powers allowed his to connect psychically with a woman named Tara in a sexual wet dream.

When he arrived he discovered that Tara was an Otra female who thought she was human. And the manager he was investigating at the shipping yard thought Tara was his territory. Romy wasn’t about to let Tara consider any other man but him.

I have read a few of the Talson series, but Talson’s Match was my favorite. There is some back story introduced but it
is minor, and the book can be read as a stand alone because the author deftly catches you up on the world building.

Fans of the series will enjoy the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with past heroes. There is a brief amount of family interaction, but not too much, so the story does not turn its focus from the main characters. One of Romy’s primary characteristics is that he has a lot of Otra talents and continually develops more than the average Otra. Meeting Tara activates even more of his gifts. Despite some convenient powers during fight scenes, the author does a good job of
not overwhelming this story with a string of new powers. The relationship between Romy and Tara was great to watch develop. One of the reasons I enjoyed this book the best was the sex scene where Romy and Tara bonded. His power came in handy, when instead of having to bring in a second male to finish the bond, Romy’s powers allowed him to duplicate himself for a hot ménage scene. Talson’s Match is a sexy entertaining installment in the Talson series.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Today's the Day

Today's the day! Go to All Romance eBooks for a free download of Bodywork. And ho ho ho!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Here Be Magic Today

I'm at Here Be Magic today promoting the Twelve Days of Christmas give-away at All Romance eBooks. My book is free starting tomorrow, for 48 hours. As long as you have an ARe account, you can search my name or the book title to get to Bodywork, then download it for free in the formats offered: PDF, EPUB, HTML, PRC (kindle). This isn't just for those who celebrate Christmas either. :) Happy holidays, everyone. And enjoy!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Edits and MORE Edits...A Good Thing

I skipped posting yesterday, because I am finishing putting my new house together. Working oven. Check. Blinds. Check. Mounted TV on the wall? Not yet... But I'm getting there. Despite the house interruptions, I was ready to start my next Cougar Falls story, about Monty GrayClaw, the lone wolf in the Catamount Pride, when I received edits and proofs to finish. Poor Monty is waiting patiently while cat shifters and psychics with grudges are corrected and edited.

Good news though! I have the proofs for Outfoxed, my next Cougar Falls book due out in March 2012, and the book looks terrific. I love the story even more now...that it's finished, that is. haha Grady, Burke's brother (first introduced in Rachel's Totem) meets his match in a cat/fox Shifter. Lots of pranks in this story--fun.

And Fortune's Favor, my m/m psychic suspense in which rivals become lovers, is looking fantastic. Fortune's Favor is part of my PowerUp! series about psychics, a kind of spinoff from the Circ books, where I introduced the concept of government agents with psychic backgrounds. The book has gone through second edits. Then on to more corrections from the final line editor. Then proofs, more corrections... One of things I really like about writing for Loose Id is that they are extreme about edits. And that's a good thing. There's nothing worse than reading a book with spelling and grammatical mistakes every other line. It can be frustrating as an author, because it means a lot of work to make the book right. But that's what I, as a reader, want. So writers, get to work!

And now, since I'm a writer, I'm getting back to work. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Free Books!

Today kicks off All Romance eBooks's 12 days of Christmas free book event. If you haven't jumped on this, you're missing out. The only caveat is you need to have an ARe account, which is free. So sign in and download a free book a day for the next 12 days. Bodywork, my contribution, is available for free Dec 20 and 21. Enjoy, and here's the link http://www.allromanceebooks.com/index.html.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Fun, The Frisky, and the Fat

Though I'd F it up today, and considering it's a Monday, why the F not?

The holidays, they are acomin'. Fast. I recently put up our Christmas tree, a real one that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Living in Oregon is already showing its perks. We had fun yesterday decorating while I cleaned pine needles off the floor. The tree looks really cool at night, but alas, my camera is on auto flash and I didn't have the patience to adjust it. So I took the picture and hopped on the computer to download it.

More fun: A contest winner recently sent me her manuscript to edit, and for once I get to go over someone else's work with a fine tooth comb. So of course, I'm excited about the small break when my editor at Loose Id also hits me up with edits for Fortune's Favor, coming out in February. sigh. I was a leg up, and then not so much. Good news is my edits don't look too substantial...yet. So I'll be having fun with Author M's manuscript, a contemporary erotic novella, and I'll finish my edits for Ann without a sweat.

So where's the frisky, you might ask? Sorry to disappoint, but I'm talking about a frisky mind. My office is fully finished being painted and outfitted. Computer's hooked up, printer and Internet are working, and I have bookshelves that go to the ceiling. Yes, I'm in writer heaven. I also recently added my trusty cork board to the wall, where my pictures of Clint Eastwood, Garfield, myriad notes, title ideas, and my writing schedule for 2012 await. Joy! Seriously. These comforts help me work. I start Right Wolf, Right Time today. And after leading up to his story in Dean's tale--A Matter of Pride, which I just handed in to my editor--I can't wait to dig into Monty's love life.

Now for the fat part of my post...I have not been exercising in forever! I've got to stretch my legs a bit. Playing wall-ball with my kids over the weekend doesn't count. So my schedule today is to be available for a possible important phone call, get kids to school, perhaps take important call, exercise, write, write, and write. School lets out on Friday, which is great for the kids, not so great for my production. It'll be a busy, busy me for the next few days.

I'm also utterly behind on all my Christmas shopping (13 days left and counting) so if I'm sounding too perky for a Monday morning, fear not. I'm already playing catch-up on the holiday. Cheers.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Grayson's Gamble--Now At Amazon!

Grayson's Gamble is now available at Amazon!

A Dawn Endeavor Story
Grayson Belle was born a Circ--a creature with the ability to shapeshift. He tolerates Sebastian, his new partner, more than alarmed when he begins to develop an odd attraction to the man. Unlike the artificially created Circs, he controls his desires. But soon he's wanting not only Sebastian, but a rogue female Circ he's been assigned to terminate. Things go from bad to worse when his inner beast takes an extreme liking to the pair. It acts on instinct, and Gray will have decide to listen to his head or his heart. Protect himself from a future he hadn't planned, or defend his mates when danger comes calling and his heart demands satisfaction?



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Done...Almost

Thought I'd share a few pics of the new office. It's still a work in progress, and I don't have all my books here yet, but look at their new home!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When Will It Be Done?????

I had thought the process would be fairly simple. Create office space with handy carpenter. He builds desk and bookshelves. Handy crew my mom uses all the time installs it. Bam, office.

Except some pieces didn't fit, and the crew didn't know exactly how they were supposed to go together, and the guy, who does incredible work, kept showing up later than promised to deliver things.

It's all working out well, but man, I've been super stressed since last Friday, when I was hoping to have the pieces to get the crew in for install. Needless to stay, my house is still not put together, but I was okay with that so long as I had an office to work from.

I've been typing from the kitchen table, having to come back to my mom's for Internet. Bleh. But today, the cable guy comes out to fix that problem. And I just left the guys at my place finishing the office. Yippee! I can live without a fireplace mantle, but an office? It's a must have. I'll share pictures once it's done. Fingers crossed...

One good note: I'm ready to send in Dean's (Cougar Falls cat shifter) story to my editor. So that's done. Now on to Monty, the wolf.

Monday, December 5, 2011

House Happenin's

This is my new house. It's an old picture, though, because there's now a house right next to it. So I'm in the house, and it's mostly finished. Except...NO INTERNET.

I'm typing this from my temporary residence, where I've been working since I moved out West. Here I have Internet service, cable, and entertainment in the form of television. The new place...nothing until Wednesday. ACK!

I hadn't realized how addicted I am to the computer and television until now. Actually, the television not so much. Internet? Well, aside from it being vital to my work, I really like to surf the net. Mostly I check out Facebook, email, IM and author blogs. But not having access to it except for my smartphone is a real PITA.

I feel like I've been gifted with an incredible present by being able to blog and Facebook and type again. I mean, I'm typing at the new house on my laptop, but it's not the same. My computer desk isn't there, the keyboard is much smaller, and like I said before, no Internet access.

So cross your fingers all goes well tomorrow and Wednesday. Tomorrow my office is installed, and Wednesday I get plugged back into the digital world. Hurray!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

BODYWORK--It's Finally Here!

BODYWORK is a brand new, 65356 word contemporary romance I've just released. The formatting has given me nightmares--or would have if I'd gotten any sleep last night. sigh.

But the story is solid, funny, sexy, and yes, again, sexy. It's available at All Romance eBooks and Amazon, and I couldn't be happier with it. There's a hot guy who likes to run, a sexy woman who's addicted to coffee, a best friend with man issues, another best friend with woman issues, a younger brother who thinks he's Casanova reincarnated, parents who interfere, read the stars, and rely on hoodoo to enhance love, and crazy, non-vanilla sex in a multitude of places.

Enjoy a blurb and an excerpt...

Their first meeting could have been better. He ran into her and her hot coffee, and raced off with a burn and a snarl. Their second meeting should have been better. He laid naked, face down on her massage table while she stared at him in horror. Being sexually attracted to Mr. Tall, Dark and Rude hadn't been on her agenda. She just wants him out of her massage clinic before he recognizes her or she says something obnoxious before jumping that sexy body. Not professional. Not at all.

But when Shelby Vanzant and Shane Collins meet again, the third time's the charm. Shane has found his match, a sexy, intelligent woman he can't stop thinking about. Shelby is scared, because she might grow to like this guy. The last guy she liked dumped her for someone hotter. She's willing to take a chance--maybe--if her flamboyant mother, Shane's macho best friend and his Casanova of a younger brother don't screw things up. With fate on their side, they might both have a shot at a love they'd stopped looking for.

To read an excerpt, click here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Almost There...

Just finishing up with Bodywork before its release. Polish, edit, polish, and then done...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Back In the Black: Or Just How Much Can You Make Writing Ebooks Part 2

BACK IN THE BLACK: Just How Much Can You Make Writing Ebooks Part 2

In May 2010, I wrote a blog article about how much one might expect to make writing e-books. I used my own figures off what I made in 2009, just as Amazon’s Kindle was starting to have major impact on my sales and the publishing industry as a whole.

Fast forward to November 2011. In 2009, I earned $38000 from ebooks, publishing through several electronic houses. In 2010, I earned $64000. And in 2011, I have already cleared over $100,000 to date. How is this happening? And how can I make it continue to happen?

I can only go by my own facts and figures, and the reason I’m doing this is once again I have people asking me about writing for epublishers. Is it a viable option? Can you make any money at it? I have my own questions about self-publishing, that thanks to open and forthcoming authors, I’ve had answered. The more authors share, the easier it is to see what’s real and what’s fantasy. I didn’t make this amount of money with one release with a publisher no one but a tiny few have heard of, and I didn’t make it with my first release in 2005. It is and continues to be a lot of hard work, full of edits, challenges, rejections, acceptances, and try-again’s.

I have fifty-six--and by the end of the year will have fifty-eight--titles published since I started writing back in 2005. I produce on average ten new works per year. Some stories that I’ve put out are older titles I’ve revised, meaning less work for the most part, but most are new. I don’t write lengthy stories. Some are novellas, some novels, but most are category-sized, ranging from 40-50K (thousand) words in length. I write erotic romance in a multitude of genres, and I enjoy what I write.

I also write fairly fast. On a good day, I can write anywhere from 10-20K words. I didn’t say they were perfectly written. They’re draft, but they’re pretty close to what I keep after edits. On a typical day filled with distractions, kids, and messes, I’ll write around 5K words. So it doesn’t take me long to write a novella. I’m currently scheduled to finish one project a month to meet deadlines. I have so many ideas in my “Pending” folder, I'll never run out of projects.

As far as marketing and promotion go, I don’t do nearly enough, and I still can’t figure out what works. I advertise through The Romance Studio and Romance Junkies, two review sites that are very friendly to authors. I’ve tried to blog hop, have offered a few contests and chats, but I don’t see the return on my time, with the exception of guest blogging. Reader blog sites can help promote through word of mouth.

I publish through the “big three” romance electronic publishers: Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id and Samhain. My over all best seller is a novella entitled Enjoying the Show. For a history on the book, see my earlier blog post. In a nutshell, I wrote the book in 2006, had it published with Samhain in December of 2007, and watched the story move into Kindle’s top 100 bestselling romances in early 2011. In one month alone I made over $8000 with this one story. That’s incredible, and it shows what the power of Amazon can do for backlist. In all, Enjoying the Show has sold 34,734 copies since its release, and it continues to sell. Like my other releases, backlist contributes the majority of my royalties, courtesy of third party vendors (like Amazon, B&N, etc).

When a new book releases, that first week it’s at the publisher’s website, prominently displayed, earns me the most money. My royalty rates are between 35 and 40% and aren’t diluted by third party commissions. The first month my book is available, I’ll see nice revenue. And then it seems to trickle away, lost among the many other releases from the publisher. But at Amazon, B&N or All Romance eBooks, my sales accumulate. There’s such a large audience buying from these places that my book is exposed to more and more people all the time.

Which leads me to a new venue I’m recently exploring--self-publication. I’d hesitated for a long time because of the predominantly negative reaction to authors who self-publish (in the romance writer world), which is regrettable. There are many talented authors out there who publish their own work. Unfortunately, there are also many, many more that don’t care about edits, cover copy or art and simply wish to rake in profits off shoddy work. Only the reader can say which is which, but the chaff out there makes it harder for authors wanting readers to take a chance on self-published titles. (Hey, I’m a reader too. I totally understand about saving my money for those books I might find entertaining, from authors I trust. But I don’t mind trying out a newbie if the price is right.)

I took a revised work I’d put out with another publisher years ago, now having my rights back, and extensively revised it, because I didn’t want to give readers the impression that my old work is my new work. (Plainly said, I write better today than yesterday and don’t rely so heavily on adverbs and dialogue tags—ugh.) I published A Familiar Face August 28, 2011. I distributed the book through All Romance eBooks, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and priced it at .99, since it was an older novella. To date, the book has sold 1952 copies, not counting November’s numbers. That’s not a lot of money to be made, considering I’ll only see anywhere from 35-40% on a .99 sale, but I don’t have to share with a publisher and my take is my own. I deduct a bit for promotion and the stock images I used to create a cover, and I’ve so far netted $813. Mind you, I won’t see this total amount for a while, as most of my distributors pay 60 days after the close of the month, but still. For an older book I retooled, this isn’t a bad take.

I won’t say I wouldn’t like to still find a NY print publisher for broader distribution of my work, but finding the right place has been tricky. Agents and publishers are being far more selective now than they ever were, and with the publishing model changing so much, they have a right to be choosey. But so do I.

I write ebooks, some of which go into print. I get paid monthly , though two of my publishers pay me quarterly. I don’t need to worry about earning out an advance because I don’t get one. I’m paid for what I’ve sold, and I like that. I write daily, as it’s my job. I also schedule releases by making sure I have product to give to my publishers. I’m not late on submissions or edits, and I keep a professional tone because this is my business.

When I first started getting published electronically, many authors still snubbed ebooks. An RWA chapter I used to belong to refused to allow me to list my accomplishments alongside traditionally published authors because they didn’t consider my book “real.” Well, now the big 6 in the industry are promoting electronic books, and I’m making a comfortable living writing them. It’s work, no doubt, but it’s satisfying. And the self-publishing aspect is freeing. I don’t worry about cover art matching the book or my voice being changed by my editor. I also have no one to blame if my books is crap, because I’m the writer, editor, artist, etc. Or at least, I’m responsible for finding qualified people to do those things for me.

I am very happy publishing with Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id, Samhain and Total E-Bound. I also enjoy creating stories and publishing them myself, when time allows. I do think it’s very possible to be successful in epublishing, but I think self-publishing successes happen more when an author has a following or writes that extremely rare breakout book that gets a lot of buzz.

My 2011 is nearly finished. I have a new title I’m publishing myself--Bodywork-- which releases in just a few more days. It’s a brand new, 60000 word contemporary erotic romance that I hope readers will enjoy. In December, my sequel to Enjoying the Show, entitled Closing the Deal, releases with Samhain. I can only dream that it will do what Enjoying the Show has done for my career.

In 2012, I have 7 books contracted for release. I intend to have finished, and hopefully released, 4 more. Lots to do and little time to get it done. But with time, enjoyment, and hard work, I’ll make my deadlines and enjoy the fruits of my labor. If I can do it, I know others can. I’ve heard of one self-published author making over $100000 on one book, and this from a romantic suspense author not published with a small or large print house, but by herself. I know of small press epublished authors making the same or more than I’m making, and I also hear of authors making much less.

In any case, I feel that if just one person enjoys the book I’ve written, I’ve been successful. The dollars help, because hey, I need to pay my bills, but I could make money working at a nine-to-five job. Writing is a calling and a passion, one I’m happy and lucky enough to enjoy. If you’re serious about writing and want to make a living doing so, don’t stop because someone rejects you. And don’t stop because it’s hard or you hate hearing try again. Suck it up, type the words, and listen to criticism. Write the best story you can, and believe it or not, the rest will come. And if not, you can always say I was full of crap. See? A silver lining, any way you look at it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


Enjoy your holiday, spend time with family, and give thanks!
From me, a big thank you to all my readers. Happy Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Release: GRAYSON'S GAMBLE

Today, Grayson's Gamble, a Dawn Endeavor book, releases from Loose Id. It's a shapeshifter menage with lots of tension, wit, and snarky attitude between an arrogant Circ, his sexy, put-upon partner, and a rogue female both men know should belong to them.

BLURB:Grayson Belle was born a Circ--a creature with the ability to shapeshift. He tolerates Sebastian, his new partner, more than alarmed when he begins to develop an odd attraction to the man. Unlike the artificially created Circs, he controls his desires. But soon he's wanting not only Sebastian, but a rogue female Circ he's been assigned to terminate. Things go from bad to worse when his inner beast takes an extreme liking to the pair. It acts on instinct, and Gray will have decide to listen to his head or his heart. Protect himself from a future he hadn't planned, or defend his mates when danger comes calling and his heart demands satisfaction?

To read an excerpt, click here.

Grayson's Gamble, from Loose Id

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Cover: GRAYSON'S GAMBLE

I've been dying to see this cover and show it off. Grayson's Gamble is the latest of my Dawn Endeavor books about an arrogant Circ (shapeshifter), his sexy, beleaguered partner, and a rogue female teetering on the verge of losing what's left of her humanity. I'm loving this cover by the talented Justin James. Check it out...

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Weather Outside Is Frightful


I woke this morning to a bright white sky covered in clouds and snow flurries. A perfect day to stay home writing.


From outside of the front porch, this is what I see. And it's tons better now, at eleven in the afternoon, than it was earlier today, when the streets were white. Coming from Georgia, this is quite an awakening to the wintery weather of Central Oregon. And I'm loving it! My kids started the day throwing snowballs at one another. Reminder to self: buy gloves, boots, ski pants, sleds, hats, ice scraper...


So pretty, eh? This is the weather I had in mind when I wrote Whispered Words. And it's similar to the environment my Circs encounter in Grayson's Gamble--well, minus the snow. But the mountains are the same. :)


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Guest Blog and a Chance to Win Fallon's Flame


Happy Wednesday! I'm featured today at Vampires, Werewolves & Fairies, Oh My! and giving away an e-copy of Fallon's Flame. I'm also talking about the Dawn Endeavor series and Grayson's Gamble, my upcoming release -- out next week -- from Loose Id.

Here's the link. Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Monday, Here We Go

Must...get...coffee.......

Now that I've had a cup and am working on demolishing a pot, an update.

1. My all wheel drive vehicle earned its price tag this weekend, when I hit my first snow storm outside of friggin' Portland. &^^%$#@@!! rain and snow.
2. Was behind on story, now on top of it. A Matter of Pride, a Cougar Falls story centered around Dean Chastell, is now 99.9% finished.
3. Working on edits for Outfoxed, my next Cougar Falls story centered around Grady Chastell. (Due for release from Samhain in March 2012.)
4. Once edits are done, back to work on A Matter of Pride and Bodywork--due to be released Nov 30th.
5. And now, more coffee.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You

Thank you to all who've served and continue to serve our country. In particular, I'd like to thank my friends Maria and Jake. :) Semper Fi.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

236th Marine Corps Birthday


Happy 236th Birthday, Marines! Semper Fi!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Re-Read

People--who don't read--think I'm crazy for having such a huge amount of books. It's not a collection, I tell them. Because it's not. My library does not just gather dust. I've read every book I own on those shelves more than once. More than twice. There are some I revisit more than others, like old friends, years after their release. I remember plots and characters, but going back is opening up those pages of joy all over again. The memory is there but fuzzy, so refreshing it gives me that happy buzz.

Some reads I need when I'm feeling blue, others when I need to just laugh, and others when I'd like something to steam up my windows. Series books make great re-reads because I can see familiar characters and lead-ins to their romances, one at a time. I don't have to wait months or years to know how the next hero saves the day. Not when I already own the book.

You'd think the advent of the Kindle or Nook would have changed my library and reading standards. But no. To me, a good story is a good story, no matter its medium. So I'm good reading on an electronic device or holding actual pages in my hand. I admit I like to keep a series in the same family type as I bought the first book, all ebooks, all mass market, hard back or trade, not some of each. But I'll also take what I can get. In this day and age, price matters, sad to say.

Right now I'm lamenting the fact that most of my library is back on the East Coast, alone and lonely, with no one to turn their pages. I won't be reunited with my books until next summer, when I go back to drag them out West. But hey, they're still there. And being so far apart from them guarantees me "fresh" reads when I set up my new library out here.

Some of my favorite rereads...
Shelly Laurenston's Pride series and dragon books
Jayne Ann Krentz's Arcane series and futuristics
Jose Litton's books, (wish the heck she'd write more)
Anything by Sabrina Jeffries
Feehan's Carpathian series
Jill Gregory's Thunder books (set in Wolf River, MT)
David Eddings Belgariad

Happy Reading. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Plugging Away

Last week, I had a birthday. Yes, yes, another year older. But my mother surprised me by flying in a friend I hadn't seen in years. I opened a door and bam, there she was.

We spent a great weekend catching up. She brought New Jersey to Oregon, and I returned to the "what are you lookin' at" and "up yours" days of my youth. Our Philly meets Jersey smackdown ended amicably with lots of laughs, cake, beer, and well wishes.

This morning--at an ungodly hour--I dropped her off at the airport. She gets to spend the day flying back east. Now I sit at my computer once more, plugging away at my soon-to-be-due project. Nothing like pressure to get the creative juices flowing. That and coffee.

Today's Brew: Black Butte Gold, a local brew from Sisters Coffee Company. (Sisters, Oregon is a hop, skip and a jump from Bend.) And can I just say, YUM! Happy Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Unveiling...A New Cover!

I hadn't planned to show this off yet, but I'm scrambling to do some promotion and needed the cover like yesterday. It appeared briefly at All Romance eBooks and disappeared as quickly. The book won't be out until late November. But until then, here's a glance at my upcoming contemporary romance, Bodywork. Er, at the cover at least. :)


To read a blurb about it, go to my website, on the Coming Soon page.

Monday, October 31, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Happy Halloween!

Remember to enjoy this holiday. Don't be scared. If you're in danger, close your eyes and wish really hard. Then the super ninjas of death and their pet doodle* will arrive to defend you from peril. Truly. Try it and see.

* Doodle=poodle/golden retriever + demon mix

Friday, October 28, 2011

Funny for Friday


I love the Far Side by Gary Larson. I wanted to cry when they stopped making the yearly calendars. This is one of my favorites. Enjoy, and happy Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

How Many Is Too Many...Stories?

How many is too many? And no, I'm not talking about sexual partners. Disappointing, I know, but I find this an interesting topic. It applies to pretty much everything. Too many days volunteering with PTA. Too many projects taken on for family and friends. Too many directives at work that somehow landed on your desk. Do you do them all at once or focus based on priority due date, one at a time? The writing world is just as hectic, at least for me.

How many stories at once is too much? For some authors, writing two or even three stories at a time is par for the course. Some work on one during the day, another at night. Or they swap them every other day. I've gone to author websites and seen progress bars on the many works an author is working on, to show percentages complete.

Me? I have a hard enough time working on one story. I need to immerse myself in the characters and plot, and if the story is lighthearted, I tend to want everything I'm writing to be that easygoing. But lately, I've been experimenting. I have my schedule roughly fitted for 2012 already, so I know what I'm going to be working on and when. But there's another story I wanted to try, one that's different from anything I've done. I have three chapters of it written, in first person point of view, and for a young adult audience. Yeah, WAY different. And I like it. It's freeing me expand my writing, to search for better descriptions while at the same time keeping in mind the right tone and violence for a younger audience. Will I ever publish it? I don't know, but I do know it's something I would have loved to read as a girl. I've sporadically worked on it at night, because during the day I have other work to do.

Yet what do I do when I get stuck on my "day job"? Sometimes I muddle through a problematic part of the story, other times I might go to something completely different. And that's actually a great reason to have something waiting in the wings. So that when I'm at a standstill, I'm not wasting my brain. I can create in a different way for a different set of characters and unravel the knot keeping me from my problem story.

So for me, I'd have to say two is the magic number. Two stories to have available for work at any given time. And that's my Thursday tidbit. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's A Deadman Day

Yeah, it's a Deadman's Reach kind of day. This is some stellar coffee (from Raven's Brew, if you're interested.) Organic, full bodied, and just yummy on a 34° day. It's AWESOME outside. Clear and bright and cold. Just the way I like it.

When I realized I'd hadn't posted since last week, I thought I'd share an update. I'm currently working on A Matter of Pride, a Cougar Falls story centered on Dean Chastell, a prankster and cat shifter first introduced in Rachel's Totem, the first of my Cougar Falls books with Samhain.

The story is really fun, and I'm having a blast writing it. That is, I'm having fun writing when I can find the time! Between carting kids to the dentist, volunteering to help with Running Club and math with 6-year olds, my calendar is getting full. Not to mention finishing up the business of buying a house. (What a huge pain.) But the house and the kids are worth it. Now, however, I have an empty house and blissful quiet. No more errands for the rest of the day. Time to get writing!!!

Here's a teaser of my current project, which I don't normally share, but I'm loving this story...


Cougar Falls, Montana

A door upstairs slammed. Swearing, snarls, and spitting hisses pierced the early morning quiet of what promised to be a beautiful summer day. Life in the Pride was never dull, but today looked to be especially interesting.

Whistling, Dean Chastell grabbed a cup of coffee and reveled in the love and gladness just being in the pride afforded.

“Son of a b*tch! I’m going to kick your *ss, Chastell!” Miles Bermin, fellow shapeshifter and current Catamount Ranch guest, had been using the shower upstairs because the water heater in his cabin wasn’t working.

At least, not since Dean had tampered with it.

“Miles?” From upstairs, Burke’s deep voice sounded rusty. “What the hell? It’s not even seven yet.” Great, now Burke would be in a bad mood. Dean’s oldest brother and pride leader wasn’t exactly pleased with him lately. Not after yesterday’s mess with the gray wolves.

The mangy bastards.

Dean decided it might be prudent to leave before he was discovered--and fast--and bumped into one such gray wolf on his way out the back door.

“Where are you off to so early?” Monty GrayClaw, the only wolf in the pride, yawned and stretched as he entered the house. “I thought today was your day off.”

Dean shrugged. “Just thought I’d get in a few--”

Burke’s laughter echoed through the house.“Holy sh*t. Is your hair blue?”

Monty blinked. “Your brother’s up early. This can’t be good. And who’s he talking to?”

“Yeah, it’s blue,” Miles roared. “I have business matters to attend to today, not to mention a date later this evening. And f*cking blue hair?”

Monty’s grin stretched across his lips. “Nice.”

Like Dean, Miles didn’t particularly care for the snotty cats from Miami. They tolerated the females well enough—mostly—but Miles was a huge pain the *ss at the best of times. It didn’t help that the women in town thought he walked on water and could do no wrong.

Dean did his best to look innocent, and failed miserably when Monty started laughing. Loudly.

Footsteps pounded overhead. Miles’s scent drew closer, robust with the heat of rage. Considering the guy had a few inches on Dean, as well as a surprisingly muscular frame under the stupid designer suits he often wore, Dean inched past Monty toward the door.

“I’d hurry if I were you.” Monty nodded for him to go.

Deciding avoidance made sense--because who wanted to fight so early on a gorgeous Friday morning?--Dean slipped outside and into his truck. He turned the key and shifted into reverse when the passenger door opened.

Christ, wasn’t one of them enough to deal with today? He stared in dismay at the most beautiful--and annoying--woman he’d ever had the misfortune to know. “Not now, Stacey. I’m late for work.”

“You have off today.” Miles’s sister just stood there looking finer than fine.

“Come on. I have things to do. Shut the door and move away.”

He inched the truck back. Any second now and Miles would be out the door…

“I need a ride into town.” She glanced behind her at the backdoor and frowned.

Fuming because he had two choices—give in to the princess’s demands or suffer Miles’s wrath, he leaned toward her. “What did you say?”

When she leaned closer to respond, he grabbed her by the collar and yanked her inside. She yelped as she tried to right herself, while he gassed the truck and lurched back just as Miles Bermin tore through the front door of the house dripping wet and wearing nothing more than a towel and blue hair.


Happy Wednesday, and hope you enjoyed an excerpt from A Matter of Pride.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Cool New Review: STORMING HIS HEART

Just spotted this today, a great review for Storming His Heart, the second in my (romantic suspense/psychic) Westlake Enterprises series from Samhain.

STORMING HIS HEART

by Marie Harte

Genre: Erotic Romance, Fantasy, Romantic Suspense, E-book

RT Rating

Everything about this novella is extreme — extreme action, extreme paranormal elements and extreme heat! Storm and Rafe are explosive together. Even when they don’t like each other, they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Adding a great twist is the characters' psychic powers that keep the plot moving quickly. The reader won’t want to say goodbye to this world and fortunately with so many delicious secondary characters, there are sure to be more stories in the Westlake series.

To read more, click here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Those Darn Distractions

Every try to do something when your mind is in a million other places? Take yesterday. After a morning full of distractions because my mother is home from vacation--and yeah, it's terrific to reconnect--I had the evening to work. For an hour while my kids were otherwise occupied elsewhere, I had an entire hour to write, or brainstorm, or something. Instead I sat in B&N, drank coffee, ate a cookie, and read a book. The notebook I'd brought with me for notes had a few illegible scribbles. Nothing more,and nothing usable.

Later in the evening, I sat downstairs and talked with dinner guests and family after a wonderful meal. Fun. Not productive, but fun. Around ten, I went upstairs with a huge cup of coffee...and did some work for a friend of mine, stuff I'd said I'd do but hadn't quite finished. So great, commitment honored. Finally. And still, no work done.

Sure, the story is percolating in my head. My characters are giving each other (and me) a hard time about plot, wanting to go every which way, but I know they'll settle down, eventually. For me, a lot of writing is getting it right in the mind before it ever goes into words.

And then it's today, and I'm writing a blog post instead of working on my story. Yet as I type, my characters are whispering that they're ready to roll. As in, right now. Gotta go. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Love Thor, er, the Green Bay Packers

I love the Green Bay Packers!

Go Beast!

Monday, October 17, 2011

That's MY VOICE You're Messing With!

This post is geared more toward writers than readers, but I think it's an interesting enough topic for readers as well. (Heck, I'm a reader too.)

There are all sorts of terms writers use in conjunction with their craft. Voice is one word that gets confused all over the place. What the heck is voice? According to Wikipedia: "Writer's voice is the literary term used to describe the individual writing style of an author. Voice was generally considered to be a combination of a writer's use of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works)."

In other words, if someone is reading a book to me while my eyes are closed, I'll know it's an Author X book by the tone, the sentence structure, and the general way dialogue and character development pan out. For example, Shelly Laurenston is an autobuy for me because I absolutely LOVE her voice. She writes funny characters, witty dialogue, and fast-paced, action-filled plots. Oh, and her characters are crazy, which I adore. You could read me a passage from one of her books and I'd know she wrote it. That's VOICE.

But what happens when an author writes something and it gets edited to death? A great fear many of us (authors) have is that we'll lose our voice. Sometimes I write sentences that aren't sentences. I make up words in dialogue, and I leave off pronouns. Intentionally. It's my voice, a certain style that makes my book different from someone else's. Editing is a wonderful tool to clean up grammar and spelling mistakes, but at some point, the editor has to realize that the author has to state things her/his way. It's easy to change "a" to "the" for the hell of it, but a good editor knows when to leave it and when to change it.

I've had more than my share of good luck when it comes to great editors. And yeah, I've had one or two that made me bite my lip wondering why I bothered to write the book since it no longer sounded like mine. But from one author to another, I have to say, if your editor is editing out your voice, speak up. As a writer, you do have rights. That's not to say you shouldn't take criticism, because an editor has a job to do after all. But at what point do you sacrifice your work to be published? And yes, I know, a lot of times authors have no choice. You signed the contract, the editor and the powers that be aren't budging, and you're stuck. So when you finish your next book, take it someplace else. Somewhere the editor "gets you" and lets your voice shine through. There's nothing worse than an editor/author relationship that isn't working. Voice is important. And writing is a business. So be a professional, ask for help, and take it when it's offered. If not, walk far, far away.

And to Ann, Grace, Alissa, Mary, and Claire, you'll note I keep submitting. Thanks for letting me keep my voice. :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Late to the Party: Airbender Lives On!

I was goofing around on the computer and somehow latched onto this nugget of gold: Nickelodeon plans to release The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra in 2012. If you aren't familiar with the amazing cartoon that sparked the movie (which was totally underwhelming), Avatar: The Last Airbender was an incredible meld of eastern philosophy, natural elements and the people who command them. A great war is fought, and a group of kids with amazing power work together to stop it. But that's way too simple for this show. I won't go into more detail, because it was pretty deep and just wonderfully animated and written. Talk about creative! To dismiss it as a kid's cartoon sells the series short. I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Anyway, here's the trailer for Legend of Korra. And the city in which the story takes place has a supposedly steampunk feel. So even better! Check it out...