Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An Awesome Recipe

I've been tweeting, in between finishing a book to send off to my editor. Then I have to polish another book before I get some breather time. Whew. Of course, I'll be rushing in February to write an independent project I've been toying with because in March I rev up again for deadlines. I absolutely love being my own boss, but sometimes cracking that whip to work can get annoying. My boss can be a jackass. Yeah, I said it.

Oh, and I've started on a new food plan. Note, not a diet. I'm downing my requisite 8 glasses of water a day, which living in a dry area is a really good thing, and I'm trying to downsize my intake of sugar and breads. Here's hoping I don't annoy everyone for the next two weeks until my body gets used to the idea of healthy food.

On another note, I made a killer meal last night out of leftover tenderloin, veggies, and quinoa. Completely glutein free, by accident. :) And I used the crock pot, so no mess, no fuss.


1 lb pork tenderloin, cut up
1 can diced tomatoes
1 squash, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bag carrots, chopped
2-3 tsp of Garam Masala (spice)
1 cup water
1 cup wine (I used a Riesling I had in my fridge)

1 cup uncooked organic quinoa [put aside to add after crock pot cooking is done]

Prep it all (except for the quinoa), then throw it into a crock pot on high for 4 1/2 hours. Just before it's done, take 1 cup of quinoa and cook it. (Quinoa is a grain, pronounced keen-wa, and is really healthy for you. It also has a great texture and tastes terrific.) Once the crock pot is done, throw in the prepared quinoa and enjoy. Salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4-5 servings.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Supernatural Interview--Check It OUT!!!!

I must link to this. As a die-hard Supernatural (TV show) fan, I was super excited to see that Carina author Angela Campbell interviewed Emily Perkins, who has acted on the hit show as the character some fans (me) love and some fans (teenage girls) hate, Becky. Go on over and comment. How cool!

Here is Angela's blog link: http://angiecampbell.blogspot.com/2012/01/fun-fridays-q-with-actress-emily.html


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bragging Rights, or Bragging Wrongs?

I like to share my good news with others. Sure, I'm good like that. But often I don't. Is this wrong? I'm talking about writing news, of course, not those happy instances when I trip over a shiny new penny on the ground, face side up.

Lately I've been traveling around blogs/twitter/Facebook and catching bazillions of snippets about folks getting awards, getting good reviews, releasing books, etc. I mean, I encourage the positive outlets from others. Makes it nice to know there are good thing happening, but I notice it's the same few tooting their own horns over and over again.

Is this a good thing, since the more you read about a person, the more you remember them? I don't know. As a reader, maybe it would stick with me that this particular author is successful. As a writer, I tend to wonder how they have so much time to hit every board out there jumping for joy over a positive review.

I sound like sour grapes, but that's not it. I get plenty of nice reviews. I announced when I was up for series of the year, even have it on my website. But I'm not shouting it out to the heavens on every venue I have access to, and I'm wondering if I'm wrong in not doing this. But one, I'm busy writing and don't have a lot of time for sloshing through so much social media. And two, it just feels like bragging to me.

Then again, some would call it savvy marketing. I just don't know. I try to blog about topics I find interesting. Every now and then I post a good review or something pertaining to good news, but it's on my personal blog or Facebook page, where you'd expect to see news about ME. The info I'm talking about seeing is on publisher's loops, promo loops, reader loops, writer loops, and any of the many Yahoo groups out there devoted to anything to do with books, entertainment, and general tomfoolery.

Maybe the better question is, what's the proper etiquette for sharing good news? Because I have no idea, and I'm curious as to what others think. Is it bad form to brag? Is it perfectly legitimate to share good news, as long as you don't post more than X times a week? Or am I the only one questioning what is probably a dull topic?

Hell if I know. Now I need a cup of coffee before I get back to work. And a happy Thursday to you all...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I've been Favored by Fortune

Loving this cover by the talented Anne Cain. AWESOME!!!

FORTUNE'S FAVOR, coming to Loose Id February 7th.

When a playboy joins forces with a straight arrow to find a murderer, more than secrets come to light, but an all consuming attraction between two opposites who definitely attract.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ch-Ch Changes...

(Yeah, I'm in changes up to my friggin' knee!)

It's strange how fast change can occur. In characters, it's normally gradual. The weak heroine grows a backbone. An immature hero learns depth and humility. When the change happens overnight, I have a hard time connecting to the characters and story. I've been having a problem with a story I'm working on, because one of my characters had grown stagnant. I've gone through and ripped him back open, planting the seeds for possible growth along the story. Now it's flowing better, and he's not such a pain in my *ss. Well, he still is, because he's a mindreader and he has an attitude, but that's part of his brusque charm.

I always know when something isn't working with a story. When I can't write because I'm stuck, nothing works but changing and smoothing out the rough patches. Then the words flow.

So what made me think of changes... I'll tell you. The other day my mother was nagging--er--asking me to go cross country skiing with her. I'm a cautious soul, and after reading about the mountain closing due to high winds, and then learning about tree wells (which I'd never before heard of), in which you can suffocate if you're not careful, I wasn't too keen on skiing without a few lessons. [Note: If you cross country ski on groomed trails, you're nowhere near tree wells, but I'm a punk and the snow freaks me out after living the past 13 years in the deep South.] Anyway, in order to get to the trails, we drove from my house toward Mt. Bachelor. We went from no snow to drifts and poor visibility in the span of ten minutes. Shocked the crap out of me. Take a look.

Needless to say, some changes I like. Others I'm still trying to wrap my mind around.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I'm a Twit

Okay. So my friend has been bugging me for months about joining Twitter. Yeah, I've heard about it. I'm not a complete antisocial ostrich with my head in the sand. Then again, I am the type who got a cell phone years later than most people had theirs. I also kicked and screamed my way through MySpace (hated it) and latched onto Facebook (time suck) with dread. Because yes, I waste time looking through posts and funny captions when I should be writing. Although I read the funniest link to a Cracked.com article...

Anyway, so today I took the plunge and joined the millions (or billions) who tweet. 140 characters. I can manage that. And it's not like I have that much to say anyway. So I'm now on twitter. My address, I think, is @MHarte_Author. I have no idea what following someone or being followed really means, except it's another avenue of communications [social media] us technologically savvy authors should have. Uh, yeah. And since I make my living writing books, most of which start out electronically, you'd think I would have gotten on the Twitter bandwagon months/years ago. How the hell old is Twitter, anyway?

Website, check. www.marieharte.com
Blog, check. http://marieharte.blogspot.com
Facebook, check. https://www.facebook.com/marieharteauthor
Twitter, check. https://twitter.com/#!/MHarte_Author

I'm officially tapped out. I can't handle any more electronic socializing or my brain might melt. As it is I'm approaching meltdown. Now back to the WIP. Ack.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cover Gladness: OUTFOXED

I've been dying to share this new cover of OUTFOXED, coming out in March from Samhain. This story follows Grady Chastell, a cat shifter, as he tries to outmaneuver a foxy shapeshifter into taking him on. Silly cat. No one out-tricks a fox. But it's fun to watch him try... :)

To read an excerpt, click here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coffee--Good for You...?

Coffee drinkers, unite!

I came across this interesting link about coffee intake and diabetes, and am excited to think I might be doing myself more good than harm with my caffeine addiction. Sure, anything in excess is bad for you, but I really like my coffee. It wakes and warms me up. And heck, I just think it tastes good. Besides, it's part of my daily routine. Make coffee, drink coffee, write. My own holy trinity...

This is my coffee of the week. Raven's Brew -- Dharma Beans. It's low acid, really smooth. I like!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This is the house next to me. See the snow? Yeah, and now the wind has kicked up. I have to stop taking pictures with the door open! Freezing out there.

And this picture is my backyard. Note the snow is sticking. :) I was crabbing yesterday about it not snowing. Hard to sled and ski with packed stuff, vice fresh powder. Well, doesn't get fresher than this!

What a perfect day to drink coffee and write. Chow!

Friday, January 13, 2012

BODYWORK--Kindle Love

I was fooling around with Photoshop and stuffed Bodywork into the Kindle. How life imitates art... or in this case, the other way around. :) Happy Friday!


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.

Available at Amazon, B&N, and All Romance Ebooks

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The R Word--Or, Bad Behavior Everywhere

Here you have a predator and prey. So I ask you. Which is the author and which the reviewer?

I have no idea either.

I had to jump on the review bandwagon today as I recently read about more instances of author/reviewer craziness spewing through the web. I admit I had to work hard to read why one reviewer was so up in arms about someone disagreeing with her review. The guy, not even the author of the book, disagreed with her take. (Unless I missed some point where he insulted her, I was confused about her vitriol.) For that he was digitally tarred and feathered. A bunch of the reviewer's readers jumped on the bandwagon and ripped him and anyone who disagreed with the reviewer to shreds. It was like a shark frenzy, so of course I continued to read the comments. To make matters worse, other authors simply had to add their unasked for opinions on Twitter where they insulted the reviewer and the review, adding fuel to the fire.


Wait, there's more. Then I happened on Dear Author and a few other sites speculating about the role of the reviewer and how authors should handle things, as well as pointing a few fingers at authors behaving badly. And I have to tell you, one author let fly with what she really felt about reviewers and their effing reviews. Oh boy.

Bottom line: everyone has an opinion. It might not be the one you share, but they have the right to express that opinion in any way they see fit. Writers are told to shut up, sit back, and take it. Sure, you like the 5 star review so you thank the reviewer. So when you get the 1 star, you... thank the reviewer? Not sure about that, but I do know arguing about a review gets you nowhere. Though surely an author has the right to rebut dubious facts or personally critical comments, there's no point. The author comes across looking like a crybaby anyway he/she tries not to.

I've had my share of good and bad reviews. The ones that really annoyed me were points the reviewer completely missed in the book then had the nerve to mention as done poorly. I wanted to respond, pointing out line and page as irrefutable evidence I had not missed the mark. Yeah, and then what? The reviewer still had a bad taste in her mouth and I would have looked defensive. There's always the reviewer who hates erotic romance then takes one of my books and trashes it because it's...erotic romance. Um, then why read it? And other people simply don't like my voice or writing style. Yet that subjectivity is part of the fun of reading. What one person hates, another treasures. What can you do?

Well, if you're an author, you can ignore it. Ignore the bad reviews and use the good to boost your confidence when tough times hit. And if you're really professional, you can slog through the bad stuff and look for trends. Maybe you're not describing your characters well enough. Perhaps the world building isn't up to snuff. And maybe naming all your characters with apostrophes and numbers thrown in to shake things up is annoying.

I have to sit back and shake my head at so many emotional people reading into everything. Because what we write on the Internet has no inflection, it's easy to take things out of context. Of course, f*ck you means f*ck you no matter how you look at it, so that's an easy one to peg. But seriously, how hard is it to realize that in the review game, the authors aren't the point? Reviews help readers. Period. It's one person's opinion about a book. As an avid reader, I pay attention to what other people say. I think it's easy to understand if a book is worth reading from a blurb and a few reader reviews. If someone trashes a book because the heroine is small and blond, then maybe they have some bias against that type. I'm not going to ignore a book based on that kind of review.

Authors do have the right to comment on anything that's out there in a public forum, just as any reader can review a book and say pretty much how they feel, regardless of an author's feelings. I don't think personally attacking an author is smart or necessary, but it happens. And I don't think authors responding and jabbing at any negative comments on their books gives them any credibility or marketing savvy, but shows them to be idiotic in the extreme. Alienating readers is never a good thing, no matter the provocation.

All that said, I'm done my part in analyzing the reviewer/author relationship. I occasionally read over reviews, especially if they're sent to me. And I truly appreciate the time it takes, especially in this market with a bazillion books out there, for someone to read and give my book an honest review, whether she/he liked the book or not. But I've found it to be much healthier to focus on what I can control, and that's writing the best book I can.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Love

I can't say I love Mondays. I like the start of a new week but HATE early mornings. Today is even more special because my kids were crabbing at each other over a brush. Yes, a hairbrush caused this morning's grudgematch in which a six-year-old annoyed the crap out of his older brother and held onto his mad on his walk to school. The little sucker outlasted my attempt at peace too. Man, I can't wait to see what this kid is like when he's a teenager. Hormones plus stubborness. Hurray, me.

But all is not lost. I'm brewing coffee, have my notes in hand to start my new book, Flight of Fancy, and am 3/4 done Right Wolf, Right Time. But my Cougar Falls book is on the backburner while I write my psychic romance, which has a tighter deadline.

So far, so good tracking for 2012. Now I just have to add some sort of exercise to my day after meeting my writing goals, and I'm solid. Hope your Monday is just as swell.

NOTE: Swell: my word of the day. See if you can work it into conversation.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Just wanted to share my latest cover. Very nice, eh? Jericho Junction, a shifter story, is coming to Total E-Bound in March. The guy is the bear, the girl is the mountain lion, and the demon...well, the red eyes bear a slight resemblance. :) It's a menage that's all-for-one and one-for-all hot. And to spice up your Friday, enjoy an excerpt (PG).


[Jericho meets his new partner, Lord Seino]

Anson walked beside a male surprisingly as large and brawny as Jericho. He had the same night-dark skin as the other athmae, as well as their long white hair and red eyes. The tips of his ears were pointed, and when he spoke to Anson, Jericho caught the flash of sharp fangs. Yet his build looked more bear-like than demon.

The athmae around him were tall and lean, strong, but not so muscular. Not like this guy.

“Lord Seino.” Liam grinned. His smile widened when the dour-faced demon sighed at him.

“Masterson.” Lord Seino wore a black vest and dark trousers, making him look almost naked since the colour blended into his skin. Cinched to his waist was a demon bone sword, a weapon that could cleave just about anything in two.

Jericho wondered if Lord Seino ever considered he wore a piece of his brethren’s bone , then wondered if the demon would care. Though Liam’s group seemed to have more than sexual feelings for one another, this creature looked positively malevolent.

Jericho released an involuntary growl, and the male’s gaze shifted to him. Pure power enveloped the gathering, and he noticed a few of the other athmae move closer to Liam and Anson.

“Who is this?” The deep voice sent shockwaves through him. An intimidating warrior who shouldered contempt for everyone around him, if Jericho read his frown correctly.

Liam shared a glance with Anson before replying, “Your partner, Jericho. He’s the liaison from the Great Clan Anson was telling you about--”

“Partner? This is intended as amusement?” His disdain made Jericho want to bite him. “A Protector hunts alone. What Kin warrior of any worth needs help from a human?”

“Try bear, *sshole.” Calling Jericho a human was as bad as calling a raptor a chicken. Not done. Not if one wanted to live.

“His name is Jericho Dark Walker,” Liam said softly.

The male opened his mouth to reply but paused. “Dark Walker?”

“Who the f*ck are you?” Jericho was done playing nice with a demon with no manners.

Anson and the other athmae grinned.

The stranger scowled. “I am Lord Seino, Protector of the Seventh Kingdom.”

“Yeah, great. I’m Jericho. Now let’s get moving. We have dead bodies piling up in our forest, Lord Annoying. So if you could take the stick out of your ass, we have an enemy to kill.”

“Oh, well said.” Liam chuckled. When Seino glared at him, he quickly coughed and amended, “About the enemy to kill, of course. We’ll leave you two to get acquainted. Sorry, but the Harvest Festival is in full swing. We have our work to get back to, and you have yours. Lord Seino, mother sends regards to Master Fel.”

Seino nodded stiffly. “I shall give him your respects.”

Anson waved to Jericho. “Good luck. You’re going to need it.” His glance at Seino spoke volumes.

The prince and his group left as one, disappearing into the night as if they’d never been. The moon chose that moment to rise overhead, illuminating Jericho’s companion. Good night, but this male had power. Jericho could smell it on him. Unlike the sexual vibes he’d gotten from the males accompanying Liam, this demon felt cold, controlling, demanding.

Another growl eddied in his breast. A need to show the demon his place rose up out of nowhere.

“Hmm.” Seino circled him, inspecting him like a prized stallion.

“Look, I’m not exactly crazy about partnering up with you either. I’m here to find out how to kill something that needs killing. We don’t have to be friends to do it.”

“Friends? An interesting concept.”

Ignoring the male’s feigned interest, Jericho snapped, “So are we starting in your neck of the woods or mine?” The lure of tranquility in the Great Forest sounded like heaven the more time he spent around Lord Seino. No fighting, dull sex with she-bears or wolves, and more of the same every-day awaiting his beck and call.

Or he could spend time with Lord Attitude.

He ignored his racing heart, the excitement in his breast, and told himself he reacted to the thrill of the hunt. Not some obnoxious demon with arrogance issues.

“Should I assume you are the best your Shifters have to offer?”

“Assume whatever the hell you want. I’m going to track down this monster and kill it. With or without your help.” Jericho marched into Seino’s personal space and met him nose to nose.

Seino didn’t blink. But something changed between them. A subtle sense of acceptance, maybe? In any case, Seino gave him a subtle nod but didn’t back away. So Jericho did, trying not to feel as if he lost ground by doing so.

“We should go to my land, so you can see what we’re dealing with there.” Seino blinked at him, his red eyes like ruby pools of promise.

Of promise? What the hell?

“Shall we go?” Seino held out a hand.


“Grab my hand and hold on. Our portal to the Seventh Kingdom is difficult to traverse. But you need to see what we’re up against, Dark Walker.”

Jericho reluctantly put his hand in the large palm of the demon’s. It was cool to the touch...at first. But as he stared into Seino’s eyes, the demon gripped him tighter. Heat blossomed and traveled throughout his body, centering embarrassingly in his crotch. He didn’t have the nerve to see if Seino was similarly affected.

“Hold on, Dark Walker, and prepare to travel.”

The world changed in the blink of an eye.


Mark of Lycos, where the line between animal and man is a thin veil separated by the will of the gods. Don't miss the first books in the series--Enemy Red and Wolf Wanted.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Funny Goovin'

I saw this on one of Yahoo's best music videos of 2011. It's hilarious if you're familiar with the Beastie Boys, and hey, it's the Beastie Boys. Some fun to break up the week and get you in the mood to groove (and me to tap that keyboard and write.) So Make Some Noise...

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Starts With a Bang

Already into the new year and good things are happening!

  1. Closing the Deal was #1 and is now #2 at Samhain Publishing
  2. I'm back to writing and loving my new story, Right Wolf, Right Time
  3. I've been nominated by Love Romances Cafe in three categories
  • Best Series of 2011 for my Dawn Endeavor series
  • Best Author of 2011
  • Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Dystopian book for Journeyman's Ride
I hope 2012 continues in this vein. Joy, joy. Now if the Oregon Ducks win the Rose Bowl, it'll be a hat trick of good tidings. :)