Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday Reviews: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

Once upon a time I read this and loved it. I remember giving it 4 stars. I remember devouring it in a couple days. Due to my Colin Firth kick (don't start on me!) I am now going through Pride and Prejudice variations (as anyone who follows me on Twitter knows). So I took Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife off the shelf and read it again.

What on earth was I thinking?
4 stars? Maybe 2.5 stars. Sure, it was done in the P&P style, very little dialog with long loooonnnnggggg paragraphs of exposition on characters that had no real propose to the story. Background dumps from the time of birth until their relevance to the story. Wow, did I not care.


Detail upon detail with no dialog about interactions between Elizabeth and Darcy.


More information about Lady Catherine, Georgiana, Wickham, and Jane and Bingley than I cared to know.


I couldn't finish it and so donated it the library since our copy was missing. And yet...and yet what did I do? *sigh* Glutton for punishment that I am, I checked out its sequel Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley. I'll review that next week.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Comings & Goings

My current WIP is finally, finally going well! OK, not great, not smoothly, but any forward motion and all that. And trust me when I say any forward motion. I'm pleased with what I have, even though it's sucking up all my time just to reconcile two very different halves and continue on.

Hence my hiding away and lurking on all my blogs (which I miss reading!) and just about everywhere else. Feeling very disconnected these days.

I've worked on another story, I've let this one sit, I've even threatened it and myself in order to get it done. So very close to the end. And yet.

How's everyone else getting on with their current projects?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Musings Building the Romantic Connection: Inter-character Play

In a romance story, it's often assumed by the reader that the two main protagonists are going to be involved in...well...a romance. Duh! In some of the stories I've come across lately, I've noticed a lack of romantic interplay. Therefore, I'm in the mood to opine!

In the case of a romantic suspense story we often have characters on the run or heavily involved in a dangerous mystery that could lead to the destruction of all humanity! This doesn't mean they won't take half a second to notice each other's attributes. Face it, they're human (or if not they still think of the same thing we do!) and are going to look at someone they're interested in, whether or not they're running for their lives.

When a hero is panting from an exhaustive run toward or away from a bomb or tentacled bad guy, a glance toward the heroine's deliciously, disheveled 'do and down her curvaceous form is perfectly acceptable. In fact, I completely encourage such behavior! (In more ways than one, but you probably knew that already!)

The connection between characters starts with the visual and moves through all the senses. Heightened senses due to adrenaline often absorb more information than less. This leads to all type of actions and reactions. Don't waste the moment just because you are too involved in the choreography of the action scene...remember the play in interplay!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

4 star review from Romantic Times

Just learned that the Civil War anthology Northern Roses and Southern Belles received 4 stars from Romantic Times! Specifically about my story In The Shadows the reviewer said:

Noble and brave men, relentlessly loyal women, scalawags and blockade runners all combine to highlight one of the most difficult times in our country's history. All the stories are good, but Ross and Roman deliver scalawags that will make readers swoon. Civil War buffs will love the well-written, well-researched stories in this must-have collection.

Roman sails us into Charleston Harbor with Jack Harrison "In the Shadows." A privateer, he's doing what he loves; he's also sailing toward the woman of his dreams. Marion Shelton is her name, but Jack must outsmart an angry aunt in order to win her.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Eye Sex

The sly glance. The unmistakable come-hither look. The blatently erotic, deliciously hungry gaze. It's something we've all seen-or done-eye sex.

On the written page, it sometimes takes us writers a bit of time to describe that particular gaze. Though when we write that line, and use the just-right turn of phrase, our words evoke our readers' imaginations. Just the visual we wanted to. It's become stronger because of our favorite actors and actresses.

When we describe a specific look, often the reader pictures a look they saw in a television show or movie. We writers have learned to use that-the fact that our audience have already been exposed to so many visual stimulations. Something Jane Austen could never have done in her time.

Lucky for us, we don't have her constraints and can indulge in as much eye sex as we wish!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm over at Un:Bound talking about hooks and keeping readers' attention. I'm sure there are plenty of ideas out there, come share yours!

And I'm still over at A Writer's Mind with a chance to win a download of my Druids novel Temptations and Treachery and a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press!

And next week, a return to reviews. Honest!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Amusing side notes

Vacation has come and gone and I feel like this last week has flown by in a blur of confusion. In between working on writing projects, RL, day job, and quite a bit of sleeping, I've rediscovered my Colin Firth love. Ahh, Colin...

*ahem* where was I? Yes, side notes. Colin is not one of them....yum.
I'm over at Sky Purington's A Writer's Mind all week, stop by! I'm giving away a copy of Temptations and Treachery, she's graciously offered a $5 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press, and you never know what else I'll give away. A evening handbag perhaps?

Trying to gather everything to send out to judges for the Hearts Thru History contest, Romance Through The Ages. Entries are du at midnight tonight, and I volunteered to be the Time Travel/Paranormal coordinator. Gotta make sure everything's good to go and all!

Also gathering covers for the RT I'm doing in July. Yes, it was expensive, but I think it's a great investment in my writing future, since the chances of me marrying dear Colin are slim. Actually none, he's already taken. Pity...

Saw the link on Un:Bound, thought it was hysterical. Seriously, #'s 4, 5, and 6 cracked my up. Course #9 is classic. :) What do you think?

By the way…your laptop is your wife.
James K. Walker, editor for Left Lion at speaker at the upcoming Writing Industries Conference shares his Top Ten Tips for writers.

1.Read your work out in public. You’ll develop a new found appreciation of tone, rhythm and punctuation. See the reaction of the audience as a kind of verbal editing. When they don’t laugh at your funny character, it’s because he isn’t funny.

2.Join a writing group and open the windows when you leave the flat. It will smell lovely and fresh when you come home and your girlfriend might finally agree to come over.

3.By the way…your laptop is your wife. That cute one that comes over when the flat smells nice is just your bit on the side. Treat her as such. Your loyalty is with your wife and a wife is for life.

4.Walk to work. This way you don’t have to waste valuable writing time joining a gym. There is no greater betrayal of the imagination, than joining a gym. Before you know it you’ll be slipping into your imagination and going over the various scenarios of your book.

5.Take a pencil and paper with you as you’ll be stopping every ten seconds to scribble these ideas down. It’s probably a good idea to invest in a pencil sharpener, finances permitting.

6.Buy a memory stick and type up everything you’ve just written when you get to work because you’ll lose the scraps of paper.

7.Get a job where you can write in peace and preferably one without too much responsibility. I strongly recommend the public sector. The perfect job is one in which you are able to do eight hours work in three, thus enabling you to write for the other five. This is the closest you’ll ever get to being a regularly paid writer. Feels great, doesn’t it.

8.Ensure you have a boss who doesn’t mind you being late. (see point 5)

9.Write a blog. It’s like having a regular mental workout and a good way to track the development of your thoughts. I don’t have a camera and so the blog is the closest thing I have to a photographic album. It’s also a great place to outlet those thoughts you know you’ll never have time to turn into stories but will eat away at you regardless. Like the one about ‘the strange man who used to crouch down every ten seconds by the side of the road to scribble something down. Nobody knew what he was writing or why he did it but…’

10.Don’t write a list of top ten writing tips when you haven’t had your novel published yet. It’s arrogant, delusional and distracts you from what matters. As does reading funny quotes by Philip Pullman on a Saturday afternoon.

What's on your agenda this week?

Monday, March 1, 2010

TWRP is looking for Short Stories

This is an excerpt from an email Rhonda Penders, co-owner of The Wild Rose Press, sent out. They're looking for short stories. I'm planning on submitting my Vintage Rose story sooner rather than later now. It's set in 1920 New York and takes place over four 25-35K word books.

When we're talking short, we're not talking so short there's no story. There is a definite need for stories that hit the 25K - 50K range.

Another good reason to write shorts is for audibles (the old books on tape). We
have entered an agreement with a company that does audibles. I'm working behind
the scenes to get some of our manuscripts to them. This company wants very
very few full length novels - they want shorts.

Anyway, if you have a short story in your mind, now is the golden time to get
that submission in. If you've never written anything short - try it. Sometimes
trying to do something with less can be very satisfying.

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