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Monday, May 31, 2010

BEA


Or Book Expo of America is over and I missed it all. This saddens me, because I've gone to several and have enjoyed them immensly. OK, that first one in DC? EXHAUSTING! But once you get the hang of it, it's all good. Lots of books and authors and vendor contacts.


Mayhap next year...it's still in NY's Javits' Center which is odd. They used to rotate it around the country with every other year in NYC. I know because there was no way I could've gone to the one in LA. At least not on work's dime!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Bald eagle lands on girl

I can not make this headline up. Read it on the BBC site (because their news is less...stressing I'd say and MUCH more far reaching. You can learn a lot about the world by reading them!)

The entire headline is: Escaped bald eagle lands on girl at Bristol hotel which is still a pretty cool headline if you think about it. There's a video, too. You should watch it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Books read

I have so many books I've read lately and am way behind in reviews. I haven't even posted anything on Barnes & Noble, my profile is woefully lacking. It's a time factor. The simple fact is that I'd rather spend my time reading and writing than reviewing. Not because I don't think the books are worthy of review (they most definitely are!) but because reviewing sucks up valuable reading time!

But a promise is a promise. So my first review will be of Try Just Once More by Kat Henry Doran because she was kind enough to send me an e-copy. Which I read (don't ask how long ago!) and will now review. Or, well, will review next week because I want to see if she forgives me enough to be a guest on my blog next Friday!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Flowers

I like flowers. They're great, honest. But let's face facts-I know nothing about them. Anyone who read my blog about planting my garden knows this. I look at a picture of the flower (or the item itself if I'm not growing from seeds) and buy it based on whether I like it or not.

Bought my godmother a lovely hanging basket for Mother's Day. Do either of us know what it is? Nope. But it's pretty! Hence the purchase.

So what do I decide to add into my contemporary paranormal story? An 18th century horticulturist. Why oh why do I do this to myself? It's all well and good, fine and dandy, but for one teeny tiny problem: Current day flowers had different names and would possibly not even be around in 1773. Yup. insanity.

Alas, it really works well in the story if I do say so myself. The research was well worth it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Awesome new review!

Wow, thanks, Susan S.! Over at Love Romance Passion Susan did an absolutely fantastic review of Desert and Destiny. 5 Jeweled Boxes! Made my entire month. My favorite part?


Roman nocked her arrow, drew back an imaginative bow, took aim, released her words, and hit bull’s eye dead-center!

Get ready to save a camel and ride a magicker. Yes, I did say that. Go ahead, you can read it again if you’d like. This is erotica, after all!
Read the whole review here.
Dark Desires of the Druids: Desert and Destiny will also be available September 1, 2010 in bookstores everywhere from Red Silk Editions, an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's a Book!

And a children's book at that, but the trailer is hyterical!


Donkey-What do you have there?


Ape-It's a book!


Donkey-How do you scroll down?


Ape-You don't, it's a book!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Musings: Swoon-Worthy Hero

Swoon worthy heroes!

Brace yourselves: Shameless plug coming up!

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. ~Romantic Times Book Reviews.

That review was for Northern Belles and Southern Roses anthology from The Wild Rose Press.

So what constitutes a swoon worthy hero? I'm sure you have lots of opinions, for every woman there's a man who makes her swoon. Might not be the same as me (*cough Colin Firth cough*) but there's someone out there who has the that makes your knees week.

He's got to be handsome but that has more to do with your imagination running away with you or picturing Brad Pitt's better looking alternate universe evil twin. He also has to have confidence, or the appearance of confidence even if he's not an alpha hero.

Heroes can go through their own character growth which involve deep seeded conflicts or insecurities but they always have to have an area they are truly confident in. Otherwise, they become the wimpy secondary character.

However, confidence can also be a tricky slope, one that can easily turn into arrogance. Now, that doesn't mean that an arrogant hero is a bad thing, it just mean you have to know your hero. Plan him out before you start writing (let's not talk about inconsistency!) and make sure he compliments the heroine no matter what you write about either of them.


Plot his growth to compliment and coincide with the heroine's, make sure whatever it is he learns/does/is/wants doesn't make a romance between them seem unlikely. There's nothing worse than a reader wondering why the heroine fell in love with the hero.
But how to make him swoon worthy? I have no idea. I can tell you how I wrote Jack in In the Shadows...he loved Marion enough to join forces with her. He didn't regulate her to the background or belittle her mission, and in the end, he saved both their lives.
What about you? What's your swoon-worthy hero?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Catching Fire

I'm going to go back to my regularly scheduled weeks next week or the week after. I've read a lot of great adult books I want to review, but then a friend introduced me to Suzanne Collins and her Hunger Games series. I was up until 2:30 last night (with a long day ahead of me work-wise) finishing the 2nd, Catching Fire. About 70 pages from the end I remembered book 3 isn't out until August. I railed against the unjustice of it all, those people who encouraged me to read this anyway, but I couldn't stop reading. It was that good.

(I suspect they just wanted another reader to be hooked enough on the story to wait in agony for August with them. Could be wrong, but I don't think so. OK the book was also just that good. But still. August? sigh)

I can't say I like Katniss, but I love how she sees everyone around her. Katniss is a blind, self-absorbed, stupid girl who can't figure out anything not to do with herself or hunting without a literal life and death struggle. But the supporting cast is amazing and I found myself reading faster in hopes to see what happened to THEM. Peeta, Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, Finnick, and Johanna-the things they do, the reasons they do it, are great, only glimpsed at (the story is told in 1st person from Katniss POV), and make me wonder just what else is going on around Katniss that she hasn't realized and don't care about.

The supporting characters in Katniss's home are less realized (mom, sister, best friend/maybe boyfriend) but I don't care about them anyway. The plot was typical, easy to spot, but I enjoyed it because the cast and they way they went about it really held my attention.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday Progress

New unplanned story project in the works. Not sure how this is going to go, it came out of nowhere but who was I to refuse? Refuse a cool, exciting new story project? Not I. I embrace the insanity wholeheartedly. With alcohol and caffeine. Yup. It's the only way.


And chocolate. Back off my stash!


So, new story proposal came about Monday afternoon (3 days ago). New story chapter 1 deadline is this coming Monday (3 days from now). I can do this. I just have to brush up on my angst (check) social networking (harder but I'll pencil in a very light check) and classics (have book will travel check) and I'll be set.


And to think, I had my next project all planned out. Even had 6 whole chapters outlined! Researched! Characterized! (And anyone who knows me knows that naming characters is the hardest part of the plan.) The whole verse planned out. AH well. I'll get to it eventually.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hunger Games

I just finished it last night about 12:30. I was so close, I couldn't put it down for today. I loved it. OK, it's got this annoying girl who's totally oblivious to just about everything around her save for small glimpses I thought could have been expanded. But Suzanne Collins does a credible job of making her the epitome teenager in a post apocalyptic world.

I really wanted more about what happened to the world, Panem the country that rose from the ashes of North America. I hope it'll be revealed in books 2 and 3--this is such a rich world, and the glimpses Ms. Collins offers tantalize rather than satisfy.

As for Katniss, sure, the story is told in her POV exclusively, but there are other characters I feel deserve their time in the spotlight. Peeta, Haymitch, Effie, Cinna, even President Snow. What more could they add to the story? What more is there to them that we'll never know. I bet their stories are absolutely fascinating, and I hope Ms. Collins will offer us more of them.

Stephen King gave this book a B and called the writing uneven or childish or some such (I'm a librarian I know the reviews, just not verbatim). I have to agree, the writing was stilted at times, but the story itself was captivating.

I'm going to read the second one, Catching Fire, as soon as the copy returns. I put my name on it like a good library patron and now wonder if I should have grabbed it a week ago and just held onto it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Musings: The Kick-Ass Heroine!

Let's start old school -Wonder Woman!

She's the epitome of the kick ass heroine. IMO she isn't given her due. Superman and Batman like to hog the spotlight, but she's a true original. Immortal and gorgeous, she decides to leave her frolicking on Paradise Island hidden deep in the Bermuda Triangle to protect humanity! Oh yeah, and like the little mermaid - she saves the handsome man from certain death.

Superpowers aside, Diana Prince is a complex character with a wicked lasso arm. She has to balance her secret identity with her womanly desires, and most of the time her womanly desires lose out. But Wonder Woman was just one of the early character incarnations in a nice string of kick ass heroines in popular fiction.

Xena, Lois Lane (the original not the 50s disaster), Charlie's Angels, and of course Buffy Summers, have all contributed to the elevation of the female character from victim, girlfriend/wife, mother status to a new level of authority in fiction.

To paraphrase Joss Whedon's famous point about why Buffy was small and blonde, he was tired of seeing the little blonde in horror movies running and screaming for her life only to end up hacked to pieces in some dark alley.

He created Buffy to lure the evil creature out - stop - turn around - and beat said evil creature to death with its own arm. Regardless of how I feel about Buffy's overall development or how I'm totally on the team that says Bella and Edward who? Buffy and Angel did it first! Buffy is the perfect example of how kick ass heroines have come a long way and can dominate.

It's no longer a given that the female protagonist is going to be relegated to running with a broken heel, screaming behind the macho hero. Nowadays, audiences are kept guessing as to whether or not she is going to turn around, pull a gun, and blow the bad guy's head off. And I for one love that.

Go girl power!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I AM DONE!

I'm done, I'm done, I'm done, I'm done, I'm done! This story, which was ostensibly finished in December, is now truly so. I cut, rewrote, redid, re-edited, and basically have a new story that works much better, is more paranormal, and with none (that I can see at least) plot holes!

I'M DONE!

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