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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time Flies

Apparently October is FRIDAY! I'm not ready for that, there's too much to do in September let alone in October. I have birthday gifts to buy and cakes to make and conferences to attend. The first of which is ALBACON.

I'm really looking forward to that. And not just because there are going to be Star Trek Micro-Panels! Please note my inner geek emerging. :)

It's going to be an informative weekend and lots of fun. Have you registered?

Friday, September 24, 2010

TGIF!

This has been a long long week. In addition to the puppy, I think I had a bad reaction to my flu shot this year. Not that I've ever had a bad reaction before, and have been getting them for years, but there you have it. I hear they added in the H1N1 vaccine to the regular mix. Not sure that was it, but it's what I'm going with since it was the only outside variable.

Things checked off my ToDo list: Finished synopsis AND the partial. Reading it through one last time Saturday and then emailing it off. Very excited about that, no matter what happens. And within the next several weeks, I plan on finishing the story and working on a couple other shorts and unfinished stuff.

October is jammed packed with conferences. I say jammed, does 2 count? ALBACON in the beginning of October, then New Jersey Romance Writers at the end. I'm really excited about ALBACON, it's the first conference where I'm on a workshop panel. We'll be discussing history, research, and writing with someone else. I think it'll be fantastic!

(PST: Registration for both is still open!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Comings and Goings

Never did post on Scandalous Victorians...have now remedied that.

And have my new puppy! Oh, she's adorable. Confused and scared, it was her first night here, but she's too cute for words.





Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Musings: Exhaustion

Spent the weekend writing, writing, writing. Managed 6 chapters and half the synopsis. (Also did laundry, exercised, vacuumed, went to Michael's because I had a 50% off coupon that expired Saturday, and watched Amazing Wedding Cakes.)

Probably could have done the whole synopsis if I didn't want TV but the brain needed rest.

Desperately.

Picking up my puppy today! I'm really excited and can't wait. So no writing tonight, but tomorrow I'm reading over all 12 completed chapters, finishing the synopsis, and Wednesday morning sending it out.

Why, you ask, am I not finishing the whole thing? Because this editor knows it's not done, and has asked for a partial anyway. I love this editor. :) So she'll get 24K of 95K words and a lovely synopsis and then I'll sit and wait while she reads it.

Yes, and finish the story. Must finish this story...and the Egyptian Contemporary one. And the other one...what was that? I had another story half finished that got shoved to the side because of these. Man, my brain is fried.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Christmas party?

It's September you say? What's your point?


I'm thinking of having a December give away this year. Every week (day???) give away a prize to one random person (*must comment to be entered, restrictions may apply depending on what I give away and where I have to mail it, but one never knows).


Who wants to join me? It's all very vague as of now, I thought it up oh, 2 hours ago. But I'm thinking a short guest post about whatever you want and a give away to one random commenter. Book, chocolate, gift card, whatever.


I wonder if I get enough authors to join in, if I should have a big give away at the end of the month. The question is, what constitutes big? Yes, this requires more thought. Hence the starting in September. But the question stands:


Who wants to join me??? If you're interested, drop me a line!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Zombie love anyone?

Never thought you'd read those words, did you. Welcome to the new writing world, where anything goes. I'm not mocking, and not cause I'm in this particular anthology. Or not just. We are in an age where the confines of that pesky box are no longer.
  • Want to write your time travel Civil War romance? Go right ahead.

  • Or a forward time travel (traveling forward in time rather than backwards) from Ireland to Texas? Go for it!
  • Zombies, werewolves, vampires, oh my! I don't have statistics, but I recently read that paranormal is the largest romance sub genre. Yup. I so believe that.

  • Menage? M/M? F/F? There's a market, a huge one, and it's no longer under Anonymous, or in Penthouse, or anything else you don't want it to be. Talk about a large romance sub genre!
  • (When I say sub genre I mean under the romance umbrella, since that's pretty all encompassing.)
With the explosion of e-publishing, stories the 'regular' print publishers refused to look at are now getting attention. They're not only being picked up but they're selling well. So why not Quirk Press's Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (needed more zombies and less plot holes) or Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (haven't read it, so can't comment)?

Don't believe me? I just read a post on this very thing. (Granted I wrote this blog on Tuesday and read the post on Wednesday but the timing was perfect!)

Hungry for your Love is the zombie romance anthology from Ravenous Romance and St. Martin's Press. St. Martin's Press bought the print distribution rights to Ravenous's zombie e-book. Tells you something, huh: zombies (and that outside the box thing) are everywhere.


My story, Zombified, admittedly has the zombies cast as the bad guys, there's an excerpt on my site, just follow the link. Don't believe you'll like it? Want to see what else is out there? Contact the other authors for the first couple pages of their story-or the e-book is available from ravenous for $4.99. Trust me, it's well worth it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday Review: Mockingjay

I devoured Hunger Games and loved it. No, I don't like Katniss, (and neither do several coworkers who read and loved the series that's how good it is) but the world, the supporting characters, the plot were fabulous. I read Catching Fire in a night. While it didn't have the same intensity as Hunger Games, it read wonderfully.

Mockingjay didn't do it for me. It took me weeks to read it, and I should have known my own hesitation was not because I lacked time (there's always time to read a much anticipated book) but because I feared Suzanne Collins would disappoint me with her finale to this series.


She did. I won't go into details, but everything I loved about Hunger Games and Catching Fire were taken, tossed, shaken, stirred, and replaced here. Characterization went down the drain. If she wanted to show what she ultimately did, maybe having 4 instead of 3 books was the way to go. It seemed as if she skimped on what I as a reader loved most about the first two books and then delved into other things just enough to make you think she was going in one direction only to have her redirect just when things were getting interesting.
I'm all about the red herring but sheesh, follow through! And don't finish the entire series in 20-30 pages when the majority of the book could have been dumped.
And then there's characterization. WHAT HAPPENED? To say I was disappointed is a huge understatement. But I won't spoil anything here. Sufficient to say, I'm deeply saddened by what she did to core characters.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Comings and Goings

What am I doing this week? I don't know.
  • Work-check
  • writing-check
  • Synopsis-dear God help me but OK yes I'll get to it-no check yet will have to work on that
  • Tomorrow I'll be over at Unusual Historicals talking about the last 2 Chinese Empresses during the Victorian Era. I'll also be posting it over at Slip Into Something Victorian because it's been months since I've posted there. Bad Isabel!

Huh, looking at the list, nothing new there! Work and writing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

How Dark is Too Dark?

I believe (tho am not sure) that urban fantasy is considered very dark. Some paranormals, too. This is neither urban fantasy nor paranormal, but an historical. So my question is: How dark is too dark?

Where's the line? What's considred too much?

On the other hand, what do you want to see? How deeply do you want the angst to run? How horrible do you want the world to be?

Murder and Magick on All Romance eBooks

I just noticed that Dark Desires of the Druids: Murder & Magick is #1 under Historical Other on All Romance eBooks! With a nifty silver star...what does that star mean? Anyone know? I'll have to scour their site.

Historical Other...I guess they got tired of categorizing historicals, there are a lot and they already have Historical--Ancient, America, Gothic, Regency, and Medieval. I'm thinking they should have Historical 20th Century, too. I hate to say it, makes me feel old, but the 20th century is of the past...and enough on that particular topic!

Oh, neat! OK, the silver star means "ARe Best Seller: This means that the title has either been a Category Best Seller or a Top 10 Best Seller"

I'm good with being a category best seller!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Guest: Wendi Zwaduk

Please welcome Wendi Zwaduk! Her new release, My Immortal, is a contemporary paranormal from Total-E-Bound.

What made you decide to write My Immortal?
I wanted to write an action/adventure story. Storm Richardson started out as a plain, old private investigator, a la Sam Spade. Originally was based more on Bogey than the final version, but the farther I got into the story, the more it didn’t seem to flow. I had the story going, but it seemed to be missing something. But, being persistent, I kept at it. It wasn’t until about three quarters of the way through the story that Storm really got my attention. Don’t get me wrong, he peeked over my shoulder the whole time, but it was at this time that he really spoke up. He’d been telling me all along that he was smitten with Stevie—wanted to get to know her more on a physical level, but he hadn’t told me the one thing that would be the make-or-break.

He was a vampire. It through me into a momentary tail spin. I hadn’t exactly set out to write a paranormal story. I’d told a critique partner (who I respect a ton), that I wasn’t cut out to write paranormal. But the more I thought about it and the more I worked with Storm, the more I realized that his confession was exactly what the story needed. What had been more or less a lackluster story became tighter and more interesting because some of his quirks were better explained. So as much as I hadn’t planned to write a vampire story, I did.


What else are you working on?

I’m currently working with a very dear friend of mine on a ghost explorer story. My ideas tend to run away from me... I get so many and can’t keep them straight. But Megan told me she wanted to work with me on a ghost story. Problem? That’s all she said, “I want to work on a ghost story. Write it.” Good thing she’s a very dear person and loves erotica as much as I do.
I also have a story about a secondary character in My Immortal brewing. She wanted her own story and so...it’s in the works. I have the outline done and am slowing getting started on the story. I know this much, it’s going to be hot.

And since I just can’t sit still or work on one thing at a time, I also have another vampire story half done. He was nice enough to tell me early on he was a vampire and exactly who he wanted. No ifs, ands, or buts with Julian.

One of these days, I’d like to finish the follow-up to the contemporary mainstream romance Right Where I Need to Be. The story is written, but it needs edits and polishing before it can go to the editor.


What’s your dream story? The one that becomes a New York Times runaway bestseller, the one you hope to one day write?

Those who know me well know I love racing. If it takes place on dirt and has trucks involved, I’m sold. I was able to incorporate dirt racing into two of my books (Right Where I Need to Be and You’ll Think of Me). Although Storm isn’t much for racing, Stevie from My Immortal sure loved it, so the scene where they watch the race was a favorite for me. (You have to read it to find out why.)

But the book I’d love to write and make gadzillions of dollars or at least be the break through story would be one I already wrote, but haven’t done much with. It’s about a NASCAR driver and the woman who loves him. I know, I know, it’s been done. (There aren’t too many romance stories that haven’t been “done” in one version or another—that’s not my point.) My hero and heroine had a past and they really do like each other when she wanted to rip his ears off for being a man. But unlike many sport themed stories, my goal with mine was to make the sport part as authentic as possible. Lots of times the hero might be a sport legend or on the mend after an injury, but the actual sport part of the story is rather obscure. I don’t know a whole lot about football or baseball so it really doesn’t matter to me. Racing is another story. I understand it and can talk fluently when accidents occur. So when I read a book with race elements in it, it drives me crazy that the racing is glossed over or incorrect.

I probably had the wrong reason for writing the book—to get racing in romance right, but I let the characters dictate which direction the story went. One day I’ll re-edit and fiddle with it in order to make it editor ready. I won’t give up on the dream that the story is the one the world is waiting for, even if I totally miss the mark. That’s the nice thing about writing—what one loves is what another might find awful. So if it’s not the next big thing, it’s not. I’m good.


Anything else you’d like to share?

I think we’ve covered it all. I’ve enjoyed being here and will be around all day. I’m happy to answer any reader questions. Feel free to ask!

Blurb: What’s a girl to do when she finds out the man of her dreams is a 340 year old vampire?

Run like hell or offer her heart.

Being a vampire hasn’t been easy for Storm Richardson. He’s not programmed to kill or harm, unless he needs to feed. When he meets Stephanie “Stevie” Persing, he knows he’s found his mate. But if he crosses the line between work and play, he risks losing the only person who matters—her.

Stevie’s been in love with Storm since the moment she laid eyes on him. He’s brooding, intense, and her one weakness. But is her heart too steep a price to pay for his love, especially when she discovers his deepest secrets?

“What did he do to you?”

As she squared her shoulders, she took a deep breath. “He screwed Gypsy and then claimed he thought she was me. I don’t know how, since she’s five-nine and honey blonde. He said something about being shit faced and needing my comforts. I didn’t buy it then and still don’t even if it was pitch black when I caught them in my bed.”

Storm fought the twin waves of relief and anger. He didn’t like Ace from the beginning and the fact that the jerk screwed her good-for-nothing sister only confirmed his feelings. His heart still ached for Stevie even if she was better off. Life tended to dump on her in garbage truck proportions.

“Why did you think scum like that would make you happy? His name is Ace, for God’s sake.”

A lock of glossy, dark hair swept across her forehead when she looked away. “Actually his name is Herbert Axel Blake.”

He tried to contain it, but the laughter bubbled up on its own accord. She eyed him curiously than burst into giggles, too.

“Yeah, that’s his real name, Storm. I guess he thought Ace sounded cooler.”

Lust surged in his veins. He brushed her tresses from her eyes and trailed his fingers down her cheek. “It doesn’t sound cool at all.”

Her lips parted with a gasp. “I doubt I could’ve married a Herbert. It sounds too old-fashioned.” There was a definite catch in her voice.

He choked on his good humour. Too old school? What would she say when she found out he was 340 years old and grew up in Colonial Massachusetts? That was ancient history, even by his terms.

Deciding to try his luck, he pressed a question. “How about a Jacob?”

She crinkled her slightly upturned nose. “Who is Jacob?”

Flashing his best smile, he caressed her cheek with his thumb. “Me.”

Thanks for stopping by, Wendi! Don't forget to leave a comment for Wendi, she's giving away a download of My Immortal to one randomly drawn commenter

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thrusday Progress

I've updated my progress bar (thanks NANOWRIMO!) for my dark Regency. My sexy dark Regency. Cause I like my dark with sexy. :)

This isn't a totally accurate account of progress. Sure, it says how far my writing has come via words, but it doesn't say 1) how my break is coming [done!] or 2) how many times I've had to rework certain aspects for the right about of dark and/or sexy.

I've done the English Regency research, no worries, I'm not counting that. :) But I do have to twist it to suit my purposes.

My only other Regency story was much simpler. And shorter. Wanton Woman


Friday Guest: Wendi Zwaduk will be here with her newest release My Immortal, a contemporary paranormal being released from Total-E-Bound. Don't forget to stop on by!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Progress

Yesterday I wrote how I spent an inordinate amount of time on chapter 1 of my new very dark Regency story.

In 3 days, I managed a polished words. I'm rather impressed. It's not as much as I'd have liked, but then I also did other things. Slept, ate, BBQ'ed, family time. It was all good.

Friday Guest: Wendi Zwaduk will be here with her newest release My Immortal, a contemporary paranormal being released from Total-E-Bound. Don't forget to stop on by!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chapter One

This weekend I planned on writing 20-25,000 words. This included chapter one which is always the hardest to do. It has to be intriguing, progressive, captivating.

Great!

If it's just that good, people will read more. If it's not, chances are they'll never read chapter 2. Or, for that matter, buy the book. I've read at least parts of chapter one either online or standing in the book store. If I don't like it, of course I won't buy it. What's the point?

Hence the several hour chapter one tweaking marathon.

I personally think it was worth it. :) Here's hoping others do, too.

Friday Guest: Wendi Zwaduk will be here with her newest release My Immortal, a contemporary paranormal being released from Total-E-Bound. Don't forget to stop on by!

Friday, September 3, 2010

AHHHHHHH

There.
Phew!
Okay, breathe.
Yes, that's better.

And while I do feel better, screaming doesn't necessarily help with the writing. Still have to do that. But yeah.

Stress relief at it's best and most primal.
Nice.

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