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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guest Blogging

Today, I'm over at Caroline Clemmens blog, A Writer's Life. Come stop by and comment! There may be prizes involved. Maybe. ;)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Reviews

What makes you write a review? Do you write one for every single title you read? Do you post those reviews you do write at all possible places?

Probably not. Which might be a generalization but I certainly don't. I read so many more books than I write reviews for, and honesty post my reviews mostly here. I used to on Amazon, before I boycotted them permanently, but even now that I use Barnes & Noble, I find I don't post reviews on there for the books I read.

Can't tell you why that is, but there you have it. So...what makes YOU write a review?

And don't forget Friday guest Sandy Lender will be here!

Oh, and don't forget my Title Contest!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shopping!

Who's awake at that ungodly hour and standing in that freezing line waiting for the perfect gift. Rather, the perfect sale?

*ahem*

Raises hand.
Have you SEEN these Black Friday sales? Wow, they're amazing. So I got up waaayyy early, trudged off to the story, and will let you all know my amazing buys when I return.
If I return alive.



And don't forget my Title Contest!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, America!

And for those of you outside the US, I'm sure you have something to be thankful for as well. It's a day for remembering and appreciating all those you love and care about. So Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. :)

Not what we say about our blessing, but how we use them is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W.T. Purkiser


And don't forget my Title Contest!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Got zombie?

Homepage of the Dead...yup, you read right! It's a website dedicated to zombies, zombies, and more zombies. They're giving away a copy of Hungry for Your Love, so if you have ANY interest in zombies, stop on by!
From their about us page:
This site is dedicated to the horror films comprising the George A. Romero "Dead" series of films, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead.


And don't forget my Title Contest!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Characterization

I had problems (ongoing) with my hero and realized in all the past stories I've written, either he hero or heroine give me trouble. Never both in the same story, and never just the guy or the girl.

For instance, in my dark Regency story, I had Grayson, the hero, nailed almost instantly. My heroine, Juliette, on the other hand, gave me problems like a teenage daughter on her first date.

In this 1920s story, I had to go back and examine both hero and heroine's motivations number of words, and in doing so realized I needed to change the beginning...almost completely. But let's not go into that. My problem isn't my heroine, Emma, but my hero, Jared.

Anyway else have this problem? Not knowing who their character is no matter how many times you beg him/her to talk to you? Or how many times you bang your head against the wall/keyboard?

Help!

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Excerpt Monday: Whispers

This is from Whisperes, my short story in the anthology Power Plays. (Pst: it's on sale now, only $2.49!)

Olivia Adair is a junior senator having an affair with the Department of Justice liason, Ryan Granger. Neither want to give up their careers, but aren't willing to give up each other, either. Leaving her senate office late one night, Ryan overhears an aide talking about the death of a senior senator. He investigates, but when Olivia is hurt in a car accident, he wonders if the aide is now after her. Will he give up his position to save her life or is already it too late?


““In this building? Everyone’s too busy trying to one up each other in committee meetings or on the senate floor to notice.” Looking at his cell he said, “It’s 10:28, are we too late for that great Chinese place by your house?”

“Wu’s? No, they never close.” Olivia slipped on her jacket and grabbed a folder from a side table. “I just have to drop this off at Senator Boyd’s office.”

“Wouldn’t it be locked?” He peered quizzically at her.

“Yes. I’m dropping this through the mail slot. Some statistics I want him to see, buttering him up for a vote next week.”

“Butter,” he mused as they left her office and started down the long corridor. “We haven’t tried butter yet.”

Playfully elbowing her lover, she laughed. “Too greasy. I still think the whipped cream and warm chocolate are the best.”

“MMmm chocolate, that was a delicious evening.” Ryan glanced around but they were alone in the corridor. “One we need to repeat soon.”

“Behave,” she scolded without much heat.

“I wonder how many senators have had tête-à-tête’s here?” Ryan wiggled his eyebrows at her. He looked so preposterous she wanted to kiss him.

“I think the question is, how many haven’t?” she chuckled softly. “I was thirty when I became a senator and I thought I’d seen everything. I was wrong.”

“Orgies on the copy machine?” he smirked.

“Not quite but also not far off,” she winked. “Once I . . .” Olivia stopped talking and motioned for Ryan to hush. She pointed at a light through a slightly ajar office door. Bringing her finger to her lips, she rushed by it to slip the folder through Senator Boyd’s mail slot.

The two remained quiet as they retraced their steps. Hearing whispers, Olivia glanced at Ryan who’d stopped to listen.

“It would be the perfect solution.” The voice drifted through the door.

Olivia peeked in to see Senator Phillips’ aide talking on his cell. She tugged on Ryan’s arm but he continued to listen. Nosy isn’t he, she thought.

“Who would question if an old man died in his sleep?”

Her eyes widened and she stifled a gasp. Ryan sharply glanced at her but her hand already covered her mouth. He moved another step closer, straining to hear the conversation. She followed him.

“Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but stranger things have happened before a major vote.”

Waving a hand dismissively, Olivia gripped Ryan’s hand and urged him to walk away. She’d heard this kind of thing before.

“Murder plots in the senate office building?” Ryan questioned as they reentered Olivia’s office. He closed the door behind them.



And don't forget my Title Contest!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Romance Studio contest

I don't know why I did it, I mean I'm not planning on being online much this weekend, but I signed up to be a part of The Romance Studio's Thanksgiving Party.

It starts November 20 and runs through November 23, and I'll be giving away a print copy of Dark Desires of the Druids: Desert & Destiny, so stop on by!


Psst: I hear one of the grand prizes is a nook...

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon

This was a cute movie. I almost didn't watch it because I wasn't certain it was the kind of movie I'd enjoy. I love animated movies, don't get me wrong, and the viking history looked great, but it's the very anachronismtic humor in this that originally turned me off. But then everyone at work raved about it. I trust several of them for movie and book recommendations, so took their advice. I'm glad I did!

How to Train Your Dragon is also a book seires (which I haven't read but might) by Cressida Cowell. Thereby proving that more than the Harry Potter series can be made into a good movie. (Yes. I'm looking at you, Percy Jackson! Though I liked the movie, it was so different from the book that they weren't even related.)

So what did I like about it?

It was everything a kid's movie should be: cute, funny, exciting, and yes, even touching. True, some of the characters are a bit cliche and the humor is not entirely original, but somehow the story pulls you in. I found myself rooting for the cliche characters and cracking up at the corny jokes. By the end I was so invested, I almost shed a tear. Almost.

Side note: Kids with trouble fitting in should definitely watch this movie!

And don't forget my Title Contest!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Title contest!

Title Contest!!


I've talked off and on about my New York City, Prohibition Era romance. It's not an erotic romance, but it is a very sensual romance I hope to make into a series. Think Nick and Nora from The Thin Man. But with no smoking...and illegal drinking.

There's sleuthing, speakeasies, kidnapping, wild music and wilder women. Remember, it's the 20s--the sexual revolution before the 60s generation was a glimmer in their parents eyes.

My problem? I have no title. None. The document is saved as Chapter One. Seriously! So from now until the New Year (1/1/11) I'm running a contest for the person with the best title. The winner gets a recurring minor character named after him or her in this (hopefully) series. Leave a comment here or email me your suggestions. Can be more than one, I accept everything through January 1, 2011!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More pictures to smile at

Have you smiled today?






I love this one! He's so cute in a very sad way. Breaks my heart.




This one is just funny. :)







Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Excerpt

Kiss of Scandal. I love this story, the Russian history, the deception of the plot, the way fact and fiction are woven together. I studied Russian history in college, until I realized that in order to go further I'd need to learn Russian. A completely different alphabet? Never mind. My degree is now in American History...

But that didn't stop my love of Russian history, or this book. Here's a brief excerpt, I hope you enjoy it!


“I expect venom to spew forth momentarily,” the deep voice rumbled from behind her.

She could feel his hot breath tickling her shoulder, skin tingling with awareness. His lips brushed the base of her neck, there and gone in a heartbeat. Scandalous in so public a setting. Heart racing, she forced herself to turn slowly, arching an eyebrow as Count Nikolai Andreiovitch Orlov joined her and Anatoli in front of the Jordan Staircase.

Her need to rush up to the state rooms vanished.

Drinking in his appearance, Katria kicked the hem of her heavy skirt as she faced him. Her focus left his eyes to slide down his tall, muscular frame. As tall as Anatoli, Nikolai towered over her. It was the look, however, the one she now knew he reserved for her, that inspired sinful thoughts whenever they met. She smiled.

“Count Orlov.” She extended her hand, but instead of delicately kissing the back of it, Nikolai raised his dark eyes to meet hers and kissed her gloved palm. Katria tilted her head and offered a cordial nod for the benefit of any who may be watching.

“Countess.” Nikolai offered his arm and they started up the stairs. He closed his other hand over hers, keeping her close by his side. Katria couldn’t say she minded. “The vipers are restless, slithering about the rooms in search of prey.”

The way he’d said “prey,” the hungry look he slanted in her direction, made her shiver. Her fingers tightened on his arm, and Katria was certain he noticed. Then again, everything about Nikolai elicited a reaction, from the strength of his arm to the power in his smooth, deep voice. Now, as they climbed the stairs, his fingers brushed over her wrist, teasing the bare inch of skin between glove and dress.

“I’ve missed you,” Nikolai said. The words were so low, for a moment she wasn’t certain she’d heard them. Then he chuckled, and the sultry sound went straight through her.

Katria shook her head, temporarily clearing her thoughts. What had they been talking about?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Movie Review: Get Him to the Greek

Funny, sarcastic, with little digs in there about today's world. The whole American Idol dig was superb and almost slipped by me. No worries, I caught it and laughed hysterically. Loved the fact Chief O'Brein (Trek fame) was in there. And how much do I adore Russel Brand's hair? OK, his humor, too.


As a superficial movie, it was great. I think there were several parts where they started to get slightly more emotional and shied away from what would have moved the storyline further. Still, I admit to not watching it for that. I watched it for Russel Brand. :) And I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

National Veterans Day Ceremony:

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.

The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery . The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

This year, to support our troops, I'm going to donate to the USO.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday US Marines

The United States Marine Corps was originally the Continental Marines of the American Revolutionary War, formed by then-Captain Samuel Nicholas at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, by a resolution of the Second Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. Captain Nicholas's order was to raise 2 battalions of Marines.

That date is regarded and celebrated as the date of the Corps' birthday. At the end of the American Revolution, both the Continental Navy and Continental Marines were disbanded in April 1783. The institution itself would not be resurrected until 1798. In that year, in preparation for the Quasi-War with France, Congress created the United States Marine Corps.

The first Marine Birthday Party wasn't celebrated until 1921 with the Marine Corps Order No. 47 by the 13th Commandant, Gen. John A. Lejeune.


"In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Slowly editing

In reading the Prohibition era story over several obvious problems jumped out. Man, am I ever glad there's time to correct these? When did I decide it's a good idea to start with back story? When was it every okay to use an information dump?


Delete.
Delete.
Delete.

Phew! And 3000 words gone. Just like that. 9000 left to cut! But that's all right, now that the opening chapters flow better, it's easy enough to see where the rest of the story is going and let it go. Things are cut, there are extraneous details that no long fit and that can happily go. That'll cut thigs down significantly.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall vs Summer

Brr, the weather has changed! I miss summer's warmth, and while fall is pretty and all, this weather is not.

Five things I love about summer in no particular order:

□ Beach. I love and adore the ocean and would live there if I could. One day!
□ Traveling to places where I don’t need to bundle up to see anything.
□ Museums, they always seem to have the best stuff on display during the summer.
□ Sitting outside and enjoying my yard. This summer’s atrocious heat wave aside, it’s great to sit out there in the morning/evening and just relax
□ Longer days. Ben Franklin’s idea of daylight savings is all well and good when it works in your favor, but I don’t think he had no idea how hard it is to get up for work when it’s still pitch-black outside!

OK, and a #6…the warmth. Yeah, yeah this year’s atrocious heat wave aside, who likes being cold, all bundled up against the frigid winter, head down , not looking left or right or up, but down so your nose doesn’t fall off, with 7 feet of snow and blistering cold winds? NO ONE!!

What about you, what season do you like best and why?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Review: Hungry for your Love

Just found a new review for my Zombified story in Hungry for your Love from Bitten by Books. Overall, they gave it 3.5 Tombstones, but specifically of Zombified:

The collection does have several excellent pieces that stand out from the rest. In Zombified by Isabel Roman, an FBI agent and a doctor with a family connection inherit an unusual old mansion in the wilds of Martinique.

Yes, there are others that stand out, but I'll let you read the review yourself.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cleaning house

I am one of those few people who stops following. Actually, I shouldn't say 'few'-for all I know, there may be more out there but from everything one hears (form the mysterious they) not a lot of people take the time to stop.

So this week I did that. Pared down some of the things in my writing world to make it a wee bit more managable. I stopped following 12 blogs that I either never read or which haven't been updated in months. One was nearly a year. I still follow 42 blogs, but I know those aren't updated every day so I consider that list semi-managable.
And maybe I'll actually comment on more of them now, too!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Late Halloween gift

Halloween came and went this year and I totally missed it. I watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown both nights it was on. And yet did I buy Halloween candy? (Nope, neither for me nor for the kiddies who came round, causing me to hide in my house and pretend the dog didn't bark at every child who knocked.)

In honor of my complete disregard of this holiday, which I normally enjoy very much! I'm giving away a free PDF of any one of my stories to the person with the best 2010 Halloween story. It can be real, made up, a combination of the two, but it must be fairly short and MUST be posted by midnight EST today, Wednesday November 3, 2010.

The winner will receive his or her choice of any of the Druids stories, the EPPIE finalist Northern Roses & Southern Belles, the werewolf anthology with my story, Shadow State, the Russian historical, Kiss of Scandal, or any other story (short or anthology) you see on my site.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

FINALIST for the 2011 EPIC Anthology Award

AHHHHHHHHH!!!! OK now that I have that out of my system...:)

Northern Roses and Southern Belles is a finalist in the 2011 EPPIE Awards for Romantic Anthologies! We've received several great reviews, including a 4 star review from Romantic Times. It's very exciting, and the annual conference is in Williamsburg, VA. I may have to go!
From the official EPIC email sent to The Wild Rose Press:

EPIC, the Electronically Published Internet Coalition™ (http://www.epicauthors.com/) is delighted to announce that your entry, Northern Roses and Southern Belles, is a finalist in the Anthology Romance Category of the 2011 EPIC eBook Awards Competition™.

I have attached a copy of the finalist logo. We encourage you to post this to groups and websites, insert it in newsletters and promotional material as your badge of honor, sharing that you are part of a select group of great eBook publications.

The winner of EPIC’s 2011 Anthology Romance Category will be announced at our annual conference, held in historical Williamsburg, Virginia, March 10-13, 2011. Come join us: mix with your peers, attend wonderful workshops, eat fabulous food, learn more about EPIC…and discover the winners of our growing eBook competition.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Excerpt Monday

This is an excerpt from my environmentalist story. I'm all about recycling, clearing up the trash, generating less trash, and basically saving ourselves from ourselves. The Pacific Vortex? Disgusting and we need to desperately do something about that. Cleaning up Hawai'i's dirtiest beach, Kahuku? I had no idea Hawai'i even had a dirty beach. Hawai'i Five-O never showed that.

Hot Waters from the Green Love Anthology:

“I don’t know how long I’ll be gone, but I expect it will be years.” Turning to face him, she swallowed hard. This was more difficult than she’d thought. Never seeing him again panicked her. “You aren’t the kind of man to wait years for a woman.” As the words left her mouth, her heart constricted. “My contract was up weeks ago. We were just too busy in bed to notice.”

“I noticed,” Aidan snapped. “I didn’t care.”

She said a silent “Oh,” and gathered her clothes.

“It’s that easy?”

Turning sharply at his question, tears welled in her eyes. “Don’t. I’ve made my choice.”

“To leave what we have? To throw away everything we’ve created together? This is not something you’re going to find again.” His hands were still balled into fists at his side, and he held himself stiffly as he spoke. Aidan had formidable control, she knew first hand.

“I know.” Her hand shook as she picked up her clipboard. Only years of training kept her voice even. “I know. But when people say they want to make a difference in the world, they’re usually blowing smoke out their asses. This is real. I know how to do this. My work . . . will make a difference.”

“There are others,” he snarled, closing the steps between them. His hands lay hard on her arms, and he shook her once. “You can teach them, train them. It’s not your job to save the whole damn world.” Aidan’s warm hand cupped her neck so she couldn’t avoid his harsh gaze. “We can’t lose this.”

On sale now for $2.49


Overall 4 Cups of Coffee from Coffee Time Romance:

Ms. Roman has written an emotionally and stimulatingly charged story full of love and sensuality. This was not only beautifully composed but the type of tale I love to read, where you can connect with the characters. This story was easy to read from beginning to end and the conclusion of it will not leave you hanging, which made me a very happy reader.

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