Monday, January 31, 2011
I read about this new alarm clock (might not be that new but I just read about it) that lights up gradually to simulate a rising sun. Supposed to help you wake up easier, more naturally, and get a better start to your day. I'm not sure how waking up at 6AM is a prelude to any kind of decent day, but whatever it takes to help me out of bed and get moving, right?
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Caroline Clemmons talks her American western The Texan's Irish Bride. Neat cover, eh?
Cenora Rose O’Neill knows her father somehow arranged the trap for Dallas, but she agrees to wed the handsome stranger. She’d do anything to protect her family, and she wants to save herself from the bully Tom Williams. A fine settled man like Dallas will rid himself of her soon enough, but at least she and her family will be safely away from Tom Williams.
Texas rancher Dallas McClintock has no plans to wed for several years. Right now, he’s trying to establish himself as a successful horse breeder. Severely wounded rescuing Cenora from kidnappers, Dallas is taken to her family’s wagon to be tended. He is trapped into marrying Cenora, but he is not a man who goes back on his word. Ah, but what is he to do with a wife and her wild Irish family?
Friday, January 28, 2011
But then I love what I do and enjoy playing in the imagination sandbox.
Still, January 28? Sheesh.
What have you done this month? Make any resolutions? Keep any of them? What are your goals for February?
By William Arthur Ward
Do more than belong: participate.
Do more than care: help.
Do more than believe: practice.
Do more than be fair: be kind.
Do more than forgive: forget.
Do more than dream: work.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
It's a never eding cycle of plot, write, and the self-edit.
But I love it, despite the suspicious keyboard marks on my forehead. Not so attractive but I don't seem to leave this computer so no one really notices them anyway.
ACK! And let's not forget the synopsis!
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
No, it wasn't one of those I stayed up reading until 4 am the night before an important meeting (Catching Fire) but that was an extenuating circumstance. I don't usually do that any more, I tend to pace myself with reading and sleep, sleep usually being the more important of the two.
Sad but true. But I did find myself reading as my eyes drooped, and that's always a good sign.
Now, A Woman of Choice...
This is the blurb and it's tantalizing in and of itself:
A woman is viciously betrayed by her unfaithful husband and left for dead. She is rescued by a widower not interested in love. But he offers her shelter, purpose, and passion. She offers herself. But she never expected his best friend to offer her marriage! One woman, three very different men. Life is about CHOICES.
Norwegian in America. Yummy Norwegian in America. Frankly, Nicolas could have been anywhere and I'd have jumped his bones. But besides all that bone jumping, it was a great story. History of America aside, which I love, it also delved deeply into the history of Norway.
Sydney is strong, trying to overcome her past, trying to deal with, well, quite a bit. But she's not prim & proper which is just as well considering it's 1819 Missouri.
Also, this is but the first leg of Nicolas and Sydney's journey. I don't have yet but will get the next two books ASAP . I like reading about a couple beyond book one, because while I adore the Happily Ever After, I know there's always something after that. A good writer can move beyond trite soap opera cliches to break up the characters and show what really happens in a relationship.
I have every confidence Kris is a writer who can pull that off.
Now, because I feel I need to at least add this is, Kris did self-publish this. At least that's what I get from the publisher site. If I'm wrong, Kris, I apologize. However, my addendum to that caveat is that it's still a damned fine book and definitely worth reading.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Doesn't matter that we never met, had a phone conversation, or that I even knew what he looked like. I'll miss him.
I'd also like to post this article I read Sunday about an American football rivalry and how it changed two men's lives.
Monday, January 24, 2011
~No idea who said this an an internet search produces way too many hits to sift through.
The only reward to be expected from the cultivation of literature is contempt if one fails and and hatred if one succeeds.
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
~Henry David Thoreau
I will never stop writing. People often ask when I will retire, but I say it’s none of their business. Writing defines who I am. I love the feeling of holding a finished book in my hands, and then I can’t wait to start the great adventure of writing the next one.
~Barbara Taylor Bradford
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.
Friday, January 21, 2011
It’s been a tough year, with a death in the family and my youngest son applying for college and then leaving home. Lots of emotional changes, which can get in the way of writing romance. Romance novels, almost by definition, require a writer to pour emotion onto every page, and that’s pretty difficult if you’re already emotionally exhausted.
But these things are passing now and I’m starting to get back into writing again. One of the wonderful things about taking a forced sabbatical, is that while the words aren’t getting on the page, the creative process is never truly quiet. I’ve continued to plot, and I’ve built up this enormous back log of writing energy. It’s really starting to flow now.
What are your 2011 goals? If you have any!
I have goals but please, oh please, don’t call ‘em resolutions! Goals are something you plan to do, resolutions are things you have to do, and I’ve got a terrible rebellious streak in me. As soon as I hear “must” I think “why?” So yeah, goals. Definitely goals. And I’ve got a ton of ‘em, the typical lose 10 lbs, exercise more, eat healthier, yada, yada, yada. I have serious doubts about those.
I haven’t done it before, why believe I’ll do it now?
On the other hand, I have some pretty concrete writing goals. Having taken that little sabbatical I now have two books I want to finish this year, and I’ve only really just started them. I’ve got another that I’d like to do a substantial re-write as well, and one more that I want to do some serious plotting on. All of that, of course, requires research. And I’d like to become more publicly involved. I love Victorian history, and I really would like to share more of it. I think a lot of people have a misconception about the era, and I’d like to help change that a little. So I’ve gotten on twitter (after a lot of hand wringing because it’s more technology to learn!) and I’m trying to set things straight with 140 characters a day.
Twitter isn't bad, Dee, once you get used to it. @ladyisabel Dee's Twitter: @DLEagan
How do you overcome life-interference when it comes to your writing?
Chocolate? Okay, that doesn’t overcome it, but it sure helps with the depressing parts of that interference. I guess the best way I overcome it is to keep my brain working no matter what.
Lots of days my fingers don’t get to the keyboard. I can, though, always think about my stories, and I keep a pad of paper in my purse to write down random ideas that occur to me while shopping or driving or whatever. Eventually I get them all in a file on the computer. I also put myself to sleep pretty much every night “listening” to my characters. I starting a scene in my mind—dialogue, thought, some description—and continue to construct it until I fall asleep. That way when I do get a chance to write, a lot of the words are already there.
No, they aren’t exact. Sometimes they’re worse, sometimes better, but one way or another I’ve always got a story going. As I said, life’s challenges can interfere with the writing, but it rarely stops the creative process.
What are you working on now and what are your plans for this story?
As I said, I’m working on two stories. One is a contemporary, with a screenwriter heroine. In 30 years of writing I’ve only written one contemporary, so it’s a stretch for me. But I like challenges in writing and once I got over the initial “can I do this? Do I have the voice for it?” it wasn’t as difficult as I thought. The second one is in Victorian America 1870’s ish. Both have light paranormal elements as in psychic connections and spirits, which move me away, again, from what I’ve traditionally written.
While the characters in the contemporary are fairly light, which is where my writing over the last years has gravitated, the hero in the historical is pretty dark. That, too, is a bit of a challenge, but fun. The biggest challenge is writing two entirely different stories at the same time. Lots of characters and plot twists to keep track of. It’s requiring a lot of organization.
Of course both stories have my traditional murder element, because I just love how throwing that into the mix alters relationships. For me, that’s what's most fun about writing romance: creating characters, putting them together and watching how they work things out. It’s the discovery process that is such a kick! And not just the relationship between hero and heroine, it’s the other characters in the story and how the developing romance affects them.
As for plans, no special plans other than to finish them and submit them. We’ll see what happens after that.
Thanks for stopping by, Dee! And good luck with your goals-not-resolutions. Any time you want to visit, feel free to do so.
Both Wicked Woman and The Wild One is available in paperback ad e-book form.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Working on that now.
Seriously, how do you take a 70,000 word story and condense it into a 500 word overview? How do you take the next 3 books and show enough of them to entice without adding another 1500+ words to the synopsis?
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
But zombies. I wasn't going to watch this, I was perfectly happy ignoring the latest in the zombie trend. But then I heard everyone (and I do mean that literally) talking about it. Not just zombie lovers, but people I wouldn't have thought knew what a zombie was.
So I caved.
And it was pretty good! AMC did a great job with the characterization, with the aftermath, and unlike The Road (2 thumbs down!) they explained the overall world and what happened. Whereas The Road left the apocalypse as a vague explanation you had to guess at and were left wondering if the water they drank and the air they breathed was contaminated or not, The Walking Dead (based on the long-running comic series) created a disease.
A mysterious, deadly, infectious disease, but one that left the survivors unscathed and able to survive without those pesky is-this-safe? questions.
Granted, the sheriff, was entirely too stupid to live, and should have stayed with the always stellar Lennie James, but alas. Because of course I'm going to ride into Atlanta (or any city for that matter!) on a horse amidst a zombie outbreak, with all the cars leaving town now burnt out shells, and not one damn sign of human life.
That's beside the point...it's about the survivors, which all the best post-apocalyptic stories are about. Give it a try, it's worth it.
Hungry for Your Love: An Anthology of Zombie Romance
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
So where would you rather be? Somewhere warm? A Caribbean island? Florida Keys? Central America? Hawai'i? A Polynesian island?
Or are you one of those I'd rather be skiing people? I like skiing, don't get me wrong, but am more of a weekend skier. Anything more and my knees give out. Badly. With swelling.
Play with me: Anywhere but here. Where would you like to be (assume money and time off from work is no problem *G*)
Monday, January 17, 2011
It's so unglamorous!
Get up and take care of dog. Food, walk, water, a little fetch. This is usually done VERY early in the morning. Try to go back to sleep, which usually doesn't work.
Scroll to last 2 pages and read them to remind self where left off.
Open outline to figure out where story is headed.
Wish for nap.
Place fingers carefully over keys and pick up where left off.
Type, type type.
Start it all over again.
Write, write, write.
Feed & walk dog.
Write, type, write, delete, type, forward motion! Ahead!
If work day:
Get ready for work.
Take puppy out once more.
Home & dinner.
Scroll to last 2 pages and read them to remind self where left off.
Open outline to figure out where story is headed.
Write for 1-2 hours.
Crap, forgot to take puppy out! Taker her out...bed again.
And this is the glamorous life of a non-full-time writer. Exciting, isn't it.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Two years ago in May it was beautiful. Warm, a little rain, but perfect for walking around. March I'm not so sure. Must give this more thought I suppose.
Northern Roses and Southern Belles, available from The Wild Rose Press (e-book and print), Barnes & Noble (print only apparently), and Amazon (e-book and print).
In a country torn asunder--from the Canadian border to Texas, from Maryland to Arkansas, from the battlefield of Antietam to the Red River Campaign--brave men and loyal women see their lives turned upside down.
Peril lurks behind every tree and near every homestead, but the hard-fought love of a man and a woman surpasses all.
Six talented writers provide stories of romance and danger centering on Union and Confederate soldiers, spies, blockade runners, renegades, and battlefield nurses during a period of corsets, hoopskirts, and gentlemen callers.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
for National Geographic News
Updated January 3, 2011 (Published July 24, 2009)
EDITED FOR LENGTH BY ME RED FULL ARTICLE HERE
At 262-by-262 feet (80-by-80 meters) in most places, the Son Doong cave beats out the previous world-record holder, Deer Cave in the Malaysian section of the island of Borneo.
Deer Cave is no less than 300-by-300 feet (91-by-91 meters), but it's only about a mile (1.6 kilometers) long.
By contrast, explorers walked 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) into Son Doong, in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, before being blocked by seasonal floodwaters—and they think that the passage is even longer.
In addition, for a couple of miles Son Doong reaches more than 460-by-460 feet (140-by-140 meters), said Adam Spillane, a member of the British Cave Research Association expedition that explored the massive cavern.
The team found an underground river running through the first 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers) of the limestone cavern, as well as giant stalagmites more than 230 feet (70 meters) high.
The explorers surveyed Son Doong's size using laser-based measuring devices.
Such modern technology allows caves to be measured to the nearest millimeter, said Andy Eavis, president of the International Union of Speleology, the world caving authority, based in France.
Noisy and Intimidating
Son Doong had somehow escaped detection during previous British caving expeditions to the region, which is rich in limestone grottos.
"The terrain in that area of Vietnam is very difficult," said expedition team member Spillane.
"The cave is very far out of the way. It's totally covered in jungle, and you can't see anything on Google Earth," he added, referring to the free 3-D globe software.
"You've got to be very close to the cave to find it," Spillane said. "Certainly, on previous expeditions, people have passed within a few hundred meters of the entrance without finding it."
Bigger Caves Waiting?
Of more concern to the caving team were the poisonous centipedes that live in Son Doong.
The explorers also spotted monkeys entering through the roof of the cave to feed on snails, according to Spillane.
A biologist will accompany the team on its return visit next year to survey the cave's subterranean wildlife.
Eavis, of the International Union of Speleology, added that there are almost certainly bigger cave passages awaiting discovery around the world.
"That's the fantastic thing about caving," he said.
Satellite images hint, for example, that caves even larger than Son Doong lie deep in the Amazon rain forest, he said.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl who Played with Fire were awesome. I haven't seen The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, but once it comes out January 25, I'm there.
I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when it first hit American bookshelves 2 years ago and loved it. I couldn't finish it fast enough, not because I wanted it to end, but because I wanted to know what happened next. Actually, I listened to it. Why? You try pronouncing some of those names and places. It's easier when someone else does.
I devoured the other two in the trilogy just as fast and let me tell you, it's a darn shame there'll be no more in the series. They were just that good.
If you haven't read the books, watch out for those graphic acts of violence, and read for the mystery, the girl, Lisbeth, and the Swedish culture. Fascinating all round!
I don't agree with Hollywood about remaking this already stellar movie. I *heart* Daniel Craig don't get me wrong, but there's no need to make a Hollywood-ized version that will probably add unnecessary things in and take out what made this book and movie so awesome to begin with.
Hollywood, why not try a werewolf story instead? ;)
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
I'm pretty much open to anything.
Except biographies. Once in a while yes, but normally, I just don't care-I've enough family drama in my life thanks.
Here's what I'm reading now:
The Texan's Irish Bride by Caroline Clemmons
A Woman of Choice by Kris Tualla (I then plan on reading Kris's Prince of Norway and A Matter of Principle)
Maybe Robyn Carr's newest Virgin River? Hmm possibly yes. I still need more. Five books waiting for me is nothing. I need at least 12+ to make me feel better. Never know what mood I'll be in for bedtime reading!
Friday, January 7, 2011
Cause tall hot Norwegien men? All over that...and you may take that statement as you will. :)
So, Norway is the new Scotland, huh? Prove it.
I'm not afraid to admit it.
When I began writing my very first novel for publication, I intentionally chose to write something other than the "kilted warrior." I wanted to be unique; I didn't want to be just another book in the crowd. A foin crouwd, to be surrre… but still. I wanted to create my own niche.
So I thought, who else is sexy? Vikings! Big, blond, buff, and beautiful, with oceanic eyes. But the Viking era was pretty harsh. And limited. And dirty. So Nicolas Hansen, my Norwegian hero, lives in the 1800s Missouri Territory. He (and all my Norse heroes to follow) are some version of big, blond, buff, and beautiful. Strong. Stunning. Smart.
So, imagine my surprise when this creative streak turned out to be a hindrance! Publishers said, “We don’t do American historicals… no one can sell Scandinavia… write Scotland, BUT Scotland is a very crowded market… publishers LIKE their boxes…” I’ve heard it all.
Nonetheless, I stuck by my men. Especially when Nicolas told me (and his very surprised new wife) that he was a prince! Great-grandson of King Christian VI. Who knew? So in the second book of the trilogy, off we go to Norway in 1820 while Nicolas decides whether or not to be king.
I had been blogging about my heroes and my path to publishing, when the following article, “Common Mistakes by New Authors” by Irene Goodman, appeared in the September 2010 issue of Romance Writer Report (RWR) published by Romance Writers of America:
“It’s always sad when an earnest author spends years working on something that absolutely no one is interested in except a few geeks or hobbyists. Let’s say you want to write historical fiction. You need to understand that unless you are writing something very literary and high quality, you must pick a marquee name. If you fall madly in love with the life story of an obscure Norwegian king, please don’t think that you are going to convince the world to love it, too. Furthermore, learn the market and what it requires. Commercial historical fiction is very female-driven. Even if the Norwegian king had some kind of interesting hook or quality to him, readers are more likely to be interested in the queen.”
Hm. Coincidence? Possibly. Probably. Maybe not.
Make me more determined? Definitely.
It was back in 2007 that I was driving past IKEA when I heard a hyped-up commercial on the radio: H&M was coming soon! "Hmm," I thought. "These are both Scandinavian stores… I guess that's the next big thing."
And then it hit me. My hook. My brand. My big, blond, buff, beautiful heroes with oceanic eyes! Norwegian men are the next big thing.
"Norway is the new Scotland" was born. And it's growing.
So. Is it time you found a new brand of hero? Please allow me to help.
For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.
BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!
In February at the end of my blog tour, I'll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here's how you can get in on that deal:
1. Go to http://www.kristualla.com/ and find the "Secret Word" on my home page.
2. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Signed Trilogy Giveaway" in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.
3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day's blog location is listed at http://kristualla.wordpress.com/blog-tour-dates-locations/
A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at http://www.goodnightpublishing.com/
A Woman of Choice - Missouri Territory, 1819
A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.
A Prince of Norway - Christiania, Norway, 1820
American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather's throne. His new wife Sydney isn't about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?
A Matter of Principle - St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821
Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren't about to step quietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it's a matter of principle.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Doing the happy dance now...
I do want to read through it once more, I'm sure there are spots that still need polishing, and I want to make sure the romance flows well from Point A thru Point D. The synopsis needs one more read through as well, and then it's off!
And only 7 weeks rather than the 6 weeks I'd estimated. Not too shabby considering I had to rework so much of it and do the beginning from scratch.
My title contest garnered a total of one person offering suggestions, so in honor of that, I've named Jared's butler Marlowe. He'll be making repeat appearances in the future three books. :) Thanks, Kit! (Kate, CMK...) No, I didn't chose one of those suggestions, but then I did offer limited information about the book and it did change from the time I posted that contest. Still, it's the effort that counts.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Favorite line? Murdock's: (not quoted but from memory) Those who will be back will be coming back. But those who won't be back, won't be coming back. Now I say this because if you aren't back, then you won't be back. Understood?
With a great deal of reservation, I watched the trailers for the movie. And fell in love. I HAD to see it, like pay for it in a movie theater which I rarely do ($10 a ticket? Out of your frakkin' mind).
In one of the few remakes I can applaud, it took the qualities I loved from the original and modernized them. The humor was there, the comrade between the 4 of them, everything that made me tune in week after week to watch a show whose episodes were so similar that even as a kid I could tell that.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
New day, new week, new month, new year.
Not much has changed.
I still spent yesterday writing all day. To be fair, I spent New Year's Eve partying and New Year's Day recuperating/Christmas partying/shopping.
What does this year hold in store for me? Yeah yeah if I knew that I'd be rich. I know what I'd like it to hold. Happiness, health, sanity, prosperity, and good friends and family.
I hope your new year holds everything you want from it! Go after it, whatever it is.
As for my Charity One-liner, Two whole people commented, so $10 goes to The Children's Aid Society. Maybe I'll try again not during the holidays when more people aren't crazed.