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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How I Spent my Summer Vacation

Not necessarily the Tiny Toons cartoon, which was excellent, but how I'd like to spend my summer. If I didn't spend all my time working then writing that is.

Kayaking (have never been)
Hiking Great Smoky Mountains (have never been but have been hiking)
Canoeing with the family. We used to go when I was young but I haven't been in ages.
Horseback riding. Other than the 20 minute planned route. Maybe an actual lesson.
Get to the beach. I live so close and yet have I made it there once this summer? No, if you couldn't guess that.
Drive-in movies.

What about you? What do you want to do this summer?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Musings

Sequels to stories.

And the possibility of them. With 2 of my stories' right reverted back to me, the temptation is great to continue in the worlds I've created.

Both stories In the Shadows and Shadow State are wonderful worlds I'd love to revisit, but at the moment I have a couple other commitments to finish.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Guest: P.J. Jones

HOW MANY PARODIES CAN FIT INTO ONE BOOK?
The answer is limitless. Consider my new release, Romance Novel, a  Vampire, Shape-shifter, Medical, Historical, Erotic, Western and Unwed Virgin Mother parody.  In the book I obviously poke fun of the Twilight series, plus Brokeback Mountain, Australia, James Bond (don’t ask what he’s doing in a romance novel when we know he’s only out for one thing) and, of course, Texas Millionaire fatherless-baby books. We’ve all read them. We all love them, but oohhhh, they’re perfect parody targets! Add a little medical suspense and a disgruntled, overweight cover model, and, BAM!, you’ve got a spicy, flavorful, if not tacky, parody.
Currently, I’m nearly finished writing a romantic comedy (not a parody) and then it’s on to Romnce Novel 2, where, of course, zombies must make their debut. What’s a romance without zombies to add some zest to the plot?
Some people may wonder, “PJ, how can your plots make any sense with all those novels jammed into one?”
Honestly, I wonder that, too, especially when I’ve infused historical romance scenes into a contemporary plot.
So to quote SMELLA ROSEPETAL, the heroine of Romance Novel, “Are you going to point out every historical inaccuracy in this convoluted story-line?” 
Of course, you aren’t. You’d be shoveling for days if you tried to fill all the plot holes in my parody.  Just sit back, relax, and savor the story. Romance Novel is a rich blend of flavorful, if not foul smelling, piling heaps of crap, meant to be enjoyed with a fine glass of generic beer on tap.
 Blurb:
“Snake,” Smella cooed while trailing her fingertip along his bulging biceps. “There’s something I need to ask you.”
Smella Rosepetal must find a millionaire husband to finance her baby’s heart transplant. She flies home to her deputy father’s ranch in Pitchforks, Texas, where she falls in love with Deadward Forest, a wealthy environmentalist vampire. 

When a deranged murderer is on the loose in Pitchforks, killing romance heroines, Deadward assumes Smella would be safer without him. Smella turns to her childhood friend, Snake Long, for comfort. But Snake doesn’t have the money to save her baby, so Smella places herself in peril in a desperate hunt for a rich husband.

Time is running out for Smella’s baby, and she must escape the Australian Outback, then face down Flabio, an overweight and disgruntled, aspiring cover model, plus enraged vampire wives and their homosexual, vampire, cowboy husbands, a jealous were-gerbil, James Bond, a drunk rodeo clown and Smella’s strange boyfriend who wants to drain her blood, yet is repulsed by her smell.
Excerpt:

His eyes widened, and he looked at her with a goofy, hopeful gleam in his eyes. “You want me to be the father of your illegitimate child?”
“Don’t be silly.” She swatted his shoulder while rolling her eyes. “I was wondering if you knew anything about Deadward Forest.”
Snake winced, a gleam of anger flashing across his features. “Why do you want to know about pasty face?”
“That’s not very nice, Snake,” she scolded. “Maybe he’s allergic to Vitamin D.”
“Are you joking?” He spat. “Deadward is a bloodsucker, just like the rest of his family.”
“Bloodsuckers? Really?” Smella perked, the visualization of heaping wads of money making her mouth water. “So that’s how he got rich. Do they handle personal injuries or divorces?”
“Neither, Smella.” Snake shook his head, while jumping out of the truck and slamming the imaginary door. “You need to stay away from The Forests,” he raged, before sweeping Smella into a passionate embrace. “Let me take care of you and the little bastard,” he begged, his eyes turning dark, thunderous.
Mouth agape, Smella stared at Snake. His body was large, strong and warm. She could get lost in his liquid molten gaze. Oh, if only he was rich and white. But now was not the time to be distracted by secondary heroes. She needed a man who could save little Wally.
“Do you have the money to pay for my baby’s heart surgery?” she rasped.
“No,” he said on an exhale, as if his chest had been crushed with the admission.  
“Then forget it, Snake!” Smella pushed away, trying hard to ignore her feelings for him as she bemoaned the fact that friendship sex would count as a strike against her virginity. “I’ve already made up my mind.” She spoke without conviction then bit hard on her knuckles in an effort to quell her raging sexual hormones.  
“Besides,” she confessed, “even though I don’t know much about Deadward, I’m already irrevocably and unconditionally in love with him.”


PJ Jones began writing Romance Novel in the spring of 2009 when she was seriously ill, thinking that this book would be her last dying legacy for mankind. After you read this book, you will probably wonder if she was trying to seal her fate in hell. Who knows? But PJ Jones has conquered her illness and is much better now. But you probably don't care, as long as her writing is funny. PJ Jones is also an avid reader of real romance novels. So why does she poke fun of them? Consider it comic relief. Want to find out more? Her blog and Facebook page have much more!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday Progress

Or why I need to settle down and plot a story!

Because it's what I do. I write. I am a writer. I need to do this in order to continue living. It may not seem as important as breathing, but that's only because breathing is an involuntary function that takes no real concentration or effort and writing takes both.

But the last couple of weeks have been hard. Life has bludgeoned me. Time has slipped away. I have a couple great ideas, one a contemporary I'm super excited to write. Plus I want to read over my two short stories I just got back the rights to.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Revews: Patient Zero

Every once in a while my reading kick involves all the titles in a certain genre I can find. After Night of the Living Trekkies, I ordered several zombie books and just finished Patient Zero. The first line caught me: When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with my skills.
 
Told in first person, the action read like a Vince Flynn or old school Clive Cussler or W.E.B. Griffin book-lots of action, tough talking guys who love their country and hate the bad guys who may or may not be utterly one-dimensional. With the additional of the stereotypical grey leader of a super-secret government organization. It's technical, jargon-filled, and o-stop, but it also has a ring of could-be potential to it, which most post-apocalyptic stories do. Or should.
 
However this does have the definite addition of zombies. Which, if you ask certain people, is always a great addition. That addition does lend a certain depthness to the story I otherwise might not have finished (but only because I've read the afore mentioned authors and enjoyed them). Zombies and terrorists and megalomaniacs? You can't beat it.
 
When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there's either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills... and there's nothing wrong with Joe Ledger's skills.  And that's both a good, and a bad thing.  It's good because he's a Baltimore detective that has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new taskforce created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can't handle. This rapid response group is called the Department of Military Sciences or the DMS for short. It's bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bio-weapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Vaudeville

Vaudeville...in my mind it conjures images of train rides, seedy backstage of small town theaters, and pantomime. However, there was more to it than that.

In my story The Dangerous Miss Hunt, Emma Hunt is a former vaudeville performer. Today I'm over at Slip into Something Victorian talking about the origins of both the word and the show.

Monday, June 20, 2011

When do you give up?

I don't mean giving up writing, I mean when do you give up on a story?

I have 2 stories-one is a stand alone 1792 Regency and one is a 1860s paranormal historical series. I have the first plotted down to each scene. I have the series planned for the overall world as well as the first 2 books' overall arcs.

But I'm not writing them. I'm not even close to writing them. In fact, I cannibalized the Regency for parts. The paranormal is one I'd love to get to, but how far back can I push it before I lose interest? Or it doesn't work? Or a whole slew of other things?

What do you do? Do you lovingly tend to a story you know you're not getting to any time in the foreseeable future? Take it for parts? Forget it and shove it in a metaphorical drawer-folder?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday Excerpt: Murder & Magick

Saturday's Excerpt at Slip into Something Victorian will be my story, Dark Desires of the Druids: Murder & Magick. The first in my druids series, and because of that a story close to my heart. This is from the middle of the book, the black moment. Well, one of many. I did say it was my first published story!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday smiles

Here are some more pictures from the email forward. No idea where they came from but they're too cute not to share. Some captions only came in the email, so I pasted them here. My absolute favorite is the last one, but the second to last one is adorable as well. Which one is yours?


 "You want a piece of me?  Bring it on!...

 "Kid . . .. You're askin' the wrong guy".


It was only a little pee, why the 30 minute timeout?

Touch de duck... I keel you!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday Progress: rights reverted

The rights for my 2 stories with The Wild Rose Press have been reverted back to me. I'm pleased to have them, don't get me wrong, but I'm also sorry that two great anthologies are no longer in print as such. As a business decision, it's right for the company, but it's still sad.

Northern Roses & Southern Belles finaled in the EPIC awards this year. And while Taming of the Wolf didn't do as well award wise, it's still a great anthology.

So I'm taking my stories, In the Shadows (South Carolina 1861) and Shadow State (Germany 1933) and reformating them for self-publishing. I've downloaded the how-to and this is gonna take some time! Only because of my lack of knowledge when it comes to this types of converting and the fact that I really don't have the time anyway. I did manage to make some awesome new covers!

Hopefully within the next month all will be up and available.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Review: Game of Thrones

The series. I haven't read the books, but I hear they're awesome. They'd have to be if the HBO series is this great.

Granted, there's one episode left, but I'm confident in my review: WATCH THIS SERIES!

If you like: Drama, political intrigue, Sean Bean, sex, back stabbing, war, an imp/half-man with a wicked sense of humor and more brains than 3/4 of the rest of the characters, and overall compelling storytelling, then this is the series for you!

If you don't like surprises then this is NOT the series for you.

I found this while reading a recap of an episode:

To all the newbies, some advice:
Dont become attached to any character (seriously) Whatever you believe is happening, you are wrong Whatever you think will happen, you are more wrong Whatever you have hope that will happen, sorry, wrong again Keep a box of tissues, you're going to need it

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer

One week before the Summer Solstice. Any plans?

I know, what an odd question. But it's the longest day of the year. One day I'd love to go to the beach (on the west coast) and just watch the sun set past 8pm. Or climb a decently high mountain and see the sunset on the longest day of the year.

There are all sorts of beliefs involved with Summer Solstice. There's the summer aspect. The religious aspect. And even the let's enjoy it aspect.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Musings

Today I'm musing on why it's so important to keep up with social networking Which isn't to say that I do, or that I have all the secrets...or even one secret for that matter. Nope, today is all about why it's important but not necessarily how to accomplish this. important thing.
First and foremost, you must have access to social networks. Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or any of the other hundreds of groups out there.

Which ones? I refuse to do Linkedin for the simple matter of yet another social network. Can't keep up as is, forget adding one more! I rarely update my facebook page and am only marginally better at Twitter. At least with that it's more a running commentary on what I'm do/watching/reading/thinking than profile update.

Then it's a matter of doing it. How often? I can just about (/movie or finally find the right words to describe it in any sort of coherent statement. Fun things are also done in advance, like last Friday's pictures. Likewise with guest authors. On an average week that still leaves 2-3 days. Updates and Progress are hard to do in advance.

So say you update your blog every day...should you post to twitter every day? I don't, rather I do go on Twitter, but don't share my blogs every day. Some days aren't anything more than Hey, this is what I'm doing. Other days are more interesting--those funny pictures from Friday or guest authors who are on my blog for the exposure (of their work, sheesh, not that way Mind-in-the-Gutter!)

Yes, even when I don't have the bestest blog out there I'm on Twitter. It's easy to update and interesting to read. There are a LOT of things on Twitter about the publishing world. OK, there are lots of things in general but most of the people I follow are in the publishing world.

Tired already? Yeah. My advice (okay so maybe I do have an answer...but only one!) My advice is to start small. Join ONE thing...Facebook, Twitter, start a blog, whatever. But then do that. Update regularly, find 'friends' with similar interests, share stuff and not just about you, you, you.

Then see what happens from there!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday smiles

These are also from a forward from a friend, but they're all stinking adorable. I'll only post a couple here and save some for another day. I hope you smile like I did!



I love this one, it's so classic!




And my favorite in this bunch...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday Progress

I have no progress to report. Some ideas tossed around, some new concepts that have great promise, but nothing solid.

What's everyone else working in?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Review: Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides

I have mixed feelings about this. I think part of the problem is that I expected more. More of what made the trilogy so exciting, so worth re-watching.

OK, sure Orlando Bloom & Kiera Knightly weren't in it, but where was the mention of them? The off handed remark about their very presence? Not like they hadn't gone through a lot together.

And where was the crew of the Black Pearl? Hello mention! A line, a comment, a reminisce. Nada.

The whole mermaid thing was interesting but cheated, I felt. It was rushed, not very well explained, and overall almost an afterthought.

Anyone else have a comment on it?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Happy Birtday, Emilia

Today is Emilia's first birthday! I've had her since last September, but it doesn't feel that long. On the other hand, it feels like I've always had her in my life. In celebratioin of her birthday, I'm making her a doggie birthday cake.

Peanut Butter Delight Dog Birthday Cake


Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour 
1 tsp baking soda 
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
1 cup shredded carrots 
1 tsp vanilla 
1/3 cup honey 
1 egg
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
Mix together flour and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into a ring mold sprayed with a nonstick spray for 40 minutes.
Frost this cake with low fat cottage cheese and decorate with carrot pieces. Store in refrigerator. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday Excerpt

The Most Unsuitable Husband by Caroline Clemmons

Available as part of her backlist, this Texas Western is part of a series currently available on Smashwords for $3.99. Look for this week's Saturday Excerpt at Slip into Something Victorian!

Reforming a rogue is easier said than done. Sarah Kincaid wants only the simple things: a home, a family, a place in the community where she can set a good example and lead a moral life. When she learns her mother's will has made her a saloon owner, she is shocked. Even more shocking is her reaction to Nate Bartholomew. Tall, dark, and unmistakably tempting, Nate is a gambler by trade--and hardly an upright citizen.

Taking in a trio of starving orphans on the run from an unsavory man is hardly the way to conduct a romance--if not a redemption--but Nate and Sarah soon learn that the only proper thing to do under the circumstances is to let love take them where it will...and get ready for a passionate adventure.

The most unsuitable husband may just be the perfect man at heart.

Friday, June 3, 2011

More pictures to smile over

This came from a forward a friend sent me. No idea where it originated from, but the pictures are too good not to share. Adorable, I can't help it, I'm a sucker for cute animal pictures!

And if you haven't seen this adorable video, you really should.














Thursday, June 2, 2011

June goals

Busy, busy, busy! And that doesn't even begin to describe what June is like for me. That's without adding in writing time. Plus there's the new Cars movie I absolutely must see. But every little writing minute counts, right?!


Picture from the Simon Dexter Blog, found from a google images search using the term 'busy'.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Books to movies

For the purposes of this, I'm talking fiction. Non-fiction/documentaries are in a totally separate category.

All this talk about Hunger Games being made into a movie (and I do mean all this talk, it's permeated everything!) got me thinking about what's lost (and gained?) by turning a beloved book into a movie/series.Game of Thrones, Pillars of the Earth, Dexter, True Blood, Murdoch Mysteries, the Stieg Larsson trilogy, not to mention the many many adaptations of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, etc. (For more try this site.)

I like to think I have a pretty good imagination and don't need a movie to show me what I've already pictured for the setting. Plus there are the drawbacks of lost scenes, composite characters, the movie/show going off in a different direction than subsequent books, and bad casting.

But there are positives. There have to be!

The number one pro I can think of is that you get to see everything on the page, all the description and background on the big screen. Or in the case of a series, the expansion of a beloved universe. But what else? If I've read the book and loved it, why would I take the chance on seeing the movie that may or may not be up to the book's standard?

Or is that the point? To see it there, to take that love of a book to another level?

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