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Showing posts from August, 2010

LAST DAY of the Blog Tour

Hmm, I had written a blog post for today, and it was scheduled, and it disappeared! Just vanished. I wondered why it wasn't posted already today. *sigh*

I wonder where I put it. :) I don't have time to rewrite my brilliant post because I've got to go to work soon so I'll just wing it! It was about being impulsive.

I don't see myself that way--I'm definitely not an impulse buyer. But on the other hand--I've made some major changes in my life that were matters of necessity, that show another side of me. That impulsive side! And here I wonder where my heroines get it from!!!

When I was a kid and later as a teen, we were always having to move. First with my dad being in the AF, then with him being with the space industry, then with him being laid off with tons of others in the space industry. Whenever he'd ask me if I wanted to move, I'd ask when I needed to pack. :)

In part, I'd say I loved adventure--a new place to explore, new things to do. And so I…

Change of Scenery

My name is Olivia Cunning and I live in Southcentral Nebraska. I suppose I don't really need a twelve-step program to admit where I live, but it can't hurt.

I'm a transplant. I moved here for a job over five years ago. I don't regret it (nice, nice people live here and I have a great, secure job), but let's just say the "scenery" leaves a lot to be desired.
This is typical scenery in my area. F. L. A. T. Corn. Corn. More corn. The occasional soybean. A cow or two. If you like sky, we've got plenty of that. If you like hail, thunderstorms and tornadoes, come on over. Wind? 35 MPH is the norm. Doesn't that mean snow drifts? Oh yeah, baby. All winter long.
Speaking of winter, here's my typical snowy view. Isn't it pretty? Maybe for the first few days. Or weeks. But after three straight months of nothing but the snow-covered, flat ground (meaning drifts sometimes get up to the top of my porch railing there), no, it's not. It's not pretty.…

Change is in the Air

by Amanda Forester

I love the beginning of autumn. I know we’re not quite there yet, but yesterday when I took a walk in the beautiful sunshine there was a certain snap to the cold breeze that told me cooler weather is on the way.

I believe autumn is the most beautiful season of them all. Here in the Northwest the trees light up with blazing colors of yellow, orange, gold, and red. Of course we always have the steady evergreen trees mixed in for added color. We are not there yet, but it’s coming, and I love it!

I always get excited this time of year. Maybe it is because I went to school for sooooo long I’ve been trained to consider the fall as the beginning of the year. The few days before school starts are ripe with possibility. These are the glory days before I’ve made my first mistake or gotten so far behind I crackle with anxiety. The beginning of school is always an adventure, a fresh start, a new beginning.

Even when I (finally) stopped going to school, I went back and taught class…

Abundance brings Change, or is it the other way around?

Since my blog is falling right on the edges of “change” and “abundance” – our themes for August and September respectively, I thought I would bridge the gap. Besides, lately my life has been particularly abundant with change!

Have ya’ll noticed I have been absent lately? Well, I do hope so! What a crush to the ego to not be missed!  I feel truly awful about my distance, though, since visiting here with my friends and our followers has been an important part of my life for over 2 years now. This is where those concepts we call “change” and “abundance” come in to play. For me these past 2+weeks have been all about our chosen themes and even though it was of my instigation and even though I am thrilled about what has been going on, I have had moments of questioning my sanity!

“What is she babbling about?” you ask. Well, like many of our momentous developments in life, this one started with a simple conversation. My good friend and fellow Sourcebooks published Austen-fiction writer Abigai…

Have we really changed all that much?

In our Lycan Regencies, the underlying theme in each story is ‘Change’. Once a month, each hero changes shape under the power of the full moon. However, even before the big physical transformation takes place, his temperament and personality undergo slight changes as well. He gets moodier, lustier, less patient.

And all the while, he tries to keep the ‘change’ a secret from those around him, usually including the woman he loves.

I suppose I could also describe this aspect of our Lycans’ personalities as them being insecure in their own skin. They’re not certain if their friends knew the truth about them, if it would change how they were viewed and accepted.

My son started back to school this week. Middle school, I should clarify. I know half of you reading this just groaned aloud. It certainly made me groan. Is there a more anxiety-filled three year period in anyone’s life? If you could go back to middle school and do it over, would you? I know I wouldn’t. The idea makes my stomach turn…

PRACTICE YOUR PITCHING!

Back by popular demand!! Another pitch session with me!

This time, I'm asking for ONLY the pitch for your HOOK.

Pitches should look like this:

[Subgenre]
Example: historical/paranormal romance trilogy

[2-4 sentence hook]
Example: Regency England is the glittering backdrop for the noble and the undead, where the gentlemen vampires are high sticklers. They would never bite a young lady to whom they had not been properly introduced! The first book features battle-born Scottish witch Blaire whose fearsome powers don't help her at all when she falls in love with charming vampire Lord James Kettering, until the pair discover the power of love to re-awaken even the deadest of hearts...

[author history]
Example: Lydia Dare is a bestselling writing team with 4 paranormal historical romances being published.
Another example: X is a debut author with 5 unpublished manuscripts written.
Another example: Y is a multi-published author of 9 books and 3 novellas with top e-book publishers.


Private pitche…

I’m Either Running From Change or Waiting for it.

By Robin Kaye

I have been running around non-stop for what seems like the entire summer. I think I’ve driven at least 5,000 miles in the last three weeks through 11 states
and stayed with four different family members and in four different hotels. I arrived home late Sunday night and I swear it’s going to take an act of God to get me to leave the house again!

I want my nice boring life back. Okay, my life was never boring, but at least it was slower. I want to spend a whole day thinking of nothing more than my work in progress. I want to get so involved in my character’s lives that I’m surprised when my husband comes home and asks what I’m planning for dinner. I want to be able to get out of my car without having to drag my luggage behind me. I want to put my kids on the school bus and not have to talk to anyone but my sweet dog for six hours.

I’m counting the days until school starts (six) and I’m already planning the soup I’m going to make on the first chilly day. I want to make stew …

For the times, they are (not) a-changing

By Mary Margret DaughtridgeWe’ve been examining change, our likes and dislikes, our fears and hopes, our strategies for avoiding or managing it.One of the things we have not discussed is things that are impervious to change. Right now, I’m finishing up revisions of SEALed Forever—Garth and Bronwyn’s story. You won’t do much research on SEALs before stumbling across quotes from Sun Tzu’s Art of War, written in the sixth century BC. I found several of them so applicable to my story, I've used them as introductions to chapters.Here are a few quotes:All war is based on deception.For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.Though Sun Tzu wouldn’t recognize a gun or plane, a piece of Kevlar or a radio, the principles he laid down are as fresh and applicable today as when he wrote them.Here’s a quote most people will recogniz…

Changes aren't always for the better...

Are we still talking about change? Or maybe it's the back to school theme. I can't remember, but I'm ready for a change right now. Too bad I can't think of anything to write for either one. But you all know what I do when I can't think of anything to write, don't you?

Wait for it. . . .


Hold on. . . .


No peeking now. . . . .




















There! That ought to do it!

*sigh* I feel much better now!

I'm heading to Dale Hollow Lake today with my buddies from the hospital, and the only place I can get internet is at the dock or at the Dairy Queen, so I may not be commenting much this week. We've made this trip plenty of times before, but there's been way too much change going on at our hospital lately, (most of it NOT GOOD AT ALL!!!!) and we need some new scenery very badly! A little down time watching movies and drifting on the lake will help some, but the readjustment when we get back will be even tougher than usual.

Speaking of going back to school, we got my son, Mike, …

The Worst

It’s not often people write about their worst teacher. Who wants to remember him or her? Everyone writes about their favorite teacher. I’ve even written blogs about my favorite teacher (my 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Fannett).

But my worst teacher was my seventh grade math teacher. She was so bad I don’t even remember her name. Let me just say, first off, that I was a bad math student. I never understood probabilities or percentages or parabolas. I didn’t like math, but that didn’t mean I didn’t like my math teachers. Many of them were very nice, and though they shook their head in frustration with my continual state of confusion, we got along okay.

But that seventh grade teacher was a different story. She didn’t have anything against me, she had something against all of us. Her first problem was she couldn’t control her class. I’ve been in a lot of English and history classrooms where the teachers had trouble with classroom management. But mostly the math and science teachers didn…

Change is Good

Change is good - especially in romance novels.

All good love stories are about change. After all, if the hero and the heroine know from the get-go that they're made for each other, what's the point in telling their story? You might as well get right to the good stuff!

But good stuff that comes without a struggle just isn't that good. Heroes and heroines have to fight to reach their goals - and they need a bigger goal than just finding love. They have to want something else: a rewarding career, or maybe peace of mind. Something that a relationship with each other would make even more unattainable.

But sometimes they learn that the goal they're so set on isn't what they really need.

That's what happens to heroine Charlie Banks in my September release, One Fine Cowboy. As the story begins, Charlie has a very definite goal - a plan with a capital "P." She's going to finish school, get her Ph.D. in psychology, and move on to some kind of rewarding work, p…

Time for a change

When I began writing the Strange Neighbors series, I honestly didn't know if I could do it. 3 ginormous novels about the same characters? Oh my! I had never written anything in a series and had never even written a book that long! I was happily epublishing novels about 3/4 of that size and even shorter novellas.

So what changed?

Pirates stole my paychecks and I could no longer justify the time I was putting into writing, attending conferences, advertising...all the stuff an author must do to sell their books. Working for twenty or thirty cents an hour? Holy poverty! I don't live in India where I might be able to survive. I live in NH where it gets cold in winter.

Circumstances demanded I change to a publisher that paid advances...that way I knew I'd be getting paid for my work. Royalties on top of that would be gravy. In epublishing, royalties are all you get, period. It's a gamble and in the past it paid off. It rarely does anymore.

Well, I did it. I just wrote 'th…

Change of Pace... And Not Slowing Down

Change: I'm feeling it.

Some of you know, I used to work in the custom home building industry and, well, with the economy (and my words, "used to") you can guess what happened. I had loved that job, working on-site in those construction trailers with the guys. I got to watch the homes being built, wear shorts and t-shirts to work, make my own hours, and it's really fun being the only woman on a construction site. Like having 20 older brothers who looked out for me and treated me with a lot of respect (except that I was older than most of them). It was a fun place to work and the pay was great. Plus, they didn't mind the writing thing. I never thought I'd find as perfect a job again.

Well thanks to that job and one of the guys I'd worked with, I now have a comparable one. In the construction business again, but this time for solar power installation. An up-and-coming company and they need someone to get their processes and office organized. There's a lot…

Change!!!

If you're a newly turned werewolf, change is tantamount, if you suddenly have the urge. And it can cause LOTS of stress.

Change makes most uncomfortable. Moving to a new home, changing jobs, even taking a vacation. The worry about what to take, and what not to take. The concern that what we take gets there. That we get there.

Even the simplest of changes can throw us into a tizzy. Ever go to the grocery store and the bread aisle is no longer where it's supposed to be? Or your favorite department store, and lingerie has replaced the section you always bought your casual wear? Or someone is sitting in YOUR seat at church or at school or in the lunch room at work??? This reminds me of Goldilocks & the Three Bears. :)

When we're writing, change can be good. It helps to increase the conflict. See? Change, any kind, can make for conflict.

Day to night brings change. We relax, or get busier, or go to work, or go to sleep.

Weather brings change. From sunny and hot to cold and rain…

Change of Heart

by Olivia Cunning

As a reader, my favorite books feature highly developed characters who somehow evolve or change through the course of the novel. Coming of age stories? Love them! That is why, when I exchange my reader’s hat for my writer’s one, I believe developing my character arcs is of utmost importance. Don’t get me wrong, the plot is important, too—some highly successful authors focus solely on plot and their heroine in book one is the exact same heroine in book seventy-three (yawn!)—but if a main character does not change in some way, she doesn’t feel real to me. I want to read about characters who are so real, I feel like I could give them a call and ask, “What’s up? Did you ever get those bullet holes in your refrigerator door patched?”

Let’s face it, when shitake happens in real life, people change. If someone breaks into your house and shoots up your refrigerator, you are going to change. Probably permanently. You might fear leftover meatloaf for the rest of your life. Ever …

Beginning School and my Nervous Breakdown

by Amanda Forester

So there I was in the middle of June, I blinked, there was a strange rushing noise and a blur, and now it’s the middle of August. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I have a strong suspicion it was a temporal anomaly, possibly hallmarking the end of the world as we know it. No worries though, I don’t want to freak anyone out. Besides, it could also be that I was abducted by aliens, which would only freak me out.

Ok, so the point? Yes, yes I have a point, I’ll get there don’t rush me; I’m still recovering from the after effects of the alien probe. Ok, the point –

ONLY TWO MORE WEEKS BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS!!!!!

My babies, my daring little pumpkins, are starting “big” school! Yes, my precious little angels will be starting elementary school. WAAAH! I’m not ready! How did this happen? I remember them being born, I think there was something about diapers, and then… strange rushing sound, blur, and now they are off to school! More temporal anomalies? Honestly, I hope NASA is loo…

Me + Change = As little as possible

My mom was the Queen of Change. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times we moved to a new, “better” house or apartment. And I mean that literally – I can’t tell you because there is no way I could remember them all! I swear the woman was a gypsy in another life. It didn’t stop there, however. She was never content with how the house was decorated or arranged. Every place we moved to had to be repainted, wallpapered, and new furniture purchased. If we stayed there for very long it would be redone at some point, I can assure you! And “long” to my mom was 5 months tops. When I was very young and we spent many years in our family home it became a sort of game. Would today be the day we came home from school to discover a new paint job or new curtains or the living room furniture switched to the den?

My dad hated it. Probably one of the main reasons they divorced! I sort of liked it. My mom was a fabulous artist who made a living painting signs for the small town we lived in. It is a fa…

I know we're supposed to blog about change, but...

I couldn't help but blog about RWA Nationals! And this year was an AMAZING year for Sourcebooks Casablanca and our authors. We sponsored the conference bags and it was so cool seeing our logo literally everywhere. Our spotlight was phenomenal--so many of our authors came, and the room was full of people. The author dinner was so lovely, and we had an even bigger private room because so many people were there! And our signing, well, it was literally a MOB. Sourcebooks Casa author Carolyn Brown (Her new books, I Love This Bar and Hell, Yeah, are in stores now!) sent me a CD full of pictures that her husband was kind enough to snap of the entire conference and here are some of my favorites:

Our very own RITA nominee, LAURIE BROWN at the Literacy Signing.
Laurie Brown, Carolyn Brown and Cheryl Brooks all in a row at the literacy signing--how fun! Here they are with Deb.

Naturally, we took limos to dinner.

Of course, a BUNCH were taken at the signing--take a look and enjoy.
(Cheryl Brooks)


The only constant in life is change

Do you remember that stuff that used to clink in your pocket back before it was all replaced by debit cards and checks? You probably coveted it, and stuffed it into your piggy bank, saving it up for some special treat or another.

I can remember when I was in my teens and I would count change to have enough gas to get from one place to another. And when I was even younger and I picked up change I found on the sidewalk. I’m curious to know how many people pick it up, now. “Find a penny, pick it up. All day long, you’ll have good luck.” Of course, that only works if the penny is on heads, for some reason. I never did understand that part.

At some point, the coins in your pocket become inconsequential. I don’t know when it happens. Maybe it’s when you get that first paycheck from your first job and you open a bank account. Instead of having the change clinking in your pocket, you have a debit card you swipe everywhere you go. Let’s face it -- it’s just easier to swipe a card than it is…

My School Year's Resolutions

By Robin Kaye


For the first time all summer, I have all three of my kids home and I’m having a hard time setting limits. I haven’t seen my Boy Scout for 8 weeks and look forward to our late night talks, Twinkle Toes gets so little Mom time during the year, I need to take advantage of the 31 days she’ll be home before school and dance pull her away again. And my youngest is walking that tight wire between childhood and becoming a young adult—a precarious time at best, so for the next month, I’m busy being mom 24/7.

My husband and I like to take advantage of having the whole family together, and this summer, I’ve seen the kids enjoy it too. I guess all the years of family dinners (no TV, no toys at the table, no excuses to cut out early) have really paid off. When I talked to the kids about what they want to do while we’re all home together, the one thing everyone has mentioned was to have as many family dinners together as they possible. I’m so glad they treasure family time. It’s impor…

You Are What You Love

Our theme for this month is back to school, and although it’s been many years since I sat in a classroom, it made me nostalgic for the excitement of a new school year. Yes, I’m one of those odd kids that actually enjoyed school and learning. And my favorite subject? Well, as you might have guessed, it was English.

Actually, I really enjoyed all subjects…except for math. I never quite ‘got’ mathematics. Oh, I managed to get good grades, and the lower math made sense to me. But once I got into quantitative theory and algebraic equations, I felt lost. I sensed the concepts, but I never truly had that complete understanding of the principles.

English, on the other hand, was intuitive. I didn’t even need to know all my prepositional phrases or adverbs. I just ‘got’ it, deep down in my gut. Whereas I had to work at math, I barely had to try in English to get a good grade. And I loved it. Which makes me wonder: do we love something because we’re good at it, or are we good at it because we love…

That four-letter word called change

Just because the word change has six letters in it doesn't mean a thing. For many of us, it's the worst curse word of all. I've been seeing a lot of it lately, in the book world, the nursing world, and on the home front.

First off, I'm starting book eight in The Cat Star Chronicles, and for the first time ever, I actually have a synopsis to go by. This doesn't necessarily mean that I will follow it to the letter, but I do have some idea of where it's going. I also came up with a title and a premise for book nine, but the plot remains a mystery. All I have is this image of a Zetithian with long black hair on a big, black horse. . . and nothing else. No clothes, no bridle, no saddle--you get the idea. I don't know about you, but just watching him ride in and then ride off into the sunset would be enough for me. Not enough for our dear editor, of course, but it's a place to start.

Major changes have also been happening at the hospital where I have worked for…

Back-to-School Shopping

When I was a teenager, the best part about going back to school was definitely the shopping. By the time I was thirteen or fourteen, my mom would just give me an envelope with cash and tell me that was all I had for the whole year, so I’d better spend it wisely. She’d drop me off at the mall, and I’d do my best to budget that money and get the most for my dollar.

I vividly remember the year I was in eighth grade. It might have been the first year my mom gave me the envelope o’ cash. That was the year Guess came out with overalls. I wanted them so badly, but they were $80. I think my budget for the whole school year was only $200. So $80 was a pretty sizable chunk. Plus, I had to buy a shirt to go with them. The stores were showing them with this white blouse with ruffles at the neck. I needed that blouse too.

So I bought the overalls and blouse and spent about half of my money on that one outfit. I have no idea what else I bought for that year, probably something pink. My nickname that …

Change of Home, Change of Heart

Changed? You bet I've changed.

Twenty years ago, I lived on a farm in Pennsylvania. My roots ran so deep I couldn't imagine ever leaving. Then I moved to Wyoming.

This week, I went back and visited my family and my old stomping grounds. It was a great visit, but today, on the last leg of the long trek back to my adopted state, I realized how much Wyoming has become my home.

The East is beautiful, with its rolling hills and leafy forests. While I was there, I noticed a lot of things we don't have in Wyoming - old stone farmhouses, black and white dairy cows, fountains of flowers growing in naturally rich, dark soil. We don't have a big selection of fancy restaurants, either, and we definitely don't have anything like Wegman's gourmet grocery stores.

But Wyoming has so many things I missed, even after a week. We have mountains - mountains with snow on top, even in August. We have sagebrush and antelope, and even buffalo dotting the hills along the interstate. (Yeah,…