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Showing posts from May, 2013

Adieu, sweet springtime... by Cheryl Brooks

What is there to say on this last day of May? Perhaps a quick ode ere the month slips away. As I sit here writing, my roses have bloomed. The lilies will dazzle, but could use lots more room! I've been on vacation; I even went twice. The Keys had their charm, Myrtle Beach was quite nice! But the Derby is over, And the Preakness was won. The Belmont at Elmont is yet to be run. The Indy 500 was a fabulous race, And when Tony won, he poured milk on his face.  But alas, like the month, my post is now done. For tomorrow brings June with its heat and its fun. Next summer's vacation? I haven't a clue. But for some unknown reason, Only Scotland will do! Come on, now. You knew I'd get the hunk in there somewhere.

What’s an Historical Romance Author Doing at Comicpalooza?

By Shana Galen I’ll be the first to admit I loved the Star Wars films. I wrote a whole book as Shane Bolks with a Star Wars premise. It’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I’veDated — check it out. I also like Star Trek and read a half dozen or so Robert Jordan books, but that’s about as far as my love of all things sci-fi and fantasy go. If this is heresy to you, feel free to skip to the comments now and tell me so. My friend Any had no compunctions about telling me how undeserving I was when I told her I was on three panels at Comicpalooza in Houston and got a 3-day pass as a result. She immediately asked me to take pictures of anyone I saw from Firefly . I told her this would be difficult as I’d never seen it. She later texted that I should take photos of actors from BG. I texted back, What’s BG? Her response: Sigh. Battlestar Galactica. So unworthy! Yes, I was unworthy. I know something about writing, which made me useful to the participants interested in t

So, what else do you do?

Writers can get a bit obsessed. At least, that's what I've heard. Okay, okay...I'm guilty too. I'm so off balance sometimes, I need to do housework to get back to the real world! Living in our heads is fun, but so is getting out and doing something else. It's summer! Time to play hooky. My husband is on vacation this week and I have to justify getting away from my work in progress. Yup. That's what this column is all about. One big rationalization. Let's see...what else can I do besides write when it's nice outside? I can rent a boat. There's nothing quite so relaxing as a quiet boat ride, gliding along a lake. Gone are the days of parasols and someone else doing the rowing, so it's good exercise too. In fact, it can be as relaxing or as exciting as you like. Or if that's too much trouble, there's always walking. Again, it can be a stroll or a challenging hike. We did a lot of hiking in our younger days. But not today. To

My Boss

by Olivia Cunning Have you ever worked for someone who drove you absolutely nuts? Who is hypercritical of everything you do? Expects you to work overtime and triple overtime for no extra pay? Expects work, work, work and no play? Yeah, I have one of those bosses. Let me tell you about her. She forces me out of bed at 8:30 in the morning. The nerve! Okay, so it's actually my bladder that forces me out of bed, but by then, the boss is already interrupting my dreams with plot twists, bits of character conversation, extraneous background information, and my heroine's favorite breakfast food. Mmm, breakfast. So I stumble downstairs half-awake and make myself a cup of hot tea. Before my tea has even finished steeping, my insanely demanding boss is shoving me into my office, and insisting that I have to get those thoughts that awoke me out on paper before I forget them. By the time I return to my tea, it's cold, but hey, that's why microwaves were invented. My office

The Idea Factory

It's that time again. Between no less than three heinous deadlines, I'm cranking up the idea factory. As I'm sure many reading this blog know, authors have to think more than a year ahead. If we're going to be successful, we have to play the long game. A book that's finished now, if it's lucky enough to be contracted for publication, may not see the public's eye until 18 months plus from now. And if husband and I are going to eat two years from now, some authors in this house need to start braining up some ideas. Lots of people have lots of different ways to come up with new story ideas. Here's a little glimpse into mine. In the summer of 2011, I had a problem. I had only one novel finished, and I was going to my very first writer's conference. Novel #1 was under heavy scrutiny by a small epress, and I was sure it'd be purchased. So, I needed to write another book, because I desperately wanted to have something to pitch to those agents

The Humorous Power of Language, Yo.

In between grueling revisions, we all need a good laugh. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered Gizoogle, a hilarious search engine that formats all text into outrageously over the top faux "gangsta" speak. I started out by looking at my Twitter feed , which was damn hilarious. My blog  was even more amusing, especially the guest posts by  Ashlyn Chase  and my agent,  Eric Ruben . Seriously, I may make "I ain't talkin' 'bout chicken n' gravy, biatch" my catch phrase for real. :) But what was most hilarious was my book on  "Amazizzle"  now titled, "Bite Me, Yo crazy-ass Grace." The description and reviews have me on the floor in hysterics. This one is my favorite... but if you object to language, do not read on.    "Angelica wants ta write gothic novels. Right back up in yo muthafuckin ass. Biatch don't wanna git hooked up cuz her ass is shizzle dat her homeboy, no matter whoz ass he is, wouldn'

A Celebration of Life, or Where I Went Last Month by Pamela Sherwood

I've never spent much time in Palo Alto. Back in my childhood when we still took long car trips during our summer vacations, Palo Alto was some place we passed through on our way to San Francisco or heading back towards Los Angeles. I can't recall even seeing their renowned Stanford University, much less explored the town itself. Last month, however, I had the opportunity to do both, during a short but intense trip up north to visit an old family friend--she and my mother have known each other for more than 50 years--who was having a celebration of her 99th birthday. And the day after that, her great-granddaughter was celebrating her 1st birthday, making for a century of living between them! So am I going to bore you with pictures of my travels? Absolutely! Caveat: this will also be known to me as the trip on which my trusty Nikon camera finally let me down, so all surviving photos were taken with my cell phone. My inexperience with cell phone cameras resulted in several

By: Julie Ann Walker

Carbo-load the Writer's Block Away! (My Three Favorite Pasta Salad Recipes) A few days ago I was suffering from that dreaded phenomenon known as writer's block.  I knew my characters.  I knew my story arc.  But could I get from point A to point B?  Abso-friggin'-lutely not !  The page sat before me… blank.  The cursor blinked on the screen… in the most annoying fashion.  My blood pressure began to rise… to frightening levels.  And then I thought what the hell and I - gasp - gave up.  I stood from my chair and stomped into the kitchen.  And as I thumbed through my recipe books, as I gathered the ingredients for three of my favorite spring/summertime dishes, as I chopped and boiled and mixed, the story suddenly began to materialize.  The path from A to B rose from the darkness into the light and - voila - the writer's block vanished.  So, today I'm sharing with you those three dishes in the hopes you can use them to vanquish your own writer's block.  Or,

Fan-girl at RT

I thought I'd be a pro by now. After all, not many debut authors get to sign with the fabulous Nora Roberts. But did that stop me from going all fan-girl on some of my favorite writers at the Romantic Times Convention? Nope. The first person I stalked *clearing throat* sought out was Sabrina Jeffries. I'm a huge fan. We had started chatting over Facebook several years ago. When I told her that I had started writing again, the first thing she told me to do was join Romance Writers of America. If not for Sabrina's encouragement and advice, my stories would still be floating around in my head. It was such an honor for me to finally meet her in person. Sourcebooks has it right. "Authors are my rock stars." As my dad and I were standing in line for the awards ceremony, Miss Thrill Ride herself, Julie Ann Walker strolled by. And I must say, she's just as delightful in person. I was also thrilled (no pun intended) to meet fellow Sourcebooks sisters Sara Humph

A Brand-New Cover for SURRENDER TO SULTRY with Giveaway!

By Macy Beckett Howdy, romance readers! I’m Macy Beckett, author of the Sultry Springs trilogy, and I’m here to share the new-and-improved cover for the third book in my series, SURRENDER TO SULTRY. This is Colton’s story—the wild-as-weeds deputy you met in book two, where he starred in the bawdy reality show Sex in the Sticks . Colt’s the county sheriff now, and he’s a changed man hoping for a second chance with his first love, Leah McMahon. Here’s the original cover: The design team had hoped vibrant fall colors would help the book stand out on the shelf. But between the battling hues of leaves, water, grass, and text, it’s overwhelming. And then there’s the couple. They look nothing like Colt (a long-haired Scots-Irish Cherokee) and Leah, (a petite blonde). It also doesn’t match the general look of the first two covers. So when the publisher asked the team to create something new, I was thrilled. Which leads us to the final cover… Isn’t that easier on the eyes, no