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Showing posts from September, 2013

Three Realizations and an Event!

Realization 1: I’m not getting any younger. Okay, so that’s an obvious one, but it’s important! You see, the horrible realization is that I may actually never be in better shape than I am now. OUCH! I mean, I’m not 5000 lbs or anything, but I’m not exactly in skinny jeans either. I work out regularly–even have a trainer/sadist–but the truth is, I’m 50 years old and very active. Odds are that I’m never going to get MORE active. I’ll never put in the effort to become a lean, mean, fighting machine. I’m more of a chunky, happy, occasionally aggressive middle aged woman. Realization 2: I should never put off a dream if I can do it now. Well, that’s not exactly true. If I’m picking between two dreams, well then I have to prioritize, right? (Do I hang out with Joss Whedon or Johnny Depp? Hmmm) Sadly, that’s not today’s choice. Today’s dream goes like this: I’ve always wanted to compete on the national stage in racquetball. For those of you who don’t know, I was a pro racquetball player

My Favorite Unconventional Romance

Later this evening I'm going to watch HAROLD AND MAUDE  with two friends who haven't seen it yet. I think it's one of the greatest films ever made and definitely made brilliant use of the "mis-matched couple" trope. Here's the storyline from IMDB: " Self-destructive and needy but wealthy teenager Harold is obsessed with death and spends his leisure time attending funerals, watching the demolition of buildings, visiting junkyards, simulating suicides trying to get the attention of his indifferent, snobbish and egocentric mother, and having sessions with his psychologist. When Harold meets the anarchic seventy-nine-year-old Maude at a funeral, they become friends and the old lady discloses other perspectives of the cycle of life for him. Meanwhile, his mother enlists him in a dating service and tries to force him to join the army. On the day of Maude's eightieth birthday, Harold proposes to her but he finds the truth about life at the end of hers

No Christmas idea

Every year I set goals. For the past couple of years one of them has been to come up with a Christmas themed story. After three years I still have nothing. Zip. Nada. Not a hint of an idea. I can get ideas from the weirdest of places. I was talking to a friend about good names for heroes and she mentioned her grandfather’s unusual name. I got a whole story in about 10 seconds. Mad scribbling ensued and the idea is pinned to my board. The most recent ads for the Western Australian Opera  were very inspirational (not that I’ve written that story yet either). A conversation on a plane about ménages and what made them work or not (in our opinion) triggered another story (which is now on my pile to polish up). However Christmas is eluding me. I see all the Christmas stories and the novella anthologies coming out. I like reading them. I love A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I loved the Doctor Who version with the flying fish in the fog (it’s awesome even if you don’t like Doctor Who). I

Let's Talk Casting!

by Julie Ann Walker Admit it.  As readers we like to imagine we'd be called to take on the job of casting agent if the books we  devour were ever to be turned into movies.  We have a "vision" of the characters, and can't help but wonder which actor/actress would play them best.  Well... with all the recent hubbub surrounding the revelations of who snagged the lead roles for the movie version of Fifty Shades of Grey, I couldn't help but do my own bit of what-iffing, wondering who I'd pick to play Wild Bill and Eve, the hero and heroine of my latest title, BORN WILD - due to hit shelves November 5th.  But as the author, I have strict requirements.  Of course, right?  These are the characters living inside MY head.  I must do them justice! *victorious arm raise*  So, though my list of must-haves is small - only two items - it's precise.  Number one: they must have acting chops.  I like to think my characters are wonderfully deep and fantastically

Writing Romance (Or Anything Else) by Christy English

Many of the people who read this blog, and who read our novels, are also romance writers. Some Indie, some published traditionally, others still fighting to finish their first draft.I thought would put together some thoughts on how I do it, how I keep my work fresh, and how I fight to make romance come to life on the page. So I ask the eternal question: How do you write a novel that you, and someday your readers, will love? It’s a tough question, especially in the early days when you’re still fighting just to get the words down on paper, when your characters are beginning to visit you and to take over your life. Here are five rules I try to keep in mind when I am working on a romance. These five ideas help at every step of the way: first draft, third draft, even after I’ve gotten notes from my editor. These rules  keep the work fresh for me even after the sixth draft. 1)       Have fun I know this sounds overly simple. But like so many simple things, it can actually be

Merry Christmas Early! Ready for Some Hot Christmas Loving?

Who wouldn't want to have Christmas early??? Don't think of the shopping and all that entails, but about the holiday spirit and being wrapped up in the arms of a really hot guy! The greatest thing is we have hot cowboys,  hot artists of a bygone era, hot sledding, and hot SEAL wolves to do it with. :) I mean, to share that special holiday with. So yep, it's time for Christmas!!! Let's start with Carolyn Brown's The Cowboy's Christmas Baby . What couldn't be more special than having a baby at Christmas? Unless you hadn't expected to have one! :) A little extra cheer there! A tough rancher who doesn't believe in miracles. A pistol-totin' woman who's no angel. Love that warms the coldest night. After a year in Kuwait, Lucas Allen can't wait to get back to his ranch for Christmas and meet his gorgeous Internet pal in person. When he pulls in, there's Natalie Clark right in his front yard with a pink pistol

Time Travel -while writing contemporaries

by M.L. "Matt" Buchman One of the funny things that happened to me as a writer this last week is the amount of time travel I did. Now understand, that outside of the occasional science fiction and fantasy as Matthew Lieber Buchman, I only write tales set in the present day. I even try to make it as realistic as possible, other than changing President's names and so on. Just to keep it more fun, I like my series to evolve in real time, or as close as I can get. So, I have to constantly keep track of not only my characters, but when the book will be released. And, I'm a hybrid author, which means some of my books enter the Sourcebooks production cycle for a year between authorship and release. The books I indie-publish are often available within days of being completed. Therefore, as an author, I'm constantly time-traveling so that I'm in the correct time with each book. Sometimes that gets interesting, for example when one plot is planned, then a previ

Shine On, Harvest Moon: by Pamela Sherwood

September 19 marks this year's Mid-Autumn Festival. Held on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, during the full moon, this traditional Chinese festival celebrates a successful harvest, close family ties, and hopes for the future. Friends and family gather together to express thanks for their good fortune and (being only human) to pray for a little bit more, whether in conceptual or material form (wealth,  health, longevity, a spouse, children, a book contract . . . well, you get the idea!) Lotus Seed Mooncake with Egg Yolk, photo by a vlxyz Chinese culture being what it is, food is, of course, involved. Particularly mooncakes--rich, dense pastries boasting a variety of fillings, including lotus paste, red bean paste, taro, nuts and seeds, ham, and candied melon. Some also contain yolks of salted duck eggs for additional richness, though those are something of an acquired taste! Insanely caloric, mooncakes are traditionally cut into pieces, distributed among a

Hang the covers...

I'm fortunate enough to have an office in my house. I'm lucky enough that I can call myself a full time writer which means I don't have to get dressed, do my hair and wear shoes every day. And today I stand here before you all in my pajama bottoms, an oversized tee shirt and no shoes with a confession! My name is Carolyn Brown. I have an addiction. I LOVE BOOK COVERS! I love them in the bookstores. I love looking at them, touching them, drooling over them. It's the first thing that draws me to a book. And I really get excited when the cover is one of my very own books. It's the icing on the cupcake for parking my butt in the chair and working long hours. It's a tough job dealing with all those sexy cowboys but I'm up to the task most days and when I get a cover for approval, it's worth every hour. I remember the first time I got a book cover (in the snail mail in those days) for approval. I was in absolute awe, couldn't take my eyes off it, p

Life is All About Change + Giveaway by C.H. Admirand

Life is all about change… and how we either adapt to change, or resist and be bulldozed in the process. Hmmm…not a very comforting opening to my blog, but well, there you have it. This has been a year of big changes for me both in my writing career and on the home-front.  In February—maybe even on my birthday—I’m going to be a grandma again.  For those of you who follow me and have seen the adorable pics I’ve posted of our darling grandbaby, Jack (aka Jackie-boy or Handsome Jack) is going to be a big brother! Here's Jackie-Boy watching his favorite movie--A Hard Day's Night--and yes he has a favorite song that he knows most of the words to. He calls it "Can't You See" aka "I Should Have Known Better." :) Family always comes first with me, so my current writing projects were all put on the back burner while I spent my time between two houses, taking care of the mother-to-be and our darling grandbaby.   Now that she is in her second