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Showing posts from January, 2014

Happy New Year--Again! (Plus Giveaway) by Pamela Sherwood

Horse Sculpture in park in Zhejiang Province, China, photo by Jakub Halun After a year in which Christmas and New Year's blew in and out like a tropical storm (at least in my house), it's something of a relief to have a "do-over" on the latter.  Chinese New Year just happens to fall on January 31, so Gung Hay Fat Choy, everyone! Happy Year of the Horse! Like so many Chinese festivals, the New Year is a lunar celebration, meaning that it tends to fall between late January and mid-February. So if your birthday occurs before the Chinese New Year, you are still a child of the previous year, associated with that zodiac sign, regardless of what the Gregorian calendar says.  (By the way, 2013 was the Year of the Snake, and I was once informed with great earnestness by a Chinese storekeeper helping me shop for a dinner party that "The Horse follows upon the tail of the Snake"--a suitably portentous-sounding phrase!) Those born in the Year of the Horse are co

It's All In The Details...

by Julie Ann Walker Authors build worlds... Sounds quite grand, doesn't it?  And in a way, it is.  Because no matter the genre, be it historical, paranormal, contemporary, whatever, when an author sits down to put a story on paper, a world gets created.  A world that starts in the author's mind and ends in the reader's.  And really great authors give us worlds rich with detail, dripping with delicious tidbits, rife with the fascinating minutia that makes their world, that specific world, just that much more compelling. Now I don't claim to be a great author.  But I am striving every gosh-darned day to become one.  The problem?  I hate research.  (It's too much like studying, which I tended to avoid like the Bubonic Plague, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and a brain-eating mob of zombies all rolled into one.)  So the question becomes, if I can't sit in front of my PC doing hours of investigation - and, by the way, I totally salute and am completely en

Cold Winter Nights by Victoria Roberts

How many of us are tired of this scene? Cold days, cold nights, what's a girl to do? These sub zero temperatures are just what I need because when the temperature is above twenty degrees, I have a tendency to feel guilty that I should be doing something other than curling up with my laptop in front of the fire. Yet, I long for the days of walking on the beach with sand between my toes. This weather is far from desirable, but the cold winter nights are a writer's paradise. Love scenes in front of a raging fire. Being stranded in a deserted cabin to shield your loved one from a storm. A Highlander removing his kilt as a makeshift blanket. Och, aye. What was I saying? Oh, yes. The weather can definitely inspire an author. But sometimes we're fortunate enough when an idea comes out of nowhere. I love those! In my latest novel, To Wed a Wicked Highlander, this was a scene I created in order to torture Lady Sybella MacKenzie. And yes, I had a strong desire to bathe after

Inside a Writer's Brain

by M.L. Buchman (If I could read a calendar, I'd have posted this on the correct day to begin with. As I said, Inside a Writer's Brain. Sigh.) How's that for a scary, scary concept? Yes, there are actually things that do occur in writer's brains, and, also yes, not all of them are surreal, just most of them. So, for the last month or so I've been focusing on just what is going on in there. And have come up with two answers. First, for fans of my Night Stalkers military romantic suspense series, I have written a "Special Features" edition. Just like on a DVD, it's includes features on: The real-life Night Stalkers of the U.S. Army's 160th SOAR Looking into how a series concept is born. In-depth review of the process and cool facts behind: The first four full-length Night Stalkers novels The three Holiday short novels so far And the bonus feature short story The Christmas Ghost short story itself: Ghost of Willow's Past Coming Attr

Sexual Objectification of Men in Romance-land: Part 2

Okay, so  in the last post  we covered the fact that YES, we romance readers definitely objectify men sexually...but that it isn't really a bad thing as I believe it supports gender equality....oh, and I threw in some hot eye candy as well. How did I forget that? Now where was I... I need caffeine. Oh yeah, today's post is how we do it better. Point One:  We lust after men with a variety of  appearances whereas the media seems to objectify on one type of woman. I think they have serial numbers instead of souls. Here's a pic of some lucky lady with a group of cover models. Something for everyone here. I call dibs on the one with the long hair. Point Two:  We also care about the guy's personality and accomplishments. When all the guys are lusting after  (insert starlet name here), do they really care about what she does or how she feels about, well, anything? Now when romance fans are discussing books, you'll here things like: "Oooh that

Sexual Objectification of Men in Romance-land, Part 1

Face it, we totally do it. A few prime examples: Mmmm.... Rawr! Oh my! And it's not just the covers. Hop on twitter and follow a few romance readers and/ or writers and you'll hear all sorts of talk that probably trumps what one would hear in a men's locker room... I think. Really, I have no clue, but trust me, we get all kinds of dirty. :) As for categories of preferred novels, we in romance-land totally navigate by the type of guy. Cowboys, Navy Seals, Vampires, Dukes, even firemen. There's categories of um...certain videos for men that are organized in a similar manner. See, sexual objectification all the way. And I don't think it's a necessarily a bad thing. First off, I think it speaks highly for gender equality. For years, many women have protested against the rampant sexual objectification of women in the media. The feminists point the blame at our patriarchal society. I think that's not completely accurate. I think much of

Love was on the beach...

Do you remember how you hated to go see Great Aunt Gert and Uncle Harry after they'd come home from a vacation? Remember how you had to sit through a whole album of boring pictures and you wished she'd hurry up and bring out the cinnamon rolls so you didn't have to look at any more? those of you who remember a movie called Ground Hog Day , you get to experience Great Aunt Gert and Uncle Harry all over again. Only this time it's what happens when the Browns take one group of their grandkids to Florida for Christmas break.    Cinnamon rolls first... and now the evening we arrived...there was an ice storm going on in Oklahoma so we were glad to see something like this! Everything was beautiful! Quiet, serene and just the right atmosphere to get a rewrite done! I'd write a little while and then go stand on the deck, smell the salty air and listen to the waves rolling in. Then the kids arrived. Eleven of them crammed into a twelve passenge

A Broader View by Editor Deb Werksman

For a while now I’ve been feeling like I want the authors in the romance community to understand Sourcebooks as a whole in addition to knowing our romance imprint Casablanca. There are enormous advantages here for authors who write in more than one category (for example, we have romance authors who also write women’s fiction, YA authors who also write romance, reference and non-fiction authors who are pitching us fiction manuscripts, authors from every category who want to write children’s books, and more like that). In addition, because we sell to every channel—mass market, libraries, bookstores, online retailers, etc.—opportunities abound across every category we publish. Our digital initiatives include agile publishing models, direct-to-consumer sales and marketing and an education program that starts with college selection and goes all the way through first year college experience. Because of all our experiments, in so many different areas, ou

Pictures From Our Backyard by C.H. Admirand

I was so surprised to receive a camera for Christmas this year, especially since I didn't ask for one, but the biggest surprise was that I had to learn how to use it! LOL ;) At any given moment, there are songs playing in my head. Things that people say, or things I see as I go through my day change the station and the song. ;) When I opened up the box the camera was in, Paul Simon started singing--yep, that's right, it's a Nikon Camera ;) I'm definitely an amateur as far as the pics go, but here are a few of the birds that visited our backyard feeders since Christmas. We do have favorites, that we love to see. I love the Red-Bellied Woodpecker (which oddly enough has a bright red patch on the back of his head and only has a red haze on his belly in the Springtime, think twitterpated)          The Gray Squirrel ... Jameson's favorite animal to chase. Unfortunately, he has caught a few. ;( But the Vet keeps reminding us that he is part Terrier an