30.11.11

Sex and Psalms...Pseriously?

Hey, I'm over at Fabulosity Reads today 'splaining myself and my unexpected use of scripture in my Chick Lit/Romance novel Three Daves.  Wendy posted her review on Monday. :)

Congratulations to Wendy on opening the brand new on-line bookstore, Fabulosity Galore!  Lots of great books and honest, insightful reviews.
 

It's Thursday, so please join along on the Author! Author! Blog Bounce 

23.11.11

Thanks

I'm about to dive into preparing my meager contributions to tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast (cranberry jello and artichoke dip) but before I do, I'd like to say Thank You to all of you for making this year of blogging a pleasurable endeavor. :)

I imagine most of us will be slowing down in Blogville between now and the new year, but if you're looking for a couple of fun and easy prompts for December, allow me to suggest these two supercool blog parties:


December 16



Resurrect an old post that either didn't get the attention it deserved or simply bears repeating.  



  December 20



Tell your tale of embracing change and why you're glad you did.   




Next week I'm excited to answer the two most frequently asked questions about Three Daves:

22.11.11

An Unlikely Pair

Congratulations to Deborah Anastasia on the release of her second novel, Poughkeepsie. The Omnific Publishing library just keeps growing!

He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him—just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he’s homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day.

Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She’s the same as a million other girls—certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe.

When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it’s not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives.


Blake’s heart beats for Livia’s, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right?

Debra shares teasers at her blog.  Poughkeepsie is now available in paperback, eBook, ePub, Kindle, Nook.  And here's awesome the trailer:


16.11.11

The Lady's Fate

A personal note before I begin---thank you all so, so very much for your kind words about Oreo bunny.  My kids have read your comments, and all of us are touched by your caring words.  Thanks. :)


Now, who am I calling "Lady"?  Why, the lovely Anne Gallagher, who was fated to bring the world her authentic and entertaining brand of Regency Romance.

Her debut novel, The Lady's Fate, is available at Amazon and Smashwords.  Her short story, A Wife for Winsbarren, is also available at Amazon


Amid all she's got going on, Anne let me bug her with a few questions about her writing, her "Reluctant Grooms" series, and publishing, but before we get to that, here's my review of The Lady's Fate.   


Review - The Lady's Fate:

I felt like I was reading one of the classics. Gallagher has done her research and The Lady's fate reads just as if it were written back in Austen's day. But she gives us a new set of characters to examine, and even though they're playing by the same set of Regency rules, the plot takes fresh, unpredictable turns.

The relationship between Violet and Haverlane takes time to develop, but their electricity is immediate, even before things get physical. Patience is rewarded with some of the steamiest kisses I've ever read---you know, the kind where you go back to read them again...and again, just to make sure you didn't miss anything. I think the attraction's even more intriguing because up until the very end, it's unclear if/how it can progress.

The characters are all well-defined and interesting, even those who are infuriating. My favorite is Lady Olivia in all her obstinate, noble, cane-thumping glory. I finished this book knowing I'd like to spend more time with them, so I look forward to more from this author---particularly in the "Reluctant Grooms" series.


Mini-Interview with Anne Gallagher

From reading your blog, I know you're a romantic devil so it's not surprising you write romance.  But why did you choose Regency Romance? 

When I was a kid, I read all kinds of historicals, but there was something about the Regency and the era of classes and manners that really stuck with me.  Perhaps it had to do with my upbringing in New England.  We're such Puritans, and manners are extremely important.

Reading Jane Austen also proved to be enlightening in that she could engage her readers so completely without once resorting to sex, or innuendo.  I wanted to achieve that in my writing, even though we live in a different time.  Sex sells, even in deoderant commercials, so I wanted to prove that it wasn't necessary to a good romance.

I also love a good corset. Keeps the muffin top from spilling over, and the girls nice and high.

Win-win situation, right there. ;)  I love your overlapping series concept, wherein the time frames of your stories overlap. I see that your schedule for publication of each story isn't in chronological order---how did you decide on the order of publication?


The series starts with THE LADY'S MASQUERADE, but as it was my "first" book, I found it wasn't as fabulous as I'd like and I'm still tearing that apart and putting it back together .  I decided to publish THE LADY'S FATE because it was ready.  I also wrote a short story A WIFE FOR WINSBARREN as a sort of accompaniment to it.  I couldn't just put one book out. I wanted something else.

I've been working steadily on THE DUKE'S DIVORCE and THE LADY'S MASQUERADE to get them out, hopefully before Christmas.  There really is no  reason why I'm publishing this way other than whatever is ready goes out.  When the series is complete, the way they appear on the blog post is the order in which they should be read. 

My contemporary romance/women's fiction REMEMBERING YOU will hopefully be out on Kindle by December 1.  (Genna and Tony and Pete for those who remember.)

You've eloquently described your reasons for self publishing, but what would you say was the most surprising thing you learned about self publishing after diving into the process?

That I could do it.  If you don't know anything about uploading, downloading, formatting, editing, it's really hard.  And I didn't know Jack about any of that.  So it was REALLY REALLY hard.  But I found that people will help you.  All you have to do is ask.


Okay, last question: if you had to pick one song that captures the essence of The Lady's Fate, what would it be? 

This was a tough one and I had to think long and hard about it because I have to have absolute silence when I write.  However, I do remember humming Linda Ronstadt's Heart Like a Wheel over and over again.  (Back to my 80's roots, just for you!)

Some say the heart is just like a wheel
When you bend it, you can't mend it
But my love for you is like a sinking ship
And my heart is like a ship out in mid-ocean

Such a sad beautiful song, and when Violet thinks she's lost Haverlane for good, I couldn't help think of it.




Thanks for the insight, Anne...and for the 80s. ;)




The weekly Author! Author! Blog Bounce is open to all authors every Thursday.  The Linky thingy is below, so please hop on or simply bounce around. 


10.11.11

Pet Sematary

I'm not sure this is post-worthy material, but many of you so sweetly commented on the cuteness of my bunny last month, and on the prettiness of my new garden in September, so it seems only right to report that the two have been combined. :(

On the 28th of October in the year 2011, dear, sweet bunny succumbed to oldness and died in my husband's arms on the way home from the pet clinic...just as I was explaining that the vet probably didn't know what he was talking about and we'd have many more happy months with our darling Oreo.  I knew it wasn't true, but I thought he'd at least survive long enough for the kids to come home from school and say good bye.


The burial was complete with holy water and a St. Francis medal, and on Saturday we went to the statuary to pick out this statue---it reminded us of the way he used to kick out his little back legs when he was at maximum relaxation.

He does have a tiny bit to do with writing.  You see, when I first started writing, I didn't tell any humans. Bunny became my confidant.  He even got a role in the story.  But whatever loss I feel, I know my kids feel it ten times worse, because they went to him with all those growing up things that you just can't relay to another person the way you can to a little friend who'll simply listen, and not try to solve your problems for you, and not judge or worry. 

I wonder how long it'll be before I stop setting Romaine aside for him whenever I make a salad, and peeking in to see what he's up to every single damn time I turn the corner by his room. *sigh* C'est la mort.







And now it's probably a good idea to skip off to a less morose blog.  

Allow me to suggest any of the fine authors participating in this week's
Author! Author! Blog Bounce

7.11.11

A Nikki, a Dave, and the 1980’s by M. Pax

You may already know about Semper Audacia, the exciting debut space opera novelette by M. Pax---but I'll be you had NO idea her new release could possibly have anything at all to do with Three Daves.  Well, think again...here is M. Pax's unexpected tale, complete w/ retro pics:

The U.N.  (M.Pax worked in the black bldg)
In the spring of 1986, I moved to New York City with dreams of ‘making it there’, a couple of suitcases and $500 in my pocket. Fresh out of college, I envisioned writing the great American novel.

My friend Nikki, who I met at freshman orientation, was kind enough to let me stay with her the first six months. When I saved enough money, I moved to Staten Island to share a house with a bunch of roommates. Taking a boat to work was fun, at first. The novelty wore off pretty quick though.

My first job was in Midtown near the UN. I saw mob shootings, Keith Richards, shared a cab with a Chippendales dancer, lived through bomb threats [there were a lot of embassies in our building], experienced the NYC club scene and stood behind Kurt Vonnegut in the lobby news stand one morning. He lived nearby. I read every one of his books, so it was a thrill to stare at his back for a few minutes.

I wrote when I could. Longhand back then. PC’s were barely a glint in anybody’s eye and no one had one. Typewriters were still the norm for home use. I didn’t have one of those either. My dilemma that fall was buy a new pair of sneakers [there were holes in them and I had to put baggies on my feet to keep my stockings from getting torn and my feet from getting wet] or eat for two weeks. I ended up with a boyfriend instead. He made sure I kept eating, so I could get those shoes. His name was Dave. He turned out to be a jerk, but I remain grateful he didn’t let me starve.

Nikki, M.Pax & friends at Phoebe's in the Village
At any rate, Nikki and I would often meet in the Village on Saturday nights. I let her read the first chapters of my great masterpiece.

She said, “You wrote about being alone a lot.”

Yes. I was in my early 20’s and had a flare for the melodramatic. I still do, but it’s mellowed some. All these years, we remained in touch, as I left NYC for DC then left the east coast for the west coast. Every once in awhile she would ask me how “Alone” was going. It was one of several started novels I never finished. Life kept butting in. I wrote in stops and starts.

A few years ago, I picked up writing again in earnest. I finished a novel and two rough draft sequels, a second novel and now I’m working on a third and fourth. It was inevitable Nikki would ask me about “Alone”, because she loves to tease me about it. So when she did two years ago I answered that I was rewriting “Alone” in space. I did. That story became Semper Audacia. It bears little resemblance to the great American novel begun in NYC, but echoes the feel of the piece in many ways, the most obvious, Leda’s loneliness. There were more splashes of inspiration for the piece. Most of my stories are a conglomeration of several sources of inspiration. For some reason, I’m never satisfied with just one. How about you?

So there we have it, my little space opera did have a connection to a Nikki, a Dave and the 1980’s.


Details: 99 cents. Space Opera. Novelette. 13,200 words 

Description: Alone. Leda is the last living member of the brigade, the sole defender of her world. War took everyone she knew, leaving her in the company of memories and ghosts. Or is it madness?

The siren blares. The enemy is coming. Or is it? The approaching vessel isn't a friendly design, but it answers with the correct code. Leda must figure out whether the arrival is reinforcements or the final assault. In an aging flyer, she ventures out to meet her world's fate, the last stand.

About M. Pax: Inspiring the words I write, I spend my summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where I live with the husband unit and two loving cats. I write speculative fiction mostly and have a slight obsession with giant, man-eating reptiles and Jane Austen. I know, they don’t really go together, but it’d be interesting to insert Godzilla in the middle of Pride & Prejudice.









2.11.11

Writer's Insecurity #3: Time

Don't you just love it when stars align?  When pondering which of my many insecurities to post about this month, it hit me---my guest yesterday, Susan Kaye Quinn, addressed one of my biggest writing issues: Making the time to do it (I almost said "finding the time" but let's face it, a big ol' bucket full o' mythical extra time is NEVER going to materialize) and then Enforcing that time.  

This mostly sounds like a discipline thing, but for me, discipline isn't the problem.  It's insecurity---the insecurity that adhering to my writing schedule isn't a good enough reason to say no to...well, just about anything else that wants my time.  Susan provided a marvelous and validating pep talk for those of us struggling with this issue in her guest post yesterday, so please scroll down for a  little reinforcement.
  
Goodness, did I almost forget to thank our illustrious host?
Thanks Alex!!!


Well, well, look at that, it's Thurday already and time for the 
Author! Author! Blog Bounce.  

You can get more info. here, and also link in and/or follow along w/ the marvelous authors on the list. 

1.11.11

Keeping Writing Time Sacred with Susan Kaye Quinn



Today is the launch of Susan Kaye Quinn's 
(book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) 


The book has already garnered fantastic reviews, and Susan is throwing a virtual launch party (#keepingOpenMinds)!  I'm thrilled to be a part of it.  


In her post at my place, Susan lets us in on how exactly she manages to accomplish more than seems humanly possible:





Keeping Writing Time Sacred
by
Susan Kaye Quinn


I’m lucky to live near Nicki Elson in real-life, and as fellow Omnific authors (her Three Daves and my Life, Liberty, and Pursuit), we’ve had a couple of occasions to get together. Most recently, we had tea and a flurry of conversation while ostensibly signing an anthology (Summer Breeze) that we had both penned a short fiction for.
As we were making arrangements, she suggested meeting during a weekday, when my kids were in school. School time is my writing time, something I’ve been trying to hold very sacred, even as I’m getting ready to launch Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy). I very much wanted to sit and have tea and catch up, but I asked if we could move our meet-up to Saturday, taking time out of both our busy weekend schedules instead. She was awesome and understood.

Keeping writing time sacred is tough to do, even more so when the other things competing for your time aren’t laundry or doing the dishes, but meeting with friends or spending time with your kids. Things you want to do, maybe even as much as writing. (Although I’m so seriously addicted to writing, there’s not many things I would rather do.)

For me, keeping writing time sacred means literally holding periods of time clear of any other obligations. I’m a stay-at-home mom, but I cut way back on my volunteer work to concentrate on my writing, including choosing not to run for re-election (for the last four years, I’ve been an elected board member of the third largest K-8 school district in Illinois). When my stay-at-home friends suggest getting together while the kids are in school, I say no. It’s not because I’m a hermit; it’s because I’m working (even though it may not seem so, as I stare out the window in an attempt to dream up a solution to the next plot point).

I’m just sure my real life friends think I’m slightly crazed, as I shuffle to the school drop off with my hair still wet, or dash to pick up the kids after school before they think I’ve abandoned them. I knew that Nicki would understand, because she’s a writer too (and she’s awesome), but I doubt my local friends have any idea of the commitment it takes to be a novelist. (BTW, I really like that word. Novelist. Isn’t it pretty?)
But then I’ll stop in at my kid’s school for some (rare) volunteer work at the Book Fair and see some familiar faces. They’ll ask, “How’s the writing going?” I’ll say, “Great! I have a novel coming out next month.” And they’re amazed. They say, “Wow, you’re so prolific! How do you do so much?”

I don’t remind them that it’s been over a year since my first novel was published. I don’t talk about how I’ve been working on this novel for two years and it seems like an eternity to me. I just smile and nod and say, “I’m a writer. It’s what I do.” Then I go back to my cave and do it some more.

*********************
See more guest posts about Open Minds at the Virtual Launch Party!

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) by Susan Kaye Quinn is available for $2.99 in e-book (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords) and $9.99 in print (Amazon, Createspace).
*********************
PRIZES!
Susan Kaye Quinn is giving away an Open Books/Open Minds t-shirt, mug, and some fun wristbands to celebrate the Virtual Launch Party of Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)! (Check out the prizes here.)
Three ways to enter (you can have multiple entries):
1)      Leave a comment here or at the Virtual Launch Party post
2)      Tweet (with tag #keepingOPENMINDS)
Example: When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. #keepingOPENMINDS @susankayequinn #SF #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/psX1Hh
Example: Celebrate the launch of OPEN MINDS by @susankayequinn #keepingOPENMINDS #SciFi #paranormal #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/SKQOpenMinds
3)       Facebook (tag @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn)
Example: Celebrate the launch of paranormal/SF novel OPEN MINDS by @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn for a chance to win Open Books/Open Minds prizes!