Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hot New Blog!

Coming Soon! I'm so excited about a new blog I am participating in. Naughty Author Chicks will roll out on October 2 with authors of sex, hot romance. Check out posts by Savannah Stuart, Jina Bacarr, Calista Fox and me. Stay tuned for news on our impending journey.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Packing up and Moving

Catch me over at Romance Rules. I'll be spending most of my blog time over there from now on.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Time draws near for our vacation -- a family reunion of sorts. We're heading north to the hills and forests of the Shenandoah National Park area to commune with nature and far flung relatives. As much as I'm looking forward to spending time with loved ones, I'm also a tad nervous. As a family with lots of strong (read: controlling) women, we do occasionally clash. Our poor menfolk stand idly by praying no blood will spill. Last time we were together, one of my sisters and I had a bit of a disagreement (think: Clash of the Titans). Yet we always move past that sort of thing. And let's face it -- there's no replacing family. So, I'm packing up ten times the amount of stuff we'll need and have even purchased a good pair of hiking boots so I can work off all that comfort food I say I'm not going to indulge in.
I'm not bringing a laptop or even a notepad. Since I write nearly every day, including weekends, I figure this is a good opportunity to really get away from it all, come home with a fresh perspective. Then maybe I will come home with fresh perspective and a host of new ideas. Okay, maybe just a notepad.

Monday, July 20, 2009

So I was at the gym a few days ago, going through my usual routine, upper body that day. I often speed through a certain machine because although I work out nearly every day, I'm basically lazy. And it's so much easier to do all the reps if I do them fast. A man I see there all the time stops in front of me, shaking his head.

"What?" I ask.

"Slow it down," he advises.

"But it's too hard that way," I answer.

He gives me a solemn nod. "Bet your ass. But you're not getting what you could out of it. Won't do a damn thing for you unless it's challenging. And it'll only be challenging if you do it the right way, slowly."

Now, I know what he's saying is true. I've been at this for many years. But I forget that just going through the motions won't do me any good. My muscles have grown resistant. So I slow my pace. And the movements are tough. Really tough. And I can feel the burn. Now, I'm not wasting my time. Now I'm doing something.

Later that day I got to thinking how that truth in the gym also fits the craft of writing fiction. You can keep doing what's easy, never stretch those writing muscles. Or, you can grow and get better by putting in the time and the effort to learn, to better the craft. Falling into that comfortable rut is so tempting. But unless you push yourself, you're going nowhere.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I am over at Cynthia Eden's Blog today. Come over and say hi.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cynthia Eden is Here!

I have a special guest today - Award winning paranormal romantic suspense author, Cynthia Eden. Cynthia has been racking up the awards and nominations all over the place lately!
Hi Cynthia and welcome to Slave To Romance. I’m a total fan girl so I’m really excited to have you here. I recently finished reading Midnight Sins, which is a finalist in the prestigious Daphne Awards, and I must say, I loved it. Cara, your heroine is a succubus, or sex demon and boy oh boy did she make for one hot heroine. And Todd, the hero was as Alpha as they come. Can you tell me about the other books in this series?

Hi, Dara! Thanks so much for interviewing me. J And I am very happy to hear that you enjoyed Midnight Sins.

There are 3 books in the Midnight trilogy. Hotter After Midnight is the first installment, and it focuses on Emily Drake, my “Monster Doctor” (she’s a psychologist who only treats paranormal patients) and Colin Gyth, a wolf-shifter detective. Midnight Sins is the second book, and I think of that one as Basic Instinct meets The X-Files. The last book (due to release on 6/30/09) is Midnight’s Master. The hero in Midnight’s Master is the powerful demon Niol, and he finds his match in a most unexpected heroine.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I am finished up a romantic suspense series for Grand Central. My editor is tentatively calling it my “Deadly” series. Next summer, the books will release in mass market form in June, July, and August (starting in June with Deadly Fear). These are very dark books, dark but sexy.

Did you always want to be a fiction writer? How old were you when you first started writing?

Always! Yes, even when I was a kid, I wanted to write. I wrote my first novel when I was 18. That book was SO not ready for publishers. After college and a few years of teaching, I settled back into writing and focused on my dream again. And I am very, very happy that I did.

I always write my longer stories with an outline, but I wing it with the shorter ones. What about you? Are you a pantser or a planner? Does the length of the story change how you approach it?

I’m a pantser and a planner. Sometimes, I’ll start a book with only the glimmer of a plot idea. I’ll write and just see where the story takes me. Other times, I’ll sit down and plot out the entire book before I type a single word. Just depends on the story. Although, with my novellas, I think I’ve been a panster on all of those. With the short length, it’s fun to see the twists that pop up!

Do you use a critique partner or group or are you a solo player?

I’m a solo gal, always have been. Some people work really well with crit partners or groups, but I only let my agent and editor comment on my work. Just a different strokes for different folks situation. Each writer just has to find the system that works best for her.

How do you juggle all your writerly responsibilities with your family responsibilities? Do you write on a set schedule or when you can?

I’m generally a very late night writer. I have a 3 year old, and he keeps my days pretty busy. As soon as he sleeps, I go to work. It’s quite normal for me to still be up after midnight because I set daily page goals (usually 10 pages a day) and if I’m on deadline, I won’t sleep until I meet the goals. Hmmm…that sounds more hardcore than it actually is! LOL.

You recently won the prestigious Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in the paranormal category. Did you enter many contests before you were published? Do you think they are worthwhile?

I was thrilled to win the Gayle Wilson Award for the paranormal romance category—actually, I’m still excited about that. I did enter several contests before I was published, and I did think they were worthwhile. I was able to win a few of the contests and build my writing resume, and I was able to catch the attention of some of the judging editors. If you’re looking for feedback or want to build your writing resume, contests can be a good way to go.

Please dish about your road to publication.

Oh, it was a bumpy road! Okay, I wrote my first book (for the now defunct Silhouette Yours Truly line) when I was 18. Talk about a fast rejection! I dabbled with my writing during college, completing one YA story and a couple of romance partials. Then, real life got in the way. Yeah, I’m sure folks know what I mean. The day job. Marriage. Responsibilities. Then one day (as I was reading one of my beloved romance novels), I realized I’d almost let my dream slip away.

So I started carving out time to write. I entered contests—one of the big writing contests I entered was the Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. I was lucky enough to win first place in the feature article category and this win really rejuvenated me—it was validation that I *could* write. So I kept writing. I sold two paranormal romances to the small press, ImaJinn Books, and then I sold several novellas to Red Sage.

Armed with those writing credits, I decided it was time for me to attack New York. J So I wrote the novel that would eventually be titled Hotter After Midnight. I queried a few agents and found an agent match in Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency.

Since signing with Laura, I have contracted nine novels with Kensington Brava, three novellas with Kensington Brava, one novella with Avon Red, and three novels with Grand Central Publishing. Sometimes, I can’t believe it, but I finally attacked New York!

Are there any genres you’ve never written, but would like to try out someday?

I’d like to try everything. Well, okay, to narrow it down a bit, I’d like to try my hand at sci-fi/futuristic romances and horror. I’d also love to write a screenplay one day—a screenplay for one of the Sci-Fi Saturday night movies. I am such a horror movie fan!

Any advice for aspiring writers and/or newly published authors?

Yes, don’t give up your dream. Others may not support you, you may receive rejection letters that make you doubt yourself, but don’t give up. If you want to write, keep writing. Keep honing your craft and learning everything that you can about the industry and never, ever give up.

Thanks for interviewing me, Dara!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A New Contract

For two months I struggled with a novella. It changed and morphed and stretched and shrunk. But now it's done. And it's under contract - my second with Red Sage. I love this story. Set in Savannah, it's waaaayyyyy hotter than anything I've put out before. It is the story of a divorced couple who are both chefs competing for a job. My hero is deeply flawed and was so real to me that I thought about him nearly every day. I'm hoping it will be released later this year. So be watching for Can't Stand the Heat.

I find my writing is evolving lately to the hotter side of things. The two short stories I'm currently working on are scorching, but my CP tells me they're just what the publisher I am targeting is looking for. Since I'm temporarily taking a break from writing full-length novels, I plan to crank out a lot of these short, hot escapist stories. I find alternating the type and length of stories I write keeps it fresh for me. What do you think?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

On Fathers

On the hundredth anniversary of Father's Day, I want to wish all the dads out there my best on their special day. I've been so fortunate to have both a truly wonderful father and a husband who is an awesome dad to our children as well.

My father is the smartest man I know. When I was growing up I would roll my eyes every time I saw him reading the encyclopedia for fun, or when he'd spout off some historical fact hardly anyone knew. But he isn't just intelligent, he's also kind and honorable. Everyone who knows him knows this about him. My son has inherited so many of his traits. How lucky is that?

My husband is what a friend's guy referred to as a "man's man." Yeah, I've got to say, I've based more than one of my fictional heroes on him. Now, he's not perfect. We often joke that he's a "work in progress." He still does things like leave peanut butter fingerprints on the cabinet, but when it comes to the big stuff, he's pretty terrific.

So today is a really special day for me. Although it's fathers who should be celebrating, I get to reap the benefits of their awesomeness!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Political Voyeurism

I can't help it. I'm glued to the TV, switching between channels to catch the latest installment of a captivating reality show. Only it's not about some spoiled celebrity or a family with a gazillion kids, it's the gripping struggle of the Iranian people to make their voices heard. As the violence escalates and the stakes grow ever higher, we get up to the minute reports from ... where? Twitter, of all places. I search #IranElection and the updates are coming so fast -- up to 50 every few seconds -- and I realize we live in a changed world.
Over the last few years we've morphed into the soundbyte generation. That byte was just pared down to 140 characters. I wonder where those soundbytes will take them. I hope, to the freedom everyone deserves.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Coming in July!

Summer Lovin' Young Adult short story collection is released in print July 10. Stay tuned for a contest to win your own copy!

Award winning paranormal and romantic suspense author Cynthia Eden drops by for an interview!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Romance Divas Workshop

Please hop over to Romance Divas and check out my workshop on The Ins and Outs of E-Publishing. Mention something you read in Part 1, 2 or 3 in the comments here and I will enter your name in a drawing for a download of any of my e-books. Your choice!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

New Time Suckers

I've been diligently trying to stick to a writing schedule for the last few weeks, and for the most part, I've done a good job. Until this week. Suddenly I have doctor appointments and medical tests galore! Nothing earth-shattering, just things that will require some time draining intervention. It seems like when I have an appointment, it burns up a big chunk of my day and I have to forgo part of my daily word count.
In addition, DD is out of school, not yet gone to camp. So she's begging for rides to the mall, to her friends' homes and the like. But there's light at the end of that tunnel - she leaves for camp for a week on Sunday!
We've been having problems with our router lately. Until our tech support (aka DH's best friend) returns from a business trip to fix it, we only have Internet on one computer, not mine. The silver lining there is that one particular time sucker is a little further removed. I have to get up from my desk and go to DH's to check email. I find that alone has boosted my word count! Problem is, I'm writing a story that requires lots of research, so every time I hit a wall, I have to get up and hope no one else is using that computer.
So what about you? What drains your time more than anything?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In Praise of Editors

I've been working all week on revisions for my next erotic romance novella. This story required a lot of reorganization to make it more of an arc, rather than leaning to the episodic side. This is something my very talented editor, Alicia Rasley caught. She also asked me to change a few other details that when finished, really made the manuscript shine. I love working with such a talented editor. Aside from making my work better, I learn so much. Alicia is no ordinary editor, though. She's a teacher and a talented writer herself. If you've never heard her speak, pick up her book, The Power of Point of View.

Aside from Alicia, I had one editor at another publisher who really made me work! And my books were better for her suggestions. She didn't sugar-coat anything. In fact, when one of my characters had a reaction the editor didn't buy, her comment was bullsh#*&! Conversely, when she loved something, she told me so, and that was like the gods were smiling on me!

I've also had the misfortune to work with a very novice editor who had hardly any changes at all on a 300 page manuscript, and those were mostly line edits only. Needless to say, I'm not terribly proud of that book. In fact, I'd kind of like to forget it! But even my experience with that editor taught me something - it taught me when to cut bait!

I can honestly say that each and every book and story I've written and revised has been a learning experience and hopefully, I'm getting better with each book. What about you? Do you always follow editorial suggestions? Do you buck all suggestions, take it all to heart or something in between?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kidnap this Logo and You Could Win!

To celebrate its Fifteenth Anniversary in June, Red Sage is throwing a party! Every party needs presents, and here’s a gift that could win you the July Secrets anthology and Calista Fox’s new novel, Object of Desire!Here’s how to play the party game.Anyone can play! All you have to do is “kidnap” this logo and post it on your blog or website.
Copy and paste the jpg image of the anniversary gift to your own blog or website to kidnap it. Be sure to include these instructions so people know how to play!
Invite your readers and friends to send an email with the subject line “Ransom Note” to eRedSage@gmail.com. Inside this email, they must include a link back to your kidnapped logo.
Then you and your friend will both be entered into a drawing to win free trade paperbacks! Every time one of your readers sends a ransom note with a link, you will be entered again! Each Ransom Note is worth two entries in the drawing -- one for the person who sends the Ransom Note, and one for the linked blog or website. And you both can win!Want more chances to win? Invite your readers and friends to kidnap this logo, and then you can enter again by sending a Ransom Note linking to your friend’s blog or website!
The more times you enter, the more chances you have to win! But get your entries in by June 30. We'll be drawing the winners on July 1!Group blog or website? No problem! Just be sure to sign your post so we know who the winner should be!Good luck, and have fun!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Terms of Endearment

I just finished reading a book that was a little on the disappointing side. I'd heard so many great things about the author's writing, so I was surprised. Basically, the book was a string of very long, involved sex scenes with a little plot, a little intrigue thrown in to break up the erotic stuff. But one thing that got me thinking was the pet name the hero used for the heroine - "Sweet." It didn't feel natural, and every time I read it, it pulled me out of the story.
I starting checking my books, my works in progress for the pet names my characters called one another. Imagine my surprise when I found I'd only used three! Apparently, my favorite terms of endearment are, "Honey," "Baby" and "Darlin'." My alpha heroes throw in an occasional "Woman," but only when they're bemoaning some annoying facet of the heroine's personality.
Next I started checking my collection of romance books, which is quite extensive. I randomly looked in twelve books and guess what -- those books used my favorite three terms as well, although one added "Sweetheart" to the mix. Now I don't feel so bad!
Each of these words elicits a slightly different reaction from me. Baby is more sexual than the others, while Honey speaks of emotional commitment. Darlin' sounds like a western hero's line and Woman, well, that one always gives me a little zing of excitement! (TMI, I know!)
I remember in my high school French class, our native of France teacher told the class of one particularly amusing French term -- Mon petite chou chou. (Excuse me if I spelled any of that wrong, it's been many years since HS French!) Literally translated, this means, My little cabbage. Strange, huh?
What about you? Do you have any unusual terms of endearment either for your significant other or that you use in writing?

Friday, May 22, 2009

My First YA Anthology

Today is release day for Summer Lovin' Anthology in ebook format, which will release in print on July 10.

SUMMER LOVIN’ is a collection of love stories by six Climbing Rose authors about life on a ranch, summer jobs, sandcastle competitions, the tragedy of a flood, and falling in love with a rock star. From a rich Southern country club to a Midwest ranch and all the way to the cool beaches of the Pacific Northwest, this sweet collection of summer love stories revels in the magic of first love. You’ll enjoy stories by:
Dara Edmondson, Laurie J. Edwards, Mona Ingram, Kimberlee R. Mendoza, Sydney Shay, and June Sproat
Get ready for some Summer Lovin’.
WIN A FREE COPY! from Laurie Edwards:

Anyone who comments at her blog http://lje1.wordpress.com/ or friends her on MySpace, Facebook, or Twitter from now until May 31 will have their name entered to win a copy of Summer Lovin’. Winner will be announced at noon on June 1, so stop back to see if you've won.
Laurie J. Edwards


Monday, May 18, 2009

Happy or Sad?

My novels are kind of like my children. Can't say which I like more. They're different and each has its own special qualities. At a recent book signing, a reader was reading the blurbs and asked, "Which one will make me cry? I love a good tear-jerker." Well, the answer was simple - The Kitten Club. I even cried every time I edited one particular scene and that is the book that gets me more fan mail than any other.
So, I started asking readers when they approached me - "Do you want to laugh or cry?" You see, Compromising Positions is pretty funny. My third book, Falling Star is somewhere in the middle. You want sexy? That would be my Red Sage novella, Captured. But this got me thinking about what I like to get out of a read.
My favorite books are those that make me laugh, but also touch me deeply. I've been reading books I collected at RT for the past couple weeks. So far, I've finished Lora Leigh's Maverick, which was very sexy, although it didn't make me cry or laugh. Then I read a craft book, Angela Knight's Passionate Ink, which was very worthwhile. I'm now a couple chapters into Cynthia Eden's Midnight Sins, a paranormal, which so far is very suspenseful and well written. Next I will delve into some of the Red Sage Secrets Anthologies, hundreds of which publisher Alexandria Kendall so graciously gave out at RT.
So what about you? Do you stay in a particular reading rut or do you venture out there into different genres? What good books have you read lately?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Congratulations to my fab crit partner, Katie Reus on the release of Dangerous Deceptions from Ellora's Cave. I've read this one and it's loaded with suspense as well as some scorching sex scenes. Check it out!

Two years ago, Sage Miller’s life changed irrevocably with one violent act. Longing for anonymity, she relocated to the coast of North Carolina. Just when her life is settling down, a sexy man from her past shows up and wants to pick up where their explosive relationship left off. And this time, he’s the one calling the shots.

Trent Takoda spent a week with the most intense woman he’d ever met—before she disappeared in the dead of night. Now that he’s found her again, he’s not letting go. When a vicious stalker with ties to her past tracks her down, all bets are off. She belongs to him and it’s about damn time she realized it.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For all you mothers and mothers-to-be out there, enjoy this day and try not to do the stuff you don't want to - at least for today. I'm allowing myself a few extra indulgences since it's also my birthday - something that happens every 4 or 5 years. It kind of sucks to have to spend time with the in-laws on my birthday, but such is life. Maybe DH and the kids will make me feel extra-special today. Honestly, DH treats me like a queen every day of the year. (Yeah - I have an awesome guy).
Yesterday was a great day. I participated in a book signing and sold lots of books. I even got a really sweet note from one of the other signers, my former mentee. After, we went out to a fabulous Greek restaurant with DH and one of my closest friends. Then late night red velvet cake with DH and the kids.
Here's a shout out to my mother, who didn't give birth to me, but has always loved me as her own. I love you, Mom.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Release Day

My first Red Sage EBook was released today and I'm really excited. Red Sage is a terrific company that I'm so glad to be a part of. I'm offering a gift certificate to Fictionwise for one lucky winner who can answer the contest questions on my website. I'll draw a name on Thursday, May 8. Until then, here's a little about Captured:

When Audrey Brookstone meets a handsome foreigner at a Broadway show, she's instantly taken with his good looks and charming demeanor. After an evening of passion in his limousine, he whisks away to be his courtesan in Cazbekistan, where he is a crown prince. Prince Milo agrees not to force himself on her, but rather to make her fall in love with him in only eight weeks, or he must set her free with a king's ransom. Can Audrey resist his charms or will she give in to his lavish seduction?

Monday, April 27, 2009

RT Wrap Up

Well, it's Monday and I'm having RT withdrawal. The conference was so informative and so much fun. Great conferences always send me home with renewed enthusiasm for writing, all sorts of new ideas and ways to improve my works in progress.
I enjoyed the book signing, especially because I was seated between Barry Eisler, who drew a big crowd, and Cynthia Eden, who also was a draw and is such a sweet person. I bought one of her books and can't wait to read it. Speaking of books, I came home with about a dozen of them - most of which were free. I'm halfway through Angela Knight's Passionate Ink, a craft book for penning erotic romance. If you've ever read anything by Angela, you'll be blown away by her sex scenes, as well as her amazing prose.
The pictures above are courtesy of Nancy J. Cohen. Top one is from the Book Fair and the bottom was taken at lunch on Wednesday. From left: Roxanne St. Claire, me, Nancy J. Cohen, Allison Chase and Karen Kendall.

What about you? Were you at RT this year? If not, what was your favorite conference?

Friday, April 24, 2009

More Fun at RT

Well, the week is winding down at the convention. Tomorrow is the Giant Book Fair, which I'm looking forward to (11 am to 2 pm at the Wyndham on International Drive and Sandlake Road in Orlando). Yesterday I pitched to a story to a publisher and two others to agents. Red Sage hosted a poolside afternoon party featuring free books, a tropical theme and the Mr. Romance contestants - yummy! I attended a couple workshops, one a panel discussion on YA romance with 6 up and coming YA authors. All I have to say is, I'm now convinced I'm too old to write YA. Most of these women were in their twenties and obviously very bright and tuned in to the whole teen experience. Hasn't been that long for them!
Today I attended a couple publisher spotlights, an agent panel and an editor panel - very interesting stuff. Here's a few snippets from the editor's event:
Romance genres doing well: Dark paranormals and sweet, family sagas. All publishers say they are still buying from new authors. Dorchester is looking for cross-genre romance; Tor is searching for urban fantasy and YA; Samhain wants all romance genres except YA, women's fiction and ChickLit; St. Martin's, Harlequin, Grand Central, Sourcebooks, Red Sage and Avon are open to all genres.
I am posting some pictures of friends. From the top they are 1. Two sweet ladies I met at the convention, Michelle and Christina 2. Author Karen Kendall 3. Author Allison Chase 4. Authors Terry Odell and Nancy J. Cohen 5. Author Cynthia Eden and Liquid Silver Publisher Tina Burns

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Great Day at RT Convention

Wow - what a long, busy, fun day today! I started out by volunteering at the registration desk for an hour. Then a great panel discussion on combining suspense with romance with speakers Lucienne Diver, Gennita Low, Roxanne St. Claire and Cindy Dees. After, a few minutes outside speaking with Lucienne, who is very nice, very helpful.
Next had lunch with Roxanne (Rocki), Karen Kendall, Allison Chase and Nancy J. Cohen. Good conversation. It was nice to visit with these ladies, whom I haven't chatted with in a while. After, bounced pitch off Rocki.
Next I went to another panel discussion featuring several erotica authors, including the amazing Angela Knight. Angela gave out some free books and I scored one - yeah! She autographed her book on writing erotic romance, Passionate Ink for me. Can't wait to break into it! After one more workshop, I met up with several authors, including Karen Kendall, Nancy J. Cohen and Allison Chase for an overpriced drink at the pool bar, which was so far from the main hotel I felt like leaving a trail of bread crumbs as we walked;-) After returning to the lobby, I ran into friends Leeann Burroughs, Traci Hall, Aleka Nakis and Eileen Ann Brennan.
The publisher of Red Sage Publishing then took a group of her authors out for a sumptuous dinner. Sat with Angela Knight, Liane Gentry Skye and Alexandria Kendall (publisher) as well as Brenda Williamson, Cynthia Eden and others. Awesome dinner, even better conversation - stayed several hours. Alexandria picked up entire tab. What a fun, generous lady - love her. I love being associated with Red Sage. She also could be the long lost twin of one of my oldest friends, Beverly Kelber - weird.
Got home about 10:00 pm and thought I was exhausted, although DH says I was totally wired. Guess he was right since it's 2:30 in the morning and I can't sleep! Another long day tomorrow - hope I get some sleep.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Romantic Times Convention Tracker

Tomorrow is the official opening of the Romantic Times Convention here in Orlando, but I spent today volunteering. I stuffed goody bags, registered people and met some very nice folks. A bonus for me - I learned the lay of the land at the sprawling hotel. I also learned parking spots are few and usually hell and gone from where I want to be. Those familiar with Orlando many years ago recognize the new Wyndham Hotel as the former Marriott Hotel. I had a friend who worked at the Marriott many many moons ago and low and behold - parking spots were few and far between way back then. Apparently when they remodeled the place, they forgot that minor issue. Saturday, April 25 is the Giant Book Fair with Mr. Romance models roaming the floor and hundreds of authors signing their books. The event runs from 11 - 2. Come by and say hi!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

And the Winner is...

I've drawn a name to win the book ... Drum roll, please. Okay - it's Julie Robinson. Please email me, Julie at ddedmon88 @ yahoo and I'll get the book out to you. Thanks to everyone who commented on yesterday's post. Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Addicted to Email

Is there a recovery group for those of us hooked on email? A twelve-step program for the electronically dependent? I know there's a chatroom somewhere or a Yahoo group where a bunch of people with similar issues are waiting for me to step up to the virtual podium and admit I have a problem.

I'm comforted in knowing I won't be arrested if I get caught. Nor will my marriage fall apart if DH finds out, although I suspect he knows since I always check the computer within half an hour of waking. But I have experienced withdrawal symptoms. We were on vacation last year, staying at friend's beachfront condo and I started growing antsy. My palms got sweaty and my heart pounded -- until I noticed the friend's laptop. I allowed myself a fix. Then another. I'd been incommunicado for two days and I had more than 300 emails. Yikes - it was like an electronic feeding frenzy!

Normally, email is my reward for reaching a certain percentage of my daily writing goal. So what's the harm? Well, I've noticed I now avoid phone conversations. Email is so much faster and easier. What it comes down to for me is control. It can be tough to control how long someone keeps me on the phone, but I can read their email when I feel like it.
So what about you? Are you an email junkie?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Too Much on the Brain

I'm trying really hard to finish my current WIP. I have another 20k words to go, but my concentration has been off lately, so it's been a challenge. On the positive side, a looming health issue for DH panned out well. He's fine - nuff said. Now that the health issue is resolved, there's DD's 15 year old attitude to cope with, not an easy task. I'm particularly worried now with the budget shortfall in Florida. Her school plans to cut a whopping 50 teachers next year - that's out of 200. Yes - they will be forced to lay off a quarter of their teachers! I've been writing letters to every politician I can, but I'm not hopeful. Her friends are mostly planning to bail from the public school system and go the private route, but that just isn't a viable option for us. For the life of me, I don't understand why our idiotic state legislators refuse to pass a higher tax on cigarettes and bottled water. I'd even go for the dreaded hike in the sales tax. Since this state relies on tourist tax dollars and tourism is down, we're severely short. I know some of my neighbors would shoot me for even suggesting this, but I'd even be okay with a state income tax, although I doubt it will ever happen.
Kids are our future and if we don't educate them properly, they will be dropouts. What do dropouts do? Many of them commit crimes and end up in our jails and prisons. Some others become burdens on the systems, adding to the social services rolls. What it comes down to is pay now, or pay later. Do we want our kids to reap the benefits of a good education and become productive members of society or do we want them to choke the life out of the future?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thanks so much to the writers at Red Sage Revealed for a Premio Dardas Award! This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.
The rules to follow are:
1) Accept the award, then post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to another 15(or however many you deem worthy) blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.The winners of our Premio Dardas ceremony, in no particular order, are:

Katie Reus for her blog about her journey as a writer.

Terry Odell for her blog, Terry's Place, where she showcases lessons on craft as
well as police procedure.

Bluechocolate Diaries where writer Chudney DeFreitas-Thomas discusses her
personal and writing life while chastising herself for not doing it more often;-)

Jax's Artistic Journey, author Jax Cassidy's informative blog about the many hats she wears.

Jenna's Romantic Notions for author Jenna Bayley-Burke announcements of contests, events and anything else to do with writing romance.

Writers Gone Wild where 3 romance authors hold contests and give great info to other authors and aspiring writers.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I interrupt this blog to share a couple moments of pure fun. My daughter and her friend love the rope swing near our house. They were having such a good time, I decided to capture it. As we walked the short distance home, we watched the space shuttle cross the sky with the backdrop a beautiful sunset. Sometimes, I love living in Florida, other times I don't. Can you guess which kind of day it was today?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Barbie's Office

I spent two days last week painting my office. I did it all myself, from moving most of the furniture (with a little help from DH) to set up, clean up, everything. Gone is the dingy sage green so past its prime. I picked out a lovely shade of dusty rose that looked absolutely perfect on the chip. Well, let me tell you - it's worth investing in those $3.99 sample bottles of paint. Rather than dusty rose, the paint dried to a cotton candy pink that would make a lovely color for clothing. (I love pink and actually have jeans, a jacket and many shirts this color). But it's not what I'd envisioned for my office. What it is, however, is clean and fresh. And it looks great with my green accessories.

So, what do you think? I will say, that part of my Barbie collection does seem very much at home now - more than before, particularly Wedgewood Barbie, my fave. Now - will it help the creative process? I'll get back to you on that.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tweet Tweet

Okay, so I jumped on the bandwagon. I joined Twitter to see what all the fuss is about. But honestly, I'm still not sure. It's hard to figure out what people are responding to when they post things sometimes and I'm not totally sure if it's a good networking tool or yet another site to waste large chunks of time. I'll let you know when I figure it out. Hint: I've spent like an hour and a half of my writing time finding people I know and reading posts.
However, I did get in my word count goal today, which is more than I can say for the last couple of weeks. My folks just left after their yearly snowbird stay of 6 weeks. I didn't write as much as I should have during their visit, but I got in loads of daughter points;-)
In other news, Girl Scout cookie season is over - thank goodness! Between the parental visit (AKA food fest) and GS cookie hell, I gained like 5 pounds!! I'm off to the gym tomorrow morning for a double time workout, rather than my usual one.
So what's new in your world? Are you twittering yet?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Weathering the Storm

So we all know the economy sucks, right? The most frightening part is that even the supposed financial experts are clueless as to what exactly will fix the problems and how long it will take. Just like everyone else, those of us who write books have to adjust our plans in order to weather the storm. I've been trying to set up book signings for my RWA chapter, but stores are pulling back, laying off their community relations people and tapping employees with no experience to coordinate events. In many cases, the stores won't even commit to hold a signing. So now is the time to think outside the box. Offer to speak at a women's group then sign some of your books. Send out a few more books to reviewers and local newspapers and magazines. Participate in charitable events to get your name out there (and to get your feel-good on).
What about you? What are you doing to make it through the lean times?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Letting the Muse Have Her Way

I was all set last week to begin writing this YA paranormal that's been cooking in my mind for the past year. I plotted, I outlined, I drew out character sketches and GMC charts. Then DH threw me a curve ball -- he came home from work and told me about a situation there he's been dealing with. His tale was just too juicy, held too many possibilities for me to not use it in a book. So, I started developing that idea with every intention of setting it aside until after the YA manuscript was finished.
Enter my CP. When we met last week to do some plotting work, I told her about DH's story and how it was gnawing at me.
"Write it," she advised. Plus, she was really excited about the idea and said she loved the premise. Since CP writes RS and this new book would be RS, I decided to take her advice. Now I'm about 10,000 words into it and so far, so good.
So, I shelved the YA book, for now. I just sent CP the first chapter and can't wait to find out what she thinks of it!
What about you? Do you sometimes derail a project when another idea won't leave you alone?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Must See Movies

I've only seen a few Indian movies, but Slumdog Millionaire is one I won't soon forget. This impressive film features everything from adventure to a love story to deeply disturbing violence. The story of two brothers from the slums of Mumbai is both tragic and uplifting. With masterful cinematography, a great story and talented young actors, this movie won't disappoint.
Another worthwhile offering is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It's an unusual story that takes all sorts of unexpected twists and turns. As a writer, I was really impressed with the intricacies of the plot and the use of omniscient point of view in parts of it.
It's unusual lately to find two great movies in theaters at the same time, so take advantage - have a movie date - or two.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Waiting Game

I know I've said this before, but the patience required of a writer is nothing less than cruel and unusual punishment! I currently have a couple submissions under consideration from publishers and the long wait for acceptance (or rejection) is brutal. Sometimes I'm lucky and get a quick response. I love those fast responders! Efficiency is near and dear to my heart and I simply can't stand when my submissions are mishandled, as one recently was by a certain large erotic e-publisher who shall remain nameless. Needless to say, I'll never send them another thing.

Speaking of time, I got the coolest calendar from a friend. It's called Porn for Women and features half-naked men doing housework. Now that's my kind of erotica!