Friday, May 27, 2011

Voices from the Heart

Don't forget to drop by Voices From the Heart on the 27th to read my latest post.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What influences your decision to buy? Cover? Blurb?

QUESTION: Put on your reader's hat. When shopping for a book, what do you look at to help you make a decision whether or not to purchase? How important is the cover art compared to the blurb?

Question provided by affiliate author Ginger Simpson.

I debate this with friends and other writers often because, personally, as a reader, the first thing I do is read the back cover blurb. Then I flip it over and read the opening scene of the first chapter. The cover art is probably the last thing I check. Of course, all of this goes out of the window if it's an author that I love. Then, I just pick it up blindly...hoping that this one is as good as the last one :-).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Recipes by a "foodie," who is not a chef

Eating, for me, is incredibly pleasureable. I absolutely love the smells, anticipation, and first bite. And dread the last one. Whether in a five star restaurant, a good friend or family members home, or a hole in the wall...if the food is good, then I am there.

For my book, Sweet Victory, a thread of the story involves cooking. I did a ton of research in preparation for it. As a result, I did a lot of "at home" testing. Burned a lot of pots. Definitely gained a few pounds.

I am not a chef by any stretch of the imagination, and I can affirm that it almost never looks like the picture...unless it's one from Rachel Ray's television show. She is my hero. Are there words that adequately describe Anthony Bourdain?

I'm working on some companion pieces for my book Sweet Victory, and let's just say I firmly respect every one that's ever baked a buttery silky sweet potato pie or grilled shrimp without drying it out. And exactly how do you get fish not to stick to aluminum foil when it's grilled? How many ways can you cook scallops?

I have a new found respect for the amount of patience, creativity, and artistic ability it takes to plate a wonderful meal that makes you want to come back for seconds!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How do you pick a hero?

You know, I thought about this the other day because one of my friends was told his hero was not likeable enough. But, I thought his hero was appropriate for "his" story. I felt he'd written the true account of that man's struggle.

I've written attributes for heros that I thought people may disagree with, and so, I scrubbed them. Which made me sad because I knew no one would ever see those characters. But, now, I think differently. I stay to the character as it unfolds, and I let them tell "their" stories. I think one day someone will discover some little jewel neatly tucked away on one of my computer hard drives.

Drop by Romancing the Pen this week. Mary Abshire visits with me, and tells us how she came up with her hero and why.

Half-demon Jessie Garrett wants to live a normal life among her friends and keep her soul catching ability a secret, but supernatural creatures keep popping up in her world. Adding to her struggles, her vampire lover remains out of the country, and when he offers no valuable explanation as to why he hasn't returned, she wonders if she should move on without him.

As if Jessie doesn't have enough worries on her mind, the demon yearning to seduce her shows up at her home. She longs to liberate herself from the debt she owes him, and when he asks for her help, she jumps at the chance to make a new deal with him—one that will guarantee her freedom. The only catch? She has to send the soul of a werewolf to hell.

Love, trust, and loyalty are on the line. Torn between her feelings for her vampire boyfriend, a hot Alpha wolf, and a demon vowing to protect her, Jessie must figure out her heart's true desires.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Does coordinating my wardrobe make me geek?

Okay, does the fact that I love this t-shirt, and want a matching hat and socks make me the biggest geek around?

Maybe no one should answer this question :-)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Coming Soon from Vanilla Heart Publishing!

Okay, so I've been sitting on this news for a minute, but for those of you that receive my newsletter you found out about this recently.

Vanilla Heart Publishing has contracted my short story, Scarlet's Tears, and my novella, Sweet Victory!

Scarlet's Tears is available in Kindle version from Amazon.

When you lose everything you love, how are you supposed to believe it won't happen again?

The knife at her throat didn't frighten Scarlet Anderson. In fact, it was a relief. Finally, she didn't have to worry any longer about living another empty day. She'd be reunited with the ones she loved.

Joshua Davis had faced a lot of challenges in his life, his faith and the love of his family had seen him through his latest battles. person could help him now. How had he managed to fall in love with someone who'd stopped loving herself? And what was he supposed to do?

For her employees, Victoria James quits her job to save theirs. That decision loses her the man she thought she loved. And sends her to back to Memphis, TN with everything she owns to face a neglected and forgotten relationship with her grandfather.

Everything she has is stolen. Chad Kirkpatrick, her childhood love, the first man to break her heart, now a police officer, comes to her aide.

Can she move forward, and put her past behind her? Will Chad forgive her?

Coming Soon from Vanilla Heart Publishing!

News stories, Festivals, and Nightmares

My guest, this week, on Romancing the Pen discusses just how she uses the world around her in her books.

I thought it was funny that she says one of her t-shirts reads "…Be Careful or you might wind up a character in my novel." Because I tell people that all of the time. I am quick on the take a picture of something so that I won't forget the details. Everything around me is fair game!

Please drop by, and share with us your thoughts!

Truly, Madly, Deeply Romance Authors

Don't forget to drop by Truly, Madly, Deeply Romance Authors for the chance to read FREE romance stories by some of your favorite authors! Every Saturday!

And of course, for the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Geoff Dyer, author.

1 Never worry about the commercial possibilities of a project. That stuff is for agents and editors to fret over – or not. Conversation with my American publisher. Me: "I'm writing a book so boring, of such limited commercial appeal, that if you publish it, it will probably cost you your job." Publisher: "That's exactly what makes me want to stay in my job."

2 Don't write in public places. In the early 1990s I went to live in Paris. The usual writerly reasons: back then, if you were caught writing in a pub in England, you could get your head kicked in, whereas in Paris, dans les cafés . . . Since then I've developed an aversion to writing in public. I now think it should be done only in private, like any other lavatorial activity.

3 Don't be one of those writers who sentence themselves to a lifetime of sucking up to Nabokov.

4 If you use a computer, constantly refine and expand your autocorrect settings. The only reason I stay loyal to my piece-of-shit computer is that I have invested so much ingenuity into building one of the great auto­correct files in literary history. Perfectly formed and spelt words emerge from a few brief keystrokes: "Niet" becomes "Nietzsche", "phoy" becomes ­"photography" and so on. ­Genius!

5 Keep a diary. The biggest regret of my writing life is that I have never kept a journal or a diary.

6 Have regrets. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire.

7 Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it's a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It's only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I ­always have to feel that I'm bunking off from something.

8 Beware of clichés. Not just the ­clichés that Martin Amis is at war with. There are clichés of response as well as expression. There are clichés of observation and of thought – even of conception. Many novels, even quite a few adequately written ones, are ­clichés of form which conform to clichés of expectation.

9 Do it every day. Make a habit of putting your observations into words and gradually this will become instinct. This is the most important rule of all and, naturally, I don't follow it.

10 Never ride a bike with the brakes on. If something is proving too difficult, give up and do something else. Try to live without resort to per­severance. But writing is all about ­perseverance. You've got to stick at it. In my 30s I used to go to the gym even though I hated it. The purpose of ­going to the gym was to postpone the day when I would stop going. That's what writing is to me: a way of ­postponing the day when I won't do it any more, the day when I will sink into a depression so profound it will be indistinguishable from perfect bliss.