Monday, June 27, 2011

Voices from the Heart

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

Friday, June 24, 2011

For Leslie Esdaile...

The romance community has come together to help support the fundraising efforts of the family of Leslie Esdaile. You may know her as LA Banks.

One of the reasons, I love writing for Red Rose Publishing is because it has authors like LA Banks. In my mind, I thought...hey, I could have a career like hers. She's written for everyone: Dafina, Arabesque, Genesis Press, Pocket Books etc. She's even penned a graphic novel.

With so much respect in the writing community, she's even had the opportunity to introduce the President of the United States, Barack Obama.

Please visit Leslie Banks' Auction site for more details on how you can contribute to this effort, and the Leslie Esdaile Fund. You could also visit her website, or Red Rose Publishing for more opportunities to donate.

The disappearing pieces of my childhood

Recently, I saw a brief story on CNN about the ten brands that will disappear in 2012. The list included: Sears, Sony Pictures, American Apparel, Nokia, Saab, A&W All-American Foods Restaurants, Soap Opera Digest, Sony Ericsson, MySpace, and Kellogg’s Corn Pops.

As a child, I think my parents took my brother and me to Sears for something or another every weekend. And if we needed an electronic appliance for anything, it was definitely purchased from Sears. They had the best guarantees and warranties around.

Do you remember when everyone had to have a Nokia phone?

Corn Pops. Wow, my brother and I would eat one box in a couple of days because we loved them so much. It was delicious and sweet. And our parents would let us eat it! We didn't have to beg for it.

MySpace. How did they lose so much ground so quickly to their competition? But, I have to admit, I don't even use my MySpace page any longer.

What does all of this mean?

When I have children, will anything from my childhood exist? Will I need to take my children to a museum to show them the things I grew up with?

Will they look at me in total amazement, and say "Huh. You actually had to hold your phone it, wasn't combined with your televisions?"

Monday, June 20, 2011

One day I will...

Spain Pictures

See Dentro de los Jameos del Agua for myself.

This photo of Spain is courtesy of TripAdvisor

What do the holidays really mean?

Yesterday was Fathers' Day. What did it mean to you? For that matter, what do Mothers' Day, Valentine's Day, or any other holiday mean?

Every holiday, I find myself running around like crazy trying to figure out what to do? What to buy?

I saw a fabulous repeat of Frasier the other day. It was all about their father's birthday, and how the two of them try to "out do" each other year after year. To the point of driving themselves absolutely crazy.

Because I was recently laid off, my parents support and love has been so invaluable that the holidays don't seem to be big enough for me. There is no way I can repay them for all they've done for me over the past year.

Dinner at a five star restaurant or the neighborhood dinner seem comparable. A movie and a play are not exciting enough. Nothing is good enough.

Then, with the sweetest sincerity, my father doesn't seem to care. But, instead, is perfectly content with being surrounded by family: wife, children, and grandchildren. And neckbones. Do you know what neckbones are? Something I haven't eaten in nearly fifteen years or better.

Wow. Is life really that simple? Family. Good friends. Southern food.

Maybe that's why I love to write Romance. To indulge in the simplicity of life.

Tell me about your holiday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Electronic Book Club Extras

I'm excited to announce that the companion cookbook for Sweet Victory is now available from Vanilla Heart Publishing!

There are all other sorts of goodies, too: bookmarks, recipe cards, ebook club discussion questions, etc.

For more information visit Angela Kay Austin's Books or Vanilla Heart Publishing's EBCE!

What are you goals for scene setting as an author?

This week on Romancing the Pen author Chelle Cordero shares with us why she has great passion for research and setting the scene for her readers.

Hyphema: Bleeding in the eye caused by trauma… Matt Garratti, a paramedic from New York, moves his wife and son to North Carolina to work at his dream job as a flight medic. Pakistani born Sudah, his wife, receives frosty stares and insensitive comments from their new neighbors. Before long, Matt wonders if he is pursuing his dream or bringing his family into a nightmare from which they may never wake.

Drop by Romancing the Pen, and tell us what you think!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Great fan fiction

This week on Romancing the Pen, Vila SpiderHawk drops by to share with us a great piece of fan fiction.

With this short piece, she introduces us to Klaus one of the characters in her novel Forest Song: Little Mother available from Vanilla Heart Publishing.

Blurb: Forest Song: Little Mother continues the narration of Judy Baumann's adventures in the woods from the Vila SpiderHawk novel Forest Song: Finding Home. In this volume, Judy reluctantly moves from her teacher's house into a home of her own. She helps the forest denizens hide Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany and in the process finds a new way to relate to her mother, learns to count on and honor her powers, rescues a friend from Dachau, and discovers sexual love. She also learns to cope with loss and to go on in spite of disappointment. In the end she becomes a mother in an unconventional way. A story of trial and healing, this is a beautiful tale of a young woman s coming of age.

Drop by Romancing the Pen to meet Klaus and Vila!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rules for writing fiction

As written for The Guardian by Anne Enright, essayist and novelist.

1 The first 12 years are the worst.

2 The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page.

3 Only bad writers think that their work is really good.

4 Description is hard. Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand.

5 Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn't matter how "real" your story is, or how "made up": what matters is its necessity.

6 Try to be accurate about stuff.

7 Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you ­finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die.

8 You can also do all that with whiskey.

9 Have fun.

10 Remember, if you sit at your desk for 15 or 20 years, every day, not ­counting weekends, it changes you. It just does. It may not improve your temper, but it fixes something else. It makes you more free.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

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!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Alternative-Read's Thursday Author Blog Hop

THIS WEEK'S AUTHOR BLOG HOP QUESTION FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 2nd IS ABOUT: Writing scenes(Part One): How would you define a 'twist'? Do you use a twist in every scene or just at the end of the book? Question provided by affiliate author L. P Robinson (Part two is next week!)

I discussed this with a writing friend, and I think for me, it depends on what I'm writing.

I don't write thriller/suspense, as a norm. But, I think in certain types of writing twist after twist, is expected and encouraged. I think they add to the "tension" of a suspenseful thriller, similarly so in horror, paranormal, etc. The author leads you in one direction, and then snatches that safety net from up under you, and sends you in a completely different direction.

My plots will definitely have twists because I don't want to reader to figure out how or when or why things are going to happen, even if they think they know what will happen. But, perhaps, not as many as other genres.

My "voice", the way I tell a story, dictates my plot twists.