Friday, March 30, 2012

The Friday Five - Reasons to Enter the Weta Nichols Writing Contest

I've talked a little about self-promotion in person and on the web. One of the strongest things you can do to promote yourself is enter contests, because usually if you win, place or show (sorry, I'm in a horsey mindset), you get your name on the certificate and in modern times, your name and title will often show up on the contest host's website.

It's true, I know these things because my name is associated with a list of names that won, placed and showed (well, in my case, honorable mentioned [yes, I know that's not a verb]). So today I want to give you five reasons to enter the 2012 Weta Nichols Writing Contest.

#1) Because I'd be all over it - But I can't be because I'm on the committee this year helpin' out with thangs. Also, I didn't write anything contest-worthy in the last few months. I did (or didn't?) do it for you so that you can enter. (But FYI, I am a powerful, show-stopping force that is a fury to be reckoned with--if you're not, you should be repeating this to yourself at least five times a day).

#2) The entry fee is $15.00 USD. That's like three cups of coffee. I know, I know, you can't live without coffee, but if you cut back a little bitsy bit, you too can afford to submit your fine masterpiece (please don't kill me in a caffeine-deprived rage!).  That's like a steak dinner or a date at McDonald's. And it's cheap for a contest entry, believe you me. It's not like we're asking carnies to judge your work either. We have legitimate judges.

#3) A portion of your $15.00 goes to benefit the Ozarks Literacy Council. We donate money to them each year after our conference. So by entering, you're also helping people learn to read. As writers, we count on our readers! The OLC is way better than the Derek Zoolander Center. But you can still buy his awesome t-shirt here. Um, I'll have to check to see if OLC sells t-shirts . . . .

#4) Because you are one bad mother of a writer! (Please refer to #1 if you think otherwise.) What are you waiting for? You have critique partners, you've polished til your fingers almost fell off. You have no reason to be afraid. You have to start somewhere and you might as well 1) prove you're awesome, 2) spend the $15 wisely, 3) feel good about donating to a worthy cause and last but not least:

#5) Because I made you this awesome graphic to put on your blog or attach to your e-mail signature. Think about how awesome you'd look if you won! It's like you were predicting the future of your awesomeness. If you win and you tell me, I will totally make you a graphic that says, "See? I told you!" Also, I made that graphic out of the goodness of my heart so someone better use it or else. >:(

Get off your duff (oh, wait, yeah, you should probably stay sitting down to enter) and enter the 2012 Weta Nichols Writing Contest. Ride that wave to glory, my little writerlings.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Game of 7's

Sharon Cullen tagged me in a game of 7's. Here's how it works:

Go to page 77 of your current WIP, drop down 7 lines, pick up the next 7 and post 'em. Here are mine from The Sky Pirate's Wife. I'm pretty sure long dialogue doesn't count.

His open-topped carriage rolled down the street toward his office where the meeting over the fate of Barnes Shipping and the issue of her dowry would be discussed.
“Beg your pardon, but why did Bernard call you away from your office to escort me when he could have driven us there himself?” She tried not to sound angry about it, but every passing second was one missed that she could explain to Bernard that she didn't need this farce of a marriage.
Mr. Wayne mumbled something and avoided her gaze. Sophie leaned forward. “Do you mind repeating that?”
“Bernard isn't attending this meeting.”
Her heart plummeted. “I'm sorry, I don't believe I heard you correctly. Bernard must be coming. This is about the business. He's always involved in the smallest detail regarding the company.”

Wow, you can just tell Bernard is a jerk from that little sample.

Here are my picks for seven other fantastic writers. Hope you'll stop in and visit them, even if they don't feel up to being 7-ish. ;)

Carrie Ann

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Author Interview - Febe Moss

Today we have aspiring author, Febe Moss on the blog.

What's your book/current WIP about?

My WIP in progress is about a gorgon who was named after the famous gorgon Medusa. She just turned 30 and realized she does not have the genetic disease that makes her turn people into stone. She lives in modern day NYC and now has to get rid of her ex, Ares and figure out her future, now that she has one.

Care to share your favorite line(s) from your story?
Sure! In this paragraph, Medusa is contemplating some recent events.
I can count the number of times in my life where I was left holding the bag. Either the metaphorical bag was my first cigarette, a stolen cantaloupe, or evidence of Ares infidelity. Each time it made me unable to move, speechless, and afraid of the outcome. Now the oracle left me holding a dead bird and a prophecy which sent fear shooting off into the different corners of my body. What made her scurry away like a rat? For as much as life seems to change, in reality, it remains the same; me holding the bag. What would be the outcome now?

What's your next project?
A dark comedy short story about a man’s first days in Hell.

Describe your writing in a sentence.
Like following the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland.

Do you choose character names or do the characters whisper them in your ears?
Whisper, always whisper, especially when I am trying to sleep.

Plotter or panster?
Total pantster.

Do you like background noise or do you prefer a quiet space when you write?
I prefer listening to music. I need a soundtrack.

What are you currently reading?
Alan Moore’s, “The Watchmen.” I’m a comic book nerd at heart.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer it?
“What’s the first thing you would do on Mount Olympus?”
Tickle Zeus’s Beard.

People think I'm weird because...
Because I have an odd sense of humor and outlook on life.

You can find Febe at:

Thanks for dropping by Febe and good luck in your writing pursuits!

Monday, March 26, 2012

SIFWIW - Spring, Spring, Spring

While the topic might be spring, spring, spring, let me assure you I did not spring from my bed this morning. The head-full-of-snot feeling is hanging on. I should feel decent again by . . . six or seven this evening. Nevertheless, hard-core, dedicated blogger than I am, I braved the icy waters of Hayes Spring CA to bring you photos.

I love when I sent a picture from my phone to my e-mail, it doesn't show up right away. But send one from phone to Facebook and boom! I'll get all the pics I sent to my e-mail as soon as this blog is posted, no doubt.

By and large, I think this is one of the prettiest springs we've had in years. We haven't had a good frost (which means we have bugs and ticks coming out our ears, but . . .) which means we still have lots of flowers on the trees. As evidenced by these photos.

Yeah, there wasn't much else to take photos of. I couldn't get PeeWee to stand still long enough to take a picture. He did fall into the water while he was running around barking. A bunch of leaves concealing the water's edge does not solid ground make, Master PW. Oh, he's a corker, for sure.

Whew! Got Monday rolling and we are now scanning the horizon for April.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Friday Five - At Least I Made the Effort

I'm kind of stumped for TFF this week. In lieu of using tons of brain cells to find a topic, I'm just going to be honest and tell you about five things I want to do this weekend. Hey, I'm on cold medication and it's my blog. Just read the damn post, already, okay? I promise to find something fantastic for you in the future at some point.

#1) Sleep. I've had some sort of head cold/sinus issue. I really like to sleep anyway, but this thing is murder. I want to go to bed at 9 pm and wake up at 11 am the next day. I won't, but I want to. Mostly because I hate to miss M*A*S*H repeats at 10:30 pm.

#2) Eat some pie. I'm really feeling a piece of lemon meringue. Okay, that's lame. I had go see a movie, but we did that last night, so I had to do a quickie adjustment here. But pie is good.

#3) Go for a walk. You know, to get fodder, er, photos for SIFWIW Monday. But as I'm writing this on Thursday for you to read on Friday, I really don't feel well enough, so you may end up reading something else on Monday. Sorry.

#4) Read. I have a couple of things on my e-reader right now that I'm really into. I can tell you that one of them is Brenda Dyer's Love's Prophecy. Another one is historical christian fiction. I'm nothing if not random.

#5) Sit outside in the sunshine and grill burgers. Maybe finish my first read-through of The Sky Pirate's Wife and write that missing scene between chapters 2 and 3.

Well, whatever you end up doing this weekend, I hope it's a good one.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Author Interview - Lisa Kumar

Hey everyone! Hope you're excited! Today we have an interview with author Lisa Kumar!

What's your book/current WIP about?
I have a fairly new release out. Bound by the Mist is a full-length fantasy romance that’s somewhat different from others in its genre in that it’s character-driven and doesn’t feature the inevitable kick-ass heroine.  Cal, the heroine, is a fairly normal college student. Well, she’d be normal if her strange visions and dreams of an elvin prince and his land hadn’t convinced the people around her she had mental problems when she was a teenager.

Relian is the hero of the story and is, of course, the elvin prince. He’s intrigued by Cal, even though he intially finds her very humanity puzzling and isn’t happy about the reason for her arrival in his land.
I had a neat logline for the story, but I lost it. I’ll see if I can remember it from heart. Here it is:
When a college student finds herself in an another dimension, she must discover the truth behind her arrival, all the while falling for the elvin prince who conspires to bind her to him.

Care to share your favorite line(s) from your story?
I love the simple intimacy of these lines. To me, they’re so sensual without even one item of clothing being removed.
When he lifted his still damp hand, flicking his fingers to dislodge a few errant drops that clung to his skin, her throat grew dry. Those same drops landed on her cheek, where Relian tenderly traced their path with a finger. He moved a step closer, bringing their bodies mere centimeters apart. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind, the meaning of “ves atin” swam into her bloodstream. Yes, falling water—it fell, trickling through her, along with his voice.

What's your next project?
I’m working on the second novel in the Mists of Eria series. I don’t have a title for it yet. I just call it Maggie’s story. Yeah, real creative, I know.

Describe your writing in a sentence.
Escape into fantasy where love and magic mingle.

Do you choose character names or do the characters whisper them in your ears?
Sometimes  I just know a character’s name. At other times, it’s a fight to choose a name that fits. I’ve even written a whole manuscript and then went back and changed a secondary character’s name. Lol, I still worry that I might’ve missed one or two spots in the story that had his old name even though I used the search and find function on Word.

Plotter or panster?
I used to be a straightup panster, but decided since I didn’t want to rewrite my manuscripts a hundreds times, I better incorporate just a smigeon of plotting to my repetitoire. I’ve got to admit, though, I hate plotting out my novels, so I’ll have to see if it really works for me.

Do you like background noise or do you prefer a quiet space when you write?
Depending on my mood, sometimes I crave music while writing. Other times, it’s just a big distraciton.

What are you currently reading?
I’m not currently reading anything. But I’ve just read Love’s Prophecy by Brenda Dyer, and I plan to read Night with a Dom by Casea Major. Love’s Prophecy is a great paranormal that has plenty of action, romance, love, and hot guys.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer it?
Oh, this one’s tough. Maybe “What job/profession would you like to earn a living from if you could choose any one you wanted?” I’d have to answer that by saying I’d want to be an author. Lol, I’m an author now, but not quite (okay, not even close to) earning a living off it.

People think I'm weird because...
I like to read and write. To a writer those are normal things, but to the average person who barely picks up a book, they do seem weird.

A magic that's fading
Relian has lived a life that hasn’t changed in millennia, and he likes it that way. As Prince of the Erian people, he has his conscripted duties. And a human, even one as desirable as Cal, does not fit into them. But as the enemy darkindred knock on the borders and the magic of his people fades, he might just have to find room.
A love that's binding
College Student Cal Weston spends a good portion of her time trying to keep people from thinking she's crazy, including herself. And with good reason. But her carefully constructed reality is turned upside down when she discovers that Relian, the seductive elvin prince who has been starring in her sensuous fantasies, isn’t merely a myth and his magical kingdom really exists. Now she’s bound to an elf and stuck in a land where no one, least of all Relian, is willing to spill any answers about the truth of her arrival.
Two people, two worlds meet in the mist
Even as love grows between them, can they lay aside their differences to embrace a life together?

Cal gritted her teeth. The cheap strobe light that flashed in one corner of the room sent pin- pricks of pain through her eyes. She should’ve never let Maggie and some other friends talk her into coming to this house party. But it was Friday, and she made it through the week without any strange occurrences. Well, except for the bracelet that wouldn’t come off, no matter what she tried or used on it. A blowtorch probably wouldn’t harm a hair on its head.
She smiled wryly. She hadn’t exercised that option yet. But she’d tried many others, much to her detriment.
Once the shock of the bracelet’s appearance had worn off, anger had won out over any guilt. She’d attacked the offending piece of jewelry with scissors, only to become furious when they failed to make a cut. In her fervor she accidentally nicked her wrist more than once before finally admitting defeat, at least for the time being. She’d had to leave it be since she didn’t want to injure herself beyond repair.
She fingered the bracelet through the long-sleeve shirt she wore to cover up the scratches. Frowning, she yanked her hand away. If only she could tear her thoughts away so easily. While dreams didn’t haunt her as before, her mind definitely flouted her control. She thought about him all the time. Damn, had she been naive enough to think she could come and celebrate her “normal” week when she wasn’t normal at all? Not that she was into the party scene, but she—like any red-blooded girl—enjoyed the attentions of good-looking young men. Never had so many shown an interest in her before, but she couldn’t muster up the slightest bit of interest in any of them. They weren’t...Relian.
She fought off another set of persistent hands. God, she needed to find Maggie and return home, with or without her. The lights, the music, the guys – her nerves were cracking. When she’d freed herself, she stalked through the throng of people. Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw Maggie’s light golden-brown hair.
Turning to go in that direction, Cal stumbled to a stop.
Just ahead of her, slightly off to the left in a corner, was a familiar soft mist. Like a marionette on a string, it drew her. When she neared, just discernable were tumultuous gray eyes that glared in a pinched face.
Cal shook her head at the accusation in his gaze. “I didn’t ask for this.” She didn’t know if she meant the party and the over-eager guys, or him and his crazy world of dreams and mists.
“I’m sorry.” Her apology came out a whisper. Turning, she shoved through the crowd toward the exit.

Author Bio:
Lisa Kumar is a wife, mother, and romance writer who grew up in small-town Indiana. She now resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and son, who are used to sharing her attention with her laptop. When not spinning tales of romance and fantasy, she can be found with her nose buried in a book, or more accurately, her e-reader. Her scholastic background is in psychology, which enabled her to get low-paying jobs in the human services sector. Needless to say, she's now writing full-time.

Lisa's website:
All Romance

Great interview. It's alway so fun to learn about authors. Thanks for stopping in Lisa!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why I'm In Love With The Three Musketeers (But not D'Artagnon, because I suspect that might be cradle-robbing)

Because it has AIRSHIPS! Yes, I just yelled that. I saw a trailer for The Three Musketeers when we went to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. There were no airships in that trailer. I would have remembered something like that! If someone had told me there were airships in TTM, I would've dragged my husband to go see it. How did this information get by me?

If I had hated every single minute of this movie, I still would have loved it for its steampunkedness. But as a matter of fact, I loved almost every minute of it, even before I knew about the airships. And who is that hottie playing Aramis? Where did Luke Evans come from? And why wasn't he given more face time?

I'm sure you're all familiar with the basic story of TTM. I read it many, many moons ago when I was a bored teenager on summer vacation. I. Can't. Tell. You. A. Single. Detail. From. The. Novel. Sorry. Um, let's just say I wasn't very impressed. I only vaguely remember the Disney movie based on the novel. I saw the beginning about 700 times, but I don't think I ever saw the end (it was quite popular in high school and the students had a knack for turning the classrooms into movie theaters instead of actually learning. I know, awesome, right?)

This movie was so far off base from what I remember. It starts with the Musketeers breaking into Leonardo da Vinci's vault to steal the plans for warships. Warships that are airship! OMG! They also have the very flexible Milady with them. She must secretly be from an alternative universe because she has some serious Matrix-like moves. She claims to love Athos, but she betrays him to Buckingham, who (stupidly) doesn't kill them when he steals the plans. Seriously, these guys sat on their butts instead of plotting revenge for a whole year? What is that?

Enter the young D'Artagnon. I looked it up and I'm right, he's is kind of young. Not jailbait young, so at least he has that going for him. I feel bad for him because that wig is really awful. Getting back to the plot, he's trained with his father, who was a Musketeer. He sets off to join the Musketeers in the king's court, only to have his horse insulted by the Cardinal's guard. He want to duel the captain, who just shoots him instead and prepares to kill him, but Milady happens along and stops the killing. Which is completely out of character for her. I guess the excuse they used was that they were in a hurry, but I'm pretty sure stabbing someone wouldn't take the time it took to have that conversation. So we see D'Artagnon ride off to Paris where he runs into the Musketeers, only to tick off them off and challenge them to duels as well. As they're going to start the first duel (with Athos having the honor), the Cardinal's guard rides up and surrounds them. D'Artagnon, being a little hot head, attacks. The battle wages and in the end, the four of them have kicked the butts of 40 guards. D'Artagnon starts flirting with a girl who we later learn is one of the Ladies in Waiting for Queen Anne.

The Musketeers invite D'Artagnon to stay with them. They are summoned by the king for punishment because they kicked ass. Fortunately for them, the king is a bit of dummy and instead of being angry that they caused such a ruckus, he actually rewards them with new suits of clothes which they are to wear when the Lord of Buckingham comes to visit the next day. The Cardinal starts to protest, but the queen steps in and tells him that the king doesn't need his help.

Then we get to the airships! Buckingham arrives in one. It's obviously a machine built for destruction. As France and England are on the verge of war because of France's oblivious boy-king, they're supposed to be meeting to bring peace, but obviously the Cardinal and Buckingham don't want that. The Cardinal and Milady, working as a double agent, set up a plot to make it look like Anne and Buckingham are having an affair. Milady steals a diamond necklace the king gave to Anne on their anniversary. Then the king discovers forged letters that make it obvious Buckingham and Anne are in love. She supposedly gave away the necklace as a token of her affection for him. The Cardinal suggests to prove if it's true or not, the king should throw a ball and have the queen wear the necklace. If she doesn't have it, then she gave it to Buckingham.

The lady in waiting that D'Artagnon was flirting with goes to him and pleads for him to get the necklace back because it's five days until the ball. She persuades him with a kiss. Porthos and Aramis are like, hell, yeah, let's get the necklace, but Athos is a bit harder to convince. He finally agrees. Milady is back with Buckingham, telling him step-by-step how the Muskateers will come in to get the necklace.

However, they know that she's going to tell Buckingham how they've worked before and devise another plan with D'Artagnon as a distraction. They steal the airship (though we don't know how because they don't show the Musketeers doing it), shoot up Buckingham's office and start the journey back to France. I forgot to mention in there that Milady runs away with the diamonds, but they capture her and haul her carriage into the airship. It looks like Athos is going to shoot her, but she jumps from the airship into the English Channel. It seems as if our heroes will get back to the palace in time to present the queen with her jewels,but, oh, no! The Cardinal's captain has a bigger, meaner war-airship and he comes after them. Come to find out, he's captured the lady in waiting and wants to exchange her for the necklace, to which D'Artagnon agrees. There's a terrific battle between the two and it looks like the Musketeers will be blown out of the sky, but . . . oh, wait. I don't give the end of the movie away, do I? Except it looks like there might be a sequel, oh, I hope so! The thing I hated most about this movie: Orlando Bloom's manscara. Manscara just freaks me out all the way around. Let's pretend like that little phase never happened.

They just touched on all sorts of steampunkery in this movie from the costume to the ships to the weapons and gadgetry. It was like a dream come true, set in the 17th century, which I'll admit isn't something I'd seen before.

Wow. Airships. I love it. Although I imagine Mr. Dumas is spinning in his grave. Ah, speculative fiction, screwing with literature and history and generally helping civilization collapse on itself. What would we do without it?

Also, now that I have your attention, I would also like to direct you to the trailer for The Treasure Hunter's Lady. Check it out.

Monday, March 19, 2012

SIFWIW - Wilson's Creek Nat'l Battlefield

Saturday mid-morning I dragged the PeeWee monster out into the sunshine to enjoy our first full weekend of daylight savings. We chose Wilson's Creek for our walk, but instead of going on a trail I've been on a lot, we headed for a new spot. It's called the Bloody Hill Trail. And it's almost entirely uphill. Something of a challenge for two creatures that were couch potatoes all winter.

I made PW hike all the way up it, swearing that we would stop when we reached the post at the top. We broke out the water bottled and each head a drink. Lo and behold, there was a bench about ten feet from where we stopped. Nice. The view from the top was lovely, even when you consider that a little over 1500 men were killed there. Which accounts for the squeaking trees. Squeaking trees, you ask?

Yes, squeaking trees. The souls of those poor soldiers (on both sides) who were dumped into a sinkhole that contaminated the water and made the area uninhabitable for months. They were later (about two years later) relocated to a cemetery. The wind was blowing pretty good on top of the hill and the tree branches were rubbing together, making this godawful racket. PW keep looking around like he was listening to the ghost talk. I'm like, okay, let's get out of here before we get possessed.

We came across these huge toadstools while we were fleeing from the sharp cries of angry spirits. They were easily bigger around than my shoe is wide. I accidentally stepped on one that looked like earwax when I got done taking this photo. Erm, I'm sure it'll grow back or something. It's difficult to say who causes more destruction sometimes--me or Godzilla.

During one of our rest breaks, I stopped to take a picture of that little flower and PW walked up behind it. He proceeded to sniff the camera, then wander back to the water bottle and bowl, indicating that he desired a drink, not a picture of flowers, although he appreciated the break. A great photo, if my knee hadn't worked its way in there. But little P-Dubya's face is so sweet above the flower, you can almost ignore it.

Japanese chins (and pretty much any dog with a flat face) are known for having short bronchial tubes. The excuse for all the sneezing that he does is "Short bronchial tubes." To which my husband frequently rolls his eyes. Well, it's also a fact that dogs with short bronchial tubes often have difficulty undertaking a lot of strenuous exercise. More often than not when I take PW on a walk, I end up carrying him at least part of the way. After that long hike up the hill, I hadn't got my second wind yet and I was feeling pretty whamped myself, I picked PW up and put him over my shoulder. We went about half a mile that way, fortunately without running into any other hikers. That would've been embarrassing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Friday Five - St. Patrick's Day Blog Hop

A very happy St. Patty's Day to you all! Today I'm partaking in Carrie Ann Ryan's blog hop. Green is my favorite color, four-leaf clovers are one of my favorite leafy plants (as evidenced by my tattoo) and I'm grateful that my parents decided to get married (at all, really--this year would have been their 40th if Dad hadn't passed away) on the day St. Patrick decided to run all the snakes out of Ireland. Or did he . . . .

I now present to you five facts about St. Patrick's Day. And as a bonus for being educated (or bored) by my facts, one lucky (oh, what a pun) commenter will win: A brand-spanking new, never-been-read e-copy of my steampunk romance, The Treasure Hunter's Lady. It doesn't have any Irish people in it, but it does have one big damn snake. And I'm not being dirty when I say that. For once.

The first St. Patrick's Day parade was held in New York City on March 17, 1762. It was made up of Irish soldiers serving in the English army.

In 1962, the city of Chicago started using vegetable dye to color the Chicago River green. They use an environmentally safe dye to do it these days, but they may discontinue the tradition because of any minor effects on the environment.

The shamrock is considered a sacred plant by the Celts because it signaled the arrival of spring. Me too, Celts. Me too.

The legend that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland is myth. What they're really getting at is his conversion of pagans to Christianity. Two hundred years after his arrival in Ireland, the country had been Christianized.

The leprechaun has nothing to do with St. Patrick. It's a faery-like creature the Celts believed in that was cranky and resorted to trickery in order to protect its treasure. They're believed to be descended from the Tuatha de Danann. They also make shoes. Because dwarfs have the corner on mining, apparently. You can learn more about leprechauns at the National Leprechaun Museum.

Bonus fun fact: According to Wikipedia, only 1 in 10,000 clovers has four leaves. Then what are all of these doing pressed in my Bible? I assure you, I have many, many more as well. I've been told to stop taking pictures of, finding and picking them because every time I do, it seems like I have bad luck.

So, all you have to do now is leave a comment to be entered to win a copy of The Treasure Hunter's Lady (Book #1, Legends and Lovers Series). And no pinching, children!

For years, Romy Farrington traveled at her world-famous archeologist father's side, exploring new lands and uncovering ancient secrets. It was everything she ever wanted, until a near-fatal encounter with hostile natives forced her and her father into a life of retirement in Boston and an undesired advance into proper society.

Everything changes again when she's saved from an accident by a brash Texan in a back alley. Abel Courte may act like a care-free cowboy, but he's harboring a secret—he's searching for the Diamond of Uktena, a legendary jewel that can cure any disease known to man. He needs information Romy's father has in order to get to the jewel. When he traces the origin of the Diamond to Dakota Territory, he sets off to claim the treasure, only to find the archeologist's fiery redheaded daughter stuck to him like a bug in sap.

In a race against time, Romy and Abel must learn to trust each other as they undertake a cross-country journey that will expose them to lands uncharted by white men, a deadly battle against the fearsome creature in possession of the Diamond and a fight to return to civilization where they might make the greatest discovery of all—love.
Be sure and visit the other blogs for more chances to win great prizes too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Author Interview - Carrie Ann Ryan

Happy Wednesday, y'all! Today we have Carrie Ann Ryan on the blog! She wants to give away a swag pack to one lucky commenter too, so stick around, learn about Carrie Ann and enter for a chance to win.

What's your book/current WIP about?

Hi! First off, thanks for having me. I’m here to talk about my latest release, A Taste for a Mate. It’s the second book in the Redwood Pack series and follows the second eldest brother, and Beta, Jasper. You see Jasper didn’t realize he even wanted a mate until he saw his older brother Kade find his.

Jasper finds Willow, his destined mate, in a bakery and falls for her but wants to take it slow. Willow fell for the stranger before he even talked to her, but another Pack might not let them be together.

Care to share your favorite line(s) from your story?


Here’s a part that resonated with me and I actually had to pull over in my car to write it down.

…Daunting pain cascaded through her body as a chasm opened in her heart. A fog settled over her as she slowly stepped off the porch to the path leading away from their home. Confusion and loss swallowed her whole in a pain that fractured her heart, pulsating down her arm, tingling her fingers. It was like when a limb fell asleep, but she couldn’t move for fear, if she did, she’d lose feeling forever.

What's your next project?

I have a few. Trinity Bound, the third in the series actually comes out March 30th! It’s my first m/m/f and is Reed’s story.

After that I’m also working on Dust of My Wings, a new book in a new series called Dante’s Circle. Both the Redwoods and Dante’s are seven book series, don’t worry, I’m working on book 4 of the Redwoods soon.

I’m also about to start a super sekrit project that all I can say is a dual author project. shhhh

Describe your writing in a sentence.


Do you choose character names or do the characters whisper them in your ears?

I choose my own. I usually go to baby name sites and see what pops out at me and that can fit their personalities. Then I ask my friend Lia if she agrees LOL.

Plotter or panster?

Plotter. As I told someone before, I have spreadsheets of my spreadsheets and outlines of my outlines. But as with any type of creativity, if something needs to change or flow in a different direction, then I let it.

Do you like background noise or do you prefer a quiet space when you write?

I usually need the TV on or music. Unless I’m editing and talking aloud, then I need quiet.

What are you currently reading?

So, I usually read 7-10 books a week, so what I type now will be completely different from what you are going to actually read when this is posted LOL. But at the moment I’m writing this, I’m reading Jude’s Law by Lori Foster.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer

Oh geez. I’ve done so many interviews recently I don’t feel as though there are any questions left.

But maybe, which of my Jamenson boys do I want to take home? That would be Maddox for sure. My friend Lia may fight me for him, but it would be worth it.

People think I'm weird because...

Well, in person they think I’m weird because I’m a chemist that writes romance. Online they think I’m weird because I’m a romance writer who teaches chemistry.


Jasper Jamenson’s only responsibility to being the Beta of the Redwood Pack, second son of the Alpha, is to protect the Pack from themselves and the human world. After a century of selfless service, his brother’s new found mating forced him into taking a good look into his life. He isn’t sure he wants a mate, but fate may have other ideas.

Willow Delton is a skinny bakery owner – the type most woman love to hate. Being without family, she finds herself alone to the Greek god with green eyes who saunters into her bakery every morning. Her desire to follow him, to be with him, overrides every rational sense she possessed.

Jasper and Willow are drawn together, despite every nuisance that works against them. But evil beyond even Jasper’s supernatural compensation will make war against him, by going after the only thing in his eternal life he desires – Willow. Is Willow’s heart enough to overcome Jasper’s soul to save her life? A fight he cannot win, but to save her life – he must.


The man of Willow’s dreams walked out the door, but this time was coming back for her.

She had a date with Jasper. Her heart pound in her ears and she felt like jumping up and down like a teenager. She bit her lip, holding back a squeal. Jasper - the name suited him. Unique yet strong. Closing her eyes to savor the feel of his presence, she tried to recall every word he said, every move he made. The warmth from his fingertips against her cheek still tingled. She took a deep breath of his lingering scent and steadied herself before opening her eyes. An older couple stood staring at her with their lips pursed and brows furrowed. She must have been completely out of it not to hear the bell.

“I’m so sorry. I’m just having one of those days. What can I get for you? I have fresh cinnamon rolls for you if you would like.” She couldn’t wipe the grin off her face and helped them to begin her day.

Breakfast and lunch flew by. Cleaning the few tables inside her shop, she hummed to herself as she thought about the night to come. She had a date. The small mountain town they lived in had a decent selection of potential matches. But from what she observed, they were players or married. Sometimes both. Not until Jasper walked into her bakery did she noticed a man. And oh did she notice.

Author bio:

Carrie Ann Ryan is a paranormal and contemporary romance author. After spending too much time behind a lab bench, she decided to dive into the romance world and find her werewolf mate - even if its just in her books. Happy endings are always near - even if you have to get over the challenges of falling in love first.

Her first book, An Alpha's Path, is the first in her Redwood Pack series. She's also an avid reader and lover of romance and fiction novels. She love meeting new authors and new worlds. Any recommendations you have are appreciated. Carrie Ann lives in New England with her husband and two kittens.

Carrie Ann loves hearing from readers. You can find her at:

Facebook Author Page
Facebook Friend
Twitter: @CarrieAnnRyan

An Alpha’s Path


Barnes & Noble:


A Taste for a Mate


Barnes & Noble:


Thanks for coming by, Carrie Ann and sharing your wolf pack!

Okay, commenters, in order to win, you have to leave a comment, so let's hear from you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

SIFWIW - Hercules Glade/Mark Twain National Forest

Wow! Lovely weather on Saturday and after yesterday's cold rainy mess, the weather people tell me we're in for more sunshine. Woohoo!

Saturday we went out to Bradleyville, Missouri to the Hercules Glade in Mark Twain National Forest. My husband grew up down there, spending his early childhood running amok like a wild little savage. The first thing you really notice is the fire tower. Before you say, "I wanna climb it!", you should know that it's closed off because people are giant a-holes. 

I don't climb towers, so I didn't exactly cry. We did a little cook out, with the PeeWee Monster. He tends to freak out in new situations and so he spent a lot of time hunkered down on the ground. He didn't want to climb the tower either, but he did pee on the fence.
I got as close as I could to the tower, right up under the razor wire around the top of the fence so you could see what it looked like waaaayyyy up there. Kinda makes me want to puke, just looking up. Heights freak me out. Not as much as small, dark places, but still.

This is a pretty Bradford pear blossom in my yard. Spring is almost here. I've been seeing a lot of trees with tiny, tiny leaves and plenty more with flowers on them. It makes me want to plant something, even though I know it will die. For a woman with a minor in horticulture, I surely am a grim reaper when it comes to plants. The more it can be left alone, the better they do around me. I promise to water the dracenea in the kitchen sometime in the almost near-ish future. It's needed to be repotted for about two years. Hey, dracenea, stop complaining, you're still alive, aren't you? That's what I thought.

We also took PW to Petco (Where The Pets Go!), but he wasn't thrilled about that either. We let him sniff a variety of treats, to which he turned his nose up at all. He loves to eat, but he's kind of like me, he doesn't eat in front of strangers. People are always saying how cat-like chins are. Here's your proof: PW on a cat tree. I think he looks at least mildly amused in this photo, but in reality, he was terrified. He doesn't mind heights, he just doesn't like strangers. Well, you can't really blame him. I mean, you might get adopted by strangers and then they cut your family jewels off, you know?

Don't forget to come by on Friday March 16th. I'm taking part a Blog Hop to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and wearing green! Over 120 authors are going to be telling anything they can about being Irish, celebrating the day, wearing green, drinking green beer... pretty much anything! 

Each author will be giving away a prize. Like a swag pack, gift cards, ebooks, print books, and so much more.

PLUS We have TWO Grand Prizes for TWO different winners! *gasp*

Grand Prize 1: Winner's Choice of a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
Grand Prize 2: Winner's Choice of a $90 Amazon or Barnes&Noble Gift Card

So you as a reader - what do you have to do? Well, come on over to these websites on Friday March 16th and comment on as many as you want. The grand prize winners will be chosen at random from the commenters - meaning you can comment on EACH blog - meaning 120 entries to the grand prize.

Sounds great right? Come on over and wear your green and win some prizes!

Also, if you're a writer, please check out the tab at the top, or the pic on the left. I'm hosting a blog hop myself and I want lots of people to participate!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Friday Five - My Top Music Picks For Rockin' Out In Spring Weather

Sorry to burden you with the long title. Earlier in the week, the weather was just fantastic and it's supposed to be again in the middle of next week. I, of course, was stuck inside and will be stuck inside because I'm a desk jockey, but I got to enjoy rolling the windows down on my way home. And when the weather is warm enough to roll the windows down, that means it's time to jam out!

I used to have  a Mustang, a fact that I mention on my blog more than once. I loved that car even more than I love pie. I've never looked as cool with my windows down and my music blasting as I did in that car. But you know what else I love? Springtime. I get so excited for the spring weather, it's like I want to crawl out of my cave, shake off my winter fur and skip through meadows filled with wildflowers. Minus the bees.

I no longer have the Mustang, tragically. But I still have car windows and I still love music. So here are my top five blast it out the windows, sing along in a bad imitation, drivin' down the road slightly above the speed limit favorite songs:

#1) Beautiful Day - U2

#2) The Boys Are Back In Town - Thin Lizzy

#3) Big Time - Big & Rich

#4) Some Beach - Blake Shelton

#5) It's a toss up between No Shoes No Shirt No Problem by Kenny Chesney and Toes by the Zac Brown Band (which kind of sounds like fetish song if you over think things like I do).

Some of my runners up are:
Where The Green Grass Grows - Tim McGraw
Fishing In The Dark - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Hey Soul Sister- Train
Gonna Soak Up The Sun - Sheryl Crow
Rhythm of Love - Plain White Tees

Oh, yeah. I'm missin' me some summer now. I want my flip flops. :(

Have a good weekend, y'all. We'll see you Monday!

P.S. The Treasure Hunter's Lady is 99 cents. You can get it at Amazon or B&N. It's not even the poor man's version (you know like a B-movie) or pirated and with the names changed and the plot all funny. It's the same great characters and plot at a low, low, low price. That's like getting a 4-star steak dinner for a buck. Seriously.

P.P.S. Romy (the heroine from THL, duh) did an interview at Mia's Desk. You can check it out here. She always thinks I was trying to kill her. Why would I do something as mean as that? It was Abel I was trying to. . . oh, I almost gave away the plot!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Author Interview with Casea Major

What's your book/current WIP about?

Night with a Dom is my 2nd 1Night Stand story with Decadent Publishing and it releases on March 16th. It's about Jr. Ad Exec whose workaholic tendencies cost her a great guy. After learning of his engagement to a new girlfriend six months after the split, she goes on a 1Night Stand with a Dominate Male who agrees to the last-minute New Year's Eve date.

Care to share your favorite line(s) from your story?

I love this line. Mel is lost in a lust induced haze but Dominic pulls out his leather paddle.

Then she saw the paddle. A lump formed in her throat, and her butt clenched. Heat flooded her cheeks—both sets.

What's your next project?

I am really excited to start working on a Chick Lit paranormal series that has been brewing in my mind for a while. I currently have three books planned. I've never written paranormal but since I haven't really been writing for very long I think that's ok.

The first book in the series is a paranormal Guys and Dolls meets Kindergarten Cop.

The second book is about a warring wizard who must find his witch mate and impregnate her before his people are destroyed. The only problem is she has an evil twin.

Describe your writing in a sentence. 

Steamy romance that cuts to the heart.

Do you choose character names or do the characters whisper them in your ears?

Both. Sometimes the characters names come to me from the story and sometimes from my life.

Plotter or panster?

I'm a hybrid.

Do you like background noise or do you prefer a quiet space when you write?

Quiet space. I like mood music when I revise. And I use music to inspire the story. In fact, I have a play list for every story I write. The longer the story the longer the playlist and sometimes all it takes is a song or a feel of a song to inspire a story.

What are you currently reading?

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer it?

I've always wanted to be asked "What's your name?" Because most days I know the answer to that question. LOL

People think I'm weird because...

Because I eat mustard on popcorn.

Book blurb:

On New Year's Eve workaholic Melody Manning is informed by her ex he's getting married. Devastated by the news, she blames the slave-driver tactics of her former boss for her break up.
To release the heartbreak and provide herself with some much needed stress relief, she enlists the help of an exclusive matching agency specializing in one-night stands.
At the Castillo Resort and Winery in Sonoma Valley, Mel meets the mysterious Dom who has agreed to the last minute rendezvous. The sexy masked Master promises to get to the bottom of Mel's guilt and provide ultimate satisfaction under the safety of his stern hand.
After an emotional night of submission and uninhibited passion, will her lover's unmasking lead to the end of their encounter or give Mel another chance at love?

About Casea:
Major Love ~~~ Major Romance
Prior to becoming a writer of romantic fiction, Casea Major worked in the legal field for a non-profit dispute resolution company for ten years.  She is now a full-time mom to three preschool children with whom she and her husband live happily...most of the time.  When she isn't chained to her laptop, she enjoys Cary Grant movies and crocheting.

Your new release looks hot! Thanks for coming by, Casea! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

SIFWIW - Empire Park

There's a good-sized park and fancy paved walking trail on Lake Taneycomo in Forsyth, Missouri that my husband and I visited yesterday. We chose that place because you can see some of the tornado damage from across the lake and Powersite Dam (the first hydroelectric dam in Missouri). Powersite Dam is at the end of Taneycomo and the beginning of Bull Shoals Lake. It's more like a river than a lake because it's always moving and is very cold and home to several species of trout.

From the shoreline, you can certainly see where the tornado wiped out a whole bunch of trees. It just laid them over like tall grass in a field. I told my husband it reminds me of Ice Storm Ted in 2007. Ice Storm Ted was not the official weatherman name of the 2007 ice storm, but we were without power for 11 days and it was a freaking nightmare. We figured if they name hurricanes, we deserved a name too, so we still refer to it as Ted and pray that nothing like that frozen hell ever occurs again.

On the left of this picture is where the damage was. In real life, you can see tarps flapping where home owners and volunteers have covered gaping holes in houses to prevent further damage to the interiors.

Another shot of across the lake, closer this time, but you still can't really see how the trees are laid over. My crappy phone camera does an amazing job for a 1 pixel, but it just can't zoom in to get that kind of imagery. You can see how hard the wind was blowing yesterday by the white caps farther out.

Didn't see any boats out on it and you can't blame them. You should've seen my hair after wandering out for just a few minutes.

The raccoons had been busy, opening up mussel shells and tearing the pinchers off of crawdaddies--that's crayfish for you Yankees and mudbugs to our neighbors in the South. My husband says they caught them as kids, boiled them in tin cans and pulled the meat out like you would with a crab. Um, ick. I don't eat anything that comes out of the water like that.

I'm delighted to tell you that I've seen trees and flowers in bloom and I even saw one tree (I think it was a weeping willow) that had leaves budding out on it. I was thrilled. It'll be spring before you know it. God knows the weather's certainly been spring-like, with temps in the 70's and tornadoes already. And gee, storm season is just beginning. We're due some rain and t-storms this week. Ah, well. That's why we enjoy sunny days like yesterday in spite of the wind.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Friday Five - Has Been Cancelled This Week

That's right. Cancelled. In order to bring you something entirely off the wall for me. My head. Floating as I talk about my book. Or more accurately, I interview myself using the questions from my author interview Wednesday.

I apologize for my hair. It was butchered by a lady with multiple odd tattoos and a strange facial piercing. This is my written testament that I will never go back to that salon. Never. Anyway, enjoy the next 8 minutes as I overuse the word really and make weird faces. Sorry, there's also some background noise. My video editing skills are pretty much limited to um... deleting stuff.

Also, I apologize for the glare on my ereader screen when I tried to show it. But the next part was entirely too good to cut out, so I just left that in there. If you haven't seen my cover (but how could you not?), here it is:

Happy Friday, everyone. Enjoy your weekend!