Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Book Barrage

It's fun to say. Just say it out loud. Book (which is an awesome word in its own right) barrage.

I've been anxiously awaiting my BB for The Sky Pirate's Wife. The second book in the L&L series has a special place in my heart. It's set mostly in Oklahoma and I spent the first five years of my life there, learning how to talk like an Okie. Most of that's been erased by time and the harsh taunting of Missouri children. "You talk funny" was a familiar mantra at my school. I was too shy at the to shoot back something like, "Well, at least I know how to read."

Anyway, in celebration of SPW bouncing around the Interwebz, I'm giving away a cool steampunk necklace.
It's even cooler looking in real life.
And a $10 gift card to the one and only Amazon. Be sure to fill out the info on the Rafflecopter on any of the sites listed below. I also like comments. They give me the warm-fuzzies.

Where I'm at today:

Where I'm at tomorrow:

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Iceman Melted-eth, Finally

Well, that was an unscheduled four day weekend.

It consisted of editing, sleeping, munching on unhealthy food, reading,  and watching entirely too much television. They're calling for snow tonight. Oy.

In addition to reducing my brain to slush with TV, I finished Liza O'Connor's Saving Casey, and Bec McMaster's Kiss of Steel. Both great books. The genres differ a lot, but that's me, reading all over the board.

I also managed five hundred words on the new WIP. Funny how my brain begs to write and then when I give and say, yes, brain, you can write another novel, it sort of gives up. Meh. The first meeting between characters is always a little awkward. It'll get better. You can follow the progress and some of my other thoughts about the series on my new blog (which hasn't been updated due to inclement weather--valid excuse!) called Legends & Lovers: The Final Journey. I already have three whacky posts up. I'm about to do another with an excerpt from The Turncoat's Temptress, so you might want to tune in.

In other news, last week I got a new review. A three-star review. With words. Not just a random I-didn't-even-bother-to-comment-because-it-was-so-(insert adjective of choice here)-bad review. The best advice I've heard from authors on reviews that don't tickle you is: Don't feed the crazy. Not meant to imply that the reviewer is crazy, but more along the lines of, it is what it is and there's no sense in starting a big conversation about how disgruntled I may or may not be by it. It's there and it could always be worse. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to even bother with me. I understand the best thing an author can do is nod politely anyway.

In other-other news, I also got a four-star review. That one was a bit more tickling because they don't yank the rating down quite as harshly. So a big nod and smile to that one.

I could ramble on about what it takes for an author (many of whom are introverted--me, me, I am) to put work out there, but that would be boring and pointless.

At any rate, I may find myself sitting at home watching Price is Right, Family Feud, and Deal or No Deal tomorrow while waiting for some character interaction gold.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Guest Post - Lacey Wolfe


The unlikable character’s transition into the likeable character. Say what?

Over a year ago, I penned a story titled, Fool Me Once. When I started this novella, I didn’t realize it was going to be a series. My heroine had a roommate however that begged to have her story told as well. The Hot Bods series was born. Then I had to decide who would be in this series.

Skylar was in book one and her roommate was Amy—which became book two. Book three feature the receptionist at the Hot Bods gym. And finally, book four, Opposites Attract, has been released and it features Francesca—the unlikable character, hopefully turned likeable.

You see, Francesca was the other woman in the first book, Fool Me Once. The woman who wanted Skylar’s man. I wrote Francesca to come off as a gold digger and piece of arm candy to men. In book two, More Than Useful, Francesca was the sister to the hero, Adam, and Amy’s future sister-in-law. Yikes! And Francesca was still on the snobbish side. But when I realized Francesca would be getting a story of her own, I knew I had to let reader’s see a different side to her. Accidental Love, readers get just that, as Francesca is there for Jane and helps her with nothing asked for in return. And finally, Francesca got her story. I didn’t make it easy on her. The hero is someone from her past and he knows just who she has come across as all these years. In this novella, Francesca has to not only prove to Randy that she isn’t a gold digger, but to herself.

Hopefully by the end of this series, Francesca is that one character you remember and love.
To learn more about Lacey Wolfe and the Hot Bods series, visit her website: www.laceywolfe.com

About The Book:

Opposites Attract
Book 4 in the Hot Bods series
By
Lacey Wolfe

Francesca thought she knew what she wanted in life until one stormy night when she got a blast from the past.

When Randy receives a call at his auto shop one night from a woman whose car has broken down and needs a tow, he never imagined he'd be coming face-to-face with his high school sweetheart. Randy has never loved a woman the way he loved Francesca, but she broke his heart, claiming he could never provide the life she was determined to have. That was years ago, but he's still bitter about the way she tossed him aside.

Seeing Randy again, Francesca realizes what a mistake it was to breakup with him. She'd like to try to rekindle the old flame, and she can tell he's still attracted to her too, but every time they're together, all they do is argue. Can she convince Randy she isn't the girl he remembers and that she can settle for love even if it comes without money?
Content Warning: explicit sex

Buy Links:
Amazon / Nook / All Romance/ Bookstrand / Beachwalk Press

Excerpt:
Randy cleared his throat, hoping to break the tension between him and Francesca. The way she was looking at him, he was worried she was about to pounce. It was taking everything in him to not walk over there and kiss her.

Picking up a work towel, he wiped his hands on it and then directed her toward the front office. She walked in front of him and it was his turn to devour her ass. And hot damn, the jeans she wore were tight and molded to her butt perfectly. Her pants hugged her legs all the way down. She wore black boots that came to her knees. He wasn't sure what shirt she wore, because his eyes had yet to make it past her luscious behind.

Once in the office, he stepped around her, getting a whiff of a very tempting smell. He quickly sat and scooted under the desk as far as he could. He was hard and didn't want her to see.

Francesca took a seat in front of him and he now noticed her pink tank top that was cut low enough he got a hint of cleavage. Inhaling again, he wondered what perfume she used. It really was igniting his senses.

"I spent some time looking at your car today. When was the last time you had an oil change?" he asked.

"It's been awhile."

"I can tell. And how long has the car been leaking oil?"

She shrugged. "Not sure. I wasn't concerned since it was just little drops here and there."

"Those little drops here and there add up. You almost had no oil in your car. And I hate to tell you, but you have torn up your engine."

"Well, can't you just pop a new one in and it'll be good as new?" she asked.

"I wish it was that simple. Here, look this over." He slid a sheet of paper across the desk. "The top portion has to be done, the middle is recommended, and the bottom is optional. The price is on there too."

Her eyes widened as she read over the paper. She then glanced up at him. "This can't be right."

"I'm afraid it is. You haven't taken very good care of the car."

"I get it washed and detailed all the time. I take very good care of it."

Randy shook his head. "There's a lot more to a vehicle than just its appearance. You've got to take care of the things people don't see too."

She was quiet for a moment and then finally spoke. "I don't know if I can afford this."

He raised an eyebrow at her. "Don't you have some rich man who can pay for it?" He regretted saying it the moment it left his lips.

Francesca's mouth fell open and he could see the shock on her face.

"I'm so—" he started to apologize.

"I can't believe you would say that, Randall. You of all people," she snapped.

"Me of all people," he repeated. "What the hell is that supposed to mean? If I recall correctly, you dumped me because you wanted a rich man to take care of you. Tell me, how is that working out for you?"

Francesca stood up, placed her hands on her hips, and leaned forward slightly. As much as he hated it, his focus darted in for a peek inside her shirt.

"I'll have you know that I'm not the gold digger you think I am," she argued.

"I bet you refuse to date any man whose income level doesn't meet your standards. Tell me, why haven't you married one of them yet?"

"Why aren't you married? Can't find a girl who will have you as a husband?"

Randy stood and stepped around the desk. "I haven't found anyone else who can start my engines the way you could." He rubbed the back of his fingers on her upper arm. "Haven't you found a rich guy yet who can kiss you breathless?"


Friday, February 15, 2013

Strawberry Blonde

No TFF today. Instead, this Valentine's story that I forgot I wrote a while back. It's flash fiction, which we can all mutually agree is not my thang. Normally I like me some strong hero, but nerdy Luke is kind of cute and way different than anyone else I've ever written.


Annie only had eyes for the mound of strawberries piled high in the pint basket on the kitchen counter. Her long-fingered hand stretched out, plucking a large red fruit from the top. She swirled it into the bowl of confiture de lait before lifting it to her mouth. White teeth, a shade or two lighter than her marble white skin, pierced the fleshy fruit.

Luke's gaze traced the dark pink outline of her lips, took in the way she closed her eyes as though experiencing heaven, and his groin tightened when she moaned with pleasure. The slender column of the throat moved as she swallowed. It wasn't a stretch to imagine her mouth enclosing over him.

She washed the strawberry down with a sip of cheap champagne he'd set out earlier. After all, what were strawberries without champagne? When he made a gesture, he went all out. It wasn't a proper date by any means, him in a stained apron he wore when he cooked, her just returned from her waitress job, a little disheveled, but pleased with his newest creation. He just hoped with this attempt that she'd finally realize he was in love with her.

“Where did you get the idea to make this?” She smiled at him, a thousand watts of pure pleasure that made his body tingle.

He shrugged, forcing himself to maintain eye contact. A year and a half of sharing an apartment with her in a low rent district of town and he still had trouble talking to her. The flow of her strawberry blonde hair glistened in the low kitchen light, hanging over her chenille sweater. The one that clung to her breasts like a perfect mold. Luke bit his tongue, trying not to stare at them. She was still raving about the strawberries and dipping sauce.

“You're a god in the kitchen, you know that?” Her praise was worth every hour of work it took to create the confection. Cooking had been his singular passion, until Annie walked into his life. Model tall and hipster cool, she never held back her opinions. But if she saw him for anything other than a roommate and a tall, gangly culinary student, she didn't voice it. He hated that he'd always been too shy with girls and had no idea how to get her to notice him.

As though he'd said something intelligent instead of standing there like an adolescent boy, she continued, “It's kind of like dulce de leche, isn't it? It would be perfect for Valentine's Day at the bistro.”

“I can make it for Valentine's Day. If that's what you want.” She was always trying to get him to make interesting things to put on the menu for the bistro.

Annie's light blue eyes sparkled. “Great! You're the best, Luke. It was a sign from the heavens the day you knocked on my door asking about the apartment.” She dipped another strawberry and brought it to her mouth. “I'm going to eat all of these and gain twenty pounds, but it's so worth it.”

“I'm glad you like them.” Smart, Luke, really brilliant. Annie thinks you're the idiot savant of sugar.

She smiled at him before depositing the strawberry top in the trash can. “You know, some people think dulce de leche is an aphrodisiac.” She batted her eyelashes. “You didn't add any Spanish fly, did you?”

He'd heard that about dulce de leche, but wasn't sure if it extended to its French counterpart. “No Spanish fly. It's a thought for the bistro though.”

He looked up as she laughed. “Plenty of horny customers in there without any more help. Especially on Valentine's Day.”

Annie swirled her finger in the sauce and licked it off. It was an innocent action, but it caused his heart to accelerate. If he didn't get out of here soon, he'd end up embarrassing himself. Just as he started to make an excuse, she lifted the champagne bottle.

“Let's share this. Believe me, not all of my roommates have been so considerate. Most of them used my couch as a hamper for their dirty underwear. And my last boyfriend? He thought wine came in cardboard boxes. No one has ever brought me champagne.”

He hadn't intended to take her away from any plans she might have made after work. “I—”

“I insist.”

How could he refuse her smile? They carried the dessert, champagne, and glasses into the living room and sat on the couch. He tried to sit away from her so she couldn't feel crowded, but Annie curled next to him, her bare feet tucked under her tight rear. She selected a berry from the basket, dipped it, and put it to Luke's mouth. Her full breasts brushed his arm. He took a bite from the berry and choked as he took in her enamored expression. He coughed to clear his throat.

“You all right?” Annie's hand brushed his cheek.

“Fine.”

“I don't know.” She studied him. “You might need mouth-to-mouth.”

An alarm went off in his head. She's flirting!

“Uh, I'm okay.” Another brilliant remark, ladies and gen— His thought was cut short by Annie's hand on his thigh. A hand slowly creeping toward the bulge of his denims. Even though his legs were covered by material, the knowledge that she wanted to touch him made it feel as though he'd burst into flame any second.

“I've resisted you as long as I could, Luke. That dessert was the cherry on top.”

She pressed her lips to his. Annie tasted sweet and strong like he'd always imagined. They made love in the glow from the kitchen light, and after shared the remainder of the berries and sauce that had at last brought them together.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine's Quickie

Oh, get your minds out of the gutter.

Just a quick post for V-Day, one of my favorite memories from college.

When I was a sophomore, I got a card in my P.O. box. It was from my parents, all nicely enveloped in a cute pink wrapper. I opened the card and read how it said some nice, sweet things about what a great person I am, you know, like V-Day cards do.

At the bottom of the card it was signed in my dad's handwriting. It said,

Love,
Bobby
Jeannie
Jamie

Not, love Dad, Mom, and Jamie (my brother). Just everyone's first names. I about died laughing. That night I called my parents and since dad was retired, I knew I'd get to talk to him. I told him and Mom that I got my card in the mail. And then I told them that it was signed funny and proceeded to read it.

Mom, of course, laughed. and asked him why he signed it like that. It must have embarrassed him because he was pretty grumpy after that--and if you understood my dad, you'd realize he was seldom grumpy. I still have that card. Looking at it cracks me up.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

A little kiss from me to you!



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Feature - June Kramin


Double Mocha, Heavy on Your Phone Number
by June Kramin
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Published by Musa Publishing
Released on December 16, 2011
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 79,000

Buy Links
Musa Publishing || ARe || B&N || Smashwords

Blurb
Unable to make it home in a snowstorm, Ellie seeks shelter at an old farmhouse. When the owner’s grandson shows up and happens to be the man she had given the brush off to twice, it takes all they have not to kill each other during the snowed-in days that follow.

The last thing Ellie plans on is the relationship outlasting the storm. Bix’s persistence at a relationship and attempts to help her at her job with his computer skills proves to be more than Ellie can continue to push away. She finds herself where she never wanted to be after losing her fiancĂ© a year ago. In love again.

When Ellie’s twin sister shows up and puts all their lives at risk, they must now weather a different kind of storm together.

Excerpt
Bix was surprised to see Ellie standing in the kitchen when he walked in her house the following Monday. He was hoping to surprise her when she got home from work. She must have left a little early.

“You’re home?” He walked over admiring her hair then gave her a kiss as he ran his fingers through her hair. “What made you go dark?”

“I do.” He kissed her again and weaved his fingers through her hair and to the back of her head.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and began kissing him hard. Getting more aggressive in her kisses, she began pushing him backwards until he was against the wall.

“I just missed you.” She kissed his neck then pulled at his shirt, sending buttons flying. Her hands stroked his chest and went down to his belt buckle.

He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the wall as she kissed down his chest. She slid his jeans down, but left his boxers on. Kissing her way back up his chest, she placed her hand at his crotch. He was already getting aroused. “Nice,” she said, giving him a squeeze. Kissing him harder, she began rubbing her hips against him.

His eyes sprang open and he held her by the shoulders, then looked into her eyes. They were the same shade of blue. The same deep blue outline. He looked from one to the other, then saw it. A green fleck that was never there before.

“Dammit.” Her hand still stroked his chest. “You’re quicker than Tony was.”

He pushed her back and quickly pulled his jeans up. “Ellie never mentioned being a twin.”

“It’s no wonder. I’d want to keep you to myself, too.” Again she leaned into him and tried to place her hand on his crotch. He grabbed her hand before she was successful.

He moved away from the wall so she would stop cornering him. “I don’t know what your game is but—” The sound of a car door closing stopped him.

“Dammit. The party pooper is home. We’ll have to finish later.” She looked to Bix again and ran her tongue over her lips.

Bix tried pulling his shirt together the best he could, but it was a useless attempt with his buttons scattered across the floor.




About the Author
Wife, Mother, Writer, Lunatic. Not necessarily in that order.

June, who prefers to go by Bug, was born in Philadelphia but moved to Maui, Hawaii when she was four. She met her “Prince Charming” on Kauai and is currently living “Happily Ever After” on a hobby farm in a small town in Southern Minnesota.

She enjoys riding her Paint horse, Ringo, around the small ghost town they are playfully reestablishing with the neighbors and playing in Photoshop. Her son and daughter are her greatest accomplishments. She takes pride in embarrassing them every chance she gets.

Being hopelessly addicted to 80′s music is her super power.

Connect with June Kramin
htp://www.junekramin.com/
http://www.facebook.com/JuneKramin
http://about.me/june.kramin
http://www.beforehappilyeverafter.com/
https://twitter.com/junekramin

Monday, February 11, 2013

Milestones

Still sniffling and snuffling around. I'm not sick, but I'm not 1000% either. So, come on, body. Either be sick or be well, but stop playing in both corners because it's ridiculous.


Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go.
Natalie Goldberg

What the--? Did I just break up a post with a quote? Why, yes. Yes, I did. But . . . why? I'll tell you why.

Guess what yesterday was?


You don't want to guess? Well, that's just rude. Okay, I'll tell you. (Y'all are digging the interactivity of this blog, right?)

It was the 1-year anniversary of the official release date of The Treasure Hunter's Lady. Does it not seem perfectly appropriate then, that I'm working on the 5th book in the series right now? Yes, yes it does. What will I be working on for Camp NaNoWriMo, then? Well, since that's like four months away, let's worry about it then.

There's really not much I can say about having an anniversary. No one remembered and I wasn't flooded with flowers, champagne, and well wishes. Hell, I didn't even remember until 9:30 pm. Oh, right. I knew something awesome happened, but I thought it was PeeWee's adoption day (which was either sometime in the first week of February, the 8th or the 10th).

Oh. Right. That thing.

Where I pushed a button and made a book come to life. That's . . . hunh. I did that.

What was it like?

You want the real answer, or the one that involves unicorn and pots of gold?

You should've picked door #2. It was like needing to puke into a trash can. Seriously.

See? I totally posted that on FB.
I remember that proud day that I actually sold 1 copy in the UK. Okay, I don't, but I found it in my KDP/Amazon records. It was in April. Gosh, the UK. I'm international.

It doesn't seem possible that approximately 352,000 words and one year later, I'm almost finished with the series. By summer 2014 it will all be a distant memory. Forty-five weeks, but who's counting?

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Friday Five - Sites I Heart

I'm somewhat snotty this morning, kids. My brain feels like it's full of cotton, my eyes are swimmy, and I'm trying to figure out how to sneak off for a nap. I had a great idea for TFF, but I'm so tired, I don't want to invest the time to do it right now. So I'm copping out and leaving you with five links to sites that I love visiting  and are guaranteed to entertain you.



1) Cracked.com - A humor website that makes fun of anything and everything. It also teaches. Some of the great ideas that hit my brain have come from this site. Most of the articles are in list for. The six greatest, the five worst, 4 ways, etc. They also have Photoplasty, a contest that viewers participate in and use Paint or Photoshop to distort photos and make them funnier.

2) Mentalfloss.com - It's where I get my knowledge fix. From this site, I discovered author Ransom Riggs, who wrote Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children (rumored to become a movie someday soon). They have great articles, cup o'links that take you to fascinating articles, and trivia, which I love.

3) Tophatter.com - An online auction site for Etsy shops. You can often find great deals on jewelry here. I get a lot of my blog hop prizes here because I can get them usually half-price or better. I'd blow a fortune if I had it at this site.

4) IMDB.com - The Internet Movie Database. You can find all sorts of information about movies and actors here. I love searching for a particular movie, learning the trivia behind them and searching the quotes.

5) Snopes.com - The breakers-down of urban legend and Internet hoaxes. Page after page of myths, legends, hoaxes, and more. They'll tell you if it's true, false, or unknown. I've spent hours searching this site.

Okay, lame, but you got something out of this Friday. Let's all have a nice relaxing weekend now, okay? Oh, and if you weren't aware, my short story, Return, is FREE on Amazon. Have a looksee? It's not just a western, it's a love story too.

Get it here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Feature - Ride the Free Wind



Blurb:
Abigail Trent Monroe abandons the only life she’s ever known to live among the Cheyenne with her half-breed husband, Zeke.  Together they face peril and enjoy a passion most never experience.  Their love is so strong that no amount of danger or rugged living can come between this man and woman so devoted to one another.

Against the backdrop of a magnificent landscape and during a time when freedom meant everything to the Native Americans, Zeke and Abbie cling to one another for courage and strength.


Excerpt:
Clinging to Zeke tightly, Abbie pleaded.  “Don’t let go!  Don’t ever let go!”

“It’s all right, Abbie-girl,” he told her quietly.

He gladly kept his arms around her, and she kissed his neck, breathing in the wonderful, manly scent of him, running her hands across his broad, strong shoulders.  He moved his lips back to her own in one long, lingering, hungry kiss, then he swung her up into his arms.  She rested her head on his shoulder and asked no questions. … It did not matter at the moment where he had been or why.   All that mattered was that he was here now. …


Buy Links:
Amazon
**This book is e-Book is exclusive to Amazon**


Author Bio:
I've been writing for nearly thirty years and to date have had 57 novels published, all about the American West of the 1800's and Native Americans. I write romance, but not the typical bodice-ripping adventures. My stories are deep love stories, often family sagas told as a series. It is the hero and heroine's love that holds them together through the trials and tribulations of settling America's western frontiers. I absolutely love the Rockies, the Tetons, the Sierras, and the wide-open plains, prairies and desert land west of the Mississippi. In my books, I strive to tell the truth about the settling of the West and how it affected our American Indians, as well as the gritty depth of what our brave pioneers suffered in their search for free land and a better life.

I am a member of the Nebraska and Oklahoma Historical Societies, my local southwest Michigan historical society, Women Writing the West, Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America (treasurer) and the national RWA, and a local charity group called the Coloma Lioness Club. I help run a family business and love doing things with my three young grandsons. If you visit my web site at www.rosannebittner.com, where all my titles are listed as well as a page that lists all my many writing awards; or you can visit me on Facebook. At either site you will learn news of new books to come as well as reprints of many of my past titles soon to be published in trade paperback and as e-books! I also have an author site at Amazon.com.

Author Links:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads


Visit the other stops on this tour at Buy The Book Tours media page!



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

I'm Conflicted (verb): showing mutually inconsistent feelings

I'm not normal. In case you were ever mistakenly under the impression that I am. We should clear that up.

I'm not normal because sometimes I stand in the shower and cry for no good reason. I cry when I should be happy. It's not that I'm unhappy, it's more like I'm confused about what I want. On one hand, I have the fantastic (by which I mean fantasy, not awesome) L&L series waiting to make its appearance on e-readers, and eventually in print, everywhere. I'm in control. I decide release dates, covers, promotions, all the good stuff. I like being in charge, even though sometimes I'm not very good at it.

On the other hand, with the series nearly at an end (geez, 2014 is 46 weeks away), I don't know what I want anymore. I finished The Convict & the Cattleman with the intention of subbing it to publishers. Unless all else fails and it can join the line with the others.

You know how long it's been since I queried anything? Two years. I've forgotten how to write a query letter. The synopsis I have for C&C is way different than the book. It won't take much to correct it, but . . . all that seems so long ago.

It feels weird--and slightly uncomfortable--to think I'm going to send this MS off into someone else's inbox to be poked, prodded, and probably rejected. It's weirder still to think it might stand a chance. I'm not going to dwell on that. Sorry, I'm neither pessimist or optimist. I'm the poor schmuck who's worried that the glass is neither half-full or half-empty, but cracked, leaking all over the place, and soon to be completely empty. Does that make me an uber-pessimist? I bet they make a pill for that.

I want to submit C&C, and in fact, intend to next week. For all the trouble it gave me and the fat margin of hate I sometimes feel for it, it's not a bad story. It's about redemption, love, and accepting others for what's inside instead of on the surface. But I'm caught in this vortex of what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do once I finish book 5. There are ideas, perfectly pursueable ideas, which would be fun to entertain. Lists of character names, plot ideas. A whole big, scary world that isn't wrapped in the crazy steampunkery I've surrounded myself with since 2009. And that is nerve-wracking. I can't think of any ideas for historical romances that I can improve on. Maybe I've been reading too much YA fiction and can't wrap my mind around historical right now. I'm afraid to start a paranormal historical, because what's to set it apart from the L&Ls except the airships? Do I want to divide my time between trying to be an indie author and a traditionally published author? There are plenty of authors who'll tell you it's possible.

I could be one of those authors if I could get the devils off my shoulders. Anyone got a BB gun and a hankering to play William Tell?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Never Say Never

I had such a great weekend. That's a big change from 'Oh, God, it's Monday. Why, why?', right? Well, let me tell you about it.

First, I got to see Warm Bodies. Most of the time we pick movies we're bound to love. Or I sucker my husband into going to a movie I'm bound to love. Few and far between are the times we go to a movie theater and see something we hate. If Warm Bodies was on DVD, I would be watching it right now. I would not have stopped watching it all weekend. I loved it that much. Oh, it's a predictable old love story (Romeo and Juliet. Anyone heard of that?). But it's fresh because . . . zombies. And absolutely hilarious, perfect dialogue. Rob Corddry gets my vote for the very best lines in the movie.

Secondly, we had an ORA meeting Saturday. I'm nothing if not bold *snort* and so I took the first chapter of The Siren's Sentinel to critique. It got a lot of good feedback, including an editor who said she didn't like steampunk, but she liked the chapter. Sweet. The one thing about it that disappointed me about critique was the negative response to the heroine's name. I totally stepped off base during this novel, edging away from Native American myth and embracing Irish and Norse myth instead. The thing about most of the characters from the series that wasn't supposed to be is this: The next character in line for a book appeared in the previous book in a minor roll and probably had a stupid name. I often pick names based on meaning, but sometimes I'm just in a hurry and I draw on what pops in.

For example, I was busy and trying to write The Treasure Hunter's Lady as fast as I could, so I named the airship captain Alwin. I didn't like the name, and frankly I was being a little bit mean because in Germanic it means elf friend. By the time I finished THL, I had no intentions of writing a second book, no intentions of renaming any characters (I did end up renaming the villain), but Mister Fancy Dutch Airship Captain was already sowing seeds for another novel. And by then his name had grown on me. Okay, great. That brought a cameo of the hero from the 4th book, Ransom Shaw into the picture. After I finished the rough draft of The Sky Pirate's Wife, I was working on back story for Ransom and I was so intrigued by his boss, Basil Tenpenny, I ended up writing a book about him instead. Wait, you say. His last name isn't Tenpenny. You're right, it isn't. It's Tinwhistle. Because I freakin' forgot what his last name was and said, close enough. Later on I found the document with Tenpenny in it. Oops. Tinwhistle stuck.

Point is, I wasn't crazy about the name Basil, but at the time I was writing these books with mostly British characters and trying to give them names that made them sound like they were from the UK. Romy's the only one who ended up staying British. So I had an Alwin, a Basil, and I needed a heroine for Ransom. It occurred to me while writing The Turncoat's Temptress that Basil was watching a supernatural creature and one day it hit me that Emer Irving was the heroine of the next novel.

I keep getting a lot of feedback that when people see Emer, they think Elmer. If you're not familiar with Irish legend, Emer was the wife of CĂșchulainn (that's pronounced Coo-hull-in or Coo-hoo-lin because Hooked on Phonics ain't working here). CĂșchulainn was a bad mother of a warrior who had lots of lovers, but Emer was known for six virtues: beauty, voice, speech, needlework, wisdom and chastity. A little of my Emer's back story comes to light during The Turncoat's Temptress and the reader finds out she was in line to be queen of her selkie clan, but gave it up for love. In The Siren's Sentinel, she recounts the virtues to Ransom, who isn't supposed to know that she's a selkie, and he comments that her mother must have hoped she'd live up to her queenly name. So you can see where I'm in trouble here.

There are other spellings of Emer, although they're more modern or Scottish, or as Wikipedia states,  erroneous. Gah. *headdesk* I was tempted at one point to switch her name with one of her sister's names. Now I'm not sure what I'm tempted to do. Nothing, is my first inclination.

On the good news home front, after ORA, I went to the Jano post-writing party. I subbed the first page of The Siren's Sentinel for judging, along with the title and blurb. The blurb was awful. It was cut down from the one here posted under WIP. One hundred words is hard to do when so much goes on in a novel. The title, not my best work, but like the rest of the L&L series, it describes both characters. The first line, dialogue. I heart me some dialogue, which never fails to pull you into a scene (you know, with exceptions). So imagine my utter surprise when I got Best First Sentence. Like, shut the *bleep* up, nuh-uh! By six votes. This is the line, because I can't leave you with out it.

"You must think I'm out of my damned mind, Tinwhistle."

A very wonderful improvement from the first line of the first draft, I assure you. Dinner, I ought to mention, was delicious and there was cheesecake too. That alone would have made it a great party. I'm not saying I'd kick puppies for cheesecake, but I love it. Actually, I'd end up sharing the cheesecake with the puppies, then making up a great big lie about how hard I kicked them, when I really smuggled them into my car and brought them home and delighted in cheesecake/puppy breath-y kisses.

But cheesecake and Best First Line wasn't the extent of awesome for the night. Kelly, the Jano coordinator, was entertaining us with the top 5 entries for the Best First Page. I heard one, I think it was either three or four, that I would have given my left butt cheek to read the rest of the novel. Your second place Best First Page? None other than the fabulous and soon-to-be-published Harlequin author, Lisa Medley. You could have whacked me over the head with a hammer and I wouldn't have been more shocked (although I would have been more than a little pissed) when Kelly had Lisa read my first page.

This for the pathetic little author who thought she wouldn't even be able to finish The Siren's Sentinel? Who debated chucking it after the first drafted failed to work? I almost cried. Because I'm a crier. It was like winning a Nobel Peace Prize. I couldn't have been happier. I had one of those moments (just in my head because I try not to reveal my true dorkiness in real life) where I do that stereotypical thing like a bimbo and wave my hands and cry and say, "Oh, my God." I do that all the time when I'm watching The Bachelor in mock sympathy for the girls. But it was a real shocker and my brain stopped working for a few seconds and went into bimbo mode.

Then, if that's not enough good news for you, I finished, after 3 loooooong years, writing The Convict & the Cattleman. Because you've likely forgotten (and didn't click on WIP above), it's a historical romance about an Irish woman who gets transported to New South Wales because she attempted to steal from someone. The hero is a slightly cranky grazier (which is like a rancher) who needs a nursemaid to watch his niece because her mother died and he doesn't know what to do with a baby. That was the first book I attempted to write after that long five year break. The novel I figured would never see the light of day again, but I was desperate for a project to keep me from diving right into L&L book 5. I'm going to clean it up (it desperately needs it) and sub it to a few places. Back on that subbing horse again. Geez, here I thought I'd finished with querying.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Book Feautre & Giveaway - Boots on the Ground (Canada's Finest #2)


Boots on the Ground (Canada's Finest #2)
by Angela S. Stone
Erotic M/M Romance (Military)
Published by Phaze Books
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Heat Level: Sizzling
Length: 189 pages

Blurb
Ash Cooper and Jason McCarty know they need to do one thing, and one thing alone: Stay Alive.

An IED attack destroyed their convoy and left them both injured in the high desert of Afghanistan and running from insurgents. They take refuge with a group of Afghan civilians, and their only hope of rescue is two satellite phones that might be damaged beyond repair.

Ash and Jason join forces with a British army nurse to survive the harsh living conditions. As days to turn to weeks, they think of home, the husbands they left behind, and the lives they want to return to.

But with food rations running short, the elders angry at them, and the hope of rescue lost, Ash and Jason start to give up, and in the end turn to each other in their struggle for survival.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 only as it contains adult situations of a sexually explicit nature, which may include multiple partner sex.

Excerpt

“Daddy! Daddy! Aunt Monica is here!” Mandy announced opening the door to David’s bedroom. “Are you awake yet?”

David groaned. He’d worked last night, but his ex-wife, Carole, had to work this morning. Her sister dropped the kids off around ten, allowing David at least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep before he had to be coherent enough to be a parent.

The doorbell rang, and David told her, “Yeah, I’m awake.” He flipped the covers off and grabbed a housecoat. Why in the heck would Monica, his sergeant, be here? She wasn’t even scheduled to work today.

Ryan, his oldest, beat David to the door. “Hi, Aunt Monica!” Ryan chirped at her.

“Monica?” David asked when he saw her. She wore her red serge and was accompanied by Father Callaghan, the local pastor. David immediately had a sinking feeling.

“Ryan, why don’t you go downstairs to the rec room? Take Mandy and Kevin with you,” Monica told David’s oldest.

The boy glanced from his pseudo-aunt to his father and then dashed away calling for his younger siblings.

“Can we come in, David?”

“Yeah sure, sorry. I worked last night,” David said by way of explanation for his attire as he led them into the living room. He sat down in the chair. Monica and Father Callaghan took the sofa. “What’s this about, Monica?”

“Last night Jason was in a convoy travelling to a remote outpost in the northern district of the Balkh province.”

David felt his heart plunge. No, please God, no, not his Jason.

“The convoy hit an IED. Most of the vehicles in the convoy were completely destroyed. Jason wasn’t killed in the blast; however he is missing in action along with another Civilian Police Officer, Ashley Cooper.”

“What does that mean, missing in action? Does that mean he’s dead?” David asked. He blinked back tears.

“It means he is operating outside of a known area. They can’t locate him; therefore he is missing. They have every hope Jason and this other officer took refuge in caves near the attack site. Insurgents were in the area after the explosion, and they would have been forced to take cover from them. The coalition is sending out patrols and search parties today.”

“Why are you telling me this?” David asked rubbing his hands over his face. “Why not wait until you knew?”

“The military needs to make an announcement. Twenty-one other coalition soldiers, including civilian police, Canadian, American, British, and Afghan, were killed in this attack. It wasn’t fair not to tell you what’s happening with Jason. They’re going to be making announcements in time for the evening news. I’ve sent someone to talk to Jason’s brother, Steve, and their mom. Is there anyone else you want me to notify?”

“No, that’s everyone. God, how am I going to explain this to the kids?” David asked. He ran his fingers through his short hair. “Are you sure he’s not dead, Monica?”

“The military thinks he’s just hiding out from insurgents. He should be located and extracted very soon. I would have to agree with them. My gut is telling me he’s coming home to you.”

David nodded. The tears that had been threatening to fall started streaming down his face. Monica went over to hug him, and he prayed that Jason was still alive.


Buy Links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Boots-On-The-Ground-ebook/dp/B00AAODH6K
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-bootsontheground-1006044-145.html
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/boots-on-the-ground-angela-s-stone/1113832986
Phaze Publishing: http://phaze.com/book.php?title=Boots+on+the+Ground

About The Author
Angela is a twenty-something Registered Nurse and writer living and working in Ottawa, Canada. She is a proud Canadian and an even prouder girl from back east. She thoroughly enjoys writing novels featuring character that live in or are from the Maritimes. She’s recently met Mr. Right and when she’s not occupied with him she can be found hanging out at her local Bridgehead, writing. She spends her free time advocating for minorities and persons with disabilities.

Connect with Angela S. Stone
Email: angela@angelastone.ca
Website: http://angelastone.ca
Twitter: http://twitter.com/angelasstone
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AngelaStone.Writer
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow Angela's other book feature stops here!