Friday, August 30, 2013

The Friday Five - Reasons to Celebrate

At last! Friday! Welcome! Get in here, you big ol' weekend kicker-offer! We've missed you! Don't ever leave us again.

I feel like I've waited forever for this Friday because it's leading up to a 3-day weekend. Thanks, Labor Day. I also have good news, so today's TFF is all about reasons to celebrate. (Also, I read somewhere that August is the most depressing month in the year...Not for me, but okay, if those big-shot scientists think so.)
1) The Turncoat's Temptress is ready for print. So it'll be coming to an Amazon Marketplace near you soon. Feels like this day was forever in coming.

2) The galley review of The Convict and the Cattleman is over! Which means, I've spent this week reviewing the final (yes!) copies of the ebooks for last minute discrepancies. We have a release date, people: February 3rd, 2014. You can read chapter 1 here.

3) I'm pretty sure I mentioned: Labor Day! The day celebrating all things labor and economically achieved in the U.S. aka I get to sleep in on a Monday!

4) I'm giving away a paperback copy (ooo, paper) of The Treasure Hunter's Lady with Freado. You can play their game CoverMatcher for chances to win. It's fun, I promise. Click here for details.

5) Cripes, people, I can't think of anything else. You tell me.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Feature & Giveaway - Crossing Paths

CP_Amazon_GR_SW

Synopsis:

The crossing paths of friendship, family, love, and loss are often complicated.

June Deckert and Caroline Smith sparked a friendship in college that carried them through graduation. Although they are complete opposites in every way, they have spent the last four years inseparable.

That is, until now.

June finds herself falling for a man who seems unattainable. As she works side by side with him on a new media campaign, their feelings for each other come alive. But when his actions start to speak louder than words, she wonders if she’s missing something.

Meanwhile, Caroline is fighting against her feelings for a recent acquaintance, and she decides to keep her new love interest a secret from June. Overwhelmed by these new emotions, her moods change swiftly, swinging up and down like a yo-yo.

While June and Caroline try to maneuver their way through new relationships, Caroline starts lying to June to protect her from a truth that threatens to break her heart and tear them apart.

In the end, Caroline’s deceit will test their friendship, and June will have to decide if her chance at love is worth putting her heart on the line.

Excerpt:

I’m not sure why I did it, but I got up two hours early, took an extra long shower, made sure my hair cooperated, and put on my good makeup. Okay, that’s a lie. I know exactly why I put so much effort into getting ready. Today, I am supposed to see Cohen. Not only am I supposed to see Cohen, but we also have plans to go out to dinner. Once again, I’m unsure about what he wants to discuss, but this time, I’m trying not to make any assumptions. Also on the agenda, I hope to not injure him or myself while we’re spending time together.

I walk into the office with my chin up and a big smile on my face. If he is already here, I want to look like I’ve been fine. I sure as hell don’t want him thinking that I’ve been moping around and pining away for him since last Friday morning. Making my way through the maze of cubicles toward my office, I see no sign of him. I let out a sigh as I step through my door. I place my workbag next to the desk, and I turn to glance at the clock.

Something moves in my peripheral vision. It scares me enough to make me jump back, causing me to fall into my large potted plant-tree-thing in the corner. To avoid hitting the ground, I sit cockeyed in the pot. My face is covered in limbs and large green leaves. Peeking through the human-eating plant, I can see Cohen sitting on the comfortable sofa with one hand held over his mouth. I don’t hear any sounds, but from the looks of it, he’s laughing. For some reason, my usual standoffish self takes a holiday. I launch myself up from my seat in the pot holding the plant, and I take brisk steps toward him.

“What are you doing in my office? Do you enjoy scaring the crap out of women and causing near catastrophes? Or is it just when you see me?”

His eyes grow wide, and those sexy wrinkles beside his eyes fade. Thank God. I don’t think I could hold on to my angry attitude if he kept smiling.

“Mr. Hargrove wanted me to tell you that we’ll be meeting in the conference room at eight thirty. I have to leave by the end of the week, so we need to get started on the rest of our project. I came to tell you, but you weren’t here yet, so I made myself comfortable. I’m sorry if I scared you.”

“Right. Okay. Well, you can go now. I’ll see you at the meeting,” I say, turning toward my desk.

With my shoulders back and head held high, I walk over to my desk chair and sit. Looking back at Cohen, I give him the meanest stare I can muster.

“See you there.” He stands to leave, but then hesitates as if he wants to say something else. His mouth is open, but then he bites down on his bottom lip, holding back.

“Did you need something else?”

“Actually, I was just going to tell you that unless you enjoy the feel of sitting on bark, you should probably find a mirror and wipe off your skirt.”

You have got to be kidding me!

He walks out of the office with the wrinkles by his eyes reappearing.

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Author Bio:

Melanie_Stinnett_author_photo
I have enjoyed reading and writing since I was very young. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of spending time with my mom or grandma reading a good book. Over the years, it never crossed my mind that writing my own novel would be an attainable goal. After reading several independently published novels by Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover and others, I decided I needed to give that dream a chance.
When I’m not reading and writing, I enjoy spending time with my three favorite guys: my husband and my two little boys.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book Feature - Fate Book by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Fate Book
by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
New Adult Romance
Categories: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Release Date: August 15, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Length: 60,000
Available at:

Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/FATE-BOOK-Adult-Novel-ebook

Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/FATE-BOOK-Adult-Novel-ebo

Amazon (Print): http://www.amazon.com/Fate-Book-New-Adult-Novel/dp

B&N : http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fate-book-mimi-jean-pamfiloff

Kobo : http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/fate-book-a-new-adult-no

Blurb:
Dakota Dane is about to tell a lie she’ll wish she hadn’t. Because her lie is dangerous, sexy, and just showed up on campus, angry as hell and looking for her...

Ugly duckling Dakota Dane has a new boyfriend. He’s male-model gorgeous, built to perfection, wealthy, and smart. He is also a lie. As in, 100% fabricated. Does it matter that Dakota has a perfectly good reason for making him up? Not really. Not when Dakota’s made-up boyfriend shows up on campus in the flesh.

So is she crazy? All signs point to maybe. But the walking, talking enigma with the deadly vibe isn’t about to give her any answers or let her out of his sight. And with college just around the corner, Dakota fears her dreams of a bright future have just collided with a dark rabbit hole…

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Excerpt:
Lord. Whoever had been on the other end of that phone was coming to my room. I had to get out of there. Because as much as I loved believing in miracles, those didn’t exist, which meant this guy was some psychopathic stalker, some frigging lunatic who’d convinced everyone he was my boyfriend.

I slipped from the covers and immediately had to brace myself on the edge of the hospital bed. My head pulsed with painful, dizzying jabs. I slowly stood upright and willed myself steady. My ribs and hip were sore, but I’d survive. That was, if I got the heck out there.

I blew out a breath and wobbled to the clear plastic bag hanging on the wall with my belongings. I had to find my mother. I had to warn her. What if this guy showed up and tried something?

I slipped on my jeans, sweatshirt, and sneakers, not bothering with the other stuff. I grabbed my phone and purse and tiptoed to the door.

I poked my head out, hoping to spot my mother doing rounds, but instead I saw—

The breath whooshed from my lungs. Santiago?

Cue slow motion and avalanche of conflicting, irrational thoughts accompanied by an imminent panic attack.

My stomach and heart squeezed into a brick and then dropped through the center of my body.

Lord, help me.

Because the man I’d invented—correction—the gorgeous man I’d stolen a picture of, stood twenty feet away, speaking to my mother, wearing low-slung faded jeans and a fitted white, button-down shirt. I stared in wonderment while my eyes infused with his image and branded itself on my brain. He was lust, rock star, tough guy, jock, Prince Charming, and misfit rolled into one dangerous, rugged, wellgroomed package. He sent my female brain into a tailspin.

I’ve lost my mind. That gorgeous man is not standing there. That’s not possible!

I willed my heavy feet to move, but my eyes remained glued to him. He was tall—around six three or six four—and, just like in his photo, built like a lean, mean predatory animal with broad shoulders and powerful-looking…everything. Especially those arms. And those legs. And those…yep. Everything. To boot, he stood with the sort of confidence that gave me the distinct impression he really might be deadly.

And ate his meat raw. Possibly still squealing.

Santiago, who towered over my mother, leaned down and hugged her. Then my mother said something, and they laughed like old friends.

What? He hugged my mother? What was happening? Did she know him? Was the universe punishing me for lying? If it was, it was totally working. I’d never, ever lie again.

Giveaway:
Prize is 2 "Fate Book" Prize Packs (1 each to 2 winners). Each pack contains an autographed print copy of "Fate Book", a leather journal, and a sexy "Vampires Need Not Apply" and "Fate Book" bookmark from Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (prize image attached). Contest is tour-wide and ends Sept 21. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
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Don't forget to drop by Mimi's other tour spots!

About the Author:
Before taking up a permanent residence in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York Times and USA Today
Bestselling Author Mimi Jean Pamfiloff spent time living near NYC (became a shopaholic), in Mexico City (developed a taste for very spicy food), and Arizona (now hates jumping chollas but pines for sherbet sunsets). Her love of pre-Hispanic culture, big cities, and romance inspires her to write when she’s not busy with kids, hubby, work, and life…or getting sucked into a juicy novel. Or hosting the Man Candy Show on Radioslot.com! (Be very afraid!). She hopes that someday, leather pants for men will make a big comeback and that her writing might make you laugh (or give you a mini-vacay) when you need it most.

Connect with Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Website - http://www.mimijean.net

Twitter - https://twitter.com/MimiJeanRomance

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MimiJeanPamfiloff

Man Candy Show - http://www.radioslot.com/show/man-candy-show

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stuff That Mondays Me...I Mean, Baffles.

There's a 3-day weekend coming up, so I will dutifully drag myself through this one in hopes of making it to that glorious Labor Day. You won't be getting Stuff That Baffles Me next week. Alas, whatever shall you do? Um, other Interwebz-y things?

How 'bout we just move on to today's STBM?




Ahhh! No, Jurassic Park is real and we're all going to be mangled in this flea market! Gasp!

Yes, yes, those are velociraptors hanging from a ceiling, semi-hiding in fake foliage. With some lamps hanging from the platform because...why not? I'm not for sure if the dinosaurs are for sale, or if they're just awesome decorations. I assume it's safe to assume they're for sale because it's a flea market, but who knows? Maybe the flea market folks don't want to part with their ceiling of awesome.

I would've killed for those things as a kid. I had a serious love of all things dinosaur from the time I was knee-high to a grasshopper until about 7th grade. Yeah, I got made fun of a lot. By a lot, I mean, like every day. Multiple times a day. Apparently it's unacceptable to love the sh!t out of dinosaurs if you're a girl. What a sad world we live in.


Galley read-through: check. Chapter 6: check. Chapter 6: check. No, I'm not repeating myself because I'm a ding-dong. Yes, I am a ding-dong. I finished chapter 6 of my WIP and chapter 6 of my fanfic. I also finished reading the first paperback copy of The Turncoat's Temptress, checking again for errors. I spent a lot of time this weekend curled in the Demon Chair From Hell (we're coming to terms), reading and editing and trying not to melt. Summer found us again, which I'm sort of okay with, because I want to weep when it's cool outside in the summer. That's not right. I'm not ready for summer to end. I'm never ready and yet the universe fails to take this into consideration every single year.

I fall in love with The Turncoat's Temptress a little more each time I read it. It brings all my favorite characters together.

See?

A shadow fell over them. The biggest man Nora had ever seen looked down from the ship's deck. A scar ran from his temple to almost the center of his chin. Cool gray eyes assessed them. He was the man from Basil's memories in Oklahoma.
“Causing my friends trouble, Tinwhistle?”
Nora couldn't place his accent. Definitely not Southern, British, nor Texan. Van Buren, she guessed, must be Dutch.
“Not intentionally. But I think you remember my curiosity about certain events that transpired before our meeting in Tulsa.”
The Courtes looked at each other, clearly baffled by the exchange.
Moeder van hemmel. You look like death walking and you're bullshitting about serpents and eagles?” Van Buren looked over his shoulder. “Sophie! Go to the quarters reserved for Tinwhistle and send for the doctor. Tell Cook to ready something for two weary travelers.”
He looked at the Courtes. “I'm afraid this may be a short stop. Don't dawdle in town.”
Abel cocked his head. “We on the run?”
“No!” The redheaded woman spoke up. “This is a leisurely journey back to Philadelphia. We're not running from anything. You promised, Captain.”
Van Buren grinned. “The life of a sky pirate, Romy. I suggest you hurry for souvenirs if that's what you're after.”
She glared at him, bounced Maggie on her hip, turned and strode back across the gangplank. “On your orders, Captain.”
Abel sighed. “Ginger ale.”

At Nora's confused looked, he shrugged. “Helps with the airsickness.”

Anyway, I'll have a copy of the paperback ready to go in the basket I'm making for the ORA Con basket raffle, along with the first two books, because it would be weird to give away the third one without the other two.

I logged 14,000 words more or less last week, so to make up for my reckless abandon of writing and the accompanying murderfying pain my wrist, I was forced to wear my wrist brace all day Saturday. My wrist thought it was the best idea ever, my elbow disagreed. Not that it did much good because we went to Bass Pro Shops and I carried the mighty hulking PeeWee Monster around for an hour. He can't walk because he's afraid of anyone taller than him. That is to say, everyone. If you want to see a dog have a freak-out, put him down in a crowd and watch his eye bulge. It's really tragic. But if you hold him, he'll let anyone pet him and he'll snizzle all over their hands. Twice people have said, "That's a good name for him." And twice I have looked at them like, okay, weird-o. There's no good reason that his name is PeeWee. He just is. Actually, if you must know, his full name is PeeWee Roo Chin. My husband wouldn't let me call him Roo, even though we had a Bandicoot and I was trying to neatly categorize our dogs' names. He just let me call Bandicoot that because her nickname was Cooter.

I'm sorry, I've turned into one of those crazy people who talks about pet names. I spent a lot of time reading over the weekend, people. My brain is fried. It's Monday. Try not to do...well, anything, too hard.


Friday, August 23, 2013

The Friday Five - Man of Steel

Ready for some movie bashing? Sure you are. Disclaimer: I have terrible taste in movies. I like The Postman (one of my all-time faves), Jonah Hex, The Lone Ranger, and Cutthroat Island. Movies that generally make people go, WTH? So maybe Man of Steel isn't as bad as I think it is. But I just looked at it and went, Really, Chris Nolan? That's the script you helped with? SMH.

Five reasons I disliked Man of Steel. Go!

1) The opening scenes
B-O-R-I-N-G. So here's what I know about Superman (prior to the movie). He came from a doomed planet, sent here by his parents, because that's kind of their job to protect their offspring. Planet go boom, for some reason Superman is allergic to Kryptonite (which I had no idea what was. Is it an element? Somebody get me a wiki. If you're crazy like me, you're humming the Three Doors Down song right now), and he wears a pair of hipster glasses and yet no one recognizes him. Okay, great. Well, in Man of Steel, we're give a very long, very dry lesson in why Krypton is doomed and when Jor-El has the opportunity to, I don't know, say, rip Zod's head off, he totally ignores it. Then it's a mad chase to find a codex among creepy babies in bubbles (um, so...I take it Kryptonians either don't know what to do with their, um, "equipment", or they're having lots of recreational sack time), a crazy flight scene on a half bug/half donkey creature, and an urgent message to Lara to start the #$%&ing spaceship so they can send wee Kal-El off-planet. I'm pretty sure she didn't start the #$%&ing spaceship, instead finding time for a manicure. Some weird sh!t goes down, while the #$%&ing spaceship is still warming up (it's worse than a fax machine) and then Zod arrives and disembowels without actually disemboweling Jor-El. He tries to talk Lara out of sending the #$%&ing spaceship, but she does it anyway and resolves to die.
Problem solved: Jor tried explaining to the council that there are lots and lots of inhabitable planets. They settled some of them (and somehow, terribly, because these people might be morons, all the settlements died out) before. 'K, time for a vote. The world is about to 'splode. You have the technology to leave the world. Who wants to go? Me, me, I do! So crazy Zod only wants to take select bloodlines. Well, here's the thing. Kill him. None of this mamby-pamby, let's imprison him in a capsule shaped like a male body part. Kill him, flee for other planets, culture saved. Yay! Also, I feel that this would have been better off if they'd just let Russell Crow narrate some bits of it, shorten it to like 5 minutes and call it good.

2) The flashbacks
So, for the rest of the movie we're subjected to flashbacks at random times. Because I was so befuddled by a scene at the end of the movie (about some characters who earned their Too Dumb to Live Merit Badges), I forget whether the first scene after Krypton 'splodes was of young Clark Kent pulling an entire busload of kiddies to safety, or whether an oil rig exploded and that led to the busload of kiddies. All I know is, holy sh!t, there were a lot of flashbacks cluing us in to Clark's childhood. They were distracting and annoying and the first sentences Clark speaks aren't even until later when he's working at a restaurant and a trucker manhandles a waitress. What a waste of Henry Cavill's voice.
Problem solved: I'm a linear writer. I very rarely ever write scenes out of order, because I know that if I do, I'll have to rewrite it to fit whatever plot carried me to that point. I did write the end of the first draft of The Sky Pirate's Wife when I was about halfway through it. It involved rewriting to make it fit. Instead of showing us all these little clips and bits and chunks of Clark's back story, let's make him guess where he's from in the next movie. Just give us a guy who has awesome superpowers, who toddles around saving the world and feed up little clues. Don't give it all away in these dumb flashbacks.

3) I, Robot
Two-dimensional characters. If this script was a novel and it was given to me to judge for a contest, I'd have reamed the hell out of the writers for bringing me flat characters. Lara and Jor weren't bad. Zod was fantastic! But it's like the human writers had never written a human character. I love Kevin Costner madly. I was excited about this movie because A) Henry Cavill is hot and B) Kevin Costner is like the actor. But in this film, Jonathan Kent is kind of a jerk. Behold (I'm paraphrasing here):
Clark: So I should just let those kids die?
Jonathan: Yeah, 'til they're good and dead, so long as you're okay and you'll be okay because you're super.
(Never mind that it would look weird if Clark was the only one who survived, right?)
Clark: But that doesn't seem very nice.
Jonathan: Well, I'm kind of a giant @!#$.
Okay, so you glean through these flashbacks that Jon and Martha adopted Clark and they did the best they could for him, and in one scene Jon actually asks Clark if he's okay after some bullies jump him. Instead of coming to his son's defense, or even saying he'd happily beat the head bully, he just says he kind of wanted Clark to punch the kid. But then we get to the flashback where there's an EF5 tornado zooming around Kansas and Martha stupidly leaves their dog in their car while Jon's telling people to turn for an overpass. Jon goes back to get the dog (puh-lease! The kid has super powers, clearly, you send him to get the dog). For half a second you think he's going to make it, but then he gets stuck (the dog lives, it's cool). Then he gets free and instead of running like hell, he just stands there. And Clark, who's listened to this do-nothing-while-people-are-carking-it-left-and-right spiel his entire life, stands there like a statue while Kevin Costner freakin' defies 100+ mph winds and smiles.
Now who's super?
Problem solved: Here's the deal. From what I've gathered from reading a few vague blogs and reviews and Cracked.com articles about Superman, he has a little problem with being fully capable of understanding humans. Or being sympathetic to them, or whatever. Here's a character that's been raised with no knowledge of his real parents, who, yes, is different from anyone he's ever known, who was thrust into nonchalant Jon Kent's life, and who saves people by wandering from place to place, but has no real character. There was too much back story to ever, ever present Clark Kent and family as real people. You don't get a feel for them when all this other sh!t is going on. I've learned that DC tends to (info) dump the best parts of their characters, which gives you every tiny, boring detail of these characters' lives and lets you deal with whatever explosion-y type problem arises next. Marvel, on the other hand, feeds you little nibbles of awesome along the way and leaves you hungry to know more about the characters. Dear DC writers, you might want to break into a Marvel writer's home, hold them hostage and force them to teach you their skills.

4) The dialogue
The award for Worst Dialogue in a Movie goes to: Twilight and Bella's line "What, like, wolves?"
Man of Steel is coming in a runner-up this week. This line takes it: "I know you're trying to find out where I hang my cape. You won't."
Or how about:
Lois: What this "S" stand for?
Superman: It's not an "S", on my world it means "Hope".
Lois: Well, here it's an "S".
Well, gee, Lois, on his world, it's hope!
Or how about:
Zod: If you love these people so much, you can mourn for them!
Clark: Don't do this! Stop! Don't!
Zod: Never!
Kent: NOOOO!
Problem solved: See #3, the part about kidnapping Marvel writers. Because there was almost no sarcasm in this movie. Maybe it's just me and the world I grew up in, but superheroes are super bad@$$ at sarcasm. What, they don't have that in Kansas? Let's turn poor Clark around from the goody-two shoes "I don't get humans" persona and give him a little pep. The only time he even gave us a little spark of that was when the trucker ticked him off. There were very few chuckles in this movie.

5) Those damned hipster glasses aka I'm not even trying
I'm paraphrasing again here.
*Slipping on his stunningly hipster glasses sans mustache.* "Hi, I'm Clark Kent."
Lois Lane eyeballs the "new" kid. "Hi, Clark. Welcome to the Planet."
*crickets* It's a pun, I get it. But at that point it's so awful and cheesy, it's like the whole movie was a pun. Okay, so when Zod and crew came to Earth, they broadcast a message that ordered the Earthlings to give up Kal-El. (In several languages, one of them being Klingon, I sh!t you not. The movie actually gets bonus points for that, which brings it up from an D-- to a D-). No one knows who Kal is, of course, because he's been wandering around using several names and "dying" sometimes after he saves lives, then taking on a new persona. Now, this is the 21st-ish century (actually, I'm not sure what year this movie was set in, so work with me here), but there are people with cell phones filming crap even when they should be running for their lives all the time! It's the digital age and we're people, we're dumb. It's all, hey, Jimmy, watch this! So I know that someone, somewhere in this movie got a picture of Kal/Clark and posted it on the Internet. When Clarkal (see what I did there, brilliant, no?) trots his happy butt into The Daily Planet office, no one should be buying the glasses. Obviously Lois knows who he is, but you're not going to tell me an office building full of reporters is fooled by plain glass lens and black plastic. You're not Harry Potter, okay?
Problem (not quite) solved: Oh, honey, no, no, no. Remember the line where you told Swanwich or whatever his name was, that he'd never figure out where you hang your cape? Dude, this is the digital age. I'm not buying that someone hasn't found your spaceship of solitude on Google Earth by now. I mean, frig, S.H.I.E.L.D. even found Dr. Banner, probably just using Google, okay? The truth is, you can't hide. Totally possible in 1955, or whenever Superman debuted. Today...sorry, superbuddy, unless you're hiding out behind Bruce Wayne's satellite (there was one in the movie, no kidding).

Y' know, what gets me is that I enjoyed the Batman trilogy. It didn't reach me the way Marvel characters often do, but it was pretty good. And here's another movie that was awful, but I liked it: The Green Lantern. Hal Jordon is a devil-may-care character and Ryan Reynolds filled that role to perfection. Whoever wrote that one gets an A+ for character. So why did Clark Kent come off as a Popsicle? At least Batman and GL were a little funny. Geez, even Captain America has his moments and I'm not his biggest fan ever. Mostly he gets points because Tony Stark throws zingers off him like lightning. (Also, I'm pretty sure Superman impregnated Lois when he Frenched her. Because the rest of the movie was so ridiculous, why not?) The only redeeming qualities of this movie were really that the bad guys were so bad, you wanted them to win. They were good bad guys. So it's worth doing a study on them if your interested in making your Big Bads badder.

You are released from my Fortress of B!tch-i-tude. It's Friday, go, be, do.

P.S. In case you wondered what I've been blathering about all week on Facebook, it's fan fiction. You can find it here. I think it's almost done and it's way more fun than I ever imagined it would be.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Book Feature - Caught in the Crosshair by Barb Han


Caught in the Crosshair
by Barb Han
Romantic Suspense
Categories: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Self/Indie
Release Date: June 17, 2013
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count/Length: 60,000 words/244 pages
Available at: Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Caught-in-the-Crosshair-ebook/dp/

Blurb:
Lauren James had ignored the recent spate of calls from her brother. After all, he was a big player linked to a major cartel, and he’d been dead to her for nearly a decade. Then she receives the one call she can’t ignore—her brother’sbeen kidnapped and will be killed if she doesn’t bring money. No matter how far gone her brother is, Lauren can’t turn her back on him completely. Deep down she’s always wanted to save him. Now, she’s forced into action because he’ll die otherwise.

Ex-Special Forces sniper Jaden Dean owns a private security firm and after losing his older brother to gang violence, needs to take down as many scum bags as he can—single-handedlyif need be. And he was the best. Until he trusted the wrong woman on his last assignment and ended up nearly dead in the street.

On a tropical island with a hurricane brewing and dangerous men closing in, Lauren and Jaden will need to work together to survive and find her brother. The cartel seems to be one step ahead, and Jaden’s operatives are being killed one-by-one. He will have to use all his specialized training and risk everything, including his heart, to outwit the deadly group and keep Lauren safe. Their magnetic attraction isn't helping matters...because even a slight distraction might just get them both killed.

Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.

Excerpt:
The Texas sun beating down on the white canopy over the fresh grave created a greenhouse effect, intensifying the triple-digit temperature. Jaden Dean loosened his tie. At five o’clock the heat had peaked. A half hour into the inferno, his shirt threatened to melt into his skin. He’d barely noticed.  

His focus was Helena. Long after the attendees had gone home, she sat there, broken, looking lost and alone. A stark contrast to the deadly field operative she was.

Jaden couldn’t walk away, so he moved to the chair next to her. “There anyone I can call?”

She didn’t look at him. Only shook her head.

Jaden sighed sharply. “Talk to someone, then. A priest?”

Her gaze focused forward. She didn’t respond.

“Then take some time off. Hell, take as much time as you need. Your job will be waiting for you. ManTech can survive for a while without you.”

She glanced at him.

Damn, it was hard to look her in the eyes, see the pain there. Pain that was his fault.

She shook her head again. “I need to keep busy. Work is all I have now.”

Right. She’d been orphaned as a child. A wrench tightened inside Jaden’s gut at remembering the details of her abusive past. There was no family to surround her. Tim had been everything to her. He was her love. Her redemption. Her life.

And now he was dead.

Freakin’ South American cartels.

Her chin came up. “And those bastards have to pay.”

The hollow look in her eyes was a knife to his chest. Something inside her was broken. Would she ever be the same?

Would he ever be the same after sending her fiancé on the mission he should’ve taken himself?

Jaden knew all about losing someone close. The unspeakable pain. The darkness and anger that settled in the soul. The hopelessness. Everyone that had been close to him was dead. His operatives were all the family he had. And they were being killed. He was beginning to think he was cursed.

If she insisted on working, he’d keep a close eye on her.

About the Author:
Barb Han is the author of romance novels and romantic suspense. Her debut romantic thriller,  GONE, was released January, 2013, and features a desperate woman who wakes in a mental institution determined to find the son she's told never existed.

Her novella, Seducing Avery, was released early this year, and has received much acclaim due to her unique storyline that features an Asian hero. Another Asian hero romance,  The Billionaire Bargain, released early this summer exclusively for Kindle. The wide release is scheduled for late August. Her romantic suspense,  Caught in the Crosshair, features a determined sister and an ex-military sniper on a tropical island with a hurricane brewing and dangerous men closing in. This
story is now available exclusively for Kindle.

Barb is under contract with Harlequin Intrigue. Her first book featuring a rancher from North Texas will be published in early 2014.

Barb belongs to Romance Writers of America, DARA, KOD, and NTRWA where she volunteers as often as she can. She graduated from The University of North Texas with a bachelor degree in journalism.

She lives in North Texas with her own Asian-hero husband, has three beautiful children, a spunky Golden Retriever/Standard Poodle mix, and too many books in her 'to read' pile. In her down time, she plays video games and spends much of her time on or around a basketball court.

She's passionate about travel, and many of the places she visits end up in her books.

Connect with Barb Han
Website: http://www.barbhan.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarbHan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbHanAuthor
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/barbhan/

Visit Barb on her other tour stops for this book!

Giveaway: Prize is a $25 Starbucks Gift Card from Barb Han. Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Aug 24. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 19, 2013

Stuff That Baffles Me - Dragon vs. Horse

Hi, hi, everyone. Glad you could make it today. Please find your seats. I have an important announcement.

I got a whole lot of nothing done this weekend.

I was supposed to finish my galley edits, work on my WIP, and do some critiques. Yeah. Well, I did get three more chapters done on the galley. That counts as something, right?

So, without further ado, because I have no excuse for my bad behavior, here's:




'Kay, this is a horse kicking a dragon's a-double-s. I took it at a local Chinese restaurant. I'm not sure why a horse would have cause to kick a dragon's a-double-s, but it looks like an epic fight to the finish, wouldn't you say? Either the horse is killing the dragon with his own (the horse's) farts, or the dragon is getting stamped so hard, he's farting. I haven't decided yet. Epic, I tell you. I would hang this in my own house.

This has been... Stuff That Baffles Me.

Friday, August 16, 2013

That Thing (Or The Confession)

There are some lines I refuse to cross. Like owning a Dodge (*sigh* I guess I would, if I was really desperate and my options were limited), or eating bugs intentionally, or getting permanent make-up, or going spelunking (sweet Mother Mary, people! Tiny, tight, dark, airless spaces. Why? Why?).

I didn't get you a TFF today because I want to talk about a line I crossed.

I'm an author. You may have noticed. It says so right on the header. Someone once said (oh, sh!t, I know the answer to this...think...think...yeah, I got nothin'), nothing new is written, sung, created, blar, blar, blar. We're producing the same stuff in different ways. This appears to be true. But I do my best, you know? A different spin on the same old, a different character in a weary trope. I make up stuff that's new to me and hopefully new to you.

I read fervently sometimes, like I'll die if I don't get the end. I come to love characters, both from books and movies. Sometimes I want more. And that, dear friends, is what brings me to this confession. Forgive me, universe, for I have committed an untruth.

When I was a teenager, I hearted The Magnificent Seven with squishy fangirl joy. The TV show, not the movies where every character you come to know and love dies (those movies are super-old, this is not a spoiler)! Tormented when CBS canceled the show, I turned to the Interwebz for comfort. I discovered a wealth of TMS fanfiction. It was glorious and poorly written, but it fed me through a year or two. When Joss Whedon's Firefly was ripped from my TV screen, a few years (yes, years, people. Browncoats forever!) later, I turned to the web for comfort again.

All the while I maintained that while I enjoy fanfiction, writing it was beyond me. I tried. Much as I loved them, I couldn't get inside these characters' minds. They weren't mine and I wasn't theirs. So I largely ignored the fanfic world and said, that's not for me, while scratching my head at some of these talented writers who devoted hours to writing in someone else's world. That's what really got me. You have talent, you have a decent story line and with some revision, you could make that your own!

Madness, I tell you.

So I'm innocently minding my own business when one day I convince my husband, omygodomygodomygod, we have to go see Star Trek: Into Darkness, or I'm doing to die. Which might've been the same mantra I used when Iron Man 3 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I & II came out.

He obliges me, because *deep ringing voice* I. AM. LORD. AND. MASTER. Um, because he loves me, even though he'd probably rather get his eyes gouged out (hey, it was his idea to see Magic Mike, I suffered through that because he suggested it. And we both regret it to this day. Comic book/nerd fest movies are his eternal punishment). I mean, it's not like I'm asking him to watch Transformers, or anything.

So we watch (by watch, I mean I am completely transfixed) as the movie unfolds. And at a couple of points, I am on the edge of my seat going, WTH? Let me just say, the part with the tribble? Better buried in an earlier scene in the movie. Or a short scene of its own. That was almost as bad as Tony Stark magically saying "I fixed Pepper's little problem". How? You can't just "magically" fix a problem even if you are a billionaire genius playboy. Either the script writers or whoever edited STID completely botched that tribble bit. But anyway, I loved it.

I could not get it out of my head. I thought about it all the time. About the brilliant characters and I broke down and went to Fanfiction.net because I needed more! And I discovered some seriously awesome writers there. My favorites are the ones who actually edit their stories, go figure. Some of them, though, I let get by with it because their humor is untouchable. I see and hear these characters and I'm entranced. Seriously.

One of the favorite tropes seems to be $%&@ing with Jim Kirk's head. He has a really traumatic past and he's easy to beat up over it. I thought, man, just once I would like to see him come out of a story line stronger than most people make him. That little voice in my head whispers tauntingly. You could do that.

But little voice, I protest, I'm working on a historical romance right now. And then in a moment of weakness, I buy Star Trek: First Contact, because I'm a Next Generation girl (oh, Riker). And then I start thinking about sexy androids and, yeah, I have a story going about that. But I'm eyeballs deep in galley edits for The Convict and the Cattleman and have no time to play with sexy androids right now.

So Tuesday when I started thinking about Jim again, I decided I would start this story and *gasp* I would not finish it. I would write just enough to remember what a dumb idea this was. I should be wearing a sign that says, Does Not Play Well With Others' Characters. Except...I started writing and I was able to get into Jim's head and even though I had no idea where it was going, only that it would need to be short because I damn sure couldn't write chapter after chapter, it flowed. And it was kind of funny, but it was poignant too and...I didn't write the brave character that I saw on the movie screen. I wrote one who was broken and too stubborn to admit it. I know why every other fanfic writer picks on him now. I might've projected a little of myself on poor Cap'n Kirk.

And, um, I published it on Fanfiction.net. You can find it here.

So I'm a nerd and a fanfic writer and a romance author and that's that.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Author Interview - Annette Drake

What's your book/current WIP about?
Celebration House is about a young woman who leaves Seattle and moves back to her childhood home in Lexington, Missouri. There, she buys and restores an abandoned Greek Revival mansion, which she then offers to the public for celebrations, such as weddings, class reunions, etc. Carrie Hansen, the main character, has a special gift: she can see and speak with the dead. This skill comes in useful because this 150-year-old house is full of spirits, especially the home’s builder who is not fond of the living. It’s one of these spirits, a soldier killed in the Battle of Lexington in Sept. 1861, who the main character develops a unique relationship with.

Care to share your favorite line(s)?
From the next to last chapter of the book:

“Beth swore she heard music, just a snippet of a fiddle. She smelled perfume and cigar smoke. Now standing at the bottom of the staircase, she turned on the foyer light. She felt afraid, another new sensation in Carrie’s home. Beth pulled her robe tighter. She switched on the foyer light and walked toward the kitchen, pausing outside the closed ballroom doors. Carrie always insisted these doors stay open. Light trickled out from underneath the closed doors onto Beth’s toes.”

What's your next project?
I’m working on A Year with Geno. It’s a contemporary romance set in Alaska about a young woman who finds herself and her two sons without a place to live. Through a set of unpleasant circumstances, she ends moving into the basement of a home owned by the male hero and his two teenage sons. It’s so much fun to write because I’m ramping up the heat level. Also, I’m giving my sense of humor a little freer reign.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
It’s true that writers are always taking in information to flavor their books. We’re not even aware we’re doing that. While writing Bone Girl, I had a disagreement with an acquaintance. When writing about the father of the boy who bullies my protagonist, wham! I used that man’s name. I wasn’t even awareof this until I was reading the scene aloud to my critique group.

What sparked your interest in your genre?
I don’t have one genre. My debut release is a paranormal romance. I have a middle-grade novel, BONE GIRL, that I’m looking for a home for, and I’m currently writing a contemporary romance. I’m not sure what project I’ll tackle after A Year with Geno. There’s talk of Celebration House being the first of a trilogy. At first, when my editor asked me about this, I said, “NOOOOOOOOOO!” But now, we’ll see. I know how the third book starts and ends. I know how the second book starts and where it ends.

But I want to be sure there’s an audience for a second and third book. Or, I may just decide to write the books and offer it to the creative gods. I feel comfortable saying, I don’t know right now.

Describe your writing in a sentence.
My stories are character-driven and celebrate the law of unintended consequences.

Do you choose character names or do the characters whisper them in your ears?
My characters talk all the time. No. Really. All of the time!

Plotter or panster?
If I’m patient and wait, the characters reveal themselves to me and tell me what to write down.

Do you like background noise or do you prefer a quiet space when you write?
I love playing music on Pandora. I even have a specific group of songs for each book. Music captures the mood that best fits whichever the book I’m writing. I have different music for Celebration House, Bone Girl and A Year with Geno. I suspect I’ll have different music for every book I write.

What are you currently reading?
Two books: Unhallowed Ground by Heather Graham and The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel.
The recipes of Ms. Harmel’s book reached out and grabbed me. I’m a sugar addict. I love bakeries.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer it?
Which character in Celebration House are you most like?

Honestly, Trina Trumbull. I admire her work ethic, and I can relate to her desire to please her future mother-in-law. I just get Trina. Everyone assumes I’m most like the main character, Carrie Hansen. No way! I don’t have her courage.

People think I'm weird because...
My dream vacation is to spend a few days at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Iowa in August? Does it get any hotter than that? I don’t think so. When I was a young girl, my parents took us to the Iowa State Fair every year. It was the only vacation we ever had. I think for that reason, I associate the fair with a sense of home. I’m attending this year, not an easy task when you live in eastern Washington, so I’m pretty happy about that.

Book blurb:
Carrie Hansen spent her life caring for cardiac patients. Little did she know she would become a patient herself. After recovering from her own heart surgery, she realizes she has a special gift: the ability to see and talk with the dead.

Now, with her new heart failing, she leaves the bustle of Seattle behind and returns to Lexington, Missouri, the small town where she spent her childhood. Here, she sets out to restore an abandoned antebellum mansion and open it as a venue for celebrations.

Carrie’s work is cut out for her. The 150-year-old Greek revival house is in need of serious repair. Her sister, Melanie, tries to bully Carrie into returning to Seattle, predicting “her little project” is doomed to fail. Finally, Carrie’s health gives out on her, requiring emergency surgery. But she will not give up. Carrie’s unique gift allows her to build relationships with the mansion’s original occupants, especially Maj. Tom Stewart, the handsome Civil War soldier who died a hundred years before Carrie was born. He encourages and comforts her, though not in the physical way they both desire.

Then there’s the builder of the house, Col. Bartholomew Stratton. If there’s one thing this 19th century horse trader cannot abide, it’s the living trespassing on his estate. He delights in scaring these intruders away, even if they are paying guests.

Will Carrie finish restoring Celebration House or will it finish her? And how can she plan a future with a man who has only a past?

Buy it at: Tirgearr Publishing || Amazon || Smashwords || Kobo || B&N 

About the author:
Annette Drake is an aspiring writer whose work is character-driven and celebrates the law of unintended consequences. Her debut novel, Celebration House, will be published this summer in e-book format for readers everywhere by Tirgearr Publishing.

Annette left high school after two years to obtain her GED and attend Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. There she earned a degree in journalism before working as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Missouri and Kansas. She earned a bachelor of science in nursing in 1994 from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri, and worked as a registered nurse in hospitals throughout Missouri, Alaska and Washington for 18 years before returning her focus to writing

Annette recently completed her middle-grade novel, Bone Girl, and is hard at work revising her steamy contemporary romance, A Year with Geno. She is the mother of four children. The oldest just graduated from the University of Washington; the youngest just graduated from kindergarten. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. She loves libraries, basset hounds and bakeries. She does not camp.

You can follow her writing at www.Annettedrake.com. She welcomes correspondence at: Write2me@annettedrake.com.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stuff That Baffles Me + Weekend Updates


Designing is hard. Finding the right images that will draw the eye. If it's Disney, slap a princess on it. Little girls eat that sh!t up. Here we go. Ariel and Snow White. Those little girls are gonna love this puzzle. Let's pick a font! It's gotta be girly to go with the princesses. Something scripty. Tah-dah! A Disney Princess Foil Puzzle. 


Except...
I know they're talking about taking cursive out of school. Who needs that when everyone types? I barely write anything by hand myself. I mean, why?

So then you end up with this.


That says Fail Puzzle. When O's are connected to another letter (this was beaten--sometimes literally--into our heads, younger generations) the little connecty part goes at the top of the O. If it's an A, it goes at the bottom. That's how people reading your sh!tty excuse for handwriting know which letter it is.

Enjoy your Fail Puzzle. Oh, wait. Aren't puzzles kind of going the same way as cursive? Who wants to play a puzzle when you can play Candy Crush on your iPad?


It came, it came! The first-ever paperback copy of The Turncoat's Temptress in print. It's very lovely. I just sat and stared at it a while, then I opened it and read the part where I blow Basil up. I love that part.

When I wasn't staring at, I was dealing with Anna again. The robot I love to hate. I've finally accepted the fact that she will never be able to pronounce Bridgit (Bri-jet), convict (conveect), jackaroo (jack'roo), Da (d-a), 'er (e-r), or many, many other words. She excels at swearing though and I've made her say all kinds of revolting things that are hilarious after you've been sitting listening to her drone on and on for hours. She gets particularly excited when she runs into a section of asterisks. She's all asterisk! Asterisk! Asterisk! Asterisk! Like it's her greatest pleasure in life to announce them. Annoying as she is, she's saved me a ton of time and picked up on stuff I'm blind to.

Because hearing it works way better than reading it and skipping over missing words again and again. So high five for the robot. I will never edit without the cheeky little so-and-so again.

Saturday night we went to the Shepherd of the Hills Super Summer Cruise. It's a parade of cars that runs from one end of the Shepherd of the Hills Expressway to the other. There were a lot of them this year. I don't know how many they ended up having at the show or in the cruise, but it seemed to go on for a while. When I was in college they called it the Midnight Run because it started at midnight. This year it started at 12:30. I think that's why they changed it to Super Summer Cruise. We were whamped by the time we got home at 2:30 in the morning--y'know, after the obligatory stop at Wal-mart. I'm really disappointed that the people in the Terlingua didn't stop, get out, hand me the keys, and say, "here you are, Princess. Take our car."

Yesterday we went for a drive to place unknown. I have photos, just not with me. I'll tell you all about it soon. Look forward to those.

And I've gotten zilch done on writing, but I think I've done something to my arm, or my tennis elbow is flared up again because Saturday and Sunday, it was misery to lift it over my head and everything from my elbow to my fingers goes weak and sort of numbish and my tricep is all achy. It's better today, except my elbow feels like someone's pounding it with a hammer. My thoughts: Write 'til it falls off.

It's Monday. Go back to bed, kids.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Friday Five - Words I Pronounce Wrong

I don't think about them, or maybe I just don't know any better. Or maybe movies (darnit, Michael Cain) influence the way I talk. Or maybe because I was a loner as a child (as a child? I'm so introverted, it's awkward), no one really noticed I was pronouncing things wrong. Oh, wait. Yes they did, because people used to make fun of me all the time. I only noticed the first one last night because I was listening to Anna the Microsoft narrator read The Convict and the Cattleman.

1) Comfortable (ˈkəm(p)(f)-tə(r)-bəl,) - Or, if you're me, you say comfterbull. I kind of think it's a get-it-out-of-your-mouth word said in such a rush as to move on to other topics. You comfterbull?

2) Florida (flȯr-ə-də) - Or Flor'da. Said by the person who was also brought up to say Missourah instead of Missouree, so that could be the trouble. Darn those extra unneeded vowels.

3) Egg (eg) - Aig. I want a three aig omelette. Now!

4) Thoroughbred (thor·ough·bred) - Thorul-bred. I don't know why, okay? Because it's easier to make the L sound than repeat all though O's?

5) Metal (me-təl) - I promise to always pronounce this correctly in front of strangers, but it drives my husband crazy when I say mat-ell. My dad said mat-ell and his dad says errell instead of arrow. It's just one of those things.

Bonus: Like (līk) - You can thank Michael Caine for this one. I have watched movies where that man pronounces this very simple word as 'lī' (and sometimes with a soft T), that I now do it. There's another word he says that I can't think of right now that I say all the time just like him. If my husband notices, he hasn't commented on it.

You can make fun of me if you want. Just remember, last Friday I was talking about my Okie drawl, which is really more of a fun blend of Okie and Missourah with some Cockney thrown in for good measure. But unless you give me alcohol or I'm really, really tired, or p!ssed off, I promise to try to pronounce most of these words the proper way. Except...no, no I don't. I just won't drawl them out, I promise to keep a nice American Standard English tone.

It's Friday. Go, be, do.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Book Feature - Silverhawk by Barbara Bettis

Hey kids, it's Writer Wednesday and today I have a special treat for you. It's a book release from one of my fellow ORA members. Silverhawk is her debut from The Wild Rose Press. Right now it's available on Amazon, but look for the official release in November!


Blurb:
Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape.

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Excerpt:
Lady Emelin tucked her heavy brown wimple beneath her chin and watched the wounded knight. 
Swollen eyelids, a puffy cheek, and bloody scrapes couldn't hide his handsome features. Waves of midnight hair fell across his wide forehead to brush one side of his square, stubble-darkened jaw. Grit clustered on the high bridge of his nose. What shame such a strong, rugged man should be cut down. Her pulse fluttered, and she sucked in a sharp breath. Ashamed of such reaction, she squeezed shut her eyes.
Would Stephen have been so handsome, had he lived? She hardly recalled what her youthful first betrothed looked like when he joined his foster father on King Richard's crusade. If only he'd returned, she'd be wed now, with the family she craved. 
She sighed, reached for a leaf on her patient's cheek—and found herself staring into the palest gray eyes she'd ever seen. His mouth moved; she leaned forward.
“What is it?” she murmured.
“Before...I...die,” came the hoarse whisper.
“Yes? What would you like before you die?” If it were in her power, she would provide the poor man with his wish. Drink? Food? 
A strong hand gripped the back of her head, pulled her forward. That close, she saw his eyes weren't gray, but layered like a winter pond winking with ice. They were silver.
“To...kiss...a nun,” came the outrageous reply before his lips met hers. 
His warm mouth robbed her of breath for an instant. Then she snapped back with a gasp. And, with inborn reflex, slapped him. His head jerked, his eyes closed, and he lay motionless.
“Oh, Sweet Mary,” Emelin whispered, “I've killed him.” Leaning close, she saw his narrow, beautifully molded lips relax. His mouth curved at the corner.
At least he died with a smile on his face.

Buy It On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1bQX3td

About the author:
Award winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math.

She now lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a mild-mannered English teacher, and by night she’s an intrepid plotter of tales featuring heroines to die for—and heroes to live for. 
'

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's Monday, So It Must Be Time For...

Yep, you know it. Here's


I hate seafood, which is weird, because I love the sea. But I can't stand anything that's swimming around in it's own...you know. It all tastes like water gone bad. So here's something that baffles me:


Why can't they take the eyes out? Ugh, those icky stuffed crabs are STARING while you eat them. I mean, I don't eat them, but when we go to Cap'n D's, my husband always orders the same thing and it always comes with stuffed crabs with eyes. Soooooo gross.

This has been Stuff That Baffles me.


I was a bad Muffet Baby (I'm struggling to think of a good metaphor for something that was bad. Please feel free to help me out.) on Saturday and stayed home from the ORA meeting. I went to bed pretty late, but with full intentions of at least making the meeting, but probably not critique. When my alarm went off, my husband had just come to bed, even though he got home around 6:30 am. He said, "Stay home with me." And then proceeded to fall asleep until about 2 pm. In which I am not b!tching, because a) it allowed me to get some writing done and b) I got in an nap. One I was a little sorry I took because I went to sleep in the devil recliner from Hell-o and it did a number on my neck. But the important thing is, in about three hours, I did a lot of writing. Let's take a look, shall we?

Well, okay, you'll have to click that image, but it says that I reached 200,000 words for the year! All thanks to Jano in January and Camp NaNo in April and the flogging, er, driving determination to write another historical in May. I. Paid. For. Every. One. Of. Those. Words on Saturday evening too. The tendinitis struck bad (even though I only wrote about 3k on Saturday) in my wrist and elbow. It was better by Sunday, but not great. Also, it probably didn't help that it stormed like a mofo really early in the morning and I got up because the screen door wasn't secure. When I went to close it, the wind ripped it out of my hand and jammed my finger. Thanks, wind. Not to mention I slipped on the porch and almost busted my rear again. We've really got to do something about that.

Saturday, when it was 10 million degrees outside after the rain and my husband finally woke from his undead sleep/temporary coma, he decided he needed new tires. Well, actually, he's needed new tires for a long time, but it had to be that day. One reason is because one of them went flat. While we're driving down the road on the way to get new tires, naturally.

We sat there for an hour and a half. This is what happened:
Why did he put that in the windshield you ask. Well, let me tell you. Some people were really nice and asked if we needed help. But some people were just dumb. The first indication of that dumbness is this:
Lady pulls up next to us: Have you been here long?
Husband: About an hour.
Lady: Have you seen a man on a bicycle?
Husband: No.
Lady *looking pissy* Thanks. *drives away*
Me: We're great, thanks for asking.

About 15 minutes later...
A van pulls up beside us. Lady: We're trying to get to Reeds Spring, can you help us?
They've totally come from the wrong direction. Doug gives them directions. They leave.
Doug: Yeah, we're doing great sitting here on the side of the road. 'Ppreciate it.

Thusly, the sign. BTW, we did eventually see the guy on the bicycle, but the lady was long gone by then.

What a lovely weekend. But we survived and all is well. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Friday Five - Some Grammar Here, Some Grammar There

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because...I mean, do you people read this blog? I write pretty much exactly the way I talk. If it seems like madness on the page, just imagine what it's like inside my head.

Just so you know, this post is sponsored by Grammarly. To continue with the theme from last week, we're talking about five grammatical thingies you're messing up in your manuscript. Because it's Friday and you're going to learn, that's why! Without further ado...

1) Bad vs. Badly - Because I'm a hick, you'll catch me mixing these two up when I talk. I want to go to the store real bad. If you're lucky, not only will I say that, but I'll say it with a drawl. Most folks don't know about my drawl, because I save it for the people I really love. My husband is from farther out in the sticks than me, but I can drawl with the best of them. Anyway, bad vs. badly. Double check your characters' dialogue, because unless they're from the South, or they just don't give a hoot, it's weak, weak, weak.
Example (wrong): It hurt pretty bad.
Example (right): It hurt badly.

2) Bring vs. Take - Okay, I'll admit it. I'm clueless when it comes to these two. Let's learn something, eh?
Take:
Example (right): I'm going to take a pie to my grandma.
Example (wrong): I'm going to bring pie to Grandma.
Bring:
Example (right): We're going to bring Anne with us.
Example (slightly less right, but not quite wrong): We're going to bring whiskey to go with Grandma's pie.

3) 'Til or Till - Admit it, this one mess you up. Because the word is until, so it should be 'til if you want to shorten it. Or not. In fact, these are two different words with similar meanings. So unless you mean till, go for it, but if you want to shorten the word until, then throw an apostrophe in front of that thing.
Till: attributed to be used before until, circa the 1300's.

4) Feel vs. Believe - When you feel something, it's usually physical. When you believe something, it's a condition of your mind.
Example: I believe this chocolate cake is better than riding in a Ferrari with Fabio.
Example: I feel sick after eating that chocolate cake and riding in the Ferrari with Fabio.

5) Historic vs. Historical - I didn't write me no historic novel. Although it would be nice if they were found historic. The most historic historical romance novelist of her time. Wouldn't that be sweet? What's the diff?
Historic - an important event
Historical - something that happened in the past.

*Ahem* I thought you might also like to know that when I checked this post with Grammarly, there were a few issues. Oops.




There you go, you made it, you learned, now go apply your knowledge, kids. Go, be, do. (And use Grammarly's site so you don't end up with a 50% out of 100%.)