Wednesday, December 31, 2008
All we ask is that people buy these books new. Buy at discounted prices if you must, but please, if the book is available new, buy it new. Otherwise, we won't see a penny for our work. I know that some books can't be found new, and I'm okay with your buying them used in that situation. Or checking them out from the library. But if you want the writers you love to keep writing the books you love, save up a few bucks and buy new, please. It's what makes writing feasible for us, financially. We do write because we love to write, but it's also a business.
Anyway, this post is supposed to be about scamming and piracy. Specifically, this website: http://www.download-provider.com/en/
It purports to be a site where you can download top movies, books, music, etc. for a membership fee. That automatically makes it piracy—downloading copyrighted material for free that you would otherwise have to pay for. It's like stealing from someone, in that the person or persons involved in creating that book, movie, or music is being denied royalty payments on those items.
But more than that, it seems to be a scam site, because it claims to have books that haven't even been written yet. So you pay your money to sign up with the site to download books that don't exist. I suspect it's the same for the movies and music they claim to have. So here's a warning. If you're going to ignore the requests of authors to buy their books new rather than buying used and denying them royalties, don't do it at this site unless you want to be robbed yourself.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I particularly like the knife earrings, the emergency car kit, the bacon adhesive bandages and the barb wire plates.
And while we're on the Lemondrop site, this is also pretty amusing.
BTW, I blogged today on the Intrigue Author's blog. Want to win one of my backlist? Go comment. You're automatically entered.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
So naturally, when I can get something for free? I'm there!
Thanks to Discover card's Rewards program, where you earn money back the more you spend, we had $100 in rewards to redeem. (And yeah, we won't go into how much we had to spend to get $100 cash back, but veterinarian bills were involved).
I chose Overstock.com (in retrospect, probably not the best choice, because they really aren't the cheapest place around) and Sephora.com. The $100 actually translated to $115, thanks to the extra cash back from those vendors. Anyway, here's what I bought:
2 pairs of earwire earrings
2 books (Dean Koontz, Dick Francis)
1 body spray for my sister
1 X-Files series compilation DVD (Covering mythology eps from seasons 8 and 9)
1 Typing game software CD (for the nieces to learn)
Bliss hand cream
Schweppes Pink Grapefruit lip balm
Sephora Apple Pomegranate gift set
Plus three free samples - Donna Karan body mist lotion, DKNY Be Delicious and Red Delicious body lotion combo, and a Lab Series daily face wash and moisturizing lotion combo.
Total out of pocket expense (which includes shipping): $10.38.
I also bought my sister a pair of jeans which were marked way off. Total cost there was around $11, including shipping.
I love freebies.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
It's that time of year again, folks… time for the Intrigue Authors 2nd Annual Holiday Blog Blitz!
That's right. All through the month of December, the Intrigue Authors will be blogging and giving away books every day. Many of your favorite Intrigue Authors will be stopping by to talk about the holidays, books, upcoming projects, research, writing and more. And each day that author will be choosing a winner from among the readers who post a question or comment to their blog.
The author will post the winner's name in their comment section that night or perhaps the next day. And just in case your holiday season is busy time of year for you (whose isn't?), yours truly will keep a list of winners to post periodically, just in case you missed your name the first time around. I'll also post a complete list after the first of the year in case you're really busy--or just curious to see how many of you terrific, loyal readers we have taking part in the blog blitz. If your name is selected as the winner, all you have to do is email the author--email addresses are available at our websites if you can't pull it off of the Intrigue Authors site--with your name and snail mail address, and we'll get your book sent to you.
Comment as often as you like. Join us every day in December if you can. We'll try to spread the joy so that as many of you as possible get the chance to win. And even if your name isn't selected on a given day, we'll be having lots of fun just hanging out and chatting together.
If you love Intrigue. If you love romantic suspense. If you love books and romance, the Intrigue Authors site is the place to be all through December. Please join us for the blog blitz.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!
So drop by all month long! Meet some of your favorite Intrigue authors, ask us questions about writing for Intrigue, or about your favorite characters and books, or just general questions about writing in general.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
NOTE: Postmark/Electronic NEW DEADLINE - Saturday, November 29, 2008
Here are the categories and the editors who'll be judging the finals:
Series/Short & Long Contemporary
Romance-based series novels.
Word count: 40,000 to 90,000
Final Judge: Susan Litman, Editor, Silhouette
Romance-based novels published as individual titles. All publishers of individual titles of romance.
Word count: 90,000 to 110,000
Final Judge: Selina McLemore, Editor, Grand Central Publishers (formerly Warner)
Suspense (series or single title)
Romance-based novels that include an element of mystery or suspense.
Word count: 40,000 to 110,000
Final Judge: Megan MeKeever, Associate Editor, Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster)
Romance-based novels with non-contemporary settings, including regency & gothic romances. Word count: 40,000 to 110,000
Final Judge: Alicia Condon, VP, Editorial Director, Dorchester
Unique Genres (Paranormal, Futuristic, Fantasy, Time Travel)
Romance-based novels of any time setting that contain elements such as time-travel, paranormalor fantasy themes. All publishers of individual titles of romance.
Word count: 90,000 to 110,000
Final Judge: Melissa Singer, Editor, Tor
Sensual and Sizzling (Erotica)
Romance-based novels that include a high element of sexual tension or sexual play.
Word count: 40,000 to 110,000
Final Judge: Raelene Gorlinsky, Editor, Ellora's Cave
Romance-based novels published for the Young Adult market.
Word count: 90,000 110,000
Final Judge: Jennifer Heddle, Editor, MTV Books (Pocket/Simon & Schuster)
Romance-based novels published for the Inspirational market.
Word count: 40,000 - 90,000
Final Judge: Tina Colombo, Editor, Steeple Hill (Harlequin)
Series in particular needs some more entries, so if you have a series novel you've polished up and want to send around to get a read, this is a great chance!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
It was a laugh out loud moment, but there's truth in the joke. Communities often speak a language outsiders can't understand.
I used to be an X-Phile, the name for online fans of the TV show THE X-FILES. Our language included such terms and acronyms as shippers, noromos, MOTW, mytharc, MSR, CSM and the consortium. At times, we spoke in a series of subreferences, from "nobody here but the FBI's most unwanted" to "Mulder, it's me." It made perfect sense to those of us who watched the show and participated in the online discussions, but it could be a confusing tangle of terms to those who didn't.
I think for those of us who write (or want to write) for publication, it can be hard to capture the authenticity of a community without using some of the lingo. Southerners used terms that northerners don't. East coasters and west coasters, even in this day and age, still have different words for different things. And the more insular a community, the more differences you'll find.
On the other hand, too much authenticity can render your stories as incomprehensible as, well, WoW lingo to someone whose idea of role-playing game doesn't include a modem.
I like to think of writers as interpreters. We take specific characters, settings, situations and even language and interpret them into something a broad spectrum of readers can understand. So I might take an extra step to explain what MRE (meal ready to eat) is to someone who's never been in the military, or the difference between a crappie and a bass for someone who's not an avid fisherman. My readers can then have vicarious experiences through my characters without getting lost in the lexographic wilderness.
Have you ever had to play interpreter as a writer? Have you ever needed one as a reader?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
I have a special, writing-related fondness for the USMC. I don't actually know any Marines personally, but I met a few several years ago in Atlanta. I was attending the Moonlight and Magnolias conference, and the Marines were having some sort of seminar at the same Atlanta hotel. The stars aligned perfectly---Marines and romance writers in the same place. You couldn't have written a better scenario.
The Marines were just as fascinated with us as we were with them. And such gentlemen! As I commented to a friend later, "I don't think I ever truly understood what it was to feel like a woman until a Marine treated me like one."
So, Semper Fi and thanks for all you do, ladies and gentlemen of the USMC.
Here's a story I came across a few minutes ago that I think is a nice addendum to this post on the USMC's birthday.
God bless the U.S. Marines.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
So, if you've read COWBOY ALIBI, and you can post reviews at Amazon.com, I'd really appreciate a review. For that matter, if you've read FORBIDDEN TOUCH or one of my other books, I wouldn't mind seeing a review there, either. Remember, I don't care what you rate it. I just want to hear what you think about the book. It helps me gauge what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong.
(You can also leave comments here, too, you know).
Friday, October 31, 2008
Once homeless and living in his car, award-winning novelist Jeff Rivera writes passionate stories of those often forgotten and neglected by society. He believes even in the eyes of a gang member, even beneath the soiled clothes of a bag lady or behind the tears of a lonely kid in the back of the class, there lies a common thread that links us all, the universal human story. He has made it his personal mission to help change the way the world thinks in a positive way through his stories. Mr. Rivera currently lives in New York City.
And here is an introduction to his book, Forever My Lady, and an excerpt from the book.
Originally independently published, Jeff Rivera's debut novel, Forever My Lady went on to be acquired by Warner Books/Grand Central. It tells the award-winning passionate story of a juvenile delinquent named Dio who is sentenced to prison boot camp. Everyone who he has ever trusted has given up on him except one special girl that promises to stay by his side no matter what, the love of his life, Jennifer. He promises he will to turn his life around for her and she promises will never leave him. In fact, they plan to marry one day. But when Dio is released from boot camp he discovers Jennifer is about to marry someone else.
“Don’t be stupid foo’. Don’t be a pendejo.”
Dio looked at his homie Spooky’s grip on his jacket. Most of his boys called Dio “Playboy” because all the ladies loved him, but those that had known him since he was a kid called him his real name, Dio.
He took another hit off his joint. He’d given up smoking over a year ago, had to, but on this day he was more nervous that he had ever been in his life. Thunder rumbled and rain poured, making it impossible to see. Thunder scared Dio, always had. Dio fought to keep from shaking. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t swallow. He tried to hide his fear. His mind was set. He had to do it.
Dio yanked his arm away from Spooky, and pushed the door open. “Just keep the car runnin’, ese.”
Spooky was a big guy, tattoos up and down his arm and a glass eye. He normally would have just kept Dio from leaving at all, but he knew nothing could stop him. Nothing at all. Dio jumped out the car. It was a ‘57 Chevy, slick red, with a chili-pepper-hot Mexican heina painted across the hood. Dio had painted that picture himself. Complete with chrome wheels.
He slammed the door shut and looked up at the Cathedral in front of him. Lightning illuminated its majestic towers, windows with an eerie stained glass. He’d spent many a night imagining this would be where he’d marry her. They’d have a huge wedding with members of their families flying in from all over the world just to watch this event; this marriage he thought was so destined to be. He’d put his everything into this dream, his one and only dream, and now as he yanked the heavy Oak doors open, his heart pounded like a subwoofer.
He dried his soaked clothes with his hand and scratched his shoes on the mat so as not to squeak across the old wood floor. The church was jam-packed, mostly with Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, but some blacks.
Probably his familia, Dio thought. How could she even think about marrying some pinche negro?
The grand organ music permeated the building while a choir of children sang, their voices echoing throughout the church. It smelled musty in the air, a mix of wood stain and must as if they never really cleaned the place, just painted over it.
He tried not to be too suspicious, slipping past every one. Funny, he was dressed probably better than he’d ever been. Black suit, his wavy black hair slicked back, starched white shirt, polished black shoes.
Dio had grown into a very nice looking young man. Maybe even could have been a model, had he played his cards right. Maybe if he hadn’t grown up in the slums of Northeast Vegas, he could have been one of those Latin heartthrobs that were in those magazines. Instead, most of the time he looked like the thug most people assumed he was just by looking at him.
But on this day, this very weird day, he was even wearing a tie. Jennifer would have been so proud of him if she could see him. Funny, he’d probably be the last thing she’d see.
He checked his jacket pocket to make sure it was still there. Yep, it felt like a brick pressed against his chest. But he was so numb, or more like so focused, that he was oblivious to it. All he knew was that he had to find Jennifer, and he would use any means necessary.
Wham! Dio bumped hard into a glass table. His thigh throbbed in pain as bullets dropped from his pocket and bounced off the tile floor. The sound echoed all over the lobby. People looked around for the source of the sound, but Dio managed to scoop them up before anyone could see.
He got up and noticed the beautiful ice sculpture on the table--melting, dripping like an ice cream cone in August. Melting just like his heart.
He saw Father Martínez, his priest, the one he’d grown up with. It was as if the whole world had turned against him. They’d sided with Jennifer, when this was supposed to be their wedding. It was as if she’d slapped him across the face, as if nothing they’d been through together even mattered. The whole thing was surreal.
She loved him. She’d said that over and over to him since they were little kids. She’d taken care of him and believed in him and dreamed with him and held him when nobody else could give a care.
“Estoy aquí para ti. No matter what -- Siempre,” they’d promised each other. And a promise was a promise.
"Don’t be stupid, Foo’. Don’t be a pendejo.” His brother’s scolding remarks kept playing in his head. He warned Dio to just let it go. It wasn’t worth it. Normally Spooky would have been all for it, but this time around he said to “olvídalo…let it go.” It was as if he sensed something was going to go wrong and, no matter how high Spooky had been, his gut was always right.
Dio only hoped this time around he was wrong. He had worked so hard. He could really get a fresh new start now, “a new lease on life,” as his probation officer used to say, but now he was risking it all to confront Jennifer.
Was Spooky right? Should he just let it go, face it that she didn’t want to be with him no matter how hard and bad it felt? Should he just forget the whole thing? Maybe he’d meet some other ruca. Time heals all wounds, they say, and maybe if he’d just -- But no, Dio shoved those thoughts out of his mind.
He’d spent the last year changing his life around for her, so they could be together, so he would be the man she said she’d always wanted, so he could be the daddy his daughter needed. They were meant to be together and he was going to make Jennifer understand that, if it was the last thing he would do.
He could see Jennifer’s family in the front, dressed in their Sunday best. Her mom always made a spectacle of herself with her gigantic summer hat in purple. She never did like Dio and he knew she probably orchestrated this whole thing, probably arranged the whole wedding herself.
He wondered if perhaps Jennifer was doing this just to make her mom happy, but then he saw her … the music changed, the children’s choir sounded so beautiful, he had to admit, so irritatingly perfect. All heads turned and gasped as the bride, Jennifer, made her way down the aisle. Her father took her arm, biting his lip, trying not to cry.
He looks nervous, Dio thought.
Jennifer looked incredible. How could she afford a dress like that? The guy must be rich or something. That’s probably what it was. That’s probably why she was marrying him. It had to be the money, the one thing Dio could never give her. Her gown had a laced top, cut just low enough to show her sensual bust line, but high enough to showcase the first class-act that she was. Her face was shielded by her veil. He hadn’t seen her in so long. It seemed like the whole auditorium held their breath with him.
Her mom made a dramatic spectacle of herself; her wails were the only thing that could be heard above the organ playing as the children’s choir reached a crescendo, then trailed off.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Even Dio had to fight the tears.
Thunder rumbled. Her father escorted her over to her groom. He was a nice looking man, a light-skinned black man. Maybe he was mulatto or something. He wore a striped, stuffed tie, not a traditional bow tie, and the tux must have been Armani or something. He had one of those smiles with teeth so white it blinded you. His gaze never left Jennifer, even as the priest rambled on and on with the vows.
“I, Antonio Estrella ---“
What kind of nombre was that? Estrella? Jennifer Estrella. It just didn’t match her. No le queda.
“… hereby take you as my wife, to have and to hold…”
There was a lump in the back of Dio’s throat. He wanted to burst out “No!” but it hurt so bad.
“I, Jennifer Lalita Sánchez …” He couldn’t believe his ears, she was promising him her life.
Thunder rumbled, the lights went out. There was a small gasp in the audience, but Jennifer just smiled, the candles illuminating her. She was too lost in the groom’s eyes.
“…to have and to hold, through sickness and health …” she continued.
He couldn’t help it anymore. Tears came streaming from Dio’s eyes. This was too much for him. He was about to explode. His blood boiled.
He looked around at all the stained-glass Bible stories, the creepy statue of Jesus on the cross. He swore Jesus was glaring right at him as if he was saying “No lo hagas…Don’t do it.”
He looked the other way but the statue of the Virgin Mary scolded him as well.
Dio couldn’t help but think how proud his own mother had been with how he’d changed his life around, the tears of joy she’d shed. He’d never seen her like that before. He shuddered to think how his mother would feel after all this went down, how ashamed she’d be. Maybe it would drive her to drinking again. Drinking again after how far she’d come around.
“With the power invested in me in the state of Nevada, I hereby declare you … man and wife.”
Dio couldn’t breathe. The only thing that kept him from passing out was seeing Jennifer’s face as her new husband lifted the veil. She was more beautiful than ever. She had olive-colored skin and was the type of girl that never did need any makeup, in fact she hated wearing it. But this time she was wearing just enough. Her dark brown hair was curled, glitter sparkled in it.
She looked like an angel, no, a goddess, better than the pictures Dio drew of her, better than he’d remembered her looking in his dreams.
He’d never seen Jennifer so happy. Not even when she was with him. She always seemed so distracted, but now she really did look like she was in love.
How could that be possible?
He loved her more than he’d ever loved anyone. Didn’t she see that? How could she do this to him? The ice sculpture melted like it was on fire.
His heart raced as he reached for the .45 caliber in his pocket, which Dio called his cuete. He could hear the rain pounding against the stained-glass windows and the roof. His sweaty hands pulled for it, his heart in his throat. He crossed himself, closed his eyes and prayed he was about to do the right thing.
To purchase a copy of FOREVER MY LADY by Jeff Rivera click here.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tonight's the big Halloween Mash on Writerspace. I'll be in the chat room starting at 8 pm eastern/7 pm central, talking about my books and my writing in general. Please drop by to chat with me. I'd love to talk to you.
Saturday is the Southern Magic Reader's Luncheon at the Homewood Library in Homewood, Alabama. I'll be among several fantastic authors on hand for the luncheon. Tickets are still available--just register online and you can pay at the door. The fabulous Christina Dodd is the keynote speaker at the luncheon, so if you're in the Birmingham, Alabama area, check it out.
Finally, sometime this week (probably tomorrow but maybe Friday) I'll be posting a guest blog from Grand Central Publishing author Jeff Rivera, whose personal life story is as interesting and inspiring as the story of the characters he writes about. I hope you'll drop by later this week and check out his latest release.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
As a writer who, to some degree, has to depend on the good will of at least two people (my editor and my senior editor) to get my work published, the idea of political censorship is a real issue for me. And this article shows that censorship happens across the political spectrum, and it can be organized and insidious. We should fight against all forms of political censorship and let ideas live and die on their own merits.
Friday, October 10, 2008
So far, my foreign language books have been from Estonia, Iceland and (though I didn't get copies of it) Romania. Two out of three in Eastern Europe. Pretty cool.
Here's Forbidden Touch in Estonian:
Here's Forbidden Territory in Romanian:
I wanted to see if I could find a link to my book in Iceland, but I can't find the only copy I have left (my dog ate the other one), so I don't remember the title or, for that matter, which book it was.
I'm looking forward to seeing if I have any foreign sales of Cowboy Alibi. Do cowboys sell well in other countries?
Friday, October 03, 2008
You don’t evolve past being a cowboy. Being a cowboy is the pinnacle of evolution. Once you’re at cowboy, there’s nowhere to go but down. Cowboys don’t look for fights, but they don’t run away from them either. They do what they have to do, when they have to do it. And they usually have to do it alone, because everyone wants Black Bart’s gang out of town, but no one wants to walk down the street alongside the sheriff and get shot doing it.
You don't have to read the article, which is political, to appreciate the sentiment about cowboys. I think that's why so many women love cowboy heroes—that simple realization that a cowboy does what needs to be done, as efficiently as possible, even when the odds and the crowd are against him.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
It's unfair of you to keep showing me the sad, shell-shocked Georgia fans in their pretty black clothes every time Alabama scores. (Which happens to be just about every time they touch the ball).
Please stop killin' my buzz. Thank you.
Georgia score its first points---a field goal on their first drive of the second half. And Alabama kicks their first punt of the night at 9:30 in the third quarter.
Georgia just scored again. The good news? The third quarter is nearly over and they're still down by 21. The bad news? There's a whole other quarter to go.
If Bama scores, it'll take the air out of their sails and make it a lot harder to come back in the fourth quarter. But that's a big if, and Georgia didn't get to be #3 without knowing how to come back.
At least Bama has good field position after their kick-off.
Okay, it's getting scary now. 92 yard punt return. Alabama 31, Georgia 17.
Okay, a little breathing room. Alabama scored a field goal after a nice, longish drive. Alabama 34, Georgia 17. About 9:45 go to in the game.
Clutch, baby. Alabama 41, Georgia 17. 4:15 to go in the game.
Georgia scores but can't make the two point conversion. Alabama 41, Georgia 23. 3:00 to go.
Eeek! Georgia recovers the onside kick. Nails back to nubs.
Georgia scores again, but it took them over a minute to do it, thanks to Alabama playing against the long play and forcing them to drive in short plays. Alabama 41, Georgia 30. They fail to get the onside kick this time. No time outs left for Georgia, so we just have to hit the knee a couple of times and it's over.
Alabama wins, 41-30. Roll Tide!
Monday, September 22, 2008
2009 Linda Howard Award of Excellence
Sponsor: Southern Magic, Inc.
Fee: $25 - $30
Postmark/Electronic deadline: Saturday, November 22, 2008
Eligibility: not published in novel-length fiction in category entered in last 5 years
Entry: First 25 pages of manuscript
Contemporary series romance (Long & Short) – Susan Litman, Editor, Harlequin
Single title – Selina McLemore, Editor, Grand Central Publishers
Historical – Alicia Condon, Editorial Director, Dorchester
Romantic Suspense – Megan McKeever, Associate Editor, Pocket Books
Unique Genre (Fantasy, Future, Time Travel & Paranormal) – Melissa Singer, Editor, Tor
Romantic Sensual and Sizzling (Erotica) – Raelene Gorlinsky, Editor, Ellora’s Cave
Inspirational – Tina Colombo, Editor, Steeple Hill
Young Adult – Jennifer Heddle, Editor, MTV Books
Top Prizes: First place will receive $25, a metal bookmark with name, contest and year. Second to fifth place will receive a certificate. First to fourth place will have their names printed in the Romance Writers Report.
For more information, rules and entry form, please visit the Southern Magic website.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
And by the way, sales for COWBOY ALIBI and FORBIDDEN TOUCH on Amazon could use a boost, if you haven't bought them yet. Just sayin'.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I hope you'll drop by and give it a read.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I've begun to make this a tradition on this day. This is a piece of computer art I made shortly after 9/11/2001. It's my small memorial to the lives lost and lives changed.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
I mean, it seems really weird, because I spent months working on the book, reading and rereading my scenes, chapters, even the whole manuscript, multiple times. It's not that it's so familiar to me that I just can't read it, either. I mean, I'm the woman who hasn't stopped re-reading the Harry Potter books over and over again since the first time I read them last Thanksgiving weekend.
Is it because I'm afraid to find out it's not as good as I wanted it to be?
I don't think this is an isolated phenomenon; I've heard actors say they never watch their shows or movies.
So, has something like that happened to you?
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I also posted some common sense preparedness suggestions right after Hurricane Katrina three years go here.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
I'd love to have some readers drop by and ask questions about it. And be sure to check out the posts on other days as well.
Monday, August 11, 2008
And don't forget, if you just can't wait until September to get your hands on COWBOY ALIBI, my September Intrigue, you can buy it now online from eHarlequin.
Monday, August 04, 2008
I never met John Mark, but I did see him once during a visit to the University of Alabama campus I took several years ago with a television station that was carrying the coach's show. As a perk for their advertisers, the sales reps for that station took several of us to the campus to meet Coach Stallings and to watch a little of the varsity basketball team's practice.
This was when Wimp Sanderson was still head basketball coach at Alabama, and he was always fun to watch. That day's practice was no different. But I noticed a young man on the sidelines, carrying towels and getting along famously with the players. Even from a distance, I could see the tell-tale signs of Down Syndrome. "Coach Stalling's son," someone nearby said in response to someone else's question. It was the first I'd heard of the coach having a son with Down Syndrome.
From that point on, I paid attention to stories about Coach Stallings and his son, and learned of the young man's joy in watching the Tide play and hanging out with the players. Despite his infirmity, in some ways he lived a dream, and I'm so glad of it.
My condolences to Coach Stallings and the family.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
If you get a chance, take a look and let me know what you think.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Anyway, Jayne was kind enough to mention and link me on the group blog Running with Quills, so I thought the least I could do, though it's hardly a fair exchange, was to do the same for her on my blog.
Jayne has been very sweet and very helpful since we "met" through Cissy. Gracious to the core. That's not always what you find with people as successful and busy as she is, so when you do, it leaves an impression.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
BTW, I forgot to mention I'll be taking part in Writerspace's 2008 Beach Party. I should be around from 8 pm to 9 pm Central Time in the chat room. I'll be giving away a copy of one of my backlist, so if there's a book of mine you don't have, this could be your chance to win a copy!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
My fellow Intrigue author Patricia Rosemoor embarked not too long ago on an interesting project: to co-write a vampire novel with a horror writer. Now the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES has published a feature story on their collaboration.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
If you love Harlequin Intrigues, and free books, the Intrigue Author's Sizzling Summer Blog Blitz is the place to be.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I've really enjoyed the debut of IN PLAIN SIGHT, for instance. Especially the bridesmaid episode. I've also recently discovered reruns of BURN NOTICE, which stars the deliciously twisted Jeffrey Donovan and an old fave, Bruce Campbell. It's clever, inventive, quirky and wry. I've also always generally enjoyed MONK, which had a weak season a while back but has made a comeback recently.
And I'm also starting to get into PSYCH, although I have to say their most recent promo is just cruel.
Do I really need that song in my head?
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
And I love me some Laurence Fishburne.
Rent it. Buy it. Watch it on The Movie Channel, where I saw it. If you love words, if you love learning, if you love big dreams and hard work being paid off, then you'll love AKEELAH AND THE BEE.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
You know, I've bought used books plenty of times, even sometimes when I could find a new copy. But I don't do that anymore, not since I've been on this end of the story and realized how little a percentage writers make from the books they sell. You can live with that if you're Nora Roberts and selling millions of books, but if you're writing category, and you have a limited print run and a very limited on-shelf time period to begin with, every little percentage of that $4.99 helps. And when people buy my books used, or borrow them from friends or hand them off to friends, that's money I don't get to see for the hard work, the blood, sweat and tears I put into my writing.
So, if you can, please buy new.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
So when my friend sent this to me by email, I knew I wanted to share it with others who care about what's happening on the other side of the world.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR ZIMBABWE - SUNDAY APRIL 27, 2008.
A desperate cry from the hearts of Zimbabwe screams across the world. It calls upon all Christians of every denomination in every nation to focus their prayers, in churches, halls, homes or elsewhere, on Sunday, April 27, 2008 on the critical situation in Zimbabwe, a nation in dire distress and teetering on the brink of human disaster.
Let the cry for help touch your heart and mind. Let it move you to do what you can immediately to ensure this DAY OF PRAYER takes place in your country and neighbourhood.
Please pass on this message right now to all the churches and Christian organisations known to you and to the media as well as to everyone anxious to rescue Zimbabwe from violence, the concealing and juggling of election results, deceit, oppression and corruption, and to bring about righteousness, joy, peace, compassion, honesty, justice, democracy and freedom from fear and want.
May a continual strong stream of prayer and supplication flow up to the Lord on behalf of all the people on this DAY OF PRAYER, exhorting His divine intervention throughout the nation.
"It is by making the truth publicly known that we recommend ourselves to the honest judgment of mankind in the sight of God." - (2 Corinthians 4:2)
SOME ADVICE TO ZIMBABWEANS
"Who so putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe."- (Proverbs 29:25)
"Stand fast, and do not let yourselves be caught again in the yoke of slavery." - (Galatians 5:1)
"Make no mistake, you cannot cheat God." - (Galatians 6:7)
"Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good." - (Romans 12:21)
Chancellor, Anglican Diocese of Harare.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I salute you, sir.
Although, in fairness, the guy says he did it as a fun way to make analytics more easily grasped by the general, non-analytical public. Or something like that.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
So here's a question for you readers out there, especially if you read Intrigues but even if you don't. What kind of stories aren't you getting enough of these days? What would you like to see more of? Any particular romantic conflict that's not getting written? Any current event that you think would make a great suspense/mystery story? What's missing from your book buffet?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Next up is the BBC adaptation of Emma (seen it, own the DVD) and then sometime in April, the new adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. I'm very much looking forward to that one, even though there'll never be a better Colonel Brandon than Alan Rickman. ::sappy sigh::
(Which reminds me, my nieces totally don't get my passion for Severus Snape).
Sunday, February 24, 2008
So, here we go:
Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more.
HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS.
Find page 123.
Find the first 5 sentences.
Post the next 3 sentences.
(Well, as if that's not confusing...)
"Hello, Nick," said Harry.
"Hello, hello," said Nearly Headless Nick, starting and looking around. He wore a dashing, plumed hat on his long, curly hair, and a tunic with a ruff, which concealed the fact that his neck was almost completely severed.
Well. There you go.
Now, onto tagging others...
Saturday, February 16, 2008
I've come to the conclusion that the human "hunter/gatherer" instinct is alive and well inside me. I don't hunt (doesn't seem very sporting unless you give deer guns), but fishing is A-ok with me. It's a thinking sport in a lot of ways--where are the fish, what are they eating, what bait do you use, are they spawning? Is the weather right? Is there too much wind? Are you fishing in the right spot with the right equipment and the right bait for the right fish? Lots to learn, lots to think about. And that's before you even get into casting techniques and fishing styles.
I am primarily a catch and release type fisherman, but on occasion, if I'm in the mood, I will keep what I catch, clean it and eat it. I don't keep a fish I don't intend to eat, however. No trophies for me. My feeling is that if I'm going to kill an animal, I have a personal obligation to eat it. (Unless it was trying to kill me first. In which case, the sucker's goin' down).
Anyway. A lot of fishermen are into the big sport fish--largemouth bass, stripe, ocean fish, salmon and trout. Not me. My favorites are the variety of sunfish that fall under the heading "bream" (at least down here in the south) and those lovely speckled fish known as crappie.
Crappie are voracious eaters when they're in the mood. The bait of choice is either live minnows or small jigs. Use light line (4-6 lb. test) on a lightweight spinning reel and small, short rod for precision of casting and a good fight. A little splitshot weight helps it go farther without making it hard to maneuver.
Crappie can get as large as 5 lbs (but that's world record territory). Most average between a half pound to a pound. I've caught one that was close to a pound. Big, fat, pretty fish.
Bream, at least here in the south, covers a number of sunfish, including bluegills, shellcrackers, red ears, warmouths, pumpkinseeds and rock bass. These tend to get round and saucer-shaped the bigger they are, and when they're hooked, they tend to twist their bodies so that the round, flat side of their bodies drag through the water as you reel them in. On lightweight line, with lightweight tackle, they make for a very exciting fight.
Here are a few pictures of "bream":
Both crappie and bream make for good eating. You can clean them and leave the bones in, fry them up and then pick the fish off the bones, or if they're large enough and fat enough, you can fillet them, take the skin off and either bake or fry the fillets. They have a delicate, non-fishy and non-muddy flavor that I really like.
I figure by mid-March, the weather down here should be good enough to go crappie fishing. Can't wait!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
And thanks, everyone who dropped by my launch party last night. Now it's time to go buy the book! And tell all your friends about it.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Ready? Let's go!
Update: I'm going to let this "party" go on overnight, so everyone can get comments in and get a chance to win the gift certificates. I'll check in frequently before bedtime to answer more questions and then I'll do the drawing in the morning.
Monday, February 11, 2008
So...y'all wanna have another launch party? With prizes?
Tomorrow night, 8 - 9 pm central time. Ask me any question you want, about writing in general and FORBIDDEN TOUCH in particular. I'll choose two winners at random from the commenters each to win a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate. Which, of course, should promptly be used to buy my new book. (Okay, not really, but it would be kinda cool, for me, anyway).
I'll start the party thread around 8. See ya then!
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
It wasn't enough to send Alabama into its customary snow panic--the grocery stores didn't get a sudden run on bread and milk. (Which, dude, if you're going to be snowed in for a few days, skip the bread and milk and go straight for the chocolate and doughnuts). But be prepared, Food World. There's a possibility that overnight Friday into Saturday, more of the cold white stuff could be on the way. And this time, there might actually be accumulation.
You know, I realize people north of the Mason Dixon line just don't get it. They don't know why a couple of inches of snow can shut down a major city. Of course, most of them have snow plows clearing the roads for them and lots of experience driving in icy conditions.
When you have neither, the smart thing to do is stay home. In the south, we so rarely get snow accumulations that it's more economically viable to shut down businesses for a day or two than to pay for and maintain road-clearing equipment that would get used only once every four to seven years. If that. And why waste time and energy learning to drive in conditions that rarely happen when too many people already have trouble driving in conditions that happen all the time?
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Thanks to all two of my readers who commented in the new "Help me come up with a blog idea" contest thread. Since I owe Joye a book anyway from an Intrigue Blog contest, I'm going to send books to both of you. I just need both of you who commented to email me your contact information here: email@example.com
Thanks for the help! And be sure to check out the Intrigue Authors blog--lots of great information about reading and writing romantic suspense.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
What, then, to make of the curious case of romance author Cassie Edwards, who allegedly lifted several passages straight from research books, made the most rudimentary of cosmetic changes, and passed them off as her own words in her romance novels?
Dear Author and Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books are all over the story.
Beyond the obvious--plagiarism is WRONG--lies another lesson. Plagiarism doesn't make you a better writer. As the linked post from Smart Bitches/Trashy Novels points out, the reason the plagiarism was first discovered was that the didacticism of the descriptive/historical passages was so evident and so at odds with the rest of the book. It was a step away from the author's "voice" that made the books even more difficult to read. (Not that I ever found Edwards easy to read; my single attempt at reading one of her novels ended about a half a chapter in, when the awkward phrasing and odd characterization became too overwhelming to ignore).
Anyway, I think too often readers, and even writers, turn a blind eye to discussions of plagiarism. Maybe we want to pretend it doesn't exist. Or maybe our own fear of inadvertantly coming up with an idea similar to someone else's makes us overly sensitive to accusations of word theft. But this is an issue that won't go away, and the reading--and writing--public need to be educated about what plagiarism is, what it isn't, and how it hurts all of us.
So take time to click through the links above. Follow the links you'll find on those pages. Google the issue and acquaint yourself with what's going on. It's important.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Anyway, all that to say, I signed up to post on the 16th of this month on the Intrigue Authors blog in order to keep my name out there so maybe people will buy my books, but I have no idea what to write about. I think it should probably be book-related, or writing-related. But I'm drawing a blank.
So, we're going to have another impromptu contest. Whee!
Between now and January 15th, please leave your idea for something you'd like to know as a reader--or writer--about writing in general or writing for Intrigue in particular. I may not use the exact idea but you may spark another idea for me. And by posting in the comments, you have a chance to win copies of BOTH of my backlisted books, FORBIDDEN TERRITORY and FORBIDDEN TEMPTATION, just in time for the third in the series, FORBIDDEN TOUCH, which comes out in the middle of February. (But is available for pre-order on amazon.com and other places, and available RIGHT NOW on eHarlequin.com, which means you don't have to wait to get your copy of Iris Browning's story).
The drawing will be random, but if I use your idea, I'll mention you in the blog post on Intrigue, and if you have a blog of your own, I'll give you a link. How's that for a deal?
So put your thinking caps on and tell me what you'd like to hear about if you were reading the Intrigue blog.
(Which, really, why aren't you? The link is right up there at the top of this blog entry, and the blog is chock full of great posts from fantastic authors).
Friday, January 04, 2008
We have a few moments of pleasantries, a little chat about my books and my career, and then the woman gets to what she really wants to talk about. It seems that my brother (the pharmaceutical company quality assurance guy) has written a thriller that sold for a seven-figure advance that's all the buzz, and what did I think about that?
Well, I'm floored, because A) I didn't know my brother was writing, even though I think he ought to give it a whirl and B) he never told me he'd sold anything, much less for seven figures. But I managed to soldier on in the interview, speak sweetly about my brother (and really, in the dream, I wasn't at all jealous of his success but truly thrilled for him). But I remember in the dream I had every intention of hunting him down at the next possible opportunity and letting him have it for not even telling me about it!
Then I woke up.
Anybody wanna take a stab at analyzing that dream?
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Kim w, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your details. And congratulations!
As for the name of my heroine, I'm going to ponder all the entries and see if one of them jumps out at me. Thanks for participating, and check back soon for more contests leading up to my book's debut in February.
Oh yeah, HAPPY NEW YEAR!