Saturday, January 19, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cold White Stuff

It snowed yesterday. Not much, certainly not enough to stick (it was too warm for that anyway), but it was the real deal. Cold white stuff.

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

My Intrigue Blog is Up

Why Romantic Suspense? (If you're reading this blog late, it's the entry on 1/16/08).

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:

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

The Plagiarism Plague

One of the earliest lessons I learned in school was not to lift whole sections of research and drop them into my research papers without attribution.

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

Oh, Hey! Another Contest!

Next week I have to blog on the Intrigue Authors blog. I may have mentioned that blogging, like journal-keeping, does not come naturally to me. I do it because I like to touch base with friends and readers, and I do like reading people's comments, although with my graphic design day job and writing at night, I don't get around to answering comments the way I should. (I'm not ignoring y'all, truly. I'm just laconic by nature. I can't help it).

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 and other places, and available RIGHT NOW on, 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

Always a Bridesmaid...

So I have this dream last night. I'm at a writer's convention, and some lady ambushes me. She says she's with Writer-TV, some internet interview site for writers, and she wants to interview me. I'm flattered, a little freaked, but hey, I have a book coming out and I could use the free publicity, so I suck it up and go for it.

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

You Want to Buy It...

You know you do...

FORBIDDEN TOUCH is now available for purchase from

Go ahead. Get it early. It's okay. I don't mind.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Kim W! Kim W wins my first two books, autographed, and a $20.00 gift certificate.

Kim w, email me at 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.