Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Peek

Good morning! I haven't seen you in a while. It's been a long and busy week, but I had a lot of fun. My mom's gone back to Canada now, and I'm trying to get the household back in order. If I could sleep for a week, that would help a lot too.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by this past week even though I haven't had the time to return any comments. I hope to catch up on my blogs this coming week.

Lots of exciting things coming up! This Friday is my big Birthday Bash giveaway. You could win a signed print copy of FEARLESS. All you have to do is comment on the post on Friday. It'll only run 24 hours. Make sure you don't miss it. Tell your friends. Or maybe you don't want to tell your friends to increase your chances of winning!

I'll also be revealing the cover for a new novelette I'll be releasing this month on Thursday. It's a horror and just in time for Halloween.

Autumn is here. Yay! I have my new Acer Aspire One. Yay! For some reason, my laptop wants me to call him Jack. I don't know why, but I'm not about to argue. I usually don't name gadgets, but Jack has a lot of personality packed in his small body!

I finally saw The Avengers. Hulk stole the show! I've given up on the new NBC show, Revolution. I couldn't stand the young actors. I recorded Elementary, and I hope to get a chance to watch it soon. Last night was the fall finale of Doctor Who. No more Ponds! I'm pouting. I might not mourn Amy too much, but Rory. He grew on me.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Haven 6 review

A product of an illegal pairing, Eridani is the only woman without a lifemate aboard the colonization ship, the Heritage, and she is determined her less than perfect DNA will not get in the way of finding love. As the ship nears it's final destination of Haven 6 after five hundred years of travel, images of the surface show evidence of intelligent life on a planet that's supposed to be uninhabited. Commander Grier assigns Eri to the exploratory team to spy on the alien society and return with information on how to defeat them.

When Eri's team lands, tribes of humans attack and Eri is saved by Striver, the descendant of a colonist and a pirate from Old Earth's colonization efforts in other parts of the galaxy. Striver helps Eri rescue her team and they are drawn to each other despite their different allegiances. While Striver battles with trusting Eri, Eri must decide whether to warn him and his people about the commander's intentions, or follow orders and complete her mission.

My review:
Eridani Smith is rejected one last time in her request for a lifemate. As a product of illegal pairing, her DNA is considered flawed and thus she's forced to face life alone. Most people shun her already except for her loving sister. Things are about to change, though. The colonization ship is approaching their destination and probes have discovered it's already occupied. Eri, being the colony's only linguist, is sent with an exploratory team to gather information, but they're attacked when they land. Her teammates are taken, but Eri manages to escape with the help of Striver, the gorgeous leader of a peaceful people. They shun technology, but their enemies greatly desire it and will stop at nothing to obtain what they want. And what they want is the ship with all its weapons. Eri must find some way to help her people and Striver's, going against her commander's orders. She loses her heart to the brave leader, but fears that she can't stop the commander's ultimate plan.

This is a magnificent tale of science-fiction and romance. The imagery is brilliant with its hulking ship with a brain in a jar and the dangerous swampy planet with its fearsome creatures. I could almost smell the stink of the boar! The story builds into a deep and twisted tale with a rich history. I enjoyed reading about Striver's people and what happened when they arrived on the planet. He's an impressive hero and it's no wonder Eri falls for him. Eri is an impressive character. She seems meek at the beginning, but she finds a great strength within her and grows into a heroine that I very much admired. Striver and Eri's romance grows slowly, and it's sweet to see it develop. They complement one another perfectly even having lived two very different lives.

Action, romance, and mystery. There's something in HAVEN 6 for everyone. Aubrie Dionne never ceases to amaze me with her outstanding writing. I highly recommend this book to all readers.

HAVEN 6 is now available on

Thursday, September 27, 2012

HAVEN 6 blog tour and giveaway - what makes for great sci-fi romance guest post by Aubrie Dionne

Please welcome the wonderfully talented Aubrie Dionne to my site!
Her newest release is book 3 in the fantastic New Dawn series, HAVEN 6.
She's stopping by today with a post on writing science-fiction romance.
Take it away, Aubrie!

Elements of Great Sci Fi Romance

I’m so excited to talk about one of my all-time favorite genres today! I’ve seen lists of what makes great science fiction, but today I’m talking about what makes great science fiction romance. (The best kind in my opinion!)

I’ve always loved Star Wars and Star Trek because they had it all: adventure, science fiction, romance, action. (Although Star Trek could use a little more romance here and there for my tastes! I loved the relationship between Jean Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher, and who can forget Riker and Deanna Troi? Even Data had a bit of romance here and there.)

To write a great sci fi romance you need it all, and the blend has to be just right. I’ve come up with a list of what I feel makes a great sci fi romance story. In the comments section, I’d love to hear your own ideas.

1.      Must have romance. The romance should drive the plot forward, but also somehow be linked to the science fiction aspect. In Haven 6, conditions aboard the Heritage dictate all romantic encounters (The colonists are there to preserve human DNA without genetic mutations or inbreeding). Eri is a result of an illegal pairing, so the computer doesn't think she's adequate to be matched, which is why she finds love on Haven 6 instead! I’ve linked the romance to the science, and made it all drive the plot forward from the very beginning.

2.      Must have adventure in cool settings. The best part about science fiction is that you can write it anywhere; aboard a space ship, on an alien planet, or on Earth. Setting is very important, and traveling to different backdrops increases the adventure by tenfold. In Haven 6, I made sure to have scenes aboard the deep space transport ship, and on their colony planet. This planet was one of the most involved settings I've ever had to write. Haven 6 is mostly jungle, but it also has swamps, villages, mountains, and a mysterious golden liquid that seeps up from the planet's core.

3.      Must have high stakes action. Another awesome part of science fiction romance is all of the various technological weapons you can create: lasers, blasters, subsonic tranquilizer rays.  In Haven 6, there are a few laser fights, with a big one at the end. The lasers are crucial to the plot, and I can't tell you much more without spoilers! The stakes are high: they are battling for who will have rights to live on the planet.

4.      Must have science. The story must have some basis in reality with fantastical scientific ideas linked to today’s science. In Haven 6, I posed certain questions: What if people could live their entire lives on a space ship? What would people do when the Earth becomes uninhabitable? What if we reach a habitable planet, and there's already a civilization inhabiting it? Although these ideas seem far-fetched today as you drive to Dunkin’ Doughnuts to order your latte, reality is: the sun will burn out someday, and we may even pollute the Earth before that happens. People will have to find somewhere else to live if humanity is going to carry on. I took a scientific fact and ran with it, creating a fantastical scientific idea.
I’d love to hear your own ideas for what makes a great sci fi romance!

Thanks, Christine!!

You're welcome! It was a great pleasure to have you here. Please read on to enter in the awesome giveaway!

HAVEN 6 Blurb: A product of an illegal pairing, Eridani is the only woman without a lifemate aboard the colonization ship, the Heritage, and she is determined her less than perfect DNA will not get in the way of finding love. As the ship nears it's final destination of Haven 6 after five hundred years of travel, images of the surface show evidence of intelligent life on a planet that's supposed to be uninhabited. Commander Grier assigns Eri to the exploratory team to spy on the alien society and return with information on how to defeat them.

When Eri's team lands, tribes of humans attack and Eri is saved by Striver, the descendant of a colonist and a pirate from Old Earth's colonization efforts in other parts of the galaxy. Striver helps Eri rescue her team and they are drawn to each other despite their different allegiances. While Striver battles with trusting Eri, Eri must decide whether to warn him and his people about the commander's intentions, or follow orders and complete her mission.

Now available on

 Aubrie Dionne grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over again until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation - favorite character was Data by far - and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.

Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be "A concert flutist" when she grew up. When she made that happen, she decided one career was not enough and embarked as a fantasy, sci fi author. Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.

Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She recently signed her YA sci fi novel with Inkspell Publishing titled: Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed, which will release in November 2012. When she's not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras.

Please visit her website and pop on over to her blog!

Now for the fabulous giveaway!
It goes on for the whole release month.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - that plot spot

When writing a story, the plot is generally broken down into three acts. The first act is where the protagonist's world is thrown out of order. A surprise that forces the heroine into action. The second act takes the reader in a new and unexpected direction, building the first act conflict into something much bigger. Everything is lost or will be lost if the heroine doesn't act. The third and final act contains the great climax. The protagonist succeeds and all the loose ends are nicely tied up.

It sounds easy enough... Right? Not at all.

I have one problem that I run into almost every time I write a story. I sweep in, create chaos for my characters, and build it up. I can create twists and turns, and ramp up the romantic tension. Usually close to the end, I know where I want it to go. I see the finish on the horizon. Yet there's that one plot spot right before the heroine hits the final climax. She's teetering on the edge, seemingly everything is lost, but I need to have one more push.

It's not the second act, but not quite the third yet. It's the dark spot in between. A little dip in the rise and fall of tension in the plot. Not a big dip, because I don't want to lose any of the tension I've built.

Most of the time, this is an emotional scene. The protagonist and her love interest share something, or she's having an introspective moment. It's important in preparing her for that big ending. I don't know why it stumps me. I usually have to push myself through it and go on to the climax.

Do you have any problems with that plot spot? How do you get through it?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with Demon Hunting in Dixie

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I won this paranormal romance in a contest. Demon Hunting in Dixie by Lexi George is a fun read so far. It's cheesy and hokey, and very southern. I can totally picture everyone talking with a lazy drawl.
Here's your teaser:
Holy mackerel, she was seriously contemplating having sex in a restaurant bathroom because the guy smiled at her.
She was in big trouble. (page 121)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Guest post by M. Pepper Langlinais on Holmes and the paranormal

Please give a warm welcome to M. Pepper Langlinais. She recently released Sherlock Holmes & The Adventure of Ichabod Reed. A great mystery in the classic Doyle style. She's also the author of St. Peter in Chains, Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Last Line, and The World Ends at Five and Other Stories, as well as a produced playwright and active screenwriter. She is also the creator of the fictional world of AElit. 
The Case for Holmes in Paranormal & Horror

I write Sherlock Holmes stories. Actually, I write a lot of things, but when people come looking for my work, it’s usually because they want something Sherlock.

You might wonder, then, why someone who writes for arguably the most rational fictional personage has been asked to guest post on a paranormal romance blog. To be honest, I think getting Sherlock Holmes involved in a paranormal romance would be quite fun. (Show of hands if you think it’s something I should consider for my next story?) But in truth, there are plenty of ties between Holmes and the paranormal. His creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, had a deep interest in the occult and supernatural. He even wrote a book titled The Edge of the Unknown exploring these themes. Doyle believed in fairies, had an obsessive interest in séances, and was an eager follower of Harry Houdini’s exploits. In truth, Doyle was probably more a Watson than a Holmes.

Certainly, the most famous intersection of Doyle’s detective and his own personal interest in all things paranormal comes in The Hound of the Baskervilles. The story, for those who don’t know the canon, is of a gigantic, spectral hound that haunts the moors and is keen to kill any member of the Baskerville family unlucky enough to take residence in their ancestral home. What’s particularly interesting—if you read the story carefully enough—is that Holmes does not dismiss the possibility of there being something extraordinary at work. At points he almost relishes the idea of coming face-to-face with a demonic entity. (Maybe the usual criminals were starting to get boring.) Of course, Doyle eventually roots the tale in the mundane; it wouldn’t really be fair to his readers to pit their hero against something outside his ability to subdue.

Doyle infuses many of his tales with the sinister, even when he steers clear of the supernatural. It is not a very large leap to go from the shadowy streets of Victorian London to the depths of darkness suggested by the occult. Jack the Ripper is hellish enough for just about anyone. And even everyday vices lend a chill—in “The Copper Beeches,” Holmes tells Watson that the countryside gives him a feeling of horror due to the abuses that go on without anyone the wiser. (This has always stuck with me as a clue to Holmes’s own background, and I used it as a baseline for “The Mystery of the Last Line” and referred to it again in its prequel, “The Adventure of Ichabod Reed.”) Indeed, it’s almost Shakespearean, for even Hamlet marvels at how his uncle “may smile, and smile, and be a villain.” Holmes puts it this way: “[T]he lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.”

Fans of horror, then, can find it within Doyle’s pages, and certainly within the wider reaches of the not insignificant number of extra-canon texts. Exit Sherlock Holmes by Robert Lee Hall, The Holmes-Dracula Files by Fred Saberhagen, The Last Sherlock Holmes Story by Michael Dibdin (more Ripper fare) are just a few I can name off the top of my head without even looking over at my shelf. One needn’t read the originals, though they are certainly a good starting point; I always go back to them as a touchstone when I’m getting ready to write. I think the general idea of Holmes is well known enough that readers can pick up any book featuring that great detective and understand it (and him). Though if the author is a good one, and if he or she references Doyle, you may miss some of the allusions if you aren’t familiar with the core works.

One of my first Sherlock Holmes stories was a fan fiction piece in which Holmes was an Immortal (from Highlander). Very popular as fanfic goes, and it just goes to show: even hard core Holmes fans are willing to accept a dollop of the unusual and unreal when it comes to their hero. I like to think, too, that fans of paranormal and horror might happily embrace Holmes in at least some, if not all, of his facets.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Once Upon a December Nightmare re-released

They were only going out to dinner and a movie.​

​But their plans go astray, and friends Cassie, Mary, Denise, and James decide to take a detour down a lonely mountain road. A felled tree blocks their passage and forces them to turn around in a clearing containing a disturbing arrangement of four deer carcasses.​

Then their truck breaks down, and their cell phones don't work. They must brave the cold December air, nightfall, and a long hike. Yet their troubles are just beginning. Tension runs high between the four young friends…and they are not alone. Each step brings them closer to safety, but will they make it to the main road alive?​

Includes the monster's origin story "Nightmare at the Freak Show"
To Purchase:  Amazon US / UK / DE / FR / ES / IT   Smashwords   Nook   Kobo  iTunes (Forthcoming)

Add on Goodreads   

Please visit Cherie Reich's blog and say hello! Hopefully by next month, she'll have the long awaited sequel to this novella out, Nightmare Ever After. What a great Halloween read it will make!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Six for September 22nd

1. I received my first bad review on Amazon this week. I wallowed in my misery for a day, imagined myself eating a dozen cakes, and then started writing my next novella the next day.

2. My monthly writer's group meets today. A bunch of very short stories this time, but good ones. My own is a fantasy flash piece done backwards. I wasn't attempting to be artsy or anything. It's just that the beginning was the most climatic part, so I put it at the end.

3. My mom will be arriving on Tuesday this coming week and visiting for four days. She'll spoil my son and feed me cake. I'll be absent from the cyber world during those days, but at least you'll know I'll be stuffed to the gills with yummy sweets.

4. I finally got to watch Cabin in the Woods. It was amazing! I haven't loved a movie like that in a long time. I'd already read spoilers, so I wasn't surprised, but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of it. Joss Whedon is brilliant.

5. My new TV show this week was Revolution. I don't know. Interesting and yet it hasn't hooked me yet. I don't like the younger actors. Where does everyone find new and fashionable clothes in this world?! I'll keep watching, but it didn't suck me in like LOST did.

6. Thursday was picture day at my son's preschool. They were in need of a volunteer to help the photographer, so I offered a helping hand. It turned out to be a chaotic morning. My son's teacher was sick and so the regular routine was thrown to the winds. This immediately led the boy to a bad, bad mood which he refused to shake. I was the photographer's gopher, fetching kids and classes to come down for their photos, and I was also a substitute teacher with the boy clinging to my leg the entire time. The boy didn't smile for his pictures. He scowled. Do you remember those preschool stress dreams I had before the school year started? They came true.

Here's hoping the weekend is good for all of us!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Prepare yourself for a birthday bash & giveaway

Birthdays always make me nervous. Another year over. More wrinkles and gray hair. This year is a big birthday for me too. I'm trying not to think about it, but it's near impossible. I'm not a party person. I don't like being the center of attention. But I like cake. I really, really like cake.

To help take my mind off off being one year closer to being as gray as Tawa, I'm going to have a giveaway. Nothing makes me feel better than giving people stuff!

On Friday October 5th, I'll be giving away a print copy of FEARLESS with an inscription to the winner.

No, no. That won't do.

I'll be giving away TWO signed copies of my paranormal romance novella. Oh yes! And I will happily send them anywhere in the world. All my friends overseas, you can enter this giveaway too!

Yes! That makes me happy. Cake and giveaways!

Ah, poor Tawa. It sucks to be a stuffed animal when there's cake around.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

If I Let You Go cover reveal

Title: If I Let You Go (Novella)
Author: Kyra Lennon
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 22nd 2012

Madison Connor is about to lose it. Her job, that is. For three years, she’s taken care of Dominic Hartley’s five year old daughter, Tilly, but her world is flipped on its head when Dominic tells her his latest promotion is taking him to New York. With Tilly having a meltdown over the move, Madison and Dominic get into a fight that changes the entire nature of their relationship, causing Madison to ask herself a big question. Can she let him go?

Kyra Lennon was born on the South coast of England, and to this day, still lives by the sea. Fiction writing has always been her passion, but she also has numerous articles on a variety of topics published on prolific websites.

Kyra’s debut novel, Game On, was released in July 2012 and the second book in the series, Blindsided, is due for release in November 2012.

Where to find Kyra:

What a fabulous cover! Make sure to check out Game On. It was such a fun read. And such wonderfully written characters. I'll be picking up this novella and the next novel and the next after that and, Kyra, you better keep writing!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - does love conquer all?

Almost all romances on the market today have a Happily Ever After (HEA) ending. Most publishers request you to have it in this genre. The big presses do require it. We read to escape reality, and readers want to have the protagonist and her love to be together in the end.

Yet does love truly conquer all? In reality, no matter how much we wish it, it does not. There are many sad real life stories out there. A lot of heartache and heartbreak. Surely this isn't what readers want... right?

Some of the most popular love stories of all time are tragedies: Romeo & Juliet, Cleopatra & Mark Anthony, Lancelot & Guinevere, Tristan & Isolde, Orpheus & Eurydice.

Why do people love these tragedies? There are great characters and magnificent stories. The forbidden love, the love that was lost, the lover scorned. Sacrifice, betrayal, and murder. Fierce passion and immense sorrow.

I never set out to write tragedies. If a book I'm reading doesn't have a HEA, sometimes I do feel frustrated. Yet there are a few books I've read that have been magnificent without the boy gets girl ending. If the story is great and the ending fits, I will love a tragedy as much as a HEA.

Paranormal romance is a genre that challenges the HEA more often than any other romance sub-genre. The supernatural elements bring forth many possibilities, and the readers don't seem opposed to a dark ending as much as readers in other genres would be.

I'm a firm believer in never forcing an ending. I have a few manuscripts that do not have a HEA. Yet they have the endings that are right for the stories. It makes them difficult to sell. Even if they were the most brilliant stories of the decade, without that HEA, most editors won't read the manuscripts.

Do you like to read tragedies? And if so, why?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with Kiss the Dead

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This is the newest novel in L.K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. I love the beginning of the series, but after a while, it became hit or miss with me. I like the darker and grittier books where Anita is on Marshal duty rather than the ones she's dealing with her harem. Oh, I particularly like some of the men in her harem, but too much of a good thing is a little too much.
Here's your teaser:
Sometimes when I had nightmares, they got glimpses of it if we were sleeping next to each other. When I was working on a really violent case, some of my lovers started sleeping elsewhere. (page 64)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest

This is another fantastic blogfest from our dear Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh. I love the simplicity of his blogfests. It makes it fun and easy to visit the other participants to see what their favorites are.

Here are mine!

Movies - Adventure. With close seconds of science-fiction, horror, and black comedies.

Music - Rock alternative.

Books - Paranormal romance. (I bet you didn't see that coming! Ha!)

Guilty pleasure - Cheesy sci-fi and horror movies like you see on Syfy Channel. I can't get enough of them! Did you see Pegasus vs. Chimera on Saturday? Hehehe! So horrible!

In other news, I received a fabulous review for FEARLESS at BigAl's Books and Pals. Please go check it out. A great place to get your books reviewed. They accept indie books where many other big review sites don't.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Daisy Award

Thank you very much to the wonderful Elizabeth Arroyo
for this cute award.

I must now tell you seven unusual things about myself.

1) My wedding ring is black with a white gold band. I don't like diamonds or yellow gold. I don't like to wear rings either. Plus, I'm quite accident prone. The ring is made from black titanium. Near indestructible!

2) I have a lot of paperclips and I'm not sure why.

3) I'm thinking of chocolate cheesecake when I should be thinking of unusual things about myself. The What's Your Chocolate? blogfest from earlier this week has stayed with me all week long.

4) I have a firm handshake. It weirds me out a bit when I shake someone's hand and theirs is limp.

5) I don't know what I'm going to be for Halloween. It might be too early to be thinking about it, but I'd like to have some time to prepare. Any suggestions?

6) I say "cool" a lot. Now my son is saying it. Will it still be a cool word to use for his generation?

7) Top items on my Christmas list for this year: a composter and a kitchen floor. Yes, I'm that exciting.

I nominate these worthy bloggers that I haven't heard from in a long time:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Gravity: The Complete Trilogy now available

Three alien couples in three space fantasy novelettes fall in love in this complete trilogy.
A Persean and a Medusan crash land on a post-apocalyptic Earth and must escape their prison cells in DEFYING GRAVITY. An Earthling and an Aresian flee their vicious peoples and fight for the right to live and love in FIGHTING GRAVITY. A Cupidian and an Earthling can't ignore the pull of love while they battle to save their home in PULL OF GRAVITY.
Each print version includes information on how to get a free ebook of GRAVITY: THE COMPLETE TRILOGY by Cherie Reich.

To Purchase the ebook version: Amazon US / UK / DE / FR / IT  / ES  Smashwords  Nook  Kobo 

Add on Goodreads, click here.
(Links for the print version forthcoming.)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Five for September 14th

1. Good week for writing again. I finished the first draft of my newest novella on Sunday night. It's sitting to the side and cooling off as I start the second novella in the series. I'm pleased with the way the ending went. I was afraid I'd get stuck, because I couldn't see the ending. Yet my muse did not fail me. The new novella is starting off well too.

2. FEARLESS has still been doing well. Over 2000 copies sold/downloaded. Huzzah! It's weird to think that many people are reading something I wrote. Just because I'm curious about how sales go for other writers, I'm posting my stats for you.
B&N: 0

3. Yesterday evening, a lady with a clipboard actually heeded our "no solicitors" sign on the front door!

4. Preschool is still going well. The boy will protest when going there and cry a bit after I leave, but then he's good for the rest of the morning. Everyone comments on his good manners and intelligence. I'm a proud mama. Today is the school's fall picnic. Socializing isn't my strong point. My husband is going to come during his lunch hour so I won't have to go it alone.

5. Yesterday while my son was in school, I decided to go some random place without a child in tow. Where did I end up going? To the library, of course! It's blissful to browse the shelves without having to chase a toddler around.

Have a wonderful weekend, folks!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My experience with Twitter so far

I still consider myself new to Twitter. Sometimes I still feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that goes through. I haven't become addicted. Thankfully! Though I can see how someone can spend hours upon hours on there.

I tweet a couple of times a day. I pass on links to my blog posts and RT other links that I find interesting. Sometimes I post something about my home life, but I mostly use it to tweet about writing.

It's good for promoting books. A great blurb with a link can attract a lot of attention. It's easy for others to RT (re-tweet) your blurbs too and for you to do the same for them.

I have nearly 1000 followers. I'm amazed at how fast I've gained them. I almost always follow back. I check out the person before I follow. Sometimes they're scammers or spammers. Or they could be something I have zero interest in. I get a lot of women's health people wanting me to follow them, and entertainment people I don't like. The strangest one I had was a coffin company. It was legitimate. Did they target me because I write about the paranormal, or because they're saying I'm getting old and better plan ahead?

I don't read many tweets. I just don't have the time. There's too much going on on there. I might read the top twenty on the list when I tweet. I more often read tweets by people I know if they have the little widgets on their sidebars on their blogs. I'd rather read blog posts than tweets.

Was it worth it joining Twitter? Yes. It's effective for what it does and easy to use. A better social media tool than Facebook.

If you have a Twitter account, what has your experience been like? What's the strangest individual to ever follow you?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - why paranormal?

I'm over at Spacedock 19 today with the wonderfully talented Mary Pax. We'll be talking about the paranormal and I'll be doing my best to resist touching the chocolate. Please pop on over and have a drink with us!

We read stories to provide an escape from every day life. There's nothing more exciting than adding something in that might seem impossible and making it real in the book. Wouldn't it be wonderful to find a family of friendly fairies in your garden or a playful ghost in the abandoned house down the street? Of course, not all the supernatural elements are so nice. They can terrify us, and we end up sleeping with the light on that night.

A paranormal book must have a supernatural element that is integral to the plot. Don't confuse imagination and magical realism with the supernatural. Readers will feel cheated if it doesn't turn out to be paranormal. They're expecting to be lifted out of their reality and into world where vampires are real or what goes bump in the night just might plop on you next.

Paranormal characters give you a broader range of conflicts to play around with in your story. They can have the every day problems of a boring job or smothering mother, but they also have to hide their nature, or if it's known, deal with the consequences of it. It stretches the writer's imagination to realistically deal with these situations, but if done well, the readers love the paranormal conflict.

Writing paranormal stories gives you the freedom to play around with extraordinary ideas. You don't have to explain where monsters come from or how magic works. You can stretch the every day boundaries and surprise your readers with something that will leave them in awe.

I like the escape. I like the infinite possibilities. The supernatural has always fascinated me, and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so.

Why do you like to read and/or write about the paranormal?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with Flora Segunda

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I'm in love with this book already. Flora Segunda by Ysabeau S. Wilce is a middle grade fantasy. It's quirkier than Harry Potter. I know lots of Harry Potter fans out there. You'll love this book too.
Here's your teaser:
I was about to give up and go to the Tuckshop for a mocha, and then let Udo arrive and wait for me, when at last there was a hollering yahoo, and here he came, resplendent in a black-and-white-striped frock coat over an emerald green kilt. Perched on his head was an emerald green hat the size of a wheel of cheese, well festooned, with black and white ribbons and cruelly surmounted by an iridescent green-and-gold bird wing. (page 87)

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's Your Chocolate? Blogfest

Who doesn't love chocolate? It's one of my favorite things to indulge in. Thank you so much to M. Pax, Laura Eno, Brinda Berry, and Ciara Knight for this awesome blogfest.

The rules are simple: Post about your favorite chocolate – what it means to you, where and when you indulge, a favorite memory – anything chocolate-related.

It's so hard to pick just one thing. I love chocolate. Chocolate has been a part of my life since I can remember. It's a part of all my family holidays and sinful private moments. If we are what we eat, I'm made out of chocolate.

I'm going to go with my favorite treat: chocolate chip cookies. They've always been my favorite cookie. I love fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven. The melty chips nearly too hot to stand. The smell. Oooh, it's the perfume of the gods!

One of my favorite things to do with my Nana as a girl was to make chocolate chip cookies. We made them so often, I knew the recipe by heart by the time I was seven. Those were special times with my Nana in her little kitchen. I'm smiling just thinking about them.

(There's my Nana! And yeah, me too.)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Five for September 7th

1. It's been a productive writing week. I finished a sci-fi short story for this month. I had another short story rejected and submitted it to another press. I'm over halfway done with my new novella. If I can keep up the pace, I might be able to finish the first draft on Sunday.

2. My productivity has been largely related to the fact I haven't been writing blog posts and making my rounds. I miss you guys, but I know you all understand we need breaks now and then. I'm going to continue to be around only for a little this month. If I can keep up my great writing pace, I'll be able to start putting out my new series by November or December.

3. I'll be visiting M. Pax on Spacedock 19 next Wednesday. We'll be talking about the paranormal. Make sure to stop by and have a drink with us.

4. My son is loving preschool. Yet he still has some problems being separated from me. And yeah, maybe I have a little anxiety about letting him go on his own too. Tuesday was a rough day. He refused to let go of me for over an hour. I stayed the whole morning with him. Yesterday was much better. I researched techniques to deal with separation anxiety and put them to good use. He made it through the whole morning without me. I'm so proud of him.
(That's my boy having thoroughly enjoyed a chocolate turn-over!)

5. I'm researching mini laptops. I want to get something small and light to carry around for writing. I don't need anything fancy, but I want something durable and with great battery life. Any advice and recommendations are welcome.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

IWSG for September 2012

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brilliant idea of our Ninja Captain, Alex J. Cavanaugh. On the first Wednesday of every month (or as close to the date as possible!), writers can express their doubts and concerns without feeling foolish. We all can offer each other sympathy and advice, strengthening our already awesome community. Please stop by to visit the other participants and offer them a few kind words.

This month, I want to offer everyone a big helping of inspiration and encouragement. The writing community never ceases to amaze me. You people are fantastic! Here are a few quotes for you.

"You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins." - Jim Stovall

"A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success." - unknown

"Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize." - Elizabeth Harrison

"Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day." - Sally Koch

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." - Aesop

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - exceptional abilities for exceptional characters?

Many people argue that for the main characters to be interesting in a paranormal romance, they must have fantastic supernatural abilities. Readers don't want a Doug Ramsey. (And if you knew who that was without clicking on the link, a thousand geek points to you!) They want characters with unique gifts like mind control and shape changing.

I disagree. I believe if a writer can create a character that makes the readers fall in love with them, they don't need to be hyped up on super powers. While having great abilities makes them stand out and gives them extraordinary experiences, a writer can write an amazing character with no supernatural gifts and still have a fantastic tale.

I love to read stories where the protagonist is human and must deal with paranormal events. I also love to read about characters that have lesser abilities and find some amazing uses for them. Passive abilities like empathy or third tier super powers like nauseate. It's great fun to read about the underdog.

What do you think? Do you think heroines and heroes in paranormal romances need to have exceptional abilities to make them spectacular characters?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Teaser Tuesday with Partials

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
So far this YA dystopian is amazing. Partials by Dan Wells is about a teenage girl named Kira living in a world that humans have been nearly annihilated by a virus. No baby has been born that has been born in eleven years has survived, and Kira is determined to find a cure for the virus. She believes the cure can be found in humanity's greatest enemy: the Partials. Partials look human, but they're organic weapons created to fight wars for humans. The story has yanked me in. I can't wait to see where it takes me.
Here's your teaser:
Haru glared at her. "Do you have a problem with the Defense Grid doing their job?"
"I have a problem with 'making people disappear' suddenly becoming part of their job." (page 86)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Anthologies seeking submissions - September 2012

It's that time of month again. I don't have any idea what I'm going to write for a short story this month yet. I'm browsing a couple of sites to see if my muse perks up at anything.

URBAN FANTASY ANTHOLOGY - 1-time print (Elektrik Milk Bath Press); h/f/magreal/humor/lit (fic). Pay: $30. Words: 1k-5k. RT: <6 weeks. Reprints: query. E-subs: PREFERS. Angela Charmaine Craig, Editor. Deadline: October 31st or when full.

URBAN GREEN MAN - 1-time print (Edge SF & Fantasy); f (fic/poem). Pay: 3½¢/word (poem=$20). Words: <5k. RT: <3 months after DL. Reprints: no. E-subs: ONLY. Adria Laycraft & Janice Blaine, Editors. Deadline: November 30th.

SONG STORIES - 1-time print/eAntho (Song Stories Press); sf/f/h (fic). Pay: 1% per 1k words. Words: <5k. RT: <2 weeks. Reprints: query. E-subs: ONLINE FORM ONLY. Wakefield Mahon, Editor. Deadline: December 1st or when full.

YOU'D BETTER WATCH OUT! - 1-time POD/eAntho (Cruentus Libri Press); Christmas-themed h (fic/art). Pay: shared royalty, £3/150 copies sold. Words: 2½k-7½k. RT: receipt=<1 week; final=<2 weeks after DL. Reprints: yes. E-subs: ONLY. Kevin G. Bufton, Editor. Deadline: October 31st.

STORY QUEST SHORT STORY CONTEST - annual; sf/f/h (fic). Words: 1k-3k (strict!). Fee: $0. 3 Prizes=$175 +pub (of all short listed stories). Reprints: no. Judges: Gerry Huntman, Esme Carpenter, Warren Goodwin, & Daniel I Russell. E-subs: ONLY. Contact: Gerry Huntman. Deadline: October 31st.

ZOETROPE: ALL-STORY SHORT FICTION CONTEST - 16th annual; all genres of literary fiction (fic). Words: <5k. Fee: $20. 3 Prizes=$1750 (& 7 HMs), lit agent consideration. Reprints: no. Guest Judge: Karen Russell. E-subs: ONLINE FORM. Queries or questions only. Deadline: October 1st.
(I usually don't post contests that have a fee, but the first prize in this one is absolutely amazing. For those of you who have $20 to spare and a polished short story, this is a great contest.)