Friday, December 16, 2011

Who would play these people?

Anna sent me her suggestions for the men. Hmm. I'm not a Brad Pitt fan, but I had this picture on my laptop as a background during law school and everyone stopped to stare at it. I think it even threatened my friend's heterosexuality. He said it was female porn. Heh heh.

Click to view full size image

How hot is that??

Her Jack suggestion is Orlando Bloom. There was a picture where he was dressed...but, why?

Okay...Did not know Diane Kruger was also in Troy. Hmmm

Debbie says James Marsters for Lucas and John Barrowman for Jack. Hmm, well I do LOVE James Marsters and was a huge Spike fan. I always felt bad for him that he couldn't be with Buffy because he was evil. So he gets two pics. He's Spike! But who the blazes is John Barrowman?

Mari says Jason Lewis and Jenson Ackles. I have spent an unreasonable amount of time pouring through pictures to find the right one. It's almost like scientific research.


I will say Dean is just about as tortured as Jack.

Madeline adds Chris Hemsworth

Mya's suggestions....

umm...are people aware that David Beckham is FREAKISHLY photogenic? I think I had heart palpitations. But I thought I should feel it above the belt so maybe I'm wrong.

They have that expression, "I wouldn't kick him out for eating cookies in my bed." What does that mean? If a man brought cookies to bed, I'd be MORE likely to let him in. This guy could eat Stilton in my bed.

I feel like that's a very Lucas expression.

Ashley Greene...i kind of like it. Go Stac!

Alison, there is your next career. Casting. I don't know who some of these people are, nice one. Esp Marion.

she's good too! I want that body. Missy Peregrin

For Rachel? I like the earnestness and niceness of her. Cause that ain't Rachel.

Marion. HOLY COW. I saw this picture and got a chill. Ohhh, don't you think Marion and Rachel are cute together?

rodrigo santino for Lucas

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

FAQ-- where do you get your ideas?

I guess my ideas come from reading a lot and thinking about what I don't like, what's missing and what I wanted to happen that didn't. Then I try to fix those problems and write the book I wanted to read instead.

I wrote LID partially because I was sick of all the super tough heroines that are unrelatable, sick of the extensive world building when what I really wanted was character interaction and sick of having a love triangle where I instantly knew who I was rooting for.

And I was really irked at how sanitized vampires are. They eat people! They are not good or nice! And yet, a lot of authors let that slide or just totally ignore it. And I think everyone gets short shrift from that. That's part of what makes them so interesting. Losing their humanity, making that decision to live at the expense of others, what makes someone evil or not. That was the Joss Whedon angle on vampires. They still love, they still have their own code of ethics, but it's kind of messed up.

Stephanie Meyer said she dreamed about Edward and Bella in a meadow and the books came from there. I suppose my initial idea was that a young woman was kidnapped by a vampire and turned. Her love interest whom she had grown up with is chained up next to her and if she wants to survive she has to drink his blood. But if she does he can never forgive her as his parents were killed by vampires. And somewhere in there was a very evil vampire who held them captive. That was the initial idea.

So yeah, my idea changed a lot. I mean sure, Jack and Val have known each other since they were teenagers and their parents bit the big one, but otherwise the idea has changed radically. And I didn't see Lucas as being a genuine threat for her affections. Probably it was similar to LK Hamilton-- Jean Claude was supposed to die so that Anita and Richard could ride off into the sunset but she was too tired (she'd just had her daughter) to kill him off. So he lived! And look at him now.

As for my inspirations-- I grew up reading romance novels and rereading Anne Rice over and over again. Even her Beauty series. I think that has an effect on a teenager. (Lol!) I've read the Hamilton books 3-11 about four times each (at least!) and while I really like Sookie, I keep meaning to reread them and just have not done it yet. But there was a span of time where I was pretty obsessed with them. I had the first print run of Sookie, and she'd actually autographed them, but I let a friend borrow them and they were stolen out of her car.

I've also re-read Outlander, all the Laura Kinsale and JR Ward a few times. And can I just say how much I'm looking forward to the quinn/blay novella. Holy cow!

Anyway, the ideas do not come to me full fledged. Peculiarly it's the cliffhangers and endings that I see first. I knew Jack was going to be in that room from very early on. And the same with the second book. The end and what's happening with all of our characters was something I knew from the outset of the second book. And I know the series ending, it's just a question of getting people there.

There was a point where I wanted to traditionally publish and it wasn't going to happen with the series being vampire based. Vampires are a dirty word in publishing right now. Did you know you're reading a genre people are sick of reading? Me either! But apparently it's true. So a few weeks before LID came out I came up with a huge plan to change the series and make Lucas not a vampire. There would be no vampires or werewolves but they would be from a different dimension. I didn't change it but that idea is still in my head. And it's different enough from LID that it could be a series.

The Lucas character is there and so is the Cerdewellyn character. Valerie to a certain extent but everything else is different. The world, the plot, all of it. So that might happen when VD is all over.

I also read a lot of historicals. Not now so much because they don't have enough sex and I don't like such a naive heroine. I don't want my heroine to swoon at her first kiss. It's boring. But I have a book that's half finished and is set in Regency England. It's time travel and the heroine is pretty kick ass. It's almost a reversal. She's worldly and tough and while he's our English gentleman alpha, he's not able to understand the world she comes from and what makes her so bold. And of course, that is the fascination.

I've also written an erotica but I don't think that will be under the Caroline Hanson pen name. It's m/m and regency. I don't think that's LID's core audience. I'd love to know what books you all go back to and what makes you crazy about certain genres. So tell me already!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Lost Colony

I have always been fascinated by the missing Roanoke colony from the 16 th century. Where did they go?  When I decided to write about the Fey I thought it would be awesome if they were the Lost Colony. The rest was kismet.

I've spent a lot of time in Norfolk because my husband's family is from there and we go every year. So that was where Valerie was going to drive around when she went on her quest for Lucas. Coincidentally, it turned out that was where the Roanoke settlers left from. And when the English finally returned to Roanoke they found the initials CRO carved into a tree. Sure, it probably meant Croatoan (the local Indians who were nearby) but another term for the Fey is  Bunadh na Cro which means Host of the Hills. It was almost as if they were taken by the Fey. Anyway, it kind of blew my mind.

The story of the Lost Colony reminds me of the Ben Linus line from Lost -- "Fate is a fickle bitch." Boy is it true.

The English Colonists settled in Roanoke, didn't get along with the natives and by the time help arrived in terms of food and reinforcements, 3 years had passed and they had faced the biggest drought in 800 years.
 And then, three years after the Colony's leader left to tell England how awful things were, he returned to find everyone gone-- including his daughter and granddaughter (the first English child born on American soil, Virginia Dare). He arrived on his Granddaughter's 3rd birthday.

Anyway, I took all the info from Wikipedia and pasted it below if anyone is curious about the fate of the Roanoke Colony. The formatting from Wikipedia is a bit whacky and I'm technologically incompetent so it's going to stay that way. Sorry!

The Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island in Dare County, present-day North Carolina,United States was a late 16th-century attempt to establish a permanent English settlement in what later became the Virginia Colony. The enterprise was financed and organized by Sir Walter Raleigh and carried out by Ralph Lane and Richard Grenville, Raleigh's distant cousin. The final group of colonists disappeared during the Anglo-Spanish War, three years after the last shipment of supplies from England. The settlement is known as "The Lost Colony," and the fate of the colonists is still unknown.

In 1587, Raleigh dispatched a new group of 150 colonists to establish a colony onChesapeake Bay. They were led by John White, an artist and friend of Raleigh who had accompanied the previous expeditions to Roanoke. White was later appointed Governor and Raleigh named 12 assistants to aid in Roanoke's settlement. They were ordered to travel to Roanoke first to gather Grenville's men, but when they arrived on July 22, 1587, they found nothing except a skeleton that may have been the remains of one of the English garrison. They were counting on these men to help with the new colony, but when they could find no one, they gave up hope of ever seeing Grenville's men alive.[5]The fleet's commander, Simon Fernandez, now refused to let the colonists return to the ships, insisting they establish the new colony on Roanoke.[4]:215 His motive remains unclear.
With no choice, White re-established relations with the Croatans and tried to establish friendly relations with the tribes that Ralph Lane had battled the previous year. The hostile tribes refused to meet with him. Shortly thereafter, colonist George Howe was killed by an Indian while searching alone for crabs inAlbemarle Sound. Fearing for their lives, the colonists persuaded Governor White to return to England to explain the colony's desperate situation and ask for help.[8]:120–23 Left behind were about 115 colonists — the remaining men and women who had made the Atlantic crossing plus White's newly born granddaughter Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the Americas.[9]:19

[edit]White returns to England

White sailed for England in late 1587. Crossing the Atlantic at that time of year was a considerable risk, as shown by Fernandez's claim that their ship barely made it back.[10] Plans for a relief fleet were delayed by the captain's refusal to return during the winter. The coming of theSpanish Armada led to every able English ship being commandeered to fight, which left White with no seaworthy vessels available to return to Roanoke. He managed to hire two small vessels considered unnecessary for England's defense and sailed for Roanoke in the spring of 1588. White's attempt to return to Roanoke was foiled by human nature and circumstance; the two vessels were small, and their captains were greedy. They attempted to capture several Spanish ships on the outward-bound voyage to improve their profits, but they were captured themselves and their cargo seized. With nothing left to deliver to the colonists, the ships returned to England.

Return to the Lost Colony

Because of the continuing war with Spain, White was not able to mount another resupply attempt for three more years. He finally gained passage on a privateering expedition that agreed to stop off at Roanoke on the way back from the Caribbean. White landed on August 18, 1590, on his granddaughter's third birthday, but found the settlement deserted. His men could not find any trace of the 90 men, 17 women, and 11 children, nor was there any sign of a struggle or battle. The only clue was the word "Croatoan" carved into a post of the fort and "Cro" carved into a nearby tree. All the houses and fortifications had been dismantled, which meant their departure had not been hurried. Before he had left the colony, White had instructed them that if anything happened to them, they should carve a Maltese cross on a tree nearby, indicating that their disappearance had been forced. As there was no cross, White took this to mean they had moved to "Croatoan Island" (now known as Hatteras Island), but he was unable to conduct a search. A massive storm was brewing and his men refused to go any further. The next day, they left.[

Saturday, November 19, 2011

UC Sunnydale Class Notes-- hantonmckenzie's blog

Someone was kind enough to send me the link for this and it's so great that I wanted to share. (Sorry! i couldn't find your email to give you proper credit!!) Hopefully I can give the original blogger enough credit so they don't get pissed off at me for jacking it. But it's so great....

UC-Sunnydale Class Notes

Hello class. Can you take your seats, please?
My name is Professor Hanton and I'm filling in for Dr. Maggie Walsh who seems to still be on her extended sabbatical. I'm not sure what you all may have been covering in class, as her notes are a little unclear...and her TA, Mr. Finn, seems to have withdrawn from the university due to illness.
As best I can tell, she wanted you to start discussing "The Psychological Impact of Wish Fulfillment and Wish Denial in 20th Century Popular Culture Narrative."
Did everyone get a handout? No?
Ah. I see, They seem to have stopped there with someone in the back row. I'm sorry I don't know anyone's name yet. Let me see the chart. Um. Summers? Is that Ms. Summers? Could someone please wake her up and get her to pass these along? Thank you.
First, we are going to focus on two verbs, which describe a process of dramatically engaging your audience by delighting them and then ruthlessly breaking their hearts. The terms are Jossing and Whedoning. I'll just read from the handout here :
Jossing, v : 
Definition : To grant a much-beloved character (and by extension, the audience) a moment of transcendent happiness - usually after denying them this for months.
Please note, class, that Jossing never occurs alone. It is always followed by Whedoning.
Whedoning, v : 
Definition : To dramatically and suddenly cause catastrophic angst/harm to a much-beloved character, (and, by extension, the audience) immediately following a moment of transcendent happiness.
I'll give the first example of this. The setting is the future. Here's the Joss : a lovable space pilot completes a harrowing, well-nigh-impossible flight through a cloud of opposing space ships, declaring himself "a leaf upon the wind." Upon successfully landing, he exults "I AM a leaf upon the wind!"
Can anyone identify the Whedon in this situation? You there in the second row? Go ahead. Yes, the Whedon in this situation comes immediately following this glorious moment ... when the space pilot is brutally impaled on a massive hunk of metal, right in front of his wife.

Can anyone name other examples? Yes, the redhead in the back. You're...Ms. Rosenberg? Alright, go ahead, and I'll write it on the board. Let's start with the Joss.
Hmm. Beloved shy english librarian. Sassy funny computer teacher. Polar opposites. Awkwardly, poignantly fall in love. Go ahead... become estranged, due to betrayal. Good! That's the Whedon.
Oh, there's more? Interesting. Gradually come back together, on brink of reuniting. Yes, this feels like we are beingJossed, doesn't it? Go on. Shy librarian receives romantic note that she is waiting for him in his apartment. He arrives to see a romantic scene. Lit candles leading to bedroom.  He climbs the stairs, finds her awaiting him in bed...excellentJossing... only to discover that she has been brutally murdered by a psychotic killer. Whedon! Excellent example, excellent.
Anyone else? No? Ah, Ms. Rosenberg again. Go ahead.
An LA-based empire private detective and his employee and friend... I'm sorry. Did you say an "empire  detective?" Oh.Vampire detective. Interesting idea. Yes. Friends for years. Mm-hmm. Slowly growing appreciation for each other. Unspoken attraction, but evident to audience. Finally, decide to meet and declare their feelings. Yes, we're being Jossed.Then the woman stands him up by disappearing to a higher plane of existence without letting him know what happened...that's a good Whedon.
There's more? She returns - another Joss! - but no longer loves him - Whedon!
She betrays him by sleeping with his son? Nice! A double Whedon! You go, girl! You're on a roll!
She gets pregnant from son? Triple Whedon!
Then gives birth to an evil being that threatens to overwhelm the world? Quadruple Whedon!
She falls into a coma? Quintuple!
A long time later she awakens, returns to him clearly in love, Jossing, Jossing...only for it to be revealed that she has actually died? Incredible, Ms. Rosenberg! A SEXTUPLE WHEDON!
Wow. This IS exciting! And I'm sorry to say that we have run out of time for today. Please read the rest of the handout, where we touch on "First loves becoming psychotic after sex," and "Cancer survivor Moms finally enjoying life only to be found dead on the couch" and "Rogue demon hunter's girlfriends dying due to possession by blue elder gods."
Any last questions? Ms. Rosenberg. No, no. This is purely a fictional device. I don't think that you need to be worried about it, at all. Nice shirt, by the way.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things are moving along for me. My daughter will bring home stick insects this weekend which she is excited about and which I am not. I'm quite worried actually, b/c the odds of us keeping them alive don't seem good. We're not mean, shoot, we may not even be negligent, it's just that things come into our house and want to die. Mainly plants. Unless i'm blocking something from my mind, maybe only plants. Oh wait, there was a caterpillar once that didn't make it. that was a bummer cause I watched that sucker like a hawk.

I've been watching a bit more TV lately which is a nice change. I either write or watch tv and now that i'm editing  I'm watching tv. I can't bear to read something good when I'm editing. I'm so critical of my writing when I'm editing that reading something good makes me feel like a loser who can never compete.

Which is why I can now say I've blown through 4 episodes of Ringer in the last 24 hours. Sometimes I wonder if there are huge plot holes for books, movies and shows or if I just zone out and miss something. But I'm pretty sure Ringer is terrible. Why did she touch the pottery as Bridget? Has she been sleeping with Siobahn's husband the entire time? Why would she run away from the police the night before the trial b/c the cop told her to? Why did Bridget ignore the guy at the table who said he'd slept with her and called her a witch? If someone said to me, 'now i get it, you crazy witch, you've been banging me on the side and now it's over' i might have a question or two.

Anyway, they just brought Jason Dohring on the show who was Logan Echolls from Veronica Mars-- good actor and v. funny. He was also some dude in Moonlight which was a terrible vampire show that got cancelled one episode after it became interesting. I keep thinking of that super hot shower scene. In Ringer he's a teacher being hit on by his student. It's so wrong it's right. That's why I love the CW. You don't see that crap on CSI. Or maybe you do, I don't know, I don't watch it.

As for's bigger than LID. LID came in at 81k. LIF is going to be 95k it looks like. Some stuff has been cut but not nearly as much as I wacked out of LID. For the first 6 months LID started in Italy with Jack's parents being murdered. That scene is hanging around still and it might turn up somewhere, somehow. It went from 60 pages, to 30, to a 2 page dream.

There was also a scene where Jack first meets Rachel, which was in his POV and which I liked, she was feeding him info. on Lucas after all. And also the scene where Marion met Rachel was initially in Marion's POV. That got chopped. Which was a shame b/c I love Marion. I love writing her and how screwed up she is and she had some really amusing thoughts on Lucas that I had to cut out since he couldn't think them about himself. Then there was Lucas and his damned prologue. It also got changed so many times it's insane. The scene used to be 2 or 3 times longer and was probably pretty boring.

All that's been taken out of LIF so far is a sex scene. I am not sure where that will wind up. Moved into a later book or given away as an extra. Oh, the painfulness of options. I assumed this would be 3 books and now I don't know. I've got some plotting to do to work out just how much needs to happen for the end and then I'll be able to say with more certainty. I suspect it will be 4, it's possible it will be 5. If these people would sort out their shit, it would make things go a lot faster!

Do you have any bit plot hole examples that bug you? I'd love to hear them. Like that book Shiver. I read part of it and I just kept thinking, 'why the heck don't these fools move to Hawaii?' Did that get answered? Was it just me?

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm baa-aack! Plus Conferencing and Why I went Indie

And I am back! It's good to be back. My kids stumbled in to say hello at 5 am and I've got a tennis match this morning, which I am going to lose at like nobody's business. Unless eating three pounds of chocolate cake in a four day period and not exercising for several weeks is actually good for me, then today's outcome is a foregone conclusion. If someone finds my competitive spirit, please return it.

The conference was very interesting. Every day my brain hurt. If you are a writer and are thinking about conferences, let me tell you, I've been to a fair amount in the last year and there are some stinkers out there. My opinion is that RWA and your local chapter is a great jumping off point for info and contacts. A big conference like RT or RWA National is good too, but if you want craft, it's better to go to an all day course from someone like Bell, Vogler, Dixon, Hague or Maass. The Hero's Journey and story arcs, all that stuff is fascinating and can not be covered in a two hour time period.

I've been asked why I independently published and if I tried to go traditional before Independently Publishing. And to a certain extent I did. I finished LID at the beginning of 2011 and went to a pitch conference. I was told by an agent who is very prominent in Paranormal/Urban Fantasy circles that vampires were dead-dead. And that the odds of me getting it published were very low (she said this without reading a single word I had written). I cried. She was really mean. And although writers are told to expect mean agents, it still sucks when it happens.

Then I sent out half a dozen query letters and got rejections back so quickly it made my head spin. Rejections are supposed to take awhile, like weeks, so how come I was getting a 12 hour turn around? Was my query that bad? No. I will say my query was good. It was a variation of the book blurb and had been seriously worked on. Yes, six queries is nothing. Maybe I should have continued but I really didn't want to.

The last rejection letter I received said 'I have no idea if your story is any good but we are not acquiring that genre right now.' My first thought was 'Oh.' My second thought was 'Oh, shit!'

I had finished a book for a genre that agents and editors were saying was dead. But I loved Valerie, Jack and Lucas. Truthfully, I loved Marion too. She cracked me up. And I didn't want to put it aside, start on another book and hope that the vampire 'trend' would come back around in ten years and some publisher might be willing to publish the book. Perhaps I could have gone small press or an e publisher but I didn't see the point.

I also toyed with making them not vampires. If you've read a dragon book you might ask yourself if it was originially a shifter/ vampire book that got changed.  It probably was. Cause who really wants to bone a dragon? No one. But it was different enough two years ago that it might have been published.

After more revising and revising I published LID in August and I think it's turned out pretty damned well. Additionally, the industry is in a state of change. Like DVD's and music, book sales and the way books are consumed is changing faster than the industry would like. Everywhere I go, when I meet someone who is an 'insider' I always ask, 'where do you think the industry will be in five years?' and the answer I get is that one of the big six probably won't make it but they might survive on non-fiction (which is super profitable), and that with the collapse of book stores and lack of shelf space, publisher's time and money will go to big authors.

Mid list and new authors are screwed.

I have also heard murmurings that the industry is waiting to see what will happen with Amanda Hocking. If she sells well and makes the jump to traditional with a lot of sales, then I believe (and others who actually know something seem to agree with me) that most new authors will be forced to build up a following independently and prove that they can promote themselves.

If they make enough sales and get enough followers then the big six might make some effort to scoop them up. In my opinion, that's better for everyone. Right now authors don't get a lot of money and their book can drop into obscurity and there is nothing they can do-- the rights are gone.

Also, the industry doesn't want to give a lot of money to an author who can't perform. So if an author is making a lot of money independently, a traditional publisher will have to make it worth their while to give up that profit, which makes them more invested in a book and less likely to give it a low print run and have it disappear. Everyone becomes invested.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Love is Darkness is #1

Whoot! LID is #1 in contemporary fantasy. And you know what? It happened on Halloween. I feel like I should thank the Earth Mother or Satan or something. Going out of town tomorrow and I need to read to kill a mockingbird. (My daughter is very concerned as to why I would want to read a book on how to kill birds.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The new Florence and the Machine album will come out in a week. Woot! Can't wait. I wrote Love is Darkness to that album. Lucas and Valerie in Cafe Rouge was written while listening to My Boy Builds Coffins. That's the obvious one that comes to mind, anyway.

The title of the third book is Love is Mortal. As far as I know that will finish the series. Obviously, I have to write it first and see what happens but the end is pretty final. The only way it could expand is if the things that need to happen can be wrapped up in one book or two.

As a big Urban Fantasy/Paranormal fan myself I know what I like about the genre. It's an escape, the sex scenes are the hottest around in the romance genre, usually rivaling straight erotica, and the tension is usually off the charts. But often I find that a lot of books use tension or even the blanket 'it's destiny/they just know they're meant to be together' instead of giving us characters who actually belong together or whom we believe will be together in the long run.

I think that's part of the success of Outlander. Everyone believes Jamie and Claire are living their lives and are happy together. As a big believer in HEA's (Happily Ever After's) I think the books that get remembered and loved are the ones that prove to us a deeper connection beyond lust. And yes, I want that for my own writing.

April 2011 I will be attending Romantic Times in Chicago. Are you going? If so, let me know. I would love to chat with fellow readers and anyone who wants to say hi.

And finally, extra big woot, Love is Darkness is #1 in gothic romance, #2 in contemporary fantasy kindle, #3 contemporary fantasy books and is #72 in overall top 100. To which I say-- THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's Wednesday and I'm inside (set to the tune of friday i'm in love)

New song that I'm going to be writing to is Til Death by Wynter Gordon. Wynter is the best name for a heroine.

My new character is giving me some issues. He's a cagey sort of fellow. Trying to edit the last 30 of Love is Fear and I'm really beginning to feel bogged down. Oi!

It's also cutting into my TV time. Nikita, Supernatural, VD, Secret Circle. So many shows and they're moldering away on my tivo. But I did see Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Good grief. The world has turned upside down, Kyle is super mean and I actually really like Brandi. Even if she is intimidatingly tall and has a nose that is mesmerizing. I'm pretty sure it's awesome. I can't look away from it.

Kyle was always my favorite. Snarky, great hair...brunette. But now I'm not so sure. And that Dana is just odd. I never actually saw the brown on her nose, but it was there. Must have been good make up covering her up. And her 25k sunglasses made me want to shove her into the pool.

And if I ever meet Taylor I may have to force feed her whip cream. That's not code for something, it's literal. The fat content per ounce is insane.

Is anyone watching Housewives?

Friday, October 14, 2011


Things are quite hectic and exciting for me and I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and write about what's going on so y'all know and so that I remember later :)

Yesterday I got the paperback of Love is Darkness. It needs a few tweaks before it becomes available but it was AMAZING to hold it and look at it. I confess I put it on my shelf between my Harris and Hamilton's just to see how it fit. Sniffle.

I also got a very nice email from Angeline Kace saying congratulations because my book has been ROCKING up the amazon charts (her word and caps!). Our books usually come up together when I check on LID so I know hers is doing incredibly well too.

LID sold almost 100 copies yesterday (the record) and is #7 on 2 categories and #8 on one. It's next to a Kresley and a few Sookie's. Which is mind-boggling. My Werewolf short story is ranked in the top 20 for anthologies and while Amazon still has not lowered the price I have not heard people yet complain about the price-- I'm waiting for it and like to tell myself I'm prepared. But it will still be like a punch in the gut when it happens.

I also got two new reviews that were beyond complimentary and have been trying to soothe myself with them and ignore the 2 star someone gave me on good reads. Apparently there is a thing called a 'thick skin' and it's required to be a writer. No one will tell me where the hell I can get one, though.

What else? Going to a writing conference in Houston next month and am very excited.

Love is Fear is getting there. The first 2/3 of the book are ready for a beta read and if I'm lucky I'll be able to get the last 1/3 ready for a beta read by the end of next week.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I write romance and let's face it-- Romance is all about the men. Oh, and the women they fall in love with whom we only want to see so we can get a demonstration of just how incredible our hero really is. So I thought I should blog with PICS of a few of my favorite hotties. My husband doesn't believe in a top ten list, which is a shame. Although he'd be more likely to get hit on than I would, so I suppose it's for the best.

1. Nikolaj Coster- Waldau. If you know me, you are now groaning and saying 'oh not this guy again.' You probably won't remember him from a little show no one watched called New Amsterdam (it was terrible) but he is now hottin it up in Game of Thrones and this man has never made incest look so good. Here is my favorite pic as well as the clip where I fell in love with Jamie Lannister (good name, right?!?)

1. brace yourself

And the clip-- it's seriously hot and messed up. He's sleeping with his sister, evil and yet, when he said the line at the of this ep, I became a groupie. (This is the first ep, btw. so if you have not seen it, you're not getting spoiled by my drooling.)
What the hell, here is another Game clip. Sigh. You like Alexander Skaarsgard? This guy is danish. What's the diff? It's all dark, cold and nordic.

2. I have a shirt that says rogerer is betterer. And he is. I love Roger Federer. He's graceful and calm under pressure. He's also a family man and devoted. All around class act. If you like the Fed and have not seen his nike commercial where he's attacked, it's kind of funny. Here

3. This one might lose me some credibility. I'm quite conflicted about mentioning it, actually. Coach from Survivor. I know, his weird cockiness was off-putting and he seemed like a total playa but this season he looks so...weathered and dare I say it-- wise. Coach is a bit battered, a bit less sure and I like it. One of my friends was like, 'duh, he's a total romance cover hero.' I was floored by the obvious geniusness (it's a word now!) of that statement.

That's all I got for now. But if you've got a hot guy, display! I love a good ogle. I'm more likely to have five good ogles a day then five fruit and veg.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vampire Diaries

I went through a phase where my love of VD waned. I almost stopped watching it, let episodes build up on my tivo for quite awhile and saw lots of things that I was bored with and couldn't foresee changing. For example-- Jeremy and Bonnie. Oh God, someone please kill Bonnie. That girl has no chemistry with any actor she gets paired with. It's almost bizarre how flat she is. Versus someone like James Marsters from Buffy who had so much charisma that even though he was supposed to be staked at the end of his solitary episode, he became a recurring character, then a character, then the love interest and (truthfully) stole the show by the end of season 7. Bonnie ain't gonna do that.

My other issue that made me yawn-- Stefan and Elena. Oi, so boring. Yes, they were in luuvv and it bored the shit out of me. Poor Damon was murdering up a storm, being a consumate bad-boy, never wearing any clothes and brooding and yet we were stuck with two characters who the writers didn't even have kiss for several episodes because they were so boring.

Well, that's all changed now! Watching VD is no longer like having VD, it's awesome! It's like it got a massive shot of penicillin and is ready to start whoring around.

1. Klaus-- he was a bit weird, I didn't know how attractive he was, the accent was peculiar and now, I like him. Not only is he super evil but he has feelings. He's brought Stefan with him and wants companionship. It's not a lot and it's probably like having Stalin as a friend (fine until your dead) but it gives him a depth that I appreciate.

2. Rebecca-- Oh, Rebecca where do I start. Thank God! She is a game changing character, that I already like and because she has prior dibs on Stefan it's somehow not as bad that she's back. I can't wait to see where this plays out because Paul Wesley is HOT and getting down with another vampire will give him the chance to be rough, passionate, uncontrolled and villainous instead of mopey and depressed. Like Angel when he's Angelus. Angelus was a crack-up.

3. Tyler and Caroline-- The sex was hot, but truthfully, I suspect they'll be the next oh-so-boring-couple we're stuck with for a season or two. Can she drink his blood? If he bites her she'll die. speaking of, how come she can kiss him? His saliva is ok so long as it's not in her dermal layers? Hmmm.

4. Damon and Elena, these two are so made for each other, they've shacked up in real life. Stefan is moving on to paler pastures and now that he's moved on we won't look at Elena and think 'what a slut! Stefan needs you!' we can now think, 'Get Damon back in those bubbles!' I'm excited b/c obviously Damon isn't the white picket fence guy. He's the guy you stab with the white picket fence. I saw an interview with Ian where he said playing vulnerable Damon was uncomfortable. Fantastic! I can't wait!

5a. The guy from Supernatural is here! Speaking of charismatic actors. Every once in a while an actor comes along that is so good I think 'how come this fool doesn't have his own show?' and I confess with some smugness that usually I think this and then they get their own show. My unrelated example-- Garrett Dillahunt who was so good on Deadwood he was brought back as another character when he was killed off. (that was kind of hilarious) he then went on to Terminator Sarah Connor where I swooned over his mechanical ass and now he's on Raising Hope.

5b. Okay, that was a slight straying off topic-- the guy from Supernatural is here! Oh, Sebastian Roche. He's so good, such a funny actor that I kind of have a crush on him. And he's turned up as a baddie bad enough to make Klaus and Rebecca scared. AWESOME!

'Supernatural' Angel Heads to 'The Vampire Diaries'

And the 1930's. With the exception of Boardwalk Empire, everytime a show goes to the thirties I fall asleep. Didn't Picard go to the 30's all the time? Anyway, this one was good. One of the best things about vampires is what they have lived through. I like seeing their history and knowing what they've survived. (Eric's past, Angel's past as a loser-- those, for me, are usually the best episodes). Not only because I like history but b/c it gives us a massive insight into our characters.

A vampire's past needs to reveal some aspect of their personality that makes the reader go 'whaaa?' I tried to do this in Love is Darkness, showing that Lucas is not only the lonely guy who's been bored for awhile but that somewhere in the last 800 years he was motivated by love. Marion's daughter Margaret was a young girl that reminded him of his own dead family. I even have a scene for it, but i'm not sure if it's going to make it into the second book. Mainly because it requires more jumping around in time and the feedback on that makes me think it hasn't been quite as successful as I had hoped.

Anyway, I'm now beyond excited for VD, I want VD, and if they could just bring back Elijah (who is another charisma character--I thought he was super hot) I'll be all set.

Thoughts on the twisty turnings of VD? Cause I'd love to hear them! If I can youtube up some clips of these fine male specimens I will. Sigh

Here is a 30 second clip of Castiel and Sebastian on Supernatural

If you've got some time here is a 4 minute Sebastian clip from Supernatural, which if you have not seen and don't know why anyone watches it-- this will inform you. It's freaking funny and the boys are hot. plus lots of monsters.

Couldn't find anything good for Garrett, plus looking at Terminator Sarah Connor clips makes me want to down a bottle of prozac. That show being cancelled really left a scorch mark on my soul.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How Things Change

Rode my bike to the tennis courts this morning and got whistled at. Yes, that's right! And it occurred to me that at sixteen being whistled at would have made me irritated. At twenty two I would have yelled 'fuck off'' but now that I'm in my 30's and have two kids with the stomach to prove it, all I could say was 'thank you!'


Current song addiction-- Pressure Nadia Ali (give it 40 sec)

Had the realization that Lucas needs to get his POV in this book some more. Wish I knew what the hell he was thinking.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Character Songs-- Jack

This is a big book for Jack and he's been giving me some trouble because of it. Every time I hear an early Matchbox Twenty song I think of him.

More specifically I would say Four to the Floor by Starsailor reminds me a lot of Jack.

Character Songs-- Rachel

Bruce Springstein's song 'I'm on Fire' has always been one of my favorites but Bat for Lashes has done a cover of the song that is really creepy, messed up and shows a desperate longing. That's Rachel alright. I've got a bad desire, Oh, I'm on fire...sometimes it's like someone took a knife, baby, edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul.

Character Songs-- Valerie

Poor Valerie. Her song is Rhiannon's Only Girl in the World. I'm deep into the second book and I can tell you, *mild spoiler alert* she'd like it if she felt like she was the only one he'd ever love and the only one who knows what's in his heart. She's a bit cheesed off at the moment.

The big question? Who is he?

Character Songs-- Lucas


I'm a big believer that music not only inspires creativity but can be essential. For me, if I hear a certain song that resonates with my characters, I feel like I am instantly in their head and know what they know...and what they want. So who is getting what song at the moment?

Lucas has two songs right now:

 Depeche Mode Home

Here is a song from the wrong side of town
Where I'm bound to the ground by the loneliest sound
And it pounds from within and is pinning me down

Here is a page from the emptiest stage
A cage or the heaviest cross ever made
A gauge of the deadliest trap ever laid

And I thank you for bringing me here
For showing me home
For singing these tears
Finally I've found that I belong here

The heat and the sickliest sweet smelling sheets
That cling to the backs of my knees and my feet
Well I'm drowning in time to a desperate beat

And I thank you for bringing me here
For showing me home
For singing these tears
Finally I've found that I belong

Feels like home
I should have known
From my first breath

God send the only true friend I call mine
Pretend that I'll make amends the next time
Befriend the glorious end of the line

And I thank you for bringing me here
For showing me home
For singing these tears
Finally I've found that I belong here

Kate Nash  Nicest Thing

This song is pretty sad and it's more the feel of the song that makes me think of Lucas, the lyrics probably attribute too much emotion to him at the moment and don't apply as much as I might want them to. So I'll just include the video for it and if you want to hear the song, check it out.

Whereas Home captures his longing and desire to belong. Plus it's all gloomy and tortured. And I love that! lol.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sex Against A Wall

What's hotter then sex up against a wall? It's a tried and true standby for tv, movies and books. It happens in my book, or at least there is certainly some grindage, and it made me wonder what other shows paid homage to the wall.

My number one is Buffy and Spike when they bring the house down. Now that is some serious pummeling!  I read that it was so hot Joss and Co had to add some dust at the end to make it slightly less graphic.

And let me apologize for this clip-- it's pathetic. Grainy, the music is gone. I searched for at least 10 minutes and this was the best I could find.

My number two would be Nikita and Michael up against the wall. Notice it also has Florence and the Machine's Cosmic Love in it.

My number three is Atonement. This might have been higher but the ending cheesed me off so much that it simply can't go any higher. If we know how it ends, it's not happy sex but sad sex. And that's sad.

I have a friend who thought the scene between House and Cuddy was pretty hot, but I confess I have not seen it. I always wanted him to hook up with Jennifer Morrison. Yeah, me and one other person in Spain, probably.

What's your favorite wall scene?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shallow thoughts

I think I'm on the verge of going crazy-- the editing needs to end. But at least I get to listen to music while I do it. Sometimes I am so into the words on the page that music is distracting. And when I'm writing I can only hear the same song over and over again.

Most of Love is Darkness was written while listening to Florence and the Machine. My Boy Builds Coffins will always remind me of Val sitting in a London cafe as she meets Lucas.

Today I'm going old school. Tori Amos, Under the Pink.

God's lyric, "God sometimes you just don't come through, do you need a woman to look after you?"

Don't we all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned From TV

I'm writing a series of books that are character based-- one book is in final editing stages and a second one that has the first draft done, so I’m chugging along. I’ve even figured out the endgame for my characters which would be several books away. So I should be happy, right?

That might be a trick question. I’m not sure a writer is ever happy! But my real problem is that while I know where the characters will wind up I’m not sure how to get them there with the most amount of conflict and pain possible.

It’s been plaguing me. Instead of feeling sorey for myself (did you get that terrible joke? Did ya?) I decided that I should approach my plotting problem in the same way I approach my real life problems: What life lessons have I learned from tv and do they apply to my fictional world as well as my personal world? Yes, I live my life based upon things I learned on tv. And I’m proud of it. I’m an only child and the fictional characters I grew up with were kind of like my friends. Just be happy I grew up watching Star Trek the Next Generation which has good black and white morals instead of Oz.

There are a couple of go-to shows that I can unashamedly say have changed my life. Here are a few and the reasons why:

1. Seinfeld- (this was a close call as 1 and 2 are pretty dear to my heart) but Seinfeld is getting first place because it relates to so many of my everyday problems. (If I ever start killing monsters on my way home from the grocery store, this could change) How many times have I thought to myself, 'I flew too high on the wings of pastrami?' or wished I could cross out the size label on my jeans like Jerry did? A lot. Today, even!

Seinfeld-- George mixes food and sex with pastrami results

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer-- I confess that I poo-pooed the show when it came out for the obvious reason-- I just didn't get it. Then I understood that you don't have to care about vampires and monsters to like the show, they are metaphors for life. You feel ignored? So does the girl who turned invisible! You want to be a bad girl and be five by five? Well, give it a shot but don’t be surprised when someone gets murdered. Or maybe you want to date that hot, much older vampire, but you're not 18? Don't sleep with him or he'll turn evil and dump your sweet young ass before you can say gypsy curse! See? Life lessons.

And here is a revelation that blew my mind-- Jerry Seinfeld and Joss Whedon have a lot in common. Jerry once said that the trick to parenting was to find what your kids love and take it from them—like the mafia.

If you've seen a Joss Whedon show (Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse) then you know he wants to show you the happy ending, get you invested in it, and then rip it off like a band-aid glued to a hairy man—fast and dirty so it leaves a bald patch on your tv soul.

My JW band aid example? Buffy begins dating Angel, a vampire. They have a star-crossed- lovers thing that goes on for a while and then, they give in…yahtzee, Angel is a psycho killer who loves her just enough to hate her and want to kill everyone she knows and loves. Now that is good tv!

4. Arrested Development-- If you've never seen the awesomeness of the chicken dance, you need to. I've also adopted Gob's trademark line of, "I think I've made a huge mistake." It makes me happy even as I’m getting depressed about my huge mistake. Be it forgetting milk at the grocery store, a child throwing up on my new clothes, even writer’s block.

Chicken Dance link--

Do you have any TV shows and/or examples that have shaped your life? If so, I'd love to hear about it because it will make me feel better about myself. I don't like being the only person I know who needed prozac when Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles got cancelled on an insane cliffhanger. And don't get me started on Veronica Mars.