Archive for January, 2008

Thursday, January 31st, 2008
Moving and Shaking

I’m currently having my site redesigned. It will be a DRASTIC change. I’m gathering all the info needed while maintaining my minimum 2K+ daily word count. I will pass the 200 page mark today. YAY! My goal is to get as close to three hundred pages as possible by the 8th. I will have a tremendous amount of info to add to the story after that in the edits. I’ll try to give everyone a heads up before the switch over so that you know the site may be down for a little while. (It’s still in the design stages, so I have some time.)

I have a nice list of questions ready to go for Ginger. Thanks to everyone who participated. You’re still welcome to send more, so don’t panic. *g*

I’m going to go fangirl for a moment and say that I LOVE Simon R. Green’s Nightside series. His character John Taylor is endearingly creepy and oh so strangely normal. He finds things, using his supernatural gift. I’m not talking about lost jewelry here, although he could find that, too. I’m talking about the one thing inside of you that might kill you or the secret holding your universe together. Pretty cool, eh? The stories in the series vary with the overall ARC being about John’s search for family (ie his mother). What I love the most about Mr. Green’s books is his ability to infuse a paranormal detective story with moments of deep emotion. The John Taylor stories have a ‘lite’ feel, but that’s deceptive. You can be wading in the proverbial waters of the Nightside and suddenly find it over your head.

He doesn’t seem to have a website, but he does have a tribute site here. If you’re in the mood for a good read, then check him out.

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008
Fast Opportunity Via Cynthia Sterling

Agent Nathan Bransford with the Curtis Brown Literary Agency is holding a Surprisingly Essential First Page Challenge on his blog at Enter the first page of your novel — no more than 500 words. The winner gets a choice of a critique, a book, or a ten-minute phone conversation with Mr. Bransford. All the submisssion particulars are at the link posted above. But hurry! The deadline is Today, January 30th, at 5 p.m Pacific time. Now is your chance. I’ve heard great things about this agent. 🙂

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008
Let there be Eggs

As you might guess from the entry title tonight the cooking class tackled eggs. All kinds of eggs, poached, boiled, fried, etc. Our menu was quite impressive: Deviled Eggs with Goat Cheese, Scallions and Dill, Eggs Benedict (with homemade hollandaise), Tortilla Espanola-Spanish Potato Omelet, Crustless Quiche, Potato Salad with Egg, Dill Pickle, Tarragon with Homemade Mayonnaise, Souffle Au Fromage (Cheese Souffle), and Chocolate Chip Banana Crepes.

I can say with complete sincerity this was the hardest cooking class I’ve taken thus far. A lot of physical work (whisking) and a lot of room for big mistakes (over cooking, souffles dropping, hollandaise separating, etc.). I have a newfound respect for breakfast chefs.

Here are few tips I learned about eggs: Put your egg shells down your garbage disposal (if you have one) because it sharpens the blades. If you don’t want to flip a fried egg because you’re worried about the yoke, you can add a little water to the hot pan and throw a lid on the skillet to steam the top. Add a splash of vinegar into boiling water to keep eggs together when poaching. Older eggs cook better. Always start with cold water when cooking an egg (unless you’re poaching) and don’t start counting cooking time until the water starts to boil. Add salt and vinegar to the water to make the egg easier to peel. Also drop the egg immediately into an ice bath. This also helps with peeling. If you’re going to fry an egg, make sure that the pan is very, very hot before you put it in. Never crack all your eggs into one bowl just in case you get a bad one. If you’re going to fry an egg in butter, make sure that it’s clarified butter because it has a much higher smoke point than regular butter.

Now a quick lesson on how to tell how old an egg is: Pour water into a bowl. Place the egg in the bowl. The flatter an egg sits in the water, the newer the egg is. Converse to that, if you crack an egg on a plate and it spreads really wide, the egg is older. If an egg stands on end in the water, it’s an older egg. Always cook eggs after they’ve had a chance to reach room temperature. And the weird one for the day: Cooks prefer older eggs because they work better in recipes. Now go forth and cook eggs until your heart’s content. 🙂

Monday, January 28th, 2008
It’s Monday Already???

It’s been a long week. The writing has been hit or miss. I did manage to write 17 pages yesterday and left off in a spot that I can pick up easily today. That brings the total page count up to 150. I plan to get another 50 or so pages written this week, which puts me right on schedule with the book. (Unbelievable, considering I missed two full days of writing last week.) If everything continues as I hope, I’ll be done with the book by the third week of Feb. and have a week left to edit before sending it into Tor. This book is definitely different than any I’ve written before. I hope that means that I’m not the only one who likes it. I get worried when I like a book because it rarely corresponds with outside opinions. *ggg* Sigh.

Didn’t sleep very well last night. Not sure why. Probably just one of those things. Today is my sister’s birthday. I’m sending a shout out to her. Happy Birthday, Sis! May you have many, many more.

I’m in the process of trying to get my website redesigned. Don’t know if it’s going to happen. I’ve contacted a designer, since dh is too busy at present to tackle the job. I’ll keep you all posted.

I’m still collecting questions for my agent, Ginger Clark. So far, I’ve received quite a few good ones. I think she’ll be pleased. It’s not too late to send me your questions. Remember, you don’t have to be published to ask away.

The contest to win a copy of OFF LIMITS will begin next month. I don’t have a specific date yet because I really haven’t given it a lot of thought. Bear with me, my brain is tired. It can rest after March 3rd. LOL!

Anyone have any book, publishing, writing or movie questions for me? Throw me a bone, man. 😉

Thursday, January 24th, 2008
Agent Questions–Good Opportunity

My agent, Ginger Clark has been kind enough to agree to do an interview here at my blog. Ginger is an agent with Curtis Brown (no relation to the British Curtis Brown Agency). Before that, she worked at Writer’s House. She has a lot of experience in the industry and has more than paid her dues.

I’m putting together a set of questions now and thought I’d throw out the opportunity for you to do the same. If you have any questions for my agent, list them in the comments. I won’t be able to use them all, but I’ll probably use a few. She also said that if people had further questions for her that she’d be more than happy to answer them. I’m sending her the list of questions on the 7th, so that gives everyone plenty of time. Fire away. 🙂

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008
Mish Mosh

I’m exhausted. Like as in, if I don’t end up taking a nap it’ll be a miracle. Yesterday was a very weird, very long day. My dh had dental surgery and it turned into an all day affair. We thought we’d get out of the place by 2:30/3:30pm, but didn’t end up leaving until five. Keep in mind, we arrived at 7:30am. I spent the day in the waiting area, editing what I’ve written so far on the book. I didn’t finish the edits, but I did get a chunk of them done. I plan to tackle more today before I get my word count in. I also wrote out some goals, wrote a letter to a friend, read some manga, wrote a Japanese cell-phone story and tweaked a story idea that I’d been playing with.

Heath Ledger’s death. That’s just plan weird, man. Can’t wrap my head around it. Don’t know why, but it’s striking me as unbelievable. Little daughter. So talented. So young. So very sad.

Last night, I was late for my cooking class because we got back so late and dh was so sick. Did make it in time to learn the ins and outs of sauteing and what herbs should be stocked in your kitchen. It’s not as many as you might think. (Basil, Bay Leaf, Capers, Cayenne, Celery Seed, Chili Powder, Coriander, Cumin, Curry Powder, Dill, Fennel Seeds, Garlic (Dry garlic doesn’t burn easy.), Ginger, Mint, Nutmeg, Paprika, Black Pepper, Rosemary, Sage, Sesame, Tarragon, Thyme, Tumeric and Vanilla.) Everything else you buy as you need it.

Tips for sauteing: Get skillet hot first, THEN add fat (ie butter, oil, etc.). Round sided pans are better for flipping items with (ie pancakes, veggies, etc.). Mix oil with butter to prevent butter from burning in a hot skillet. Always use unsalted butter when cooking…unless the recipe says otherwise. When cooking with alcohol, always burn off the alcohol before serving. When dredging meat in flour, always make sure the pan is hot and you can put the meat in the pan right away. If you don’t, the meat will make the flour wet and it’ll get clumpy. Tap meat to shake off excess flour. Can save dry white wine in the fridge for a long time, even after it’s no good for drinking. Always cook with wine that you would drink, not the bottled white cooking wine. Sticking veggies in ice water will curl them and make them crisper. Always cook fish or chicken with the skin side down first. And that ends our lesson for the today. *ggg*

I did receive one surprise yesterday. I was about to run out to my cooking class, when the doorbell rang. I opened it to find a box of books from Harlequin. I now have several copies of OFF LIMITS. I feel a contest coming on. 😀

Monday, January 21st, 2008
Writer’s Meme

1. Your genre(s)?

The genres that I’m currently writing in are: near-future dark paranormal romance, contemporary romance and dark urban fantasy. In the past, I’ve written erotic paranormal historicals, time-travels, and contemporary fantasies.

2. How many books have you completed?

Since 2002 I’ve written:

9 single titles-7 of which are sold/published

8 novellas-6 of which are sold/published

My first mm releases is in November. I have a category book coming out March 1st. I’m in the process of finishing my tenth single title now and have a second one due Sept 1st.

3. How many books are you working on now?

I can only work on 1 book at a time.

4. Are you a linear or chunk writer?


5. The POV you’re most partial to?

I’m partial to third person POV with multiple characters, but I’ve recently started writing in first person. I think once I get the hang of it that I’ll really enjoy it.

6. The theme that keeps cropping up in your books?

Two things pop up repeatedly in my books: Things are never as they seem and the characters are never who they think they are (ie their pasts are always a lie).

7. How many days a week do you write?

5 or 6 days a week, depending on how productive I am during the week.

8. What time of day do you get your best writing done?

I actually get my best writing done in the afternoon from 1 to 5:30/6:00pm. Used to do my best work at night, but that changed a few years ago. I WISH I could write productively in the morning, but I’m barely breathing then. *ggg*

9. Who are your inspirations?

Lynn Viehl, and not just because she’s an amazing writer. She’s also a reluctant mentor to me. 😉

10. Who are your favorite authors to read? (different from mentors)

Patricia Briggs, Lora Leigh, Matthew Reilly, Simon Green, Rob Thurman, Jeaniene Frost, PC Cast, Angela Knight, Charlie Huston, Raymond Chandler, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Charlaine Harris, Christine Feehan, Jim Butcher, Karen Chance, LKH (I’ve only recently started reading her work. I’m on book five or something like that.), Carrie Vaughn, Stephanie Laurens, Lisa Kleypas, Celeste Anwar, Michelle Pillow, Mandy Roth, Amelia Elias, and Christine Warren. (And so many, many more.) I also read a ton of graphic novels and manga. Too many to list the authors.