Archive for March, 2010

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010
Waiting For The Cable Guy

We bought a Tivo the other day. We had the cable company’s DVR prior to that, but wanted a change. We owned a Tivo years ago and loved it. The device seemed much more intuitive. The only drag is that we have to have the cable company come out and install a multi-stream chip. Apparently, they can’t just program them and give them to you. (I’m guessing it’s because they really want that ‘installation’ fee.) So I’m waiting for the cable guy to appear. I’ve been assigned a window of time. We’ll see if he gets here in it. It should only take him a second once he does.

I’m also writing up my Blood Lite 2 bio. They’re always fun, and a little silly. I am still working on the YA. It’s turning out to be one of the hardest books I’ve ever written. Right up there with Gothic Passions, my Regency vampire novel. Dh says all the hard work will pay off in the end. Here’s hoping because I’ve definitely opened some veins on this one. Mops bloody forehead.

I know my website is a little screwed up at present. I’m not sure what’s happening on the books’ pages. I will get it straightened out asap. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Is anyone else out there looking forward to seeing Kick-Ass?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance

According to Amazon, the Mammoth Book of Special Ops Romance paperback isn’t due out until May 11th, but for some reason the anthology has been released on Kindle. Weird that, but I suppose it’s a good thing for all those Kindle readers out there. There are a lot of really good authors in this anthology and several familiar names like Larissa Ione, Stephanie Tyler, Charlene Teglia, Cheyenne McCray, and Shannon Butcher to name a few. Oh yeah, and I’m in there, too. 😀 I wrote a story called Heat of the Night. I will try to get a better excerpt up on my site. I thought I had more time, considering the release date, but such is life. Here is a short taste:

The plane bucked and sputtered, its engines threatening to die before the wheels could touch down on the dirt runway that had been carved out of the jungle a hundred feet below. Ken ‘Viper’ Thompson stared at the civilian medical team from behind mirrored sunglasses. They were a ragtag group of do-gooders, who believed they were making a difference in the world.

Had he ever been that naïve and young? If he had, Ken couldn’t remember. Fifteen years as a professional sniper would do that to a man. He and his spotter, John James Ekle had replaced one of the nurses and the minister on the team at the last moment, which was why they were jammed in here like a half dozen squids in a jar.

Sweat trickled down his back as the heat rising from the jungle smothered the little plane and its occupants. Lack of circulation made the stale air take on an edge of fear and desperation. Nerves were running high. Ken scanned their faces once more, but everyone seemed to be preoccupied with what was outside the aircraft.

No one suspected the real reason he and John were here, not even the sharp-eyed doctor in charge of the team. They hadn’t had time to develop a deep cover——thanks to a power-hungry ex-general’s accelerated time table——so they’d decided to blend with a real medical relief team. Danger came with that decision, since civilians were unpredictable and could blow even a good cover by accident.

That’s how Ken had ended up dressed as a missionary priest and John had passed himself off as a nurse. Both had enough combat medical experience and training to pass scrutiny, but Ken’s size had made him conspicuous. At 6’3, there was no blending in. Without the collar to deflect suspicion, the homegrown military would spot him for what he was——a warrior.

It was one thing to pretend to be a priest, it was quite another to think like one. Ken’s gaze dropped to Dr. Lily Houser’s bare legs as she uncrossed them. They weren’t long, but they were shapely like the woman. Firm and compact, they had just enough strength to grip when it counted. It didn’t help that her short sexy blond hair and sleepy green eyes looked as if she’d just crawled out of bed after a night of vigorous love making. Hell, maybe she had.

The visceral reaction the thought provoked made Ken pause. Why should he care if she had a lover or not? He didn’t even know the woman. It wasn’t like he was looking to get involved in the middle of a mission. His eyes strayed to her chest and what few saintly thoughts he’d had fled from his mind. Ken tugged at his clergy collar, wishing he’d worn the vestigial tab instead. The cutout display in his shirt would’ve saved a lot of choking.

Damn, it was hot in here.

Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Weekend Getaway

To celebrate dh’s birthday, I decided to surprise him with a weekend getaway to San Diego, California. We had a lovely dinner Friday night at the Red Marlin restaurant, then Saturday we spent the day doing THIS. That is not us in the video, but that’s how we spent our Saturday morning. Pretty darn good way to spend a Saturday, I think. 🙂 If you’ve never had a chance to do an encounter with a Beluga Whale, I highly recommend the experience. They are wonderful, timid creatures that deserve our respect and our consideration.

I didn’t realize how badly I needed a change of scenery until we got out to San Diego. I have to admit I could’ve used another four weeks on the water. The place was amazing. As a flight attendant, I’ve been to San Diego a LOT and spent the night there more times than I can count, but this was the first time I ‘really saw’ the place. It has so many wonderful areas that would be great to live in. Like most of California, San Diego isn’t cheap. You pay for that beautiful property. But boy is it tempting. Coming home was a bit of a let down, which is sad considering we live in a nice area. It did give us time to clear our heads. We decided we need these long getaway weekends more often.

What do you do to clear your head? How do you getaway from it all?

Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Narrowing the List–Dreaming Big

I’ve been doing some serious research over the last month on several agents/agencies. I have to admit that overall it’s been fairly disheartening. I didn’t have a lot of names on my list to begin with, so it sucks when I have to remove some. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are no ‘perfect’ agents. When I say perfect, I’m not talking about humanly perfect. Such a thing does not exist. What I mean by perfect is that there doesn’t seem to be a perfect fit, especially when you’ve written in as many genres as I have. It was naive of me to believe that such a thing could exist. Sure, I have my dream agencies (ie Writer’s House, Liza Dawson Assoc., JABerwocky, and Rob Weisbach, etc.), but even those give me pause. Maybe I’m just jaded. (A very good possibility.) Maybe my expectations are too high. (Could be.) I never ask for more than I expect from myself. When I think about agents, here is what I dream about: I dream of finding an agent who can get me read, who doesn’t wait for me to make the sale so they can swoop in after the fact, who gets what I’m trying to do, who isn’t afraid to negotiate hard with publishers, who isn’t afraid to follow up with publishers, and who believes in my work. You’d think that would be easy to find, but not so much. I’m sure from this post I have given you the impression that I’ve been querying a ton of agents. I haven’t. In fact, I haven’t queried any. And I don’t intend to until I have a few projects finished. Once the books are ready to go out, I’ll approach my dream list. We’ll see what happens. It never hurts to dream big. 🙂

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
The Twilight Effect

A friend of mine and I were talking yesterday about what she calls the Twilight Effect. The Twilight Effect as defined here means the sudden resurgence of paranormal romances. As many of you know, paranormal romance started making huge inlets into the romance genre around 2001/2002. Their popularity grew rapidly over the next five years, then started to drop off due in part to a shift in readership and lack of originality (ie the bandwagon effect). Many paranormal romance readers began to look for material in the fantasy/sci-fi section. Suddenly, urban fantasies took off. Readers devoured the female-centric stories thanks to Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance, and Ilona Andrews to name a few. Thankfully, those authors still do well. For the longest time, it seemed like paranormal romance was waning. Everyone knew it wouldn’t go away completely, but it began to look like it was on its way out. Here’s where the Twilight Effect comes into play. When Twilight was released on DVD followed quickly by New Moon’s theatrical release, a new wave of readers hit the bookshelves. They wanted more of what they were seeing onscreen. It’s safe to say they seemed to be seeking an adult version of what they liked about Twilight. This brought about the ‘Twilight Effect’ (ie the sudden resurgence of paranormal romance sales).

What’s truly interesting about this phenomena is that the resurgence is big enough to last a few more years. That’s quite unusual. Most of the time when a genre starts to fade it’s replaced by something else, not more of the same. I do like the fact that editors seem to be asking for darker, edgier paranormals. I think that goes back to the popularity of urban fantasy. What does this all ultimately mean? Nothing, if you aren’t interested in writing supernatural stories. *g* For those of us who are enamored by the genre, it means a few more years of possible sales. 🙂

Do you believe there is a Twilight Effect? If so, does it differ from my definition? Do you believe paranormals are over? If so, why?

Thursday, March 11th, 2010
What’s Up With All the Little Red Riding Hood Films?

In the past few weeks I’ve read about three different Little Red Riding Hood projects. Two of them are upcoming films set to release next year and the third is a graphic novel called Red. I have a friend who told me that everything I’ve written to date has been two years ahead of whatever hot trend develops. I laughed the first time she said it, then I actually gave it some thought. And you know what? She’s right. I wrote my first werewolf book in 2001. They started hitting a couple of years later. I wrote my Atlantean’s in 2002/03. Two years after that they started taking off in popularity. I wrote Red in 2005/06. It came out in 2008 and now suddenly Little Red Riding Hood is gaining in popularity. Hmm…

On the one hand, I think it’s cool that I seem to be able to predict upcoming trends ahead of time without trying. On the other, that uncanny ability guarantees that I miss those same trends each and every time. I’m not quite sure what to do about that or if there’s anything I can do, since it’s blatantly obvious that I’m not following trends. I guess there is one bright side, I do own the film and sub-rights for my Dead World series. If Hollywood comes looking for more Little Red Riding Hood material, I got them covered. 😉

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010
Whatcha Reading?

I admit that my reading tastes are a little eclectic these days. I’m currently reading Switch by Chip Heath, Trick of Light by Rob Thurman, Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep, The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan, and the Dead Girl’s Dance by Rachel Caine. I have to admit they’re all really good. I keep getting sucked into each book. It’s hard to put one down and pick up another, but I never rarely read one book at a time. Probably has to do with my short attention span. *g*

The YA is coming along nicely. I’ve written over 3K in the last two days. Decided to leave the story off at a good point so I can pick it up tomorrow and keep writing. I have realized once again that when I write fast I tend not to incorporate what I’ve learned in writing class. 🙁 This means I’ll have to go back through the manuscript when I’m finished and flesh out the showing. Not looking forward to doing that, but it must be done. I’ve also started edits on Gothic Passions (my vampire historical). Hopefully it won’t take me too long to finish them and get the book up on Kindle. So far I’ve made only minor changes. It’s always weird going over a manuscript that you wrote so long ago. Has it really been 7 years? :-O Yikes!

What are you all reading? Have any good recommendations?