Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Hi all!

My first book, TRUE SEEING, has been re-released! Expanded, with all new sex scenes and spicy bits, this book underwent quite a face-lift from the first time it was out. It's about a psychic and a homicide detective and will always have a special place in my heart.

I seem to be picking up a "male nude torso" theme to my book covers these days - heh. There are worse things, I'm sure. At least he doesn't have scary, green nipple rings like the guy who came to replace my gutters a couple weeks ago. I'm still a bit scarred by that.

Read excerpt here!

Order Here!

Hold on!

Howdy all,

I've gotten a few "where are you?" emails and I wanted to ask you all to hold on just a few more days. I'm at the very end of membership drive for Passionate Ink, a new RWA chapter for erotic romance authors. Please understand that I'd rather be blogging than herding cats - oh! I mean, collecting membership dues from fine authors who go by so many names I'm not sure THEY know who they are any more. Combine this up with a large percentage of people who got married, but never changed their last names on PayPal and you have my own special brand of hell.

I just had the following conversation with myself (names have been changed to protect the guilty):
"So the PayPal says "Cissy Michelle" on it. Cissy isn't exactly a common name and on the roster I have "Cissy Willows." Maybe they're the same people? Or maybe not. Hmmm..." So I shoot out an email, only to find Cissy got married five years ago and never changed her maiden name from her PayPal account. Better yet is when I get a PayPal from "Cissy Luscious" or something like that which SCREAMS of a pen name. I look on my roster and am not shocked to see that "Luscious" isn't on the list.

It's an exercise that is teaching me something, I'm sure, but whatever it is I'm supposed to be learning, the lesson seems to be going straight over my head. I find myself cursing and snarling and generally asking myself what possessed me to ever sign up for this job in the first place. I don’t even balance my own checkbook and never have. I just am one of those people who has a “feel” for what’s in my account. Of course I bounced stuff right and left when I got married since my husband spends money in odd patterns without telling me, but that’s another blog for another day.

Anywho, in the next day or two it will be over, and I can blog about author photos, which is what I've been working on. I have some interesting observations I think will amuse you!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

S.O.S. Internet Down

So my internet has been down off and on since Sunday. It really annoys me. I feel isolated without checking my email, oh, 400 times an hour. I feel lost without reading my usual blogs, then emailing the authors with sarcastic comments. In fact, I felt so down right cut off from the world that I actually - gasp - called a few of my old friends on the phone.

It felt odd, fumbling around for my now-unused-cellphone at the bottom of my purse, pushing tiny buttons on the contacts list and then having to leave a message for everyone but Sage Grayson, who was trying to talk to me and have two IM conversations at the same time. (Bet she regrets giving me her cell number at the last writer's conference we went to - heh.)

So over the last few days, all the cats I called on Sunday and Monday were calling me back. Which meant I had to talk to them. Not that I didn't enjoy it, and it allowed me to wander around the house and clean, but...

I have this weird relationship with the phone, left over from when I worked in the real world. I got to the point where if I was home, I didn't like to talk on the phone. Working for CapitalOne (the credit card guys), I was in an environment where voicemail ruled your life. Email was for Cover Your Ass purposes, but almost all work came through the phone. I began to think of the phone as the ringing harbinger of crisis. To this day, the phone rings and I jump. Not that I don't enjoy a good crisis every now and again, but my nerves are shot from finishing up this last book.

Anyway, so I was talking to my friend Ashley last night. She's single now and dating. It's been a long time since I was single and dating, and even back in 'Nam, I didn't really DATE, as much as engage in serial monogamy. In collage, I tried the dating thing and found juggling a bunch of guys around was too hard for me. I'm kind of a possessive person anyway, not really into sharing.

So Ashley was telling me all about her men -- The Neighbor, The Band Guy, The Ex, The Guy She Works With, The Guy She Met At the Bar, etc etc -- and I thought, "If I tried to keep up with all these guys, I'd have to call them "Buddy" so I wouldn't accidentally call them by the wrong name." I was exhausted just listening to it all. Her other line rang in about 20 times during our conversation.

After I got off the phone, I went back downstairs to hang out with my guy and watch Big Brother 6 (yes, we're Reality TV hags). As boring as my life might be, I appreciate it. Although, talking to Ashley reminded me of this book I was thinking about writing... it's about four girlfriends who dare each other to do all kinds of things, like see who can date the most men at one time. I scribbled some notes this morning. Who knows? I might just write it one day. Of course, that would require more phone calls to Ashley, since obviously I am not an expert on How To Juggle Multiple Men At One Time. But the internet connection came back up again and so all that's on hold. Thank God.

Three Recommended Reads!

Robin Owens HEART CHOICE is out! Read it! I did and loved it. I give it a serious RR - recommended read - from yours truly. All of Robin's Heart books are brilliant, although I like HEART DUEL best. Read an excerpt.

Oh and also, I read BEYOND CONTROL, which I blogged about below. I thought it was one of Rebecca York's best. Then again, I'm partial to mind-meld kinds of themes.

Finally, I wanted to recommend another book which I haven't mentioned yet - WARPRIZE, by Elizabeth Vaughan. I really enjoyed it. It headed more towards the fantasy end of a fantasy romance, but it was well worth the read.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Beyond Control

Yesterday, I took the day off and went to the bookstore. Sigh. I love the bookstore. For two hours worth of work, I bought three books. One was a Mercedes Lackey book, one was my friend and critique partner Jasmine Haynes' book TWIN PEAKS (fantastic read if you like contemporary spicy romance), and one was this - Rebecca York's BEYOND CONTROL about telepaths who discover and develop their powers only when they sexually link with another of their kind. Heh! Sounds fantastic, eh?

Read an excerpt here!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Other Amusing Blogs

Hey all,

So I thought I would blog about other blogs I'm reading regularly at the moment.

First the writing ones:

http://www.jodywallace.com/ - Jody Wallace (author and cat lover)’s snarky sister blog. Jody (who is darn funny herself) has her sister blog about this and that. Cracks me totally up! But you’ll notice that she cleverly takes you past her home page of her latest author events for you to get there.

http://jaciburton.blogspot.com/ - Jaci Burton blogs about story ideas, good books and her general writing life. Also, http://cjsthing.blogspot.com/ - CJ Burton and Jaci’s husband do an advice column that often has me snickering out loud.

http://genashowalter.blogspot.com/ - Gena Showalter has Hot Guy Monday. Dang!

http://www.shelleybradley.com/blog/ - Shelley’s got her husband right now writing about what it’s like married to a romance author!

http://www.robindowens.blogspot.com/ - Robin Owens talks about writing.

Agents are even getting into it!! http://www.knightagency.blogspot.com/

Non-Writing Blogs:
This site you must visit – this woman takes old sewing patterns and posts the pictures up and makes fun of them – heh - http://threadbared.com/

Also go here: http://gofugyourself.typepad.com/

I've been thinking about putting up the American version of this blog --- http://www.paul-johnson.co.uk/pint/ --- if you buy him a pint, he takes a picture of himself drinking it. HAHAHA. Don’t know why that totally amused me, but it did!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A - B - C-ya!!!

Well, SECRET OBSESSION is gone, gone, gone. My agent has it and can jam it in her ear as far as I'm concerned. Not that I don't like it, mind you. It's a great book, but I'm bored with it. I mean, I've read it now 300 times at least and I'm ready to hang out with another crowd.

If you think about it, I've been writing this book off and on for (checking) seven months now (I wrote the first three chapters, then took a long break, then wrote four more chapters, then another break, then I jammed out the rest). So I've been spending time with this same set of people forever. Long enough, in my opinion.

I'm ready to hang out with him for awhile!

Someone recommended him as a cure for bad in-laws and I happen to agree that he's a tasty treat, for sure.

I like this sassy smirky smile he's got going on too. Yummy.

Anyway, so I'll be back on the blogging tour now that the book is done. I think I'm going to do a blog about other blogs next. That should amuse me, although probably no one else will be as entertained... we'll see.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I'm in the mood...

I'm in the mood to be viciously selfish.

Some of you are gasping in horror out there, but I just spent the weekend with my bad in-laws (as opposed to the set I like - my husband's parents are divorced) and it sucked. Not terribly. Not as bad as that time I got locked in an elevator for almost two hours with twenty people, one of which was a claustrophobic lady who had a nervous breakdown, screaming continuously "help! help! get me out of here!!" until I started laughing hysterically, which wasn't an appropriate response to the situation, but was the best I could do at the time.

But it was really uncomfortable and creepy crawly, if you know what I mean. That kind of soul sucking, draining experience where everyone is trying to be nice, but there is so much history and bad feelings locked in one small space that you find yourself out on the back porch just so you can breathe.

So I returned home and instead of working on SECRET OBSESSION (my work in progress I owe my agent like yesterday -- I'll have it done on Wednesday night, I promise), I decided I would watch FARSCAPE episodes and make a fat bowl of butterscotch pudding and eat the whole thing.

For the record, I'm not saying my husband's family is any worse than my own. My family is a mess, even if it's carefully hidden from the outside world. It's just hard to know the right thing to do when it's not your family. When his father left before any of got up this morning, do I agree with everyone that he's a jerk, or do I secretly just thank God he's gone??

I didn't do either. I ate a piece of my step-son's birthday cake. It was better than laughing hysterically, I thought, and tastier too. Who says I never learn?

Friday, August 12, 2005

Reno - The End

So now it's Saturday. I'm hung over from the Harlequin party last night, even though I swear I never felt like I had my drunk on the whole time. Gena Showalter and PC Cast made the event, putting on their own dance show that had me questioning if Gena's hips were double jointed. (As an aside - check out the pictures on PC's website - hahahaha. TOTALLY had me snickering.) I went with my critique partner and fantastic friend, Jennifer Skully, who came in exhausted from eating seven courses at the HQN dinner before hand.

During the day, my goal was basically to snarf more free books so I can run a contest for my newsletter folks when I get home. I'm giving away a whole bag of them - check it out on my site! I ran into Jaci Burton and her fabu husband Charlie snarfing books of their own. We found Sage Grayson and decided to take a break and gossip viciously about Tara Taylor Quinn, the RWA president who has caused a fervor the likes of which haven't been seen in the organization for at least four years. Hahahaha.

Anywho, then I went to the Red Sage spotlight, then got ready for the dinner and Rita awards, which I already blogged about here. I won't bore you with more of it.

Sunday, I spent 10 hours flying home. I almost missed my connect since we landed late, having circled the Atlanta airport for several hours (I'm not joking). When I got off the airplane, I saw that I hadn't been assigned another route home, even though my other flight had officially departed 3 minutes before. I pull an OJ Simpson - dashing through the airport, past 8 million people in line to reschedule their flights, down the stairs to the tram. I showed up just as the doors shut and it took off. Heaving like a 10 pack a day smoker (I'm carrying 30 pounds of books and a laptop on my back), I turn without pausing and sprint down the moving sidewalks to the next terminal, back up the stairs, and ALL THE WAY TO THE VERY LAST FREAKING GATE!! How's that for luck? I thrust my boarding pass at the desk guy, my hands shaking so badly he had to grasp for it twice, not that it stopped him from chatting with his friend. I stagger to the LAST seat (literally) in the plane, drop down and try to cram everything under the seat in front of me, since there is, of course, no bin space left. I'm heaving for air, sweating out all the alcohol I've been drinking all week and so thirsty, I could die (they ended up not serving beverages on the flight, by the way - too much turbulence). The stewardess gets on the intercom and, instead of starting the preflight instruction on how to buckle your seat belt, announces that it will be another thirty minutes until we leave because the pilot of this plane hasn't landed yet from his last flight. He's still circling above us. I just ran 7 miles with a total of 40 pounds on my back for absolutely no reason.

I'm telling you, I have the worst freaking luck when it comes to air travel.

All I can say is thank God I'm home. I don't want to have this much fun again for another year.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Reno - Day 4

Yeah, I know. I'm two days late with this post. But a series of unfortunate events occurred which have conspired against me. First, my AC went out. Right in the middle of editing this book - is there no god?!? And second, my husband "fixed" the wireless modem so that it may never work again. I time warped back ten years and dialed up to post this blog in 400 degree heat. Further, my PC is acting wonky. After this goes up, I'm backing up my files like a banshee.

So Friday dawns in Reno and I wake up feeling ill. I'm not a big fan of speaking, but feel it's a skill I'd better learn now, instead of after that best seller hits (hey, if I don't believe, who will?). I realize I haven't really thought through what I'll talk about. So I go down and grab some food and give my section of the speech to anyone I can find with a pulse.

I started feeling better, so I greedily snapped up some free books. I need more books like I need a hole in my head, but my love of books is what landed me in this job in the first place and free is my favorite word.

Okay - so it's time. We're talking on novellas - common mistakes and how to write around them. (I have to bring my brain out of the fridge to write this part - I'll be right back - ahhh! much better). Judith goes first. She's almost lost her voice and I'm silently cheering her on, since she's kind of the anchor man of this little performance.

She talks about submissions with the following problems:
  • Novellas without strong beginnings - too much back-story, ones that don't grab you from the first sentence
  • Novellas without endings - wrapping up too quickly, not resolving both the external plot and the romance
  • Novellas that have external or romantic arcs that don't arc -- more on this later in my section of the talk
  • Too many characters
  • Unsympathetic characters
  • Novellas without strong conflict
  • Novellas that aren't tightly written with every single sentence furthering the story
  • She told what she wants to see - a ROMANCE with a happily ever after and sex that is believable and sensual, not just sexual.

Essentially, she believes (and I agree) that novellas are different from novels in the following ways:

  • Romance – The novella-length romance arc reflects a more concentrated progression and often encompasses a shorter time frame. The romance is arced using pivotal points within the plot, conflict and characterization to achieve the goal of the HEA. A previous history, whether romantic or not, often assists with the progression of the romance within the limited word count.
  • Characterization – The majority of story’s focus is on the hero and heroine, and they are usually brought onto scene within the opening pages. Secondary characters are few in number and are used as a device to forward the progression of the romance, plot or conflict. A novella is not the place for an ensemble cast of characters.
  • Plot – The plot must be concise but not too complex, instead a scenario that lends itself to the shortened word count. The lead-in is necessarily brief, and the novella typically starts at the incident that brings the hero and the heroine together. It is vital to avoid “information dump” and keep the back story to a minimum, weaving in only the elements that are integral to either to establishing the characters, setting, conflict or plot. The action must have impact; the dialogue reflect characterization, the conflict or the romance; and the scenes segue smoothly from one to the other without wasted wordage. Scenes in a novella usually are shorter in length, and chapters, if used, often average around eight to ten pages.
  • Conflict – The conflict must be simple, believable and act as another device to forward the romance and the characterization arc. In novella-length romances, there tend to be one external conflict and a limited scope of internal conflict.
    Setting – The setting must be well developed, yet introduced quickly and often used as another device to present characterization, the romance or the conflict.
  • HEA – The happily ever after still demonstrates the commitment of the hero and the heroine to each other, but in a novella-length romance, the HEA can simply be a commitment to continue the relationship in its present form.
  • And never forgets the KISS:
    The novella-length romance epitomizes the “Keep It Simple, Stupid” rule. Keeping many of the above elements simple and not overly complex allows the novella-length romance to focus on the most important part – the love story between the hero and the heroine.

Angela Knight talked about how she grew as a writer by writing comics. Because she only had a very tight amount of space (2 lines per frame) to tell a story, this helped her distill down to the essentials to write novellas. She made a point that people love characters that care about others, so she always writes her characters with this in mind. She also spoke about writing sensual sex. Check out a FANTASTIC article that summarizes her talk Here!

For my part, I spoke first about secondary characters. You need to keep your secondary characters to a minimum. I'm more of a pantzer (someone who writes without a pre-defined plot) and so what I do is write the novella, then make a list of all the secondary characters and their functions in the story. You can do this during the outline stage if you're a plotter. Then I try to combine as many people up as possible, halving the list of characters if possible. So for example, Tim brings the news that the planet is under attack. Roy is later killed defending the heroine. I will then change it to Tim who's bumped off. The reason? Simple - you only have a tiny amount of words to tell this story - you don't want to waste them on setting up nebulous secondary characters.

I went off on a short rant about setting as a character. I write fantasy/SF/paranormal romance, which means I have to set up my world FAST in these novellas (same thing applies if you're writing historicals). If you think about your setting as a character, it will help you trim down the amount of words you use to introduce your world to just the essentials. I go back and take every sentence that sets up the setting and rewrite them, combining them up, punching them up - so that where there had been five sentences, there is now one that will (in theory) convey all that information with a punch to the reader. Thinking of the setting as a character helps me do this. (Yes, some of you think I’m nuts, but it works for me and maybe it will work for one of you, too.)

I spoke about tension. One of the biggest problems authors struggle with in novels or novellas is keeping tension high, but in novellas, it's essential. If I'm writing a 100 page novella, I'll usually have 10 page chapters, leaving me with 10 chapters (you with me? heh). So what I do is take a sheet of paper, turn it sideways and draw ten stairs up the page. Above every stair, I write the increase in external tension I will try to accomplish for that chapter (this coincides with my external plot arc) . Below the stair, I write the increase in the romantic arc for that chapter. For example, in chapter two of a recent novella I wrote, I had above the stair "Monsters are mysteriously getting into the camp" and below the stair "Heroine recognizes hero as her mate, but decides not to tell him of their bond." Then I inch up the stairs, making sure every chapter increases my external and romantic tension.

Finally, I spoke about the fact a novella should have a beginning, middle and end. Rushing the ending is really the biggie Judith sees, but what else is there to say but "don't do it!"

I know you guys were waiting for this. Hope it's everything you were looking forward to!

Monday, August 08, 2005


After speaking with my husband at length about this issue (he just decided to read my blog for the first time), I have agreed to make the following correction to an earlier post.

In the July 21st blog, titled "Hot Guys? Anyone?" the following sentence should be corrected from:

"I open the door to the most fantastically built, hot guy I've ever seen in my whole entire life."


"I open the door to the most fantastically built, hot guy who almost looked as good as my husband does on a daily basis. "

I greatly regret any confusion my earlier post may have caused. Thank you.

Reno - Day 3

I started the morning moderating Arianna Hart’s workshop on writing EMTs and Firefighters. She did a great job.

During the class, someone got a little obnoxious in the Q&A session at the end. I think the woman was prepared to go point by point through Ari's talk and tell what she, as a police dispatcher, thought about each subject. Now if you're an expert in the field, why go to the class? I'm being serious here. My time is valuable - once I lose it, I'll never get it back (I keep reminding myself this as I race to my PC to read the latest update on the RWA president's personal train wreck). It’s almost as if she felt a call from God to make sure Ari told the truth in her class and if she didn't, well this woman was going to correct her, by golly!!

I found myself wondering if I, as the moderator, should step in or if Ari was the one who was supposed to handle it. Ari got things under control before I figured it out. They had a class to teach moderators how to moderate, but it was seven hours after Ari's talk. I wonder if part of the training included How to Handle Obnoxious Class Attendees. That would actually be really good stuff to know.

My agent, Deidre Knight, had a lunch in Tahoe for all her authors. She totally rocks, by the way. Love that woman!! We took a bus up to a house on the lake that was owned by an extremely eccentric dude named George Whittell, Jr. It seems this guy had more money than Bill Gates, had more eccentricities than Michael Jackson, and loved a good party as long as you didn't make the mistake of thinking you could spend the night over. We’re talking a separate house just to play cards in, his own menagerie of circus animals, and cool hidden tunnels between all the rooms. Lunch was great, the house tour super-cool, but I think what I really enjoyed was finally meeting two people I keep cyber bumping into, Jaci Burton and Shelley Bradley.

As an aside, I have this really bad problem that occurs when people are long winded and boring. My mother raised me with Southern manners, I swear, and I know it's rude, but I just cannot seem to help myself. I *MUST* leave immediately either mentally, or preferably by physical means, the moment I feel that mind-numbing tedium that reminds me of this blind professor who taught my dissertation class in college on turn-of-the-century amusements (doesn’t that sound like it would be amazing?? It wasn’t.).

The historical society lady at Thunderbird talked for about 7 hours (okay 30 minutes) about the house. She began right as I finished off the last sip of my wine. Sadly, she stood in front of the bar, so I would have had to circle her to get a refill. My luck is like that sometimes. Basically, every time I looked at her, I saw about 15 bottles of wine sitting in a bucket of ice beyond her shoulder. I'm not an alcoholic, but I think wine would have made her more interesting. I'm just guessing. It got so bad, I went and played for awhile in the bathroom. It was a nice bathroom, and the cell reception was fantastic, allowing me to text page back and forth with my husband for a bit. I'm sure everyone thought I had a bad stomach, but better that then they know I was being horribly rude. I could tell Gena Showalter was jealous I snuck out for awhile. Heh.

Anyway, I zoomed to my room after lunch in time to change and get to the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal RWA Chapter's Gathering celebration. It was a rocking event, filled with updates on the paranormal romance market, talks by agents and editors on what they're looking for, and lots of different kinds of coffee. I love coffee and these concoctions were the kind with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top - love it!

I was shocked to learn I won the Prism Award for Best Paranormal Erotic Romance for my book IN ICE. My hero in this book will always have a huge place in my heart, because he wears a mask. Come on, you know you've always had a thing for masked men!! Admit it ladies! Robin Hood and Zorro. Sigh.

Anyway, afterwards, I decided to buy everyone a round of shots (Sex on the Beach, to go along with my award theme), so about 20 of us troop to the bar. In my euphoria, I ordered before my thrifty soul realized what I was doing. The bartender stacked out glasses.
"Wait a second!" I held up a hand. "I forgot to ask how much this will cost."
"Eighty bucks," he said.
"I'm not paying eighty dollars for shots. Any way you can give me a deal? I'm looking for something around the forty range." Where these words came from, I don't know. I can only say that I was high on caffeine, sugar and life at that moment. I felt like I could do anything, say anything - hell, I felt like I could take over the world (no I didn't, but I suddenly had a flash of Pinky and The Brain there).
"Let me see what I can do." He made the shots, rang them up, and says, "Forty-one dollars and fifty cents." He even got two hostesses to carry them over to the table for me.
WOW! I can't believe that actually worked!!! Who knew?
A fantastic topper to a fantastic day!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Reno - Day 2

Well, I made it! Yeehaw! After missing the hotel shuttle last night, I called my critique partner and basically begged until she found someone sober enough to come pick me up at the airport. But I’m here at the Reno Hilton, rarin’ to go.

Short Rant On Sharing A Bed:

I’ve decided I can’t share a bed with someone who is not my husband. My roommate slept last night in kind of in a V, so her fanny rubbed on my body off and on all night. Not good. Not good at all. There is something about another person in the bed, the feeling of never being able to fully relax, just in case you do something bad while you’re asleep. Or more importantly, SHE might do something bad while I'm sleep. (Just kidding Liz - heh) I’m not sure what either of us might do that I should be on guard for, but I’m sleeping with one eye open none the less.

I think it's the trauma from my first roommate I had in NYC for this same conference back in 2003. She basically cuddled into me every night, tucking her hand around my stomach. No. No, no, NO!!! That just won't do. The trauma has made me a super-light sleeper.

Finally, around 5:30 or so in the morning, I pulled out Rebecca York’s latest, Crimson Moon, and finished that up since I wasn't sleeping anyway. Good book. I'll have to blog about it some time.

Back to the story:

Today I hung around with Arianna Hart. We figured we’d get some quality time in with each other before the madness began. Over sushi, we yapped about her latest book, Honor Bound, and generally gossiped about everything and everyone until some folks sat down close to us that we knew. Gossip is only fun if you don't get caught, so we moved on. Oh - thanks for lunch Ari!!

The new Passionate Ink spicy romance writers group met in the afternoon for drinks and a social. Thanks to Sylvia Day, Shelley Bradley, and the rest of the crew for working so hard to put this group together! Writers of Spicy Romance Unite!! (I just wrote "Untie" by accident - hee hee).

I ate dinner with Angela Knight, her husband, and Red Sage editor Judith Pich. Thanks to Judith for buying us a fabulous dinner at the Hilton steak house. The food was to die for. We spent over three hours talking about the class we were giving on Friday on writing novellas.

This class is totally going to rock! It’s all about the mistakes Judith consistently sees when she reads over submissions and how as writers Angela and I try to keep those mistakes from happening. The conversation at dinner was fascinating. I know that makes me sound like a total geek, but it was. I’m going to blog just about this later in the week, but I think what totally had my attention was the passion to which the three of us feel about writing and reading short erotic romance.

There is a trick to writing short, one that a lot of authors never master. I think it has to do with understanding how to condense your romantic and external plot arcs, keeping your conflict manageable, and limiting your cast of characters.

Further cool stuff I found out:

* Red Sage is going to start giving out $1,000 advances - hoo-boy!
* Angela's next Red Sage novella (in Vol. 14, which also contains my novella, NIGHT HEAT) will have not one, but TWO heroes.
* Red Sage is going to put out six anthologies next year.
* Angela and her husband have a really cool relationship - he's a total sweetie and takes a huge interest in her work!
* Red Sage has joined the Ingrams book distribution network. That will mean - ta da! - Barnes and Noble baby!!

Finally finishing up, I went to meet my friends, but found that they were all in bed. Losers. It was only 11:30pm. The night was young. With a heavy heart, I trudged to my room. Tomorrow I have one heck of a day planned, so I might as well get a good night’s sleep -- or as good as I can get with my roommate's fanny rubbing on me.


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If you already get my newsletter, I'm giving away my coolest contest prize yet!! This is my way of celebrating my newest release, Secrets Volume 12, which has gotten a 4 ½ star Romantic Times Top Pick and Recommended Read from Fallen Angels Reviews!

THE PRIZE: When I was in Reno, I picked up books from some of the hottest romance authors around, most of which have been signed by the author. I'm going to give away a whole bag full of them to the winner!!!

Here's how to enter -
Send me an email to leighwyndfield@yahoo.com with the words "RENO CONTEST" in the subject line.

YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF MY NEWSLETTER LOOP TO ENTER. This is my way of thanking my newsletter members for sticking with me through my recent lack of book releases. I appreciate you. Thank you!

Please enter only once.

This contest is only open to United States residents (because otherwise postage would kill me).

If more than 100 newsletter folks enter, I'll give away TWO bags of books to two different winners, which will double your chances to win.

Special thanks to Jaci Burton for this idea! Besides being hysterically funny, your advice is fantastic lady!

Quick Book Promo

Hey all - check out this new story from Lucy Monroe - “Moon Magnetism” is a novella in STAR QUALITY, which came out in May from Brava books.

Ivy Kendall dreads the full moon. For generations, women in her family have been extremely magnetic on that day—which was fine fifty years ago but not in the age of hard drives and cell phones. That’s why the hotel manager has resisted the technological improvements her boss wants her to implement. Now, the sexy, dynamic Blake Hawthorne is coming to insist on the upgrades in person. Shoot, he’ll probably fire her. Being around Blake makes her body go as haywire as a full moon, maybe even more. And as long as she’s going to be out of a job soon, there’s no reason not to use a little of that magnetism to her advantage, luring him into an elevator where the only electricity that will work is the kind they generate themselves…

Now that's something I have to read - she's magnetic!! Like literally! Ha!

Read an excerpt here.

Marianne Mancusi

Today I've got too many blogs I'm putting out - I apologize in advance, but there are some things I need to tell everyone and I still want to get myself out of the airport and actually to Reno where the fun and games begin.

Marianne Mancusi returned from RWA Nationals in Reno to find her house had burned down. Here's what's left.

That sucks. And she didn't have any renter's insurance. Ouch!!

So a group called the Literary Chicks is acutioning off critiques from industry professionals Chris Keesler, the Deidre Knight Agency, Beth de Guzman, Stephanie Kip Rostan, Steve Axelrod, and more. Authors critiquing include Jennifer Crusie, Allison Rushby, Bev Katz Rosenbaum, Dianna Love Snell, Wendy Roberts, and more. If you are interested, pop over and check it out. I've sent my contribution, because I know from watching another friend how hard it is to recover from something like this.

Thanks in advance for helping Marianne out!!

Friday, August 05, 2005

They say getting there is half the fun...

They say getting there is half the fun... but whoever "they" are, they're liars. All of them. This was written on the way to Reno for the Romance Writers of America Conference this past week - sorry it's late, but deadlines have been calling!

Bad luck is supposed to come in threes. I must be heading into a second round then, because I’ve had quite a run recently. Sometimes I think Bad Luck is my best friend – him and Bad Choices. They’ve both been pals of mine for years, always by my side, nudging me in the wrong direction. But today, I’ve been hanging with just Bad Luck, who seems to travel with me when I fly. Lost luggage, mechanical problems, stewardesses who spill drinks on my head, missed connections – and I’m not getting into the crying babies, airsick passengers and other undesirables I inevitably get stuck sitting next to.

Today, it will take me five extra hours to get to Reno above and beyond the original ten hours it was to take in the first place. I’m not bitter. Well, not too much. After all, Delta gave me a meal voucher for SEVEN dollars. HA! But a free sandwich is better than jack squat, I remind myself. She only gave it to me because I didn’t unleash a fury on them. I know this because she thanked me for being so patient (stop laughing! I've been patient before. That one time back in 1994...) What was the point of complaining? Bad Luck screwed me. There wasn’t anything else to do but eat my sandwich and go to the airport bookstore to count the whole passel of Black Lace books they had there.

Now I’m sitting beside a guy who has his cell on speakerphone. He’s old and deaf, so he has it cranked. Come on now! Have mercy!! But lucky for me, Bad Choices caught an earlier flight, so I’ve resisted the urge to tell him about cellphone etiquette.

I’m going to a writing convention, very serious and all that – editors and other publishing professionals everywhere. It’s best behavior time. Last year, I made a complete ass out of myself in front of Nora Roberts. It made a good story, though. Nora told me I was “refreshing” afterwards, repeating my name several times. I’m not sure that was such a good thing, no matter how amused everyone seemed to be by it.

In six hours, I’ll make it to Reno. I figure Bad Choices is already there, swigging a shot of tequila with a beer chaser. He’s an ass, but never boring. I plan to resist temptation. I will resist temptation. I promise to resist temptation, no matter how much fun it seems like it might be at the time.

To Be Continued….

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Quick Blog About RWA Nationals

I have a blog for almost every day I was at the National Romance Writers of America Conference in Reno from this past week, sitting around waiting to be edited, but I ran into my agent in the airport and was treated to a stern, "where in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks is that book you owe me" speech. So instead of blogging, I've been doing that writing thing that will, in theory, bring me some income sometime down the road.

Some of the blogs include:
  • Why is it I always end up taking hours longer to fly any place than the itinerary the airline books me with? With a short rant included about one of my best friends, Bad Luck.
  • The talk I gave on Friday with Senior Red Sage Editor Judith Pich and Author Angela Knight on how to write novellas - the pitfalls Judith sees and the ways Angela and I write around them.
  • My Prism Award win for IN ICE, including what happens when you're flying so damn high, you negotiate with the bartender, getting shots for 20 people half price.
  • My first book signing at Nationals, including throwing candy at other authors for fun and profit.
  • And why I cannot sleep in the same bed with people I'm not married to.

But I just have to take 10 minutes right now from writing (it's almost 2pm and I've written 22 double spaced pages - I'm starting to go brain dead anyway) to talk about this whole thing that went down Saturday night at the Rita Awards Ceremony.

Now I was there and I'll admit, it wasn't the greatest. But I just ate a can of soup and read my email box (I'll reply later - I promise!) and see that we're all going down Hysterical Street again.

Okay, so it wasn't tasteful (re: Monica Lewinsky - Lorena Bobbit), it was positive to the Republicans (uh oh), it showed a lot of meaningless history and not a lot of women making history, it had goofy people jaunting down a runway in goofy outfits, and Nora Roberts, in an effort to advert disaster (or at least save herself from participating in it) bailed out as the MC at the last minute.

Do I think any of this is good? Hell no.

But before we press the pedal to the metal and waste precious writing hours getting all worked up again, perhaps we can remember back to that time long ago when we were readers and had never even *heard* of RWA. Friends, fellow writers, et al, nobody but us even knows who the heck we are, let alone cares what happened at our awards ceremony.

I was there and what *I* thought (since all of you really want to know, I'm sure) was, “Thank God this bottle of wine isn’t empty and really White Zin isn’t as terrible as I last remembered, further I’m going to resist the urge to eat the head off my Rita Award chocolate so I can take it back to the kids, and gee the lining on this dress is KILLING me – I need to get out of this dress RIGHT NOW.”

There is something to be said about being clueless….