Aphrodisia Authors

Monday, January 28, 2008

Is book weight like baby weight?

A common writers' mantra is "Butt in Chair", meaning that sitting down and actually writing is the only way to complete a book.

To my surprise, I recently sat my way to a weight gain of five (okay—eight) pounds during the writing of book 3, LYON, THE LORDS OF SATYR. The inactivity of sitting before a computer for the long hours necessary to fulfill my vision really packed it on. The fridge breaks didn't help. Once I realized I could not fit comfortably into my favorite jeans, a visit to the scales was in order. What a shocker that was. I reset the button twice thinking what I was seeing wasn't possible.

I'm calling it my "book weight" because it's similar to the "baby weight" new moms often work at shedding after giving birth. I figure books and babies are both acts of creation, though authors visit Fed Ex for their deliveries rather than hospitals.

The good news is I've lost most of my "book weight" by telling myself I can have that cookie any time--I don't have to eat it now when I'm trying to fit into my jeans. Still, I surprises me how easy it was to gain without even realizing what was happening. Just imagine if we gained five or ten pounds with every book we wrote. Yikes.

Elizabeth Amber
NICHOLAS, THE LORDS OF SATYR (available now)
RAINE, THE LORDS OF SATYR (March 08)
erotic historical paranormal romance
Kensington Aphrodisia
for excerpts: www.elizabethamber.com

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Posted by Elizabeth Amber :: 11:29 AM :: 4 comments

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Romantic Times Booklovers Convention - Faery Court

For today's blog, I'd like to throw out a big plug for the upcoming Romantic Times Booklover's Convention.

For those of you unfamiliar with this convention, it's actually a reader's convention, but is well attended by authors, booksellers, librarians, reviewers, editors and agents. Not to mention, this is where the annual Mr. Romance competition is held. (i.e. ten to twelve hotties who compete for the title and hang out at the convention all week!)

There are beginning writer workshops, publisher spotlights, themed costume balls, a large book signing for both print and eBooks, and lots of great networking opportunities.

This will be my fourth year attending the Romantic Times convention, and my third year on the Faery Court, which is one of the themed costume balls.

Now, why am I telling you all this?

I've had more people than I can count ask me to give them the scoop on the RT convention, so I figured this would be a great place to post it from both an author and a reader perspective.

Authors:
Not only do you have up close and personal access to a few thousand avid readers (including other authors - who, don't forget, are readers,) but from an author perspective, RT offers promotional opportunities every hour of every day. They have Club RT, which authors can sign up for on a first come, first served basis - where you can sit and greet readers in 1/2 hour slots at no extra charge beyond your paid registration to the conference. They also have promotions row where you can put out your promo items for readers to take. You name it, buttons, note pads, pens, bookmarks, bags of candy, temporary tattoos, stress balls, letter openers and just about anything else you can imagine can be found on this little section of the hotel. And don't think readers don't find them, usually I have to go refill my boxes at least a few times a day.

Editors, agents, booksellers, Mr. Romance contestants, librarians, readers and other authors all hang out at the bar in a friendly environment, which feels more like a relaxed happy hour than networking, but nonetheless, strong long-lasting relationships are forged in this environment.

Also, there are terrific panels on several genres and being asked to be on one of them is not only an honor, but great promotion since readers can hear you speak, get to know you, and your name is in the RT convention brochure and on the website. This will also be my third year on the Paranormal panel.

Also, there are tons of paid promotional opportunities. Everything from ads in the program, your book video showing during the book signings, being a sponsor for a mixer or sponsoring one of the larger events. Which, brings me back to Faery Court.

As I mentioned above, this is my third year on the Faery Court. What do I get for this paid opportunity? Throughout the year, my name, pic and website are promoted in the RT magazine as well as in the convention brochure as being a member of the Faery Court; several members of the court, including myself, have written interesting versions of fairy tales, which are posted on the RT site and each month, that Faery court member hosts the message board. So, stop by in February to read my story, HANSEL AND GRETEL'S REAL ESTATE VENTURES, and say hi to me on the message boards! Also, during the Faery ball at convention, my wonderful cover for my upcoming release, VISION OF SEDUCTION, will be flashed on the large screens, along with covers from my fellow fae; also, right now there is a scavenger hunt going on which will take you to all the fae's websites and allow you to win some great prizes! Not to mention, that my name is mentioned during the Faery Ball itself, and my sales always spike after the ball, and I hear from readers who found me there for many months afterwards.

The Faery Ball is only one opportunity among many at RT, and there's something for authors with every type of budget.

Readers:
If you're looking for a week of fun up close and personal with many of your favorite authors, as well as a place where you can meet some new favorites, RT is the place for you. Raffles, parties, costume balls, prizes, FREE books, networking with authors and Mr. Romance contestants and much much more.

I urge all of you to take another look at RT and see what you've been missing!

And hopefully, I'll see you in Pittsburgh in April :)

Cassie

Posted by Casie Ryan :: 8:28 PM :: 4 comments

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Knicker shock and Exciting news!



It's been an exciting week! I had a birthday AND my first book for Aphrodisia came out! What more could a girl ask for? Well, underwear, as you will find out below...



It was my birthday last Saturday and dear Mr Kate took me up to San Francisco for a day of shopping and lunching and general merriment,(i.e. no kids) Initially I'd decided to get a new handbag, a brown one, to match my new Ariat cowboy boots, see left, but nothing inspired me enough to spend big bucks on it, well Mr Kate's big bucks, but you know what I mean :)

We had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory at the top of the Macy's building and regrouped. I asked dear Mr Kate if he could look up a British store that I'd heard had a shop in San Francisco on his iphone. He looked a bit skeptical but when I mentioned it was fancy lingerie, he suddenly became much more interested. We located the store just off Union Square on Geary Street and headed down there, stopping in Neiman Marcus on the way.

Of course, while we were in NM, we saw a lovely Issey Miyake cardigan in beautiful reds, oranges and yellow. We both liked it and filed it away for future reference in case I didn't find a handbag. then we went in search of the lingerie.

Agent Provocateur turned out to be a fabulous little shop. Mr Kate made himself at home on the fancy seats while I tried on about twenty different bras with the help of a sales assistant. I fell in love with two of them and decided, seeing as my lovely MIL had left me some birthday money as well, that I could afford to really splash out and get two sets. Being a generous woman, I decided to let Mr Kate pick his favorite style of matching underwear.



And here's where I slipped up. I didn't check the prices of the knickers...I knew the bras were expensive and I reckoned the knickers would be about a third of the bra price. Um, no...the bill was humongous and Mr Kate just paid it like a lamb and off we went.

He still wasn't speaking 2 blocks down and he had this kind of dazed look in his eyes. Meanwhile, I was checking in the very fancy bag for the receipt and finding out just how expensive a set of French made British imported knickers can be. I was laughing so much that I offered to take them back, but Mr K wouldn't hear of it. He even still wanted to buy me the Issey Miyake top! Luckily for us, NM only takes American Express and their own charge card, neither of which we had on us!

So feast your eyes on my new knickers and remember-always check the price before you reduce your husband to complete speechlessness...

Posted by Kate Pearce :: 1:41 PM :: 9 comments

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A New Year!

Well, a new year always comes with changes and new challenges! I pride myself on being able to take change as it comes and move on quickly with new ideas as quickly as possible.

2008 promises to be a great year for me and I'm seriously excited to get started. I have two books coming out with Aphrodisia this year:

Sexy Beast IV, March 2008
Pre-order on Amazon: Sexy Beast IV --Ship Date February 26th

My novella in Sexy Beast IV is called "Abundance":

Kayla Michaels, daughter of General Augusta Michaels, is bound for an arranged marriage on Fourth Colony when the ship carrying her is attacked and her stasis pod is ejected during the melee.She awakens on a small jungle moon aptly called Abundance. It is uncolonized and had been deemed uninhabitable by New Earth long before she was ever born. With her pod damaged beyond repair and the locator beacon offline, she realizes that she is on her own. The relief of escaping the arranged union is dampened only by her somewhat dire circumstances.

Jude Aroca is the son of a human scientist and the leader of the native population of the Yaw on Abundance. The arrival of a human female on his world is a violation of the peace treaty New Earth signed nearly thirty-five years before. The humans promised to leave the small jungle moon alone in exchange for technology. Now there is a woman tearing around in the night only feet from his dwelling... and she’s wrecking havoc with all of his senses. No woman—none among his own kind—had ever smelled so perfect, so right. The beast he carries inside of him, a gift from his cat-shifter father, agrees.

Exposing Casey, April 2008
Pre-order on Amazon: Exposing Casey --Ship Date March 25th

This novel is actually a two novella collection:

Exposing Casey

Casey Andrews loves sex... but she wants to be loved as well. Of course, being blessed (or cursed?) with abody that renders men speechless isn't exactly conducive to post-coital cuddling, much less the possibility of commitment to anything except... more sex. Then Shawn Tranner comes into her life at the moment when she needed someone most. The perfect gentlemen and the perfect lover, Shawn could be the man of Casey's dreams. But with someone bent on turning her dreams into nightmares, trusting the wrong person could be the last thing Casey ever does...

Seducing Lisa

Lisa Millhouse has run from James Brooks for more years than she can remember. He's everything she thinks she doesn't want.... filthy rich. When he sets out to prove to her that he's everything she needs... she'll find herself in the middle of a seduction so consuming that nothing but his touch will matter.

* * * * * *

In my spare time, I updated my website with a new design :-). I'm really liking this one a great deal. It's sexy and reflects the passionate feel of all of my work.

http://www.deannaleebooks.com/

My new paranormal suspense is moving along very nicely and I'm pleased with the progress that I've made on this new character. Developing a character and "world" with series potential is pretty hard stuff these days on my limited schedule.

Happy Reading,
Deanna Lee
deanna@deannaleebooks.com

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Posted by author :: 3:03 PM :: 2 comments

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Fork In The Road

Hmm. I'm trying to remember which day I mailed off my latest ms. for Aphrodisia. The deadline was Jan 15, and I think I made it with a whopping 3-4 days to spare. Hawk's Talons took me in fun directions, at least for me because I love paranormal. Although I drew on Native American spirituality in part because under another name I wrote seven NA historicals, with Hawk, I didn't have to stick to what's known about the belief system. Instead, I let my imagination take flight and didn't know until the end how powerful Hawk Spirit would turn out to be--or how lusty my characters.
As soon as Hawk went off, I tackled a couple of have-to projects, most notably a complete revamping of my web site. If you're so inclined, please take a gander at www.VonnaHarper.com to see what a pro (not me) can come up with. Now, hopefully, I can maintain the site. We'll see. Then I had a couple of editing jobs to do for two ebooks that'll come out later this year (not with Aphrodisia).
Even before I finished Hawk and certainly while clearing the decks, my mind started playing with something I haven't tried for a long time--thus the title of this blog. I love romantic suspense, absolutely love it! Suspense is my genre of choice when I'm reading for pleasure, and I'm in awe of writers who can keep the pacing going throughout all the twists and turns and excitement of a big suspense book. But that's not what I'm diving into starting today. Instead, I'm trying a less ambitious route by tackling a 55-60,000 word story, hopefully for Harlequin Intrigue. I've been reading a lot of Intrigues and am impressed with the sophistication and reality, the variety. Can my plot and characters match what's being published? I don't know but I'm stoked by the challenge.
And when I'm done with the proposal, I know I'll approach my next Aphrodisia title in my current contract renewed and rejuvinated. At least for me, change of pace keeps me fresh. I've asked this in other blogs but what about you, do you stick to reading one genre or do you read across the board? What about non-fiction?
Vonna
p.s. Speaking of non-fiction, my son gave me John Grisham's The Innocent Man. Two thumbs way up for this true tale of an innocent man condemened to death.
Vonna

Posted by Vonna Harper :: 10:26 AM :: 1 comments

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Things Are Looking Up (Not Dresses)


Well, let’s see, what’s happened since my last whiny post about the glamor of the writing life....


  • ONE MORE TIME is a nominee in the RT Reviewers’ Choice award in the Erotic Romance category. Fellow Aphrodisia author, Noelle Mack, scored two nominations in the same category, so we Aphros are rockin’!
  • I am writing again, but not back at my usual productive amount. I think because what I’m writing this time is soooo different.
  • I’ve been lugging my laptop to work because experience has shown that I’m not so great about transcribing stuff from longhand. Without carrying anything else besides laptop, power cord and bag, I’ve been lugging 8.5 pounds to and from work today and more because it carries my purse, lunch and any other paperworky stuff I may need.
    So I took the plunge and bought an Alphasmart Neo. Now I’ll be lugging 3.5 pounds to work every weekday. This makes me happy.


Any of y’all use something other than an ancient laptop to write on?

Posted by Celia May Hart :: 11:29 AM :: 2 comments

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On Underwear...



With the release of my anthology Thigh High, I'm given to pondering under garments.



Given that I used to sell lingerie and was once able to judge bra sizes at a glance, it wasn't too far a stretch for me to come up with a link for the three novellas in Thigh High. (FYI - one of the most common problems I saw were women who'd gained weight, but kept buying their original bra size. Come on ladies...if you've gone from a size 6 to size 12 in your slacks why would your bra size remain the same 34B?)



It's nice to have a theme when you pitch an anthology idea. But underwear? Even I have to admit it was a tad mundane. Many anthologies have much more exciting themes: shape shifters, BDSM stories, mystical legends or what-have-you.
But me? Be fantastical? Not likely. I do underwear.



OK, so there's one more ghost story in THIGH HIGH set in Perdition House with the title Parlor Games. But frankly, the idea of ghostly madams, johns and hookers no longer seems that woo-woo anymore. I've lived with those characters for so long now, it's all rather cozy and familiar.



Which brings me back to the other stories: Thigh High (my sexy bet novella) and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Thong (heroine in hiding). (For those who've never even tried wearing a thong...here's one tip: get a larger size than you normally would)


So, I ask you: What's your fave piece of lingerie? Merry widow? Sexy stockings with or without garters? Is there a fave color?


Have you ever used lingerie to seduce a man?


For the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be all over the net with book giveaways, interviews and guest blogs in celebration of the release on Jan 29 of THIGH HIGH. Please check my site for details...the events page is always being updated as more and more dates are confirmed. www.bonnieedwards.com


The rest of January will be a blast! Hope you can join me wherever I am!




Posted by Unknown :: 4:10 PM :: 12 comments

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Married People Sex

Yep, the title is correct. Believe it or not, married sex has become a writing fetish of mine. Having been married for--let's just say I almost got the dust from Moses' march across the Red Sea--I realize that hot, steamy passion is thought to diminish over time. We are taught to expect this.

But why is that? Honestly, I can't live a life without passion. As long as I'm able to "use what my mama gave me" I will. And I refuse to have pitiful, dragging "married people's sex" in real life or in my character's lives. Why can't the sheets being on fire be the norm not the exception? Why does married sex and boring pop up on the word association game.

I write how I like living for the most part. There is always an element of "me" in every story. How miniscule or humongous it is, I won't tell, but I'm there. (I'm a big voyeur) So when there is an opportunity to put a fresh marital dating idea out there or situation or X_my choice here__ I seize it. As Tyra says, I become "fierce!"

Again why?

If I write it well, he will come...and come....and come.

Win win all the way around.

Peace out

Syd

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Posted by sydney molare :: 1:59 PM :: 4 comments

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Power To Satisfy

This last week I've been in research mode. Once I get the first draft of a book finished, I like to let it sit for a few days. So I step away from it and begin researching my next project. After I'm done with my research, I'll go back to that completed first draft and edit and polish until I'm satisfied.
Writing historicals takes a good bit of research. Lucky for me I love history, all kinds of history from all over the world and every time period. Sinking into what life must have been like during key turning points in the evolution of humankind and society is fascinating to me. Especially where women are concerned.
Rarely is credit offered to the women of history, though I believe there were many - unknown to us because they were not written about - who played pivotal roles in the events of history. I do not doubt that a carefully whispered word accompanied by a soft touch had at least some influence on a man somewhere in time. And in more ways than one.
Those are the stories I want to read. Those are the stories I want to tell. Those are the stories that make us believe in ourselves and the power we wield as women. Those are the stories that satisfy us.
So as I return to my stacks of library books and internet search engines, I'll keep looking for the women behind the history, and the men strong enough to listen to them.

Posted by Annalise Russell :: 10:28 AM :: 2 comments

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Panic at the PC

I've been in a bit of a panic for quite a few months now. It all comes down to and centers around the paranormal BDSM antho my editor signed me up for last year. Ok, super-duper that I got another sale under my belt. Not so super-duper is that fact I have been scared sh*itless about writing it.

What the hay? you ask, scratching your head.

Yes, I know. I should be tickled pink that my name is going to be first on the cover. Truth is, I've worried myself into a dither that the story I proposed wasn't good enough. And that I am not talented enough to write it. That it will stink, suck, and sink the antho.

In other words, my usual tizzy tornado before I set my fingers on the keyboard and write. You may not have guessed (or maybe you have) that I am the sort of writer who has to stew for a bit on a story. Well, I've been stewing on the story I'd said I do. As the time to write it came around, I kept avoiding the computer. Why? Because it was the wrong story for the antho. Fortunately I have an editor I can discuss these things with, and she gave me artistic license to write what inspired me.

Talk about a brow wiping.

I knew the story I'd proposed was wrong and didn't have the nerve to say anything for months. The word paranormal and BDSM together conjure images in my mind of some pretty twisted stuff. In my world that's not a bad thing. After all, that's what I do, and happily, I might add. The idea that kept creeping to mind involved a combo of the movies Psycho (an abandoned town with the proverbial creepy place and smoking hot owner, a girl on the run with a bagful of stolen loot), The Entity (demons with sex on their minds) and the song Hotel California (hehe, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave...)

Right-o. Panic has eased now that I have the concept down solid. And now that I have settled on my story for the antho, I feel calmer. Because I know it is the right story. Does that make sense? It fits the theme of the anthology and maybe, just maybe, if I write it right, it will be a brilliant lead off to an already spectacular line-up, which is Jodi Lynn Copeland and Anya Howard. I admit it, too, that I've been afraid of being the weakest writer and that my story will still bite. Proverbial insecurity, the little monster that sits in the back of my mind, has been busy whipping the thought deep into my brain. The usual creative insecurities.

How about you, writers? Ever start a story and know it's all wrong? Ever sit at the pc chewing your nails to the quick because of insecurity...or in just plain old fear that you couldn't write the damn book?

Share, please. Inquiring minds want to know.

As I've been brewing up my story I've also been foodling around with my website. That's another thing that never satisfies me. I want it to be better, more interesting than it is. Somehow I never achieve my goal. Someday I will hire a pro to do it, LOL.

Meanwhile, I need to get back to the proverbial WIP. :)Wish me luck!

Posted by Devyn Quinn :: 1:52 AM :: 3 comments

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

New Year's Resolution #1: Stop Procrastinating - Broken Already

So, just as I was congratulating myself on what a good writing session I was having, I took a short caffeine-fix break, which led to a quick email check, which led to a visit to MediaBistro.com, where I was one mouse-click away from signing up AGAIN for the magazine article writing class that I’d previously taken, but never finished. But, the money Gods were watching, forcing me to close my browser.

What else can I do while the coffee’s brewing? I asked myself.

I know. I’ll look through my book idea file for new projects (despite the 9 unfinished ones staring back at me).

An hour later, I was still scrolling through the pages. Then, the following idea caught my attention. In December 2006, as I was sitting in Starbuck’s looking around and inventing lives for various patrons – something else I do to procrastinate - I saw a woman alone who looked rather sad and was staring at the door repeatedly, which triggered the idea for this Christmas story:

A woman sits expectantly at a table at a restaurant, convinced that Mr. Right is going to waltz through the door. She checks her makeup repeatedly, can barely finish each course, and glances at the doorway each time someone walks in. In between courses, she replays scenes from her life -- past Christmases of heartbreak. But as dessert is served, followed by her third cup of coffee, and the last guest leaves, she must accept that Mr. Right is not coming. No one has ever come to here rescue, so why should this Christmas be any different. She asks for one last cup of coffee and takes the handful of pills she’s carried along with her. As she drifts off, she hears sirens in the background, before gazing up into kind brown eyes. “You came,” she says, then laughs, coughing, “I’m sorry I didn’t wait.” The reader is left to wonder if Mr. Right really came or if she has died and it was her last dream.

Now, there's a cheery story! What had I been thinking about beforehand?

And, then I remembered why I’d jotted down this idea – because, each year, I get more and more turned off by the excessive commercialism and forced good cheer of the holidays. I was rebelling, in my own childish way, by forcing myself to come up with an unhappy Christmas tale.

Uh, yeah. Well, I think I succeeded.

Hmmmm...Supposing that I didn’t make the heroine come across as a Pitiful Pearl (as my friend Leigh Michaels says), do you think anyone would buy it if I wrote it? Now, that thought is good for at least ten more procrastination minutes...

But I’m going to be strong and resist the temptation – and struggle to get New Year's Resolution #1 back on track. Further exploration of that idea will have to wait, perhaps forever.

Here's wishing everyone success with this year's resolutions!

Best,
Rachelle

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Posted by Rachelle Chase :: 9:04 AM :: 4 comments

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Monday, January 07, 2008



(OK, so third time's a charm...I cannot believe I couldn't Copy from a Word doc!!)

ANYWAY--one of my Intentions for this New Year is to get more public, and get beyond being such a "techno-tard," far as online promo opps (you can see I need help here!) So here I am! And right now, I'm up against the wall, far as turning in my next novella for Aphrodisia--"NAUGHTY NOELLE" will be in the '08 holiday antho! While it's great fun to write a Christmas story during the Christmas season, lots of Real Life has taken me from my Mac lately. So I'm behinder than I like to be.
But I WILL make my Jan. 15th deadline!
Because another of my Intentions for 2008 is to talk positive! Think positive! And spread JOY!
For those of you who haven't met me, I've been writing for the Aphro line a couple of years now. Wrote four for Black Lace before that, along with two serialized erotic novels at WickedVelvet.com. I also write sweet historical romances under my real name, Charlotte Hubbard, for Dorchester, so I spend six months as Charlotte and six as Melissa MacNeal. Nothing like cashing in on a split personality, eh? It's a hoot going to conventions like RT, where I get to be both of me at any given moment!
Right now, however, I'm a little scrunched. Had a HUGE influx of junk emails at the turn of the new year, and clicked my way into a HUGE problem with my e-mail program, trying to fix it! Which is why I totally love my Mac guru. I've also taken the Secretary's post in Novelists, Inc., an international group for pubbed novelists, so I'm tele-meeting each month now and taking minutes, etc. Those other officers might be in for a BIG surprise, now that I'm on board!
And, on top of that, I'm learning to use Word for all these new activities and for my manuscripts. Yeah, you're thinking I'm really Neanderthal, aren'tcha? But tellya what--the AppleWorks that came free with my Mac is so much simpler and has served me well for most of the 20+ years I've been pubbed. I hate to fix things that ain't broke--but I have to upgrade with the times and go with the flow, too!
And meanwhile....I'm supposed to be working on the final rewriting of my novella right now. I left Andy and Noelle on a Murphy bed in a renovated bungalow, wearing only their Santa hats. I really should get back to see how they're doing without me....
Until next month! Have a good one!
Melissa MacNeal
www.melissamacneal.com
Next release: "Getting Lucky" in ONLY WITH A COWBOY,
May, 2008

Posted by Melissa MacNeal :: 2:29 PM :: 8 comments

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

A blog about blogging

Today I want to blog about blogging. So many authors (along with everyone else in the world) is into blogging these days. I have a bunch of thoughts and questions for the authors who blog and the readers who visit blogs.

First, for the authors, why do you do it? To avoid writing? To write in a different way (e.g., sharing your thoughts rather than working on a novel)? To promote yourself and your work? To share yourself, with the idea that someone out there is actually interested?

And some questions for the readers. Why do you visit author blogs? If you’re a reader, why do you choose to read a blog rather than a book? What are you looking for? Do you want to hear about the blogger’s personal angst, her writing life, her thoughts about the business, her views on books, movies or politics?

That leads to the question, to what extent are authors honest and frank on their blogs? If an author says she’s twenty-nine and loves dogs, is that true or just what she thinks her fans want to hear? How can you trust anything you read on the internet? Or does anyone care whether what’s said in a blog is fact or fiction?

If you visit blogs, how often do you visit the same one? What does it take to keep you coming back? How often do you comment? What makes you comment? (I always feel sad when I look at an author’s blog and see “0 comments” over and over!)

Have you ever bought a book because you visited an author blog? If so, what prompted you to buy it?

Blogging and visiting blogs obviously cuts into writing and reading time. It’s a priority choice. Or, is it perhaps an addiction? Do you feel that you’re in control of your blog life, or is it in control of you?

Well, those are enough questions for now. I look forward to reading people’s comments.

But before I go, for those who like chatting as well as blogging, please join the Aphrodisia authors on Monday, January 7, at 9:00 EST when we’ll be chatting at WriterSpace (http://www.writerspace.com/). We chat there on the first Monday of each month, always have a fun and crazy time and love seeing so many readers there. We also give away great prizes!

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Posted by Susan Lyons :: 12:11 PM :: 19 comments

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Threads of Time: Mine are in Knots


My girlfriends like to give me calendars for Christmas--horse art, fairies with glittering wings, ferocious dragons, I love to see them on my office wall. My favorite was a Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell's Fantasy Calendar. The luscious thighs and delicious muscles were a pleasure to behold as I painted my fantasy worlds with my keyboard.

But last year my girlfriends gave me six calendars--which might explain why this year I received none. I'm sure they thought another of them got me one.

I wasn't too worried about this. Borders and B&N sells their calendars at 50% off after the first of the year, and I had a $5 coupon for Borders. Today is the 5th. Surely I could manage 5 days without a calendar. My mind is a steel trap, after all. Watch out.

Well, I had something scheduled for my niece on Saturday and something with my nephew for Sunday, and I was having lunch with my critique partner on Sunday, too, but that's okay. Sunday has enough hours in it for two events.

So today, calendar--less, I spent an hour and a half at a birthday party with my nephew. Only it wasn't a party for anyone we know. THAT party is tomorrow--at the same time I'm supposed to have lunch with my critique partner. And that thing with my niece? That was this morning at 9:30. Oh yes, I was still in bed. So much for the steel trap. It appears to have rust when I wasn't looking.

I didn't go home after the birthday party. My humoring barfly friend--after asking me if I was high--took me to Borders. With my $5 coupon and my 50% off, I bought a beautiful Woodland Faeries calendar by Linda Ravenscroft. I bought a horse calendar too, for the kitchen. I saved something like $11, but I would have rathered make my engagement with my niece...and scheduled my lunch with my CP at some time other than my nephew's birthday party.

Which brings me to a word of thanks to whichever Aphrodisiac programmed the Yahoo Groups thing to nag the person who's turn it was to blog. (I suspect that's Jodi. Thanks, Jodi!) Last year, as soon as the blog schedule was created, I wrote my dates faithfully on the appointed Sunday on one of my six calendars. But then everything got changed. Maybe twice. I missed every blog after that because I couldn't tell which blog date was mine when I looked at my crossed-out dates on my calendar.

I'm officially ready for 2008 now. I've got my two calendars in place, and there's a pencil--with a big fat eraser--tied to each.

Whatever each of you does to stay organized, I wish you the best of it! May your iPhone never crash. May your Blackberry never run out of batteries. (And Kate, may Outlook never lie too far from your fingertips!)

May your girlfriends never fail to give you calendars for the holidays...and if they do, don't be a cheap bastard and wait for the sale.

Posted by Lucinda Betts :: 9:12 AM :: 1 comments

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Power of Power


This has been a rough few weeks for me (whimper) and it's all because of two things in my life I think of the least but which appear to affect me the most: My computer and the power company, things I use without thinking about them or their importance in my life. Well, now I KNOW how important they are! So important, I've hardly had time to agonize over the release of my latest book in the Wolf Tales series, Wolf Tales V. So, maybe all the trouble is a GOOD thing.

Nah. I don't think so.

My computer crashed two weeks ago. Luckily I send my manuscript to my gmail account every night, so it's saved online, because I lost a lot of stuff and I won't know if it can be recovered until next week when the repairman finally has time to check the problem. One of the things missing is my calendar. I know I've committed to a lot of events this month because I have a new book out, but they were all noted in my Outlook calendar, which is totally inaccessible. If I'm supposed to be chatting with you or blogging or doing SOMETHING, please email me and tell me! I am seriously thinking of getting a "gasp" REAL PAPER CALENDAR. I was in the middle of running a contest for my newsletter group and I can no longer access the entries. Not a good thing. So many things going on, lost or in a file I can't access.

If that's not enough trouble, we're in the middle of the "STORM OF THE CENTURY!" I have to write that in all caps because that's how the weatherman keeps describing it. I'm always amazed at how many "storms of the century" we have, but will admit, this one has been spectacular. Seven inches of rain in two days, winds up to 60 mph, trees down, roads blocked, flooding...and no power. Which is why the blog post I think I was supposed to do this morning (remember that missing calendar?) isn't getting done until now.

We live in a forest of huge pine trees--well over a hundred feet tall. In high winds they all blow and sway at different rates, depending on the size of the trunk and the thickness of the crown. My office is on the top floor, literally in the treetops. I've been seasick most of the day, watching the trees swaying to and fro! At least none of them have come down on me yet--many of you know of my intimate meeting with a fallen tree. If not, check out the pictures at www.katedouglas.com/fallentree It will give you a whole new perspective on the immense power of a large oak tree that's ready to come down! You'll also understand why I'm no longer as fond of trees as I used to be.

So, for me, anyway, this new year is starting out on a rather technical note. As in, me and tech are not getting along. At least my old-fashioned muse if functioning again, and my WIP, Wolf Tales VII, is coming along really well. While the power's on, I guess I'd better get back to work. In the meantime, I hope your computers behave and your weathermen speak in lower case letters. And I wish you all a wonderful new year and smooth sailing ahead.

PS: I was dead serious about that request--if you know of something I'm supposed to do, please drop me a note and tell me! I don't even have email addresses of the people I can contact to find out for sure what I'm doing....sigh. Write to me at kate@katedouglas.com. Thank you!

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Posted by Kate Douglas :: 12:16 AM :: 9 comments

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