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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Goodbye but wait a sec...no, maybe....not? yes?

I woke up this morning and realized I don't want to be a writer anymore. The lack of positive human interaction, the sensation that I'm running as fast as I can and going backwards. It's too painful. This time I mean it. I'm done......hold on a moment though.

The story I'm working on now needs an end, and maybe I can make it a little more interesting. And didn't I say I'd sign on for another book with Bonnie? There aren't any plots knocking around my brain, but honestly, isn't that the best? Can we think of anything that's more fun? No? I didn't think so.

Okay, maybe I'll just try a bit longer.

Except maybe it's time for another all or nothing push, whatever the hell that means. Let's reach for either an all in or an all out choice here. No more dithering....

But no. Not me....for now, back to dithering.

Is petering out the best way to go? If you're going to stop blogging/publishing/interacting/living, then maybe don't dribble into nothing. Put up a closed sign like Sarah Daltry. I don't know Sarah Daltry or her books or her situation. Someone on facebook linked to her last post and I followed. (That's all I know. I'm not that interesting in the pile-on/response/hyper-response of what was going on before that post.)

Here's the thing: she seems to be turning off the lights, closing the doors behind her, and actually, purposefully moving on. I've seen other people do this but most of those cases have been a temporary freak out (me, this morning) or a cry for attention--an author hoping someone will stop her.

Taking Daltry at her word she's apparently made a choice, declared the end is here.

I never manage that. A total lack of bangs--whimpers are my endings. You have to admire someone who can actually pack up and call it a day. Finito. I wonder what would come next.

For her sake, I hope this will help move her onto a more positive path. I hope she isn't putting on a show--that she really isn't waiting on the other side of the curtain, waiting for a response from an audience that went home. I hope she left the theater and is out enjoying the quiet sunshine.  I hope she has something even better up next--and that she's abandoned all that baggage in the empty place she left behind. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I like dogs but I don't get this one

This is my first small dog. The others in my life have ranged from medium to hefty.

If I met this dog on the street, I'd think yuick, ew, no way. Sure she's kind of cute, but that chihuahua personality is just obnoxious. SO very yappy. She barks at much larger dogs, barks at people, barks at nothing in particular. She has a special "intruder alert!" bark she saves for when I'm the only human at home and I'm in the shower. Asshole dog. Probably knows I'm still freaked by Psycho.

At the vet's office she has to wear a muzzle and last time they decided that wasn't enough to protect them from her wrath and wrapped her in a freaking towel, covering her face so she wouldn't see who was touching her.

She's not very bright either. When she gets outside, she takes off, operating on a few neurons that allow her to run and to bark (although I admit it's easier to follow that way--follow the sound trail of yapping) but not think. She's a terrible judge of danger and ignores cars and attacks huge dogs. It's a wonder that she managed to survive on the streets--which she did for a few weeks at least.

Clearly, she's a bad-tempered and stupid little animal. And here's the thing: I adore her.

She follows me around and frequently hops along on her back feet and paws at me with her front. It's sometimes painful and usually annoying to get pawed at for no reason. BUT when I go into a room and she's not at my heels, I go looking for her, because hey, she's supposed to be there. When she pulls that hop/hop/paw treatment on other people, like our neighbor she loves, I feel a tad betrayed.

She's gotten out a couple of times--raced off down the block, with me huffing and calling after her. I have an emergency stash of special treats just in case that happens again.  Every time she gets out, I panic and feel terror. What if I can't catch her this time? I get a flash of a bleak future without yapping and it's all I can do not to burst into tears.

I've had this strange repulsion/love relationship with this dog for over a year and I still don't get it. Why do we put up with each other? It reminds me a little of that very basic attachment with a baby. Strong and completely insane. The goddamn thing isn't even always reliably house-trained.

Could there be a biological imperative for women of a certain age to bond with small yappy dogs? Even if we don't like that sort of dog, we end up with one? The day I got her, I'd planned to pick up a mid-sized model at the pound, but our old big dog liked this pup.  Yeah, it's my other dog's fault.

The one saving grace: I only use the cutesy wootsy aww snookums high-pitched voice with her when we're alone. For now. Maybe that voice--like the baffling presence of this dog in my life, and the even more baffling power she has over me--is inevitable.

How did I end up like this? Argh. Couldn't tell you at the moment. The UPS truck is here and I can't hear myself think over the yapping.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Tina Donahue's new book out in two days

Tina's one of those generous people who helps other authors -- she's had me as a guest on her blog. Now she has a book coming out March 11 -- so hey! I'm sponsoring her today. 




STOLEN DESIRE
BOOK FOUR – OUTLAWED REALM SERIES

EROTIC PARANORMAL



Her freedom depends on one man. A criminal in his realm…

Outlawed Realm, Book 4

One minute, Paige Ross is outside a Seattle bar, grieving a failed engagement. The next, she jerks awake in a weird, candlelit room with velvet walls, black silk sheets, and a man who motions for silence.

Paige has little choice but to trust the powerful stranger who promises a way out of what looks like Satan’s brothel. And pray his promise to keep her safe is as real as the heat burning in his eyes.
Banished from E2’s ruling elite for supposed crimes against the realm, Zekin risks everything to rescue those brought to E5 for the guards’ carnal pleasure. Paige will be leaving this inhospitable realm of fire and ice—if he can somehow forget the way her trembling body melts in his arms.

Safe—temporarily—in an underwater world populated by strange creatures, Paige’s sexual awakening explodes into an unquenchable need that consumes them both. But the guards will be looking for her. And Zekin’s plan to send her home is a dangerous journey she cannot—will not—take without him.

Warning: Scorching-hot sex and loads of aching tenderness between a drool-worthy hunk who’s determined to do the right thing and a woman who’s not about to give him up.


Monday, March 03, 2014

wishful thinking

Q:
Why the new look?

A:
1. Nicholas said the old blog design was hard to read.
2. I'm stuck on this story. Only 2k words in and I am stuck. This is a fine method of procrastination
but mostly because.
3. Spring! Spring! Spring! The foot high piles of snow and arctic air be damned. Spring is a thing that will exist. Soon-ish. I hope.

selfie

The older I get, the less often I look in the mirror, and the more often I shrink away from cameras.

Just now I was trying to get a picture of the dogs and hit a button that flipped the view around. From cute little pup to--bam--doughy-faced, double chinned me.

The loathing I felt when I saw that image took me by surprise. I've clearly done a good job hiding from myself because that sight really was a shock. God, she's hideous. I looked at myself and saw all the fat blobby ladies I felt scorn for through all those early, more attractive years of my life. God. I'm not talking about a mild hmm that feature can change or maybe less of a chin. It was the entire thing, details and big picture, that I loathed.

It was rather amazing how much I disliked that image. This isn't going to work, I thought. I can't walk around feeling that much disdain for me.

Anyone else, sure--as in, someone else can feel that way about me. Or I can feel that way about someone else, although, of course I wouldn't, not anymore. Thank god I outgrew that kind of insta-judgement. I had to, amirite?  Or I'd kill myself, no lie, or never leave the house again. 

Okay, this has to stop, and I spent ten minutes staring at that image. trying different angles. Holding the phone up, holding it down. Staring, staring, looking for something worth admiring. I guess the smile's nice. After a while, all that staring allowed me to shift from both admiring or loathing. The image just.....was. That's what I want to aim for, some kind of acceptance

It's me. That's the package of meat that I'm stuck with. I'm not going to manage to the self affirmations but at the same time there is no point in indulging in loathing. I'm going to memorize the features again. I'm going to remember that it could be worse. The trick of remembering how unfortunate other people are (He has no nose!) always works on me.**

And then I'm going to go back to avoiding mirrors and cameras

And no, this isn't  me begging for someone to tell me I'm beautiful, because I wouldn't believe anyone who did. I have eyes. Judgey, critical eyes that won't be lied to.

Besides, after all these years, my brain can and will provide the feminist talk about internal beauty, and I can give myself the Stop Buying The Dumb Standards talk, I can remind myself that appearances are not important. That I'll be dead in ___ years anyway.... I can do all sorts of conversations to put this selfie moment into some kind of perspective. But really.

Even after the ten minutes of truth time, my eyes just roll. Even after I deliver the Get Over Yourself stern talk to myself, there's still a corner, somewhere in my vain brain saying whoa, that's not me.

____
** and I'm sure someone with no jaw would sleep better knowing they've helped insecure middle aged ladies adjust to their changing appearance.  

This isn't really a poor me thing. Really it is not. I'm healthy, I'm fine and I know I'm blessed. It's odd to change and sort of melt into someone else, but I was expecting aging (duh). 

My own knee-jerk and strong disgust was the surprise. I'm from a family that did not emphasize appearances so I always supposed I'd bypass this kind of response. Turns out, no, not entirely possible--for me anyway.  It's hardly the source of horror it would be for someone who'd been truly beautiful and counted on it for work or self-definition. (Kim Novak or Lea de Lonval) I suspect other people--female, male--have felt this way. I figured it's nice to share the WTF.

Another stage of life, rather like when we women suddenly become invisible. It's a strange experience at first but we adjust.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

ten years of publishing

Pick a year, any year of the last ten and I'll have had a similar conversation a few times that year, most often talking to another writer at a party.

Here's one from last week.

This one writes poetry. I write romance.
She says in a friendly, pleasant way, "I suppose it's kind of easy because it's formulaic."

I've heard those words often enough before: easy and formulaic.

She seems interested, so I have an answer. I'd say yes, there are expectations--but I'd call it a structure rather than formula and there's structure in most stories. Yes, the genre is about romance-- but hey relationships and growth and change--isn't that interesting and the focus of many, many novels? Yes, it usually includes an HEA but then again most genres have some kind of framework. Mysteries=crime committed at start, exposure of perpetrator at the end yada yada yada. Even with poetry...You expect a particular pattern. Right? 

About that claim of easy? I don't bother with that one. I think we've got that one covered when we both talk about finding particular words that strike chords.

Okay, she's cool. We talk some more. She says she doesn't "do" romance. Does she do Austen? Does she do these popular titles. Yes, yes, she does. Yay! We have talked. We are good.

I go looking for wine, she goes to find a friend. We meet again. She introduces me to her friend as Kate who writes sexy bodice rippers. 

Hey, it's cool. I sure didn't lie awake grinding my teeth. I rarely do about this topic. I'm not on a rant for once. It's not even one of those comments followed by *SMH* or *sigh*. It's life. I don't mind this stuff because it's not personal. Unless you act sneering or dismissive with your attitude--and not just use those easy, formulaic words about romance--I'm not going get pissed off. She didn't really sneer. People usually don't, not to my face.

But it does get a teeny tiny bit old.

I publish this as a public service, a warning:

 If you ever DO meet a romance writer who's having a bad day, or had too much wine, or gotten a bad review....and you mention formulaic or bodices or what-have-you AND she decks you, it's probably because she's heard practically nothing else when she mentions what she writes.

You've been warned. 

Generally speaking, I think the "my books are my beloved children" thing is creepy. But in a sense, I get that kind of possessiveness about my genre, just like I do about my kids. I can whine about my kids, but if you complain about them? Oh no. No. Way.

This is how I feel about romance to a less vicious degree.  I'm allowed to sneer and mock my genre. People who don't write it or read it? Not really interested.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

new internet debate laws

If you're in an internet skirmish, the moment you bring up your opponents' sex life, weight, appearance, or popularity (number of followers)* you've lost the argument and are banned from the internet for at least 24 hours--an internet time out.

If you do this continually--especially if you occupy any position of power--you will be forced to return to middle school as a small fat gay male with no fashion sense**.  You will relive those three years over and over until you get The Point.

If you still haven't figured it out and/or you're tired of the middle school cafeteria food, you can choose to be a Muslim in the deep south. 

If you back away from an argument first, you are granted extra internet bonus points. You may use these to get out of internet time outs early.

If you make up dumb internet rules of behavior, you will be ignored or called names. If you ignore the names and don't sigh about being ignored, you get extra internet bonus points.

For every whine about no one paying attention to you, the ignoring factor will increase an hour.


I'm trying for a mix of carrots and sticks here.
______
* this holds true even if the argument is about your opponent's sex life, weight, appearance or popularity. So you're going to have to be creative, people.

**get it? see point one? that's intentional, ok?

Monday, February 24, 2014

for the next day, a victorian romance usually priced at $3.99 is only 99 cents

See? I'm doing a reasonably big push on this baby, tossing bottles on the ocean, sending out the news all over the internet.
Go buy it from Amazon

Hate the big A? 

Go buy it from Barnes and Noble.

some other fun books listed at ereadernews today.

I'm going to go read some more Ben Aaronovitch...no, wait, no I'm not, I'm reading RITA books. So far, only one of the 8 is gripping me.

This is Love Between the Lines. 
"The characters are colorful and animated, befitting a thrilling story line"
--RT Magazine.


"My best read of October was Love Between the Lines by Kate Rothwell. This inventive Victorian romance is anything but ordinary..."
--Anna B., Heroes and Heartbreakers blog

Friday, February 14, 2014

Our new cover!


Bonnie and I got the rights back for this book and are putting it up ourselves. 

It's already up at Amazon and at ARe

It should be available soon at Barnes and Noble, but I swear that place is acting cranky-odd. Our former publisher had taken it down--it was definitely gone--and then today the old version popped back up.

It was definitely just B&N being spooky. The publisher had nothing to do with it.

Anyway. Look! Two half nekkid guys.....and it's this story:




What does a jaded earl see in a studious young man? Everything he never knew he was missing.

The dark, alluring Peter, Lord Northrup, is Stephen's every nighttime fantasy made flesh and he's in Stephen's bed, ready for passion. When Peter discovers the bedroom mix-up, he's ready to leave until Stephen begs him to teach him all the things he's only imagined.

The two men, visitors at a country house, begin a delirious, passionate affair with Northrup as teacher and Stephen his eager student. Peter knows their liaison is about hot sessions of sexual exploration, not love--and backs away when he sees shy Stephen's heart is involved. Passion and commitment can't coexist for men like them.

But Peter is haunted by memories of the summer fling and the quiet young man he spurned. But he may have taught him Stephen too well the lessons of a cynical roué.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

free book!

For a short time Love Between the Lines is FREE at All Romance Ebooks.**


4.5 Stars!
"Rothwell's historical romance is pleasing from every angle!"
--RT Bookreviews Magazine

Danger won't deter this intrepid reporter--even when life and love are on the line.

Sir Gideon Langham wants the best for his flagship newspaper. Hiring daring female reporter Lizzie Drury, aka "Trudy Tildon," seems like a smart decision--until he finds himself falling for her. He knows she'll risk everything to get a story which is perfect for an employee, but not for the sort of woman he plans to marry.

Lizzie longs to write real, in-depth articles. When handsome Sir Gideon offers her a job as more than a stringer, she reluctantly leaves her New York beat for unfamiliar London. But as she pursues a murder investigation, ghosts from her past become all too real.

Digging up dirt sometimes unearths danger. Now someone is after Gideon's reputation--and Lizzie's life. In a race to find a killer, Lizzie and Gideon must learn to trust each other...before it's too late.
handsome Sir Gideon offers her a job as more than a stringer, she reluctantly leaves her New York beat for unfamiliar London. But as she pursues a murder investigation, ghosts from her past become all too real.

Editorial Reviews:
From RT Book Reviews
4.5 stars! "Rothwell's historical romance is pleasing from every angle! It holds fiery passion, mystery and suspense, and readers will revel in the journey around the globe that moves from New York to London...The characters are colorful and animated, befitting a thrilling story line." 
**until I get back onto the site and fill out the form correctly this time. I'm thinking tonight I'll make it. SO HURRY AND GET YOUR FREE COPY! 

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Rip off

A while back,  someone stole one of my books and claimed it as their own. They took the whole thing and didn't change a word. They simply put their name on my book and published it. I didn't have a lot of trouble proving plagiarism and that other, stolen version was gone within days.

But now someone I know is having a less clear experience. Perhaps the person who took from her made enough changes that my friend won't be able to make the formal charge of plagiarism?  For someone to be formally labeled a plagiarist, they have to steal your very words. Not just your ideas.

That particular formal charge going to take some work. Someone else will have to do a line-by-line. I'm not going to make comparisons. I have Roberts's books. I haven't bought the possibly-plagiarizing copy and I'm not likely to. I've seen enough to know I don't want to give her money.

But .let's just take a quick look:

Wendy Roberts has a Ghost Dusters series, and her first book came out in 2007. They're mysteries and the main character is crime scene cleaner. She can see and hear ghosts, has an employee who's an ex-cop. Her brother is dead. She helps ghosts by solving their murders.

JB Lynn now has a Spring Cleaning series. Her first book came out a couple of months ago. They're mysteries and the main character is a crime scene cleaner.  She can see and hear ghosts, has a employee who's an ex-cop. Her brother is dead. She helps ghosts by solving their murders.

Okay, there are plenty of differences. Roberts's book is in third person. Lynn's is in first.

But......
Use that free glimpse to take a look at the very first scene of Robert's book (the one published in 2007). It opens with the heroine cleaning up a death scene and the dead guy's ghost is whining at her. She cleans the scene, helps the ghost move along, then goes to a birthday party.

And how about Lynn's book? The one out at the end of 2013?  The book opens with the woman cleaning up death scene. Dead guy's ghost is whining at her. She cleans the scene, doesn't help the ghost, but. . . then she goes to a birthday party.  

There's a line in Lynn's book in the first chapter. "at heart, I'm a pretty lazy person.."
Uh...

edited to add: Wendy Roberts posted this on FB:  
I appreciate all the discussion and support. I've sent an email to my editor and agent and will let them decide if anything should be done. I'd like to believe that it was all coincidental but that may be my inner pollyanna lol! The email from a fan pointed out these similarities: “her heroine does crime scene clean up and she hires an ex cop to work with her. She has a dead brother. She talks to ghosts and tells them in order to help them ‘move on’ she needs to know what unfinished business they have. She cleans a meth house, a hoarder house and drives a van. She gets all 4 of her tires flattened. She gets grossed out when a ghost runs through her body. She describes a lot of how hard it is to clean a shotgun suicide in a small bathroom” How may similarities constitute blatant plagiarism? I have no idea and I have a feeling that nothing will come of this. I'm just glad the 5 books in my series all came out long before her new book.

UPDATE 2/11--the new and kindle versions of Lynn's book is gone from Amazon. It's now only available from third party sellers. And there's no trace of it at Barnes and Noble. So I guess someone else thought it was suspect. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chances are you're doing it wrong

According to many** arguments I've seen on the internet in the last day or so, if you're not gay/non-white/non-cis/sad/poor/fat you have no right to try to depict the gay/non-cis/non-white/sad/poor/fat people in the world. You can't actually depict those experiences if you haven't felt it yourself.

Sure you've felt pain/love/hate/boredom/fear/loss, sure you're human, but unless you've felt it in that capacity, wearing those shoes, you cannot possibly describe that particular experience.

On the other hand, if you write books with characters that do not embrace any of these qualities or you only portray them as secondary characters (as in they act as foils for the main straight/cis/white/happy/rich/svelte characters), you are awful. You do not even try to show the world what it is like to be fully human.


TL:DR = There seems to be a lot of anger on the internet. 
TL;DR pissy version = Damned if you do, damned if you don't


**three or four