Saturday, January 31, 2009

1. See your inauguration photos here! Cousins! Big crowds! Mousepads! Stuff! It's a very cool entry. Like a slideshow sorta. Static though.

2. Seriously, I do not have any problem with religion. Just YOUR religion. No, no, you very silly person. That was a joke.

I even like visits from the Seventh Day Adventist who stops by my house every few months and gives me my latest copy of Watchtower. We talk about how big her kids have gotten. I'm touched she wants to save me from hell fires.

Friday, January 30, 2009

oh, just can it

There's the usual carrying on about IMMORALITY of the sex and how people judging the Big Contest should get to send back smutty books.

Dear Contest Judge [changed because Shelli is right, also edited because I'm just rude and now that I've ranted I can stop being rude],

No. Sorry. Please. Stop with the morality arguments. I've got a full set of morals too and some--just SOME, mind you--Godly Folk offend them every day. I'm polite most of the time, but you're getting on my last nerve with this.

Listen, you probably like sex, but behind closed doors, right? Well, I happen to like God, but behind closed doors, too. I'm majorly squicked out by people who try to tell me about their God and oh, baby how good He makes them feel and how He'll take care of them forever. Put it away, I want to tell them. Ewww.**

My basic response is keep the glad tiding for your prayers--which are between you and your god and the people in your congregation. I'm glad you've found something you love but stop waving that thing around in public.

But okay, so you've written a book and I have to judge it. Fine, I can take all that I just wrote above put it aside, and I will read that book. And I will be fair.

Except dudes, listen. Some of the inspies I've read are great but others cross lines for me. . . You know those inspies where someone prays for a particular outcome, rather than, say, for maybe the strength to face something horrendous? Well. When the character stumbles across the money because she prayed? I'm as put off by it as you'd be by a foursome involving sex and a small pony. (It's bad plotting, deus ex machina isn't a good device., okay? Even in an inspie.) But worse, it's a bad attempt to manipulate emotion on my part, as obvious as any boffing scene is an attempt to manipulate the sexual response. It can go way too far for those of us who don't think continuous glad tidings should be a public event.

Here's why I'm offended. I just judged a bunch of inspies. Not my cup of tea, as you can see. But it never occurred to me that I should be ready to toss them back into a pile on the basis of MORALITY. Bad writing, maybe, but that's not an option when you're a judge. Anyway, do you see what I mean?
Let me put it this way.....more and more I get the equivalent paths here.

Religious activity is to inspies
Sex is to the erotic romance.

Writers use those as tools to excite and pull in the reader. What if those don't do it for you? Tough. But don't cry morality because that's just not in the scorecard you've been handed as a judge.

Listen. No one hates sex or God, but there can be so much of a good thing and it can be so strong that it’ll put off all but the most hard-core adherents. Okay, so you're squicked by the threesome or the woman who tries to get everyone to pray every time anything goes wrong, but here's where you act like a grown up and actually judge the book.

Does the God or the Sex make characters thinner than cardboard and warp the plot so it's nothing but shouting to the rafters. That's not a matter of morality, that's bad writing--or at least it's not really romance. **** Got it? Good. Now read your contest books and stop feeling so damned blessed superior. We're all in the love business together.

Dismounting from her high horse to go write delicate smut,
** and I must point out that I have some basis for my squickitude: How many people have died because people insist Their God is Best? Millions. Countless numbers. How many have died because of hot sex? Some, I suppose. But it's no contest. And I think we can agree that genocide is far more obscene than boffing.Since my work with refugees, the connection between My God Is THE One and genocide does really make a click in my brain and cause actual nausea.

****Which makes me wonder if maybe the erotica (vs erotic romance) writers should enter their stuff into categories like mainstream with elements category. Although probably they'd get cut based on the "mainstream" bit.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vanilla tries on Sauce

okay I'm going to post this over at the erotic muse blog

Too much sex and dirty talk for my regular blog. And anyway, it's Thursday and that's where it's SUPPOSED to be. Sheesh.

--posting feeb

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

my local cvs had a huge stack of books

There's a shopping cart of books at the front of the store--all tumbled in there, almost all romances, most of them Loveswept (Dorchester, right?) They're 90% off already marked-down prices.

Don't they do the cover-stripping returns any more? The lady at the front counter didn't know. We agreed that the hero on this Susan Grant cover looks like he's smirking and he's wearing blue eye shadow. I had to buy it for his uber-snarky expression. And the thing on his arm that might be a harness or a boa constrictor. His arm is scary. Plus the eye-scarring colors.

When I went looking for the old display of books, which used to be fairly extensive, I couldn't find it.

I bought a huge stack of books--mostly romances--at 69 cents per book...Then I came home and buried my head under the covers in despair for the world of mass-market romance books, because if the CVS doesn't have it, where else will these titles go face-out in our lives? Answer: Nowhere.

This little bit of doom and gloom brought to you by sleet in late January.

Monday, January 26, 2009

I keep waiting for them to write more

Nina Mamone and Cheryl Sterling both wrote books I liked. So I started waiting for their next releases. I'm still waiting. Well?

Tell me about your favorite one book rioters....


So the post-election day-after-the-party let-down is coming along nicely. In the cold grey dawn of our collective Monday, everyone's still feeling scared of the economy and the terrists and health care and the future. Yup, fear fear fear. And since I'm someone who freaks about stuff like leaving my maze, I know from fear. I'm a Fear Expert, dudes. My advice? The usual stuff, like exercise. Letting go of the stuff you can't control, oh, jeez blah blah blah.

But really the best thing is escapist fiction. Srsly. Skip the news, go for the fluff. Or rather, no, no, we're grown ups here. Read the news but clutch that fluffy book in your other hand. Drugs and rage help too.

But I'm speaking of fluff and practicing what I preach. I've been reading Julia Quinn like she's going out of style. I"m punctuating it with some other stuff because I've missed heavy reading, too. But fluff, baby. And I'm also reading Edith Layton--and the contrast with Quinn is interesting. Layton's stuff, the earlier anyway, is meatier and the characters can be more complex. Her people come in a greater varieties. I wonder if that hurts her sales. When you pick up fluff, you expect predictability. You want to know that the writer will deliver the sort of book she always gives you. HEA is important but if you write light drawingroom banter, people aren't going to like it when you shift to battlefields.

Huh. For some reason, my SBD isn't turning out particularly profound this morning. Maybe I should go on about a particular book, but they're all sort of merging into a big blob at the moment. Okay then, I'll go for a message....I said it yesterday and I'll say it today. Edith Layton is underrated. Her descriptions are clever or even lovely; her people worth your time. Heroic but not dull or cardboard.

I haven't read her very latest stuff and I'm sort of scared to. I thought the series she got some acclaim for (the C series) wasn't as good and while I don't mind when some writers aren't up to their usual standard, when a Layton or Ivory or Kinsale doesn't deliver the excellent goods, the world rocks on its axis and I get scared. Eeek! So I ran away and haven't been back.

But then I started rereading a couple of her books and if I want her to keep writing--and by God, I do--I better get on the ball and grab her stuff.

You buy her books, too. Buy them new so she gets the money and stays in the business. If you get a chance to get her older stuff, buy it and clutch it tight to your fear-filled bosom. There, there, dear hush hush tweet tweet, nothing to fear....Ms. Layton is going to help entertain you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The winners are . . .

Ann and Cynthya! Send me an email and I'll send you the book.

The rest of you can still download my free book, you know. Go on, it's getting good reviews. (here are a few: "you ought to sell this story, it's really that good.". . . ."why aren't there any rats in there? I'd love a good story about a real rat-catcher." . . . "I liked the heroine from the start and your hero grew on me." . .. . "I read it in one sitting and I hate reading books on the computer.")

In unrelated news, reconfirmed today: Edith Layton is a fabu writer.

Giving away the books

I'm almost up to 500 friends at Facebook (and I think I've even met about 100 of them.) Four hundred ninety nine! So whoever the 500 is will get a Summer ebook, unless it's one of my nieces or some other relative. No way I'm sending them a Summer ebook. I'll send them an ehug instead. Or maybe the damn Christmas present I owe one of them.

And HEY LISTEN!!! you have until noon to put in a comment below and maybe win a book. Go on, you can do it. You can answer Vivian's questions.

While I wait around for you guys to do your jobs, I'll go write a grocery list and eat a piece of Trader Joe's dried mango with chili powder. Yum, ow.

UPDATED: MJ Fredrick won the 500th friend book.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Out of This World Lover give away

Charlene did it. Shannon did it, too.

I'm making it easy. Comment below and you're entered to win this fabu collection. (copy/pasted from Shannon):

Three sizzling stories in one irresistible anthology!

Wolf in Cheap Clothing by Charlene Teglia

Futurelove by Summer Devon

Interstellar Sparks by Shannon Stacey

I'll pick two winners Sunday at Noonish.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

look for summer devon

what keeps you up at night?

Happy Birthday, Jed.... Aya, don't forget to say HBTY to him. He's still older than I am.
I think one more minute of internet play and then I'm going to work. I'm still coddling that little tiny flame of work-a-tude which I THOUGHT was as strong as any fire in our excellent fireplace, but it's more like a candle. It's almost as weak as my drive to exercise. The worst part is that the bout of Can't Do This, and a lack of sales, keeps bringing up my third least favorite middle of the night fret: what on god's green earth** will I do if I can't write?

Back to full time refugee-ing, praying that the funds that were on the verge of drying up all for those years aren't entirely gone. I haven't been paying attention, but I expect that sort of money was the first to go, especially local/state level. They're not much of a voter block, after all. Oy.

**actually god's white earth. We've had to dig out the abandoned Christmas tree four times since I hauled that thing to the curb.

Monday, January 19, 2009

shorty short short sbd

Actually, I'm listening to Choke and it's great. Olive Kitteridge was depressing and so is this--what a world view--but it's got more than that. The great throw-away lines are enough and the funky story style too.

SBD is postponed

because BETH is going to the inauguration. Yay for Beth!
Also because I don't have a fresh idea in my head. I'm sick of virgins and vampires, but that's nothing new. Also I'm writing a virgin but she's not a vampire.

Also since I'm posting this everywhere and I swear have sung the na na na thing so many times (unaware, I swear. I don't mean to be torturing everyone I live with) I'm ready to puke:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

back to work thank goodness

I took a whole week off after Christmas. I didn't write a word on a story, barely did any editing. There's a reason I drag along the laptop when I leave the house for more than a day. Turns out taking a break that long was a serious mistake.

On Jan 3, I sat down in front of the puter and panicked. I couldn't write more than a twitter message (wrote a lot of those). I dragged up old stories and prodded them a bit and that's all. . .

Fret, fret, prod, fret, fret, fret, prod.

That's what I did every day until a couple of days ago, when I finally managed to start a new story (nothing like a form rejection to get those juices flowing, I suppose) Five thousand words in and I know it sucks, but it's writing. PHEW. Once it's back to natural rhythm, I'll expand into what I want to do. Playing with other people's ideas, actually writing a novel or making real revisions. Oh, how I love routine.

And how about you? What are you guys doing for the inauguration? Aya, did you find a ride? ? ? ?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

tag, she's it.

Charli's done and now Shannon's got a contest going for the book. Post a Comment and you may win a copy. We make it easy.

In other news
1, Irene's recovering from cancer, but oy, ugh. Her sense of humor's intact but, still, oy.

2, I'm going to go run on the treadmill unless you come up with a good reason I shouldn't. Like maybe, when you stop to think about it, running on a treadmill is a strange thing to do.

3. This cake is amazing. I'm glad I ate it at a friend's house because otherwise I'd be eating the leftovers for breakfast.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Have you entered Charlene Teglia's contest? Why not? All you have to do is go over there and mention how gorgeous my hair is...or something. You might win a copy of the anthology we're in (along with Shannon Stacey)

I'm going to go reread some Rumpole stories to mourn Mortimer's passing. I didn't much love his other stories, but Rumpole was usually wonderful.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


My first smut novella "Perfection," which is all about a guy who gives off irresistible pheromones, is apparently based on fact, sort of. (hey, I even mentioned his sweat....Ewwwww)

Who knew?

Not me. I got the idea from some late-night commercial.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm liking the contest over at Colleen Lindsay's blog and wish it would go on longer. The first entry is my favorite, even though I'm fairly sure I wouldn't want to read that book.

Do you have a full ms? Go on, write a twittery pitch (140 characters or fewer) and post it there.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I couldn't find my own books

Somebody Wonderful and Somebody to Love, I mean.** I looked for the books last week because I couldn't remember the name of that secondary character Betsy asked about. All of our copies are gone, so I ordered one of each. I just got them a few minutes ago.

I opened Somebody To Love at a random page, started to read and shut it almost at once. Ugh. How people can do readings from their own stories? How??

I did read enough to discover the character's name is [UGH] Hobnail. I'd read the book to find out why he's got that name, but I just can't.

I had no idea I'd be such a Delicate Flower about this stuff.
Rejections? Sure, I can handle 'em!
Edits? Of course, I love to rip up and redo my prose.
Rereading a couple years later? No, please, where are my smelling salts? I feel...faint.

Ok. Time to go buy the donuts for a kid school celebration. Thank goodness my stomach is still rotten so I have no inclination to buy any donuts for myself.
**I hope you notice that even though I can't handle reading my books, I put in links, which indicates that I expect you to order and read them. and probably write me a note about how much you loved them.

Monday, January 12, 2009

it's almost impossible to write romance when your stomach is behaving badly.

So I'm reading it instead. Just did the latest Metzger and I think I might have done too many of her books lately. So then I switched over to rereading Quinn because I don't have the energy for something new. And that wasn't working.

I need fluff that'll engage but not demand. No urban fantasy, no death, no heartless chicklit (just read Altar Ego and was unimpressed by the lack of humans involved). Few, if any, descriptions of food.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Oh. A reader reminded me

Someone who'd read my first two books (those ancient volumes Somebody Wonderful and Somebody to Love) wrote me a note and asked me if any characters from either of those books show up in the Rat Catcher. After all, the books are all set in the same city and year.

Oh, yeah! I'd forgotten. There's an inarticulate guy, a cop, in Somebody to Love. He has a different name but he's the one that Cutter's based on. Not exactly the same character, but nearly. He fell in love with Araminta (the heroine of Someone To Love) I can't remember much about him except he wasn't a talker, but he really liked words. And he was a lot smarter than everyone gave him credit for -- which he used to his advantage in his work. Definitely Cutter's M.O.

Anyway. There you go, Betsy. Now I guess I should go find a copy of Someone to Love so I can remember that original guy's name.

Damn. I can't find the book. Ten points plus a coconut or cigar if you can produce his name.

How in god's name did it turn into THURSDAY--13 magnets

I mean last time I looked it was Monday. Is this what happens when you get older? Whole days of the week just vanish?

Thirteen magnets on my fridge:
1. A Loowis the Loose-ID publishing. It's a round button I got from a conference. Love that thing. Perky, pretty and it has good hold.

We need buttons with total stick-to-it-tive-ness. None of this wimpy little round blob on the back of a big expanse. Magnets are more than decorative. They are expected to do work on this fridge.

2. An empty magnet frame from Junior Achievement that says "Our Families" at the top

3. A whole flock of magnets shaped like paw prints, some pink, some blue. They send one with every shipment of dog chewwies and we get a lot of those shipments

4. A homemade white rectangle that boy2 made for me that reads "If life gives you lemons [picture of lemon] throw them at someone."

5. A bunch of little words from a dog poetry kit (examples: dirty slobber squirrel lick chew chase food mut smell)

6. The very, very last of the big plastic letters we used when the kids were small, the kind you use to teach them to read. Almost all have doggie bite marks.

7. A"Don't Pass her BYE for school board. Beth Bye, democrat" yellow school bus shaped magnet. We have two of those.

8. A round scary grey magnet that can only be pried off with a couple of knives. Unearthed from the guts of a computer. Useless for holding papers, too scary to toss.

9. a realistic brown rectangle that looks just like a candy bar. With bite marks from kids who were fooled by other kids.

10. The 1999-2000 Central Connecticut State University basketball schedule.

11. A Texas wildflowers magnet that I bought in the Dallas airport after an RWA meeting.

12. A picture of George Bush sitting across from Pope JP2. The pope is resting his forehead in his hand looking as if he's in despair. Under the picture are the words "Holy shit, he is even dumber than I thought." A gift from the BIL so we keep it, even though the hold power isn't all it could be.

13. A telephone shaped magnet with the number of a defunct movie theater on it.

There are about a thousand more, all about as interesting as these (in other words, not particularly). The only really gorgeous ones are ceramic fish my sister the potter made. Unfortunately they've all taken enough dives that the fish are missing tails and fins.

You can't see most of the magnets because they're all doing their job, holding bits of papers...... Phone numbers, schedules, school papers that got good grades, snotty comix (usually clipped by kids), drawings, newspaper clippings, permissions forms, family photos. And other stuff.

Monday, January 05, 2009

my new favorite blog

The Kindle Reader.

Two three reasons I love the site:
1. She mentions my freebie title.
2. She mentions a lot of other free or cheap books.
3. Despite the fact that I own a Kindle, I'm basically a cheapskate. And I didn't know we could translate PDF. Yay!

buckle down day

All over the short entry world (twitter, facebook) the notes are about attempting new exercise programs and word count minimums and getting back to work. The trend is so universal there has to be a name for this, the first workday after the long break. I tried to name it on twitter, but eh.

Back In the Saddle Day.

All this determination makes me want to stay in bed all day just to prove I'm not a lemming. No sheep here! But I'm outta bed because I have too much to do because I took a vacation all week long while everyone was on vacation. baaaaaa

First I have to decide why I was so annoyed by the genteely depressing Olive Kitteridge. So this will sort of be an SBD, if I figure it out.

Updated because I figured out why the book gave me the pip. I nearly always correctly predicted what would happen (or had happened) in the stories and the news was never was good. Never. The wrong people fell in love. The car went off the road in the middle of the night. The son and mother couldn't meet half way. Pfah on the instincts of a depressive, particularly when they're proved right. Dreary does not equal literature, although, okay, maybe showing a new face to the basic underlying sadness of Existence might. maybe, kinda. Was there a new face? I suppose I ought to look again and see if there are any gorgeous moments. The writing was good, but lots of writing is good, even in fluffy books.

I did like the structure of a lot of short stories with Olive as a connection and I grew fond of Olive. But still, is it Art? You tell me.

I'm going to celebrate Self-Discipline Day by writing a blog entry for another blog. And maybe I'll wrestle my oldest to the ground and cut his hair.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Friends Didn't Forget


It barks Jingle Bells. Its mouth opens and closes; its tail wags. Still not my flirty fir, but it's close.
Not that I'm personally bitter about publishing. (anyone know... on TwitPic
(A first time author I met on the interwebs feels overwhelmed by what it means to be a new lil fish in the world of publishing so I'm posting this for her, not you or me.)

Thursday, January 01, 2009


First resolution: Keep it small this year.

I will buy a better dog brush.

I will drink more red wine, less white (Why? Ah, but why not?)

I will do a better job of looking for stains whilst doing the laundry and use Shout with a more liberal hand.

When out running, I won't jog in place while waiting for the light to change (it makes the dog nervous and sorta looks funny) Notice no resolution to actually go out running? Too grandiose

I will try to vary the quality and timbre my sneezes, although I suspect that sort of thing is genetic (seriously. Ever notice how people in a family all sneeze the same way? My 2 adopted sisters have genteel cute lil sneezes....and the rest of us don't).

I will buy a new shower curtain.

I won't read any 2008 retrospectives
You got any resolutions? I stopped trying for the "I always break them so why bother" and the obvious "if I always break them then I resolve to do their opposite [eg eat MORE sugar]" followed by the "I don't believe in them" routine. I say go with the flow. Hey, there's another one: in 2009, I will go with the flow.