Monday, August 31, 2009
I've read too much romantic suspense that I'm now trying to pump action/mystery into my own writing. Some people can manage it; I keep doing tangents. And mostly there's the plotting thing. Jeezuz, why can't the obvious person be the bad guy?
Why does it have to be the earnest best friend who is a clever very-able-to-hide-his-true-nature psychopath?
Or the quiet, dutiful mother who erupts into a foul long-winded speech at the end?
Or the younger brother who seems like he doesn't mind the older inheriting it all but secretly resents his wealth?
Or the butler who's really the father's ex-business partner who feels he was done wrong by the family?
Or the random passing psychopath who saw the heroine, fell in his sick version love and is trying to wreck her life so she'll be helpless and at his mercy?
This morning I lined up my characters and the one person I think would work as the dude responsible for the mayhem is. . . uh oh. The hero.
I think it's probably time to start yet a new story. This one is bugging the shit out of me and has been for MONTHS. Grr.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
C'mon down, JMC, and here's your big old bunch of flowers and the ermine cape. anyone got a Kleenex? I'm all sniffly here.
You email me and give me your snailmail address and I'll send you the M&Ms, the Borders (or Barnes and Noble) gift card and a copy of Taken Unaware or some other book by Summer or Kate.
Now the only thing left to nag you all about is the Unleash Your Story event.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The thing is, this letter is practically public already. An author on one of my loops asked, hey, anyone else get this? And, hey, wow, yes! At least seven other authors I know of got exactly this letter, with only the names changed. Same typos and everything---and we all got it in the last couple of weeks.
Hello, my name is [name removed] and I am a huge fan of your books! They are so wonderful I could hardly put them down to go to bed at night!! I am patiently awaiting your next book because I know it will be just as wonderful as the others. I have recommended your books to several of my good friends and they are all in wow of them as well. I was wondering if it wasn’t too much trouble if you may have some autograph book plates and bookmarks that you may be able to send to me? I know you are extremely busy so I wanted to keep this e-mail short and I thank you for taking time to read my e-mail.
You’re Fan,[Name removed]
I'm just intrigued and curious. Why does she want all those book marks? Is it some kind of bet? Is there really someone who truly does love a whole lot of us to the max? (and that would be way, WAY cool, by the way.) Is she looking a cheap source of decor? Does she hope we might send her a book or two?
It's fine with me. I'm not upset by something that could turn out to be a spam letter. I'll write back and say (truthfully) I don't have bookmarks or autographed plates. I considered asking her which book of mine is her favorite, but that seems sorta rude.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Caine's Reckoning Sarah McCarty
by Day of the Dead JA Jance
what do these books have in common?
1. I've taken a crack at reading all three in the last few days
2. all three have young women or girls (one age 8) sexually attacked. Two out of three girls are murdered. The abuse and/or murder doesn't happen off-stage.
Ugh. If I hadn't had picked these up, one after the other, randomly...I wouldn't have been offended. Standard plot device after all. And at least of the books is a freaking mystery so, duh, we got to have violent crime. But somehow it feels as if publishers are out to get young attractive (naturally) females.
And actually I did find one kinda offensive. The woman who's chained to a bed and attacked and brutalized for about a year? Once she's rescued (and still afraid for her life) she decides the sexxxing she needs to get past the fear is the kind where her partner overcomes her. Yup. She wants her partner to push her even if she says no. I guess BDSM is so hot these days you got to put it (and of course butt secks) in even if there is a pretty good reason the recipient has panic attacks when she's tied up.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I think there are some things that do not work in a for-profit business environment. When you have an eye on the bottom line first and foremost in these areas, these businesses will eventually suffer. No wait, the BUSINESSES won't suffer but the product or people they serve? WILL SUFFER. So no more push polls, Phoenix University. Bottom line, yes, the bottom line has to exist, but it can't be the main goal of ANY OF THESE SERVICES.
Scientific research (at least some of it can't be product driven)
Help for the poor
Help for children at risk**
Well, well. Isn't that interesting. So many of these things are run by the government. Maybe because it makes freaking sense? No one else is going to run this crap as a non-profit .... or in some cases as a charity. There will be no return on any investment in some of these areas--it least not in terms of hard, cold cash. And for people who can only measure success using profit as their tool, this has to be a nightmare.
It is possible to live in a world where we don't use public money to solve problems. After all, we have a history of small government in the good old days.
First to go in this new no-or-low-government intervention world: the kids, the mentally and physically impaired, because they don't have the funds to pay for anything. Most of us no long pay a tithe to a centralized church to take care of our poor. Beggars are already part of the landscape. A few more would make the cities more colorfully third world.
About the other services. There are other ways to run them, of course. We could pay a group like the Bow Street Runners and anyone who had money could get crimes investigated. The rest of us would usually be SOL if any sort of investigation is required.
Education. So we have to pony up for our kids. What percentage of the population really needs to know how to read? For the rest of us, maybe we can send our 12 years olds to be apprentices again.
We'd have to pay for fire insurance again so only the people who paid would get the pumpers to show up when their houses are burning down. So what if in the past some of those "fire companies" tended to show people what would happen if they forgot to pay their dues?
Defense....well. . We could reinstate the nobles system. I guess rich people could pay groups like Blackwater. One guy with a private army. Of course that army would have the employer's interests at heart.
And there's the stuff like infrastructure. Toll roads! They worked for centuries. Seriously, that one actually makes sense to me (until I try to drive into NYC. Grrr.)
So, sure. It can be done. But I suggest anyone who wants the good old days actually should read about how horrendous life could be. And we didn't even get into the fun stuff like researching the causes and cures for diseases.
Oh and medical care... well. That dropping-through-the-cracks archaic for-profit system is still part of our life, isn't it? Only these days we can't pay for our babies' births with a goat or two. Just do a search on Medical Insurance Nightmare and get stories like this one. or this one. or this one. or. . .
oh, and speaking of which, prisons should also not be for-profit. (and when we stop educating kids and feeding the poor we'll need more prisons) Why? Because when money comes to the forefront of the equation we have things like this happening. Or this
Monday, August 17, 2009
The Linda Howard though. Huh? What? Cover of Night must not be her best. Am I right, Howard fans? There are some good things, I suppose. I like the villagers and the scenery. But I'm too hot and grouchy so I'll whine about it instead.
The romance--what romance? The female lead, who's known and basically ignored the hero for years, only falls for him when he turns all killer-protective. And then that pattern repeats with the secondary romance between another hero macho guy and the woman he's admired for years and years and never said boo too. There is such a thing as this Strong Silent Type going too far into the quiet. Granite faced emotionless .... I guess I'm not a big fan of total silence.
I have no problem with the alpha male thing when there's some actual interactions before or after the crush. But basically she falls in love with the guy, goes from 0-60 in her emotional state because his finger tightened on a rifle trigger. No jokes between them, no tension, no shared moments, nothing. Just that finger on the rifle and his eyes narrowing and, boomm she's blown away. I could see going into full-blown lust at that time (well, I can sort of see it) but there's still nothing much in the book after that other than surviving a siege and he gets to show his superbly trained soldier side. They do the "my man!" and "my woman!" gut response thing. He's definitely cute about her kids and I like the fact that he blushed around her. But still. I don't see the love.
The plot was kinda goofy too. I don't get the point of the siege and it didn't fit the character who arranged it. I wonder if his side-kick, another ruthless killer character, is going to show up in another book. We sure learn a lot about him and his motivations. And at the very end he's wandering off somewhere. I was interested enough in him to see if he could be humanized. But hero material? Good God, never for a romance. Maybe another book.
OOo that reminds me how much I like Lawrence Block's hit man series--Keller's a mook.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
you can win the M&Ms and the book and the GIFT CERTIFICATE.
Come on and pimp me.
The contest may be stale but I promise the M&Ms won't be. We ate the bag I bought as a prize. (I sprinkled a lot of them on the magic cookie bars we'll be selling today at a fund-raiser.)
SPEAKING OF SWEEEET CONTESTS. Look at this one by Kris Starr. She's got a lot more Candy than I do. Her contest candy makes sense. Check out her latest cover:
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Anyway. I swim along and go on my own small circles....wait, what are the fish doing here? I've lost track of this here dumb analogy.
0 0 0 0 0
I'm cutting line on that waste.
o O O O O o
Here's what I mean. People come and go in the internet world. Maybe I drift away from their blogs or their blogs go dark or they stop writing books. They come and go----and it's lovely when they come again.
AND here's one I'm glad to see again and yay, hi!. I've always admired Monica Jackson and her energy and when she goes on a ranty rant? No one rips them better than her. Hi again, Monica. Write! Write! Publish, too. I mean, why not?
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Santa Cruz Mango Organic Lemonade
Citrus vodka (I know it's passe, the balsamic vinegar of liquors, but try this anyway)
a squeeze of lemon juice (and if you're a wus, maybe some powdered sugar)
I made mine, stuck it in the freezer and ate it like a slushy.
The proportions? 1:1? 2:1? That part you have to figure out.
Now we have to name it. I suppose it should be Tropic something. Tropic Thunder is so last year and anyway, it's some kind of energy drink. I want the name to be pithy, now, edgy.
Tropic Organic Velvet?
Tropic Neon? (that Santa Cruz Mango Lemonade is a very vibrant color, Almost scary)
Tropic Health Care Reform?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Blog: Like you care.
Me: Yeah, I know I don't write here as much as I used to.
Blog: It's not that! It's that you've lost interest in the things that matter! That draw TRAFFIC. Dammit, do you remember the Good Old Days? NORA ROBERTS commented here SEVERAL TIMES. Smart bitches wandered past to say hello. Many many people entered your contests and they were FUN, dammit. I mean you had seventy five people making up great 55 word stories.
Me: Yup, I remember. I do miss the Bosnian sock contests. Here, lemme make you feel better and put in a link for the latest contest. That make you feel better?
Blog: Screw it. Hardly. That's a lame contest. Nothing creative about it.
Me: I wanted to make it easy.
Blog: Exactly. And still no one's entering. Aren't you worried that you're not getting the contest entries?
Me: Hey, I got at least 14 people entering. And there's time. More people might still visit. And promote me which means promote you. There, there, little blog.
Blog: But you used to get more! and the reviews! You used to get reviews! And the attention! God, what' s happened to you? You used to be a contender. You used to be witty and interesting and on top of the latest scandals and--
Me: This is why I avoid you. I don't need to be reminded of this stuff. And anyway, I've been busy.
Blog: BUSY? You've been watching TELEVISION.
Blog: And yelling at the television.
Me: You would too. I mean jeez. Warehouse 13. How did I get sucked into that?
Blog: Exactly! You could be doing creative things here. Pushing yourself and your books back where they belong. Be a professional.
Me: I mean that last episode...the little things. Like how did the victims of the magnetic lobster change their clothes? The cop. He changed out of his uniform after he had the lobster hanging on. That was stupid. And I"m pretty sure that Claudia character is not going to grow on me--
Blog: Are you listening to me?
Me; Not much.
Blog: WHY NOT?
Me: You're boring. All this stuff about how you used to be great and how my authoring career has stalled out. That's boring. And anyway I have other stuff to do. Like find the dried cherries for breakfast. Mmmm. dried cherries.
Blog: I want you to TAKE ACTION AND GET BACK to the days of glory.
Me: Hey I went to RWA It was cool to see people.
Blog: But you didn't push yourself. Aren't you bitter to see all those writers succeed and you? You're nothing without the attention.
Me: No, I think you're mixing us up. You're nothing without it. I'll be bitter if I can't find those damn cherries. The blueberries are mushy. And I got to get that mystery container out of the back of the fridge before the guys get home. Oh, damn. THERE ARE NO CHERRIES..... Hey, are you sulking again?
Blog: I give up. You will never, ever be what you once were.
Me: Probably not.
Blog: Then why the hell do you keep me around?
Me: Hey, I had 14 people enter the contest. And where else can I rant? Just chill, would you? And help me decide what to have for breakfast.
Blog: If I do will you at least put some effort into SBDs again? You know you like them.
Me: Maybe. I do need to do a Firefly marathon though.
Blog: Right. do me a favor and don't blog that. Be interesting again and maybe I'll stop sulking. Maybe.
Me: Good enough.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
You've won a print copy or ebook copy of a Summer book
Kate's latest ebook, Thank You, Mrs. M
But don't forget the bigger contest. More prizes! M&Ms! Gift certificate! Books! Yay! It's still going on and you can enter until August 29.
Just comment on my blog AND mention the contest or my books in your own blog/facebook/twitter or whatever account. (You'll have to point out the "I pimped you, Kate" entry via email or comment here. I stopped googling myself a while back and I'm trying to stay off the interwebs more these days. Yeah, right.)
Friday, August 07, 2009
Maybe the tactic didn't sell more of that particular Kensington book, but here's what it also didn't do: hurt her career. In a recent twitter, Delilah Marvelle wrote:
Looks like I've been outed by Publisher's weekly & my fabulous agent, Donald Maass! I sold 3 books in my How 2 Avoid A Scandal series to HQN
Sometimes I'm wicked glad I'm wrong.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
another nice review for Thank You, Mrs. M.
"Thank You, Mrs. M. is a wonderful read. One enjoyable aspect was learning of the give and take between the characters as seen from Ben's viewpoint when he sends his recordings and, at times, his E-Mails. Another was seeing how the characters grew and changed as their circumstances changed. This is a poignant and enjoyable read."* * * *
Oops. Almost forgot the link to the contest. I can't fall behind on the nagging -- school's starting in a few weeks and I have to be in top chivvying form.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
1a. So we're talking a gift certificate, a book, M&Ms. How can you hold yourself back?
2. I've rediscovered M&Ms this week and there are so many creative ways to eat them. No, I'm not thinking sexual, potty-minds, though that has potential I suppose. I mean letting them melt in the mouth or the hand, or mooshing them up with a mortar and pestle. I haven't eaten that many. Really.
3. The visiting dog's HOLYSHITBADGUYSENEMIESALERTKILLDIE barking out of nowhere attacks still get to me and I wonder if maybe that sudden lurch into hyper-mode is a form of cardiac exercise. They must have done studies on this, They Would. "Get Heart-Fit with the Startle Response Program!"
4. My dog barely lifts her head up for nothing more than a gentle woof when hyperbarker starts up. I think this means I'm either more neurotic than my once-crazed dog or she's caught on faster. Braniac Canine.
5. The mosquitoes this summer are terrifying. Huge, blood-thirsty and eager. Maybe the visitor dog is barking at them.
6. I dreamed I was the queen of Sweden and I couldn't find a thing to wear. The funniest part of the dream: I was an unpleasant person and did nasty things like attempted to blackmail someone. I don't recall ever playing the part of a villain in my own dreams. You ever lie, cheat, steal in your own dreams? The sleeping dreams, I mean.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
1. a 4.5 star Romantic Times review for Thank You, Mrs. M.... I'd put it up but I think they don't like that when it's not on their website yet.
2. and a print copy of Taken Unaware became available. Also in the still-hanging-in-there news, Summer Devon got a new contract from EC **
I am going to give away a print book on Tuesday and then one on Friday. And the first three people who make a remark here on the blog will get a download of the book that got the nice review. And then I'm going to give away two more books at the end of the month, too.
Got that? I've been entering contests lately and they've gotten pretty complicated. Yet I also have the standard craving shared by all writers: that is have to have other people post about my books and my blogs and my contest and me, me, me,*** so I'll add rule two and the usual bribe.
1. Comment below on this blog and maybe win a book to be given away this week.
2. Comment sometime in August in your blog/face book page/where ever, about my contest or my books**** send me a link and at the end of the month you can maybe win a book AND a $25 gift certificate to Barnes and Noble (or, if you'd rather, Borders) to be given away at the end of the month.
**The contract's for a book that will be called....
wait for it....
we worked on this one....
As my pal Kathy pointed out, all arousal is irrational. (The editor and I kept running titles past each other asking "is that too boiled bunny?" We hope this one isn't.)
*** Actually if you just bought the damn books and didn't mention them or me anywhere, that would be fine, but I've figured out that the making-money-with-writing life doesn't work that way.
**** Comments about my cute dog/kids, my political views, weight or singing skills do not qualify as entries but we don't mind them.