Tuesday, August 30, 2011

sbd later on

I bought two ebooks today and read them both immediately--sort of fell on them like a starving person. One I knew I'd like because JL Merrow. Duh Of course. I'd read her description of a town meeting (and those things are duller than the phone book). Plus from the review I'd read over at Dear Author, I'd figured I'd like the book, Muscling Through. Al, the hero, is a sweet block-of-wood oaf. I loved him, but not like that. Which is fine. Larry was almost worthy of him. I'm like Sarah--I didn't think I'd could cotton to a hero who is mentally challenged, but who couldn't like a man who's so direct and kind?

I bought the other book, Zero Factor by Stacycey "No E in Stacy" Gail (and not Gail Stacey, which I keep calling her) because I apparently have a thing for heroes who are ex-killing machine types. Machines changed to men by the love of a good woman (which isn't this story, not really) Hey, that's the best explanation I could come up with.

I enjoyed the bejeebus out of the book. I wish the hero's transformation could have been explored a bit more, but I guess it happened fast -- and so it's presented, fast. He's gobsmacked with the truth and he's a swift mover so -- here we go. He goes from a soldier who only knows his work and has only hints of tolerance for the zero factors in his life (anything to be ignored during a mission) one minute to a man who's willing to give his life for one of those zero factors in the next minute.

Also I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but with all of his body modifications, I kept seeing C Locke as Peter Weller in robocop mode but with less metal.

The heroine was great. She was genuinely strong and fragile at the same time. Not the icky Save me Big Guy fragile--she had powers she struggled to suppress which made life difficult. And she gets reckless when she has to, not a moment before. She hides when she should and generally doesn't try to get herself killed -- so nice to not have a TSTL heroine.

The villain wasn't particularly interesting, but everyone else rocked. The whore with the heart of gold has my vote for best secondary character of the year. I loved it. I want more. Now.

Monday, August 29, 2011

SBD post hurricane edition

Which books did I like this week? It's more a week of not liking books -- and that's no fun. I did listen to the Princess Diary after all these years of trying to ignore its existence. Pop references sure did date that thing. A teenaged girl lusting after George Clooney and Harrison Ford; Madonna as news-worthy?

But that's fine. It was cute. It fit my mood. Not as appealing to me as Lockhart.

I know that I read at least one book I enjoyed and I can't begin to remember the title, the subject, the author. I do recall I made an attempt at a Laurel Hamilton, Swallowing Darkness, but it was book 8 and I hadn't read 1-7. (That's the reason I'll give for not lasting for more than a couple of chapters because we all know there are other reasons to give up, but someone like Beth could express it better).

Seriously this is sad--I can't remember what I've been reading. I'm turning on my Kindle. Looks like I'm currently reading an Ann Tyler, Noah's Compass. That's good, but I'd forgotten that too.

Gawd, what with my 2 older boys going to college and the hurricane tropical storm...I can't remember what I was going to write.

Two hurricanes moved out of my house and one less impressive tropical storm moved in for a day.
Uh oh, now I've gotten started again. Hang on a sec while I wail and gnash my teeth and rend my clothing.

I miss my boys. I still have one around, but the overwhelming teenaged boy atmosphere is dissipated, a small front instead of an overwhelming storm of boy-ness. They left and took all their friends and hangers-on with them. Who am I going to bake for? Who's going to walk into the house without knocking and head to the kitchen to check the fridge, now that Doub and Ryan are gone? Sob.

Okay, okay, Kleenex, cold water on the face. Okay. /end snivel

I spent most of my week playing with my own book and the internet. I'm glad I did it, but (especially now that the PR slog has started) I am reminded that PUBLISHERS EARN THEIR MONEY.

 Left to myself this is how I'd do PR:

sales pressure: Have you bought my book yet? Why not? It's only 99 cents. Jeez, are you so cheap you can't spend 99 cents? That's less than a cup of small coffee ANYWHERE.

the good will part: And I promise to spend a portion of my sales on someone else's book.

Notice there's no actual sales part in there? As in I don't bother to point out why this book is worth 99 cents and/or your time? I've done that already and it's just a PITA. Easier to nag than beg or brag.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Seducing Miss Dunaway (a Victorian Romance) - All Romance Ebooks

Seducing Miss Dunaway (a Victorian Romance) - All Romance Ebooks
my new novella. Buy it from ALL SORTS OF VENUES

See what I'm managing to do? Do you see what I, one of the least technologically astute person extant, has managed? Yes. The novella is now up at Kindle.


It's up at Smashwords.

It's up at Barnes and Noble.

It's at All Romance Ebooks.

This experience has convinced me that publishing is permanently moved to the strange, shifting sand-world, no looking back or you will turn into a pillar of salt.

I'm sticking with publishers, thank you. I like being associated with reputable companies.

But wow, that I could do this? Eez wild.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A New Novella by Kate

This is one I wrote and published on my own. (I didn't edit it. I'm not that dumb. Thanks, Linda and Laura) It's available through Smashwords and eventually it'll be up on Amazon. Only 99 cents! What a deal! For less than a cup of coffee you get a heartwarming tale. (get it? warming? like coffee, except cheaper?)

Buy this!

Here's a blurb: 

Twelve years ago, a stranger's kiss helped Miss Dunaway reach her heart's desire by allowing her to escape the path to marriage. Now the gentleman has reappeared and his presence reminds her of pleasures she left behind.

Lord Fellington doesn't seem to recognize her, and it's absurd to suppose he'd recall the kisses they shared all those years earlier. After all, he has seen plenty of life, including tragedy. He apparently only regards her as the celebrated matron of the foundlings' home where he plans to atone for his role in his brother's death.

But Miss Dunaway has grown restless. After years as a saint, she longs to be a woman as well. Perhaps Lord Fellington might be willing to help her reclaim some joyful decadence.

Warning: contains some sexual content (but, hey, only a few pages.)

* * * 
I probably should have had help writing the blurb, too. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

as soon as you say the words, everything shifts

"The words" in that title equals anything, not the the big ILY phrase. Bet you thought that's what I meant because I'm a romance writer.

I just wrote an article for savvy authors (won't show up for weeks) and the topic is all about how I have self-discipline! Here are some tricks! I can make myself work without outside influences! As soon as I finished the article, I stopped working. Everything ground to a halt. It's noon and I haven't written a word of fiction--although at the moment that article counts.

I started craving more outside recognition, again. ("Love me, praise me, bring me wine. Tell me my prose smell sweet.") Insecurity about work arrived with a full orchestra's fanfare and a big banner saying "You Suck"

I'm not actually whining, okay, maybe I am a bit. MOSTLY I'm just snickering at how predictable people are. I'll get past this soon enough--maybe I'll go back to Beth's place which apparently has the magically healing power of a lunch with friends. 

But, really...sheesh. Maybe I should start talking about how miserable I make myself, how ugly I appear, and then whammo, I'll be entirely pleased with what I see in the mirror.** Except I don't think we strange, strange people operate in that direction. Silly us.

**I'm fine, btw. This is just a proposed experiment. Hey, most egos could use a little boost in confidence, right?All in the name of psychological science.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

over at Renee Bagby's place and random junk

First chapter of the first book by me, Kate.

I just got to beta-read a Bonnie Dee story and you didn't. My life is good. That's two books I've beta-read this summer that I love. I wonder what happened to Heidi's story?

Another reason life is thumbs up, I got to wake up from the worst dream ever of a picnic in a field of bones. Standard nightmare B-grade movie visions of bone-y hands reaching from the earth. Bones rolling under our feet, making us trip and fall onto more bones, with just a thin layer of dirt and grass to disguise the sea of violent death.

Waking up from that means I'm still alive..... for the moment.

I have to drag a kid off to back-to-school shopping. We're not in an all-fired-big-ass-hurry but it's either that or get back to editing one of two stories lurking on my computer and when I say edit I mean rewrite nearly every painful word.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Snapshots from Our Vacation

No literal snaps, unless Alex sends them...What with college in our lives, family vacation has gone from a week to two days. From a cottage on a lake to a hotel room near the airport in Rhode Island. The 5 of us jammed into a 1 bedroom Homewood suite that really should have been one room.

BUT. Listen. It was great. You should be sad you weren't us.

--I don't get why that fire thing is so cool even when it's entirely cheesy and we joined the army of tourists crowding along the shores to watch. But the smell and crackle of the fire and the new age music and most especially (this is the important part for me) the silly chandeliers under the walking bridges all work perfectly. Yes. Thumbs up.

--A festival featuring Bolivia? Um. Columbia? Somewhere. We stumbled across something in the dark that featured a lot of dancers in glittery costumes and red underwear. Also big slabs of meat and empanadas sold from trucks. Two thumbs up and pass the napkins. Oh, and everyone who can say TDBANK! got a drawstring bag. All five of us said TDBANK! and we haven't even lost one of our new bags yet.

--The zoo. We'd taken the guys when they were little, of course. But little kids look at the animals and aren't amazed, I mean, jeez, the whole world is funkadelic to them. (look mommy! a car!!) My guys looked at the giraffes and could not believe them. I mean WTF. Giraffes. Those tongues? And the emus. The giant cockroaches. Whoa.
So many obscene jokes to be made but not when lots of small kids are around, boys, I mean it shut up with those jokes. 

Plus no one had to be carried up hills. Anyone who whined could be ignored, although no one did, come to think of it. AND the serious rain started after we left.

-- The Culinary Arts Museum. We've been to the maple museum and the marble museum, so we consider ourselves experts. This was actually more of a museum. With interesting things. I hope the picture of the guys posing with the giant Mr. Potato Head worked.

--Impulse shopping at Stop and Shop and watching Blade Runner at the hotel instead of going to a movie theater. Eh, a small highlight but that counts.

--The hotel pool. The size of a big bathtub yet it still worked as a place to try to drown each other, especially when no one else staying at the hotel ventured in. I didn't swim. I did watch for entertainment's sake.

--The mall. Today there was a huge rainstorm that had no intention of moving on, so the plan to walk around Providence was scotched. And anyway, the museum we wanted to see was closed. Instead we went to the mall armed with two goals.
1. to buy a present for one of the other five of us (name drawn from hat. Dog added as name at last minute, so one of us [me] had two names.) gift to cost less than $10

This worked well, although I'm not sure what the middle guy is going to do with the lacy leopard print thong his brother picked for him.

2. to make a list of mall tropes spotted during the 1 hour shopping trip. Whoever discovered the greatest number of tropes won. Since I was the only one who really took that part of the outing seriously, I whupped ass. Here are some we found:
new car in middle of mall
twins in side-by-side stroller
enormously pregnant woman puffing along, with many small kids in tow. 
serious mall walkers ignoring everyone else
two stores in a row with push-up bra displays.
woman threatening son with violence
swarm of teenagers, loitering
6x back to school! displays
fat mall security cop
women dressed in black with immaculate make-up (elegant and scary varieties)
groups of retirees hanging around the food court
groups of special needs types on an outing.
many Bieber displays
three jewelry stores on three corners of an intersection.
a store with 'n in its title

Then we ate scary mall food, because it was too rainy to go anywhere else, and we drove home. Naturally being an internet savvy sort, I wouldn't mention being away from home until we came back. None of you scary internet peoples can crash here any more. We have our dog back and we're all off in different corners of the house. We don't have to share a bathroom or a raather tight space any longer.

2.5 days works well for togetherness.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Stop hinting at the question. I'll tell you.

Most months I make enough to cover about a week's grocery bill and maybe a pizza order --if we stick to plain pizza. I mean just enough pizza for the five of us. If one of the kids have a friend over, nope, not enough. If we were to translate this into the college bill, I'd say I'd cover a quarter credit a month, maybe.

Why am I writing this? Because people keep wondering about how much money I make and implying that I should make enough to do something about the car situation** by buying a brand new car. As in new? I don't think so.

I don't particularly mind telling you. I'm not being coy when I don't get specific with numbers because there's no knowing exactly what'll happen month to month. Most months I make more than $100 and less than $500.

Now you know.


**the minivan that wouldn't start last month now won't stop. I came to the stop sign at the end of the block, put my foot on the brakes--and as my foot slammed all the way to the floor, the van slid gently through the 4 way stop. I'm fairly convinced this is not a murder conspiracy. There's no life insurance on me.

Thursday, August 04, 2011