Sunday, January 23, 2011

A WIP Snippet and More

I've been revising and editing the story I wrote during NaNo after taking a break for the holidays. One thing I did during my break is read some different stories from my normal reads. I went on a cowboy binge, and read 5 or 6 Western Romances, plus I read a few Young Adult books and some contemporary romances. It actually helped me a lot because I found myself thinking a lot about my style of writing. I think I still have a ways to go before I find my true "style" or "voice" but I feel closer to it now.

A Twist of Fate, the WIP I'm working on, has changed a bit from how I first envisioned it. I started out thinking it would be a girl, a good guy and a bad guy. Pretty simple stuff, at first. For one thing, Mac, the character I thought would be the bad guy turned out to be a pretty cool dude. He loves to tease, he's sexy, arrogant, and full of himself. Then a funny thing happened as I was writing his scenes. I realized I liked him. I liked him A LOT. At the time I actually stalled on writing for a few days because of this realization. Then I relaxed and dealt with it. I added another character, and it turned out doing that gave me a twist in the plot which made a MUCH better story. Funny how that worked out.

Here is a snippet with Mac and Maggie which shows you his personality:

Maggie walked into the restaurant, and it only took a minute to find Mac. He was the tall, dark and hot guy surrounded by waitresses. Maggie shook her head and walked towards the crowd.

“Well, Mr. McRory, I see you’ve kept busy while waiting for me this morning. I’m sure the girls were impressed with your mad skills, “ said Maggie with a laugh.

“Why, if it isn’t Miss FitzGerald, making her appearance just a wee bit late, as is fashionable, “ Mac said with a smile. “Ladies, I’m afraid we’ll have to continue our conversation another time, since my companion has decided to grace me with her lovely presence. “

The waitresses looked at her as if she had ripped their fantasy man right out of their arms. They said their goodbyes, and Maggie sat down across from Mac, who looked just as rugged and handsome as he had yesterday. Too bad he was an ass with an ego the size of Ireland.

He looked over at her with a smile that spoke volumes, and none of it was innocent or ordinary. The man definitely needed someone to knock him down a peg or two. Maggie wondered what thoughts were rolling around in that handsome head. On second thought, she probably didn’t want to know.

“So lass, what shall we order for breakfast? I’m starving, and I need food and caffeine to start off my day. Hmmm…pancakes, eggs, sausage, hash browns, biscuits, juice and coffee ought to do it. I wonder if they have homemade jam?”

Maggie stared at him in amazement. “How can you eat all that? Seriously, how can your stomach hold all that food? It looks too flat…I mean…you know…you look so fit. Do you eat like that all the time?”

“So, Miss FitzGerald, you were looking at my flat stomach were you? How nice. Is there anything else you’d like to see while we are discussing bodies? Hmm…maybe it’s my turn…let me see…”

“You are such a pig! Why did I agree to breakfast with you? I should have known someone as good looking and hot as you would have an enormous ego and a one track mind. “

“Oh, so you think I’m hot do you? “

“That’s not what I meant. I give up. You. Are. Such. A. Man. “ said Maggie, and then she started laughing and almost spit out the water she had just taken a sip of.

“I think you like me. Your laugh betrays you, lass. “

“Okay, okay, I give up. Yes, you are easy on the eyes, and you make me laugh. Can we stop with the horn dogging and eat breakfast now?”

“I think we can, now that the formalities are out of the way.” he said.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Author Interview with Robin D. Owens

This week I finished reading the charming book Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens. The author has set her story in a magical world of the fae. It's beautifully written, making the reader feel as if they are there with the characters, whether they are eating luscious chocolate truffles, fighting off the enemy, taking a shower in an elegant fae bathroom that never runs out of hot water or making love to a Treeman.

I loved Enchanted No More for it's melding of fantasy and romance. The characters came alive for me as I read the story, and I was holding my breath for the outcome of the battles, both physical and emotional. This was truly a special read that lifted my spirits and inspired me to be more creative in my own writing.

I emailed Robin, asked if she would be so kind as to answer a few questions for me. I hope you enjoy her answers as much as I did.

Brenda: Robin, I loved Enchanted No More, especially many of the small details such as food the characters were eating and their reactions to its taste, or the descriptions of rooms, homes etc. When you're writing, do the details come out right away in the first draft, or do you add things later as you go back in? I imagine you had fun writing the descriptions, especially when it came to the brownies.

Robin: I did try and think what each character would prefer and what they'd like at the time, but I believe that I added the details of most of the meals later. As for rooms and homes...I do rough sketches so that I can see the layout. Most of the time, if I really track down what the rooms look like, I've based the view on a memory. It might just be something I saw in a catalogue or online, but it's there. As for the brownies, I've been writing Familiar Animal Companions in my "Heart" series for quite a while, and the brownies (like the Fams) come easily for me.

Brenda: Another of my favorite things about the book is how it revolves around family and forgiveness. Can you tell us just a little about why this was an important theme for you?

Robin: Again, I often write about family (and have recently realized it's a main theme). The forgiveness part was very hard. I had the idea for Enchanted No More for several years, and I had to rewrite the actual pages and rethink the story because it was seriously flawed. I believe we can be both blessed and cursed with our own natural families, and I think we can make families of friends. Also, I think that we are usually too hard on ourselves and that we must recall that we should forgive ourselves for whatever faults (or acts of commission or omission) we have.

Brenda: How long did it take you to plan and write Enchanted No More? Can we look forward to a second book in the near future?

Robin: Like I said, I had the idea of the book for a while. I sold it, and I wrote it in about nine months. I sold three "Mystic Circle" books (based on the magical cul-de-sac where Jenni lives), and Enchanted Ever should be out next year at this time. More brownies who are again focused on chocolate -- and candied violets.

Brenda: I thought your book was such a perfect mix of classic fantasy and urban fantasy with paranormal romance thrown in the mix. Did the thought of genres enter your mind as you were writing, or do you simply write and let that fall where it may?

Robin: I wanted something more contemporary than the Heart series (which is set in the future on a planet called Celta with descendants of Earth colonists). I am not an incredibly hard-edged writer, or with a lot of blood and guts, so I did the best I could with Urban Fantasy ;). Luna books usually focus on a primary female character and her growth, with a romantic subplot, so that's what I try and deliver.

Brenda: Thank you so much for answering my questions, and for writing Enchanted No More. I hope it's wildly successful:)

Robin: Thank you. And, as they say, from your lips to God's ears.

Author:Robin D. Owens
Softcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Luna
Released: 1/1/2011
Available from Amazon

You can visit Robin and read excerpts of her books here:


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Musical Interlude: New My Chemical Romance

My Chemical Romance is one of the most creative bands around today. I love listening to their music and watching their videos because they always inspire me in my writing. Sometimes the words to their music inspires me, but other times it's the visual images. The new CD is futuristic and campy. This is the video for Sing. Between this and my husband I rewatching all the Firefly episodes from Joss Wheadon I'm aching to write a science fiction romance:)


Friday, January 7, 2011

No One Speaks That Way!

I've heard this a few times from my kids over the years. Yes, I'm 50 years old, but the thing is I don't use slang from the 70's when I was a teenager. I tend to use odd words and phrases, and I'm not sure why they stick in my head. Here a few examples of words or phrases I love to use, whether I mean to or not:

Giddy: to me there isn't another word that really conjures the same image that giddy does. When I won my Kindle a year or so ago, I was giddy, as in laughing, smiling nonstop, excited, doing a jig and just basically happy.

Jolly: No, not Santa, though he is certainly jolly. Babies or toddlers with rosy pink chubby cheeks who have conversations only they understand, then they laugh as if they told the best joke ever...are jolly.

My Cup of Tea: Yes, I drink tea, but I also use the phrase "It's not my cup of tea." I think I've always use this phrase;at least as long as I can remember. "Books on quantum physics are not my cup of tea, but give me a story with an alpha werewolf any day."

Tomfoolery: *snicker* Who doesn't love this word?

Shenanigans: Use it in a sentence and smile.

Dastardly: What does this word make you think of? I always think of a bad guy that ties the damsel in distress to the railroad tracks.

Dubious: When you have teens this word can apply to many things such as lame excuses, reasons homework wasn't done etc.

I love words:)


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My First Published Short Story

It's official. I'm a published author, along with my freelance writer status. I submitted my short story Home for the Holidays to XOXO Publishing back in October and it was used in their Christmas Anthology Volume II below:

I had written most of the story based on an idea my husband had in 2009, but I just didn't feel like it was going where I wanted it to. I saw XOXO's email asking for Christmas themed stories and decided to take another look at it. Within a few hours I had changed it to where the pieces were falling into place. I've always loved the holidays, and have written nonfiction articles about decorating, entertaining and cooking for many years, both offline and online. It was so much fun to create a holiday atmosphere from the thoughts in my head.

Story Summary: Ellie agrees to accompany her boyfriend Rory to his hometown for the holidays, despite her fear that his family will discover her secret. Rory needs to bring Ellie home so his family can help her discover her true self before it's too late. Will Christmas be the end of their relationship, or the beginning of something more?

This is an excerpt from the story after Ellie and Rory arrive at his parents home before the Christmas celebration:

Ellie turned to Rory, and slowly put her hands under his shirt. He felt so warm and incredibly sexy. He bent down and kissed her as she continued exploring his chest. He nibbled at her ear, slowly moving down her neck. She felt like her heart was going to pound out of her chest.

“Do you think perhaps you could sneak out of your room, and visit me later tonight in the guest room? “ whispered Ellie.

“Already had that planned out. Did you think I was going to be able to stay away from you? I’m having trouble not ripping your shirt to shreds right now, so sleeping in here while you’re in another room so close to mine is not an option, “ he said as his hands roamed a bit more.

“I think we should continue on our little tour before we get caught in an awkward situation by Princess Maggie, who I’m sure will be hunting us down any minute, “ said Ellie, as she reluctantly removed her hands from Rory’s body.

The Christmas Anthology is available on XOXO, and it includes short stories, recipes and holiday themed poetry.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Release Day! Tempests Legacy

Tempest's Legacy
Jane True #3
Author: Nicole Peeler
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Orbit
Releases: 1/3/2011
Available in Paperback & Digital

Summary: After a peaceful hiatus at home in Rockabill, Jane True thinks that her worst problem is that she still throws like a girl - at least while throwing fireballs. Her peace of mind ends, however, when Anyan arrives one night with terrible news . . . news that will rock Jane's world to its very core.

After demanding to help investigate a series of gruesome attacks on females -- supernatural, halfling, and human -- Jane quickly finds herself forced to confront her darkest nightmares as well as her deepest desires. And she's not sure which she finds more frightening.

I asked to review Tempest's Legacy because I enjoyed the first two Jane True books and had also reviewed those stories. The new book in the series is slightly darker, and I thought it had more substance, and was more thought provoking in many ways. Don't get me wrong, I loved the first two books, and read them in a day, loving every word. However, I thought this third book really showed Jane's character growth as she discovered more about her mother, and her supernatural side plus her struggles to define who she is. Her feelings for Anyan and Ryu take her on a roller coaster of emotions, and I felt like I gained new insights into all three of them as a reader.

We meet new characters, good, evil and inbetween, and get to know quite a bit more about Jane's powers and her mother. Tempest's Legacy wraps up a few things for the reader, but also opens up more exciting and dangerous adventures for Jane. I'm looking forward to the next book for another reason though. Nicole Peeler has become the Mistress of Sexual Tension and I NEED Jane to satisfy her urges in the next book. Seriously. We both need some release:)

Dirty Dreams
magical muscles

Jane True Series
1. Tempest Rising
2. Tracking the Tempest
3. Tempest's Legacy

To learn more about the author and the Jane True series visit here: