Wanna win a Book?

on September 12, 2011

Happy Monday, Everyone!  So, a couple of announcements today.  First, I’m at both Cynthia Eden’s and Nikki Brandyberry’s giving away books today.  Cynthia is holding a release party for two of her e-novellas and is giving away MANY books today–so hop on over!  Nikki asked me to guest blog about timelines in a paranormal series.  I did…and also talked about the bear I saw last weekend.  Really.  Stop by for the details!

Carina Press Author Bonnie Paulson is giving away a book!

on July 19, 2011

UPDATE:  Congrats to Maw25 for winning the copy of BREATHE AGAIN!  Bonnie will contact you with details. 🙂

!I’d like to welcome my friend, Bonnie R. Paulson, whose book BREATHE AGAIN will be released next month by Carina Press.  I asked Bonnie to blog a bit about emotion in contemporary romances.

I’d love to give away a copy of BREATHE AGAIN to one commenter today–there’s a question at the end, but you can comment on anything you want.

Romantic suspense and paranormal romances own a level of intensity to their emotions. Dark, deep, dramatic feelings with highs and lows and rare in-betweens pushed with urgency and fear.

Contemporary romances have the capabilities of exploring the subtle nuances of growing love among responsibilities, day-to-day difficulties and modern conveniences without the drama of fangs, claws or mind-reading (which I’ll be the first to admit I like a bite here and there).

World-building is important in the contemporary style but word count can be used more for scene building since the reader already understands the rules and idiosyncrasies of the time period. Plus, the laws of physics aren’t altered, so we don’t have to worry about the hero sucking her neck for sustenance, instead for pleasure – hello! And the heroine is strong but not enough to break a telephone pole in half. Characters are easier to identify
with… although let’s be honest. I ripped apart a telephone pole last week and no one, not one person, was impressed. I guess it’s been done.

There are still rules in contemporaries. You don’t want to read a book where the heroine sleeps with everything male. Too much sluttiness makes it hard to believe the sexual relation with the hero is special. And the hero doesn’t want to be too roughly physical because then wouldn’t he be physical with her or in jail all the time? And, let’s face it, wooing the heroine is difficult when he’s strapped to anger management classes.

My favorite aspect of contemporaries is the chance to take a controversial subject, spin it and then make my characters live it. Maggie deals with suicide in Breathe Again.

Breathe Again will be released August 22, 2011 from Carina Press.

Maggie Lachlan is struggling to get over the death of her husband. After being overcome by emotion during a shift in the E.R., she’s suspended indefinitely. Making things worse, she needs a place to stay after the quick sale of the house she shared with her late husband.

Fortunately, her friend, Ryan Stewart, offers her a room while she gets her life in order, much to the chagrin of his brother and housemate, Brodan Steele. Brodan doesn’t want to like Maggie, not when he questions Ryan’s feelings for her.. But it’s hard to deny the attraction he feels for her when she’s sleeping under the same roof.

Being so close to Brodan awakens something in Maggie, something she never felt during her marriage. But as long as she’s haunted by the past, she can’t open herself up to the future… 

Excerpt:  

I remembered my promise to stay away. Kneeling beside the pool spotted with lily pads, I pressed my fingers into the soft ground beside the mirror surface. Numerous large fish colored with brilliant orange, white and black highlights shimmered under the water. Lazy swimmers, the beautiful creatures hid in the shadows of the random leaves, the sparkling afternoon light finding their gliding bodies in the dark.

Watching the fish, I avoided being the first to speak. Why waste my time getting familiar when I planned to distance myself the first chance I got? I bit back a laugh. Not that I’d get the opportunity while I joined him on walks to sweet
settings.

My hair escaped again from the ponytail and fell past my shoulder. I pushed the mass behind my back.

“You’re part Irish, right?” Brodan’s deep voice fit in with the outdoor surroundings, rumbly and rugged.

“Yep. How’d you guess?” I smiled, lightening the sting my words could bring.

“Your mom or dad?” He stretched his legs out, crossing them at the ankles and relaxing his arm along the backrest.

“Dad.” I stood, feeling mulish for not sitting beside him. Wandering around the water, I asked, “Brodan sounds Irish. Can you claim the luck?”

“Not a lot. Dad drank Guinness, does that count?”

Humor between us, how odd. A few steps and I was beside him, attempting nonchalance.

We sat together, studying the man-made scenery, the silence long yet somewhat comfortable. A fish surfaced, poking its mouth into the air only to disappear into the shadows once more.

“I don’t want to like you, you know?” His quiet voice shattered the calm with more impact than a scream.

My favorite part of writing Breathe Again would be the fight Brodan and Maggie put up against the attraction between them. Sometimes I would laugh and call them both idiots
as I wrote. Other times, I would actually tear up a bit – no one thinks true loves should be apart. 

I was pregnant when I wrote it and tears came easily, but writing a scene at the end, outside the hospital, tore me up, even more than the Allstate commercials I’d been watching.

When you read a novel do you enjoy sad parts throughout or do they create bitterness toward the author?

Thank you so much to Rebecca for allowing me to swing by today. I would like to offer up a digital copy of Breathe Again for a randomly selected commenter today. Thank you again and I look forward to hearing what everyone thinks about Brodan. 

BIO:  Inland Northwest bred, Bonnie has a degree in radiology technology as well as multiple experiences in the medical industry. Four children and a terrific husband ground her as they rev around the countryside on their dirt bikes. Food, reading/writing romances and family make up just a small percentage of her favorite things. 

Page Proofs and I need a new Phone

on October 29, 2010

So, I received my page proofs.  The book looks pretty cool in book form.  I’m supposed to read through and catch any final typos before FATED goes to print.  This is the last time I’ll have a chance to change anything.  Note that by change anything, I mean to add a comma.  This puppy is typeset and I’m fairly sure the publisher sends scary guys in SWAT outfits after you if you try to change too much at this point.  Though I have to say, seeing my name next to the page number on ever other page is thrilling.

I’ve added pictures of the page proofs.  Yeah, the pictures aren’t that great.  I took them with my battered cell phone.  Time for a new one, but I can’t decide what to get.  The Droid is intriguing, as is the newest BlackBerry…but I’ve been looking at the IPhone.  Rumor has it that Verizon and IPhone will be united sometime later this year.  Though I was thinking…I’m driving down the road, singing along with Bon Jovi (yes, I’m cool) on the IPod and…the phone rings.  Does the music stop?

I can’t have the music stop just because my dentist is calling to confirm my appointment the next day.  The music must go on.  So, perhaps it’s the Droid.

I guess it’s time to look at those page proofs.  ARCs should be arriving mid-November, so I’ll be having some contests and giveaways soon.  🙂

Writing – Judging Contests

on April 2, 2010

It seems like it’s contest season across the board right now – writing contests, that is.  I’ve both entered and judged my share.  Speaking of which, I’m in the middle of judging two contests right now.  One for published writers and the other for unpublished writers.  For the published authors, you just send in a score.  But most contests for unpublished authors require the judge to do a sort of critique throughout the submission.  So I thought I’d post a quick five rules for judging.  Here they are:

1)  Be nice.  We’re writers.  We should know many words.  One of my critique partners once received a comment on her contest entry that her heroine was “an annoying slut.”  Now, while we laughed our heads off about this (because her heroine was awesome, funny and the darn book sold), someone just starting out in this crazy business might’ve gotten their feelings hurt.  Or quit writing.  So use the nice words to explain why an entry didn’t work for you.

2) Explain.  So the entry doesn’t work for you.  Why?  Is it a first draft where the point-of-view bops from the hero to the heroine to the waiter to the dog next door – just in the first paragraph?  (BTW, I’m making this up.  I’ve never read an entry exactly like this.)  If so, first explain what the heck point-of-view is, and then explain why it might be better to stay in one person’s head for a bit.

3) Use common sense.  For the love of pete.  If an entry has more adverbs than verbs, for all means make a suggestion that the writer use strong verbs and ditch the adverbs.  But don’t zero in on the silly stuff.  For example, I once submitted an entry where one judge just didn’t like it.  She made numerous comments, including: “June nights are not cold in Idaho,” and “you should have a real lawyer read this for accuracy.”  Interesting facts here:  I’ve lived in Idaho my whole life and…I am a real lawyer.  (Yes, I’m still ticked about this one.  However, I still finaled in the contest because they threw out the lowest score and the other judges liked my stuff. 🙂 )

4) Meet your deadline.  Keep in mind that the contest is more than likely run by volunteers who are counting on you to get your scores in on time.  I’m finding that a lot about this business comes down to meeting deadlines.  Might as well start now. 

5) Be nice.  Yeah, I know I already said this one.  But it bears saying it again.  The writer has put a lot of time, effort, heart and now money into writing this piece and entering this contest.  How you respond reflects on writers as a whole.  We’re nice people.  We like to  mentor and help new writers.  Judging contests and being constructive in our comments is one way we do this.  And it never hurts to add a positive comment once in a while, even if the book ends up in the dog’s point-of-view for the last forty pages. 🙂

Writing – the Golden Heart Contest

on March 18, 2010

The online loops are beginning to buzz…the Golden Heart finalists for 2010 will be announced in one week.  What is the Golden Heart?  It’s the most prestigious award for unpublished authors, organized by RWA (Romance Writers of America) with the winners announced at the national conference in July.  Not just announced.  Red carpet.  Formal attire.  Huge drop down pictures of the author.  Big speech in front of thousands. 

And the finalists all get pretty silver hearts to attach to their nametags at the conference, and people might clap as they enter an elevator.  Looks like serious fun! 

If you want a first hand look, hop over to: http://www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/rss/    These ladies all finaled last year and then created a website/blog about it.  Great information here!  Good luck to all of the entrants and those holding their breath until March 25th – Announcement Day.