Friday, February 25, 2011

Feature & Follow Friday

Over at Parajunkee they are having a Feature & Follow Friday. Here we get to know other peeps in the world of books and share some things about ourselves.

There you can find other great blogs, check them out, follow, and comment.

This Friday's question is:

Q. Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it...

Well, I have a few favorite shows, I am sort of a TV junkie. If you follow this blog you can already guess what my fave of all faves is.
30 ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!
Here are some clips. My words cannot do it justice!

How can you not love a show that coins phrases like...
"I want to go to there."

"I love this cornbread so much I wanna take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant."

"What the what!"

"I can't eat this, I'm a foodie."

"I'm wearing a tux 'cause its after six. What am I, a farmer?"

"Oh my god, where are my manners? Do you wanna try meth?"

"I never sleep on planes. I don't wanna get 'incepted.'"

"Goodnight cheese."

"First of all, I look weird there because I'm snarting."

Ok. You have to be a fan after "snarting". That's a sneeze fart.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


BETTA is a fish whose face blooms while preparing to attack.
BETA lost the videotape wars in the 80's to VHS.
BETA is the second letter of the Greek alphabet.
BETA is a measure of the volatility, or systematic risk, blah blah blah some Wall Street thingy. 
BETA is a motorcycle.
BETA is the last round of testing before software gets released.
BETA blockers help fight heart disease.
BETA is a night club in Denver.
(You now you just head bopped to this pic. Hee hee.)

If you are blessed enough to have a Critique Partner you will one day get to BETA read their entire MS.

It's a celebration of sorts. The end of a journey.

And it's refreshing to read something you love so much all over again.

But 'tis a bit of work. You must read with keen eyes, dotting all the i's and crossing the t's. You read it as you would a novel, in a flow. Not chapter by chapter over the long months of critiquing.

Here, you may find some plot holes, timeline mistakes, and things you flat out missed before.

The whole time you are remembering why you love your CP so much. Why, out of all the other aspiring authors, you chose this one person to share your writing journey with.

This week I had the immense pleasure and honor to read  AJ Wilson's A Princess For York.

Holy HOT Highlanders batman!

I was completely blown away!

I'd never read a historical romance before reading for AJ.

Never wanted to and I have to admit I was skeptical when I opened the first chapter over a year and a half ago.

This is not your typical historical romance. Not like this douche-nozzle to the right.

It's Historical Fiction with one hell of a love story at it's heart.

I never wanted to see a man in a skirt so bad in my life. Ha-cha-cha.

This tale is smart, action packed, sexy as hell, endearing, and has you tearing up at the end, begging to read the next adventure!

Go to her website and be blown away! I mean really, it will leave you wanting more.

'Tis truly The Tudors meets Braveheart!
This BETA read was a labor of love. There were a few things that needed ironing out, not much. But I was left breathless, willing back tears at the end.

This experience has me talking in brogue on occasion, typing it. Aye, 'tis truth! I cannae lie. The story is verra, verra moving. Never read the like!

For all you aspiring authors, the BETA read for a fellow writer in an honor. I relish the next tale I get to devour for my CP.

*This was a totally blatant arse kissing post for when JAWS tears me MS a new one!*

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Heroes and Heartbreakers

Yesterday was a day of kisses, love, and ha-cha-chas.

 It was also the big launch day of Heroes and Heartbreakers, the latest website dedicated to Romance and hosted by Macmillan Publishing.

I have the honor of being a contributor for the blog. My first post discusses Romance Couple Royalty, Jamie and Claire from Diana Gabaldon's The Outlander. Love this couple.

The site chats about Romance as a whole. Not just in books but in movies, music, television, and our daily lives. There are great recommendations for news reads,  tantalizing excerpts, and short stories.

Giveaways, sneak peeks, and witty banter should be enough to make you run over to sign up and be a member. Besides the fact that I have a post there, of course.

Go, shoo. Get going and get in on all the fun. No comments here, save them for over there.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just Kiss Already Blogfest

Christina Lee over at Write Brained and Stina Lindenblatt over at Seeing Creative are  hosting a smooching good blogfest today. In honor of Valentine's Day we are posting a kissing scene from one of our works. So get your chapstick ready and pucker up! When you are done swapping spit here, head over to Christina's blog and check out some others.


Meet Me In Jersey is my current WIP. It's a tale about long lost love set along the New Jersey Shore. Here, Miguel and Grace, childhood friends and first loves, reunite on the sandy shores of their youth as both their marriages have just ended. In this scene Miguel recalls when he kissed a very newly married Grace, along with their childhood promise to be together until they were old and gray.

“Are you happy?” His heart skipped a beat as he tried to keep his expression blank.

“It took me a really long time to get here Mig, I won’t lie. Getting over us took all I had but I did it. I can really say that yes, I am happy.”

“That’s all I want for you, you know that, right?” Miguel searched her eyes, for something, anything to tell him how she really felt.

Her eyes glazed a bit and her brows rose. “And that’s all I want for you.”

A hopeful stare lingered. Need outweighed reason. He closed the space between them and pulled her body to his. Her breath quickened. Warm palms pushed against his chest. It only made him hold her tighter. “Are you as happy as you were our last night together? When you told me you’d love me forever? When I told you, you were the only woman I’d ever love?”

Her silence spoke volumes. A slight chuckle of recognition escaped him. His lips brushed across hers, tasting wine and cake. They melded together in a familiar slow dance. Tongues swept, light at first, then with more longing. A soft moan rumbled from her mouth to his. Making it impossible to stop, but he had to.

Miguel released those soft lips, traced pink cheeks with the pads of his thumbs. “Old and gray, Grace. Don’t forget that. You can’t ever forget that.” 

Head down he left, unable to look at her. The taste of Merlot, butter cream frosting, and what could have been lingered on his senses.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I've been away for a while ... leaving poor Charli to her own devices ... he he he

What a better way to celebrate being back in the game then doing an author interview? Not just any author, but an award winning author, whose tales continue to inspire me.

As an aspiring author of historical fiction, I am fascinated by the tales of other like-minded authors. In truth, there are never enough hours in the day to write and read to my hearts content, but I do try!

But enough about me ... take your hand off the keyboard for a moment and welcome, Lucinda Brant, Georgian storyteller extraordinaire. Set in the 18th Century England and France, full of brazen wit and adventure, her tales are a nice blend of romance and mystery, “crimances” if you will, as she so aptly describes her books. Even her covers are breathless!

As a historical writer, I often get sucked down the 'rabbit' hole if you will, whilst researching. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, three hours have gone by. Obviously, I'm fascinated by the period in which I write - Medieval - thus, I wanted to know how important history is to Lucinda. This is what she said:

Essential. When I write about the weather, such as the Thames freezing over in January 1763, the noblemen in government such as Bute, Rockingham and Newcastle, a riot that occurred at the Theatre Royal or of a particular house in a particular square or street in London, Bath or Paris, you can be confident I have done my research. History sets the stage for my characters to inhabit, so it must be just right so they can give their best performance.

As for falling down the rabbit hole ... here is the lady's take:

I guess I have been researching all my life – well, since the age of 11 when I fell in love with the 18th Century – France and England in particular. I bought Cobban’s History of Modern France 1715- 1799 (rather a serious work for an eleven-year old!) and a pocket French dictionary and I was off and running. I now have a library of books on Georgian England and the France of Louis XV. Of course, these days, there is always the Internet!

Though there are so many things about the medieval era that enthrall me, I wanted to know what intrigued, or drew Lucinda into the Georgian period?

To be honest, at first it was the clothes, not worn by women, but by the men. I was intrigued that males could wear lace at their wrists, red heels, satin and brocade, and still be considered real men. Georgian gentlemen were metrosexuals 250 years before the term was invented. They cared about their appearance, were interested in fashion, went shopping, loved sport and women.

The Georgian period was also an exciting time of discovery – of new countries (Australia) of revolution (the American War of Independence and the French Revolution), of new ideas and free press; a time when people starting taking an interest in nature for nature’s sake, in cultivating rare and exotic plants (pineapples) and designing elegant town squares, building Palladian mansions and filling them with wonderful Chippendale and Sheridan furniture.

Though I'm a liberal woman, who loves her freedom, sometimes, as a historical writer, we cannot quite understand, and therefore, write, how women really were in the past. But to be true to the time period, we must, at the very least, try. With the sensibilities of today, so vastly different from those of the past how does Lucinda reconcile the differences, and find a balance with your characters?

I try to be true to the sensibilities of the 18th century while writing in a way that is accessible to readers today. I don’t care much for historical romances that have very modern-thinking characters dressed up in period costume.

And of course, I must know, what sparked the author inside her?

I was a voracious reader as a child and once I had read all of Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt/Philippa Carr’s novels, and the novels of Anya Seton and Taylor Caldwell, I decided to write my own. I wrote my first novel in Middle School during Math class and my best friend would read the installments each lesson. I also wrote to Jean Plaidy and told her – I still have her reply, typewritten with her real name, not her pen names, and address on the envelope. I so treasure that letter – and was thrilled to think she wrote her actual name and address on the envelope so I knew who she really was and where she lived! I was twelve at the time.

As for her characters ... Lucinda "hear(s) their voices, they are real ..." So folks, you've heard it from the best ... she hears voices too! But mostly, she desires nothing more than for her readers to be entertained, and "wholly immersed in the 18th Century."

As voracious readers, Charli and I had to know what was next?

I am busily writing the third novel in the Roxton Series, Autumn Duchess, and also putting the final touches to the second novel in my Georgian Historical crimance series Deadly Affair.

After that... perhaps a fourth book in the Roxton series, telling Evelyn’s story some years after he ran off to Italy with Dominique, the Farmer-General’s daughter, in Midnight Marriage. He returns to England a widower and a broken man, seeking revenge on the person he believes responsible for his incarceration in the dungeon of a small European principality on charges of espionage.

Now before we let her leave, we had to as the customary funnies ...

You are a sandwich, describe yourself on a menu.
Roast beef very thinly sliced, a smidgen of French seeded mustard, a slice of crumbling cheddar, a mountain of freshly shredded iceberg lettuce, lots of salt and pepper, between two slices of country-grain bread.

If you could be a superhero, what would your name and power be?

Sir Trevor Time-Traveler. Naturally my power would be traveling back in time – I would stop off in Georgian London for my wardrobe and have my tailor run me up a stupendous velvet frockcoat with silver lacings on the skirts and Chinoiserie embroidery on the cuffs with matching breeches and whacking great diamond buckles to secure the enormous leather tongues of my high heeled shoes. Under all the lace and velvet I have a washboard stomach and massive calf muscles. I am never impolite and always stand up when a lady enters a room. I have perfected the secret art of fighting off a villain with my bare hands without breaking a sweat or one of my carefully manicured and buffed nails.

What is your porno/stripper name? Using the traditional formula take the family pet’s name and the street you grew up on? For instance, Charli’s is Betsy Orchard, AJ’s Ginger King Edward.

Bella Copeland. And with such a classy name I would be the Madam of the establishment!

It was a pleasure to have you, Lucinda! I can't wait to read Autumn Duchess


Be sure to visit Lucinda over at

If you'd like to win a copy of one of Lucinda's fabulous books, hop on over to her Facebook page, and click 'Like' as well as leaving a comment below. A winner will randomly be selected, so please leave us your email information. Now hurry ... go like this fabulous author!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rules for Breaking Rules

This guy breaks all the rules. He did it in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and he's still doing it, one hotel room at a time.

Breaking the rules works for him. Do you even know how much money the man makes? His TV show gained viewers after all his antics.

Crazy, this entertainment business.

Do you even remember this scene? I do. And look at them now...Baby and Sheen, all these years later. Whooda thunk it?

Some other rule breakers weren't so lucky though....Poor Mel over there...He went all crazy like Sheen but it didn't quite work for him now did it?

There are a million reasons why. Sheen combined his sins but did it with an inebriated smile on his face. Using the same charm from Ferris Bueller in real life.

Mel kinda went psycho. Anti-Semitic Rants, boozed soaked diatribes, I don't have to re-hash. Tis sad really. Love the man's work, and as a child of the 80's his butt what the butt all other hunks' butts were compared to. Oh, how the mighty have fallen...

Rules are everywhere. We are bred to follow them and punished when we don't. Time-outs, butt whoopins, groundings, incarceration, the list goes on.

For aspiring authors the punishment is that you stay just that, aspiring. Never actually being.
Charli here is a rule breaker. Let me list them for you.

I have a prologue
My second chapter introduces an ensemble cast
It's over 100,000 words (working on that though)
I tell in places and show in others
Most passages are active but some are passive
Sometimes my characters do random things- no plan or goal, that's life

There are probably more.

Some of my most favorites books of all time have all of the above. So, all you aspiring writers out there, take heed. We read blog after blog and article after article about the rules, what agents want and hate. We revise our MSs in a state of panic and what is the result? A really bad revision.

You are the creator of your story. Sometimes you have to follow your instincts. Look at the books on the NYT Bestsellers list. Scratch that, read them. The rules are broken all the time. At the end of the day its all about a really good story that's weaved together in breathless fashion. Originality in premise, characters, or setting will make the difference.

There are basic rules to storytelling, yes. Beginning, middle end...story arc...plot...yada. But these other rules are not black and white.

My prologue is not a ten page diatribe. It's one page, a tease about the future, and I love it. My CP's prologue is action packed and a cliffhanger for sure. Some of my favorite authors have them and I really love the set-up.

I recently read a book that had a whole passage that was passive and telling. I liked it because it was insight about a specific past event. It was compelling and well written for a rule breaker. Another one had dialogue tags left and right and I didn't even care, the story was that good.

Learn the craft and to do that you must READ. READ. READ. READ. READ.

As someone who participates in Critique groups I can tell  you this... I  have read some really well written prose. No telling, no passives, they follow all the rules. And they were....okay. Nothing new or spectacular for the genre but not bad either.  I have read some work that was so rough it hurt to read. But guess what...the story was so awesome and the characters so crisp I loved it and wanted to read more.

So, for all you newbies out there or frustrated old timers don't read blogs, even this one, and take it as the end all be all. Do your research. Read, write, read and then write some more.

I thought I knew it all when I started in 2009. I didn't no shite. There is still a ton of shite out there I have yet to conquer.

Go out my young Padawans and Obie Ones and fertilize your minds with what you've yet to explore. Break a rule now and then, just be sure it's worth it and works for you...

Now, some clips to pay tribute.

Every girl loves the bad boy...

Danny Glover should have had an intervention with Mel this time around.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You've Come A Long Way Blogfest

Chris over at the Writer's Hole is hosting a blogfest today. It's to celebrate the four year anniversary of working on her novel and how far she's come.

How far we've come indeed. Need a history lesson on my some old posts. Learning the craft, honing it, and applying it to a story I love has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.

The You've Come A Long Way Blog Fest is a great idea. I love reading about how writers have evolved and keep evolving.

I am new to all this Festing of the Blogging. I hope I don't feck it we go...

Think of a piece of your writing from when you started out. I mean the early days. I've read some of my first attempts at my novel and snorted out loud. 'Twas that bad.

I will post a piece from the MS I've been writing since July of 2009. It was called By Grace Alone then. I wanted some vague opening about death and loss. Very Omni, very artsy-fartsy. Very Very Bad. I was trying too hard.

I held onto the concept of it but since then it's morphed into a less than one page prologue that gives a tease into the future.

The original piece of doo-doo:

People die. Heartless when put that way but it doesn’t make it any less true. Parents die, husbands die, even babies die. We pay homage to a decaying body with vibrant colorful flowers. The aromatic tokens will eventually rot too. Give the dead something that wilts and perishes along with them. Kind of idiotic when you think about it, cruel if you truly pondered it. But still, it’s what we all do. It’s our way of proving to the rest of the world that this person mattered to us. They were loved, cherished, and even missed. But if the dead could speak, would they tell us to move on? Stop standing over them blubbering with stupid sentiments? Probably. But there is something morbid, even narcissistic in the human condition, the inability to let the dead be dead. We just can’t seem to let go.

I know you rolled your eyes. I sure as hell did.

My MS is now titled Meet Me In Jersey. Here is the latest version of the opening:

 Philadelphia, a few months from now…

People die, every day. Heartless, perhaps, but it doesn’t make it any less true. They die in car accidents, lying in hospital beds, waiting to be born, and if they are lucky enough, in the arms of someone they love.

Right now, Grace didn’t feel so lucky. As Miguel held her close to his chest she heard him pray to a God she’d forsaken long ago. Whispers of love and hope left his lips, urging her to stay with him, with them. His pleas sounded over the boom of howling sirens, forcing her tired eyes open. Tears streaked his face and they reflected in shades of blue and red. Their salty bitterness mixed with the taste of his sweet kiss pressing against her mouth.

She fought with what little life remained in her weary body and yet her hand continued to slip from his, the light from this world faded into the next.

People die, yes, life taught her as much. But love never does. Her love for him never did, never would. Love was all she had left to give and prayed it was enough to live.

What are your thoughts? Don't be blowin' smoke up me arse either. This opening has been through the ringer. I have about ten versions, for reals.

What I learned over time is that you cannot betray your voice. You can't try and be all literary in your prologue than change the tone of your voice in chapter 1. It became really clear that people thought my original diatribe about death was a wee bit of a Debbie Downer.

Have fun all and I can't wait to read yours!

Head over to the blog fest to sign up, read, and learn. Holla back people.