Friday, June 19, 2015

If You'll Pardon Me, I'm Going to Crawl Into a Romance Novel Now

The Afterlife Series
Available Now from Amazon

I'm often asked, "Why romance?" Why do I write them, why do I read them? I always say it's because anything can happen, but there's always a happily ever after in the end.

These last few months, the universe has thrown me a curve, and as I read my morning paper or watch the news, I discover new reasons to mourn and feel disappointed in humanity.

Then I pick up a romance or dive headfirst into my latest WIP, and somehow, the world warms up and I can smile again. 

Scoff if you want. Drink your scotch, sneer at the "others" who aren't faring as well, or blame someone else for the miseries around us. You have your way of coping. I have mine.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

I'm stuck. Hopelessly, impossibly, irretrievably stuck. I'm working on a story and I've ripped it apart, pieced it back together, hated it, ripped it apart, pieced it back together, hated it, ripped it apart...

You get the idea.

So I'm taking a break. The book hasn't beaten me. Not by a long shot. But it's time to step back, spend some time replenishing my creative juices. I'll be reading, tossing things over, playing with scenarios, and strengthening my story-telling muscles.


I'll be back. Count on it..

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Friday, May 8, 2015

Oh, Goody. Mother's Day is Coming

Did you detect sarcasm in my title? Good for you. But it's not why you think.

Look, I get it. Moms do a lot for us. And it's nice to have a day to honor the women who gave us life, wiped our butts, sat up at night when we missed curfew, and loved us unconditionally.

What I don't get are the "experts" telling everyone what to buy their mom for Mother's Day. In the hour I've been awake this morning, I've seen people tell me "what Mom really wants" is a skin care system, an embroidered pillow, a set of retro glassware, a box of scented candles, new makeup, a calligraphy kit, jewelry from a major department store, and a card that says "Mom" signed by the artist.

Maybe it's me, but...


Wanna make me happy for Mother's Day? Here's a few things I'd like (and I bet a few other moms might agree):

Clean the house without being asked.

Make dinner (instead of breakfast in bed). Reservations don't count. And clean up afterward.

Planning to get flowers? Get plants and put them in the garden instead.

Write Mom a letter. Share memories of special times, pour out your heart, give her something she can read over and over and cherish each time.

Plan a Mom's day off. Not on Mother's Day. Spend that day with her (if she wants) or send her off on her own to do things she never has time for (whatever that may be). This includes watching little ones if necessary so she can truly enjoy her day.

If you don't live close, call. Not just on Sunday, but other times. Let her know you're thinking of her.  

Tell Mom you love her. Not just on Sunday, but every dang day.

Or you could always get her a book...

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Wanted: Reviewers, Readers, and Book Bloggers

Book III of the Afterlife Series is just about ready for release and I'm currently looking for readers who are willing to read and review an ARC. Honest reviews only, of course. I've got very thick skin. 

Here's the blurb: 

In the third and final installment of the award-winning Afterlife Series, she’s got nothing left to lose; he has everything to gain…

A longtime resident of the Afterlife, Xavia Donovan has vowed to do whatever it takes to get out of the realm of the dead and move on. She didn’t expect “whatever it takes” to mean counseling the baddest bad boy to cross her path—in life or death.  

On Earth, Osiris Cavanaugh spent lifetimes betraying his country, betraying his compatriots, and betraying the one person now assigned to help him become a better soul: Xavia.

With the help of an unusual child on Earth, they’ll conquer their pasts. But now that they’ve come together, will their futures tear them apart?

If you're interested in reading and reviewing this (or any of my books), please contact me for information.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

When Does Inspiration Become Theft?

Throughout time, all artists have been inspired by those who came before them. But when does the use of someone else's idea blur the line between "inspiration" and "theft?"

Note I'm not talking about plagiarism, which is a worse crime in the publishing world. In this post, I'm referring solely to the theft of ideas.  

Anyone in the publishing world will tell you, you can't copyright an idea. And there are many instances of synchronicity: when more than one artist releases a similar concept at the same time. Check out these movies, with similar plots, released in the same year. Remember Dante's Peak and Volcano? More recently, there was Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down. How about No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits? Synchronicity does happen, and it's never intentional.

Many authors happily admit they first began writing when they read a particular story and thought they could do it better, or came up with a stronger idea based on it, or wanted to somehow pay homage to the characters or authors. When it's complimentary, this can be a wonderful honor. Look at the sudden influx of erotica novels that have some of the same elements as Fifty Shades of Grey, or the post-apocalyptic YA series like Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, Uglies or Penryn and the End of Days. Ideas can always be twisted and rewritten into new settings, new sub-plots, new stories. That's what an inspired artist can freely create.

But there are times when an artist takes an idea or project, recreates it with little to no change to the original work, and never admits knowledge of the source material. Now, in many of these instances, the "inspired" artist doesn't really know or remember their inspiration. I would hope, when such a lapse is pointed out, the artist will have the grace to take responsibility. Case in point: In 1997, the Rolling Stones planned to release a single, "Anybody Seen My Baby" off their new album. When several people who previewed the song mentioned the similarity to kd Lang's hit, "Constant Craving," although the band didn't willfully copy the chorus from Lang, they opted to release a different single and gave Lang writing credit on the album. 

Sometimes, though, an artist intentionally copies another's work without permission, without giving credit, without admitting their inspiration came from some other source. In my mind, that's theft. If you're guilty of such a theft, it's never too late to admit your mistake and make amends to the victim. If not, well, eventually, karma will catch up to you.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Winter Blows...I Mean Blues

Anybody else tired of winter? I mean, here it is the first week in March and here in my hometown, we're gearing up for not one, but two (!) snowstorms over the next forty-eight hours. I still have the same snow reaching up to my mailbox that fell at the end of January. It's time for Old Man Winter to move on to that great nursing home in Antarctica. 

I miss seeing the blacktop on my driveway. 

I miss every other color but white.

I miss skirts and dresses.

I miss my feet being dry.

I miss blue skies.

I miss the sun, dammit!

Oh, spring, where are you?

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

It's Valentine's Day! Get Your Romance On!

Does it surprise you to know I'm a hopeless romantic? And today is the perfect day for me to share some of my favorite romantic lines from literature. These are the bits of perfection that make me sigh just thinking about them. 

Stuck for something romantic to write in your love's Valentine's Day card? Take some help from the pros. (Just be sure to credit them!)

1. "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." - Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

2. "I do love nothing in the world so well as you. Is not that strange?" - William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

3. "Soul meets soul on lovers' lips." - Percy Bysse Shelley, Prometheus Unbound

4. "At his lips' touch, she blossomed for him like a flower, and the incarnation was complete." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

5. "It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight." - Vladamir Nabakov, Lolita

6. "I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once." - John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

7. "Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches." - William Goldman, The Princess Bride

8. "Love of man for woman, love of woman for man. That's the nature, the meaning, the best of life itself." - Zane Grey, Riders of the Purple Sage

9. "I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want you." - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of the Island

10. "I see you everywhere, in the stars, in the river. To me, you're everything that exists, the reality of everything." - Virginia Woolf, Night and Day

And because I do happen to write romance, I thought I'd share a few of my own.

1. "With all my heart, for all our lifetimes, I forgive him!" - Eternally Yours

2. "I can’t fight the unknown. And Vivi, here’s the thing: you’re worth fighting for. So get ready. No matter what you meant by sending this to me, I’ll be coming for you." - Duping Cupid

3. "Love was a risk, a dare, a challenge that had to be overcome. Because, in the end, love was the greatest gift one person could offer another. It wasn’t to be taken lightly or abused. Love was meant to be cherished." - Charming for Mother's Day

4. “Put up with you? No, sweetheart. I told you. I intend to worship you. To discover your dreams one by one and spend my life making them come true.”- Nobody's Darling

5. "Any woman who claims to love me had better be ready to announce it in the Sunday New York Times. She should know how I feel about her without needing reassurance. She’ll want the world to know we’re together because that’s exactly what she’ll get from me." - Duet in September

Now, go forth and woo the one you love!

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