Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The romance of far-away places

Bologna from the Torre degli Asinelli (photo by Calca from Wikimedia Commons)Many writers I know write about their own local areas and places. I love to write about far-away places. The pull and lure of the unknown always intrigues me. So I either write about the past - a different kind of far-off place where manners, customs, fashions are all different - or I write about distant lands.

I love Yorkshire as a place to live. It's where most of my family are. I love the landscape and the people. Yet, in my writing, I find I am most excited by the glamour of the different. For me, the grass over the other side of the fence really is greener!

Having studied European history, I tend to be drawn to the lands of the classical Greeks and Romans. The light and dry heat of Greece always amazes me and the wild-flowers and ruins and the fiercely passionate people all inspire me. Italy is a country I love for its culture, food, mix of ancient and modern and sense of family. Both places to me seem ripe for romance and adventure: their men folk are often impossibly handsome and open and engaging. Very appealing!

I wrote about the Greek island of Rhodes in my sweet romance, A Secret Treasure and about Italy and especially Italian bread and sweets in my newly published Holiday in Bologna. This Christmas we are having panettone as a cake, probably with soft Italian cheese. Delicious!

Do you read stories set in far away places? What inspires you in your fiction?

Lindsay
 
http://www.lindsaytownsend.net

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

SRN Christmas Chat

We'd love to see you all there.
If you'd like to be a participating author, please email me at
adellelaudanATyahoo.com
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

...And here's another cover: 'Holiday in Bologna'

Well, good things come in threes, so here's the cover for Holiday in Bologna, my sweet romance novella coming from Bookstrand in the spring.

I suggested a garden, and just look at all those roses!

Lindsay
http://www.lindsaytownsend.net

Friday, December 4, 2009

AudioLark cover for 'A Secret Treasure'

This must be a week for lovely covers. Here's the one AudioLark have given to the audio version of A Secret Treasure - really warm and atmospheric!

Further details are here at AudioLark.

Lindsay
http://www.lindsaytownsend.net

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just got the cover for 'A Knight's Enchantment'

I've just this morning received the cover for my next Zebra medieval, A Knight's Enchantment, and I like it already!
Here it is, and the blurb is here.

Other bits of news: another romantic suspense shortie, Holiday in Bologna, comes out from Bookstrand as an ebook early next year and A Secret Treasure is getting the talking book treatment from AudioLark in the spring.

Lindsay

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Tales


Here are two turkey (or turkel, as we call them) sightings around my house.

Turkey in the Snow

In December 2007, a big storm dropped a good foot and a half of snow. By late afternoon, the sky was clearing and two tom turkeys (all that chest hair) slogged to the bird feeder. We have several large pines in our yard which shelter the feeder. The snow wasn't as deep there and the turkeys pecked at the seeds.

The next time I looked, only one turkey was left. He turned toward the hill to climb up to the woods, stepping into snow that was up to his belly. He stopped. For several minutes, he struggled and strained against the snow, but couldn't make any progress. The light was fading, and I expected him to return along the path he and his friend had broken.

Instead, Mr. Turkey unfurled his wings (BIG wings) and flew up to a branch. Huge bird that he is, he made quite a sight, perched on that limb. As the night progressed, I looked out several times to check on him, but I couldn't see him in the darkness. I worried about him, even as I told myself turkeys are professional wild animals and can survive outside.

The next morning, I heard "Gobble, gobble, gobble," and sure enough, there he was, still sitting on that tree limb. He flapped his wings and flew down to the ground. A crust had formed on the snow overnight, so he was able to walk away, slipping and sliding and using his wings for balance.

A happy ending.

A Spring Turkey

Last May, as I sat in my front room, I heard clucking outside the open window. I jumped up to see the turkey (seeing a turkey is still a big deal) and sure enough, a hen stood on the front lawn.

She clucked again, and six tiny brown-and-yellow chicks (poults) ran out from under the rhododendron beside the house. From their small size, they must have hatched only a few days earlier.

Mama turkey clucked again and walked around the side of the house, her poults trailing in her wake. A resplendent tom, tail flaring in full courtship regalia, followed. The entire group climbed the hill behind my house and disappeared into the woods. I wonder where mama turkey built her nest. I hoped she used our woods, but I have no idea.

My husband took these two pictures from inside the house. Click on the images to see the poults better.

I never saw the poults again, but I do see the turkeys from time to time. They have no schedule, but they wander from yard to yard, climb the hill behind my house to the woods, and then climb down again, cross the street and head into the woods lower on the hill.

I'm glad we have turkels. And I hope they come around for a good many more years.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thank you all,
Linda
Linda Banche
Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal
Lady of the Stars--4 stars from Romantic Times, 2010 EPIC EBook Competition finalist, Regency time travel available from The Wild Rose Press
Pumpkinnapper--Regency Halloween comedy available from The Wild Rose Press
Website Blog Myspace Facebook Twitter

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Turkeys I Have Known



I'm talking about the ones with feathers, not the non-feathered variety that plague us all everyday.

I live in a New England suburb. The area is mainly houses and lawns, with an occasional patch of woods like the one on the hill behind my house. We have the usual wildlife: squirrels, chipmunks, songbirds, rabbits, deer, raccoons and the occasional fox, opossum and groundhog. Up until a few years ago, we never had wild turkeys. Once, long ago, a domestic turkey, probably an escapee from someone's yard, wandered through for a few days, and for a year or two we had ring-necked pheasants, but no wild turkeys.

One day I looked out at my back yard, and there the turkeys were, pecking at the spilled seed under the bird feeder. They usually arrive in groups of females (hens) or males (toms) but not the two together. The only time we'll see them together is in the spring, when the toms display themselves for the hens. The traditional picture of a Thanksgiving turkey with his feathers fluffed up is a tom in courtship display. He'll ruffle his feathers that way in the spring to attract the hens' attention, but not in November. The hens also fan their tails, but their display is not nearly as striking.

How do you tell the sexes apart? Turkeys are all large brown birds with sharp beaks and big, spurred feet. The toms are generally larger than the hens and have bright, iridescent feathers. These distinctions are apparent in a mixed sex group, but for most of the year, the birds segregate into male or female only groups.

An undeniable difference is what my husband calls the tom's "chest hair"--a bundle of long coarse feathers that hangs loose from the tom's neck and swings as he walks. I would have called the feather bundle neckties, but chest hair works, too.

As for the noises they make, in most ways they sound like chickens. They all cackle and squawk. But the toms gobble, a rapid "gobble-gobble-gobble", which is why they're called gobblers.

I enjoy the turkeys. We call them turkels, to distinguish them from the turkey that will grace our dinner table on Thanksgiving. Watching them is still a treat. Most of the time all they do is stop for a snack at the bird feeder and a drink from the bird bath. But I do have two special stories about the turkeys that have visited my yard.

Tomorrow: Turkey Tales.

Thank you all,
Linda

Linda Banche
Linda Banche
Regency romance--most with humor, some with fantasy, and occasionally a paranormal
Lady of the Stars--4 stars from Romantic Times, 2010 EPIC EBook Competition Finalist, Regency time travel available from The Wild Rose Press
Pumpkinnapper--Regency Halloween comedy available from The Wild Rose Press
Website Blog Myspace Facebook Twitter

Thursday, October 8, 2009

An idle moment, just staring out of the window...

It's autumn again, the wind is blowing the rain across the garden, and in the moments when I'm trying not to write, promo or otherwise earn a living, I can stare out of the window at the bird table. We've had two families of sparrows nesting in the hedge this year (about 500 of them, by the noise in the mornings in spring, but actually rather fewer), plus a blackbird clever enough to pinch the morello cherries and leave the stones attached to the twig. We have other regular visitors: hyperactive bluetits, a determined wren and a thrush of some sort.

I don't know how they find out (through Twitter?), but as soon as the nyjer seed goes into the feeder a goldfinch appears out of nowhere, followed by another, and they assault the stuff in pairs. A single fieldmouse also seems to live under the hedge and nip out to scoff any seed falling from the bird table.

A pair of delicately bewildered collared doves turns up sometimes, and a small gang of jackdaws, but the most regular patrons of the birdseed restaurant are two wood pigeons. One is sleek and obviously well fed, while the other is a bit scrawny and looks a bit downtrodden. We call them Scruffbag and Fatface, and while the sparrow contingent are out in the fields these two put away at least half the birdseed and bits of bread between them. One day Fatface will probably turn up with a doggy bag.

(Pictures from Wikimedia Commons.

Lindsay
http://www.lindaytownsend.net

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Good News to Share

It's been a LONG time since I've posted. Real life and deadline projects made breathing my "spare time" activity.

Coming up for air to let you know that ROMANCE OF MY DREAMS which includes my short story, "Adjusting Entries," is now available at Fictionwise.com and other locations.

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

"Adjusting Entries," now available! http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Something fun - A Party at The Book Spa

Most days I wear a couple of hats; today is no exception. Tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 25) we are celebrating the one year anniversary of The Book Spa. We are primarily a chat loop for writers and readers, with themed discussion days and set days for promo.

During our celebration, we will be giving away 4 books and 4 gift certificates for online book purchases. To enter the contest, post a comment during the 3-day celebration (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Winners will be announced on Monday.

Here's the link: http://yahoo.groups.com/group/TheBookSpa/

Hope to see you there!

Maggie Toussaint
www.maggietoussaint.com

Monday, September 21, 2009

'A Knight's Vow' reviewed at Historical Romance Club

My A Knight's Vow has just got four stars at Historical Romance Club, who say:

'This story shows that even after years apart, when the boy becomes a man and the girl a woman, the affectionate nicknames still have meaning, the touches are still tender and the feelings genuine. While reading medieval books is never an easy task due to the detailed history that one expects to be part of, these books and especially this one in particular are worth the time and attention you give them. Enjoy!'

The full review is here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Historical romance and romantic suspense

Why do I write romantic suspense and historical romance? I love both genres because I like writing adventure and action and characters under extreme stress. I suppose all my novels are romantic suspense novels as well as some being historical romance novels. In my Bronze Lightning there is a mysterious villain threatening the female lead whom she has to battle against and finally unmask - like a romantic suspense. My second 'big' ancient Egyptian novel Blue Gold has at its core a religious mystery: the protagonists have to discover the true nature of the god Set, a search which leads to many adventures in strange and exotic locations - romantic suspense element again. In my Flavia's Secret there is the mystery of the death of Flavia's beloved mistress and an enemy working against Flavia and Marcus. In A Knight's Vow, Alyson must battle with Fulk, who works against her both in secret and finally overtly. In A Knight's Captive, the hero and heroine are in conflict because the hero is Breton and the heroine is English - and this is 1066, when England was invaded by Normans.

I suppose all my novels are romantic because they all have this quest/search/adventure motifs. I think all romance genres have similar elements to each other. My first published novel, Voices in the Dark, has a saga element because there are families involved and trouble goes down the generations (this is also true of The English Daughter). The second novel, Night of the Storm , has two romances and is more a romantic suspense than a romantic suspense, as is my novella A Secret Treasure. In romantic suspense you must have the menace and suspense there as a continuous strand, alongside the equally important relationships in the novel. These relationships, particularly the romance between hero and heroine can be brought under stress, threatened and changed by the thriller elements of the novel. The thriller elements can give you wonderful reasons for characters to be brought into sharp conflict as they each suspect the other or maybe want to protect each other but can’t. This conflict is very entertaining for the reader and writer because it’s always life and death stuff and usually two characters at odds because they’re both right. You haven’t got them arguing for the sake of it. Their choices through the story at key points are also very pointed, very stark, with big consequences, and I like that, too. I guess I’m not subtle!

Romantic suspense writing and historical romance writing are both very active genres and I like to have both my female and male leads rescuing each other at key points through the story, whether in active terms or psychological terms. The search and rescue strands in my books are always very strong.

In my novels I also have a strong whodunit element. The whodunit is also a whydunit, as with novels of psychological suspense (which I suppose are more intense, more character-driven versions of romantic suspense, where the threats arise from internal kinks in the characters rather than any external forces, as there can be in romantic thrillers. In my Night of the Storm, the storm is a vital element, adding something unplanned and chaotic and a further test for my people. To get the whodunit part right I always spend a long time at the start of plotting any novel working out who the villain is and why. I work out motivations and give my people backstories which I know, even if they don’t appear directly in the novel. It can add depth and richness to characters and make them intriguingly ambiguous. The ambiguous Byronic-style anti-hero who turns out to be a good guy is a staple in these novels and great fun to write and read about.

You can do romantic suspense another way, too, as I did with Night of the Storm, where the heroine, Melissa, knew that the villain, Katherine, was engaged in illegal wildlife trafficking, but had to search for the evidence to prove it. I also added a very personal element for Melissa, in that she’s also searching for whoever murdered her partner Andrew. I find in romantic suspense that the big issue brought into focus by making it personal works very well. So in Voices in the Dark I had my hero searching for a war criminal who tortured members of her own family. Personal helps readers to identify, I think.

The other bonus I find with writing romantic thrillers is that you usually can have an exotic location, or moderately so. This isn’t just because the setting is appealing to readers, giving them a bit of escapism. Sometimes it’s useful for the plot, too. Italy is popular as a holiday destination and it also has regular corruption scandals, which meant my heroine in Voices in the Dark had a very good reason not to go rushing to the police at the start of her search. That question: why doesn’t the female lead go to the police? I find must always be answered in a modern romantic suspense. Again, I’d no problems in my second novel, because the climax of the novel takes place on a small Greek island, cut off from the authorities by a massive storm.

So to summarise: the recurring elements in my romantic suspense amd historical romance are:

1. Strong, active female lead and male lead. Both might have added internal psychological kinks to their natures, just to increase the mixture.

2. A problem that needs a quest or search to be resolved.

3. Exotic locations where the police cannot easily be present, so your people have to search and find out and also save themselves. (In historical settings the police may not exist.)

4. Whodunit element which has to be worked out, otherwise the leads may perish. That threat I find very engaging and a pleasure to write, as you can have a building series of climaxes and a really juicy ending.

5. Backstories that have a direct bearing on the present novel.

6. Characters that are grey, not black and white. Sometimes the male lead can seem a villain, sometimes the female lead can do seemingly bizarre things, which are later accounted for in the novel.

7. Lots of action and violence. Woman against nature, woman against woman, woman against man. I like writing both and was told to cut down on the torture sequences in Voices in the Dark.

8. Relationships that change, are built up or destroyed through the novel, often as a direct result of the thriller elements and threats of the story.


Lindsay
http://lindsaysbookchat.blogspot.com

Friday, August 21, 2009

I only THOUGHT I was busy

I've got too many end of August deadlines to think about comfortably.

Of course, that means the e-mailbox is crammed with requests for prepublication proofs and other unanticipated chores.

Ah, the "joys" of being self-employed!

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Owl Ate My Homework

My Scotch terrier is the master of his domain. No bunny crosses the patio without being barked at. No cat or bird escapes the same fate.

Last night, he jumped against the arcadia door and shadow boxed with even more enthusiasm (and higher volume) than usual.

When I looked out, there was an owl sitting on the patio! I've never seen an owl anywhere other than in a tree, so assume this one must have been heat-stressed.

The owl disappeared about an hour later, but there wasn't a lot of work getting accomplished in the meantime.

There HAS to be a story in there somewhere; doesn't there?

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Recipe for a Writer

by Maggie Toussaint

I was creating recipes for book characters today over at The Book Spa and decided it would be fun to come up with a recipe for a writer. Stock ingredients came to my mind: perspiration, dedication, talent, luck, networking, strong work ethic, education, professionalism, adaptability, faith, confidence, creativity, computer savvy, and analysis. The challenge was to decide on the proportions and amount of cooking needed.

Here’s my recipe for a writer:

Mix together equal parts talent, creativity, confidence, faith, education, perspiration, dedication, and computer savvy until well blended. Simmer in a moderate oven until half-baked. Meanwhile, stir up a bowl of strong work ethic, analysis, professionalism, networking, and adaptability. Layer over the baked portion, making sure all areas are covered. Bake until the writer is immune to rejection. As the writer cools, sprinkle with luck. Serve with caffeine and chocolate.

Want to give it a shot? Leave your recipe in the comment section. I'd love to read it!

Maggie Toussaint
author of romance and mystery
www.maggietoussaint.com
www.facebook.com/maggietoussaint
www.myspace.com/maggietoussaint
http://groups.yahoo.com/TheBookSpa/

Friday, August 7, 2009

A True Love Story

One of my neighbors lived the kind of love story most of us would be proud to plot. Almost.

A nasty divorce robbed her of the ability to love and trust for decades. Then, she met a special man who was patient enough to wait for her heart to sing the same song his did. Friend. Travel Companion. Whatever she was comfortable with, was the role he played.

If any of us had plotted this love story, our hero's loving patience would have been rewarded and the couple would have lived happily ever after.

Unfortunately, this love story had a far different ending. My neighbor had just started telling people that her special man had proposed when she was diagnosed with a serious illness.

Her special man was never a heartbeat away during treatments. Time after time, they thought they were winning the battle only to have the insidious disease ambush them again.

My neighbor lost her brave battle his week.

There was no wedding, no happily ever after ending, BUT here's no doubt this was a true LOVE story!

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, July 30, 2009

When Real Life Comes Crashing Down

I'm not at my brightest and best first thing in the morning. When I peeked out the living room window Monday, it took me a minute to figure out what was wrong with the still dark view.

Finally, it dawned on me. The streetlight didn't usually float so low over the bushes in the front yard.

I spent almost an hour on hold trying to convince a customer service representative that the pole presented a safety hazard for two reasons. First, it was impossible to determine exactly where it would land when it stopped going lower and lower. Second, there was still power to the pole.

When the crew came out to cut the power and safely lower the pole to the ground, I tried to get an idea of when there would be light (not to mention identification for the streets again.) No such luck.

I spent over an hour on hold again today ... ever so "efficiently" using my telephone handset speaker feature so I could "work" (or TRY to) while I waited.

The pole is supposed to be replaced in 10-20 business days. Until then, it will be pitch black out there. There must be a story idea in there somewhere!

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Getting Respect for Working at Home

Maggie commented on a recent post asking for strategies to deal with people who don't understand that working at home means you can't just drop everything and visit.

Sometimes, the guilty parties aren't neighbors or friends from across town. They are our soul mates and children!

It may take some time to convince your significant other that working at home does NOT mean you have time to drop the car off to be serviced and run other errands.

Establish a signal (a red scarf tied to a doorknob, etc.) so kids know if you're working on something that can't be disturbed or if you're available to hear the details of their day at school.

Setting parameters and employing a few simple strategies can help you teach others to respect your work at home schedule.

Is there a "safe" time when you know you won't be working? If so, tell neighbors and friends you'd love to visit with them then. If your "schedule" has a habit of spilling over to nights and weekends like mine does, gently explain that you'll get back to them as soon as you have a moment to call your own.

Invest in an answering machine (remembering to tape a professional message just in case you get THE call from an agent/editor/publisher) or get caller ID so you don't have to interrupt the flow of words to answer the phone. Either strategy will ensure you don't miss an urgent call from a family member.

Standing up for yourself and setting parameters will help others understand and respect what it means to work at home. There's another important benefit too ... YOU may wind up with an enhanced respect for your own work schedule!

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ganging Up on You vs the Buddy System

by Maggie Toussaint

Recently, at a wellness checkup my new doctor mentioned a screening test that I should take. I uttered my pat phrases, excuses really, on why I didn't want to do that particular test.

To step to the sidebar for a moment, this is a test that is critical in my husband's family, but there has never been any trouble of this nature in my side of the family. My husband has faithfully had these screening tests for years. But not me. And I'd already had the guilt trip last year when I refused the test and he looked at me with crestfallen eyes, telling me that my not doing this could jeopardize my health.

Back to the wellness checkup this year. My doctor told me a story of someone who put the test off too long and paid for the delay adversely. She wrote out a referral and said the first appointment was a consult anyway.

I knew I wouldn't make the appointment. But then the doctor asked again on a follow-up visit. My husband asked again. And the insurance company called to ask why I hadn't arranged for the test. Sheesh. I called and made the appointment for the consult.

The reason for telling you this long story is that it would be lovely if we did this for each other as writers. If some of us got together and said, hey, your goal was to write 20K a month. Where are you with your goal? Why haven't you gotten it done?

A writer friend of mine and I decided to try this a couple of years back. We started out as critique partners, but we ended up close friends who wanted to encourage each other. So each week, we report on our progress. Each week we set new goals for the coming week. Let me tell you, having that accountability helps me hold my feet to the fire.

I encourage you to find a writing buddy and to team up as each other's writing coach. Not that you will judge each other's style, but rather that you encourage productivity. We've managed to write through marriages, vacations, family troubles, illness, and more.

The nice thing about this idea is that each person sets their own pace. I believe in keeping the group small. Once you add in more people, it seems like bragging to tell what you've accomplished, and the feeling of accountability lessens. With the buddy system, you don't want to let your buddy down. That means a lot, not letting your buddy down.

Heck. Why limit it to writing? Find a buddy for any area of life where you need encouragement. A healthier you will ultimately yield more quality time for writing.

Maggie Toussaint
a believer in the buddy system, just not for my medical professionals
www.maggietoussaint.com

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How Many Hats Did You Wear This Week?

A small percentage of very successful authors have "people" to take care of all the pesky little details of the business of writing.

The rest of us wear all the hats necessary to keep the firm of Me, Myself, & I running smoothly.

That means it's our job to write, proof, and submit manuscripts. We can't just delegate the task of keeping track of where those manuscripts are submitted and where they should go if they get rejected.

We review the contracts, sign, and return them. We deposit the checks when they arrive and pursue payment when those checks don't come.

This has been one of those weeks when I've juggled too many "hats" and can't help but wonder what it would be like to have "people" to expertly handle unpleasant tasks.

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Work Habits of the Not So Rich & Famous

Back in the days when "work" consisted of the assignments teachers doled out and my bosses were my parents, I couldn't do homework unless the TV or stereo blared.

I stopped getting complaints about my dubious study habits when I consistently made the honor roll.

Now that I'm the boss, results are still important. It's OK to emulate extraordinarily productive writer Michael Bracken and work on multiple projects at the same time IF I actually finish and submit those projects on a timely basis.

I give myself permission to do a load or two of wash during working hours ... unless all I've accomplished at the end of the day is laundry!

Are you an easy going boss who doesn't grumble so long as the work is getting done, or a no nonsense boss with all sorts of rules like no e-mail until the day's quota of words is finished?

You're the only one who can decide what kind of boss you need to be to encourage yourself to get the job done.

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Stopping and starting

by Maggie Toussaint

Summer is a jagged time for me to write. I start writing. Something happens. I stop. I do something else. I come back to my story. I wonder what I was thinking. I have to take time to reread what I wrote before I can move on. I start again.

Does this sound familiar?

Seems like I'm doing a lot of writing, but the effort is dispersed over several projects so that no one thing is getting finalized. This is hard for me since I am by nature a linear person. Once I start something, I like to stay with it until I'm done.

But I'm learning flexibility in all things; and really, isn't that what life is about? Adapting to meet our challenges?

Maggie Toussaint
romance and mystery author
www.maggietoussaint.com
www.myspace.com/maggietoussaint

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Modern Technology Not Always Best

Even though I started writing in the Dark Ages (i.e. when only the very rich and famous owned computers,) I've become accustomed to going from first draft to submission ready manuscript without ever leaving the computer keyboard.

Almost. When it comes time to proof and polish a manuscript, the computer leaves a lot to be desired.

Spell Check can't tell the difference between "there" and "their" in the context of a sentence. It just knows both words are spelled correctly. Grammar Check seems to offer the wrong advice more often than the correct choice.

When I print out a hard copy, I swear I spot errors that I never noticed on the computer screen. I've learned the hard way that it pays to put that marked up hard copy in a drawer while I work on other projects for as long as possible without missing a deadline. Coming back with fresh eyes, I spot more things that need fixing (like using the word "hard" three times in the same paragraph!)

What tricks of the trade do you employ to be sure you only send out your very best work?

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Critique - thumbs up or thumbs down


by Maggie Toussaint
In the beginning, I thought I knew how to write a book. But it wasn't until I joined a critique group (and began to swim with the big fish) that I learned how much more there was to book writing. I learned a lot from my first group, good stuff and bad.

First the good stuff: when a word/phrase/scene brought comment from more than one person in the group, it needed additional work. When I felt the need to explain a passage at our critique meetings, I hadn't done a good enough job in the book and it needed more work.

The bad stuff wasn't so bad. For me, the worst part was getting conflicting input. I had a tendency to want to please everyone and I spent a year rewriting a book to everyone's satisfaction. When I finished it, I hated it and there was no coherent voice.

Which brought home another lesson. I learned it was important for me to complete a book before I brought it to critique. Then I was certain of where the story was going and who the characters were.

I lost a year doing that group-pleasing book, but I gained back my focus. Critique is a good way to sharpen your work, a good way to check for repetitions, for craft essentials, and story.

Since that first group, I've had several online critique partners, and I believe we all learned from each other. Critique isn't for everyone, but it sure helped me. I give it a thumbs up!

Maggie Toussaint
a fresh new voice in Southern fiction

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Magic of Romance?

My Roman historical romance, "Flavia's Secret", has no paranormal elements, but vampires were already sexy and seductive in the classical world. The ancient Greeks knew of a ghost-like creature called Lamia, who seduced young men and sucked their blood. Cute!

And who would be a husband in medieval Europe? There, a wife or partner might 'inspire' their lover by serving a meal laced with ground-up earthworms!


Best wishes, Lindsay
Please visit my blog at http://lindsaysbookchat.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Customer Is Always "Write"

There's an old saying in the retail trade, "the customer is always right."

Mrs. Smith brings back an obviously used item and demands a refund saying she's changed her mind and purchased another brand elsewhere. She's been a good customer for years so the shop owner swallows hard, pastes on a smile, and "cheerfully" hands over the money.

I couldn't help thinking of those words this week as I struggled to please a particularly picky editor.

Most of the time, an extra set of eagle eyes spots mistakes I wish I'd caught myself. I appreciate the opportunity to polish my work before it's published so readers see only my very best work.

Most of the time.

"The customer is always right," I reminded myself as I agonized over the requested revisions. "The customer is always right," I repeated as I gave the piece a final proof before hitting "send."

The editor returned the piece with another full set of requested changes. I couldn't manage to paste on a smile as I grumbled "the customer is always right" over and over again. Finally, I finished and sent it off confidently believing it would prove satisfactory.

No such luck. It bounced back in record time with still another litany of changes.

Not even bothering to repeat the sacred mantra, I somehow managed to force myself through the motions and sent it off for the third time. Luckily, the third time was the charm.

I'm not sure the finished product was superior to what I initially submitted. There's not a shadow of a doubt that the payment won't begin to cover all that extra time and effort.

Maybe, just maybe, I learned something from the agonizing process. Ultimately, the customer (editor) IS always right.

Taking the time to satisfy that customer instead of giving up and sacrificing the sale may well be what separates wannabe writers from published authors.

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Poetry

I haven't written many poems, but I do find they are a great source of release when going through troubled times. The first one was written when I woke up one morning after being married for over ten years, and realized...the man lying next to me had become a virtual stranger.


Photobucket


Nothing More

Whispered in my ear
Three small words spoken many times before
My heart does not flutter like the first time
A moment of disbelief
Nothing more

A note left on the table
Signed in the same way as always
I look for some uniqueness in the words
A tear escapes
Nothing more

A letter in my mailbox
Words of endearment as if copied
No unpredictable gesture of kindness
A heavy sigh
Nothing more

A night of lovemaking
Hurried motions without meaning
No shudder reaches my lips
Cry into my pillow
Nothing more

Suitcase ready to depart
Filled with regrets of time lost
The words I love you have no meaning
When they are just words
Nothing more


Adelle Laudan
Copyright 2007

This poem was written during a period of time in my life where I lost one too many friends to the disease of alcoholism. I remember writing this the night of the funeral.

Photobucket

Rebel Child


Rebel child
Beautiful baby
Born into a life of abuse
Born destined to abuse her life


Rebel child
Always on the run
Not knowing where you are headed
Not knowing where you came from


Rebel child
Such a beauty
Using her smile to find acceptance
Using her smile to accept her reality


Rebel child
Silently weeping
Trying to understand her past
Trying to forget her memories


Rebel child
Easing the pain
Drowning her sorrows in a bottle
Drowning in an ocean of guilt


Rebel child
Always searching
Looking for love in all the wrong places
Looking for a place to call home


Rebel child
Is missing
No one is looking for her
No one knows she is gone


Rebel child
Finds peace
Escape was at the bottom of the bottle
Escape caressed her, took away the pain


Copyright 2005
Adelle Laudan

I don't want you to think my poems are only of sadness and heartache, so I will throw this one in the mix. I think the passion is very obvious.



Photobucket

RIDING IN THE RAIN

Some folks ride in the rain
To wash away their tears
Yearning for days of yesterday
Never shifting gears

They always ride the same old roads
Never venturing into the unknown
Cursing their life for opportunities missed
Crying as they head home

I don’t dwell on days gone by
I took a different route
I look forward to the open skies,
Riding free is what it’s all about

So, I bring to life my iron beast
As quickly as can be
I don’t want to miss a moment in time
There's still too much left to see

I want to feel the winds of time
Blowing in my face
I want to find many new roads
Not happy to be just taking up space

I want to see what's up ahead
Not where I should have turned
Life's too short to have regrets
Just long enough to learn

So when the rain is upon us
When you hear the thunder crack
Go for a ride and cleanse your spirit
Get your life back on track

It's all right to walk down memory lane,
That’s part of who we are
But, today is for the living
To chase a shooting star

The thrill is in the mystery
Not what you already know
In the wind is where it’s happening
Not knowing where you go

Life is riding all the twists and turns
Even when it starts to rain
It’s living in the moment
Ride on or go insane

You can’t see what’s around every corner
Sometimes you have to make a change
The world is yours for the taking
Even when it means riding in the rain


Adelle Laudan
Copyright  2004

I'd also like to share a Sqeeeeee!! moment in my house. My youngest daughter, soon to be 14 years old, graduated grade eight this week. She won two awards. One , Excellence in Visual Arts...and, The Award for Literacy! Was a very proud moment in my life.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Fun & Summer WORK

Writers who have kids home from school for the summer and writers whose only "kids" have four feet and fur have something in common. Most confess that it's hard to work while the house is full of creatures who don't!

Is noise the primary distraction? Try earphones and your favorite music.

Are you jealous of the splashing in the pool or other summer fun? Try staying up an hour later, getting up an hour earlier (or both) to work and then take a well-deserved break to join in the summer fun.

Keeping lots of low calorie cold drinks handy (like iced tea/herbal fruit infusions, iced coffee, or fresh lemonade/limeade made with artificial sweetener) will help your fingers fly over that keyboard.

And if all else fails ... put those creatures to work. The youngest of children can probably handle a simple task with a bit of guidance. How about those repetitive chores that waste valuable writing time like putting address stickers on query/manuscript envelopes or straightening up the to be read mountain? Older children might enjoy doing some market research (or other research) on the internet.

Those furry "kids" can help too. My dog cocks his head and listens intently when I read my work aloud. I know it's time to revise when he treats me to a bored yawn and walks away!


May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Author signing June 20th!

Small


Saturday, June 20, 2009
Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: Hastings
Street: 917 Hwy. 80
City/Town: San Marcos, TX

TRUSTING DELILAH

Roman Aiza is the second born son of the Aiza clan. He also owns and operates a private security company and has an ongoing contract with one of Florida's most influential residents. He is patrolling at a party when he encounters a woman who will haunt him. A woman who at their first meeting, manages to walk right out of his hands when he follows her for trespassing. She manages to do this without giving Roman a single reason why she is in the depths of the house he is protecting. When he does finally locate her days later, his goal is to prove that his instincts are wrong. She is not the woman that all of his senses are clamoring for.

Yet when the daughter of Roman's largest and closest account is kidnapped and held for ransom, will they be able to build a trust between them? Or will their own secrets keep them apart?
~~
Read a full excerpt here!

Trusting Delilah kept my attention from first word to last. This is a story that grabs all the emotions and the senses.
Judith Rochelle, Author of Cutter's Law and Redemption.


A TRUST EARNED

Selene Aiza is a very compassionate woman by nature, and fiercely protective of those she cares for. A renowned doctor with gentle patient skills, she prefers the wild country of western Oregon and the secluded hospital where she can help the people who truly need her assistance. And in the depths of those wooded wilds she can keep her secrets well hidden.

She is safe until the man she encounters by pure chance becomes the hospital's first choice as co-administrator. Her secrets and her very life fall into jeopardy, and only he can save her. He could also destroy her.
~~
Read a full excerpt here!

fast paced, tightly packed with emotion, mystery and suspense
~Jackie, PNR

Visit my site for more about this book and my work here.

Available now at Barnes & Noble and other retailers near you.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blogging blues

Sorry to leave you hanging out here in cyberspace so long, Susanne. I'm between releases and hoping I'll have some good news one of these days. I've got a new agent and an invitation for a resubmission from a publisher. Crossing my fingers that both of those things work out for me.

This summer is a stay-at-home time for us. We traveled to see family in the spring and will do so again in the fall. For now, we're staying put, enjoying the air conditioning.

Maggie Toussaint
a fresh new voice in southern fiction
www.maggietoussaint.com

No Longer Lonely

So wonderful to see so much activity on this blog for a welcome change.

Do you have children (or grandchildren) home for the summer? Keeping them happily occupied and helping them retain what they learned during the school year can be a challenge. Follow this link for some simple (and hopefully useful tips.)

http://www.ehow.com/how_5075746_keep-kids-sharp-schools-out.html

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Hey everyone! It’s great to be here, and thank you to the SRN team for allowing me on board – especially at such short notice! I don’t usually barrel in at the very last moment, but today is an exception, and what I may have lacked in restraint, I’m sure I’ve more than made up in enthusiasm!

So, you may well be asking, what’s so special about today? Well, first it’s my release day for A Thick Line – a red-letter day for any author, no matter how many books they may have under the belt. Second, it’s also the very first book that I actually designed the cover for, so that’s kind of special to me. Lastly, it’s my first adventure into the realm of “romantic suspense” – something that surprised me, as I didn’t set out to write suspense. It was just there, lurking beneath the surface and slowly but surely demanded a voice…

I was a little alarmed at first – having relatively recently gotten this little head around writing romance, writing suspense seemed a bit of a stretch, and I confess I was a little worried that one would get lost in the other. But, as I’ve since been told, I was worrying needlessly, which just goes to show!

Actually, it was a fascinating journey and I think that, as a writer, I learned a phenomenal amount – not the least of which was the somewhat intriguing discovery that other “elements”, when judiciously used and if they are integral to a story, can actually bring in a whole new dimension that adds layers and creates conflicts that might otherwise not have been possible.

All in all, I had a blast – writing the book, doing the cover, and now seeing it “step out” for the first time. So, here’s the blurb, and you can find an excerpt at: http://www.bookstrand.com/product-athickblackline-13953-330.html

Blurb:

Bo Carmichael has drawn a thick black line around her heart, and with good reason. She has worked hard to overcome the anguish of betrayal and the devastation it wreaked in her family's lives, and she's now close to realizing her dreams. There simply isn't place in this equation for emotional entanglements, especially not with Nic Sinclaire, the only man who has the ability to breach her defenses.
From their first encounter, an impossible chemistry rages between them – a crackling heat that threatens to melt the ice surrounding her.
A bizarre twist makes Nic a constant companion and self-appointed protector. As Bo's barriers shift and crumble, she can no longer ignore the powerful emotions his proximity evokes…

And to celebrate and just for fun, because I’m in the mood, I’m going to add an ARC of A Thick Black Line to the Classic Romance Revival subscriber’s weekly draw for the last week of June (i.e. the short “two-day” week, 29th and 30th June) making it a double prize – A Thick Black Line and The Look.

To enter, simply go to the CRR blog at http://www.classicromancerevival.com/blog/. Enter your email in the Subscribe2 block in the sidebar and click send. You’ll receive a short story free read, and automatically go into the draw.

See you all again soon. I’m off to celebrate!
Jude
http://www.judahraine.com

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sometime Life gets in the way...

It was just called to my attention the lack of traffic here on the blog. I for one must apologize for my absence. Sometimes life gets in the way of good intentions.
I have a legitimate excuse though. I am trying to finish up the first draft of Iron Horse Rider 3. Here's a sneak peek for those who might be interested.

Iron Horse Rider 3

Shane spent the morning with Chief Gray Owl washing any trace of winter from their bikes. Spring brought with it the sweet smell of damp earth, and while birds busied themselves making nests, lemon-yellow daffodils and pink and white tulips pushed upwards toward the sun—nature awakening in all its’ bounteous glory.

The first ride of the season—anticipation flowed through his veins. Tia insisted
on him taking the maiden voyage with her father. She’d have more than her share of riding once summer came and they left on the bike to parts unknown. The small brass bell hanging from the swing arm glinted—a constant reminder that his father would always be with him.

Tia’s laughter carried on the morning breeze. She strolled with her mother toward the open fire in front of the main wigwam. Soon the village would move to the summer place. Mother and daughter talked animatedly to each other, undoubtedly about preparations for the spring solstice celebration.

The wind stopped, and a silence blanketed the village. In the distance, a wolf howled, and Shane knew without looking that Kelly was here. As expected, the familiar blonde wolf appeared at the barren tree line surrounding the camp. She moved closer, transforming into the gentle spirit of the woman he’d known as his wife. Kelly drifted to Tia’s side and knelt. He hadn’t seen any sign of his wife’s ghost since returning home last fall. His first love smiled and placed a hand over Tia’s stomach. She gave him a knowing nod, her image fading from his view. Her gaze comforted him like a gentle caress, and an undeniable sense of wellbeing came over him.

Is she telling me what I think she’s telling me?


He stared at Tia, noticing the plumpness of her breasts and the rosy glow to her
cheeks for the first time.…
“Did you hear a word I just said?” Chief Gray Owl waved a hand in front of Shane’s face.
Startled, Shane blinked rapidly, and turned to face him. Kelly’s appearance offered him the nudge needed to do what he’d been thinking of doing over the long winter months.
“I want to ask you something, but I’m not sure of the right way to do it.”
“The truth can never be wrong.” Gray Owl laid a hand on Shane’s shoulder. “You should know by now you can ask me anything.”
Shane took a deep breath and met the chief’s puzzled gaze. “I hope you know how much I love your daughter. I wondered if you’d give me permission to ask for her hand in marriage.”
Chief Gray Owl slapped his knee and smiled broadly. “What took you so long? Of course I give you my permission.”
“I want it to be a surprise. Do you think it would be okay to ask her at the Spring Solstice celebration?”
“Okay? It’s more than okay. Wait ‘til her mother hears about this.” He gathered Shane to his chest and hugged him affectionately.
“What’s going on?” Tia stepped toward them, her brow creased.
“Your father is a little excited to be going for the first ride of the season.” Shane wasn’t proud the lie came so easily.
Tia shook her head and smiled. “Sometimes you two act like little boys.”
Shane stood and kissed her flushed cheek. He took the pail of water from her. “Let me carry this for you.”
Her gaze narrowed suspiciously. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say you two were up to something.”
He put an arm around her and pulled her to his side. “Where do you want this? We’ll be taking off soon.”
“I am more than capable of carrying my own water. You two better get a move on while the sun is high.”
She reached for the pail only to have Shane firm his hold on it. “Where do you want it?”
Tia threw up her hands. “Follow me, if you insist.”
Shane followed the swing of her hips to the side of the main wigwam where they washed dishes. His heartbeat quickened at the prospect of asking her to be his wife. He never dreamed he’d marry again after the tragedy of losing Kelly. Ironically, it was Kelly who gave him permission to love again. He set the pail down next to the table and wrapped his arms around her waist.
“Are you sure you don’t mind if me and Chief go for a ride?” He kissed the tip of her nose.
“Would it matter if I did?” She laughed and pushed him back. “Go on with you. It will be mighty chilly once the sun sets.”
“We’ll be back long before then.” He matched her suspicious gaze and stepped forward to kiss her lightly on the forehead. “Don’t be carrying those heavy buckets. You’re going to hurt yourself.”
“I’ve been carrying these buckets since I was old enough to walk. Are you sure you’re not up to something? You’re acting rather strange.”
Shane spun on his heel, cursing himself for being so over protective all of a sudden. He opted not to tell her of Kelly’s visit—at least not now. He waved back at her. “We’ll be back in time to eat.”
Without looking back, he knew she was watching him, wondering why he was acting the way he was. He’d have to be careful if he wanted to keep it a secret. He smiled broadly.

I’m going to be a father.

So what's been going on in your life? Aside from writing I had a wakeup call in regard to my health. Tomorrow is the beginning of quitting smoking (hopefully for good this time!) and changing my habits to more healthy, well-balance way of eating. I've set a goal of 50 pounds. I will be held accountable by posting every Sunday on my blog with an update on pounds lost and days smoke free. Feel free to pop by and kick my butt if need be.

I hope to hear from some of the SRN authors here on the blog. I know the loops are slow in relation to chats, but I still enjoy visiting blogs and catching up on all the news.
Does anyone have a new release they want to shout out about? I'd love to hear about it.

Adelle Laudan
http://adellelaudan.com/
http://adellelaudan.blogspot.com/
Do you Twitter? http://twitter.com/AdelleLaudan

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Testing 2, 3, 4 ... Anybody Out There?

Just checked the database and noticed I'm the ONLY blogger signed up for June.

Looks like I'm the only one visiting the Blog site too. No comments and no posts other than mine for quite a while.

Are Sweeter Romantic Notions authors too busy to read, comment, or write for the Blog?

Is this something that's outlived it's usefulness for the group?

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Memorial Day marked the official start of summer. When your grandmother or great-grandmother was a small girl (probably wearing a gingham dress and pigtails tied with matching ribbon,) the holiday marked the first day that it was acceptable to wear white shoes just like Labor Day meant it was time to pack those shoes away.

That rigid rule disappeared somewhere along the way. "Ladies" stopped wearing white gloves to church every Sunday and doing laundry on Mondays too.

Do you ever weave old-fashioned customs and traditions into your modern romances to give readers a taste of what it might have been like to walk a mile or two in another woman's white shoes?

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What Are You Working On?

I'm working on 800 word romances for a certain glossy magazine you see at the supermarket checkout line every week and 3,000 word plus stories for the "Trues." Half of my works in progress are geared to December holidays. The other half involve back to school themes and dealing with the lingering impact of summer flings.

What's taking shape on your computer?

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Too Quiet Out There

Mid-May reminds me of those ancient B-movies where one character points toward the jungle and says, "It's too quiet out there."

Usually active writer's loops slow to the speed of thick molasses. The only posts seem to be from those on Daily Digest who are concerned because they haven't received anything in over a week.

Friends and colleagues who normally drop a line or two several times a week haven't sent anything in ages.

Is it tight deadline crunch time for everybody? Maybe it's the real life world of graduations, weddings, and scrambling to make plans for students who will be home all summer that's keeping everybody BUSY.

Whatever the reason for all that quiet, do hope things are going well in your author's life ... and your "other" life too!

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday is a special day for those who've given birth to flesh and blood children with sticky fingers and sweet kisses.

There are some fascinating similarities between mothers and authors. Both produce unique creations after a long (and more than just a bit uncomfortable) process. Both agonize over the present and future welfare of children/brainchildren. And no matter how painful and downright scary it is ... both must encourage offspring to fly away from the comfortable nest to "live" independently.

Happy Mother's Day to those of you who will be celebrating with breakfast in bed, hand-painted coffee mugs, and specially made cards.

Happy Mother's Day too to those whose only stretch marks came from branching out into a new genre or market.

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Can You See Me Now?

It happened again. I read the daily digest for one of my Yahoo groups and TRIED to visit the group on the website to check for updates.

"Hi, Susanne" appeared at the top of the screen indicating I was logged in, but I couldn't access the group files.

"Join this group."

Anybody know the secret to getting out (and staying out) of Ya'Hell?!

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's the Difference Between Published and ...

What do you call a writer who ignores rejections and keeps writing? Published!

I read these inspiring words on one of my writer's loops this morning and had to share.

Congratulations to Mitzi on the news her novel has been contracted by The Wild Rose Press and thanks for the reminder that the difference between published authors and unpublished ones is often the stubborn persistence to keep writing and submitting.

May the Muse be kind!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Customer Service?!

If somebody put a gun to your head and demanded that you describe the Author's Life in two words, chances are your response would be "Effective Communication."

That's why it's so frustrating to deal with "Customer Service."

I belong to online writers' loops for different genres and rely on the ability to check messages more frequently than the daily digests pop up in my e-mailbox so that I can take advantage of editors' last minute calls for stories, etc.

All of a sudden, NONE of my groups recognized me as a member. I couldn't even log into my Ya'hell account to see what was wrong.

I sent a professional e-mail clearly stating the problem and waited for assistance.

Days went by with no response. Finally, I got an e-mail indicating they would be ever so happy to help if I answered the secret security question ... which turned up as a blank space in the e-mail.

I responded that I would be ever so happy to answer the secret security question IF they would be kind enough to provide it. The response contained a line of gibberish that didn't even resemble a question!

Taking matters into my own hands, I did what any hacker would and patiently tried everything I could think of to access my account until I finally succeeded.

That should have been the end of the story, BUT I got an e-mail from Customer Service indicating they would be happy to assist me with my need to change my password. I replied that the password wasn't the problem (and never had been.)

Of course, the next e-mail I received informed me that my password had been changed!

Maybe effective communication isn't an integral part of this author's life after all.

May the Muse be kind!!

Susanne Rose

http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com/28-How2-SellPersonalStories.html

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/lucki-in-love-p-342.html
Lucki In Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/the-christmas-promise-p-315.html
"The Christmas Promise," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette
Keep the spirit of the holidays going strong and take advantage of this bonus offer: Just send an e-mail to the author: Susannerose@wildrosepublishing.com with “The Christmas Promise” in the Subject Line. You’ll have to read the story first so you can identify the secret recipe when you send your e-mail. Santa will send you a copy of the secret recipe.

http://www.thewildrosepress.com/forever-love-p-248.html "Forever Love," a Wild Rose Press Champagne Rosette

"Adjusting Entries," coming soon in: http://www.lldreamspell.com/RomanceofmyDreams.html

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

'The past is another country...

'Stonehenge' by John Constable (from Wikimedia Commons)...They do things differently there.' (L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between)

Setting any story in the distant past brings its own delights and perils. For me it allows my heroines to be engaging and ingenious, sometimes accepting historical society's conventions and restrictions, sometimes going against them, but always provoking inner or outward conflict. Heroes can be shown off to great advantage, really doing something - protecting, rescuing, struggling with great war-horses, battling the elements or the bad guys.

However, the backdrop against which all this high-stakes, high-adventure romance takes place needs to be carefully drawn and considered. Fashions are different, right down to underwear (or lack of it). Transport, law, weapons, animals, trees, climate, customs - these can all be very different from the present.

My oldest book, in both creative genesis and the date at which it is set, is Bronze Lightning. This is set in the Bronze Age, before the eruption of Thera (the modern Greek island of Santorini), the island shown below in a Bronze age fresco. Some structures, such as the pyramids and Stonehenge, were already old when the story opens in 1562 BC, although these also looked different. The pyramids I have imagined with their wonderful limestone covering, which would have made them gleam a brilliant white in the landscape. Stonehenge was also complete and not yet fallen into the decay already familiar when Constable created his painting of it.

Ritual places are not the only things that were different in the distant past. Some activities, such as the smelting of metals, farming, brewing, the making of clothes, were all different from what came later and very different from our own time.

Bronze age fresco from Aktrotiri in Thera (Santorini)(Wikimedia Commons)Beliefs and religion were also very different and, given the few written sources we have from Bronze Age Europe, must be inferred from archaeology and other means. Fearn the hero believes in a Sky God who has some characters that are similar to the later Viking God Thor: all later religions tend to have 'clues' of past faiths in them. He also undergoes a trance state where he sees symbols that modern shamans have also reported seeing in trances and which have been painted by cave painters.

In Bronze Lightning I bring the heroine Sarmatia right to my own doorstep. The winter house she lives in is set where my parents' house is now, and the wild apple and cherry trees she sees in blossom are ones I have known since childhood. Lots of other details are changed, however, because the distant past truly is another country.

In the Bronze Age, the climate in England was warmer and drier than today. There was much more woodland, and animals such as beavers, bears, wolves and wild boar in the woods. We have lost all these creatures excerpt for the boar, which has escaped from farms in southern England and is making its home in woodland again. Lime trees flourished, and orchids and other flowers that are rare or extinct today. The sheep Sarmatia care for were more like Soay sheep, that do not flock and whose fleece is not at all like the thick fleeces of modern breeds. The cattle were smaller or completely wild. Even the stars she followed were different. Even the polar star hung in a different place in the Bronze Age.

I exploit these differences to show the past in my story, to remind my readers that they are in another time, another place... where magic and romance do truly go hand in hand.

Lindsay
 

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