Thursday, March 31, 2011

Operation Auction - Part II

They say anything worth doing, it worth repeating. Okay, so maybe they don't, but this is for such a good cause, it does bear repeating from Hailey Edwards here yesterday as there are only 20 hours left (as of this posting):

Earlier this month, a call went out in the romance community:

Fatin has been an integral part of the romance community for years – she owns and runs the RR@H Novel Thoughts and Book Talk blog, is an administrator of the WriteMinded loop, an author assistant and a tireless advocate for romance novels. She is also a friend to many in this community.

On Tuesday, March 8th, she lost her husband in a senseless act of violence, leaving her alone with four children. You can read more about the tragedy here: http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/9233067/

So the romance community answered with Operation Auction. This auction is currently ongoing over at eBay: http://stores.ebay.com/OperationAuction2011

But, of special interest is a huge “basket” of books that Dee Carney organized. My entire backlist (Flash of Dark, Blood Fever, Midnight’s Ghost, Midnight’s Shadow & Hardware) has been included in this basket, along with some other fabulous authors that I am humbled to be grouped with.

The direct link for that auction is: http://cgi.ebay.com/Huge-basket-two-dozen-ebooks-multiple-authors-/290547073777?pt=US_Fiction_Books&hash=item43a5f482f1#ht_802wt_6

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Operation Auction

This was the call: 
Fatin has been an integral part of the romance community for years – she owns and runs the RR@H Novel Thoughts and Book Talk blog, is an administrator of the WriteMinded loop, an author assistant and a tireless advocate for romance novels. She is also a friend to many in this community. 
On Tuesday, March 8th, she lost her husband in a senseless act of violence, leaving her alone with four children. You can read more about the tragedy here:http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/9233067/ 
The romance community would like to rally around her. 
And several ladies at Paranormal Romantics answered. 
A "basket" of two dozen eBooks went live in an auction yesterday, the group effort organized by Dee Carney, and it features offerings from several members of this blog. If you'd like to support Fatin, please, check out our auction or one of the several other auctions live right now. Some items/experiences, are once in a lifetime offers/events.
The full list of Operation Auction items can be found here.
Our auction, for two dozen eBooks, can be found here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fallen Embers by Lauri J. Owen

Yesterday, I sat down to read a book. I expected to love it. I didn't expect to want to wrap myself up inside of it and never leave again. Wow. I have never read anything like Ms. Owen's book and I had to sit down and immediately talk about it here.

Here is the blurb:

Was it the unnatural flame that transported Kiera and her nephew to an alternate, feudal Alaska one snowy afternoon, or did the strange dog's attack have something to do with it? All she knows is that now she and Alex are trapped in an icy land ruled by a class of decadent mages who have enslaved the shapechanging, indigenous peoples.

Kiera soon finds herself fighting to save three children from an army—and does so by summoning fire.

Before she can find her way home she must learn more about the local systems of magic and her own powers. On whose side should she fight? Whom can she trust—Marco, the young mage she saves, or fierce and handsome Laszlo, the slave captain of ruling Lord Vayu's army?

Kiera's path leads her deeper into Alaska, to joy and to heartbreak, and choosing to follow her heart may cost her everything.


Guys, I really really loved this book. Kiera is an extraordinary heroine who manages to be tough and funny without falling into the trap of being so snarky the reader can't relate to her. The men in this book take the term Alpha male and throw it away to create their own definition of sexy.

As a lot of you know, I don't review books. But I have to tell you--you want to read this one. All I can say is Wow and when is book 2 coming?
It can be bought in both print and e-format at amazon.com and other places. Go check it out. I'm so glad i did.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Can You Live Without Electricity For a Month?

We live a cushy life.  Hot water at our finger tips, TV/Internet, stove to cook our food, refrigerator to store it. Dishwasher. Washing machine. Curling iron.
Must I say more?
My current WIP sends my heroine to a place without modern technology or electricity. I didn’t think too much on the premise until she needed to wash the dishes. I mean, it’s not like she could run to Price Chopper to get some dish soap.
I actually had to research how they washed dishes before Dawn was invented.  Very sad.  Cooking is another issue we (my heroine and I) are exploring. How did they bake bread? Where did they get the yeast?

Odd where our writing takes us.
I’m happy living with technology. I’d be lost without it and these feelings are overflowing into my heroine. She’s miserable, lost, and willing to make any deals to save her from the wilderness.
Have you ever had to do without electricity?

Annie Nicholas

Don't forget the voting for The Romance Reviews Best Books of 2010 ends this week on March 31st! Catch is up for best Erotic Paranormal/Fantasy Romance.

I am also discussing Novel Structures at my blog. It's part of my Writing 101 series.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Squee Worthy!!


Happy Sunday! I’m stepping away from reviews today to share some exciting news. A couple months ago, I decided to take a leap of faith and self-publish, STOLEN DREAMS – The Lingering Spirit Book One. I love my epubs and do not intend to become only an indie author. But I decided to self-pub for one reason, I wanted to have my story available to my readers for a lower price. I didn’t sit around and hum over the idea for a long time, I just decided, why not? and published it.

Of course, I had it edited professionally—a mustand had it proofed to make sure the story was as clean as it could be before I introduced it to the world. I worked with a cover artist from one of my epubs and she designed a fabulous cover that I’m in love with! I also sent the book to be designed to a fantastic lady I’ve worked with several times on my print editions. I wanted the work to look professional, also a must. When it was all said and done, I honestly had no expectations for how the story would do once released. My only hope was that my readers loved the characters as much as I do.

It has been a month now since STOLEN DREAMS released and I have to say I’m stunned. Between Smashwords and Amazon, I have sold over four hundred copies. And I still haven’t got a sales report from Barnes & Nobel. Shocking, right? But that’s not the only good news, the story has hit Amazon’s Bestseller list.

When I released STOLEN DREAMS, I had no idea it would take off like it has, and didn’t expect it to become so popular so quickly. All I can say is thank you. This series is one of my favorites and I’m so excited to start next book in April.

So for anyone out there contemplating self-publishing, go for it! I’ve had huge success in such a short time and it’s been nothing but a stellar experience for me!




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Saturday, March 26, 2011

C is for C&!@

Cunt, possibly one of the most offensive terms a person can use to refer to a woman. So offensive in fact, writers shy away from it, editors shake their heads and red pen it, and most publishers refuse to allow it in a finished manuscript.

So I went in search of why this one simple word trips so many triggers. The first place I went to was http://www.mondoerotica.net/sex-porn-thesaurus, but even they seem to avoid it.

The entry, CUNT: See pussy. So I did. Here’s the entry for Pussy: PUSSY: bush, bearded clam, bearded oyster, beaver, butterfly, chuf, clam, coochie, cooter, crotch, cunny, cunt, female genitalia, flaps, flower, fudd, fur, fur pie, fuzz, fuzz box, fuzzy wuzzy, gash, glory hole, grumble, grunt, hole, honey pot, hoochie, hoo-hoo, labia, lower lips, man in the boat, mud flaps, muff, muff pie, mound, peach, pink, piss flaps, poonany, poonanny, pubic hair, pudendum, puntang, quim, rose, slit, snatch, taco, twat, vagina, vulva/vulvar.

Poonanny? Really? So why the avoidance? I don’t see an entry like this under cunt. It’s not like this Thesaurus is shy or anything.

So off I went on Google Search to seeking the origins of this offensive word. I have to tell you, don’t try this at home. When you type a word like that into a search engine, all kinds of not so pleasant things pop onto your screen. Ho, baby. Whoa, is that really necessary? Hope I don’t pick something up.*rubs arms*

If you’re going to ignore my advice, it’s best to type “origins of the word cunt,” into the search engine and hold your breath. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Well, this looks realitively safe. Wikipedia says that its earliest reference dates back to 1230 and a London street called Gropecunt Lane. It also goes on to say it is “one of the few remaining words in the English language with the power to shock.” Okay, onward…

*Cocks head to the side and stares at screen.* Is that possible? Er, I think I better go back to Wikipedia.

I’ll leave you with this final parting advice in Middle English, from The Proverbs of Hendyng, a manuscript published some time before the printing press in 1325. It’s like momma telling you “He isn’t going to buy the cow if he can get the milk for free.”

"Ȝeue þi cunte to cunnig and craue affetir wedding."


(Give your cunt wisely and make (your) demands after the wedding.)


Have a nice weekend.

DL

Friday, March 25, 2011

Aimlessly wandering...

Meander: (from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)


1. To follow a winding and turning course: Streams tend to meander through level land.
2. To move aimlessly and idly without fixed direction: vagabonds meandering through life.

Ahhh, the above description fits my life perfectly right now. In fact, a synonym of meander is wander—and that’s exactly what it feels like I’ve been doing for the past 6 months or so!

I’m finishing Zader's Menagerie, a story in the Extra Cream series at Changeling Press, hope to have it completed and turned in before I leave for RT in LA, if not it’ll be done shortly after. I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on a short story that doesn’t have a name, though I do have a home in mind. It wouldn’t let me rest until I at least began writing it. AND it’s contemporary…

I’m settling into my new job well, getting used to the hours and being up late again. I no longer go to bed before the sun sets, or rise with the chickens. *smile*

For a bit I felt guilty I didn’t get much writing done, I’m accomplishing anywhere from 500 to 1K each time I open a WIP. In the past, my numbers were very much higher. I’m learning to accept my limitations, and how much I can do well. But to me – it feels like I’m meandering through each day as I shift gears back into the "world of the working".

All of this is trivial when I think of things happening in the world. I’m treating each day as a blessing.

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Perception

Ever read the description of a character in a book, put your own spin on the characters's look only to be disappointed when they make a movie and that character looks nothing like what you imagined? You wouldn't be the only one. From what I hear, a lot of people do. The only explanation I can think of is everyone has something that appeals to them, key things they're attracted to. In a book, the author shows you what they think the character looks like in their head. You can take that information and morph it into whatever you want. In the movies, you can't do that. You are told, visually, 'this is what the character looks like - DEAL'.

I'm guilty of it myself. Especially when it comes to other people's books. I take the details the author gives me, and my brain automatically fills in what it wants. For me, the most recent example is Roarke in the ...In Death series by J D Robb.

His physical statistics are as follows:

Height: 6 feet, 2 inches
Age: approximately 34 years old
Weight: 173 pounds
Eye color: blue
Hair color: black, long enough that he can and has tied it back

All of it works for me - except the hair. See, he's a billionaire businessman who owns a hell of a lot, slick and smooth. The longer hair doesn't work in my head. Every time I read (and since there's 30+ books in the series, w/ two published each year, there's a lot to read) I will actually skim over any reference to it. /badauthor

So, what about you...do you find yourself with one image of a character even though its not accurate to the way they're described and/or shown?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something New

Do you ever crave something different? Something outside of your usual reads or your auto-buy authors? Ninety percent of the time, I’m content with my paranormals and fantasy novels. They’re what I enjoy most, and what give me the most satisfaction, both in reading and in writing. But once in a while, I want something different.

It’s kind of funny that my idea of different is closer to most people’s idea of normal. Take contemporaries for example. I hadn’t read one until recently. A friend of mine talked me into giving Jennifer Crusie a chance, and I’m glad I did. Her book, Welcome to Temptation, is fabulous. The hero, when he wasn’t being an ass, really worked for me. (Okay, even when he was an ass, I still loved him.)

Now I’m hearing so much about cozy mysteries, I’m curious about them. I don’t suppose anyone has any book or author recommendations?

In the meantime, I’ve picked something brand new to try. 

Sasha Devlin’s debut novella, In the Light of Day, releases from Ellora’s Cave today, and I’m going to pick up a copy. It’s m/m, which I’ve read, contemporary, which I’ve read, but it’s also romantic suspense, which I haven’t read except in almost classic examples.

I’m interested to see how Ms. Sasha blends the three together. Who knows? She might make a romantic suspense believer out of me. 

Jaren’s birthday weekend isn’t going as planned. Instead of being in the arms of the man he fell hard for, he’s alone at his lake cabin. With a bottle of wine. When Cooper shows up on his doorstep, all appears right with the world. Until Jaren realizes the real reason Cooper is there.
Cooper didn’t mean to fall for someone he was working a case with. And certainly not a man. Cooper always thought he was straight, but posing as gay lovers to infiltrate a pornography ring had felt all too real. Now he has feelings for the sexy younger man. Strong ones. Just as he’s prepared to drive to the cabin and give Jaren a birthday in bed he’ll never forget, Cooper gets word the criminal they put away has escaped—and is coming after Jaren.
Jaren finally has the man of his dreams where he wants him, but for all the wrong reasons. He can trust Cooper to guard his body, but what about his heart?

You can find more information on this title here, or read an excerpt here.

For more information on the author, you can visit her website or blog.

If you’d like to interact with Sasha, check out her Twitter or Facebook accounts.



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What TIme Is It?

Okay, so this picture reminded me that as writers we frequently make mistakes in our writing. Like the one above. Obviously, the director did not want Gandalff wearing a wrist watch in this shot.

For me, I have actually, on more than one occasion, made silly mistakes that have made it far into the process before it was found. I've heard that writers who craft a series for many, many years end up making up databases to not make mistakes.

Have you ever made any or found any?

Monday, March 21, 2011

I Need a Vampire

Love vampires. That’s all I really need to say. I’ve exhausted my TBR pile of vampire series.
I NEED more.
Let’s see, I’ve read all of LKH, JR Ward, and Anne Rice. I’ve tried Twilight and I’m not into YA. Christine Feehan never caught my interest. (dodges Rebecca and Joann).
I need a series. The darker the better. The more twisted the characters the better. The badder the better, too. And if he’s bald, I’m all over it.
So, my fellow vampire fans, hit me.

Annie Nicholas

Sunday, March 20, 2011



Healing Hearts

Author: Taryn Kincaid

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Carnia Press

ISBN: 9781426891274

eBook: $2.69

Buy Link

Rating:



This is one of those short stories that could have been an amazing full length novel, but I’m so happy Ms. Kincaid kept it short. It didn’t need the length to be spectacular! It focused on the moment two people longing for each other reunited and I enjoyed every darn minute of it.

I promise not to ruin anything, but I have to share the scene that melted my heart. Emma is a child and Adam a teenager. She demands something of him that is so innocent, yet so Emma. I don’t want to spoil it so I’ll keep my mouth sealed about what was exchanged between them, but this scene was probably one of the sweetest moments I’ve read in a story…and I doubt it will ever leave my mind.

Adam Caldwell has officially stolen my heart. I drooled over this man. He’s a tormented soul and watching him gain his life back had me cheering him on. Below I share my favorite snippet from HEALING HEARTS and it was at that point I fell madly in love with him and got all giddy over the man. Emma Whiteside is strong but suffering from a broken heart. I enjoyed seeing her go back and forth in her resolve to fight against the love she felt for Adam and sorting through her grief. To me it made the story so real. She battled against herself over and over again and I experienced those emotions with her.

Emotional stuff aside, the sexual tension in this book is smokin’ and I would swear I felt Adam’s kisses along my skin. Passion between the two wasn’t an issue and experiencing their need for each other left my cheeks flaming hot!!

Sigh. I loved this story. Ms. Kincaid is a lovely writer and her voice drew me right in to the point where it was more than reading words on a page…it was like I lived it!

THE BLURB:

As a girl, Emma Whiteside asked Adam Caldwell, Viscount Riverton, to wait for her to be of marriageable age. Now, twelve years later, Emma hates Adam as much as she once loved him, holding the former army major responsible for the death of her brother on the battlefield.

Adam already blames himself for the loss of the men under his command. But the fiery young woman Emma's become sparks his arousal, as well as emotions Adam thought long dead. The passion between them makes him want to reclaim the man he was before the war.

Though she tries to hold on to her hatred, Emma's longing for Adam is undeniable, especially after the two share a smoldering kiss. Still, Adam is certain no woman would want a man so damaged. Can Emma prove him wrong?

A LINE THAT HAD ME DROOLING WITH WORD ENVY ― (Okay it’s a little over a line, but this scene raised goosebumps on my skin! Adam’s presence when he calls to her left me breathless.)

Emma stared from one man to the other as if a bolt of lightning had riveted her to her place behind the large piece of furniture. Revulsion filled her eyes when she looked at Farraday—shame when she gazed upon Adam.

Damn it to bloody blue blazes, he thought. The hell with her stiff-backed pride. He would have leapt to her side and knocked the other man senseless if he could. But he’d left his agility in a Spanish ditch.

“To me, Emma,” Adam repeated, his voice calm but forceful.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

B is for Bombshells and Brick Houses

When I say bombshell and brick house, what comes to mind? For me it’s an iconic beauty—a sexy woman. But where do these terms used to describe hot chicks come from? If you think about it, a bombshell and brick house, really aren’t that sexy, but they've come to epitomize stacked women who turn heads wherever they go.


So, where do they get their roots? When referring to a woman, the term “bombshell” comes from WWII, when men were allowed to paint sexy pinups on the sides of their bombers, vehicles and even on the bombs. This was done both to provide entertainment and boost morale. The pinups like Betty Page and Betty Grable came about when society thought displaying photos of scantily clad women, lude. (Now you know the reason I call my bombs "Betty" in Blown Away.) Instead of actual photos, women were painted and called art, a way to slip it into society without offending society’s sense of modesty.

What about being built like a brick house? Well in the United States, it means the woman isn’t skinny, but she’s also not obese. It means she’s curvy and won’t snap like a twig with a little man-handling. However, I also noticed this term is derogatory when used to describe a woman in the UK. It would be interesting to know Brit thoughts on this.

In the Seventies, there was a Disco song titled, Brick House. Is this the origins of this term? We may never know, but depending on where you live, you’re either stacked or too masculine.

*Inserts shameless plug*

For more Bombshells, check out my novel, Blown Away.

Next week I’ll be exploring C. I hope you’ll stop by to see what topic I’ve chosen—it’s a good one.

Have a great weekend!

DL

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Friday...

I'll be at the Liberty States Fiction Writers Create Something Magical Conference this weekend, and I'll be seeing Annie and Rebecca--YAY!

Surfing around the net in an attempt to come up with ideas, I realized it's been a while since I posted some, ummm, handsome men. So while I'm away having fun, thought I'd serve up some eye candy, goodies for the soul, a little yumminess, to get you all through the weekend. Since I've been behind with everything, I thought behinds would be a good place to start!

Enjoy!!


Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Them's Fightin' Words

Stepping away from a writing post today (and all is better than my depressing post from last week--I finished off a short that was more than likely the source of my frustration), I thought I'd share something that really can't be anymore Irish than Irish step dancing.

See, normally this time of year is extremely hectic for our household. We even name it Hell Week with two to three performances a day for around 7 days (they are short in duration, it's just getting from one side of the city to the other sometimes that is the aggravation). Heading into the past weekend, it was shaping up to be a normal week of ferrying my daughter around from performance to performance. However, she took a nasty spill during the kickoff performance (a St Patrick's Day parade) and we got to visit the ER for a few hours instead. All is well, but it put her out of the performances for the week (we joked with her on the way to hospital that if she wanted out of the performances, all she had to do was not sign herself up for them! LOL).

But there is always a bright side to her chosen activity. Traditionally, Irish step dancing is very stiff and formal. In fact, the competition side of the dance is very different from what audiences see in Lord of the Dance or Riverdance. Heavy, ornate costumes, arms stiff at their sides with no arm movement whatsoever and a pound or two of curls (a wig) on their heads. Usually, the only thing competition Irish step dancing and those shows have in common are the ghillies (soft shoes) and jig shoes (hard shoes, the ones most people associate with Irish step dancing). Occasionally though, they get to let their hair down - literally! - and have some fun. In our case, a handful of the girls regularly perform a few times a year with a bad when they pass through the area.

So enjoy the video here of two fightin' Irish step dancers, no frills, no fuss. And yep, one of them is my daughter. Don't let the attitudes fool you, the girls are best friends and have been dancing together for about 4/5 years. :^)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tag! You’re It!

A friend turned me on to this a couple months back, and I thought it was share-worthy. First, ask yourself this question.
Do you tag on Amazon?
If you’re scratching your head, I’ll take that as a “no.” In that case, you’re probably wondering what tagging is, how you do it, and why you should care if someone tags you.
The answer is surprising.
Let’s say I’m shopping on Amazon for Ill Wind, the first book in Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series (which I happen to love).
Go ahead and take a look at the sales page here.
If you scroll down the page, past the “What Do Customers Ultimately Buy After Viewing This Item,” and past “Looking for Rachel Caine products?,” you’ll see a section labeled “Tags Customers Associate with This Product.”
That is the section you want. Look around and read a few. I’ll list the top five tags: urban fantasy, Weather Warden, Rachel Caine, urban dark fantasy, paranormal romance
Now I’ll tell you what it all means. If a customer is in the mood for urban fantasy, but doesn’t have an author in mind, they can type in “urban fantasy” or “paranormal romance” and there is a chance Ill Wind will show up as a title they are interested in reading.
More tags equal a higher ranking. The higher your ranking is, the more likely it becomes that Amazon will pull your title out of its slush pile.
It’s interesting and makes a lot of sense. It seems to be a new hot topic among authors, and it might be something you’d like to look into. If you have friends or peers that can help, it wouldn’t hurt to ask.
You’re not asking for them to give you a favorable review or anything like that. You’re simply asking them to label your latest title with tags that will ensure it shows up in broader searches, or agree with existing tags. There’s nothing wrong with that. ;)
For more information, check out this blog.
It has detailed information and is much more user friendly than my rambling.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AHHH. I'm late.

Like Annie before me, I almost missed Tuesday today. I have an excuse. All 3 of my children have strep throat. Yes, all 3 of them. At the same time. They're all officially on antibiotic now, I have been checked--it was a negative--and we are moving forward.

Also, I have a ton on my mind right now. Including, the fact that I am going to meet Annie Nicholas and J. Hali Steele at a conference this weekend. I'm really excited. This is my very first conference--ever--so I'm nervous about it too. I'm not sure what clothes to pack.

Its not like having new things occur is all that unusual for me. Almost every day my writing takes me places I didn't expect to go. That is the cool thing about being a so-called pantser, meaning I don't pre-plot my writing.

How about all of you writers out there? Are you plotters or pantsers? And readers? What have you done lately that has been new?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Is it Monday Already???

This Monday slipped by me. I wish I had a good reason. Well...I kinda do.

I got my hair done. It's been almost a year since I've gone to a salon. The grey hairs snuck up on me too. So I wanted highlights. I'm not conservative when it comes to my hair. It will grow back is my moto. I had pink on my mind all weekend but went with this instead at the last minute when my hairdresser gave me the eye at my request. LOL




I will do pink one day! Once I don't have to work a day job. That's a promise.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A BROKEN BOND GIVEAWAY!!!!


It's that time again, I've got a new release to share! Leave me a comment with your email and on Monday I'll draw a winner to receive an ebook copy of A BROKEN BOND.

The Wolf Tracks series is from the same “world” that you’ll find in my Blue Bloods series, just another side of it. You won’t see Briggs or Valor in these novels, but all the same rules apply. The stories will be a group of novellas that all center around werewolf packs in the United States and mostly focus on Alpha werewolves. Always expect a little danger, a lot of romance and some good ole’ steamy scenes too. Here is a peek at A Broken Bond:

A BROKEN BOND

A Wolf Tracks Novel

Amira Press – March 11, 2011

Two years ago, Cash lost his mate and abandoned his Montana pack. Now, he has found a reason to return. Rylie, daughter of the Wyoming Alpha, life has been uprooted. Her father killed and succeeded by her mate, Layne. A wolf she will spend a life time running from. On her journey to free herself, destiny brings her Cash, a wolf determined to give her aid to right his wrongs. But how far will he go? When Rylie’s life is on the line, will he forget his pain to save her or will his loss seal her fate?

BUY LINK

EXCERPT

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Alphabet Blogging

I practically pounded my head against the table to come up with something to blog about this week. What’s fresh, what’s interesting that I haven’t talked about? Yeah, I know, but I talk a lot and that in itself makes it a difficult question to answer. Anyway, I decided to give something a try—call it an experiment. I’m going to blog from A-Z. The topic will be about the first word that pops into my mind that starts with the letter for that week. That’s right, the first word, whatever it is—no cheating. I promise. Not only will this answer the all important question, “What should I blog about this week?”, it will challenge me. Don’t know what I mean? Try blogging about the word “it.”


So, I’ll kick this Saturday off with “A”.

A is for April. April showers bring forth mud season. Is it just me, or is April really an unattractive month? Perhaps it depends on where you live, or if you were born in that month. To me April is about snow melt and rain. Not quite winter, and definitely not spring. No leaves have emerged, or tulips have sprouted. I think perhaps it’s my least favorite month. I mean, what does it really have to offer?

What we have in my neck of the woods is all that ugly snow on the sides of the roads, melting away and leaving behind the trash that got plowed along with it in winter storms. April is like the moment after a battle, when the field goes silent and the gun fire ceases. You look out as the smoke clears, to see the bodies of the wounded and dead littering the ground.

Perhaps that’s why April has such a beautiful birthstone. It should have something extraordinary to make it stand out. After all, it starts off as one big joke and ends it with a great big, thank God, it’s May and I’m standing on firmer ground. It doesn’t have the awakening spring season of May, or the weddings of June, the July and August celebrations and barbeques. It doesn’t have the harvests of September and costumes of October, the feasts of November and gifts of December. It doesn’t have the celebration of love as February, or the Irish jig of March. No, April marks the time of tax deadlines and evaluations of yearly budgets, snow melts and winter cleanups. Its traditional etymology comes from the Latin word aperire, which means to open, signifying the time when the flowers and trees bud up and open—again, not here, unless you’re opening up that wallet and paying Uncle Sam. What’s the Latin word for broke? April also used to be Venus’s month. I think she has long since moved on to greener months.

Well, sometimes it does have Easter, that first Sunday after the first full moon, on or after March 21st. Chocolate and hidden treasures, fluffy bunnies, chicks and newborn baby animals. Perhaps I’m being too harsh. April is not so bad after all.

Ugh, March. What does March have to offer?

Friday, March 11, 2011

It's Friday...

And a release has tip-toed up on me. *grin* So I'm sharing it with everyone. Mirror, Mirror-SCENT OF LOVE is the second book in the Mirror Mirror MultiAuthor Hot Flash Series, and is available at Changeling Press now.

When you put a hand on the mirror,
you may find yourself on the other side!!
His youth won't be misspent in her bed...

Book Summary
Sheila Jones is an average middle-aged woman who never dreamed of being a guest at an exclusive, private spa, or of having the ménage she always fantasized about. Nor did she expect to bump into the man of her dreams. But she does... and he's half her age.

Farrow Kincaid is rich, young and spoiled. Little did he know his arrogance would throw him into a realm of magic where the only woman who could save him had every reason not to.

Read An Excerpt HERE, and once you fall in love, you may want to try Mirror, Mirror-ENCHANTED by Anne Kane.

Happy Friday!


Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Like Butter on a Bald Monkey

I've been down a lot lately and I've yet to pinpoint why. I don't think I can attribute it to any one thing, mostly a combination of things. It's not helping that I can't seem to find my concentration. I flit from one work in progress to the next with no clear path on anything. It's frustrating, especially because I know I'm approaching a time where I won't get to write for a while. So then I get even more down and there I am in the ever wonderful Catch-22.

So...for a reason to smile, I share one of my favorite make-me-laugh-anytime songs. Hope it gives you a reason to smile at least a little.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Music to My Ears

Back when MTV and VH1 played, I don't know, music, I loved to watch the different videos. Now that I write, music is a huge part of my process. Songs inspire everything from plots to characters. I even listen to music to help set the emotional tone of whatever I'm writing. Though music videos are rare finds these days (at least for me), it's rarer that I see one that inspires me enough to ponder what kind of book would this be?

Recently, I got inspired by a video for a song called Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri. Check it out. The song is lovely, but the video really struck a chord with me.



So--musical inspiration? Who else has some?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Elora's Match

First things first – HUGE thanks to Rebecca for allowing me to be here today.

For those who don’t know me, my name’s Liia and I’m a newbie *waves*. This past Saturday, my debut novel Elora’s Match released with Silver Publishing. It’s a paranormal romance, the first of (hopefully) many books in The Different Saga, a series based on a supernatural race I created. Filled with supernatural abilities, violence, romance, a strong heroine, sexy hero and, of course, hot sex; is there anything more a woman could want in a book?

Here’s the blurb:

Elora’s parents mysteriously disappeared when she was fifteen. She vowed to find answers – discover what really happened to them. But after twenty-five years of travelling the world she has come up empty handed. Feeling tired and lonely, she settles down in the city her best friend, Caleb, calls home. To lead a regular human existence for a while; like he does.

One problem; they’re not human. They’re Different – a rare supernatural race known for their beauty, strength and supernatural abilities.

Elora is lead to a man by a series of visions. Cue Kadin; powerful, sexy and also Different. He is her match – her soul-mate. Her life has never felt so complete.

But it’s not all good news. Elora must now deal with a rogue demon Elder hell-bent on taking over Lucifer’s reign over Hell. To succeed she needs to steal Elora’s power. When she’s facing the fight of her life, can Elora really trust Kadin?

To celebrate my first release, I’m giving away a copy of Elora’s Match. All you have to do is leave a comment, how easy is that?

Thanks for stopping by!

Liia :-)

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