Merry Christmas!

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Dec 25 2010

I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season! Stay healthy and happy.

Romance writer?

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Jul 24 2010

Are you a romance writer hoping to get published with Harlequin? If so, you might want to check out this New Voices contest runĀ  by Harlequin Mills & Boon. The grand prize is a year of editorial guidance, a publishing contract, and an iPad. Not bad.

Another Chance to Win

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Sep 21 2009

…a copy of Drawn into Darkness AND learn some things about me you might not know. I’m being interviewed over at Leontine’s Book Blog. Leontine’s questions were a lot of fun–check out my answers.

“Cross into Darkness” Blog Tour Continues

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Aug 31 2009

I’m over at the Penguin USA blog Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Literary Escapism tomorrow and LoveRomancesandMore on Thursday. There are different excerpts at each stop and chances to win a book at Literary Escapism and LoveRomancesandMore–all you need to do is comment. Hope to see you there!

The tour clue for the Penguin blog will be given out on Friday. I’ve got a few people who’ve guessed the right answer already – yay! I hope to have quite a few entries to pull from for the final draw.

p.s. I’m getting some feedback that DRAWN INTO DARKNESS has hit the store shelves early in some places–so keep your eyes open. And by all means, let me know if you spot it. grin

Weekly Status

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Nov 6 2006

Progress…but not as good as last week. hmmm

I attended a workshop at my local chapter yesterday that made me step back from my plot and re-analyze how the love story was progressing. Nonnie St. George, who writes incredible romantic comedies and is a hugely entertaining speaker, gave a talk on crafting effortless synopses. For someone who cringes at the thought of writing a story summary (that would be moi), it was an afternoon well spent. The root of Nonnie’s method is to stay laser-focused on the love story, at least in a romance. It may sound like basic advice, but it’s sometimes all too easy to let the external plot drive the story, even when you know the true story is the romance.

I love going to workshops that send you home rejuvenated and raring to write.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
45,250 / 100,000
(45.3%)

Busy, Busy

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Jul 19 2006

I haven’t got near the number of things done this week that I’d hoped to. Haven’t started my synopsis, haven’t put away my ms, haven’t started getting ready for my trip to Atlanta.

My cp, bless her, found a plot flaw in my story in one of the last chapters. Not an insurmountable flaw, but one that’s given me a bit of grief as I try to remedy it. It’s amazing how many ripples a change can make. confused I’ll still be done before I head off to Atlanta but I might be working on my synopsis on the plane, instead of doing some leisure reading like I was hoping to do. Oh well.

There’s also one aspect of having my daughter home for the summer that causes me grief–she’s a human tornado. Every room she visits ends up topsy turvy, and since she’s twelve, that usually results in me having to hound her into cleaning up. I miss the days when she was at school and the house would remain relatively undisturbed all day.

All that aside, I’m really looking forward to Atlanta. I’m meeting friends, many of whom I haven’t seen since last Nationals. I’m attending a number of intriguing workshops, which I haven’t done since last year, either. And yes, there will be a few parties thrown in there, as well. Plus, my pitches. But I don’t stress about those until a few minutes before I enter the room.

Now all I have to do is tackle that mountain of laundry so I can pack a few clean clothes. wink

So Cool

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Jan 31 2006

One of the coolest things to happen is when one of the people you know real well gets a book published. (About the only thing that beats it is getting your own published. grin)

Today when I picked up my mail, I received a long-awaited package from Amazon … my cp Sylvia Day’s first book from Brava. It’s a single-author historical anthology. Here’s a pic:

“>image

I swear, I’m nearly as excited as she is. I sat there for a good half hour, fanning the pages, picking out pieces I remembered reading during crit sessions, grinning like a mad fool. I’m afraid to bend the pages. I keep brushing imaginary dust specks from the cover. It’s so cool!

Congratulations, Sylvia!

Truly, one of the benefits of getting to know folks in this biz is the warm feeling you get when you see a friend’s book on the shelf at your local bookstore. I’ve recently bought two books from fellow 2005 Golden Heart finalists (aka The Wild Cards): Good Girls Don’t by Kelley St. John and Calamity Jayne by Kathleen Bacus.

I look forward to buying many more.

Romancing Rudolph – Chapter 7

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Dec 22 2005

(If you’re just joining us, the story began on December 15th–click here to start at the beginning.)

Chapter 7

Why he had invited Mandy back to his place was a mystery. Of a sort. Yeah, there was the attraction thing, but it was a rare event for him not to hang with the Team after practice, especially one that had devastated them as badly as this one had.

But he’d glanced up at Mandy, saw her standing there looking lost and alone … and the words had been out of his mouth before he knew it.

The Team had taken his desertion rather well, really. Vixen had actually grinned. They had been encouraging him to date again for a long time, certain that he was still hung up on Clarice. Which was a ridiculous notion–if he’d been hung up on Clarice, he wouldn’t have avoided proposing to her for seven years. It would be him sharing her stable and him welcoming a new calf in April instead of Edward. And he’d be jealous of Edward instead of happy for the two of them.

Still, it was true that he hadn’t made much of a dating effort since Clarice left him.

On the other hoof, he wasn’t sure this qualified as a date.

He peered around the kitchen wall. Mandy was standing in front of the fireplace, studying the photos on his mantel. A CD of Elvis Christmas tunes was playing quietly in the background and the only light in the room was from a fire just beginning to catch.

Ok, yeah, it was a date.

A mistake, maybe, but definitely a date.

Diving into the refrigerator, he pulled out a bowl of lichen, some birchbark strips, and a plate of sliced mushrooms. Might as well go all out. He poured the water into two crystal glasses and put them on a tray with the food. Then, he took a deep breath and carried it out to the living room.

“That’s my mom and dad on vacation in Belarus. The picture next to that is my brother, Alexei, and his nine calves.”

Mandy glanced at him. The glow from the fire on her fur gave her a magical air. “None of Alexei’s children have a red nose.”

“Recessive gene,” Rudolph said with a shrug. Like the flying gene. He put the tray down on the oak coffee table, and handed Mandy a glass. “If we mate with a regular brown-nosed reindeer, the chance of having a red-nosed calf is slim. It happens, though. Alexei just got lucky.”

She arched a brow. “You don’t like the red nose?”

“I’ve gotten used to it, and I have a job where it comes in pretty handy.”

Mandy’s gaze returned to the photos. “A lot of females think it’s sexy.”

Rudolph’s breath locked in his chest. Struggling for nonchalance, he picked up his glass. “Mostly very young, impressionable females. They love the story, not the nose.”

She smiled slowly. “Label me young and impressionable, then, I guess.”

A slosh of very expensive water escaped his glass and splattered on his hoof.

Her smile deepened. “Except I actually love the nose.”

Rudolph dropped to the couch, his legs suddenly like jelly. “Uh, thanks.”

Mandy joined him on the couch, sipping at her drink. Her fruity scent washed over him, giving him goose-bumps. “You don’t seem that upset over today’s…um…”

“Disaster?” He grimaced. “I’m not. I’m frustrated, no question, but I’m convinced that come Christmas Eve we’ll get the sleigh in the air. There’s a lot of special magic on that night.”

Mandy frowned. “You can’t count on that being enough.”

“Well, that, plus a whole lot of practice.”

“No,” she put down her glass and stood up. “Rudolph, you have to face facts. Something’s got to change. It’s only going to get worse before it gets better. The number of children is expected to keep growing for at least another 50 years.”

“We’ll figure it out.”

“You’re ignoring the problem. Every year it’s going to get tougher and tougher.”

He smiled up at her. “Yeah, but this year the Team has you, and you understand what we’re up against. With your help over the next couple of weeks, I’m sure we can do it.”

“I can’t.”

“Can’t what?”

“Help.” Mandy blinked, and turned away. “I’ll be spending the next two days drawing up a recommendation, and then I’m off on another job.”

Two days? Rudolph’s heartbeat slowed to dull thud. Two days? For some reason, it never occurred to him that Mandy would leave the Team before Christmas. “I see.”

“I’m working on a new migratory path for a Finnish herd,” she said softly.

“Sounds exciting.”

The hint of sarcasm in his voice was slight, but Mandy caught it. Her face fell. “Exciting or not, they need me.”

Rudolph stood. Damn it, he had a right to be angry. She was leaving them. Leaving him. “We need you.”

She shook her head, her expression growing a little distant. She backed away, toward the door. “No, you have each other. You’ll be fine.”

Rudolph wanted to stop her, wanted to confess that it wasn’t the Team who needed her, but him. But if he wasn’t prepared to marry her, what was the point? He’d just be leading her on.

“Mandy–”

“Bye, Rudolph.”

And then she was gone, leaving Rudolph staring at the untouched dinner and two glasses … feeling incredibly, unbearably alone.

(To go to Chapter 8, click here)

Tough Decision

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Oct 12 2005

I said earlier that I planned to enter the 2006 Golden Heart, but after thinking about it a lot, I’ve decided not to. I’m going to use the GH deadline (Dec. 2nd) as a deadline to finish the edits on Guardian, but once I’m done I’m not going to enter it. I’m not comfortable entering the same book (even revised) two years in a row, especially since it finaled last year. Hard to top that. tongue laugh

Except with a book contract. cheese

To that end, I believe my time is better spent working on my manuscripts, developing my craft, and focusing on doing what it takes to write a great book. I’ll keep querying agents, and maybe next year–if I haven’t yet got that elusive book contract–I’ll enter something new.

Contest Feedback

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Aug 13 2005

I got the results of my entry in the TARA First Impression contest back yesterday. I entered 20 pages of Guardian back in April. I didn’t final in my category, which I knew at the beginning of July, but the feedback was interesting. One judge gave me a perfect score and the other gave me an 86%. You know the competition has to be pretty fierce when your average is 93% and you still don’t final.

Despite not finaling, I found this feedback affirming. Knowing that one person found my entry perfect was a truly wonderful feeling. This is an updated version of Guardian, with a completely new beginning, so the positive feedback was especially nice.

I could spend a lot of time wondering why the other judge didn’t think the same way, but I prefer to just dig through the comments, find the gems, and move on. smile

Ancestry

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Jul 14 2005

I love to write about Scotland. I’m not entirely certain why, but it may have something to do with ancestry. Typical of most North Americans, I’m part many nationalities: Scottish and Danish on my mother’s side, French on my father’s side. My grandmother was a Grant, and her parents came to Canada from Inverness. She traveled to Scotland in the 1970′s to explore her heritage, and I have her notes about what she saw, and how she felt visiting the area where her family originated. Very powerful stuff.

Perhaps not surprising, when I began my second manuscript, and realized if there was jousting in it I had to set it in France, I was excited. Here was my chance to explore my father’s side of the family. One of my aunts had traced our lineage back to the 16th century, and I had a bit of fun using some of that research in my book. The story actually takes place in the 13th century, so I took a few liberties.

Maybe I’ll have to write a book set in Denmark at some point…