Archive | April, 2012

Book cover poses and the people who test them

24 Apr

My daughter gave me a hard time about the cover of Mending Fences when she first got a look at it. She zeroed in on the way the woman’s shoulder and arm look. Something about the top line seemed unnatural to her. It wasn’t until I took her in front of the mirror and positioned her like the cover that she saw, yes, indeed, that’s how her own arm looked in that pose.

The discussion reminded me of an awesome post back in January by Jim C. Hines. Mr. Hines is a fabulous writer. His series about Jig the Goblin is delightful, unique in its choice of hero, and very funny. His Princess Novels are another stroke of creative genius, twisting old fairy tales, using their darker origins, and turning princesses (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty,  and Snow White) into fantasy versions of Charlie’s Angels. Seriously, if you like fantasy or fairy tales, check these out. You will not be disappointed.

Now that I’ve told you a bit about Mr. Hines, I’ll explain how this relates to the book cover poses. Mr. Hines decided to discuss the frequently unnatural and downright ludicrous poses of women on fantasy and urban fantasy novels. Since pictures are worth a thousand words, he posted with photos of him mimicking the poses beside the actual book covers…and then discussed the pain involved in getting into those poses. And the post is a scream: http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/striking-a-pose/

Now he has decided to take on male poses on UF and paranormal romance novel covers! http://jimhines.livejournal.com/628418.html His analysis of what is expected of men and women on covers is great.

Equally brilliant, I thought, is a post by Anna, a book blogger, who ran with the idea and did a side-by-side comparison of men’s vs. women’s poses. http://genrereviews.livejournal.com/371367.html

Really great stuff! I have only occasional flashes of brilliance myself, but I’m happy to take the opportunity to share the good things I stumble across.

What book cover poses have made you think the model must have been in pain or Photoshopped because a real body couldn’t possibly achieve that position?

An Intro to a Friend for Her Birthday!

21 Apr

Today, a woman I have known for a great many years is celebrating her birthday. That’s a great time to introduce her to you, don’t you think? Of course, she has so many books out, you may know her already!

MJ Fredrick is one of the hardest working women I know, and honestly, I think she is blessed with more hours each day than the rest of us. Or she stole Hermione Granger’s time turner. Or she’s an alien. Somehow she manages to teach music to elementary school children, maintain a blog and impressive Pinterest boards, actually complete projects inspired by Pinterest, sew (beyond basic mending), keep up with her favorite TV shows, raise a fine son, spend time with her hubby, maintain a social life, and STILL publish a hefty number of books. Her writing speed amazes me. She works with several publishers and has also jumped into the self-publishing arena. She writes everything from historical to contemporary, from romantic suspense to paranormal.

I am in complete awe of MJ. Always have been. So, happy birthday, my friend! I hope it’s fabulous!

If you have a moment, please pop over to her blog and wish her happy birthday: http://mjfredrick.wordpress.com/

And if you like contemporary, small-town romance, give her new Bluestone series a try! You can find them at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Nora Roberts Hits a Milestone

18 Apr

Nora Roberts’s three decades of writing have led to 200 books – The Washington Post.

La Nora, the queen of romance, hit an awesome milestone with her latest release. 200 books published! What an amazing accomplishment.

My favorite quote from this article is an excellent response to people who belittle romance readers and writers:

Roberts claims not to care about what she calls the “literati war on women.” Just because many women “like to read about emotions,” she says, “doesn’t mean we don’t have intellect.” And anyway, she adds, “Why is it not healthy to believe in love? Why is it not valuable to write about strong, healthy women finding a strong, healthy relationship?”

I love that! I’ve long despised the dismissive attitude toward the genre of romance, the view that it is something less than worthy of a reader’s time. Even worse, that romance is bad or dangerous to women. Really? Reading about people falling in love and working against the odds to create a solid relationship is a problem?

I’ve heard the anecdotal claim multiple times that reading romance makes women dissatisfied with an otherwise fine relationship in real life. I’ve never seen that. If anything, I’ve noticed that lovers of romance novels tend to have strong, happy, fulfilling relationships.

Let’s take the claim to its logical end and see if it holds up: If romance novels can harm readers, what about the effects of thrillers on readers? Or, novels about serial killers? Mysteries? If a reader spends too much time in the shoes of a homicide detective hero, are they going to start trying to solve crimes in their spare time? Turn into a computer hacker bent on world domination? Start killing off their enemies and burying them in the woods? Ludicrous, isn’t it?

I started reading Nora with Irish ThoroughbredDo you read Nora Roberts/JD Robb? What is your favorite of her books?

Monday morning and I can’t get moving

16 Apr

Help, I’m tired and I can’t get up! Ugh. Part of the problem is that I’m trying to break my Diet Coke habit and force myself to sleep a normal number of hours. Typically, I’ll sleep 5-6 hours, catch an hour nap during the day if I’m exceedingly lucky, and then stay sharp by drinking copious amounts of Diet Coke. Not the healthiest way to live. So, I got over 7 hours of sleep, I’m nice and hydrated with water, as I should be, and I CANNOT get going. The brain is mushy. Plus, the start of a withdrawal headache is nudging at the back of my skull. All this on a day when I have words to write. Lots of them.

::sigh::

I admit defeat. $1 large Diet Coke at the Mickey-D’s on the corner, coming right up!

What have you tried to change for your health and failed at before finally succeeding? Please, show me I’m not alone in my struggle!

My Fun Saturday Find

14 Apr

Lucy Francis:

I have Google Alerts set up to let me know if Mending Fences comes up on web pages. I primarily use this to track possible pirating, but today, it returned notice of a review I didn’t know existed. I am grinning from ear to ear! Please have a look, and explore the blog while you’re there.

Originally posted on DEB SANDERS:

7 books in 7 days . . . .Spring Break Must Reads!

Day 1 – Her Highland Champion by Alexa Bourne

Day 2 – Moonlight on the Nantahala by Micheal Rivers

Day 3 – Legends of Tsalagee by Phil Truman

Day 4 – Two Moons of Sera by Pavarti K Tyler

Day 5 – Mending Fences by Lucy Francis

I ran across this release while perusing the Kindle lists for a contemporary romance. I looked at Ms. Francis bio and it appears this might be her debut novel. If so, give the lady a round of applause. Very well written. Good plot. Flows nicely. Evoked a sigh at the end (always a good sign for a romance.)

Last I checked, Mending Fences is garnering rave reviews by other readers. It maintains a solid ranking in the Kindle store as well as contemporary romance. Another good sign.

The story follows a…

View original 135 more words

I’m visiting another author today!

11 Apr

I’m spending this gorgeous Wednesday in Texas…virtually, anyway! I’m a guest on romance author MJ Fredrick’s blog, talking about everything from the inspiration behind Mending Fences to three of my favorite things.

I’m also giving away a copy of Mending Fences, so come on over and visit! http://mjfredrick.wordpress.com/

It’s a BIC-HOK day…

10 Apr

Today has been all about BIC-HOK. It’s a lovely acronym that means:

Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard

Because, you know, that’s how books get written. I wish there was another method, I really do. Something along the lines of plugging in my brain into the computer and downloading the book, whole and perfect. Alas, the best technology developed so far will only allow me to speak the book, with software typing my words. Sadly, the software lacks an internal editor, and I must go back and punctuate, format, etc. I thought that method would work for me, but when I’ve left voice notes for myself on my phone, describing scenes and speaking dialogue, I find that it loses something. The words are fine, I suppose, but I really sound ridiculous, and that sort of takes the shine off the whole thing.

So, I write the usual way…Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. Someone want to bring me a Diet Coke?

A Glorious Sunday

8 Apr

The sun glows in a perfect blue sky, and a sweet, warm breeze weaves through branches laden with pink and white blossoms. What a beautiful morning!

For me and my family, it is a perfect start to Easter. As a nod to childhood, the teens still get chocolate bunnies, assorted candies, and a toy. This year, it’s kites and mini basketballs. Aside from that bit of fun, it is a day for family to join us as we celebrate the Risen Christ.

Today, I wish my Christian friends a blessed Easter, my Orthodox friends a happy Palm Sunday, and my Jewish friends a happy Passover!

And a final wish: for everyone just kicking back and taking the day off…if your weather is as perfect as ours today, I know you’ll have a great Sunday. Enjoy!

Blog Hop Winners

7 Apr

We had an amazing blog hop this week! 3,000 comments were posted over the course of the hop. I loved all the stories of good birthday memories, but I can’t believe how many incredibly bad birthday stories I read. Yikes!

My blog’s winning comment (as selected by random.org) is: Leigh Savage! She won a $20 Amazon Gift Card, and a paperback copy of my book, Mending Fences. Congratulations!

FYI, the Grand Prize winners for the entire hop were:

Kindle Touch: Teri Matlock, posting on Cari Quin’s blog

$60 Amazon Gift Card: Lisa Walker, posting on Jessica Subject’s blog

Whenever your birthday falls this year, I hope it’s fabulous!

The Birthday Blog Hop is Here!

5 Apr

Welcome to the Birthday Blog Hop! 60 authors are celebrating paranormal author Carrie Ann Ryan’s birthday tomorrow by participating in this hop. I’m so glad to have you here and I hope you enjoy yourself for a bit before moving on to the rest of the hop!

My best birthday came when I turned 27. I was divorced and dating a few different guys. One particular guy was introduced to my profile by the woman running the dating service we’d both joined a few months earlier. I had already viewed his profile, really liked him, and given permission for him to contact me. He liked my profile as well and called me one week before my birthday. We talked for an hour on the first call. He asked me out and we met for dinner and a long walk a few days later. By the time he sent flowers to my office the next day, I was hooked. We talked every night on the phone for hours, because we lived in different cities and getting together was tricky.

On my birthday, he had other plans, but he called me late that night, and as we talked, the conversation turned serious. Suddenly, the perfect moment struck, and he asked me to marry him.

I’d known him a week. We’d seen each other one night. I hadn’t even kissed him yet. But I knew. Lightning had struck, and I just knew.

I said yes.

I don’t recommend this approach to finding a mate to anyone else. But for us, it worked. We were married four weeks later and together we’ve raised five children. It’s been an amazing ride with my towering Helvetican Hero, and it all started on my birthday!

Oh, I did finally kiss him when I saw him the next day. A lack of chemistry would have been a deal-breaker, but when his lips touched mine…wow! And after all these years, he can still make me weak in the knees with a kiss.

What’s your favorite or least favorite birthday memory? Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win your choice of a $20 gift card from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble from me, and to have a shot at one of the Hop’s grand prizes:

  1. A Kindle Touch
  2. A $60 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Oh, before you go, here’s the recipe for my current contemporary romance, Mending Fences:

Take one reformed hotshot CEO playing rancher. Add one strong woman, an abuse survivor with a lot of secrets. Toss together for one searing kiss on Halloween, then separate. Fold in a slightly deformed pet bison who creates serendipity by accident. Stir together. Add discoveries, revelations, angst, heartbreak, suspense, and generous helpings of both healing and sexual tension. Layer with family relationships and a secondary love story and simmer to a Happy Ever After.

Opening taste: Curran Shaw treasured his anonymity, but maintaining it required solitude. And the damned solitude was killing him.

Available in paperback and ebook.

Kindle:  http://amzn.to/yJy1Af     Amazon paperback: http://amzn.to/H4ZfLi

Barnes & Noble paperback: http://bit.ly/HPy6w2

Enjoy the rest of the blog hop!

Carrie Ann Ryan http://www.carrieannryan.blogspot.com/
Lia Davis www.authorliadavis.com/
Beth-Ann Mason www.bethannmason.com/blog
Writer,Author,Husband,Dad jamieheppner.blogspot.com/
Natasha Blackthorne http://natashablackthorneblog.blogspot.com/
Romance Book Club blog.romance-book-club.com
Daryl Devore myeroticnotions.blogspot.com
Eliza Gayle elizagayle.net/blog
Realmantic Moments http://realmanticmoments.blogspot.com/
Amber Kallyn amberkallyn.wordpress.com
Harlies Books harliebooks.blogspot.com
Wickedly Erotic by JL Oiler www.joiler.weebly.com
Kacey Hammel http://kaceyhammellkreations.blogspot.com/
I Love Shape-Shifters michelehart.blogspot.com/
Marie Dees mariedees.com
Victoria Adams victoriaadams.blogspot.com/
The World of Heaven Oshey http://theworldofheavenoshey.blogspot.com/
Lucy Francis www.lucyfrancis.net
Vickie Taylor www.vickietaylor.com
Tara Lain taralain.blogspot.com
Birthday Traditions www.steelestories.com
Wendi Zwaduk wendizwaduk.blogspot.com/
Megan Slayer http://theauthormeganslayer.blogspot.com/
Cari Quinn cariquinn.blogspot.com
Stephanie Haefner http://www.stephaniehaefnerthewriter.com/
Angelique Armae http://angeliquearmae.blogspot.com/
Cassandra Carr http://booksbycassandracarr.com/wordpress/
Kharisma Rhayne www.kharismarhayne.com
A Page in the Life http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogspot.com/
Wendy Elys Books www.wendyely.blogspot.com/
Jessica E. Subject jessicasubject.com
K.E. Saxon www.kesaxon.blogspot.com
Stacy Jubas Mysteries, Murder & More stacyjuba.com/blog/blog/
Jessie Kimmel-Freeman http://bellanottethebook.weebly.com/blog.html
Tracy Sumners Romance Site www.tracysumner.com
Shells Book Corner shellsbookcorner.blogspot.com/
Allison Merritt havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com
Suzzana C Ryan http://www.suzzanacryanromanceauthor.blogspt.com/
Lizzie Starr starrwords.blogspot.com
Diana Layne Blog blog.dianalayne.com/
Love is a Many Flavored Thing – DC Juris dcjuris.blogspot.com
Dianne Venetta www.diannevenetta.com
Sharon Gerlach sharongerlach.wordpress.com
Book Lovers Haven taiyouryu.blogspot.com
Romance you Can Sink Your Fangs into http://www.shannanalbright.blogspot.com/
Casey Crow (18+ Over) www.caseycrow.com/blog/
Writing with Kristine Cayne kristinecayne.blogspot.com/
Just a Readers Ramblings http://justareadersramblings.wordpress.com/
Angela Stone www.angelastone.ca/blog-3
Rawiya Erotica rawiyaerotica.wordpress.com
Conversations with Lisa Mondello www.lisamondello.blogspot.com
Passions Recalled and Celebrated christineleovlealand-author.blogspot.co.nz/
Bull Protettore http://bullprotettoremurdermysteries.blogspot.com/
Louisa Bacio – Love Knows No Bounds louisabacio.blogspot.com
Cat Johnson catjohnson.net/2012/04/06/blog-hop/
Cynthia Woolf www.cynthiawoolf.com/blog
Diane Alberts dianealberts.com
Patrica Green Books www.patriciagreenbooks.com
Discovering Nya Rayne http://discoveringnyarayne.blogspot.com/
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