Archive | May, 2012

Graduation Day and A Twist on Pride & Prejudice

31 May

Happy Thursday! It’s a crazy busy day around here because son #3 graduates from high school today, woohoo! Three children down, two to go, I’m over the halfway mark. So, while I’m off to watch a class of nearly 800 students walk (and yes, that takes as long as you might think it does), here is something to brighten your day.

Have you seen The Lizzie Bennet Diaries? It’s a modern adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, told as Lizzie’s video blog on YouTube. New episodes are uploaded every Monday and Thursday, and it is so much fun! Give it a look!

Auction ending, Scavenger Hunt beginning!

29 May

A couple of quick notes for today. First, Brenda Novak’s amazing month-long auction to benefit diabetes research is coming to an end on Thursday. Hop over and take a look at the great items still available. You have two more days, don’t miss it! Click on the blue box at the right to see the Kindle Fire loaded with 30 books, including my Mending Fences, on the auction.

Second, I’m participating in the Summer Fun Web Hunt, organized by Night Owl Reviews. It’s a scavenger hunt on the web, and there are AMAZING prizes up for grabs. I’m giving away a $100 Amazon gift card. See? Very cool prizes will be awarded during this promo. Click on the sandy beach box there on the right to get all the details on prizes and participating authors and websites. The fun starts Friday, June 1, and runs through July 15. It’s going to be a blast!

Remembrance and Thanks on Memorial Day

28 May

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S.

Arlington National Cemetery

For many, it has become the unofficial start of summer, a time for barbecues and family fun. For others, it is a day to remember family members who have died.

The real reason for Memorial Day, though, is to remember and respect the sacrifice of our men and women in the military. No matter what one feels about the political decisions that lead our brave servicemen and women into battle, our military members deserve our support. They haven’t asked for the wars they are required to fight, for the conflicts they are sent into, but they go in our service and they give it everything they have. Including, far too often, their very lives.

How can we ever use the word hero in context with musicians, actors, or sports stars? The real heroes are these: our airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines, coast guardsmen.

I have so many connections to every branch of the military save the Coast Guard. My father-in-law served in the Army in WWII. My stepfather-in-law was in the Navy in WWII. My father was a Marine in Vietnam. My  stepfather (Dad) served in the Air Force during the Korean War. My brother-in-law was a Marine, a couple of uncles and an aunt served in the Air Force. Many friends have served and continue to serve in the Army or Marines.

It takes a special man or woman to make a career of the military. To be a warrior. To place themselves in harm’s way in order to protect friends, family, and the concept of freedom. Perhaps that’s why so many romance heroes are marines, or soldiers, or SEALs. They are larger than life, men who bond together to keep each other, and their country, safe in the face of unspeakable dangers. Men who fight hard and love hard, too.

For our service members who face far greater physical and psychological terrors than anything authors can cook up, and who don’t always have a happy ending waiting for them…and to those we have lost, to the families who have given more than should ever be asked of a human being…your sacrifices are not forgotten. From the depths of my heart and soul, thank you. You are the true heroes.

Updates

27 May

The last week of major schoolwork is done, hooray! There are a few teachers here and there giving tests on Tuesday or Wednesday, but for the most part, everyone realizes that the teens are not going to be using their brains post-Memorial Day vacation and are not really scheduling much for the remaining two days of classes. This means I can stop worrying about pushing the kids along with school. Whew. I love the end of the school year!

Now then, due to editing schedules and everything that goes into the end of prepping a book for release, the schedule for Finding Refuge has been pushed back a bit. It’s now slated for release June 14.

Also, after having Mending Fences exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, it will be available at other storefronts and in other formats starting June 17. Finding Refuge will be launching wide also, it will not be an Amazon exclusive.

The exclusivity thing can be very, very good for authors from a money standpoint. It’s very easy to boost a book’s visibility and the sales can be fantastic. Plus, when a book is available exclusively at Amazon, Prime members can borrow the book for free. Authors are paid for those borrows. So, honestly, leaving and choosing not to enter a book in an Amazon exclusive arrangement is scary. But I believe it’s the right thing to do. I want readers to be able to pick up my books in any format that suits them, without having to know how to convert or side-load or any other techie thing that’s required to read a book when you have something other than a kindle or a kindle app.

Please, wish me luck!

A Long Absence and a New Cover

16 May

My poor blog has been ignored lately. I feel terrible about that, I really do, but May is just One of Those Months, you know? Over the next three weeks, I have to keep my teens focused on finals and projects and myriad craziness that accompanies the end of the school year. Son #3 graduates high school two weeks from tomorrow. The week after that, son #1 returns from a two-year mission, and yes, I’m beyond thrilled about that. So, I shall try to stay current here on the blog, but if I slip over the next few weeks, don’t be terribly surprised.

Now, on to news…I have a cover for Finding Refuge! The book, a contemporary romance, is loosely linked to Mending Fences. Some of the MF characters do show up in the new book, but both can easily stand alone for readers. Click on the Books link above to check out an excerpt. Finding Refuge is tentatively slated for release on June 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, what do you think?

Alpha & Beta Heroes in The Avengers (aka I’m having a fangirl moment)

5 May

The Helvetican and I went to see The Avengers last night. I frequently have to drag my hero to summer popcorn movies, or have mercy on his soul and take the teens while he’s at work. However, he likes comic book characters and the good movies Marvel has been making with them, so he went willingly.

I LOOOOOOOVED The Avengers! Of course, with Joss Whedon writing and directing, how could it be anything but fantastic? Great script, a ton of fabulous lines, with so much humor to balance out the tension. Effects were beautifully done. I thought it was a perfect start to the summer movie season.

But the very best reason to love it, particularly as a romance writer and reader…the heroes. Heroes everywhere! And not just heroes, but a fantastic heroine: Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow. Now there’s a girl who is very well aware of her strengths and abilities. She can hold her own, kick ass, use all her feminine tools to get the job done as needed, and still be a woman with a vulnerable heart underneath it all. There’s another heroine, too: Agent Maria Hill. She’s a tough girl, a soldier. We didn’t get to know her very well, but I liked her!

But back to the heroes.

  • Tony Stark, Iron Man. Brilliant, witty, snarky, egotistical, self-centered. He is a definite alpha and heroic because he does the right thing no matter what it costs him. I love that he is beautifully matched with a woman who can turn him on his ear and run him in circles when she chooses.
  • Dr. Bruce Banner, The Hulk. Brainy, quiet, caring, thoughtful–but simmering underneath. He is a beta hero with a serious alpha undercurrent. And a shifting issue.
  • Thor…well, hey, it’s hard to look past a god, especially when he looks that good (and this from a woman who’s not big on blonds or beards). He’s an alpha through and through, especially now that this god has grown up and learned about responsibility and protecting others. Extremely powerful, but capable of great love and gentleness.
  • Steve Rogers, Captain America. Serious, strong of character, reserved, decidedly old-fashioned, doing the right thing no matter how hard, because that is what must be done, taking charge because someone needs to rise to the occasion. A very gentlemanly alpha who has beta tendencies.
  • Nick Fury brought The Avengers together, and is doing what needs to be done in the background to keep the world safe, even from his superiors, if necessary. Definitely falls into the alpha designation.
  • Agent Phil Coulson, a supporting character throughout the films leading up to this one. He’s quiet, cool, calm, polite to a fault, genial, but able and willing to do what needs doing. He’s not your usual alpha, and I’m inclined to think on a personal level he’s much more of a beta, so we’ll go with a beta with an alpha streak.

My favorite, though? Surprised the heck out of me. Agent Barton, Hawkeye…OMG, yes, please. He’s definitely an alpha, but what is it about this character that caught my attention, especially when he’s not exactly at his best for a while there? Is it the archery thing? I admit to a serious weakness for a man with a bow. Is it the fact that he is quietly, outrageously efficient, ruthless, with high attention to detail, the best at what he does without being a cocky bastard, and yet is a man with emotions under it all? I haven’t quite figured it out. So, strictly in the interest of research, I’m heading out to see it again with my daughter!

Who is your favorite comic book hero?

The Auction for Diabetes Research is ON!

1 May

auctionofyear

I’ve been missing in action for a while, sorry about that. It’s been a bit crazy around here, full of car repairs, forcing teenagers to attend school when they are suffering spring fever, and, of course, preparing the next book for release.

One of the best things I did while I was away was donate to Brenda Novak’s annual auction to raise funds for diabetes research. This is the eighth year of Ms. Novak’s auction, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it on the donation side, rather than just the bidding side! A Kindle Fire is loaded with a copy of Mending Fences, along with 25 additional contemporary romance and romantic suspense books donated by other authors, and the bidding is underway. Check it out by clicking the blue auction banner to the right!

There are some truly amazing items to bid on, for both writers and readers. Please, go explore and place your bids for a great cause!

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