Showing posts from April, 2010

Support the efforts of ARe and the case of Greene vs. County of Sonoma et al.

About Our Efforts This story illustrates how strong and supportive our community has become. Time and again we're blown away by how generous our readers and authors are when it comes to supporting charitable efforts. The idea for this endeavor was sparked by TeddyPig of The Naughty Bits Blog fame. When he read about the case of Greene V. County of Sonoma et al., it bothered him. It really bothered him. Teddy went to the website of the organization representing Clay Greene in the case, the NCLR, and he made a donation. But he didn't stop there. He spent the next several days drumming up support for the cause, and one of his first steps was to reach out to us. 
The story of Clay and Harold made Teddy remember a book he'd purchased from us, Henry and Jim by J.M. Snyder. Teddy suggested that perhaps we might be willing to donate a portion of our proceeds from the sale of Henry and Jim we received a pledge of 25% of the proceeds on all JMS Book titles, and we ag…


By: Angelica Hart and Zi

There has been a phenomenon that has existed whereas unattractive men hook up with attractive women, often older men, with an age difference wide enough that it risks social disapproval. It dates back to the movies of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Perpetuated by the recent movies that depict May-December relationships, such as An American Haunting, Get Smart, Bulworth, Lost in Translation, Me Without You, Sin City, or Whatever Works.

A: What was the May-December relationship in Get Smart?
Z: Great question. My research gave me these movies. And I also thought about Get Smart. The only moment that might have fit the description was the baker clerk and Agent 86. They might have missed it by thiiisss much. (Shows thumb and pointer gesture describing the distance not the size of anything else)
A: Do you like the premise of those movies? (Hikes up her chin in a lofty manner)
Z: Was that implying I'm old? (He pulls downward his hiked up pants, showi…

An Editor Speaks Out

An Editor Speaks Out by Judy Griffith Gill
How to Kill Your Chances Without Really Trying
·Don’t bother with a hook to grab the reader’s interest right away. If she’s bought your book, she’ll read beyond the first sentence, even the first paragraph and the first page whether it captures her imagination or not. She’ll think, This book was published. It has to get better sooner or later. Or, if she’s an editor, she’ll think, This writer cared enough to finish a whole three chapters and write a synopsis. She must have something good to say.

·If your book has not been published, the word “writer” above applies also to agents and editors. If they’ve asked to see your work (or even if they haven’t) the fact that you think enough of them to share your work with them and offer them the chance to admire it

·Don’t worry about internal and external conflict in the protagonists. Just tell the reader (agent, editor) that they have them. No need to waste time by demonstrating (showing) what they are an…

Talking with Author April Ash

National Tell a Story Day – Make Mine a Romance!
Okay…so I stretched this a little. Actually, yesterday was National Tell a Story Day…but work with me on this!
As a child, I enjoyed books of adventure, and then as I grew, biographies caught my attention. In High School, I was fascinated by Shakespeare (no kidding!). I loved his “thee” and “thou” words, along with lines I sometimes couldn’t figure out. But, he intrigued me enough so that in college, I took 5 or 6 Shakespeare courses as electives.
Then, I discovered romance books and was hooked. I got started reading Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer books, and couldn’t find enough to keep me busy. From there I went on to read contemporaries and paranormals. Life is good as long as I have a romance book to read!

Tell me a story with a good plot to hold my interest, and a blossoming romance exploding with passion.  I want to “see” your story in my head, and “feel” the heroine’s emotions. I want to relate to her, no matter what her age is……

The Mechanics of Writing

“I have a story idea in mind and am psyched to begin writing. What’s the best way to get started? Should I outline the plot first, or just jump in and write?”

There’s no right or wrong method to use in plotting out your novel. The mechanics of writing is one of personal choice, so go with whatever method works best for you.

For example, Jeffery Deaver creates meticulous outlines for his novels, detailing each scene and key segments of dialogue on sheets of paper and sticky notes that fill the walls of his study. He admits that it takes him months to come up with such a detailed framework. However, when he sits down to actually write the novel, since most of the work is already completed, it doesn’t take him long to finish the manuscript.

I prefer a less structured method. When I’m plotting out my novels, I keep a stack of lined 3x5 cards handy and write scenes down as I think of them. On each card I include anything that I want to put into the scene, such as descriptions, plot points…

Talking with author Ed Williams

“When I Have A Godzillian Level Urge For Candy I Eat…”
…the following, and these are in order of preference. They be:

1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups - Man, talk about heroin converted into candy form, I’ve craved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups for years! Their texture is great, their chocolate is both kinda chunky and kinda creamy, and their peanut butter - if I could, I’d sneak into a Reese’s production facility, get buck naked, and then jump into a vat full of their peanut butter. I might end up getting covered up in it or even drown, but I’d be gobblin’ it down like a Linda Lovelace inspired turkey before my final chapter was written - Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups rock!

2. Atomic Fireballs - I love hot candies and I love cinnamon, so my addiction to Atomic Fireballs can only be deemed a natural. I first encountered them years ago in Juliette at my granddad’s general store (y’all have actually seen his store in the movies, it was used as the Whistle Stop CafĂ© in the mo…

My Apologies for Not Posting My "How To Write" Blog

Rather than use my creative skills to devise an ingenious excuse for why I am not posting the next installment of my "How To Write" blog, I'll just confess up front and admit that I didn't get to it this week.  My day job was unusually hectic.  Also, I took some time off for myself this weekend and spent all last night playing the "Zombies 4" board game with the Sheron clan (if it's any consolation, I kicked some major living dead butt and actually won for a change) and went to the Mall today for a much-needed clothes run.  But my slacking off is over, and I promise to post an awesome blog next week. 

And before anyone writes me to remind me of rule one, which is write every day, let me quote my mother:  "Do as I say, not as I do."


Angelica Hart and Zi

eBay has engendered itself into our workplace. As an overview, this phenomenon has taken our culture by Perfect Storm. There it is, so common, that governor Sarah Palin used it to sell a state owned jet. And its stock is considered by money people like Michael Nesmith as indicators as to the direction of our market. We have five computers, of which, one seems to be a virtual eBay satellite. As we have written previously, Zi buys! He finds beauty to behold in treasures that unfold on his screen.

Yes, Zi got a few more shirts, today, didn't need them. The day ended up being quite interesting. We'd be in the middle of discussing dialogue between characters, obviously he multi-tasking, and suddenly he'd yelp, "Gotcha!" He won what he thought was beauty. What's thought to be one man's discard is another man's treasure.

Margaret Hungerford wrote, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." She was an Irish noveli…

Talking Romance with Yvonne Eve Walus

What is Romance?
When it comes to books, what qualifies as a romance? All the usual medical, historical and romantic suspense aside, would you say that “Gone with the Wind” is a romance book? How about the Stephanie Plum series with the sexy Morelli and the even sexier Ranger? And am I the only one who thinks the literary “We need to talk about Kevin” Orange Prize winner is not a book about parenting as much as it is a love story between the narrator and her husband?
OK. Perhaps I’m exaggerating with the latter. Well, I don’t think so, but it’s all right if you do. My point is this: we are so used to alpha heroes and the search for Mr. Only, that we sometimes tend to overlook the romance in other places.
As a writer who’s been married for - ahem - significantly more than a decade, I’m perhaps a little biased when looking for romance outside of speed dating and all the singles’ bars. I believe that true romance can be found within an established long-term relationship.
You know, it’s easy…

Meet author Teel James Glenn

Where you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
I read anything I could get my hands on-learning to read from comic books then started on the Hardy Boys, the three investigators, Tom Swift, Tom Quest and finally the Doc Savage Series ( I loved the series characters). I also loved anything by Andre Norton and am still waiting for them to make her version of The Beastmaster!
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
Gaslight Occurrences: The Steampulp Adventures of Augustus Argent is a collection of connected stories about a Victorian investigator of the unusual who fights supernatural menaces that menace the English Empire. Think Sherlock Holmes meets Dr. Van Helsing J. His Watson is a swashbuckling Scotsman named Jack Stone who is a bit more physical than Sherlock’s good doctor.
The premise is that a document was created by sorcerers in the court of Elizabeth the first that prevented the island nation from being invad…

What To Write About

“Okay, I get it. If I write one page a day, in a year I’ll have a novel. My problem is I have no idea what to write about.”

You’re sitting on a mother lode of ideas. You just haven’t mined them yet.

A good story, no matter what the genre, is about conflict. It’s about developing your main character(s) so that the reader likes (and hopefully can relate) to them, and then placing obstacles in the way of them obtaining their goals. The story is not about the challenges. It’s about how the main character(s) confront these challenges by overcoming their weaknesses and expanding on their strengths. The story is not about the conclusion. It’s about the journey to that concluding page, and what the main character(s) learn about themselves on the way.

Think of how boring The Lord of the Rings would have been if Bilbo had decided to keep the ring for himself rather than give it to Frodo to return to Mount Doom. Or if Ralphie’s mother had acquiesced in the opening scene of A Christmas Story and…


By: Angelica Hart and Zi

A: (Yells) Listen to this quote by Pasternak.
Z: You mean Jake's teacher on Two and a Half Men? (In his best Charlie Harper voice) Yes, Miss Pasternak.
A: Nooooo. The author from the turn of the century. Gaaaaaa! Pasternak wrote, "Fear has the largest eyes of all."
Z: Larger than Godzilla's? (Lost afloat his own petard) What's the difference between a sewing machine and a female jogger? (He has that little boy perpetual grinning face)
A: I'm researching fear and you are researching cornball humor? (Hurls a crumpled paper ball at him)
Z: Come on, what's the difference. (Smiles the herd-of-cows-stampeding smile) Give? Give? Give?
A sewing machine has only one, I said it, one bobbin. Get it?
A: Wha.... ohhhh... (Shudders) We are working here. I know we both agree that the basest of all things is fear. We use it all the time.
Z: I feared being a young man and an old man.
A: (Gives him a cocked head look)
Z: As a young ma…

Talking with Author Elle Amour/Lise Fuller

Military Couples & Cybersex
A few weeks ago, I hosted a party on my publisher’s yahoo loop. On it, I had one of the gals interview my husband about military couples and cybersex. Now, as a military wife whose husband has been deployed, I have to say, times can get pretty lean, sexually speaking.
Thank God for the internet. Years ago, we didn’t have that luxury. Mail got crossed and a letter you’d written just a few days ago would be delivered the next week, yet one you wrote a few weeks ago, could be delivered three weeks after the second. This is particularly amusing (that’s the only word I can use in good company) when you are sending updates of family life or whatever. However, another difficulty is trying to be sexy for your man thousands of miles away.
For those of us in that situation, the internet in all its corrupted glory, has been a God-send. I mean, not only can you send emails, but on occasion, you can actually instant message each other. And, not to go into any detail, …

Eye Candy Tuesday

It's Eye Candy day and to brighten up your day, check out these hot fire fighters. Can you say YUM!? I would love to have them put out any fire(s) I may have. *grins*


Happy Easter to you

I wanted to wish all of my friends online a wonderful Easter holiday. May you have lots of chocolate, food and more with your family and friends.

How To Write Well

“So all I have to do is write a page a day and in a year I’ll have a novel good enough to be published?”

Not necessarily. You’ll have a novel. Whether it’s good enough to be published is another matter.

Remember, writing is an art, much like figure skating, singing, acting, or painting. You have to practice at your craft to become good at it.

I used to write espionage/techno thrillers. I don’t even admit to the first book because, in retrospect, it was crap. The second book was better, but still not quite publishable. By the third book I had found my style. It dealt with North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons and blackmailing four U.S. cities. I quickly picked up an agent who presented it to several publishers, all of whom liked the book. Unfortunately, this was right after 11 September, and the market for those books had dried up. So I switched genres.

So go out and write, and submit you work. Don’t get depressed if it gets rejected – that’s the nature of the game. And if an editor se…

Getting to Know Author Donna Hatch

Tell us about your most recent book. What’s it about? When does/did it release? Queen in Exile was released on April 1, 2010. I’m choosing to ignore the implications of it coming out on April Fool’s Day! The only surviving member of her family, a princess must place her life and the fate of her kingdom into the hands of a trained killer. But accepting both her destiny and her own dark powers will mean choosing between her people, and the man she loves.

How long have you been writing in general? How long have you been writing romance?

Casually writing? Always. Seriously writing to get published? About the last five years. I’ve always been drawn to romance, not only because there’s a guaranteed happily ever after (a must in fiction!) but I love to vicariously experience the euphoria of falling in love.
Do you write anything other than romance? Under this name or a different one? Nope. I write both historical Regency and fantasy, but both have strong romantic elements.

Tell us something ab…