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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gratuitous Cat Photos


No serious posts today. Instead I’m sharing gratuitous cat photos. Here are my furry babies enjoying Christmas morning with their new toys…



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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!



Happy Holidays to All!


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Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Star is Born


Yesterday I was at Beth Wilde's Yahoo Group along with Gabrielle Bisset, Natasha Blackthorne, and Karen Mercury. We were chatting, posting excerpts and giving away books. Thank you to everyone who participated and asked about my health. I'm taking my meds and feeling a little better today, not coughing as much. 


I ducked out early last night to see my youngest grandson in his debut as a shepherd in his very first Christmas pageant. It was sweet and I do believe a star was born. As promised here are a few pictures.


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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

* It's a Party *




Tomorrow, Wednesday December 21, is the date.

The place is Beth Wilde’s Yahoo Group.

I’ll be there along with Gabrielle Bisset, Natasha Blackthorne, and Karen Mercury.

Between 9 am and midnight (EST) we’ll be chatting, posting excerpts and giving away books, so be sure to stop by often.

Hope to see you there!


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Monday, December 19, 2011

Calisa Rhose: HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS


I'm thrilled to welcome my good friend and  fellow Rose, Calisa Rhose, whose first book, Home, will be released on Decmeber 28th. I've been lucky enough to share a small part of Calisa's journey to publication and I couldn't be more excited. Calisa has written a wonderful story about... Well, I'll let her tell you all about it. Here's Calisa.

I’m so excited to be on Gale’s blog as part of my tour for my debut release, HOME from The Wild Rose Press! Thank you for having me, Gale. I never would have imagined that I’d be promoting my book when I met you a year ago. Or at least, not this book. J My wolves, maybe. An Historical? Well let’s just say I’m beyond words so let me share my book of love and hope with you in the best way I know how.


BLURB:

What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?

Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?

Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?

Excerpt:

“I’ll always want you, Poppy.”

Her head shook in automatic denial. “You’ll want a girl who fits your life. Not some gypsy with no family lineage to brag about. Your momma won’t accept that, either. She’ll make you choose someone like Connie, someone who fits into your world. Not the girl everyone avoids and whispers about behind her back. You’re gonna be the town’s doctor. You need an uppity wife who will make you proud.”

When Sam laughed, his chest shuddered against her back. Deep, husky, real. He turned her in his arms and looked down at her, smiling. “Poppy, do you honestly think I give a damn what people think? Look at me! I’m the town outcast, the survivor who should have died saving the others, not be here planning a future that includes a wife, a medical practice. “I shimmy under park benches, run from my mother’s lipstick, for God’s sake. I wake up screaming and crying over nothing in the middle of the night, crawl under my bed and hide, shaking,

until morning. Hell, I can’t even be a doctor because I haven’t finished school yet.”

“I didn’t know. It must be awful for you.” No matter how it hurt Poppy to know he used her, it felt much worse to know how he hurt alone. “The only time it isn’t awful is when I’m with you. When I think of you.”

Get your copy of HOME on Wednesday, December 28th at The Wild Rose

On twitter @Calisa_Rhose

and Facebook @Calisa Rhose
She loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at calisa.rhose@gmail.com

Thanks again, Gale. It’s been fun!



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Friday, December 16, 2011

Wayne’s Dead


Between edits I picked up a book I’ve had on my to be read pile for a long time. Wayne’s Dead by Christy Tillery French is a dark psychological thriller. The pace is quick and I finished it in one sitting. I had a bit of trouble believing that a smart cop couldn’t figure out who the bad guy was. I picked up on it immediately. Still, it’s a gripping read if you don’t mind some blood and gore.
Amazon Synopsis

Jackson Daniels, investigative detective with the Knoxville Police Department, is called to the scene of a murder at a ritzy hotel in Knoxville. A dead man lies on the bed, above his mutilated body the words, Wayne's Dead, have been written. Jackson and his team of detectives ascertain fairly quickly that they are faced with a brutal serial killer who has been on the loose in the Southeast for the past twelve years. Choosing married, middle-aged attorneys as prey, the killer seduces them, murders them, and then mutilates the body afterwards, leaving the same message on the wall above the victims. Frustrated over the lack of evidence found at each scene, Jackson and his team frantically search for their perpetrator, never suspecting that the person they are trying to find has been with them from the start.

Available at Amazon:





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Monday, December 12, 2011

Trying To Keep My Head On My Shoulders


Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed by the holidays?
No matter how diligently I plan ahead, something unexpected always throws a monkey wrench into the mix. This year I got a double whammy. A lingering sinus infection has me feeling like a limp noodle. On top of that, I found a massive amount of edits in my inbox – and they’re due the end of the month!

I look forward to the excitement of the holidays, but they’re a stressor for sure. Shopping online and having a supportive partner is a big help. Tell me, how do you stay balanced through the hectic holiday season?


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Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Minette Meader - Creating Bad Guys



Welcome Minette Meador, author of the Belle Stalker. She's here today as part of her blog tour and she's sharing an inside look at how she creates a villain. There's also an excerpt from her new book and some great prizes.

Giveaway #1 Minette will be giving away a small Kindle worth $79, plus a Portland Tote filled with goodies to one randomly drawn commenter. Follow her tour for more chances to win. The tour dates are here:

goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/10/virtual-book-tour-belle-stalker.html

Giveaway #2 TODAY’S PRIZE: Recipe Box filled with Minnette’s favorite dishes..

Giveaway #3 And any reader who sends their name and address to Minnette will be sent a stack of signed swag. Just drop her a note at:

 mmeador@minnettemeador.com

THE BELLE STALKER
An Urban Fantasy Thriller
by Minnette Meador

The police have done all they can, but it isn’t enough. When Belle finds the mutilated body of her lover strewn across the furniture she knows only her ex-husband, Homicide Detective Mike Cranston can stop the maniac who has been dogging her steps for over a year. The only problem is the man who stalks her...is not a man at all. Belle plays a dangerous game and only hopes that Cranston can stop the monster before it’s too late.



ANATOMY OF A BAD GUY

He nodded once and took Belle by the throat, lifting her off her feet.
Remmick’s darkened teeth showed behind his lips as Tequelin applied pressure, and Belle began to fight. Tequelin could feel the dwarf lean toward them in his excitement. It was all he needed.

Tequelin released Belle and caught the dwarf in the chest with a kick. He went flying back into the others, and the sword sailed into the air. Tequelin turned and caught it as it finished its arch. His long fingers wrapped around the hilt. The sword flickered in the sparse light of the cavern.
A wave of scintillation traveled from the hilt to his hand, into his arm, and a sunburst exploded inside his head. His senses sharpened acutely, and his heart pushed vitality though his veins. Invincibility crowded out every other awareness. It had been more than a year since they had taken it from him, but his body remembered. Prehistoric spells filled his mind. Memories crashed through him in an avalanche. He threw his head back, slowly widened his mouth as far as it would stretch and shouted at the high roof of the cavern.

When he lowered his chin, the dwarves were scattering, but they seemed slow to his revitalized awareness. He swept Belle back against the wall and lifted the sword.
An image of dead dwarves piled high on the dais filled his thoughts. For the first time in centuries, Tequelin laughed.

The Belle Stalker – Chapter Thirty-Two
The Belle Stalker is available at:

AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
All Romance eBooks



TODAY’S PRIZE: Recipe Box filled with Minnette’s favorite dishes.

Don’t forget: If you send your name and address to Minnette, she will send you a stack of signed swag. Just drop her a note at: mmeador@minnettemeador.com

And Now Here's Minette...
Yesterday, over at Paranormal Romantic Suspense Reviews we talked about bad guys. Today, I’d like to share with you the characteristics of a bad guy and what my process is for creating them. I’ve taken out any spoiler info, but I thought you might find it interesting to see how a writer uses a character sheet.

CHARACTER CHART

Date this chart was completed: 12/15/09

Character's Full Name: Tequelin

Reason or meaning of name: na

Birth date: 10,000 years ago

Astrological Sign: Does not have a sign

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE:

Very slim, but muscular, elongated face, large hands

Age: How old does s/he appear? 40

Eye Color: Glasses or contacts: Bright blue Eyes, No glasses

Type of body/build: Tall and muscular

Weight: 185#

Height: 6’6”

Skin Tone: Olive

Skin Type: Smooth & Flawless
Shape of face: Long Oval

Distinguishing Marks: Faint scars

Predominant feature: Eyes

Hair color: White

Distinguishable hair feature (bald, receding hairline, etc.): Completely straight and very thick

Type of hair (coarse, fine, thick, etc?) Thick

Character's typical hairstyle: Parted in the middle, tied at the back most times

FAVORITES:

Character's favorite color: An old worlds color that has no English translation

Character's least favorite color: Pink

Why? It reminds him of humans

Favorite Music: Singing

Least favorite Music: Human Pop

Why? Reminds him of humans

Food: Fruits, vegetables, nuts

Literature: Voracious reader of everything human - Wants to get to know them

Mode of transportation: Limousine

Daredevil or cautious? Cautious

Same when alone? Yes

HABITS:

Smokes: What? No

When and how much? Never

Drinks: What? Water only imported from Anglesey, an island off of the Welsh coast

When and how much?  Normal amount

Hobbies: Accomplished with the lute and the pipes - Though diminished from earlier times, still practices some white magic from time to time to sooth his nerves

How does character spend a rainy day? Often stands in the rain with his face up - Part of the reason he chose Portland to begin with, because of the similarities of climate with Anglesey

BACKGROUND:

Hometown: Eloriana

Type of childhood: spoiled, pampered, very well educated, allowed to do pretty much whatever he wanted unless his parents intervened - Overall kind to his peers, but cruel to servants

First memory:  His mother's face

Most important childhood event that still affects him/her: Almost losing their kingdom to the barbarian elves when he was six. His sister was killed that day.

Why? He was never mentally the same after that

Education: Dark and white arts - Heavily educated in the other human world by choice - was fascinated by them - It was on an excursion to 60 AD to the isle of Mona (now called Anglesey) that he was caught by surprise when the Romans attacked and wiped out the druids

Religion: Ancestral worship

Finances: 2000 years of accumulated wealth in various ventures and investments. He is quite wealthy.

FAMILY: Father and Mother, twenty siblings

Mother: Queen of Eloriana

Relationship with her: He loved her very much

Father: King of Eloriana, strained

Siblings: 14 brothers and 6 sisters

How many? 20

Birth order: He is the oldest

OCCUPATION

Where does Character work? Independently wealthy

Character's dream job: King

ATTITUDE:

Character's greatest fear:  Never being able to return home

Why?  He hates living among the humans

What is the worst thing that could happen to him/her? Being trapped in this world forever

What single event would most throw character's life in complete turmoil? If he fell in love with a human

Why? It would mean his continued damnation here

Character is most at ease when: Alone

Most ill at ease when: Around humans Depressive or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)? Yes - Also, paranoid-schizophrenic disorder, sociopath, megalomania

Priorities: Escaping the human world and destroying the human as he leaves

Philosophy: There is only one superior race

How s/he feels about self: Feels he's superior to everyone

If granted one wish, what would it be? Why? To get back home

PERSONALITY:

Greatest source of strength in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not): Dedication to his goals

Greatest source of weakness in character's personality (whether s/he sees it as such or not: He's a sociopath

Character's soft spot: Belle

Is this soft spot obvious to others? No

If not, how does character hide it? Denies it to self and others

Biggest vulnerability: Belle

Which of the 7 deadly sins does your character fight (or give into, willingly or not)?(lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride) Fights: lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, pride - Gives into (usually unwillingly): wrath

Which of the 7 virtues does your character have (or fight against)?

(chastity, abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience, kindness, humility) Gives into: Abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience - Fights: kindness and humility (considers them weaknesses)

TRAITS:

Optimist or pessimist: Why? Pessimist - He can be very cynical about others, but optimistic  about himself

Introvert or extrovert: Why? Introvert – stranger in a strange land

Drives and motivations: Getting closer to his goal of returning home

Talents: Skilled with both black and white arts, but dwindling, genius per human standards, natural leader

Extremely skilled at: Martial arts, weapons (except guns, which he abhors), recruitment and maintaining an army

Extremely unskilled at: Dealing with mundane day to day activities, petty foibles in others

Good characteristics: Dedicated to his goal, fair to his troops (for the most part)

Character flaws: Cruel to his underlings, sociopath, wants to destroy human kind

Mannerisms: Hands on his hips, scowls most of the time, very controlled in his manner, stiff

Peculiarities: Enjoys torture

Biggest regret: Being trapped on earth

Minor regrets: That he is weak when it comes to Belle

Biggest accomplishment: Rebuilding the underground city beneath Portland

Minor accomplishments: Able to control his rage most times

Character's darkest secret: That he desires the human woman almost more than he desires his home

Does anyone else know? No

If no, how did they find out? Belle finds out during the story

SELF-PERCEPTION:

One word CHARACTER would use to describe self: Superior

One paragraph description of how CHARACTER would describe self: Intelligent, talented, entitled, he feels the world should pay for his imprisonment and all the wrongs that have been heaped upon him

What does CHARACTER consider best physical characteristic? His hands

What does CHARACTER consider worst physical characteristic? His ears - they are difficult to conceal

Are these realistic assessments? No

If not, why not? This eyes are the most compelling part of his body - His ears are beautiful

How CHARACTER thinks others perceive him/her:  They fear him as they should

What four things would CHARACTER most like to change about self? (#1 most

important, #2 second most important, etc.)

1.       That he were stronger where it comes to Belle

2.       That he was weak when he agreed to take on the company to help him with his plans

3.       That his magic was so weak

4.       Inability to rest

Why? He would be running things much differently

If change #1 was made, would character be as happy as s/he thinks? No

If not, why not? He will never be happy because of his condition

INTERRELATION WITH OTHERS:

How does character relate to others? His servants fear and hate him, his troops respect, but fear him

How is s/he perceived by...

Strangers? Mysterious, angry

Friends? Has no friends

Hero: Perceives him as a psychopath
Heroine: Fears his power over her and her attraction to him

How does character view hero/heroine? Loves Belle, wants to kill Cranston

First impression: Wants to possess her

Why? He doesn't know why and it drives him mad

What happens to change this perception? Her hatred towards him

GOALS:

Immediate goals: To get Belle and force her to tell him where the gem is and to take her as his own

Long-range goals: Take them both to England to open the gates to the other realm

PROBLEMS/CRISIS:

How character reacts in a crisis: The warrior inside him comes to life - Is extremely good in a crisis

How character faces problems: Petty problems he delegates to others - Major problems he handles himself

Kinds of problems character usually runs into: Small mutinies among his soldiers (he publically executes traitors himself in front of his assembled armies when he can), the police and particularly Cranston interfering or destroying his plans

How character reacts to NEW problems: Formulates a plan quickly based off his experience

How character reacts to change: Gets angry and usually takes out his frustration on an underling then takes care of it

GENERAL:

Favorite clothing: His royal robes

Why? Makes him feel at home

Least favorite clothing: Human clothes - They make him feel soiled somehow

Jewelry: The royal ring on his middle right finger, jeweled sword belt when in his robes, golden armband with his family crest

Other accessories: Sword, short blade, and crystal knife

Drives: No - Walks or is chauffeured

Where does character live? In a mansion in downtown Portland

Where does character want to live? Eloriana

Spending habits (frugal, spendthrift, etc): Very frugal, except on his home & services

What does s/he do too much of? Planning - Would rather take action - Watching Belle when he should be working

Too little of? Getting to know his soldiers

Most prized possession: His sword Why? It gives him power

UNCATEGORIZED:

Person character secretly admires: Cranston

Why? The human has amazing abilities and luck

Person character was most influenced by: Himself

Why? He takes no other's advice or counsel

Most important person in character's life before story starts: Belle

Why? He needs the gem she carries and secretly loves her

How does character spend the week before the story starts? Laying the last plans with the Company and stalking Belle – killing a rival

After I fill out one of these sheets, I then do a backstory for the character. If you’d like to see the backstory for Tequelin I’m afraid you’ll have to wait and read the book. It would spoil the plot otherwise.

So, just for fun, walk yourself through this character survey. What kind of character would you be? Would you be the good guy or the bad guy? Use your imagination and come up with a character on your own and tell us about him/her. Have fun! Minnette :o)


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