Monday, May 31, 2010

Postcards from Paradise

I'm fortunate to be at the beach so I didn't even bother to set any goals. I figured I would fit everything around beach time and happy hours. You can guess how that's going.

We found a new place aptly named Catch 54 since it's on Route 54 in Fenwick, Delaware. It was previously the Shark's Cove Restaurant. The waterfront views are fantastic and if all the food is as good as the happy hour menu, they will do very well. We had sweet potato fries, steamed shrimp, lobster roll sliders, and hog wings. The wings were really pork ribs and they were yummy!

I have to mention Nick's Original House of Ribs at 14410 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City MD. They have the best ribs we've ever eaten, fall off the bone tender. We never miss a visit there whenever we come down.
I think we're expecting some rain here so I'll get back to work when the weather turns. For now here's:

10 Things I Love About Being at the Beach

Getting up in the morning and walking along the ocean.
Looking for seashells
Walking OC's 3 mile boardwalk and getting Thrashers Fries
Watching the dolphin show from my balcony
Watching the sunrise over the ocean
Laying on the sand with a good book
Sitting on a low beach chair at the water's edge letting the surf roll over my feet
Flying a kite
Going on a boat ride
Shopping at the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth beach

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

CALL OF THE WILDS is released today!

This morning I got an email from Siren Publishing wishing me a happy release day. It set my feet dancing and I almost spilled my coffee. I'm thrilled to say my book CALL OF THE WILDS is now officially available from Siren Publishing.

I hope you'll help me celebrate the release by entering my contest. You can win an electronic copy in the format of your choice – doc, epub, html, lit, pdf or prc. And the howling wolf pendant pictured below.
It's very easy to enter. Just become a follower of my blog. My sidebar on the right has a block that says followers. Just click on the button with the Google symbol and the word Follow. If you're already a follower than you're already entered. One month from today - June 27 - I'll pick a lucky winner from among my followers. Check back here to find out if it's you and send me an email letting me know where to send the prize.

Good Luck!

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Help! Kindle or Nook?

Kindle or Nook? For a very long time, I've been on the fence but today I'm thinking it's time to jump off. Here I am packing for the beach and I have at least 8 books to bring with me. This will increase by the time I leave and they're pretty heavy. I find myself getting more and more ebooks to review as opposed to print, so they're coming with me too. My own ebook, Call of the Wilds, is coming out this week and I like to support my fellow writers and buy their books. Right now, I'm reading all my electronic books on my laptop and it's not all that convenient.

Kindle and Nook are close in price, about $250.00. This is a big investment and I don't want to make a mistake and buy something I won't be happy with. So I'm doing a little research. A few differences jump out at me. The Nook has a touchscreen, the Kindle has a keyboard, giving the Nook a bigger reading area. The Nook has memory expansion, the Kindle doesn't. With the Nook, you can check out books in B&N before you buy.

Still, I'm leaning toward the Kindle. I just downloaded a free Kindle app and 2 free sample books for my pc and the download worked seamlessly. I buy most of my books (and everything else) on Amazon. And I read somewhere that Stephen King has a Kindle. If it's good enough for him...

What do you think? Am I on the right track? Does anyone have an ereader they're happy or not happy with?

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why I'm Afraid of Book Signings

This is hysterical. Someone on one of my loops sent the link to this and I thought it was too cute not to pass on. So here it is. It makes me even less anxious to ever want to do a book signing. The thought actually makes me ill.

Has anyone had a good experience?

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Friday, May 21, 2010

The Object Of My Desire

I'm not a person who buys a lot of tech gadgets or appliances but when I was in New Jersey watching the grandkids, I fell in love with a coffee maker. Call me crazy but maybe those of you who are addicted to coffee will understand. The item in question was the Keurig B60, a single-cup brewer. I used it every day – no muss, no fuss.

What did I like best about the Keurig? Everything. It was ridiculously easy to use. No filters, no grinds and no waste. No more dumping a half pot of coffee every morning. Is there anything worse than coffee that's been sitting around for awhile. Yech! I had a fresh cup every time. There were so many varieties of coffee and tea to try and I even used it to heat water. Did I mention how fast it was? 30 seconds for a cup.

I wanted my own but these things are not cheap. So I decided to use it as motivation to get my manuscript finished and submitted. It worked. I slaved over the darn thing until this morning and finally sent it off. I changed the title to Mating Call. It seems to fit better. Hope they like it.

The prize was for submitting so off I went to Target to purchase my reward. They had one left. I don't know what I would have done if they were out. Probably pitched a fit in the middle of the store. It came with a variety of K-cups and of course, I had to try it. Yum!

My husband laughed at me and asked if I was leaving him. Huh? He reminded me of the episode on Boston Legal when a lawyer's girlfriend left him for an iPhone. She had objectophilia. Okay, time to stop talking about the Keurig.

Seriously, haven't you ever obsessed over a material item?

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Out of the Loop

From the 13th to the 18th, I was out of the loop and for the best possible reason. I was taking care of my granddaughters while my daughter and SIL were in the Bahamas. We stayed up late and probably had too many snacks – but hey, that's what grandparents do. We also got to see Furry Vengeance with Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields. It's about a real estate developer who wants to cut down a forest and build houses. The homicidal animals turn the tables on him and well you know who's going to win this one. The girls loved it and if you leave your adult brain at the door so will you.

Hubby and I stayed in NJ and I brought my laptop with me. But the only use it got was playing Farmville and Club Penguin. So now that I'm home and back in the thick of it, I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed. My mailboxes are overflowing - Yahoo groups, workshops, email... It's mindboggling to think what I'd come back to if I'd taken a longer recess. Should I go through everything for hit the delete button and start fresh?

So I'm wondering – have you ever taken a break and felt out of the loop when you got back?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Plotting Along a Curve with The Weekend Novelist

Yesterday I got back to business and revisited The Weekend Novelist. Up till now we've been working with the straight line plot and it's been driving me bonkers. Week ends 3- 4, Pages 12 to 23 deal with Plotting Along the Curve.

This is a line that curls around to meet itself. The plot starts and ends in the same place. If your knight leaves the castle to search for the enchanted sword, he returns to the castle at the climax. Joseph Campbell calls this the Heroic Cycle. It has three phases – Departure, Initiation, and Return.

The chapter goes on to say that if the Hero Cycle isn't working for you, you can try the Mythic Journey, which has five stations: Cage, Escape, Quest, Dragon Confrontation, and Home. Now we're talking. I think this will work for me. I drew my circle, sketched in a rough plot and it felt comfortable. Now I'm going to do the exercises – six start lines that function as a warm-up. ten minutes for each.

This is a story about a character who....
The cage for my protagonist tastes like....
My protagonist escapes the cage when....
On her Road of Trial, the protagonist must....
To defeat the Dragon, mu protagonist must....
My protagonist reaches home when....

I'm not too sure about the second one. If anybody knows what a cage tastes like I'd love to hear it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Call of the Wilds - Release Date Announced!

The Weekend Novelist did not get any attention this weekend. I did get to spend time with the kids and grandkids and I received some very exciting news from my publisher.

My manuscript came back for final approval and - insert drum roll please - Siren will release CALL OF THE WILDS on May 27 in electronic format, the print version will follow.

It's a shape-shifter story, the first of a series set in the Pennsylvania Wilds. I'll let you know when the excerpts are posted on their site.

So I'm going to cheat and read The Weekend Novelist during the week. More on that to follow.

Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tagged & Blogging Twice in One Day!

Hey, I’ve been TAGGED! My friend Stacey Espino was nice enough to tag me and so I will torture five more people.
So here's the deal. There are 5 questions and you must answer each question 5 times and then TAG 5 people to play. Here's my answers.

Question 1: Where were you 5 years ago?
• I was a civil servant trapped in a cube and going crazy.
• Trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I retired.
• Writing book reviews and my very first short stories.
• Buying a beach condo that I'm now trying to sell.
• Driving a very old car and hoping it wouldn't break down.

Question 2: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?
• Well of course I would love to be a NYT Best Selling Author.
• Traveling all over the world.
• Hopefully the condo will be sold.
• Babysitting a few more grandchildren.
• Twenty pounds lighter - maybe thirty.

Question 3: What is (was) your to-do list today?
• Polishing up a first draft.
• Finally figuring out this straight-line plotting thing.
• Going out for a walk, it's too damn nice to spend the whole day in front of the computer.
• Catching up with email
• Reading one of the 500 books on my TBR list.

Question 4: What 5 snacks do you enjoy?
• Potato Chips – very salty.
• Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream.
• Chocolate covered peanuts.
• Hershey kisses
• Pistachios – Now you know why I need to lose 20 pounds.

Question 5: What 5 things would you do if you were a billionaire?
• Pay off the mortgages
• Travel
• Get a chauffer – preferably one who looks like Clive Owen
• Set up trust funds for the kids
• Replace everything so I could live for another 50 years.

Okay guys I'm tagging you - Sorry!

Tagged Riley Quinn
Tagged Rachel Lynne
Tagged Delilah Devlin
Tagged Maeve Greyson
Tagged Denise Golinowski

Blog or Website? Or Both?

For a long time I've been wanting to get rid of the old Verizon website. I have 2 blogs, this one and Notes From Camp Swampy where I post book reviews. That seemed like more than enough exposure to create a presence on the web. But then there was the whole domain thing. I went with Yahoo because I've used their email forever and I belong to so many Yahoo groups. It was a simple matter to get a domain and link the email address with my old one. They offered me the option of web hosting and I decided to try it. I've been playing around with a site and I finally put something together and published it. is now online.

Do I really need it? The only reason I can come up with is consistency. While a blog is newsy and frequently puts out fresh content, a website is more static and provides a place to showcase your work. What do you think? Is it really necessary to have both.?

Monday, May 3, 2010

TWN Weekend Update

Whew! I just got the last of my reviews sent off to RT magazine for the July issue. I'd rather have been frolicking with them at the convention in Columbus, Ohio, but it was not to be. There's just too much piled on my plate.

The revisions for Mating Season are coming along. I'm working on chapter nine now. Book three in the Black Wolf Gorge series is on the burner. No title yet, but I set up a progress meter to keep myself motivated.

And, I had a breakthrough with my straight line plot for the Weekend Novelist. All week I've been kicking myself because I couldn't think of a decent plot to save my soul. Saturday night I went to bed thinking story lines instead of counting sheep. When I woke up Sunday morning, my character greeted me with her back history, and suddenly I knew where I was going with this. It's like – what comes first, the chicken or the egg? The plot or the characters? With me it's gotta be the characters. It's an extraordinary feeling when an idea breaks through. I'm psyched.

I also jumped into a Roses Short Story Challenge and I'm going to try and tie it in with TWN. If it doesn't go anywhere maybe I can use it for a chapter.

Oh, and I joined Passionate Ink and signed up for WRITING EROTIC ROMANCE with Angela Knight.

I even got to spend some time with the grandkids too. Friday night we saw the oldest off to her prom and Sunday we watched slugger in a T-ball game. I gotta share a few pics. Enjoy!

How was your weekend?