RSS Feed

Tag Archives: books

Summer Romance

In my book, More Than This, my heroine, Quinn has a list of small adventures to complete over the summer. She wants to get pregnant in the fall, and this is like her bucket list before having a baby.

The one item that gives her the most grief is Have a Summer Romance. I found this video, which is a How to…

Quinn has so many problems with a summer romance because she’s not good at following these rules, especially when it comes to the hero Ryan, who informs her that relationships aren’t supposed to have an expiration date.

Have you ever had a summer romance? Did you follow the rules?

Advertisements

Friday Favorites 6/15

Sorry for the lack of a good title for today’s post. My brain just isn’t into titles right now. Here are your links for great reading this week:

Book stuff:

Over at The Naked Hero, Amy Andrews touches on a hot button issue. Is it ever okay for a hero to cheat? Is it a redeemable action? For a long time, I would’ve said no, it’s completely unacceptable. And really for a romance hero, I think it should be unacceptable. BUT… this is something that happens in real life and real life couples sometimes do get past it. That makes me think that depending on the circumstances and how it’s handled in the book, it might be possible. My gut still says, though, that books are escapism and I don’t want too much reality there.

Dana Kaye, publicist, has a great flow chart of how a book is born. You can probably spent 10 minutes just following different paths. 🙂

Kat Latham posted a test to see how fast you read. I came in at 376 words a minute, which means I could read War and Peace in about 26 hours (not that I’d want to). I’m faster than 50% of people. I guess being an English major finally paid off.

Although not directly related to books, since I write romance and think about relationships for my characters, I’m adding a post by Emma Burcart here. Emma talks about choosing safe guys. You know the ones — you know exactly what to expect from them. They exist for a good time, no commitment, no permanence. Emma writes from her own experience in relationships, but for me, this is great fodder for character development. In fact, in the book I’m revising right now, the heroine always chooses guys who aren’t serious because serious scares her.

Fun Stuff:

Myndi Shafer has a fabulous list of things she is pretty sure she knows. I personally love #4. It’s a common belief in my house.

(4)  If momma ain’t happy, ain’t no-one happy.

One thing that I’m pretty sure I know is that a good book can often erase a bad day.

Over on Pink Chocolate Break this week, we have some quotes about love.

And finally, Tiffany White has a post about great summer TV. She manages to cover more shows than I did in my post because she talks about shows I haven’t watched.

What is one thing that you’re pretty sure you know?

Diamond Jubilee

Hi all — I’m posting on a non-regular day because I’m participating in Romance at Random’s Jubilee blog hop. There are tons (okay, 26) of prizes, so hop around to gather your entries. The Diamond Jubilee marks the 60 anniversary of the Queen of England’s reign. The blog hop is to celebrate the release of Ruthis Knox’s new book ABOUT LAST NIGHT. I’ve been waiting for Ruthie’s next book since I read her debut months ago. I’m really looking forward to this book. Click on the photo to register to win one of the great prizes. (10 people will be winning Ruthie’s book, which doesn’t come out until next month). You can also hop to other blogs to increase your chances of winning.

The hero of About Last Night is Nev.  He feels trapped and miserable in his family’s banking empire located in downtown London, England. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist struggling to break free. Albeit, his bohemian-self is trying to emerge, Nev is respectful of his roots and tradition & we want to help him celebrate his queen.

Friday Favorites – Love, Laughter and Writing

I found so many great blog posts this week via Twitter, I don’t know how I found time to write. I found myself laughing a good deal this week, which was much needed since I chaperoned two separate field trips on back-to-back days.

Love–

Moriah Densley has a post on the modern gentleman. I’ve never thought much about it, but there is something to be said for a man who acts with manners. Some of the things she mentions, I don’t take notice of, but the sight of a big, strong man holding a baby? Totally hot.

Over on 400 days ’til 40, there’s an awesome post on love vs. lust. Part of what I love about being a romance author is the rush of new love. By the end of the story, readers have to believe that the characters will survive together beyond the newness of lust. The post points out that it’s in times of hardship that a relationship is tested. Excellent points.

Writing–

Kat Latham has an interview with one of my favorite authors, Louisa Edwards. I love Louisa’s books. I haven’t yet read her current book because when I met Louisa at RT last month, she said it was a cry book. Although I really want to read it, I need to be in the mood for crying.

Merry Farmer has a post on how difficult it is to come up with a good title. As much as we’re all told not to judge a book by its cover, the title is our first impression of a book. I, too, suck at titles. When I’m working on a WIP, the file is saved under the heroine’s name. The book that Kensington will be publishing later this year went through 3 titles with me, and then my editor said it would change again. I was totally okay with that because as I said, I suck at titles. We finally did come up with a new title. I’m excited to say my debut release will be called MORE THAN THIS.

400 days ’til 40 also had a post this week on ebooks. I’m a pretty new convert to ebooks. I bought a Kindle last summer and began reading ebooks because I saw a huge market there and so many books sounded interesting and I wanted to read them. Now, of course, being an ebook author, I’m even more invested.

Jenny Hansen had Margie Lawson do another guest post, this time on using humor in your writing. Really, you can’t go wrong with a post on Margie. Every time I take a class with her, or read a post, I learn something new.

Laughter –

On feeling old. Over on Buzzfeed, there’s a list of 48 things that will make you feel old. Admittedly, most of the items did make me feel old.

Then, on Limecello’s blog, Carolyn Crane wrote about pop culture references and why so many of them won’t work. (They’re too old)

And finally, this brief article about Will Smith’s visit to the White House, made me smile. Will’s son Jaden really wanted to ask Obama about the existence of aliens. Will told him absolutely not. Jaden’s response? How much trouble will I get in for asking? That’s the kind of response I’d get from my kids. They’re all about weighing weather the crime is worth the punishment.

Do you read ebooks? Or do you still only hold paper? What would make you switch?

Friday Favorites – Romance, Love and Storytelling

I think I lost more than a few hours reading blog posts this week because I came across so many good things to read. It was hard to choose what to include, but I hope you enjoy my selections:

Emma Burcart has two posts about finding Mr. Right. First, she talks about how sometimes the chemistry just isn’t there and no matter what you do, he just isn’t the one. Then she writes about the mistake so many women make when they meet a man. They see him as a project that they can fix or change. The funny thing is, as Emma points out, if a man looked at us and said, I’d really be into you if you…fill-in-the-blank, we’d be pissed.

Tiffany White talked about Lost Girl this week. This show is relatively new to the U.S. I started watching it when it premiered earlier this year (thanks to another of Tiffany’s posts). I love this show. It’s about paranormal creatures living among people. The thing I like about it is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. There is no end of the world gloom hanging over it. Bo is a succubus who spent most of her life not knowing what she was or how to control her powers. Kenzie is her human sidekick, and she gets some of the best lines. Definitely worth a peek 🙂

I have two posts that talk about ebook pricing and the value we place on our work. This is a conversation that is running all over because of things like Agency pricing and the 99 cent ebook. It’s something that’s important to me personally because not only am I an avid reader who spends a lot of money on books, but my debut will be released as an ebook. I think we all love a good bargain, but many times, I’ve looked at 99 cent books and although they were worth the money, they weren’t worth my time. I’m more likely to spend a little more on trusted authors or based on a recommendation. Chuck Wendig talks about ebook pricing. And then Jenny Hansen talks about the value of a story.

Kat Latham has a post about why an agent has to love your novel before they can sell it. I’ve talked about this before when I talked about getting an offer for my book. A lot of people have a list of “dream agents” that would like to work with. I can understand that, but really, I think the most important thing is to have an agent who loves your work. Although it’s a business partnership and you may become friends with your agent, you will have someone who is willing to fight for you if he or she really cares about your book.

I met Tonya Kerrigan at the Chicago Spring Fling conference last week. She has done a fabulous write up for a lot of the workshops she attended. She obviously took much better notes that I did. Here’s her post about why a story isn’t selling. Poke around her blog and you can easily find a ton of other information.

Speaking of conferences, I mentioned in my Spring Fling recap that for me, the conference was more about being around like-minded people that anything else. Janet at muffintopmommy, went to an Erma Bombeck conference and walked away understanding a lot more about herself. She’s really funny and although it’s a long post, as a writer, you’ll get it.

Finally, Stephanie Ben wrote about why romance and erotic romance is more than porn. With 50 Shades of Gray getting the attention is has, I think a lot more people will be coming to read romance and erotic romance, which is good. The thing that bugs me is that everywhere you look across the media, you see “mommy porn.” That term bugs the shit out of me. As a mother and a romance writer, I cringe.

And on that note … is there any term or misconception about a genre that drives you bonkers?

Irritating Character Traits

Man, I have been out of the loop for days. After my migraine late last week, some mystery illness hit my family. I don’t know what it was. It might be allergies since I’m still feeling the effects of sinus pressure. I haven’t been online for my blog or Twitter or anything for days. I felt quite disconnected. Weird how that happens, huh?

Anyway, as I was trying to ease back into a routine, a post on a forum caught my eye. A writer asked what character traits drive you crazy and it got me to thinking. I read a lot and it’s very rare for me to put a book down. I’ve said before that in general, I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to reading. I can forgive a lot of things (like lack of exterior conflict) if I’m engaged with characters.

I have to admit that I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t come across too many characters that I’ve had real issues with. I’ve been trying to come up with an example, but I can’t. Maybe I’m good at picking out books that I know I’ll like. I’m not sure.

Just because I can’t remember a specific example of a character I despised doesn’t mean that there aren’t instances where I think, “Oh, come on!” Most people have a big problem with TSTL (too stupid to live) heroines. I agree, but I haven’t come across many.

A big pet peeve of mine is heroines who heal too quickly in order to get to the lovin’.

This happens a lot in paranormal romances and romantic suspense (which is probably why I’ve reduced the number of books I read in those categories). If the heroine just got into a huge physically demanding fight, it bugs me that she’s never sore or incapacitated for more than a page or two. I know the author can’t keep the heroine in bed because then the story doesn’t move forward, but it seems like the purpose of having her heal quickly is so she can either get into another fight or get into bed with the hero.

What irritates me even more than the rushed physical healing is the overnight emotional healing of some heroines. When a woman is raped or abused (physically, sexually, emotionally), I have a hard time swallowing the fact that after knowing a guy for a week or so, she’s ready to jump into bed for some fantastic sex. It’s like she instantaneously goes from zero trust to take what you want. If there has been some time between the abuse and the new relationship, I’m okay with that, but it seems like in a lot of books, it’s been a few months, tops.

Maybe the heroes all have magic healing penis power. Again, I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a magic penis. (I’m probably going to get hit with mega-spam now that I typed that word into my post twice.)

For me, stories tend to be more about the characters than anything else and if abuse is part of a heroine’s backstory, it should be treated realistically.

Just put it further in her past so that I can recognize that she has distance from it and has had time to deal with it. I don’t need to see her in therapy. I don’t need to know the steps she took to be able to move on. I’ll trust that she’s done whatever she needed. That baggage is still there and the hero will have to come to terms with it. You don’t lose that piece of her; you just make it more believable.

What traits in a heroine make you batty?

Friday Favorites – Writing and Publishing

For my Friday Favorites posts, I usually try to find a balance of fun and educational posts to offer as links. This week, however, is a little heavy on the being a writer posts. There were just too many to try to narrow them down more.

Being a writer–

Trish Loye Elliott posted 10 ways you know you’re a writer over on the Wordbitches blog. It’s funny, but oh so true. A gazillion books? Check. Carry pen and paper everywhere? Check. Talk to yourself? Check. We all know these things about ourselves, but it’s funny to see them in writing.

Merry Farmer has a post on casting your characters. I’ve talked about this before, when I wrote about creating a collage as part of my discovery writing before starting my WIP. I got so much out of it that I’m actually going to go back and create come collages for the manuscript I’m in the middle of revising. After doing a healthy edit, I discovered that during one of the many revisions, I took out every description. No one knows what any of my characters look like. I think doing the collage with help.

August McLaughlin has a great post on using deadlines to increase your productivity. Even if you don’t have a contract yet, creating reasonable deadlines for yourself helps. I’ve always done it. It also helps if you have a critique partner who can give you a kick in the pants when you fall behind your goals.

Emma Burcart has a post called Don’t Poop on My Parade, and while she wrote the post about her move to Florida, I think it definitely applies to writers. People are quick to put down what we do and try to squash our dreams with a dose of reality. I hope we can all have poop-free parades 🙂

Chuck Wendig holds nothing back, as usual, as he offers 25 things he wants to say to aspiring writers. My favorite is #8. It’s so good, I think it deserves its own quote:

I’m just going to type this out a dozen times so it’s clear: finish your shit. Finish your shit. Finish your shit.Finish your shit. Finish your shit. Finish your shit! FINISH YOUR SHIT. Finish. Your. Shit. Fiiiiniiiish yooooour shiiiiit. COMPLETO EL POOPO. Vervollständigen Sie Ihre Fäkalien! Finish your shit.

Publishing —

Emmie Mears wrote an open letter to New York. She’s writing about wanting that traditional book deal, to be able to hold a bound book in her hands. I understand this dream, as I think most writers do. The publishing world is in the middle of a whirlwind of change. Publishers either have to get on board with making changes, or they will fall apart like my beloved Borders. Many companies are. As I’ve written before, I’ve accepted a 2-book deal with Kensington for ebooks. Ebooks are the here and now, not the future, but that doesn’t meant that paper books will disappear.

Kristen Lamb writes a great post about the new publishing paradigm. She too loves New York and doesn’t want Amazon to swallow everything. No one is saying that self-publishing is bad. It is a viable route to publication. But it shouldn’t be the only route.

Just for Fun–

Jennette Powell has follow-up post one one she did last week about not finishing a book. This week, she wants to know what big name book you haven’t finished. For me, the DNF (did not finish) happened most often with classics. I was an English major and there were lots of books I was supposed to read that I couldn’t. Most British lit falls in that category. I love American lit, but I started The Great Gatsby at least 3 times and never even got to the halfway point.

Last, but certainly not least, Tiffany White has a couple of great TV posts for the week. She talks about some new and returning shows.

What’s your favorite piece of writing advice? Or which show are you most looking forward to?