Saturday, July 29, 2006

Stick a fork in me.

I'm done!

With the "still must be edited" draft of Stacking the Deck, but the story is told. There are some tweaks to be made, but it's finished and it feels good, I tell you what. I was sweating getting it done. I did it.

I don't want to squeak that close to deadline again. I'm sure I will, but that doesn't change the fact that I don't want to.

In other news, Karen over at Euro-Reviews had this to say about Fortune's Fool: "Fortune's Fool presents the reader with good characterization and realistic, loveable characters." - 4.5 flags out of 5. You can read the whole review here.

Pretty decent day, all told, but now I'm giving my brain a break.

Oh! First. Congratulations to our very own Shelli Stevens for winning her category in the Stroke of Midnight contest. Way to go, Porthos!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Friday Friday!

Wow, as far as Fridays go, this one has been a bit of a mixed blessing.

I can see the end of the current project from here, which is a huge relief.

I was supposed to go visit a friend during her layover at the airport, but her flights have all been rescheduled. At this point, she may not make the connection to her international flight. Mrp.

I had a fantastic virtual "conversation" with an acquaintance of mine who writes fantasy novels, Elizabeth Bear. Which is something to blog about another day!

I have to take my cat to the vet. Bleh.

And it's new release Friday! Check these books out:

A Taste of Italy by Lucie Simone
She's always been a naughty girl at heart...

Between Floors by Lia Sebastian
Her home is where his heart is and he'll prove it to her.

Slow Burn by Madison Chase
Their passion was instant. But her secret could change everything.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Connected books

So as we've talked about (we being Lori, Shelli and I), we're writing connected books. Or rather, that's the plan. There are already two books turned in. Mine's the last one to go.

This is harder than it looks. I keep hitting walls and getting myself all tangled up in trying to make things work and fit around what the other two wrote.

Man. We did this one off the cuff. If it happens again, it's going to take more planning to result in fewer grey hairs. :)

In other news, it's still hot. That's not helping.

ETA: Crisis averted somewhat. This is a good thing. The learning curve is a bear, I tell you. But the Musketeers will persevere.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday Motivation

I am seriously, seriously ready for the heatwave to end. It's sucking every ounce of creativity out of my head. I would rather read someone else's words than write my own. Pity that it doesn't work that way, huh?

But it's Monday, start of a new week and hopefully things will be somewhat cooler. Okay, they're not yet as it's 102 at 11am, but there's always wishful thinking.

I know I've seen this addressed on other blogs, but I'm going to bring it up too. Why is it that, when you *must* work on one project, your brain insists on coming up with a dozen others that would be better/more entertaining/more fun? What sadistic little splinter of our minds does that to us writers?

Why does "us writers" look wrong?

On to the interesting part!

I remembered days like the one displayed on the screen, as a child. Days when the heat shimmered up off the Serenghetti like waves of water passing over my eyes. When the sun was a necessary part of life and we played beneath it, taking for granted that it would always be there. Before the days of the bunkers and cold meat in tins.


Your turn!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Hey hey, it's Friday!

It's Friday. Woohoo, another week over. And boy, time is flying. It's the 21st? July's almost gone? How is that possible?

Still chugging away on Stacking the Deck. Well. Plodding. Okay, sort of oozing at a snail's pace. I will make deadline, I will. My brain may erupt into flame, but I'll do it, dang it.

I got a fantastic review from Ecataromance on The Dragon Undone. Keely Skillman gave me 4.5 stars and says: "As a stanch fantasy fanatic, I can honestly say that Ms. Dennis brings a breath of fresh air and the comfort of familiarity to her writing. I hope to see at least one sequel to this enchanting tale; but I would be even more satisfied with multiple additions to the treasure trove of Ms. Dennis' unique world." You can read the full review here.

Friday also means it's release day at Cobblestone Press!

Butterfly Kisses by Ann Cory

Can a life-changing miracle occur from the act of a single kiss?

Butterfly Kisses

My Lips Are Sealed by Mia Romano

Jade’s husband is moonlighting as a gigolo and revenge is on her mind.

My Lips are Sealed

Seducing Olivia by Madison Layle and Anna Leigh Keaton

Two men, one woman, and a seductive love to last a lifetime.

Seducing Olivia

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Also, I failed to mention! There's a new group blog, if you want to check out our rambling madness.

Come see the Novelty Girls!. You know you want to.

Not melted yet!

I have not melted yet, though man, the weather's making serious attempts. Okay, so we had a "significant cool-down" yesterday. It only hit 104. Today, it's supposed to be 106. 112 by Friday. I may be living in a bucket but I'll try to solidify enough to type.

My system of project rotation has to go by the wayside, until I finish this book for Cobblestone's Octoberfest. My book--which I'm calling Stacking the Deck, by the way--is the third in a miniseries the other two Musketeers and I are doing, so I can't let them down. Must. Write. Faster.

As another side note, did you know we've decided which Musketeers we are? Loribelle is Athos, because she writes dark, brooding stories. I'm Aramis, because I'm a gigantic, romantic sap. And Shelli is Porthos, because she's the crack-up of the group. We may be auditioning a d'Artagnan. Keep your eyes peeled.

In more news! I got a request from a publisher I've been waiting to hear from. I squealed at The Engineer who rolled his eyes and was happy for me in his own quiet, long-suffering way. So think good thoughts as I attempt to give it a final pass (while finishing the Octoberfest book! Really!)

Who needs sleep?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Too hot to think.

We're having a heat wave. Everyone's having a heat wave, I think. But it's currently 109 degrees. I have the air conditioner on and it's still way too warm in my house to have creative thought. So I'm begging off of the monday motivational post this week. I apologize. With luck, it'll be cooler next week and it'll be back, but I'm having trouble motivating myself to do my necessary writing, much less anything else.

The weekend teaching went well. We stumbled over a program we're probably going to repeat in the future, for the chapter. I love it when that happens.

Okay, off to lay under the fan. I dream of a kiddie pool right here in front of the computer.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Contest winner and Saturday teaching

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest for the dragon ring to celebrate my second book release. Thanks for those of you who came out to the chat a Cobblestone Press last night, as well.

The Engineer drew a name last night and the ring and copy of The Dragon Undone goes to:

Tara Woods!

Congratulations, Tara. I hope you enjoy it!

Today, I'm off to teach a couple of topics at my local RWA chapter. I'll be speaking on how to write a synopsis and very very basic website information. I always wanted to speak to a chapter, but I don't know if these were the topics I wanted to touch. :) We'll see how it goes.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Dragon Undone

is available now, complete with a brand new excerpt. Thanks, everyone, for the words of support!

Also available from my fellow Cobblestone authors today:

Midnight Whispers by Anisa Damien
What happens when friends-with-benefits isn't enough?

Midnight Whispers

The Pirate's Booty by Shelli Stevens
She went to steal a brooch, but found her deepest fantasies.

The Pirate's Booty

And don't forget my contest. If you haven't commented or emailed me already, you have until 8pm Pacific tonight to do so.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Big news!

As hinted at yesterday, I have big news today!

The Dragon Undone, my second book with Cobblestone Press, is being released tomorrow. Surprise! This is a fantasy romance with shapeshifting dragons, a rather reluctant hero and, yes, romance, because a little romance always shows up in my stories. Curious? You can always read an excerpt.

To celebrate, you guessed it, I'm having another contest. This time the prize is a copy of The Dragon Undone and this ring.

The ring is stainless steel and a size 11, but rings from this company run small, so it's probably more a ten. This means it may be a thumb ring, or a gift for a male friend, if your hands are small. Mine are large and I wear one on my middle finger. What you do with yours is up to you!

In order to win it, all you have to do is comment here or send me an email with "Contest Entry" in the header. I will draw a winner tomorrow night at 8pm PST.

Good luck!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Procrastination is the name of the game.

I should have been writing today. What did I do instead? I updated my website. Nothing major, just a little bit of a face lift since the clutter was beginning to drive me nuts. And it's easier to clean up web clutter than it is to clean my house. Ahem.

I need to make a few more changes but then I think I'll let it sit for a while. Maybe. If I can stand it.

This is the peril of knowing how to write HTML. One of the perils. You can't leave well enough alone. (The other is that you're too impatient to let anyone else do it for you.)

I'll write now. Probably. Unless that other website starts calling my name...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A late entry!

But an entry nonetheless. Or rather, a posting.

I had a dentist appointment today. O frabjous day, calloo callay! Or not. I loathe going to the dentist. I actually have a minor phobia of it. And one day, I will recount the many tales of horror. Or maybe I won't, but believe me, they were horrible.

At any rate, an otherwise uneventful day. I've finished the last pass on The Dragon Undone and will have it turned in to my fantabulous editor hopefully tonight or tomorrow. We may see this book come out sometime soon. We shall have to see what the cards say. Cross your fingers.

It's a vague sort of day, so I'll leave you with nebulous, wibbly thoughts and try to have content tomorrow.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Monday Motivation

Another Monday that actually feels like one. Not that I'm particularly a fan of the first day of the work week, but better to know where you are than constantly be playing catch up, right?

Though I have not seen Superman Returns yet (and I hear it's better than expected), we *did* see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. And holy special effects. If you thought the undead crew in the first movie was impressive, wait until you see this one. There were incredible amounts of character development, a *wonderful* tentacle-y bad guy and ... really. Last time it was about the plot more than the characters. Not so any more. This movie was all about getting to know the players better.

And that's all I'll say to avoid spoilering.

This week I'm moderating the final week of the Pre-Conference Bootcamp, which is an online workshop we do with RWA National. We have agents, locals to that year's conference, editors and authors who volunteer their time to ask questions and give advice to those of you going to National. This week we have Nadia Cornier of Firebrand Literary with us. If you're a member of RWA Pro and are interested in hearing what she has to say about pitching at National, feel free to sign up!

And with no further ado:


"It's not fire or ice," the old man said, pausing to chew the stem of his pipe. His gaze was unfocused and far away. "It's a tree. A great, black tree with no leaves. There's no god to tell you up or down. It's all about the climb. If you can climb the backs of the people beneath you, you can reach the thinnest branches and climb up to a better end."

"And if you can't?" Someone had to ask. Most held their breath.

His gaze snapped back and his eyes crinkled at the edges. "If you can't, a thousand passing feet will wear you smooth as a stone."


Your turn!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Finally Friday!

Ha! Now it's Friday, and I can stop feeling like the week is all out of whack.

I attribute the fact that this entry is late and very likely full of not much at all to the fact that I was up too early this morning. I've entered this phase of my life where, no matter what time I go to sleep, I wake up at 7:30. Go to bed at 10pm? Up at 7:30. Go to bed at 3am? Up at 7:30. It's great on the 10pm nights. Not so much on the 3am mornings.

And then sometimes, like today, I get up even earlier for some reason I have yet to figure out. It leaves my head very empty though. I think this is why I've been having a devil of a time doing my writing quota lately. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm doing it. But it's a bit like pulling teeth. This too shall pass.

I finished an "old" category novel today. It was Cassidy Harte and the Comeback Kid by Raeanne Thayne. It's the last of a miniseries she wrote for Silhouette Intimate Moments back in 2002. (It's #1144 if anyone's looking.) I really enjoyed Matt and Jesse's books so figured I'd like this one too. Cassidy's the little sister of those two heroes. It's a long-lost love/reunion story with a suspense twist, and while I usually like those, this one just didn't work as well for me as I might have liked. I liked Zach, the hero, a lot, but Cassidy wasn't my kind of heroine and the suspense factor wasn't all that suspenseful to me, meaning I had it figured out about halfway through.

That said! Ms. Thayne's a great writer, and one book that didn't sparkle for me will not keep me from turning my nose up at anything else she might have written.

So what're y'all reading out there?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rambling, as usual.

Yes, the holiday in the middle of the week (close enough, shh) threw things off. Still trying to work back up to speed. It doesn't help that my brain now wants to leap a day ahead and tell me that tomorrow's Friday, so I can relax today!

Ha ha, nuh-uh brain. It doesn't work that way.

I was looking around at Harlequin's webpage today and specifically the Kimani Press pages. I'm not going to get extremely political again. I've done that once and once was enough, at least for the time being. I think that Kimani books look really good and I think they're going to reach a lot more readers. Harlequin is nothing if not good about getting books to places where they'll be seen.

Matter of fact, I think I'll go order a few. Not that I need more books to read. (*gasp* Heresy! How could I not need more books, I know!) I'm going to do it anyway.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

It's Wednesday?

Does it feel like Monday to anyone else? I keep getting confused.

But it's my day over at Love, Lust and Other Oddities, so it *must* be Wednesday. I'm over there talking about favorite locations to write about. Feel free to swing by and chime in.

The Engineer is back at work today, but he showed me this link: See if you can identify the stories based on the pictures. No fair cheating if you read Cyrillic!

In other news, I got an ergonomic keyboard. I went through the onset of carpal tunnel in college and so I try to be careful with my wrists. Also, my old keyboard was *shot*. I tell you, I'm hard on them, I guess. I actually wore a hole in my e key. And the letters were wearing off, other keys were pitted and grooved. Weird.

I don't touch type. Rather, I don't touch type correctly, with home row and such. I taught myself how to type, so I have my own system, but I'm pretty fast and unconcerned about it. It does, however, lead to interesting stretches when your keyboard is split down the middle and you can't really cross over where you shouldn't. It's good for me. I think. It's amusing, at least.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July to all of the Americans stopping by! 230 years of fireworks, celebrations and parades. I know that's hardly a drop in the pot to our European friends, but we're still trucking along. Consider what's happening now our adolescent phase, possibly pre-teen, and I think you'll have it right.

I was remembering the bicentennial thirty years ago and how I marched down main street in Millersville, PA, right beside Aaron Dread. Yep, we were four, and no doubt adorable. I wonder whatever happened to Aaron. Too bad I lost track of him.

At any rate, enjoy the day! It's yard work, house cleaning and possibly a late dinner and firework show for me. :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

It's Monday! It's also July. How does that happen? Time just moves faster and faster, I swear.

Still working away. I've been doing some webdesign work for myself and other people, so that takes my attention away from the blogging business, but I also just haven't been good about it. I know I keep saying that, and that I'll fix it, but really, I'm going to do it this time.

It's like a diet or exercise plan. Eventually it sticks, right?

My fellow Musketeers made the Best Sellers list over at Cobblestone Press, so three cheers for them! I console myself on not being there because I'm selling a) a full-length ebook that's b) a straight contemporary and c) a "standard" romance. There's no explicit sex on those pages. In the current ebook market, that makes me a hard sell, and you know, for all of those marks against me, I'm not doing badly. Onward and upward, as the saying goes.

Now for the fun part:


Thomas stared at the array of glowing things before him. They didn't bubble, fizz, hiss or pop. They glowed. They glowed brightly enough to illuminate the basement and shine in Naomi's eyes, but they didn't smoke and they certainly didn't look like the answer to the question of whether she was a real witch or not. Dare or not, he wasn't putting any of that in his mouth.


Your turn!