Thursday, January 31, 2008

My first Thirteen

Okay, I've seen Thursday Thirteen around for a long time and never tried to do that. It changes today. Ah ha ha. Or something. :)

Thirteen Things I Do Instead of Writing

1. Clean. Particularly the bathroom. The Engineer likes this, but it doesn't put words on the page.
2. Read. I have a TBR Mountain. Reading is never a bad thing. Unless I should be writing.
3. Eat. Can't type with my hands full, right?
4. Organize my BPAL collection. Which means mess it up more, really.
5. Cruise the internet. I will read webpages about just about anything when I'm procrastinating.
6. Play Solitaire. Solitaire is a conspiracy by programmers everywhere to sap the world of productivity, I swear.
7. Roleplay. Yep, I'm still a gamer girl. I will probably never outgrow this.
8. Torment Adore my cats. Fair's fair.
9. Go virtual shopping. I very often find a site, decide that I must have one of eveything, fill my shopping cart...and leave without buying a thing.
10. Read email. Write email. Wish for more email.
11. IM my friends, my husband, random strangers--okay, I'm not quite that bad.
12. Stare mindlessly into space. I usually come up with an idea or two while I'm doing this, but it's not the height of productivity.
13. Make lists of the things I should be writing. No, really.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Setting and the Stage (Or your expectations)

I am dutifully reading through my RITA books this year, which means I can't really talk about what I'm reading. Which is frustrating to say the least, especially because I really started posting/blogging what I read last year in a few places and I want to pick it up again. I'm being good, though. I've read two of my eight thus far. I suspect that more will go on the cruise with me.

What I can talk about, however, is setting. I'm wondering just how much a book's setting influences reader expectation. I'm not talking about in historicals, really, either. I think we can all agree that there are certain well-known expectations for, say, a Regency or a western historical or a medieval.

I'm thinking more along the lines of a contemporary novel. If a contemporary romance is set in England, does that change what you expect out of the book? I've never been to England, despite having made a few online friends who live on that side of the pond. Most of my knowledge of How Things Are (tm) comes from brief conversations with them and, you know, the media. Television, movies, things that aren't necessarily true to life. I'm sure that influences how I read books set in London (though, to be truthful, I haven't read that many). I'm always pleasantly surprised when I "get" an "English" book.

And then I wonder about all the people reading American-set romances while they live overseas, and I wonder if it's not just as frustrating to feel like you're missing out on something by not having a shared cultural background.

And then I think too much.

What are your thoughts? :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On and on I go.

I am updating the sidebar with more new releases today. If you are here to give me information about a new release, please make sure to give me release dates. If you're not sharing news about a book, letting me know when the publisher tends to do updates is just as appreciated, I promise. :)

The discussion on plagiarism and Savage Gate (which name makes me snicker a little--edited to use the right name, even) continues, which makes me happy. I'm not so thrilled by the antagonism still going on in some corners, but not because I think anyone's doing anything wrong. Just that it exists. For all that I wade into discussions with some regularity, and have my own hot button topics, I'm also often a hopeless Pollyanna who really would prefer everyone to get along.

Oh the complexity of me!

In other news: Ann Aguirre has a new book coming out in February. I've read her writing and loved it, and have been looking forward to this book for a while. I can hardly wait! She's hosting a contest on her blog for a series of honestly outstanding prizes, like gift cards to Barnes and Noble and Amazon, etc.

What do you have to do? Well, first you take the quiz:

KICK-BUTT CONTEST! Answer five questions, earn chances to win fabulous prizes.

The official GRIMSPACE quiz*

Ever wondered what job you'd hold down on a star ship?
Uhm, no... *shifty look*
Banana Hammock!

and then you go back to Ann's blog and follow the steps? Simple? Simple!

I personally came out a Jumper. I can handle being interstellar royalty, I think. ;)

Go check it out!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A new endeavor.

The sharp-eyed among you will note that I've added things to my sidebar.

One of these is a listing of the publishers that I'm aware of* that publish non-erotic romance, as well as the most recent releases** that fall into that category. Given the topic of discussion today, I figured I could do that much, at least.

Please note that these are not personal favorites. Of the books currently listed, I have read none of them. I don't have the time to do reviews, unfortunately. However, if you *have* read them and you'd like to post reviews, or links to your thoughts/comments/reviews, feel free.

I will do my best to keep this up to date. I'm on vacation in a couple of weeks, so I'll miss a few, but I'll pick it up when I come back.

Additionally, you'll notice the * and ** above. If I have missed a publisher that releases non-erotic romance, please feel free to let me know. If you have or know of a book coming out with these publishers at some point, likewise, let me know. I'm keeping a spreadsheet, too.

And of course, if I have your book on the list and/or you know that a book in the list is actually erotic romance and I made a mistake, please correct me.

Spread the word!

All About the Sex?

Jane over at Dear Author has brought up an interesting topic again: Is there a perception that ebooks are all erotic? Is that old chestnut, "sex sells" even more true in the online world?

I can honestly say that, in my experience, the answer to both of those questions is a resounding yes. The majority of the epublishers that I am familiar with take primarily, if not only, erotic romance and/or erotic submissions. In talking with other authors who write both erotic and non-erotic fiction, sales figures seem to clearly indicate that the hotter the book, the more it will sell.

I think a lot of that stems from the fact that it's easy to go and by "shocking", "racy" or "scandalous" books online. No one needs to know what you or your mother or grandmother are reading. You don't have to take a stack of books with half-clothed (or naked) people to a cashier in a bookstore. You don't need to pay (and wait!) to have them shipped to your house. So online is a very viable outlet for people to get their fix.

There are, however, people who write non-erotic fiction in the ebook world. Yes, I'm one of them, so forgive the shameless plug. I think there's room in the e-world for the non-erotic stuff too, but the readership has been so well-trained to think sex and hot and more of both is better that those who don't meet those heat levels are often overlooked.

And I think that's a shame, both personally and on behalf of others.

So, if you like electronic books and aren't necessarily looking for hot or a particular kink, and you're willing to give a new author a try, why not check out Sweeter Romantic Notions for a start. I used to be a member of the group. I'm not exactly sure why I'm not anymore, but I'm asking to be reinstated. :) Check it out!

And share your thoughts about this topic, if you like!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Good morning!

Early morning posting, from me to you. :)

As promised, it's Friday, and that means another chapter of Finding Home.

Chapter Two is live.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Post #200!

Hey look, my 200th post! *blows tootie horns and tosses confetti*

In order to celebrate, I am kicking off a round of freebie posting.

I wrote a novella for Cobblestone Press to be part of their In The Runes series. The rights to the book have since been returned to me, but I still love the story. So I had a friend of mine work up a new cover for me, and I decided that I would share the writing for free.

I did this once before, for Romance Divas' Valentine's Day freebie, and it was a lot of fun. That was a one shot, though. This will be an ongoing thing until I run out of chapters.

Every Friday (assuming I'm home; I do have a vacation coming up) I will post a chapter. Feel free to leave commentary. Feel free to say nothing at all.

I just hope you enjoy it.

Here's the blurb: Nora Whiteside has a restless soul. Despite the job, the comfortable apartment, and weekly Girls Night Out, no place she's been has felt like home.

So when she gets a battered letter from a man claiming to be the father she thought was dead, she's curious. Intrigued. She packs up her cat and heads to Wyoming, to the house on reservation land he claims she's inheriting.

And meets Tucker Greene, the son her father never had. Will they be rivals for his affection or can they learn to work together? Can people from two different worlds find middle ground?

And the link, which will open a new window.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Plagarism is bad, m'kay?

I'm reposting a letter I just sent out to my local chapter. I'm feeling a little disillusioned by some responses to this issue, so why not give it more legs?

"Given that we’re all writers, I thought I’d pass on some news about something going on in the industry currently.

The women at the website Smart Bitches, Trashy Books ( reported a story about Cassie Edwards, who writes historical romance, and several instances of plagiarism. You’re welcome to go check out the website if you like, but I do warn that these ladies have biting tongues and can be quite caustic, so be prepared.

The news, of course, spread to other blog sites, one of which is Dear Author ( I personally find this a less snarky website so this is where I first learned of it.

The issue at hand: In Ms. Edwards’ latest release, Shadow Bear, readers have discovered several instances where Ms. Edwards has lifted passages from other work—non-fiction articles, other works of fiction—and copied them into her own, with no or very little modification, and no citation. In other words, she’s plagarised from these sources.

I encourage all of you to go and check out the story for yourselves. Signet, her publisher, has issued a statement defending her. Ms. Edwards herself has also made a statement. Sherry Lewis, our current RWA president, has also made a statement. The story has been picked up by the AP (here) and Publisher’s Weekly.

It’s an issue that, I feel, needs to be known and thought about, at the very least. Discussion is even better."

There you have it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Belated resolutions.

I'm doing so well with my resolution to post more often, aren't I?


So, I actually will put down some writing/reading resolutions, just to have a record of it. People can keep me honest.

1. Complete short for Harlequin. (Ha, already done.)
2. Finish at least two books. I know which two. They both need to be finished. A lot. Yesterday.
3. Read at least 50 books. (I made it to 49 last year, dangit.)
4. Plot out the YA book(s) that keep haunting me.

Vague and short, but you know, who wants to set themselves up for big failure if they don't make their goals? Not I, said the kitten.

If I manage to accomplish the writing portions listed there, I always have more to replace them with: write a sequel to one of Sienna's books, write the sequels to the dragon book, finish Strike one day...

And on and on. :)

How are your resolutions holding up?