Archive for March, 2009

Pemberley Manor by Kathryn L Nelson

March 30, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 4 Comments →

Pemberley Manor … Darcy and Elizabeth, for better or for worse.

By Kathryn L Nelson

From Sourcebooks Landmark, April 1, 2009

From a review by Dana at Reading Romance Books:

Kathryn Nelson was incredibly successful in importing the Regency era into my mind and then whisking me away into the world of the Darcys’ new marriage. The characters were true to the original and the issues they faced far from any happily-ever-after fairytale endings we might have conjured on our own. 


Thanks for inviting me to join your blog today. I never tire of spending an hour with one of the most romantic couples I’ve ever met. For me, the allure of Jane Austen’s best-known couple, Darcy and Elizabeth, is that while they are drawn together by a fierce chemistry, they are held apart by lofty principles, spiced with a good measure of lies and misunderstandings. And in spite of Austen’s hasty wrap-up in Pride and Prejudice, wherein all differences are explained and all grievances forgiven, I didn’t buy the idea that there would be no further disturbances between these two lovers.

I hope that doesn’t leave the impression that things end badly for the Darcys in Pemberley Manor. What kind of a romance would that be? It did, however, take Darcy and Elizabeth a full year to work out the bumpy barriers to true marital felicity. Take, for instance, the surprising turn of events on their wedding night. Darcy’s long-repressed passion is unleashed a little too quickly and he frightens the bride.
Elizabeth misunderstands the problem, as she is wont to do, and is ready to give up before they’ve even begun:

“It can serve neither of us to continue as man and wife when there are so little grounds to suppose we could offer one another any reasonable hope of future happiness. Indeed, it seems certain that our expectations of one another are wholly irreconcilable.” 

Needless to say, they manage to overcome that hurdle, but troubles continue to arise. After an uncomfortable piece of family history pops up, Darcy takes a rather self-centered turn and Elizabeth is forced to point out the flaw of his logic: 

“Fitzwilliam Darcy, do you really see yourself as the only injured party in this tragedy? Can you find no room in your heart to pity anyone but yourself…You once extolled to me the superiority of your reason. Is it reasonable that they should have created a world of misery for the pleasure of making you unhappy?” 

Elizabeth is by no means blameless, as Jane Austen so artfully demonstrates in Pride and Prejudice. She leaps to conclusions that are often founded on her own wishes rather than fact, as in her acceptance of the villain Wickham’s lies. Because he flatters her, she believes him honest, and its corollary: because Darcy does not, he must be a liar. When she discards a firmly held belief, she has barely enough shame to produce a blush.

I’ve attempted to help Elizabeth mature and Darcy relax in Pemberley Manor. He makes a valiant and successful effort at wit as the honeymoon continues, much to Elizabeth’s surprise: 

You had the advantage of catching me completely off guard this time, for I had not thought of wit as one of your gifts, but rest assured that I, having had more practice, and being now forewarned, will never be content until I can cause you as much discomfort as you have caused me.”

“I am happy to see you have regained your wit at last,” he replied, still breathless with laughter, “but I will not take the blame for causing you grief, for your own nature has brought this upon you. Did you not confess just a few moments ago that your judgements are hasty and flawed…?”

Well, honeymoons are all very well, but then life creeps in, and as the couple returns to Pemberley, the Darcy family’s past comes tumbling out of the closet. The disapproval of neighbors and the meddling of Caroline Bingley add seasoning to the stew. Elizabeth’s stubborn optimism does battle with Darcy’s ghosts.

Does love conquer all – or even most? I’d love to hear from readers. 

WOW Blog tour

March 29, 2009 By: mammakim Category: Latest News 4 Comments →

  

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of author Sybil Baker’s Blog Tour with WOW! Women On Writing. Stop by The Muffin today and comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Sybil’s book! Sybil will be checking in to answer your questions, so be sure to take advantage of the opportunty. Her book is one that I know you all will love.

I know some of you must be wondering…what exactly is a blog tour?
 
A blog tour is similar to an author’s book tour, but it’s hosted online, instead of at, say, a bookstore. The touring author visits a number of blogs (otherwise known as “blog stops”) over a set period–typically, a month.

Sybil TravelingAuthors use this format to buzz their book, connect with readers, and have fun! It’s a wonderful way to network with a readership the author might never get to meet in “real” life. For instance, this tour takes us across the U.S. to Italy and New Zealand, all in one month! Even the most gregarious traveler couldn’t conquer that much territory in such a short time. But it’s not about the territory covered, it’s about the interesting people you meet along the way.

(Photo Right: One of Sybil’s travels to Athens, Greece)

The author we bring you this month is a wonderful writer, and a new friend. She’s traveled all over the world and is sharing her experiences with you.Are you excited? I am! Come and join us on this fabulous journey! Let’s meet the author, shall we?

About Sybil:

Sybil Baker grew up in Northern Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech where she was the features editor and humor columnist of the student newspaper, The Collegiate Times. After a few years working around Virginia, she moved to Boulder (Colorado) where she earned her MA degree in English from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

After five years in Colorado she moved back to Virginia and worked there as a technical editor before moving to South Korea in 1995. For the next twelve years she lived and taught English in South Korea and traveled extensively around the world, especially in Asia. So far she’s been to more than thirty countries, including Mongolia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Indonesia, Peru, and Turkey.

During her travels, she became increasingly interested in the allure and alienation of American travelers and expatriates, and this has heavily influenced her writing. Her novel, The Life Plan, was released this month (March 2009) from Casperian Books.

Sybil Baker’s fiction and essays have appeared in numerous journals including upstreet and Segue. Her essay on American expatriate literature appeared in AWP’s Writer’s Chronicle in September 2005. In 2005, Sybil completed her MFA in Writing from The Vermont College of Fine Arts, and in 2008 moved to back to the States to teach creative writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she is an Assistant Professor of English. She currently lives with her husband, Rowan Johnson, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Learn more about Sybil by visiting her websites:

Sybil Baker’s website: www.sybilbaker.com
Sybil’s Blog: An Ex-expatriate’s Musings on Writing, Teaching, and Travel



The Life Plan by Sybil Baker

The Life Plan

By Sybil BakerGenre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Chick-Lit


What would you do if your carefully planned life was falling apart?

Like many women, Kat Miller dreams of having a satisfying career, a loving family, and a house of her own. But Kat has taken things further than most, documenting her dreams in a “Life Plan,” so that nothing will go wrong. Yet something has: Dan, her husband of five years. Kat suspects that Dan, recently unemployed, is spending more time in yoga class with his beautiful classmate than he is looking for a job. When Dan announces that he has enrolled in a massage course in Thailand, Kat is convinced she has to go with him to save her marriage.

From the offices of Washington, DC, to the gritty streets of Bangkok to the mountain region of Chiang Mai, from the serenity of ancient Buddhist ruins to the passion of the jungle to all-night beach parties, Kat narrates her quest to have it all, only to wonder if having it all is all there is.


Click here to read the first chapter of The Life Plan.
Book Trailer: View Sybil’s fun book trailer for The Life Plan here.

ISBN: 1934081167
Casperian Books LLC (March, 2009)


The Life Plan is available through the publisher, Casperian Books, Amazon.com, B&N.com, or any independent or chain bookstore.


 

Emotional Read

March 28, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 3 Comments →

I’ve been catching up on my reading. My TBR pile is huge. LOL.

I was reading a book that was very emotional. It went through all spectrums of emotions from exhilaration to tears. It made me laugh one moment, gasp the next, breath hard when it got sexy and tear up at the sad moments. To me that is the sign of a great read. One that brings all my feelings out. Makes me live each moment like I am part of it. This was so effortlessly done that I was living each emotion like it was my own. The book had me flipping pages wondering what was going to happen next. I read it in one sitting. Couldn’t put it down. I love writers who do that to me.

They are another sort of writer that makes my automatic buy list. And I re-read their books over and over again.

Who are some authors that give you an emotional read?

McKenna Jeffries
http://www.mckennajeffries.com
…. sensual, edgy, unexpected

Blog: http://www.mckennajeffries.com/blog
Chat Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/McKennaJeffriesList

Conquering Jazz - What’s a woman to do when she unwittingly makes a tantalizing proposition to her best friend?

Be brazen, bold and set some ground rules.

Her offer. One night of carnal bliss. No emotion allowed.

His counter offer. A continued affair to fulfill all their sexual cravings.

His hidden agenda. Conquer to make sure their affair never ends.

Buy here at Liquid Silver Book.

I Hear Voices and Other Such Confessions by a Romance Author

March 26, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger 20 Comments →

“Psst. You. The one with the chocolate-fingerprinted keyboard. Will you give me a scene already? I’m dying here.”

“Kill me off? You think you can kill ME? We’ll just see about that.”

I am Jeannie Ruesch, and I admit the above sentences are actual thoughts that have run through my head… not, I am compelled to point out, when I’m sitting at my computer praying for my characters to show their faces.  No, that would be normal.

I’m talking about completely inopportune moments, such as standing in line at the grocery store, toddler strapped into the seat, checkout person waiting impatiently for my money.  THAT is often when my characters decide to confess their deepest thoughts and finally admit to that motivation that stemmed from something that happened when they were three.  Three? Are you serious? I have to stop what I’m doing and write out their back-story from the time they were practically born?

Ludicrous, right? I can jot it down when I get to the car or even when I get home.  However, my characters are quirky that way.  If I don’t give them their due time when they want it, tantrums will ensue or worse, silence.

Characters, at least the ones rattling around in my head, are fragile things.  If I had to label them like schoolchildren, mine would be the ones in the back of the classroom.  The rebels.  They tend to do what they want when they want, and if they aren’t happy with my rules and dictates, more than one has upped a finger at me.

About now you are thinking (go on, admit it) I need a good shrink more than anything else.  You may be right, for here is my ultimate confession – I choose to talk and think about my characters like they are people.  In order for me to write about and understand them, they have to be.

I was thirteen years old when I read my first romance novel.  I couldn’t tell you what the title was, who wrote it or really even much of the plot.  What I do remember is that I identified with the teenage heroine struggling to find the courage to talk to the boy she liked.  Boy, did I get her.  At the time, like every other girl in the school, I had a huge crush on the most popular boy.  His name was Tommy.  (Hmm, now that I think about this, I wonder if it’s coincidence that the villain in my upcoming novel is named Thomas…)   And just like the girl in the book, I did some humiliating things to try and get his attention.

While I failed miserably, the book’s plucky heroine got a better ending.  I’ve never forgotten her.  As a reader, I identify with characters because of their quirks, because they are real, because they make me feel like I could actually know them.  So as a writer, I knew I had to relate to my characters the same way.  I had to give them voices.  I had to let them become friends, so I could understand better who they are.  And yes, I talk about them as if they are sitting in my living room, eating my popcorn and watching American Idol.

Because, really.  They are.

SOMETHING ABOUT HER

Jeannie Ruesch

SOMETHING ABOUT HER, available April 10, 2009, from The Wild Rose Press
~ “…a rich, well-presented story.”~RT Book Reviews
~ “A wonderful debut!” ~NYTimes bestselling author Gaelen Foley

He is the one man she knows she shouldn’t trust.  She is the one woman he knows he can’t have…and the only one he wants.

Read chapter one at www.jeannieruesch.com

Medieval riddles – ‘A Knight’s Captive’

March 25, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 20 Comments →

A Knight's CaptiveHello, I’m Lindsay Townsend and I write historical romance novels for Kensington Books and Bookstrand of SirenBookstrand. Thank you for hosting me on the Romance Junkies blog today.    I thought I would talk a little about a less-well-known aspect of English literature: Anglo-Saxon poetry. There are some beautiful and very poignant poems in Old English. Poems such as ‘The Seafarer’ and ‘The Wife’s Lament’ speak to us even today of love and loss and longing. There are poems that contain useful information – verse is a useful memory device – and poems celebrating places like Durham, battles such as the battle of Maldon, biblical heroines such as Judith and profound mystical experiences. ‘The Dream of the Rood’ takes the idea of the cross on which Christ was crucified: the ‘wondrous tree’ from which he hung, and has the tree speak to us directly as it too suffered with Christ.I wanted to honour this great tradition in my own way in my latest story for Kensington, A KNIGHT’S CAPTIVE (due April 2009), which takes place in 1066. I did so by devising my own versions of poems that were another part of Anglo-Saxon society and poetry – riddles.
    There are riddles about wine, about a bookworm, about a reed, about a shield, about a plough. Some are saucy and double-edged in meaning; all give clues as to what people noticed in those times, what was important to them, what amused them. Some of the original riddles can be seen at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/english/beowulf/riddle.htm or at http://www.stavacademy.co.uk/mimir/riddles.htm. I read them and even in translation I feel directly connected to a people long past – a wonderful, slightly eerie event.

Here are my own riddles. They appear in A KNIGHT’S CAPTIVE as the heroine Sunniva and hero Marc are attempting to escape the clutches of her uncle in the mysterous and dangerous fenlands:

She was a good traveler, Marc thought, kneeling up in the log boat to row. As the darkness faded to a dusky rose and the sun began to burn off some of the river-fog, she began to ask him riddles.
  “This is one way we English pass the long winter evenings, so it is a skill you need,” she said.
  “Ask away,” Marc answered. It passed the dull time of rowing and he could still listen and keep watch. Her voice lilted to him over his shoulder, teasing and playful.
  “A giant, now toppled,
  hollow and dead,
  still glides where it never would
  when alive.”
  That was easy. “This boat,” Marc answered.
  “Here is another,” Sunniva paused to wrap her head-square about her alder paddle to save her hands against the knobbly bark. She had offered to tear it in two for him to share but, when Marc shook his head, she cleared her throat and declared,
  “This knave creeps and clings,
  A friend to mischief, the enemy
  of sight. The sun may drive him off -”
  “You cannot claim fog is male,” Marc interrupted. “It is a woman. Listen.” He listened himself first, checking all about was still and reedy, no dogs or busy hunters, then spoke.
  “She winds her promise of mystery about you,
  Endlessly deceiving and beguiling. Softer than dew.”
  “Not so,” Sunniva replied at once. “Listen -”
  And so they went on, moving slowly but steadily through the fens until they reached a point where the mist seeped away and they found themselves on a river, rowing to a fording-place.

Here is the blurb and opening excerpt of A KNIGHT’S CAPTIVE:

A KNIGHT’S CAPTIVE. The perfect prison is in his arms…

In the year 1066, England struggles against Norman invaders, and two strangers cross paths on a pilgrimage fraught with peril – only to discover a love worth any danger….
 
Battle-weary Marc de Sens has never encountered a woman like Sunniva of Wereford: beautiful, brilliant, and miles above the curs who call themselves her kin. Alas, she is promised to another and Marc’s obligation is to his three orphaned nieces. But when Sunniva’s circumstances suddenly change, Marc learns the truth about her “betrothal”…

A rough-hewn knight so gentle with children intrigues Sunniva, who never knew a kind word or caring touch from any man until Marc rescued her from the grimmest of fates. When her loutish father and brothers are killed, Sunniva is finally free, but her troubles are far from over. Although Marc has appointed himself her protector, he has a dark secret – as well as an uncanny ability to disarm her completely…

EXCERPT 

Northern England, September 1066        
 
“Uncle Marc! Is she not as beautiful as the sun? That is what her name means. She is Sunniva, Sun-Gift. Do you not think she is like the sun?”
  “Steady, little one. You will wake your sisters. But yes, you are right. She is most comely.”
  Ignoring the powerful temptation to look where Alde was pointing, Marc tucked the ends of his big traveling cloak around his excited niece and encouraged the child to lie down again by doing so himself. A swift, anxious glance confirmed that Judith and Isabella were sleeping, sprawled under his cloak, their small faces sunburned with weeks of travel. Isabella was sucking her thumb. The day had been long, the riding hard and tiring. He prayed she would sleep through, free of nightmares.
  Just one night, Lord Christ. As a mercy to her, and to her sisters.
  “Uncle Marc?” Alde whispered, tugging on her lower lip, the pupil of her left eye sliding towards her small, faintly hooked nose as she fought her body’s weariness, “Can I have -” A tiny snore escaped her pouting mouth.
  Marc waited a moment, watching his charges. His brother had spoken of the “fierce love” a parent feels for a child: in these past months he had come to understand what Roland meant. He would kill for these three.
  Beside him a female peddler, as gnarled as the sticks she carried for sale on her back, snorted and shifted closer to the central fire. Turning carefully so as not to disturb Isabella, Marc lounged on his belly, one hand absently rubbing his aching spine as he scanned the company.
  Two and twenty figures, hunched in various attitudes of slumber, some snoring, most silent, were ranged about the fire, their dun and dust-stained clothes orange in its fading glow. Outside the ruined, roofless square fort – an old Roman castle, according to their escorts – he could hear the night-guards walking and talking softly. So far, the pilgrim party he was part of had journeyed in safety, although he slept with his sword close to hand. Even main roadways such as the one they traveled on were haunted by footpads, ever-ready to prey upon the unwary or unprotected. There were rumored to be horse-thieves hereabouts in these rough lands of the north and worse still, slavers.
  He knew of one who would be a great prize to such creatures. Blonde – such fair eyebrows and skin must betoken blonde hair, although he had never seen so much as a strand of it: Sunniva was a modest girl who hid her tresses under a plain russet head square. Lithe, with a tumbler’s body: that much he could guess from her graceful walk, though her robe hung on her as if made for a larger woman. And her face… Marc smiled in the semi-darkness. Even at a distance, she was more than comely, she was spectacular, a prize -

Thank you again for having me at the Romance Junkies blog today. I am giving away a copy of A KNIGHT’S CAPTIVE  as a prize.

Best wishes, Lindsay 

Do you believe in magic?

March 23, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 6 Comments →

Hi, all! My name is Donna Lea Simpson. Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark is my first book in a brand new romance/historical/mystery series from Casablanca, the Lady Anne romantic mysteries.

I am so proud to introduce you to Lady Anne Addison: it is 1786, a new age with modern notions. Lady Anne, the plain, intelligent, skeptical spinster daughter of the Earl of Harecross, resents any attempt to hoax her with magic, witches, ghosts or even… werewolves. So when she receives a letter from her dear friend Lady John Bestwick – formerly Miss Lydia Moore before her recent marriage – with a terrifying story of a werewolf plaguing the locals, chasing young women and ripping sheep to shreds, and a plea to come north to Yorkshire to visit, Anne is both angry that anyone would deliberately frighten her naïve friend, and intrigued. A werewolf? And it was supposedly seen by many standing upright, speaking English? She’s on the first bone-rattling Royal Mail coach heading north. But what she finds when she arrives is both more terrifying and more intriguing than she could have imagined.

And when a gorgeous, mysterious and moody marquess, Lord Anthony Darkefell appears, I hope you know what comes next! Fireworks, antagonism and – woo hoo – sexual attraction.

I’ve always been fascinated by tales of the supernatural, but a deep skepticism does not allow me to do more than say I have an open mind. You say you’ve seen ghosts? I say it is likely a puff of steam or a wisp of smoke. Witches? Poor deluded women mixing harmless potions and invoking unlikely demons. I’m no spoil sport (well, okay, maybe I am to some) but it takes a lot to convince me, and Lady Anne is firmly in that school of thought. It doesn’t mean she’ll never be convinced, but it’s gonna take more than spooky stories or vague sightings.

Now, the magic of love… well, Anne is both fascinated and a little afraid of the sexual attraction that heats her loins (and other bits) at the magnificent Marquess of Darkefell’s nearness. She refuses to allow that gorgeous man to distract her from her purpose of exposing the hoax she believes MUST be behind the werewolf of Darkefell Castle, though, except when he… kisses her. Looks at her. Touches her.

I had so much enjoyment writing this book! I hope this doesn’t sound like there’s no fun in Lady Anne, because Anne and the Marquess certainly do spark well off each other. Publishers Weekly says about Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark that… “romance fans will love the witty byplay.” And the follow-ups, Lady Anne and the Ghost’s Revenge (August 2009) and Lady Anne and the Gypsy Curse (November 2009) give me the opportunity to heat things up slooowly, to a nice, furious boil!

I hope you enjoy reading Lady Anne and the Howl in the Dark as much as I did writing it!

Join me:

http://www.donnaleasimpson.com

http://donnaleasimpson.wordpress.com

http://www.myspace.com/donnaleasimpson

http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/DonnaLeaSimpson

Inspiration

March 22, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News No Comments →

“What inspires you?”

I’ve done a couple interviews now and that seems to be a pretty common question. Actually, everyone seems to want to know that, not even just interviewers. You’d think it would be a pretty simple question to answer, but if you’re a writer you know that’s not so. Inspiration is a complicated thing. Generally ideas come from all over and it’s up to you to mash them together into something resembling a story.

That is precisely what happened with my story Sister Margaret. For anyone who writes this will sound very familliar, but if you don’t write maybe you’ll be interested in this tiny bit of insight.

It all started when I watched Sin City and was taken by the narrative style of the main character. “Oh,” I thought. “I want to do something in that sort of noir-y style.” Then I read a writing exercise at NaNoLJers to  create a character sketch based on someone you knew as a child. Finally, I had been thinking about writing some short stories set in the same world as a novel I’d been writing. Those are just some of the inspirations I’m aware of, I’m sure my sub concious mind picked up little things here and there and tossed them into the mix too — just to keep things interesting.

The result is Sister Margaret, a story about a priestess of lies who hires a vampire hunter and a half-incubus swordsman to destroy an undead pimp.

Seriously.

Where do you draw inspiration from? For writing or any sort of creative expression? I’d wager it comes from several places the same as mine.

Before I go, allow me to share a short excerpt from Sister Margaret. This is a short battle scene…not very romantic, I grant you, but I am very fond of it :)

~*~

Not one to waste time with niceties, Bayne kicked down the door and went to work.

I’d seen him at work with his sword before, plenty of times; each one better than the last, but nothing had prepared me for this.

Xaphan had a lot of minions—a lot. They swarmed on Bayne like flies on shit, a living wave of fists and feet, all determined to bring him down. None of them reached him. His face, contorted by battle fury, looked every bit like a demon, all trace of humanity erased. He moved the sword as though it were an extension of himself, each movement calculated to destroy as many of his foes as possible. Within minutes, the roar of battle subsided to the whimpering of wounded, and Bayne’s once white hair was stained pink with blood. An occasional cut ripped through his shirt; one or two even managed to draw blood. But in less than ten minutes, he’d reduced the vampire’s army to a pile of mangled corpses and unidentified gore.

I entered as he replaced his sword in the scabbard strapped across his back, careful to watch my step lest I slip on the blood and goo and find myself covered in things I’d rather not contemplate. From a far corner, buried in shadows that mortal eyes couldn’t hope to penetrate, the distinct sound of feminine sobs could be heard. The leech had hostages after all. Good thing I’d decided against the fireball.

“You get the girls,” I said. “I’ll take care of the vampire and meet you back outside.”

Bayne nodded and delivered a sharp kick to the nose of one of his opponents who lay moaning in the sea of gore. The man’s face imploded, shattering beneath the force of Bayne’s boot, and then Bayne headed wordlessly toward the sound of the hostages.

~*~

Rhonda Parrish
http://www.rhondaparrish.com

Author, Kim Smith

March 20, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 1 Comment →

 People ask why I started writing. What was the “thing” that did it to me, turned on the switch, sent me rushing down this tube like a water slide. Well, I blame the pilgrims.

 Seriously, when I was in fourth grade, my teacher made us write a short story about the pilgrims for Thanksgiving. Our stories were on display to the entire school. I even illustrated it! I still have it somewhere in its entire tattered splendor, but the effects of writing it are more important. I never got over the experience.

My dear sainted mother kept that illustrated story and gave it to me shortly before she passed away. She said she had kept it for me so I could see what progress I had made. She always said she wanted to write a book, but it was just out of her grasp. If only I could have known then what I know now, and that is, you are a writer the moment your fingers hit the keys.

She did write a bit of autobiographical work as she went along. Something to keep her memories, I suspect. If I only knew then what I know now, I could have encouraged her. So let this be a lesson to all of us. Encourage a fledgling writer! Tell them it is okay to write goofy stuff, zany stuff, and stream-of-thought stuff.  There is no written law that says you have to write it, edit it, revise it, and show it to others.  You do not have to submit it and be accepted (or rejected). You are still a writer!

But I digress.

The writing journey for me was buried for a time under college days, marriage vows, and child-rearing duties, but it was never forgotten. In the late 1990’s, my husband brought home a computer, put me down in front of it, and told me to quit talking about writing a book, and just do it. The buried desire came floating to the top of my mind like fat on a cold soup. I wrote a fantasy because I thought everyone wrote fantasy. I mean look at the popularity of Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter! But when someone told me it was young adult writing, I got discouraged. I didn’t mean to write young adult!

So then I wrote a historical romance. It was fun! I had to do a lot of research and it took a great deal of time, and the writing was almost secondary. Then I learned how research should be the secondary part, not the writing.  Alas! Once again, I turned away.Before long, I decided to try my hand at something entirely different and set out to write a mystery. The problems really began then. I could not make the characters behave. They told me what to write and forced me to write it. They were nutty and out of vogue by popular standards, and I knew I was in trouble.

But when I discussed these “bad children” with my friends who were writing books, they told me how wonderful it was to have that happen and that I must follow along with it. So I did. The story flowed out of me like water running from a faucet. I had found my voice. 

I haven’t quit writing since. I love readers and fans, and spend a lot of time on the web meeting and greeting them. On my blog, I post about my writing journey and promote the adventures of Shannon Wallace who is the main character of my book, Avenging Angel.  It’s been a wild ride, this writing life, but I wouldn’t trade it for all the gold in the world.

Kim Smith is the author of Avenging Angel, A Shannon Wallace Mystery and can be found online at http://www.mkimsmith.com. The book can be purchased through the publisher, Red Rose Publishing at http://www.redrosepublishing.com 

I want to be a zoologist!

March 17, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Latest News 13 Comments →

That’s me — a zoologist at heart. I’ve always been fascinated with wildlife; however, at eighteen I wasn’t nearly as focused and scholarly as my heroine, Cassidy Lowell. She is everything I wanted to be and more. I love being able to create characters that allow me the honor of participating in their adventures, mishaps and love affairs.

Dr. Cassidy Lowell is a zoologist within an international organization called ZEBRA (Zoological Environmental Bio Research Agency). Her job allows her to travel the world, uncover some of the most dramatic environmental travesties and fight to re-balance ecology. In DEVIL’S GOLD, Cassidy is faced with the destruction of the Niger Delta — once a corner of the world alive with rare creatures, now nothing more than a burnt husk rife with political corruption and irreparable damage to its flora and fauna.

Of course, a great fight isn’t worth a damn without a sexy undercover Special Forces agent that sends your heart into a wild Mexican hat dance whenever he flashes his cocky over-the-top grin. Jake Anderson’s a storm in the making and Cassidy’s not certain whether she wants to run for cover or open her arms and succumb to the turbulent emotions he awakes. Add in a few nasty bad guys, betrayal, murder, bio-terrorism and a perilous helicopter ride and I say welcome to Cassidy’s life.

If you’re an advocate of nature, like a great roller coaster of an adventure and a convoluted romance — then I think DEVIL’S GOLD will be right up your alley.

Read an excerpt here

Thank you so much for allowing me to be a guest blogger here at Romance Junkies. Y’all are such an awesome bunch.

Julie

www.juliekorzenko.com

Destinations unknown

March 15, 2009 By: Guestauthor Category: Guest Blogger, Latest News 4 Comments →

Well hello all you RJ-ers out there.

 Yup I’m Mila Ramos and I’m back again for another fabulous blogging opportunity at the lovely Romance Junkies.

 My little adventure for you today is brought to you by the city of Snyder, TX.  Now to those that have never heard of this city, it is a very small town. Population of 10,000 or so. Why am I here, well I’m currently on break and on my way to seeing family in West Texas.  To those that have never been to such small places, I must tell you they are the best. I love small towns, for the two things they offer; Peace and simplicity. When you’re dealing with huge cities and constant rush, there is nothing better than going to a small town and literally relaxing your mind and adjusting to an eye-opening few days that allow you to open your eyes and truly see through your senses. 

So as I was looking out at the horizon here tonight, I used that opportunity to ponder characters. Any moment used to the craft right? What are you authors out there favorite areas to truly get away and write? What about you readers? Where do you like to go to escape with a good book?

Currently, with one of my books, I’m writing about the state of New Jersey. I haven’t been able to go there but I have friends living there who have brought the city to life in their words.  And I aim to bring the beauty of the city I’m focusing on to magestic light.  I often wonder when other writers/authors detail in their stories actual towns and cities, if they ever have problems bringing the accurate beauty of that city. Each city is different, each town has its own essence. Is it hard to distinguish one from another? What special thing makes one city stand out from another? Now mind you, people will have issues with some cities and never see a certain beauty like other people. But I do often wonder if they, people who have lived in a place long enough, find a new side to their town when reading it through an authors eyes.

Has anyone ever had that experience? Have you ever read about your town through the eyes of an author and said “That’s my home? I never knew!” 

 If you have had this experience I would truly love to know!

Hope everyone has a great day, and keep writing RJ-ers!

Mila Ramos, Paranormal & Contemporary Romance

Blog: http://jademystique.blogspot.com
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/jademystique
Website: http://www.milaramoswrites.com

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