Vixenwriter: A Seduction In Words

 

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


       Blurbing and The Technical Aspects of Writing

So I did it. I finished the blurb and the synopsis and sent out Giving Chase and got back to Tri Mates.

This makes me think about the technical aspects of being a writer. Blurb writing is creative, don't get me wrong. There's definitely an art to it. But sometimes books seem to elude blurbing. Enforcer's blurb came to me quickly and I have to say it's my favorite of all my blurbs so far. Vengeance Due was harder as was Sleight of Hand for different reasons but SOH has two things happening - the drama of attempted murder and the situation between Lissie and Xander so it's hard to write something short that encompasses that.

But it's part of the job, you know? You grump about it and then you suck it up and do it because that blurb is important. It's what lends the reader a glimpse into something they haven't read and may not have even heard of. It's not even so much about describing all of the contents as giving a feel for what they'll be reading.

Of course, once you realize that, it becomes even more daunting even as it becomes second nature. Even now, as I write, I'm blurbing. I didn't do that a year ago.

I hope I'll get all second nature with the synopsis next. We'll see where I am next January, LOL.

Monday, January 30, 2006

I hate writing synopses. That is all.


       Websites and Blogs

One of my favorite places to read is The Book Standard where today I see that more books are set in NYC than any other place in the world. Pretty cool. Oh and that more than half of adult fiction books fall into the categories of romance, mystery and detective, science fiction or westerns. Most fiction books are published in paperback editions, both mass market and trade, with 65 percent of romance books and 61 percent of science fiction in paperback format.

There happens to be a lot of great information out there on the web.

More unmasking - The myth behind JT Leroy has been exposed. There is no transgendered boy, but rather, Laura Albert, the woman "JT" claimed took him in after his life as a child prostitute.

From Making Light, I followed a link to a website listing the bestseller lists from 1900 to 1995. Fascinating stuff!

Saturday, January 28, 2006


       Cover for Sleight of Hand!

I just got my cover for Sleight of Hand, my novella that releases from Whispers on February 28! A part of the story (and where the title comes from) is how Xander gets Lissie into his bed and then back into his life with a coin toss. He's a pretty sneaky guy though so I personally wouldn't be trusting any quarters he'd be tossing.

Anyway, without further ado...here it is:


       New Look

Did a bit of furniture rearranging courtesy the fabulous Frauke at Croco Designs. Check out the links at the top left which take you to my website, also redone by Frauke.

I hope you all like it. The sentinel stone and divination stones were her idea after I tossed out some central themes of my work and I am just thrilled with her work.

Friday, January 27, 2006


       The Importance of Good Beta Readers and Ruthless Editing

Right now I'm working on edits for Giving Chase, a contemporary erotic romance that I'd like to send to Samhain when I finish. So I wrote it and edited it and sent it to my beta readers and realized that the pacing was off at the beginning.

Now, this book is sweeter than my usual stuff although there is something dark in the storyline. I did realize though, through talking with Tracy (beta reader extraordinaire) that I needed to extract some major stuff about a character who while important, wasn't as important as the other people in the book. That character overshadowed the beginning of the book.

So I cut. Man, I was ruthless. I used to whittle. Just a smidge here and there. I'd be so in love with some dialog or a scene that I hated to lose it and I'd lose sight of the big picture, the novel as a whole.

But now I'll just hack it up, LOL. And I have. I've cut about eight thousand words (yeah, it was long too). And I'm nearly done and the book is way better for it. I do miss one scene in particular, but I'll use it someday in something else.

So I'm going to do a big push this weekend to finish up and get it ready to get out the door. And then back to Tri Mates, which should be finished by the end of January - yes, that's how close I am.

So things are cooking after stagnating for a few days with my husband away and my kids sick.


       Oh! Over at Writerbabes

Cathryn Fox is discussing classic plot hooks over at the Writerbabes blog. Check it out.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


       Bad Boys Ahoy!


I'm really fortunate. I know some of the best writers around and I wanted to take a moment to bring this book to your attention because Sylvia Day is amazing. So g'wan, rush out and grab this one!

BAD BOYS AHOY!
ISBN: 0-7582-1251-8
Brava
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/0758212518/

They're mad, bad, and deadly between the sheets. With their devilish smiles and wicked ways, these three bad boys will make readers want to stay up all night long.
Back Cover Copy
Oh, those naughty rakes. With their wicked winks, sensual smiles, and bad boy habits, you just can’t take them out in polite society. But who wants to go out when you can stay in…?

STOLEN PLEASURES

Sebastian Blake, Earl of Merrick, long ago fled the responsibilities of his title to become the infamous pirate, Captain Phoenix. But the booty he’s just captured on a merchant ship is a fierce tempered minx who claims to be a bride…his bride, married to him by proxy on behest of their fathers. He could shame his hated family and return his beautiful wife untouched, but no treasure has ever proved more tempting to Sebastian, and making their marriage a true one—in every sense—is his one urgent desire …

LUCIEN’S GAMBLE

Lucien Remington’s reputation as a debauched libertine who plays by no one’s rules—in business or the bedroom—is well deserved. He gets what he wants, social repudiation be damned. But society can keep from him the one thing he truly desires, the untouchable Lady Julienne La Coeur. Until she sneaks into his club dressed as a man and searching for her irresponsible brother. Suddenly she’s in Lucien’s grasp, his to take, and his mind is filled with the most wickedly sinful thoughts. A gentleman would walk away from the temptation she presents. But then, Lucien has never claimed to be a gentleman…

HER MAD GRACE

Hugh La Coeur never wanted to be the Earl of Montrose. Wine, women, and a hefty wager are preferable to responsibility of any kind. It’s certainly preferable to spending the night in an eerie, neglected mansion owned by a legendary madwoman. The duchess’s companion, the fiercely independent Charlotte, is another matter altogether. Hugh would be happy to spend as many nights in her bed as possible. He knows she’s hiding terrible secrets, but for once in his life, Hugh has the desire to take on someone else’s burden as his own, no matter what the danger…

They’re mad, bad, and totally irresistible…


       Flavor of Love

Last night I was dealing with a sick toddler who insisted on laying in my bed and only not being fussy while her back was being rubbed but refusing to sleep for longer than thirty minutes at a time. This of course, tends to make writing and editing impossible so I finally gave up after she woke up for the hundreth time.

Bleary, I surfed around until, like the proverbial car wreck, I discovered a bachelor type show with Flavor Flav as the bachelor. Now, I loved Public Enemy and Chuck D is on my list of hottest men to ever walk the planet. But Flav, well, he seems to have a good heart at least.

But the show is like the most horrifying spectacle of stereotypical eye poppery I've ever seen. First the women walk around in outfits best saved for say, Hollywood Boulevard or the nuthouse. And you know, while I appreciated the expansive use of spandex, the tube dress so short that much ass is hanging out and the halter dress cut to the navel, I wondered about these women on several levels. One woman tells Flav that he'd have to wait a month to kiss her. Okay, I can respect that. But then he tells her, that he's not quite sure that's okay with him. That he can wait but even he has limits. So the next episode she straddles his lap and dry humps him. Understandibly, Flav is puzzled by this change in behavior and tells her so. She's all giggly and slightly crazy (although a refreshingly lower level of crazy compared to Brigitte Nielson).

The women have nicknames that he's given them like, "Red Oyster" and "hoopz" My favorite is the utterly crazy "New York" who declares to Flav's mother, "I LOVE your son." Flav's mother, who has had to have seen a lot as his mother, looks for the exits at that one. Oh and "Hottie" who is also batshit and wears odd sort of military themed skankwear and served him a mostly raw chicken in the fried chicken competition. Dude, this made me very very hungry for fried chicken and then they went to a soul food restaurant afterwards and he ordered fried porkchops and greens and I wished for my mother. Sigh.

So oh! Two very favorite moments so far: the first one is when one of the women says how into Flav she is because, "he's an intellectual." BWAH! Okay, so that made me laugh and I woke up the sick toddler who then punished me but that's motherhood. And the second one is when "New York" went to Flav's room in a bra and panties and saw that two other women were already there, draped over him (hoopz and pumpkin). She sat in a snit and then got in bed and nuzzled his hand in a really inappropriate and utterly creepy way. Later, she called the two women there already "sluts and whores" which made me laugh again.

Oh the chick who cried and shook when she had to touch chicken, the innocent who went all cowgirl on Flav's crotch, got sent home and went all nuts at the clock ceremony (yes, instead of a rose because you know what time it is!). That was interesting.

I have to stop watching this show. I have to let last night be the first and last time I watch. The trainwreck quality is too high. Although, apparently, crazy girl extraordinare, Gitte Nielson is coming to visit in a future episode. I may have to break the rule for that one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


       Agent Pitch Info

Nadia Cornier has an excellent entry at her blog today about agent pitches at conferences (along with her schedule). I highly recommend it (as well as pretty much everything else she writes).

Tags: ;


       The Requisite Writer Writing About Frey Entry

I've watched this whole Frey debacle WRT A Million Little Pieces being a memoir or an outright fabrication with increasing interest and horror.

In the first place, I get that there's pressure on authors to market themselves a certain way. I really do. But that is not what this is about.

Oprah and Frey and Frey's publisher are all very quick to tell us that memoirs are not about a true recollection of events. Hmm. They aren't? Because while I would agree that everyone sees the past through the lens of their own lives and biases and remembrances can be faulty or certainly differ from others' memories of the same event - one either went to jail for three months on a cocaine charge and got into a fight with cops or one got pulled over for an open container and did no time. There is not an issue of different memories here, this is an outright fabrication and that's what fiction is for.

Memoirs are not meant to be fiction. That's what "fiction" is for. Writers face issues of truth and marketing and the temptation to spice things up to make themselves more marketable all the time. But in truth, this is a matter of Frey lying and getting caught.

Does that mean A Million Little Pieces hasn't touched people? No. But the inescapable reality is that he lied. Saying that one just lied a little and therefore did not lie but simply "embellished" the story would have been true if it had indeed been embellishment. But Frey has passed embellishment and embraced fraud.

Sadly, I must be jaded because while I'm annoyed at the situation, the the only thing I can get really het up over is that he's slapped the face of people who've extended themselves and written honest and amazing memoirs by stating that a memoir can be outright fiction. That's lazy.

Monday, January 23, 2006


       Chat Tonight

Hey everyone! I'll be at Writerspace tonight at the monthly EC author chat! Please drop in and say hello. It's a quick, very fun hour and you may win something too.

Stars at 5 pm pacific! Hope to see you there.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


       Shocking I Know but...A Post About Writing

I'm finishing up Tri Mates and putting a bit here and there in Battlefront as I go. I do that, by the way, have more than one project working at once. Because I'm a hummingbird. I like to have several things to think about so if I get blocked or bored, I can hop to something else.

Frankly, I'm not sure that's wise, but it's what I do. And it seems to work for me. And now I'm going to ramble a bit about supposed writing rules, feel free to go and grab some chocolate.

I look at posts in writing loops that talk about rules like if you don't do things the exact way someone tells you to, you're making mistakes. And to a certain extent, there are general things which make your writing stronger, no matter your genre like active writing versus passive writing and showing versus telling.

At the same time, I get a bit annoyed with people's insistence that stylistic and voice differences are "mistakes" instead of differences.

As readers, we have our likes and dislikes. As writers, we're ten times pickier. Boy, no one is a harsher critic of a book than another writer! When issues like first person come up, it's not readers who seem so offended by the concept, it's writers (and not all writers by the way, but a hell of a lot of them). I've been told that using multiple POV is "cheating" and I have to shrug it off rather than offer up the defintion of the word (To deceive by trickery; swindle. To deprive by trickery; defraud. To mislead; fool. To act dishonestly; practice fraud. - oops, okay so I did offer the definition and nope, not cheating)

A preference is not a rule. And yes, some people do have a preference for single POV which is usually third person. Then again, some people don't care as long as the story is well told and engaging. At least a few people seem to like my books just fine.

So yeah, I'm sort of rules averse, I admit that. But I reject the idea that everything handed down by people in this industry is a rule to begin with. Nora Roberts has clearly been hindered by her use of multiple POV. Oh wait, no she hasn't. Laurell K. Hamilton writes in first person and she's certainly not suffering a dearth of readers because of it.

Does that mean that I can't improve a scene by tightening it up? Or that a specific scene works better told in single POV? - Of course my work needs tightening and of course some scenes are not appropriate for multiple POV. And of course, sometimes, the writing can be confusing because you don't know who's thinking what.

But what bugs me is that I used to just write and now I'm always thinking about structural foundation and these gorram rules! Doesn't meant I'm changing my voice, which is inherently multiple POV, but it does make me hesitate in places.

For Lauren the reader - matters of single or multiple POV are meaningless. It's about the story. When I'm reading, I don't think about those things at all. I'm thinking about whether the characters are three dimensional, whether I like them, whether they do things that are believable for their setting and motivations. Does the story work?

For Lauren the writer - I just let my muse write. The story comes out the way it's supposed to.

There will always be people who don't like certain books. Everyone has preferences. But this insistence on rules for rules sake by some seems a hindrance rather than a help. But again, I suppose that's my preference.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


       Jane Austin's Books To Be Marketed As Classic Romances

"In May, Headline publishers will issue her six novels as "Classic Romances," with glossy pastel covers depicting dashing dandies and bonneted Regency beauties, Reuters reported yesterday from London. "Our aim would very much be every airport bookshop, every supermarket," said the Headline fiction editor Harriet Evans. Complaining that Austen's novels had always been marketed in a dry, academic way, she said: "It is such a shame, as she is the archetypal popular novelist. She is the godmother of modern women's fiction."

Here's my take on this: First, I'm a huge Austin fan. Hers are books I read again and again and have for twenty five years now. I like that she'd be marketed to be read by a wider audience. AND, well, I write romances so it's not like I think it's a shameful thing to be classified as such.

BUT

Her books aren't romances. Certainly they have romantic elements in them but they aren't about the romance. They're about the lead character's struggle and journey and most importantly, her strength, wit and intelligence in achieving her goal. I disagree with the London chapter of the Jane Austin society who say that repackaging her books as romance will be "dumbing them down" because hey, I'm not dumb and my readers aren't dumb and I'm sick of the whole patronizing sneers about romance in general.

Still, this doesn't make Jane Austin a romance novelist.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


       Dominic Purcell

Oh so I'm writing this futuristic menage with major BDSM elements called, Battlefront and I've got one of my heroes in my head with a really good idea of what he looks like but the other has eluded me.


Until two days ago when I was reading my husband's January, Best Life magazine and Dominic Purcell was staring back at me.

Now I can't find any of those pictures online and in those pictures, he's got a shaved head and his hands are up, clasped at the back of his neck. And this man is Nash. Oh yep.








And how could I have possibly missed this man? In all my years on earth, this man was out there and I didn't know it? Have I been in a cave? Could I be in a cave with him?


And then I remember that I did see him on the short lived John Doe show and I don't watch Prison break but I just may have to now.

So here's to inspiration. Of the hunky kind.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


       Sex Idol Is out Today!!

If y'all haven't read any Shelley Munro you're missing out! Today, her newest book, Sex Idol releases from Ellora's Cave and I've been drooling over this cover for months now. This is a really good week for releases as another one of my favorites, Claire Thompson has a book out today too (which I'm going to talk about tomorrow)

~~~~~~~~~

Sex Idol By Shelley Munro


Are you Sex Idol material?

Can you strut your stuff on stage, turning on the audience—your judges? Are you experienced in all forms of sexual entertainment?
Calling all sex contestants on Earth and off-planet! We are searching for candidates to enter the ultimate in sex reality shows. The winner of the Sex Idol title will receive a fabulous prize package including an advertising contract worth over ten million credits. Pick up your entry forms from Robinson's, the makers of designer toys and sexual aids, and sign up today!

Sex contestant Antonio Perez sees the Sex Idol contest as an opportunity to reconcile with his former partner Sasha Greenacre. With Sasha at his side he'll have hot sex and an excellent chance at taking out the ultimate title.

Sasha is shocked when Antonio walks back into her life, asking her to train him. She's determined to keep her distance and guard her heart. Sasha doesn't want to step over the emotional line again, even though one look at the luscious hunk is enough to tempt an angel to sin…

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

So they just had a banner at the bottom of the screen during the weather report that it was available for podcast.

Excuse me, I don't mean to belittle Andy Wappler or anything, but unless I'm Andy's mom, why would I download a podcast of the weather?

Monday, January 16, 2006


       Observance

I remember the first time I read Letter From a Birmingham Jail. I was a junior in high school, it was my AP English class. I remember it because it was one of those moments where my life changed.

I sat there in my room, on my bed and I read it once, twice and then a third time. My hands were shaking when I finished. The wave of not just his reality, but of the reality of all black Americans hit me with such force but what remained was this sense of strength and drive that has always stayed with me.

King was in jail for a series of protests and the white clergy had written a statement, published in the newspaper, condeming King's actions. Urging him to keep waiting and being patient. He wrote the letter, first in the margins of a newspaper and then on scraps of paper given to him by a fellow prisoner (a trusty) and finally on paper his lawyers were allowed to give him.

Instead of being angry that his fellow clergy chose to condemn him for working for human rights instead of being out there with him, the letter is empassioned, even angry in parts but not reactionary. It's clear and concise and as such, a thing of beauty.

"You deplore the demonstrations taking place In Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative."



When urged to continue to wait, he writes, "My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

(...)

"Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dark of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross-county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you no forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness" then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.

There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there fire two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the Brat to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all"


These words set me on fire for justice and they set a similar fire in me to write and keep writing because this letter, written in a jail cell on scraps of paper in secret, is a testament to the power of words and will remain so.

You can read the letter in its entirety here


Sunday, January 15, 2006


       I Got To Meet Di!!

So some writers are lucky enough to have people that have been with them since day one. Before the book even came out these folks joined their loops and supported them, beta read and talked them through the bad times and have pretty much been front and center in their cheering section.

I have a few of those folks and I adore them all (in addition to folks who've discovered me later, I love y'all too!)

Yesterday, I spent several hours laughing over lunch with one of those folks, a true friend to me and a lot of authors - Di Nogueras. What can I say about Di other than that she's just as wonderful in person as she is online? She's funny and sweet and smart and she knows her books. She's a hoot and her friend Elaine was wonderful as well and I'm thrilled to have met her, too.

So without further ado...

Saturday, January 14, 2006


       Realism And Writing

I've had a number of discussions lately about realism in books and just how much is too much and also, how much is enough?

For instance, the presence of condoms in erotic romance. For me, when I write a contemporary, I'm going to address the issue. HIV and pregnancy are too much of an issue not to address it. I don't need to give a lengthy screed about it, but I feel some responsibility to have the hero use a condom. I may just note that he does once and not go over it again and again. I find it tedious over and over, it's not very romantic or even very sexy, but again, I do it. Even with my paranormals I address it in at least a "vampires/werewolves/faeries don't carry STDs" sort of way.

When I wrote Second Chances, which deals with BDSM, I wanted to approach it in a way that hightlighted the emotional connection between Dom and sub. To do so, I made sure to talk to a wide variety of people, to see how their relationships worked as well as using my own feelings on the matter. I did my research, I tried the different things I used in the book, I talked to people in the scene and made sure to incorporate it into the book. I think you can tell the difference between someone who writes a flogging scene and has never held a flogger before and someone who has and knows what it feels like. In that case, realism makes the story better, IMO.

But there are other things in which fantasy is better than reality. Too much realistic detail detracts from the overal impact of the scene. Anal sex for instance. I do always put in the basics of lube and stretching for prep but if I wrote all of the mechanics in, it would be less than romantic. Sex is messy and noisy and less than graceful at times. You read erotic romance to escape the messy details of life. I get that and I try to walk that line of responsibility and yet providing an enjoyable escape to my readers.

What are things that you as a reader feel must be there and also would rather not see?

Friday, January 13, 2006


       Linkage

I've done some cleaning up on my link list today. I've added some new things and gotten rid of links to blogs that are not updated at least once every two weeks. Some of the ones I've unlinked are friends and I apologize but I feel like if I'm sending my readers to places that were last updated November 5 or something, that's not very fair.

If you see any links I'm missing that I should add, let me know!


       In Which Lauren Says She's Not Going To Comment And Does Anyway

I could talk about reviews. AngieW has an interesting post up at RTB about reviews with many interesting comments. This has spilled out, as such things are wont to do, to Smart Bitches and KarenS as well. All interesting perspectives. You should go and read them.

I started to respond at RTB, but decided against it. Enough has been said already there. But as I start to write this I realize I will talk about it because I'm mouthy that way.

I used to review books at a review site and I've seen things from both sides. I never fluffed anyone, that's not in my nature, LOL. I have given less than glowing reviews, but you probably won't find them and that's an issue. I love it when I get a glowing review, it certainly makes me happy. But I expect to get less than glowing reviews too and I have. Certainly I respect the ones that gave concrete reasons for not liking the book, for instance at Sequential Tart, a magazine I respect immensely, the reviewer didn't feel that I gave enough attention to the mystery element (although she did complain about my formatting, which is not in my control).

Another complained that the Charvez family wasn't dysfunctional enough and well, okay, if dysfunctional families are your thing, you probably won't like the Charvezes because they're not. They're also not race car drivers or spaceship captains, just in case you're looking for that. I've been fairly fortunate although I'm sure as time goes by, I'll get blindsided by something clearly personal and mean. That goes hand in hand with putting your work out there to see.

I don't personally believe that one needs special credentials to write reviews but I do prefer to see reviews that get my name right and don't give spoilers for my book. As a reader, I do look at the reviews at amazon but I disregard ones that are overly gushy and those which are mean or just inappropriate (as in a review for a book clearly marked erotic romance but complains of too much sex, yawn).

Oops, a lot of "not going to say anything" there. I wish I had the same kind of self control that other authors do who never say anything controversial, but I just don't have that gene.

Let's see, what else? Oh, the loop party yesterday was quite enjoyable and once again, I realize what great readers I have and count my blessings.

I'm going to be announcing two new contests at my website later today so keep an eye out.

The new issue of my newsletter comes out on the 17th. I'm doing an extra contest for that one, all new subscribers will be entered. Here's the link to subscribe.

That's it for now. My kids are driving me nuts and I should go and oh, I don't know play with them or something, LOL. Have a lovely Friday, all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


       Best and Worst of 2005

My wonderful friend JP, who runs an equally wonderful forum at Delphi, asked her readers these questions and I thought they were some good ones and I stole them to ask you all here

Favorite book of 2005?

Favorite author of 2005?

Favorite new or “new to you” author of 2005?

Favorite hero of 2005?

Favorite heroine of 2005?

Favorite plot of 2005?

Favorite secondary characters of 2005 (may they get sequels!)?

Most romantic moment in a 2005 book?

Best villain of 2005?

Worst book of 2005?

Most annoying hero of 2005?

Most irritating heroine of 2005?

Secondary characters you could have done without in 2005?

Were there any secondary characters whom you liked more than the hero and heroine in 2005?

Most bothersome plot device of 2005?

Hottest moment in a 2005 book?

Most over-hyped book of 2005?

Overall, would you rate 2005 as a good year for romance?

Finally, what was your favorite NON-romance of 2005 and why?

    Tuesday, January 10, 2006


           I forgot to include this in the entry below but it deserves its own anyway

    For Christmas, my bestest friend, Julia sent me and my family a Robert Sabuda pop up book of the Night Before Christmas. I'd never seen a Sabuda book before so you must imagine my delight and amazement as I opened it up for the first time. So much intricate detail, it's truly a work of art and I won't even let the kids touch it, I've put it away to bring out next Christmas to share again.

    While waiting for pictures with Santa (sigh, and that was a trial that I won't even account as it took five years from my life) we were letting the kids play in the children's area of the bookstore there and I looked for other titles.

    That's when I saw Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up by Robert Sabuda. Holy moly. This book is just breathtaking and the boys, who adore everything dinosaur are nearly as excited as I am about this book. The T Rex actually pops out at you, gnashing teeth. Each page has mini books within it with incredibly small, very itricate dinosaurs. Unbelievable attention to detail.

    Anyway, it's the number fifteen book in the Amazon.com Editor's Choice Top 50 and I couldn't agree more. If you have kids or even if you don't but you love books as works of art, check out Sabuda's stuff, especially Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs: The Definitive Pop-Up


           Heard and Read

    Finished Grave Sight night before last. It was amusing and I enjoyed it. I did figure out the ending, including the twist, by about 100 pages in, but I truly love Harris' characters and I'll definitely be looking into the next books in this series.

    Listening to: American Idiot - Green Day still is on my regular play list along with Warning and Dookie. Green Day used to be this fun little punk pop band but they've matured and become relevant in a way so few bands become. AI is an excellent record, probably in my top 10 of all time.

    Sleater Kinney - The Woods. G*DDAMM I love this record. Love it love it love it. If you like to see live music, try and check them out if they're in your town, they're amazing live.

    Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane. It's an old one, but hey, it's a record all about sex and romance both wonderful and failed. I love that.

    Clamm Bon - Japanese jazz pop. I've never heard anything like it and I love it. It's perfect to write with because the lyrics are in Japanese and they don't catch me when I'm working.

    Some oldies - Ministry's Psalm 69 and NIN, the Downward Spiral

    Oh, loop party at the Maverick Author loop on Thursday, don't miss it

    Monday, January 09, 2006


           Update Type Stuff

    Cascadia Wolves: Tri Mates

    Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
    45,000 / 65,000
    (69.2%)


    I'm moving along really well in Tri Mates. I'm expecting to be finished by the end of January. I think this one is going to be longer than my usual 65 or so thousand words but we'll see. I'm just laying it out and seeing where it goes. It's a menage and that takes more because you've got two primary relationships as well as the actual relationship itself as a feature.

    Sleight of Hand, my novella is coming out from Whispers, a start up erotic imprint of Scarlet Publishing, looks like late Feb/early March. As I'm one of their launch authors, my novella releases on their first day of business, which is nice.

    Sent three chapters of Witches Knot out to Berkley Heat. Although the process makes me agitated, slightly needy and sleepless, it's done, out and I'll do my best to pretend I've forgotten it. Gah, I hate being all "eek will she like it?" I'm not used to it and each time I send something out, I swear I lose three pounds and about 30 hours of sleep. (Hmm, note to self: try sending out more ms as a way to lose weight.) I'm normally a very confident woman so the whole "eek" thing makes me crazy. But I suppose it's good for my moral fiber and all that. (Because I see in a popular romance blog that yet again, I'm apparently the whore who writes porn - better that than a bored housewife, LOL)

    After I'm done with Tri Mates I'm going back to the futuristic menage I'm about 1/3 into, Battlefront. I haven't written a futuristic before but I want to keep challenging myself or I'll get bored. This one is just a standalone. While I do love mind writing series books, I'd like to not do it every once in a while, too.

    Oh, but before that, I need to write a proposal and the first 10 grand or so in my tarot book for EC. The beautiful Anya Bast and I are writing linked books - mine, called Sword and Crown, based on the Queen of Swords card. It'll be a contemporary with fantasy elements. I'm really excited because this will make me stretch and work. I've already sketched out part of the proposal and the story arc so I'm anxious to get started.

    I'm going to be re-writing Enclave in March at the mini retreat in Vegas. It'll certainly take me longer than four days, but I want to have the concentrated time to just start at the foundations and dig in.

    I think that's about it for now. Got an invitation this weekend to write something for a small epub. It was a flattering and generous offer but my plate is rather full and I won't be adding to it right now. I did thank her and tell her I'd keep them in mind for later in the year.

    Sunday, January 08, 2006


           Titles, Word Counts, Books and More

    Last night I wrote five thousand words on Tri Mates. I've also changed the title from Rebel to Tri Mates. I think it's a more accurate title anyway because it focuses on the relationship instead of just one person.

    It's suddenly a very complicated book. When that happens it makes me wonder just how long the book will end up being as I'm already at 42k and I usually end up at about 65k. We'll see how it goes though.

    But I'm at that place where it's all just flowing and I love that so I want to work it as much as I can before it runs out and gets hard again.

    I have Charlaine Harris', Grave Sight at the top of my TBR pile for after I finish Tony Bourdain's, Kitchen Confidential - which is a very fun book that's like reading a really amusing story told to you by your funny friend.

    Battlestar Galactica is back! Yeah! And now I can have detailed heated arguments over characters and motivations with my husband and my friends like the geek I am.

    I'm thinking of getting an author photo done. A professional one.

    That's about it. I think I need some cinnamon toast and some more tea.

    Saturday, January 07, 2006


           Tagged

    Mari and Annalee have both tagged me in the Seven Things Meme.

    Seven Things To Do Before I Die:
    1. Be On the NYT Best Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List (you get the picture) - multiple times would be good, too.
    2. Go to see the pyramids at Giza with my husband
    3. See all of my children as happy, well adjusted and successful adults
    4. Make a good living with my writing due to a very solid career
    5. Paris, an expensive hotel, expensive champagne and chocolates and me and the man, nekkid for like, three weeks.
    6. Prague again, only this time with actual money
    7. Train trip all across Europe and Asia
    Seven Things I Can't Do
    1. Serenity - I am an incredibly impatient person. It's a flaw I'm working on it.
    2. Listen to more than three hours' worth of Pokemon facts per day. I have to say, "okay that's it, mom has reached her Pokemon satiation point, to tell dad."
    3. Sing. But that doesn't stop me
    4. Eat eggs. I hate them. But I wish I liked them, omlettes look so tasty.
    5. Put eyedrops in. It's why I don't have contacts. Once when I got conjunctivitis right before our wedding, I had to get special eyedrops and literally, my husband had to lay across me to hold me down and hold my eyes open. He's a keeper, LOL.
    6. Hear music and not want to dance
    7. Watch the Exorcist. I watched it once when I was twelve and it's haunted me forever. The movie scares the crap out of me. I love the idea of it, but I just can't do it.
    Seven Things That Attract Me To My Spouse
    1. His intelligence. He's the smartest person I know.
    2. His passion. He believes in things and he works to make them happen. That's so sexy.
    3. His parenting. Nothing sexier than a man who's a good dad.
    4. Okay, so shallow, I know, but his looks. He's got this black hair and eyes so deep brown they're black and he's tall and hard and mmmmm, just damned sexy. Even more so that he's got grey at the temples now and that despite the fact that his face has been one I've seen for nearly twenty years, I still find something new about him to love. Oh, and his ass. The man has a stellar ass.
    5. The way he loves me. There's nothing in the world better than feeling cherished.
    6. Watching him do his job, he's all take charge and ass kicking and it's very attractive.
    7. His sense of humor. It's dry, really really dry.
    Seven Things I Say Most Often (this one is going to be bad)
    1. Fuck. It's a perfect word. It's an exclamation, a noun, a verb, something good and something bad all rolled into one.
    2. Whatever
    3. I don't say this, but I do the rocking devil horns a lot and I have forever. My oldest son does it now, LOL. Megan Hart and I also have made up a little emoticon code lml because she's goofy like me.
    4. Terms of affection like: doll, dollface, darlin, sweetie for people I adore
    5. "Oh, uh uh"
    6. "Get your finger/hand out of your ____" (this to the kids, all day long)
    7. "Can you tell me why you're doing/not doing that?" (variations of this include, WHY? What the heck do you think you're doing! Stop doing that!)

    Seven Books I love

    1. Pride and Prejudice
    2. Wuthering Heights
    3. Dune
    4. Foundation
    5. Welcome To Temptation
    6. Handmaid's Tale
    7. Assorted Poetry of Pablo Neruda

    Seven Movies I Could Watch Again and Again
    1. Alien
    2. Brazil
    3. 12 Monkeys
    4. Bend it Like Beckham
    5. the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice
    6. Kill Bill Vol 1
    7. The Matrix
    Seven People to tag:
    1. Anya Bast
    2. Megan Hart
    3. Lili (who won't do it and may possibly complain about it, LOL, but I'm tagging her anyway because I love her and she's cute when she's grumpy)
    4. Mechele
    5. Shelley
    6. Jan
    7. Charli

    Friday, January 06, 2006


           Rant On

    Of all the offensive phrases used to describe me and my fellow erotic romance authors I think "bored housewives" is the worst. It's the worst because of what it says about women in general as well as women who write in the genre.

    First is the general, incredibly hateful and misogynistic idea that housewives are sitting around, bored and need to write "racy" books because they have nothing better to do. That women are just robots that shut down when their husbands leave each day, only to come back on twenty minutes before he gets home to put on lipstick and pearls and make him dinner.

    Secondly, the idea that somehow, what we do is so unimportant that it's simply a time filler is offensive.

    For the record, I work damned hard at what I do. I don't claim to write nobel prizewinning novels, but writing a book isn't easy, and it isn't something I do because I'm bored and need a hobby like a good little wife. I don't even have time to get bored. And most women I know in the genre are as busy as I am, if not more so.

    "Bored Housewives" shows utter contempt for women and more specifically, women who create worlds. It shows contempt for housewives, too. And if Tina Engler is a bored housewife, she's laughing her bored ass all the way to the bank heading her multi million dollar publishing company and writing books. The Quad who own Loose Id - are they bored housewives? I don't think so. I've met three of them and know one pretty well and none of them struck me as bored or in need of a "little hobby"

    People don't have to like what I write. People don't for a whole host of reasons, not least of which is that some people have big issues with independent, sexually empowered women - both writing books and as characters in them.

    Thursday, January 05, 2006


           Brokeback Mountain Review

    I keep forgetting to put up my review so let me do it now while I remember.

    I can see why the movie is getting the accolades it is. First and foremost, beyond politics and hawt male stars, the love story is deep and amazing and heartwrenching. Heath Ledger's simmering rage and frustration is incredibly well acted and while Jake is nicer to look at in many ways, Heath's acting stole the movie hands down. Ennis is a man of very few words and so his acting was in his body and his expression and it seriously blew me away. Gylenhall's devil may care attitude belied a gay man trapped in a straight world. A dreamer in love with a man who has to deal with reality, his part was flashier but in that sense, harder as well.

    I admit it, I did cry at the end. I won't say much other than that one friend said there was a vivid sex scene and I looked for it quite eagerly and didn't see it. Loads of deeply emotional kissing and struggle against the feelings they had for each other, one sort of sex scene, clearly pretty daring considering how homophobic our culture is, though.

    Excellently acted, wonderful screenplay, the physical scenery of Wyoming was breathtaking - I really loved it.

    Wednesday, January 04, 2006


           List Mom - Looking Forward/Looking Back

    Anya Bast and I will be hosting the Ellora's Cave Chat Board tomorrow, January 5, all day long. Don't miss it, we've got some great stuff to share. Come by and read great excerpts from many EC authors and some sneak peeks from Enforcer and Vengeance Due as well as well as prizes and all the usual chatty stuff.

    I hope to see you there!


           Oh! Some Excellent News

    Continuing my really really good news -

    On a weekly google, I found that The Road to Romance has named Second Chances the Recommended Read for the month of January

    And when I opened my email, I found an acceptance for Sleight of Hand, my vampire novella from Whispers, a new line from Scarlet Publishing and I'll also be one of their launch authors. I'll know more about this soon.

    I'm having a very good 2006 so far!


           BOOO!

    A big fat hiss to the Super Bowl Organizers who've sent out a call for the half time show for 2,000 people to take the field to dance and cheer on the Rolling Stones. Why, a hiss you ask?

    Because the call is for people 45 and under. Nevermind that the Stones are in their sixties! The planners say it's becuase they'll have to get on the field quickly and be active. Because you know, you're totally in a wheelchair once you're 44 1/2.

    You know, this pisses me off. I hate this idea that people over a certain age can't be sexy or fun or active. That's utter bullshit. Do only people 45 and under dance? Enjoy live music? Watch the Super Bowl?

    Feh!

    Tuesday, January 03, 2006


           Preditors and Editors Poll

    Hey there, Triad is up for the Preditors and Editors Reader's Poll for ebook romance of the year should you want to go and vote for me or nominate another one of my books. Also, Megan Hart's Exhaltation of Larks is up in the science fiction section, it's a marvelous book.

    Thank you!

    xoxoxo
    Lauren

    Monday, January 02, 2006


           Fantastic First

    The EC Editors' Choice Awards came out today and I found out that I'd won the "FANTASTIC FIRST: Editors' choice, from authors who had their first EC or CP release in 2005" award from the editorial department at EC!

    I'm so thrilled because EC authors are all so amazing and I'm so lucky to be among them and I admire them all so much. It means a lot to me.

    And the beautimous Ms. Anya Bast, or Piston as she's also known, won the "Editor's Dream" award, how cool is that!!

    Lauren (grinning ear to ear)

    ;

    Sunday, January 01, 2006


           New Year - A Title At Last

    It's official - I now have a title for the latest Witches Knot book which was Dark Justice but I had to change it given the prolific nature of the word "Dark" in titles.

    The title is........drumroll..... Vengeance Due. It wasn't my top choice but all of those had no no words too, sigh. But I like it, it's descriptive of the struggle Kael feels between his need for vengenace and justice and also his need to not let it be an all encompassing thing either.

    Back to your regularly scheduled New Year's Day programming!

    Lauren