Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Still time to share in the Carina Press Historical giveaway

I'm over at Romancing The Past today, where it's the last day to come chat about your favourite kind of hero and be in for a chance to win one of 6 Carina Press historicals. Looking forward to seeing you there :)

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Six Sentence Sunday

I'm back with another snippet from my medieval scottish romance, Devil of Jedburgh. Things are still not going that well between them :)

  “Learn to hold your tongue,” whispered Arran near her ear. “Explanations are worse than bog lands, you step deeper into the muck with every misspent word.”
  Breghan scowled up at him, not intending to say another word with her father staring them down. But then he went and did it, another damned shrug, so casual and unconcerned.
  “Afraid of what I might reveal?” she challenged with mock sweetness. “I knew you were a devil and a boar and now I discover you are a coward too.”

PS There's a 6 eBook giveaway today and tomorrow at the Carina Press Historical Authors blog. Please stop by for a chance to win.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

How to not make a sale

Dear Mr Salesman,

You phoned to sell me a maintenance/insurance plan on a satellite box I purchased from your company. You kept me on the phone for 10 minutes, not allowing me to get a word in. And I'm polite, so I listened in silence, listened to you telling me how badly I need to take insurance out against the product your company sold me, how likely it is that the product will break down in the next year, how expensive it will be to replace ( I know, I already spent a fortune buying it in the first place), how unaffordable your call-out fees are to get a technician in to fix it when it breaks down.

At the end, I  said I'd need to think about, need to speak to my husband about it. A tip, this is where you might have offered to send a brochure on more information, perhaps offered to call me back in a few days. Instead, this is what you did, you said, "Okay, I'll sign you up and send you the start-up pack. Don't worry, you won't start paying until the end of the month, and if you don't want it, just send us a letter to cancel before the end of the month."

You know what? I no longer need to think about it. I don't appreciate having to make the effort to write a cancellation letter, sign it, spend the money on a stamp to post it, just because you think a sale is forcing a product on someone and then leaving the onus on them to go to the effort of cancelling it because no, they never said they wanted it to begin with.

Now, I'm staring at my satellite box, wondering why I spent so much money on what, you've told me, is such a crappy product.

Yours Sincerely,
Not Impressed

Monday, 21 March 2011

Reading Series

The highs and lows of reading series is that cliffhanger at the end of the book. Yeah, it's what keeps us hanging for the next book, but that's only out usually a year down the road, so it's also what usually blows my frustration levels right into the stratosphere. Connected books tend to end all nicely wrapped up, but series do (lately, this wasn't always the case) tend to end in the middle of a world-changing life-altering scene.

The reason I love reading series is simple: If I'm enjoying the world the author created, if I'm loving the people she filled it with, I never want it to end. Series allows us to connect and explore far beyond the depth of a single book.

The dilemna for me each time a new series catches my eye: start reading at once or wait until at least a couple of books have already been released or, worst case, waiting until the last book has been written before starting the series. I'm not going to miss what I don't know, so this is the easiest option. As a writer, however, I'm well aware that if no one buys the first books in a series, the publisher may well drop the series and that's that. So, with each new series, I twist and turn, pitting the anxiety of reading book #1 immediately against waiting and failing the author who needs that reader support - may the best anxiety win (or lose)

So, it's always nice for to come across a series that's well under way, that didn't spark my interest initially or that I perhaps didn't even know about. This weekend, the Chaos Walking trilogy was that series. I'd looked at a couple of years ago, but, while the storyline grabbed me, I was wary of the writing style. It flows mostly in a mad rush of thoughts going through people's head (I love the characterisation of the each animal talking!) and the way things are spelled differently eg direkshum (for direction) - this is all part of the worldbuilding, and obviously worked well because these books were a hit. But I hesitated, something put me off, and I put it out of my mind and ignored the series.

Until this weekend. I read the first book yesterday and, yes, it ends practically mid-sentence, lol, on the highest freaking cliff ever, but that's okay, the next two are already written and downloaded to my Kindle.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Here's to me, and here's to you

St. Patrick was a gentleman, who thru strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland, Here's a toasting his health
But not too many lest you lose yourself and then
You forget the good St. Patrick and see those snakes again

I love St Patrick's Day, but maybe that's because I'm 3/4 Irish. How do I work that out?
Well, my husband is 1/2 Irish and I'm 1/2 of our couple, and 1/2 of 1/2 is 1/4
Our kids are 1/4 Irish, and we have two of them, so a 1/4 plus a 1/4 = 1/2
And 1/4 plus 1/2 makes me 3/4 IRISH.

Trust me, that is one hundred percent logical in Ireland, so...

Here's to me, and here's to you
And here's to love and laughter
I'll be true as long as you
And not one moment after


Monday, 14 March 2011

If it's Monday...

It means I've only 3 days left to get these edits done. Not sure why they're kicking me upside down, but am determined to put butt to chair and get past the 3/4 mark today.

And, if you like to read, you probably like voting on your favorites and commenting/ranting on everything else. This is your chance with DABWAHA Now, I know nothing about basketball, and the voting is structured according to tournament rules (or something like that, refer back to I know nothing about basketball) but you can check out how to play here and, thank goodness, you don't have to know anything about basketball to vote on your favorites, lol. Go on, have some fun.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

In Reading this Week

I'm reading two @CarinaPress titles this week and both steampunk, lol

Unusual steampunk as it's set in America and has a warrior heroine whose first impression of the hero is of his wiry frame and that he's backbone is not strong enough for her... lol, hard to come back from that. BUT it's okay, because this is not really a romance (in my opinion) and the story was great, really enjoyed how different it was from the norm

I admit, I bought this for the pretty cover... isn't it lovely? I really, really enjoyed this one (and this one is definitely a romance!!!) It came across a little like Mary Poppins in steampunk world, with a great cast of characters and mumckins and a perfect happy ending. And best of all, the next in the series releases next month, so not long to wait.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Gone but Not Forgotten

Cancelled TV shows that you still pine for? I had to play along with this one (click on the image above to view other entries for the blogfest or participcate)
Popular shows that are cancelled because they didn't make big enough figures for the producers is a big beef, what happened to catering for all tastes? One of the greatest things about epublishing is the wider variety available to readers who want to read outside the block-busters...maybe in the future we'll start seeing smaller channels happy to continue giving us shows even when the ratings are uber phenomenal

My top 5...

#1 Friends:  Yes, cheating slightly because at 10 seasons, this wasn't cancelled prematurely, but oh, how I do miss laughing alongside you.
#2 FireFly: I actually only heard about this series after it had been cancelled. For a long while, I resisted, refusing to be drawn in when I knew the story would end abruptly, but then a friend mentioned the movie Serenity to wrap up the loose ends and what the hell, one season is better than none, right? I'm sorry I wasn't there to help you along in the beginning when it mattered, but I just didn't know

#3 Dollhouse: Sensing a Josh Whedon theme here? I love this guy's work, Buffy was my all time favourite, although I did think that it ended at the right time.

#4 Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: This cancellation was a huge suprise for me. The movies were such hits, I couldn't believe the series didn't pull in enough viewers, it was fantastic with just the right balance of action and emotion

#5 Battlestar Galactica: And, I've just realised that all but one of my fav cancelled shows are SyFy. I do actually watch across the board, but it seems like it's only the SyFy ones that cancel.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Around the blog in 7 days

Time again to share some interesting links I've come across in the last week.

This latest app is really freaky Breakup App

When you hear authors talk about perseverance in this publishing business, this is what they're talking about. I enjoy Rachel Caine's books and never realised how often she had to re-invent herself to find success.

Need some help with Facebook and fan pages, Nathan Bransford's post is excellent

enjoy the rest of your week

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Immortal Teenagers

Kids back at school today and hubby travelling this week, so from full to empty house in the space of a heartbeat feels kind of *ghosty* Guess this means I can actually get some writing done again.

Meanwhile, I've just finished reading a book that had me up all night thinking about the Immortal Teenager (as the main protaganist) and whether this is a viable character. If the book is aimed at YA, then this teenager has to talk, walk, think and act like a teenager - but surely even if you look like an 18 year old, after hundreds of years of living you're not going to still be thinking and acting like a teenager! If you've been married, had kids, survived wars, married again, lived through famine, more kids, etc are you really going to pout and scuff your feet as you slump off in a huff when you don't get your way?

The book I just finished did not get this right, but as I said, I don't think it's possible to actually get this right - a lot of belief must be suspended in order to enjoy this kind of book. Pity, though, because I love the idea of the Immortal Teenager as a main character in a book.