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Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!!! (almost)

Wow, didn't 2012 go fast?
Looking back over the last twelve months so much has happened, in my personal life and in the world.

PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS (most notable) 
My niece
  • became an aunty 
  • published 2 books with Berkley
  • ventured into the arena of public speaking as an author
  • decided to teach part-time
 


WORLD EVENTS (mostly focusing on the positive events)
  • Rover Curiosity landed on Mars
  • Higgs bosun discovered

What did Curosity see on Mars?
  • Major elections in Egypt, Greece, China, Libya, Israel, Venezuela, France, Russia, Mexico, USA
  • Walt Disney purchases Lucasfilm Ltd and its rights for Star Wars and Indiana Jones for $4.05 billion

  • Russia became a member of the World Trade Organisation
  • Kate Middleton pregnancy news announced
  • Chinese scientists break world record by transferring photons over 97 kilometers using quantum teleportation 
  • Queen's Diamond Jubilee (60 years as the monarch of England)
  • London Olympics (where female athletes from Saudi Arabia allowed to compete for the first time & Oscar Pistorius becomes first amputee to compete in the olympics)
  • Facebook went public
  • Transit of Venus
  • Voyager 1 spacecraft, launched in 1977, reaches the end of our solar system and enters interstellar space
  • Australian court rules Azaria Chamberlain was killed by a dingo
  • Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor disaster
  • Mayan prediction of "end of the world/spiritual transformation"
  • Economic turmoil/GFC continues for most countries
  • Hurricane Sandy hits the USA, the Bahamas, Cuba & Haiti

Here's to a wonderful and notable 2013!


What were your achievements or most memorable events for 2012?




* The 2013 New Year image comes from 123RF (a royalty free stock photo website).

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

To those who celebrate Christmas - have a great day with your friends and family!

Geseënde Kersfees 
Milad Majid     Selamat Hari Natal     Sheng Dan Kuai Le      Glædelig Jul
 Cestit Bozic i Sretna Nova godina
Zalig Kerstfeast     Merry Christmas     Hyvaa joulua
 Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
     Joyeux Noel
Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
Fröhliche Weihnachten     Kala Christouyenna!
Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Buone Feste Natalizie     Selamat Hari Natal
Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Shinnen omedeto     Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Meri Kirihimete
Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Maligayang Pasko!     Sarbatori vesele
La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Nollaig Chridheil dhuibh
Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
 Z Rizdvom Khrystovym
Feliz Navidad     Nadolig Llawen
God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas    
Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Chuc Mung Giang Sinh

Two gifts for you all!




*Yoda Christmas picture from Grammarly.com Facebook page.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Books Make Great Christmas Presents!

If you're a book lover like me, then you'll know the fun and joy of giving books as gifts to family and friends at Christmas time.

It's even better when you can share your favourite genre with them. And for me, that's paranormal romance!

Here are some books I've read this year that might make the perfect present for a friend or rello!

KISS OF STEEL - Bec McMaster
He craves her like no other…
Honoria Todd has no choice. Only in the dreaded Whitechapel district can she escape the long reach of the Duke of Vickers. But seeking refuge there will put her straight into the hands of Blade, legendary master of the rookeries. No one would dare cross him, but what price would he demand to keep her safe?
Ever since Vickers infected him with the craving, Blade has been quicker, stronger, almost immortal—and terrified of losing control of the monster within. Honoria could be his perfect revenge against the duke…or the salvation he never dared to dream of.

KISS OF SNOW - Nalini Singh
Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.
Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.
Then Sienna changes the rules and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…
A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home…and the alpha who is its heartbeat…

THE DARK ROSE - Denise Rossetti
Duty and passion are a dangerous combination in the paranormal world of Denise Rossetti, author of The Flame and the Shadow, Thief of Light, and Lone Warrior…
Rosarina of the Garden is the most famed—and desired—courtesan of her time. She is also a spy, the heir-apparent of Caracole’s Spymaster, sent on a deadly mission to Green IV. She cannot afford to trust anyone, least of all a man with his own agenda—and the ability to crack her cool composure.
Technomage Quintus is on Green IV to repair the great Machine that keeps that planet habitable. He doesn’t expect to encounter the Dark Rose again, but he’s determined to make the most of it. She’ll be a most pleasing lover… once he convinces her to accept his offer.
But there is more in play on Green IV than either know. The Necromancer is waiting for the perfect moment to exact his revenge. If Rose and Quin cannot learn to trust each other then the Necromancer will rule—and even love won’t be enough to save them.


ARCHANGEL OF MERCY - Christina Ashcroft
Between an angel and a desperate woman comes salvation - and a raw passion that challenges them at every turn…
When Aurora Robinson attempts to open a rift between dimensions to embrace her true heritage, an arrogant Archangel is the only one who can save her from the jaws of hell. And while she owes Gabriel her life, she’s determined not to fall at his feet-despite the desire she feels whenever they’re together.
After his wings were brutally destroyed millennia ago, Gabriel has no compassion for humans like those who ruined him and betrayed the ones he loved. But when he inexplicably finds himself defying ancient protocols to rescue a woman from a fate worse than death, he is shocked by the searing attraction he feels for a mortal.
As the ancient forces that seek to punish Aurora for her actions close in, Gabriel offers the tempting woman protection at his private sanctuary. But as they both succumb to their desires, they discover an even deeper connection-one that threatens to consume them.

BLOOD KIN - M.J.Scott 
Imagine a city divided. A city where human and Fae magic rests uneasily next to the vampire Blood and the shapeshifting Beasts. A city where a fragile peace is brokered by a treaty that set the laws for all four races…a treaty that is faltering day by day. 
I didn’t plan on becoming a thief and a spy. But options are limited for the half-breed daughter of a Fae lord. My father abandoned me but at least I inherited some of his magic, and my skills with charms and glamours mean that few are as good at uncovering secrets others wish to hide. Right now the city has many secrets. And those who seek them pay so well… I never expected to stumble across a Templar Knight in my part of the city.
Guy DuCaine is sworn to duty and honor and loyalty—all the things I’m not. I may have aroused more than his suspicion but he belongs to the Order and the human world. So when treachery and violence spill threaten both our worlds, learning to trust each other might be the only thing that saves us.
But even if a spy and a holy knight can work together, finding the key to peace is never going to be easy…

FLESH - Kylie Scott
When the plague hit, her neighbours turned into mindless, hungry, homicidal maniacs.
Daniel has been a loner his entire life. Then the world empties and he realises that being alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Finn is a former cop who is desperate for companionship, and willing to do anything it takes to protect the survivors around him.
When the three cross paths they band together; sparks fly, romance blooms in the wasteland and Ali, Daniel and Finn bend to their very human needs in the ruins of civilisation.
Lust, love and trust all come under fire in Flesh as the three battle to survive, hunted through the suburban wastelands.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TOPIC: Everything You Know About Romance Novels Is Wrong (part 2)

This is a continuation of the post from saturday, 8th December 2012 on Everything You Know About Romance Novels Is Wrong (part 1).

Kymberly from the Grumble Bumble blog has generously given her permission for me to share this post with you.

Myth #3: Romance novels are predictable.
Boy and girl fall in love. The end. That's supposedly what all romance novels contain. Once you've read one, you've read them all. Bo-ring!

I always enjoyed this perception of romance novels, because it's exactly what I hate about, say, mystery novels. Alcoholic cop is stalked by serial killer who taunts him. Alcoholic cop bucks the system and saves a pretty woman right before serial killer murders her in some elaborate fashion. Sound at all familiar?

Books within any genre can stick to a formula, if their authors desire to do so. I can't think of any book that doesn't contain an element that hasn't been done and done and done. Robots? Aliens? Zombies? Vampires? Alcoholic cop taunted by serial killers? Done! Done! Done! So what? If it's written well and people enjoy reading it, what's the problem?

If I'm bored by a romance novel, I stop reading it. I do the same when I read any other book, especially one where a cop just won't follow the rules.

But romance novels rarely bore me. I just find cowboys avenging the murder of their sister and dukes rebuilding the estate ruined by their fathers and maids hunting for a way to get their family out of poverty and pirates discovering stowaways off the coasts of India interesting. And those are just the historical romance novels!

There's also contemporary romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, science fiction romance and even inspirational romance, where God is part of the equation. My best friend reads romance novels about Navy SEALS and bounty hunters and FBI agents and the women who love them. I prefer my novels with dashing dukes and duchesses and cowboys and heiresses and spunky modern women who just don't have time for love. Give me a witch and a haunted castle and I'm in heaven.

And I happen to have a ridiculous soft spot for time travel romances, especially ones that involve Vikings. The romance genre has all that and more. This is a big damn tent; come on in.

Do boy and girl fall in love (and these days, boy and boy and girl and girl or some combination thereof) and have a happy ending? Almost always. Just like the hardboiled detective usually solves the case in mysteries and the disaffected writer usually ends up alone and confused in "literature" and the hungry-for-love career girl usually gets her guy in "chick lit."

Get away from me with pinning this "formulaic" accusation on romance novels alone. (You want me to go into a lengthy dissertation on devaluation of the feminine and reduction of an encompassing human emotion to silly women's nonsense? I can do it, I'm not even lying. Don't tempt me.)

Moving on...

Myth #4: The heroes in romance novels are always perfect.
NO, THEY ARE NOT. Honestly, I can't even stand to read a romance novel where the guy is perfect. But, even more honestly, I can't remember the last one I encountered where the hero is perfect instead of, you know, human, with, like, flaws.

I just read one where the hero is terrified of water because his son drowned. Another where the hero can't stand to be around fire because he was burned. There are heroes who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. And many, many heroes who have a significant disability in either their body or mind.

To imply that romance novels only have "perfect" men demeans writers, by implying they have no imagination, and readers, by implying all readers only want a perfect man. Even the physically gorgeous specimens who drip with money and class generally have prejudices and obstacles they must overcome in order to be deserving of the heroine. Because, in the end, romance novels are about the heroine.

And finally...

Myth #5: Heroines in romance novels are always beautiful.
Truly, romance novels are about the heroine. It is the heroine who grows and, by growing, attains that which she desires, which, by the way, usually isn't just the hot guy -- often it is a great job or a beautiful home or a loving family or travel around the world or an illness or disability defeated or adjusted to or any number of things too many to list.

And the heroines can be beautiful, just like the heroes can be gorgeous, but it's not required. I think if every character was flawless, romance readers would revolt en masse. And, like heroes, heroines in romance novels have obstacles to overcome.

And, often, these obstacles involve the heroine's perception of her appearance. They think they're too fat, or too skinny, or too pale, or too dark, or hate their frizzy hair, or their dull brown eyes. It is through the introduction (or reintroduction) of a person into their lives or through an alteration of their circumstances that they begin to see themselves as worthy. Just the way they are.

Now, that's the kind of story I'd want my daughter to read. One where the heroine overcomes obstacles, learns to love herself, and gets the guy. Oh, and has lots of great sex too.

What's not to love? 

Many thanks to Kymberly from Grumble Bumble blog for allowing me to share her post here!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

TOPIC: Everything You Know About Romance Novels Is Wrong (part 1)

I found this blog and article mentioned on Facebook and loved the debunking of some common myths associated with the romance genre.

Kymberly from the Grumble Bumble blog has kindly given me permission to post this two-part series here on my blog.

Everything You Know About Romance Novels Is Wrong (part 1)

Recently, a guest speaker in a class asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I said, "Romance novelist."

His response? "I'm not touching that one."

My response? "I thought so."

I knew I'd throw him off, you see. I should be ashamed that I'd like to write romance novels, right? Well, I'm not.

Then the other night a classmate asked me about my desire to write romance novels. And of course -- OF COURSE -- he asked, "Like 50 Shades of Grey?"

Ugh. I wonder how many romance novelists are so sick of that book for that reason. How many times does someone ask them what they do, to which they respond that they write romance novels, only to have that person ask, "Like 50 Shades of Grey?" I'd like to put a stake through the heart of 50 Shades of Grey for that reason alone.

(Also, 50 Shades of Grey is an awful book. I finally caved and read it because, like, every person possessing a vagina is apparently required to read it. And I believe the only way to truly hate something is to know it. So I read it. It's one of the worst books I've ever read. The hero is an abusive asshole. There's an entire page in the book where the discussion between the hero and heroine goes like this:
"Will you beat me again?"
"Do you want me to beat you again?"
"No."
"I'd like to beat you again. Don't you like it?"
"No. Please don't beat me again."
I'm not even joking. Also, it's poorly written. If 50 Shades of Grey is written well enough to be an international bestseller, my shitty blog should earn me a damn Pulitzer.)

So let's talk about how everything you know about romance novels is wrong. First of all, have you read one? No? Then shut up. I read 50 Shades of Grey. I at least suffered in order to earn my right to say how awful it is. If you haven't read a romance novel then YOU NEED TO SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP.

It's time for you to learn something... 

Myth #1: Romance novels are porn for women.
First of all, if romance novels are porn for women, how is that a problem? Men are allowed (even supposed to) like porn, but not women? What bull!

But I maintain that romance novels are not pornography. Pornography centers on the sex act as the most important element of the "story." Romance novels revolve around a love story. Sex, being a very significant element of relationships and falling in love, often occurs in romance novels (but not always). And I really don't see the problem with that, but there's a big difference between "centers on a love story" and "centers on a sex act."

And if you don't know the difference, I kinda feel sorry for whoever is in a relationship with you.

Next up...

Myth #2: Romance novels are rape-y.
Like many myths, this one has a basis in fact while still being largely untrue. This is how I'd describe it: Romance novels used to  be rapey. They aren't anymore. In early decades of the genre, which just so happened to coincide with decades in which women had limited sexual agency, romance novels contained rape at a much higher rate than romance novels published in more recent decades.

There's actually a reason for this, one that I hinted at with "decades in which women had limited sexual agency." Back in the day, a woman who had premarital sex was a slut. Women who read books in which women had premarital sex were reading books about sluts.

Even today, there's a large number of people who think a woman who enjoys sex is a slut and a bad person, so don't try to claim this wasn't a big deal or that women did not and do not internalize these kinds of societal norms. We do. So, in order to make a heroine palatable for a reader while also allowing a book to have a sex scene, heroes in romance novels often raped the heroine. It's a crazy idea to grasp, but it's true.

Think of it like this: The heroine really, really wants something but she knows it's wrong, which, shockingly, just so happened to sync with the reader really, really wanting something but knowing it's wrong. Weird how that works. In order to give both the heroine and the reader that thing that they really, really wanted but couldn't say yes to, the hero made the decision for them, thus releasing them from responsibility for desiring things they aren't supposed to desire.

(I feel it's important to point out that this is fantasy. Don't go walking away thinking I'm saying women want to be raped. I'm explaining the history of a genre to you, not describing modern women's psychology. Don't be an idiot.)

With second-wave feminism in the '70s came the radical concept that women enjoy sex. And romance novels began to incorporate this new ideology. Modern romance novels -- as in, romance novels published in recent decades -- no longer need this device to sooth the reader's soul and glad we are for that!

Heavy lifting done, time to move on to the fluffier stuff... 

The second part of Grumble Bumble's post will appear here on my blog Tuesday, 11th December, 2012!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

TOPIC: Character Motivation

Today, I have a guest blogger - Cassandra Shaw. She's talking about digging deep to find the layers to your character's motivations.

Dig Deep - finding your character's layers for their motivation.
When writing a story, long, short or epic our characters have to have motivation for the way the act, react and why we as writers portray them that way.

We might never share all the motivations with our readers but we the writer should know our characters intimately.

In our characters story arc we might want them to go from cold and remote to someone who is protective and loving –maybe to only our heroine, to his kid he discovered he had, to the his old army mate who he thought was dead.  The arc could be something simple like he’s a cop and he doesn’t trust another agency to share information yet by the end of the book he is working for that agency.
  • But then why was he cold and remote?
  • Why didn’t he trust that agency?
If we as writers don’t really understand the driving force of our characters personality than we can’t portray them accurately or with depth to our readers.

We probably don’t need to know he prefers white soap to blue. Or that he busted Toby Jacobs nose in fourth grade – unless Toby is in the story.  What we need, desperately need to know is what events, catastrophe, or life situation caused/created our character to be the way we need to portray at the beginning of our story arc.

He doesn’t trust woman / she doesn’t trust men.  This is not enough, you must dig deeper.

So let’s get the shovel out, scrape back the turf and start to find what created this trust issue. But remember in soil there are layers. Turf, top soil, sub-soil etc. We should examine each layer of what create our character. 
image thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soil
At the very top we have the layer we all see

 – turf & plants or the bare surface.  – the O Horizon.
Dig deeper and we have Horizon A – Top Soil
Deeper Horizon  – B Sub soil
Horizon C – Regolith
Horizon R - Bedrock



Each soil layer listed above represents what made our character act and react the way they do today—in our story.  We cannot make them distrust men or women if they’ve had a great childhood, wonderful past partners and life has been like a Brady Bunch set. 

To be:
·                 Distrustful
·                 Cynical
·                 Prejudiced
·                 Angry
·                 Condescending
·                 Cruel
 Our characters have to have reason.

So let’s find the reasons behind the racist, cynical, angry man I’m going to describe below. 

Layer 1: The plants – is what we see on the surface
·       A man who holds himself aloof.
·       The woman who has no trust in men but has many female friends.  T
·       The hero who feels he must protect but can’t bond with anyone etc.
So let’s pick a scenario  - a character type that is popular in romance -  the hard bitten hero who doesn’t easily trust. He’s a good detective and feels the needs to protect innocents. We’ll call our hero Mike.
We’ll make him distrust wealth, lawyers and he is slightly racist about Asian’s.

Why is this:

Layer 2:  Stick the shovel in – find Horizion 0 – The humus. 
This is not very deep but we might see Mike has one good buddy who he watches sports, kills a beer, shoots pool with, but doesn’t share his personal life or inner thoughts.  So we know Mike can connect on some level, just not in an open manner.  He dates women but mostly for sex as he isn’t interested in them as partners nor does he like them much. His main frustration / hate in life are lawyers. Lawyers find ways of releasing the people he arrested on a technicality even though the person committed the crime.  He hates wealthy people who use their money to get free almost as much.

Layer 3: Put your boot harder onto the steel blade of the shovel and press and we expose Horizon A – the Top Soil.
This could be where we find Mike’s past relationships with women.  Top soil is usually the main plant growth matter but if here we discover Mike’s first two (and only) girlfriends left him. Girlfriend A, ran off with a football player in college because he was signed onto a team and she smelt money.  Girlfriend B, because Mike stopped studying law  (he distrusts lawyers and although his father wants him to be one he doesn’t want to live that lie) dropped out of college and joined the police force.  A & B, confirm women only want successful men with the potential to earn big $$$.

Layer 4: By this time you’ve got to Horizon B – the Subsoil.
Here we could find how he was treated in high school.  Perhaps Mike was tall and gangly, bright and geeky and really uncool ---- or he could even have him as the high school football captain but because of the next layers below - he is an angry kid who no one really likes.
I’m making Mike that kid. The angry kid. He’s good looking and the girls like him but because he is angry (see reasons in lower layers) he treats them like dirt for liking him, they dump him for the other boys.  Only the girls have chosen boys who are getting better grades and have richer families etc. He also notes that the boys with money are more popular than the poor ones.  So he sees money / prestige diggers.

Layer 5: Horizon C – Regolith.  
We’re getting into his family life here and we discover he has no women in his life and his dad’s a heartbroken man who never got over Mike’s mother.  Mikes dad dates rarely, hires the odd hooker for sex and never brings women home. Although he is a cop, Mike’s father has a drinking problem which leaves them poor and his dad with bad hangovers that leave him cranky. He doesn’t beat Mike but is verbally abusive.  Mike has grown up without female companionship so he sees / thinks they are for nothing more than sex, will break your heart and destroy you emotionally.

Layer 6:  Horizon R – Bedrock.  The deepest roots only go here.
And it’s here for Mike where it all started.  Mike’s mother packed her bags and left when he was six years old.  She never said goodbye to either male in her life.  Her note was brief. I need more, don’t look for me. After Mike’s father (who is a cop and who loves his wife desperately) does some investigating he discovers his wife ran off with one of the town’s Lawyers. A wealthy Asian Lawyer.  So for Mike, not only did she remove her love and the security a mother provides, she left his dad for someone with more money and prestige.

No all our hero’s will need for us to dig until we get to bedrock but some will.  Mikes reasoning could be the college girlfriends.  Have him love them and propose, they dump him for money etc.

My scenario gives me a chance to show a hero who has trust issues that run all the way to bedrock in his personality. He feels he can’t love a woman, thinks woman are only for sex, can’t connect with anyone around him, dislikes Asians and lawyers and he has wealth issues. 
I only need to make my heroine part Asian, a lawyer from old money and there is my conflict and my hero’s motivation not to trust her and fall in love.

But the truth is in this scenario the core motivation is trust – Mike doesn’t trust women on any level. And that will be the guiding motivation throughout the character Arc for Mike. Everything my heroine does, how she reacts to things, or says, Mike will consider with distrust.  

Give your characters deep reason for their actions – for Mike I wanted to show you how he had deep seated trust issues.

So get to know your characters and share it in small droplets as backstory in your manuscript.

What are the key motivators for your characters in your latest WIP??


Cassandra Shaw
Born a dreamer I've spend half my life staring out windows living an alternate fanciful life that exists in the realms of my sub-conscious. My 'Other World'. It’s just so darn good there.

Previously in life I've gained a Degree in Environmental Management, worked in offices in a multitude of positions, studied fashion design, run my own business and spent nearly nineteen years caring for orphaned and injured wildlife.

These days, I work from home honing my writing skills. I share my life with my husband, our two children and a menagerie of animals on our hobby farm in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast in beautiful Queensland Australia.  When not writing, I can be found drawing, sculpting, gardening and taking my children to their multitude of dance, guitar & tennis lessons.

What do I read?  Well that a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Depends on the mood, the week, what I have available.  I've read and read many genre's.  Romance, mysteries, biographies, sci-fi, fantasy,space opera, time travel, suspense, epics, paranormals and I even squeeze in a little historical and regency when the fancy takes hold.

Favourite Novel of all time?  "Gone with the Wind."  Why?   Have you read it?

Currently I would say my favourite authors are J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh, Brenda Novak and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

My goals are to get that first manuscript published, then my second, third, fourth...................ninety-ninth. You get the picture.   

Favourite thing I like to do?  Laugh so hard tears run down my face.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

REVIEW of ALLIANCE FORGED

This 4 Ribbons review comes from the Romance Junkies blog! 
ALLIANCE FORGED is the second book in the LIGHT BLADE series. You'll definitely want to pick up the first installment, VENGEANCE BORN, even though this book can be read as a standalone. An urban fantasy with just the right blend of action, romance and plot twists that has this reader excited for the next installment, ALLEGIANCE SWORN, due out in April 2013. 
You can read the full review here.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Release Day!

I have two author friends with books being released today. Nothing like a double reason to celebrate and party!


Happy Release Day to C.T.Green!

Her debut work, Dream Lover, releases today with Momentum (Pan Macmillan Australia)!!! Dream Lover is an erotic short story with the Hot Down Under line.

Cate Reynolds is lost in the middle of the Australian bush, all because of one fatally attractive man.
Reece Johnson’s not just a threat to her libido, but her peaceful paranormal existence. In order to avoid revealing her darkest secret, Cate needs to stay as far away from Reece’s irresistible appeal as possible. But how can she when they’re forced to share a tent? In the sultry heat of summer, Cate will discover just how incredible dreams can be and that sometimes they can also come true.
Momentum link


Author's Bio:
Before becoming a writer C.T. Green worked in advertising for ten years. She also completed a Bachelor of Arts with majors in communication and literature.

C.T. Green now lives in regional Australia with her husband, children and extensive collection of animals – amongst whom is the world’s bossiest goldfish.

In between writing (i.e. arguing with her characters and occasionally posting to her blogs), she reads, drinks vanilla coffee, kid wrangles, enters writing contests and avoids the goldfish.

------------------------------------------------------------------

And Happy Release Day to Erica Hayes!

Her sci-fi romance, Dragonfly, is out with Momentum (Pan Macmillan Australia) today as well!!!

Carrie Thatcher is a tough Imperial counter-terrorism agent. Her mission: pose as a sexy cyber-thief to entrap the notorious rebel Dragonfly, who’s planning a heist on the space station Casa de Esperanza – an orbital casino on the fringe of Imperial space.
And this assignment’s personal: Dragonfly murdered her closest friend, and she’s in no mood to show him mercy. Even getting stuck with the partner from hell—Malachite, her sociopathic ex-lover and the Empire’s most dangerous agent—can’t dampen her relish for the kill.
With Carrie’s expert weapons skills and penchant for cracking codes, insinuating herself into Dragonfly’s confidence should be easy. But is he the ruthless killer she was led to believe? Or has her precious Empire deceived her? With Malachite watching her every move, the slightest flinch in loyalty means death.
Carrie is soon racing to uncover an audacious treachery that will shock the Empire to its core … if she can stay alive for long enough to expose it.

Momentum link


Author's Bio:
Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy writer.

She writes dark paranormal romance, urban fantasy and romantic science fiction, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colorful heroes with dark secrets.

She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she’s terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Reasons Why You Never Want to Make an Author Mad

I'm a regular reader of the Supernatural Underground blog and last year an article written by Karina Cooper caught my eye, and had me giggling uncontrollably because I could so relate to the post.

I emailed her and asked permission to share her post here on my blog as I know some of you will appreciate it as much as I did. Without further ado, here it is...

Reasons Why You Never Want to Make an Author Mad*
by Karina Cooper

Come on, you've seen us. We're all very lovely people, us authors. We smile at the cameras, sign books, hug fans, and so on. Surely, making an author mad must be akin to swatting at a dust bunny, right? I mean, what are we going to do? Cry into our keyboards?

Well. Sort of.

See, yesterday I found myself in the middle of a task that I do actually need for this current run of books I'm plotting. And as I scrolled through pages and pages of data, I thought to myself, Karina, it's a damn good thing your profession is what it is.

Because how else am I to explain why my internet history is full of information on modern day torture techniques?

That's right. Let's talk about reason number one: We know how make you scream. We've researched it down to the last details—certainly not for ourselves, oh, no, but what out characters know, we know. And if we're carrying around a character who is an inquisitor, or a character who was tortured, or worse, we know.

Would we use it? Oh, of course not, officer! We'd never use this information for evil. We're entertainers, not in the business of making the things we know actually happen. Right?

Heh. Heh heh. Right.

Reason number two to avoid making us angry? We know how to hide the body. We've thoroughly researched it. Currents, erosion, garbage truck route details, you name it, we know it. We're a little obsessive when it comes to details, you might have noticed. After all, how else can we guarantee that the extra we offed in chapter 4 doesn't come to light until chapter 15?


The devil is, in fact, in the details.

And speaking of details, let's talk about reason number three: we know things about weapons even the movies get wrong. In that obsession with details, we'll travel all over the information highway to get the facts.

Which means we know what kind of weapons a SEAL carries, we know which weapons jam underwater and which can fire in below freezing temperatures. We know which bullets will turn your brain into so much pink mist and which will leave a neat little exit wound, and which sniper rifle will make this easy.

We know about ninja stars, and the different kinds of knives. We know which guns have suppressors and which can be made to have suppressors, and that the potato suppressor doesn't actually work.
Oh, and I certainly don't mean we'd use these tidbits of terminal information on you! I mean characters, of course! We know how to kill characters. As I said, we're in the habit of making up stories, not in shaping reality. Rest easy, dear reader.

Unless, of course, you'd like to make us mad...?

Which brings us to reason number four: Odds are, we have fans in the police department. No joke! If it's not the boys in blue who love us, it's the women. Or the wives. Regardless of who or how, the reality is, we have people who would love to give us alibis.


Wouldn't any of you give me an alibi if I rang you up one day? "Hey, listen, I'll make a character of your choice and thank you in the acknowledgements if you just tell these nice people where I was yesterday. You know, at your house. Watching Friends. And eating cheddar cheese."

Then there's reason number five: You remember school, when there'd be this rumor going around about "that girl" who did this one horribly embarrassing thing, and you knew—just knew—that everyone was talking about you? 

Imagine having a character based on you. A character who reveals all your secrets—or makes them up. A character who is murdered in the most grisly way. Or a character who survives, but gets exactly what he or she deserves?

Yeah. In our worlds, baby, we're the gods. And we will talk about you in our godly land of godliness.

You don't want that, do you? 

So there you are. Five very good reasons not to piss off your favorite authors. Or even your not so favorite authors. They're really logical, aren't they? I mean, can't you just see the gorgeous Vicki Petersson cackling with glee as she comes up with creative ways to use a coin slot machine and a pair of dice to off somebody?

Or the fabulous Eve Silver, coming up with a viable scientific theory as to how a contagion plague could be released just at a certain point for maximum efficacy?
Let's not discount Merrie Destefano, who knows all the good places in New Orleans to hide a body, or Joss Ware, who knows seventeen ways to dismember a man beyond recognition.

Juliana Stone knows what kind of wounds look like animal attacks—"I have no idea, officer, it looks like a jaguar attack to me."—and Pamela Palmer who is an engineer, and you know how devilishly clever engineers are. I wouldn't mess with her with a twenty-foot pole and a getaway driver on speed dial.

Ahhh, authors. So innocent, and yet...

Mwahaha. 

* Note: This post is entirely tongue-in-cheek and not actually a commentary on the likelihood of authors to commit heinous crimes against real, living people. This is a joke. A post devoted to the rather hilarious fact that we tend to research the most horrible things in our bid to get it right. 

Murder is bad, mmkay?
Karina's Bio: Born from the genetic mash-up of lesser royalty, storytellers, wanderers, and dreamers, Karina Cooper was destined to be a creative genius. As a child, she moved all over the country like some kind of waifish blond gypsy and thrived in the new cultures her family settled in. When she (finally) grew up, she skipped the whole genius part and fell in love with writing because, really, who doesn't love making things up for a living?

One part romance fanatic, one part total dork, and all imagination, she writes dark and sexy paranormal romance and historical urban fantasy. When she isn't writing, Karina is an airship captain's wife and Steampunk fashionista. She lives in the beautiful and rainy Pacific Northwest with a husband, four cats, two rabbits, the fantasy of a dog, and a passel of adopted gamer geeks.