Monday, May 30, 2011

Who's Who Part II

First things first, I want to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day and say thank you to all the men and women who serve our country. I truly am thankful for all the sacrifices that our military members and their families make every day.

I have to share with you all what I woke up to this morning. Let me say again that it is May 30th, Memorial Day. And this is a picture of my backyard this morning!! I am not joking!! There won’t be any BBQing at my house today!

So…let’s talk about Indivisible! I hope everyone got a chance to check out Jessica Subject’s Mark of the Stars blog for the great review and interview she did this week. Last week I promised that I would give you a glimpse of how I viewed some of the other characters from Indivisible so I’ve spent the weekend searching for who I picture when I think of Evelyn, Peter, Chance and Gabby.

Evelyn Cooper is probably one of the hardest characters for me to give a visual on for my readers. See, her insight and mothering is based on my own mom, who looks NOTHING like Evelyn Cooper in the book. Her description in the book had to be one that matched her lifestyle and the description of her sons to a degree, and that’s not my mom. So really when I read Evelyn, I see a shorter, rounder, darker haired woman with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes…that’s my mom. But, since Jessica Lange I think would be a great Evelyn. I think that she has the class and sophistication to pull of the doctor’s wife in La Jolla, but would also be that tough mom of two boys who could command respect from them.

Dr. Peter Cooper is the voice of reason to Evelyn’s emotional matriarch. While he knows that his wife has all the best intentions, and for the most part will let her have her way, Peter Cooper knows when it is necessary to step in and rein her in. Without the balance of Peter, Evelyn would definitely try to run her sons’ lives and would only succeed in running them off. This one was kind of hard too because all the blonde actors are either too young or too old (I really have a Robert Redfordish look in mind) but then I came across Aaron Eckhart and thought he was perfect. He has that authoritative look about him and I think he would be able to control Evelyn.

When I went looking for Chance, Charlie’s twin brother, the person that kept coming up was Rupert Grint from Harry Potter. And while I do think that Ron is adorable, he isn’t what I see when I picture Chance. Since my idea of Charlie is a younger Nicole Kidman, I really needed someone who could match up with her. I came across this picture of Paul Bettany with red hair. Chance’s hair is a little darker than Charlie’s, and I think this works perfectly.

And finally, Gabby – Chance’s fiancĂ©e whose emotions rule her world. At first I was thinking JLo would be the one that fit Gabby, but when I started looking, I found this picture of Penelope Cruz and she was Gabby. She has that look of being a little bit of sass and over protectiveness that Gabby has. I think she would be a perfect match for the Chance that I picked too!

So that rounds out the cast of characters for Indivisible. What do you think? Who did you picture as Gabby? I really loved everyone’s comments on Gideon, Charlie, Tyson and Paige, and can’t wait to read what you all think this time around!
I will be on vacation with the family next week, so there may not be a post from me?? I know that there is a way to schedule them, and if my sad little techtarded self can figure it out I will try to do that. Otherwise I will be back on June 13th (if Shamu doesn’t eat me!!).

And since it's Monday...it's time for the Meet an Author Blog Hop!



YAY!! It's time for the wonderful blog hop started by author Lisa Sanchez


Here's how it works:


READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment! We'd love to chat with you!


AUTHORS:

•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review, Giveaway, and New Project!

Once again it’s Monday!

Today will be just a quickie. I’ve had a house full of family for the weekend and am chaperoning a field trip to the zoo for a class of second graders in the rain today…I know that you are jealous!

First, PLEASE go check out Jessica Subject’s Mark of the Stars Blog today. She has a WONDERFUL review of Indivisible up (5 out of 5 Aliens!)! Along with the review, she will be posting an interview I did for her, and will also be running a giveaway of two ebooks of Indivisible, so go check out her blog and leave a comment (there are lots of ways to get into the drawing several times!). I’ll be popping in over the next few days to say hi and answer any questions!

I also want to tell everyone about a FABULOUS project that I’m so proud to be a part of this summer through Omnific Publishing. Omnific is putting together a duo of summer related anthologies and all the sales profits will be donated to a great cause – Save the Tatas. Thirteen of Omnific’s authors have donated their great talent (and not to mention the incredible Omnific editors) and will be included in either the sweet or steamy anthology. Can you guess which one my story is in?



I’m very excited about the story I wrote for the anthology. It’s a peek into my new book that I’m working on at the moment. The story is about a hot summer night after an LAPD SWAT team has been training and have some pent up energy to work off. While Gideon will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart, I have to say that I absolutely love my new hero, Brody Flynn. He’s that damaged, protective hero that makes my heart go thump, thump, thump…

The anthologies will go on sale on July 1, 2011 and will be available through the summer (September 31). There are some great stories that will keep you busy poolside or on the beach, or even while you travel. And what better cause than saving some Tatas?? I’ll be here reminding you about this from time to time because it is something that is so close to my heart (next time I’ll give you a little “Life Happened” story about why that is.).

Next week I'll share my ideas for how I picture some of the other characters in Indivisible. Come see Evely, Peter, Chance and Gabby!

And, because it's Monday - that means Meet an Author Blog Hop!!



YAY!! It's time for the wonderful blog hop started by author Lisa Sanchez


Here's how it works:


READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment! We'd love to chat with you!


AUTHORS:

•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Club Review - A Discovery of Witches

A few months ago, my girlfriends and I finally decided to form our own book club. We have all been hanging out and talking about what we were reading for over three years now, and thought that maybe we would make it official.

I was flattered that the first book we read was Indivisible (of course they all have signed copies!), but I’ll be honest…I didn’t read it. I just can’t bring myself to read it after pouring so much into it. What I did read, the whole time I thought, “Ugh! I should have done it this way…” The good thing was that I knew what happened in the story, so that was fine.

The next book we chose was Water for Elephants. I had already read it twice (the most recent time just a month earlier). This was a fun one because we all went to see the movie together and then went to dinner and talked about the book and the movie.

The rest of our list came about at the first meeting. There are seven of us, so we went around the table and each offered up our favorite book. We have been giving each other recommendations for books over the past three or so years (I got them all hooked on BDB, and they in turn gave me Stephanie Plum), so it should be fun to find out what their favorite books are.

We started our group halfway through January, so now with the first two books and each of our seven favorite books, we needed two more.

I am on Goodreads daily, and had seen two books that were getting either terrible reviews or people absolutely adored them. I thought those would both be great additions to get the reaction of seven women whose opinions I respect and rely on.

We decided to do one for May and one for December with our favorites in between.

So, the book we chose for May was Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches.

The reviews that I had read on this book were either glowing or horrible. I had read that it was a “grown up Twilight” and that was what intrigued me the most. It’s no secret that I am a Twidork (my entire office is a shrine!), so this was a book that I really wanted to read. This is the story of an uneducated (in the magic sense) witch, Diana, who tries to hide from her powers by over achieving in science (modern magic?) and a centuries old vampire, Matthew, whose secrets define who he is. When the two find each other all hell breaks loose as they dare to defy the laws that govern them by falling in love.

First, a warning that there will be spoilers, so if you don’t want to know, stop reading!

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure if I like this book or not. Maybe I’ll know by the end of this review??

It took me a long time to really get into and care about this book. Because I read on Kindle, I talk in percentages now, so I would say that it was over 50% of the book that was really tough to get through. The funny thing is that in my book club, only three out of the seven of us actually finished it. The common thing was that they couldn’t stay awake while reading, and I suffered from the same thing. The average was about four pages before eyes started closing and heads started bobbing. It took me WEEKS to get through the first half of the book, and three days to get through the last half.

Let me say that I LOVE Matthew! He is that yummy combination of totally controlled and tortured that I love in my vampire (Z girl to the bone!). I loved the historical aspects of Matthew and the stories. Matthew’s mother won me over as well, and really liked too.

The story of Diana and Matthew (once they finally realize they actually have a story) is beautiful and frustrating in equal measure. It is what kept me reading. I am a sucker for the cat and mouse of romance, and Harkness does this very well in this story.

Was it a more adult Twilight romance as “advertised”? I have to admit that I was hoping for more in the sexing department when I read that analogy. Don’t get me wrong, there is some “bundling” that put it in the grown-up category, but after reading Ward and Kenyon, I have a whole no perspective of what an “adult” vampire story should be. I did like their romantic times, however, and look forward to more in the future books.

What didn’t I like?? I was not a fan of Diana’s character in the beginning. For the first half of the book she is wishy washy, unrelatable, and frustrating. By the end, however, I understood why she was that way in the beginning as her past and the past of her family is slowly revealed.

The other issue that I found with the story was that new things kept getting thrown in, and at a point I kind of felt that it was over the top. When Diana takes Matthew home, the Bishop house is a strange “living” thing that actually becomes a character and plays significant role in the story. And while I think that it would be really cool to have a house that makes guest rooms when someone is coming to visit (I have TONS of family coming in this weekend and to have an already made up room would be awesome), I thought that it was more that the author needed a way to explain some things.

Now there are two more books to come in this series, and when we were talking, one of my girlfriends asked if I was going to read the next one. I have to. I want to know what happens!

So, in the end, I know that I’ll keep reading the series, but I still don’t know how I feel about this book? One of the other women who finished is actually in the process of re-reading and says that it is much better the second time. Apparently all the alchemy information makes a lot more sense and isn’t something that you just have to wade through on the second round. So, maybe I will give that a shot and that will help me decide if I like it or not. I mean one of my favorite movies of all times is Dazed and Confused, and I hated it the first time I saw it…

And, it's Monday - that means Meet an Author Blog Hop!!



YAY!! It's time for the wonderful blog hop started by author Lisa Sanchez


Here's how it works:


READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment! We'd love to chat with you!


AUTHORS:

•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Writer's Block, What's the Cure?

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms! (And to all of those who want to be moms)



I HAVE WRITER’S BLOCK!!


I’m not sure when it started, and Lord knows I’m ready for it to be gone, but I just can’t get anything on the page that makes me happy and conveys what I want to say.

I’ve been working on the first chapter of my new SWAT story for about four months and I’ve only got about two thousand words. It is beyond frustrating!!

The hardest thing about writer’s block is that I KNOW where the story is going. I have a plot all planned out in my head. I have my characters clear and concise in my head. They just don’t want to come out and play with me!!

When I sit down to write, I find a hundred other things to do instead. I mean when folding laundry and cleaning toilets sound enticing…something is very wrong.

Normally, I can drag a notebook out and just start writing by hand to get things going. Usually once I have something flowing, I can transfer it to the computer and then I can get several thousand words on the page.

It isn’t working!!

The blank notebook page looks just as daunting as the blank computer screen these days, and that’s never happened to me before.

I did learn a technique at RT last month when I took my favorite workshop of the conference. It was a hands-on workshop where the moderator gave us a first line and then passed around bags and we had to draw slips of paper out. On the slips of paper (there were three different bags – one for each category) were a place, characters and descriptions (the last two we had to draw three different ones). Now with all this in hand, we were instructed to write a “great first page” in the genre that we normally write.

This might have been an easy task…if the details weren’t so insanely obscure!
The opening line had to be “The blood dripped slowly down the wall…” which considering I enjoy my man in uniform, I immediately thought it would work with a cop. Then I drew my first slip of paper and got my location – a wedding. Okay, this could still work, right?

My mind was racing trying to figure out where this was going to go. I had a plot already working in my head. Until I drew my three characters: a mountie (man in uniform!!), a hooker (okay still can make this work.), and a Rotorooter man (?????). Every idea that I’d been so proud of had completely flown out of my head!

I thought that I could still make this work. But of course, I still had three descriptions that I had to draw out of the bag and use in my story. The three that I pulled out were; tiny, dyslexic, and bowlegged.

We had about 20 minutes to write, and then we all read what we had to the others. I was actually really happy with what I wrote (though you won’t be seeing anything from me about a dyslexic Mountie and a bowlegged hooker!).

I did absolutely love this exercise, though! And after doing it, I was able to finally finish a short story that I had been working on for MONTHS! But how do I recreate that? How do I honestly come up with these kind of things without skewing them in my favor? I don’t know that I can…

So in an effort to maybe find something else that will help break this horrible cycle of sitting down to write and ending up doing everything else I can think of instead, I want to know - what’s your cure for writer’s block?



And, it's Monday - that means Meet an Author Blog Hop!!



YAY!! It's time for the wonderful blog hop started by author Lisa Sanchez


Here's how it works:


READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment! We'd love to chat with you!


AUTHORS:

•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Thank You Troops!

Last night, I was so proud of myself...I had my post ready for today! I was so proud that I was going to be able to get up and post and be done for the day.

But then I started seeing FaceBook posts about Osama Bin Laden, and I turned to the news to find that indeed, Bin Laden had been killed by a US operation.

I was proud for a whole other reason.

I was so proud of our troops and their families who have sacrificed so much for these years.

SO, instead of posting my original idea for the day, I wanted to send a BIG THANK YOU to all of those who have worked so hard to allow us as Americans to have the freedoms that we do.




I wanted to say thank you to the families of those who have been deployed in their service of our country.

I wanted to say that I know that protecting our freedoms is a never ending job, and that I am so grateful that there are men and women who take this responisibility on.

Of course I will confess that when I hear it was Navy SEALs that ran the operation, I imagined Gideon being part of it...There is nothing sexier than a protective man doing his job to keep those he loves safe!

I'll be posting my Mother's Day post that I'd written originally later this week, but this was just too important to not express how I felt and to again thank all of those who give of themselves every day so that we can be ourselves every day.


And of course, it's Monday...and that means Meet An Author Blog Hop!



YAY!! It's time for the wonderful blog hop started by author Lisa Sanchez


Here's how it works:


READERS: Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment! We'd love to chat with you!


AUTHORS:

•Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
•You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
•Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
•The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
•If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.