Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bookstore as Dating Heaven

The bookstore is like a singles superstore, complete with aisles labeled according to someone's interests. Follow these tips to a literary love connection.
From: The Bookstore Pick-up: How It's Done

Wow, you learn new things everyday!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Creatures from Outer Space and Cell Phones

My workspace is currently being fumigated because somehow tiny, tiny, tiny biting insects have infiltrated it. I feel like a human pin-cushion! Ouch.

But in better news, I finally bought a cell phone. I've always been a bit on the fence about cell phones. They're great for calling for roadside assistances when the car breaks down or for checking directions, but the whole always-available thing doesn't quite work for me.

Then again, getting a fun unexpected message from a friend is always nice, and I must admit that living in the boonies in Japan, I was quite attached to my little phone, especially since it could receive messages from New Zealand. Hmm... What's your take on this marvel of modern technology?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

On Chocolate

Chocolate cake for breakfast? Good or bad?

(Tastes delicious though!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

How to prune a manuscript

I now have a complete draft for Caressed By Ice. Yay! Lots more work left but I've got the bones of the story down. And it's looking like this book might be a bit longer than the others, but we'll see after I go through a couple more drafts.

Since I was thinking of book lengths, I decided to share some simple tips about how to cut words should you ever need to ie. if you're writing to a particular length (especially important in category romances). I'm talking technical tips to prune words, not tips about how to tighten the story itself.

* Find lines with only one word on them. See if you can somehow get rid of that one extra word by playing with the sentence. Sometimes you can't, but a lot of times you can.

* Get rid of unnecessary modifiers ie. just, still...etc

* Be alert to repetitions. Slice and dice.

* Forget about finding chunks to delete. If you find some, then great, but the less stressful way to cut even a huge chunk is to delete one line from every page of the manuscript, then go back and do the same again. I had to do this for Desert Warrior, my very first published book and it was a good lesson to learn.

Any other tips?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Show me the blog!

I don't know what to post about today, so I'm throwing myself at your mercy. Read anything good on blogs this week? Want to share?

For my part, I saw this cool
perception of beauty video on Alison Kent's blog, and Dear Author's having an interesting discussion about author websites. Now, your turn.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Gothics & Bad Men

First up, a reminder - the Kiwi Triple Treat contest closes soon so have a look if you haven't already.

Second, it's a really cold day here today and I don't like the cold. Brr. Plus it's gloomy. Just the right kind of weather to write a creepy gothic with a hero you're not sure is good or bad, and a heroine who opens the door when you just know the monster's down there. Don't do it, you're screaming, but you want her to open that door just the same...

No, I'm not really writing a gothic but they are fun to read. What's the attraction do you think?
Is it because the hero is the ultimate bad boy? Or is it because a gothic is often purposefully so over the top that the writer can get away with (and the reader can indulge in) total fantasy scenarios?

(Oh and the photo on the right is just for a certain blog visitor *cough TESSA* who has stated a decided prefererence for this gorgeous man. Gosh, he's all sweaty and wet...anyone want to wipe him down? *grin*)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

OOTB Blog Party

It's my turn to play host at the Out of the Blogosphere blog party. Drop by and join in the discussion on Seeing the Future, which discusses whether we'd like to possess the gifts of an F-Psy, a foreseer (like Faith NightStar in Visions of Heat).

On Tour: Heart Quest by Robin D. Owens

Happy Tuesday everyone! Today I've got an OOTB Book Tour. Check it out.

I haven't had a chance to read this book yet but I have read and thoroughly enjoyed other books in the Heart series. So if you haven't discovered Robin yet, what are you waiting for?!

Robin D. Owens is an absolutely sensational storyteller. -- The Romance Reader

Somewhere in Druida City of Celta, Trif Clover has a HeartMate. Impatient to meet him, she's actually going door-to-door with her charmkey to find him. What she doesn't know is that he has already found her. Guardsman Ilex Winterberry knows Trif is his HeartMate, but has reasons of his own -- and for her own good -- to keep to the shadows of her life. But there's a killer on the loose, stalking those with unstable psi power like Trif's. Facing his most difficult task yet, Ilex must reveal the truth of their destiny or leave Trif vulnerable to a vicious murderer...

/ Blog

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Cave Dweller Emerges

I'm back - didya miss me? First, here's the info you've all been waiting for. The winner (picked via a random number generator) of the "stuff" from New Zealand (which is likely to involve chocolate among other things) is Danica/Dream. Congratulations! Send me your address and I'll get the prize to you.
I was over at Between The Sheets the other day, talking about the attractiveness ie. hunkaliciousness, of Men Who Read. Drop by and cast your vote if you haven't already! :)

Don't forget, the OOTB Blog party is still going strong. Lots of prizes and giveaways.

So, how was your weekend? Mine was filled with way too much sugar,
but what delicious sugar it was! Saturday was Diwali, the festival of lights, so Happy Diwali everyone. :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Special Notice: OOTB Blog Party

Emerging from the cave to let you all know that the Out of the Blogosphere authors are holding a blog party from Oct 16 to Oct 26th with giveaways galore. Drop by to be in to win. :)

p.s. Don't forget to comment on the post below to go into the draw to win stuff from NZ.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Into the Cave

I have copyedits to do for Visions of Heat and edits to do on Caressed By Ice as well as a few other things, so the blog is going on hiatus for a week. I'll be back Monday 23rd. I am scheduled to post on Between the Covers on the 20th so make sure to drop by!

But don't say I never do anything for you - leave a comment during that period and you'll be in to win stuff. I say stuff because I'm not quite sure what I'm giving away. It'll be something fun from NZ. And if you're anything like me, you'll love receiving a surprise package in the mail.

So comment away about anything that takes your fancy. Tell me what you're up to, who your favorite book hunk is, what the weather's like in your area... :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Search Engine Hits

According to Statcounter, these are some of the things people typed into search engines to get to my blog or website.
  • nalini singh model - of course this is I dahlinks!
  • ma cherie - methinks you should go to a French site instead.
  • text message synopsis of pride and prejudice - why would you squish this beautiful story down into a text message? Why?
  • mean redheads - um, okay.
  • pale pink dress - this one I totally don't get.
And the coup de grace....
  • leashed slave
Got any search engine stories of your own to share?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

2208 Days Overdue

...William Vassily, who checked out John Y. Beaty’s The Baby Whale, Sharp Ears from the Portland Public Library, ME, in 1946, when he was nine...recently returned the book, and paid late charges of $440.16, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard...
From: Paying that Big Library Fine, For a Cause

Also reported here.

Have you returned all your library books? *grin*

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

18 Seconds by George D Shuman

This was an interesting thriller/murder mystery. The basic premise:

Investigative consultant Sherry Moore is blind and stunningly beautiful, with the extraordinary ability to "see" the deceased's last eighteen seconds of memory by touching the corpse.

Read the rest of the blurb

Sounded pretty cool so I picked it up, and I wasn't sorry. It kept me interested right to the end. The only thing I would've liked would've been to spend more time in Sherry's head. There were a lot of characters and lots of points of view, so we didn't see as much of her as I would've preferred. But I'll definitely be picking up the next book so a thumbs up from me.

The cover's a good one but I can't load it for some reason - check it out here.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Romance & Respect

Kati Dancy is a smart, successful conference planner in her early 30s. She is college educated, has a dog and a cat, and lives in a posh Washington, D.C., suburb.

She also has a not-so-secret addiction: Dancy is an avid reader of romance fiction.
This article came through on one of my email lists. It's very interesting and quite respectful to the genre. It notes however that:
With 64 million readers generating $1.2 billion in annual sales, the romance fiction industry is thriving. Yet, somehow, it hasn't garnered the mainstream acceptance so many other popular fiction genres enjoy.
Why is that? Is it because of the happy endings? It is because it's fiction primarily written by women for women?

Some people say it's because they're "all the same". Aside from the fact that these same people often begin their sentences by saying that "I've never read one but...", their statement could apply to other genres as well. So romances have a happy ever after. In murder mysteries, we always know the cop is going to find the killer. In high fantasy, we know the hero is going to defeat the evil. In horror, we know the creepy thing's under the metaphorical bed. All genres have their conventions. Why then do people feel justified in turning up their noses at romances? Opinions?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Stephen King On Writing

I'm not one for reading a lot of writing books. Those I do read, I tend to dip into here and there. But I just finished reading Stephen King's On Writing cover to cover and absolutely loved it.

Part honest, unflinching memoir, part writing advice, this is not like any other writing book out there. I don't agree with all of what he says - I don't think any writer would, as we all have our own likes and dislikes, our own ways of doing things. But that's what's so great about this book - he doesn't try to say that his way is the only right way. It's simply a compendium of what he knows.

I really liked the blunt, no-nonsense style in which the book is written. SK gets the balance just right - he talks about the hard work it takes to be a writer without losing the sense of magic that drives writers to do what they do. Even if you're not a writer, I think you'd find this an interesting book, in terms of the insight it gives into the mind of one.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Midnight Hour

I'm the guest-blogger at The Midnight Hour today, so come on by and visit. You might win a signed copy of StS. :)

Between The Covers

I'm over at Between The Covers today talking about When Authors Become Human :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Auction Heads-Up

Julie Kenner is hosting an auction for Love Without Boundaries, an incredible cause, and there's a heap of great stuff to bid on (including three of my backlist books). To read more about Love Without Boundaries, follow the link to Julie's site.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

DIK, Website & Centaurs

Lots of news today.

First - StS just received a Desert Isle Keeper review from AAR!!!! Woohoo! These reviewers are tough so that was a verrry nice surprise.

Second - The website updates for Oct have been done. I not sure if the stars are active yet but for those of you who like hunting them, there are meant to be four new ones.

Also, I've added a page dedicated to FAQ etc about the Psy-Changeling series. It's relatively
spoiler free right now but that will likely change as time goes by.

Third - the book drought is over! I just read Divine By Mistake by P.C. Cast and thoroughly enjoyed it. Fabulous book. She's a new-to-me author but not for long! This is a Luna book so heavy on the fantasy but I found the romance very compelling - I don't think romance fans would be disappointed. As an aside - what a lovely cover.

Short Synopsis: Shannon Parker is an English teacher who gets sucked into another world
where she's treated as a Goddess Incarnate (the real GI has swapped places with her). Oh and she's betrothed to a centaur.

This is officially the first book I've ever read with a (sexy) centaur hero! Plus Shannon is a funny, smart and slightly offbeat heroine whom I liked immediately. Overall - highly
recommended if you like your romance with lots of fantasy (and centaurs).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

On Tour: Cheyenne McCray's Seduced By Magic

Today we're touring fellow Out of The Blogosphere author, Cheyenne McCray's new book. I gotta say, I'm digging that cover. Hmm, wonder if I could get away with thigh high boots? *g*


SEDUCED BY MAGIC by Cheyenne McCray

(St. Martin’s; October 3, 2006)


Copper Ashcroft is an accomplished D'Anu witch, but the magic she wields is a potent force—strong enough to hurl her into a mysterious Otherworld when a spell backfires. Before Copper can escape, another being is pulled into her realm—Tiernan, a powerfully virile Tuatha D'Danann warrior. Blond, blue-eyed, and shamelessly seductive, Tiernan could be Copper's savior…and his touch sets her body on fire.


Like others of his kind, Tiernan stands alongside the D'Anu witches to battle the demons of the Underworld. Obligation to his cause and his people cautions against any entanglement with Copper, yet each second spent with this beautiful, uninhibited woman stirs an insatiable hunger. Desire explodes into carnal bliss, but the visions that haunt Copper's dreams are growing stronger, and they foretell a terrifying evil waiting to be unleashed…


Saving the city will take more than brute strength…more than witchcraft. Only together can Copper and Tiernan find a way to overcome the dark forces—and seize a passion that has bewitched them both..



Cheyenne McCray is the award-winning author of sixteen books and six novellas. Among other accolades, Chey has been presented with the prestigious Romantic Times BOOKclub's Reviewers' Choice Award for "Best Erotic Romance of the Year."

Chey has been writing ever since she can remember, back to her kindergarten days when she penned her first poem. She always knew one day she would write novels, hoping her readers would get lost in the worlds she created, as she did when she was lost in a good book. Cheyenne enjoys spending time with her husband and three sons, traveling, and of course writing, writing, writing.


Her latest precious magical Ashcroft saga is a delightful torrid tale headed by a strong lead couple and supported ably by a horde of bad dudes. Fans who appreciate a strong fantasy will want to read the magnificent McCray mythos – Harriet Klausner

Website: http://www.cheyennemccray.com

Monday, October 02, 2006

Kiwi Triple Treat Contest

Want to win signed books from three very different authors? Read on.

Three New Zealand Authors...
Three New Releases...

Go into a draw to win a copy of Mr. Imperfect by Karina Bliss, a copy of Romancing the Alien by Shelley Munro, and a copy of Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh, along with a cute paua inlay bookmark from New Zealand .

Entry details
  • Visit the authors' websites and name one upcoming release for each author, other than the books depicted here.
  • Send us an email with the three book titles along with your name and address
  • Closing date 31 October 2006
  • One winner will be chosen after the closing date.
  • Note: Entrants may be invited to join authors' newsletters as a result of entering this contest.