Tuesday, July 29, 2008

HIGHLANDER UNMASKED by Monica McCarty

Meg MacKinnon has to marry in order to defend her clan's holdings. Faced with a deadline to achieve marital bliss, she heads to court in search of a husband. Alex MacLeod must keep his identity and purpose hidden. Too bad for him that Meg recognizes him as one of the men who aided her and her mother during a roadside attack.

Ms McCarty does a wonderful job bringing these characters to life. Meg and Alex are both strong, very likable, but not over powering.

I did feel there were times when the story bogged down with details and I rolled my eyes at a few phrases. But, the author did stay focused on the plot and kept the action moving.

This is my first read of this author and I have already scribbled a note to myself listing the title of her next book to go in my tbr pile.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dorothy's road to publication

I wrote this, though never made it public, about a year ago. With all of the latest blog posts about submission frustrations, I thought I would bring it into the open.


You know how the unknown is spooky and gets creepier because of our imaginations adding to the mystery? I have a feeling this is what happens with the 'getting published' process.

We have these Oz-like characters (publishers) who no one ever sees but everyone is in awe of. To get to the great Oz, we have to get past the gatekeepers (agents) who are the only ones who have access to his chambers. If that isn't enough, the gatekeepers have these little minions (interns), who are delusionally self-empowered to make life and death decisions concerning little Toto (your ms).

Dorothy (the writer) is frantic. The Tinman, Scarecrow, and Lion (fellow writers) are comforting, but all Dorothy really wants is a home for little Toto.

"No!" they cry. Saliva drips from the fangs of the evil minions.

"Please, if I may have a moment of your time," Dorothy begs.

"There, there," her friends comfort, "you can stay with us in our world (forums and boards)."

"But you don't understand. They don't understand. Oz will understand. He has helped so many who were more pathetic than I. I know he will hear my plea, if only I can approach."

Dorothy awakens, surrounded by familiar faces, and clutched in her hand is a hardbound book with Toto's cheerful face adorning the cover.

The point of the story, everything seems unattainable with numerous stumbling blocks. We know where the finish line is but are constantly being shoved to the side of the path. It's scary to keep picking yourself up and continuing on an unfamiliar road, knowing you will face an even greater unknown. But we do it nonetheless. Don't be afraid of the unknown, be afraid of not getting back up.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

new wip

I managed 1400 words today on the new wip. This put most of the bones in place for chapter one. I really like what I have planned and I have that gushy feeling. You know the one when you can't wait for someone to read what you've written, even though you know better than to share because it will barely make sense. A good clue to hold back is all of the green and red underlines from Word. Doesn't that software know a first draft when it sees one!

Hmm, I really need to come up with a name for this. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 18, 2008

News I can finally share.

I have been asked to be part of a Christmas Anthology for 2009. How exciting is that!

It will be interesting to say the least. I have to keep the entire story under 25k. I can do this...I can do this. As long I eliminate subplots and secondary characters, this shouldn't be a problem. And you know how I love my secondary characters.

I am so excited. I pulled together a very rough outline this morning. Yeah, I made an outline! I don't see any major problems other than putting McKnight on hold. The anthology comes with a deadline, he'll have to understand. It will be intersting to see what mayhem Cole and Isa wreck while I'm gone.

Off to lower the air conditioner to get in a cold frame of mind.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Introducing: McKnight

I thought I would share the opening paragraph of McKnight.


Murderers are hanged. This realization swept over Isabella Foster in a cold sweat. She rubbed her throat where phantom knots laced her neck like a string of pearls. It was reassuringly smooth. She swallowed and wondered if stealing a horse could also send her to the gallows but then, it was her horse. Of course, she hadn’t committed murder either, but that hadn’t stopped Eli Banks, her dead uncle’s business associate, from trying to wrap a noose around her gullet.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wordle

I feel like a tag-a-long, but this is the earliest I could get to this. (Click the thumbnail to enlarge.)

Cost of Freedom


Bound by Honor


For Mercy's Sake


Introducing: McKnight

The perfect end to the week.

If I could go back in time and relive a handful of days, today would be in the top 10. I came home from work and found a birthday card attached to Scott Westerfeld's PRETTIES and SPECIALS in my mailbox. It doesn't get any better than this. Wow!!! I have a really great friend who knows me very well. THANK YOU, Jen!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A slow simmer or a flash in the pan.

Here's something to consider.

How many books did a favorite author have on the bookstore shelf before you 'discovered' them? And, how did you learn about them?

Bummed

Tonight is the opening ceremonies for the Highland Games on Grandfather Mountain, and I won't be there. If you've never gone, you really should go and if you've been there, you understand how I feel. It is so much fun, plus there are kilts for as far as the eye can see...even in town. I did see that Off Kilter wasn't scheduled to appear. That did ease the pain.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

SECRETS OF SURRENDER by Madeline Hunter

Roselyn Longworth goes from a destroyed reputation due to a family scandal to utter humiliation by being auctioned to the highest bidder. Kyle Bradwell wins the bid and must win her trust in order to save her from further ruin.

Have you ever read a book where, for no reason whatsoever, everyone loved it, but you? That is what happened with this book and why I take the blame. The cover blurb was intriguing, the author's writing style was easy to follow, and the characters were clearly written. All of the elements were there, but no spark. There was also no reason to dislike it.

You know, sometimes, it has nothing to do with good or bad, it just happens. In fairness to the author, I would like to give this book another read to see if I see it differently at a later date.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

MASTER OF THE HIGHLANDS by Veronica Wolff

Lily Hamlin has traveled back in time to Scotland, 1654. She meets Ewan Cameron, who isn't at all surprised she is from another time.

I'm slightly torn on this book. Ms Wolff's writing style leans toward literary. If you prefer books that are filled with narrative and details, you will love this book. If you are looking for a light romp through Scotland, this book isn't for you.

The book begins with many pages of backstory. Because of the author's overuse of narrative and detailed description, I felt like I was sorting through wrappings in search of the story.

Lily is introduced to another time traveler in the castle. I expected her to spend a lot of time with him, comparing notes, in search of a way to return home. There isn't even a small amount of curiosity, which I found odd because I thought she had a science background.

I never warmed up to any of the characters and when Lily and Ewan professed feelings for each other, I was shocked.

Overall, I was determined to finish, and did, but with a headache.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Unusual Historicals

I'm the featured author at Unusual Historicals. Come take a look at an historic character from Cost of Freedom.

As a disclaimer, I'd like to point out that this was an actual person and the first half of his story is true. When it was time for him to depart, I felt he had so much left to offer my story. What else could I do? I promoted him, gave him an impressive rank, and led him down a fictional road. I do not mean to sully the man's name. Anything concerning Thomas Preston after the trial is purely my imagination.

When will I learn?

I should know by now, pov cannot be forced. If a character wants to tell the scene, you have to let them. It doesn't matter that you want to show a certain element from a different character's perspective. Fine. Isa wins...again. At least I didn't fight with her through the entire chapter. Oh, that would have been lovely. I'll go shift things around on the first page or two so peace can reign supreme. I'm glad Cole can handle her.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Meme from Deniz

I pinched this from Deniz.

1. What’s in your pocket right now? Nothing

2. Have you ever gone skinny-dipping? Ummm. Next question.

3. Did you have a baby blanket? No.

4. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair? I trim my bangs.

5. How did that turn out? Fine.

6. Have you ever sleepwalked? Nope.

7. Have you ever had a birthday party at a restaurant? No.

8. Have you ever eaten a dog biscuit? No.

9. If you were in a car sinking in a lake, what would you do first? Wrap a plastic bag around my laptop then open the window.

10. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? No.

11. Have you ever fallen asleep in school? No.

12. How many foreign countries have you visited? None, but I really think some states should qualify.

13. Have you ever broken a bone? Cracked one.

14. Have you ever accidentally taken something from a hotel? No.

15. If you could invite any movie star to your home for dinner, who would it be? How about a producer instead, let's keep our priorites, shall we?

16. If you could attend an Olympic Event, what would it be? Diving.

17. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Not nearly as many as my daughter.

18. If you won a $5,000 shopping spree to any store, which store would you pick? Black and White.

19. Have you ever been rushed to the emergency room? No.

20. Have you ever had surgery? Yes.

21. When was the last time you had a sit-down dinner with your immediate family that didn't consist of a television? It's been a while, mainly because we are rarely together at meal time.