Welcome. This blog was started three years ago by four aspiring writers who are now three published authors of novels and short stories (Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson, Arlene Webb) and one multiple award-winning writer (Laurie Green). We blog to keep readers updated on our new releases or other random topics. We hope you enjoy your stay. :] Coffee?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Musings by Bunny.

*Pokes head in door and looks both ways* You haven’t seen any AARP members around? There’s about six of them, with Mo-Peds? No? *Steps in* There was this altercation at Macys. Oh never mind. I have someone I’d like you to meet. *Reaches through door and pulls scraggly looking woman in a toga through*

This is Delia, she’s a muse. *Shoves Delia towards screen* Say hello, Delia.

“Hi.”

Come on, don’t be bashful. Say hello to the nice people. *Raises pitchfork* Say hello you dysfunctional thought process, before I stick you with this pitchfork and roast you over a spit till you’re well done!

“Hi, I’m Delia and I’m a muse.” *glances nervously at Bunny* “Er, Bunny has so graciously asked me to visit this blog.” *gaze flits towards Bunny and back to the screen* “I couldn’t say no...” *Leans closer, wringing hands* “Oh god, help me. I’m being held host…. Ouch. That’s sharp”

Stick to the subject sister, or there’s more where that came from. *Tail twitches*

*Sighs* “I’ve been on holiday lately.” *stares at pitchfork* “but I just wanted all of you to know, I’m back.”

*Knocks Delia out of the way and crowds screen* What this miserable Inspiration Wannabe is trying to say, is that if you’ve been missing your muse, I found her. I’m holding her hostage to the highest bidder. Shall we open the bidding at one soul? *Raises eyebrow and snags back of muse’s toga, shaking her and rattling her teeth* Do I have any opening bids? A whole lot of inspiration here. *Shakes her again, sending muse into tears*

Oh, shut up. You never want to say anything until it benefits you. It’s all about you, you, you. Unless you’ve got something good to say, zip it shut. *Shakes head* You can never trust these muses, they are fair-weather friends, leave you high and dry when you least expect it. But, I’ve got one for the very low price of one soul. *Leans closer to the screen* A bargain.

*Sighs* No takers? Come on, it’s one miserable soul. I know she’s not much to look at, but when you don’t have one hanging around… Well, let’s just say she’s a real steal. No really, I snuck into this New York Times Bestseller’s house the other night and… *Looks around* Did you hear that? Mo-Peds? I think their stalking me. Deck one old lady and they turn on you. I’m telling you, I had those shoes off the clearance rack first. The old Biddy deserved it. *Glances around and grabs Delia in a chokehold* I’ve got to go, but you know where to find me.
Ciao!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Had to Post This

Andrew Olmsted was a soldier in Iraq. He kept a blog. He wrote his final words in the event of his death and asked a friend to post them if that day ever came. It did. On January 4, 2008, Andrew's last words were posted.

This is worth taking a few minutes out of your day to read and consider. The honesty, humility, and humor of his message is profound. May these final thoughts reach millions.

Rest in Peace, Major Andrew Olmsted.

http://andrewolmsted.com/

And You Thought P2PC was Far-Fetched. *smirk*


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23261794/






Guess what's coming? Mind-controlled games. Now you know the spin I put on this in P2PC can't be far behind. *looks at Dawn and Flick and smirks*

Later this year, Emotiv Systems Inc. plans to start selling the EPOC neuroheadset ($299). The headset's sensors detect conscious thoughts and expressions as well as "non-conscious emotions" by reading electrical signals in the brain. The company demonstrated the wireless gadget at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

I'm telling ya....Holotron Mindshare can't be far behind. ;) Ok, so Drea's version is quite a bit more streamlined. Remember, they'll have 1500 years to perfect it.

Bunny's Picks. Jim Butcher, Susan Grant...

Hello out there. *Taps glass and presses nose against computer screen* My name is Bunny. I’m a demon. *Places hands on hips and steps back* Why is that so hard for everyone to believe? You. *points at person in the back laughing* I’d stop while you’re ahead. I really would. I might look cute and sweet with this tail and horns, but Buddy, I’ll hurt you. *Tail twitches and flames jump in eyes*

*Hops up on desk and crosses long legs* There’s always a heckler in the group somewhere. Usually it’s a telemarketer. Don’t worry; I know where you live… You don’t know how many of them I end up torturing on a daily basis. They just don’t know when to keep their mouths shut. Oh where was I….

Yes. *snaps fingers* I was in the process of introducing myself. As I said, I’m Bunny. Some of you have already met me. *Waves to the girls* I thought I’d pop on to the blog and put my two cents, er two dollars, *shakes head and waves hands in air* Hundred dollars worth, in. I may be called Bunny, but I’m not cheap. *Snorts* As if.

I was reading this story the other day and I had to ask myself. *glances at fingernails, rummages through handbag and pulls out file* you can never get a good set of French tips up here. I’m telling you, if you want to see a spa, you should go to Hell. No, really. Their warm mudpacks are to die for.

What is that! *Eyes pop open in disbelief*
Damn it. My cuticles are mangled. Just mangled. It has to be all this flipping cold weather you’ve been having up here. I’m telling you, living in the South is the only way to go. *grabs hair and examines ends.* Split. I should have known. There isn’t enough conditioner in the world to keep up with all the dry heat you people pump into your homes to stay warm. It’s not worth it, living up here. Trust me. Well, all except for the winter clearance sales. *Lifts foot and turns new stiletto heel in the light.* Lovely isn’t it? I got the best deal on them. Of course, I had to beat the hordes back. *Snort*and I’m called a spawn of Satan? Please... Have you ever hit the clearance racks on senior citizen discount day? Those little old ladies mean business. I’m telling you, I was sure that bite was going to leave a scar. Don’t worry, I got her number. You can’t live forever sister! *Twitches tail and shakes pitchfork*

Um, where was I? Oh yes. I was reading this story the other day and I had to ask myself, to whom these authors are selling their souls to get published. I know daddy didn’t sign a couple of them, I checked the archives and files. *Huffs*

I’ve also read some pretty decent stories lately. So here’s a little list I tossed together. Books I suggest you add to your TBR (to be read) pile. *Taps chalkboard with pitchfork* We’ll call these Bunny’s Picks. *Smacks the chalkboard harder and bares fangs* Pay attention! *Leans closer to the screen* As I was saying. These are Bunny’s Picks! Not Dawn’s. She’s only a vessel in my world domination plans. When I’m not planning to take over the world with the minions of hell, I read. So if you’ve got questions, ask me. *takes a deep breath and flutters lashes* Okay?

Let’s start with anything by Karen Marie Moning. I love her stories. Evil Fae and Druids. Yummy. I particularly like Adam Black. Ummmm. *Fans self*

Jim Butcher. Who doesn’t love him? My personal favorite is "Dead Beat". It's part of the Dresden Files and the first book in the series I read. Okay, so I read stuff out of order. *Rolls eyes* So sue me. We own all the lawyers anyway. Well, most of them. The nice thing with this series is you can, if you're so inclined, read it out of order. It's probably better that you don't. You'll get a better picture of the events leading up to each story if you start with book one, "Storm Front", but it's nice knowing they can stand alone. The series isn't Romance, but it’s a must read for anyone that loves Urban Fantasy.

Donna Kaufmann. “The Black sheep and the Princess”, “Great Scot”, “The Black Sheep and the Hidden beauty”. These are mainstream romance/erotica that will leave you wanting more. I particularly love the Unholy Trinity. The first book in the trilogy about these bad boys is “The Black Sheep and the Princess”.

Here’s a book I got for Christmas from Laurie. The “Down Home Zombie Blues.” Linnea Sinclair pulls out her bag of tricks and hits you with the Sci Fi world building that will launch you into space. Who doesn’t like a romance with zombies and aliens? And the zombies aren’t what you’d think. Lots of surprises in this story.

And of course I can’t leave Susan Grant off this list. Her alien romances are fun. Quirky titles, sexy men, and of course, out of this world, love stories. Here's three to start with: “Your Planet or Mine”, “My Favorite Earthling”, and “How to Lose an Extraterrestrial in 10 days.”

*Checks watch* Well, I better run, people to torture, souls to collect, and a manicure to get…
Hey, I’m a busy girl. Possession isn’t easy. *leans into screen and blinks* Don’t look at me like that. Possession is 9/10ths the law. Besides, I am legal. *Reaches in purse and finds green card* Did you know that I practically had to sell my soul to get this, and I don’t have one? I offered the immigration officer a package deal and they slipped me…. Uh, never mind. *shakes head* Legalities. Damning evidence. *Flips cell phone open and reads text* Get out! How much?

I really need to go now. I just got a red hot tip on a shoe sale downtown. If I don’t move, the Cue-tips will get all the good deals.

Ciao. Hugs and Kisses.

*Vanishes in a puff of smoke. Reappears and grabs purse* Can’t forget my plastic. Don’t leave home without it. *Smiles*

Ta!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Naughty Towels




I couldn't resist posting these. *smirks*

So what's the newest project?

So, I'm about halfway through the re-write on AG and about halfway through the first draft of L. I've had to rewrite one chapter due to my computer crashing and loosing the chapter before I backed it up.

I've started the re-write on Blame it on Mars. I've been scrubbing chapters from IBH Inc. for the presentation to the Thayer Middle School writing class, and thankfully the date has been pushed back to April 22. I'll keep you all posted how that went. A whole day with kids that are 13 and 14. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to spend the day with these future writers, and how honored I am that they asked me to come in and do this. They are a great group of kids, a lot of them come from poverty level homes, and difficult situations. I think I will get as much from them as hopefully I can give to them. Two of the writers, one in particular is such a powerful writer, her stories brought tears to my eyes.

Writing the YA story has really given me a deeper appreciation for the writers who produce these stories. They're not easy.

What else. I've been chin deep in tax season at work, hip deep in black-belt prep, and I have two portraits I've been commissioned to paint. Plus I'm teaching my Sensei how to draw and paint animals.

Then throw in my teenage sons, basketball tournaments, art events and overall keeping one eye glued on them, especially the older son with the steady girlfriend...

And keeping the husband happy...
Ho boy.

So, It's been a busy month. Just thought you might like to know why I've been so quiet. What's new in your world?

Friday, February 22, 2008

What I'm Reading Now

HOW TO LOSE AN EXTRETERRESTRIAL IN 10 DAYS


Author: Susan Grant

Genre: [Probably obvious, but] Sci-Fi Rom

Where am I: About three-quarters done.

What I think so far: Likin' it!

ETA on book review: In the next two weeks


Added note: Since we're on the discussion of cover art in another post, this is my idea of a perfect cover for the novel. I would be ecstatic to get one this good. And notice...no faces. Leaves the readers to their imagination, so no conflict with what's on the cover and what they see in their head.



Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Have you ever...

Have you ever read a book, where the cover art completely conflicts with the story?
Recently I read a book, and it was well written, but the attention to detail paid by the author, was not shared by the publisher.

The image created of the heroine is very distinct. She has black hair, so dark it has blue hi-lights. The cover art portrays her as a light blond. I can't begin to tell you how much that irritates me.

Now, as I've told you before, I'm not shallow, but little descrepancies like this really can throw me off the story. I've been known to buy a book for the cover art. Yes, I said it. If you don't think the average romance reader does, your mistaken.

Where was I going with this? I felt a bit betrayed, mislead. Not by the writer. She wrote a solid story. If a publisher hires an artist to do the cover, they should read the story. How else are they going to get it right?

Don't give me the whole, "This isn't how an artist works", because I know better. I know how an artist works. If I was hired to paint the cover art, I'd read the story. Not only to ensure I got it right, but for inspiration. It's a beautiful cover, but it doesn't belong with the story. For the publisher to slip on this, shows how little they care. The reader will lose trust. Hopefully not in the writer. We all know how little control a writer has over these things. What makes me mad is I know that it takes months, sometimes years to write these stories. If someone would have taken a couple of days to do their research, this wouldn't have happened.

Let this serve as an example of why we should do our research, and I'm not talking to just the writers. The Devil really is in the details. Do your research.

Book written by: Julia Latham, and the story is "One Knight Only."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

ARMED AND MAGICAL (ARC) Book Review

ARMED AND MAGICAL (ARC)
By Lisa Shearin
Ace Books
Urban Fantasy
Release date April 2008

Pardon me while I take a moment to enthuse. (Is that a word?) This is, without a doubt, one of the best reads I’ve had in a long, long time. There are twists, turns, shocks and surprises—all contained in a fast-paced story. Unpredictable would be an understatement and the witty dialogue, both spoken and internal, is exceptional.

ARMED AND MAGICAL is the much anticipated Raine Benares Adventure sequel to MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND. I read it in a day. I could not stop. It rolled from one engrossing, hooky scene to the next. There is much to discover and some absolute pound-fists-on-the-table-and-kick-heels-in-glee surprises. When Raine isn’t immersed in a situation full of terrific humor, she’s up to her ears in bite-your-nails creepiness.

By page 6, Raine’s got trouble—BIG trouble—and I’m once again pulled right into the crux of the action by the first person POV as villains pop out of the woodwork, a major character is in jeopardy, and an innocent is snatched. We’re off!

Raine Benares is a seeker, a finder of lost things, and a sorceress of moderate powers. Make that a world-wise, quick-witted, been-around-the-block-a-few-times sorceress from a family of rogues and criminals. She’s savvy and unpredictable, and you never know what she might say next. Tell Raine to keep quiet? Not gonna happen. In MLTF, she found something she wasn’t looking for that attached itself to her with the tenacity of a Pit Bull. Mychael Eiliesor, a fellow elf, Conclave Guardian and paladin (read that: top cop) came into her life to help her shake off her disturbing accessory, but his job often puts him at odds with her instincts. Mychael is her self-appointed protector, but Raine resists being protected, and coming from a family of criminals that view Mychael’s sort with suspicion, she has doubts about his true motivations. Tam, nightclub owner, exotic bad boy, and goblin with a dubious past also finds himself entangled in Raine’s business, though an entanglement of a different sort is more what he has in mind. Tam has a damning secret, and when Raine discovers who and what he was—and may still be—she is smart enough to heed his warnings. Or try to.

As with MLTF, there are many who might qualify as “villain material,” but two stand out in their special charming, slithery way. Sarad Nukpana is back in all his evil glory, and Rudra Muralin, a goblin with a dark past (or make that an even darker past than most goblins) presents a new force for Raine to contend with. There is also large and well-drawn contingent of minor characters, including incorrigible kin, loyal Guardians, corrupt officials, seedy minions, and an overbearing, malevolent librarian that reigns over his turf like a dark thundercloud.

It is a rare case where a sequel bests the original in brilliant style. MLTF was a delight. ARMED AND MAGICAL is even better. The lightning pace makes for a quick, engrossing read, but real-life ingredients like politics and legal matters add rich complexity and twists to the story. The element of surprise is always present. You just never know what…or who…might pop up next. Magic is used in imaginative and surprising ways and in at least one scene had me ROFL at the irony when Raine takes on a very convincing disguise and suffers the consequences. Paybacks are hell, huh, Raine?

If you love an imaginative Fantasy romp with a winning blend of laugh-out-loud humor and chilling suspense, this novel is a “Must Read.” Look for it in April 2008.

This is a condensed version of a review I posted on the the Toasted Scimitar Fantasy Pub. http://www.toasted-scimitar.blogspot.com/