Saturday, June 11, 2016

Addicted to Reading

Okay, so I'm a book addict. I admit it.

I can't pass a book store, used or new, or a rummage sale without checking out the books. And then I buy something. I have my favorite authors and series, and I try to fill in gaps. Sometimes, if I've heard good things about an author or a book, and I find it available, I'll give it a try. I'm pretty selective, so most of my 'tries' turn out to please me, and I add another series or author to my list. That means I have over a hundred paperbacks and hardbacks on my to-read bookshelf, not to mention probably another 40-50 on my Kindle.

Honestly, who wants to run out of choices? If you're like me, you never know what you'll be in the mood for at any given time. And I can't stand the idea of having 'nothing' to read next. Maybe it's a compulsion, but it's one I can live with.

Any other book addicts in the room?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Goodreads Giveaway!

For one week only! Now through midnight May 26, I'm holding a Goodreads Giveaway of BLOODSTONE. Up for grabs is one autographed print copy. For a chance to win, enter at https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/187034-bloodstone or click on the Goodreads Giveaway widget to the right.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Find Your Center"


You know how certain movies remain with you long after you watched them for the first time? How you keep going back to watch them again and again? How, like the child who wants Goldilocks and the Three Bears read to her for the thousandth time, there’s something about that film that strikes a chord, provides comfort, maybe even confirms your world view.

I’ve recently had to purchase THE RISE OF THE GUARDIANS for at least one of those reasons. I’m a big fan of animated movies, having been raised on Disney’s classics, and I love fairy tales. This combines both in a new take on the familiar icons of Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sandman, and Jack Frost, and although it’s not a brand-new movie, I can’t shake the way its message—“Find your center”—resonates with me.

Jack Frost, our hero, has been searching for 300 years for the answer to why the Man in the Moon chose him. He has no memory of who he was before he became Jack Frost. Santa tells him to “Find your center,” using Russian nesting dolls to illustrate. For Santa, what’s at his core, what makes him who he is, as the smallest doll in Santa’s set reveals, is JOY. His wonderful toy creations provide joy not only to all who receive them, but he derives great joy from making them. When Jack Frost finds the key to his memories, and why the Moon chose him, his eyes are opened to what’s always been at his center: FUN! Surprisingly, it’s a strong weapon against Pitch Black, the bogeyman. Jack becomes one of the GUARDIANS because to keep children having fun, fear has to be banished.

“Find your center,” is a powerful message for anyone, but I think it especially resonates with me because my characters are always searching for “home.” What they are really in search of is whatever will make them whole and complete, and usually that means finding and acknowledging their “center,” their core truth. When they’ve done that, they can finally allow themselves to love and be loved, to build their “home” in whatever form suits them.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

March--a Great Month for Green--saving it and seeing it!

Happy Spring! Today's the official day to welcome the new season. Out with the snow and cold; in with the warm breezes, gentle rains, and fresh greening of the earth and trees. Ignore the last blasts of winter and think SPRING!

Today I'm thinking GREEN and posting excerpts of BLOODSTONE over at Coffee Time Romance Blog. The Kindle version is on sale for 99 cents for the next two weeks. Click here to check it out: http://amzn.com/B0145P8JC6.


March is also the best time to be Irish. Did you know the ruined castle Drakkonwehr in BLOODSTONE was partially inspired by my visit to Ireland's Rock of Cashel? It's one of the sites on which St. Patrick worked to convert the Irish. Standing there, I could feel it's ancient roots, a truly mystical experience.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Love Between the Covers -- A Documentary Well Worth Watching

I have recently had the privilege of attending a screening of the documentary film Love Between the Covers, a film three years in the making. I'm not a big fan of documentaries, but I simply had to see this film and I highly recommend the film to anyone who writes fiction.

The film lovingly depicts the journeys of several romance fiction writers at various stages of their careers. It covers their challenges and rewards, their support systems and their loneliness. It covers the many facets of the industry, and it treats with respect the readers as well as the writers of all kinds of romance fiction.

If you've ever felt alone as a writer, if you've ever felt strange because you're the only one creating characters in your head, if you go to bed telling yourself stories about these characters, then you need to see this film. You're most definitely not alone, or strange. There are literally thousands of people like you in the United States alone. They are the authors who belong to Romance Writers of America, and they are willing to welcome you and support you no matter what kind of fiction you write or aspire to write.

Check out this film's website: http://www.lovebetweenthecovers.com/

Talk to your local librarian or community arts director about hosting a screening, or find the nearest one and attend. It's an affirmation, and we all need those in our lives.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Calling All Prospective Authors--Contests Work!

The WisRWA Fab Five Contest deadline is a week away (March 1). If you've ever considered entering your work in progress in a contest, this is an excellent one to try. The Fab Five requires just the opening 2,500 words of your novel, and is open to aspiring writers who are not yet published as well as those who are solely self-published. Plus, entrants do not have to be members of Romance Writers of America or WisRWA to enter.

I am living proof of the value of entering contests. THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, my first novel, placed 3rd in the FFPT category, and BLOODSTONE placed 2nd in the same category. Thanks to valuable feedback I received on both of these manuscripts, both went on to final and win additional contests and eventually be contracted and published.

The judging emphasis is on positive feedback, so even if you don't win or place, you'll receive advice on what's working as well as what's not working in those all-important first pages. Complete details, rules, and entry form can be found at www.wisrwa.org/contests.

Putting your work before the judgment of strangers is incredibly hard, but it's the only way to get objective feedback from industry professionals. Be daring. Give it a try. And good luck if you do.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Super Bowl Sunday Giveaway!

On Sunday, February 7, Super Bowl Sunday, I'll be giving away a Kindle copy of THE PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE as part of The Romance Reviews Mega Anniversary and Valentine's Day Party.

To enter the contest, you'll have to log into the TRR site and correctly answer a trivia question about the book. (Hint: the answer is found on my PRINCE page for this blog. Look to the right column for the link.) To get to the TRR site from this blog, look to my left column and click on the Mega Anniversary and Valentine's Day Party icon or click on this link: http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php.

Cheer for your favorite team and enter for a chance to win my book and many others on Feb. 7. Best of luck!