Friday, September 30, 2011

Typing away on Friday

I've had a busy week. I'm trying to catch up on everything because I won't have any time next week. I've been doing some work for my beta readers this week. I haven't done anything on my WIP except tweak my synopsis. I'm trying to give it more of the protagonist's voice. A little attitude and sass.

I'll be picking my mom up at the airport on Sunday afternoon and she'll be staying for a week. I won't be able to get on to blog, comment or respond to emails. Please don't think I'm ignoring any of you.

Thank you very much to Elizabeth Arroyo and Myne Whitman for passing on to me The Versatile Blogger award. They're two wonderfully talented and fascinating women. Please check out their sites.

I watched a Norwegian film last night called Trollhunter. It was a bit silly and done in Blair Witch style, but the trolls were awesome. It's worth it just to see the trolls.

I'm nearing 100 followers. I'm so excited and thankful. Sometimes I get a little stage fright writing an entry. Yet I hope I'm not boring you to death. Once I hit 100 followers, I'll have a giveaway. Hm, any thoughts on a clever name for it?

Have a good weekend!

And yes, that photo demonstrates exactly how I sit down to type with a gorgeous muse whispering in my ear as he admires my sexy lean shapely legs. Well, I guess my legs have shape!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A random Thursday meme

This weekly meme is hosted by Booking Through Thursday.
1. What do you think of reading aloud/being read to? I don't mind reading to children, but I don't do well in front of an adult audience. I'm not fond of being read to. I prefer to read myself.

Does it bring back memories of your childhood? No. I know I read a lot when I was a child, but I have no memories of being read to and I have a great memory.

Your children's childhood? I read to my son all the time. My husband reads to my son a lot. I think it important to read to children even if they're infants. I hope my son remembers it when he gets older.

2. Does this affect the way you feel about audio books? Yes. I don't like to listen to them. They're too slow. I read pretty fast.

3. Do you now have times when you read aloud or are read to? I don't have any specific times. I'll either suggest reading to my son or he'll grab a book from his shelf and bring it to me.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - paranormal romance heroes

Oh, the hot and sexy heroes of paranormal romance. How I adore you! From ruggedly handsome werewolves to exotic demons and smoldering vampires. The mysterious and gorgeous monster hunters and all those other wonderfully scrumptious heroes out there.
Sometimes it's difficult to come up with an original hero. A lot of them seem to have the same characteristics. He's strong both physically and personality-wise, but he has to be to deal with the feisty heroine. He's possessive and protective. Two things the independent heroine usually fights against. He's clever, because he has to find some way past the heroine's emotional defenses. He'll sacrifice everything for the heroine and that's what makes us all love him in the end.

Many of the heroes are Alphas. Powerful and dominant men. Fans of the genre won't deny they like it. I won't! Most of the heroes I write are Alphas. Yet there is a place for Betas too. Heroes that aren't bulging with muscles or out looking for a fight. The men who are quiet and intelligent, who are fiercely ethical and aren't afraid of being emotional. They'll still sacrifice everything for the heroine, but not in a way anyone expects. These are the heroes that surprise us.

Who are your favorite paranormal romance heroes? Do you prefer Alpha heroes or do you believe that Beta males can be just as amazing?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday with City of Bones

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
City of Bones is the first book in Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series. It's another YA paranormal that I'm giving a try. So many people have recommended it. I'm liking it so far. I have all the books sitting on my kitchen table. So if I get on a roll, I can keep going!
Here's the teaser:
"Real elves are about eight inches tall," Jace pointed out. "Also, they bite." (page 118)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Musing Mondays

This is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading

The question today is: what does it take for you to give up on a book you've been reading?

For most of my life, I never gave up on a book. I continued through to the bitter end. I don't like to invest the time in a story and not give it a chance. These days, though, I don't have the time to force myself to read something I don't like. I have a pile of books on my kitchen table and a list of ebooks accumulating on my computer for when I get my Nook. I only get a few hours to myself each day. I can't waste my precious time.

Lately, I've been reading a lot of YA books. There's been a lot of hit and miss. I recently finished Possession by Elena Johnson and I loved it. I then tried a book called Discord's Apple and I couldn't get into it. I liked the premise of it, but the story didn't suck me in. So I put it down. Now I've started The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I'm really liking it so far. Those are big books!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - September 24

Saturday Snapshot is a great weekly meme hosted by At Home With Books
Flying down the street.

I think it so funny how when toddlers run, they thrust out their arms behind them
and lean forward with their hands curled back.
No one teaches them this.
I wonder what it is inside of them that makes it seems like the best way to run.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Second Campaign Challenge

It's time for the Second Campaign Challenge of Rachael Harrie's Writers' Platform Building Campaign. It's much harder this time around. Plus, I feel a little added pressure having been one of the final twelve finalists of the first challenge. Yet I'm excited!

Here's what Rachael tells us about the Challenge:
Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
  • include the word "imago" in the title
  • include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.
For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!
Once you’ve posted your Challenge post on your blog, pop back here and link directly to it in the Linky List below (please make sure you include the direct link to your post, not just the link to your blog!).

Entries in the Second Campaigner Challenge will close on Monday, October 3rd (at 11.59pm EDT). That's a week and a half (longer this time), so make sure you get your post in the Linky List before then if you want to be eligible for a prize! As usual, while everyone is very welcome to take part in this Challenge, only Campaigners will be eligible for prizes.

I decided to carry on from the first challenge. So many of you wanted to know what happened after the door shut. Here you go! Enjoy.


As soon as the door shut, Soren's mouth was on mine. Hard and hungry. My hands were in his silky hair and my leg wound around his waist. I could easily lose myself. I already had one dark lacuna in my memory. I couldn't let myself forget anything else.

I pushed him, trying to get my legs between us. “Get off of me!”

Soren chuckled and refused to budge. His breathe was hot and his heart pounded as loudly as mine. “You want me. You need me.”

“I don't need you.” I've said it so many times that I didn't believe it any more than he did. Every word was like miasma upon my soul. When once I was so certain of who I was, now everything was unclear.

He traced the thick scar along the right side of my neck with the pad of his thumb. I trembled at the tender touch. “Synchronicity brought us together, love. If you don't work with me and the Queen reaches Imago, she'll kill us both.”

I froze. My mouth unable to fully oscitate.


“She's here.” In the rear-view mirror, I saw my nightmares spill forth.

(exactly 200 words)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - happily ever after

I know fans of romance love the Happily Ever After ending (HEA). Most publishers require the author to have it. It might be predictable, but it sells. Readers want to escape their lives and experience that HEA moment. They want the reassurance and familiarity of it.

The trick is to write the HEA in a way that is unexpected. Girl will get the Boy at the end, but how? It doesn't always have to end with marriage and kids. The reader just needs to be emotionally satisfied.

Paranormal romance opens the door to all sorts of ways to do the unexpected. Use the genre to create something that will surprise the reader. Magic, strange creatures, or mysterious non-human past resurfacing. You're not limited by conventional reality. Only what you've created for yourself.

A few examples:
1) Your protagonist is a ghost. It's known that once a ghost completes his/her unfinished business, their soul will go on to the next life. How to get a HEA ending from that? Perhaps the business really isn't finished yet. Or maybe the love interest dies and they can go on to the afterlife together.
2) Your protagonist is in love with a werewolf. Pack members are forbidden to take a human mate. Have the werewolf challenge the law and win. Or discover that the protagonist isn't fully human after all.
3) The Romeo and Juliet affair between a demon and an angel. That can't end well, right? Have the demon sacrifice him/herself for the angel and be resurrected an angel. Or have them find out that it was the plan all along to have demons and angels mate because they cannot do so amongst their own kinds.

Sometimes I have problems trying to write an unexpected twist. This is why I don't write mysteries even though I enjoy them. Those are the times I do a lot of procrastinating. Plot twist generators online never helped. (Yes, there are plot twist generators!) I have to wait for the inspiration to hit me. I tend to kill a lot of my darlings and let magic be born out of the sacrifice for a HEA. I need to learn a new trick.

I like the HEA ending, but I don't need it to be happy with a book. If it has a proper resolution even if it's sad, I can be satisfied with it.

Do you prefer a HEA ending? Do you have any tricks that you use for creating twists to surprise your reader?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday with Mockingjay

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
The Hunger Game series by Suzanne Collins is worth the hype. Each book is better than the last. Rarely do I get a chance to say that! It's YA dystopian. Well written and mature. It has a lot of action and twists. There's also parts that make my throat tighten up with emotion. I'm not someone that cries easily at all. This is powerful writing. Mockingjay is the final book in the trilogy. I'm almost at the end!

 Here's your teaser:
Peeta looks around at our stunned faces, as if waiting for a reply. When none is forthcoming, he asks, "Real or not real?" The lack of response upsets him more.  (page 274)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Worst Movies Ever Blogfest

I've been eagerly awaiting this blogfest. I have a secret passion for bad movies. Thank you  Alex J. Cavanaugh for organizing some horrible fun for my Monday!

Here's what Alex says about the blogfest: On Monday, September 19, post a list of up to ten of the worst movies you’ve ever had the misfortune to watch. Films that just oozed awfulness and featured plot holes so big you could drive a bus through them. Any genre or year, but only theater and straight to video/DVD titles. (Otherwise we’d all list every movie ever made by the SyFy Channel!) Sign up, grab the button, and on September 19, give us the worst! And be sure to visit others participating in the blogfest. (List found here!)

Drat. No SyFy movies. Oh well. It doesn't matter. There are hundreds of terrible films out there. And only ten. I think I can limit it to that.

1. Rubber. A destructive tire named Robert with telepathic powers. Need I say more? Yes. Yes, I do. If that premise isn't bad enough, the writer tries to get meta on us. There is an audience watching the tire as if it's a live movie. Someone tries to kill off that audience so it wouldn't just be a movie any more. Then the people in the "movie" interacting with the tire realize they're in a movie and thus they can't be hurt as long as someone is watching them. They should have just stuck with a psychotic tire killing people.

2. Dungeons & Dragons. As a gamer geek, I was insulted by this film. They knew nothing about how to make it great. Sorry excuse for a plot. The actors were bad. Really bad. I've seen elementary school plays that had better talent.

3. Howard the Duck. I'll have to apologize to my husband for adding this to the list. He likes it. I hate it. Maybe it's a guy thing?

4. The Human Centipede. I cringe even at the sight of the movie poster. It's a rip-off of Hostel in a way except the bad guy wants to make a human centipede from his victims. I'll leave that bit to your imagination until you actually see the film.

5. Basket Case. This one has stayed with me since I was a teenager. Horror flick about a man and his deformed Siamese-twin seeking revenge upon the doctors that separated them. The deformed twin is, well, I can't find the words to describe the hilarious lump that he is. Evil, but ridiculous.

6. Birdemic: Shock and Terror. You mean shock and terror that it's so bad? What's even more frightening is that the writer/director was taking it seriously. He thought it was fantastic.

7. Dalmer vs. Gacy. No matter the desire to see two of the most infamous serial killers cloned and set loose on an unsuspecting world, it wasn't worth it. I'd rather they'd have killed me before I watched a minute of the film.

8. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I'm a big Indiana Jones fan. I love the first three movies. Why did they have to make another one? WHY?! Harrison Ford is too old. A refrigerator? Really? Then there's that annoying no talent bozo, Shia LaBeouf. I can't stand any movie he's in. Finally the aliens. Indiana Jones is pulp adventure not science-fiction. No thanks. I deserve better for being a fan for so long. We all deserve better.

9. Hobgoblins. We had greatness in Gremlins. Even Critters was entertaining. Hobgoblins, you suck.

10. Vampire Circus. Vampires are really popular right now, but this is not something I'd recommend to anyone. All I can say is WTF?!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - September 17

Saturday Snapshot is a weekly meme hosted by at home with books.
This is my new desktop wallpaper. I love his wild blond locks!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday news flash

I have a busy weekend ahead of me. Writers' group, shopping, a friend's birthday party, and the fall festival. I didn't submit anything to my writers' group to be critiqued this month because I don't have anything new written. Too much time spent revising and critiquing novels.

I finished the second book in The Hunger Games series. It was just as fantastic as the first. Actually, it was better. More intrigue and twists. I can't wait to read the third book!

One of my birthday presents arrived early. I'm now a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA). I had thought the processing would take a while, but they were quick.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Awards and Campaign Win

I received The Versatile Blogger Award and The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award from Amy at The Ramblings of Amy!

Thank you! I'm always honored to receive awards like this.

Here are the rules for both awards:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award on to 5 more blogger friends.
4. Contact and congratulate the blogs you're passing the award on to.

1. I was the worst vegetarian ever. I was one for 15 years. I like very few fruits and veggies. I don't like any sort of spice or even salt on my food. I don't like salad. I had to change my eating habits when I became pregnant.
2. I met my husband on the internet when it was still creepy to do so. We were just friends for a year until we met in person.
3. I'm eating animal cookies as I type this.
4. I think feet are ugly. Except cute baby feet.
5. I wrote several short stories as a child about the kids in our neighborhood called The Kingham Kids.
6. Being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but totally worth it.
7. I'm telling myself that I won't watch Survivor, but I don't think I'm going to listen.

I'm passing these two awards on to:
Aubrie at Flutey Words...
Christine at Christine's Journey 
 Manda at pepperwords
Along with these fine awards, I was notified that I'm one the Final 12 winners in Rachael Harrie's First Campaign Challenge. I'm blushing. I'm thrilled and honored. Wow. I'm stunned too. The Campaign has been a lot of fun so far. I know I say it a lot, but I really mean it. I've read many of the entries by other Campaigners and I'm impressed. So many talented writers out there. I raise my glass to all of you. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - the slow burn

(Today's post was suggested by Heidi at ...then she writes)

The instant or fast moving romances are very popular these days. Soul-mates falling in love at first sight, the werewolf meeting his mate unable to control his instincts, genetically altered humans made only for one another. I've read a lot of these books. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it feels forced and sounds ridiculous.

My preference is the slow burning romance. I love the long build up with all that tension sizzling in the air. These are more difficult to write than the fast moving romances because you want your reader invested in this relationship and not grow impatient or bored. Your reader wants to share that first moment their eyes meet, the first touch, the first kiss. A gentle spiraling of two people falling in love.

Here are a few tips:
  1. Make the characters earn the love. Love just doesn't suddenly happen for most people. It's built on trust, respect and appreciation. All those things take time to build. Yes, physical chemistry is important, but that alone isn't love. Friendship is a good base for building love upon.
  2. Put obstacles in the way of earning that love. Put your characters into dangerous situations. Give them flaws that they might dislike in one another. Then let them find ways of overcoming them together.
  3. Use romantic scenes sparingly. The payoff is sweeter when you have to wait for that first kiss. Yet don't disappoint the reader. This is romance after all. Romance isn't all about the physical. There's a lot of emotion involved as well. You have to have something to carry the reader along to that first kiss. Let the reader into the protagonist's head, let them feel what s/he's feeling.
  4. Let the characters be vulnerable. It's easy to fall in love with someone when they're strong. Yet to experience vulnerability together is something else entirely. It allows a deeper bonding. When a character is vulnerable, their soul is naked in front of the other.
  5. Don't have your protagonist suddenly realize near the end of the story that s/he is in love. "Oh, I've suddenly realized you're amazing." That's cheating in my opinion.
Do you prefer fast paced or slow burning romances? Do you have any tips on building romances?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday with Uglies

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I've heard a lot of good things about this book, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. A YA dystopian where everyone can have an operation when they turn sixteen to be beautiful. Some anti-social people decide not to have it and are banished into the wild. Interesting premise, but I haven't been able to get into it so far. Hopefully that will change as I keep reading.
Here's your teaser:
A shadow passed over her, blacking out the sky. Then her hand struck something - a familiar grippy surface.... (page 176)

Monday, September 12, 2011

YA books and Campaign good news

Recently, I've had the chance to read more YA books. I haven't read much in this genre because what I've read in the past, I haven't liked. I'm also a writer of adult books. I like to read about adult characters. Yet there's been so many great YA books around that I've heard about, I thought I'd give the genre another chance.

I started off with Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. A very good start! I loved it. Then I read Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. Wow. It was a phenomenal book. The hype was right. I have the next two books on reserve at the library.

My next pick was another popular paranormal romance series called the Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine. My good luck came to a sudden end. It took over 70 pages for the story to really get started. I didn't like the characters. It had an intriguing premise, but I had no sympathy for anyone. Perhaps I should have read Caine's Weather Warden series instead. For any of you that have read it, is it worth picking up?

Okay. Surely the next book had to be better. I've been waiting a long time to read Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs. It has a fantastic cover and one of the best book trailers I've ever seen. Yet the book failed to live up to my expectations. It was a decent story, but it didn't wow me. It seemed like Riggs tried too hard to make the story fit the photos.

Right now, I'm reading Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. So far, I'm not impressed. I'll read the whole book unless it becomes horrible, but there's only been a few books that ever made me stop reading.

I'm still willing to read more YA paranormal and dystopian books. Where do I go next, though? Do you have any suggestions?

In other news, I won a copy of Stone Cold Seduction by Jess Macallan. Yay! When I finally get my Nook, I'll have a book to read.

My entry in the first challenge of the Campaign has been judged and made it to Stage Two. I'm honored and excited. The Campaign has been so much fun. Here's what the judge had to say:

Hi Christine! I'm Elizabeth Moss and you were put in my part of the judging element for the campaign challenge.

I'm delighted to say I loved your story and you'll be going through to Stage Two!

So congrats!

What I love about your story is how it begins so dramatically in media res. The backstory is expertly revealed in the sparse phrase 'My demon hunting background' - no more is required. The action is in your face from the start and doesn't let up until the door swings shut again. Soren is sexy, and you can see why she's torn. (And in case we were in doubt, you cleverly slip in that 'she doth protest' to ensure we know this is boy on girl action.) Exciting, breathtaking, dynamic, telling dialogue, and all I can ask is - what happens once they're inside the car together??

Love it. Best of luck with the next round.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

E-readers - your choice?

My birthday is coming up at the beginning of October. I might ignore it other than the fact I'm getting my first e-reader. I'm excited about it. I'm finally catching up to the electronic generation. I'll be so hip groovin' cool. Is cool still cool to say?

So Kindle or Nook? Kindle or Nook, hmm. I thought a long time about it. My husband is a gadget guy. We had many conversations. We did research. For just a simple, black & white e-reader, the Kindle is a good buy. Yet I wanted more to the tablet. I wanted color, net access and Angry Birds. Hey, a girl has to have her priorities! The Nook Color is more expensive than the Kindle, but it has all those things plus more.

This morning when reading the morning paper, I saw a different e-reader in the Best Buy ad: an Android Pandigital. Oh, it's got almost everything the Nook has, it's color and it's a hundred bucks cheaper. Curious and excited about this discovery, my husband did some of his techie guy searching. The Pandigital recently had an upgrade. It wasn't anywhere near in the running with either the Kindle or Nook until last month. An Android tablet with all its apps and an e-reader. Nice. Plus, the price!

We took a field trip to Best Buy this morning to get some hands on time with the tablets. While the Pandigital has a lot of the same functions as the Nook, it's slower, choppier and buggy. I don't like how it's set up. It might be able to better compete if it had another overhaul, but it was too annoying to get around on. The Nook Color, on the hand, blew me away. It's smooth, fast and sensitive. It has all its B&N apps plus Android apps. It has a new Netflix app. The e-reader is easy to use and fun. You can even have it read to you.

I can play my games on it. Yay for Angry Birds! I can surf the net and check e-mail. I can watch movies. I can use it as a learning tool with my son. Goodness knows he didn't want to leave the store that had all the techie stuff! Most importantly, it has the best e-reader.

My husband is more excited than I am about my birthday gift. He's already planning on buying extra memory cards to store the stuff he wants on them!

I know people are very loyal to their e-readers. For those of you who do have them, which one do you own? What do you love about it? What do you dislike about it?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Snapshot - September 10

Saturday Snapshot is a weekly meme hosted by at home with books.

Kids these days are growing up so fast. Driving before he's two!
We're going to take this photo again in 14 years and compare.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reading entries and a bit of the naughty

Welcome to all my new followers and hello again to the great people already here! The Campaign has been a lot of fun so far. I was nervous, but I'm over it now. There are so many encouraging and inspiring participants. I've visited all the talented folk in my Paranormal Romance group. I'm slowly working my way through the list of people who have completed the first challenge. It's slow going, but I'm having a lot of fun reading everyone's work. There's over 300 entries now. Wow.

I've done some more revising on my latest WIP this week. The fourth round is almost finished. I have the itch. I want to submit it. I want to get it out there and see what happens. It's taking a lot of will power to resist. I want to make sure it's the best story it can be. It's so hard to be patient, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

I have other novel ideas bouncing around in my head. It seems they all want attention this week, but I haven't even picked the Cheerios off the floor yet. I also need to write a little something for my writers' group. I have to have something in by the weekend if I want it critiqued. I want to write some science-fiction, but all my ideas are too big for short stories.

Last but not least, Erotica Quarterly #4 published by Pill Hill Press is now available. My short story, "Snow Strangers" is included in this anthology. My first erotica publication!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - Paranormal Romance Heroines

Paranormal romance heroines kick butt and I love that about them. This is why it's my favorite genre. I love to read and write about strong and intelligent women who aren't going to wait around to be rescued. It will take me out of a story if the protagonist is whiny, weak willed, shallow, or a victim.

The heroine doesn't always have to have paranormal powers herself, but it does make it more fun. I love that she can fight dirty one minute and then be sexy the next. I love that she has flaws and how she finds the strength to overcome them. I love that she's living on her own terms and refuses to suffer injustice. I like that she can be feisty and savvy, and refuses to meet the hero on his terms. She's a woman he has to work for, but she's worth the effort.

Yet be careful when you're writing this sort of heroine. It's easy to cross the line and make her look ridiculous or idiotic. Don't make her so determined that she defies all common sense. If the hero has a good plan and she's still angry with him for not making their last date, don't let her defy him just for defiance's sake. Also, don't make her so strong that she has lost her vulnerability. No one can relate to a character who has no weaknesses.

I tried to find some articles or sites that might offer some advice on writing a great paranormal romance heroine, but none really caught my attention. This genre allows you a lot of flexibility with your protagonist. She can be sweet and stumbling unknowingly into trouble, or she can be dark and searching out danger on her own. All I can say is write a heroine that you want to read about. Don't be shy about it. She's not going to be!

Who are your favorite paranormal romance heroines?

Teaser Tuesday with The Hunger Games

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I'm finally reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It's awesome so far! Why didn't read this sooner?!
My teaser:
My slumbers are filled with disturbing dreams. The face of the redheaded girl intertwines with gory images from earlier Hunger Games, with my mother withdrawn and unreachable, with Prim emaciated and terrified. (page 86)

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Campaign Challenge

The first Campaign challenge is here! Thank you to Rachael Harrie and all her helpers for organizing it. Here's what the challenge is: Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

Once you’ve posted your Challenge post on your blog, pop back to Rachael's blog and link directly to it in the Linky List provided.

Entries in the First Campaigner Challenge will close on Friday, September 9th (at 11.59pm EDT), so make sure you get your post in the Linky List before then if you want to be eligible for a prize! As usual, while everyone is very welcome to take part in this Challenge, only Campaigners will be eligible for prizes.

Here's my story. Enjoy!


The door swung open and I rolled onto the gravel road. My demon hunter training allowed me to find my feet fast, but Soren was quicker. He leapt off the roof of the car and knocked me down.

I kicked with my legs and used the momentum to flip him over my head. He grunted with surprise, landing hard near the ditch.

I readied myself and willed my hands not to shake.

Soren crooked a finger and smiled, slow and sexy. “Drop the sword. You don't want to kill me.”

I hated how he could make me weak in the knees with just one smile. “But I really do.”

“How does that old saying go: she doth protest too much?” He chuckled and dared take a step forward. “Put down the blade, love. Talk to me.”

“Don't call me that!” I heard myself shriek. Taking in a deep calming breath, I could still smell his scent upon me. I shook my head. “No. I can't.”

I charged and was thrown back inside of the car. The gorgeous demon plucked my sword from my sweaty hands and climbed in with me. The door swung shut.

(200 words)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Vampire Academy Giveaway

BookBreather is giving away one copy of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Follow the link to her site to enter for your chance to win!

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.


Win one paperback copy of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead.

 -This is only available to people in the US, sorry :/
-Must follow this blog.
-Must be at least 13 years old to enter.
-Contest ends 9/23/11

Extra entries:
+1 for following me on twitter @BookBreather Reviews
+2 for tweeting about the giveaway
+4 for blogging about the giveaway

Friday, September 2, 2011

A little about myself

I'm excited to meet all my new followers and fellow campaigners. My bio on my site is short. Perhaps I should tell you a little more about myself.

I'm a proud mother of a 16 month old genius. In my mind, he's a genius because he likes to dance to the Jeopardy theme music. I'm a happy wife to a geek who's my best friend and fellow adventurer. We live in a cozy little house in southern Indiana. I love watching the fireflies in the backyard at night. A skunk sometimes naps under our shed and my son thinks it's a cat. He almost pet it the other day.

I'm a Canadian who married an American. It was a very long and exhausting process. I miss Canada, but I love my husband more. We were married in Las Vegas by Elvis. The video still makes me laugh.

I chose to stay at home with my son. I believe it's one of the best choices I've ever made. It isn't easy. In fact, it's the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's worth it.

If I could be a professional student, I would go to school for the rest of my life. I love learning about everything. I have four degrees. I went to college at seventeen with the idea I might want to go into law enforcement. I've always had a strong sense of justice. I got my Law Enforcement degree and then on to my Creative Writing degree while I worked. Realizing that a physical job in law enforcement wasn't right for me, I went back to school. I got my next degree in Sociology and continued on to get my Honors in Philosophy. I wanted to study Ethics. I would have went on to get my Masters and Phd, but I couldn't get enough in grants or scholarships to continue on.

I've always been an avid reader and writer. I write short stories in several genres, but my novels are all paranormal romances. I love talking/reading about writing, but I'm terribly shy in real life. I'm working on that part, though. It's great to have the internet to meet all sorts of wonderful and talented writers. I can't wait for the Campaign to start. I'm nervous, but it will be a great adventure.

Have an awesome long weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Great horror anthology

The Indiana Horror Anthology 2011 (Volume 1) is now available on Amazon. My flash piece, "Townies" is included within. The idea for the story came from a dream and it worked wonderfully. I was very pleased with the way it turned out and I was so happy when the editor accepted it. I was invited to send a story into another anthology the editor is putting together, Indiana Science-Fiction Anthology, but I haven't come up with an idea yet. I'd love to get a story in there, but my muse has been quiet lately. Well, at least on the short story front. I have a lot of ideas for novels and no time to write them.

Update: still no progress on the cloning device.