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I’m So Frickin’ Jealous…

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
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Denzel, Rose, Pottinger

Here’s author, MJ Rose with Denzel Washington.

Apparently, her and the old dude on the photo packaged his book, A Hand To Guide Me. (which has been on the best seller list for three weeks in a row).

I truly love that man. Big sigh.

What Was The Effing Point?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
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Anderson And Kid Rock To Divorce

Four months. They were married for just four months.

I’ve never understood why celebrities are always in such a goddamned rush to get married. Whatever happened to living in good old fashioned sin, until you’re sure you can put up with your significant other’s nasty habits?

It really annoys me how easy it is to get a divorce these days. Whatever happened to working through your problems? Four months is hardly any time at all.

Oh well, no doubt Pammie’ll be married to someone else by the end of next year.

Fucktards, the both of them.

Anyway, is anybody taking bets on how long TomKat will last? I bet The Tall Guy two years. He was less optimistic and gave them till the middle of next year. Who says romance is dead…

Man shot to death by cops on his wedding day

Was he acting suspiciously? Did he have a gun? What was he doing? Getting blown to bits on your wedding day would probably count as having a bad day.

I heard that the car that he was in crashed into a police vehicle, but since when do we shoot people for crashing cars? This is why I’m kinda glad that here in England, beat cops still don’t carry guns. Gun crime is rife enough, but I know that the minute regular cops start carrying guns, the problem would treble in no time.

Mistakes do happen, but when a life is taken so recklessly, (did they really need 50 bullets for three unarmed men?) questions have to be asked. And answered.

I’m hoping for the sake of peace in the city that the men were real threats to people in the immediate vicinity. If it’s proven that they weren’t doing anything that warranted those cops to shoot them, there will be hell to pay. And rightly so.

Most black people will wonder if he was shot because his face was too dark. That was the first thought that popped into my head when I heard about this case. I guess that’s just a black person’s way of thinking. Anybody would think we had a persecution complex.

I just read the most recent post at Baghdad Burning. She’s talking about the Saddam Hussain verdict and the coincidence, timing wise, between that, and the congressional elections in the US, amongst other things.

This paragraph especially, caught my eye:

She talks a lot of sense, although I’m as glad as the next person that Saddam is going to hang, if only for his truly criminal facial hair.

How Long Do You Take?

Sunday, November 26, 2006
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Maili’s post about readers being gamblers got me thinking about how much longer I take in bookshops now than I used to do.

I used to go into the stores, zero in on my auto-buy authors, then browse until something caught my eye. I’d usually end up buying six or seven books, and there was always one book that had my blood pumping in anticipation.

This whole process used to take twenty minutes, tops.

Those were the good old days. As time marches on, and as I read more dross, I find that I’m taking longer to select books, and making fewer purchases.

I was in Borders the other day, and I was in there for over an hour and a half. I left with exactly two books, which were both reissues of Nora Roberts’s MacKade Brothers series. I wanted to see if they were as good as when I’d read them over ten years ago.

When I left the shop, I felt very frustrated at not having picked a book that made me want to rush home and read it immediately.

I felt cheated because that rush of anticipation wasn’t there, after all, I’d already read the books that I did buy.

I used to gamble a lot more, in terms of the books I used buy, but these days because there’s so much crap out there, I’m less willing to spend my hard earned pennies on books by authors I’ve never heard of. Sad aint it?

So, how long does it take you to buy a book these days? Are you an in and outer, or are you one of those annoying people like me who spends two hours browsing and ends up buying sweet FA?

By the way, I took a book back to the shop, for the very first time the other day. Surprisingly, it was a Linda Howard book. Almost Forever has to be the worst Howard book that I’ve ever read. Fucking annoying heroine, an arseholic hero who should have been drowned at birth, or neutured, and a storyline with more holes in it than OJ Simpson’s account of why he ran from the cops. Big. Effing. Sigh.

What The Fu**…?

Sunday, November 26, 2006
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Words fail me… Actually, what the hell has he got stuffed down his trousers? *Shudder*

Cover courtesy of Mrs Giggles blog.

Sooo… I got My Period Today…

Friday, November 24, 2006
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Yes, I did.

I’ve been in London for a couple of days, and today I was in a meeting with some clients, when I realised that my woman’s time was upon me.

Luckily for me, the client I was with at the time was female, and we had a fairly friendly, informal business relationship, so I was able to ask her if she had any tampons or sanitary towels, and God bless her little heart she did.

Thank Oprah for women who carry spare sanitary towels. What would we do without them?

From The Depths of My TBR…

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
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After reading Linda Howard’s Shades of Twilight the other day, I suddenly got my appetite back for her books, so I went through my TBR shelves, and dug these titles out.

I bought most of the books (I pre-ordered Drop Dead Gorgeous just today) during the last Linda Howard glom, but I kinda got Howarded out before I could got to them. I love Howard, even though she constantly has her characters having sex without condoms, and they always seem to end up in caves, making out whilst being shot at.(g)

The Blonde Bond Is Hottttt!

Sunday, November 19, 2006
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Just been to see Casino Royale with TTG, and all I can say, is out of two… I’d certainly give Daniel Craig one… (g)

Brilliant, brilliant, and bloody brilliant.

After all that hoo hah about him being blonde, I didn’t even think about it once whilst I was watching the film.

Dark, brooding, and sexy as hell, the quintessential James Bond.

He totally rocked.

Interrupting My Reading To Post This…

Saturday, November 18, 2006
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I just read this comment from one of Miss Snark’s freakish fanzoids on Jenny Crusie’s blog:

This is me burning my bridges publicly, but then again, I’m not an important person in the publishing world, and certainly not as important as that great deity, Miss Snark.

God, I hate sycophantic fuckers who talk out of their arse.

This last comment just about had me laughing my tits off:

What a twat.

So just who the fuck is Miss Snark? Is she some kind of god, or just an ‘agent’ who thinks she’s Dear fucking Deidre?

And if she is this all important person in publishing, then how the fuck does she get the time to blog so damn much? I’m very envious of her time management skills, that’s for sure.

Know what I think? I think she’s a writer who couldn’t get published. Even if I’m wrong, we’ll never know, cuz she blogs anonymously.

Right, going back to reading now that that’s off my chest.

Too Busy Reading To Blog II

Saturday, November 18, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

Thanks to Rosie for reminding me that I had this in my TBR pile…

I’m loving it….

You guys know that I love to snark authors with the best of them, but amazingly enough, I actually found myself nodding furiously in agreement, and pumping my fist when I read Jenny Crusie’s smackdown of Miss “Who “The Fuck Are You Anyway Bitch” Snark. (I’m always suspicious of anonymous bloggers, especially when they’re trying to mislead people into believing that their shit don’t stink.)

I ask you, how is Snarky Pussy any better than The Dishing Diva?

All this Anne Stuart business was just so fucking dull. Who really gives a shit what she said about her publisher? (Apparently many of you, but never mind.) Those bastards are out to make money, pure and simple, and let’s face it, they’ve been responsible for some of the most questionable marketing decisions evah. The fact that publishers are quite happy to screw over their authors should be no surprise to anyone. I’m just happy that Stuart wasn’t going around calling her readers ignorant twats.

Go Jenny, go, go! That’s my kind of ‘Fuck you Bitch’.

Right, where the fuck did I keep that copy of Bet Me

Author Name: Shelby Reed
Website: www.shelbyreed.com
Genre: Contemporary and Paranormal Romantica
Latest book in shops now:
Seraphim, Midnight Rose, The Fifth Favour

Before we begin this interview, I need to check that you’re still grounded and that your head isn’t swollen from all of your success, so with that in mind, what was the last thing you bought at Target, and do you know how much a loaf of bread costs? (grin)

Ah, how I love Target. The last thing I bought there was a pair of really cute brown and pink sneakers at Christmas. A loaf of bread? Hmm, that’s a hard one, because I live off frozen dinners and don’t usually eat bread or anything even remotely fresh and healthy. But a frozen Lean Cuisine pizza costs about three bucks and equals six Weight Watchers points. LOL

Why did you choose to write erotic romance books, rather than traditional romance?

It has something to do with feeling slighted when you read the story of how two people fall in love, and as the reader, you go through all the ups and downs with them, all the agony and glory, and when they finally, FINALLY reach the magnificent consummation…the author slams the bedroom door in your—the reader’s—face! I hate that!

I want to be right there for the beautiful, passionate details. Plus, I’ve come to a recent realization about erotic romance: it’s so honest. It carries no pretence. It can be raw and explicit and truthful, and that’s mostly how real sex is. But it’s the emotion of love that softens the edges, in books and in life.

Do you have a certain audience in mind when you write, and if so, what kind of people do you imagine, read your books?

I write for people who see the poetry in life’s smallest details. I write for everyone who loves love. That sounds hokey, but I really mean it.

When you develop your characters, do you model them on people you know in your life, or do they all come from inside your head?

I have no idea where they come from. These characters just sail right through me with their own personalities, faults and talents. I’m just a conduit. I think it’s a little suspicious, though, that all my heroes are cut from the same cloth. I must like gorgeous, sexy, mysterious men subconsciously. LOL

Don’t we all? *g*

Do you ever get compared to other romance writers? If so, how does that make you feel?

Comparisons are an interesting peek into how people interpret your style, so I’m always fine with it, and sometimes it’s flattering. 🙂

The Fifth Favour was the first book of yours that I read. I instantly fell in love with the tortured soul that was Adrian. Where did you get the inspiration for Adrian’s character, and how did you manage to make him the kind of man every woman would want, regardless of the fact that he was a professional gigolo?

At that point in my writing career I was compelled to write a vampire novel, but I wasn’t confident enough to tackle what I felt was a hugely multi-faceted subject, so I wrote about a similar type of character.

Adrian has a moral scourge on his soul in much the same fashion as a vampire, and he came out of my fingertips as sort of a haunted, shadowy figure craving redemption and love.

Originally the book was written as a novella and told only from Billie’s (the heroine) point of view, so I didn’t truly know the man behind the Adrian mask until I added his point of view to the story, and then gave him a true name toward the end of the book, allowing him to shirk his facade.

Part of his transformation is when he divulges his true name to Billie (and to the reader). He just jumped off the page for me from moment one. I still love him deeply. LOL

Oh me too Shelby, me too…

After I read
A Fine Work Of Art, I was totally blown away by the level of emotion you managed to infuse into your books. As a reader, I genuinely feel as if all your books are a labour of love for you, is this the case, or have some of your books been easier to write than others?

The first five books of my career poured from my heart and hands so hard and fast, it was like they had been simmering inside me all my life. Then I hit a wall, and I’m still recovering, and I’m learning that writing isn’t all about magical muse moments.

It takes a lot of work and sometimes—heck, A LOT of the time—you may not feel like writing, but if the story is hopping around in your head, it’s a gift from the gods and don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. LOL

In other words, I feel like I’ve been given a unique blessing, the ability to entertain people and allow them a pleasurable escape, and it’s my obligation and joy to feed that blessing, nurture it and never stop. I feel really lucky to be able to make readers happy. I want to write stories that linger.

I’ve noticed that your books aren’t as sexually graphic as a lot of those by your peers at Elloras Cave, was this a deliberate decision on your part?

My route to Romantica wasn’t exactly direct. I wrote a standard contemporary single title (which is currently with my agent) and loved it, but it came to me as fairly “hot” and I continually had to check myself to keep it toned down. I learned it’s my nature to write passionate characters, and eventually I became comfortable with that.

I wrote a couple more mainstream romances. Then I wrote The Fifth Favour, which is a story about a man whose whole world is sex, so of course it had to be more explicit. I thought I was pulling out all the stops, when in actuality I had only touched on what Romantica really is. I went back and forth a bit with my editor once I sold it to Ellora’s Cave, because she wanted me to be braver, even more explicit, and it was really awkward for me to use such overt phrasing. It still is.

My characters can express their passion in all sorts of ways, no hold barred, but I won’t use certain words because of my own penchant for “softened edges.” I guess I’ve fallen into a chasm between erotic romance and standard romance. I have no idea where I fit. 🙂 But Ellora’s Cave has been wonderfully accepting and tolerant of me and I feel very fortunate to be one of their authors.

In my humble opinion, your writing puts a lot of the current NY published authors to shame, do you aspire to write for a major New York publishing house one day, or are you happy where you are?

Thank you for such a compliment! Of course I want to take my career as far and make it as diverse as I can, so I aspire to publication with different publishing houses, large and small. But Ellora’s Cave stays with me. As long as they’ll have me, I’ll most likely come back, and back, and back. They are true pioneers in the romance field.

Do any members of your family read your books, and if so, what kind of feedback do you get from them?

Heeheehee. I stick my fingers in my ears, run and hide. No—truthfully, any family member or friend is welcome to read my books as long as I know they are a lover of romance novels. But if they don’t read romance and don’t like it, why would I throw myself on that fire?

I used to think I was just embarrassed to be writing such hot stuff, but in truth, my writing is so sacred to me, I have a hard time offering it to someone who could potentially judge it, and me, based on its sexual content. My sister is my best friend, yet she’s never read a single book of mine. She helps me plot sometimes, but she doesn’t read or like romance novels, so why should she have to wade through a genre for which she cares so little? I know she’s proud of me.

She’s told all her romance-reading friends about me. I have lots of familial support, and many of my friends are the same as my sister—they don’t read romance, but they support me one-hundred-percent.

What were your favourite books as a child?

Anything about tragic history. The Salem Witchcraft Trials, the Titanic, the American Civil War, the end of Czar Nicholas II and his family…anything dark, emotional, gothic…anything that peels away Man’s true nature and exposes him as the fallible, vulnerable creature he is. Of course at eight years of age I didn’t understand that that was the common thread among my choices (my teachers used to raise their eyebrows, though), but in hindsight it was always the same theme that drew me.

I was a very “Goth” kid. LOL I was also fascinated by horror stories (loved H.P. Lovecraft, Peter Straub, John Saul), and spirituality. A mix of the two has tinged my last two books, Midnight Rose (about vampires) and Seraphim (about angels).

What does a typical day as a writer consist of?

I write by the seat of my pants, so it usually consists of lots of daydreaming about the story, followed by long, sleepless nights of writing. I get my best work done when the house is dark and quiet. I recently went back to work teaching second graders at a small private school, because I really disliked being home all day without a job and trying to write.

I became listless and lonely, and three years into it, I couldn’t take the isolation anymore. I need mental stimulation, social interaction, to get my cogs turning. I haven’t struck the right balance yet between writing and a day job, but I’ll figure it out.

Name your top five favourite books of all time.

Greenwood, by Sue Wilson (this book is out of print but still available at Amazon.com, and if you love history, hot romance and redemption, pick this up. It’s about the Sheriff of Nottingham. Who could have believed he’d be such a magnificent hero, and sexy as hell, too?).

Pride and Prejudice. Mortal Sin by Laurie Breton, a novel about the unravelling of a priest’s perceptions of God, the Church, and love. White Oleander for the sheer beauty of the writing. And most of all, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening. I never would have read it on my own—I was assigned it in college, and I literally fell into that book, I kid you not. I pored over every word forward and backward. That was when I really began to understand my deep passion for words, and that I was meant to be a writer.

Which authors are you glomming at the moment? (reading a lot of?)

Joey Hill, who writes the most magnificent and truthful emotion I’ve ever come across. If she writes it, I will read it. She’s a genius. Laurie Breton, one of the finest suspense romance writers I know, who is also a master of dialogue and crystal clean writing. I’ve been reading quite a bit of Linda Howard lately, as well. She writes in that netherworld between Romantica and regular romance. I relate to her.

Linda Howard rocks doesn’t she?

Do you have other close romance writer friends, and if so who are they?

I have wonderful romance writer friends, namely members of Romance Writers Unlimited, an online critique group. Many of them are published. This is where I met such writers as Laurie Breton, Katherine Allred, Cricket Starr.

Time and again I would have fallen by the writer’s wayside if it weren’t for the ladies of RWU. We have authors who are getting ready to leap into stardom, I feel certain of that.

When did you realise that you wanted to write books, and who or what inspired you?

At ten years old I was turning novels into scripts for summer plays the kids used to perform in my neighborhood. Peter Pan was the first. And later, when romance snagged my attention, Dracula.

All through my teenage years in the 1980’s I wrote an on-going saga about a group of teens (ala “Beverly Hills 90210”) that finally died a natural death when I was eighteen. I burned 700+ handwritten pages after I went to college. It was time to let them go. After that I didn’t write again until I was almost thirty, and the resulting book is now in my agent’s hands.

How many times did you get rejected (if indeed you did) before you got published?

I only got rejected by one editor (namely because I was too chicken to query much!), and that was Kate Duffy at Kensington, who considered my manuscript when I won a writing contest. She had sound reasons for turning me down. Her letter was the nicest rejection ever. 🙂

I was rejected by a few agents, too. The first time nearly killed me. It wasn’t just a rejection, but a generic, badly photocopied one that listed a million possible reasons why they didn’t want to sign me (“It might be any of these, or perhaps none.” AGH!) So I learned nothing from it.

After that it was easy going. You have to build a suit of armor and keep forging ahead. Writer egos are notoriously fragile, and I hate that in myself so I fight it the best I can.

If you could have a one-to-one conversation with a famous historical figure, who would it be with and what would you talk about?

Ooh, that’s a hard one. Kate Chopin, Mary Cassatt, Jane Austen. I’d like to chat with them about the repression of women as artists during their times, and how did they work around that? I want to know how they made adversity feed their fire.

What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your writing?

To help people lose touch with the real world for a few hours and to have them sigh with longing and satisfaction when they’re done with my books. 🙂 And to craft words into art that lasts forever. I’m not sure how it’s done, but I’ll keep at it. It’s a joyous journey.

How has the romance industry changed from when you first started writing, and which of these changes were you happiest/unhappiest with?

I’d say the birth of Romantica has been the biggest change. The industry seems more relaxed and open to new ideas. I can find nothing to complain about—I think we’re heading in the right direction. I just wish literary snobbery would disappear. Love makes the world go ‘round. It drives me crazy when people look down their noses at it.

Aahh those guys are just jealous is all *g*

Which of your books is dearest to your heart, and why?

My as-yet-unpublished, unnamed novel. It’s the first book I ever wrote, it took me six full years, and it’s the book of my heart. The hero, Rory Sterling, is probably the most honest and raw of all my heroes. His path is fraught with pain, but also humor and joy and triumph. He’s so real and beautiful to me.

Oh yum, no doubt I’ll be buying it once it’s published!

Which of your books do you feel you’re best known for?

A Fine Work Of Art, my first Ellora’s Cave novel, which will be released in print this month (in a duet with Madison Hayes called Love A Younger Man).

I can’t believe it’s taken this long to get to print!

I’ve always wondered about this, but as an author, once your books are published, do you actually go back and read them yourself, and if so, are you able to enjoy them, or do you perhaps see things that make you want to chew your own arm off in frustration? (grin).

Once I turn in the final galley, I try to let it go emotionally. Of course when I revisit the story or the characters for fun, I find nit-picky things that bug me, but what can you do? It’s already left your hands. I do like rereading my stuff once in a while and try not to chew my arm off while I’m doing it. 🙂

Just recently, it was suggested that reader reviews aren’t as credible as reviews by your peers, and that only writers/authors should be able to review books in the first place, what are your thoughts on this?

I completely disagree with this idea. I place more importance on a reader’s review than anyone else’s. For one, I rarely know the person who’s writing the feedback. I live for comments from readers I’ve never met who sign my guestbook or jot me an email. And isn’t it the readers for whom we’re writing?

I do take professional reviews to heart, but reader opinion counts higher for me personally. It’s not always milk and honey either, trust me. I’ve been told to change a few things in my time by well-meaning readers. LOL

Has anything a reviewer or reader said or written about you changed the way you write?

Harsh feedback usually addresses things I inately knew were problematic in the story, so I always want to kick myself for not heeding my inner voice while I was in the writing process. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and the reviews usually validate those feelings. I use every positive bit of feedback as impetus to keep going.

Oh I’m so glad you’re not one of those authors who view a bad review as a reason to commit hari kari!

Last year, RWA attempted to try to define romance, and it caused a bit of a furore round the blogosphere, due to the limitations of the definitions. What were your thoughts on this at the time, and do you think it’s possible/necessary to define romance in a way that doesn’t exclude other sub-genres?

It made me wonder if the people who get all entangled with that stuff are just blocked writers looking to vent their frustrations. LOL You can’t define the parameters of romance. To each his own, damn it. Let me decide for myself what romance is.

But to be fair to both parties, when it comes to contests and the like, let them (meaning the RWA people) have it however they want. I don’t enter the competitions where my stories don’t fit their stricture. It’s their ideal, their contest, and I’m not going to fuss about it even if I don’t agree.

Many other RWA contests exist where my stories fit just fine. I try to enjoy being a writer, and certain elements will suck the joy right out of it for me. Conflict is one of them. So I avoid it. All that aside, I love the people in the romance field I’ve met. I haven’t bumped into any real clashes.

When was the last time you went overseas and where did you go?

I went to Germany in 1992 to finish college—I lived in Freiburg for the summer. Fell madly in love with a handsome university student while I was there (being a romance writer, I probably remember the affair as being much more fabulous than it really was. LOL). Because I was in school while I was there, I only took brief trips to France and Switzerland.

I loved the people, the languages, the beauty of the countries. I half-dread ever realizing my dream of visiting the British Isles, lest I set down roots there and never come home again. 🙂

Hey that wouldn’t be such a bad thing!

Who are your favourite romance hero and heroine of all time?

Without question, Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice.

I’ve loved all your female leads so far, but more often than not, it’s the male characters who romance readers love, why do you think this is, and why do you think heroines are judged more harshly than heroes?

I think as women we’re more critical of the heroine because we put ourselves in her shoes. So we don’t love her as a separate person any more than we’re exceedingly fond of ourselves. Let me see if I can better explain this. I know I’m harder on myself than anyone.

Critical of the way I look, the way I act. I shudder to imagine talking to another human being the way I talk to myself sometimes. So as a typical reader, I fall in love with the hero, but not the heroine. I RELATE to her…and in a sense I become her, and so I’m far less forgiving of her frailties. That’s my theory, anyway.

Hmmm… you could be right…

Even as a published author, are there days when you feel like giving up writing? If so, how do manage to shake yourself out of that mind-set?

Oh, my God. LOL The last two years have been sheer agony. But I haven’t given up, and when I was afraid I might, I called upon my closest and most brutal writing buddies to read me the riot act and rattle me from my self-pitying state of writer’s block. I have heard “Don’t make me come over there and shake you” more times than I can count. But hey, what are friends for if not to beat some sense into you? 🙂

What kind of characters would you say you typically wrote?

Complex, troubled, dark figures that harbor secrets and weave tangled webs. I wish I could write light-hearted comedies, chick lit…I greatly enjoy reading such, but it’s not in me to write it.

It’s not that my characters are totally devoid of humor, but they tend to be wry or inadvertently funny, and it doesn’t happen on every page. When I sit down to write a story, I can count on the hero coming to me as some distant relative of Bronte’s Heathcliff. I don’t know why it works that way.

If only one person could read your book, who would that be? (as in the person who you would want most to read your book)

That’s a tough question. Probably my best girlfriend, Margaret, who’s known me since high school. She’s never read my work and I want to show it to her, but I’m not ready. I will, though. One of these days. LOL

If you had to pick, who would you say has been most influential within the romance genre?

No doubt Nora Roberts has paved the way for us. Anne Rice, too, in regards to resurrecting the vampire as a romantic and heroic figure.

What was the last movie you saw?

Big surprise—Pride and Prejudice. LOL

Name your top five favourite romantic films.

Love Actually. Somewhere in Time. Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version). Jane Eyre (with Timothy Dalton as Mr. Rochester). The Lover.

Wasn’t Love Actually a fabulous film… *Happy sigh*

What was the last book you read, and did you enjoy it?

It was a reread of Sue Wilson’s Greenwood, and yes, yes, yes. I can’t get enough of that beautiful story.

Have you ever written a book that you didn’t particularly care for, and do you cringe if you see people picking it up to read it?

I hope this doesn’t sound egotistical, but I’m proud of everything I produce, so the answer to that question is no. I have a subconscious censor that stops the stories that aren’t working before I finish them. (At least that’s what I’d like to believe.) As a result I have a few unfinished manuscripts, and when I look at them now, I’m glad I didn’t put them out there.

What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Knowing how much enjoyment I receive from reading a good book, I love the thought of giving others that same experience.

What do you least enjoy about being a writer?

Writers’ block. And the business end of things.

As you’ve been there, done it, and have the badge to prove it, what is the number one advice that would you give to aspiring writers out there?

The more you write, the better you get. That goes for even the most prolific best-selling author. You never quit learning, you never reach perfection. There is always more. Also, be active in critiquing others—you will learn even more from that process than from receiving critiques yourself.

When’s your next book due out, and what’s it about?

Well, it’s up in the air as of now. My agent has my unnamed novel in hand and is looking over some revisions I made. I’m working on the sequel to
Midnight Rose, and I’m very excited about the hero, Jude, who was a child in the first book and now stands to be one of the most intense characters I’ve ever written.

But the good news is, Seraphim is coming out in print soon and A fine Work of Art, too. 🙂

Finally, for readers who aren’t familiar with your work, where do you suggest they go to find some excerpts of your books?

My website has excerpts of all my Ellora’s Cave stories. Please stop by. It’s a new website and I’m so happy with the new look. 🙂

I agree, I much prefer it to your old one!

Thanks so much for taking the time out to answer these very nosy questions!

Are you kidding??It feels GREAT to shoot the breeze about writing. I’m smiling ear to ear! Thanks for this fabulous opportunity!

Aaaah, aint she great? I insist you all go and buy at least one of her books right now!

Isn’t He Effing Vile?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Posted in: Uncategorized

David Gest has got to be the oddest looking person evah.

He’s in this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.

I imagine that Gest will start to grate on the nerves fairly quickly. I certainly hope he gets the Bushtucker trials, and he gets to eat all kinds of nice insects and various creepy crawlies. Knowing the British public, I guarantee he’ll get voted to perform all the horrid trials. Tee hee hee!

What the fuck was Minelli smoking when she decided to sleep with it. *Shudder*

Just Do It…

Monday, November 13, 2006
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I went to my best friend’s wedding this weekend, which was absolutely lovely.

Before the actual ceremony began, she lit a candle for her mum, who had died of breast cancer when she was just nine years old. Every Mother’s day it’s a loss that she feels keenly, like it only happened yesterday – much like me and Father’s Day.

There’s many a year I’ve held her in my arms whilst she mourned the loss of her mother. It’s something that she’ll never ever really get over, nor does she want to.

Every mother should be there to watch their children get married.

I was watching the video of the ceremony earlier this evening, and it reminded me how fleeting life can be.

So what did I do? I lay down on my bed, and I checked for lumps in my breast. I didn’t find anything of course, but I’ve now put reminders in my diary to check every two weeks. Better to be safe than sorry huh?

I urge every one of you gals to go do the same today. Please.

Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. As Kylie Minogue found out, it can happen to anyone.

R.I.P Belinda Emmett.

So, Do They Really Hate Each Other Or Not?

Sunday, November 12, 2006
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Cindy Cruciger, and Mary Janice Davidson seem to have a kinda love/hate relationship. I didn’t really get what MJD was talking about in her ‘I Make Cindy Cruciger My Bitchpost, and to be honest, I still don’t, but what the hell, it’s all blog fodder right?

I think what clued me in, was this comment by MJD, in response to this comment by Ferfelabat. I can’t tell if these are writerly ways of showing affection, and they’re just playing around, or if they really want to stab each other in the eye. Oooh, I do hope it’s the latter, for the sake of good Authors At War gossip. *g*

Anyway, I’m off to watch Lord Of The Rings II now, so I’ll leave you with the other related posts, which can be found here, and here.

By the way, I went to the most beautiful wedding this weekend. My bestest friend got married in North Wales, and she looked bloody beautiful. Me and The Tall Guy got quite drunk, danced to Beyonce’s Crazy In Love, as well as that stupid Ooops-Up-Side-ya-head song.

It felt like a school reunion, due to the amount of university friends that were there, that I hadn’t seen since graduation. It truly felt like we’d never been apart, and we all had a ball. Girlfriends are great aren’t they?

As I type this, the happy couple are on a flight to Cape Town, in South Africa, for a two-week honeymoon. Congrats to the both of you, you truly do belong together.

They Say Romance, She Says Erotica…

Sunday, November 12, 2006
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Even LLB thinks that Aphrodisia may be mislabelling their books. She read Kate Douglas’s Wolf Tales, and isn’t comfortable with its labelling as a romance, primarily because the book features two polyamorous couples. She thinks it’s more erotica than romance.

Not having read it, I couldn’t possibly comment, but having read at least one Kate Douglas novella featuring two swinging wolfie couples, she may have a point.

This is an ongoing debate that will probably run and run, until Aphrodisia own up to trying to lure traditional romance readers, into the dirty world of erotica. (g)


Wednesday, November 8, 2006
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Lydia Joyce and her IQ of ten squillion sure gets around. She’s veering dangerously close to going on my wall of shame.

Not because she called readers dumb, I’m not really arsed about that, because it’s not the first time by an author, and I’m sure it wont be the last, but have you seen how freaking long her comments are?

Bitch, please, you gotta shorten those comments up. I simply don’t have the time to read anything so effing long-winded, also the big words really confuse me.

I bet I could reduce her comments at Dear Author to just a couple of sentences, let me try:

See, easy peezy, lemon squeezy.

Now, repeat after me, ‘brevity is my friend, brevity is my friend, brevity is my friend…..’

Oh Thank The Lord For That….

Tuesday, November 7, 2006
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I guess it only took two babies before she came to her senses. I can hear the whole world simultaneously breathing a big sigh of relief. This is definitely one gal who will learn the true meaning of marrying in haste, and repenting at leisure.

I’m happy to hear that she has an iron-clad pre-nup. That gold-digging bastard has made enough money by using her name in vain.

It’s just as well she’s got shed-loads of money, cuz if she didn’t, she’d probably be destined for the trailer park. Bless….

Karen Does Anne Stuart’s Cold As Ice…

Monday, November 6, 2006
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As you know, I read Cold As Ice last week. I can’t be arsed blathering on, so without further ado, here’s the blurb, KarenS stylie:

My Verdict

Jesus. Effing. Christ.

You know, I am such a character reader that if one of the two lead characters in a romance book fail to lift me, then fairly, or unfairly, it’s very difficult for me to completely enjoy said book.

Cold As Ice probably would have been ok if the heroine, Genevieve (Or Genny The Effing Twat, as she will be known for the rest of this review), had met an untimely death early on in the book.

In one of Ms Stuart’s interviews, she told the interviewer that she had purposely created a ‘strong’ heroine for Peter ‘Cold As Ice’ more like soft as shite Jensen. Where did it all go wrong?

Genevieve wasn’t strong, not even a little bit. She was just plain thick as pigshit, hell, quite frankly I’m insulting pigshit by making the comparison.

Even when Jensen was clearly trying to save her, she kept insisting on trying to escape from him. Where did the bitch think she could go with a billionaire psychopath after her? Oh yeah, she wanted to go home. Makes sense.

Give me an effing break.

There was a point in the book (you know the part I mean Bam) where she did something so stupid, that if it wasn’t for the fact that I’d spent my heard earned money on CAI, I would have chucked the goddamn book out of the window.

I’m an advocate of authors who write strong heroines, but Genny The Effing Twat wasn’t strong, she embodied every single pet peeve I have about romantic heroines. She was ridiculously naïve, (come on, you don’t get to be junior partner in a well established law firm by being a frickin Pollyanna) she didn’t seem to mind that her employers expected her to sleep with a client just to get a signature on a document, and she somehow managed to miss the fact that she was all alone on a boat with a psycho.

Another thing that annoyed me about Genny The Effing Twat, was that at no point in this book was I convinced that she felt anything for Peter Jensen other than an inconvenient sexual pull, which could have easily been explained away by the fact that she hadn’t experienced a good seeing to, for a long time, and had a bad case of fungi-growth where her vagina should have been.

I think it’s a sad indictment when the best bit in the book, involving the heroine, is during a scene where she’s being tortured by Evil Pedo. Oh how I rejoiced.

Anyway, I could go on and on about how moronic GTET was, but to be honest, I’m giving myself a migraine just thinking about her, so I’ll move on to Peter Jensen shall I?

I liked Peter Jensen, but he was no Bastien Toussaint. Bastien was such a bad ass that I never really knew where I stood with him. He was as likely to slit the heroine’s throat, as to shag her senseless. I like those kind of heroes best, I suspect that this is a sick perversion that I share with Bam.

I never really got the sense that Jensen was as ‘Cold As Ice’, as we are lead to believe in the back cover blurb. The man had too many vulnerabilities, and seemed to suffer from very untimely attacks of conscience.

Although I felt that Jensen genuinely cared about GTET, I really didn’t get why. As far as I could tell, she had no redeeming features whatsoever, and she nearly got him killed on a number of occasions. Who needs a bint who’ll happily spend $750 on a pair of Manolo’s, bitch about those extra 15lbs round her hips that she just can’t shift, and hasn’t got a clue, when she’s in the clutches of an evil arsehole?

Unfortunately for Jensen, because the heroine was such a let down, he was kinda tainted by her. I think if he’d had a different heroine, somebody like Imelda Marcos maybe, but with less under-arm hair I would have enjoyed CAI a whole lot more.

OK, now onto the secondary characters. Or at least, one of the secondary characters.

Harry ‘I love little boys’ Van Dorn.

It’s been a long time since I’ve come across a villain, who was just sooooo evil. I mean not only was the man a cold-blooded murderer, and rapist, but he was also a perve with a penchant for children. Could he be more evil?

Give me a break.

Harry was the ultimate cookie cutter villain, complete with smiling icy blue eyes, and a way with the ladies. Didn’t buy his evilness for a second. Quite frankly, I would have been more convinced if he had actually killed the twat of a heroine when he had the chance.

Also for an established career criminal, he was just too inept for words. I also felt that a psycho who was as paranoid as Harry was purported to be, would have had video cameras all over his property (not just in the bedroom, where the heroine was getting undressed), and been more careful about who he hired.

One of the things that I loved about Black Ice, was the fact that the plotting was so damned good. I can’t in all honesty say that about Cold As Ice.

It was just so damned painful. I was expecting it to be fast-paced, but all I got was slow and tedious. Yes, I too was underwhelmed.

I spent the majority of the book waiting for something really truly scrumptious to happen, but alas, the pages went on, and on, and on, and on, and eventually, when I reached the end, I felt as if I’d just come out of a deep coma.

At no time was I gripped by this book, in fact at one point, I started mentally doing my company tax returns for the quarter. I’m pretty sure that’s not a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, Cold As Ice was still really well-written, after all, this is Anne Stuart we’re talking about here, but it just didn’t have that X-Factor, that was evident all the way through Black Ice.

I wanted to love CAI, I really did, but I think what happens when an author writes a superb book, is that all their other books are compared to That Great Book forever and evah, and more often than not, the other books, are found lacking. Sigh.

If I had read Cold As Ice before Black Ice, I probably would have enjoyed it a lot more, but because I know how fantastic Anne Stuart’s characters can be, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that this book just didn’t live up to the hype.

Oh well, better luck next time.