Wednesday, December 31, 2008
It's been an interesting year. For many, we feel like this poor filly to the right. When we opened our 401K and investment statements, we felt like our heads were stuck in a tree.
For others, it was much worse, home foreclosures and job losses. I don't know anyone who doesn't know someone who wasn't adversely affected by the woeful economy in 2008.
And this year has an added second on it as well, stretching it out to make it longer than last year to catch up with the earth's rotation. As Stephen Colbert said, "WHY would anyone want to make this year longer?"
For me, 2008 was a good year. We're lucky. (so far as it's still 2008 until midnight!) Dh and I have our home, our jobs, and things are pretty much status quo. We didn't lose anyone in our immediate family, two-leggeds or four-leggeds and I'm very grateful for that.
Sadly, a few people I know passed, including a co-worker who died of pancreatic cancer in June, who was only a few years older than me.
We got a new addition early 2008 with Dolce. I'm very grateful for him, as heartbreaking as it was to see his owner give him up. He's a delight and a joy in our lives, and has adjusted so well that it's like he's always been with us.
Health-wise, it was a year of ups and downs for me. A good reminder that I need to find more time to relax and rest, instead of charging ahead at full steam.
FIL is still with us and in fairly good health, despite a couple of scares earlier in the year.
In Feb, we spent the weekend on the west coast and got to see a good friend and her sons, whom we hadn't seen in years.
April was RT and the moldy Hilton in Pittsburgh, and catching up with friends, and hanging out at the bar, which proved to be hilarious. Note to self: NO more moldy rooms. I was sick with a severe sinus infection for a week after, and had to take a week off work.
DH added more to the train layout, and added his skill to the train club he joined, building a new layout at a local train museum.
I went to Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras this year, and saw some heartbreaking stories of poverty as well as uplifting stories of hope.
Hurricane season came and went without a hurricane for us, though we watched with dread hurricanes hitting other areas, including Gustav hitting poor Texas and Haiti getting battered by four storms this year, causing massive loss of life and widespread destruction.
In September, I got to see my brother again, after 8 years. It was wonderful, and even though we didn't spend a lot of time together, it was great to see him at last. His job takes him constantly on the road, so family get-togethers are pretty tough.
On the writing front, I wrote one novella, one historical (The Lady and the Libertine) and one Nocturne (Immortal Wolf). I also accepted contracts to write two more Nocturnes, one more Bite and one novella in the Holiday with a Vampire anthology.
On the writing front, I wrote a book in two months. Pretty decent, considering I have a day job and also had to travel to Nicaragua at the same time and kept an eye on the hurricanes threatening our coast.
I also spent a week alone at a lovely B&B in east Tennesseee, which had inspired me to write Immortal Wolf, the book I wrote in two months. It was a nice writing retreat for me, and I hope to do it again sometime in the future.
Dh and I vacationed in Colorado, rode trains, tossed snowballs at each other at 8,000 feet in Estes Park, and drove all over.
Dorchester finally went back to press on The Falcon & the Dove, something I'd wanted for a very long time. And more of my titles got printed in other languages, including German and Japanese.
Went to the beach in March to write on the Alpha Smart and resolved to do it more often. Never did, but that one time was very nice.
Spent this summer finishing writing The Lady and the Libertine, which will probably be my last Egyptian historical, and was proud to make my deadline.
Spent more time experimenting with free writing, and reading books on creativity to free up my muse instead of making it work all the time.
Was a guest blogger over at The Wet Noodle Posse (love that name!) on writing and reducing stress. Failed to take my own advice. HA!
Got some distressing news in October about a former co-worker at the newspaper where I once worked, she killed herself with a gun after her former partner was found dead from over 100 stab wounds with a screwdriver. Police said she killed the ex-partner. Could not stop thinking about that one.
Made time to read in the backyard instead of always writing, writing, writing.
Discovered PUPPYCAM!!!!!! SHIBA INU! (smile)
Voted for a new president and got to see history made; election of the first black president in US history.
Did a great booksigning at the Altamonte Mall with the Central Florida Romance Writers yet again, and got to have dinner with a good friend from college.
Banged my head against the desk over the frustrating and growing issue of e-piracy.
Cleaned the linen closet. Watched it become a jumbled mess again, with hunting for Christmas linens.
Got rejected by a publisher, who like my writing and wants me to submit again.
Learned that some things in life are not worth stressing over, and that I can't save the world, maybe only try, in my small way, to make it a better place, one person at a time.
The last, I think, may be the best thing I learned in 2008.
The world never changes, much. There is still fighting in the Middle East, still hunger and poverty while others grow fat and greedy, still corruption and selfishness.
There is also generosity, people who sacrifice all for the sake of helping others, world leaders who care about their countries, creativity and inspiration and new ideas to make the world a better place.
And there are romance novels, to give us all a much-needed escape and bring smiles to our faces.
Last night I spent a few quiet moments sitting in the Florida room, staring at the little silver Christmas tree DH bought me last year. I had wanted such a tree for that room for a long time and he kept searching and finally, found one.
I looked at the lights, sipped wine and listened to the Coventry Carol playing on my I-pod. For those who don't know what this carol is, it's an old English Christmas carol about Herod's soldiers killing newborn boys in the search for the Christ Child.
I kept thinking about the world, and how it hasn't changed much since Christ was born. We still have wars, killings, torture, and poverty, and hatred, and heartache.
All we can do is try our best to make small changes in our own way. I'm always touched by donors to the organization I work for who contribute out of their need, sending a dollar here and there even though they are on SSI and probably barely have two nickels to rub together.
People like that make me want to fight the good fight.
As well as those from the younger generation who volunteer on their vacations, who donate their time, talents and birthday and Christmas money, to the less fortunate, or to causes they've embraced, be it saving the planet, animals, the arts or whatever.
I have an inspiring story to share. 2008 marked the 15th anniversary of my working for the poor, writing materials to raise money to help them, and traveling to countries like Haiti.
Many years ago, I visited our orphanage in Haiti and met an inspiring little girl who was 7. I'll call her Ginny. She spoke only Creole, but she was intelligent and poised. Her parents had abandoned her at the orphanage when she was 3 because they couldn't afford to care for her. If you've ever seen the photos I've posted in this blog of my travels to Haiti, you'll understand.
They wanted her to have a better life. Ginny was among some of our first girls in the home. I remember when the orphanage opened. I was on the trip with the president when he made the decision to open a girls orphanage in Haiti, because the need was so great.
Five years later, I visited the new home we opened for older girls. Ginny was there. She was learning French, had some command of English and she wanted to be a lawyer. She wanted a good education and to help her people in Haiti, as she herself had been helped.
Two weeks ago, Ginny came to visit our office. She's now 18. She is attending college in the US, after earning an international bacclerate scholarship and attending school in Norway. She speaks fluent English, takes notes on a laptop and she's bright and intelligent, gentle and sweet. She wants a profession in accounting or economics.
At a party recently, a longtime friend was shaking his head over Haiti, over the state of the world, really. He asked what good is it helping, when it seems like nothing good is accomplished?
I told him about Ginny. One young woman. That's enough for me. One life changed for the better, who maybe, just maybe, will go on to effect even more change.
2008 wasn't a good year for many. There's a lot of greed and corruption that got our economy into this mess.
There is also a lot of good, and people who can and do make a difference and make the world a better place to live. People who care. That's what gives me hope.
Happy New Year, everyone. May 2009 be much calmer, less stressful, more prosperous for all, and wishing all of you peace, love and joy in your lives, always.
Monday, December 29, 2008
From the article: "The family brought her back to their spacious five-bedroom, two-story home, decorated in the style of a Tuscan villa with a fountain of two angels spouting water through a conch. She was told to sleep in the garage.
It had no windows and was neither heated nor air-conditioned. Soon after she arrived, the garage's only light bulb went out. The Ibrahims didn't replace it. From then on, Shyima lived in the dark. She was told to call them Madame Amal and Hajj Nasser, terms of respect. They called her "shaghala," or servant. Their five children called her "stupid."
While the family slept, she ironed the school outfits of the Ibrahims' 5-year-old twin sons. She woke them, combed their hair, dressed them and made them breakfast. Then she ironed clothes and fixed breakfast for the three girls, including Heba, who at 10 was the same age as the family's servant. Neither Ibrahim nor his wife worked, and they slept late. When they awoke, they yelled for her to make tea.
While they ate breakfast watching TV, she cleaned the palatial house. She vacuumed each bedroom, made the beds, dusted the shelves, wiped the windows, washed the dishes and did the laundry."
I've met former child slaves in Haiti, and they inspired me to write The Cobra and the Concubine, in which Badra, the heroine, was enslaved as a little girl. That story is a romance and has a happy ending.
I just wish all of them did. I'm glad the media is once again paying attention to this horrific issue.
No human being has the right to enslave another. Period.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Her DH took control of the keyboard and mouse
She'd given him a new cell and to the computer he sped
Photos and numbers into the new toy he fed.
While the doggies napped to recover from their Christmas frolic
And Bonnie sat on the sofa, coughing as if she had colic
You see, she got sick Christmas eve, no uglier sight was ever seen
Spent the night tossing ballast while her face turned Christmas green
She finally recovered mid Christmas day
And nibbled on turkey while DH and FIL ate away
Played with her gifts, and was beginning to feel fine
But then they went to the neighbors and they begged her to try Brazilian wine
She spent Christmas night turning both green and red
Wanting to just spend the rest of the week in bed
Finally recovering she is now going to try to write
To meet the next deadline she will type with all her might
Calling forth the paranormal creatures to come out and play
On vampires, on Draicon werewolves, gremlins today!
Weave your magick, tell your story, hurry before we see night descend,
Bonnie's throwing a hot tub party later and has to get ready for company again.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
So to cheer myself up, I'm reposting this blog post from 3 years ago when I made the biggest goof I've ever made when sending out Christmas cards. Uncle Ed died a couple of months after I sent the card, but I've always wondered if I made him smile.
Dear Uncle Ed,
I'm so sorry for the goof.
OMG, honestly, I never meant to send you a Christmas letter printed on the back of the erotic romance story I was writing.
It was dark in the office, I was tired, and thought I had loaded the printer with fresh, clean paper. Not the scrap paper from one of my current works in progress.
I had NO idea what I had sent you until I just looked now at the back of the Christmas letters and saw this printed on it:
"Because he found himself wanting, very badly, to have sex with her. To restore that sparkling fire in her eyes he'd seen earlier. To hear that throaty laughter turn into deep moans of passion as he thrust slowly into her wet heat...
"Yes, I'm afraid it's true, to answer the question probably spinning about in your mind. Your good little niece who works tirelessly for the poor and went to Sunday School and memorized prayers to the saints writes erotic romance. Yup. Steaming hot sex.
My secret is out. I hope you are doing okay and I didn't give you a heart attack. Give my best to everyone.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Yesterday was also the holiday party for my romance chapter, Florida Romance Writers. I seldom make meetings anymore, so it was simply wonderful to see everyone, and get to be festive with them. I finally got to meet Mary Ricksen, whose first book, TRIPPING THROUGH TIME, is out next month. Yay! And got to spend time with FRW members I've known for a while, like Lyn Armstrong, Kathleen Pickering, Lisa Manuel/Allison Chase (she has a new dark paranormal out, yum, and others.
Today is clean up day and I'm hoping to finally just chill, and read and relax. I haven't written in a week or so, but that's a good thing because now I'm fired up to go and have all sorts of new ideas on how to write this vampire.
Someone said to me last night, "You must have a very creative imagination to think of all these stories."
Yeah, right now I'm imagining the mess in the kitchen is magically cleaning itself, lol!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Click here to check out the auction!
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
That's my news I've been meaning to tell. I'll have this novella out in April 2009, and The Lady & the Libertine, my Egyptian single title historical.
The other news is that I sold a novella, which will be featured in HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE III next December. Woo hoo! I'm really excited about
So, as you can see, I've been busy, between Christmas, the day job, deadlines, and new deadlines.
I blogged today over at the Chatelaines. I went book buying and I'm giving away a copy of Emily Bryan's PLEASURING THE PIRATE. Just leave a comment to enter. Next Tuesday, Dec. 8, I'll draw a winner.
Have a good week!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
NICOLAS, outcast and alone, from THE EMPATH
DAMIAN, Alpha pureblood pack leader from ENEMY LOVER
GABRIEL, the Raphael's charming brother, with a dark secret, perhaps the most dangerous of all the Draicon, from THE SHADOW WOLF
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
These 6 little pups make me smile when I really need it. Watching them at night really cracks me up, when they attack their bed, after sleeping in it all day.
They dig at the underside and gnaw at it, and tear up the foam.
It reminds me of Tiger, our Shih Tzu who is 15, and has had health problems. But when he was that age, he used to attack the underside of his bed and gnaw at the foam, until DH put a board at the bottom of the bed, so he couldn't turn it over.
Ah, puppies! They make a hard day less hard!
Monday, November 17, 2008
So I gave up and decided to do something nice for myself.
I retired to the back yard with a book, an old Karen Robards RS that has recently been reissued. Ghost Moon. $4 in Walmart, and let me tell you, reissuing books at a very inexpensive price is a great hook and a very smart move by publishers. It enables you to try out a new to you author who is a lead, (her books are hardcover now) and see if you get hooked.
I was hooked. Great story. Just sat there, reading. Dolce was at the back door, barking for attention. Let him out, he sat on my lap while I read.
Then Tiger got jealous.
So he sat on my lap while I read. Seldom do I get a chance to read these days. Reading is such a pleasurable experience, that for me, it's like sex.
I finished the book and had that lovely feeling I get when I'm satisfied after a read.
It's like a "reading afterglow." You have the foreplay in the first few chapters, then it builds up and up and things are great, and POW!
Then you finish, and there is the afterglow. ;-)
At night DH and I biked through our local park as they have the holiday fantasy of lights festival running, and had one special night for bikers only. It was scads of fun.
Now I'm in a lot of pain, again, from my back. But yesterday was a very good day. And I'm very glad I took a break to read.
I need more reading in my life. Don't we all?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
This morning poor Tiger, who is 15, had a mini stroke. It scared us silly. He's had them before, and recovered, but it's awful to watch and hear the poor baby moan and howl. So I'm home keeping an eye on him and trying to get stuff done.
Such as clean the house. I have a proposal to write, now that edits are done on the April book,but my brain is filled with mind gunk. So I'm trying to clean the house.
Ever get caught up in a project, and then when you're done, it looks like you have NOTHING accomplished?
Anyway, I was thinking yesterday about a bucket list. The only things I know I'd like to do before I die include visiting Egypt and Ireland, and financially, that is out of the question now.
The other thing is I'd like a really clean, ORGANIZED, house. I swear, our stuff has sex in the middle of the night, and reproduces. Like bunny rabbits.
On another note, this week I had my 15 year anniversary of working at the day job. My department got a cake, and made a really nice card. Everyone said such wonderful things, I felt so emotional. They were really, really nice and I really appreciated it.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
The Lady and the Libertine
copyright 2008 by Bonnie Vanak
Khamsin camp, Eastern desert of Egypt, 1908
He would not be the virile groom tenderly deflowering her on their wedding night.
Her virgin breasts, hidden beneath the white kuftan, he would never caress, causing a sigh of passion to wring from her slender throat; the sparkling ruby dangling between them stood out like a blood droplet against a snowy bank. His hands, accustomed to stroking the skin of whores, were not worthy of touching her.
They were, however, quite capable of stealing the ruby. As they had swiped other priceless Egyptian antiquities.
Crouched beneath the shade of a cigar-shaped ben tree, Nigel Wallenford, rightful earl of Claradon, studied his prey as he clutched the oily rifle in his sweating palms. The silent woman picked up scattered seeds on the ground. Karida was her name. She guarded the ruby he needed to complete the key and locate the treasure of the sleeping golden mummies.
All week, during his visit here on the pretext to buy Arabian mares, he’d heard her relatives praise her virtue and honor as if she were not a living, breathing woman but a limestone statue. Nigel wouldn’t have cared if she was as corrupt as he; he cared only about the ruby.
Ben trees, acacia trees and yellow-green plants peppered the water source near the Khamsin camp. The burning yellow sun played off jagged mountain peaks and peach-colored hills of sandstone. A cooling breeze chased away the sultry afternoon heat shimmering off the tawny sands. Black mountains and endless desert ringed this part of Egypt’s eastern desert.
Jabari bin Tarik Hassid, the Khamsin sheikh, thought Nigel was currently at the water source to kill desert hares, but he had chosen the spot to pursue Karida. Each afternoon since his arrival she came here to gather seeds. Like a good hunter he’d learned her habits, knew her movements. Like a hare struck down by a bullet, Karida would never know what hit her. The ruby would soon be his.
Karida kept stealing glances at him. Her face, hidden by a half-veil out of courtesy to the visiting al Assayra tribesmen, was expressionless.
A good hunter knew how to disarm his prey, make them feel false security. Nigel set down the rifle and offered his most charming smile. He gestured to the bullet-hard seeds she dropped into her goatskin bag but kept his gaze centered on the ruby. His fingers itched to swipe the stone. Soon. “Are those for eating?”
Karida blinked, as if startled to hear a human voice. “Samna. Cooking oil.”
Like her Uncle Ramses and the rest of her family, she spoke perfect English. Yet her accent was odd, as if she’d lived somewhere other than here in Egypt.
“I’m marrying tonight. This will be my last time gathering the seeds.” She gave a little sigh, as if pondering her fate.
“Do you love him?’ Nigel blurted, then could have kicked himself. A rude question. But he was a foreigner; maybe she’d forgive him.
“I do not know him.” Karida gave a little laugh, as sweet and musical as the jingling of gold bracelets. “I don’t know who has chosen me. But all the al Assayra warriors are honorable and noble, and so will be my husband.”
Her large, golden brown eyes, so exotic and mysterious, seemed to pierce him. “He will never lie to me or steal, and he will be admirable all his days.”
Nigel stared at Karida in sudden bleakness, feeling the shadows of old ghosts smother him. She was so damn perfect, an angel compared to the demon lurking inside him. His gaze dropped to his hands, and he rubbed them violently against his khaki trousers. Knowing he wasn’t fit to touch her.
You would never marry me. I can’t father your children. My own sire lied about my birthright because I was sterile, and though I was older I could not give him an heir like my twin brother. I wouldn’t give you my heart, but I could steal away yours.
Or worse. I could kill you.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
I almost don't care about The Empath. That book is out of print. And now some yahoo has it for free in Spanish!
But I found a few sites with my new Nocturne, Enemy Lover.
Available for free download.
It's extremely depressing and disheartening. My new release is being given away for free.
I wonder how these people would feel if I went to their houses, siphoned gas out of their cars and used the excuse that hey, it's parked on a public street and I can't afford to buy gas, or some other lame excuse.
E piracy is stealing.
I don't make a heck of a lot of money by writing romance, and though it's not a topic openly discussed, neither do most romance authors. We work hard to bring you books we hope you enjoy.
For me, I do it because I love to tell stories and I love to write.
The money I earn usually goes back into the writing. Promotions, research, keeping up with computer software, websites, etc.
I work very very hard at my books. This weekend, do you know what I'm doing? Am I taking a vacation, a boat cruise or lying in the sun, enjoying the profits of my romance writing? No, I have edits due MONDAY on the next Egyptian historical that I just received. And I work FT, so it makes it challenging.
I've had to cancel plans to attend a friend's art show opening because I have a deadline I have to meet. That's the business. I accept everything that goes with it.
But e piracy is a challenge I never anticipated when I got my first book published.
If you can't afford to buy one, I understand. I'm struggling to make a living as well! There's the library, paperback swap, and other places to get the book.
Please don't resort to epiracy. It's stealing, plain and simple.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
First, I blogged over at Harlequin's paranormal blog about Enemy Lover, and how I came up with the idea for flying werewolves. Check it out here.
And speaking of werewolves, I have great news - a release date for Raphael's book! That Nocturne is called IMMORTAL WOLF and will be out next fall.
Now switching to Egypt and historicals: THE LADY AND THE LIBERTINE is my next Egyptian historical. The hero is an earl who is a rogue, and a libertine and a thief. The heroine is a woman who was raised in an English workhouse, and then sent to live in Egypt with the Khamsin. The ruby necklace she wears is the key to a fabulous treasure, and the earl desires to steal it, and her virginity as well. But will she steal away his heart?
I'm blogging about Egypt next week for the new blog some fellow authors and I have launched. The Chatelaines features Emily Bryan, Cindy Holby, Jennifer Ashley, CL Wilson (Cheryl), Gerri Russell, Joy Nash and me!
Click here and let us know what you think of the banner. I think it's very clever and funny. I'm walking like an Egyptian!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
President Elect Barack Obama
November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
DH and I early voted. Saved time. Our polling place is a nursing home. Yup, a nursing home.
Good news: DEADLY TOUCH, my next Nocturne, has a release date of next fall! Woo hoo! This is Raphael's story, the Cajun, Harley-riding immortal werewolf. The title will change. I'll post the new title when I have it.
Recently I was talking with some friends about work. life and writing. It's not easy holding down a day job and being an author. It's not just the writing. There's promoting the book, keeping up with a website, dealing with copy edits, galleys, changes, proposals, etc.
I wouldn't trade it for anything.
For all the angst this crazy business can cause; from deadline stress to rejections to last minute changes and anxiety over worrying if a book will have good sales, there is one critical factor that always stands out.
When I walk into a bookstore and scan the romance aisle, and see my new release, it has my name on it.
My name. It's my book. It's something I created, sweated over, imagined, dreamed. For better or worse in the public's eyes, it's mine.
And no one can ever take that away.
That's why I get excited when I meet an author with a debut book. I know what it's like to obtain that dream, see the vision become reality.
There's nothing else like it. And maybe, never will be again.
For all of you who are newly published, enjoy every wonderful moment of the ride.
For those of you who are still aspiring, keep trying. This business is talent, skill, and style, but 80 percent of it is sheer luck.
The moment you see your name on that book cover for the first time is one you will never forget.
No one can ever take that away from you.
Monday, November 03, 2008
This means you can buy Baylor and Katia's story for only 89 cents!
She was forbidden by the Draicon to cast the blood-to-blood spell. But Katia was determined to find her father, and the spell was her only option. The Draicon had taken her into their pack when her own family had been destroyed by the Morphs. But Katia had never given up hope that her father was still alive, and refused to mate for life with her beloved Baylor until she found him.
Now Baylor had given her an ultimatum, and Katia was forced to take drastic measures.
But when Katia’s spell summoned a Morph claiming to be her father, nothing Baylor said could convince her of the danger. Baylor knew too well the cost of trusting a loved one who’d turned, and desperately wanted to save Katia the pain he’d lived with for so long. He also knew that if he spared the Morph, it would destroy Katia, but if he killed this evil being, he risked losing her love forever.
Click here to access the sale. There are lots of great deals on ebooks and keep checking back, as they will keep featuring different ones every day.
I love that four-letter word. SALE.
Here's Dolce in the costume we bought him for Halloween. Notice how joyful he looks.
We didn't get as many trick or treaters as years past as it was raining, but enough to make him bark each time and run to the doorbell. He is a true Gator, showing his colors.
Booksigning at the Altamonte Mall went great! I sold out of Enemy Lover, and nearly out of Scorpion. Had a wonderful time sitting next to Nancy Robards Thompson. This is my favorite booksigning and it raises money for adult literacy as well. The members of the Central Florida Romance Writers are all wonderful, and it's always a pleasure signing with them.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Sorry for the inconvenience.
I'm on my way to Orlando for a booksigning today at the Altamonte Springs Mall. I took a muscle relaxer for my back pain. Good thing DH is driving. I wonder if I'll sit there in my chair, drooping like a rag doll.
Happy November, all.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Between Tiger and I, our house is like a sick ward, lol. Tiger had an eye procedure this week and the poor baby has been in pain so I gave him his pain meds wrapped in a piece of cheese.
Then I went to take MY meds and I wrapped the pill in a piece of cheese and realized, "What am I doing? Should I also pat myself on the head and say, 'Good boy?!"
Tonight DH is carving the pumpkin for tomorrow night and the legions of kids we will probably get. I have a "hot" date with a heating pad, lol.
Click here to read.
In other news, I hurt my back, but I'm hoping the meds will help it heal. I also learned my May release, THE LADY AND THE LIBERTINE, has been moved up to April. I have the cover, but have to figure out how to upload.
Have a great day!
Monday, October 27, 2008
She was colorful, outspoken, loved animals, and the environment, and wasn't afraid to state her mind. I always admired her for her gusto and passion for life.
She will be missed.
She was a writer for The Huffington Post. Click here to read the tribute.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here's the cover to BROKEN SOULS, my Nocturne Bite out Nov. 1, same release date as ENEMY LOVER. Broken Souls is another Draicon werewolf book. Does the cover look familiar?Take a look at the cover to THE EMPATH. LOL!! Same setting different head.
Here's a blurb:
She was forbidden by the Draicon to cast the blood-to-blood spell. But Katia was determined to find her father, and the spell was her only option. The Draicon had taken her into their pack when her own family had been destroyed by the Morphs. But Katia had never given up hope that her father was still alive, and refused to mate for life with her beloved Baylor until she found him. Now Baylor had given her an ultimatum, and Katia was forced to take drastic measures.
But when Katia's spell summoned a Morph claiming to be her father, nothing Baylor said could convince her of the danger. Baylor knew too well the cost of trusting a loved one who'd turned, and desperately wanted to save Katia the pain he'd lived with for so long. He also knew that if he spared the Morph, it would destroy Katia, but if he killed this evil being, he risked losing her love forever.
I always wanted to write their story,and it fit well into a Nocturne Bite.
There's something funky going on with my wireless keyboard. I bought this computer about 3 years ago, and now the keyboard is going funky. I have to type on top of the desk. I don't know what the deal is.
Got some good news last week which I'll be sharing soon. In the meantime, it's back to writing, since I have a new project and a new deadline.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
The books are connected, but you don't have to read The Empath before reading Enemy Lover.
CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
"Damian Marcel, Draicon of his pack, is looking for his draicara, his life mate.
After she tried to kill him, it’s a wonder he would want to find her for anything but revenge but he knows she is the one who is the other half of his soul. Now he has tracked her to New Orleans and longs to make his claim.
Jamie Walsh believes Damian killed her brother and fled after her attempt to kill him with a poison kiss spell led her to New Orleans. The last thing she wants is to see Damian again so she is none too pleased when he arrives at her door at the same time she is secretly thrilled.
Trouble is far from over when Damian discovers Jamie has been bespelled with the deadly granite spell. Her body is slowly turning to stone and any use of her magick only speeds up the dark spell. Damian and Jamie have one chance to save her – an ancient book of magick that contains a spell to save her. However, the Morphs want the book also, to put to use the dark black magick spells contained within. Time will tell who reaches the book first but that is the one thing Jamie doesn’t have. Unless the magick of the life mate bond can help her…
Damian and Jamie are perfect complements to one another, which made the enmity Jamie feels for Damian in the beginning so shocking. We all know they are meant for one another, as does Damian, but watching them fight the attraction provided plenty of tension. I love the bits of humor we find throughout which keep the story from becoming too dark. Jamie is a techno-geek who is addicted to gaming and Damian has been around so long he can’ even figure out something as simple as a basic cell phone. This made for some lively moments that bring you to chuckle. Add that to the usual conflicts between a very powerful Alpha male whose protective instincts are in full swing and a strong willed, stubborn and independent female and you know there is going to be more than one explosion.
The sense of impending doom is quite pervasive from the first page. The Morphs are growing stronger and bolder as well as more desperate as they try to stop Damian and Jamie. Of course the ever present stone spell leaching away Jamie’s life adds intensity as well. As if that wasn’t enough, we also find some very dark stories involving Damian’s brothers and Jamie’s distant family from her childhood.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Empath when I read it last year and I was intrigued by Damian’s story from the first moment I met him in the midst of the secrecy surrounding him. So I was quite excited to get his story at last in Enemy Lover and find out what really happened. In fact, I liked Enemy Lover even more than The Empath. The whole premise of Jamie’s plight was fascinating and I love the originality of the stone spell dooming her. When Jamie finally learns the truth about what really happened the day Damian killed her brother her emotions are quite powerful, especially in light of some of the other revelations about Jamie we discover. You will definitely want to pick this one up as soon as it is available. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed one bit by Enemy Lover."
Kelley A. Hartsell
Cataromance, 5 stars!
"The spellbinding interweaving of the supernatural, passion and emotion found throughout ENEMY LOVER bring out the innermost sentiments of the reader.
With compellingly fascinating scenes and numerous appealing characters, ENEMY LOVER delivers a superb story which will touch your heart and keep you totally engrossed. Bonnie Vanak has crafted a paranormal tale with masterful storytelling, where emotions are explosively expressed and desires are never far from the surface.
As the Alpha of a Draicon werewolf pack, Damian Marcel vows Jamie Walsh will be his one day, as he knows she is fated to be his mate even if she is human. Things did not go well for them when they met previously, as Jamie is now hiding from the man she tried to kill after she witnessed him taking part in the murder of her brother.
However, Damian has tracked her to New Orleans, his childhood home, and has learned some very disturbing news about her. It seems in her quest to possess some magick of her own, a stone spell was deliberately cast upon her by an enemy of the Draicons. This dark magic will cause her to physically turn into granite, where her mind will still live eternally.
Although she is drawn to the commanding werewolf, Jamie feels she can never give her trust or heart to the one responsible for killing her brother. When Damian says he will do what is needed to save her from this fatal spell, she finds herself closely working with him to find the very old Book of Magick which hopefully contains a healing cure. Unfortunately, the Morphs, former Draicons who use dark magic for self gain, also want the book for their nefarious purposes. As clues to the whereabouts of the book are discovered, Damian and Jamie begin to comprehend what destiny has in story for them.
Regardless of the premise, the stories by Bonnie Vanak capture the reader’s imagination. There is always a memorable cast of characters, and the plot is constantly enthralling. For her second Nocturne book, Ms. Vanak continues with the intriguing saga behind her werewolf stories and brings it convincingly to life. The paranormal elements are smoothly blended in with what is considered normal, and every instant of the story seems entirely conceivable. Werewolves are one of my favorite supernatural beings as I admire their loyalty and the fervor which is shown toward their mates and packs, and this trait is portrayed to its fullest by this skilled author.
The determination of Damian to watch over the members of his pack plus the woman who is his mate is depicted with an unbending resolve, and the reason behind his doggedness is touchingly conveyed through several poignant scenes. As more comes to be known about this powerful werewolf leader and his destined mate, Jamie, their futures became very important to me, and the frequently heart-pounding incidents surrounding these two filled with both physical and emotional anguish made the outlook very uncertain.
Before the gratifying conclusion of this story, readers will be treated to frightening suspense, moments where potent feelings are expressed and even some blazingly hot love scenes. There are quite a few secondary characters who are extremely likable, and I hope they get their own story one day. The vivid imagery in ENEMY LOVER will make you want to believe every mesmerizing detail in this rewarding story." Amelia Richard
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
So what did I do this weekend to replenish my creativity and get my muse inspired?
I cleaned out the linen closet.
I can actually find towels now, instead of putting out an APB when guests come over to use the hot tub. I think Elvis may have been living in said closet.
I also cleaned up the computer room. It feels wonderful to walk in here and see a real room! Instead of a jumbled mess. It's my space for getting away from it all, when the weather is still hot, like it is now.
Also going to catch up on reading. What a luxury!
Got some very nice reviews for Enemy Lover. I'll post in a separate blog entry.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Adopting a dog is so much better than buying a puppy. It means giving a dog who needs love and affection a good home, and saving their life. Last year after our beloved Tia died, we adopted a Shih Tzu. Sadly, she was older than we had realized, and died one year ago on Halloween, but for the year we had her, she had a good home.
This year we took in Dolce, another refugee whose owner had to give him up. He's been joy in our lives. He greets us with a toy when we come home, likes to play, and he's just a total sweetheart. Even Tiger, our older Shih Tzu, gets along fine with him.
Please consider adopting a homeless dog.
Click here to see the adoptees.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Hooked on Torsos lately. Is that like being hooked on phonics?
This month I'm running a contest to celebrate the November release of my werewolf Nocturne, ENEMY LOVER. Pop on over to Fresh Fiction to enter, and you could win an autographed copy of my first Nocturne, The Empath, which is out of print.
Click here for the Enemy Lover contest.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
My friend Pamela Clare sent me this. She has an historical, Untamed, out in November, same month as my werewolf Nocturne, Enemy Lover, is out. Untamed's cover has a very nice torso on it.
They look so innocent when they're sleeping, don't they? :-)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Just hope MTV's Parental Control or NEXT isn't next.
Or the new Paris Hilton show on My BFF where she holds a contest to select a new frenemy.
Monday, September 22, 2008
today was my first day back at work.
I had to look at photos of dead children who drowned in Haiti during the floods.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Got back to the cabin, then decided to drive to Smoky Mtn. National Park. A couple from Ohio I met here at the B&B said the Laurel Falls hike was a good one. Lots of people on the paved path, and since I'm alone and little wary of hiking by myself, I decided to try it.
Got there mid-afternoon, started up. And up. The "easy" hike was not so easy for me. I met a couple, Karen and Bernie, from Wisconsin. I passed them, they easily passed me.
Then about halfway I saw them heading back. "What's wrong, the falls are closed?" I asked.
"No," Karen said. "There's a bear cub up ahead in the trees, and we didnt' want to get between it and the mama."
So we hung out for a few minutes, talking. Then all three of us decided "safety in numbers" and ventured forth. No bear.
Got to the falls, nice water. Bernie and Karen left, I soon followed. Then I saw them standing in the path. Bernie told me they decided to wait for me because the bear was back.
And he brought friends. Three bears. Cubs, but fairly big. No sign of Mama Bear.
We cautiously made our way down the path, talking about wildlife. I prefer mine on TV or at a distance. A great distance. Like say, Seattle.
Then we rounded a corner and there was a couple standing looking up the hill. The woman said, "Shh, there's a bear up there!"
All three of us, Bernie, Karen and myself look at each other. Then at the bear, which was about 10 yards from the path. Then the woman's husband, in his shorts and his plaid shirt, snaps a photo of the bear.
The flash goes off. The bear charges.
My heart went still.
Fortunately it was a false charge and the bear remained on the hill, and didn't jump down to attack the guy. The three of us walked quickly past the three bears (just call me Goldilocks) and muttered, "dumb tourists."
It was all told, a 2.6 mile hike. Great exercise.
But next time, I'll take my walks without bears. It was a little too hairy (furry) of a close encounter for me.
Thanks Bernie and Karen, for escorting me down the mountain. I think I might have camped up at the falls rather than face a bear on my own.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I can't believe it.
Well, the first draft, actually, now the editing begins. Still, I have a COMPLETED BOOK.
I wrote 9,000 words today. 36 pages.
Now I have to cut 3,000 more.
I wrote for five hours straight, and took a couple of breaks for a few minutes. Wondered why my butt hurt.
Well, duh, I was in a wood rocking chair, on the laptop.
Took an hour break, had some dinner, took a walk, made a few calls.
Then write some more, determined to finish.
I'm shocked i was able to finish. And very exhausted. All told, I wrote about 9 hours today. A very productive day.
As a reward, I'm taking tomorrow off, to meet my bro, do a little hiking and some touristy stuff.
Tomorrow night, I'll start the editing, and continue Thursday.
I just might make this deadline after all. I think I can.
I think I can.
This is my temporary "office," where I've been writing the past day. Yesterday I wrote 15 pages, plus cut and slashed and edited. I took a two-hour break, drove into town, and ate leftovers for dinner, then at night, cut and slashed some more.
Today's goal is to write 4,000 words. Getting there.
This week is very conducive to productivity, because, ah, there's nothing else to do! The weather is overcast, gray, and cool. Tomorrow I might go on a hike in the park, and I'm driving to meet my brother as well.
If DH were here, it would be less lonely, and we'd be happily tooling around in the antique stores in the afternoons, and visiting local haunts. He's not so I write.
I can understand now why FT writers, many of them anyway, need to establish a routine. A routine can be a very good thing.
Monday, September 15, 2008
It feels odd. I miss DH. Really, really miss him. If he were here, I'd be writing, but also going with him to visit antique stores, going for walks, investigating the local happenings.
This is the first writing trip I've taken alone in a long, long time. I took one years ago when I visited Colonial Williamsburg, and wrote a Rev. War book. I was unpublished back then, and just wanted to travel to see and feel the history so I could bring a touch of authenticity to the story.
Never did sell it. Probably never will.
At breakfast this morning, talked with a couple from Ohio, who were leaving today. Others from Ohio were talking about Ike, which has wreaked havoc on their hometown. Corn mazes were toppled, power is out. And gas prices have risen.
In Knoxville, before Ike, gas was about $3.80. Now it's $5 and some gas stations ran out.
It's easy to bury myself here, away from reality, which will come soon enough next week when I return to the "real job."
Not that writing isn't a real job. It is, but not my main source of income. So when I spend a week to come up here, and finish a book, and edit, it feels more like I'm on vacation instead of working.
I wrote 2,500 words so far today. Promised myself if I can make it to 62,000 words today, I'd give myself a treat this afternoon of a drive into town and touring around.
Guess I'd better get back to work and concentrate on Emily's internal conflict. It's shifted because events have drastically changed. But I think it will be okay. I'll just have to tweak her around some more.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Getting ready to fly out.
Three trips in less than a month.
Nicaragua trip for work was very productive, interesting. We drove north through the mountains, visited families living in crumbling adobe shacks, saw some heartbreaking stuff. While there, I was monitoring Hurricane Ike, which at one point was headed toward my area as a Cat. 4.
I loathe hurricane season.
Because of Ike, I shifted this trip back by a week. Thankfully, Ike missed us and went south. Unfortunately, it didn't miss Texas.
Anyway, I'm here at the airport, getting ready to fly to TN for my week alone in a cabin doing nothing but writing. I'm getting there, almost there. The book due Oct. 1 has only 7500 words left, and then editing. My goal this week is to finish and start to edit.
The good thing about this past crazy month has been my ability to write in snatches, and chunks of scenes. I wrote in the SUV in Nicaragua while we were on good stretches of pavement (you would not believe the roads we were on. Think of driving down a flight of stairs. That would be a smooth ride compared to the mountain paths, and rivers! we navigated through). I wrote in snatches and then downloaded the Alpha Smart when I had a hotel with A/C current. Note to self: BUY adapter and REMEMBER to bring it on next trip to Central America.
This week away is something I promised myself when I conceived of the idea for Raphael's story. Raphael is a Cajun, immortal werewolf who looks like a fallen angel. He's very powerful and the executioner for his people. He has a few dark secrets as well.
I like giving my heroes dark secrets. DEADLY TOUCH has turned out to be an interesting story. I'm also curious to see the cover for BROKEN SOULS, the Nocturne Bite I have coming out in November, same month as ENEMY LOVER.
If I were to write my story, I'd title it WEARY AUTHOR.
I went from the Dorchester deadline and turning in the next Egyptian historical in August straight to BROKEN SOULS and revising that one final time to DEADLY TOUCH. It's been a treadmill and I need this time away to get back in touch with my muse, who is saying, "whahhhh?"
I told myself if I sold more Nocturnes, I'd go to TN and write, as a reward and inspiration for the story. It's a working vacation, more work than vacation, but a change of scenery that will hopefully enable me to bring the book together for a finale.
As long as no more hurricanes are spinning out there in the Atlantic.
If I can pull this together, it means I actually was able to write an entire book in two months. While working a demanding day job. While traveling to Nicaragua for a last minute work trip to replace a sick coworker. While hurricanes and tropical storms buzzsawed out there, a potential threat to my home and the crappy insurance we now have.
Small wonder I'm taking October off. I might just retire the computer for a full month and not write. It would be an interesting experience.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Hoping I can return to the New Orleans I love, and things will be the same.
Anyway, the laugh comes from this... the sheer unpredictability of storms during this time of year. I'm wary of Hanna but I just saw the projected pathway.
Here's my schedule: Fly to Nicaragua tomorrow, fly home late Friday, have one day at home with DH, and then on Sunday, flying up to...
Where it looks like Hanna may end up. HA!
Maybe Hanna is giving me the gimlet eye. "Bonnie, you can fly all over the damn place, but I will find you!"
I'm leaving a week from today to have a mini writing retreat alone, so I can write the book due in October. Hurricanes and all, I still have a deadline.
Maybe I should retitle the book from DEADLY TOUCH to Ha Ha Hanna. LOL.
Stay safe everyone on the gulf coast, Louisiana and my beloved New Orleans. I'll keep you in my prayers. I"m going offline and not blogging for a while.
Until later, here's to TOURIST SEASON instead of HURRICANE SEASON!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
No, this isn't Hurricane Gustav. It's Katrina, three years ago this week as it approached the coastline. Katrina, that killed thousands. It's on a similiar track as Gustav.
This is the blog post I wrote three years ago.
"Katrina is a cat. 5 and heading for the Gulf coast. 160 mph. Predictable, with the warm waters stirring it up. But absolutely freaking scary. I saw what happened to Dade county after Andrew. Flattened like a pancake. Nothing left, no trees, roofs ripped off. A bunch of us went down there to help out afterward and it was like someone dumped a bomb on the region. But this is worse. Katrina is a bigger storm and the rain it will dump... the flooding... people south of me are still bailing out from when Katrina hit us. And if it hits New Orleans... o.m.g. Those poor people. I hope and pray they can all get out... or at least can reach higher ground. I love New Orleans. What a city. Hot and mellow jazz, the smooth, cool slide of a hurricane down your throat, terrific food...Will all that just be memories?"
How terrible I am thinking the same now? Heather Graham's conference was this weekend in New Orleans. Heather always puts on a great conference. In fact, her first conference the year after Katrina, I got the idea for ENEMY LOVER. I was roaming through Bourbon Street with Kathy Love and Erin McCarthy, bar hopping, and got this flash of inspiration about a werewolf slow dancing with his destined mate, the woman who tried to kill them.
Maybe I saw a big, muscled and hairy guy that night slow dancing with a woman who looked like she wanted to kill him, lol. I don't remember. I do remember loving that time I spent there, and being so happy to be in New Orleans.
I love that city. I set ENEMY LOVER, my November Nocturne, in the French Quarter. I'm heartsick at the idea of another hurricane masticating through the Gulf Coast and flooding that city, and others.
All we can do is pray and wait, and hope everyone prepares for the worst, and hope for the best.
I'm sick today... had to go to the clinic to get last minute meds as I am leaving Monday. Hanna looks like it could end up being a problem to my area late next week, meaning I may NOT be able to fly back to the US. I don't know. I'll just keep monitoring the reports.
On a brighter note, I finished final edits for BROKEN SOULS, the BITE coming out the same month as ENEMY LOVER. And I have now 38,000 words on DEADLY TOUCH, Raphael's story.
I think I'll retire to bed and cough up a lung. No more watching The Weather Channel. It's too disheartening.
Friday, August 29, 2008
This is Tropical Storm Hanna, the biggest threat to my area. Not Gustav, which is going to slam into the Gulf Coast (sigh) sometime next week. I'm on the east coast, and Hanna is a threat more.
But look at the models. They're all wacky. Spinning around. This is how I feel during the height of hurricane season, like, uh, now.
I'm leaving the country Monday on a last minute work trip I did not anticipate. I hate hate leaving when something like this is lingering off my coast, as I have responsibilities and an elderly in-law, but have no choice.
In the meantime, this is what I'd rather be thinking of:
This is Raphael, the Cajun Draicon werewolf I'm writing about, whose story is due in four weeks. He rides a Harley, wears black leather, and, as I described him in Enemy Lover, my November Nocturne, resembles "An angel stumbling out of a Bourbon Street sex shop."
I'd rather be writing about bad boy biker werewolves than worrying about hurricanes.
Bad boy biker werewolves don't hurt innocents in my story, they just make very long, slow love, or very fast and hard, depending upon the heroine's preferences.
I hope Gustav stays the hell away from Louisiana and New Orleans. I think they've had enough. Go away Gustav!