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!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
It's so easy to wipe out everything when you're on vacation. What Tropical Storm Fay? Day job? Huh?
But I am still, sitting here at a picnic table, and writing, because I have deadlines, deadlines. Still, we are having a wonderful, stress-free time of it. Yesterday we went to a gold mine, on impulse, that someone recommended. We took a wonderful tour given by a grizzled, seasoned miner who still works the mine, which is owned by a third-generation miner. He was telling us how he got stuck once and it took him six hours to lift the rocks around him and get out.
As we came to an intersection in the mine, we saw a sign that read, 'PRIMARY ESCAPE ROUTE."
I asked, "Uh, escape route?"
He waved it off. "Oh don't worry. If anything happens, I know six different ways out of this mine."
But amazingly, my claustrophobia didn't kick in. I was having too much fun listening to his stories. He was amazing. We also saw the "lucky mining bucket" that is supposed to bring good luck to all who touch it. I touched it. I don't feel lucky, but I am having fun, so that's a good sign.
After we panned in the creek for gold and found a couple of microscopic sized particles. We struck it!
I could get used to this, writing in the sunshine, enjoying the cool weather, far away from all concerns at home. The stress has just slid off me like heavy coat.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
We are officially in... (music, please) THE CONE OF UNFORESEEABLE DOOM!!!!
No problem. I think.
We have a house-sitter, shutters and I am going to try to stay away from the weather channel and at least we will be away from the shrieking reporters who pay someone to toss palm fronds past the camera lens to make their footage more dramatic so they can get picked up on the national feeds.
In meantime, we are heading to an area where they are forecasting ... snow showers for tonight. Go figure. From a tropical storm to snow... how insane is that?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Acheron is a book I'm dying to read, but have no time to do so. I have a couple of shorter paperbacks to take on vacation and Acheron is too heavy to lug in the suitcase. Plus I have to write while I'm gone. No way around that. So I told myself that, as a treat for finishing the Nocturne due in Oct., I'll buy Acheron then and read it.
But I couldn't get that book out of my mind and so last night, I had this dream.
I was in Kmart, where I seldom shop, looking at books and they had a very special Acheron display. The book was tucked into a box, and inside the box were two bottles of high caffeine, high sugar juice.
They called it Acheron juice, and advised readers to gulp it down before reading, so they could stay up all night long to read.
It was a very pretty display, featuring this macho, good-looking guy.
I woke and realized, wow, I really DO need a vacation... or I need to buy the book and read it and get it out of my mind...
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
If a tropical storm/hurricane/CONE OF FORESEEABLE DOOM doesn't come our way. Yes, isn't it festive vacationing in the middle of hurricane season?
All this while working on a very important project at the day job on funding water projects for the poor. And while trying to get started on the next Nocturne, due in, oh, seven weeks.
Being inside my mind right now is a very scary place. Such as today, while driving to work, when I'm brainstorming Rafael's story and character ARC, while trying to navigate the Sawgrass and think of everything I need to do before we leave:
Ok, Rafe, he's an angel in leather, the Kallan, dangerous, dark, immortal, a loner, feels alienated. No real friends, even his family is a little afraid of him, hey, he's the executioner, the powerful one, Emily to Rafe, have you ever executed anyone close to you? Yes, a cousin, it made me feel even more isolated and alone, can't get close... oh CRAP! WATCH WHERE THE HELL YOU ARE GOING, YOU STUPID ######. oK, must call and find out car rental insurance, does the credit card cover CDW? Check that, ok, where was I? Rafe, yes, I'm lonely, it's not easy having all this power and hey, you are very sexy but I have to execute you or I forfeit my brother's life, yet you are my draicara, my mate, I am foresworn to protect you according to the rules of our pack... dogs, have to go to the vet to pick up more meds for Tiger, do that after work, no wait, they're closed by that time, maybe tomorrow at lunch, are we going to Best Buy after dinner or did Frank say let's do that tomorrow? NO, tomorrow is stopping by his dad's, and what if it rains, rain, water, how many children die of water-borne diseases each day? Check that fact and was it half a glass of water a day that woman gives to her children when she rations when the spring dries up? Check that in notebook... what if that system in the Atlantic turns into a storm? Should we shutter the house or take our chances, the last time we did we came home to a hurricane named Wilma. Damn am I getting my period and do I need to pack tampons hell i hope not because i hate hate having my period on vacation but back to Rafe, he thinks Emily is beautiful and he wants to have sex with her like now, but he has to prepare her for her death because he will sacrifice her with his sacred Scian, Scian, hahahaha, another term for a hero's youknowhwat, wouldn't that be funny, I AM THE HERO AND I WILL SLAY YOU WITH MY SACRED SCIAN OF LOVE, but be serious, he's dark and dangerous and lethal and and HEY! YOU JUST CUT ME OFF YOU #####
Scary, isn't it?
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Lookie what is now out!!!
Robin Schone returns with a very hot erotic romance anthology with three other authors; Allyson James (The Black Dragon, Berkley Books), superstar Claudia Dain and Shiloh Walker.
Word is Robin's story is dark and emotion, Allyson's is a romantic historical, Claudia's is mainstream and Shiloh's is paranormal.
Here's a blurb from Allyson's story: In "Decidedly Devilish Duke," a widow's fate is now dependent on a game of cards with the wicked duke she spurned ten years ago. Will Michael take his vengeance? Or show Amelia just how wicked he truly is?
"The Decidedly Devilish Duke" in Private Places
click here to read an excerpt of Allyson's story.
Click here to order from Amazon
Click here to order from Barnes and Noble
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I really like this cover. This is what Graham and Jillian would look like. I think the male model is John DeSalvo, but I'm not certain.
The German covers are very sexy. Ok, I confess, I like clinch covers. I've been outed. Yes, this from the woman who did not hesitate to hide Sandra Hill's Sweeter, Savage Love with the very sexy John DeSalvo cover while on a work trip with a bus full of priests and nuns. Heh.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Hi! Today I'm featuring a very special interview with Emily Bryan, author of the sensual historicals, DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS and this month's NEW release, PLEASURING THE PIRATE.
BV: Readers really love your DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS, the tale of an artistic duchess and an aristocratic spy. But in your newest book, PLEASURING THE PIRATE, I hear your characters don't move in such exalted circles.
EB: That's right, Bonnie. In PLEASURING THE PIRATE, my hero is . . well, a pirate. A prodigal pirate to be exact. He was born the son of a gentleman, but when his naval vessel sank, Gabriel Drake was given the choice to turn pirate or claim a watery grave.
He decided to live and piracy came naturally to him, so in no time, he was voted captain and became the scourge of the Spanish Main as the Cornish Dragon. But his old life called to him. So when he won a royal pardon, he returned home, hoping to square things with his indomitable father. Unfortunately, his father and older brother are now dead and Gabe's suddenly lord of the manor with all the responsibility that entails. Including riding herd on a gaggle of orphaned nieces and marrying well to benefit the estate. My heroine is no lady, but she longs to be.
Jacquelyn Wren is the bastard daughter of a courtesan. Well-educated, but without pedigree, she serves as governess for the Drake orphans and soon finds herself trying to train the piracy out of her new lord. But try as she might to be the prim and proper lady, she can't escape the passion that's her birthright.
BV: DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS was more sensual than your previous novels as Diana Groe. Is PLEASURING THE PIRATE following in that vein?
EB: With a title like PLEASURING THE PIRATE, it about has to! But I didn’t set out to write a sexier novel. My aim is always to tell a compelling story and everything that happens, including the sex scenes, must serve the story. The premise of PLEASURING THE PIRATE lends itself to a bit of sensual adventurism. I hope readers find my love scenes aren’t just side trips along the story’s journey. My goal is to advance the story, to deepen the characters with every scene.
Compared to the world of erotica, my stuff is tame (though RT BookReviews rates it HOT!). However, I do want to move my readers. I want to give them a wonderful love affair to relish. We aren’t just physical beings. We are mind, body, heart and spirit. A true act of love engages all of what it means to be human. Love is my theme. Sex is only plumbing without it.
BV: Did you do any research for PLEASURING THE PIRATE?
EB: Lots! I research the historical period I write about quite heavily. Romance readers are very sophisticated. If I make a mistake, someone will let me know. What I’m looking for is what I call "women’s history," the little details of how people lived their lives. In addition to making myself the bane of my local librarian, I visited a pirate museum in Nassau, Bahamas and I’ve also been fortunate to visit England a number of times.
I’ve spent countless lovely hours in their museums and walking the streets of London, soaking up the history and listening to the stories in the cobblestones. DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS was set in early Victorian times, around 1850. Since piracy in the Caribbean died out around 1723, PLEASURING THE PIRATE takes place in 1720, during the reign of George I. The Georgian era was much bawdier than later periods and my story reflects that. Of course, my husband likes to help me, too. He keeps threatening to have a T-shirt made that reads: MY WIFE IS A ROMANCE NOVELIST. THE RESEARCH IS KILLING ME! (Of course, he always diplomatically adds, "What a way to go!").
BV: How long did you write before your break in publishing with Dorchester (Leisure Books)?
EB: I started writing seriously in 2001. After some fits and starts, I began to win some writing contests. The contest wins attracted my agent, who sold MAIDENSONG (under my real name Diana Groe) to Dorchester in 2005. It takes about a year to bring a book to market so my debut was May 2006.
BV: Are you now concentrating solely on the more light-hearted side of your writing? Or are you also writing as Diana Groe?
EB: My next Emily Bryan book is VEXING THE VISCOUNT, slated for March 2009. It was such fun! Adding comedy to my writing was a reach, but I love it. After VEXING THE VISCOUNT, I’m contracted for a 2009 Holiday anthology as Emily Bryan. The light-hearted, sexy stories are a delight to write and so far, the reading public is receiving them warmly. I would love to write more Diana Groe stories, too. In fact, I have a third "song" book all finished to round out my MAIDENSONG and ERINSONG series. I hope readers who enjoy my Emily Bryan books will try my more serious Diana Groe tales as well. Then perhaps, my Diana Groe title list will continue to grow. I used to sing professionally. My Diana Groe books are grand opera, all angst and drama and passion. Emily Bryan is more Gilbert and Sullivan with a bit of naughtiness thrown in. Light or dark, serious or silly, we all need both to stay balanced.
BV: How easy was it for you to write PIRATE? Did you have to revise anything before sending it off to the publisher? It reads as though you really enjoyed writing it.
EB: I thoroughly enjoyed writing PLEASURING THE PIRATE. I’m glad it shows. That said, I always revise. A lot. There are so many ways to tell a story. I want to make sure I’ve settled on the best one. Revision is actually the most fun for me. Fixing my prose is easy. Ploughing the virgin page is hard.
BV: Given that you had DUCHESS out in March, PIRATE in August and VISCOUNT early in 2009, how long does it take you to write a book? How long is your writing day when you’re working on a book?
EB: I usually play with a story in my head for about a month. I research the period. I flesh out the characters till I know them well enough to tell their story. Then I write a synopsis so I have a road map and it’s off to the races. I write full-time now, so my page goal is 10 a day, 5 days a week. I can have a first draft in two months and plan on taking another month to polish my prose till it sparkles. That’s if everything goes well. Right now, I just turned in VISCOUNT, so I’m fishing for my next cast of characters to take to the Christmas Ball for the Holiday anthology. But I’m heading for RWA Nationals soon, so that means a brief writing hiatus. But my subconscious is still working on the story so when I return to the computer, I’ll be primed and ready to go.
BV: What authors do you like to read yourself? Are you someone who reads only in your own genres, or do you also read thrillers, fantasy etc.?
EB: One of the pitfalls of being a writer is that I rarely read strictly for pleasure. I’m dissecting the book as I read, going to school on how another author handles all the elements of story. When I find a writer who makes me forget I’m a writer too, I treasure them. In historical romance, I enjoy Jo Beverley and Madeline Hunter. I recently read Shana Abe for the first time and was mesmerized by her lyrical romantic fantasy. This year I discovered CL Wilson, Joy Nash, Marjorie Liu, and of course, your Egyptian romances, Bonnie! Outside romance, I enjoy Neil Gaiman, Wilbur Smith and Mary Stewart.
BV: Many romances, yours included, have cover art that is absolutely stunning. Are you consulted about the cover art for your books? Who did the cover art for PIRATE, and will the same artist do VISCOUNT?
EB: Eye-catching covers are so important. Who can resist that gorgeous PIRATE? DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS was the first of my titles to make it into Wal-mart. I credit the cover with its placement in this important outlet. Dorchester sends its authors a questionnaire about each book, asking us to describe the hero and heroine, any plot point that might lend itself to cover treatment. I can’t tell you the name of the artist, but I love all my covers. I just received my cover for VEXING THE VISCOUNT (Click here to see it ) I think it’s hard to beat my handsome, bare-chested PIRATE, but my VISCOUNT has a Colin Firth-ish look about him. A sort of ‘repressed-sex-is-the-best-sex’ impression that’s very appealing. Of course, when my editor sent me a jpg of MAIDENSONG’s cover (my debut Diana Groe title), I though it was so beautiful, I wept.
BV: What kind of books were you brought up with as a child, and which author in particular (if any) inspired you to be a writer yourself? Do you still have any of those books in your collection?
EB: I’ve always been an avid reader. I used to sneak books into bed and read by the narrow strip of light that shafted in through the crack in my door. I remember being fascinated by Madeline L’engle’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN and the Trixie Belden Mysteries. One of my treasures as a child was a first edition of Bulfinches’ THE BEAUTIES OF MYTHOLOGY. Not only did I drink in those seminal stories of antiquity, it was filled with eye-popping ancient art. I still have it.
BV: You’ve started selling rights for foreign editions of your books. Do you think your books will get different cover treatment elsewhere?
EB: Undoubtedly. Each house uses its own covers. They know their own market well enough to choose something that will be appealing. I’m delighted to know my work is traveling the globe. I’ve posted my German MAIDENSONG and Italian ERINSONG (Click here to see them). I haven’t seen the Dutch covers yet. SILK DREAMS recently sold to Moy Mir, a Russian publisher. Wonder if they’ll feature a half naked woman and a big snake, like your Russian book, Bonnie. LOL!
BV: Finally I’d like to ask what five books you couldn’t do without on a desert island? Series count as one choice, of course – they’re part of the same story!
EB: This is a tough question, but I’ll try. I adore THE FAR PAVILIONS by MM Kaye, The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, The complete plays of Shakespeare (I’m trying to sneak them all in as a series!) and the Bible. (I might have to sneak in my BEAUTIES OF MYTHOLOGY as well) Great literature is a treasure to be revisited again and again. If I had those, I’d have stories to keep my mind busy for quite some time.
Thank you so much for your kind words about PLEASURING THE PIRATE, Bonnie. I’m delighted to be a guest on your excellent site. And while we’re on the subject of websites, I’d like to invite your readers to visit mine.
Click here to visit Emily's website.
There are excerpts of all my work, contests, writing advice, and a way to sign up for my newsletter and contact me.
Thanks so much, Emily! Wishing all the best for your new release, PLEASURING THE PIRATE!
Sunday, August 03, 2008
I have to go to the day job tomorrow, and tomorrow starts my marathon "I will write this book in two months" quest. I already set my cell phone ringer to "Mission Impossible."
Then I came across this terrific, inspiring post by PB Writer, who blogged on the realities of the writing life, and everything from how spending too much time on the internet in the wrong places can be a drain on your creative energy to the "rules" in writing.
One of my favorite parts:
"The more I learn about writing, the more knowledge I acquire, which translates into the practical energy I need when I try something new, or different, or risky. A small but significant drain on practical energy are running into the rule-makers.
These are people who have such a rigid attitude about some aspect of writing or the biz that they immediately instill doubt in you, especially if you're already doing something different.
Very often our writing instincts will throw up a warning flag about this sort of thing. If someone offers you an idea to try with your writing, you'll probably feel curious or interested. If someone tells you how you should be writing, you'll likely feel defensive or a sense of doubt.
To my knowledge no one has ever been named the absolute authority on writing. Until God appoints a paragon to this position, no one can tell you how you should be writing (including me.)
Another threat to your practical energy is when you compare yourself to other writers. You read a great book, but instead of enjoying it you compare your latest work to it and feel inadequate. Or, you see another writer you don't think is as talented as you are, but they're more successful than you've been. It all comes down to envy, the most efficient vampire in all of Publishing.
It's human nature to envy what we can't or don't have. It's why I've always wanted to be a tall blond -- because I've always envied my older sister, who is. In some cases, it drives us to achieve more with what we do. But in writers, envy is never a good thing. It poisons the joy you take in your work, and the satisfaction you feel for what you do accomplish. Nothing is ever good enough because someone else has more than you do.
I can't get rid of all the industry awards, the bestseller lists, or the blog traffic counters, so I'll give you the next best thing: narrow the field down to one. If you really want to compete with someone and have a chance at beating them, go look in the mirror. There's your competition looking back at you. That's the only writer you should be trying to beat. And when you do, you both win"
Click here to read the entire post. It's long but very much worth it and includes links to some great workshops she's hosted this week by other authors.
Thanks PB Writer!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
I'm so relieved this week is over. It's been challenging, personal family stuff going on, stress, etc. But my ARC's for Enemy Lover are DONE, and DH turned on the hot tub for me so guess where I will be later?
I've been going a million miles an hour since last weekend, when I rushed to get The Lady & the Libertine into the mail to my editor. It's time to fill the well a little.
One trick I have learned about writing, when you're working a day job and other stuff pops up that stresses you out, and you find you just cannot write, is to shift gears. Being flexible comes in very handy, but for me, it's a necessity. I could not concentrate to write the proposal I needed to write, so I did promo stuff that isn't writing ... I formatted ARC's and printed them out.
Today it's reading for a little while, catching up on other stuff, and then later today I'll start to write again.
I'll be thinking of Linnea Sinclair tonight, hoping she wins another RITA.
Stay tuned Monday when I'll have a special interview with Emily Bryan, author of the very sensual PLEASURING THE PIRATE.