Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Celebrating!

Sorry everyone, due to technical difficulties, Dawn wasn't able to have me as her guest today.  

Today is the release day of my novella, The Muse, and the beginning of my blog hopDawn Luedecke is helping me mark the occasion by having me on her blog. Link: http://www.dawnluedecke.com/apps/blog/  To celebrate, I'll be giving away a pdf copy of The Muse to a random person who leaves a comment by 8:00pm EST.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

 Happy Memorial Day.  Please remember the sacrifices our military personnel make every day so we can live the lives we do.

Friday, May 25, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

The work week before a holiday is either crazy busy or annoyingly slow.  The first part of this week was pretty busy.  Yesterday, not so much.  And it doesn't look good for today either.  Could be because I'm really looking forward to the three day weekend and all that I hope to accomplish during the time away from the day job.  I just hope today doesn't seem like it's eighteen years long.  3:00pm can't come soon enough.  I'll try not to embarrass myself by running out the door at 3:01pm.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What I'm Reading Wednesday

I'm trying to read He's No Prince Charming by LuAnn McLane.  I say trying to read because:

1.) I rarely have time to read these days, though I hope to have more time soon.  I started this book while my car was in the shop for a minor repair and I had to wait for my ride to get out of work.

2.) I'm having a very hard time reading the book because a lot of it seems contrived to make the hero have to "rescue" the heroine.  The heroine is constantly falling on or in front of the hero. I'm hoping it gets better as I get further into the book but I'm on page 126 and there's only 283 pages total. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Opinion or Yours


My friend, “W,” recently posted something on her Facebook page that one of her friends didn’t agree with.  Instead of just stating her opinion, this friend ended her comment with a personal dig at W.

I’m a firm believer that everyone is entitled to their opinion and to share it if they wish, but I don’t believe someone should attack someone else because their opinion is different.  I understand that some issues such as abortion, religion, the death penalty, and homosexuality will always be hot buttons in our society.  What bothers me is why some people believe their opinion is the “right” one and become verbal, if not physically, abusive when someone expresses an opinion different from their own.

I don’t understand why people get so upset if an opinion that’s expressed doesn’t match theirs. If you don’t agree with what’s being said, walk away, agree to disagree, or even take a deep breath, count to ten if you have to, and maybe ask the person whose opinion you don’t agree with if he or she would be willing to have a civil conversation to discuss your differences.  You each might learn something about the topic you didn’t know before.  I’m not saying this will change your opinion, but it might make you more understanding of the view that’s opposite of yours.

Friday, May 18, 2012

This I Know For Sure...

I hate that the TV shows I watch are ending for the summer.  I don't watch that much TV, but I enjoy the shows I do watch and look forward to some of them every week -- Castle, Body of Proof, Grey's Anatomy, Person of Interest, and Blue Bloods. 

One good thing about the shows going off until the fall is I'll have more time to read.  Guess it's not all bad after all since I haven't had time to read a book since the Easter holiday weekend.  I didn't realize how much I'd miss not being able to read whenever I wanted, but boy do I miss it.  I need more hours in my day so by watching even less television than I do now, hopefully I'll be able to read on a more regular basis.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Red Poppies

Every year around this time, former service men stand outside various stores selling red paper poppies with the proceeds going to various veteran outreach centers in our communities.  I buy the poppies every year and am sure to thank the person selling them for their service.  I don't just buy them because I have uncles, cousins, and friends who served but because the funds go to help the men and women who have sacrificed so much so I can live the life I do. 

Why poppies and not some other more well-known flower?

 It's said the red poppies referred to in the poem, In Flanders Fields, have been associated with war since the time of the Napoleonic Wars when it was first noted how the poppies grew over the graves of soldiers.  It's also said when John McCrae wrote the poem, he was looking out over a nearby cemetery, and could see the wild poppies that sprang up on the graves of the fallen. 

Do you know why the red poppies are sold?

In 1918, there was an American professor named Moina Michael who, inspired by the poem, decided to wear a red poppy year round to honor the soldiers who died in World War I.  She distributed silk poppies to her friends and campaigned to have it adopted as an official symbol of remembrance by the American Legion.  She also wrote a poem entitled, We Shall Keep The Faith, in response to In Flanders Fields.

In case you're not familiar with this poem, I've included it below.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
 
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
 
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
 
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



Friday, May 11, 2012

This I know For Sure...

Promoting your work is as time consuming if not more than the actual writing of the book or books. 

I try to write at least an hour and a half every week day and plan on starting to write on the weekend because I want to increase my output.  After I finish my writing for the day, I do promotional related stuff for about two to two and a half hours every day, more on the weekends. 

I enjoy doing promotion for the most part. I like meeting new people through blogs, Facebook, loops, Goodreads but I wish there were more hours in the day so I could do both promotion and writing in equal amounts.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Please Welcome My Guest Dara Young


Keeping Secrets

 
In The Cancan Dancer and the Duke Charise, my heroine, has a huge secret. One she can’t let the hero, Ethan, know. She manages to keep her mouth shut, despite certain events (that will remain undisclosed), until she is exposed. 

Keeping secrets is usually not a good thing, but sometimes it is necessary. In her case, she originally had no intention of her secret coming to light (they never do). Then when it became apparent that her secret could shift things a certain way, she still refused to divulge it. This despite the fact that the knowledge would have given her the very thing she discovered she wanted.

When the truth comes out (it always does) everyone winds up happy. Of course, this is fiction and real life doesn’t really work that way. A relationship, a healthy one anyway, is based on honesty, trust, and integrity. Those things can’t survive in the same space as secrets.

That said, secrets are a very familiar plot device in romance. There are secret babies, secret pregnancies, secret millionaires, deadly secrets, and even secret lovers. Honestly, I could be here all day listing all the variations on the secret trope used in romance. Of course the key to the HEA is always the discovery or exposure of said secret.

Do you like secret based plots? Are there versions you don’t like? Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of the secret baby trope. How about you?

Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me and remember to comment on each post during the blog tour for more chances to win! (Not sure what I'm talking about? Click here.)

The Cancan Dancer and The Duke
The Wild Rose Press

Can a lady on the lam and a duke on the make find love at the Moulin Rouge?

Cathedrals and museums are not Lady Charise Colton’s idea of European adventure. Turn-of-the-century Paris beckons, and she wants to grab it while she can…or rather, cancan. Flirting with fate and half of Paris, Charise eludes her chaperones and joins the cancan revue at the Moulin Rouge.

Ethan Greer, Duke of Lofton, is in Paris to settle some estate business. Chafing under his responsibilities, he discovers an enchanting distraction at the Moulin Rouge, a flirtatious dancer who stirs his lust and something more. He must have her—even if it means offering carte blanche.

Terrified of discovery, Charise tries to hold her persistent suitor at bay, though her heart has already surrendered. Will she lose him if he learns the truth, or is love enough to bind the cancan dancer and the duke?

Excerpt:
The singular sound was a soft whisper at first. The audience strained forward to catch even a note of the eerie melody carried on the fetid air of the cafe. As the song picked up, her voice grew stronger, the words more clear. Ethan relaxed into his seat and let the warm rich alto caress him. His body grew warm with the promises carried by the witch’s husky tones.

He remained unaware of anything in the room except the siren walking toward him. Each steady, unhurried step she took further drew him in. His gaze feasted on the curve of her hip, the swell of her breast. Ethan rode the knife’s edge between lust and propriety.

The song described, in lurid detail, two lovers in the throes of passion. Upon reaching him, the dancer propped the toe of her boot onto the edge of his seat—square between his thighs. The luscious creature presented impossibly sheer bloomers which hid everything and yet nothing, causing him to let out the breath he, until now, unknowingly held. His cock grew rigid, the uncomfortable throbbing causing him to shift. The desire to haul her into his arms and demonstrate every action she described with the most sensuous mouth he’d ever seen rode him hard. Her full lower lip begged for his kiss. Ethan wanted to see it slick and glowing pink from his attentions.

The wanton dancer continued to taunt him, but his good breeding won out. Forcing himself to stay seated, his fists balled and his jaw grew rigid with frustration, but his raging lusts remained leashed. The song ended, sending her into the nether regions of the cafe in a swirl of skirts.

Places that you can find out more about Dara and her books:
Add it to my shelf at: GoodReads

Monday, May 7, 2012

War Movies...Are They Good or Bad?

A few days ago, a co-worker and I were talking about different types of movies and she mentioned she hated war movies. She thought they were too violent and not necessary. Mind you, in almost her next breath she said she hoped to go see The Hunger Games on the weekend. Talk about a violent and unnecessary movie -- children killing children as a form of entertainment for that world's viewing entertainment, not to mention our own.  But that's another blog post for another time.

While I tend to stay away from overtly violent movies, I said I felt war movies were important.  Well, certain types of war movies -- those that try to depict war in a realistic and/or historic way, not the ones that seem to glorify it.

I think these are important for our young people to see.  While most of our younger generations have grown up or are growing up during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, I don't think it registers with them the sacrifices our military personnel have made for our country unless they have lost a family member personally.

Both wars are happening half a world away and while there is plenty of news coverage about them, it seems our younger generations view these wars like they are something happening that doesn't affect us or has no bearing on them.  I don't think they truly understand what war is actually like. Some war movies that try to give an accurate or semi-accurate accounting can help our younger generations see that war truly is hell. 

Saving Private Ryan with its opening sequence is said to be a very close depiction of what our WWII vets experienced on Omaha Beach in 1944.  Some other movies I feel are important to be viewed and discussed with our young people are Band Of Brothers, The Hurt Locker, The Thin Red Line, Hamburger Hill, Platoon, and Gone With the Wind. (Okay, this is really a love story, but the depictions of the burning of Atlanta and the scenes showing the hundreds of wounded and dying soldiers in a field make it worth including.)  I'm sure there are other movies that should be included, but these are the ones that came directly to mind.

Two other movies I would include in this list, while not technically war movies, are just as important -- Schindler's List and The Pianist.

What do you think?  Are war movies important or just more movies of gratuitous violence?

Friday, May 4, 2012

This I know for sure...

I just seem happier when the weather is nice.   I've been in a great mood all week and couldn't figure out why. Nothing out of the ordinary has happened that would generate the sense of happiness I've been feeling and then I realized the weather has been beautiful all week -- bright and sunny with little to no rain, no gloomy skies, and temperatures in the high 60's to mid 70's. 

How about you?  Does the weather affect your mood?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Please welcome my guests Amie Louellen and Jancy Van Sant


Dear Reader—

I guess I’m partially to blame for the predicament that my Brice found himself in. My name is Jancy Van Sant, and I’m Brice’s mother. See, I’m the reason he doesn’t believe in love. Or that he thinks he doesn’t. But I ask you, how can a person not believe in love? Love is beautiful and if done right, brings out the best in a person. But that’s not what Brice has seen of love. After this father left me, Brice became jaded about the fairer emotions. He felt that love--or rather the loss of love--had changed me. All he could see was that afterwards I wasn’t the same. Love’s fault? Not at all. 

But then something incredible happened to Brice. He met with a cup of blue shampoo. Now, I’m not exactly sure how Brice managed to drink shampoo, but I can tell you, I would have given anything to be able to see his face that day as the unsuspected love potion took hold. That was just the catalyst he needed to get him to fall in love and get married--two things he said he’d never do. Now, I know what you’re thinking, he didn’t remember much about his own courtship, ah, but he got there.
See, Brice would have never made the step on his own. He definitely needed something to lead him in that direction, and for that I thank Suzanne Rose, unemployed chemistry teacher and creator of the shampoo. Love Potion.

Suzanne’s a good girl, honest and sweet natured, even with all of that fabulous red hair. And even though she might not be from Brice’s social class, she certainly keeps my son on his toes. But a marriage is just what Brice needs--even if it’s all a ruse--to show him that not all relationships should be left behind. And that he might need to give love at chance after all.



Blurb—
Suzanne Rose never intended for Brice Van Sant to drink a cup of her homemade herbal shampoo.  And she certainly didn’t expect an impromptu marriage proposal from the hunky CEO.

After an incredible wedding night, Brice wakes unable to remember his bride’s name or why he proposed.

Too late they realize the bright blue shampoo is responsible. Almost like...a love potion!

Brice doesn’t believe in love. But as chief executive of the area’s largest pharmaceutical company, he needs that formula. He strong-arms Suzanne into reproducing it for him, demanding that she pretend they are happily married until it’s recovered.

As Suzanne struggles to remember the shampoo’s ingredients and forget their perfect wedding night, she finds herself falling for her husband. Can she convince Brice that love is a chance worth taking before she loses her heart to him forever?

Excerpt—
She smiled, and Brice felt the warmth go straight through him. She had a home-town, girl-next-door look that somehow made a man forget things he was better off remembering. Like the promises Brice had made to himself when his father left. Like the fact that if he made love to Suzanne again it would be disastrous for everyone involved.
Let her go, his internal voice commanded.
Brice’s legs started to move, his feet taking step after step until he reached her side.
“I had fun,” she replied.
Tell her goodnight. And walk away.
“You’re a natural,” he said instead. “You should play more often.”
“Maybe I will.”
He could see questions in her eyes, questions he didn’t want to answer.
Without permission from his brain, his hand reached up and loosened the towel covering her hair. Damp, copper-colored curls, sprang free from their confinement and bounced across his fingers. “Maybe you will,” he repeated.
Turn away. And whatever you do, don’t kiss her.
“Tell me to stop,” Brice demanded in a husky whisper as his head lowered closer and closer toward her luscious mouth. “Tell me.”
“I can’t,” she said and raised her lips to meet his.
Brice could no more prevent the kiss than he could re-route the sun. The caress was destiny or fate or serendipity. Kismet. It was out of his control. Never before had anything taken such complete command of his mind and body. Nothing except for a cup of blue shampoo and its redheaded maker who haunted his every waking moment.


Author Bio—
               Amie loves nothing more than a good book.  Except for her family…and maybe homemade tacos…and shoes.  But reading and writing are definitely high on the list. 
               Fun and contemporary, whimsical and sexy Amie’s novels are true love stories with a guaranteed happy ending. 
               Born and bred in Mississippi, Amie is a transplanted Southern Belle who now lives in Oklahoma with her deputy husband, their genius son, a spoiled cat, and one very hyper beagle.
               When she's not creating quirky characters and happy endings, she’s chauffeuring her prodigy to  little league baseball games, guitar lessons, and boy scout meetings. She also loves gardening, cross stitching, and generally anything that can get her out of housework.
Amie is a member of RWA and an award winning author. You can reach her at  amielouellen@gmail.com, at her website & blog www.amielouellen.com