Tag Archives: romance

Only a Few More Days to Win

Memorial Day Flags

Image by eddiecoyote via Flickr

Happy Memorial Day

So many have fallen in the name of freedom. Thank you to those who’ve given everything, and to those who continue to give in our armed services. One day isn’t enough to say thank you!

In addition to remembrance ceremonies today, Memorial day is the unofficial start to the American Summer. Grills all across the country will be fired up today, cooking everything from hamburgers to fish, vegetables to watermelon (we’re going to try that today). We probably won’t eat outside, but are planning a picnic-style spread, nonetheless.

Another Memorial Day tradition is, of course, a sale. And All Romance eBooks is doing just that. Through the end of today, they’re offering a 50% rebate on ALL PURCHASES. This means that when you purchase Whirlwind at allromanceebooks.com, you’ll get 50% of the purchase price returned in the form of a rebate! Half price…who doesn’t love that?

But FREE is Better!

Only a few more hours are left in the Share the Wealth Giveaway! Winner gets their pick of 5 books from the following list, one runner up gets 2 (along with signed copies of Whirlwind for both winners). US addresses only.

Which would you pick? Remember, a comment on this, or any of my May posts, counts as an entry. Winners will be selected on June first.

Those Who Fight Monsters: Tales of Occult Detectives by Justin Gustainis
This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
Skinny-Dipping by Connie Brockway
Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard
The Guy Next Door by Lori Foster
Malice (New Orleans #6) by Lisa Jackson
Mad about the Duke (Bachelor Chronicles, #7) by Elizabeth Boyle
How to Woo a Reluctant Lady (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #3) by Sabrina Jeffries
Brimstone Kiss (Delilah Street #2) by Carole Nelson Douglas
Healing Dr. Fortune by Judy Duarte
Poisoned Kisses (Harlequin Nocturne, #98) by Stephanie Draven
Knight of Passion (All the King’s Men #3) by Margaret Mallory
Nowhere Near Respectable (Lost Lords, #3) by Mary Jo Putney
Senseless by Mary Burton
Eve of Chaos (Marked, Book 3) by S.J. Day
Blue Diablo (Corine Solomon, #1) by Ann Aguirre
Face of Danger (The Guardian Angelinos, #3) by Roxanne St. Claire
Killer Heat by Brenda Novak
The Panic Zone by Rick Mofina
The Vampire Voss (Regency Draculia #1) by Colleen Gleason
Coming Undone (Brown Siblings, #2) by Lauren Dane
Murder in Vein (Fang-in-Cheek Mystery, #1) by Sue Ann Jaffarian
It’s Hotter In Hawaii (Men of Hawaii #2) by HelenKay Dimon
Southern Comfort by Fern Michaels
No One Heard Her Scream by Jordan Dane
Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8) by J.R. Ward
A Little Bit Wicked (Last Man Standing, #1) by Victoria Alexander
Weddings Can Be Murder by Christie Craig
Body Language by Suzanne Brockmann
Bitten (Women of the Otherworld) by Kelley Armstrong

Both winners also receive an autographed copy of Whirlwind.

Watch for many more giveaways coming in June during the Whirlwind Blog Tour.

Meet an Author Monday

Check out what other authors are chatting about today. Whether you’re a reader or a writer, there’s a lot of great stories out there!

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop


Filed under giveaway, Holidays

Which First? The Book or the Movie?

With the release of the movie, Water for Elephants, I was faced with the new-age chicken-and-egg question: Do I read the book or watch the movie first?

Over the years, I’ve seen many movies made from books I’ve read. The first one I think I can remember is Shirley Temple’s version of The Little Princess. I’d read the book, and I remember picking out the differences, especially the ending. There have been many more books I’d read made into movies since then – Patriot Games, The Bourne Identity, The Da Vinci Code and Twilight, just to name a few. What I’ve learned is that movie versions of books can be very entertaining, but should be viewed as separate entities. They are not, nor can they be, twins. In some cases, a book and its movie counterpart can be seen as siblings, in others, it’s hard to tell if the two are related at all. But that doesn’t mean each isn’t entertaining.

There have been cases where I saw the movie before reading the book – most notably for me, the first three Harry Potter movies. I wasn’t particularly interested in reading the HP books at first (probably because my kids were too young to appreciate them at the time), but I did enjoy the movies. After seeing the third movie (which I loved – don’t hate me), I read the fourth book. I then went back and read the first three, and have picked up the remaining books of the series when they came out – before the movies. Again, I enjoyed both print and film versions, even though they were different, and am looking forward to the movie conclusion to that series.

So, what to do about Water for Elephants? I had the book (thanks, Jenn!), but didn’t have a lot of time to read it before our family movie night on Saturday. I did get a few chapters in, though, and got a feel for the voice and the story, which I liked. When faced with seeing Prom or Water for Elephants, I opted for the later.  And I loved it.

There are those that have critiqued the acting, but I have to say, the movie was lovely. I especially liked the way the violence implicit in the story was handled. Yes, it was PG-13, but considering some of the horror flicks with that rating, it wasn’t that bad. Even though I’d only read a bit of the book before seeing the movie, I could see where some changes had been made, but I also recognized some dialog lifted directly from the manuscript. It was a very good blend, from what I could see.

I do intend to finish the book, by the way – it’s my “carrot” for finishing my next chapter’s worth of writing. I’ll be looking for that part of the story I didn’t see in the movie, including more about present-day Jacob. But I’m glad I got to see it when I did.

What do you think? Do you always read the book first? Does that set your expectations for the movie? What about vice versa? If you’ve seen the movie first, does the book disappoint, or give you more story than you expected? Remember, your comment gets you entered in the Share the Wealth Giveaway.

And whether you’ve read Water for Elephants or not, I highly recommend the movie.

Meet an Author Monday

Be sure and check out Meet an Author Monday, hosted on the lovely Lisa Sanchez’s blog. Just click on the photo below to check out what other authors are blogging about. Are you an author? Join the hop with us and meet new readers!

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop


Filed under giveaway, Reading

Committing a Criminal Act: Forensics 101

I highly recommend this for anyone including crime in their writing

When I sat down to listen to D.P. Lyle lecture for two hours on forensics for writers, I made sure I was on the aisle so I could duck out if I started to nod off. Now, I love science and have watched a ton of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, so I wasn’t sure I’d get too much out of the workshop. But Lyle is an entertaining speaker with his hint of Southern drawl and quick wit, and his interpretation of the science of forensics is definitely what I needed as a writer. Here’s just a few things I picked up.

Gil Grissom isn’t waiting in the wings

The lecture started out with one fact overlooked by many authors: there isn’t a high-tech crime lab in every city. Yeah, I know, DUH. But stop and think a second. That means that if I wanted a character to get a DNA profile on blood found at a scene in a tiny little town, they’d have to send it out to a larger lab, probably the FBI. When would they get the results back? MONTHS later. Is this a good thing? Depends on your story line – but as a writer, knowing what’s real and what’s not is priceless.

Forensic scientists don’t interview witnesses or carry guns in the real world, they analyze evidence. I’d guess most do wear lab coats, though.

Coroner vs. Medical Examiner

Did you know that anyone can be a coroner? No medical experience or forensics knowledge is required for a position with the title coroner. The person must only be appointable or electable! Remember that blood drop in the tiny town? If they only had a coroner, the guy might be a garbage man who just happened to be around when the mayor needed to appoint someone. Wow – does that open some doors plot-wise. Maybe it closes a few, too.

A Medical Examiner (ME) is another story. As suggested by the title, some medical experience is required, and quite possibly some training in forensic science. When faced with the blood drop, I’m guessing he’d have a few more ideas about what it means and what to do with it than the local trash man.

As always, there are exceptions to the rule, but I’d never considered the difference before.

Time of Death

Something I took for granted was estimating the time of death. Things like rigor mortis, lividity, body temperature – those are all indicators that make it easy to pin down the time of death, right? Um, sort of. Temperature, whether the body was moved, humidity, weather…those are just a few of the variables that affect how long it takes for rigor or lividity to set in. In short, unless there’s some other definitive evidence is found (like an eyewitness or in the case of my book, Whirlwind, the pre-programmed sprinklers coming on), a window of a few hours for the time of death is pretty darn good. For a body found in the woods days or weeks after death, the estimate may be just that: a range of days or weeks.

Two tenets of evidence became very clear, very early in the workshop. First was Locard’s Exchange Principle. Basically, when two objects come into contact, there will be an exchange of matter, each leaving a trace of themselves on the other. This applies to objects, animals, and people. Everything leaves a trace.

Second is the idea that evidence, by and large, excludes, rather than incriminates. If our friend the blood drop turns out to be type A, then everyone who is not type A is excluded. The DNA profile will exclude everyone who doesn’t match – but if your suspect has an identical twin, then there will be at least two people with that DNA. (Fun fact: did you know that even though identical twins have indistinguishable DNA, they don’t have the same fingerprints?)

This is just a little snippet of the information covered in this workshop. Lyle discussed everything from DNA to poison to gunshots to search warrants to search patterns to fibers. I stayed for the full two hours, and when it was over, went directly to the bookstore and purchase D.P. Lyle’s book, Howdunit Forensics. More comprehensive than his more recognizable title, Forensics for Dummies, Howdunit Forensics will sit next to my Chicago Manual of Style as one of my favorite reference books.

Meet an Author Monday

Be sure and check out Meet an Author Monday, hosted on the lovely Lisa Sanchez’s blog. Just click on the photo below to check out what other authors are blogging about. Are you an author? Join the hop with us and meet new readers!

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop


Filed under Writing Craft

RT Day Three

…aka The Grind. After two days of convention, exhaustion was setting in. And yet we all managed to get up in time for the Kensington mixer…and free Mimosas. Thankfully they were weak, otherwise I think I would’ve just gone back to bed!

That would’ve sucked, too, because I would’ve missed Lisa’s raffle win. She won a basket – well, collander – full of books and baking goodies. Check it out on her site, http://calicheermom.com.

The first workshop of the day was Peeling Away the Layers of Romantic Suspense. The premise was to analyze the movie Body Heat but ended up being a great discussion of pacing and dialog in suspense novels. Cherry Adair is awesome, and I made a point of finding her at the Book Fair. But that’s not until Day 4…

The following workshop, Plotting and Setting Your Mystery, was a little dry, and spent a fair amount of time discussing pantsters versus plotters – something that wasn’t new for me. Yes, I took off early…but I didn’t want to be late for lunch with my publisher.

It was a treat to have lunch with Omnific owner, Elizabeth Harper, and Acquiring Editor, Lynette McCann. More than professional acquainances, Elizabeth and Lynette and I go back quite a ways, and I was fortunate to be able to renew our friendship at RT.

Also joining us was another Robin, an aspiring writer and online friend. I love meeting the people I’ve encountered online, and especially someone so nice who has such a great name! 🙂

After lunch, the plan was to drop off the books I had for sale at the Expo and catch another workshop, but things were a little disorganized. Instead, I waited in line a lot longer than I’d planned. Rather than crash the workshop halfway through, I went back to our room and freshened up before collecting the rest of the stuff for my table at the Expo. A half-hour before the Expo, the three of us headed back down, and got ready for the crowd.  Here’s my table at the Expo:


The Expo itself was FANTASTIC! It was a pleasure to be seated between authors Jess Dee and Genella DeGrey, and we traded goodies and laughs throughout the Expo.

And that was the point of the Expo, I feel: to connect with people. Readers, writers (both published and aspiring), publishers, booksellers, agents, promoters…all kinds of people stopped by. My sparkly ribbon bookmarks seemed to be pretty popular, and the avenue through which I introduced everyone to Whirlwind. The highlight of the Expo was when Erin Quinn bought a copy of my book – she’s a NY Times Bestselling Author! Thanks, Erin, for supporting a budding author!

After two hours of talking in a large, noisy room, Lisa, Killian and I decided to skip the Avon mixer (which I heard was great with margaritas), in favor of a quiet dinner of Chinese food. Orange Chicken never tasted so good – and it was nice to give our voices a rest!

The day ended with the Vampire Ball. Having never gone to an RT convention before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The entertainment was a skit that was sort of a parody of a variety show and was a little hard to follow. The best part was we shared a table with Mr. Romance contestant DeLonn, an actor and model who was also very funny and of course, smokin’ hawt! Wicked Little Pixie has a photo and bio of DeLonn HERE. DeLonn, you rock!

We did score even more books at the Vampire Ball, adding to our hoard. Tomorrow I’ll show you the loot…it’s a sight worth seeing!

Leave a comment

Filed under On the Road

March Madness


Image via Wikipedia

Can you believe it’s March already? Okay, not till tomorrow, but wow, has the year been flying by! I keep waiting for things to calm down around me, but they never seem to. Which brings me to today’s title.

March Madness for me has nothing to do with basketball, but everything to do with writing. The last year was devoted to publishing and marketing, and writing took a back seat. NO MORE! My madness revolves around my goal of getting the first draft of my next book completed, and thanks to my dear critique partner, I’m being held accountable to that deadline.

So if you don’t see me around as much, don’t despair – it means good things are happening!

Win a Copy of Whirlwind in March

Are you as tired of winter as I am?  How about a little spice and romance to welcome spring?  I’m giving away FOUR copies of Whirlwind in March on Goodreads and LibraryThing (yup, I’m on LibraryThing now!).  Sign up now and you could get your copy of Whirlwind for FREE!

First up:  Goodreads.  Two copies are up for grabs during the first half of March. Winners will be selected on March 14th.  You must be a Goodreads member (FREE) to enter.

Meet an Author Monday

Whether your a reader or a writer, there’s a lot of great information and fun on the Hop. Check it out!

Meet an Author Monday

Click here for the Author hop

1 Comment

Filed under giveaway, Writing Craft