Monday, July 31, 2006

Dreaming of 17

This morning I dreamed I pulled the Jeep into a very old looking gas station with those boxy-looking vintage gas pumps from the 1970s. The kind that look almost like the old cigarette vending machines.

The station itself was a bit scraggly, but it was quite busy regardless and the customers were very fast moving. I was a bit slow off the mark, and by the time I climbed out of the Jeep to start pumping the gas this woman in what looked like the red Corsica I used to drive zipped in behind me and said to an attendant: "I'll have ten dollars worth on that pump there." She pointed and I thought, um, lady, that's the pump I'm about to use. Instead of calling her a cow and telling her she'll have to wait her turn, I decided I'd try to hurry about things--never mind the fact I don't have an attendant waiting on me.

As old as the pumps looked; however, they were very modern. They took credit cards and cash right there and I'm thinking--ah ha! I'll just feed money into the pump and be out of here quick.

Wrong answer. First I tried to give the pump a $100 dollar bill, but since I had bunched all my money into this tiny change purse the bill was too crumpled and the machine spit it out. Typical! So I fished around and this time found a $17 dollar bill (no email, please, I do realize there is no such thing :P). The $17 bill is not crumpled up and such, it looks brand spanking new so I decide I'll use it instead. But as I go to feed it into the pump, I see the fine print (don't you hate that?) on the machine... The pump only takes 5s, 10s, and 20s!!! *add your own string of expletives here*

I realize at this point I'm going to have to go into this busy store and get change to use the freaking gas pump. I turn toward the store and see there is a line of people waiting at the counter. By this time I'm all jittery and anxious because I'm holding things up...

**NOTE** While writing this, it's strange but I realized that as anxious as I was in the dream, no one cared that I was holding things up but me. No one was yelling, or throwing things at me. And the people in line in the store didn't seem bothered by the fact they had to wait in line. They were just doing their own thing. *_*

Okay, I guess that's enough poking around in my subconscious mind this morning. Someone point me toward the coffee.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Don't Go Chasing Unicorns

It's very early. I've been awake since 3 AM with the baby, and my knees are killing me.

We had a full day yesterday. Hubby, the kids, and I went to Antique Alley and browsed around a while. I was looking for these certain little finger bowls to replace the lost china pieces in my wedding set, but they no longer had the set at the particular store I had seen them in before. I guess someone else lost all their finger bowls too. ^_^

Ah well, it wasn't a total loss. We dropped by Books A Million on our way back through the college end of town, and I bought a copy of Sexy Beast, by Kate Douglas. (It's actually an anthology but I don't have it nearby to get all the names off the cover and I'm a lazy slackass not about to go digging around for it at 5 AM pre-coffee. So bear with me...)I was browsing the book once I got back in the Jeep and noticed the freebie excerpt at the back (yes, I read those things!), and saw it was Undressing Mercy by Deanna Lee--my publisher boss at Cobblestone Press. Pretty cool, no? I thought it was, especially since I wasn't expecting it.

On the way home, I rode in the back with the baby and let the guys have the front seats. I did as much writing as I could, and did some proofing on the sheets of Wicked Temptation that I brought with me. It didn't seem like I managed a lot at the time, but when I got home I noticed I had something like 5 pages worked up. *booty dance* I also figured out the problem with chapter four and made a ton of notes to direct me in fixing it tomorrow--erm, later today. (Caffeine, please!) I'll have only one more chapter to write after that--the ending chapter. The others in between are finished and only need to be proofed and reproofed, and probably clipped and snipped and edited. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. :P

Oh, before I forget... I got my release date for Bonding Experience the other day. It's scheduled to be out August 18th! :)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bones, Chains, and Toothpicks

Oi, what a day! It's been raining on and off, the power flickering just enough to make my heartstop because I've got my wip open. I've been trying to work on Wicked Temptation as much as possible, but there's no caffeine in the house and I have a shrieking headache. :P I managed to rip apart one scene that was giving me problems, but I'm thinking is going to cost me more time than I actually have to fix it. I decided that once hubby gets home I'm going to print the whole thing and work on the last three chapters. I'll skip that one scene until I'm finished with everything else. It's the only way.

Tomorrow hubby definitely has to work, so there goes my major writing day for the week. I'll have to try and make it up on Sunday, when I know for sure he'll be off. If I get this thing finished by Aug. 1st, it will be a miracle.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Moving Right Along

I am applying my bootay to the comp chair today and I'm going to shape up Chapter 4 of Wicked Temptation. I thought I'd have the weekend to wip polish, but now hubby is talking about how he may have to work this weekend. Gah! Oh, well, I can't afford to dwell.

I made a list of changes I need to make, and things I need to add to smooth out the edges. It's a smaller list than I had anticipated. I'm glad for that. We'll see how things go with the baby. He goes through days where he doesn't want me on the comp at all...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Bedtime Story

I was going to post a picture of Van Gogh's Starry Night but blogger is being a twat right now and won't upload my picture. Grr...:P Anyway, yesterday was interesting...

First off, I managed to complete my 3rd round of edits for Bonding Experience. I added my dedication, tweaked a few sentences and sent it off. Woohoo! I am so glad to have that over with. This afternoon Rochelle and I went over a few last things and she's going to be sending my work in tonight. Yay! So I should have a release date and a cover before too long.

Now, where was I? Oh, yeah - yesterday. Around noon yesterday I took my copy of The Hunger along with the little Pooh Bear (the baby) to take a nap. I had just got him dozing when I glanced up at this crack in the ceiling tile and saw something move. I stared a minute thinking "am I seeing things?" Oh, no. If only that were the case.... I stared as not one, but two WASPS crept out of the crack between the ceiling tiles and start flying toward the bedroom window.

O.M.G. *_* Anyone who half way knows me, knows I am terrified of wasps. Snakes, scorpions, rats, spiders, two headed cannibalistic vampire mutants... all those things I can handle. But wasps? Uh, hell no. I grabbed the sleeping baby right as two more wasps fly out of the ceiling tiles. I about fell all over myself in my mad dash to get out of there. Eek! Eek! Eek!

I closed the door and left things as it was until hubby came home. I couldn't call him because his cell phone has been on the fritz. I told him about the wasps, and he sent me to the store to buy a can of wasp spray. So off to the store I go. I buy one can of spray and dash back home.

Let me tell you... He sprayed inside and outside the house. As it stands, the spray I bought whomped some wasp bootay, but we are still infested on the eastern end of the house. We're thinking it may take an exterminator to get rid of them all. Last night after things had settled, I kept worrying about the kids. What if they'd been outside and the wasps swarmed down on them? *shudder*

Lovely thought to have on your mind right before bedtime, don't you think? :S

Monday, July 24, 2006

Blogging Freshness!

I decided it was high time I switched to a 3 column blog. I have so many links it was a pain to scroll the page. I needed a way to break it up, so with some help from a few kind ladies at Romance Divas I picked out a snazzy new template. :-)

I still have some tweaking to do and some links to add, but I'm liking this much better. Ah, roominess! *happy*

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

If there is anywhere in the world I would like to go, it's to the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. I remember reading about this place for the first time in the late 1980s... in a fashion magazine, no less. The spread was of a model lounging around in wisps of black chiffon on the hexagonal rocks. The pictures were all in black and white, and it was breathtaking. Not the model. The scenery. I was 13 at the time and I could have cared less what the shoot was for. I can't even picture the models face. But the landscape... that's another story. I wanted to go to the place in those pages. I had discovered someplace magical.

I still haven't had the pleasure of traveling to Ireland, although a part of me gravitates toward the culture. Heh, the fact that I'm half Irish could have something to do with it. ;) If I did go, my journey would not be complete until I'd walked across these very rocks, myself. I can almost imagine selkies crawling out of the sea to rest here for a time...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Little Things Matter

I finished a rug wall hanging for the baby's room yesterday. Until now, he had no pictures up in there. It's a latch hook, nothing major, of a smiley faced sunshine over a rainbow. It matches the colors of his room. I know, I know... by the time he's two or three he's going to have outgrown stuff like this...rainbows, really! But when I saw the kit I wanted to make it for him. When it comes to later on, I can move the rug to another room.

Apparently I was not irrational in my thinking that the effort would count for something, because my teenage son came in to view the rug and thought it was nice. I was surprised he actually liked it. He's into anime and goth stuff, and dragons and what not. But there was a wistful look in his eye that mothers don't miss. Envy. Although he did not say so, I could tell that to him it was the love that went into it that counted, not the actual picture. It was the fact I did this rug for the baby.

I still have edits to do and a book to finish, but I decided after this I will make a rug for my oldest. I honestly didn't think he'd want one, but now I believe he's of the age to appreciate it for what it is. I've already started hunting for a kit that has a tiger or a dragon theme. I think he'd appreciate it even more if I can find something that shows I actually pay attention to his personal interests.

On another note, it's raining again. I better go make sure the windows are zipped on the Jeep.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Calm Seas, Prosperous Voyage

Last night was pleasant. The power didn't flicker, and hubby arrived home with a marguerita for me, and a pizza to cook in the oven. The baby was especially happy to follow daddy around and give me a much needed break. I went to the computer and worked on tying up loose ends on my wip. After that, I checked my email and found my latest round of edits for Bonding Experience have come in.

Edits have been especially tough with this book. As I mentioned in a previous post, I decided to start using Word instead of Works for editing this one. Great googly moogly. To say it's been a challenge to learn is putting it mildly. Learning the reviewing plane and how to get the damn thing to accept changes is probably all the learning I want to do this year. Enough for me. Yuck. But I spent last night browsing editing sites (yes, they actually have those out there) and I think I've got the hang of it. Thank goodness my editor is at least somewhat patient. I wouldn't want to be her, going over my stuff. That's for sure :*>

Anyway, today is my writing day - the day of the week hubby takes the boys out for about two hours so I can brainstorm without someone tugging at my shirttail. While they're all still abed, I've already pulled my notes together, set out my heavily marked manuscript, made a pot of coffee, and did a cleanup on my laptop. As soon as they wake up, let the festivities begin.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

It Strikes Twice

Yesterday at around 6:30 PM we had a freak thunderstorm pass through. I say freak, because it blew up suddenly, pelted us with hail, sheets of rain that blew down tree limbs and powerlines, then was quickly over.

I was home with the boys when it hit, and after the first five minutes of rain knew the lights were going to go out. Again. This is only like the second time in a month. And sure enough...

It's been so incredibly hot here. I live in Louisiana, and there's a saying: if the heat doesn't get you, the humidity will. It's true. Yesterday when this storm hit, we'd been having 100 degree weather. There have been advisories out for people to stay indoors under fans and air conditioning, because with the humidity and all that weather man stuff, blah - blah, the heat index makes it feel like 115 outside. Well, of course this is the day the lights go out!

As soon as the lights went out, I opened the dining room window and the front door to catch the breeze. It starts getting stuffy too quickly to do otherwise. It's thundering, lightning; rain is sheeting into the house... I'm having to lay down towels at the foot of the doors and windows, and the baby keeps running over the towels playing on them. He's excited because of the "shower" coming through the window, but at one point he turns to run from towel to bare floor and slips. He falls flat on his back and hits his head. HARD. We have cement floors. Ouch! I picked him up and huggled him and kissied boo boos, and once he stopped crying I decided I would have to stick baby in the play pen while the rain is going on. What other choice do I have? It's too darn hot to sit with no a/c and the doors and windows closed. So, in the play pen baby goes.

And thus the whining begins... *_*

Hubby arrived home about 15 minutes late because of all the rain, but I tell you, it felt like hours. The baby was screaming, I had a screaming headache, I was hot, and according to the automated "outage report" number, we were going to be without power til 2 AM. I convinced hubby to get in the car and take a drive to Sonic. At least in the car we'd have air conditioning!

The oldest didn't want to change out of his old smelly lounging clothes, so he stayed home on the promise of an Extra Long Cheese Coney and an Ocean Water. He said he'd call us if the lights came on. So off hubby, the baby and I went.

We got the call right as we were leaving the restaurant that the lights were back up. By that time it's around 8:30 PM. That was one of those calls that feels like you just won the lottery. I couldn't wait to get back home.

Talk about a crazy evening. I have to admit, I don't think I could have been one of the dashing heroines in those historical romances... living in those god-awful body encasing dresses with no a/c. *gasp* I'd probably have died of heat exhaustion. Or, I'd have been one of those shameless hussies walking around in short pants and one of those thin ruffle-dy men's shirts of the day. (The not-quite a pirate girl look, arr!) Oh, how I love air conditioning. I was thinking about all this while I was getting into the bath last night. Then I realized it's not even August yet. Summer heat always tends to save the best for last.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stubborn Characters

I spent most of the day wrangling with chapter three of Wicked Tempation. Each book I write tends to have at least one chapter from hell, and for this book, three is it. I started on this chapter yesterday, and I have been fighting it tooth and nail ever since.

There's a bit of dialoge I cannot take out. See, the plot hinges on it. If I take this part out, my story falls apart. But when I rewrote the beginning this past time, it cut out the bridge between the action and this section of dialogue, so now I've got to find a new way to make this scene work.

I've decided this afternoon I'm going to have to add in more dialoge and end chapter two a bit differently. Okay, so it's not the monumental task I thought it was going to be, and it enhances the reason my hero has to be pissed with the heroine. But oi, what a job this has been!

On the bright side, once this chapter is plugged (all the story holes filled in) I'll technically be finished with the book. *angelic music here* With that out of the way I'll be able to focus on polishing for submission.

Bovine Snazziness

Last night I had my oldest offspring go and load the back of my Jeep so I could haul off the trash. This should be my hubby's job, but he has gotten slack about it, and I can't stand to see a bag of garbage sitting out beside the can. So, after said offspring returns from packing my Jeep with trash, I get my keys and go.

Now, I have not gone anywhere in the Jeep in two weeks. I got five feet from the front of our house and realized the gas light is on. What?! I left my Jeep with a FULL tank of gas. $30.00 worth. I look down and it isn't in the red--it's on Empty! I am serious. The needle is parked on the E.

The Jeep starts to sputter so I pulled into a neighbor's driveway, waited for the slowest drivers in all of North America to pass behind me, then promptly turned around and went home. I made it into the yard where the Jeep died on me.

I went back into the house where hubby was watching TV. "I thought you were taking off the trash." I told oldest offspring at this point to go load the trash in daddy's car. Then I turned to hubby and told him my ride was parked on the lawn with no gas. I was not pleasant. I know who ran the gas out of it. Hubby and my oldest recently took my Jeep to the lake for the sole purpose of being able to ride with the top down, and then hubby drove it back and forth to work at least two days last week. You're telling me they didn't pass a freaking gas station, not once? MEN!!! And they have the balls to talk about women drivers?

On a lighter note, I came across this odd cow collector site by accident this morning while looking up pictures of manatees. Actually this site was quite interesting. I don't collect cows, but if I did...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sexy Texas Vampires and Good Chatting

Paraphernalia chat at PNR last night went fantastic! I had a blast. I got there a few minutes after 7 PM central, and discovered that not only were authors Diane Whiteside and Kathleen Dante there, so was Robin D. Owens--author of the novels Heart Mate and Heart Thief. So if you heard a loud "squee!" around 8 PM Eastern/ 7 PM Central, uh, that was me. ^_^

The evening kicked off with a little chat, and our book blurbs. I was a bit nervous with so many blurbs flying around, so I waited until the moderator called on me before I posted mine. The warm reception to Crossing Borders loosened my mood, and afterward I answered a few questions about ebooks and formats; then did a little plugging for Cobblestone. I was very happy with all the positive vibes I received.

I didn't run a contest last night. I'd intended to, but my PR merchandise didn't arrive in time, and since the chat applet was an unfamiliar one, I didn't feel comfy doing the number game for a free download. I couldn't quite keep up! ^_^ However, Kathleen Dante and Diane Whiteside did some fantastic giveaways. I won a copy of The Hunter's Prey, by Diane Whiteside. *shimmy - shimmy - booty wiggle* Sexy Texas Vampires? Hubba, hubba, baby! Count me in! As for my own contest, I'll just have to make up for it here in blogland once my goodies arrive.

Well, I'm off to go work on Wicked Temptation. I need to do some surgery to chapter three.

BTW, the picture above is from the El Yunque rain forest in Puerto Rico. Gorgeous isn't it? I know it's unrelated to the topic, but I was in a rain-foresty mood when I woke up this morning. That reminds me, I need to buy that movie Medicine Man (Sean Connery) on DVD. ^_^

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ebb and Flow

I've been putting a lot of time into blogs lately when really I need to be working. Last night I made tremendous advances, I'm over the 12k mark in Wicked Temptation, but I still have sooo much to do... including getting my second round of edits complete for Bonding Experience. I would have had that finished sooner, but I decided (insanely enough) to try editing it using new software so now I'm fairly pulling my hair out learning this stuff. So anyway, if I'm not out and about visiting this week, it's not because I've fallen off the planet. It's because I'm not distracting myself with other things to keep from accomplishing goals. (In less gentle terms, I'm not slackassing.) Ah, that's the ebb and flow of work for me. I play - I slave. And I admit I bring it on myself. It's the karmic path of who I am.

On another note, I found these lovely pictures of seahorses. There is something about them that draw me. Did you know that seashorses mate for life, and that the male partners give birth to the babies? Amazing. Hormonal men. Can you imagine?

Things To Come

I have a lot of things coming up in the weeks ahead, and thought now would be a good time to list them. For those wanting to participate, keep checking back! I'll likely be adding more dates and such soon.

So far, here are the lastest things I have going:

**PNR Chat: Monday - July 17, 2006 - 8 PM Eastern/7 PM Central
I will be there, along with paranormal authors Brandi Broughton, Kathleen Dante, and Diane Whiteside. This looks like it will be lots of fun! The chat will take place here: PNR AUTHORS CHAT

**Evolution Writers - August, 11-13th, 2006 -
This will be a forum feature.

**Free vampire mini-story read "Wicked Pleasures" - coming in October. This will be a free erotic vampire teaser that ties in with Wicked Temptation. I am still working on this, and it must be sent out for editing once it's completed, so the exact date is not yet concrete. Keep checking back!

**WIN THIS - A new contest coming in August! This one's to kick off the kids going back to school, so moms, stay tuned! I'll be posting on how to win a Crossing Borders coffee mug, yummy Nutella hazelnut chocolate *squee!*, and other cafe goodies in the near future.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Interview at PNR Paraphernalia

This month I am one of the featured authors over at PNR Paraphernalia.

Fellow Midnight Moon Cafe blogmate, and paranormal author Brandi Broughton is also featured.

Be sure to check us out!

Breaking the Mold

It's our differences that make us special, and that goes to say with writers as well as anyone. When I reached the half way point working on Wicked Temptation, I wondered if I should toss in the towel on this one and call it a day. The story is much darker, and more about patching up the past between two lovers than it was about the hot sex... of which there is plenty. :P It's not so action-y as my other stuff and I had to ask myself if this is what I wanted. When I read it, I hear my voice coming through the words so I know it's me. Only different.

What's that old saying? Variety is the spice of life.

I'm happy with my past work, don't get me wrong, but I didn't want to use old ideas or recycled characters for this story. I wanted to do something fresh and completely different from the other stories I'd worked on in the past.

When I started this book it was like a writer's vacation from writing while, um... still actually writing. Then I started to realize just what I was creating--something different from what I'd anticipated, and in response, I tried to fight it. Wrangle it down. Whip it into a shape that fits the mold of my other stories.

In the end, I just couldn't do it. It wouldn't fit. It's a square peg I'm trying to beat into a round hole. Instead of trying to force things, I had to go with the flow and loosen my grip on plotting. That is not only difficult to do, it is scary. You don't want to let your characters get too far away from you, they'll evolve into something completely other than your original intention--whether for better or worse. At this point, I can't afford the evolving character. I'm on a deadline.

So it looks like I'm exploring my own brand of uncharted territory. Stretching my wings. I'll just have to worry about the consequences later. First and foremost, the point is to tell a good story, and not worry about the rest. After all, if we don't break our own mold, how will we ever grow?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Put A Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

It's been a helluva week. Major changes all around me. Oh, and I've got a pulled muscle in my neck--lovely no? I have no idea how I did that. But no matter! I'm on cloud 9 because despite the insanity when I came in to blog this I saw I had a great review up over at Ellis Reviews. That could have sustained me all weekend, but the minute--and I do mean the minute--I got through posting my happy review, I got an email from a friend. She'd been browsing Romance Junkies and spotted another review there. Two reviews. I tell you, I am sighing in contentment right now.

On another note, I cashed my first royalties check today which was awesome. The amount was not so much, but I can honestly say that it didn't matter in the least. The sense of accomplishment was monumental. I have fulfilled a dream. And that feels wonderful.

I plan to crack open a bottle of wine tonight, relax, and work on my vampire manuscript a bit. Oh, and I need to update my meter again. I had a breakthrough when hubby took the baby out to grocery shop this morning--their daddy/son time. I'll probably do that sometime over the weekend, or on Monday. I was thinking this afternoon I'll be happy when Batty gets back online and we can talk shop. She's just moved into a fabulous new house, but the phones and cable and all that isn't hooked up yet. She can only access the net from work and has to be careful about doing that.

Well that's all for now. While hubby is napping, I'm going to go blog hop and try to say hi to as many people as I can. It's Friday, after all. :-)

4.5 Blue Ribbons for Crossing Borders

Romance Junkies has a review up for Crossing Borders!

Here's what they had to say about my book:

CROSSING BORDERS had me on the edge of my seat and kept me there the entire time. The love scenes are so hot, they had me turning up the a/c and running for the ice. Cole is a total alpha male with plenty of attitude to prove it. Laney is the intelligent heroine who intends to give him a run for his money and in the midst of it all is the feud that exists between the families. Cora Zane has penned a tantalizing tale of werewolves and their quest for happiness that will have readers eagerly awaiting her next book.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Angel

Ellis Reviews Likes Crossing Borders!

Yay! What a wonderful way to finish out the week--a new review! This is whatEllis Reviews had to say about Crossing Borders!

Ellis Star Ratings:
Excellent Description
Worth Every Penny
Can't Put Down

Laney answers a wolf’s mating call, with intention of warning him away from the border that links to her brother, Seth's, territory. As she makes her way to where the wolf is, she sees him in human form. It is Cole, someone she has always loved, who went away, leaving her bereft. Seeing him once again, as he had returned to claim her as his mate, emotions rushed in and she knew he was her soul mate.

Seth, having been away with the rest of the pack, returns. Seeing Laney and Cole together resulted in the two male wolves fighting. This scene was very well done and I felt for Laney as she watched the two men she loved fighting. Quick and fast paced, this actually had my heart beating faster, wondering what would happen.

Eventually, Laney has to choose. Her brother and his pack, or Cole.

Cora Zane is most definitely a writer. It's not often I come across someone that wows me to this extent. Crossing Borders was an absolutely fantastic read from start to finish. Crisp, tight prose. Wonderful imagery. Extremely well written. Ms. Zane is someone to watch out for in the future.

Superb. I can’t stress enough how well Ms. Zane writes. Long may she reign at her keyboard.


Permission granted to Ms. Zane to use any exerpt from this review.
posted by M.E Ellis @ 3:30 PM

*happy dance* *booty wiggle* *pompom swishy* *chicken elbows*
Thank you for buying and supporting my book!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Avert Thine Eyes

Last year, before I got published, that was all that mattered to me--getting published. I had my ideas and I wanted to carve my own little niche into literary cyberspace, it didn't matter how big or small. I didn't care or worry about not being liked or getting bad reviews. After all, no matter how bad your writing is, or what you write, there is always some small following to get your back, and I could appreciate this for what it was. I was happy with it. To be and to have, this was my only goal.

Fast forward a few months, and I've signed my first contract and I'm facing the release date for Crossing Borders. As a new writer about to be shoved out of the nest and into the relative unknown of the publishing world, I caved into something I had not even anticipated rearing its ugly head--fear. Fear of being alone in cyberspace with my little book, not being a part of something bigger, not having my voice heard. I realized suddenly I was on my own, standing on a precarious high wire of a situation, and I did not have a safety net.

What did I do in reaction? I tried to create a safety net. I put my trust in something insubstantial, stretched myself too thin, and fell into the promotions blackhole. All these things for something that can't be guaranteed in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I am all about promotion, shameless self-promotion or otherwise. But I believe now I have learned the hard way not to sell your soul for the sake of getting your feet wet. In the end, you just end up with no soul and soggy feet.

Everything is fleeting. Each book is only that. One book. The one after it will be either better or worse than the last. It's the same with safety nets. Each one you create is only good for so many falls and then it weakens and breaks down and you have to replace it. My point is this: when it comes down to it I am responsible for my own writing and my own writing success. If I am accountable to anyone it is to myself and my readers. It's them I should be worried about pleasing anyway--in addition to myself of course. When there is no longer any joy in writing, in seeing the finished product and being able to be proud of it, then why do it?

Last night while I was burning a mediation candle, it occurred to me that the writers with books that I actively look for, those who I really enjoy reading, the ones who I pick up their ebooks as soon as they come out do not put themselves through what I've been doing the last few weeks. I have to actually go out and search for their work. And I do it because I want to hear more from them. They enjoy writing, and so I enjoy reading their work.

When I sit back and think about it, there is no greater compliment I can give a writer than that. I'm not saying I will ever be so good as that, but in the end that's what I want for myself. To be like those who write because they love to write. Because it's what they do. For them, it's not a contest of sales and politics and driving yourself insane trying to book that next promotion to stay one step ahead, but instead they're taking it all in stride and enjoying the process for what it is. With that said, it's time to get my goals back on track.

I'm staring at the end of Wicked Temptation, and breathing a bit easier for it. I've also got the code up for the new joint email newsletter I'm sharing with fellow paranormal authors Tempest Knight and Cassandra Curtis. If you have time, drop by our new group blog and hang out with us for a spell: Midnight Moon Cafe

On another note, I've spent way too much time searching for Caress of a Psychopath at It's been a while since I read any angsty, cannibalistic vampire psycho stories. I need to broaden my horizons.

Well, I'm outta here for now. It's 5 AM. If I get to bed soon I might actually get a little sleep before the sun comes up.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Crossing Borders has been Joyfully Reviewed!!

Yay! I just learned I have a new review up for Crossing Borders. Here's what Joyfully Reviewed had to say:

For the fourth night in a row, Laney Parker hears the mournful cry of a fellow wolf. Scared for the wolf’s safety, she leaves the comfort of her home and goes into the woods to find the wolf and encourage it to leave her brother’s land. What she finds, however, brings back memories of a love lost and Laney isn’t sure she has enough guts to follow her heart; especially where Cole Holbrook is concerned.

Cole Holbrook figures that if Laney Parker doesn’t show tonight then he will return to his pack and forget her. Luck is on his side when he sees her on her brother’s side of the border. She is as beautiful as she ever was and Cole still loves her. Now, if only he can just convince her to take a chance and cross her brother’s boundary and become his mate.

Just when Cole thinks he has her, Laney’s brother Seth complicates things and Cole has a fight on his hands.

Crossing Borders by Cora Zane was a fast paced tale of finding lost love. Unable to mate with Laney two years ago, Cole didn’t give up and I adored his tenacity in making her his mate. While I thought Laney’s loyalty to her brother endearing, my choice would have been quicker and taken a lot less thought. Cole was just that yummy.

Crossing Borders endeared itself to me from the first word. A huge fan of werewolf tales, I was not disappointed. The story flowed and I could picture myself in those woods. Good characterization, great fight scenes and hot loving, what more could a girl want? Crossing Borders whet my appetite for more novels by Cora Zane!

To see the actual review, go here: Crossing Borders Review

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Cat Wears Slippers

I spent the morning catching up on emails and working on the computer. The old one, the desktop--not the laptop. This poor beast has seen better days, probably due to one too many questionable downloads. I cleaned out the files and tried to get it running a bit faster since this is the only comp connected to a printer, but still it's trudging along at a snail's pace.

I sent a copy of Crossing Borders to Romance Divas for review a few day ago, but I had no idea if it had even made it across the wires. Thanks to my comp and AOL, my emails have been vanishing at an alarming rate. I worried about it so I contacted Lisa, who told me they'd received it--much to my relief.

Now to the manuscript. My vampires are not freaking cooperating with me. I'm about to start staking them off if they don't do something, and fast. I'm not anticipating this to be a saga length story, but good grief, get on with it already!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Downward Spiral

I feel drained, like I'm coming down off a serious case of nerves, but it's all good. Hubby's dad and uncle dropped by (not the wifey this time, as I'd thought). They basically wanted to visit with Jay and see the baby.

The visit went surprisingly well. It's the first time father-in-law has visited us here, (we usually go visit him instead) and he seemed genuinely accepting of the house. *much relief* I've always been a pretty good girl, but for some reason no one quite understands, he didn't quite approve of me when hubby and I first got married. That has gotten better over the years, but there are times he kind of reverts into "son, what were you thinking?" mode. Like a few years back when he learned hubby hands his paycheck over to me to cash. I didn't realize this was weird. After all, Jay and I have been married 15 years. It's not like we have any divided assets. Still, his dad had a mega-cow. But I digress...

Everything is back to normal. I haven't accomplished even a paragraph of writing today, although I've managed to fix a few plot holes in my vamp story. The day is kind of shot, but I can deal with that. I'm just glad things went as smoothly as they did.

Not Enough Coffee In The World

There was not enough coffee in the world to prepare me for this morning. I get out of bed, sit down at the comp, and hubby gets a phone call... from his dad who lives in Washington D.C. He's calling to let us know that he and his wife are on the way to our house and get this--they are only about a two hour drive away. *_*

Now let me get this straight. It's Sunday morning, my house is a wreck, there are dishes in the sink, dirty laundry in the bin, the baby hasn't been fed yet, the teen son is still piled up in bed, my hair is dirty, and they are ON THEIR WAY NOW?!?!

It is too early in the freaking morning for this, I can assure you that.
I ran around the house, cleaned, wrangled the kids, had hubby haul off the trash--which should be his job anyway, but he's as much a slackass as I am. Then I stuck my head under the cold tap in the bathroom and shampooed my hair. Voila! It appears we are not quite so slovenly after all. :P

Maybe this afternoon I'll have time to do the writing I intended to do. Why does this shit always happen on the weekend?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Need to Update My Meter

Finally! I'm over the 10k mark on Wicked Temptation. I've been working my butt off all morning on this thing. Today I'll have to print everything out and make notes about where I need to add, change, chop and rewrite. I'm about 60% of the way through the story at this point. At least I think so, unless I missed something vital I haven't realized yet. I'm thinking the story is going to be a little longer than the 12k I initially imagined it to be. Not too shabby. I'll probably have to go buy a new print cartridge before I can do anything editing wise though.

Well, I guess that's it for me. As much as I'd like, no time for slackassing today. Back to work!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My First Review!

Yay! I've been holding my breath, but now I can rest. Finally, I have my first review in for Crossing Borders! Here's what PNR had to say:

"well crafted, captivating characters"

Laney Parker has been left to look after the pack while her Brother Seth, the pack alpha, is away on business. For several nights now she has been annoyed and curiously aroused by the howling of a rogue wolf straying too close to her pack's territory. Trying to avoid any dispute over pack borders, she decides to confront the rogue and comes face to face with her first love; a wolf she has tried hard to forget.

Cole Holbrook has returned to claim his mate, and is determined that nothing will keep him from doing just that. But when the situation takes a violent turn, will Laney be able to choose between her pack and family loyalties, and the love that left her?

CROSSING BORDERS is the engaging debut from author Cora Zane. Ms. Zane has written well crafted, captivating characters; Laney, an innocent yet strong heroine and Cole, a hero who is pure alpha and willing to risk everything to claim what is his. The chemistry between these two is explosive. The plot puts the characters immediately in the thick of things, emotionally and physically, leaving the reader breathless and wanting more. If you are in the mood for a short, intense read, look no further, you won't be disappointed.

© Desiree Gentle
Paranormal Romance Reviews
July 2006

Reviewed by Desiree Gentle
Posted July 6, 2006

*dance, dance* *shimmy, shimmy* *dance, dance* *booty wiggle*
On another note, I finished my 1st round of edits for Bonding Experience this evening. Woohoo!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Jailhouse Gets Empty

I'm about 500 words from meeting today's writing goal. My day got off to a bit of a chaotic start, and I'm gonna use that as a slackass slacker excuse. (Thanks for the new bit of verbiage, there, Kimberly! 8)

At 3:15 AM this morning, my dear hubby goes to leave for work and realizes someone has parked their truck across our driveway, blocking it. (Well it's blocking one end of it, as we have a circle drive.) Not only that, but they've practically plowed down our mailbox. Anyway, dh calls the cops and asks what he should do, because the truck is apparently crashed and abandoned. Well, the cops come out to move the truck and guess what... one look at it, and they know exactly who the truck belongs to! *_* Not a good sign, IMHO.

The guy who owns the truck has a nice little relationship (NOT!) with the cops, and they tell hubby they'll have to tow it because it's blocking the mailboxes. Yeah. Oh, and because they plan to search the truck for drugs once its in impound. Loveliness, no?

Hubby didn't want to leave the house because of this, thinking the guy might come back and accuse me/us/him of doing something to his truck... which, erm, we did. We called the cops to come get it. Well, hubby went on to work, and simply told the kids and I to keep the doors locked. No problem!

Well, offspring #1--who apparently has no common sense whatsoever--answered the door around 1pm today to complete strangers--gee, son, are you braindead?! Erg. Anyway there were two guys outside, and they asked to speak to yours truly. Okay...

I went to the door to get offspring #1 away from it, and here is the guy with the huge arrest record standing on my porch. Wanting to know about his truck. I told him my hubby had found the truck blocking the mailboxes at 3AM and that it had been towed, and that beyond that, didn't know anything else about it--lying bitch that I am. The guy looked kinda pissed(and kinda toasted)--after all, he'd walked "from his uncle's house to get it", and he had a foot in a cast. From there he went on to play 20 questions blah, blah, blah...about who picked it up before explaining to me the truck had run out of gas, and so he coasted it into our mailbox. Gee, you think? I guess he'd been too toasted last night to use the FREAKING BREAKS. *Sigh*

The guy and his brother finally left, but I have to admit, I've been kinda paranoid for the rest of the day. Let's just hope these losers are not vindictive, because I swear if anything mysterious should happen to my Jeep in the middle of the night...

Well, let's just be nice and say I'd hate to have to break out some wicked voodoo on someone...[[Blogger is being a pain and not loading my pic that goes here!]]

Last minute thought... The guy said his truck was out of gas, and yet he arrived in my yard to pick it up without a can of gas. Okay. Now I know the guy was just stoned and ran into the mailbox and left the truck.

Ugh, I guess you can all see why I'm not a mystery writer.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy July 4th and Romancing the Vampires

Happy July 4th, everyone! Hubby, the kids, and I celebrated with hotdogs, watermelon, and phone calls to the rest of the family. It was really low key, and I liked that alot. Hubby's been off work since Friday, but we've done so much family stuff the past few days, I didn't get much writing in. Since he's going back to work tomorrow, I spent the majority of the day writing and trying to catch up--which is exactly what I wanted (and needed) to be doing. I'm about half way through with Wicked Temptation now, much to my relief. I've never tried to write a salable draft on such short notice before. It's a bit nerve wracking to say the least!

Tomorrow it's back to the grind. I've been trying to plot all afternoon so I'm not lost the next time I sit down in front of the comp. What's that old saying about maximizing your potential? I can't afford to do any more screen-staring like I've been doing lately.

Anyway, I took a moment to hop around to a few blogs and I saw Shelli's review for Tourist Attraction is up over at Literary Sass. Congrats on the to-for two shots, Shelli! You earned it. Those sassy bitches are tough! :P

Well, it's back to work!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hot Reads for July 4th!

Firefighter, Aaron Montana, doused flames for a living. But would country music singer, Bailey Carson, be the one to cause an inferno he couldn't extinguish? He'd been burned in relationships one too many times, but something in Bailey's voice soothed him more than the smoothest whiskey. So why was he still sitting in his usual spot at the back table drooling in his bourbon, and going home alone?

Bailey Carson would struggle for what she wanted with her last breath. Little did she know the man of her fantasies could take her breath away with one brush of his lips.

Dimitri, Russian pimp premiere and third prince of the Conglacio, has been watching a beautiful white blonde working girl in his territory from afar for a long time. He’s set up a liaison with her, under false pretenses, to make her an offer she won’t be able to resist.

Will she bargain her soul for everything she’s ever wanted or will she stay in the hell she’s created for herself?

Congrats, Mia, for the fantastic review you received for Burning Down Nash Vegas! You go, girl!

I also recently read Bargain By Starlight, and the characters in this book are nothing short of ground breaking. This is a book is like nothing else out there, and the good news is, it's part of a series! For hardcore romance fans who like their books dark!

Are We There Yet?

I stayed up late last night and worked on my opening chapter for Wicked Temptation. I'm a little over 7k words into it now, and needed to shape up the beginning. Although the vampires are quite frisky, it's more serious. Darker, I guess. I hadn't intended that. I know it's supposed to be for Halloween, but I had meant it to have a more party-party type theme. Oops.

BTW, I got my first royalties statement in this morning, and it was surreal to look at it. I'm not making a lot of money, but the point that struck me is I am a paid writer. How cool is that?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Got My Editor

Yay! I just got word of my editor assignment for Bonding Experience. *dance, dance* I'll be working with Rochelle Weber. I'm looking forward to it! :)

Hippos Heart Me

Hubby and I took the kids to the zoo yesterday. As I walk up to the hippo tank, this animal lifts it's head, looks right at me, and starts swimming across the tank right in my direction. The big girl stops right at the grate, lifts her head out of the water and gives me a big open mouthed smile. *_* I guess I must look like someone who feeds her.

On another note, I think I found place to put unruly children...

Yep. That's my son out there with the prairie dogs. :P

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Vote For Me at Fallen Angel Reviews

Susan pointed out that there is a list of authors up for July over on the home page of Fallen Angel Reviews. I dropped by to vote and saw my name on the list. All I can say is WOW. I had no idea!

If you have a moment, please drop by to vote for me.