Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Is this the year I buy a signed poster of 'Girls Night Out' by Will Moses?

I already own a copy of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" which Washington Irving wrote and Moses illustrated and I love it!  In fact, I'll read and enjoy it again later today, after sunset - should make it even more spooky.  Moses' Sleepy Hollow led me to purchase his "The Night Before Christmas" and "Silent Night".  There's something about his style, folk art, that suits the stories he's chosen to illustrate, but also his standalone pieces - hence wanting 'Girls Night Out'.

Who knows, maybe after indulging in the one for you [trick or treaters] and one for me style of handing out candy, I'll press that buy button on a Chocolate high.

'Girls Night Out' is good fun!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Have You Ever...

Have you ever watched a wedding video [of which you'd attended the wedding] with the people whose wedding it was and thought:  Oh my, did I really do that?

I'm not a bad person, nor someone you shouldn't take out in public for fear of what they might do, but I watched a wedding video and was shocked by my behavior.  What I saw wasn't a shock because I had seen photos of the two incidents, but there was something about watching it play out before me that was the surprise.

What did I do?

Honestly, it wasn't that bad, but I am embarassed to know people will watch that video and see my bad behavior.  Okay, enough delaying, here it is:  there were two incidents during the wedding when I was caught drinking a Coke.  Throw back the head and get every last drop straight Coke from the delightful bright red can.  The first sighting was in the church itself.  I must have realized what I'd carried in with me and had no time to ditch it, so hid it under the seat, but drank from it during the ceremony [a long one if I remember correctly] and was caught on video multiple times.  The second one was during the vast amount of photos, outside the church, in the attached cemetary.  That one I don't feel too bad over because I had a companion, an ederly woman, who was trying to hide the fact she was smoking, and we both were both caught ducking behind gravestones to hide our sins.

I think the videographer should've edited the footage a bit better, there was no need to have those moments left for generations to come to view.

Am I ashamed at my younger self's antics?  Kind of, but it was Coke!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Movie Talk!

Recently we've watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Revolver and there were a few similarities that struck me - not that I realized that at the time I placed them in our Netflix queue.

Both were older flicks, if 2005 should be considered old.  Both were unexpected gems, although the former starts Jason Statham which makes it a thumbs up for me [although his having hair seemed odd, I like him bald].  Both were pseudo violent and yet mentally entertaining with great plots.  Basically, the cutie and I agreed, they were both great movies and worth the time spent watching them.

Ray Liotta plays a bad guy in Revolver and it was, possibly, my favorite character of the year!  Honestly, freaky funny-violent villan, that was who he played and did it so well.  Val Kilmer was the surprise for me as a gay private investigator in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Snatch is here waiting for us to watch, although I think The Girl Who Played with Fire might be next.  The Steig Larsson books were great and the first flick [Swedish] was good, so why not go with what's entertaining?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hump Day Reflections

Yesterday I wrote about Current WIP Stuff [for Missing] and offered a smallish picture of Ivan Scannell [picture by David Vance] as it had some part to play in the heroes character development.  Today being hump day, Wednesday, I thought I'd share the three photos I found that are, well, nothing short of inspiring.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Current WIP Stuff

What do they mean?

These pictures of a Southern California beach, stand up paddle boarder, and Universal Studios showcase some big aspects found in my current work in progress, Missing in Paradise.

There's always plots racing through my head begging for attention, but the one I'm working on sits front and center until the fini is written.  One of the things I do before I delve into the meat of the writing [as in write it all out and then go back, layer by layer, and work through the various strands] is collect images to represent qualities of the person, place, or thing involved.  It's a good way to remember all the nooks that come to mind.  Not all of them stay and some may end up in another story - I won't force something into place merely because I liked it, readers would be able to recognize that and I'm sure wouldn't be happy.

So, want a few hints on the main characters themselves?

Okay, I can share a bit.

Now I'm sure you can guess, but I'll say it anyway, these pics are for the hero. A gentleman called Ivan Scannell [photo taken by David Vance], a rather naked Tommy Lee, and a grammy.

And these pictures highlight the heroine. There's Giada De Laurentiis, Padma Lakshmi, and a studio audience.

Fun times!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Naughty Thought for Monday

There I was doing research for a contemporary short I'm working on while watching my favorite football [British football] team beat another and this was an image that popped up.  Can't tell you why, but considering I'm going for a mamogram and sonogram tomorrow, it seemed appropriate to share here today.

A boobie pin chusion.

Thank you Craftastrophe.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Want a Kindle? What about eBooks?

If the answer was yes, then you should enter the Samhellion Spook-a-palooza!

It's on now through the 31st, so go here, and start playing!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Put Your Thinking Caps On, It's Contest Time!

There you are sipping whatever you fancy while sitting face-to-face with your favorite author, dead or alive.  Fabulous!  So exciting!  You and so-and-so are enjoying the moment.  You're both relaxed and laughing, and it dawns on you that you could slip in that one question you always wanted to know the answer to - what is it?

What do you want to know and who do you want to know it from?

Tell me in the comments, be creative, and have fun doing it!  Ask as many as you want, as long as they're different authors - we all have more than one we'd die to know something from and here's you chance to ask.  Everyone will go into a bowl and I'll have the cutie pull a name on Saturday [October 23].  Don't forget to make sure I have a way to reach you if you're the winner by putting a contact addy in with your question.

Up for grabs is a box stuffed full of goodies from this September's Authors After Dark event waiting to find a new home, so start asking those questions! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Funny!

I had a flat tire on I-75 yesterday, so I pulled over, got out of the car and opened my trunk.

I took out my cardboard men, unfolded them and stood them at the rear of my car facing oncoming traffic. They look so lifelike you wouldn't believe it!

Just as I had hoped, cars started slowing down looking at the men which made it much safer for me to work on the side of the road!

People honked and waved, and it wasn't long before one of Florida 's Finest pulled up behind me.

He wanted to know what the heck I was doing, so I calmly explained that I was changing my flat. He told me he could see that, but demanded to know what the heck my cardboard men were doing standing at the rear of my car.

I couldn't believe he didn't know....SO I told him....

Well DUH....I explained to the angry trooper....

They're my Emergency Flashers!!!!


Tee he he, S did it again - knee slapping good fun!  Thanks darlin'!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Are you kidding me?

I like art.

Besides being of visual interest, it's an expression of someones creativity, unique viewpoint, and should be celebrated. And yet there is no guarantee everyone will like the same thing. For this shocked rant let's think of a painting like a book. Loads of people enjoyed Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series and I'm just not interested enough to pick one up - might some day if they're in ebook. Actually, if someone had given me a copy of the first one, I would bet that book would be sitting on one of my shelves, gathering dust.


If that signed 1st edition was worth $300m, it wouldn't be consigned to oblivion!

Did you guys hear about this?

Someone had what might be an original unfinished Michelangelo sitting behind their couch for the last 27 years after a stray tennis ball knocked it off the wall.*

Are you kidding me?

Even if you don't like the thing, sell it, or donate it to someone who might - don't let it sit behind a couch getting dirty and risk damage.  Even if it isn't a Michelangelo, the painting was someones hard work, appreciate it!

*=details and picture from

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

eBook Talk!

Sometimes I buy something to read based on the cover or becauase it's by an author I enjoy - yes, I can be that shallow in my reading choices.  Sometimes, although very rarely, I buy something to read based on the title - right now, I can only think of one, but I'm willing to admit I might have chosen others by this way.  And then there are those times when it all combines into one purchase.

PhotobucketLet me back up a bit.  Not too long ago a friend of mine emailed me and said she'd been published.  I was thrilled for her and immediately demanded an excerpt to place here on my Hot Thoughts blog then rushed over to her publisher to buy the ebook.  It sat on my cybershelf for about a month, maybe two, because life was seriously hectic and I wanted to give it my full attention.  Then, when I had a break, I promised myself to carve out the time to read it and here's what I thought of Best Little Spin Wash in Texas by April Morelock.

Two words:  Simply Delightful!

That's what is still sitting with me when I remember Morelock debut ebook.  The story has a great twist to it, which I personally enjoy, wonderfully well fleshed out characters - both major and minor, the sex was hot and fun, yes fun!, and the pace is what makes Best Little Spin Wash in Texas work perfectly.

Trust me when I say I will never look at a laundromat the same way.  Oh wait, did I mention John St. James is the perfect man, not just physically - although he is most definitely hotter than hot, but also in respect to the minor characters they come across?  And did I tell you all that Molly Timmons is one smart lady who goes after what she wants, I mean really goes all out for happines?  Well, I'm not going to give anything away, but I will strongly suggest you read Morelock's little treasure and then join me in begging April for the next book.

Buy eBook at Loose-Id, All Romance, AmazonFictionwise and Sony Reader Store

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Research Lover is Researched

Technically, I wasn't the one being researched, my family was and apparently still is, and I found it somewhat disconcerting.

Let me explain.

My sister is the keeper of the family tree and works hard to unearth new information.  Recently she received a phone call from someone wanting to interview her about our Great-grandfather and his brother, a murder victim whose case remains unsolved.

When my grandmother and her sister were alive they were contacted over the years by a few writers who wanted to "solve" the mystery, and add unimpeachable tidbits from family members to make it more acceptable.  Doing those interviews never turned out well and bothered the two greatly.  I remember my grammy crying after one particular book was released, full of salcious asides to make it more media worthy.  Newspapers wrote articles, invaded their privacy further, and in the end both ladies weren't pleased to have shared their memories of a difficult childhood.

Yes, I love research, and want to know all the information I can digest before writing a book with the subject involved, so I understand when someone wants to delve in deeper.  However, this was personal, and we're done with the speculations that have involved our long past family members being written and exploited to help sell more books.

Sisters response to the request:  no.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Please allow me to introduce you to...

Diablita, otherwise known as Lily!

You've seen my sister's pug before as a hula chick and in her mardi gras beads, but now she's ready for Halloween - no, really, she's thrilled to be dressed up like the Devil, can't you tell?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Do Book/eBook Awards Mean Anything To You?

PhotobucketAs an author, I love receiving them, but as a reader, Book/eBook Awards don't encourage me to pick it over any other.

There, I said it, but does that make me a horrible person for not immediately rushing out to read that "award winning" book/ebook?

Good lord no! Remember those books you were told in school were good and you had to read them only there was no joy?  For me Jean-Paul Sartre [The Age of Reason] and Ernest Hemingway [Old Man and the Sea] were truly difficult to finish and I never wanted to explore the authors further.  Obviously they weren't bad authors or even bad books, it was all me, and the teacher in regards to the latter.

Why am I even talking about book awards and reading?  Today the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded and Mario Vargas Llosa won, Congratulations!, but he was not the one I found people were thinking would win. Curiosity had me clicking over to the prize site and looking through the list to see if any of the winners had been pleasure reads for me and I was surprised to see there were quite a few authors I'd picked up because the book sounded like a good read.

I may have read Alexandr Solzhenitsyn first as a requirement, but I fell into the picture he painted in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Fascinating and kept me watching this author until his death, and obviously beyond. Boris Pasternak wrote Doctor Zhivago and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  In fact I still have the book on my shelves. Probably the one author on the Nobel list I have read the most of is George Bernard Shaw and my favorite play he wrote is Major Barbara.

PhotobucketTo throw a twist into how I view book/ebook awards as a reader and their making me want to read something, last year I asked for and recieved Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, the Man Booker Prize winner.  I only heard about the book because it won this award, however, it was the story itself that had me putting it on my Christmas wishlist.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Book Talk!

As I always do, while to the left I check out the two local independent bookstores bestseller lists, and enjoy the different choices book buyers make.  Let's see what's hot where.

In Town Center Bookstore near PO and Coffee Cafes
1.  Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
2.  The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow
3.  Star Island by Carl Hiasson
4.  First Contact:  Or It's Later Than You Think by Evan Manderay
5.  One Day by David Nicholls
6.  A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
7.  The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson
8.  The Secrets of Eden: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
9.  The Spellmans Strike Again by Lisa Lutz
10. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Bookshop on Street Paralelling Beach
1.  Brave Donatella and the Jasmine Thief by Caroline McAlister
2.  Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
3.  Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
4.  Broken Colors by Michele Zackheim
5.  Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates
6.  A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore
7.  Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
8.  Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls
9.  Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory Boyle
10. OC Review 2010: Creative Process Issue

It's interesting to find these lists where format means nothing and neither does age.  There's a mix of kids and literary offerings here along with a couple of non-fiction.  Always interesting to read what people in this small town are reading and which bookstore they frequent.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Who have I spent the past 2 weeks with - every day?

PhotobucketPlease meet Tashi, my mom's overweight kitty, and she thinks she's a seal - a sweet pudgy seal looking for shell fish to break open on her tummy.  Each day she spends a great deal of time on her back, paws up, and belly exposed, but don't go in for the tickle or you may lose a hand.

Don't get me wrong, she can be lovely, especially when she goes to her toy basket and choses the one that suits her at that given time.

One thing she does that I feel horrible laughing at, mainly because I can tell she doesn't enjoy being the but of the joke, is when she walks and suddenly decides to fall down and roll onto her back - I always think I should get her a "I've fallen and can't get up" device.

Anyway, Tashi has been my constant companion while visiting to the left of us.

Friday, October 01, 2010

How to End a Day...

PhotobucketI went to a new to me Mexican food restaurant in my home town last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The night was beautiful, the margaritas [on the rocks] were lovely, and they had taquitos!  Okay, they weren't potato-filled, but the waitress said they were playing around with doing those - YES!

We sat near the open fire pit [see the orange flames poking above the hedge?] and chatted about books, travel, and family.  I found out more about the new senior center from my auntie and it is doubles as a community center, as does the High Schools swimming pool.  So cool!  We also discovered my sister could donate the extra books she has to the senior center, even better.

PhotobucketAs the sun set over Catalina [a scene which I've seen a multitude of times and totally appreciate which is why it shows up in And She Scores!], I walked down to the steps leading down to the beach - yes, there are houses on the beach - to take a picture.  Gorgeous colors.

Actually, now that I think about it, And She Scores! is rather timely.

PhotobucketIt was not only written while I was here on the left, it is set here, and much of what I do and see is in the contemporary erotic romance.  The hero is a professional football player about to play a pre-season game [ok, in reality the season is in full gear now, so slightly off timewise, but not horribly] and the heroine adores taquitos!  HA!

The best bit, all proceeds go to the American Heart Association!

So, to answer that often asked question, yes real life does occasionally show up in my books.