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Monday, November 9, 2009

Mystic Monday

Hero Inspiration

I wasn't sure what I was going to blog about today, but an email "conversation" gave me the inspiration for this post.  

I have liked actors and sports figures before, but I've never really been rocked to my core all that often.  In fact, it's a rare occasion.  I can only recall a couple of times when I've been rocked to my core by a celebrity or athlete that has stood the test of time.  Yes, I've fallen in love characters like Legolas and Aragorn, but not so much on the actors themselves.  Not to any extremes anyway.  I've also liked the way some athletes have played, but again, I've never really had one rock me to my core, until fairly recently.  

First guy to totally rock my world?  Harrison Ford, but sadly, it faded.  I love his acting, but I wouldn't say that he really rocked me to my core, but I was naive enough to think he did at one time.  

How do I know he didn't really rock my world?  

Morten Harket 
Well, this is where the first real man to rock my world comes in.  I loved the Norwegian band A-ha when I first discovered them in 1984.  That video was really cool and Morten Harket was such a hottie!    

In fact, I still do love their stuff.  When I can sing a song as odd as "Where looking for the Whales," from Scoundrel Days (1986) almost by heart to this day, it's more than an infatuation.  I may not have actually seen them in concert yet, but with pictures like this in all the magazines, I didn't need to, until now. 

Morten HarketI plan on going to their next USA tour in May of 2010, before they retire.  I seriously hope they come to Milwaukee, so I don't have to travel.    But it wasn't just his abs and sexy accent that caught me.  

There was always something about his music and his voice that got to me on a subatomic level.  That's still the case today.  Of course, Morten Harket looks so good that he makes glasses look sexy!  

While he specifically has never really been the basis for a hero yet, there's a high chance he will be, especially since I am really spreading my writing wings these days!  

Andrew Bogut - PurpleOf course, I had to save the best for last.  Here is the only other man (other than my husband) to rock my world.  The other shocking thing for me was that he is a professional athlete.  Okay, I've admired several athletes for their talent in their respective sports, but I've never been one to drool, until the year the Milwaukee Bucks drafted Andrew Bogut, the 7-foot tall Croatian center from Australia!  

BogutYeah, as you'll soon figure out, I've had it bad since draft day, and it wasn't just his body or his looks that first attracted me (but he is oh so hot and well...mmmmm...), but the vibes of potential that surrounded him.  Some people were reluctant about him, but I could just see the potential floating around him like a cloud and I was excited because it seemed as though we would have a decent center for the first time in a long time.  He may have been injured, but as far as I am concerned, he's been an awesome acquisition.  

Since we've had him for a few years now and he has some different looks, I searched and searched for some images that best represented his style, and I found some great ones.  However, this one here is one that I just found, which only increases the drool factor!  Oh those abs!  And did I mention he's 7 feet tall?  Oh, and he's built and very agile!  It's magic to see him flying through the air to see him dunk the ball in the net!  As a rule, even if it irritates the hubby to no end, all Bogut dunks are replayed a minimum of 3 times!  Yay for the DVR!  Thank you to the one who posted this shot!  

Okay, I feel I must move on before my drool shorts out the laptop!  Isn't it supposed to be fall?  It seems rather hot in here!  I guess I need to turn on the AC!  

Bogut - Shaved HeadFor fun, here are a few more pics to give you a glimpse of the personality of Andrew Bogut.  Every off season, he travels home to Australia and during one such trip home, he came back with a new look, a shaved head with a tiny pony-tail coming from the back of his head.  Now, he didn't keep it very long, because of all the flack he received, but it did give us some entertainment and he was quite entertaining to watch.  Ooh, look at those strong arms...  


Eventually, he grew his hair out.  It isn't just his court presence that I appreciate, but his off the court sense of style!  
 
Photobucket
Very Sporty!

In this next one, it was winter. He wore this suit to have a bit of fun! It caused quite the media stir because, well, you just don't
wear white after Labor Day or before Memorial Day!
Bogut - White Suit
Very Humorous!

In his defense, it was considered summer in Australia.

My characters of Drake and Brandon were somewhat inspired by him, but not completely.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SUPERNATURAL SUNDAY


Please help us welcome author, H.C. Brown. She’s the author of a newly released novel by Noble Romance Publishing, Purr-fect Seduction.

~~~~~

GRACEN: In the U.S., we celebrate Thanksgiving with a large feast (akin to early harvest celebrations), family gathering and in some cases, prayer. Do you have a similar holiday in your country? If so, what is it called and when do you celebrate it?

H.C.: We have Australia Day. Here it’s usually celebrated with a barbecue or a day out on the beach. It’s the only day gambling is allowed outside the normal venues, in the form of an old Aussie game called two-up. Two coins are tossed in the air and bets are made on the resulting heads or tails.

GRACEN: What, if any, holiday traditions (decorating, gathering with friends and family for a meal, etc.) do you have?

H.C.: We celebrate Christmas and have all the usual decorations. It’s hard to eat the traditional hot meal of turkey and plum pudding but we do even when the temperature is 100F outside.

GRACEN: What was your most memorable holiday and why?

H.C.: Last Easter was the first time I had all my children and grandchildren together for the first time.

GRACEN: If you were to have a Thanksgiving meal with us, which would you put on your plate: white or dark turkey, white potatoes or yams, green beans or corn, bread rolls or crescent rolls? (If you have other ideas for a Thanksgiving feast, please share them!)

H.C.: White turkey, white potatoes, and corn. Some Gluten Free items for me.

GRACEN: What, in your opinion, was the oddest food served at a holiday dinner you’ve attended?

H.C.: No food at all.

GRACEN: Tell us 3 things you are thankful for this year, please.

H.C.: 1. The safe arrival of my granddaughter after a great deal of worry.
2. My husband’s strength and devotion.
3. Having 4 books published

H.C. and her granddaughter


GRACEN: Just for fun, if you could be among any of the original members of that first Thanksgiving, who would it be, the Pilgrims or the Wampanoag (Native Americans)? Why?

H.C.: Well the Wampanoag as there's no way I would set foot on a ship after the first one sank!

GRACEN: Considering that feast, what do you think that first harvest celebration meal would be? What would the meal be if it happened in your country?

H.C.: Here no doubt Damper (bread baked without yeast over an open fire) and kangaroo steak. (Yuk! I have never eaten Kangaroo.)



Now, let’s get to your writing:

GRACEN: Why paranormal erotica? What’s the draw?

H.C.: Well Paranormal erotica is only a very small part of what I enjoy writing about to be honest. Paranormal allows my imagination to create heroes and villains in any shape or form my mind can create. I can build worlds to fit them in without any restrictions. Fantasy for me is the same; I enjoy writing erotic and YA fantasy romance, witches/warlocks and Faerie.

I also write murder mystery and I have just finished a manuscript with an Australian P.I as my heroine - with romance…all my books have romance.

Historical is one genre I love to write but my mind is working overtime with other genres and research takes up so much time. Hence, the fact I have an 80,000-word manuscript (about pirates and a highwayman in 1665) gathering dust waiting to be edited.



GRACEN: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? What do you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story?

H.C.: Escapism. I try to take my readers to a world were anything is possible. I want my readers to ride a roller coaster of emotions when they read my stories, and sigh when they read the very last line.

GRACEN: Have you ever written holidays into your stories? If so, which ones and why?

H.C.: No not yet, perhaps a Valentine’s Day story…because everyone can enjoy it.

GRACEN: Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one basting the turkey?

H.C.: The muse, trust me I’m only going along for the ride.

GRACEN: Have you ever based a character on a real-life person? If so, why? Was it simply to immortalize them or was there more to it than that? If you can, tell us the name of that person, please! We’re all curious here!

H.C.: Well to some degree, the story in Betrothed to the Enemy was based on a one-line message written in a prayer book, “I am to be given to a knight, God help me.” My ancestor Sir William D’Anise gave me the surname of Sir Damien in the story. The Muse gave me the rest.

GRACEN: What character did you have the most fun creating and why?

H.C.: I think creating the shape-shifter Knight Watch princes is the most interesting, brothers but all with unique personalities . I enjoyed creating Zandor, (My Purr-fect Alphas) a troubled bad boy; he gave me scope to delve into situations that are more erotic.

My favorite character is Nox the Faerie King. Who wouldn’t love a seven feet tall bisexual dark angel? He will be in all the Pride Brother Series with a story and/ or series just about him and the Fae in the works.


GRACEN: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

H.C.: Nox of course, I would just love to touch those silver tipped black gossamer wings. The one I’d hate to meet….well any of the Rams they have a body odor problem and horns… or the Druik doctor, Pic, in My Purr-fect Alphas (you would have to read the book to understand.)



BLURB: Purr-fect Seduction by H.C.Brown

Jill Morfran, a sassy redhead from New York is enjoying a photo shoot in the Scottish Highlands when she stumbles into an alternate realm. Trapped in a frightening world of strange humanoid creatures, her life turns upside down when a sinfully handsome shape shifter kidnaps her. Will she win Dare of Knight Watch’s heart or will he trade her for his sister at the next slave auction?


~WARNING - EXCERPT MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL READERS~

EXCERPT: Purr-fect Seduction by H.C.Brown

The croaking frogs and the evening song of tropical birds serenaded them, and Dare’s powerful scent consumed her being, filling her with a frightening erotic desire. His gentle touch sent tongues of flames through her, awakening a longing in her she did not know existed. How long had she dreamed of finding a man who would hold her just like this? Who would desire her as much as she desired him? She craved his touch, and the realization both frightened and enthralled her. I’d give up everything, my family, my home . . . anything at all just to have him.

She caught her breath when his caressing hands moved slowly up to her breasts. She moaned as he cupped them, groaned when he rolled her taught nipples between his callused fingers, tugging them into hard peaks. His warm lips sucked at her earlobe, and when his hot tongue trailed down her neck, the delightful sensation sent shivers down her back.

“So sweet, so innocent . . . your heart flutters under my embrace. Let me teach you to fly, little dove.”

He rose and lifted her into his arms, turning her to face him. His warm hands snaked under her tunic, he captured her bare breast and she gasped. Warm tingles of pleasure engulfed her when his fingers pulled at her aching nipples. She pushed her breasts toward him, wanting more of this delightful sensation.

“My touch pleases you. Your skin is so soft, and your nipples call to me to suck them. Do you want more of me, little dove?”

Jill drew a deep, steadying breath. Decision time. Memories of a life spent alone—always a bride’s maid, never a bride—flashed through her mind. Hell, she decided. Life is too short, and a chance like this may never come again. “Yes, teach me everything.”

Jill pushed trembling fingers into the raven silk that framed his face and brushed her tongue across his bottom lip. A ripple went through his body and he made a growling sound.

“Everything? But you’re so innocent. Are you sure, little one?”

“Yes.”

He took her mouth fiercely, deeply. He tasted divine, hot, musky. His spicy tongue lashed the inside of her mouth, molding her to his will. His kisses became deeper; his warm hand teased a nipple while the other slid around her waist, enclosing her in sweet passion. Pulling him closer, she kissed him back, melting beneath his touch. She pushed against his fingers to ease her insatiable need. He pressed closer and the heat from his body burned her skin. His thick cock pushed into her stomach, pulsed against her skin, proof of his desire for her. She wanted this, wanted his touch, his lips, his body hard against her, deep inside her.

The cat inside Dare roared with pleasure as he lifted Jill into his arms and carried her into the cave. He bent to lay her gently on the sheepskin. Flames from the fire sent velvet shadows dancing across the walls, and the hot, spicy aroma from the stew hung faintly in the air. He removed her tunic, and tossed it to one side, and the sweet moan from her lips made him burn with desire for her. She laid before him, gloriously naked, all dewy-eyed innocence. Her skin looked so delicate in the fire’s glow. Damp curls framed her pink flushed cheeks and flowed across her shoulders in glistening gold highlights. The warm, luscious scent of female arousal surrounded him and his inner cat purred.

“Do you want me inside you, Jill, as your first?” he said huskily. He removed his loincloth, and lay down beside her. Her pure white breasts firmed under his touch, her deep red nipples reached toward him.

He wanted to taste her, to bury his tongue into her slick wet folds and suckle her hard pearl. He craved her, desiring only to drive her over the edge in insurmountable passion. He looked into her eyes but she showed no fear. Only need burned in those twin emerald pools, desperate need for him.

“I want you, Dare. I want you to touch me, to love me. Teach me how to love you.” She reached for him.

He took her lips again, sweet as spiced apples. She moaned in his mouth, and the delightful sound sent blood rushing to his cock with such speed his ears rang.

“Wrap my tunic around your neck. My cat is anxious, and I don’t want to bite you.”

He handed Jill the tunic, and she covered her neck. Dare slowly licked his way around each breast and purred. Her damp skin tasted sweet. The potent scent of aroused female surrounded him. He watched her as he scraped his fangs over each nipple before suckling hard. She looked so delicious, so wanton, writhing beneath his touch, but he must wait to plunge deep within her heat. He groaned as his cat demanded so much more. The need to bite, to sink his fangs into that tender white skin, threatened to overwhelm him. He craved to suck and savor her hot, sweet metallic blood. He looked up into her eyes, and she smiled so innocently and arched her back in a silent plea for more.

His control slipped, and his inner cat roared. Mine. Bite her. I need her. Now.



Available from www.nobleromance.com

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Starlight Saturday

YA Author Spotlight Presents...
Tim Whitney
Tim Whitney!!!


Okay, yes, I’m late again. Well, this week it’s not completely my fault. My anti-virus software had run out I had to do something about it before I could safely get on the Internet and make this post. Plus, I was up late reading, decided to take a nap before posting and well, overslept. Hey, it happens, a lot, to me anyways.

It also doesn’t help that I have been so enthralled by Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series. I thought book one good, but book two is even better! So far The Dead Girl’s Dance, like the last one, is a real page-turner! Definitely worth the read!

Okay, that said, I obviously didn’t get to read the entire book, Thanksgiving at the Inn, by Tim Whitney. However, I did manage to read just enough to know that I want to because it will be a good story.



Thanksgiving at the Inn


How do I know that?

Well, because Thanksgiving is more than just a title in this book.

How so?

It starts with a classic father-son rift, which is repeated from one generation to another, except that one father wants to fix it. Senior wants to fix it, but he is quite devious in his methods. He waits until he’s dead.

Huh?

Yeah, you read that right. Senior, the patriarch of the family, waits until his death to fix a father-son rift that started with him. Sure, he tried unsuccessfully to fix it while he was alive, so you could call this his “last-ditch” effort. Senior stipulated in his will that his son, Junior, had to successfully run Senior’s Bed and Breakfast with his grandson [Junior’s son], Heath, for three months.

Three months? What’s three months? Well, to a father and son like Heath and Junior, it might as well be a lifetime. Three months could make or break this particular relationship, and determine the fate of their inheritance.

Devious. Very devious. Somehow, I think, Junior and Heath will be thankful for more than just the turkey this year!

Sound like you might want one? Well, read the rest of this blog, leave a comment, and you could win a copy. On to the interview!

Let’s start with some trivia about you:

1. Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving movie or program that you enjoy watching every year? If more than one, tell us all of them!

Ok if you asked me about Christmas I could have given you a dozen, but I honestly can’t think of anything we watched on Thanksgiving other than the traditional NFL games! I used to love listening to John Madden and watching good football!

2. What, if any, Thanksgiving traditions (decorating, gathering with friends and family for a meal, etc.) do you have?

When it comes to Thanksgiving I think I have a really traditional family. We focus on the turkey dinner with all the fixings and homemade pies for dessert. These days my daughters also play violin for everyone as well. They are Suzuki violinists and have been playing for about 3 years.

3. What was your most memorable Thanksgiving and why?

I have two memorable Thanksgivings - one was when I was 7 or so and both sets of grandparents were still alive and all together at my parents’ in Maine. We had so many people over at our house that we had to set up extra tables in the basement. The other favorite was six years ago, the first Thanksgiving with both my daughters.

4. Which do you choose: white or dark turkey, white potatoes or yams, green beans or corn, bread rolls or crescent rolls?

Love this question! Turkey (both white and dark), mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole topped with onion crisps and squash (no room left for corn!), bread rolls, and add some stuffing and cranberry sauce- the jelly kind not the kind with the whole berries. The day after, I love a nice turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce sandwich! Yum! This is making me hungry!

5. What, in your opinion, was the oddest food served at a Thanksgiving dinner you’ve attended?

Sweet potato casserole, the one with marshmallows. Weird until you try it!

6. Tell us 3 things you are thankful for this year, please.

My family and friends, my health, and all the positive and kind reviews I’ve received so far in the first month since the book launched. It has far exceeded my expectations and the kind letters I receive regularly make it worth all the time and effort I spent writing it!

7. Just for fun, if you could be among any of the original members of that first Thanksgiving, who would it be, the Pilgrims or the Wampanoag (Native Americans)? Why?

Definitely one of the Native Americans. My great-grandmother was a full blooded Native American so I think that would be far more interesting than being on the Pilgrim side.

8. Considering that feast, what do you think that first harvest celebration meal would be?

This is a great question! I never really thought about this, but I believe it would consist of venison or wild fowl. I would assume that the meal was more centered around meat than supported by vegetables and certainly would not imagine there were any homemade pies!

Now, let’s get to your writing:

9. Why YA Fiction? What’s the draw?

I’ve always loved YA fiction. I think the biggest draw for me is that a YA story isn’t usually just a good story with great characters; there is usually a positive message or life lesson woven in for good measure. Great YA stories also have the ability to anchor positive memories that can last a lifetime.

10. If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? What do you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story?

Character driven. I think at the end of the day if I can create unique characters that readers either relate to or simply would love to meet, then I know the book will be entertaining and a success. The main message I would like the reader to take away is we have a choice in life, to either be grateful for all that we have or be bitter for all we don’t. Even though the colorful characters in the book have been thrown a curve, they still manage to carry on living life with a positive message rather than simply going through the motions. No one has the perfect family and we all have flaws. If you can learn to see past that, life will be a lot more enjoyable. If you focus on everyone’s flaws, you’ll miss out on a lot of life.

11. Have you ever written Thanksgiving into your stories before Thanksgiving at the Inn? Why or why not?

To be honest, no. I never really thought about writing Thanksgiving in to a story before this one. In the case of Thanksgiving at the Inn, its working title was actually The Sleeping Inn, but it became evident the central theme revolved around Thanksgiving and that really became the anchor point. Stories have a way of taking a life of their own, even for the writer. I didn’t intend to write a Thanksgiving focused story, it’s simply where the characters took me as it unfolded and my muse took over!

12. Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one basting the turkey?

It’s actually a unique combination of the two, in essence this is a right brain/left brain project with both the analytical and creative sides partnering for the best outcome. I like to outline a story at a very basic level and then turn my muse loose.

Think of this like taking a vacation where you know the destination and have a rough map, but your muse is behind the wheel driving. The interesting thing is sometimes your muse takes the best detours!

13. Have you ever based a character on a real-life person? If so, why? Was it simply to immortalize them or was there more to it than that? If you can, tell us the name of that person, please! We’re all curious here!

While I did not specifically base any of my characters on real-life people, I did capture characteristics of people that have passed through my life. Thanksgiving at the Inn has some flawed and unique characters. I tried to take bits and pieces from people I’ve known well and people I’ve observed or met briefly and combine them like Dr. Frankenstein’s monsterJ!

For example, I have met someone that was addicted to having their body covered with tattoos, but he was not muscle bound or a children’s book author. I have had numerous Jamaican friends and coworkers, but none like Winsted.

So whether it is a character’s stunning green eyes or a laugh sounding like a Disney princess, those are the bits and pieces that all come together to create what I hope are characters we’d all like to meet. In the case of Senior, I wanted him to be flawed, but at the same time, the grandfather figure that people would love, respect, and admire, even after his tragic death. I think it is very dangerous to base a character completely on a real life person and far more interesting to create one of my own.

It is so important to me to create characters that create a distinct visual image to each reader. I hope that I’ve accomplished this in Thanksgiving at the Inn and people can imagine what Thanksgiving dinner would be like at the Sleeping Inn.

14. Of all of the stories you’ve written, published or not, what character did you have the most fun creating and why?

Wow… another great question! I can’t pick just one! I had so much fun creating both Winsted and Sally. Both are imposing giants. One is soft spoken and reflecting and the other is so full of wisdom and kindness.

My goal was to develop two larger than life characters that were unique, interesting…and at the same time flawed and human. None of us go through life without making mistakes or being humbled. Winsted and Sally have been through both, have grown through the experience and dole out helpings of wisdom and knowledge while still allowing Heath to learn life lessons on his own and at his own pace.

15. If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

Senior, definitely Senior. He was a larger than life character, the grandfatherly figure that was humbled late in life and realized that he could potentially change his legacy and impact the lives of his son and grandson. It would be great to meet him and let him know his legacy became the basis for a great story of family, forgiveness, and gratitude.

Remember to leave a comment if you'd like to win a copy of Thanksgiving at the Inn!

Friday, November 6, 2009

PHANTASM FRIDAY

Instead of me blogging about something boring like my life *yawns loudly*, my bitchy muse (I’m joking, Dean-muse, I swear! *knees tremble* :P) or even something mundane like the correct way to use “their”, “they’re” and “there” *cheeky grin*, fellow Noble Romance Publishing author, Dena Celeste has agreed to spice up the Moonlight today instead.

Dena is the author of, Her Master’s Gift, which was recently published by Noble Romance.

HER MASTER'S GIFT BUY LINK

~~~~~

GRACEN: Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving movie or program that you enjoy watching every year? If more than one, tell us all of them!

DENA: I tend to wait and see what’s going to be on, and then watch whatever seems good at the time. But as I spend most of the day cooking, the TV is more for noise than anything else.

GRACEN: What, if any, Thanksgiving traditions (decorating, gathering with friends and family for a meal, etc.) do you have?

DENA: I make food for my family, and we watch whatever happens to be on TV. There aren’t too many people to have over really, so I try to relax.

GRACEN: What was your most memorable Thanksgiving and why?

DENA: Well, the most memorable was one from when I was about 11 years old. Our dog somehow got into the turkey and we found it half-eaten in the kitchen! Thankfully, there were only 4 of us that particular Turkey Day, so mostly it just provided laughter.

GRACEN: Which do you choose: white or dark turkey, white potatoes or yams, green beans or corn, bread rolls or crescent rolls?

DENA: Dark meat, since it’s so tender. White potatoes (but I’ll eat all the marshmallows off the sweet potato casserole). Green beans AND corn AND any other veggies around. Crescent rolls.

GRACEN: What, in your opinion, was the oddest food served at a Thanksgiving dinner you’ve attended?

DENA: Pizza. That’s what we had one Turkey Day when no one felt like cooking. But it could’ve been much worse!

GRACEN: Tell us 3 things you are thankful for this year, please.

DENA: My family, which includes my lover and best friends. That my muse has been cooperating with me! And for the library, without which I would go insane since my speed-reading far surpasses my ability to pay for books.

GRACEN: Just for fun, if you could be among any of the original members of that first Thanksgiving, who would it be, the Pilgrims or the Wampanoag (Native Americans)? Why?

DENA: Wow. Good question. Probably the Wampanoag. Because I’m a creature of habit in a lot of ways and I can’t see me getting on a ship to sail away to lands unknown.

GRACEN: Considering that feast, what do you think that first harvest celebration meal would be?

DENA: It would probably include duck. And lots of veggies, since I mostly stay away from meat except on the odd occasion I feel like having some.

Now, let’s get to your writing, Dena:

HER MASTER'S GIFT BUY LINK

GRACEN: Why erotic romance? And why BDSM? What’s the draw?

DENA: The draw for me is exploration. I’m the kind of person who is curious about everything, from feelings in the heart to sensations of the body to those journeys of the mind. BDSM is a large part of my life, and I like to show it in the light of trust and love and acceptance, no matter how edgy the play may be.

GRACEN: If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? What do you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story?

DENA: That’s a good question. I would have to say “Edgy” would describe my writing. I like to push the limits. I want my readers to take away a sense of satisfaction, maybe even understanding. I want to open up what makes at least those characters tick, why they like BDSM, what things feel like to them.

GRACEN: Have you ever written Thanksgiving into your stories? Why or why not?

DENA: Not yet! Mostly because I don’t have a story yet where it takes place. No, but I have written Chanukah into one story. If you can believe it, it’s a sweet romance! A different track for me, but I liked writing it. It’s not out just yet, and I’m awaiting word from the publisher, but I’m hopeful!

GRACEN: Who decides what you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one basting the turkey?

DENA: Oh, my muse and I have an arrangement. She can start the ball rolling and I can take it wherever I like. If I get stuck, she can get the ball rolling again. Thus far it’s worked well. I just need a good starting point, and then I’m off!

GRACEN: Have you ever based a character on a real-life person? If so, why? Was it simply to immortalize them or was there more to it than that? If you can, tell us the name of that person, please! We’re all curious here!

DENA: My character Veronica was based on a couple different people. They shall remain nameless! But all my heroes are based, at least in part, on my better half, and all my heroines have pieces of me and people I love. The others just sort of come to me and I have to bring them shape and form.

GRACEN: What character did you have the most fun creating and why?

DENA: Probably Jeanie was the most fun to create. She was bubbly and confident and kind of a dominant personality. I liked that because it was different for me, and I had to try and put my mind in that place.

GRACEN: If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

DENA: Oh gosh! I wouldn’t ever want to meet Veronica, because she’s kind of a predator. But if I could meet anybody, it would probably be Nancy. She’s sweet and funny and very irreverent!


Her Master's Gift Buy Link

BLURB:

Now that Katie’s been collared, she’s settling quickly into life with her master Sam. But she thinks she’s ready to expand her experiences and he’s quick to help. In fact, Sam has a special gift planned that is sure to delight her, if only she can gather the courage to move beyond the past and accept it without regrets.


EXCERPT:

Chapter One

The metal was cool, shockingly so, as it came into contact with the sensitive skin of her neck. His fingers barely touched her, and yet even that small caress made her shiver. Goosebumps rose in a wave over her entire body and she felt even more bare than she already was, if that was possible. The lock closed with a quiet ‘snick’ and the joy that bubbled up from the depths of her soul shone from her. She knew she was glowing, could feel it emanating from her skin.

“You’ve come to me, and you’ve bared your body, and your mind, and your soul. We have explored many things, both pleasurable and painful, and I am honored to collar you today. We will travel this part of the journey together, confident in our trust, secure in our love. I claim you as mine.”

Tears welled up in Katie’s eyes and flowed over her cheeks at his words. In her position kneeling at his feet, she bent over and reverently laid her lips on first one boot, and then the other. She lifted her face to look up at him, and as she spoke, his hands came up to cradle her damp cheeks.

“You found me, and didn’t just mold me into what I am now. You urged me to find out who I was for myself, and no one else. You accepted me, even when I was afraid. You were even willing to let me go, if that was what I needed. You encouraged me, and you guided me, and now I accept your claim. You will be my master, and I will be your slave, happily. I choose you, Sam.”

Her words wavered as his hands lightly glided over her cheeks, down her neck, over her shoulders and all the way down to her hands to help her stand in front of him. Katie fell into his light green gaze and his head dipped down. His lips touched hers, gently at first, and she responded even to that tender touch. The kiss went on, and as it did, his tongue slid into her mouth, silkily dueling with hers until she pressed her body to his, small whimpers released from her throat.

Katie came back to herself when she heard the others in the room softly clapping for them. She could feel herself blush from her cheeks above to the cheeks a little further south, and knew that her embarrassment could be seen by all. When her master turned away for a moment, she let her fingers come up to stroke her newest adornment. Her hands were toying with the lock at the back of her neck when her wrists were firmly gripped.

“It’s time to play now, my beautiful slave.” Sam chuckled in a dark, sensual way that sent desire ripping through her, and Katie’s wrists were bound behind her neck.



~~~~~

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Twilight Thursday

Hello there everyone!

Yes, I'm late with this post, for a very good reason. I was reading! Yep, that's what I do, I read and recently, I began posting reviews to Goodreads. That's how I met today's author, through Goodeads. Her name is


Anjuelle Floyd
Anjuelle Floyd!!!



I wish I could say I was late reading her story, but I can't. I have to be honest. I wanted to start it, honest. However, I had been ill for a couple of days and there was one pesky story in the way that wouldn't be denied, Glass Houses by Rachel Caine, our guest author this past Saturday. Now that I've started the series, looks like I might not be able to do much else until I finish it. The books seem to put this odd little spell over you. For some reason, I keep hearing the words, "must read, must read!" *shakes head vigorously* Sorry about that, do know what happened there!

Okay *shakes head vigorously again* getting back on topic here.

Anjuelle Floyd is an author I met through Goodreads. Her first book, Keeper of Secrets, is actually a collection of short stories that are all connected by one incident. Now, even though they are short stories around a central theme, we've seen similar ideas before, so this seems to be a current trend for story telling. For example, Susan Beth Pfeffer did it with her Moon Crash series, Life As We Knew It and The Dead and the Gone. The first book is about a catastrophe from the eyes of one person, while the second book is about the same catastrophe through the eyes of a different person in another place. Well, that's kind of the principle in Keeper of Secrets. The players are all connected somehow. To find out, you need to read the book!

Let's get on to the interview!

Let’s start with some trivia about you:

Q. Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving movie or program that you enjoy watching every year? If more than one, tell us all of them!

A. My favorite Thanksgiving movie of all time is The Addams Family Values.

I especially love this scene in the movie.

My kids watched this movie over and over during one Thanksgiving we spent in Maui.

Q. What, if any, Thanksgiving traditions (decorating, gathering with friends and family for a meal, etc.) do you have?

A. [The answer to this one is a mystery...lol! We'll have to get her to answer that one!]

Q. What was your most memorable Thanksgiving and why?

A. My most memorable Thanksgiving would be the one we spent in Maui ten years ago. My youngest, now 10, was 8 months old. The trip was our second time in on the island that year. We had traveled there in June also. We celebrated the birthday of our eldest, now in graduate school, during that week of Thanksgiving.

My husband's best friend who was his college roommate and who is now godfather to our middle child joined us. We drove to Hana located on the other side of the island and went to the black sand beach. Though we go to Maui every summer this vacation was truly enriching and spiritual. I will always hold it dear.

Q. Which do you choose: white or dark turkey, white potatoes or yams, green beans or corn, bread rolls or crescent rolls?

A. I really don't care much for turkey, and I rarely cook for Thanksgiving. We travel. When I do eat turkey, I prefer the dark meat.

Q. What, in your opinion, was the oddest food served at a Thanksgiving dinner you’ve attended?

A. I find no food odd as long as I do not have to cook and prepare it.

Q. Tell us 3 things you are thankful for this year, please.

A. I am thankful to be alive and healthy.
I am thankful for my family, three children and a husband, and their good health.
I am thankful that the forces that be have placed us together in this lifetime.

Q. Just for fun, if you could be among any of the original members of that first Thanksgiving, who would it be, the Pilgrims or the Wampanoag (Native Americans)? Why?

A. I would choose to be among the Wampanoag. I have Cherokee ancestry.

Q. Considering that feast, what do you think that first harvest celebration meal would be?

A. The meal would perhaps include some type of fish.

Now, let’s get to your writing:

Q. Why women's fiction? What’s the draw?

A. I write women's fiction. I love to explore the evolution of women's personalities and their spiritual development within the context of marriage, motherhood and career.

Q. If you could describe your writing with a word or phrase, what would it be?

A. "Realism with a hint of poetry."

Q. What do you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story?

A. I most want to stir readers to ponder the invisible spaces that separate us from ourselves, and each other.

Q. Have you ever written Thanksgiving into your stories? Why or why not?

A. Yes. The central character was Lahni Irete' for whom both parents are deceased. With no siblings, and recently widowed in the plot of the story Lahni feels alone in the world.

Lahni has Thanksgiving dinner at a San Francisco hotel with her professional partner, Amos Morgan, during which Amos reveals an aspect of character concerning his marriage. Amos' wife, recently deceased as well, was in love with Lahni's husband, who is also dead. Minutes later, and very much shaken by this revelation, Lahni sees the man who has fallen in love with her, and in whom she has begun to trust. The man is in the restaurant of the hotel where Lahni ate with Amos. The man is having dinner with a beautiful woman. Imagination of the worst possible reason is with this woman leaves Lahni feeling heartbroken. The backdrop of Thanksgiving in the course of events texturizes and deepens the ache of Lahni's loss and grief.

Lahni Irete' stands at the center of the second short story, "Keeper of Secrets," which is the namesake story in my collection, "Keeper of Secrets...Translations of an Incident". Lahni is also the central character in my novel, Road to Ibadan.
Interested readers can peruse the first 10,000 words of "Road to Ibadan" and download the remainder @: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/anjuellefloyd

Q. Who decides what you write about, you or your muse?

A. My muse is an intricate part of me. I like to think of my muse as my imagination. In this way we, my muse and I, work in tandem.
We're always thinking together, but on different sides of issues that interest me.

If I read a news story that grabs my attention, my muse will offer any idea to fictionalize the drama held within the news story.
If I determine to write the story, my muse delivers the substance forming and informing me about my characters, while I set out to create a blueprint for the plot.

Q. What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one basting the turkey?

A. I am propelled to write by conflicts with which I grapple. These conflicts can be ones that I am working to sort out in my personal life, or as in most cases, struggles I witness others tackling, and that provoke me to reflect upon a universal theme affecting human life and the art of making meaning as we live.

Q. Have you ever based a character on a real-life person? If so, why? Was it simply to immortalize them or was there more to it than that? If you can, tell us the name of that person, please! We’re all curious here!

A. I've never based any of my characters on a particular person. Yet my characters do reflect aspects of people I encounter. I often meet people who remind me of characters I have created. These experiences are quite extraordinary, and moving. Meeting a person who reminds me of a character I have worked so hard to create brings that character to life. The experience makes real what has to that point only lived upon the page. It is an incarnation of the character in to personhood, so to speak and that aspect of my story. The experience of meeting that individual becomes like interacting with the avatar of that character.

Q. What character did you have the most fun creating and why?

A. I experienced the most fun creating Lilah Montgomery Bearden. Lilah is the central to the first novel I ever wrote, entitled, Subtle Incantations. I had so much fun creating Lilah for two reasons. Subtle Incantations was the first novel I ever set out to write. Having taken no classes on fiction writing, I broke all the rules. Nothing was off limits. I did everything.

Perhaps this occurred because I never set out to write a novel. I had intended to craft an essay on sitting down to the computer. As I began typing a novel came instead. I simply wrote to see what would happen next. I had no glorious ideas of publication. I came to know Lilah through the writing of the story, as she revealed herself through the course of events forming the plot, and that to this day still fascinate me.

The characters of all the novels and stories I have written since are in some way connected, and also by ancestry, related to Lilah. Though presently packed away, "Subtle Incantations" will always live within me. I don't know that I'll ever revise and publish it. Some days I feel that all the work I have done since writing it has been but preparation for going back and polishing it for publication.

I would need to break the narrative into 3 books, make it a trilogy, should I do that. The over arching title would remain, "Subtle Incantations". The subtitles of the three books would be Samuel, Africa, and Home, or something like that.

Q. If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why?

A. I would like to meet Lilah Montgomery Bearden. Lilah, who possesses incredible powers of telepathy, and healing, stands at the center of my novel, "Subtle Incantations". Lilah has inherited these abilities involving her sixth sense from her grandmother. Lilah's grandmother was the daughter of a voodoo priestess and a British adept. After being nearly raped and slaughtered by the KKK, Lilah is forced to leave America in 1881 against her will. The man who becomes her husband takes Lilah to the countryside of England. Though he saved her life, Lilah does not love him.

Lilah is shot while living in England. The surgeon who saves her life in this second trial falls in love with her. The surgeon is Africa American, a descendant of slaves like Lilah. Samuel, her husband dies of questionable causes. The night after the funeral Lilah encounters Samuel's ghost. Later, and married to Xavier, she finds herself pregnant with twins. Samuel has fathered one twin; Xavier is father to the second. Thus the battle begins for Lilah's body, and her soul.
"Subtle Incantations" addresses challenges on all planes of living and being. It addresses what we call paranormal activity.

The second book in the trilogy, "Africa," like its name takes Lilah, then in search of the surgeon, Xavier, first to the Cape of Good Hope in South African, and then up to Kenya in the east, where Xavier has established a coffee farm.

As she was and still is with Samuel, now dead, Lilah is indelibly tied to Xavier. Through the expertise of his hands Xavier pulled her from the brink of death because of the gunshot wound.

"Home," the last book of the trilogy, returns, Lilah, a very transformed woman, to Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States, and near where her roots lay in Louisiana.

Q. Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?

A. I've never crafted any characters that I would not want to meet, or fear encountering. I love all my characters despite their flaws and failures.

Some Background on Anjuelle:

Anjuelle Floyd is the author of Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident, a collection of interconnected short stories, and a novel, The House, due for publication in Fall 2009.
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/keeper-of-secrets/
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/the-house/

Anjuelle is a wife of twenty-seven years, mother of three, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.
A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, she has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California.
Anjuelle received a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has also received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops. She teaches online fiction classes at Perelandra College.

A student of Process Painting for the last decade, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Anjuelle facilitates writing groups and provides individual consultation of fiction projects. She also gives talks on The Need for Family, The Writing Process as a Path Toward Self-discovery and Healing.

Anjuelle hosts the weekly blog talk radio show, Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters
www.blogtalkradio.com/anjuellefloyd

Read Anjuelle’s blog and more about her @ www.anjuellefloyd.com
BLURB:

"Keeper of Secrets...Translations of an Incident"
Keeper of Secrets
by Anjuelle Floyd

One truth begets
another as a tale of passionate
confrontation in a restaurant travels from
eyewitnesses to others present.

Each protagonist views the
attack through an emotion-stained
lens, the story taking on a life of its own
as filtered through different
individuals’ pasts, present and futures.

Ultimately every character
unweaves and re-braids their hidden truths
and exposes the chain of inner mysteries
that binds them.

Memories of the Hindu icon of dancing Siva compel wife and mother, Raven Clarke, to intervene in the attack of one restaurant patron on another.
Watching from a distant table, Lahni Irete finds herself driven back to the violence of her childhood and adolescence. The next day she shares her account of the happening with psychiatrist, Reynard Williams.
Williams embraces the tale as a man seeking help to confront the core of pain that has distanced him from his wife and left him sexually and spiritually impotent.
Along the way Williams consults with Sahel Denning, an injured psychologist no longer practicing psychotherapy.
The restaurant incident offer bridge engineer, Michael Banks, a map guiding him on the path to reclaiming the events of the morning before he fell from scaffolding on the Richmond Bridge.
Rumor and innuendo cloud Ariane Gadsen's acquaintance with the story, propelling her down the path of reconciliation with what she is hiding.
The restaurant scene stirred regret and despair within Trey Williamson, a widower, on his first date since the death of his wife three years earlier.
The intimate backdrop of the restaurant offers containment wherein newly discharged Captain Darryl Sharpton reveals his most dark and intimate truth.

www.anjuellefloyd.com
http://www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/keeper-of-secrets/

Excerpt:
"Dancing Siva" from Keeper of Secrets...Translations of an Incident
by Anjuelle Floyd
Raven stifled a yawn as she stared at the wooden
icon of Siva. Another night had passed with her being awakened by the wails of her four-month-old daughter, Kaarin. Raven had gone to Kaarin’s bed, taken her from the crib, and cradling the infant, lay down in the bed of the guest room. It had been this way nearly every night since Kaarin’s birth. Kaarin never cried during the day.
Raven contemplated the mahogany carving of Siva dancing within the ring of fire. Its eyes, mere slits, appeared to widen. The icon’s four arms seemed to reach out, beckoning her. Raven’s soul was thirsty, parched from Kaarin’s nightly screams.
Absylom’s father had carved the statue now standing on the bookcase by Raven’s bed.
Absylom had given it to her. Two months after marrying Drew, Raven aborted
Absylom’s child. The fetus had been four months. Now after sixteen years as Drew’s wife, and mother to their three daughters, Raven stood searching Siva’s face, wondering, as on every night when Kaarin cried, about the
life she aborted. Drew exited the bathroom while buttoning his shirt, and
approached Raven. “It’s last minute, but I’m meeting a client for dinner tonight. His wife is coming.” Drew began arranging his tie. “I’d like you there.”
“Why?” Raven turned from the bookcase. “It’ll make him feel safer.”
“That’s your job.” Catching one last glimpse of the wooden deity, Raven began making her side of the bed. “Besides, my braids need to be redone. I don’t know if I can get Nilini to sit.” Raven resented the way Drew sought to make comfortable and defended the guilty. He inserted the second cuff link into the holes of his French cuffs, and walked to her, lifted her chin. “You look fine.”
“My presence won’t wipe out your client’s sins.” “But it can help his wife.” “And, why should I help her?” “Because I’m your husband.” Drew let go of Raven’s
chin, then in the low, attorney-like tone used when addressing clients in public places, “We can’t keep going like this. Kaarin’s crying, this lack of sleep—it’s making you cranky.”
“I’m fine.” Raven turned back to the bed and bolstered her pillow.
“You’re not. How could you be? You haven’t gotten a decent night’s sleep since she was born.”
Raven went around Drew and began straightening the covers on his side of the bed. “She’ll be fine.”
Drew followed her. “Let Kaarin sleep with us.” “She needs to learn to sleep in her bed.” “Like that’s happening now? That’s not what you said
about Anisha or Emily. They slept with us for at least a year.”
“Kaarin’s different.” Raven patted Drew’s pillow.
“How is that? She looks just like you.” Drew captured Raven’s hand. She snatched it back, threw down his pillow.
As if knowing what lay hallowed and untouched between them for sixteen years, Drew slapped Raven with a stare of his own. His neck, the color of Georgia clay against his white collar, called to her. Raven searched Drew’s brown eyes, inhaled the scent of his cologne, a mixture of eucalyptus and herbs. She imagined burying her lips in his neck above the mauve tie, and resting her head on his chest. She sighed heavily. “I don’t want to go with you tonight.”
Raven wondered if her eyes were flickering green, as Drew said they did when she was angry. Absylom had said the same. She lowered her head.
“I miss you,” Drew sighed. “I want you beside me at night.” He leaned forward, kissed her forehead and caressed her shoulders. “The reservation’s at eight.”
Raven exhaled. Drew then whispered, “I’ll be home at six-thirty to shower and change.” He pulled away as he added, “--if you care to come.”
www.anjuellefloyd.com
http://www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/keeper-of-secrets/

The House, a novel due for publication this fall.

“The House”
The House
by Anjuelle Floyd

What would you do if you learned the person you were divorcing is dying?
On receiving the very thing she wants, a divorce and the power to sell their house, Anna Manning learns that Edward, her soon-to-be ex-husband, is dying. A faithful wife for over three decades, Anna endured Edward's constant absences while traveling on business for his international real estate firm, and his extra-marital affairs.
Anna takes Edward to live out his last six, possibly three, months in the house she fought so vigorously to sell. But letting go of someone who has caused so much pain does not come easily.
Edward has changed.
As their children return home, and say their farewells Anna confronts the challenges that Edward's impending death delivers each of them. Then there is Inman who loves Anna, and provides the one thing Edward denied their marriage—passion and intimacy.
Anna must also face the hopes and dreams she abandoned as an art history major turned wife, and mother out of college. In requesting the divorce she had planned to use her proceeds from the sale of the house to move to France. She would study the great art works of Europe, perhaps work as a docent in a Paris museum.
News of Edward’s terminal illness provokes Anna to understand the present rooted in the wellspring of the past, and pouring into a future without him. The House shows what happens when we adopt the belief that, All hold regret, and are seeking forgiveness. Our salvation rests in the hands of others—most particularly the ones whom we love most, and who have treated us wrongly.

www.anjuellefloyd.com
http://www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/the-house/

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NaNo, Anyone?

Okay, kids, it's November, which means, on top of making ourselves crazy with holiday plans and trying to remember what to give thanks for, it's time for NaNoWriMo once again. For those who are deeply enmeshed in the writing community, there is no explanation necessary. We all know what NaNoWriMo - affectionately shortened to NaNo by the diehards - means: One month of self-induced lunacy whereby we cough up 50,000 words of a novel in a 30-day time period. No pressure!

As frightening as it might seem, at first, NaNo is actually a very good exercise for everyone who ever considered putting pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard, as the case may be. First, it gets the writer into the mindset of writing something every day - and shouldn't we be doing that anyway? It also teaches the writer about setting goals by committing to a certain number of words or pages a day, and discipline, by actually sitting down to accomplish those goals. But perhaps the most important thing, in my mind, that it accomplishes is that it gets the writer to write. You can talk about writing all you want, but unless you actually sit down and start the process of committing words to paper, you are not a writer. You are only a writer when you actually write.

So if you decide to take the plunge this year and join NaNo, here are some of my tips for you:

1. Don't over-think the process or you will never get past the Chapter One heading. Don't worry so much about paragraph spacing, punctuation, grammar, etc. That is what editing/revising is for. This is only a first draft.

(This is a hard one for me because I tend to over-think everything, but I've learned that if you curb that impulse to be absolutely perfect the first time out of the gate, the words will come and you can polish them later.)

2. Don't listen to the little voice inside that says, "I could've done page so-and-so better...I'll just go back and fix it." No. Don"t go back, always go forward. Again, this is what editing/revising is for. If you're afraid that you might forget what it is you want to change, keep a notebook beside you and make a note to change such-and-such on page-whatever. Then keep going forward.

(I am immersed in a constant battle with my internal editor. I love it when I win - but the editor gets its revenge in the rewrites.)

3. Don't forget to post your daily totals on the NaNo site. When you see that number in black and white, it will give you a sense of accomplishment and encourage you to go on.

(I forgot to do this, so when I finally remembered to do it yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised that I had already topped the 10,000 word mark. Not that I expect to write that many words every three days - I was just on a roll.)

4. Don't worry about trends and whether or not your story will fit in with what is being published today. Just write the story that's inside you, clawing its way out. Leave the marketing worries to the time when the story has been polished and is ready to be sent out. And if you try to follow the trends and write something that is already popular (vampires, anyone?) but don't have a passion for what you are writing about, not only will it show in the writing, the story will most likely fizzle out long before you reach The End.

(I've fallen victim to this before, not during NaNo, but just in the course of my writing, and then I lamented the fact that I could have spent the time writing something I was really passionate about, rather than what I thought publishers wanted.)

5. Add buddies. Believe me, having someone there to encourage you in your writing is a priceless commodity. Two of my best writing buddies are right here on the Moonlight blog, our own Carrie and Gracen. They are my own little cheerleaders who help me over the bumps, help me through the tough spots, and spur me on to the resolution. They also take me to task when they think I'm holding out on them and have teased them far too long (ie, The Jane Austen Society Pages). And I, in return, do all of the above - and hold out a little longer on the long-awaited kissing scene. What can I say? I like to build up the tension before I give the readers what they want.

6. Have fun. Yes, writing is a job, it's work, and can be very exhausting, but it has to be fun. If you don't have fun writing, it will show. You should take pleasure in the whole process of creating characters and throwing them into challenging situations. If you start to dread the idea of sitting down to write, then you should probably re-think your reason for wanting to do it. If it's for the fame and glory, then it's the wrong reason. Many of us will never reach the same heights as Stephenie Meyer, Nora Roberts or John Irving, but we write for the sheer pleasure of writing. This doesn't mean that we don't want anyone to read what we write, we just write for ourselves first. Or at least I do.

7. Write the stories you like to read. Believe me, you will be reading your own story so much over the course of conception to publication that, if you don't like to read the type of story you're writing, you will hate the story long before it comes out. If it comes out. I have chucked out story ideas on many occasions, at varying stages of progression, because I just didn't like the idea anymore and couldn't bring myself to work on it any longer.

8. Most important: Just write. Now is not the time to talk about your dreams of being a writer. Now is the time to live the dream. Start the process, continue the process, finish the process. Only when you reach The End will you know for certain if you are a true author - or if it was better just to dream about it. If you reach the end and can't stop thinking about what you just wrote and want to dive back into it,, you are a writer. If you reach the end and find yourself thinking about the next book you want to write, you are a writer. If you have more than one idea kicking around inside your head fighting to be the next to come out - I feel for you! - you are a writer. But if you come to the end and dread the idea of having to go back and revise what you just wrote, maybe this isn't your calling.

(For me, I couldn't imagine not writing. I have been doing it since I could hold a pencil and nothing has stopped me from pursuing my dream. Not falling on hard times, a stint in a shelter, being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or raising a child with bipolar disorder and Asperger's Syndrome. Writing is my therapy, my blessing, my saving grace. It has gotten me through all of the trying times and sustained me through the lean times. I don't write because I dream of being the next Stephenie Meyer. I write because I couldn't imagine a life without it. Kind of like breathing.)

Well, I hope you enjoyed my tips today. If you have any of your own, feel free to add them in the comments. I'm curious to read about your writing process. If you want to learn more about NaNo, check out the link below:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/

You can find me here, under the screen name peefie23:

http://www.nanowrimo.org/eng/user/86996

Feel free to post your own screen names and indicate if you want us to buddy you. I welcome all who are willing to add me as a buddy.

Good luck with all of your writing - and reading! - ventures. ~ Margay