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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Free For All Friday - Meet Author/Poet Kellie Winzinowich!

Today I'd like to introduce my friend, fellow Ass Cheek Angel blogger,  writer of fantastic Contemporary Romance and wonderful poet, Kellie Winzinowich!

I had the pleasure of meeting Kellie in Orlando at the 2010 RWA conference, and I've since had the pleasure of reading some of her gymnastic based contemporary stories. So without further ado.......Take it away, Kellie!

1.How Long have you been writing?
All my life I've kept journals with short stories, poems, and musings on my life - a diary of sorts. I won a poetry contest in school when I handed in a poem I wrote about a foster child who left our home. Poetry writing is like therapy for me. I only entered that poem because I fooled around in English class and didn't write anything! I went home and chose that one from my private collection so I'd have something to hand in. The teacher, unbeknownst to me, entered it in a contest, so along with my good grade, I won a bit of cash, too. I love to read romance and as well as write it. I've always wanted to write a romance novel, and have written several in the past 4-5 years. I just think the world needs more happy endings!
2. Have you always wanted to write?
I've always written, but for myself. Someone told me once that I'd never make a living at it, and I was at an impressionable age then, so I didn't pursue it seriously, until I began to show my poetry collection to people (10 years later) and someone told me I should consider publishing it. I toyed with the idea for a few years until I finally decided to just go for it! I had friends who self-published a book and did quite well, so with their encouragement, I went that route with my poetry collection SIMPLY REFLECTED. I had no knowledge of the publishing world at that time, and even though the easy part was getting the book printed, I learned a lot about marketing, promotion and what it takes to sell a book. Now that I'm a part of the Romance Writer's of America, I've learned so much more about the publishing industry.  Digital versions and possibly audio versions of SIMPLY REFLECTED will be available in the next couple of months, so I'm excited about that! For updates, you can check out my site www.kelliejwin.com, or join my fan page on facebook (Kellie J. Winzinowich), and you can check out some of my newer poetry, too.
3. What genre do you write?
Right now I write contemporary romance. My first series of books deal with people in the gymnastics profession. All of my critique partners, and beta-readers have loved them, so I'm crossing my fingers that an editor or agent will, too.
4. Which author influenced you?
My favorite author is Eloisa James, not only because of her exquisite writing, but because she was instrumental in getting me to join the Romance Writer's of America. She has always answered all of my questions, and it was a real thrill to meet her this past summer! If I hadn't taken her advice, I never would have met my fellow Ass Cheek Angels. When I grace the stage (notice how positive I am) for a Golden Heart or RITA award, she will be one of the first people I thank.
5. Tell us about yourself.
I live in Manitoba, Canada - right in the middle of my country! I live with my four kids (2 boys, 2 girls), and my prince charming. I've been a gymnastics instructor for 23 years now (I started young), and taught everything from preschool to elite athletes. I gave up coaching for more of a normal family life, but I taught university for 3-4 years, and I still teach seminars for teachers and university students. The sport won't let me retire! My motto is: Keep dreaming, keep believing, and I instill this in my kids and others I meet. I believe you can do anything if you set your mind to it!
Thanks for being my guest, Kellie!
For more info visit Kellie at:  http://kelliejwin.com/

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

That's Hot Thursday!

Medieval Hotness!! Come and get it!
I'm talking about THE BARGAIN, by Julia Templeton. It's a 2006 erotic that you need to read.

The story of Renaud and Aleysia has a sweet side that balances the erotic side perfectly. I love the verbal interaction between the characters -- and I mean all characters. This story has a full cast, with a fantastic (cougar) secondary love/plot.

Speaking of plot, this is not just sex. There are Normans and Scottish, fights over land and over Aleysia........So if you love your erotica with a little more meat (pun intended), I think you'd love THE BARGAIN!

Until next time, happy reading!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wild, Wacky, Warped Wednesday!


10 Things That Sound Dirty On Halloween, But Aren't...
1. So...What'd you get in the sack?

2. Once you get under the sheet, start moaning and groaning!!!

3. Just hop on that broomstick and ride it!

4. Those small suckers are gone in a few licks!

5. I got the best piece from that house.

6. Quit screwing around on the porch!!!

7. Stick your hand in and guess what you're feeling....

8. It was so filled and heavy, I had to use TWO hands!!

9. They'll suck you dry if they get their teeth in you.

10. I bobbed and bobbed, but couldn't get my mouth around it!

Monday, October 25, 2010

True Facts Tuesday: Oh, Yes They Did!

For the next couple of Tuesdays I'm going to talk about "The World's Oldest Profession". Being a historical author I've found some interesting information during my research. One of the most surprising things I discovered was that despite the high moral standards of the Victorian era, there was also a seedy underside to this society.

If you're a fan of the History Channel, you may have watched the series entitled, Sex and the Civil War: The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell. The series was based upon the book by the same name, written by Thomas P. Lowry, MD. Doctor Lowry is a wealth of knowledge about this subject, and I recommend his book if you write Victorian Era stories.

The sad fact is that a large percent of war-time letters were destroyed - not by the fighting - but by the soldiers themselves, their way of protecting their secret "dirty" lives away from home. The following quotes are from the few surviving letters.

Harris Levin, 1864: Several nights a week our lonely post is visited by two sisters who are rentable for riding. They visit the boys at Brooks and Semmes also, as they lived at Hatcher's. Amanda is about 15 and my favorite. She has never asked for more of me than a good poking, but does of the others, but her sister, Carrie, will ask for her accommodations to me, so you know which I choose.

1863, Carlisle, PA (where the soldiers had captured a large supply of Yankee whiskey): Some of the Pennylvania women, hearing the noise of the revel and the music, dared to come near us. Soon they had formed the center of attention and joined the spirit of the doings. After much whiskey and dancing, they shed most of their garments and offered to us their bottoms. Each took on dozens of us, squealing in delight. For me it was hard come, easy go.

Amos Brenneman, 1864: ........I did not receive the box {of shoes}, I would like to have it, for my shoes are bad when it rains. I get wet feet and that I don't like. I would sooner have a wet c**k .

J.D. James, 1865, to his friend, John Wilson: You spoke of some marriages. It does me good to hear of weddings if I can't get to see any them. It is very seldom you hear of marriage here, for in fact there aren't any girls in this country except those that is strictly on the f**k for $5 a go. I take a snoot full about once a month. 


Hmmmm. Guess it's easy to see why the men didn't save that correspondence.

All information from: Sex In the Civil War: The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell
Thomas P. Lowry, MD
Stackpole Books, 1994

Saturday, October 23, 2010

AND THE WINNER IS..........

KASEY!! :) Congrats!!

Please email me at: authorjenniferjakes@hotmail.com  to give me your snail mail addy.

Thanks for all the comments! Look for future yummy give-aways;)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Free For All Friday!!

The FOOD channel or HGTV? Are you a foodie or a hammerhead?

Me? I have to admit I love the Food channel. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives is my favorite show. And yet, I watch HGTV's House Hunters religiously.

I'm torn......One channel makes me hungry, and the other makes me want to buy a house.  LOL


So what is your favorite channel? Tell me and you'll be entered in a drawing for some chocolate. (Not the yummy picture above - that wouldn't go through the mail too well.)

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

That's Hot Thursday!

Today I'm talking about the paranormal anthology, HOT BLOODED, Berkley, 2004. It's probably my first try of a real erotic novel. Oh sure, I'd read sensual, even steamy, but not true, nitty-gritty erotica. And yet.........these four stories are more erotic romance than erotic, because yes, there is a HEA between the H/h.

Anyway, my favorite story of the four included, is THE NIGHT OWL, by Emma Holly. After reading this fantastic vampire story, I was -- and still am -- a die hard Holly fan. I stocked my bookshelves with her titles. If you wanted to start with a full-length of hers though, I'd recommend ALL YOU CAN EAT. But there I go being a fan-girl............

The HOT BLOODED anthology also includes stories by Christine Feehan, Maggie Shayne and Angela Knight. SEDUCTION'S GIFT, by Ms. Knight, is one of the most unique plots I've ever read. Witches and vampires from King Author's Court take care of us mere mortals in a scorching read! Yow-za!

So if you're looking for an anthology that you will mark as a keeper, try HOT BLOODED :)  You won't be sorry!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wacky, Witty, Warped Wednesday

Two nuns took their first trip outside the convent. They had never
seen a baseball game, so they got tickets. Once inside, they sat in
the bleachers, and hearing a vender selling hot dogs, one said, "We've never had hot dogs before," and they decided to order a couple.

The first nun unwrapped her hot dog, and proceeded to quickly wrap it up again, saying, "Oh, my!"

"What's wrong, sister?" asked her companion.

"Well," came the reply, "which part of the dog did you get?"

Monday, October 18, 2010

True Fact Tuesday!

OK, here's a True Fact: This is one sexy man :)

Here's another True Fact: This is the last week of the contest I've been coordinating this summer and I'm too busy to give you a "real" fact.

Here's one more True Fact: My scheduling loss is your sexy gain! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Mary Oldham !

Today I want to introduce great friend and great author, Mary Oldham.

Mary - a Golden Heart Finalist - and I met in Orlando at the 2010 RWA Conference and became fast friends. I've had the pleasure of reading an excerpt of her work and am here to tell you, this is one talented lady! But I really don't have to tell you - check out her beautiful website, http://www.maryoldham.com/ , and take a look at this multi-award winning author's work for yourself.
Then come on back and get to know Mary a little better:)

Take it away, Mary!
 
Why did you start writing?

What started as a way to journal my feelings after a bad marriage and resulting divorce turned into a rough draft for The Voice of Reason.  At some point I stopped writing about my personal feelings and started writing about a woman plotting to kill her ex-husband.  It kind of scared me at the time, but it was quite therapeutic!  The story was badly written, but it got my mind thinking in a new way, like an author.  I was very intrigued with the idea of a good girl raised in a loving family, who marries this wonderful man, but then discovers the marriage is a fa├žade for something sinister.  I couldn’t get this one simple idea out of my head:  How far would you go to survive?

When I finished the rough draft, I put The Voice of Reason on the shelf and decided I’d never be a writer.  But in January 2008, I wrote several short stories.  I found that I had really missed escaping into the world of writing.  I expanded five of the short stories into series contemporary manuscripts.  Last spring, I picked up my old friend The Voice of Reason and rewrote the entire thing.  The ten year break gave me a good amount of perspective and I think I’m finally happy with it.

What genre do you write?

I write romantic suspense and series contemporary.  I would love to write single title, but series contemporary is a good way to get a lot of inventory in the pipeline.  At 50,000 words if the story isn’t what agents and editors are looking for, I know I will have another story for them to look at fairly quickly.  I also have a bit of a dark side, a little touch of the Dean Koontz or Stephen King that craves a great love story with something dark thrown in for fun.

Tell us about your 2010 Golden Heart Finalist manuscript, Laura Takes a Lover.

I like to write about women who want it all, but aren’t sure which pathway in life to take.  Because no matter what direction we choose, the grass will always appear greener in someone else’s yard. 

Laura is a heroine who is about to live a modern day fairytale, but doesn’t know it.  She discovers she can’t have children at the same time her husband has an affair, which leads to a divorce.  Then she meets Adam.  Not only is he younger, he’s good looking, very attracted to Laura and quite capable of getting her pregnant! 

Laura has to lose something she perceived to be good before she can value getting something that is great.

***

Mary Oldham – Bio

Ten years as a Media Consultant for The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon.
My career in advertising and outside sales has encompassed nineteen years. At any one time I have five or more stories swimming in my head asking to be written into novels.
Since January 2008, I’ve written six novels, finaled in ten contests, taking first place in three of them, as I continue to work full time. I rework a story until it's right, even if that means rewriting the entire manuscript.

For more information about my stories, please visit:  www.maryoldham.com

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

That's Hot Thursday!

Today I'm going to brag about BLACKMAILED, a smokin' hot erotic romance written by my friend, AnnMarie McKenna. If you haven't read any of AnnMarie's work, I would suggest this particular novel as a good starting point. Why? Well, let me count the reasons:
1. Two for the price of one. Heroes that is :) Cole and Tyler are perfect examples of alpha males. Ummm, did I mention BLACKMAILED is a menage story???
2. Excellent secondary characters. One you can love and a couple you can hate.
3. Sex that will make you (pleasantly) squirm!
4. A happy ending for all three main characters.
I for one don't like to become invested in a menage romance just to have the "third wheel" be written off in the end just for the sake of a traditional happily ever after. I don't need traditional. I'm reading a menage for goodness sake. I think I stepped outside traditional when I bought the book;) Ms. McKenna delivers a great ending without kicking anyone to the curb in the last chapter.

So if you're looking for a great hot read, try BLACKMAILED today. It's available in both print and e-book, published by Samhain Publishing. http://www.samhainpublishing.com/
Or visit Ms. McKenna : http://www.annmariemckenna.com/

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Writing Wednesday - The Decidedly, Absolutely, Completely Un-Needed 'LY'

True or False?
That depends on who you ask. I've read articles that call the use of 'ly' adverbs everything from telling writing to down right lazy writing. I've also read articles that insist 'ly' adverbs play an important role in writing. Which do I believe? Well . . . both.

Early in my writing, I peppered my manuscript with adverbs like a  crazed chef turned loose in Spices-R-Us. Then I learned that if I used them sparingly my writing was stronger. I was forced to find more descriptive verbs; I was forced to show instead of tell.

Let's look at an example:
"I'm sure we're all sorry for your loss," she said snidely.
"I'm sure we're all sorry for your loss." Her brittle voice held as much sincerity as a used car salesman's.  

Does it take more work to leave out the 'ly'? Positively.
Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Hope this helps in your writing!

Monday, October 11, 2010

True Facts Tuesday -- Victorian Toothpowder

 
Even though toothpowder was available commercially, many frugal Victorians chose to make their own. The information I     found covered about 35 years, but it doesn't appear the recipes became any more appealing.

In 1832 (More Regency than Victorian, IMO), Mrs. Lydia Child wrote in "The American Frugal Housewife": Honey mixed with pulverized charcoal is said to be excellent to cleanse the teeth and make them very white.

In 1858 these samples were offered in "Enquire Within Upon Everything" (Houlston & Wright, London) :
1 pound prepared chalk, 1 or 2 drams camphor. (I found a definition that stated a dram was an 1/8 of an ounce)

8 drams coral, 8 drams cuttle fish-bone, 8 drams dragon's blood, 8 drams orris root, 8 drams rose pink, 4 drams burnt alum, 4 drams red sanders, 1/2 dram cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, and rosewood - all finely ground.

1 pound powdered cuttlefish, 2 ounces powdered myrrh.

In the 1864 "Treastis on Pharmacy" the formula for toothpowder was as follows: powdered chalk, powdered myrrh, orris root, and red chalk.

By 1889 Barkham Burroughs' "Encyclopedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information" offered this: 2 parts of prepared chalk, 1 of Peruvian bark and 1 of hard soap, all finely powdered.

Hmmmmm. Sounds tasty. But I'll think I'll stick to my Crest. How about you?
I hope this is helpful in your writing :)
                              

Friday, October 8, 2010

Free For All Friday! -- Author Meet and Greet!

I want to introduce my wonderful friend and great writer, Jacqui Nelson. [She's the gorgeous redhead ;)]
Through our common interest of historical westerns we became friends. The picture is of us at the 2010 RWA Awards where Jacqui won the Golden Heart for her historical western, BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL.
Her second novel, BETWEEN LOVE AND LIES, is already garnering awards. If you love western romance you will love Jacqui's work. Excerpts are readable on her website, http://www.jacquinelson.com/

So take a minute and get to know Jacqui! She's an up and coming author you won't want to miss!
Thanks for being my first guest, Jacqui;)

 
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I started in November 2007 when I changed careers. After seven years working as an animator in the TV and video game industry, I needed work that had fewer hours and would allow me to live in Victoria, Canada (where there are no animation companies). My main goal was to spend more time with my mom, sister and nephew. During the job change I lost my creative outlet and needed another.
Back in 1992 I dabbled in writing. I bought and read a dozen writing books. I jotted down several ideas for stories. Then I put it all in a box, got sidetracked by my job (computer programming and later animation), and never thought about writing again. After moving in 2007 I was looking through my boxes and found the writing books and notebooks full of scribbles and decided I would try writing again.
 
Q: How did you get interested in the the western genre?
A: I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Canada (north of Edmonton, Alberta) on a cattle farm. We had only two TV channels (in the days before cable TV and even before, gasp, VCRs). The old Clint Eastwood movies came on TV and instantly I was hooked on Westerns. And "For a Few Dollars More" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales" are still in my top ten movie list.
 
Q: Tell us about your first manuscript (the Golden Heart book) and your second manuscript (your current WIP).
A: One of the "scribbles" in my notebooks was about a white woman who is raised by Indians. She runs away when white men murder her adoptive mother and sister, and the Indian brave she once called brother holds her responsible and vows to kill her. To escape and build a new life, she hires on as an interpreter and scout for a wagon train bound for Oregon. Two years later I had a completed manuscript, Between Heaven and Hell. I started pitching and entered it in several contests including the 2010 Golden Heart.
The first editor I pitched with suggested I keep writing Westerns. I had no more "scribbles" for Western stories, so I opened my series of Time Life Old West books and started reading.
I found an interesting historical fact about how the small farms between Texas and Dodge City were often decimated by the cattle drives when a longhorn tick caused the local cattle to develop a fever and die. I asked myself what would happen to a woman if she lost her farm during this time period (the 1870s)? Who would help her? Where could she find work? I decided my heroine would end up working in a saloon in Dodge City and that the cowboy (whose herd destroyed her farm) would be consumed by guilt and come back a year later to see what happened to her. One year later (I'm getting quicker!) I have a completed manuscript. I entered it in five contests, was a finalist in all of them, and now I'm ready for the 2011 Golden Heart. Fingers crossed once again :-)

Contact/visit Jacqui at: http://www.JacquiNelson.com

Thursday, October 7, 2010

That's Hot Thursday!

Are you wondering what That's Hot Thursday is all about?
Well wonder no more. Thursdays are all about hot books. Not necessarily erotic romance, just great sexy, sensual books.

This time it's all about Sabrina Jeffries' book, One Night with a Prince. It's the third and last addition to her Royal Brotherhood series (pub'd in 2006) but it is my favorite book of hers.

The sexual tension in this book is so well written you want to stay up all night reading. And when Gavin and Christabel actually get down to business..........*whew* Especially the scene in his coach. OMG! Oh, and the plot is excellent too;) I would give this book 5 out of 5 hot lips! Pick it up and see what you think!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Writing Wednesday - The 5 W's

Who?
What?
When?
Where?
Why?
Yesterday I read an article about the 5 W's and their use in writing a non-fiction piece. About half-way through reading I thought the same theory could work when writing a query letter. These are the same questions that make up a plot -- on a very basic level that is.

Consider this for an example. It's a slightly shorter (but not much shorter) version of the query I used to sell RAFE'S REDEMPTION.

Dear Agent/Editor,
I'm seeking representation for my historical novel, set in (when) 1866 (where) Colorado. (who) Maggie is an artist determined to (what)travel and sketch the western landscape. Her cousin is determined to see her dead. But when (why)they're trapped in a rough outpost, Maggie is used as collateral for her cousin's gambling debt.
(who) Rafe went (what) into town to buy supplies, not a woman. But when he sees a beautiful woman being sold to the lecherous townsmen, he (what) offers the winning bid. The last thing Rafe wants or needs is a woman. (why)He's got trouble of his own - a vengeful killer chasing after him.
Trapped by blizzards and pursued a killer, (who)Rafe and Maggie must attempt (what)to cross the Rocky Mountains (why)before his past catches up to them.

As I said this is a pretty basic breakdown, but I hope it's helpful when trying to write the dreaded query letter:)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

True Facts Tuesday - The Language of the Fan

During the mid 1800's fans were a common fashion accessory. Beautiful, beaded, flowered, feathered..........but much, much more. Fans were the instrument of a secret language. A woman could use her fan to signal a man, the being message anything from Follow Me to I Hate You. It was like texting for the Victorians! Below are a few examples of the meanings.

Carrying Fan in Right Hand in Front of Face:  Follow Me
Carrying Fan in Left Hand in Front of Face:  Desirous of Acquaintance
Twirling in the Left Hand: We Are Being Watched
Twirling in the Right Hand: I Love Another
Drawing Across the Cheek: I Love You
Presented Shut: Do You Love Me?
Drawing Across the Eyes: I Am Sorry
Letting Rest on Right Cheek: Yes
Letting Rest on Left Cheek: No
                                              Fanning Slowly: I Am Married
                                              Fanning Quickly: I Am Engaged
                                              With Handle to Lips: Kiss Me
                                             
These are just a few of meanings I thought were interesting. Can't you just imagine candlelit ballrooms, long silk gowns, stolen moments, stolen kisses. Makes you want to buy a fan and signal your lover doesn't it?


Info from: "Secrets of Life Unveiled" by Daniel R. Shafer (pub. 1877)