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Saturday, January 29, 2011

THE WINNER OF ANGI'S BOOK.................

Bron !!!! *confetti*whistles*

Congrats, Bron! Please contact me at: authorjenniferjakes@hotmail.com
so I can get your mailing addy.

Thanks everyone!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Angi Morgan!!

I'm so excited to welcome my 2010 Unsinkable sister, Angi Morgan! Those of you who attended the RWA conference in Orlando might remember Angi's winning speech. She was accompanied on stage by her husband, and her words were so sweet they made me cry:)

Anyway, Angi has been busy making us Unsinkables proud. Her SECOND novel, .38 CALIBER COVER UP will be available the first week of Feb. ! Her first wonderful and intriguing story, HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP, which was her RWA Golden Heart ms, is a must read.

You can visit Angi and find out more about her and her work at http://www.angimorgan.com/ and connect with her blog at that address too. Be sure to leave a comment because Angi is giving away a FREE copy of .38 CALIBER COVER-UP!!
So take it away, Angi!



Did you start out writing Romantic Suspense AND/OR What got you interested in the genre?
No matter what I try to write, there seems to be some type of mystery, trouble, murder, double-cross...something that leans toward romantic suspense and adventure. Even a Time Travel I’ve been working on has a lot of suspense in the adventure of medieval Scotland.

Where is your perfect writing place?
Anywhere. Wherever the words will come. Please let them be everywhere...all the time.
But to be more specific. I get my best words during a long, lonely car ride. When I listen to music. When I see a film and tell myself, “I wish I’d written that!”

Plotter or Pantser?
Is there such a thing as a Plot-ser. I’m an audible plotter. I bounce ideas off of critique partners (and the husband) throughout the book. I consider myself a slayer--I have to fix a problem before I can move forward in the plot. I have to write a loose synopsis to sell a book, but when I got to page 195 on .38 Caliber Cover-Up the true villain revealed himself. All I needed to do was strengthen one clue I’d laid out earlier in the story and the villain was ready to go. Funny how my fingers had put everything I needed into the story without letting my brain know.

Tell us about your "real life" romance.
Tim and I were best friends. He’s the only guy I dated as an adult from church. We were in a singles Sunday School class. We actually debated whether or not we wanted to kiss and change our relationship. I have to say that he broke up with me two minutes before he proposed. Yes, that’s TWO MINUTES. The conversation went something like this: Tim--“I think I need to date more.” Angi--“Okay, but if I’m still around here in a couple of years, look me up.” Tim, 30 seconds later--“Will you marry me?” Can’t remember if I choked or just said an immediate yes. It wasn’t until we’d been married about 15 years that he told our kids--“I literally watched my life without your mom fly before my eyes and realized that I had exactly who I wanted and that would never change.” Now...if he’d said that when he proposed, it would have made the first 15 years a lot easier. LOL

Tell us what you love most about writing/hate most about writing.
LOVE?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE when someone else tells me they love my story. Even “enjoyed” makes me giddy happy. HATE? Not managing my time better to write the story quickly. And being the neurotic writer that I am...I hate lacking confidence about my story-telling ability.

Add anything about your first book too:)
I was so fortunate that HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP won the Golden Heart and so excited during my acceptance speech that I forgot to mention it went on sale that very night. The thrill of seeing my first Intrigue on book shelves was soon followed by an RT Best First Series Book nominee. I love Steve & Jane for taking me on one adventurous thrill ride after another. And also for giving me Erren, my #2 hero for .38 Caliber Cover-Up.
 ****
Thanks again for having me today, Jennifer.
I’d love to ask your readers a question: Did you ever see a couple that just didn’t look like they belonged together and actually ask what their story was? Or even just imagine the story of how they got together?

I’ll give a commentator an autographed copy of .38 Caliber Cover-up.

Note: I can mail a copy of .38 Caliber Cover-up to a continental US address only, but International readers can win an electronic ARC. Thanks. 
*** 
THANKS TO YOU, ANGI FOR BEING MY GUEST!  IT WAS A PLEASURE MEETING YOU IN ORLANDO.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Barbara Mountjoy!



Please welcome another one of those multi-talented, multi-genre, (multi-pen-named) writers, author Barbara Mountjoy! Her first romance will be released this year from The Wild Rose Press. But she has much more to offer readers!! How about Urban Fantasy or Sci-Fi?? Please check out Barbara's website http://clanelvesofthebitterroot.com or her blog

http://barbaramountjoy.blogspot.com for more info, then hop on back here and get to know her better;)

Thanks for being my guest, Barbara! 
Take it away ***

As a writer friend of mine scolded, “It may be fun to chunk out novel after novel, but until you put in the work to edit, they will never go anywhere!”
For me, it is in fact, fun to chunk out novels. I enjoy the process. I’ve won NaNoWriMo twice, creating a 50,000-word novel in thirty days. Over the years, I’ve written maybe twenty novel manuscripts. Only in the last year have I been blessed enough to see them published—in fact, I received five contracts in 2010, three for fantasy novels, one for a romance and the last for women’s fiction. What has made the real difference for me is my critique group.

My personal editing process is stimulated, challenged and greatly aided by a talented critique group I met through Pennwriters. I can’t stress enough the value of a good critique group for any writer. While your mother/partner/daughter may rave about the wonders of your manuscript, if you’re serious about editing for the reading public, you need critical eyes of a variety of sorts. Our group, which meets twice a month, is a veritable mash-up of varied bodies of knowledge; a former state trooper, a dog expert, a lawyer, a truck driver, a high school librarian, some students, some working, some retired–all gifted. Many have been published in short form over the time I’ve belonged to the group, in newsletters, newspapers, or short story. The group boasts two Cup of Comfort story authors; I’m the first published novelist, though two others are coming up close behind.

This brings me to my first point: find a critique group at the level you need. If you’re just starting out, you’re still learning about everything—grammar, rhythm, metaphors—and need to become comfortable with the use of words on the page. What you don’t need in a critique group is a bunch of snippy professionals who will tear your piece apart as soon as you share it. You need a group with other beginners and a few mentors, a group that runs exercises each week to help you grow as a writer. Hold out for that group.
Conversely, if you’ve been writing some time and you’re ready for publication, you need a group with some published writers in it, to learn about queries and marketing and how to set your work before the public. You’ll want some harsher critiques—in a constructive way! Hopefully, your writer’s skin has thickened to the point where you can hear some criticism of the work, but still understand how changes might make the work better.

My second point: ego has no place in critique groups, on either the writing or reading side. In order to get the most from your feedback, you should listen, not talk. When group members comment on your work, take in what they say. They might not be right. They might not understand what you meant by a particular phrase or scene. Arguing with them just shuts down their urge to help you. Frankly, if the scene is so unclear that they missed the point—maybe the scene is that unclear. If only one person missed it, but the majority got it, maybe it’s fine. Listen. Then decide.

As a person giving feedback, remember your ego doesn’t matter, either. A critique session is not where you score points for being brilliant. Your opinion of someone else’s work only matters as far as it improves the other person’s work. It’s their work. Constructive criticism helps; tearing someone to bits doesn’t. In a business where sheer persistence is sometimes all that stands between a writer and publication, destroying their self-confidence to prop up your own ego is criminal. It happened to me, more than once. Receiving scathing words from someone claiming to “help,” I decided to give up any hope of being a writer. Thank the stars that my inner urges kept that from happening. Primarily because I found my new group.

What I like best about this group is the creative flow that works between us. Ego isn’t an issue. When we have questions, we toss them on the table, and they receive open, honest answers: Is this an information dump? Do you understand the character’s motivation? Is this too big a clue early in the story?
More importantly, in the discussion and exchange process, we’ve shared brainstorming moments that open the door to deeper understanding of my own work. What if your character did…? Perhaps the relationship between the girl and that boy could lead to…? What setting would make this scene most effective? What if the journey took on a more metaphoric flavor and…? I always love it when someone spots a meaningful undertone that I haven’t quite grasped, so I can coax it into the light.
Once you’ve worked over your manuscript with your group, then back to your computer to polish, polish, polish. Hopefully you have one writing partner who helps with final drafts. My critique mate Jean, a former high school English teacher, has read through just about everything I’ve submitted, even the science fiction she doesn’t like, attacking the pages with not only red pen but black and violet as well. Bless her. (No, really, I mean it!) 

All in all, though writing is a solitary process, editing can work best as a collective. I’d urge any writer to find a group, online or in person, that provides what they need. Be prepared to do your share to help others along the way ; keep your ego in check. And start chunking out those novels!
***
Barbara Mountjoy dreamed for many years of being a spaceship captain, but settled instead for inspired excursions into fictional places with fascinating companions from her imagination that she likes to share with others. She has been a published writer for over thirty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper in Homestead, Florida, with a list of eclectic publications from horror to tech reporting to television reviews. She writes urban fantasy and science fiction under the name of Lyndi Alexander. The Elf Queen, her first novel, was released by Dragonfly Publishing in July 2010; the series continues in 2011 with The Elf Child, and 2012 with The Elf Mage. Writing as Alana Lorens, her first romance novel, Deliverance, will be published by The Wild Rose Press in 2011.
Barbara is married to an absent-minded computer geek. Together, they have a dozen computers, seven children and a full house in northwestern Pennsylvania.
For more information, see her fantasy series website at http://clanelvesofthebitterroot.com  or on Facebook at The Elf Queen (Clan Elves of the Bitterroot Series), her writer’s blog at http://barbaramountjoy.blogspot.com  or check in with her regular blog, http://awalkabout.wordpress.com, where she talks about life, autism, travel and writing.
 Thanks so much, Barbara, for joining me today!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Witty, Wacky Wednesday!

It got crowded in heaven, so, for one day it was decided only to accept people who had really had a bad day on the day they died. St. Peter was standing at the pearly gates and said to the first man, "Tell me about the day you died."

The man said, "Oh, it was awful. I was sure my wife was having an affair, so I came home early to catch her with him. I searched all over the apartment but couldn't find him anywhere. So I went out onto the balcony, we live on the 25th floor, and found this man hanging over the edge by his fingertips. I went inside, got a hammer, and started hitting his hands. He fell, but landed in some bushes. So, I got the refrigerator and pushed it over the balcony and it crushed him. The strain of the act gave me a heart attack, and I died."

St. Peter couldn't deny that this was a pretty bad day, and since it was a crime of passion, he let the man in.

He then asked the next man in line about the day he died. "Well, sir, it was awful," said the second man. "I was doing aerobics on the balcony of my 26th floor apartment when I twisted my ankle and slipped over the edge. I managed to grab the balcony of the apartment below, but some maniac came out and started pounding on my fingers with a hammer. Luckily I landed in some bushes. But, then the guy dropped a refrigerator on me!"

St. Peter chuckled, let him into heaven and decided he could really start to enjoy this job.

"Tell me about the day you died?", he said to the third man in line.

"OK, picture this: I'm naked, hiding inside a refrigerator...."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Carolyn Matkowsky/Cara Marsi!!

Please welcome another one of my Wild Rose Press sisters, Carolyn/Cara! I'm a huge fan of Romantic Suspense, no matter what other sub-genre the author might add. If you love RS too, take the time to check out the links to Carolyn's books!

Now, let's take a minute and get to know Carolyn better! :) 


1- Tell us about your road to publication: Was it a fast track or a gravel road filled with potholes?  How long have you been writing?
I don't write in only one genre. A Catered Affair is a traditional romance. Logan's Redemption, published in 2007 from The Wild Rose Press and now available exclusively on Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook, is a sensual romantic suspense. Murder, Mi Amore, available now from The Wild Rose Press, is a sensual romantic suspense novella. Cursed Mates, available now from Noble Romance Publishing, is a dark, sensual paranormal romance. However, the genres may be different, but all my stories have the same theme: second chances, and ultimately redemption. I've also discovered a love of writing short stories. In the past year I've sold nine short romance stories to the confession magazines-True Love, True Romance, True Confessions and True Experience. When I was at my lowest, ready to give up writing, I sold my first "Trues." My short stories have kept me in the game. I love writing them. 
Oh, yes, I couldn't do without my critique partners. I'm a writer who needs critique. My first critique group was wonderful. They taught me so much and were responsible for my selling my first book. We split up but remain friends. But having no critique group is better than having a bad group that either tears you down or doesn't help you improve. My second critique group was more of a social thing, no help at all. That group ended on a bad note. There are five us in my current group. One of my critique partners has published over twenty books with Harlequin. Another partner has over ten books with several large publishers. One, while still unpublished in book length, is a newspaper columnist. And the other, a medical doctor, is still unpublished but is very talented and I have no doubt you'll soon be reading her books. They've helped make my stories better, even if I sometimes chafe at their critiques. I believe in critique groups as long as you have a group that supports you but challenges you to write better. 
  
I've recently completed a sweet novella, but it still needs a lot of revisions. This past December I had two books released within days of each other-Murder, Mi Amore and Cursed Mates. I've been very busy promoting them. Each book is different, yet with similarities. I love each of them in a different way, much as a parent loves each child in a different way. Murder, Mi Amore is set in Rome and tells the story of an innocent American tourist, Lexie, caught up in intrigue involving jewel thieves, terrorists and a mysterious hunky Italian named Dominic. Cursed Mates is set in an eerie village in Maine. My heroine, Kyla, is an elite were-hunter with a scarred past. My hero, Nick, is a former duke and reluctant werewolf for 500 years. Their love is forbidden. She's duty-bound to kill him. But they have to join forces to fight an even greater evil.
Thanks so much for being my guest today, Carolyn! I wish you many more successes in your writing:)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Witty, Wacky Wednesday!!

TOP TEN THINGS MEN WOULD DO IF THEY WOKE UP WITH A VAGINA FOR A DAY...

10. Immediately go shopping for zucchini and cucumbers.

9. Squat over a hand-held mirror for an hour and a half.

8. See if they could finally do the splits.

7. See if it's truly possible to launch a ping pong ball 20 feet.

6. Cross their legs without rearranging their crotch.

5. Get picked up in a bar in less than 10 minutes ... BEFORE closing time.

4. Have consecutive multiple orgasms and still be ready for more without sleeping first.

3. Go to the gynecologist for a pelvic exam and ask to have it recorded on video.

2. Sit on the edge of the bed and pray for breasts too.

1. Finally find that damned G-spot.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Free For All Friday - Meet Author Veronica Lynch!


 Please help me welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author Veronica Lynch! Her contemporary romance, THOSE WHO WAIT, can be ordered from DECANDENT PUBLISHING, and her new release, THE LIST, part of the CLASS OF '85 series from THE WILD ROSE PRESS, is coming soon;) You can contact Veronica at: VlynchAuthor@yahoo.com
and you can find out more about her writing at: www.VLynchAuthor.blogspot.com
Today Veronica is going to talk to us about Writing What You Know.
Thanks so much for being my guest, Veronica! Take it away:)
          
***********************************************

          Having attended a number of writers conferences over the years, I've had the privilege to sit in on any number of workshops, the Craft Tract being a personal favorite. One which stood out the loudest came when I heard Nora Roberts tell her audience, 'write what you know.'
          Coming from one of my heroes, the advice made sense―except I wondered how I, as a nurse [then] could ever turn a doctor into a hero. If you don't know where someone last had their hands, well . . . not an appealing thought as far as I was concerned. 
          Then came the day when I heard Tess Gerritsen speak at a New Jersey Romance Writers conference. She talked about her beginning roots in writing dated back to her medical residency days in the ICU and observing what the nurses―whom she spoke of with great respect and affection―were reading: category romances. Wow. A physician who spoke of nurses with respect. I had to read one of her books. Let me tell you, after devouring “The Apprentice”, I was hooked. Tess Gerritsen writes what she knows!
          As a teenager living in a very rural area with little to do and no way to get anywhere, I read anything I could get my hands on. I discovered a book by Frank G. Slaughter in my parents' library, a Civil War story about a female spy and a male battle surgeon. Very bloody, lots of spilled guts, gore and suffering. Right up the alley of a fourteen year old with an over-active imagination and way too much time on her hands. Thoroughly hooked, I proceeded to sign out every one of his books from the school library as well as the library in a neighboring town. It wasn't until I later that I learned Mister Slaughter was actually a medical doctor. This man had the ability to put me in the moment of a battlefield hospital scene, suffering right along with the doctor and his patients. Later, one of Dr. Slaughter's contemporary novels, “Daybreak”, featured the trials and tribulations of a physician working in the mental health system prior to the advent of effective anti-psychotic medications when pre-frontal lobotomies and electroshock therapy were considered common treatment measures for psychiatric problems. Very chilling stuff for this young woman who was about to head off for three years of nursing school in―you guessed it―a state psychiatric facility. By the end of training, I'd passed more Thorazine and Mellaril than any ten nursing students―and no fresh lobotomies, thank you very much.

          As a young wife with a graduate student husband and two small kids, money was tight. I lucked out when I discovered a second-hand book store and author Robert K. Tannenbaum's legal thrillers featuring Assistant District Attorneys Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi. With each book I learned about the steps in the legal process, evidence that can degrade over time or be lost by dumb luck or stupid accident, “eye witnesses” who aren't always as reliable as cops would like, and a how-to manual on criminals who beat the system. It came as no surprise when I learned this man spent many years in the Manhattan DA's office, prosecuting the worst of the worst. Writing with a sharp wit and biting sarcasm, after more than twenty years, Mr. Tannenbaum's books continue to hold my interest. Another instance of writing what one knows.
          Lastly, I'd like to blow the horn for one of my nursing as well as writer heroes: Eileen Dreyer. After many years in category romance, Eileen―an experienced ER nurse―was called up to the big leagues with a series of medical thrillers set in and around St. Louis, Missouri. Invariably her heroines are nurses with advanced training [such as Eileen herself] in forensic evidence collection, death examinations, or critical incident management. With a sharp wit and biting humor, Eileen makes the everyday come to life and answers the question, “What if?”
          In closing, I challenge any author to look at their everyday life and incorporate something they find there into his/her writing. Okay, so maybe you don't have an exciting job that includes passing bed pans or inserting suppositories, but do you have a volunteer job you really love, something that gives back ten times more than what you put in? I have a friend who volunteers at a soup kitchen, another takes calls on a domestic violence crisis line, a third takes an AA meeting into the county jail to the male prisoners.
          Do you have an Aunt Helen [like me] who retired from the Navy Nurse Corps at the rank of Lieutenant Commander after serving in World War II and Korea? Do you have religious connections you might tap for a secondary character? I know an author who pumped her priest uncle for the scoop on how to get around the priest-penitent privilege and the sanctity of the confessional for one of her books―and yes, under certain circumstances, it can be done.
          Where do you live or go for a vacation? Can that be turned into a setting so vivid readers want to move there? A January 2011 release for the Wild Rose Press' Class of '85 series, “After All These Years”, is set in the Adirondack Mountains. Believe me, she nailed it.
          What turns you on? How do you fill all those empty hours in your life? Do you attend festivals or state fairs? How about protest marches? A September, 2010 anthology [Out of the Dark] from Wild Rose Press featured a protest march that turned into a riot. The author was a veteran of protests from back in the 80's and 90's; it was clear she knew what she was talking about. The description spoke to me as a reader as well as a woman.
          For my first story with Decadent Publishing, “Those Who Wait”, I returned to my days as the director of a multi-county crisis intervention program which served over 1,000 victims of sexual violence and their significant others every year. Interactions with police officers were everyday occurrences. It was a lot of fun to write a romance between a hard core advocate and tough as nails police investigator.
          “The List”, a short novella for the Class of '85, the Wild Rose Press, will be released in early 2011. I needed to research two separate themes for this story: the effects of school bullying, then and now and morbid obesity. I hope I've put my money where my mouth is!

Thank you, Jennifer, for inviting me to visit your blog. I had a great time.

I can be reached at VlynchAuthor@yahoo.com

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Witty, Wacky Wednesday!

Men are like.....Recliners.
You pull the lever and they lay back

Men are like.....Curling irons.
They're always hot, and they're always in your hair.

Men are like fires.
They go out if unattended!

How can you tell if your husband's dead?
Sex is the same but you get the remote

How do we know men invented maps?
Who else would make an inch into a mile?

Why is dating like a game of cards?
Because if you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

What's the nicest thing about a nudist wedding?
You don't have to ask - you can see who the best man is.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST............

Where is the best place to find a man who is handsome, a good lover and a stimulating partner?
In the pages of a romance novel