Friday, August 31, 2012

Bye, Summer...Hello, Autumn

It's the "unofficial" end of Summer.  Along with Labor Day comes September, a brand new school year, the beginning of Football season, and the winding down of Baseball season.

To all my friends who follow me on this blog, a big "thank you."  I wish you a happy, fun, and most of all safe holiday weekend!

Looking forward to more chats in September.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An Author and an Editor

I’ve been away this blog for several days doing what I talked about in a previous post –- proofreading for fellow authors who are working to make a deadline.

I also exchanged emails with Melissa Hosack.  Melissa was tapped to be the editor on the anthology I was fortunate to be a part of last year, Winter Wonders, published by Whimsical Publications.  Aside from being a wonderful editor (and a gem to work with), she is a talented, multi-published author herself.
Over the years, I’ve discovered the importance of author and editor working together as a team.  I think of it like baking a cake.  Maybe you’ve used vanilla extract in your recipe, but your editor thinks almond would enhance the flavor.  Communication, discussion, and agreement is just so important for the novel (and the cake, too).
I was so fortunate to have that kind of relationship/courtesy with Melissa.  While working together, we had fabulous email exchanges about the whys and hows of my story, “Burger and Hot Chocolate,” and her guiding hand to help me make the story better.
Perhaps, the great exchange was because she’s a writer, too.
Melissa’s writing flair is with the Paranormal genre.   Her first full length novel, Deadly Encounters of the Supernatural Kind, was released by Whimsical Publications in March 2009.  Her short stories have been featured in several anthologies and along with serving as editor on Winter Wonders, she contributed the story, “Saving Santa.”

Melissa will soon be one busy author, promoting upcoming works.  Her short story, “Haunted,” will be featured in a Halloween anthology published by Evernight Publishing.  Evernight is scheduled to offer her story, “Zombie Girl” as a free read. 

Here’s an excerpt from “Zombie Girl” (with an intriguing first line).

I’d had the hots for Elizabeth since the first moment I laid eyes on her. It was unfortunate she died before I ever got to make a move. Though honestly, I doubt I ever would have worked up the nerve. Guys like me didn’t date girls like her.
Elizabeth had been the epitome of perfection. Her loose, blonde curls flowed halfway down her back, gleaming like spun gold in the sunlight. Her hair had always swayed sensually with her every movement, as vibrant as if it had a life of its own. Her sea-green eyes used to sparkle with joy, their depths revealing her unsurpassed charm and charisma. Even her toes used to turn me on with their classy pedicures. Elizabeth had been perfection.
Maybe that was why I still dreamt about her. That was the only explanation for why tonight when I should be resting after a hard day of work, I instead heard her voice whispering to me in the middle of the night, why I felt her lips brushing along my collarbone.
“Karik.” Her sweet voice breathed against my neck as her tiny hands slid along my chest. I could feel the weight of her lithe body as she leaned over me, her cotton-covered breasts brushing against the center of my bare chest. Her hair tickled along my skin, sending goose bumps down the length of my arms.
That undeniable sensation made my eyes pop open and a gasp tear from my throat. Dreams didn’t touch you, couldn’t touch you. As I focused in the dark, I was shocked to find myself staring into those green eyes I’d been dreaming about for months. “Elizabeth!” I scrambled to a sitting position and stared in frozen disbelief at the gorgeous woman in front of me.
Whimsical will also release Melissa’s novel, December 2012, later this year.  For more information on Melissa Hosack, her Paranormal works, and a sneak peak at some great looking book covers, check out her website

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Long and Short Reviews!

I’ve been away from this blog for the past two weeks mostly due to celebrating my birthday.  Yes, last week was my birthday, and I spent a lot of time catching up with friends and family.  So many people that I love and have a fondness for, but the reality of day to day living is that our only contact is the annual Christmas card exchange and the birthday phone call/email swap.
Then, Mona Risk, one of my From the Heart Romance Writers' chapter mates, reminded me that August is also the anniversary month for Long and Short Reviews.  Five fabulous years of interviews, reviews, short stories, and other goodies.

I wrote an earlier post (June 26, 2012) on Long and Short Reviews (I have a habit of referring to it as "The" Long and Short Reviews).  LASR is very dear to my heart.  Along with having accepted several of my short stories over the years, I was interviewed and given the opportunity to talk about my short story, “Burgers and Hot Chocolate,” when the anthology, Winter Wonders was released.
Please stop by Long and Short Reviews and offer best wishes

And say “hi” to Mona

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Good Proofreader Is As Important As A Good Friend

As much as I worship my computer, it can’t do everything.  Which is why I always need a proofreader.  I seem to type “I would like to have on drink, please” when I mean to type “I would like to have one drink, please. “ 
Neither my computer or me seems to catch the “on” when I mean “one” no matter how many times I read a piece of writing.
One of my best proofreaders, and friends, is Liana Laverentz.  Liana, Karen Rose Smith and I were critique partners way back in the 90s before there was email, computers, and I was typing stories on an electric typewriter.   And, recently, when an agent showed an interest in a manuscript, Liana proofread for me (picking up on that “I would like to have on drink, please”).   Liana also reminds me that it's "blonde" for a female, and "blond" for a male.
She has been a “good” friend and advisor, and just saying “thank you,” really isn’t saying enough. 
Liana is a multi-award winning author.  Published by The Wild Rose Press, Liana’s first novel, Thin Ice, was an EPPIE winner for Best Contemporary Romance and New Jersey’s Romance Writers’ Golden Leaf Award.  Her second novel, Jake’s Return, was also a Golden Leaf winner.   Her third book, Ashton’s  Secret, was also published by The Wild Rose Press.

Blurb from Thin Ice:

The last thing Emily Jordan needs in her life is a man, and certainly not one who uses his fists in his work. Her father hit her mother, and Emily’s already made the mistake of marrying a man who seemed to be a dream come true, but proved to be no better. An emergency room doctor and volunteer at a women’s shelter, she sees more than enough of the results of violence in the world, and has no use for anybody who contributes to it.
When she treats Eric Cameron in her ER after a bar brawl, her opinions of men in general seem to be confirmed. It isn’t until she meets Eric outside her eight-year-old son’s school after Eric gives a talk against using drugs and alcohol, that Emily learns he’s a hockey player, and her son’s newest idol. Robbie has been begging her to let him play hockey for months, and has now enlisted his new friend Eric, captain of the struggling Minneapolis Saints, to help him convince Emily to let him play.
Eric Cameron is more than willing to be Robbie’s ally. He’s never met a woman who intrigued him so much. Emily Jordan has it all…brains and beauty, a home of her own, a career she excels at, a son who adores her, and loving friends and family to help her bring it all together in a way Eric has longed for ever since he was a kid living over the ramshackle bar his mom ran when his dad ran out on them. He realized early on that hockey was going to be his only way out of spending his life busting up barfights.

Jake’s Return Blurb:

The last person small town bad boy Jacob Donovan expects to find when he returns home in disgrace after serving time is Rebecca Reed, head librarian. Rebecca had always had much bigger ambitions. Jake hadn’t wanted to stand in her way, so after one night of passion with his former best friend, he’d hit the open road.
Rebecca refuses to believe Jake is guilty of murder. The boy who’d been her friend and protector when they were town outcasts together could never have killed a woman. Not to mention the tender, loving man who’d given her their daughter, Katie.
But who is Jake now? That’s what everyone wants to know, including the town council chairman, who is determined to send Jake back to prison, by any means available.
Jake’s been running from love for all of his life. Will he find the courage to defeat his demons and stay this time?

All three of Liana’s books are available through The Wild Rose Press