Monday, October 31, 2011

TWV mega contest - week of 10/31



Showcase author(s):


Angelica Hart and Zi




First Book giveaway
(Follower drawing)

Prize: E copy of SNAKE DANCE from Angelica Hart and Zi at angelicahartandzi.com
Type contest: Random drawing from subscribed followers of the TWV blog
How does contest work: Simply subscribe as a follower. Go to left side of blog screen near bottom and sign up as a follower by Friday midnight
How do I win: A winner is drawn at random from all followers Saturday.
Winner announced: Next Monday winner will be posted and asked to send email.
Rules/limitations:
To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.


Second Book giveaway (Follower drawing)

Prize: E copy of CHANCING YESTERDAY from Angelica Hart and Zi at angelicahartandzi.com
Type contest: Random drawing from subscribed followers of the TWV blog
How does contest work: Simply subscribe as a follower. Go to left side of blog screen near bottom and sign up as a follower by Friday midnight
How do I win: A winner is drawn at random from all followers Saturday.
Winner announced: Next Monday winner will be posted and asked to send email.

Rules/limitations:
To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.


Last weeks winner

Congrats to follower Joemmama - You won an E copy of A WAY BACK from Linda LaRoque. Email your name to author at llaroque@hot.rr.com and claim your prize NLT midnight this Friday.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Scottish Halloween

It’s almost that time of year again, when little ghosts and ghouls and witches are prowling the streets hoping to take home a huge bag of goodies from indulgent neighbours. We called it going out in ‘goloshans’ when I was a child, although that seems to be a Celtic word unique to the part of Scotland in which I grew up. Most people call it ‘guising’ these days, and my own children (when young)  carried on the tradition of getting dressed up to go round the nearest houses, complete with a bag for the expected nuts and sweets, and a rhyme or joke to make sure they got some!
We only learned about ‘trick or treat’ from watching American films and I’m quite sure some children have now adopted this expression. Our Halloween activities used to be on a much smaller scale and the only requirement for some treat or other was that the child should be dressed up and should perform the aforementioned rhyme or whatever talent they possessed. I’ve heard some great songs from children. The other main activity was dookin’ for apples. A large basin containing apples was filled with water and the apples set whirling around by hand. There were two ways to retrieve an apple: you could either kneel on the floor, hands behind the back, and try to grab an apple with your teeth – great fun and very wet! Or you could kneel over a chair and drop a fork into the water to try and spear an apple.
Our ‘jack o’ lanterns’ were carved out of large turnips, rather than the pumpkins that are now available in most supermarkets. Another treat for children was toffee apples which they carried on a stick – very messy and not so good for the teeth, but delicious once the hard toffee gave way to the juicy fruit.  Halloween is also the ancient Celtic Samhain, the night on which the souls of the dead can cross between the two worlds, and I’ve written a story inspired by this darker celebration. But for this more light hearted post, I’ll finish with the little rhyme I wrote many years ago for my own children to recite to neighbours to ensure they brought back a large haul of nuts and sweets!
Witches and wizards, broomsticks and bats,
wild hair and face paints, long pokey hats.
Turnip face lanterns, eerie and bright,
lighting the way on this dark scary night.
Ghosties and ghouls in the streets can be seen,
But there’s no need to fear for it’s just Halloween!
Rosemary
Dangerous Deceit, Champagne Books and Amazon

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Thirteen: Halloween!

Well, it's that time of year again... Spooky movies on TV, pumpkins piled high at the grocery store, and Christmas decorations in the aisles at the local Zellers department store.

The kids are home for Reading Week and we've been busy watching a collection of themed movies. We have a pile ready to go and have so far watched Bedknob & Broomsticks. Waiting in the wings are:

Stand By Me
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Shaun of the Dead
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sleepy Hollow
Murder By Death
Zombieland

Do you think I'll have enough time to watch all these movies before they go home Sunday? Well, I'm sure going to try! I think a full-scale marathon is in order on Saturday. Alas, I have no parties to attend, therefore no costume to assemble.

This was my favourite in a past Halloween. Maybe I'll have a chance to wear it again at Fan Expo (Toronto's ComiCon) next year.


Happy Halloween and don't eat too much candy!

Sandra Cormier is the author of BAD ICE, a hockey romantic suspense from Champagne Books. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Healing Journey



I began writing a few months after my dear brother's death from brain cancer. I found that I could not accept that such a horrible thing could happen to such a healthy, amazing young man. I had just watched a move, The Green Mile, and I so badly wanted the ability to heal others as the gentle giant in the movie was capable of that I could taste it. The main character in my first book, Forever Man, was born with Ellie Hightower having the satisfying ability to heal others. I lived the next months through her and found it slowly healed my own soul.


The Forever Series was born.


The epic series has now grown to five books with more to come. The journey is still a healing journey. I can only hope my two dear brothers, Don Prior and Garrel Prior, that have both been lost to cancer in the past few years are looking down. You were the best!



for stories of vampires and romance





Monday, October 24, 2011

TWV mega contest - week of 10/24



Showcase author(s):

Linda LaRogue




First Book giveaway
(Mystery question):

Prize: Paperback of OCOTILLO BLOOM from Linda LaRoque at lindalaroque.com
Type contest: Answer mystery question to be entered for drawing
Mystery question: "What would Lynn's job be at the ranch?"
Where is the answer: Visit author website & search the blurb/excerpts for novel
How do I win: Send your answer to author at llaroque@hot.rr.com NLT Friday midnight with subject line – “TWV Mega contest”
Winner announced: Right here, next Monday
Rules/limitations:
(1) No purchase required. Answer to mystery question found on author's website.
(2) To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.
(3) Because of postage, only US/Canada residents can play this one


Second Book giveaway (Follower drawing)

Prize: E copy of A WAY BACK from Linda LaRoque at lindalaroque.com
Type contest: Random drawing from subscribed followers of the TWV blog
How does contest work: Simply subscribe as a follower. Go to left side of blog screen near bottom, and sign up as a follower by Friday midnight
How do I win: A winner is drawn at random from all followers Saturday.
Winner announced: Next Monday winner will be posted and asked to send email.

Rules/limitations:
To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.


Last weeks winner

Congrats to follower Anita Davison - You won an E copy of THE DARK LIGHTHOUSE from Jane Toombs. Email your name to author at jtoombs@jamadots.com and claim your prize NLT midnight this Friday.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Under Pressure by Choice

Ever have the feeling that sometimes you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?  I’m sure you have.  I’ve done it numerous times, and still, haven’t learned my lesson.

I’m a sucker for punishment.  To date, not only am I juggling my day job while attempting to write a new work in progress (two, to be honest), but also accepted a manuscript for beta reading (which I have to say is very engrossing), and the author wishes it back by the end of the month.  Admittedly, the beta reading is taking up more of my time than anything else — mostly because of the looming deadline.  On top of that, another writer sent me his published book and asked me to review it.  Wow, for realz?  That left me feeling quite chuffed that he’d want my opinion.  But wait, there’s more.  Just the other day, I decided to submit a short story to a fellow SF writer’s anthology collection.  I know, for realz.  And to think I’m more worried about the fact that I have to write a short story than the actual writing of it.  You see, I’m not very good at writing shorts.  So the most worrying part is trying to make it concise, compact, and still keep details intact and not make it sound like a police incident report.

And then someone asked me if I was planning on participating in the NaNo write thingy.  Until a year ago, I had no idea of what that meant, other than it being an iPod.  But my answer was an emphatic “NO.”  While I find real joy in writing, creating worlds to fall into, and bringing to life characters (who I think are unforgettable), I have no desire to be pressured into writing.  Deadlines, I appreciate, but NaNo write to me feels like an ultimatum.  For me, writing is a passion, not a job — I got one of those already and it sucks.  The moment it starts to feel like a job, where I have to clock in and shoot out so many words a day, that’s when all my creative energies exit stage left.  Don’t get me wrong; I can appreciate the purpose of the competition; it hones your skills and offers motivation to write, with pep talks and forums, and so forth.  But, it’s just not for me.  Generally, I’m not the most competitive person out there.  And with all the other stuff going on, the last thing I need is the pressure of: I have to write.

So, as I whittle down my to-do list (not likely to happen since it keeps growing), November will see me diving into my WIP (Oh, yah, and the short story), keeping to my own pace and my own deadlines…and playing with my new puppy, Jax, who is most entertaining between breaks for air.

So, I am "pleasantly" under pressure by choice.  Hmm, now I can’t seem to shake that song by Queen out of my head.

T.K. Toppin

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Top Ten Most Expensive Costumes for 2011


Just for fun, I checked out the Halloween costume at the local store, not a costume shop. I remember when some of the woman’s outfits would have only been appropriate in the bedroom. Okay, I’ve seen the naughty nurse and French maid before, but now its naughty fairy, sexy pirate, sexy police officer, even a skimpy M&M costume. Something for everyone, well almost, they were mostly marked, one size fits ‘most’.
I wanted to check out the top ten costumes for 2011 and came across the top ten most expensive costumes for 2011.

10. Tron Legacy Costume $1,500
9. Transformers Costume $2,950
8. Carmen Miranda Costume $2,999
7. Beast Illusion Costume $3,122
6. White Minotaur (what?) $4,500
5. Tony the Tigar Official $5,000
4. Show girl Poker Costume (set of 4) $5,900
3. Shake & Bake Electric Chair $8,600
2. Full Suit of Armor $24,000
1. Human Slinky Costume $1,000,000

Wow, my husband and I usually dig through our closets, hit the thrift stores, and spend maybe $20.00 on both costumes. Human Slinky, I’m sure my husband has enough junk between the garage and the shed that we could create that costume for about $5.00 for the tights. I know our make-shift costumes have always been better than a Beast Illusion or a White Minotar, but I might splurge if I can get my girl friends to go in on the Show Girl Poker Costumes! Have a safe and Happy Halloween, stop in a visit at www.victoriaroder.com

Friday, October 21, 2011

ONCE UPON A DIAPER CHANGE OR UNKNOWN TIDBITS ABOUT ANGELICA AND ZI

By
Angelica Hart and Zi

Once upon a chat, we became long winded while answering questions at Dawn's Love's Romance Cafe, and we thought to take this opportunity to share some of our responses with a bit of curtailing and a bit of enhancing.

Did you always want to become a writer?

A: Was born with a story in my mouth.

Z: Yup, her first words were gagagoba dada... which means... Once upon a diaper change.

What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?

Z: Most interesting... although we work in seclusion we're actually on a stage, displaying for the world the strange workings of our minds in the form of stories... all for the sake of entertainment

A: Less interesting... Zi makes great coffee

Z: Ang that has nothing to do with writing.

A: Sure it does... fuels my thoughts... energizes my body... puts me in a good mood

Z: You usually drink tea.

A: Well, there is that.

How did you celebrate your first release? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?

A: I sent smile-face e-mails to all my closest friends and family, engaging them to atta-girl me, and they do.

Z: The question asked about ritual. Ok, here's my ritual. My neighbor has this immense weeping willow tree, and after a book release, I wait for the blackness night in the heaviest rain, strip naked and run helter-skelter through the drooping branches screaming, "Look what I did... Look what I did... Look what I did..." Then I dress and act as if it never happened.

So tell us about your very first release as a writing team. What is it about, what inspired it and is it a stand-alone title or a series book?

Z: KILLER DOLLS.

A: (Making a note to avoid the office when it is a heavy rain and the middle of the night) ... is a stand alone at the moment but there is the possibility of a sequel, working title LOVE LETTERS.

Z: Our inspiration came from Angelica's handmade spoon doll collection and the simple words what if... All coupled with the state of our world and the post-9/11 fear of terrorism. We are both strong proponents that you confront fear not hide from it, and our small slice of storytelling is both cathartic and, hopefully, a place where some might find strength or closure. Obviously, that is a very serious point and we hope our tone and texture has reflected it but we are both humble enough to understand we may not have.

If you could meet any paranormal creature, who would it be and why?

A: A wyvern... there is so much intrigue in a flying dragon. Could I see myself as the damsel in distress with the valiant hero racing to rescue me. Damn straight I can. Then again, I can also envision flying in on a dragon to rescue a hero in distress...a nice hunky hero. (Big grin)

Z: I'm kinda liking cupid... kinda short and pudgy, wearing a diaper, running around with a bow and arrow, popping people in the name of love. Is that a gig or what? Now, if he gets a good annual out of it, I can see that as a future job possibility. Though a diaper in my size would require me jumping a fence and measuring the arse end of a cow. But, hell, money and arrows, cool.

If you could change places with one character from any book, who would it be and why?

Z: Killjoy, the clown from Stephen King's IT. To be both humorous and diabolical and to wear a funny nose and wig, wouldn't that be a hoot. Don't make me laugh I just might have to kill you.

A: Ssisapho from our book SNAKE DANCE... She's not the heroine but she is one sassy, sharp, determined shero.

Z: Yeah, a big you-know-what and is half dressed all the time. I change my character to anyone who is near her.

If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?

Z: I'd visit Ben Franklin during his kite and storm incident and get the poop about the key and the lightning. I don't believe it happened and he has gotten so much pub for something that couldn't have happened but people believe it must have happened. I need his publicist.

A: I want is to go into the future when we can to travel to other planets. Imagine playing chess with Zisot from the planet Kilatot.

Z: Future... I saw Demolition Man. I think I might like that mental fornication. What do you think? Put on that little metal helmet, bingo, bango and whoa, whoa, whoa... Then again, chess is nice.

Where can readers go to find out more about you, your books and other good stuff?

angelicahartandzi.com As well as--www.champagnebooks.com

If you could meet your favorite celebrity and spend the day with them, who would you choose and what would you do?

Z: Tiger Woods and help him count his money. Do you remember Scrooge McDuck with his huge vault of coins? The richest duck in the world. Quote, “Me I’m different, everybody hates me and I hate everybody.” That would be me. He he he...One...two...three...million...he he he... Then we’d golf. And since it’s my fantasy, obviously I’d win every hole by two strokes each. And we were playing a million dollars a hole….

A: Are you done yet?

Z: Maybe… Ok… ok… you’re turn.

A: Took too long… I forgot what I was going to say.

****


We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at writingteamcw@yahoo.com with blog in the subject line and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ SNAKE DANCE ~ CHASING YESTERDAY
www.champagnebooks.com

STEEL EMBRACE by Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
August 2011 http://www.carnalpassions.com/


THE FABLE OF SIN-SIN CINDERELLA Series
angelicahartandzi.com








Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Meaning?

I've been doing a few interviews lately in preparation for a November release and one of the questions asked of me was if I'd assigned a specific meaning to my novel. Well yes, of course, doesn't everyone?

And then I thought maybe not. But I do. I love having a theme or main idea thread that stiches the whole story together and makes the HEA even more satisfying. Do I know ahead of time what my theme or underlying message is going to be?  No, not always.

Usually, I start writing and about halfway through the book, a common thread starts to take root. I love when that happens because I can go back and layer some more, making the theme stronger, more evident.

For example, in my latest book, On Timeless Wings of Gold, which will release this November, the hero and heroine fall in love fairly early, but they discover love isn't enough. For love to transcend the obstacles of time, they must each sacrifice a piece of themselves.

My very first historical western had a theme that's probably quite popular; home is where the heart is.

I also love giving objects symbolic meaning. For both time travel romances, On the Silver Edge of Time and On Timeless Wings of Gold, the symbolic object or creature is the dragon. For me dragons symbolize a mythic strength and the ability to believe in the impossible. Both heroines have to believe in the impossible in order to accept the love offered.

So let's here from other authors. Do you write with a basic theme in mind?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Goldilocks Character

I’ve learned a new writing term lately. Have you heard of a “Mary Sue” heroine? Well, I finally have.

If your star female protagonist is overly-perfect and lacking any flaws, she is a Mary Sue character. And that’s a bad thing. People just want to gag or roll their eyes when they come across perfection in the human race.

Now, I can honestly say I’ve never been accused of creating a Mary Sue character. I’ve written heroines people have called so rude she’s unlikeable. I’ve written heroines people have called so bendable she’s weak. I’ve written characters people have called TSTL (too stupid to live). But a Mary Sue is a new one for me.

So this causes me apprehension. Now, apparently, I can make a woman too good to be true as well as one who’s too hard or too soft to be likeable. Yeesh. How the heck do I find that happy medium, that Goldilocks who has it just right?

From my research, I’d say the key is give her some acceptable flaws. Is she living in the middle of a third-world country, working volunteer in a missionary to bring medicine to starving babies? (Major Mary Sueage going on with that!) Maybe you could make her driven and determined to the point she--gasps—lies or even steals something to achieve her big goal. Sounds like a happy, acceptable medium to me.

Which brings me to my single writing tip for the day (which can work for heroes too, of course). When creating a new character think: Weakness. Flaws. And at least one redeeming quality that will override both!

Good luck making that Goldilocks main character in YOUR story!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

WHY A BOOKSIGNING ISN'T ALWAYS ABOUT SIGNING BOOKS




No! I'm not crazy. I firmly believe that booksignings are the bane of an author's existence. I'm not fond of 'em. Why? Because if you have to sit (or stand) by a booth or table with a pile of books next to you, people look at you as if you are a new kind of disease. Do they approach? Nope, not unless they've read you before, or they are a good friend.


Do they buy the book and ask you to sign? Nope, not unless they've read you before, liked what they read or they are a good friend.


In most retail settings, they wander by, not the less bit interested in buying a book to read (unless they are in a book store which does change things some -- but not much). Here you are the author, trying to look interesting, and interested but failing miserably.


So why do I do it? At a book signing, I've learned not to sit or stand. I mingle. If the people won't come to me, I go to them. I love to talk to people. Guess it comes from being a school teacher most of my life. I switch into teacher mode at the drop of a hat. And, having taught children, teenagers, adults and seniors, no one group really intimidates me.


And it works. People love to talk about what they like or what they have an interest in. I ask questions, try to find out if they have a hobby or knowledge of something we can discuss. I've met some wonderful people doing this. Recently, at a book signing, I met a woman who's sister raises, breeds and trains horses. I don't know a thing about horses, except they are big and getting up on one is a task I really don't want to undertake. But I write historical romances, so I need to know something about horses. I wouldn't dare have my characters walking everywhere. Not realistic and I do try to be realistic.


So when we exchanged information, she volunteered her sister's expertise when I run into a problem with a horse in one of my stories. And no, she didn't buy a book, at least not then.


For me, a booksigning isn't always about signing books. It's about meeting people, and sharing knowledge. I hope they'll eventually buy one of my books, but I always feel like I've gained more from a booksigning than the sale of a book. I've met a new friend.

Monday, October 17, 2011

TWV mega contest - week of 10/17



Showcase author(s):


Jane Toombs





First Book giveaway
(Mystery question):

Prize: Paperback of TOWER OF SHADOWS from Jane Toombs at JaneToombs.com
Type contest: Answer mystery question to be entered for drawing
Mystery question: "What is the color of my cat, Kinko?"
Where is the answer: Visit author website & search her bio page
How do I win: Send your answer to author at jtoombs@jamadots.com NLT Friday midnight
with subject line – “TWV Mega contest”
Winner announced: Right here, next Monday
Rules/limitations:
(1) No purchase required. Answer to mystery question found on author's website.
(2) To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.
(3) Because of postage, only US/Canada residents can play this one


Second Book giveaway (Follower drawing)

Prize: E copy of THE DARK LIGHTHOUSE from Jane Toombs at JaneToombs.com
Type contest: Random drawing from subscribed followers of the TWV blog
How does contest work: Simply subscribe as a follower. Go to left side of blog screen near
bottom, and sign up as a follower by Friday midnight
How do I win: A winner is drawn at random from all followers Saturday.
Winner announced: Next Monday winner will be posted and asked to send email.

Rules/limitations:
To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.


Last weeks winner

Congrats to follower Nichelle Gregory - You won an E copy of STONE HOUSE FARM from Rhobin Courtright. Email your name to author at robinlee@netonecom.net and claim your prize NLT midnight this Friday.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fear of Success





Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

This is it, kids. This is where the rubber meets the road, as they say. I am sitting here with my ARC in front of me, having read it, reread it, and (dare I say) re-re-re-re-read it, and it is time to hit send. I am gonna email my final set of edits to J. Ellen Smith, publisher extraordinaire, and that will be it. My novel, PROOF OF LOVE, will be going out into the world, never to return again to the safety of my writing chair.

It reminds me a lot of when my daughters were growing up – the fateful day when each went off to school, where I couldn’t take care of them, couldn’t stand up for them, couldn’t make everything right for them. They had to grow up. I mean, the alternative is awful, and I wouldn’t want them to end up as middle-aged children who stay home and watch DWTS with their parents. But it hurts to let them go.

Back in February, 2009, I sat down and started a book. For years, my husband had heard me sigh, toss aside a paperback, and mutter, “I could write a book better than that.” I guess he got tired of it, because he went with me to Best Buy, picked out a computer, and said, “Do it.” And so, just because I am the stubborn kind of person who must always be right, I did.

For months, my little book and I stayed holed up in a big armchair in the corner of our living room. I hung a picture of Colin Firth on the wall, bought a massive Yankee Candle, and declared that corner to be my writing area. Woe to any teenage daughter who dared to be sitting there when Momma’s muse decided it was time for some quick wordcount! My book and I were together as soon as I got home from work, far into the evening, and even in the wee early hours when I couldn’t sleep.

Eventually, I typed “THE END,” which has to be the most misleading phrase known to authordom. Because once the story ended, I got to learn the delights of editing. For the next several months, my life revolved around five colors of Sharpie pens and massive 3-ring binder that went everywhere with me. And that was enjoyable, in a strange kind of way, because everything I did made my little book better. I just edited and edited, until one day, I realized there was nothing more I could think of to do.

So, with my RWA chapter buddies egging me on, I started sending PROOF OF LOVE out to agents and editors, with the predictable results. I really felt like an author once I got a couple of rejections! But it didn’t take that long, you know, as I look back on it. I heard from the lovely Allison Knight that her publisher was taking submissions of historical romances, I emailed PROOF OF LOVE to Champagne, and the next thing I knew, I had an email from Judy Gill! She wanted it!

And now, after the fabulous Nikki Andrews has polished my little novel to diamond perfection, and Trisha FitzGerald has designed it the most gorgeous cover I’ve ever seen, I am sitting here in my writing chair, in absolute and utter shock. This is all real. I have a ISBN number, for God’s sake! In just a few weeks, my little book will be far beyond the comfy, safe confines of my writing chair. People may love it, people may hate it, but it will be out in the world to be judged on its own merits.

Writing (and publishing) a book has been a lifelong dream of mine. Now that it has come true, I am scared to death. I keep thinking of the quote from TR above, which is one of my favorite phrases to live by. There will be people who don’t like PROOF OF LOVE. I am convinced that there will be more people who do like it. Still, no one can say I didn’t go after my dream. I’m terrified by the fact that I’ve achieved it. But the alternative, to have never tried, would be worse.

PROOF OF LOVE, a Georgian-era romance, will be released by Champagne Books on November 7, 2011. (And a great big huge thanks to Kat Hall, who has patiently answered all my questions and even interrupted her Thanksgiving to help with my book promo!)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Know When to Walk Away

You gotta know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run...  

Every Writer is The Gambler, playing for high stakes, betting their arrangements of words will be enough to win a hand or two--or The Big Tournament. But as the song says, you gotta know a few things. Sometimes it's when to ditch that phrase that just doesn't work, or an action you keep trying to force a character into that rings false, or even an entire project must be set aside for a better time. But what if the stakes are higher than that? What if what you need to know is when to walk away from a publisher and cancel a contract?




No, no! I'm not talking about Champagne Books--Relax!

I really debated about whether to blog about my recent experience. But you know, it's important for authors to remember they have options within the bounds of a contract--including the possibility of ending one.

I submitted a nonfiction mss to a publisher who may have overextended herself to the point of total paralysis. Promising to release a book within a certain amount of time encourages the author (that would be me) to begin marketing to target that time frame, such as printing promotional postcards, taking pre-orders, scheduling signings and talks with the notion that books will be in hand by the projected date, give or take a couple of weeks. It does not make for a happy author to 1) get no response to emails, and 2) be informed that said publisher now planned to "get to it over Winter Break." That could be reasonably interpreted as the book would not be published until after the New Year--missing the holiday gift season as well as all the previously mentioned scheduled talks. Timing is everything, and there are rare opportunities to promote this book during the next eight weeks that will never come again. I agonized, ranted and raved all last weekend and most of this week about what options I might have. As much as I hate quitting on anything, this arrangement was not going to work out. I asked to terminate the contract since no work had been put forth on it. After a rather snarky email the publisher agreed. 

I'm not unsympathetic. I understand problems come up. Crap happens. But I would think a publisher would have a moral and ethical obligation -- or at least plain old courtesy-- to inform an author of snags and time management problems. A week or two delay, okay; I might not be thrilled but I can handle that. But to go from initially stating it would take a month or so to get the book ready and published to saying it has to wait until you "get to it" sometime toward the end of December to even start? I think that merits an email at least or a phone call--especially when said author had informed you of all the marketing efforts and events she'd already arranged around the original projected release. Honest and open communication could have made all the difference (to the point I might not have blogged about it)  but what's done is in the past. We learn and move on.

Good news: another education-oriented publisher not only agreed to take a look at the project but sent me a contract within an hour of discussing it on the phone and is pushing the project forward with great enthusiasm. It is now not only likely but downright probable I'll have copies of this nonfiction book in hand in time for events I had scheduled for the end of this month.

Know when to fold 'em, when to walk away, and when to buy in on a fresh game with a new dealer.

~Jude
http://jude-johnson.com/

Friday, October 14, 2011

Clearing the Clutter


My Books

One of the TV shows I watch with both horror and fascination is Hoarders. The horror is that I could, some day, find myself buried beneath ‘stuff’, lost like that family in the corn maze. The fascination comes from my train-wreck mentality. I simply cannot not watch. I don’t really fear becoming a hoarder, but I do get overwhelmed by clutter. You know, the stuff that gets moved from its shelf to the dining table, from the closet to end up draped over a chair.

What does this have to do with writing? I love to use metaphor in my writing. And as I look around my apartment and am overwhelmed by the growing clutter, the feeling resonates with where I am in my writing just now. I have four manuscripts racing toward some invisible finish line. At any given time, there are at least seven characters hanging out in my living room, telling their stories to one another and to me. It’s like one of those parties you go to where you can find a new conversation just by moving over a few feet. A cacophony of voices clamoring to be heard.

Still, I manage to write, but I find I have to keep clearing away the clutter. I’ve always enjoyed the fact that I never have writer’s block. I can always write something, and I’m usually writing a couple of books at the same time. I will admit, however, that tackling four projects at once may be a bit ambitious. Okay, okay. It’s insane. My works-in-progress file is becoming an over-crowded closet in which I can never find the one thing for which I am searching.

So, what am I going to do about this dilemma? First thing in the morning, I’m tidying up the apartment. With the physical distraction of all that out-of-place stuff gone, I’m going to focus on driving one manuscript toward the finish line.

Linda Rettstatt
2010 Author of the Year – Champagne Books
2012 EPIC eBook Award Finalist – Love, Sam
http://www.lindarettstatt.com/

Coming in December, 2011 – Reinventing Christmas – a sweet contemporary romance

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cover art


My publisher always requests a marketing sheet that includes what the author wishes to see on the cover. This is where being with a small publisher is an advantage, because the author actually gets involved in the process. It still is a delicate process of negotiation.

So there I am envisioning Battle Dancer, my latest military SF novel due out in December. This is the last of the series. Only one of the novels, Rogue Dancer, came out with a one-hit wonder of a cover that everyone liked immediately. A spin-off from the series, Waiting Weapon, proved a real pain for both artist, publisher, and myself when it came to depicting something lethal sticking out of the ground.

Now it was Battle Dancer's turn. In the story there is a scene I wanted to capture - a forest ablaze after a nuclear strike and the armored figure of my main character emerging from said cataclysm with rifle in hand. I figured, with her head fully helmeted, it would be a shoo-in for the artist (Amanda Kesley). Heh. It wasn't. Apparently, commercially available images of women in SF combat armor wasn't very appealing to the artist.

The first pass ended up being the mid-section from calve to lower jaw of a female warrior in leather brandishing a knife. She was posed before a decent looking forest that was aflame. I pointed out to my publisher that this didn't suggest SF, and insisted the heroine had to be in combat armor (and even provided examples off a quick Google search). Publisher agreed to a re-try.

What came back struck me two ways. First, it was the most eye-catching of all the novels I've had published. On top of that, the female figure held to a savage stance that did capture the spirit of my errant warrior in this final novel.

She was still wearing leather armor - scantily. Worse still, she was holding a sword instead of a rifle. Neither were appropriate in a blazing forest, let alone against plasma cannons, missiles, and remotes populating my novel. The illustration missed the SF mark completely - and I was quick to tell my publisher so.

Back to that "eye-catching" bit. This was what was driving my publisher to want the cover. The hell if it had little to do with combat SF - the cover would sell. The argument back to me was that, being a series, the reader would already be well aware of the genre. Also thrown in was the fact that the character probably did handle a sword sometime in her life. Point taken. My Mikial does hoist a ceremonial sword in the novel.

My publisher put their foot down, and this will be my cover. Honestly, I'm torn, but in the end the publisher calls the shots. Always. The reason is simple - they are responsible for selling a product, and are in the best position to determine what sells and what doesn't. I depend on their experience in this matter.

As far as my being torn - this isn't the cover I would expect for an SF novel, but someone tell me this book won't catch an eye. It does tell the reader that a female warrior is involved. It certainly captures her spirit. I (ahem) did get my burning forest. Call it a compromise, but a damn good looking one. Such is the business.

I will be back in November to tell you about the book itself as Mikial finds the path between Savior and Tyrant a treacherous one.

Kerry
www.kmtolan.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Short and Sweet

I'm a pretty sentimental person (I know some of you are groaning already), and about once a year I seem to hit this apex where I can't contain it. I get really, really touched and affected by the kindness and friendship from my many writer friends. It's mind-boggling to me that some of my closer friendships are with people I've never even met (although I have met one!), who live all over the country and in some cases the world, and they're people I might never have met had I not signed on with Champagne.

I can't tell you how much joy I get from the occasional email or tweet from Jude Johnson, TK Toppin, Linda Kage, Marc Davies and Victoria Roder (sorry, Vickie, we've gotten behind!). Last night TK and I had a blast doing an instant chat at Night Owl Reviews (even if they did attack with questions a bit like piranha) and she's my Facebook IM buddy. This Saturday night I get to have dinner with Jude Johnson, who only lives 90 miles away, and always entertains me with her emails. There are many other Champagne authors with whom I correspond on occasion (love ya, Big Mike!) and hope to correspond with on a more regular basis, and so many of them have read my books and posted wonderful reviews. It's always a delight when I find other Champagne authors in a yahoo loop chat, and I love reading blogs, reviews and interviews -- and I mean to make time to read more.

Well, I promised it'd be short and sweet. Just wanted to say, thanks all of you guys, for being so damn fun. I promise: no more maudlin blogs until next year.

Ashley J. Barnard
http://www.ashleyjbarnard.com/
Dark Fantasy with a Contemporary Twist

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Do you have a well-loved pet?

I drove to Starbucks to post this as we're getting our floors replaced and have no telephone, tv, internet, and no place to sit. They removed all old floors today except for our bedroom and there is hardly enough room in there now to walk around. Tomorrow they'll remove the carpet in the bedroom and lay laminate floors in our den. It will take probably another three days for them to finish the rest of the house, but hopefully we'll get the den back together and have a place to sit.

So, my topic for this month isn't related to writing or a new release, but something I think is important.

Lately animals have been on my mind. Part of the reason is you see so many animals that need a home on Facebook and other sites--some starved, abandoned, or worse. Due to the economy, many individuals who struggle to feed their children, can no longer afford to provide for their pets and leave them at shelters which are quickly becoming over crowded. Because they can't afford to keep them for very long, they put them down after a specific time. It breaks my heart to think about these devoted pets being destroyed.

As many of you know, my husband and I have a small mix breed dog that we got for free in the Walmart parking lot. For the longest, I asked myself, "What were we thinking?" A pet is almost like having children all over again. Here we are retired, and we like to travel. When we take a trip, we have to pay for a kennel. She doesn't travel well so we can't take her with us. When we've tried, she whines the entire trip and thinks she has to pee at every turn in the highway. She disturbs the neighbors with her barking and will only stop when I threaten to put her shock collar on her. 

But, when she hops up in my recliner and sleeps beside me while I write on my laptop, begs Larry to get in the floor to play with her, rushes to welcome us when we come home, we realize what a blessing she's been to us. They say animals help lower blood pressure and I believe it. She's good company.

Now Molly is very spoiled. Actually, we created a monster. I take a nap in the afternoons and she gets on the bed with me. She likes to be wrapped up and I don't want her laying on our covers, so I put a towel or small blanket down for her. The minute she senses I'm awake, she starts sticking her nose under my hand to get me up. It's her treat time.

The other day I bought her a new bed. The minute I brought it in the house, she knew it was for her. She immediately made herself at home and stayed in it all evening rather than her usual spot in my recliner.

On occasion, I consider the idea of getting a pet from the pound and wonder if Molly would ever welcome another dog into her domain. She's very possessive and the few times friends/family have brought their pets, she didn't play nice. It's possible they weren't together long enough.

Honestly though, I doubt we could afford to kennel two pets, so guess it's not an option for us. What about you? Do you have a pet and have you spoiled them terribly?

Thank you for listening to me ramble!

Linda
http://www.lindalaroque.com/
http://www.lindalaroqueauthor.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 10, 2011

TWV mega contest - week of 10/10





Showcase author(s)
: Rhobin Lee Courtright

First Book giveaway
(Mystery question):

Prize: Paperback of STONE HOUSE FARM from Rhobin Lee Courtright at rhobinleecourtright.com
Type contest: Answer mystery question to be entered for drawing
Mystery question: "In STONE HOUSE FARM, near what lake does the story of Stone House Farm take place?"
Where is the answer: Visit author website & search the blurb/excerpts for novel
How do I win: Send your answer to author at rhobinlee@yahoo.com NLT Friday midnight
with subject line – “TWV Mega contest”
Winner announced: Right here, next Monday
Rules/limitations:
(1) No purchase required. Answer to mystery question found on author's website.
(2) To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.
(3) Because of postage, only US/Canada residents can play this one


Second Book giveaway (Follower drawing)

Prize: E copy of STONE HOUSE FARM from Rhobin Lee Courtright at rhobinlee@yahoo.com
Type contest: Random drawing from subscribed followers of the TWV blog
How does contest work: Simply subscribe as a follower. Go to left side of blog screen near
bottom, and sign up as a follower by Friday midnight
How do I win: A winner is drawn at random from all followers Saturday.
Winner announced: Next Monday winner will be posted and asked to send email.

Rules/limitations:
To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.


Last weeks winners

1. Congrats to: Sarah Cool - you won a HOT COMMODITY paperback from Linda Kage.

2. Congrats to follower: Vanchoir - You won an E copy of BATTLESONG from Allison Knight. Email your name to author at allisonknight@mchsi.com and claim your prize NLT midnight this Friday.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Follow Your Heart

This week the world lost a creative genius, Steve Jobs.

To tell the truth, I didn’t know a lot about the man or his role in today’s electronic world . . . until I happened across a speech he’d given to a Stanford University graduating class. No, he didn’t attend Stanford. In fact, in what I’ve learned was his trademark, unassuming manner, he told the seniors that addressing them was the closest he’d ever gotten to graduating from college. Steve Jobs was a college drop-out.

Without the slightest trace of regret, he indicated it had been an economic decision. But that it turned out to be one of the smartest things he’d ever done. Why? Because it “freed” him to “drop in” on other, non-required classes--as he searched for what he wanted to do with his life.

He followed his heart. And look how that turned out. Think Apple. Think personal computers. Think iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, and iTunes. Jobs, in that aforementioned speech, said that during his self-described “drop-in” period he slept on the floor of a friend’s dorm room, collected cans and bottles for money to buy food, and walked seven miles across town every Sunday for a hot meal.

Today, in memory, the media is calling Jobs a “visionary.” But he would probably dispute that label since he said that it’s impossible to look into the future and “connect the dots.” That it is only when a person looks back that he or she can see how the dots connect. Think computer mouse and computer animation. Think electronic ink. Think electronic books….

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for following your heart.

by Ramona Butler

(Think Border Heat, now available in electronic format from ChampagneBooks.com)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Road Trip

Writing provides many unforeseen benefits. I'm working on a book set in Alpena, Michigan, a place I've never visited except virtually (the wonders of Google Earth!). The story involves a sailboat, and a florist shop, so I decided a trip to observe the setting was necessary. My partner decided on a scenic tour or mini-vacation, and made plans for a long road trip on secondary roads across Northern Michigan. We confirmed reservations at a motel for the night and for a dinner at a local restaurant, filled the gas tank, and took off.

The weather was miserable; rainy, cold. However, Michigan, when the trees are in the height of fall color, provides inspiring sights I hoped to see. During our trip the trees had just begun to change color, but it was amazing to see where areas further north were far ahead in fall color than our home woods. Northern Michigan is also very rural, an area hard hit by the recession. Many fields held pumpkins, bales of hay, plantings of winter grains, and many houses with for sale signs out front. Others looked as if abandoned for years. What makes someone leave a house to molder into a dangerous trap? I love looking at them, dreaming of reclaiming the irreclaimable, wondering how much can we abandon?
Love gables, especially decorated ones.
We stop for lunch at a small town pub. I'd say bar, but the sign proclaimed a 'pub.' Not expecting much, I discover the onion rings wondrous.  As an onion ring lover, the last ones I remember reaching this perfection were at a food shanty outside the Tahquamenon Falls area in the U.P. An event so long ago I'm sure the shack has turned to dust. Another place that served perfect onion rings was the Outside Inn in Camdenton, Missouri, also long ago. That's a pretty low great onion rings count. You might be familiar with the type of onion ring: huge Vidalia white onions, sliced thick, covered in a homemade beer batter and deep fried to flaky perfection; so unhealthy. We shared one side order with our sandwiches.

Alpena was a surprise, too, larger than I expected with the usual box stores on highway 32 entering town from the west. Located on Thunder Bay in Lake Huron, Alpena is roughly straight across the state from Traverse City. The area has unique features for a small city including a ship wreak museum, where I discovered Lake Huron the site of over a hundred shipwrecks during the nineteenth century. Some of the sunken ships are tourist attractions for scuba diving enthusiasts.. We stopped at the first lakeside park and discovered city parks cover much of the Lake Huron beach front. The water was as grey as the sky and freighters set course through the bay to escape Huron's even rougher waters. The city owns a large marina with a walkway along the bay where I took this photo:
Northern Michigan Friday
After observing things about the area I wanted to know, we packed up the next morning. The day was brilliantly sunny but with a shivering cold wind coming directly from the north. We took off down Highway 23 and cut off through Huron National Park, stopping to see the Au Sable River. Now dammed in several locations, the river floods the plains it once flowed through, but a remarkable overlook gives breathtaking views. This seemed the perfect ending to a short road trip to explore a book's setting  
Northern MI on Saturday -- the Au Sable Overlook.
Stone House Farm from Champagne Books.
Rhobin's Rambles

Friday, October 7, 2011

Getting ready for the new baby...

October is the birth date of my latest novel, Kill Fee, a madcap, cozy mystery romance that features an Indian Hill Mynah bird, Bilgewater. For those of you who follow me on this Writers Vineyard you’ve heard about Bilgie, the foul-mouthed fowl, the bad beaked bird, a malevolent Mynah. He’s well intentioned—except when he’s not.

Bilgie is always a boyfriend behind, an embarrassment for our heroine, Penny Olsen, an environmental agent in the field. She runs a duplicate bridge game for her uncle’s senior citizens friends on her day off.

Seniors are outspoken, but Bilgie is worse. He has no respect for Penny’s attorney who has a cat. One of the seniors suggests a face-off between Bilgie and Cufflynx, but the bird has the good sense to cry “Uncle” in more ways than one, claiming he doesn’t want to hurt the cat.

Since there is murder abroad, serious issues are addressed in this 68,000-word book. As Jim Woods said in his review:

“If you’ve ever heard the expression, “simple murder,” don’t believe it; especially if the murder occurs at the keyboard of Julie Eberhart Painter. She deliciously complicates murder, make that murders in duplicate, with the interaction of numerous characters to sort through. There’s the seniors social group; the scientific organization; various writers and publishers; personal families including the heroine’s own shirttail relatives and her lover and his mother; neighbors; the lawyers and of course, the cops of questionable integrity. Julie cleverly works all these diverse characters against and in concert with one another, and tosses in just enough carnal spice to cook up a recipe of intrigue that will have you asking for a second helping of Julie’s concoction that’s tasty enough to kill for.”

Reviewed by Jim Woods, author of
Gunshot Echoes
Assassination Safari
Cabbages and Kings,
She Serpent
and
The Diamond Exchange

Thanks Jim

Watch for Kill Fee. See if you can figure out Who dunnit, and why.

Julie Eberhart Painter is the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and Kill Fee to be released in October. See Julie’s Web site at www.books-jepainter.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Falling in Love . . .With Your Work




Starting a new book is like falling in love. It’s that heady sensation of a new romance, the joy of discovery, getting to know new characters with whom we will intimately for days, weeks, months, perhaps years. They get the best of us, the parts that no one else, not even our closest loved ones, can have. They live under our skin, inside our heads, we share a pulse. There’s a sense of possibility. The world is open to us. The journey is still before us. We are at the very first step of it. There’s a thrill in placing those first words on the page, following them with the next one, and the piece gaining momentum.

Every moment away from the page is torture, like leaving a new lover. You eat, breathe, sleep, and live the book, even when you’re nowhere near the page. The rest of the world seems dimmer, and only the world of the book is sharply colored, sharply defined.

I’ve written with an outline, without an outline. Planning makes it easier to face the page on the tough days, but neither way dilutes the way I feel in those first heady days of a new book.

There will be tough days ahead. There will be days when I don’t want to face the page, days when the characters will fight me, will want something different than what I hope is best for the book. There will be days when you look back at the words that flowed in those dizzying, charm-kissed days and throw most of them out, replace them with stronger, more specific language. You’re going to get rid of all those words that seemed cute and charming, but no longer earn their keep. You know that. I know that. None of that matters.

Today, I fall in love with a fresh, clean page, the words I plan to place on it, and the possibilities of my characters and their world.


--Annabel Aidan publishes under a half a dozen names in fiction and non-fiction. Her paranormal romantic suspense novel ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT is available in both digital in print from www.champagnebooks.com. Visit her webpage at www.devonellingtonwork.com/annabelaidan.html.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ch-CH-Changes

Yes, David Bowie is playing in my head too. At Least I didn't sing "To everything...turn and turn and turn, there is a season, turn and turn and turn...Nope I would NEVER do that to y'all (hehehehehehe)

Are y'all surprised to see me? I don't blame you. It's as if I had disappeared from the planet or something, right? As most of you know, my husband passed away suddenly in June. I've been in a bit of a tailspin, never having expected to be a widow before I was 45.

The past few months have been hard to be honest. With my husband's loss, we lost the main income, the house, the insurance, and one week after he died, my distraught daughter had a car accident and totaled our car.

Yes, thank you Donica for bringing us all down this way. Come on, you KNOW you thought that, right? Well, I won't lie, the only thing more fun than this emotional roller coaster that I can think of would be a quadruple root canal, and removal of wisdom teeth, at the same time all without benefit of Novocaine. (This is example brought to you by route of a daughter who's wisdom teeth chose NOW to try and break through as well as having two cavities. YAY!)

Sorry, my train of thought derailed. So...right, I was bringing y'all down. Well, lets look at a few positives here: I now own my OWN place, something NO ONE can EVER take away from me--barring an act of God--I was able to decorate it the way I always wanted to. This includes painting a quilt on the master bedroom wall--okay quilt squares. PLUS the curtains, shams, comforter, etc are all in shades of my favorite color, purple!

My grandbabies painted their hand prints all over the office walls and my nephews were given paint, brushes and allowed to let their imaginations unleash on the rest of the office. My daughter splatter painted her room with about 10 different (and not necessarily coordinating colors...) All things my husband would NEVER have allowed.

Thanks to insurance my totaled 1992 car was replaced by one of my dream cars--a 2001 PT Cruiser (yes, I hear the question--who on EARTH dreams of a PT cruiser??? Well I said ONE of my dream cars. The others I can't afford YET)It's a beauty and I was required to assert myself, do all the shopping around and haggling and I PULLED IT OFF!

I was scared to death because I went from being my parents' daughter to a wife. I've NEVER had to balance a check book, pay bills, keep track ANYTHING. Heck, I never had a credit card and even in the final 12 years of our marriage the checking account was in his name only. (Please spare me the gasps of shock--I was THRILLED to be an old fashioned house wife. I LOVED knowing that I didn't have to worry about anything but keeping the house clean, cooking, laundry and raising the kids.) I was SOOO unprepared for this I thought GREAT! I'm not smart enough to do all this. I am learning that I CAN do this on my own. I am smarter than even I ever gave myself credit for. And while occasionally I have found people who talk down to me, for the most part I'm getting a pretty fair shake. Also, thanks to being given "an allowance" for groceries, I've learned how to cut costs and i KNOW that while it may be hard for a while I WILL survive.

I wouldn't say I'm excited about this new phase in my life--after all I'm NOT happy that my husband is gone. I've always been afraid of change, I'm such an OCD creature of habit I've NEVER embraced change. I don't have any choice but to throw my arms open wide and say "Okay! Let's do this!" My confidence wavers occasionally, but for the most part I'm doing GREAT!

When I feel particularly low and like I can't go on, I flip on a song by Cher that helps me out. Here is the video for this song: You Haven't Seen The Last of Me http://youtu.be/EMIrw-Dmanc Yeah, I bet you wondered where this was all leading, didn't you? Admit it, you were wondering!

When I write a book, each "life" has a soundtrack to it. Music is such a DEEP part of my life that I find myself gravitating to music no matter what the occasion. When I'm editing I play Bach, Beethoven and other classical composers at loud decibels to help me get through it. When I'm cleaning house, I play dance music from the 80s. When my husband died I played all his favorite cds until they were nearly worn out. Now that I am moving on to a new stage, I find myself reaching for certain songs. Far Away by Nickleback has become a regular tune. As well as On the Backs of Angels by Dream Theater. A handful of Beyonce songs have added themselves to my play-all-the-time-list. Yes, I do mean "Put a Ring on It" "If I Were a Boy" "Irreplaceable" "Halo" and "Best I Never Had". Coheed and Cambria have snuck their way into my list as well.

Do you ever find yourself searching out that one "feel good" song? Is the re a song that "vents your steam"? Puts you "in the mood"? Or am I just an oddball out because music is so important in my world?

Curious minds want to know!

I thank everyone that has sent me kind words and let me know they've been thinking of me and my family during this transitional phase of my life. It's not always been easy but knowing people care has helped a GREAT deal. So thanks again!

My Internet at the new home will not be hooked up until October 11th and I am shutting off everything at the old residence at the 6th so if y'all drop me a line, just know that I may not get to it right away but please feel free to send it on!

I am planning to get back into the writing swing sometime in November and I hope that the next Four Horsemen novel will not be far behind! Please keep your fingers crossed!

Huggles and I hope y'all have a FABU FALL!
Donica Covey

Monday, October 3, 2011

TWV mega contest - week of 10/3





Showcase author(s):

Linda Kage & Allison Knight




First Book giveaway (Mystery question):

Prize: Paperback of HOT COMMODITY from Linda Kage at lindakage.com
Type contest: Answer mystery question to be entered for drawing
Mystery question: "In HOT COMMODITY, in which town does Olivia meet and marry Cameron Banks?"
Where is the answer: Visit author website & search the blurb/excerpts for novel
How do I win: Send your answer to author at linda@lindakage.com NLT Friday midnight
with subject line – “TWV Mega contest”
Winner announced: Right here, next Monday
Rules/limitations:
(1) No purchase required. Answer to mystery question found on author's website.
(2) To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.
(3) Because of postage, only US/Canada residents can play this one


Second Book giveaway (Follower drawing)

Prize: E copy of BATTLESONG from Allison Knight at AllisonKnight.com
Type contest: Random drawing from subscribed followers of the TWV blog
How does contest work: Simply subscribe as a follower. Go to left side of blog screen near
bottom, and sign up as a follower by Friday midnight
How do I win: A winner is drawn at random from all followers Saturday.
Winner announced: Next Monday winner will be posted and asked to send email.

Rules/limitations:
To be fair to everyone, you can only win one book during the mega contest.


Last weeks winner

Congrats to Becky Ward - You won a CD of MORTAL COIL from Julie E. Painter.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

From Book to Film

Literary novels have inspired Films and TV Drama for many years and will no doubt continue to do so in the future. But there is often some tension in waiting to see how a particular director adapts a beloved story, such as the Jane Austen novels. My favourite incarnation of Mr Darcy is still Colin Firth, and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth in the same BBC production.
Last week, I went to watch the new Jane Eyre film at the cinema, apprehensive that this adaptation of one of my favourite classic novels would perhaps spoil the image of my Mr Rochester. It wasn’t that long ago since I watched a wonderful production of it on television (UK).  In the event, I thought the film beautifully atmospheric and the characters very well portrayed. But... the love story between Mr Rochester and Jane just didn’t move me the way it should and I suspect it was because the film was too short to do it justice, unlike a TV drama that has weeks to develop the passion.
Many readers detest their favourite book being made into film, as it's seldom completely the same as the novel. I’ll just mention two films which I thought were better than the original novel. The first is The English Patient, a film I loved so much I took various people to see it so I can go more than once! Then I read the book and was thankful I’d seen the film first. Anthony Minghella took a rather difficult novel and produced a different, but more watchable storyline with gorgeous cinematography. The other is The Horse Whisperer. I loved the novel, but detested the ending as it seemed so out of character for the hero. But Robert Redford made a lovely film of the book and gave it a much more suitable and poignant ending.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if one of our books was one day made into a film? We can dream!
Rosemary (Romy)
Dangerous Deceit, Champagne Books and Amazon