Tuesday, September 30, 2008

This Writing Business

Recently, New Concepts Publishing updated their submission guidelines and included a pay scale. You can check it out here. Oddly, enough the data cheered me up, I'm doing better than average! Of course, by the very nature of accounting, all numbers reported are already out of date.

You can review most of the other romance publisher's on Karen Fox's Show Me The Money Report here

If you want to want to write for publication, it's very nice to get paid. But there are other considerations. If I'm not impressed with a publisher's titles then it's unlikely I'll fit in with their market.

For lots more information on the e-publishers check out Piers Anthony's Report here

I urge anyone wanting to sell their fiction to do your own research. Personally, I have always ordered several titles from any publisher I'd considered submitting to. No amount of research is going to give you the same kind of in depth information as real life experience.

All of the interactions I've had with New Concepts Publishing have been pleasant and professional. Under the terms of my contracts, I would be paid semi-annually. To my delight, I've received royalty statements and been paid quarterly. They've kindly provided thorough edits for my manuscripts. But, I'm just one author, your experience may be entirely different.

Feel free to add your kudos or complaints about publishers or whatever is on your mind....

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wicked Games --Chris Isaack

The perfect song of the moment for Dangerous Secrets....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Funnies

The Eleventh Husband

A young man married a beautiful woman who'd previously divorced ten husbands.

On their wedding night, she told her new husband,"Please be gentle; I'm still a virgin."

"What?" said the puzzled groom. "How can that be if you've been married ten times?"

"Well, husband #1 was a Sales Representative; he kept telling me how great it was going to be.

Husband #2 was in Software Services; he was never really sure how it was supposed to function, but he said he'd look into it and get back to me.

Husband #3 was from Field Services; he said everything checked out diagnostically but he just couldn't get the system up.

Husband #4 was in Telemarketing; even though he knew he had the order, he didn't know when he would be able to deliver.

Husband #5 was an Engineer; he understood the basic process but wanted three years to research, implement, and design a new state-of-the-art method.

Husband #6 was from Administration; he thought he knew how, but he wasn't sure whether it was his job or not.

Husband #7 was in Marketing. Although, he had a product, he was never sure how to position it.

Husband #8 was a psychiatrist, all he ever did was talk about it.

Husband #9 was a gynecologist,all he did was look.

Husband #10 was a stamp collector, all he ever did was..... God, I miss him!

But now that I've married you, I'm so excited."

"Wonderful," said the stunned new husband, "But,why?"

"You're with the government. This time I know I'm gonna get screwed!"

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Six titles from the TBR shelves

All books I'm looking forward to...

Menage by Emma Holly--I've loved everything I've read by her. Her books are sexy, fun, and original.

Dockside by Susan Wiggs--I adore her contemporary work, her historicals--er, not so much. But, that's just me.

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward--I'm the last person on the planet to discover this series but it's wonderful and I've only read one!

Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer--Amazing self-control on my part, there are Geogette Heyer regencies that I haven't read even once. In my opinion there are no equals to this woman.

Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child--Ah, the mighty Jack Reacher, it's great series--each one a cleverly plotted page turner.

Minx by Julia Quinn I'm working my way through her backlist, still completely charmed. Pity the woman doesn't write faster.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Keeping it fresh

Since this is my freaky Friday blog, I'm thinking about sex--what else? And what makes a great sex scene, which is not totally unrelated to what makes for great sex.

The fact is no two people (or more if you're feeling adventurous) have ever has sex exactly the same way twice. What makes it memorable is the people involved. Romantic settings are very fine, but rose petals aren't going to make me care if I'm not invested in the participants. Same goes for elegant prose, clever analogies, and snappy dialogue.

Sex scenes are the acid test for characters. Like any other scene it needs to shine new light on your characters, move the story forward, and change the tension. Just like real life....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life in the secret garden

Autumn blooming cyclamens (cyclamen hederifolium) has lovely pleated varicolored leaves in spring and these enchanting blooms, starting late summer and carrying on into fall. If happy, they multiply, spreading into charming colonies.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More trivia

Trivia sticks in my head long after sturdy facts have been misplaced. Here's more useless information for your entertainment.

Onomatopeia is the imitation of sounds in words, the formation or use of such words to represent the sound. For example, splat, meow, and buzz.

Employees value consistency in a boss more than any other trait. A supervisor practicing random kindness rates worse than the uniformly grouchy and demanding counterpart.

All change is stressful. As far as your body is concerned marriage and divorce are equally stressful situations. Yet, only negative factors are commonly recognized as stress factors.

Feel free to add your own bit of weirdness, it's Wednesday, why not?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Story choices

I'm close-well,closer--to finishing the first draft of the third dangerous book. Actually, one of the reasons I'm close is I changed the goal.

Yeah, yeah, kind of cheating, but subsequent drafts always wind up with me adding words--lots of words. Probably because I leave out tons of stuff. Since I know what's happening, I gloss over lots of important parts when writing.

Letting the first pass steep for awhile allows me to look at it with fresh eyes and that makes for a much better written tale, which is why I tuck the raw first draft away for at least a couple of weeks.

Back to my original blog topic, as the end of the first draft looms, ideas about what to work on next, seep into my conscious mind. There's never a lack of stories to work on--I have a backlog of partials, many of which are still begging to be written. Yet, the current front runner for the next book is something entirely new. Because I had fun writing Dalila's Choice and it's a story world I want to revisit.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Nickelback--Next Contestant

Love the kickass video--love the song.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday funnies

Top joke in Belgium...

Why do ducks have webbed feet?

To stamp out fires.

Why do elephants have flat feet?

To stamp out burning ducks

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Six things I hate about me

1)I'm fussy--it bothers me so you know it's bad. There was a movie moment where I saw the insanity of this kind of behavior. Sleeping with the Enemy Julie Roberts plays the victimized wife of a control freak. She's escaped from her abuser, and yet she finds herself adjusting the hand towels so that they hang just so... I do stuff like that all the time and no one is making me.

2)I hold a grudge--not attractive, I agree, but there you are. Getting over it is a concept I understand in theory--I just have a lot of trouble putting it into practice.

3)My enthusiasm way exceeds my stamina. I'm not sure which end of that equation needs to be changed. But I do know it's frustrating to want to do ten things for every one available time slot. At least, I'm never bored.

4)I'd love to be self-actualized. but reality is--I need validation, I crave it.

5)I have no idea how to disagree without being a total bitch about it.

6)I can't seem to remember to engage brain before opening my mouth. Seriously, I would like to have a carefully rehearsed script for every encounter to hell with spontanity.

Come on and confess anythng you don't like about yourself, you'll feel better.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Top Ten Female Sexual Fantasies

1. Being forcefully seduced

2. Playing the male role, complete with a strap on penis, which they put to good use

3. Being pleasured by two mean simultaneously

4. Getting paid for sex

5. Having sex with another woman while her man watches the action

6. Being dominated by her male partner

7. Having an audience while engaging in sexual acts

8. Dominating their male partner

9. Group sex

10. Sex with a stranger

There is some crossover with the popular male fantasies outlined last week. Group sex, dominating the male partner, sex with a stranger, and penetrating the man anally fall into the common ground category.

Feel free to add fantasies of your own, but in real life please practice safe and consensual sex--it keeps everyone healthy.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life in the secret garden

Japanese Anemones, tall and graceful they sway with every breeze and multiply like bunnies. I have barely in control clumps in both pink and white here and there perpetually threatening to eradicate everything in their path, but so lovely I tolerate their pushy manners.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More weird trivia

Three more personal oddities

1) I like most veggies, love a few, and truly detest turnips

2) I iron my jeans, sheets too--I don't starch them though

3) I hate walking into a dark room

Have you ever noticed that while your own little quirks are normal, and even endearing, other people have some real strange habits...?

Feel free to add your own eccentricities, I won't tell anyone.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Writing craft

For me one of the appeals of writing as a career, is that there's always more to learn. Many successful writers have been generous with advice. One of my favorite erotic romance authors, Emma Holly has a wonderful reading list here in case you need suggestions.

One of my all time favorites is Debra Dixon's GMC Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. Being the obsessive creature I am, I have a shelf of essential and well thumbed writing craft books.

Is there a craft book that stands head and shoulders above the rest for you?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Missy Elliot--Lose Control

This was my favorite from the Dangerous Surrender playlist...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday funnies

A man and a friend are playing golf one day at their local golf course. One of the guys is about to chip onto the green when he sees a long funeral procession on the road next to the course. He stops in mid-swing, takes off his golf cap, closes his eyes, and bows his head in prayer.

His friend says: “Wow, that is the most thoughtful and touching thing I have ever seen. You truly are a kind man.”

The man then replies: “Yeah, well we were married 35 years.”

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Six things I love

1) Lattes made with fresh ground coffee

2) A book that keeps me reading much too late because I can't put it down

3) Vol de Nuit, it's a fragrance by Guerlain--I love practically anything Guerlain, but this one is my all time favorite

4) Dancing, just about any kind, although ballroom is best

5) A Coach purse, I don't need Channel or Louis Vuitton, though there are some very nice bags out there. I'm perfectly satisfied with Coach

6) Fresh flowers, they are definitely not just for special occasions in my world

And one more thing seeing my book cover up over at Romancing the Blog

Friday, September 12, 2008

Top Ten Male Sexual Fantasies

I actually combined a couple of different lists to come up with this one, the Brits reported one set of fantasies, the Aussies another, and the US a third combination. There may be even wider cultural differences, but I don't know enough of other languages to attempt that research.

IMHO, the biggest difference between male and female sexual fantasies is that women enjoy theirs as pure fantasy while men long for theirs to come true.

1. Being sexually dominated

2. Role playing sex

3. Penetrating his partner anally

4. Receiving oral sex

5. Sex with a stranger

6. Sex with an older woman

7. Being penetrated anally

8. Spanking, bondage, etc.

9. Sex with two or more women

10. Group sex

Most interesting to me are the overlapping fantasies, sex with a stranger, group sex, being penetrated anally, and of course dominating your big strong man.

Feel free to add your favorites....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life in the secret garden

Though the calendar says it's still summer, autumn is in the air even on the sunny days. The fall flowers know it's their turn.

Colchium Speciosus, aka Autumn crocus, are pictured here. Every fall they provide small pools of refreshing lavender when everything else seems to be rust, bronze or gold. These small wonder bulbs naturalize readily and demand nothing from the gardener other than space,decent drainage, and some sun. The only drawback is their ungainly spring foliage, with this in mind, I plant them mid-border. Siting them behind late winter and spring beauties, which camouflage the species awkward stage.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weird stuff

Sheila is always telling me, I should include more of my everyday life in my blogs because I come across as writing obsessed. Well, I am writing obsessed and it's hard for me to imagine anyone would be interested in my day to day life.

But, she's been right about things before. Very humbling stuff, knowing Shelia--she's bossy too.

I'm rambling, here's three things you didn't know about me.

My dog has a peanut butter habit. I'm handling it well. I think--I only buy her the cheap stuff.

I'm hooked on Old Bay seasoning. Yes, we are a complusive household. The other day I noticed the jar getting lighter and added it to the grocery list. There was none on the shelves. Irritated, but determined, I visited two additional supermarkets. No Old Bay. The internet offered a large economy jar for only ten bucks. Two pounds seems like a lot of seasoning. I hope it doesn't get stale.

I don't like clocks. What do they do for anyone? Nothing good.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Teaser for Pirate Rules

Coming soon, I hope.

Pirate Rules

Her whole life, Zara has yearned for domination to release her passion. Ryder was born to dominate, a sex slave of his own is his kinkiest dream. Clearly, they’re made for each other, except he insists on having clear consent before their erotic game moves to the next level, while she needs all control stripped from her writhing, wanton body.

A game of Pirate and Captive is Zara’s fantasy come true, or a lethal gamble with her heart. When she asks about the rules, she learns her master only plays one-way--Pirate Rules.

For me the sales tools--cover letters, blurbs, and synopses take a lot more time and effort that I think they should.

So, what do you think? Does it make you want to read more? Does it say dangerously sexy?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Savage Garden--I Want You

This is one of those songs that could launch a thousand love stories, at least in my mind. Just wanted to share it with you.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday funnies

A teacher gave her class of eleven year-olds an assignment: To get their parent to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day the kids came back and one by one began to tell their stories.

Ashley said, “My father's a farmer and we have a lot of egg-laying hens. One time we were taking our eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the car when we hit a big bump in the road and all the eggs got broken.”

“What's the moral of that story?” asked the teacher.

“Don't put all your eggs in one basket!”

The teacher beamed. “Very good.”

Next little Sarah raised her hand. “My family farms too. But, we raise chickens for the meat market. One day we had a dozen eggs, but when they hatched we only got ten live chicks, and the moral to this story is, Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.”

“That was a fine story Sarah. Michael, do you have a story to share?”

“Yes. My daddy told me this story about my Auntie Karen. She was a flight engineer on a plane in the Gulf War and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whiskey, a machine gun and a machete.

She drank the whiskey on the way down so it wouldn't break, and then she landed right in the middle of one hundred enemy troops.

She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete until the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands.”

“Good heavens!” said the horrified teacher. “What kind of moral did your daddy tell you from that horrible story?”

“Stay the fuck away from Auntie Karen when she's been drinking.”

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Six-pack Saturday

You’ve seen those Thursday Thirteen blog lists right? I like them too! But, I’m a rebel. Instead of becoming another one of Thursday Thirteen crowd, I’m starting a Saturday six-pack.

To inaugurate this blog feature: six books I want to read again.

Shogun by James Clavell

Set in medieval Japan the story unfolds with plenty of political intrigue, brilliant characters, and a tragic love story. I can’t comment on the craft because I invariably get caught up in the story to the extent that the details of writing are irrelevant.

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

This prequel to LOTR is still my favorite. Bilbo Baggins was the first hobbit I was introduced to and his charms have never palled. Ostensibly, a children’s story, I discovered it as an adult and found it riveting.

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Another beloved piece of children’s literature, the Wind in the Willows has an unforgettable animal cast. Still in print, one hundred years past its debut, the story is a beloved classic, which entirely merits its place in the hearts of readers.

Congo by Michael Crichton

A fast paced adventure with IMHO the best cast Mr. Crichton ever put together. He does occasionally lapse into lecture mode, but the gorilla treatment alone makes it worth rereading.

Mackenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard

Wolf Mackenzie is to-die-for, the first category romance hero I fell in love with he’s paired perfectly with Mary Elizabeth Potter, a spinsterish school teacher with true grit. Ms. Howard has written lots of good stories this one remains my favorite.

Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens

The inaugural Cynster novel is still the best. The story embodies what I like about regency romances. Dashing, aristocratic, and irresistible alpha hero matched with elegant, sophisticated woman of strong character, a credible suspense sub-plot, the glittering ballrooms of the ton, and a sensual love story.

So how about you, gotta a six-pack you want to share?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Location, location, location

The other day I read a list of wildest sex locations over at Redlines and Deadlines.

Whenever I read this kind of list, I have to imagine the scene--moving motorcycles seem kind of restrictive to me. But, I get the appeal--being in the moment and unable to wait a second longer, makes me want to know more and that’s the point isn’t it? Same goes for the photo booth, the planes, and the sadly omitted trains.

I was surprised by the lack of water locales--except for under a waterfall, which sounded cold and rocky to me… Maybe I just haven’t been under the right waterfall or with the right guy….

What was very cool about this list, out of all the titles mentioned, I’d only read three. With a few mouse clicks that can be remedied.

So how about you? What is the best sex location you’ve read, imagined, or experienced? Don’t be shy--I won’t tell anyone.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Geeky thrills

New Concepts Publishing has a coming soon page. Naturally, I subscribe to their newsletter. Put these two, semi-related facts together and you get me, checking the position of Dangerous Rescue. Sixteenth from the top, as of today.

It's looking like it will be released this year. But, I'm keeping my fingers crossed till it's official.
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