Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hooks Of All Types

No. I haven't gotten into fishing. Most writers know what hooks means. And I might've posted on this before some years ago, but it was on my mind. Hooks are devices used in books that catch a reader's attention.

Hooks can be through the plot or the central characters career or personality. The ones I love to read are cowboys, cops, bad boys, assassins, bodyguards, force marriages, and lately chefs. I didn't misspell the last one. The movie NO RESERVATIONS showed me how sexy chefs can be.

Of course, I love anything with swords in it. So medieval romance novels are a favorite, but lately I haven't found one that doesn't have the heroine acting too modern (she'll have trade and be too independent).  While others have the woman or man being too stupid to live.

I'm sure there are more that ring my bell and I'll think of them later.

Other hooks that people like are secret babies (where the mother won't tell the man he's a dad and later he finds out), brides (I've been told if you put a bride in full regalia on the cover, the book will fly off the shelf especially in June), woman in jeopardy (think the movie KNIGHT AND DAY - love it! Or any romantic suspense where a killer is after the woman), reunions (they had a relationship that didn't work out but they want to try again), etc.

And there is another form of hooks. It can be the first sentence or paragraph in a book. You know how we love reading the first page or so to get a feel of the writer's voice. That helps in the decision of what to buy.

The first paragraph in my third book (CIRCLE OF DECEPTION) coming out late this year is: Ankles bound by duct tape and rope to a massive hook suspended from the ceiling, the man swayed back and forth. A bare light bulb at the end of a long wire swung in the opposite direction, casting drunken shadows across every inch of his sweat-coated skin.

Does that make you want to read more? It even has the word 'hook' in it.  LOL!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One of Many Reasons I Love To Write


I love writing because it’s as close as I can get to bossing all the men around in my little world. Of course, occasionally they stage a coup and do what they want, but usually I get them in line pretty quick and have them apologizing on their knees to their women.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Is It Better To Be Rich Or Poor?

As I'm apt to do, I was reading a little article that pop up on my laptop's sidebar about lottery winners and the title was Can Winning The Lottery Buy Happiness? 

Personally, I've been poor (more than once) and middle class (for a few years before the crash) and never rich. When I was a kid, my dad made pretty nice money, and we were certainly considered upper middle class for a short time before my parents divorced, not rich by any means. Of course, I remember after that having lots of meatless meals. We didn't do without, but we didn't take the nice vacations like we use to. Dad and his new wife and family did. He would promise to take us kids but rarely came through. C'est la vie. His wife didn't like us around much and since they were married, he knew it was best not to press. It would've made our lives miserable too.

But I wouldn't mind winning the lottery. I would like giving it a try and being rich. Sure, some family members would act like horses' pa-tooties, that's a given due to other things that happened in the past. Of course, I would share if it was enough money after I gave some to my two girls, but even if I did, someone would get upset. Definitely a given.

Anyway, I would do some of the things Linda Howard's character in her book BURN did. Not tell a soul until I hired a money manager (or whatever they're called - it's been a while since I read the book) and then live off the interest. So I wouldn't necessarily live high off the hog as they say in the South, but I would travel and not worrying as much about regular bills like groceries and gas for my car.

What would you do with your money? Let's say $10 million?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Change Is Good

Lately, I've felt in a rut. You know, going in the same spot as everyone else and not getting anywhere. So I decided to start by changing up my blog. Few people read it (Love you, JoAnn!) and I haven't been happy with it for a while. As I had mentioned not long ago, I planned to stop (at post 1000 - 4 more to go). Well, I was thinking about moving all my thoughts and so over to Facebook. Well...I've decided not to do that. I'll continue to make comments there, but most likely I'll send them to my blog. But I may move my blog to Wordpress. Just thinking outloud(?) here.  I'll be sure to post here whatever decision I make and when I make it.

Anyway, what do you think of the set up? I'm not sure if it will stay looking like this as I've lost all my info on the sides, but then again that info is on my website too. We'll see. Change is good.

Friday, April 20, 2012

What It Means To Be PAN

Today, I received some wonderful news. I qualified to enter the PAN (Published Authors Network) area of the Romance Writers of America. I had to meet a criteria to do so and for some, they qualify even before the book is released by having an advance (I didn't get one) and others have to wait until book two or three. It actually took me a little under six months with my first book. I probably qualified last month and just didn't think to check.  Not bad.

A few years ago, I asked my writers group's loop what is so important about being in PAN a couple times and received not one answer. After becoming published, I realized the answer is vast and can be vague at times and maybe that's why most authors can't answer.


Here is a list (surprised?) of why I think it's important.

1) RESPECT - amazing how many people (published/unpublished) think you haven't really "made it" until you qualify for PAN. Crazy but true.

2) PAN LOOP - I've heard the info is awesome on that loop in regards to what to ask your agent or editor, providing promo suggestions, and general "business" info that all published authors need to know.

3) LIBRARIANS DAY - this is held at the National conference and you must be PAN to attend (unlike the Literacy Signing). Librarians ROCK! They mold young minds and provide mental food to adults. They recommend books to read and can help an author's career. Plus there are few other workshops at the conference only for PAN members.

4) PASIC chapter - this is the only RWA chapter that you're required to be a PAN author before joining. I've heard good things about it, especially their conference.

5) RESPECT - yes. I said it twice. Some people do get tied up in labels and it's the main reason I will apply for PAN and thumb my nose at those who 'diss' me. Well, that and the Librarian Day function.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

For Your Listening Pleasure

Sometimes I enjoy listening to old tunes. Such as Joe Crocker, The Animals, The Beatles, Janis Joplin, Grand Funk Railroad (from my pre-teens and early teens) and Uriah Heep, Pink Floyd, Allman Brothers, Led Zeppelin, Marshall Tucker Band, Nazareth, Elton John (Yellowbrick Road days), Lynyrd Skynyrd  and many others that bring memories back of my youth (later teens and early twenties), even those from the 80s that I look fondly on because my kids were little and they were fun. Think Billy Idol. But I’m not like some people my age who only listen to ‘oldies but goldies.’ I prefer the more current ones for my daily listening pleasure.  If I listen to old tunes all the time, I start feeling so depressed.  You know, time flying by and all that.

So nowadays I listen to Nickelback, Gotye, Lady GaGa, Kings of Leon, Threes Doors Down, Adele, Train, Kelly Clarkson, and so many more.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Linda Howard Interview

I love this interview of Linda Howard. So much of her personality comes through. She's really that down to earth.  She was interviewed same day as me last year.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Okay. I Get It.

Everytime I turn around, someone is talking about Jared Leto. I wondered, what's so great about him? So I looked him up. Okay. I get it. Yum.

Click here to see.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Is It A Fact?

We've all heard the theory about measuring a man's feet, nose, hands, or etc. to guess at their penis length. Well, some gutsy and funny person made up a chart. Check it out.  No. I wasn't trying to figure it out. I only needed the average foot size for a man in the U.S. (10.5) and came across the chart.  So funny.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Romance Writing Syndromes

I wrote this originally for Just Romantic Suspense.  Be sure to check out the website. It has great info, lots of author interviews and plenty of giveaways!

In books, I’ve found the ones I enjoy the most have family in it. Most romances have what I’ve heard called the Dead Parent Syndrome. You’ve never seen so many orphans than you do in Romance. And don’t get me started on the Only Child Syndrome. You sort of expect DPS to show up in historical romance. Between all of the diseases and the nasty childbirth practices back then, chances were good that the main characters were raised by an aunt or uncle. But the phenomenon spilled over to contemporary many years ago. As an author, I know how tempting it is to kill off all of the family. Just think of the angst and damage the person would be going through all alone. Plus the character can behave any way they want without worrying about how mom would react.

Why do I like having parents and siblings even in the type of romantic suspense I write? First, let me explain what I write. I love edgy, hot stories of a man and woman who try to do right but screw up along the way. (Pun intended.) My current book, Circle of Desire, is so much like that and the strange thing is in this book the two main characters have DPS. But siblings pop up everywhere and that trend continues in my book due out June 5, Circle of Danger. But in the third book, Circle of Deception (tentatively titled), someone’s parents will finally show up, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

So now I’ll answer the question above. I believe readers can only handle so much angst and damage. A favorite author of mine loves to torment her characters and one book of hers in particular I had to put down a time or two because of all the pain and suffering. All I could think of is, “Give the guy a break!” Hey, when you like the hero, you want his life to improve, especially after meeting the heroine (and vice-versa). Besides, we like believing there are parents who are alive and their children have grown up to become awesome heroes/heroines. Some of us had parents who did a decent job of parenting. If we’re messed up, it’s because of actions by other people, not in our nuclear family, that have touched us in a negative or positive way or maybe all it is, is us being human.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Great New-to-me Website

I'm loving the ASKMEN.com website. Check this out about sex positions. How refreshing to see it worded so well. Thi sis all part of my research for my current book.  LOL!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Many Men's Challenge

Check out this article titled, "What is The Most Challenging Skill For Men To Learn?" The answer to their biggest challenge is not to dress like this...  Click here.
For the worst dressed cities, you can check out another article here.  What to do to get your husband/boyfriend to dress better? Check out this article. I agree wholeheartedly.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I FINISHED BOOK #3!

April Fools!  Surely, you didn't get taken in by that?  I'm nowhere finished. But it's moving along.  Please be sure to sign up for  my newsletter. I plan next week to send out an excerpt of Book #3 (tentatively titled CIRCLE OF DECEPTION). It's the opening scene of the book actually and I think you'll love it. I do. But I love all of my books equally. They are like my children - a part of me.

First, Happy Birthday to my sister. Love ya, sis!

Second, come over to Just Romantic Suspense and comment on my post titled "Romance Writing Syndromes." You might find it interesting.  Plus you could win a copy of CIRCLE OF DESIRE (paperback or e-format) and CIRCLE OF DANGER (e-format), one of each title. One per winner. 

Hope to see you there. In the meanwhile, I'm back writing on Book #3.