Friday, February 27, 2009

Ew....It's Sparkley!

As romance writers, there is one thing we strive very hard to do...create a happy ending. Well atleast the majority of us do, since changes in the genre now also include ending the relationship as friends, with one of the couple dying or a continuation until the next episode. But at the heart of most traditional romances, including the paranormal variety, are HEAs that make the reader sigh with happiness, laugh out loud or perhaps even cry.

So now, I'll get to my personal HEA just hit a big milestone.

I got an engagement ring and a simply sweet proposal. What I didn't know is that my family sabotaged several tries by my fiance while we were at the beach during Valentine's weekend. :0) I was supposed to have a story book proposal at the Finish Line of my last race. However my brother-in-law decided to shop for my sister's Valentine's Day gift at the same time. So my boyfriend missed being there by 2 minutes. Then on the beach, he was going to slip the ring out of his pocket, and my mom decided to tag along. Finally, we spent half of Valentine's Day standing on a street corner in the cold, and later in the rain, watching runners in agony trying to make it 26.2 miles to the finish. And we ate dinner that night at a mall food court. Neither seemed to provide the setting for a proposal.

So I ended up getting my gorgeous ring after a redo Valentine date that contained a movie, an adventure to find a restaurant, a great meal and then a little shopping. As we took off our coats at home, he asked me, "Do you want your real Valentine's Day gift?" I gave him a questioning look. "The Jillian Michaels DVDs weren't your real present." I said, "I didn't get you another gift." He pulled the red mahogany colored box from his jacket pocket, and said, "I have a question to ask you. 'Will you marry me?'" You can guess what I said--"Yes! Of course." As some of you know we've been together 9 I did have to do a double take when I saw the ring. I was almost sure I was imagining the whole thing. But I wasn't. Here's the proof.

Now I get the fun of planning a wedding...hopefully complete with some magical moments! And with the economy in a lull, it's going to be more interesting. All I know is that I've found my hero. He's tall, dark-haired and handsome, whether or not he's wearing his glasses. He supports me no matter what (even on days when he barely gets to spend 5 minutes with me from my crazy commitments) and he loves me skinny or plump. He's a good, honest man who has morals, knows how to use his common sense to get out of a pickle, and yet have fun like a kid. And he never fails to make me smile, even on the worst day. What more can a girl ask for?

Some other funny tibits include:

Our unofficial song for the weekend was "All the Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)". Ironic huh?

My fiance hid the ring in a Smooch bag with the DVDs, and freaked when he saw that the tissue paper had come out. He asked me, "Did you see what was in the bag?" I was like "No!" So then he thought my mom had peeked.

My mom was talking about the Wedding Chapel by the Sea, but at the time she had no idea that the ring was safely ensconsed in my fiance's coat pocket, where it had been for half the vacation.

He's had my ring since Christmas and kept it stashed amid his game systems. Yes, he has that many. And yes, I don't touch them for fear of breaking something. Which means he manged to find the one place I wouldn't snoop...unless I glimpsed it whie putting in those Jillian DVDs. :0)

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Book Review - Highland Rogue by Tess Mallory

Highland Rogue
Tess Mallory
Berkley Sensation
May 2008
ISBN: 078-425-22042-9

Highland Rogue fits neatly into one of my favorite sub-genre combinations--time travel and kilted men. This particular book details the story of a 'bad boy' Scottish highwayman, Quinn MacIntyre, from the eighteenth century who's dubbed 'The Piper'. Quinn once attended an esteemed school to learn the intricacies of piping but his sponsor, Montrose, caught his father and brother stealing his cattle and had them hanged. After that, Quinn vowed to get his revenge on Montrose and so he does by robbing all of Montrose's wealthy guests.

But Quinn never plans on meeting Maggie Graham, an aspiring archaeologist from the 21th century, who's sent back in time by a mysterious carving in an ancient cairn in the Scottish highlands. And he never thought he'd have to save the strange woman's life by sacrificing his best friend and partner, Ian MacGregor to Montrose's guards but he can't let an innocent woman die just because she's in the wrong place at the wrong time.

What follows is a delightful story full of ups and downs and twists and turns as Quinn and Maggie fall into lust, then love while attempting to rescue Ian and resolve their own unique problems. My only problem was that the ancient cairn seemed to house a 'revolving door' between then and now as Maggie and Quinn go back and forth. However I was able to easily overlook that as things came together for our two main characters. I enjoyed reading this book with its wonderful hero and heroic, if a little klutzy, heroine. I look forward to Ms Mallory's next book.

Did I mention I'm a sucker for time travels with men-in-kilts?

-- Lynda

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Rachel Vincent

Rachel Vincent is a recent transplant into the Deep South, though she still dislikes root beer and most vegetables. She has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, the latter of which she finds to be more practical. And if you’ve wondered where her werecat inspiration comes from? I’d say the fact that she shares her workspace with two black cats (Kaci and Nyx)…not to mention her # 1 fan. Since Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, she’s convinced that for every day she spends writing, another day will be added to her lifespan.

Like most writers she enjoys flavored coffee, chocolate, laptops, high speed internet, em-dashes and 80’s music. Also as a writer, her pet peeves include velvet, approximate rhymes and typos (which she has given her fans carte blanche to point out on her website).

I can’t say that I’ve met Rachel in person. With that being said, I’ve totally gotten a gist of her humor from her novels as well as her blog. I jumped on the band wagon when Rachel’s first book, STRAY, appeared thanks to a shout out from Jenna Black. At that time, Rachel was one of the first writers I’d seen who used the internet as a smart marketing tool. After all what writer doesn’t love knowing her fans are buying her books? Well Rachel took that connection further. She asked her fans to send pictures of themselves finding and buying STRAY when it hit shelves everywhere. I’d call that fun and inventive, which are also hallmark traits of her writing.

If you want to be-fan a writer who’s a hoot (as we say in the South), I think Rachel merits that title! Luckily she’s got six books under her belt, so I’d say she’s firmly on her way to a long and merry career. And that kind longevity will mean wonders for her lifeline :0)

How did the spark of an idea in your eye turn into a popular werecat series starring Faythe Sanders? Did you research the customs and mythos of the Pride, or did you develop your own social code by watching lots of cats and groups of guys?

The social structure is loosely modeled on the reverse of a pride of lions, in which there are few males and many females. The males do little, other than procreate, and the females do most of the hunting. I thought it would be fun to reverse that, and see what kind of havoc results. And it has been fun! But the politics are all made up. That was fun too. Though I doubt Faythe would agree. ;-)

If you had to choose one of the Pride to be your brother and/or significant other, what hunky tom would it be?

Oh, man. Okay, Ethan would make an awesome brother. He really cares about Faythe, but there’s also a real, but friendly competition. And he doesn’t let her walk over him.

As for a significant other, it would have to be either Marc or Jace. They both have qualities I like. Unfortunately, I can’t narrow it any further than that. Yet… ;-)

What secret(s) do you wish you’d known as an unpublished author that you now know as a multi-published author? Who, besides yourself, do you think had the biggest role in helping you “break in”?

Secrets? There are no secrets. I know no one wants to hear that, but it’s true. All the important information is out there if you want it. Google is your friend. ;-)

Who helped me “break in” to publishing? W
ell, my awesome mentor played a huge role in teaching me about craft and about the industry, and I can’t thank her enough for that. But in the end, I still had to cold-query agents, and I broke in the old-fashioned way. Through the slush pile.

With three books, including PRIDE out, and tons of promo on your plate, what do you do for down time from being a do-it-yourself author?

I read, watch DVDs, and play rock band. I know, exciting, huh? ;-)

When and where did the coolest/weirdest/most shocking thing a fan did or say happen?

Um… my readers are actually pretty awesome. They’ve been very gracious and enthusiastic, and I could not be more grateful for that.

What part of the writing and publishing process gives you the most pleasure and/or satisfaction?

Writing a rough draft gives me a huge sense of accomplishment, because it’s the stage where the most visible work is done. You can see your word count rise every day. But rewrites and revisions are where the real magic happens.

With PREY, and your first YA, MY SOUL TO TAKE, looming on the horizon, can you give us a sneak peek at the books as well as the rest of your 2009 schedule?

PREY comes out on July 1, 2009, and is already available for pre-order. Here’s the blurb:


SOMETIMES PLAYING CAT AND MOUSE IS NO GAME...Play? Right. My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father's authority is in question and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven't laid eyes on Marc's gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother and an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don't exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.

Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing, and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.

MY SOUL TO TAKE is my young adult debut, the first in my Soul Screamers series about a teenage bean sidhe (banshee). It comes out on August 1. I don’t have the official blurb yet, but it’ll be up on my website as soon as I do.

Didn’t get enough of Rachel here? Check out her Q&A at eharlequin. And if you have a question you didn’t get the chance to ask here, join the merriment at The Pride! Or you can read the backlog of info and occurrences on her blog.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Long Tail of a Comet

We all know how comets are chunks of dirty ice in extreme orbit around the sun, which pass close enough to Earth every so often to be seen from the backyard, or possibly a half-decent amateur telescope, and that when these dirty ice chunks approach the inner solar system and the warmth of the sun, some of that ice melts, releasing trapped materials and gases in a trailing streamer stretching behind the comet's main body, and often making some of the most beautiful visual effects of the comet's passing.

There's a long tail in publishing, too, where the economies of scale and the costs of mass distribution limit the presence of the tail--it can only be seen at certain times and in the right conditions, and then briefly in the life of the comet, but perhaps spectacularly so. This publishing long tail consists of stories and subgenres that don't have the same wide appeal as the current Hot Thing, but still have an audience. Perhaps a larger audience, if they were only as widely available as the main body of the publishing comet.

The internets have become a great equalizer (of a sort--until everyone, everywhere has access to the internets and tools to interact in it with, and power to run them, the internets will still have a limit that doesn't quite reach 'global.'). With more people on the internets today than ever before, more ways to use the internets are shaking themselves out into consciousness and culture. People are Finding Things on the internets. Like a great archaeological dig, people are discovering what they've lost--old friends, old movies, old songs, old news. And they are discovering things that they never knew they missed. Like Bollywood movies or subtitled anime that would never have otherwise made it to western shores. Or books dealing with certain subjects considered "unmarketable" when compared to the fare found on the bookstore shelves. On the internets, the long tail has found conditions that let it glow.

One of the reasons for this is that the internets are actually bypassing the cultural gatekeepers that have been present in our culture. In order to see a movie in the theater, the studio has to distribute it and the theater owner has to agree to show it, and you have to show up at the theater according to their schedule. A movie without distribution (indie films) usually doesn't see the light of day beyond a few "art houses" or very limited runs and showings. The internet changes that--creating the opportunity (not necessarily the reality, but the potentiality) for the audience to make the first and last judgment on the cinema. Indie music is the same way--music stores have limited shelf space, music labels filter through the potential musicians and grant chances to the ones they believe will have the best chance of striking a chord (pardon the pun) with a large audience. But the folk singer, barbershop quartet, acapella group, comedy rapper may be the best in class, only the class is too small for the economies of scale to kick in and make it profitable to a large studio. The gatekeeper is bypassed when the small group reaches out directly to the audience via the public square of live performance.

So too, is this happening in the book publishing world, and it's an exciting time for it to be happening, as the audience is just really becoming aware of all the possibility out there, and all the ways they can use it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Guest - Linda Wisdom

Good morning, everyone! Today we have the ever popular author Linda Wisdom visiting us again with news about her newest book Wicked By Any Other Name. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom to see how you can win a copy of this fabulous book...and if you don't win, go out and buy it anyway :D


The Witches Are Back!

I’ve heard from many readers how much they love Jazz and many of them asked if Stasi and Blair will have their own books. Of course! As if they’d allow me to ignore them.

So now it’s Stasi’s turn in Wicked By Any Other Name. The sweet witch who sees romance as something so important in everyone’s life that she tucks special sachets in each purchase to enhance the customer’s sensuality. Sadly, there’s presently none in hers. A lingerie boutique that’s infused with magick so anyone entering smells their favorite fragrance. Unless you’re PMSing then you smell chocolate.

But Stasi doesn’t have it easy. A human is suing her in Wizards Court and the sexy wizard attorney for the plaintiff is making her hiccup iridescent bubbles. The gargoyle that lives in her shop is making a game of figuring out whose breasts are real and then there’s some odd things going on in the town during their Halloween festivities.

It’s not easy to even think about romance when your town is snowed in, the power’s out and the townspeople are looking at you as if they’re afraid you’re going to cook up their children in your oven or level flesh eating curses on one and all.

Then there’s those pesky red hearts dancing over Stasi and Trev’s heads indicating they’re each other’s soul mates. Cupid’s idea of humor since he resents Stasi doing anything to promote romance. After all, that’s his job.

But Stasi hasn’t been around this long without having a few spells up her sleeve. It’s not easy, definitely frightening at times and it also takes the help of fellow witches Blair and Jazz along with vampire Nick, ghostly Irma and yes, Fluff and Puff are there too.

What it shows is that witches still rule and wizards drool. Over cute witches that is.

A lucky commenter will receive a copy of Wicked By Any Other Name!


-- Lynda again :D Don't forget that this is the third in the series. There are two fabulous books prior to this as well - 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover and Hex Appeal both featuring the tempestuous witch, Jazz. Great reads both of them!

You can read my reviews of these two books here and here. Sadly, the contests on those pages are ended but you can still join my newsgroup for other contests and news. Oh, and I did a review for Wicked By Any Other Name yesterday. You can see it here.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Review - Wicked By Any Other Name

Wicked By Any Other Name
Linda Wisdom

Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN-10: 1402217730
ISBN-13: 978-1402217739
Available Now

In the delightful book, Staci Romanov, one of Jazz Tremaine's 'sisters in witchcraft', runs a small boutique specializing in exquisite lingerie...with a little spell casting on the side. Nothing major, just a bit of a tweak to help her customers be happy in love. But one of those customers is a real doozy who blames Staci when her husband leaves her. Not only blames her but finds a lawyer wizard to sue Staci right out of Moon Lake. Staci, the definitive example of a lover-not-a-fighter, shows her backbone when she stands up to the handsome lawyer wizard whose client wants to sue Staci.

Said handsome wizard is Trevor Barnes and it's probably a whole lot easier to stand up to your arch enemy when glittery red hearts are swirling over his head - a sign that Cupid is playing one of his tricks...or a sign of True Love. The bad thing (or good, depending on your point of view :D ) is that identical glittery red hearts are swirling over Staci's head when Trevor is around. They say that wizards and witches don't mix, that a witch can't trust a wizard but in this case, they may just be wrong.

This story looks like a cute little fluffy piece of entertainment but as things go from bad to worse in Moon Lake the tension escalates. Staci and Trevor along with Blair and the volatile Jazz have to determine who, or what, is behind the series of mysterious events taking place. And they have to do it before the entire town is destroyed.

Ms Wisdom has done it again with her highly entertaining, sexy and imaginative series. This book is a fast read that's perfect for whiling away the dreary pre-Spring months. And while it has characters like Jazz and Nick and Fluff and Puff who we're grown to love already, there are new characters who'll also grab a place in our hearts and imagination -- characters like Horace, the gargoyle, and Felix, the kitty kat clock. You can always count on a wild, tumultuous ride with one of Linda Wisdom's books and Wicked By Any Other Name is no exception.

-- Lynda

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sexy Comments & Profile Graphics

Here's hoping all our readers have a warm, romantic Valentine's Day!

-- Lynda and the Star-Crossed Authors

Friday, February 13, 2009

What's A Girl to Do?

Are you fresh out of cute ideas for how to create a memorable Valentine’s Day for your honey, or just get your hero and heroine to engage in a “meet sweet”? Well check out these ideas, which you can make all your own with a couple tweaks.

Telephone Tag: Why not call your lover from different locales that have interesting names to pop up on his caller ID? Or have him hunt you by calling/texting from your cell in a distinct pattern of places. Come up with some cute lines about where you are or what you’re doing to entice him. Use that anticipation to build him up for the payoff he’ll receive when he gets one step ahead—and snags the prize (you)! Like cat and mouse antics? Set your ringtone to play “your song”, and stay one step ahead of him, while he tries to track the sound down.

Slight of Hand: Our gender can be a little greedy on Valentine’s Day. So why not buy your guy three small gifts? Say a mini box of chocolates, a pair of boxers, and IOU tickets. Then use them in a slight of hand to make him follow your every move. (Coconut shells are optional.) The beauty of this is that no matter what you choose to be the prize, he’ll win every time. And whenever he uses or wears the item, he’ll remember the fun to be had with you.

Chocolate Code: Everyone knows Valentine’s Day is the time to indulge with chocolates. Instead of devouring the box without remembering how you two ate them all, why not use the pieces as a puzzle or secret code? You can mark each square with a letter on the bottom of the tray to spell out messages for your lover boy, or create a pattern that’s special with the smorgasbord of chocolatey choices and your own special paper cups.

Joy Ride: Most guys love cars…and could go on endlessly about revving, tuning or tinkering with them. Give him something to talk about that involves his two loves—cars and you! Take him to test drive his dream car. If you get a good salesman, perhaps you’ll even get to ride shotgun while your honey lives out his more than 60 seconds of fantasy.

Race to the Finish: Can your guy tick off his favorite things on one hand? Why not make a list of items you both want, then exchange your gift inventories. Go to a mega store or mall, and set a time limit. Whoever gets the most doodads before the timer goes off is the winner of a special treat (choice of restaurant, choice of flick, opening his/her gifts first). Even in this budgeting economy, you can be frugal and still have loads of fun staying undercover and playing the game smart.

Music Montage: We’ve all heard those music compilations that take up shelf space at stores around Valentine’s Day. But what if your guy isn’t in to sappy love stuff? Take him to a place where he can listen to a wall full of tunes, and invite him to make a playlist. Jot them down, then make your own custom CD. Or record the name of the album he keeps going back to and purchase the CD before you say adios to the store and go off on your merry way.

Bookish Bond: If you have a favorite opening or finale scene in a book, why not make a mini script that you use to role play? Most good actors know that magic happens when they improvise, so why should your show for two be any different? Remember to give yourself and him permission to get a little wild, and write off any regrets beforehand, so you can create a night to remember!

However you decide to spend your Valentine’s Day, make your time together meaningful and show some sass! I’m leaving the steam factor up to you. Keep in mind that sexy sells, and you can create some great fiction from living out fantasies!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Time passes, paths diverge.

It's with regret that we have to say good bye to Angela Verdenius who has regaled us with her bright sparkly outlook on writing and what it takes to be a feline's companion :D

But, as we all know, work and other demands makes us have to choose how we will spend our time. Angela has chosen in favor of her writing which is a boon to all of us who love her books but sad for us here at Star-Crossed Romance. We wish her all the best in life, sales and family.

-- Lynda

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Two New Releases - Don't Stop Me Now, I'm On A Bun

Hey All,

Today marks the release of my lastest Samhain titled, I'm really excited about this story since it marks the first time I've knowingly ventured into the realm of rom com. Not that my books haven't had their moments of hilarity, but to sit at the computer with the express intent of writing something funny, is a whole other ball of grammar.


Blurbage -

She can match anyone. Except the man she can’t resist.

A Tickle My Fantasy story.
Dating in today’s world is tough enough. Pair it with a paranormalady, and Lucille Wainwright is living the recipe for loneliness. Born a talentless witch in a family of legendary spellcasters, she’s managed to carve a niche for herself with, a matchmaking service for paranormal beings.

What she lacks in the magic department, she more than makes up for with her uncanny ability to conjure committed relationships out of any combination of traits and backgrounds. Until now.

Enter Jager Cronus, deposed king of the Titans and successful paratrader. As a client, he’s a nightmare. As a man, he’s irresistible. When he demands a date with her to the annual Legion Halloween Dance, she’s hard pressed to refuse. With her professional ethics warring with a deep need to prove herself, she gives him two more chances to find love.

That’s all the opening Jager needs. After all, he didn’t survive his downfall without learning a few things about prevailing in the face of the stiffest negotiations.

Now he’s about to negotiate the deal of a lifetime—a future with Lucilla.

Warning: Contains inter-species romance, love potions, fallen Greek Gods, super-morphing wizards, and a male strip-tease. by MK Mancos available now, from Samhain Publishing


The second book, releases tomorrow from The Wild Rose Press, Faery Line titled, Kingmaker's Gold by MK Mancos.

This story came about as a want to write a special holiday themed story. When I saw that TWRP was looking for St. Patrick's Day themed stories, I figured I just had to write one. Especially, since most authors are going to write to the big holidays, Christmas, Valentines Day, Halloween. I love St. Patrick's Day and the wearing of the green. My Irish roots (what little of them I have) always surfaces with pride on that day. However, I didn't know how to make a St. Patrick's story vital as a contemporary, so I set it in Victorian New York, in the cracks between innocence and industrialization.



Gold —the name alone evokes dreams of riches beyond imagination. Whether one is a mortal woman or one of the fey men who inhabit New York in 1910, the precious metal can have great impact and far-reaching consequences. For Abigail Westmorland, a single gold coin stands between her and destitution. For Venn, a contender for the leprechaun throne, it means the difference between leading the fey or being led by his cousin, the dark fey, Lachlan. Together Venn and Abigail find true love is more precious than any gold.

Kingmaker's Gold by MK Mancos, The Wild Rose Press, Faery Rose - release date Feb. 11th.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Guest - Resa Nelson

Good morning everyone! Today's guest, Resa Nelson, has been selling short fiction professionally since 1988. She is a member of SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Based in New England, she splits her time between working as a novelist, journalist, and contract technical writer. Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, is currently a Finalist for the EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy Novel. Visit Nelson’s website at or

Now, without further ado, here's our guest, Resa Nelson. Oh, and check below to see how to win an e-copy of Resa's book The Dragonslayer's Sword (it sounds like a fabulous read)


Although I’ve been unlucky in love in real life, every man with whom I’ve had a romantic relationship has influenced my life in a very positive way — even when the relationship turned into a disaster! For example, one of my early jobs was at an organization that paid me so little that I struggled just to pay my basic bills. My boyfriend at the time sat down with me to examine my situation. I’d accepted a professional position where no one knew how to train me, but I’d succeeded in figuring out the details of my job responsibilities by myself. I was in charge of a few floundering programs and turned them around in less than a year.

Before I was hired, these programs had been ill attended and lost money. Under my management, attendance exploded and these programs became profitable. My boyfriend pushed me to ask for a significant increase in pay. He coached me and helped me practice my arguments. I felt confident when I met with my boss but was devastated when I was offered a meager raise one month ahead of schedule instead of a real salary increase.

My boyfriend then encouraged me to give notice and quit, even though there was a recession going on and I had no prospects for getting another job. The idea terrified me. I needed the safety and security of a steady paycheck, and the thought of taking such a big risk made me feel a very real and deep fear. But I pushed past my fear, quit my job, and did temp work until I landed another job. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I learned that no matter what happens, I can always find a way to land on my feet and be OK.

Many years ago, one of my writer friends made an observation that I’ll never forget: your characters can only be as psychologically and emotionally healthy as you are.

If I hadn’t taken my boyfriend’s advice and quit a job where I didn’t feel valued, I probably would have spent decades living in fear and working at jobs where I wasn’t treated well. In other words, I learned how to value myself and to seek out employers who would value me. Facing my fear of being jobless during a recession taught me courage. I learned how to take big risks. And the more risks I took, the more comfortable I felt in my own skin.

That’s a lot of what The Dragonslayer’s Sword is about: rising up to the challenges in your life and feeling comfortable in your own skin. If I hadn’t become more courageous in living my own life, there’s no way I could invent the characters that now populate my novels. Likewise, it’s easier for me to throw big obstacles in front of my characters, because I know I can help my characters figure a way around those obstacles. And it’s no coincidence that the male love interest in each novel tends to have a very positive influence on my main character, regardless of the path their relationship takes.

About “The Dragonslayer’s Sword

For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover--the dragonslayer--disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning.

Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child.

Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?

The Dragonslayer's Sword is available from Mundania at

or on Amazon at

About “Our Lady Of The Absolute

Nelson’s next novel, Our Lady Of The Absolute (scheduled for publication in July 2010), tells the story of a childless woman who risks everything to protect her endangered and pregnant sister-in-law in a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt.

To win an e-copy of The Dragonslayer's Sword, send me an email by Feb 14: with The Dragonslayer's Sword in the subject line. Hope to hear from you!

-- Lynda here.

Wow, Resa, that's a very interesting insight into character creation. I can certainly see what your friend meant but I'd never thought about it before. Thanks for sharing that and helping us all jumpstart a different thought process on character creation.

And for all the Star-Crossed readers, do send Resa an email to win that free e-book. It sounds like a winner, doesn't it? :D

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Friday, February 06, 2009

The Big Day

As of late I've been gearing up...for my race on February 13th. I've picked out my outfit, including running tights, a long sleeve shirt, a short sleeve shirt, a coat, warm-up pants, my beloved Thoros and even a specific jog bra. In aqua of course! Then there's my MP3 player, my water bottle designed to slip over the back of my hand, my pack with tissues, extra safety pins and batteries. And this isn't even what I'm packing for the entire weekend trip!

Besides this I've been planning for months for this one day, eating right, exercising right so I can peak at just the right time. And as Fate likes to do, it threw a kink in the midde with an injury. So now, I'm trying to catch my breath and regroup with "the Big Day" looming ever closer.

Do you know what all of this reminded me of?

Yes, a wedding! But I think that's only because it's so close to Valentine's Day.

The hubub also reminds me of when getting ready for a book's release. When you sign that contract you're already under the gun to get online and start a buzz. You have to do a website, promo on other people's webstites, and make those connections! You have to do blurbs and smart tags and blog as well as put together graphics that are eye catching. Not to mention picking freebies people will use long enough to remember to buy your book! And when you go out, you have to have an outfit that says, "I'm a writer." But it can't be too revealing, nor too staunch. It has to convey your personality as well as what you write. And conferences...there you have to be the author who promotes your book almost 24/7. You have to do the right thing, say the right thing, etc. so that nothing reflects badly on you, your book or your house.

Maybe it's just me, but I often wondered if I had really, truly lost my mind! Though it's a ton of hard work (not to mention those killer re-writes), it so pays off! So enjoy your the big day! Afterall you've worked so hard to make your dream real. And don't celebrate alone. Tell everyone your good news! And always take pictures to remember the good times and record that Big Day when you finally show off your "baby" to the world! That way you can reflect and never forget the high. :0)

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Book Review - In Over Her Head by Judi Fennell

Judi Fennell
Sourcebooks Casablanca
June 2009

Erica Peck is no little mermaid. Even though her family has owned a seaside marina, she’s been terrified of the ocean since she was a little kid. Then, in an attempt to conquer her fear, she tosses her father’s ashes into his beloved sea without knowing that her skanky ex-fiancĂ© had hidden some very valuable diamonds in the urn. Before she knows what’s happening, her ex forces her to dive into the ocean on a futile search for those diamonds. When she surfaces without the gems, he shoots her and speeds away. Just as she loses consciousness, she feels an exploratory ‘bump’ by a shark. Luckily, the shark isn’t the only creature in the water.

Reel has had a fascination with Erica since he first saw her when both he and she were little kids. When he sees Vincent, the shark, preparing to make a meal out of her, he intercedes. But the woman is out of oxygen and she’s too far below the surface for a rapid ascent or she’ll die of the bends. It doesn’t take much effort for Chum, his remora companion, to convince him to commit the ultimate crime of changing her so she can breathe underwater.

Reel knows this will make him responsible for her because she doesn’t know how to survive under the sea and he knows his father, the king, will be just as angry as any member of the council who all think of him as a wastrel. He doesn’t care because for once he has a purpose beyond being the spare son who won’t inherit the kingdom or immortality and whose lack of a proper tail sets him apart from all his kin and companions. He doesn’t count on the council sending Erica and him to find those diamonds and, in doing so, facing the monster who has them.

IN OVER HER HEAD is a delightful, quirky blend of humor, adventure and passion. Erica, once terrified of the ocean and everything in it, slowly overcomes her fear and becomes the heroine she’s always wanted to be. And Reel demonstrates some wonderful heroic qualities even while he retains his boyish playfulness. All in all, this is a fast, fun read and a great way to spend a snowy afternoon or a sunny day at the beach.

-- Lynda
By the way, I'll be offering contests on my readers group every month. All you have to do to win is to be a member and to follow the instructions I send in my group messages. To become a member, send a blank email to

This is a very low volume list so you don't have to worry about getting your email box flooded. Hope to see you there :D

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