Monday, July 20, 2009

Invasion of the Time-Suckers...

WORKING ON: Final revisions for Firestarter, a prospective Nocturne Bites submission, plus a new wip kicks off tonight, currently called Desire Dark Blue, but that'll probably change.
READING: The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger (Audio). Different from my usual, but okay. Am a bit hard up for audio.
FEELING: Introspective, and a bit hot - it's ten degrees over normal winter temp here!
LAST SONG LISTENED TO: Beyonce's Naughty Girl.

As we sat at the table post-kids in bed, hubby was telling me how his workmate thinks its a cracker that I write "porn" [NOTE: I don't, not that there's anything wrong with that. It's not even erotica. It's sensual paranormal romance. Get it right, dearest.]. After smacking him upside the head for the porn comment (he was being deliberately general, and was in the market for a smack), I asked him if it was a cracker as in, "Your wife must be good at the sex thing" nudge, nudge, or if it was actually something like envy that his own wife is a pregnant ex-baker [EDIT: Not that there's anything wrong with that, either. On re-reading, that sounded dicey. She is a very lovely person *slap hand*]. Hubster had to think, and decided it may have been envy.

"So, did you tell him what I write? You're not embarassed by it?"

Yes, he had (Good. I didn't remember doing it). No, Hubby said. He thought it was good that I was doing something that makes me feel happy and productive. [NOTE: Hubby is one of those people with a will of iron. If his pants get tight, he will run up and down the driveway for days after the kids are in bed, until the weight is gone, or he breaks a hamstring. Whichever comes first. He still has clothes from his teens that he still wears. Ewww. Actually, that's foul.]

"So, you don't think I'm an idiot?"

No, he liked that I how my reading and writing went together, and all in all, he thought I was kinda cool. I should make more time for writing. You know, work hard towards publication.

Oh. Well. That's nice. Sorry about the smack in the head, sweetie.

Hang on, what do you mean, make more time? I'm on the computer, like seven hours a day!

Yes, he said. You are. But are you writing?

"Not all of the time, no. *cough* I'm networking"

Ah, he said. That's different. He then went on to dangle a sodding big carrot, telling me that if I spent more time on the actual writing, and less on facebook, twitter, blogs and communities, he might agree about that new laptop I've been on about (it's red, dudes. I know! Red!). This current one has a dicey screen...

Man, he fights dirrrrty. Isn't it sweet, though, that he knows me well enough to realise that I'm open to bribery? That's where 14.5 years gets you. [Less for murder, he says. Ha ha. Shut up, dear...]

So. Well..., um. On the off chance (I mean, let's be serious here, what are the chances?), that he has a point, I've decided to take a look at what I do... (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER...)

  1. FACEBOOK - I have a personal facebook account, that was originally used for keeping in touch with friends, but now has quite a few authors from around the globe on it. Authors have personal sites as well as fan sites (I think a fan site works best for authors, btw), so I might be friends with or a fan of the one person twice (Michele Hauf is an example I can think of). I really just use it for contacting friends (oh, and there was that one time I did the quiz to find out what Hogwarts teacher I was. Er, and the one that said which 80's song I was. I didn't do the one that gives my boobs nicknames (I mean, really). I keep the Anna Hackett Fanpage, a) because I'm a fan and b) I believe in what goes around comes around and c) I want her to sell more books, because this will make her happy and a happy critique partner is a good one. It is easy, because I already have access to a load of writers on my personal page. VERDICT: I think FB is more useful than it is not. I keep in touch with people from school, university etc, that I would never keep in touch with otherwise. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? Yes. Maybe I could curb my quizzes, but they're not rampant...
  2. BLOG READING - I keep in touch with quite a few blogs, and the list gets added to all the time. It's mainly just reading what people are up to, releases, guests spots, pictures. I enter competitions sometimes, although many that I have entered from the start are getting busy now. I think I have streamlined the blogs - I subscribed to them through googlereader, and I read them on the iPhone. From time to time I might unsubscribe from one or two. VERDICT: Definitely a time suck, but if I want people to read my blog, I think it's important that I read theirs. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? I will, because at any point in time, I can flick through, mark all as read and it's like they were never there. Having them on the phone rocks... But I just need highlights, not the full web surfing experience.
  3. TWITTER - You know, I am in two minds about twitter. I have a few buddies that I correspond with, but when I log in, I might have one or two mentions and a direct message. But, you've got to work for those. Most are tweeps I am conversing with. To read through the unrelated stuff about coffee, shoes and dogs is time-consuming, but every now and then, you find a gem. I don't want to miss those gems! I have tweetdeck on the laptop. It buzzes when someone new tweets, and also pushes FB status updates through. It also have tweetdeck on the phone. VERDICT: Yers. Time Sucker. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? I will, but I need to go in once or twice a day, and not in everytime the damn thing buzzes (which I don't do, but the option is there). I need to go in, hit people up, then get the hell out. I like the idea of hashtags, and am tweeting my writing goals before I sit down to achieve them. This works well for me. I wonder if there's a weight loss one?
  4. COMMUNITY - I am at the eHarlequin community. I used to be there a lot, but have toned it down. I visit the Nocturne Bites thread, and the subcare group. VERDICT: Not so much time suck as before. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? I will, because I think it's an important way to keep track if what's happening with the line I'm targeting. I don't chat, though. That scares me.
  5. YAHOO GROUPS - I am a member at a number of yahoo groups, and although I like to go there and keep up to date, I can't help feeling that they're for readers more than writers. And rightly so. VERDICT: Yep. You guessed it. Sucker. WILL I KEEP DOING IT: Maybe not. I get the digest on email for most of them (I might be in 6 or 7, not all are very active).
  6. MY BLOG - Would you believe that writing this thing takes up time? I only really do it once a week. And it's not the best out there, but I do believe in building a presence. And I like it. I like having a record of what I do, I like recording what books I read. I like saying to authors, "Hey, check it out, I read your stuff!" It's gotta be nice - they might go look. The only downer is - you don't know if anyone is reading it. They might comment, but if they don't, you've no idea who has just read your intimate thoughts. It's kinda depressing... VERDICT: Once, a week, it does suck. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? I will, because later on I might have something very cool to say (or sell!) and I want a platform to shout it from. Also, I think I could get better at it. More efficient. Stop fiddling with how it looks. Yep, Em, do that.
  7. SHELFARI - or other library sites. God - Shelfari. I don't know. I used to keep hard lists and lists of books read, mainly to see which in the series I had or hadn't done. I hate it when I get all excited about a book I've brought home, only to discover I've already read it. I'm currently torn between keeping my Shelfari shelf up to date, or keeping a hard record on a phone app (which is hard to copy and share). Mmmm. I might feel happier if Shelfari had a better mobile page, or if they had a better FB box. VERDICT: Time waste, yes. Important to do? I think so. I like the record. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? Sigh. Yes. I suppose. I need to get a plan though...
  8. WEB SURFING. I would have said I don't do much of this. But I do. Not all of it is necessary. I mainly look at author pages, but sometimes, I'm just looking at clutch purses (I have a thing). VERDICT *insert sucky noise* WILL I KEEP DOING IT? No. I will stop. From now on, no more surfing. HAHAHA! Had you there! But I will be aware of what I'm looking at...
  9. iTUNES -I live in mortal fear that there is an iPhone app out there I REALLY need to be using, and haven't discovered yet. VERDICT: Sucks through a straw. WILL I KEEP DOING IT? No. The time I save with that perfect app was already wasted in the time I spent looking for it. STOP. IT. NOW.

My writing buddy, Anna Hackett is a writing machine. Our situations are different, I know. But it is discipline that gets her there, which I am slowly accumulating, but doesn't come to me naturally. But I also know she is very aware of the soul-sucking nature of some of these web things. It's not that she doesn't have a presence, it's just that she's off writing. Which is what we want to do. There is also not much point in building a profile - this wonderful platform - if you have nothing to say from it. I need to remember this.

See, now. There. That was cathartic. I will show this to the boy. This, the underside of my new leaf. You never know...

In other news, Rach (the other one of my writing buddies - she's working on Bites, but has had numerous articles published) and I are having a writeathon. We are to report to each other that we are doing the aforementioned amount (In my case, 1k on the new wip and finish the oldy this week), and report to each other Monday am. Starts today, ends October. Cool eh? I'm starting tonight!

Also, Michele Hauf has a new blog - Vampchix. Check the button, down there on the right. [EDIT: Actually, it is UP there on the right. Who'd have thought I would write for so long...]

Also, also. I am starting to walk again - five nights a week. The count is above - keep me honest, dudes! I am doing the lifestyle change again with the intention of losing weight and getting fitter. I'm not sure if I'm ready to share the details with the whole world just yet, though...

Right, gonna go chase up that errant sub that has been in NY for nearly four and a half months. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PRK Eye Surgery - if you are a bit squeamish, or are just in it for the reviews, now would be be a good time to discover your toothbrush needs polish.

I had a MASSIVE post here - and the boy hit the delete key, when I had all selected. Then it autosaved a blank page. Crap. Now I'm too shitty to repost that which took me 90 minutes for me and my fuzzy eyes to write. Errrgh.

Lesson learned....


I've thought about it all day, and I've decided to give you the highlights in key words and phrases. Really, this could be an improvement. PRK Eye surgery has the capacity to be fairly revolting. So here goes:

- E forgot the drop-in-eye-for-the-week-beforehand eyedrops. Oopsie.
- Nice leather recliners in recovery room. Put these on personal shopping list. But not in white. What were they thinking? Don't they have children??
- More drugs in small bag. Five sleeping tablets. How much pain would I srsly need to endure?
- Everyone smiles in the surgery. Not much use, because they took glasses away and I haven't seen anything clearly since.
- Numbing eyedrops. Feels weird.
- Drugs, eyedrop form.
- Large machine I can't see because of lack of glasses. Could have been a wizard with a wand for all I knew.
- Doc says look at green light. I panic because green light has disappeared. I CAN'T SEE THE GREEN LIGHT!
- Eye speculum. Ewww. But comforting, because it makes blinking about as possible as walking on ceiling.
- Laser. Smells less like burning hair than I anticipated. More like burning human eyeball, I'd say.
- Green light has reappeared. Doc had his hand in front of it. Tool.
- Red laser light, green light, white light, repeated noise. Like a disco for your captive, immobile eyeball. Complete with drugs.
- Scraping off front of eyeball. Nicer than it sounds, due to drugs.
- Healing disc on eyeball. Repeat left eye.
- Back in gorgeous leather chairs. Will they notice if I pop one in my handbag?
- Ask where hubby is. Taking advantage of free biscuits, apparently. Will be in later.
- You paid how much? Biscuits looking less like freebie at this point...
- Take hubby to see doc post-op, in order to get drug regime into more heads. I just know I'll stuff it up.
- Blur.
- Fuzz.
- Weeping.
- Drugs.
- Hamilton's CERULEAN SINS on iPhone. Excellent. Will have to review when I can see keys better.
- Someone is pouring 98% salt saline into my eyes. No? Well, it feels like it.
- Can't keep eyes open, even though I want to.
- Sleep more than body likes.
- General discomfort.
- See doc next morning, all in order. Eyeball has not expoded or fallen out overnight. Cool.
- Hubby: He DID say it would get worse before it got better.
- Smack hubby.
- Hubby goes back to day job.
- Day 6 - still fuzzy, but healing lenses out now, so less prickly.
- Notice with improving vision that shower needs cleaning. Darn. Why'd I have to notice that first?
- Sleeping tablets still safe in little package. Yay, me!

See? You didn't need the full version anyhow.

I was hoping to go to SARA (South Australian Romance Authors) meeting tonight, but the double vision would make my driving even more suspect. And really, I just don't have the points to spare.

Hope everyone in DC is having a hoot!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Review - "Savage Dragon" Anna Hackett - Silhouette Nocturne Bites 2009

The wait is over.

Anna Hackett's debut novella is SELLING NOW.

I think I was the second person, like, IN THE WORLD to buy this eBook presale. *Famous*

I read it and I loved it. And not just because Anna is my writing friend. The idea of a critique partner/group is to let you know if your work is sucky. It's our job. We will also tell you which parts of your work,

This latter part applies to all of SAVAGE DRAGON. I didn't read it before buying it - I have read Anna's work since. She submitted this one before we 'met'.

Here's the blurb:

They call him the Savage Dragon: Rordan Sarkany, knight of the Order of the Dragon, charged with tracking and destroying those who let their dragon blood turn them into beasts. In the wilds of Hungary, Rordan hunts one such creature—along with fellow warrior Kira Bethlen.
Both Rordan and his inner dragon desire Kira...and she can't resist Rordan's dangerous allure. But even if she succumbs to their attraction, can she ever forgive him for slaying her beloved brother?

They say this at eHQN:

If you like this book, then you'll love...
The Vision by Heather Graham
Raintree by Linda Howard
Enchantment & Bridge of Dreams by Christina Skye

Not a bad list, eh? I know that Howard is one of Anna's faves. Must be a great feeling to be compared to one of your must-reads.

My take:

Rordan and Kira are tracking the same wild - a person with dragon blood who has turned, and lost most of their humanity. They are both Knights of the Order of the Dragon , and have a history, but ever since Rordan killed Kira's wild brother, she won't forgive him. So - the fight's on. And not only the fight to take down this new wild - but they're both fighting their rekindled attraction...

She'd thought her brother could be saved - Rordan knows he was too far gone. They agree to find the wild together - so long as they stay out of each other's way.

When they are trapped by the rogue dragon inside it's rockface lair, they both come to realise that they might have been wrong. Rordan starts to wonder if perhaps wilds can be saved, and Kira, hurt in the fight, realises that the wilds are not going to return to their original form.

Rordan is crushed under a rockfall, and... I'm stopping there!

Suffice it to say, there is some VHS (Very Hot Sex), while they are trapped alone in a cave.

Anna has a beautifully consistent writing style and voice - the temperate, even flow of her stories makes for strong, kick-ass heroines and equally appealing, self-aware men. There are no low-points, she carries the movement of the piece right through to the end.
Her world building is complex and well-researched, and she thinks of everything. Conflict, background, emotion - it's all there. Not once are we left wondering about character motivation.

So. You need to go out and get yourself this book.

Start a collection, because there WILL be more Hackett to come...

The first novella (one I have read... yay, me! I loved her hero in it) of her WindKeepers Series - WIND KISSED, FIRE BOUND, comes out in September for Nocturne Bites. The second WindKeeper story will be released in October and is called TAKEN BY THE SOUTH WIND, (Again, great hero, and excellent story) has recently been given the go-ahead. And the winds come from the four corners of the earth, so you'd imagine there's windy weather ahead.... :)

Here are the links you'll need to start your Hackett online shrine (like mine - hee):

Anna's website
Anna's Blog, Midnight Confessions
The link to eHarlequin, where you can buy SAVAGE DRAGON

Go on, get at the forefront of the wave for this exciting new paranormal romance author. If I run my hands over my crystal ball - I can see great things in the future of Anna Hackett...

E x

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Anna Hackett's debut SAVAGE DRAGON - Silhouette Nocturne Bites OUT NOW!

Read quickly, because you've got to go here (the eHarlequin eBook store - ePub, PDF, Mobi):

and get this:
Or you can go here (Amazon 4 ya Kindle) and get it too.
Can't stay. I've got mine and I'm gonna go read it. Come and tell me what you think...
Better still, go tell Anna...
Thanks, peeps! x


I love some other people's stuff, and if I use your stuff, I try to tell everyone that it's not my stuff - it's someone else's stuff. But, if I have used some of your copyrighted stuff here and you would like me to remove your stuff, let me know.... It's all for non-commerical use...