GH and Rita Winners


Jenna Ness in the traditional category for Snow White Wedding
Delle Jacobs in Regency for Lady Wicked (HER THIRD GOLDEN HEART!)
Lorelle Marinello in single title with Hard Lies (I bet she’s glad I didn’t sit with her! Her ears would still be ringing!)

And for Rita…

Congratulations to Evelyn Vaughn in Romantic Elements with AKA Goddess (a wonderful book!)

I'm off to the beach!

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What Makes You Write?

I have two questions for you - What makes you write? And what makes you not able to write?

And it's only fair that I answer first.

What makes me write

This, for one.

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-the story, being excited about it. I banged out the first 90 pages of my WIP in a little over a week. I'd wake up early, eager to get back to it. Still do, come to that .

-discipline. I may not be the most disciplined person on the planet, but I write every day, mostly. I may be in the chair for hours and come up with two pages because of email and message boards, but I do get those pages.

-seeing a good movie or reading a good book, not even about what my story is about, but it just fires off the synapses in my brain. A movie that does it for me every time is YaYa Sisterhood. My books are NOTHING like YaYa, but every time I see it, I get the urge to write.

-going to the museum. I was not much a fan of The Artist's Way, but she is right about artist dates.

What makes me not write (not the day to day distractors, but internally)

-exhaustion, obviously a big stumbling block during the school year

- creative drain, like when I'm problem solving for school, coming up with a PTA program, getting ready for graduation. Oddly, writing newsletter articles and blogging doesn't have the same effect.

-fear. Fear this day won't be as good as yesterday. Fear that this book won't be as good. Fear that damn it, no matter HOW long I try or how hard I work, there is no guarantee I'll be published. Just makes ya want to sit on the couch, watch DVDs and eat chocolate, ya know?

Anything else I forgot?

I'm Getting a New Roof Today! (Or, why I didn't go to Reno)

Yep, finally got an estimate I can live with. Going to fix that leaky skylight.

If I decide to go to Moonlight and Magnolias, the plane will cost $260, conference $180, heaven knows what the hotel would be. Gulp.

Meanwhile, enjoy!

20 Things Only a Fellow Writer Could Possibly Understand

by Sheri Radford

1 The concept of a good rejection letter.

2 The contradictory emotions of envy and elation experienced when a friend gets "the call" from a publisher.

3 How you can still believe a piece of writing is good, even after it's been rejected 46 times.

4 The truth of the following equation: butt + chair + time = writing.

5 How much a form rejection letter hurts.

6 Wanting honest feedback of your writing, but wanting that honest feedback to be, "It's perfect! Don't change a word."

7 Ideas are everywhere.

8 Ideas are the easy part - it's what you do with all those ideas that's bloody difficult.

9 Writing is really, really, really hard work - even when it looks like you're just goofing off.

10 Staring out the window for an hour is part of the writing process.

11 Sometimes characters refuse to behave and insist on telling a story their way.

12 Everything is fodder for writing even the juicy secret you're sworn to secrecy about.

13 The inner critic is harsher than any outer critic could ever be.

14 Sometimes scrubbing the toilet or cleaning the garage is more appealing that writing.

15 Sometimes writing is more appealing than getting enough sleep or going out on the town.

16 A first novel shooting straight to the top of the New York Times bestseller list is just an urban myth. (It has to be, it just has to be, doesn't it?)

17 Procrastination is a crucial component of the writing


18 Sometimes bookshelves need to be rearranged, right now.

19 Having written is far more fun than writing.

20 There's always more rewriting to be done.

Sheri Radford is a member of GVC. In addition to writing romance, she writes books for kids. Her first children's picture book, "Penelope and the Humongous Burp," was published in April 2004 by Lobster Press.
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Writing Fulltime

Drinking problem? I’d say so – this is 2 days’ worth.

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Writing fulltime used to be my dream. Part of the reason I pushed myself so hard was that I could make enough of a living to quit teaching and stay home. (Changing to the new school has dimmed this desire somewhat – if Hot Shot had been rejected while I was still teaching at the other school, I would have been devastated – it was my chance for escape.)

What would change about my life if I was a fulltime writer?

I try to test this every summer vacation, pretend that I’m a fulltime writer, try to discipline myself accordingly. Every summer, I get in the swing of things JUST in time to go back to work.

So, what would change?

I’ve been able to consistently write about 9 pages a day. 320/9 is a rough draft, at least, in 36 days. It’s been taking me 3-4 days to revise each chapter. At approximately 20 chapters, that’s 60-80additional days. So, a book in 120 days? 4 months? That’s three books a year, no time off in between. When I was music teacher, I could do that.

I’d have time to read, as I did yesterday.

I’d have a mostly clean house, especially since the boy would be in school all day and wouldn’t be shedding socks/leaving glasses/food wrappers around the house.

I would say I’d exercise, but that’s just a lie.

Not so now that I’m in the classroom. By the time I get home, I’m lucky to stay up till 9. 2-3 pages a day is good during that time. My creative energy is gone – I’m either using it for lesson plans, centers, modifications, something other than writing. Still, I wrote a book this past school year, revised 2 more. That’s pretty respectable, if I could write a book during school, write another during the summer. Yes, I sacrifice a lot by writing during the school year, but not as much as I’d sacrifice if I couldn’t make the house payment.

So unless I start getting multi-book contracts (or I get a new terrible principal), I’ll keep the day job.

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I FINALLED IN THE MAGGIES!!!!! I’m so thrilled – that’s such a huge contest!! The bad news is, Susan Litman is the judge and she’s already rejected it twice. I already sent her a warning email titled “The Manuscript That Wouldn’t Die.”

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My WIP is set in Africa. There are hostages, an ex-military hero, a woman who works for an NGO. Sound familiar? Yep, Suzanne Brockmann has some of the same elements in Breaking Point. I don’t think all of the above are the main characters, but enough similarities to ensure I won’t be reading her book till I’m done with mine.

When I was writing Hot Shot, a Superromance by Eve Gaddy came out. Reporter protagonist vs. firefighting protagonist. Just like mine, though the roles were reversed. Up till then, I’d never seen a book about wildfire fighters.

When I was writing Beneath the Surface, I saw a preview for the new movie Into the Blue, about divers finding a shipwreck that can make all their dreams come true. Okay, the similarities in that one are more of a stretch, but still.

I know it’s happened more than that (remember, I’ve written like 16 manuscripts – there are bound to be more.) So what’s up with that? Do we watch the same news programs? Maybe. Am I inspired by the same thing that inspires Suzanne Brockmann? And how cool is that? It’s true some of my stuff is derivative – I get the ideas from other places, mix them up, but to get the same ideas as other writers, other PUBLISHED writers, is kind of far-flung. I mean, how many ideas are out there? And why would the same idea appeal to different people?

Sometimes the same thing happens in Hollywood. Did you know there were supposed to be TWO War of the World movies this summer? One was Cruise’s, the other a historical. Gee, I wonder why the historical one didn’t get released. Then there was Peter Pan, then Finding Neverland. There are supposedly two Beowulf movies in production – one with Gerard and one without. Can you think of any others?

Have you ever been excited about a manuscript, only to learn there was another out there with a whole lot of similarities? What did you do?

Changing Taste in Reading

First of all, HUGE congratulations to JoAnn, who sold to Triskelion yesterday. Three of Swords will be a December release.

Second, my buddy Robyn DeHart's first book, Courting Claudia, hits stores today! It's a great historical romance with a truly swoon-worthy hero. Image hosted by

Also, check out Meg Cabot's blog today for her first release story! (The link's in my sidebar.)

Third, don’t forget to visit Contest Junkies . My story is up! What a boost.

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I have a huge TBR pile. Whenever I find a new author I like, I buy their backlist. Trouble is, I don’t always get it all read (even La Nora has a couple of titles languishing in that pile.) Or maybe I read a review of a book and think it sounds good so I buy it. Or a friend comes out with a new book so I buy it. Or I go to a booksigning and decide to try a new author. Or I get free books from National. A lot of times I give those away, but sometimes they sound good so I keep them.

Then I go to my TBR looking for something to read and I wonder why nothing appeals.

My taste has changed. I love Teresa Medeiros and Betina Krahn, but I’m just not that into historicals anymore. So Teresa and Betina sit there, along with Mary Jo Putney Amanda Quick (I’m just waiting for that day when I need one of her books. I have them, believe it or not.) Catherine Coulter and Karen Robards used to be auto-buys, now they languish on my shelf. A few summers ago, I bought every Linda Howard and Deborah Smith book, but there they sit.

Nevertheless, I buy new books. But what do I buy? I buy friends’ books, which I try to read in a timely manner so I can post reviews. I buy SIMs that catch my eye, like today, a book called Warrior something (I liked the title). I buy Bombshells.

There are still auto-buy authors, like Suzanne Brockmann and Catherine Mann, that are in my stack. I just can’t read as fast as they write anymore.

But even though I weed through, every now and then, wondering what I was thinking when I picked up a certain book, I hang onto most of them.

There is one author that I loved and I miss (The first book of hers I did choose because of its cover). Does anyone know what became of Anita Mills? She wrote medieval s, I guess you’d say, though my favorite book was Winter Roses, set in the 1100s. She also wrote a few Regencies. I think her last book was a Regency. Anyway, I loved her and wondered what became of her.

Loving Life

First of all, my entry is up at Contest Junkies! Go vote at
Contest Junkies

I like my life.

I love my house, despite its leaky roof and messed up floor. I love the old quiet neighborhood, the big trees, the big lots. I love living a block from the priest, two from the church, so that I can hear the bells every day. I love the house itself, with its sun room and its big sliding door and the blonde wood floors. I love having two bathrooms, though that means two toilet paper rolls to worry about. I like the skylights and the big open kitchen and the way my big bed and my weird dining room table (a Chili’s reject, no kidding) fit right in. I love my crape myrtles and my mountain laurels and my trumpet vines. I love my Adirondack chair. I love that the library is close by, and three grocery stores.

I love my cats, even though one is agorophobic and one is just mean. He loves me, though.

I love my big ol’ Land Cruiser, even though the horn doesn’t work and I can’t adjust the rear view mirror, and she takes $40 to fill up.

I love my computer, which is good because we spend so much time together.

I love being able to go to the grocery store just because my son is hungry for Smores and spend $50 and not freak too much.

I love being able to go online and spend $25 on books and not freak too much.

I love (for the first time in a long time) being a teacher. I love the energy that comes with starting a new school year, the promise, almost like starting a book (but lasting a LOT longer.) I love the school, which is old but charming. I love the teachers. Time will tell if I love the kids ;)

I love summer. I love knowing that if I WANT to spent the day reading Harry Potter, I can, and no one will get after me. I love the flexible schedule. I love the sunny days, and all the green after the rain we had this week.

I love being a writer. I love writing (except for synopses). I love working to make what’s in my head appear on the page. I love when I know what someone’s talking about when they say I’m missing this, or missing that. I love doing research. I love being excited about a story, enough to write 8-10 pages a day.

It's good to be happy with who you are. Too bad it has to take almost 40 years to get there.

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Movie Trailers

I’m going to share with you my favorite time waster. You can thank me later.

I love movies, as you know, love anticipating movies and putting them on my calendar. This stems from when I hated my job and needed something to look forward to. But now I just do it because.

You remember that show that used to be on E! called Coming Attractions? They have much the same thing on the web. It’s called Apple Trailers. These are just a few of the movies I’m looking forward to.

This has an August 26 release date:
The Brothers Grimm , with Heath Leger and Matt Damon.

This is Orlando Bloom’s first modern role. It looks pretty good, though I don’t like Kristen Dunst.

I know JoAnn is looking forward to this one. I really liked the original myself.
The Legend of Zorro

I didn’t care about this movie one way or another before I saw the trailer. Wow.
The Chronicles of Narnia

I only wish this had come out before book 7. And just in time for Thanksgiving vacation!
The Goblet of Fire

This one comes out next week. Gotta love John Cusack.
Must Love Dogs

Two words: Peter Jackson. Though I must say the gorilla doesn’t look very big.
King Kong

Two more words: Joss Whedon. This is the movie from the series Firefly, coming out September 30.

I don’t know when this one will be released. I mean, it was a limited release in April. The DVD will probably be out this fall. See if you can find someone you recognize ;)
The Game of their Lives

Literary Places

You are a romantic writer. You're ALWAYS writing
about some significant other--about lacking
one, about wanting one, about having one, about
being with one--it doesn't matter. If it
involves even a tiny ounce of love, you're
there! Much into the works of Christina
Rossetti and the works of Alfred Tennyson, you
are a bit of a classical writer as well....but,
for the sake of all things cheesy, you're more
of a hopeless romantic than a classical writer.
You write whatever comes to mind--which usually
involves a significant other. ^^; Oh well. If
literary geniuses don't do it, who will, right?

What's YOUR Writing Style?
brought to you by Quizilla

Speaking of the popularity of authors….

While driving through Iowa earlier this month, I was stunned to see nice blue government signs directing the way to the bridges of Madison County. Wow. Can you imagine writing a book, a novel, that was such a sensation that it becomes a tourist attraction?

I know there’s a To Kill a Mockingbird museum, and there’s probably a Laura Ingalls Wilder museum somewhere (I’d love to go there!) and maybe Gone with the Wind tours?
I know they have Harry Potter tours in London, and Sex and the City tours in NYC (Hey, it was a book first!). What are some other literary landmarks?

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No, not by him. At least, not yet.

Last week I had an email from Pamela Morsi, historical and women’s fiction writer. Now, I’ve been a member of SARA for 9 years, I’ve been to several of Pam’s booksignings, I’ve been to her HOUSE, and yet I’m still tickled when she takes the time to email lowly ol’ me. To me, there is still that barrier between published and unpublished. Weird, huh?

Now, we have several published SARAs. Evelyn Rogers, the very definition of a lady, who borrowed my tape of the 24 season finale. Jo-Ann Power, whose house I’ve also been to. Miriam Minger, who got me started in SARA. Emily McKay, who actually called me when she found out she was pregnant. Robyn DeHart, whose wedding I attended. Mara Fox, who was the longest-lasting SARA “virgin” before she sold in 2003. Delores Fossen , who gave me a good talking-to at the Merritt conference about hanging in there. Delilah Devlin and Elle James who have critiqued my work.

And I still get starstruck.

When I started writing, I was on AOL. Nora Roberts had a message board. I got brave a couple of times and asked her questions, then PRINTED OUT THE ANSWERS. Sheesh. Then when I met her in New Orleans, well, I was not coherent.

That same conference, I met Suzanne Brockmann, who was just so damn friendly, and she took the time to talk to lil ol’ me. A lot.

Last year I met one of my favorite authors, Virginia Kantra , at the Golden Heart/Rita reception. Oh, I was in heaven. I’ve loved her books for years, and here she is offering advice and assistance to me. Yes, I know they’ve been where I am. Yes, I know they’re human. But to me, they’re celebrities. Even better, they are recognized for their talent and they’re reaching around to give me a boost.

Do you have a celebrity author you admire?

We Interupt Your Regularly Scheduled Program

114 hits yesterday!

And first of all, HUGE congratulations to my friend and fellow WNPer,

  • Terry McLaughlin
  • ! She sold her 2005 GH manuscript to Superromance yesterday!!! Hurrah! (I know some of you are just happy she's off the contest circuit!

    I am a creature of habit. To the point where if something disrupts my habits, or threatens my schedule, I’ll think of a million reasons to get out of it. I’m not agoraphobic, but I do like my routines. Last night was my chapter meeting, and all day, I thought of reasons not to go. Hurricane Emily was a forerunner, but we only got one thunderstorm out of her. I went, I had fun, but getting me out the door is a chore. Then I got invited to the chapter critique meeting on Saturday. I dunno. A Saturday….

    Today I’m going shopping with my mom. To the Mill Stores. In another town. Even though it was my idea, I would rather stay home, in my routine.

    I even have trouble getting out to go to the movies. You know, once I’m comfortable….

    I don't make appointments - dr, dentist, hair. (The dr and dentist are a summer thing, hair is all the time) I don't like having to be somewhere at a certain time.

    I don't know why I'm like this. Maybe because 10 months out of the year, all I want is to be home, and now I've finally managed it and don't want to leave. As I told the ladies at SARA last night, when I agreed to be online moderator for the September workshop, as long as I'm in front of my computer, I'm happy.

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    Yet another post today

    I just found this blog, and it is so much fun, especially if you're into pop culture.

  • The Lowdown
  • Here's a surprise:

    ROMANCE! - Love, sweet and tender, aggressive and
    compelling. You have a story of romance burning
    in your heart. Happily Ever After is a given,
    but you will tear their hearts asunder before
    your Hero and Heroine gain True Love's embrace.
    Nora Roberts and Jane Austin are your guides.

    What Kind of Novel Should I Write?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    My cousin's daughter

  • Michelle Koopman
  • My Hero is a Wussy Man

    How can this man be a wuss, I ask you?

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    I was writing my sucknopsis last night and I came to the realization that my hero is a girl. No, he doesn't talk like a girl, he doesn't dress like a girl, but man, is he acting like one. He just reacts to the things that happens, he's not proactive, he doesn't cause things to happen. My heroine does that. Now, that's all well and good if this was a Bombshell, but this is HIS STORY. He's the one that has so much to overcome, and he's sitting in the corner feeling sorry for himself. He's supposed to be the strong silent type, a man without a country, a man who walked away from his family to protect them, a man drawn back into the life he hates, yet is good at.

    Right now I have this kind of parallel thing going: she thinks he's a superhero, he thinks he's no hero at all. That could be part of my problem, too. He doesn't think he deserves to be treated heroically (is that a word?)

    Then there's the issue with the soldiers he's leading, and the trouble they're having giving him respect, and the fact that he feels he deserves their derision. Do you see my problem here?

    Wussy man. ARGH.

    I'm going to the grocery store.

    If I Were a Rich (Wo)Man

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    I’ve heard two different quotes on how much money JK Rowling made in royalties from sales just in one day: either $36 million or $44 million.

    Really, at that point, what difference is $8 mil?

    So after I wondered if she’d ever write anything else after Book 7 (because even if she blows the dough from this book, she’ll still be stinking rich), I wondered what I would do with that kind of money.

    This is complete fantasy so I’m going to be completely selfish. In reality, I’d buy houses for the whole family, a jet so we could see each other more often, etc. But it’s my blog, so this is about me.

    As much as I love my house, I’d have to sell it, or move it. The reason is that I need more garage space. This is going to sound weird, but I would collect classic cars. Classic SUVs.

    I actually have one like this, a Land Cruiser FJ-60.

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    I want one like this, like Keanu Reeves drove in Speed.

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    And I love the old Cherokees.

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    But I saw one of these at the grocery store and wouldn’t say no.

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    And since I’m moving into a new house, I’d like one with one of those patio kitchens, you know?

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    May as well have a pool and a view as not, right?

    And I'd have this home office set-up, from Pottery Barn:

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    In addition to that house, maybe an apartment in Battery Park, overlooking this:

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    And a room in the El Tovar overlooking this.

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    Hey, I’m dreaming big. Why not? What would you do if you were her?

    RWA Conference

    I’m not going to Reno this year. I’ve gone to the RWA conference the last two years as a Golden Heart finalist, but I couldn’t justify the expense this year, not when we need a roof and a new kitchen floor.

    I was fine with the decision. Yes, I would have liked to meet with Susan Litman, yes, I would have liked to meet with an agent, yes, the workshops looked good, but I can get the workshops for a fraction of the cost of the conference, right?

    Now I’m struggling, though. The reason? I want to see my friends. Yes, I want to spend over a thousand dollars (not including travel) to hang out with my buddies. The WNP is going to Virginia City one day, meeting for dinner another (and I think breakfast on Sunday.) One of the WNP had asked me to sit with her at the awards ceremony, which was so amazingly touching. Then there’s The Golden Network party, the Death by Chocolate party, the get together in one of the WNP’s rooms.


    I want to be there when my friends’ names are announced at the awards ceremony. I want to deafen someone else when their names are called as winners. (Anyone know how soon after the ceremony the winners are listed on the website?)

    So, once I get those repairs done on my house, I’m starting to save for Atlanta. You heard it here.

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    You Might Be a Romance Writer If....

    Have you guys seen this?

  • You Might Be a Romance Writer If
  • Ideas

    Getting ideas is one of my favorite things about writing. I laugh when published authors are asked where they get their ideas. The question for me is, how to turn the ideas off!

    I’ve gotten some ideas from dreams. My first book, a cop story, was a dream. A couple, estranged with children, kidnapped and held together. The book didn’t come out like that, but the characters were basically the same. That book became Second Chances. My fifth was another dream, which I made into a short story (and had published!), but then expanded. It was a single mom story, and I loved it. More women’s fiction, though the heroine was barely 20. Surface was a dream, a woman going to find her husband on an archaeological dig. It became a ship after I did some research. Okay, a lot of research.
    Eden’s Warrior was a dream, more Planet of the Apes than it actually turned out.

    Then there are what-if books. My second book was a what-if. What if I was single and was helping my grandmother retain her independence and city girl that I am, fell in love with a country boy? I worked on that book for a couple of years. I think it came in at 600 pages. Had three heroines and heroes, though. Smoke was inspired by Oscar the Incredibly Handsome Firefighter. I can’t find his picture anymore, but he was a guitar player in the San Antonio Firefighter band, Backdraft, which came to schools to talk to kids about drugs. Turns out Oscar’s dad and my uncle are best friends, and my cousin is about Oscar’s age. I took that and made a story about best friends falling in love. Heart of a Knight was another what-if. Elizabeth Smart had been found, and I wondered what kind of woman she would become. And what would happen if she had to hunt her own kidnapper. I have a couple more what-if partials, including one where we were driving and my husband said, “I wonder what’s down that road.” Dude. Full blown characters popped into my head.

    Then there are the “headline” books. Hot Shot was inspired by the Colorado wildfires in 2000, I think. Firefighting was all over the news. Cindi Myers, a former SARA, was caught in the big middle, talking about the heroic firemen and Gabe Cooper was born. I love Gabe.
    My fourth was inspired by a show I’d seen on Animal Planet or something, about rhinos. I worked and reworked that story, never could come up with a good strong idea. I sure loved it, though. Still collect rhinos. Then there are the partials. The show I saw about the cruise ship to Antarctica. What would Anna Nicole Smith’s son be like when he grew up, what about Mary Kay Letourneau’s kids and did Brittany Spears REALLY love Justin Timberlake or was it all a PR ruse?

    I know this won’t surprise you, but some are hunk books. My third book was inspired by a basketball player. Don’t ask. The next couple were inspired by hunks – Hugh Jackman, Goran Visnijc and Oded Fehr.

    Some are inspired by movies or TV shows. Again, I sense your surprise. Worth Bargaining For came from an episode of ER, the one where Carol is in the convenience store when it’s being robbed. Only in my story, she creates a connection with the hostage negotiator. I never got a really good story going around that one, either. My WIP came from a line in Tomb Raider 2. Lara Croft is in Terry Sheridan’s cell and he says, “What if they decide me, back in the world, isn’t such a good idea?” and she said, “I feel sorry for whoever they get to come after you.” The story isn’t quite working out that way, got a nice little twist from the ending of 24, but that was the seed. Then there are my partials, which have come from movies (Moulin Rouge and Collateral Damage.) There are even some paranormal stuff in there, from watching Buffy and Angel.

    Ideas are all over the place. Now to find the time.

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    Only 97 posts today ;)

    How do you feel about bookstores? I love bookstores. I rarely go anymore, since I usually buy my books online. (I do it so I don’t miss a new release by a buddy, and boom, I get books in the mail every month or so. And it cuts down on impulse buys. That said, I've been toggling back and forth between buying the new Suzanne Brockmann on MP3, or buying the new Julie Leto/Kresley Cole books.) But I still love bookstores. Rows and rows of books, words, knowledge. My first stop is the magazines, then the romance section, then the how-to-write section, then the education section. Now that I’m back in the classroom, I’ll hit the children’s section. If I’m there longer (I have time to kill, or I’m waiting for my son to listen to every music selection offered), I’ll wander to the home decorating, or the history, or the languages.

    We didn’t have Barnes and Noble or Borders until the past 6 or 7 years. We had Waldens and B. Daltons in the mall, we had a Book Stop in a kind of out of the way place. I’m trying to think where I bought books before the big stores came in. Maybe the chains are to blame for my TBR pile?

    Some days, the presence of so many books locks me up. I get overwhelmed with the sheer volume of books. If these are all the published books, and I have to compete with all the books yet to be published….it’s like a grain of sand on the beach.

    But other days just being in the presence of the books fills me up. I want to see mine in that slot on the SIM rack. I can see it. Is that weird that I can see my cover?

    This is not what it looks like ;)

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    Romance Heroines

    (I didn’t write this either, but I thought it was fun.)

    If I am ever a Romance Heroine, I will not:

    1. Go up in my nightie to see what all that screamingin the attic is about.

    2. Have a baby and not tell the father to protect him and his future.

    3. Decide to barge into a dangerous situation just to show him!

    4. Tell the hero I'm a virgin as I'm about to have some really incredible sex.

    5. Let my breasts taunt and/or tease the hero.

    6. See him talking to another woman and turn it into a Flaming Affair without asking him about it.

    7. Go into the basement to see what that strange noise was.

    8. Permit my bosom to heave, especially while wearing a bodice.

    9. Ever permit my bodice to be ripped, though I may rip it myself.

    10. Wear a bodice.

    11. Be more beautiful, thin, and/or rich than anyone else on the planet.

    12. Conceal my identity, or if I already have, put off telling him who I really am.

    13. Have the longest legs the hero's ever seen, especially if I'm only five foot tall.

    14. Borrow clothes that are too snug in the bosom.

    15. Be at the absolute pinnacle of my profession when I'm 22.

    16. Get in front of the hero and his gun when the villain is confronting us

    17. Limit...the breathy pauses only one...a phrase.

    18. Have a "creamy" anything.

    19. Have sex with a hero who has a "velvet covered manhood" because of the annoying lint this would create.

    20. Keep reminding the hero that I am independent and can take care of myself, while constantly getting into situations where he has to "save" me.

    21. Insist I am independent then allow the hero to dictate my life.

    22. Tell all my suspicions to the nice looking, totally sympathetic "other" man only to find out he's the killer.

    23. Struggle futilely to break free from the hero's punishing embrace before being overcome with desire.
    Either I want him, in which case I should not be fighting, or I don't want him, in which case I should break his nose, foot, finger, and anything else handy. Enough with the wimpy struggles.

    Can you think of any to add?

    And with apologies to Tanya….

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    100 hits in one day!

    Wow! That's a record. I know Tanya's off talking about my pictures, though ;)

    Movie Recommendation

    I just watched Bride and Prejudice, a movie based on Pride and Prejudice, but set in present day India. It's a musical, which kind of surprised me, but it was great fun. Sayid from Lost is in it, as the Bingley character. Martin Henderson from The Ring is Darcy. I got so wrapped up in it, I didn't make the connections between the movie and Pride and Prejudice till the scene was over.

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    (I didn't write this, but I sure feel it!)


    * The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.

    * The trees are whistling for the dogs.

    * The best parking place is determined by shade instead of

    * Hot water now comes out of both taps.

    * You can make sun tea instantly.

    * You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding

    * The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a little chilly.

    * You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your

    * You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.

    * You actually burn your hand opening the car door.

    * You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 6:30a.m.

    * Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out
    and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?"
    You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

    * The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one
    out and add butter, salt and pepper.

    * Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from
    laying boiled eggs.

    * The cows are giving evaporated milk. Ah, what a place to call

    Good news: I’ve disciplined myself to writing 9 pages a day, only checking blogs once a day. Hopefully will have this book done by August 14.

    Bad news: Molly scores back – 65 and 83. One step forward, two back, ya know?

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    Dream Big

    If you’re going to dream, dream big, right? The other day Trish said when I finally make it, I’ll hit big like Cathy Mann. Oh, so exactly the right thing to say. I love Catherine Mann’s books, and I have focused my writing on romantic adventure much the way she focused her writing on military adventure/suspense. If I could follow anybody’s path into SIM, it would be her.

    Or maybe I want to be Julie Kenner. How many books does that woman write in a year? And all of them so different. AND with movie options. AND with a baby at home. AND most of them while she was working as a lawyer. Is that discipline or WHAT?

    Maybe Suzanne Brockmann. The woman is a brand unto herself, and has fans waiting outside bookstores on the days her books are released.

    I used to want to be Nora, you know, for her prolific ways and bestselling status. But you know, she’s Nora.

    I don’t think I’d want to be JK Rowling, even if she is worth a billion dollars. A BILLION. She’s only a few months older than me. But that’s way too much pressure, you know? Way too many chances to disappoint.

    Whose footsteps would you like to follow?

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    Throw Me a Bone!

    This business of publishing should come with a disclaimer: “Long periods of wait punctuated by bad news, with the occasional bone tossed to keep the writer in the game.”

    I’m ready for my bone. This year, I’ve had 3 bones, I think. Yep, 3 bones since January (and heaven knows how long before that). One final, one editor request and one agent request. Although, maybe the editor request doesn’t count since she requested it in December, but it was with another editor until that editor left.

    I always have submissions out, and if not submissions, I have contest entries. Of course, the more stuff I have out, the more chances for disappointment, right?

    It’s enough to get a girl down, especially after a certain amount of success. I mean, if I’d never gotten a request, never finalled, would I be so let down? I dunno. But I’m ready for some good news. I’ll take anything.

    So much Gerry, so little time.

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    I am less involved in my local chapter this year than I have been in the past. In the past, I’ve been treasurer and contest coordinator, two jobs that take up huge chunks of time. Now I’m librarian, loop manager (not a big deal), BIAW coordinator, I’m in charge of yearly goal setting (also not a big deal) and I write a regular column for the newsletter (in addition to the librarian one. Not a big deal.) JoAnn and I were also on the nominating committee this year. What I’ve found is that it’s harder and harder to get people to volunteer for jobs in the chapter. No one wanted to be on the board, no one wanted to take over as chairperson – heck, no one even wants to volunteer to be interviewed for the newsletter!

    I can completely understand the desire to protect the work, to protect the time you use to write. That was a huge part of my own decision to become less involved this year – I was trying to focus on the writing. But at the same time, in order to have a functioning chapter, a functioning organization, volunteers are needed. So where’s the balance? How do we get new people involved? How do we keep the same people from doing all the work and burning out?

    Any volunteers to dry him off?
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    Your Daily Gerry

    I just couldn't put his picture in the Catholic post.

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    Since it's Sunday....

    Here's a funny for you.

    Catholic Dictionary

    AMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.

    BULLETIN: Your receipt for attending Mass.

    CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the congregation to lip-sync.

    HOLY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY.

    HYMN: A song of praise, usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation's range.

    RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at Mass, often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.

    INCENSE: Holy Smoke!

    JESUITS: An order of priests known for their ability to found colleges with good basketball teams.

    JONAH: The original "Jaws" story.

    JUSTICE: When kids have kids of their own.

    KYRIE ELEISON: The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava.

    MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.

    MANGER : 1. Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn't covered by an HMO.

    2. The Bible's way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough.

    PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic Churches.

    PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant, and late parishioners looking for seats.

    RECESSIONAL: The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass - led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.

    RELICS: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.

    TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman.

    USHERS: The only people in the parish who don't know the seating capacity of a pew.

    SERMON/HOMILY: To some the equivalent of a bedtime story.


    I started thinking about what I sacrifice to be a writer. I’ve sacrificed family vacations in order to go to National. I’ve sacrificed my reading time, and when I do read, I no longer read like a reader. I still buy books, but never have time to read them. (I would say I sacrifice TV time, but y’all know that’s not true! Although while I’m watching TV and video games, I feel guilty about not writing.) I sacrifice family time, time with non-writing friends. I don’t entertain anywhere near as often as I did. I spend money on writing contests and conferences that I would spend on other things (I certainly wouldn’t save it!) I don’t devote as much time to preparing for my day job as I probably should. I’ve given up sewing and other crafts that I used to do all the time (that were probably as expensive as writing, if not more!)

    I spend a lot of time with my butt in the chair, to the disgust of my son (I have the good computer, see, but mainly because it has the good chair.) I have notebooks of each manuscript around the house, returned contest entries. My middle room is stacked with writing paraphernalia, paper, binder clips, stuff from my chapter’s library. I have an Alpha Smart, a laser printer, a nice comfy computer chair, all the writerly things. I could probably have a pretty house like my mom’s if not for the computer in the living room and the guest room I can’t use.

    But then I think – what would I rather be doing? I mean, what do people who DON’T write do with their time? I mean, look at my husband. Love him, really. But when he’s home, he’s on the laptop on the couch, certainly not doing anything productive. My mom cleans house. My son plays video games. My best non-writing friend, well, she has two little ones, so she probably is busy. But before they came along, she watched a lot of TV.

    So maybe I’ll never get published, but at least I’m doing SOMETHING that most people will never do, and that is worth the sacrifice.

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    The Lakehouse

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    Lake Superior

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    Lake Wilkins

    Here is Lake Wilkins.

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    M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
    Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
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    Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
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    Hot ShotHot Shot (Samhain)
    reviews: 2
    ratings: 10 (avg rating 4.00)

    Where There's SmokeWhere There's Smoke
    ratings: 6 (avg rating 4.00)

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    I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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