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I'm jittery and I know why but if I say here, I'm just going to jinx it as usual.

I got 10 pages written yesterday on my mental health day. Today I need to start working on the synopsis workshop. The kids are testing today (yes, again. Last one before the real test at the end of April) so I should at least be able to get an outline done.

The mechanic put all the needed parts in the Land Cruiser only to find out it needed another part, as well. Not only is it costing a whole paycheck, but we've been a week without it. Mom's given me a ride 3 times, not sure what I'll do tomorrow since she has to stay until 5. May just take my laptop, get someone to drop me off at her school and write while I wait.

I dropped off Quantum of Solace EARLY yesterday, before Blockbuster opened, thinking they'd ship my next DVD. Um, no. They're done after next week. Pah.

Jared Padalecki Pictures, Images and Photos

Hooks in Romance Novels

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So Jeffrey Dean Morgan just found out he has a 4 year old son. And they say secret babies never happen in real life.


I've never written a secret baby story because I don't care to write about kids. I do like to write reunion stories (I've done 2 that I can think of) and best friends to lovers stories (written one, want to write another). What are some of your favorite hooks in romance?


A Favor, and Goals for First of April

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I need some titles of some reunion romances. My Samhain blurb sheet wants comparative titles. I already used Elisabeth's Stolen Fury and HElen Brenna's Treasure for the archaeology aspects, so now I thought reunion.

Another busy week. I think I may take off Monday to catch up.

1) SPN Sisters blog
2) Read Trish’s ms, which so far is WONDERFUL
3) Start working on synopsis workshop
4) Order copies of books to sell after workshop
5) Work on Texas book. My goal was to finish by the end of Spring Break. Now my goal is to finish by Easter.
6) Finish reading Dark of Night because it’s due at the library and I can’t renew it.
7) Make dr. appts. for the boy and me
8) District assessment
9) Tutoring
10) Exercise
11) House-clean, that is

Probably shouldn’t make this list when I’m so tired. It’s very discouraging.


Why I Want to be a Vampire

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Why I want to be a vampire

I finally saw Twilight. I still don’t get the buzz. I mean, I liked the last half hour, when the bad guys came, but otherwise….I don’t get the excitement. Rescue fantasy, maybe? Not that I don’t have those, but…

I did decide I wouldn’t mind being a vampire. Living forever and not sleeping---do you know how many books I could get written?

Of course, I might want to do something other than write, but right now, I want to fantasize about limitless time.

I would have my Supernatural Sister blog done, and my blurb sheet for Surface done and turned in.

I would have finished, revised and submitted my historical.

I would have written another short story for TWRP.

I would have written the bodyguard story I plotted for Nano.

I would have finished my revisions on my vampire hunter story and my ghost hunter story.

I would be working on my new straight contemp idea. Because, you know, I’m just a vampire, not a machine :P

I would have time to exercise and read and clean (though maybe if I was a vampire I would be able to save money on going out to eat all the time and could hire someone to clean, right?) And if I didn’t eat, would I have to exercise? More time saving!

I could still work in the yard if I was a Twilight vamp because the only effect of being in the sunlight is sparkling.

So see? Really no drawbacks. Sad, though, that I need to turn to vampirism to manage my time!



I haven’t talked TV in WAY too long but I've been watching. A lot.

I am LOVING CASTLE. I love the sharp dialogue and writing. I love Nathan and the actress. I love the daughter, and her relationship to her dad. I love Castle’s screensaver- “You Should Be Writing.” I love how smart the characters are. Highly recommend.


I loved last week’s GREY’S ANATOMY, especially Derek’s storyline. I loved when Bailey sent Callie and the major to convince Derek to come back and they all ended up commiserating.


I loved last week’s Friday Night Lights, when Coach found Julie in bed with Matt. I cried right along with Tami as she and Julie had their conversation. I loved how Riggins stood between Lila and her dad when she moved out in a fit. I HOPE Buddy doesn’t kill himself, because that’s what it looked like he was getting ready to do.


I loved last week’s Supernatural. So many secrets revealed, so much damage done. Castiel won me over for sure.


I’ve watched Battlestar Galactica twice now, and while I loved the battle scenes and the wrap-up, but I had a ton of questions left when it was done. Not particularly satisfying when you have to go to the internet looking for answers.


I’m not sure what to make of Lost, Kings, Dollhouse (what a turnaround this last episode, though) or Heroes. 24 is pretty high-adrenaline.

Then there was the Nora movie last week. I loved it until the last 5 minutes. The bad guy was a dummy.


What have you been watching?

GH/Rita Day

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Good luck to everyone who entered! It's a good thing I couldn't--we're testing today (district test) and I can't have my phone or computer on! I'd be going nuts! I expect to check email after school to see lots of good news!

Last night I slept all night, finally. Am worn out from terrible sleeping. I dreamed my dad and step-mom came to visit. I've been dreaming that a lot.

We watched Body of Lies last night. Blockbuster sent that though Twilight was first and they shipped it on Twilight's release day. Grumble. It was not enjoyable. I want Twilight, or Quantum of Solace or Bolt, but still the Tivo is exploding, so....may as well send it back and see what they send me next.



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I've been really enjoying Twitter. There are some great people to follow, depending on what you are looking for.

Heather Osborn
Buried Editor
Angela James
Malle Vallik


Jenny Bent
Lucienne Diver
Holly Root
Nadia Cornier
Elaine Spencer
Jody Meadows
Fairbank Literary
Daphne Unfeasible
Rachelle Gardner
Colleen Lindsay, who I'm convinced could be my new best friend.
Lit Soup
Knight Agency
Jenny Rappaport
Nathan Bransford
Janet Reid
Deidre Knight

Bonnie Ferguson
Tawny Weber
Roxanne St. Claire
Julia K. Moore
Amber Benson-Tara from Buffy!
Elizabeth Mahon
Elisabeth Naugton
Jill Shalvis
Gina Black

And a lot more....I just got tired of making links :) Sorry! If you're on Twitter, you can poach from my "follow" list.

Forever Romance
You Gotta Read Romance
Smart Bitches
Book Binge
Barbara Vey
Jane from Dear Author

This one encapsulates classic novels in 140 characters.
Dr, Wicked
Christopher Walken-not sure if it really is him, but very funny


Goals for Week of Testing and a Field Trip

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The boy is home safe and sound, and brought me a Comedian t-shirt from the Virgin Store in NYC!

This week is busy at school, not busy at home. Good combination, IMO. I didn’t get nearly as far as I wanted with the historical last week because of the revisions on DLB. They’re back with the editor. I hope she likes them!

I did get some cleaning done yesterday, though, in between my edits. I will swear by the use of a timer-15 minutes to clean, 45 minutes to write, and I got a lot done and felt good about it.

1) A big push on the historical
2) Taxes. Seriously, this time.
3) Guest blog Tuesday and Thursday
4) Promote TWRP books Friday
5) Math benchmark on Wednesday, so lots of math teaching between now and then.
6) Tutoring Tuesday and Thursday
7) Field trip Friday (loooooovvvve field trips. Cough, cough.)
8) Exercise more than once a week
9) Clean house more than once a week so I’ll stop having nightmares about having a dirty house.


Post 1,500!!!

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Wow, I've been chatty. I started this blog in May 2005, so that's a lot of posts in less than four years.

I'm debating whether or not to call in today. I left sub plans, and I have a TON of work to do here, but I never know if I'll need that day later in the year. We still have about 50 days left, and I only have 3 I can take off without having to pay. I usually budget myself one day a month, but remember last May, I got pneumonia.

I wish I'd gotten more done on the historical over the break. I was at a rough spot in the ms, so didn't push myself, and now I won't work on it until these revisions are done. I'm not quite half-way through. (The editor wants the ending changed, but she also mentioned I had a bunch of typos. So far I've found less than ten, and some of those are commas I didn't put in, so I'm wondering if there are more later. This will be the cleanest ms in the history of, well, me.) And I'm still waiting on the revisions for my other two contracted books. Maybe I should hold off there and just take an early out today instead. Oops, need to decide quickly!

I finished Toni's HER SANCTUARY last night. Very beautifully written, complex plot, hot cowboy :) Whew! I wonder if she's going to write more books with the same characters because Ryan needs a HEA. She's already built this cool world, so....(hint hint!)

I'm guest blogging at Mid-Willamette Valley about books made into movies and I blogged about last night's Supernatural episode at Supernatural Sisters. Spoilers everywhere, so beware!

The boy comes home tomorrow night. I didn't even talk to him yesterday because he was in class all day, then they went to a Broadway show. All the way home yesterday I was thinking he'd be here when I got home, and I had to keep reminding myself otherwise. The dh and I have been treating ourselves to dinner every night....spoiled!


More Revisions

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Working on revisions on DLB again for TWRP. Will someday be able to work on historical....too bad I like sleep. 5th grade testing today, so no computer, again.....no idea what I'm teaching other than math and more math.....zzzzzzzzz.


Happy St. Patty's Day!


The boy goes to NYC today until Saturday night :( Will miss him!

Look what the UPS guy brought me yesterday!


The winning envelope:


The certificate:


Two people told me they read my book over break, and loved different things about it. Cool, huh?

Most excellent day :)


Blockbuster Rant

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Okay, maybe not a rant, but a complaint. We switched to Blockbuster from Netflix awhile back because Blockbuster would give you coupons for a free movie or video game. There were 2 coupons a month, and since you can keep games a week, it was worth it.

They stopped the coupons, but still let you exchange your mailed movie at the store, and you could get a new movie to watch while they mail your next one. As soon as they scanned your mailed movie, the next one was released from your queue. Pretty cool, right?

At first it was unlimited, and while I used the feature a lot in the summer, I didn't so much in the school year. Besides, seriously, there aren't that many movies I want to see, and my Blockbuster has less and less now, only new releases, no old releases at all.

Then they cut it so you could trade 2 movies a month. Still okay, and I hardly ever use my 2 a month during the school year, unless there are a lot of good movies releasing at a time. Because, see, you'd still be getting your mailed movies from the queue, and you could kind of double up (though I never get more than 2 movies a week, no matter how quickly I watch and return them. I'm on the one-movie-at-a-time plan).

Now...you can trade your movie, but they don't release the next movie until you return the store movie. Hmph.

All this on top of the fact that for the past couple of months, the ONLY new release I've been able to get the week it was released is Australia. Everything else is listed as "short wait" or longer. Even if I time it so my movie gets back on Monday, I don't get a new release for that week.

I want to look and see how much a similar plan would be with Netflix, but it wants me to renew my membership and I'm not ready to commit, since I just paid Blockbuster for the next month.

On the other hand, Blockbuster has exclusive videos, and I don't want to miss out there...

Which service do you use? Why?


I Saw My Book in a Store, and Goals for the Week Back to Work

First of all….I saw my book at the store yesterday for the first time!!!!


I meet my cp at B&N and we ride together to 3rd cp’s house. I was running in to B&N to see if my book was there when my cp pulled up. I went to get in the car, told her what I was doing, and she said, “Let’s go!” She went to look in the romance section while I asked the girl at the information booth. Linda came back and said she didn’t find it as the girl was telling me there were no orders listed under my phone number or email. I was disappointed. Then Linda remembered to look under my pen name, and as the girl was looking up the book, Linda called my name. I ran over, and there was one copy, on the bottom shelf, far left side. We moved it up a shelf, next to Lori Foster, and took a picture! Excuse the I-need-to-color-my-hair hair!

This week, back to work.

1) Get son ready for trip to NYC-he leaves Tuesday.
2) 2 guest blogs+SPN blog
3) 35 pages of Texas
5) Grocery store
6) Color hair
7) Exercise
8) House


Running Out of Time and Writing Emotion

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I realized that the ds leaves for NYC on Tuesday and I never did make it to the dry cleaners. We also need to hit the bank and he needs deodorant. And maybe a new carry-on bag.

I made it as far as the living room in my big cleaning adventure. The back room just needs to be dusted, but the guest room is in bad shape. It's one of those catch-all rooms, you know? And instead of cleaning it, as was on my list yesterday, I watched another BSG Season 1 disc. Hey, it was cold!

While I'm not behind on my writing goals, I'm not where I wanted to be at the beginning of the week. I'd hoped to finish, but the emotions on this part are pretty deep. Only here's the thing...I can't get the emotions as deep as they should be. This is a really important, conflicted part, and I'm not sure how to delve that deep. Any thoughts?

Okay, off to read my cp's 17 pages (sent at 8:15 last night). Good thing only one cp sent anything, because I'm worthless on Friday nights.

Look! New J Pad pictures!


Last Week Day of Spring Break

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I didn't go ANYWHERE yesterday. It was rainy and cold, so I dusted the living room, climbed on the couch with my laptop and remote....and Skippy got up on the ottoman and POOPED. He was sick. So I closed him out of the bedrooms and waited for the boy to get up so we could give Skippy one of the pills we got when Napoleon had diarrhea. Skippy is very smart and spit out the pill more than once. Gave me some good scratches, too.

Also met my writing goal for the first time all week, and actually outlined the book until the end! So I'm excited about writing today (and also not going anywhere). I also did my newsletter and an interview. And had a really good rainy day nap....which I'd love to repeat today. I watched 2 discs of the first season of BSG, then Bonnie Hunt, Bones, Grey's and SPN. Oh, and Clooney was on ER! I only caught about half, so will find Hulu. I bought the soundtrack for Firefly from iTunes. A bit late in my process, but I needed something for a soundtrack for the Texas book.

I haven't heard from my cps. We're supposed to meet tomorrow, but if they haven't said anything and if they haven't sent anything....am I supposed to drop everything to read their stuff if they send it today???


Decisions, Decisions

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So, I don't have enough books.

Right, I have enough books, but I want more. For example, I still want this Wild Rose Press Book.


Only it's 156 pages and $13 on Amazon. It's only $4 in e-book, but I thought I'd share it with my mom, see, so I want it in paperback. The deal is, at Amazon, if you get $25 in merch, you get free shipping. So I'm trying to decide what else to get.


This is only $16 online. I never usually pay that much for a book, but if I'm paying $13 for 156 pages.....

Also, there's this:


The new Nora trilogy is in trade paperback, did you know that? Right now it's discounted at a bit over $10.

So what would you buy? Do you think twice before buying a book over a certain price?



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The ds and I wrote a joint review of WATCHMEN at Supernatural Sisters. It was fun to write, though we wrapped it at 11:40 last night. I was so tired. He gets the procrastinator gene from his daddy.

Okay, not entirely true. I'm putting off doing the taxes. I went to Office Max yesterday to get the basic Turbo Tax, which we always use, but the box said it was a GUIDE, that you actually do it online. I've used Turbo Tax for years. Has anyone used the online version?

I didn't get nearly as far on my writing as I wanted to yesterday. So, frustrated. Today is supposed to be cold and rainy, so hopefully can catch up if I don't go anywhere or want to work in the yard. It's my day to clean the living room, which shouldn't be too bad.

I have over 200 unread posts on my Google Reader, and I haven't even read the Entertainment Weekly with JDM on the cover yet. Oddly, I thought yesterday was Wednesday. I was waiting for LOST to come on!

But my main frustration is with the book I'm reading. Why am I still reading? It's part of a series, and I already bought the next book. But the author had set up a huge conflict, then backed away from it with half the book still to go! And it was such a soap opera cop-out. (Now, I am aware I'm doing something similar in my historical, with the cop-out, but it's later in the book and hopefully brings out more tension.) Also, there are babies EVERYWHERE. And the way it's worded in one part nearly sent the book flying. ARGH. I guess it just feels very self-indulgent. I'm going to try to finish reading it today, but hold off on reading the next one in the series.

Has a series ever let you down? The first book was one of my FAVORITE books last year, but the rest have failed to live up to it.


Things My Characters Will Never Say

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I have spent the last two days doing promo. Last night I tried to clean off my Tivo as much as possible, but didn't get far. Last week's Heroes got bumped, so we have to watch on HULU. I got my Merritt entries scored and returned, two rose bushes planted, a mandevilla planted, but there aren't a lot of plants available yet.

The book I'm reading is frustrating me. By page 250, all the impediments to the relationship are removed. Still have 150 pages to go. Um, so....what's going to happen? And the plot device introduced in the first 30 pages is of course disposed of easily. Aggravating. Also, the hero doesn't talk like a guy. He talks a LOT.

I started a list of things that my characters will never say. All of these things just have connotations that rub me wrong.

1) For sh**s and giggles
2) In the sack
3) Good to go (terrible memories of this phrase)
4) Balls out or balls to the wall (though now that I know it’s not as nasty as it sounds---well, no. They won’t say it.)
5) Quote unquote – okay, maybe a secondary would say this
6) I loved you before I knew you.
7) They will never call the bad guys “thugs.”

What are some of your reader pet peeves?


Read an E-Book Week

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This is Read an E-Book Week. May I suggest an



Yup, Hot Shot won!!!!! I still can't believe it!!!!!


Today, I'm hosting an hour at the Samhain Cafe, the email loop, which was pretty overwhelming yesterday. When we got home from Watchmen (which I'm reviewing Wednesday for Supernatural Sisters), I had almost 300 emails!

I'm also guest blogging at Muse, Interrupted. Come visit and you could win a copy of Hot Shot!

Hopefully, at some point today, I can work on my book!!!



M.J. Fredrick's books on Goodreads
Breaking DaylightBreaking Daylight
ratings: 11 (avg rating 3.33)

Beneath the SurfaceBeneath the Surface
ratings: 11 (avg rating 4.00)

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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