Tuesday, February 28, 2006
I have some disturbing news... well not really :D
I had to change the title of my book :( A little bit sad, mainly because Venus' Slipper was mine for so long, but I guess now it will always be mine.
Why did the book have that original title?
Venus' Slippers are rare orchids found in the Rockies, and found on the ranch in my story. They burst into flower, and then disappear as if they were never there--which was symbolic for my heroine, who intends to disappear in much the same way.
Now my new title is supposed to be a little more evocative of the Romantic Suspense genre.
My new title... Her Sanctuary
What a gorgeous cover--and perfect for Storm Warning. Unfortunately it is someone else's :)
If it were mine I'd change the wooden cafe to a stone cottage and take away the icebergs. Scotland is not THAT cold!! I'd add some seaweed to evoke the senses and maybe a fishing trawler off the coast.
Having stolen Cindy's cover here's her blurb--the book sounds good too!!
There are places that can remake you — slippery, gray places. Places that hold their secrets in the fog and whisper them on the wind. And if a floundering, trashy cocktail waitress finds herself drifting across the line between the ordinary world and this place, something fearsome and beautiful could happen. Something could change.
Sweeping across two hundred and fifty years and into the Aleutian Islands of the Bering Sea, the story explores Aleut culture, taboos, mummies, famine, conquest, and survival. It leaps forward to a lost woman, who more than any thing needs to understand the gray shades between heroism and evil, between freedom and bondage, between this place and the rest of her life.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
This week I really want to make headway with Storm Warning. I did great last Tuesday, but then illness and KOD volunteering have taken all my spare moments.
I have to say I don't like volunteering. I'm selfish and greedy and time starved. Anyway, at the moment I rewrite the blurb for the Kiss of Death workshops and send it out a few times a month. That's what I do for Publicity. Then I'm on the Canadian Retreat committee--who are lovely I have to say--but this is really a drain on me.
I know others do lots more than I do--but to me that is not the point. I do it because it is a great writers group.
Not sure how long I can keep it up (not to mention my committment to my critique partners, my crit group online, judging the Daphne, trying to be part of my writing loops and blog community and my poor children!!!), but I'll keep trying for now :)
Anyway--this is a draft of the advert I just made for RWR. Factually correct I believe, though I might still fiddle with some details. In Victoria!!! I'd love to go, but doubt I can afford it this year after my big holiday back home in the UK.
What do you think of it??
When I was sick and the children weren't here, Thursday, I decided to carry on my romance research by watching the movie Casablanca. Hadn't watched it for years. DH isn't fond of black and whites or costume dramas. In fact, I distinctly remember lying to him when Sirens came out in the theatres and just telling him Elle MacPherson got her kit off--and didn't tell him the kit was nineteenth century. He groaned when we got there, but we saw the movie. Who could resist a naked Elle?
Anyway. Casablanca :) What a fab movie. People always go on about the lighting and direction--and it is great in all these aspects, but it is the chemistry and the acting and the character driven plot that totally makes the movie work. I don't find Humphery particularly attractive--he's the polar opposite of my husband--but in that movie, on the screen generally, he has such charisma, such low key, burning intensity that he captures you totally.
And Ingrid Bergman.
I think women regard beauty differently to men. To me Ingrid Bergman is absolutely beautiful. Those eyes and lips, her profile. Totally lovely. I actually have a friend who I think has that sort of beauty--she doesn't see it but many people do.
So I watched the movie and noticed all the romance taboos it broke. Married heroine, Rick and Ilsa had had an affair when she thought her husband had died. It was politically motivated and we didn't get our HEA.
So why does it work? I think because the decisions the characters make are morally right. True love doesn't bely the importance of doing the right thing. And maybe that says more about what true love really is...An ideal connection, an unbreakable bond, something that doesn't have to be stated or proved, but just is? I don't know who wrote Casablanca, it strikes me though it is a typical man ending. Think Nick Evan's Horse Whisperer, Nick Sparks' Message in a Bottle, Robert James Waller's Bridges of Madison County.
I also think Casablanca works because you hope (or at least I do), that Rick and Ilsa get a second chance back in the States, after the war is over.
And at least they'll always have Paris...
Saturday, February 25, 2006
I was sitting there thinking, these guys are really good actors because they look like they may be falling in love and yet... I sense no real passion. Then again I'm no expert on acting. (Really?)
What did everyone else think?
Actually there was more spark with the wooden and goofy looking Dermott Mullroney (sp??) than with the very handsome Mr Cusack. Maybe it was because Diane Lane looks a bit (tiny bit) like his sister? Hmm.
Anyway, I liked the movie but it wasn't Casablanca.
Friday, February 24, 2006
I'm feeling a bit better. Now I'm about to moan so if you don't want to hear it please turn away now.
My doctor is a wanker. A total wanker.
Firstly let me say I have had a deep distrust of medics all my life, totally unfounded-- except for my hometown GP--and having had at least 10 GPs, a gynecologist, an obstetrician and a consultant during the last 20 years I have been proved wrong many times. There are a lot of good doctors out there.
But my doctor is a complete wanker.
I sat in the waiting room for 2 hours. Not uncommon, not even unexpected, but I had a good view of his office door during this time. A patient would go in, 5-10 minutes later (literally), he'd go in. Then the patient would leave and so would he. And he wouldn't come back for another 10 minutes. God knows what he was doing.
GPs are scarce in this town. When we arrived DH wandered into the nearest surgery and was astounded to find there were vacancies until he spotted the doddery old bugger shuffling across the floor. DH figures he'll be retired soon and we'll be taken on by the other doctors in that surgery--I'm not so sure. The doctor's face had no lines, no wrinkles, no humor.
Anyway, this is how my appointment went. Figuring he was busy and I'd save time I thought I'd point out the obvious.
"So, what can we do for you today?"
"I think I have tonsillitis." I said.
"Ah, so you have diagnosed yourself. You have a sore throat." He wrote that down. SORE THROAT.
"Well my tonsils are green," I pointed out, trying to be nice.
"Sore throat," he repeated. "Any cough?"
He checked my sinus' for pain. No pain.
He checked my lungs. Perfect lungs, thank you very much.
Then he swabbed my throat and I noticed a gleam of satisfaction in his washed out brown eyes when he made me gag. (Language could get much worse here, but I'm being good).
He didn't mention the green lining to my swollen tonsils. He didn't say anything at all, just gave me a prescription for anti-Bs. And I didn't say anything either because I'm stubborn.
I can't wait for a physical :(
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Can a brief affair sustain a woman before her upcoming, loveless marriage?
Joel Burkhart's life is work, work and more work until he finds that one woman he's compared every other woman to since high school, but she's taken.
Colleen Nance feels her life closing in on her with her nuptials nearing. When passion ignites, she loses her head and loses control.
With a ticking clock, can the pair find what they need in each other or are they destined to continue in a passionless life where status-quo is good enough?
Sunday, February 19, 2006
My husband is a romantic. I know this, not because of the roses I got on Valentine's Day, not because of his dedication--even on my fat grumpy days. I know it because of what he said to me this week regarding my neighbor.
She's a wonderful woman, a widow, full of vitality and life, but her partner has just left her.
Instead of the usual thoughts, my husband asked me in a very serious tone, "Do you think Bob has some terrible disease and has left her so that Betty doesn't have to go through losing another man?"
He should read or write category romance, the big lump :)
Current clothing: soft roll neck sweater, turquoise cords. Bright pink slippers
Current hair: mid length kinky, dark dark brown
Current mood: Ok
Current refreshment: looking forward to my next cup of tea
Current annoyance: hairball in my throat from brushing dogs last night.
Current avoidance: Not avoiding anything, unless you count cooking and cleaning ;-)
Current smell: pancakes
Current thing you ought to be doing: online class of how to deal with galleys
Current thing or things on your wall: Poster by Al Harvey of mountains, cowboys and horses. Hero and heroine pictures (Eric Bana and a lovely model named Caroline). Picture of me and DS diving the GBR--aged 3 (her not me). Kids artwork. Notes, family photo from last year.
Current IM/person you are talking to: I only IM Kim and I'm bad at even remembering to do that.
Current jewelry: gold band
Current book: Deep Blue Suzanne McMinn
Current worry: Kids colds, money
Current love: Always DH
Current longing: cup of tea
Current disappointment: not being further along in my second novel
Current lyric in your head: It's 5 o'clock somewhere--Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet (telling me something I think :))
Current music: Country--I can write to country
Current Favorite book: Hot Target Suzanne Brockmann
Current undergarments: Black cotton knickers and matching tank top thing.
Current desktop picture: My dog Ben--a rather arty picture I took of him last spring up near frozen Lake Manitoba. It's hard to get a good shot of a black animalCurrent plans for tonight/weekend: working on online workshop, editing a scene from Storm, playing with kids.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
I went to the mall this morning with my nearly six-year old daughter. Ughh! I've never really taken her shopping for clothes before because we always got clothes handed on from friends. However it was finally time!
Never shop with a child . Parts of it were wonderful, trying on clothes, realizing she's actually grown out of aged 2-3 vests--yeay! Parts of it were bloody awful. Spotting the toy section in Sears--Polly and Barbie, 'I want, I want.' Me trying not to screech in public :/
Sigh. Not the best mother in the world, but not the worst either. :(
We did do GREAT in the sales for both her and her brother, and she insisted on wearing her new jeans out of the store. Even got her a dress for her uncle's wedding in September. I love buying everything at half price and was so happy that we went to the bookstore and I celebrated by buying Allison Brennan's The Prey (she's a fellow KODer and this is her debut).
Friday, February 17, 2006
You are very socially conscious and a total idealist.
You think there are many things wrong with the world, and you want to fix them.
You have a big idea of how to world could be, and you'll sacrifice almost anything to work towards this dream.
In love, you can easily see the beauty in someone else. And you never cling too tightly.
You are capable of great love, but it's hard for you to focus your love on one person or relationship.
You have a lot of outward focus, and you tend to blame the world for your failures.
You are often disappointed by the realities of life - it's hard for you to accept the shortcomings of the world.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
This is huge, big, enormous, wonderful news to me--look world--look at Sweden!! If they can do it, we can do it too! Really! Thanks Loreth for the link
Sweden plans to be world's first oil-free economy
· 15-year limit set for switch to renewable energy
· Biofuels favoured over further nuclear power
John Vidal, environment editor
Wednesday February 8, 2006
Evergreen... Sweden will develop biofuels from its forests. Photograph: Mattias Klum/Getty Images
Sweden is to take the biggest energy step of any advanced western economy by trying to wean itself off oil completely within 15 years - without building a new generation of nuclear power stations.
The attempt by the country of 9 million people to become the world's first practically oil-free economy is being planned by a committee of industrialists, academics, farmers, car makers, civil servants and others, who will report to parliament in several months.
It gave me a much needed boost after reading this article on the BBC.
By Paul Rincon
BBC News science reporter, St Louis
It was thought the entire Greenland ice sheet could melt in about 1,000 years, but the latest evidence suggests that could happen much sooner.
It implies that sea levels will rise a great deal faster as well.
The comprehensive analysis found that the amount of ice dumped into the Atlantic Ocean has doubled in the last five years.
If the Greenland ice sheet melted completely, it would raise global sea levels by about 7m.
7 m???? OMG. Goodbye New Orleans, for sure this time!!! As if that city hasn't suffered enough. Goodbye every city along the seaboards in every country of the world.
I get so depressed by it. The curse of an overactive imagination. I see variations in my head of my parents and family being alternatively frozen to death (if the gulf stream stops/slows/changes direction), flooded out, by rising sea levels, or starved out. I feel so strongly about it because it is personal to me, if not my parents, then my children, if not my children, then my grandchildren.
And now in the depths of winter I am burning wood to survive, I am driving my car because I risk frostbite if I'm out for more than 5 minutes.
So I'm burdened with guilt AND an overactive imagination. Sometimes I think it would be a lot easier to be dumb.
Angled Arctic Charr near Nain, watched the most beautiful Red deer stag bound away when cornered in Ardnamuchen, seen river otters at play in two continents, Golden Eagles, Ospreys, Bald Eagles, Red Kites, Highland cattle with twisted horns, kangaroos, crocodiles, alligators, lizards. Weasels dancing in a ring, foxes slinking through hedgerows, fresh wolf tracks and--we think--a white wolf on the Canadian shield.
I am a bit pissed off I missed the great annual caribou migration by about 500 yards, but I'll deal with it.
So what animals have made a big impression on your life? What memories will you take to the grave?
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Happy Birthday to Karen
Happy Birthday Dear Kaaaaarrrreeeennnnn
Happy Birthday to you!!!
Sorry the card never got posted. Sorry the Scots got thrashed (I mean beat) the other day!!!! Here are some of your boys.
Interesting Toni Anderson Life Fact: I used to live on Kenny Logan's parent's farm. I doubt even Kenny knew that :) In fact I recall this rather notorious party we had there. Three of us lived in this terrible cold gray house. Myself, Frank Fortune and Mark Jennison (gosh I think that was his surname). Each of us had marine biology degrees from different universities and we each had different post-graduate qualifications again from different universities. It was a really surreal party. We were in the middle of nowhere and one of us would answer the door to someone we knew, but hadn't seen for years. All these incestuous connections between marine biologists that proved the world really is a very small place.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
- If I Should Fall Behind--Bruce Springsteen
- I will Always Love You--Dolly Parton
- The Long and Winding Road--The Beatles
- Love me Tender--Elvis
- She--Elvis Costello
- Better Man--Robbie Williams
- That Ole Devil Called Love--Alison Moyet
- With or Without You--U2
- Cowboy Take Me Away--Dixie Chicks
- Nothing Compares to You--Sinead O'Conner
These are some of my favourite love songs...doesn't include any of the Motown or Atlantic Soul classics that I filled my middle teens with. They deserve their own top 10!!
What songs make you quiver???
Dennie mentioned my book on her blog today!! What a sweetie!
Monday, February 13, 2006
My DH always buys me People magazine when he does the shopping (bless him). My current wip uses drug smuggling as the backdrop crime behind the hero & heroine's romance, so I've done quite a lot of research on Colombian drug traffickers and hard drugs in general (having no idea!!) The police officers in Fife are used to answering all sorts of dumb questions from me LOL, and hopefully won't arrest me next time I go back to the UK.
But I was horrified by the latest mules. God, these people have no souls.
Dealers Hid Drugs in Puppies: Feds
CREDIT: DEA / AP
Ten puppies, including Labrador retrievers, were rescued during a 2005 raid on a farm in Colombia, the Drug Enforcement Administration said while announcing the 30 arrests, the Associated Press reports.
Investigators believe the ring used the dogs, as well as humans (who swallowed the drugs), to cloak millions of dollars in liquid heroin on commercial flights into New York for distribution on the East Coast. Drugs apparently also were concealed in body creams, aerosol cans, and the linings of purses and luggage.
As for the pups, a veterinarian had stitched a total of three kilograms of heroin into the bellies of six of them. Three later died from infections once the drugs were removed. It is not known how many dogs in all were used in the scheme, or what their fates were after they made their "deliveries," said John Gilbride, head of the DEA's New York office.
"I think it's outrageous and heinous that they'd use small, innocent puppies in this way," he said.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Saturday, February 11, 2006
BETWEEN THE COVERS
Serena Altschul visits the 25th annual Romance Writer's of America Convention in Reno, Nevada, where there is more than romance in the air.
This will be on CBS Sunday Morning, February 12. The show airs at 9:00 AM EST.
Please note--if they show some of the disasters of the conference (and there were plenty), it was balanced by some truly good moments!!! Thanks Meretta!
Friday, February 10, 2006
So I didn't...
Clean--DH has buddies coming over Saturday night for poker.
Eat (except junk food).
Watch a movie--PPV crapped out at the last moment and I gave up.
What I did do was make the advert for the first Canadian KOD retreat which I'll try and post tomorrow. Right now I'm going to bed.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Triskelion just announced that all their books are going to print. ALL of them--mine included!!!! You'll be able to buy them from Amazon.com and if your sales are good they are also going to stock them in Waldenbooks and Borders and a few other small booksellers :)
So Venus' Slipper will be a book you can pick up and hold in your hand :) I must update my webpage and blogger templates tomorrow. I don't know when it'll be available, but I'll let you know as soon as I know!!!!
Tonight I printed out the score sheet and marked myself :) I did pretty well, although I realise how unobjective I am about my own story. I think these days you need between 97-100% to final.
Presentation and mechanics
Now after working on my baby I think I've got most of these licked (how immodest). But I've listened to lots of advice, upped my pacing but kept the necessary descriptive details, made my character motivation clearer, used hooks and kept narrative and author intrusion to a minimum.
But it is hard to get everything just right in the first 25 pages because you don't want to reveal too much and have nothing to divulge later in the book--you need to maintain a certain amount of mystery to keep the reader interested. True??
Now I wish Michele Bidelspach from Warner Books and Barbara Collins Rosenberg from The Rosenberg Group would just take me on trust and have me send them the full manuscript, but I guess I'll have to be judged and weighed like everybody else. :)
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
I googled my home town and couldn't believe there was a tour on the internet :)
My parents house--the white house on the left--records go back about 300 years. It has a damn dark dank nasty scary cellar. As kids we used to climb out onto the ledge above the front door. I can't imagine how my mother survived the stress.
This is the view from my brother's house a 100 yards down the road.
And this is my grandad's house--God bless him.
The one on the left hand side.
And the black and white image is the old cottage hospital where I was born :) Pretty sure it is gone now.
This is Lodge Lane, where we walked every summer with my granny and Aunty Beat. Picked blackberries and got chased by cows :)
And this is Ironbridge (1 mile away)--where I lived until I was 6 years old. It is the first Ironbridge ever built. So pop quiz--how many nuts and bolts went into the first Ironbridge?
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
The Barber twins, Ronde and Tiki--OK--these guys are handsome.
How about Tom Brady? Well finally! This guy is a romance hunk and even had a photo with 2 gorgeous babes that I would have put up in horror, except for all I know they are his sisters.
Howie Long--this is your idea of handsome and yet you are still single? OMG. I left his helmet on, on purpose :)
Troy Aikman--well OK, in a preacher kind of way he's sweet. And I know he was a fine quarterback (even I know), but he's not hot!
So I remembered all the glorious rugby players. DH will get a kick out of this! the only way he gets me to watch rugby!
Dan Carter--All Blacks
Sorry--there were lots lots more, but I couldn't fill up my hard drive :D
But the most impressive sportsman I know, not in terms of beauty, although as a young man he was truly beautiful, Jonah Lomu.
He was the first world icon of rugby union even though he never played at more than 75% of his physical potential. All his life he suffered from a rare kidney disorder that nearly killed him in 2003/2004. Only a transplant from a friend saved his life, and now he is once again playing professional rugby. His story is on his website and is really amazing.
And I believe (getting all pompous rather than banal) that his sporting spirit, embodies what is most attractive about sportsmen--and that is not their pretty faces (or not, in the NFL :))
Monday, February 06, 2006
Four jobs I’ve had
P/T Shelf Stacker (Carrefour, Telford, UK)
Shop/ticket sales for the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (Telford, UK)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Uni Stirling, Scotland)
Fish Telemetry Consultant (Labrador, Canada)
Four movies I watch over and over
It’s a Wonderful Life
When Harry met Sally
Four places I’ve lived (only 4?)
Isle of Man, UK
Four TV shows I love (or have loved)
CSI (all of them)
Four places I’ve vacationed
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Vancouver Island, Canada
Four favorite dishes
Fish & Chips
Four sites I visit daily (I visit all my sites everyday if I can)
Four places I’d rather be right now
Four bloggers I’m tagging (I know you guys might have done this already but here goes)
Sunday, February 05, 2006
So just a quick note. Apparently we, the family, are supporting the Steelers. Unfortunately I have this hankering for the Seahawks.
Just so you'll know :)
Well spring is a long time off, but at least we have flowers :)
My Editor is happy with Venus' Slipper so I guess it is officially finished!!!! Now I have to wait for cover art and then start sending it out for reviews closer to the publication date in April.
Time for pancakes :)
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Dh has to work again--oh to be a University prof, raking in the millions, holidays whenever you want to take them, flexibility in work schedule.
DH's peers in industry always say--well you've got so much freedom in your work (if you can get a grant for it--and they only fund projects with immediate payoff these days), you've got great holidays (which you never take), great flexibility with time (sure if DH comes home an hour early on a Wednesday (as in 4 pm after going in at 5 a.m. some days) he can make it up by working all day Saturday).
Education is now a business. This is the same the world over. Students pay big fees and EXPECT to pass. They expect not to work, to be hand fed their exam questions and course work. They complain if they miss an exam? And get to retake it? What about the poor buggers who were up all night studying for the exam and did it on time? Why do (generally) lazy-assed students get an extra couple of weeks to retake an exam they should have only missed for hospital appointments and death in the family?
OK--that is the extreme, I know most students still work hard...but not like it were in my day (thick Yorkshire accent here)
How do we measure the quality of student education in a world that is graded from 65-100%? There was a reason for the 1-100% range--it meant you could actually make good students stand out from the bad/mediocre. I know exams aren't everything, but course work is the same!
Can you see me when my kids are at school? What do you mean you got a C??? Where's the teacher's phone number :) Sounds crazy but I bet it happens with some parents.
OK rant over.