Friday, August 24, 2007

The Battle Begins

Well ladies, it is that time yet again. And this year appears to be heading to an all new level.

What am I talking about? The cricket invasion. These pesky hopping and chirping creatures of the night have plagued many of my nightmares, beginning my first year away from home in college.

I am terrified of bugs, but primarily the hopping and flying variety. Does anyone warn poor Cara about these disgusting and terrifying cricket invasions when she goes away to college? Oh no. She wakes up one morning and walks to campus and crunches her way to classes with tears of fear streaming down her face. Thousands of these vile creatures line the sidewalks, invade unsuspecting trash cans and generally bring chaos to people like me.

Then Cara goes to work and is asked to take out the trash. That trip resulted in a panic attack of epic proportions when hundreds of the vile creatures hopped up at me when I lifted the trash can lid.

Well, that was a few years ago. But the battle continues every year. The rains this year have compounded the problem, so they are back in force. And they all must die.

So, last night I was sleeping peacefully when I heard the sound no cat owner wants to hear. That tell tale catterwall noise. It is like a fire alarm going off for me. One of my cats, Myska, has discovered an invader. No matter the time of day, it must die.

Most cats would love to spend some time playing with the hopping creatures. But not Myska. Unfortunately I must confess my terror of these bugs has crept into her psyche.

A cricket had found its way into my domain.

That's right. How dare it defile my abode with its presense. It hopped. I jumped. Myska cried. It hopped again. I yelled at it. Myska hissed. It chirped, as if mocking me with laughter.

Oh hell no. I don't speak cricket, but I knew it was calling in reinforcements.

So, it had to die. I just had to gain the nerve to do the deed.

Then again, maybe I didn't. My newest edition to the family, Squeakers (I didn't name her people) woke up and wandered in half asleep. She calmly walked up to it, sniffed it and squished it with her paw.

Praise to the mighty warrioress!

Now if I can only teach her to flush it down the toilet, I can sleep of a night.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Computer Decided To Teach Me A Lesson

Well, I decided yesterday to invest in a piece of writing software that I saw someone recommend. I ordered it, and they were kind enough to e-mail a downloadable file link so that I wouldn't have to wait for the CD.

What does impatient Cara do? She happily clicks on the link and downloads the file. Guess what happens? Yep, my whole laptop goes caput. Finit. No more.

Now, this is where the confession comes into play. I can't remember the last time I backed up my writing files completely. To say I freaked is putting it mildly. To make it even better, the customer service department of said company isn't around to help.

The good thing is the laptop is up and running once again. So here are the lessons I learned from this experience:

1. Back up everything. I had quite a few of my completed works saved to other devices in one form or another, but nothing in one compact spot. I know. Feel free to say it. I'm an idiot.

2. Dell rocks! They helped me even though it really wasn't their problem.

3. Automatic system backups that I'm too tech challenged to know exist are amazing. There are a few things in the world that need to remain mysteries. This is one of those things. I may not have backed my files up, but my laptop is apparently smarter than me.

4. Patience is a virtue. Now I'm not about to test my luck with that $150 software program and try and download it to my laptop when the CD arrives, but perhaps it actually works. Maybe the uninstall file isn't corrupt and maybe it won't delete all of the registry keys or whatever it deleted. But I'm not about to test my luck.

I'm chalking this up to a very good lesson learned and thanking the magic elves in my laptop and the wizards at Dell for saving my proverbial ass.

Have a good night everyone. And don't forget to back it up.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Good or Bad... It's In

Well, I am physically sick to my stomach now.

I have submitted my Brava novella contest. I was tempted to wait for a bit, mull it over, tweak her and there. My muse had other ideas.

Muse: "It's ready. Push the freaking button already."
Me: "Let's let it sit for a couple of days, read it over and then send it."
Muse: "Bah. It's ready. I know, you don't know anything."
Me: "We're waiting."
Muse: "Hah!"
Me: "Two days. That's it."
Muse: (pushes the button.) "Too late. You'll thank me later. You may have time to mull it over, but I have way too much to do for that. Trust your first instincts. Now get back to the book I was working on or so help me I'll enter another contest just to make you sick."

It's official. She's certifiable. But it is in:)

(And I swear I am sane. The voices tells me so.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My fortune cookie

My best friend and I ate chinese food last night. And my fortune cookie said:

An investment made will reap benefits beyond your dreams.

Okay, clearly the makers of said cookie have no idea how wild my dreams can get. Really. So, I have made a list of the investments I will make for said cookie:

1. $1 for a lottery ticket (hey it's sitting at $171 million right now... talk about a huge return)

That's as far as the list got. I couldn't think of anything to top it. Can you?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What Would You Take?

It's raining again. Yep, yet again Texas is getting covered in water. So, in case this trend continues and I need to build a boat I was thinking about what I should take with me. Space will be limited, so other than clothes and the essentials, what would you take on the boat?

For me, I guess I'll be bringing my cats. They don't care for water too much and even though they really irk me at times, I love them to pieces. Other than that:

1. My laptop (of course)
2. A book
3. Caffeine (because you really don't want to see me with it)
4. A life preserver (because as a single gal, I will happily haul in a gorgeous guy if he happens to need it)
5. My box of Thomas Kinkade jigsaw puzzles that have been gathering dust.

Now, I'm sure that there are a lot of things that I'd think of that would trump these, but you have to answer from the top of your head.

What 5 things would you bring with you. (And your family, essentials, and pets are already on).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

So How Do You Overcome The Sex Scene Shyness

Have you ever written a scene, set it aside for a couple of days, and returned to say, "There's no way I could ever look anyone in the eye if I knew they read that!"

What can I say? My muse is truly inspired right now and ready to push that envelope...lol.

But, I am still relatively new at this and am curious how all of you overcame the shy side of yourselves when it came to knowing someone was reading sex scenes you wrote?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Perfect Day Job

Okay, I think the fates have found amusement with me. Everytime my muse is geared up to write, my day job suddenly gets extremely busy and demands more of my time.

Not only are we busy, we are short staff to cover it. I'm known at my job for being able to multi-task and juggle anything and everything thrown at me. But, they seem shocked that I'm starting to throw it back at them.

No overtime pay and long hours just doesn't sound like the "perfect day job." I believe in hard work, and began working as soon as I was old enough to be legal...lol.

Thus, my question... Is there such a thing as a writer friendly day job? Do any of you have a career or profession that would fit the bill? Obviously, something in the publishing industry would be on that list. Aside from that?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Give The Muse A Challenge....

Okay, my muse is officially crazy. I mean, certifiably so. She apparently thrives on challenges that I personally deem impossible.

I went to bed last night knowing that today was the first day of the 20 page challenge. With visions of page after page of white space staring back at me after a long day at work, I tried to sleep. But my muse had different ideas.

So, she had me up at 3 this morning. Yep, as in a.m. And what praytell did she want to do at that time? Outline an entirely different sci-fi book. Yeah, like she doesn't already have enough stuff to do. So, we now have yet another idea piled up complete with outline by the way. The pantser muse actually decided to do an outline and character profiles.

Now if I can get her away from her new baby long enough, I really want to work on what I need to get done first. For today, she gets free reign I suppose.

I'm just hoping 3 a.m. won't become her favorite time to work...hehe.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Giving The Muse A Kick In the Pants and A Pat On The Back

Lately I have read quite a few author's blogs about their muse. I now know officially that I love my muse because she doesn't give me nearly as much grief as she apparently could.

So, I dedicate this blog entry to her. I don't know her name, and quite frankly sometimes I think she's a guy. But that's another entry entirely.

Beginning tomorrow I have entered into a Romance Diva challenge where I am pushing my muse to pump out 20 pages of material a day. I know she can do it, and this will be her pat on the back because I'm showing my confidence in her up front. But, it's also a kick in the pants to clear some of these WIPs off of the pile.

So here is the official list of things my muse and I will be working on for the challenge:
1. Rework of Warrior's Fire - the second book in the series (with all fingers crossed)
2. Brava novella contest entry (just because we like being in the middle of things just like everyone else).
3. Fantasy Weekend
4. The Market
5. The Untitled WIP (I know, that is really, really sad. It really is a good book that deserves a title.)

So, what are you working on?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

SUITE SEVENTEEN - Portia Da Costa

Acting purely on instinct, I coil my arms around him. I can't believe this is happening and I can't believe what I'm doing. This new, different, impatient me takes the initiative and presses her tongue against his lips, demanding entrance.

He laughs, the sound deep and rough in his chest, and he admits me. Then a second later, it's like he throws a switch and he takes total control.

When vibrant, forty-something widow Annie Conroy espies her new neighbours Maria Lewis and Robert Stone having kinky sex in their back garden, she decides it’s time that she too woke up and smelt the erotic roses. And where better to begin her daring adventures than the luxurious Waverley Grange Country Hotel, and its hidden den of iniquity, the chintz-clad but wickedly pervy Suite Seventeen?

Under the stern but playful eye of exotic master Valentino, Annie quickly discovers the shocking hidden depths of her own sensuality, and surrenders herself body and soul to his outrageous games of power. But when the Waverley’s entire future hangs in the balance, and Annie has the means to help save it, dare she gamble on going one step further… and giving her heart to the mysterious man who’s come to control her?

"...this deliciously seductive story... is hard to put down" ~ Romantic Times, Four and a Half Stars, Sept 07

'Suite Seventeen contains all Portia's trademark treats from the arousing narrative, a wicked blend of deviant episodes, and an undercurrent of pragmatic and poignant romance.' ~ Ashley Lister, Erotica Readers and Writers Association

'I am grinning from ear to ear having savoured every last dripping word...' ~ Ann, poet and blogger

'a cheeky and very lovely read' ~ Madelynne Ellis, bestselling author of A Gentleman's Wager

ISBN 0352341092

Published by Black Lace in June 2007 [UK] and August 2007 [US]

Read an excerpt at PortiaDaCosta.com [NB. excerpt is NC17 and suitable for adults only.]

Suite Seventeen is available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

WILD IN THE COUNTRY - Portia Da CostaPublished by TOTAL-E-BOUND - a contemporary super length novel

Available from 6th August 2007

Blurb

There's something in the air...

Flora Swain is a newcomer to the village of Marwick Magna, renowned for the inspiration it provides to painters and poets. Impetuous and strong-minded, Flora is no artist – yet. But there are creative urges within her, she is convinced, and she has come to the country to give them life.

The strange thing is that Flora’s urges turn out to be almost entirely sensual. Is it the undoubted physical allure of her new neighbour, Declan McKenna, that’s driving her wild? Or the explicitly sexual messages which appear daily in her post? Or could it be that country life has revealed to her an insatiable, highly erotic new self?

Read an Excerpt

Available now from TOTAL-E-BOUND

Monday, August 6, 2007

Making Assumptions

Okay, I debated on whether to blog about this or not. But, I am taking the plunge and doing it anyway.

While my best friend and I were out running around this weekend, one of my pet peeves got tested. We were sitting as a traffic light when a homeless man walks up to my car and proceeds to yell at me.

Now let me explain that this man was screaming and one step away from opening the door to my car. I had done literally nothing but happen to be there. I am always the first one to help whenever I can, but this weekend was not the weekend for me helping anyone.

Thus the blog on making assumptions. An assumption was made by him that I was stuck up and deserved to go to hell because I wouldn't give him any money. I have no money. Zip. Zero. I don't even have a car right now since some lovely person decided to ram me off the road and total mine. But I'm not going to rant about that fiasco.

So, I guess the point of this little story is to not make assumptions based on what you perceive.

And if the gorgeous guy in the white truck that was behind me and stood up for me and my friend happens to read this....lol. Okay, that is really a long shot. But seriously, that man gets the grand prize in being a gentleman.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

gobetween72lg.jpg“Go Between” by Dayna Hart

Coming August 14th from Samhain Publications

Between two races that hate each other, at the doorway between two worlds, can Claire find the strength to be the emissary they all need?

Book One of The Curtain Torn series.

Halfway through her twenties, her divorce, and a bottle of rye, Claire opens her birthday present—a “pressed fairy” book.

One of the fairies is neither pressed, nor a picture. He’s the sinfully sexy Dell, who’s been trapped inside the book for twenty years. The moment Claire frees him, goblins attack her house. Dell and Claire’s only option is to use a “Between”—a rift between their worlds—to escape into the land of Fae.

There, Claire discovers the elven queen, Eliane, has a mission for her—one that has her keeping secrets from Dell. And ousting the goblins from her home is only the start.

Read An Excerpt Online

Devil's Pearl By Dawn Halliday

After a year of pursuit, Sir Devlin Vaughn has finally found the beautiful woman who made him the laughingstock of London society. Now he intends to keep her as his permanent sex slave, whether she comes willingly or not.Julia Beaumont escaped Devlin in an attempt to become a legitimate lady. Her plan backfired, leaving her reputation in tatters. Now Devlin holds her in his thrall once again. Can she free herself, or will he enslave her for life?Read an ExcerptBuy Now From Ellora's Cave