Writing

Book Review – “Acheron”

Acheron

Acheron

Being a huge fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, I was very eager to read the story of Acheron. I couldn't put the book down! Primarily, I think, because I'm already very invested into the characters. I would think it might be difficult reading for someone not initiated into the Dark Hunter world, so I wouldn't recommend this book for anyone as a first-read for the series.
I really enjoyed the book. Be forewarned, there is a lot of violence and torture that our dear Acheron goes through – and very heart-wrenching for those of you who adore the character so much. The first tow-thirds of the book is back-story for Ash and then we come up to present-day to read about his love buy diflucan tablets story. Though I did enjoy the love story and was very happy to see Ash find his true love, I personally felt the attraction for Tory was more physical than it was of the heart – which is a little out of place for Ash since he hates sex so much, considering what he's been through. Though it wasn't COMPLETELY off balance, I think it could have been richer or meatier than it was. All in all, it was a fun read and I'm looking forward to the next installment. I understand there's another bookon Acheron that will be coming out soon…not sure when.
I give the book 5 STARS and highly recommend for those DH fans to find out what the REAL story has been with Ash all along.
That's my two pence…
Arial 😉

[Fiction] Friday – August 22, 2008

Greetings! And here’s another installment of the Write Anything blog’s weekly challenge – [Fiction] Friday. We’re supposed to write about…

Have Your Character Steal Something. Now Have Her Rationalize It.

“I didn't mean to!” Janie protested, tears streaming down her face.

“How can you possibly say that?” Mike snapped back at her. Running his fingers through his hair, he paced the room. “What did you think the last six months were all about?” When she said nothing, he practically pounced on her, meeting her nose to nose. “Was this all a game to you?”

She moved away from him, avoiding his eyes, biting her thumbnail nervously. “No, I didn't think it was a game. I just…”

“Just what, Janie?”

Her eyes looked to the ceiling as if the answer was written there, new tears trailing down her cheeks. “It all happened so quickly. I didn't think it would happen so fast. I really didn't think it would happen at all.”

“What were you thinking, then?” It was happening again and Mike cursed himself for it. Her large brown eyes pierced his soul and he felt himself growing weak.

“I didn't think you could fall in love with me. I…I didn't dare…” Janie dropped her head in shame.

Mike moved to her side and curled his finger under her chin. “You didn't think I could? How could I not fall in love with you, Janie? You are the most dynamic, creative woman I have ever met in my life. I've never met anyone as strong as you are, and yet you stand here as if you think you aren't worthy of my love. You've stolen my heart completely and there's no turning back for me.”

Janie's eyes met his and he could see the total surrender. His mouth slanted deliciously over hers, her lips open and waiting for him, and he held her in his arms vowing never to let go.

Yeah, I'm a romance novelist!!

That's my two pence…
Arial 😉

[Fiction] Friday – A Stolen Conversation

Greetings! And here's another installment of the Write Anything blog's weekly challenge – [Fiction] Friday. We're supposed to write about…

A Stolen Conversation

woman-hiding-behind-wallHer heart hammered in her chest. She ducked around a corner, into an alley, trying to catch her breath and stay out of sight while she agonized over her escape route. She couldn't believe she'd gotten herself into this situation!

I'm not cut out for this espionage crap!

As exciting as the idea sounded at first, now that she was in the middle of it, it was more than she could handle. But they DID make it sound pretty simple, focusing more on achieving the goal and less about how life-threatening it would be.

But that was the point. If I die, no sweat off their backs and their asses are covered. I'm the one that's in deep shit now!

Her breathing down to a manageable level, she peered around the corner only to jump back at the bullet that ricocheted off the brick wall.

Fuck!

She followed the wall in the opposite direction, clutching the digital recorder in her pocket. At the end of the alley the chain-link fence seemed to mock her, freedom just on the other side of that barrier.

I'm fucking forty-eight years old! How the hell am I going to scale that thing?

A silver sedan pulled up at the entrance of the alley blocking her only escape and four men stepped out looking none too happy and all about putting her in the hospital…or worse.

It's do or die, baby!

She turned to face the insurmountable chain-link fence to see a black sedan pull up on the freedom side, again blocking her way. But a sigh of relief gushed out of her when she recognized the government officials who had given her this damned assignment. The men in the silver sedan grudgingly disappeared into their vehicle and sped away.

“Did you get it?” Agent Sommers asked, his sunglasses firmly in place and hiding his eyes. Though she had wondered once before, she couldn't care less if she ever saw what color they were. She wanted out of this.

“Yes, I got it.” She closed her eyes and put her hand into her pocket, touching the digital recorder again, holding the stolen conversation she'd captured. This was the key to her freedom, the final part of her end of the deal. It was over. When she opened her eyes, her stomach churned in fear at the smile on his face. She wasn't going to live through this after all, was she?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oops!!! That's all five minutes allowed me! Sorry I couldn't finish it! If you enjoyed this Fiction Friday installment, please CLICK TO TWEET &/or SHARE ON FACEBOOK.

Thank you!!

Arial 😉

Book Review – “Twilight” by Stephanie Meyer

I was home sick this weekend – perfect time to finish a book in a day. I couldn’t put “Twilight” down! I give it 5 Stars!!

I'll be honest, when I first got into the book, I already had a jaded opinion of Meyer, but that was based on what someone told me she, a stay-at-home Mormon mother, said in an interview:

“I accidentally wrote these books.”

I read her biography on her web site and saw she majored in English. I thought to myself, “NOBODY accidentally writes a book! Especially not an English Major!” Admittedly, I did a little searching on the Internet and could NOT find such a quote. If anyone can substantiate or disclaim it, I’d appreciate a comment here.

Anyway, I went into it skeptical, but was totally won over by the completion of the first chapter. I will NOT be providing spoilers, so this is a safe book review for those who’d like to know why I think it’s a good read. AND I can safely say, these weren’t “accidentally” written. 😉

Summary

Isabella “Bella” Swan (age 17) moves to Forks, Washington, to live with her father (parents are divorced) to give her mom some time with her new husband. Among the many friends she reluctantly gains at her new school is the beautiful Edward Cullen (also “age 17”), who is part of the Cullen family – a group of dark, attractive and strange students whom most people avoid. Not only does she figure out what Edward is – a vampire – she falls helplessly in love with him. Bella is caught up in a dark world of ancient myths and danger and it is their love for each other that puts her in peril, but it is also her salvation.

Review

The book is written in the first-person. Meyer has a delightful way of getting us inside the full mood of the character. In the opening chapter, Bella is on her way to the airport with her mother from her home town:

“It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue.”

Yet when she describes Forks as the place she is about to venture back to:

“It was from this town and it’s gloomy, omnipresent shade that my mother buy ativan cheap escaped with me when I was only a few months old.”

Quite a difference in descriptions! One sounds like freedom and the other like a prison. She flavors her whole book with this kind of delectable prose.

Though she does include quite a bit of detail that I think could have been trimmed a bit, it still kept me riveted and flipping the pages. I think the book is very safe for young readers. Though there is a sexual tension of sorts between Bella and Edward, no sex at all is involved and there is a respect for the youthful boundaries that SHOULD be happening at this age. I think it provides a great example for young readers and what dating should look like – in spite of the fact that he’s a vampire. It shows healthy relationships and reminds us how awkward it is to be a teenager.

Personal Rant

I know it might sound a little silly, but I’m going to say it anyway. Throughout the book, as Bella goes about her daily routines of living with her father, going to school and out with her friends, she CONSITENTLY provides a wonderful example of a responsible teenager. She cleans up after herself, does her own laundry, makes dinner for her father, leaves notes for him and respects his space. As I said, I know it sounds silly, but I am overwhelmed at how many kids today have this “entitlement” thing going on where they drop things at their backsides, dirty plenty of dishes, and don’t contribute in any way to the household. I hope today’s generation of young people pick up on this!

Humorous Afterthoughts

The only one thing about this book that kinda rubs me the wrong way is the age difference. It’s weird that these vampires are stuck in their high school years, yet are decades older than they appear to be. What a bummer to have to relive high school– over and over and over again – through the years. And this takes “robbing the cradle” to a whole new level! There’s a 90+ year old man inside that “boy” chasing after a 17 year old girl!! Eew!

That’s my two pence…
Arial 😉

Book Signing – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Last night I attended a book signing for Sherrilyn Kenyon at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA. She was there for the release of her newest and most awaited Dark Hunter Novel – “Acheron“. I'll be reading this once I finish with “Twilight”.

Sherrilyn was a JOY to meet! It was a long wait – about 120 of us stood outside with a number, patiently waiting to get some time with her and have her sign our books – but it was SOOO worth the wait! Not only was she sweet and open, she was even loving and affectionate. I was able to give her a big hug for a picture or two.

I told her about being an aspiring writing and having read all her books. She seemed genuinely excited for me and wished me luck, telling me to keep her posted on the progress of my newly finished novel – “Midnight Conquest“.

I loved it that Sherrilyn was so warm and loving to all her fans. She listened to each of them attentively and celebrated with them when they told her good news. Living here in Los Angeles, you see all kinds of celebrities and famous faces. I'll have to say that authors – by far – are the most approachable and maintain a semblance of humanity when they become famous. It is the rare actor you meet in this town that is down-to-earth and approachable. Of the authors I've met, I'll have to say Sherrilyn was the most friendly and sweetest to meet.

Sherrilyn (left) & Me

Sherrilyn (left) & Me

Dark Delicacies did a great job in organizing the event. 20 people at a time went into the store while the rest waited outside. It was a smart idea to arrange the number system to avoid any kind of animosity between fans about who was first, etc. Nice job!

If you get a chance to see her on her Acheron Tour, I highly recommend the visit. Check the venue at which you're going to see her. Dark Delicacies required that you purchase something from their store in order to be able to have Sherrilyn sign anything you brought with you. Also, I found out from a friend that she was able to purchase her copy of the book AND get her number several days BEFORE the event! That will save you time standing around if you get an early line number. Don't forget to bring one of those small canvas, fold-up stools to sit on during the wait. It will help the time pass with less pain for the feet and the back! But it really is worth the wait!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

[Fiction] Friday – A Failed Proposal

Here again, for another installation of the weekly challenge on the Write Anything blog…[Fiction] Friday. I have five (5) minutes to write about…

A Failed Proposal

His head in his hands, despair moving over his whole body and soul, he couldn't believe she'd said no. He looked to the sky and cursed the Gods above. He couldn't believe he'd actually asked her! What was he possibly thinking? How could someone as successful and intelligent as she possibly consider his proposal? He had stepped way out of his league on this one! Wiping the tears from his face and mumbling words of disgust to himself at such a pathetic display, he gathered up the papers before him, strewn about in his emotional outburst, and pulled himself together. This wasn't the end of the world. There would be other opportunities. And perhaps, if he played his cards right and made the necessary efforts to improve himself, he could even approach her again. Hopefully, he hadn't burned that bridge.

Thomas looked at the presentation on his laptop, the final slide still alight on the screen before him, trying to drag him down again. NO! He closed the presentation. He'll look at it again tomorrow, or even the next day. Let him get over this setback first. Then he would make the necessary changes and look for other prospects.

She wasn't the only possible investor. There were plenty of other people out there willing to put their money into his venture. He had great ideas! Straightening his tie, he closed the laptop case, filed away the rest of his presentation for his business proposal and strutted out of the conference room with confidence.

There ya have it! Hope you enjoyed it!!

 That's my two pence…
Arial 😉

 

What I’m Currently Reading

Here's a list of books I've recently read along with a book I'm about to embark on. I try not to provide spoilers, but if you want a detailed description of the book, move your mouse over the book image.

I just purchased “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer. Since I am a vampire romance novelist, I've had all my friends and family tell me, “Oh my god! You HAVE to read this book! It's right up your alley!!” So, I'm looking forward to delving into it!

I JUST finished reading a book from one of my favorite authors…Johanna Lindsey – “Say You Love Me“. This is another Malory Novel and it did NOT disappoint. Her books about the Malory family take place during Regency England, so for those of you who are into the Regency romances, I think you'll enjoy her books.

This was a great story that had some rather sinister elements for the villain in the tale, but I don't want to give anything away. Suffice it to say the heroine, Kelsey, gets herself into a scary predicament and I really wasn't sure how she was going to get out of it! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Right before “Say You Love Me”, I read “Captive of My Desires” – another Malory Novel. This book was actually published about 10 years after “Say You Love Me”, but each of her tales stand on their own, so there's no need to read them in any kind of order.

This was lighter subject matter than the other book, but does have adventure at the end and it was a joy to see so many of the members of the Malory family involved. A subtle theme of how prejudices cloud our judgement is woven into the tale rather tastefully. Lovely read! But I love all her books and I think I only have a couple on her list that I haven't read yet! Hope you enjoy it!

Finally, prior to “Captive of My Desires”, I read Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s book “Dark Side of the Moon.” This is one of her Dark Hunter books and the hero of the story is a shapeshifter. I like how vulnerable and real her heroine Susan Michaels is and how she uses humor to guard her heart against hard times. As a result, Kenyon had me laughing a lot in this book. As I find with all of her books, her heros are delicious, her heroines are the kind of women I aspire to be or befriend, and the Dark Hunter world is engrossing! Great read for those of you into the Paranormal Romance genre.

Do you have a favorite author? Do you have any recommendations for romance or vampire romance? Have you read any of the above books? If so, what did you think of them? (Please indicate at the beginning of your comment if it is a “SPOILER”)

[Fiction] Friday – A Leopard Print Dress

It's a little late, but I'm taking the challenge from the “Write Anything” Blog. They have their “[Fiction] Friday” challenge for August 1, 2008: Write about a leopard print dress.

Here's my post… 

It was corny, and yet he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her backside. Leopard print on a woman tapped into a primal part of him that was…corny. He couldn’t help thinking leopard – a wild, feral beast that has stealth-like moves…put that on a woman how to buy klonopin online with a tight, trim backside – like the one Karl was staring at – and it just automatically became sexual for him. Yes, cliché’, but true.

 

That's it. I only had 5 minutes to write! And I didn't edit, so straight out of the noggin. Keep in mind…I'm a romance novelist. 😉

 

Would love your comments and I'm looking forward to reading others and making comments of my own.

 

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉

Reminders – They’re a BIG Help!

I have so much energy, I have to find SOMETHING to keep me busy or I go nutz! However, since I keep myself so busy, I frequently lose track of days and things I need to do. My Franklin-Covey planner is a BIG help! But if I don't look in my planner, it's NO help. Soooo, I've turned to a useful FREE tool that will actually send me reminders on my cell phone and my e-mail!

Yahoo! Calendar

Most of us have a Yahoo! mail account OR anyone can create one for themselves for free. Not a lot of us know that the Calendar function within the Yahoo! Mailbox is available. Here's how it works…

  • Schedule an appointement – like the doctor, a bill that's due, a school event for your child…whatever you need to be reminded about.
  • Set a reminder – In the screen where you're setting up your appointment options – dates, time, notes, etc. – there is a section that allows you to set a reminder. You can set up to TWO reminders for one appointment.
  • Set the notification method – Believe it or not, Yahoo! Calendar can send you an e-mail, notify you on your Yahoo! Messenger, AND/OR send you a text message to your cell phone! If you've created the Yahoo! account JUST so you can use the calendar and you don't use this account as your main e-mail address, you can add other alternate e-mail addresses AND/OR a mobile device (such as your cell phone) to your Yahoo! Account. Once you've done that, they are available on the drop-down menus for the reminder choices.

It's really that simple! We have bills that are due – who doesn't – and to remind us of when buy xanax usa they're due, we created a Yahoo! account to book them on the Calendar. Then we set up 2 reminders on each bill that's due – 7 days out to give us a head's up and 4 days out to still be within that 3-day time-period it takes if we need to transfer money from one bank account to another. We'll never be late on a bill again!

Other Reminders

There are other free reminder services on the Internet. Hotmail, Google, and most free e-mail services have a calendar built in, as well as eCard services such as American Greetings and Halmark. If you go to Google and search for “Free Online Reminders” you'll get a slew of results. Check them out and see which one suits your needs the best. (Personally, Yahoo! seems to be the best as it allows you to send out reminders to your Yahoo! IM, an e-mail address, AND a cell phone all at once. It also allows you to set up TWO reminders, where most only let you set one reminder.)

Share Your Organizational Tips!

From one person who has her life a little scattered but LOVES to be organized, I thought others might appreciate a little organizational tip. Do you have other tips for organizing your life? SHARE THEM! I love to hear about great ways to organize your life! The more I automate things and set up procedures for doing daily tasks, the less I have to think about and the more time I have to do what I love…writing romance and creating art!!! Have a great day!!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉
www.EnchantedWoodz.com
www.EnchantedWoodz.com/arialburnz

Blogging Guest Speakers at LARA RWA Meeting

Blog! Blog! Blog!! That's the craze today and I'm, obviously, guilty of jumping on that bandwagon. I'd heard over and over again about how it could do wonders for my writing career, but wasn't exactly sure about how to generate the traffic and hype I wanted. “Ask and ye shall receive!”
 
On Sunday, I went to the Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) RWA chapter meeting and had the privelege of meeting three wonderful ladies who shared their experiences and insight on blogging. What an inspiration! They gave a lot of encouraging tips, suggestions and examples of blogs. I will share a few here, but I would encourage you to visit their blogs for more examples. I will also share some resources for those of you who haven't yet begun blogging and would like to know where to go.
 
The Speakers (listed alphabetically)
Jina Bacarr – Unfortunately, Jina wasn't able to attend the meeting and we were sad not to see her there, but I heard she was working on a deadline, so that means she's doing what her fans love…writing! Jina is also known as the Spicy Contessa and she writes erotica. You can visit her blog at http://spicycontessa.wordpress.com
 
HelenKay Dimon – An ex-divorce lawyer, she is now writing stories with happy endings! She was there to share her experiences with blogging, how she got into it and gave wonderful suggestions on how to market yourself as a writer. She blogs on her own site at www.helenkaydimon.com AND on a group blog, www.accessromance.com/blog. Some helpful tips HelenKay provided were…
  • Make comments on other blogs, lending your opinion and insight and don't forget to link back to your blog in your comments. That will help drive traffic back to you.
  • Blog about other blogs and provide links to their blogs – cross promotion for bullet #1 & #2 is very effective for driving traffic back and forth.
  • Write your own book reviews about your favorite books and link to those author's web sites and/or blogs. Don't forget to tell the author you wrote a review. You have a chance they may link back to your blog – VERY good if it's a popular author!
  • If you have published books, provide small pictures of your books on your blog or web site…people are drawn to pictures!

Fronnie Lewis (also writing as F. Leegh Lewis) – Fronnie has a background in news and is the creator/coordinator/moderator of Cheers for Writers, a series of author interview and book signing events. You can visit her blog at www.fleeghlewis.com and www.awritersgroove.com. Some of her helpful tips were…

  • Blog on current events! People love to comment about what's going on in the world today. Write your opinion on a topic and then ask your readers what they think.
  • Read blogs for agents, editors and publishers! Not only do you find out tips and tricks on writing, they will frequently tell you exactly what they're looking for, what they love and what they hate about getting submissions. This is a great place to do your homework on those agents and publishers you're submitting your work to.

Charlene Sands – This is our Country & Western gal! She not only shared her personal experiences with blogging and how she got into it, but was also the person to speak on group blogging. You can read her blogs at her web site www.charlenesands.com and on the group blog www.petticoatsandpistols.com. Some of her helpful tips were…

  • Link Link Link! Most blogs will allow you to link to other of your favorite blogs. This is more of that cross promotion mentioned by all speakers. AND link to your own web site (if you have one) or where your readers can buy your book(s) if they're available.
  • You don't have to blog about your books or make it all about your writing. But, you can blog about topics that tie into what you're writing. So it's an indirect way of referring to your stories.
  • Write topics that provoke your readers to respond. Ask questions. Ask their opinions. Speak on hot topics.

There is so much more information these ladies shared with us, it's just too much to list here. If you're going to be at the upcoming Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference, be sure to attend their workshop! You'll get all these tips and even so much more than we experienced at the LARA meeting on Sunday. Also, visit their blogs. Charlene has the Top 10 Comblogments with more amazing suggestions and tips!

Blog Resources

Where can you do your own blog? How much does it cost? How do I write a blog? If these are questions you have, I won't be able to provide an extensive answer to all these questions, but I can give you a little shove in the right direction. I'm still pretty new to this myself.

Blog Sites – Some of the blog sites I saw mentioned were www.blogger.comwww.typepad.com, and www.wordpress.com. However, there are literally THOUSANDS of blog sites out there. Here's a couple of sites that list blogging sites: http://topsites.blogflux.com/ and http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/popular-blogs. If you Google “blog sites” you'll get ALL KINDS of results. Have fun!

Cross Blog – One other way of finding blog sites is by the surfing you do back and forth between bloggers. I've just referred you to the blogs for these four ladies, so that will most likely refer you to other blogs from the people who comment or searching you can do in those blog communities. And it goes on and on! Just beware of becoming addicted! 😉

How To Write A Blog – Truthfully, you can write whatever you want! BUT to be effective, you should be engaging your readers and write for your target audience that you select. Seriously, there are soooo many resources for this and everyone has a lot of good tips to offer. Go to Google and search for “How to write a blog” and you'll get a lot of great articles.

Hope this posting was helpful! Do you have other suggestions or favorite blog sites? Please let me know by posting in the comments. What has been your experience with some of the blog sites – as a reader and blogger? Thanks in advance for your input!

That's my two pence…

Arial 😉