30 July 2008

The Strength of the Wolf in PRINT!

I'm rather feverishly packing and unpacking today, while my kitchen is being tiled. But I wanted to post the blurb and excerpt of my latest print release, The Strength of the Wolf. This is my amnesiac werewolf story, follow-up to The Strength of the Pack. And I love it so much. I'm just thrilled I got to publish it with Samhain, and got an awesome cover by Dawn Seewer to boot.


For longer than she can remember, Veronica has been wolf. Dreams give her a name and the image of a brother. Memory gives her nothing and no one.

Book Two of the Strength series.

One late winter day, David Hardway saves a malnourished wolf from a trap and takes her in. During her time with David, the wolf finds in herself the desire to be human again.

David loves the wolf he saved, but dislikes the strange woman who asks for his help. Still, he is incapable of turning away someone in need and despite himself, David becomes intrigued. As Veronica strives to remember why she abandoned humanity for wolfdom, David becomes determined to save her from her violent past.

But others are in danger and Veronica will have to act to protect her newfound pack.


It had been a mistake to be human yesterday, to sleep human in that barn. But after a long winter as wolf, she hadn’t been able to resist. Now there were consequences—the dreams haunted her.

She wanted the dreams. They gave her a brother who named her Veronica.

She didn’t want the dreams. Their violence disturbed her.

Had men always frightened her? She should know. But all she knew were wolf observations—the snow was beginning to melt and the days were longer—and wolf feelings. The she-wolf felt skittish this close to houses and cars.

She trotted, not allowing herself to dash in panic. Though the smells were wrong. Her nostrils quivered with gasoline and pollution, and even the distinctive musk of man. Her lip curled.

She moved forward. The smell turned abruptly to metal. Metal touched her paw and pain slammed down.

The bones crunched together. In her shock she yipped high, one time. Reflexively she pulled away, to no avail. She tried to make sense of the event. But it was happening again, this separation from her wolf’s body, as if it weren’t her own paw crushed between metal teeth, as if she were watching herself.

Her heart threw itself against her ribs and picked up speed, urging her to run. But when she pulled, the foot’s ligaments tore.

Think! She froze, crouching, ignoring the fire in her foot. Despite everything she’d lost, she was a thinking being. The trapper would find and kill the wolf. There was nothing for it but to turn human.

And freeze to death.

With a will that threatened to break, she forced herself to look at the trap, to touch it with the other forepaw. Possibly she could shift to human and use her left hand to free the broken one. She closed her eyes and worked her way towards a shift. But it was too soon. The panic would not allow any kind of focus and her body, with the temperature falling below zero, resisted the change.

She heard whining. Her throat betrayed her with a noise she couldn’t quite stop. To struggle all winter, to look forward to spring and the chance to be human again, and then to end like this. To stay wolf would get her killed.

It was dusk. No one, surely, would come till tomorrow. She had time to calm down, to concentrate on the change she must make.

Numb with pain and lack of circulation, her captured paw began to freeze. Her brain refused to focus on the shift. The whining didn’t stop though she tried to close her throat.

Time, she repeated to herself, when she could think that clearly. Panic does not last forever.

Then she smelled man.


Spring was late this year, which suited David Hardway just fine. He didn’t always get to snowshoe in mid-March and he’d set out this morning for one last hurrah. Soon the snow would be gone and visitors—the human kind—would invade the park. He didn’t consider himself a visitor, even if he lived and worked in southern Ontario. He’d grown up near Canoe Park and he allowed himself a proprietary sense of place.

He loved being here, even in drizzle, like the freezing kind that had just ended. Not that his snowshoes would be useful for much longer in these conditions. Good thing the truck was nearby. Just when he picked up speed, an animal cried out, high-pitched with pain. David stopped in his tracks. He waited to hear it again and perhaps locate it.

The park remained silent, except for the occasional car passing by. David turned and walked, straining to catch the sound of an animal in distress. The whining was so soft, it took a minute to register.

He listened carefully, then broke through the bush to make his way towards the creature. This wasn’t a poor-me sound, this was an I-hurt-bad sound.

The whining stopped. As he came upon a narrow deer path, he saw a wolf jerk, trying to get away.

It couldn’t. Its leg was caught in a trap. He moved closer. The trap was steel-jawed, not rubber-lined. This creature was doomed to death, not radio-collar and research. Or had been. He was going to change that. And report this to the park. Goddamn traps. He set aside his anger and focused on the quivering wolf.

“Hey,” he called.

It whined. Its entire body cowered, ears flattened, while its lips pulled back into a snarl.

“That’s right. Don’t go down without a fight. The thing is, I’m on your side.”

He crouched, not close enough for it to bite, and it growled and snarled, showing its teeth.

“Good. You haven’t been here too long if you’re willing to fight, right?”

It shut off its threats, as if realizing they were futile. Its eyes pleaded with him.

“I bet that hurts like hell. Those damn things usually break the paw. Listen, I want you to get used to me for a minute while I figure out how I’m going to help you.”

Its skinny body trembled. This past winter it hadn’t prospered. Shoulders jutted and the coat was decidedly lackluster. Despite its large size, he thought it too delicate to be male, but maybe that was just starvation.

He swore, though softly, so as not to alarm the wolf. Her large gold eyes seemed to glow at him, and he stared back, waiting for her to break eye contact.

After a time, she did. He had to establish the upper hand, though that in itself would not free the wolf from the trap.

“These traps are illegal, you know. The park is supposed to protect you guys, not kill you.”

She whined.

“That’s right. I want to help. Let me free you before the trapper comes back with his shotgun. Or before that paw of yours is ruined. Your life isn’t going to amount to much if you lose a paw.”

He edged forward, still out of reach of those teeth. She didn’t move. He opened his bag and took out his thick gloves. They wouldn’t fully protect his hands from a wolf bite, but they’d help.

He pulled them on. “My name’s David.”

As he approached, she began to shake again.

“Easy.” He braced for her to rush at him. Her whole body was vibrating. But she just stayed there, ears laid flat, crouched as low to the ground as possible.

Carefully, he placed his left snowshoe on top of her body. Not a lot of weight, but enough to prevent her from lunging at him.

She froze, whimpered.

“If you hurt me, I won’t be able to help you, okay?”

She wouldn’t look at him now, though her constant low whine wound through his nerves.

He talked, repeating himself, about friendship and help and trust, commiserating with her pain, making his voice a low, soothing vibration as he reached for the wolf’s damaged paw, always aware that she could snap at him.

He examined the metal trap and found the release. His sister’s boyfriend had demonstrated how they worked. In order not to further damage the paw, he moved as little as possible as he clipped the mechanism open and pulled the teeth apart. He eased her paw free and snapped the trap shut again so it wouldn’t clamp onto another unsuspecting animal. Winter had been hard enough for the four-legged without traps to worry about.

Moving slowly and deliberately, he backed away, taking his weight off her, retracing his steps so he was a good five feet from her.

She didn’t stir.

“If you were a dog, I’d take you into my sister’s to fix that paw. Are you going to get up and return to your pack?”

She lay still and he walked around to see that her eyes were closed, as if she was unconscious.

Damn. Now she might freeze to death, if the trapper didn’t come back and shoot her first. He wished his sister were here with a tranquilizer.

Once again he inched towards the wolf and after five minutes of ever increasing physical proximity, which included touching her pretty much all over, he concluded that she—definitely a she—was out cold.

Well, he might be an idiot to carry a wild, unsedated animal, but he couldn’t leave her. He bent down, lifted her over his head and placed her on his shoulders so her legs hung down in front. With his heavy load, he trudged towards his truck. For a skinny wolf, she was big. In fact, now that he had a moment to think about it, her large frame and black fur were unlike the park wolves he’d seen.

“Where are you from, girl?” he murmured. “We’re off to my sister’s, in case you’re wondering. Nell will look after you.”

Nell was a vet and though she’d scold David for being a stranger, she had a soft heart. She’d help.

The trap, he’d report later. He hoped they nailed the bastard who’d set it.

Jorrie Spencer
Coming soon: Puma

28 July 2008

SciFi Saturday--They're Doing What Where?

The York Emporium, York PA's premier retailer of used books (250,000 and counting) and stuff will host SciFi Saturday, a celebration of science fiction and fantasy, this Saturday, August 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be author signings, blooper reels (with popcorn!), a visit from NASA, stand-up comedy, an art show and meeeeee! I'll be one of the authors signing. At least, I don't think I'll be contributing to the comedy or the bloopers, but you never can tell.
I don't think they meant to invite me. A friend of mine, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, signed on to promote a host of books, including Bad-Ass Fairies, Vols. 1 & 2, and she made the huge mistake of asking me to hang out. But call me The Woman Who Came To Dinner--er, Signing. Now, after everything I've read about SciFi Saturday, wild horses couldn't drag me away.
If you're lucky--or maybe terribly, terribly UN-lucky--I might even read from the mad, bad siren story I've been working on. Anti-heroines, bounty hunters and sirens who sing about strudel--who could ask for anything more? There's even a romance...sort of.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Better yet--be there!
Cheers and confetti
Jean Marie

The House My Father Built

My father was many things in his life: He was perhaps best noted as one of the men who built the infamous Texas Schoolbook Depository. Camelot truly ended for me on the day he died. November 22, 1996. On the same day JFK died.
My dad was a carpenter, a machinist, a mechanic, a brick mason, and a sniper during World War II. He was sixteen when he joined up. The war wasn’t going well for the allies then and they weren’t paying much attention to the age of the boys who signed up. They sent my dad to the South Pacific. They handed him a rifle, shoved him up a tree and told him to shoot anyone who came near. He did.
But most of all, my dad was the quintessential tough guy. He was an Indian James Dean, complete with leathers and a 1947 Harley Davidson Indian Chief. I remember riding on the back of it when I was little. And if I look closely at the inside of my right calf, I can still see the little scar from where I burned my leg on the exhaust pipe.
Even as he had grown into relatively comfortable middle age, he was still a tough guy. Take for example, the time we were on our way home from my step sister’s wedding. A drunk stepped out of the darkness and right in front of our 1970 Plymouth Fury while we were travelling down the highway at a good 60 mph. I have a distinct recollection of my father saying with an almost cheerful lilt to his voice, “Hang on.”
I remember the car going up on its side as he swerved to avoid the man. I heard the awful screeching of tires, felt myself slam against the passenger’s side door. I heard my step mom gasp as her hand plunged into the box of leftover wedding cake she was holding. I was sitting next to the window, so when the car spun to miss the drunk, it also went up on two tires, and on my side of the car. I remember screaming when I saw pavement just inches from the window, and my face was pressed right up against the glass, so for a horrific moment I was sure my right cheek was going to get ground off. It didn’t occur to me that I would have been a dead duck if the car flipped over. My adolescent vanity was on the line. I couldn’t go through life with my face hidden beneath a brown paper bag.
Then the car somehow uprighted itself and we were jolted back into our seats. Dad drifted the car (what we used to call power sliding) and came to a stop in the middle of the highway in the opposite direction. I heard my dad swearing profusely as he tried to get the seatbelt off so he could beat the shit out of the befuddled looking man standing in front of our headlights.
The car did not touch the man who caused all the mayhem. He stood placidly in the center of the highway as our Fury did a crazy two tired dance all around him. Once the madness was over, he simply staggered away, while my dad lost the fight with the jammed seat belt.
That guy had no idea how lucky he was.
Why am I telling you this? Because my dad built a house that was distinctly and frightenly haunted, and he didn’t believe it until one night when, well that’s getting ahead of the story, isn’t it?
Actually, the original house that we moved into was haunted. It was a tall white old ship of a house, antebellum in style without the heavy Classical columns, but had slender posts on either side of the wide veranda that swept across the porch like an old gray hull, almost as if someone had put them there as an after thought. I hated this house. Its very presence disturbed me. It was like living in Norman Bates’ house. I wanted out as soon as we moved in. I even called my aunt in Oak Cliff begging her to adopt me. With so many kids and step kids around, I reasoned, nobody would notice me gone.
A few nights after playing ‘spin the car,’ my step brother Wayne woke me. He motioned for me not to make a sound but to follow him. We went into the living room and watched in stunned silence as the front door opened. You could distinctly hear boots on the aged linoleum as whatever it was walked passed us, down the hall way leading out of the living room. It opened Zack and Eddy’s door, then Mark and Wayne’s door, and then opened the fine French doors leading toward Mom and Dad’s room opened at the end of the hall. The footsteps disappeared after that.
One might account for this anomaly as the house settling, that the doors were not properly shut or even that the floor itself was unlevel. What we couldn’t account for as we stood in the living room and watched all this occur was the distinct impression that something walked past us.I knew this with the same certainty as if I was walking down the street and someone passed me by.
Of course we had to tell our folks about this. And of course, Dad thought that we were just kids and given to flights of fancy. We were given extra chores because we obviously didn’t have enough to keep us occupied.
This old house was torn down in favor of building a new one. Once the new house was built, I reasoned, the unexplained weirdness would stop. Or so it would seem.
Instead, the new house was more haunted than the old one. And my step brother and I weren’t the only ones who experienced strange things.
I could tell you all about the weirdness of this house, but there’s not enough time. I will tell you that late one night my brother Zack and I came home from poker game (not the same one where we spotted the UFO with the rod knocking) and we could hear voices and laughter coming behind the closed living room door. We also saw a light on as well, a very bright light that shone through the crack below the door. I flung it open, hoping to make a grand entrance; it was as if I had popped a balloon. There was a distinct crackling sound. The lights went out and everything was dark and silent. My brother touched the television. It was cold. It had been off for hours. Our parents were the only ones in the house and they were both sound asleep at the far end of the house.
My step brother Mark had a terrifying experience when he came home from work late one night. His room, by the way, seemed to have the most activity. It was always cold in there, even in the summer. And voices and strange sounds came from it as well. I’m actually having goose bumps thinking about that room. Anyway after he came home from his job as a night dispatcher for a trucking company, he took a shower and went to bed. Just as he was about to switch off the light he saw someone standing at his window. He grabbed a baseball bat, ran out of the house through the garage which was adjacent to his room, and ran outside to smack the intruder around.
When he got to his window, there was no one there. Puzzled, he looked down at the ground. It had rained earlier in the evening so there surely should have been footprints. The back yard was open space so if someone was at his window, Mark surely would have seen them running away.
It scared my step brother so badly he slept in the living room after that.
So when this incident was duly reported at breakfast my father replied that my step brother was a candy ass who saw his reflection in the window and panicked. Mark swears that was not the case. He was certain someone was standing at that window. And I believe him because I saw someone—or something—standing there one night myself. And so did Zack. He described it as a white form hovering in front of the window. Sometimes he saw it from his bedroom window or even in the front yard.
We told our father who just laughed and said we were wussies..
I wanted to move out. I begged them to sell the house after one particularly terrifying night when I woke from a sound sleep feeling something stroking my hair. Dad wouldn’t budge. He wasn’t about to relinquish his house to no haint.
I couldn’t stay there any longer. I was 19 with a job, and had friends who didn’t mind taking me in. So I left. By the way. these incidents went on for a number of years. The car accident happened when I was 14. I bailed from the house 5 years later.
The coupe de grace came when my parents were awakened by something odd going on in their room. They never said what ‘odd’ thing was going on, but they did tell me about the blue white light illuminating the bottom of the closet. It was a brilliant light, the kind of light you see a welding machine make.
The closet doors were and slatted and rolled on a slot. You know the kind. You probably have closet doors like that yourself.
My parents sat on the edge of the bed perplexed as to what was causing the light. It wasn’t coming from the window. The streetlight was busted out years ago and the window was curtained and shut. The lights were out in the house. There was no light in the closet, and yet the bottom of the closet shone that eerie blue white glow.
My dad got up and opened the closet door. The light went out as far as the door opened, but the back of the closet and the sides remained illuminated.
Dad closed the door and the light followed the closet door and remained there.
My parents sat up the rest of the night watching the light. It faded after sunrise.That morning, my father, the skeptic, the tough guy, the former biker and Veteran and proud Kiowa warrior put the house up for sale. They moved out a few months later. He never showed an instant of fear. When I asked him why he decided to leave he simply shrugged and said it was time to move on.
To this day we still don’t know what the light was or what caused it. Nor do we know who or what the thing in Mark’s window was, or what was sitting on my bed stroking my hair.
My husband and I pass by that house every now and then, and every time we go by we notice someone new is living in it. And every time we pass it by, I urge my husband to drive just a little faster.
I was going to post a picture of it, but for some weird reason the picture I wanted to post seems to have disappeared. I’m still scratching my head over that. The pic was in the album just a few days ago. Ah well if I find it I’ll post it later.
~Happy Hauntings

27 July 2008

Thanks to those who tormented me

The Ankh of Isis has been out for almost two weeks. It's the last release I have contracted - which means I need to write faster! Things have been busy here, between trying to find a full-time job for the fall, and getting through my summer college courses, that I'm still not done the first draft of the next book in the series. But I soldier on.

Anyway, yesterday, I read on a friend's blog that she had received a message on Facebook from an old "friend" from school. The note was light and friendly, like these two were best friends, old chums. My friend had no idea how to respond, because she saw history from a different point of view - this person who sent the note had tormented her through school.

I told her to respond politely, and let it go. I can give this advice because I've taken it myself. My friend, like me, did not fit in well at school. She had a undiagnosed genetic disorder which caused her to be thin, ill-looking, with sallow skin and bad teeth most of her life (she's since gotten medical attention and looks great now). My genes played with me as well - my father's bad eyes and my mother's tendency for weight gain. No matter that I played soccer, softball, and took dance lessons until I was twelve, after the age of seven or so I put on weight. I couldn't have gotten my mother's good eyes and father's tendency to stay thin (my middle sister was blessed with the thin genes) - no. Like my friend, I was teased and tormented most of the way through school. Painful memories, an lots of doubts and feeling badly about myself.

Eventually, somewhere around late High School, I found my niche - the drama club.

There were advantages to this life of teasing, which I've only discovered as an adult, and to which I tell my friend she should also say thank you to those who tortured her as a child. First of all, it wasn't like I had no friends at all. And the ones I had were true, not transient or the cliche-based, fair weather kind. I still talk to most of them.

Secondly - "those" people peaked back then. It's all been downhill for them since. I've seen them, and for some it's just sad. Not for all, some have done well (bastids). Meanwhile, we've risen. Much like how geeks run the world. Those that were picked on for being smart or tech and science minded - they have all the money, duh! Most actors, if you ask them, were part of this club of the tormented when they were younger. Many of us went into the arts, and we're making our mark. Where are they?

Third - those that broke us down in school helped turn us into the strong, independent, creative people we are today. They're not totally responsible, we did a lot of the work ourselves, but without them we wouldn't be who we are today. I probably wouldn't be writing.

And I rather like me. So while I've let all that pain go (finally), I say thanks to those who helped to shape me into me.

I told my friend to let it go and respond politely. Being gracious is the best revenge, right after being successful.

Have a great weekend!


26 July 2008

Chinatown and San Francisco – looking ahead

A week from now, I (and several thousand other romance writers) will be in San Francisco.  By next Saturday, we’ll be wrapping up our days of seminars and workshops, and will hopefully have made good friends with the bartenders.  We’ll have bonded over cosmos and coffee, and made new friends over rubbery banquet chicken and authentic Dim Sum.  And we’ll be getting ready for what for most of us will be our final night in the City by the Bay, the night of the Rita and Golden Heart awards.

My flight arrives in San Fran early Wednesday, and I’ll have a few hours to sightsee before the conference really begins and I forget to sleep.  I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to spend those few hours, and what I would like to see.  I don’t often make it to the west coast (translation – this is the first time I’ve made it to the west coast!), and there’s quite a list of things I’d like to do.   But one idea kept jumping up and waving its arms like a third grader who’s been passed over for dodgeball a few times too many and is afraid to get left on the sidelines again.  Chinatown, and all its mysterious wonders, lie just over 2700 miles away from my front door.  I can’t wait to walk those famous streets.

I’ll be tweeting the conference (that’s live updates!), and making the occasional blog post when time allows.  And “networking”, the proper term for what goes into all those hours at the bar.  Maybe even attend a workshop or two.  I’ve got several hours Friday morning when I’ll be working the editor / agent appointments, and a few parties to attend (1 Wednesday, 2 Thursday, one Friday, Two Saturday).  And the whole time, I’ll be surrounded by some of my favorite people in the world – my fellow readers, at the literacy signing on Wednesday, and authors.

If you’re going to be in SF, I hope I see you somewhere along the way.  And if you’re not, I’m going to have some goodies to give away when I get back.  My next post here at Beyond The Veil will have a Paranormal Giveaway, with some fabulous books donated by my favorite authors.  Come back August 23 and see what I’ve got to share!

23 July 2008


Hello, everyone! I am absolutely thrilled to be a member of Beyond the Veil and there is not a better day for my first post than the day after my new release!!

Now, I realize that Beyond the Veil is all about paranormal, and Deception is a romantic suspense, but I do write paranormal. In fact, I have a vampire romance out now with Samhain titled Night Song.

So, here's the nitty gritty on my newest release and at the bottom will be a little tidbit about my paranormal. I look forward to posting regularly here and you can enjoy my posts on my blog, as well. Come visit me at my website too.

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: Category
Price: 4.50

The true threat lies within the heart…

Kate McAuley once thought Lucas Barone loved her, and returned that love for all she was worth—until the day he walked away without a word. Now, four years later she answers a knock on her door and finds Luke on her doorstep, broken, bleeding and unconscious. He brings with him all kind of emotions, and all kinds of questions. Where has he been? Why did he leave? And what’s an accountant doing with wounds like these?

As a covert ops specialist with the U.S. government, Luke deceived, betrayed and conned so many people he couldn’t keep them straight—except Kate. Their time together was magical, until the call came and he was forced to walk away. For four long years, memories of her have kept him alive and sane. Now, hunted by his own government, desperate and injured, Kate is the only one he can trust.

Kate’s innocent phone call for help sets in motion an evil that reaches the highest echelons of political power. With accusations of murder and treason hanging over their heads, it’ll take every ounce of Luke’s training, intelligence—and Kate’s trust—to keep them alive.

Buy from MBaM

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novella
Price: 3.50

He’s a centuries old vampire who doesn’t do domestication. She’s a single mother struggling to survive. Evil brings them together, but will their love be enough to keep them alive?

Read More

Buy from MBaM

Chatting today at The Haunt at PNR!

I'll be talking faeries today over on The Haunt at PNR, starting around noon. Come on over for excerpts, prizes and fun!

17 July 2008

Romance Divas annual “Not Going to Conference” Conference

The Romance Divas annual Not Going to Conference Conference will make you feel a bit less deprived!

Amazing workshops, a star-studded guest list and awesome giveaways, all on the Diva forum! Don't miss it!

Coordinated by Seeley deBorn!

Here's a bit of a schedule update for the Q&As and Workshops...

Wednesday, July 30 Paula Guran, Editor, Juno Books Q&A on Creating Kick a** Heroines Laurie Rauch, Editor, Samhain Publishing Workshop on What Happens After the Contract (aka Editors are People Too!)*

Thursday July 31 Joyce Hart, Hartline Literary Q&A on Inspirational Romance Stories and the Inspy Market Sandra Schwab, Historical Romance Author Workshop on Historical Accuracy and Anachronisms

Friday, August 1 Yolanda Sfetsos, Author of Guarded by Stone Q&A on Paranormal and Urban Fantasy World Building Katie MacIver, KatieDidDesign Workshop on Website Design and Color Selection

Saturday, August 2 Joey W. Hill, Erotica Author Workshop on Plotting Erotica and Erotic Romance Rhonda Stapleton, Editor and Author Workshop on Style and Voice

2008 Romance Divas Not Going to Conference Conference

Excited yet?
How about if I list some door prizes?
  • What Gwen said" mug donated by Gwen Hayes
  • 3-chapter critique of a YA by Simon Pulse author Rhonda Stapleton
  • 3-chapter critique of a YA, chick lit, or rom com by Golden Heart Finalist Amanda Brice
  • An ebook of your choice from Nell Dixon's backlist
  • An ebook of either Second Sight (paranormal romance) or Dragons' Choice (fantasy romance - dragon-shifters) from Debbie Mumford
  • Ten dollar Amazon gift certificate from Jodi Henley
  • Lush stuff from Seeley deBorne
  • e-book copy of Chasing Shadows from Erin Richards
  • Paperback copy of Iron Horse Rider OR Smiling Eyes from Adelle Laudan
  • Book thongs from Angeleque Ford
  • 3 chapter critique from Sela Carsen
  • winner's choice of ebook copy of "Not Quite Dead" or "Heart of the Sea" by Sela Carson
  • e-book copy of HEATWAVE by Eden Bradley
  • e-book copy of BREAKING SKYE by Eden Bradley
  • a box of goodies, trade and paperbacks, bath products candles, etc... All for a fun and relaxing home spa day treat. courtesy of The Midnight Moon Cafe
  • 1 download each of Natasha Moore's Samhain books, The Ride of Her LIfe and The Passion-Minded Professor
  • a copy of "Painted Soul" by Mary Quast
  • e-book copy of HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX by Jenna Bayley-Burke - Samhain
  • e-book copy of PAR FOR THE COURSE by Jenna Bayley-Burke - Samhain
  • e-book copy of FOUND by Jenna Bayley-Burke - Wild Rose Press
  • e-book copy of NIGHT OF INSPIRATION by Jenna Allen - Phaze
  • e-book copy of ON AGAIN by Jenna Allen - Phaze
  • $10 gc to Amazon from Kendal Corbitt
  • ebook Vampire Oracle: Harmony by MG Braden
  • Ebook ARC, Art of Sensuality by Jax Cassidy
  • Plus a lovely bar of wonderful Chagrin Valley hand made soap, Caramel Pralines jar candle, handmade jewelry, Tarot readings, a Lush box for European Divas/Dudes, a $10 Fictionwise gc and much more!

16 July 2008

Mac N Cheese for Writers

Saw a blog recently about Reality TV and writers, the thesis of which was that reality TV has a lot in common with romance novels because it tends to have assorted "ordinary" characters, a hook and an HEA (and HEA for somebody, albeit not necessarily somebody deserving). The original blog entry was more detailed than that, but I couldn't help thinking about it when I chanced upon a program on FoodTV last night about 5 chefs competing to make the best mac n cheese. In all honesty, I didn't WANT to be up near midnight with thoughts of mac n cheese in my head, but I was hoping the program would bore the baby to sleep and I could either write or sleep myself. Instead, I got sucked into the drama and characterization and remained intent on the screen even after the baby konked out.

The 5 chefs were:

1) Young chick with v. short dark hair who loved local food and organics. She wore a barrette in her hair and seemed confident in her ability to win. In the confessionals chosen for viewing, she criticized the judges more than once.

2) Slightly older chick with v. short dark hair who seemed gloomy. Luckily for viewers, she did not wear a barrette to avoid confusion with #1, but she also seemed confident she would win. She was not always pleased with the judges and questioned the choices of other contestants.

3) Young man with a buzz cut and piercings who seemed enthusiastic and frazzled by the whole process. He did not act as if it was his right to win, though he did have a few stinging things to say about the judges.

4) Older dude who didn't have much personality but apparently owned a restaurant. He seemed very efficient. He made the least impression on me but won the competition.

5) Older lady who was full of good cheer and seemed to be having a fantastic experience -- she was a self identified Southern cook and used lots of collard greens. I wanted to go to her house for dinner.

You can tell which chef was my favorite, which one I was rooting for. #5. Why? Because she didn't criticize the other contestants, because she seemed to be having a good time, and because she lacked pretention. At least--in the confessionals we were shown.

As a writer, I found it interesting to observe how these confessionals were used to create character. I'm sure there was countless footage that wasn't used. With hours of stuff to pick through, the creators had to choose which comments to share, what character traits to emphasize, what scenes to give airtime, and so on, taking into account the format of the show and the need to display certain elements like the judging process. The time was divided amongst the participants, too--yet another restriction on what footage could and couldn't be used.

The creators leaned towards action and reaction scenes to build interest and plot. They liked sound bytes where the character in question was being angry, passionate or funny. There wasn't a lot of "Gosh I like cheese, let me tell you about my love for cheese" type stuff. They only showed action, such as chopping, stirring or tasting, if there was additional action or reaction to go along with it, like a character voice-over saying how he or she was frantic at that point or a judge staring at the chopper while voice-overing that so and so was painful to watch.

In the end, I came away from the show with a relatively clear idea in my own head what these characters' personalities were, for the most part, even though I started watching about 15 minutes into the program, missing what I'm sure were the introductions.

How as writers can we hone in on just the right scenes and snippets to display character in our novels?

1) Remember that viewers want to see action.

2) They also want to see reaction.

3) Include crucial plot scenes (like judging) and write them in a way that makes them feel important (add voice overs, quick scene cuts, tension, background music, facial expressions, etc.)
4) Make sure all scenes work doubly hard, with voice overs (deep third POV, perhaps?), chronological tension and layers.

5) Be aware of the characters' more prominent personality traits and focus on those. In a novel characters might grow and have arcs, but in the hour tv show, the creators were careful to select confessionals that portrayed the chefs consistently. My favorite, #5, was cheery in all her scenes, even when she was in round 2 and making her gourmet mac n cheese with all the little fiddlly bits and sauces. The less likeable contestants were consistently gloomy or snarky or competitive in their confessionals.

Characterization can make or break a novel...or a TV show. And that's my important sounding pontification for the day.

Jody Wallace
SURVIVAL OF THE FAIREST--Available now, Samhain Publishing

14 July 2008

New Sales & Toadstools for Jody

First, my news, then a little garden fun... I've just sold a novella titled One & Only to Samhain. It's the first in my out-of-print vampire series that has been rewritten and expanded from a measly 3,500 words to somewhere around 23,000 words. It should be out sometime later this year. Stay tuned to my website for more information!

I should also mention my upcoming release - Jaci's Experiment - will be out on August 5th. Get ready! I also noticed that three of my upcoming print books are now available for pre-order through Amazon: Sweeter Than Wine, Davin's Quest, and also FireDrake. They won't be out until the ends of October, December and March, respectively, but Amazon's getting a jump start and at sale prices too! ;-)

Now, in honor of Jody's upcoming release, I promised to share a little garden tidbit passed down in my family. Gnomes and fairies are said to inhabit fairy rings of toadstools. (Check upcoming installments of "Legends & Lore" on my blog on 7/19 & 7/26 for the lodown on toadstools and fairy rings.) There's something particularly magical about the poisonous red toadstools with white dots.

If you want those magical 'shrooms in your garden, but don't actually want the danger of poisonous fungus, here's a way to make your own garden statuary mushrooms! You'll need a couple of bowls of varying depths and sizes, some plastic wrap, old newspaper red and white paint, cement and a few sturdy dowels or stick. Here's how you do it:

- Line the inside of the bowls with plastic wrap so that the edges hang over and you have something to pull on when you want to remove your newly-formed toadstools.

- Then line that with a layer of old newspaper to help soak up some of the liquid from the cement.

- Mix your cement and pour it into your "molds" - the paper and plastic lined bowls. Make some shallow and some deep to vary what your toadstools will look like when done.

- Poke a hole in the bottom of each one where the dowel or stick will sit when it's dry. You can even leave the sticks/dowels in while they dry. Push them deep enough so that they have a good grip on the toadstool, but not so deep that they will poke out of the top.

- Let them set. Probably overnight.

- When they're hard enough, pop them out of the molds and remove the plastic and paper. Let them dry fully.

- Paint them red. I use acryllic craft paint available in most stores. The outdoor kind is better, but all acryllic paint is waterproof after it's dry, so the cheap stuff works fine too. ;-) Let the red coat dry. Reapply if you need to make them redder or cover any bald spots. Let them dry completely.

- Paint white dots over the red. Let dry.

- Position them in your garden. Little clumps of them with a gnome in front is precious!

Best of luck to Jody with her new release!!!

Bianca D'Arc
Come over to The D'Arc Side... http://www.biancadarc.com/

11 July 2008

Music to my ears...and a CONTEST!

Hello BtV fans!

I'm far from home dealing with multiple family health crises this week, so I don't have much to add to the slew of excellent posts we've had over the last month. If you've missed anything, I urge you to go back over the archives. It's worth the trip.

A new bright spot in my life is that an old friend of mine has returned to her first love - making music - and she's graced two of my titles with custom-written instrumental songs! For your listening pleasure, go here to listen to "Abhainn's Groove", which is an homage to "Abhainn's Kiss"; and "Night Ride", a tribute to "Beaudry's Ghost".


The faboo writing team of Wilder, Ivey & Kelly are giving away a FREE print copy of our In The Gloaming anthology on the Erotic Romance Writers site. Enter today! Deadline is July 13.

10 July 2008

13 Reasons I'm Excited about My Upcoming Book Release

My second novel, SURVIVAL OF THE FAIREST, comes out from Samhain on Tuesday, July 15, 2008. That's less than a week! Here are the reasons I'm thrilled about this, some obvious and some not so obvious:

1) Because I'll start getting checks. Woohoo, more gas for the mini-van to suck down like it has a leak in the tank. ( I don't *think* it has a leak in the tank. I've checked and so has my mechanic.)
2) Because everyone needs to be warned about the dangers of evil wild gnomes. Srsly. (Two links.)

3) Because I love Vegas-set paranormals and think there should be more of them...so here's one more. It's such a rich, exciting setting with so many possibilities beyond gambling, stripping and CSI.

4) Because maybe after the book is available for purchase, I can quit worrying about it and wrap up my next book.

5) Because it's a great excuse to buy more garden gnomes and place them strategically around my house, both inside and out. Yeah, the neighbors think I'm weird, so what?

6) Because the contests and giveaways are going to be FABULOUS! Anyone want to win a hand-crocheted gnome? Well, you can, as soon as I figure out how to attach their little butts.

7) Because the hubby and kids are tired of left-overs and quick-cook dinners. (Which is unfortunate, because that isn't likely to change...)

8) Because I loved writing about the hero (Jake Story) and I can't wait to see if readers love him, too. He's sexy but doesn't abuse it, he's devoted to his mama but isn't whipped by it, and he has a kind of mental flexibility that's very attractive in a human. He accepts people for who they are without expecting them to change. At the same time, there is this scene when he and the heroine are in a diner that might explain man-think for anyone who's been confused about the grunts uttered by the men in their lives.

9) Because I loved writing the heroine (Princess Talista) and I can't wait to see if readers love her, too. She's stubborn (but not TSTL), she's quick-thinking, and she's willing to roll with the punches life throws at her -- and has gotten pretty handy at punching back. She wants to experience everything the human world has to offer, which includes Jake Story. At the same time, she's a far cry from a Mary Sue and has a character arc that would mature a horse. I mean, if horses were immature in the same way people are immature.

10) Because I loved writing the many and varied secondary characters in this novel, including a priggish Elder Court hottie who might need his own romance, a magician's assistant who likes his bodices sparkly and his men in tight pants, a surly villain who ended up being more devious, and more relatable, than I ever expected, and Jake's grandfather Pap who... Well, I don't know how to explain Pap.

11) Because the book's incipient release meant I finally got my cover, and it is AWESOME.

12) Because now I have a "backlist"! I have the book that just came out...and another book, A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH, also available from Samhain for anyone who enjoys SURVIVAL OF THE FAIREST. (Of course, I also have several novellas with Red Sage, but I’m talking about stand-alone novels.)

13) Last but not least, because the book's release spurred me to redesign my antique website. I'd been cabbaging a site design from my cat for an embarrassing number of years. Now my website combines my two writing "halves", has neato pop-up windows and drop-down menus, features lots of interesting trivia, and represents everything I write in a single space. Man, that was hard work, just like writing the book, but it was so worth it.

Hope you'll check them both out! And you don't have to wait until Tuesday the 15th to see my site :).

Jody Wallace
SURVIVAL OF THE FAIREST--Available 7/15 from Samhain Publishing

09 July 2008

Collective Unconscious

Partly due to Jean Marie's post, and partly due to some reading I've been doing, and partly, of course, due to the barest little glimmer of a plot point burbling around in my brain...I've been doing a lot of thinking about the Collective (sub)Conscious.

I don't mean Jung's theory of an objective psyche, pushing us toward our ideal self. Or Durkheim's idea of people being shaped by their society.

I sort of mean the Borg.

Only, the human version. The idea that we are all connected. We're all part of some larger awareness. The idea that every living thing on the planet, and the planet itself, link together to create...not a unimind (thank you Buzz Lightyear of Star Command), but a...storehouse of memories and experience which are accessible by everyone...if we only knew how.

So I found myself wondering...if there was a way to Bluetooth ourselves into each other's minds...to share, even just a small space of our minds with other people...a sort of giant meeting hall inside our own heads...would we?

Before you say no too quickly...how about a Bluetooth/glasses combo which allowed you Internet access wherever you might be? Isn't the Internet rapidly becoming a sort of 'collective consciousness'?

And what would happen if that consciousness grew a soul?

Yeah, welcome to my mind. No wonder my tagline is "I write weird" ;)

08 July 2008

Release day!

It's release day! I'm so excited - today is the day The Ankh of Isis (Library of Athena, Book Two), hits the shelves, so to speak, at Samhain!
It's the sequel to The Crown of Zeus, and the adventure is bigger, the stakes higher, the snakes more deadly!
Whoops, sorry, there weren't any snakes in the first book. But there's a great big one in this book, along with a little YA romance, and lots of sand and sun. It IS Ancient Egypt, after all.
I'm running a contest to celebrate the release, which you can read about over at my blog. I have four- blogger, LJ, Xanga, and MySpace -but you can find out about the contest at any one of them. If you're part of the Samhaincafe loop, keep an eye out for other release day contests too. AND I'll be doing something a little extra-special for those who belong to my personal loop - www.yahoogroups.com/groups/christinenorris .
Here's a wee-bitty excerpt...
“I rather like this temple,” Rachel said. “It’s got a certain…mysterious charm to it.”
“I’m surprised you like anything that reminds you of Ancient Greece,” Megan said with a teasing smirk. She wrapped an arm around her friend’s shoulders. “You would think you had had enough of it.”
Rachel feigned surprise. “I can’t imagine why you would say such a thing. I mean, I only helped you cut off a Gorgon’s head. Then I was forced to fly on the back of some mad mythical horse.”
“His name is Pegasus.”
“Whatever, it was perfectly terrifying. Then I was almost captured by some bull-man creature and eaten—”
“—and had to face a Sphinx who threatened to eat me if I didn’t answer her silly riddles.” She took a deep breath. “It doesn’t make the temple any less interesting.”
Megan snorted. “Well, when you put it that way…”
Tucked into the far corner, in the shadow of one of the columns, was a plain oak wooden door with a brass knob. Megan pulled the key from her pocket, put it in the lock and turned it. She swung the door open and allowed Rachel to enter.
Rachel’s voice echoed in the dark. “Brr. I’d forgotten how cold it is in here.”
“Bailey says it’s climate-controlled,” Megan explained. She flicked a switch, and torch-shaped electric lights came on to chase away the gloom. “The rocky cavern underneath the house keeps the books at precisely the right temperature and humidity levels to preserve the books.” She picked up two pair of white cotton gloves from a holder on the wall next to the door. She handed a pair to Rachel. “If you’re going to touch the books, put these on.”
“Why?” Rachel took the gloves. “We didn’t have to before.”
“We didn’t know any better last time. They keep the oils on our hands from damaging the paper.”
Rachel pulled on the gloves and took a few steps inside. The Library was an oak-paneled room three times the size of the temple outside. Polished wooden floors reflected pools of light. A wide, carpeted aisle ran down the center of the room and away into the distance; on either side stood row upon row of bookshelves, filled with more books than one could hope to read in three lifetimes.
Above them arched an elegant domed plaster ceiling. Today the dome looked like a perfect spring day—robin’s-egg blue with white fluffy clouds floating across it. It was sort of a timepiece. The ceiling would change as the day wore on, the clouds fading and the sky darkening until it was a deep, midnight blue, spattered with golden stars. A crystal chandelier, ten feet in diameter, hung from the top of the dome to cast its light over the room.
The Library of Athena. Megan thought there was something solemn, something sad about this big room. At the same time, she was glad it was here, a secret place that was just for her, as it had been for Sir Gregory. How many other people had their very own library, let alone one filled with books about magic?
And how many people believe in magic anyway? Anyone who came down here would probably be more interested in the scrolls or the rare first editions…or only editions, in some cases.Megan hadn’t believed in magic herself before her first-hand, near-death experience with it. Now she was a true believer, and she took her job protecting the Library seriously. She felt it was up to her to be responsible, to care for the Library as best she could.
Rachel walked slowly down the aisle, stopping to read the cards in brass holders mounted on the end of every case. The handwritten cards indicated what was shelved there.
“I don’t know what’s down here we could use for our papers,” Megan said.Rachel reached the fifth set of shelves, turned right and disappeared down the aisle.
“Rachel…” Megan said. She pulled the door shut and followed her.
Rachel hadn’t gone far; Megan found her in front of one set of shelves halfway down, scanning the titles.
“Looking for something in particular?” Megan asked, her suspicion reflected in her voice.Rachel picked three books from the shelf. “I’m doing my paper for Livingston’s class on Ancient Egypt,” she said. Rachel tucked the books beneath her arm and walked away from Megan, through the stacks.
Megan chased after her. “I think we should be careful about using books from here…”
Rachel shot a look over her shoulder. “Come on, Megan. There’s way better books here than at the school’s library. Who am I to pass up a great resource?” The stacks emptied into a narrow open area with several reading tables. Rachel pulled out a chair beneath the nearest one and sat.
She opened her pack and got a notebook and pen from inside. “The books are definitely more interesting here. I don’t want to turn in the same old boring paper everyone else has.”
Megan sat next to her. “Um, well, I guess you can look. Like I said, I don’t know what you can actually use. Some of these books you’d have a hard time explaining in the bibliography.”She picked up one of the books. “Like this one—Secret Spells of Ancient Egypt: A Translation of Papyrus found buried beneath the temple of Osiris.”
“What’s wrong with that?” Rachel said. She opened the notebook and started writing. “It’s not like hieroglyphs are some big secret. Everyone knows that the Egyptian priests used their own brand of magic. If you’re worried about me telling where I got it, I’ll just say I found a copy online at the British Museum or something.”
“No, you can’t lie. Livingston will see right through you. And I’m not worried about that. This copy is handwritten, by Sir Gregory, from a manuscript he personally discovered.” Megan said. She laid the open book down in front of Rachel. She pointed to the title page. “Look here, it says it was translated in 1936, by Sir Gregory Archibald.” She scanned the translation. “I’d love to see the look on Livingston’s face, but how would you explain it?”
Rachel’s face fell. “I see your point. Not that one, then.”

05 July 2008

Dream Plots

My late writing partner Teri Smith suffered horrific health issues, but they did have one unexpected benefit: painkiller dreams.

One problem or another was constantly sending her to the doctor or the emergency room. I’d call as soon as I received the bad word, worried about her condition—and evil person that I am, the progress of whatever story we were working on at the time.

“No problem,” she’d say. “They’ve got me on codeine [or Vicodin or Percocet]. We can talk now, and I’ll have something for you in the morning.”

“How?” I’d ask. I didn’t—and still don’t—take much in the way of painkillers. I’ve been prescribed codeine exactly three times in my life, and in every case I used it for less than 24 hours before I shifted back to over-the-counter meds.
“Oh, I’ll dream it.”

And she would. In living color and stereo, populated by our characters or characters from books, television or movies. She once dreamed an entire fanfic of Methos, from Highlander, The Series, in a Mexican cantina getting hit upon by a bar girl who hoped he’d take out her boyfriend for her. Other times it would be Looney Tunes Warner Brothers neglected to create. I think she even managed Smell-o-Vision once. I didn’t know you could smell in dreams. But Teri did.

My dreams, even on meds, were so much more prosaic. If I was worried about a presentation, I’d invariably dream myself naked behind the podium. I still run through the traditional Italian dream catalogue on a regular basis: bugs and rodents equal lots of little problems, dogs and cats equal bigger problems, while babies are full-scale disasters. Dead people give you friendly warnings and advice, but brides in white are harbingers of death.

Since my message dreams are invariably spot-on, they must be “true sendings” from what the ancient Greeks called the Gate of Horn. But I wouldn’t mind a “false dream” every so often, particularly if it had a plot and didn’t involve me falling from a great height. Teri’s Ivory Gate Productions were always so much more fun.

Now it looks like I’m going to get my chance. I’m on the calendar for a little surgery next week. Nothing major wrong with me. Nothing major about the surgery, either, but the doctor said to expect a fair amount of pain the first couple of days. And he prescribed Percocet.

Remember, I’m the girl who goes to sleep on half a codeine. Pain and Percocet will send me over the moon. Something tells me I’d better take a notebook with me to record the trip.

Wish me pleasant dreams.
Jean Marie

04 July 2008

Guest Blogger: D. McEntire

Please welcome D. McEntire, who is filling in for Gia Dawn while she recovers from surgery. Thanks for hanging out with us, D.!


Turn the page and enter a world where vampires walk among us though we, humans, are none the wiser. They have worked alongside humans for decades, adding their skills and compassion to the community. But, there are those among them who refuse to blend, refuse to follow the rules of society. They are rogue vampires―merciless killers of both humans and their own kind.

The Universe has a way of counterbalancing. Where there's a Ying, there's a Yang. Where there's Evil, there's Good, and where there are Rogues, there are Watchers─vampire warriors who hunt them.

Your journey into The Watchers Series begins in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Trigg is one Watcher among four in the Louisville Cell. He has two drives that keep him going each night. The first is to do his job as a Watcher. The second is to be left the hell alone.

Trigg's first drive isn't a problem, as he has been a Watcher for over fifty years. The second becomes more of a struggle when Robyn Andrews steps off a bus from Texas and onto city’s streets in the pouring rain.

It only took one look at the petite form huddled in the rain, counting a small stack of bills, to put a crack in his amour and chip away at his self-imposed solitude.

An act of kindness, which Trigg blames on a moment of temporary insanity, is repaid when Robyn jumps into a battle between himself and three Rogues without knowing she was not facing normal men. Her injuries force him to take her home...and into his heart, both of which he may never be able to undo.

Robyn came to Louisville to escape a deadly past. Can Trigg overcome his doubts of a relationship between a vampire and a human before her past catches up with her, or will he rebuild the crumbling wall around him and walk away?

The answers are in Midnight Reborn - The Watchers, Book One


Just as he arrived at Fourth Street, the block where the restaurant was located, a small figure amidst the crowd caught his eye. A waif of a girl was standing in the pouring rain while huddled over a small stack of bills, counting the cash. Suddenly, her shoulders slumped and she hesitated a few moments before shoving them into her back pocket.

With a slight shrug of her shoulders, she pulled the collar of her jacket closer to her neck and proceeded down the street, heading in his direction.

Trigg didn’t know why she had caught his attention. He had walked the streets of this city and cities like it night after night for what seemed like an eternity, hunting rogue vampires in an effort to protect humans and fellow, more civilized, vampires. Not once in all this time had he paid much attention to those around him, those he swore to protect. His focus was always on seeking out and eliminating Rogues.

Only a short while ago he had passed throngs of people on his walk to Fourth Street, but had paid them no mind. It wasn’t as if he had a particular dislike for humans, or others of his kind for that matter, he just didn’t want to deal with them. He wanted to do his job and be left alone.

What in the devil made him notice her? Unmistakably, he had felt something as he watched her, as if her sadness and despair, so evident in the way she carried herself, washed over him. Trigg scowled at himself for even thinking such a thing. He was just tired and needed to eat and get back to the Cell.

Turning away from the girl as she continued to make her way in his direction, he rounded the corner and walked to the door of the restaurant.

Copyright 2008 D. McEntire, All Rights Reserved

Watch the trailer!
Author web site: www.dmcentire.com

02 July 2008

Writing Speed

Dear Author had an interesting post the other day entitled The Punishing Publishing Schedule. It talks about the pressure to produce, from a reader's perspective. I thought that was rather interesting.

Personally, I would rather have a book a year with each book being the best that the writer can produce after having a year to contemplate the work than having a new book every six months and having quality suffer. But selfishly, I recognize that if more than a year passes, my desire or hunger to read more might wane. Lengthy absences can hurt word of mouth buzz, particularly for a new author. And, frankly, I love the back to back releases.

People do seem to agree that less than one to two books a year, and readers can lose interest in a series or forget about the author. People also seem to agree that one book a year per author used to be the norm. Reasons given for the change vary, from Nora Roberts to ebook publishing to I don't know what else.

I'm not a particularly fast writer, at one to two books a year, so this issue interests me. I do sometimes feel at a disadvantage. Some of my favorite authors (Laura Kinsale, Jennifer Crusie, Loretta Chase) don't put out multiple books a year. That said, I'm also a Nora Roberts fan and obviously she produces quality and quantity. So I certainly don't believe that slower writers automatically write better books. On the other hand, I suspect industry pressure (and frankly it is impossible for a writer, aspiring or published, to be unaware of it) does result in authors writing faster than their "natural" speed, whatever that is.

A while back, Sylvia Day raised this issue at Romancing the Blog in her column, Too Much of a Good Thing. She asked:

Is it possible that one day we’ll go to the bookstore and find the romance section filled with books penned by a small group of super-prolific authors leaving no room for those who write less swiftly?

I hope not! I'd like there to be many kinds of authors with many kinds of books. I've tried not to sound defensive in this post. Because I'm not fast. But aside from that, I also just find the whole writing process and how it varies fascinating. I've heard writers say they couldn't just write one or two books a year, as they'd get bored. Whereas I'd get bored writing more than that, because, for me, my books get more and more interesting, the longer I stay with them and revise them and dream about them. (Until the very end, when I've had enough and it's time for them to go out the door.)

So do you write fast or slow, or does it depend on the book? Do you mind if your favorite authors put out too few (or too many) books a year?