I’ve MOVED !! Look for me at EllieWrites2.com! :-)

I have this set blog set to automatically forward, however if you’re seeing this page it’s been a year since I’ve moved!

Find me now at:

 

EllieWrites2.com

Advertisements

My Favorite Books, #8 – Faking It by Jennifer Crusie

Love me some Jennifer Crusie!
Faking It Cover

While it is, on paper, a ‘sequel’ to Welcome to Temptation, this book is very much a stand alone. Funny, witty and with the heroine simply ‘putting up’ with the sex at the start , it’s a classic early Crusie turn-romance-conventions-on-their-heads story line.

The publisher’s weekly blurb:

Bestseller Crusie (Fast Women, etc.) takes readers on another smooth ride in her latest romantic caper. At the wheel this time is fab art forger Matilda Goodnight, whose chance encounter in a closet with cute con man/thief Davy Dempsey leads to madcap mayhem and breathless romance. He’s trying to steal back the money he filched from Clea Lewis, ex-girlfriend (and possible husband killer), who had taken it right back. Tilda just wants her last “Scarlet” painting, which Clea has bought to impress Mason Phipps, her rich art-obsessed beau. It’s the last of six forgeries Tilda did for Tony, her now deceased gallery-owner dad, and Tilda is determined to preserve her newly squeaky-clean reputation. Confused yet? It gets wackier, because the whole Goodnight clan and supporting cast are as enormously engaging as the loopy plot. There’s Tilda’s mother, Gwen; her sister, Eve/Louise, a split-personality teacher/diva; her gay ex-brother-in-law, Andrew; and her precocious teenage niece, Nadine. Add a host of shady characters and would-be hitmen, and the breezy plot thickens and puffs up like the light airy doughnuts all Goodnight women are attracted to but eventually forsake for muffins: “Muffins are for the long haul and they always taste good. They don’t have that oh-my-God-I-have-to-have-that thing that the doughnuts have going for them, but you still want them the next morning.” Finally, defying all odds, Crusie answers the burning questions she poses can liars and thieves fall in love, live happily ever after and stay out of jail? while confirming the dangers of dating doughnuts.

So many things are right with this book it’s hard to pinpoint a favorite. I think, if I had to give someone one reason to read it, aside from the aforementioned starting off with low-quality sex between the hero and heroine, I’d say, as a writer, it’s the depth and quality of the supporting characters.

Of course, now that I’m back in Ohio, picking a book set in Columbus isn’t a bad start either.

Six Symmetry

Very odd symmetry today.

Six days until my first novella is published.

Six years since my husband passed away.

On the one hand, I try to keep my ‘public’ life separate from my ‘private’ life. On the other, my private life, from colds to moving to being a single parent after my husband’s death clearly impacts my public life.

When there is an odd symmetry, like today, the lines clearly blur.

I never showed my writing to my husband. None of the romance, none of the urban fantasy. I wanted to wait until I’d learned the craft, had something ‘better’ to show him. So here I am with something better and no spouse to share it with.

Pretty much sucks any way you look at it.

My thill of being published is always tempered by the fact that he’s not around to share it with. I have no doubt he would have been supportive, he certainly was back when I started out, even though I wasn’t ready to share yet.

So, Steve, this one’s for you, an *unedited* mini-excerpt, just a line, from Ginny’s Capture:

You were, you are, the half that makes me more than whole.

Favorite Books #7 – The Blue Sword

Another YA book which I have re-read many times, The Blue Sword is a wonderful story of a girl who never quite fit in while growing up who finds herself loving a place so far away and very different from home. Soon she’s embroiled in local life far more than she or anyone one around her ever anticipated. The echo of British Empire in this novel appeals to me, as does McKinley’s character’s range of reaction to the land they find themselves in. And there’s a romance, too!

From the blurb at Amazon:

Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does.

Hope you give it a try!

10 Days and the Countdown Starts!

My first ever published story, Ginny’s Capture, drops in ten days.

Needless to say I’m beyond excited.

And anxious.

And worried.

To keep my mind busy, I’m coming up with a blog piece for each day from now to publication.

So. Ten.

Ten fingers, ten toes.

Heh. Not sure this is going to work.

Oh, I know, how about information I learned while doing research for the story. For instance did you know that UPS never, ever sells their used trucks? Yep, seriously. I have a scene where a box truck is part of the story line and I was trying to figure out how to describe a UPS-like truck without saying UPS. I thought if I read through a description of one for sale I’d come up with some ideas.

But they don’t sell them.

Ever.

Wikipedia has the most comprehensive statement on UPS Trucks, but if you google it yourself, you’ll see there are other sources which verify the information:

When UPS ground vehicles reach the end of their useful service life and are no longer roadworthy (typically 20–25 years or more, but generally when the body’s structural integrity is compromised), they are almost always stripped of reusable parts, repainted in household paint to cover up the trademark, and then sent to the scrapyard to be crushed and broken up. The only exception to this policy is when a package car is repainted white for internal use, usually at a large hub. Prior to scrapping, UPS trucks and trailers are assigned an ADA (Automotive Destruction Authorization) number and must be crushed under supervision of UPS Automotive personnel, which records the vehicle’s destruction, as UPS does not re-sell any of its ground vehicles.

So that was a bust in terms of descriptors, but very interesting nonetheless.

Whew, okay, post for today done. Better start thinking now about tomorrow. Nine, hmm….

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today is a kind of ‘listy’ sort of day, so here we go:

1) This is the final day to enter your comment for the Valentine’s Blog Hop give away. One lucky commenter will win a $10 Noble Romance gift card and one will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Contest ends at midnight eastern.

2) Tomorrow the Lesbian vs Zombies crew (most of the authors and our fabulous editor Ruby Green) will be over at Coffee Time Romances Chat from 9-11. LOTS of prizesm-including a FREE KINDLE for one lucky participant. Plus, I’m pretty sure every LvZ author who participates is planning to give away a copy of their story.

3) In less than 2 weeks my novella Ginny’s Capture will be released by Noble Romance as part of their Lesbians vs Zombies line. Hmm, thinking it might be time for an excerpt or two… 🙂

4) Be sure to visit other Bloghopspot participants, because it’s the last day to enter for prizes on all the blogs.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Valentine Blog Hop Contest

CONTEST IS CLOSED.

Winners can be found hereThank you to everyone who participated!

My first ever official ‘published author’ contest, yay!  🙂

I love entering online contests for books so, to celebrate the upcoming release (2/27) of Ginny’s Capture by Noble Press, I am taking part in

The Blog Hop Spot’s With Love Valentine’s Day Blog Hop.

The best part: there are over 200 authors offering all kinds of freebies/giveaways, most *just* for visiting their blogs and leaving a comment. First, comment here, *then* click on the link and see what strikes your fancy!

More on the contest:

Each of the participating author list on The Blog Hop’s Event Page is going to run a contest on their blog for readers to enjoy! Romance a plenty — each stop is offering a chance to for each reader to get swept away in love (and lust!) just in time for the Valentines Day. So make sure you stop by all the stops on the hop. I know you won’t be disappointed!

Terms, etc: Contest starts February 11, 2012 and ends February 14, 2012 at midnight. For the contest, I have TWO giveaways: ONE lucky commenter will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and ONE (different) lucky commenter will receive a $10 Noble Romance gift card. Kinda important: when leave your comment, please let me know if you have a preference for one or the other.

Contest is open to residents of Canada and the United States. Winners will be announced HERE on February 15 and have thirty days to claim their prize. I’ve made the contest SUPER easy to enter – you only need to comment – in turn I only ask you to come back and check to see if you’ve won. 🙂  (to be clear I will NOT be sending out emails to winners).

~~~~~

Hmm, heading over to check out the list… don’t be surprised if you see my name entered on a couple of the give aways! I love give aways.

Speaking of which, I’ll also be at the I Survived Valentines Day chat at Coffee Time Romance Erotic E-Loop with many of my fellow LvsZ authors on February 15 from 9-11 eastern. LOTS of free stuff there too, ebooks, swag, tshirts. So, on the 15th, once you’ve checked around on the blogs to see what you’ve won, come stop by and say hi! and maybe win something.

My Favorite Books #6 – Summers at Castle Auburn

Funny how that worked out. Reblogging #6 on the 6th! 😉
Summers at Castle Auburn Cover

While I love many Sharon Shin books – her Twelve Houses series floats frequently to the top of my re-read pile, I think in terms of craft and world building as well as character development this is my favorite book of hers.  The heroine’s journey from a naive, accepting youth to a thoughtful, discerning woman is wonderful. And the subtle build up of the romance is great.

Part of the blurb from Amazon:

As the illegitimate daughter of a royal lord, young Corie has the best of two worlds. She spends idyllic summers at Castle Auburn, home of her father’s family, and the rest of the year with her maternal grandmother, learning the healer’s craft. At the castle, Corie is groomed by her uncle for an eventual political alliance through marriage, though she is too dazzled by her handsome cousin Bryan, heir to the throne, to notice. As the summers pass, however, Bryan shows his true colors. The brash, arrogant youth matures into a cruel and self-centered man; a man unfit to be king, some say. At the same time, Corie’s eyes open to the misery of the magical aliora, whom she loves, but who are hunted for sport and enslaved by the nobility.

Yep, this one is a keeper!

My Favorite Books #5- Tamora Pierce

Since I can’t possibly pick just one book , this’ll have to be a favorite author day instead!

Tamora Pierce. Love her world building, love her strong women, love her girls growing up into strong women. Fickle gods, magic, mayhem. Yeah, they’re pretty good reads.

If I had to choose my favorite…probably Trickster’s Choice. Love the storyline. But then… for story crafting I really like Terrier. The subtle change and growth in the actual ‘journal’ as the story progresses is wonderful.

My *only* complaint is sometimes the story arc seem to rush towards the end, as if she already has her mind on other things and is ‘done’ with the story so she wraps it up. The Immortals Quartet was the one I found to be the most rushed. But maybe that was just me, wanting the story to last that much longer.

Be sure to check out her website. Lost of good stuff there, including an extensive list of ‘future’ books in the left side bar. Very excited to see some of the future stories she’s already mapping out!

If you like Tamora Pierce, you may also like Sherwood Smith’s Once A Princess (and it’s follow up), Elizabeth Moon’s Paksenarrion series,  Mercedes Lackey’s By The Sword and Kristen Britain’s Green Rider (although I don’t recommend much past the second book in that series).

Pushing personal writing boundaries

I’ve revised this a bit, but the basic idea started with this piece:

Lesbians and Zombies, Oh My!

A comfort zone is a safe and beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.

As ERAuthor members know, this is my sig line on the boards. And have to say one thing about writing Ginny’s Capture and being in a writers group where several of the LvsZ stories went through the critique process was I found myself pushing my boundaries.

I’d never critted a f/f sex scene before they started being posted at ERA.

I have now.

I’d never written a f/f sex scene before I wrote Ginny’s Capture.

I have now.

The whole experience made me move outside my comfort zone.

The largest push for me was stepping out of the safe place of writing mild heat level m/f stories. Mostly because I found writing the f/f sex scenes both difficult on one hand and easy on the other.

Difficult because, for me, writing f/f sex is far more intimate and introspective than m/f sex. And coming up with two sets of desires and intimate preferences was tough.

The easier part was, well, I am a woman and I’d like to think I have some clue of what women like. As KevaD said in his interview on It’s Raining Men blog on October 18, when asked what’s a het male doing writing MM romance and gay fiction (I admit I only pasted his juicy response regarding the sex scenes, you should be sure to read the entire interview):

Well, why not? I certainly know how a man’s heart beats when the object of his affection comes near, as well as how his groin stirs under sheer passion and physical desire. And I definitely know how it feels from the male perspective to explore a body, and be explored.

To restate from my perspective: I certainly know how a woman’s body reacts when she’s around the object of her desire, as well the acts and actions which will heighten her passion. And, like KevaD with his own gender, I definitely know how it feels from a female’s perspective to explore a body and be explored.
One of the interesting things I’ve come out with through all of this is, despite the change of heat level, I still stuck with a more traditional romance formula of a commitment before the sex scene. Now, my two characters had a history so there were lots of steamy memories to draw on. However, their intimate ‘on screen’ scene doesn’t happen until after the commitment.
I guess even though I was out of my ‘comfort zone’ part of me was determined to stay within it. We’ll see how the edits come back and if the story arc stays that way.