Saturday, November 24, 2007

5 Champagne Flutes Review!

A Rose of Any Colour. Book 2: MaleDom Freya's Bower
November 7th, 2007



Author: Multiple
Publisher: Freya's Bower


I found the foreword on this book very interesting. Not being part of the BDSM lifestyle, I was grateful for the explanation to that lifestyle before reading any of the stories. The foreword and understanding of the lifestyle is a must, in my opinion, before tackling BDSM as your reading matter. The reason for this is because without that understanding, the stories may very well have come across as perverted or wrong in some way to those people, like myself, who had no previous knowledge of what some people practise in their lives.

That said, here is my review.

Story 1: On Bended Knees – Canice Brown-Porter

The Dominant Evan has been training the submissive Morgan for four months now. Morgan, along with growing as a submissive and learning all she yearned to know about the BDSM lifestyle, has found that she has developed feelings for Evan. Her training comes to an end and, though she is glad that she's been a good student, she is also saddened that her time spent with Evan has come to an end. Morgan offers Evan the gift of her submission—but will he accept it and become her Lord?

Evan sends Morgan back to her home and instructs that she records all her feelings and emotions in a diary. She must show him all of her in these writings and obey all the instructions he sets out for her. He will know if she doesn't. The time spent alone without Evan is hard for Morgan—her longings and emotions are particularly well-drawn by Ms. Brown-Porter.

I enjoyed On Bended Knees for the understanding way Ms. Brown-Porter portrayed the lifestyle. I also enjoyed having a story to read as well as erotic content. On Bended Knees is actually a quite beautiful love story. Don't let the BDSM theme fool you there. Again, this is where the foreword was appreciated.

(I am also the author of the Foreword which appears in both the BDSM Anthologies.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Rose Of Any Colour Book Two Now Available!

Featuring "A Scandalous Arrangement" by Kayleigh Jamison

A well-bred lady and a rakish earl escape the ton and shed their inhibitions in A Scandalous Arrangement...

Sold into the service of a brothel madame to satisfy her brother's gambling debts, Lady Anna Boscawen finds herself catapulted into the scandalous, seedy underbelly of the ton when she is given a new name and her virginity is auctioned off to the highest bidder. Vere Fane, Earl of Westmorland is rich, powerful, and devilishly handsome, known throughout society for his carnal inclination and the pleasure and pain he inflicts upon the women he alternately ravages and worships. Bound together by unusual circumstances, Vere leads Anna through a whirlwind of emotions, teaching her to find the ultimate freedom - in submission.


Anna heard the riding crop cut through the air a moment before the blow landed on the small of her back. Another struck her, this time lower, followed by a flurry of strikes to her buttocks and the soles of her feet. Her eyes filled with tears and she cried out; the pain radiated outwards from her abused flesh and warmed her skin.

"Why?" she shrieked, the harsh surface of the rope cutting into her wrists as she attempted to twist out of his reach.

"Why?" Vere repeated, slightly out of breath from the exertion.

"I did what you asked, milord!"

"You did," he confirmed as the crop landed with another thwack, "you did very well."

"Then I don't understand!" The tears ran freely now, cooling her flushed cheeks and splashing onto her breasts, her breathing erratic and labored.

"Your job here is what?" he asked patiently, circling around to face her. He removed his shirt and she took in the sight of his strong, muscled arms, the crafted perfection of his chest. Even bound and at his complete mercy, she found him heartbreakingly attractive. The tongue of the crop touched her chin and lifted her head, forcing her to meet his gaze. He traced her jaw with the slip of leather, but paused to brush a strand of hair from her eyes.

"To obey you, milord," she whispered.

"Yes, and what else?"

"To please you, milord."

"Precisely. And it pleases me to see you this way, sweet Rose." This time, the crop dipped lower over the swell of her breasts. He traced one nipple, then the other. The pebbled flesh tightened traitorously, causing her to shiver. "Does it not please you as well?"

"N-no, milord," she stammered. Liar, her heart whispered.

Vere leaned forward and murmured in her ear, "It will."

Buy it here.

Copyright 2007, Kayleigh M. Jamison

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Jamie Hill's 200th Member Contest

Hey everyone,

My monthly, no chat newsletter is almost up to 200 members, so it's party time! Whoever joins as the 200th member will receive his or her choice of one of my ebook downloads.

And just because I appreciate my current members, after I hit 200, I'll put 200 numbered ping pong balls in a playpen and have my son dive in and pick a winner! (Or something like that, he's 18 now and not as agreeable as he used to be...but one current member will also receive the free download of his or her choice, without having to do a thing.)

Subscribe to my newsletter here:

There's one newsletter per month--no spam, just news about my work, updates from my author groups, and a new contest every month! Don't forget to check out my current contest, running until Oct. 5. (They're always easy, I promise.)

Thanks for the support!

Jamie Hill
Simply Irresistible

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Edge of Sanity, Book 3, Now Available!

From Freya's Bower and author Jamie Hill: Edge of Sanity, Book 3

Detective Jake Gilford is skeptical when he hears Joss Wheeler say she believes her newly inherited house is haunted. He's a man of facts and hard evidence, and ghosts aren't on his radar screen. He's also a man, and Joss is a beautiful, if somewhat nutty, woman. Won over by her charms, he promises to stay and help her unravel the mystery of the house--or whatever else she has that might need unraveling ...

"So, Jake and Joss are a couple now. They fit easily together, and while reading, it feels like they've been together a lot longer than they have. I do enjoy their banter.

Nice to find out a little more about Jake's past in this chapbook. I warmed to him even more. I mean, he's a nice guy, but it's his past that makes him so understanding in the present.

A nice coupling scene between Joss and Jake, and now I'm eagerly awaiting news on the charity and its founders. Have they got something to do with the weird noises and goings on at Joss' house? Come on! I need to find out who is doing this!

Jamie Hill is driving me crazy!"

4 Champagne Flutes ~ Sangria ~ Cocktail Reviews ~ Read review here

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another Saturday night with nothing to do?

Join me and author K.M. Frontain for a loop chat! We'll be at the GLBT Promotional group:

Sat., Sept. 15 from 7-10 EST. There will be a contest or two, I'll be giving away a copy of my latest release, Deep Obsessions!

Hope to see you there!

~Jamie Hill

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Good Things Come in Twos ...

Of course, being a mother of twins, I've always known that doubles are wonderful, but this week has really been full of extra nice pairs ...

Two Great New Reviews:

Glass Magic received a 5 Sword review from Reviewed by Frost.

Frost says:

"a dual delight of tales... Ms. Mumford skillfully combines sensuous settings with romantic threads and unshiftable love..."

Read the full review here.

Rating: Tangy
Book Length: Bites (a duet of short stories)
Price: $2.00
Genre: Paranormal / Contemporary

Glass Magic is available here.

And ... Second Sight received a 4 Cup review from Krista at Coffee Time Romance!

"This book will keep you on the edge of your seat..."

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Read the entire review.

Rating: Tangy
Book Length: Novel
Price: $5.75
Genre: Paranormal / Contemporary

Second Sight is available here.

Two Great New Additions to My Extended Clan:

My daughter and her husband just adopted two 3-month-old German Shepherd pups. Pretty cute, aren't they?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Edge of Sanity, Book 2, Now Available!

Edge of Sanity, Book 2 is now available! This is the second in a series of five chapter books available monthly from Freya's Bower

Detective Jake Gilford is skeptical when Joss Wheeler says her newly inherited house is haunted. He's a man of hard evidence, and ghosts aren't on his radar screen. Won over by her charms, he promises to stay and help her unravel the mystery of the house--or whatever else needs unraveling . . .

Edge of Sanity, Book 1, was a hit! Sangria at Cocktail reviews said:

With Jake and Jocelyn's relationship just beginning, I'm eager to find out just who or what is making those ghastly noises, and if their relationship lasts the distance.

Rose at Romance at Heart said: This first installment is a treasure...this will be a series of shorts you will not want to miss. From the first page to the last, Edge of Sanity, Book 1 had me glued to the pages... Yup, Jamie has her literary talons in, and I won't be satisfied till I get all the answers.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Jamie Hill's August Newsletter Now Available!

There's a new contest, and a new free read-- the erotic novella Snowbound begins this month!

And there are balloons! Who could ask for anything more?

If you're not a subscriber, join here:

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Authors Who Dare

... dare you to check out their August newsletter.

Find out what's happening with Jude Mason, Louise Bohmer, Ann Cory, Derek Musgrave, Jamie Hill and Michelle Houston by clicking here

Read a FREE Twisted Tale each month.

Find out how YOU could ask the Authors Who Dare sexy and kinky
questions ... and get their honest answers in the Truth Or Dare section of their newsletter.

It's all in the files section of this group, waiting for you to take a

Go ahead ... we dare you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Phoenix Rising Authors August Newsletter now available!

Jude Mason, Jamie Hill, D Musgrave, and Michelle Houston are proud to
announce the second issue of the Phoenix Rising Newsletter is now available. Please go to Infinite Possibilities,

and find it in the files section. : )

Congratulations to Stacie, who will receive a PDF copy of the new anthology, 413 Remembrance Lane, Diary of a House.

If you prefer reading an HTML document, instead of a PDF, swing by
the PRA website at where there is a handy HTML
version as well.

If you would like to have the newsletter mailed directly to you,
just send a blank email to PRANEWS @ ISLEOFPHOENIX .com (without the
spaces) with the words "Subscribe Me" in the subject.


The Phoenix Rising Authors
Jamie, Jude, D, and Michelle

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My first Freya's Bower title!

I'm very pleased to have my first title available with Freya's Bower, a paranormal/contemporary romantic suspense tale called

Edge of Sanity

Detective Jake Gilford is skeptical when he hears Joss Wheeler say she believes her newly inherited house is haunted. He's a man of facts and hard evidence, and ghosts aren't on his radar screen. He's also a man, and Joss is a beautiful, if somewhat nutty, woman. Won over by her charms, he promises to stay and help her unravel the mystery of the house--or whatever else she has that might need unraveling . . .
Read an excerpt here or be bold and buy here!!!

This is my first post on the FB authors blog, so I thought I'd tell you a little about myself. I'm Kansas born and raised, quite happy here even though we're in the middle of another scorching summer. I've been married 26 years, my husband and I have two sons in college, ages 18 and 20.

When I'm not writing or working at that other job to pay bills, I enjoy reading (what author doesn't?), freelance editing, tinkering on the computer, listening to country music, napping, and watching movies (especially scary movies) with my family! My guilty pleasures are cooking themed reality shows, (go gettem Gordon!) plus my other TV favorites: Dog the Bounty Hunter, King of Cars, Gilmore Girls, ER and House.

Find me at or

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Newly-wed and newly-reviewed!

Hi everybody! I've been lax on email, websites, blogging, writing, editing, eating like a human being, and doing laundry this past month, but I'm happy to announce that I am now firmly be-ringed, wedded, honeymooned out, and almost caught up on laundry! I've even managed a few website updates amidst all the chaos, with a few wedding/honeymoon pictures and writing news!

I came home to the awesome news that MATING CALL has been Joyfully Recommended! Niniri, the Joyfully Reviewed reviewer, said, "“Ms. Ryan-Davis has created a delightful, if reluctant, heroine in Cora….Mating Call sets the groundwork for what promises to be an intriguing tale of passion, self-discovery and mystery.”

I'm also running a contest through the first of July to celebrate the success of MATING CALL and May's release of DRAGON DANCE.

Visit my web site for details on the fab review, how you can win a $15 gift card to the online store of your choice, and, best of all, for pictures!!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mrs Giggles reviewed 'The Facility Trip'.

She liked it, but thought it was too short...

Still, I suppose 78 isn't too bad.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Interesting news in the publishing industry

Print book sales are down, while e-book sales are up!

From Reuters, May 23, 2007

Americans bought $24.2 billion worth of books in 2006, slightly less than the previous year, an industry group said Tuesday, reporting sharp falls in religious and audio-book sales but an increase in e-books.

The Assn. of American Publishers said total sales by U.S. publishers last year were estimated at $24.197 billion, down from $24.263 billion in 2005.

Religious book sales fell 10.2% to $745 million while audio-books dropped 11.7% to $182 million. Spurred by progress in digital technology, sales of e-books jumped 24.1% to $54 million.

Source: Los Angeles Times,0,7831051.story?coll=la-books-headlines

Monday, May 21, 2007

Where the Sizzle Meets the Page...

Thank you, Freya's Bower, for the invite to participate in your author's blog. I admit to being a bit...scattered, at the moment. Tomorrow is finals in Intemediate Algebra and then Thursday I have a final in Shakespeare and between here and there I have a final essay for Amer Lit. Let's just say my brains are leaking formulas and angst.

  • I am very pleased to direct any romance readers over to my dual stories "Of Lilies" which you can download and read at:
  • I also have a paperback (The Bride of Gornoston ~ a naughty gothic romance) due out in late summer and I will be holding a few contests to give away copies, so please feel free to drop me a note here or on my literary blog at mallory_blog on LJ - Introduce yourself, I love to chat on blog.
Thank you Marci for being so patient over the past few months when I was swallowed by homework.

I hope to have my new website up an running during the summer since I'm only taking 2 classes :head desk:

Now, I need to get back to studying sigmas and that triangle thing (cannae remember naught)

Sunny skies and nesting birds

I'm sitting at my desk and birds are flitting by my window. Lots of them. They're hopping in and out of the brush in the abandoned field next door. They're dancing along the fence rail. They're chasing rivals away from the feeder. And they're courting.

So this counts as work, right? Courtship and romance are universal.

All right. I will get back to my fiction, but the interlude was nice!

Maggie Toussaint
Seeing Red coming soon to Freya's Bower

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Habitat for Humanity Rebuilds the Gulf Coast

I'm back from a week in Mississippi, working with Habitat for Humanity building homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina. If you're interested in reading about my trip and seeing some photos, check out my blog here.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hello friends at Freya's Bower!

Hi everyone! I've been away for a few weeks at writer conferences and visiting out of town family. I had a great time interacting with other writers and industry professionals, and of course seeing my relatives, but I have to say there's truly no place like home. I was really glad to sleep in my own bed with my own pillow.

My editor, Katherine, and I are hard at work polishing my upcoming release from Freya's Bower. Seeing Red is the first book in a sweet romance series about three sisters. In this book, the oldest sister is intent on turning the crumbling family home into a bed and breakfast but her sisters are dead set against it. Add a sexy rehab guy to the money pit house, construction mishaps, day job mania, and sisterly discontent to the pot and you get a fair idea of Emma's story. Plus there's the little itsy bitsy problem of her not knowing how to cook.

I'm looking forward to bring this book out and getting to know my fellow Freya's Bower authors.

Maggie Toussaint
Seeing Red, an upcoming release from Freya's Bower

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hello blogger (and blog readers!), I've missed you!

Computer issues over the last year had me believing I'd never get a chance to use blogger ever again, but a recent switch from IE to Firefox seems to have brought me back into the fold. And with good news!

I'll be participating in the Rose of Any Color anthology (with, from the looks of it, several new-to-FB faces!). I received the contract for a short novella titled "Amy's Imperfection" yesterday afternoon. I'm very excited. :)

Now, to get through revisions of my second Dragon Queen book!

(Soon with new un-aggravating design)

Friday, April 20, 2007


It's raining here...finally. The 1/2" we are expecting isn't going to make up for a very dry winter, but we will take whatever moisture we can get at this point. There is a good possibility for thunderstorms this afternoon. I am looking forward to it. There is nothing like a good thunderstorm to clear the energy and electrify the imagination. :) If all goes as planned, my dau will be staying the night at Grandma's. she's there now, and even though I didn't have the alone time I had hoped for (me and the cats in the house -- grin), it's blessedly silent with no one to worry about but me since the hubby is currently indisposed. (grin) So, I'm playing. Well, I'm on the computer. What's new? Huh? But I am utterly carefree at the moment. It's simply lovely.

We are going to see a movie tonight. I am going to sleep in tomorrow, and, hopefully, sleep through the night as well. Gah! The last time I slept in was...pre baby. I suppose that's typical when you have children. Not that she isn't fun, but what I wouldn't give to be able to sleep in two nights in a row. LOL Little miss was up at 7 am this morning and began the day running. She didn't stop running even after I dropped her at Grandma's. For Grandma's sake, I hope this means she'll crash at 8 pm or so. She can get a second wind and go late. On other occasions, she's fallen asleep standing up. (Yes, that is true.)

Okay. We are off. Have a lovely weekend! I know I will. :)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I'm sorry to have been so uncharacteristically quiet. I've been sorting out the affairs of my aunt, who died recently. I'm her executrice. (I love that word!)

I was also preparing for quite a difficult job interview for a senior post. I'm going to be doing the job for the next few months, starting on Monday. It's a big editorial and managerial one; so far all that's happened is that my diary has mysteriously been filled with about a hundred meetings. More hours of meetings, as far as I can see, than one working week will accomodate.

Worst thing is that I now have to get used to travelling on the underground in the rush hour, something that fills me with dread!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


When I was 5-years-old, my father invited me to sit down and watch a movie with him on TV. It was Slaughterhouse-Five, which had run in theatres a few years before in '72. I was fascinated with the random montage of the storyline. My father was impressed that I grasped it and didn't ask for any plot clarification. Looking back, I believe that to be the defining moment that destined me to a lifetime of leaning toward the odd and the different, of seeking out the intelligent and the messenger, whether in movies, literature, or music.

Enter adolescence. Being both a bookworm and the "weird girl", I naturally went on a Vonnegut run at the library at some point. I selected Slaughterhouse-Five from the shelf, thinking "Hmm, this sounds familiar." Just as I had at age 5, I fell into the story all over again, albeit with a higher level of understanding. I was amazed by Vonnegut's brilliance, how he took what might have been the typical "retrospective look at one man's life as representative of his entire generation", and turned it into something like you'd never read before.

As is often the case with genius, Mr. Vonnegut suffered from depression, and had attempted suicide in recent years. I hope he has found peace, and I hope he left knowing that he's left his immortal stamp on the face of 20th century literature. I just Mr. Vonnegut really gone? Or did he get whisked off by his friends, the Tralfamadorians?

Rest in peace, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

~ Katrina S.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Me...and Freya's Bower!

I thought I was coming up on the anniversary of my affiliation with Freya's Bower, so I checked back through my LiveJournal posts and found this.

April 10, 2006 LiveJournal Post:
On another front, I found a call for writing samples from a small romance e-publisher and thought, "why not?" I sent a sample in yesterday afternoon, and this morning I received an email announcing that I'd been accepted, giving me my editor's name and saying that my assignment and contract would follow.

The cynic in me says, "yeah, right!" but considering I have my own personal contract adviser on staff, I figure I haven't got much to lose. The starry-eyed optimist says "Woo Hoo! This is going to be a blast!" Here's hoping the optimist is right ... I'll let you know what happens.

(BTW - the deal is for two related short stories, the combined word count to be between 6,000 and 8,000.)

A year later, I'm happy to report that the starry-eyed optimist was absolutely on target! (Don't you love it when that happens?)

Glass Magic turned out well. Sorcha's Heart followed, and the invitation to submit to Dreams & Desires was a dream-come-true in itself! And now, after a lot of hard work, Second Sight is nearing release!

Look at that progression: Bites to Novella to Anthology to Novel.

Not bad for my first year with FB.

Thank you, Faith and Marci, for the call for writing samples and for offering me the opportunity to have my work pubbed by Freya's Bower. You guys rock!!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Greetings! Yes, another newbie. ;)

Hello! I am erotica and dark romance author Katrina Strauss, though my friends just call me Kitty. I am pleased to be one of the new additions to the Freya's Bower family. :)

I have been writing since childhood, and enjoyed a few short story publications in independent e-zines in the 90's. However, I did not try my hand at erotica and, subsequently, pen my first full-length novel until last year. My resulting experiment, which blends plot-driven romance with BDSM and paranormal elements, has evolved into the genre-busting, century-spanning Eldritch Legacy trilogy, currently available through another small but quality e-press. In addition to a few short stories also available through this other publisher, my 1920's BDSM short, Efflorescence, will appear later this year in FB's upcoming anthology, A Rose of Any Colour. I am thankful to have now found two quality publishers who are open to my more unconventional take on romance, not just in regards to subject matter but in variations on traditional formula.

When I'm not writing, I'm caring for my three children (two teenagers and one pre-schooler). I also enjoy sewing, cooking, and of course, my first love, reading. You can find out more about myself and my work at my author site listed below. I am excited to be here, and while I recognize a few faces (*waves at Kayleigh, yay!*) I look foward to chatting with those whom I have not already had the privilege of meeting. :)

~ Kitty S.
Explore the darker side of romance...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another Introductory Post

Hello everyone!

Another new FB author saying "hello." My short Regency, "A Scandalous Arrangement," has been accepted as part of A Rose Of Any Colour, an upcoming BDSM anthology with the Bower. I write primarily (but not exclusively) historical, sometimes with f/f elements, sometimes not. I have two novels and two short stories out with Aphrodite's Apples Press. I had a short story featured in the Fiction Friction section of Girlphoria's June 2006 issue. I'm also an editor for Aphrodite's Apples.

That's my "fun job." My day job is being a full time first year law student (though I am, thankfully, nearly done with the first year). I don't sleep. I currently live in Jacksonville, Florida, with my two precocious and spoiled cats. I turned 27 this past Saturday. I feel old.

I'm very excited to be on board and look forward to getting to know everyone.

-Kayleigh Jamison

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hello from newcomer, Maggie Toussaint

Hello to the world of Freya's Bower Author Circle,

I'm new here, shiny like a freshly-minted penny. Heck, I'm new most everywhere to publishing. I have a romantic suspense out now with another publisher, and a mystery coming out June 2008, but I'm going to publish a sweet romance with Freya's Bower. You might say I'm versatile to write so many types of stories, or just plain crazy. The answer varies depending on the muse.

Seeing Red, the story of woman with a money pit of a home and a hunky contractor, is in the editing phase right now. This book is the first of a trilogy about the Heartly sisters.

I'm down in coastal Georgia. We have nice weather year round, though we seem to be chronically short of rainfall. We've got bugs like you wouldn't believe and the most beautiful ancient oaks you've ever seen. There's not a traffic light in our whole county, and most evenings my husband and I bike ride around our tiny town.

I look forward to meeting all of you!

Maggie Toussaint

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

What comes after The End?

Yesterday, I wrote The End on the second Dragon Queen book (one more to go). Ends are my real weak point, because I tend to rush and have a hard time slowing down and getting everything in the first time around. I imagine the end is what I will devote the most time to in the edits/revisions stage. That's some time to come, though, and I refuse - refuse! - to think about it. My brain has other ideas, and wants to think and continue creating; it's all wound up from the intense three weeks of writing that ushered in the majority of DQ Book 2. My brain is not the boss! I know better than to keep creating; this is wind-down time and refresh time.

I intend to finish making and mailing my wedding invitations, quilt a square or two for my block-a-month quilt project (haven't done Feb yet or picked up the March block), and get in some reading. I don't read fiction right after a book, though; once my muse accepts the fact I'm not giving her free reign anymore, at least for a time, she curls up and retreats. I think that's part of the reason I have difficulty with the early portions of a new book, but I digress. Reading-wise, I turn to nonfiction instead of fiction. I especially enjoy diet books. Is that bizarre? I'm by no means a chronic dieter, but I like to get back in touch with my physical side after spending so much time with my mental side during the course of a book.

Currently, I'm reading Bob Greene's The Best Life Diet, and have designs on re-reading DQ Book 1 (how's that for narcisstic?) to prepare for edits on DQ Book 2. In between the diet book and the self-written book, I'll TRY to squeeze in a just-for-pleasure novel. I keep eyeing Patricia Briggs' new Mercy novel, which has been sitting on my bookshelf for the last 6 weeks, and last night I picked up Melanie Jackson's Writ on Water. Let's not talk about the books I've forgotten I have, and leave them for another time, shall we? Makes me feel less guilty that way. :)

What do you all do after you finish writing a new book, or even after you finish a (fiction) book for pleasure? Does your brain need a time-off, cooling-down, recharging period?

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Setting the Stage

The other night, I watched the Academy Awards. I'm not really a big fan of them due to their political nature, but there wasn't much else on. What did I have to lose? Besides, I was curious to see what Ellen would do as host.

One of the first awards I saw was for costumes. As each movie and its costumes were shown, music from the movie was played. I don't remember the name of the person who won, but I do remember the award went to the designer of Marie Antoinette costumes. The costumes were sumptuous. (How could they be otherwise?) The music was, um, the wrong period. LOL The piece they played was by Vivaldi, a Baroque composer most famous for his Four Seasons. Matter of fact, I think the music played at the Oscars was from Four Seasons. Um, if I remember correctly, Marie Antoinette was born after the Baroque period ended (1750). And trust me, one of the most famous Baroque composers of this time, Bach, wasn't known by the general public, including the courts, until the mid 19th c. At which point, he was "rediscovered" due to Fanny Mendelssohn and her brother, Felix, and their performance of his "St. Matthew's Passion". Bach's fame was secured at this point, for obvious reasons.

Now, I know this is nitpicky, but, honestly, there were many well-known composers of the time that appeal to current audiences. A few I can name off the top of my head: Mozart, Haydn, Handel, Beethoven, although he was much later than the first three and more of an early Romantic period composer...

Okay, am I losing you yet? LOL Yeah, I tend to get too technical when I start talking about music.

I do believe their choice came from the structure of Vivaldi's music more than the timeliness of it. In Hollywood's mind, they equated Louis XVI's court with the rigidity of Baroque music. Classical period also had a great deal of structure, but the Classical composers used the Baroque masters as their springboard for innovation in music, testing, and breaking, the rules set by the church, society, etc. However, the director's choice of music does make sense when you look at the dances, the manners, and expectations of one another of this time period.

My point is this: They had plenty of famous contemporary composer to choose from and they picked someone who had died more than a decade before Marie Antoinette was born. I have nothing against Vivaldi's music. It's glorious, full of tension and resolution, but the likelihood of the court listening to something from 30 years in the past would have been slim to none. People were moving forward, looking to the future, not concerned so much with the past. And while Vivaldi influenced many composers, like Mozart, his burial was modest.

On another note: My dau, who is 31 months old, is brilliant. LOL Not that I am biased, or anything. LOL Why do I say this? Well, because she is constantly surprising me. For instance, today I wrote down her name. I know she can read her name, so I asked her what it said. Predictably, she told me. Then, I spelled out "mommy" and asked her what it said. She glanced at the word and said, "Mommy." I did the same with "daddy", "cat", and "dog". Now, we have worked with her on all of these, but it's been a month or more since we did anything. However, that she can recognize these words is pretty amazing. Of course, I have nothing to compare this with, so I could be completely wrong. LOL

It's a beautiful day here, so those of you in miserable weather, I wish you sunshine and warmth.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rain, rain, rain

Well, it's about time. We've had freezing temperatures like we rarely see. Then a taste of spring came to tease us. Finally, the rain has come. Rain we can certainly use at this point in the season. I don't mind it, other than people driving like maniacs despite the slick roads. I just grab a cup of cocoa and snuggle up with a good book or my laptop for a session of writing. I'd rather avoid the roads with so many people either driving like they have to win the Indy 500 or so slow you wonder if you'll make it the last mile before your bladder bursts.

Alas, for me, I wish it was fog. Strange comment. Well, yes, but it would set the mood for me to write on my present WIP. The setting is almost gothic, but set in modern times. Yes, I like to live on the edge. LOL

So, a quick question for all of you: Do you ever find a certain type of weather is more conducive to your writing depending on the story? For instance, does sunshine do more for you if you are writing lighthearted material or stormy weather for something that is heavier? Or does the weather matter at all?

And for readers, do you find that the weather influences what you read or how much?


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hot time in the old town tonight!

Okay. Well, this all depends on baby. Last night, my DH had a dozen red roses delivered. I love red roses. I hadn't planned on doing anything for him, but then, I thought perhaps I should... beyond the chocolate cake I baked. So, I'm nattering on the phone with my mother this morning, and she suggests I go to a sex shop for lingerie and a "few other things". (grin) (My mother is in her 70s, btw.) What a great idea, I think. I call my MIL to see if she can watch my dau while I go. (Um, sex shop and baby don't mix in my book. LOL) I'm thinking this is going to take me 15 minutes tops.


Um, no. I wanted to buy some of the toys, but I have no experience with toys. None. Yeah, I edit erotica, but I've just never tried them. First, I feel like you have to trust the person if you are going to play with someone else. Second, the thought of buying a toy never proceeded beyond the thought... until today.

Two and a half hours later and a long conversation punctuated with "Oh, my god", "did you know they had these", "is that what I think it is", "18 inches? Can I cross my legs now?", and so on, I left the store with a neatly wrapped bag for my honey. No lingerie. I have some. Why waste money on more when I can spend it on toys? LOL

So, tonight should be interesting... if the little one decides to go to sleep. We shall see. LOL

I hope your Valentine's Day is spicy and fun... or whatever you are looking for.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

snow again, snow again

Tuesday is one of my days off, and instead of sleeping in this snowy morning, my brain woke up wide-eyed and alert at 8:30 a.m. with a scene firmly in mind to finish the short story I'm working on for the Romance Divas e-book challenge.

Snow anywhere else? Anybody else writing? Is it just me and the vanilla chai against the world?

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Online Stalking Tips on Boom! PR Solutions for Authors

I was interviewed by the owner of the Boom! PR Solutions for Editors blog:

I recently wrote an article on how to protect yourself online from harassers, and the owner of the Boom blog was my editor for the magazine that published the article, so she invited me on to talk about how to protect yourself.

Check out the interview! I hope you learn a little something...and while you're there, show me some love in the comments section...

Friday, February 2, 2007

A Whole Inch? Gee!

Some of you may know that I'm fortunate to have a ay job that's super flexible. Since I work for the federal government, I can't work more than 80 hours every two weeks (try getting a deal like that in a law firm--HA!). And the agency that I work for is allows us to choose when those 80 hours are (I could work 13 hours a day for 6 days straight and then take the next 8 days off and only take 2 hours of vacation if I wanted).

So I work 10 hours a day Monday through Thursday and then have 3-day weekends every week. It's lovely. Perfect opportunity to get lots of writing done.

Anyway, since I don't work on Fridays, I've taken to doing my grocery shopping on Friday afternoons, so I can get it all done without dealing with the rush and chaos that is the store on a Saturday or Sunday. Only today, the aisles were packed and the lines snaked and wrapped around and around.

What the heck?

Sadly, people were out to do their run on eggs, bread, and milk that always happens whenever we get a forecast for snow. Never mind the fact that we're only expected to get an inch, if that. What if we get trapped in our house without eggs, break, or milk?! Oh no! We might not be able to dig out for days!

*shakes head*

We're supposed to get 1 inch, people! 1 inch!

DC is arguably the most powerful city on the planet, yet one loudy inch of snow throws everyone into a tizzy and panic and completely incapacitates us. Pretty darn pathetic.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Pet Peeve in romance

I recently picked up a historical romance book that had me gritting my teeth. I couldn't finish it. Why? Because it contained rape and portrayed it as, if not necessarily acceptable, something the heroine enjoyed because she found the man extremely attractive. Even though he tied her down against her will, she still managed to be excited about this.

This is a major pet peeve of mine. I do not think rape has any place in a romance novel if portrayed in a light that shows it as anything other than what it is: a heinous crime. Not in this day and age or ever. I also feel strongly that this perpetuates the myth that when a woman says, "no", she really means "yes", even giving this message to women.

Okay, so I understand that some women may fantasize about being forced and that this is fiction, after all, but I can't condone it.

I feel you can create a compelling, satisfying story that doesn't need to include such, well, crap.

So, I ask all of you, what are your thoughts on this subject?


Saturday, January 20, 2007


I was having this conversation with some friends, so I thought I'd ask it here. What sort of music inspires you to write? I don't mean what do you play while you're writing, because that's different. I personally can't write with music in the background, only speech, which is weird.

But there are certain songs, certain artistes, which set my creativity going. For example that Beatles' song 'I will'.

And some others I'm too embarrassed to mention, but I will if everyone else does!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cleaning Machine

I don't care to clean. My house is not immaculate. I do not suffer from OCD, but there are times I wish I was just a little bit. Take today, for instance. I couldn't stand my shower any longer. It was disgusting. Now, we've had a few people come in to clean in the past few months, but they just don't clean the way it should be. Our shower is not easy to clean. Let me rephrase that: the shower ceiling is not that easy to clean. It's an eight foot high ceiling (old house) and a minuscule shower. Putting two people in the shower is a tight squeeze. So to reach the shower requires one of those sponge mops, but it won't really do that good of a job because the shower is so small that you can't maneuver. Or you have to have a small step stool, which we now have.

Needless to say, the shower ceiling has been neglected for, well, months. I knocked down most of the mold (yes, mold) with one of those sponge mops. Then I brought in the step stool, a sponge, and an old toothbrush. With a concoction of castille soap (with peppermint oil), white vinegar, and oregano oil, I spent the better part of two hours later getting the upper half of the shower to a relatively clean condition. It's not perfect, but it's better than it was. And I didn't die from chemical asphyxiation. LOL

Now, all I have left to do is... too much. Man, I hate cleaning! LOL


Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Coffee blech.

I measured it out. Seattle's Best, 3 tablespoons to 3 6 oz. measurements of water. THAT'S WHAT THE PACKAGE SAID, I SWEAR.

WHY oh WHY does my coffee (if I make it at home) always have the strength of motor oil? WHY?

Why can't I have a decent cuppa at home? Dunkin' Donuts is permanently Out with me, after (last Saturday - Saturday before last?) my fiance went to grab a coffee for me, brought it back, and, upon taking the first sip, I realized I have never in my life had something so vile inside my mouth. NEVER. No, not even THAT was this vile. They must've used rotten coffee with rat turds, and sweetened it with rancid yeti urine, then topped it off with VERY-long expired milk. It was disgusting. Dunkin' Donuts, you're dead to me now, nevermind that I have about $20 in dunkin donuts gift certificates.

And Starbucks? I can't do their regular drip coffee. It tastes like cigarette ashes. The coffee shop at work? I can only stomach their flavored coffees. WHY has the coffee world brought me to this point, WHY?

So now I sit here, sipping the remnants of my motor oil, and reminiscing about the days of old. Just like a Duke.

If anybody has coffee tips, please share them. :(

Monday, January 1, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

When did it become trendy to decry resolutions? The whole point of starting a new year, clean slate, calendar with no marks in it and no crossed-off days, is dreaming up ways to fill in those blank calendar days. I like New Year's Resolutions. I don't come to the end of the year and kick myself for not meeting them or forgetting about them; I come to the end of the year with the intention of trying again. In fact, it kind of seems to me that foregoing the resolution aspect of the New Year is a very bitter and jaded thing to do.

I'm a writer; I don't get bitter and jaded (much). Every new day brings a new idea and a new proposal, a new "This is it!" idea.

This year, I have a few different resolutions (unfashionable though they may be). I unapologetically resolve to lose weight, to go to water aerobics more regularly, to focus on writing and knitting and my loved ones.

What about you?