Archive for October, 2006

Howdy, Peeps!
I found this great list and looooved it! We are all totally bookaholics with different traits. Read the list below and find out which ones you are. I’ve listed mine at the end. Do you have any traits to add?
I think this means we’re all a little nuts!

1) You haunt the bookstores waiting for that new release, and the clerks ask you if you’d like to set up a tent.
2) You pack all your books for a trip but forget your underwear.
3) Before you buy a purse you make sure a paperback will fit inside.
4) You become murderous when you discover a friend lost a book you loaned her.
5) Your twin sons’ names are Rhett and Ashley.
6) You look forward to jury duty because you’ll have all that waiting time to read.
7) You call in sick so you can finish reading a book.
8) You can’t pass a bookstore without stopping.
9) When you move you have more boxes labeled “books” than anything else.
10) You plan a day of shopping around all the bookstores you want to visit.
11) Your kids holler from the other room with something they consider a dire emergency, and you say, “Wait until I finish this page.”
12) Your car is broke down, and it doesn’t really matter because your favorite bookstore is right across the street.
13) You’re sitting in the bathroom at 1:30 a.m., crying over the ending of your current read, when you know you have to be up at six to drive 150 miles and spend the day on your feet before driving back.
14) You read at red lights and get honked at because you were so engrossed that you didn’t notice the light had turned green.
15) It’s 2am and you think “just another chapter” and do the same thing at 3am when you know you have to get up in 4 hours and work.
16) You deliberately get to the bus/train station early, or even worse, just miss the bus/train so that you have more reading time.
17) Your significant other runs into the room to make sure you’re alright because he heard you wailing so hard over a sad read he thought you were dying.
18) You try reading and walking at the same time.
19) You don’t really mind if you get stranded anywhere as long as you have enough books while you’re there.
20) You start haunting your mail box when you’re waiting for a new book to arrive and can’t do anything useful until the mail has arrived.
21) You start fabricating excuses as to why you can’t go out with your friends when you’re in the middle of a great book.
22) You dash out and sit in the park and read during your lunch hour (or sneak in a few chapters at your desk).
23) You start thinking of the characters as real people.
24) You get a friend or relative hooked on romance so you’ll have another place to get books, but unfortunately it doesn’t work quite right and they start borrowing from you.
25) You start up conversations with people in the bookstore who just look like they’re dying to read a good romance but are having a hard time finding one.

Here is my list: 4, 6, 8, 12, 15, 17(except laughing not crying),19,21(except writing instead of reading),23(the biggest one of all!), 25

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Me and V

I feel like I’ve fallen off the face of the earth between a November 1 deadline and my sister’s wedding (I’ll blog about that next time!), but we managed to squeeze in a Halloween party for my daughter’s birthday. Costumes mandatory. I actually convinced my mother to dress up- well, actually, it was the big-eyed “please?” from her granddaughter that did it. 🙂 My mom was a bag of M&Ms, and a darn good one at that. It’s the first time she’s worn a costume in over forty years.

I love dressing up, love candy, and love having the daylights scared out of me, so Halloween is a favorite holiday of mine. I was also born on a Friday the 13th, so I guess it’s no surprise that I love all things eerie and weird. As you can see from the picture, I was a geisha (though I skipped the white make-up, figuring I’m pale enough naturally) and my hubby was the creepy villain from Vendetta. That mask he wore was seriously disturbing, because he didn’t look like himself at all, which I guess is the point. LOL. And that’s fake hair, by the way. He really enjoyed answering the door and watching the pizza delivery guy jump back three feet. Our puppy wore a mini kimono that matched mine. It’s totally ridiculous, but she looked adorable and actually kept it on for an hour, though we couldn’t get her still long enough for a decent picture.

Do you like to dress up for Halloween, and do you go for scary or funny? What the most creative costume you’ve ever seen? Got any good tips on easy, inexpensive costumes?

Have a great Friday! I’m glad to be back chatting.


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And the winner is….


Lisa F.

Lisa, email me at shilohwalker@gmail.com and I’ll get in touch with Sunny!

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Sunny’s Interview, Part 2

and blogger is being screwy and I can’t post the pretty cover pic… oh well.

REMEMBER! Anybody that comments or has a question will have a chance at winning a signed book from Sunny!

On to the interview…

What do you have planned besides the Mona Lisa books?

Well, LOL, I’m going to be busy continuing Mona Lisa’s stories for a while. A short novella, Mona Lisa Three, comes out in the January 07 Berkley anthology, OVER THE MOON, headlined by Angela Knight and MaryJanice Davidson. MONA LISA BLOSSOMING will quickly follow in Feb 07. Then MONA LISA CRAVING in 08, and on down the alphabet, MONA LISA DARKENING, etc. Thinking for a title for Mona Lisa X will be quite the challenge, but that will be years from now, thank goodness.

Lucinda, Prince Halcyon’s sister, introduced in my two novellas (A second anthology with Patricia Briggs and Eileen Wilks will be out probably next summer) will spin off her own series next fall in LUCINDA, DARKLY, book one in the DEMON PRINCESS CHRONICLES. Please visit my website www.sunnyauthor.com for excerpts.

I’ve got to know… is it weird having two authors in the house? I know my husband and I would drive each other nuts if we both wrote. Well, I drive him nuts anyway… ;o)

Actually, it was what allowed me to write. A false belief that, hey, whatever I write, my acclaimed author husband, Da Chen, can “fix up” for me. A totally wrong misconception…what I write is pretty much it. But it allowed me to write out that first draft, blissfully, joyfully. And then I was done. AND I HAD WRITTEN A BOOK! And just doing that…actually writing a book when I’d believed all my life I’d never be able to…gave me the greatest confidence boost.
I’ve always edited Da’s books. And now he edits mine. And it’s great, although, I must confess, a little awkward in the beginning. After reading my first manuscript (Mona Lisa Awakening), he looked up with this dazed and shocked expression on his face and said, “Sunny, you are a naughty, naughty girl.”

LOL, I blushed, but thought it was great. First, because it told me that the love scenes were hot. Second, because I’d never been seen as a naughty girl before…kinda neat, now.

If you want to read more about Sunny’s books, check them out here.

I’ll post the winner later this week, so make sure you check back. You have to respond via email if your name is drawn. I’ll draw a random winner from the comments sometime this week.


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I have to confess… Fall is one of my favorite times of year! Nothing is more beautiful to me than that brilliant blue October sky framing a kaleidoscope of colorful fall leaves…

We’ve had a fun October thus far. Our kids came up one weekend, and we went to a pumpkin patch and let Anastasia (almost 3) pick her own small pumpkin. She loved it! Ainsley was too little to get in on the action, but she did appear to be fascinated with the big orange ball! !

Our house is surrounded by large mature trees that put on quite a show this time of year. I really enjoy being in the midst of my own mini-forest… at least until I have to start raking. 😦

I always buy mums and pumpkins to sit by the entrance to our house… no one uses the front door, so this is the side of my house.

I am glad I live in a part of the country that has four distinct seasons. Although I might fantasize about living on a tropical island, I think I’d get bored if the weather was the same every day.

This past weekend we went hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains. They had some terrible wind damage about a week ago. Some locations in the park had wind gusts up to 100 miles an hour! Lots of damage that will take some time to repair. The leaves were lovely where we were yesterday, but we counted at least 8 or 9 trees down across the trail… some quite large. Anastasia thought it was quite an adventure to find a way through the branches! She also had fun exploring the log cabin at the end of our hike.

So how about you guys? What do you enjoy about fall?

Janice M.

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And no, I’m not telling my age. I don’t feel as old as I am though. I got a letter from AARP wanting me to join. I felt a little older when I saw my name on it. I chuckled when Karl got one a few years ago. It wasn’t nearly as funny when mine came in the mail. I mentioned my age to my 10 year old granddaughter and her mouth dropped to her chin and she exclaimed that was really old. I admit, I did feel a little older then, too.

I think the old saying that we’re only as old as we feel stands true and I feel really young—well, except when my knees pop. I remember when I was really young and I’d pop my fingers. That was fun. Popping knees aren’t.

I could make a list of why growing older is fun, I guess.

And then again, maybe there aren’t any good reasons.

Okay, I guess there are some things to be said for growing old. I don’t have to clean my room if I don’t want to. I can go shopping and actually spend money on myself. My house is almost paid off.

Karl says I’m not getting older, I’m getting better. I just think he wants to play golf this weekend. That’s okay, though. I’m going shopping–because I can.
Have a good day!
Karen Kelley
Available Now! Hell On Wheels/Brava
Available Now! Texas Bad Boys/Brava
04/07 Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind/Brava

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Kathy Garbera interview!

Howdy, Peeps! I’ve known Kathy for years and just had dinner with her in Atlanta when we did RWA. She writes for Harlequin and Kensington. Keeps a gal busy!
Sooo, here’s Kathy!

From Jennifer:

1) What do you like to read?
I like to read romance, of course! But also outside the genre I have a few favorites. Nelson Demille who writes these big thrillers with real characters, he also always has a really nice romance in each of his books.

Nick Hornby who writes relationship books from a guy’s point-of-view. I love seeing the other side of the coin and his books are great for doing that. Plus he’s not afraid to go to really dark places in his characters.

2) Did your reading habits/preferences change when you became a writer?
Yes, they did. I used to read all romance and that was it. Mainly just series books, but since I sold I’ve branched out to read other genres and other types of books. For once thing a lot of the series lines I used to read are no longer being published–Harlequin Temptation and Bantam Loveswept.

3) How do you relax?
By spending time with my family. I love to cook so when I’m on deadline I save up recipes I want to try and when I finish a book I spend a couple of weeks trying out new dishes! I love shopping for clothes and new things for my house. It doesn’t stress me out at all and I love nothing more than a day at the mall trying on clothes.

From Diana:

1) Kathy, do you have a favorite hero and heroine from the books that you’ve written?

It’s so hard to pick one hero and heroine as my favorite. I think each one is my favorite in the moment of writing the book. Right now, I’m working on a ‘mistress’ themed book for Desire and I love my hero and heroine. She’s an heiress with a penchant for scandal and he’s her family’s business rival with a taste for revenge. It’s so juicy and fun to be in their world!

From Amy:

1) Do you do any research for your books?
Yes, I do. It depends on the subject matter how much research I do. I tend to research as I’m writing a book instead of doing it in advance. I like to be totally immersed in whatever book I’m writing. For one of my Bombshells–The Amazon Strain–I interviewed this college professor who’s been going down to the Amazon for twenty years. He’d written a book about Jungle Survival which I really enjoyed but I wanted to get specifics that would fit my scenario. That was great fun and he was a very fascinating man.

2) From your books, who is your favorite hero?
I have to say I love all my heroes. But I have a special place in my heart Rafe Santini–the hero from my first Desire.

3) Have you ever wrote a character based on someone you know?
Not really. Sometimes a situation with someone I know will make me start thinking of a story idea but it’s never really based on them.

From Barb Smith:

1) In what ways is your Brava writing different from your category writing.
That’s a great question. The Brava writing is different because I’m able to go a lot deeper emotionally with my characters. The Bravas are also more complex and I can really develop my secondary characters.
2) With the demise of the BOMBSHELL line in Silhouette will you still be writing that type of book for one of the other series lines?
I’m really going to miss the Bombshell line! I don’t have any plans to write suspense for any of the other category lines. I am going to be writing one of the Harlequin-NASCAR books. I’m also going to be adding a little more suspense to my Brava books.

3) Any thoughts you would like to share with readers about the demise of the BOMBSHELL line?
I loved the line. I like the fact that women were kicking butt and falling in love. I thought the heroines really embodied the struggles that all women face and I’m so sad we never found the readership we needed to continue.

From Emma:

Yes! For Desire I’ve written a couple of series as well as for Bombshell.

The Tycoon’s Lady and Tycoon for Auction are spin-off books not really a series but they are set in the same world.

I did five books in a series called The King of Hearts about a mob capo (boss) who asks for forgiveness with his dying breath. He is given a chance to redeem himself by matchmaking. He has to unit in love as many couples as people he murdered in life to get into heaven. Those titles are In Bed with Beauty, Cinderella’s Christmas Affair, Let It Ride, Mistress Minded, and Rock Me All Night.

Then I did a series set in Vegas called What Happens in Vegas. This is a spin-off from Let It Ride. Those titles are His Wedding-Night Wager, Her High-Stakes Affair, and Their Million-Dollar Night.

For Bombshell I wrote two books in the Athena Force series Exposed and Exclusive. These books have the same hero and heroine.

For Brava I’m writing another book featuring a member of the O’Roarke family that you first met in Body Heat. This book will be about Andi’s brother Liam.

The first Bombshell I wrote was the most difficult. All the books are hard in different ways but Exposed was one I really struggled with. Mainly because the line hadn’t launched yet and the editors and powers-that-be kept trying to decide what the books should be like. So they were dialing the romance up and down.
No I’ve never been to RT but I am planning to go to Houston next year!
I started writing in ’93 and sold my first book in ’96. So a long time! More than 10 years!
My family is very supportive. My husband talks about me and my writing to everyone he knows. And he’s a great supporter of me at home. Helping me out with the kids and protecting my writing time. My parents are the same way.
The five words that sum me up are friendly, funny, compassionate, passionate, and driven. Why? Well, I think that life is too short to be mean and not get along with others. I think humor is the only thing that keeps us sane and that if you’re bored by something it’s not something you should be doing.
Once I get the characters hammered out its not hard at all. Each of my characters are so different. They are really the ones who drive the plot and the dialogue so each time it’s different.
I actually don’t give too much physical description unless it affects the scene. If they are standing close together I’m probably going to mention his height and build. I’ll mention eyes when they make eye contact at some point.
At the end of my work day, I spend time with my family. We go on a walk or play games with each other. Then after the kids are in bed my husband and I spend time together. I usually read for 15-30 minutes before I turn off my light for the night!
I’d love to meet Baroness Orczy who wrote the Scarlet Pimpernel series. She was writing smart empowered heroines way before anyone else.

>From: “KimW”
What is the one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but never had the courage to try?

Sky-diver or deep-sea diving. I love the thought of both of these activities but am pretty sure that the fear in my gut would keep me from attempting them!

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And the winner is….


Alissa, email me at shilohwalker@gmail.com and I’ll get in touch with you about the prize.

Thanks to everybody that participated!

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I’m going to break Sunny’s interview up into two parts, one today, and the rest will be posted next week. Sunny has offered two signed copies of The Hard Stuff anthology as a prize. I’ll select a winner from each day.
How do you win?
Comment. Question. I’ll draw the winners. HOWEVER, you have to check back on the blog to see if you win. I’ll draw a winner and if you don’t email me back within three days of me posting the winner’s name, you forfeit your prize. SO CHECK BACK.
:o) I’ved read by Mona Lisa Awakening and her novella in The Hard Stuff both are excellent.
And on to the interview….
What does your writing space look like?

Well, that’s a hard question because we just moved, and my new writing space hasn’t been set up yet. I’m in limbo waiting for my desk and new computer to arrive. When they finally do, I can settle into this little 8X12’ sitting room just off the master bedroom. It has a tiny, high, side window, but is very quiet, very private. In our old house, I wrote in our bedroom, my desk facing out two large windows into our backyard.
Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a story that immediately has to be written?
In my early writing days, yes. I’d wake up with my characters “talking” and I’d get up and work for a couple of hours. But then I’d be too tired to do any writing the next day. I’ve found that the most productive lifestyle is a boring and stable, consistent one. Good solid sleep the most essential, getting up around 10am, then writing while fresh for the next 4 hours, until around 2 pm. 1,500 – 2,500 words a day. Then it’s time to play chauffer for my kids, driving them to and from their after-school classes.

Tell us where the idea for the Mona Lisa books came from.

Where most of my ideas come from. My husband. He grew up in China, and he’s always telling me these fascinating stories from our Chinese culture. Like the one about the Moon Festival, which just passed, on October 6th. To celebrate this holiday, the people in China make these round moon cakes and eat them to give thanks for the autumn harvest, and to honor the Moon Goddess, a deity that they believe resides in Paradisal Heaven. When humans sleep, she flows down to Earth and binds two lover’s hearts together with a silk sash. When they awake, the bound hearts will find each other. Something about the moon seems to fascinate Asian people, myself no exception. This gave birth to the concept of “Children of the Moon,” supernatural creatures that are the truth of what the legends of werewolves and vampires are based upon. Beautiful abused warriors suffering under the rule of cruel Queens, with kidnapping rogues, a dark and danger Demon Prince, and Mona Lisa, a young human Mixed Blood Queen discovering who and what she is. Discovering love…more than one…for the very first time.

I know you didn’t start writing until recently. Had you always thought about doing it? What made you start when you did?
Becoming an author, especially the hot and spicy kind, is a total, unexpected, surprise. Chinese parents don’t encourage their children to become writers. They encourage them to become doctors. So I grew up and became a family practice physician.
had tried writing a short romance in college, twenty years ago, as part of English 101 homework…and had failed miserably. Then after my husband sold his memoir eight years ago, I tried writing about my own childhood. The writers’ group I read it at ripped it apart. Critiqued it harshly enough that I did not write again for the next seven years. So, I’d tried twice and failed both times. I told myself I was a reader, not a writer, and devoted myself to doing what I seemed to do best…developing other people’s talent. I edited my husband’s books, and watched my kids flourish, getting small acting roles on Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live, and a Fuji commercial.

Then, one day when my son was six, he was listing everyone’s talents. When he came to me, he had to pause and think for a long time. He finally said, “Mommy drives really well.” It was a wake-up call for me. I realized at that moment that my kids didn’t really appreciate me. And they wouldn’t respect me unless I developed my own talents, instead of focusing solely on theirs. I set out to see, once again, if I had any. Talent, that is. In particular, writing talent. Nothing short of that kick in the pants would have motivated me to try writing again.
But this time around, I’d learned some important things. My husband had dragged me to Robert McGee’s 3-day screenwriting seminar in Manhattan, on “The Art of the Story.” Before, when I tried to write, it had been with vague ideas, and even vaguer\n characters, in mind. The writing seminar, my first, taught me to define my characters, define my world, to do my homework and write down a composition book full of physical details, character strengths and flaws. Even go so far as to create a back story for each of them, so that you knew who they were by where they came from, what they’d gone through. Then box this group of people into tight situations and let them creatively wriggle out of them. And go from turning point to turning point, or rather, situation to situation until you reach the end of the book.

When I did this, defined my characters in minute details and exact specificity, and did the same with their world—defined their specific powers, their set rules—and boxed them into nasty, tight situations…well, suddenly, the stories just came easily, because I knew them so well, I knew how each would react. And when I hit the love scenes…the words just would not stop pouring. I was like stopped-up syrup that suddenly became unplugged. Things…words…emotions…just kept gushing out. And I went from writing a romance…what I’d originally intended…to suddenly finding myself writing erotic romance. Oops.

And that’s it for this week. You can read the rest next week. If you want to read more about Sunny and her books, check out her website. http://sunnyhotromance.com/
the cover pic above was found at Sunny‘s website.

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Ho, Ho, Ho…

Welcome, ladies and gentleman, to the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season! Ignore all those pumpkins and mums and you’ll begin to notice the encroaching signs of lights, trees, etc.

And to get you in the spirit… (drum roll please)… “A Very Merry Christmas” has hit the stands. Thanks to those of you who have already bought a a copy… hope it puts you in the mood for some Christmas cheer. 🙂

“A Very Merry Christmas” includes Lori Foster’s story about Marci, who is the sister of the heroine in “Bad Boys of Summer”. My novella is a “Red Riding Hood lost in the woods” story, and I hope you’ll fall in love with the “wolf” who finds her. Rounding out the anthology is a story by Brava author Gemma Bruce.

December seems like a long way away, but with a big “to do” list, it will be here before we know it. I’m blogging instead of writing, so I’d better not let Bad Barb see this!

I’ve had company all weekend, and I am a bit zapped… the first of them arrived Thursday afternoon at 3 and the last of them just left forty-five minutes ago at ten a.m. Lots of fun, but sort of a madhouse at times…

Which leads me to today’s question – Do you like books with a huge cast of characters, or do you prefer a story that rests pretty much exclusively with the hero and heroine and their developing story? Or does it depend on what type of book it is?

I’ve heard editors say that it’s easy for secondary characters to deflect attention from the main story, but on the other hand, readers sometimes get attached to the minor characters and want to hear more. So where do you weigh in on the subject? I’d love to hear your answers!

I’m hoping this Monday isn’t too stressful for all our vamps and scamps. You all deserve a great start to the week, and if you don’t get it, there is always chocolate…

Until later,

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