Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Showers Make Me VERY Happy!

Good morning, world!

I am BLOOMING with news this April 1st, so there's no book club discussion today. Sorry! BUT, NONE of this news is/are April fools! How cool is that! :)

Alrighty, since I'm amped up like I had a 10-foot tall Red Bull, let's just get down to business! :)

Here is my schedule for the LOVELY month of April:

4/6 - Yours truly will be featured in the All Romance E-books Newsletter! Check it out! :)

4/17 - I will be at the Raider Book Store in Suffern, NY! The event starts at 2 pm, folks! I hope to see you there!

4/18 - I will be on Wake Up America's Blog Talk Radio show at 8 pm Eastern/5 pm Pacific. This is going to be an INCREDIBLE conversation, so I really hope you tune in! :)

I am now also a host on Authors Promoting Authors! :) I'm really excited to be hosting more authors on my blog. Here is the April interview schedule:

4 / 10 - Lloyd Kaneko
4 / 23 - Lee Libro from Literary Magic

You don't want to miss those! :)

So, that's the news for now!

Happy reading!! :)

Page 69 Trial Part II!

Good morning, world!

Over the weekend, I recieved my print copies of Unbreakable Hostage. YAY!!!! :) So, that got me thinking. I want to re-visit the page 69 trial for both Unbreakable Hostage AND Loving Her. Except, I am going to do both the e-book versions AND the print versions! I hope you enjoy them. :)

Loving Her

E-book (there was a slight glitch on this, but I kinda sorta got it to work! LOL):

“Hey Johnny,” Donna said softly. “I’m glad to see you’re awake. What’s the news?”

“Well,” he struggled for his words, “ya know how we always said we were like twins?”

“Yeah?” Donna said in utter confusion.

“Now, we really will be. Gotta lose my kidney.”

“Oh dammit, John!”

“No, no, it’s ok,” he tried to reassure her. “The doctors are convinced that my other kidney is in perfect shape. I should be fine. You should know about that.”

“Yeah, but John…”

“They’re removing it tomorrow, Don. It’ll be a long healing, but they gave me a great prognosis.”

“I called Brynn today,” Donna said trying to avoid the subject. She was too scared and upset to think any more about John going into surgery. “We found a lead, and it may tie us to Doylestown. Brynn’s gonna help us catch this bastard.”

“I’ll tell you what,” John’s voice was growing weak. “I’ll focus on getting through this, and you focus on getting him in jail.”


"Well, Miss O'Kane," one of the stuffy judges started. "Your resume is extremely impressive. You've danced with some of the finest companies in the country. But, why such a break between your last company and now?"

"My partner was diagnosed with MS so I took some time off to be with her. I just felt that I needed to be there with her through various tests and treatments and all. Things are more stable now, so I'm ready to dance again." Liz's Southern accent seemed out of sorts with the Board Directors of the Pennsylvania Ballet.

"There is also some concern about your age and the length of that gap," he stated coldly.

"I understand," Liz replied. She knew her age could be a problem, and she had prepared this mini-speech just for this moment. "Thirty-three can be kind of a tricky age for us dancers, especially when we haven't danced in a while. Some people view their thirties as the time when they lose their youth and vitality. But, I have been practicing and attending class daily even during this 'break.'
"I look at people like George Balanchine. One of the most incredible dancers and choreographers ever. Someone whose work this company follows. That man danced for so many years. He danced well beyond his 33rd birthday. He even kept dancing while having heart issuea and his other medical problems. Martha Graham danced for over 70 years. Trust me, if they can do that, I know I can dance at 33 and beyond."

Unbreakable Hostage


Lareina tried to appease Tony, but she seemed to be failing miserably.

“Harder! Scrub them harder, damn it! Get these fucking clothes clean!”

Lareina hand washed and scrubbed the clothes with what little energy she had, but it was not enough for Tony. He came up from behind her, grabbed the clothes out of her hands, and threw them onto the river bank.

Tony then grabbed her hair and shoved her face under the bitterly cold water.

Lareina began to struggle. Tony held her face down longer, and with greater force. Lareina was running out of air. Just as she began to fear that she was going to drown, Tony pulled her head up with great strength. Lareina gasped for breath, and Tony shoved her face back down into the cold abyss.

Again, she struggled. She moved and tried to loosen Tony's grip on her hair, but it was to no avail. She began to run out of air again. Once more, Tony pulled her head up just in time.

Lareina took in the biggest breath she could as her face was forced into the cold water yet again. This time, she did not struggle in the hopes that it would have her air supply last longer. The cold water harshly pierced her face as she tried to hold her breath for as long as possible. Finally, after a cold eternity Tony pulled her up again. Lareina fought to breathe normally again. Tony pulled back on her hair, and Lareina stumbled backwards in the water. It took her a few moments, but she finally regained her stability.

“Now you see what I'm truly capable of. Don't you dare ever make me do this again! I don’t want to, but I'm not afraid to do whatever I have to.” His hot breath fell on her ear. “I don't think you really understand what's going on here. You will do as I say, or I will kill you. There are no two ways about it. Get it?"


The two stood staring at each other, with only a few feet between them.

"Wanna play?" Tony's voice sounded like pure evil.

He lunged forward but Lareina was able to jump back, unscathed.

She watched warily as Tony moved around the room. She leaned forward as he started coming at her from her left side. She quickly ran to the right, grabbed his fat arm from behind and pulled it up behind his back. Tony screamed out in pain.

Lareina pulled his arm up again with all of her might, in order to inflict more pain. He screamed again. Lareina knew she had him in a good position, but she couldn't figure out how to completely incapacitate him so she could protect herself.

Still holding his arm up behind his back, Lareina kicked Tony in the back. Once again, he screamed out in pain. She felt him buckle in her hand.

Thinking that he was weak enough, she tried to pull his arm up one last time, but her hand slipped and he was suddenly free.

Tony quickly turned around. He grabbed Lareina's thin arm and spun her around so her back was pressed against his portly abdomen. Before she even realized what had happened, he had the knife presased strongly against her neck.

"You won't win this one, honey," Tony scorned her. He pressed the knife against her jugular even harder. "Don't do this again, or I will kill you." He pushed her forward, and Lareina fell onto the floor on her hands and knees. She could feel her hands and knees were cut up and splintered from the floor. She dare not look at her wounds. She simply stayed there until Tony returned with the electrical tape.

Tony pulled her up by her elbow. Quickly, he wrapped the tape around her arms several times. He then repeated the pattern for her ankles.

I hope you liked 'em! Happy Wednesday & happy reading, everyone! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The God Complex

Good morning, world!

I got some writing done yesterday on the sequel to Imperfect and I'd really like to write some more today, if I can.

What I wrote were some of the most important parts to the story. It brought me SO much peace to have written those sections.

I openly admit that my writing can make me quite emotional. If I write a scene where there's an argument, I get angry. If I write a sad or depressing part, I'll become quite melancholy. I don't want to give away what I wrote, but I just felt so peaceful (still do).

I've spoken with other writers about this. I don't know if we writers have a "God-complex," but there is something quite God-like in creating people and events. We determine what they do; what they say; whether or not they die. They are our puppets and we can pull on their strings any way we so choose.

As a writer (and especially in the case of Imperfect & this sequel, Impeccable), I don't get a thrill feeling as though I am controlling someone. I don't feel as though I have some incredible power or anything like that.

A DEAR friend & fellow VHP writer likened our characters and stories to our children. THAT is an anology I can agree with. Carol (the main character in Imperfect and Impeccable) may not have grown in my womb, per say. But she grew in my mind. When you read the books, you'll understand that I have known her for her entire life. I know every day of her existance. I know her feelings, her reactions. Technically, we don't share DNA, but I still created her. And now I have sent her out into the world for all of you to know her as well.

Do writers have a God complex? I think some might. Just as you can't categorize all women, or all people of a certain race, you cannot categorize all writers. We are remarkably different. We all have our own voice. We all have our own style. We all have our own motives.

Personally, there is no God complex here. I am just a woman raising her children. :)

Happy reading! :)

How do I know?

Good morning, cyber-world. I know it's Monday, but we can get through it! ;)

Over the weekend, I got my print copies of Unbreakable Hostage.

Seeing and holding your own book is an experience beyond all description!

We also did a lot of work around the house - especially going through our stuff that we had just stored away and not given any real attention. A couple of sore backs and a violation from a Furby (it was comical, really! I accidentally sat on a plastic furby's ear. Let's just say that my hiney is STILL recovering! LOL), I'm glad that we did. We found a bunch of my old writings. Some of the novels I had written as a kid and a piece I had written in elementary school which my teacher and mother both fawned over tremendously.

(This was how my mother and I normally interacted! LOL)

Finding those old writings, plus doing a bunch of "networking" on Facebook (formerly known as myspace whoring) really got me thinking. As a writer, you want to network with as many people as you can. You want to get noticed. You want to get fans. You want to get readership. That's how we make money.

Here's the thing. EVERYBODY wants to write "the great American novel." EVERYBODY. People think it's easy. People think they have talent, when they don't even know when to use "there," "their" or "they're." Seriously. If you don't know, PLEASE reconsider the idea of actually writing a 60,000 work book. Quite personally, I would NOT want to edit that person's book!

I also have a "friend" on Facebook who thinks he is a literary genius. He posts quotes from his book. I'll be nice and spare his name. I will say that they just flat out suck. It's obvious that he's trying too hard. He thinks he is writing beautiful, poetic, MEMORABLE things. He's really just making an ass of himself. Even the Mrs. thinks so! His writing is blatantly horrible. I'm sorry to say it. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but a writer he is not! LOL.

Anyway, here's my dilemma, world: how do I know if I am any better than the average Joe? Is it because I am with an indie press and not self-published? Is it because I write to write, not to just see my name on a cover? Is it because of my early writing accomplishments? Truthfully, I don't know. Perhaps I am really no better than that guy whose work I abhore! How can I be sure that I am a REAL writer and not some schmoe who just THINKS she can write?

Yes, I know the difference between "there," "their" and "they're." I know when to use semi-colons. I know not to end sentences on a proposition. I know about contractions (and I don't mean the kind you have when in labor!). I have a thesaurus, a dictionary, a phrase book, two Spanish-English dictionaries, a pocket dictionary, and a dictionary of synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms on my desk. So, I have many resources available to me. Smart writers have reference books. ;)

Do I go by the fact that I have people tell me how much more they want after having read Loving Her? They say that a good artist (using any platform or media) will always leave their audience wanting more. Since I've heard that quite often, perhaps I should take that as a cue. Or is that being too presumptuous of me?

It's really hard for me to know, quite honestly. I'd love to believe that I have genuine talent. I've had the passion for writing as far as I can remember. I was nationally published at age 14. Not many people can say that. So yes, I have some bragging rights. Bragging rights don't automatically make you a good writer, though. The pursuance and constant improving of your craft makes one a good artist. Therefore, I shall continue to push myself in the hopes that I will truly be a GOOD writer some day! :)

Happy reading! :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

It's Wednesday. Aka "hump day." Aka March 24th. It was one year ago today I put on that tan shirt that pulled ever so slightly across my bosom and walked out into the Vegas sun to meet my future partner.

We went to Fremont Street so she could see the world's largest light show and the curiosities of Old Vegas.

We drove around to the airport where we read to each other.

We spent seven blissful hours together. It was incredible.

It's been a fantastic year. I can't wait for all the years still to come!

Here's to you, my love! Happy anniversary! :)

Our Song: Nothing Else Matters by Metallica (not your typical love song, but we're not your typical love birds! LOL)

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
and nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
but I know

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
but I know

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us, something new
Open mind for a different view
and nothing else matters

never cared for what they say
never cared for games they play
never cared for what they do
never cared for what they know
and I know

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No, nothing else matters

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Character Interview: Lareina

Good Friday morning, everyone!

Today, we have Lareina from Unbreakable Hostage as our guest! :)

Welcome, Lareina.

Thank you very much for having me.

Lareina, let's just jump right into it. You went through an incredible ordeal. Did you ever imagine that your story would become a book?

No, not at all. It is not one of those you think about. You just think about survival. How can I get out of here? Books are the last thing on your mind.

You are clearly a woman who likes to take care of herself, look good, etc. Is that a fair statement? If so, why is that so important to you?

It is a fair statement, yes. My parents sacrificed so much for my brother and I to have a good life here in America. I don't look at it as vanity. I do so to take good care of myself and to show my parents how much I appreciate all that we now have.

That's an honest answer. You've also said the same about your work and schooling. How has all of this affected your career goals?

It just slowed me down. It did not stop me. A person like Tony does not deserve to have the power to stop me from achieving what I want.

One thing that is incredibly amazing is your quick thinking. You're an extremely intelligent woman. You never panicked or lost your wits. Instead, you figured out ways to give Sandy and your family the right information. You used every resource you had available to you. Many people don't do that. They panic or they forget. How were you able to stay so sharp?

Again, it was just survival. I did what I needed to do. I did panic. There were plenty of times I was frightened or couldn't think straight. I just fought the only way I knew how.

Speaking of fighting, despite your small stature, you gave Tony a run for his money! You fought back with great physicality. Had you ever taken self-defense classes or anything?

No. I just did whatever came to mind. I wanted to get away from him, so I fought with all my heart.

What was the hardest or scariest moment for you?

Besides the music? The river...When we were on foot and close to being found and Tony...That was the worst.

How do you feel being back in LA?

Good. It's home. I'm safe. I feel good to be surrounded by all that is familiar.

Well, I know this is a very difficult and emotional interview. This is the least question. Is there something that you would like people to know about you?

I am just a regular person. I am no different from you.

Thus spoke the strong, resilient, bi-lingual woman with a Ph.D. in algebra. Thank you so very much, Lareina!

Happy weekend reading everyone! :)