Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cover Contest Day 1

Our cover contest begins today, and we're so excited to bring you 10 wonderful covers for you to choose from. It's not going to be easy! 

Please pick your favorite cover and vote in our poll. Only one vote per person. Be sure to stop by each day to see the next 10 covers in our contest. Once all covers have been shown, the finalists will battle it out to see which one gets the most votes. The winner will get to claim the "Golden Rose Award for Best Cover". 

If you would like to stop the scrolling to get a better look at one of the covers, just hold your mouse cursor over one of the covers near it, and it will hold it there until you move your cursor. You may have to click to activate the control.

Thank you for participating in our contest, and we hope you have fun! Good luck to all our wonderful authors who sent in their covers! 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Please Welcome Author...Crystal Jordan!!

It's Raining Men by Crystal Jordan

She loves them too much to change them. Until they turn the tables on her…

Every one of Candy’s werewolf instincts tells her that Michael is her mate. He’s a lawyer—smart, sophisticated, and handsome. The catch? He’s gay. There is no way she’s going to try to change who he is. Then she meets his lover Stephen, a seductive Fae-siren jazz singer, and she’s positive she’s got a screw loose somewhere. Mates with not one, but two gay men?
She’s definitely doomed to be single forever.

Michael and Stephen know that their unexpectedly flirtatious advances have thrown Candy for a loop. But there’s method to their madness—they’re both serious about her. And they plan to make sure she never spends another birthday alone. Warning: Nekked men doing dirty, dirty things to each other and a very lucky woman, sexy biting of mates, seductive siren singing and a naughty masturbation in a public restroom. Hey, a girl has to do what a girl has to do!

Buy it here!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Are you a wordsmith or a blurb expert?

Yes, you say. You know how to work and manipulate words. In other words, you’re a skilled writer. But can you write a short message in a very short space? I can if I try hard enough, but not very good. :-)copywriter

You know, I envy the poets, songwriters, hip-hoppers and rappers. Using just a few stanzas and they can convey their messages so easily. I wish I possessed their talent. Why? One of the biggest hurdles I face is writing blurbs for my stories.

Readers, maybe not all the time, once they have spotted a cool looking cover will pick up the book then turn the book to see the back cover to read the blurb. So we all know how important it is for us writers to come up with a good one. And that’s what I want to learn—how to write a good blurb. 

Just tonight, I struggled to find the right words to write a not so blurb-y blurb. I must have tried at least three times to come up with one that perhaps will catch the reader’s attention. At 11:11 PM, I finally gave up and sent the Author Information Form to my editor. She might not like it. We shall see.


I am sure there are books on how to write powerful, eye-catching blurbs. I don’t have it. Any recommendations, anybody? If you have tips on how to write blurbs in simple steps, please share it. I’ll take all the help I can get. :-)




Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shapeshifter Mania!!!

I just have to gush today! I'm very excited! I just sold two novellas to New Concepts Publishing for The Brood Series, stories full of paranormal shapeshifting romance! My very favorite genre! Woo hooooo!

I've based my heroine, Tammie, from Voodoo Moon on my very good friend Tammie who lives in Nebraska. She's an avid reader and the coolest lady I know...ultra sexy, inked all up with beautiful tats and the sassiest personality on earth! I just love her to death, can you tell? Here's some pics of the beautiful lady herself!

Voodoo Moon

When London rock star, Tammie Palmer inherits the historic plantation, Rose Hall in Montego Bay, Jamaica, she decides to make it her new recording studio, moving her band, Witch Storm, to the haunted mansion. Tales of her ancestor, Annie Palmer have been floating around Jamaica for nearly two centuries. Horrifying acts of slave torture, black magic, Haitian voodoo and murder are part of the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall.

Ancient spells conjure a powerful houngan from the 1800's. A voodoo priest who
performed black magick to shift into a wolf in order to save his wife, Daisy from the White Witch. Now he's alive again, hell-bent on revenge against the witch's ancestor. But how can the shifter voodoo-king punish a woman whose scent reminds him of his former love? Can he confront his past and survive in this new world as a beast, without falling in love with his enemy?

And I'd like to thank my wonderful friend, Rita Thedford, aka Regina Carlysle for critiquing Uncaged and helping me with the time period and language. Believe me, that's the last time I attempt to write historical paranormals...well, never say never, but it was tough. Thank you, Rita for your expertise and your beautiful friendship! I adore you! Muah! And for readers out there who have not discovered her talent, you are missing out! Go check her books out! You'll be hooked. Yes, you can thank me later. I accept bottles of wine as gifts....snort!

Regina Carlysle


When an African lion wakes up on board a ship bound for London in 1772, he has no choice but to shift into the very creature that has captured and caged him in order to free himself. Fifteen years have passed since the lion has called himself by his given name, Bruce Remington. Time enough to forget life as a man, but when Bruce meets the captain’s daughter, Wren Whittier, a lovely quadroon, the scent of a woman comes flooding back to him.

Once back in London, Bruce settles back into the shape shifter community, intent on reclaiming his life as a man and making Wren his wife. When the captain falls ill and dies, Wren is captured by a lynch mob and held prisoner by a small town of superstitious country folk on charges of witchcraft, though witch trials are a thing of the past. Bruce gathers every available London shape shifter and goes in search of the woman he loves. Will the heart of the lion, the very heart that binds them together be strong enough to free her before she’s burned at the stake?

Trailers Coming Soon!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

We at the Wicked Thorn and Roses would like to show our appreciation for all those serving our country and those who gave their lives so that we can be safe. To our soldiers out there fighting for us, we thank you! To all the families and friends, we send our love and respect. Your loved ones are not forgotten!

Please have a safe and happy Memorial Day!

Wicked Thorn and Roses

Memorial Weekend - What? Already?

I have overheard others and caught myself saying lately - "I can't believe May is almost over and it's almost June."

Is it just me or has the world hit warp speed and we're hurtling headlong into the second half of the year? Every time New Years rolls around I make a pact with myself to clear my harddrive of all the old files that are only partially written and languishing there sans contracts. Once again, I've blown the deadline. How does time get so far away from us? How can I not have finished the five different novels I'm currently working on? It's just not right or fair.

I have three or four erotic sci-fi novellas in half completed status. One contemporary romantic suspense novel. Several fantasy novels. Some I have here that I've finished but haven't sold. Not for lack of trying. I just haven't found the right pub for them yet. And still I take on more work for myself. Of the five wips I am working on, 3 of them are books I pulled from the stalled pile. So, while my intentions were good, I haven't made enough progress to see completion on them. On top of this, I started a new wip targeted to Silhouette Romantic Suspense. (What am I thinking? I've got so many other books to write.) Am I crazy? Have I lost my mind?

No, I am constantly frustrated with the knowledge I can't write as fast as I read. Oh, to be able to accomplish that feat.

So what's in store for the second half of the year? Well, I'm determined to finish the books in my wip pile. Get the sequels out the door that I've needed to write for the past six months. Then write a book that's bigger than the Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter combined. (Hey, I can dream can't I?)

I don't know why my production has fallen off lately. I used to work so fast. It's funny, but rather appropriate that I seem to do my best work when I write stories that center around military men and women. Most of which happens in deep space somewhere, but I think there's just something about the orderly structure and rank and file that makes for intriguing plot lines for me. Of course, most of my military operations employ psychics in their companies. It just makes it a bit more interesting.

Ah, but I digress. And if I'm not careful I'll sit here and come up with forty more ideas I'll want to write instead of clearing my hard drive. *Sigh*

And on a more personal note:

To our soliders out there and their families, especially my nephews who are serving in Iraq. Thank you for all your sacrifices. Come home safe. Your Uncle Dave and I love you very much.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Things to Love and Dislike About Writing

The top three things I love and drive me insane about writing…we’ll start with the three things I dislike (I shy away from saying hate because I had to work hard at coming up with the 3 things I disliked) the most and work my way up to those things I love:

3. Synopsis – I stink at writing synopsis. Figuring out what are the most important aspects of the story that need to be focused on, is really difficult for me. Probably because I think it is all important. I mean, let’s face it, if it wasn’t important, I’d have cut it from the storyline right? LOL But, I get it. There are some details that can be left out of a synopsis that do not affect the storyline at all. Can you tell I’m trying to write a synopsis and it’s not going so well? :-/

2. Editing – If I could just write and never have to edit, writing would be the perfect job. I think that means writing is near enough to perfect to count as the perfect job. And it certainly is better than any job I’ve ever had outside the home.

1. Temperamental muses – It’s frustrating when my muse decides to take a leave of absence without any notice whatsoever. There should be a rule in place that says muses must schedule leave of absences to work with our timeframe. It would make life so much easier, right? :D

Now, the top three things I love about writing…

3. Creation – I love everything about creating new characters. I love learning their flaws, discovering their inner demons and slowly coming to realize what it is that makes them tick. I may breathe life into them initially, but often times by the time I finish writing about them, I realize they had a life all of their own that they allowed me to visit inside my mind.

2. The hours – I create my own work schedule. This can be a dangerous thing, but when the muse is on fire, all I will want to do is write from morning, noon and night. So, sleep becomes a novelty.

1. No legal recourse – I do whatever I want in my stories without any legal recourse. LOL Yeah, that sounds bad, but you writers know what I mean. We can kill someone without really going to jail or facing any consequences unless that’s part of the storyline.

So, if you’re a writer, tell me what are the things you love and dislike about writing?

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Falling for my hero: Sign that I am on the right track


“I think that possibly maybe I'm falling for you. Yes There's a chance that I've fallen quite hard over you”


You must have heard that line before. It’s part of the song Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg. There is something about it that makes one smile and feel warm all over. At least, I do. If I am going to describe how I feel about my new character Bors (second Knight in my Knight Brother series), that is how I’ll say it. Plain and simple. I am falling for him! LOL Okay, okay. I know. My husband’s eyebrows arched so high, too, when he read this (he’s my proofreader extraordinaire).


Anyway, what’s this falling all about? I’ve been working on Bors’s story. The bad Knight among the four brothers. He is a great brother, son, tough agent, partial to wearing black boots, curses a lot that his curse jar is always full, quick to apologize to his mother when he’s caught uttering foul words, and a great lover. No, he is not perfect. Not at all. For an agent he has a flaw that makes his family shake their heads in wonder.


When I write about him, my heart beats faster; I can feel him breathe, feel his pain, see him walk, hear him talk. I can see him looking at me with a devilish look in his dark blue eyes. His image is vivid in my head. It’s as if we’ve already met in person. Times like this, I know I am on the right track, that I’m not just finishing a chapter for the sake of finishing it. No, my words are not simply words. They are my emotions, whispers of my heart put into writing.


Like a woman in love composing a love letter to her lover, I am penning a story with a soul.


Have you ever felt like this toward your heroes? How can you tell if your character is flat?





Wicked Knight: Tristan, sold to Red Rose Publishing, is the first in the Knight Brother series. I don’t have a cover to share yet. Hopefully soon.


“Love, I want to be the one to fill your house with screaming little Julie look-alikes, I want to be the one to bring you our first tabby cat. I want to be the one you see when you wake up in the morning and before you close your eyes at night. I wanted to be the one. I love you, Julie Strawberry.”

                                             Tristan Knight

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sorry About That, Chief says the famous Maxwell Smart.

Why am I saying sorry? Well, I didn't post last week. Shame on me. I was real busy. That's no excuse, however. so to make up for it, and because I have absolutely no writing news what-so-ever, here are some cute penguin pics I took at the latest family excursion.

These pics are of the penguins inside the Antarctica display at the Melbourne Aquarium, one of the best displays of wild animals I have ever seen. They have gone to great lengths to make the environment as close to nature as they can without hindering the viewing experience.

The top two pics feature the second largest penguin species, called the King Penguin. The third pic is of a Gento penguin, a rather energetic thing it was, too.

Did you know, Antartica is recorded as being the coldest place on Earth, the windiest place and the driest place (it received even less rain than the Sahara desert)? Amazing stuff.

Okay, until next week, cheerio!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A visit from Ms. Dater!

I’m so honored to be blogging at a romance author blog even though I’m not an author. Or a publisher really. Not even an agent. What I am is the BIGGEST romance novel fan! So why do I get to be a guest here? I’m single and looking for my own love story. You know~ one of those kinds these authors write about! I know my Mr. Forever is not going to drop from the sky so I’m out pounding the pavement to find him. Some day I’ll have my own romance like in a novel. But not last Friday. Oh no. First of all~ you should know I suck at dating. It’s not one of my talents.

So here’s my date:

I met my date outside of my favorite Mexican food restaurant. He looked great with his rumpled blond hair, freckles, and wrinkle free clothes. Yep. I even look at the clothes the guy wears. This one looked great.
“Mark, it’s so nice to meet you.” I shot him a great big smile.
He didn’t smile back so it got me wondering what heck his problem was. I learned soon enough.
“My name’s John.”
Oh, right! Mark was the other night. Damn. Strike one. I wondered how many I would get?

Since we started off the wrong foot it couldn’t get worse right? I’ll let you be the judge. We walk into the place and was taken right to a table. Our waiter was my date’s friend. I sat there quietly while he jabbered on and on to this waiter. My stomach was growling and I was getting antsy. Not a good combo.

I lean over to the waiter who was crouched down next to the table to introduce myself since my date wasn‘t. “I’m Mark’s date.” As soon as the name left my mouth I knew it was bad. “I mean John.” I sat back against the seat and knew I was in trouble.

But at least I was wearing what I call my cleavage shirt so maybe it would get me some brownie points with him and he’d forget about the silly name thing. It must have worked because he seemed to ease up a bit while we waited for our food.

All was going good until he was eating a nacho with a big dollop of sour cream. I don’t know how it had gotten smeared across his cheek but it looked like he had been having fun with someone other than me. The thought of that sent me into a giggled. I didn’t realize the waiter was coming with our food until it was to late.

The waiter laughed at my date as he set the food down on our table. Once he was gone, I told John about the sour cream.

I hit the three strike rule. He doesn’t want to go out with me again.

I guess that leaves me to read more of Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery. Such a beautiful story about estranged sisters and the male best friend. I think I’ll go ask my mom if she’s sure I don’t have some long lost sister somewhere so maybe I can hook up with her best friend like in the novel I’m reading!

If you’d like me to review your book, send it on over and these awesome authors will forward it to me! Who knows how it’ll tie into my next date!!

Ms. Dater

Books and Wine and Fun Ways to Promote New Releases!

Woo hoooooo! I'm back, my wicked bloggers!! Did you miss me? Well, I missed you. As many of you know, my computer crashed. I lost a couple of incomplete manuscripts and some precious photos. I'm still trying to have the data recovered, so keep your fingers crossed. Thanks to all my friends out there that sent welcome back emails! I love you all. Hey, don't be a dummy like me...BACK UP EVERY DAY!

Okay, back to my newest adventure. Some of you may remember that I told you I had a couple of signings at wine stores. They were by far the most successful signings I've ever had and definitely the most fun! I loved it so much that I've become a Wine Consultant for a winery in Napa Valley, CA. How exciting is this? Woo hoo! I love wine and I'm thrilled about this new twist in my ever evolving life! I'll continue to sign books via wine tastings but now I've expanded it to all my author friends. Wouldn't you love to have a wine tasting/signing here, in Cochem?

Now I know a lot of you live far away from me. I'm in Texas but I'm betting it won't be long and I'll be able to travel greater distances. I've talked to other wine consultants at the company that are already doing it six months in. For now, if any of you would like to do a book signing in conjunction with a wine tasting, in Texas and surrounding states, let me know. And there's no cost to you or any guests. Ever. It's a fun way to debut our new books and I get to make a little extra cash if any guests decide to buy a bottle. BTW, my wine vine is gorgeous!

I can't wait to do this!

Okay, these ladies have the right idea. I want a wine glass like this!

And can I have a drag off that big stogie? Don't get me started on cigars. We should start passing these fat babies out at signings too. Hey, it's like we gave birth, right? Our books are our new borns!

So, I'm hungry for new ways like this to promote our books. What about you? Please share the various ways you promote your books and participate in books signings. I know coffee tastings are another fun way. I love coffee just as much as wine and I'm all for trying out new grinds.

I'm also looking for great promo items. What clever promo items have you used in the past? I made some very beautiful beaded book thongs and they were a big hit.

Okay, you wicked bloggers, give me your ideas! I'll just sit back, sip my wine and enjoy reading your suggestions!

It's great to be back!
~Fat Hug,

Contact me for Wine Tastings with your Signings at and we'll bring on the grapes!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Time Management

Currently, I'm working on three different works in process. I have more that I haven't touched in a while, but these three I'm actively working on. Two are in revision and one I am writing. I've been trying to shuffle my time to work on all three. It hasn't been easy, and I'm afraid I'm not doing too well.

On one of the wips, I'm working with a mentor. I havne't sent her my latest chapter to critique, and I really need to get it to her. Luckily for me, but not her, her computer has been in the shop so she hasn't had a lot of time either. But, I know I need to get it to her soon.

On the second one, I'm writing a story to go in an anthology. It has been really fun, and I was excited to be asked to join in. It makes you feel good to know that someone thinks your writing is good enough to invite you to join them. This one I'm still writing, and the deadline is looming closer each day. I should have plenty of time to finish it, but lately I havne't been doing so well with my writing. It's been like pulling teeth to get the words out. In fact, I was working on it last night and had to give up on a scene and start a different one because I was getting no where. As long as I remember to go back and finish that one, I'll be alright. :D

The third one is a story I'm trying to get ready to sub. I've sent it out to three different people to read for me. It's nearly ready, but I need to rework the beginning a little bit before it's ready to go. Hopefully, that won't be too involved of a rewrite. Fingers crossed!

Right now, it feels like I'm chasing my tail. I work on one for a bit, then try to work on another. I'm not very good with schedules, so I don't think it would help me to try to stick to one. At least, I'm keeping my pace, slow but steady.

What do you do to manage your time? Do you write/work on more than one wip at a time? I'd love to hear what you do for time management. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This is a word I loathe with such unbridled passion I think I actually grow fangs and my eyes turn to red at the mere mention of it. - In my line of work, (no, the other line) I'm told perception is everything.

I grow so tired of people jumping to their own conclusions about a situation before they even ask you or try to iron out any misunderstanding. I can't tell you how many times over the past 16 years I've been called into the office and reamed a new one for a perception someone had about me that was not only way off the mark that it landed somewhere in Albequrque, but was so far from the truth it bordered on slander. At no point have I been allowed to defend myself in a manner that I can honestly say my bosses believed me. No, for there is an unwritten rule, "whoever tells the tale first, tells the truth." - regardless if this is factual or not.

Which brings me to the topic of today's blog.

I've been thinking a lot about, well, that ten letter word I hate so much, over the last few days. It all started with a dream I had about a group of private investigators who all worked for the same agency in a rather large city. The POV character in the dream was being told by the IT person that no one in the company liked her and in fact they rather couldn't stand her. The conversation had started innocently enough over an assignment to go into the part of the city that made POV character nervous to travel in alone. Things escalated in the dream to where the POV character decided she could no longer work at the company - a place where she believed she was very well liked and had many friends. While she thought the good-natured joking and ribbing enjoyed by all members of the investigative team were friendly exchanges, her co-workers found her abrasive, irritating and annoying. (As you see, I sometimes have very detailed dreams, though oftentimes they're disjointed. I think the next scene in my dream was a bunch of extremely bored looking college students sitting in a classroom waiting for the professor to arrive.)

The POV character in the dream had been blindsided by a perception of her coworkers that was not only harsh, but untrue. I thought a lot about this character over the past twenty-four hours and wondered what she did next. How did she overcome the hurtful situation she found herself in? How did she face a room full of coworkers she now believed hated her?

For the purpose of this discussion, the next part of her story really doesn't matter. It's a jumping off point for all the conflict or wrong-thinking characters can have for each other in novels. The resolution of such things can take many roads that can have variable twists and turns throughout the journey.

Conflicts that revolve around misunderstandings are often thought of as taboos. How many times has it been drummed into novice writers that if the conflict can be resolved by a conversation, it's not a conflict? That's true to an extent, but I tend to pull back from talking absolutes when it comes to the creative process. Also, these perception-based misunderstandings are a big part of real life. People don't like to discuss problems, they like for them to fester and scab over for some reason I can't honestely fathom. But not all perception problems in stories are such a bad thing, especially if they are short in duration. You might in fact find an entire level of deeper understanding between your characters once the problem is resolved.

My paranormal novel, Scythe, which releases this week from Samhain Publishing under my MK Mancos psuedonymn deals with perceptions. Here's some blurbage for you enjoyment.

A hot chick. A golden blade. Dead bodies. It’s enough to make a cop crazy.

Keely Montgomery doesn’t spend much time thinking about death. She’s too busy working toward a Ph.D. in social work—her ticket out of a low-rent apartment in a New Jersey urban center. Until an angelic courier delivers a scroll from the Office of Death and Dismemberment that could take her career down a new path—as one of Heaven’s Holy Assassins.

Her? Become a Scythe? No thanks, not interested. But she underestimates how persistent Heaven can be.

Detective Josiah Adler has seen a lot of weird things during his time on the force. A hot blonde wielding a golden blade, standing over a string of dead bodies? That’s a new one. So is the fact that her grisly deeds leave no blood or marks on the bodies.

The woman’s effect on his libido is another new development. One that leaves him no choice but to nail her before she kills again. And before his heart no longer stands a chance…

So, do you embrace or avoid perceptions in your work? Do you cringe when you see them in books by your favorite authors? Tell me, I'm interested to know.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Immortal Kiss

I am sleep deprived and I have family here from out of town, so I thought I'd share a poem I wrote a couple of years back. I'm not a poet. I just dabble with it on occasion. I didn’t want to leave you blog-less for another Saturday since I was out of town last weekend and couldn’t get my mother’s internet to boot up so I could blog. Hope everyone has a good weekend.



Through your mortality I live
Stealing carnal nourishment
Feasting upon the soul you give
Alive! Beyond earthly bounds

With life, you pulse
You tease with warm, soft skin
My need results
You are forever mine

I swell with your alluring scent
Mind exploding, chest heaving
Your offering is my intent
Senses reeling, I take you

With love, I give my immortal kiss
My bloody embrace
Transcends you with waves of tainted bliss
My arms caress death

Your life explodes around me
On memories and emotions I feast
Revealed for my eyes to see
To know you and love you intimately

His blood mixed with mine
In death, I awoke
Trapped for all of time
In immortality

© Gracen Miller ~ This poem may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Good Book and a Roller Coaster

When I was searching for pictures to send to my child’s school, I found the ones I took while we were at Disneyland. Of course, memories of fun times started coming back to me. (Glad we have pictures as reminders of past gone by) I remember getting in line for longer than an hour just to try the Indiana Jones ride (I highly recommend this ride) not just one time but also numerous times. While there, we tried most rides Disneyland offered. Big and small rides, people were attracted to them. Why? What drew them to try these exhilarating …Well, that was it! The rides were exhilarating, titillating, stomach crunching, and unforgettable. Did I just find out Disney’s recipe for success?

Disney seduced people with a promise of a ride of a lifetime, an experience that would be embedded in your mind and remembered always. Disney offered a ride that made everyone go, “wow.” And say, “really?”


Perhaps Disney’s promise wasn’t written at the back of the book like a blurb. But it if was, people would pick that book up. Because there was that concept of recognition in his promise of making your dreams come true, of making you feel like a kid again.


Now how do we apply this recipe of success in writing? Here’s what I thought I should do. Give your readers a concept of “worth my time.” Write a story, be it a novella or novel, which would make people stop from whatever they were doing. Write a blurb that would appeal to your targeted audience and make them do a double-take when they spot your book on a coming soon page.


I believe I wrote stories that appealed to people. But was it good enough to make them come back for another taste of my writing? You be the judge. :) Let me know if I created different premises that you recognized and could relate to.


Pride and Prejudice. This book, without a doubt, offered a concept that we (perhaps not all) romantic at heart could relate to. But did it have a wow factor?


Share your “must have book”. Tell us what made you buy it. If you’re a writer, do you think your books have a wow factor? I look forward to hearing from you.


Tierney O'Malley




Sometimes it takes baring the flesh to make a dream from happening...

My Pleasure

Coming soon June 15, 2009

eXtasy Books

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cover Contest!

Wicked Thorn and Roses blog is having their first cover contest! Email your cover in JPEG form to put in the subject line: cover contest. Top 10 covers will be picked and posted on Wicked Thorn and Roses Blog on June 1st, 2009 and then the winners will be announced on June 5th, 2009. No entry fees or limits of entries per person.

The first kiss...

I had a conversation the other day with my daughter. Her friend was having a disagreement with her mother about what the right age is to start dating. They asked me when I’d let my daughter start. I thought about this for awhile and thought about the age that I started dating. Images of my first kiss flashed in my head.

I had been sitting on my friend’s bed. The guy I had the crush on was just in the next room. I was surprised when he walked in to the room and sat down next to me. He looked just as nervous as I felt. About a million thoughts ran through my mind. Did he like me? Was I pretty enough? What had he come in there for? I smiled at him in attempt to push all the insecure feelings away.

“I, uh, wanted to talk to you,” he said. He reached up and pushed some of my hair over my shoulder.

My heart pounded so hard it felt like it was going to explode in my chest. He moved closer to me. His eyes gazed over my face and settled on my lips. Then it hit me. He planning on kissing me. I wanted to freak out. I wondered if I would kiss good and a bunch of other silly questions. But I wanted him to kiss me so bad. I smiled at him and then his lips met mine. As we experienced out first kiss, doubts washed away, we both relaxed and continued on. He finally ended the kiss and jumped up from the bed. I sat there in a daze. It had been amazing. That was my first kiss and I was twelve.

I had a first date with an great guy recently. At the end of the date, he walked over to me. I looked up at him, realizing this was it. The big chance for the good night kiss. My heart pounded as I wondered if he would do it or not.

“I had fun,” he said.
“Me too,” I whispered and was just as nervous as I had been when I was twelve.
He slowly moved closer to me until his lips met mine. Excitement rushed through me. My arms went over his shoulders and felt his go around my waist. He pulled me closer as the kiss deepened. He finally pulled away and smiled down at me.

“Goodbye,” he’d said.

I watched him get into his truck and drive away. I went to bed with thoughts of him on my mind. What a sweet moment that had been. And so full of passion.

No matter the age, the first kiss is one of those special moments in a person’s life that they probably won’t ever forget. So tell me, readers, your most memorable kiss story!

The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because this kiss already has within it that surrender.
-Emil Ludwig

Talk to you soon,
Wendy Ely

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Relationships and writing

It occurred to me that I as a romance writer focus a lot of my writing on the relationship that develops between the characters. Thus romance. However in my personal life it might surprise you to know that I have issues. I am insensitive and sponge like when it comes to the love that is given to me. I am married to a wonderful man who would move heaven and earth for me and considers me just as beautiful now at 250 as I was when he married me at 130. God bless him.

I have some idea why I'm like this really. I was raised by a mother who has admitted in recent years that she didn't know she was allowed to love her children and thought her job was to keep them at arms length while making sure they didn't hurt themselves. In addition to that I have a father that sexual abused me and then was ripped from my life. That alone is enough to give you issues. My step father never had children of his own he was an instant father once he married my mom and he did the best he could loving us in the only way he knew how. My parents (that is my step father and mother) were not very affectionate people in general. So when my husband asks me to hold his hand or kiss him in public it's almost a foreign concept to me. This has led me to train myself over the years to show affection. It's still hard for me sometimes and can be uncomfortable.

I learned a lot the instant my kids were born. I have been told I was a natural mother. Beyond the fact I was determined not be like my mother. I loved my kids from the instant I saw them something inside me swelled and filled a place I didn't know was empty. I have no problem showing my kids affection.

It makes me wonder now as I reflect how I can easily break down other peoples problems and create relationships even though I have issues of my own. Am I that smart? Do I know human emotion that well? No I'm just a regular person who is able to visualize and comfort others and has been through her own relationship issues. I use those as building blocks to create and weaver characters that are real and believable.

Check out Buffy's book The Mating Moon visit

Buffy Christopher

Monday, May 11, 2009

Location, location, location...

I’ve always heard that a writer should write what they know. This seems to go for novel locations as well. I’ve noticed that many writers set their scenes in their hometowns/home states. I tend to do the same thing. It’s easier to write about something when you have firsthand knowledge of it.

But, it got me to thinking. Where would you like to write about? I’m a big fan of traveling. I love it. Not that I get to do it that often, but any chance I get, I’m there. There are so many places I want to see. I know I’ll never be able to see them all. But, I am planning to see as much as I can.

Everyone loves the beach, right? I know I do. Who wouldn’t? The sun, the sand, the palm trees. Gorgeous! I’ve been lucky enough to see the beach once. I fell in love with it. The sea has to be the most beautiful creation ever. I know there are tons of beaches yet for me to see, but I am extremely grateful to have at least had that experience so far.

Niagara Falls is another location that I would love to see in person. I look at pictures and can’t even imagine people trying to go over them in a barrel. They were either insane, or just stories made up for our entertainment. I don’t know, but just imagine the possibilities for a book setting.

Italy is one of the most beautiful countries I can imagine. I’ve been dying to go there for years. It will definitely be one of my first stops when I get the chance to go. I’ve always wanted to ride down the river/street in a gondola. It has to be one of the most romantic things to do. At least, in my opinion.

Then, there are forests, mountains, and so many more places I can’t even begin to name them all. The possibilities are endless.

For now, I will continue to set my stories in locations that I know about. But, one of these days, I’m going to branch out and explore all the other places my heart longs to see.

What are your favorite places? Where do you dream of traveling to? Have you ever set your novels in a location you’ve never been? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

When Enough is too Much

There comes a time in every editing/revising process when a writer reaches that impossible summit. Where the air is thin and ideas wheeze out for lack of oxygen. You know what I mean- the point of editing saturation.

Generally, I write a fairly clean 1st draft. I like to see a good majority of the deep POV, and setting there. Not always, if I'm having a particularly hard time with a manuscript, but most of the time. As I go back and reread, deciding what needs to go and what can stay, I also read with an eye to what could be better: better worded, better action, better charaterization, better instensity. This is dangerous territory for me since I'm a picker. I can pick a story to death and back before I ever hit the send button, or print it to send snail mail.

Which brings me to the title of the blog: when enough is too much. How does a writer know that it's time to just put the damn book to bed and let the editor handle it? I go back and look at some of the books I published a few years ago and see things that make me cringe, things I'd change if I had the chance to do so now. For me, there really isn't an end point. If I put all my stories on the back burner for the next year, took them out again this time in 2010, I'd probably start from word one, page one and change and fiddle and mess with the entire book. It's a sickness. I really believe it is.

In answer to this creative OCD of mine, I've began to use lists to help me rewrite. I'll go through the entire book, from front to back and jot down anything I see that needs changed. (Small problems like tenses, spelling errors, or wrong words, I fix on the spot.) Anything else and I make a note of it. When I'm ready to go back, I mark each item off the list. When I finished with all the items, I send the book to a critique partner to go over. Then it happens again. I go through the comments, one at a time, read them all, then set the book aside for a bit to gain objectivity, keeping in mind the major points my critique partner has made. When I believe the ideas have had enough time to germinate, I go back and make a new set of notes and start from the beginning again. Generally, this means I only have about 2 or 3 drafts (I shouldn't even really call them drafts- because to me, drafts are where you start from the very beginning and write the whole thing from scratch, and I've only done that once so far in my writing career - soon to be twice)of a story. It may take me months and months to do this process, since I'm working on other things at the same time, but it helps me stay organized and on track. It also lets me know when...enough is too much.

I think I'm always afraid I'll reach that point where writing becomes too much methodical craft and function and less about the guts of storytelling. Instinctual storytelling is often the best kind.

So, what about you - where is your staturation point?


Happy Mothers Day!

I just wanted to tell our readers and fellow authors Happy Mother's Day!

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
~Tenneva Jordan

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.
~Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty

Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.
~Marion C. Garretty

Talk to you soon...
Wendy Ely

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Phillip Island

This is totally non-writing related...but as you all know I went away last weekend. So in 'going away' tradition, I give you my happy snaps :-)

This is my brother-in-law's holiday house in Smith's Beach, located south of the Island. It's a 3 bedroom affair with a large lounge and entertaining area. A nice house to stay in. It has lovely views and is located near the Grand Prix circuit.

This is the bridge to the Island from a town called San Remo. We had breakfast there Saturday morning and watched the pelicans being fed on the beach-front. The town of San Remo has lots of cafe's and food places where home-made wares can be bought, including local 'made' produce such as jams, chocolate, sauces and anything else you can think of.

These are some views of the Island. The beaches here are smooth black stone and sand where the water breaks. I have never seen such a thing and took a couple of rocks home as a souvenir. That night, after having lunch in Cowes (fish and chips) we went to the Penguin Parade National Park and watched the fairy penguins come in at sunset to roost. Gee, penguins make a hell of a noise! For such little birds they sure do have a set of lungs on them LOL

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