Monday, August 1, 2011

Author Interview: Calvin Davis

Welcome, Calvin Davis, author of the newly released novel, The Phantom Lady of Paris!

Who is the Phantom Lady, and why do readers want to get to know her?

The Phantom Lady, who is she? I made her the personification of what we all are or want to be, and that is…FREE. There is something in our nature, especially in the nature of Americans, something that detests confinement and chains, restrictions that clamp the body as well as the mind and spirit. In that sense, The Phantom Lady of Paris is a portrait of ourselves.

We, like her, strongly believe we were born to be free, or, to use The Lady’s own words, born “to fly like an eagle mountain-high,” up among clouds, where inhibiting laws of society and earthly gravity don’t exist, where we are free.

I trust that in examining The Phantom Lady of Paris the reader sees not some meaningless fictional character, but a portrait of his inner self. For after all, that’s what a good novel is about. It’s about us. We with our flaws, virtues, struggles, hopes and dreams. All of which The Phantom Lady had. With special emphasis on the latter – dreams. For she had a dream. Don’t we all?

What genre is this book?

I don’t have the faintest idea. When I penned The Lady I didn’t worry about genre, didn’t’ even think about it. There was only one thing on my mind: Can I write a good story? Nothing else was important. When you have told a good story someone smarter than you will decide what genre it is. If I had thought about genre when scribing The Phantom Lady, I probably wouldn’t/couldn’t have written it.

There’s an interesting tale of an insect asking a centipede how he was able to walk with so many legs.

“Um,” replied the centipede, “I never thought about it.”

“You should.”

“OK, I’ll give it some thought.” The multi-legged insect then started walking, tripped and killed himself.

Not wanting to end up like the centipede, I didn’t think about genre when penning The Lady. If I had, she probably would never have been born, and I’m happy I gave birth to her. She’s a good looking kid. But then again, all parents say that about their children, don’t they?

When you held your book in your hands for the very first time, how did you feel?

I felt the same way The Phantom Lady of Paris does at the end of my novel: as if I’d escaped the confines of earth’s gravity. In a word, I felt Free, and that’s with a capital “F.” Novel in hand, I suddenly glimpsed a rush of mental reruns, a few going back five and a half years, the time it took to pen The Lady.

In many of these scenes I was sitting at a sidewalk cafe in Paris, filling blank sheets of paper with word sketches of a woman I was determined to breathe life into. Then more reruns. In these I was in America, slouching in a McDonald’s booth with my legal pad before me and a cup of black coffee beside it. Writing. Writing. Ever writing.

And in every one of these scenes, I heard a voice ask, “Why are you doing all this work?”

“Work? Not work. Putting words on paper may be as close to heaven I’ll get here on earth.”

“Oh. But anyway…why?”

“Because God has declared that finishing The Lady is my mission on this planet. And I must do what The Omnipotent dictates.”

“But if you finish your novel, the book may not be printed.”

“I know.”

“And if it is printed, critics may rip it to shreds.”

“Look, many critics panned Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address in the press the day after he delivered it. So, let critics do what critics have always done. I must do what I must do.”

“Oh, I see…ah…sorry I disturbed you. Meanwhile, keep writing.”

“That’s for sure.”

What's it like being a published author who's married to another published author?
Delightful. It’s wonderful to be around someone who is interested in the same thing you’re interested in. When we met, I was the one who was writing. Vonnie wasn’t. But she, like The Phantom Lady in my novel, had a secret dream: she longed to put to paper not one novel, but many. However, she didn’t even dare think of turning that desire into reality. She found it impossible to envision that she could.

That’s where I came in. I convinced her that novelists were not super human beings. What they did – as she could do – was sit in front of a blank computer screen and write just one good and true sentence, and make that the first sentence of a novel. Then write another and another until the writer, without giving up, finishes a novel. And once she accepted this premise, soon afterwards, voila, Vonnie Davis, the woman who “knew” she couldn’t write a novel, was writing a novel.

Writing a novel? Wrong. Writing several novels. My God, she writes them faster than I can. It’s incredible. Things it took me years through trial and error to learn about the novelist’s craft, she picked up in months. She now mentors other novelists. Editing their material. Giving internet courses in points of view, etc., etc. And all this from someone who knew she couldn’t pen a work of fiction. Not bad. All she needed in the past was to adopt this credo: “I will write a novel and nothing on this planet can stop me – period. NO, EXCLAMATION POINT!”

Vonnie finally made that her credo her own, and now she’s on her way. Me? I’m smart enough to see that the pilot gets ample flying space. To her I say the same thing the narrator said to The Phantom Lady of Paris in my novel when The Lady was emancipated, “Go! Beyond the speed of sound. Go! And, like an eagle on outstretched wings soaring mountain-high, fly on…fly on…fly on.”

Will you share an excerpt of The Phantom Lady of Paris?

Certainly, here’s the beginning --

The Phantom Lady of Paris? I knew her well. On the other hand—as I later discovered—I didn’t know her at all. The woman did everything wrong. She did nothing wrong. She was a Jezebel, deceptive in every way. I’ve never known a more honest and straightforward person. During our relationship, she kept me constantly jittery and perturbed. The happiest days of my life were those I shared with the Phantom Lady of Paris. They were the golden days, the good times, good, that is, until…

Don’t let her name mislead. She was not an apparition, nor a creation of some writer’s fantasy, a fiend-like character in, say, an Edgar Allen Poe tale or one by Stephen King or Franz Kafka. No, she was real all right and, above all, she was human, more human than anyone I’d known and, I’m sure, will ever know again. And in spite of my blundering ways, she taught me what it really means to be a human being.

The Phantom Lady was a down-to-earth mortal possessing a unique dream, one fabricated from her passion for living, some of which passion she shared with me and with others fortunate enough to have known her.

As her name suggests, she lived in Paris, lived there during the most turbulent times the city has known since the bloodletting and mayhem of the French Revolution. She resided in The City of Light during the Vietnam War and peace protests in the United States and Europe, Sorbonne student riots on the Left Bank and worldwide clashes between “The Establishment” and “The Flower Generation.” It was an era of cataclysmic social eruption and revolutionary clashes of ideas and age groups.

I was a grown man when I met the Phantom Lady. All was going well with me. My life was in balance, and I knew how to live it. In spite of that, the moment the Phantom Lady and I met marked the real beginning of my life. Everything preceding that instant was meaningless prologue. During our initial chat, which lasted about three hours—though it seemed a fleeting moment, I learned for the first time what life is all about and how I should live mine.

On the morning we met, she taught me many things about myself that were, until then, mysteries. And what did I learn about her? Very little. Basically, I learned that she was more question marks than periods, and that something mysterious lurked behind each question mark.

I wasn’t prepared for what the hidden thing turned out to be. But looking back at what happened the morning I met her and everything that ensued, I wonder, what human being could have possibly prepared for the startling revelation that developed and how it would change not only my life, but hers…and change both forever?

Who could have been prepared?

No one.

Buy Link:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Author Interview: Vonnie Davis

A big, giant welcome to my friend and romance author, Ms. Vonnie Davis! Vonnie is here today as part of her virtual book tour to promote Storm's Interlude--a fabulous romance, complete with a sassy heroine and a muscular cowboy hero.

Enjoy the interview!!!

Your debut novel Storm's Interlude just released this month. Congratulations! Tell us a little about your journey to get to this point.

Someone asked me if my journey to publication was a walk in the park or a tiring jog over hot coals? I replied it was more like a roller-coaster ride. My family told me, when I first expressed a desire to write at the age of twelve, that I had no talent. I folded my dream and tucked it into that secret, yearning place of my heart where private dreams are warehoused. Every so often, I’d take the treasured dream out, unfold it and wonder. And like that long, slow, eerily quiet ride up the steep first hill of a giant roller-coaster, I kept asking myself could do it? Could I? Could I?

Two years ago, I finished my first book and was able to get an agent. Too bad we couldn’t get a publisher. I set the project and my wounded pride aside and started Storm’s Interlude on the 4th of July last year. The story just flowed, and I had it written in 3 months. Once my agent got around to reading it, she sent me a text saying she was “loving it.” Dawn read it in two days. We did two back-and-forth’s with Tract Changes before she felt it was ready to “shop out.”

Then the roller-coaster executed its first dip, leading to a wild ride of twists and turns. Dawn started shopping it out on a Monday to a list of publishers of varied sizes that we’d agreed upon. A small publisher sent a contract the following Monday. Dawn and I talked on the phone for over an hour about the pros and cons of their offer. I told her I was hoping we’d hear from The Wild Rose Press. Her reply? “If that’s the one you want, let me see what I can do.” Not only did she contact TWRP, but she also emailed all the publishers she queried and told them I’d been offered a contract, but that she’d hold me off from signing for two weeks to give other publishers a chance to offer. I thought at the time she was being very ballsy; I mean, I’m a nobody—and an unpublished nobody, at that. Almost all of them agreed to the two-week deadline. My nerves were a mess. What if no one wanted it? What if the first publisher got miffed because I was stalling on signing and rescinded their offer? Then I’d have nothing. I was living on Tums.

One week later, TWRP offered. So I had two contract offers in two weeks. I was ready to sign to end the angst, believe me. Dawn wanted me to wait—just to see. Calvin went to the drugstore for more Tums.

No more contracts were offered, but I did get the nicest rejection from an editor at Harlequin, who said she loved my characters and story. But since I wrote similar to Linda Lael Miller, she’d have a hard time convincing the acquisitions committee to take on another writer in the same vein. I cried. I mean, just the thought of Ms. Miller and me in the same sentence was overwhelming. I’m sure the lady was just being kind; I could never be in Ms. Miller’s league, but who wouldn’t love such a complement?

So from the time I typed “Chapter One” to the day I held the book in my hands exactly one year passed. One wild, exceptional, lovely year.

You recently had a book release party. How did that go? Any tips for writers who might be thinking about having their own event?

Our book release socials are something we do for all writers in our writers group here in Lynchburg. We have 4 published authors and several who publish in magazines. Our socials are nothing fancy. Everyone brings a dish. We eat, we laugh, we party and the author reads selections from the book. Someone from the local newspaper comes. Friends and family of the author are also invited.

Why romance?

Romance is what I read. It’s what I love. I love stories of hope, and that’s what every romance is—the hope that everyone can be loved exclusively, warts, phobias, cottage cheese thighs and all, by another person.

Any plans to write in another genre?

Have you been inside my mind lately? I’m a “what-if” kind of person. I have to see if I can write all forms of romance. Storm’s Interlude is a contemporary romance. I also write historical and romantic suspense. I’m doing research on werewolves and shapeshifters to try my hand at F,F and P’s (fantasy, futuristic and paranormal). Could I write women’s lit or young adult? I doubt it. I’ve spent so much time studying the tenets and expectations of romance, that I’d almost have to start over with studies on another genre’s form. Of course, one must never say, “Never.”

If your main characters, Rachel and Storm, could each say one thing to readers, what would it be?

Storm would tell you that dreams can come true.

Rachel would encourage you to turn every heartache and every adverse experience into an advantage. Be strong. Be a force to be reckoned with. I love strong female characters.

What's going on in your writing life right now? Anything upcoming or in the works?
This week I’m focusing on the 4 writers I mentor. Seems they’ve all sent me chapters to critique. Their timing isn’t always the greatest, but how are they to know when others need help, too. And face it, we all need help now and then.

I have a short story (38,000 words) under the critical eye of a senior editor. That one is a contemporary romance, involving a wounded vet from the Iraq War. Keep your fingers crossed.

I also have a novel going through the second layer of evaluation; an editor liked it and passed it onto her senior editor. Mona Lisa’s Room is a romantic suspense set in Paris. It’s the first of a trilogy in The Red Hand Conspiracy. The first book involves an older woman, a younger government agent and vengeful terrorists—and, of course, a few chuckles. Both editors tell us we should hear by mid-August, so, it is major nail biting time. Did I say keep your fingers crossed?

What do your kids and grandkids think of their mom/grandma being a published romance author?

My kids are proud; they know how long I’ve dreamed of doing this. I talked to my oldest son last night on the phone. “Mr-Uptight-Assistant-Middle-School-Principal” said he hadn’t worked up courage to read my book yet. Claimed that reading a sex scene written by his mother would be akin to incest. Of course I laughed. He knew I would.

Only 3 of my 6 grandchildren are old enough to read Storm’s Interlude. I did ask my twenty-one year old grandson, Mr-WildńCrazy, to read a sex scene for his opinion. He read a few paragraphs and slid his eyes to mine. “Grandma, this is a side of you I’ve never seen. Gotta tell ya, gives me the willies.” Men! Go figure. And they say women are weak and squeamish.

I’d like to share the beginning of my novel, my hook

Someone swaggered out of the moonlit night toward Rachel. Exhausted from a long day of driving, she braked and blinked. Either she was hallucinating or her sugar levels had plummeted. Maybe that accounted for the male mirage, albeit a very magnificent male mirage, trekking toward her. She peered once more into the hot July night at the image illuminated by her headlights. Sure enough, there he was, cresting the hill on foot—a naked man wearing nothing but a black cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a go-to-hell sneer.

Well, well, things really did grow bigger in Texas. The man quickly covered his privates with his black Stetson. Rachel sighed. The show was evidently over. Should she stand up in her Beetle convertible and applaud? Give a couple cat calls? Wolf whistles? Maybe not.

She turned down the music on the car’s CD player. Sounds of crickets and a lonely bullfrog in the distance created a nighttime symphony in the stillness of this isolated stretch of country road. Lightning bugs darted back and forth, blinking a display of neon yellow glow.

The naked man strode toward her car, and Rachel’s heart rate kicked up. Common sense told her to step on the gas, yet what woman wanted to drive away from such a riveting sight? Still, life had taught her to be careful. She reached into her handbag and extracted her chrome revolver. Before he reached her car, she quickly slid her gun under the folds of her skirt. Just let him try anything funny—I know how to take care of myself.

Both of his large hands clasped his hat to his groin. His face bore annoyance and a touch of chagrin. “I need a ride.” By his bearing and commanding tone of voice, she guessed the man was used to giving orders and having them followed.

Her eyes took a slow journey across his face. Even in the moonlight, she could see traces of Native heritage. His shoulder-length ebony hair, too long for her tastes, glistened against his bronzed skin. Proud arrogant eyes sparked anger.

Because Rachel believed in indulging herself, she allowed her eyes to travel over his broad shoulders, muscular chest and tight abdominal muscles. She saw a thin trail of dark hair starting below his navel, knowing full well where it ended, and fought back a groan. Her eyes slid back up to lock on his. “You need a pair of pants, too.” Knowing her voice hummed with desire, she cleared her throat, hoping the naked man hadn’t noticed.

He looked up at the sky for a beat. “Just my freakin’ luck! A birthday party gone bad, and now I’m bein’ ogled by some horny kid with damnable blue eyes.”

What the heck was wrong with her eyes? She quickly glanced in her rearview mirror and saw nothing amiss. She narrowed those “damnable blue eyes” and sneered. “Look, buster, I’m not the one prancing around Texas naked as a jaybird. I’ll have you know I’m hardly a kid.” She glanced down at the black cowboy hat. “And, furthermore, stop hiding behind that big ol’ Stetson. From what I saw, a French beret would do the job.”

There, let the arrogant fool stew on that while he strutted back to whatever rock he crawled out from under. She slammed her car in gear and sped off.

She swore she wouldn’t look in her rearview mirror. Nope, she would not look. Like a magnet emitting a powerful homing signal, her eyes slowly slid to the glass surface. He was standing where she’d left him…
what do you think? Did she go back?

Buy links: -- Amazon. -- Barnes and Noble, NOOK version only. -- The Wild Rose Press

Visit my blog sometime.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Read For A Great Cause: Disaster Relief

I would like to thank Rhiannon for hosting Sarah and I today and for helping spread the word about our charity shorts. Please take a moment to learn about each natural disaster that our books benefit and how you can help by donating and getting a great read! Thank you!

When disaster strikes, there's a moment when we forget all boundaries. Geographic, political, and socioeconomic divisions fall, and there, for some of the most painful, beautiful moments in time, we are one.

Then—hour by hour, day by day, week by week—the vast majority of us lucky enough to do so will move on. As the headlines change our focus moves elsewhere, and save for the occasional media update, many of us don't look back.

Some, however, struggle to look ahead. Here's a glimpse at the staggering numbers and the broken realities affected residents of Alabama and Japan must face every day.

ALABAMA TORNADOES – April 27, 2011

The mile-wide F5 tornado that literally sliced the state of Alabama in half stayed on the ground for an astonishing 300 miles—a record-breaking distance, according to National Geographic. It also left a path of utter devastation in its wake, and recovery hasn't been easy, as evidenced by these facts reported by

• 25,081 families were denied FEMA insurance, including many whose homes had been wiped completely off their foundations. FEMA's reason? Insufficient damage.
• Following the April tornadoes, FEMA deployed 523 inspectors to the region. Together, they've inspected over 5,000 properties a day. That's a lot of destruction, folks.
• Of the $4 million in initial FEMA aid for Alabama, $3.1 million went for temporary housing alone.


A June 29 update from Red Cross Japan reveals the following sober statistics:
• 75,215 people from the three most affected prefectures are still living in shelters or other temporary housing. 7,427 are still missing, their loved ones fearing the worst.
• 119,776 claims for unemployment were filed between March 11 and June 8 in the three most affected prefectures.
• 97,183 people have been evacuated from the area surrounding the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant. 35, 514 have left the Fukushima prefecture, forced to start over with nothing.

You Can Help … Today

Authors Elaina Lee and Sarah Ballance, through the generosity of the Astraea Press charity program, are proud to announce 100% of profits from their novellas below will go toward Alabama and Japan Disaster Relief, respectively. To help raise awareness, every comment on their individual blogs or guest blog posts (including this one!) from July 12 through August 8 will double as an entry into a weekly drawing for a $10 gift e-certificate or a free e-book. Winners will be announced on their blogs and contacted via e-mail. As an additional token of appreciation for your support, if you have purchased either of their titles you are invited to contact Elaina or Sarah for a free gift (while supplies last).


Caylie Abrahms bad day gets worse when the teen brother she's responsible for proudly hands her a gift. Just wanting to show how much he appreciates all his sister does for him, Kyle steals what he believes is an ornate glass vase. The gift is anything but however, and now Caylie has to find the owner of an urn. Worst yet, she has to explain her dear brother stole someones loved one.

Against all odds she learns the urn belongs to Rick Marshall, her best friend from college, the man she'd poured her heart out to and been rejected by. She never thought she'd see him again, let alone have to hand him back his father in glass. Will her resolve remain strong in his presence, or will she suffer another broken heart?

HAWTHORNE Sarah Ballance mystery, romance BUY LINK BLOG

After a terrifying encounter with the unexplained, it took ten years and the news of her grandmother’s passing for Emma Grace Hawthorne to return to her childhood home. She sought peace in saying a proper goodbye, but what she found was an old love, a sordid family history, and a wrong only she could right.

Living in the shadow of Hawthorne Manor, Noah Garrett never forgot about Emma Grace. In a house full of secrets, his search for missing documents revealed a truth that could cost him everything. What he found gave Emma the freedom to walk away from the mansion, her heart free and clear, but at what price to Noah?

If you'd like to receive free promotional materials, please contact Elaina @ forthemusedesigns at gmail dot com or Sarah @ sarah at sarahballance dot com. Available while supplies last.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blog Hop/Giveaway

If you're looking for the giveaway, it's not here. Blogger was a little moody and didn't allow me to upload new posts or comment for a few days. Blogger has also made some of my past posts magically disappear. *POOF*

Sorry if what you're looking for is not here!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Poem: Rebecca Roque

Mother’s Day

by Rebecca Roque

did you think when you carried me inside you that someday
you wouldn’t be the one I would ask about shaving my legs
about boys and dancing and how to curl my hair
which is so soft like yours, too soft
to hold a curl and if you had been there you could have told me that.

instead of you i got burned fingers and knots like a little rastafarian white girl.
did you think that those questions would be
the hardest, too hard maybe
because they weren’t.

the hardest was why I was asking
someone else
whose voice sort of sounded like yours if I was half asleep or crying
too hard to tell the difference
which was a lot, at first.
then it wasn’t.

did you think when you picked up that
joint or rock or man or bottle or disease
This is better than a daughter
and was it?

I think someday I might have a daughter
I might make her from smiles and touches and inside jokes
and I think about someone telling her that she isn’t worth everything you chose instead
and it makes my stomach feel like I swallowed a jar of tears

did you think when you stopped being my mother
that I wasn’t good enough for someone else to take your place?
I did
for a long time, until I saw her
with her painted arms and spiky hair and rings in things that
made me uncomfortable when I was little and scared by things like that
and how long she’d been there without me really seeing, really
knowing what she was doing and being
because that’s what a mother does.

did you think because I was safe and loved by someone
not you
that I would grow into the kind of woman who could
forgive you? because I still don’t know
if I did.

Rebecca's work is slated to appear in an upcoming anthology from Harrow Press. She regularly contributes to the science fiction and fantasy blog Worlds Unimagined.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Heroines of Romance: Finding a Balance

Note: I say "most" or "some" throughout this post in order to avoid making blanket statements about gender roles and/or desires. I'm speaking in general terms, not in exclusive terms.

Perhaps, of all the tasks a romance author has when writing a viable romantic fiction story, creating the heroine proves the most challenging.

While alpha-males remain popular, gone are the days of boy-rescues-girl. Wilting-flower females are not only frowned upon, but they are outright rejected amongst readers and publishers.

For me, I embrace the challenge of creating today’s heroine. My delight is deeply rooted in real life, where I love and am married to a classic alpha-male, yet have found a balance in which I’m not only protected and provided for, but also respected and equal.

In old romance, the hero is often depicted as the powerful savior who the heroine longs to serve in a multitude of ways: in the kitchen, in the bedroom…

But servitude or total submission is no longer relatable in today’s society. The heroine must take as much as she gives; she must be as powerful (in one form or another) as the man she loves. And that power isn’t solely between her legs.

Today’s heroine should have the ability to rescue herself, not simply be milling around life aimlessly until the man of her dreams swoops in and saves her from terrible misfortune. Sure, the hero can be the catalyst to the heroine’s self-rescue, but it’s almost essential that the actual saving comes from the female’s personal growth or actions.

So, if the hero isn’t actually a “hero,” what’s his role? And why must he be alpha?

Role: The hero’s role is not clearly defined beyond the friendship, sex and partnership he offers the female. It’s the writer’s goal to create an attractive male with equally attractive characteristics. Sometimes he’s rich, sometimes he’s funny. He’s always good-looking and his charm—whether he’s a badass biker or a highline executive—is his main appeal. Likability is the hero’s main job. Beyond that, it’s not necessary for him to be anything more than a good match for the heroine.

In most situations, the heroine would’ve been capable of saving herself even if the hero hadn’t come into the picture. Although she wouldn’t have had nearly the fun had he not.

Why Alpha?: I’m pretty certain women like alpha-males for the same reason men like women who challenge them. Women are getting stronger with every generation, and the roles of power have mutated into something completely unrecognizable when compared to the gender roles of fifty years ago. Women of yesterday liked alpha-males because they’d been taught to need them. Women of today like alpha-males (and demand them in their romantic fiction 99% of the time) because there’s something sexy about knowing the man you’re with is strong enough to “take care” of you if needed.

I also believe some, if not most, women have—at least subconsciously--certain fantasies of being overpowered in the bedroom. There’s something very erotic about a women’s sexual fate resting, quite literally, in the hands of a powerful man. Why? Because there’s intimacy in vulnerability.

Lastly, alpha-males demand respect, and a strong woman simply does not feel respect toward a man who is seemingly weaker than herself. And even in cases of exception,—where the female does respect the weaker male—she doesn’t necessarily want to sleep with him.

In summary: Females are the heroic ones in romantic fiction; men provide fun and entertainment—think a court jester with rippling abs and a certain useful appendage—and, of course, a loving partnership. The hero is whatever the heroine desires and needs. It’s her story, after all.

Monday, April 11, 2011


adjective /ˈbändid/

My first romance novel was—after much painful deliberation over several title options—originally named MAID FOR HIM, which was a cute play on words and appropriate for the story. However, my editor wanted something stronger, more exotic… she suggested BONDED IN BRAZIL.

It isn’t uncommon for editors (or even agents) to suggest/require a title change. Matter of fact, the renaming of one’s book is so prevalent most writers come to expect it. I did, which was I settled on MAID FOR HIM (without being in love with it) and moved on.

When Editor Lady suggested the new title, I liked it right away, especially after I’d learned that debt bondage is a modern form of slavery that exists all over the globe, including in Brazil.

I was also a little peeved that I hadn’t thought of it myself. After all, I like titles that have multiple meanings, whether it’s a play on words (like Maid For Him) or a word/phrase that can be defined in numerous ways…

…like bonded.

--Emotionally or psychologically linked

--Bound by a legal agreement, in particular

--Obliged to work for a particular employer, often in a condition close to slavery (read:luxury and sexual bliss). What? It’s my damn story.

Each of the above meanings can be directly applied to my story. Bonded In Brazil is practically a synopsis for the book!

I wish I could take credit for it, haha, but I love the title, even if it wasn’t my idea. Many writers experience at least a mild form of trepidation at the idea that their precious title baby will be changed. Don’t. It’s no big. It might be better, anyway.

And now for a little something fun...and slightly relevant...but not really.

For your listening enjoyment, Pitbull performs a remix of “75, Brazil Street.” I’d post the original, but I have a thing for sexy bald guys…so Pitbull’s remix it is!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What's New?

I’m taking a few minutes to share what’s new in my busy world.—My first post was published on this week, and I’ve already submitted something new to the editor. My goal is to contribute weekly, and I’ve quickly discovered this to be somewhat like book publishing on a smaller scale. I write. I edit. I submit. I worry that it sucks. I get an email from editor. I’m scared to click it. I click it. I get a YES! I relax…for about 5 minutes before plotting the next story. Repeat.

It’s stress. It’s validation. It’s every week. I guess I’m a bit of a masochist because I like it.

Amazon Blogs—I’ve submitted Whispers for publication on Amazon blogs. I have no idea what this means, but I know I can un-publish if I don’t like it. I know it’s a service whereby readers can subscribe to blogs and have new posts delivered directly to their Kindles…for a small fee. I have no control over the fee, nor do I care about making a dime off my blog, (I really, REALLY don’t) but I always pursue opportunities for exposure and to meet more people.

Blog Tour—I’ve monopolized space on several blogs for almost two weeks now. Daily. My hostesses have been gracious and amazingly supportive. It’s a fun experience, but I’m happy to be finishing the tour tomorrow with one final stop. Blog tours are a lot of work. Not that I mind a lot of work (I really, REALLY don’t) but I have other stuff to do, too. You know?

Speaking of other stuff to do…

New book—It’s that time again! I completed and signed a new contract with Agent Lady in February for Bonded In Brazil’s sequel. Since that time, I’ve taken a break from book writing, mostly to take part in promo opportunities and let my mind breathe. But my persistent muse is back…better than ever, I must say. I’m super excited about this project (one that I started and fell short at years ago) and feel that I’ve come far enough in my craft to pull it off…finally. It’s a tad ambitious, but I’m going for gold with this one.

I’m also going back to my writing roots--women’s fiction, southern setting, and with strong romantic elements.

I’m only about 2500 words into the manuscript, so don’t look for any news concerning it anytime soon. But I’m working again, so that’s pretty awesome.

Other than all that, hubby’s birthday is this weekend, and my daughter wants to make a cupcake family. My son got Cars (the movie) tighty-whities and they’re the funniest things I’ve ever seen. And I accidently discovered that my beautiful stepdaughter looks an awful lot like Britney Spears in her Baby One More Time video…which scares me a little bit. Okay, a lot. It’s also frightening because my 5-yr-old looks just like her big sis did at that age.

Excuse me while I have a preemptive heart attack.