Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Before I started writing I had this romantic notion of the life of a novelist. There was lots of travel to glorious locations, conversations with book clubs who made fantastic cupcakes, long hours reading in hammocks, and quiet hours telling myself stories that turned into books on best seller lists and made-for-TV movies. That sounds so fab.
My reality? There's a jet engine in my kitchen, I can only reach one burner on my stove, the last place I traveled to for work had a single grocery store in the whole town, all the book club chats I've done have virtual cupcakes (calorie free, but still), I only seem to read while waiting for kids at soccer and ballet, and I can't hear myself think - let alone write. My imagination never factored in carpool and Facebook, emergency soccer cleats shopping or Twitter hashtags.
Reality can suck it. Seriously. Reality is why I love to read, to escape to the Caribbean sun when the rain just won't let up, to travel to Paris instead of the pediatricians office. There are few things that can't be made better by sitting down with a friend and having them tell you a story.
Long before I knew any authors, that is how I thought of reading. Like stepping out of the fray and cuddling up to a friend who could take me away from it all. And now, a lot of those ladies are my friends. I get to hear about their stories before they make it to print, to reflect on why they told that story at that moment and feel a squeeze of pride when their books do well.
And that is why I ignore the jet engine in my kitchen, the laundry that has piled up, and my email inbox and just write. Tell myself a story, one that someday you can read and escape whatever it is that's clouding up your sky. For me, romance novels are the umbrella for what life rains down. Or your refrigerator. What have you.
Find Jenna's latest escape from reality, Cooking Up A Seduction, at Amazon| Goodreads | B&N | Kobo | ARe
Jenna Bayley-Burke was rescued from life as a bitch (retail manager), snitch (retail service analyst), and pimp (executive recruiter) by a colicky insomniac who turned into a boy genius, and now a six foot tall ManChild. And he's only twelve. The HappyBoy and PrincessGirl try their best to keep the family too busy to notice how quickly kids grow up.
Jenna's website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Blog
Posted by Meg Benjamin at 4:00 AM
Monday, March 10, 2014
Hola! I was struggling to come up with a blog topic for today, so I decided to take the easy way outand post a bunch of pics from my vacation. Since my husband took them and not I, they are actually good photos.
We spent a week near Puerto Vallarta, doing a lot of relaxing in the sun, lots of eating and drinking and a few fun activities.
|Me in the pool swimming to the swim up bar|
We went whale watching one day -- it wasn't the best whale watching we've ever experienced, but we did see whales and some dolphins in the distance.
|Nice tail shot|
We kayaked and boogie boarded in the ocean -so much fun!
We walked up the beach to the town of Bucerias which is so cute and charming.
We did some shopping, drank margaritas and had dinner at this awesome little restaurant on the beach:
On Valentine's day we had a couples massage here:
Also my husband went out for a walk and came back and showed me this picture. When I said, "Aw! Did you do that?" He said, "No." He just saw it and took a picture of it for me, lol! But still.
The funniest thing that happened was on Friday, when my husband was posting pictures on Facebook, and his brother's wife (they live in Calgary) saw them and messaged him. Turned out THEY were in Puerto Vallarta too! Then we said we were actually in Nuevo Vallarta, and they said that's were they were! Turned out they were staying in a friend's condo about a ten minute walk down the beach. So we went and found them and met up.The next day, which was our last night there, we went back to Bucerias and had another amazing dinner at a restaurant on the beach.It was so fun and unexpected to get together with them, so far from home!
We watched the sun set every night over the ocean, and every night it was different.
Okay, now I want to go back!
Posted by Kelly Jamieson at 3:00 AM
Friday, March 7, 2014
Lately, however, I've been finding it all a little more difficult. Seems like my Muse is always on vacation. However, if a picture is really worth a thousand words, then it turns out I've been wonderfully productive these past few weeks creating book covers for myself.
It really all started a few years ago when I discovered the wonders of GIMP. I may have gone a little graphic design crazy with the Trading Cards:
And the postcards...
But this year? I've graduated to covers! Here's the one I did for the print version of Inked Memories--my contribution to the Midnight Ink collection. It's simple, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.
I love the background and all the Mardi Gras colors. And the model looks just how I picture the character. It's actually kind of spooky how much he resembles Declan. But, no. I do not know why he's wearing sunglasses at night. Or why he's shirtless in the street. He just is. Can we leave it at that?
Anyway, with one cover under my belt (and my muse still on vacation) I turned my sights on my bookshelf where my nine Oberon books (recently released in print) were languishing. Don't get me wrong, I love the front covers that were designed for me a few years ago, but the backs and spines were plain, plain, plain. They looked like textbooks. And that just wasn't doing it for me. So, since I still had my Createspace cover template page open from working on Inked Memories... Well, let's just say I now have nine more covers (okay, partial covers) to my credit.
It was fun to have all the creative control and to finally make use of some of the great photos my husband shot for me--and even a couple of shots that I took myself. And, of course, once the covers were done, I had to create a trailer to show them off, right?
So, that's what I've been up to lately--along with formatting Inked Memories for print, and exploring possibilities for an audio version. I'm even thinking of narrating it myself. There's that control issue again. I really should do something about that one of these days.
I'd love your thoughts on what I should focus on next. Another rebuild of my websites? That's always good for a few day's work. Print versions of some of my digital only releases? (I'm looking at YOU LA Love Lessons!) More audiobooks? Or, you know, maybe I could do something really different, like writing another book. Now, there's a concept!
Posted by PG Forte at 4:22 AM
Thursday, March 6, 2014
We've all got the Romantic Times Convention on the brain where, if you haven't heard already, we're bringing back Cover Model Karaoke with the Smutketeers. That, combined with the craziness that is Bourbon Street, got us thinking...is singing or dancing in public the lesser evil?
Skylar: I would choose dancing (no karaoke here!) and do the cha cha--just bring me a good dance partner!
Erin: Dancing. Hokey pokey! Or the chicken dance. I'm good at the chicken dance.
Kelly: I would totally rather do the Cupid Shuffle in front of a crowd. Lookin' at YOU, Naughty Nine.
Meg: Singing. Maybe "I Still Miss Someone" or "If I Needed You"
PG: Put me down for Kelly's crew. I used to have a voice. Sigh.
Kinsey: Dancing, completely. I'm not a bad dancer but my singing voice is kind of painful to listen to.
Posted by Skylar Kade at 9:48 AM
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
As the author of five books and two novellas featuring firemen, I’m here to let you in on some little-known facts about these smokin’ hot heroes. Sure, you probably already know the basics. They put out fires, they drag hoses, they look really really great in their turnouts. But did you know:
Most firefighters are also trained as paramedics. So if you’re on a date with a fireman and you choke on your triple layer raspberry fudge cake, he can save your life. Major points!
Many firefighters become expert at cooking for big groups, but they’re not all meat-and-potatoes guys. One Texas firefighter put his entire firehouse on a vegan, low-cholesterol diet and the whole crew lost weight. While doing my research, I’ve found that firefighters defy stereotypes, which makes them really fun to write about.
Firefighters field all sorts of strange calls. In a crisis, they’re the ones people often turn to. But did you know one firefighter training manual actually has a section on how to respond to an alien encounter? Firemen have to be prepared for anything. That’s guaranteed to make you feel safe. In case of alien invasion, I recommend you stay close to a fireman.
As I recently discovered on a Hawaiian beach, in many ocean-adjacent communities, the lifeguards are actually part of the fire department. They’re the ones who swim out to rescue kids caught up in the currents. While wearing official issue board shorts. Fireman/lifeguard? How’s that for a combo?
Have I convinced you that firemen make droolworthy heroes, or were you already a fan?
Jennifer Bernard's most recent fireman book is FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FIREMAN, available now at bookstores and e-tailers everywhere.