Saturday, September 30, 2006

Shout Out Saturday

First shout out goes to my friend, Lara Santiago, for getting 4 stars from Romantic Times for her book, The Tiburon Duet! Second shout out goes to my friend, Cassidy Kent, for her fabulous new cover - check this out! And how great is that title? Pretty great.Third shout out goes to St. Martin's for sending me this ARC yesterday. I actually squealed in joy when I opened the package. Ronda Thompson's Wulf Brothers series has been one of my all time favorites and I am dying to read this!
Have any shout outs of your own to share?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Get this breakout author NOW!

You may not have heard of Eden Bradley yet, but you will. She's about to be launched by Bantam Dell and Berkley as one of the hottest erotica authors to hit the scenes. But Isle of Desire is your chance to sneek a peek at her lush, evocative writing without waiting for those other books to come out in '07.

Isle of Desire by Eden Bradley

Is it really possible to fulfill the fantasy of a promise made in the passion of youth? On a beach on the small Venezuelan island of Isla de Margarita, Isabel Asher meets once more the love of her life, Rafael Cruz, the man she left behind twelve years earlier. Desire ignites, but can the sultry tropical nights spent in his bed lead them back to love? She’s about to find out, and maybe to have her heart broken in the process.

Available September 29th from

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How Kristen Got Her Groove Back

I've been completely out of the swing of writing lately. Too much traveling and then being sick for a week...I just felt disconnected with my WIP. I'd write a page here or a page there, but nothing worthwhile, nothing substantial.

I also hadn't been working out.

Both of those things changed at the end of last week. I got my butt on the treadmill Saturday morning by 6:30 so that I could work out before my chapter meeting. It felt great! And I've kept it up, pushing myself to do crunches, push-ups, lunges...all the stuff I know I should be doing.

Funny thing is, my page count has gone up dramatically.

Monday - 6
Tuesday - 16
Wednesday - 9

I'm thrilled! It's great to find that rhythm again. And the best part is I'm on track to meet my goal of 100 pages for the month. Now, I'm not 100% sure the two things are related, but I'm not going to overthink it. Have you ever had an experience like this? A change of routine that jumpstarted your production?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Drive-By Promos (Bit of a rant)

As most of you know, I'm the co-founder of a delicious site called Romance Divas. Our forum is close to 2100 members, so to say we're a large site seems fair.

Like any forum, there is a core group of members who participate, are active in discussions, take the time to answer new member questions, help moderate...all the things that make them more than just a screen name and a true "member" of the site.

And then there are those who register only so their first (and many times, last) post is a promotion for their latest release. (This is kind of a moot point now, as we've basically decided these posts will be deleted until the member has 50 posts total.)

What are these authors thinking? Posting once - at least on a forum like RD that is basically a family (don't believe me? ask any Diva what RD means to them.) won't get you anywhere. No one knows you. You've made zero effort to introduce yourself and become part of the board. And these are the people you supposedly believe to be your target audience! So why can't you spend five minutes a day saying hi, wishing a Happy Birthday here or there, or a congratulations on a full request. Laughing at a joke. Encouraging someone. Is it that hard?

Imagine how many books you'd sell if people actually knew you.

Many authors say they don't have the time for forums and loops, it's too hard to keep up. RD is the premier forum outside of RWA online chapters (and even then, I'm not so sure...). For a place with that kind of potential, I'd think you could make the time.

Rant over.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

And The Winners Are...

First place: Toni Nichols
Second place: Bella McFarland
Third place: Melissa Francis
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to the 3 Day Cancer Walk I am participating in at the end of October with my team, Parallel Heat. I am happy to announce I am only $170 away!
Winners, please email me at with your address. Toni - you get first choice of the books, Bella - as soon as Toni choses hers, I'll let you know which two are left to pick from.
Thank you all!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Things I Do Instead Of Writing...

These little promo videos for books are fast becoming all the rage.My chickie, Jax, does fabulous ones! But of course, I want to play too. Here's one I made up for my friend Lara Santiago. What do you think of my first effort? (Be sure to turn your sound on, the song is delish.)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

There's Still Time!

I'm getting so close to meeting my goal for the cancer walk so if you haven't donated yet, please give it some serious thought.

There's still time to donate and be entered in my contest and win some great books!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Quicker and Quicker

Like most people, I record a lot of shows on the DVR and when I watch them, I fast forward through the commercials.

To counteract this, one network has announced they are going to start using a static 30 second commercial. Just 30 seconds of a single picture, with a new show's date and time.

Interesting. Innovative, even. But for the people who don't have a DVR or TIVO, it's going to be flip-city. Who's going to sit through 30 seconds of nothingness? We're a constant input generation, we want action, sound, movement, something to titillate our senses.

30 seconds of stillness doesn't seem like such a great idea when you think about the fact that some satellite radio stations have begun doing 2 second commercials. 2 second commercials.

What does this mean to those of us who write? What's happening to the attention span of our readers?

Personally, I like moments of "downtime" in the books I read. Moments when there's no real action, just some introspection. I like action, don't get me wrong, but too much of that and I feel like I'm not getting to know the characters. I want to know what they're thinking and feeling, how the situations are affecting them.

Maybe I'm alone in feeling that way. Maybe the divide between readers and watchers is expanding. (Not that you can't be both, I definitely am, but there is unquestionably a group of non-readers in this world and I dare say you could easily find most of them in front of a certain glowing box...)

What kind of pace do you like in the books you read?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Get Branded!

Branded by Emma Petersen is releasing on Friday - here's a sneak peak at this fun read!

Click here for an excerpt!

Blurb: Jenny and Ty have known each other most of their lives and have been attracted to each other since they’ve been old enough to know what attraction meant. A tragedy has bought Jenny back home to Parsons' Pass and into Ty’s arms. The heat between them is as hot as ever, but the scars he carries from his parents’ relationship and his own failed marriage keep Jenny at bay. When Ty comes close to losing the most important person in his life, he knows it’s time to bury the past and fight for their love.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm Needy (But I'm Also A Giver!)

I'm still in need of donations for the 3 Day Cancer walk I'm doing in October in Atlanta with Team Parallel Heat. It's a great event for a great cause.

To give you some incentive to donate, I'm going to run a contest. Between today, Monday, Sept. 18th and next Monday, Sept. 25th, donating to my walk will enter you in a drawing for one of the following HARDCOVER books:

Three dynamite reads!

Here's my donation page:

The Rules:
1. Donations must be a minimum of $10. Donating $20 will enter you twice, $30 three times, etc.
2. If you've donated before, thanks, but it doesn't count for this contest. I know, I know, it's not fair. Would you rather walk the 60 miles yourself?
3. Since there are three books, there will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize. First place gets their choice of the books, second can pick from the two remaining and third gets what's left.
4. If you enter more than once with a donation of more than $10, you can win more than once. So technically, if only one person donates $30, they win all three books.
5. Once you donate, the site keeps track of amounts and dates donated, so you don't have to do anything else.

Email me at if you have any questions. Please feel free to post info about this contest on your blog or website!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Creating Heat in Your Writing

I've got a wretched cold. I though it was just allergies but the aches and sore throat took hold today. Ugh. Anyway, I thought I blog about creating heat or sexual tension in your writing.

Let's face it. Heat is hot.

A behavioral scientist by the name of Desmond Morris decided to study why some couples stay together for life and why some divorce. It came down to this: the ones who stayed together were the ones who had followed a basic progression of intimacy, with sufficient time between steps before going on to the next. He theorized this gave the couple time to bond during the courtship part of their relationship. Couples who rushed these steps rarely had as strong a bond, and were much more likely to divorce.

Following the pattern of these steps can help you establish true heat between your hero and heroine. It's natural, believable and proven. If there's something lacking in the sexual tension, compare your storyline to these steps and see what's missing. I promise you, this works. Additionally, once you master these steps, you can move them around a bit to up the tension. Skip a step to put things in overdrive. Repeat a step to strengthen trust. You get the picture.

Here are the 12 Steps:

1. Eye to Body
- This step is almost insignificant. All it means is that one person has seen another. This stage passes quickly.
2. Eye to Eye
- Basically eye contact. Each person knows the other has seen them. Usually the beginning of flirting.
3. Voice to Voice
- The couple begins to talk to each other.
4. Hand to Hand
- Holding hands. The relationship begins to deepen from simple friendship to something more.
5. Arm to Shoulder
- Putting the arm around the shoulder of the other person signifies a deepening closeness and intimacy. With hand holding there is often still some space between the partners, but in the Arm to Shoulder stage closeness is intrinsic.
6. Arm to Waist
- This stage is indicative of a growing familiarity and comfort level in the relatonship.
7. Mouth to Mouth
- The couple begins kissing.
8. Hand to Head
- Touching other people's heads is highly intimate, partially because so many vital senses are concentrated in the head. This is a sign of deepening trust to allow someone else to touch your head. (This is especially true of men. If your hero lets the heroine touch his face, that's a pretty strong sign he's interested. For the heroine to allow him to touch her face, it's a great indicator of trust.)
9. Hand to Body
- Foreplay begins, although not always in a jumping-into-bed kind of way. The simple contact of hand to hip shows possesiveness, trust, sexual attraction and a willingness for greater contact.
10. Mouth to Breast
- Foreplay continues, obviously.
11. Hand to Genitals
12. Sexual Intercourse

One thingto keep in mind is Morris' research suggests that women particularly resent being rushed through the steps. Take your heroine through them too quickly and the intimacy will seem forced.

I hope this is helpful when it comes to building heat in your stories!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


1. Save The Whales. Collect The Whole Set.
2. A Day Without Sunshine is Like, Night.
3. On The Other Hand, You Have Different Fingers.
4. I Just Got Lost In Thought. It Wasn't Familiar Territory.
5. 42.7% Of All Statistics Are Made Up On The Spot.
6. Light Travels Faster Than Sound, Which Is Why Some PeopleAppear Bright Until You Hear Them Speak.
7. I Feel Like I'm Diagonally Parked In A Parallel Universe.
8. Honk If You Love Peace And Quiet.
9. Remember, Half The People You Know Are Below Average.
10. He Who Laughs Last, Thinks Slowest.
11. Depression Is Merely Anger Without Enthusiasm.
12. The Early Bird May Get The Worm, But The Second Mouse Gets The Cheese.
13. I Drive Way Too Quickly to Worry About Cholesterol.
14. Support Bacteria. They're The Only Culture Some People Have.
15. Monday Is An Awful Way To Spend 1/7 Of Your Week.
16. A Clear Conscience Is Usually The Sign Of A Bad Memory.
17. Change Is Inevitable, Except From Vending Machines.
18. Get A New Car For Your Spouse. It'll Be A Great Trade!
19. Plan To Be Spontaneous Tomorrow.
20. Always Try To Be Modest, And Be Proud Of It!
21. If You Think Nobody Cares, Try Missing A Couple Of Payments.
22. How Many Of You Believe In Psycho-Kinesis? Raise My Hand.
23 . Ok, So What's The Speed Of Dark?
24. How Do You Tell When You're Out Of Invisible Ink?
25. If Everything Seems To Be Going Well, You Have Obviously Overlooked Something.
26. When Everything Is Coming Your Way, You're In The Wrong Lane.
27. Hard Work May Pay Off In The Future. Laziness Pays Off Now.
28. Everyone Has A Photographic Memory. Some Just Do Not Have Film.
29. If Barbie Is So Popular, Why Do You Have To Buy Her Friends?
30. How Much Deeper Would The Ocean Be Without Sponges?
31. Eagles May Soar, But Weasels Do Not Get Sucked Into JetEngines.
32. What Happens If You Get Scared Half To Death Twice?
33. I Used To Have An Open Mind, But My Brains Kept Falling Out.
34. I Couldn't Repair Your Brakes, So I Made Your Horn Louder.
35. Why Do Psychics Have To Ask You For Your Name?
36. Inside Every Older Person Is A Younger Person Wondering What Happened.
37. Just Remember - If The World Did Not Suck, We Would All Fall Off.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What Bores You?

Let's say you're in your favorite bookstore, looking for a new read. You pick one up, read the back cover blurb...then put it down. Why? Are there certain things that bore you? Things you've seen or read one too many times?

What makes you NOT buy a book?

Friday, September 08, 2006

On The Road Again...

I'm traveling again. This time I've tagged along on one of Hotrod's business trips. Unfortunately, I've also come down with a cold/bout of allergies/random sore throat. Icky. Very icky.

And the meds I've been taking just make me want to sleep. Not very productive for writing, ya know?

How's your writing going? What are you working on?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Smoke Thief

I know Shana Abe's The Smoke Thief has been out for over a year, but I just got to it on my TBR pile. Wow - I wish I'd read this sooner. I wish it had been twice as long. I wish the sequel, The Dream Thief, was already out. Delicious, wonderful, captivating, rich, elegant, imaginative. A must read for writers and readers.

Her writing is beautiful, lyrical, poetic...almost dream-like (much like the beautiful covers). These books are historical romances with a delicious paranormal element, so if you read historical or paranormal, I think you'd love them.

The Dream Thief comes out Sept. 26th, 2006. I've already pre-ordered it from Amazon and there aren't many hardbacks I can say that about.

Nicely played, Ms. Abe...nicely played.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How Do You Do It?

I'm talking to those of you who write and have small children. We watched our four-year-old niece this weekend (overnight) and I came away for a whole new appreciation for those of you who manage to write and not turn your kids over to wolves to raise.

She wore me out (and that was with Hotrod's help). I had no idea bathtime could last so long. I added more hot water twice. I woke up Monday morning to a little body climbing over mine and asking, "Auntie Kristen, why are you still sleeping?" That pretty much set the tone for the day.

I'm exhausted. And so definitely not cut out to be a mother. My greatest respect to those of you who manage it! I didn't write a lick until her parents came to pick her up - of course, then I felt so behind I wrote four pages in about an hour, but still!

I'll be comatose in the corner if you need me.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Why Not
1. My muse has deserted me.
2. There's too much noise.
3. I can't find the right music for my story's soundtrack.
4. My kids need me.
5. My husband needs me.
6. There's something on t.v. I've been meaning to watch.
7. This book I'm reading is too good to put down.
8. I'm not published yet, so it's not like an editor is waiting for this.
9. Laundry is piling up.
10. I'm blocked, my characters have stopped speaking to me, and I don't know what's going to happen next.
11. I need to get this new idea down first.
12. I don't feel like it.
13. I can write tomorrow.

1. There is no muse. Writing happens when you sit down and WRITE. (And if you're one of those diehards who insists you have a muse, fine. Grab her by the hair, drag her over to your keyboard and chain the wench down. She can't leave if you don't let her. She'll stop whining after a while, trust me.)
2. So go somewhere quiet. This isn't brain surgery.
3. I'm sorry, I didn't realize this was going straight to the big screen. This isn't Hollywood and you're not Nora Ephron. Quit fooling around and write.
4. & 5. Really? Are they bleeding anywhere? Is the house on fire? Are they trying to get your attention because New York is on the phone? No? Then I think it's safe to write.
6. Ever heard of TiVo, DVR or a VCR? Figure out how to use one and get back to your laptop. You can watch t.v. when your pages are done.
7. Find a bookmark and thank your lucky stars that author found the time and gumption to do what you ought to be doing.
8. You're right. Why plan for the future? Why treat your writing like a career? Why? Because if you don't, it will always just be a hobby. And hobbyist don't make the best-seller lists.
9. So throw a load in and write a page. Laundry doesn't need your assistance once the machine starts. Make your kids/husband/mother-in-law fold.
10. Try some free-writing about why you're blocked. Let your characters take the lead and show you the way off-screen. They may open up to you and direct your next scene if you give them some room away from the manuscript. Interview them, ask them questions. Brainstorm with a writing buddy. There is always a way to get unblocked and start writing again.
11. I totally agree. Sometimes new ideas make such pests of themselves they have to be written out of your brain enough for you to concentrate on the work at hand. Do it. Then get back to your WIP.
12. And your point is?
13. Sure. And the check's in the mail. But I bet it's going to a writer who wrote today.


Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure. ~Don Wilder

Don't make excuses - make good. ~Elbert Hubbard

If you don't want to do something, one excuse is as good as another.
~Yiddish Proverb

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
~Benjamin Franklin

No one ever excused his way to success.
~Dave Del Dotto

For many people, an excuse is better than an achievement because an achievement, no matter how great, leaves you having to prove yourself again in the future but an excuse can last for life.
~Eric Hoffer

I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse. ~Florence Nightingale

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them. ~George Bernard Shaw

Niney-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses. ~George W. Carver

Friday, September 01, 2006

Emotions - Part II

Based on the comments section, looks like a lot of you enjoyed yesterday's post on emotions. I'm wondering now if there are specific emotions you write best? Which ones do you have the most problem capturing?

I struggle with dark scenes. Anything that needs to be angry or confrontational always gives me pause - much like in my real life. I wonder if this is true for you as well, that what's hard for you in real life is hard for you to write?

I'd love to hear your take on this.