Friday, February 29, 2008

Ploughing Through February

Another day in the land of snow and ice… I’m drinking coffee and sucking it up (both the weather and the coffee, lol). I’m finding that I actually feel a bit sorry for the plough guys today. Since the city is out of salt, they’re pretty much pushing the snow around and being only partially effective…sometimes just making things worse. But their job is to get out there in those trucks. Whatcha gonna do? It actually reminds me of a lot of poor office workers who are only given half the tools or half the instructions to do their jobs. How effective are they? How much worse can they make things by not having the right tools? I’ve been in that position. It’s awful. Have you been? Tell us about it.

Speaking of not having the right tools…I purposely didn’t give ‘readable’ answers to the meme yesterday so that you had to figure out the clues. But in retrospect (isn’t retrospect great?), some of the answers were impossible. Like my age. Truthfully when I put that in, nothing usable came up so I picked a picture that represented the age I ‘feel’ most of the time. That’s right. I’m a cool rocker. LOL. Anyway, I’m giving you a substitute picture today. It’s easier than my age. How about my birthday?

By the way, my nickname is a big old fat secret.

I got a lovely review on Incubus today from Melissa at NovelTalk. Here’s a snippet:

Brynn Paulin has concocted a deliciously naughty tale. Incubi are extremely sexual creatures, and this story certainly does not disappoint in that area. The sex is intense and frequent, and the sex scenes are incredibly hot. In between all the glorious sex, there is a story line and time for romance. INCUBUS is a fun, energetic, and highly erotic story. I found this tale to be a very pleasurable read and a wonderful addition to the Redemption series.

You can read the full review here.

I have to do something positively distasteful today. Clean. Ick. I hate cleaning my house. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t live in a sty or anything. I make sure the place stays liveable and that the fam has clothes. That’s different. This is the spit and shine stuff. Honestly, I have better things to do with my time, but it must be done. People coming over. And…once it’s finished I don’t have to do it for another week. But it’s a pain. Imagine if you will…Big black dog…White linoleum floor in large kitchen. It’s an ugly thing. And for some reason, she sheds in February. I digress. Anyway, Friday is cleaning day. Even when I worked fulltime outside the home, Friday has always been cleaning day. Thankfully, it usually takes around an hour and I’m free again. Today, I’m working on my work in progress the entire day-well, when I'm not cleaning, that is. It’s due to my editor by March 17, so I better get cracking. I still have about 8,000 words to write. The pic to the left is a hint on my topic.

Have a great day!
~~Brynn

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Photo Meme

Ashley Ladd tagged me for the photo meme a few weeks ago, and I'm finally getting to it now. So here goes:
1. Feel free to tag yourself. Let me know if you have. (I tagged a few people at the end of my post)
2. Answer the questions by typing your answers into Photo Bucket
3. Pick a pic that answers and insert it in your post.
4. You can’t copy the persons answers who posted this before you.

What is:

Your age on your next birthday
A place you’d like to visit
Favourite object
Favourite Place
Favourite Food
Favourite Animal
Favourite Colour
Town where you were born
Town where you live now
Name of your pet
First name of the one you Love
Your nickname
Your Middle name
Bad habit (s)









* First job

Grandmother’s name
Favourite book (this whole series)Who I'm tagging…
Bronwyn Green
Dakota Rebel
Jennifer Armintout
Molly Daniels
You!
Have fun!
~~Brynn

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wednesday Wonder Writer - Molly Daniels

I'm excited to introduce this week's Wednesday Wonder Writer Molly Daniels. Molly is a hard working writer who's making her dream happen, and it was fun to interview her and find out a little more about her. So sit back and take a few minutes to get to know this lovely wonder writer.

Author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.


Hi Brynn! Thanks for having me today!

My schedule varies. I usually get up around 6:30 and drink my coffee, watch the news, and maybe even check my email. I get the kids up; My oldest son has his drivers license, so before 8, I take my daughter and youngest to school and return home. I’ll pour myself a second cup of coffee and read my favourite blogs. Then I’ll shower, make my bed, and do my Quiet Time. If I’m working on a wip, I’ll sit back down at the computer and get to work. Otherwise, it’s housework time. I have to pick up the toddler at 12:30, and after we get home, I’ll go through any papers he has and watch Dora or Diego with him. Then I’ll write until 3, post my blog, and wait for the older kids to get home. Around 4, I’m usually off to the nursing home to visit the MIL for an hour, and then its dinner; clean-up; catching up with the older kids’ days, and TV time. If I’m lucky, my older son will bathe his little brother; we’ll all have ice cream; bed time for the kids. I’ll usually read for an hour before I go to bed around 11.

And as I’ve been offered a job, once I take it, the writing will have to wait until the evening hours or the weekend.

What kind of job will you soon be doing? Do you think it will give good experience you can apply to your writing?

I will soon be working at a daycare center, owned by Head Start. I’ll be starting out as a substitute teacher’s aid, and hopefully this will give me an inside track to actually using my social work degree. As to applying it to the writing…you never know when you’re going to find inspiration for the next storyline, so I don’t know. But this will be only the third time in seventeen years of marriage that I’ve had a job outside the home, and I jokingly call it part 2 of the ‘single mom test’; part 1 being last year, when my husband worked and lived two hours away from us during the week and visited us on the weekends. Part 2 is seeing whether I can work full time as well as being a full time single parent.

Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?

Sometimes I’ll simply go over the last couple of pages to see where I left off. If I’m ‘in the zone’, this doesn’t take a lot of time; I can usually pick up right away where I left off. But if nothing’s coming to me, then I’ll move on to another wip and do the same thing.

How many WIPs do you have going at one time?

Usually, only two, but I’ve had as many as five. I have three half-finished manuscripts in my Arbor U series, but I’m only concentrating on one. I’ve got the 3rd book in the series in the submission stage; I just dusted off my NaNo manuscript and have decided to polish it; and another contemporary romance which I began in January, but is only on chapter three. And there are two more half-finished books which at any time the characters could start talking to me again, demanding I finish their stories. So I guess that’s really seven, in various stages of development!

Do you have a favourite author or someone you look up to in the industry?

I love Nora Roberts, Lavryl Spencer, and Catherine Coulter. When Lavryl retired, I had written four of my books and I thought, ‘Hey, I can take her place!’ And since I’ve jumped on the e-book bandwagon, I look up to all the authors I’ve been communicating with and reading their books. I thought I was prolific, but you guys have left me in the dust, ha ha!

What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?
I’d have to say all over the place. If a storyline grabs me and demands to be written, I’ll write furiously until the muse is exhausted. Last spring, my kids needed the computer to do homework, so I printed out the last page of the ms, grabbed my notebook, told them to keep an eye on their little brother, and went to Starbucks for an hour or so. And when my dh complained, I shut myself in the bedroom until the words no longer came.

I’ve been trying to work on the eighth book in my series, and tried to force it during NaNo month, but my characters wouldn’t cooperate. So I wrote something else. I’ve learned that when the time is right, the story will quit ‘gelling’ in my head and will come out of my fingers. And when that happens, watch out!

What are you working on now?

Still working on number eight, ha ha…and I started another story about a young chef who ends up falling for one of her customers. I’m also trying to get #3 published and doing edits on the fourth.

How many books have you had published and for whom?

I self-published my first two books in my Arbor University series. Love is Sober was published in December 2002 through iUniverse, and more recently, the second in the series, Love Finds a Way, came out on November 7, 2007, through AuthorHouse. And just this past year, AuthorHouse bought iUniverse, which I found amusing.

I’ve sent the third one, Forbidden Love, to an e-publisher, in hopes of finding a home for the entire series. And my two erotic romances will be soon be getting polished and being submitted as well.

Explain how self-publishing works.

Basically, I paid a fee; I uploaded the manuscript; they contacted me when it was time to discuss covers and general layout of the book. They sent me the galley; I proofread it and filled out the correction form on any that needed to be made before signing off on the final galley. There are more fees for more services, but as money is tight, I’m not using them. (They do offer E-books as well, only charging another fee.) And POD (print on demand) is tough for bookstores. The books are not returnable (unless you’ve paid for that service), so I go the consignment route. I also do book signings at various craft fairs, and I’ve managed to place my books in a few small gift shops. And some book stores will agree to set up author events; I just have to provide my own books. .

With my first publisher, they offer special sales twice a year, where I can purchase copies at half-price. And with my second, I was more cautious with my initial free books, and was able to make some Christmas money. I’ve got at least two signings coming up, and just had to order some more. I don’t keep several hundred around; I generally buy ten, twenty, or in this last case, twenty-five to sell, because I’m still relatively unknown.

Is there a place where people can order your books online?

I’ve got the links on the ‘Books’ page of my website, http://www.mollydaniels.citymax.com/ and while both are on http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ , and http://www.borders.com/, Love is Sober can be ordered directly from the publisher at http://www.iuniverse.com/ and Love Finds a Way at http://www.authorhouse.com/ .

What’s your favourite genre to write?

Definitely romance!

Tell us about your latest release and how you got the idea?

Love Finds a Way came about when I was bored in college. I had gone on a blind date with a young man who was home on leave, and didn’t think I’d ever see him again, even though we’d hit it off. So over the summer, I started thinking about ‘what if…’ and started writing. And as it turned out, he did come home again, and we picked up right where we had left off, with a few bumps along the way. The book reflects some of our ups and downs, and as I was writing, other characters entered with their own problems, so I started plotting their stories. Finally, one day I had three unfinished stories and decided to make them into a 5-book series, just to get them out of my head. Along the way, it spread to 12 books, and now 14.

I also had loved the teen romance books in jr high and high school, and wanted to read something similar in the college setting. When I couldn’t find anything, I created my own. In a nutshell, I wrote the book that I wanted to read.

Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get started? Etc.

In the fifth grade, I had a student teacher who ‘unlocked’ my imagination and taught me how to write the stories in my head down on paper. I’d always acted them out with my sister, or through my Barbie dolls, and got mad when the other girls didn’t follow my ‘script’…never mind the fact they couldn’t read my mind! I thought if they would just follow along, they’d get it…but no. So when I learned about paragraphs and how to write dialogue, I basically went nuts with enthusiasm and wrote my own fairy tales. I only have a few that I saved; I’m not sure if they are simply lost, or if I never got them back from my teacher.

In the ninth grade, my English teacher informed us we would write creatively every other Friday. Most of the class groaned; I was thrilled. I was heavily into “Star Wars”, and ‘The Empire Strikes Back” had been out for a year and we were all waiting impatiently for the answers to our questions. I decided to write my own ending and see if George Lucas and I were on the same wavelength. Seven months later, equalling 4 hand-written pages a month, I finally put “The End” on my 27-page document, full of my teacher’s comments to ‘please write something else!’, and had to wait three more years to see I was way off target!

In college, I started writing half-heartedly, just to get the newly forming stories out of my head, and envisioning being published before I was twenty. But not having any idea of how to start, the goal eventually was extended to make it before I hit thirty, and then forty. At age twenty-five, I was pregnant with my first child and on bed rest, so I decided to roll my story ideas into a series, and two years later started trying to submit my first completed manuscript.

Seven years later, I found out about an agent who ‘specialized in getting unknown authors published’, so I sent him my manuscripts and swallowed everything he told me. Two years later, I found out about the POD industry; got Internet access; published the first one, and eagerly called my agent to get the ball rolling with #2. Didn’t hear back for three weeks; I began to feel lied to, so I started searching on the Web. Guess what? He’s being indicted for fraud! So I added my name to the list and am now getting monthly checks (when he pays…he has 10 years to pay restitution.) About this time, my husband was watching Montel Williams, and Jaid Black, owner of Ellora’s Cave, was a guest. I went to the website, got my free copies of her newsletter, and started asking questions. I even ordered my first e-books a year later.

Then last year, I was fortunate enough to get invited to join an online writer’s group, and through the people I met online, the rest of my questions concerning e-books was been answered, and I jumped on board. My series is geared toward age 12 and up, but the two books I wrote this past year are more erotic. I blame you, Amarinda, and Anny for that, ha ha…

Star Wars conclusion…were you way off target?

LOL! Way off base! I made Jabba the Hut a forgetful alien; I didn’t solve Luke’s parentage question…in fact, Darth Vader never even made it into the manuscript! It was all about freeing Han Solo to be reunited with Princess Leia…proof I should stay away from Sci-Fi and stick to romance!

From reading your blog (and your comments on mine), I know you are fond of 90210, as well as Charmed. Who’s your favorite character from either one and why? Is there one character who’s most like you?

Charmed is easy. I’m probably more like Piper…the mom who is a secret control-freak, and whom everyone counts on to be dependable. I do wish I’d had the courage to be more like Phoebe in my younger days! 90210…in the HS years, I was probably a Donna…naïve, a little ditsy. But in college, probably Kelly. I developed a backbone and did what I wanted. In both cases, I didn’t date; I mated. My shortest relationships lasted three months.

Tell us more about your erotic writing. What was it like to go from the college series you’d been writing to the steamier work? What challenges did you encounter, if any? Was there any part where you felt freed?

Actually, it wasn’t that hard. All I did was fast-forward to the present time and add more description. The hard part, believe it or not, was the buzz words. I wasn’t raised with that sort of vocabulary, but I’m married to man who uses some of the words. So all I did was channel his rough vocabulary moments and try to keep from blushing as I wrote it! It helped that I had read my first Ellora’s Cave books, and had read the complimentary newsletter. In the last year, I’ve been fortunate enough to correspond with other EC, Cerridwen Press, and Total-E-Bound authors, as well as reading their books. I guess you all have corrupted me, because my second and third attempts were much easier! But I still have problems keeping the heat level up…I keep lapsing back into more of the sensual love scenes. As for the freeing…let’s just say I wish I’d read some of your books twenty years ago. All these ideas…my friends and I would discuss some of these, but dismissed them as ‘not for us’. Well guess what…fast forward twenty years, and the experimenting has finally begun, without the shame! We’re not afraid to take chances in the bedroom anymore.

One more deep question…Coke or Pepsi?

My dad is a retired Frito-Lay man! We drink Pepsi, although I’m not really a cola drinker. I prefer iced tea. I once tried to drink a Coke, but didn’t finish it. I can polish off a Pepsi in about 90 minutes (unless it has rum in it, LOL). I just don’t care for the carbonation. This preference plays out in my books; my characters favor Pepsi products, with a few exceptions.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

My Arbor University series is mainly about how even good kids can make bad choices. Please don’t let the bad title of the first one turn you off; I’ve had readers take a chance on it and they love it, and keep demanding more. You can go to my website http://www.mollydaniels.citymax.com/ and see brief descriptions of all of the books in my series, plus signing my guestbook and letting me know you were there, or if there is a social situation you’d like to see covered. And visit my blog http://www.mjdaniels.blogspot.com/ to see what I’m up to on a daily basis.

Thanks for joining me here today, Molly!

Thanks Brynn! This was a lot of fun!

And here's a little bit more on Love Finds a Way:

Blurb:

Can a blind date ever turn into a meaningful relationship?

Amy Callahan wants to find out

Three months before, she had agreed to go on a blind date with Matt Slagal, who was home on leave from the Air Force. Now, she can’t seem to get him off her mind. When she finds herself holding a free ticket to anywhere in the continental United States, Amy jumps at the chance to fly to California and see if the chemistry between them still exists.
Matt Slagal is ecstatic when he learns Amy is in California. But his past experience with the opposite sex has taught him not to trust women. And when one of his friends makes his move, Matt thinks his fears are confirmed, even though Amy hotly denies anything happened.

For her part, Amy is shocked and stunned at Matt’s attitude. She finally convinces him to see the truth, and learns the reason behind his mistrust. When her visit is over, the relationship is back on solid ground again.

But they soon discover that the miles separating them are just one more obstacle. Matt is still commitment-shy, and the fact his ex-lover still wants him drives a wedge between he and Amy. Finally, fed up with the fact her rival won’t leave her man alone, Amy takes drastic measures to ensure Matt’s fidelity. Will it work? Which one reigns…”Absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “Out of sight, out of mind”?

Excerpt:

Amy climbed into the truck and they took off for his home in Brookview. After telephoning her whereabouts to her roommate Caty, she turned back to Matt and blushed, conscious of her scruffy attire: Sweaty t-shirt, shorts, and wind-blown hair.

"If I'd known you were coming back tonight, I'd have never gone on that run," she flushed. "Look at me. I'm almost scared to talk to you!"

"You're still beautiful," he said, handing her a glass of 7-Up. "Why are you scared?"

"I don't know."

Matt sat down beside her on the beige loveseat. He took a swallow of his drink and put it down. Amy had put hers on the coffee table, and when she straightened up, Matt took her in his arms, and they clung together. Matt's lips moved from her cheek to her ear. Amy shivered with anticipation, and began kissing his neck. Suddenly, she realized the front door was open.

"Matt..."

"Mmmmm..."

"Not here."

"How come?"

"For one thing, the door's wide open, and secondly, what if your mom were to come home and catch us in a compromising position?"

Matt pulled away, shut the door, and lay down on the floor. "Could you give me one of your famous backrubs?"

"Sure." Amy smiled, flexed her fingers, and knelt beside him. Quickly and expertly, she massaged, rubbed, and pounded on his back. Matt rolled over and pulled her down to him.

“God, but I’ve missed you,” he muttered, running his hands up her back, pulling her T-shirt out of her shorts. “I couldn’t stop thinking about you after you’d left.”

“Anything in particular?” she teased, breathless from his long kisses.

“Just this...” He pulled her shirt up and slid his lips to her breast, impatiently shoving her bra cup aside.

“Matt...on the floor?” she asked weakly, embarrassed by the fact she’d not had a shower. What had possessed her to jog on the night he came home? She pushed him away when his hands slid to her shorts. “Stop...I’m all sweaty...”

“That’s okay, sweetheart. We’ll both be sweaty in a moment...” He jumped up, grabbed her hand, and pulled her up the stairs to his room.

Later, they lay with their arms around each other. Matt kissed her, then went downstairs for their now warm drinks.

“I put some more ice in them,” he explained, handing her the glass, then slid in beside her again. “Now this is the life; my woman keeping the bed warm.” He smiled saucily at her.

“How long are you on leave?” she inquired, pulling the covers around her.

“Two weeks. Just like last time.”

“I hope we can spend more time together this time,” she said shyly, lowering her eyes.

“I plan on it, dear. I certainly plan on it.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ice

I’m so done with ice. Apparently the suburb I live in is out of salt. Not cool. For those in warmer climes who don’t deal with this:

Ice + salt = potholes

Ice – salt = ending up in the ditch or doing 360 spins on the road

So this morning on the way to take the kids to school, I hit a patch of “rogue” ice as my son called it. I didn’t quite do a 360, but it was dicey there for a moment while I got the car back under control. Only another month of this right?

Today, I really must mention another Ice. A more pleasant Ice because it won’t hurt more than a few brain cells or possible your stomach as you laugh. Have any of you seen Cool As Ice, the very bad movie from the 90’s starring Vanilla Ice? The tag line is: When a girl has a heart of stone, there's only one way to melt it. Just add Ice.

This is a loosely adapted, rap-based version of “Rebel Without a Cause”. Vanilla Ice takes on the role of Johnny, based on a role played by James Dean. Ooh! Ice, Ice Baby! Not.
So anyway, I went searching for a copy of this movie for my husband. Though the movie was awful, there are still parts of it we laugh about today—particularly the line, “You don’t know me. You don’t know me at all!” Let me tell you, this bit of dialogue from the movie’s big dark moment comes up at the craziest times. Like church…other movies…watching Charmed…listening to political speeches…just talking… I've started giggling hysterically when I've read similar sentiments in books.

Despite my thoughts on this movie—and the thoughts of most people I know—this has apparently become a cult classic. The cheapest price for it (on VHS) was 19.99. There were also copies going for as high as $689 on Amazon.

Here are a few tasty lines from the movie:

Johnny (to the heroine): Drop that zero and get with the hero!

Johnny (to his friend): I'm gonna go across the street and, uh, schling a schlong.

Nice.

Seriously, this movie should have won an Oscar.

As music goes, it’s not horrible. But you know what’s less horrible, Breaking Benjamin. Don’t tell, but I’ve recently “borrowed” my son’s copy. I love Breath and Diary of Jane. My kids can’t believe I like “their” music. They’re perplexed that I know artists such as REM and Depeche Mode. They can’t believe I know songs like Brass Monkey and Mrs. Robinson. Hello, kids…hate to tell you… Seriously, the Depeche Mode song the radio played the other day was one of my all time favourites. I may really freak them later today and pull the vinyl and tapes off the shelf and reveal my Depeche Mode addiction. For Pete's sake! I even saw them in concert. Of course, my younger son is convinced it must have been a different Depeche Mode.

I’m still trying to convince my older son to learn the drums. He and his friends have started a band…one of them plays and instrument…marginally. They have no drummer but two bass players. I’ve always been convinced my child should be a percussionist. This isn’t some weird mom thinking. Honestly, the kid drums on EVERYTHING. He keeps the beat with every piece of music which plays. It seems to be a natural extension of his being. This leads me to a rant… When my son was in 4th grade, every child was required to go to a band assessment. He wanted to play the drums back then. Badly! He ended up playing trombone which he hated. Despised. Much later, I discovered that this decision had been made based on the fact he “has the right lips for it”. Despite this, he was unable to get his perfect lips to cooperate. Band was hell. We’ve looked at other options, but he’s refused to ever try the drums again, because the band teacher told him he didn’t have rhythm. That pronouncement sticks with my son today, I’m making headway, but the damage of that one sentence has had huge impact. Teachers have such opportunity to do lasting damage… I just want to shake this one.

Anyway, back to the bass… He wants to play it. He’s never played one before. Never played guitar. Never touched any stringed instrument. I’m not so against this that I’ll refuse, however we have daily discussions on the band. He might just get the bass and lessons, but it won’t be until June at the earliest. When school is out for the summer. He can start on a new instrument then, but until that time…we’ll discuss.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Almost Out of the Oubliette

How can it possibly be the last Monday in February? Already? Wow, has this month flown by. I’m really glad because frankly, I consider February in the Northern Hemisphere to be the oubliette of the year. For those of you who don’t recognize this word, it means the dungeon where you can see the light but can’t get out. Depressing, huh? Well, mostly, February is. How ironic that it’s the month where we celebrate love. It’s the month where romance writer’s can celebrate the holiday which embodies of their craft. Yeah, well, it’s almost done. Daylight will soon arrive again.

Still, as romance writers, we can do a lot to alleviate the feeling of “oubliette” and make the world a whole lot brighter. We are the creators of the fantasy. We give the young mother an outlet. We remind the a weary lover that love is worth the work. We give so many life-burdened people a place to rest. We create a place for those stuck in the mire of their life to escape for a few hours. We simply take our readers to another place and show the world the way love should be. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that romance sells as well as it does…

Here are a few questions for you: as readers, what do you appreciate in a book? What makes a great book? And those out there who are writers, particularly romance writers, what do you love most about the craft? Why are you a romance writer? Why are you a writer?

For me, books are an escape. Let’s face it, in a lot of ways, life sucks. That’s not to say I want all sweetness and light in the books I read. I want to read the blackest big black moment there can be, but then I want the huge YES moment at the end of the book. I want to close the book full of warm happy feelings. Yes, rip my heart out then make me feel better. That’s what I want in a book and that’s what I strive to write in a book. It’s all about the emotional journey.

So…I got two reviews this weekend. One for Tribute for the Goddess and one for Incubus.
Here’s part of both:

Romance Reviews Today: Brynn Paulin can write some of the most sexually gratifying and emotional sex scenes! TRIBUTE FOR THE GODDESS is an excellent fantasy romance and the relationship between Thad and Jett and his love for his goddess are sweet and sexy all rolled into one. My first introduction to Thad was very amusing because all he cares about is getting under Jett’s toga. His frustrations make him seem very selfish, which would make sense after abstaining from sex for over two-hundred years with the one woman he desires above all else. But very quickly he comes to Jett's rescue, and what a rescue it is! Jett may be a bit naïve in the terms of love and mortal relationships, but she is a very fast learner. Thad, as her teacher, shows her what life as a mortal can offer and she embraces it.

Even though Jett is an all powerful goddess, she is basically a lonely and unsure deity who must sacrifice herself for the lives of millions. The weight of the world is on her shoulders, literally. Since Thad and Jett are constantly on the run and hiding, their intimate moments are fast and all consuming, which happen quite often. Airyon is truly an evil character who likes to cause pain and suffering and only wants Jett much like a spoiled child wants his favorite toy. Jett's sister Nara is in charge of taking souls to the underworld, or Torment as it is called. Nara is also one who must be watched because she also enjoys pain and suffering.

Who would have thought reading the drama of a goddess could be so much fun? TRIBUTE FOR THE GODDESS has many moments of action, suspense and, of course, a wonderful love between a great hero and a goddess. It's a recommended read, and Brynn Paulin is an author to enjoy.

You can find the full review here.

Simply Romance Reviews: Cupid’s Kisses – Redemption: Incubus is a very steamy read but then again it’s about an incubus! The demon Cupid twist is very original and gives this a nice slant on the usual. Noah is hot, even though for most of the story he’s invisible but Val can sure “feel” him. Her special healing powers are a nice touch and help to bring this story to a happy ending, one that both characters really deserved. I recommend this quick read – a Valentine’s treat without the calories!

You can find the full review here.

Fictionary was a rousing success on Saturday, with both readers and writers participating. If you were there, thank you for coming to play! It was a great time. We will be playing again at Literagasm on Thursday 6th March - 7-9pm EST. Here's how it works: We post photos every 10 minutes or so, and everyone has to think of a catch phrase to go with it - it's amazing the things that people think of! The funniest ones will win prizes. The TEB editors will pick the winners. In between the caption game, authors will also have the opportunity to post hot and steamy excerpts. Come join the fun!!

Congrats to Dakota Rebel who has a new book out today in the Bound Brits anthology! Way to go! Anyone interested can pick it up here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Business Time


This a video called Business Time. It was put together by relevant church to promote their 30 Day Sex Challenge. I'm not making fun of them or their challenge. Actually, I think it's pretty cool. They have a great message. But the video cracks me up--it's meant to--and I wanted to share.

I had a fantastic chat last night at NovelTalk. The ladies over there are wonderful! Bronwyn and I loved it. We'd like to thank Dakota Rebel and Marie Haynes for joining us along with all the readers who came to talk. It was great!

Don't forget Fictionary!! Wanna win prizes just for having fun? Come play Fictionary with Carol Lynne and Brynn Paulin on Saturday February 23rd from 5 to 7 PM EST at Love Romances ebook Cafe. See a picture. Name the characters. Then make up a few sentences to go with the shot – one liners are welcome. This isn’t English class. You won’t be graded on sentence structure. All that’s required is creativity and the desire to have fun. Oh and did we mention prizes galore? We’ll have a metal book mark, bracelets, BOOKS! and a $20 Starbucks gift certificate. FICTIONARY! 5 PM EST. At: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LoveRomancesCafe/

Speaking of creative, swing over to Bronwyn's blog and check out her pottery. Pretty stuff. I'm lucky enough to have several of her pieces at my house, including a mermaid she once made me and a lovely mug in my favourite shade of blue. She's very talented.

Another talented one...Congrats Jennifer Armintrout on your part in Assassins. Way to go! I've posted the special picture to the left in your honour. I know how you love the Hoff. By the way, there are several requests to be part of the Alan Rickman literacy project. We'd like you to coordinate in your spare time. Thank you.


~~Brynn

Thursday, February 21, 2008

3, 2, 1...It's a blast

THREE

I will be making three appearances over the next few days.

1. Tonight I will be at a chat for Total-e-bound. You can join us at Joyfully Reviewed from 7 PM to 9 PM EST. (The other authors will be there until 10). Other authors are Alexis Fleming, Sierra Cartwright, Donna Grant, Ann Cory, Ellen Ashe, Marie Haynes, Carol Lynne, Bronwyn Green, Jamie Hill, Dakota Rebel and Desiree Holt. This chat can be found at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Chatting_with_Joyfully_Reviewed/

2. Following the Total-e-bound chat tonight, Bronwyn Green and I will be scurrying over to Novel Talk for a chat there. We will chat about Tribute for the Goddess and Mystic Circle as well as our other current books. Door prize: I’ll be giving away a copy of Tribute for the Goddess (Total-e-bound) and Bronwyn will be giving away a copy of Mystic Circle (Ellora’s Cave). If any other Ellora’s Cave or Total-e-bound authors drop in, we’ll welcome them to tell a bit about their latest book. We’ll be there from 9 PM to 11 PM EST. The Novel Talk chat can be found at: http://www.noveltalk.com/chat/default.asp

3. And my last scheduled appearance this week: Wanna win prizes just for having fun? Come play Fictionary with Carol Lynne and Brynn Paulin on Saturday February 23rd from 5 to 7 PM EST at Love Romances ebook Cafe. See a picture. Name the characters. Then make up a few sentences to go with the shot – one liners are welcome. This isn’t English class. You won’t be graded on sentence structure. All that’s required is creativity and the desire to have fun. Oh and did we mention prizes galore? We’ll have a metal book mark, bracelets, BOOKS! and a $20 Starbucks gift certificate.

Come play FICTIONARY! 5 PM EST. At: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LoveRomancesCafe/

TWO

I got two amazing reviews this week.

The first was from BDSM reviews for On Your Knees. I squeed a lot over this one. Here’s a taste: From the first moment Ryan says "Jessica." in that quiet Dominating voice, that refuses to except argument he had me quaking in my lacy underwear. By the time he actually punctuates "On. Your. Knees" I was lost. Frankly, I don't remember much after that point, I was up to my boots in naughty behaviour. He was hot, demanding, caring, kind, sweet, romantic, funny, delicious[…]I loved every minute of this and made sure I had time to read it in one sitting. I would have been very disappointed if I had been distracted.

The full review can be found here.

The second review was for Master Me and was from Two Lips Reviews. Here’s some of what they had to say: Torrid Tarot: Master Me is a sensational story about two people who love each other but are afraid to act on their feelings for fear of loosing the friendship between them. All three of these books by Brynn Paulin are exciting and highly erotic. I really wanted to cry at Ana’s pain when she thought she lost Max. And Max, I just wanted to grab him by the shirt collar and give him a good shake. This book is very emotional, and the characters are wonderful. I can’t wait for Josh’s story.

The full review can be found here.

Click on the pictures to buy either of the books. Click here to look at the third book mentioned in the review.

ONE

There is only one Alan Rickman. When I did my Are You Insured blog the other day and I asked who’d you’d insure, I was completely remiss in overlooking this favourite of mine. Seriously, I could listen to this man speak for hours. And I think he’s a pretty bang up actor too. I loved him in Sweeney Todd. Most of my favourite scenes in Harry Potter revolve around him. And of course there’s his movie stealing performance in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. And Die Hard. These don’t even scrape the surface… Uh oh, I’m bordering on a FanGuuuurl moment.
Yes, Alan Rickman. My one.

Related to this, is the second half of “one”. Cheryl Sterling, thank you for pointing out my oversight. Contact me and tell me which of my books you want and I’ll shoot it on over to you. (My goodness…a hidden contest!)
~~Brynn

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday Wonder Writer - Dakota Rebel

Thanks to everyone who stopped by yesterday and so openly shared. Depression is so difficult--and different--for everyone. I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

Here's something to cheer you: Today's Wonder Writer, the incredible Dakota Rebel. Her books are a treat and if you haven't heard of her, you soon will. So sit back and learn a little about this up-and-coming writer.

Author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.
I usually get up around 6 am, get my daughter ready for school, get ready for the day job, and feed and water the animals. (2 black Persians and a white Chihuahua.) I drop her at daycare by 7 am and head to work. Work till 5 pm, pick up the kid. Feed her. Watch Hannah Montana and the Suite Life of Zach and Cody or play DDR or Guitar Hero until 8 pm. She has ice cream and goes to read in bed for half an hour. I use this time to check emails (when I can get an internet connection). Tuck her in at 9 pm, finish emails, and I am in bed watching movies by 10 pm. Notice that nowhere in there does it say anything about writing. Yeah, being able to sit down and write is not so typical for me. It’s amazing I ever get anything done.

Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?
No. Usually an idea will strike me and if I am not near the computer I scribble like mad on anything I have laying (lying? that happens to lie?) around. Envelopes, napkins, and the back of my hands are popular items for me. If I have a deadline I force myself to sit in a corner with my laptop and not get up until my hands cramp. Is that a routine?

Where’s your favourite place to write? Describe your “writing space”.
My favorite place to write is at the local pub. I can't smoke in my house, and I like to have people wait on me while I write. So I head to the pub and smoke cigarettes and drink endless ice teas, and the occasional Guinness, and people-watch while I write. It gives great inspiration and it's really comfortable there.

What do you consider your greatest writing strength?
I would say my ability to come up with scenarios. Having a nine year old daughter has taught me the importance of asking why. Why? Why not? What if? I have a white board covered in novel ideas, titles, etc. If I could just sit on my arse and actually write down the ideas in my head I would never have to work at a "real" job again. I would put out a book every two weeks. I would be our generations Louis L'amour.

What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place? I would have to say all over the place. I can write in short bursts and for long stretches. I once wrote a 27k novella in one day. That was pretty impressive even to myself. But that was also a complete fluke, I have yet to repeat that miraculous feat.

A 27 thousand word novella in one day! I can’t imagine. How many words do you normally write in a day? Do you have a minimum goal?
I haven't written a single word in almost three weeks. As I mentioned, I don't have a schedule, I just write when the mood strikes me. And lately, there have been no strikes. And no time. It has been so crazy around here lately that my mind won't let the voices talk to me. It's too loud out here. *sigh*. I used to set goals - 1k words or 10 pages, but I never met them so I have stopped forcing myself. And now look at me, no words, no pages, and too many WIPS for my own good.

Do you prefer writing in first or third person?

I can only write first person. My editor won't let me have empty headed characters for some reason, and I have a hard enough time forcing thoughts into the brain of one person, I couldn't imagine doing it for two or more.

Do you have a favourite author or someone you look up to in the industry?
I am a huge fan of Laurell K Hamilton. I think she fixed what Anne Rice broke with the vampire genre. She writes smart, sexy characters and it is always entertaining.

What do you feel was broken about the Vampire Genre that LKH fixed?
I am NOT an Anne Rice fan. Not even a little. (Everyone who knows me right now is laughing at my politeness in that statement.) Her vampires are wussy, her writing is erratic, her characters are flat, and she was the go to girl for vampire fiction for years. It was really unfair. And then here comes LKH, and her vampires are hot, they are bad asses, and they are real people who happen to be vampires. I love that.

You write about vampires. Do vampires exist? And what would you do if you met one?
I do not believe in sharing my opinions about the existence of vampires. I usually end up sounding crazy or irrational or a little of both. I will say that legends stick around for centuries for a reason, but that is all I will admit. If I ever met a vampire I would probably beg him to let me drop 40 pounds and then turn me. Sometimes I get really scared of death. I think that is another reason that vamps fascinate me so much. Not having to worry about disease and pain and death seems pretty awesome.

What are you working on now?
Absolutely nothing. I am waiting for some edits to come back, and I am brewing up some ideas, but I have no projects that keep the fingers tapping (or the backs of my hands covered in ink.) I did have an idea yesterday that I think will be my next project, but it is going to be huge with lots of research and work and I don’t do really well with that.

How many books have you had published and for whom?
I have had a pretty good year this year. I have two novels and two short stories going into anthologies with Total E Bound this year. In fact two of them are available this month.

What’s your favourite genre to write?
Vampire Erotica is treating me really well. And I think that my stories flow better when I stick with vampires. I do have a non-vamp book coming out in March (Hello, March 17, 2008), and I really like it, but it wasn’t as “easy” for me to write as the vampire stories. Vamps just call to me. I can’t explain it, but it’s awesome.

Sweet Dreams just came out with Total-e-bound. Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?
Sweet Dreams is the story of a vampire hunter named Veronica who has been hunting down the last vampire of a rogue pack that killed her mother. But she begins to have erotic dreams about the master of all vampires and she becomes very confused. She has spent her whole life hating the creatures, and now she may be falling in love with one.

The idea was one of those rare ones that come fully formed…almost. The beginning and the end were definite from the moment I turned on my laptop to write it. The middle…not so much. But it finally came and worked out great.

Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? Etc.

I have been writing vampire stories since I was twelve years old. I have always loved them, they fascinate the hell out of me. I also started writing poetry, (bad, bad poetry) around that time too. (In fact, I still have the tattered composition book with the original poetry written in it. It is terrible, but I don’t think I could ever let it go.)

I learned pretty quickly after that that the only time I was really happy was when I was writing. So I began my first novel at fourteen. LOL. Wow, what a train wreck. But now that I think about it, it would have been erotica too. Really, really bad erotica, but still. It was the story of an FBI agent who falls in love with the criminal she is tracking down. Still sounds good in theory, but she caught him in chapter two and they spent the remaining 27 pages (yeah I think it was 40 pages in all) “banging” as young teenagers used to love to say. It was just awful. I wish I still had it though. I remember a lot of it, but I am sure that the writing itself is hilarious.

You’ve mentioned that you have a day job. What sort of work do you do? Do you find that your occupation or past occupations have help you in your writing?
I work for an automotive supply company. I handle "The Big Three" (Ford, Chrysler, GM for those of you not from Michigan.) And no, they do not in anyway help me with my writing. Ha ha, I have had the most boring jobs EVER. So no inspiration there, except maybe for the fact that having these jobs has made me want to write more so I don't have to work at these kind of jobs anymore.

You mentioned watching movies…any favourites? Any which inspire your writing? Any you feel should be cast into a bonfire and never spoken of again?
Gone with the Wind and Tombstone are two of my all time favorite movies. I also adore the Harry Potter Movies. I try not to let movies inspire my writing because I fear that I will accidentally steal something, a line, a character, etc. So I watch for fun, but I want to write things that are new. Something that has never been done before.

As for bonfire movies - Casino (I know this movie is very popular, but it is the only movie that has literally made me sick. The Joe Pesci murder scene, ew. I had to throw up watching it.), Adaptation (What the hell was up with that movie? I have tried to watch it twice and I still don't understand it.), I Spit On Your Grave. (Again with the ew.) Oh, and all of the Lord of the Rings crap. (Have you seen Clerks 2? Yeah they are dead on with their description of those movies.)

I know you’re a Buffy fan. Who’s your favourite character and why?
My favorite Buffy character? Wow. I don't know that I can just pick one. I like to look at Giles (Anthony Stewart Head.) I LOVE evil Willow. She is so bitchy and funny. But I guess if I HAVE to pick one, I will go with...Spike. Spike is not only HOT, he always had the best lines. He was funny, he was mean, and he loved Buffy. He was a fantastic character.

Favorite quote: "I'm sure he has a classic mid-life crisis vehicle outside. Something big, red, shaped like a penis."

Coke or Pepsi?
I don't really drink soda (or "pop" if you are from Michigan.) I can drink gallons of iced tea every day though. I suppose if I HAVE to have one, like if a restaurant only has fountain tea (ick) I will drink Diet Coke. But I hate Pepsi. Won't touch it.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
I love to hear from readers. If there is anything you want to share with me please email me at Dakota.rebel@hotmail.com. Any questions, concerns, complaints, and especially praise will be most welcome. I hope everyone enjoys reading my work as much as I loved writing it. Also be sure to visit my blog at http://www.vampsmut.blogspot.com/. I will be running contests and updating my calendar throughout the year.

Thanks for being today’s Wonder Writer!
Thank you for inviting me. You know how much I love to talk about myself.
XoXoXoDakota

Dakota's books and bio can be found at total-e-bound!

Here's an excerpt from her current book Sweet Dreams:

The helicopter was gone as soon as my feet hit the ground. I crouched in the underbrush listening for signs we'd been spotted, but the jungle was silent. With any luck the Chinese government would never know an American military copter, carrying a vampire hunter who had completely taken leave of her senses had entered their airspace.

It took almost half an hour to pack my repelling gear in the small gunny sack I had brought with me. I didn't want to leave it to be found because I couldn't afford for anyone to be able to track me. I was just hoping the vampire I searched for had not been as careful.

I was pretty sure I knew where he was headed, but there were no guarantees, especially with vampires. What little intelligence I had gathered before leaving base seemed even sketchier in the dark, quiet jungle. But it was all I had to go on, so I'd trust it. If I had landed where I'd intended, I was about two miles south of the temple he should be headed for. I said a silent prayer that he hadn't been there and gone, then started walking.

The path through this part of the jungle was well-worn, indicating the Chinese government also knew about the temple and that I was headed in the right direction. I walked quickly, the path lit by a bright moonlight that should not have been able to shine through the dense trees. But it was as if nothing grew over this path. The trees lining it were still standing, but had died long ago from the looks of them.

I reached a clearing and stared at the temple much sooner than I'd expected to arrive there. It was small, built of smooth grey stone with a single door opened toward the path. A flickering light shone through it. He was in there.

If I had been thinking clearly, I would have just blown the whole fucking thing up and gone home. But I wasn't, instead I was drawn to the building with an overwhelming need to go inside and find him. I stepped into that flickering light and looked around.

Inside the temple was big. Much bigger than the outside walls should have allowed. As my eyes adjusted to the candlelight I could see the walls were lined with enormous candelabras, every one lit as far as I could see. The floor sloped downward, creating the feel of a long tunnel stretching deep below the jungle outside.

I hadn't gotten much information about this place before I'd left base. All I really knew was that it was supposedly built to pay tribute to the Master of all Vampires. There were rumours he was actually here, lying in torpor, unable to rise.

That was what had brought the vampire I was hunting to China in the first place. He believed the rumours and had come to drain the Master's lifeless body of its power.
I walked quickly, listening for signs that he was near, but it stayed silent for what seemed like hours. Finally, about a mile down the path I heard a faint grinding sound. I fought my urge to break into a run. I pulled a gun from one of my holsters, clicking off the safety as I walked faster.

I stopped at the first break in the path. Pressing my back against the wall, I looked around the corner into a small room. He was standing about twenty feet into the room with his back to me, his long white blond hair glowing like angel's wings in the candle light. His broad shoulders were squared, the muscles on his bare arms showing the strain he was using to try to wrench the lid off the coffin sitting in front of him.

I stepped into the doorway and brought up my gun. I fired, but he dropped to the ground, the bullet soaring through the spot where he had just been standing.

"Veronica," he hissed.

I fired again, and again he dodged it. The bullet lodged into the coffin instead.

"Joaquin."

"I'm kind of busy," he replied.

I fired at him again and missed again.

"I can see that. Whatcha doin'?" I moved slowly to the left, my gun trained on his forehead as he moved with me.

"Visiting an old friend. You are being very disruptive in this holy place," he hissed.

I nodded my head toward the coffin. "I don't think he minds right now." I fired again, but he was too fucking fast. The gun was wrenched from my hand and I dropped quickly to the ground. I watched his arm sail over me then launched myself at his body. I caught him off guard and we tumbled to the floor.

He ended up on top of me with his hands around my neck. I pulled my knee up into his groin and shoved him off of me. I brought my arm down to where his throat should have been, but it slammed into the stone ground instead. My elbow throbbed painfully as I rolled to my knees and tried to stand. Before I could get to my feet, he hit me across the shoulders. I barely managed to catch myself before my face landed on the cement.

I rolled quickly to my feet but his arm closed around my throat from behind before I could turn to look for him. He was too tall for me to reach his face but too short to get a good elbow shot into his crotch.

"You're kind of a pain in the ass," he whispered in my ear.

"So I've been told." I struggled against his arm, but he was too strong.

"Your mother struggled too. Did you come here hoping to die like her? You keep coming after me, and I keep defeating you. Your mother asked for it too you know. I warned her like I have warned you, but she kept coming. Just like you. I am starting to think you want me to kill you Veronica. Well, I would hate to disappoint a Duff woman."

I stood helpless as he sank his fangs into my shoulder. I screamed. Loud voices exploded from the hallway.

Joaquin released me, cursing, and I collapsed over the coffin. A cool breeze blew over my face as I lost consciousness.

I woke in a hospital with my commanding officer staring down at me.

"Joaquin?" I asked.

He grunted. "Gone. I don't know what the hell you were thinking coming here. The Chinese government has been kind enough to let you go home with us. But they want me to inform you that they could have just finished you off in that temple and we would have had no recourse."

I nodded. He was right. They could have charged me as a spy then killed me and the U.S. government wouldn't have been able to do anything about it. I had come without orders, without them really knowing I was coming at all. I had called in a favour to get a pilot to drop me in the jungle, taken top secret weapons out of the U.S. and come to China half-cocked with no real plan of return. Worse, I had shot up a sacred vampire temple that was obviously well known to everyone in the Chinese government.

But mostly, I was pissed I hadn't caught Joaquin. That fucker had gotten away from me again and had almost killed me. I was getting really sick of coming home with scars every time I found him.

"Are you listening to me," the Commander asked.

"Sorry. I'm a little groggy."

"Bullshit. You're mentally kicking yourself for letting him get away again. I would be too. But then, I wouldn't have come after him in the first place. You're in deep shit, little girl."

"Yes sir."

"I will deny this if you ever repeat it, but I have to tell you. It took some major balls to do what you did tonight." He shook his head at me. "Let's go home."

"Gladly."

This book is smokin' hot. Check it out!
~~ Brynn

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Depression

As a follow-up to last week’s anger blog, I’m moving on to depression. Not because I have it…I don’t want to trip off buzzers like I did last week. Hello blogland, if I’m ticked with you enough to call ‘end-game’, you’ll know it. I do have a real life…

So, depression… Do any of you have it? Do any of you deal with it on a regular basis? I do not suffer from depression. Oh sure, I get down from time to time—I don’t know a person who doesn’t—but actual depression. Nope. I do however deal with it on a daily basis. At least, two of my family members are bi-polar and at least one has seasonal affected depression. Add into the mix close, non-family relationships with people who also suffer from this illness and you have an unending challenge. The jagged line we walk is narrow and erratic.

Sixteen years ago, I had no concept of what depression is, what it is to live with it, and for the first few years, I didn’t even recognize it for what it was. I thought it was just being down. I used to think, “why the hell are you such a jerk?” Whoever said depression is merely unexpressed anger, missed the mark by a few feet. I see the anger all the time. And as someone who is relatively upbeat most of the time, I’d have to say it’s perplexing. I want to say “just get over it already…stop dwelling…for God’s sake if it’s that bad do something about it” but I know that’s not possible. You can’t just do something about it. You can’t just smile and say, “I’m fine, let’s go buy some daisies. Aren’t they sunny and cheerful?” Well you could, but it would be a lie. Depression isn’t something you can just get over. But as hard as it is for the person who has it, it's just as hard for those who live beside that person.

Have you ever wondered if the one you live with will be alive when you come home?

Not a pretty thought.

Have you ever feared that something you do, something you say, something you don’t say or don’t do will send them over the edge?

That’s enough to give you a disorder of some sort. It might even be enough to send you into a crying jag.

The difference is…I can have a good cry and afterward, see life as a good thing. I can see the sunshine. Someone with depression is most likely to have a good cry—if they do—and be sure that life isn’t getting any better than this. It just sucks and suck is the best you get…

But how do you deal with it? I’ll admit, I still don’t deal well. At least I recognize the cyclical swings now—in a surprising number of people. But there remains a sense of powerlessness. Ignoring the problem makes the sufferer feel…well…ignored. Like you don’t care. Not true. Addressing the problem can make it worse or garner the snarled ‘I’m fine”. Don’t want that either. Being vigilantly attentive is exhausting. Worrying is exhausting. Dealing is exhausting. See the theme? Powerless exhaustion. Which, by the way, can lead to situational depression. Like I said, a fine, jagged line.

I don’t want to downplay the horribleness of suffering from depression—particularly with a poor me because I deal with it from the outside. Even being as close to depression as I am on a daily basis, I can’t imagine the reality of dealing with such a disease everyday.

So…that leads me to this week’s question…whether you’re on the inside or the outside, how do you deal? What tips can you give other people? What warnings? What hope?
~~Brynn

Monday, February 18, 2008

Are You Insured?

Just a silly blog today…

You hear about celebrities insuring body parts all the time. Mostly, I roll my eyes and move on but the other day I heard Tom Jones has insured his chest hair for 7 million dollars. Yes, that’s a seven not a greater than sign… This prompted me to go on a hunt for other insured body parts—look it’s snowing a lot around here and there’s not much to do besides sex, writing and internet research. Sometimes you just have to take a break. So I present to you, the celebrity insurance rundown.

Legs, I have found, are the most popular item to insure. Fred Astaire, Betty Grable and Angie Dickenson all ensured their stems. More recently, you have Heidi Klum, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Tina Turner, and Michael Flatley. Then there’s David Beckham. Those legs are worth 70 million ladies and gentlemen. Holy duke! 70 million!

Moving on, I got to Betty Davis. She insured herself against weight gain. Can you do that? I want to. I could use a little guaranteed income.

Heading forward (pun completely intended) we get to the people who’ve insured in the neck up area. Jimmy Durante once insured his nose. Kerry Wallace had her hair insured. She wanted compensation if it didn’t grow back after shaving her head for a Star Trek movie. I can get on board with that. Egon Ronay (world famous food critique) insured his tongue. Olivia De Havilland insured her jaw. This was timely and came just before a rather famous punch to said body part. Most recently, America Ferrerra insured her smile. Composer Richard Stockler insured his ears. Julia Roberts’ lips are worth a pretty penny. And Tom Selleck insured his whole face.

Moving downward, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart have all insured their voices. I was actually quite surprised not to find more singers on this list. As musicians go, Liberace and Keith Richards insured their hands.

More personally, Dolly Parton’s breasts are insured and British Stripper, Frankie Jakeman, has insured his penis. Is it really that good? Wow.

My research noted that very few athletes actually insure their body parts. This surprised me because of the nature of their work. Besides Beckham, I did find Mark McGuire had a body part insured for a short period of time—but not one that would first come to mind. It was his ankle.

Interesting. So, thinking about celebrities today, who would you insure and for what? Johnny Depp’s cheekbones? Hugh Jackman’s…everything? Sean Connery’s voice? Do you have a part of yourself you'd insure? Tell me…

Another thing one can do when it’s all snowy and cold is huddle under the blankets and read. I devoured four L. Rosario books since my last blog, finishing Captive Fantasies and reading three more. I’ve also read Curses by Cindy Spencer Pape. I would recommend all. I also read a snippet of an up-coming book that was ingenious. You know who you are. Finish it so I can read the whole thing.
For my own writing, I’m chugging away at my book. I completed my character sheets and wrote about 3000 words this weekend. Pretty good considering everything else. Oh and I did my taxes. Yay! And there was much rejoicing. I don’t have to pay. Thank goodness.

~~Brynn

Friday, February 15, 2008

Busy Day and Vampires

Today has flown past! It could be because I got up late today after going to a concert last night or because I've had lots of business dealings to complete but now I find it's mid-afternoon and I'm just getting to my blog. Time flies...

First off, part of what I did earlier was the drawing for Wedding Jitters. Congratulations ASHLEY LADD! Check your email. I need to know what format you'd like me to send. If you didn't win, stay tuned. A new contest is coming soon.

Speaking of contests, you have a few hours left to enter the Eternally Yours contest. Check the right pane of my blog for details. Do it now...details will disappear in the morning. If you missed my clue, here it is: My darling, I could spend eternity with you, thinking up new ways to have fun together.

I got a new review for Tribute for the Goddess today. Thank you NovelTalk and reviewer Melissa Kammer. Here's part of the review:

Brynn Paulin has penned a sweltering story. The characters are hot for each other and the sex scenes could set the pages on fire. She knows how to capture the reader’s attention, and keep it glued to the pages. This story was fascinating and had a few unexpected events. I was enamored with the characters, and I hope there will be future tales with some of the secondary characters. TRIBUTE FOR THE GODDESS is an extraordinary tale that shows there are no limits to love.

The entire review can be viewed at: http://www.noveltalk.com/reviewpage.asp?ID=372

On to vampires...you were wondering how they fit in, weren't you? I love vampire books and this has been a vampire week. On Wednesday, I interviewed Jennifer Armintrout who writes phenomenal vampires in the series Blood Ties, out with Mira books. I've also completed the interview for next week with Dakota Rebel. We all know her vampire book, Sweet Dreams, rocks. In addition to that I'm reading Captive Fantasy by L. Rosario. OMG OMG OMG! LOVE IT! It's an ebook, but you can also get it in print. If you want a really hot vampire bite, treat yourself to this book. In the not as steamy, but extremely good category is the other vampire book I'm reading [see I told you guys I read a lot]. It's Accidental Vampire by Lynsay Sands. Love the book and if you've ever wondered who my favorite author is, wonder no more. Lynsay claimed that spot years ago. I love her books. I love her vampires--although they prefer to be called immortals.

See? It's been vampire-a-riffic this week. Obviously this isn't the only genre I read, but it is my favorite. Ironically, I don't know that I will ever do a vampire book. I have four written, but they're just sitting in my hard-drive collecting cyber-dust and waiting to be harvested. This is exactly as organ donor-y as it sounds. Just like a Robin Cook story, they're in a sort of stasis keeping their bits and pieces safe until I need them to give another story life. I have so many partial WIPs from my pre-published years, many of which need total rewrites. I'd like to somehow give them life and this is my way.

Well, I'm off to work on my current work in progress. This one won't be kept around for its bits and pieces. It already has a release date of April 21 from Total-e-bound. I'll be finishing it up with in the next few days...more on this next week.

One final thing...swing on over to Hitting the Hot Spot and read Bronwyn's blog on Misconceptions About the Romance Genre. Thank goodness it's not about misconceptions about romance writers. I was afraid I'd have to sell my high heels and purple feathered boa on ebay and give up the high-priced champagne I sip to candlelight while I spin my sultry tales. But it's not, and I'm safe for another day. Cheers!

~~Brynn

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. May your true love bring you your heart's desires...and most of all his or her love.

There are lots of contests going on around blogland, many wrapping up today. Check out the Eternally Yours contest (check the right pane). You have a few days to complete that one. Also, go to Total-e-bound and check out their contest for a chance at several cool prizes. Kelly Kirch has a contest on her blog. Stop by and check it out. While you're at it congratulate her on her brand new (and first!!!) book. What a great day to have a first book released. Many sales Kelly!

So…last Friday with the detour of my son being so ill, I missed a very important date. February 8. The day I received the offer from Ellora’s Cave to contract Wedding Jitters. A momentous day and one I will celebrate always…even if belatedly.

In honour of Wedding Jitters which is available at Ellora’s Cave, I'm having a one day contest. Leave me a comment on my blog, telling me your most romantic moment and I'll put you in a drawing to win a copy of Wedding Jitters. This is ONE DAY. Comments must be in by 9 AM EST, February 15th. Here’s a nibble of the book.

EXCERPT from Wedding Jitters:

Dara knew two things at once. She’d never reacted as deeply to anyone, or anything, if she counted her vibrator. The other was that she’d controlled her wings. Sort of. She felt them protruding slightly against her blouse, but they weren’t full flung.

Quickly, she retracted them as the stranger set aside the candle and reached for his fly. His intention shone clear in his steadfast green gaze. Suddenly, her senses plowed back into place.

What the hell had she just done?

She had to get out of here. Now. If she let him inside her, it was all over. She’d never control her reactions. She’d never be able to settle into a tame marriage with whatshisname either. Tom…yeah, Tom. That was his name. And she didn’t even know this stranger’s name, or anything about him.

A tremble snaked along her limbs. He was dangerous, and he had some sort of an agenda. That was apparent. Why else would he have come here and done what he’d done, made her feel…
It was nothing short of a miracle that she’d managed to keep from transforming before him. It was a miracle she wouldn’t squander.

Hastily, she drew her shredded spell around her and yanked the cloth from her mouth. Taking him by surprise, she shoved his chest. Hard. She may as well have shoved a wall for all he moved. Drawing back her feet, she kicked them into his belly before he could react to her first volley.

She’d lost a shoe somewhere, but in the whole scheme of things, it didn’t matter. He’d moved just enough that she could dodge around him. She dashed to the door, gimped into a stumbling shuffle by the low-heeled-pump-bare-foot combo. Thank God, he’d ripped her panties and they weren’t around her ankles. That would have made for a short-lived escape. She’d be flat on her face and he, she suspected, would be over her.

An inappropriate rush of arousal tightened her womb. Why the hell did that errant thought excite her? She should be running faster. A guilty part of her wondered if she’d even protest if he caught her. Even a little?

She couldn’t let him catch her. She was engaged. Tomorrow morning, she was marrying a man who loved her—well liked her a lot anyway. There was probably a special place in hell for women who slept with other men the night before their weddings.

But she wanted to. She didn’t, however, want to show this stranger her wings and if she slept with him… She was fairly sure there would not be a repeat of the earlier miracle.

Why was the door so far away?

He growled in outrage at her move and thundered after her, the thunder less sound than tension from his irritation and her sense of the storm about to overtake her. She added speed. If she could make it to the door… Safety waited on the other side. She skidded to a halt before she slammed into it and frantically turned the knob.

Locked!

She felt the man’s warmth as she fumbled with the mechanism. Finality licked at the edges of her hope for escape. As two powerfully muscled arms caged her, palms flat on the wood on either side of her shoulders, she dropped her forehead to the cool surface of the door. His hard body pressed behind her. His thick arousal tucked against her buttocks sent rampant panic pounding in her heart.
[…]

“I know what you are, little one,” he whispered. His lips brushed across the tip of her ear, the flutter of ashes before a lick of flame when his tongue traced the undeniable point.

Her ears! Oh God! Her ears! In her preoccupation with hiding her wings, she’d forgotten something just as vital.

“And what do you think I am?” she demanded, determined to haughtily brazen her way from this situation. She was a fool to let things go this far. She would not be controlled by her lust for this demon of seduction no matter how beautiful he was.

“Mine,” he replied.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’ve inventoried recently and discovered I still have lots of copies of my books that I can legally give away, including this one. Forty-five copies of various books to be exact. Hmmmm…sounds like some contests might be in the works.

Stay tuned after Valentine’s Day. Speaking of Valentine’s…don't forget to check the right pane for a nifty contest where you can win books and bring me down to forty-four. And don't forget to comment on today's blog and tell me your most romantic moment for a chance to win a copy of Wedding Jitters. Comments must be in by 9 AM EST, February 15th.

Have a romantic day! ~~Brynn

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wednesday Wonder Writer - Jennifer Armintrout

Okay. Blog laundry list, then the interview. Check out the Eternally Yours contest on the right pane of the blog. Time is running out!

And now...my Wednesday Wonder Writer. I am thrilled to welcome friend and fantastic writer Jennifer Armintrout to the blog today. Jen, thanks for joining me!

Okay, Jen, author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.
My schedule on a normal day is get up at six AM, drive Jen Jr. to school, then hit a local coffee shop and do my daily blog stuff until it's time to pick the kid up at 10:50. Then I come home and I should write at that point. However, I will admit that some days I come home and play Rock Band or The Orange Box before I even think of my manuscript.

Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?
Usually, I just have to have Diet Coke near by and some head phones. If I'm working on a new story, I might take the time to organize a playlist for the story in iTunes to get me inspired, if I don't already have one.

Do you have a favourite author or someone you look up to in the industry?
I have to say that the person I really admire-- and not just because of his awesome books-- is Jim Butcher. He's had such amazing success and writes stories that mind-blowing and clever, but when you meet him, he's this regular guy. I want to be able to be that cool and down-to-earth if I ever reach that level of fame.

What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?
It really depends on the project and various other factors. Sometimes, I can sit down and write twenty pages in a day. On others, getting half a page is pulling teeth. I usually can get a first draft out in about three months, though.

What are you working on now?
Right now I'm working on line edits for Blood Ties Book Four: All Souls' Night, and I'm writing my next book, Lightworld/Darkworld, a futuristic fantasy set in a sort of dirty, underground, post-apocalyptic world. But with fairies. That should be out in August, I think, of 2009. Readers will get a preview at the end of All Soul's Night.

How many books have you had published and for whom?
Three books with Mira, soon to be four.

What are the names of the books you have out?
Blood Ties Book One: The Turning, Blood Ties Book Two: Possession, and Blood Ties Book Three: Ashes To Ashes. They are conveniently numbered in case you're smart enough to know how to read, but not smart enough to figure out the order of books in a series, I guess. I don't know why they're labeled like that.

Will Lightworld/Darkworld be a series?
Lightworld/Darkworld is the first book of a trilogy. The story is all mapped out and written down ahead of time (Brynn, you would be so proud of me!). After that, I'm really looking forward to writing a few books that are just stand alone books with no hooks in other projects.

What’s your favourite genre to write?
Urban Fantasy. You can have all the gore of a horror novel, and along with the squishy bits like intestine you can have the squishy bits having to do with love and romance. Also, you can swear as much as you want and they never seem to cut the naughty words out.

Tell us about your latest release and how you got the idea?
Well, my upcoming release is going to be Blood Ties Book Four: All Souls' Night, and I go the idea because I had to finish the story somehow. Really, though, the book started out as something else, then I combined it with the plot line from the now-axed fifth book of the series and decided to end it all with the fourth. It has more action than the past books, and at the end vampires and werewolves and an army of golem fight a bunch of zombies. That's really the part I'm most excited about.

When does All Souls’ Night come out?
All Souls' Night comes out June 2008.

Why vampires?

Why not vampires? Seriously, I don't understand why anyone would want to write or read about anything else. Well, that's kind of a lie, because I'm so sick of them. But vampires have been a huge draw for me for my entire life... I'm not even sure when I learned about them, because I was so young, I don't remember. I just think everything about vampires is spiffy. Eat people you don't like, live forever, have an excuse to never get up early. I think it might be the element of danger, or the fact that they're higher on the food chain that makes me like them so much. I don't know. I'm definitely the person who's going to get totally Renfielded when the vampire revolution comes.

Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? Etc.

My grandmother is author Peggy Hanchar, of historical romance fame in the 80's and 90's, and she'd been suggesting I write a book for several years. Finally, when it appeared that college would not be working out for me-- I had to drop a class because I couldn't figure out how to open the door and I was too embarrassed to ask anyone for help... kind of a clue I probably wasn't college material-- I decided I would start writing a story based on a little daydream I used to have when I worked in the hospital. That little day dream morphed into the first chapter of Blood Ties Book One: The Turning, and now I'm kind of locked into this thing. Getting the call was funny, though. The editor I submitted the manuscript to called to offer me a three book contract, and I told her to shut up. I didn't believe her.

How does it feel to be a USA Today Bestselling author? Tell us about what it was like when you found out.
Being a USA Today Bestselling Author is kind of embarrassing in my case, because I always think of it at the worst times. Like when I forget my purse and I'm at the gas station buying a soda and I'm like, "USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Armintrout buys pop with change!" Also, my friends are way more excited about it than I am by now, and they introduce me to other people with "Bestselling Author" at the beginning of my name, like it's a title bestowed upon me by the queen of books. One of my friends even tells stories that way: "I was out shopping with my friend, USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Armintrout..." It's really funny, because he’s known me since I was fifteen and he was referring to me back then as "my friend who wears the same REM t-shirt every day, Jennifer Armintrout." The way I found out I was on the list was kind of funny. I was on a book tour of supermarkets (don't overlook those for promo, because more women buy books grocery shopping than going to book stores) with Susan Anderson and Karen Harper. I had sold literally one book the whole tour at this point, and my agent calls and says, "I have news, you made the USA Today Extended Bestseller list" and I was like, "Right, what was I, 150?" and she said, "No, you're 93." I whooped for joy really loud in this Kroger's in Ohio. It was very funny. I still only sold like three books on that tour, though.

You might not consider yourself a big name but some people do. Have you ever been stalked at conventions?
People at conventions are pretty cool. I do have some people who make me kind of laugh at book signings, because they're super nervous to meet me because they think I'm going to be cooler than cool. I think, "Oh my god, spend a weekend with me and the bloom will be off that rose real quick." Apparently there was a woman in South Carolina who was pretending to be me on MySpace, but I guess that's all done and over with. It was unsettling and really caused a lot of hassle. She's apparently still trying to make it as a writer, so if I see her at a conference or something I'm going to punch her in the nose.

Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Diet coke. Infused directly into my blood by means of some kind of medical pump.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
I would love to have a fun, flashy excerpt, but I don't have the permission yet!

Do you have any advice for pre-published writers?
You have to finish your manuscript before you or anyone else is going to take you seriously. There's that running joke on Family Guy, where Brian is always writing his novel, and so far all he has is a title, but he's told everyone that he's writing it. Don't be Brian. Finish the thing. And don't tell a whole bunch of folk that you're writing it, because they'll be naysayers and drag you down.

Again, thank you for joining me today Jen! Everyone, you can find the Jen on Amazon or your local bookstore. Check out the books!

~~Brynn