Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another month has slipped away...

And another new release has come and gone...

I recall how utterly excited I was to see my very first book on the publisher's web sales pages...and my second...but by the time the third was out, the excitement had turned to bone chilling fear.

What if my readers didn't like it? What if the reviewers hated it? Writing and getting published is not just about seeing your book published...it's all about what people think of your work once it's out. There will those who utterly adore your book...and others who absolutely detest it. *sigh*

Well, I have given up on the fear of what people will think of my books, because, like my dear pals have said, "you can't please all of the people all of the time". One reviewer will rave about a book...the next will give it a "so-so" rating and say it has no plot. One reader will e-mail me and tell me she loved the book, and another will go over to the sales page and tell the world the book was a dud. It's all a matter of taste, and what a reader enjoys.

I love all types of books. I have thousands of books, and I can enjoy any genre out there. If I read a book that isn't my usual cup of tea, I shrug and set it aside. Not every book will satisfy every reader.

I do book reviews on my Examiner.com column from time to time. If I really enjoy a book, I tell folks what I loved most about that book. But when I find one I just cannot enjoy I simply choose not to do a review. Another reviewer might love that book...might rave about how great it is. Another reader might adore the book. My opinion is just that...an opinion.

I have been asked by agents and publishers to review books from time to time, and I have had authors write to me asking for reviews. I will review the ones that catch my imagination and the ones that leave me feeling like I had a very good experience when the book is finished...but if it isn't my cuppa, I simply don't do the requested review. Most authors and agents and publishers understand that silence means "sorry, it doesn't cut the mustard for me".

Which brings me to the subject that I will be doing daily columns again on Examiner.com. If you would like to schedule an author interview, or ask for a book review, please e-mail me. I am scheduling interviews and reviews for the next several months now.


Fran Lee

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Plotting through dreams

Have you ever had one of those dreams that you just don't want to wake up from? I'm talking the type that involve chocolate, caramel and maybe some nuts :) You try to hold onto the dream and the feeling it gives you long after you wake up. Something about being in that place and time winds you up yet gives you a feeling of safety and belonging at the same time.
That's what writing's all about. I want to open up new doors, broaden your mind and introduce new worlds and possibilities to readers. What better way to do this than through a love story? It's working out okay for Stephanie Meyer. She wrote a little series you may or may not have heard of The Twilight series? Yep, her. She only wrote the story because she dreamed about the characters and woke up before she could find out what happened to them. Thanks to her persistence we all know Edward, Bella and Jacob's story.
Now some of my dreams will go nowhere near the light of day. They are bad, really really bad, not nightmares or porn, but just flat out don't make any sense no matter which way you flip them. If I get braver I may share the three lines I wrote as I woke from a dream a couple of years ago.
Dreams are the place are imagination takes us when the real world seeks to traps us. In non-reality we are capable of being anything and conquering all beast and dangers. We can magically turn and arrow into a dove or turn mud into an ice cold glass of Diet Coke. Don't laugh I did that once in a dream. What can I say I'm a caffeine addict even when I'm asleep.
Most of the books I write come from snippets of dreams, a random conversation or a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. Then again I'm a person with a very fertile imagination. I love thinking of new plots and characters. Guess it's a good thing I'm a writer otherwise I'd of ended up in the alphabet agency.
So next time you pick up your favorite author's new book, remember she just might be sharing a dream with you.
Until next month

Kudos to all & to all a good night,
Allie Standifer

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Little of This and That

A couple of weeks ago I waited impatiently for DH to get home. When he finally arrived—later than usual, darn it—I told him, “I did it! All my shouting at the TV paid off.”

“You don’t believe that,” Mr. Logical retorted.

Well, of course not! But the commercial that used “shrunk” instead of “shrank” is now grammatically correct. One for grammarians everywhere! And, yes, I listened/watched it several times to make sure I wasn’t imagining the change.

BTW, if you’re in the area, I’ll be signing at Barnes and Noble, 6111 Sunrise Blvd., Citrus Heights, CA 95610 on February 6 from 11:00 AM to 4:00PM. Celebrating Valentine’s Day with me are sister Sacramento Valley Rose (SVR) chapter members Allison Brennan, Donna del Oro and Brenda Novak. SVR is blessed to have such great support from our local book stores. This is my third signing at this particular B&N.

Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I’m collecting recipes all year for decadent desserts and/or special dinners. If you have any you’d like to share, email them to me at deebrice@sbcglobal.net on or before the 7th of every month. Your recipe and name will appear in the Sirens of Sensual Romance newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sensualromances/ To visit the Sirens website, go to: www.sensualromances.com.

Valentine’s Day is always a special day in our household. I proposed to my POSSLQ (Person of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters) on Valentine’s Day, 2002. Well, I sorta proposed, lamenting the fact that it wasn’t Leap Year so I could wear my fanciest red undies, sit on his lap and pop the question. He looked at me for a long time and I thought he’d just give me his usual smile and some lame excuse—like we’ve lived together 29 years, what’s marriage going to change?—but then he said, “You really want to?” and I said, cautiously, “Yes.” And we did it on May 1, 2002. And nobody shouted “May Day” or bailed out!

Hope your Valentine’s Day is extra special this year and every year.

Dee Brice

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Trailer for my newest cherry LAID BARE

The cover of LAID BARE is so hot, I have to edit it to get it on my myspace page!
This debuts WEDNESDAY! Yes, January 20 from Ellora's Cave.
But for you, here is the video!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Remarkable Man

I've been watching the DVD of John Adams, and thinking of my own ancestor, John Hart. He's not well known, but he signed the Declaration of Independence as one of the delegates from New Jersey. He had a thirteen children. He was a simple farmer, but evidently well respected, as his fellow citizens first elected him an alderman and then to other political offices in this small state. When he signed the Declaration, the British put a price on his head, as they did many of the other signers. He fled into the hills of New Jersey, a rugged territory filled with caves, and known for sheltering anyone evading the law.

When he returned, he found his wife and two or three children had died. The number differs in different accounts. His farm was in ruins, having been used as bivouac by both armies. Crops were tramped down and non existent, and most of the fencing had been used for firewood.

John evidently assembled some kind of life for himself and his remaining family, although he had no more political impact. My feeling when ever I think of my great, (I don't know hwo many greats to put in here) grandfather is more a feeling that most of us forget, or don't know, the sacrifices so many of the Signers of the Declaration made. A sobering thought indeed.

a remarkable man

Have been watching the film on John Adams, and it reminded me of my own little known ancestor, John Hart. He signed the Declaration of Independence from New Jersey and his story is quite interesting to any history buff. The redcoats put a price on his head, as they did most of the Signers.

He was a simple farmer, not overly educated, but enough to be elected to a string of small local offices starting with alderman. It seemed to be his honesty and integrity that impressed the voters of that period. When the British started hunting him, he fled to the hills of New Jersey. These hills are almost mountains, and contained numerous caves where criminal and refugees held out. Bruno Haunptmann, the kidnapper of the Lindbergh child, escaped to the same caves years later. John survived the rest of the war in those mountains, and returned to his farm when peace was declared. There he found his wife and several of his children deceased, and the farm in virtual ruins. Crops had been trampled down and much of the fencing had been used for firewood, as the location was central and used as bivouac by both British and Americans.
He pulled affairs together, raised the remaining family, and did little politically again.

The point of all this is obvious. How little we know of the sacrifices made by so many in any war.
And of course, how our choices effect so many others, not only then but through the years.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Giving Up Control

CONTROL. It's just a 7-letter word but when it's taken away from us, it makes us feel like the Earth has flipped off its axis. I just got a punch from corporate hell that I didn't even see coming. I hate feeling so helpless. I hate having to act like a trained monkey so I can get a paycheck and pay my bills. That's the lure of writing. Working at home. Being my own boss. Being in control of my life.

The heroine in my recent release, Candelabra, has some control issues of her own. For one night, she lets a sexy Scottish man control her body, mind, and emotions. It turns out to be the most thrilling journey of her life.
Buy Link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8038-candelabra.aspx?skinid=11

video trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF1Jmpx38sM
Tandy travels to Scotland’s Loch Enya castle to attend a BDSM convention she hopes will overcome her control-freak tendencies. When Bryne pulls her into his room of fire, she fears she’s stepped into the lair of a crazy man. But as he mesmerizes her and sears her with his hot passions, she consents to a BDSM session of hot wax play that turns out to be the most intense journey of her life. Entrusting her body and mind to him might heal her, but the elemental fire fairy has an agenda of his own that threatens to consume them both in flames.
Afton Locke
Visit www.aftonlocke.com for hot excerpts!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

new beginnings for us all

There's something exciting about a new year. I'm always filled with optimism, perhaps unrealistic but I enjoy the feeling. I'm glad to see a new year come, although I adore Xmas. Can't wait to get the decorations out and then can't wait to get them put away. I don't know what you can call that kind of attitude...I hope not fickle!!!

One of my cards this year included a fantastic verse. The source is our old favorite Mr. Anonymous so I can freely quote it. "Don't let the best you have ever done be the standard for the rest of your life." Simply love that thought. Haven't you known someone who had a certain measure of success and then kinda laid back? That direction brings on its own stalemate. Sad.......

Nina Pierce has done a great new trailer for me for my third Mage book, Jennivere's Journey. The tinyurl is http://tinyurl.com/yktlelg. Do go view it, it only takes a minute or two. I'm enclosing a brief excerpt from near the beginning of the book. Jenny and Zach have a lot of differences to overcome.

"When one of the maids came to tell her Dr. Rendell was calling, she hesitated a long moment. And then marched like a soldier going into battle to the parlor where he stood, obviously too polite to sit until she entered. She waved him to a chair and sat by a table which could hold the teapot and small cakes she’d ordered. He smiled as if in acknowledgement of the distance between them and pulled his chair closer to hers.
“Just to make it easier for you to serve me, Lady Jennivere. I wouldn’t want to discommode you in the slightest.”
The dratted man was making fun of her!
“Don’t worry, Dr. Rendell. I’m quite capable of crossing a room with a cup of tea in my hand. I very seldom spill it on the person I’m serving.”
“Only when it’s hot, perhaps?”
She gave him what she hoped was a withering glance.
“I reread part of your book on myths of the countryside. Tell me, did you conduct actual interviews, or did your research come mainly from other books?”
She sat back and watched his lips straighten as he recognized this for the insult it was.
“I interviewed many people, as you might know from my acknowledgements. I’ve studied myths and legends for many years and I believe I cited the main articles influential to my thinking. Perhaps you were so captured by my prose you missed the page of dedications.”
She knew she was flushing. Actually she had missed it but she’d never admit it to him. She’d been too anxious to try to understand the author.
She smiled sweetly and motioned the tea tray be set in front of her.
“Oh, your arguments seemed so superficial to me. I wish I could find time to take you visiting with me when I go about the countryside you mention. Some of my patients would strongly disagree with you and many are more educated than you’d think.”
She placed the cakes on the side of the table nearest to him. The dratted man could pick out his own sweet. As she handed him his tea, his large hand reached out gracefully and their fingers brushed together.
Jennivere jumped as if she’d been bitten. Her tea cup rattled in its saucer and she looked up at him in astonishment. She heard him draw in his breath as he took the cup, set it on the table and leaned over to move one finger slowly across her lips.
“We’ve got to do something about this, Jennivere. In the meantime, may I go with you on your next call?”
“I didn’t give you permission to call me by my name,” she muttered. She knew even as she spoke it was a useless reproach. He’d been Zachary in her mind from the moment he said his name. And she’d never ask him what he meant by “this”. She was very much afraid she knew.
“You’ve been Jennivere to me from the moment I recognized you,” he said softly. “I can’t backtrack now.”
Jenny felt as if she’d picked up a hot coal instead of an innocent teacup. She felt warm all over in a most vexing manner. She actually wished for a fan, which was utterly ridiculous. The windows were open and a slight breeze stirred through the room. No matter, she felt on fire. Dear nymphs of the lake but she hoped she didn’t look as hot as she felt. She knew a red face didn’t become her fair hair and skin.
She gulped in a breath of air and he smiled at her. Knowingly. She firmed her spine and answered in as cool a voice as she could muster.
“Yes, of course. I’m sure you could learn a lot from being along with me. Although maybe not. Your prejudices might be quite effective blinders.”
She uttered these words sweetly and smiled. Zachary looked startled and then appreciative.
“It will be my pleasure to learn anything at all you care to teach me, Jennivere. Anything at all.”

Friday, January 1, 2010


Why not? Well, why set myself up for failure? Also, I don't 'celebrate' New Year. I'm not being a Scrooge -- but it's just a number, isn't it? An arbitrary change, no more than the change of day or month. So, no 'resolutions'.

Personal family crises (which I won't go into) have put a massive block on my creativity. So writing is not going to be a priority for a while. Add to that I am STILL waiting for the print version of Nettleflower to become available in bookshops in UK. I know I'm not alone in this frustration. Let's say I've learned a lesson about publishers.

To continue the downer -- I'd like to discuss the 'happy-ever-after' syndrome. I don't mind the 'happy-for-now' alternative, but HEA is just so unrealistic. I like to write and read about people I can identify with, people who have real hopes and aspirations, and HEA just isn't realistic, except in fairy-stories. Let's face it -- everyone gets older. Wrinkles appear. Sex-drive diminishes. However passionate the pairing, there's going to come a time when there's nothing going on, if you get my drift. That's reality, my friends.

When I read HEA, I often want to hurl the book across the room. Are these supposed to be real people? Who bleed, sweat, have moody days, get PMS, get sick, fall out of love?

Give me Real People. Please.