Sunday, September 30, 2012

Just Waiting To Come Out

Everybody's got a book in them!


Author Interview - Kimberley Reeves

Featured Author

Today's Featured Book and Author: Let's talk to Kimberley Reeves, author of Broken, Blind FaithVittorio's Mistress, Dream Lover, and her newest release Gambling On Love.


Kimberley, thanks for taking some time to answer some questions for us.



1)      What were your favorite books growing up? I loved classics like Jane Eyre and Little Women, but I also liked the darker authors like Edgar Allen Poe and Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray). My absolute favorite was the Judy Bolton female detective series by Margaret Sutton, which was written between 1932 and 1967. A strange preference in the age of Nancy Drew, but I loved them so much that I have slowly acquired 30 of the 38 in the series and hope to have the full collection one day.
2)      Now that you have, let’s say—some life experience, what would you tell your younger self? Follow your heart. I have wanted to be a writer since I was twelve, but listening to friends and family claim it is not a ‘real’ job, that competition is too tough, you’re wasting your time – made me doubt myself and squashed the dream.  About five years ago, I told a friend how much I wanted to write but had a fear of failure. He shook his head. “You’ve already failed if you never even tried, and now you have a wounded heart because of it.” I realized he was right, and the only way to heal myself was to follow my dream. One of my first novels is entitled, Wounded Hearts.  
3)      Describe your typical day.  I’m up at 6am to pack my husband’s lunch and then try to get an hour of writing in before work. My day as a Sales Consultant involves working with parts managers for agricultural equipment, which can be quite a challenge. Most evenings I’ve got my computer out, either working on a new novel or editing a completed novel. Of course, now that I’ve found a fabulous copy editor to perfect my manuscripts, it frees up time to do what I love most: write.   
4)      Who is your favorite character in your books? It’s a tie between Dante from Vittorio’s Mistress (#3 in the Vittorio series), and Gage from The Little Red Skirt (#3 in the Travis series). I adore the alpha male, and these two were particularly arrogant and fought falling in love. There’s something incredibly attractive about a big, strong He-Man who suddenly finds himself pathetically vulnerable when his heart over-rules his head.
5)      What do you do when writer’s block shows up, settles in, and makes itself comfortable? After the panic attack, you mean?? Actually, it hasn’t been a major issue because I never map out a novel. I begin with the names of my characters and an opening line, and let the story go where it wants to. If I do hit a brick wall, I take a few days to play it out in my mind like a movie and try to envision how my characters would react. Sometimes it helps to curl up with a good romance by my favorite authors, Linda Howard or Iris Johansen, and lose myself for awhile.  
6)      Do you find yourself pulling details from “real life” or does your imagination rule the roost? For the most part imagination rules, although my husband is part Italian so I do tend to lean towards dark-haired Italian heroes. Of course, if he asks, all my devastatingly handsome heartbreakers are patterned after him!
7)      What was the first manuscript you wrote (even if it never saw the light of day)? Untouchable Memory. Handwritten in several notebooks, the 170,000 word novel took almost a year to write. A few weeks after the talk with my friend about having a wounded heart, I had a dream that I was in the hospital and had just come out of a coma. A man was in the room with me and said he was my husband, although I had no memory of him, and that he had to get me out of there because my life was in danger. In the dream, he was actually the one hired to kill me, but fell in love with me and couldn’t do it. I thought it was a great premise for a novel, so I finally took the plunge and started writing. I haven’t stopped since.    
8)      Have you ever pursued traditional publishing? Or did you go straight for indie publishing? I have entered and won a few Editor Pitches as well as writer’s contests, but haven’t seriously pursued traditional publishing. The dreaded synopsis is a huge deterrent, not to mention the endless weeks of waiting for a reply.  I did have one novel published through a house, but felt the retail price they set was too high and eventually bought my rights back. Publishing on Amazon has been a rewarding experience and I am happy with my decision to give indie publishing a try.
9)      What Works In Progress are brewing?  Any target dates for publication? I have completed 45 novels so there is always an ongoing editing project. Currently, I am working on the fourth novel in the Vittorio series, Vittorio’s Lover, which should be ready for release in late October. In my steamiest Vittorio novel to date, Raffaele decides to intervene when he discovers Jenesa Harding’s plan to crash his brother Luca’s engagement party and expose a short-lived affair. How was he to know she would mistake him for Luca, or how much he would enjoy playing the role of his playboy brother?
I am also deviating from romance to co-write a thriller with three other authors called Thrill Crimes. It has been a great change of pace and a challenge to play the role of Gina Marinelli, a female detective hot on the trail of two serial killers. I couldn’t quite resist the temptation to give Gina a hunky partner!   
10)   How can fans reach you?   Facebook  Amazon Author Page US   Amazon Author Page UK   Novel Blog Spot
I love hearing from my fans and always reply. I am deeply appreciative of the people who take the time to let me know they enjoyed my novels and who continue to be supportive.
       

Rein It In


Just a simple keystroke error?  Or a misuse of a word? It's difficult to tell.  This month's offender: reign/rein. (Although I am very happy I have yet to see "rain" for either of these words, so keep up the good work!) 

Let's review each just to make sure you've got a good control of the basics.  



Rein: the dictionary gives ten definitions for rein, including a few idioms.  What you should think of here is mostly related to either horses and other animals (straps) or control (reining in your grammar superpowers—oh no,  my secret identity of GrammarGurl has now been compromised!).  You can grab the reins of a runaway horse or you can grab the reins of power - either way, you'd better be prepared for a fight!



Reign: the dictionary gives seven definitions for reign, mostly relating to ruling, authority, or control.  Uh oh - here's the problem - control!!  It's in both definitions, and may be a reason one would confuse reign for rein.  

I like to remember that reign has its roots in Latin (finally, those years of high school Latin are paying off!) -  rēgnum:  realm, reign.  I always think of kings and queens, and their ruling of their subjects, when I use reign.  

But rein also has Latin roots: Vulgar Latin *retina,  noun derivative of Latin retinēre - to hold back.  But retina - think of retain - gives us more personal feeling of control as opposed to the ruling control of a king or queen.  We can rein in our feelings, rein in our impulses, and grab the reins of our destinies, but not many of us will have a reign such as Queen Elizabeth. 






Free images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Dr. Seuss VS. Shakespeare

I admit that rap is not my favorite form of musical expression.  But I saw this and couldn't help but laugh.  I warn you that this has NSFW language.  But dang, it's funny.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Favorite Pick Up Joints

I actually met my husband at the bookstore I worked at when he had to special order a book.  The rest, as they say, is history!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This Guy is Serious About Books

I ran across this video from a link on Twitter.  This guy is seriously serious about his books and reading.  I advise you DO NOT disturb his reading process. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Author Interview - L.C. Giroux

Let's talk to L.C. Giroux, author of Lovers and Other Strangers Series Box set, including Wild Child; Fall Into His Arms; Second Chance at Salvation; and her newest release All In.
 
L.C., thanks for taking some time to answer some questions for us.
1)      What were your favorite books growing up? Number one, and I still read it every once in a while, is the Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Juster. Ooh, The Secret Garden for the secret place all your own but I have a black thumb despite growing up on an herb farm in CT. Eloise goes to Paris and Eloise goes to Moscow, I’m always trying to figure out how to either release or tame my inner Eloise. Black Beauty for the redemption. Ursula Le Guin’s Wrinkle in Time series, Sci Fi and a girl lead! Any of Maurice Sendak’s books –I can still recite Chicken Soup with Rice from memory. I could probably fill a hard drive with the list. Maybe that is why I am starting a YA (they didn’t even have the category when I was a kid) series soon with my daughter.
2)      Now that you have, let’s say—some life experience, what would you tell your younger self? I’d  give her a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and tell her it was non-fiction. Okay, maybe not but Don’t Panic! wouldn’t be bad advice. Along with telling her it is all going to be okay no matter what it looks like now.
3)      Describe your typical day. Boring! Walk the dog, Exercise (or not!), get everyone out of the house, clean (I can’t work if I know there are ‘chores’ to do), sit down and check email, write, pick up the daughter from school, think about what to make/get/where to call for dinner, kiss the husband hello. My favorite is that last part!
4)      Who is your favorite character in your books? Easy! Always the smartass. I tend to fall in love with all my heroes and want to be all of my heroines so I don’t know if I have a favorite. Maybe the ones I am writing at the time.
5)      What do you do when writer’s block shows up, settles in, and makes itself comfortable? Clean. I hate it so much that sitting in front of the computer starts to look really good!
6)      Do you find yourself pulling details from “real life” or does your imagination rule the roost? I write contemporary romance so real life is always there. With the Boston Stories, it was bits I remembered and loved from living there. With Salvation and All In, it was that fish out of water feeling of having lived in the Northeast my whole life and then seeing all that space and sky laid out in front of me. It was a little disorienting in a good way. The Lovers and Other Strangers series is going to move to Seattle next and then to Chicago, both cities I’ve loved visiting.
7)      What was the first manuscript you wrote (even if it never saw the light of day)? I talk about this in my Bio. I wrote a serial romance novel my sophmore year in high school. All my friends loved it, the administration – not so much. Soaps were in their heyday, it was the 80’s (and now you know how old I am!) so there was lots of behind closed doors sex in the book. By today’s standards it was really tame. 
8)      Have you ever pursued traditional publishing? Or did you go straight for indie publishing? I have never written a query letter, been snubbed by an agent, or waited patiently while an editor ‘got back to me’. Indie now, Indie always, Indie forever!
9)      What Works In Progress are brewing?  Any target dates for publication? I try to get something out every couple of months, even more so now that I’m writing full time! All In, Book five in the Lovers and Other Strangers series is coming out in August. I’m hoping to have the YA Paranormal out the end of September, and then the first of the Seattle books as well as a Christmas/Winter short story from the LaOS series in November. That one should be fun! New Mexico and Boston try to meet in the middle with comic, hopefully heartwarming results.
10)   How can fans reach you? 
Facebook: L.C. Giroux
Twitter: @lcgiroux
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/lcgiroux
I write back and sometimes even give away free books!

Grin and Bear It..But Please, Don't Bare It!

Interesting fact about Faith #1: when I was a kid, I loved panda bears.  Seriously.Loved.Them.  I named my pink teddy bear Panda Bear when I was four.  I had panda posters in my room.  I begged and begged to go to the Washington D.C. zoo to see the pandas.  I was mad about them.

Interesting fact about Faith #2: when I hit about twelve, I found romance novels.  And to my mother's everlasting chagrin, I loved them as much as I loved panda bears.  So I have been reading those bodice rippers for quite some time now (not that I'm admitting to being, you know, old or anything!).

The preceding statements qualify as my voir dire on the subject of bear vs. bare.

The two easiest definitions of bear and bare are very easy, and I'd be surprised if anyone got them confused.  But, to be on the safe side, let's talk about bear, the animal.  You've got your grizzly, your brown, and of course, your panda bears.  And maybe the occasional polar bear.  Easy, right?

And bare - well, the first thing that comes to my mind is naked (maybe that's those romance novels at work).  Bare-naked. Sans clothes.  Birthday Suit.

But, there are some other uses for bear and bare.

In the dictionary, there are actually thirty-three (yes, that's 33) definitions for bear. I like to think of most of them as either "carrying", "pressing", or "suffering" types of definitions.  I can't bear to keep this secret.  I will bear your child. The tree will bear fruit in the summer.  The roof can't bear the weight of all that snow. That gossip doesn't bear repeating.Names and locations are completely fictional and bear no resemblance to actual or historic persons. 

In contrast, the dictionary only lists eight definitions for bare.  And three of them are of the "naked" and "unadorned" variety.  It lists "the bare necessities" (not to be confused with the Bear Necessities from the Jungle Book movie) as something scarcely or almost sufficient.  And let's not forget one can bare their soul and just blurt some juicy secret they've been holding back (Darth Vader: "No. I am your father."). 

But, as I barely got any sleep last night, I cannot bear to draw this post out any longer.  I will bare my soul to you and tell you all I wish for right now...is a panda bear.