Review Round-up

Friday, October 23, 2009
Woot! Some great reviews have come in recently!

Good Will Ghost Hunting: Hell's Bells (Book Two) (writing as Lesli Richardson): Coffee Time Romance - 5 cups!


Hell’s Bells snatches your interest from the very first page. The second in a six book series, it keeps the ball rolling with amazing intensity, and I highly recommend reading them in order. The characters are clever, witty, and all-out lovable, especially Aidan and his new man Jeff. I love a great cliffhanger, but the anticipation of book three is going to be sheer torture.

Domme by Default (writing as Tymber Dalton):
Ecataromance.com - 5 stars!


I enjoyed this story for its artistic view on BDSM, of how a man and a woman can both get what they want from their marriage without sacrificing their close relationship... Tymber Dalton writes exquisitely about this subject of BDSM and I enjoyed every emotionally moving minute of this book.


Love and Brimstone (writing as Lesli Richardson): San Diego Examiner.com - 4 out of 5!


The author’s take on the sometimes oversaturated genre of vampires is fresh and exciting. These vamps are pretty cool and ingenious. I am always willing to forgo the traditional vampire’s tale if they are written in a believable way as these ones are!




Brimstone Blues (writing as Lesli Richardson): San Diego Examiner.com - 4 out of 5!


When an author can make you get this invested into a character, then they have done their job. This reviewer loves the world created by Lesli and she needs more of it. The characters are believable and are far from 2-dimensional. The conflicting emotions are all over the place, yet it fits. Don’t let this one pass you by!

Fight Pirates - Earn Booty! (No, not THAT kind of booty!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
(Note: there is a contest behind all of this, you just have to wade through the rant to get to it! LOL)

I hate pirates. Not the yargh matey, rape-pillage-plunder fellows. Those guys are okay. The pirates I despise with a passion are the ones who illegally post files for download.

In other words, scurvy thieves that even Captain Jack Sparrow wouldn't care to do business with.

Fellow author Nina Pierce had a great post today about file piracy. I've blogged about it before myself. AllRomanceEbooks.com is sponsoring a petition against it. Please go sign it!

(Note that the ranting part of this post isn't directed at my wonderful and law-abiding readers, only the jerks who post and download files illegally. And yes, not buying it from an authorized site is ILLEGAL.)

My latest book was available on file sharing sites less than twenty-four hours after it was released.

It's discouraging, to say the least. I don't know what these jerks think I and other authors make, but we can't afford to lose hundreds (or thousands) of sales to download sites. You pirate jerks are going to drive the writers you love to steal from right out of writing. (I'm just hoping you end up with a lovely virus on your hard drive from all those friggin torrent sites and peer-to-peer programs you love to use.)

If you are one of these jerks who posted my works and others for download, what the HELL is wrong with you? If you went and stole something out of a store, would you proudly go tell everyone about it? (Oh, maybe you would.) Do you pirate jerks not realize I'm WORKING for a living just like anyone else? Except, lucky you, you probably get paid every week or every other week. My biggest publisher pays QUARTERLY. And a lot of writers are in the same boat I'm in. That means we only get (count 'em) FOUR paychecks a year. If my hubby wasn't working, I could never do what I'm doing.

And those four checks, let me tell you what, they go to pay for all sorts of "fun" things, like putting new brakes and tires on the cars, replacing the ancient A/C system in our house, fixing the leaking roof, paying our property taxes, homeowner's insurance, and flood insurance (we live in Florida so YOU do the freaking math, sparky), you know, those sorts of "luxury" items. If my husband lost his job, at this point we're one paycheck away from disaster. When he retires in a few years, my income--four times a year--will basically be IT for us. So you stealing from me, hey, can my husband and son and I and six dogs come live with YOU if I can't pay my mortgage? Maybe you can just steal the files right from my laptop as soon as I write them and cut out the annoying middleman, right? (Jerks.)

Just like you, Mr./Mrs. Filesharing Pirate Asshole, I have bills to pay.

Okay, so on to the contest portion of my Ranting Wednesday post.

What do we do with these filesharing asshats? I'm talking wild and crazy, if you could do something to them (oh, say, in a book) without worrying about getting in trouble, what would you do? Shoot them into orbit a la Bugs Bunny?

You're playing for an electronic (yes, I understand the irony in this, believe me) copy of my book, "Cross Country Chaos." Make me laugh, make me spew coffee all over my laptop while reading your answer. Be creative. Be vindictive. Be scarily close to my own secret thoughts about what I wish I could do to these numbnuts (damn, my tin foil hat must have sprung a data leak) and leave your answer in the comments section. Make sure I have a way of getting in touch with you. If you are a fellow writer, feel free to put your website in your comments (after your answer) and shill your latest book. You must be of legal age in your place of residence to play, void where prohibited, your mileage may vary, don't take any wooden nickels, yadda yadda.

You can answer as many times as you'd like, but remember, the most creative, outlandish, beverage-spew-inducing answers are going to be the ones with the best chance of winning. I will pick a winner (what I determine is the best one) sometime this coming...oh, let's do Sunday afternoon. That'll give everyone plenty of time to think of something (or twenty).

Good luck, and cheer me the hell up with your answers!

*rant out*

Writing How-To: Determination

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Approximately a year ago, about this time, my older Toshiba laptop died. Well, as I panicked when the screen, which had been getting progressively redder upon start-up over several months, went totally black, I realized I still had lights on in the main laptop body. Meaning it wasn't dead-dead, just sort of dead. I unplugged it from everything, raced it back from the living room to our office, unplugged a desktop monitor from a tower and into my laptop...

*Huge sigh of relief!*

Toshi wasn't dead, just disabled. The screen, that is.

Hence started a huge-ass back-up to get all my past and current projects up-to-date on my back-up external flash drive (500gb).

And I went to plan B.

Plan B was my little (and by that I DO mean little) Asus eeePC. Tiny little thing. As you can see from the picture, when put up against my normal sized laptop (the same size as my other Toshi laptop was, although this is the newer one) it's a leeetle teeny baby computer. But at the time, I was in the process of starting a manuscript that I really needed to finish. Now, I didn't have Word installed on the Asus, but I did have Open Office. Despite the tiny screen and tiny keyboard, I was determined to make do.

Fortunately, my cousin is an uber-geek-god when it comes to fixing electronics and he assured me he would get Toshi up and running.

In the meanwhile, I didn't want to take over my dh's laptop, and I just can't write on a desktop anymore.

So I installed SuperNotecard on the Asus, copied my current works in progress files, and away I went. I did have to invest in a full-sized wireless keyboard/mouse combo, but after several weeks my cousin got Toshi back up and running before I went blind from the tiny screen.

In the meantime, I finished and submitted the manuscript for "Love at First Bight." Written almost entirely on the Asus.

I posed the question on my Facebook wall the other day asking fellow writers what was the strangest/most unusual way you'd written something, usually in desperation. I would have to say since I don't usually write longhand (arthritis), that my month-long stint on my Asus was my strangest to date. Toshi was returned to me as good as new, but earlier this year I upgraded to a new Toshiba laptop, and my "old" Toshi has been relegated to back-up status. (Keep in mind, I use my laptops like most people use desktops, and my laptop is on usually 12+ hours a day.)

So what's your story? My point of this entry is that there are plenty of excuses why you "can't" write. But if you are a "real" writer, you know there are no excuses. Whether it's one sentence or a whole novel, you find a way to write it because it's not just what you do, it's who you are. So feel free to share your strangest/most desperate/unusual writing tales.

(And don't forget to back up your data!)

(PS - For you government FCC blog geektards, yes, I purchased both my Toshiba laptops and my Asus eeePC. But if either company ever wanted to offer me a freebie I'd take it in a heartbeat. So pppptttppp!)

Evil personified.

Sunday, October 18, 2009
You wouldn't think a little thirteen-pound dog could be evil, would you?

This is Gidget. She was a rescue dog. We got her in August of 2007, and she was about 1-2 years old. As best we can tell, she's part chihuahua, part terrier of some sort, part cat, part mountain goat, part kangaroo, part force of nature, and thinks she's a ninja Yellowstone wolf living in exile amongst humans.

She is psychotic has issues.

One of her many issues is she unmakes our bed.

Normally, this would not be a problem, because I am hit and miss on making our bed. However, since redoing the floors in our bedroom and rearranging the room and actually having it look halfway decent, I've been making the effort.

Apparently, Gidgey (one of her many nicknames) doesn't appreciate it. I can pull the quilts and sheet up and go in there a few hours later, and the pillows will even be at the foot of the bed, the covers ON THE FLOOR. Or partially on the floor with a Gidget-sized lump under what's left on the bed.

She claims she's being framed by the bulldog or one of the Labs.

That's not the extent of her evil, of course. In her time she has destroyed many things, has to be crated when we're not home because of severe separation anxiety (but she loves her crate), and she tries to play *cough* "ride the pony" with our 80+ pound female black Lab, Holly. Which is hysterical to watch, because Gidget gets to going like the Energizer bunny on speed with the fast-forward button hit.

We have informed Gidgey that she is neither the right gender nor the right size to play that game.

Holly just lays there and waits for it to be over, she's ten and is beyond caring whether something is dignified or not.

The first Christmas we had Gidget, my husband forgot to clip her crate door when he left her at home to run an errand. He had been in the process of decorating the Christmas tree. He found when he returned (I cannot make this stuff up) in her crate she had dragged a box of glass ball ornaments and a bag of ornament hangers. She also chewed through two strands of lights laying on the floor. Fortunately she had not broken any of the ornaments.

I told him well, she watched you decorating the tree, she wanted to decorate her crate. *LOL*

She is a 130-pound dog in a 13-pound body. My mother knits her little doggy sweaters. (Which, actually, she used one this morning because it was bloody cold here in SW Florida.) She actually did make a cameo appearance in one of my books. In "Love Slave for Two," the little dog Peggy Kinsey refers to when she's having her private chat with Tyler is based on Gidget.

We are pretty sure Gidget is intent on world domination, but we haven't yet discovered her evil plans. Once we do, we'll let you know.

Writing How-To: Configuring Retro-Word Appearance

Friday, October 16, 2009
Do you miss the old versions of Word where you could use a dark background and light text?

I got this link courtesy of author Douglas Clegg:


You can not only change Word 2007 so the background and text colors are reversed for ease of use, you can make it look like an old-time word processor and reduce your time-suckage distractions by setting it up for full-screen viewing!

Mega-cool, and a HUGE thank you to Douglas for the link!!!!

Writing How-To: English is hard!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
First of all, I didn't write this, I got it through the Writing email list on the Internet Writing Workshop. I don't know who originally wrote it, but kudos to you, sir or madame. I'm classifying it as a "writing how-to" post because frankly? It sort of is. *LOL*
---

You think English is easy???

Read to the end . . . a new twist

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Let's face it, English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Drive on a parkway and park in a driveway? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

P.S. -- Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this:

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?

Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends.

And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.

We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning.

People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.

In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.

It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP .

When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP... When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so...it is time to shut UP!

Now it's UP to you what you do with this email.

---

(Note to writers from Lesli: "Up" is one of those sneaky little "filler" words we all use without thinking, but really, in many cases, they're extraneous and just pad your word count with worthless extras. For example, you don't need to say the character "sat down." You can say, "He sat." Down is implied. But, if for something particular, like he's going to pay attention to someone speaking, you can say, "He sat up straight in his chair," or similar phrasing to indicate what he's doing. It's easy to say, "He sat back down," when, "He sat again," or, "He returned to his chair," would be better. So beware those sneaky little words!)

Release Day! - "Love Slave for Two: Beginnings"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Woot! It's release day! "Love Slave for Two: Beginnings," (writing as Tymber Dalton) the prequel to my bestselling series, is now officially available at Siren-BookStrand!


You can find my other Siren-BookStrand releases writing as Tymber Dalton at:


And you can find my Lesli Richardson Siren-BookStrand books at:

Writing How-To: Write Space

Friday, October 9, 2009
Not much has changed in the couple of weeks since I took this picture to post it on an email list during a discussion of writing spaces.

Believe it or not, this is my dining room table. We eat on the couch.

Don't ask.

The large, blue coffee mug on the left of my laptop is my Stitch (as in Lilo and Stitch) mug that I drink out of every day. The dog is Scudder, my male black Lab.

The mess...well, don't my floors look great!?! *LOL*

Between hectic editing and writing schedules, arthritis, and really sore bodies, hubby and I haven't gotten the rest of the flooring done in our bedroom or our office. My laptop will still be in the "great room" (we don't have a separate living and dining room, they're one large room) but most of that mess will be on my desk...in the office. *LOL*

I like the view. That window looks south, on our backyard, overlooking a freshwater canal. We get birds and squirrels and I enjoy looking at the view, such as it is. It works for me.

If you need a neat desk, by all means, use one. But you can write anywhere. Don't use not having a "perfect" space to write as an excuse to not write. Whether it's at a table, a desk, a couch, your bed, or a McD's or park bench, WRITE.

Writing How-To: Quck Historical Research Tip

Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Just a quick tip today. Here's something neat I discovered with my old friend, Wikipedia. (Yes, I know, you have to double-check what you find on Wikipedia, but it's a great place to start.)

If you need to do research on a particular year for, say, a historical romance you're writing, you can type in something like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1879

and it gives you major events, births, and deaths for that year. Substitute the year you want, of course.

Again, it doesn't mean you can get away with no other research, but if you need a starting point to help you get a feel for a year, there you go. Enjoy!

Who wants to do Nanowrimo with me?

Saturday, October 3, 2009
Well, I've decided I'm going to plunge in and try to do Nano again. I've said this several times and managed to get sidetracked. Last year, because I was...um, writing. LOL

But now I've got a reason to, so I'm going to try and use it for desperation inspiration and motivation to get a special submissions call project rough draft knocked out.

Feel free to hit me up and buddy me if you want: madmumbler

If you have no idea what I'm talking about: http://www.nanowrimo.org/

Psst! Want a free read?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My romantic Halloween shape-shifter story, "Puppy Dog Eyes," is available free on the Amira Press website! (Click here to get it.)

If you like that, check out my other scorching hot Amira Press shape-shifter stories, "Dog Walk" and the sequel, "Doggy Style." While you're there, you might want to take a look at the first two books in my Brimstone vampire series, "Love and Brimstone" and the sequel, "Brimstone Blues." (Click here to see all my Amira Press books.)