Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Whose writing is it anyway?

Do you have a phantom editor sitting on your shoulders? You know what I mean. You have written your daily quota of words for your romance novel and decide to read them over before quitting for the day. You heave a great sigh as the phantom whispers in your ear.

That phrase doesn't make sense. Your dialogue should be tighter. Your hero sounds like a wimp in that bedroom scene. If your heroine is a virgin how come she knows the right moves to turn him on? She's shaking her bootie like an old pro.

Okay, here's what to do with the phantom who really is your conscience into which you have stored a lifetime of good and bad messages from authority figures, Moms, Dads, Sisters, Brothers, Teachers, etc.

I came across this wonderful little essay by Mark Twain. "Your conscience is a nuisance. A conscience is like a child. If you pet it and play with it and let it have everything that it wants, it becomes spoiled and intrudes on all your amusements and most of your griefs. Treat your conscience as you would anything else. When it is rebelious, spank it - be severe with it. argue with it, prevent it from coming to play with you at all hours and you will secure a good conscience; that is to say, a properly trained one. A spoiled one simply destroys all the pleasure in life. I think I have reduced mine to order. At least, I haven't heard from it for some time. Perhaps I have kill it from over-severity."

So threaten the phantom editor. If she wants to play, she has to play nice and offer positive comments to enhance your writing. If she sneaks in a negative comment, ask her what she hopes to achieve by it? Make it positive! Negative messages are bad for the soul, they are especially bad for writers who work alone. Negative messages have a purpose. Take them, turn them around, find out what the phantom editor wants from you. If it's to make your writing better, have her turn the negative to a positive.

That's my big speech for to-day. I studied Neuro-linguistic programming to the Master Practioner level. It's important in everyone's life to consider where the negative message is coming from and its purpose. I think the phantom editor wants the best for you and me. She has to learn how to pose her comments so you and I can hear them and learn.

Must run along. We are taking friends out to dinner and I have to paint myself up and dress in something other than the jeans skirt and knit top I've been wearing all day. If you have time have a look at: and read my interview with Alan Tremaine, the hero in my time travel romance, Ring Around The Moon.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fairy tales

"There are fairies at the bottom of our garden ..." The poem by Rose Tyleman was my favourite recitation when I was a child. At the drop of a hat or a wave of my wand I would recite. Church concerts, school concerts - give me an audience and I would perform.

That's me all dressed up to do my thing. No colour photos when I was a little kid but you can see I am dressed in white. My mother or grandmother made the outfit. I think I was getting ready to go out for Hallowe'en by the look of the leafless trees and dry grass in our garden. Unfortunately, we didn't have fairies at the bottom of our garden or I might have settled in with them. I desperately wanted wings so I could fly.

I wanted to be an actress as I grew up. Gifted with the ability to memorize poems, speeches from Shakespeare and bits and pieces of doggerel. I was ready for the stage but the stage wasn't ready for me so I made do with school assemblies and school plays. Perhaps I began a writing career to get my name out in public. I am smiling. No best sellers not even a whisper but I soldier on. And that brings me to my books, all published by Cerridwen Press. A Very Difficult Man, historical romance, circa 1854. Isabelle's Diary, a contemporary romance with a paranormal twist, Isabelle`s Story, a historical romance, circa 1900, the story of the girl who wrote the diary. Ring Around The Moon, a time travel romance set in magical Cornwall.

I`ll put up the cover for Ring Around The Moon . For excerpts and information about my books check out my web site.

Thanks for dropping by.


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Contest Winners

I have closed both contests because they have run their course. For the contest asking what you would choose to do if you were in the same situation as my heroine in, Too Young To Die. I studied every comment and they were all excellent except for the last one from Meggie. Meggie is a friend, cute as a bug, smart as a whip with a wicked sense of humour. She said she'd join up with the bad guys and go. I will e-mail her in London, England.

I had a tie to win my book between Jean Hart Stewart and Dierdre Durance. So I wrote each name on a piece of paper, folded the paper, closed my eyes and tossed the two folded papers on the floor. I picked one up with my eyes closed. I opened my eyes and the winner is, Jean Hart Stewart. Congratulations, Jean. I will send you my book when it's released in June.

Next Contest: I had written down #8 and whoever landed on that number would win my book. Only had seven entries! What to do. Wrote each of your names on bits of paper, folded them and dropped them in an empty basket. I shook them up and the winner is: Amarinda Jones.

Whew. Thanks to all of you who entered. It was fun.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An apology

To all and sundry, near and far forgive a mistake. I thought my book Too Young To Die would be released on May 6. I misread the date, it looked liked this 6/5/2008. To my Canadian eyes that meant May 6. We put the day first, then the month, then the year although some folks put the year first.

The contests are still on so send in your entries. There's a contest on my blog, titled Too Young To Die and another contest on the blog, Contest. Contest. My book will be given away to the winner on each blog.

Now for something completely different. My time travel, Ring Around The Moon is out there, ready for purchase from Cerridwen Press. It has had a great review from ParaNormalRomance. Alan Tremaine, the hero, is every woman's dream. Read an excerpt on my web site.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Drop by my blog on May Sixth and leave an answer to this question. "What false name did Ellie give the man who found her in the forest with the baby?" I'll pick a winner from the comments to receive a copy of my romantic suspense novel, TOO YOUNG TO DIE which will be released on May Sixth - to the sound of trumpets and dancing in the streets.

I have written down a number and the first person to reach that number wins. Below is the excerpt where you will find the answer to my question.

"Misery dogged her footsteps. Her feet hurt. Her legs ached. Being scared out of her wits didn’t help. For Nicki’s sake she had to keep going. Had to reach safety.

She plodded on. What time was it? How long had she been walking? Had she made a mistake leaving the house? Maybe she could’ve bargained with the man in black, given him access to the computer in exchange for her freedom.

She shook her head. Not in a pig’s eye, her mother would have said. Why a pig’s eye? Ellie wasn’t sure and shifted the baby from one arm to the other to ease her tense shoulders.

Do pigs know who to trust and who not to? She puzzled over that. Miss Piggy might know. Don’t trust the boss man.

“What do you think, Nicki?” He slept peacefully in her arms. Every step wearied her. Her legs had taken on a life of their own. If she got out of the forest alive and in one piece would her legs know how to quit?

She stopped for a few minutes to catch her breath, glanced around and suddenly realized she could see. A faint pink glow filtered through the leaves overhead.

“Nicki, honey, I think it’s getting light.”

When had they left the house? Midnight?

Her spirits lifted. People lived and worked in the Cascades. Maybe she’d find a logging camp or a house with helpful people who’d phone the police.

She longed to rest. Longed to put Nicki down safely. Longed to sleep.

She plodded on. One foot followed the other. Don’t stop. Keep moving. The forest had to end somewhere.

“Oh no!” She choked on the words.

Two large dogs bounded towards her. Hackles raised they approached stealthily. She huddled Nicki in her arms and buried her face in his blanket. “They’ve sent tracking dogs. We haven’t a hope in hell of getting away. I did my best, sweetie.”

The dogs circled, closed in and sniffed at her and the baby. “Don’t bite,” she pleaded.

Torn to pieces by dogs or shot quickly? She’d choose the gun. Quick and easy if they aimed at her heart or blasted a hole in her head.

As for Nicki. Please God don’t let Nicki die because I failed him.

At the sound of a loud whistle the dogs stiffened. A man emerged from the trees, a threatening rifle slung over his shoulder. The dogs left Ellie and stationed themselves beside the man, their eyes remained fixed on her.

The man walked up to her, frowning. “In the name of all the saints and the Pope himself, what are you doing here with a baby?”

Ellie backed away and bumped into a tree. “Don’t kill Nicki. He’s only three months old. He’s innocent. He doesn’t deserve to die.”

Nerves strung to the breaking point she sank down on her knees. Eyes blurry with tears she gazed up at the man.

“Give me a few minutes to pray then shoot me. Promise not to kill the baby.”

He knelt beside her. “I don’t kill babies and women.” He pulled a red and white polka dotted hanky from his jeans pocket and handed it to her. “Dry your eyes and tell me what you’re doing here. This is private land. No trespassing. Didn’t you see the signs?”

Crackling laughter erupted from Ellie’s dry throat. “No trespassing.” She rocked back and forth. “No trespassing. That’s very funny.”

She couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t stop laughing. She’d been through too much. He’d caught her trespassing. Where was she? Would he shoot her for trespassing? She clamped her lips together choking back the laughter.

The man slapped her sharply on the side of her face. “Stop it, you damned fool. You’re scaring the baby.”

She jerked sideways and punched his arm. “What do you think you’re doing?” The hysteria died.

“Stopped you screaming, didn’t I?” He smiled showing even white teeth. Even in the early morning light he was better looking than George and the man in black.

Intelligent eyes. No boxing scars. Probably an expert tracker.

“So what’s next?” Too tired to think clearly Ellie waited for the end. He said he didn’t kill babies and women that’s so she’d calm down and make an easy target. A sitting duck and a duckling.

It wouldn’t hurt much. A single shot would do the trick. “Kill me and get it over with.”

“Stop babbling about killing. Got that? Explain what you’re doing on Vinnie’s land.”

Ellie shook her head. If he wasn’t one of them she was safe. But was she? Whoever raided the Blesnicoff’s home would be searching for her and the baby. She’d witnessed the carnage, could identify two of the men.

Sucking in a deep breath, her brain spun out of its death spiral and emerged intact with an alibi. No way would she tell him her name. He might hand her over. She used his hanky to wipe her sweaty, teary face and plucked a name from the past—her high school English teacher.

“I’m Sarah Hargreave. I’ve run away from my husband.” She raised her head. “He threatened me and the baby.”

The man’s gray eyes darkened. “Did you spend the night in the forest?”

Ellie nodded. “I had to or he’d have found us.”

“Then you’re damned lucky. There’s a cougar lurking in the neighborhood. It killed and mauled some range cattle. Good job it didn’t find you.”

A stalking cougar was too much for Ellie. “We could’ve died,” she wailed and sagged against him.

“But you didn’t.” Grasping her hands he stood and helped her up. “You’re worn out. I’ll take you to my cabin. You can rest there.”

“Is it far?” She’d walked all night. Her nerves were frazzled. The soles of her feet burned. Her ankle throbbed. If he said a mile she’d never make it.

“I’ve got a vehicle.”

Ellie almost kissed him. “Show me.”

For now she had to trust him."

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