Sunday, November 25, 2012

I Am Finished!

I decided late to start a project for NaNoWriMo. Wasn't sure if I could do it. November is a busy month and I know from past efforts that life can get in the way. This year though, I had the book all laid out in my head and all I needed to do was put it on paper!  

I did it!!

 I wrote an entire novel in 23 days!

One thing that really helped me was a writing aid book by Rachel Aaron.

She wrote 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love.

Using those methods, I was able to write this novel.  It's a Young Adult Urban Fantasy. I'm about to start polishing it and hopefully will find a home for it soon! Then it's diving into book two of this series.  I can't wait!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Are Romance Novels Just Porn for Women? by Guest, Steph

Today I have the pleasure of hosting a guest, Stephanie from over at  Stephsbookretreat  She's an avid reader and a wonderful lady.  If you have time be sure and cheek out her place! She'd love to hear from everyone.


Most evenings you can find my husband and I cuddled up on  the couch, him watching Anthony Bourdain No Reservations or Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern; my husband will have his head in my lap and I will be reading some romance or romantic suspense novel (paperback usually). If you ever overheard what has become a joke between us, you would hear, “romance novels are just porn for women,” come from my husband, then you would see his loving wife glare over her novel and stop stroking his forehead and hair, lol. I have thought about this and you know what, I can see where he would think so. In some ways I do see the similarities, especially when you are comparing it to erotica and to some of the other harder core novels, yet, I do draw a line. I don’t think they are created equal.

When I think of pornography, I think of pictures or DVDs, when I think of erotica and other novels, I think of words and of having to use one’s imagination. Unlike ‘picture porn’ novels require the reader to fill in certain blanks and to imagine the scene being described come to life in their own mind, and not watching it or viewing it.

Maybe it’s just that most women prefer to read than to view things that get them aroused, yet, if you walk down any isle in the romance section, you will not find novels that are JUST hardcore people having sex, etc, most have a well written plot and the sex just adds to the plot and keeps the plot moving. There are some novels where they are inundated by sex sex sex, well, you generally know what you are getting when you read those; it only takes a few moments or reading the synopsis to find out what sort or novel you are going to get; other times, the sex/romance is almost secondary to the main plot line.

Growing up, I remember being told by some female family members and others, that Harlequin novels were ‘unacceptable’ for a ‘young lady’ to read, because they were full of ‘depravity’ and ‘nothing but sex;’ as an adult, I can say, from reading experience, that Harlequin novels are NOT like that, if anything, the ones I have read are great quick reads. I can read one in an afternoon or a weekend, unlike some other novels where they are a few hundred pages and mostly part of a series, so the author takes extra care to fill in newcomers to the series and to still not alienate their established readers.

Some novels are very steamy, and yes, a bit more erotic than others, sure they might turn the reader on, yet, I like to joke with my husband and my girl friends that, ‘I love the men in my novels but I am in love with my husband.’ Some of the men in the novels are very much fantasy reads, yet, I know that they are just that, fantasy.  I’ve read are I don’t read novels as a way to get turned on or ‘in the mood’, I read them because they are a way for me to relax and I enjoy the camaraderie that I get when sharing with other readers and authors about what I read.  

Pornography is usually kept in the ‘backroom’ or ‘behind the counter’ in many places, yet, I have never seen a romance novel or even a harder core novel hidden in such a way. Maybe it’s because romance novels are just more generally accepted. 

Unlike with pornography, women can share what we read in an ‘everyday setting’ for the most part. We share novels in public and even talk about them around our children with not a lot of editing; not that we get very graphic with our discussions, even when talking about the ‘hottest’ novels or latest erotic novel. A woman can have just about any novel sitting in her car on the seat or on the coffee table when guests come over [ok, maybe not your grandparents or pastor], but other than that, if your copy of the latest best selling romance is sitting out you won’t be embarrassed about it.

I can think of a few authors that yes, they do write some very steamy scenes, and of course if it’s a particularly great book or scene [one particular shower scene pops into mind], we share, we may even send the excerpt to a girl friend who might enjoy it and appreciate it, that is just because we love our girl friends so much that we are compelled to share. That’s what girl friends are for; and for those of us, who have reading blogs, it’s one of the things we enjoy is sharing with others a great romance or even a bad one.  

Based on what I have shared with girl friends and what I have heard when we spoke about this, I think it’s the general consensus that women have a better imagination that is more easily fostered by words than by images. I can get a better picture of something if it’s described to me in words than just by seeing a picture of something; my imagination takes over where the author leaves off and I basically personalize it to what I can imagine. A [romance] author gives their readers a starting point and guides them through a world that they have created and into a world where we can slip away for a while and then return to ‘reality’ the one where there are dirty dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, preschoolers to be wrangled and school meetings to attend. For a few minutes we are transported to a world of Scottish highland warriors, rakish rogues, erotic vampires, and far away places that we may never get the opportunity to see in our lifetime.

So why not find a comfy chair or draw a hot bubble bath and lock the door and enjoy a novel on your Kindle/Nook or pull a paperback out of your purse or off the shelf and enjoy some ‘you’ time, ladies.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Yes, I am NaNoing This Month

That's right.  I decided on the spur of the moment to do NaNoWriMo this month. I usually work on something during November for NaNoWriMo but I don't push to finish. My attitude has always been: I'm working on my current WIP and doing this is helping me complete the book. I've never started a brand new story for November.

Well that changed this year. On November 1st to 2nd, I had no intentions of doing NaNoWriMo then on Saturday morning I changed my mind. And it's not because I'm a woman. I've been stuck in a rut the last couple of months and a friend of mine told me a couple of weeks ago to start something new and different. She thought maybe it would free up my muse.

Well, guess what?

It did.

From Saturday to last night--Drum Roll Please--I wrote

15,000 Words

Can you imagine not only my surprise but my total excitement?

The story is a YA Paranormal Romance (well, it's turning out to have a romance).

Wish me luck!  I am 25% done out of 50k words.

A world on the edge of destruction and only one girl with the help of a boy can save humanity!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Robert Downs - Killing Casey Holden


I found Fall Immortality similar to the older detective books and movies. Only this book has a much modern tone to it.  The author's voice is smooth and I enjoyed it.  It's not the type of book I normally read but I did so at the request of the author.  If you are a fan of mystery and crime novels then Falling Immortality is a book you need to pick up.

And now, here's Robert.


I almost killed Casey once. It was a pickup basketball game that had quickly spiraled out of control. Like most of his life. The game had started innocently enough, and we were up by three points, before he tripped me at midcourt. I went down hard, had the wind knocked out of me for about three seconds, sucked a few teeth back into my jaw, and deposited a few skin cells on the recently waxed wood floor of the local gymnasium.

When I opened my eyes, he stood over me, like some sort of Neanderthal with a thin line for a mouth and a bulging bicep for an arm. He held out his hand, and I swiped it away. I could feel my cheeks turning about six shades of red, and I could hear voices, see a few recognizable faces, and hear the air conditioning unit pumping cool air in between the rafters. I stood up, swiped my hands down the front of my shorts, saw a series of bright colors, and then I rushed him like some sort of half-crazed banshee.

Not the smartest move, I realize that now, but I could feel my cheeks burning, and see what was left of my pride sitting at midcourt. When I saw his orange t-shirt, I slammed my hands out, and he shot backwards about three feet across the floor, before landing on his ass. Brushing himself off the way I had moments ago, he stood right in my face, breathing hot fire against my nostrils, and the last thing I remember before my world went gray was his hand slamming against my chin. If I hadn’t blacked out, I’m fairly certain I could have won the fight. And he’d be wheeling himself around in a wheelchair, instead of strolling through the Virginia Beach PD like he owned the joint, even though he turned his back on the department over a year and a half ago.

 Greg Gilman is a major character of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator. Robert Downs is the author of said novel. A sample chapter of his MANfiction mystery debut, as well as other interesting information about the author, or Casey Holden, his main character, can be located at his website.

You can visit Robert at:

and pick up a copy of Falling Immortality here: