Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #20

13 Things That "Wylie Needs"

I decided to try the "(insert your name here) needs" Google search. If Rhian did it, it must be cool, right? I cut and paste them exactly as they appeared on the search page, bold, caps and all.
As I was cutting and pasting, I thought - everyone's going to think I made these up. NO ONE will believe this is true...
It was extremely difficult to pare the list down to only 13, when I had so many interesting 'needs'. My witty responses follow ;)

  1. Wylie needs some SERIOUS help with something a lot of things, actually
  2. Wylie needs to come up so Sonia and I can prove we're not the same person. I still won't believe you
  3. Wylie needs additional retail opportunities so I love to shop, sue me
  4. Wylie needs it, Acme agrees to a guaranteed safety safety?! Is that what you told Wile E Coyote?
  5. Wylie needs anything at this time in our history, it’s a vision and the drive to make it happen. I gots plenty of vision! What I needs is a babysitter!
  6. Wylie needs more water safeguards because most accidents in the home happen in the bathroom
  7. Wylie needs to look no further than Kyle Farnsworth and Latroy Hawkins for what, exactly??
  8. Wylie needs to get laid. Um... thanks, but I'm good. I've got Kyle and Latroy
  9. Wylie needs £50 cheque though a few more zeros would be nice
  10. Wylie needs to, first and foremost, get healthy goes without saying
  11. Wylie needs to learn how to play I DO know how to play - - just not well with others
  12. Wylie needs food -- badly so what else is new?
  13. Wylie needs to get that immunity you mean Kyle and Latroy haven't been tested?!

The only thing missing is what I really need - a good night's sleep. What do YOU think I need?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I got nuthin'

So much for my new blogging rules. I was supposed to post today and I got nuthin'!
Nothing interesting, anyway...

On the Lot - terrific new reality show. I was resistant, only because I really don't want to commit to another television program. I don't want to have to rush home from bbq's, bike rides and impromptu walks in the park.
What can I say... I'm hooked. Last night the contestants had to come up with 1 minute comedies and most of the were brilliant. BRILLIANT! (Kudos to the Canadian dude who rocks with the special effects!) Perhaps Hollywood has a chance if some of these young up and comers are the future of movies.
Maureen, Candy, what's your take?
Surprisingly, the elimination show (they got rid of THREE!) were not the ones I would have picked. And don't think I didn't notice that the three eliminated were 'others', and by that I mean non-American born. Goodbye to the lovely Spanish Carolina, the colorful Italian Claudia and the young Brit with the moppy hair. Hmmmmm, is there a conspiracy afoot? The Canadian and the South African better watch their backs.
Anyway, you know where I'll be next Monday at 8...

HOUSE - finale. I'm sad. House's team is all gone. Cameron, Foreman, and the cute blond dude (what the hell is his name? I've been watching for three years, you'd think I could look past the hot Aussie accent and pretty face). Wonder what's in store next season...

Congrats to Amy for getting a full ms request from Ellora's Cave. WOOT!! And to Red for another terrific review on Spin Devil. I'm so proud of you guys!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Girls by Lori Lansens

Book #29 in the 50 BOOK CHALLENGE: The Girls by Lori Lansens

Coincidentally, ThommaLyn blogged about slush pile/marketability tonight, a theme that runs parallel to my thoughts on The Girls.

First, this book was sent to me from England by my mother-in-law, who was given it by her sister Judy (Uncle Michael's wife - for those 'in the know'), who read it as a book club selection. Why is this important? Because ironically, the book is set in Southern Ontario, Canada, which is where I live. There's been much discussion in our Toronto Romance Writers about setting -- mainly that books set in Canada don't sell. Apparently, this one did.

Next point (and please excuse the rambling. Chalk it up to very little sleep) is the topic, and for this, I'm going directly from the back cover blurb:
In twenty-nine years, Rose Darlen has never spent a moment apart from her twin sister Ruby. She has never gone for a solitary walk or had a private conversation. Yet, in all that time, she has never once looked into Ruby's eyes. Joined at the head, 'The Girls' (as they are known in their small town) attempt to lead a normal life, but can't help being extraordinary. Now almost thirty, Rose and Ruby are on the verge of becoming the oldest living craniopagus twins in history, but they are remarkable for a lot more than their unusual sisterly bond.
Now seriously, readers, based on this 'tease', would you have picked this book up?
I'm going to be perfectly honest and say - Not if it was the last book in the bin. Why? *enter devil's advocate*
Because I can't imagine what life must be like for people in this situation and perhaps don't want to.
Because it's far easier to disassociate myself from the cruelties of nature, look upon my own perfect children and remain blissfully unaware.
Because I don't have time to feel sorry for them -- my God, I've got my own issues!
Because when I steal a few moments to lose myself in a book, I want to escape into a world of wonder, adventure, excitement...

And wouldn't you question the sanity of the publisher? Surely this book wouldn't 'chart', couldn't possibly find an audience broad enough, open-minded enough to sit through 300+ pages of what surely described the miserable life of conjoined twins!

Ah, how wrong we (I) was.
The Girls is an extraordinary novel. Beautifully written, depressing/disturbing - yes, in some parts, - but also uplifting, amusing and a wonderful experience. I'm so glad I was given this gift and hope you will seek it out the next time you're in a bookstore. I can see why it's popular amongst the book-clubs: it leaves room for discussion, ponderence, and character analysis.

Back to marketing for a moment: I feel a little sad for this author, Lori Lansens, because she'll never (deservedly) become as rich or famous as Nora Roberts or Stephen King, who both have my absolute and undying respect, but after reading a book like The Girls, those 'best selling' novels feel somehow devoid of any real meaning.

Now, off I go to work on my own emotionally meaningless wip! ;0 (Don't castigate... I jest!)
But first, I leave you with the opening paragraph:
I have never looked into my sister's eyes. I have never bathed alone. I have never stood in the grass at night and raised my arms to a beguiling moon. I've never used an airplane bathroom. Or worn a hat. Or been kissed like that. Or solo walk. I've never climbed a tree. Or faded into a crowd. So many things I've never done, but oh, how I've been loved. And, if such things were to be, I'd live a thousand lives as me, to be loved so exponentially.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lost (without Mom), Change (none to spare)

Put my dear Mom on the plane yesterday *sniff*. I always feel a little lost when she goes...

And speaking of LOST - that ending was mind-boggling!! Goodbye Charlie. I never liked you, though you redeemed your scrawny, unselfish ass in the last episode.
Who woulda thunk that the flashback was really a flash forward! I was happy to see that Locke wasn't 'finished' - but has he lost it, or is he the only sane one? And where the hell did Walt come from?? And Mikhail - why doesn't/can't he die? If no-one really dies on that island, what happened to Boone and his sister, or the tailies? So many questions - so much fun waiting and watching for the answers!! Sad to have to wait 8 months to see more...

I've been horribly unproductive lately, with lots of honorable excuses, of course. But I'm feeling that I don't always have the best time-management skills. I have the tools, but not the time! I'm going to try and make a few changes:
1. Post blogs every other day.
2. Read my fave blogs ONLY every other day - at set hours (I spend HOURS visiting, commenting, etc... and though I LOVE it, it sucks productivity time)
3. Lurk my 'other faves' only once per week. (the thought makes me want to cry!)
4. Set weekly word count goals (ala Christine and Amy)
5. Stick to one wip at a time and not bounce around so much - which is a motivation killer if only because I feel like nothing is getting done!
6. Try to spend less time on the TRW newsletter. I'm too much of a perfectionist and I have to STOP getting so worked up about layout details.

Any advice, tips, or tricks that aid your productivity? Especially needed are time management skills that involve two children?? :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #19 - Why I'm not TTing tonight

Thirteen Reasons I have NO TIME to TT this week...

  1. Season finale of LOST is on in 30 minutes. *simultaneous relief and distress*
  2. It's the final night of my mother's visit :( and despite my pleading, she can't/won't stay longer.
  3. Sweetness (aka 3 yr old) won't go to sleep *grrr* and keeps sneaking out of his bed.
  4. Light (aka 7 yr old son) has a sore willy and cries when he pees. *ouch!*
  5. Destiny by Design came out last Friday and in all the excitement, I didn't think of any good topics (I'm no good at quick thinking).
  6. I was also swamped doing the newsletter for the Toronto Romance Writers this past week and still have a few loose ends to tie up (after LOST).
  7. I haven't had dinner yet and food takes precedence over blogging.
  8. Summer is here and I desperately need to shave my legs (tmi, TMI!!)
  9. My critique partner has been waiting very patiently for my comments and I haven't yet read the second installment of her so-far captivating novel.
  10. With Destiny by Design's release, I feel pressure to finish one of my many wips so an inordinate amount of time doesn't pass before my next book comes out. Goal for the coming weeks: less blogging, more writing *damn it!*
  11. I only got 3 hours of sleep last night thanks to the nocturnal rumblings of Sweetness & Light.
  12. I can't get the soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera out of my head and therefore am too distracted to focus on the demands of TT.
  13. The June edition of Writer's Digest just arrived and I can't do ANYTHING else until I sit down to read the hilariously entertaining Kevin Alexander.
So tell me - What would distract YOU from a week of TTing??

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

One Word Meme

Everyone's doing it (TL, Red, Vicky) - so who am I to buck a trend?

Answer all questions using only 1 word:

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse
2. Relationship? everlasting
3. Your hair? unmanageable
4. Work? laundry
5. Your sister? Gigi
6. Your favorite thing? chocolate
7. Your dream last night? disturbing
8. Your favorite drink? water
9. Your dream car? Jag
10. The room you’re in? cluttered
11. Your shoes? Crocs
12. Your fears? oblivian
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? fulfilled
14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? family
15. What you’re not good at? math
16. Muffin? banana
17. One of your wish list items? books
18. Where you grew up? north
19. The last thing you did? read
20. What are you wearing? pajamas
21. What aren’t you wearing? socks
22. Your pet? cat
23. Your computer? wonky
24. Your life? chaotic
25. Your mood? sleepy
26. Missing? time
27. What are you thinking about right now? money
28. Your car? minivan
29. Your kitchen? mop
30. Your summer? long
31. Your favorite color? red
32. When is the last time you laughed? today
33. Last time you cried? Phantom
34. School? essential
35. Love? necessary

And I tag (with my apologies if you've already done it): Amy, Rhian, Susan, and Christine

Aliens & Phantoms

...and speaking of good books, I managed to read Robin L. Rotham's Alien Overnight between water fights and bbq's over the weekend.

(ah - the pleasure of reading an ebook on a laptop -- it can be dragged from room to room)

I've said it before, I'm not a book review site, yada yada yada...

Ms Rotham, WOW! That story was the hotness. Futuristic/alien stories aren't normally my cuppa tea, only because I usually can't get my head around all of the world-building details, and I end up questioning the validity of it all (yes, I get that it's FICTION - I'm just hard to convince), but you did an AMAZING job creating a likable, believable, credible alien race. And did I mention HOT? This story had little elements of Moira Shine meets JR Ward (two of my faves), with fresh twists and turns, interesting complex characters (loved Shauss - is he getting his own book? Pretty please??) and did I mention burning HOT?!

Well done, Robin. I look forward to your next book.

More Phantom (Leah, you are free to skip this part :)
After seeing the stage production on Sunday, my mom and I sat down to watch the movie last night (ahhhh...), just for comparison sake. GB and ER are my faves in terms of cast & vocals. There voices blend beautifully, and imo, have more chemistry than even the originals -Crawford/Brightman - I have the London cast recording. Amy, any thoughts?

The new reality program 'On the Lot' premiers tonight. Can't wait!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Phantom of the Opera thru a Writer's Eyes

I took my mother to see Phantom of the Opera today at the Princess of Wales theatre in Toronto. It's the fourth time I've seen it, the first for my mother. WOW!
I've seen this show in New York, London and twice in Toronto. It has never disappointed and remains my favorite stage production. (There were a few stray tears in my eyes at the end, knowing it will be years until I have the opportunity to see it again.) Other theatre lovers may argue that Les Miz was better, and yes, it was brilliant, musically & dramatically superior I would add, but it was so sad... as was RENT, and Miss Saigon... Chicago's good, but on the lighter/black-humor side...

If you haven't seen a 'Broadway' musical, make PotO your first, if only because of it's perfect balance - great music that stays in your head long after the curtain falls, color, drama, unrequited love, humor, beautiful eye-candy costumes, pomp & circumstance, weepy heart-wrenching solos, jump-out-of-your-seat surprises (watch for falling chandeliers!) and a hero/villain to DIE for. (Amy, have I missed anything?)

This was the first time I've seen it since becoming a writer and I saw it new eyes. The level of emotion the music/movement evokes is hard to capture and communicate. How can I do this through mere words? How can I capture the pain of the Phantom when he sings about his secret yearnings to be loved, to belong. His pain when his own mother masks his infant face with rough cloth because she can't bear to look at his deformities.
Or to express his burning desire, his longing for the love of Christine Daae.

Just once, JUST ONCE, I want them to change the ending of this show. I'd pay $500 to see the Phantom win Christine. Maybe that's what keeps drawing me back...

Phantom of the Opera is in Toronto through mid-June and I urge you - GO. And for those of you who live in other corners of the globe, the national touring companies go to every major city. GO! Drive, stay overnight if you have to, but GO! If you're a writer or artist - GO.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Whew,... and breathe

Yesterday was the big day - the release of Destiny By Design. I should have been excited, on top of the world, basking in my own brilliance ;) but instead, I was strangely nauseous, nervous and beside myself with worry. Why? Good question...
  • because my baby was sent out into the world alone, to be ogled, admired, snarked or enjoyed, by strangers!

  • because if my friends don't like it, they'll be polite and say they did to spare my feelings

  • because *mean girl blogs* might say harsh things that will make my writerly-thick skin feel all thin and prickly and I'll want to stick my head in a hole

  • because what if only you six people reading this buy it and no-one else

  • because a piece of my soul is on display

  • because everytime I re-read an excerpt, paragraph or sentence, I think - this is crap! Why didn't you write it 'this way' or 'that way'!!

  • because now I have to write another...
...and seriously, I could go on. But I'll save it for my therapist :)

Today, I'm back to my old self - feeling confident and inspired, excited about the release, happy with 'level of talent' (which will only improve, I promise!) and ready to face any and all comments. Welcome them in fact.

Much of my back-to-healthy attitude is thanks to wonderful FRIENDS. Your support is,... gosh, I hate to sound gushy, but ... truly truly awesomely appreciated. How on Earth do authors without blog buddies get through this?

TL, Rhian, Amy, Christine, Candy, Red (who know exactly what I'm feeling :), Rebecca, Daisy, Vicky, and other TRW'ers, EC'ers who sent me congrats messages, etc... and my BFF Tracey who sent me flowers!! and promised to read DBD even though she's "not much of a reader" (GASP! - I know, I know, but I'm trying to convert her) --
Okay, this is beginning to sound award-show speechish and the music is starting to play,...

In other news,... after being some-what paralized with anxiety, I'm able to read again. I started my critique partner's revamped and revised book entitled Mirror Blue. I've only got through chapters 1-5, (she feeds it to me slowly knowing I'd stay up all night if I had the whole thing!) and so far I'm blown away. TL writes such interesting, complicated, real people, with quirks and unconventional tastes. I look forward to diving into the rest.
I downloaded Red's Spin Devil, knowing I couldn't possibly get to it because I'm behind with the TRW newsletter. Despite my intention of 'only reading the first sentence' before bed, I stayed up until 1am reading it from start to finish. WOW people. WOW. It's from Ellora's Cave's new EXOTICA line, which should have tipped me off to the level of hotness, but I say again, WOWIE, WOW, WOW, OUCH! (the ouch was for the burn marks on my fingers)
This morning, again, with the intentions of continuing the TRW newsletter, I stupidly opened up Robin Rotham's Alien Overnight (another EC) and read the first chapter before reluctantly tending to my attention-deprived kids. Oh my, Miss Rotham - to say this book opens with a bang wouldn't be an exaggeration! So far, so good. I'm loving it!
And while I was at EC yesterday, I also got another Daisy Dexter Dobbs and a Shiloh Walker. And I still have to get to Rebecca James' Night Swimming (which is getting amazing reviews - WTG, girl!!) If only, IF ONLY, I had an extra 12 hours/day so I could read, read, read!
If I'm absent in blogland for the next while, you know why ;D

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #18 - My Night of Passion with Brad & Angelina

Made you look - ha ha! No,... I've not had a passionate night with Brangelina, but I've got marketing on the brain and hey -- it seems to work with the tabloids!!
The real topic:

13 Interesting Things about my novella, Destiny By Design,
and why you may want to buy it...

1. First, the blurb:
Interior designer Ellis Strathmore has been chosen to compete in the Oak Ridges Development Competition, along with a handful of other designers—including her former boss and nemesis, Cynthia Travers. With the deadline just weeks away, the design teams are under intense pressure to finish. A relative novice known for her unusual approach to decorating, Ellis is determined to prove her talent, artistry and professionalism when creating the perfect home office.

One week into the Oak Ridges Competition and Simon Callon would happily trade Callon & Son Construction for a string of donut shops. Tools and supplies keep mysteriously disappearing and two of the designers are making his life miserable. He’d worked with Cynthia Travers before and knew how to handle her demands, but quirky Ellis Strathmore, with her uncanny ability to both annoy and arouse him, has Simon questioning his normally solid judgment.

Ellis and Simon clash over paint colors, work schedules and cabinets, but they can’t deny the sexual chemistry that’s building between them. The perfect palette for passion comes together with a brush of danger, tones of teasing banter and a touch of naked painting in Destiny by Design.
2. You won't find this kind of action on HGTV...

3. In this house, the spice doesn't stay in the kitchen...

4. The hero, Simon Callon, was inspired by (but is not based on) Mr. Wylie, who once painted our bathroom in the nude in response to my painting the bathroom in my underwear because I didn't want to get my clothes spattered. Did you manage to follow that? The whole incident had us both prone with laughter for days...

5. The heroine, Ellis Strathmore, named herself. I had nothing to do with it. I mean, Ellis for a girl?? My preference would have been Catherine or Eliza, but she would have none of it. She screamed at me every time my fingers typed anything but E-L-L-I-S.

6. Ellis' friend, Valentina, is named for my mother. For no other reason than I love that name - it's so classy and European, don't you think? I plan to stick it in as many of my future books as possible. It's already the name of a sailboat in one of my WIPs.

7. The antagonist is named Cynthia. I have a cousin named Cindy, who is smart, lovely, stylish and thin, and has three perfectly angelic children, so this is simply a coincidence,... I assure you.

8. I made Mr. Wylie, nay forced Mr. Wylie to design a new website so I'd feel like a REAL writer. Then I pimped myself by sending EVERYONE in my address book an announcement, begging them to go visit the new site. Of course, I never actually gave them the web address or gave them a link, so I've got some very confused friends...

9. Mr. Wylie was also forced to drop everything and help me create a video trailer that will undoubtedly have absolutely no impact on the sale of my novella, but I had to have one because Colleen Gleason and Jaci Burton do.

10. I declared the story complete (1 draft + 2 revisions) at 11,000 words. FINAL edit #1 took it to 14,000 words. FINAL edit #2 took it to 16,000 words. FINAL edit #3 - 21,000 words. FINAL edit #4 - 24,000 words. After FINAL edit #5, I submitted it to Ellora's Cave, it was 25,000 words. First and final edit with EC and it's being released at 30,000 words.
Lesson - I just can't leave well enough alone. Never write FINAL on anything!

11. This was the longest story I've completed to date, and has given me hope that yes, one day, I may have the patience, time and gumption to complete an entire novel.

12. I desperately want the sales figures to equal more than 12 and I'm not beneath begging...

13. And I leave you with this ~
WARNING: Naked painting can lead to more than just brush strokes!

Thanks! Destiny by Design will be available to download from May 18th at Ellora's Cave.

Please leave your name so I can do a return visit:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Website, count down

THREE DAYS until the release of DESTINY BY DESIGN

Mr. Wylie did it!!
He managed to create a fab website, despite a flighty-mind-changing wife who couldn't settle on a 'look', and a gamut of glitches in getting the site up.
Please, take a look -
I'd love feedback -- but only the good stuff *wink* -- and don't forget to click on the video trailer for Destiny by Design on the HOME page. It was Mr. Wylie's virgin attempt and it is stellar, if I do say so myself... Please spare yourself the audio clip. I'm horrified by the sound of my own voice *cringe*

And thanks to everyone who inquired after our health. Glad to report that aside from never eating pizza again as long as I live, we're all much better. Whatever struck us left as quickly as it arrived. But it was right bugger!

My Tarot Card

Making up for days of missing posts!
There was mucho buzz about this tarot test, which I stole from Rhian, the Creative Goddess herself. Here are my results:

You are The Wheel of Fortune

Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of
intoxication with success

The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Good News, Bad News, More Bad News, More Good News

Good news: My mother is here! Which was as nice a Mother's Day present a daughter could ask for. And I got a beautiful hand-crafted book mark from Sweetness (aka 3 yr old son) with lots of goopy glue and glitter, an essay on MOTHER from Light (aka 7 yr old son) and a hand-crafted necklace that beats any sapphire or ruby in my jewelery box. AND, my mother and I will be treated to the stage production of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA next Sunday (Yeah!!!)

Bad news: We were sick. Literally - heads hung over the toilet bowl, heaving until stomach muscles ached SICK. My mother, my 7 year old and me. I wish I knew more about viruses/food poisoning, because the timing of this was just weird. Friday night, I started feeling queasy, and by 11pm, was intimately involved with the porcelain bowl. My mother went down at 1am, my son complained of stomach pains at 5am and we all continued our shaky-hot-shivery conditions until well into the next day and evening.
Through it all, I barely got to check my email, let alone comment/blog... I FEEL SO LOST! I'm like a addict.

More bad news: I had to cancel Sweetness's third birthday party. So much for the fridge full of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, fruit salad, etc...

Yes, even MORE bad news: I missed the Toronto Romance Writer's meeting. Why is this bad? BECAUSE I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT THIS MONTH!!! I missed being able to stand up in front of my peers and say "MY novella, Destiny By Design, comes out THIS FRIDAY," and be rewarded with a round of applause and a chocolate. *WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH*
I even had promo items to give out (the promo nightmare continues)
It just won't mean the same saying it next month...

More good news: If all goes according to plan, my new website will launch tomorrow (she says with crossed fingers that hubby fixes all glitches) and I must say IT ROCKS!! Mr. Wylie has done an incredible job of capturing 'me' (considering I haven't been able to pinpoint 'me' yet!) and the book trailer is more fabulous than I could have hoped for, considering he and I are rank amateurs. How's that for blowing our own horns :)

Now, I'm dashing off to see Rhi's Tarot reading
See how Vicky's feeling
Check out Red's book cover
See how Mother's day was for Christine and check out her goals for the week
Check out Susan, Rhi, and Rashenbo's latest poems
See if Amy or Leah, posted anything about the TRW meeting I missed
and catch up with TL,...
This is going to be a VERY LATE NIGHT!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Missing Thursday Thirteen

I missed this weeksTT and must confess -- I feel like I missed a party! I lurked, left a few comments, and kept wishing I had time to pop up my own. I had some good ideas kicking around... Oh well.

The website revamp is almost complete. Mr Wylie is working on a trailer for Destiny By Design. This is new territory for him, so keep your fingers crossed ;)

I'll post an excerpt of Destiny on Monday, so please stop back then.
This weekend is my son's 3rd birthday so the Kinson household will be swamped with balloons, presents and yummy chocolate cake!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY those who qualify (cat moms too, TL!) and have a TERRIFIC weekend.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Coming soon from Ellora's Cave...

Blog buddy and fellow EC author, Christine, has just announced the July 20th release date for her book The Bond That Ties Us. She's posted an excerpt on her blog. Go check it out. I'll wait.

... (what are you waiting for? Go!)

... (la-la, tra la, dee-dum-dee-dum, doo doo, too doo)

... *filing nails*

And, you're back. Don't forget to download The Bond... on July 20th.

Reading Christine's excerpt reminded me that I have yet to post the blurb for Destiny by Design, my own little creation that comes out on MAY 18th.

Destiny by Design

Interior designer Ellis Strathmore has been chosen to compete in the Oak Ridges Development Competition, along with a handful of other designers—including her former boss and nemesis, Cynthia Travers. With the deadline just weeks away, the design teams are under intense pressure to finish. A relative novice known for her unusual approach to decorating, Ellis is determined to prove her talent, artistry and professionalism when creating the perfect home office.

One week into the Oak Ridges Competition and Simon Callon would happily trade Callon & Son Construction for a string of donut shops. Tools and supplies keep mysteriously disappearing and two of the designers are making his life miserable. He’d worked with Cynthia Travers before and knew how to handle her demands, but quirky Ellis Strathmore, with her uncanny ability to both annoy and arouse him, has Simon questioning his normally solid judgment.

Ellis and Simon clash over paint colors, work schedules and cabinets, but they can’t deny the sexual chemistry that’s building between them. The perfect palette for passion comes together with a brush of danger, tones of teasing banter and a touch of naked painting in Destiny by Design.

Available from Ellora's Cave in only EIGHT more days (not that I have the countdown written on my calendar in red ink. That's SO something Christine would do *eye roll*)

And finally, my mom arrives on Thursday morning for an eagerly anticipated visit so I won't be as regular around the blogosphere. I'll be lurking, but not posting. Miss me y'all, okay?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Crazy for You is Halfway Mark to 50 Books!

Usual preface: I'm NOT a book review site, yada, yada, yada...

Book 25 in the 50 Book Challenge:
Crazy for You
by Jenny Crusie

Crazy for You was my first Jenny Crusie, and no, I'm not from another planet and yes, I have been hiding under a rock. I don't want to say "I'm not a fan of (insert genre here)" because there are always exceptions to that statement, and I usually prove myself wrong -- Case and point, I'm not a fan of vampire novels,... HELLO Black Dagger Brotherhood! But I will say, I don't purposely seek out chick lit, which is what I thought JC wrote. Nope. It's romance, but with a chick lit feel.
I enjoyed this book: it was light, sexy and the heroine/hero combo was completely believable. The characters were fun, angst-ridden 30-somethings (Remember that tv show - 30something? I remember NOT watching it because those people were old!) looking to shake up their 'secure' lives.

Here's where I remind you that I'm too lazy to write a synopsis, but I will provide this LINK to the Amazon site, should you want to check it out.

Will I read another Crusie? Absolutely.
Will I run to Chapters to buy every title? No, but I'll keep my eyes peeled at Costco and the used book store.

What was your fave Crusie book? Or were you under my rock?

Edit.Note - I just popped over to Mrs. Giggles to see what she had to say and she didn't like Crazy for You at all! But I wonder if we read the same book. When the heroine, Quinn, moves out of her boyfriend's place, Mrs. G says this: "She also gets her ex-brother-in-law Nick Ziegler to help, and naturally, they shag under a car while doggie looks on." But, Mrs. Giggles - that didn't happen! Nothing at all like that happened. And she discusses a subplot where she calls Quinn's best friend BARBARA, when her name is Darla. And she thought the heroine was whiny and I just didn't see her as whiny at all. Confused, yes. Having a bit of a mid-life crisis perhaps? Definitely...
Oh well, two opinions, I guess...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fat Rant

Happy weekend fellow bloggers. I was trolling around my usual sites when I came across this fabulous video clip. Watch it! (Thanks Leah!)

We hold ourselves to such ridiculous standards, don't we? And women,... why are we so hard on each other? Let's promise to give each other a break, cut some slack to our sistahs -- whether old or young, fat or skinny, botoxed or lined, flat or enhanced -- and, like she says, LIVE!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #17 - Color Psychology


Ellis Strathmore, the heroine in my upcoming book Destiny by Design, is an interior designer. I had to do a bit of research into design techniques in order to make her sound credible. I found the psychology of color, as it applies to decorating, a fascination topic so I'd like to share some of what I learned:
  1. ORANGE combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It’s associated with joy, sunshine and the tropics. It represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success and stimulation. Orange is very effective for promoting food products and toys.
  2. DARK ORANGE can mean deceit and distrust.
  3. RED-ORANGE corresponds to desire, sexual passion, pleasure, domination, aggression and thirst for action.
  4. GOLD evokes the feeling of prestige. It’s illuminating, reflects wisdom and wealth and symbolizes high quality.
  5. RED is the most emotionally intense color. It stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It’s associated with love. PINK, a tint of red, is known as a romantic color, but is more tranquilizing. Sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink sotheir opponents will lose energy.
  6. BLUE causes the opposite reaction to red. It’s peaceful, tranquil and causesthe body to produde calming chemicals, so it isoften used in bedrooms. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show that weighlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.
  7. GREEN symbolizes nature, is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It’s a calming, refreshing color which is why it’s used for the waiting rooms in television stations – ‘Green Room’ – you’ve heard of ‘em, right? DARK GREEN, meanwhile, is masculine, conservative and implies wealth.
  8. YELLOW is a cheerful attention getter. While considered and optimistic color, people lose their tempers more often in yellow rooms, and babies will cry more. It’s a difficult color for the eye to take in so it can be overpowering if overused. It also speeds metabolism.
  9. PURPLE, the color of royalty, connotes luxury, wealth and sophistication, but because it’s rare in nature, it can appear artificial.
  10. BROWN, the color of earth, is solid, reliable and abundant in nature. It implies genuineness. But most important, it’s the color of chocolate so it’s a winner in my book!
  11. HUE is another name for a color. VALUE is the lightness or darkness of a color.
  12. TINT is any color + white, TONE is any color + grey, SHADE is any color + black
  13. And a note about COLOR SCHEMES -- MONOCHROMATIC uses one color throughout, in various tints, tones and shades. COMPLIMENTARY uses two colors that are opposites on the color wheel such as red and green. ANALOGOUS uses three colors that neighbor each other on the color wheel. TRIADIC uses three colors that are equal distance apart on the color wheel, such as red, yellow and blue.
Question for TT'ers... what color is your bedroom or office now and what color would you like it to be based on what you've just read?

Don't forget to leave your name:

And while zooming about the net, please go vote for me at the Bloggers Choice Awards. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Guest Blogger - Uncle Mike's Reflections

I'm pleased to welcome back guest blogger, Uncle Michael, who is kind enough to share his reflections on This Book Will Save Your Life by AM Homes.


Reflection Notes & Review
Date: 29th April 2007
Subject: This Book Will Save Your Life by A M Homes

Exactly what happened and why in that way?

I read ‘This Book Will Save Your Life’ in three or four sittings over a week and a bit. A client with whom I have been having some discussion about the purpose of his life recommended it to me. Our discussions centred on the difference between ‘doing’ and ‘being’. My interpretation of his position was that he was just so busy ‘doing’ that he had little time to ‘just be’. I had recommended a book that he had found helpful (Frankl's ‘Man's Search For Meaning, and he thought I would enjoy reading This Book Will Save Your Life. It's a bestseller in the UK, having been chosen in their list by a popular daytime television book club. A paperback with a cover showing six ring doughnuts frosted, chocolate, sugared etc. Doughnuts perform an important part in the novel. I had an unusually long lunch break, bought the book and headed for a coffee shop. Once I started reading I became gripped and consumed a third of the book at that one sitting and polished off the remainder with a week or so.

How did I behave, think and feel?

The book is set in Los Angeles and the central character, Richard Novak, is wealthy, healthy and lonely and in his mid-fifties. At the beginning of the book he is hospitalised overnight with what appears to be a heart attack. On his way back from the hospital he has a chance encounter with a doughnut seller and the story takes off from the. Funny and tender, the story accelerates into excitement and then chaos with self-awareness, family healing, friendship, sex and love all unfolding over the pages.

I identified with Richard as I was similarly hospitalised last year, over a suspected heart attack, which thankfully wasn't. However, I failed to meet up with a doughnuts seller of any description, nor have the excitement and challenge Homes created for her hero. While reading this book, I smiled a lot as I sensed I was really walking alongside Richard and inhabiting his world. His macro-biotic, low carb diet and healthy lifestyle was sabotaged by the sugar packed doughnuts. It seemed to me his life was so much emotionally richer for that.

What were the main Learning points?

If we are open to and accepting of life, then life has a way of bringing us gifts.

So what will I do differently, (is that a SMART goal)?

As usual I am conscious that this reflection says as much about me as it does about the book.

Eat more doughnuts, metaphorical and confectionary, with immediate effect.

I read that the author was adopted, and that some say the emotional intensity of her writing may have been somehow influenced by the experience. She has published her memoirs, ‘The Mistress’s Daughter’. As an adopted person and an adopter myself I plan to read it this year. However with some trepidation about how her interpretation of the adoption experience may affect me. .


Thanks Unc. An excellent commentary, as usual. Any book that suggestions the consumption of donuts for the betterment of mental health is welcome on my bookshelf!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Catching up, Thinking Blogger torch gets passed...

I've been a bit out of the loop the last few days. I've been lurking, making a quick comment or two, but my heart hasn't been in blogland lately.
Let's catch up, shall we? (cue dramatic music...)

Thanks for all your comments and prayers for my friend's son. Good news - latest cat scan indicates that Owen's brain tumor was excised in its entirety. Bad news - still no clue what caused it as the biopsy results are still pending.

My Sweetness (aka almost-three-year old son) had to undergo a horrible test at the hospital last Friday which I still have trouble thinking about. The poor little munchkin had to be catheterized while me and two nurses held him down. It was awful!! He was crying hysterically, I was fighting tears and the whole thing went on too long. They pumped dye into his little bladder for a series of x-rays, then... I can't even go on.
Emotionally, I'm just all beat up. Poor kiddo is back in diapers cause he's so afraid his 'willy' will hurt. I'm very mad at our doctor for not preparing us for this ordeal. We thought it was an ultrasound, as in No Pain. Had I know it was such an invasive procedure, I would have exhausted all other avenues of diagnosis first. Totally unnecessary...

It get's happier from here, I promise...

It's MAY!! My book, Destiny by Design comes out in 17 days. Yes, I'm counting! Wouldn't you? :) I'm going to be posting the blurb, a few hook lines and an excerpt over the next few weeks and have already decided on a Destiny-themed Thursday Thirteen.

I finished book 24 in the 50 Book Challenge: Margaret Moore's The Duke's Desire.
Yipee! Almost 1/2 way to my goal and I'm slightly ahead of schedule. I've got a Jennifer Crusie to tackle next. This is my first Crusie, so it better be good!

And speaking of books, I just received another installment of Notes & Reflections from Uncle Mike, which I shall post tomorrow.

My wonderful darling husband is creating a new website for me. It's AWESOME! I scrutinized every author website out there looking for components I liked in terms of tone, color, headers, content, rollovers, you name it. Yes, if you have a website, I've examined it thoroughly!
There are some AMAZING examples out there -- author's truly are a creative bunch! The hardest part was capturing the essence of 'me'. It's great to say that Daisy Dexter Dobbs has a fun site, or KJ Howe's is da bomb, but I needed an image, a look, a design that screams WYLIE! And because I haven't really put myself in a tidy little 'niche' box just yet, it was difficult to pinpoint the feel. Having said that, I'm tickled red white and pink with what my DH has come up with. We've still got quite a bit of content to upload, but I hope to debut it within the next 2 weeks.

Finally, I've been terrible to ignore the fact that Susan Helene Gottfried honored me with the Thinking Blogger Award over a week ago and I haven't passed the torch. So here goes, in no particular order:
Thomma Lyn - her writing quotes always stir interesting discussion and make me look at particular aspects of my writing that may not have come front-of-mind unless provoked.

Candy Minx - I don't even know where to begin. This woman is smart, and talented, and creative and inspiring. Her eclectic posts - art, music, television, movies, books, issues - are so thought provoking that I often have to go back and reread them a second time just to absorb it all.

Here are the rules, for you newly tagged folk...
How participation works: If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.

(I know I'm supposed to tag five, but I'll start with these two and give some more thought to the others. There are just so many great blogs out there!)

Finally, finally,... If you haven't yet voted in the The Blogger Awards, don't forget I'm up for a Blogitzer and would greatly appreciate your vote. Just click the link and do your thing - THANKS!