Dude, Where's My Muse?

Monday, December 31, 2007

Wishing you a

New Year

New Year - Glitter Graphics


Glitter Graphics for Hi5, Orkut, Myspace, Friendster

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posted by Lis at 12:01 AM 1 comments

Saturday, December 29, 2007

ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR

Every step I take brings me closer to the realization of my dreams.

So by posting this, I'm supposed to talk about the above. How something I'm doing or have done I guess, is taking me closer to achieving my dreams. Obviously, I'm going to talk about about writing :o) Shocker? lol

I've been writing seriously since June 2002. That was the month I had to put my beloved 4 year old dog to sleep, six weeks before his 5th birthday. He spent so many hours at the top of the stairs, staring down watching me write that my mom told me I should try writing seriously as a tribute to him. I started researching writing online and stumbled onto eharlequin.com and found their writing contest, that year was intrigue and I started writing my first manuscript. By the deadline, I'd passed the word count for the contest, but it was inline with the guidelines for Silhouette Intimate Moments, so I sent in a query that November. In a shocker of shockers, I got a request for the full just after Christmas. They passed on the first ms by June, but I was still writing. From there I rewrote some of the manuscript, re-pitched it to HQN and got another request and another pass. That was when I decided maybe romantic suspense wasn't for me and I went to contemp romance. Wrote 2 contemps, one that was requested in the pitch for Modern Extra and one I didn't send out.

Along the way, I started to take an online workshop or two every so often and bought the RWA workshop CDs the last 2 years, trying to learn and improve my writing as much as possible. (Which it has, I look at some of my old fanfic and almost cringe!)

This year I made the switch from Urban Fantasy to Young Adult. I never EVER thought I'd write YA, but in April I woke up in the middle of the night with a scene and two characters who wouldn't go away. By the end of that week I think I had 10K down.

Between working on the new YA manuscript and taking some really awesome workshops this year, by August I was working on a blurb for the query letter in a workshop with Lori Wilde. With the 2nd draft almost done, I sent out a couple query letters in September based on my new blurb for my YA and within half an hour had a request for a partial which started a nice run of requests -- including a couple for fulls, which honestly, hadn't happened since the first 2 manuscripts and those early requests came from editors, not agents.

So as I'm writing this, I have my first YA out with 3 agents I'm very excited to have looking at my work. I'm on a week (or 2?) vacation and jotting down notes on the next project and realizing that without writing that first rom. suspense manuscript I might never have written that first YA, or that urban fantasy sitting in my desk drawer.


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posted by Lis at 5:06 PM 6 comments

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blog Tour: Angela Benson


Readers often ask what inspired me to write The Amen Sisters and where the idea for the book originated. The idea came to me around 1990, about the time that I was able to start talking about an abusive church situation I had experienced a few years earlier. I had a story I wanted to tell, but I had no idea I’d tell it in a novel. I wasn’t even a published author at the time!

Sometime in 1998, I think, after publishing seven romance novels, I signed a contract to do a three-book, Christian romance series with Tyndale House Publishers. The first book in what became The Genesis House series was Awakening Mercy, my first Christian romance, which was published in 2000. The second was Abiding Hope, published in 2001. The third, Enduring Love, has never been published. Enduring Love was the first incarnation of The Amen Sisters.

With Enduring Love, I attempted to tell the story of my abusive church experience in the romance format, but it didn't work for my publishers so I ended up with a completed book and no publisher. Fortunately, I found another publisher, and in 2005, fifteen years after I had the original idea, The Amen Sisters hit bookstores.

Writing The Amen Sisters was a fulfilling experience for me because the story is my tribute to survivors of church abuse. I tell their story, a story I don't think many of us think much about. We see the ministers on television who give their repentance sermons and we get to hear the stories of how God helped them pull their lives back together, but we never hear about the broken parishioners who get caught in the middle of the chaos. I wanted to write about those broken people to show that they do exist and to show how God heals their hurt and restores their faith. People laugh at the things that go on in some churches. I want The Amen Sisters to be a reminder of all the people who are hurt by the nonsense.

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posted by Lis at 8:30 AM 2 comments

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Just wanted to say...

Merry Christmas!

Hope Santa was good to you :o)
posted by Lis at 6:52 PM 1 comments

Thursday, December 20, 2007

One word...

DONE.

I typed THE END for real today and within half an hour had it emailed off.

Picture the excitement :o) Ah, welcome to vacation.

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posted by Lis at 7:47 PM 5 comments

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stuff

glitter graphics
Am I the only one who can't believe the date?

Where did the last month go? I am so not ready for Christmas to be so close. Things aren't anywhere near ready. Writing stuff isn't anywhere near ready and I wanted certain things done and taken care of well before now.
But I am working on the last few pages of one project that are making me pull my hair and go 'argh, what are these characters thinking?' but I refuse to let it sit and simmer any longer. I want at least a week writing free and its going to be over Christmas :o)

Is anyone else feeling way behind in the holidays?

Besides gifts to wrap (and, erm, buy) I still have one holiday letter to write to my great aunt and uncle and get it mailed off and the tree to get up, even though at this moment, I'm totally not in the holiday spirit.
Myspace Glitter Graphics
posted by Lis at 2:37 PM 0 comments

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blog Tour: Marilyn Morris

Quick note: Sorry for the delay in getting this up on the blog today. Comp issues kept me offline till 4pm MTN.


Although she was raised as a Military Brat, Marilyn Celeste Morris was born in her grandfather’s house in Toronto, Texas, a small Southern Pacific Railroad Section six miles west of Alpine. Perhaps as an omen of what would be the next twenty years of her life, the railroad’s abandonment of this settlement shortly afterward left her with no “permanent” home.


Schooling consisted of Dependents’ Schools while overseas, in Seoul Korea, 1946-47 and Linz, Austria (1949-1952) and various schools stateside. A rarity for a Military Brat, she was fortunate enough to have attended all three high school years and graduated at Lawton Senior High School, Lawton OK. Further education was attained at Cameron State College, Lawton OK, Tarrant County College, Fort Worth TX, and North Texas State University. She received an AAS Degree in Mental Health in 1995.


Morris began her writing career as a guest columnist in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and for ten years wrote a weekly humor/human interest column for a weekly newspaper in the Fort Worth TX area.


She has taught creative writing at Tarrant County College, Fort Worth TX, survived numerous book signings and speaking engagements; and is experienced in interviewing on both radio and television. Her first novel, Sabbath’s Room, a paranormal murder mystery was published in 2001.


In August 2002, Once a Brat was released. Described as “part travelogue, part therapy session,” she relates sometimes hilarious, sometimes wrenchingly sad experiences of an Army officer’s daughter from 1938 to her father’s retirement in 1958.

Her other non-fiction book, Diagnosis: Lupus, The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient, chronicles her intensive three-year, five doctor search for diagnosis and treatment of her baffling sympt

oms, her struggles with God and society, her anger and frustration (“But you don’t look sick!”) vividly expressed in her daily writings from first symptoms to current remission. All three books are available on Amazon.com or a local bookstore can order them for you.

Her latest work was released in an e-book form on June 9, 2007. The Women of Camp Sobingo, although a novel, draws on her mother’s experiences as an army wife in a military compound in Seoul, Korea, right after WWII.


When not writing or editing emerging writers’ manuscripts, Morris enjoys searching for former classmates and true to her Brat heritage, she has a suitcase packed under the bed, ready to travel at a moment’s notice.

Marilyn Celeste Morris may be reached by email: marilyncmorris@sbcglobal.net to schedule a speaking engagement or arrange for editing services. See also http://www.freewebs.com/graceworksproductions/ for excerpts of all three books.



posted by Lis at 4:50 PM 1 comments

Friday, December 14, 2007

Crazy Pt. 2

The chaotic theme to the week continues, or at least continued the last 2 days, today's still undecided lol. BFF phoned from the airport Wednesday, the flight from Ottawa to Edmonton got in early, so she was about to hop in a cab. Or so she thought. The airline lost her luggage, she had to spend half an hour with the baggage claim people (and they still proceeded to put the phone number down wrong) and then thanks to the sudden bit of snowstorm we were having, took about an hour to get a cab then make the slow drive through Edmonton.

So she arrived almost 2 and a half hours after she originally called.

Then we had a minor mix-up with the Pizza we ordered that night at 5ish. (We ordered online and put it as delivery. Gets to ordered, confirmation page. Estimated delivery time? 1 AM. Yeah, because they have no drivers we find out 30 seconds later when the pizza place calls. So we had to get a ride to the pizza place, pick up pizza then notice later hey that meat lovers pizza, its not quite a meat lover's...its more like another one without half the toppings...)

Then we had to run to the mall to get her some clothes in case her bags were MIA longer than 24 hours, since all she had was her carry on bag and backpack with her.

And yesterday was delivery central. Phone call at 7am from the airline, they found her bags in Calgary and they'd deliver them between 10-1, which was oh so delightful because we wanted to go out but had to take a bus to go out so we couldn't even plan that till the guy arrived. Bags arrive at 1:30. Post office delivers an unexpected parcel from my friends in the states which I have to pay COD for (huh?) of a whopping $3.12 of which I have no change. BFF starts running around trying to find change, my parents are digging around to find change, because delivery guy says he has no money on him and can't make change for a $5. Uh yeah. *rolls eyes* Finally between the 4 of us we came up with the $3, but yeah that took a good five-ten minutes of the delivery guy watching us run around like crazy people lol

But we had a good visit. Spent a lot of yesterday laughing our butts off. Came up with a whole bunch of new inside jokes lol Took some pictures of which I'm sure aren't going to turn out because we were laughing too much. Did the Xmas pressie exchange in person for the first time in like 6 years *yikes!* And basically hung out and felt like no time had passed and she doesn't now live on the other side of the country. Its amazing how time slows right down when she's here. It felt like no time had passed since she was here in the summer, except we came home to freezing cold instead of the thunderstorm like last time.

So, now the visits over, its back to work and back to the holiday chaos *eeks!*
posted by Lis at 2:03 PM 1 comments

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Blog Tour: Jean Hackensmith

Guest post by Jean.

My name is Jean Hackensmith, co-author of the “Passage” saga. The final book in the time travel romance saga, “The Ultimate Passage”, was released this past September. I have been writing for thirty years, yet when Cheryl from Pump Up Your Book Promotion suggested that I write a guest post for Lis that addressed where I found my inspiration for writing the 11 books I now have in print, I was stumped. “The Ultimate Passage” was inspired by readers who demanded a fourth book in the saga (which was originally supposed to be a trilogy) but as for the others, I have no idea. Just Kathe and I brainstorming, I guess.

The only books I have actually been inspired to write were “Tender Persuasion” and my brand spanking new manuscript, titled “Daddy’s Revenge,” which probably won’t hit store shelves for a year or more. I remember all too well what inspired me to write the latest book. Quite frankly, it was an episode of something or other on Court TV—an episode regarding a man who tied up his wife and children, locked them in the pantry, tied off the door knob with a leather cord, and then started the house on fire. The woman and her four children died one of the most horrible deaths imaginable. Well, in “Daddy’s Revenge”, the woman and her two kids manage to escape a bathroom—not a pantry—and they live to fight another day. Namely, a day seventeen years later when the woman’s ex-husband is released from prison and terrorizes her and her new boyfriend before he attempts to kill her—again. I just finished the final draft for “Daddy’s Revenge” yesterday, in fact, and it is now with advance readers. (Wonderful friends and family who read all my manuscripts for typos and inconsistencies before a reader—or publisher—ever sees them.)

As mentioned above, “Tender Persuasion” also came into being due to an act of inspiration. More specifically, I was inspired by a woman, who will remain unnamed, that was brutally raped. The rapist left her with 42 scars to remember him by, and she almost bled to death before help arrived. I am a rape victim myself and this woman’s story helped me to realize that, no matter how bad you think things are, there is always someone out there who has been through worse than you have. The actual “heroine” in “Tender Persuasion” (I changed her name, as well as the time and location of the actual rape in order to protect her identity) is one of the bravest women I know. And, when she told me her story, yes; I was inspired to write it. The true story of what this woman suffered, and how she beat the odds with the help of a kind, patient and understanding man who loved her, is outlined within the pages of “Tender Persuasion.” I always warn readers, though—“Tender Persuasion” is sexually graphic, and it has to be in order to effectively relay what this woman went through, and what her man went through in order to persuade her to live and love again.

All of my books can be purchased through Amazon.com and the publisher web site at www.porttownpublishing.com. They can also be ordered from your local book store.

posted by Lis at 9:00 AM 5 comments

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Crazy Busy

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately w/ everything keeping me crazy busy. Edits that take forever or block me completely leaving me to stare at the blinking cursor. Christmas presents that are bought but need to be wrapped, packaged and mailed (erm, yeah... still sitting on the desk) not too mention the ones that actually have to still be found and bought. In fact the only present that's been mailed has been the one I bought off Amazon and had sent to Philly instead of me. I'm thinking next year, that might be JUST the way to go.

But the cards to the states are in the mail *yay!* because I actually had to go down to the post office to pick up a package.

My best friend is flying in tomorrow so today's been a mix of emails back and forth with different times she may show up, since the airline messed up somehow and with the storm hitting the east, she doesn't know what time the flight will actually take off. So right now we've estimated it anywhere from 3:30 pm to 6. Or later, depending on if she can make the connections or not.

Just more craziness to add to my week. Is your week as crazy as mine? lol
posted by Lis at 6:40 PM 2 comments

Friday, December 07, 2007

Blog Tour: Theresa Chaze

Where Anne McCaffrey and Marion Zimmer Bradley left off, Theresa Chaze's Dragon Clan series picks up. Strong female characters are led on adventures within and without as they are forced to face others' bigotries and their own inner doubts. Filled with actual Wiccan rituals and spells, the Dragon Clan Trilogy not only tempts the reader to turn just one more page, but also gives a glimpse into the Earth based religions. Far from perfect, the characters must decide just how much faith they have in the powers of justice or if they want to risk karmic reprisals by putting their magical fingers on the scales.

Filled with magic, suspense and karmic justice the Dragon Clan Trilogy begins with Awakening the Dragon (978-0-9798406-0-9) with Rachael moves to Coyote Springs to find a safe home and fulfill her dream of opening an occult bookstore. The location for her store has been found. Only she has yet to find a home for herself and her three furkids. A reluctant real estate agent shows her a cottage in the woods that is perfect. It calls to Rachael and opens its doors to her. To her it feels like home. But it is more than a cottage, it is a spiritual nexus where three lay lines intersect; it is a natural energy vortex. It is also the scene of a brutal murder and the focal point to local cult's hatred. Making the cottage her home, Rachael finds herself becoming the catalyst to exposing the murderer, which brings her in the crosshairs of the cult’s violent hatred not only to protect their secret but because the she is another witch. To save herself and all she loves, she is forced to awaken her dragon spirit prematurely and unite it to the energy vortex. She knows what must be done. What she doesn't know if she can control the flames from within enough to save her from the flames without. (Currently available)

Dragon Domain (978-0-9798406-1-6) picks up the story several months and several miles down the road. Cheyenne and Celeste came to Coyote Springs to use their psychic gifts to find a missing child. They find the girl and made a new friend, Jane. Tired of rootless life, Cheyenne prays for a safe, stable home. With Jane's help, she find abandoned farm and decides to stay. Reluctantly, Celeste also remains. The threesome create a spiritual retreat that grows out of their shared wisdom, respect and sense of family. Cheyenne is happy for the first time since she awoke broken and bloody beneath the blinding desert son. Celeste had saved her then, but soon after Dominic appears on their doorstep, Celeste once again turns to the dark arts. Instead of a savior, she becomes vicious enemy with knowledge of all her strengths and weaknesses. With the dragons' aid, she was barely able to ward off their initial attack. But with each dark soul Celeste and Dominic bind to them, their malevolence grows until they will not settle for less that destroying Cheyenne and all she loves. How do you protect yourself from someone knows exactly how to steal your soul? (Available November 30, 2007)

In Return of the Dragon Clan, the women from the Dur'ga valley reunite to heal each others' old wound and to finally receive justice for the great harm done to them eons ago. Betrayed by one of their own, they were butchered and enslaved. One by one, they are lead to Coyote Springs as their souls cry out for justice. In Coyote Springs, they once again meet the sister who betrayed them and her lover, who sought to steal their land. However, justice will only be served if the elemental dragons can survive the unification into a Spiritual Quad. Coming together on the spiritual plane, they are forced to face their old fears and wounds or find themselves burning from within as they loose control karmic flames of they have unleashed. (Available spring 2008)




posted by Lis at 7:00 AM 6 comments

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tagged

Middle Name meme

Nell tagged me with this one :o)

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, just make one up...or use the one you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog

So this one took a LOT of thought.

M - Music, I can't live without it. Usually at some point during the day I have CDs blaring for a few hours :o)

A - Artist. I should be doing more art, but haven't had the time I need to do it. But I love sketching and painting. Bought some new art supplies this year so maybe that'll give me the kick in the rear to sit down and so something

R - Reading. I've been a book fanatic since I was little w/ my golden books and Disney books that came with the cassette and now, even more so. One of the perks of reviewing, books!

I - Internet. I probably wouldn't be a writer or as good of a writer without it. Plus, its given me many awesome friends :)

E - E... Don't have a clue lol

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posted by Lis at 1:05 AM 1 comments

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Book Talk: Parallel Desire

PARALLEL DESIRE: A Novel of the Midnight Warriors

by Deidre Knight

“Emotional…powerful…enthralling…innovative.”

New York Times Bestselling Author Gena Showalter


Deidre Knight continues her electrifying Midnight Warriors series, set in an alternate world where desire comes with a price...and love is the greatest risk of all.

On a mission of vengeance, time traveler Scott Dillon finds himself marooned in the past—and risks disrupting the entire universe in his quest to destroy the warrior who killed his wife and unborn child.

A never-ending passion for Scott lures Refarian medic Shelby Tyler to Texas, but the man she finds there is nothing like the man for whom she once cared. Reeling from his loss, Scott has lost himself in drinking and brawling. With her body, Shelby will lift him from despair. And with her heart, she will help him discover a part of his soul he thought was lost forever—and the devastating truth behind the murder of his wife.

Praise for the Midnight Warriors Series

“Powerfully sensual and mind-blowing.”—Romance: B(u)y the Book

“Wonderful…with an out-of-this-world twist.”—Fresh Fiction

Stay tuned to the blog for more from Deidre, including a possible excerpt from her hot new release, in stores today!

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posted by Lis at 12:01 AM 0 comments

Sunday, December 02, 2007

December

I totally can't believe its December already. Where did October and November go? I'd kind of like them back lol Its weird to think its 3 weeks to Xmas eve tomorrow and a month till my birthday. 2007 is zooming by and seems to be picking up speed.

Having a quiet wknd at home. Its way TOO cold to go outside (-25ish and with wind, don't want to think what it feels like with wind chill) So I made chocolate shortbread cookies yesterday, finished 2 books for review and printed out the last bit of mine that needs work. Maybe I'm suffering a bit from the not-willing-to-let-go, but I also know that the last few chaps need a smidge more work. Planning on watching the Oilers game tonight @ 6, having my favorite Souvlaki pork chops and fries, and go on a highlighting frenzy with what i hope is the last print out of this particular ms. :o) (side note to all geeky authors, the 3M highlighters with attached post-it flags ROCK!)

Blog wise, this could be a busy month here @ Dude, Where's My Muse? I'm hosting a few authors on blog tours, as well as talking about a new book this week. If you're interested in being hosted, shoot me an email or leave me a comment. I'd like to hit 10K visitors for the year and need about 800 this month to do it.

Hope everyone's having a nice (and warm!) weekend :o)

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posted by Lis at 4:16 PM 4 comments