Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Well, it's done. I finally finished Six Guns & Garter Belts!

 Well, I say it's done. But that's because I wanted to get it into the ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards) so I skimped on the word count a bit. I was able to tell the story completely, I just made some scenes shorter than I would ordinarily portray them.

I ran out of time, the deadline loomed in my face like a red flag.

But I made it by the skin of my teeth.

So, any of you out there enter? How do you feel about your entry? I'm pretty darned proud of mine.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Book review - Cold Iron by D. L. McDermott

I received this title in exchange for a review from NetGalley.

Every great once in a while, an amazing author emerges with a fresh take on an old fairy tale. In this case, this title is a fresh take on the Fae lore.


 The Fae, the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Aes Sídhe, creatures of preternatural beauty and seduction. Archaeologist Beth Carter doesn’t believe in them. She’s always credited her extraordinary ability to identify ancient Celtic sites to hard work and intuition—until today.

The tomb Beth has just discovered is the most complete Celtic burial she’s ever seen. Filled with ancient treasure, impossibly well-preserved, the burial has everything—except a body. Her ex-husband, the scholar who stifled her career to advance his own, is unconcerned. Corpses don’t fetch much on the antiquities market. Gold does. Beth knows from past experience that if she isn’t vigilant, Frank will make off with the hoard.

So when a man—tall, broad shouldered, and impossibly handsome—turns up in her bedroom claiming to be the tomb’s inhabitant, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the mythic god-kings of old Ireland, Beth believes it is a ploy cooked up by her ex-husband to scare her away from the excavation.

But Conn is all too real. Ancient, alien, irresistible, the Fae are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, their attentions so addictive their abandoned human lovers wither and die. And this one has fixed his supernatural desire on Beth.

Coming February 10, 2014, from Pocket Star Books

My Review:

I read this title in record time. Yes, it was that good. Filled with mystery, suspense, action and romance, who could ask for anything more? No one, but that's just what D. L. McDermott gives you. More. Boasting extensive knowledge in archaeology and folklore, McDermott weaves a tale so breathtaking I couldn't put it down once I picked it up.

I did find the use of foreign words (always the writer's prerogative) a bit tedious (but only because I couldn't pronounce them myself!) McDermott's writing is spot-on professional and I became lost in the magical world of Fae very quickly.

Comparative to Erin Kellison's Fire Kissed and Shadow Kissed serieses, this series is right up any fan's alley.  I'd also say Cold Iron is in the vein of Dianne Sylvan's Shadow World series and even Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series. If you love to get lost in a good book, this is definitely one you should try.

Author Bio:

D. L. McDermott Website

D. L. McDermott was raised in Bergenfield, New Jersey. She studied Classics and Art History at Yale and after college worked at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, where she managed architecture and interpretation and wrote and produced the Witch City’s most popular Halloween festival, Eerie Events: six nights of ghost stories in historic houses performed by costumed actors. Inspired by Salem’s macabre literary heritage and the words of Hawthorne, Poe, and Lovecraft, the event enjoyed a national audience and audience of thousands, earning mention in David Skaal’s cultural history of Halloween, Death Makes a Holiday. D. L.  later studied at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and her short films have been shown internationally and on PBS. D. L. is married with one (black) cat and divides her time between Los Angeles and Salem.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Music in Your Writing?

 (Picture courtesy of Google Images. Features Amy Lee of Evanescence. Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Amy Lee or Evanescence in any way shape or form. I just like the picture.)

Today's post concentrates on the importance of music. More specifically, how music is important to writers. For me, music is the missing link between knocking out 5000 words a day or none. It stems the creative juices, makes them flow like lava.

Not to mention that most authors have complete play lists they listen to while writing a specific book. For instance, while I was reading J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I noticed the reference to certain songs during some scenes. I couldn't help but wonder if Ms. Ward actually listened to these songs while working on the series and perhaps if music served an important purpose in her work.

If you stop to think about it, music inspires many things. It's pleasing, soothing, exciting and entertaining. Commercials, television shows and even blockbusting movies employ musical snippets to grab the viewer's attention and get them engaged.

When I start a project, I take note of songs that would enhance certain scenes and I'll play them when working on said scenes later on. It serves to set the mood and kicks my muse into action!

So, my question is to all your writers out there...

Do you employ music stimulation when you're writing? If so, do you have any favorite artists?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ARC book review - The Lone Warrior by Lori Austin

Today's post is a book review of The Lone Warrior by Lori Austin (aka Lori Handeland). This title is the third book in the Once Upon A Time In The West series. I received an ARC of this title and have been in fan girl mode ever since. I'm a huge fan of Lori's writing. Here's the book details from Amazon:

For Kindle:

  • File Size: 1373 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (January 7, 2014)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
Mass Market Paperback:

  • Series: Once Upon a Time in West
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451242327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451242327
Synopsis (from Amazon):

Rose Varner needs a man…

But not just any man. The one known as “White Ghost with Hair of Fire.” He may be the only way to rescue her daughter, Lily, from the Cheyenne.  Legend has it he was once the Cheyenne’s captive, but his courage impressed them so much that they accepted him as one of their own. Yet the man Rose finds seems far from legendary…

Luke Phelan’s tortured past has driven him to live as a recluse in the Smoky Hills of western Kansas. Having vowed to keep his distance from the Cheyenne, Luke refuses to accompany Rose on her rescue mission. But her bravery in the face of dangerous odds changes his mind. Now as they ride toward their destination, they’ll battle outlaws, bounty hunters, and their own rising desires before finding Lily. But the cost to Rose will be high, and her budding love for Luke will be put to the test…

My Review: (I'll try to keep all spoilers to a minimum)

As with all Lori's books, this is a fast-paced, romance-filled, action-packed roller coaster ride of a read. I devoured it in less than four hours. I've always loved bad boys, but Luke Phelan tops the cake for me. His tortured past made him the man he is and he is one heck of a man. Sexy, smart and strong, Luke makes a perfect match for Rose.

I love all of Lori's books and The Lone Warrior is a perfect addition to the series. I normally don't read historical romance of any kind, but I can't help but admire Lori for her amazing attention to details for the western era. It seems as if I'm actually there and can feel the atmosphere. I'm also a sucker for strong-willed women (being one myself :D).

Throw in some bounty hunters and outlaws and you've got a read that will keep you up at night. This title didn't disappoint! If you haven't read the two previous titles in this series, I would highly recommend you do.  

I also want to add that I can really get into Lori's writing style. She isn't like most romance writers, she doesn't bore you to death with details, but includes enough so that the reader can see the scene in his/her mind. It's really down to earth and I both admire and enjoy that in an author.

This title gets a gold star!

About the author:

 Lori Austin is the pseudonym for award winning author Lori Handeland, known for her paranormal romance series, The Nightcreature Novels, as well as the urban fantasy series, The Phoenix Chronicles and the historical fantasy series, Shakespeare Undead. Under the Austin name, Lori writes sexy, adventurous western historical romance.

She is a New York Times Bestselling Author and the recipient of many industry awards, including two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America for Best Paranormal Romance and Best Long Contemporary Category Romance.

Lori lives in Wisconsin with her husband, enjoying occasional visits from her grown sons.

Hope this review helps and as always...

Happy reading!