Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Things You Learn...

Those who know me, know I am a mom. And when I "signed up" to take on such a role... there were lots of things I wish I knew then that I know now.

I'm not talking about kissing boo-boos and making a fool of myself to cheer up the tot... I mean the hard stuff. Like, how to take the poor kid's pain away when the child has the stomach flu... They don't understand that they are sick and that drinking a gallon of water cause they are thirsty won't help.

That kinda stuff doesn't show up in manuals of any kind.

Or how when you get sick, sometimes, especially when someone else close to them has passed, they think you're going to die. Hell, that's tough stuff for even adults, let alone kids.

Or how when they have an accident cause they are sick, they think the world has collapsed. "You don't want me to have an accident, and I did, and I'm sorry, and it's gross, it's stinky, and ooooooohhhhhhhhhhh!" They aren't in the least bit of trouble, but convincing them of that is just about impossible.

But that's why I'm up late, writing a blog post in between runs to check on the tot and clean up. Because I care about my tot and sleep, well.... sleep is overrated.

Want to Win Prizes? Hunt for Eggs! 3/31-4/3/2010

Spring is in the air and we would like you to join The Long and Short of It Romance Reviewws on an Easter egg hunt.

Prizes include*:
(Note: There are a total of TEN sets of prizes shared between the sites - specific prize packs will vary by site)
$25 Amazon or Gift Certificate, publisher GCs, eBooks, autographed books, tote bags, Easter baskets filled with goodies, T-Shirts so much more!

How can you enter?

Easy—Each of our author sponsors has hidden ONE of the below eggs on their site.
(Or you can go here to find EXAMPLES of all the eggs:

You earn one entry for every egg you find on participating author websites. Just send the URL of the page on which you find the image to Please send one email for each egg found. The more eggs you find, the better your chances of winning.

You can also earn an extra entry for the following:

1. If you are not already a member of our Yahoo loop, join now. All Yahoo loop members will earn an entry, just for being a part of our loop.

2. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter. All subscribers will also be entered into the contest.

3. Post about the contest! Email us the link to your post for an additional entry.

*As we receive more author and publisher donations, prize packages may change -- but only for the better!

Fine print for all LASR & WC contests:

The winner's name will be posted on our website on Monday morning.

Your entry is your acknowledgement that you are at least 18 years-old at the time of this contest.

For all winners outside the US and Canada, an eBook of our choice will be substituted for any print book prizes.

Please note: Books are typically sent via uninsured Media Mail. Neither LASR nor the authors can be held liable for items lost in the mail.

Well... phooooooo

Sorry I've been derelict in blogging.

The stomach flu will do that to a person.

That and I have a ton of reviews to get done before the end of the month... like tomorrow.

So I'm going to creep back to my bed and hid under my comforter and hope this ickiness goes away very soon.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Up or Down?

Sometimes you just gotta ask the dumb question.

Toilet seat up or down? Or don't you care...

Now the reason I ask is that I live in a male dominated household. (No not Megan's--don't let her fool you, she rules her roost.)

Every time I head to the loo, the seat is up. Early on in my marriage, I had a fit about this very issue. It drove me crazy.

What about now?

Meh. Doesn't necessarily bother me now because I'm conditioned to put the flippin' seat down. Don't get me wrong, I've fallen in enough times to count, but geez.

Now why do I bring this up? Because I've never seen or read a romance that wasn't a "comedy" (I'm talking film with that), where the man leaves the seat up and she falls in. I don't know about you, but I appreciate realism in my romance. Yes, I know the idea of romance (I don't subscribe to this totally, mind you) is to be a fantasy. The idea is to take the reader out of her/his normal life and show them something that's the stuff of dirty dreams.


I agree to an extent, but then again, I can respect the idea of the guy farting, burping (or her for that matter), snoring (and not lightly), and leaving the seat up.

Am I wrong? Yes and no. There are those purists who will say that a hero doesn't do anything that isn't heroic.

Thanks, but no thanks. I find that a tad stifling.

I'm going back to my snoring, burping, farmer who sweats cause he does work and isn't dainty.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

So I Was Talking to a Friend...

My farmer was rejected finally by the editor. Somehow in the back of my mind, I saw it coming. Don't get me wrong... I didn't send something I thought was subpar. I thought the story was right on track. But, apparently the editor, tho agreeing that the story was great, wasn't what was wanted. Am I bitter? Heck no. I learned a while back that what isn't one person's cup of tea is another's. So I sent him back out again hoping that this time he'll strike gold.

But as I said in the title, I was talking to Megan yesterday (well, I would've today but she's sorta busy now cause her third cabana boy found his way home and they have to make up for lost time...), anyway, she suggested that even though farmer is sexy and hunky, he's a recovering addict and though he's brooding, he's not rock star brooding. She seemed to think and I agree that he wasn't flashy enough and that's why he wasn't appealing to the editor.

What do you think? Does the hero have to be flashy for you to like him? I mean, in farmer's case, he's a farmer. I don't know about you, but I don't know too many flashy farmers and beings that I come from a long line of farmers, I'd say I know what I'm talking about. Why can't Joe Ordinary be a hero just like Jumping Jack Flash?

Megan says it's a matter of fantasy--women want their fantasy man. A farmer isn't exactly the idea sexy man (so sayeth the woman who has three freakin vampire cabana boys...). I agree to a small degree. Yes, it's nice to read about the hunky doctor, or the studly actor, but I also want to read about a real person. There is a trend in romance to write larger heroines. BBW. So why can't the hero be average? Cause really, there are a lot of average guys out there who are pretty heroic without having to be the flashy type. I mean, where would you get your food if it wasn't for a farmer?

Just sayin'.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Random Musings

Over the past week, a ton happened. I know it seemed like I was around.

I wasn't.

Where was I? No I won't make you play a game of where's Waldo. I went to Bristol to watch the NASCAR races. And yes, it was a blast. I love NASCAR (like you can't tell) and being in Thunder Valley. I walked on the track and "Got driver rubber". Get your head out of the gutter. There is ripped/shredded tire rubber on the track and yes, we filched some.

At the same time, I turned in my farmer. That part wasn't so great. I know, I know, there are the highs and lows of publishing. And I know that 1-3% of stories will be contracted. Still, to be told that the story is good, the emotion is great and the interior is fab... but it's not what we want... that took a little brave facing. You know, put the brave face on it, take it on the chin... okay, enough cliches. Still.

I also found out that my vampire story is with the editor. No clue what will come of that. I want to get my hopes up, but gravy, I don't need any more Milk Chocolate Milano cookies. (Yeah, that's my weapon of choice when I get a rejection.)

But anyway, I'm back to blogging, reviewing (cause I'm way behind), and twiddling with my NASCAR story. Oh yeah, it's about a driver and yes, I got some major inspiration at the track, tough part is that it was a submission and was all done, but it wasn't at all ready when I subbed it. It will be one of these days.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Romance and Racing

Long ago, I wrote a series of three stories that had to do with romance and racing. Yessir, I love NASCAR and I love a love story.

So I wrote them and tried to send them in and found out how way not ready for publication I was at the time. Will I go back to them? Probably.

Why bring it up? Because every Sunday when they race, I think, gee, I should get that back out and dust it off to make it shine.

But for now, I'll settle in to watch the racing. Bristol is one of my favorite tracks.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Masochist Much?

I tend to bite off a tad more than I can chew on occasion. Don't we all, though?

Anyway, I got a whole slew of movies from the library, yanno, those ones that everyone says, "you gotta see this movie". So I tried to sit down and watch them. Easy enough, right?

Not really.

Why? Cause then I want to rewrite them. Yup, I say, gee, that was a tad expected or predictable.

Maybe I've read too much or read too much stuff that was quality. I dunno. But anyway, so I started rewriting, and then I thought, gee, I could DO better than this.

Here's where the too much factor comes in. I have three stories going right now. I really don't need another one to complicate things. But alas, I started penning the outline for it.

When will I learn?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Contract for Must Be Doing Something Right!

Just wanted to tell you all since I finally got said contract in my hot little hands, Total-E-Bound contracted the follow-up to Learning How to Bend, entitled, Must Be Doing Something Right. This is the story of Courteney and Nate (who shows up in LHTB). I got a tentative release date of late June.

I'm psyched.

I also sent in my farmer (now 40k) for resubmission and vampire (42k) is currently with and editor under first consideration.

Wish me luck.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why I Write

I don't have much time today, but I wanted to share a little bit of my favorite move that maybe explains why, even when I get shot down with a story, I keep going. Now I can't find Burt Lancaster's dreams speech, but Ray Kinsella and Terrence Mann's little journey says it pretty well. And yes, I love the movie Field of Dreams.

Is this heaven?
No, It's Iowa.

Monday, March 15, 2010

So That One's Off the List

I am happy to admit I finished the first draft of my reunion story. I even came up with a title I like. (What Might Have Been). I gave the story to two of my trusted CP's since the third currently has my farmer. Yeah, he got a serious 25k trim.

But my issue is that I tend to have three or four stories going in my head at any given time. One is done (WMHB), one is marinating, one is halfway there, and one is still rolling around in the cavern known as my head.

So since I haven't much to say today, why not leave you with something nice to look at?

Thought you'd like that.

I did.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I really didn't forget! I got an AWARD!

Kaily Hart gave me this great award, but my computer cord is being screwy so I'm behind--way behind. I'm supposed to put ten things that make me happy... oy...

1. Jeremy Sisto (yes... really)
2. Jon Togo (you really had to ask?)
3. Chocolate
4. New contracts
6. Milano cookies (milk chocolate, of course)
7. Romance heroes (yes, those covers that are drool-worthy)
8. Release days
9. Reading
10. Writing

Gah... who brightens my day?

Dunno if I can come up with 10 that quick.. or I may have too many...
1. Linda McMaken
2. Kiss Carson
3. Ashley Ladd
4. Menagerie Authors
5. Kealie Shay
6. Shelly Munro
7. JA Saare
8. Kaily Hart
9. Megan Slayer

Here are the rules:
1. Copy the award image into a post
2. List 10 things that make you happy
3. Tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day.
4. Link to their blogs.
5. Notify the award recipients.
6. Award recipients link back to sender’s blog

Monday, March 8, 2010

So I Was Talking to a Friend...

I have lots of author friends and one complained to me the other day that "Promotion is SOOOOOOOOOOOO expensive."

I agree. If you want to go all-out, you can spend a ton on promotion. I'm sure the high dollar stuff works, too. I mean, if it works for Nora Roberts and Danielle Steele, then it'll work for you--right?

On the flipside, I've seen some truly awful homemade promotional items. Sure, you can make some stuff on your own and do well. I'm not knocking making things on your own because it's cheaper. I'm all for it. But beware. Sometimes (many times) it shows that you made it yourself. Sometimes, if it's not done right, homemade can look a

So what's my point? There are some ways out there to get quality promotional tool on the cheap(er). We all want to save some bucks.

I have a suggestion that will not only help get you cost effective and very professional promo, but will help improve your writing.

Become a reviewer for The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews.

Not only do you get to READ ebooks that are out or coming soon, you get to see what's hot, what's being published, and what kinds of things epublishers are looking for. Ask any author and they will tell you tip #1 for becoming a better writer is to READ. There you go. And by writing the review, you'll find you're better at seeing what works in a story, what doesn't work, and what was hot.

Also: when you turn in reviews, you get points. Each review is worth one point or one dollar in advertising with LASR or Goddess Fish Promotions. They've created my banners, my website, my book videos, heck even my cover for my free reads.

And let me tell you, even $10 in promo can really add up. It really doesn't take that long to read and review a story, especially if you like the story. And you don't have to read erotic only. You can read for the non-erotic or even the young adult site, or ALL THREE!

Okay, so now that I've talked your ear off (or made your eyes cross, however you look at it), where can you go to get more information or to sign up?


Parting remarks?

Sign up and review! It's so worth the time. Really.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

So I Have This Story...

You may nor may not remember me talking about my farmer story. I subbed him and then got a reality check that knocked me on my behind.


I realized that the story I thought was SO GREAT... was really hiding within a huge story that was more junk and fluff than anything.

So what did I do?

Well, I cut the thing down. You see, I had a wonderful CP tell me, hey, this is written like a short story, but it's a full... what if you cut it down a bit? At first, I blanched. Cut my masterpiece down? Blasphemy! I had three other CPs look at the story and tell me it was ready to sub... um, not quite.

I thought about it a bit... yeah, it really did need cut down. Soooooo I went through with the proverbial red pen. I have no idea how much I chopped off, but I know it lost 6 chapters at least. We'll see. Among other things I did to make it better, was I had my Dh who hates to read (Romance is like asking him to eat his foot) to read it. And yes, he's found things in the slash-and-burn version that needed help, but he's also good at being blunt and honest. Funny, he's never worried about hacking my ego to bits BUT it helps. Really.

So I plan to send it to my trusted CP and then once it goes through her inspection, then I"ll resub it. At least the editor said, yeah it needs help, but send it back, I'll be happy to check it out again.

So back to my bat cave.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Want to Earn Your Way to Inexpensive Promo? Review!

FAQ's about reviewing for The Long and the Short of It

Are the reviewers paid?

Not in actual currency--all reviewers are strictly volunteers. BUT: you get to keep all the books you review--both eformat and print (some of which may be autographed). We also have an incentive program that includes gift certificates, free books from our library, free advertising and more.

What type of books does The Long and the Short of It review?

We review short stories and full length novels with strong romantic elements -- both erotic and non-erotic. We do plan on adding other genres in the future.
Do I have to review erotic romance? Can I only review erotic romance?

You're welcome to review whatever you like -- you're the one who chooses what you review! If you only enjoy sci-fi romance, that's what you may select. If you prefer inspirational, then you may review only inspirational. If you only like erotic romance... go for it! We never assign reviews.
What do you expect from your reviews?

Our reviews are positive (no snark allowed), honest (yes, you can mention things you didn't care for as long as the overall review is a good one), casual and conversational. It is also critical and informative. Don't just tell us you liked something, tell us why as specifically as possible.
We don't like to give away too much plot, but you can give a brief summary and then make your points about theme, character, style, etc. Your sample reviews should follow the length, style, tone of the site --- that's why the best thing to do before reviewing is to thoroughly read the reviews and features on our sites.
Our reviews usually run 250-500 words, but can be longer (preferably not too much shorter).
Do you require your reviewers to read a certain number of books per month?

We request you read/review a minimum of 2 books or short stories per month -- though we welcome it if you read more! You may review books from our requests database or books you've purchased or borrowed on your own.
Is there a turnaround time for a review to be written?

We prefer that all reviews are completed within 1 month of requesting the story/book. There are always exceptions, but that is our standard guideline.
Are the reviews edited?

All reviews go through a basic editing process. Our editors will change or correct any poor grammar, sentence structure, etc., while remaining true to the original review's content. If any more in-depth changes are needed, you'll be contacted by an editor requesting said changes.
Are International reviewers welcome?

Provided they are comfortable with writing in English, yes. Of course, only eBooks will be offered for them to review due to postage costs.
I'm sold! How do I apply?

If you are interested in reviewing for us, please send us an email with a sample book review of a title you've recently read and enjoyed. Please feel free to take a look at our reviews to get an idea of what we're looking for in a review.
Click here to read non-erotic reviews for LASR and here for erotic reviews at WC.

Note: All reviews written for The Long and the Short of It are not to be used for/on any other review website.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Read The Blog Today... Oh Boy!

Quick! What's that line (more or less) from?

Doesn't matter. Anyway, I noticed a proliferation of people who have this cockamamie idea to put EVERYTHING and ANYTHING about themselves on their blogs.

I don't know about you, but sometimes there is a limit to what you really should share with everyone. Just because you read something on someone's blog doesn't make it gospel. Then again, just because someone read your blog doesn't mean they are your best buddy.

I'm also a firm believer in not judging a book by it's cover (unless there's a hunk of man on it... then to each his or her own). Just because someone likes a particular genre of music or watches a television program, doesn't necessarily define them. But that's my opinion.


Then again, I tend to stand on soapboxes and talk to the crowds, heard by no one. Oh well.

Oh! Did you want to know the title of that song? You probably already know, so my telling isn't really a secret, but it's by the Beatles--one of John Lennon's masterpieces spliced together with a tune by Paul McCartney to make one of the most memorable of the Beatles songs.

Answer: A Day in the Life(I read the news today, oh boy...)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fiona Jayde Blogs About Jetes, Plies and Danger: Behind the scenes of Pas De Deux

Jetes, Plies and Danger: Behind the scenes of Pas De Deux...
Want to know more? Then keep reading. Fiona Jayde, author of Pas De Deux available through Samhain Publishing, stops by today to talk about her book and more.

Here's the blurb:
One wrong move, and she could be dancing on her grave…

Two years after an injury put her dancing career on hold, Lynnrina Kovaleva is determined to reclaim her place on the stage. On the eve of her comeback production, she takes the edge off her nerves with a one-night stand in the strong arms of celebrity bodyguard Mateo Rivera.

Ex-cop Mateo is celebrating one hell of an anniversary: eight months since he was declared unfit for duty. When a delicate beauty boldly propositions him in a bar, he chooses to lose himself in her body rather than lose his mind to alcohol. This choice comes back to haunt him when he’s hired to protect a prima ballerina who’s been receiving threats.

Despite her shock at seeing him again, Lynn must not allow their intense attraction—or any creepy fan letters—to undermine her performance. Mateo can’t reconcile this coldly focused dancer with the passionate woman who seduced him. Yet he sees fire under the ice, pain hidden by the smooth mask of perfection.

The vivid memory of their entwined bodies wars with the job at hand, but he must keep Lynn safe—regardless of the cost. The most difficult challenge, however, will be keeping his hands to himself.

Warning: Contains jetés, pliés, a chilling touch of danger, and the boiling heat of an unwanted attraction that combusts into passionate sex.

Sound exciting? Keep reading to see what Ms. Jayde has to say.

Jetes, Plies and Danger: Behind the scenes of Pas De Deux

Three elements comprised Pas De Deux: One false start, one right start, and research into the world of ballet.

The false start comprised of me putting my ballerina heroine out of her element, into a Vegas exotic show. I actually wrote the first scene with Lynn in Vegas, preparing for her audition and downing chocolate martinis. The problem? My own muse. She doesn't communicate with me too well - all she does is shut up when things don't go as she wants. I've actually learned to be very attentive to these silences - if the words dry up, its usually for a reason. (Some of my fellow authors may hate me for this, but I don't believe in writer's block. In my case, writer's block is simply going in the wrong direction which can be fixed by changing paths.)

So there I am, with the first scene fresh in my hot little hand, Lynn the Ballerina in Vegas, lamenting about her past career but determined to dance, even if to be the only classical ballerina in an exotic show. And while I love the idea of a ballerina out of her element, the words didn't flow after that first scene. The idea - which I still think is terrific - was more suited for a romantic comedy, in my mind. A classy elegant naive young lady learning from the raunchy exotic dancers what the world is really. The problem was - there was no danger. There was no kicking ass. And kicking ass is part of my writing brand:)

Having figured this out, I've reassessed my idea. I still wanted to do something about Ballet, and I needed to include some ass kicking. (Now, ass kicking can be mental as well as physical - I'm really not picky about that part. I just love strong determined heroes and heroines). In the new start, the ass kicking came in my heroine's determination. She needed to prove herself all over again (and this is where family pressure and attraction and a love of chocolate came into play - all these things that make us imperfect and wonderfully human.) Lynn was determined to kick ass with her performance and nothing would stop her - not creepy fan letter, not the attraction to her hotter then hot bodyguard Matteo Rivera. And especially not when said bodyguard tried to keep her from her performances for safety's sake. She wasn't having it, regardless of her feelings for Matteo.

The third element - the research - was the best one. As some of you know, I'm a big proponent of Netflix as a tool for writer's research. Lucky for me, they have a terrific Arts section - which was extremely useful in terms of delving into the world of ballet.

This is where I make a confession - though I am Russian, having been born and partially raised in the country, I have no knowledge of ballet. Nothing. Nada. In fact, I think my Mom took me to a class once when I was little, but I was kicked out because I wasn't flexible. I couldn't touch my toes or get into the first position. So I needed all the research help I could get :)

The resulting story comprised all the elements I - or should I say my muse - looks for. A determined kickass heroine, a hot intense hero determined to protect her from danger, and a glimpse into the world of ballet.

To follow Fiona's tour:

The more you comment, the better your chance to win!

Thanks Fiona for stopping by. Can't wait to get my copy!