I'm so excited that ETERNAL BROTHERS, book 4 in the Dalakis Passion series is available today from Ellora’s Cave Publishing .
You'll finally find out who the mysterious Zane York is and if he is friend or foe of the Dalakis family. Check out the amazing cover the EC Art Department did.
In honor of today's new release, the November issue of the Awakening Desires Newsletter is now available. This months Newsletter winner is Lori (mctclover). Lori has won a print copy of Dalakis Embrace, which contains Harker's Journey and Lucian's Delight, books one and two of the Dalakis Passion series.
This months issue contains all the latest news and contest information, as well as an excerpt and all the usual features.
Check out the November interview with the talented Sally Painter.
As always, for more information on any of my books, check out my website .
November is National Novel Writing Month. Did you know? I didn't until last week. Apparently, tens of thousands of people (2006 had 79,000 participants) use the seat-of-your-pants approach to writing. They throw quality out the window because it's all about quantity, baby. You have 30 days to churn out 50,000 words (and, no, you can't copy and paste "the" 50,000 times).
Have a story kicking around in your head? Ever read something and thought you can do better? Well, go for it! Check 'em out at www.nanowrimo.org.
Just a reminder for you all to check out the Eternal Brothers Sneak Peek Contest! To celebrate the upcoming release of Eternal Brothers: Book 4 Dalakis Passion vampire series, I'm giving away a download copy of the book.
Another lucky winner will receive a print copy of Dalakis Embrace, which contains Harker's Journey and Lucian's Delight, books 1 & 2 of the Dalakis Passion series.
That's two chances to win. Just go to my Website and click on the contests page for details!
If you're not already receiving Awakening Desires--the Newsletter of Romance Author N.J. Walters, then you're missing out on all the latest news, author interviews, excerpts and tons more! You're also missing out on a chance to win every month!
Each month, some lucky newsletter subscriber wins a prize. This month, the prize is a print copy of Dalakis Embrace--which contains the books Harker's Journey and Lucian's Delight, Books 1 & 2 of the Dalakis Passion vampire series.
I’m also one of the participating authors in the Raven Halloween Scavenger Hunt! There are tons of prizes to be won. Click on the link on my website for details on how you can enter and be a part of the Halloween fun! Or go to The Raven Happy Hour.
I'll be heading out to a local casino soon with some writer friends. This is what we call our "Turtle Retreat" because it takes place at Turtle Lake Casino in a small town in Wisconsin.
I organize it twice a year (spring and fall) and I always get energized by it. I don't take my laptop, just my Gadget (a handheld computer that's good for composing and notes, but nothing else.) There's no Internet in the hotel, so it's just 2 days SOLID of brainstorming. We each get two 1-hour slots to do whatever we want (within reason, of course. No running around naked or getting crazy. Two 1-hour slots to do WRITING stuff).
It's amazing how much energy you can get from people when they're on the same wavelength as you, isn't it? I went to a one-day conference a week or so ago, with a creativity coach, Eric Maisel. It was amazing -- this guy had the whole room (50-60 people) energized and focused and ready to write. There were people in that room who had given up writing and when he got done, they were working on their first drafts again. He showed us how so many things are just roadblocks to writing: the 'I can't' syndrome, versus the 'I can'.
As it turns out, we were in a conference room next to an incredibly NOISY bunch of people, and it just proved his point: you can write anywhere, any time, as long as you have your story in your head. I got a whole chapter written that day in 5 minute chunks. I've always been very disciplined and focused when it comes to my writing, and this just reinforced what I've always known: there's no Silver Bullet.
Sit down and write.
I'll report back in from the Turtle in a few weeks and tell you how I fared on the slots (I usually come out ahead) and in the brainstorming. I've already decided I want to brainstorm one book and use one hour for promo brainstorming. Since the others going with me are unpubbed, I can get reader perspectives on what might work and what won't.
Sorry I’m so late posting tonight, but I just got home from the annual Haunted Writers Retreat in Jerome, Arizona.
Every year we head to some haunted locale and spend a few days writing, brainstorming, shopping, drinking and usually laughing our butts off. This year was no exception. This was our second year at the Jerome Grand Hotel, which used to be a hospital back when Jerome was a booming copper mining town. It went from a boom town to a population of 12 people virtually overnight when the mine closed. Now it’s a great little tourist town with the steepest roads I’ve ever encountered and some cool creepy hotel rooms!
Anyway, I went up on Wednesday, which was before anyone else. My roomie, Isabella Clayton, came back from her last trip under the weather and hadn’t quite recovered yet, so I had lots of quiet writing time until Kayce Lassiter and Angie showed up on Thursday night. My room had its own private balcony with comfy swivel chairs a table and footstools (you can see it in the picture of the hotel in the link above - my room is on the far right of the balcony that runs the length of the building, but it's separated off so it's private.) The balcony overlooked the front of the hotel, as well as most of the town of Jerome (it’s up on one of the highest hills in Jerome, which is really saying something!!) As you can imagine, the trek down the hill for Breakfast at the Mile High deli or to lunch at the Haunted Hamburger café was quite a stretch of the legs—although the walk back UP was the one that often kicked my butt! Dinner was usually at the hotel at the very nice (and pricey) restaurant called the Asylum...lol.
I got tons of writing done and I loved sitting out on the balcony at night watching the stars. Since the buildings are sparsely located up there and most things shut down at night, the stars were absolutely amazing, and I often slept with the windows and the patio doors open.
The first night I was there I heard something fall in the middle of the night. I figured it was something in the bathroom like my curling iron or some makeup. I got up to go to the bathroom and found nothing out of place. But when I came back into the room from the bathroom, I noticed the TV remote (that was previously on the cabinet next to the TV) was now sitting in the middle of the floor halfway across the room. Couldn’t have fallen there, it was too far across the room for that. Oh well, I put it back and went back to bed. After all, this wasn’t anything after last year’s paranormal happenings in my room. Then, throughout the night I kept being woken by what appeared to be camera flashes. I couldn’t find the source and they always seemed to be right in my face no matter which way I was facing (including face down in my pillow...lol) Those happened all freaking week! I’m just glad I’m a heavy sleeper and can go back to sleep quickly.
Thursday morning, I got up, showered, trekked down the hill to the Mile High for some breakfast and enjoyed a leisurely meal with a good book. Afterwards, I did some shopping and then trekked back up the hill and out onto my balcony for some writing. There was a gentle breeze and I got some great writing done out there, but after a few hours, I got a little cold, so I decided to finish up my chapter inside my room before I went down for lunch. I had just gotten settled in the chair when the remote went flying off the cabinet next to the TV and landed in the middle of the floor. Nothing felt creepy, but the thing just flew across the room to land on the floor. So, I finished my chapter, picked it up and put it back.
The bulk of the group showed up on Friday afternoon/evening. We took up most of the third floor and part of the 2nd, but there were two rooms right next to me that had a bunch of younger guys and girls in them. They got drunk and were really unhappy that others (namely most of the romance writers) had access to the shared balcony that ran behind their room and behind the rooms of several of our group. In fact, at 2am, one of the drunk guys spent 10 minutes trying to unlock my room door. I watched him through the peephole, trying not to laugh. Let’s just say his biggest issue was even trying to get the key in the lock (okay – other than being at the wrong door!)
They stood out on the balcony complaining to Kayla Janz about those “damned romance writers” who got better rooms than them—that is until Kayla told them she was one of the “damned romance writers.” They left the next morning looking pretty ridden hard and put up wet...lol. I know because I was once again out on my balcony writing. When I went back in the room to recharge my laptop and head down to the Haunted Hamburger for lunch, the remote went flying again, and I put it back.
Last night there were more flashes throughout the night, but I slept pretty well other than that. This morning after breakfast, I came back up to the room to pack and just as I was zipping my suitcase, the remote went flying again. Yup, you guessed it, I just picked it up and put it back. I’m sure the ghost is pretty frustrated with me that it didn’t freak me out, but oh well. Last year I woke up to see a man’s face right in front of mine and after screaming, “Don’t DO THAT!” and scaring Isabella half to death, the face disappeared. Then Isabella was in the bathroom and I was sitting on the bed texting my husband and we both heard the other talking to a man with a deep voice and we heard the other answering – but neither of us had said anything! She opened the door and we both asked the other who they were talking to. Creepy! So, a few flying remotes are nothing to sweat over...LOL!
Anyway, we blocked the entire 3rd floor for next year’s Haunted Writers Retreat and I booked room 30 again :) Maybe I’ll train the ghost to bring me water on the balcony instead of just tossing around the remote :)
My sister is visiting, and for two solid days, we went from store to store to store to store shopping.
I freely admit, that in our family, she got all the shopping genes. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the bookstore, grocery store and thrift shops as well as the next girl. But that's where it ends.
I honestly can't find any joy in going through every rack in a store and loading up on stuff to try on. When I clothes shop, I find something I like and buy multiples. If I have a top I like, you can be certain I have it in several colors. I find a pair of jeans I like, I buy several pairs. You get the idea.
And shoes! Don't get me started on shoes. *NJ ducking flying shoes*
I just didn't get the memo on why women like shoes so much. I can't wear heels--those are instruments of torture, not footwear, especially for someone like me who has had foot problems since I was a kid. Can you say fallen arches! I can never seem to find what I want--plain, sensible shoes, sneakers, and boots.
But the fact remains that my sister does enjoy it and I enjoy being with her. We don't get to spend as much time as we'd like together these days. We're a 5 and 1/2 hour drive from one another, so with work and commitments and such, we see each other about three or four times a year.
So, while I'm not particularly enamored of shopping, I put on my sneakers and shopped.
Not that I actually enjoyed the shopping, mind you, but because the company was great. And my sister's enthusiasm for shopping made me forget my aching feet!
Since I only do one blog entry a month, you'd think it'd be cinch and I'd have everything ready three weeks in advance. Not so. Especially for this month because I spent the last six weeks organizing a two-day charity function that takes place during this week.
The above is a long-winded excuse for why I'm copping out. Fear not, though, there are prizes galore, including free books from yours truly, at the Ellora's Cave chat room on Thursday, October 11, 2007.
Come join me as I give four live readings from my works, through the magic of the Internet. I'll be reading in the virtual world of Second Life, at the Burning Embers Carnivale. (Once in Second Life, you can teleport to Endellion 172, 178, 24 to reach the Caves where the Carnivale is being held. I'll be reading in the back...)
Readings will be at 7pm SLT (Second Life Time) (10pm EST) on Wednesday and Friday. And noon SLT (3pm EST) on Saturday and Sunday.
It's always hard to judge what to read at one of these events... do I read the same things at all four sessions, or four different things? Focus on a single book each time, or read bits from multiple books? Do a bunch of short, 5-minute readings with space in between for comments and questions, or a couple of long readings?
Maybe I'll prepare all the options, and ask folks at each event what they'd like to hear. :-)
For the past two years, I've been writing where ever I can. Mostly the couch or kitchen table. A few months ago, my hubby saw me trying to get together a package to mail out. He blinked because my stuff was spread across three separate rooms and I had to walk back and forth.
Since then, he's been trying to talk me into setting up an office at home. We finally took the plunge this past weekend, getting a desk.
I still have a lot to set up, but I'm very excited to have my "own space." Yeah, it's shared with both the kids and cat, but LOL it's much more my own than the kitchen table.
Am I any more an author than I was yesterday? Nah, still the same. I just have a spot to do it in. I plan to set it up with my favorite pictures and get some nice feng shui going.
Even the movies acknowledge the need for books (we could talk about how many movies wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the books that came before, but that’s another topic for another day). I have a great fondness for the Indiana Jones movies. To me, it’s a lot like watching a romance novel. Strong hero, action, adventure, passion and even if Indy doesn’t get a Happily Ever After, he does get a Happy For Now. Satisfying.
I think my favorite is actually the last one, with Sean Connery playing Professor Henry Jones, Indiana’s father. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In the movie, they’re searching for the Holy Grail. You know, THE Holy Grail. Rumored to gift eternal life if you drink from it. But they’re not the only ones. The movie takes place during the 1930s, at a time when Adolf Hitler was gaining power and spreading his message, and wouldn’t eternal life have been seductive to someone like him, or those following him? The adventure takes Indiana and his father through Nazi-Germany and has them witnessing a Nazi parade and an absolute atrocity: the, I would call it gleeful, burning of books.
Henry turns to Indiana and comments, “My son, we're pilgrims in an unholy land.” The scene, and that quote, while brief, is powerful to those of us who have a love for the written word and still gives me goose bumps when I see it.
Of course, this is not the only popular movie to deal with the issue of book burning. The ever-popular 80s movie, Footloose, shows a community deeply entrenched in their religious beliefs, banning music and making a move to burn books in an effort to keep their children on the good path. The preacher, this man who we’ve seen trying to keep the children of the town on the straight and narrow, upon being told that they’re burning books, runs over to stop them.
And how can we leave out the most famous of them all, a movie based on a book about book burning—Farenheit 451. It makes me a little sad to talk about this one because to contemplate such a future… For those of you who don’t know the story behind the book (and subsequent movie), I’ll encapsulate it here, with some help from Wikipedia.
Fahrenheit 451 takes place in an unspecified future time in a hedonistic and rabidly anti-intellectualAmerica that has completely abandoned self-control and bans the possession of books. People are now only entertained by in-ear radio and an interactive form of television. The protagonist, Guy Montag, is a fireman(which, in this future, means "book burner), certain that his job—burning books, and the houses that hold them, and persecuting those who own them—is the right thing to do. The number "451" refers to the temperature (in Fahrenheit) at which a book or paper burns... Over the years, the novel has been subject to various interpretations, primarily focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but just reading about a future so devastating makes me a little queasy. No books. No critical thinking. Persecuted for even owning a book. How does a society come to that point?
In a 1979 edition of Fahrenheit 451, the author, Ray Bradbury, said: There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Looking at the list of banned books, I was shocked at what I saw there (not that I’m predisposed to look kindly on a list of banned books). In fact, when I read some of them to my husband, who’s not a big reader himself, he was also shocked. Flowers for Algernon. James and the Giant Peach. How to Eat Fried Worms.
Maybe less shocking, but no less disturbing are JK Rowling’s books. In a time when literacy seems to be decreasing, kids spend more time playing video games and watching TV, less time falling into a good book, I would wish we would celebrate that which gets them excited about reading.
I saw on the list a lot of books I’d read, some from my childhood that I remember fondly and with great delight. Classics assigned to me during the course of school, that left their mark for their enduring themes. And there are books that I’m going to be sure my daughter reads some day, to help her mind, her viewpoint, her interests grow. To help her expand her horizons, reach new worlds and feel the excitement, wonder and enthusiasm each new book can bring. Some day, I hope to know that my daughter will follow in my booksteps and be a pilgrim, not one of those running about with a lit match.