Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Sorry Tale Of An Internet Junkie


What can I say? I’m an internet junkie and this is my tale.

Two and half weeks ago, my mother had her hip replaced. She is 76 and she is lucky to have family. We brought her home instead of putting her in a rehab facility. Since I can write anywhere, I took on the job of caring for her 15 hours out of the day. Dad is there at night and other family members have come in few nights and handled dinner, giving me a break (went home and made dinner for DH and did laundry). Insert SMILEY FACE here.

Okay. First morning, with laptop in bag, I’m up very early and headed off to parents home. After taking care of mom, (you know potty, washing, breakfast) she is again ready for a nap. I set up my laptop in dining room and prepared to write. But before I did, I decided to check my e-mail. I’d sent requested material to an agent the night before and God knows said agent might be trying to contact me, right? It’s already been ten hours seventeen minutes and fifty-four seconds.

ROLLING EYES. Come on. Tell the truth. You’ve done it.

Anyway, I hit email icon and spooling occurred, occurred, occurred and then diagnose icon jumped on the screen. WHAT THE HELL! I check my laptop. (we’re rural area) It was picking up a signal from the school across the street, but it was a secure network. The principal didn’t give me the password when I graduated from there eons ago. What to do? Mom’s sleeping. Dad is at work, (Yes at 76, he still works the family business) so I searched his home desk (he wanted me to look at a few things for him anyway) and I found the cable bill. They had discontinued internet service. OMG, there was no connection.

Okay, I admit. My heart did that skippy thing and my mind scattered for about .98765 of a second before I thought okay, no connection could be a good thing. I’ll get more writing done instead of surfing. Determined to do just that, I marched to the dining room and sat my butt in chair and put my hands to the keyboard, and it worked, I wrote several pages before mom called.

But as the days passed by, I raced home at night to see hubby, skipped the growing mound of laundry and hit sent-received button. Watching the emails pop up on the screen, bliss coated my tongue and fed through my soul. I was getting mail. I could answer mail. I could read blogs. I could research. The world was mine.

Yesterday, I couldn’t stand it any longer. Going without checking on my blog or sister blogs or email or FACEBOOK was killing me. It was Friday. Everyone surfs on Friday, right? I grabbed my laptop and crept into the backyard. There had to be a connection somewhere. There. I picked up on a weak signal from neighbor’s house, but I wasn’t sure. It was hard to see my screen in the bright sunlight. So tip-toed across the driveway, rounded the corner of their house and there on the back porch I found the internet.

I hit send-receive. Oh, there was mail. I could see it. I actually jumped up and down.

I knew I didn’t have time to do all I wanted to do. I had to get back to mom, who while watching HGTV napped on a chair and what if the neighbor’s saw me. Yes, I’ve know them all my life and I knew if I asked, they probably wouldn’t care if I used their service but there was something exciting hugging that corner of the porch, watching my screen fill with email and taking a peek at a blog that was so delicious.
It was so exciting that I stole onto the porch again later in the afternoon. This time however, mom was my lookout.

I’m an Internet Junkie and I will involve the innocent to help me in my endeavors to connect.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

30 Days Until...

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Thirty days. I’m so excited. SEE ME DANCING. A dream is coming true. (No. I’m not going to Disney World, although I really would love to go in July for RWA National Conference, but the money is not in the checkbook this year. ) On June 18, 2010, my Golden Heart Entry, EVIL’S WITNESS, releases from The Wild Rose Press.
It’s been a long 18 months, since I signed the contract to publication. I can’t wait until I hold this book in my hands and smell its pages. Sounds silly, huh? I wonder if its scent is as thrilling like a new car aroma or as precious as a newborn smell. I imagine it’s close, since our works are our babies and we’ve worked our fingers to nubs polishing them.

Anyway over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting free reads— Steph’s and John’s stories before they meet— maybe I’ll even post Victor’s interview. (Did I ever tell you, I fell in love with Victor?) To learn more about the story, jump over to my website, You can view a trailer there too.
Oh, in the coming weeks, there will be contest information. Everyone likes contests right?

Tomorrow, author Beth Trissel joins me, so please stop by and say hey.
Take care, AJ

Monday, May 17, 2010

Welcome Author Beth Trissel

Today I would like to welcome 2008 Golden Heart® Finalist, 2008 Winner Preditor's & Editor's Readers Poll winner, 2008 Winner Preditor's & Editor's Readers Poll winner and winner of the Publisher’s Weekly BHB Reader’s Choice Best Books of 2009, Beth Trissel.

1)Beth, You recently had a new release. Could you tell us a little about it?
Ah yes, my new release is a suspenseful light paranormal, *unique, Scottish time travel entitled Somewhere My Lass. Somewhere My Lass is Book Two in my ‘Somewhere’ series. The concept behind this series, of which Somewhere My Love is the first release, is that the story opens in the present day, although so far in old homes, and then the reader is transported ‘somewhere’ else. A pretty wide open theme.

I was inspired by all the intriguing old homes I grew up living in and or visiting. Victorian, plus some 19th and 18th century. Virginia is a highly historic state. Also, interestingly enough, the British Murder Mystery series called Midsomer Murders, to which I’m addicted, fueled my inspiration. Their plots take place in modern times but in old manor homes, ancient chapels, quaint villages, sometimes with the added flashback to the distant past.

2)Did you have to do any special research for the novel? I always research like a mad woman and obsess over every detail, but wasn’t actually able to visit Scotland. Being a British junkie, I watch PBS and rent British shows and films from Netflix and have done for eons as well as read many novels written by British authors, so that helps. And my family roots are English Scot’s-Irish, reaching well back into colonial America and far beyond to the British Isles.

I’m fortunate that our genealogy is well documented. We can trace lines back to Chaucer, a direct ancestor fourteen or so generations back, and some general who served under MacBeth. *Yep, that dude really lived. Our family has tie-ins to the Salem Witch trials and all sorts of fascinating eras. This rich legacy is a source of considerable inspiration to me.

3)Why do you write in the genre you do? I write both historical and light paranormal with a strong historical element because I’m passionate about the past.

4)What was the hardest scene to write? That entire book was hard to write! I thought I’d never make it through, and now it’s my favorite book.

5)You have an amazing backlist. Would you like to tell us a little about it? I’m rather eclectic. I love history and fantasy, can write straight historical or a blend of both. I started out with a focus on colonial American, including the Shawnee Indians and the colonial frontier, and the American Revolution, then branched out into light paranormal as well as exploring my English Scots-Irish roots. I’m currently working on a story set in England during the French Revolution, and am planning a sequel to Somewhere My Lass.

6)What is the best writing advice you’ve received? Write what you love because if you don’t no one else will.

7)What is the worst advice you’ve heard, to you or an author? To write for the market, focus on what sells.

8)What kind of books do you read? Mostly non-fiction research stuff.

9)How do you spend your down time? As noted above, I’m a British TV/film buff. Some American too. I’m an avid gardener, do some reading, and have a burgeoning family.

10)Are you a goal setter? Yes. Self-imposed generally although I do have some editors nudging me now.

11)How can readers contact you?

My website also has my facebook, myspace, twitter and blog info at:

12)Do you have a writer’s cave or are you able to write anywhere anytime? I have a cave when I’m not buried under people and sometimes a troll in there with me. I feed it dark chocolate until the rumbling subsides.

13)Conferences: What advice can you offer to author’s attending them? Make the most of your investment; they’re not cheap. Attend workshops, meet and greet, make some good contacts.

14)Write the book of your heart. What does that mean to you? The book of my heart is the first book I ever wrote and rewrote until I finally got it right, coming out this fall, an American historical romance entitled Red Bird’s Song. Writing that book and the research I did for it, all that it encompassed, was the most amazing adventure ever. I literally put my whole heart into it. And when I finished, I realized, it’s all about the journey which is why I can’t imagine not writing what I love. Yes, I look forward to sharing my stories with other kindred spirits, but the true meaning for me was in the doing.

Thanks so much for having me here. Blessings on you all. As the Shawnee say, Tanakia, until our paths cross again.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why I'm A Romance Writer

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The US NEWS Industry had no problem filling their pages, slots or air time this week. The oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the flooding in the south central states and the bombing attempt in Times Square has kept the reporters typing and anchormen/women chatting. Activists and volunteers have already rolled up their sleeves and God bless them. At some time during our lives, the fickle finger of progress or the forces of nature will touch each one of us. If you don’t take a blow, you’re truly blessed.

Events like these remind me of why I’m an artist, a romance author. Out of the headlines, thousands of tragic stories will emerge. Short U-tube clips show the lost, that is what they time for. Only a handful of stories of triumph will be told. Ones which will bring joy to our hearts and tears falling to our cheeks. People need to hear the success stories in order to restore their hope and faith and give them the courage to put one foot in front of the other. They long to hear them.

I wonder if the media should take a look of the genre books sales for guidance in their reporting. While I know it is important to report the tragic developments for a score of reasons, I think the news should end on that happy note— for the well being of all.

With that off my chest this morning, I’m going to plan to celebrate the day by helping an elderly lady clean her kitchen, call my children and tell them I love them, plant a tree and some flowers, play with my dogs and cats, and then this afternoon continue to write a love story with a happy ending.

Oh yeah, since it’s Cinco de Mayo, I’ll share a Margarita with DH too.

Please keep those in need in your prayers.