Trick or Treat - Part Three

Friday, October 30, 2009
I'm wrapping up my Halloween series today with The "Ultimate" Halloween topics.

The Ultimate Halloween COSTUME
Best Costume I've heard of goes to the Pregnant Smoking Nun, whom I blogged about last year on November 3, 2008 (just follow the link on "Best Costume" if you haven't heard that one yet). I still crack up whenever I read the story!! What's a great costume you've seen or heard of??

The Ultimate Halloween SNACK
I still haven't seen a Halloween treat that entertains me as much as Kitty Litter Cake. Great conversation topic too... plus it tastes good (if you can get past the holy-cow-it-looks-so-real-I-simple-can't-eat-that factor). What's a great Halloween snack you like to make or eat??

The Ultimate Halloween Place
Okay, I'm rusty on all the spooky places out there. But come on, they're just so scary and I really don't do scary, so... can you blame me? Since this place is within driving distance of where I live, I'll mention THE SPOOK LIGHT. Apparently, this light--about the size of a lantern--likes to float around the country, and people like to go watch it. A group of my friends and I hopped in a car a couple years ago to find the light. The adventure was more fun than scary because we thought we were lost and never saw anything, though we later learned we'd been in the right place all along. Spook Lighting was big in the sixties, but I think the poor light has retired these days. Still... maybe some people see it around. Your turn: What's a great Halloween place, or even a great scary story that's just too cool not to share?

And that concludes my Halloween Trick or Treating blogs for this year. Have a great holiday and see you in November!! Oh, yum, Turkey Season, a pregnant woman's dream come true...

Trick or Treat - Part Two

Monday, October 26, 2009
Last week was puzzles and word games. Today, my Halloween treat for everyone will be jokes. So, laugh it up with who provided these good, clean, fun, horror jokes!

Why was the skeleton afraid to cross the road?
It had no guts...

How do witches keep their hair in place while flying?
With scare spray...

What did Dracula say when he kissed his vampire girlfriend?

How do monsters tell their future?
They read their horrorscope...

What do you get when you cross a werewolf and a vampire?
A fur coat that fangs around your neck...

Do zombies eat popcorn with their fingers?
No, they eat the fingers separately...

Why don't skeletons ever go out on the town?
Because they don't have any body to go out with...

What do zombies like to eat at a cook out?

What is a vampire's favorite holiday?

Why did the vampire go to the orthodontist?
To improve his bite...

What do you get when you cross a vampire and a snowman?

What does a ghost get when he falls and scrapes his knee?
A boo boo...

What is Dracula's favorite kind of coffee?

What would a monster's psychiatrist be called?

What is a baby ghost's favorite game?

What did one ghost say to the other ghost?
"Do you believe in people?"

What do you call someone who puts poison in a person's corn flakes?
A cereal killer...

Why do mummies have trouble keeping friends?
They're too wrapped up in themselves...

What kind of streets do zombies like the best?
Dead ends...

What is a vampire's favorite mode of transportation?
A blood vessel...

What type of dog do vampire's like the best?

What does a vampire never order at a restaurant?
A stake sandwich...

What is a skeleton's favorite musical instrument?
A trombone...

Why do vampires need mouthwash?
They have bat breath...

What's a vampire's favorite fast food?
A guy with very high blood pressure...

Why did the Vampire subscribe to the Wall Street Journal?
He heard it had great circulation...

Why did the dyslexic vampire starve to death?
He couldn't find any dloob...

Did you hear about the cannibal who was expelled from school?
He was buttering up his teacher...

What kind of car does a ghost drive?
A Boo-ick...

Why wasn't the vampire working?
He was on a coffinbreak...

Where do fasionable ghosts shop for sheets?
At bootiques...

What do you get when you cross a ghost with an owl?
Something that scares people and doesn't give a hoot...

What kinds of ghosts haunt skyscrapers?
High spirits...

How do you make a witch scratch?
Just take away the W...

Where do ghosts go swimming?
The dead sea...

How did the priest make holy water?
He took some tap water and boiled the hell out of it...

What do you give a vampire with a cold?

What do you use to mend a jack-o-lantern?
A pumpkin patch...

Why can't skeletons play music in church?
Because they have no organs...

What did the mummy say to the detective?
Let's wrap this case up...

Trick or Treat - Part One

Wednesday, October 21, 2009
My Start-October-Big is over, ergo now I'm going to stretch back and relax for a while, and I think I'll do that with some fun Halloween Festivities. Since I'm not sure how I could trick you all online, I guess I'll just provide entertaining treats for everyone. So, today will be Halloween Game Day.

Above is a Halloween maze for you to enjoy. According to the instructions, "this poor pumpkin is missing part of his smile. Please find the path that the missing piece can take to get in the right spot."

Another treat for you is Halloween Hangman. Follow the link if you want to get harped on by a cranky old skeleton for every letter you miss.

And finally, I have a Halloween Word Scamble below. This games comes to us thanks to the website : They are, of course, words associated with you-know-which-season. And as always, the answers are at the bottom! Enjoy.

















I'll see you guys again in a week or so. Have a hauntingly fun gaming experience.

Word Scramble Answers : spooky, candy, costume, pumpkin, carving, haunted, ghost, witch, goblins, trick, spider, bat, grave, night, cat, apple.

Bad Boys Don't Play Hero -- CH 3

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Chapter Three is up for Bad Boys Don't Play Hero. Head HERE to read it.

If you weren't aware, I'm hosting a short young adult free-read story on my website, posting a chapter a month. This is my last chapter in Nick's point of view. Next month, we'll be moving on into Kiernan's head. Enjoy!

Chapter Three

Nick was about to run, ditching Vinny—had even stumbled a few steps back—when the first adult grabbed him.

“Let me go!” He panicked and struggled, flailing his arms and legs to no avail. Jabbing an elbow in the man’s chin, he stomped on the guy’s instep but still couldn’t break free. (read more)

First Line Trivia

Friday, October 16, 2009
Today is a game day. It was inspired by Tricia J. O'Brien on her blog, Tailspinning, from her September 30th post that talked about the importance of snagging your reader on the first line of your story. She demonstrated good first lines by giving us a few samples from famous stories.

I thought that was a neat idea, so I copied (hee hee!). Below are the first lines from well-known books (ranging from classics to present day, romance to horror, children to adult stories). See how many titles and authors of each first line you can figure out (yeah, yeah, the answers are at the bottom).

Plus... I slipped the first bit of my story,
The Stillburrow Crush, in with these famous pieces of literature. Did you find me... or have to cheat?

Here's the titles/authors you have to chose from:

a. 1984 by George Orwell
b. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
c. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
d. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
e. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
f. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
g. Cry No More by Linda Howard
h. Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
i. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
j. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
k. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
l. High Noon by Nora Roberts
m. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.
n. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
o. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
p. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
q. Paradise by Toni Morrison
r. Temp Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
s. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
t. The Client by John Grisham
u. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
v. The Green Mile by Stephen King
w. The Holy Bible
x. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
y. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
z. The Stillburrow Crush by Linda Kage
aa. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
bb. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
cc. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
dd. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
ee. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

The person who matches up the most correct answers gets, well, the satisfaction of being the winner!


1. "A few miles south of Soledad, the Salinas River drops in close to the hillside bank and runs deep and green.”

2. "At the first gesture of morning, flies began stirring.”

3. "Ba-room, ba-room, ba-room, biripity, biripity, biripity, biripity—Good. His dad had the pickup going.”

4. "Call me Ishmael.”

5. "Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife."

6. "Eleven-year-old Anne Shirley sat stiffly on top of some cartons at an empty train station. She clutched a shabby bag in her skinny hands.”

7. "Her chances of a decent marriage were about to be dashed—and all because of a ferret.”

8. "'Honey, you need to get laid.’”

9. "I couldn’t believe it. Not until I was standing there along with the rest of the town in the cemetery did it really hit me. She was dead. "

10. "If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

11. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

12. "It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

13. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

14. "Jumping to your death was a crappy way to spend St. Patrick’s Day.”

15. "Mark was eleven and had been smoking off and on for two years, never trying to quit but being careful not to get hooked.”

16. "Milla had fallen asleep while the baby was nursing.”

17. "Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

18. "My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down. It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue.”

19. "Rain fell that night, a fine whispering rain. Many years later, Meggie had only to close her eyes and she could hear it, like tiny fingers tapping on the windowpane.”

20. "Robert Langdon awoke slowly. A telephone was ringing in the darkness—a tinny, unfamiliar ring.”

21. "Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”

22. "The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon.”

23."The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.”

24. "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”

25. "They shoot the white girl first.”

26. "This happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain. And the electric chair was there, too, of course.”

27 "When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.”

28. "When I left my office that beautiful spring day, I had no idea what was in store for me.”

29. "When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.”

30. "'Where’s Papa going with that ax?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.”

31. You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.”

1. P - Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
2. F - Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
3. D - Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
4. O - Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
5. BB - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
6. C - Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
7. R - Temp Me at Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
8. H - Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
9. Z - The Stillburrow Crush by Linda Kage
10. S - The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
11. W - The Holy Bible
12. A - 1984 by George Orwell
13. B - A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
14. L - High Noon by Nora Roberts
15. T - The Client by John Grisham
16. G - Cry No More by Linda Howard
17. K - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
18. DD - Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
19. M - Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
20. U - The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
21. J - Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
22. N - Lord of the Flies by William Golding
23. Y - The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
24. AA - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
25. Q - Paradise by Toni Morrison
26. V - The Green Mile by Stephen King
27. CC - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
28. EE - Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
29. X - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
30. E - Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
31. I - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

    Interview with Author, Ashley Ladd

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009
    Today, I have author, Ashley Ladd here visiting, and she was kind enough to share a couple words with us. So, give a big round of applause to Ashley!

    Hi, Ashley and welcome. To begin with, why don't you tell us what you write? How many books do you have out and where can we find them?
    As Ashley Ladd I write erotic romance - MF, MM, and MMF. My
    latest books at Total-e-Bound are:
    -Recipe for Disaster (released October 5, 2009),
    -Sorry Charlie in the Friction Anthology,
    -Doggy Style in Summer Seductions.

    At Ellora's Cave my most recent books are:
    -Truth, Justice, & The Vampire Way
    -Heavenly Hijinks.

    Altogether I've written more than 50 stories that have been published. Some are no longer available. I don't want to bore you with a huge list. Instead here are the links to my book pages on TEB and Ellora's Cave.

    I’d like to hear about your newest book.
    Recipe for Disaster. It's an M/F erotic romance at

    I live in South Florida, in the midst of the housing foreclosure debacle. It's horrible down here with people having their mortgages doubled and being kicked out of their homes. It's really bothering me. Thus, this story was inspired. I hope I was able to portray how awful this is and I wish I could arrange a happy ending for everybody stuck in this mess.

    Wow. I like how the story was inspired. What’s it about?
    Desperate, Jamie will do almost anything to save her house, her dogs, and her life but will she sell her soul?

    Jamie's desperate. If her 401K emergency distribution isn't disbursed in time, she'll be a victim of the Florida foreclosures. If that's not bad enough, she's also in danger of losing her job and her beloved dogs.

    Worse yet, she hits Max with her car. Luckily, Max is better than fine and ready to jump into her life and her bed. Unluckily, he's afraid to tell her that he buys distressed properties and he was in her yard to check out her house.

    Cool. Think you could share a sneak peek with us?
    By reading any further, you are stating that you are 18 years of age, or over.If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.Copyright © Ashley Ladd, 2009All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Total-E-Bound.

    Jamie Covais would sell her soul to the devil to keep her house. She’d even sell her mother.

    She did her best to keep her lips from trembling, from turning into a blathering blob of jelly at her attorney’s feet. She blinked back tears and shook her head. “I didn’t get any notices about a lawsuit. Doesn’t there have to be a summons or something? I didn’t sign anything…”

    Carl Johnson, her attorney, levelled an asking stare at her. “Are you sure you received no summons? No one came to your door with a paper to sign?”

    She thought hard until her mind began to melt, but there was no enlightenment. Her brains rattled when she shook her head. They were a perfect match to her broken heart. “No.”

    Then a horrid thought struck her, and she couldn’t breathe. Wishing she didn’t have to admit this wouldn’t change the truth. “Sometimes Mom forgets to tell me things. She visited a couple times this year.”

    Carl pursed his lips, shook his grey head and hitched up his pant legs as he sank into his chair. He folded his hands in his lap as he leant back in his chair and regarded her with something akin to pity.

    “She’s forgetful.” And irresponsible. And flighty. Unfortunately, the list of adjectives stretched beyond the horizon. Carl’s secretary, Nina, rapped on the door, and with an apologetic look, she carried papers to her boss. “Here’s what you asked for.”

    After Nina handed them to him, she smiled shyly at Jamie and returned to her desk. Within seconds, rapid typing tickled Jamie’s ears. Carl perused the papers for several moments. The longer he read, the deeper his scowl etched into his forehead. Muttered oaths tumbled off his lips. Then he pushed his glasses down to the tip of his nose and gave her a penetrating look. “Is your mother Penelope Covais?”

    Her breath hitched in her throat, and it was several moments before she could speak. What had dear old mom done this time? “Yes.”

    “Is she a resident of this property? Or an owner?”

    Again she squeaked out a ‘yes’ as the stars fell out her heaven. Nervous and scared to death, she pleated the folds of her skirt. God, she didn’t want to be another victim of the Florida housing crash, but she knew she was on the list.

    Carl sighed heavily and leant back in his chair. He linked his hands behind his head and stared at the ceiling. “Lordy. This is a royal mess.”

    She closed her eyes and tried to drag in breath, but it was ragged and painful. All her dreams became dust in the wind. Everything crumbled before her eyes. Then Carl leant forward and hope lit his clear blue eyes, much like those in the picture of his deceased son in the spot of honour on his desk.

    “Is your mother suffering from dementia?”

    Jamie blinked. God, she hoped not. Penelope had been erratic and eccentric even at twenty, but she hadn’t lost her mind. “Not that I know of, at least. It’s not been diagnosed.”

    “Do you have any money? Anybody who can loan it to you? Your mom? You said she’s an owner, too.”

    She’d been over it so often her head was going to explode. “Only in my 401K. But doesn’t it take a couple months to get the money out?”

    Light flickered in the lawyer’s eyes, and he leant forward. “I don’t think so. Talk to your HR 401K administrator right away. Take these papers with you and show him.” Jamie accepted back her death decree. If she’d had this notification earlier when her mother had first signed, she could have raided her retirement account then filed bankruptcy or something. Now, with two weeks to the fateful day, she was out of time.

    Acid ate at her stomach, and she wondered if she’d rather die than be homeless. Where would she live? Where would she go? Wouldn’t she have to file bankruptcy anyway? No way could she come up with the money to pay rent and whatever hefty penalties were assessed for reneging on her loan after the new buyer waltzed away with her house.

    Most of all what would happen to Peter and Tinkerbell, her huskies?

    Trying to at least look positive even though she was dying inside, she gave her lawyer her best smile and rolled up the letter. “I’ll let you know what I find out.”

    “Please do. I sure hope you can get this worked out.”

    God, she did, too.

    I'm definitely intrigued. How can I get my hands on a copy?

    Thanks. Now that I'm waiting for my copy to arrive, let's move our discussion along to the business end of your job. How long have you been writing?
    Since I was 6 years old. Officially, since the early 90's. My first novel, Tigers Play, was published in 1999 by New Concepts Publishing. It's one of the books no longer available. :(

    What’s the hardest and easiest thing you’ve discovered about the publishing world?

    It's tough when I lose my editor(s). One of my books went through four editors. Each one seemed to start the process over. I thought the book would disappear into editing twilight. I'm losing one of my all-time favorite editors now. I wish her well. I know this is the best thing for her. I know I'll survive and that I'll still see her around as a friend.But it's hard. I wonder if my next editor(s) will believe in me and in my stories the way she did. When an editor doesn't like an author or a project, I find it extremely difficult to work with them.

    What do you love most about being an author?
    I love creating new worlds, new people, and living vicariously through my characters. Things I can't do in real life, I can do in my dreams (stories). It's exhilarating! I hope that my readers get as much joy as I do from these stories.

    What are your views on social networking (blogging, twitter, facebook…)? Do you think it’s important for an author to do it?
    Very important. My favorite social media are Twitter and blogging. I liked Facebook but I was getting so addicted by it and Farmtown I had to go cold turkey as I wasn't getting any writing done. I'd love to get into Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. but with a day job and a family, there's only so many hours in the day. Twitter is great because I can quickly send updates or explore hastags to tune into conversations and the most up to date news.

    Where can we find you in the social networking world?
    -Twitter (of course!) I'm "Ashleyladd"
    -My blog: (I post daily)

    What’s the most important piece of advice you can give to aspiring authors?
    Keep writing. Keep polishing. Keep submitting. Work with a critique partner. Never give up.

    Wonderful advice. Thank you. Let’s move to a little more personal territory. Please tell us a little something about you? How do you fill most of your days?
    I'm a full-time customer service manager for a charity. I work there at least 40 hours weekly, usually quite a lot more. I've been with my day-job employer going on 16 years. To do this job, I have to do major multi-tasking: talk on the phone, juggle emails, write letters, fix problems on our website, research problems, soothe irate people (customers and my staff), referee.

    Evenings and weekends, I do an about face. I'm softball mom, wife, and writer/promoter. My daughter's softball is usually five days weekly, sometimes all seven. Life is hectic. I'm back to multi-tasking. At the ballfield I walk (for exercise) during practices. I write during the games. At home, I have tens of computer screens open at once, flipping between Twitter, blogs, and writing.

    Wow, you are definitely a multi-tasker. And yet, you still have time for romance stories. Describe the perfect man?
    He's my partner, in good times and bad. He likes to talk to me, make me laugh, and be with me. He's there for me. He'll take turns changing diapers and carting kids to their activities. He's a good father.

    What’s your favorite romance movie?
    I have sooooooo many, but the first one that popped to mind was "The Mummy".

    Pizza or fudge?
    Depends on my mood, but usually pizza - thin crust, plain cheese.

    If you won a hundred million dollars, what would you do with it?
    Invest in my children's future. Help animal rescue, especially cats. Help the destitute poor. Maybe start my own publishing house or just travel a lot and write full time.

    Wow, what a good mother. What’s your dream vacation?
    I'd love to hang out at a dude ranch, ride horses and watch romantic sunsets all week. I'd like to swim in the moonlight then lounge around in the Jacuzzi.

    Ahh, sounds wonderful. But before you head there, is there anything else you’d like to share with us about your books, writing in general, or yourself?
    Write because you love to and you'd rather write than breathe, not because you think it will make you a millionaire. I need to reevaluate and reapportion my time so I have more time with my two grandchildren and my youngest son.

    Thank you so much, Ashley. It was wonderful to hear from you.

    And the Lucky Winner Is...

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    If you stopped by and left a comment on my October 2nd Post, where I interviewed the hero in Claire Ashgrove's debut release, Seduction's Stakes, then you entered your name in my prize-drawing giveaway for two books : Seduction's Stakes by Claire Ashgrove and Mr. Charming by Nancy J. Parra.

    And the Lucky Winner is : Robyn Campbell

    Congrats, Robyn!! I hope you enjoy your two shiny new books!!! Thank you so much to all who participated.

    Who Loves a Good Series?

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    When I read a story, I usually fall in love with one or more of the characters. Therefore, when I discover another book by that same author is coming out, continuing the story on, I gotta read it… I just gotta. I’m one of those series junkies, you see. If a certain book I’m into is part of a series, I MUST read all of them.

    So, today I’m sharing a list of romance series I’ve been into lately. As you will soon see, my tastes range from historical romance to romantic suspense to paranormal romance. And for your convenience, I’m listing the books in each series in chronological order (don’t you just hate having to read a series out of order).

    Please let me know about any other good series going on out there. I love discovering new characters to follow.

    Historical Romance

    Elizabeth Hoyt
    Princes Trilogy
    1. The Raven Prince (2006)
    2. The Leopard Prince (2007)
    3. The Serpent Prince (2007)
    Legend of the Four Soldiers
    1. To Taste Temptation (2008)
    2. To Seduce a Sinner (2008)
    3. To Beguile a Beast (2009)
    4. To Desire a Devil ( Nov. 2009)

    Lisa Kleypas

    1. Secrets of a Summer Night (2004)
    2. It Happened One Autumn (2005)
    3. Devil in Winter (2006)
    4. Scandal in Spring (2006)
    5. A Wallflower Christmas (2008)
    Hathaway Family (Wallflower spin off)
    1. Mine Till Midnight (2007)
    2. Seduce Me At Sunrise (2008)
    3. Tempt Me at Twilight (2009)

    Suzanne Enoch
    Lessons in Love
    1. The Rake (2002)
    2. London's Perfect Scoundrel (2003)
    3. England's Perfect Hero (2004)
    Notorious Gentlemen
    1. After the Kiss (2008)
    2. Before the Scandal (2008)
    3. Always a Scoundrel (2009)

    Sabrina Jeffries
    School For Heiresses
    1. Never Seduce a Scoundrel (2006)
    2. Only a Duke Will Do (2006)
    3. Beware a Scot's Revenge (2007)
    4. Let Sleeping Rogues Lie (2008)
    5. Don't Bargain with the Devil (2009)
    6. Wed Him Before You Bed Him (2009)
    Hellions of Halstead Hall (Spin off of School for Heiresses)
    1. The Truth About Lord Stonewall ( Jan. 2010)

    Laura Lee Guhrke
    1. And Then He Kissed Her (2007)
    2. The Wicked Ways of a Duke (2008)
    3. Secret Desires of a Gentleman (2008)
    4. With Seduction in Mind (2009)

    Julia Quinn
    Bridgerton Family
    1. The Duke and I (2000)
    2. The Viscount Who Loved Me (2000)
    3. An Offer from a Gentleman (2001)
    4. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (2002)
    5. To Sir Philip,with Love (2003)
    6. When He Was Wicked (2004)
    7. It's in His Kiss (2005)
    8. On the Way to the Wedding (2006)
    Two Dukes of Wyndham
    1. The Lost Duke of Wyndham (2008)
    2. Mr. Cavendish, I Presume (2008)
    Bevelstoke Family Series
    1. The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (2007)
    2. What Happens in London (2009)

    Romantic Suspense

    Anne Stuart
    Ice Series
    1. Black Ice (2005)
    2. Cold as Ice (2006)
    3. Ice Blue (2007)
    4. Ice Storm (2007)
    5. Fire and Ice (2008)

    Cindy Gerard
    1. To the Edge (2005)
    2. To the Limit (2005)
    3. To the Brink (2005)
    4. Over the Line (2006)
    5. Under the Wire (2006)
    6. Into the Dark (2007)
    Black Ops (Bodyguards Spin Off)
    1. Show No Mercy (2008)
    2. Take No Prisoners (2008)
    3. Whisper No Lies (2008)
    4. Feel the Heat (2009)

    Gennita Low
    GLOW World
    1. Into Danger (2003)
    2. Facing Fear (2004)
    3. The Protector (2005)
    4. The Hunter (2005)
    5. Sleeping with the Agent (2006)
    6. Virtually His (2007)
    7. Virtually Hers (2009)

    Cherry Adair
    1. The Mercenary (1994)
    2. Kiss and Tell (2000)
    3. Hide and Seek (2001)
    4. In Too Deep (2002)
    5. Out of Sight (2003)
    6. On Thin Ice (2004)
    7. Hot Ice (2005)
    8. Edge of Danger (2006)
    9. Edge of Fear (2006)
    10. Edge of Darkness (2006)
    11. White Heat (2007)
    12. Night Fall (2008)
    13. Night Secrets (2008)
    14. Night Shadow (2008)

    Julia Harper
    FBI Series
    1. Hot (2008)
    2. For the Love of Pete (2009)

    Julie Garwood
    Buchanan-Renard Family
    1. Heartbreaker (2000)
    2. Mercy (2001)
    3. Killjoy (2002)
    4. Murder List (2004)
    5. Slow Burn (2005)
    6. Shadow Dance (2006)
    7. Fire and Ice (2008)

    Tara Janzen
    Steele Street
    1. Crazy Hot (2004)
    2. Crazy Cool (2004)
    3. Crazy Wild (2006)
    4. Crazy Kisses (2006)
    5. Crazy Love (2006)
    6. Crazy Sweet (2006)
    7. On the Loose (2007)
    8. Cutting Loose (2007)
    9. Loose and Easy (2008)
    10. Breaking Loose (2009)

    Suzanne Brockmann
    1. The Unsung Hero (2000)
    2. The Defiant Hero (2001)
    3. Over the Edge (2001)
    4. Out of Control (2002)
    5. Into the Night (2002)
    6. Gone Too Far (2003)
    7. Flashpoint (2004)
    8. Hot Target (2004)
    9. Breaking Point (2005)
    10. Into the Storm (2006)
    11. Force of Nature (2007)
    12. All Through the Night (2007)
    13. Into the Fire (2008)
    14. Dark of Night (2009)
    15. Hot Pursuit (2009)


    Catherine Anderson
    Kendrick/Coulter/Harrigan Family Series
    1. Baby Love (1999)
    2. Phantom Waltz (2001)
    3. Sweet Nothings (2002)
    4. Blue Skies (2004)
    5. Bright Eyes (2004)
    6. My Sunshine (2005)
    7. Sun Kissed (2007)
    8. Morning Light (2008)
    9. Star Bright (2009)
    10. Early Dawn (Dec. 2009)

    Lisa Kleypas
    Travis Family Series
    1. Sugar Daddy (2007)
    2. Blue-eyed Devil (2008)
    3. Smooth-talking Stranger (2009)


    Gena Showalter
    Lords of the Underworld
    1. The Darkest Fire – ebook only (2008)
    2. The Darkest Night (2008)
    3. The Darkest Kiss (2008)
    4. The Darkest Pleasure (2008)
    5. The Darkest Whisper (2009)

    J. R. Ward
    Black Dagger Brotherhood
    1. Dark Lover (2005)
    2. Lover Eternal (2006)
    3. Lover Awakened (2006)
    4. Lover Revealed (2007)
    5. Lover Unbound (2007)
    6. Lover Enshrined (2008)
    7. Lover Avenged (2009)
    8. Lover Mine (May 2010)

    Lara Adrian
    Midnight Breed
    1. A Kiss of Midnight (2007)
    2. Kiss of Crimson (2007)
    3. Midnight Awakening (2007)
    4. Midnight Rising (2008)
    5. Veil of Midnight (2008)
    6. Ashes of Midnight (2009)
    7. Shades of Midnight (Jan. 2010)

    Sherrilyn Kenyon
    1. Fantasy Lover (2002)
    2. Night Pleasures (2002)
    3. Night Embrace (2003)
    4. Dance with the Devil
    5. Kiss of the Night (2004)
    6. Night Play (2004)
    7. Seize the Night (2004)
    8. Sins of the Night (2005)
    9. Unleash the Night (2005)
    10. The Dark Side of the Moon (2006)
    11. The Dream Hunter (2007)
    12. Devil May Cry (2007)
    13. Upon the Midnight Clear (2007)
    14. Dream Chaser (2008)
    15. Acheron (2008)
    16. One Silent Night (2008)
    17. Dream Warrior (2009)
    18. Bad Moon Rising (2009)
    19. Scars and Souvenirs (Apr. 2011)

    Young Adult

    Stephenie Meyer
    Twilight Saga
    1. Twilight (2005)
    2. New Moon (2006)
    3. Eclipse (2007)
    4. Breaking Dawn (2008)

    It's a Girl

    Thursday, October 8, 2009

    Praying Hands Pose

    The doctor was over 90% certain, but he thinks I'm having a girl.... or a tomboy as my husband is already calling her. He says she's going to go hunting with him, and 4-wheeling, and help him cut wood.

    It so was fun to watch her. She waved her arms around, spread out her fingers so we could see five little digits. Then she yawned, probably got bored. But I was captivated.

    Sorry the picture I'm posting is crooked. I'm not the best scanner. I call this the praying hands pose. Hopefully you can see the head and bent arm.

    Everything else looked good. Heartbeat was 146 bmp, weight was 15 ounces. I gained five pounds myself (uggh). We'll do another sonogram in seven weeks to check on the girl status.

    I apologize to all of you who guessed boy. It still could be, I guess. I intend to enjoy my little girl to the fullest though!!

    Talk more later.

    Gender Mystery Unveiled Tomorrow…I hope

    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    Tomorrow is the most-anticipated pregnancy check-up for me yet. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to find out whether there’s a boy or girl swimming around in there. Now, I’ve heard lots of rumors/myths/what-have-you about being able to predetermine the gender of your baby, but honestly I’m still clueless. Maybe you could help me figure it out.

    “They say…” if the baby’s heartbeat is faster than 140 beats per minute, it’s a girl. Under 140 bpm and it’s a boy. My kid’s heartbeat has been exactly 140 bmp. Hmm. No help there. (Or you can listen to the heartbeat yourself and see if you can figure out if it's faster or slower than 140)

    “They say…” your face gets uglier when you’re having a boy because of all the testosterone in your system, and prettier if it’s a girl. I haven’t noticed a change in my appearance. Again, no help.

    “They say…” you carry low with a boy and high with a girl. I would say I'm carrying way low, but what do I know; I've never been pregnant before. The little tyke might be right where it's supposed to be.

    “They say…” you eat more spicy food when you’re having a boy and sweet food when you’re having a girl. So far, I haven’t been all that into either sweet or spicy. I’m mostly fruits and nuts and Chinese (oh, yum. An egg roll sounds so good right now--or steak smothered with mushrooms and A1 sauce... oooh! and a loaded baked potato with a side of onions rings and... I should really shut up, huh).

    More Eating:
    “They say…” You eat more when having a boy. Well, of course, I’m eating more. I’m pregnant. Duh. What genius thought up that idea?

    Dad's Weight:
    "They also say..." If the dad gains weight too, it's a boy. If he doesn't, it's a girl. Well now, I didn't hear this theory in time, so I haven't been weighing the hubby in. Have no idea what his weight has been up to lately. He looks like his normal studly self to me. (I was going to crack a joke here and say something like "now if I only knew who the daddy was," but studly hubby might not appreciate my sense of humor.)

    Chinese Lunar Calendar:
    There's also the Ancient Chinese Gender Chart to tell a person whether they're having a boy or girl. According to my stats (Mom age 29 at conception, Month May of conception), they say I'm having a boy.

    Ring Test:
    Okay, now we're really getting crazy. But I guess if you tie your wedding band to a string and hold it in front of your belly, you can tell you're having a boy if the ring swirls in circles or a girl if it moves side to side. Welll.... yeah, I tried it. It kind of bounced up and down a second and then didn't move. (Of course, afterward I realized I used my engagement ring instead of the wedding band. But I didn't want to try it again after that).
    *Actually, one site said circles is a girl and side-to-side is a boy, while another site said the opposite, so this test is totally unreliable.

    This Sunday when my family had a birthday dinner for me, they tried the "needle" test. Tying a needle to a string, they dangled it over my arm until the point touched my wrist, and then they slowly pulled it up. It swirled in circles instead of going side to side (actually, they called it an oval!). My neice announced that meant girl, which would negate the Chinese Gender Chart.

    Last week at work, after I told a co-worker how much the baby had been moving around, she gave me a knowing smile and said, "It's a boy." Then a few hours later, another co-worker asked if I had a lot of morning sickness. When I said no, he (no doubt thinking back to his wife who bore three boys) nodded and said, "It must be a girl."

    So, after analyzing all the determinants, I’m convinced I’m having an IT. What do you guys think? Boy, girl, or will it remain a mystery… The truth shall set our minds at ease tomorrrrroooowwww! I can’t wait.

    Over at Ashley Ladd's Blog

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009
    Hey, I'm being interviewed over at Ashley Ladd's Blog--Happily Ever After--today. She was gracious enough to host me and play twenty-one questions to uncover the real Linda Kage... not that there was a lot of mystery about me in the first place! But feel free to stop by and say hi.

    This is my first special guest blog interview, so if you can tell I'm nervous, try not to make fun of me. No tomato zinging please!

    Anyway, my contest to win two books is still in full swing. If you'd like to enter, just skip back a few days on my blog posts to October 2nd and leave a comment at the end of the interview. I'll draw a random winner on Monday, October 12th.

    There's only TWO days left until I get to see my baby for the first time (where he/she's looking like an actual baby and not just a little blip on the screen). So, come back to tomorrow and see if you can help me figure out early if I'm cooking up a little girl... or boy.

    Birthday Greetings

    Sunday, October 4, 2009

    Today, I'm no longer a twenty-something chick. Nope. I'm moving up to the big thirties. I've always heard people freak out when they turn thirty. But I don't feel a decade older. Maybe I'm just too busy with upcoming babies and books to worry about age. Oh, well. Happy Birthday to me!

    On to more important matters... Don't forget I have a two-book giveaway contest going. If you'd like to win the print copies of Seduction's Stakes by Claire Ashgrove and Mr. Charming by Nancy J. Parra, hop over to my October 2nd post where I interviewed Ashgrove's hero, the ornery Riley Jennings, and leave a comment (make sure to give your name or email address with your comment so I can contact the winner once they're drawn on October 12th--Thanks).

    And for the most important issue of all (to me anyway!), my baby's gender mystery will be resolved in... count them... FOUR DAYS!!! I can't wait. That news will be my most exciting birthday present of all.

    Until Tuesday when I have more news to announce.

    Interview with Riley Jennings, hero from Claire Ashgrove's "Seduction's Stakes"

    Friday, October 2, 2009
    This morning, we have Riley Jennings, the hero from Claire Ashgrove's debut contemporary romance novel, Seduction's Stakes--which is released today from The Wild Rose Press--to interview.

    To help support Claire, I'm going to give away a copy of her book to some lucky person who comments at the end of the blog, plus I'll throw in a shiny new copy of Nancy J. Parra's Mr. Charming (since I forgot to do that when I interviewed her in August).

    And now for the good stuff!

    Riley Jennings
    Age: 31
    Height: 6’1”
    Eye Color: ale-brown
    Hair Color: (runs a hand through his collar-length hair) I don’t know what would you call this? (Wavy, sandy-brown).
    Occupation: Thoroughbred Racehorse Owner and Trainer
    Address: In the heart of racing country, Kentucky, on a 112-acre stable and training facility.
    Rating of his Story: Steamy Hot!

    (LindaKage)Thank you for dropping by, Riley, we're honored to have you here. Now, first of all why don't you tell us a little about yourself. What do you do for a living:

    (RileyJennings)Well, darlin’, I get up at the crack of dawn, and when we aren’t on a track somewhere, I’m helping Ben, my full-time jockey, get Mister Spoilsport and our other racing stock in condition. I stay in the barns or on our track until dinner time. Around that time, I try to navigate through phone calls on Mister Spoilsport’s stud services. I really need to find someone to do that for me. It’s so damn time consuming. Anyway, then I go to bed, get up and do it all over again. On race days, it’s pretty similar, only much more stressful.

    (LK)Describe your perfect day :

    (RJ)We’re about two hours away from my perfect day – the one where Mister Spoilsport wins The Kentucky Derby. He’s ready to go, in prime shape, and currently the favorite. As long as Maddie’s horse, Infidelity, doesn’t creep up on the outside, like he’s prone to do, I’ll see my Pop’s dream come true.
    (LK)How about your perfect date and no, this is not but it IS a blog for romance readers, so spill it, mister:

    (RJ)Date? I’m pretty private about my personal life. There’s lots of rumors around, but don’t listen to a one of them. I don’t date much anymore. No sense in it when you can’t have the one you want. If I ever convince her, you can be sure somewhere along the way it’ll involve the ocean, moonlight and wine.
    (LK)When you were little, what'd you want to be when you grew up:

    (RJ)I grew up following my dad around the track. Back then, Pop was really struggling to make a name for himself and it took a long time to garner the respect of other, more powerful, more financially sound racehorse owners. I don’t know that I ever really wanted to be anything. I always knew I’d follow in my father’s footsteps and I’d have the best racing stock around.

    (LK)Are you a pizza, stake, soy burger, or Mexican food type of man:

    (RJ)I’m a Scotch man(smirk). Anything in a five-star restaurant with a Talisker on the rocks, and I’m a happy man. It’s all about good food, not
    necessarily a particular type. As a risk-taker, I’ll try anything once.

    (LK)Would you say you're determined/driven or easy-going and laid back?

    (RJ)Depends on who you ask. Last time I talked to Maddie McCleery, I believe I was a, what did she say? Oh yeah, a pompous ass. If there’s something I want, I’ll stop at nothing to have it. But I know how to appreciate the, shall we say, finer things in life as well.

    (LK)History channel, Sports, News, or CMT:

    (RJ)I don’t have much time for television. About the only thing I’ll watch is ESPN’s racing coverage if I’m not at the track. Sometimes I’ll watch sappy old romances – but that information’s just for you, darlin’. Let’s not publish that.
    (LK)Oops! Sorry. (hee, hee!)
    Indoors or Outdoors:

    (RJ)Wherever there’s water. Er… pardon me. Yes well, I raise racehorses. I think that qualifies as outdoors.
    (LK)Green or Red:


    (LK)Boxers, briefs, or... other:

    (RJ)Now that’s a little personal dontcha think? I’ll let Maddie discover that one on her own. She did put you up to this, didn’t she? I’m surprised you haven’t asked me about Grey Ghost. That colt’s all that woman can think about.
    (LK)Before I move onto all those questions (which I'll do next), is there anything else you'd like to say about yourself:

    (RJ)Yeah. I made some mistakes in my youth. One I regret a lot. And if Maddie did put you up to this, you be sure and tell her I never meant it.

    (LK)Maddie, Maddie, Maddie. You mention this Maddie McCleery a lot. So, I'm curious. Who is she? What's the story there? And don't be shy; us romance enthusiasts want to know ALL:

    (RJ)Maddie and I go back to high school. Our farms have always been rivals. I did something stupid that’s better left unsaid when she lost a round of Truth or Dare. Since then, she’s pretty much hated me. Lately, she’s been making a name for McCleery Racing and Infidelity is probably one of the strongest competitors Mister Spoilsport has to face. We’ve been eeking out wins, and it’s driving her crazy. I’ve got a colt – Grey Ghost – she wants, and I’m not interested in selling him until she’s interested in listening to what I’ve got to say.
    We’ll see what happens today with The Derby. Infidelity’s going to give Spoil a run for his money in each leg of the Triple Crown. The two are just too talented, and it’s a shame they have to compete together. Either Maddie or I have to lose. (Chuckling) Never a good thing for either one of us.

    (LK)Now I'm extra curious to read Seduction's Stakes to find out what happens there. And I think you answered just about all the questions I was going to ask in that area (LOL!), Now I gotta know about Claire Ashgrove. This author's been following you around and documenting your life starting today. What prompted that?

    (RJ)Claire said she’d always had a fascination with racing, and had been following our horses. Maddie's and mine, that is. Infidelity’s won every race he’s been in. Mister Spoilsport the same, on different tracks. It’s the first time they’ve raced each other and with the publicized rivalry between our farms, she said she wanted to document Maddie and I, give the public a peek at our daily lives. I refused, initially. But then I got to thinking. There hasn’t been a Crown winner in twenty-one years. Barring a catastrophe, or straight dumb luck, one of us stands a real good chance of winning the Triple Crown. Whomever wins, it’s a story about racing, not just my life. History in the making.

    (LK)This is her debut novel and you’ve trusted her to write a factual account. Any concerns?

    (RJ)Course there’s concerns. I’ve opened up my private life to the public. It’s a bit like being followed around with one of those reality cams. I really don’t want the entire world knowing what flavor toothpaste I use. There’s a lot of room here to embarrass myself, especially given the Maddie factor. I’m going to convince that woman to give me a chance. If she does, I don’t need what happens in my bedroom broadcasted.

    (LK)Well, I think the rest of my question can only be answered in the book, so I that concludes my interview. Thank you so much for stopping by Riley. I hope to hear a lot more from you soon (like as soon as my copy of your book arrives in the mail).

    If all you readers are curious for a sample of Seduction's Stakes, Claire has graciously provided an excerpt for us to enjoy:

    Her eyes settled on him as he approached, and her mouth curved into a bright smile that almost stopped him in his tracks. Despite her earlier friendliness, he hadn’t anticipated that. Couldn’t recall when she’d ever looked legitimately glad to see him. He had expected her to nod politely, accept his elbow because etiquette demanded she do so, and then casually converse with him as he led her to the table.

    “Evening, Riley.” She waited a moment, taking him in with one quick roaming glance, before she settled her fingers into the crook of his offered arm. “Did you save me a seat?”

    He grinned. “I did.”

    “Good. I’ve been looking forward to tonight all afternoon.”

    He chanced a sideways glance at her, uncertain what to make of that comment. When she caught him looking, she gave him a little wink that sent his heart slamming into his ribs. Lord, the woman knew how to draw a man in.

    “I’m sorry I’m late. My truck died on me on the way here. I had to call a cab.”

    “Truck?” He’d never paid much attention to what she drove outside of the trailer combination used on race day. For some reason he’d expected her to drive a flashy little sports car. The vision of her perched behind a pickup only sparked that simmer of desire further. Strong and assertive—that’s what trucks were. Just like her.

    The fact her truck broke down took a bit longer to sink in. “Did you get it towed?”

    “Nah, it’s sitting on the side of the highway still. I’ll deal with it tomorrow.”

    He sensed opportunity. Never one to miss it, as he pulled out her chair, he asked, “Want a ride home later?”

    She tucked her dress around her and scooted into the velvet-cushioned chair. When she turned her head up to look at him, her long blond mane fell over one shoulder and danced against her lap. The urge to run his fingers through it, despite their present company, hit him with such force he clenched his hand to resist.

    Looking at him as if she weighed her answer, he prepared to hear her refusal. But when her chin dipped into a gracious nod, and she smiled once more, he almost tripped over his tongue. What had happened from two weeks ago at Lexington when she refused his advances, to today? And where had his ability to function gone? He hadn’t felt this awkward… ever. Shaking off the oddities, he took his seat beside her.

    “I suppose then, I’ll have to keep you close at hand, so I know when you’re ready to go.”

    Over the rim of her wine glass, her bright green eyes twinkled. “I suppose you shall.”

    It finally occurred to him, she was flirting with him. Riley lifted his own glass and drank deeply. And then he decided to see how serious she was.

    And now.... Let the commenting commence! I'll randomly draw and announce the lucky winner October 12th (please leave a name, link, email address, or something when you comment so I can contact you once you win). OR if you'd rather just go buy a copy of the story today, head over to The Wild Rose Press and do that now.

    Thanks, all, for stopping by. I'll leave another post SUNDAY!

    What a Blog Can Teach You

    Thursday, October 1, 2009
    Tomorrow is when the real fun stuff starts on my blog, but I got all nervous yesterday, worried I put too much pomp and circumstance in my announcement that my blogs would be oh-so-wonderful this month. I thought I better do something this morning, except.... Eek. I didn't have anything planned for today.

    So, we'll just have to see how this goes. Cross your fingers.

    Lately, I've been diving into the blog world, reading other people's posts, and I've learned so much, I just have to share with you all the wonderful things a writer can learn from other blogs.

    Marie Devers has named her blog Booknapped with the motto "Ideas so good, I stole them," which I thought was an excellent plan. So, today I'm BLOGnapping, and stealing everyone else's ideas.

    From Nancy J. Parra's Sunday, September 27, 2009 post on her Blog, This Writer's Life, I learned some insightful advice about how a writer should deal with all the story ideas they accumulate. She says:

    "Story ideas are everywhere. The key is to discover which ideas have the potential to become books that will sell. The only way to know that is to study the market place."

    Jessica Nelson shared some wonderful advice about writing the male point of view on her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 post in BookingIt:
    "The male ego… [is] apparently…one of the most important factors in a man's thought processes. He's sensitive and his ego is tied to his self-respect."

    After watching the movie, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, here’s what Jackie Bannon taught me on her Sunday, September 27, 2009 post in Chaotic thoughts from Ms. Quirky:
    “They said (and I'm paraphrasing here because you know how I am at remembering things): In a relationship, the one that cares the least has the power.”
    I figure this can be helpful in writing just about ANY romance story.

    Sherry Dale Rogers made me want to start up creating middle grade fiction in her Monday, September 28, 2009 blog, Excuse me, does this blog make my butt look big when she said:
    "[Middle Grade fiction] is when most children begin to develop a great interest in character recognition, as in they are in self-discovery mode. Kids really get hooked on characters at this age."
    It'd make me more excited about writing if I knew my readers were really excited about my characters.

    Tess Hilmo really knew how to boost the writer in me on her Tuesday, September 22, 2009 blog post in Tess Hilmo" when she announced:
    "I want an actual career as an author. I'm willing to work, to push, to fight my own insecurities and laziness. I'm willing to listen, and try and learn. I'm hungry. Are you?"

    Ashley Ladd taught me that a male character's speech patterns are typically shorter than a female's in her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 post at Happily Ever After when she wrote:
    "The thrust of this edit is my hero's speech patterns. His sentences and his thoughts are too long, like a woman's.”

    I thought Megan Rebekah was pretty smart on her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 blog Megan Rebekah Blogs...and Writes when she made a great point about putting name brands in your story:
    "Like everything with writing, it's a matter of balance. Used correctly, brand names can connect a reader with the characters."

    Natalie Bahm made me think back and appreciate a few of my past educators when on her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 blog Natalie Bahm, she said
    "When I decided to try writing a few years ago I remembered this teacher and others from college who had been positive about my writing. The encouragement they gave me years ago was enough to pull me through months of self-doubt when I was starting out. Did you have a teacher, parent, youth leader, etc. that helped you believe in your ability to write?"

    On her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 blog, Talespinning, Tricia J. O'Brien knew what she was talking about when she said:
    "Every novel starts somewhere. The author's job is to snag readers with that opening and keep them captivated. Those first lines should be enticing or arresting. They should evoke the tone of the book, be compatible with the theme and storyline."

    For improving dialogue, Robyn Campbell described a wonderful exercise on her Wednesday, September 30, 2009 post in Putting Pen to Paper:
    "An exercise I learned some time ago. I forget where. Strip one of your existing dialogues, so much that you take out the original scene. Ask someone to create a list of four or five details from your world. He might choose a detail from several different settings. He might use senses. Have him write this on an index card. Tape it to your computer. Rewrite the original dialogue and use these

    Beth Revis detailed a new revision plan she came up with in her Thursday, October 1, 2009 post on Writing it Out, which went a little something like:
    "Here's the simple version of the revision plan: Readers.
    -Alpha reader: read as I was writing, usually between 25-50 pages a week.
    -Beta readers (2): read after I finished writing and had done a rough revision on my own.
    -Gamma readers (2): read after I polished the manuscript.
    [And the result] The key thing that worked in this revision process is that I was able to have the readers work and focus on different things in the manuscript."

    Linda LaRoque really helped me out with description scenes in her Sunday, September 6, 2009 post on Linda LaRoque's Musing when she said:
    "Description should enhance the characters and have a direct affect on the plot of your story."

    And Sandy K. Marshall gave wonderful advice about blogging in her Sunday, September 27, 2009 post at Sandra K. Marshall's Blog when she said:
    “In today’s world having a website and a blog is a necessary tool for promoting yourself and your books. This blog will show everyone the type of person you are when they read it.”
    ...which means you now probably have all realized... I'm nothing but a thief. Sigh. But at least you know now about some of the insightful authors I've been following lately.

    See you tomorrow.