Thursday, August 31, 2006



VOTE FOR ME!!!!!!

Actually, you should vote for whoever you want to vote for. :) But SHE'S GOT LEGS been nominated for "best e-book of the summer" on Ciar Cullen's blog.

http://ciarcullen.blogspot.com/

I'd love a vote. ;)

Of course, lots of my friends are also nominated...Bebe Thomas, Shelli Stevens, Debbie Mumford, Cassandra Curtis, Sela Carsen, Tawny Taylor, Laine Morgan, Tempest Knight, Cora Zane, Loribelle Hunt. So I won't hold it against ya if you don't vote for me.

There's some awesome e-books mentioned! I'm just thrilled to be invited to the party!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 12:11 PM :: 7 comments

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006



Mean Girls

What is it about the female psyche that causes us to be catty and vindictive? No, I don't mean all women, but for some reason, women have this need to tear people down much more than men do.

This theme appears in pop culture, too: Mean Girls and Heathers, to name a couple. Next month Stephanie Lessing's book, Miss Understanding, will be released from Avon. It focuses on a uber-feminist who takes over a fashion magazine and explores why women bully each other rather than encouraging one another.

It's weird. Women are our sisters, our girlfriends. Other than your spouse/partner, you tend to have a much closer relationship with your girlfriends than with your boyfriends. You girlfriends stay while the majority of your boyfriends (until you find the right one) will all leave. They're all best friends and champions, and yet, they can also be our worst enemies.

Is it any surprise that the whole THIS IS CHICK LIT/THIS IS NOT CHICK LIT debate is raging? (For those who don't know, a group of chick lit authors were releasing a book called THIS IS CHICK LIT next month but a group of "literary" women authors beat them to it and released THIS IS NOT CHICK LIT this month...just to stir the pot.)

I don't get this need to tear each other down. *sigh*

I was crying this morning because of some things that were posted about me on one of my non-writing-related boards. Whatever. I'm over it.

I forgive, but I don't forget.

The nice thing about being a writer though is you can name characters after mean people and then kill them off!

Oops...did I say that out loud?

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 7:42 AM :: 14 comments

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006



An Interview with Freya's Bower Author M.E. Ellis

It's Tuesday, so once again I'm chatting with a Freya's Bower author. My guest today is M.E. Ellis, author of the soon-to-be-released CHARADE, as well as PERVALISM, QUITS, and GAROU MOON, all available from Wild Child Publishing, FB's sister publication.

Amanda: Welcome M.E. Tell us something about yourself.

M.E.: Well, apart from being a nut job, I’ve been blessed in my life to have given birth to five children. Not many people can say they’ve fulfilled all of their dreams, but having the kids, a supportive husband, and being a writer, I’ve realised nearly everything I ever wanted. My last dream is to go to Africa with the Red Cross and raise money for the starving—to hold a child who lost its family and let them know someone cares.

I’m a hermit, a homebody. I have few friends, keep to myself, and live for my family. I think a lot—about life, the world, everything. I have so much compassion for those suffering—be it health, wars, disability—that I sometimes feel I could burst with the emotion of it.

Amanda: Well, that emotion definitely comes through in your writing. PERVALISM, QUITS and GAROU MOON were all very dark and CHARADE looks about the exact opposite. Was it difficult to make such a huge switch?

M.E.: With my horror novels, which I tend to lean more towards, I can transfer my upset at the disasters in the world and it gives me an outlet. Every time someone suffers by another’s hand, I can kill a character in my book. Within the pages of these books are murders and abuse, yet it is my way of controlling the feelings inside that surface when I hear about unjust occurrences.

I also faced one of my worst fears with Pervalism. Writing about a man who kills people and abducts a child purged a phobia so horrific that I am able to let my children go outside to play without that manic fear I possessed before. With Quits I let go of my old self and embraced the new, and GAROU MOON has instances from my past in it that I needed to place on the page to help me move on.

CHARADE is basically me. Shirley, the main character, is what my life is like on a daily basis, though I did embellish some parts! It’s a fun book, one that took a while to write as I have to have a certain mood and muse to write humour so that it doesn’t appear forced. I had CHARADE in a file for a year before it finally became complete. My horror gets written in a matter of weeks. So yes, it is difficult to make the switch.

Amanda: You can write your horrors in a matter of weeks? Wow. Color me impressed. Where do you find your inspirations?

M.E.: Life. People watching. A word or sentence sets off a whole novel. I sit down to begin and the book writes itself. I wonder where it all comes from, as stabbing or maiming someone in real life is so far removed from who I am, that I disturb myself upon read back. I have accepted now though, that it is not me or my personality on the page, but my subconscious. I write horrible scenes, ones that while writing them don’t faze me, as I go into a strange zone, but reading it afterwards I sit in shock.

I’m a jolly mother of five, who, when picking up her children from school appears such a nice old stick. I think if those mothers read my books they would steer clear of me and not let their children come here for tea.

Amanda: LOL! Probably. What do you like about writing for small presses, like Freya's Bower or Wild Child?

M.E.: The editing process and knowing your book will be published quicker than a print one would. The family atmosphere, encouragement and belief that you can do this, and keep doing it.

Amanda: Who are your favorite authors, and why?

M.E.: Thomas Harris. His Lechter series was stunning.
Michael Connelly. The ease of the read and the thriller plots keep me turning the pages.
Sarah Salway. Brightens my day, makes me laugh.
Zinnia Hope. Makes me think and takes me into a new world every time.

Amanda: A lot of us are big Z fans these days. What a find for FB! She's a major talent. So, do you have a favorite genre to read or write?

M.E.: To read and write, thrillers and horror. The more sinister the better! I love being creeped out, and creeping people out!

Amanda: Hmmm...maybe those mothers you mentioned should watch out. Just kidding! What are you reading at the moment?

M.E.: Lynda La Plante – Above Suspicion.

Amanda: What are you working on right now?

M.E.: A psychological horror called Five Pyramids. It’s one of those books with three stories running through it, yet they all interweave. When I do get the urge to write it, I enjoy it. Sadly, because it is so complex, I’ve veered away from it lately. This is the novel I plan to pitch to agents, so help me God.

_________________________________________________________________

Thanks for stopping by, M.E.! And thanks, especially, for being so flexible with the scheduling. :)

Speaking of horror stories, what do we all think about that creep John Mark Karr? Evidently, no charges are being pressed, because the DNA evidence does not match, but what kind of sicko studies the case so intently that he is able to learn the details intimately and then makes a false confession?

OK, OK, I know. False confessions are nothing new. Of the 183 death row inmates exonerated by DNA evidence prior to execution (Barry Scheck and the Innocence Project are my heroes...seriously), several cases have involved false confessions. But what do you think causes a false confession?

It's a fascinating subject, but one for another day. Gotta run and get some work done so I can justify the fact that they pay me. Adios!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:05 AM :: 11 comments

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Monday, August 28, 2006



Look, ma! I'm almost famous!

Bebe Thomas, author of AURORA'S PASSION, interviewed me for her new blog, "Conversations with Almost Famous Writers." Check it out at www.conversationswithalmostfamouswriters.blogspot.com to learn all about how being I had nothing better to do so I decided to go to law school and where to find the best egg roll.

Did everyone have a nice weekend? I did. It was pretter relaxing. I spent it writing, hanging out by the pool, and researching Costa Rica. My parents are thinking of renting a house on the beach in Quepos, CR (within walking distance of Manuel Antonio National Park) for a week sometime this spring, and they've invited me and my hubby along. So I immersed myself in learning all about monkeys, macaws, and iguanas.

Oh, and here's a shameless plug. I'm running a contest to promo my mini ebook, SHE'S GOT LEGS. If you blog, post, or email about it between now and Labor Day, just let me know and you'll be entered to win a box full of new books. Pick your genre: erotica, paranormal, comtemporary, chick lit, or historical.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:35 AM :: 7 comments

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Thursday, August 24, 2006



LA LA LA LA LA...I Can't Hear You...

I don't know who they think they are. I mean, last week they just up and declared that we have 12 planets. Now, not only are they taking away those 3 new ones but they're also taking away Pluto? So what is it? Nine planets? Twelve planets? Eight planets?

Talk about an abuse of power.

The possibilities boggle my mind. Poor Pluto. That would be extremely sad to be demoted. It's kind of like Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer being told he's not good enough to play reindeer games. Just because Pluto is smaller (they're now saying they may be creating another category just below "planet" for "dwarf planets") they have to discriminate against it.

Where's the outrage? The horror? And what type of message are we sending to our children, that one day we can simply just demote an entire planet based entirely on its size?

Good thing I didn't get started on that book about the planets last week. I would have written in 12 planets and then I would have had to scrap 4 of them. Phew!

And what about the impact on the styrofoam ball industry? Here they thought that last week's announcement that there were 12 planets would be such a coup...more demand for supplies to make science project dioramas. But now they shockingly lose 1/3 of their market...just like that. That's gotta be a crushing blow.

But whatever...I'm just going to ignore all this crazy talk and live happily cocooned away in my own little world where all is right and there are NINE planets.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 8:43 AM :: 10 comments

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006



What Would You Want to Know????

In my day-to-day life, I'm an intellectual property attorney. In my current job, I exclusively handle trademark law, but in prior positions, I've dealt mostly with copyright and internet issues.

Anyway, on Romance Divas, I've earned the nickname "Legal Diva" because I have a tendancy to jump in whenever people have copyright questions. I'm not trying to be a show-off or anything, but writers tend to have lots of questions in this area, and unfortunately other writers seem to think they know the answers and often provide bad information. So I try to help out.

As a result, several of my writing friends have suggested that I put together a workshop on basic IP law for next year's RWA nationals. The deadline to apply to give workshops is November 1, and while that's a long time from now, I know it will sneak up on me. Besides, I need a full outline and handouts when I apply, I so figure I ought to start thinking about this now.

So, in the interest of keeping me sane, I've decided to put the question out there. What would you want to know? I could easily teach a month-long course on this to law students or lawyers, but I'll only get an hour at RWA, so what do writers want to know in this area?

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 8:37 AM :: 6 comments

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006



An Interview with Freya's Bower Author H.A. Fowler

It's Tuesday, which means that it's time for this week's installment of my interview series with fellow FB authors. I was supposed to chat with M.E. Ellis today, but due to a computer crash/purge, M.E. and I weren't able to get together the interview in time. But no fear, H.A. Fowler was able to step up to the plate and move her interview up one week.

So without any further ado, I present H.A. Fowler, author of SWORD OF REGRET!

Amanda: Tell us a bit about yourself.

H.A.: LOL! I'm so bad at these things. My name is Heather, I write paranormal romance and dark fantasy under the name H.A. Fowler. I'm single and live in upstate New York, right on the edge of the incredible Adirondack Park, only yards from Lake Champlain. I’m a full-time writer and student, working on my second degree. My first is in Psychology (earned many moons ago) and this one is in English Lit/Writing. I'm hoping to start working on my MFA in 2008, and my PhD after that. Popular fiction, especially vampires and romance, are my academic interests.

Besides thinking entirely too much about fictional characters -- mine and others' -- I also practice yoga and watch entirely too much television. Although, I've gotten rid of my cable, so I'm slowly trying to ween myself off the most evil time sucking device in a writer's universe!

My ultimate dream is to divide my time between writing and teaching writing.

Amanda: The Adirondacks are so beautiful. My grandfather and step-grandma had a place at Eagle Crag Lake, near Tupper Lake, for years. I loved it. Have you ever considered setting any of your stories there?

H.A.: I adore this area-- the incredible scenery, the easy pace, the low crime rate and cost of living. There's nowhere in the world like it.

I'm actually DYING to set stories here -- I think the area lends itself easily to all manner of romantic and creepy tales alike. I have several shapeshifter stories on the back burner set in the mountains, where wolves have been extinct for over a hundred years. Wouldn't it be cool to think there were weres living out there? You don't have to answer that.

Amanda: Actually, I think that would freak me out! So, how did you begin writing?

H.A.: I've written all my life. I took part in a program for gifted children when I was a kid in CT, but there weren't any programs like that when I got older. I used to write constantly until about puberty, when I discovered boys. *G* In college, and even later, when I got hooked on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," I started writing again. I produced reams and reams of fanfiction for the latter, and the feedback led me to think maybe I could do it professionally. I just started pursuing publication seriously in 2005, and I've had great success so far. Honestly? It's the only job I've ever loved and could picture myself doing for the rest of my life!

Amanda: How did you get interested in the vampire genre, and how do you do your research?

H.A.: Research? What research? *G*

The joy of working in dark fantasy is that it's mostly made up -- it's rare that I've had to do much research at all beyond the meanings of names, general descriptions of places/time periods, pop culture references, etc. For those, I use the Net.

As for vampires, well... I got addicted very young. I remember being 8 or 9 the year INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE came out, and sneaking into the back stacks of my public library to read it because I was told it was "too grown up" for me. I was a very rebellious child. I read it just to be ornery... then I read it again because I couldn't get enough. Not long after, Frank Langella's "Dracula" came to the movies and the short-lived television series "Dracula '83" came out on TV, beginning a long series of vampire-themed cinema in the 80's, all of which I devoured with a... sort of creepy intensity. It hasn't abated since. Buffy, Angel, and the explosion of the paranormal/vampire romance genre have been like 10 years in Heaven for me!

Even if the genre fades--as it inevitably will--I'll keep writing. There's always a market for good vamp and shapeshifter stories in dark fantasy, horror, and romance. I know myself and my friends all devour every word we can get our hands on, and that won't change just because it goes out of favor with the mainstream!

Amanda: Where do you get your inspiration?

H.A.: Everywhere and anywhere -- classics I read for school, songs I hear on the radio, movies, television, bits of conversation, news headlines. When I hear/see something interesting, I always wonder how that could be parleyed into a story.

Amanda: How did SWORD OF REGRET come about?

H.A.: I saw Faith's post about Freya's Bites on Romance Divas, and figured it was a great opportunity to get more of my work out there, without having to invest months in planning, plotting and writing a novel. The Bites contest offered a prompt, and I had to write within my genre. The credit for the central idea of the sword goes to Freya's.

Amanda: What draws you to working with small presses, like Freya's Bower?

H.A.: I mentioned earlier that I cut my writing teeth (so to speak) on fanfiction. Fanfic is written by fans for fans, and the only payment you receive is in feedback from readers. It's a very intimate community with a lot of direct communication between writers and readers. I enjoy that, be the feedback praise or critique.

Professional writing often happens in a vacuum -- feedback comes mostly from professional reviewers and editors, not from readers, and when you do get it from readers, it's filtered through the publisher or some other forum. I don't like the sensation that I'm no longer part of a community.

Luckily, with ebook publishing, that direct contact still exists. There are other reasons as well, including pay (I understand the reasons behind the low percentage received by print authors, but I'm still not comfortable with it), environmental concerns (we can't keep up the number of paperbacks we devour forever!), a more intimate and personal relationship between writer/editor/publisher, and far more writer input into all levels of book production and promotion.

That's not to say that I'm not pursuing print publication as well--the fact is, if I want to do this for a living, there's little choice in the matter. I have to get an agent and crank out at least two novels a year (or so I've heard from successful friends). But my heart really belongs to epublishing. I hope to always be involved in producing for and promoting this format!

Amanda: Who are your favorite authors?

H.A.: I've been asked this question a LOT lately, so my top 10 are right on the tip of my tongue: Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Diana Gabaldon, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jim Butcher, Rachel Caine, Susan Sizemore, Chelsea Quinn-Yarbro, and of course, Anne Rice. It's become fashionable to trash her in recent years, but I'm sorry, as far as I'm concerned, anyone who writes about vampires or enjoys reading about them owes her a debt of gratitude and respect.

Amanda: What are you reading at the moment?

H.A.: I'll be starting Laura Anne Gilman's STAYING DEAD. I read voraciously -- a new book every couple of days or so when school isn't in session. Last night I read my fellow Freya's Bower author Shaunna Wolf's truly unique THE FORGE. I'm not much for scifi romance as a rule, but the premise and twist of this were so cool, it instantly became an ebook favorite. That it's hot AND plotty doesn't hurt. Of course, this summer has been awesome, chock full of new selections from my favorite authors.

The last two on my list are Janet Evanovich's 12 SHARP, and J.D. Robb's upcoming BORN IN DEATH. I loved Laurell's DANSE MACABRE, Jim's PROVEN GUILTY and Kim's A POCKETFULL OF CHARMS. I wasn't as crazy about Sherrilyn's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, but I'm hopeful the next book will be better.

Amanda: What are you working on next?

H.A.: I just sat down last night and wrote out my schedule for the rest of the summer -- it's PACKED! I'm working on a round of edits for THE VEIL for Cobblestone, along with an entry for their Runes Series due out next year tentatively titled CITY OF NIGHT. I've also got a few short stories going, two for submission to Ellora's Cavemen, another pair of Bites for Freya's, and hopefully a holiday story.

If you're interested in what's going on with me and my work, check out my homepage: http://www.hafowler.com -- I have a blog in most popular formats (MySpace, LiveJournal, and Blogger) and a Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hafowlers_worldsofromance.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 7:55 AM :: 6 comments

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Monday, August 21, 2006



INTERESTING NEW BOOK AND A CHANCE TO WIN $200 AMAZON GIFT CERTIFICATE

SLAVE TO SENSATION
Nalini Singh Berkley / September 2006
Welcome to a future where emotion is a crime and powers of the mind clash brutally against those of the heart.
Sascha Duncan is one of the Psy, a psychic race that has cut off its emotions in an effort to prevent murderous insanity. Those who feel are punished by having their brains wiped clean, their personalities and memories destroyed.
Lucas Hunter is a Changeling, a shapeshifter who craves sensation, lives for touch. When their separate worlds collide in the serial murders of Changeling women, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities…or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation.
Excerpt

Want to help Nalini promote? Then participate in Dear Author's blogging experiment. Blog about this book and report back to http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2006/08/20/slave-to-sensation-by-nalini-singh-a-blogging-experiment/ and you'll be entered to win a $200 gift certificate from Amazon. Dear Author is trying to see whether blogging has any real-world impact on the increase in sales.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 1:09 PM :: 3 comments

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006



I Feel Betrayed

They've been lying to us for years. All this time, I've been living comfortably in my own little cocoon in which there were merely nine planets. Now I wake up this morning to discover that everything I've ever believed is a lie and there are really twelve planets in our solar system.

Imagine the outrage and disgrace I must feel to learn that my beloved elementary school teachers were deliberately lying to me. Going completely out of the their way to make me think that nine was a special number, when in reality it should ahve been twelve.

What am I going to do? I suddenly have three more planets to learn. In a way it's good that this happened now, rather than twenty years ago. I'm not sure I would have been able to scramble and find three more tiny styrofoam balls for my solar system dioramas.

Oh no! Are they going to refilm the scene in "The Devil Wears Prada" movie where Andi puts finishing touches on the twins' science project? I bet they didn't expect the pop culture references in that movie to be obsolete in a mere few weeks.

And it looks like at some time in the future we might discover they're still lying to us. According to a draft resolution of the International Astronomical Union, puny little Pluto is going to remain a planet for now --they've been debating for years whether it was really a planet at all -- but who knows what will happen a few years down the line. I mean, if they can just snap their fingers and instantaneously force a change of billions of science textbooks by declaring Ceres, Charon, and "Xena" (come on, the Warrior Princess?!?) to be planets, then who's to say they won't demote Pluto? I mean, Ceres had been a planet in the 1800's before it was demoted.

If the resolution is approved, the twelve planets in our solar system listed in order of their proximity to the sun would be Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Charon, and the provisionally named 2003 UB313.

Wait a minute...2003 UB313? I thought they were calling it Xena. Well, it turns out that's just the nickname that its discover gave it until the IAU can come up with a new name.

Maybe they'll have a contest, like the National Zoo had to name my fave little baby panda, Tai Shan. Just think of all the cool names people could come up with.

Oh wait. Ooops, yeah. I'm not supposed to be excited about this. I'm supposed to be indignant and defiant. After all, they've been lying to us to our faces for years.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:04 AM :: 12 comments

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006



An Interview with Freya's Bower Author Kis Lee

It's Tuesday, so you know what that means -- time for my next interview with an FB author! This week I'm chatting with Kiss Lee, author of KAYLA FINDS HER WAY.

Amanda: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Kis: I recently turned the big 3-0. I don't feel any different, and I still feel like a 20-something. I grew up in Los Angeles and have been living in Orange County for a year.

I'm pretty boring. I like music, books, and movies, in that order. My ultimate goal is to be able to make enough money to buy a house near the beach. (I have big dreams.)

Amanda: When and how did you begin writing?

Kis: I'm one of those people who always wanted to be a writer. When I grow up, I want to be the next Stephen King. When I was in college, I submitted a few poems here and there. I started to submit short stories at the beginning of 2006. I plan to expand my writing career to include nonfiction articles.

Amanda: Why do you write?

Kis: It's the only talent I have. Maybe that sounds arrogant, but it's true. I'm a writer. Period. No other career or occupation suits me. I tried the white collar world, and I hated it. Now it's time for me to focus on what I really want to do.

Amanda: Where do you get your inspirations?

Kis: I write in several genres, and erotica is the easiest for me. I think I have a dirty mind. :) I've always had a really comfortable attitude about sex, and I like exploring different types of relationships. To be honest, I don't really read traditional romances. I love sex, and I love writing about sex. I write straight from the libido.

Amanda: How did KAYLA FINDS HER WAY get its start?

Kis: I like the idea of cross-genre writing. I wrote a horror/western story that has been published in an anthology. I wanted to do something similar with my Bites book. In the beginning, I intended to write two stories that took place in the Old West. My editor liked one story, but he wasn't feeling the other. I had the same reaction. So I dumped that one, and I wrote one with a more contemporary feel. That story became the title story.

Amanda: What do you like about working with small presses, such as Freya's Bower?

Kis: I like the interaction with my editors. I like the fact that I can give feedback, and a real live person will respond. It's the individual touch that counts.

Amanda: If you were forced to get rid of all books on your bookshelf except for three, what would those be?

Kis: 1) The Stand by Stephen King 2) Fight Club - Chuck Palahnuik 3) The Woman Warrior - Maxine Hong Kingston

Amanda: What are you reading right now?

Kis: I'm on a horror kick right now. I'm re-reading On Writing by Stephen King. I'm going to start reading Headstone City by Tom Piccirilli.

Amanda: What are you working on at the moment?

Kis: I'm taking a break from the sex writing. At the moment, I'm working on an outline for a supernatural horror novel. I recently purchased "Plot and Structure" by James Scott Bell, because a writer/friend recommended it. I'm going to browse the book and start working on that novel. I like stories about blood and violence. (I'm not sure what that says about me.)

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:28 AM :: 5 comments

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Monday, August 14, 2006



What's My Line?

I review a lot of books for Romance Divas, mostly in the chick lit/women's fiction genres, but also some contemporary romance and the occasional historical.

One of the things I've noticed that set apart most of the books I gave 5 and 4 1/2 kisses ratings to from lower-rated books is the hook.

We always hear the importance of the hook. "Work on the hook." "You need a great hook."

Anyway, I am here today to present to you my recent (as in, from the past 6 months) absolute favorite first line. It's from Alesia Holliday's hilarious recent release, Seven Ways to Lose Your Lover, which I'm currently in the middle of reading and will be writing my review for Romance Divas shortly.

Here it is (and I'm paraphrasing slightly--I don't have the book with me this morning, so I'll fix this when I get home tonight):

"In case you're wondering, desperation smells a lot like purple passion fruit body oil -- fruity and a little rancid."

It definitely sets the tone for what follows.

What are some of your favorite lines?

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 5:31 AM :: 3 comments

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Saturday, August 12, 2006



BUY MY FRIEND'S BOOK!

FULL SWING by Crystal Jordan(Cobblestone Press, August 18, 2006)

The only place they still communicate is between the sheets...a professional woman golfer and an Army Ranger struggle to save their marriage after he's seriously injured in combat and has to retire. Outside the bedroom, everything is falling apart because he believes she deserves better than a broken man, but she dreams of a future when they stop fighting and start talking long enough to reclaim the happily ever after that once seemed so certain.

ABOUT CRYSTAL JORDAN:
Crystal Jordan only began writing about a year ago after she finished graduate school and needed something to fill the hours that used to be eaten away by homework. What started as a hobby has quickly become a new career. She now writes paranormal, futuristic, contemporary, and erotic romance. Additionally, she is a member of RWA and its erotic romance chapter, Passionate Ink. She also belongs to the award winning author's resource website and forum RomanceDivas.com, where she serves as a moderator and Paranormal Co-Liaison.

http://www.crystaljordan.com
AVAILABLE AUGUST 18!http://www.cobblestone-press.com

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 2:27 PM :: 3 comments

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You Either Love It or You Hate It

I'm talking about my chick lit manuscript. Not sure why, but I don't ever get any "average" scores in writing contests. I seem to get all 4's and 5's or all 1's and 2's.

Some judges seem to LOVE it and score me quite high (one of my three judges in the Jasmine said it was the best writing she'd seen in a long time, another one said she loved my voice--that it was so fun and hip and my heroines were great), while others seem to HATE it (the remaining of the three Jasmine judges absoltely ripped it to shreds, saying it was boring and she wouldn't want to read any more, my voice was harsh, and my heroines were bitter and unlikeable).

Sort of the same thing with my scores in the Sheila. Two of the three really liked it, while the third hated it.

Just goes to show, you can't please all the people all the time.

I got my Jasmine scores in the mail yesterday, obviously, and the first packet I took out was from the judge who hated it. After reading that, I was convinced that there must have been some kind of bizarre freak scoring mistake and that I didn't really final. How could I possibly, considering that this judge gave me 102 points out of a possible 236? OK, I lied. She gave me 5's in "formatting" and "is the manuscript free of grammatical errors?"

But then I pulled out the other two, and realized that they'd scored me so high that it obvioulsy balanced out the one who didn't like it.

Weird. But I guess it's good to get strong reactions. Granted, I'd rather everyone thought it was the greatest thing they'd ever read, but clearly that's not realistic.

I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed that the final round judge falls more into the other two judges' camp.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 1:52 PM :: 6 comments

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006



Crazy, Whirlwind Type of Day

So, yesterday I got an unsolicited email from an agent. She's an associate of an agent I met at RWA. We'll call the one I met at RWA "Agent A" and her associate "Agent B." I didn't even really pitch Agent A. I just noticed that she reps on of my all-time fave legal thriller writers, so I told her how much I loved those books. We got to talking about that series, and it came out that I'm an intellectual property attorney, and that I write chick lit, and that one day I'd like to write a chick lit legal thriller about trade secrets and industrial espionage. Agent ! thought that sounded cool and said she's like to take a look at it one day (LONG IN THE FUTURE) when it's done. So we traded cards.

Anyway, yesterday, Agent A's associate, Agent B, emailed me. She said that Agent B enjoyed meeting with me and was impressed by my "drive, ideas, and professionalism," but that she's full right now, so she passed my card along to Agent B. Agent B then proceeded to request 100 pages of FROM MISS BITCH, as well as "whatever you have" of the unfinished YA (CODENAME: DANCER). Color me SHOCKED!

Wow!

But wait -- it gets better! I get to work this morning and check one of my email accounts. Turns out, there was a clerical error in the 2006 Jasmine Contest and even though the announcements went out without my name on it, that was a mistake and I am actually a finalist! The contest coordinator apologized profusely, said she's working to resend announcements to the RWA loops, is sending me my finalist prize, and is sending my entry to the contest judge.

Wow!

Then, I check yet another email account, this time, the "Amanda Brice" one, and find two fantastic reviews for SHE'S GOT LEGS, my mini ebook short from Freya's Bower.

Romance Divas gave me 4 kisses:
"I would love to see this as a longer piece as the premise is hilarious. All in all a great fast read and it will, I'm sure, make readers long for more from this author."

I'll link to the RD review when it goes live on the site.

But get this, Coffee Time Romance gave me 5 cups!!!!!!
"I probably did not blink once through this story. When it ended, I wanted to scream, "It cannot be over yet, can it?" Ms. Brice penned a hilarious tale with an innovative twist. Loaded with funny references pertinent to the twenty and thirty-something women of today, there were some roar out loud moments through her witty tone and sharp descriptions. The characters are nothing short of adorable. There is a bit of Daria in every woman. It was truly a delight to read."

You can read the full review here: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/Shesgotlegs.html

*squee*

I think my coworkers must think I'm nuts, because I've been bouncing off walls since yesterday afternoon! Somebody better scrape me off the ceiling, because I think I got stuck up here!

So yeah, I'm having a GREAT couple of days. Much better than Senator Joe Lieberman is having. The three-time senator, one-time Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee, and primary presidential candidate in 2004, lost the Democratic Primary in Connecticut to challenger Ned Lamont. What should have been an easy cakewalk for this moderate turned into a disaster, as Lamont played off of Connecticut Democrats' growing distate for President Bush and everyone they deem to be his apologist.

Will Lieberman keep his seat? He's running as an Independent now, so he's not totally out of the race. 45% of Connecticut residents self-identify as "independent" or "party undeclared," so he's got a large swath of voters he can court. He can now position himself as a true moderate, and get the center-rights who've always admired him and are becoming increasingly disillusioned by the direction the Republican Party is going.

But will it be enough? Only time will tell. Guess we'll find out in November.

It was hasn't been a great week for Texas Republicans, as Tom DeLay was forced to act after Republicans lost several court battles to remove his name from the ballot in his former district and replace him with a GOP-chosen nominee. The GOP ended their formal legal battles Monday after Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia (no friend of the Democratic Party) refused to hear their case, thus letting Thursday's decision of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to stand.

Dems want DeLay to remain on the ballot, as they believe that it will make it an easier choice for voters to reject Republican leadership at the polls, thus increasing the chances of retaking the House in November. But DeLay criticized the courts' decisions as he encouraged the Republican Party to "take any and all actions necessary to give Texas voters an up-or-down choice this fall between two major party candidates."
DeLay said the courts' decisions in the Texas case conflicted with legal rulings from 2002 when Democrats were allowed to replace New Jersey senator Robert Torricelli with former senator Frank Lautenberg on the November ballot weeks before the election. Torricelli abandoned the race amid ethics allegations.

So will DeLay's name remain on the ballot, despite his resigning from, first his leadership position, and then from Conress itself, in the wake of scandal (he's facing charges of money-laundering and has been linked to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff) and changing his legal residence from Texas to Virginia? Will Joe Lieberman win his battle for the Senate?

All this excitement just makes me want to go back to my old job on Capitol Hill! I love a good politics intrigue!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 7:02 AM :: 10 comments

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006



An Interview with Freya's Bower Author Canice Brown-Porter

Welcome everyone to the latest installment of my Tuesday interviews with FB authors. Today I'm chatting with Canice Brown-Porter, author of BEYOND THE MAZE.

Amanda: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Canice: I'm married to a wonderful man who truly completes me. I have two adult sons from a previous marriage and my hubby has six adult children. I've always been the artistic type, whether it is drawing, painting, digital design, or writing. I love to landscape, so my yard is fast becoming a tangle of grassy paths. I find this also to be therapeutic when I get stressed out...which is an every day occurance due to hubby's health issues.

Amanda: When and how did you begin writing?

Canice: I've always loved to write and draw. I kept a journal in elementary school, and loved English class whenever the homework involved writing a story. (I'm one of the few who actually enjoyed diagramming sentences.) I wrote my first full-length contemporary romance in high school at the worldly age of 14.

Amanda: Where do you find your inspirations?

Canice: Inspriration generally comes from things I see or hear, unless I'm in a brainstorming mode. I have an actice mind and think of angles all the time. Sometimes a dream will trigger a story.

Amanda: How did BEYOND THE MAZE get its start?

Canice: I was already working on an historical wip which slipped into a time travel on its own. Then, when I sent the sample from that wip to Freya's Bower, they really liked my voice. I had actually stopped for takeout during the thinking stage, bouncing ideas back and forth with my hubby, and ended up stumbling onto a set of skeleton keys that were lying on the ground right at the door of our car. Hence, the heroine finding the skeleton keys in the maze when she tumbles.

Amanda: Most writers are also readers. Who are your favorite authors and why?

Canice: Danielle Steele used to be by favorite many moons ago. I don't think I have one particular author now. I do enjoy reading Johanna Lundsay and Catherine Coulter.

Amanda: Is there a particular genre you prefer the most, whether to read or write?

Canice: I absolutely love to read regency historicals - romance, of course. But, I have a somewhat eclectic taste in books.

Amanda: What are you reading right now?

Canice: Most of my reading right now pertains to the books I review for Romance Divas. I just finished A Taste of Temptation by Gayle Eden, which is an erotic historical published by Linden Bay Romance. I'll start on an erotic BDSM within the next couple of days. I've got to get this review written first.

Amanda: What are you working on right now?

Canice: With all the health issues of my hubby, I'm not doing much of anything right now. However, I am trying to add a few more sensual and/or love scenes in the first novel of my 5-book series, Yesterday's Innocence, so that I can send it back to Liquid Silver Books, who requested the changes. However, I'm now sending it to Freya's Bower for first dibs, as they've just announced a new print line (paperback). I've always envisioned this series in print. I've also got the first 6 chapters of an historical time travel in the works, which I have targets for Cobblestone Press. Plus, I have 2 projects for Freya's Bower in the planning stages. One is for their Goddess Freya line and the other for their upcoming Halloween line.

Amanda: What do you like best about working with small presses, like Freya's Bower?

Canice: I enjoy the personal contact and the one-on-one with not only the editors, but the other authors as well. We become like extended families, which is always nice. The support system is strong, and, there is always the ability to get involved in the decision-making, if changes are encessary. I guess what it comes down to is the "open door" policy. Communication between all parties is just fantastic. That's key to success.
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Thanks, Canice, for another great interview!

Speaking of Freya's Bower, this Friday, FB authors and editors will be in the chat room for a "Sensual Chat." Here are the details:

Freya's Bower Publisher and Author Chat
Date: Friday, August 11, 2006 from 5 pm - 10 pm EST
Type: Live Chat
Location: Freya's Bower chat room
This chat is all about the senses. Be prepared to be titillated. You must be 18 to participate. Just sign in and join us. :) Authors and editors will be popping in and out throughout this time.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 5:49 AM :: 4 comments

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Friday, August 04, 2006



Arrest Made in Phoenix Serial Shooter Case

I have been debating what to write today. Many of who know that, although I haven't done so here, I've weighed in on RD and on other people's blogs about the whole Jan Butler issue. I thought about being Blog # 81472947129474 to take it on as my post today, but decided against it. If you want to read my thoughts, head on over to Kate Rothwell's blog of July 22 and Smart B!tches's blogs of yesterday and today.

It also thought about posting my thoughts on the Senate's failure to pass a bill that would raise the minimum wage from $5.15/hr to $7.25/hr. I was all ready to point out that working full time at the current federal minimum (and most minimum wage earners don't have full-time jobs because their employers don't want to pop for benefits that would be required for full-time employees, so they have lots of part-timers) would get you not much more than $10K per year, which is well below the poverty level. DEFINITELY not a living wage.

But I'm not going there either. You've all read the arguments in papers, in the blogs of people much smarter than me (although I'm not sure whether she's discussed this issue lately, can I just say that I want to be Ana Marie Cox when I grow up?), heard it on TV, and ahve thoughts of your own. I'm not going to rehash it on here. (And $7.25/hr gets you just under $15K, so not a heckuva lot more.)

I also thought about posting my thoughts on the current horrible situation in Lebanon/Israel and how scared I am for the families of friends of mine who are currently in both of those countries.

But I'm turning over a new leaf. Despite the fact that I originally began this blog thinking that I wanted to make it a combo of my writing journey, random thoughts on politics, and life in DC, I'm beginning more and more to think that I should steer clear of the political issues on here. At least most of the time. I'm not Ana Marie Cox. I won't ever be.

So, here's my post for today:

Looks like the police in Phoenix have caught the so-called "Serial Shooter." THANK GOODNESS! Having once lived (not too terribly long ago) in the Phoenix area, and having so many friends still there, I was definitely very relieved to read this: http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/08/04/arizona.killings/index.html

Now, here's to hoping that they'll catch the Baseline Killer.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 11:16 AM :: 6 comments

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Thursday, August 03, 2006



Very Busy Month Ahead at Romance Divas

Romance DivasAuthor of the Month : Gemma Halliday – Contests workshop from the Golden Heart winnerAug 5-7: Paranormal Event with Carrie Vaughn, LA Banks, CT Adams/Cathy Clamp, Gena Showalter, and Kelley Armstrong.Aug 11 Jessica Faust: Bookends-inc agent in the Chatroom. 9 EasternAugust 8-18 :: Getting To Know The Voices in Your Head Workshop with Jo Ann Ferguson/Jocelyn Kelley Aug 18 :: Theresa Meyers: PR/Promo in the Chatroom.August 25 :: Ann Christopher, Patricia Sargeant, Maureen Smith and Sophia Shaw Multi-cultural Authors Chat

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:32 AM :: 5 comments

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006



Hot, Tired, and Pissy

Warning...I have PMS today. And it doesn't help that it's 99 degrees right now, but feels like 109 with the heat index. Thank goodness the a/c is on in my office or there'd be hell to pay. I'm pretty sure that it would be considered justifiable homicide.

Anyway, I'm exhausted because we went to the Legg Mason Tennis Classic last night with a partner from Eric's firm. It was really nice of him to give us the tickets and it was great to see some world-class pro tennis. But the Henman match lasted FOREVER, and as a result, the Agassi match started late. Sadly, Agassi lost, and lost quickly, but it still meant that it was past 10 pm when the James Blake match began. We stayed for the first set and then took off, because we knew it would take at least an hour to get home and it was already past 10:30.

So needless to say, I'm dragging a$$ today. I might have to bribe Eric to tape "So You Think You Can Dance" for me so I can go to bed early tonight.

Speaking of which, can you believe that Allison got voted off? OMG! Eric taped it for me last week because I was at the chapter party for Chick Lit Writers of the World, schmoozing it up, so I didn't get to see it until I got home from RWA on Sunday. But he forgot to tape the results show, so I didn't learn until work on Monday morning who was booted off. And let me tell you--I was SHOCKED! Seriously, she's been my favorite dancer on the show.

I hate this whole thing with letting ONLY the American public choose the winner. It basically turns into this popularity contest. Now, I'm not denying that Benji is great and a fantastic showman, but there's no way that he has the technique of say, Travis or Ryan.

Oh well. C'est la vie. Can't wait until the tour gets to DC!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 10:31 AM :: 4 comments

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006



An Interview with Freya's Bower Author, Debbie Mumford

Welcome to the latest installment in my series of interviews with Freya's Bower authors. Today I'm chatting with Debbie Mumford, author of GLASS MAGIC and the newly-released SORCHA'S HEART.

Amanda: Tell us something about yourself.

Debbie: Well, let’s see if I can make myself sound interesting. I’m married to my best friend, and have been for longer than I care to mention here. (LOL) We have three wonderful children who have successfully left the nest. Our eldest daughter is married and has given us two beautiful grandchildren (a little boy who will be 3 this month, and a 4-month-old girl).I’m a mother of twins, a quilt artist and teacher, a writer, and an avid reader. My day job is as a technical writer for a land use / architectural firm, though my dream is to be a full-time fiction writer.

Amanda: How and when did you begin writing?

Debbie: I’ve always been interested in writing, but my first calling was motherhood. Yep, it’s true. You can ask my best friend, who’s known me since preschool, my childhood dream was to be a mom. This relates to your question because it meant I didn’t pay attention to my writing muse until my kids left the nest.

Empty nest? Not me! Once the kids flew, my muse grabbed the reins and shouted, “My turn!” Suddenly my life was populated with fictional characters. Because I’d spent my life to that point nurturing children, my first stories were for kids, but that wasn’t quite right.

Three years ago, I settled down and decided to write a novel. Didn’t have a clue what I was doing—and the finished product illustrated that fact beautifully! After universal rejection from publishers and agents—who sent me form letters that gave no clue as to what I’d done wrong—I joined a writing group, began taking classes, and found a critique group that included many published authors. Wow! What an education.

Amanda: Where do you get your inspiration?

Debbie: Everywhere! GLASS MAGIC actually came from a cold winter day when the glass in the front door at my office fogged up. You could actually read a sign that had been removed probably a decade before. The phrase “ghost in the glass” popped into my mind and simmered until I received my prompt from Freya’s Bower for my Bites stories. Then it surfaced with a will of its own!

Amanda: Name your top three favorite books or authors of all time.

Debbie: Are you serious? You want me to limit it to THREE! That’s blasphemy to all the rest.

Okay, I’ll be good now. If you want “of all time” I guess I’ll have to choose those who are foundational to my love of reading, rather than those whose books I look for every time I enter a store. Hmmm. That would have to be Asimov, Heinlein, and Tolkien. (With Clarke, McCaffrey and Anthony running a close second.)

Amanda: Tell us about GLASS MAGIC.

Debbie: As I said, GLASS MAGIC came from a combination of freak weather conditions at my office and my prompt from Freya’s Bower: red. These two stimuli produced Red, a mischievous faery who annoyed the Summer Queen so badly that she cursed him into a pane of Irish glass. Red can’t bother the Summer Queen anymore, but his magic is still sufficient to cause problems for the mortals who come in range. His favorite form of entertainment is evoking strong human emotion, and passion is his favorite flavor!

GLASS MAGIC is composed of two of Red’s escapades: “The Ghost in the Glass” and “Red’s Bower.”

Amanda: You've been very busy. SORCHA'S HEART was just released. Congrats! Could you tell us about that one as well?

Debbie: It's a shapeshifter novella that's getting great reviews. Here's the blurb:

"A legendary relic, a dragon-wrought amulet, the Heart of Fire may be the salvation of her people, and Sorcha is willing to pay any price to obtain it, but when she discovers the price is the loss of her humanity, she learns caution too late. Only a hero can save her, and he isn't human."

Amanda: What do you like about working with Freya's Bower?

Debbie: I’m absolutely blown away by the quality of the cover art, and their editors are top notch. Not to mention the education I’m receiving in marketing and promotion. They’re very involved. I don’t feel like I’ve been abandoned to sink or swim on my own, and since this is my first e-book, I really appreciate that support.

Amanda: What are you reading right now?

Debbie: Since I work full-time and I’m also trying to write enough to establish a body of work, my reading time has suffered. However, I’m working my way through Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files (and loving every book!), and I’ll read anything of Nora Roberts’ or Linda Howard’s that crosses my path. And I always make time for a new installment of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, or a Harry Potter novel. After all, one must have priorities!

Amanda: What projects are you working on?

Debbie: I’m feeling very blessed! Freya’s Bower has accepted a paranormal romance novel, SECOND SIGHT. I’m currently working with their fabulous editors to make it the best it can be before it hits the market!

But wait, there’s more! When I finish my revisions, I have a contract for two novels to follow SORCHA’S HEART (again, with Freya’s Bower). So I have plenty to keep me busy and out of trouble for the foreseeable future!

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Thanks Debbie for chatting with us today!

Alright kids, it's August 1, which means two things. First, it's the official release date for my fabulous friend Gemma Halliday's fabulous debut novel, SPYING IN HIGH HEELS (from Dorchester's Making It line)! I picked up my copy a few days early, at the RWA Literacy Autographing last Wednesday. I started reading it last night, and let me tell you...I cannot recommend a more fun, flirty mystery to spice up the dog days of summer! Go pick it up--you won't be disappointed!

Also, today I announce the winner of the "Blog for a Beach Bag O' Books" Contest. (OK, that wasn't the name, but I'm in a silly mood today.)

And the winner is...Zeek! Zeek, please email me at amandabrice at myway dot com to give me the address I can send you books to!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:37 AM :: 10 comments

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