Friday, June 27, 2008

Sorry about the absenteeism this week. It's been very busy with this and that, and it's only getting worse for the next little while. So as cheap as it is on my part, I'm going to send you away to visit some way more interesting blogs:

My friend Maria Zannini has an interesting discussion about linking on her blog that you should definitely check out.

The Three Wicked Writers (Regina Carlysle, Kelley Nyrae and Anne Rainey) have put together a new spot that's worth visiting just because it's so pretty, but they're also chatting about great stuff.

Six Degrees of Sexy has a great interview up with author AJ Hampton, and she's talking about her new book Tempting Sin.

Shelley Munro also has an interview up, with author Selena Illyria (say that 3 times fast, lol) to talk about her book Tartan Surprise.

And the fabulous women at A Place for Originals have done a review of YA novel The Goose Girl, by Shannon Hale.

So have a great weekend everyone, and if you're still here, let me leave you with a VIDEO to watch!

When Romance Writers Compete!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Music To Soothe The Savage Beast

I write in silence.

Sometimes I can have the television on in the background, but that’s rare, and only if it is something that I am utterly uninterested in watching. Even then, I’m usually distracted by flashy lights and Swiffer commercials.

I love music, and I’ve tried to write to music. I even went so far as to put together a wicked playlist of songs that I thought would speak to my muse, the inner bad ass Immortal warrior-a lot of Kanye and MIMS, and my fave, Fifty. But it turns out that I got distracted by the rap music as well. Too much singing, and not enough typing. And that of course, proved that I have no bad ass warrior in me. Because you truly don’t want the visual of me movin’ to the beat.

So then I thought maybe I should try something a little less booming, and a little more calming, something that would blend into the background and simply act as a way to relieve the stress and tension, and allow me to focus on the writing. I picked out some Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart and Beethoven; classical compositions that both moved me, and yet seemed soft and soothing. It didn’t really work either.

You see, I move to the beat of the music—doesn’t matter what kind (except maybe country; with country I just want to cry). Music penetrates to my soul and I’m lost in it. And that’s nice, I appreciate the gift that I’ve been given (especially since I don’t actually have the gift of making music of any kind—at least not that you would want to hear), but it doesn’t help me when what I need is to be lost in my story and my characters.

And so, I write in silence, listening only to the voices inside my head.

*creepy, huh?*

What is it you do to keep the ideas flowing? Are you helped or hindered by a rockin’ playlist?

Saturday, June 21, 2008


There's a new blog in the echoing halls of cyberdom, Book Roast, a fun new forum to showcase authors and their books. But they're doing it a little differently, and you'll never know quite what to expect--as is usually the case with a good old fashioned roast.

Stop by to check things out on June 23, 2008 for the Grand Opening.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Movie List

Tell me what blockbusters you're looking forward to this summer, or maybe a smaller, lesser known movie you came across and can't wait to rave about.

The hubby and I have already seen Iron Man and we both really enjoyed it. And of course, I'm a child of the '80's, so I can't wait to see Indiana Jones.

But what of some of the newer ones that are only coming out now? Admittedly, I wasn't a big fan of the first Hulk movie, but I love all the old-school comic book heroes, so I'll still be watching Hulk 2-if only for the nostalgic value.

My little guy is already over the moon for Kung Fu Panda. He's a You Tube freak (at 5 years old, his favourite thing to do is find old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spiderman cartoons online and watch them) So he's already seen every trailer out there, and he can't wait. He already has a favourite character, too. The Monkey (played by Jackie Chan). We're planning a mommy/son afternoon at the theatre this weekend to watch it-which won't be complete without a great big bag of popcorn and about three trips to the restrooms.

I think we'd also like to try and see Speed Racer because I'm a glutton for anything that goes real fast.

What kind of movie are you itching to head out to the theatre to see? What will make you brave crowds? Um, or maybe you'll go to something utterly forgettable just for a chance to make out in the dark with your special someone?

Oh yeah, that sounds like a plan...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Join me at the Manic Readers Yahoo Group June 17 for a day-long chat with the authors of Linden Bay Romance. You'll get a chance to meet some fabulous authors, writing in all genres (and me too!)

Plus, read excerpts from the best new and upcoming books, and win prizes. I'll be giving away a free copy of My Immortal, and I'll have a sneak peek into Book 2, Immortal Kiss.

Friday, June 13, 2008

In this writer's home lives a soccer fan, or two, or three. And what better time for soccer fans than a year which hosts a World or Euro Cup tournament! And yes, before you ask, this is an Italy household. What else? Azzurri all the way!

So, I've been to my fair share of soccer games, first as the girlfriend/wife of a man who plays, then as the mother/chauffer of a boy who plays. Now, I'm not going to say that there's no excitement along the grassy sidelines as I sit in my foldable lawnchair, but I will admit that I always have a book with me, and a large double/double. It takes skill, but after more than ten years, I have now mastered the ability to read and pay just enough attention to the game, so that I always know when my son or husband has the ball and is running in for a great shot on the net. Ah, but there's something different about a game that is played in a large open-air stadium with thousands of crazy, screaming fans surrounding you. (And that's not to diminish the enjoyment that I get from watching my son run around the field with that crazy smile on his face chasing the butterflies.)

We haven't been lucky enough (or crazy enough) to go to an actual tournament in Europe. We missed Germany in 2006 and we're definitely not in Switzerland now, or I wouldn't have bothered with this blog other than to say nana nana boo boo! But we did catch a few of the U20 World Cup games last year since they were held here in Canada. Toronto has a beautiful, beautiful new stadium and the one night we went to watch the game (U.S./Uruguay) the weather was clear and hot, and the stands were packed and overflowing with fans. I know it doesn't compare to any of the Euro games going on right now, but it was totally cool. I still brought my book, but I didn't read a word.

Anyway, the point of all this is really just to mention that the only thing which has me disappointed in this year's soccer games is the fact that England didn't make the cut. Italy fan or no, I would definitely be watching more soccer if my boy Beckham was playing.

I lurve Beckham...Oh, VIVA ITALIA!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm blogging with my fellow Vixens today about hot, sweaty, sexy Summer Love so stop by!

Monday, June 09, 2008

It's official! I have a new release coming in October. I love this book, and I can't wait!

Mild-mannered Sarah McInnes just wants to be left alone. She’s looking forward to finishing graduate school and then working a nice, normal nine-to-five job as an accountant. But when fate interferes with her carefully laid plans in the form of the mysterious and sexy Dorian, her life takes an unexpected detour.

Dorian is a take-no-prisoners kind of guy. For him, duty comes first. So when he intervenes one night to save Sarah from the murderous hands of a daemon and discovers she has the innate ability to fight them, he of course steps in and offers to train her. Daemons notwithstanding, the job would be much easier and their relationship less complicated if Dorian didn’t also happen to be the hottest thing this side of hell.

Now instead of spending her nights in the library Sarah spends them with Dorian, keeping the city safe from monsters and sending them back where they belong. Whether she wants to or not, Sarah has to face the facts: daemons exist, she possesses the power to kill them, and she may never make it to Calculus on time again.

That’s the Trouble with Destiny...


Surprisingly enough, I had been completely naked for a full minute and Dorian still hadn’t touched me. I would have been worried, but I could tell that it was taking a lot of his willpower to refrain. His mouth was set in a grim, hard line and his hands were fisted at his sides. I should be cold, all the heat in my apartment came from a baseboard unit that only worked in July. But I wasn’t cold. Far from it.

“I want this, Dorian. I need this. Can you keep denying us both?”

“Sarah, you don’t know what you’re asking. You think you know me, but...” Even as he said the words, his eyes burned brighter. He lifted an arm, cupping my cheek with his hand, and I turned my head to kiss his palm.

“You think I don't know who and what you are? You think those bright eyes of yours don’t give it away? Or the awesome power you so carefully keep reigned in? You think I don’t notice the way daemons look at you with utter terror and run as fast as they can in the opposite direction?” I know. I’ve known right from the very beginning. It doesn’t matter. It just made me admire him that much more for the strength it must take to deny his heritage and do what was right. “It doesn’t matter to me.”

“It should,” he said. Moving so fast I had no time to react, he pulled me into his arms. I could feel the bite of his belt buckle digging into my belly. My breasts were crushed against the hard planes of his chest. With one hand clutching my hair at the base of my scalp, he pulled my head back to gaze into my eyes. “But who am I to deny you anything?”

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I made it myself!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I'm interviewed today over at Melanie Anderson's Blog. It's a fun interview that really has nothing to do with anything, so don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I sometimes think back to what my life was like before I set along on this path... and wonder what the heck I signed up for.

I was happy then, I can’t say that I wasn’t. I definitely had more spare time, and I actually did things. Fun things. I went shopping more often (I so totally need a new handbag when before I had three or four to choose from). And I went to parties, and out for drinks after work with friends. My husband and I saw movies and took day trips on weekends to fun places like Niagara Falls.

We still do these kinds of things if we’ve planned them ahead of time and I have met my writing goals for the week. And sometimes I bring my laptop along for the ride. But admittedly the whimsical spontaneity of those carefree weekends and last minute get-togethers is absent from my life these days. Does that mean that I am missing out? Maybe. Things have changed, my life is different. But I wouldn’t change its direction.

I often compare this stage of my life to the time just after I realized that I was head over heels in love with the man who is now my husband. At that time, I knew I had passed a crossroads of sorts, that I could no longer go back to what I had been before him. From that moment forward, for better or worse, this man was going to be a part of my life forevermore.

No more would I be staying out dancing the nights away with my girls, or flirting with sexy-eyed strangers. There would be no more first kisses, and when I walked into a room wearing a knock-out dress, I knew that I would never again get an unsolicited compliment if a hockey game also happened to be playing on the television. Instead, I had destined myself to a future with a man who snored so loud he could wake the dead, who would never notice when I got my hair done. I was headed to a future with a man who would give me the best, most beautiful child ever born. Who would make me coffee every morning, and support my dreams even if it meant he fell asleep alone on the couch five nights out of seven.

This is why I look back on my more carefree past with fondness, but no real desire to reclaim that life. Because the last time my future took this kind of a turn, it ended up being the best thing to ever happen to me.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Please welcome New Zealand author Jane Beckenham!

Hello…can you hear me?

You see I’m a long, long way from where this is all meant to be happening. Not so, you say. This is the world of the internet, where distance means nothing. But stop, wait a minute and think about it.

You’re where you are, and I’m…well, I’m down under in New Zealand, a land known as Aotearoa, but heck that means nothing in this world of technology. I can google your house and check it out, watch what’s happening in any part of the world. And I confess I even googled Buckingham Palace, London once, just to see if the Queen was wandering about – true!

For the world of an author, you’d think that with electronic publishing, getting everything at the click of a send button, it would make the life of a writer far easier. And in some ways this is true… but the world really isn’t that small. You see, if I want to chat to you, what time is it there, are you awake, or as I (and author friends Melody Knight and Eve Summers) find out often, when you are chatting after a nice meal on EST, we’re only just waking up. And if you want to chat over lunch, then we’ve got to get up about 1 a.m. or…as in my case, stay up.

So time is a factor for any promotion we downunder authors undertake. Just to give you an example, a group of New Zealand authors hosted a chat yesterday on the Manic Readers yahoo group site. The official time was 9am –5pm EST – well for us down here that was 1am – 9a.m So we did it in shifts, with Eve doing from 1-2, Melody 2-4, me 4- - well about 8, coz I kept popping in and out and the other authors taking over from about 7-9. So with a little lateral thinking it can be done. I’ve two new books out from Red Rose Publishing. The Sheikh’s Proposal this May and now on 5th of June – No Sex Necessary. So I guess it’s going to be another round of late nights…or is that early mornings. Whatever!

Another thing that us downunder authors get asked to do quite a bit is add in local flavor to our settings. For example, Christmas of course is in our summer, which the Pohutukawa, known as New Zealand’s Christmas tree for its scarlet brush type flowers, in full bloom along our coat line, and then of course if you’ve seen Lord of the Rings, everyone asks about our mountains. In my book Always A Bridesmaid, I set it in what really is the deepest heartland of New Zealand’s North Island – in the Uruweras, full of tradition and Maori heritage and mysticism, where the moss on the trees grows because the air is ultra-clean. So you see, we may be disadvantaged by distance, but we can bring an awful lot to our books and to you the reader.

Happy reading everyone.
Jane Beckenham
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