Monday, September 29, 2008

CL Wilson's King of Sword and Sky - It's Here



So you’ve waited, checked her blog daily for any tidbits you could find. Heck, more than likely you’ve re-read the first two books while you waited. Well guess what…the wait is over. Well, a few more hours and the wait will be over, but still…CL Wilson’s third book in the Tairen Soul series, King of Sword and Sky, officially hits the shelves today. Yippee!!! I’m very excited, can you tell. :)

Here’s a little blurb for you:

Returning to the Fading Lands with his Celierian truemate, Rain discovers a dissension among the most powerful members of his own council. As the Eld plot their next deadly strike, Ellysetta struggles to master her powerful magic and discover how to save the tairen, while Rain confronts open challenge to his rule and prepares to lead the Fey army to war.

And click here for an excerpt.

Now, leave your comments this week to be entered to win. And omg, isn't the cover to die for.

WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Friday, September 26, 2008

Moonstruck Winner or Two

Just in case you’re wondering how I choose the winners each week, I use a couple of methods. One is a number randomizer, which you can find on the Internet. Or there’s the write each name (names, depending on the amount of comments you leave for the week) and fold them into itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka…hold up, going in the wrong direction there, very small pieces of paper and have someone pull out the winning name.



Well, this week, I used the number randomizer and we have two winners. Yep, you read that right, two of them. The first winner was / is Angie Fox and from her comment she has read this book. But it’s the first book of Susan’s she’s read. So…email which book you’d like from her backlist and Amazon will have it on its way.

The second winner, the one who will receive Moonstruck is…the galaxy is rumbling with excitement over this one…Karin!!!

Both winners please email me at vickilanewrites @yahoo.com, your snail mail addy where you would like the books to be sent.

Huge thanks to everyone who stopped by this week and I hope to see you next week. Also, major props to those who put the link for the contest on their blogs. You guys Rock!

Have a great weekend everyone.

WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moonstruck by Susan Grant - Contest



The contest giveaway this week is Susan Grant’s book Moonstruck

I had the pleasure of meeting Susan this year at RWA Nationals. Okay, so we both got on the same elevator. I was on my down to the RWA check in area to drop off the proxy votes and Susan (I must confess, I didn’t recognize her) ask me if I knew where the place was. Yes, I tell her, in fact I’m on my way there now.

On our way down the escalator and then corridor we talked about San Fran and how this seemed like it would be a great conference. The conversation turned to writing (it always does when you’re with writers). I introduced myself and asked her what genre she wrote. She told me and then introduced herself but said I write under Susan Grant.

Yes, some of you have guessed what happened next. You see I’m not a star struck type of girl, but I love her books and here we where talking like, well…I don’t know, like we were in the same place with our writing. So not the case.

At that point I stopped dead in my tracks, stuck out my hand, and simply said, “It is a pleasure to meet you. Your books are amazing and your world building is great.” She smiled and told me thank you and I’d made her very hectic day better.

Imagine that. Me, the unpubbed had made her day better.

Now for the good stuff, what you’ve been reading this far to find out about. Here’s the backcover blurb:

PEACE IS FOR LITTLE GIRLS.

And Coalition starship admiral Brit Bandar is one tough woman. A mere intergalactic treaty could never get her to trust the Drakken Horde. There was too much bad blood between the Coalition and the Horde and, for intensely personal reasons, Brit wasn’t sure that she was through spilling it! But now a peaceful accord has made Finn Rorkken, a notorious Drakken rogue, second-in command on her starship – and through some grand cosmic irony – front and center in her thoughts…and her heart.

WARLEADER. PIRATE.

Either title sat easily on Finn’s battle-hardened shoulders. Though second-in-command to “Stone-Heart” Bandar? That would take some getting used to. Peace required as much sacrifice as war, so he’d comply even if his reaction to the gorgeous admiral fell decidedly outside protocol. But would he end up kissing or killing her if the galaxy’s tentative truce turned into all out war?


And for the click here for the excerpt.

If you’ve not read Susan Grant’s books, you’re in for a treat and you’ll be forever hooked. Her world building is terrific and from the beginning of page one to ending, you’re thrust deep within the story.

You know the drill and just in case there’s someone new to the blog who doesn’t, leave your comments all week to be entered into the drawing. On Friday afternoon, someone will be randomly drawn as the winner.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Monday, September 22, 2008

Last Week's Winner

Friday was a blur from the time I woke up, packed for the weekend, and left for work. I normally pack a couple of days early, or at least the night before. Anyway, I left work and met up with a couple of my TARA sisters to go to our writer's retreat.

I knew I hadn't announced the winner yet, but the hotel had wireless so no problem. Yeah, not so much. I could never get on the Internet. For some reason my laptop wouldn't find it. Said the signal was good, even great a few times, but then the dread no connect page.

So...last week's winner of The Undead Next Door is...Tetewa.

Please email me at vickilanewrites @yahoo.com with your snail mail addy and I'll get the book out to you this week (okay, probably this weekend) :D

Tomorrow I post the new contest for this week.

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mom's B-day Weekend

My mom's birthday weekend was a blast. We left on Friday for the seven hour drive. Yep, seven hours of riding in the car. Normally we fly, but this time there was stuff to take for the party and my son was going with us, so it made sense to drive. Remind me to check that made sense next time. :)





Friday night started the weekend with a small group of family, around 26 of us, at my sister's home. Drinks, appetizers, and dinner, were prepared and served by a chef who came to her house. How cool is that. They even did the clean up afterwards.

video

Saturday morning, Science Guy and I met my daughter and son-in-law for breakfast and to watch the waves. Although Ike was down by Texas, the storm surge still churned on the beach in Destin. I tried to capture the waves and how high they were, but this doesn't really do it justice. The Whales Tail is right on the beach and it's one of my favorite places to go have breakfast when we visit my family. Shortly after that there was a lunch and drinks at the beach club. SG and I didn't do that one. We drove around and looked at the water, did a little shopping, and then worked on the wish bowl for Saturday night.



So far it had been a great and busy weekend, seeing family I haven't' seen in years and in general enjoying the town. Then Saturday night rolls around. We're dressed and ready to go. Downstairs I see some of the family staying at the hotel. They asked if we want to follow them, but no, we're not quite ready to go yet. I had to get something from the car and take it back upstairs before we could leave.

What should have taken us all of twenty minutes to find the place, ended up taking over an hour. It's not like I don't know Destin, but when I asked for directions, well...let's just say they weren't exactly correct.

The first hour, the one that we missed, was where the staff walked around with drinks and appetizers for everyone while they mingled. So it wasn't to bad. Of course SG and I ordered drinks as soon as we arrived. After the hour of driving up and down Hwy 98, the margarita was a welcoming calm to the frazzled nerves.









Dinner was yummy and my sister had these hilarious sunglasses for everyone to wear. Afterwards we danced and danced, okay and danced some more.



Sunday morning was relaxing outside on the balcony overlooking the bay and then packing it all up to head home. After a stop at my mom's to pick up my son and short visit, we loaded my son's stuff in the car and hit the road to make the drive home.

Remember the seven hour drive? Yeah, well not so much on the way home. I was driving, we were all talking and I took a wrong exit. We hadn't paid attention on the way up and didn't realize there were two exits for this small town that would take us back to 19. We're driving and the road is beautiful. The hills were a welcomed sight for about ten minutes. That's when I realized we were not on the right road. I know what you're thinking, turn around and go back. Not so easy since there wasn't a place to turn around and on each side of the road was rather swampy. Finally we found a place, turned around, and headed back to the interstate. The seven hour drive turned into ten. Again, that's why I fly.

All in all the weekend was wonderful. Yes, the drive was long, but seeing family and friends was great and the my mom had the best time, being the queen for the weekend. Okay, so she's always the queen in our family, but this was an extra special queen time for her.

How about you? Do you drive for vacations?

WW's and PD's, Vicki

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Contest Time - The Undead Next Door

The party this weekend was fabulous. I’ll post some pics and tell you a little more tomorrow. I know I said we’d start the weekly check in this week, but due to the craziness of last week, I’ll start them next Tuesday. So keep your word counts starting today to turn in next week.

A small bit of housekeeping, I still have not heard anything from the winner of the last contest. So, a new winner has been randomly chosen. And the person is….Hawk! Whoohoo, email me your snail mail addy and I’ll get the book out to you.

Okay now that’s done, let’s get on to new stuff.



This week’s contest is Kerrelyn Sparks book, The Undead Next Door.

Here’s the backcover blurb:

Three signs that something is very different with your new man:

1. He sleeps all day . . . which would be annoying except he's so attentive at night.
2. He's attacked by sword-wielding assailants, yet insists he can handle it on his own.
3. He never seems to age.

Heather Westfield has always lived a quiet life, but that all changes when she helps a very handsome, very mysterious stranger. There's something not quite right about Jean-Luc, but still, she's never been with a man so charming, so attractive . . . so wonderful. Now if only a murderous villain wasn't after them, they might get their happily-ever-after.


You can go here for an excerpt.

As always leave your comments all week long to be entered to win.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Party Time is Almost Over

My mom's weekend b-day party is winding down. Last night was the big party, complete with the sit down dinner and dancing. I've got some great pics to post later. My sister bought everyone cool sunglasses. Science Guys were guitars.

We're heading home sometime today and although it's been great to see family I don't see often and friends I miss, it will be great to be home with our babies (the dogs).

Tomorrow begins the Monday check in and another contest will be up. Hope everyone has had a great weekend and for those in the path of Ike, my thoughts and prayers are still with you and your family.

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering....

I'm shocked at how I remembered yesterday and yet this morning in all the rush to get ready for work and leave on time, I forgot.

And now I sit here and feel the heaviness of the events that happened seven years ago. Our lives will never be the same. Sure, for many of us, we go about things each day much the same as perhaps we did before 9/11. But for many others, we wake each day to loss and pain of the senselessness of it all.

I remember, like most everyone, where I was seven years ago. I worked at Wharton High School. It was a normal hectic high school morning like every other morning when you work with 9th - 12th graders.

My phone rang and my ex was crying. He asked me if I knew. I thought omg, his mom has passed away. She'd been very sick. But no, as horrible as that would have been, actually was when she did, this was way worse.

The next sound was my Principal screaming No. He quickly called us together. We needed a plan to allow parents to sign out or pick up their children. Yes, at that moment the kids who believe they're grown, where once again children to everyone, including themselves.

Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse the second plane struck and third plane went down, missing its target, but killing those brave people on board. Tears ran down our faces for people we didn't know and fear filled us as we each tried in vain to reach our own loved ones and friends who might be traveling by air.

Quiet descended on a normally loud group of 2300 students as our Principal spoke to them over the intercom. Anger from students who had no idea how to deal with this. After all they were American and this was the land of the free and the brave. This couldn't happen on our land. But it did.

Now seven years later, we no longer fly with the same ease, we no longer feel like it can never happen to us.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all who lost loved ones and friends and to the those of us who did not lose an actual person, but lost a part of our own freedom. The words We Will Never Forget rings on.

Maybe you're like me, and this morning you didn't watch the news and it slipped your mind for a few hours, but in all honesty, We will Never Forget.

Thank you is not an adequate word to give those who serve our country, our home, and other countries to keep us safe. You're love of this country and the people who most you will never meet is amazing and I for one am humbled by you.

Thank you and God Bless America today and forever.

Working Through the Storm Day Job Style

I haven't heard from the winner of Roxanne's book, Now You Die, so please email me your snail mail addy. If I don't hear from you by Sunday I'll need to draw another name.

Some office humor for hurricane's and friend sent to me and I thought I'd share.


Office Procedures Concerning Storm and Office Closings

As we watch the progress of the storm, the following are the
firm's guidelines based upon the hurricane's intensity:

Hurricane Category #1
No excuse for being late. Leave earlier to give extra time to
avoid fallen trees and limbs.


Hurricane Category #2
Due to the horizontal rain, you may wear jeans.


Hurricane Category #3
Whereas most of the area will be flooded we suggest you
avoid wearing open toe sandals when coming to work. Canoes will be
provided to get to the building safely without getting wet.


Hurricane Category #4
More than likely there will be no electricity. Given that, we
will have manual typewriters available to all staff members. Please take
extra caution and wear water-proof make-up if Category 4 or above.


Hurricane Category #5
Velcro will be provided to keep you attached to your chairs when
the windows blow out. For those that survive, we will have chocolate
cake at 3:00 pm in the kitchen.

Although this was an on the job humor sent to me, I am praying for everyone who will be in the path of Ike for safety for you and your families.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Busy Times...

Tuesday, the second day of the work week and already it's been crazy. My mom's b-day party is this weekend, so much to plan and so little time to finish it in. Actually it's planned, but there is always the little things to do right up until the moment guest arrive. But as I said on my chapter loop, she's my mom and it's worth it all.

I'm finishing up another round of edits on ATB to send out a partial. Fingers crossed and all that jazz. :) Also, working on ML for the presents contest. Well, technically, what I needed for the contest is done and sent, but I'm working on the next part of it. And taking a workshop on paranormal, from none other than Angie Fox, who was on the blog for the book giveaway week before last. The funny thing is when I signed up for this workshop months ago, I didn't realize it was Angie who would be doing it.

Of course, there is still the day job. So all in all, I'm burning the midnight oil this week.

Next week I'll start the Tuesday check in's again for anyone who wants/needs that little extra push to meet their weekly word counts. For me the accountability is a good thing. And of course there'll be a new book to giveaway.

Check out my friend Hawk's blog. She's talking about real life hero's and doggies. Great pics too.

How about you? Is your week shaping up to be crazy busy?

WW's and PD's,
Vicki

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday Funny and Our Winner

An interesting fact I forgot to share with you on Monday is, Roxanne St. Claire is a 2008 National Reader's Choice Award winner. And really, is it any wonder, once you read any of her books?

It's time to announce the winner of the third Bullet Catcher book, Now You Die. As always, a little cyber drum roll if you will...and the winner is...Marian!!! (picture her eyelashes fluttering as sparkles of confetti land on her upturn face)

Marian, email me with your snail addy at vickilanewrite @yahoo.com and I'll get your book out to you. Major congrats and come back and let's know how you love it. :)

Here's a little Friday funny...

Single ad printed in Atlanta Journal..



SINGLE FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me.. Call (404) 875-6420 and ask for Daisy, I'll be waiting....




(Scroll down)




















………….Over 150 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society.

See you this afternoon,
Vicki

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday Thirteen - While You Wait



It’s been forever since I’ve done a Thursday Thirteen and this one seems to be appropriate for my life as of now. Although my oldest child is still waiting for one dedicated solely to her. This is not it.

Thirteen things to do while the queries are out there.

1. Write another book

2. Try not to freak out when you realize you forgot to change a word on page 29 and you know it’s wrong, and there is nothing you can do about it now.

3. Start your next book

4. Research your new world, cut out pictures of hot guys for your hero, and beautiful women for heroine. Paste them everywhere, especially the hot hero’s.

5. Call CP and tell her you know you’re going to die, because it’s been a few days and you haven’t heard anything yet.

6. If you’re a plotter, get those sticky notes written on the board for your new book, if you’re a pantser…hmmmm….then take some colored sticky’s and just put them on the board (yes, without words, but use colors for the H/H, black moment, sexual moments and so forth.)

7. Buy your favorite wine and watch an old movie – I mean really, what else is there in life. You’re writing must suck since it’s been what a week and still no word.

8. Wake up and smile. The character’s are beginning to take shape for the new book

9. Call your CP and tell her to get ready, you’re going to have stuff for her by the end of the week.

10. Bang head on desk as the next scene will not cooperate and you’re sure your relatively short writing career is over, turn slightly and give the disturb-me-and die look to anyone, including the dogs that enter your office.

11. Remember Nora’s famous words, “You can’t fix a blank page. Write something you can fix it later

12. Tell your DH you need more wine, chocolate, ice cream, and a weight watchers frozen meal for dinner. (you gotta counter act the calories somewhere)

13. Check your email for the hundredth time (okay maybe more) and then take a deep breath, flex your fingers, tell your muse you love her and you’re really ready and then let the words flow. Don’t worry about what’s out there, because this is new and you’ve come a long way since you wrote the first word on the manuscript that’s sitting out there waiting to be read.

What about you? Any of the above sound familiar? Leave your comments to be entered into this week’s contest.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,
Vicki

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Plot or Pants - Who Are You?


Quick reminder for anyone just tuning in: This week’s giveaway is Now You Die by Roxanne St. Claire. Leave your comments to be entered into the contest. Also, if you have questions for Rocki, leaves those as well.


The subject of this post isn’t something new, in fact it’s something we writer’s discuss a lot. You read about it on blogs, take online classes to see if you can make it work for you, and feel super excited if your chapter is doing a workshop on it.

What could it be? To Plot or Not to Plot, yes, this is a life long question of most writer’s. And it’s one that may change as you pull, okay, brace your feet on the side of your muse, and pull the next part of the story from her for all you’re worth.

Maybe that’s a bit much, but what else do you call it when you’re sitting in front of the all that white space and there’s nothing? Or you’ve typed the last 250 words at least twenty different ways and still you can’t type the next line. Nothing.

So, what do you do? Well, someone can come to the door, or the phone can ring, the spaghetti sauce boil over, or…you can kill someone. Now the killing thing might not work if you’re writing comedy. Then again, that could be a new fresh voice mixed together.

Basically what I’m saying is it’s time for action, which is great if you’re a pantser, but not so easy if you’re a plotter. I mean really, you’ve spent what, days, weeks, maybe more, getting your plotting board ready to go. You smile, turn on the computer, and start. The words flowing with ease and why not, you’ve plotted it out.

And then it happens. You can’t make the scene work no matter how many times you rework it. But you love this scene, the hero is amazing, sweet, sexy, and you know the readers are going to love it. Except it isn’t working with that plot line you’ve created.

Now if you’re a pantser, you can find yourself in the same boat, but the difference is you’re not married to the plot you’ve already created. Why? Because you don’t have the book figured out. You’re just as surprised as your heroine, when the hero throws a rock at her window and begins serenading her, with a voice that is less than perfect. Or when the shy heroine becomes the bold seductress and meets the hero at dinner with a low cut, cling in all the right places, can’t wear any undergarments, showing a lot of leg, red dress.

It’s those times that the pantser will sit back from the computer and say, “Really, I didn’t know that.” Or something along those lines.

Why am I telling you all this? I, Vicki Lane, am a pantser. I love being one and even when the block comes, I can usually make my out of it without too much pressure. My characters take on a life of their own and its fun. Sure you have to rein them in once in a while. And of course, you will have a conversation (or two) with a secondary character to remind them, this isn’t their book.

Here’s the problem. I have to plot the book I’m working on now. Make that two books. Although Annie’s is more of an outline, still there are things that must happen. But it’s the smaller book, the 55k book, which I had to plot out completely. I thought it would make it easier, but not so much for me. Now, I’m sitting in front of the computer knowing what happens next, but I’ve got to get them to that point, keeping the plot in mind.

So, what about you? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you tried both? Which works better for you? Or do you flip back and forth, depending on the book?

Leave your comments to be entered into this week’s giveaway. Also, if you have a question for Rocki, leave them in the comment sections.

WW’s and PD’s,
Vicki

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm Giving Away A Bullet Catcher! and OMG is he HOT

Hope everyone is having a fun weekend and for those who are anywhere near the hurricane, much prayers for you and your family for safety.



Now You Die is out! This is the third in the Bullet Catcher series by Roxanne St. Claire. I haven’t started reading this one yet, but it’s on the top of my TBR pile and well, I love her books. The hero’s are sexy and her books are the just-one-more-page, at the wee hours of the morning, books. Really, you don’t want to put them down. And yes, she writes the way we’ve all been taught, leave the scene and chapters with a hook.

But it’s more than that with Rocki’s books. From the first page you become immersed in the characters lives. You root for them, you laugh at an antic, and you can’t wait for the love scene. :)

If you haven’t read any of the Bullet Catcher’s (I’m not sure if there is anyone who hasn’t), then you’re in for a wonderful treat. Check out Jack Culver and then come back here.

He’s Hot! Now, that you’ve made it back, (I know, leaving his page was hard), here’s the blurb:

Former Bullet Catcher and lone wolf investigator Jack Culver is on a mission. Thirty years ago, an innocent woman was convicted of murder. Jack believes he's found the real killer -- but to take down one of the highest legal authorities in the land, he needs access. Serious access. Unfortunately, the one person he knows with that kind of power is his ex-boss and ex-lover, the woman who still haunts his dreams.

Bullet Catchers owner Lucy Sharpe realizes she's being used for her connections, and she intends to use Jack Culver right back. She's determined to see justice served, even if that means partnering with the man who once found his way past her iron shields. This time, she'll be strong enough to avoid Jack's persuasive touch.

But when passion flares, and they become the killer's target, Lucy and Jack don't just break some rules -- they shatter them. And that means risking everything: their jobs, their hearts...and their lives.


And of course it wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t give you the link for the excerpt. Again, you’ll need to tear yourself away and come back after you read it.

If you’re like the rest of us who love this series, then about now you’re dying to get your hands on this book and find out what happens with Jack and Lucy. I know, big surprises, huh. We thought it might be Dan and Lucy.

So, leave your comments on this and any other post this week to be entered into the contest.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,

Vicki