Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Whatever holiday you may celebrate this time of year, may you have peace, joy and good health!

More personally to all my friends and family... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

NOW in print!

I love digital books, don't get me wrong, but there's something soothing and comforting to me about reading a book in print. I suppose it all goes back to childhood when I was learning to read and being read to by my mother. It brings back a lot of those intimate, emotional feelings that no computer screen or e-book reader ever can. That said, I am not averse to getting an e-book reader for Christmas. *AHEM* (So much for subtle hints. ;) )

So here's to doing things the old-fashioned way! And here's where you can buy a copy of ALAINA'S PROMISE in PRINT OR in DIGITAL. It's a great story either way -- it all depends on what you prefer. :)

It can also be found on AMAZON or at your local book store, just give them the ISBN # 1-59998-408-3 .

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

How much do you know?

You Know a Lot About Christmas

You got 7/10 correct

You know tons about the history and traditions surrounding Christmas.
When you celebrate the holidays, you never forget their true meaning - or all the little fun details.

Random Christmas fact: Most Christmas trees are edible. The needles are a good source of Vitamin C.

Monday, December 03, 2007

An early present!

I am so thrilled with this new review for ALAINA'S PROMISE! I've coveted those five angels from the very beginning -- and now they're here! And dressed all in red, aren't they gorgeous? (GGGG) Yeah, there's only one above, but you can see all five when you click the link below. ;)

"Meg Allison is a wonderful author and she made me fall in love with the characters in this book as well as with the country of Ireland. ..."

Reviewed by: Missy

There's nothing more exciting than to hear how much someone has enjoyed a story you've written! That's what this is all about, you know. Writers are nothing without readers to entertain. :)

Thanks, Missy!

Read the entire review here: Fallen Angels Reviews

Wintry anthology

Winter Wonders

This month from
By Grace Publishing!

Featuring four wintery stories:

Gwen's Resolution
By: Meg Allison

Gwen sets out in the cold, snowy wonder one New Year's Eve to keep her sole resolution: she refuses to let single-hood spoil her fun anymore. But when fate takes her by the hand she comes face-to-face with the one thing she thought impossible—love.

Snow Kissed
By: Cindy K. Green

Today is one of those days Logan Reilly wished he’d stayed in bed. Not only does he have to deal with the annoying Winter Wonderland Carnival, but his close friend, that whimsical lover of snow, Holly Armstrong, was leaving town forever. The question is why didn’t she tell him and why today of all days does he realize he loves her? Can he change her mind and make her stay?

Smuggler of the Heart
By: JoAnn Carter

Disheartened and tired, Samantha Warren returns to Vermont during the winter break. Her passion for history rekindles after finding an old smuggler’s chest hidden in her grandparents' attic. Will she be able to return to New Jersey without her heart being smuggled like the chest once was? Or is it already too late? '

Maybe Forever
By Muncy G. Chapman

When Marcy Mayfield gives shelter to a near-frozen man during the worst blizzard of the season, her tender heart rules over her sensible head. But what if this stranger turns out to be the escaped prisoner reported loose in her area?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Movie Quiz

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Christmas Story

Loving, fun, and totally crazy.
Don't shoot your eye out!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Are you romantic?

You are a Total Romantic

For you, love is like a fairy tale.
Or magic. Or a Meg Ryan movie.
Problem is, you sort of want all three.

You bring the spark in the relationship
In turn, you expect your guy to keep the fire burning
Not a bad deal, as long as you find the right Prince.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Coming soon... a choice

This DECEMBER from By Grace Publishing...

Gwen's Resolution
(c) 2007 Meg Allison
featured in WINTER WONDERS anthology

Gwen sets out in the cold, snowy wonder one New Year's Eve to keep her sole resolution: she refuses to let single-hood spoil her fun anymore. But when fate takes her by the hand she comes face-to-face with the one thing she thought impossible—love.


So, I'm wondering ... have you ever made a New Year's Resolution, only to have it blow up in your face soon after? In a good way? Or a bad way? (GGGG) Yeah, I think it can be either/or.

We go through life making decisions, sometimes they turn out well. Sometimes we end up with more trouble than we ever dreamed of and sit there mumbling: "What the hell was I thinking???"

Choices. It's a big part of life. A good part. I'd hate not to have the ability to choose, really... even if I do screw it up once in a while. ;)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Quiz

You Are a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You are a traditional person with very simple tastes.
In your opinion, the best things in life are free, easy, and fun.
You totally go with the flow. And you enjoy every minute of it!

Your best friend: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Ham Sandwich

Friday, October 19, 2007

FREE read!

Stop by my website for a short read this October! It's written by one of my favorite unpublished authors. :)

Title: A Bad Start


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Movies, anyone?

I need a little help and some recommendations for scary flixs to watch this Halloween.

Hop on over and voice your opinion. :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Raven Hunt!

I'm participating! Click on the image and check it out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

a FAMILIAR excerpt

a short story by Meg Allison
featured in AFTER DARK anthology
By Grace Publishing

excerpt (c) 2007 Meg Allison

She could swear she had stepped backward in time. The feeling left her a bit disconcerted. Penny had expected things to be different and not so much the same, yet it seemed as though the world stood still.

Then she blinked and the landscape transformed before her eyes. The grocery store had a Piggly Wiggly sign in place of the original; Jefferson’s had four modern gas pumps in place of the two relics; the Clip n’ Curl awning had been replaced with one in a muted shade of pink champagne; and there was a travel agency where the five-and-dime had once flourished.

Smells were familiar—the scents of apple brown betty from the diner and diesel from Jefferson’s filled the air along with the fainter scent of a brush fire burning nearby.

“Penny Lane.”

Startled, she spun toward the voice and the almost forgotten nickname that had vanished along with another part of her life. Given the sudden shift in scenery, she wasn’t too surprised to have her late husband standing behind her, smiling in the afternoon sun. This had to be a dream.

“Lou, what are you doing here?”

“I came to take you to the hardware store.”

“I don’t need anything there.”

“Yes, you do, sweetie,” he insisted and held out a hand. “You have work to do on the house.”

“I don’t need anything!” She crossed her arms over her middle, reluctant to touch her husband in any way. A shiver of unease snaked over her skin. “I’m not going.”

“Stubborn as a mule,” he said with a shake of his dark head. “But everything you need is in that store.”

He disappeared. Penny blinked at the empty space.

“I’m dreaming,” she said aloud, somewhat comforted by the visible proof. “This doesn’t make a lick of sense.”

* * * *

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

a FAMILIAR blurb...

A short story by, Meg Allison
AFTER DARK anthology ~~ Sep. 28, 2007
By Grace Publishing

Sometimes things can be too FAMILIAR.

Penny Brown returns home to West Virginia hoping to get a fresh start.

But a ghost in the kitchen and prophetic dreams make her homecoming feel a bit spooky. It doesn’t help that she’s falling in love again. Could it merely be déjà vu?

***Stop by tomorrow for a short excerpt!***

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Evil quiz

You Are 26% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

In love with ... love

If I had to give one answer as to why I write romance opposed to anything else, I'd have to say that it's because I've always been in love with 'love'.

I'm a romantic at heart. I enjoy the little tingles I get when I'm in the arms of the man I love. I adore the passion, the sweet cuddles, the smiles and everything in-between. ;)

I suppose it's always been a part of me and that's why I have to write romance. There are no two ways about it. The stories my muse speaks of involve a man, a woman and all those wonderful, scary and tempestuous emotions that spark every romance. I also prefer a happy ending. Yeah, call me sappy, but if the ending is sad or just plain sucks, I'm not a happy reader. So why would I write it any differently?

But you don't always know how those two will get together, because while I do insist on a HEA (happily ever after), I also like to add a bit of mystery and some danger. Maybe throw in some broken trust or a chip on one of the character's shoulders the size of Missouri. It all adds to the tension, both sexual and otherwise, and makes for a much more consuming read. It also makes it more fun to write. ;)

So, yes, I'm a sappy romantic. But don't be surprised if you have to step over a dead body or two before you get to that happy ending. Not everyone can survive.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Themes and things...

Did you notice the new header? I've changed it from Romance Ink to what will now be my 'theme'. I never realized a writer needs one of those, lol! Although I understand now that I've seen them often enough.

It's part of the writing business -- this tricky little bit called self-promotion. Writers either tend to love it or hate it. We jump in with both feet and our wallets open wide. Or we avoid it like the plague and hope that somehow our stories will sell without it.

Doesn't work like that, unfortunately. So here I go... off to promote again. Hopefully this time I'll do it a bit better. ;)

So, if you have a minute or two, drop by my WEBSITE, read an excerpt or two and "Indulge your senses... "

You'll be glad you did. :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Changing seasons

Fall has long been my favorite season. I love the changing leaves, the cooling temperature and the smell of woodsmoke along with the subtle hint of ice in the air. I love Halloween -- the scary stories, costumes, caramel apples, bags of candy, and mugs of hot apple cider. It also helps that my birthday is right in the middle of it all. :)

But I think the main reason I adore the season is that it puts me in mind of starting over. Sure, that might seem more appropriate for Spring, but Fall, for me, is the time to reflect on the past year; to slow down a bit from the hustle and energy of summer; to re-connect with my inner peace and my muse. Winter tends to zap my energy and motivation; the preceding season does just the opposite.

Nothing inspires me more than a fall sunset cast against the backdrop of orange, gold and red leaves. Nothing stirs my memories more than the smells in the air and the chill in the breeze... memories of a first crush; bonfires and laughter; mountain retreats and roaring fires.

All of us have seasons or things in our lives that inspire and fuel our spirits. What are some of yours?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

To use it, or not? That's the question

I haven't been writing a whole lot, lately. But I have been reading. As a matter of fact, I've been delving into some historicals that I had laying around, waiting for my time and attention span to slow down a bit. Although I'm not sure either of those things happened, I did manage to finish a book or two.

One story left me wondering: How do other writers figure out what research to use and which to discard?

I have my own somewhat haphazard method. If it fits and is necessary to add flavor, tension, enhance the romance, and/or explain something in the story, then use it. If it comes off like the characters are writing a history text, let it go.

But there is still a fine line to tread and I think the end result is highly subjective. Some might say my hero rambling about the history of Ireland should have been cut. I, however, felt it needed to be included so the reader could connect with the setting AND the hero. He loves his homeland, his people and their history. He's proud of the roots that have bound him to the rocky, harsh soil that is the western coast. It also allowed the heroine to begin that fateful journey of falling in love.

In retrospect, I could have done it differently. But most writers get that feeling now and then once the story is done. The thing is, you write the best way you can 'at the moment' and hopefully grow enough by the next story to do things *right*. Or at least differently.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The only sure things...

besides death and taxes are the changes we experience throughout our lives.

Just when I get used to a certain schedule -- or lack thereof -- everything gets turned upside down and I have to readjust. Fast.

Take the new school year, for example. My oldest son (age 12) will now be taking two classes on-line via virtual classroom technology. Great for me, because I have two less things to 'worry' about; he's not so sure it's a good idea. But not only will the dynamics of our school year change dramatically, I have a feeling our relationship will, as well. For those two classes, at least, I will no longer be the main authority on the subject at hand. I will not be his teacher, mentor and guidance counselor. He'll have some stranger for that. :\

Yes, I know in my heart this is a good thing. He needs more of that outside influence as he grows older. But part of me is still reeling from the fact that one of my 'babies' won't need me 24/7. He's growing up -- an obvious occurrence since he's now an inch taller than me. :P

However, despite my moments of angst, I know he'll always be my boy. He'll always need me on some level and our special relationship will continue to grow and thrive as long as we both learn to bend with the changes and adjust to those new dynamics.

It's a lot like writing ... we learn and grow; our use of the language and storytelling grows with us if we allow it. But we have to be willing to bend. We have to be willing to stretch those creative muscles and admit when maybe, just maybe, something else might be better.

Yep, life changes are a lot like writing ... or maybe writing is a lot like life. ;)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mama didn't tell me...

I grew up an only child and therefore missed out on a lot of the dynamics you find in a large family. Well, I'm not missing out anymore. But here is a short list of the things my mom neglected to mention. Partly because she'd forgotten; partly because I'm sure I wouldn't have listened in the first place.

Siblings will fight 24/7 about nothing in particular if you let them.

Children's voices have the knack of making a grown woman cry if they hit a certain pitch. Especially if the woman has a headache to begin with.

Male children are just as emotional -- and sometimes more so -- than female children.

While teen girls get bitchy one week a month, boys can lose it whenever they want. There is little or no warning. No chance to prepare and seek shelter.

When one child is gone -- no matter which child -- the noise level is reduced in half; the number of fights reduced by 1/3; boredom level rises by 1/5.

When all else fails, bribe them for some peace a quiet. You know you will, so let's make it 'legal', shall we?

Having more than one child is an adventure. Having more than three is a zoo. Good thing I like zoos. ;)

You will love your children more than anything; you will never, ever stop being their mother; you will never stop worrying about them.

You will forever be known as so-and-so's mom. And honestly, that's not such a bad identity to have. ;)

Monday, August 27, 2007

The last days of summer....

Summer is coming to an end here in the good ol' US of A. No, in truth it lasts until the end of September, but you'd never guess that by the weather.

Am I looking forward to fall? Yes and no. Like most moms, I anticipate school starting back. I love Halloween -- it's one of my favorite holidays -- and this coming season is my favorite over-all.

But, unlike most moms, I can't look forward to my kids running off and leaving me alone for five or six hours a day. We home school. Yes, voluntarily. ;)

However, I do look forward to the new classes; to learning and re-learning new things along with my little brood. I enjoy watching their eyes light up when something 'clicks'. Most of the time I manage a silent chuckle when they ask the age-old question: "When will I EVER need this?!?!?!"

My answer? I usually say: "You won't, but do it anyway! You can torture your own kids with it someday."

Humor can soothe a lot of angst. ;)

Friday, August 24, 2007

What kind of Fairy are you?

Air Fairy

The Air Fairy is teeming with creative energy. She loves all art, music, stories, imaginion, anything that helps her escape her own boring reality. She pours all her emotion into what she does, which makes her an extraordinary artist. Her natural exhuberance gains her many friends, but she likes being by herself doing what she does best, dreaming! She's friendly, but sometimes seems distant and often loses herself (or others) in her thoughts. She might seem eccentric, but it's just her being herself, which is what everyone should do!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Writing contest!

Romance Junkies is having its annual Writing Contest. I was bored and managed to talk myself into entering. Twice. Oy!

Anyhow, the first entry is up this week. Title: DREAM WALK. Yes, I used another name because that's what they ask us published folks to do. LOL! If you have a chance, drop by and read the entries and VOTE!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Post-submission rules

I spent the last few weeks finishing up -- and obsessing -- over a new submission. With most of my writing at this time, I do not have a deadline unless it's self-imposed. This time, it wasn't. Which meant simply this: I HAD to get it DONE!

I'm happy to report that I did. (At least, I think I's all a little fuzzy at the moment.) I got the story submitted right under the wire. Literally. Now I have to wait until the appointed time to find out if the editors like my story enough to offer that golden contract.

I have a few rules that I've worked out for myself that must be followed after each and every submission. And since my brain is about mush today, I thought I'd share them here:

The number one rule is simple but difficult to stick to:

DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT read the story before you hear back from the editor.

**I learned that one the hard way. You can't imagine the number of typos and other goofs I've 'discovered' after sending the story off -- no matter how many times I've proofed it up to that point. It's disheartening and discouraging and will make your wait seem even longer. If you've sent it out, you're done. At least for now...don't torture yourself any further. The editor will surely do it for you. ;)

2. Start another story ASAP...or continue with a wip you've left dangling. This is so important for me, because the post-submission blahs set in so quickly. If I don't jump right back on that horse, then I'm sure to run into one monster of a writer's block. Not fun. Besides, loosing yourself in another story will help the time you wait go by a bit faster.

3. The last 'rule' -- CELEBRATE! Even if the story isn't sold, you've finished it! You are among the small minority of writer-wannabees who actually wrote: THE END. It's an accomplishment and something of which you should be very proud. :)

Anyone else have rules they want to share? Whether it's for after submitting, finishing a first draft, or finishing ANYTHING important to you? :)

Friday, July 27, 2007

20 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With

Sunglasses on and point Hair Dryer At Passing Cars.

See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise

Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask

If They Want Fries with That.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label It


5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once

Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions,

Switch To Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write "For

Smuggling Diamonds"

7. Finish All Your sentences with "In Accordance With

The Prophecy."

8. Don't use any punctuation

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat

with a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is "To


12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital And Ask Why The Poems

Don't Rhyme

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area And

Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You

Can't Attend Their Party Because You're Not In The


16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your

Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream "I

Won!, I Won!"


When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The

Parking lot, Yelling "Run For Your Lives, They're


19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner. "Due To The

Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go."

20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity.......

Send This list to Someone To Make

Them Smile.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Move those glutes!

One of the big hazards with spending hours a day at the computer -- whether you're a writer, a paper-pusher, accountant, student or whatever -- is the definite lack of exercise we get. Add to that our 'must have' snacks, which honestly do sometimes spark creativity, and we can wind up more than a little out of shape. OR in a shape we'd rather not discuss... pears come to mind, however. ;)

I realize just how far I've let myself go when I manage to get sore from doing simple things like weeding the garden. Yeah, that's bad! to the gym I go; determined to keep those pounds from creeping up on me again and sure that this time, I'll get that buff, trim and toned body I've always dreamed of having.

Trouble is, determination and life often collide. As do my inherent leanings toward the couch-potato syndrome AND my love of all things sweet. :P But I think I've finally come up with a compromise:

I move whenever possible. It can be weeding the garden or walking the dog or jumping on the trampoline with the kiddos or taking things up and down the stairs instead of getting one of the kids to do it. I make myself take whatever opportunity I can to put my body in motion. (That, combined with what I learned at Weight Watchers about eating habits, goes a long way in helping.)

For instance, instead of sitting on my butt and reading that book I can't put down, I take it to the gym and read while on the exercise bike. Reading is my reward and the bike doesn't seem so monotonous. I would try the treadmill, but my 'graceful' gene is somewhat limited. ;)

We all need to take time and put our glutes in motion! It's so essential for a more vital and healthy life. And while reading a hot love scene can get your blood pumping, pumping iron can give us all a real work out...and more stamina. If you know what I mean. (GGG)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Randomness in random order...

My dear friend, crit partner and colleague, Laura Hamby, tagged me. :)

Here are the rules: Each blogger should list 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to then report this on their own blog with their 7 random facts as well as these rules. They then need to tag 7 others and list their names on their blog. They are also asked to leave a comment for each of the tagged, letting them know they have been tagged and to read the blog.

So, here goes...

1. I love chocolate milk made with Nesquik and skim milk.

2. My favorite shoes are a pair of orange sandals with a big sequined flower on top. They're wearing out, however, and I'll cry when I have to throw them out. :(

3. My favorite season is the fall. I love the bright colors -- red, orange, yellow and gold -- that the leaves turn. I love the way the air smells. I love hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick. I love Halloween. :)

4. I love thunderstorms as long as the lightning doesn't strike the ground or anything close. I like the way the air smells and the rain washes everything clean. Just keep the power on and give me a book to read. ;)

5. My favorite dessert is homemade chocolate chip cookies -- made with real butter, of course -- and a glass of ice cold milk.

6. I sing a lot -- and loudly at times. I love all kinds of music except rap and opera.

7. I've seen just about every animated Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks movie made since... oh, 1990. ;) I own many of them AND I still like to watch most of them.

Hate to be a party-pooper, but I'm not going to tag anyone back. Just did this not long ago and can't think of seven new friends to bug. ;)

I understand them?!?!?!

You Have Your PhD in Men

You understand men almost better than anyone.
You accept that guys are very different, and you read signals well.
Work what you know about men, and your relationships will be blissful.

Well, apparently I do! Who knew? LOL! Certainly not me...well, I wasn't completely sure on this. But it makes sense. I've been told by at least one male -- another romance writer, Josh Lockwood -- that I do very well in writing the male POV. I suppose 'understanding' them in general terms helps. So how well do YOU understand men? And if any male wants to take the quiz, I'd love to know how accurate it really is.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Just the facts...and then some.

I'm in the midst of writing a short story and I've discovered I now have to go back to finish my research. Oh joy.

I'd rather be writing, honestly, but I know the story will suffer if I try to fudge the facts even a little. Sure, as writers we have the liberty to 'make up' people, places, crimes, fashion... hell we can create entire worlds and realities! But for this story -- a paranormal, historical romance with suspenseful elements -- I need facts. Dates. Places. Even names. I need a sense of the environment and culture of the time. All this goes into making a story -- yes, a fictional story -- seem more real to the reader.

Can I tell you a secret? You've probably figured it out already, but I HATE this part. If I were a wealthy woman I'd hire someone to do the ground work for me. Seriously. Let some poor flunkie sift through the mounds of info and verify the truth from total fiction or speculation. That alone would save hours of my time. Like I said, I'd rather devote those hours to creating the story.

But even a small fortune wouldn't get me out of all the research. I'd still have to jump in and look at the information for myself. As a writer, you're lucky to use even half of the info you come up with in the actual story. If you use too much -- particularly in historical -- the reader's eyes can glaze over and you've lost them. It's all about balance.

But you cannot write about something if you don't know it or understand it. Remember, I didn't say "write what you know", that's very limiting. What I am saying is you have to know what you're writing about. You have to learn about it.

Being a writer is more than stringing words together in a decent fashion. It's so much more. It involves imagination, creativity, long-suffering, diligence, an open mind, and constant learning and growth. Even if it's that stuff, like Algebra, that leaves you wondering: "Will I ever need this?".

Um, probably not. But do it anyway. ;)

Friday, July 06, 2007

How's it growing?

Summertime at our house means lots of things, but the primary change is that we plant a garden. Willingly? Not me. See the black thumb? Plants do NOT thrive under my 'care'. Hey, I figure I've gave birth to and raised (to some extent or other) five fairly healthy children. That deserves some credit, right?

My dh, however, is the farm boy. Literally. He grew up on one and knows quite a bit about the whole planting/harvesting process. What he still can't seem to figure out is why I do NOT want to plant vegetables that no one -- except him -- will ever eat. I love him, really, I do. But come on! They're called 'wax beans' for a reason! IE: They taste like WAX!

Anyhow, every year we go through the garden thing. He plows, tills, fertilizes, plants seeds and/or small plants, and we wait. Water. Weed. Wait some more. Repeat, ad naseum, until the whole thrill of growing our own veggies wears really thin. That time comes around August when the temps are up in the 90s; the humidity is about 70%; and the weeds are fast beating out the real plants.

Don't get me wrong -- I do enjoy growing our own food. Being able to pluck fresh tomatoes and corn right off the plant is great! And it tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the store. But it is a lot of work and I sometimes wonder (mostly on those 90+ days) if it's worth it all.

Yeah, when I think about it, I admit it is worth the work. We learn a lot from our garden. We've learned just how well zucchini can be frozen and how much the kids love zucchini bread in the fall. :) We actually have fun doing the work together, as a family. It's one of those schmaltzy bonding things we do. ;) Our kids learn the value of work and see the results in a relatively reasonable amount of time. Plus, it does save some money here and there.

Most importantly, we've learned what to grow and what not to bother with... remember those Wax Beans? Heh. Only two of plants actually grew from those seeds. *No, I didn't do a thing to them -- although I was sorely tempted.* We also learned, very early on, that 43 tomato plants is way, way too many. Even for a family of seven. :P

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Soothing the beast...

I've never written a shapeshifter character before. It's an interesting change of pace -- minor pun intended. ;) But honestly, I've got to believe that even with the added benefit of changing physical forms, a hero is a hero.

He still has to be sexy, intelligent (Yes, that is a must), gentle with his heroine, tough on the villain, and maybe even a little tough on himself. What else does a hero possibly need? To give him an extra gift -- or maybe curse -- only adds to the drama unfolding. It gives us another conflict that has to be overcome.

Not too far off from real life, isn't it? We all have 'gifts' and 'curses'. Things we have to live with or without. We all have conflict. Life without conflict is impossible unless you're either very deluded or living in a vacuum. Conflict can help us grow even though it causes pain.

But I think that's why so many people love to read -- and why so many love romance. If there's one thing you can count on in a true romance, it's that there will be a happy ending. The "HAPPILY EVER AFTER" fairytale finish that we don't always get in the real world. So we like to read about flawed heroes and heroines... ones with obstacles to overcome. We need someone to cheer on to victory ... confident that the writer will somehow make it work out in the end. The good guys win and love prevails. We need that, because it gives us a little bit of hope, perhaps. Not to mention a small hour or two of escape from the turmoil in our own lives.

Although having a hero who can shift at will from man to beast is a new experience for me, it's not as difficult as I first thought. He seems to relish the power I've given him -- it has completed his personality, his backstory and his conflict.

Just one more thing to figure out ... What happens to his clothes?

LOL! Yes, I am the practical one. ;)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Summertime blahs...

A fellow author was complaining recently about her teenage daughter's penchant for sitting around doing nothing. I started thinking about it, wondering how many other moms and dads out there have this problem?

I remember during my summers off of school. I would be so thrilled for about a week or two, then bored out of my mind. I'd spend most of my time reading and watching television, with the odd trip or two to a pool with friends. Summer vacations were few and being a typical teen, I was determined to NOT enjoy them. LOL!

How do you keep your kids busy when the excitement of "No school!" becomes the whine of "I'm Bored!" ??? Or maybe worse yet, they just sit there like lumps of modeling clay, baking in the glow of the television screen, refusing to do a blasted thing?

I make mine read. Well, the older two don't need any threats where that's concerned. We also have the blessing of a YMCA family membership, so many afternoons are spent at the pool. They also have sleepovers; the odd movie here and there; lazy days watching cartoons and bouncing on the trampoline. My children are pretty good at keeping themselves entertained. It's when they start arguing that I have to step in and give them something different to do.

Anyone want to share their tricks or secrets? Or you can just vent if you'd like. (GGG)

Friday, May 25, 2007

LAST weekend!!!

Week Six - This is the last week of the SAMHAIN SPRING SHOWERS contest and this week we have FIFTEEN yes FIFTEEN wonderful prizes for you all to win!

So what are you wasting time for, get on down and comment on those excerpts before the weekend is over and you've lost your chance.

The prizes for this last and final week are.

1. One ebook download of any of Samhain Publishing's ebooks
2. One print copy of Jean Marie Ward's and Teri Smith's With Nine You Get Vanyr
3. One free print copy of Summer Devon's Taming Him
4. One free ebook download from Kate Jonhson's Samhain listing, a signed cover and goodies
5. One free ebook download from any of Alexis Flemings ebooks at Samhain Publishing
6. One free ebook download of Beverly Rae's Touch Me
7. One free ebook download of Gia Dawn's Lady Strumpet
8. One free ebook download of Kim Rees's Buying MacKenzie's Baby
9. One free ebook download of Meg Allison's Alaina's Promise
10. One free ebook download of Rene Lyon's The Daystar
11. One free ebook download of Rose Marie Wolf's Sweet Moon Dreams
12. One free ebook download of Brenda Williamson's Wolverton Blood
13. One free ebook download of Annmarie McKenna's Two Sighted
14. An assortment of exotics Asian doodads, (incense, timber bookmarks, handmade notebook)
15. One five dollar gift certificate to MB&B

This contest ends at midnight EST on Sunday 27th May Here's the LINK: COFFEE TIME ROMANCE FORUM

Friday, May 18, 2007

Cats, kids and mothering...

The kids have all been sick over the past two weeks to varying degrees. Anyone from a larger family knows the drill: if one gets it, the rest will. And if it's really bad, then it gets passed back through for an encore.

So we have three on antibiotics; one with a residual cough; and one who is basically just cranky. Oh, then there's the sick cat.

Everyone has been worried about the cat. Her personality and habits changed dramatically; she wasn't eating much or drinking any water; all she wanted to do was sleep. Yeah, I was worried about the pet food recall for a time -- wondering if somehow she got hold of some bad food. Seems it's just a virus or infection. Honestly, I think she caught the family cold. :P

One dose of antibiotic and she's already feeling a bit better. She's chasing the kids; batting at moths... getting back to her natural self. It's such a relief! Being a people mom is hard enough -- mothering an animal is one monster of a job! Especially when you don't speak the native tongue. ;)

Kids and pets are so similiar -- no uproar, they are! You worry about them when they're sick; feel helpless when you can't 'fix it'; and baby them when they don't feel good. Case in point: the cat wouldn't drink water, so I enticed her with milk. She wouldn't eat cat food, so I brought out the tuna. Real tuna, not the cat food variety. Yes. We have been spoiling her rotten.

Now I'm curious to see what she'll expect as she gets better. Will she wonder where the milk is? Why the tuna doesn't appear at meal time? Will she boycot her usual meal?

The kids know that once they get better, the babying stops. Well, for the most part. Animals aren't quite capable of such logic. But I have a feeling the cat will accept her fate -- and eat the kitty kibble.

Unless someone happens to get a hankering for a tuna sandwhich. ;)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Blogging today...

I blogged today at Shades of Suspense ... pop on over and check it out. :) The blog has a slightly new look, too. I think you'll like it.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Not your mama's music?

Or is it?

I've been a fan of country music for a few years now, but I seem to go through cycles in my life and am beginning to branch out again. At the moment, I'm turning a bit more toward rock/pop music -- partly thanks to my wonderful teenage daughters. :)

Does it seem odd that a teen turns the parent on to new music, new bands? Maybe, but in our house, that's just the way of things. No, I don't try to act like a teenager, although I think it comes naturally at times. ;) But I've always had very eclectic taste in music.

My oldest daughters and I like the many of the same things -- music, movies, television shows. We connect over clothes, stories, you name it! They are my best friends as well as my daughters.

So who have I 'discovered' thanks to my girls? Evanescence... Daughtery... Nickelback... the list goes on. But it works both ways -- they like some of my favorites including Keith Urban and an old-time favorite, Journey, to name a few.

Music is very important in our family. My dh and I have both sung to and with our children since they were babies. Our family even has two special songs just for the dog. :) But it's always been that way for me --- music expresses my moods, stirs my memories, and inspires my muse. Most of my stories and books have 'soundtracks', and I know quite a few authors who are the same way. I think it all has to do with that creative side of our brains... music etches itself on our minds and in our souls.

Next time you hear a song you like, don't dismiss it as something your mom wouldn't care for. Sure, you know her better than I do, but sometimes it's nice to share... you just might be surprised. ;)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tagged! -- Eight random facts...

Okay, I've been tagged by my friend and fellow writer, Leslie Dicken.

Here are the rules:

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

8 random facts/habits about me …

1. I have two main nicknames: Alli and Gator. No, on the surface I don't look or act much like a gator, but then it's the quite ones you have to watch out for. ;)

2. I have five children -- all from my one and only marriage; all on purpose. Yes, I know that in itself is certifiable...but I didn't stop there....

3. I home school all of my children, grades 1, 3, 6, 9 & 10. Crazy? Probably. But they love me anyway.

4. I love to act and sing. If I had a different temperament and/or confidence, I might have gone for a career in one or the other. As it is, I really think the acting thing helps in my writing.

5. I adore Gerry Butler. He's sexy, charismatic, has the most beautiful eyes and abs... SIGH. Don't tell Leslie! She thinks he's hers. ;)

6. I love Alfred Hitchcock movies. My favorites are Rear Window and Marnie (Sean Connery at 30-something, yum!).

7. I hate to cook. I do it, naturally, and can follow a recipe with the best of them, but it just isn't my 'thing'. I prefer to create something that lasts longer than fifteen minutes. :)

8. I've always wanted to learn ballroom dancing -- I loved the movie, Dirty Dancing. But my dh isn't a big dance fan. One of these days, however... either that or belly dancing. (GGG)

Now I'm going to TAG my buddies: Sara, Nell, Amelia, Glo, Gracie, Marie-Nicole, Emma, and Lorribelle.

Monday, April 23, 2007

More showers...

More, more, more.

More excerpts are now up on the Samhain Spring Shower forum contest,

CoffeeTime Romance Forum
More chances for you to enter and win one of three fabulous prizes.

This weeks prizes:

One print copy of With Nine You Get Vanyr by Jean Marie Ward and Teri Smith
One Beth Williamson ebook download of choice (from Samhain Publishing)
One ebook download of Strip Tease by Kate Davies

So come along and make a comment, any comment (though the nicer ones would be more appreciated :) ) and get your entries into this free draw.

Winners of last's week's draw will be announced here and on the forum, tomorrow.

Come on! How easy can it possibly get? (GGGG) Just comment and you could win!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Is it romance?

I just finished reading a new romantic suspense. Not only was the title just published, but it was written by an author who is new to me.

Now to analyze...

I liked the book. Sort of. :\ Honestly, the plot was a bit more sci-fi than suspense and I'm not a huge, huge fan of the genre. Oh, I like to watch Star Trek in its various forms; I love the Star Wars movies (the original three more-so); I've even enjoyed the occasional Ray Bradbury story from time to time.

So what's my problem? Well, it wasn't just with this current read -- I've had this come up in two other romantic suspense titles (two of a series). But in all three books I'm brought up short by one simple thing:

The hero isn't quite 'heroic'. In all truth, the stories themselves -- particularly this last -- weren't exactly what I'd term 'romantic'.

There was no real falling in love in this last read--more of an obsessive sexual bonding and manipulation. There wasn't any deep emotion. Yes, lots of hot sex; the heroine slowly begins to sneak beneath the tough hero's shell (this revealed only through his inner dialogue); the heroine doesn't even know the hero's identity until the very last page! Yep, you probably guessed it -- there's a sequel coming out later this summer. ***NOTE: Add this to my pet-peeve list.***

But falling in love? Romance? I didn't see it.

Am I just old-fashioned? Maybe. But now I'm wondering is this is simply another take on the bad-boy hero OR if this is the direction our romance novels are headed?

When I say 'bad-boy', I don't mean the classic rebel in leather riding a Harley... or the tom cat who treats all women like sex-objects until he encounters the heroine. I don't even mean the bad-ass Alpha dudes that prowl the pages of such works as Kenyon's DARK-HUNTER series. I'm talking BAD, such as those men who kill for a living (albeit usually under the thumb of some ultra-secret government agency). I'm talking about men who use sex as a weapon -- literally -- even against the heroine herself.

Exciting? Sure, I'll admit, it can be. After all, if they use sex as a tool, we can safely assume they sure know what they're doing between the sheets. We all have our little fantasies -- even ones we don't recognize until we're squirming as we read the book. ;)

But is it healthy? Is it romance?

I'm not so sure. What do you think?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Win an e-book!

The Samhain Spring Shower Contest is OPEN

Free ebooks, free books and excerpts.

The prizes for this week are:

One free ebook download of any title available from Samhain Publishing
One free ebook download of Missing in Action by Amanda Young
One free ebook download of Secrets and Shadows by Meg Allison

So come along and take a peek and make a free entry, or two J

Just follow this link:

Coffee Time Romance forum

Then click on the Samhain Spring Shower content forum.

We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Chat with me!

CHAT with me and authors Sara Reinke & Gloria Wiederhold:

Tuesday, APRIL 17 from 9-11 p.m. (Eastern, US) for Sara's monthly "Worlds of Discovery" live chat series at The Romance Galleria!

We'll be hanging out in Sara's author suite at this interactive, three-dimensional virtual forum, discussing our latest and upcoming projects, plus offering prizes
to chat visitors and more! The Romance Galleria is accessible through a
safe, free download at The Romance Galleria.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mother Nature plays April Fool's

Do you want to know what I see out my window? Snow. It's not supposed to snow in April, not in this hemisphere!

But Mother Nature seems to be having a grand ole time with this late April Fool gag. It's windy, the temp is below freezing -- has been all day -- and the white stuff has been swirling around like dandelion fluff.

Luckily the fruit trees haven't blossomed yet, or I might be truly miffed at this change in weather. Apparently this last week or so of 60s and 70s, blue skies and intermittent thunder storms were all a big set-up. Lulling us into the preconceived and erroneous idea that Spring, in all its glory, had finally appeared.

I've learned two important lessons in life: Karma does come back to haunt you AND you cannot trust dear Mother Nature.

Contest bloggers ... PLEASE READ!

Well, don't I feel dumb? (yep) I realized that most of those who posted for my LUCKY IN LOVE website contest did not leave enough info for me to contact them! Oy!

While Amelia Elias won the grand prize, everyone else who posted won as well. If you did post regarding authors' websites, PLEASE email me with the following info: your blogger name, real name, and your snail mail address. Once I have this, I can send everyone a prize -- one of over twenty lovely book-thongs.
They're ready! They just need a good home. ;)

Here's the addy:

Make sure to mark your email as Book Thong contest, or something similar. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The winner is....

I let my youngest dd pick the name out of a bowl -- sorry, we don't have any appropriate 'hats' around here, go figure. ;)

The grand prize winner of the LUCKY IN LOVE contest is ... Amelia Elias! Congrats, Amelia! You'll soon be the proud owner of a one-of-a-kind necklace featuring a heart-shaped, pewter pendant with a green shamrock inlay.

Everyone else who posted will receive a hand-crafted, beaded book-thong, with a Celtic cross charm accent.

I'll be contacting you each by e-mail -- so if you don't hear from me by the end of the week, please drop me a note:

Thanks for all the great advice!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Up and running!

My new website is up! Pop on over and let me know what you think. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Sometime over the next few weeks, I'm going to be putting up a new website. Hopefully. (Keep your fingers crossed.)

I've been considering this for some time, but finally got the kick in the butt I need to get it going. :) I need something a bit more professional -- slick, clean, easy to navigate. But now I'm wondering...what exactly do readers like to see at author websites?

Here's your chance to tell me! AND you'll win a prize in the process. ;)

Just let me know what you like about author websites. Are there certain features you really like to see? Hate? Are there any YOU think are a must? Blog about it here... between now and the end of March ... and you could win a LUCKY IN LOVE pendant necklace featuring a heart-shaped, pewter pendant with an enamel four-leaf-clover inlay.

I'll pick one winner in a random drawing and everyone else who comments will receive a hand-crafted, beaded book thong featuring a Celtic cross charm.

All this in honor of my Irish historical and St. Patrick's Day!

Good luck! And don't be shy... I need ideas!!!!


Monday, February 26, 2007

ALAINA'S PROMISE -- first review!

And it's a good one! Four cups from CoffeeTime Romance. Yes!

"Alaina’s Promise is a moving tale in this page-turner. ... The likeable characters of Alaina and Torin will pierce the heart, as they find a love that transcends. Meg Allison pens a warm wonderful romance that grabs the heart. With a cleverly constructed plot, the reader is caught up in all the emotions and turmoil that spin within this enjoyable story." Cherokee

I am so thrilled that readers are enjoying this story! It's one that will always be close to my heart since these characters started me on this journey. You can read the entire review at Coffeetime Romance.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Newsletter time

I've finally succumbed to peer pressure, once again. ;)

Sign up for my bi-monthly newsletter so you can keep up with all my trials, woes and, hopefully, successes over the next year. Yes, I'm hoping for a lot more success. ;)

Romance Ink -- Meg Allison's Newsletter

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The winner is....

I'm a day late (and a dollar short), but I've finally picked the winner of my blog for a book contest! Actually, since I had such a terrific response, I've picked two winners! Both will receive one download copy in the format of their choice of ALAINA'S PROMISE.

Congratulations to: Chris Hopper (cougar32_2006@ yahoo. com); and Cathie! Please contact me at: .

Thanks to everyone who participated in the blog this past month. I really appreciate the input and comments. Stop by frequently...I see more contests coming in the near future.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Yes! Another book out!

ALAINA'S PROMISE, the first novel I ever wrote, is now available at Samhain Publishing, Ltd.!

Of course, the book is vastly different from that first effort. After all, I had a lot to learn about writing at the time. I'm very pleased that these characters and their story have finally seen the light of day. It's been a long time coming.

CONTEST reminder:

***If you'd like to win your own download of ALAINA'S PROMISE, all you have to do is respond at least once to one of my blog posts through the end of January... WHICH happens to be tomorrow, folks! So post something, anything (niceness counts, of course ;) ) and I'll enter your name in the drawing. Good luck!***

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Deepen that point of view...

Deep point of view -- what is it, exactly? Well, it's when you get so far into a character's thoughts that you get to know them from the inside out over the course of the book. You feel what they feel; hear, see and even smell what they smell. You almost 'become' the character.

At least, that's my take on that particular term. ;)

How do you write it? It takes practice AND it means no head-hopping! Sorry, folks, it just won't work.

**Covering my butt here in case any editors are lurking. ;) **

Ahem. There is one exercise passed down to me from another writer -- I wish I could remember who it was, but the memory is a bit fuzzy --- although, I'm guessing it was Deborah Hale of Harlequin Romance/LUNA fame. She is a fantastic lady and a wonderful writer. Do check out her books asap.

Anyway, here's what you do:

Write a scene (or a few paragraphs) in first person point of view -- I, me, myself and my. True, I am not a big first-person fan, but do it for me anyhow.

Once you're finished, go back and change all the pronouns to the appropriate gender -- he, she, etc. This can be done, obviously, for any point of view you may feel lacks depth. But try it whenever you have trouble connecting with your characters or just as a writing exercise -- all muscles need a good work-out, even those of the imagination. ;)

Here's a short example of what I'm talking about from my up-coming historical, ALAINA'S PROMISE:

Written in first person:

The cold stillness of the house wrapped around me, chilling me to the bone. I drew in a deep breath as I reached for the banister and climbed the curved staircase.

My father was dying.

I froze midway up the steps, knuckles white as I gripped the smooth wood in an effort to still shaking fingers. Fear snaked around my heart and reached down further into my soul. I squeezed my eyes shut as I fought to dispel the panic. It would do no good for him to see me like this.

“Be strong,” I commanded myself aloud

Now, I change it to third person:

The cold stillness of the house wrapped around Alaina, chilling her to the bone. She drew in a deep breath as she reached for the banister and climbed the curved staircase.

Her father was dying.

She froze midway up the steps, knuckles white as she gripped the smooth wood in an effort to still shaking fingers. Fear snaked around her heart and reached down further into her soul. She squeezed her eyes shut as she fought to dispel the panic. It would do no good for him to see her like this.

“Be strong,” she commanded herself aloud.


Now, that's not the most perfect example, but hopefully you get the idea. Try this exercise a few times if you're ever unsure of your character; have been told you tend to head-hop; OR you just want to dig a little deeper. Remember, the point is that you can only show things through the narrator's senses. This connects the reader to the character and pulls them more deeply into the story.

Deepen that point of view, and they will care -- they won't be able to stop themselves. ;)

Make them care, and they will come back for more. Don't you? :)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Writing contests!

We've talked a lot about writing this month, so far. How about jumping in and seeing where it leads you? That's what I did with a writing contest -- the Photo Finish Contest that I won in 2005 with my short story: Romancing Jenny.

Check out this information Unique Enterprises has posted about what both Moonlit Romance and By Grace Publishing are looking for ... and the info on their writing contests. You just may be the next winner.

Good luck!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Great new review!

SECRETS AND SHADOWS received another excellent REVIEW.

It's such a thrill to hear when people really enjoy the story. :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Monday, January 15, 2007

Was, was, was...

It's a marvelous little word -- a verb with a myriad of usages and one that often creeps into my manuscripts. Very often. Okay, much too frequently.

What's wrong with was? Nothing, unless there's something that could be used in its place. Something that will bring the sentence to life -- give it some spark -- add some pizazz.

Verbs are a fantastic tool for writers ... they can describe the action; intensify the emotions or dialogue. But you have to make sure you break things up a bit. I'm using the 'was' example, because it's one most of us tend to fall back on -- and one that I've had many editors and critique partners fling back at me with comments such as: "You're using this too much -- can you find another way to say this?" **Okay, after about the tenth time their comments are bit less diplomatic, but you get the drift. ;)**

There comes a point when we have to break out the Thesaurus and start looking for different ways to say the same thing. I'm one of those people who tends to get a little irritated with word repetition. I don't often catch it in my own work until that final edit, but let me tell you it is really a big pet peeve of mine. Just ask any of my critique partners. On second thought, don't ask them.

Yet sometimes, no matter what you do, it isn't easy to 'say it differently'. For instance, do you know how many synonyms there are for the word 'door'? Not many... and even fewer you can just slide easily into a sentence without sounding like you're using a "Word of the Day" calendar to write. (Been there, done that...have the bald spot to prove it. ;) )

So, what do we do with was? Like salt or pepper ... use it sparingly or it can overpower your prose. The same goes for adverbs. Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle! No dumping allowed! ;)

If you can think of a better way to 'show' the reader what the character is doing or feeling, then use it! It might mean re-writing an entire sentence or paragraph, but that's all part and parcel of this gig. If you can get in the habit of 'showing it better' from the outset, you are way ahead of the game. Otherwise, save it for that round of editing to come. Just keep writing, no matter what. As the great Nora Roberts is fondly paraphrased: You can't fix a blank page.

By the way, don't completely cut any word from your writing. All words were created for us to use, and 'was' is no exception. Like any other part of the writing craft, it takes trial and error to find your voice -- including the words you use.

Friday, January 12, 2007

To finish, or not to finish....

There really isn't an option.

IF you want to get published someday, you have to reach those two final words in your manuscript: THE END

Easy? Think again. I know many authors -- including myself -- who have more than one computer file filled with starts and stops of various stories. Some will eventually see the light of day, the rest, well...I believe there's a void where those characters will have to live until they somehow weedle their way into another tale.

Beginning a story can be simple. Then you hit, say, CHAPTER FOUR, and things start to stall out. So maybe you skip a few scenes and get some other stuff down on paper (or the screen). But somehow, the story just dies.

Guess what? No one will ever publish an unfinished novel. (Big revelation, huh? ;) )

So you have to make a plan to FINISH THE DA*N STORY!

No one can do it for you. You may have friends who can help brainstorm a plot point or two. You may have others who can motivate you in other ways. But you, and only YOU can finish that story.

Turn off the internal editor. Bribe yourself if you need to and get it done. I know some authors won't let themselves read other books until they finish a wip (work in progress). I did that once with a Dark-Hunter novel I had bought. I wouldn't let myself crack that spine until I finished what I was working on -- believe me, it worked! ;)

Other bribes work, too. Dinner out; a special candy; a new outfit even. Whatever it takes -- that you can afford, obviously -- make yourself a deal and stick with it.

My other tricks are as follows:

1. I finish a scene and/or chapter and let myself edit it through one time. Then I move on to the next part. Then when I finally write THE END, I go through it again from beginning to end.

2. If I get well and truly stuck on one project -- to the point of not being able to write at all -- then I set it aside for a bit and try to work on something else. In my humble opinion, not all ideas are meant to be good novels. But at least I'll get a good writing exercise out of it.

3. Brainstorm with fellow writers for ideas. If you have a good friend who also writes, they can be invaluable to you when it comes to ironing out those plot twists. I've had friends help me from everything from naming a character, historical inaccuracies, and what occupation my hero should have.

**But always remember: no matter what anyone says, it is YOUR story. Don't change a thing if you feel uncomfortable with that change. Obviously, this does not apply to the opinion of an editor who may want to publish your book. **

Again, to finish or not to finish.... well, it depends on whether or not you ever want to get published. Writing is the first step; finishing is the second.

Get going! ;)

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Participate in one of the discussions anytime during the month of January, and you could win a download copy of my up-coming sensual historical romance, ALAINA'S PROMISE. It's to be released January 30th from Samhain Publishing!

All you have to do is post -- at least once -- and you'll automatically be entered in a random drawing for the prize. The winner will be announced on this blog and at on Monday, Feb. 5th.

So, voice your opinion or share your insights -- we'll all appreciate it and you may be the winner!

READERS -- tell us what you like!

One way to find out what direction you might want to take when it comes to picking a storyline is to ask the readers themselves.

Personally, I like a variety of romance and some straight mysteries. Give me a good Native American hero, and I'm there! Throw in a sexy vampire, and you have me hooked -- at least enough to check out the back-cover blurb. ;) Add some mystery or suspense, and yes! I want that book! I used to adore Stephen King novels, but I'm not so much into the horror aspect anymore.

So tell us, we really want to know --
What draws you to a book?
What makes it stand out on the shelf OR on that on-line page?
What type of stories are a must-buy?
What type wouldn't you touch with a ten-foot pole?
Do you buy books for your children? IF so, what do they like? Fantasy? Comedy?

Give us some clues, folks. As writers, we love to tell a good story. As writers who want to sell we want to tell a great story that makes you stop, pick up that book (click on the link) and whip out that credit card. ;)

Post away ... readers and writers alike. I can't do this alone. :)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What to write? It's your choice.

How does a writer decide what to write?

Well, honestly, I don't often feel that I have much of a choice. The "Muse" makes that decision for me. No, I am not insane. 'She' is my inspiration...the one that takes an idea and runs with it through time until the perfect people are created; the perfect time decided upon; the perfect conflict crafted; etc.

The MUSE is inspiration, and I honestly believe it's something only true writers have. Is it an entity? An overactive imagination? Maybe both? All I know is that I have to write the story the way it needs to be told. If I even get a name wrong, the story stops flowing and I have to back up and try again.

If you aren't a writer, this makes no sense and you are currently wondering about my mental stability. Like I mentioned before -- I am sane, or as sane as any writer gets. ;)

So, I write what I'm inspired to write. Romance. You may not like romance...then chances are good you won't want to write it. I don't care for science fiction that much except for an occasional Star Trek episode/movie. But I do love paranormal fiction.

Words of wisdom: "Don't write what you know -- write what you love."

Of course you have to do the research if you aren't familiar with aspects of the story -- such as the setting; the time period; a specific occupation one of your main characters has. Research is an important tool to any writer. Get the facts straight or someone, somewhere will catch you...then it'll really hit the fan! ESPECIALLY if you want to write a historical novel. Do not try to fudge your way through history...unless you're creating your own version for a fantasy...because those readers can be very unforgiving.

It all boils down to this: What do you tend to read? What kind of stories draw you in deep and don't let go until that last page is turned? THOSE should be the stories that you write. Whether they be mysteries, sci-fi, young adult adventure, fantasy, etc, etc.... Only you (and your muse) can make that decision.

Don't try to follow the market because the market will leave you behind. Most books put out by the BIG houses (ie: NY pubs) were bought a year ago or more. The editors may be looking for something completely different now. So, write what you love and hopefully someday you'll be blessed to share it with others.


1. Choose your POV
2. Let an idea gel in your mind
3. Research as necessary to get started

That's how you begin. But we aren't done! There are a lot of traps and tricks along the way. I don't know them all, honestly. Writing is one of those careers where you are constantly learning and honing your craft. However, I will continue to share what I do know....or think I know. ;) Hopefully, some of my fellow writers will come out to play as well.

Any questions? Please ask! I'll give it my best shot.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Point of View

Point of View is one of those somewhat sticky subjects in the writing world. Like religion, politics or whether cats or dogs make better pets...many writers have very clear ideas about POV.

First off, what is it? Well, honestly, this may sound like a stupid question to some, but I believe there's no such thing as a stupid question. (Um, for the most part.)

Some of us do NOT know what POV is or why it matters. When I wrote my first novel -- a 400+ page tome of historical romance, anguish and head-hopping melodrama (cringe) -- I knew nothing about Point of View. And you could tell by reading that story. Hey, it would've made a great travelogue! ;)

POV, as we call it, is the viewpoint from which a story is told. There is first person: "I", "me", "my", etc...which is popular in most of the chick-lit genre; third person: the one I prefer to read and write; and omniscient ... in other words, the all-seeing narrator or 'God', if you will.

Some writers and editors are POV purists. They insist on one POV per scene OR chapter. Using more than one POV in this way is commonly known as 'head-hopping'. To be honest, you'll find more head-hopping than not in most widely published novels today. Particularly in the romance genre. Especially by those with the Big Names.

The Evils of Head-hopping

or... "If so-and-so can get away with it, why the hell can't I??"

The reason you might not be able to head-hop your way through your first novel is, again, simple:

1. Because 'so-and-so' has been around (as in multi-pubbed) for a while...

2. Does it well so no one cares...

3. Is a good enough writer in general that many sins can be forgiven...

4. All of the above.

If you insist on writing it your way -- I say, "Go for it!" But for all our sakes, do it right! The biggest arguments I've heard for avoiding the ping-pong match of flitting from one character's head to another are as follows:

*The reader loses track of who is thinking, feeling, or saying 'whatever' from one paragraph or page to the next. Nothing is more annoying than having to retrace your steps, go back in a book and figure who the heck is talking! It's not only a nuisance, but it pulls your reader right out of the story.

**It's sometimes difficult to 'identify' with a character if you don't spend enough time in their thoughts...feeling and sharing their emotions. If you only get snippets of the heroine's feelings before you jump into the hero's, your reader may have a hard time connecting and/or caring. If they don't connect/care, then they may lost interest in the story. NOT good.

***Sometimes, you can get a stiff neck (mentally) trying to keep up with all the ping-ponging. Sounds silly, but it's true. Nothing gives me a worse headache than trying to keep track of who's saying what to whom over the course of a 200-300+ page novel.

Okay, so what to do?

First, you need to decide what type of POV works best for what you're writing. Then decide up-front how you're going to handle the POV switch -- if you have one. Obviously, in a first-person narrative, you won't have that problem.

Believe me, I can tell you from experience that it's a lot easier to make that decision from page one then to have to go back and edit the entire book. I've done it and it stinks. I have one terrific writer friend who tried to 'fix' his first novel -- a head-hopper -- and gave up. He's in the process of re-writing it completely.

Basic *Rules* of POV:

1. Only 'show' or 'tell' things that the POV character can actually experience/see/feel/know. Don't have your heroine stare at herself in the mirror so she can think about her beauty -- or lack there0f. She'll lose a lot of sympathy right there. Don't make your hero a mind-reader who can decipher every thought or emotion on the heroine's face ... well, unless it's a paranormal story and he can really read minds. ;)

2. Avoid omniscient POV at all costs. It gets old, folks, and most of us don't like it much.

3. Again, decide how to break up the POV if you're going with third-person. I like to use scene changes and chapter breaks. But make up your mind and try to stick with the plan. Revision is available, but it isn't always a picnic.

4. In the end, thumb your nose at the *RULES* and head-hop away! Just do it well.