Saturday, August 30, 2008

I am so unspectacular

It's been a while since someone tagged me, but Denise Patrick snuck in with this meme. I'll get her. Yes, I will. ;)

First, the rules:

1) Link to the person that tagged you.2) Post the rules on your blog.3) List six unspectacular quirks you have.4) Tag six bloggers by linking them.5) Leave a comment on each person's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

Six unspectacular things about me. Only six? It might be tough to narrow the list. ;)

1. I love to do word puzzles. The newspaper crossword is how I unwind, that and the cryptiquote puzzle. I have to do both every day.

2. All of my stories have a theme song -- and I tend to listen to that song over, and over, ad nauseum while I'm writing. It tends to annoy those around me.

3. I like to knit with those funky knitting hoops -- the ones with all the pegs. Last winter I made each of my children a hat in their favorite colors. But that's something I can only do in the winter or late fall.

4. I love Dr. Pepper, but I have to drink it half and half, meaning half regular, half diet. Can't stand the taste of either by itself.

5. I hate horror films. Loved them in high school; can't watch them now. Too much blood and gore. I do love scary movies, just not "horror".

6. I have the pieces all cut out -- and two rows sewn together -- of a quilt I started right before my oldest son was born. He just turned thirteen. I vow to finish that quilt. Someday.

Now I'm going to tag some of the ladies of Shades of Suspense:
Catherine Berlin
Marie-Nicole Ryan
Rhianna Samuels
Loribelle Hunt
Emma Wayne Porter
Donica Covey

And now to go into hiding. ;)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another review...

And five hearts for my latest rom com, Table for Two.

I'm just thrilled people seem to be enjoying this one. It took a while to get it done -- a lot of other projects pushed it aside -- but it was worth the wait. David and Sandra were a fun pair to write and I'm happy to have given them their own new beginning.

Read the entire review at The Romance Studio.

"Ms. Meg Allison has written a unique, fun-loving novella about a couple who could not stand to be together... there were some hilarious parts to this great manuscript. The two were complete opposites. As Ms. Allison gave us more information about this couple, it was still almost impossible to see how she would give readers a happily ever after. The couple was strong and determined but nothing alike.

This is a great book with something for everyone. I highly recommend it to all."

Reviewer: Brenda Talley
August 28, 2008

Ah, I love it! But Denise snuck in and tagged me. I'll have to plot my revenge for that one. ;) I'll post her tag tomorrow. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

It's in the cards

Years ago people used to say: "Write what you know." The philosophy was if you didn't have an intimate association with the subject -- or a PhD on it, anyhow -- you shouldn't write the book.

Well, that's a bit limiting, don't you think? If we all went by that advice, I can tell you at least half the secret agent; billionaire; cowboy; time-travel; and vampire romances would disappear from existence. Especially the latter.

We can't stick to what we know, but we can learn enough about a subject to write credible stories. Say it with me now: research. Have I mentioned I really don't like this part? :P It takes so much time away from the fun stuff of creating worlds, manipulating characters, etc.

For my current wip, BROKEN, I discovered there's a crucial scene involving my heroine having her future revealed by a friend. Until I got to this point in the story, I hadn't realized just how vital this scene will be. When I first mapped out the book, it was only a stepping-stone to the next scene, but now...things have changed.

I've had some small experiences in my former life with Tarot cards, but not enough to write a believable reading. Sure, I could try to fake my way through it -- after all, everyone has their own style and there are hundreds of different decks of cards these days. But I just know someone, somewhere, would notice if I goofed. And they would, understandably, complain. Or even go so far as to write a bad review or, worse yet, never buy another book from me! All this because I stepped outside my comfort zone without a net or a clue.

So, I bought a book that explains the basics. Hopefully I can draw enough from that -- and long-ago memories -- to create a plausible scene. My heroine needs this guidance; she needs a wake-up call, to be honest. And who better to give it than the best friend with her own special gift? ;)

Almost done... on to the next murder, a little mayhem, the black moment and our Happy Ending.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Do you want it? Do you really? ;)

Dream Walk will be released in two weeks. You can now read TWO excerpts! One on my website, the other excerpt on Samhain Publishing's website. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My real-life muse

I'm working on book two of The Sentinels -- almost done! I can see the light and it's not a train. ;)

However, I hit another tiny snag with a certain character. He's a secondary at this point, but has his eye on that final book. He can be a pain in the rear to write because he's so sarcastic and closed-mouthed. He's going to have to come clean or book five will be a very, very short story.

So what do I do when I hit a bump in my plots? Well, until my sweet editor gets her hands on it and offers her advice, I go to my in-house muse. Aka: My oldest daughter.

She's only read my sweet romances from cover to cover -- yes, I'm old-fashioned -- but she's a wonderful sounding-board for each and every plot. She listens and often comes up with solutions. She never rolls her eyes when I talk about a storyline or wonder how to kill off this person or get the hero and heroine from point A to point C. She's very wise for her years ... and I truly believe she holds on to my muse so she doesn't scamper off when my own thoughts get too chaotic.

Everyone should have a muse, "real" or otherwise. They keep life interesting. ;)

Back to the wip!

Friday, August 22, 2008

First review

Table for Two received its first review ... this one from CoffeeTime Romance. After yesterday, I needed a smile. If you need one, check out Table for Two, it might give you a little lift. ;)

Kindle Edition also available!

Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 Cups

"This is a great love story full of funny situations. The two main characters are very different from each other. David is a bit of a free spirit and Sandra is very uptight. Their dates are very funny, especially the monster truck rally. The small town they live in seems a bit too gossipy, especially after the movie incident, but the people for the most part seem warm-hearted and genuinely concerned with each other’s welfare. David’s sister and Jenny and Mark play small but important roles in the story. I really enjoyed it."

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What genre is your life?

Is it romance? Comedy? Horror? Mystery? Chick-lit? A bit of this and that all mixed together?

Probably the latter.

Life is ups, downs, some tragedy, some laughter and a lot plodding along, looking for the sun to come back out.

Someone recently asked why I chose to write romance. The question came from an individual who doesn't care for that particular genre and I couldn't help but hear the note of scorn. No problem. I don't expect everyone to like the same things. I know many dismiss romance as quickly as others dismiss pop music or modern art. I just hope they at least give unfamiliar things a chance. ;)

The answer I gave was simple and precise: I'm a romantic at heart.

But today my answer changed just a bit. I witnessed the aftermath of a family once again sent to the edge of hell and back by heart-breaking loss. I saw such profound grief that it touched my heart. Yet I felt incapable of doing anything to help or give any type of comfort.

Later, I sat thinking about how resilient the human spirit can be, and praying for my own family. That's when I realized times like these are why I read and write romance, whatever form it takes. I need to know at least one thing is going to work out the way I think it should. I find comfort in the fact that good things do happen, despite the hurdles and pits along the way. I want to see two characters -- lost, alone, searching -- find one another and fall in love. I need to be reassured, I suppose. I want that Happy Ever After.

Life is filled with tragic mistakes. Pain and heartache abound and we never know for sure that it will, in fact, be okay. We hope it will. We hold on and cling to whatever faith we possess, waiting for the pain to subside and the next ray of sun to appear.

But sometimes that rope gets a bit frayed and our hands start to slip...

So I write romance because I hope. I have faith. I dream, for myself and others. If my stories give even one person a respite from whatever is going wrong in their lives, then it's worth any scorn or dismissal I might receive. If I can soothe one tattered heart, even for a few pages, it's worth it.

I'm a storyteller. I'm a bit old-fashioned, too. I write about a man and a woman finding each other and falling in love despite whatever danger or insecurities I throw at them. Sometimes they're very real people ... sometimes they're larger than life. But they always get through it and come out stronger in the end.

Whatever my current genre might be, I know love can get me through it. After all, life imitates art.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

red-neck humor ... how true

What Jeff Foxworthy has to say about, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

If your Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you live in Pittsburgh.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you live in Pittsburgh.

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in Pittsburgh.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you live in Pittsburgh.

If "Vacation" means going anywhere south of the Mason Dixon line for the weekend, you live in Pittsburgh.

If you measure distance in hours, you live in Pittsburgh.

If you have switched from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again you live in Pittsburgh.

If you can drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching, you live in Pittsburgh.

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you live in Pittsburgh.

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you live in Pittsburgh.

If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you live in Pittsburgh.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you live in Pittsburgh.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you live in Pittsburgh.

If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you live in Pittsburgh.

If you find 10 degrees "a little chilly", you live in Pittsburgh.

If you actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all your Pittsburgh friends & others, you live or have lived in Pittsburgh.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Do you want to 'meet' a vampire?

Can't help you there -- but I can show you where to enter a fantastic contest for the chance to win one of two 'vampire' books. ;)

Book Binge is giving away a copy of ACHERON, the long-awaited installment of Sherrilyn Kenyon's creative Dark-Hunter series. If Dark-Hunters aren't your thing, you can enter to win a copy of Breaking Dawn, Stephanie Meyer's latest installment of her acclaimed Twilight series.

All you have to do is post and leave your email addy. What do you have to lose? ;)