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Archive for the ‘heroes’ Category

redman photo 107 horiz with book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, everybody!  I’m guest blogging today over at Tote Bags ‘n’ Blogs …and I’m giving away more books!

betting on cowboy box of booksI hope you can stop by. I’m reminiscing about all the sexy cowboys I’ve never known…and I’d love to hear your stories about your cowboys, too.  The real ones, or the ones who exist only on the screen, on the page, or in your dreams!

I know it’s Wednesday, and everyone has hump-day blues, so a little fantasy time with those long, tall Texans (or, in the case of my new Superromance, Colorado cowboys) might be just what we need to spice things up!

Three lucky posters will receive a signed copy of BETTING ON THE COWBOY.  Or, if you’ve already got one of those, you can request any of my other cowboy titles.  There are actually quite a few cuties in my collection. 🙂

See you there!

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wild for the sheriff cover 235I’m hard at work on the third in my Sisters of Bell River Ranch series, although it’s not feeling all that much like work right now. 🙂
I love this phase of a series. By now I know the town, the houses, the businesses, the people, the trees and even the horses so well that it’s more like going to visit old friends than anything else.

Of course, I can’t reach this easy phase without doing the preliminary work of building a word rich enough to sustain several books. And part of that richness is the secondary characters.

As I play with mine, I got to thinking about some of the secondary characters I love best in other books. Here’s a list of some of my favorites. Are any of yours on here? Which wonderful creations have I overlooked?

Worst in a silly way: Thing 1 and Thing 2 from “The Cat in the Hat”

Worst in a terrifying way: Nils Bjurman, the creepy lawyer from “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Most attractive criminal: Sirius Black, from the Harry Potter series

Most delightfully depressed: Eeyore, from “Winnie the Pooh”

Most quotable: Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride”

Highest-functioning drunk: Haymitch Abernathy from “The Hunger Games”

Sweetest, but infuriating: Melanie Wilkes from “Gone With the Wind”

Most endearing weirdo: Oh, this one is a tie!
Boo Radley from “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Miss Havisham from “Great Expectations”

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As Stephen King famously said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” 

How’s that for the official stamp of approval? 🙂  You can see how little respect he’d have for me if I ignored him!

So, though I have a deadline coming up, and it’s better not to even talk about the state of the laundry room, I really think I need to read today.  😉

I have shelves overflowing with books I haven’t read yet, and books I long to reread.  I have a wishlist at Amazon so long it’s embarrassing.  And the library could build a new wing on my late fees.  And yet, like a true addict, I’m still always on the hunt for something new and exciting.

I’m assuming that, since you’re reading a writer’s blog, you’re pretty much the same!

So when I stop by to say hi here each mid-week, I’ll be talking about what I’m reading right now–and how I’m liking it.  I hope you’ll swing by whenever you can and let me know what you’re reading, too!

Here’s this week’s tally:

Just started: 

Roundhouse, by Louise Erdrich.  So many people have recommended this to me that I finally broke down and got it.  Can’t wait to see if it catches me…

Still chewing away at:

Drood, by Dan Simmons.  This Victorian-era tale about Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens is beautifully written, slow-paced (which fits those authors perfectly and doesn’t bother me one bit), but I keep postponing it.  Maybe that’s because it’s a bit dark, and I’m craving something lighter and easier these days?

Just finished:

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn.  Wow!  If you like mysteries, and you’re one of the few people who have been resisting this one, let me add my name to the chorus!  This is a fun, weird, twisty book.  It’s a bit dark, too, actually, but not quite as heavy as the Simmons.  Those of you who have read it, I’d love to hear what you think about the ending.  I’m dying to know if my reaction was as weird as my daughter seemed to think! 😉

The Gettysburg Vampire, by Susan Blexrud.  From my Kindle, this Civil War-time-travel romance by my writer buddy Susan was a real treat.  If you like historical romance–and, of course, sexy vampires–I think you’ll love this one.  Very emotional (I love a strong hero dealing with lots of emotional baggage, and Malcolm has that times ten).  Plus, Susan really knows her time and place!  She layers her writing with so much atmosphere you can smell the steam in the air as the ghost train thunders by.

Calling my name from the shelf: 

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloane.  Actually, I have this on Audible, and it’s up next for my walking amusement.  I hear great things!

Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen.  A friend loaned me this one after I finished The Girl Who Chased the Moon.  Gosh, she gets great covers, doesn’t she?  I don’t know why I didn’t discover this lovely writer sooner! 

window with booksOkay…that’s my list!  Now I hope you’ll share, too!  What am I missing?  I love all genres–and even nonfiction!  Do you have any undiscovered (or long-resisted) nuggets of gold to add to my basket?

 

 

 

 

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critique photos 1923 cropped for kWhen I saw how long it had been since I posted, I was horrified! I keep up with people on Facebook fairly well, but I’m awful about making sure I post things here!

So, belatedly, I am making a new year’s resolution! I’ll stop by twice a week. Once, either Friday or Saturday, I’ll just be here to chat about whatever’s happening. On Wednesdays, I’ll stop in to mention what I’m reading right now…and I hope you’ll share your great finds, too! If you’re like me, you’re always on the lookout for a great new read!wild for the sheriff cover 235

I’m working on the third book of the Sisters of Bell River series right now–Penny’s book. She’s the youngest of the three sisters, and I’m having such a terrific time with her. She’s lived a very isolated, quiet life, and she’s ready to break out of her cell with a heck of a yell, to paraphrase the old limerick my parents used to quote! 🙂 Letting a heroine find her true self after years of repressing all genuine emotion–that’s sooo much fun! I hope it is as much fun to read!

The first sister, Rowena, has her story out right now. WILD FOR THE SHERIFF is a February Superromance, and I hope you’ll give it a try! In fact, anyone who posts here today will be entered to win a free copy! Just my way of saying thanks for still stopping by after all these months of silence!

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I’ve always been intrigued by little things. I am awed when a craftsman of any kind can reduce something to its smallest possible perfect form. Uncluttered, unbloated. Stripped of the unnecessary. Beauty you can hold in the palm of your hand, or absorb in sixty seconds.

Exquisite miniature things, like…

Russian lacquer boxes
Tiffany eggs
Bonsai trees
Haiku

And modern, sassy shorts, like…

Movie trailers
Superbowl commercials
Clever Tweets
LOLcats

Or…coming back to the world I work in…well-written short stories and novellas! 🙂

I’ve been doing some of that short writing lately, and it’s definitely given me a new appreciation for how hard it is to capture emotion, texture, richness and excitement in a limited space!

I have two short online reads coming up soon on Harlequin’s website, eHarlequin.com. The first one starts Monday! It’s called Hideaway Hero, and it features Greta Kinyon, a young real estate agent struggling with commitment issues, and a hunky hotelier who is haunted by his own past. Greta is one of the secondary characters from my upcoming March Superromance, THE VINEYARD OF HOPES AND DREAMS. It was great fun getting to give her a romance of her own!

Then, in May, I will have a Mother’s Day novella online—so watch here for details of that! Both online reads are offered FREE by Harlequin. (Another great small thing…price! 🙂 )

I hope you’ll come read along with Hideaway Hero, and join in the online discussion. I’ll post the link here Monday, so that you can zip over with ease!

Meanwhile, I’m celebrating the fun of the online read by offering some giveaways here. I’ve written several novellas in the past, and anyone who posts a comment on the Hideaway Hero pages at eHarlequin.com will win one of my backlist novellas! Each one is part of an anthology, so you’ll be winning a chance to read several other writers, as well—ladies who are so talented it’s an honor to share a book with them!

Here are the titles you can choose from:

Mysteries of Lost Angel Inn, a Gothic novella with Evelyn Rogers and Debra Webb.

More Than Words, with Linda Lael Miller, Sherryl Woods, Curtiss Ann Matlock, and Jennifer Archer.

That Christmas Feeling, with Brenda Novak and Karina Bliss.

Pretty awesome line-ups, right? 🙂 Remember, when you join me for the Hideaway Hero discussion at eHarlequin.com, make sure you send me your choice of titles, and your snail mail address, either here, or privately at KOBrien@aol.com, and I’ll get your book off asap.

Hope to see you there! Meanwhile, happy weekend wishes from one of my favorite tiny things…my Wee Forest Folk cutie, “Best in Show.”

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When I’m under a lot of stress, I use my entertainment hours (if I have any) to calm myself down.

When I’m stressed out and want to read a book, I almost always pick something dramatic and full of tension and suspense. It’s as if I want to remind myself that there are far worse problems out there than mine….like zombies, monsters,serial killers, madmen and ghosts. I especially love a writer who shows me an average person taking on the Big Bad Things and winning. If they can conquer the werewolf, then surely I can conquer my …insert problem here…

But when I decide to cope with my stress by watching a movie, I am completely the opposite. I want sweetness and light. I mean seriously sweet. Red velvet cake with sprinkles sweet. Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream sweet. Musicals and cute kids and sparkly costumes and flower-filled fairy fields and satin wedding dresses.

Taken together, those stress-relieving techniques can make me look pretty schizophrenic. Take yesterday, for instance. I sat in the family room with a few of my favorite people. By my side was my Dan Simmons horror novel, “Summer of Night,” in which a group of pre-teen boys ride their bikes to a showdown with the Forces of Evil. And on the TV was my favorite sweet-treat musical, “The Slipper and the Rose,” in which Richard Chamberlain’s Prince sings and dances to win Cinderella’s heart.

How about you? How do you calm down when the world is pressing in a little too hard? Do you go for the wild ride for total distraction? Or do you cuddle up to some warm fuzzies? I’d love to hear what works for you!

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I don’t like science fiction very much. If you mention robots or spaceships or machines that…..zzzzzz. See? I’m already asleep.

So imagine my surprise when, at my age, I finally fell in love with Doctor Who.

BBC and I have always been good friends. The Pallisers, The First Churchills, Upstairs, Downstairs, Brideshead Revisited, Lord Peter Wimsey, Inspector Lynley—love, love love. I’ve had a date with BBC every Sunday night for decades.

But when Doctor Who ruled the counterculture airwaves back in the 60s, 70s and 80s, I was almost entirely unaware of its existence. Frankly, I wasn’t cool enough. I’m definitely a geek. A book geek, a word geek, a grammar geek. Good girl geek I have down pat. But geek chic? Never even came close.

Then, a couple of years ago, my daughter got hooked on The Doctor. Slowly, casually, at first. Not enough to make a dent in my anti-sci-fi resistance. Gradually, though, it grew into a passion, and I noticed.

She and I share a lot of interests. We tend to like many of the same movies, TV shows, actors, and books. So when she’s hooked, I can’t help wondering… Plus, she’s a bit of a zealot, and tends to try to convert everyone around her.

A few months ago, I succumbed. We started with the Christopher Eccleston season. For the first few episodes, I was lukewarm. Okay, I thought. It’s fun, kind of silly, kind of sweet…but not completely enthralling. I don’t have much free time, so it took forever to get very far.

But somewhere along the way, I fell in love. It snuck up on me, the way love sometimes does. And when that season came to an end, and Christopher Eccleston made way for David Tennant, I cried like a fool.

I still don’t really understand myself. So…if I have any Doctor-Loving readers out there, I’d love to know what you think. Why did the series finally capture this Good Girl Geek? It’s creative, with good acting and sharp writing, and a pinch of romantic tension that plays well. But couldn’t that be said for lots of science fiction shows?

But please remember….geeks are a little uptight about spoilers!

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