Wild Wild Western Bride
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Lisa Likes Me!

Thursday, November 30, 2006
A couple of days ago (sorry it took me so long to do this!), Lisa, a friend from eHarlequin blogged about NOT QUITE DEAD!

Here's the link to the post, but this is a snippet. If you read the post, I think she did a great job with the blurb, too.

I highly recommend you read this book. It's funny, charming and heart wrenching. And, it has a lovable evil foe to boot! Good friends, love, sharing. Sela- you nailed this one for me with your use of so many well defined emotions combined to create a wonderful love story not like any I've read, mainly because you only had a short number of pages to work within. I know I would have trouble getting it so tightly woven, and so full at the same time. I can't wait to get my hands on your next masterpiece.

How sweet is that? I blushed. I got all hot in the face and squirmy and everything. God, I love hearing that people enjoy my story!!

In other news -- it's flipping freezing here! Literally! Yesterday, the high was 71. It is 30 right now and only getting colder. And I have to go out, too. Better get that done before the roads freeze.
11/30/2006 10:37:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments

I Ought To Be Ashamed!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006
They're boinking again.

My characters. Eva had it right. They're like bunnies!

They chatted. We got a few things out in the open, for plot and motivation, now they're at it again. And darned if they aren't going to make me blush! They're inventive!
11/28/2006 11:48:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 9 Comments

Oooooh crap

Sunday, November 26, 2006
I've finally got the first portion of Daughter of Privilege at an 85% solution, the other 15% being picky things like POV, tightening and general editing. Trouble is, the story isn't finished yet and I have NO IDEA what happens next.


I mean, there's a sort of "oh, the bad guy will do something and there'll be a huge fight and the black moment will be that the hero and the heroine both have to make this horrible choice" thing, but ...

What's the next word?

I'm sooooo screwed.
11/26/2006 09:33:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 21 Comments

I Gave Thanks

And we had a lot of fun! SIL lives near Chicago, which is not a bad drive from here. I was pleasantly surprised. They fried a turkey -- delicious! --, cooked a ham -- also yummy --, and we stuffed ourselves. The sweet potato casserole was a hit, thank goodness. Only one dessert lasted the whole time and that wasn't for lack of trying. When I make baklava, I make a biiiiig pan of it, so the leftovers got split up. But the Caramel Apple Pie was the first to go, followed by the Pumpkin Pie, then the caramel chocolate cake. Apparently, caramel goes well with almost everything.

We got home last night -- no traffic issues coming or going -- and we've got today to sort things out and recover.

Still working on Daughter of Privilege. Next week should be fairly normal, so I'm hoping for great things.
11/26/2006 09:45:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 0 Comments

Dreams and Desires

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I'm going to be in print!!!!

The lovely people at Freya's Bower are putting together a charity anthology called DREAMS AND DESIRES to be released on February 1, 2007. It will be available as an e-book, in trade paper and in hardback.

Best of all? It's for charity. That's right. I'm not getting one red cent off of this -- and I couldn't be happier!! You know why? Because it's all going to a battered women's shelter. All the net proceeds will go to a specific shelter to help the women and children who are protected there. No, I don't know which one, but I'm pleased to be able to help folks who need it.

A perfect gift for Valentines Day, too! You get to read great stories and help other people at the same time!

Did I mention great stories? In addition to moi, you'll find entries from Sasha White, Susan Lyons, Gemma Halliday, Lois Winston, Candace Havens, Richelle Mead, Jackie Kessler, Jenna Bayley-Burke, Emily Veinglory, Amanda Brice, Rhonda Stapleton and many more.

The book, which should end up at about 80K words total, is classified as erotica, but there will be plenty of sweet stories in there, too, including mine. There should be something for every taste!

My story is a flash fiction called THE CHRISTMAS PRIZE. Julie Corrigan is ready to put her past behind her with a courageous step into the spotlight, but should she falter, Mark Kincaid will be there with a supportive, loving hand.

My very first print fiction credit! Woohoo!!!
11/21/2006 02:03:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 18 Comments

The Book Quiz

Monday, November 20, 2006
Snaffled from Jaye.

You're The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

by Douglas Adams

Considered by many to be one of the funniest people around, you are
quite an entertainer. You've also traveled to the far reaches of what you deem possible,
often confused and unsure of yourself. Life continues to jostle you around like a marble,
but it's shown you so much of the world that you don't care. Wacky adventures continue to
lie ahead. Your favorite number is 42.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

11/20/2006 12:59:00 PM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments

CPs and BRs

Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Recently, I've come across the term "beta reader" more and more frequently. I figured it was like a critique partner, really, but I usually found it in non-romance settings like straight sf/f or fan fiction. Well, the term has found its way across the genres and now I'm hearing it more on this side of the creek.

So I finally asked the question: What's the diff?

Turns out, there is one.

A critique partner is someone who helps you mold your story as you're writing it, rides your ass about writing every day, highlights your semi-colons, and puts almost as much blood, sweat and tears into your work as you do. It's also a reciprocal relationship. You get to do the same thing to them.

Beta readers, on the other hand, see the finished product. Or the almost finished product. They read the whole thing, or as much as you've got. They look for content and continuity. They can see the forest, where you only see individual trees. They're fresh. And, depending on how you set it up, you don't necessarily have to return the favor in kind, partly because they're not always writers.

I get it now. And I see the benefits of both. Since I finished Not Quite Dead, I haven't really worked with a critique partner. I have a hard time letting my stuff for critique until it's actually working. I HAVE used a beta reader for Daughter of Privilege and Eva was an immense help, partly because she looked mostly as a reader (some as a writer, she caught my crappy POV switches) and helped me find places where I could improve and expand.

So now I understand. And I'm glad I finally asked the question.
11/15/2006 09:56:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 9 Comments

Half and Half

Monday, November 13, 2006
The first half of yesterday was loads of fun. We went up in the Arch, it was a beautiful, sunny day, so we could see waaaaaaay out into Illinois on one side (yuck) and waaaaay far out over St Louis on the other. Man, this town has a lot of steeples. Then we went down to the Museum of Westward Expansion which had a lot about Lewis and Clark's journey. I'd been to the Oregon Trail Museum in Baker, OR before, which is more or less the other end of the trip. This was pretty cool, though. Lots about how the Native Americans got shafted, which was sobering.

Got home, almost everyone took a nap or relaxed for a while. I got my good china unpacked and none of it broke! Woohoo! I would have been pretty upset because it's a discontinued pattern.

But then my day started to suck. I went to the grocery store and someone lifted my wallet. I was so mad! At myself, mostly. Like a twit, I left my purse at home and just took my wallet. I think it may have fallen out of my cart, actually. But no one turned it in, so either way, it was stolen. *sigh* I've already cancelled my cards, but I have to deal with getting everything else reported and replaced. What a pain. And it had started out as such a lovely day.

In other news, I know of someone else reading and enjoying NOT QUITE DEAD. That makes me feel better.
11/13/2006 08:46:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 12 Comments

Blogger Issue

Sunday, November 12, 2006
Did Blogger eat my sidebar, or is it just my imagination? Can anyone else see it?

Hooked up again. Had to unhook the computer on Wednesday for the movers and just got plugged in again yesterday.

Yesterday was also my anniversary! 12 years! Woohoo!! Got a beautiful pair of heavy silver dangly earrings. And Godiva chocolate. And dinner out. Great day.

Headed to the Arch today, so must run.

Still not writing.
11/12/2006 10:49:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments

Book List

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Old Man's War by John Scalzi

The Compass Rose by Gail Dayton

The Girl Who Heard Dragons by Anne McCaffrey

The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold

It's a mixed bag this week, y'all. First, Scalzi.

Fantastic. Can't say enough good things about Old Man's War. I don't read much hard sci-fi, but this was great. A little reminiscent of Starship Troopers, but better. Rich characterization, true depth of emotion. In this story, soldiers are recruited from Earth to fight in space, but they don't take the young, strong, and fearless. They take the old and weak. You have to be at least 75 years old to join up. What the army in space wants is those years of life experience. The main character in this book is truly an old head on young shoulders. I'm going to start looking for Scalzi's follow-up, The Ghost Brigade.

Like so many Luna books, The Compass Rose left me cold. The journey aspect of this fantasy was passable, but the relationships were what held the book together. Pretty weak glue, if you ask me. I admit it. I'm a traditionalist. There may be a book out there that can make me believe a romantic relationship can exist between more than two people, but I haven't found it yet. And this sure as heck ain't it. The main character, Kallista, is a powerful warrior who controls fire and uses it against her enemies. Her main squeeze is her bodyguard. But not just her bodyguard. No. She gets herself married to no less than three other men. Yep. Four guys. Kallista sandwich, anyone? Strangely enough, this book isn't really erotic. It's not really romantic, either. And it's a little weak on the plot. Blah.

The Girl Who Heard Dragons is an anthology of short stories, some of which have to do with Pern -- the title story -- but many of which are unique. As with all anthologies, some stories are wonderful and some are merely space fillers. I'll keep it for the great stories.

The Big Over Easy. Hilarious!! Jack Spratt runs the Nursery Crime Division in Reading. His current case? Humpty Dumpty. Did he jump or was he murdered? The story weaves in nursery characters from all over with a huge dose of humor and sly wit. As with his Thursday Next series (also a favorite), you need to be up on your childhood rhymes to catch all the allusions. Highly recommended.

The Two Princesses of Bamarre is by the author of Ella Enchanted. Carson Levine writes books for the 'tween girl. Just about where my DD is now. While I've enjoyed some of her retold fairy tales, this book seemed like just one more in a rut of Grrl Power stories. The cowardly princess gets a backbone and slays the dragon to save her sister. There's a sweet romance in there that feels a little spoiled at the end. Overall, a "C" grade story.

And finally, we get to my Pick of the Week. Shoot. This may be my Pick of the Month. The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold. Recently, I read a couple of her Vorkosigan stories and, though the book won't be on my keeper shelf, it was readable enough. This is a complete departure. Pure fantasy, for one thing, and pure romance. And Oh My God is it romantic. Heart thumping, sappy smile, awwww-inducing romantic. For one, it's such a wonderful treat to see a really great heroine, 18 years old, who, simply by being herself, is the perfect foil for a much older, more experienced hero.

There's very little of the condescending "I know more than you ever will" attitude from Dag, the soldier, because the situations in which he finds himself are actually quite out of his experience. Fawn, the little farmer girl, is both a helpmeet and an equal for him. The dangers they face are both fantastic and ordinary. Yet they face them together, neither taking the other for granted.

The Sharing Knife is the first of a series and I eagerly await the next installment. I reviewed the book for Romance Divas, so I'll link to the review when it goes up. 5 Kisses, all the way.
11/07/2006 11:09:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments

A Home Of My Own

Monday, November 06, 2006
Whew! Back again!

Well, we're finally in the house. We don't have furniture, but that's a really long rant and since it happened days ago, I'm out of steam on it. Merely waiting with whipped dog patience for the Army -- in their wisdom -- to get off their butts and deliver my goods. *sigh*

We moved in on Nov 1. The moving company was ready to come anytime. But the Army? They said, "Naaaaaah. Wait a week." grrrr. All right. I have to stop now. I get *agita* every time I think about it and it's way too early in the morning for heartburn.

The upshot is that I'll get my stuff on Wednesday.

In the meantime, we've been making do, sleeping on airbeds. I had rudimentary cooking tools already and I still need to restock my pantry. It's hard for me to plan meals without all my stuff on hand.

My mom arrives on Tuesday.

My mom is great. She's Organized. Not like me. I am Chaos Incarnate. Where I go, I leave a whirlwind of destruction behind me. So she volunteered to come down for 10 days and help me unpack, which is fantastic. By the time she goes home, it'll look like people actually live here. If it was just me, we'd be in boxes for weeks.

No writing has occurred, I can tell you that. Not for over a month, if not more. Bits and pieces here and there, sure, but nothing like a concentrated effort. I really don't know what's going on with that. I do still want to write, but it's more like finishing an assignment than any burning desire right now. I want that to change. Truly. I want to get back to being absorbed by my ideas, pushing myself to use my skills. Right now, though, I just want a real bed. And a house that feels like mine.

November is booked solid, I can tell you that. Appointments, movers, my anniversary is on Saturday (12 years), mom's here, then we get a week off before going up to my SIL's for Thanksgiving. I get tired just thinking of it all.

Monkey Boy turned 6 last week! We took him to Chuck E. Cheese's, which is like crack for little kids. Ohmigod. He was so cute! So now I don't really have any little kids anymore. He's one of the older kids in Kindergarten because of his birthday and he's so tall! The Monkey Princess is definitely acting like a 9 year old girl. It's so odd, watching them grow up. Thankfully, MB still cuddles. The MP won't even let me hold her hand in public anymore, but I still sneak it in.

Time to get everyone ready for the day. Carpet cleaners are coming this morning. Not sure when I'll be able to blog next. I have lots of books to talk about, so SW, be prepared to spend some time at Amazon!

PS: Is anyone else having a hard time getting into Romance Divas? The site won't load and I was wondering if it was just me.
11/06/2006 09:16:00 AM : : Sela Carsen : : 8 Comments


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