31 July 2011

Channeling A Grammar Instructor....

Or In Other Words......Taking Myself To Task......

But first...Here's my faithful boy, Zutchka....


This is for my new acquaintance, Rebecca J. Fleming, who shares my 'hund liebe', and her faithful boy, Judgemental Dog.

I've been plodding along in edits this week, having completed a second read-through of the first seven chapters in Claiming The Prize.  This is not the sort of reading one imagines, (except for fellow writers who know exactly what I'm about to say...) conjuring the sight of a favorite reading nook, perfect lamp light shining on your page, a hot cup of tea on the nearby table, maybe a pillow behind your back to add coziness as you anticipate losing yourself in a delicious story.  This is the careful, word by word inspection of sentence after sentence, training your eye to seek out any mistakes.

It's amazing how the brain works.  At least my brain - for it doesn't want to find mistakes.  It wants to skip over a double word, it wants to ignore finding 'he' when clearly the word should be 'her'.  It's as if I have a built-in 'auto-correct' in my head.  This makes my task harder than I'd prefer.  So, I progress slowly and read over the same paragraph at least twice.
At this point I'd like to say that I don't blame any of you who have been through this process for snickering - just a bit - at my dismay.  It's part of the adventure.  When I'm at the top of this mountain, I'll soak in the panoramic view and sigh contentedly, but right now, I'm nursing the cuts and scrapes of climbing.  And what I mean by that is I'm cursing myself for not keeping that eye appointment to have my prescription ...ahem....augmented.  (Can I use augmented here?  Oh, well, I'm going to.  It sounds more humorous than updated or increased.)

I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it.
Groucho Marx

I'm nearing the end of chapter six in Her Dark Baron.  My goal is to complete a chapter a week, so I should be ahead of myself in this arena.  Four or five chapters to go!!  I'm watching my step as I go, not wanting to turn my dark, dangerous baron into a 'nancy-boy' now that he begins to fall in love.  I hate when that happens.  Well, not on my watch!  Ha!

Pouring through information on the 1600's via my great friend, Google, I have to say that a few facts I'm searching for seem almost non-existent!  For example, I wanted to determine if the term gentlemen - or the term good sir - was more prevalent during this time.  No luck yet.  Also, I have read countless articles on castle layouts, inner rooms, family quarters - yet can find nothing to pin down when the move from conducting business in the great hall to a separate meeting chamber began.  I admit to being less than efficient at Internet surfing, but can I be this bad??  I guess so.  So, at least for now, the separate meeting chamber will remain in the novella.  I'm partial to it and hope it proves out.

In the news ....and my travels.....

By now everyone has heard that Borders will be closing all its stores.  There was one nearby, and I picked up a few great deals on bargain books.  Death On The Nile, Agatha Christie,  a vampire novel, an historical romance, and two highlander novels sit ready for me to devour.  (If I ever finish this editing...)  I haven't read an Agatha Christie mystery in a few years, and I miss the old gal.  I think I'll tackle that one first.....or maybe one of those strapping highlanders...Yikes!  Do they make them like that anymore?

I also found a few books to broaden my horizons ~  I'll save these for when I'm having an 'intellectual moment'.........(I've actually had this first one for awhile....I started it, but set it aside while working on my novels.  It's time to get back to it!)

The Post American World, Fareed Zakaria

The Post-American World

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy

Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy

I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.
Groucho Marx

The Brazen Broads posted their cover Cheers & Jeers.  Where do they find these?  Anyway, it's a good laugh.

Astraea Press is featuring a number of books that in purchasing, readers can help offer much needed aid for the victims of the Alabama tornadoes and Japan's earthquake.  Stop by and spend a few dollars!  Not only will you get a good read, you'll be doing good for others.

Visit around this week to see what other ROW80 participants are up to.  Best wishes for a great week ~ Nadja

27 July 2011

Taking My Time.......

A Few 'Adjustments' Make Happy Readers...........And A Satisfied Writer....

The first feedback on my novel is coming in, and all in all, it's encouraging.  I had been worried that the beginning of my story moved along slowly when compared to the rest of the novel, and it seems that my perceptions proved true, at least in part.  My critique partner thinks I can tighten up the first fifty pages to move the romance along, and I agree.  My first beta reader thinks the story moves along fine, but after I shared my concerns, she capitulated, agreeing that I could edit some description.  But she does not want any of the MMA scenes shortened at all, as she feels they add 'substance' to the storyline that should not be sacrificed.  Her thoughts focused on an entirely different matter - my heroine, Grace's speech.  I hadn't noticed until it was pointed out  to me, but I have her speaking quite formally.  Within the storyline, it doesn't work as well as it should.  So, I will be substituting contractions where I can, and adding a more casual feel to the dialogue between Grace and those close to her. 

Therein, I realized, is my problem.  I think formally, and it translates into the written word.  I'm not much for slang, or shorthand speaking.  I tend to communicate in a clear, proper way.  I've got to relax that in my writing when the character/setting/circumstance calls for it.  Maybe that is why I tend to be drawn to novels set in long ago times.  I like the way they speak.  It's not a problem in my novella....it's set in 1640!  But Claiming The Prize is set in the present, and therefore, I've got to add present day speaking habits. 
Thank goodness there's an easy fix.  But I'll have to keep that in mind when I write. 

I have to admit, I like that my characters take their time before diving head first into a romance.  It's hard to accept when I read stories where boy meets girl/ - boy flashes his smile/girl gets hard nipples - boy shows girl his mighty love staff/girl hands over virginity and achieves orgasm on first try - boy and girl live happily ever after once boy saves girl's life/girl returns after running away/boy experiences the magic "hoo-hoo" (A term borrowed from the 'Smart Bitches')/boy overcomes girl's previous sexual hang ups in less time than it takes me to shower.......Oy Vey!  Double Oy Vey!

But writing, in addition to making me happy, is done (at least from my perspective) to make readers happy.  And romance readers want....well, romance.  I can't say as I blame them.  So, it's editing time.  Wish me luck.  I've determined to cut what I think can go without sacrificing story, for writing is all about creating a good story.  Sure, I've written a romance.  But I've written a story with a romance in it....not a romance that happens to have a dash of story thrown in on the side. Sharpening....that's what I'm going to term it. 

I received the cover proof for Her Dark Baron over the weekend, and after some 'tweaking', it's finished.  Wow!  I am quite happy with this cover.......

Elaina Lee has done it again!  And as for my Baron......who says Dark Baron better than Jimmy Thomas?  I'm sure I don't know.  By the way......congratulations to Jimmy, who hit 1500 covers! 

Chapter five is complete in Her Dark Baron, and I've written a few pages in chapter six.  This is fantastic, as I have about five or six chapters remaining.  I should have the novel completed in time for my October publishing goal.  That makes me smile.  This novella (I know I've said it a thousand times...but what's one more?) is just so great to write.  (And thanks...for letting me say it again.....really)  I don't know if it's because my hero, Gervase Daltrey, is dark and dangerous - and I am finding that 'bad-guys' are easier to write - or if it's because of the time period the story is set in, but this story just flows out much easier than my first novel ever did.  (Except for fight scenes, sex scenes, and my bad boy, Carson....see what I mean about those bad-boy/bad-ass characters....they speak to me...ha!)  Anyway, I'm glad to be on track with my goals.

Do you have an easier time writing one type of character over others?  What character 'speaks' to you best?

Checking in with other ROW80 participants will be on my agenda today, and I'm sure to find any number of topics that encourage, inform, or just plain make me laugh.  Last check in, Matt Hofferth posted on a problem he encountered with uploading/format issues between differing e-reader publishing results.  Curious, I asked him to explain, and he graciously did so.  Below, I've added his comment.  If it helps anyone...it's worth it.

 Matt Hofferth on ......The Frustrations And Fun To Be Had In Self-Publishing 101/Part 1 (of ohhh....I don't know...maybe 1345654456645455 fantastic/fearsome/filth-&-fouled up possibilities)
Take it away, Matt...........

Um, long info dump as requested from the comment over at my site. Feel free to copy/paste/repost this as you see fit and let me know if you have any question. This is related to the issue I encountered with Nook pagination and how it relates to a TOC:

I didn't do a manual TOC... So long as you make use of headings in your conversion, the formats do it for you. Thus, the TOC issue was separate from the pagination. The chapter headings weren't all showing up, so we just had to clean up the hierarchy formatting in the source file. There was no pagination attached to them, since you just tell your ereader to "jump to." That all works just fine now.

If you're going the ebook route, I would suggest not doing a TOC and just letting the ereader do it for you. If you use a POD service for print books, you can constrain the pagination in your source file so that you could pop in a TOC in that version if you wanted. The pages in the PDF source reflect what will actually be printed, unlike an ebook where pagination is malleable according to the reader/settings.

The smaller-but-no-less-annoying issue is that the page numbers that a Nook displays just don't relate to actual clicks. I was displaying a lot of text on screen in my novel (We chose to go with pretty narrow side margins to try to maximize screen usage, figuring folks might like fewer clicks per word, but it's a minor thing). The end result is that we sometimes get where a "background page cut" happens twice on one "click page." So the Nook goes from like 7 to 9. On a Kindle it's not an issue because it's percent and "locations."

As of now, I know of no fix for the Nook issue as changing font settings on the user end means that what's displayed on screen per click can vary widely. It becomes a bit of an issue in non-fiction since how do you cite an excerpt for reference? In fiction, it shouldn't be an issue unless you're doing like a chose-your-own adventure book or something (Remember those? I loved them!)

~ Nadja

24 July 2011

Heat Wave........

Smokin' Hot.......And By That I Mean The Weather.......

Pennsylvania, along with much of the United States, has been in the midst of a hellish (and rather prolonged, I'd say) heat wave.  Temperatures have surpassed the hundred degree mark, which alone is a bit hot for my tastes, but not unbearable.  But the humidity has been wretched!  It's been sticky, grouchy, hateful weather......
Which made yesterday the perfect day for lounging in the pool and watching your children hurl themselves down tall water slides!  Yes, the boys enjoyed their wrestling picnic a great deal.  It was hot enough that even I donned my swim gear and found my way to the cool-(ish) pool water.  Maybe yesterday was unbearably hot, but I just didn't notice....well, not too much.  I soaked up my share of vitamin D yesterday, and it felt fantastic.

I think it's cooler today...Oh, let it be! 

I've returned my attentions to writing this week, and completed nearly a chapter in Her Dark Baron.  It's progress since Wednesday, and I'll take it.  For two days, I stared at the page like an idiot or nodded off each time I attempted to put pencil to paper.  Then, as if nothing had been wrong, the words poured out of me again.  I've decided to blame the heat. 

I received the cover art proof for the novella yesterday, and the lovely and talented Elaina is adding her final creative magic to take it to the next level!  I'm so excited I could burst....really. 

There are five (or maybe six) chapters to go in the novella, and I plan to finish one chapter a week.  That puts the finish line near August 28 - September 4.  It seems strange to be so near the end of another (however smaller) project this quickly.  My critique partner(s) will have only a short reprieve before I'm in need of services again. 

Another great idea is in the wings for a novella, and it comes from an unlikely source - my husband.  He likes horror novels, which are something I simply don't have much of a taste for, and that made his interesting idea all the more so.  Anyway, I've decided to see what I can make of it.  I also wrote the prologue for my next novel, which remains untitled, and probably will remain so for a time.  It's going to be a rather large project, I think. 

I hope everyone from ROW80 is creative and productive this week! ~ Nadja

20 July 2011

Well, Art is Art, Isn't It?

Well, Art is Art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water. And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now you tell me what you know.
Groucho Marx

I happened across a post at one of the blogs I regularly visit -Brazen Broads, and I've been thinking on it over the week.  The Broads welcomed a guest who defied the 'status-quo' within the romance genre.  She employed Dynamic Point Of View in her novel. 

What is dynamic point of view, you ask?  Simply, it is the inclusion of more than one point of view in a scene and/or the inclusion of more than only the hero and heroine's point of view within a novel.  I've heard it referred to as 'head hopping', but that just reminds me of a gang of bawdy sailors stopping in at various business establishments along their given path to ease the pain of too many beers at the last bar they invaded.  Maybe I know too many sailors.....but I digress....

As an avid reader whose tastes encompass many genres, I find it odd that romance is the only genre that holds to this restrictive standard.  This is especially disappointing as characters in love - and with misunderstandings abounding - are an ideal playground to employ the dynamic point of view.  I want to know what/how the hero is thinking and experiencing as well as the heroine.  And I certainly wouldn't mind getting into the mind of the villain, the butler, the love interest's rival, the protective father, or the scheming aunt.

Think of an empty room.  Now imagine that a designer fills that room with white flooring, white furniture, white window dressings, and white knickknacks.  Would there be some who thought that this room was stunning?  Of course!  But not many.  Most of us would probably say that the room lacked character or was too plain.  So, maybe the designer adds a splash of color with some blue throw pillows and a singular blue vase.  Now, even more would find the room to be appealing.  But we could certainly go on.

I think the written scene should be seen as the room.  Some people like minimalism.  So they are the ones who would like only one point of view in my analogy.  Others like a bit more, and they would like the room with just a splash of added color.  Still others, want a more layered effect, being thrilled with various shades of color mixed with contrasting textures.  Bulky, woven, natural fibers beside sleek, richly hued silks.  Chocolate faux fur atop a creamy, marble tiled floor.  These are the readers who would welcome and enjoy multiple points of view and remain comfortable transitioning from one to another seamlessly within a scene or story.  They like the rough feel of the hemp area rug underneath their feet while reclining on chenille throws atop a leather sofa. (That was a prepositional marathon...Whew!)

Now, would we dare to say that any of these room designs were wrong?  Not likely.  Because we understand that different people have different tastes.  We may prefer one over another...(we all have an ideal of beautiful, well-designed spaces)...but we accept that variety is the spice of life, no?  It's like that with books.  My favorite may be your flop, and vise-versa.  So why does the romance industry demand that we all be minimalists?

Absolutely, there are design faux-paux.  We've all seen a room that looks like a junkyard.  I don't believe anyone would say that was well designed (actually, we would argue that there was no design at all!), and that is true within the art of writing as well.  If no one can figure out who is doing the thinking or the talking or the scheming, then we have a problem.  But dynamic point of view can be done well.  It has been done well for many years by many authors - authors both outside the romance genre, and respected authors within it, too.

Progress on the Writing Front

Claiming The Prize is in the hands of my critique partner and beta readers!  I most readily heave a sigh of relief at having completed the typing and first read through.  Now, I wait.....Did I ever mention that I believe that waiting should be done by others?...(and what I mean by others is anyone but me)

Last night, I re-read the first half of Her Dark Baron, and resumed writing that juicy little tidbit.  I should have some goals drawn up for Sunday's post.  I must set a completion deadline. (Cracks the whip)

I continue to read my novel, Pilate's Wife, which grows more delicious by the page. 

That's about all I have to say....(it was more than enough I'd say)...for today, anyway.  Hope everyone at A Round Of Words in 80 Days check-in is having a knock-up week.  ~ Nadja

17 July 2011

Sweet Summer Sunday Check-In

Summertime Sunday ~ Bright Blue Skies ~ Goals Accomplished

This tree house, at Nay Aug Park, Scranton, PA, is accessible to the public.  Isn't it great? 
............Praktisch eine perfekte tag! 

This marks another week in our current ROW80, and the time is flying by!  I've always said that once Independence Day passes, summer is gone in a wink, so I'm trying to enjoy every minute.  But the subtle reminders are there, pressing in on my bliss.  I realized this week that I have only one month to complete the school shopping for my three boys.  They all need everything, as I seem to have the sort of boys who NEVER stop getting taller.  And I have kids that are smaller than average!  (my eight year old may have broken 50 lbs this summer)  Try to find pants for that waist!  Yeah.....

Anyway, this summer has been productive.  We planted our garden, which is finally producing.  Zucchini, spinach, lettuce and peppers are coming in now, and tomato, cucumber, cabbage, and cantaloupe are coming along nicely.  And I love my new potted herb garden.  Fresh basil, parsley, cilantro, lemon balm, and thyme are right off my patio.  Easy-peasy.  We painted our house....(and believe me, the rain caused that project to drag on and on, as we did it ourselves.)  We added a permanent canopy over a portion of the patio.  It's absolutely wonderful to sit there and have my morning coffee or a late night Guinness.  We traveled to visit family, and had lots of company.  We laughed over old times, and made new memories, visiting Knoebel's Amusement Park, and watching a fantastic fireworks display in Wilkes-Barre.

This next week, the younger boys will have their wrestling picnic at Nay Aug's Water Park.
   Great fun for kids....right?

We will also head to the Jersey shore in a few weeks.  I can't wait! 

All this summer fun, and packing it into the last remaining weeks before returning to the reality of the school year, threatens to steal from my writing time if I let it.  So far, I've been very good at carving out 'work-time' in the midst of such frivolity........

Goal Updates.....

I'm well into chapter 20 with the typing on Claiming The Prize.  This leaves only one....ONE! more chapter to type before I send it off to my critique partner.  I may finish it today.  My goal was to type and read over one chapter a day, and I've exceeded the goal.......

I have no word count goals for my novella, Her Dark Baron, until I complete the typing on my novel.  But I did send off all my character information/setting/blurb/images to the fabulous Elaina Lee for the cover design!  I can't wait to see what she comes up with. 

I'm also reading a novel, Pilate's Wife, by Antoinette May, and at the mid-point, all I can say is.....it's great!  Claudia, Pilate's wife, is a wonderful character.  And Pontius Pilate is brought to life as the ambitious seducer history claims him to have been.  The story is written from Claudia's point of view, and follows her from childhood to womanhood, from daughter to wife, from follower of Juno to follower of Isis to....I don't know where it will lead, but the jacket describes an encounter with the mysterious Yeshua from the Galil, and then draws on the plethora of rumor surrounding the story that Pilate's wife begged him to spare the carpenter from Nazareth as she had the gift of 'the sight' and experienced visions or dreamed of him, and her transformation into a follower of the Messiah.  Wow. 

For Next Week.....

As soon as I get my edits, correct any deficiencies, tweak any problems, and complete a final read through, I'll be uploading to Smashwords and Create Space.......The goal is in sight!

What goals have you met - or planned- during this week?  Can you see the end of a journey?  The beginning of a new one? 
~ Nadja

13 July 2011

Checking In for ROW80 ~ 07/13/2011

Wednesday's updates and info......

Hello to fellow Round of Words in 80 Days participants!  Thanks for stopping by. 
If you're not familiar with ROW80, check it out.  It's a writer's challenge that lasts for....surprise....80 days.  Setting goals, networking, and accountability are just a few goodies to be had within the round. 

Goal updates......

I've been typing away!  I'm now beginning chapter 15 in Claiming The Prize!  This leaves only seven chapters to go.  I can't wait.  I plan to knock out a chapter a day, so by next Wednesday, the novel should be ready to be shipped off to my critique partner.  I stand in giddy excitement and, gulp, nervous anticipation. 

I haven't written anything in Her Dark Baron, but I did finalize the blurb!  Take a peek and let me know what you think.  It would be fun to have fellow participants offer a rating of these factors......1.  Steamy factor.  2.  Intrigue factor.  3.  Overall interest of the blurb. 

Blurb for Her Dark Baron ~

Scottish marauders, incensed at England's King Charles I and emboldened after achieving the upper hand in the Bishop's War of 1640, wreak havoc on the inhabitants of Northumberland, England, and Lady Mariel Hayes finds herself at the mercy of the land hungry Baron Harold Flanders after her father is killed in a border raid.  Powerless to save herself from being forced to wed the vile Flanders, Mariel prays for divine intervention.  But when her salvation comes, it proves more terrifying than comforting as Mariel learns that by order of the crown she is to wed the dark and mysterious Baron Gervace Daltry, known far and wide as the Hound of Hell.

Mariel seeks to accept this new life with her dark Baron, a man whose secrets haunt her even as his touch inflames her body.  But before her mind can reconcile the sinner she knows him to be with the seductive lover she willingly surrenders to, Mariel must confront the fears that whisper to her, as evidence mounts that her life may soon be forfeit, and decide whether to trust the man she begins to love, or betray the man rumored to be the Devil's instrument of destruction. 


There were a few blogs that captured my attention this week during my 'rounds'.  Check them out.

Matt Hofferth's On The Job Writing was a real treat, making me laugh out loud.  As a connoisseur of humor - all kinds - I appreciate a post that adds in a splash of humor. 

Kate's Pieces of Stars is always informative, and I found a few great links this week.  I especially enjoyed Red Adept Reviews, a site that reviews indie published authors. 

Lisey McGrath's Live Journal linked up to 'blasts from the past' in addition to updating her goals and chronicling the woes of air conditioning malfunctions. 

I also joined Goodreads ( I know....I'm behind the times).  In doing so, I came across a great book blogger hop that will be coming up The 18 & Over Book Blogger's Giveaway Hop.  Check it out.

Have a great week! ~ Nadja

10 July 2011

The Onset of a New Round.........

Gains And Goals..........

Hello to everyone at A Round of Words in 80 Days !  I am just beginning my round, as I have been gallivanting across the state visiting my parents, numerous siblings, and hosting company too!

Whew!  It's great to have family in for visits, but it's also nice to get back to my normal routine.  I am currently typing chapter eleven in my novel, Claiming The Prize.  I plan to have the entire novel typed before the end of July, and I will have my own first read through/critique completed.  Then, it's off to my critique partner/editor/beta readers for their read through/thoughts/corrections/suggestions.  I hope to have it back in my hands by August 13, 2011.  I will complete a second read through after making any necessary edits, and repeat the process one final time before I upload to Create Space.  It is very important to me to publish a 'clean' novel.  No spelling errors, no grammar errors, no, no, no!  So, I whisper a little prayer for my eyes to be like those of a hawk!  Does anyone else feel a little panicky when realizing that their book's reputation is resting solely on their own shoulders?  Well, I admit to feeling just a wee-bit that way when I think too much about it.  

My other goals for this round are to complete my novella, Her Dark Baron.  I am enjoying writing this novella so much!  But with the typing and editing along with my first experience uploading and formatting to the various sites, I must set a goal, or the little novella will continue to sit on my desk, untouched. 

First things first....I'd better get back to that typing.  Have a great week everyone!
~ Nadja

09 July 2011

Cover Love for Claiming The Prize........

Final Cover.........

Here it is!  This is the final cover for my novel, Claiming The Prize, due out in September, 2011. 

I am experiencing 'Cover Love' today thanks to the lovely Elaina!  My introduction to choosing images, design layout, colors, fonts.....etc. was absolutely fun and exciting.  Elaina Lee took my ramblings and thoughts and turned them into exactly what I had hoped for.  How terrific!

Here's the blurb for my first (woo-hoo) novel:

Claiming The Prize

Walking a solitary, disciplined path in his pursuit to become the light heavyweight champion of the American-Mixed-Martial-Arts-Organization, Drago Zadrovec leaves the security of his homeland to train in the United States.  But once within the exclusive MMA organization, Drago finds himself increasingly drawn to his mentor's daughter, Grace Antolini.  Quiet and gentle, yet thoroughly immersed in the world in which he exists, Grace captures his heart as firmly as his quest for the title, igniting a long buried passion inside the fighter.  Subjecting his body to the brutality of the cage and opening his heart to the woman he desires to share his life with, Drago comes to understand that his journey is comprised of more than want of victory in the ultimate goal of Claiming The Prize......

Thanks Elaina..........
~ Nadja

07 July 2011

Gabrielle Bisset Is Guest Posting Today..........

Thanks For Being Here Today Gabrielle! 

Gabrielle Bisset, author of Stolen Destiny and Vampire Dreams, gives us a sneak peak at her newest novel and discusses the idea of a 'good bad-guy'...........

Thank you, Nadja, for having me at your lovely blog today.  My name is Gabrielle Bisset, and I write erotic romances.  Sometimes they’re paranormal, like my current novel, Stolen Destiny, and sometimes they mix in some of the historical, like my trilogy of novellas I’m releasing throughout the summer. 

Here’s the blurb for Stolen Destiny to give you a little taste of the story:
Released from prison to find a murderer, a prison-hardened Varek Leale is convinced no woman deserves the man he’s become, but his Aeveren destiny makes him succumb to sweet and sexy Callia Reynolds. To catch a murderer, he and Callia must find an Aeveren with the power to control time. But Amon Kalins isn’t a man to trifle with, and when he wants something, he’ll use his powers, devastating charm, and good looks to get it.

When Amon manipulates time and seduces her away, Varek must turn to the people who set him free for help to get her back. But the Council doesn’t do anything without requiring something in return, and what they want is Amon Kalins, one of the most powerful Aeveren ever. Varek will do what he must to capture Amon and find Callia. If he doesn’t, she’ll be lost to him for untold lifetimes.

As an author, I’m very conscious of my characters’ motives, as I must be, and when my publisher told me that my hero in Stolen Destiny, Varek Leale, wasn’t honorable enough for readers to like him because in a crime of passion he had killed his first wife, I respectfully disagreed.  Please don’t think I condone any kind of abuse or murder.  I don’t.  But I do understand and believe readers understand that horrible mistakes can be made by even the best people. 

Crimes of passion are just that:  passion.  If I had created a character who is a premeditated murderer and wanted him to be my hero, that wouldn’t work.  In fact, in Stolen Destiny, there is a murderer who is targeting parents.  Derrick James could never be considered heroic.  He kills out of deep seated hatred.  Varek is simply a man who made a terrible mistake and paid for it by spending three lifetimes in jail. (My characters are a race of people called Aeveren, who live fifty lives through reincarnation.  Punishment for crimes often involves a loss of lives or incarceration for multiple lifetimes.)

I fought hard to keep Varek as flawed as he is because the story is a romance, but even more, it’s a story about second chances.  At a number of points in the book, Varek is forced to stand while others judge him, some official and in control of his life, and others personal and able to affect him far more intimately.  At no point did I allow the character to feel sorry for himself.  He committed a crime, and he accepted his just punishment.  That he was released is a gift he cherishes throughout the story. 

Far too often it seems that those in charge of what we read want us to create cookie-cutter characters.  The Alpha male who has a heart of gold.  The tough heroine who really wants to be taken care of.  The kind hero who is insecure until he finds the right woman.  None of these came out on the page when I wrote Stolen Destiny.  Varek is a very flawed hero with some Alpha in him.  Callia, my heroine, isn’t brash or sassy with a knack of constantly getting in the way, but she’s patient and resilient.  And Amon, the romantic villain, is a bad guy who isn’t evil because he lacks something but is bad because he possesses too many gifts in abundance.  The only truly evil character is the murderer Varek must find, and even he isn’t very common or cookie-cutter either.  

The words of my publisher still ring in my ears every time someone tells me they loved Varek’s character, which I can say happens quite frequently.  “Readers will hate him.  They won’t want to see him happy.”   Well, some may feel that way, but others, like those who cheered for him to get the girl throughout Stolen Destiny, like him because they can differentiate between truly evil souls and people who make tragic mistakes. 

Stolen Destiny
Gabrielle Bisset
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
ISBN: 1-61034-434-0

Buy Stolen Destiny:  http://www.bookstrand.com/stolen-destiny
About Gabrielle Bisset:  By day, Gabrielle is a college history professor attempting to convince freshmen that American and European history is more than just dead guys who did stuff.  (Their words, not hers.)  By nights and weekends (and summers!), she writes erotic romance.  Her first novella, Vampire Dreams, was released in early June, and her first novel, Stolen Destiny, was released on June 29 through Siren Publishing.  She is publishing two more erotic novellas this summer—Love’s Master in July and Masquerade in August. 

She lives in Pennsylvania with her son, whom she home schools, and five cats, which are far too bossy for their own good.  When she’s not writing or teaching, she loves to read romances, of course, along with mysteries and anything nonfiction about history.  She also loves to spend time enjoying the outdoors, cooking, and hanging out with friends. 

To find out more about Gabrielle’s books, visit her at:
Her blog: http://gbisset.blogspot.com/
Her website:  http://www.gabriellebisset.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002481284652
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/gabriellebisset
Or email her at gabriellebisset@gmail.com  She loves to hear from readers!

Come find me!
Website:  Gabrielle Bisset
Blog:  Gabrielle Bisset: A Writer's Blog
My books:
Vampire Dreams-available now
Stolen Destiny- available now
Love's Master-coming in July
Masquerade-coming in August

Thanks Gabrielle!  I'm so glad you could be here today.  I wish you the best with your latest release and look forward to your upcoming novellas.  Sounds like you've got a busy summer before returning to teaching in the fall.  Enjoy! ~ Nadja

04 July 2011

Skyrockets In Flight ~ Blog Hop Delight

Delightful Indeed.......

Welcome to the Skyrockets In Flight ~ Blog Hop Delight, hosted by.....

Hanging With Bells

Tigris Eden

Danielle ~ Lush Book Reviews

Jo Jo's Book Corner

This hop will be hosted from 12:00 a.m. on July 4, 2011, through 11:59 p.m. on July 10, 2011, and is open to bloggers from all over the world.  Hopping around the various participants is sure to be a great time, offering us all chances to win terrific prizes and the opportunity to network with fellow readers & writers. 

Thanks for 'hopping' by.........

Today marks the celebration of our country's independence, an independence gained through the sacrifices of our founding fathers, and maintained through the bravery of men and women throughout our nation's history.  The attempt to create a new society where individuals are deemed equal, where religious freedom reigns, where despots are hard pressed to gain a foothold against the will of the people, and freedom of expression is valued and accepted has been a great success.  It's not been all easy sailing, and no place in the world is perfect, but today we should celebrate knowing that we live in the one of the most wonderful places on the globe.  We are free to write the novels we imagine without fear of punishment.  We are free to read any text that garners our interest without the discoloration of censorship.  We are free to be individuals.

What's The Giveaway?

Yes, it's a great day to kick off a blog hop!  I'll be giving away two decadent romance novels (see below) from my library to one lucky entrant.....feel 'free' to enjoy them in the spirit of Independence Day!
Product Detailsand......Product Details

How Do I Enter?

1.  Follow My Blog ~ Each new follower will receive one entry into the drawing.  Remember to leave a comment including your email so I can contact you should you win!  Old followers - just comment with your follow name and email address.

It's that easy.  But if you'd like additional chances to win.....
2.  Like My Facebook Page ~ Nadja Notariani, Author for an another entry into the giveaway. 
3.  Read An Excerpt From My Books And Comment ~ for two additional entries.  The tabs for my novel, Claiming The Prize, and my novella, Her Dark Baron, are at the top of my home page. 

~ Nadja