30 September 2011

It's Friday, Baby!

Go Ahead And Smile...It's Friday ;}

So I had a few days of, sitting, pacing, cringing.  My neck felt as if someone had tried to twist my head off!  Thankfully, it's on the mend.  I still wonder what in the hades I did to get myself in the 'land of hurt'?  Guess I'll never know for sure...


What is it that makes a good book?  A good romance?  And, how do I plan on capturing that 'feeling' and caging it within a few hundred pages? 

A good book, for me, is a book that evokes the emotion of the characters I'm reading about.  Of course, I have to like the general story.  (I'm sure many horror writers could induce me to feel fear...but I don't like to experience that particular emotion.  No, uh-uh.)  But to taste the bitter insult slapped in a heroine's face, to smile at a secret's revelation, to conjure the sense of freedom and adventure as sea-air blows and the hero sails into dangerous waters,  to have my stomach drop at the description of a kiss or a touch....this is the powerful weapon of the writer. 

The 'how-to' of going about harnessing these sensations is complex and difficult to describe.  When I'm writing a scene, I try to imagine it playing out.  Can I see my heroine stomping off?  Does she hide her true self.  Is she angry or hurt?  Would my hero grab her up and kiss her senseless or cut her to the quick with the sword of truth?  Hmmmm.  I'm certain I don't know until I play out my own questions in my mind's eye, each scenerio building to cresendo, leaving me with that 'aha!' moment when I know I've hit on what I want to convey in that particular scene. 

Is there anything more satisfying than gathering that perfection of language which enables the reader to 'see'? 

With that being said, keep writing away this weekend!  Find your perfect scene.  What does the room look like?  What expressions are on the faces of your characters as they speak?  What nuances are lurking in a hand gesture, a nervous habit, an unguarded moment of exposure?  Capture it with combinations of the twenty-six characters of the alphabet in black and white, locking them into place to be enjoyed again and again. 

An Award!

 A great big thanks to writer Michael Haynes for gifting me the Versatile Blogger Award!  (Oy...seven more facts about moi - just what you've all wanted!)

I'm supposed to pass this little green fellow along, but all my blogger friends have one of these buggers in their sidebars!  I'll just participate....

1.  My first (I think?) rock concert was Heart, 1987.  Ann & Nancy are still my favorite female rock group. 

2.  I love wrestling.  Not that silly television crap.  Real wrestling.  Here are my boys competing....

Hitting a switch

Keeping the body lock

Stretching before a match...that's my little guy in the center front :)

 Jr. Club Team

Getting the win!

This is my youngest attempting to run a half-nelson, heavy on the head.  He should not be on his knees....but on his toes.  This is from his first year. 

3.  I have chickens! 

4.  Dog lover, here!  Here's my little pup, Zutchka, when we first got him...

He would sleep with his face in the boys' boots

5.  Asparagus is my favorite vegetable.  Today. 

6.  I can just 'feel' when situations, words, or actions aren't right.  When I get my infamous 'gut-feeling', (my kids absolutely hate my 'gut-feelings', as I ruin many a naughty plans) I'm usually correct that something is awry.

7.  I absolutely cannot look graceful while walking in high heeled shoes.  I know, I know...many a model strut sexily down the runway - so it must be a learnable action, right?  Not for this girl.  It's always been more of a comedy when I've tried it in the past.  I'm a flat-wearing-sort-of-girl.  It's safer for everyone involved.  Ha!

Not for me....
For me....

28 September 2011

What About Wednesday?

Wednesday's Goods...
...And Not So Goods...

So...I'm sitting, Butt-In-Chair ready for serious work...(reference 'butt-in-chair' - Deniz Bevin), smelling up the room (okay, the entire house) with the smell of Icy-Hot and popping Advil like Pez-candies.  In some super-natural feat from the contortionist's handbook, I managed to sleep with my neck at such an angle as to render myself albiet worthless for much more than whiny, menthol wafting, nuisance status today. 

Oh!  In that case, I'll blog!  Terrific! (Swallows two more tablets of pain reliever and slathers generous dollop of slimy blue-green substance on left side of neck/shoulder) Where's my personal masseuse?  Oh, wait..that's right...I don't have one of those.  Shitsky.

Work On The Writing Front...

I've completed chapter nine in the novella I'm currently working on!  That means...I'm on the final chapter.  Woot-woot!  I want to have this wrapped up in the next week or so to begin edits.  This little number will have some serious work to get it ready for release.  I've mentioned this before, but it's worth mentioning again.  Once I stepped away from this project, it seems that my 'voice' within the piece switched gears.  When I returned to it after finishing up edits on my novel, I struggled to pick up where I left off.  This was an interesting development.   It leaves me wondering if I'll have continued issues in the future if I have to leave a project on the shelf for any length of time. 

Blogs Of Interest...

Roland Yeoman's Death Of Reading is a fabulous post, well worth the time to read!

The Wild Writers featured author, Cheryl Reifsnyder's post on Where (And How) To Find A Critique Group.
My Photo  This post houses a wealth of information, as well as questions we need to explore when seeking a critique group that will satisfy our wants and needs.  I was so impressed with it!

Work On The Reading Front...

I finished The Binder's Daughter, by fellow ROW80 author, Matt Hofferth earlier this week!  It's great to be reading the books that we've all been working on over these last few rounds!  Interested in a paranormal thriller that isn't of the traditional romance variety?  Then you'll love this book.  (And if you do love the romance varieties, like me, I'll let you know that I managed to romanticize a secondary character to my liking quite nicely, thank you very much.)
The Binder's Daughter  I'll warn you, though.  Once you commit to this book, you'll be chomping at the bit for the next in the series, which isn't out yet!  Don't worry, I'll harrass er, I mean encourage the author to get working on it ASAP.  Ha!

Hope you are all having a productive and satisfying week! ~ Nadja

25 September 2011

Weekly Blog Feature....


 Hello!  Nadja here with my top pics for the week!  Stop by and check out this blog in your travels ...

Romance And Beyond... is a blog site I discovered through the Writer's Platform Building Campaign, and I'm so very glad I did.  Carole, Sharon, & Sherry all met through their writing, and these ladies have a terrific set up at Romance And Beyond!  There are many guest blogs, and each of the ladies features posts on a variety of subjects.  Each author has an excerpt page, and I enjoyed reading them so much that I decided to feature them this week!  Happy Reading!     

Sherry Isaac's Excerpts

Here's Another Great Blog I discovered this week...

     Vive Le Nerd, (blogging by Joshua), is another I'd happily recommend.  From musings on home life to sparking the creative muse to 'You've Got Random On Your Face', this blog entertained.  I found a couple great links along with the laughs, too. 

Progress On The Writing Front...

I've cracked out a few pages in chapter nine of Her Dark Baron since my last post, breaking the 20K word mark and leaving only 5K to wrap up this little novella.  I've got a challenge.  Anyway, writing a flash-fiction piece for the Campaign challenge and joining the Rule Of Three Blogfest gave my writing the 'jump-start' I needed.  Hmmm.  Maybe this will be a habit I'll need to foster....

I'm enjoying writing flash-fiction quite a bit.  Fellow ROW80 author Gene Lempp (Another great blog you'll want to check out....this author's Designing From Bones series is one of my favorite weekly reads) had suggested writing short pieces to stir up the creative juices by developing ads, jingles, and such.  When I heard about the first Campaign Challenge, I was hesitant to join as I'd never done anything like that before, but I figured, what the heck!  I'm so glad I did.  Since that first piece I wrote, I've written two more and also joined the
 Rule Of Three Blogfest.  I'll chronicle my escapades in flash-fiction later....

Writing Front Comforts....

Last week, I re-posted a question put out there by Katy Upperman asking about your favorite writing nooks.  I've been thinking about that question all week.  So...I decided to post pics of my usual habit...home. 

  This is my favorite place to write when at home.  The kitchen has good light, and because it's the room where dishes are washed, it's often quiet and peaceful... Well, at least when my husband or three sons aren't looking for 'something to eat'....I'd rather feed an army than one of my boys when they're 'not-that-hungry'! 

  Here's the old notebook and pencil...I always write out my stories longhand first. 

  ...another view of the 'FAV-SPOT' :)

  Zutchka has nothing to do with my writing, other than the fact that he usually flops on the floor beside my chair while I scribble my stories down.  Isn't he the cutest, most handsome hound ever?  (Okay...second most handsome if you have a dog of your own...)

  Sometimes I write in the front room...not too often, though.  I like sitting on my comfy sofa, but there's usually someone watching television nearby, and that distracts me.  After everyone goes to bed, I'll sneak in once in awhile for a cozy 'session'.  This is my favorite reading nook, and you'll find me curled up here with a book a couple of nights a week. 

Hope you all are having a great weekend....I'm off to watch UFC 135!  Nick Ring will fight on the pre-lims tonight - (we've been following him for some time), Matt Hughes will fight Josh Koscheck, and Rampage Jackson faces Jon-Bones-Jones....it's going to be a great night!  ~ Nadja

22 September 2011

Writer's Platform Building Campaign Challenge # 2

Welcome fellow Campaigners! (Click here to go to the linky-list)  Here are the challenge rules, and below, you'll find my entry!  Good luck to everyone...I can't wait to see what you've all come up with for this challenge.  ~ Nadja

Second Campaigner Challenge

I hope you all had fun with my First Campaigner Challenge, because it's time for the Second! And this one's even more challenging, so I've given you a week and a half to write it :D

The Challenge is:
Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
  • include the word "imago" in the title
  • include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.
For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!
Once you’ve posted your Challenge post on your blog, pop back here and link directly to it in the Linky List below (please make sure you include the direct link to your post, not just the link to your blog!).

Entries in the Second Campaigner Challenge will close on Monday, October 3rd (at 11.59pm EDT). That's a week and a half (longer this time), so make sure you get your post in the Linky List before then if you want to be eligible for a prize! As usual, while everyone is very welcome to take part in this Challenge, only Campaigners will be eligible for prizes.

I've again set up the Linky List to let you "Like" entries, so make sure you come back here and vote. Winners this Challenge will be determined solely on the basis of your votes. This is an honor system, so please don't take advantage of this process either on your own or another's behalf. "Like" voting will close on Friday, October 14th.

Imago Of The Seeker's Heart

Smooth edges fitted her palm, but for once she sought not the familiar reflection the mirror held. Usually she notched the stick as well, measuring her lacuna, the synchronicity of looking and marking offering meaning to the uncertainty of her new life.
Isolated for one moon after her capture in defense of any miasma she might have carried, her white soul had been starved to awaken her Indian soul. 'Seeks Her True Heart' was the name bequeathed her by the warrior who had pulled her from the raging river and taken her into his home. After many days of observing her ritual, he spoke.
When you no longer need to look, you will finally see yourself.”
How long ago had that been?
The magnetism of his gaze attracted her attention, his eyes smiling even as his expression remained unchanged, and at last she understood. Oscitating in wolfish imitation, stretching his long, beautiful limbs beside her in the early dawn, he spoke to her for the first time in the tender way of a lover.
“Today you achieve your imago, for you do not seek yourself in the small glass, but see yourself in the reflection of my eyes.”

Rule Of Three...

The Rule of Three is a month-long fiction blogfest,   A New Challenge To Stretch Your Writer's Muscles...

The Rule of Three at Renaissance

By us, I mean Fighter writer, J.C. Martin, Flash Fiction Author Lisa Vooght, and Storyteller and author, Stuart Nager.We're excited to present a blogfest tailor-made for fiction writers to showcase their skills and receive comments on their work, and we hope you enjoy taking part in it as much as we enjoyed creating it!
So without further ado, announcing the Rule of Three Blogfest!
 A. What is the Rule of Three?
The "rule of three" is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, built up even more, and finally released. –Wikipedia
This is the information I've copied from Damyanti's Blog Fest Page at Amloki.  If you're interested, be sure to click the link for more information!  I love that the hosts have given participants so much time to get a story started!  I'm sure there will be some great reading as we get started...
~ Nadja

20 September 2011

Goodbye To Round Three...

It's The Final check-In For ROW80 ~ Round Three!

Don't forget!  Round 4 begins on 03 October, 2011...

In Interesting News & Events... Drum Roll, Please...

The Self-Published Book Expo, which will be held....

WHERE: SHERATON NY HOTEL & TOWERS, 811 Seventh Avenue @ 53rd Street, New York, NY
WHEN:  SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2011;   9:00am – 5:00pm
The Self-Publishing Book Expo is a learning center for published as well as aspiring authors. Attendees will have the opportunity to gain valuable information about how to successfully self-publish and market their books. Key members of the self-publishing community offering a variety of services to authors will be on hand, as will representatives from literary agencies and the media. Top-notch pros from all facets of publishing will lead a wide variety of seminars and panels on diverse subjects ranging from how to create a website, to the dollars and cents of self-publishing, creating a platform to build a solid audience, how to work effectively with an editor, marketing and publicizing one's work, and more.

EXHIBIT HALL:  FREE to all attendees!!

Exhibitors include:
Authors selling & displaying their books
Companies who help bring self-published works to market (There is a fee to exhibit...check out site -click link- for more info)

Wow!  This sounds great, especially for a newly published author like myself.  I'm already planning my trip to the Big Apple.  Who knows, maybe I'll meet up with some other ROW80 participants - or even a fellow Campaigner!  If anyone from either of these two groups decides to attend, let's email and meet up during the Expo!

Goals Updates...

I've been quite busy this first half of the week. 

I continue to write Her Dark Baron, but it has been an odd re-entry into this WIP.  I've finished chapter eight, which puts me ahead of my goal (one chapter per week, Sunday - Sunday).  The problem is not in getting the chapter finished, but in the knowing that I'll have to really shine it up during my first read-through.  I feel that my creativity has been dull and flat while writing these last few weeks.  It's something I'm attributing to not taking a break after finishing one project before jumping (both feet) right back into another project! 

I joined in another writing challenge,

Stop! The Judge and Jury Blogfest is Here! Click Here To Sign Up Or To Read More...

The challenge is open to entries until 30 September, 2011, so stop by and join in!  My defense piece is on the linky list at Gwen's blog!  (You can also read it back a few posts)

I've had so many visitors this week!  My goal is to visit five blogs a day, and with all the great ROW80 friends combined with my new Campaign friends - let's just say that I've been hard pressed to keep up!  Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and left a comment.  Reading all your posts on your sites has been just great.  I'm learning new blogging tips, gaining insight on self-promotion, growing in knowledge of formatting issues as an indie author, reading inspirational posts, and enjoying a much appreciated laugh or two.  I'm looking forward to continuing many of the relationships these two groups have introduced!

The paperback of Claiming The Prize will be for sale within the next two weeks!  My document is formatted - finally...after a headache or two in dealing with the template instructions over at Amazon, which thankfully became a non-issue after a simple piece of advice from a friend (Thank you!  Really! :}  Now, I'm waiting on the new spine size from my wonderful cover designer, Elaina Lee!  I can't wait...

On the reading front...I have been reading at least one hour a day.  In fiction,  I'm working through a fellow ROW80 author's book, The Binder's Daughter, by Matt Hofferth, and I'm enjoying his take on the vampire world!  I also started A Writer's Guide To Harry Potter, by S.P. Sipal.  Not about writing Harry Potter-ish stories, Sipal guides writers through the techniques that make - or break- the world building/characterization necessary to pull readers into your story and endear your characters to their hearts.  Truly a wonderful guide thus far...

A Great Big Round Of Applause For The Finalists In Rachael Harrie's Campaign Writing Challenge!

Here are the Finalists and their prizes:                      

  1. First Place: M.C. Rogerson
  2. Second Place: Juliana L. Brandt
  3. Third Place: Barbara V. Evers
  4. Fourth Place: Jessica Therrien
  5. Fifth Place: Jocelyn Rish
  6. Sixth Place: Christine Tyler
  7. Seventh Place: 1000th.monkey
  8. Eighth Place: Candy Fite
  9. Ninth Place: Leah Denman
  10. Tenth Place: Christine Rains
  11. Eleventh Place: Alynza Smith
  12. Twelfth Place: Chantele Sedgewick
Don't forget - the next challenge begins on Thursday, 22 September, 2011!

Have a great day! ~ Nadja

18 September 2011

Awards, Awards, I Love Awards!

Em ~ Loves To Read, Wants To Write & Angela ~ In Pursuit Of Publishness & Lady Gwen all gifted me with this great award over the past week!  Thank you ladies...It does feel great to know someone is getting enjoyment (or even a laugh...or two) from my blog!
Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post. *check*

2. Share 7 things about yourself *check*

3. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it! *check*
(Although I won't be passing this along to 15 recently discovered blogs - I will mention my favorite reads/discoveries for this week) 

Link Up To These Great Blogs This Week...

1.  Angela ~ In Pursuit Of Publishness posted a hilarious bit I've been wanting to share all week.  Well, here it is.  Take a minute to give yourself a smile today.

2.  Angela ~ Cheerios and Pearls Stories is another favorite of mine.  Check out her posts on Living With The Consequences, and her Story Time Challenge.

3. Maria Zannini had me in stitches earlier this week, wondering where all the 'Manly-Men' have disappeared to in the world of male-models-for-book-covers.  She may have coined a new term in the process of her musings.  Laugh away the stress from your day over at her site.

4. Elana Johnson has an entire page with tips for building a better blog.  I know that many of my fellow ROW80 are (like me) new to blogging, and I thought the link would be a helpful tool to feature. 

5.  R.D. Denton posted an excerpt of a new piece he's begun work on, 'Our Borrowed Earth'.  Well worth the time to read, Denton shows us how a dystopian fiction piece should begin.

Again, the rules want some ramdom facts about me...(one asks for ten, the other, seven, so I'm combining here!)

1.  Once, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered, "Lucille Ball!"  I still think that.

2.  I am left handed - and three of my five children are also left handed. 

3.  I write longhand in notebooks for my writing projects and use pencil.  Always.

4.  I am uber-unpopular in my home, as I do not celebrate Halloween. 

5.  My favorite holiday is Christmas!  I spend months getting ready for the big day...

6.  I hate going to the doctor.  To be honest, I'm afraid.  I have been since I was a little kid.  All that poking, checking, touching, prodding, blood-testing, light-shining invasiveness just gives me the shivers.  Unless I feel like I'm dying, you won't catch me in a Dr.'s office.  No way!

7.  Overall, bananas are my favorite fruit.  Banana bread, banana soup (bananas and milk), banana popcicles, banana margaritas, you name it, I love it!

8.  Cooking and entertaining are my favorite things to do after reading and writing. :)  Food makes me happy...


9.  I adore the Marx brother's movies...Duck Soup is my all time fav...

10. Bellydancing may be the sexiest thing I've seen performed.

And Here's Another Great Award Passed On To Me By...
Lisa Potts ~ Writer!  What a great award.  Thanks so much, Lisa, for thinking of me!

  I've already listed five great blogs that I think are worth a follow, so be sure to check them out.

Katy Upperman posted this great question over at her blog - thought I'd re-post and give you all a chance to join in, too!

What are your top FIVE ideal writing locations? (Bonus points: if you include pictures!)

  I write at my kitchen table and at a coffee shop (or two...) near my home.  I rarely write at my desk, but I do my blogging and platforming building there.  Pretty simple - I don't even have five places to list! 
  The first is 'Northern Lights'...and the second is 'Zummo's'....Both are great places! 
Would you rather give up eating meat forever, or cut all carbs from your diet indefinitely?

There's no question about my answer...I'd give up meat!  I could not live without my carbs.  Bread, rolls, buns, foccacia, pita, dumplings, Naan, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, deserts of all kinds, potato chips, ...give them up?  Not this girl.  Never.

Also, don't forget these two dates for Campaign updates/events! Click here to visit the Campaign Home Page...Where Rach tells us...

I'll be announcing the winners on Monday, September 19th, so make sure you pop back then :)

And don't forget to come back for the Second Campaigner Challenge on Thursday, 22nd September!!!

Don't forget to check in and see what other ROW80 members are up to...
~ Nadja

17 September 2011

A Great Writing Challenge ...

Stop! The Judge and Jury Blogfest is Here! Click Here To Sign Up Or To Read More...


SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY 9/5 - 9/10 30

Finally the Judge and Jury Blogfest is here. It started out as a celebration of my first blogoversary, but now I have a few more milestones to celebrate as well!

  1. My First Blogoversary
  2. Completion of the First Draft of my First Novel
  3. My First 100 Followers!
As you'll see below, there is a New Follower booby prize. And someone has already won it. Who better than my 100th Follower, the awesome Hywela Lyn! Congratulations - you have won a $10 gift card from Amazon.com. A special thanks to Rach Harrie, whose platform-building campaign really gave me a big boost to meeting other bloggers. I had 35 followers at the start of her campaign, and now, as of this writing, I have 111!
All Rise! The Judge (me) enters the courtroom. My Jury consists of the first twelve (12) bloggers to sign up for this Blogfest. Now – Round Up the Usual Suspects and we’ll have a trial!

Everyone who enters the Blogfest is a Suspect (including the Jury – they’re not getting off with a slap on the wrist. But not me – cuz I’m Da Judge). The Jury will vote on the Suspect guilty of writing the best defense scene. Any tie votes will be decided by the Judge.

Every Suspect (remember, this includes the Jury) must write a short defense scene in 300 words or less (a short intro to the scene is acceptable). It can be about anything legal or illegal, minor or major. A stolen kiss, cheating, robbery – even murder! It does not have to involve the law or court. Feel like sharing a scene from your manuscript? Cool! Or maybe a scene from a short story you’ve written? Awesome! It only has to be a scene where someone defends themselves against something.
  • The blogfest will run from Monday, September 5 – Saturday, September 10.
  • At 12:01am Monday, September 5, a linky tool will go live on Run Gwen, Run!
  • Post your entry on your blog and then add a direct link to your post to the linky tool on my blog before 11:59 p.m. September 10th.
  • Come back on Wednesday, September 14 to see the six finalists (chosen by the Jury), and then again on Saturday, September 17 to see the winners!
  • All genres and forms are welcome.
  • Copy the Judge and Jury badge and post it as a link in the sidebar of your blog
  • Tell all your blogger friends about the blogfest
  • Go to the other contestant’s blogs and give them some comment love during the challenge week 9/5 – 9/10.
  • Each of the 12 Jurors will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card since serving on the Jury is compulsory (According to the Judge, this should in no way be construed as a bribe!)
  • A $10 Amazon Gift Card booby prize will be awarded randomly to a new follower – I’ve already picked out the Follower’s number. You may already be a winner!
  • Third place prize is a $5 Amazon Gift Card
  • Second place prize is a $10 Amazon Gift Card
  • FIRST PRIZE is a $15 Amazon Gift Card
  • All prizes to be awarded at the completion of the blogfest.

In Defense Of...
'Her Dark Baron - The Baron Gervase Daltrey Of Ayleshind', By Nadja Notariani

(This is the 'hero' in my upcoming historical romance novella...)

"Deny my rights?" Gervase repeated mockingly.  "Do you suppose a man hopes merely to exercise his right upon a woman?"

His gaze landed on Lady Mariel, her downcast eyes and flaming cheeks the proof he needed that the man of the cloth had already instilled in her the idea that her wedding bed was something to be endured.

"Has our dear Father Eames convinced you to bear your cross well, Lady Mariel?" Gervase murmured in her ear.

Her silence spoke loudly, awakening in him a brutal need to silence the reverend's words in her mind.

"Damn you and your false words, Eames," he ground out.

Sweeping Mariel into his arms, Gervase strode to the staircase.  Every soul in the great hall stared in silent astonishment as he carried her away.  Her hands grasped his neck as he alighted the stairs, but she remained tense in his grasp.

"I'll tolerate no martyr in my home, nor in my bed," he growled, kicking the door to the bedchamber open and planting her feet on the floor before him.  "Lock the door, sweetling."

She obeyed and turned to face him again.  The fiery color in her cheeks was gone, replaced with the paleness of fear, her blue eyes wide with nervous emotion.  The tops of her breasts rose and fell, barely peeking their rounded beauty from the modest neckline, offering Gervase a hint of what awaited him beneath the dark emerald gown.

Circling her in wolfish fashion he soothed, "Calm yourself, my lady.  You'll suffer no violence under my hand."  As he reached her ear he murmured, "You'll give the devil his due willingly."

~ Nadja

15 September 2011

18 & Over Book Blogger Giveaway

Welcome To The Giveaway! 


Let's all give out some Thanks for our hosts...Bitten By Paranormal Romance & Reading Between The Wines Book Club!  Thanks, ladies, for hosting us all!

And thanks to all of you for 'hopping' by to check out my page and entering for a chance to win!  I'll choose three winners from all the entries I receive during the Giveaway Hop.  All three will receive a copy of my novel, Claiming The Prize, and one lucky winner will also receive a $10.00 gift card through Amazon.com! 

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......

 Here's How To Enter...

1.  Follow my blog.  This earns one entry.  Comment with your GFC name and email.  If you win, I'll contact you!
2.  For an extra entry, 'Like' my facebook page.  Nadja Notariani
3.  Become a fan on Goodreads for two entries!  Nadja Notariani ~ Goodreads Author

Please add a comment (or include all entries in one comment) to let me know where you've been!  Thanks!  ~ Nadja

Or Link to this page:

12 September 2011

Kreativ Blog Award & Leibster Award...Thanks!

Thank you, ladies, for the terrific awards...

&    Blog Award!

Now the rules for the Kreativ Blog Award are to thank the person who gave it to you, and to write seven things about yourself and to pass it on to other bloggers.
Here we go!  The lovely Em of Loves To Read Wants To Write listed me as one of the winners of this award over at her site this week. 

1.  I have a secret love for long-ago actor, Yul Brynner.  Really and truly, I do.  I was just discussing this the other day...Okay, okay, maybe it's not so secret...but, I digress.  Sigh. ;}

2.  One of my favorite movies of all time is The Quiet Man.  John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara were quite possibly the most fantastic romantic pairing of all time.  

3.  I love to laugh -  And to make others laugh.  I will go to great lengths to get a chuckle, snicker, guffaw, chortle, giggle, bellow, snort, smile, grin, or even sparklin' eyes of mirth.  I cannot help myself. 

4.  An all-time great Bugs Bunny cartoon is the one where he encounters the Russian girl rabbit, Millicent.  She is the only character to ever foil him!  She finds him wherever he hides, and smooches him, saying, "Kiss me dahhhling, for tomorrow we make marriage!"  Ahhh, what a gal.  

5.  I love geography.  I can fill in the countries on most continents.  I just like memorizing maps.  I actually own a geography coloring book (Before you start laughing, it is a high-school level book...lol - none of that pre-k bull-shlacka for me)

6.  One of my sisters re-named me Schultz.  I think I've mentioned this before, but it's a weird little fact.  Therefore, I like it.  I do not remember when she started this, but it stuck.  I have been Schultz to my siblings for years and years.  

7.   I like spending time with old people.  They have the best stories...

Well, that's the end of my revealing...I'll call it 'The Rather Ridiculous Revealing of 'Aught 11'.   

 I want to thank Lena Corazon for gifting me the Liebster Blog!  I have made such great friends during this Round Of Words In 80 Days.  I enjoy keeping up with what's happening in their writing, their jobs, and their lives.  I can't deny that I feel a little guilty at receiving an award for doing something I love <3

The official rules state that I should follow the person who gave it to me.  Then I should link back to their blog.  (Done & Done!)  The next step is where it gets tricky.  It is recommend that I pass along the award to five other writers!  That's great - except I don't know if I have five blogger friends that have gone above and beyond in encouragement that haven't already received this award...
So, I'm gifting the Liebster Blog Award to....
Julius Cicero - Writer  Julius is a talented writer and I love reading his posts.  Julius also went out of his way to read my novel, Claiming The Prize, which is a romance (not his usual genre...lol) - just to offer me feedback.  Now that's being a real 'guy'!  He's always around offering encouragement and support whenever I need it.  Thanks Julius!
Hofferth Books is the other blog that I will gift this award to.  This team -he writes, she illustrates (and I believe does covers, too!) has a great attitude in their posts.  I've mentioned this blog a few times over the course of this round because of posts I thought were note-worthy, and also for 'out of the way helpfulness/enouragement'.   

An Interview ....In Which I Sound Much More Mature Than I Feel...Fabulous :)

Joanne Troppello, writer of inspirational romance, featured my book on her blog page today and asked me a few questions.  I wanted to post a link, not only to share the interview, but in appreciation for her taking the time to host! 

Meeting Goals...

Getting back into the swing of writing has been more challenging than I like to admit.  It's as if, after going through the process of editing - after studying and fine-tuning each sentence, each word - my brain struggled to get creative and let the words flow again.  I did write my chapter, but it was with some difficulty.  Luckily, I'm in a more fun section to write, which probably helped out.  So, I'm off to chapter eight this week!  That leaves three chapters to wrap things up.  ....Wait, that means that I'll be back to the typing....yikes!

This was my first week of structure within my writing world.  It was different.  I'm adjusting.  It really gave me a sense of accomplishment to hit so many goals that before, I just wouldn't have had time for.  I'll probably post my aims on Sunday.  For now...I've got a great deal to get done today.  Hope you all are cruising right along.  Best wishes for a super second half to your week! ~ Nadja

~ Nadja

11 September 2011

Reading, Writing, and Pondering...

Remember September 11...    
Before I start into my week's adventures, I'd like to take the time to remember.  9/11 is a date that will live in our minds for many years to come.  On that day, our nation came under attack.  Before that day, I did not fully comprehend the impact an ideology could have on my world, my reality, my countrymen.  Quite certain, various ideologies battle for our attention, our faith, our loyalty.  We sort through them, study them, and develop our 'world-view'.  But in America, we then allow others to do likewise, sorting, studying, developing, until they come to their own conclusions.  We don't have to agree with them.  We can debate with them.  We can still be friendly with them.  We can go home and practice the lifestyle we want to, whether popular or unpopular. 

On September 11, a group of individuals, speaking for a multitude, announced their hate for our way of life.  As Americans, let us remember that day.  Let's not forget that in spite of our differences, we are a nation united.  We must stay united to break the promulgation of hate.  But let us also ponder our actions.  When we divide ourselves, when we cheat one another, when our representatives spew insults at one another in the eyes of the world, we offer fodder for those who malign our way of life. 

Let us live, giving respect to our fellow countrymen, doing kindness to both neighbors and strangers, and offering our best.  It is the greatest honor we can bestow on those who lost their lives or loved ones on that terrible day. 

What would happen if we each decided to commit two random acts of kindness this week?  How would it affect our streets, our communities, our nation? 

This will be a theme in our household as we approach the high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  (What boys don't need to be reminded of the power of kindness?) 

Goal Updates...

On Wednesday, I began writing again.  I've written almost a chapter in Her Dark Baron, putting me well within reach of my weekly goal of one full chapter.  I'm in the thick of the mysterious happenings/accidents...which is a fun part of the story to see unfold. 

I have been reading at least one hour each night!  But old habits are hard to break.  I had decided that I would limit myself to one book at a time until I get my TBR pile under control.  No such luck.  I'm currently reading four novels.  Sigh. 

Visiting around?  You betcha!  I've visited well over twenty blogs this week!  It's a new record for me.  The flash-fiction challenge entries have provided some fun reading - I've still over one hundred-fifty entries to read.  I don't know if I'll manage them all, but I'll keep plugging away.  It's been great seeing so many fellow ROW80 writers in the Campaign entries! 

Speaking of the Campaign, I'll be listing fellow Campaigners' blog pages for anyone interested in checking out other writers!  It is about Platform-Building, right?  Visit around here...but only after checking in with fellow ROW80 friends!

This time I'll list a few from my Contemporary Fiction Group.  Enjoy. 
Jon Yang
Zan Marie
Raelyn Barclay
Katie Gates

Trial And Error On The Publishing Front...

Here are the issues I've come across or had pointed out to me since my novel went 'live'.  If you've encountered either of these, please let me know if you've also figured out a way to correct them. 

1.  In the e-readers, there is a 'Go-To' tab that allows readers to click to see the cover page.  This feature is working just fine.  But on the first page of the novel's 'body' there is a very, very tiny image of the cover.  I'm not sure why it's there...  or why it's so 'eensy'...

2.  I used a few phrases of Slovakian within the story as my hero, Drago Zadrovec, is from Bratislava, Slovakia.  There are three instances where the special character that I inserted (via the tool bar) did not translate into the uploaded text correctly.  This is particularly puzzling as there any number of other instances where the inserted characters show just fine.  I'm hesitant to change anything - unless it's to change those characters to the closest match to an English character - and then I would only do so reluctantly as the Slovakian word would be incorrect.

Claiming The Prize Updates...

I'm happy to say that I've seen a few reviews posted for my novel.  I've had great success with Smashwords and the ability to offer a coupon!  For a first time author with no 'name' in the world of authors, this has been a nice tool to get my book into reader's hands.  Amazon, though, offers better 'searchability'. 
Brazen Broad - Mina Naveen posted a review last night, sending me over the moon!
Gloria Benway & Lena Corazon also added their ratings at Goodreads!  If you could see me, you'd find that I'm deepening those laugh/smile lines...thank goodness for Oil Of Olay!  Ha!

Aha!  At last, I seem to be out of words... Have a great Sunday and a fantastic week ~ Nadja

07 September 2011

ROW80 ~ Checking In

A Fantastic Week, Great Friends, & A Flash Fiction Challenge...September Rolls In Nicely...

Hello to all my A Round of Words in 80 Days friends!  How has your week been shaping up?  How have you challenged yourselves? 

I've heard other ROW80 participants talk of joining this group or that, writing pieces of flash fiction or writing parties, taking new classes, and reading books to study new tips on writing technique, but until this month, all I was ready to do was listen.  I suppose it's my nature.  I like to hear all about a thing, roll it around in my head for awhile, and peek at it via the Internet/library/friend's blog page to gain a better understanding before I commit to actually doing it.  I am cautiously adventurous...(it's an oxymoron, I know...but it really does describe me.  Once I'm convinced that I'm ready, I'll try just about any new thing.  But I have to build up to my sense of adventure - and build up my confidence.)  September 2011 has seen me take on a bit of adventure.

I published my first novel.  Whoa!  I'm still sort of fashed over that.  (By the way...I just got my first reader feedback this morning...I'm smiling from ear to ear!)

I joined in the Writer's Platform-Building Campaign.  Taking on the commitment of another group was a huge decision for me.  It's stretching me as a writer/blogger/reader and offering more community. 

I wrote my first piece of Flash-Fiction this week for The First Campaign Challenge - I'm number 26! (See post before this one - or click the link to see all the entries)  It was incredibly fun!  I actually cannot wait to do it again.  I'm amazed at how many variations of thought/story/creativity can come from four simple words.  And with a 200 word limit - talk about choosing your words carefully!  Some of the entries were absolutely fantastic! 

I purchased a book on writing technique based on a recommendation.  A Writer's Guide to Harry Potter Workshop, by S.P. Sipal.  Its purpose is to help writers create worlds within their stories that are well crafted, memorable, and emotionally impactual to the reader - or so I've been told.  Not only did a fellow Campaigner recommend it, I read many comments of writers who appreciated the lessons housed within this title.  I've touted the idea that I'll continue learning and growing while I write.  It's time to put my money/time/effort where my mouth is.  Ha!

Today is the first day of school in our district.  My boys were so excited to meet their teachers, classmates, and to pack their new lunch bags.  For the first time in eight years, I'm not teaching.  I don't know exactly how I feel about this yet.  I'll let you know when I figure it out.  But first...I'm going to enjoy the peace and quiet!  I'm actually home alone!! Woot-Woot.  I plan on using this new 'quiet time' each day to concentrate heavily on my writing/blogging/etc.  This may sound far-reaching, but I'm a far-reaching kind of gal. (well, once I get up my cautiously-adventuresome-courage!)  I've designed a one-year plan in respects to my writing goals - and a five year plan, too.

Today marks the day that I return to writing Her Dark Baron!  I'm off for a quick read-through - I have to pick up the tone of the story again.  Happy writing everyone!!          ~ Nadja

05 September 2011

Campaign Writing Challenge ~ 05 September 2011

Here's the first writing challenge of the Campaign...

Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

...My First Flash Fiction/Writing Challenge...

To Grant An Entrance, Nadja Notariani

The door swung open, revealing, at last, the object that had for weeks consumed her thoughts. Heart pounding, she raised her eyes, wary to expose destiny lest it disappoint, compelled toward discovery. At once, the presence engrossed her senses, dominating the modest surroundings.
Impressive height and broad shoulders enhanced the masculinity she beheld, eliciting a prickling of gooseflesh over her skin, whether from pleasure or apprehension not yet decided. Dark hair curled around forehead and temple, framing not a handsome face, but a strong and tolerable one. His eyes were what hers sought, the windows to his soul. She trembled in anticipation, felt the choking grip of fear weave its tendrils about her throat in the exquisite torment as she waited. Earthy warmth emanated from the depths that held her gaze, comforting, commanding, simmering with the promise of the heady emotion she had dared imagine while awaiting her arranged husband's arrival.
His hesitant smile opened the door to her heart a sliver as she accepted the wide, calloused hand he offered.
I have come to take you home.”
His simple words whispered much.
Following him into the sunshine, she was vaguely aware as behind them the door swung shut.

04 September 2011

Checking In & Birthday Fun!

...They Say It's Your Birthday...It's My Birthday, Too!

Hi everyone!  Hope you've all had as great a weekend as I have.  Friday was the release of my first novel, and also the night that we went out to celebrate my birthday!  What a good time that was, although, I'm exhausted from staying up way past my bed-time.

My ROW80 friends helped to make this weekend extra special with all the support and encouragement they offered!  Em has a great post up on confronting our fears as writers.  Jamila Jamison, who gifted me with a great blog award that I'll be sharing, posted a link to a great new Platform-Building Campaign, inspiring me to join up and expand my horizons!  Matt Hofferth looked into the idea of 'branding yourself'.  This author/fellow ROW80 participant went out of his way to make our ROW80 writing community more than just 'empty words'.  To these, and everyone who took the time to visit, comment, and follow - Thanks :)

Don't forget!  The FREE coupon for Claiming The Prize is still good today! 

HM22C - Use this code at Smashwords!

Goals For The Remainder Of The Round...

Now that my novel is published, I need to get back to some of my other goals!

1.  I still need to format/upload at Amazon.com for the print version of my novel.  This will be completed within two weeks.  (Unless I have some major catastrophe...;}

2.  It's time to get back to writing Her Dark Baron.  I will begin Wednesday, and hope to complete a chapter a week until the current Round ends.  I'd like to have the novella completed by September's end, but I may need to move that goal to October's end. 

3.  Once the novella is completed, I will spend four weeks in edits/betas.  Then, I'll begin the process of publishing again!  The goal is to have this WIP published before year's end. 

4.  I'll be watching for the dates for the next Round's onset.  I will have a working list of goals completed to reach for during the new Round.

5.  Marking out time for daily reading on my TBR pile, even if it's only one hour a day.

6.  Planning effective marketing strategies.  This is an area in which I am truly lacking in knowledge.  Research is the word that comes to mind here.

That sums up my working list of goals.  For now...

Have a terrific week and stick to your goals through the Round's end! ~ Nadja

02 September 2011

Claiming The Prize - Free This Weekend!

Welcome!  Help me celebrate the new release of my first novel, Claiming The Prize...

Click on the link to purchase...Oh Wait...
Here's an introductory special
It's FREE this weekend at Smashwords!

Smashwords - use code HM22C

Blurb -

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......

Thoughts and blabbering from a newly published author...(my cheeks are hurting from the 'extreme-smiling' I'm doing)

What a day!  I'm feeling smugly satisfied at having navigated both KDP and Smashwords in one day.  This is usually an indicator that something is about to happen to seriously dampen my bösartige Schadenfreude - malevolent glee.  A friend had explained the term to me a while back, and I've finally found an appropriate place to put it to good use this week.  (This is also due, in part, to a great 'word-picture' fellow writer Matt Hofferth offered in a comment on Wednesday's ROW80 post)

Thanks for being here to celebrate with me this week!  My birthday is coming up on the 4th of September, so I have reason to carry on all week long.  In honor of that day...I'm offering this introductory special on the novel.  Yaaaahooo!  ~ Nadja