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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Opposites DO Attract!

Happy Thursday All,


Like I promised, I have an official blog review for you. I've never reviewed this author's work on here, so I'm excited to share this with you.


Carla Rossi’s newest Inspirational Romance has a rather unlikely hero in ex-rocker, Sam “Shade” Blackledge.



After a horrifying accident leaves Shade newly sober and a brand-new Christian, he finds his way to Cornerstone Church where Praise and Worship leader, Candi Canaberry has been working hard to make sure nobody outside of the pastor knows the truth--something so embarrassing that if anyone knew, Candi is sure they wouldn’t want to have anything to do with her.


Shade’s appearance puts that carefully guarded secret at risk--especially when he recognizes her last name. Apparently Spring and Austin, Texas aren’t as far away from each other as Candi had hoped.


And as for Shade…well, Candi could do without his tattooed self being forced upon her every time she turns around.


Is it possible these two lost souls can learn to forgive themselves and see past each other’s exterior long enough to recognize a kindred spirit or will the secrets put an impassable gulf between them?


I liked Carla’s unconventional hero, the total “opposites attract” story line, and the gentle way each secret is revealed and treated.
 
Unlikely Praise is available on Friday, March 2, 2012 from Pelican Book Group.
 
Have A Tip-Top Thursday!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Just A Little Note...

Happy Friday Everyone,

If you don't see me much next week it's because I got some family visiting from out of town. However, I will be posting an official blog review on March 1st. I will be posting another official blog review on March 5th.

In between, I don't know how much I will be posting on the blog until the week of March 5th (that's a Monday).

Meanwhile, I hope you all have a fantastic and fun weekend! Also, welcome to the new blog follower(s)!

Have A Fabulous Friday!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

Happy Wednesday All,

Because it's Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent, I'm going to take a day off from a usual post today. I'll be back on Thursday.

If you missed yesterday's post, please go check it out. I did an interview with the talented Loretta Wheeler.

Have A Wondrous Wednesday!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Spotlight On Author: Loretta Wheeler

Happy Tuesday Everyone,

There's a gem of an author I've had the privilege of coming across...I'm talking about my friend, Loretta Wheeler. She's a sweetheart and very talented author. I enjoyed her YA Paranormal novella, The Pan Man immensely. And, she also writes Romance.

So without further ado, come into my parlor and meet Loretta Wheeler:

Me:  In your YA novelette, The Pan Man, you mention Pan's looking for his long lost soul mate. What made you choose Pan out of all the Greek/Roman gods and goddesses?



Loretta:  I chose the Greek god Pan, because of the connection with the music. I found later on in the story, (my stories take over and write themselves usually) it applied even more than I realized because of the band's name. I won't mention the name of the band in here, because it's part of the surprise ending.


Me:  You're mostly known for your Romance stories. How would you describe your writing style? Hot, suspenseful, sensual, sweet, contemporary, paranormal?

Loretta:  My style is usually paranormal, sometimes supernatural, and leans toward the thriller genre. With each story, the sensuality may vary. In Dark Pleasures, it's more suspense, with a very low intensity in the romantic side of the story. Dark Pleasures and The Pan Man are both written under the name Loretta Wheeler. Pieces written under my real name are very low key in the romance area. When writing under my pen name, L Reveaux, the writing may heat up on the sensuous side, along with the language. This allows the reader a fairly clear choice of what they're selecting to read, depending on which name I write under. The Rising, and its soon to release sequel, Out of the Ashes are both written under L Reveaux.


Me:  For Fun: What's your favorite way to start your day?


Loretta:  I'm one of the lucky ones, I get to begin most of my days the way I choose. I usually wake to Lil' Dickens (my blue-eyed, highly communicative cat) slamming a cabinet door to wake me. When I finally get my wits about me, I drift down the hall, and make myself a cup of coffee. My coffee is always flavored by the way, usually hazelnut or chocolate. When I have my eye-opener in hand, Dickens and I sashay out the door to the deck. Dickens' strolls, and I sit in my porch swing near the garden. If it's summertime, the fountain is going, and I usually have music playing. Music is something I love having on while I'm writing or sitting on the deck. When I'm on the deck the music is something like Enya, Chris Botti, or Jazz. When I'm writing, it's nearly always Jazz, because all of my settings occur in the south and most often take place in the French Quarter.


Me:  Did you always want to be a writer?


Loretta:  Actually, no. I have always been drawn to the arts, with the strongest direction being art itself. My love of drawing was my primary focus, and then, once I was grown, it shifted to decorating (several courses ensued with that). In high school I wrote a couple of pieces that drew some attention, but my focus was still on drawing. It wasn't until I was older that I began writing. After having a strong response to my writing style from the people I was working with, I decided to try my hand at it. My hand kept writing, and all these character's kept crowding into my head, and so, here I am.


Me:  What advice do you have for aspiring writers?


Loretta:  The most recent advice I've given, is invest in a couple of good books on writing, find a critique group that suits you, (that may take a few attempts) and then sit down and "do it". I think I've found with a lot of people, unfortunately they begin writing first, and then do the study. It saves a lot of frustration if a brand new person knows there's more to the profession than just grammar. And of course, after they begin, their crit partner or partners is very important. There is such a fine balance with that...finding someone that relates to what you're writing, can help you tweak it, and yet not crush the spirit, can be difficult. In other words, find someone who can juggle roles well, and do it with kindness:)

Me:  What do you think is the hardest thing about writing?

Loretta:  I think that's different for each writer. I don't usually suffer from writer's block, but I do suffer horribly from "not in the mood". I am a very moody writer. To tempt me to continue with a piece when I'm "not in the mood", I've found little writing bursts or prompts in a completely different direction can get me started again.

The next most difficult thing on the list for me, is editing. I'm one of those who dislikes editing. It is a four letter word, you know:)

Me:  For Fun: Aside from cats (because I know that's your favorite) what other animals do you like?

Loretta:  I love all types of animals:) I find them to be delightful...companions given to us for love, company and enjoyment. I love their hearts, their souls, and that little telepathic mind of theirs. (That's another topic. We won't go there today:)

Me:  If you weren't writing, what would you want to be doing?


Loretta:  Well, if you mean as a profession, decorating. If you mean what would I be doing on a "play day"...shopping, or going to the movies. I really think I could be one of those "dedicated shoppers" too:)...I usually know which store has what, and in what price range. Sigh. In looking back at all these answers, I think you could definitely color me on the artsy side. I swear there's a serious side in there also :)


Me:  Do you have a favorite character of one of your stories or do you love them all equally?


Loretta:  No, I certainly do not love them all equally :) Isn't that pitiful? Remind me NOT to let my Muse see this:) Now, let's see, my favorites. My all time loves are Deidre, Sue Ellen, and Loutrec in The Midnight Dance. The Midnight Dance hasn't released yet, I'm still trying to decide if I want to run after agents and publishers with it, or indie-pub it.


In Dark Pleasures, I like the two main characters, Samantha and Richard (Richard is more commonly known as Dick, I had to put that, he thinks of himself as Dick;) but the dog in Dark Pleasures, Hob, will finally control my heart. Dark Pleasures will be continuing by the way, with Hob coming on strong.


In The Rising I like both of the main characters, Ryze for her essence, Rick, for what he is, and who he will become. I also like Bartholomew...he's come forward as a very strong secondary character. And of course, I'm going to love all those birds who move toward center stage in the sequel, Out of the Ashes:)




With The Pan Man, I liked both of the main character's, Christy and Alexis...but eventually the gypsy, Larue, takes the spotlight in the novella, The Image. The Image is one of my WIP's written to release as an e-book.

Me:  Do you have any up and coming releases you'd like people to know about?


Loretta:  I think I've named all of them in here already, but the most current upcoming release is Out of the Ashes, the sequel to The Rising. It's due to publish this month, (February 2012). Firebird will release after it, completing the series.


Me:  Anything else you'd like to add?


Loretta:  Yes, I'd like to send a big Thank You, to you, Bethany:) I enjoyed the questions...they were just like a writing prompt! So, guess what I'll be doing tomorrow? :)

Thank you, so much, Loretta for doing this interview!

Want to find out more about Loretta?  Visit her on her Loretta Wheeler site or go see her under her L. Reveaux pen-name.

You can find her work on Amazon Kindle Loretta Wheeler / or as L. Reveaux on Amazon and you can also find her on Barnes & Noble Nook Loretta Wheeler or find her as L. Reveaux on Barnes & Noble.

Have A Tantalizing Tuesday!

Presidents' Day

Happy Monday All,

Today is Presidents' Day! There's a few presidents who had qualities that I admire.

One such man is John Adams. He wasn't just the USA's 2nd President, but he was also a founding father. He was passionate, stubborn, and had a deep devotion to his wife, Abagail.

So what makes some of these figures larger than life to us?

They were human beings--imperfect, prone to flaws just like the rest of us. But some of the things they did and said inspires us.

So, happy Presidents' Day to everyone.

Have A Marvelous Monday!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Health, Reading, Etc.--Or, Something Called "Life"...

Happy Friday Everybody,


I apologize for the lack of posts for Wednesday and Thursday. I still have to sit down and brainstorm blog ideas. Last week and this week family members have been sick and I'm fighting allergy/health issues of my own (nothing serious, just annoyances).

I'm working on finishing an ARC for an official blog book review in March (I have THREE for March. I've finished 2 of the ARCs and this is the last one). Then I have another official blog book review to schedule in April and I have to read that book, too.


These are some good stories that are coming out, folks! I'm excited to talk about them, but it has meant that I've been very busy, too (if not for an official blog review, but to look up when something is coming out so I can be sure to read it when it's released).


I'm also in the process of brainstorming for a WIP (Work In Progress). The manuscript is started, just have some ideas to play around with--plus some other things working in the back of my mind.


Pandemonium, Lauren Oliver's sequel to Delirium comes out on February 28, 2012 (not next Tuesday, but the following). Delirium was a truly unique novel (you can read about my impression of the novel here).  I interviewed author Lauren Oliver in November of 2011Pandemonium looks like it's going to good!


What's going on in your world?


Have A Fantastic Friday!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be My Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day From Write By Bethany & Happy Tuesday Everybody,

I thought in honor of the day I'd write this post in red. Hope every one's having a great Valentine's Day.

Interesting thing about Valentine's Day...there's a lot of stories that center around the day. One being that there was a Roman Saint (actually I heard there's more than one) named St. Valentine--but one that used to leave notes for people.

YA Paranormal author, C.C. Hunter did a post about Valentine legends that I thought was interesting.

My husband said he got something for me, but I don't know what. I gave him his card (he doesn't like me to really get him much for Valentine's Day, so I don't usually get him more than a card or at least not much more than that. Sometimes I'll get him Twizzlers or something like that). We don't really make a big deal out of Valentine's Day...although we sort of used to, but now if we get to go out later in the week, great, if not, it's all right. We don't mind.

The only Valentine's candy I don't like much are those Conversation Hearts. I know, I know, they're a Valentine's Day staple, however, I've never been especially fond of them. Oh they're fun to read and sometimes to eat, but I really only like the purple ones, and even then, only one or two.

Valentine's Day is about love. And as a friend of mine once told me (and I agree) "Love is a verb." It's action. Love is there when the chips are down and love is there when the sun is out.  Love is a sacrifice. It has many rewards, but it also has many trials.  But love can and often does, benefit a person one way or another.

What Valentine's gifts do you like?

Have A Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Redeeming The Beast

Happy Monday Everyone,

How many of you all follow ABC's Once Upon A Time? I rarely miss an episode. Sunday's episode, Skin Deep, we see another side of Rumpelstiltskin.

The show re imagines fairy tales through taking what we know and adding in other details. More than one fairy tale might be mashed together to come up with another story.

The Evil Queen (also the mayor, Regina, of Storybrooke) has put a curse on all the peoples of the Enchanted Forest...brought into our world and our time they don't know who they were as fairy tale creatures. They end up in Storybrooke...living lives with false memories and no idea who they really are.

Emma Swan, who becomes the sheriff in later episodes, is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming (but she doesn't know that). All Emma knows is that she was given up as a baby and was passed from one foster home to another. Her son was adopted out, and it's that son that finds her and brings her to Storybrooke. Henry (Emma's son) is convinced that Emma is the only one who can break the curse.

However, Regina will stop at nothing for her plans to go as she wants them and nobody but Regina knows what those are.

Mr. Gold (Rumpelstiltskin) is feared for his "deals" and ruthlessness, but was he always such a scary being? At one point he was a father, a man who was afraid to fight in a war and left the army. But when he grabs power for himself and is changed by it, he loses what's left of his humanity...or did he?

The episode was a fascinating re-telling of Beauty & The Beast told in a fashion I totally didn't expect. However, not all fairy tales in Once Upon A Time have happy endings and the Beast (or in this case, Rumpelstiltskin) might never know the truth.

So what do you think? Do you think a creature like Rumpelstiltskin could have redeeming qualities like the Beast in Beauty & The Beast, or do you think someone that ruthless will never change?

There's all kinds of books out there dealing with this kind of redemption. Love conquering all...and in a lot of ways, that's what the Romance genre is. In fact, that's what some of my own stories have in them...a sense of redemption...someone might not start out as a hero, but in the end, love changes him or her.

What books have you read with that kind of a story line and what do you think about love redeeming a character?

Have A Magical Monday!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just A Quick Note...

Happy Thursday All,

Today will have to be a short post. I'm going to try and catch up on some ARC reading I have to get done before the end of February/early March.

However, things are starting to slowly get better on the health front in my family and we are hoping and praying (and God willing) that we continue to improve and remain healthy for the rest of the month of February, and hopefully (God willing) into March!

But because I didn't want you all to worry, I am around...just super busy.

Have A Terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Looking Forward To March 2012 Releases?

Happy Wednesday All,

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on yesterday's post. The prayers, positive thoughts, and words are much appreciated!

There are so many books being released in March that I'm feeling like I'm going to get behind and accidentally leave someone out.  I'm going to take the time to list the ones I do know and am aware of so that everyone knows what's coming. If you know of one that I do not mention, please be sure to say so in the comments and say when in March it's to be released.

So here we go...

March 2nd -- Carla Rossi will release a brand new Inspirational Romance. The title of this book is Unlikely Praise.

March 6th -- Laura Childs will release her next novel in the Tea Shop Mystery series, entitled:  The Agony Of The Leaves.

March 26th -- Jennifer Bray-Weber will release on E-Reader her 2nd Romancing The Pirate novel, A Kiss In The Wind.
(Note to Nook Users:  Barnes & Noble's website is giving me problems right now. I don't know if it's my computer or a glitch or something else).

March 27th -- Kerrelyn Sparks will release her next Love At Stake novel, Wanted: Undead Or Alive.

These are the releases I know off the top of my head. If you have any to add,  please do so in the comment section along with which day in March the book is released.

Have A Witty Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sinuses Misbehaving, New Releases, & Do I Have Enough To Read?

Happy Tuesday Everyone,


As this image suggests,
lots of Kleenex
have been used

I'm a little slow getting this post up. A family member of mine has a sinus infection, which has made for an adventure I wasn't planning on. The good news is, the family member is doing better today and saw the doc yesterday and got on antibiotics the same day. I have hopes that this person will be much better tomorrow, but it has meant that I don't have the time to myself that I normally would get during the week. Fortunately, today that person seems to be in better spirits, which I hope continues throughout the day.

I expect the family member will improve and get well soon, but positive thoughts and prayers are always welcome and appreciated.

Author (and friend of mine), J.D. Faver has done it again! She's put out a new novel, A Romantic Thriller called On Ice (intriguing title, right?) Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's available on Barnes & Noble Nook (I'll check with J.D. and see if it'll be available at a later date), however, there are other titles of hers available for Nook users. On Ice, and other titles by J.D. Favor are available on Amazon Kindle.

Blog ideas are beginning to stack up! I have 2 official blog reviews coming up...both are early March releases (don't worry, I've started reading both books...and yes, I can have 2 books going at the same time, I just can't read them at the same moment, so I have to go back and forth...but they're very different so it's not hard to keep them straight--so far so good!)

There's another official blog review coming up later in March--but I already read that ARC (I got it earlier this year, so I was able to get it started and finished rather quickly--I'm looking forward to posting that review).

I have a few other things for the blog that I'm working on, that you'll see once I get it all put together. It's a surprise what else I've got planned. Just keep coming back and commenting and it'll be revealed throughout the year.

Other than that, I've got my 2nd cup of coffee and Vanilla yogurt waiting for me, so I best get this blog post up and running.

Is there a 2012 release you're excited about? Tell me all about it in the comments! Always interested to hear what's coming.

Have A Thrilling Tuesday!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Flight Of Fancy: Weddings

Happy Monday All,

How many of you are fans of weddings?

I'm a huge fan. Some I like more than others. But I love wedding stuff. I always tell folks I'm a hopeless romantic. Not because I didn't find my "other half", but because it doesn't look like I'll ever quit being a romantic--not that I mind.

If I wasn't sure I couldn't take the stress (let's face it, some brides get very emotional) I'd consider being a wedding consultant in some capacity. However, due to other responsibilities (personal and writing related) I don't see that avenue being explored anytime soon. Luckily for me, there's been times I've been able to lend my thoughts, experience, and joy of wedding-planning to people.


Caption Reads: May 8, 2004 marked the
 beginning of my happily-ever-after with my
wonderful husband.  I love him more NOW
than I did then :-)
 When I got married, I was so nervous about going over-budget I asked my mom about every, "Is this okay? If I'm going over-budget let me know." It got to the point that my mother said, "I'll TELL you if you go over-budget. You're FINE." Of course, she said it nicely, but also firmly (I'm very grateful to her, she was absolutely wonderful through everything). I loved my wedding, I had a blast at my reception, and with a few slight hitches (no wedding ever goes off without something going wrong--hopefully in most cases it's something small), it was as close to perfect as any wedding can get.


Picture taken at my wedding reception of
one of the bridesmaids' bouquet.
Red and lavender roses.
Red roses mean passion/love
Lavender/purple roses mean fantasy
(I didn't know about the meanings at the time
but how perfect!)

Since marriage isn't perfect (even the really good ones have their difficult moments) it's nice to have something that can be almost-perfect...something romantic, light, fun, and beautiful to cherish.

Some of my favorite TV shows are wedding-related. I love Say Yes To The Dress and Say Yes To The Dress: Atlanta. I've watched several episodes of My Fair Wedding With David Tutera.

What is it about weddings that spark the imagination? Many girls dream about them from the moment they know what a wedding is (I know I thought about mine). Girls often have weddings with their Barbie Dolls (I did!) And you find them in books. Even some Shakespeare plays end with a wedding (all of the Shakespeare plays that end in a wedding are considered "comedies" even if they're not really comedic).

There's just something about the romance, the idea of forever, and all the little details that make some people sigh with happiness.

So, what about you? What do you like about weddings? And do you even like weddings? Why or why not?

Have A Memorable (in a good way) Monday!

Friday, February 3, 2012

When I Grow Up...

Happy Friday All,

When I was a kid, I went through many ideas of what I wanted to do when I grow up. I remember at one point I thought of being an ornathologist (someone who studies birds), and several other ideas.

It's fascinating how we end up where we are. Many years have passed since I came up with the ornathologist idea. I still can identify some birds, but it's not something I'm passionate about. Not because there's anything wrong with that field, there isn't--I just don't feel calleed in that direction anymore.

What did YOU want to be when you grew up?

Have A Fantastical Friday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

By Shakespeare, I Think We Got It!

Happy Wednesday All,

Whoo-hoo! Your good wishes, prayers, and positive thoughts have rendered an idea for a blog post! (Thank you, God!)

This post has 2 sources to it.

The first one is the book I'm currently reading (not yet reached 100 pages and there's over 400, so I can't say much about it, just that I'm intrigued and enjoying it) called Juliet by Anne Fortier. 

The second one is my dear Critique Partner, Tess St. John's post on English History Authors Blog talking about Shakespeare sayings we still use (very good post, by the way, fascinating and fun!)

Shakespeare is a favorite of mine. I've read so many of plays--I've also seen several on stage. I've studied several in high school (probably 10?)

So anytime there's something with Shakespeare involved it always catches my attention. I don't know how many different Romeo & Juliet inspired books, plays, and ballets I've seen (oh the ballet is so beautiful!) I've seen The Taming Of The Shrew so many times, but I still laugh watching it.

You hear a lot about who Shakespeare pulled/"stole" from or whether or not he was the "original" author of something--but whether or not a story was "his" or someone else's doesn't seem to be the point to people who enjoy his work.

There's something about the stories, the words ("A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!"--Richard III ) and the passion behind the words that makes people come back again and again ("Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow..." -- MacBeth).

So, do you have a favorite Shakespeare play/sonnet?

Have A Witty Wednesday!