Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Life without heat
I think the problem is that my brain is frozen. The heater went out on Sunday, and the house hasn't gotten above 57 degrees since then. But the new heater is on the way! I'm such a complainer. Can you imagine if I lived back East? Now then I'd have reason to complain.
But being without heat makes me think about what's really important in life. Good health. Definitely up there on the list. Good friends. As high up there as good health because what is life without people who care enough to listen and love you even when you're a nag or hitting a downer. People who love you even if you don't talk to them as often as you should. A computer that works so I can write. Now wait a minute. I could write long-hand. Ugg. Okay, a computer that works stays on the list. A wonderful husband who buys me a space heater to warm my legs while I'm using that computer, and who builds me a blazing fire to keep the house warm and makes me lots of sweet cups of tea to take the chill out of the body. A family who loves me and supports me in my endeavors.
Wow! I've got everything! So I can live another day without a heater. (And now I've got a title for my blog!)
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Career goals, dirty diapers & rainy days
I've got some YA ideas, a women's fiction proposal that needs some edits, several erotic romance proposals that either need tweaking or need to be written. Somehow it should all tie together, right? Must have long discussion with agent about moi when she comes back from maternity leave.
In other news, I just finished Much Ado About You by Eloisa James and thoroughly enjoyed it. In a little while I'm going to packed said baby into the car and go down to the tiny bookstore in the strip mall and pray they have the sequel--Kiss Me Annabel. And, don't laugh, but I've been DYING for Red Lily by Nora Roberts--it's the final book in her latest trilogy. I feel like a crazy rabid nerdoid fan.
So that's it for a rainy Tuesday in the California Wine Country.
;-) Bella Andre
ps-I can't help but mention that Take Me was #59 on Bookscan's Top 100 Romances last week!
Friday, November 25, 2005
Anyway, while I was in the hospital, being pumped with so many steroids I couldn’t count (to relieve my brain swelling)… I got an itch to write a new story. I mean, depression is a huge problem with MS, but instead of letting myself totally succumb to depressed (which was hard because now I had an excuse), I began to think about this book my sister had been whining about. See, she loves vampire novels, and she loves J.D. Robb. She wanted a vampire book; one that was different, one set in the future, so we began to chat about what she wanted and I formed a picture, in my damaged brain ;), of what the book would look like.
In that week in the hospital, to distract myself for all the needles, I began brainstorming the book, more and more. The make a long story short, I just finished the book last month, Blood Squad, http://raemonet.com/BloodSquad.html, and it contains a heroine who has an incurable disease (some say it’s my best work ever). After I wrote the book I received an e-mail from a reader. She said it was refreshing to read a book where a heroine was disabled and the characteristics of her disease were described in a real world sense. Then the woman went on to tell me she was disabled and how much joy my book brought her. Wow, isn’t that great? So the moral of this story is… life has a lot of bumps… don’t let them pull you down, or lose you muse. Use the bumps to write a better story. Be creative.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Each Thanksgiving millions of Americans come together around a table in anticipation of a delicious, mouth-watering stuffed turkey. Family and friends take their first bit of the succulent meat and each turns to the cook and praises their time, expertise and effort.
When a new book is released, the author waits for the praise of readers and reviewers.
I have been blessed. I write stories, companies publish them, wonderful people read them and reviewers take time to write a couple of paragraphs about them.
But not all reviewers love them as much as I do.
Authors always quote the great reviews so in celebration of turkey day I thought I’d share quotes of my not-so-great reviews.
Slumber Party Inc.
The sex, rather than being hot, just seems a bit unbelievable and slightly gratuitous.
Things That Go Bump in the Night V
B.J. McCall weaves an entertaining tale about two lost souls. The only drawback to this is the focus seems to be on sex and not the characters and engaging storyline.
Road to Romance
But the best of all was on Amazon!
This is the worst book I’ve read in a long time.
Thanks to Barb, Stacey and Rochelle for taking the time to make a comment.
Have a great Thanksgiving Day.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Hilton Head in November
And finally, it's time to come home again. Yeah, I could go there again.
Have a great trip to Hawaii, Kate!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
All about the business...
Monday, November 21, 2005
Romantic Times Magazine gives Wolf Tales and The Hard Stuff four and three stars. Congrats Red Hot Romance Author's Kate Douglas and Karin Tabke.
Bella Andre is sporting a fantastic new video teaser for her up and coming book, Take Me. Grab some popcorn, turn the lights down low and check it out here
Rae Monet has finished her latest WIP, Blood Squad. Check out the world of the Valerian Vampire Clan as well as the San Francisco Violent Crime Specialized Homicide unit, The Blood Squad, here
Jennifer Skully will be the featured author spotlight and Drop Dead Gorgeous will be the featured book for Harlequin’s Reader to Reader Newsletter in April!
Jasmine Haynes has just sold a new erotic novella trilogy to
Are you ready for thrilling romance with great human drama, passion, and unforgettable hilarity? That’s what reviewers are saying about Jennifer Skully’s latest book, Fool’s Gold.
Rae Monet's Christmas Anthology, Jingle My Bell Jwill be released November 28, 2005. See here. Rae's story is Cleopatra's Legacy, a futuristic sensual romance you can't miss.
BJ McCall's anthology, Things That Go Bump in the Night, was released last month from Ellora's Cave. See details here
Friday, November 18, 2005
Marathons and Misremembering
I have however, been thinking about this subject for awhile. Ever since I did my first 10 mile run in preparation for a half marathon that I'd signed up for about a month and a half after my son was born. Before I got pregnant I had run a couple of marathons and several half marathons, and liked to keep myself at a place where I could comfortably run anywhere from 13 to 20 miles at a stretch. Throughout my pregnancy when I had to decrease my mileage and finally quit running all together, I found myself nostalgic for those days when I ran for hours on the trails around our house. I'd come home, sweaty and exhausted, take a long, hot shower, and eat whatever I wanted, guilt free. I could justify planting myself on the couch for the next several hours because I had run a gazillion miles - I could legitimately be a sloth for the rest of the day.
Then I had my first 10 mile run in preparation for the 1/2 marathon. I felt great for about the first 7 miles. And then I remembered, this shit is hard. I'd forgotten how much energy it takes to run that far. I'd forgotten the way my hamstrings would feel tight and my feet would start to ache. And I'd forgotten to put bodyglide under my sportsbra, and I was developing one hell of a blister. I wasn't nearly as fast as I used to be, and when I got home I realized that with a baby to take care of, I could no longer spend the rest of the day eating and resting.
I was so grateful that I was only training for a 1/2 marathon, and that my longest run wouldn't be much longer than this.
Still, it felt pretty good to know that only 4 months after having a baby, I could run 10 miles. And after 5 months I could finish a race.
I realized soon that writing a book is the same way for me. About a month ago I started work on a new project, a novella. Just something to keep me occupied while I wait for my revisions to start pouring in. It was the first new thing I'd written since having my son. I was so excited to get started. I'd missed that feeling of being so absorbed in a project, that feeling of having it working away somewhere in the back of my mind no matter what else was going on, of taking a kernel of an idea and developing it into a fully fledged plot.
And then after about the first 10 pages, I remembered, this shit is hard. I'd forgotten how hard it is to get the right balance of backstory in those first few critical pages. I'd forgotten, no matter how well I think I know my characters, how hard it is to translate them onto the page. And I was slow. Before I had a baby, I could realistically expect to write 10 pages or so a day. Now I'm lucky if I get five done. With 8 hours total of baby sitting time a week, I'm lucky if my weekly page count hits 20.
I was grateful this was only going to be a novella, and not a full single title.
Still, I'm pretty psyched that in the limited writing time I now have, I've still managed to crank out 40 pages.
The point of all this babble? Basically, I realize that with both running and writing I conveniently forgot the drudgery of the process, those days when every step was excruciating, when every word sounded wrong. Instead I focused on what I loved, the feeling of accomplishment I got when I had a 15 page day, the sense of empowerment I felt when I knew I could make my body move at a pretty good clip for 26 miles, the sense of pride I got from knowing that I could finish a 400+ page manuscript.
And yet even when reality smacks me in the face, I still love both, and I'll never stop either (not by choice, anyway). Because the great feelings I get from both are totally worth the physical and mental obstacles they pose. Now that I have a baby, I have to not beat myself up if my speed in both running and writing is not what it used to be, because now I have other demands on my time.
So I'll keep running (half marathons for now) and writing (a novella just to get me started), stay satisfied with the daily victories, and try to keep in mind how awesome it will feel to finish.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
At long last...
Actually, the book has been trickling into bookstores for the past week or so and I've received some of the most wonderful email from readers....tearing up kind of stuff. Like the one from the woman yesterday who said that my book was helping her face her demons about self-esteem and that in 20 years of reading novels she'd never identified with a character as much as she did with Lily (my heroine). And then another from a friend who said that she bought the book because it was her civic duty as my friend, but then it took over her life, and she couldn't put it down, she laughed she cried, and told her husband that she must have been reading too many business books because she'd never finished a book in one day. Do you love that?
This past month or two has been stressful, but this past week has been nothing but joy. I'm off to do my first booksigning this afternoon--I don't know who goes to a booksigning on Tuesday between 1 and 3 pm, but I'll be there with a pen and a smile.
;-) Bella Andre
TAKE ME: November 2005
p.s. Check out the video teaser for TAKE ME: http://www.nyree.com/TakeMeVideo.wmv
Monday, November 14, 2005
Butt was NOT in chair, fingers NOT on keyboard. Next chapter did NOT get written. Sometimes it's impossible to drag myself away from my writing. Other days, a team of horses can't drag me to it...today I head down the hill to the other house and hope to write this afternoon. The view there isn't nearly so seductive...though I haven't walked in the vineyard for a long time...
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
How should one handle a crazy person? I'm not talking about the usual stuff, you know, the normal friend who's acting a little wiggy because of something going on in their life. Not the person you encounter at the grocery store who's inexplicably rude to you because they're having a bad day. I'm talking really crazy, raving crazy. This woman screams, yes, SCREAMS at me across the parking lot. She says some very vile things about me being a prostitute (which is not the word she uses) and the unnatural things I do with my body to lure men to their doom (again, I'm using polite terminology to describe it). I can't figure out what I did to her that makes her so vituperative whenever she sees me. Probably I didn't do anything, I simply represent something to her. She's very smart, though, while being crazy. She doesn't follow me into the coffee shop to harangue me. I think she knows the owner would call the police on her. She only does it outside, away from the coffee shop.
So, I wonder, do I confront her and tell her to leave me alone? Do I call the police myself? Do I ignore her and go about my business? How does one handle a truly crazy person? And why has she chosen me? I'm very curious. What is it about me that sets her off? The first time it happened, she said something to me that I didn't understand. Not knowing her (and not knowing she was crazy at this point) and not feeling like asking her to repeat, I smiled and nodded just as you would do with a non-crazy person you walk by. And that was it. She exploded. Obviously I didn't react properly to whatever it was she said. I find it all very interesting, the workings of her mind. Who is she? Why did she become crazy? What happened to her? Can she be cured? Hmm, I think I'll make up a story about her.
Actually, I think I'll put her in my next book. Now, to think of a name for my crazy lady.
Monday, November 07, 2005
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much! ;-)
My favorite thing that she said was, "Sorry to be long winded [ed note: she wasn't long winded at all. I could have read her email forever]. I want to encourage you to keep writing-I want more stories from you."
Don't you love that? She wrote me to encourage me to write more stories. What a fabulous woman.
And on that happy note, I'm off to finish the edits on my next book.
;-) Bella Andre
TAKE ME: November 2005
ps-If you get a chance, go check out the video trailer on my web site. There are a couple links for it at the top of the page.
When your muse takes control
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Why I like to read erotic romance