Things are looking up

First, a news flash: writing is hard. I'm working on my WIP right now - except I'm not, I'm taking this tiny break to blog about how it's hard. The hard part is knowing how you want a scene to go, getting it *almost* there, and then pulling the words out of your brain to try to make it just that much better. It's a matter of degrees, but it's also a matter of the scene telling the story, or falling flat. Almost is a bad, bad word in this industry.

So, it's hard.

Secondly, I won a book!!!! I read about Suzanne Aruda's books on the Dorothy L (yes, it's for Dorothy L Sayers) list and my eyes bugged out of my head when I saw "mystery" "1920's" "Africa". It's my all time favorite setting - ever. Anything set in 1920's Africa (especially North Africa and India) makes me giddy, and if it's a mystery - all the better!!! And then, I popped over to Poe's Deadly Daughters where she was being interviewed and I won a book! Hooray!

I promised I'd review the book to hopefully get some more word out, and I might even do it on the right blog and on the right day! If so, I'll link you all from here, blog buds.

Also - The Office is back!!!! I believe my crush on Michael is well documented, so I'll just say I loved, loved, loved this episode and the addition of Holly remains brilliant. I feel like I have an ally in the office. ;)

Oh geez....

So, a couple of days ago I realized I'd missed my day to post a revew on Enduring Romance (link in the sidebar). Oh no! I emailed Kimber, I arranged to post it on a Wednesday that had no other posts scheduled for that day. I waited all day for computer time, but the kids conspired against me by staggering their sleeping times and a little thing called Curriculum Night. Oh boy!

Finally... at midnight... I tiptoe downstairs and quickly type the review I've been writing in my head. Whew! Hit post. Go to bed. Mission accomplished.

Except it was on the wrong blog.

So I hope all of you enjoy the Private Arrangements review and think about clicking over to Enduring Romance to see all the other fine reviews over there.

It's been quite a week, blog buds. Between the stomach flu and the neverending quest for a new key (got it - I'm much poorer, but I can now move from point a to point b again without the use of a tow truck) I've been a little rummy.

Hopefully, things are on the upswing!

I won't even mention the day I sent my 2nd grader to school with no lunch (I thought it was hot lunch). She accused me of also sending her out with no snack (it was in her backpack) and no homework (it was in her folder, but on the wrong side) and just as I was about to lecture her about looking harder, my dear husband paused searching the house for my keys to say "Oh, let me hear this. This should be good!"

I refrained.

OK, life may resume it's normal patterns.... NOW!

Private Arrangements Review

First of all, I apologize for my review being late - again. All I can say is that I got caught up in the craziness of the home front that is three small children.

Secondly, if any of you are wondering if blogs sell books, this is proof. I'm really a die hard mystery reader first and foremost...but, I read about Sherry Thomas's spectacular query letter on Kristin Nelson's blog - and was hooked! Then I started reading Sherry's blog and eventually Schemes of Love became Private Arrangements and then it was released! YAY!

Sherry delivers a unique premise and executes it perfectly. Sometimes the execution falls flat after such a fun hook, but not this time. Gigi Rowland has snared herself a duke, adding a title to her already ammassed fortune, and she did it by buying up all of his debts and then telling him she'd call them on him if he didn't marry her. Voila, a ring! Sadly, her duke dies about a week before the wedding. He was old and a lech so it's not that sad for her except that she really wanted that title. Enter his charming nephew - also broke, but not so easily bought.

He does, however, fall in love and lust with Gigi. But she has more shenanigans up her sleeve and he makes her pay for them. So their glorious marraige lasts all of one day before they make for separate coasts. He leaves for America, she stays in England. For ten years they go on like this till she wants a divorce and he first demands an heir.

Of course, they never really got over each other.

The heat level in this book is highly sensual, and it's not just reserved for sex scenes. It's plenty present in chapter one. Thomas really does use desire as a device throughout the book to show Gigi as flesh and blood and, along with her head for finance, really a modern woman trapped in the Victorian age. But if you don't like a lot of description, this book isn't for you. I personally found it less abrupt than a romance where the sex scene just appears out of nowhere.

If you enjoy this, pick up Sherry's next book, Delicious!

My fun weekend

Sorry for the blog black out. It's been quite a weekend.

First - I lost my keys. This is not a foreign thing to me. I think we all remember my long ago post about how I lost them so often at work, that the security guard called up to me to say "Robin, we have your keys down here." This in a building with 9 floors, on a campus with 5 buildings and thousands of people. The keys had no identifying marks on them. Yet somehow, they knew they were mine. Go figure.

This time I lost them somewhere between home and Barnes and Noble, and they contained my only Durango key. It is not cheap to get a key made for a Durango when you do not have the original. Don't even get me started on the fob.

Plus, I have the stomach flu. Let's just say my DH had to dig deep to get enough patience to survive this weekend. ;) He did a good job.

I'm feeling a little better today thanks to the healing effects of a vanilla latte. My mother guesses that they put antibiotics in them. It's a good guess!

So, I'm off to get a key made today. Ugh.

And I'm up to 8000 words on my WIP. Yay me. ;)

Another strong word...

Me: You need to be patient.
Three year old who is not yet admitting she's three: What does "patient" mean?**
Me: It means you need to wait.
Her: Waiting is hard.
Me: Yes it is.
Her. Wait is a strong word.
Me: Yes, I suppose it is.

I'm in query mode still, so I know all about how strong that word is and I know she didn't inherit any gifts of patience from me - despite my uncanny ability to wait in lines and at doctor's offices.

** Her new thing is to ask for words to be defined constantly, regardless of how well she knows the word. For instance "What is Time Out?" "What is disobey?" "What is dinner?" "What does 'take a bite' mean?" All with this doe eyed, "I don't speak English" sort of look. Oooo, she's a clever one... I find it actually very hard to sustain firm mommy voice while defining all of the words needed to reprimand her.

At the park

My little girl on the tire swing:

"Ahhh!!! My bones are all breaking! My head is going CWAZY!!! Faster! Faster!"

My little girl on slides:

"I am just a little girl and slides are big and scawy, so I don't go on them."


Don't get me started on her love affair with motorcycles. She really is a little mystery. :)

What's in a name

I could go on for many, many pages about names, but this is just a little thing. I checked out the new series True Blood tonight. I love the premise and Anna Paquin is great, but it's a little too much for me. I'm more of a "cozy" girl than a "gritty" girl, really.

But, what REALLY got to me was the main character - Sookie Stackhouse. Great name! Love it! What I don't love? They kept saying the "sook" part to rhyme with took or book or cook or look or rook and wow, they have a lot of phonetics on their side. But, I watched Gilmore Girls for years and their Sookie said her name with the "soo" to rhyme with too or loo or moo. And every time someone talked to Sookie Stackhouse it was like fingers on a chalkboard. I was practically screaming "It's SOO-kie!" Not really screaming, but screaming internally.

So, um, I can't watch the show. That and I'm too much of a wimp for HBO series, really. And I don't really find vampires attractive, so the whole premise falls flat for me. I tend to like guys that look tan and healthy and robust, so the pale, thin, can't go out in daylight, love to drink blood thing just doesn't work for me. Really not a goth girl here. Now, sadly, there will be all these dangling storylines in my head because they really did do a great job of raising story questions, darn it!

On another note, no matter how curious you are, or how much you think you might need this knowledge... never, NEVER I say, google anything with the word "worm" in it and then hit "Images". Research stinks.

OK, back to my WIP.

Word Count Update

Lamplight: 7000/65000


How to have a little fun at home...

So, nothing was on, and I was a little bored. My dear hubby turned on Project Runway. I'd already seen it this week, and frankly, it was subpar, so I didn't feel like watching it again. But... I did do this...

ME: Who were the finalists last year?
DH: It was between Chris March and that guy from Israel - Remy? Raymi?
ME: Rami
DH: Right, and Christian, but I can't remember the other one.
ME: Uma, Umi, Uni...
DH: Uli
ME: Right.
DH: But she was from Season 3, not Season 4. Your memory is terrible, I know this.
ME: No she wasn't, she was last year. And my memory is spectacular, let's just get that out on the table.
DH: No... she was from Season 3 with Jeffrey.
ME: No, we started watching Season 2, so she was season 2, but we started Top Chef season 3...
DH: Ahhhh!!! No, we did not! I can't believe I'm having this conversation! We started watching Season 3, Jeffrey won, then we got all into it and watched Season 2 when Chloe won, then we saw 4 with Christian and now it's Season five!
ME: That's what I said. We started watching Top Chef on Season 2, and Project Runway on Season 3.
ME: *Laughing hysterically* My work here is done.

Fringe Rocks!

JJ Abrams can tell a story. WOOOO!!!!!

It is a little "ewwy" as my little girl would say, but very, very compelling. Let's just hope he's still paying attention to Lost this fall...

dot com

No, I am not returning to my previous career as dot com girl, but I am working on a web site.

So - if any of you have favorite author web sites, please post the links here in commets!

Evil Dinner

We are sick here at the house of mystery. Sick. Sick. Sick. But I do have a very fun three year old (often referred to as Betty Boop because of her lilting little voice) so I am transcribing a recent conversation here.

BB: Is hate a long word or a short word?
Me: Hate is a short word, I suppose, but really, hate is a strong word.
BB: What is a stwong word?
Me: That means that we shouldn't say it very often. We should never, ever hate people. Really, the only thing you should hate is evil. (now my mind is spinning thinking of how to explain "evil" to my three year old, unnecessarily, it turns out)
BB: (long pause) Sometimes... I hate dinner.
Me: Really?
BB: I think dinner is a stwong word.

Wall-e is in the house!!!

For those of you who were concerned, looks like the three year old birthday bash will go off without a hitch!