• On Writing (for a change)

    Just received a lovely personalized rejection from a NYC editor, who wrote: “I was impressed by the variety of these stories. You handle different settings and styles with flair . . .” She closed with an invitation to send in other work.

    Nice.

    Except, I’m not all that certain I WANT to.

    Years ago, after my proposals went out to several of their readers, Harlequin sent me three books in the mail and told me if I wanted to publish with them, I would need to write like “these authors”.

    I didn’t even try.

    I write like me, not like anyone else. I don’t WANT to write like anyone else. My voice is idiosyncratic to me, as are my plots and characters. Dark historicals have fallen out of favor with NYC, and I continue to write them; I continue to write contemporaries that go beyond a high sexual concept; I continue writing paranormals that tell basic and fundamental normal human truths.

    I think I know what the NYC editor wants, but I’m not really sure I WANT to change my style of storytelling or the subjects about which I choose to write. I’m not really sure I WANT to push out more proposals to the exclusion of everything else.

    I have a sinking feeling I’m just way too contented with my life.

    It’s the whole ambition angle. Don’t get me wrong–there is a fire burning in my belly, but it’s always been about and for the writing, not about and for the writing deal.

    There is a difference.


  • Magical Mystery Tour

    What I’m about to relate is bound to raise a few envious brows. No, I don’t have a fast metabolism that requires a copious consumption of chocolate calories to maintain a svelte weight.

    This is so much worse.

    DH loves to travel. Not only does he love to travel, he loves to plan the trips. So–to keep him happy, I let him do everything. Big of me, I know.

    Here’s the deal: We discuss a few locations, and then he’s off like race horse at the starting gate, working up itineraries, memorizing street maps, doing God only knows what else months in advance of the trip. Don’t get me wrong, he tries to include me in the decision making process. He loves to discuss the scenic sights we’ll see, places we’ll go, the accommodations, the restaurants where we’ll dine, etc. etc.

    I don’t listen.

    Yep, in one ear and out the other. Certainly, I don’t contribute anything. Packing my clothes at the last possible moment is about as close as I get to any active involvement in vacations and I do that only under duress–he’s threatened me with nudists camps if I don’t cooperate and throw something in the suitcase.

    We’re going to Florida next month. (Remember? I blogged about the trauma of having to go clothes shopping) This is sort of a business vacation, as DH has a conference to attend during part of the . . . I guess, its either nine or ten days–no ten, definitely ten days–we’ll be away.

    Disneyworld and St Augustine feature prominently in the trip. Last week, I did finally pay enough attention to get the name of the hotel. That’s about the extent of my knowledge.

    I’ll let you know what we did.

    Louisa

    P.S. Oh–did I tell you we have another trip coming up this summer? DH has been planning this one since last year. I guess we’re going someplace really good. Please don’t ask me where.


  • Reasons to be grateful today:

    1) It’s spring! Though a few snow flakes fell early this morning, mommy ewes at the farm up the street proudly showed off their newborn lambs to us during our walk. Baaaa

    (2) The man wheeling the adorable triplet boys in a stroller at the mall, with another cute little fella toddling behind, is someone else’s husband!Yipppeee

    (3) My own teenage son finally removed his pastel blue fingernail polish! Though his droopy black jeans still revealed a large expanse of plaid boxers when he left the house, I take my blessings wherever I find them. Hallelujah

    (4) I actually found a cotton skirt to wear in Florida! Hot damm


  • Going Minimalistic

    In a feeble attempt to unclutter my writing life, I have decided to discontinue my newsletter. I had considered sending out a newsletter announcing my plan, but that seemed to defeat the whole purpose.

    I love to write, but detest promo, and frankly, heralding a book release in a newsletter, a blog, as well as on a web page, smacks vaguely of overkill to me. So, no more newsletters.

    You won’t miss much. Honestly, I’m not interesting enough to merit redundancy.

    As soon as I have the cover for TOUCH ME, which releases 4/4 at Loose Id (See? Really, what did you miss?) I will post here.

    This week, I’m editing SOME ROUGH EDGE SMOOTHIN’.

    In April, I’m off to Florida. Shopping for vacation clothes has been more irritating than pleasurable. All I want is a simple cotton sundress, but try finding one! Luckily, I’m making do with last year’s bathing suit or I’d be even more traumatized.


  • Happy St Patrick’s Day

    Celebrated the day by going to see V FOR VENDETTA and sniffing green candles and potpourri.

    First the movie: Despite the clichés–and my, my, my, but there are quite a few here, all of them easily identifiable–the movie also had inventive moments which totally absorbed me. I’m a sucker for retribution themes, anyway, and then throw in a few political messages topical to the times in which we live, an idealistic plea for individual empowerment in the face of governmental oppression, and my eyes remained riveted to the screen. Natalie Portman’s expressive face was a pleasure to watch. Particularly enjoyed her character growth in the incarceration scenes. I found them the finest of the movie. (I’m trying not to say too much here) The choice of playing the Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man” during the closing credits was an especially nice touch.

    The green candles and potpourri: Though the color is appropriate to the day, it’s also coincidental–I’m in the middle of some spring redecorating. I like earth tones, but some of these green scents are truly sickening. Have you stuck your nose inside a candle jar named “watermelon” lately? Ugh!


  • Ladies in beautiful dresses

    With the EPPIE Award banquet quickly approaching, the ladies on the EPIC board are discussing what they plan to wear to the event. I have read each fashion description with almost unseemly relish. Honestly, and as I commented on the board this morning, I loved hearing the accounts. The more cold and cruel the world becomes, the more I absolutely NEED to read about Cinderella dancing at the ball in her beautiful dress. As news reports grow increasingly horrific, I YEARN to discuss the length of Cindy’s hemline.

    Full circle.

    When I was a child, my mother would attend various weddings and other “grown-up” formal functions. Afterward, over tea . . . and pilfered buffet goods she snuck home . . . she would gleefully relate juicy party gossip to my sister and myself. I always asked for full descriptions of “what the ladies wore”.

    My fascination with fashion ground to a halt in college; in fact, in my naivety, I considered dressing stylishly superficial, certainly beneath my contempt. Back then, I had more important things to do, serious things to do. Off went the make-up and the bra, on went the Army and Navy store jeans. That I embroidered those uni-sex jeans in motifs of flowers and butterflies didn’t seem contradictory to my minimalist philosophy.

    Anyway, then life hit.

    I still wear jeans and no make-up, but you’ll be happy to know I did eventually strap on a bra again. And I’ve come to understand and appreciate the importance fashion serves as a buffer against the all-too seriousness of life.

    A year ago this month, my 92 year old aunt left this world for someplace better, and on her deathbed, she wore the prettiest fuchsia nail polish, a shade that exactly matched her afghan–color coordinated up to the end. This shouldn’t have surprised me, as all her long and contented life, she had dressed fashionably. She made me happy just looking at her.

    Though I can’t attend the EPPIE award ceremony this year, I hope the ladies dress to the nines. I hope they shimmer and gleam and sparkle. I hope they strut their stuff. I hope for one night they stomp all over seriousness.

    My best wishes go out to all the EPPIE finalists.

    Louisa Trent

    P.S.

    It occured to me that I never mentioned these finalists. Here’s the list:

    Action/Thriller

    Black Flowers by E. F. Watkins—Publisher Amber Quill Press

    Gambling with the Enemy by Toni Leland—Publisher Equine Graphics Publishing Group/Parallel Press Imprint

    Pedestals by Jane Shoup—Publisher Echelon Press

    Anthology (all genres)

    Suits, Ties & Water Cooler AmberPax by Trixie Stilletto, Caitlyn Willows, Adrianna Dane, Isabella Jordan, Denyse Bridger—Publisher Amber Quill Press

    Tales from the Treasure Trove, Volume 1, A Jewels of the Quill Anthology by Alice Blue, Sherry Derr-Wille, Christine DeSmet, Debbie Fritter, Liz Hunter, Carrie S. Masek, Barbara Raffin, Jaye Roycraft, Julie Skerven, Jane Toombs, Cassie Walder, Karen Wiesner—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    A Faerie Tale by Paige Burns, Jodi Lynn Copeland, Rae Monet, Tiffany Aaron—Publisher Liquid Silver Books

    All I Want For Christmas by Kally Jo Surbeck, Brenna Lyons, Elaine Charton—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    Children, Young Adult, and Tween

    Bully Brigade by Betty Jo Schuler—Publisher DiskUs

    Faith of the Unforgotten by Leathel Grody—Publisher Lethal Publishing Corporation

    My Little Blue Car by Carolyn R. Scheidies—Publisher lulu.com

    Oliver’s Castle by Diane Thompson—Publisher Mystic Toad Press, L.L.C.

    Erotic/Erotica with paranormal elements

    Animal Instincts by Jaci Burton—Publisher Ellora’s Cave

    Chains of Jericho by Vivien Dean—Publisher Linden Bay Romance

    Hot House: Dante & Hayley by Sheri Gilmore—Publisher Loose Id

    I, Nefertiti by Lacey Savage—Publisher Loose Id

    Lilith’s Legacy by Aubrey Ross—Publisher Changling Press

    Rites of Mating by Brenna Lyons—Publisher eXtasy Books

    Spin Drift by Jule Jones—Publisher Loose Id

    Tempest by Louisa Trent—Publisher Loose Id

    Erotic/Erotica without paranormal elements

    Honoring Sean by Maggie Casper—Publisher Ellora’s Cave

    Love’s Revenge by Monica Burns—Publisher New Concepts Publishing

    Maverick’s Black Cat by Maggie Casper and Lena Matthews—Publisher Ellora’s Cave

    Persuading Suzanne by Amy O’Connor—Publisher eXtasy Books

    The Gift by Honey Jans—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    Undercover Lover by Cailyn Willows—Publisher Amber Quill Press, LLC

    Fantasy

    Bitter Sweet by Michelle Levigne—Publisher Mundania Press

    Dragon’s Son by Elaine Corvidae—Publisher Mundania Press

    Glass Souls by Michaela August—Publisher Awe-Struck eBooks

    Historical/Western

    Funeral in Babylon by Max Overton—Publisher Mundania Press

    Lainn’s Destiny by Toby Heathcotte—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    The Sweet Shade of a Chinaberry Tree by Janice Ward Parrish—Publisher Hard Shell Word Factory

    Horror

    The Last Dance of the Lochkray by Frian M.H. Goodwin—Publisher LTD Books

    The Rat Catcher’s King by John F.D.Taff—Publisher Double Dragon Publishing

    Inspirational (Christian, Metaphysical, New Age)

    Hattie’s Preacher by Sherry Derr-Wille—Publisher Awe-Struck eBooks

    Lorien by Michelle L. Levigne—Publisher Hard Shell Word Factory

    Mystery

    Death Row Defender by Ray Dix—Publisher Hard Shell Word Factory

    The Queen Anne Fox by Jerol Anderson—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    The Summer Bones by Katherine Smith—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    Vengeance to the Max by JB Skully—Publisher Liquid Silver Books

    Nonfiction

    31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park by Larry K. and Lorna Collins—Publisher iUniverse, Inc.

    Made a Difference for That one: A Surgeon’s Letters Home from Iraq by Meredith Coppola—Publisher iUniverse, Inc.

    Poetry

    Ghostly Embers: Visions of Toledo by Larry Rochelle—Publisher Booksurge

    The Oestara Anthology of Pagan Poetry by Cynthia Joyce Clay; Delight Clay; Raymond T. Anderson—Publisher Oestara Publishing LLC

    Romance (Contemporary)

    Harvey & Eck by Erin O’Brien—Publisher Zumay Publications

    Hired Hand by Caitlyn Willows—Publisher Amber Quill Press, LLC

    In the Mood by Ellen Fisher—Publisher New Concepts Publishing

    Just My Imagination by Karen Sandler—Publisher Hard Shell Word Factory

    One Small Spark by Muncy Chapman—Publisher Grace Publishing

    Precious Things by Gail R. Delaney—Publisher Wings ePress

    Romance (Fantasy/Paranormal)

    All Night Inn by Janet Miller—Publisher Cerridwen Press

    Falling Star Wish by Betty Hanawa—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    The Case of the Virtuous Vampire by Monette Michaels—Publisher LTD Books

    Treading the Labyrinth by Rae Morgan—Publisher Liquid Silver Books

    Unicorn Quest by Angelica Hart, Ellen Fisher—Publisher New Concepts Publishing

    Romance (Historical)

    An Unacceptable Demise by Patricia Harrison—Publisher Amber Quill Press, LLC

    Bittersweet Surrender by Barbara Sheridan—Publisher Cerridwen Press

    My Secret Yankee by T.D. McKinney and Aimee Masion—Publisher Amber Quill Press, LLC

    Wayward Sun by Katherine Smith—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    Romance (Romantic Suspense)

    Letters from the Heart by Anita Whiting—Publisher New Age Dimensions

    Means to An End by Carol McPhee—Publisher Wings ePress

    Project Prometheus by Ester Mitchell—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    The Chemistry of Evil by Lynne Connolly—Publisher Triskelion Publishing

    Wolf Island by Cher Gorman—Publisher Loose Id

    Romance (Science Fiction/Futuristic)

    A Window in Time by Carolyn Lampman—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press

    Farthest Space: The Wrath of Jan (part of the Tripping Through the Universe anthology) by Ellen Fisher—Publisher New Concepts Publishing

    Forced Mate by Rowena Beaumont Cherry—Publisher Rowena Cherry

    StarJumper’s Bride by J.A. Clarke—Publisher LionHearted Publishing, LLC

    Science Fiction

    An Audience for Einstein by Mark Wakely—Publisher Mundania Press

    Peacekeeper by Tabitha A. Bradley—Publisher eXtasy Books

    Shards: Book One by Peter Prellwitz—Publisher Double Dragon Publishing

    Shards: Book Two by Peter Prellwitz—Publisher Double Dragon Publishing

    Single Title/Mainstream

    RV by Angelo Spyropoulos—Publisher Zumaya Publications

    Jayna Incarnate by Jane Shoup—Publisher New Age Dimensions

    The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred—Publisher Cerridwen Press

    Til The End of Time by Sabra Brown Steinsiek—Publisher Whiskey Creek Press


  • Burning

    PERSONAL–What a glorious weekend here in New England! I spent most of Saturday outside, soaking up the sun, luxuriating in the balmy temps . . . working my ass off in the gardens in anticipation of spring.

    The kind of gardening we do requires a tremendous amount of stamina and writing is a sedentary occupation, so I try to stay in shape during the long, inert winter months through walking and pedaling the stationary bike and shoveling snow, but regardless, the first day outside is always brutal on dormant muscles. Can you hear me moan? I’m thinking clogs today, because no way can I get close enough to my toes to tie sneakers, my usual footwear.

    Yesterday, we only began the spring clean-up. We concentrated on the large projects; fine-tuning will need to wait. The willow trees on the property invariably lose branches. One huge limb fell in the stream, and the plan was to drag it out through the clutches of the cat o’nine tails. DH snuck out while I was hunting down my work boots and got the branch out by himself. His wiry strength never ceases to amaze me.

    After raking spent foliage, and cutting up rotted wood and other assorted garden debris, we started the fires. We had three going at one point, and narrowly avoided a 9-1-1 call when we decided to strike a match to one of the dried ornamental grasses. The Miscanthus strictus went up like a torch! While DH ran to turn on the outside water, I raced for the hose. We eventually smothered the fire, but the flames did leap over to the nearby clematis. Hopefully, the vine will survive and ashes are a good soil amendment–or so I tell myself.

    WRITING After submitting a very revised TAINTED LOVE for editorial consideration, I returned to LOST ANGEL. A hundred or so more pages, and I’ll call that re-edit a wrap. Two plot ideas have been nagging at me–one an historical, the other a futuristic–and I need to get my backlist done so I can start in on the new stories.


  • Firelight

    I should have blogged this movie for Valentine’s Day, but naturally forgot to do so. Anyway, since I didn’t make it to the movies last weekend, I wanted to put up my fave movie of all times: FIRELIGHT.

    The link below is from Amazon, and includes a synopsis and many viewer critiques.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/6305268843/ref=pd_kar_gw_2/103-6922563-3418262?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=404272

    MSDFIRE EC066

    I figure, if you’re reading my blog, you must be a hopeless romantic, like myself, and this historical movie is totally, unbearably, unabashedly romantic. And yes, sensuously erotic. And by that, I mean all your senses will be fully involved in the viewing experience.

    For example: When the governess Elizabeth (Sophie Marceau) dips her paintbrush in water colors and delicately strokes the textured surface of her sheath of paper, you will hear the scratch of the bristles. When she undoes her corset, you will hear the ping of the hooks. You will feel the chill of the ice-jammed waters where reticent English landowner/gentleman sheep farmer, Charles Godwin ( Stephen Dillane) takes his daily swim. And the visuals! Every scene is a sensual delight. The one where the hero and heroine stand before the fire is not to be missed.

    Anyway, if you ever get the chance, do see FIRELIGHT–the movie gets my highest rating for an historical erotic-romance.

    (And one of the characters has a truly lovely name.)


  • Now what have I done?

    To show how totally out of it I’ve been lately, I thought my interview in the inaugural issue of Loose Id’s newsletter had already come and gone, but surprise, surprise, I just bumped into my moment of infamy at the site.

    I’m a taking a bullet on this one for sure.

    When will I learn?

    With the exclusion of my typical crankiness, the newsletter reads very fine indeed.


  • Bittersweet

    released today at Loose Id.

    I’m thrilled to see one of my babies finally return to the ebook shelves.

    Like anything else, a writer’s ability improves with time and practice. About a year or so ago, I felt a compelling need to withdraw my backlist from circulation and polish the books to my current writing maturity. Knowing I would need to pull back from producing new books during this period, I held off–until I just couldn’t hold off any longer. The status quo bothered me. So, over the course of a weekend, I decided to yank the list and get down to work.

    I bumped into a review at Amazon, written by a reader long after BITTERSWEET was no longer for sale there. The review was one of the reasons I decided my old books deserved my investment of time and effort. I’m pasting the review here–somebody please yell at me if I’m not supposed to do this.

    not just erotica, June 11, 2005
    Reviewer: misty9 “misty99” (Italy) – See all my reviews
    I was just going to give this book a peep – I don’t really like erotica that much – but I was immediately hooked.

    There really is a storyline, and often it’s funny and touching. The sex takes second place to the love that starts to evolve between 2 very different people, he’s a cynical cop, she’s a small-town teacher. There’s a lot of sex of course, but for once he’s the one who would like more and she wants to keep it purely physical. All considered, it’s a good read..

    I don’t write straight erotica, nor do I write straight romance–this reader recognized and enjoyed the hybrid sort of book I write.

    Thanks Misty! Thanks to all my readers who, with their letters and comments, make me want to improve my writing skills.

    BITTERSWEET is the same story–only smoother.