Thursday, April 30, 2009

To Be Read Pile

Okay, so I went on an romance ebook buying spree a couple of weeks ago. Mainly after the excerpt Monday earlier this month. So, I ordered several Diva ebooks from Samhain.

The Scroll Thief from R.F. Long
Total Eclipse of the Heart by Crystal Jordan
Called by Blood and Dante's Inferno by Evie Byrne and Behind the Mask and Prince of Fire by Tawny Taylor

Thanks to my recent flu, I was able to read The Scroll Thief and half of Called by Blood. I already finished Total Eclipse of the Heart. But, I also have a few other print books in my To Be Read (TBR) pile:

A 21st Century Courtesan by Eden Bradley
O'Brien's Desk by Ona Russell, which I picked up at my LARA chapter meeting
The Reward by Beth Williamson (I'm very excited because I have a few of her books in ebook format, but I just ordered the first three books in print).
*While we're on the subject of Beth Williamson, if you enjoy westerns, pick up The Bounty. My favorite western romance right now, though I'll always love Only His by Elizabeth Lowell (the first romance novel I ever read).*

Did I also mention the HUGE pile of romance books that Eden Bradley gave me a few months ago just for fun. How am I going to get through all of these? There must be a good 15 books in the bag.

I love reading, don't get me wrong. But, I now see what editors and agents must feel when they open their mail and see 20 books to be read only to read 5 of these and then see 30 more books to be read.

How long is your TBR pile?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Excerpt for Monday-- A Halloween Novella

Well, since tomorrow is Excerpt Monday and many of the Divas will be posting and exchanging links for story excerpts, here is mine. (For links to other participating Divas, scroll to the bottom of this page). I decided not to post any of my current WIPs, but to go back to an older urban fantasy novella...

This is one version of an opening to a Halloween story I started a couple of years ago. I couldn't decide exactly what I wanted to do with it so I never wrote the whole story, but I do like the heroine, Lisa. She's a bit of a clothes snob, but very funny.

****Excerpt****

This was getting ridiculous. It was past the point of fun ages ago. Whoever thought battling demons and vampires was cool ought to have their head shrunk.

Being covered in slimy, green goo that once was the blood of a Dendra demon was the last straw. Four hundred nineteen kills. That was how many demons Lisa had slain or banished since discovering her special calling as a White Witch of Gendron.

Lisa could care less about adding any more to her list of banished and decimated creatures. She wanted out. Or at least a long vacation. Starting tonight.

She walked away from the bloody body with the silver knife hanging from it’s chest. Lisa didn’t even pause to pick up the weapon. Why bother? This was it. The last time.

Halloween was only tomorrow night. Lisa thought it was appropriate to get away and start fresh at the Celtic New Year.

She’d devoted three years to this and it was time to do something else. Bethany and Max could have it: the long nights patrolling, the bruises and scratches, the heavy bag full of stakes and potions and silver daggers. Lisa had other things to do. Like homework.

After taking up demon hunting as a career, her grades sunk. While she’d managed to get into the MFA Creative Writing program at the university, she was behind in three classes.

What had happened to her life? At one time, she was a good writer with a witty sense of humor. She’d won awards in undergrad and had her pick of schools after college. It seemed like ages since she’d gotten an “A” on one of her stories.

Since Gram died, Bethany and Max expected Lisa to continue in Gram’s work. No one expected prim and proper Beth, Lisa’s sister, to carry daggers and mirrors out in the middle of the night looking for monsters with fangs. But crazy Lisa was perfect for it.

No one cared that Lisa had once had a life. Whatever she’d been up to was simply inconsequential compared to the work of the Gendron witches. Lisa wished she could slap the ancestor who decided to take up demon thrashing and pass the calling to her future relatives.

Lisa frowned as she made it to her doorstep. She closed the door without even turning the lights on. In the dark, she sprinted across the living room to the stairs. All she could think about was getting into the shower. Tomorrow, she’d burn the clothes or take them out to a dumpster far, far away.

As Lisa stepped out of the shower, wrapping a towel around her body and one around her wet, blond hair. She noticed the bags underneath her blue eyes as she spread on the moisturizer. Maybe now she could finally make it to bed before three a.m.

She was distracted by the sound at the door. Knock. Knock. Knock.

“I’m in the shower,” Lisa called.

Her sister’s voice carried through the door. “No, you’re not. There’s no water running.”

Lisa turned the faucet on and turned back toward the mirror. She didn’t care if there was a dire emergency and the whole of Los Angeles was burning down. Lisa was off duty.

“Leese,” Bethany called through the door.

Frowning, Lisa yanked open the door.

Her sister was wearing one of her icky navy polyester suits that screamed cheap department store. And, those shoes, those “I’ll-never-meet-a-man-as-long-as-I-live” navy old lady pumps which should have been burned in 1989. Bethany lived in those clothes. Her closet was full of black, brown, and navy suits and matching shoes.

“We are being called to the witches’ council tomorrow. There will be a swearing in of the new head of the High Council.”

“Well, you can RSVP without me. I’m not going.” Lisa brusquely dried her hair with the towel.

“What do you mean you are not going? Are you patrolling?”

“No.”

“Then what else could be so important?”

“My life.” Lisa gently pushed her sister out of the bathroom and took hold of the door. “I am not patrolling or going to the witches council ceremony. I am taking a vacation.” She closed the door. “An extended vacation, with any luck.”

****End of Excerpt****

Just for fun, here's the very first draft opening paragraph. Similar to the above, but it amuses me. I love the way Lisa sizes everyone up by their clothes or lack thereof:

“Oh, Pu-leeze,” Lisa groaned. “Beth, you’re not serious. Can’t this wait until tom—um, until next year?”

Bethany crossed her arms as Lisa rolled her eyes. Her sister, Bethany, had screwed her bulb on too tightly. Again. And, she seriously needed highlights and a good romp in the hay. Bethany’s light brown hair was mousy rather than sandy and she insisted on wearing those ugly I’ll-never-meet-a-man-so-long-as-I-live navy old lady shoes. When was the last time she went on a date? 1995? Just because Beth was a work-a-holic spinster did not mean that Lisa had to be the same.


***********

A few of my friends also have excerpts up on their sites starting tomorrow, Monday, April 13, so check these out for some free reads. Many of these are erotic romance, so be advised before clicking!:

http://edenbradley.blogspot.com/ (My good friend Eden Bradley has a new book out. Read the excerpt for A 21st Century Courtesan. Hot stuff!)

http://clwhite.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/excerpt-monday/

http://maureenmccarrie.blogspot.com

http://jeannielin.com/blog/2009/04/13/exce...ay-his-or-hers/ (My friend Jeannie is a Golden Heart finalist this year! Yay!!!)

Kinsey W. Holley Excerpt Monday

Becca Sheridan-Furrow

Kirsten Saell, The Chancellor's Bride

http://melsmag.wordpress.com/

Scenting Cinnamon by Ella Drake

Evie Byrne: Bound by Blood, Book 2 of the Faustin Bros. Trilogy

Emily Ryan-Davis: Changing Thumbelina, the Erotick√° Revue excerpt

http://kate-willoughby.blogspot.com/2009/04/kiss-guy.html

http://ginaardito.blogspot.com/2009/04/its...rpt-monday.html

http://www.rflong.com/?p=354

http://briaspage.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/em-2/

http://stephanieadkins.wordpress.com/blog/

Inheritance

http://roselondon.wordpress.com/

http://writingspectacle.blogspot.com/2009/...rpt-monday.html

here is the excerpt for Babette James

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tweet, Tweet, Twitter

I'm one of those people that is a little slow to embrace advanced technology. I do love my computer and would find it difficult to live without. But, I keep a super basic cell phone because I like my phone to do what a phone does: make calls. My best friend K teases me all the time because I'm a gemini but I'm not into gadgets. Even my ebook reader is old school.

Today, I signed up for Twitter and I totally love it. It's random frivolity that allows my scattered mind to be everywhere at once. You can connect with all kinds of people, but as much or as little as you want. It's incredibly addictive.

So, you can see my tweets at: http://twitter.com/vivwestlake

Ciao!