ConfusionChange is hard.

It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about … eating or writing habits, methods of doing things or anything else. It’s just so easy to stay with the comfortable. “Because that’s how it’s always been done” is a common mantra. But if pressed, most people don’t know WHY it’s done that way. To take that one step further, some people are unwilling to admit that times have changed and perhaps the reasons for doing something a particular way are no longer valid.

I don’t mind change. It makes life interesting. But Mr. Pierce … not so much! I like analyzing and reevaluating to streamline tasks. It’s just how I’m wired. Change is good IMO. It keeps you from falling into a routine and not growing.

But what if you want to be the voice of change? Ah, now we have something different. The change isn’t internal. It’s not something I can control about myself. It’s showing others that a change may be appropriate and beneficial.

I grew up in a family where we were not only given the opportunity to express our opinion, but encouraged to do so. As the middle child of five I became really good at being heard. I’ve been accused quite often of stating my opinion as fact. Of course I do. If I was having a heated discussion with 3 or 4 family members I needed to believe what I was saying or I’d get chewed up and spit out! LOL!

Things haven’t changed. I offer opinions even when not asked. But it’s taken me yeeeaaars to realize most people don’t handle conflict well. They don’t enjoy a discussion over trivial things, let alone something that strikes an emotional chord. They avoid it if at all possible. So I’m learning how to temper it so I don’t steam roll over others … notice I didn’t say I don’t, just that I’m trying.

Conflict is uncomfortable. I get that. But if everyone would just state their opinion and back it up with rational reasons (and when emotions are involved we all know rational is a relative term) then a discussion happens, compromises are made … change begins.

Publishing is one of those industries where everything is moving forward and evolving at a rapid rate. Writers should be stepping back, re-evaluating their goals and make sure their actions are in-line with what they’re hoping to achieve. (And this is different for everyone.) If individuals are doing this to remain current … doesn’t it follow that national, and yes, local organizations should do the same?

Change is hard. I get that. It’s so much easier to stay at the status quo … because it’s what we’ve always done. But that doesn’t necessarily take you on the right path. I encourage everyone to stand up for what you believe in. It may not be the popular stand, but it may be the right stand.

I’m willing to accept that my opinion isn’t that of others and the status quo may remain. But if I don’t stand up, if I don’t express my feelings then there is no hope of change ever happening. And to remain stagnant in this day and age is just a personal injustice.

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So I was challenged to find 7 words, 7 sentences or 7 paragraphs of sexiness from one of my books. Since I’m totally smitten with Brenimyn, the hero in my romantic suspense novel, GARDEN OF SERENITY, I thought I’d share a scene and give you a sense of this sexy man.

Garden-of-Serenity-e-reader-copy

Patience. That’s what was required of him. But damn, he’d been treading water a hell of a long time while he waited for destiny to change the course of his life.

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This is a little something I tripped over this week in my inbox. I thought you might enjoy a little humor about life (okay, mostly about women and sex … which is why I find them so amusing.)

1. “Ah yes, divorce from the Latin meaning to rip out a man’s genitals through his wallet.”
Robin Williams

rilassamento in un centro benessere2. “You know ‘that look’ that women get when they want sex? Yeah, me neither.”
Steve Martin

3. “Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.”
–Woody Allen

4. “Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for having a date on Saturday night.”
–Rodney Dangerfield

5. “Having sex at 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.”
–George Burns

6. “Women might be able to fake orgasms, but men can fake a whole relationship.”
–Sharon Stone
 
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I love creating new worlds. Granted, I do it every time I decide to sit down and write a story. But my newest sexy romantic suspense, A TOUCH OF LILLY takes place in deep space. This is a whole new world which meant I could let my imagination soar free! I thought I’d share a little bit about how I created this world and its inhabitants.

Space landscape

First of all, I’m a VERY visual writer. I need to see a scene before I can describe it. Usually I have it in my head, but sometimes it requires a walk around the internet. In one of the scenes the hero, Dallas is leading the heroine, Lilly into an alley. I wanted something dark and I wasn’t sure I could describe it well enough, so a quick image search and I found this picture to the left. This really set the tone for the entire feeling of the dark planet, Garalon Five (with its three moons and lack of sun).

 
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One of the things I love about self-publishing is the freedom to design my own book covers. Making the decision of how to present my books to the public is HUGE! Though my publishers have been good, there have been several of my covers over the years that have disappointed me. Those are the covers where I felt the publisher wasn’t considering the marketing of my book when they sent me the final draft. And unfortunately, after the initial paperwork, there is no changing a cover once the design department has finished with it. :(

So now, I’d like to share with you how I go about creating a book cover … or more accurately … how I share my vision with my cover artist.
 
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Shame on you … get your mind out of the gutter. I’m actually talking about something lots of authors wonder. Does the size of the STORY matter? (Didn’t see that coming from a romance author now did you?)

I’ve written all lengths of stories. From a short novella to a several full length novels and many in between. Now, if you’re looking for my opinion on the matter (which of course I’m going to offer since this is my blog) I think size makes a huge difference in a story.

But here’s ny caveat–but it depends on the genre.

I really enjoy reading erotic romance. But when push comes to shove or pull comes to … yeah, I won’t go there … anyway, I read for the other parts of the story. Like the paranormal or suspense thread. Yes, of course I want the heroine to save the hero and for them to fall into bed and hopelessly in love, but sometimes, if an erotic story goes on too long … I skip the nookie. LOL! Should I be admitting that? It’s not that I don’t dog-ear the pages for perusal later, it’s just that I’m really enthralled with how these two are going to get out of trouble or bring down the villain or make it to their happy-ever-after. So when it comes to erotic romance I prefer the short and sweaty … er, sweet. 😉
 
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Maine is the lobster capital of the world! (Well, Mainers believe that anyway.) But the recession has hit the market hard … very hard. So my thirteen this week is about the spiny creature of the sea–the lobster. I’m not sure if it will encourage you to have lobster at your family get-together, but at the very least, I hope it will give you food for thought. hee hee

1. Lobsters are part of the order of Crustaceans, which means, like insects, they have their skeleton on the outside.

2. Lobsters are generally a dark green to black color and turn red only after cooking. But sometimes nature “burps” out color variations.

lobster

 
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Life has been a little hectic as of late. But Mr. Nina and I are trying to settle into what we affectionately call “our new normal”. Which means my muse is a little off-kilter and not ready to jump into anything new. The best I can do for her at the moment is update a book which I’ve just received the rights back and now we’re spit-polishing it for re-release. Hopefully, before the end of the year, I’ll be re-releasing my SHIFTING BONDS series (including a new book)!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share how I came about finding the names of my main characters in this sexy erotic suspense novel.

Being the visual person that I am, I can’t even get one sentence down without knowing exactly who my characters are. And it’s not so much who they are and where they came from, as a pantser that stuff just sort of unravels itself while I write. Nope, I’m talking about their names.
 
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iwdayala0240cSo I’ve been reading books since the beginning of time. My mother was one of those who went to the library every 10 days or so and signed out stacks of books. I remember going with her. She helped me pick out some of my favorite books that I still remember. And I’m one of those readers that gets totally involved in stories. To the extent that sometimes when someone speaks to me I’m not sure where I am. And if it’s a series … forget it, I could be lost for weeks somewhere in history or the future.

I love reading.
 
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