Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Babe's Always Write

Babe's Always WriteEnslave Me Sweetly by Gena Showalter

She has the heart of a killer, and the body of an angel. . .

Eden Black walks among humans, protecting them from the murderous evil of other-worlders who abduct and enslave. And though she appears to be human herself, Eden is an alien, a Raka, distinguished by her golden hair and skin, and gifted with the ominous ability to kill without remorse – and with total accuracy. That is, until the fateful night she has one shot to eliminate her target, a human slaver – and misses.

“Failure” is not in Eden’s vocabulary. Neither is “partner” – but that’s what she is forcibly assigned after recovering from her disastrous mission. A sexy, steely-nerved human agent, Lucius Adaire enjoys nothing more than sparking the fury – and rousing the desire – of the fiery female assassin to proud to admit defeat. Locked in an assignment they cannot afford to lose, Lucius and Eden find themselves bound in two high-stakes, heart-pounding games: the dangerous web of kill or be killed, and the erotic dance of seduction. . .

Showalter first demonstrated her skill at blending sizzling romance and nail-biting suspense set in a convincing futuristic society in Awaken Me Darkly (2005). She now continues the roller-coaster-like adventure in an equally entertaining tale that will please a wide cross section of readers. *Starred Review* Booklist.

Order your copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or BooksAMillion.

For more information, visit Gena’s website at and her blog at

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My New Cover

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Isn't that sweet! This is the cover of By Grace Publishing's new Brides and Bouquets anthology. You'll find it on their site from next week and for sale in late June.  That's me, last of 3, in my dangerous-to-diabetics sweetness as Lyndell King.  Babe de-clawed, un-snarked, yes, I can do it. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it was fun. This publishing house is fantastic to work for, and they've asked me to submit whatever I have. Cute. Feel the love.

This post sponsored by Sacharine Co. com :-)

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Bevy of Belly Dancing Beauties

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Why are Babe's current edits not finished?  She's been a whirling dervish elsewhere!  That's me second from your right, and I'm in great company. When this troupe belly laugh they roll and flutter too. Now that's multi-skilled. 

 Belly dancing is fun, feminine and fantastic, though I'm not sure what to make of doing "the camel". At least we didn't spit.  If you have a belly and you haven't made it dance yet, brush up your sequins and give it a go.  This is definitely one case against the saying "Use it or you'll lose it", though when some of our tummies undulate it does look a little like Rosemary's baby. Voila, a new belly dancing alien is born.

 Well, now I've danced my little veils off  I think I'll collapse somewhere comfy to eat Turkish apricots and baklava. Peel me a grape someone?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Code Dependent

Babe's Always WriteI saw "The DaVinci Code" at the cinema today and I have to say it was a jolly fine ride. Which got me thinking -- why did I enjoy this movie so much? It was violent, edged on blasphemy, lots of car chasing and double crossing -- (gee, sounds like some of the teen groups I know) none of these things are normally my idea of entertainment.

Yes, I was a visual art major so the Louvre and reframing of the old masters added appeal( I may never look at Da Vinci's Vitrutian man in the same way again). Yes, I like Tom Hanks. The man can really act IMO. (Anyone who can pull off a conversation with a soccer ball and still tug viewer's hearts has a gift.) The score and cinamtography were dramatic and impelling. But this was more than the lure of constant action, interesting scenery and unexpected twists.

It's a long time since I saw a movie that I didn't predict from one third in. Dan Brown's writing may not be great, but I have to admit, the story line and premise were clever. And being able to dupe folks so well that they wonder if this movie's conspiracy could possibly be true-- well, that's genius, or inspired evil, depending on how you look at it. Wonder if Mr. Brown also sells bridges?
So, what good movies have you seen lately?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Human leftovers

Babe's Always WriteAll that talk about cutting off bits that hang out of the box got me thinking, well that and the fact that I need to feed the kids in a household that desperately needs the Mummy to go shopping. The current scenario in our home goes something like this:
I look into the fridge.
Several things in there squint back.
"They's organized," warns the 6yo who's watched "Chicken Run" once too often.
"Organized?" I say. "That makes one of us."

If you're like me, when you clean out the left-overs from your fridge, you end up with some weird combinations. Spaghetti pizza, curry omlette, sushi soup. Yup, all those bits that missed their original calling make for culinary creativity to the misers amongst us. There's a dietary richness to be gained from stuff that will otherwise hog space as landfill. All it needs is for me to get my finger out.

So I'm making meatloaf dumplings with applesauce gravy and wondering, how many people we know are like these leftovers? Shoved away because we have too much in our lives right now to value them. Kept in the cold and dark for later, waiting for us to see them again and be inspired. How many folks do we leave until they are mouldy and useless and past their use-by date? When was the last time you looked in your fridge?

Friday, May 19, 2006

All Brand - marketing roughage

Babe's Always WriteToday, in the interest of blatant self-promotion, I've been battling to come up with a marketing brand for myself. This is a bit like the old quizz show, Pick-A-Box. Choose the wrong one and you're taking home the booby prize (hmm, maybe I should start writing bodice rippers?)

There's something to be said for consummer-driven brand recognition. Readers can immediately identify your flavor before they've even opened the box. And a label influences how qualities are interpreted. Anyone who doubts this should read a few real estate ads- "a renovator's dream" = anyone else's nightmare. Kids really understand this concept. Kids never choose a No-Frills brand of cereal to throw in your shopping trolley. Those marketing bods aren't dummies. I mean, a no-brand doll that doesn't come as part of a couple or band must be a "loser"- and who wants to play with a loser, much less buy it, whereas a singly packaged, divorced Barbie would be seen as reflecting successful independent modern women, especially if she comes with all Ken's stuff. It's a great choice of Christmas present from bitter divorced aunts, um, independent modern aunts. It's all based on perspective.

Now branding oneself is a difficult and painful process, as most cows will attest to. It dissembles that comforting thought that we're all individual and unique. Being individual and unique is great, as long as we fit into the standard boxes. Yup, we'll just slice off the bits that hang out of the box- who needs lipo-suction. Note to self- go into box head first.

So, back to me, my favorite subject. I thought maybe I should be Brand E since all my work is double proofed and sounds punch drunk??? But given most of my settings are hospitals or related areas (WIP is set in a morgue) one of my CPs, the brilliant and witty Gemma Halliday- author of "Spying in High Heels", suggested I use "A prescription for love and laughter" as my byline. I like it. What do you think, and what is your personal brand?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Wish I'd Said That

Babe's Always WriteLooking for new inspiration? A drop of something more than sweat to get you past that writer's block? A friend of mine has an online group that pumps a new inspiring quote into your email box every day. Here's the link.
She also has the most amazing Winsconsin choc-coated cherries, but I'm trying to concentrate on feeding my soul here. My other feeding habits need no encouragement, believe me.

So, I'm sitting here munching my third chocolate brownie (hey, my son cooked them today so it's purely to help build the kid's self esteem) and I'm trying to work out what's my favorite quote. There's so many good ones, it's not an easy decision. I do like parts of "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu.
To find out what a person is like there are seven ways:
Ask him a difficult question, observe his talent for analysis
Speak to provoke him, observe his attitude
Ask him how he goes about solving difficult problems, judge his intelligence
Let him deal with a difficult situation, observe his courage
Get him drunk, observe his nature
Tempt him with gold, observe his integrity
Give him instructions to complete a task, assess his trustworthiness

Personally I think he could have added an eighth way:
Give him a whole container of chocolate brownies, assess his self-control

Mencius speaks to me with his saying
A great talker uses few words
ahem, see earlier post about underwater marble manipulations

I also like the Chinese proverb
The less you know the more confident you are.
I'm sure that speaks to us all. And it's so true of this business!

So, what's your favorite saying?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Oh, the Strain!

Babe's Always WriteNo, not my wrist- gack, who gets repetitive strain injuries from blogging- World's Greatest Whimp. Thank you, thank you very much. :-) Not my coffee pot either, though coffee grounds were the inspiration for today's ramble. No, I'm talking about straining pointless boring jabber from dialogue (of course my blog doesn't count- no abacus here- jabber away).

Have you ever considered how hard it is to make your character's conversations sound natural, but without all the usual repetitive dross we use every day? Hello. How are you? Nice to meet you. Does this come with an extra doughnut? Listen to yourself some time. Who knew you were so boring? Okay, your MIL, but who else?

Don't get me wrong. Normally I can talk underwater with my mouth full of marbles and have it come out sounding like Handle's Water Music meets conker cannons from a schoolyard rendition of Tchaikovsky's 1812, but when I translate that to paper, it looks ... messy, dull, directionless. Besides, few people can rabbit off a sentence as long as I do without going blue and dropping dead- yay to breath training. Anyway, the world's paper reserves aren't up to our everyday verbal diahorrea. Luckily, there's a huge difference between dialogue real time and dialogue MS, but until I won "Writing Dialogue" in a recent best opening scene contest, I'd never given that difference much thought.

The book discusses modulated dialogue- using internal thoughts and scenic detail to add layers to what is said. I think what they were saying is, put it in context, keep it sharp, and try to get the reaction you need. For example: The little sister in "Ten Things I Hate About You" might have "loved her Prada backpack", but if the writer hadn't set it up with a dscussion about how "deep" the girl was, well, hmm, we all mighta agreed with her instead of laughing.

What does this have to do with coffee grounds? Well, have you ever had some of the grounds escape into your morning cup of caffeine resuscitation? Ewww! You can be using the world's best coffee blend, but after one mouthful of grit, down the sink it goes. What a waste! The same applies to our work in edits. We need to trim, tighten, and add direction to our diaglogue. A few words of grit in our fabulous blend and spew! Your editor or reader is out of there. So make sure you strain well.

Well, I'm off to pour my coffee grounds on my fushias- yes, they love it - they go into withdrawals if I go on a caffeine-free health kick. (Okay, so I don't do that often. What can I say, I have addicted plants to care for.) But I digress... As I was saying, in your dialogue, stay on topic, keep it short, sharp and meaningful, make sure it drives your plot forward so your reader is clinging to the edge of their seat the whole time, and when you finally get everything in perfect working order, let me know, 'cause I'll definitely want to rip off, er, READ your book. :-)

Babe's Always Write

Babe's Always Write Have you ever considered the concept of cyberspace? By George, I think we've found the 4th dimension, even without the synthesizer music and Spock ears. I mean, how is it a whole pile of folks can visit my little prattle room and leave me notes when a blog has no height, depth or width? And though I personally have a lot of width, I still fit in the slim-Jim cyber room as well as any Elle McFerson. Cool beans! Who needs that diet- pass me another blog roll, double mayo, hold the cheese.

This blog room thing is cool. None of my points make stiletto marks in the cyber carpet. None of the ka-ka I throw leaves greasy marks. This could be the answer to housework, dieting, and the whole female universe. The male answer may be 42, but who wants to smell like fish? No, no, give me Eau de Internet, that strange whiff you take of your armpits as you gauge how long showering will take you away from tapping the keys. Ahhh.

I think the stories we write are a bit like blog rooms. We create a new space where readers can go, somewhere that nobody knew was there (esp the writer), a new frontier where your shoe marks won't show (unless they're on the butt of your agent), a new swampland critics can scream to have drained. Yup. Been thinking. Must be the Mother's Day chocolate fudging up my brain.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Welcome to Cyber Space

Yikes, I've been dragged, kicking and screaming into the current era! I've got a blog! This from a gal who's been known to lose whole manuscripts in a single bound because I thought back-up was a car manouver.

Let me introduce myself. I'm a girl from Oz, Tasmania, actually. That's the tiny island down the bottom where natives are reported to have 2 heads. What's the problem? Two heads are better than one, they say, though it does get expensive in hats. Fortunately I don't have designer tastes.

I have a sometimes husband and 2 wild and wooly children, currently on the state's endangered list for drawing on the walls of our flat. Shhh! That's supposed to be a secret. Don't want to be evicted.

I'd like to say I write for a living, but mostly I write for a lot less than that. I'm currently editing a romantic suspense with a dippy, pig-shooting nurse from Outback Australia , a scrummy Latino doctor from Colombia, and his Asperger suffering nephew. Why nephew? Well, it's a long story- actually, it's only about 90,000 words at the mo, but it's growing daily. Sad to say, I have experience with all these elements but the Latin scrumminess. Pity that.

Well, enough for today. Post a comment. Drop me a clue- some say I'm short on them. Who knows, I may get blogger addicted like all my friends. I believe scientists are currently working on a cure over in the States, but so far addicts appear to be irretrievable. Please tell me it's not too late. If it is, run! Save yourselves. I'll go down with the shi.. um, ship.