Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Words for Chocolate!

Wanna enter my contest? As promo for my novella Brides Maid in Heaven, currently available for sale at By Grace Publishing, I am giving readers the chance to win these famous Oz choco treats, Tim Tams. Entering is easy. Just read the excerpt and tell me what Janie keeps beside her bed. Email me at mixalns@yahoo.com


"The wedding's off," Janie blurted as she collapsed onto her bed's floral patchwork quilt. With an Oscar-winning sob and practiced flair, she threw a hand over her forehead.

Katie winced. So this was what someone about to have all her dreams come true looked like. Great. Everyone counted on her to calm Janie down. No easy task. The wedding had been called off a dozen times in the last two weeks, every time the smallest thing went wrong. By the time the day arrived, she'd have ulcers the size and depth of the Marianas Trench.

She chewed her lip and let her gaze wander around her sister's room. Except for the loud, slurping sobs reverberating off the walls, it could be an ad for Brides are Us. Lace stockings, fake orange blossoms, and the traditional blue satin garter formed a pile of hope on a bedside chair. An untidy pile of wedding magazines sprawled across the silky oak dresser, their pages heavily earmarked and promising such tantalising articles as "Make Your Honeymoon Count." Bridal Mathematics 101.

The bride-to-be rolled toward the wall and hid her face under the bedding, her knees stiffly folded under her like a wounded grasshopper. The wailing and gnashing of teeth intensified into master class intensity. Perfect.

Katie resisted rolling her eyes. Instead, she sat beside Janie's pillow and patted her twin's head. "It can't be that bad," she crooned. "Give me another look at your face." She raked Janie's thick brown hair behind one ear.

The crying lessened, as it often did when Janie succeeded in making herself the center of attention. With an indelicate sniff, she lifted her head. Her lips rolled together and her chin dimpled as she struggled not to cry. Her sunburned cheeks glowed like two bright red traffic lights. The rest of her face wasn't much better. Katie sucked in a quick breath. Two days until the fairytale wedding and the bride looked like a broiled lobster. Her Ruby Roses lipstick would match more than her nail polish, but now wasn't the time to say so.
And should you want more, you know where to get it. Buy Brides Maid in Heaven now at- http://bygracepublishing.com/bridesandbouquets06.html

And come get the Tim Tams. Go on. You know you want to. :-) Good luck!Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Prome Ohhhhhhhhhh!

Brides Maid in Heaven isn't selling as well as I'd like, in fact, sales figures made me double over laughing. Hey, it was the only double I got so don't knock it! Why isn't it selling? Good question. Folks who've read it say they loved it. My review was awesome. Um, I haven't let blood yet, maybe that's what everyone is waiting for. Seems the missing link is my promo.

Ahhhh, promo -- lessee -- website, blog, net groups -- check. Interviews, involvement on lists, reader's sites -- check. Gee, maybe I should put my book up in lights over the football stadium? Nah, most of the people I know there don't read. (wink)

The truth is, I hate shoving myself up people's noses. For one thing, it's messy and green has never been my color. And the promo I've read from others is often such guff it makes me cringe. It's burdening our already overfull dumpsites, both the landfill and the hole between our ears. I mean, really, how many books truly are "the best story you'll read all year?" I'm yet to "die laughing", and though some of the "awesome authors" do indeed have me gobsmacked, it is mostly because I wonder who they slept with to get their tripe into print.

I guess author promo is no worse than the advertising promises you read on other products. I'm yet to meet the person who really can put up that "garden shed able to be erected by the average handiman in under an hour." Hah! A qualified builder maybe, and then only if he didn't look at the twice translated instructions. And "so easy a child can put it together" is wrong again, though a child can take most things apart even if they're welded, or maybe that's just my boys.

Nope, can't trust promo/advetising, that's for sure. Forget "lies, damned lies and statistics", we now have "lies, blog rambles and other promo." How is it everyone tells me how well I write yet I sell so few books? I don't get it. I want my work in readers hands, but I don't want to oversell it or lie. I can guarantee you will laugh if you buy my book, but you will not lose weight, get rich in three weeks or attract vast crowds of the opposite sex. Sorry. (However should you find a true way to do these things let me know about it, okay?)

Sigh. Guess I'll just have to accept the fact that I'll always be a bridesmaid, never a bride. I just hope next month brings me a bigger slice of the wedding cake.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Spoofing Covers

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Snork! You have to admire Longmire's work. Some of these clinch covers beg to be parodied.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Inner Beauty

I am writing another inspy novella for Christmas and my heroine is a slightly dowdy, 52 year old spinster. With a cat. She's a spinster because she's always cared for her sick brother and she's a mother hen type. The thing is, I wonder if readers want to read about women like this? Given the heroine is supposed to be someone the reader wants to be, would a slightly frumpy sweet heart who falls in love for the first time at 52 be appealing?
What I'm trying to say with this story is that love can find anyone, anytime, at any age or stage of life. You are never too old, too old-fashioned, too fat whatever. Am I off course in believing readers will associate with that? I mean, all of us feel unlovable at times for whatever reasons, but love looks at us with different eyes.
So, tell me, am I going senile believing this can work?

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Babe's Always Write

My friend’s funeral was today. Tony, a beautiful, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man not long married and full of life, at least until cancer cut him down. I feel privileged to have known this man. My kids will miss you, Tony. Your quick laugh, the secret toffees you hid in your pocket and slipped to them in church. The twinkle in your eye. Goodbye, friend, until we meet again.

Death is a reminder to us all that our time here is limited. Make every moment count. Kiss your loved ones and store up memories, for none of us lasts forever.

You can shed tears that he is gone ...Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes ...And pray that he will come back,Or you can open your eyes ...And see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty ...Because you can't see him,Or you can be full of the love ...That you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow ...And live in yesterday,Or you can be happy for tomorrow ...Because of yesterday.
You can remember him ...And only that he is gone,Or you can cherish his memory ...And let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind ...Be empty and turn your back,Or you can do what he would want ...Smile, open your eyes, love, and go on!
~ Author Unknown ~

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite

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Happy Bastille Day, celebrating the death of the French king in 1789. (Nice when folks are so happy that you're dead that they set up an annual holiday to enjoy it!) That massacre started three and a half years of bloody anarchy for the French people, a lesson we can all learn from. Be warned, be afraid, and well ... um, don't kill the king. Especially the Babe King. (Are you listening out there in Reviewer-land?)

I love the French slogan -- Liberty, Egality, and Fraternity. (Patriotism meets Madison Avenue) May all writers embrace these noble tennets. Be free, equal and bonded. Hang on a sec! Does that mean I work for nothing, using an Equal sugar substitute in my coffee and have my butt glued to the seat. Darn! Well, have a happy holiday anyway, and don't take crepe from anyone.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Forget triffids. Blackcurrants are taking over my world. Hmm, or it could be my procrastination catching up with me. The Christmas eve before last I shattered my leg and well, learning to walk again took priority for a time. My soft fruits came and went in season without my ever-loving presence in the orchard. Some withered on the vine. Some I bribed my son to pick, but given how difficult it was to cook them hobbling around on crutches in my multi-level kitchen , mostly the fruit got frozen in bags for me to deal with later.

Roll forward eighteen months. I now have no excuse for those currants to be patiently waiting in my freezer, but somehow there always seems to be more to do than the time to do it. The currants currently glare accusingly everytime I open the freezer door. (A good excuse to eat take-out I say!)

Except I just sold my house. Oh no! I have to defrost my industrial-size freezer ready for removal. (And yes, that freezer was my initial mistake. Smaller freezers mean you can't put stuff off so long.) Not one, not two, but four ecconomy size tubs of currants are still clattering their nails waiting for me to attend to them. Yikes!

So, today I made two full recipes of jam, one large pot of blackcurrant flummery, and with all that I have ALMOST emptied one tub. Never again. This is right up there with the seven thousand pots of stewed rhubarb and apple that filled the other shelves of my freezer. What was I thinking? Of opening a men's shelter? Or a pie shop? Of becoming the next Sweedy Todd?

So I need more sugar and I need the kids to eat up all this food. They're starting to look purplish black from eating currants, and I swear, SWEAR, I will never put off 2 seasons of fruit again. Of course, the fact the new home we're moving into doesn't have currant bushes in should help.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

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Now if this isn't a sweet little way to promo, you tell me what is. Here's the deal. You put the above image on your blog, email Stacy at  stacy@stacydawn.com and tell her Babe sent you and we go in the draw for all kinds of cool prizes(Two winners will receive a copy of her story plus a promo pack.) What you waiting for? This ends as of 17th of July, so hurry!

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Happy Independence Day to all my American sisters. Woohoo for the red, white and blue. Hope it's a good one. :-)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Somewhere over the Rainbow

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I knew there was a crock of something over the rainbow, but this wasn't what I was expecting. Proving yet again, one man's crap is another man's treasure. And btw did you know the man who invented the toilet was called Thomas Crapper. I kid you not!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Review for Bride's Maid in Heaven

A Four Rose Read
BRIDES AND BOUQUETS 2006 is a nice little set of novellas designed to keep a woman content through a nice, quiet afternoon of reading.
The first story, At First Sight by Laura Hamby, is a cute, quaint story about what happens when a man and woman get stuck in an elevator for an afternoon. Not my favorite of the three books, my only complaint was how fast everything happened. They met and, voilĂ , sixteen hours later had decided that they were in love. While the story was very sweet and the addition of Whitney's family members hysterical, the sixteen hour thing was a bit much for me. Sixteen days...maybe, sixteen weeks.... definitely.... but not sixteen hours.
Jack and Jenny is the second story in the anthology and just what the doctor ordered for a girl looking for a good ol' fashioned romance. Jenny has had a crush on her brother's friend, Jack, for a long time—five years to be exact—but he has always been like an older brother to her. But, throw in a little romantic dancing and an ex beau that is determined to make Jack jealous, and Jenny might just get everything that she wished for. Jack is hot enough to burn up the pages all on his own, but add Jenny to the mix and you have a pretty great couple.
Brides Maid in Heaven was third offering in the anthology, and a very nice additive it was. It finished off the anthology with a nice flair and fit perfectly in keeping with the theme. I loved the lead characters, Katie and Brad, and how simple and sweet their romance was. Ms. Lyndell is a very gifted comedic writer as well, and the last few scenes with the "wedding" were just hysterical and had me laughing out loud. Very well done and extremely well written, Bride's Maid in Heaven is one of those rare finds of a story that you know you will remember for some time to come.
All in all, I would have to say that this anthology is lovely. All three writers have proven to be exceptional authors. If there happens to be a BRIDES AND BOUQUETS 2007, I will definitely be on the lookout for it!
Kristal Gorman--Romance Reader at Heart