Archive for November, 2008

Auction to Aid Romance Author Jo Leigh

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

As some of my readers might know, multi-published romance author Jo Leigh lost her husband to cancer this year and is now facing massive expenses related to his illness. To help her offset those expenses, authors Alison Kent, HelenKay Dimon, Larissa Ione, and Stephanie Tyler joined forces to establish the For Jo Leigh—Gifts for Writers and Readers auction. Please visit the main auction page to find out about the items offered for bid and to follow links to the individual auction pages.

I am participating in this auction along with several other members of the 2007 Golden Heart alumni. Five of us are offering a critique of a partial and synopsis for a Historical Romance manuscript while six of us are offering a critique of a partial and synopsis for a Contemporary Romance manuscript. This means that if you win the Historical Romance critique bid from our group, you will receive feedback from a panel of five judges, as per the RWA Golden Heart contest. The Contemporary winner will receive critiques from a panel of six judges.

Here’s who’s judging:

Historical: Elaine Levine, Elizabeth Stock, Maureen McGowan, Marilyn Brant, and Cindy Procter-King (a.k.a Me).

Contemporary: Trish Milburn, Laura Barone, Shelley Coriell, Barbara Tanner Wallace, Gail Fuller, and Robin Kaye.

Critiques will be conducted anonymously through email and returned within a two-month window. Please visit www.forjoleigh.com to learn more our items up for bid and check out the dozens of other excellent items, including more critiques, mentoring programs, and lots of lots of books!

Five Thursday Novembers

Friday, November 28th, 2008

I had a panic attack when I woke up this morning. Not a real panic attack, but a Holy-Crap-Now-I’ve-Done-It moment. You see, my work-in-progress is set in November, in the United States. Canadian Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October, but because American Thanksgiving is occurring now (as in yesterday), I happened to hear or read that American Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November. Frankly, I can no longer remember if I heard or read that information sometime yesterday or if my muse decided to torture me with it upon waking.

The point is, I had to do a mad scramble to Google, because I always choose a year to set my fictional stories in, so I can print out a calendar and ensure I’m not forgetting something like, oh, that Americans celebrate Thanksgiving in November. And then I keep track of my scenes according to the calendar dates.

My WIP is set in 2007 (I don’t mention the year, I just use 2007 for plotting purposes). Last year, November had five Thursdays. This year, November has four Thursdays. Thanksgiving and Black Friday figure into my plot, so you can imagine my mini-moment of freak out. Ack, do I have to revise the entire freaking manuscript so that Thanksgiving falls a week later? Thank God for Google, because typing When Was Thanksgiving in 2007? assured me that I had properly researched American Thanksgiving dates last year and wasn’t just making up the extra Thursday after the holiday! (Forgetting what you have and haven’t researched is an unfortunate side effect of setting aside a manuscript to work on another manuscript, as was the case with this particular story late last year).

Of course now I’m obsessing over—how often does November have five Thursdays? Do I need to worry about this/mention it in my story? When (note the confidence) this book gets published, will American readers think, that stupid Canadian, she set Thanksgiving in the the second-to-last week of the month?!

Halloween also figures in this story, and I do mention several times that Halloween falls on a Wednesday, which should alert a clever reader that November 1st falls on a Thursday, which is how my WIP’s November winds up with five Thursdays… Is that clear enough?

And, by the way, yes, I do have PMS, thanks for asking.

Thanksgiving Notes

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! I hope you have a great day surrounded by friends and family and that, despite the economic situation, you have plenty to be thankful for today.

We had our Thanksgiving 5 or 6 weeks ago, so today is a regular day for me. I didn’t get a chance to write yesterday, but had lots of fun babysitting my two great-nephews. With the help of my little sister, I walked/strolled them all the way (it was a fair distance) to the adventure playground park where I used to take my kids. We got all the way there and discovered the adventure playground was GONE. Only the swingsets remained. You could have knocked me over with an ice cube. I have no idea what happened to the playground. I loved taking my boys there when they were little. Luckily, the great-nephews were happy with just the swings, although the oldest (3) insisted that he get to ride in the stroller on the way back, and the 20-month-old walked verrrrrrrrrrrryyy slowly. But they were so cute! And, yes, the cutest part was getting to give them back. 😉

If you haven’t entered my BOX ‘O BOOKS HOLIDAY GIVE-AWAY yet, there’s still time. I’m taking entries until midnight, Sunday, November 30th, and I’ll contact the winner December 1st for her/his snail mail address so I can mail out the books ASAP. However, I won’t announce the winner on the blog until Wednesday the 3rd, as author J.L. Miles is blogging Tuesday, and I’ll be telling you all about her book, DIVORCING DWAYNE, on Monday.

Oh, and if anyone noted the other day before I edited the post that Susan Lyons’s guest blogging date was listed for December 9th, due to unforeseen circumstances, Susan will now be blogging Wednesday, December 10th. Hope to see you there!

What’s Your Blogging Personality?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

First things first, if you’re looking for my Box ‘O Books Holiday Give-Away, scroll down.

Second things second… Ever taken a Myers-Briggs or other personality quiz? How accurate do you find them? According to every version of Myers-Briggs I’ve taken, I’m an INFJ, which is pretty darn accurate. But now, look, you can ID your blog personality, too!  I found the Typealyzer courtesy of Marilyn Brant’s blog, who found it courtesy of Jenny Crusie’s blog.

According to the Typealyzer, the author of Muse Interrupted(which some might say is me, while others ascertain that it’s Elle Muse) is a “Doer.” Here’s the blippy, complete with a cute illustration:

ESTP – The Doers

The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking and engaging in physical outdoor activities.

The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

Hmmm, okay, this is sort of me, if you count sitting at a desk and playing with your pen as “action-filled work,” although I can’t say I’ve engaged in physical outdoor activities on purpose since I was a child. As a child, yes, I was outside all the time, and I considered myself a tomboy until I began to participate in team sports and discovered that I possess no physical coordination whatsoever. Once, after getting hit in the face with a softball, I struck out something like 30 times in a row at softball practice. The coach thought he could outlast my fear! Silly man. Let me state here, though, that I didn’t strike out out of fear, I struck out out of crappy hand-eye coordination. The crappy hand-eye coordination was the same reason I didn’t catch the ground ball that smacked my glasses.

As for that picture of the little girl…she looks like me as a kid, except I didn’t have boobs when I was 7! I barely had boobs when I was 17. Is it just me, or does she possess a rather curvy upper body compared to her face and height?

So, what’s your blogging personality? Plug your blog URL into the Typealyzer website and find out. Then report back to me. Because I just can’t sit still until I know!

By the way, for those interested, Jennifer Crusie is a Doer and Marilyn Brant is an Artist.

December Guest Bloggers

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

A heads-up on my December Guest Bloggers—mark your calendars!

Tuesday, December 2nd, brings us J.L. Miles, author of the quirky Southern fiction novel, DIVORCING DWAYNE. J.L.’s publicist described DIVORCING DWAYNE to me as a Chick Lit novel, but I’ve further categorized it as quirky Southern fiction. Meanwhile, on her website, Ms. Miles calls it “Grits-Lit.” 

I’m reading this book now, and it’s a delight! In fact, even though I’m from Canada, I’m reading it with a Southern accent. That should tell you something about the strength of the author’s voice.

Ms. Miles is published with a small publisher in Tennessee, so please come out and support her, and ask a question or comment (when her blog goes up on December 2nd, um, not now) to enter to win a copy of DIVORCING DWAYNE.

Wednesday, December 10th, Kensington Aphrodisia author, Susan Lyons, visits. Susan is a fellow Canadian who has published several novels and novellas, she often wins or finals in published contests, and she also recently sold to Berkley HEAT and Spice Briefs. Phew!

Susan will give away a copy of her Christmas-themed Aphrodisia anthology, UNWRAP ME, which also includes novellas by Melissa MacNeal and Melissa Randall.

As always, if you’re a published author interested in guest blogging on Muse Interrupted, please contact me for available dates and information. March is fully booked, but I have 1 or 2 openings for January and February apiece, and I’m reserving space for April and onward, as well.

Box ‘O Books Holiday Give-Away!!

Monday, November 24th, 2008

The holiday season is nearly upon us—what better time to tame my TBR pile and give away a Box ‘O Books?

The books I’m giving away to one lucky winner are comprised of free copies I’ve received at writing conferences and haven’t found time to read, as well as books I’ve bought but have never read and have realized that with all the books in my TBR pile, I might never read them (not because they aren’t good, but because I tend to go overboard in my book-buying and purchase copies in genres I don’t usually read simply to support the authors), or books that I’ve accidentally bought two copies of (hey, it happens).

These are all new, never-read books. Not ARCs. Not used books. Brand new, never-read. Not by me or anyone else. Some were published this year, some last year, and a wee few are a little older—but they’re all still new.

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

Young Adult: Gingerbread by Rachel Conn, Gossip Girl by Cecilyvon Ziegesar, and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.

Chick Lit: Unbecoming Behavior by Stephanie Rowe and Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson.

Historical: St. Raven by Jo Beverley.

Paranormal: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole, 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover  by Linda Wisdom, and The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks.

Mystery: Candy Apple Red by Nancy Bush.

Contemporary: Skinny Dipping by Connie Brockway, Record Time by Beverly Brandt, Tangled up in Love by Hailey North, and Got a Hold on You by Pat White.

If you’ve read this far, I’m also including a copy of one of my books, your choice of either BORROWING ALEX or HEAD OVER HEELS (please click the links to find out more about each book). If you already have copies of both (aren’t you sweet?), feel free to enter anyway, because you can always ask me to sign the extra copy to your mom, your best friend, or your guppy.

The Rules:

  1. Contest is open from Monday, November 24th to Sunday, November 30th. I’ll choose the winner’s name at random Sunday at midnight and contact the winner Monday morning, December 1st by email for your snail mail address, so I can ship the books. I will ship the books within 2 or 3 days of hearing from you, which means, you never know, you might receive them in time to stuff a few stockings!
  2. Only one entry per person please.
  3. I am very sorry, but because of the weight of the Box ‘O Books and because Canada Post doesn’t provide discounts for shipping books, I can only open the contest to residents of Canada and the contiguous United States. This means that if you live in Alaska, you can enter (seeing as Alaska borders the Yukon), but if you live in Hawaii, you can’t. I’m shipping the winner the books by ground, not airmail. The airmail cost, frankly, would be wayyyy too prohibitive for my rather skinny wallet.

How to Enter:

  1. Enter your name in the Comment trail, and please let me know if you would like a copy of HEAD OVER HEELS or BORROWING ALEX along with the Box ‘O Books. Please don’t be shy about entering your name in the Comment trail. I am the only person who sees your email address, seeing as I’m the Administrator of this blog, so whether you enter in the Comment trail or choose Option 2, yes, I will know your email address, but I promise not to use it for any other purpose but this contest. That means, no, I will not sign you up for my newsletter or any other promotional activities without your knowledge or permission.
  2. Or you can email me at cindy AT cindyprocter-king DOT com with BOX ‘O BOOKS in the Subject line, again please letting me know if you would like a copy of HEAD OVER HEELS or BORROWING ALEX included in your holiday surprise.

Go forth and enter! Tell your buddies, tell your chapters, tell your guppies.

If I get a good response, I’ll make the Box ‘O Books Holiday Give-Away an annual event.

The Sexiest Hugh Alive

Friday, November 21st, 2008

People magazine has declared that Australian actor Hugh Jackman is the Sexiest Man Alive for 2008. I can’t say I disagree with them. It’s about time he won the honor.

I definitely know he’s the sexist HUGH alive. I can say this with all authority, because I have a cousin named Hugh, and, sorry, Sonny, you ain’t got nothing on Mr. Jackman.

I love this quote:

The magazine’s executive editor, Jess Cagle, said Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show that Jackman is a “surprising choice,” but he’d been on the editors’ minds “for a long time and it seemed like this was the year to do him.”

Ahem.

What say you? Does Hugh deserve the title? Who would you rather have seen in his place? Why do we keep track of such things? Why isn’t there a Sexiest Woman Alive? Isn’t that sexist?

How Handy Are You?

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Penny might have to rethink her career as an erotic romance author….

Recently, I took this fun Internet quiz that another Red Sage author posted to Facebook: Is This a Sex Toy or Home Repair Tool?

Um, Penny scored a measly seven correct answers out of 12! And most of those were guesses. The test’s response? “I’d stay out of the garage if I were you.”

I guess Penny isn’t as worldly as she should be… But now, the question is, how handy (as in “knowledgeable”) are you?

Take the quiz and find out. 😉

More Worms

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Remember when I said Monday that changes to the RITA contest this year might also affect the Golden Heart? Here’s how.

Last year, changes to RWA publisher recognition occurred so that an author’s ability to enter PAN (the Published Author Network of RWA) was no longer tied to whether or not an author’s publisher met RWA-set standards. Instead, now, an author can join PAN independently of her publisher’s ability to host official editor appointments and publisher Spotlights at National, yada, yada, and her requirements for joining PAN are instead based on achieving a set minimum dollar amount of advance/royalties combination on one novel or novella. This change enabled me, myself and Moi (all three, I assure you) to join PAN last spring. Yipsee-doodle.

Suddenly, I found myself unable to enter the Golden Heart (which didn’t bother me in the least). I was thrilled not to enter the Golden Heart. After all, the year I finaled, I had two books contracted, and one of those books, BORROWING ALEX, was published just a month before the National RWA conference in Dallas. I confess, it always felt a bit strange to me to enter my unpublished manuscripts in the Golden Heart when I had books available for sale, but that was the avenue open to me, so that was the avenue I took. Fine and dandy. I entered the GH with an unpublished manuscript in 2007, and I finaled (yay, me). Did I feel guilty about taking away the chance for a truly unpublished author to final? Um, not really. Because I think every RWA member should have a chance to enter either the Golden Heart or RITA contest if she so chooses. However, the RITA changes this year now prevent that.

Now, if you sell a work of over 20,000 words to a non-Subsidy, non-Vanity Publisher, you can no longer enter your unpublished works (ie. not the work you sold) in the Golden Heart. However, once that book you sold/contracted is in print, unless it’s mass-produced (ie. not POD, which are books printed as they are ordered) you can’t enter it in the RITA contest either.

You can’t enter your published work in the RITA.

You can’t enter your unpublished work in the Golden Heart.

I’m a bit bamboozled. This is the first year since I joined RWA that I can recall a member not having the ability to enter either contest. That bugs me. Even though it doesn’t apply to my situation.

I also find it ironic that an author can join PAN on the basis of her earnings, then find herself unable to enter the same book that qualified her to join PAN in the RITAs—because her publisher uses print on demand technology instead of Print Runs of a Mysterious Number Yet to be Announced.

What am I missing?

By the way, there’s an excellent discussion about the topics of today’s and Monday’s blog post occurring over on Absolute Write, if anyone wants to check it out. Last I checked, no one in that thread had received confirmation of what constitutes “mass-produced.”

Happy Birthday, Sandorf Verster!

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Today is my best friend’s birthday. Everyone, please wish a happy birthday to Sandorf Verster!

What sort of name is Sandorf Verster? Don’t ask me. Just because I dream up these nicknames doesn’t mean I know how or why or wherefore or rhyme-for they leap into existence.

All I know is that the name Sandorf Verster has been in existence for more years than I can count.

I’m also pretty sure that Sandorf Verster does not read this blog, so she can’t even give me hell for outing her AS Sandorf Verster in cyberspace.

Yes, I’ll phone her to wish her a happy birthday. No, I will not tell her I outed her.

No, you can’t tell her, either.