Monday, December 29, 2008

What's Next...

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas/holiday. Due to a relative's medical crisis, ours was not the best. Fortunately, the crisis has passed, with good results, so we're very thankful that things weren't much worse.

However, I'm expecting the first six months of 2009 to be a little...bumpy. Last year was one heck of a roller coaster ride of a sort I was hoping I wouldn't see again, but alas, it does not appear to be in the cards.

So what does this author do when life keeps throwing curve balls?

I can't completely compartmentalize my brain the way some folks can, so the stresses will have an effect on my work, but it does make me feel a whole lot better to be off in the world of my imagination for awhile. So yep, I'll be writing.

I make lists of things I have/want to do, because stress = distraction, and lists help me focus.

I lean on my mom, my family and my friends. My mom is a great listener; my husband can still make me laugh like nobody else; my kids are wonderful and doing very well in their chosen professions; and I'm very blessed to have some writer friends I can confide in. Nobody else "gets" the writer's life and its unique troubles and concerns like another writer.

I'm going to keep up my Weight Loss Challenge. Christmas cookies and chocolate have caused a set-back, but I'm not dismayed. I expected it. I'll be setting a new goal, and keeping up the walking/treadmill work.

Most of all, I'm look forward to the good stuff that's already been planned, like a wedding in August and a trip to Italy in the fall. And I continue to cherish the quiet times and simple pleasures, like a hot cup of tea and a good book to read.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Holidays!

My book may be done (yeah!), but now comes the Christmas festivities, and to say I have much to do is like saying the CN Tower is tall.

So may you all have a safe, happy and healthy Christmas! I'll be back blogging after the 28th.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Treadmill of Power!

Whooo hooo! I get a new outfit because yesterday, after an hour on the former Treadmill of Terror, I stepped on the scale and...


I haven't seen a three on that side of the decimal point in...well, years!

And this despite falling off the cola wagon! (I blame the revisions.)

And THE VISCOUNT'S KISS will be done on time! And I really love it!

I'm doing a happy dance. With jingle bells!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Deadline crunch

Yep, it's time to get my nose to the grindstone with the work-in-progress, due on Monday. Still have much to mend, plus snow to shovel, meals to make, clothes to wash, etc. etc. And oh ya, Christmas is coming, too.

So I may blog or I may not for the next few days. Unless I'm completely swamped, though, look for the weight loss challenge report on Friday (surely snow shoveling should help!)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


One of the really cool things about writing for Harlequin is the foreign sales, and not just for the $, although believe you me, that makes every book the gift that keeps on giving.

Recently, I was interviewed for a French romance web magazine, les romantiques. I've never seen a web magazine like it -- it lets you flip the pages. Cool!

My interview is on Page 17.

And the book featured and available in France? Le pacte secret is THE SAXON, which was first released in North America in 1995. See what I mean about the gift that keeps on giving?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Way cool review!

As briefly mentioned on Friday, Romantic Times gave THE WARLORD'S BRIDE a wonderful review. Here's the full quote:

"A colorfully rendered portrait of medieval Wales brimming with charming characters, an enchanting love story and the perfect balance of romance and history are what endears Moore to readers. She convincingly transports you to an era of daring heroes and the women who tame them."

And they must have liked the cover as much as I do, because it's with the review.

Whoo hoo!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Weight Loss Challenge - Surprise!

I thought I was going to be up again this week, because I didn't get as much exercise, due to family circumstances and feeling really yucky one day.

But then I stepped on the scales this morning and...141.0! Whoo hoo!

I also finished the fourth draft of THE VISCOUNT'S KISS. One more to go, but I think (hope!) the heavy lifting is over! Whoo hoo!

And I got a fantastic review for THE WARLORD'S BRIDE from Romantic Times, including this: "...brimming with charming characters, an enchanting love story and the perfect balance of romance and history..." WHOOO HOOOO!

This week's exercise/step count tally:

Nov. 28 - 14,415
Nov. 29 - 3,359 (wasn't feeling grand, but got a lot of work done on the book)
Nov. 30 - 9,491 (family event)
Dec. 1 - 2707 plus 40 min. on the treadmill
Dec. 2 - 1972 plus 10 min. on the treadmill (this was the day I was really under the weather)
Dec. 3 - 15,680
Dec. 4 - 13,221 (I'd planned to go on the treadmill again, but the hubby, who likewise works at home, had an unforeseen conference call, so I went for a walk instead.)

I'm considering making a separate blog for my weight loss challenge reports. If that happens, there'll be a notice and link on my blog roll.

Now, on to Draft #5!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Waiting to Exhale

As I go write the early drafts of my books, I don't worry too much about chapter ends. I tend to look at the number of pages, and end a chapter at the end of a scene.

However, as I edit later drafts, I change that, because the end of a scene is often like a big sigh. Okay, got through that conflict/trauma/action. Now time for a little rest.

This is not what you want the reader thinking at the end of a chapter, because "time for a little rest" can mean putting the book down.

I want to end the scene with the reader thinking, "Oh, boy, what's gonna happen next????" An inhale, not an exhale, and the sort of inhale you take when the roller coaster is headed up the incline. Or, depending on your style and type of book you're writing, a sharp intake, like when you see a broken window at your house as you're pulling into the driveway.

Sometimes I do this with foreshadowing, such as "As she hurried away, she didn't see the man lurking in the shadows."

More often, though, I revise to end the chapter in the middle of a scene instead of the end.

Whatever method I use, though, I want to do all I can to make sure my reader isn't the least bit tempted to put the book down, not even to get a cup of tea.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Age of Heroes

Back when my oldest sister was in high school, she had a textbook called THE AGE OF HEROES, referring to the Greek myths.

That's not the sort of age I'm talking about.

I got the Sexiest Man Alive issue of PEOPLE'S magazine recently, and one of the things that struck me immediately was the age of several of the sexiest guys.

Hugh Jackman - 40
Brad Pitt - 44
Daiel Craig - 40
Patrick Dempsey - 42
Johnny Depp - 45
Will Smith - 40
Javier Bardem - 39
George Clooney - 47
Matthew McConaughey - 39

Of course there were several guys who were younger (and I really didn't need the whole scratch-n-sniff thing), but I couldn't help thinking they wouldn't show nearly as many mature women.

And with crow's feet and wrinkles.

Now, I like mature men, so I'm not saying the older guys shouldn't be there. It's the difference between how women are perceived as washed up and over the hill in Hollywood after 30, so much so that not nearly as many get a second sexy act in their forties or later. I was totally, utterly shocked the other day when I caught part of Sunset Boulevard, a movie I've seen many times, to discover that Norma Desmond is in her fifties, not her 70's, as I'd always assumed and somehow missed all these years.

So what about my heroes and heroines? How old are they?

Whatever the age I say they are in my books, in my mind, the men are at least in their 30s, and the women approximately the same.

How come I don't say that in the book? Why make them younger?

Well, for one thing, if I'm doing a medieval, a lot of them would be dead by the time they hit 30 and 40. For another, folks matured faster back then -- they had to. There was none of this teenage coming-of-age stuff. You were considered an adult then, and expected to act like it.

What about later time periods? Again, I'm trying to stick to the societal norms, with marriages at younger ages.

So while my hero may be the same age as Robert Pattison, in my mind he'll act more like a man of 40, and look like one, too.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Filling the blanks...

I was revising away yesterday, and some of what I have to do is what I call "filling in the blanks," the parts where I've gone through the previous draft and moved or changed things and then write detailed notes, such as:

"More description"


"Show B. getting more upset"


"Get them to other location."

In other words, ACK! I need to write original material to fill the blanks between new material and old, and sadly, based on the sketchiest of outlines.

Sometimes there's more. Indeed, sometimes I've written out the new material and attached it to the page. Thank goodness. Because this is one darned fine way to drive my own self nuts!

Monday, December 01, 2008

That scene: And the decision is....

As I mentioned previously, I had a scene where the heroine of THE VISCOUNT'S KISS comes upon the hero skinny dipping. I took it out, thinking it would be too late in the year, so..brrrrr! Of course, I tend to think in terms of my local weather when I write, and skinny dipping in November in Canada? Um, not unless you're used to it. But my book isn't set in Canada, and I had my reason ready (preparation for a long, rough voyage), but...

The other thing bothering me was that this sort of thing has been done before. A lot, methinks.

Then, on the weekend, I was doing a bit of research about another facet of the story and kallooo kalay! I found something else that would have the same effect - basically, I need my heroine to realize early on that (or the Regency equivalent thereof) -- but it's much more unique to the story and especially appropriate for my hero.

Yeah! And yet again, it was research to the rescue!