Tuesday, March 27, 2012

More Moore Medievals

I'm delighted to announce that Avon has just issued the second and third books in the medieval romance trilogy I wrote for them in digital format.


Everyone knows that red-haired women are nothing but trouble, so when enchanting, flame-haired Fiona MacDougal rides into his castle courtyard announcing that she is willing to become his bride, Caradoc of Wales knows to be wary -- even of such a beautiful Scottish lass bearing gifts. He has no desire to take himself a wife, but her kisses are so tempting that the idea of an intimate -- and permanent -- union becomes most appealing indeed.

The thought of marrying this bold, handsome warrior sends shivers of delight down Fiona's spine. She wants nothing more than to tell him the entire truth -- that in his strong embrace she is certain to be safe from the despicable blackguard who would marry her for his own selfish gain. Fiona loves Caradoc dearly, but can she ever win her passionate husband's trust -- or gain his love -- if he discovers the real reason she sought him out?

Read An Excerpt

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His Every Desire

Seeking vengeance on the lord who robbed him of his birthright, Sir Alexander DeFrouchette set out to steal his enemy's bride...and, in his haste,carried of the wrong lady! Now it would be far too dangerous to release the exquisite Lady Isabelle -- whose sister was the true captive he sought. The bold, spirited hellion has enchanted him, and Alexander longs to tame her and taste the sweetness of her kiss. But she is related to his hated foe, and the noble knight will never know Isabelle's love until she offers it willingly -- and this she dares never do.

All Her Dreams

Gallant knights are supposed to protect fair maidens -- not kidnap them! Yet here is Lady Isabelle, a prisoner of Sir Alexander, who is strong, virile, handsome, everything she ever dreamed of in a man. But proud, fiery Isabelle will never succumb to force -- no matter how powerfully he inflames her passion...or how quickly her heart beats when he's near...

Read An Excerpt

To Buy

The first book in the trilogy, THE MAIDEN AND HER KNIGHT, is still on sale for the low, low price of $1.99 (until April 2).

Lady Allis nearly swoons when she first sees the tall, tempting knight at her father's jousting tournament. As the eldest daughter of the family, she is duty-bound to wed someone of wealth and privilege -- and Sir Connor, though mesmerizing, is not only penniless but in disgrace. To Connor, this fiery, untouchable maiden is a prize worth fighting for. The onetime hero has little save his pride and his skill -- as a warrior and a lover. But will that be enough to survive castle treacheries, to know the rapturous passion the lady's hungering gaze promises -- and to win her heart?

Read An Excerpt

To Buy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This Writer's Perspective: Why John Carter Bombed

Latest news on the movie John Carter is that it's a complete flop. Despite millions spent on making it and advertising, it bombed at the box office. So what happened?

I can tell you one thing - the marketing did them no favors.

Granted, I'm not considered the prime audience for this kind of film. I would have gone, though, if I'd been persuaded there was an exciting story about an interesting character in a strange situation where there is something serious at stake.

Instead, here's what I got from the ads for John Carter:

A guy wearing some kind of leather bits jumps around a lot, apparently like Superman (able to leap tall rock formations at a single bound), trying to get away from a lot of CGI guys who look something like Jar-Jar Binks. Oh, there seems to be a bald guy in league with the Jar-Jars, possibly their leader. And it's set on Mars, which looks exactly like a desert on Earth.

Only through other sources did I learn John Carter is a Civil War soldier who (somehow) gets transported to Mars, where the gravity is different (which explains his ability to leap tall rock formations at a single bound).

The Civil War angle? Completely overlooked in the ads, yet it would have made me far more interested in the main character. One quick clip of the poor sod in the middle of a Civil War battlefield, then finding himself on Mars where he's suddenly Superman would have gotten me curious. Instead, all I see is a guy in what I assume is martial Martian wear jumping around with a spear.

Which brings me to the Martians. Jar-Jar Binks was not scary. John Carter's Martians didn't seem at all scary, either, just numerous. So I'm not going to be worried he's in any real jeopardy, especially if he can leap over them in a single bound. Why should I go see a movie when the outcome seems so assured? And if there's just John Carter, there aren't even going to be any redshirts to get picked off, so there goes that chance for suspense, as well.

Speaking of tension or lack thereof, the travel-between-worlds seems to be totally unimportant, when there could have been the tension between going home or staying. Maybe there was in the movie, but there was no hint of that kind of tension in the ads.

And then there's the bald guy. Granted, this was the one and only thing that even remotely got me curious, but we just get a brief glimpse of him standing on a ridge. That's not enough to make me think he's going to be an awesome foil to the hero. In fact, I think I was curious more because I was trying to figure out if it was Stanley Tucci or not. It's Mark Strong - and holy actors, Batman! I just now looked up the cast list. I had NO idea that the following amazing actors are in this movie: Polly Walker, Ciaran Hinds, James Purefoy, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe and Thomas Hayden Church. Okay, so teenage boys might not know who some of these people are, but plenty of other people do! What a waste of a marketing opportunity!

Another example of opportunity wasted: I thought I saw a brief glimpse of a young woman in one of the ads. Was there supposed to be a - gasp! - romantic subplot in the movie?

Dear Movie Marketers: Romance sells and sells a lot. So why downplay something that might get women into the theater? Our tickets cost the same.

I shake my head.

So let's recap.

Over all, I got no sense that anything is at stake for John Carter - not his life, not his future, not his happiness, not love. So there was no reason for me to care about John Carter or his fate. At all.

Instead, the impression I got from the ads was that character and story were much less important than the technical effects.

That ain't gonna get me to the theater, and obviously, I wasn't the only one who felt that way.

Even before the reviews.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Collection Grows

My husband recently went on a business trip to Japan and returned with a new addition to our fridge magnet collection.

This collection really got started on our whirlwind bus trip through Italy. We discovered that when the bus stopped, we had time to either eat, sight-see or shop, sometimes two of those three, but never all three. Where the buses parked, however, there were always souvenir shops, and always magnets, so magnets became a fast, easy purchase to mark our stop. Now it's become a quick, easy souvenir purchase on any trip, and other members of the family are now contributing (the magnets from London and Belgium, below, were gifts.) Even layovers at airports have been deemed magnet-worthy.

With no further ado, here is the Japanese magnet:

And here is the whole collection.

In order from left to right, in approximate rows, the magnets are from
Las Vegas
Uluru (Ayers Rock, Australia - they were even selling copies of one of my books in the gift shop!)
Holland (aka The Netherlands)
Prague, The Czech Republic (my husband got this on another business trip)
Mantua, Italy
Burano, Italy
London, England
Siena, Italy
Viterbo, Italy
Sorrento, Italy (or Italta on the magnet - I think that's a typo!)
San Gimignano, Italy (this takes the prize for Most Garish, I think)
Pisa, Italy
Gubbio, Italy
Verona, Italy
Sirmione, Italy
Dominican Republic
New York
San Marino, Italy (where the collection really bagan)
Orvieto, Italy
Pompei, Italy
Assisi, Italy
Florence, Italy
Rome, Italy
and last but not least, Seattle.

We're hoping to visit Ireland (ancestral home of the Moore branch of the family) sometime this year. I sense a shamrock magnet in my future....

Monday, March 05, 2012

How does my garden grow?

I've got some flowers coming up in the cottage garden! Whoo hooo! And the clocks go ahead this weekend. I love that! I'll happily lose the hour's sleep for more light in the evening.

I think the white flowers are snow drops. I have no idea what the yellow ones are. Whatever they are, I'm happy to see them!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

A Mighty Wind

I'm sure glad I decided to drive down to the cottage early because oh, my! It's windy today! Gusts up to 50 mph. That made for a very short walk on the beach. I took my camera, though, to get a picture of the waves.

That rise of sand between the waves and the rest of the beach? That shows you how strong the waves have been - the waves have been going up and over that, to leave that little stream of water.