Easter's Lilly

Monday, December 5, 2011

Review of "In The Air Tonight," by Stephanie Tyler

In the Air Tonight
Book Description
With danger closing in, all they have is each other.

Haunted by a mission he barely survived, Delta Force operative Mace Stevens still carries a soldier’s burden. Running a small bar in upstate New York, he remains a stone-cold warrior who guards dangerous secrets and stays ready for anything. Anything except beautiful, vulnerable Paige Grayson, who shows up at his door, demanding answers about her heroic stepbrother’s death under his command.

Haunted by a mission he barely survived, Delta Force operative Mace Stevens still carries a soldier’s burden. Running a small bar in upstate New York, he remains a stone-cold warrior who guards dangerous secrets and stays ready for anything. Anything except beautiful, vulnerable Paige Grayson, who shows up at his door, demanding answers about her heroic stepbrother’s death under his command.

Paige bears burdens, too. She’s plagued by demons unleashed by an older brother who committed mass murder before her eyes. But here in this snowy haven with Mace, she almost feels safe from the menacing promises of her insane sibling. As a nurse whose hands can read the deepest thoughts of anyone she touches, Paige knows that Mace needs her as desperately as she needs Mace. And when a faceless killer begins unleashing fresh terror, Mace proves just how far he will go to save the woman who means everything to him.

My Thoughts:

I already read the first two books of the series, “Lie to Me” and “Promises in the Dark” and was addicted instantly. Just like the other two, “In the Air Tonight,” did not disappoint. Mace was such a dominant yet vulnerable character. I tend to be drawn to books with strong male heroes and Stephanie Tyler delivers. I simply could not put the book down. Page after page, moment after moment, I was spellbound. I love how she follows two to three story lines at one time. While you’re following one, you can’t wait to get back to the other. Page’s special ability adds a certain amount of unexpected flavor that was very inviting. The action feels real and exhilarating and I would certainly recommend this book to people who need to get caught up in their novels from the get go. I will caution those of you who do not like strong language, that there is language in this book. Although personally I do not use language in my own writing, it does not detract from the fabulous story that I always expect from Ms. Tyler. I give this five out of five stars. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Switching Genres. Is it a good idea?

New Genre

I just started writing a new genre. Well, that’s not entirely true. I wrote a young adult novel, which was certainly new to me and I must admit that it was seriously difficult. But my latest endeavor is very different from my usual crime/soap opera/drama storyline. This one is a paranormal romance. I loved the freedom of being creative and having fewer facts to check. But I must admit that whenever you switch from something familiar, it’s always a challenge.

I have to say without a doubt that since Easter’s Lilly was my first novel and series, Lilly will always be my literary first love. I felt a little like I was betraying her when I discovered a new character and began to follow her down the yellow brick road. At first it was difficult leaving Lilly behind, but after a while, my new character began to grow on me. I am still writing my Lilly books and plan on doing that for many years to come but my new character certainly has depth and strength that is new to me. She is strong yet vulnerable and ever growing in maturity. Although the change of genre was a trial, I truly believe that romance is romance. Whether it is crime drama or paranormal or even young adult, love is still love. People meet their challenges and face them somehow together. So, I feel bold enough to say that if you’re writing romance you’re in good company, whatever kind of romance it is. Everybody loves… everybody gets hurt and sometimes there’s a happy ending. (Unless there’s a cliffhanger, of course).

Do you write the same genre all the time or are you versatile? I want to know your story.

“Don't classify me, read me. I'm a writer, not a genre.” 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Who’s Watching Your Kids?

I spent a lot of time in college as an adult, just to better myself and find a job that might make a significant difference in my family’s life. Although I am a writer, it will take a little time before that becomes my sole income. Okay, maybe a lot of time.

I have subbed on and off for my children’s ISD for years. I finally found a school that I really like and have been working there pretty consistently.  I think I can officially say that I work full time, most of the time, these days. Those of you who know me will probably need to sit down for this but… I LOVE IT!  It is the perfect job for me. I loved being a stay-at-home mom and truth be told if there was any way that I could continue to do that, I would. But if I have to work, this is certainly the way to go for me. I get to surround myself with amazing teenagers, and if there is any way that I can make their day just a little bit better, well… that just makes my day better as well. Of course there will always be that one student who tries their best to throw that wrench into the cogs that make your day run smoothly, but for the most part, I don’t care where you live, children are good. I see redeeming qualities even in the most troubled individual and they bless me daily.

Sometimes God puts you where he wants you, not necessarily where you think you should be. Moral of the story… thank you God for making me listen.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Books To Be Reviewed
Review of Shattered by Karen Robards
Book description:

After Lisa Grant loses her job at a Lexington, Ky., law firm in this seductive romantic thriller from bestseller Robards (Pursuit), she heads home to Grayson Springs, a once thriving Kentucky horse farm, owned by her mother, who's dying from ALS. Lisa becomes a research assistant for former crush Scott Buchanan, the Lexington-Fayette County DA. While she initially finds Scott's grumpy personality unappealing, she begins to feel differently after looking into a cold case: the inexplicable disappearance of Michael and Angela Garcia and their two children, Tony and Marisa, in 1981. Astonishingly, Lisa discovers that both a treasured childhood doll and herself as a young girl resemble Marisa. Lisa's informal investigation leads to dangerous repercussions, including an act of arson at Grayson Springs, in which she and her mother almost perish. Scott's timely rescue tightens their budding relationship as the action builds to a startling if far-fetched conclusion. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

My Thoughts:

I have a friend who loves Karen Robard and that is the only reason I picked this book up in the first place. I realize that I am unusual when I say that if a book doesn’t grab my attention right away, I rarely finish it. I have this book on Kindle so I can’t say how many pages it took, but I will say that I was 61% of the way through it before it finally caught my attention. I almost put it down a million times but my friend kept insisting that the author is worth the journey. I was riveted after that particular point in the book and literally walked around with it in my hands until I finished it. However, I would never have finished it if not for the recommendation.

I understand that she is a very talented writer but this book simply took too much time to warm me up. I can usually finish a book in two or three days, depending on my schedule, but this one took me a very long time to get through. If you enjoy descriptive journeys and books that meander slowly like a stream through a mountainside, then you may enjoy this more than I did. But if you prefer a thrilling ride through the rapids, this will not keep you up at night turning pages. I gave it three out of five stars.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Finding Time to Read

I have a dilemma. In order to be good writers we must first be good readers. I find this to be quite the challenge from time to time. The novels that I'm writing seem to be piling up and finding time to actually put them down to read for leisure or research (depending on how you look at it) is almost impossible. Especially with four children, a husband and yes… five dogs. Someone always needs food, water or a ride somewhere. So, I bought a Kindle. Now, when I exercise, I read my eBooks at the same time. But what happens when I don’t even find time for that?

I have a very organized writer friend who has attempted to help me with this challenge. Schedule your time better, she told me. It’s all about time management. And I suppose there is some truth to that. Get up at a certain time and exercise. Then, when you’re through with that, shower, have breakfast and write a little. Take a break for lunch and read for 30 minutes. Have lunch and write some more. If it was only that easy. I have made many attempts at a schedule and it simply never works. Any suggestions would be welcomed. I would love to hear from you. When do you find time to read? What kind of books make you a better writer?

Monday, August 29, 2011

How much editing is enough?

The QOTD (Question of the day) on one of my writers groups the other day was simply… “How much is reasonable for an editor to charge?” That is a very good question. Something even more important, I found, was the different kinds of editing that writers were looking for. Some want total content editing, while some are simply looking for a second set of eyes. Some editors will charge more than $2000 for a manuscript of 100,000 words and some will charge 5 cents a page. I have friends who self-publish and pay exorbitant amounts for people to edit their work. But I do have to ask. If they are editing content, how do we know that they are right? And even if they are simply editing grammar, how much training do they have in this area? I will be the first to admit that I certainly need a second set of eyes. Dyslexia has made identifying homonyms a bit of a challenge for me. And certainly if I was part of a publishing house that wanted me to alter my content, I would comply. But how much content do we want edited? Especially if we’re self published or using an independent publisher. Just a little food for thought.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Genre and Marketing

As some of you already know, I have been re-evaluating the genre I use to market my books. Although literally speaking, they are romantic suspense novels, if we’re talking about what we expect when we pick up a romantic suspense novel and what you get when you pick up one of mine, they are two totally different things. Although there is certainly some loving going on in Lilly’s wild adventures, the scenes are not graphic and I use almost no foul language. Although I find Stephanie Tyler and Maya Banks incredibly talented, as an author, I am simply not one of them. The first time I picked up a romantic suspense novel, I thought it was just a difference in style. But after I read quite a few of them it became painfully clear: This is not me.

Originally, I simply thought they were romance novels but the ending is not always wrapped up in a little bow. I am notorious for leaving you hanging at the end. I must admit that while I was sending out queries, I was a little disappointed that no one even mentioned that I had the wrong genre. I guess it is not their job to let me know but as a new author, it surely would have helped. So removing the word, “suspense” from the title is apparently necessary. Romantic Thriller might be a more accurate description of what I write and perhaps it is time to change the genre in my marketing. If people who read romantic suspense novels on a regular basis are looking at Easter’s Lilly to satisfy that kind of thirst, it will certainly not be what they expected. However, if you’re looking for a romantic thriller, it certainly will fill the bill.

Not that I’m complaining. I seem to be getting positive feedback and I get quite a bit of support from my fellow author friends, my local friends and friends from my hometown in New York.   But I do think it is important that we are able to identify our work properly so that it gets into the hands of those who will most enjoy it. What are your thoughts on the subject? Does your book have an HEA ending but not enough romance? Or does it have an unidentifiable style? Can’t wait to hear from you.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The popularity of the series. Will there be a book two? How do you Decide?

When I first started writing Easter’s Lilly, I wasn’t thinking to myself, I must produce a series, it just sort of happened that way. I have become so attached to my characters that I didn’t want to let them go. Even though book four doesn’t “star” Lilly, so to speak, the people that we learn to love and watch grow up, while reading of Lilly’s turbulent life, still live on. I have been unable to end it thus far and am not sure when and even if I will. In the mean time, however, I have decided to try something different and write a book that stands on its own. So far, no series is planned for this one. But will it stay that way? Only time will tell.

I just finished reading a book called “Between Morning and Midnight” by Cindy Gerard and I was sad to actually finish the book. I would have liked to read a “book two.” I got totally caught up in the romance and the characters and wanted more. Now I see how the series is born. How do you decide if you want to continue on or simply let your book stand alone? I would love to hear your thoughts.