Thursday, May 30, 2013

5 on Friday - Set 173

Travis at Trav's Thoughts invites everyone to lay down a short set of music that takes their fancies for his 5 on Friday meme.

My writers' group wraps up its winter/spring session with an all-day June workshop this Saturday, and I'll be co-presenting the first workshop along with a local Halifax actress I met at the Women Making Waves film conference in March -- Kirstin Howell. We'll be talking about which sorts of character-finding methods actors reach for in their technique toolboxes.

Our group is completely giddy to be meeting one of our long-distance members in person. Kate Robbins lives in Newfoundland and has joined our online email loop, has attended a few sessions via Skype and regularly interacts with us on our Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada Facebook page, as well as on our individual pages.

There will be a meet-Kate Friday evening dinner, a lunch break during the all-day session, and a Saturday evening dinner, with much laughter, conversation and wine-drinking anticipated.

So this week I'm celebrating friends.  

1 - Moy Drug (My Friend) - Igor Krutoy and Igor Nikolaev

This video is made from clips of the Russian historical series I fell in love with last year, Bednaya Nastya. It features besties Baron Vladimir Korf and Prince Mikhail (Misha) Repnin, played by Daniil Strakhov and Pyotr Krasilov.

Frequent visitors to my blog will know that the hunky Russian (dark-haired Daniil Strakhov) is the model for my captain of the guard character in Book 2 of my Dragonsfyre series, currently very, very close to being delivered to the first wave of critique readers.


My Friend

How many people I've met in my life
How many guests I've let into my heart
How many times I have mistaken them
It didn't bring anything good

But it has happened so
That I withstood the attacks
And God gave me
My good friends

My friend, please forgive me
For everything we had to go through
My friend, at the twist of my days
I see clearer and clearer who is my real friend

A friend isn't someone
Who is valiant when sitting at the table
When drinking somebody's health
A friend wouldn't shout, "Bottom's up!"

A friend will sense
That it grew cold for you on this earth
And he will warm you
Without the wine

2 - I'll Stand By You - The Pretenders

3 - Reach Out (I'll Be There) - The Four Tops

4 -Shining Star Earth, Wind and Fire

5 - Shout - The Isley Brothers

I'm blogging at The Popculturedivas today

I'm over at The Popculturedivas today, with another look at the 13 E-books Donated to the Brenda Novak Online Auction For Diabetes.

Two days left to bid on this and many other amazing goods and services!

Your donation goes to diabetes research, with 285 million people dealing with this condition across the globe. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

5 on Friday - Set 172

Travis at Trav's Thoughts invites everyone to lay down a short set of music that takes their fancies for his 5 on Friday meme.

Well, it's time once again for celebrating May birthdays with this set's birthday boys.

1 - Higher Love - Steve Winwood

2 - Urgent - Lou Gramm, lead singer for Foreigner

3 - The Unforgettable Fire - Bono, lead singer for U2

4 -You're The Best Thing Paul Weller, lead singer for The Style Council

5 - A Waltz in A  (Closing Theme for Saturday Night Live) - guitarist Georg Wadenius (original Saturday Night Live band / Blood, Sweat and Tears)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Thirteen - 280 - 13 Questions For Paula Altenburg, Author of Desire by Design

Welcome to today's stop on Paula Altenburg's DESIRE BY DESIGN blog tour.

Paula is a fellow member of my writers' group, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada, and it's my very great pleasure to welcome her here today.
1 - Tell us a little bit about DESIRE BY DESIGN's journey from idea to published novel.

I have two 'writer me's' -- the one who likes writing single title, dark paranormal romance and fantasy, and the one who likes creating short and sweet quirky romances. And always, I'm about the characters. Eve Doucette in DESIRE BY DESIGN spoke to me, and this was the story she wanted. She told me she was insecure working in a man's world because she felt overlooked and belittled. She's partly right and mostly wrong.

When I took her to my editor and said I'd like to write something a little different from demons, my editor was supportive. I love Entangled Publishing for that reason. They didn't try to pigeon-hole me, but let me experiment.   

2 - Is it a standalone single title, or is it part of a series?

Right now DESIRE BY DESIGN is a standalone contemporary category romance, and part of Entangled Publishing's Bliss imprint, so it's 'sweet'.

Eve has three hot brothers and the potential for a series is there, but the door was left open in case my editor and I decide to go in a different direction. One of the brothers is currently tugging on my shirttail, demanding I listen.

3 - Hmm...that sounds promising for us readers. (Keep tugging, brother!)

One reviewer said, "This book was hilarious! Fans of Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgans will love this book. It is filled with a multitude of 'I Love Lucy' moments," while another said, "I laughed, I swooned, I laughed some more and smiled those little happy smiles at all the lovely heartwarming moments." As an author whose previous releases have been darker paranormal stories, what drew you to explore humorous contemporary romance?

 I needed a break!

Whether serious paranormal romance or a sweet, funny category, my stories are all very character driven. I spend a lot of time inside their heads. You'd be amazed at how stressful it can be to view the world through the eyes of a demon/mortal hybrid.

4 - You know I can relate to that, Paula!

If you name three romantic comedy movies that hit the same tone as  DESIRE BY DESIGN, what would they be?

This is a tough one for me. I'm more of an epic fantasy or comic book movie fan.

Me, too. I'd be at a loss to answer this one myself!

Lord of the Rings, for example, or anyone you could put a costume on. Since the local video store closed down I'm stuck with Netflix options or what's in the theatre, and I live in a house full of guys. (So it's a good thing our tastes are similar.)

But I loved How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, and Knight and Day, and they're somewhat similar in tone. A bit slapstick but still romantic. DESIRE BY DESIGN doesn't have any car chases, though.

5 - LOL! Are there aspects of Eve Doucette to which you can relate?

Eve may be a little more extreme, but I certainly see areas where we may have some similarities. Insecurity is the biggest, and probably Eve's unfortunate tendency to say the first thing that comes into her head. My sister refers to that as 'lacking a filter'. Guilty.

6 - How about Matt Brison? (I've personally discovered that all of my male protagonists share more of my personality than my female characters.)

I can only *wish* I shared characteristics with Matt. Sigh. I'm not that reasonable. Ask anyone.

7 - Do you find yourself focusing on the romantic storyline and the humor aspects separately, or is humor simply a part of your contemporary voice?

Humor is definitely a part of my contemporary voice. It's really a part of my voice, period. But because I'm so character driven, the overall tone is generated by the characters and their situations. In my paranormals, moral and ethical problems arose from the worldbuilding that really didn't lend themselves to a lot of humor. It would have taken away from the message my characters were trying to send. I don't have to worry much about worldbuilding in short contemporaries, so there's more freedom in the tone for my voice to shine through.

8 - Can you see yourself writing a more serious contemporary romance any time in the future?

No. My contemporaries are my mental escape.

I can definitely see how you would like to switch gears.

I really like escapism, which is why I like writing paranormals and fantasy. Take me away from reality. Please. :-)

9 - Would a more humorous paranormal storyline have any attraction for you?

Funny you should ask.

(Woo hoo! A scoop!)

 I have one in the works. But as a single title paranormal, it won't be laughs from one end to the other. It's going to have its dramatic moments. I love this particular one (okay, I love them all...) but again, it's the story that my characters demanded I tell.

10 - From any genre of romance, who are your favorite sigh-worthy hero and your most inspirational heroine?

I love Kenny Karmody in OUT OF CONTROL from Suzanne Brockman's Troubleshooters series.

I mean, I seriously love him.

I read his story three times, lent the book to someone, and now I have to go hunt it down so I can read it again.

And for a heroine, Ayla from CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR. Hands down. Talk about resilient. Now I want to read those books again, too.


11 - LOL!

If you're looking for Paula on Facebook, you can find her here:

If you're looking for Paula on Twitter, you can find her here:

If you're looking for Paula on Goodreads, you can find her here:

12 - DESIRE BY DESIGN is currently sitting at 4.5 stars on from 21 reviewers, and at 4.29 stars on Goodreads from 34 ratings.

13 - Here's a short excerpt:

She lifted her coffee cup to her unsteady lips and concentrated on business. She couldn't resist poking him a little, just to see if he'd laugh. She could use one herself.

"You don't have any ideas of your own, do you?" she said.

He slumped deeper into the sofa and clasped his fingers behind his head, his gaze stroking her from head to toe. A lick of heat leaped into his eyes. "I've got plenty of ideas."

She focused on her coffee and tried not to take his words too seriously. Matt was a rich, handsome man, famous in his field, and flirting came naturally to him. It had nothing to do with her.

"Why don't you just come right out and tell Bob that this project isn't your style and be done with it?" she suggested. "Then you wouldn't have to worry about new ideas."

"I don't know," Matt said slowly, smoothing his chin with the pad of his thumb. he had a nice chin, strong and solid--it went well with the rest of him. The navy running gear showed off a far different frame than the one she'd expected based on his business suits. "It's been a long time since I've had ideas like this," he added. "They might be well worth exploring."    

Eve took a long, flustered swig of coffee and choked on it, burning the inside of her nose.

- Paula Altenburg, 2013

Thanks for dropping by, Paula!

Thanks for having me. This was fun!

Friday, May 17, 2013

5 on Friday - Set 171

Travis at Trav's Thoughts invites everyone to lay down a short set of music that takes their fancies for his 5 on Friday meme.

Lo-o-ong weekend! Thank the Lord. My Friday off from the day job, Saturday, Sunday and Victoria Day Monday. Let's rock!

1 - Working For the Weekend - Loverboy

2 - After Midnight - Eric Clapton 

3 - Limelight - Rush

4 -Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting - Elton John

5 - Lust For Life from the Trainspotting soundtrack - Iggy Pop

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm blogging at The Popculturedivas

Please join me at The Popculturedivas for 13 More Author Promo Ideas.

Friday, May 10, 2013

5 on Friday - Set 170

Travis at Trav's Thoughts invites everyone to lay down a short set of music that takes their fancies for his 5 on Friday meme.

As I keep my head down and work hard on finishing the first round of revisions for the second book in my Dragonsfyre series, here are five pieces of music that could belong to a soundtrack for this story.

1 - Wardruna - Sowelu

This piece is sung in a mix of Norwegian and Old Norse, and features scenes from the History Channel's Vikings.

2 - River of Collections from the Everything is Illuminated soundtrack - composed by Paul Cantelon 

3 - In Trutina from Carmina Burana - composed by Carl Orff

4 -Lento E Largo from Symphony No. 3, Opus 36 - composed by Henryk Gorecki

5 - Mars: Bringer of War from The Planets - composed by Gustav Holst

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thursday Thirteen - 278 - 13 E-books My Writers' Group is Donating to the Brenda Novak Online Auction For Diabetes Research

My writers' group, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada, is donating a Kobo mini loaded up with e-booky goodness for the Brenda Novak Online Auction for Diabetes Research.

Check out these titles that will go to the lucky bidder:

1 - Paula Altenburg - THE DEMON'S DAUGHTER

2 - Donna Alward - OFF THE CLOCK

3 - Kelly Boyce - THE OUTLAW BRIDE


5 - Pamela Callow - DAMAGED

6 - Cathryn Fox - COWBOY'S WAY

7 - Deborah Hale writing as Elizabeth Charles - CONFESSIONS OF A COURTESAN

8 - Sara Hubbard - BLOOD, SHE READ

9 - Julianne MacLean - THE PRINCE'S BRIDE

10 - Jennie Marsland - SHATTERED and DELIVERANCE

11 - Renee Pace - OFF LEASH

12 - Bev Pettersen - COLOR MY HORSE

13 - Shawna Romkey - SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

My own e-book BOUND BY DRAGONSFYRE is also on offer for the auction. Drop by the web site to browse through an amazing array of goods and services. By bidding on items, you'll be furthering research into diabetes, a condition that runs in my family. The difference between what my dad's family had as treatment or prognosis only 70 years ago, and what can be done for diabetes today is all thanks to fundraising and research exactly like this Brenda Novak event.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Free Comic Book Day - May the 4th Be With You

To celebrate Free Comic Book Day, I'm hosting a giveaway that starts today and runs till the end of the month.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SAINT SANGUINUS features my Dark Ages vampire superhero, Peredur.

Last year, Free Comic Book Day was one of my favorite author events for 2012. This year, I have a special treat to go along with free copies of my book.

Toronto sculptor and illustrator Ted Heeley has created an illustrated version of Peredur for my Free Comic Book Day giveaway.

Six limited prints are up for grabs, along with six e-copies and six paperback copies of SAINT SANGUINUS.

Why six?

This blog turned six years old in February, and I'm celebrating six truly wonderful years by giving away six versions of each prize.

Enter through the Rafflecopter link, and good luck! 

Friday, May 3, 2013

5 on Friday - Set 169

Travis at Trav's Thoughts invites everyone to lay down a short set of music that takes their fancies for his 5 on Friday meme.

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day!

To celebrate, I'm holding a month-long giveaway for e-copies of my Dark Ages vampire superhero story, SAINT SANGUINUS here on my blog. Stop by tomorrow to sign in for the giveaway.

I'll be dropping by at all the local comic book shops here in Halifax and Dartmouth--meanwhile, here at my blog I'll be celebrating superheroes. Hugh Jackman insists upon it.

An extra-special surprise also awaits...more tomorrow.

Until then, let's get into superhero mode with this week's set.  

1 - We Don't Need Another Hero - Tina Turner

2 - Boy Wonder - Big Pig 

3 - Everyday Superhero - Smash Mouth

4 -Hero Nickleback

5 - Wonderboy - Tenacious D

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I'm blogging at The Popculturedivas today

Join me for 13 of My Favorite TV Shows over at The Popculturedivas today.