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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Happy Saturday

OMG, yesterday ended up being the day from h-e-double-hockey-sticks. I received a rejection from an agent I was very hopeful about; my hubby's 19 yr old poured a bunch of plastic bb's down our kitchen sink; and now our dishwasher and garbage disposal won't work (I think the effing bb's clogged them up). The kids were killing each other; and the five year old decided to throw a fit in the middle of the street when we walked down to a garage sale and discovered the people had already closed up shop.

Because I was so upset about the rejection, I lost it. I had a total meltdown. Hubby felt so bad he bought me a card with Godzilla on the front chewing up a train. Bless him :)

Just because I'm a masochist, I sent an email query to another agent at about 10:00 last night. She requested sample chapters within two minutes. Yay! Because I was so upset, I scurried around the house cleaning. As a result, this morning I woke up to a tidy house. Another yay! The kids are still sleeping...so peace reigns for at least another hour. A third yay! And the garbage disposal and dishwasher...well, I don't know what the heck we'll do about those :(

Anyone. Please tell me--when, oh when do teenagers grow up?!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:55 AM | 4 comments

Friday, April 28, 2006

I HATE spyware!

Yesterday, my hubby's 'puter died a bloody, violent death.

Somehow, his computer became infected with spyware and it locked up and we couldn't get it to do anything, and when the hubby shut it down and tried to restart, Windows froze up.

Gggggrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

Oh, I'm so ticked off! I've never seen anything like it. All of these icons were popping up on the desktop (Spyware Sheriff? WTF?) , then the desktop changed and there was this big blue screen that said, "Warning your computer is infected with spyware" and then nothing. It crashed and won't even start in "Safe Mode".

Can anyone please explain to me how it is that my hubby's computer keeps getting these friggen bugs? Where do they come from? Is it from surfing? From email? From AIM? We don't even have AIM loaded. How do they get on a person's computer if they're NOT opening emails with attachments? It's always his computer...so far. I'd DIE if mine crashed like that. And the weird thing is he's the one who runs scans all the time and keeps downloading updates to his spyware protection. I'm not nearly as obsessive with it.

Anyone want to share some wisdom? What do we do now? Is the computer dead for good? And how do we avoid it happening again?

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:19 AM | 7 comments

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Don't let anyone steal your dream!

And don't let anyone sell you some wooden nickels either!

Read this: http://www.writearomance.com/

Sounds great, doesn't it? There's a Big Secret to writing romance. A magical formula. And if you spend $197 plus $12.95 for shipping you can learn it too and save yourself years of frustration, hours and hours of hard work, and tons of money. You simply fill in the blanks like a Mad Lib and voila, completed romance novel! It's easy-breezy.

Oh yes, sign me up, please!

Too bad it's all a big lie.

If you've read my blog since it's launch, you know I'm not usually catty or malicious, but this advertisement really steams me up. It's targeted to desperate, frustrated authors. And $197 is nothing for them to drop if it means they'll get their dreams. I admit, I would've fallen for it.

I am all for people taking courses and buying materials that will help them develop their craft. However, I'm not for throwing money away on scams. This is a scam. If it wasn't, the author would be a NY Times bestselling novelist. She's not. If she could write books in three days, she'd have dozens published. She doesn't.

It's a scam.

Let's check out the author's credentials. Those are always telling. Would you trust a surgeon who's only operated on dead mice? Would you trust a carpenter to build a well-constructed house who's only built dollhouses?

Ms. Adams reported on another author's blog that the book she references in the advertisement is published under the pen name Morgan Leshay, ISBN 0-9754533-8-6. The book's title is "Redemption" and it's published by a small press called LBF Books. Today's Amazon ranking is #453,096, despite the fabu quote by NY Times Bestselling author Teresa Medeiros.

Being an author who is also published by an inde press, I have no prejudices against folks who decide to have their work published by a small press. That's not the issue here. What is the issue is that Ms. Adams is presenting herself as a professional, and is making promises of "Fame and Fortune" to those who buy her system. I KNOW she's not getting either fame or fortune by having one book published by an inde publisher. It's unlikely she's sold more than 100 copies of her book. How can she possibly promise something to others when she hasn't been able to acquire them for herself? Using her own system?

Not a chance. It's more likely she'll gain "Fame and Fortune" selling this "Magical Formula" to hopeful authors who are frustrated and desperate for answers.

Don't buy the lies!

There is no magical formula. Writing a "bestselling" novel is hard work. It takes time. It takes talent and it takes determination. Building a career is hard work. It's frustrating and grueling. There are NO SHORTCUTS. You cannot fill in the blanks of some template and churn out bestseller after bestseller. Ask a NY Times bestselling author, and they'll tell you that--for free!

This whole thing is a slap in the face to authors who've worked hard to hone their craft and build their careers. And it's frightening to think about how many unknowing people who will part with their hard-earned cash to buy a magical potion that's no better than sugar water.

If you want help. If you need help, join RWA. Join a critique group. Write, write, write and read, read, read. Develop your voice. Learn to plot. Take workshops taught by trusted authors with real credentials. Don't hand over your money to a snake oil salesperson.

End of rant.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:30 AM | 9 comments

A sidenote to yesterday's post...

Evil Editor's taking questions and also critiquing query letters. Now's your chance! Polish up that query and post it for feedback. I don't know who this Evil Editor is but what he says makes sense. I don't think you have anything to lose by posting.

Click here for Evil Editor

posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:27 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Query Letters and Evil Editors

This post is for all the hopeful authors out there struggling to write their first (or second or even fifth) query letter.

Today, many editors and agents rely heavily on the query letter to determine what manuscripts warrant a chance at being published. The days of sending full (or even partial) manuscripts to editors unsolicited are for the most part over. An author has one page to convince an agent/editor to ask for a sample. The query letter has become a filtering device of sorts, a way for editors and agents to sift out the gems from the sludge.

So, what goes into an effective query letter? What will make your query stand out from the hordes of others that land on an editor or agent's desk?

If nothing else, the letter MUST be professional. There cannot be any typos, misspellings or grammatical errors. The editor or agent’s name must be spelled correctly and contain the correct salutation. Make sure you know whether the agent/editor is a male or female.

If you’ve never written a query letter before, have several people read your letter for you. Use spell check and grammar check. Make sure you do not misuse who’s/whose, they’re/their, etc. If you do as I suggest and compose a professional and technically flawless letter, your letter will already be miles ahead of most of the others sitting on the agent/editor’s desk.

Second, the letter must be brief and focused. There should be roughly three sections or paragraphs and each one has a precise purpose. (Note: you may place these paragraphs in whatever order you think is best--put the most significant paragraph first. If you have twenty books published, by all means put that first. If not, try opening with your book’s hook.)

A. An introduction and statement of your purpose.
This is where you tell the agent/editor the reason why you’re writing. You also mention your book’s title, length and genre and any publishing credits or contest wins--if you have them. Do not include any work experience not directly related to the subject matter of your book. There is no need to “beef up” this section if you don’t have any publishing credits. However, a mention of related professional affiliations (for instance RWA) is fine.

B. The blurb of your book.
This section is where you place a short, snappy paragraph about your book. How you write this section is key. If an agent/editor is intrigued by the premise and see some commercial potential, they may ask for more. If it’s flat and dull, they won’t. I tend to write hooky paragraphs that read a lot like back cover blurbs. Do NOT use this section to tell the editor how great your book is, or how much it’s going to sell, or that your entire critique group thought it was a potential NY Times bestseller. Tell the editor about the characters and their goals, conflict and motivation. Tell these things in a way that is memorable and intriguing. Make every word count.

C. The wrap up and thank you.
In this final paragraph, you want to thank the agent/editor for their time and provide contact information.

There you are. Done. Finis. You’ve now drafted a brief, professionally-crafted query that will not automatically land in the circular file. It may or may not get you a request every time. That depends upon the appeal of your book’s premise, how “commercial” it is. But at least it won’t shut you out before you’ve had a chance.

If you remember nothing else, remember this: agents and editors are looking for a package that is commercial, that has the potential for wide appeal. They want a book that has a unique hook, one that can be marketed to appeal to the masses. Don’t *tell* the agent/editor that you’ve written such a book, *show* them by writing a great blurb.

For examples of what not to do, check out this blog-- Evil Editor

I don’t know who this editor is, but he has some great advice and samples.

Good luck with your submissions!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:28 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Not one, not two but THREE great reviews!

Sorry we had no Manic Monday post yesterday. Blogger was being a big, fat meanie and wouldn't let me post :(

But today, I wanted to share some good news. I received three fantastic reviews yesterday! Let me tell you, as an author it's very satisfying when a reviewer "gets" your book. It doesn't happen all the time, so when it does, I'm thrilled. And when it happens three times in one day, I'm over the moon!

Anyway, here's a short snippet from each review and a link so you can read the rest. Enjoy!

The first one is for Immortal Secrets: Spells and Seduction. Thank you, Candy, for the terrific review!

5 Stars!

Tawny Taylor continues her Immortal Secrets series. She returns to her world of the Guardians of humanity. Ms. Taylor weaves steamy sex scenes and elaborate fantasies into her story. Malcolm is a delicious hero. Every woman will want a man just like him. Make sure your fan is in working condition before beginning this book. You will need it!

Link to read the rest: eCataRomance Reviews

The second review is also for Spells and Seduction, this one by Holly at Romance Reviews Today. A heartfelt thank you, Holly!

Tawny Taylor has woven a magical tale that's sprinkled with a ménage a trois and some bondage. Along the way, we learn a little bit about Malcolm and Rory while watching them fall in love. With Malcolm's deadline approaching, SPELLS AND SEDUCTION is given a bit of tension. The sex is hot, but the love burns brighter. Don't miss a spellbinding tale of magical love in SPELLS AND SEDUCTION.

Link to read the rest: Romance Reviews Today

The last review is for Stolen Goddess, my most recent release. Thank you, Talia, for the fantastic review! I'm with you on Xur. I want him :)

I loved Stolen Goddess! I thought Tawny Taylor’s storyline quite inventive and unique. What woman wouldn’t want their very own Xur? He can kidnap me any day and doesn’t even have to marry me! Kylie is a trouper and pretty easy going for a Goddess that has forgotten everything about her life. I enjoyed watching her feelings and memories evolve to include the love she and Xur had for each other.

Stolen Goddess by Tawny Taylor is just an entertaining read that thoroughly satisfied my romantic heart. I came away satisfied with a smile on my face! Great job Ms. Taylor, I think Stolen Goddess a winner!


Link to read the rest: Joyfully Reviewed

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:00 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, April 23, 2006

MORE pictures!


From left to right: Reader Debbie E., Mandy Roth and Tawny Taylor

Jaid and Tawny talking to an enthusiastic reader who wants the next Trek book :)

Debbie E. pulling out her stash for Tawny and Jaid to sign.

Thanks to Mandy Roth (and her talented photographer) for these photos!
And thanks to Melissa for organizing and hosting such a fun event! It was a huge success.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 1:14 PM | 6 comments

Friday, April 21, 2006

Happy Friday!

Since today is the last day of Spring Break for the kiddies, I'm taking the day off to go do some kid stuff. We're heading to the farm for a couple hours to pet baby goats and chase geese (actually, we tend to run away from them, rather than chase them). Then it's off to the park to fly kites. I'm sure we'll have a wonderful day.

Before I head out, I wanted to post a review I received a couple of days ago. This is for my Cerridwen Press book, About Monday, which was written under my Sydney Laine Allan penname. I'll post a bit of the review.
To read the rest (it is a terrific review from start to finish!) go to Paranormal Romance Reviews.

"I can actually go on and on about how much I enjoyed this story...unfortunately I'd also give away some of the juicy parts of the story. Sydney Laine Allan drops the movie names for "The Truth about Cats and Dogs" as well as "Freaky Friday" and ABOUT MONDAY has created a fabulous story somewhere in-between. ABOUT MONDAY is many things: humorous, thought provoking, sensual - that I wholly recommend this book!"

Reviewed by Cynthia Eckert
Courtesy PNR Reviews

posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:04 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Want to win free paperbacks?

Come to the Cerridwen Press Print Party!


That's right folks - we're having a party. Well actually we're having TWO parties.

Thursday April 20 from 4pm to 8pm we will be showcasing 5 of the fabulous Cerridwen authors who have their books in print. Authors spotlighted include Ruby Storm, Rosemary Laurey, Janet Miller, Lorie O'Clare and Katherine Allred


then


Next Thursday - April 27 from 4pm to 8pm - we will be showcasing the remaining 6 authors.


Get ready for excerpts

Get ready for contests

Get ready for PRINT books.


To play - all you need to do is join the Cerridwen reader loop

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cerridwenchat/

See you all then.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 12:10 PM | 0 comments

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Big weekend coming up!

I need to drag this blog out of the blah's. So, I figured I'd post about this coming weekend. I've been looking forward to it for months. Seriously. Why? Because we're having a big booksigning at Paperbacks N Things this weekend. Yes, I'll be signing. But that's not why I'm so excited. I'm geeked because I'll get to see fellow EC authors and pals Jodi Lynn Copeland and Jaid Black. Yay! I'm hoping Jodi will bring her baby. I LOOOOVE babies! And Jaid is such a terrific lady. I always enjoy signing with her. Plus, I'll be meeting Mandy Roth for the first time. If you've ever met me in person, you know how I love to socialize and meet new people. It's strange but I'm MUCH quieter online than I am in real life.

Also, there will be Patty Marks, Brenda and John, the EC bus--also a sight to behold--and a Caveman or two. It's going to be a GREAT time!

For those in the area, Paperbacks N Things is on Wayne Rd. in Westland, Michigan. The store is south of Joy Rd in the stripmall between Arby's and Wendy's. Hope to see you there!

posted by Tawny Taylor at 10:21 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Singing the Rejection Blues

I got another rejection today. {sigh} In a way, it's disappointing. In a way, it's a relief. I absolutely HATE the waiting (see earlier rant). It's like standing on the platform, my head on the chopping block, waiting for the ax to fall.

When I started writing, I was one of those foolish people who thought I'd write a book, submit it, get published and become the next Nora. Oh, the ignorance of an enthusiastic newbie author :)

Not that it makes any difference, but now that I know how hard it is to break into publishing, I wonder if I would’ve chosen this career. Had I known how unlikely it was to achieve the kind of success I was dreaming of, there’s a good chance I would’ve chosen a different path.

I’ll admit, I didn’t start writing because I had this urgent inner drive to write. While I had dabbled in fiction on and off for most of my life before the summer of 2001, I’d never considered becoming an author. Writing was a hobby. Then we hit some financial troubles and I was faced with a choice: find something I could do out of the house to generate some income or kiss my dream of staying home with my kids goodbye. My hubby needed help. He couldn’t make enough money to support our large family by himself.

And so, I sat down one day and started writing a book. I can’t remember how far I was into it when I stumbled upon iPublish, the internet writers’ community founded by Warner Books. I posted a chapter for consideration (side note: posted chapters were displayed in a public forum and readers/fellow authors scored and critiqued them. High scoring chapters were then considered for publication by Warner editors for ebook publishing). It was a brutal environment for a newbie like me. Some folks scored great submissions low, simply to knock them out of the running. My work was torn to shreds, not necessarily to knock it out of the running. It was torn to shreds because it sucked. Of course, being the newbie I was, I had no idea it was so bad. That was my work. My future NY Times bestseller these people were calling trash. I was devastated.

That should’ve clued me in to what a difficult industry publishing was. But I thought it was just the competitive environment bringing out the worst in people. Surely it wasn’t like that everywhere.

Eventually, Warner decided iPublish wasn’t worth the resources they were pouring into it. They closed up and I found myself a co-owner in a critique group. It wasn't a perfect replacement but it was something.

It was then, as I worked, revised, submitted, and collected rejections that I slowly came to appreciate how unlikely it was that I’d ever see my dream come true. I knew I wasn’t going to be an overnight success. If I was ever going to see a book on the NY Times bestseller list, it was going to be a slow, painful climb.

Yes, I had a more realistic perspective now. I nearly quit. My hubby wasn’t supportive. He felt I was wasting my time. And I was neglecting other obligations to write.

Then, I received an email from a small press I’d submitted to. (It’s ironic, but it seems that when things look the bleakest, I get good news. God lets me suffer a little before dishing out the good stuff, I guess, so I’ll appreciate what I’ve been given. That’s my take on it.) My book, Raphaela’s Gift had been accepted for publication. I knew I wouldn’t make a gazillion dollars selling to a small press, but it was a start. I enthusiastically accepted the contract.

That book hasn’t sold many copies, although it’s a lovely, heart-warming story. But it did take me to the next level. I received a contract for Tempting Fate from Ellora’s Cave a few months later. Whether the acquiring editor at Ellora’s would admit it or not, I’m convinced the fact that I had another book published made her see me in a different light. I was no longer the unpublished newbie I’d been only a few months earlier.

Fast forward a couple years, and I’m still plugging away. I’ve had my moments when I’ve considered shutting down the computer and walking away. There are so many aspects of publishing that frustrates me. The waiting KILLS ME. I can’t stand tooting my own horn so my efforts at marketing are pathetic. But I find I can’t quit. There’s still a part of me that keeps dreaming. Maybe none of my current projects are destined to get me on that NY Times bestseller list, but there’s a romantic suspense premise I’ve been toying with that might get me somewhere...and the paranormal erotica series...or maybe that time travel I’ve been itching to write.

{sigh} Looks like I’m in for lots of waiting, lots of frustrations and lots of rejections :)

Anyone else want to sing the Rejection Blues with me?

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:27 AM | 6 comments

Monday, April 17, 2006

Pacing the Floor

I received a phone call at the end of last week from Kensington. My edits are on the way. {GULP!}

It's not like I haven't edited a book before. I have. My edits for my Ellora's Cave releases are exhaustive. I usually go through three to four "rounds" of edits. The first couple are for larger-picture issues. Plot holes. Characterization. Etc. The final rounds are for smaller issues like punctuation, any missed inconsistencies that have arisen from the earlier edits--people getting undressed twice, that kind of thing.

But this is it, my first stab at NY edits. I'm sooooo nervous!

What if I get this box of marked up pages and have no idea what the little red marks mean? Will I know what to do? I'm guessing there will be instructions and all will go smoothly, but I can't help wringing my hands and pacing the floor, listening for the Fed Ex truck to rumble up to my driveway.

Wish me luck all! This week the kiddies are home from school. Double Trouble :)

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:45 AM | 5 comments

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Want gas prices to go down?

Read the following. It makes sense.

GAS WAR - an idea that WILL work

This was originally sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. It ' s worth your consideration.

Join the resistance!!!! I hear we are going to hit close to $4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea.

This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them.

BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join with us! By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $2.79 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace..... not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.

Here's the idea:

For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.

But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of Exxon and Mobil gas buyers. It's really simple to do! Now, don't wimp out at this point.... keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people.

I am sending this note to 30 people. If each of us sends it to at least ten more (30 x 10 =3D 300) ... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 =3D 3,000)...and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth group of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers. If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it..... THREE >>HUNDRED MILLION >>>>PEOPLE!!!

Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all. (If you don't understand how we can reach 300 million and all you have to do is send this to 10 people.... Well, let's face it, you just aren't a mathematician. But I am, so trust me on this one.)

How long would all that take? If each of us sends this e-mail out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8 days!!!

I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you? Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY
LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN.

THIS CAN REALLY WORK.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:05 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

IT'S RELEASE DAY!

Today STOLEN GODDESS releases. This means alot to me because this novella was originally slated for serial release in Lady Jaided magazine.

It came as a complete shock to learn Lady Jaided was no longer going to be published, and I was particularly devastated because my serial was the next to appear in the magazine. I struggled with a decision on what to do with the now homeless story, decided to lengthen it (the magazine's format limited the wordcount) and submitted it to Ellora's.

Anyway, I'm thrilled to see it release today. It's a sexy, intriguing story. I had a lot of fun writing it.

STOLEN GODDESS by Tawny Taylor
Genre: Sci Fi erotic romance with light bondage
Available at www.ellorascave.com today!

Blurb:
When Kylie Mannings answers the door on Halloween evening, expecting a couple of toddlers in pumpkin costumes, she quickly learns that Snickers bars don't make the most effective weapon against kidnappers. In quick order, two thugs have her overpowered and unconscious. To her chagrin, she wakes up nude, tied to a bed, and the prisoner of a strange man. A powerful, very sexy man who insists she'’s his wife and some kind of goddess. Uh...hello? She'’s pretty sure she'’d remember a little thing like being married. And a goddess… Puhleez. If only she could convince her whip-wielding captor of his minor confusion.

Xur Phoenix has gotten his wife, the Goddess of Celestine, back at last. But much to his surprise, she claims she doesn't know him. Whether her supposed memory loss is genuine or a part of another sexy role-playing game doesn'’t matter. With her bound and helpless, a victim of her own darkest desires, he'’ll refresh her memory in no time. For her own safety, and his sanity, she needs to remember who her Master is...—and fast!

Unfortunately, with a killer on the loose, there'’s bound to be a few more surprises for them both.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 9:13 AM | 3 comments

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The hardest part of writing...

I wondering how many of you out there in cyberland feel the same way:

It is SO HARD to sit down every day and write. So hard. Usually, once I get going, I'm okay. But it's the getting-going part that's tough. I want to poke around blogs and check yahoo groups I never post to (I am a terrible lurker). I hit refresh a bazillion times on Romance Divas to see what new and exciting posts are going up there.

Why am I such a procrastinator? Gah!

The thing is I’ve been doing this long enough now (since the summer of 2001) to know it’s absolutely essential I sit my butt in my chair and write every day. Yes, I take weekends off. I work Saturdays at the bookstore and Sundays are family time. But Monday through Friday, I must write. Ten pages a day. Fifty pages a week.

Whenever I talk to a new writer, the first bit of advice I give them is to write something EVERY day. I’m so bad at taking my own advice :)

Time to get to work...

posted by Tawny Taylor at 11:14 AM | 5 comments

Monday, April 10, 2006

Now this is health advice I can follow

Bruce the Answer Man on Health Copyright 2000 W. Bruce Cameron http://www.wbrucecameron.com/


Welcome to another session of Bruce the Answer Man. Today's topic: Health And Why It Can Be Good For You.

Q: I've been dieting for nearly a year and I've only lost three pounds. I'm getting discouraged. What should I do?

A: What you should do is gain some perspective. What difference does a few pounds make in the grand scheme of things? Consider our planet. Earth weighs trillions and trillions of tons, and the Sun, the most potent force in our solar system, is millions of times heavier. Are you more important than they are? Of course not! So why do you even own a device which measures weights in something as infinitesimal as a pound? Does your watch measure time in zillionths of a second? Does your kitchen have measuring cups for adding a tenth of a grain of flour? In my opinion, anything less than a billion tons is "one." So yeah, if you weigh more than "one," you should probably go on a diet.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body, and you have body fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

A: How could that be true? Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it. Everything wears out eventually, so how could speeding up your heart make you live longer? That's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it more. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: My wife says I should cut down on meat, and eat more fruits and vegetables.

A: Your wife just doesn't grasp logistical efficiencies the way you do. Look, what does a cow eat? Corn. And what's corn? A vegetable. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass. And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily
allowance of slop.

Q: Is beer bad for you?

A: I normally don't like to answer questions which deal with my religious values, but I find this question so anathema I simply have to say something. Look, it goes to the earlier point about vegetables. As we all know, scientists divide everything in the world into three categories: animal, mineral, and vegetable. Well, we all know that beer is not an animal, and it's not on the periodic table of elements, so that only leaves one thing, right? My advice: Have a burger and a beer and tell everyone you're on a vegetarian diet.

Q: What is my "skin age?"


A: Well, how old are you?

Q: I'm 38 years old.

A: Well, I'd say your skin is at least that old, wouldn't you?

Q: At the gym, a guy asked me to "spot" for him while he did the bench press. What did he mean?

A: "Spotting" for someone means you stand over him while he blows air up your shorts. It's an accepted practice at health clubs, though if you find that it becomes the ONLY reason why you're going in, you probably ought to reevaluate your exercise program.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry.

Q: I'm getting a little soft around the middle. Will sit-ups help this?

A: Definitely not! Look, when you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger, right? You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: I thought it would be good for me to carry my clubs when I play golf, but last weekend some idiot almost ran over me with the golf cart!

A: Uh, sorry, I was reaching into my cooler and didn't see you.


Q: There's a lot of equipment available at the gym today, like the treadmill, the stair-stepper, etc. Which one do you recommend?


A: The strato-lounger.

Be sure to watch this column for additional installments of Bruce the Answer Man!

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The Cameron Column, A Free Internet Newsletter
Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 2000

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:49 AM | 2 comments

Friday, April 07, 2006

I'm such a tease :)

I'm thinking today I need to introduce you all to Xur, the absolutely to-die-for hero of my upcoming release, STOLEN GODDESS. Xur is a man to lust after, IMO. He knows what he wants and he goes after it.

Available April 12, 2006 from Ellora's Cave

Blurb:
When Kylie Mannings answers the door on Halloween evening, expecting a couple of toddlers in pumpkin costumes, she quickly learns that Snickers bars don’t make the most effective weapon against kidnappers. In quick order, two thugs have her overpowered and unconscious. To her chagrin, she wakes up nude, tied to a bed, and the prisoner of a strange man. A very powerful, very sexy man who insists she’s his wife and some kind of goddess. Uh...hello? She’s pretty sure she’d remember a little thing like being married. And a goddess...puhleez.

If only she could convince her whip-wielding captor of his minor confusion.

Xur Phoenix has gotten his wife, the Goddess of Celestine, back at last. But much to his surprise, she claims she doesn’t know him. Whether her supposed memory loss is genuine or a part of another sexy role-playing game doesn’t matter. With her bound and helpless, a victim of her own darkest desires, he’ll refresh her memory in no time.

Unfortunately, with a killer on the loose, there’s bound to be a few more surprises for them both...

Teaser:

“You say you don’t remember me. So, I guess I have no other choice.” He stood next to her, too close. His gaze smoothed up and down her body like a sensual caress.

“I didn’t say I don’t remember you. I said I’ve never met…you…” She felt herself melting. Her body’s instantaneous reaction pissed her off and she was forced to explain it away in a rush of empty excuses to maintain her self-respect. Kylie Mannings was a strong woman. A woman with a backbone. A mind. She did not appreciate being treated like a brainless hunk of prime rib laid out on a hibachi. He stared at her breasts and her nipples tingled, sending little zaps of wanting down her spine. “Urgh!”

Yes, she had a mind. Even if her tongue was tied in knots at the moment and she was talking like a Neanderthal.

“I’ll simply have to reacquaint us,” he said, sounding—and looking—downright pleased. He licked his lips. She stared. He had nice lips. Full for a guy. They looked soft. Yummy. He leaned closer and ran a single fingertip down the center of her belly.

Even as she shuddered with desire, she growled, “Like hell you will. Don’t you dare touch me or I’ll scream. Loud.”

His chuckle sent shivers through her body, good shivers, the kind she hadn’t indulged in since Adam left. And the smile, well, that nearly put her in a coma. “I must say, I’ve never seen this side of you. You’ve always been such a…compliant wife.”

Her tongue sprung free of its knot. “What? Wife? Did you say wife?” she interrupted. Why would he think she was his wife? Was that what he was saying? No. She’d misunderstood. There could be no other explanation.

He frowned. She had to admit, the smile did a lot more for her than the frown. “Yes, of course I said wife,” he said. “We’ve been married for almost six years.” He leaned forward, closer, closer, closer, until his breath warmed her lips. He was going to kiss her? He thought she was his wife. Shouldn’t she try to correct him before he did something crazy, like lay those lips on hers? Yes. Yes, she should. “Don’t you remember me?” he asked. He blew a cool stream of air on her mouth and a rush of warmth blazed along her nerves. She closed her eyes and sucked in a gasp. “We’ve been very, very happily married,” he added. His lips brushed gently across hers in a light, teasing kiss. “Until you left.”

Her resolve crumbled. They’d figure out all that wife stuff later.

“Why’d you leave me?” he asked.

Good question.

“I know everything about you,” he continued. “Like how you love me to pinch your nipples…” While she lay shamefully still, he closed a forefinger and thumb over each taut bud and squeezed until she was near tears and her heart was skipping beats and her pussy was wet and hot and ready. “…like this and then kiss them.” He leaned over her and closed his warm mouth over one still stinging nub, taking away the pain with slow, lazy swipes of his velvety tongue.

Oh, she wasn’t lying so still any longer. But she wasn’t exactly trying to get away either.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:40 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, April 06, 2006

This week's review quote and book light rant

Here's a quote from a fantastic review of Spells and Seduction. A big thank you to Francesca Hayne!

Ms. Taylor has a talent of creating inventive sex scenes with unusual situations. The sex is pivotal to bringing out their past love for each other. The imaginative sex scenes, from an ingenious ménage a trois to a wicked bondage encounter, kept me glued to the story. The mystery behind Malcolm’s motivating drive to leave Rory behind kept the plot on track and my attention focused on what would happen next. Spells and Seduction has an imaginative plot with ingenious, passionate sex scenes that kept my interest on the love story.

Francesca Hayne, Just Erotic Romance Reviews

I'm trying to finish Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark this week. It's not that I'm not enjoying the book, because I am. It's my frustration with those stupid little book lights. They use teeny tiny calculator batteries and the stupid things don't last. {sniff, sniff} And because the batteries cost so darn much, and the lights are so cheap, it's actually cheaper to go buy another light. Grrrr! I don't want to have to buy a new light every few weeks!

Anyone have a suggestion? I read in a DARK room. I'm usually trying to get my baby to sleep while I'm reading. I need something small that won't light up the whole room. I want one of those miner's lamps, you know? With the light on the front. LOL

Someone, invent a book light that works for more than a few days. PLEASE! I read ebooks when I can but many of my fave authors are not available in ebook.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:54 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Menage-a-mania

There are bazillions of menage books coming out these days. They've become fairly common among erotic romance/erotica publishers. And I'm assuming that's because they're popular among readers.

It's a well known fact that one of the most common male fantasies is two women/one man. With the increasing popularity of two men/one woman menage a trois stories, I'm wondering if women are starting to share a similar fantasy.

Me, I can't say I've read a menage story that's done anything for me...yet. I'm looking for a good story that'll really burn my knickers, so to speak :) I do wonder if you all would be willing to share what the appeal is, and the titles of your favorite menage books? Please, don't be shy! I'm anxious to read a really hot menage and see why they've become so popular.

posted by Tawny Taylor at 8:51 AM | 3 comments

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It's almost here!

What "it" am I talking about? Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in Daytona. I've been planning for it since last October and let me tell you, I'm excited, nervous. Both. It's my first writing conference.

When I decided to go last fall, I had NO idea how much planning, preparation and money was involved. I was clueless. I didn't go overboard with buying thousands of giveaways and I still spent a tidy sum on promo stuff. I have book bags and cosmetic mirrors, pens, postcards, business cards and bookmarks. I'm in four co-op promo items: flower seed packets and the "official" EC playing card deck PLUS two co-op baskets. But I'll tell ya, I could've spent a whole lot more.

I do admit I went a little bonkers on the costumes, specifically for the Ellora's Cave party and the Fairy Ball. I LOVE sewing costumes. RT gave me the opportunity to try a new historical era--Victorian. I've always sewn earlier costumes, mainly Elizabethan. That was a fun change :) I'm dressing up as a Moulin Rouge can-can dancer for the EC party and I have a Victorian peacock ball gown for the Fairy Ball. I CAN'T WAIT!

What's the point of all this rambling? Well...I'm nervous and I want to make this trip pay off. Plus I want to have FUN. I can't say whether I'll be able to go again next year. There's a good chance I won't.

Anyone who's been there have any tips?

posted by Tawny Taylor at 7:58 AM | 2 comments
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