Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chop, Chop, Chop

That's what I'll be doing in the near future with the secret-agents-meets-sci-fi novella I wrote not long ago. You see, the idea was there, but the characters... not so much. I had an in-depth conversation with my CP the other day about what was and wasn't working in this story. Unfortunately there's more that's not working. And you know me, I'd rather trash than fix. So, once I'm done with the Sanctuary novella I'm working on, Starstruck, I'm going back to the drawing board on Ultimate Infinity (I love that title, by the way.)
So many books to write, so little time! At some stage I need to get a move on with the second book to Heart of the Warlord. Plus last year I did start the fourth Sanctuary book, Sinner. I should probably try to finish that at some stage. I'm also going to be making a concentrated effort to focus a certain amount of time each week on web stuff and promo. My website is sadly neglected and I know I don't use all that fang-dangled social media stuff anywhere near as well as I should.
And now I'm off to schedule myself some guest-blog spots for April when Heart of the Warlord comes out. Busy, busy, busy.... chop, chop, chop...

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Know I Should Be Writing But....

This week, Australian politics became a circus as Kevin Rudd resigned and Julia Gillard called for a ballot on Monday to decide once and for all the true leader of the Labour Party. I put a post on facebook about Kevin Rudd secretly being an evil genius and one of my friends mentioned Pinky and the Brain. So, this morning I couldn't help but make this:


(I believe the rights to Pinky and the Brain belong to Warner Bros... no infringement intended.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'd Like To See... Australia Get A Whole New Bunch of Politicians

I don't usually get into politics around here, but...
There's two things I'm really sick of living in Australia. One: the banks. Seriously? What a bunch of thieves! This month, the Reserve Bank Australia left interest rates on hold, yet a few days later, the banks put interest rates up anyway because apparently they can't "afford" to keep the rates so low (never mind the multi-billion dollar profit they make every year). Supposedly the RBA will be giving us an interest rate cut in the next few months, but now even if the banks do happen to pass the rate cut on (which I wouldn't be surprised to find they don't), we won't be any better off than we were last month.
And Two: politicians. The top politicians to be exact. Kevin Rudd brought the Labour party to power with "Kevin '07" and that was great, I've always voted Labour because I come from a working-class family background who've always voted Labour. Despite some things not working out so well, I actually think Rudd did a good job, spending money on building new schools and other initiatives that pumped money and jobs into our economy. And in actual fact, while the rest of the world struggled under the GFC, Australia weathered things pretty well, and I think a lot of that came down to Rudd's economy stimulus package.   And you know what? I actually kind of like K-Rudd. He was the most human-like, down to earth politician I'd seen in a while. When scandal broke about him going to strip clubs, somehow it only made him cooler.
And then the coup happened. K-Rudd was losing popularity, so Labour pushed him aside and made Julia Gillard Prime Minister. Though I was happy about Australia getting its first female PM, I wasn't all that keen on Ms. Gillard. But here we are, a little while later and the tables seem to be tilting back. Gillard is losing her popularity and there's been talk of K-Rudd stepping back in.
Yesterday, some footage emerged on youtube of K-Rudd loosing his crap, belting out a string of swearwords worthy of any blue-collar, pub-dwelling labourer. Many speculate it is an attempt to discredit K-Rudd and stop him from returning to power. Except like with the strip-club-scandal, I have a feeling that most people will actually see this in a positive light -- it proves that K-Rudd is just like the rest of us, sometimes he gets pissed about things. That's how I view it anyway.
Labour Party leadership aside, I'm of the opinion that it won't matter what Labour does, they're not going to win the next election. And I can't decide what would be worse any way. Liberal's Tony Abbott (shudder) or another few years stuck with Gillard if K-Rudd doesn't manage to wrench the leadership back? You know what, I don't want ANY of them. If only there was a serious third option for the Australian PM, but with the way our government is set up, I think it would take some serious upheaval for another candidate to emerge. Really, I'm over it. And the worse part? Unlike America, we don't get a choice whether or not to vote. We HAVE to vote, its the law. So who the heck am I going to vote for?!?! The Green Party? Don't get me started on Bob Brown...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Project Update and New Release!

Just a quick update of where I'm at work-wise.
I'm happy to announce that contracts are signed and I have a release date of the 16th of April for a new sci-fi/fantasy romance titled Heart of the Warlord:
(working blurb, may change before book release)


On the planet Kanaan, Jiovahnie Dorrian, the Marques of Gryffin, walks a fine line between keeping his place in society amongst the Ruling Families, and his ancestral legacy of being a warlord. Though he'd rather stay camped in the Borderlands with his men, when his cousin, the Duque of Harkin is to be married, it’s the event of the season. One he can't miss. After all, the duque expects him to be the best man. But Vahn doesn't anticipate his best man duties to include fetching his cousin's bride when an enemy attempts to abduct her.

Lady Gwynevive Tyne isn't the wilting Miss society expects her to be. And when mercenaries attack her traveling party on the way to her intended husband's home, she does what any self-respecting girl should —  tries to steal the enemy's ship to escape. But before she can get away with the reckless plan, a warrior turns up claiming to be sent by her fiancé. He dresses like a mercenary and his silvery, metal-gray eyes make her heart beat a little too fast.

For both Vahn and Gwyn, a forbidden attraction flames to life between them almost instantaneously. Both know there's no way they can be together. Yet neither of them can stay away from one another. An enemy is intent on preventing Gwyn's marriage, and at every turn, Vahn finds himself protecting Gwyn from danger. He needs keep her safe and then hand her over to his cousin to wed. And when the time comes, they have to find some way to let each other go… Or risk starting a war that could tear apart the Ruling Families. 

Last week I finished the novella I've been working on, at 33,000 words. Its a secret-agents-meets-sci-fi romance and I had a lot of fun writing it. If I can find a home for it, I'm hoping to write some more in the series. For the time being I'm calling it Ultimate Failsafe
Despite my intentions to leave the Sanctuary universe in favor of other projects, I found myself starting a novella the other day, which I'm calling Starstruck. I think it'll end up being around about 25,000 to 30,000 words, we'll see what the characters do though. It's about a demon Angel Assassin who gets ordered by the demon king to go and kill a human movie star... because he didn't like the guy's last movie. Oh, and the demon king also wants to send a message to the humans that no one is safe. I'm about 6000 words in and this novella has also been really fun to write, so I'm hoping to have it finished fairly quickly and subbed to my editor at Noble in the coming month or so. 
After that, I had planned on returning to work on a young adult novel I started in December, but let's just wait and see what happens. I have a habit of working where the mood strikes me!

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'd Like To See... Supernatural Get A New Regular Character, Possibly Female

Disclaimer: season 7 spoilers a'hoy!
This week's episode of Supernatural was really great. It showed us yet another facet of the Winchester brothers when Sam and Dean found themselves in a situation similar to one they'd experienced previously, but with the tables turned. A while back, Sam had a 'friend' of the monster variety he'd met when he was a kid. He let her go then because she didn't want to be evil. Fast forward to the present and even though she'd killed people (she did have a good reason, but we won't go into that), Sam wanted to let her go again. Dean then went behind Sam's back and killed her anyway, because you don't make nice with monsters, you kill them. Hadn't Ruby taught them anything? Of course when Sam eventually found out, he wasn't all that impressed, but he eventually came to agree with Dean's mantra.
This week's episode saw Dean becoming a father after a one night stand... shocked much? But this wasn't any normal one night stand. The pregnancy took 36 hours to come to term and the girl was a teenager in a matter of days. Her, her mother, and the 'tribe' of women were the thing Sam and Dean had come to town hunting.
Dean has always had a deep-seated desire to have a family of his own, this has been demonstrated many different ways over the years. Yet he believes the life he lives makes it impossible, he refuses to bring a child up as he and Sam were, and he can't leave the life, which makes having his own family a non-issue.
So when faced with his own daughter, even though she was half crazy-woman-Amazonian-man-killer, you could see a spark of hope in Dean when he looked at her. For a moment he was something other than the depressed, bitter semi-alcoholic hunter he'd been since Castiel had died, made even worse by the death of Bobby.
And just when you think Dean is going to find someway to talk his daughter out of a life of being a psycho-single-white-female, Sam bursts in and shoots her, even though she pleads with Dean not to let Sam hurt her. Dean tries to hide his shock and upset, though Sam knows him too well and hits him with the "you don't make nice with monsters" speech Dean once gave him. It was quite brilliantly done by the writers and I'll be interested to see if there is any more fallout from that situation through the rest of the season.
But back to the original subject of this post. Just think for one second... how interesting would it have been if Dean had of hit the road with his half-Amazonian teenage daughter? Okay, it never would have worked I suppose, but in my wildest fantasies, it would have made me long for next week's episodes even more than I already do now. The dynamics of such an unconventional family (even more unconventional than Sam and Dean already are) would have been fascinating.
I've been wondering for a few weeks what the writers are going to do about an outside regular character now that Bobby is dead. Let's face it, the show needs one or its going to stagnate and we sure as heck don't want that. I feel given the show's history, the writers will automatically bring in another guy, who, what or why I can't guess, but I think they could do better.
I mean, let's face it, everything has been done before. We've had the absent father in John, the substitute-father in Bobby, the BFF for Dean in Castiel, the kid-sister in Jo, and the other brother in Adam. There aren't many other types of male platonic relationships they can introduce without covering old territory.
So here's what I'd like to see. A regular female character.
And not an evil bitch whose sole motive is to lead them to ruin (Ruby) or a narcissistic, self-serving psychopath (Bella). With the return of Jody Mills a few weeks ago, I wondered if she was going to be It, falling into a substitute-mother role for the boys, something they've never had and would probably love, even as they chaffed against it.
But, more than that, I think a female character the boy's age, one who inadvertently gets mixed up with their shenanigans (either a hunter or not a hunter, both would work for different reasons) would show us a different dynamic we haven't seen before.
I don't even necessarily think she would need to be a love-interest for either of them (though I would like to see Dean get what he wants deep down in a stable relationship that doesn't end in disaster or permanent angel-induced-amnesia), I really believe inserting such a character could breathe new life into the show as it heads into season 8, and give viewers and the CW a reason to then continue into season nine, if the actors and creators involved want to keep going.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shona Husk - First Guest Author for 2012

Hello there everyone!
I'd been thinking for a while now that I really should be more proactive about having the many talented authors I've come to know through RWAus randomly visit my blog every once in a while. So here's the result! I'm pleased to introduce the fabulous Shona Husk, who is celebrating the release of her latest book with Ellora's Cave. FYI, have a cold drink of water on hand when you check out the cover... because woo baby! Anyway... here's Shona!

Welcome! Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about who you are.
Thank you for inviting me over, Jess. I’m Shona Husk and I write paranormal and fantasy romance. Some of my stories are sensual others are erotic but they all have a happily ever after.
        
Please tell us a bit about your book.
Sharing Sirius is the third book in the Lucinda’s Lover series. Lucinda’s Lover is a Vampire rock band and each book follows a different guy as they fall in love. They can be read as standalone novellas, but read in sequence they take the band from inception to end. I’m working on the final book at the moment. Sharing Sirius is also my first mmf ménage story, and was a lot of fun to write ;)

What was the motivation/idea behind this book/these characters?
When writing Vampire’s I always like to know how old they are and which bits of history they’ve been involved with as it shapes who they are. In the first book, Kissing Phoenix, Aiden was quite young and he’d been a medic in WW1, Etienne in, Tasting Thanatos, had barely survived the French revolution. With Owen in Sharing Sirius I knew he was the oldest of the four Vampires, and at just over seven hundred his age is catching up with him. The story is about his lovers quest to save Owen and give him a new lease on life, of course the best way to do that is to have a second lover. So there’s a little jealousy, a wounded heart or two, some arguments and lots hot Vampire nookie before everything gets sorted out between the three of them.

Did you enjoy writing this book, or did you have some tough times with it?
While I’d read plenty of ménage stories, writing was different to what I’d expected. That extra person tripled work as there was more emotion, more conflict, more of everything to think about. On the other hand, I think that is what made it so much fun, pulling all those bits together and getting a HEA for everyone made it such a great story to write.

When / Where / How do you write?
Every day, usually in the evening, usually at my desk with my laptop. Sometimes I’ll write during my lunch break at work in a note book.
 
Do you have some other qualification/interest/something else you do besides being a writer?
I’m a civil designer. Which means I design roads and drainage…and I’ll stop now before you all fall asleep. 
       
What book/s are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading books for the RITA at the moment so I can’t talk about them L I love talking about books. It’s the first time I’ve been a judge for the RITA and I’m really enjoying it.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on the last Shadowlands book, For the Love of a Goblin Warrior, which will be out towards the end of the year. Then I’m moving on to a new paranormal romance trilogy.

Thanks so much for stopping by and telling us all about Sharing Sirius, the whole series sounds great. Its been on my TBR pile for a while, but now I'm thinking I need to move it closer to the top!