Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reason #9 You Have Not Read THE BLANK BOOK

I know you've been anxiously awaiting the second installment in our series. If you didn't read the first installment, you can start there, then come back here.

Okay, drum roll... Reason #9 you have not read The Blank Book:

"I've never read anything by this author."

It's a bit scary to try new authors, isn't it? And it's a monetary investment, too.

But look at it this way--it takes some of the pressure off your favorite authors, by giving them time to write the next book. (Is it pathetic to try to pawn myself off as a social service?)

Plus there's always the possibility that a new author might become a favorite. Right? There's at least a small chance that you'll fall in love with the new author's voice, with her way of telling the age-old story of Boy Meets Girl...Happily Ever After.

I remember exactly where I was at the moment I read the news that LaVyrle Spencer was retiring. I was devastated! I couldn't imagine filling the void of that loss. Of course I still re-read my favorites of hers, but I also branched out and tried other authors. Since becoming an author, I've been more willing to give new people a chance. Some of them have become "auto-buys."

Remember--your current favorite used to be somebody you had never heard of. What if you hadn't given her a chance? Think of the wonderful hours of reading enjoyment you'd have missed.

To take a chance on this "new" author and The Blank Book, click either of its covers in the sidebar here. One is for the ebook, and the other for print. You can read the blurb and excerpt at the new page.

If you need a little more encouragement, here's a link to Abba's Take a Chance on Me.

Magdalena

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blogging elsewhere

Golly, I haven't been on the blog-hopping scooter in a while. Sure hope I remember how to drive this thing.

I posted a blog at Resplendence Publishing just now. Hop on and let's go over there!

Magdalena

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday

The only reason I'm posting a blog today is because I love this clip art so much, and hadn't used it in a while.

And because THE SUN IS SHINING! AT LAST!

I was able to walk a couple of miles this morning since, you know, it WASN'T RAINING. Finally.

But first I got to sleep late which I almost never do. It was 7:34 when I woke up. Wow.

The plan was to go out for brunch. Um... I goofed around on the internet, took my walk and a shower, and by the time we were in the car, Tumbleweed was chosen as our destination. Not a huge brunch-type restaurant.

Can you believe I had some Cheerios in my Margarita? No? Well, at least I considered it.

And this afternoon I'm getting to know the new laptop a little bit. It's so much faster than Della, who was getting arthritic. The new one has this amazing zoom feature which I keep doing by accident. My sleepy clip art gal can get almost as tall as I am. Scary...

I love Saturdays. Don't you?

Magdalena

Friday, September 25, 2009

Something pretty

I don't know about you, but I need a pick-me-up. The weather here in Magdalenaville has been overcast and rainy much of the week.

So let's look at something pretty! At left, dear friends, is a glass garden totem. I saw some displayed at a festival last weekend, and loved them so much I wanted to share with you. The lady at the festival said they are no more fragile than a gazing ball. She said they are wonderful in the flower garden. Imagine how pretty with the light reflecting on different colors of glass! She also said she brings hers in during the winter. She had one on her display table with candy in it. What an elegant candy dish it was!

But of course one doesn't photograph vendors' wares at a festival. So I Googled "glass garden totem" and one of the results was The Undomesticated Wife blog. I wrote to its author, and she graciously agreed to let me use her pictures. This blue and clear one is so cheerful. Please see her other garden totems here.

She also made a lovely bird bath using the technique. Lucky birds, huh?

I'm not particularly crafty, but I certainly have a lot of stuff. However, I think if I piled up several pieces of glassware and stuck them together for all eternity, it would just look like an eternal stack of glassware. These pieces, and the ones I saw last weekend, are lovely works of art.

So... Something pretty to cheer yet another gloomy day. Many thanks to The Undomesticated Wife for her generosity.

Happy Weekend!

Magdalena

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bag-o-Books

I saw the Bag-o-Books last night. Briefly. As I was going to a meeting, I fell into step with the woman to whom I had loaned said books several months ago. She was returning them.

When I got to a chair, I dug into the bag and sighed over the novels. Some are signed. Some were acquired in Dallas a couple of years ago when I attended my first (and only, so far) RWA national conference.

After sighing, I asked the woman sitting next to me if she would like to borrow the Bag-o-Books. I showed her what was in there. She has a job in which she has a lot of free time to read, and she was glad to have more books.

Temporarily, of course. I showed her which were signed, recounted a story about one of the authors, and slid the bag under her chair. This is one nice thing about tree-based reading. It's okay to share with a friend. But it's also something I don't like about tree-based reading, because when that bag comes back I'll either need to find someone else to pass the books onto, or put them on some shelves. I don't have more shelf space. But some of the books are signed (!) so how could I part with them?

And then there's the question of Bag-o-Books II, which is still floating around somewhere...

Magdalena

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fleur de Lis

Ooh! Looky where I went yesterday! The Fleur de Lis on Main--324 E. Main Street, Louisville, KY. An absolutely gorgeous condominium complex with an atrium courtyard (I love atrium courtyards). Each condo has a little balcony, either looking out at the city or overlooking the courtyard.

My cousin and I were there for the 36th annual Designers' Show House, which obviously wasn't quite a house. This year it was four condominium units on the fourth floor of this stunning building. The event is presented each year by the Bellarmine University Women's Council.

In addition to touring the four condos at your leisure, you can enjoy the boutique and Cafe Fraiche on the main level.

Did I mention the valet parking?


And the balconies... and the amazingly gorgeous rooms?!? Seventeen designers participated in the creation of a delightful feast for the eyes.

Talk about refilling the well! What I know is that, if I intend to knowledgeably write anything set in a city, I will have to do much more of this sort of thing. I've always lived in a small town. Much as I loved the tour, I don't have a feel for what it would be like to live and work in a city.

But that isn't the main reason we took the tour. We took it because it looked like a wonderful outing, and it was.

Magdalena

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reason #10 you have not read THE BLANK BOOK

Although I have had some really nice reviews for this novel, it hasn't sold well. In order to rub salt into my own wound, I thought we might visit some of the reasons you have not read this book. This will be a series of posts, one per week until either it sells better, or I tire of beating my head against a wall.


Reason #10 - "I don't see it on a shelf at my local bookstore/grocery/megaplex."

Ooh. And this is number ten?

You're right, though. It's very unlikely you'll find The Blank Book that way. Instead, you can get it at Resplendence Publishing, Fictionwise, eReader.com, Mobipocket.com, Barnes & Noble.com (ebook). If you're only into tree-based reading, you can order through Resplendence Publishing or Amazon.

Resplendence Publishing is a small press, and has a responsibly cautious business model. Spending large amounts of money getting our books into big name bookstores is not part of the plan, at least for now. Our books are also POD (print on demand). This means there isn't a warehouse full of Resplendence books waiting to be trucked here or there. When orders are received, the books are printed and shipped. No paper waste. How cool is that? How environmentally sound is that?

Most of the websites mentioned above offer you the opportunity to read the "back cover" blurb and an excerpt. This is close to the experience you would get by picking the book up off a shelf, reading the back, then reading a couple of pages of the beginning. (Open a jar of New Book Smell to get the full effect.)

The paperback is trade-size, very nice quality, and has good size, legible font. The ebook is available in a myriad of formats.

Well then. Number Ten is not insurmountable, right?

Magdalena

TBR pressure

One of my co-workers is a reader. Romance, mystery, suspense... and she's a quick reader! The day I learned we were both reading (she in tree-based form, I in Mobipocket) Christina Dodd's Storm of Visions, I knew I was in trouble. I immediately started reading longer than usual every night, because it is not in me to lose. Not that we were racing--she asked if we were racing, and I said, "No. Because if we were racing I would lose, and I hate to lose." So anyway, I finished first.

Christina's is a very intense story. When I finished [first] I wanted something calming. Back to the Microsoft Reader download of My Life in France by Julia Child. I love hearing Julia Child's voice recount this beautiful period in her life. Ahhh... Paris!

AND! Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol became available September 15. Fortunately I messed up my first efforts to download Secure eReader, so even though I had the book, I couldn't read it on IPAQ. I could read it on the laptop, but, you know, I wanted to read it on IPAQ. Not that I'm stubborn or anything.


While I was fiddling with that... taking breaks... fiddling with it... I decided it was a great time to read Jennifer Johnson's The Clergy Affair which I had downloaded on the very day it became available--in Microsoft Reader. Am a little more than halfway through. Right now we're exploring Vancouver. Ahhh... Vancouver!


AND! One evening I actually read the information about the various Secure eReader formats, and downloaded the correct one! Yep, I'd been beating my head against a wall for nothing. Took maybe ten minutes to do it correctly.

So, very soon, I'll be reading Mr. Brown's tome. Really looking forward to it. I like what I've seen of Secure eReader, too. You can choose to auto scroll the pages, for one thing.

I'm slowly working through my To Be Read pile--but a little more quickly than usual. I have my new co-worker, IPAQ, software engineers, and these very talented authors to thank for it.

Happy reading!

Magdalena

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Well...

My Blog Topic Well is empty. Golly, what a shocker that is, huh? I hope to refill it and be back to post in the very near future. Trying to keep several balls in the air otherwise, so maybe this is a good time for a Blog Break.

Happy Weekend!

Magdalena


P.S. for those who were interested, yesterday's Shoe Cue was in reference to the fact that I walked two miles Tuesday after a couple of weeks down with allergy symptoms. (Please forgive my inability to find clip art of walking shoes.) ;)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Have you visited Legend lately?

If you haven't been there lately, you really should go. Legend, Tennessee is looking very fallish...very classy...and--of course--very romantic.

Drop on over there to read about the Ladies of Legend books written by Maddie James, Jan Scarbrough, Janet Eaves, and moi.

Maddie does a terrific job with the site, doesn't she?

Magdalena

Monday, September 14, 2009

Somebody call Security!

So where the heck was our handsome security professional when somebody stole my chapter!?! That's what I wanna know!

A few weeks ago I wrote a really, really good chapter on one of my Top Five stories. When I sat down to work on the story yesterday, THE CHAPTER WASN'T THERE!

This wondrous chapter added depth to the main characters and moved the story along quite nicely.

I have a pretty good idea how this happened. It involves a dark-haired woman in a hot pink sweater, and an innocent-looking piece of technology that she carries in a chic little bag. And that's all I'm saying--on the record.

Magdalena

Friday, September 11, 2009

More reading material!

Mills & Boon is celebrating the first anniversary of its ebook "programme" (don't you just love the spelling?!?) by giving away one free ebook in every line. Many thanks to author Barbara Hannay, who wrote about this on her blog. Of course you realize I've already been there and cabbaged onto all the downloads, right?

To celebrate Literacy Month, Fictionwise has 50 percent off classic ebooks. Seriously. Where else can you buy Pride and Prejudice, or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, for eighty-five cents?

Meanwhile, in the world of tree-based reading, this weekend is our local Friends of the Library Book Sale. Those of you who have read my novel The Blank Book may have a picture of this in your mind. I wonder if it's books by the pound this year?

Magdalena

Thursday, September 10, 2009

THE BRIDE'S BABY by Liz Fielding

I recently finished reading this book. It's another of those wonderful Harlequin Romance sigh-inducers. I wondered how it would finally all work out, but--whew--it did! Yay for happy endings.

The Bride's Baby is one of the free downloads Harlequin is offering in celebration of sixty years of publishing. Go here to look at the free books. There's a wide variety.

Here is Liz Fielding's page at the Harlequin website. She has lots of books available there in ebook and print, and of course you can find her books at Fictionwise, Amazon, etc. Click here to go to her website.

Thank you, Liz, for a great read!

Magdalena

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cliffhanger

So Monday evening, I knew I was nearly at the end of what I'd written on Elizabeth Comes Home. I had finished typing in the dot matrix-printed pages, and had also finished transcribing three or four pages written in red ink. (Fortunately my handwriting was better twenty years ago. No idea why the ink needed to be red, though. That was rather nightmarish.)

The hero and heroine have been through some serious stuff together, have come to know and trust each other. They're in the cabin on a quiet evening, and he's been reading to her out of one of her favorite novels. He just stopped reading and closed the book.

Well! Even though this story is an inspirational, you know something's going to happen. You know there has to be a kiss. You just KNOW IT.

Okay. So you're ready, right? Here's the last line I wrote twenty years ago on this story:


She smiled, looked at him and said,






That's where it ends! And I'm thinking, COME ON! Do not leave me hanging like this! They have to kiss. They have to say they love each other. They have to continue on in this difficult life together, relying on each other and on their faith in God.

I guess somebody still has to write that part. Sheesh.

Magdalena

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A PERFECT REFLECTION by Aaron Johnson

A Perfect Reflection is a play, written by Aaron Johnson, a young man I know. It will be performed at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts this weekend.

Aaron is a junior in high school--can you believe that? What a talent! Besides writing the play, he is one of the main actors, which I was so glad of. I'd thought, "Who could they get who could do this part as well as Aaron?" Answer: Aaron.

If you are in the Louisville, Kentucky area, let me recommend this play to you. It's a bit tough to watch, because the characters are going through very serious life stuff. I wouldn't take a young child to see it. But it's wonderfully written and performed, and I guarantee it will make you think. Quite possibly it will make you get teary-eyed.

Anyway, this coming weekend, September 11, 12, and 13, you can see A Perfect Reflection in the Mex Theater at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. For more information about the play, click here.

Congratulations on an amazing achievement, Aaron!

Magdalena

Monday, September 7, 2009

Thank you!

Hey, you out there!

Yes, you! Thanks!

Thank you for picking up my garbage, and for delivering my mail, my FedEx and UPS packages.

Thank you for paving the roads, and for scraping snow and ice off them last winter.

Thank you for making sure the water is safe to drink, the electric lines are up, and the natural gas flows in the pipeline.

Thank you for teaching the children, coaching their sports teams, and trying to keep them safe.

Thank you for fighting fires, locking up the bad guys, and sewing up our wounds.

Thank you for writing--and publishing--the good news, the bad news, and the blessed fiction.

Thank you--whatever your good work is--for sharing your talents with the world.

Happy Labor Day!

Magdalena

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Fortran Program for Elastic Scattering Analyses with the Nuclear Optical Model

I have a feed into my Google Reader for new Project Gutenberg releases. This one recently caught my eye:

A Fortran Program for Elastic Scattering Analyses with the Nuclear Optical Model

I'm going to give today's blog post the label of "book recommendation" even though I haven't read this book, and quite honestly probably couldn't read this book...

I'm giving it a recommendation solely based on its amazing title.

The online chat on Romantic Gems the other night went really well, even though my laptop overheated and I had to shut down in the midst of it. We're going to do chats once in a while, so watch for your chance to participate and enter contests. (You do need to become a Gems member to do the chats, but it's free!) Congratulations to Anna Lisa, who won an ebook of Ladies of Legend: Finding Home, and to Marianne, who won an ebook of Under the Mistletoe. Enjoy!

I'm looking forward to not having this head cold/allergy thing so I can get back to Elizabeth's story. Last night I left her alone in a dark pioneer cabin while I slept twelve hours and dreamed of a new laptop.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Magdalena

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Elizabeth Comes Home

Well, sports fans, the tie-breaking vote was delivered in person yesterday! Yep, wahoo and yeehaw, I will be devoting my energies to the story with the working title of Elizabeth Comes Home.

This was Option #1 in our Book Election.

On the way home from work yesterday I ran into a friend who had intended to vote, but got busy and forgot. She asked very nicely if she could cast the tie breaking vote, and I said HECK YEAH. Like I want to make the decision?!?

Her choice was #1. As you'll recall, nobody knew the titles of these books--I didn't list them. Wanna know the freaky thing? Elizabeth and Joe have always been the characters' names, since I started writing this back in--my notes say 1989. My tie breaker friend's name is Beth, and she is married to Joe. Does that seem strange to anyone but me?

I had forgotten the hero's name til I sat down and began to write this post. Yeah, it's been a long time since I visited these characters in the little town of... Uh...... Hm. Definitely a long time. The paper it's printed on is continuous feed paper, if you remember that stuff. The computer was the first one we ever had, and is long gone. Although the story is saved on disk, I don't have anything that will read the disk.

So last night I started typing it all in! Oh, the cute little dot matrix print, and the multitudes of red ink scribbles where I've made notes to myself. Seriously, how much more fun could I have this week?

Did I mention that Under the Mistletoe is out now in ebook format? ETA for the print anthology is the first week of October.

Magdalena

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Book election results

I tallied the votes for this week's book election, and there was a tie between #1 and #2. People who voted for more than one story only had their first vote counted, because quite honestly, numbers are not my thing.

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Of course, since there was a tie, I'll either be working on both at the same time, or having to make a choice after all. Which is what I was trying to avoid, but oh well.

;)

Magdalena

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Chat much?

If you're free tonight and want a fun way to learn about romance novels you may not discover elsewhere, join us for the evening's online chat at Romantic Gems. This is the Yahoo group that Resplendence Publishing set up a while ago, for readers and authors to interact. You can go here to join.

And I'll just take a moment here to mention that UNDER THE MISTLETOE RELEASED TODAY at Resplendence!

Here are the details about the chat, from organizer Fran Lee:


There is a special kick-off chat scheduled for Tuesday, September 1, 2009 beginning at 5:00 pm Eastern (6:00 pm Central, 7:00 pm Mountain, and 8:00 pm Pacific)! This is to introduce RP's Promo Blog, and to enjoy a few pre-autumn giveaways and fun!

There will be special door prizes! Everyone who attends the chat will receive a FREE Classic e-book (you can choose from a list) :x You must announce yourself to the chat mom and introduce yourself to the group.


Every 30 minutes I will be doing a contest to win one of RP's NEW RELEASES!

Depending on supply and demand, authors may also be giving away back-list books, keychains, fridge magnets, goodie bags, or other special prizes! So mark your calendars and drop in! The chat will run for three hours, so you are sure to catch some of the contests and prizes even if you are a bit late!


Authors are invited to share excerpts, so that you can whet your appetite for their upcoming releases!


Just FYI--excerpts will be anywhere from sweet (um, mine) to extra spicy. In addition to the contests Fran is doing, some authors are running their own during the chat. I'll be right in the midst of it (laptop permitting), giving away an ebook copy of each of my titles with little contests. Somebody may have to scrape me up off the floor when it's over. Chatting wears me out!


Did I mention that UNDER THE MISTLETOE RELEASED TODAY at Resplendence? Cuz it did. And if you click on the book title here, or the cover in the sidebar, you will be transported to the buy page. There's a link in the middle of the page which will take you to an excerpt you can read.


*Sigh* Just gotta love Release Day.


Magdalena