Monday, April 30, 2007

Manic Monday!

Welcome to Monday!

Last week was very busy. I managed to write about 15K and hosted my annual Home Alone party over at the Cave.

As a result, I didn't do much on the weekend. Hubby and I did watch Spideman 2. We watched the first one last weekend, so we're ready to go to the new one when it opens this Friday.

This week, I plan on trying to finish the rough draft of the book I'm working on. It keeps growing and is currently at 89K. LOL

Other than that, I plan to have a less than manic week. It's going to be a dull, rainy week according to the forecast, so I plan to use it to get some work done.

Oh, and the vacuum saga continues. Finally found one I liked at Walmart and they were out of stock. That means another trip sometime later this week. Oh well, whatcha gonna do?

The grocery store by the Walmart has awesome chocolate chip cookies, so the trip wasn't a total waste. *g*

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sleepy Saturday

I've been lax about posting the past few days. I think it's mostly because I'm recovering from the big party I threw over at the Ellora's Cave Reader's Chat on Thursday! It was a blast!

Thank you to everyone who attended and to all the authors who donated excerpts and prizes!

Friday, I was like someone with a hangover. More than 10 hours on the computer will do that. Hubby and I went to a movie--NEXT. The one with Nicolas Cage as a man who can see his future, but only two minutes ahead. I always find movies that mess with time fascinating. It was a great way to spend a couple of hours.

Tomorrow, I hope to get some writing done so I can make this weeks quota.

Hope you're all having a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Home Alone At The Cave Party!

Not going to the Romantic Times Convention in Houston?

Think you're being left out of all the fun?

Not so! Join me, N.J. Walters, tomorrow--Thursday, April 26th-- at the Ellora's Cave Readers Chat group at for my 3rd Annual Home Alone At The Cave Party.

I have dozens of juicy excerpts to entertain you and a ton of prizes to give away. I'll be there from 9 AM EST until 5 PM EST.

Come join in the fun!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Queen of Swords


Rhea is a Queen of Swords woman. She’s a woman who’s discovered strength and wisdom through the trials she’s been through in her life. In Sword and Crown she’s on the verge of a change. She must reconcile who she used to be as a young woman to the changed person she is today. Her world exists in peril and she must greet that as a woman with her past as not a burden, but armor.

For most of Rhea’s life, she used her Talent as a Practitioner of sex magic to keep her world safe from a powerful dark menace. But tragedy struck and she found herself exiled to Earth.
Fifteen years later, out of the blue, a face from her past appears on her doorstep. The Nameless is back and stronger than before. Her people need her and they’ve sent her first love, Jax, to petition for her help.

As the stakes get higher with the balance of the very existence of her universe in her hands, she’s also fighting the loss of her heart to a man who walked away from her once before. She knows her past has changed her in elemental ways but while she knows she can trust Jax at her back, she has to figure out if she can trust him with her heart.
Sword and Crown, part of the Ellora’s Cave Torrid Tarot series, is a wonderful book! I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek at this book and Lauren Dane does an amazing job building a world that is absolutely fascinating.

Her characters are always multi-dimensional with many layers. Rhea is quite the lady (definitely queen of sword material) and Jax is a man with depth. Not many men can own up to past mistakes and work to correct them. All the characters are incredibly real--capable of making mistakes, just like the rest of us.

Sword and Crown is releasing from Ellora’s Cave on April 25th!

Manic Monday and Chat Reminder!

Where did the past week go?

Honestly, I have no idea. But here it is Monday once again.

I had a fairly productive week last week, not as good as I'd hoped for, but I'll take the 16K I wrote. My only other excitment for last week was that I managed to break the vacuum cleaner. Oh, joy. Seems like such a waste of money to have to buy a new one, but you can't live without one. I figure I've got a few more days before I have to make my way to Walmart in search of a new one. The vacuum was nine years old but it still worked great. Would still be working great if I hadn't accidentally yanked off the rubber flap that keeps the dust from falling back out of the dust collecter. Oops.

Anyway, this week is off to a great start. I wrote 5800 words this morning. That's always a great way to start a Monday!

I'm also over at the Writerspace chat tonight with a few other Ellora's Cave authors. The chat starts at 8 PM EST and runs for an hour. Join us if you have the chance at It's always a fun time.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Feature Friday!

Since Jack Mitchell barged into her life, librarian Aubrey Sullivan has been abducted at gunpoint, taken on a death-defying car chase, and kissed within an inch of madness. If only she does what he says, they might just get out of this mess alive. That is, if they can keep their hands off each other long enough to think straight.
With her debut novel, author Penny McCall has a hit! I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It was one wild ride from start to finish. Aubrey is smart-mouthed, intelligent, and about to drive Jack mad with her questions. Jack is pure alpha male, ready to protect Aubrey no matter what.
If you enjoy fast-paced, nonstop action, sprinkled with a good dose of heat, give this book a try. I'm looking forward to her next book Tag, You're it! due out in July!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4

Thirteen Foods I love!

1. Chicken Burgers (Tofu chicken, that is.)

2. Homemade fries (baked in the oven, not deep fried)

3. Vegetarian Chilli

4. Egg Noodles and Veggie Stir Fry

5. Spaghetti

6. Homemade hashbrowns, fried eggs and toast

7. Mac and cheese

8. Baked potatoes with butter (Not margarine--real butter)

9. Garden salad with Catalina or French dressing

10. Veggie Quesadillas

11. Cheese (Cheddar, mozza, Monteray Jack, Gouda, Edam, Swiss, etc...)

12. Butter (The real stuff, not margarine)

13. Chocolate (Dark, preferably)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Writer's Wednesday

I got a little off track last week talking about genres. When I was scrolling back over my posts, I realized that I'd promised to talk about the editing process. I'll get back to genres next week, but today I want to talk about that all important part of the writing process--Editing!

Some authors love to edit, others hate it.

I'm in the first category. I really enjoy editing. Why? Because the story is written. I know how it ends and even if it's not quite the way I want it yet, I know it soon will be.

Now is the time to start at page one and work your way through each page of the manuscript. Knowing what you know now about the story and characters, you can pump up the story where it needs it. You can see where you rushed a scene, adding more dialogue or discription.

It's also the time where you can fix punctuation errors and make better word choices. I'm a write-the-book-from-start-to-finish kinda writer. I don't always pause to ponder the best word choice for a particular sentence. That's what revision is all about.

It's also a great time to catch inconsistencies. Readers have no idea how easy it is to miss something like a change in outfit or a color. You change things--sometimes a half dozen times or more--and sometimes things sneak through the cracks.

Then there is the timeline of the book. You have to make sure that the story makes sense in terms of time. You can't have it be a quiet Sunday one day and then have it be Tuesday, not without briding the gap. If your story takes place over weeks or months, you have to be careful to make sure readers understand time has passed.

The hardest thing about editing is to remember that readers can't see into your head. The writer may know the character's motivation or understand the passage of time, but if it's not explained in a way that's obvious, then readers just won't get it.

That leads me to the importance of having a reader that you trust to go through your manuscript. Some writers have more than one person. That's great if it works for you. A fresh set of eyes can help you see what you've missed in terms of character development, plot-points, grammer and consistency.

For example, my book Capturing Carly originally started at what is now chapter four. But the reader came back and said that Nathan didn't come across the way I intended, and in fact seemed a bit unlikeable. I talked to my reader and discovered that although I knew what Nathan had gone through as a character, I hadn't shown it. So, I wrote a few more new chapters and made changes throughout the entire book. My editor, when she read it, suggested even more changes. That book started as a quickie, became a novella, then a category and finally a full-fledged novel. I realized I needed to really delve into these characters if the readers were going to connect to them. In the end, I had a much strong book--one I'm proud of.

And isn't that the whole point?

I want the work I put out there to be the best it can be. I'd like to think that I'm learning with each book I write and edit. In the end, the editing process is your friend, if you choose to treat it that way.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mail Call!

Look what came in the mail today!

I love the Jamesville series, but this is my favorite book to date.


Gunned down in the line of duty, New York City cop Patrick O’Rourke returns to his hometown of Jamesville to recuperate from his physical and emotional wounds. His partner is dead and his career depends on his ability to recover from his serious injuries. He doesn’t plan on staying for long, so the last thing he wants is a relationship.

Shannon Brooker’s life certainly didn’t turn out the way she’d planned, and she’s returned to Jamesville to help her aunt run the local diner. She’s not looking for a man. All she wants is some peace of mind.

When her abusive ex-husband starts a campaign to terrorize her, Shannon turns to Patrick O’Rourke, the man she had a teenage crush on many years ago. She wants to hire him as a bodyguard, but their relationship quickly becomes more personal than professional.

With Shannon wanting a small-town life and Patrick wanting to return to the life he loves as a New York cop, there seems to be no way for them to build a permanent life together. As the threat against Shannon escalates, they are pushed closer together, igniting a passion that will alter their lives forever.

Warning: This title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, and violence.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Manic Monday!

Last week was another busy one.

I did manage to write 18K from last Monday to Friday. I'm pretty pleased with that. Saturday I took off and Sunday I was feeling a little under the weather, so I napped the afternoon away.

But it's Monday morning again and I'm feeling fine. I've already written 3500 words today, vacuumed the apartment and dusted. Hubby did the laundry. Woohoo! So that started my day off right.

I'm hoping to write 20K this week and I feel as if I got off to a good start this morning. I really want to be closing in on the end of this book by next Sunday. Hopefully, I'll finish it next week and then take whatever time I need to revise it. Truthfully, I'm hoping to send it to my editor sometime early in May. That might be optimistic, but I figure I'll give it a go.

Other than my writing, this doesn't look to be a particularly busy week for me, but that could change. It's not quite spring here yet, so I'm trying to stockpile work. I figure when it warms up and the sun shines, I'll want to head outdoors.

Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Feature Friday!

Check out my latest cover from Ellora's Cave!
Isn't it gorgeous!
It's for my upcoming book, Three Swords, One Heart, which is part of the Ellora's Cave Torrid Tarot series.
This book is due out on May 9th!
To read more, check out my website at (You must be 18 years or older to visit my website).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #3

Thirteen Books on my keeper shelf!

1. Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood

2. Ravished by Amanda Quick

3. Cherokee Thunder by Rachel Lee (and the rest of the Conard County series)

4. Zach's Law by Kay Hooper

5. Tiger's Eye by Karen Robards

6. The Mercenary by Cherry Adair (it sat on the shelf by itself for almost a decade until her next book came out)

7. Dream Man by Linda Howard (and the Mackenzie series and Midnight Rainbow and Diamond Bay, and A Heart of Fire, get my drift)

8. Last Bridge Home by Iris Johansen

9. The Warlord by Elizabeth Elliott (she wrote only 3 books as far as I know and all of them are on my keeper shelf--I wish she'd start writing again)

10. Knight of a Trillion Stars by Dara Joy (of course I have Rejar and Mine to Take as well)

11. The entire "In Death" series by J. D. Robb

12. The Bedeviled Duke by Judith Lansdowne (love her Regency romances)

13. Out of the Dark by Sharon Sala (and Sweet Baby and Jackson Rule and Tallchief...whether it's Sharon Sala or Dinah McCall, they're all good)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Writer's Wednesday


Love 'em or hate 'em, they're a big part of romance writing.

We all have certain genres we love to read and others we wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. Okay, maybe it's not quite that bad, but it would take a very special book or author to make us read some genres.

I'm lucky enough to be able to write in a variety of genres. I write contemporary romance for Samhain Publishing and erotic romance (contemporary, vampire, paranormal, shapeshifter, time-travel, and menage a trois) for Ellora's Cave.

Personally, I enjoy reading paranormal, vampire, contemporary and historical romance (especially Regency and Medieval). I don't mind if the sex is mild or if it's a full-blown erotic romance.

What genres do you favor most? Why?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Manic Monday!

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Monday!

I took the last two days off and managed to stay away from the computer for the most part. No mean feat let me tell you. *g*

How many of us have a chocolate hangover after this weekend, I wonder? I didn't eat too much, but what I did have was quality--Lindt dark chocolate mini eggs. YUM!

This week, it's back to work on my WIP. I didn't get nearly as much accomplished as I'd hoped to last week. I'm hoping to add another 15K to it by Friday. That should bring me about 3/4 of the way and I should be able to see the end in sight. At least that's the plan.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend and I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Easter!

The Easter weekend is upon us and a hint of spring is in the air. No matter how you celebrate, or don't as the case may be, I hope you enjoy the long weekend.

I'm planning on being off-line as much as possible and spending some time with my family.

I'll see you all on Monday!

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #2

Thirteen Songs on my MP3 Player!

1. It Won't Rain All The Time by Jane Siberry (The Crow Soundtrack)

2. Love Song for a Vampire by Annie Lennox (Dracula Soundtrack)

3. Never Again by Nickelback

4. Bring Me To Life by Evanescence

5. MainTitle/Elk Hunt (Last of the Mohican's Soundtrack)

6. I Still Believe by Tim Cappello (Lost Boy's Soundtrack)

7. Fallen by Seether (featuring Amy Lee)

8. Masquerade (Phantom of the Opera Soundtrack)

9. Roxanne (Moulin Rouge Soundtrack)

10. You Made Me The Thief of Your Heart by Sinead O'Connor (In The Name of the Father Soundtrack)

11. Into the West by Annie Lennox (LOTR-Return of the King Soundtrack)

12. May It Be by Enya (LOTR-Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack)

13. I Will Find You by Clannad (Last of the Mohican's Soundtrack)

I tend to favor soundtrack music for inspiration.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Writer's Wednesday

In the past two weeks, I've talked about starting a new project and working your way through the middle of it.

The enthusiasm of starting a book carries you through for the first week or two. Then the days stretch out before you and you wonder if you can finish. The middle of a book is where you find out what you are made of, and if you are truly a writer or not.

Finally, you've climbed to the top of the hill and you can see the finish line. Should be easy from here, you think, after all, it's all down hill.

Stop right there!

The hardest part about writing the ending is not rushing it. Trust me, I've made that mistake more than once and you always end up regretting it as it makes even more work during the revision process.

The end is still in sight, just take the time to look around as you make your way there. No need to rush. Stop and smell the roses. Tie up all the loose ends. The finish line is still there. This is not a race and you don't get extra points by getting there first.

When you finally do reach the end and type the final keystroke, it is a feeling like no other. THE END. You have a finished product.

Sort of.

We'll talk about the revision process next week!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Tamara's Spirit by Nicole Austin

Tamara’s Spirit by Nicole Austin releases on April 3rd from Samhain Publishing.


There’s nowhere to run and no place to hide from old wounds and demons for the vulnerable woman behind the bawdy attitude.

How ironic to be captured by an Indian when not one of the Shooting Star Ranch cowboys is available to race to her rescue.

City girl Tamara Dobbs lives on the ranch to be close to her friends and even closer to her gorgeous cowboys, but still she feels discontent, fragmented. From the minute she runs into the new guy—sexy, unflappable equestrian, Dakota Blackhawk—she runs from the intense emotions he evokes.

On first sight, Dakota knows nothing will stop him from claiming the brazen little princess as his own—heart, body, and spirit. He’ll accept nothing less. While he would gladly take on the fight for her, she must face her own battle to become whole. Taking her out of her element is the only way he can help the sexy, stubborn woman.

Tamara may survive the emotional roller coaster ride, but she still must conquer the ultimate challenge…forgetting what others want her to be and becoming true to herself.


This is a book about one woman's journey to heal her wounded spirit and set herself free from her horrific past, and the man who stands firmly beside her.

Tamara's and Dakota's story is absolutely beautiful. The scene where they finally make love is one of the best love scenes I've ever read, the prose is almost lyrical it's so beautiful. It is rich with details, emotionally intense, and you can feel the depth of commitment that is flowing between them.
Truly a sensual delight.
Personally, I think this is Ms. Austin's best book to date.

Manic Monday!

It's Monday once again. Where the heck did the past week go?

I've been busy this morning. I've got three loads of laundry done, cleaned the bathroom, dusted and vacuumed and managed to write 48oo words on my WIP. Not bad for a mornings work.

This week I want to focus on my WIP and try and get as far into it as I can. That's my big plans for this week.

With regards to last weeks promise of trying to find balance in my life--I am making progress. I managed to get in four yoga workouts last week. Oh, my aching muscles. LOL I also took myself out to the bookstore on Saturday morning while hubby was working. I really enjoyed the walk. It was cold, but the sun was shining. I plan to keep up the good work this week and carve out some more time for these kinds of things.

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Just a reminder that my newsletter, AWAKENING DESIRES, is out today!

I'm changing from releasing the newsletter on the 15th of the month to the 1st of each month. The April issue contains an interview with popular writer, Maya Banks, as well as an exclusive excerpt from my upcoming Ellora's Cave release, Three Swords, One Heart, and so much more!

If you haven't done so already, you can join my yahoo newsletter group by going to . You can go to the site directly to read this issue and past issues. If you set your membership on individual mail, then from now on, starting with the May 1st issue, the newsletter will be delivered to your inbox on the 1st of each month.

Congratulations to tlnrwcsagain, this months newsletter winner! Terri has won a print book from my print backlist!