Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Updates and a Blog Visit

First off, come on over and visit me today at Leah Braemel's blog for a sneak peak into my new release The Trouble With Destiny!

Also, make sure to stop here on Thursday, October 1 because author Tessa Dare is going to be visiting to talk about her most recent release A Lady of Persuasion! I've read the first two of this fabulous trilogy and have been recommending them to EVERYONE! Don't miss it!

So, having realized that the end of September looms nigh (see above), and I am still approximately 3000 words shy of my projected word goal for the month (30,000), I guess I had better get cracking.

I've had so much help keeping me on track since I started my new book on September 1 so I wanted to quickly say thank you! to critique partner @Christine_dAbo who has been pushing me every day and meeting me on Sunday mornings over Starbucks coffee for that added fist shake in my face (just kidding). It's impossible to keep up with her (she of the 7000 word weekend) but for some reason I still find myself trying.

@VivianArend has been kicking my butt too, but her gentle inquiries into my progress (even from all the way out in British Columbia) have also helped me to stay motivated and kept me honest. Thanks!

Of course, there are the Vixens--our fab writing foursome that I could never live without who are always encouraging and supportive.

And yesterday, @jetjan sent me this picture of my favourite hotty, promising me more once I made my word goal, and now I can't think of a better incentive to keep writing.

(By Siebbi (ipernity.com) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Quick Update

I'm writing!! I'm writing!!

The words are flowing, I'm meeting my daily goals! And I'm a little afraid my brains will start to leak out my ears soon, but that's okay! :)

After being off work for a week due to the yucky yucky flu, it's been hard to catch up with all the extra piles of paper on my desk, but that's coming along too.

Drop me a line to let me know what you're up to. I'll be back with some new blogs in a few days!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Trouble With Destiny

Today is re-release day for The Trouble With Destiny!

To celebrate I'm blogging over at Vivien Arend's blog today, and tomorrow you can find me at International Heat!

There’s got to be more to life than studying…

The starving student routine is starting to wear a little thin for Sarah McInnes. If only she could be left alone long enough, she could finish grad school, get a normal nine-to-five and finally afford to move out of her one-room apartment. Maybe even afford a decent wardrobe.

Destiny has other ideas. Not the least of which is the mysterious, overbearing, insufferable Dorian…who also happens to be the hottest thing this side of hell. Three months ago he saved her from certain dismemberment at the hands of a daemon. He also discovered she possesses the ability to send these beasts back to hell where they belong.

Now he not only won’t leave her alone, he’s forcing her to face certain facts: Her social life isn’t going to improve anytime soon. And she may never make it to calculus on time again.

It’s enough to piss a girl off.

Warning: This title contains a beautiful, capable college student whose mystical tats have gotten her in almost as much trouble as her smart ass mouth. It also includes a devastatingly hot, mysterious warrior whose sense of humor is as non-existent as his humanity.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How My Being Sick Introduces You to Anthropology !

I've been so sick all week. I haven't felt like this in a long time, and I'm just glad that so far my husband and son seem to have avoided it.

At first I thought that being home sick would give me a bit of time to do more writing, but it hasn't worked out that way. I've been too tired to do much of anything except sleep. It also means that I've missed all the good conversations on Twitter and my email has been languishing unread in my inbox. I haven't visited any of my regular blogs and I don't know what books are being picked apart by the Smart Bitches.

So honestly, I have no fodder for a blog today.

I guess I'll leave you with something I found a little while ago. It's by Dr. Michael Wesch of Kansas State University who studies cultural anthropology and is exploring the effect of new media on society. His YouTube Project was very interesting, and I really enjoyed watching the presentation that he gave at the Lincoln Centre in New York from earlier this year. (Yes, I'm a closet anthropology geek--but it's all good)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On the Dark Walk...

My blog is up on the Vixen site today. I hope you'll come by and check it out!

Monday, September 14, 2009

GUEST AUTHOR(S): Marilu Mann (ie. Arwen Lynch and Cai Smith)

Please welcome to the blog today co-authors Cai Smith and Arwen Lynch, who write together as Marilu Mann. They'll be giving away a really cool coffee mug (on the back it says "NEED A BREAK? Relax with a book by Ashlyn Chase or Marilu Mann" and a print copy of their book Changing Hearts to one commenter here on the blog.

1. What's the scoop on how you both came to be writing together under the name Marilu Mann, and does that name have some significant meaning to you?

Marilu Mann is the combined name of our mothers. This was to honor them and hopefully to cause them to love us enough so that when they read the S-E-X in the stories, they would still love us. Marilu (Arwen's mama) passed away a few years ago so she never got to see us published, but Cai's mom (the Mann half) has read the books. We are our mother's daughters in many ways so we are proud to use their names
for this.

Of course, as far as that goes, Cai's family thinks Arwen writes all the steamy stuff. And Arwen's family knows it's Cai!

It also has a "Ring" to it - Marilu Mann...see? Just rolls right off the tongue! :)

2. How do you handle the writing process? What do you do when your vision for the story doesn't follow the same path? If you haven't quite come across this yet, do you have an emergency plan in place for such a thing?

Our emergency plan is to argue about both sides until we get a third better idea. It's not even about compromise really so much as a weird brainstorming. Arwen can get really possessive about her ideas and Cai is the same. We tend to beat one another over the head a bit. But you are talking about a few years of friendship here--like 32 going on 33 so we know each other really well. We are actually fairly respectful of boundaries and buttons for the most part.

We've also taken to writing out scenes the way we want them to go and then seeing what works best with the story. Sometimes that sparks a whole different story as well!

3. Do either of you have any individual projects on the go? What is next on your respective plates?

Arwen has a YA steampunk she's hammered out a synopsis for and has a non-fiction for her Tarot for Writers workshops. She's also published a lot of poetry in various venues.

Cai wrote one stand-alone story for another publisher under a different name and is still trying to write something else in that world.

4. The important questions (for each of you to answer separately): Sweet or salty, give us your recommendations. Favourite movie character ever, and why? If you could rule the world, which 3 laws would you redact because they were just stupid?

Arwen: I need salty and sweet but if I have to choose, salty! Fave movie character? EVER? AHHH! Um... Freddie Hightower as August Rush? No wait.... Nathan Lane in Bird Cage! :) Um Keira Knightly as Elizabeth Swann? Three laws? 1. Marry whomever you like. Love is love and be damned who says who can love whom. 2. I think we should be able to pronounce Arkansas any way we like! 3. Gravity. why is it a law anyway? HUH?

Cai - Sweet, definitely sweet. Give me M&Ms or a Zero bar and I'm a happy camper! Favorite movie character ever? Really? Jeez...Ummmm....Humphrey Bogart as Rick in Casablanca? 3 laws to redact...wow...Let's start with laws regarding marriage - I say you can marry whomever you want as long as both parties are of age and of the same species (we'll worry about shifters & vampires & others of that ilk when they truly come out in the light of day. Second law to toss out - Drinking age - if someone is old enough at 18 to enlist in the armed forces and fight (and sometimes die) for their country, they're old enough to have a beer or glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage. Really, some 18-year olds I know are more mature than some
so-called adults! Third law...IDK, I'll get back to you.

5. What are your signs and how do they help or hinder your writing partnership? (I figured you'd like this one *wink*)

Arwen: I'm a Pisces with Aq rising and a Scorpio moon. I'm flaky and dreamy and all over the place. I think I sometimes make Cai want to nail me to the couch so I will just WRITE.

Cai: I'm a Taurus and don't have a clue what's rising or where my moon is (LOL). I'm stubborn, opinionated and firmly grounded, which occasionally makes Arwen want to gore me with my own horns to get me to accept something new.

6. All right then, now tell us all about your book.

Changing Focus is Book 3 in our Lusting Wild series from Ellora's Cave. Finally Micah gets his story told. You can read this one alone but there are references that might be better with the first two books. Characters from both book one and two show up in book three.

Changing Focus

Reluctant to be a Pack Alpha, Micah Keeps Vigil has no hesitation about what he wants in a mate. A strong, intelligent, passionate and, most importantly, shifter female. He’s found her in photojournalist Olivia. She’s come to Micah’s lodge to write about winter sports.

Olivia isn’t expecting a gorgeous man who encourages her wilder nature with a sizzling erotic encounter in her room. Nor does she anticipate the amount of steam they generate in the sauna. With Micah’s hot body and Olivia’s innate sensuality they generate enough heat to melt the snow around the lodge.

One problem—Olivia isn’t aware she’s a shifter. She believes her vivid dreams are just that—dreams—and that her blackouts can be controlled with medication. There’s no way she’s been running through the woods on four feet! Micah has to convince Olivia to accept herself—paws and all—or lose her forever.

Book 2 of Lusting Wild was released in print 9/9.
Buy Link: http://www.ellorascave.com/p-7599-changing-hearts.aspx

EXCERPT: http://www.greatmta.com/changingfocus.shtml

JK Coi: Thanks again for visiting, ladies. Everyone else: don't forget to comment for your chance to win!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Whale is Not a Fish

This is the title of the book that my son is reading by Melvin Berger. It's all about animals that share characteristics, but have very important differences--it boils down to the fact that they may be similar, but they are not the same.

After reading a different book -- for the purpose of doing a review -- which had been labelled an erotic romance, this very same reality was brought home to me.

Of course, I've read erotic romances before, don't get me wrong. Even the books I've written have been termed (by some) to be erotic romances. And I really don't mind hotter sex in what I read, I like that there's an option, that I can choose that if it's what I'm looking for at any particular time.

But what I'm always looking for in my romance--erotic or otherwise--is ROMANCE.

This doesn't sound like it should be so hard, but I find myself getting frustrated with the labels being thrown around out there these days. The books I write are ROMANCE: first, foremost and always. The biggest part of the story is the development of the emotional connection between the hero and the heroine. I think that if you're going to include sex in that equation it should be an integral component that works in conjunction with the conflicts and character arcs, but also that if you took away the sex, you'd still have a really powerful love story.

And while I can understand that "erotic" romance is going to put more focus on sex, the tag there on the end--that word ROMANCE -- means that the couple's relationship is still supposed to be the key component, otherwise call it something else whether that name is erotica or what-have-you.

The book I just finished (title will remain unnamed) started out fairly promising. It had an interesting premise that I was looking forward to getting into. But the sex started at about page three-I mean, really. Come ON people! It didn't even make sense to get them into bed at that point. They were supposed to be strangers and on opposite "teams". After that, it seemed the author had little use for an actual plot, and the story got worse as the sex got more inventive.

So, why exactly am I ranting about it?

It's not that I begrudge an author writing anything he/she damn well pleases. There is a market for this particular book, a lot of people would probably like it well enough, and good for them. But the thing that bugged me is the use of the term ROMANCE. Erotic, yes. But this was not a romance. For me, I care because I need the romance. Times are tough and I don't want to buy something only to find that isn't what I spent my money on. I want to look at a book and know that I could trust whatever label it had been filed under.

What if someone read an "Erotic Romance", was disappointed for the same reasons I was and turned away from any other book that ended up with a similar label in the future? They'd probably miss out on my book then...and that would be a shame, really.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The WIP Playlist

So every once in a while I'll let you all see what nasty, freakish music I listen to when I'm channeling the muse. Unfortunately, I couldn't find most of the songs I've currently got on the ipod at Playlist.com, so you're only seeing the "vanilla" stuff today :)

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Here's a video for one of my current favourites :)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Passing the Buck

Since I've been so busy getting started on this new book and the hundred other things on my plate, including a new release this month and a few upcoming workshops that I'll be presenting in the next little while, I've decided to dedicate today's blog to some other fabulous blogs:

Make sure to visit the Vauxhall Vixens on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the Happy Endings Blog everyday--both super places to catch casual commentary on the writer's life. Also come by Author Kimber Chin's blog and chime in for her September ebook giveaway, for your chance to win a copy of Kelly Kirch’s Marriage Mart.

Then of course, visit the girls at Write Chic, who always got it going on with industry news, book reviews, and tons more!

BookEnds, Pub Rants, and Nathan Bransford's blogs are all must-reads for information on the publishing industry from the agent's side of the fence.

Also, the Writer Beware blog always has the scoop about those literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls that can make being a writer (or reader) a treacherous one.

Then, don't miss these awesome blogs from some of my favourite authors: Nalini Singh (You can also check out the amazing cover for her upcoming book Archangel's Kiss here), Shiloh Walker. Finally, the Romance Bandits and International Heat (both of which are home to whole list of fabulous authors)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Come over and visit the Dark Walk today where I'm talking about my newest project.