Back from the Wilderness…

…the wilderness being Moving. God, I hate moving. Loathe. Do not like. I have to be REALLY fed up with my current place before I will consider moving. (And I was. Cats were too.)

But now I’m all the way out of the old place and into the new, everything has been cleaned, keys have been returned and I can finally have my brain back for other things. Like writing! Yay! And blogging! Yay! And having a social life! YAY!

Quick catch up:

*I am having a giveaway for Marie Force’s latest contemporary romance ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE over at my Facebook page. Drop a comment there for your chance to win. And maybe “Like” my page while you’re over there? If you haven’t already? :)

*Captain America: The Winter Soldier is awesome. Go see it. Here is a very excellent if spoilery review from the Hello Tailor blog about it.

*Internet Repair Men are scary. Just ask Blonde Cat. He spent all of last Friday in a cupboard:

20140404_093224_resized_1How’s your month going?

Weekend Writing Warriors: Uh-Oh…

better wewriwa

Today for Weekend Writing Warriors I’m again posting an excerpt from my sweet fantasy romance The Beauty’s Beast, which is about a cursed werewolf knight and the lady who loves him.

The first week we met our hero, Gabriel, and last week we meet his feisty love interest, Kathryn. In this excerpt, Gabriel is just beginning to realize how he feels about Kathryn, and just how dangerous it can be to fall in love when you’re cursed…

As soon as Kathryn had checked his wounds were healing well, he hopped down and left the ladies’ apartments to seek out his king. There he stood on firmer ground; there the wolf understood his place and his duty.

The maiden is too precarious.

Every moment spent in Kathryn’s presence, he slid nearer to a great void, and if he let himself fall in, he would lose the little bit of his humanity that he retained. Despair of that kind was not the sort from which he could ever recover.

For what, he realized, could be worse than finding the true lady of your heart and knowing, as you are, that you may never possess her? What could hurt more than finding her, loving her, and knowing in your cursed canine bones she deserves so much more than the beast you have become?

Better to feel nothing at all.

THE BEAUTY’S BEAST is currently available in paperback and wherever ebooks are sold:

Amazon     Paperback     B&N     KOBO     ARe

You can also learn more about the book and read the first chapter here.

The Beauty's Beast Web File

The Story:

Lady Kathryn’s father sends her to court to find a husband, but being penniless and disinterested doesn’t bode well for her success. Bored by the petty intrigues of court, her frustration and loneliness are eased when the king charges her with the care of his newest acquisition: a wolf he and his hunters have recently captured. What the king doesn’t realize is his remarkable pet was once Gabriel, his favorite knight, cursed into wolf form by an unfaithful wife.

The beast’s too-knowing eyes and the way he understands and responds to her every utterance convince Kathryn he is more than what he seems. Resolving to restore him, she doesn’t count on the greatest obstacle being Gabriel himself. The longer he stays in wolf form as a captive of the court, the harder it becomes for him to remember his humanity and to fight his wolfish urges to maim and kill.

Only Kathryn’s affection and determination stand between Gabriel the wolf and Gabriel the man. But when the one who betrayed him returns to court, will Kathryn’s love be enough to keep Gabriel from exacting a brutish revenge that will condemn the wolf to death?

Hope you enjoyed the snippet above, and don’t forget to check out all the other 8 sentence excerpts this week.

Moving…

Hi, chaps, moving this week so I’m a little braindead and have basically no time to eat let alone blog. :(

But here in the meantime have this cool video:

With their top agent out of commission, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agency needs a new…graphic designer?!

Weekend Writing Warriors: I Do Love a Sassy Heroine…

better wewriwa

Today for Weekend Writing Warriors I’m again posting an excerpt from my sweet fantasy romance The Beauty’s Beast, which is about a cursed werewolf knight and the lady who loves him.

Last week we met our hero, Gabriel, but today we meet his feisty love interest, Kathryn. In this excerpt Kathryn has just returned from helping the wolf to find she’s in hot water with the queen and all her handmaidens, including Beatrice, the bossiest handmaiden of them all…

Beatrice narrowed her hazel eyes at Kathryn and said, “You have decided to grace us with your presence today, milady?”

Ignoring Beatrice, Kathryn went to one of the cabinets and pulled out her own sewing kitbag. She selected a project and claimed the empty stool in the circle. Letting her hands mindlessly accomplish their work, her mind meanwhile turned over the puzzle of the werewolf’s identity.

“Well?” Beatrice demanded of her again. “Have you nothing to say?”

Kathryn did not look up as she said in her most sickly sweet voice, “As you have oft remarked to me, lady, silence is, of all virtues, the most becoming in a maiden. I am merely trying to take your good advice to heart.”

THE BEAUTY’S BEAST is currently available in paperback and wherever ebooks are sold:

Amazon     Paperback     B&N     KOBO     ARe

You can also learn more about the book and read the first chapter here.

The Beauty's Beast Web File

The Story:

Lady Kathryn’s father sends her to court to find a husband, but being penniless and disinterested doesn’t bode well for her success. Bored by the petty intrigues of court, her frustration and loneliness are eased when the king charges her with the care of his newest acquisition: a wolf he and his hunters have recently captured. What the king doesn’t realize is his remarkable pet was once Gabriel, his favorite knight, cursed into wolf form by an unfaithful wife.

The beast’s too-knowing eyes and the way he understands and responds to her every utterance convince Kathryn he is more than what he seems. Resolving to restore him, she doesn’t count on the greatest obstacle being Gabriel himself. The longer he stays in wolf form as a captive of the court, the harder it becomes for him to remember his humanity and to fight his wolfish urges to maim and kill.

Only Kathryn’s affection and determination stand between Gabriel the wolf and Gabriel the man. But when the one who betrayed him returns to court, will Kathryn’s love be enough to keep Gabriel from exacting a brutish revenge that will condemn the wolf to death?

Hope you enjoyed the snippet above, and don’t forget to check out all the other 8 sentence excerpts this week.

Fun Links for Tuesday 3-25-14

A few Oscar things in here, but still fun stuff…

*My friend Drea found this first. It’s a really interesting oral history of how the Lord of the Rings folks structured their Oscars campaign to make sure Return of the King was honored the way it deserved. “An Oral History of The Return of the King’s Best Picture Win“:

we went beyond the specific movie and campaigned for the trilogy, because we knew this was our shot. Some people accused us, saying “Well, you can’t campaign for the trilogy, you can only campaign for this movie.” Again, it was the last gasp. What they’re voting for was the scope of the trilogy, not necessarily the individual [film].

*GREAT photoblog with Oscar nominees photo-shopped together with their younger selves. Click here.

*A new short story from Ursula Vernon “The Vision of Crazy-Wool.” I wish I could afford one of her artisan plushies that are tied into this story. So cute!

*A wonderful post from the Bamboo Killers screenwriting blog: “Be the Change

Art begets change….We can make a difference with what we write….When every black person you see on film is a thug, you are more likely to believe that black people are plotting to shoot you. When every gay person you see on film is a sexual predator, of course you believe that the gay community is coming for your children. And when every woman you see in film is a wife/mother/victim, you’re far more inclined to believe that we’re not capable of anything more. This is why I write female protagonists so often. I don’t write them just because I’m a woman. I write them because I want to SEE women – women I can relate to, women who aren’t just running scared or trying to please the male lead.

*Amazing video: “How Wolves Change Rivers”

My Writing Process – Blog Tour

Veronica Scott tagged me to do this meme, and so here I am. ;P

1) What am I working on?

Right now I’ve got a LOT on my plate writing-wise. I’m gathering cover art, doing edits, formatting and uploading to get three of my books out by the end of the year. I’m also working on a second book in my Stage Kiss series. The second book will be set around a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. :D

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, I quote Shakespeare in my work more than most of the other romance writers I know. lol. But seriously, folks, one of my big mission statements for my work is to try to do what other writers in the genre are not. I try to push boundaries with characterization and plots.

I also make it a goal to have diverse casts so everything isn’t the usual white-wash that you see in a lot of the genre.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I started writing contemporary romances because it is such a fun genre to play around in. Jennifer Crusie is basically my idol. She has such strong characters, funny dialogue, brilliant plots and generally all-around excellent romance novels. That’s what I’m aiming for. (Whether I make it there or not, we’ll see. But still: shoot for the stars and all that, right? ;p)

4) How does your writing process work?

It’s a mess. LOL. Usually I do about a week of brainstorming ahead of time. For me that involves making the playlist, organizing a Pinterest board of inspirational images, and making a Cast chart with pictures to help me picture the cast as a whole. (The people are just placeholders to give me a jumping off point. They quickly become they’re own selves once I start writing.) And making the cast chart helps me with the whole diversity thing.

Usually somewhere in this brainstorming process the characters start talking to me. I’ll jot down odd, out of order bits of dialogue and scene ideas as they come to me, but once I sit down to write I pretty much write my chronological way through the plot doing a “Don’t Look Down” draft. Which means I just try to let the words come and fight my natural instinct to go back to tinker with stuff. Sometimes I do have to do a full stop and go back to write the beginning so I can press forward. Once I have a draft down I let it sit for a month and work on something else. After that I go back and do a red-pen edit on paper. When that’s done it goes to the beta readers. After I get their notes I do another editing pass myself. Or two. When I feel like it’s pretty close to being done done I read it out loud to myself to make sure stuff is flowing well (this is also a great way to catch typos!). And when it’s really done I start the next project and the whole process starts all over again! ^_^

Weekend Writing Warriors: A New Perspective

better wewriwa

Today for Weekend Writing Warriors I’m switching things up and posting an excerpt from my sweet fantasy romance The Beauty’s Beast, which is about a cursed werewolf knight and the lady who loves him.

In this excerpt the werewolf, Gabriel, has just been reunited with his long-lost uncle the king. Unfortunately, his uncle doesn’t who Gabriel is, and so Gabriel is forced to pretend to be an ordinary wolf until such time as his curse is broken. This is part of his first day back in the castle after the knights and pages have finished sparring practice:

The wolf went to roughhouse with some of the young pages, but he made sure to keep both his claws and his fangs in line.

After a rather pleasant row, the lads were ushered away by one of the trainers. Gratefully, the man gave the wolf a head pat and a smile in thanks. In his earlier days on the training field, when the wolf had been a knight, keeping the young pages in line could weary him near to the bone.

Although, as a younger knight, he had always managed to dodge his more onerous duties, always been able to find someone else whom he could charm or bribe into taking them on for him. He regretted that now. Corralling the restless pages, wrestling with them, playing with them, had been quite fun, though his body ached horribly now. I wonder what else did I miss while I was busy being an arrogant young lordling?

THE BEAUTY’S BEAST is currently available in paperback and wherever ebooks are sold:

Amazon     Paperback     B&N     KOBO     ARe

You can also learn more about the book and read the first chapter here.

The Beauty's Beast Web File

The Story:

Lady Kathryn’s father sends her to court to find a husband, but being penniless and  disinterested doesn’t bode well for her success. Bored by the petty intrigues of court,  her frustration and loneliness are eased when the king charges her with the care of his newest acquisition: a wolf he and his hunters have recently captured. What the king doesn’t realize is his remarkable pet was once Gabriel, his favorite knight, cursed into wolf form by an unfaithful wife.

The beast’s too-knowing eyes and the way he understands and responds to her every utterance convince Kathryn he is more than what he seems. Resolving to restore him, she doesn’t count on the greatest obstacle being Gabriel himself. The longer he stays in wolf form as a captive of the court, the harder it becomes for him to remember his humanity and to fight his wolfish urges to maim and kill.

Only Kathryn’s affection and determination stand between Gabriel the wolf and Gabriel the man. But when the one who betrayed him returns to court, will Kathryn’s love be enough to keep Gabriel from exacting a brutish revenge that will condemn the wolf to death?

Hope you enjoyed the snippet above, and don’t forget to check out all the other 8 sentence excerpts this week.

Me Around the Web

Hi all,

Quick update, the giveaway for BOTH of my books is still going on at Paranormal Romantics if you wanted to enter. Click here.

I also did a guest blog for my VP buddy CD Covington talking about some of my favorite fantasy series and how they helped inspire my first book THE BEAUTY’S BEAST. Click here.

The paperback copies of the new HEIR TO THE UNDERWORLD cover came today and they look pretty good, I think…

20140320_183421_resized

Oh, and I officially have a boyfriend again. And he’s sexy, and I like it. ^_^

How’s your week going? ;P

~Beth

Veronica Mars Movie–A Squeefest (aka a review)

blog 3Most if not all of you probably know the story of Veronica Marsthe little cult TV show that made good this weekend when, after 7 years of waiting and one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns ever, the Veronica Mars Movie hit theater screens all over the country.

But to recap in more depth, for those of you who’ve been living under a rock, Veronica Mars was a cult TV show in the early 2000s. Pitched as “teen noir,” the first season centered around young private investigator/high schooler Veronica Mars as she tried to solve the murder of her BFF Lilly Kane and make it through the dog eat dog world of high school intact. In that first season, Veronica also fell for the late Lilly’s bad boy ex Logan Echolls. (And so one of my favorite OTPs* was born.) The show met an early and tragic death when the CW cancelled it in 2007.

But now ol’Mars is back with the Veronica Mars Movie, released this past weekend. blog 2

I’ve been a huge fan of Veronica Mars ever since it was first airing back when Channel 13 was still UPN and Channel 5 was still The WB before they merged to become The CW. Am I dating myself? Probably…anyway, I have loved the show so much and for so long that last week I was willing to brave after-work rush hour traffic into Hollywood so I could attend the Paleyfest reunion panel with a friend. (If you’re not an LA native let me elaborate what kind of hell this implies: it took me 20 minutes to go 3 miles on the 101 freeway. Yeah…)

Slight digression, sorry, so…Paleyfest is this really fun weeklong festival hosted by the Paley Center for Media in Hollywood. They get together the casts of popular TV shows on panels to talk about current seasons, what’s coming in the future, and all kinds of other fun stuff. Sometimes, they also do reunions.

Like for Veronica Mars. :)

I hadn’t ever physically been to a Paleyfest event myself before last week, although I’ve watched both the Once Upon panels on Hulu. (They are super fun, check them out.) This year when I saw Veronica Mars on the Paleyfest line up I knew I had to go. And go I did. And it was very cool. The theater was gorgeous, the cast were awesome (Kristin Bell is SO TINY) and the panel was really interesting and fun.

20140313_204446_resized(One of the crappy pictures I took at Paleyfest with my cell phone camera…)

Attending the panel just made me hope all the more that they weren’t going to screw up the movie. And…

They so didn’t! This movie is fantastic!

But now, before we dig into spoiler territory, I have to say I honestly don’t know how much someone who hasn’t seen the TV series will get out of this film. Having seen all three TV seasons the movie was so rich and exciting for me. I’m really not sure I can recommend seeing the movie before you’ve finished the TV show. You’ll just get so much more out of the movie if you’ve seen all the episodes first. The TV show is awesome, though. So go ahead and watch it then watch the movie. Problem solved!

OK, now to the movie review…I’m not even going to try to promise no spoilers. There’s too much I wanna talk about. Probably don’t read this until you’ve seen the movie.

SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT SCROLL PAST THIS ADORABLE MARSHMALLOW PICTURE IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN UNSPOILED…

blog 1

As a fan of Veronica Mars this movie was everything I wanted it to be. They did such a great job of bringing everyone back (and I mean everyone. The only person they missed was Duncan which I was fine with because, ew, Duncan.) … (Did I mention I’m a hard core Logan/Veronica shipper? Yeah…)

This really did feel like just an extra long version of the TV show. The tone was the same, the characters still felt like the same people only nine years later. Nine believable years later, btw. Neptune felt as decadent and corrupt as ever, and this revisit felt authentic to me. I also appreciated that they didn’t try and do any of that “everyone went to the same college” stuff this time (which is part of why the third season didn’t really work, let’s be honest).

blog 4I also appreciated how good a job they did explaining where everyone had been for 9 years and what they had been up to. (I was SO HAPPY for Weevil, and then they screwed it up. Of course. But still I expected something of the sort would happen. This is “noir,” after all. I’m just glad the film’s ending was bittersweet as opposed to totally bleak like the TV series finale.)

I thought the two “cases” were a wonderful fit. We had the Wicked 09ers up to trouble plot and the Corruption in Neptune angle, both of which issues were tentpoles for the original series. I got a nice hit of nostalgia seeing that everything was as fucked up as ever in that city by the sea. And I loved the moment where all of Veronica’s mens jumped in to defend her honor at the reunion. Even Dick. That was awesome. :)

I will say the murder plot was a leetle thin, and I figured out who the murderer was early on. I was also doing just a little bit of screaming at Veronica in my head when she got overconfident toward the end. I did like that, as opposed to the first two season finales on the TV show, Veronica saved her own ass from the baddie this time and didn’t get any kind of male assist from Logan or her dad. Yay for letting your ass-kicking heroine kick ass all by her lonesome!

I also appreciated that Veronica and Piz had not been dating for the past 9 years. I believed her reigniting with her goodie goodie college flame in a late 20s dating slump. I could not believe she would stay with him uninterrupted for nine years. He’s so not the guy for her. Obviously…

blog 4(Fun fact they mentioned at the Paleyfest panel: Originally in S1 Logan was just supposed to be a jack ass antagonist. But when the writers saw how good Kristin Bell and Jason Dohring were onscreen together the writers decided they needed more of “that”. Bell and Dohring high-fived each other at this point of the panel, btw. lol. It’s true, though, they have amazing chemistry together.)

Which brings me to Logan and Veronica. I have been waiting SO LONG for them to get back together. (Since halfway through S3 what? SEVEN YEARS AGO!) I actually got choked up in the movie theater when they finally kissed again. This is another thing the movie handled really well. A lot of the Piz vs. Logan discussion about the movie has been centered around the fact Logan was a bad boy. Bad for Veronica, bad in general. He got in fights. He partied too hard. He was volatile, irresponsible. But he also looked at her like that ^. And he always had her back, defending her, fighting for her even when they were broken up. And you just knew that these two people were never going to love anyone else the way they loved each other.

veronica-mars-movie-loganOne thing the movie did really well for me was showing how Logan had grown up in 9 years. He’s not the hard-partying bad boy anymore. During the TV show, we got glimpses of the good, nurturing, loving man he could be, and I felt like the film showed he had finally grown into that part of himself and out of the part that wallowed in his darkness.

It’s not explicitly stated in the film but I suspect that losing Veronica from his life was what finally kicked Logan’s ass in gear and made him grow up. Yes, he’s still hanging out with Dick, but they even went a short way toward redeeming Dick in the film. (At the panel they talked about how Dick is pretty much an irredeemable jack ass on the show, but the writers all liked him too much so they kept putting him in scenes. I have to agree: he’s a jack ass, but he’s a hilarious jack ass. And, as I said, we get little redeeming Dick’s-not-so-bad moments in the film.) Besides, Logan has to keep Dick around. All of Logan’s other close friends keep dying or running off to Australia…or they were Veronica’s friends and probably picked sides after the break-up.

Anyway, I love not-so-bad-boy Logan. Because having grown-up, responsible Logan meant we got this:

veronica-mars-movieAs Veronica says in the movie, he “should never wear anything else”. Yum. :)

My very  favorite LoVe moment in the film, though, was how they took the “Epic” speech from S2 and reframed it. In S2 when Logan made that declaration to Veronica it was a commentary on how difficult it had been for them to be together, all the drama they had put each other through (he was also blackout drunk at the time). The speech in S2 was still romantic as hell, of course, but what I really loved in the film was that this time the emphasis was on their commitment to each other. Continents crossed. Bloodshed. All that, yes. But they make this vow to each other in the cool light of morning, sober, eyes open, both adults. Veronica and Logan will go the distance. I believe that this time.

They are totally going to have lots of sex and babies, and don’t you try and tell me different!

To sum up, if you’re a Veronica Mars fan I think you’ll be happy, and if you’re a LoVe shipper like me I suspect you will be VERY happy. ^_^

Grade: ***** (I LOVED it!)

*OTP=One True Pairing. Basically that couple in a fandom that totally belongs together. Like Logan and Veronica! LoVe 4EVAH.

Re-Release THE BEAUTY’S BEAST Available Now

The Beauty's Beast Web FileI’m so happy to announce the re-release of my first book THE BEAUTY’S BEAST– a sweet fantasy romance set in the Middle Ages.

There’s a giveaway for both this and my YA fantasy HEIR TO THE UNDERWORLD running today on Paranormal Romantics. Please go check it out. :)

And now…

The Story of The Beauty’s Beast:

Lady Kathryn’s father sends her to court to find a husband, but being penniless and  disinterested doesn’t bode well for her success.

Bored by the petty intrigues of court,  her frustration and loneliness are eased when the king charges her with the care of his newest acquisition: a wolf he and his hunters have recently captured. What the king doesn’t realize is his remarkable pet was once Gabriel, his favorite knight, cursed into wolf form by an unfaithful wife.

The beast’s too-knowing eyes and the way he understands and responds to her every utterance convince Kathryn he is more than what he seems. Resolving to restore him, she doesn’t count on the greatest obstacle being Gabriel himself. The longer he stays in wolf form as a captive of the court, the harder it becomes for him to remember his humanity and to fight his wolfish urges to maim and kill.

Only Kathryn’s affection and determination stand between Gabriel the wolf and Gabriel the man. But when the one who betrayed him returns to court, will Kathryn’s love be enough to keep Gabriel from exacting a brutish revenge that will condemn the wolf to death?

THE BEAUTY’S BEAST is currently available in paperback and wherever ebooks are sold:

Amazon     Paperback     B&N     KOBO     ARe     iTunes

You can also learn more about the book and read the first chapter here.

 

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