Friday, June 29, 2007

Janet Evanovich rules

I started reading How I Write last night. Must say, so far, I am loving it. I'll love it even more if it helps. Great tidbits in there like ::
  • "writing stuff that sucks is part of the learning process" - I am a big believer in shitty first drafts
  • "never hold anything back for the next book" - I struggle with this. I am in a stop & start mode, which has more than one book going at once, and you know what? I am not the best at it. Some are. Not my best event. In fact, I don't think I am going to do it for the rest of the year.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Number 15


Thirteen Things I need to do before RWA NATIONALS



1…. Shoes! I need shoes!
2…. Figure out IF there is a HQ pajama party or not
3…. Pay Kristin for the Diva Dinner
4…. Make a 'typical day' for the folks so they won't be too surprised by anything the boys do
5…. Arrange airport transportation
6…. Make sure trish's name is on the hotel room (this should be lower on the list, we're arriving almost together)
7…. Wait...pajama party? I need pajamas. Not sure I should be keeping it real and wearing lounge pants in front of people who don't know me very well...
8…. Find a babysitter for the day before I leave so I can get my hair cut
9…. Find somoene to practice my 'so what do you write' response on.
10…. Get photos developed so I can bring the camera with an empty photo card. Must take funny photos to share
11…. Get a battery for the laptop. No point in taking it otherwise.
12…. Spray tan? (I WILL chicken out)
13…. Get a pedicure (where does the time go?)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Julie S
2. Susan Helene Gottfried
3. MIchelle (MG)
4. Amelia June
5. Rhonda Stapleton
6. Adelle
7. R.G. ALEXANDER
8. Gina Ardito
9. Jennifer McK

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!



Tuesday, June 26, 2007

TAG?

Really? Tag? I mean...ugh. I was ignoring the first tag, but now that there is two, it seems, well, rude to ignore. OK. Debbie & Dayna...you asked for it... 8 things about me...
  1. I got married at the ripe old age of 18.
  2. I run like a girl. Not that I am slow, it's more of a "Run Forrest" kind of thing I have going.
  3. I forget EVERYTHING. Seriously, I'm not ignoring you. Whatever it was has slipped my mind.
  4. I'd rather read than just about anything
  5. I'll do a booty dance in the kitchen if it will make my kids smile.
  6. I refuse to dive. Headfirst seems counterintuitive to me.
  7. Pre-kids, I refused to answer the door sans makeup...now I only put on a face about twice a year.
  8. I'm freaking about my first RWA nationals in just a few weeks!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Quotable

My friend Gina is a quote guru. She has one for every situation. I've never given much thought to quotes myself, but today I am reading Chocolate for a Woman's Soul, and stumbled on some great ones.

"Don't be afraid to reach for the stars; that's why God put them out so far." - Kay DuPont

"You cannot dicover new oceans unless, you have the courage to lose sight of the shore." Anon

"To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it." - Mother Teresa

What is the BEST quote you found TODAY. Yes. Today.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

FOCUS

I just handed in revisions, which can make anyone's brain shimmy...so I am even more scattered than usual. I find myself seeking comfort in schedules. Yes...schedules. Of all things.

I made a schedule of where I need to be when at RWA nationals. I even have it shaded and color-coded thanks to Ally Blake (who has a Wikipedia entry. How cool is she?) I've done my yearly plan...have my pitch(es) prepared...I even know what I want to write next, I just don't want to get too into it until I hear back from the lovely editor.

So...I need to write something...just to keep the habit...but what? Hmm? I wonder...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday Thirteen...Tarot edition

So...I don't really Tarot. But I did buy Tarot flash cards one day when I was missing my friend Linda who did a spread for me once. Anyway...the only spread I know of with 13 cards is the yearly prediction. So...here goes!


Thirteen Things about Jenna's Year according to Tarot

1…. The year overall :: 9 The Hermit - Alone, but not lonely. Turning from focusing on the outside world to focusing within. Seeking spirituality and patience with self....Hmmm. I have been reading tons of Sylvia Browne...

2…. June :: Ace of Wands - Energy and Growth. A new start and realization of personal power.

3…. July :: 4 of Cups - Make a choice and take action to stir yourself from discontent. Demand your turn and act on a new opportunity. Oh...this bodes well for Nationals, yes?

4…. August :: Knight of Swords - A warning not to be hasty or impetuous, as trying times lie ahead. Avoid drama. Or...a person associated with the law might enter my life. Maybe hero fodder?

5…. September :: 1 The Magician - Reality comes into focus, allowing me to translate ideas into action and boosting self confidence. Prioritize, and do what you say. Or...a virile young man may enter my life...more hero fodder?

6…. October :: 6 of Cups - Nostalic bliss. Perhaps an old friend will call or visit, or I will enjoy reminiscing about my youth. Take time to focus on self instead of the world around me. Usually this is also a signal that a break or vacation is in order.
7…. November :: The Fool - This card reminds me of the book The Secret. I love the innocense of stepping off a cliff and trusting the Universe to provide a soft place to land. Me, I'd pack a parachute. Maybe in November some of my cynacism will wear away. It could either be that I am shackled by fear, or that I have leaped too far too fast...hmmm. Interesting card.

8…. December :: 3 of Cups - Abundance and warm family gatherings! Perfect placement, no? I'll also not only solve a problem, but resolve it and move beyond it with clarity. Really celebrate this month.

9…. January :: Ace of Swords - New insight and creative change. Againg, placement! Everyone feels this way in January. New beginnings, new goals.

10…. February :: 2 of Swords - Postponement. Hmmm. I think this is when my Samhain debut is set for. Not the best sign. The card urges to remain logical and think things through clearly, but remain active, not passive.
11…. March :: 8 of Wands - News is coming, and it is coming quickly. Travel and change is on the horizon. New priorities are starting to show their effects. Don't let life rush by, enjoy it.

12…. April :: King of Wands - You are acheiving your goals, completing your projects, your success is being noticed. Be sure of the facts before jumping into situations. Or...an educated gentleman may enter my life. Hmmm...a third hero?
13…. May :: King of Swords - A fully awakened mind can deal with any situation. Accept you are complicated, the world is complicated and flawed. Find balance and strive to communicate. Life is more than work. Or...maybe it's hero number 4, in the form of a ruler...a Mediteranean prince perhaps?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
  1. Heather
  2. Babe King
  3. Robin L. Rotham
  4. Laura Rose
  5. shelley
  6. Gina Ardito
  7. Susan Helene Gottfried
  8. Adelle
  9. Diana Castilleja
  10. Ember Case
  11. Tempest Knight
  12. Seeley deBorn (used to be Jenn on the Island)
  13. Crystal Jordan
  14. Debbie Mumford
  15. MIchelle (MG)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Unwritten Romance by Jenna Bayley-Burke...OUT NOW!!

Unwritten Romance
$1.50

Sweetheart Rosette
from The Wild Rose Press

Given a second chance at life, Mindy Thomas swallows her fear and decides to tell her boss how she feels about him. Except Jared Salazar misunderstands, thinking she's after a promotion. Mindy uses the interview to ensure Jared understands she wants him, not the position.



excerpt ::

Benign.

The single word echoed through the receiver, and her soul bubbled over with excitement. The last three days seemed to last a lifetime. Every hour stretched on in slow motion since she’d found a pebble-like growth underneath her arm, endured the biopsy, and waited.

Waited.

The clinical voice on the phone explained medical technicalities about the type of cyst they’d found, but Mindy Thomas barely paid attention. She’d spent every second of the past three days thinking about what she would do, how she would live, if only she received this reprieve.

The world buzzed around her tiny cubicle at Salazar Advertising. Monitors hummed, keyboards clicked, the coffeepot gurgled, and conversations went on in hushed tones. Couldn’t anyone feel her joy? How could an emotion that strong not be noticed?

After scheduling a follow-up appointment, Mindy set the phone on its base, her hand trembling slightly. Excited, relieved, and completely terrified. Now she had the chance to live the life she’d stayed awake at night planning. She swiveled in her office chair, turning to see the closed doors of the corner office. Could she dare to do all she’d dreamed?

Jared Salazar emerged from his office with easy self-confidence. So powerful and free, Jared belonged to no one. But then, he did own Salazar Advertising.

Mindy had been inexplicably drawn to the dark-haired man from the moment she saw him at the new employee orientation. She wasn’t the only one. Every woman in the company eyed him with thinly veiled interest, to which he always seemed oblivious. Or maybe he was just smart enough to ignore it.

Excitement thrummed through her veins, propelling her to stand and follow him into the elevator. He might think her crazy, but she’d risk it. This new Mindy, the one who would steer the boat and not just enjoy the ride, wanted to know if Jared Salazar could live up to her imagination.

"You don’t know me," Mindy began once the doors closed, leaving them alone in the elevator.

"Sure I do. Mindy from Client Relations, right?" Jared’s hazel eyes sparkled with a magic more potent than the fear running through her veins.

"Right." She smoothed sweaty palms against her skirt. "This may sound strange, but I can’t let another day go by without saying something. I’d love to get to know you better."

His eyes, a kaleidoscopic collection of browns and greens, narrowed, then softened. "The door to my office is always open to employees, Mindy. You know that."

Her stomach dipped and she prayed the flip-flopping had something to do with the descending elevator. She couldn’t lose her nerve now. Mindy took a deep breath and plunged in headfirst. "I know this is out of the blue, but I was hoping we could get together, outside of work."

.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Countdown to Nationals...

I wish I were ready. Really. But instead I am pondering wearing the ugly wrist brace for sympathy (while praying my doctor' appointment on Thursday means I get to chuck it). I should at least wear it for the flight, right? I mean, I used to be rather cute, so I never had to do the whole getting my own bags thing and such, but now that I am a person and a half, well, I am not as cute as I could be.

So...I am panicked about getting from the airport to the hotel...and from the hotel to my room...I bet I go all agoraphobic on the first night.

And I've been reading agent blogs about pitching...and they like more of a conversational style...which is fine if I have a drink beforehand to calm the nerves...but not if I smell like a distillery. Worked for Hemmingway, not for cushiony curly girls trying to sell funny sexy books, I don't think. I'll let you know.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Samhain's First Line Contest

Is anyone else following the 1st line contest at Samhain? I'm not in it, so it is fun to watch. For those in the running, I'm sure it's a nail biter. The gist is writers subbed the first line of their manuscript...editors narrowed the field, then invited authors to submit a second line...and now they are on a third line...

No surprise my favorites ::

21 “The dog shoplifts.” Sandra Morton eyeballed the German Shepherd sitting on the sidewalk outside her house — a glossy, black-and-tan, big-boned beauty and, according to Seeing Eye liaison Tom Crane, a terminal kleptomaniac.

59 “My father wants me to get married and have babies, and I want you for that job.”Iris Bellows looked up from the folder she was absorbed in, surprised to see a strange man in her lab babbling on about her having his babies, and pressed the alarm button with her toe.

But wouldn't you know it...these two haven't posted their third line! What ARE you waiting for? Hmmm? :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday 13!

JenniMac got me thinking with her 13 this week about her fave TV shows...I thought I'd take it one step too far. 13 guility pleasure TV shows. I don't watch much TV, but when I do I want mindless crap, and I bet that's what you turn to when you need to unwind...what are your guilty pleasure shows? You know you have them!


Thirteen Guilty Pleasure TV shows


1…. The Girls Next Door - I'm not the only one watching and wondering how this real life Big Love arrangement works. I also keep thinking one of these days Holly will pull Kendra around by her hair extensions. We're all waiting...
2…. The Real World Las Vegas Reunited - I loved this group the first time around, and I love seeing how they have...and have not...grown up. What is fun is the person I think most viewers were sure was going to screw her life up is completly normal.
3…. Real World Road Rules Challenge This is all those people from RR and RW who haven't grown tired of the scene.
4…. Deadliest Catch - This show is an accident waiting to happen...but unlike my other choices, it is completely safe to watch with kids. They bleep out all cussing with a ships horn.
5…. The Simple Life. Come on. I am not the only one watching or it wouldn't still be on the air. This season they are camp counsellors. Fat camp week was hillarious. Not so happy with Pageant camp week. Hopefully it gets better and they stop teasing poor camp counselor boy who has a crush on Paris.
6…. Celebrity Fit Club - Not sure why I watch this. Especially this season. It has two child stars who are normal and one who needs millions of hours of therapy. Ugh.
7…. Survivor - not on right now, but I always watch. It's like a tic I have. Even when it is a bad season.
8…. Dallas - as in the prime time soap from the 80s. I have no idea why I love this show. I just...just...do. I mean...it was on when I was born I think. Still, love it.
9…. The Bad Girls Club - I'm seeing a pattern. I like train wrecks.
10…. I Love New York - Yeah. I watched it. That's why it's called a guilty pleasure. Like Pop Rocks.
11…. Trick My Truck - A makeover show about semi-trucks. Another one the boys like to watch with me. Seriously makes me doubt my girliness, but there you go.
12…. Born Country - This is serious hick TV, which must be what I love. Karaoke, line dancing...it's all there.
13…. Oprah reruns. I have no problem with people watching Oprah when it is a new episode, but why oh why do I watch the reruns?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
  1. Crimson Wife
  2. Babe King
  3. R.G. ALEXANDER
  4. Laura Rose
  5. Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan
  6. JenniMac the Charm School watcher
  7. Ann Aguirre
  8. Darla
  9. Jennifer Shirk
  10. Tempest Knight who also watches Girls Next Door
  11. Debbie Mumford
  12. Ember Case
  13. Rhonda Stapleton admits to watching Joe Millionaire
  14. Paige Tyler
  15. Robin L. Rotham
  16. Kate Willoughby

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)




Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Learn Something With The Divas...

Make sure to come by The Classroom June 11-13. Angela James, Executive Editor of Samhain Publishing, will be answering questions about Pitches, Queries, and Synopsis. If you're heading to conference in July, you don't want to miss the chance to find out what an editor is looking for in a formal pitch, an elevator pitch, and a barstool pitch. (Please, don't go for the bathroom pitch!) Other questions are welcome too.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Getting Reaquainted With my Muse...

I used to be a writer...really. Lately I am a reader why spends too much time on the internet doing 'research'. When I broke 'the wrist' I got out of my writing habit and seemed to develop a tic for putting things in quotations marks for 'emphasis'. Ugh.

All I need is a good ephiphany. Unfortunately they don't sell them at the Piggly Wiggly. Nor do they have Piggly Wiggly in Oregon. All I am left with is the old fashioned slogging through until the writing feels like a habit again, which results in some truly mediocre writing, hence I am unwilling to touch any of the books I actually want to write because mediocre won't cut it for George Gets Married or Roving Redhead Gets Coffee.

Must be time to revisit one of those never finished books languishing at chapter four...likely for a darn good reason...but hopefully there is enough to them to get me back ina groove!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thursday 13...Thirteen Websites I check too often...

Thirteen Websites I check too often...


1…. The Pink Heart Society - I have to see who is up!
2…. Romance Divas - I must check in and find out the latest.
3…. eHarlequin - Can't go too long withouty stopping by. Just yesterday Kira sold to Blaze. The sale was all the better because she was a finalist in the 1st chapter contest there and a forum regular so we all knew how hard she'd worked on revisions.
4…. Hotmail - even though I have that thing that pops up, I still check it. Weird, I know.
5…. Wild Rose Press - Because I am weird. They update best sellers weekly and I am never on the list but I check constantly just in case.
6…. Starfall - Anyone with kids learning to read should check this out. My babes love it. When they catch me working we slide over there for a bit.
7…. Yahoo Groups - I have most of my Yahoo groups set up so I only view them online. I mean, there are so many yahoo groups these days, you can do nothing all day but read yahoo and still get nothing done.
8…. Pageflakes - this is a blog cheat sheet. I think it checks the titles of about two dozen blog posts and I can click on the ones that are new and skip the people who haven't updated. Big time saver
9…. Jenna Bayley-Burke Narcisitic? Not really. A couple of times it has up and disappeared on me and I like to make sure it still exists.
10…. We Call It Research...and all the other challenge blogs on eHQ. I love to know what people are reading.
11…. Absolute Write Romance Room - Another Romance community, very friendly.
12…. StatCounter - A service that tells me people can type in "romantic short poems to melt her" and find my site. Odd.
13…. Tarot - Great way to waste time. I can find out my horoscope, and that of my family, characters...whatever...

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Babe King
2. Gina Ardito
3. Darla
4. Bernadette Gardner and Jennifer Colgan
5. Jennifer Shirk
6. Jennifer McK
7. Sara Thacker
8. Tempest Knight
9. Emma
10. Rhonda Stapleton
11. Debbie Mumford
12. Crystal Jordan
13. Lori
14. Ann(ie)
15. Samantha
16. Robin L. Rotham
17. R.G. ALEXANDER
18. Elizabeth Parker
19. Emma Wayne Porter
20. angeleque
21. Susan Helene Gottfried
22. Christine
23. Michelle M Pillow
24. Raven Paranormal Blog
25. April
26. Alyssa Goodnight
27. Heather
28. Rene Lyons
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!



Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Query Critique

I am all about the learnin'...even when it is embarassing. On that note, go ahead and read Jessica Faust's thoughts on my query for Little White Lies.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

No Temptation Tuesday at the Pink Heart Society

We’ve been dieting…and dealing…since the first of the year. For many of the Pink Hearter’s, June is the last month before a big event – the Romance Writers of America annual conference.

In Dallas, Texas. In July. If the conference were in Wyoming in winter, we could layer up, but with the heat, we’ll have to show who we really are. So, in this last moth, let’s pool our best last minute tips and tricks to be gorgeous and healthy for conference!

to read more of my post...click here!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Spin Cycle

Inscribed magazine features a flash fiction story of mine, Spin Cycle on page 10 of their latest issue.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Ultimate Proposal Contest

A while back I had a story on eHarlequin, but with the recent reshuffle it came down...Janet reminded me ( a while back, I know) to put the story on the blog as a free read, and I got the approval from the internet powers that be at eHQ... so now I can again share 71 DOWNTOWN with you...

71 DOWNTOWN by Jenna Bayley-Burke

"I did it," Molly Wilson whispered, sliding into the bus seat next to her best friend, Anne. "You owe me fifty dollars. And another ten for the ad."

Anne arched her brow. "No, you didn’t."

"But I did." Molly grinned and held out her hand. "Cash please." The bus jerked to a stop and Molly held her breath. He’d never know. Never in a million years. Which was why she’d done it.

A tall blond man stepped up the stairs and took one of the center-facing seats in front, stretching his long legs in front of him as he opened up the newspaper.

"When does it run?" Anne asked.

"Today," Molly said, swallowing hard. They watched in silence as he thumbed through the pages, selecting a section and folding it in half with a smile.

For months they’d watched the man during their morning commute. One crowded morning he’d sat close enough for them to spy his amusing reading material — the personal ads. Every few minutes he’d grin and shake his head.

Molly’s attraction grew in silence, until one morning last week he didn’t get on, and she pondered aloud where he might be. Anne dared Molly into a stunt she’d never be able to go through with. If her cat hadn’t coughed up a hairball so large Molly panicked and took him to the vet, she’d have stayed in her comfort zone. But with the vet bill looming, the dare was the easiest way to pay it.

"Molly? What does it say?"

"It’s a poem." Molly barely blinked as he scanned the page.

"A poem? Oh, honey, you’re too sweet."

Molly’s mouth went dry. She’d tried to come up with something funny, but in the end, she’d written from her heart:

What you think is funny, may be the only way.
I see you each morning, but am never brave enough to say
Hello, how are you, my name is…
I’m a shy girl, no conversational whiz

So today I’ll watch while you read
Your reaction shows how we’ll proceed
A smile in my direction would be a plus
I’ll see you on the bus

71 Downtown


Molly watched him blink hard, twice, and stare at the page again. She grabbed Anne’s hand and squeezed. This was such a bad idea.

The man shifted in his seat, his gaze darting from person to person. His stare hiccupped on her for a moment, before he looked past her. Her heart sunk. Until his eyes met hers and the world stood still.

The disco of butterflies in her stomach calmed, the universe narrowing to a single moment in time. The corners of his brown eyes crinkled as he grinned, the smile spreading across his face. Molly responded in kind.

A bell dinged and the bus jerked to a stop, shattering the spell. Molly glanced out the window in a panic. His stop was next, which meant —

"This is where I get off." His voice rumbled through her. He stood right next to her, so close she caught the clean scent of his cologne.

"I know." Molly didn’t dare look up at him. She wanted desperately to melt through the floorboards.

"I thought for sure you never read them."

"Read them?" Molly met his gaze, a warm cocoa brown melting her anxiety.

"The personal ads. It was you, right?"

"It’s her," Anne piped up behind Molly.

"You never let on. I figured you didn’t read them, or you weren’t interested."

"Wait a minute." Anne leaned towards the aisle. "You put ads in, too?"

He nodded, his gaze never leaving Molly’s. "One day you sat behind me, and I could tell you were reading them over my shoulder. So I put one in."

"That was months ago!" Anne flopped back in her seat, chuckling and shaking her head. Molly heard her rummaging about, but wouldn’t turn, wouldn’t break eye contact for the world.

The bus lurched, moving on to the next stop. He grabbed the back of the seat, just where Molly’s hand rested. Her skin tingled and warmed at the touch.

"Here you go, Molly, you earned every penny." Anne nudged Molly’s shoulder, thrusting the bills at her.

His gaze dropped to the bills, then met hers again in alarm. He recoiled his hand as if she’d burned him.

"She dared me," Molly tried to explain.

"Dared you?" He pursed his lips together and shook his head, reaching down for his bag.

"Not like you think." Molly pushed the money away, fighting the urge to reach for his hand.

He shouldered his bag and turned in the aisle.

"Wait!" Molly stood, just as Anne pushed her into the aisle at him and the bus careened to a stop. She stumbled, falling against him as they both tumbled to the floor.

Staring down into his exasperated expression, Molly realized it was impossible to be any more embarrassed. The knowledge gave her the courage to speak.

"Anne bet me I’d never tell you how I feel. I had no idea you’d ever noticed me, let alone put ads in the paper."

"Molly, we need to get up." He shifted beneath her, but she stayed put.

"Can you at least tell me your name?"

"Will it get you up off the floor?" She nodded furiously, and he smiled. "Drew Foster."

Molly pushed back, rising to her feet. Once she righted herself, Drew stood beside her. Every eye on the bus was trained on them and their spectacle.

"I’m sorry." Heat crept up her neck, flaming her cheeks.

Drew’s warm hand wrapped around hers. "When’s your stop?"

"The last one," Molly mumbled, trying to breathe as embarrassment consumed her confidence.

"I’ll walk you to work."

"You’ll walk me?" Molly’s eyes fluttered open, hope flowing through her veins.

"Anywhere."

Molly fell against him as the bus lurched to a stop again. Anne thrust Molly’s bag into her free hand. As they made their way to the door the bus erupted into applause.

The End

Friday, June 01, 2007

Opal Carew Writing Contest

Earlier this spring erotic romance author Opal Carew organized a first chapter contest for authors. Annonymous judges select the top three entries and send them on to Rose Hilliard at St. Martins. Since the public isn't judging...I think it is safe for me to say...hey...two of my chapters are up...if you want a peek at what I am working on...

Little White Lies

Sensational Sex