Sunday, November 23, 2008

Meet the Draicon guys, werewolves with bite

NICOLAS, outcast and alone, from THE EMPATH

DAMIAN, Alpha pureblood pack leader from ENEMY LOVER

BAYLOR, loyal, brave warrior from BROKEN SOULS (Nocturne Bite)

RAPHAEL, powerful immortal from IMMORTAL WOLF

GABRIEL, the Raphael's charming brother, with a dark secret, perhaps the most dangerous of all the Draicon, from THE SHADOW WOLF

ALEXANDRE, mourning the death of his mate and child, who will fight to the death for his pack, and thinks he can never find love again

INDIGO, half-werewolf, half-vampire, outcast in both worlds. Adopted by the Robichaux pack, he's big, bad and fiercely loyal to the Cajun clan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

this is just too cute

By now, the world has heard of Puppy Cam, where the San Fran Shib Inu puppies are on Ustream.

Click here.

These 6 little pups make me smile when I really need it. Watching them at night really cracks me up, when they attack their bed, after sleeping in it all day.

They dig at the underside and gnaw at it, and tear up the foam.

It reminds me of Tiger, our Shih Tzu who is 15, and has had health problems. But when he was that age, he used to attack the underside of his bed and gnaw at the foam, until DH put a board at the bottom of the bed, so he couldn't turn it over.

Ah, puppies! They make a hard day less hard!

Hump Day Hunk

I chose him for his tattoo. The hero of the proposal I'm writing has a tattoo... actually a couple. One is in a very private place, as the heroine discovers.
Hurt my back Sunday while riding my bike through the park to see Christmas lights with DH. It was a lot of fun, but I'm paying this week. It's slowly getting better, though.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Reading is like sex

This weekend, I really tried to work on this proposal. It was a chilly 70 degrees in the Florida room as I sat there with my computer while DH was out with a friend. I tried, but couldn't concentrate. Too much going on.

So I gave up and decided to do something nice for myself.

I read.

I retired to the back yard with a book, an old Karen Robards RS that has recently been reissued. Ghost Moon. $4 in Walmart, and let me tell you, reissuing books at a very inexpensive price is a great hook and a very smart move by publishers. It enables you to try out a new to you author who is a lead, (her books are hardcover now) and see if you get hooked.

I was hooked. Great story. Just sat there, reading. Dolce was at the back door, barking for attention. Let him out, he sat on my lap while I read.

Then Tiger got jealous.

So he sat on my lap while I read. Seldom do I get a chance to read these days. Reading is such a pleasurable experience, that for me, it's like sex.

I finished the book and had that lovely feeling I get when I'm satisfied after a read.

It's like a "reading afterglow." You have the foreplay in the first few chapters, then it builds up and up and things are great, and POW!


Then you finish, and there is the afterglow. ;-)

At night DH and I biked through our local park as they have the holiday fantasy of lights festival running, and had one special night for bikers only. It was scads of fun.

Now I'm in a lot of pain, again, from my back. But yesterday was a very good day. And I'm very glad I took a break to read.

I need more reading in my life.
Don't we all?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My bucket list includes a clean house!

Haven't blogged all week as it's been a bit hectic. Between treatments for my poor, injured back, and taking Tiger to the eye vet, work, etc. it's been a trifle crazy.

This morning poor Tiger, who is 15, had a mini stroke. It scared us silly. He's had them before, and recovered, but it's awful to watch and hear the poor baby moan and howl. So I'm home keeping an eye on him and trying to get stuff done.

Such as clean the house. I have a proposal to write, now that edits are done on the April book,but my brain is filled with mind gunk. So I'm trying to clean the house.

Ever get caught up in a project, and then when you're done, it looks like you have NOTHING accomplished?

Anyway, I was thinking yesterday about a bucket list. The only things I know I'd like to do before I die include visiting Egypt and Ireland, and financially, that is out of the question now.

The other thing is I'd like a really clean, ORGANIZED, house. I swear, our stuff has sex in the middle of the night, and reproduces. Like bunny rabbits.

On another note, this week I had my 15 year anniversary of working at the day job. My department got a cake, and made a really nice card. Everyone said such wonderful things, I felt so emotional. They were really, really nice and I really appreciated it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Excerpt from The Lady and the Libertine

Working on edits. It's beautiful outside, sigh. So I'm in the Florida room, enjoying the breeze. In the meantime, while I work away, here's a sneak peek at April's historical, from the first chapter. You might say the hero is an anti-hero. Definitely. :-)

The Lady and the Libertine
copyright 2008 by Bonnie Vanak

Khamsin camp, Eastern desert of Egypt, 1908

He would not be the virile groom tenderly deflowering her on their wedding night.

Her virgin breasts, hidden beneath the white kuftan, he would never caress, causing a sigh of passion to wring from her slender throat; the sparkling ruby dangling between them stood out like a blood droplet against a snowy bank. His hands, accustomed to stroking the skin of whores, were not worthy of touching her.

They were, however, quite capable of stealing the ruby. As they had swiped other priceless Egyptian antiquities.

Crouched beneath the shade of a cigar-shaped ben tree, Nigel Wallenford, rightful earl of Claradon, studied his prey as he clutched the oily rifle in his sweating palms. The silent woman picked up scattered seeds on the ground. Karida was her name. She guarded the ruby he needed to complete the key and locate the treasure of the sleeping golden mummies.

All week, during his visit here on the pretext to buy Arabian mares, he’d heard her relatives praise her virtue and honor as if she were not a living, breathing woman but a limestone statue. Nigel wouldn’t have cared if she was as corrupt as he; he cared only about the ruby.

Ben trees, acacia trees and yellow-green plants peppered the water source near the Khamsin camp. The burning yellow sun played off jagged mountain peaks and peach-colored hills of sandstone. A cooling breeze chased away the sultry afternoon heat shimmering off the tawny sands. Black mountains and endless desert ringed this part of Egypt’s eastern desert.

Jabari bin Tarik Hassid, the Khamsin sheikh, thought Nigel was currently at the water source to kill desert hares, but he had chosen the spot to pursue Karida. Each afternoon since his arrival she came here to gather seeds. Like a good hunter he’d learned her habits, knew her movements. Like a hare struck down by a bullet, Karida would never know what hit her. The ruby would soon be his.

Karida kept stealing glances at him. Her face, hidden by a half-veil out of courtesy to the visiting al Assayra tribesmen, was expressionless.

A good hunter knew how to disarm his prey, make them feel false security. Nigel set down the rifle and offered his most charming smile. He gestured to the bullet-hard seeds she dropped into her goatskin bag but kept his gaze centered on the ruby. His fingers itched to swipe the stone. Soon. “Are those for eating?”

Karida blinked, as if startled to hear a human voice. “Samna. Cooking oil.”

Like her Uncle Ramses and the rest of her family, she spoke perfect English. Yet her accent was odd, as if she’d lived somewhere other than here in Egypt.

“I’m marrying tonight. This will be my last time gathering the seeds.” She gave a little sigh, as if pondering her fate.

“Do you love him?’ Nigel blurted, then could have kicked himself. A rude question. But he was a foreigner; maybe she’d forgive him.

“I do not know him.” Karida gave a little laugh, as sweet and musical as the jingling of gold bracelets. “I don’t know who has chosen me. But all the al Assayra warriors are honorable and noble, and so will be my husband.”

Her large, golden brown eyes, so exotic and mysterious, seemed to pierce him. “He will never lie to me or steal, and he will be admirable all his days.”

Nigel stared at Karida in sudden bleakness, feeling the shadows of old ghosts smother him. She was so damn perfect, an angel compared to the demon lurking inside him. His gaze dropped to his hands, and he rubbed them violently against his khaki trousers. Knowing he wasn’t fit to touch her.

You would never marry me. I can’t father your children. My own sire lied about my birthright because I was sterile, and though I was older I could not give him an heir like my twin brother. I wouldn’t give you my heart, but I could steal away yours.

Or worse. I could kill you.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It's almost enough to make you want to quit being an author

E piracy of your books.

I almost don't care about The Empath. That book is out of print. And now some yahoo has it for free in Spanish!

But I found a few sites with my new Nocturne, Enemy Lover.

Available for free download.

It's extremely depressing and disheartening. My new release is being given away for free.

I wonder how these people would feel if I went to their houses, siphoned gas out of their cars and used the excuse that hey, it's parked on a public street and I can't afford to buy gas, or some other lame excuse.

E piracy is stealing.

I don't make a heck of a lot of money by writing romance, and though it's not a topic openly discussed, neither do most romance authors. We work hard to bring you books we hope you enjoy.

For me, I do it because I love to tell stories and I love to write.

The money I earn usually goes back into the writing. Promotions, research, keeping up with computer software, websites, etc.

I work very very hard at my books. This weekend, do you know what I'm doing? Am I taking a vacation, a boat cruise or lying in the sun, enjoying the profits of my romance writing? No, I have edits due MONDAY on the next Egyptian historical that I just received. And I work FT, so it makes it challenging.

I've had to cancel plans to attend a friend's art show opening because I have a deadline I have to meet. That's the business. I accept everything that goes with it.

But e piracy is a challenge I never anticipated when I got my first book published.

If you can't afford to buy one, I understand. I'm struggling to make a living as well! There's the library, paperback swap, and other places to get the book.

Please don't resort to epiracy. It's stealing, plain and simple.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

New blog, post on Harlequin's paranormal blog

Some news to report.

First, I blogged over at Harlequin's paranormal blog about Enemy Lover, and how I came up with the idea for flying werewolves. Check it out here.

And speaking of werewolves, I have great news - a release date for Raphael's book! That Nocturne is called IMMORTAL WOLF and will be out next fall.

Now switching to Egypt and historicals: THE LADY AND THE LIBERTINE is my next Egyptian historical. The hero is an earl who is a rogue, and a libertine and a thief. The heroine is a woman who was raised in an English workhouse, and then sent to live in Egypt with the Khamsin. The ruby necklace she wears is the key to a fabulous treasure, and the earl desires to steal it, and her virginity as well. But will she steal away his heart?

I'm blogging about Egypt next week for the new blog some fellow authors and I have launched. The Chatelaines features Emily Bryan, Cindy Holby, Jennifer Ashley, CL Wilson (Cheryl), Gerri Russell, Joy Nash and me!

Click here and let us know what you think of the banner. I think it's very clever and funny. I'm walking like an Egyptian!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This defining moment in history

"Americans sent a message to the world... we are not a collection of red states and blue states...we are and always will be... the United States of America."

President Elect Barack Obama
Acceptance speech
November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Lady & the Libertine

Here's the cover to my April historical. It's the scene where he's trying to steal her necklace, which is the key to a fantastic treasure hidden in Egypt's sands.

On being an author

Today is the day, America. Go vote!

DH and I early voted. Saved time. Our polling place is a nursing home. Yup, a nursing home.

Good news: DEADLY TOUCH, my next Nocturne, has a release date of next fall! Woo hoo! This is Raphael's story, the Cajun, Harley-riding immortal werewolf. The title will change. I'll post the new title when I have it.

Recently I was talking with some friends about work. life and writing. It's not easy holding down a day job and being an author. It's not just the writing. There's promoting the book, keeping up with a website, dealing with copy edits, galleys, changes, proposals, etc.

I wouldn't trade it for anything.

For all the angst this crazy business can cause; from deadline stress to rejections to last minute changes and anxiety over worrying if a book will have good sales, there is one critical factor that always stands out.

When I walk into a bookstore and scan the romance aisle, and see my new release, it has my name on it.

My name. It's my book. It's something I created, sweated over, imagined, dreamed. For better or worse in the public's eyes, it's mine.

And no one can ever take that away.

That's why I get excited when I meet an author with a debut book. I know what it's like to obtain that dream, see the vision become reality.

There's nothing else like it. And maybe, never will be again.

For all of you who are newly published, enjoy every wonderful moment of the ride.

For those of you who are still aspiring, keep trying. This business is talent, skill, and style, but 80 percent of it is sheer luck.

The moment you see your name on that book cover for the first time is one you will never forget.

No one can ever take that away from you.

Monday, November 03, 2008

SALE!! Get Broken Souls for 89 cents TODAY!

This is pretty cool! Harlequin is having a special sale on ebooks each day this week from noon to 3 pm EST. Today they are featuring my new Nocturne BITE, BROKEN SOULS.

This means you can buy Baylor and Katia's story for only 89 cents!

She was forbidden by the Draicon to cast the blood-to-blood spell. But Katia was determined to find her father, and the spell was her only option. The Draicon had taken her into their pack when her own family had been destroyed by the Morphs. But Katia had never given up hope that her father was still alive, and refused to mate for life with her beloved Baylor until she found him.

Now Baylor had given her an ultimatum, and Katia was forced to take drastic measures.
But when Katia’s spell summoned a Morph claiming to be her father, nothing Baylor said could convince her of the danger. Baylor knew too well the cost of trusting a loved one who’d turned, and desperately wanted to save Katia the pain he’d lived with for so long. He also knew that if he spared the Morph, it would destroy Katia, but if he killed this evil being, he risked losing her love forever.

Click here to access the sale. There are lots of great deals on ebooks and keep checking back, as they will keep featuring different ones every day.

I love that four-letter word. SALE.


Here's Dolce in the costume we bought him for Halloween. Notice how joyful he looks.

We didn't get as many trick or treaters as years past as it was raining, but enough to make him bark each time and run to the doorbell. He is a true Gator, showing his colors.

Booksigning at the Altamonte Mall went great! I sold out of Enemy Lover, and nearly out of Scorpion. Had a wonderful time sitting next to Nancy Robards Thompson. This is my favorite booksigning and it raises money for adult literacy as well. The members of the Central Florida Romance Writers are all wonderful, and it's always a pleasure signing with them.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Contest to celebrate release of ENEMY LOVER

My website is being updated, and while it still is, here's the link to enter my November contest for your chance to win a jewelry box.

Click here.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

I'm on my way to Orlando for a booksigning today at the Altamonte Springs Mall. I took a muscle relaxer for my back pain. Good thing DH is driving. I wonder if I'll sit there in my chair, drooping like a rag doll.

Happy November, all.