Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Seting goals for 2010?

New year, new decade in just two days and have I set any goals?

Nope. Partly because I'm too exhausted trying to finish the old ones, and the temporary ones I set for myself this month. That and the fact I've battled insomnia and nightmares the past two weeks have left me feeling like a well-wrung dish rag.

Then today, while driving I was listening to an NPR interview with Gretchen Rubin, the author of the yearlong experiment and new book, The Happiness Project. She has a good blog post on setting and keeping resolutions. She keeps a resolution chart as outlined on her blog. There's a blank template at the end of the blog:

Here's the link to the resolution blog post:

Here's an interesting blog on empowering creativity that she mentions.

Here's a website designed by a guy to keep track of his goals, a free tool you
can use
. You have to sign up, but it's free.

I confess I found Gretchen's blog mainly because she has a post on tips on feeling more energetic. Then I found a post on tips for getting more sleep. Ah, if only there were tips on how to deal with a sick Shih Tzu who yarks all over the carpet and has raging diarrhea on your lunch hour while you're trying to gulp down a ham and cheese sandwich and rush back to work without being late.

I'm in between writing projects now until after the first of the year, so a couple of weeks ago I decided to write a vampire short story for "fun." I've made progress, but I couldn't figure out why I'm so sluggish. Then I made a list of all the projects I've had released this year:

The total comes to FIVE.

The Lady and the Libertine. MM paperback, my last Egyptian historical with Dorchester.
Darkness of the Wolf. Short story released by Nocturne.
Seducing the Vampire, short free e-read released by Nocturne.
Immortal Wolf. MM paperback released by Nocturne.
Holiday with a Vampire III. Novella.

Two full-length paperbacks, three short stories, PLUS working nearly FT all year, travel to Haiti, Nicaragua, and being a wife, plus caretaker to two Shih Tzu dogs who required trips to the vet nearly every other week for the past three months, and other assorted personal issues, and travel.

Most people don't realize that writing a book isn't merely writing. For midlisters like myself, there's promotional work, website updates (I haven't updated mine in a long time) blogging, and other time-consuming, yet important tasks. Then with writing a book come the revisions, the edits, the page proofs and the various sundry tasks, such as helping select a cover and in the case of the Nocturnes, writing a "Dear Reader" letter.

I know authors who have been on deadline for books and received galleys that were due the same day as their other deadlined books. It's a crazy business. We love it, but it's crazy all the same.

I'm very late on establishing any goals. I'm not even certain WHAT kind of goals I want to establish. Personal goals, there are a couple, but writing? Right now my goal is to finish the vampire short story by this weekend. That means writing about 5,000 words.

I did a storyboard, my first, for this project. I wrote a short synopsis. I know what the key plot points, conflict and story arcs are. I just have to buckle down and write it.

That's my goal for 2010. Finish this last project and rest, and then revive for what will hopefully be a more satisfying, less frenetic year.

BTW, the Nocturne authors are launching a new website in January. It's got a dynamic new look, and new features that include doing searches for subgenres of Nocturnes, for example, werewolves. You can look at the author's listing and see if it's part of a series. My Draicon werewolf books are all listed.

Good luck with your goals and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

‘twas the night before Christmas eve and in my domain
I was trying to do laundry, bake cookies and not go insane
The stockings were hung on the tea cart with care
Even though Cookie kept grabbing hers to pull out the stuffed bear.

DH on the phone with his father, alas
Telling him the times of the Christmas Eve Mass
I could have warned him, times two
Never argue with a man who’s aged 92

“Tell him we’ll pick him up at 4:45 on the dot,
And we’ll be off to Mass at a very quick trot,
Then out to dinner to Bobby Rubino’s when Mass is done,
B/c said 92 year old man has a coupon, two for one.”

Friends over tomorrow as we celebrate right away
Since DH has to work all of Christmas Day
We’ll run the trains ‘round the tree and in the back,
Hopefully none of the steam engines will fall off the track.

And I realized I still had nut bread to bake
Even though work ran long and I had a meeting to make,
Christmas is my favorite time of the year
Even when all the goodies make me double in the rear.

Even when life is hectic and there’s no time to breathe,
I’ll take a deep breath Jan. 1 and a sigh of relief,
Until then, on Bonnie! And Bonnie! And do some more!
When it’s Christmas time it’s never a bore!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas time is here 09

This is the silver tree DH bought me two years ago, my patio tree. I put it in the Florida room on my mother's old tea cart and on nights like tonight when the temperature drops down to 55, I sit out here with a glass of Baileys, listen to Christmas music. Sometimes the dogs will join me on the sofa, sometimes Dh will. Mostly it's just me, looking at my tree and remembering the Christmases of past...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Book giveaway!

I'm blogging today on revising your book over at the fabulous PLOT MONKEYS blog, courtesy of Julie Leto, and giving away a signed copy of ENEMY LOVER to two winners.

Check it out by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Today is the official release day for Holiday with a Vampire III! Here's an excerpt.

copyright 2009 by Bonnie Vanak

He went outside onto the wood deck, relishing the harsh winter wind stinging his cheeks. Squealing, the gremlins rushed over, the pom-pom balls on their Santa hats bouncing. The tallest, only four feet, had tinsel dangling from his pointed ears. Six faces beamed at him, showing rows of serrated teeth.

Snark, oldest of the six brothers, thrust a wrapped package at him. “Merry Christmas!”

Adrian felt a small tug of pleasure as he examined the shoebox-sized package, his first gift in years. It was wrapped in gold and red striped paper that bore faint stains, and the red ribbon smelled like oranges and sour chicken. He raised a dark brow.

“Have you been rooting through the garbage again?”

A chorus of innocent “No’s” with equally innocent looks confirmed his suspicions.

“Open it, open it,” they began to chant.

“We got you exactly what you wanted. Just add water and read the note,” Snark added.

Curiosity consumed him. He headed for the nearby pool house, the gremlins skipping in his wake. Inside, he switched on the soft overhead lights and sat at the wrought iron table. Slowly he began to unwrap the present, wanting to make it last. The gremlins squealed with impatience.

Oh very well. Adrian ripped the paper, tore off the box lid. He lifted a thin layer of tissue paper.

Beneath it lay the ugliest doll he’d ever seen. The smile died on his face. A black, Frankenstein-like scar snaked down the doll’s right cheek, Tufts of hair grew from a balding scalp. She was dressed in a lime green polyester pants suit. A silver bracelet was included in the box, along with a small white card. He read the card.


“Have fun playing with your gift!” Snark chortled, and they scampered off.

A hollow ached filled his chest as he lifted the doll. His fingers stroked the deep gouges on his left cheek. The doll stared sightlessly back at him, its own scar mocking him. Adrian glanced in the direction the gremlins took.

“I thought you were my friends,” he whispered.

Grief twisted and writhed like hissing snakes in his belly. Primitive rage exploded, making his fangs descend. Adrian shook the doll, his voice a strong roar that echoed through the pool house’s open glass doors and over the five acres of his cliffside estate.

“Damn you!” He threw the doll against the wall.


He froze. Were the gremlins playing another trick? Snark said to add water. Adrian picked up his Christmas gift and marched outside. The pool was heated, and remained uncovered for the gremlins’ nightly swim. Wind billowed his robe, fluttering it open and exposing his strong, muscled legs. He flung the toy into the water.

Shock filled him as the doll began to thrash. Stiff limbs became arms and legs beating the water. The doll grew to life-size, dark hair sprouting from its balding head. No longer a doll, but a woman.

She sank, only to surface again. “Help me,” she choked out, before she went under.

This time she did not surface.

He was no hero. The last time he’d played the part, he’d been left to die. But he was no ogre, either. Shrugging out of his robe, Adrian dove into the pool. He swam underwater, grabbed the woman and dragged her upward. Swiftly towing his gift to the pool’s edge, he then climbed out and hoisted the woman up into his arms.

Inside the warm pool house, he gently laid her down on the tiled floor. He inhaled, taking her scent into his lungs. Fangs exploded in his mouth as a familiar hunger seized him.

Only one woman could cause this kind of volatile reaction. Stunned, Adrian took a closer look.

The repulsive scar was gone, replaced by smooth flesh. Instead of a chubby moon face, bulbous nose and thin mouth, she had full lips, a pert nose, high cheeks and long lashes.

Shocked, he sat back on his haunches. Adrian bent closer. “My beautiful Sarah,” he whispered. “Just as lovely as when you left me. Traitor.”

She lay still as cold marble. Very gently, he turned her head to one side. Adrian straddled her hips. Decades ago, he’d given CPR to a little boy who’d nearly drowned. Now he avoided everyone and was dead inside. But maybe he could give life again.

He compressed her chest. She coughed, and a stream of water spilled out of her lips. Satisfaction filled him as color returned to her cheeks. He did another compression and she coughed again.

The delicate blue vein in her throat throbbed with life. Just as he’d always done in the past, he fought the ferocious urge to take her blood. Instead, he stroked her throat, marveling at the feel of satin skin beneath his caressing fingertips.

Blood pulsed just beneath smooth flesh, calling to him in a siren song. He hadn’t been near a woman in years, not even to feed. Adrian didn’t trust the darkness inside him. His private blood bank took care of his needs.

Clenching his fists, he stared at her lying beneath him. He envisioned Sarah naked, her long legs open, her body sultry and inviting. Flat on her back, the perfect position to sink his fangs, and his body, into her. The strong sexual pull he’d always experienced around her, and never fulfilled, roared to unwelcome life.

Sarah was forbidden. He’d hungered for her, would have given her the world, but destiny promised her to another of her kind. Adrian had honored her chastity, guarding it from all, even himself. He had never even kissed her.

He could not help himself now. His fangs lengthened, echoing the raw desire pooling much lower. Adrian leaned down, and brushed his mouth against hers. Warm, wet lips moved beneath his. She tasted as delicious as he’d imagined.

Enchanted, he deepened the kiss, moaning at the honey of her mouth. Adrian reluctantly drew away. How the hell had she gotten here? He fetched the note from the doll’s box.

“Dear Adreean, (the gremlins never did learn to spell, despite his best efforts to teach them). Puleze accept with thankz thiz fer letting uz stay on yur guezt houze without pay. We finds her after we smells wolfie when letting air out of car tyers in town. Put thee bracelet on her and she cant do magickz. Meerry Chrismes.”

The note crushed beneath his fingers. Adrian smiled darkly as he retrieved the silver bracelet. He had a pretty Christmas present. And he wasn’t about to let her go.

Not until she lured her enemies to his house, so he could destroy them and gain admittance back to his clan. Take his rightful role as his father’s heir and future ruler of the powerful clan of vampires.

As he snapped the bracelet on her wrist, feeling the chilled, but soft skin beneath his fingertips, he only hoped the old feelings he harbored for her would not destroy him first.