Friday, December 6, 2013
What is romance to you?
Is it all candy, flowers, and wine?
Perhaps fancy dinners, the symphony, and expensive gifts or trips?
Or is it purely lust and lots of nights inside under the covers or by the fire?
To me, romance is different for everyone. Oh sure, the Hollywood imagery of l-shaped sheets and wine, roses, and candy are lovely. But it's not everyone's idea of romance.
For some, romance is about being with someone who makes them feel good on the inside (not that way).... about their feelings, their hopes and dreams.
For others, romance is a fantasy and something that they think they'll never attain. If we live in purely fantasy thoughts; it would be difficult to make it happen.
The only romance that I share is the one in my books and the view of romance for the company.Romance to me is not insta-love, one-night stands, bdsm, or similar. Romance to me is building up an actual relationship, and building that bond.
What does romance mean to you?
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Are they family names? Television or movie inspired? Heritage-toned?
Mine are all of the above. Plus sometimes I seek help from either a baby name book or a particular heritage's website for genuine names. Or even religious/biblical names.
For example, in Ranch Hands, Sid is for Sidney, Austrailia. Roger was a coworker's name. Jerry is for Jerry Springer.
Another example is For the Heart of Phillip, Phillip with the 2 L's is uncommon, and that's why I liked it. Robert of course, Andrew, David...all biblical names and/or kings. I will often use royalty/biblical/family/heritage-driven names first over anything contemporary.
How about you? Do you follow the baby name trends and use their list or make up your own?
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Gabriel was eager to close up his restaurant for the night, the evening had been another successful one. He'd thought that the crowds would dissipate after the busy summer months on the east end, but it seemed each fall and winter more and more residents stayed instead of going to warmer climates to escape the cold. Gabriel was glad his restaurant was doing so well, it was a rough few years getting established. But now Maven was the place to be.
He was glad when he was able to bid the last of his staff a hearty goodnight. He quickly a box out of the fridge and put his coat and hat on, set the alarm and locked up his restaurant. The drive over to Rolling Hills winery, fortunately, wasn't a long one. Gabriel was anxious to see his boyfriend, Williams, face when he surprised him with dinner. If there was one thing Gabriel counted on was that his man had been so busy he forgot to eat dinner.
And as it turned out, Gabriel was right. He'd parked his car in front of the main offices of the winery and let himself in. He crept to the office in back and there was William behind his desk looking exhausted.
"Long day?" Gabriel put his package down on the desk and glared down at William sitting behind his desk staring at a computer screen.
"Gabriel?" William looked up and a big smile broke out on his face. "What a wonderful surprise, I thought you'd still be working, it's only." William looked at the clock on the wall, obviously for true first time in hours, "Holy cow! I didn't realize it was so late." William got up and Gabriel quickly enveloped him in a hug.
"All work and no play, William. I took a chance that you didn't eat and brought over dinner. I just have to put it together. Shouldn't take even an hour."
"Feeding me?" William said impishly as he smiled, obviously pleased his man had come.
"That is part of the advantages of having a boyfriend who is a chef and owns one of the most successful restaurants in these parts."
"So what are you going to make me?" William started to power down his computer.
"It's a surprise. Why not pick out a wine to go with dinner, that might keep you busy for a while." Gabriel leaned over and kissed William.
"Mm, well I'll need to know what kind of meal you're making so I can pick out a wine to match."
"Poultry, and that's all I'm telling you. Now go seek out your wine from the grand cellar of Rolling Hills and I'll work my magic in your kitchen."
William had a chef style kitchen, after all Gabriel wasn't the only one who could cook. But he never could match culinary skills with Gabriel, which was why many a meal was done put together by his own personal chef and boyfriend.
"Mm, something smells good." William sat at the dining room table, which had been set by Gabriel.
"Dinner is served." A plate of chicken parmesan was placed in front of William and Gabriel set a plate in front of him. Angel hair pasta and a mixed vegetables rounded out the dish.
"Gabriel, this looks amazing."
Oh posh, it's nothing just something I threw together." Gabriel sat next to his man and put a napkin on his lap. "So what wine did you pair up."
"I wasn't sure what dish you were preparing, all you said was poultry. So I took a chance and brought up one of our finest merlots, which pairs well with chicken parmesan."
They two men ate a hearty dish that was served with love. After they retired to the bedroom for dessert.
If wondered what Gabriel's recipe was here it is:
3 Boneless chicken breasts
3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
28 ounces jar of marinara sauce
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2-dip each chicken piece into eggs, coat with bread crumbs
3- Place into casserole dish (Sprayed with nonstick spray)
4-bake uncovered for 30 mins
5-Remove chicken and pour marinara sauce into bottom of dish.
6-Lay chicken over the sauce and sprinkle with two cheeses on the pieces of chicken.
7-Bake an additional 20 mins until cooked through.
For more on these two wonderful characters, pick up Love on the East End here.
Friday, November 29, 2013
I don't know a single author out there that hasn't been rejected at least once. It's heartbreaking, how could they do this to you? It takes a toll, believe me. But it is definitely not the end of the line.
So how do you pick yourself up and dust yourself off after such a blow?
1. It is not a personal attack.
They have seen your words and your story, but they do not know you. It is not an attack on your person or your psyche.
2. If they gave reasons, take them to heart as constructive criticism.
Most good publishers will give solid reasons as to why they did not accept your work. Either it didn't fit, or needed shortening/lengthening, there were story continuity issues, whatever. Keep in mind they have a business to run and will take what they think will sell.
3. Keep at it.
This is not the end of the line, not by a long shot. My first couple of books were rejected but they gave reasons and I worked on them. Dive into your contacts for a good beta (which are worth their weight in gold). With help, polish up the story and re-submit it somewhere else.
4. If you're the Indie type, do it yourself.
If you've got drive, motivation, and a good network, go indie! I've done this with a couple of mine and have gotten a great response. I found that I didn't need a publishing house to accept me to give my story 'worth'. I knew it was good and didn't want to wait. (very impatient person). It paid off for the most part.
5. Keep writing.
No matter what, this is your craft, don't let them rule what you want to do. I've been writing since I was seven years old and minus a couple of years off sporadically; it has been my lifelong pursuit. If you feel it, write it. Go with your passion. The audience will find you.
S. L. Danielson, Author
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Ebooks and readers have become a staple item in most households these days. They've been predicted to be the death of the paperback as we know it; but will it really?
I personally still love the touch, the smell, the weight, and the ability to be able to sign a paperback book. It's a keepsake that will last for years to come.
On the other hand, I also have an e-reader (a basic Kindle) that can hold hundreds of books on it and be available at the push of a button. (no searching on the shelf per se).
Of course, there is the cost difference; ebooks are far cheaper than their paper counterparts. Ebooks run from .99 to 9.99 or more while paperbacks generally begin around $5.99 and up and as high as $99.99 or even more.
There's also the consideration of limited physical space in one's household. You need one thin Kindle (or Nook or other device) to hold hundreds of books. Those same volumes would take several bookcases to store, and if you are a bookworm, it would eat up an entire room.
I love the convenience of ebooks, but love the paperback. I say this world still definitely needs both.
What say you? Weigh in on this hot debate...
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Wow...two years already? Where has the time gone? Just yesterday I was filling out the piles of paperwork to get this business started; now here it is, two years old!
To celebrate, this coming weekend ALL e-books will be on sale for 25% off until the end of November!
Plus new blog posts coming about our wonderful stories (and recipes too)!
So raise a glass with us and we'll pop the cork on the champagne! To two years!
(This lovely banner was made by our own very talented Mika Star) Great work, Mika!