Monday, February 27, 2012

A new way to do a character sketch??

Today I'm over at Believing is Seeing for Museful Monday, talking about a fun new way to do a character sketch!! :) Come stop by and tell me what you think!! :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Six- Pretty in Plastic!

***Warning***
**This post contains material suitable for ages 18 and over only!**

Here is another posting for my WIP (well...it's finished..in the editing phase, but I guess that's still considered a WIP, right??) This book got a glowing review from a beta..says it's was the best book I've written!

So here goes. And I have to confess...I cheated a bit :( But in my defense, two of my sentences only have two words in them! This is my main character's first time together! He just pulled her into his huge bedroom.

 Before she could take in the d├ęcor too much, Michael was at her back, kissing as he unzipped the rest of her dress and let it drop to the floor. Bobi caught her reflection in the mirror. Who was that hot Playboy centerfold look-a-like?
 It’s me!                           
She watched Michael in the mirror, standing behind her, his eyes locked on hers, hungered like a starved animal’s. Hot, moist kisses on her neck as he reached his hand into the front of her black lace panties.
Oh, God!
Her knees jellied and began to buckle under her.
“Let’s get you into bed.”

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mancandy Friday!

Another TGIF and another hottie to help the dragging day go by faster!!

This week I am featuring a guy who isn't really the OMG do-me-now kind of guy...but he is just adorable..and a little bit sexy.....okay a lotta bit sexy in a way that is different than other hot guys.

The dreamy John Krasinski!

I never really watched the office, but it is easy to be attracted to a funny guy...especially one who is cute like that. But I think I kinda fell in lust with him after watching Something Borrowed.

And now for your viewing pleasure:














Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My 1st Chick Lit Challenge Review!!!


So I have decided to do the Chick Lit Challenge this year with Chick Lit plus! Very fun and very cool. Basically, you need to read 12 chick lit books throughout the year...two of which need to be debut authors, I believe. Check it out here!

So...my first Chick Lit read of 2012 is:


I absolutely ADORED this book!!!!

I bought it a while ago....a Kindle purchase I made for my Droid Kindle Ap. I had just gotten my first ever smartphone and thought for sure I would read on it...uh...nope. Too tiny...too bright....just too hard. So when I got my Kindle just after Christmas this year, I loaded it up and it was the first book I read on it!

I started reading it at the gym....BIG MISTAKE!!!! I don't want to give away the beginning, but let's just say, it is NOT easy to hold back tears while you are going to town on the elliptical. Surely if anyone was watching me, they would have thought there was something seriously wrong with me.

So anyway, I hate to give too much away, but this book is about three friends and their tight bond and what happens when it becomes more than just friendship for two of them. The secrets and lies to prevent heartache. The way BFFs can sometimes drift apart even when they don't want to and can't stop it. The bond that's still there even after tragedy and heartache..after the truth comes out.

This is a YA book, but I absolutely love YA. I love reading about firsts and coming of age stories. Those tingles and butterflies of first love.

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nothing says 'I love you' like....


Many people scoff at Valentine's Day and insist we don't need one day to celebrate love...we should do it every day. And while I do agree and try very hard to always show my love for my husband, family, and friends, one day a year dedicated to love isn't a bad idea!

For busy people, like me and my husband, with kids and jobs and appointments and this and that, sometimes celebrating love is kinda of pushed to the side. This holdiay reminds us to set aside everything else and celebrate the love we have for each other.

And I don't mean by shelling out big bucks for flowers, candies, cards, stuffed animals... (My husband and I have an inside joke..every Valentine's Day when the stuff comes out, every time he sees a stuffed monkey holding a stuffed heart, he says "Nothing says 'I Love You' like a stuffed primate!" But we do enjoy a night out though, a dinner alone, just us to reconnect, but we like to do that all year, not just on Valentine's Day. And the restaurants are crazy today anyway.

I worked in the floral business for many many years, so I know first hand what it's like to be on that side of the fence on Valentine's Day. Not really all that fun and romantic. I remember one year working 9 am until 3 am (yeah....18 hours!) and then having to be back at 9 am again. And just so you all know, the florists don't raise prices on roses just cause they want to. The suppliers charge triple the cost because the growers need to hire more workers and bump up production, and therefore, also need to charge more.

So tonight we are staying home. I am making a new recipe for dinner that sounds like something everyone will love (A bacon meatloaf! And it's a low fat recipe...not sure how that works..but hey, I'll try it!) I bought a box of brownie mix last night (also low fat. I guess we'll see how that comes out!) and I will make a glaze for it and dye it red. I also bought some cute pink and white sprinkles with some red hearts mixed in. The kids will love that.

What are your plans for tonight???

Monday, February 13, 2012

Do you Pinterest???

I read about Pinterest on Twitter a while back. I clicked...curious. And WOW! My kind of place.

I have always been a crafty person...there's so much there for the crafter in me plus all kinds of awesome recipes, photos, quotes, DIY for every thing in your home. We're big DIYers in our house. Love the satisfaction of saying "Yeah...I made that!"

But also, Pinterest has Movies, TV, books....all my favs and my own books are listed there.

At the time I signed up..there really weren't all that many people doing it. But now...everyone is! Even guys. I never thought it was a guy kind of thing...but maybe it is!!

So what are your thoughts on Pinterest?? Come check out my boards! :) Or if you need an invite...let me know!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mancandy Friday!

When I did my Hunksday posts a while back, I featured my favorite New Kid...but now I have to feature another hot one!!!

While I was drawn to the pretty boy (Jordan) many of my friends were drawn to the Bad Boy. And even now, in his 40's, he still so smokin' hot!!

May I present, Donnie Wahlberg!

















Thoughts???

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I have tough skin...but sometimes......

In the book business...you have to develop a tough skin. Everything is so subjective. One person could love your book and want to read it a million times. Others just can't understand it and barely read a chapter. I've built my tough skin over the last few years. With agents and publishers, I've been rejected a zillion times and the one yes completely erased all that hurt.

But now that my books are out there for the world, the tough skin is even more necessary. Now there are reviews. I have gotten some not so great reviews and I honestly do use them as motivation to keep working hard. I don't take them all too seriously because I know I can't please everyone and would never ever even try.

The other day though....one extremely harsh review really stung. Not because of what was said...I expect it....but because of who wrote it. It was someone I know. A friend I made online several years ago on a message board community.

Now I NEVER expect my friends to adore my writing. I know it's not for everyone. I am always completely grateful when someone I know reads my books. Honestly, I am super nervous too. If they don't really like it, then I feel like I need to refund their money or something! LOL! But even my mom didn't love my first book. It was a little too steamy for her liking. I understand that. I get that.

What I don't get is why a "friend" would write a completely harsh review on a public forum. I expect it from strangers. I don't expect "friends" to put out negativity on my career. I would never ever expect a friend to lie and say they loved my book if they didn't, but if they really did hate it, as a friend, shouldn't the proper thing be to do nothing at all???

It just did not need to be said. And the more I thought about it and the things they had been said, I don't think they even read romance. If they did, they would understand the genre and understand that it is not odd for characters in a romance novel to fall in love after only four encounters. (And BTW...this was a romance novella...it was only 40 pages....so yeah...the people had to fall in love fast!) But the soft porn comment got my blood boiling a bit. And the review hadn't mentioned one good thing at all. Even if this "friend" hated my book, shouldn't they still want to see me succeed?

I know many writers do not read reviews at all...for this very reason. And I did not engage with the person. But I do like to read reviews. I can't help it...the good reviews are like crack and keep me motivated...confirming that I am right to be pursuing this dream.

I don't want to discourage people from sharing their true feelings, but there are right and wrong ways to do it.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Desert Planet or Ice World????

That's the question of the day!! Today I have a guest post from Aubrie Dionne, talking about her new book!

Take it away, Aubrie!!

Thank you for hosting me today, Stephanie! I’ve been following your blog for some time, and I love hearing about your author journey. I also think it’s pretty cool we share the same publisher at LPI. 

I’m here to talk about Tundra 37, the second book in my New Dawn series, which released yesterday!!! Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book. Each installment can be read separately and still make sense. So here goes my guest blog… Why I chose a frozen planet… 

For Contrast: The first book, Paradise 21, was mainly set on a desert planet. I wanted a completely different landscape for the next book, Tundra 37. 

In Homage to Hoth: 

Some inspiration came from the frozen ice planet of Hoth in Star Wars. I loved the abominable snow monster-called the Wampa, and the horned tauntauns, which Luke Skywalker and Han Solo ride across the frozen plain. I wanted to create my own ice world with its own unique inhabitants. In Tundra 37, you’ll see alien mammoths with hair that can extend and pull you into their mouths, and tentacled beasts that live in an underground ocean, covered by ice. They were immensely fun to write and provided great obstacles to torture my characters with.

Because of My Personal Experience with Cold Weather: 

Living in New Hampshire can sometimes feel like living at the North Pole. Temperatures fall below freezing from December to March, and we get Nor’easters that can dump up to ten feet of snow. I wear pants underneath a long skirt, two of more sweaters, a hat, gloves, a scarf, and knee high boots all winter long. Suffice to say: I hate being cold. I remember one day way back in high school where I almost passed out from the cold. I was playing piccolo in the marching band at the Turkey Bowl, which is always way too far into November to sit outside for several hours. First came the shivering, so bad that my teeth clacked together, then a hazy dizziness, and then numbness all over. A clarinetist kept yelling my name to keep me awake. He may have been teasing me, but he also kept me from passing out that day. People say write what you know: and in this case, I know a lot about being cold. 

My question to you: Would you rather crash land on a desert planet or an ice world?

Aubrie Dionne

Romantic Science Fiction and Fantasy
Get Swept Away to Other Worlds...
http://www.authoraubrie.com  
http://authoraubrie.blogspot.com

Buy on Amazon! 
Buy on Barnes and Noble! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Trust???

Trust is a huge thing. If it's broken, it can often mean the end of a relationship. But how do you build it to begin with?? Do you just offer it, no questions asked??? If two people can't trust each other when they are first getting to know each other, then how can they ever form a relationship??

This trust issue with new people comes up for me often. My daughter is 8, almost 9, and has lots of friends in school. And occasionally a friend she has never played with before will call and ask my her to come over. We're kinda past the age where it's acceptable for a mom to go along on a playdate and monitor, ya know? So I'm stuck. I'm not real comfortable letting her go to a home where I don't know the parents, but it is wrong for me to treat the people like psychopaths and child molesters. I wouldn't want someone to think that of me and my husband.

So I'm left having to ignore the paranoia and just offer some trust. We have the "talk" with my daughter often. "No one is allowed to touch your private parts." "If someone tries to touch your private parts, call me right away." "If someone tries to make you do something you don't want to do, get out of there." She rolls her eyes and sighs "I know" every time. And when she comes home, we always ask for a rundown of the playdate.

There is one friend in particular that I do not trust the parents. The mom just seems unstable and the dad...well...he does give me a weird child molester vibe. The mom has damaged my trust in her on more than one occasion. So when they call, I try to find any excuse for my daughter not to go to their house. I do feel bad for the boy though...it's not his fault his parents are weird.

Moms and dads...how do you deal with these situations?

Monday, February 6, 2012

I'm doing it!!! Wanna join???

I've tossed this idea around for a very long time. A critique group. I have been a part of a critique group who meets in person for over 5 years. They are great. Fantastic. But no one writes what I write. It can be really tough sometimes. Their feedback is helpful, but we have time constraints and they only get to hear a scene at a time..once a month. I need feedback on my books as a whole, and much quicker than that.

So, is anyone interested????

I am still putting it together, but my plan is to get maybe 5 or 6 writers who all write similar genres. Mostly I'd like to stay in chick lit, contemporary romance. Usually my stuff is a bit funny and sassy, so I'm looking for writers who write like me...who get it, I guess. 

I don't have many details yet, but most likely it will be a Yahoo group, private of course, where members will post their manuscripts chapter by chapter for feedback. Members will be required to read and comment on others work too.

If you're interested, please email me at Stephanie_Haefner at yahoo dot com with a sample of your work. I need to make sure it fits with what I have in mind for the group.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mancandy Friday!

Yep...I brought it back...but just changed the day!!! Friday seems like a great day to drool instead of work like we're supposed to be!

So..today's hottie is a guy I've adored for years.....way back when he was just Noah. Now he's got all kinds of other names under his belt. And if you didn;t find him completely sizzling in Crazy Stupid Love, well.....not sure we can be friends!! LOL!! J/K!

May I present today's guy....Ryan Gosling!


















So...what do you think about Ryan????

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lightbulb Moment- My Book Sucks!

I am openly admitting that one of my unpublished manuscripts, quite frankly, sucks.

I realized this one day last week...and it was a total lightbulb moment.

I had done some major revisions and had sent it to beta readers. I got some feedback from two readers, one writer, one reader who does not also write, and both gave me a ton of things to consider and think about. They had great points and I was excited to get to work. I was all gung ho about fixing it up and sending it out for submission. Then I got an email from one of the other betas..another reader who does not also write. She apologized for having the story for so long. She just didn't have time to read it, but was planning on it. Gave me some feedback on what she had read so far. I told her it was okay. I had already gotten some feedback and had a bunch of things I was working on in the story. It was no big deal if she stopped reading. I mentioned I had another finished manuscript I needed readers for, if she was interested in doing that instead. She said "sure."

I sent the file and later that night she emailed me and said she had already read 176 pages. She emailed me the next afternoon saying she'd finished it. LOVED it. It sucked her in from page one and she did not want to stop reading. She loved the twists and turns. The ending surprised her. It was all the things every writer dreams of hearing about their story.

And then came my lightbulb moment. She started reading MS #1 and she just did not have time. But MS #2, she MADE time to read it...all...in two days....with a full time job, husband and 1 year-old son. Just that right there told me everything I needed.

I knew MS #1 needed more tension..in my MCs life, in the hero and heroine's relationship. Everything was so easy. Problems were resolved too quickly. I knew this form my other beta's feedback. But it had never really occurred to me that it was just a boring story.....that needed too much work to fix.

But I do now. And I am so ready to perfect MS #2! I was excited about the book before...I'd felt it was really good. But I'd had those feelings before. But this new feedback definitely confirms it a little more!

So, I have decided to move on from MS#1. I wrote it a while back...when I was still figuring things out. (Which doesn't mean I have things totally figured out now, but I do know more than I did when I wrote it!) I am at peace with my decision to shelve it permanently. I had shelved it in the past, but never with the intention of never picking it up again. But maybe someday I can start from scratch and use the same characters. There's always that! :)