Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Dancing Dukes! Get Yer Dancing Dukes! Also 3 prizes

Saturday, June 27th, 2015
Cover of Dancing in the Duke's Arms, anthology. Cover is a dude in a brown coat and a pretty lady in a burgundy gown which is really pretty. They are dancing and falling in love. You want this book.

Dancing in The Duke’s Arms

Dancing in The Duke’s Arms is on sale now!

Amazon | Barnes&Noble | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo | All Romance | Print

Click here for more information about the stories and for links to excerpts etc. Order now while it’s $3.99. The price goes up July 7.

The Prizes

I have three unclaimed prizes from a previous giveaway:

For each prize(s), I will spend at least $15.00 US. If you hang out here, you probably know that I have impeccable taste except when I am odd or just plain weird. There’s just no telling.

The Rules and How to Enter

To enter, check out the rules below and follow the instructions. Three prizes. Three winners.
Void where prohibited. Must be 18 to enter. No purchase necessary. All prizes will be awarded. If a winner does not contact me within 10 days of notification, an alternate winner will be selected. Relatives or employees of Carolyn Jewel are ineligible. Winner chosen at random using the contest plugin “And The Winner Is.” International OK! Multiple comments disallowed. Contest closes at 11:59:59 PM Pacific on Tuesday June 30, 2015. Make sure you leave a valid email in the email box for your comment.

To enter: Leave a comment to this post in which you tell me the best book you’ve read recently. (I’m looking for recommendations!)

Go!

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Dancing in The Duke’s Arms

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Sorry for the long silence. I’ve been working hard on two projects with colliding deadlines.

Cover of Dancing in the Duke's Arms, anthology. Cover is a dude in a brown coat and a pretty lady in a burgundy gown which is really pretty. They are dancing and falling in love. You want this book.

Dancing in The Duke’s Arms

My novella for the historical romance anthology, Dancing in the Duke’s Arms, is edited, revised, copy-edited, proofread three times, and all the files sent to our formatter. My story is titled An Unsuitable Duchess.

Pre-Orders are live here:

Amazon | Barnes&Noble | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

Click here for more information about the stories and for links to excerpts etc. Print will be available so no worries. Pre-order now while it’s $3.99. The price goes up afterward!

I’m also working on My Demon Warlord, and it’s just about ready to send to beta. So……. close.

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Sale at Kobo: Lord Ruin 35% off (Other books too!)

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Are you in the US or UK? Kobo has a sale!! 35% off select books, including my historical, Lord Ruin.

Cover of Lord Ruin, super sexy Regnency dude looking at you like, yeah, I'm hot.

Lord Ruin.

Here’s the directions for this unlimited use coupon, good from May 15-18!

Kobo Buy page for Lord Ruin

To look for other titles that are 35%:

Promo Code: MAY35

Detailed Instructions:

If you already have a Kobo account
–    Follow the instructions outlined here: http://www.kobo.com/help/en-US/article/715/using-a-promo-code-in-the-kobo-store

If you do not have a Kobo account
–          Create a Kobo account.
–          Go into the My Account section and click on Payment Information.
–          Input your billing address and credit card info.
–          Save.
–          Return to the homepage.
–          Follow the directions in the “If you already have a Kobo account” section above.

If you don’t want to input your credit card info
–    Create a Kobo account.
–    Search for the title in question.
–    Click on “Buy Now.” You will be asked to fill in your billing address.
–    Instead of choosing credit card, choose “paypal” and hit “continue.”
–    Input your promo code in the box below the phrase “Have a Promo Code?”.
–    Hit Apply. The discount will be subtracted from the total on the right-hand side.
–    Complete your purchase by hitting “Buy Now.”
–    Proceed to paypal to complete your transaction.

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What I’ve Been Reading

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Two books I’ve read recently had quite an impact on me, and so I am sharing them with you.

The Remains of War, Surviving the Other Concentration Camps of World War II
by Pauline Kok-Schurgers
Self-published (iUniverse)

I forget where I read about this book. Someone, somewhere had read it and another iUniverse book and remarked that The Remains of War was well worth reading. The comments were intriguing enough that I bought it and read it. It’s one of the most affecting books I’ve read in a while, and more about that later. I’m sorry indeed that the publisher is iUniverse. It means the author has not made the money she could have or deserves. That said, I’m glad the book is out there to be read.

The story is about a young Dutch girl who, with her family, was interned in a series of Japanese concentration camps in Indonesia. It’s as harrowing and heartbreaking as you’d expect. The family survives, by the way which is what got me through the book, though the power of the words and language would probably have kept me reading. Kok-Schurgers was nine when she and her family were interned and twelve by the time they were liberated. The men, her father included, were sent to a different camp, so she was with her mother, two sisters and a brother.

It’s a powerful story, powerfully told.

At first, the language was just ever so slightly loose, but by the second chapter, Ms. Kok-Schurgers’s story utterly drew me in. Everything was immediate and visceral. It’s not told from a distance, instead we get an astonishing, living, breathing girl on these pages who is both aware of her flaws and learning who she is. The quote below is something said to her by an adult in the camp about a young boy also interned.

“He liked the shadows, which gave him comfort and shelter, because light asked from him more than he was willing to give.”

Voices like that should not be forgotten. I’m glad I read this book. Other reviewers are right. This is an important text.

Kok-Schurgers has a blog here and an uninformative website here. Amazon link (Kindle Version). This is worth the price.

From Dust to Digital: Ten Years of the Endangered Archives Programme
Maja Kominko, Editor

Open Book Publishers

This work is from the British Library and describes several preservation programs dedicated to, as the title says, endangered archives. The forward is oh so slightly boring until it begins a discussion of the ways in which Western cultures have removed knowledge from indigenous populations, denied them access to their own heritage, and removed the artifacts from the very surroundings and people who gave the information meaning. The descriptions of the collections described in this volume are fascinating. This is wonderful, amazing material. Mind-blown. Myths exploded. Read it. Amazon Link

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The Fork is Out!

Friday, May 1st, 2015
Fork against a blue sky with white clouds

The Fork

The draft for my story in the June anthology Dancing in The Duke’s Arms is DONE! And boy, I wasn’t sure I’d hit the deadline. There was a point, on Wednesday, when I realized I was missing 5 chapters of edits [long explanation omitted] and I had to redo them all. ALL. OF. THEM.

My story is tentatively titled, “An Suitable Woman.”

And now, back to My Immortals 7.

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Writing Progress and News

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

I’ve been making good progress on My Immortals Book 7. It’s coming together well, which is good news. I’ve told my cover artist to consider My Demon Warlord the final title so there you go. I should have a final cover soon.

Shortly though, I’ll be writing a novella for the anthology Dancing in the Duke’s Arms. I’m hoping to have My Demon Warlord to some trusted readers while I’m doing that.

I’ve changed my mind about the project after that. I was going to start on the Dark Elf series but I have decided I should write Sinclair Sisters Series Book 3, THEN start the new series.

Here’s a picture of some of the tulips coming up in the garden. It looks a little better close up but hey! Spring is coming!

Pink tulips one with the sun on some dew. It's an okay picutre. The pink is pretty.

Pink Tulip with dew

 

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Sneak Peek: Cover of My Demon Warlord

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Here you go, gentle readers: A sneak peek at the 97% sure cover for My Demon Warlord, My Immortals Series Book 7. This is not the final cover, as in there are still some tweaks to do.

A draft cover for My Demon Warlord

Draft Cover for My Demoin Warlord

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Help An Author Out: Titles

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

I’m nearing critical mass on My Immortals Book 7, which is awesome. Meanwhile I am mulling over potential titles. I had some great suggestions at my facebook page (Thank you so much!) so I thought I’d throw together a poll with a few titles and see what people think.

If you have a suggestion, let me know in the comments, too. Once I have the title, I can finalize the cover…

Best Title for My Immortals Book 7?

View Results

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Writing, Will Write, Have Been Writing. Also: Reading

Friday, February 13th, 2015

Reading

My RITA reading is all done. Now I’m back to reading Judith Ivory. It’s a slice of reading bliss…

Writing

I attended a writing function last night where someone else paid for dinner and I got to chat with lots of Romance authors and persons in the business. But I had to drive to San Francisco and … Hey! I did find parking on the street, there’s that! My car, bought used, and now paid for, is getting cranky in its old age. I never know which key (I have two, no, no fob…never never buy a car without a fob….) will actually open the door. Any door. And now I’m never sure which key will actually start the car. One of these days the answer will be “None of them!” Sigh. Anyway, I was glad to find parking because that meant I wouldn’t have to give the valet 10 minutes of instructions about what to do if the door(s) won’t open and how to voodoo the ignition. But I didn’t get home until midnight and I had to be up at 5:15AM — I was at least smart enough to not even try for the 4:00AM workout — and so my point is I’m really tired right now.

I’ve been working on My Immortals 7 and things are going pretty well. I’m liking the story a lot and am almost at the point where the story is really essentially done and there’s not much plot left to deal with.

What the title will be, I don’t know yet. I have a few ideas, but nothing I want to commit to yet, and that is why I cannot show you the cover for Book 7 — because the cover is all done except for a place holder title from Book 5. But I love, love, love the cover.

I’m going to be writing another historical novella for a second anthology with Grace Burrowes, Miranda Neville, and Shana Galen. The anthology title should be Dancing in the Duke’s Arms. We were able to arrange a custom photo shoot and so provide some very specific requests for poses and emotions to be conveyed for our cover image. We’ve selected the image we want to use, but there is nothing to show you yet.

Also, I know the story I want to write for the anthology, and it’s an idea that keeps nagging at me.

Arithmetic

Six weeks into 2015 already! I should be doing my taxes but I’m not. Yet. ::Shrug::

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I think I have a problem with this: American Sniper

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

I read the book American Sniper shortly after it came out. I have also read several other memoirs of Navy SEALS. Chris Kyle, the author of American Sniper, as you probably know, retired from active service and was later killed by a mentally disturbed man at a shooting range Kyle owned. Now there’s a movie about the book.

FYI: I have now added a paragraph at the bottom to address yet another controversy about this movie.

The controversy I’ve heard around the movie goes like this: Kyle killed people and talked about it. He was callous and unfeeling, and possibly not a very nice person. I have seen comparisons between success of the movie with things that are unrelated that imply that Americans of the sort who would see American Sniper are terrible people. Example, juxtaposing the movie’s successful opening with people who gave Bill Cosby a standing ovation.

Today, after writing a draft of this post, I went to see the movie because, one, I wanted to see it anyway, and two, since I was so bothered by some of the conversation, not seeing the movie would leave my opinions and thoughts less informed than they should be.

The Review Portion

Clint Eastwood is a very good director. There’s no doubt about it. Great material to work with, and yet I often felt that if I’d not read the book, I couldn’t have followed the movie as well. In fact, several times, I thought, oh, right, that’s [some character] from the book, because those roles were not clear to me. Alas, and probably no surprise, Kyle’s wife was sadly one-dimensional. I don’t mean the actress, I mean the screenplay and the directorial decisions. More than once I whispered “eff you.” Because of course the woman is shown as unable to understand the man she married. So, you know, the eff.

More important, I did not see this movie as a glorification of killing or an endorsement of the war in Iraq; at times quite the opposite. One of the strengths of the movie was showing moments of internal conflict and Kyle’s (as he was shown to us on the screen) refusal to acknowledge that even his brothers-in-arms had times of profound doubt.

Frankly, though I enjoyed the movie, and though it made me as sad as ever about war in general, and Iraq in particular, it’s not Eastwood’s best work. It’s a bit uneven and might have been better served by spending slightly less time on shooting and explosions and more on demonstrating the brotherhood of the soldiers. Thus ends the review portion of this post.

On War And the Warrior Trope

Here’s a fact, there are branches of the military, the SEALs being one, that have achieved a mystical standing. By definition, these men are extraordinary. They embody everything we glorify about warriors. I find it odd not to acknowledge the power of that trope and the reality behind it. Spartans. Athenians. Amazons. Roman Gladiators. Alexander The Great. Picts. Scots. The history of humans includes the history of war and warfare. Setting aside issues of the elision of women and minorities from history and warfare, this is us. As humans. We can recognize and admit the power of the warrior trope without also elevating war to heroic status.

Story vs. Truth

The movie represents Kyle at three removes. Kyle, the person, is gone and unable to speak for himself. His memoir is a writing and all writing is a remove from the person who is the writer. More, when there is a co-writer, there is yet another remove. What’s on the page are the words that convey words spoken, not the actual experience.

Writers are tricky people. They understand how and when to manipulate with words. It behooves us all, when we are reading a text, to remember that fact. It’s even more important when the writer of a memoir isn’t the subject of the memoir. And even so we cannot represent or assume the words on the page are equivalent to Kyle. They are a representation of him. And now we have a movie of the book; a representation of a representation.

The Thing that Bothers Me

It bothers me that there seems to be a conflation of Kyle, the movie, and its viewers that suggests that because Kyle killed people for a living that all the viewers of the movie are ascribed bloodthirsty motivations for seeing the movie. Further, suggesting there is some relation between a SEAL sniper doing his job and the alleged actions of Bill Cosby is offensive. How is a soldier doing what his country pays him to do anything like Cosby?

Whatever you may feel about the role the US is playing in the world, we should not be denigrating the men and women who serve in our military nor should we be making sly or not so sly insinuations about the moral worth of members of the military because we might disagree with US politics or decisions to send our military into war. Kyle, personally, did not set US policy. He did not commit crimes.

It is entirely possible for someone to read and see American Sniper while maintaining an ability to separate the actions and culpability of a White House Administration that put our country at war in Iraq under less than truthful circumstances with the actions of the soldiers who were sent to fight.

Bill Cosby is alleged to have committed several crimes. Assaults against women whom he allegedly drugged so that they could not object or consent. It is offensive to me that anyone would conflate the part-of-the-job actions of a member of the US military with actions that are a crime and suggest that viewers of the movie must also support Cosby.

Further, I have read American Sniper and seen the movie. I have not become a bloodthirsty, jackbooted conservative. Nor would I have given Bill Cosby a standing ovation. But then, I would also never have gone to see Cosby, knowing the allegations against him. I can deplore that the US went to war in Iraq at the same time that I support the women and men who are sent to fight on our behalves.

Idiots are Not an Excuse

Just now I saw tweets about the movie in which someone screen-capped several tweets in which people who saw the movie said they now hated Iraqis and want to kill “them” where “them” was a racial epithet. That tweet said with full ironic sarcasm: “It’s just a movie.”

Kyle was killed by an American, after his service was over. Not an Iraqi. Should the movie not have been made because there are idiots out there incapable of seeing the tragic irony of that? What should we do, give a test before the movie and refuse to admit people who we feel lack critical thinking abilities?

It is equally possible to see this movie and think, as I did, no wonder they hate us. Yes. That’s right. It’s not just a movie. The problem isn’t the movie. The problem lies in the hearts of minds of the people who see the movie.

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