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Meet An Artist Tuesday

Please welcome Julie Eberhart Painter, who is the Champagne Books author of Mortal Coil, Tangled Web, and the 2011 Book of the Year, Kill Fee. The sequel, Medium Rare, released December 3, 2012.  Daughters of the Sea, a paranormal, is coming Jan 25, 2013 from MuseItUpPublishing.

Julie’s web site is at www.books-jepainter.com.

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
Years ago I saw a feature on the Polynesians settling in New Zealand. It was called Nomads of the Sea and showed how the navigators read the waves to find safe islands in the South Pacific. In New Zealand they become known as the Maoris. We have visited Tahiti, Easter Island and NZ many times and are familiar with the indigenous peoples and their history.

I thought what a neat idea if a young exotic looking American woman discovered she was related to these romantic and spiritual people. My heroine is haunted by this discovery; and there was my story.

Q) How long did it take you to write?
Originally about three months, and then several years of mental marinating.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
Creating emotion and developing characters.

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
Not in the fridge, but from the pantry, we just threw out a 30-year-old bottle of Tabasco sauce.

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future?
This month, my cozy mystery, a sequel to Kill Fee, which took home Best Book for 2011 from www.champagnebooks.com, gave birth to Medium Rare.

My work in progress is a family story featuring a male nurse "raised right" in the American South in the 60s, and a liberated, ambitious woman from Main Line Philadelphia. CONFLICT.

Forbidden Words: orienting or disorienting

I just came off an early edit using a publisher-provided list of 20 forbidden words, all considered weak sisters. I expected to see “like” on the list, but didn’t. The Valley Girls must have landed.

Being a repeat offender, I began by searching and replacing words: examples:

Will be; had; as though; very, where Mark Twain suggested substituting damn. Believe me, damn can get an editor’s attention.

Then I went “But” hunting. After three days of working the forbidden 20, I came to the conclusion that my manuscript no longer made good sense. It had lost its orientation; its timeline was confused—not to mention confusing its cross-eyed author.

Back at the keyboard, I started from the beginning. Keeping the weaklings in mind, I rewrote the whole book. That worked damn well.

Since I’d wasted one of the days removing “and” from a manuscript full of not only “ands” but “hands” and “islands,” I became aware of all the little weaknesses one can include when galloping along telling a story: a story that is usually like a thumbnail sketch, enchanting, but flawed.

I use that example here because I was trained as an artist in clay, charcoal and water color. My art teachers wanted decisive, strong, passionate and clear purpose. Does that sound familiar to us writers?

Art is art as in “the arts.” Make it strong.

As a romantic suspense and paranormal writer, I suggest we all go “but” hunting, and let the Valley Girls, “like” it or lump it.

Spread Thin

I'm completely overwhelmed at the moment.  Between being busy at work and trying to get multiple edits done before January, there aren't enough hours in the day.  I'm also doing a blog tour for Death to the Undead, so finding time to write my blog is about to drive me over the edge.  I have to unplug for a while.  I have to focus.  I'll still post the Meet An Author Tuesday blogs, but other than that, I'm going offline.  I'll be back, I'm just not sure when.

If I'm not back in the next few weeks, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a great New Year!

Meet An Author Tuesday

Today's guest is Sue Perkins.

Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Pembroke. 

Most of my books are fantasy with a dash of romance, where I let my imagination flow as I create other worlds. I also write contemporary romance. These books are usually set in locations I know or have lived near. 

"Recipe for Romance" is set in the Hibiscus Coast area north of Auckland. Beautiful scenery and lovely beaches all make their way into my story. I wrote the first draft when I lived on the North Shore of Auckland and my family often went to Whangaparaoa or Orewa. It is here I first saw sand yachts hurtling up and down the beach. A wonderful and breathtaking sight which cried out to be included in Kirsty and Reeve's story. 

Kirsty is a fully trained chef, but feels she needs more practical experience before she takes charge of her own kitchen. This is the reason she works as a sous chef in a small hotel. Reeve breezes in as the new owner's representative and stirs up a war zone in the kitchen. Everything goes wrong for Kirsty and she's sure Reeve thinks her an incompetent fool.  

She's wrong. He is sure the sous chef is innocent, but needs more time to solve the mystery of loss of income for the hotel restaurant. 

I loved writing this book. The characters were created by my imagination but soon took over the tale, indicating in no uncertain terms what they thought should happen. I now live in a different, but equally beautiful, part of New Zealand but still have happy memories of bringing up my children on the North Shore of Auckland with its beautiful beaches and friendly people.  


"Hi, Kirsty. I helped myself to some coffee. Hope it's okay. I'm on a ten-minute break."

"No problem." Kirsty smiled as Gina sat beside her. The bubbly receptionist had taken the new employee under her wing six months earlier and introduced her to the big city. The other girl acted as the more experienced of the two even though Gina was a few years younger than Kirsty.

"What a gorgeous day." Gina leaned back in the sunshine. "Even better when you sit and look at this fabulous view."

Kirsty sighed contentedly as she wrapped her hands around the cup and slipped off her shoes. She looked fondly at her friend and took a sip of the hot coffee. Gina was one of those "always on the go" people. Sometimes Kirsty found it difficult to keep up with the younger girl.

"Hey, Kirsty!" Gina voice started low and confidential, but it rose with excitement as her questions bubbled forth. "What do you think of the new man? Have you met him yet? He's a bit of a change from old Mr. Bennett, isn't he?"

"I'm afraid we got off to a bad start." Kirsty smiled ruefully. "I thought he was a salesman, and told him in no uncertain terms what I thought of him."

"You didn't, did you?" Gina stared at her. "Hang on. Someone said he helped you out during the lunchtime rush, so he can't be so bad. "

"I suppose he's okay, and he did thank me for all my hard work," Kirsty admitted. "I just wish he'd told me who he was, then I wouldn't have treated him like something the cat dragged in. What really annoyed me is this should have been my day. With Chef on his day off, I was in charge. Monday is the only chance I get to run the kitchen my own way, and today everything went wrong. Mr. Stuart breezed in, took over, and it was the final straw. I wouldn't be surprised if the mess in the kitchen gave him the impression I'm some sort of incompetent idiot."

"Don't worry about it. It's his first day. By tomorrow he probably won't even remember your name. A great looking guy like him has got to have a nice nature to match. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it."

"I wish I was as sure about it as you are." Kirsty sighed and lifted the cup to her lips.

"Ah, there you are, Miss Lawrence. I've arranged for one of the chambermaids to help out this evening." Reeve's voice made the two women jump, and Kirsty nearly upset her coffee. Why couldn't the man make any noise instead of creeping around like a ghost? Silently she prayed he hadn't overheard any of their conversation.

"This will cover the dishwashing," Reeve continued. "How will you manage if there's a rush?"

"It's usually pretty quiet Monday evenings," Kirsty replied, settling back on the seat. "We have two extra staff when we're busy, and I've arranged for one of them to come in tonight, so I should be okay. By the way, I'd like to thank you for your help this morning."

"Thanks are not necessary." Kirsty heard the distraction in his voice, and his manner made her feel small and insignificant. "I'm in charge of the hotel now, and I couldn't allow the restaurant to be closed on my first day here. Which brings me to this evening's meal. I noticed the main course is steak. It might be best to change this to something easier to prepare. With limited help you won't have time to cook individual meals."

Kirsty stared at him in disbelief. How dare he criticize her ability to run the kitchen? He strode away before she could say a word, then turned at the kitchen doorway.

"By the way, Miss Lawrence, I believe you usually have a few hours off in the afternoon. Under the circumstances I'm sure you won't mind canceling them today. I'll see you get time off in lieu at some future date."

Kirsty's voice deserted her. She stared at him, anger darkening her eyes. Reeve turned and walked through the kitchen door, seemingly unaware of the turmoil boiling up within her.



Buy Link: Available 21st December 2012

Movie Review Monday

The Baytown Outlaws (2012)

It was one of those weekends where the spouse and I had no idea what we wanted to watch, so we went through the list to see what we could find.  We watched one trailer, but the movie didn't look interesting, so we watched a preview for this film.  The trailer looked pretty good, so we gave it a shot.

It was a crazy roller coaster ride of a movie with lots of eye candy, guns, fights, and explosions.  Seriously, I didn't think dirty, sweaty Southern boys could look that good, but I was impressed.  There were moments of humor.  It slowed down a little in the middle and got kind of boring, but it picked up by the end. 

The basic story is that Celeste hires the Oodie brothers to kidnap her godson from her ruthless ex-husband, who happens to be a drug dealer and all-around mean guy.  As you can imagine, the ex-husband doesn't want to let the kid go, so he sends his minions after the brothers to get him back.  Fights occur and blood is shed in over-the-top fashion.

If you're looking for a pretty mindless yet entertaining film and don't mind some blood, I definitely recommend checking this movie out.  It was a wild ride!

This Week in Reading

Holy cow!  It's has been so busy this week, and it's only going to get worse as the month goes on.  Thank goodness I get a week off from work at Christmas time!  I'm going to need it!

I'm still reading Witch World by Christopher Pike.  It's going to take me a while to get through because I'm also editing at the moment.  I even bowed out of reading the zombie book this month because I don't have time.  Anyway, I'm really enjoying the story and it brings me back to my teenage days.  I loved Pike books, and I still do, and it's not hard to see why.  He's a great story teller with fabulous characters.

No time to post about the shenanigans of my boys today.  I have lots of work to do.  I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Self-promotion Thursday

Yesterday, I visited my mentor and friend.  He has ALS, and it's unclear how much longer he has.  At this point, his voice has been affected so he can no longer talk.  I went to see him so we could talk about my book, Life Lessons from Slasher Films, which he had a huge influence on.  He was the committee chair on my thesis committee and encouraged me to write on the Friday the 13th films, which, in turn, was expanded into this book.  In honor of this fantastic man, I would like to encourage you to check out my nonfiction book.  I couldn't have written it without his guidance and encouragement!

And don't forget, the book has met many famous people!

Not a Clue

I have been wracking my brain all morning, and I have no idea what I want to talk about today.  My plate is incredibly full, so I'm not going to waste too much time.  If you want to read new blogs I've written, check out my blog tour.  The links are below.  Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing!

Hope you have a great day!

Meet An Author Tuesday

I have a guest post up here.  Check it out.  And don't forget to leave a comment so you can be entered into the drawing.  For the contest, anyone who leaves a comment on any of the blogs will be put into a drawing to win a coffee mug, a spiral notebook (2 will be given away), or a complete signed set of books (both Life After the Undead and Death to the Undead) (2 will be given away).

I don't have a guest post today.  One was scheduled, but it turned out she had already posted back in November.  I would have let her go again, but she didn't have a new book to promote.  Instead, I would like to promote all of the authors over at eTreasures Publishing.  They've got a lot of great books over there, something for everyone, so go check them out.  Maybe you can find a Christmas present...or several.  You never know until you look!

Movie Review Monday

My latest blog tour started last week.  I talk about the process it took to write Death to the Undead and various other tidbits about zombies.  Check them out here, here, and here.  Leave a comment and be entered into a drawing to win fabulous prizes, including signed copies of both books!

Men In Black 3 (2012)

I am a big fan of these movies.  They are funny and well written.  Plus, most of the aliens are really cool.  How could I ask for anything more?  Not to mention, Josh Brolin is one of my favorite actors, so, really, this movie had everything!

The story was basically the same as all the others:  Agent K and Agent J are protecting the world from evil aliens.  The twist in this film is that the alien, Boris, travels back in time to kill Agent K.  J has to save him.  There are some questions answered in the film, such as why K is as grumpy as he is and what happened to J's dad.  All in all, it was a great story with nice insight.  As always, it had its moments of humor, which I greatly appreciate.

If you're a fan of the Men In Black films, I recommend checking out this movie.  It was well worth watching!