Shara's E Zone

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Archive for the month “February, 2007”

The Men on Mars gets 4 Stars from RT!

I’m so psyched! I don’t even have the April issue yet, but they posted the ratings on the web. THE MEN ON MARS received 4 stars from Romantic Times BOOK Reviews. Now I really can’t wait to get the actual magazine so I can read the review!

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Secrets & Spies has an official home!

NCP logoAfter much angst, my novel Secrets & Spies has a home. I’ve signed a contract with New Concepts Publishing–woohoo! I’m very excited because NCP has many of their print books in my local Waldens and Borders, so I have high hopes that S&S will eventually go into print with them and you’ll finally be able to find my books on store shelves. Plus a few of my friends already have releases with them and seem very happy, so this should be a good thing!

Meanwhile, I’m trying to complete the cover art form. You’d think this would be a fairly easy process. I’ve certainly filled out such forms in the past, but this book has been in limbo for a while, so I haven’t read it in quite a bit and I’m currently working on my Blame It on the Moon WIP. It gets hard to remember what my hero/heroine look like from two books back. I can easily call to mind my Mexican setting, since I spent several weeks in Mexico myself, but hell if I know what color hair Parker has.

I’m also trying to form an opinion on what sort of cover I want for this book. It needs to be something that conveys action, humor, and steam all at once. Any thoughts on what might do this? Next, I have to tackle short and long blurbs for the book. Distilling an 80,000 word novel down to 100 words is never an easy task for me.

But it’s an awesome book and I absolutely can’t wait for you all to get a chance to read it. I’ll keep you posted on the release date!

(Btw, Happy 100th to W. H. Auden, a poet I actually enjoy reading.)

Shara

www.sharalanel.com

To the Depths of the Cedar Chest…

punkSince I’ve discovered that I’m off to EPICon in March after all, I’ve been eagerly in search of the perfect 80s outfit for the after-party, and boy has this brought back some memories! As a friend reminded me, I’m not actually a child of the 80s. Sigh. No, I’m a child of the 70s, but even better I was a teen in the 80s. I have fond memories of school dances where we swayed in a circle singing Def Leopard ballads and rockin’ out to Cinderella and Van Halen. I finally managed to attend a Duran Duran concert at the very end of the decade, and I missed out on Rick Springfield live until after my son was born.

So this quest for an outfit led me to raid my cedar chest. This is more complicated than it sounds, considering my heavy doll house (made by Dad) sits atop it along with books, blankets, and whatnot. Once cleared and opened, the first thing revealed was my Mexican blanket, which really should be out in the open decorating my home, but I’m afraid of ruining it. Under that is a layer of wedding albums and race t-shirts. (I used to run 10Ks.) Finally I discover my Wham muscle shirt. It doesn’t say Wham, but I distinctly remember it having something to do with one of their videos. Plus it glows in the dark.live aid

A layer of concert t-shirts follow: Depeche Mode, U2, Duran Duran, Genesis, Chicago, and the 20th anniversary of The Monkees. Alas, no Live Aid tee, though I faithfully watched that landmark event on TV, first at my house then at my girlfriend Joy’s house. The glimpse of Rick Springfield was not nearly enough to satisfy. But some of the performances live long, like U2’s and Queen’s. (Happily I have the DVD set now.)

I tried on a couple of these tees to see if any of them would work for the party, and a couple did fit, but not well. My “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” half shirt did not cover the necessary chest elements. I was a much smaller person in the 80s. But my billowy black Sigue Sigue Sputnik shirt fit perfectly.

st elmoDeep down in the chest were my two Hardy Boys shirts, my elementary school shirt, and my Girl Scout uniform complete with beret and badges. A couple of honeymoon negligees and the dress I wore at the reception were tucked near the bottom. But I didn’t hit 80s paydirt. No leg warmers and only one fingerless Madonna glove. I did find a pair of lime green socks, yellow plaid pants, paisley pants, and polkadot gloves. Not quite what I had in mind. I’m wishing I still had my mullet, though at the time I called it my Rick Springfield look (or simply spiked hair). And I’m hoping to find some mondo earrings and tacky bracelets in my jewelry box. I know…most people clear out fashion from previous decades, and I’ve cleared out most of it, but some things I just can’t part with–even if I’ll never fit into them again.

I do think there’s hope for me yet, though, because I can finally look back at the 80s and see something other than “cool”. I can finally see “downright scary” and “what were they thinking?!”

Shara

www.sharalanel.com

Happy Valentine’s Day!

pigI’m a bit late dropping in today, but I wanted to wish you all a fab V-Day! It’s a Wed., Hump Day, and much of the East Coast seems to be having questionable weather, so you might not be feeling terribly romantic. I understand. Time to pull out a good romance book and curl up by the fire (or your sweetie, if you’ve got one) to get in the mood. And there’s this new site called RomanceTV where you can find interviews with some of your fave romance authors.

Of course, I highly recommend www.sharalanel.com for romantic and steamy excerpts, but then I guess I’m partial, huh?cupid I also plan to watch Bones on Fox tonight–seeing David Boreanaz always gets me in the mood.

So here’s wishing you chocolate, massages, foot rubs, and some seriously good lovin’–Shara

5 Grammies–I’m so proud!

Dixie ChicksI’ll admit it. I didn’t watch the Grammy show. I Tivo’d the red carpet show on E! and am watching that now, but, in fact, I hadn’t even realized how many great groups/artists were nominated this year! Some years I have no clue who the groups or songs are even when I do see the list. But U2, John Mayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dixie Chicks, and my son’s all-time fave–the Cars soundtrack–all nominated. One of my best friends is probably over the moon about Bob Dylan’s and Neil Young’s nominations, and apparently Bob won two Grammies. I’m bummed that “Unwritten” didn’t win, but…

I must admit, I’m the most proud of the 5–count them–FIVE Grammies won by the Dixie Chicks! Not like I had a thing to do with their talent and creation of the Album of the Year and the Song of the Year, but I’m so PROUD of them. Here’s the complete winner/nominee list, in case you too missed the show. I found this video on YouTube of “Not Ready to Make Nice.”

It was cool to see Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys nominated in Dance category–flashbacks to the 80s. I like the music from Memoirs of a Geisha and really enjoyed the movie and book, but personally I think the Chronicles of Narnia soundtrack should have won that category. It’s perfect writing music. And I thought Weird Al was joking when he said he was nominated in the “Surround Sound” category–but no, it’s there on the list. He’s nominated along with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Alan Parsons. I used to love falling to sleep with music from the Alan Parsons Project.

By the way, I’ve been offered a second contract for my novel Secrets & Spies. Hopefully I’ll have a definite sale announcement soon, and cross your fingers that the book will be out in 2007. I really love this book and have been waiting a long time for you all to be able to read it!

Shara

www.sharalanel.com

Brr, it’s cold outside!

Well, since I live in Virginia, it’s probably not that cold, but it is to me. Especially since hubby got sent out of state for work and I had to get up to take my son to the bus stop this morning. Froze my tushy off! C-O-L-D! Eight degrees…this calls for hibernation, don’t you think? And the news mentioned (-30) degrees in Chicago. I don’t know how you folks north of the Mason-Dixon line function.

Actually I have a vague memory of it, since I lived in New York’s snowbelt for several years. I was explaining to my son the joy (*sarcasm here*) of trudging through 300 feet of waist-deep snow to wait for the bus as the wind carved my face with trace icicles. My dad would plow the driveway in the morning before he went to work, like 4:30 a.m. My grandpa ran a town truck, so he’d come by on the street and blow the snow back into the driveway, and by the time my sister and I headed out, the wind would have blown all of the drifts back in place.blizzard

Have I mentioned we lived in a log cabin? The first year we had walls was the blizzard of ’81. We had a flat roof with no insulation–this was the basement only. Icicles formed on the nails that stuck through the plywood in the ceiling. Snow blew the insulation out from between the walls. The heat from the wood stove went straight up and out, so that we sat around in our winter coats inside the house. No one wanted to visit us–can’t imagine why–and during the blizzard we couldn’t open our front door for three days. Dad had to call someone to come dig us out.

(By the way, I found this image on a Buffalo web site labeled Blizzard of ’77.)

So for those friends born and bred here in Richmond, and now my son, also born and bred here–when they pine for snow…I celebrate the lack of it.

Shara

www.sharalanel.com

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