Sunday, May 24, 2009

What White Boyz Ride


What White Boyz Ride (Print Edition)

Five delightfully erotic interracial stories of wicked women and devilishly charming men.

Baby Its Cold Outside, Karen White Owens presents Resa Warren who relectantly accepts a job in ice cold Michigan. She meets a handsome skier who sets fire to her heart. But is this sexy ski bum hot enough to keep her warm on long winter nights?

In Natalie Dunbar's Knight On A Just Ski, Alexis Calhoun works on a secluded island. After nearly drowning, she is rescued by a hunky actor on a jet ski. Will their passion survive once they are off the island?

Seressia Glass's Regina Lieberman in Rode Hard is in a rut. She agrees to take a ride on the back of a studly man;s custom-made motorcycle. Can these two unexpected lover keep moving when a secret threatens to derail their desire?

Enjoy the Ride by Kelley Nyrae presents Evangeline Sinclair blowing off steam after passing her bar exam. She heats thes lops with a hot snowboarder in a affair hot enough to melt snow off the mountains. But will their fling last longer than a thrilling down hill ride?

SImone Harlow's Robey Wade is a girl in control of every aspect of her life until she she takes her first surfing lesson. She meets a handsome surfer who takes her on the wave of a lifetime. Will this mismatched couple learn to go with the Flow and let love rule?

New Books Arrived


Freedom's Fight by Gary Phillips
(Print Edition)

World War II changed the landscape of the world and the heart of America. As the war rages across Europe and Africa, a battle is also being fought on American soil. Eager to join the fight, black soldiers are denied the right to defend their country.

One man is charge with a duty that could change the course of the war in Africa. On a spy mission he searches for a traitor, but as he gets closer he must choose between his obligation to his country and his duty to his race.

A woman reporter finds a deep buried secret that could shock the nation. As she digs deeper into a national conspiracy she finds her life in jeopardy. She must chose between the truth and her life.

A patriotic lounge singer gives up his career to serve his country. To do so, he hides his identity and in the heat of battle makes a choice between the man he thought he was and the man he truly is.

A group of courageous people defy the odds and fight the war of their conscience to keep themselves and their country safe.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

An Introduction...

Hi! I'm Eugenia O'Neal and this is my very first post for the Parker Publishing blog so I thought I'd start off by telling you a little bit about myself. I was born and grew up on the lovely island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands (south of Puerto Rico) and have lived there for most of my life.

My first degree was in journalism from Temple University in Philly - I loved Philly! Loved the Farmer's Market in Germantown (which is no more), the trolley line which I could pick up right outside my apartment and ride all the way to school, the cheesesteaks, John Wannamakers - all of it. After graduation, though, I returned home and wrote for a local newspaper for a while before joining the civil service where I've been fortunate to hold a variety of jobs.

Writing has always been my passion and after Greenwood Publishing released From the Field to the Legislature: A History of Women in the Virgin Islands which was based on my thesis for an M.Phil degree from the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) I decided to go back to an old fiction manuscript I'd had lying around since my early twenties. That manuscript became Just an Affair which was followed last year by Dido's Prize, released by Parker under Kymberlin Reed's stellar guidance!

In the coming months, I'll tell you more about myself and blog about my road to publication (it wasn't as easy as the above might suggest), my writing habits, Dido's Prize, my work-in-progress, the history of Dido's Prize, and lots more.

Besides writing, I love to read (which writer doesn't?), garden, and travel. Feel free to visit me on Facebook.

Bad movies

On another forum, we chatted about really bad movies we've seen. I've recently got addicted to and I recently watched a truly, truly waste of celluloid called "Troll 2." The story was bad. The special effects, if you can call them that, was laughable. And the dialogue was so amatuerish, it was like it was written by a junior high school student.

So what I want to know is what was the worst movie you ever saw? What made it so bad? Did you watch the entire movie or did you stop it or walk out?


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm a TREKKER--You Should Be TOO!

I am a TREKKER. Yes, a woman, African American and every inch of me lives and breathes TREK(as in Star Trek). I am not a casual fan. I have been to conventions, dressed in Star Trek outfits, gone to the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas (twice) and have been to the museum several times. Yes, I have teeshirts that declare me a Star Trek geek and yes, I even own my very own Starfleet phaser replica.

So, you know I saw it! It being the movie of the summer.

A friend and I drove the hour to Raliegh to see the latest STAR TREK film on an IMAX screen. It was something to behold. We had to sit up close and I felt like I'd been swallowed up in the action. I loved this movie. Loved it! I was so exhausted from viewing this intense film, when I got home, I ate dinner and went to bed. For me, it was that intense. Please be warned that I am planning to list events from the movie, so if you haven't gone to see it (shame, shame on you), then don't read any further. I liked a lot of things about J.J. Abram's reboot of my beloved series. So many in fact I doubt I will be able to name everything in this one blog. I will be going back to see it again on Sunday because I am sure I missed something.

Without further delay, here is my list of things I think ROCKED in the new Star Trek film.
1. Spock and Uhura's relationship. This may have created a ton of enemies amongst loyal TREK fans, but this one thing has created new fans. Four women who were never into TREK before told how much they loved this interaction and how SPOCK was suddenly very, very, HOT!
2. Chris Pine as James T. Kirk-Loved Pine's portrayal. Somehow he managed to human Kirk in a mannner Shatner had never quite been able to do. Some of it was the script itself--it called for a more realistic portrayal of all the characters and less the "utopian" version the original set up. I know people will disagree, but I have to consider that Chris Pine's KIRK was much better than Shatner's.
3.Simon Pegg as Scotty-This is a personal shout out from the fan inside me. I LOVE Simon Pegg. LOVE HIM! I think he is very, very funny (I am also a fan of British humor). Hot Fuzz, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, and RUN FAT BOY RUN are DVDs you'd find at my house. More to the point, Pegg's portrayl of Scotty--although brief, was solid and spot on.
4.Sets-The sets of this Star Trek film were sleek, sexy and way cool. My hat's off again to Abrams and his crew. They did their homework, but moreover, they wanted to do it right. That came across in the film--especially on IMAX screens.
5. Storyline-This one made sense, meaning I could follow it and so could my friend who is not a diehard TREK fan. She's a Star Wars lover, but I can forgive her for that--after all, she did drive to Raliegh. But yes, even she could follow the plot and I think that says a lot about the movie's appeal to other non-TREK fans.
6. Humor-This movie was funny. Not slapstick, goofy funny, but humorous at the right moments--humor you find in every day life.Throughout much of the movie, I kept thinking how when we reach this period in our evolution, this is how it would more than likely unfold. Things that weren't planned would happen, and sometimes those things would be funny.
7. Engineering-This is set apart from my comments about the set because I found the engineering room in the film to be what a real, starship's engine room would look like. Tons of different places for the cores (it wouldn't be just one) and water pipes and lines of pipes and well, like it does in the movie. The engineering room stayed with me long after the movie had hustled on to somplace else. I couldn't believe how in-depth and awesome it was.
8. The destruction of Vulcan-This is part of the plot, and I liked how Abrams & Co. did let the bad guy get his shot in. Starfleet didn't arrive in time and they didn't save the day. I LOVED that, because although I am a fan, I hate that the crew of the Enterprise always win. My favorite TNG episode is when Captian Picard is taken by the Borg. I believe this is also why The Wrath of Khan is a popular Trek film too. Kirk lost something big in that film--his only son. These were episodes where we didn't win outright. Starfleet was outmaneuvered. Although Nero and his crew of very bad Romulans get theirs, it made me happy to see that he got part of his revenge in their too.

There is so much more I can write about, but truth be told, I am running out of time tonight. I've got to put my little ones to bed. Take care.

Best, Nicole Givens Kurtz

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Passing It Forward

Good morning,

Last Saturday I was once again one of the authors giving a workshop at Mayor Daley's Book Club event. When Bill and I made it to our assigned room for the second workshop and saw the doorway filled with kids standing and waiting for us (a couple were sitting) it gave me great joy. It was also the first time I'd had younger students in my workshop so I knew I had to adjust the presentation. I still had information that they could use. Getting to know about their dreams and their writing was the catalyst for a very lively discussion.

The kids were so enthusiastic and had so many questions. One thing that I got from that was that I need to write a book for teens and preteens. LOL. I don't really have books to give them.

Anyway, that was not the point of this post. I wanted to talk about the turning point from when I thought I had nothing to give to where I now know that I do. When I began writing I did so many things wrong, from formatting, submitting to houses that did not publish what I wrote to not knowing a think about promotions. I also wasn't aware where to go to get this information.

Once I realized that I wasn't the only writer out there that had to learn through trial and error I found I did have something to give. This post wouldn't be the proper place to post all the things that happened to me in the beginning. Green. That was me.

So I now pass forward information that I know for sure, links that I've researched, conferences, books of interest, and the websites of others. And as always happen, the more I do, the more I'm asked to do. But the information I need to pass along, always in some manner is passed to me. I learn more by sharing with other writers and aspiring writers.

Lately, I've heard of a lot of jealousy in the industry, authors not wishing others well because they have not achieved the dreams that they wish for themselves. The why them and why not me syndrome. Perhaps the WHYS are passing it forward, giving and receiving in return. Try it. Seriously. Try to be happy for others, pass on any useful information you get that can help someone else, including things you want for yourself.

Pass it forward and see what happens.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Back to me

Today is the 11th and our turn, Jackie and I, has rolled around again. I've thought a little bit about a topic and don't really have one. at least I don't think I do. Maybe if I just wander a bit. My life has been a little off track the last few weeks. Well, maybe, a lot off track. So much happens that on a day to day basis it seems okay, but when I look back and see all the turmoil I wonder how I got through it all intact and sane. Which started me thinking about insanity. I recently read a book in which the villain was insane and the author used insanity as motivation for all his acts of violence against the heroine. I felt cheated.

As a writing teacher with almost 20 years of teaching under my belt I constantly tell my students that insanity is not an option as motivation for his actions unless even his or her insanity is well motivated. I think insanity is used when a writer can't find a good motivation for a villain's actions. To me this is cheating the reader. Yeah, Hannibal Lector was insane, but he was insane for a very good reason and in his mind, his reason was well-thought out and motivated even if it's a reason so alien to us that it makes us cringe. But having a character insane for no other reason except to provide the conflict for the sake of the story is a cop-out.

A villain should be as well-motivated as the hero and heroine. For whatever reason his savagery exists, it should have its basis in the story. In Jurassic Park, the dinosaurs are cast as the antagonists, Even though they are animals, they are still motivated not so much by their savagery (except in the case of the velociraptors) but because it's more than their nature to be savage. In their world weak animals die, prey to stronger and more savage animals. So they developed strategies to be strong because their motivation is survival. I find survival a pretty good motivation for a lot of characters, especially for villains. As warped as they may be, many of their actions are based on a need to survive. And while their survival is in conflict with more civilized behavior, their reasons are more unreasonable than reasonable, it's still logical to them. And it's the weird logic they use that should put them in conflict with the other characters, not the fact that they may be, or are insane.

I have no aversion to insane villains, but I prefer my villains a little better thought out than just a casual comment made by some character that 's/he's just insane.' Why else would s/he do what they do? That isn't good motivation.

Now you have my two cents. I guess I had a topic after all.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

"Most Maligned of Literary Texts"

This is America. I respect the opinions and the rights of readers who won’t touch romance with a ten foot pole. For them, the happily ever after ending is just too predictable, the hero too chiseled and perfect and the heroine just too damn beautiful and flawless to be believed. Because I have my own no-fly list, I understand their position. Some stories are not for me. I’m not paying good (or bad) money to be depressed or disgusted. That’s what cable news is for.

Notice I said stories and not genres. However, I still give credit to those readers who have tackled romance and decide it’s just not for them. The people who give me pause are those who have never read a romance novel but speak with authority on the simplistic story lines and alleged “purple prose”. How the heck do they know the color of the prose (excuse my sarcasm) if they’ve never cracked open the book? And then there are the snobs who’ve decided that romance writers suffer from limited intelligence, as if we need flashcards to remember our own names.

To my many reader friends, I do understand. Romance, like many other genres, is not for everyone. But to the misinformed, I offer a quote from Joanne Rendell, an attendee at Princeton’s symposium on romance fiction. “ the Princeton conference continued, I realized that it was too hasty to rush to this conclusion. Romances are not one kind of thing. Neither are their readers. And to draw fast conclusions about the genre and its audience is to perpetuate the kind of stereotyping which has always made romance the "most maligned of literary texts." The entire article (which includes our own Beverly Jenkins) can be found in the May 3 edition of the Huffington Post. And to my fellow authors, I paraphrase a favorite phrase from the 60's: "write on, write on!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Exercise to Inspire...

Eeek! Late to the party--Where did April go? I missed my May 1st post so I'm making up for it now. This month I thought I'd talk about being Inspired. It seems that there's a whole lot of grumbling going on with authors. There's always an excuse waiting at the tip of your tongue and no amount of complaining is going to get you to finish your writing. The best way to help make things easier on yourself is finding elements around you that will keep you excited about your work in progress (WIP). I love the research aspect before I start any process. I usually come up with an idea and then it just grows into one big ball of excitement. I love to write about far off places and learning the history, sights, cultures, etc. Inspiration doesn't have to be epic things. It can be such a small kernel that will pop into a grand imagination.

If you're still stuck, I've got a visualization exercise to help jump start and hopefully inspire you.

1. 1 poster board
2. Several magazines
3. Glue Stick
4. Colored markers
5. Sparklies and scrapbook trinkets optional

Okay, you're probably thinking what the heck is she up to? It looks like a kid's project.

You're partially right. And what I'll add to this is that the power of the mind is the strongest feature you have...if you believe in it.

What I want you to do is to stare at the blank poster board and imagine you're populating it with your story. What does your hero and heroine look like? What is your story about? What important elements make up the story? What is the monkey wrench in the h/h reaching their ultimate goals? What is the setting? What is the color scheme? What is the emotion?

These seem like simple enough questions in your head, but when you can lay it down on some artistic visual outline, it makes the story more real in your head. That's where the magazines come into play. Now, I want you to map out the story through cutting various items that applies to the questions I threw out. Make sure to glue them down once you've done a make-shift map. Then, with your markers, label the elements and jot down notes on the story. This exercise is like a large scale journal. Some people use stickies and place them in order on a poster board--but I love using images. The whole color scheme and feel of your visual piece will make the story fresh and alive in your mind for when you start writing.

This project has two parts. After you've created the first piece...the poster board outline...The second part is to really absorb the imagery. Soak it in, feel the emotions of the story, find the missing gaps of your story and you'll soon be in the mood to write. Don't think too hard as you write. Don't edit. Just write as much as you can because you'll find the story will flow through the visual map you've already created. You will be amazed at how many pages you've written and when you're done, you will see that the poster board was just the beginning imprint of your completed story.

Even with no artistic talents..your creativity will come through in this project and it's a matter of taking time out to exercise your mind so you won't put too much pressure on writing. This is a sort of release from all those writing tips and guidelines that keep you stifled from creating. When you use your visual brain to lay out the foundations of your story, it makes the overall picture so much clearer.

Trust me on it. I'd love to see what you've done with your collage...please tell me if this exercise helped.


I'd like to see your attempts at this exercise. Just post an image of your masterpiece on your blog by next Sunday, May 10th. If you've done this project, make sure to comment on this post with your link so I can view your entries.

I'll have judges choose the most creative Visual Collage. One lucky winner will receive an awesome writer's package through the mail. Unfortunately, international folks will only get an Amazon Gift Card and the ebook of my current release ART OF SENSUALITY...

Jax Cassidy