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My sister, Christy, and her daughter, Meghann, are coming to visit today and we’re going…shopping?  Yep, shopping.  One of my least favorite things to do.  I used to love it, but as I get older, it’s become more of a bother than anything else.  Still, we’re not shopping for me, we’re shopping for my niece…specifically, for her wedding dress!  So I’m excited and really looking forward to it.  Plus, there’s the added bonus of spending time with her and my sister–two of the people I love best in this world!

Also, my sister’s sixth–yep, sixth!–book was just released and is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, among other places.  I was lucky enough to read the book before it went to edits and have been privileged to share in this fantastic journey with Christy.  She’s the one who got me started writing, the one who’s always encouraged me, the one person who’s always believed in me.  She’s credited me several times with helping her through the process of writing a book and dedicated one of her books to me.  And this time the main character has my name–well, not really my name, but the nickname her son, Jonathan, gave me when he was a baby–Giki.  But, in this book, Giki is a rock star and she has quite a few quirks and character traits that I don’t have, the least of which is she can sing and I, well…can’t.  

This book, the third in her Bodyguard Series, is entitled The Bodyguard and the Rock Star.  I’m in the process of splashing the review I wrote for it anywhere I can think of to post it, so I thought I’d put it up here instead of writing another blog entry about the Cassie Edwards thing, the edits I’m doing on my book, what I’m writing at the present, the way life is treating me, etc., etc., etc.

So, here it is:

With The Bodyguard and the Rock Star, Christy Tillery French has once again taken me on an enjoyable roller coaster ride of heart-stopping thrills and rib-tickling humor.

In the third installment of Ms. French’s Bodyguard series, Natasha Chamberlain eagerly takes on her latest assignment—guarding English rock star, Giki, on a tour of the Southern United States.  Natasha is convinced this will be an easy job.  True, Giki has a wild streak, and at times she’s uncontrollable in her desire to experience every facet of being a rock star, from sex to concerts to…sweets?  Yes, Giki has a sweet tooth that is sometimes irrepressible, along with several other bad habits, and Natasha soon feels more like a babysitter than a bodyguard.  No problem, she can handle the aggravation of that, but Giki has a secret; a cyber-stalker who is willing to do whatever it takes to end the rock star’s career.  And Natasha is suddenly caught up in a job that’s far more dangerous than she first assumed.

When she’s shot at the first concert, her fiancé, Jonce Striker, shows up at the hospital, and the battle is on as single-minded alpha male clashes with strong-minded, determined woman, adding another delightful twist to the thrilling plot.  Natasha loves Striker and would do just about anything for him, but the one thing she’s not willing to do is give up her job.  She knows she can protect Giki, and she’s going to prove it to Striker once and for all.  Jonce, however, is worried and despite her protests brings in the competent, but completely adorable duo of Pit and Bigun to safeguard her.

And well, let’s just say, chaos ensues as Natasha struggles to find her balance between Striker and her chosen profession and, as she always does, manages to get her man.  No spoilers here, I’m not going to tell you which one she gets, you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out!

As with all the books in her Bodyguard Series, Ms. French has peppered this one with laugh-out-loud humor, nail-biting suspense, familiar, lovable characters as well as a few new, quirky ones, and dialogue so realistic it practically leaps off the page.  Then there’s the constant and stimulating tug-of-war between a strong man and an even-stronger woman.  Throw in a delightful tour of the cities of the South, which Ms. French writes about with obvious love and pleasure, and you have a very satisfying read that will keep you glued to the pages until the end.

Needless to say, The Bodyguard and the Rock Star is going to join the other books by Ms. French on my keeper shelf!

Now, let’s see if I can remember how to get the cover up…

The Bodyguard and the Rock Star

Hey!  It worked!  Woo-hoo!  It’s a little small, but it’s there.  Wish it was bigger so you could see the details, because there’s an image of Natasha, the main character, on there who looks amazingly like my niece, Meghann, who Natasha was modeled after.  The cover artist didn’t know that, has never met Meghann, and still she came up with that image.  Can we all hum the tune from the Twilight Zone? 

The thing is…Meghann’s getting married in August and in the next book in this series, Natasha is thinking about marrying Striker, her former boss and her true love.  Will she do it?  I don’t know.  I don’t think my sister even knows.  I do know this is Meghann’s second engagement–thank God she broke the first one off, because her fiance now, Roberto, is perfect for her and they’re so happy they glow–so maybe Natasha will have to go through some struggles of her own before she finally marries Striker.  Hmmm…I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Okay, I have to get dressed.  I’ve got to track down the perfect wedding dress for my wonderful niece!

That just about sums up how I feel right now…wasted and without a clue what to write about.  I think I may have done some serious damage to my muse with my latest writing binge–two novellas in two months!–and I don’t know whether to get down on my knees and beg her forgiveness or just leave her to sulk in a dark corner of my mind until she gets over it.  Probably better to leave her alone and let her cool off a bit, she’s liable to kick my ass if I don’t.

So, I’ve been writing, and like I said, I’ve completed two novellas, one a cougar story which needs some serious polishing before I do anything with it, the other a…I’m not sure what to call it.  I submitted it as a paranormal romantic suspense, but now that I’ve had time to think about it, I think it’s more of an urban fantasy, with elements of romantic suspense.  It’s not paranormal–I don’t think–and I hope the publisher doesn’t throw it in the trash because I sent it under the wrong genre.  Just another thing to chew on my fingernails about while I wait to hear from them.  Nineteen days and counting…

I do have something to keep me busy while I wait; the first round of edits on Snow Shadows, my paranormal romance that’s coming out later this year with L&L Dreamspell.  But since I haven’t written anything on this blog since shortly after Christmas, I decided I needed to get in at least one or two entries for January before I sink into the mire of rewrites and revisions.

Plus, a couple of things are weighing heavy on my mind right now.

First the owner of the now defunct e-publisher, Twilight Fantasies Publications, which shall not be named, did something I find truly despicable and repugnant, she’s self published a fifty page novella she once offered as a free read on her publishing site.  When I heard this, I had a true WTF moment?  Not the first this publisher’s given me and probably not the last.  Anyway, not only was the book once offered as a free read, it’s now up for sale for over sixteen dollars (hardback) and just under seven dollars (paperback).  I mean, come on, who’s going to pay that kind of money for a book that size, much less one that’s already been released for free?  It is offered in ebook format for under four dollars, but still…

The thing is…this author, who put this book out originally under her pen name, is now offering the same book under her real name.  I guess that’s a case of changing the names to protect the innocent, huh?  Not that she’s innocent in any way or form in my mind.  She’s slapped a new cover on it, listed the publisher as Twilight Fantasies (I assume to make it look like the book was good enough to get accepted by a real publisher), put the original editor’s name on it (who I understand was never paid for her work), and is asking an unbelievable amount of money for it.  Can we all say scam?

I have no idea what this particular vanity press charges to publish something, or if they even charge, could be they take it out in royalties, or something, but if they do, my question to this scurrilous woman is; did the money you owed your authors, editors, and cover artists pay for this?  And if so, when can we expect our percentage of the royalties?  Will you pay them or will you slink off into hiding like you did before, complaining all the way about people being mean to you?

Beyond that, I feel sorry for any reader who purchases your exhorbitantly priced book, they could’ve gotten your fifty pages of nothing (totally my opinion of course) for…well, nothing!  Kind of makes me wish I was vindictive enough to prove your point about how mean people are by posting a message to any readers out there who want to buy your book and offering to send it to them for free.  But alas, woe is me, one of the first things I did when I severed ties with you was delete my copy of the free download.  Oh well.  And, knowing you and your pompous jerk of a husband, you’d probably sue me for copyright violation or something.

Which brings me to the next thing on my mind–Cassie Edwards and her “alleged” plagiarism of various authors.  This one really pisses me off, for a number of reasons, all of which I’ll comment on tomorrow–I hope!

Right now, I’ve got to see if I can coax my muse out of hiding.  I may need her when I work on  those edits!  Hmm…maybe an imaginary trail of white chocolate macadamia nut cookie crumbs will do the trick. 

Oh, and before I forget, Go Pats!  And, sorry Peyton!  You didn’t make it this year, but I’ll be rooting for your brother in the play-offs.  Eli’s coming…

Whistling Woman by CC Tillery

Winds of Fate

Storm Shadows

Snow Shadows

PMS Anthology

Romance of My Dreams