Romantic Ink

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winner's of the Winter Wonderland Contest Announced!!!!!

If you participated in the Winter Wonderland contest - Winner's have been announced. You can see where you placed here.

Thank you to all the authors who participated - it was so fantastic being involved in something so fun with all of you. And even more importantly - Thank you to all the participants. We had a great turn-out and I hope to see you around again.

Now for the sad news. I now have to take down the one and only cool graphic on my site. Thanks for Stella Price for creating it for the contest. She's awesome. If you ever need a graphic, she's the woman.

Well, ta ta for now.... Collin and Justine are calling.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chance to WIN FREE STUFF!!!!!

The time is running out on the Winter Wonderland contest!!!! Click the above link and learn how you can enter - hint: look down toward the bottom of this page for a flying snowman and you're already on your way to entering.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

DBSK rumblings...

I have a little, tiny obsession. On most days, no one would ever guess but today I have to share.


This five-member group rocked my world in 2006 with "O" and needless to say there are few days I don't listen to them at work. For those uninitiated DBSKstands for Dong Bang Shin Ki or Tohoshinki (THSK) in Japan. I've got all their albums and if you do a search for Mirotic or DBSK Wrong Number on you will be hooked.

Oh, and their accappella is to die for.

I don't indulge myself in fanfiction often but I'm always imagining who would be the perfect girls for these sexy, talented guys. Here's some of what I've written (Don't worry Justine and Collin are getting along fine... poor Collin's a bit distracted at the moment but no worries... She's got a surprise for him)

Yunho looked at the men surrounding him. As a team, they were strong, nearly impossible to beat down. Even if they had to walk the streets again, they would survive.

It hadn’t been easy – getting where they were now. A lot of tough work and struggle, time spent honing their unique skills and learning how to blend in and become who they had to be to survive.

They were one of the best teams in the world – on and off the stage. Most people just didn’t know how good. And he was set on keeping it that way.

Yeah, being caught and taken off the streets had been one of the best things to happen to them. Now, they traveled the world, played the biggest stages, and quietly between sets did their real work – keeping the world safe.

They were Dong Bang Shin Ki in Korean, Tohoshinki in Japanese, or in English “Gods Rising from the East.” It was a name they had picked themselves but it seemed more appropriate the higher their fame took them.

But tonight, it was just the five of them doing what they’d been trained for. Jaejoong hung back locked into the power grid and security system via his Metabox 740 – sweetest custom job he’d ever seen. Man, what he wouldn’t give for a few minutes with that. JJ wasn’t going to let anyone near it though. The man slept with it under his pillow. Said he didn’t want anyone messing with his equipment.

Changmin hung out at the bottom of the stairs appearing to jam to his ipod. He won that job by default… it was just too hard to look at him and imagine he could be up to trouble. And while he was the tallest, he looked so innocent and harmless. Yunho could see that changing soon – but for now he was their best bet for look out.

Besides, the boy could charm the pants off just about anyone if you gave him a chance.
Micky on the other hand was the quiet one. He could melt into the background or play the joker. He ran point and recon, keeping Yunho informed. He was a man with skills and his deep voice allowed him to keep up a line of information without hardly a peep escaping beyond the mic. It was amazing. Truly he was their hidden weapon.

Xiah stood beside him, hyped and ready to rock. He was their monkey. If you needed to get into something or get up to something, Xi could get there. He also was incredibly fast, able to get in and out of the trickiest situations without anyone the wiser.

As for himself, he was their leader. Somehow by default he’d ended up with that position, maybe it was because he was a quick thinker. Or maybe it was because no one else wanted the job. No matter. He’d taken the tasks before him and kept his boys together. That’s all he cared about.

Just then Micky’s deep voice registered through his ear piece. “It’s a go.”

Signaling to Xi, he moved into position next to room 333. Rolling his eyes, he contemplated harassing JJ on his choice of room numbers but JJ got to it before him.

“I know Yunho but seriously, this was the best room for entry into the ventilation shaft. I can’t help it if it’s my favorite number. ”

“Yeah, right.” Yunho mumbled into his earpiece and waited for Xi to pick the lock. A few seconds later they were in. A click on the mic told everyone they were a go. Visually in his mind he imagined Changmin moving to their hallway beginning surveillance there while Micky moved in closer to their target.

A few clicks later, Xi removed the air vent and wiggled into the air shaft. Yunho followed legs first, closing the vent behind him.



“Please tell me we don’t have to go back out this way.”

“I figured it would be tight. Hold on a sec. No, that’s it unless you can get out the window the door.”

“Damn,” Yunho muttered under his breath trying to ignore the tight space surrounding him.

The seconds ticked by as he listened to his breathing and the noise of the air shaft. He shuffled himself toward the place where Xi silently waited. Noises filtered out from the vent Xi had stopped at. Crap, someone’s in there.

Signaling to Xi, he began to move back toward the other vent. But Xi could hear better and signaled him to stop. Seconds ticked by and the voices got farther away. Then he heard the faint sound of a door shutting.

Xi popped open the vent and slid into the room. A small squeak on the earphone told him all was clear. Sliding out into the open air, Yunho looked around briefly then focused on Xi.
One quick signal from Xi put him on the floor again as someone treaded down the hall toward them. Jeez was this grand central station or what. Ducking under the bed he was surprised to see

Micky lying there so quiet he wouldn’t have known he was there if he wasn’t seeing it with his own eyes. In seconds the man was gone again and they all breathed a sigh of relief.

Another all clear and Yunho went into action. Xi and Micky would check the offices and drawers. But his job included the safe. Break in, take the photos and get out.

“It’s in the north wall.” JJ said in his ear. “I see an electronic signature there on the grid but it doesn’t match the visual I’m getting from you guys or the original schematics. I’ll localize the shut down. There, you’ve got two minutes.”

Sure enough, behind the padded wall there was a safe. Simple number combination. They must have been relying on the electronic backup alarm. Not very smart. Within seconds, the safe was open. Unfortunately there was nothing there but a small box.

Opening the box, he found a small scrap of paper.

“Got You!”

“Hey, guys, we’ve got trouble,” Changmin whispered. He could tell by Changmin’s breathing that he must be running.

Yeap, they were in trouble.“Everyone out now. Abort.” Yunho said through the mouth piece.

**********************************I have four chapters written and would love to finish - do you think SM will buy them off of me and sell to US, Europe, South America and Asia to get the fans hyped? Sigh, I could hope. **************************************

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Seperation of Church and State at school... nope.

After the fiasco of my son having bullets on the bus on the ride home - email me if you want details... it was bad...

I feel my anger over a current assignment at my son's school is put into perspective.

Basically, my son's teacher is requiring that my son read a Christmas story and do a book report. All in all it sounds innocous enough. No problem.

But she sends home this form. Now, unlike most parents I can't just sign and return. No. I have to analyze it. Pick it apart... First off, what the heck??? Why do you have to have the only book report due this year so far be on Christmas? What if we didn't celebrate? What if we were Pagan or atheist? She offered no other options and they have to dress up. WTH.

Then she has this bogus form talking about making a commitment to do it, write it up, dress up, and give an oral presentation. It's a required assignment. Hello... there's no discussion... you don't NEED my child's commitment. You're requiring it - there's no discussion or debate. So don't act like this is a mutually agreeable decision and a commitment was made.

And don't even get me started on how the form also states that the writing is the most important part of this process when only 15 points go toward independent writing and over 25 points go toward the oral presentation and basically the rest are on following the directions on the form.

UGH. Is it just me? Is it just my dislike for the teacher? Did anyone else get weird reactions to this form?

Oh, why can't I be like other parents and just keep my mouth shut, smile, and nod.... Oh why?

Monday, November 24, 2008

What I'm Thankful for...

There are so many things to write about... I could talk about how sexy Scott, Justine's handler with the FBI is- I think I'm half in love with him - and the fact that he's playing havoc on my plot right now (Sorry, Collin... you might disappear) or I might make Justine a continuing herione in a series.

Or... I could write about how silly my kids are and how I think my daughter has seen through the ruse of the toothfairy (it's only the toothfairies second visit and my daughter is already saying, "Mom, you're the toothfairy? Aren't you?"

What do you say to that? I think I need a manual.

Instead, I thought I would list the 13 things I am most grateful for:

  • A husband that loves and adores me, even when the house is a mess and I don't get to bed until one am.
  • Two adorable, loving kids that wake up my every morning with warm little squirming bodies, giggles and hugs.
  • A job I enjoy, making good money
  • My love for writing and the ability to create emotions and a connection with my readers.
  • A beautiful home that our family loves.
  • My health
  • My family's health
  • My mom (What would I do without you? You always know just the right thing to do.)
  • My dad (Miss you, Daddy)
  • My Gran Dunne (You have no idea how many times a day I think about you, Gran)
  • JK Rowling, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Linda Howard, Mercedes Lackey, Marjorie M. Liu, and Stephanie Meyer
  • Junsu, Yoochun, JaeJoong, Changmin, Yunho - You inspire me
  • Romance Divas - You guys are the best!!!! What else can I say

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight the Movie Review SPOILER ALERT

Thanks to a good friend - Becky, you're a sweetheart to have invited me... I had a blast - I was able to get into the midnight premiere of Twilight.

I just couldn't keep my mouth shut so here's a full run down on what I thought of the movie.

*******************Spoiler ALERT*************************

The movie itself... OK. I usually am let down by movie adaptations of books. It's just always better in book form and this was no different. At first, the way it was filmed was really disconcerting. All the shots were too close-up and it was a bit annoying. It's like there was no personal space between the camera and the person.

Perhaps the best scene in the books was when Edward first sees Bella and smells her. That whole scene is absolutely mesmerizing, intense, just a bit scary. It ends up being just funny in the movie. While trying to get the point across, the actor playing Edward completely overacted.

I always imagined this being very subtle, he stares at her, his copper eyes go black, his fingers dig into the desk, leaving marks, splintering part of the desk, his jaw it tensed and he's holding back with every part of his being to keep from attacking her. It was SOOOO good in the book.

Yeah, that wasn't good.

I also think that they should have made some concessions to reality when they made the movie - in the books, vampires sparkle like diamonds in the light. Personally, I don't think it came across well in the movie, I thought it looked hoakie (sp?). The absolute whiteness of the vampires skin was also disconcerting. Because it was so white, you could see where the application of makeup wasn't as good here or there, an ear, around the neck.

Honestly, I like how Buffy handled it. The Vampires were just pale, not stark white. By not drawing attention to just how pale they are, you weren't looking at their skin so much and noticing issues with makeup. Also, while Stephanie states in the books the color of the vampire's hair, blond/ off blond just looks ridiculous against incredibly pale skin. And three of the vamps have really pale hair. So Esme, Jasper, and Rosalynn all just look featureless except for their eyes and lips. They should have added layered streaks instead of all one color.

On the issue of hair, the wig Jacob wears is ridiculous. As I remember, I don’t think he had really long hair in the first book - just shaggy, longer than normal hair. They should have just had the actor grow his hair out. You can totally tell it's a wig.

They did a horrible job with Jasper - makeup and acting wise, he's more of a joke in the movie with the expression he's wearing most of the time. And I found him to be the sexiest next to Edward in the books. (There's actually a reason why this guy looks so pained all the time and it never really comes out - he's holding his breath while he's around humans because the smell of blood is very hard for him to take..)

OK... and finally... the actor playing Edward is WAY too tall for Bella... He's ALWAYS hovering and looming, annoying really. And I feel like he didn't know what to do with his body at times - he really needed more direction and I think the camera is unkind to him in many ways when he doesn't know what to do with his body.

Oh and a lot of the dialogue just wasn't as well written as the book.

On the plus side, the visuals were very real... this didn't feel like a high-end special effects bonanza - it looked real.

I love the actress who played Alice. OMG... I totally love her. She's got this beautiful dark hair and the girl who plays her just has this expression. You just want her as your best friend.

Both main actors did really well with many of the close-ups they had - this book has so much internal dialogue, a lot of what's going on happens with looks and action. They did a great job - even if no explanations of what was really going on ever came out.

The actress playing Bella was surprisingly good. I absolutely ADORE (and could fall in love with) the guy that played her father. (There's one scene where Edwards coming to pick Bella up and he's cleaning his shotgun. She's trying to get him to come meet Edward and he looks up at her, raises the gun and slams

And oddly enough - I like the regular kids WAY better in the movie than in the books. They're just a fun-loving bunch of kids, funny and just kind of innocent...

Once in awhile there was some snappy, unexpected dialogue that was really funny which was a nice diversion from the actual story which was really heavy and so serious. (There were also some inappropriate places where the audience was laughing - didn't they show this to a test audience??? I don’t think they meant those scenes to be funny.)

Anyway, it was fun. I wouldn't say it was my all time favorite and maybe I'll like the actor playing Edward better after many showings and alcohol (too bad I don't drink... sigh) but I wouldn't have missed it for anything either.

Then again I didn't like the fifth Harry Potter movie the first time but now it's my favorite. Who knows...

Monday, November 17, 2008

My Worst Fear Brought to Life

Alright, I'll admit my second worst fear has come true.

I may absolutely SUCK at writing!

There I've said it. It's out in the open.

And I have the proof in my hands as we speak. My entry for the Gateway to the Best contest just came through my email. And there it is, in living, vivid, blood-red color. I suck.

Ok... Ok.. it doesn't say that exactly but it doesn't look pretty.

So I scramble to my email for professional help--my dear friend Ciar Cullen. She read it, liked it. I figure she's the woman to set me straight.

Woman, you are a Goddess.

If she give me permission, I will totally quote her here because she just made me feel better.

So, I'm manning up. There were some great comments for my story The Protectors and I have to say the reviewers had some good points. I

thought I'd thank them here for their hard work:

To the man who thought I had a lot of raw talent and liked my world building, I think I'm in love with you - I found your critique the most useful in terms of pinpointing things I need to work on (sorry if you're a woman, I promise its a very platonic, mild crush.) Thank you for the most thorough and insightful review I've ever had of my stuff.

To the reviewer that loved my story... Sweetie, she gets both of them (it's a menage :> ) And I'm reserving one of the first copies of the story when it gets published just for you! Thank you for your enthusiasm - it made my month.

And to the third judge... Well, I don't think you liked my story at all but you pointed out several things that I, myself, have suspected were going on but couldn't pinpoint. Thank you for your time and consideration. It really helped.

I guess I could cry over this and whine a bit more. But alas, I have too many other things to worry about (like my #1 worst fear - something happening to my children or my #3 worst fear - losing my job). So I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Besides Justine and Collin just had the hottest kiss on the elevator, leaving work. Collin's just left for Hamburg and Justine's about to see her world turned upside down when an old friend comes to visit. Keep your computers locked up around this guy, Justine. Seth's trouble and he's learned a few tricks since your old hacking days.

Well until next time... Click on the Winter Wonderland banner above. Oh and here's a hint - my icon is a flying snowman. Give you three guesses as to what page it's on. LOL....

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm going to swoon...

I know I already posted once today but...

The Man commented on my page... OMG. I totally heart the Man!!!!

SQUEEE.... OMG.... OMG.... OMG... Seeley... sorry. Can I steal him from you?

Tarot Readings Now Offerred... I think... let me check the cards first

Looking around the blogosphere (hehehe... I get to act like I'm part of it now :>), I realize that blogs come in all shapes and sizes and I have no idea where mine will fit.

As an author I have lots of great ideas swirling around in my mind that I can talk about. There also seems to be lots of rants and raves and something called the Thursday Thirteen. But then I come to reality. Carrying on a monologue with the Universe at large is kind of daunting.

I prefer dialogues:

"Hello, Universe!" I say.

"..." said the ever helpful Universe at large.

"Um... help?"


Yeeeaaaaaahhhh.... I think you can see my problem. So I'm going to spend a few minutes today just writing down various thoughts, feelings, and general drivel that seems noteworthy enough to tell someone. Beyond the fact that I feel really yucky and sick - my head so stuffed up my brain is hemoragging pain and my neck is stiff and sore, my hands still work and this will get my mind off everything.

My writing:
I'm finishing Chapter 3 of the Assistant's Secret. I'm wondering if it's too techie but well it is what it is and Justine is seriously geeky hawt. Of course I've just discovered that her handler with Homeland Security, Scott, is way sexier than Collin the ubergeek in charge of MTI. Scott gives me shivers just from the one phone call they've had together. Collin... blah.

So what do I do?

No idea. I guess keep writing until it becomes clearer. Maybe Justine is happy with Collin and Scott has another romance coming down the pike. He's just giving me a wake-up-and-smell-the-hawt-hunk notice. Whatever happens, Justine has her hands full with Collin, Scott, and the totally slimy yet kind of adorable Seth.

Uber Cool Book that You AREN'T Reading:
I just found JR Ward's The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide at my local B&N this last weekend. And while even as a diehard fan I usually skip these books, I have to say this was WELL WORTH THE MONEY, for several reasons.

First and foremost, there are great interviews and deleted scenes in the book. There are also page upon page of threads from JR Ward's forum (which is HUGE in case you've never checked it out). But MOST OF ALL, JR Ward details her own trials and tribulations in writing each of the books. She even has a Writer's section devoted to how she writes, comes up with ideas, and works.

And for all of you that think being published is all milk and bon bons. Think again. The woman works like a slave. Perhaps one of the luckiest slaves in the world - she likens it to living in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world and being their scribe (OK she doesn't use these exact words but that's about what she says). She says she's at her desk at 8 in the morning and often isn't in bed until late at night.

She writes every day - even holidays.

Anyway, it's a must read for fans AND for writers who really love her writing.

Winter Wonderland Contest Coming Soon!!!
Ciar Cullen is about to hang me by my pretty painted toenails (I'd better hurry up and paint those suckers so this is true ;> ). I'm supposed to hide my flying snowman somewhere on this blog.... ummm... you shouldn't have too much trouble finding it since this thing is like so new there's only one page.

Hint... Hint: See this page for icon

Now where the heck am I going to put it. Sorry Ciar... it's going up today... Promise!!!

I'm such a wuss.

What Does Your Future Hold... Contact me to find out :>
Upon the request of many of my friends (and those I've read for), I've just started offering my Tarot reading to anyone interested. These readings will give you indepth insight into the following year and help clear your mind so you can get to what matters most - writing, your kids, the hubby, or cleaning house (ok... just kidding on that last one)

I'm trying to decide if I want to start my own website just for Tarot readings but I'm not sure about it. Would love any suggestions or thoughts.

Well that's about all the rambling I can handle for now. I've got Sherrilyn Kenyon's new book One Silent Night and still have lots to read in JR Ward's Insider's Guide, taunting me from the stack of books beside my computer and that bed is looking pretty good. Maybe a few Tylenol and some hot soup would help too.

Until next time... a small excerpt from The Assistant's Secret:

"His breath caught as the skirt slid a bit higher giving him a good glimpse of smooth skin and a black lace garter. Glancing up at her flushed cheek and the gentle slope of her jawline, he decided he liked the look of her.

Clearing his throat , he tried to keep his mind on the ball instead of on the amount of leg she was showing. He stood up and put the meeting back on track. "So what kind of redundancy setup do you plan?"

"She glanced up at him as she grabbed her case and stood. Next to him, she had to crane her neck. The position had them standing very close. As her fost, pink tongue came out to brush her lips, an image of her tied to his bed glashed through his minde. She'd wear black lace garters and matching bra and panties. He'd have to cool those thoughts or he'd have more to hide than his attraction to her.

"... We've setup a master/slave configuration for continous stream..."

That got his attention...

Monday, November 3, 2008

First baby steps

You can blame Terry aka Ciar Cullen for this first post. She's personally whipping myself into shape so I have a presence out here in the big wide world of the Internet. I'm not sure how a blog works or what to put out here but I'm giving it a go and plan to post snippets and ideas as I go.

To tell you a bit about myself. I'm a midwest girl with two of the most beautiful, gorgeous, sweetest kids in the Universe (they're prime-time hugging champs) and a husband to die for (he worships the ground I walk on... or is that him begging for dinner?).

No matter, love 'em all and am so glad my son had figured out the microwave because I'm a little obsessed over my first love - the written word. I love to read it and write it. And currently, I'm writing a steamy little story about a high powered business-man, Collin, falling in love with his IT security expert, Justine, even as she secretly is leading the life as a hacker to infiltrate and help execute a sting operation.

Justine's sexy and confident. The intellectual equal to Collin who built and runs his cutting edge hardware and software company MTI. The board room is already sizzling hot and they haven't even touched yet.

As for me, I can't wait to see what happens. And I'm going to write it all down. Maybe I'll give you a few sneak peeks on this blog.

Oh, and before I forget and before one of many WONDERFUL, TALENTED Divas kick my butt, there's a special contest we're going to be running starting soon. My friends and I are giving away special prizes if you find the ornaments and other "surprises" on our sites.

Ciar!!!! I'm hoping you're watching... because here I am. In all my naked glory - ok... I'm just feeling a little exposed but I'm really not naked - still those dirty thoughts. Really, well I never... LOL.

OK. So that's it. I hope to get a totally glorified masterpiece of a pic on here soon. Photoshop is such a wonderful friend :> Until I figure all this out and get on a schedule, see you soon.