Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Best of 2008

Best Book

This is the best book that I read in 2008 and not necessarily published in 2008.

It took me almost 2 years to sit down and read Twilight. And I am sooooo glad I waited. Because, if I had read it then, I wouldn't be able to read the next three books in the Twilight series back-to-back-to-back. I have finished New Moon and have moved on to Eclipse.

Twilight has been described as a love story between a teenager and a vampire. And, when my friends described it to me as such, I was like: Okay, I've read enough vampire love stories.

I agree with the above description but Stephenie Meyer's story is so much more than that. It is not what a reader would expect at all and that's what makes it a great read. For one thing, there is awesome banter between Bella and Edward. But, I think what makes the story a true romance is that Edward is nearly unattainable and oh-sooooo Alpha.

The other great thing about waiting 2 years to read Twilight is that I don't have to wait to see the movie. (Can you tell I am not good with delayed gratification?)

Up Next: Best Storyline that Ended Quickly.

BKB :-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

For a Great Cause

It's almost Christmas, do you need some ideas for gifts for a romance writer in your life?

Go here and browse the fabulous offers. Or click on the icon below.

(This also applies to writers who want to buy some gifts for themselves.)

BKB :-)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I. IS. DONE. (Part Deux)

My Golden Heart entry is done and has been submitted.

Can I do anything more?

Yep. One more thing to do . . . (coming soon).

BKB :-)

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I have nothing more to say. I am B-E-A-T.

BKB :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm off for a few days for a trip to Michigan. I will still be writing though. Have those NaNoWriMo and GH deadlines to stress about.

Be safe.

BKB :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Guy Gets Around . . .

I know this is probably very common, but I received my new batch of Harlequin books today, looked at a cover and thought "Hey, this guy looks familiar."

What do you think?

Modern Heat, 12/08

Modern Heat, 10/08

Silhouette Special Edition, 11/08

Monday, November 10, 2008

I Interrupt My NaNoWriMo . . .

For an important American Title V message from my critique partner, Jessica Darago:


The American Title contest is a joint project between Romantic Times Magazine and Dorchester Publishing. Each year, Dorchester selects a handful of submissions to compete for a publishing contract, and YOU, the readers, get to choose the winner.

To spread the word about the contest, finalist Jessica Darago (author of The Serpent's Tooth, a gothic historical), is raffling a $10 bookstore gift certificate to anyone who copies this message into his/her own blog. You don't have to vote for Jessica, or vote at all, to win. (But Jessica sure hopes you will!)

The winner may choose a gift certificate from Amazon, Powells, Fictionwise, or even iTunes (because audiobooks deserve love too).

To enter, copy this message to your own blog and leave a link to your post at

To vote for Jessica, send a blank email to with "The Serpent's Tooth" in the subject line.

Visit Jessica at for more information and a link to read all of the American Title entries.


'Nuff said.

BKB :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NaNoWriMo Status

As of today at 3:25pm -- 5226 words.

I am behind by about 3000 words. Ughhhhh.

How is everyone else doing?

Back in a few days.

BKB :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Random Tweets

* 22:05 Cooked two dinners tonight and a birthday cake for hubby. #
* 08:03 I need to write more today for NaNoWriMo. #
* 09:14 Writing 'crap' is hard when you are Type A. #
* 09:15 Does writing 'crap' 250 times for one page count? #

Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter

Friday, October 31, 2008

Snoozing for Awhile . . .

Well, not really.

I won't be snoozing. Only at night.

Tomorrow is the start of NaNoWriMo and I will be participating.

Plus the Golden Hearts are coming up and I have two entries to submit.

I received my Neo in the mail this week, so there will be no reason for me to stay on my laptop, except to edit. I love my Neo.

Did I mention the now 16,000 e-mails that I have to get through in my inbox?

Good luck to everyone entering the GH and writing for NaNoWriMo.

Back in about a week to update on my progress.

BKB :-)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Preppin' for Next Month . . .

While I am working on my current project(s), I am trying to find time to prep for this next month:

I know we're not supposed to write in advance, but I have to have a skeleton of an idea before I write. And that's what I am working on now.

BKB :-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Three Reasons Why I Buy Books

Why do I buy books instead of using the library? (Although I still do reserve some books at the library, but not many.)

#1 It always happens. I reserved two books about 3 weeks ago. The 19th Wife, where I was #20 on the list and The American Wife, where I was #96 on the wait list. Both are ready for pick-up from the library today.

Whenever I reserve more than one book, no matter how far apart they are on the wait list, I get them at the same time. :-(

#2 My library doesn't carry series contemporaries like HQ Presents or Silhouette Special Edition. It does carry Steeple Hill Inspirational, but that is it.

#3 Nine times out of ten, when I pick up a book, it reeks of smoke. I can't take that.

BKB :-)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Highs and Lows of Technology

The Highs

I've grown to love all of the new technology that is available to us. I have an iPod, which I use to listen to music and watch favorite TV shows. I can actually carry an episode around with me and watch it. When I was a kid, there was no way you could do that. Unless, of course, you wanted to carry a VCR and TV set with you as well.

Yesterday, my sister sent me a Kindle for my birthday. She knows that I love to read, but that I also don't like to have so many books lying around. I LOVE IT!!!!!

My first purchase: Surgeon Prince, Ordinary Wife by Melanie Milburne. I swear I read the first chapter faster than I have ever read a chapter before. Plus, the writing was great. Loved the h/h first meet!

There are alot more things you can do with a Kindle and I will try to get to that later . . .

And even though I have been on for a couple of months, I started twittering this week.

I learned about twitter from Alison Kent years ago but never started following until I learned David Hewlett (techy geek of Stargate: Atlantis) was on twitter. The man is hilarious. So if you want to laugh from time to time, pick him up on Twitter.

Even Harlequin is on Twitter.

Now The Lows

Well, there's really only one. Because of Twitter, I learned of the demise of SG:A. :-( And the last episode finished filming over a week ago.

What will replace Atlantis? Not sure, but I will let you know. It will live on for me on my iPod.

BKB :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Little Slovakian, Anyone?

Did I mention I live in a great neighborhood? A nice cul de sac, walking distance from the school, etc. I was talking with one of my neighbors this morning and she mentioned that she will be having 5 friends from Slovakia staying with them this week.

Slovakia? My first response: Ohhhh, material for a book. I know, bad me.

I do have an idea brewing for a character from the Czech Republic.

I guess I will have to go introduce myself.

BKB :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Congrats . . .

To Another Critique partner: Alison Pion.

She made the finals of the From the Heart Romance Writers Golden Gateway contest for her historical The Lady Thief.

Way to Go, Alison!

I am hoping this will mean that the group will kick some butt in this year's Golden Heart competition.

BKB :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008


Well, I submitted my entry for the Mills&Boon Feel the Heat competition today.

The title: Tamed by the Brazilian
Word Count: 4727 words

Off to keep working on the book. Okay, maybe not today. I need to clean my office.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Okay, So I Lied . . .

A few days ago I posted that I was using Rodrigo Santoro (pictured below) as my inspiration for Kleber Silva in my current WIP.

Well, I lied. Just a teensy bit. I need Kleber to have a slight comedic side. A side that can compete with a woman who likes to banter. So I added a little bit of John Sheppard/Joe Flanigan (pictured below).

So if you can picture a blend of the geeky guy from Love, Actually and Col. John Sheppard from Stargate: Atlantis, then you know my character, Kleber Silva.

BKB :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

She Did It!

Congratulations to one of my esteemed critique partners and fellow SF junkie, Jessica Darago. She is one of the finalists in the latest American Title contest! Info here.

Her manuscript is titled The Serpent's Tooth and it is stunning.

I, along with alot of other people will be rooting for you!

BKB :-)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

First Chapter -- Done!

Well, the first chapter of my Modern Heat entry is done and is in the hands of my esteemed editor (i.e. my husband) and my critique partners. It came in at 4,301 words. I have a title, but I am still vetting through others for input.

But, for fun, here's my inspiration(s):

Kleber Silva aka Rodrigo Santoro

Emmeline Delaney aka Rachel Wiesz

Having fun keeping these two in trouble. On to Chapter Two, and Three, and Four. . .

BKB :-)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And They're Off . . .

My two little munchkins started school today (Kyle, 1st grade; Jacob, Preschool).

I miss them already. Time really does fly when you are raising children.

BKB :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Golden Heart Deadlines

The 2008 GH Deadlines are now on the RWA site. Entries will start being accepted on Sept. 22. That's less than one month away. Yikes!

Good luck to everyone who enters.

BKB :-)


Golden Heart Contest Deadlines

November 17, 2008
Entry forms and fees must be received by the RWA Office.
Note: Once the contest reaches its 1,200 entry maximum, it will close to new entries, even if it is prior to the November 17th deadline.

December 2, 2008
Entered works must be received in the RWA Office. Failure to meet this deadline shall result in disqualification and forfeiture of the entry fee.

December 22, 2008
In case of dispute as to whether the entry form and fee were received, the entrant must produce proof of receipt via copy of canceled check, front and back, or evidence of a credit card charge.

December 31, 2008
Preliminary round judging begins.

March 2, 2009
Golden Heart preliminary round score sheets due to RWA Office.

March 25, 2009
Notification will be sent to finalists by two-day guaranteed, registered delivery. Phone calls to notify finalists shall also commence. Release of official finalist list on RWA Web site by 2:00 p.m. Central Time.

April 14, 2009
Final-round judging begins.

June 1, 2009
RWA Office to receive all final round score sheets.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Rodney McKay Fan Club

I have been a fan of Stargate: Atlantis since my husband introduced me to the show during Season 3. And I have always said that this show has great characterization. The banter between characters is awesome. (I know, I'm a writer and I can't be very descriptive today. I have been alone with my two boys for a week. The boys survived. The creative side of my brain didn't.)

Anyway, I know there are people who are not fans of Rodney McKay. For those people, I hope they have taken the chance to watch The Last Man (Last episode of Season 4) and The Shrine (most recent episode of season 5). You will definitely have a different view of Dr. McKay.

Kudos to David Hewlett and the cast of Atlantis for another awesome episode.

I can't believe they aren't renewing Atlantis for a sixth season.

BKB :-)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

So Close . . .

Just found out today that even though I didn't make the finals, I came in 4th in COFW's Ignite the Flame contest with my series contemporary entry. They pick the top three.

A year ago, when I entered contests, I didn't even come close to making the finals, so I feel like I am making progress . . .

BKB :-)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why I Loved This Year's RWA Conference, Part V

Highlight #5: The Goody Room

I've been to all kinds of conferences. When I was a nurse, I attended conferences for the pediatric specialty. When I was an editor, I attended those related to editing and science editing. I have even been a speaker at a conference or two.

But, I have to say, in all of my experience I have never seen anything like The Goody Room. Talk about Manna from Heaven. Can you say loads of free books? Including some hardbacks?

And there isn't just books. The room serves as the holding area for all author promotional materials. And some of the authors were very creative. Some had fans with their book cover imprinted on them; a few gave out lip gloss. My favorite: Chalk courtesy of The Writing Playground. The kids in my cul de sac loved it.

And what impressed me the most: Very little candy. Health care professionals always get and give candy. I know, ironic.

It is also a great place to volunteer. I worked in the room on Thursday and chatted with many friends and authors. I will be volunteering in the Goody Room again next year.

BKB :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why I Loved This Year's RWA Conference, Part IV

Highlight #4: Learning from Pros

While I couldn't attend all of the educational sessions I wanted (and, literally, because some were packed and fire marshalls limited the number of people in each room), the sessions I did attend were excellent.

One in particular that I alluded to before was "Emotion, Emotion, Emotion: Writing Romance with Global Appeal. After the packed session for "Instant Seduction," I expected this room to be full as well -- but it wasn't.

The session was taught by Harlequin Romance authors Barbara Hannay, Jessica Hart and Barbara McMahon as well as M&B editor Lucy (Brown) Gilmour.

I think one of the most important things I have learned over the past year while studying M&B romances is the importance of packing emotion into the stories. This session really solidified that point for me.

More later . . .

BKB :-)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Why I Loved This Year's RWA Conference, Part III

Highlight #3: Meeting Up with Long-time E-mail Colleagues and Friends

When I decided I wanted to write romance, I joined RWA. The first chapter of RWA I joined was HeartBeat RWA, the chapter for those who write and support medical romance. For over a year, I have been chatting online with several members and it felt like a family reunion when I finally got to meet everyone.

It was nice to finally meet Dianne Despain, Julie Rowe, Mona Risk, Lynne Marshall, Molly Evans, Janice Lynn, Robin Haseltine, Laura Iding . . . I know I missed someone. So sorry about that.

You know, now that I think about it, the whole conference felt like a family reunion. I can't wait for next year.

BKB :-)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Why I Loved This Year's RWA Conference, Part Deux

Highlight #2: Meeting Mills&Boon Editors

More than a year ago, I decided that I wanted to write for Harlequin Romance. I have spent my time reading and studying the lines . . . and writing.

I wanted to meet the editors so they could put a face to my name when I submitted. "Hey, here's that crazy American's submission."

Through a bid on Brenda Novak's auction for Diabetes, I was fortunate enough to sit with Suzanne Clarke during a lunch on Wednesday. I also met editors Lucy Gilmour and Sally Williamson (pictured below).

(The above picture was taken from the Pink Heart Society blog.)

All three were very knowledgeable and fun to meet. It was also nice to see the camaraderie among editors and authors.

I think the one thing I carry away from my conversations is the word E-M-O-T-I-O-N. If you want to write for Mills&Boon, emotion is what they want to see and feel. More on this in my next post.

BKB :-)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

In Progress . . .

Something's up with my computer, so I can't post the graphics on my word counts for today. Oh, well.

Wife for a Candidate (Series Contemp.)


A Capitol Compromise (Series Contemp.)


Guillermo's List (3rd Rewrite)


BKB :-)

One Degree of Separation (aka Why I Loved This Year's RWA Conference, Part I)

Okay, so, lots and lots and lots of fun things happened at this year's conference for me, but I only have time to add tidbits each day.

Highlight #1: Meeting M&B Author Trish Wylie

Trish Wylie writes for both Harlequin Romance and Modern Heat and, of course, I wanted to meet her because I adore both lines. But, I had an ulterior motive, what I call the one degree of separation.

Before going to the conference, Trish took a trip to ComicCon in San Diego. And who did she meet?

Well, I don't know if she actually met him, but she was close enough to take the above picture. Check out her blog, she has other pictures from the conference. And great writing tips as well.

Trish was very nice and it was a joy to meet her. Thanks for humoring me, Trish.

BKB :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lesson: The Inciting Event

What is the event that starts it all for your story? Is it a bomb that devastates an area or is it a woman’s proclamation to her boyfriend or the world? Do you have an inciting event?

While you think about it, let’s start with a definition.

Incite: To provoke an action; to stir up. (The American Heritage Dictionary).

That makes sense, doesn’t it? If a story is a series of stimuli and reactions, you have to have something to start it all, right?

The inciting event sets up how the chain reaction of events and emotions evolve through your characters.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

An obvious one from a great writer is the event in The Survivors Club by Lisa Gardner: A sniper waits to shoot his prey. He succeeds. Then, he, too, is murdered.

The Pact by Jodi Picoult: One short paragraph that describes the shooting during a teenage suicide pact.

It’s not hard to have characters respond to these type of incidents. The inciting event doesn’t have to be as dramatic as the above examples.

If you’re writing romance, the Harlequin website discusses the inciting event in their “Learn to Write” area. Click here and read "Acting Up: The Three Act Structure."

BKB :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

In Progress . . . Week 1

Here's my current WIPs:

Wife for A Candidate (Contemp. Series)


A Capitol Compromise (Contemp. Series)


Guillermo's List (Mainstream)-- Rewrite#3


Instead of posting these at the bottom of the blog, I am going to post them once a week to show my progress.

BKB :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Here We (I) Go Again!

Mills&Boon is having another contest. The target for this contest is for their Modern Heat line. If you haven't read this line, I suggest you do. It is absolutely wonderful and enticing. I know I am in for a fun read when I pick one of the books up. Two of the authors are up for RITAs this year.

Since this was the line I was trying to target with the Instant Seduction contest, I will be entering again.

Details of the contest are here.

Good luck to everyone who enters!

BKB :-)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Welcome (Again)

Welcome to the restart of my blog! I am a serious writer working on my first novel(s). I will warn anyone who reads this in advance, I love romance. And I write romance. Not erotica, but more steamy contemporary. I believe in the HEA and crave to have it at the end of my story.

Through this blog, I hope to impart some of the knowledge I have learned over the past year taking writing classes and writing in general.

Lesson #1: Read.

I know, everyone says this and it is true. I will add one thing: read everything. If you’re writing romance, read some literary fiction or literary non-fiction. If you’re writing literary fiction, read romance.

Why do I say this? Because you will learn something from it all. There are some great literary fiction writers out there and there are some great romance authors as well. I have learned plenty about pacing, characterization, plotting, etc. by reading across the board.

My reading list so far this year reflects that diversity. (Look below for a glance.)

More soon.

Take care.

BKB :-)