Monday, November 20, 2006
I got way nervous though, when I found out we were having sushi. I had never eaten sushi before, let alone ordered it! Everyone was really terrific in introducing me to what has now become a real favorite of mine. I especially love the "California Roll" and found that I can't get enough of the wasabi. It's super for clearing out your sinuses! Since our lunch together, I've even been practicing using chopsticks and have now gotten those tricky suckers about mastered.
I think the most interesting thing was listening to the conversation. I had read Jenny Siler's biography at her website and in her books, and it was odd to recall so much of what she chatted about--as if, in a way, I knew her. She's written about many of the places (all over the world) that she's been to, using them as settings in her book in such a way, that at the mere mention of an 'adventure' she had there in real life, I could totally *see* what she was referring to. I loved that I could really feel a part of the discussion that way.
Her friend, Laura Benedict, was truly warm and welcoming as well. She took the picture of Jenny and I together below. If it weren't for her very nice offer to do this, and then sending me a copy later, I wouldn't have this very cool keepsake ;) Thanks again Laura!
And Thanks to Jenny Siler, for treating a fan to a great time!!! :)
Thursday, November 09, 2006
I'm also glad to be back to blogging after a long delay. I'm going to be updating my website very soon and will then link to the great photos I've got to share with y'all! Including an amazing one of me with Jenny Siler, a fabulous author that if you haven't read her and love 'action' heroines who are deep and complex, you should definitely read soon. "Flashback" and "Easy Money" are definitely favorites so far! Check out her website here.
I'll be back soon with more news!!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Okay, it's driving me crazy, and I don't know how or why it happened, but for some reason (and it could just be my browser) my blog posts have fallen halfway down the page, below the archival links. Does anyone know why or how this is happening and how I might fix it?
And as to the update. I know that many of you have emailed me, left messages in my guestbook, or in some other way contacted me. Between the WRWA conference and Bouchercon last week, I've been swamped with trying to get caught up on all the very pressing business matters that demand my attention--let alone daily life pressures. But I wanted y'all to know that I'm back to working again on the 'puter and you should be hearing from me soon.
If for some reason you don't hear from me by Wednesday and you need/want to get in touch with me, please feel free to email me again at email@example.com and I'll be thrilled to reply :) My apologies in advance, though, because as careful as I am, I don't always catch everything, especially stuff my 'puter likes to label as 'spam' on me. *sigh* The inconveniences of modern-day conveniences! ;)
I hope all is well with everyone! And keep an eye out for a new edition of the Official J.R. Turner Newsletter in the very near future!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Reviewed by J.R. Turner
Black. White. is a reality show that brings together the white Wurgel family and the black Sparks family to live together under one roof and through the magic of Hollywood make-up, experience life as the opposite race. At first, I was skeptical this would be a worthy show—despite my rather large following of most reality programs. Once I discovered Ice Cube was part of the production team (also including R.J. Cutler and Matt Alvarez) my worries about balance vanished and I watched the series avidly.
As the series opened, it became apparent to me that race wasn’t the only dynamic at play between these two families. Personalities clashed, approaches to the project were varied, and while most were sincere in their efforts, miscommunications and preconceived notions added fuel to the fire.
Specifically, Bruno—the white father—came into the project prepared to prove his belief that racism exists in the mind of the person expecting to receive it. Despite his continued statements that he believes racism still exists in America, he would be hard put to bring up an example that wasn’t born of stereotyping. Of all the participants, his performance in the series was the most difficult to watch. I don’t recommend skipping your blood pressure medication.
Contrary to Bruno is his daughter, Rose. She embodies the spirit of what I believe this project was meant to accomplish. She gave herself wholly over to the experience and engaged fully in the Slam Poetry group she joined in black makeup. Most interesting was her difficulty in continuing the charade, her sense of betrayal to her classmates for not being honest about her skin color, and the overwhelming reaction they had to her later revelation. Rose is one smart cookie and in my estimation, had the truest experience of all six family members.
Her counterpart, Nicholas, on the other hand, appeared almost disinterested in the entire experiment. At times he stated he didn’t really care about racism and that to him, being called the “N-word” was no big deal. Which of course horrified both his parents. I thought it was telling of how very different the younger generation thinks compared to those who have lived long enough to recognize racism even in its more modern, subtle form. Of course, it would be hard for any teenager to get excited by etiquette class—the show’s parallel to Rose’s Slam Poetry group.
Brian, the black father, seemed to me the most stable adult in the home. His frustrations with Bruno’s set agenda are palpable and understandable, but through it all, he maintains a composure I couldn’t have. His experiences as a white bartender, and the conversations he engages in, are very enlightening—some made me wince. His efforts with his son, including taking him to a black barber shop to discuss racism and the return of an expensive (bling-bling) watch, touched me. Brian’s candor is riveting and compelling.
Both mothers, in comparison, are equally emotional. Carmen, the white mother, for all her “weirdness”, is actually very sincere in her efforts. The epitome of open-minded, almost flower-child naiveté drives the more pragmatic Renee absolutely crazy. Renee sends out a strong message that Carmen’s behavior isn’t so much about racism, as it is about immaturity. When Carmen innocently calls her the “B-word” during a dialect session, Renee sees it as an intended insult and continues to judge her nearly to the end of the series. Bruno, again, only makes matters worse.
Sensational moments, such as what might be considered ‘reverse racism’ during a walk in Leimert Park, Bruno’s unbelievable audacity to declare that “black daddy’s don’t stick around” and Renee’s use of the word “Negro” during a struggle against Nicholas’s obsession with “thug” culture, make this series more honest, and at times, more painful than expected.
As much as I watched out of curiosity, there is an undeniable power to this series that can’t be related in words. A taste of it carries to the viewer, this sense that the obstacles to eliminating racism are as much cultural as they are about skin color, as much about personalities, as they are about lifestyles. In the end, I felt empowered by watching the dynamics in more ways than I anticipated. There is hope, however, in the younger generation and that hope is clear in this series. I highly recommend viewing the DVD to anyone interested furthering their social conscience, or who simply may wish to explore how well their own preconceived notions hold up to reality.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
I have a question for all my readers ;) Have y'all signed up for my newsletter yet? If you haven't, you might want to consider it. I always have a contest where you can win cool items and share chocolate recipes, as well as give information on book give-aways Echelon Press runs regularly.
Have y'all read Stark Knight? Are you interested in reading Silent Knight? Here's just one of those give aways that my publisher is offering:
Echelon Press Publishing wants to give you FREE books.
When you buy your copy of STARK KNIGHT from Echelon Press, we'll send you the FREE (PDF) download of the second book in the Knights Inc. series, SILENT KNIGHT (released 9/2/06).
Once you've read them and you love them, post a review online and send us the link. We'll send you another FREE (PDF) download of your choice.
It's just that easy! And don't forget to tell a friend.
Let me know what you think of my books, what you'd like to see happen in the final installment of the Knight Inc. triology, "Good Knight" and if I use your idea, I'll name a character after you! :)
Looking forward to reading everyone's comments when I return on Sunday!!
Sunday, September 17, 2006
My writing is at a standstill because it's hard to concentrate when you can't BREATHE and it's even harder to *like* what you write when you feel so crappy that everything seems to suck. So, rather than harshly criticize what I've been writing and unnecessarily condemn and destroy, I've been researching and plotting as I recuperate.
Today, though, I'm feeling soooo much better. No hacking cough all through the night. No huge pile of tissues on my nightstand. Nothing. I slept like a baby (on a double dose of NyQuil!) So, all I have to do now if find the energy to clean up a house made disasterous while the natives played when the chieftess was laid low, buy some groceries (funny how fast we run out of food when I'm sick!) and then I can get busy!
Flava-of-Love is on tonight. Can y'all believe they let New York back in the house?? Those poor, poor women. Oh, and did y'all see that poor Kayne got sent home on Project Runway this week? I don't care if they thought his work was tacky, or tasteless, I loved his stuff. Very cool guy too. Wouldn't mind having his advice on my wardrobe! Hey! Maybe he could do a guest stint on Queer Eye? That would be fabulous :)
Okay, so yeah, getting the flu does allow a person to catch up on all their favorite shows ;)
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Right now, I'm working on a longish short story for Amazon Shorts. I'm excited by the prospect of having the 'blank page' before me again. I knew what I wanted to do, but I wasn't sure about the subplot, the one that helps build suspense toward the final climatic ending. I finally figured it out and began working ;)
In The Knight Before, there were a lot of 'layers' to the story--the first being the relationship triangle between seventeen-year-old Sara Stark, Drake Knight and Bitsy--a debutante who's after landing the biggest catch in Harris County. Underlying this story is the very real flooding caused by Tropical Storm Allison in Houston, TX that occurred during the time the story takes place.
In this new short story I'm working on, I'm delving into the realm of "Not Guilty" (the working title) where an accused may be innocent (or may not be! you'll have to read to find out :) ) of the crime against him--that of raping the heroine Jilly's younger sister, Sara. The underlying problem? Unrelenting rain that eventually unleashes the evil dwelling inside the good citizens of Morris Falls.
This story falls in the horror genre and is filled with lots of supernatural happenings. However, I need a good title, one that isn't so cliched. "Not Guilty" really doesn't portray the story and it's genre well. I've been toying with plays on rain/reign:
Rain of Terror
Rain of Madness
Also toying with 'storm' and 'evil':
Deluge of Evil
The Sinners of Morris Falls
What do you think? Any other ideas? I'd love to have them!!
Saturday, September 09, 2006
If you're not aware of the miniseries scheduled to air this Sunday and Monday on ABC, you'll find plenty of information through a quick google search. I'm going to get right to, what I see as, the heart of the matter.
There are two kinds of researchers in this world--those who care to uphold a fixed belief (an agenda)--and those who want to find out what that belief is based on the facts. (A Truth Seeker of sorts.)
I've rarely come by anything in the media these days that doesn't have it's own agenda. Whether it's to avoid scorn by a sitting administration and keep their connections, those lines of information open, or those who are actively seeking a way to showcase an administrations failings or triumphs--it makes no difference to me, neither one is journalism, neither one is fact-finding. Both ways are insincere and both ways betray the trust of the general public.
ABC has a higher standard to reach when depicting anything to do with 9/11. The dead bodies of American fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters demand it. To fictionalize any part of a 'docudrama' and excuse it for the sake of 'entertainment' is to spit on the graves of those who died. The American public is sick to death of being misled, lied to, and otherwise crapped on by those in charge of informing us.
This is not a political debacle, this is a MEDIA debacle.
As a writer, I'm forever terrified that I'll miss something in my research, that I'll make a glaring mistake or in other ways falsely portray that which I'm trying to share. From character's occupations, to settings and locations, I research, sometimes until my brain hurts. Therefore, I can SMELL when someone has done shoddy research.
The claims made by the author of "Path to 9/11" Cyrus Nowrasteh in this interview at Frontpage are based on an EMAIL circulated on the internet--one I myself received, and then discovered to be false at snopes.com.
To have another writer research so shallowly the material used in his work, and to also ignore the findings in a document written by researchers (The 9/11 Commission Report) in order to fulfill his own agenda--on the backs of dead Americans, makes me want to pull my (his) hair out.
In a day and age where the amount of information greatly outpaces the quality of that information--I hold writers of all stripes (journalists, fiction authors, columnists) to a higher standard than ever before.
If you want to create a fully fictional movie (such as "V for Vendetta") and depict events however you want to--be my guest, more power to you. Just don't tout the fictionalized story as a historically accurate portrayal--especially when scenes in the film never even happened. That's not distortion, but lies made from whole cloth.
Shame on ABC for not vetting what it will air more carefully. Shame on Cyrus Nowrasteh for not more carefully researching his work. And shame on those who are using politics to attack others for standing up for the truth and demanding our media not perpetuate lies.
But good on Scholastic for dropping their original "Path to 9/11" study guide and using this as an opportunity to educate children on the difference between fact and fiction. At least someone cares about the accuracy of what our children are taught.
And as Gump would say, "That's all I have to say about that."
Saturday, September 02, 2006
In this case, the topic was John Stossel's 20/20 report on "Stupid in America" and school vouchers.
This is my portion of the debate:
I watched the 20/20 episode with my husband and was *SNORTING* through it most of the time.
I understand the idea of vouchers and competition. I really do. My problem isn't with the children who can use them to go to a 'better' school--my problem is that you can't give them to EVERY student in the bad school.
There aren't enough seats in the 'good' schools to take every child in a 'bad' school.
So what do vouchers do? They select a few (first come, first serve) that can escape a 'bad' education, and then leave the rest 'behind' to rot in a bad situation.
I consider it the same thing as not reporting to the police that your child was molested because you don't want to 'deal with' the trauma of a trial, public scrutiny, any sort of stigma on your child. Because of your fear, your ego, your self-serving issues--you would ALLOW another child to be harmed? Another child to be sexually assaulted by this predator? To me, that makes the parent just as culpable in what happens to the next child. (And, it sends a VERY unhealthy message to the original victim.)
This is why I can't get behind school vouchers--but am instead for national standardization of our schools, modeled through high expectation and yearly stardardized testing (based on competition in the global market) for advancement--of both the teacher and the student.
If the ratio of students passing falls below a certain level, then the teacher doesn't advance. If the ratio continues to fall, then the teacher is replaced. Very simple and truly a common-sense approach to what ails our educational system.
But of course, there's no money to be made in that approach, so obviously, it won't work.
When asked to clarify, I wrote:
It would be the WORSE thing that could happen to our school system, and I'll tell you why.
If you've ever been a part of any school system, you know for a fact that friends of those in 'high places' get picked first when it comes to 'lotteries'--and then everyone else gets put on waiting lists. Children shouldn't be sorted by the popularity of their parents and who's got the right connections. Vouchers--without correcting the corruption already in place--would only further this dispicable process of condeming children who are all ready at a deficit.
Working parents don't have the time, or the ability to do what stay-at-home mom's can do. Very few have the ability to be part of the PTA or 'volunteer' in order to make those connections. Last but not least--these 'lotteries' are often held during school hours--which, in most cases, are the very same hours that these parents have to work. In other words, the 'first come, first served' basis of the vouchers is really only practical to those who have the time to be first in line.
This punishes children for that which is not in their control. So, vouchers fail on this front all the way around.
B) Collective Conscience:
Once 'government' declares there is a 'fix' for a problem, the rest of the country goes to sleep, believing it's already been taken care of. The people hear bad and good and figure it's just sour grapes and nothing more. They forget that our school system is failing our students until the hue and cry raises to the original decible.
In other words, using vouchers as a 'fix' only prolongs the inevitable. Becuase without nationalized standardization, without creating higher expectations, these kids might be getting into a 'safer' school (and only maybe, you'd be surprised what the government is allowing as a 'school' these days) but that doesn't mean they are getting a better education. Sure, there may be less students without a police record--but is the curriculum any different?
So, create the voucher system and the American public will go to sleep on what is the real heart of the problem: NO public school in our country is graduating children who are prepared to compete in a global economy and world market. Private schools may do just a touch better, especially those who are geared toward preparing students for further (University, College) education. But in the end, it's really the state of our public education that's at question here.
Look what happened with welfare reform in the 90's. The vast majority of the public beleive that anyone who is in poverty today is just there because they want to be--not because they weren't given every advantage the richest country in the world can offer. (More on this below.)
C) Laying blame on Parents and Kids who are left Behind:
If you pass the voucher plan, without addressing the real problems in the school, then all those kids left behind will be labeled as self-fulfilling-losers. They, and their parents, will be seen as "not caring enough to use vouchers" despite the realities of the limited number of vouchers available, the length of the waiting lists, etc. They will be exposed to a stigma that goes far beyond just attending (and graduating) a 'bad' school, but to the stigma of 'apathy' and disregard for their own personal acheivement.
They will be relegated the corridors of 'soft bigotry' every single time they apply for a job and name their high school. Every single time they try to get into a 'good' college or university.
It's a set-up for bigotry. "Why didn't you use the voucher program? You must not care about succeeding."
The same way that "Why didn't you use the welfare programs to succeed? You must want to be poor" has worked in this country ever since, despite the realities on the ground.
D) Doesn't fix a damn thing:
Not to mention, the real problem isn't with money, or the 'where' as is illustrated by the 20/20 report. I believe there is plenty of money in the education system, which should not indicate the quality of education in ANY neighborhood. Does McDonalds have a different *basic* menu in the Bronx than it does in Beverly Hills? I would bet it doesn't. They all serve the Big Mac, fries and soda, right?
Why would we allow our education system to be any different?
It's the currriculum and lack of standardization that is the problem. THAT would be a fix. Which leads me to expound on my comment below:
E) Money shouldn't be the issue:
But it is. Good teachers see the only way that they can make the sort of income they expected when they entered school to train for the position, is to teach at good schools--private or public, makes no difference. That shouldn't be the case. There should be a guide, a structure, to pay raise and tenure, based on performance--which is to be measured by the amount of children who LEARN beneath their tutelage. In this way, we could easily weed out those who don't teach well, and those who do, and advance the ones who have earned their advancement.
If the curriculum were standardized and tested regularly, the results would be clear. Right now, it's a mish-mash of crap that doesn't serve the students.
I'm not talking about non-imaginative, passion-less teaching. Any teacher worth his or her salt can take a standard curriculum, the information the students MUST know for that grade level, and do ingenius and wonderful things to help the students learn. Within any curriculum, there is always room for excitement, one just has to be smart about it.
We don't need more money. We need people who are thinking less about more money, and more about advancing themselves and their students.
F) Bandaids only HIDE a problem, they never SOLVE a problem. Less money makes it WORSE on those left Behind:
Since I've already shared my evaluation about why vouchers are merely a bandaid, and the money issue, I'll close with this.
We're not just talking about a lucky few winning 'the lottery' of a decent education, we're talking about the millions more left behind to deal with a bankrupt school that, if the issues are clear here, was 'bad' to begin with. In other words, making a bad situation worse for the majority of our kids.
I believe it's something like 8 or 9K that we spend on every student in public school (FAR more than is really necessary) and if you multiply that by say, thirty students using the voucher program, you're looking at taking 240-260K away from an already 'disabled' school.
Basic math, economics and business sense says that's a BAD idea. So while those who have gotten into the better school are celebrating, those left behind will deal with not having enough paper, books, or maintenance in their schools, higher pupil-to-teacher ratios as the school can no longer afford to keep as many teachers as they did before, etc. etc. and on and on.
NO where in my book does that sound like a *good* idea. In fact, the idea of competing with the future of our country's children leaves me down-right nauseated.
It's not a 'monopoly' on paying customers who opt-in for a benefit they may want--it's about giving the citizens of our country the ability to have successful lives. You take that rug out from beneath them before they're even old enough to have a job or vote, and you can expect the future to look very grim for everyone.
Imagine a future where the worst-educated people on the planet are in charge of making policy decisions about Medicaid, taxes, and whether or not our country should go to war. Imagine that and then think about school vouchers and if it's really the best idea for saving our children's education, or if higher standards and strong curriculum are the best bet.
Friday, September 01, 2006
I also came back to find my new book cover ready!! Woo Hoo, it's amazing. Check it out:
I've decided to, in the near future, begin posting my thoughts here on more than just writing and publishing. I'm gonna take the plunge and discuss politics, the state of our country, and what I've found to be some disturbing trends in our culture. Especially those dealing with fear. Which is exactly why I'm going to refuse to be afraid to divulge where I stand on some of our hottest issues.
In the meantime, let me know what you think of my new book cover ;)
As Arnie said, "I'll be back."
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Since my darling publisher has just contracted my last completed novel--I'm at a wonderful, creative stage to begin brand new works! So, I will be brainstorming, scene crafting, and getting ready to write up a storm when I get back, which will be an AWESOME endeavor because all three kidlets will be back to school. Very cool!!!
Here's what I've got going:
The Lockwood Legacy:
Six books based ons six sisters who happen to be the daughters of a natural witch gardner and a father who attracts bad magic like bees to pollen. Each book will have one very mean monster villain and will take place in a fictional small town very much like the one I live in :) I intend to make these very fun, yet very dramatic, along the Harry Potter vien, perhaps. We'll see what the brainstorming brings ;)
My follow-up book to Racing the Moon (soon to be released from Echelon Press!) The Lucy Book--of course, that's a working title ;) I'll be plotting the scenes and events surrounding the story of twin sisters who are harvested by the government to become remote-veiwers in an advanced spy program using nanotechnology brain implants. Should be an exciting adventure!!! And ther research has been FABULOUS so far ;)
Okay, shhhhh... this is the first EVER I've revealed this 'secret' anywhere, but I'm in the middle of crafting an erotica!! Oh boy! I'm working on a novella (maybe, not sure how long it will go) about a Genie who is full of chick-lit snark and has great fun becoming completely jaded with metrosexuals and goes looking for a hunka-hunka-burning brawn. This should be a LOT of fun to write as it's completely fantasy and filled with humor.
My 13yr.old and I are also going to work on brainstorming a series of chapter books for his age group. I don't know who will end up writing them (or if the Lockwood books will end up being those) or how this will turn out--but I'm super excited to work with him. He's been creating his own comics for a while now, using a set of original characters, and I'm thrilled that he's so interested in collaborating with me. He's such a great guy ;)
Okay, I'm off to commune with nature and my inner muse. Thank goodness hubby is coming along--I get to sneak off and be creative while he does the parenting!!! :)
I'll let y'all know how it went when I get back!!
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Of all the things I really hate to write, this is right up there with press releases and synopses. Do y'all know how tricky it is to not come off as some pompous ass, or worse--an air head that no one would want to know, let alone buy a book from? It's difficult to be informative, yet still allow your personality to shine.
Like, should I say I'm an award winning author? (Well, of course. ) But should I say which awards so no one thinks I've been given a Pulitzer for best 'action adventure'? LOL! Or should I mention my family and location? Or should I just keep it strictly about my career?
I know as a reader I really, really enjoy two things when I read those little bios in the back of the book: finding out about the author's 'daily' life--like family, home, other interests, etc. and why they love to write, what drives their passion.
Like, did the writer start out in H.S. with comic books? Or are they coming in later to the game after a fabulous career as a CIA agent, or an international pilot, or as a supermodel?
So, when it comes to writing up my bio, I get sweaty palms, trying to figure out how much is too much, how little is too little, how much snark is too much snark--you get the picture.
Try it yourself :) See how you can distill your entire being into one paragraph while letting your personality shine through. It's tough!! Especially when you want to include loved ones who are so important to you that you would rather pluck out an eye (okay, ewww... gross, maybe just lose a tooth?) than see them suffer. Then the bio becomes about you AND all those you love, like hubby and kids ;)
All in one paragraph . . .
Isn't the power of words amazing?
Share your bio in the comments section if you feel like it ;) I'd !!!LOVE!!! to get to know y'all a little better too ;)
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Very FUN book to write. Totally loved drawing from all my experience with bikers and tattoists and incorporating it into one heckuva a romantic suspense!!
Can't wait to see the cover for this one!! ;)
Here's my 'blurby' for it:
"Keeping Jess Owen's ex-con father and their hodgepodge family of bikers out of trouble is a tough job, but one she's managed for ten years. Until bodyguard Mitch Conner brings danger and romance to her doorstep. After Jess's mother was shot by an assassin, Mitch vowed to protect her secret daughter. But when the FBI suspect Mitch contracted the hit himself and is now seducing the next in line to inherit the family fortune, his attraction to the fiery Jess may burn him in more ways than one."
Wanna read the first chapter? It's here: My Biker Bodyguard Exerpt
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I can't believe how wonderful this year is turning out to be :) I was sort of bummed on the 1st of the year when my last years goal were all met--save one--getting an agent. My hope is that I can enter Racing the Moon in the Eppies this year (if I still qualify, I think I do, but I'll have to check) and any other contests that support e-book submissions. And then, hopefully, with a little luck (well maybe a LOT of luck) I'll be able to use that information to get an agent.
Of course since I've sent ALL my finished novels off to Echelon now, I'm definitely gonna have to buckle down and get those other books finished that I've been *dreaming* of writing!
But with my youngest starting school this fall (Major WOO HOO!!!) I should have plenty of time to hammer out those books :) And to make matters EVEN better, I'm at the stage now where I'm not struggling with the craft of writing anymore. My struggles (if you can call them struggles because they're such great FUN!) are now in the areas of story-crafting. I want my ideas to move people, to really SING on the page--and that's my new goal.
Gosh, life is GRAND!
I've got a six-day camping trip coming up in about two weeks and I can't wait to get there. Six days of nothing but scene selection, story crafting, and plotting. I hope to come home with at least one notebook full of scene outlines for my upcoming book adventures!!
2006 ROCKS! I can't wait to see what will happen next year ;)
Here are the titles Echelon will be releasing:
(Click on a title to read an excerpt)
Racing the Moon
My Biker Bodyguard
Loving Lillie (excerpt coming soon!)
Ones Echelon already has released:
The Knight Before
SEVEN titles! And no telling what I'll pull out of my sleeve next :)
Friday, August 04, 2006
Today is the last day subscribers can receive a free Book Thong and be entered into the drawing to win an awesome pair of Readers/Writers gloves! These wonderful, fingerless gloves are hand knit by me and come in a variety of beautiful shades, yarns, and decorative finishes.
To receive your free Book Thong and be entered to win the Readers/Writers gloves send your snail mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight tonight.
*You must be a subscriber to claim your free prize and be entered to win the gloves :)
All my best to y’all!
P.S. My publisher, Echelon Press is hosting a give away at http://romancing-the-reader.blogspot.com so go check it out if you’re interested!
Bulletproof Bride by J.R. Turner
Something old, something new, and a Kevlar vest too . . .
available at http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/eBook39330.htm
Monday, July 31, 2006
Jess Owen: Tatto artist extrordinaire! She works in the family business, Tattoos&Tails--a tattoo parlor/Harley repair shop. Between trying to keep her little family on the straight and narrow and making sure the famous Owen cookouts go off without a hitch, she's got a full life. Except in one department. Dating. All those big burly bikers don't make it easy to find a guy brave enough to date her.
Mitch Conner: Boxer turned bodyguard, he's turned his life around since leaving New York and setting out for the West Coast. A few years as a private investigator gained him the connections needed to strike out on his own as a personal bodyguard. Years later, he's got a perfect record--until his client ends up shot and in a coma. Now he's headed to Milwaukee to fulfill the last request of Beth Kramer--protect her secret child, Jess Owen.
These two characters have been a joy to work with. I love Jess's quick wit and Mitch's bravery as they try to escape the hired hitmen sent to take Jess out.
I'm really look forward to this release. It's done very well in contests, including these:
First Place Winner of Where The Magic Begins Contest sponsored by Romance Writers of America Romance Writer's Ink Chapter (2004)
Second Place (Reader vote)/Third Place (Editor Pick) in the 2005 Summer Romance Junkies contest.
Honorable Mention~Romance Writers of America Windy City's Four Seasons Awards (2004)
If y'all want to read an excerpt, you can find more here:
I can't wait to see what they'll come up with for the cover!! I'll let y'all know the details as they come up.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the trinity, though I am not Catholic. However, I am also American. I am a member of a country who sends soldiers to die to protect AMERICANS equally. Death doesn't discriminate.
But it would seem that too many people in the UNITED States of America don't have a clue that religion and politics aren't supposed to go hand-in-hand.
That UNITED means we, as a diverse people, are equal. Members of the KKK are just as much citizens as members of the NAACP. Athiests are just as much citizens as Christians. Native Americans are just as much citizens as an immigrant one second after he or she's been sworn in. English-speaking and the non-english-speaking citizens are EQUAL.
Get that you dividers out there? EQUAL.
As Martin Luther King so eloquently stated in his last speech before being murdered for his works: we all have intrinisic worth. So, until someone decides to stand for citizen-equality, for UNITEDness, instead of trying to further divide our people along religious, political, ethnic, or any other lines--I will argue against them fiercely because . . .
I'm an American and a Patriot.
Friday, July 28, 2006
First, check it out:
American Red Corss Armed Forces Emergency Services
Here's a quick summary of what the AFES does:
Prevent, Prepare for and Cope with Emergencies: Offers counseling and aid in order to deal with the long term separation in military families.
Emergency Communication: In the event of a critical accident, illness, or other emerbency, there is a whole team of volunteers standing by to find the service member and even contact his or her commanding officer to arrange leave if possible.
Health and Welfare Inquiries: For families who've lost touch with a service member, there is a worldwide communications network just waiting to give the worried family peace of mind.
Information, Referral and Advocacy: The Red Corss helps families understand government benefits, cut through the red tape, and get the help desperately needed.
Humanitarian Reassignment and Hardship Discharge: The Red Cross can counsel the family or service member on how to request a humanitarian reassignment or a hardship discharge by making clear the procedures and documentation needed.
Veterans Services: The Americna Red Cross volunteers sserve hospitalized veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers. They also help represent veterens and their families who seek compensation awards from the DVA.
Emerbency Financial Assistance: In an emergency that requires the presence of the service member or his or her family, the Red Cross may provide acces to an interest-freee loan or a grant for travel expenses.
If you ask me, that's more than enough reason to support the AFES and to get the word out about what they do. Therefore, I am donating $1.00 of every book directly purchased from me, either over the internet or at a booksigning, to the AFES.
They provide a fabulous service to our men and women in the military and their families, and an awesome opportunity to do more than wave my flag!!!
I'm very excited about this. Leave me a note and let me know what you think!!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
All the makings of a wild romantic suspense you don't want to miss!!!
Check out this awesome cover:
"When Robert Carson steals her murdered father's company, Mina Jackson is determined to see justice done and takes destiny in her own hands. When she barges into his life and kidnaps him at gunpoint, he's thrown into a whirlwind of betrayal, secrecy and a most unexpected complication-love."
I'm happy to say it's one of the top sellers for Echelon Press this week! Woo Hoo!
Get Your Copy Today from Echelon Press! Or at Fictionwise!
So glad to be back with good news to share!! *GRIN*
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've got lots of good news to share. Bulletproof Bride is now available!! It's selling very well and I'm excited that so many have enjoyed the story. Look for more from me later.
Politics and high blood pressure don't match. Nor does politics make for a good marriage. After years of listening to talk radio trash talk, hubby and I are now listening to the new JackFM and have splurged on some rockin' CD's that we've always wanted.
My energy level is up, my attitude is much better, and our relationship is going great. Still, I don't want to stay out of the loop on what's happening in the world, so I get my news from the Daily Show. Jon Stewart ROCKS!
And while I'm more centrist than liberal, I'm still toying with the idea of writing an article called, "Living with a NeoCon and Why Rush Limbaugh Almost Ruined my Marriage." Not to dis the ditto-heads out there (after all, I'm deeply in love with one!) but the MajaRushie needs to check his facts just a TAD bit more carefully. After reading the Congressional Record (online, for researching my plots) I've come to know a thing or two about what *actually* goes on. But try to tell that to my redheaded Republican Texan husband! LOL!
Okay, yeah, so that's why we're listening to ZZTop. Btw, LaGrange is my favorite!!!
'Til next time!
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Three new reviews for Stark Knight have arrived. Check them out!!
Five Coffee Cups from Coffee Time Romance! "When you finish this story, you might just find yourself sitting back and saying ‘wow!’."
~Charissa, reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Four Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies! "From an action-packed beginning to a bite-your-nails ending, this book is one heck of a roller coaster ride."
~Belle Rouge, reviewer for Romance Junkies
Diana's Reviews Blogs about Stark Knight "Stark Knight is an adventure. I knew by page 2 it was going to be a good read."
~Diana Castilleja, Diana's Reviews
To read the full reviews, click here:Stark Knight Reviews
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
And if you can't make it to this in-person special event, come meet me tomorrow night (Thursday) at Echelon Press for a very special chat online. I'll be discussing Stark Knight and it's upcoming sequel, Silent Knight, plus two other books I have 'in the works' and coming soon from this awesome publishing house!!
Here's the link:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EchAuth
I look forward to hanging out with y'all!!!
Monday, March 27, 2006
(; Come Chat With Me ;)
At 9pm EST time on March 28, Tuesday at Coffee Time Romance I'll be chatting with a lovely group of authors and offering TWO door prizes! The first is a free copy of "The Knight Before" a short story download and prequel to "Stark Knight" from Echelon Press as well as a one of a kind Stark Knight Book Thong.
I look forward to seeing y'all there!!
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Looking through some of the other books I've written and ones I'm working on now, I discovered a certain parallel to something that's very important to me and my family: Patriotism.
Now, lately, that word has gotten a bad rap because of all the bickering in Washington these days. It's often used when "nationalism" would work better. I't not, "My country right or wrong" (that's nationalism) it is, "The country I love." Period.
Having kids gives a person perspective on this. I would never say, "My kids, right or wrong." To do so would creat sociopaths. It's "I love my kids." This entails being caretakers of their development--in every aspect. Their mental, physical and spiritual needs.
How does this play into my stories? In nearly every single book I've written, the lead characters are challenged to do what's hardest--the right thing. Often that "right" thing is obscured by temptation, fear, or the heartache of sacrifice. Sometimes all three.
The 'government'--as an entity--in my novel (when it's a player) is never wholly good nor is it wholly evil. Life is too complex for such cardboard charicatures--in real life and in fiction.
In "Stark Knight" the trick is figuring out which people in government can be trusted--and which ones need to be held accountable. Not because America is bad, or corrupt--but because Sara and Drake (and I) love America and, as Patriots, they wish to caretake their country, to protect Americans from those who wish it harm.
I think one of the things I'm most proud of in Stark Knight was that I didn't resort to what has become a steretype in terrorism--Middle Eastern bad guys with big bombs. Instead, I used what is described in intelligence communites, "Watshington's Achilles heel." Congress is still debating what can be done about this very real threat, despite the lack of publicity and attention its received from the media and the American people.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but epxloring the possibilites in fiction, sharing those possibilities with my readers, is one way (to me) that I can be a true patriot.
Silent Knight, the sequel, ended up having some very difficult eleents. The question of a woman's dominion over her own body (sans the abortions issue, you'll have to read the book to see what I mean ;)) and the conflicts of interest inherent in our healthcare system. Oh, of coure there's all the bad 'shadow' government elements and plenty of bullets flying, explosions and a wonderfully fun to write cold-water diving scene.
In the end, I think that patriotism, or love of country, can come through in an author's work, no matter how angry they are with an administration or the state of affairs they find their country in during any given time.
And, too--it's all so very exciting when the good guys save the day :)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Deb from Heaven in a Handbasket helped me put together a super special package for all my newsletter subscribers! The chocolate yummies will come in a very cool chest that can be used over and over again for storage once the goodies have all been used.
One very lucky winner will receive all these delectable treats:
Tea Forte–Oprah's favorite tea!
Double Chocolate Truffle Coffee from Door County
Wisconsin White Birch popcorn
Health by Chocolate–blueberry (Great for your skin!)
Chai Chocolate and Raspberry Tea
Chocolate stir spoons in Irish Creme and Mint flavors
Dark Chocolate coffee beans
And the very best: A large box of Lindts famous Truffles, Fondant Intense!
Tell everyone you know who might love to receive this special free gift at a value of over $50.00! Subscribe here: The Official J.R. Turner Newsletter
The winner will be drawn on March 1st, 2006. Look for the special announcement to see if you're the winner!!
Friday, January 27, 2006
1) Visit Milli Thornton's website Fear of Writing and follow the directions during her regular special offers!
2) Sign up for the free J.R. Turner Official Newsletter and follow the directions on how to get your free copy today!
(If you're already a subscriber of the newsletter and wish to get your free copy now, please send an email from the address you used to subscribe to the newsletter at: email@example.com with "My Copy" in the subject heading and the email address you wish to recieve the pdf. file at in the body of the email. As soon as your subscription is verified, your copy will be sent to you!)
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Find out how you can get your free copy of "Extreme Writing: Crafting the Action Scene" by J.R. Turner through Milli Thornton's Tremendous offer! Visit Fear of Writing today to Put the Fun back into Writing and Get Your Kung Fu on!
Is writing supposed to be fun? Offer includes over
$547 worth of bonus gifts and prizes for writers.
Don't miss out!! This is one WAYY cool offer!! ;)
Monday, January 23, 2006
JRTurner Chat at Authors by Design
We had a blast and I really enjoyed the questions asked. Some of them were tough and I wished I'd had more time to go into some of them :) As it was, my fingers ached from responding by the end of the night! *GRIN*
It truly was a lot of fun and I hope y'all will join me again if you have a chance!!!
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Authors by Design is hosting me for a chat this Saturday night at 9pm(Est.) Please bring some chocolate and a friend and come hang out with me :) I'm eager to connect with some non-fiction characters in a fun and warmly inviting setting!!
Authors by Design
I'll be awarding one lucky chatter with a copy of "The Knight Before" and giving some fabulous news about next weeks BIG secret announcement ;) Looking forward to seeing you there!!
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Preditors&Editors has a poll up right now and my book, "Stark Knight" (by J.R. Turner) is lucky enough to be one that you can vote on. So, if you've got a soft spot for the underdog and you really enjoyed my book, please vote for it here:
I'll name my next child after you, promise! :)
(Which would be a miracle because it is medically impossible to have any more children--but my existing ones, Dustin, Molly and Matthew will think you're way cool for voting for their mamma ;) )
Thank you so very much!!
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Happy Reading and I wish y'all loads of chocolatey blessings!!!