Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Teaser

Tuesday Teaser is a weekly bookish meme (rhymes with “cream"), hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. (I’ve borrowed it from LDS Women’s Book Review.) Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share at least two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

I'm adapting the rules slightly. I'll be quoting some random lines from the last chapter I read before I post a teaser.

Actually I'm going to share two teasers with you from the same book today. Both are from The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley. The narrator of this story is an author with whom I immediately bonded when she said:

I'd never been a fast writer, and five hundred words in one day was, to me, a good effort. A thousand words left me ecstatic. (9% Kindle version)

Yes! That is so me! :-)

Okay, now here's a teaser for non-writer readers.

Still, you couldn't just remember something if you hadn't had it in your memory to begin with.

Could you?

(From The Winter Sea, 19% Kindle version)

If you'd like to share a teaser from a book you're currently reading, I'd love you to do so in the comment section. And you don't even have to share it on a Tuesday! Be sure to include the title, author, and page number in case others would like to check out the book you're reading.

Monday, February 25, 2013

What Am I Reading Now?

I've fallen behind on my What Am I Reading Now updates. I got behind while moving into a new house over the Thanksgiving/Christmas holidays and then trying to settle into my new home. But I did, indeed, continue to read during that time! Most of my print books were "somewhere" in packing boxes, so I've been relying on my iPad Kindle app to keep me entertained. Between Christmas and the middle of February, I reread three of my favorite books from childhood: The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, The Five Little Peppers Midway, and The Five Little Peppers Grown Up, all by Margaret Sidney. It's always a treat to discover that a book that was a favorite "then" (whenever "then" might be) is still a favorite when you read it again, and so it was for the Five Little Peppers books. These books were written in the late 19th/early 20th Century and have an old time feel with old time values. They may not be fast paced enough for kids today, but when I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be just like Polly Pepper. :-)

(Note: The Five Little Peppers series is free on Kindle, but be aware that whoever uploaded them failed to format them properly for e-books, and to say that the formatting is "haywire" is a vast understatement. I loved the stories enough not to mind, but it may bother "new" readers. The formatting in print versions is, to my knowledge, just fine.)

Okay, on to my current "read." The Winter Sea, by Susanna Kearsley, was recommended to me by a good friend who thought (correctly) that I might be interested in the early 18th Century Jacobites (those who wanted to restore the descendants of James II Stewart to the throne of England after James had been driven out of England for being a Catholic king in Protestant England). Here is the back cover blurb:

In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.

But when she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with ancestral memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth-the ultimate betrayal-that happened all those years ago, and that knowledge comes very close to destroying her.

Stop by on Tuesday and I'll share a Tuesday Teaser with you from The Winter Sea.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Blog Hop Winners!

Congratulations to:

Doodle Bug, winner of the For the Love of Swoon blog hop! Doodle Bug has won a copy of my sweet medieval romance, Illuminations of the Heart.

Farah Khalaf, winner of the Random Act of Kindness blog hop! Farah has won a $17.21 gift certificate to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the Book Depository.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

Summary Sunday

I just got back from an AWESOME writers conference, hosted by the American Night Writers Association (ANWA) in Mesa, Arizona. I learned many informative and inspirational things over the past two days, but here's one thought I'd like to share with you from our keynote speaker, James A. Owen:

"Never, ever sacrifice what you want the most, for what you want the most at that moment."

Just think about it. :-)

Because of conference activities, I only got five days of writing in this week, and hence have only five new sentences to share with you. Four of the five are spoken by my heroine's cousin, Richard; one (well, two together) are thoughts by my heroine, Marguerite. All of these are from The Lady and the Minstrel.

Monday: (Richard:) “And you have Heywood to thank for finding yourself bound to a man shameless enough to bring his mistress to his own betrothal, for no other man is so conceited in his own power and cunning as to think he can rule Heywood’s manors and stamp out the danger from spreading to his own.”

Tuesday: (Richard:) “Lady Beatrice lost her position as one of Queen Isabella’s ladies-in-waiting and found herself and her husband both banished to their own estates, merely because Lady Beatrice gave a sniff one day that the earl interpreted as disdain of Lady Lovell.”

Wednesday: (Richard:) “Most of the barons have come to hate the king, and I can hardly blame them after what he did to William de Briouze and his family.”

Thursday: (Marguerite:) Minstrels did not fight wars. Unless he is more than a minstrel.

Friday: (Richard:) “Apparently I had rattled on about my ‘pestering little cousin’ to her whenever she asked me about my family.”

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Blog Hop

Welcome to the Random Acts of Kindness Blog Hop, sponsored by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Read for Your Future!

Here at JDP NEWS, my random act of kindness gift to you is an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift certificate for $17.21 so you can choose your own book! For international entries, I will give away a book of your choosing on the Book Depository equal to $17.21 USD or less. All you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form below, then hop along on the linky-list below to find some more great giveaways!

Because I'm going to be at a writers conference on Feb 22 and won't be home to choose a winner, I will be leaving this giveaway open through Feb 23. The winner will be announced on February 24. This giveaway is open to international entries.

OFFICIAL RULES: NO PURCHASE NECESSSARY. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Winners will be selected on February 22 and have 48 hours to respond to an email notifying them of their win. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Questions? Contact me at jdipastena@yahoo.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summary Sunday

Here are some new sentences from The Lady and the Minstrel. I'm off to a writers conference later this week. I don't know how much time I'll have to write between all those writing classes, but let's keep our fingers crossed that I can squeeze at least five new sentences in! ;-)

Monday: If the intrigues of the royal court had affected his minstrel’s life, it had done so in so tangential a way that Robert could not have cited an instance.

Tuesday: And yet the same instincts that warned Robert about the earl also convinced him that the kisses in her chamber had not been a lie.

Wednesday: Her voice had gone small, as though nervous of what he might think of her admission, but she rushed on before he could speak.

Thursday: Her lips drooped so sadly at what she clearly interpreted as a rejection that Robert held out his hand for the flute before he could stop himself.

Friday: She should dread what awaited her return to castle—her father, the earl—but instead, as she trotted her mare beneath the spiked iron teeth of the raised portcullis, her heart still sang with the final melody that Robert had piped for her before they parted.

Saturday: “She said you had probably gone to the village, even though she says you’re forbidden to do so—I don’t remember your mother having such a fearsome frown when I was a boy—so I rode into Lyndeard and searched high and low for you, but no one there had seen you.”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For the Love of Swoon Blog Hop

Welcome to the For the Love of Swoon Blog Hop, hosted by The Book Hookup and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer! What better way could there be to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a book with a deliciously swoony hero?

Here at JDP NEWS I'm giving away a copy of my sweet medieval romance, Illuminations of the Heart, featuring my own swoony hero, Triston. Here's the book description:

"Clothilde." He spoke the name on a breath like a prayer. Then he lowered his head and kissed her.

Her heart is lost in that first embrace, her world is shaken to its foundations. There is just one problem; her name is not Clothilde. It is Siriol de Calendri. Trained in the art of illumination in the far-off city of Venice, Siri is directed by her late brother's will to the county of Poitou in France, where she enters the guardianship of her brother's friend Sir Triston de Brielle. Once in Poitou, Siri hopes to find employment in an illuminator's shop - until Triston unexpectedly snatches her heart away with a kiss.

Triston is a man of quiet honor and courage, but the guild he carries for the death of his late wife, Clothilde, has left him numb and hesitant to love again. Worse yet, Siri bears an uncanny resemblance to his lost love. Or does she? Her merry laughter and twinkling eyes are very different from his late wife's shy smiles and quiet ways. Yet when he gazes into Siri's face, all he sees is Clothilde.

Then Triston's past returns to threaten them both. Will his tragic life with Clothilde be repeated with Siri? Trapped between the rivalry of the king's sons on the one hand and a neighbor out for vengeance on the other, Triston realizes it would be safer to send Siri away. But how can he bear to lose her again?

Siri is determined not to be cast off and not to live in another woman's shadow. She has illuminated many a priceless book with pen and paint. But can her own vibrant spirit illuminate the darkness in Triston's soul and make his heart beat for her alone?

If this sounds like a book you'd like to win, all you have to do is enter via the Rafflecopter form below. The winner may have her choice of a print or Kindle version. (Sorry, my publisher has yet to make it available for Nook.)

Because I'm going to be at a writers conference on Feb 22 and won't be home to choose a winner, I will be leaving this giveaway open through Feb 23. The winner will be announced on February 24. USA entries only this time, please.

OFFICIAL RULES: NO PURCHASE NECESSSARY. Entrants must be 18 years or older. Winners will be selected on February 24 and have 48 hours to respond to an email notifying them of their win. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Questions? Contact me at jdipastena@yahoo.com.

All entered? Then hop along to the links below for some more great giveaways. Being as how it's Valentine's Day (more or less), I would recommend eating a piece of chocolate with each giveaway you enter!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Summary Sunday

Slow but steady wins the race. That's what I keep telling myself with my latest WIP. Here are some new sentences from The Lady and the Minstrel.

Monday: The convictions that had driven him for twenty-five years wavered in a rush of uncertainty.

Tuesday: If his mother had poured music into his soul, his father had branded his bold  heresy upon it.

Wednesday: He had been braced then for her to shrink . . . or to have subdued her doubts with his kisses

Thursday: He had lost himself for a few moments reliving happier times, but he had known such a question as this must come.

Friday: "That is where my mother herself dropped it on the day that she learned my father had fallen afoul of our baron.”

Saturday: In all the years Robert had remembered her with warmth and gratitude, it had never crossed his mind that she may have paid a price for the service she had rendered him that day.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Summary Sunday

I wrote my way through a cold this week, so a few of my writing sessions were a bit hazy. I hope these new sentences make sense. Hazy or not, I enjoyed writing them!

Monday: Let him go now, when she had only just found him?

Tuesday: She shot up from the stool and ran to her husband's side as William spewed a mouthful of ale across the table and burst into a coughing fit.

Wednesday: “What folderol you’ve learned to recite, Rob.”

Thursday: “Ye always made yer own choices, Rob, and remember what it cost ye.”

Friday: But in truth, the folly had already been done.

Saturday: Only one thought had rushed into his mind then, thrumming out everything else: This. This is my chance.