Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Next Big Thing

Recently, I participated in something called The Next Big Thing on one of my other blogs, Lynn Crain's XtraOrdinary Romance. It is a blog hop where bloggers talk about a work-in-progress or WIP as it's commonly known. This time, I talked about my Christmas book called A Viennese Christmas and the first in the series A Taste of Vienna. 

Here's the post that I did there, along with a cover reveal...I hope you all enjoy this different perspective of Vienna...through my writer's eye.

Thanks! And talk to you all soon!

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and friends, happiness and joy. I was invited this week to take part in a blog hop called The Next Big Thing by Jill Hughey. Her post is at and she talks all about her current work in progress.

When she first asked for volunteers, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it...then...I thought to myself, who doesn’t want to be the next big thing. It’s every author’s dream to hit it big no matter what the venue. The whole point of this hop is to share authors with new readers. At the end of this blog, there is a list of authors who are new to many of you...but more on that later.

Here are the answers to the interview questions for The Next Big Thing:

What is your working title of your book?
My current work in progress is titled A Viennese Christmas and it’s the first in my A Taste of Vienna series.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was trying to find a way to learn more about the city I now find myself living in, Vienna, Austria. All my friends told me I should be having a blast and I wasn’t. So, I decided to start this series and I can say I certainly have a different eye for the city now.

What genre does your book fall under?
It’s going to be a sensual romance, which is a departure from my normal erotic romance. The characters told me they wanted things to be more private. I always listen to my characters.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Now this is hard. The heroine would need to have an aire of sweetness around her while the hero would need a great smile. I think I’d pick Ginnifer Goodwin for the heroine and Eion Bailey both of who are from the show, Once Upon A Time, my new favorite.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Amanda Kranz, alone in Vienna, Austria at Christmas, meets sexy, historian Henry Wakeman, who convinces her true love is real and within her grasp.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
This one will be self-published by my Shooting Star Books imprint.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A couple of weeks. It’s short...less than 20K...and I can do those fast.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That would be a hard one as I don’t compare myself to other writers much. I think each of us have a unique style.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’d have to say Vienna itself as I’m finding out thing I never knew and at one point, I probably wouldn’t have tried to find out.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This book is as accurate as I can make it and it’s told totally from an American point of view by someone who is living there. It’s a nice little romance that fulfills the hope each of us have for Christmas.

Now I have a special treat for each of you...this is a squeee moment for’s the cover!

Isn’t that just the coolest thing you’ve ever seen? My cover artist, Su Kopil from Earthly Charms, is the most amazing person. She got this one done much sooner than I ever thought. The building in the background is called the Rathouse and it’s the house of Vienna’s local government and it looks that amazing all lit up for the holiday season.

Now, it’s time to pass the torch to the authors next in line for The Next Big Thing. Please drop by and see each of them the week of November 26th as they give you their information for their works-in-progress. Here’s there links to their blogs. Drop by next week and see them when you can...I’ll be tweeting and posting them on Facebook when they come out...thanks everyone! Help us all become The Next Big Thing!

Tyffany Clark

Adriana Kraft

Helena Fairfax

Margay Leah Justice

Frances Pauli

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Next month I will have Christmas guest, a reveal on a couple more new covers as well as a couple of Christmas surprises. Please drop by and see me...I think you’ll enjoy it!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Octopus, Sputnik and Me

            I’m sure that all of you have heard by now that I was very ill during the months of April and May. So ill that I ended up with a hospital stay of two weeks. Now those two weeks were some of the most traumatic I’ve spent anywhere in the world. It was made especially so here as I couldn’t speak the language and the whole experience made me very, very nervous.
            Austrian medicine isn’t like US medicine. In the US, we’re taught to get in, get a diagnosis, learn to take care of ourselves and get out as quick as we can. There are medical costs that we as US citizens can’t avoid. Austria is different and like the DH says, they seem to have the luxury of time. They want to keep you there as long as they can, cure you or make you the best they can, then release you with lots and lots of instructions. It seemed like it was more than normal.
            I was admitted on a Friday evening and that was very unfortunate. All they did was observe me and I got sicker. During the whole time, they only gave me one med that made me feel marginally better. When one of the young doctors was going to give it to me again, an older colleague waved her off and there I sat, miserable and wondering just what the heck I was doing there.
            The following Monday, they started dialysis and that whole experience was very, very different as their idea of anesthetic doesn’t seem to be the same as in the US. I told the DH that the cut-down procedure hurt a lot and I’d never have it done again. Between that and the kidney biopsy they did, I knew I had experienced pain greater than when I had children...I kid you not! LOL! Here’s a picture that Monday. We fondly called my apparatus ‘The Octopus’ as that’s what it looked like to me.

            A couple of days later, they decided to do a kidney biopsy and that again was done without any real anesthetic. Basically, over here, they want you to buck up and take the pain. Really? Are these people kidding? They ended up poking me three times and the last time, I wasn’t nice about it. Then they ended up NOT getting all the cells they wanted. Told them too bad, they were done. If they wanted to do it again, they had to make it painless. I had some very grumpy doctors that day.
            By this time, I’m starting to feel better because they have started to give me meds to get rid of my ailment. Oh – yeah – my ailment...I ended up poisoning myself with ibuprofen because I was trying to get rid of a fever I’d had in late March, early April. I took only ten pills a day for about 3 days, then less for the next few. What I ended up doing is giving my kidneys an issue where they shut down and decided not to work. This is very take a word of caution...over the counter meds can be harmful to your health. Please make sure you know what you’re doing. And I did. Sigh.
            So here I am, in a teaching hospital, where at least five doctors come in to talk to me every day and check on my condition. And nothing is happening. They have a wait and see attitude. During that wait and period, I did make a wonderful friend. My roommate, and I had two, really clicked and enjoyed being with each other. She taught me some German, helped me with procedures and the like. She was a kidney transplant patient who’s new kidney had failed after fifteen years. She was hoping to get a new one and was in for all the pre-op as well as seeing if she’d accept the new donor kidney. But alas, it wasn’t to be and she went home the day before I did.
            I had dialysis twice and the second time just proved to me just how different the medical systems are. I didn’t realize I was the only patient in the dialysis unit and was listening to my music. I was bopping around in my bed, moving my feet, kinda dancing...then I looked up...and realized everyone was watching me. Apparently, there aren’t happy people in dialysis. People here in Austria are way too stoic for my taste.
            A couple of days before I left, they realized that I was allergic to the tape holding my octopus in place. I was red and they didn’t want to take it out even though they knew I’d not need another dialysis session. They wanted to leave it in just in case. When the nurses understood what was happening they were a little frantic as the area was very, very bad. They had to leave it in the open air for about an hour and then totally reposition it. When the main doctor came in, he started laughing and asked me if I liked my Sputnik. Yeah, it now looked like a satellite circling around my head. Check it out.

            I was released two weeks to the day and was very happy to get home. It hasn’t been easy and the meds they have me on make me crazy. But I’m home and I’ve survived an experience I’d hoped never to have.
            I have a new release on June 14 and hope to drop by my other blog to see the write up. And I promise to post here more often. Vienna is a lovely place and many of you might see something you can use in your own writing.
            See you all next time!