Zinnia Hope, author of multi-genres and erotic romances; also writing as J. Emberglass
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Tuesday, October 31
Will try to get a post up sometime today. In a nutshell this household has been in chaos:
Homemade trick or treat costumes
Kids coming and going in the evenings for sports practices
Last revisions on Conspiracy of Angels
Toddler sick with a cold
Chickens waging war again
Housecleaning for upcoming holidays (yuck)
New story screaming to come out of my brain...
Well, it doesn't look like I'm going to have time for a full post, but I do need to do a shout-out. Jackie Kessler won my challenge on my Z Yahoo Group. Jackie's a great gal. She's part of my crit group and a good friend.
Her book HELL'S BELLES will debut January 2007. I have an advanced reader's copy, although I got to crit this before it went on the query-go-round, tee-hee! It's a paranormal romance that's fun and fiesty.
Here's a couple links. Go say hi to Jackie.
Wednesday, October 25
Well, I have to say I'm extremely excited and thrilled about this book trailer. M.E. Ellis and CoverVan created this for my Conspiracy of Angels due out in November. It's not very long, but GAWD, does it ever pack a punch!
A hearty mountain thank you from the bottom of my backwoods heart to you both!!!
Eh, what can I say? Contraversy and hot are in my blood. Too bad I couldn't figure out a way to put a chicken or two in those Hell flames!
Monday, October 23
~~~This post has been updated! Please read to end of post for the new details.~~~
With Conspiracy of Angels due out soon in print and e-book formats, I need to start promoting. I hate promoting. I really do. It's like pulling hens' teeth.
Anyway, I want to do something unique, but I'm on a tight budget right now, so I'm limited to what I can do prize-wise. (I hate this upcoming holiday season, Grrr!) Sending someone a live chicken just isn't a good idea. (Besides, the mailman's still pissed at me for the last one I mailed.)
One prize I do have in the works is author oriented. When I launch my promo contest for CONSPIRACY in print, authors will have the chance to win a cover for one of his or her e-books! Cover will be provided by WCP/FB's incredibly talented artist ,CoverVan, a.k.a. M. E. Ellis' hubby.
So, anyone want to bounce some promo ideas off my thick head?
To Celebrate the First Promo for Conspiracy of Angels!
Marci and Faith are striving towards a November print release date for Conspiracy of Angels. I'm nearly finished with revisions, so the e-book version should be available soon. To launch the promotion of my novel, I'm posting a brief excerpt below.
Now, here's the contest part. Any author who promotes Conspiracy of Angels on a blog, forum, group, or website and does it the most creatively, will win a review of his or her novel posted on my official website to use for his or her own book promotion. (Since launching my website, I've had over 400 hits in the past 8 weeks, so it gets decent traffic.) Leave a comment and link on this entry so I can go look/read and decide who has been the most creative. Contest ends midnight November 1st.
If you're not a writer/author then you may choose one of my current e-books as your prize. (Please, no e-book sharing. See Faith's or Amanda Brice's blogs for details on this issue.)
For this contest, please disregard the guidelines on my website for reviews. I will concentrate on only plot and character development for the review winner. Current review is M.E. Ellis' QUITS.
So, in a nutshell:
If anyone has any questions, leave them in the comments or email me and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Now, here's the excerpt.
Conspiracy of Angels
Copyright 2006 Zinnia Hope
Note: Elizabeth Shaw and her grandmother, Sarah (Grams), have just had a horrible argument.
Elizabeth whirled and stomped into the dining room. She didn’t make it far before guilt hit her, flattening her with its damning weight. Grams was right. Her misery came from deep within herself. She halted by the server station and sighed. She returned to the kitchen door and pushed it open a couple inches.
“Grams?” Elizabeth called softly.
“Hmm?” Sarah didn’t turn around, intent only on the spaghetti she dropped into a roiling kettle.
“I’m sorry.” She studied her grandmother’s plump back and jerky motions.
“It’s okay.” A smile resided in Sarah’s voice. “Now, hurry up and write those specials on the blackboard.”
Elizabeth returned to the cash register and grabbed the box of colored chalk. Over the past three months, it seemed that she and her grandmother repeatedly had the same fight. She was a grown woman with a six-year-old son. What could have been or what should be were of no concern to her any more. She needed to stop worrying about the past and concentrate on her future, a future running a family business with her son and grandmother.
She wrote the specials on the board in alternating white and blue chalk, her thoughts drifting. She and Daniel Rivers had created quite a stir by falling in love with one another. George Rivers, Daniel’s father and the presiding minister, considered Elizabeth a phase that his son would soon outgrow.
Emotion and despair filled her with its intensity, and hand shaking, she snapped the chalk stick in two. A memory brought fresh tears to her eyes, a memory of sitting on the front church pew, sobbing. Minister Rivers had discovered her crying and praying aloud for forgiveness and guidance. His words replayed in Elizabeth’s mind as if she were hearing it for the first time.
“You’ve ruined yourself, and now you’re trying to ruin my son! You’re nothing but trouble, Elizabeth, and I will not allow you to drag my son into hellfire with you!”
“We’re in love, Minister Rivers,” Elizabeth said.
“You’re just like your mother!” George almost shouted. “You’re a wanton woman, who will destroy my son’s life. If you truly love, Daniel, you’ll leave town.”
“God forgives,” Elizabeth cried. “But what about you? You’re comparing me to my mother, but I’m nothing like her! God knows what is in my heart. What right do you have to tell me to leave?” She recalled staring up at his unforgiving expression and asking the one thing that had pushed George Rivers over the edge. “How can you call yourself a servant of God, and yet, treat me like this?”
The minister’s last words had haunted Elizabeth for the last seven years. With fervor in his eyes, George had replied, “Because my son deserves better than you.”
Friday, October 20
Things have been somewhat quiet around the house since the Monster Toddler from Planet Hell left Friday night. He ate my youngest boy’s new Nerf basketball, spitting huge pieces around the living room, started breaking his new set of fat crayons (but I caught him before he got beyond the first one.), broke my glider chair, dumped a glass of water on my side of the mattress, dug out three nice die-cast cars stored under my bed and broke one (the nice, big cars), screamed every time he didn’t get his way, told me to f*** off, constantly yelled “bullshit!” at the top of his lungs... My toddler cried and hid from this kid (he’s only 4 months older than my baby boy.) in my bedroom, where I have a TV set, so he watched cartoons the last day the Monster was here.
There was not enough Valium in the world to help me those three days. And the chickens were so terrified they left the coop and the barnyard, tucking their nests and eggs in little hidden trunk compartments under their feathers. They waddled out to the woods and camped there on the second night. Minutes before they left, I heard the head rooster whispering to his prize hen, “I’ll never think Zinnia’s deranged again. Next time that little diaper shitter comes outside, we’ll make a run for it! He’s insane! I actually feel sorry for Z!”
“I know,” the prized hen whispered back, “just look at this!” She unfolded her wings and revealed her chest. It had been plucked free of feathers with a pair of women’s boobs drawn in their place. “Do you know how long it’ll take me to grow feathers back over this baby graffiti?”
Hell, I hate to admit it, but that had me laughing so hard that having the horrifying midget adult here was almost worth it...almost.
The night the Monster Toddler left, my older boys poked their heads in the back door and asked, “Mom? Is it gone?” Note they didn’t say he, they said it.
Those kinds of children are proof that a stronger form of birth control is needed.
Oh, and the chickens moved back into the coop the following morning. But I still can’t pry the cat off the ceiling fan. Damn pussy has a death grip on it and just keeps going round and round and...
Monday, October 16
This is one of the projects I have been working with of late. My story A ROAD OF MISGIVINGS is included in this anthology. More details below from publisher and editor-in-chief, Marci. G. Baun of Freya's Bower.
***********************************On February 1, 2007, Freya's Bower will be releasing a charity anthology to benefit a battered woman's shelter. The anthology will be available as an ebook, paperback and hardback. All net proceeds (whatever it doesn't cost us to produce and sell) will be donated to a specified battered woman's shelter. A perfect gift for Valentine's Day. :)
So, be on the lookout for:
Title: Dreams and Desires
Authors: Various, but include Sasha White, Susan Lyons, Gemma Halliday, Lois Winston, Candace Havens, Richelle Mead, Jackie Kessler, Jenna Bayley-Burke, and many more.
Genre: Erotica and romance.
Length: In progress, but will exceed 58,000 words.
Formats: Ebook, paperback and hardback.
Some excellent erotica and romance for a good cause. Oh, yes, and whatbetter way to prepare for Valentine's Day. :)
Wednesday, October 11
Tomorrow, a neighbor of mine was supposed to drop of her toddler for me to watch, then later, her other two kids would get off the bus with mine. I have them Friday too... Well, so much for that. I ended up with the toddler today too. He's pretty good, but I've never seen a child like him who can not shut his mouth for five seconds. I've been up since five AM and did not need this on top of everything else going on.
I've been tagged so here's my answers.
1) One book that changed your life: Probably The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. It's the title that really urged me to write. I began writing stories about horses too, but eventually branched out into other genres.
2) One book that you’d read more than once: A Rose In Winter
3) One book you’d want on a deserted island: I guess I'd have to say the Bible for this one too. I've noticed a lot of others have said the same thing. For a fiction title, I don't know what I'd choose. Even the most incredible book would become boring after reading it 500 times.
4) One book that made you laugh: Drawing a blank on this one. I have an odd sense of humor and many weird things make me laugh that other people find no humor in at all.
5) One book that made you cry: That would have to be Follow the Stars Home by Luanne Rice. Faith suggested I read it and I cried through several scenes. It's a heart-wrenching tale.
6) One book you wish you’d written: Actually none. I'd never want to be like another writer.
7) One book you wish had never been written: Good grief. I have to choose? I'll skip this one. It might get me in trouble.
8) One book you're currently reading: Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card.
9) One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Historian.
10) Tag five people: M.E. Ellis (if she hasn't done this already), Cora Zane, Aaron Lazar, Duke of Earl, S. W. Vaughn (if she hasn't already been tagged too, lol.)
Thursday, October 5
My youngest is getting over sumac poisoning. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s about 10 times worse than poison ivy or poison oak. The next-to-the-youngest had two small patches, but he wouldn’t quit scratching, despite the calamine lotion, and then he’d play with the toddler without first washing his hands. Needless to say, he passed it to the baby. The toddler got it everywhere, so the doc had to put him on steroids to halt his body’s reaction to the sumac. What does this mean? It made the toddler meaner than a pissed off rattlesnake and caused insomnia in him and two sleepless nights for me and the husband. Thank God he took his last step-down dose today!
For the moment, the chickens are safe. They were the only stress relief I had during this time. But, the mailman’s a bit miffed at me. There’s a young rooster stuck in the mailbox. His poor little pecker’s wedged tight. (Oh, will you stop that! Sheesh, everyone’s minds are in the gutter today!) Anyway, Mr. Mail Guy wasn’t happy when he opened the mailbox to find a chicken’s ass staring back at him. His screech could have cleared a train station!
I’m sick of revisions. I have never been so tired of looking at a manuscript as I am Conspiracy of Angels. If it wasn’t for a signed contract and it coming out in print, I’d burn that sucker. (That’s an ess on the front of that word not an eff. I may be vocal, but let’s read it right... But that’s not saying I wasn’t thinking it while typing!) Not that it isn’t good, it’s just that I’ve polished, revised, polished, revised...until I could just puke if I have to open that Word file one more time.
The husband and I were discussing finances last night. This topic makes me want to hurl too. Raising six kids isn’t easy. (I’m a guardian for two, but the money for them is almost non-existent...long story.) The husband works his ass off at his day job. And the weather and watering didn’t do much for our gardens. Actually, we lost money this year. If I get a job, I’ll just hand my paycheck over to a babysitter for the younger kids (the older two have after-school activities) and what’s left would go into the gas tank to drive to and from work. So, I ask, what the hell’s the point of a minimum wage job?
And at this time of year, publishing houses and the big magazines are wrapping up their agendas for the year, so sales are slim, if at all, for an established freelancer like me. You can’t sell what the publication doesn’t have room for, ya know?
This all spells doom for Christmas. (((shudder))) I don’t even want to think about it!
Here chicky, chicky, chicky...