Monday, July 31, 2006

Christina Dodd, who was the luncheon speaker on Saturday at RWA, compared waiting for a review to "standing onstage, pulling down your pants, and waiting for applause."

What a great comparison. The waiting is excruciating.

Well, the wait is over. I got my first two reviews and am very pleased!

Bella Tyler gave me 4 Beach Blankets. Here's what she said:
"I really enjoyed both of these stories. Daria Wyatt is such a great character. She is successful and at the same time still very insecure when thrown back into her former life. Ms. Brice brought such a unique voice to Daria that it felt as though you were reading a letter from an old friend. Greg McCauley is equally wounded in his own way, which makes both of the characters very easy to relate to. The stories move along at a nice quick pace without leaving you feeling like you’ve been drug through the pages."

You can read the full review here:

I love that...reading a letter from an old friend. Whoo-hoo!

Fallen Angel Reviews gave me 4 Angels. Here's a blurb of the review:

"She’s Got Legs by Amanda Brice is not your typical Cinderella story; it’s got two people that have a chance to make it a relationship. The only bad thing about the story was that it cut off too soon. I mean, all we see is Greg finally finding his mysterious Elaine Benes, but that’s it. We don’t know if there’s a happily ever after or not, just that she’s shocked to see Greg. All in all it was a good book, but too short. I did enjoy the comedy with the mistaken identities and Greg’s determination to find his woman."

You can read the full review here:

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 2:12 PM :: 2 comments

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Hello, hello, hello! I'm back from RWA and I have to say that I had a WONDERFUL time!

I met so many great people, did some good networking, learned a lot, and had so much fun!

Drum roll...I got nine requests for a partial of my chick lit, three requests for a partial of my unfinished YA chick lit mystery, and 2 requests for a FULL of my unfinished YA chick lit mystery!!!! A FULL!

So yeah, I better get to work!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 9:03 AM :: 10 comments

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

An Interview With Freya's Bower Author Samantha Byrne

Lucky Samantha! Since her interview is today and I also leave for RWA today and likely won't get a chance while at the conference to update this blog, her interview will be front and center for almost a week!

Anyway, on to what I know you're all here for today...the next installment of my weekly Tuesday interviews with Freya's Bower authors. Up today is Samantha Byrne, author of SPIRIT OF DAWN.

Amanda: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Samantha: I am 40 years old and have been married for almost 17 years to my high school sweetheart. We have three children together, ages 13, 10 and 5. I grew up in Philadelphia and now reside in suburban New Jersey. We have a Golden Retriever, Penny, a lizard, guinea pig and hamster. I have the typical stay-at-home mom’s lifestyle, which I adore. Now that our kids are growing up, I am very happy to have found a creative outlet to allow myself to grow as well.

Amanda: When and how did you start writing?

Samantha: I began writing this year when I got a laptop for my birthday. It enables me to sit quietly in a locked room with no family disruptions and finally get down all the thoughts that have been running around my head for years. Now that our kids are older, I have more time to think and write, which has helped the process immensely.

I’m an avid reader of many genres and have thought over the years that I’d love to write. Romance and mystery are my favorites.

The Internet provides many tools and resources for writers. My favorite websites are and my Yahoo group, Muse It Up. Both have provided invaluable support, advice and a writing community. I’m still figuring out how to write. I have a full-length contemporary novel that is in the WIP stage and I have a contract for another novel-length contemporary that is also in the WIP stage.

Amanda: What was the first story you ever wrote?

Samantha: My first story is my novel-length contemporary, Surrender to Love. It is still a WIP. I had to set it aside for several reasons, one being that I’m struggling with a sagging middle, and the other being that I received a contract for Freya’s Bower to write 2 Bites for them. I then submitted another proposal to my editor at FB for a different novel-length contemporary, and it was accepted. Surrender to Love is on the backburner for the time being, but I will return to it when I have the time!

Amanda: Where do you get your inspiration?

Samantha: My inspiration comes from observing my friends and family’s relationships and my own personal history. I wouldn’t be able to write the stories that are in my head now when I was in my twenties. The older I get, the more I understand about they gray areas in relationships, which makes for a richer story.

Amanda: Tell us a little bit about SPIRIT OF DAWN.

Samantha: SPIRIT OF DAWN contains two stories set in the American West. The hero in the first story is a Navajo Indian; the hero in the second owns a ranch. They both meet up with a mystical woman while out on the trail who helps to heal their past pains and sends them on to continue their lives with a renewed spirit.

Amanda: Congrats on being an FB bestseller. That's a great accomplishment. What would you like people to know about working with a small press like FB?

Samantha: Thank you! I am thrilled to be an FB bestseller. I love the personal touch that FB offers. My editor has been wonderful to work with. She is supportive and offers suggestions without losing the intent behind my stories. Her accessibility and openness to working with my ideas have definitely helped me grow as a writer.

After my Bites were published, I had another idea floating around in my head for a novel-length story loosely based on a flash fiction piece I had published in an online magazine, The Muse Marquee ( She and I chatted about the idea, with her asking questions that made me delve deeper into the story and the characters. She eventually accepted my proposal, so I am currently working on that story.

Amanda: If you had to get rid of all the books on your shelf except for just three, which ones would you keep?

Samantha: Wow, tough question! I’d definitely keep PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I would choose Stephanie Lauren’s DEVIL’S BRIDE from her Cynster series. She’s my favorite historic romance writer. Lastly, my sentimental favorite is A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN by Betty Smith. This is the first book I remember truly falling in love with and read it every few years. It’s a glorious coming-of-age novel set in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn.

Amanda: What are you reading right now?

Samantha: I am re-reading LOVER ETERNAL by J.R. Ward. She’s an exceptional writer. I particularly like the way she winds different storylines in with the main one. Her books are the kind that you never want to see end.

Amanda: What projects are you working on?

Samantha: I am currently working on my novel-length contemporary, ACCEPTANCE, for FB. It is set in Sea View, a small seaside town in New Jersey. Matt is the town’s Chief of Police and Rebecca is a corporate lawyer who gives up her job in a large firm in Philadelphia when she becomes pregnant with Matt’s child and moves with him to Ocean View City. They marry to give the child a stable home life, yet come to realize that they don’t know one another well and that their marriage is lacking the closeness they need to share a happy life together. They have to decide whether they should stay together or if it would be better for them to go back to their separate lives and sharing parenting responsibilities. I’m fond of this story because of the emotional development both characters go through as they seek fulfillment in their personal lives while doing the best for their child as well.


Thanks Samantha for a great interview!

OK, kids, that's all for me until next week. I'll see many of you in Atlanta, but to the ones I won't see, I'll talk to you when I get back and will post all the gory details!

Oh yeah, and before I go, remember to enter my contest to win a free copy of SHE'S GOT LEGS before 3:30 EST today (Tuesday, July 25). All you have to do is post right here or on yesterday's post. Good luck!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 5:16 AM :: 9 comments

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Last Minute Details

If you're going to Atlanta for RWA, then you probably have a zillion last minute details to take care of, like packing, writing/memorizing your pitch, shopping, getting cash, etc.

I'm freaked out that the people I'm pitching to will hate my pitch for FROM MISS BITCH TO MRS. RICH so I'm trying to scramble and put together alternative pitches for my wips, just in case they want to know what else I'm working on.

So, let's see...what am I working on? A preteen/YA mystery series called CODENAME: DANCER about 4 girls at a residential arts high school who solve crimes. A chick lit legal thriller about an intellectual property attorney and stolen trade secrets involving a perfume formula. And a Christmas-themed chick lit novella (I'm writing one, giftedrhonda from the Divas is writing another, and smitsp from the Divas is writing the third and we're going to put them altogether to submit to Freya's Bower) that we're tentatively titling THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE.

What are you working on?

Oh, I can't forget to shamelessly promote myself one last time before Nationals. I'm running a 1-day contest to win a free copy of SHE'S GOT LEGS. Everyone who posts today or tomorrow (before 3:30pm EST) will be entered to win a copy. Good luck and happy posting!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 9:21 AM :: 16 comments

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

What's Your Type?

Do your heroines have a "type"? By this, I mean, can you categorize all your heroes in one particular way? If so, is this similar to the types of guys you've dated? What about your significant other?

I'm not sure if my heroines have a type. My heroes are pretty varied in looks and ethnicity, although they do tend to be relatively similar in occupations (they all tend to be either lawyers, engineers, or legislative staffers, and several of my male lawyers are also engineers, like my husband, who's a former engineer turned patent attorney).

I definitely had a type when I was dating, though. Tall, blond, blue-eyed with a science background.

(I'm just going to mention serious, long-term relationships here.)

Let's see...first there was Matt. Blond hair, blue eyes, he eventually majored in chemistry, but then became a firefighter after college. Just ran into him on the Metro this spring and apparently he's now married, with two kids, and is in law school.

My first real, serious, adult boyfriend (in college), was Steve. He was tall (6'3"), with blond hair and blue eyes and was a California surfer type. He's an engineer working in NYC now, married to an actress.

Then there was John. Tall (6'4"), blond hair, blue eyes. He was an engineering major. I assume that's what he's doing now, but I have no clue.

Next up was Andrew. Again, tall (6'1"), dark blond hair, blue eyes. He was not a scientist, unless you consider political science. When I dated him, he was studying Arabic at Georgetown. Last I heard, he's doing intelligence or something.

Then Patrick. Tall (6'2"), dark blond hair, the most amazing blue eyes. He was a bio major in college, then went to med school. He's now a doctor in Oregon, I believe, mountain climbing and backpacking to his heart's content.

I definitely broke the mold when I met my husband, though. He's tall and has a science background, but he certainly isn't blond or blue-eyed. (Scroll down for picture of him and me.)

So, what about you?

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 12:05 PM :: 7 comments

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Arlen Specter, Bill Frist, Orrin Hatch, Nancy Reagan...what do all these people have in common?

Well, yes, they're Republicans. But what else? OK, yes, very prominent Republicans. But what else?

They all support embryonic stem cell research and are very unhappy with President Bush's decision yesterday to wield his veto pen for the first time since taking office in January 2001. In doing so, Bush goes against the wishes of more than two-thirds of Americans who support embryonic stem cell research and is also at odds with some of the most conservative and pro-life members of his own party.

The Senate bill's principal sponsor, Sen. Arlen Specter, the chair of the powerful Judiciary Committee, recently survived a brush with cancer. Frist, the powerful pro-life Senate Majority Leader and a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2008, is a physician who argued that the president's policy was too restictive. Hatch, ultra-conservative Mormon pro-life senator from Utah, said that "by using these embryos for medical research we are in fact promoting life...aiding the living...which is one of the most pro-life positions you can take." And Reagan, the widow of former President Ronald Reagan, is one of the fiercest advocates of increased stem cell research use and believes that increased research will one day find a cure for Alzheimer's, which killed her husband.

With the exception of Specter, these are not moderate Republicans. From from it. But in this split from many leaders in his own party, Bush has demonstrated how completely out of touch with public opinion he really is and his inclination to pander to the Religious Right at all times.

Most scientists and researchers believe that embryonic stem cells hold potential cures for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, heart dis,ease and much more. Over 100 million Americans currently suffer from diseases that may eventually be treated more effectively or even cured with embryonic stem cell therapy. Some researchers regard this as the greatest potential for curing diseases or mitigating human suffering since antibiotics were discovered. In fact, many pro-lifers even believe that the moral thing to do is to save existing life.

Stem cells have so much potential to save lives. For anyone who has ever watched a loved one die from one of these horrible diseases, this veto is like a stab to the heart. Sure, Bush tugged on the heartstrings by trotting out dozens of children who were "adopted" as frozen embryos, but what about existing human lives that are being destroyed by the increased delay in arriving at cures? The veto was a devasting setback to the millions of Americans who so desperately wait for a cure.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 9:04 AM :: 12 comments

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Some Like it Hot

Others like it somewhat hot.

There's a debate going on right now on Romance Divas about heat levels in ebooks. As everyone knows, since the dawn of time, sex sells.

This seems to be particularly true with ebooks. Other than Steven King's famous foray into exclusive ebook content, the erotic market really blazed the trail in e-publishing. Why was that? Probably because NY wasn't publishing really hot romances and the e-realm was the only place to find it. Also, it's a lot easier to go online, give a credit and anonymously get your hot sex fix in the privacy of your own bedroom than it is to go into your local B&N and get it in person.

It's certainly true that those erotica authors who've made the move from epub to print (now that NY has finally caught up) are the super spicy, downright sizzling hot ones.

Several epubs tell you straight out on their guidelines that they want hot, hot, hot and that they only accept maybe one or two "sweet" stories per year because that's not where the market is. And some will accept your story, but will work with you to "spice it up."

I wonder, though, whether in this quest to bring the hottest sex possible, are we sometimes sacrificing the plot and the heart and soul of the story? I've read some excellent red hot erotica, don't get me wrong, but I've also read some that left me downright cold. Yes, they got my pulse racing, but I was just left thoroughly unsatisfied.

OK, maybe I'm a prude, or naive, or something, but I don't want to just read a story where the sex is hot but is the entire point of the story. If you remove the sex and there isn't anything left, then you don't really have a story, in my point of view.

How do you like your romance/erotica?

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 12:27 PM :: 8 comments

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

An Interview with Freya's Bower Author, Elisabeth Drake

Welcome to the second installment in my series of interviews with my fellow Freya's Bower authors. Today I'm profiling Elisabeth Drake, author of WAKING THE SHADOWS.

Amanda: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Elisabeth: I'm just your everyday weird pagan poly kinky goth writer chick. ;)

I live in Massachusetts with my fiance, who is also my critiquepartner, and my cat. (With the amount of attention she demands, yes,she deserves mention.) Currently, I'm a stay-at-home something-or-other (unless cat mom counts), where I spend most of my time writing andplaying too much World of Warcraft for my own damn good.

Amanda: When and how did you begin writing?

Elisabeth: I've always written -- or rather, I've always told stories. See, instead of reading me books, they made up bedtime stories, featuring myself, my sister, and our huge black Newfoundland, Sampson. So I wanted to tell stories just like that, too. I was something like five or six when I started writing them down on paper, and eight when I decided that's what I wanted to do for a career -- write professionally. That hasn't changed. :)

Amanda: Where do you get your inspiration?

Elisabeth: Blue Light specials at Wally World?

Seriously, I get it from everywhere. My muse is a hyperactive demon in desperate need of ritalin. Something as mundane as a stray comment can inspire a story. Lyrics and poetry do it fairly often. Other times, a book/story I've read will annoy me to the point that I write something similar, but different.

That's actually how Arielle Thompson, the main character in Waking the Shadows, came about. Several years ago, I'd finished reading all the published books in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. (Mind, this was backbefore the current urban fantasy/paranormal romance trend hit.) I disliked the direction she was taking the books and wanted more focuson the other paranormal creatures than just the vampires and werewolves. So Arielle Thompson, a preternatural specialist investigating all kinds of phenomena, was born. I only wrote one story about her prior to Waking the Shadows, and I developed both her and the world quite a bit from the original premise, but that was the original inspiration. To tell the truth, I'm glad to be back to writing her. :)

Amanda: What are you reading right now?

Elisabeth: A lot of paranormals and fantasies. Oh, you mean specifically? "Huntingthe Hunter" by Shiloh Walker. It looks to be a lot of fun.

Amanda: What are you working on right now?

Elisabeth: I'm currently writing a presequel to Waking the Shadows. Yeah, it's both a prequel and a sequel. It starts when Arielle is sent to investigate a series of vampire murders, and encounters Jackson, who is also working the case from the vampire end. They end up having to work together to solve the case. Skip ahead two years, after they're"together," and they discover the case isn't as settled as they thought it was...I'm also working on a full-length dark urban fantasy novel, Stronger than the Night, set in the same world as Waking the Shadows.

Here's a (somewhat) short blurb:

"Cassandra Lee is the ultimate abomination, a child of two powerful psychic vampires. After her bestf riend is killed by psi-vamps, Cassandra swears she'll hunt down every last one of them. Terrified of her power, the psi-vamps want her dead. But a new faction divides the Dark Court. They want to bring Cassandra into the fold and use her power to create a vampiric Territory.
Alex Chandler can't let that happen. The last Abomination brought about mass destruction, leaving his people all but extinct. Honor-bound to protect his misguided brethren and prevent history from repeating itself, he takes matters into his own hands. But when he meets Cassandra, he can't believe she's the creature they fear. He befriends her to get closer to the kill.
Neither of them count on falling in love."

I'm also doing a (fairly minor) rewrite of Resurrection, an erotic romance novel dealing with shapeshifters on another world, that I'll beresubmitting to Liquid Silver.

Yes, I stay busy. ;)

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 5:46 AM :: 7 comments

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Hazy, hot and humid...

For anyone with curly hair like mine, those are the three dreaded H words.

Needless to say, I've pretty much been living in ponytails and hair pinned up for several weeks now. I know maybe it would be better if I cut my hair, but nah. I like it long, and if it was shorter (like chin length or right between chin and shoulder) then I'd need to style it every day and couldn't pull it up in a bun for dance class.

Anyway, it's supposed to be a scorcher today. It was 72 when I left the apartment this morning, but the heat index made it feel much hotter. It's 87 now at just before 10 am. Supposed to get up to 99, with 70% humidity, and zero chance of precipitation. Translation? HOT AS HELL.

It's days like these that make me glad to be a girl. We have many more acceptable options for hot-weather attire than do guys. We can wear sleeveless tops without looking like Guido at the pizza parlor (I am so not a fan of sleeveless shirts on men). We can also have bare legs in the office (sorry guys, shorts aren't office appropriate, whereas skirts are).

True, I spend all day inside the a/c, but I have a 10-minute walk between my apartment and the Metro stop, and a 7-minute walk between work and the Metro stop, so that's 17 minutes outside on each end of the commute. I felt sorry for Eric, who was wearing long pants.

But not sorry enough to join him. Nope, I'm wearing a skirt and a strappy top, and open-toed shoes. Women's clothes are just superior to men's in so many ways...

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 6:59 AM :: 8 comments

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Here's a picture of me and my husband, Eric, on the fireworks cruise we took with my parents on the Fourth of July. He's a cutie, huh?

Yeah, I think I'll keep him.

Bet you can't guess his age.

No, he's not 20. He's 34. I know, I know. He doesn't look it, but he is.

Do I look my age (29)? I think I do, but then occasionally someone will think I'm a teenager.

About a year and a half ago, I was in the post office, mailing out resumes for federal judicial clerkships. I had on sweats and my hair was in a ponytail. I admit, I wasn't exactly looking my cutest, but I didn't care. I needed to get those things mailed.

Anyway, the guy at the counter looked down at my envelopes and said something like, "Oh, my daughter is on her high school mock trial team, too! What school do you go to?"

Um, what? I asked what he was talking about. He repeated the question, asking me what high school I attend. I finally answered, "I graduated from high school almost 10 years ago."

He looked shocked and said "Oh, I'm sorry! I saw all those envelopes and thought it was for mock trial." I was like, "Uh, no. I'm a lawyer."

And about 5 years ago, I went to my brother's graduation from UVA. He was the star of the philosophy department (incientally, he's about to start a PhD program in philsophy at Stanford this fall, so he'll actually be a Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy) and was going to Yale Law School that fall. I was talking to one of his professors and he said something like, "Do you think you'll want to go to college one day?" in this very patronizing tone. I was 24 at the time. I looked right at him and said, "Yes, I'm his older sister and I'm starting law school in the fall."

Apparently he thought I looked about 15 or 16. WTF?

*sigh* I guess I'll really appreciate it one day.

So, who watched "So You Think You Can Dance" last night? Did you agree with who got kicked off???? I've been saying for weeks now that Ashley should go, so it was no surprise they sent her home last night. As for Musa, well, I don't know. In my mind, it was a toss-up between him and Dmitri.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 9:12 AM :: 23 comments

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Looking for some hot summer reading???? Look no further.

Cassandra Curtis released CUP OF FATE at the beginning of June and I was remiss in not blogging about it sooner. What a great book!

Can one woman find true love in tea leaves? Or is it a tempest in a teacup?

Bryn Tuttle lost everything due to her bad taste in men. Now she's starting over fresh. In the misty bluegrass hills of Kentucky, she finds a new job, apartment and friends. When a co-worker invites her yard-sale shopping one weekend, she decides to tag along, never realizing fate has something else in store.

They discover a rare item—a mysterious, antique, fortune-telling teacup. Bryn never suspects that a single sip from the Cup of Fate will change her life, that her future is actually linked to the tea leaves that cling inside. But when she drinks from the cup and next awakens, she soon comprehends that nothing will ever be the same...

Genres: Paranormal / Fantasy / Magic
Heat Level: 2
Length: Extended Amber Kiss (12k words)


So go out and buy the book, OK?

So, who's going to RWA in Atlanta? Me, me, me!!!! I can't wait to meet many of my fellow authors and hopefully dazzle the agents and editors with my pitch for FROM MISS BITCH TO MRS. RICH. And hey, if they don't like that, maybe they'd be interested in seeing my wip YA series CODENAME: DANCER (right now I'm working on the first one, entitled THE DEGAS CODE).

Anyway, have you practiced your pitch? If the idea of talking face-to-face with an industry pro freaks you out, then you're in luck. Diana Peterfreund, author of hot new Bantam release SECRET SOCIETY GIRL (you know, the book all the newspapers are saying is launching a whole new subgenre of "Ivy League Lit"), is giving a workshop this week on Romance Divas ( on pitching at conferences. Diana will give you a run-down on how to craft the perfect pitch and will even critique yours. Right in time for RWA Nationals!

Best of all, like all RD workshops, it's FREE! So head on over...

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 9:26 AM :: 6 comments

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Like online gambling? If you live in the US, soon you may not be able to do any.

The House passed legislation Tuesday that would prevent gamblers from using credit cards to bet online and could block access to gambling Web sites.

What does this have to do with my blog or writing? Not much, just that I remember taking a meeting last year with a lobbyist who wanted such legislation and my boss (a Congressman who shall not be named) didn't think there would be any support in the Congress for it so it didn't go anywhere. So it surprised me that less than a year later it passed.

Ah yes. I used to be a legislative counsel on Capitol Hill, as is the heroine of my recent Bites release SHE'S GOT LEGS. And my soon-to-be-finished chick lit wip, FROM MISS BITCH TO MRS. RICH, features 4 female law students in DC. And in my currently unnnamed wip novella, my heroine is a lawyer who doesn't want to be a lawyer anymore (she wants to be a pastry chef). Not to mention that I'm considering writing a chick lit legal thriller featuring, yup, you guessed it. A heroine who's a lawyer.

Hmmm...I see a trend here. But maybe I'll just consider it my trademark. LOL! (Dumb joke, considering I'm a trademark attorney in real life.)

What about you? What professions are your characters? Do you ever recycle professions? Do your characters resemble you in any way, from the job to other characteristics?

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 5:35 AM :: 12 comments

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

An Interview with Freya's Bower Author, Bebe Thomas

Welcome to the first installment of my weekly interviews with Freya's Bower authors, each Tuesday. Today I am profiling Bebe Thomas, author of AURORA'S PASSION.

Amanda: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Bebe: I'm Bebe Thomas, a thirty-something writer with a pretty good day job as a corporate trainer. I'm a wife and a step-mom/grandmom. I do some freelance non-fiction writing and editing in addition to writing romance.

I currently reside in Philadelphia, which is actually a quite a nice city, despite the bad press. I love the beach and spend as much time down the shore (Philly-speak for at the beach in New Jersey) as I can in the summer. I have to be very careful, though. I am mostly of Irish descent and burn quite easily.

Hmmm. What else shall I reveal? I have acrylic nails and have big hair. Nah. Just kidding. Well, about the hair, at least.

Amanda: When and how did you start writing?

Bebe: I started writing in the 5th grade after my social studies teacher read my essay on Benjamin Franklin aloud to the class. She positively gushed over it. I wasn't good at sports, music or art, but writing was something I did better than my peers. When I was a junior in high school, my English teacher basically told me I sucked as a writer. And then I went to college and took my first creative writing class. The professor told me how bad it sucked to be a writer, I would have no life, and if I got married, I'd end up divorced. And I thought, "this doesn't sound fun at all!" So began 15 years of writer's block.

But the spark was still there. I was always the person at the office who was asked to write training manuals, business letters, and brochures. Heck, I even wrote my own wedding ceremony.

About 5 years ago, I saw an ad for a writer's workshop at a local high school extension program. I think it was $65 for six weeks. I forced myself to go. I still meet regularly with four of my former classmates. Three of us are now published.

Amanda: Where do you get your inspiration?

Bebe: Most of the time, it's in the shower. Or at Wal-Mart. I'm not even being a smart ass. That's usually where things hit me. But as far as ideas go, they could come from anywhere. I recently went to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. I thought I would get a ton of ideas from there. You know where the spark hit me? An antique store I found off the beaten path.

Amanda: What are you reading at the moment?

Bebe: Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry. (He's one of my former classmates.) It's very Stephen King-like.

Amanda: What are you working on right now?

Bebe: I'm juggling multiple projects. I am working on a category length novel prequel to Aurora's Passion, my bites release from Freya's Bower. It's set in World War 2 Norway, and it's very dramatic. I'm also working on a chick-lit light paranormal and a contemporary erotic romance novella.


Thanks, Bebe, for being my first victim, ahem, I mean lucky author! :)

Anyway, plagiarism is back in the news, but this time the alleged copycat is one of the people I love to hate the most -- conservative witch Ann Coulter. Yesterday, Coulter's syndicator, Universal Press Syndicate, rejected allegations that she'd lifted material from other sources, saying "There are only so many ways you can rewrite a fact and minimal matching text is not plagiarism."

Very good, UP. You passed Copyright Law 101. Well done. As to whether there actually is an plagiarism, I haven't seen the cited passages in question, but I dislike Coulter, so I thought I'd repeat it here.

And because I didn't mention it yesterday, congratulations to World Cup winners Italy. Having spent time in both France and Italy, my two favorite countries (other than the US), I wasn't sure who to root for, but Zinedine Zidane's bizarre head butt late in the game clinched the victory for the Italians. So now France can whine like the UNC Tar Heels and say that Italy didn't win, that France simply beat itself.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 5:49 AM :: 7 comments

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Trade secrets, industrial espionage...these words were all over the media this weekend in light of the recent exposed plot by a former Coke employee to sell secrets to rival Pepsi. The media is likening it to a spy novel, which makes me wonder...would this type of book sell?

For a while I've wanted to write a chick lit legal thriller (I loved loved loved Alesia Holliday's first installement in her December Vaughen series of chick lit legal thrillers) but just couldn't figure out what my angle could be. Yes, I'm an attorney, but I don't go to court. I don't prosecute bad guys or defend wrongly accused innocent people, nor do I save the poor down-trodden people from exploitation by big corporations in products liability cases.

In short, I don't do the sexy legal work that gets the focus of TV dramas and legal thrillers.

I'm an intellectual property attorney. My clients don't go to jail. They invent things...or write stories...or perform in plays...or develop new brands. I think it's exciting, cutting-edge work, but I'm not sure that it's the stuff that a legal thriller is made of.

But maybe I'm wrong. I'd been playing around with a granule of an idea for a chick lit legal thriller about trade secrets for a while now but never though anyone would be interested. But in light of the recent events, maybe the time is ripe for it.

I dunno. What do you think?

Anyway, along those lines, Michele Scott, author of MURDER UNCORKED and MURDER BY THE GLASS, is giving a workshop at Romance Divas on writing chick lit mysteries, so you should check it out! As always, workshops at RD are free. You just need to register as a member on the forum.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 8:01 AM :: 7 comments

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hello from Tennessee! Eric and I left Hilton Head yesterday morning and drove to Knoxville to visit his relatives. We stopped for lunch in Spartanburg, SC, though, with my relatives. Just one of the things about married life that's hard to get used to--your vacations are split in half trying to satisfy both families.

Anyway, the fireworks cruise on the 4th was fantastic! We really had a wonderful time. We could actually see 4 or 5 fireworks displays at the same time. We were anchored off of Harbor Town but could also see the displays in Shelter Cove, Bluffton, Colleton River, Tybee Island, and Daufuskie Island. We think we also saw the display from Savannah off in the distance. Very cool. We also saw dolphins frollicking in the water really close to our boat before the sun set. Highly recommend.

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 5:05 PM :: 5 comments

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!!!!!!!!

It's Independence Day. Two-hundred-thirty years ago our forefathers declared their independence from the crown, laying the path to give us the freedoms we Americans hold so dear today.

What are you doing to celebrate? I live in the DC area, so I normally go downtown to the National Mall to watch the fireworks (probably the best view I've ever gotten was the year my friend worked for Al Gore so I go to watch them from the White House Lawn, but I don't have any friends in the Bush admin) but not this year. This year my husband and I are spedning July 4th down at Hilton Head Island, SC with my parents, my grandma, and my aunt. We're gonna grill out this evening and then my parents and my husband and I are going to go on a dolphin sunset fireworks cruise tonight. Should be fun!

Anyway, what's the beach without books? To me, stretching out on a beach towel or in a low slung chair with a frivolous, fun novel is just about one of life's greatest pleasures.

So to celebrate the release of my mini chick lit ebook, I'm giving away a beach bag full of books. To enter, just blog, brag, post, or shout from the rooftops about SHE'S GOT LEGS any time between now and July 31, then email me at or PM me on Romance Divas and let me know that you blogged (and point me in the direction so I can find it).

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 9:35 AM :: 3 comments

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Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm published!

There were a few issues with my editor not receiving my final clean copy with the final revisions, and then I went out of town and was incommunicado for a few days and had no idea that she never received it (damn SBC Global!) but now all the clusterf*cks have been resolved and my story is for sale!!!!!

I got my first "review" from giftedrhonda (Rhonda Stapleton from the Divas) and she said it was well worth the $2 and gave it "8 thumbs up." :) Yay! I'm glowing!!!!!!

Anyway, I'm at Hilton Head and having a fantabulous time. I'm definitely much tanner than I was a few days ago. Hopefully the color will last until RWA Nationals!

Posted by Amanda Brice :: 8:10 PM :: 1 comments

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