Sunday, July 31, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Walking The Edge: Snippet #8

Hey beautiful people!

And another week has gone by - just don't ask me where. I have absolutely no idea what I've done in the past 7 days. Not blogging, that's for sure, so I thought I'd jump back in the saddle today. Cannot let SSS slide by, can I? :)

Again, thanks to everyone who drops by; special thanks to everyone who leaves comments; and a special, special thanks to those who pimp my posts on FB and Twitter. I have no idea what I've done to be so liked and appreciated by you all, but let me just say I'm grateful to know each and every one of you! xoxo

So, sappy moment out of the way, let's jump back into the action. Last week, Amelia got into a fight with Gerard, the hunky French cop who believes her to be a lure sent to seduce him. Gerard didn't get to where he is in the police force by playing fair - and it's not today with Amelia that he's gonna start being Mr. Nice Guy.
Last week, we left them just as he'd ploughed his big body into hers when she tried to attack (scroll down to the post right before this one if you wanna read it!).
What's Amelia gonna do? Read on for today's Six:

'... Her mouth opened to scream with the pain, but more agony cut her vocal chords when she slammed into the hard, solid, cold brick wall. She squeezed her eyes shut with the pain.
His crouching body pinned her, his knees pressing hard against her thighs. His torso shifted, and she heard a click. When she opened her eyes, she found herself staring into the barrel of a gun.
"Who sent you?" he asked. ...'

Check out the rest of the stunning SSS crew's snippets here.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Walking The Edge: Snippet #7

Hello beautiful people!

I cannot believe it's already Sunday. One week of school vacation down, another 2 to go - a good dose of awesome SSS snippets should help tide me through. :)

Wanted to say thanks to everyone who comes over - whether it's your first visit or you're a regular visitor - and a special, special thanks to all who leave me comments. You have no idea what your words mean to me.

So, last week I started an action sequence in the story.Gerard, the policeman hero, thinks Amelia has been sent to lure and seduce him - what is known in their world as a honeytrap. He's intent on getting answers, as was shown here last week, but Amelia refuses to play the game.

Here's today's snippet (editted for the purpose of this post) - it continues from last week's post as the POV changes from Gerard's to Amelia's.

'... Amelia felt his hold release a little, and without pausing to think, she listened only to the instinct that had first told her to freeze and then to attack, the same one that had taken over in the mall the day before. Lifting her leg, she kicked her boot heel into his shin with as much momentum as she could swing. She felt him take a step back, carrying her along, and she released the hold of her fingers near his armpit, then jabbed her elbow in his ribs.
His body lurched back, and he released her. She sprang forward and spun around to face him, but he was quick too. He lunged at her, and the weight and brute masculine force of his big body ploughed into her and knocked the breath out of her lungs. ...'

Catch the rest of the awesome Six Sunday posts here.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, July 22, 2011

Progress Friday

Mood - both mind and body = knackered! (and that pic is where I want to be!) The boys are home, playing video games as usual, and they made me sit with them to watch Clash of the Titans this morning. While the sight of both Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson should've made my day, it actually made me backlogged and when I finally got online to do some stuff, it was to find that there are technical problems on the network and Internet is running verrrrrryyyyy slow!

So other than waiting it out - technically until late this evening or at worse, tomorrow morning - I prefer to log off and get some reading done. Brain is not cooperating to help me get some work down.

The plan today was to do some research for locations in Before The Morning, Book 2 of the Corpus Brides. The problem though, I'm doing most of this research via videos on Youtube. With the slow connection, I'll only end up tearing my hair out and wanting to throw my computer out the window. I can't afford either, I'll admit...

Not much progress achieved this week, what with the kids being home. I did outline some on the WIP, and planned out my writing schedule for the rest of the year.

Looking forward to a productive weekend when the Internet connection returns to normal. What are you all up to?

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Link Thursday: Dating Tricks For Every Age

Hey peeps

Still down in my kid-induced lobotomised state. Today he's not talking that much - at least to me! - but his big brother is home and they've got the Playstation out. So the noise is not only deafening, but mind-numbing as well. Plus they keep egging each other on, and I have to break fights...

Soooo... not in the mood for anything other than a pint of Haagen-Dasz dunked down in front of some reruns of Gossip Girl or some other perfect chick flick. Or better yet, a chick lit book (if I can get my brain to cooperate!).

In the spirit then of my current doldrums and the need for anything chick-whatever, I found this link to showcase today. Most of us are not dating, granted, since we're already married/settled. But there still is a big, wide world of dating out there and you do wanna keep pace with it.

And don't forget, your contemporary heroine will thank you for this! Keep her real - and what better way than knowing what's going on out there? Now though, heroine doesn't mean she's in her 20s. :)

So here's the article. It's actually a gallery from Glo, and you can click to view it online. Enjoy!

*****

Dating Tricks For Every Age

Through The Years
Navigating the dating scene can be a fun yet somewhat harrowing experience at any age. We asked Glo columnist Annabelle Gurwitch, co-author of You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story (which she wrote with her husband of 15 years) to draw upon her dating experience (both personal and observed) and share her advice for people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond.

In Your 20s
During my 20s, I dated most of, if not all, the eligible men of Manhattan. And some, not so eligible. Don’t do anything in your 20s that you will still have to think about in your 30s. Follow my logic: If 40 is the new 30, then naturally, 20 is the new 10. So have fun, play nice and expect some bruises and tears.
Date Globally
Michael Caine famously noted that there was a time in his career when he chose films solely by their location (hence the classic clunker, Blame It on Rio). A great way to see the world is to date people in different countries. Skype has done away with those pesky telephone bills, and your 20s are a perfect time to travel — before you reach an age when you want to have your own pillow at all times.
Be Prepared
When shacking up, don’t forget your toothbrush and dental floss. The embarrassment of packing a toothbrush in your purse—even if you don’t end up needing it—pales in comparison to the pain of a root canal down the road.
Click With Caution
Here’s a lesson from my teenage son who just had an eight-hour “relationship.” Once he was single again (according to his Facebook relationship status), all his “friends” knew it. Facebook is tantamount to taking out a newspaper ad, so think twice before spilling the details of your dating life online.

In Your 30s
At this stage, it may feel like you have less time to squander on dating because you have so much you want to accomplish. But this is also when that first notion of “for the long haul" may enter your mind. So although you’re busy, make time to take a look around and survey the field.
See The Red Flags
Anyone you are considering dating at this point has developed something of a personality, even if they are still becoming the person they were meant to be. I used to always date loners, because they seemed “cool and reserved.” But these are often warning signs for “aloof and indifferent.” Just saying.
Be Wary Of "Projects"
So he does this thing where he picks his teeth with the side of a credit card? I can live with that. So his apartment is decorated in early dorm room? I can fix it up. So he breaks dates at the last minute? Uh-oh. Men are not fixer-uppers or “houses with good bones.” Take a good hard look before you leap!
Listen Up
Meet his friends. You can learn a lot more from them than your date might divulge: “You’re the first woman he’s dated that we’ve ever met, and we’ve been friends for 20 years!“ Has he ever had a relationship? Hmmm… this might be a red flag.

In Your 40s
Congratulations! You know who you are and what you like. Or, if you don’t know exactly who you are yet, at least you know who you aren’t and what you don’t like. You’re ready to act quickly, because you trust your instincts right? And, because you can keep your busy with other things that matter to you. Remind yourself of that on a daily basis.
Think Fast
It may seem crazy that in such a short time—say, over a quick cup of coffee—you know whether or not you want to see someone again, but consider this: In Blink, Malcolm Gladwell posited that snap decisions are often as good as, if not better than, carefully planned and considered ones.
Widen The Pool
Go back to dating tip number one from your 20s and broaden your search. If you live in a small community, then you may have already dated or been married to anyone you find attractive. Visiting family across the country? Traveling a lot for work? Get dressed up for the plane ride. You never know.
Get The Facts
If you’re dating online, just know that, on average, men add three to four inches to their height and subtract four to five years from their age on dating profiles. Worth bearing in mind.

In Your 50s
Look to fall in like, not necessarily in love. Keep an open mind about what kind of relationship you're seeking at this point in life. Love may supply us with a multitude of fever-pitch experiences and is a terrific prospect at any age, but a little low-intensity "like" can be fun, too.
Go Digital
If you decide to look for love (or like) online, then you'll inevitably find yourself writing a dating profile. This can be tricky. Your dog may be the cutest thing ever in an Easter bonnet, but posting this photo isn't always the best idea. (A man sees it and imagines you want to do the same thing to him.) Ask a close, objective pal for input.
Tell It Like It Is
Write about yourself carefully and accurately. The phrase “looking for some adventure” may get you an immediate response, but perhaps not the one you intended. If you really love adventures such as mountain climbing, spell it out—or be careful what you wish for.

******

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Updating...

Hey peeps

I'm in full throes of harried motherhood right now. Kiddo is on winter break, and since the weather is so dismal and awful here, we're stuck inside the house and all I get to hear is video game music or surround-sound TV noise.

And when you know my kid - mind, he's a good lad, just talks waaaaaayyyy too much! - you also know that within one hour of being with him, you're fit enough to book yourself for a lobotomy, stat.

Not in any position mentally to do anything but read and hope to understand what my eyes are picking up to send to my scrambled brain. Plus time just zips by, and when you're temporarily one parent down in your household (my husband is at a workshop and leaves and gets back home when it's already dark), it's not easy being 24/7 with a rambunctious 8-year old who can talk the hind leg off a donkey.

So that's why I'm not posting much this week. Things should get back to normal next week when my husband's job goes back to normal, but in the meantime, I have to hang in there.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Walking The Edge: Snippet #6

Hello beautiful people!

It's absolutely awful where I live today - dratty weather, lots of rain and wind, cold. Ick! But... it's the perfect weather to snuggle with a cup of hot chocolate and peruse the SSS snippets. So there you have the highlight of my day. :)

So, I posted about the dream Amelia has of her hunky French lover in the past 2 weeks. Today I'm gonna show you what happens when she does track down this man. His name is Gerard Besson, and he is a police commissioner in Marseille.
Gerard is right in the middle of a tricky investigation featuring a gang of high-end casino robbers, and he is suspicious of Amelia when she waltzes into his world. He wants answers from her, but things don't exactly go as he had planned when he corners her in a dark side alley.


"...Biding his time, he snuck in a breath when she took a step back, closer to the dark alleyway. Then with a lunge, he swept her into his arms and pulled her back, braced against his chest. With one arm, he restrained her torso while he brought the palm of his other against her opened mouth.
Instead of kicking and screaming, she went still. That should have alerted him that something was off, but he didn't listen to his gut feeling, intent as he was on getting answers out of her.
"Who sent you?" he growled in her ear, but he had no time to say more, because he felt a sharp jab in the sensitive flesh under his arm. ..."

Catch the other SSS snippets here - trust me, you won't be disappointed!

And don't forget - Walking The Edge (Corpus Brides: Book One) is on sale here at the bargain price of $1.99 for a full-length novel! Wanna know more about the book? Check out the trailer featured on the top right corner of this page. :)

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Progress Friday--strikethat Saturday!

Hey peeps

Sorry I couldn't get round to posting yesterday. I'll tell you why - check the right-hand margin here. See the Book Trailer gadget? Guess what - I sat down and made the video for Walking The Edge 's trailer yesterday. And let me tell you that takes time! Yet, it's also exhilarating and a different kind of rush!

Check out the vid, and let me know what you think. :)

Other than that, I'll rinse and repeat once more - where on earth did the past week go? I barely got any work done. I just had to blink and the day was over. Maybe my brain is hibernating too. I don't know why else I'd be so slow.

Still, some progress to mention. Against The Odds is moving ahead. Not as fast as I'd want to, but it's still progress. Hope to get myself in check and write more on this ASAP. Book 2 of the Corpus Brides, Before The Morning - the story of Rayne & Ash - is totally poking me in the gut to get written, but I can't do that before I finish with the other WIP.

Hope you're all having a nice weekend. We have some God-awful weather here right now and all I wanna do is head back under the covers with a good book.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Link Thursday: The Curse of the Just-OK Marriage

Hey peeps

Stumbled upon this article this week - a lot of us are in this boat, whether we're married, in committed relationships, or with a partner. Routine settles in; life just rolls along... and you wonder where the heck the spark is, where the heck is the person you signed up to be with, where the heck the person you were went AWOL!

And romance writers - why is it most romances end at "I love you, will you marry me?" Very few stories touch upon life after marriage... and we all know Real Life is no HEA!

What to do then?

Check out this amazing article! It speaks for itself. You can grab it online here, and it is written by Carolyn Campion.

*****

The Curse of the Just-OK Marriage

After a few years of marriage and maybe a few kids, many couples settle into a routine and can take their spouse and relationship for granted. Here are ideas on how to keep the spark alive.

By Caroline Campion

In her latest book Marriage Confidential, Pamela Haag examines the growing trend of "semi-happy" married life. If you're coupled up - or want to be - you've got to read this.

Glamour: Why did you decide to write this book?

Pamela Haag: I was drawn to it by the marriages that I saw every day, including my own. I'm married to a great guy, and he's a wonderful husband. But nonetheless, over the years, I haven't felt totally fulfilled by marriage. So I conducted a survey of almost 2,000 people and found that many of them felt the same way.

Glamour: Is that the "semi-happy marriage"?

Pamela Haag: Yes: It's not that the marriage is terrible, with people who are arguing or miserable. But they're stuck in an ambivalent stage. I've always heard there was a question that Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver used to ask his pitcher Jim Palmer when Palmer was struggling: "Are you going to get any better, or is this it?" That's the soul of the semi-happy question: Is this all there is?

Glamour: So are we supposed to settle for the nice guy, or go for the one we're totally crazy for?

Pamela Haag: We grew up with a romantic ideal, but a lot of women aren't sure if they believe in it. Experts say compatibility is key. But when a marriage is too much like a friendship, it loses energy.

Glamour: This long after the feminist revolution, shouldn't marriages be better? It seems like they're not.

Pamela Haag: While liberation freed women from having to look at men as meal tickets, it also freed men to start looking at women as meal tickets. The latest research finds that 22 percent of wives are now earning more than their husband. The problem is, these "workhorse wives" often shoulder most of the household work and child care, too!

Glamour: You also mention that "children are the new spouses." How so?

Pamela Haag: When I grew up, there were times when adults wanted to be alone and have adult conversations, and kids were told to scram. Now kids are so often invited and have become the focus of family life, and that can negatively affect marriages.

Glamour: So how does one avoid falling into a semi-happy rut?

Pamela Haag: It's more about how you live in a marriage than whom you choose. I think people in happy marriages live like they're on vacation all the time, in the sense that they're paying attention to each other and trying to have some fun. Marriage should be enjoyable rather than just hard work.

Glamour: Have you applied these principles to your own marriage?

Pamela Haag: Yes! I do think that our marriage is better because of this, and we're paying more attention to each other. I think my husband's very brave to allow me to write about it!

*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday: Let's Chill With Some Tunes!

Hey peeps

Knackering day today. Appointments at the hospital = whole morning lost (though I did get to catch up on some reading there). Then had to get my son's glasses repaired, because he's broken the frame, again, for the third time in the 6 months he's been wearing them. And because a crazy-as-cannonball dog skidded and slammed into my car's front yesterday, crashing the turn-indicator, we had to go on a drive through a dozen spare parts shops to find the replacement. And then too, colour me mad, I broke out the pans and baked a cake, because over the weekend my father-in-law brought home a crate of apples and we're drowning under them, so had to find a way to use these and a good deal went into an apple cake.

I'm totally wrecked right now, and want to do nothing more than turn on the music channel on the TV and lounge like a couch potato, while I wait for another channel to start the TV series' marathon with CSI: Vegas, Burn Notice, and White Collar airing this evening.

Here's what's musically airing right now - a compilation of what's hot atm and also at my place! Enjoy.

This one is a fave of my boys! They love this tune, and they have the choreography down pat! This one's got everyone shufflin here. :)



And catch this clip - a story in itself! I'm on a Glee-skid right now, and this video is soooo high school and Glee-like, I'm loving it! There's even Artie (Kevin McHale) on the cast. And who doesn't love Katy Perry's colourful, fun-filled videos? Check out the star-studded cast in this one - well worth the watch!



And finally, this one is playing on and on on Clubbing TV right now here. British singer Sophie Ellis Bextor is gorgeous and absolutely doll-like in this vid! (Come to think of it, she does look like a doll - check those cheekbones and that perfect porcelain skin!)



From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Monday, July 11, 2011

Random Thoughts' Monday: Parenting is not easy

Over the past few weeks, my husband's been attending a special workshop related to his job, and that's on top of his usual working hours. He leaves before we leave for school in the morning, and he's back in the evenings just before the kiddo goes to bed. So for the most part, in the recent month or so, I've been the only parent around the house most of the time.

And suddenly I've got a whole new level of respect and admiration for single parents! Especially for those single parents who don't have the other parent's support and help. Single mums, even more so. I can't say I've been in their shoes over the past month, but I kinda have an idea what it feels like, and if I'd had to deal with my kid all the time like this, I dunno if I would've been able to.

Parenting is hard. We always had clear roles here - I'm only 20 years older than my kid, 16 years older than my stepson. I'm more a buddy than a parent - my son and I are almost always arguing and going into lines like "Did Not! - Did Too!", that sort of deal. We love each other to bits, but it's always my husband, and their dad, who is the authority figure in our home. I can get the boys to obey me but they'll do things their way even if they get the job done. Not the case if their dad lays down the law. And not having him home recently during most of the time when I interact with the kid, I also have to become the authority figure, get him to listen and obey.

And that's not an easy feat, you know. I mean, of course he's a kid and at some point he's gonna cave in and do what you're telling him (allright - nagging him) to do. But taking on this mantle of being the carer, the buddy, the authority - how do you not get lost in there? How much is too much, too less, not enough? Plus my husband has always been a hands-on dad. We split the nights into shifts, taking turns to look after a demanding baby who woke up, on the dot, every 3 hours for a feed. He'd only drink like 30ml from the bottle, and probably throw it all up on you when you try to get him to burp. Then he'd go back to sleep, and 3 hours later, the routine starts again. Even though I had my husband's help, I could not prevent post-partum depression from rearing its ugly head up...

How would I have done if I'd been a single mum? And that's why I applaud and give two thumbs up and raise my hat and glass up to single parents! These people don't have it easy, but they battle through and look after their kids to the best they can. Through all that, they're probably the bread winner too, and basically also, single people probably looking for love and everything else people look for/aspire to. How do they do it? I wonder...

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Walking The Edge: Snippet #5

Hey beautiful people!

Sunday once again, and jumping on the Six Sunday bandwagon to present a quip from Walking The Edge. Did you know that the book was at #6 on the Noble Romance Top10 Bestseller list this past week? Thanks to all of you who bought a copy...

... and thanks to everyone who drives by every Sunday and leaves me a comment. :)

So last week's excerpt was about a dream Amelia had during one of her drug-induced naps. She saw this Frenchman in bed with her, and when he told her they couldn't keep going on, the two of them, she shushed him, and told him that when she is with him, she isn't "her". You can catch it here.

Today's six follow upon this conversation, the rest of the dream sequence. Here we go:


'... "Putain d'merde," he cursed softly in French, "Tu vas me tuer."

You'll be the death of me. Despite herself, she smiled - she held power over this man, and damn if she didn't relish the feeling: He was hers, all hers. Right now, she preferred not to think of the other meaning that could be ascribed to his words—she could literally spell his death too. If the man she was with came to know about her lover—no, she wouldn't think of that, not now, not when his mouth was claiming hers and he was pushing her back onto the mattress.


Right now belonged to them, and them alone. ...'


Catch the other amazing SSS folks and their snippets here.

And don't forget - Walking The Edge (Corpus Brides: Book One) is on sale here, at the bargain price of $1.99 for a full-length novel!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Friday, July 08, 2011

Progress Friday

Hey peeps

If you're friend with me on Facebook, you'll have read my status update, as to how I actually punched myself in the face last night. I was pulling the second blanket up, but I pulled too hard and it was stuck, so I lost my grip and my fist came flying to crash into my nose. Now I know what it feels like to receive a knuckle sandwich - let me tell you it hurts like *beep!*

So, is that the only progress this week, me learning how to punch myself? Fortunately, no. I've been busy and running around like a headless chicken with the promo for Walking The Edge, and doping up on calcium and vitamin supplements to help me keep up. I could've fared way better if I had been sleeping normally, but insomnia reared its ugly head up over the past weekend and I end the week staring bleary-eyed at it.

With all this combined, I added just over 2,000 words to Against The Odds this week. Not bad but not stellar, and still very far from my goal. Hopefully, over this weekend, things will quiet down and I'll be able to delve back into the usual writing routine. Tomorrow my husband once again goes to work for most of the day, and takes the kid to my mum's. Should have a free day to look forward to where I can work without any distractions.

What have you guys got planned?

And I also wanted to say a huge, huge thanks to all of you who have bought my book! It's because of you guys that Walking The Edge made it to #6 on the Noble Romance Top10 Bestsellers list barely a week after it went on sale! I love you guys! XOXO

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Link Thursday: What Your Best Friend Won't Tell You

Hey peeps!

Back from Zombie-land today, finally! My insomnia had kicked in big time, and let me tell you this - it's impossible to function without sleep! Coffee helps, but nothing quite does the trick for your mind and body - and sanity! - like a few hours of night-time snoozing.

So, today's Thursday so it's Link post day. Browsing through my folders, I found this link, and it seemed quite fitting to me. This past week I reconnected with two of my besties - and these girls and I go back to our school years! We were scattered on three different continents (okay, yes, technically, I'm on an island, but you get the drift!) and now one of them's back home, and the other who has recently gotten married has just told us she's making aunties out of us. :) Great news for me, on both counts.

Where would a gal be without her BFF/s? Nowhere, really. These girls are your sanity, your saviours for every little or big crisis, the shoulders you cry on when your heart is broken, the ones who dish out the chocolate and the ice cream when the going gets tough or just because.

But even despite how close you are to your gals, there are some things she won't tell you. Maybe not to hurt your feelings, or maybe because she knows that what she'd say would cause more harm than good. Look at it any way you want, there's bound to be some things unspoken between you.

Take a look at the article. Great pointers for what your RL BFF might not be telling you, and perfect material to use to help your heroine see the light in your books. See also what the experts advise doing, especially if you're the BFF with things to 'hide'.
The article is from Glo, and you can catch it here.

*****

What your best friend won't tell you: BFF Confidential

By Woman's Day

Whether your best pal complains about work or her husband, chances are you've kept mum. "Women tend to feel responsible for their friends' feelings," says therapist Julie Hanks, "so we keep our mouths shut to prevent jeopardizing the friendship." Here, women share what they’ve never told their BFFs, and experts advise on when to stay quiet.

The Secret: "I don't like your boyfriend."
"My best friend is in a toxic relationship. It's the same story over and over: He gets drunk, they have a fight and she 'kicks him out.' But then he apologizes, and she forgives him. I want to tell her he's bad for her, but I know she won't listen; she's afraid this guy is her last chance to have a child," says Danette.

The Experts Say
If it's not a matter of a cheater, abuser or toxic situation, and you just don't like the guy for superficial reasons, grin and bear it. Says Hanks, "If she's chosen him, and you've chosen to remain friends with her, then nothing good comes of letting her know you just don't like him.” Instead, avoid spending time with them as a couple, while always leaving the door open for her to talk if the relationship does turn dangerous.

The Secret: "I can't believe you never gave me a wedding present."
When Karen* got married two years ago, she was shocked that one of her closest friends didn't bring a gift—and still hasn't made good. "It leaves me reeling every time I think of it. I'd never dare say anything because, well, don't I sound a bit petty?” [*Some names have been changed.]

The Experts Say
The present is probably something you can let go, advises Hanks, "because you can choose to believe that your friend truly cares about you, and that maybe she forgot or feels embarrassed about it." But if it's an ongoing situation, such as your friend not calling, then you can say something like "It makes me feel like you don't care about our friendship, because I'm always the one calling you."

The Secret: "You never want to talk about our issues."
"One of my best friends is incredibly smart and my go-to person for advice. We share all the good and bad stuff about our lives, but never address any kinks in our friendship, so our relationship feels somehow incomplete and not fully realized,” says Lori.*

The Experts Say
"If your friend can't be relied on for the level of friendship you want, you can end up feeling like you're not being heard," says Doree Lewak, author of The Panic Years. "This is worth addressing—otherwise, what's the foundation of the friendship?" It's fine to have friends on different levels; you may just have to manage your expectations.

The Secret: "Your husband hit on me."
"I never told my best friend that her then-boyfriend, now husband, hit on me," says Shelley.* "She was so madly in love with him that I couldn't bring myself to hurt her by telling her. I figured she'd catch on by herself that he was no good—but she ended up marrying him."

The Experts Say
Though the ship has sailed in Shelley's case, if you know for a fact that a friend's boyfriend or husband is a cheater, you should absolutely tell her. But speak carefully. Hanks suggests trying this: "Something happened that I'm really uncomfortable with, and as your friend I want you to know." That's different from "Hey, your boyfriend is a big jerk!"

The Secret: "Your children drive me crazy!"
"I love my best friend dearly—but her kid? I can't stand him! He's my son's age, but he has no respect for adults, and I find him unpleasant to be around," says Lisa.*

The Experts Say
What children can do to a friendship is similar to what a husband or boyfriend can do: Personality conflicts can drive a wedge between friends, says Lewak. "If this is a close friend, address it, but use empathy," adds Hanks. Try this: "I want to share my concern that when Joe is here, he's doing [XYZ]. Mom to mom, I want to let you know, and I hope that if my Susie is like that at your house, you'd tell me."

The Secret: "You complain, but then you don't take my advice."
"My friend complains all the time about her work life. She's had five jobs in four years, and they're never right. I stopped trying to give her advice because she never takes it, and I don't want to waste my breath anymore," says Sandra.*

The Experts Say
Having a friend continually dump unhappiness on you can be exhausting. If you value the friendship, then "ask her what she wants when she shares her complaints," suggests Hanks. Say something like, "I know this job stress has been going on for years. I've tried to [help] but I don't feel like I'm giving you what you need. What might help?'" If she just wants a quiet sounding board, set boundaries so you don't feel drained.

The Secret: "You don't lean on me."
"I met my best friend in college. We talk at least twice a week and get together whenever we can. But one thing that hurts me is that she doesn't tell me when something really important is going on in her life. She bought a house, but didn't tell me she was looking. She was very ill and I didn't know until I called and her husband told me. I wish she leaned on me for support," says Mary.*

The Experts Say
Sounds like Mary's friend finds support elsewhere—and it may not occur to her that Mary feels hurt about being left out of the loop, says Hanks. "Tell her how you feel: 'I'd love to know more about what's going on in your life, even if it's hard. I really care about you and I want to be supportive, especially during the difficult times.'"

*****

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Monday, July 04, 2011

Random Thoughts' Monday: Trying to grasp...

...my life at the moment. It feels as if everything has spun from its axis since last week, and even today I still haven't stopped spinning like a supersonic top.

And my insomnia is back, so that could also be why I'm having trouble to settle, and why I prolly won't make much sense right now. :)

It's been a week today since all the hoopla for the book's release started. I've been a basket case of nerves, and I guess being a basket case of nerves is, well, bad for your nerves. I'm strangely euphoric and wiped out at the same time.

A part of me knows I need to move ahead, look forward to the future now, to delve into things in which I have a hand right now. Easy to say - harder to do and ascertain. Don't you sometimes have a feeling everything is running away from your grasp and you're powerless to grip them back and sort some sense into everything? That's a little bit what having a book out will do to you. suddenly you're a pubbed author - you have a book out! But the world also needs to learn that said book is out, so you set out on an out-and-out promo roll... which leaves you steamrolled and wondering how on earth you'll get your life back to how it was before the book came out.

So now I need to re-learn how to be a 'normal' writer - the one who goes about her mundane routine everyday and actually work on something upcoming.

Doable? Surely... but right now I'm kinda clueless... I know, I'm a case, innit? :)

Oh, something else - Walking The Edge is #6 on the Top 10 Bestseller list at Noble Romance! Yeah, I'll admit, that made my week.

Looking forward to finding a way how not to crash and burn from the perpetual high.

From Mauritius with love,

Zee

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Walking The Edge: Snippet #4

Hey beautiful people

It's Sunday again, and I'm flying high today. Why? Well, Walking The Edge (Corpus Brides: Book One) was released on June 30! Not only that, but the first review has already come through, and the book has been described as "...the explosive debut novel of the Corpus Brides series by Zee Monodee. Shrouded in mystery and half-truths until its climactic ending, Walking the Edge is a romantic suspense novel that rightfully earns its position as one of the best romantic suspense novels to line my e-book shelves this year. ..."

I've been sharing quips from the start of the book so far with you - today I'm moving to a different segment of the book. Remember - Amelia has amnesia, and she is 'married' to creepy Peter who plies her with mind-altering drugs.

But what Peter doesn't know is that those drugs allow Amelia to dream, and fragments of her forgotten past come to the forefront of her mind during the forced slumber.

This excerpt is taken from one of those dreams. Amelia sees herself waking up next to a handsome, sandy blond and tanned man in a room on the Mediterranean coast. She knows he's spent the whole night with her, again. Desire is building inside her, but one look at his serious face sobers her. (Dialogue edited for the purpose of this post)


'... "What?" she gently asked, afraid to speak lest he should disappear without answering.

"We can't keep going on."
His soft words pierced her heart - "No, don't say that."
"You know we never expected it to come this far between us, Mi—"
She placed a finger on his lips, shushing him - "No, don't say my name; Don't taint our moment."
"When I'm with you," she said, "I'm not her; Do you understand that?" ...'

 
So, Amelia sees this man in a dream... Is he a memory, or a figment of her imagination?
 
You can get your copy of Walking The Edge here - at the bargain price of $1.99! It's a steal! :) And if you want to read Chapter 1, click here.
 
And catch the other amazing quips from Six Sunday here

Happy holiday weekend to all US citizens!
 
From Mauritius with love,
 
Zee

Friday, July 01, 2011

How I Saw The Characters of "Walking The Edge"

Hey peeps

I'm doing something a little different today. Initially this post should've come up on Wednesday, but with the release delay, I couldn't get this up (and have it make sense!) so today it supplants my usual Progress Friday deal.

I know a lot of writers physically 'template' their characters from a famous person/actor/model or the like. I for one almost always have someone 'real' in mind when I'm writing a story. This helps me with imagining the story, developing it like a movie in my head with the real 'actors' to play out the parts. I've found this technique also allows me to remain consistent where physical descriptions are concerned, because the character is not a hazy assembly of bits and pieces but a 'real' person in my mind, literally.

Walking The Edge is no different. In fact, part of the story was propelled by the man whom I always saw as Gerard Besson, the hero in the book. It was partly because of him that I ended up with a Frenchman as a hero, and with a dangerous, ruthless cop on top of that.

So who is he? His name is Thomas Kretschmann, and he is a German actor who's played in many Hollywood movies. The first time I saw him was in the sci-fi fantasy flick Immortel Ad Vitam. He played a human dissident leader who becomes the host for a vengeful bird-like Egyptian god. There was something Old Continent European and mysterious about him - must be his german origins! :)
Here he is in an advert for a Hugo Boss fragrance:




And here I had my hero! Now he's a cop, but he's the hands-on, on-the-field kind of guy. You won't really see him in a suit channeling James Bond in the book. Here's more the image you'd get:



In the story, he is described as "...His sandy blond hair was still mussed from sleep, and she could make out the corded muscles in his tense neck. The tautness of his clamped jaw alerted her to the fact that he was in a contemplative mood.
Sitting up straighter, she reached out and touched his cheek, making him turn his face toward her. She gasped softly when she encountered his eyes. Deep set and narrow, they were of a sparkling turquoise hue, making her think of mysterious tropical waters. ..."
And then there's this part where I literally saw him in this get-up, where "...Even in the dark interior, she could make out the hard, chiseled lines of his features and could imagine the flash of his sea-blue eyes in the dimness. His clothes, especially the denim jacket, gave the illusion that he was in a casual mood, but she knew the calm composure was deceptive, a fa├žade for inherent danger and ruthlessness. ..."



Now, who's this "she"? Her name is Amelia Jamison, and she's the heroine in the book. I always had an idea what Amelia looked like; check out the description I'd written for her - that's always how she appeared to me: "... Amelia Jamison, the woman who stared back at her, was a beauty. Delicate features that resembled the work of a master sculptor graced her face. Perfect cheekbones. Smooth, flawless skin. Crystal-clear blue eyes with extremely thick, dark lashes. Wide, full mouth. Dainty nose. Short, honey-toned hair. ..."

I didn't know who she was - my model - when I started the book, but then I thought long and hard, and Charlize Theron came to my mind. Look at her here - she was the spitting image of Amelia!




And the other person whom I always 'saw', is Peter Jamison, Amelia's "husband". I knew he was my bad guy, but he was more the quiet, cool and composed type of baddie, the one who rocks Savile Row suits and drinks vodka martinis. Just one look at this bloke would chill the blood in your body, and I had my perfect 'template' when I saw actor Julian Sands during one season of 24.

Here's how Peter is described in the book: "... He was a devastatingly handsome man, tall, with pale skin as flawless as the most precious Italian marble. His eyes were deep green, and locks of his expertly cut dark hair—the shade as intense as gleaming mahogany—brushed his wide forehead, which tapered down to an otherwise lean face. ..."

And this is how he's supposed to look like:



I had to change his hair colour to dark, gleaming mahogany because as my editor pointed out to me jokingly, my book was peopled by blond people!

And finally, the last person who popped inside my head when I was writing this book is French police Capitaine Rashid Nasri, Gerard's best friend and right-hand man. I needed a generic description for him at first, because I hadn't intended for him to be anything more than Gerard's sidekick in the book.
But Rashid's character evolved and morphed... and some people who have read the story at critique or ARC stage have asked me if he'll get his story one day. The truth is, I don't know! I'm keeping him in mind as a future hero for his own book though.

In Walking The Edge, he is described as "...a handsome man with olive skin, dark eyes, and close-cropped black hair ..." and this is how I pictured him:




So there you are - a roundup of the main characters peopling Walking The Edge. :)

And another thing - I'm up at fellow Noble Romance and Hot New Talent author Chris Lange's blog today. Chris and I wanted to do something different from the usual interviews, so what we give you is a behind-the-scenes look at Walking The Edge.

Don't forget - the book is now on sale, and at the bargain price of $1.99, it's a total win!

From Mauritius with love,

Zee
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...