It's Revision Time!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm going to be scarce as I've received my revision notes on Shadow Lines. My editor wants to see two of my fav scenes cut, but it will give me a few more pages to play up the Cathar aspect. I'm doing some intense research to flesh out an idea about ley lines around Rennes-le-Chateau and tying the ley lines to the Madonna priestesses who are the center of the Madonna Key continuity. I also need to beef up my heroine's empathic and retrocognitive abilities. Fortunately, there's the research playground known as the internet.

:) Carol Stephenson

Today's Critique Meeting

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The YaYa critiquing sisterhood met today. Even though only 3 of us could make it, as usual it was special. We had brunch at a hotel that was mid-point for driving and then critiqued in the lounge area. I got to read the opening of book 5 of Linda Conrad's Night Guardians series. Her lyrical descriptions are to die for as a writer. I really like the single mom with a young son heroine in this book. Her readers are in for a real treat.

Marcia King Gamble's playing with a possible mainstream and has created a fascinating career for her heroine. With Marcia's gift for smart, sassy heroines, this book should be a winner.

My submission was the first 2 chapters of Courting Death, Nicole Sterling's story. I was thrilled that the chapters passed critique with flying colors. One thing that I'm learning about writing the first person point of view is how difficult it is to make each heroine's voice distinctive. As this heroine has to struggle with her mother's Alzheimer condition, it is a particularly tough story for me to write.

Good day, great friends. I couldn't find any better way to spend a Saturday.

:) Carol Stephenson

DaDa Restaurant

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Many older homes in Delray Beach have been converted into interesting shops and restaurants. One such jewel is DaDa, a pub/restaurant nestled in a 1924 two-story house. The eats are phenomenal and the atmosphere warm and friendly. Yet, more important is how the restaurant's owners/managers integrate their business into the fabric of the city.

The first time I went there was a Wednesday, which is dog's day...literally...for patrons are encouraged to bring their dogs. The restaurant even has special bowls that the staff will fill with water to serve the dogs. The Wednesday night I was there a portion of the proceeds was going to animal Katrina victims.

Tonight we gathered together to celebrate a friend's birthday. In front was a brightly painted sculpture of a horse. The restaurant paid a fee to have the honor of displaying the horse. In a few months the sculpture will be auctioned. The proceeds are to benefit the Boys and Girls Organization.

Good for DaDa. Imagine, a restaurant with a civic heart. Here's the link: Dada Restaurant

If you're ever in the neighborhood, drop in. Not only will you get great food, you never know what cause the restaurant will be supporting.

:) Carol Stephenson

Maddie's Beauty Day

Monday, January 16, 2006

You know that you're far gone as a pet owner when your dog gets priority when it comes to beauty days. Case in point, my hair's long due for a trip to my hairdresser but no-o-o. When I managed to find the time to make a call, it was to my pet groomer. And Maddie looked so pretty tonight. The purple ribbon lasted all of 15 minutes when we got home, but I managed to snap a few pictures before the image came undone. But she stills smells beautiful.

:) Carol Stephenson

Taking back the yard

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Although I clean up the yard after Hurricane Wilma, I didn't do anything about replanting or making it pretty again. I first had a book deadline, then all the holiday/Xmas gatherings and then finally with the New Year, the flu. Since I'm hosting critique this coming weekend, I figured it was time to whip the yard into shape. Then the cold wave hit with a wicked wind on Saturday. With my still having vestiges of the flu, I didn't work outside for long. However, while it was still cold today, there wasn't any wind so I hit the yard running. I managed to finish the front yard, replanted the border with my neighbor's yard and then cleaned up the back view in case the weather's nice enough next weekend so we can sit out on the patio.

I'm not a great landscaping artist, but my Dad loved to garden so I'm trying to maintain the tradition.

Below is the January picture from the annual calendar of my photographs that I give as a Xmas present. This shot is of Virginia City from the graveyard overlooking the preserved Western town.

:) Carol Stephenson


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

This past weekend I promised myself I would take it easy as I'd been sick with the flu for a week. My version of taking it easy ended up with preparing and taking to the post office a total of 6 contest entries for my book Courting Danger on Saturday. Then on Sunday I tackled my yard...or what remains of it post Hurricane Wilma...and planted flowers. I did spend both Saturday and Sunday afternoon watching football.

Then tonight I pledged to take it easy and watch mind-numbing People's Choice Awards. But then I saw the storage drawer unit I bought last week to help with my gift wrapping reorganization project so I filled it. Then during TV commercials I finished storing away my outdoor Xmas decorations.

Just can't do it. I can't sit still and not do at least two things at once. If I'm watching TV, I have to be working on a project, whether answering email, reading or organizing. Sitting still and doing nothing for the simple pleasure of doing nothing has eluded me all my life.

My picture of the day is a shot of the ornate mailboxes in Montgomery. Many homes have these lovely metal stands.

:) Carol Stephenson


Saturday, January 7, 2006


Thanks to Nancy Cohen who in turn has Bonnie Vanak to thank, I've been tagged for a Seven Things meme. I bloody hate chain letters, so I'm only tagging the Ditzy Chix who blog and a diehard Bombshell fan. Should they choose to accept the assignment of tagging the actual seven people they're actually supposed to tag...

Seven Things to Do Before I Die:

1) Tour all the countries my book SHADOW LINES takes place in
2) Visit New Zealand
3) Visit Scotland
4) Take the Orient Express
5) Visit Australia
6) See Nova Scotia again
7) Travel through the wine country of California

Seven Things I Hate [in place of the Seven Things That Attracted Me to My Spouse/SO since I'm footless and fancy free!]:

1) Chain letters
2) Blog memes
3) Hurricanes
4) The sound of generators at night following a hurricane
5) Standing in long lines for gasoline after a hurricane
6) Grocery stores wiped clean of fresh and frozen foods after a hurricane
7) Never-ending hurricane season

Seven Things I Cannot Do:

1. Sing
2. Stop being anal
3. Be a wallflower
4. Stop being a workaholic
5. Be neat [long live clutter!]
6. Stop reading
7. Stop watching movies

Seven Things I Say (Or Write) Most Often:

1. Gut him/her with a rusty spoon and feed his/her innards to a crow [my fav expression]
2. Have a good one.
3. Good morning, Maddie! [my dog]
4. Want to go for a walk, Maddie?
5. Please eat your dog food, Maddie.
6. Let's cuddle, Maddie.
7. Time to go to bed, Maddie.

Seven Books or Series That I Love:

1. Anything Nora Roberts, but if forced to pick one, True Betrayals
2. Tami Hoag's Cry Wolf
3. Anything Julie Garwood, but if forced to pick one, Saving Grace
4. Anything Jayne Ann Krentz, but if forced to pick one, Sharp Edges
5. J.K. Rowling's Goblet of Fire
6. Linda Howard's Mr. Perfect
7. Amanda Quick's Desire [yeah, I know this is Jayne Ann Krentz but she gets to have another pick since she writes historicals as well]

Seven Movies I Would Watch Over and Over Again:

1. The Mummy
2. National Treasure
3. Star Wars I-III
4. Indiana Jones I and III
5. Everything Harry Potter
6. While You Were Sleeping
7. Lord of the Rings I-III

Seven People I Want to Join In (Be Tagged):

1. Roxann Delaney:
2. Bron Jameson:
3. Karmela Johnson:
4. left blank to protect the innocent
5. left blank to protect the unsuspecting
6. left blank to save my sanity
7. left blank so I can go to bed and nurse the flu bug I have

:) Carol Stephenson

Countdown to Madonna Key!!!!

Woohoo, the countdown to Madonna Key is underway! The first book by Rita winner Evelyn Vaughn has been turned in, and our fabulous continuity editor Natashya Wilson is reading/editing away on the series! The other day on the Madonna Key board at, Tashya popped in to drop intriguing hints about the cover design. I can hardly wait. Evelyn Vaughn had submitted this tremendous package of ideas for the overall continuity aspect of the covers. When I completed my art fact sheet, I also sent various images of ley lines and medical symbols for my cover. The art department has been turning out stellar Bombshell covers so I can hardly wait to see what they come up with.

I can't paste here images I found of ley lines due to copyright, but I found them by running a search of ley lines under images in yahoo. However, I can post a picture I took of one of the preservation houses in Old Alabama Town in Montgomery.

:) Carol Stephenson

Critique's Xmas Get-Together

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Usually a member of The YaYa Divine Critiquing Sisterhood hosts the breakfast/critiquing session, but for Xmas we treat ourselves to a hotel/restaurant. This year we met at a Westin on the beach in South Broward County. Gorgeous hotel and we had a great time.

Standing from L to R are myself, Sandy Madden, Marcia King-Gamble, Vicky Koch and Linda Conrad.

:) Carol Stephenson

First 2006 Goal Met

Monday, January 2, 2006

Neither hurricane nor illness will keep me from a deadline. Today I finished the Courting Death proposal and will shoot it off to my editor tomorrow. Then I plan to spend the week resting before rescuing my yard from overgrowth next weekend.

I did take time out to watch my Ohio State Buckeyes win the Fiesta Bowl again, woohoo!!!!

Below is a photo of the Shakesperean Theatre in Montgomery. It sits in the center of a large park.

:) Carol Stephenson