Thursday, August 28, 2008

Winning Bess- At Your Side

Our upcoming release (SEPTEMBER 19th), Winning Bess, is an Americana set in the late 1840's. During this period thousands of Irish immigrants traveled away from the potato famine and English tyranny. They hoped to find a better life in America. What they found upon arriving in Five Points NY wasn't much better than what they left behind. But they forged through it and found a way to make their dreams come true. Bess and Colm's story focuses on just such a journey.

I have different ways to get my mind ready to write. I look at pictures, read books about history and lore, and/or listen to music to name a few.

To get in an Irish frame of mind while writing Bess I listened to a lot of Chieftains, Corrs and Celtic Woman CD's

Here are a few Corrs' Videos that inspired Bess' mood...
Joy Of Life

Rebel Heart

Lough Erin Shore

Although, At Your Side is not traditional Irish music, it has Irish roots. And to me the lyrics truly relate to Colm and Bess and the journey they're on...

At Your Side.

May you find inspiration all around you. May it bring you the determination to make your dreams come true, despite the odds you face.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not an Aye or a Nay to be heard.

If you have ever listened to an Irishman speak, while being lulled by the lilt of his voice and the colorful use of words, you might have noticed that is rare, if ever, the word yes or no is uttered. You see, they come from an ancestry where their language had no specific words for yes and no. It explains the less than succinct reply you get to an inquiry about something or the round about way of accepting a drink. It may make you feel like you are twisting their arm.

“Can I get you another drink?”
“Ah, I’d better not…”
“You sure?”
“Well, maybe a small one.”

“Did you have a good time?”
“Indeed I did.”

This is something to keep in mind when writing a character of Irish ancestry, even contemporary but especially historical. To make the Characters fit into a period we tend to throw in Aye, yea, or Nay in dialogue. But it would be more accurate to replace all yes and no’s not with Aye and Nay but with a short positive or negative phrase.

*g* And it might come to explain why those of us of Irish decent have a hard time giving a definitive yes or no answer to anything.

Here’s to having a positive lack of anything negative in your lives!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Batting your lashes

Do the eyes have power when attracting a man? It seems a woman's age old ploy of batting those lashes holds validity.

A longer lash makes the eyes seem larger, makes the lashes travel in a larger arc when she blinks. Since the eye is drawn to noticible movement, fluttering the lashes helps the prospective male take notice and keep eye contact with her.

Large eyes and contrast between eyelashes and the skin color are very feminine characteristics. The darker her lashes, the larger her eyes and greater the contrast appears to the man. Darker lashes also make the whites brighter (a sign of health and youth)

When eyes appear larger she seems more youthful, which makes her easier to approach. It may even elicit a protective response from the man.

So guys if a long dark lashed woman is batting her lashes your way, catching your attention. She just may be interested. Then again she might just have some of that mascara in her eye. Don't let doubts take hold. Go ahead approach her but before you make any moves check out her pupils. If your not in a dimly lit room and they are dialated... well then, she just might be attracted to you.

And when writing remember the tactic and mention the draw of that dark crescent of lashes caressing her cheek or fluttering open framing large feminine eyes has on your hero.

Here's looking at you,

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Way Back At RT

Long time no blog! *sigh* No one particular reason why. Just a lot of little ones, the good and the bad, that just seemed to add up. Those are on my personal blog,Maureen Gianinio , if your curious. The last time I blogged was right before Rissa and I headed off to the Romantic Times convention, so I will pick up there.

I had a great time meeting up with online and same time next year friends. LOL the hotel was interesting…it was under renovations. The hallway on my floor was missing a ceiling… just a nice view of insulation and wires. The stairwell acted like a secret passage to those of us that grew tired of waiting for the often too congested elevators. And we often exited into areas where sheets of plastic, keeping spackle dust from flying, were hanging. I often felt like I was walking into a scene of a horror/suspense film. *g* Seriously, though, I had a great time hanging out with people that have become more like family to me.

The lectures were phenomenal and funny. JR Ward, Mary Janice Davidson, LA Banks were among several that related their genre and experience in publishing in very humorous ways.

The only discussion that disappointed me was the Multicultural one. Not because of the panelists. I thought they were awesome and had some great tips. It was just disheartening that to so many attending…multicultural is not Multi. So if you weren’t part of a certain race you shouldn’t try to understand their culture or write it. Some of them scared me.

Editor panels were very enlightening! One of my favorite speakers at the convention was Kensington editor, Kate Duffy! I tell you if you ever have the opportunity to hear her talk, go! She would definitely make a great self-esteem coach if she ever decided to give up editing! Some favorite words of wisdom I took with me were… (paraphrased correctly, I hope)…

~Do Not Listen when someone tells you “Oh that genres dead, no one will sign it. They are looking for…” Never try to make yourself fit in a box…then it won’t stand out, it won’t be your best. Write what your muse tells you. If it’s a great story, publishers will sign it! Also she is on a personal mission to prove that historicals live!~ She is my newest hero!

The dinners and parties were social and I had fun gathering at the lobby bar after, where the celebrating and the talking continued. And I must say I truly appreciated the way Ellora’s Cave treated their authors at the Hollywood ball and the author breakfast.

Here are a few pictures, If you want to see more I put them up on my yahoo blog. Okay I Promise I will be blogging and visiting friends’ blogs more now.
With life’s ups and downs who needs roller coasters!

Mechele and Me
Mechele Armstrong and Mari before the Vampire Ball

save a horse
Ellora's Cavemen are always a highlight to the conventions

MJD and Zombie Zin
Mary Janice Davidson, a friend from Christine Feehans yahooloop and a favorite author, hanging out enjoying a glass of Zombie Zin and some real life chatting.

Flash and Den
Friend and fellow EC Author Stephanie Burke dancing with her hubby at he EC Hollywood Ball

fabio and Macsteel
Fabio and McBeam at the Support our Soldiers function

Bite me trio
Mari with friends Bee, Christine Feehan, and Kelley Graznow

Okay it might look like only 4 people sitting here but its actually 6 *g*
New friend and EC author Sam Cheever, Melissa Lopez, Mechele Armstrong, Maureen Gianinio...Mel and Mechele equals Melany Logen. Mel(Rissa) and Maureen(Mari) equals Marissa Alwin. we all enjoyed the conference and I am excited about Orlando 2009

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Hiya, folks. News & more.

Exciting news! Marissa has contracted an Americana titled Winning Bess to Ellora's Cave!

Some updates on a few of Marissa's projects in the works.

Song of His Soul

Wild Spirit:

Lukewarm Psychic:



Unfortunately, I'm sure you've notice Mari and I've been too busy to keep up with Marissa blog. Maybe once life settles down...

But until then please check out my journal at:
I keep it updated regularly and I always include any Marissa news. Once Marissa has more news to share I'll be sure to note it here.

Until later~
Rissa aka Mel