February 28, 2011 | By: Tracy

Better to Be 1st or 3rd?

I have two confessions for this Monday (blech) morning:

1) I intended to post our muse "eye candy" today. But, as I'm learning,  when you Google a good looking man -- and received hundreds of images of said hottie -- it takes time to select the right one. Multiply that by about 30-40 such men . . . and well, I'm having a great time, but nowhere near done.

So I'll be bringing that along next Monday.

2) I'm coming out of the closet & admitting that I'm in LOVE with 1st person narrative. It's the perspective in which I write my stories and the one I most enjoy reading.

A friend of mine once explained the difference between 1st and 3rd to me as:
"Third person is like watching a movie and knowing what's going to happen to your beloved characters before they do. First person is like being the character in the movie and having no idea what's about to hit you."

There is no right or wrong way. Both have their benefits and both have their drawbacks. Which is why it all boils down to a matter of personal preference.

Take my mother, for instance. She's one of those strange people that refuses to invest herself in a novel unless she's perused the last 5 pages to make sure she's satisfied with the way the story ends. My mom likes to retain that certain level of control by knowing exactly what's happening (third person)

Me, on the other hand, if you accidentally slip & tell me how a story wraps up I see absolutely NO reason to keep reading the damned thing. You've already taken all the fun out of it for me. I'm an adrenaline junkie who gets a kick out of not knowing what's around the next corner (first person)

Fortunately, there seems to be a pretty good mix of both in most genres. That being said there are times where it can be a little more challenging to find stories in the perspective you enjoy most.

Traditional adult romance is still predominantly written in third person (with multiple POV) . . . whereas young adult tends to be largely first person told stories. Doesn't mean you can't find first person romances or third person young adults -- you just have to look a little harder.

(Side note: if anyone can suggest any 1st person non-paranormal romances and/or romances written from the male POV, I'd be mighty grateful)

What about you guys: Do you have a reading preference one way or the other? Do you absolutely refuse to read one or the other? Which perspective do you write in? If you write in both, which comes more naturally to you?

February 25, 2011 | By: Tracy

Bookclub Discussion -- MY SOUL TO TAKE

Hello, Fellow Endeavorers!

Consider this all the intro needed to open our first monthly book club discussion:

Rachel Vincent's  "My Soul To Take"

Kaylee Cavanaugh doesn't see dead people, but she senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy at school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

If you've read this story (for the book club or on your own) feel free to jump in and join us.

For those participating in the discussion, be sure to book mark the post so you can come back & check on it once or twice throughout the weekend. Don't feel weird about replying directly to one another in the comments -- that's how online convos work.

As far as the type of comments allowed: There are no rules. I just ask you to please keep 2 things in mind:

1) There may be people reading the comments who haven't read the story yet, but would like to. If you can keep your comment spoiler free, great! If not, please type out "SPOILER ALERT" at the top and skip down several lines before leaving your comment. Give 'em a fair chance to avoid looking.

2)  Any and all opinions are welcomed . . . so long as they're in regards to the story/writing. No personal attacks/judgements on any of the authors/agents/publishers please.

Dive in -- I'll be leaving my comments inside as well!

Not quite sure what to talk about?  Feel free to steal some of these ideas:
-- Overall did you enjoy the story? Would you recommend it to a friend?
-- Do you plan to read the rest of the series?
-- Who was your favorite character? Why?
-- Were you satisfied with the ending?
-- What do you wish the author had done more of?
-- What do you wish the author had done less of?
-- Were the characters likable? Were they believable to you?

(Off topic sidenote: To those of you who've left me awards the past week or two, I'm not ignoring you. I promise to acknowledge next week)

February 23, 2011 | By: Tracy

Would You Rather - Wednesday

It's time for another round of Would You Rather - Wednesday

For those of my pals who are new around here (never fear crusaders, if I haven't gotten to you yet, I swear I'm working on it!) here's how it works -- I ask a "Would You Rather" question and you pick between one of two choices. Sometimes the questions are easier. Sometimes, not so much.

The cool part is, there are no right or wrong answers. Just opinions.

As for the results of last week's question (okay, so it was 2 weeks ago . . . sue me). When it comes to having to choose which sitcom you'd rather pattern your life after -- while Seinfeld had a strong showing, Friends was the clear cut winner.

I know it won my vote. I mean, how could I not want a life where my besties and I could recall good times by saying "ooh, remember the one with the ******"

(BTW, "The one with the Lobster" is my all-time fave)

Moving on to this week:

Dear Writer Friends, would you rather . . . . ?

A)  Never see your novels make it through to publication, but knowing you gave it your all


B)  Anonymously publish as a ghost writer for a famous author and see your words in print, but never be able to brag about them

Reminder, don't forget to swing by on Friday where we open up the post for this month's Book Club Selection  .  Should be a lot of fun (I just finished the book last night, so I'm pumped & ready to go!)
February 21, 2011 | By: Tracy

Show Me Your Muse and I'll Show You Mine

Ever notice how the overwhelming majority of male characters in novels  -- regardless of genre -- are some combination of handsome, sexy, charismatic, fun-loving, larger-than-life, brave, stoic, bad boy, affectionate, snarky, loyal, and/or surprisingly gentle?

It's my firm belief that this tends to happen (with female writers, at least) because, well . . . those are the kind of men we like.

We won't all ever agree on what makes a man attractive, physically or personality-wise, but there are certain common traits that tend to show up time and again.

You know, those darn testosterone driven aspects that our estrogen enhanced brains are often powerless to avoid warming to, even if we don't like to admit it.

Let's face it, a novel can take months (sometimes even years) to write & edit, and who wants to spend that much time with a man that doesn't pique your curiosity in some way? How can he drive our heroines crazy if he doesn't make us a little loopy too?

This is where the muse comes in. Below are a few of the real life men, who give me a physical starting point when my male characters are first showing up to say hi.

Henry Cavill

Gabriel Aubry (yes, his hair IS cool)

Matt Cohen

But seeing as how we're all different, I'm curious to see what everyone else thinks. I want to pull together a picture post of some of the prettiest male (and female -- don't want my guy pals to feel left out)  muses around.

So, feel free to leave a comment with the name of your muse(s) and I'll get to googling for next week's post.  If there is a particular picture that captures your muse better than any other, please feel free to send it to me (as a link, if possible) to tracybuscemi@gmail.com .

Disclaimer: While I am not at all opposed to the full on beauty of the human form, this is an all-ages site. So no nudies, please. Now, shirtless on the other hand (male muses only) is not only allowed, but highly encouraged by the blog mistress.  Also, unless your boyfriend/ hubby/girlfriend/wife would truly appreciate seeing his/her face plastered on the internet, let's keep this to men and women already in the public eye.
February 18, 2011 | By: Tracy

I So Did Not Mean To Write That

Believe it or not, sometimes, the last person to know what kind of story you wrote is . . . YOU.

Growing up, my introduction to romance novels came via a mother who was obsessed with the historicals. You know, the kind with some half-naked version of Fabio on the cover.

Like this....

or this ....

(I actually remember both of these books ... and I'm way too excited about that fact. Moving on.)

If I'm being quite frank. I did very little reading for the storylines back in those days. Most of them were relatively stock (and cheesy).

For a 13-15 year old girl -- coming of age in a pre-internet world -- those books were the closest my curious brain could get to actual porn.

The world of romance novels has drastically changed in the time since then (which, for the sake of my ego we'll pretend was only a decade ago. K? Thanks).

Yet, while the books changed, my perception of them didn't.

I'd moved on to the horror/fantasy concoctions of Stephen King and Anne Rice. Left behind were the heaving bossoms and throbbing shafts of romance novels gone by.

Forward to the day when I proudly sent my fledgling manuscript off to my betas.

"Here," I said, "read my fantasy novel."

The feedback was both exhilarating and disturbing. Most loved it to pieces, but they kept calling it a romance.

"What? Um, I don't write romance," I said.

"Yes, you do," they said.

"No, there's witches and immortal beings and reincarnation, oh my," I said.

"Yeah, but it's all about the lurve," they said.  (Yes, they said lurve)

Anyway, this exchange went back and forth for a while, until I finally realized what they already knew.

I had written a romance. Paranormal romance, mind you, but a romance nonetheless.

The genre has branched off into so many different avenues that weren't there twenty ten years ago. Paranormal, suspense, erotica, contemporary, etc. And I found myself writing it, without even realizing that was what I was doing. (Turns out I'm pretty durn good at it, if I do say so myself)

This happen to anyone else? Not necessarily romance, per se. Maybe you meant to write a mystery and wound up with a thriller. Maybe your paranormal went all sci-fi. If so, don't fret. It doesn't matter how you get there . . . I think we all find our landing spots sooner or later.


February 16, 2011 | By: Tracy

Get Twitter-pated With the Book Club

Okay, so I admit, Twitter and the Forever Endeavor Book Club have nothing to do with one another . . . but there's only so much you can do with blog titles, ya know.

For those of you who've been around for a little while, you know Wednesday's are typically my "Would You Rather" feature day. Well thanks to participating in two Valentine's blogfest AND joining the Crusaders (checks out the nifty badge over <-- that way somewhere), I've got quite a bit of catching up to do this week.

Speaking of which . . . Hello, my shiny new friends!!

If you've left a comment in the past few days, new friend or old, I promise to get around to holler back (if you joined recently but haven't commented, I'll still try, but sometimes blogger doesn't give me a trail to follow back to you).

Anyway, I digress. Would You Rather Wednesday will be back next week!

In the meantime, in order to quench my Twitter obsession, I've created a page (look up) for Writers Who Tweet .  I know many of you tweet, because I follow several of you already. So, if you'd like to see your name on the list for all to see, leave me a comment in that thread and I'll add your link. Also, if you know of any cool editors, agents, or those-who-have-already-been-published let me know about them too!

Lastly, quick reminder for those participating in the Forever Endeavor Book Club discussion this month (it's our inaugural month, woohoo): There is still a week & a half left before the discussion post goes up on Friday 25th. It's a pretty smooth & easy read, so don't freak out if you haven't gotten far yet. You can totally catch up! And if you must bow out . . . it's okay. This is a no pressure book club remember? ;o)

Alright, I'm off to catch myself up.  Happy Hump Day, All!
February 14, 2011 | By: Tracy

Just Kiss Already!!!

Friday, was all about the teen love.  (Side note: If I haven't gotten around to you on the YAmore blogfest and commented here, I promise I'm gonna make it. Had a crazy busy weekend that has set me a wee bit behind.)

Continuing with the Valentine's theme, today's Just Kiss Already  blogfest asks us to share steamy excerpts (250 words or less) that say enough already with the teasing, let's get down to the good stuff!"

Bottom line, if your characters aren't kissing, you aren't doing it right.

The following is an excerpt from my Paranormal Romance: This scene takes place in the past, and at this point neither the hero nor the heroine are willing to admit to the chemistry between them. Our heroine, Anna, has just spent the last several moments tossing barbs at our hero, Thomas, in an effort to get under his skin and now he has her pinned against a tree, attempting his payback. 


          Thomas skimmed his lips, feather-light, back and forth across mine, never allowing more than a tickling touch. He was attempting to tease me into submission—and it was working. My stupid, will-powerless pride had all but abandoned me.

          Just as I thought I could take no more, the tip of his tongue traced the seam of my lips. I’m not sure if the sound I made qualified as a gasp or a moan, but Thomas must have sensed his victory, because he pulled back slightly.

          “Now, what were you saying about—?”

          My instincts took over. I stretched on tiptoes to reconnect our mouths, cutting him off mid-sentence. My hand tangling in the curls at the back of his neck.

          The impulsive show of passion caught him off-guard and his charade of cool control disintegrated. I quickly found myself crushed between the strength of his body and that of the tree. The knotty surface pressed against my back. Thomas pressed against my front. His hands were in my hair, angling my head back so he had better access to my mouth. When I thought I might lose the last of the air in my lungs, his lips left mine and trailed down to assault my neck in the most wonderful way.

          When my hand brushed against his hip, his entire body stiffened. The contact between us came to an abrupt halt and Thomas stepped back.

          “Damn it, Anna. Can you not let me win one of my battles?” He stared at my mouth for a long moment as he struggled to get his breathing under control.

Haha, Girl Power!!  Happy Valentine's Day
February 11, 2011 | By: Tracy

That's YAmore Blogfest

For those of you not interested in reading short (250 words or less) excerpts about lurve, you are excused from commenting on my blog until next Wednesday.  I won't hate.

For those who love the notion of being in love, and adore reading YA -- you are in the right place!!

Check out all That's YAmore Blogfest participants to remember the joy (and pain) of falling in love for the first time.

The following is an excerpt from near the end of my YA WIP. Quick scenario, girl loves boy and knows boy cares about her, but he's never used the "L" word. Not that it matters because they're expecting the story conflict to rip them apart very soon...

Without meaning to, Jackson had taught me those things. When he was gone, my heart would need a tremendous amount of recovery time. But when I was ready to love again, I’d know better than to settle for anything less than what I deserved. That was his gift to me.

“If I had the chance to go back and do it all over again, I wouldn’t change anything,” I said.

His look of relief made me sad. It stung that he’d ever doubted me. I turned around and settled back against his chest. It wasn’t his fault I’d fallen in love with him when he warned me not to. He couldn’t possibly understand how I felt.

“I love you, Reese.”

I froze. His words were so soft I wondered if it wasn’t a trick of the wind.

“What did you say?” I held my breath.

Jackson rested his forehead on my shoulder, shielding his face. “I said . . . I love you.”

The weirdest feeling exploded through my chest, spreading out from the center in waves. Until they were spoken, I didn’t realize how badly I needed to hear those words.  A bittersweet pang thumped with each beat of my heart.

He turned his head, skimming the hollow of my shoulder with his lips. Warm breath preceded the brush of his kiss against my neck, setting off shivers of pleasure as he whispered in my ear. “I love you.” 

Three times. He’d said those wonderful words not once, but three times.

Happy Valentines Day Weekend!!
February 9, 2011 | By: Tracy

Would You Rather - Wednesday

**** If you missed it, don't forget to check out February's Book Club selection****

Alright, I confess, I knew last week's question -- about whether its better to love or be loved -- was going to be a toughie. Personally, I thought I'd been going a little easy on you guys with a few of the previous questions.

Some of you manned up & answered. Some of you gawked & went away speechless. Some of you even, dare I say, grumbled at me.

For what it's worth, I really respect those of you who chose the sadistic tough road of putting yourself through the agony disappointment of loving someone you can never have. I say this as someone who completely understands what it's like and agrees that . . . there is no fecking way in hell I'd voluntarily go down that path!

That's right, I'm hanging out with the "better them than me" crowd. I happen to be just narcissistic enough that I often develop deep affection for people who adore me.  So while it may never be a true, all-encompassing, passionate type of love, I could learn to make a comfortable life with someone who worships the ground I walk on.

I'm going easy on you guys this week:

If your life was patterned after a sitcom, would you rather it be. . . ?




February 7, 2011 | By: Tracy

I Like Pretty Things

Before I get into my shortcomings . . . .

If you haven't seen, Rachel Harrie over Rach Writes is hosting a Platform Building Crusade.  I love this idea!! It isn't about just following a bunch of people and hoping they follow you back. The crusade is about making a concerted effort to get to know a group of your fellow bloggers. Sometimes, we get so busy with this, we follow people without really getting a chance to know them. This is a great way to strengthen your online network. If you're interested, you should definitely go sign up.

Okay, now on to me:

It's no secret that I have a major weakness for pretty fictional men.

Well, apparently, I'm also easily swayed by beautiful covers too. And the YA crew is kicking it big time in that department.

Recently, I picked up  Dark Secrets 1 because I loved this cover.

As you can tell by the layout of my blog, I'm highly susceptible to the colors blue, purple and green when they get swirled together all pretty like.

Then, just today I came across The Iron Fey series that I decided I must have, because the covers are GORGEOUS!!!

And my personal favorite

Does anyone else buy books because they love the cover and hope the story lives up to it? Or am I the only one with this issue?
February 4, 2011 | By: Tracy

Forever Endeavor Book Club - Get Your Read On!

Welcome to the first official Forever Endeavor Online Book Club . . . Meeting? 

*waves*  Hi, All!  Please stop laughing at my elementary school attempt at making a banner. (What can I say? Tech stuff isn't my strong suit.)

My goal with this club is to find books that I feel might appeal to the majority of us, since we have quite varied reading interests -- at least, according to my highly scientific poll. That being said, I was unable to find an adult novel written for teens, that was a literary fantasy historical romantic mystery thriller of women's fiction.

Since the overwhelming results of the voting showed a strong preference for both Young Adult books, and stories that fall under the Fantasy category, it shouldn't come as much surprise that our February selection is a YA Paranormal.  And hopefully not something everyone has already read.

So without further ado, I give you  . . . 

Kaylee Cavanaugh doesn't see dead people, but she senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy at school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

There are a LOT of really good YA paranormals to choose from. The reason I chose this story is because it steps away from the more prevalent vampire/ werewolf / faery mythology and takes us into one of my personal favorite folklores. The Banshee. (or Bean Sidhe, for the Gaelic amongst us)

Confession: I love most thing Irish, so that helped mold my choice a wee bit too.

It's also the first book in a series. So for those who enjoy going on an extended journey with their fictional friends, there appears to be much more where this came from.

To help everyone out, if you need to order and don't have a local bookstore (indie or chain) nearby. . .  here are some links.

For the e-reader crew 

For the paperback crew

**** How long do we have to read?? The discussion post for My Soul To Take will be posted on Friday, February 25th and will be open throughout that weekend ****

Hopefully, this is a selection that others are looking forward to reading as much as I am!

If it's not your cup of tea, that's cool. There'll be a different selection next month, no worries.

If you've already read it . . . Congrats! You get a freebie month to read whatever you want, but please come back to join in the discussion.

To everyone else:  Let's Get Our Read On!!
February 2, 2011 | By: Tracy

Would You Rather - Wednesday

According to last week's results, the majority of you would prefer to live one long, continuous lifetime rather than have to venture through high school more than once (even if you couldn't remember you'd already been through it before). 

As for me, I'm definitely a let-me-live-forever type. Not to upset anyone's religious beliefs, but I kinda suspect we do the second one already.

On to this week  -- I'm reading some darker stories at the moment, which prompted this week's question. If heartache were on the horizon:

Would you rather . . . . ?

A) Love someone with all your heart, knowing they can never be yours


B) Be loved by someone with all of their heart, knowing you'll never feel the same 


Don't forget to check in on Friday, when I announce the first selection in our Online Book Club. I'm super excited about this. No lie. Call me a dork if you want, I don't care!!