Odds and Ends

I hope everyone had a nice holiday. Why is it turkey never tastes as good as it does on Thanksgiving?

It's a mysterious bird, don't you think?

Now, we’re on to the next holiday. Christmas.

Since people have been actually injured and even pepper-sprayed during the Black Friday festivities, I have decided to complete the bulk of my Christmas shopping online. More specifically, since there are several people I know who are receiving e-readers this year, I think e-books or gift cards are in order. It sure makes my life easier.

If you’re thinking how I’m thinking, let me make some recommendations for the reader on your list:

I am running a giveaway for “Athena’s Promise” on GoodReads. Three signed copies are the prize; all you have to do is register and click for a chance to win. Easy-peasy.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Athena's Promise by Annetta Ribken

Athena’s Promise

by Annetta Ribken

Giveaway ends December 15, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Of course, the e-version is available on Amazon and on Smashwords.

http://youtu.be/n49kFgIkQVg

Looking for some heart-pounding action with a strong heroine? Check out PJ Druce’s Marooned.

http://youtu.be/ILg-L4gE29U

Speaking of heart-pounding, Patti Larsen serves up a heaping dose in her The Hunted Series. Excellent books.

If you’re into zombies (and who isn’t?) Monster’s Unmasked, a novella by Lori Whitwam, offers a look behind the zombie apocalypse set in the universe created by Joshua Guess. Sometimes the monsters are not always who or what we expect. Lori also writes from the other end of the spectrum — Make or Break is a funny, snarky, sparkalicious romantic suspense you’ll thoroughly enjoy.

If you like erotica with your story, you can’t miss out on Eden Baylee’s excellent Fall Into Winter. Wonderful stories with rich characters and imaginative plots.

***

I was very sad to hear of the passing of Anne McCaffrey. Those of us who are avid readers know there are special stories which can have a huge impact on your life. Some books can actually change or save a life. Anne McCaffrey’s “Dragonriders of Pern” is one such book for me.

The hardcover copy I have is battered and held together with clear shipping tape. It is almost 30 years old, and has traveled thousands of miles. It is the only book I have both in hardcover and e-format. I would emigrate to Pern today, if I could. And I make a mean cup of klah.

Although I am very sad we’ve lost such a distinctive and talented voice, Anne McCaffrey is not gone. All you have to do is open one of her books, and there she is. What a legacy! I can never thank Ms. McCaffrey enough for the hours of joy she has given me through her stories. She will be sorely missed.

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Of Deadlines and Betas

Ah, the deadline for my beta readers was today, and with only a couple of exceptions, they were all really great about getting back to me regarding comments and critiques or notice they would be unable to fulfill their beta duties.

I have a bit of a reputation about deadlines, and that’s because of the copy background. Well, that’s not strictly correct. I have been anal about time since I was late showing up out of the womb. (Sorry, Momma!) See, in my line of business, time is money.

Notice there is silver in this pile. I usually see more pennies than quarters.

Being self-employed, I have to set my own schedule. And while I’d rather schedule marathon viewings of “Firefly”, long bubble baths to soothe my aching back, or hour-long sessions of cat-skritching, unfortunately none of those pay my bills.

Sometimes very difficult to explain to my Cat Overlord.

So, instead of leading the life of luxurious sloth I so richly deserve, I find my boss is an absolute bitch about deadlines. I know people depend on my finished work in order to accomplish theirs. I also know one of the best ways to kill your writing career is to make a habit of missing deadlines. That’s not to say when I set someone else a deadline I don’t understand when Real Life happens and things are derailed — sure, it’s happened to me. But I think the key here is communication. If I don’t think I’m going to meet a hard deadline then I’m in touch with the client as soon as possible to communicate that. To me, it is the height of unprofessionalism to stick your head in the sand and pretend the train wreck is not going to happen.

Do I miss the mark? Sure I do, but not often. It’s a personal thing. I know writers who blow off deadlines like it just doesn’t matter. That irritates me. Either you’re a professional or not — and if you are, act like it. Just because you have thirty days doesn’t mean you leave it to the last one. That’s stupid, and in NettaLand, a hanging offense.

Yes. I will find you, and I will hang you. But first, you will suffer.

The moral of this little story — if you’re not going to make it, communicate that factoid. This gives everyone a chance to make changes and shuffle important activities around.

***

Now that little lecture is over, let’s talk about something more fun, shall we?

Mired as I have been in writing web copy, I am very excited to be putting on my editor’s hat in the next week or so. Not only will I be editing the fabulous Lori Whitwam’s Make or Break, I will also be starting edits on the equally fabulous Patti Larsen’s second book in her Diamond City Trilogy. I’m very excited about both projects and can’t wait to begin.

Even more exciting, with the notes I’ve received from my blessed betas, hopefully I will begin revisions on Athena’s Promise.

This is Zach Carter. He looks like how I feel! Only he's so much cuter!

I’m not setting a deadline (heh) because I never know what the next day is going to bring and I have a wedding in August which deserves my full attention.

Don't worry, it's not me. I'd stick one of these in my eye first.

But, my hope is to have Athena’s Promise ready for publication in September. Of course, updates here as they happen. 🙂

And of course, I couldn’t let you go without expressing my eternal gratefulness to my beta readers. It really takes a special person to be a good beta reader, and all of mine are GREAT. Their insightful, perceptive and honest observations have confirmed some thoughts I had and opened my eyes to places where Athena’s Promise needs a little help. Thanks to them, I can take Pallas and her story to the next level, and for that I can’t thank them enough.

I Love You Beta Readers! *MUAH*
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