Wednesday, August 27, 2008

On my knees AGAIN... Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Can everybody do me a big-ass favour? With Book Blogger Appreciation Week upcoming, it's time to get nominations in for our favourite book-related blogs. Nominations close AUGUST 31st, so there's no time to waste.

If you love me like I love you, please please please with sugar on top nominate Donuts and Desires in the Best Published Author Blog category... or any other category you think I'm good for.

Send your nominations to BbawawardsATgmailDOTcom by August 31st, 2008.

Here are all the details...


BBAW Award Nominations are Open


It's time to open nominations for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008!

Listed below are the categories of awards. There are many. You may not have a nomination for each award. It doesn't matter. Nominate up to two blogs per category and send an email to BbawawardsATgmailDOTcom with your choices. You DO NOT have to have a blog to make nominations. Comments left on this post will NOT be accepted as nominations. Each category will be narrowed to the top five blogs by number of nominations received, so don't be shy!!! Support your favorite blogs and bloggers! Nominations will close on August 31st.

And the categories for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008 are:

Best General Book Blog
Best Kidlit Blog
Best Christian/Inspirational Fiction Blog
Best Literary Fiction Blog
Best Book Club Blog
Best Romance Blog
Best Thrillers/Mystery/Suspense Blog
Best Non-fiction Blog
Best Young Adult Lit Blog
Best Book/Publishing Industry Blog
Best Challenge Host
Best Community Builder
Best Cookbook Blog
Best History/Historical Fiction Blog
Best Design
Most Chatty
Most Concise
Most Eclectic Taste
Best Name for a Blog
Best Published Author Blog
Best Book published in 2008
Best Meme/Carnival/Event
Most Extravagant Giveaways
Best Book Community site
Write In--think we missed something? Write in your category and nomination and if there are enough other write-ins of the same category it will be added!

Monday, August 25, 2008

i'm a wiener


If only I could be in writing mode and business mode simultaneously, but that seems to be happening for me with increasing infrequency. I don't remember the last time I got out there, promoting my work. Right now it's all about the writing.

I think I'm having way too much sex, and it must way too good, because the moment Sweet leaves my house or throws me out of the car on the side of the highway or whatever, I'm right back at my computer writing about it. It's a little like dream journaling, for anyone who's done that: you don't want to let a single detail slip through your fingers because it all has such great value. I want to include in my work every body twinge, every sigh of enlightenment, every expression of emotion.

Maybe I've told Sweet I'm only with her for the material one too many times; I think she's starting to believe it. Truly, the inspiration of new material is just a delightful bonus.

Ooops... I've been rambling so much I almost for to explain my wiener-ness:
Put on your congratulatory caps, because my story Secret Mercy received an honourable mention in For The Girls' "transgression" short story competition. You can read the judges' comments here. Become a For The Girls member soon, because Secret Mercy is scheduled to appear on the site September 18th. Keep an eye out for it!

Lot of Lovin'
gigi

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Missing: One Husband

What is my alma mater doing employing the outdated title “Miss?”

Every single item of mail I get from my university is addressed to Miss Giselle Renarde. Miss? Miss! Seriously? There isn’t a single other institution –not a bank, not a charity, not even my cable provider- that sends mail addressed to Miss Renarde.

It disturbs me that the very institution where I learned how to be an effective feminist, where I studied issues in gender and linguistics, now sends mail to my house that slaps me in the face on a feminist linguistic level. I’ve even gone to the university’s website, where you can change your address, phone number, e-mail and essentially every item of contact information -- except title.

I guess the only way for me to get that changed is to get married, or get a doctorate. No, wait… how does Fr. Giselle Renarde sound? Or Giselle Renarde, Esq? Or Rev. Renarde?

I am not a Miss! I am not Miss-ing a husband. If I have to choose, I’ll take “Ms,” but I’d prefer to trash the titles altogether. Titles only serve to highlight differences and segregate along the well-worn lines of gender and class.

Want to know a secret? Every time I have to fill out a form with a drop down menu that only allows you to select from the titles of Mr, Mrs or Miss, I select “Mr” every time.

Is that petty? Well, it’s my choice.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Butchering the Classics

Hi, all! I’m out of town at the moment, but if my computer’s smarter than I am, it should be able to post today’s Monday Miscellany on my behalf.

I have some “informations” for you, as we say in franglais (aka Frenglish): I like to write music in my beyond-ample spare time. Not just that, but I’ve fished some of it out from under my mattress and posted it to my lovely little Myspace page for all to hear. Myspace.com/gisellerenarde

Most of my work fits into a collection I call "Butchering the Classics" because, along with my Garageband software, that's what I tend to do. Hopefully I butcher them in a way that is pleasing to the ear, at least. Might as well check it out; it's all free.

I started (re)arranging classical music to use as a soundtrack for my promotional book trailers (like, did I mention I also write erotic fiction? lol) but soon developed a taste for producing my own music, such as it is.

As for my butchering, it tends to be of french impressionist music. "The Little Shepherd" you may recognize as a composition of Claude Debussy's, whereas "She's Like the Swallow" is a traditional Canadian song. I enjoy those hauntingly beautiful sounds, reminiscent of twilight by a lakeside campfire. I also love Bach, which led me to produce “I (heart) Bach,” an elegant arrangement of his F minor keyboard concerto.

"Vous le voulez comment?" is a sexy little number I wrote (all by myself, mommy!), which begins with a bit of pleading. Although the lyrics are “vous le voulez comment?” (“how do you want it?”), the intensity of expression suggests something else. The subtext reads more as, “I’ll give you anything you want, just fuck me already!” Then we get into the “ah, oui, c’est ça,” suggesting the pleading has paid off. Doesn’t last long, though. It ends with a musical joke, because, hell, sex is funny.

I feel like I’m giving an awards speech, here. Finally, I would like to thank my mother for forcing me to practise piano as a child. All those lessons were good for something after all…

Bright Blessings,
gigi

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Nice Package, Love Bites and Rainbow Reviews

I had an exciting mail day. Snail mail, to be precise. Did you know that still existed? Yes, that’s right: a real live person brings stuff right to your door and it doesn’t cost you a penny. What service! And it’s been around for how long, you say?

Anyway, silly-time over. I received in the post my contributor copy of a great little anthology called Love Bites. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before. It’s the paranormal M/M/F ménage antho brought to you by the letter Bare Back Angels and the number Torquere Press. Some really hot guy-guy-girl stories in this baby.

But we still haven’t come to the exciting bit. Believe it or not, before the mail came this morning, I had never seen my work in print! That’s right. All my other work has appeared in some or another electronic format. Gosh, is it ever exciting to see your name in print, and to flip through a paperback to find your own words inside. “Q” – I wrote that! “Well-greased stripper pole” – my words! “Tell me what happened or I’ll tie your ass hair to your pubes!” – ahem… yes… also mine.

To add to the excitement, I came upon a great review of my story “The Regular,” which appears in Love Bites. Emily at Rainbow Reviews calls “The Regular,” “an ingenuous twist on the classic tale of Cupid’s arrow.” Aw, shucks! And it gets even better: “This lovely story explores how love is often found in the most unexpected places, with the people we see each and every day.”

There’s also a character cross-over I should mention. Anyone who read Tangled Roots must be wondering what happened to poor, spurned Toby. Buy a copy of Love Bites and read “The Regular.” You’ll die a happy man.


Here’s to the print anthology and many happy mail days to come! (I hear my contributor copies of Coming Together: With Pride are on their way—just one more reason to celebrate life and work!)

Cuddles all around!
gigi


Monday, August 11, 2008

Thanks Everybody!

Woo-hoo! We won!

A great big hug and thank you to everybody who voted for my book trailers in last week's competition held by The Romance Room. I'm happy to announce that we won in both categories!


The book trailer for Cunning Little Vixens won:
The book trailer for Tangled Roots won:
If you haven't yet seen the trailers, click the awards links above and check them out. Thanks again to everybody who voted for me. You're the best readers ever!
Bright Blessings,
gigi

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Biggest Bitch

Nothing is ever complete until you've shared it with those you love. Along those lines, I'd love to share with all my sweeties out there the marvelous review my novella Tangled Roots received from Mrs Giggles.

Now, if you've read the review in question, "marvelous" might not be the term that comes to mind. You might think, "crippling critique," "debilitating assessment" or "outright pan," even. Ah, but how far from the truth! You see, these things are all a matter of perspective.


I can see how one might read a line like,
"Ms Renarde starts out by making her heroine Simone a complete bitch," and take it as a negative. No, no, no. Not at all. I take that line as high praise. Simone is without a doubt the biggest bitch the world has ever seen. While it isn't quite the case that "she lost her job because she kicked one baby too many at the workplace," the truth isn't much more pleasant.

Let me tell you a little bit about Simone Valcourt: she's based on a former psycho-bitch client of mine. I couldn't believe my ears when somebody told me this woman was married. What kind of man could possibly stand to live with the Wicked Bitch of Bay Street? I couldn't stand to be in the same room with her for more than thirty seconds. I knew there had to be a story in there, but of course I wouldn't dare ask her, so I made one up. Essentially, I considered all the bitchy women I'd encountered and realized they all had love lives too. That's how Tangled Roots was born.

Hey, I never claimed Tangled Roots wasn't a challenging work. It demands more of the reader than your run-of-the-mill romance, but when did I ever claim this book was fluff? In fact, the first thing my editor said to me upon reading the prologue to Tangled Roots (which Mrs Giggles calls "unexpectedly well written") was that he could tell right away this book wasn't going to turn into fluff.

There is a big push in this genre to dumb characters down and make them palatable, but, seriously, how many waifish heroines whose major flaw is nail-biting can fit on one bookshelf? What I will always love about Simone, even if she is "really nasty and confrontational," is that she exists in a class all her own. What I love about eXcessica is that this publisher showcases daring works like Tangled Roots.

I'll let Mrs Giggles have the final word on the matter:
"If you enjoy reading interracial romances with the heat level turned up a few notches, you may like this one... provided that you can overlook the heroine's antagonistic nature."

So, what do you say? Are you up to the challenge? Click here

Bright Blessings,

gigi



Sunday, August 3, 2008

I'm on my knees... to beg for your vote!

My book trailers for Cunning Little Vixens and Tangled Roots are both finalists in the "Best Book Trailer" competition over at The Romance Room. I'll love you forever if you vote for me!

Vote for the Tangled Roots trailer under "Best Book Trailer Erotic Romance: Contemporary "

Vote for the Cunning Little Vixens trailer under "Best Book Trailer Erotic Romance: Historical"

Polls are open today (Sunday Aug 3rd) and tomorrow (Monday Aug 4th), so vote early and... often...?

Thanks everybody! I really appreciate your help. Let's win this thang!

Bright Blessings,
Giselle