Thursday, December 29, 2005

Edits and such

My cast is off, but my arm is still not back to normal. My husband, who broke his elbow once, told me to be patient. Patient? I am not patient! I want to be able to use my arm Now! Every day it gets better though, so I guess resting it in the sling is the best idea. I can type, but not for very long. I have three books in for edits right now: A World Between - which is a science fiction novella to be paired with Virtual Murder will be coming out soon in paperback, so we're finishing edits and blurbs for that one. I just finished Apocalypse, a book for Changeling Press, and another book, Renegade Aquarius, for Ellora's cave, both under my pen name. So I've been busy this past week. All the books arrived for edits the day after I broke my arm (on Monday) so I had to call my editors and tell them to be patient. (they are patient, lol) And now I'm finishing up here and should be done by the new year.

I'm very concerned about edits. Have you ever picked up a book and been pulled out of the story by typos and poor editing? It's hard to get involved in the tale - you spend your time wishing you had a red pen. As an author, I try to turn in a clean copy. But when you are writing you get so lost in your own story you often push everything else to the back of your mind. A good editor is essential to an author. I don't know many authors who won't agree with me. A good editor is also important to the publisher. Putting out a poorly edited book makes the publisher look bad. When I read a book and find an editing error, I don't blame the author. I think, 'the editor and proofreader should have caught that!' Because in most of my publishing companies, there is an editor who works closely with me, and then there are proofreaders (usually two) who go through the book afterwards with a fine-tooth comb and clear up any typos they find.

Also, if you read a book with faulty editing, remember this: an author rarely has access to the final edition of their own book. The book gets edited by someone else, proofed by someone else, and published without the author's final approval. The author, after the first round of edits are done, doesn't see the book until it comes out in print. So it's important the author feels confident that the publisher is doing his best to put out a clean copy.

For one of my publishers - this is how it works. My contract does not give me ' final approval' for my manuscript. After first edits, I am obliged to OK the corrections already made and ignore the editing faults with the assurence they will be corrected by my editor. My other publishers all have a different policy - we work on the book together until the proofreaders get it, and I get all the edit copies and can go through them. Which method do I prefer? The second one, of course. I'm a perfectionist and I like to think my book is going out into the world with as few faults as possible. What kind of editing process would you prefer? (which reminds me, I better get back to work!)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas in France

I just spent half an hour typing a report about Christmas - unfortunately, the computer glitched and ate it. So I will recapitulate:

We had a lovely time with my inlaws. The new baby (my neice's son) is one month old and just beautiful. We had a great dinner, and the next morning we opened presents in front of our tree with a lot of help from a certain little puppy. We went to see Narnia, which we all hated except for my daughter, who loved it. Last news was my cousin Sara was giving birth last night to a Christmas baby - a wonderful gift to the family! And my cast is off, although I have to wear the sling and be careful - I don't have my huge, clunky cast! Yay! I go back next Monday for more x-rays, today's x-ray showed the crack was still there but healing, so I go back once more to check that everything is going all right. My husband threw his back out somehow (he has no idea how) and he's at the doctors now trying to get it fixed. He can walk around and drive, but it hurts him when he lies down to sleep, so he's tired and crabby. (I can relate, lol - no sleep and I'm an ogre)

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!

Peace and Joy!

Friday, December 23, 2005


i added music to my sites -
anyone else use music files?

thanks for the kind words about my arm - sorry, but i still can't type!
happy holidays!!!

Monday, December 19, 2005

broken arm!

i fell down on the sidewalk yesterday and broke my arm! it's a very small, insignificant fracture, but very painful because i also twisted my arm when i fell, so i have a cast from shoulder to elbow! i only have to keep the cast for 8 days ( i told you it was a tiny fracture) and i can't wait to get it off. i never had a cast on, and when the doctor finished i told him my arm was claustraphobic and to please take it off.
i think the painkillers had kicked in then. but the cast took the pain away, so today i feel rather silly with it on. Not to mention clumsy. (my son pointed that out.)

the puppy is being a perfect angel. he looks so mischievous, but he doesn't do any of the silly puppy things most puppies do - he only chews his toys and bed, and he's nearly completely housetrained. he and rusty are almost best of friends - and i'm watching the complete series of LOST - which is keeping me glued to the TV and away from the computer!!
here is the new cover -

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Another Cover

Aplocalypse is due out in January, so I just got the cover - it's so cool, totally "kitch" and goes perfectly with the series (homoerotic science fiction)
Here is the banner.
I'll post the cover up tomorrow when I get the OK from the artist (I only have the draft for it)
Here are the titles for the Paradise Earth series:
Adam and Evan
The story is set in the far future, after earth has been destroyed first by war and then by a massive meteorite. Forced to accept the help of the Federation, proud, insular earth seethes as aliens arrive with their technology and specially adapted creatures to re-seed the planet.
The story is between Adam, a pure-blood earthling, and Evan - the man from Mars - a shapeshifter with an agenda of his own. Thrown together in the lab, and afterwards on a small island called Paradise, they fall in love. But another meteorite comes and life on earth hangs from a thread - a thread only Adam and Evan can save with their supply of Yrg eggs and Quick-Gro. Fashioning creatures from Evan's shapeshifting DNA, they break all the Federation rules.
But on another island, Cabel and Abe, two scientists who want to take over the earth, have begun develping creatures of their own--sea creatures who kill for sheer pleasure, and angels who will fly to the mainland and colonize it before Adam and Evan's children.
It's a pretty cool story and I can't wait to see the whole series together!

The series is available from Changeling Press at this URL:

"...unusual and original... A scary vision of the future in wonderful detail..."
-- Jaynie, Fallen Angel Reviews

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I'd like some sleep for Christmas....

What was I thinking getting a new puppy, lol?
My nights are now broken in many little peices, as Auguste whines, barks at a shadow, or scratches at the door. No one else really hears - I'm just a very light sleeper. But the puppy is being awfully good. No damage done - just little puddles, lol, and that I can live with, seeing the house is all tiled floor.

But I have been waking up so early every morning. It's nice. Across the street is the restaurant, Le Jument Vert, where we ate dinner last night. In the morning, they are already up too, getting things ready in the kitchen. I can see the lights on and hear the sound of pots and pans. Then there is Farmer Duval, who comes up every morning early to open his aunt's shutters and check that she's all right. (Georgina is almost 100 and bedridden, and her mind sometimes strays. She thinks there is a German hiding under her bed most days, according to Cathrine, the nurse who goes to visit her twice a day.) The delivery trucks come early to the restaurant, and on Tuesday there is the garbage truck with the three workers who always wave and call out a cheery 'Bonjour!'

The garbage men, the firemen, the police, and the postman traditionally go door to door each year for their Christmas bonus. We give about ten dollars to everyone. Some people give more, some less. They offer little calendars in exchange. The police, the postman, and the firemen have no trouble going door to door, but the poor garbagemen have to first drop off a paper with their pictures, names, and the heading "We're coming by for our Christmas bonus soon - Wishing you Happy Holidays"
This is because they are north Africans - very black and very tough-looking. Plus they don't have uniforms, only orange overalls. This year, their paper had a cheerful frame of jack-O-Lanterns around the men's pictures. It made the paper look less like a 'WANTED' sign, which is just what it has looked like these past few years. The police usually show up on a Sunday, the firemen at night, and the postman on his day off. The garbage men come during the day - around noon - with their stack of calendars and pumpkin papers.

Anyway, it's nice to see them in the early morning, they are always smiling and polite. So is Farmer Duval, who goes to the Jument Vert for a cup of coffee after he checks on his aunt. It's very dark out, so I stand there with my flashlight and wait for Auguste to finish his business (it takes a while, he has to explore the garden a bit) and I'm glad my daughter told everyone in the village we were getting a new puppy, because otherwise I don't know what the neighbors would be thinking about me, standing outside by myself so early, saying, "There now, go pee pee!! Good boy!!"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rusty and Auguste Act II

Yesterday I was raking leaves in the garden. At first it was hard, as Auguste wanted to attack the rake and subdue it, but he understood well enough after I told him not to do it and lifted him off the rake by the scruff of his neck about twenty times. All the while Rusty sat and watched. But when Auguste left off chasing the rake, he went over to play with her. Rusty backed up, and Auguste followed. Rusty decided this was her big chance. She led Auguste to all the places in the fence she usually uses to escape. The swing gate, the temporary chicken-wire gate, and the small hole under the fence I blocked up. At each place, Rusty stopped and sniffed around the weak spot - showing Auguste how he could get out of the garden if he wanted. I could practically hear her thoughts. "Look Auguste - see this hole? You could fit out there. Then you're free! You can leave whenever you want. And don't forget to write."
Of course, Auguste was more interested in eating the leaves than escaping, but I thought it was nice of Rusty to take him all around the garden to show him all the possible means of leaving her alone...
Today though, things are different. Rusty and Auguste discovered they liked to play together. Auguste had taken rusty's NEW toy, and Rusty wanted it back, so there ensued a tug-of-war, with Rusty lifting Auguste off the ground, the little dachshund hanging on for dear life. It became a game of tag, then more pulling, then Rusty actually licked Auguste--I think the ice has been broken. It's still not perfect. I have to train Auguste to stay in his carry-cage, and that is not easy. He has to get used to being locked up inside, and he just howls. I can't let him out until he stops for a while and calms down. When it's reduced to whimpers, I praise him and open the door. Each day the howling is shorter - today it only lasted three minutes. I left him in a good fifteen minutes though, and gave him a bit of hard cheese as a reward inside his cage, so he sees it's not all bad in there. Rusty, however, has sensitive ears and she has to go hide when the howling starts.
I just start the vacuum cleaner. The one I feel sorry for is my son, home from college and sleeping upstairs. I had to do all this at 8:30 a.m. because I have gym at 9 and I don't want to miss it...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Auguste and Rusty Act I

Auguste is just a baby. He lies on his back and sucks his toes, he pees whenever and whereever he feels like it, and he cries at night, because he hates to be alone. A good mother knows you mustn't yell at your children when they cry at night. Nor may you bring them to bed with you. So I go downstairs, lift Mr. Auguste up by the scruff of his neck as his real mother would do, and deposit him in his own bed, saying firmly, "Stay!". Repeat fifty times. Do not lose your calm, or the puppy will become scared and cry even louder. After fifty times, (well, actually more like ten) Mr. Auguste stayed in his bed.

Rusty has decided she does not like having a baby brother after all. Like most only children, our 'only dog' was used to having her own bed, her own room, her own water dish. And now this little fuzzy sausage on legs is sleeping in HER bed, drinking from HER waterbowl, and even more horrifying - it eats dog food! (there won't be any left for her!) I can see her thinking, "I hope this is a rental."

Auguste is blissfully unaware of sibling rivallry. In the garden, Rusty runs and leaps as fast and high as she can to show how strong she is. Auguste just sticks his nose in the grass and snuffles or fights with a leaf. Then Auguste notices her and barks - this perplexes Rusty - she does not bark except at hedgehogs, so she goes lookig for that dratted hedgehog, and Auguste is convinced he scared her off and is Proud.

Auguste does not like the rake. He attacks it. He also leaps on the mop and tries to kill it. He is absolutely fearless, dashing up to the garden gate when the garbage truck rumbles by, unfazed by noise or size. Rusty is timid, and watches all this with a "Look at that fool" expression. Auguste naps between bouts of energetic playing. He also hides all his toys in his bed, and this morning dragged his food dish into his bed and proceeded to fight with it. The fight ended with the dish upside down and Auguste unable to get a hold of it. So Auguste barked and growled at his dish while Rusty looked on with a pained expression.

Today I bought Rusty a new dog bed to replace the one Auguste has commandered, and also I bought her a rope toy. She is thrilled. She is lying in her new bed with her new toy, and when Auguste comes over she gives him a low growl to put him in his place. Auguste pretends not to hear and trots over to her old bed and plops down in it with a sigh of contentment. I bought Auguste a purple and orange spikey plastic hedgehog that squeaks.
They are both in Rusty's new bed. Auguste just got a spanking because he thinks he might be the boss of the house and he growled at me. A baby growl, but that earned him a swat on the butt with a folded newspaper. He took refuge in Rusty's bed, and since he's punished, Rusty feels smug and is letting him cuddle up to her.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Happiness is a new puppy

Today we went to get our new puppy, AUGUSTE (you say it Oh-Goosed) LOL, a 10 wk old
wire-haired dachhund. He's feeling a bit out of place right now. He explored the house, and has made friends with RUSTY, our chocolate Lab, but he is homesick, and if we leave him alone, he cries. (So my daughter is staying with him until he falls asleep.) He was the fattest, fuzziest puppy in the litter, and he has a very calm, freindly personality. We all adore him. (Especially Rusty, who never wanted to be an 'only dog'.)
Rusty's bed is in the kitchen, in the fireplace (that is blocked up and never worked), and she is happy to share her bed with Auguste. I ran out and bought lots of paper towels - Mr. Auguste had a couple 'accidents' since he's been here. Luckily I don't have any rugs - only old tiles - and I use white vinegar to clean with - it takes odors away.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Twins home from college!!!

It's so nice to have the boys back home again. The house seems smaller, but a lot warmer (and noisier, lol)
Sebi bought Japonese wooden swords for him and Alex to practice their Aikido with (I think that's what they call it - I have no idea really, but it looks cool)
My daughter is thrilled to have her older brothers home. The dog is thrilled.
The house is cleaned.
The new website is done (
Angels on Crusade is now available at Cerridwen Press
The blog is re-vamped
My edits for Renegade Aquarius are done. (Well, first edits, lol)
And I'm off to Paris today to see my niece's new baby!!
Hugs to all,

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Yes Virginia, Samantha does exist

I was working on my website today - I'm creating a whole new look for Samantha, and I plan to launch my new website soon. (uh huh) anyhow - I'm fiddling with links when mly daughter comes up behind me, stares at the screen, and says, "What is that person doing with your picture?"
Not paying attention, I said, "What person?"
"Samantha Winston. Who is she? Why does she have your picture on her site?"
I come back to earth and blink. My daughter is eleven. She is remarkably bright, but at the same time, she has the power to ignore everything that goes on around her for example, this summer we spent ten days with my brother and his pregnant wife. My sister-in-law was six months pregnant and it showed. Plus she went swimming, had a bathing-suit that showed her lovely big tummy - and we talked about the coming baby for nine days. On the tenth day, we were in the car, and my sister-in-law said, "The baby is kicking really hard."
My daughter, who was sitting right next to her, looked mildly interested and said, "What baby?"
"The one in my tummy," said my sister-in-law.
My daughter was thunderstruck. "What?? You're having a baby? You're pregnant?"
Silence as we all digested this. Then I said, "Haven't you been paying attention? What did you think we were talking about, and didn't you notice your aunt's fat tummy?" (Here I get a not so gentle punch on the shoulder from my SIL.) "I mean, lovely big tummy," I amend.
Anyway, it turns out my daughter has this amazing ability to not pay attention. It's not like I don't mention my alter ego at home, or talk about the publishing business or my books. At any rate, I told my daughter that I was, in fact, Samantha Winston.
"But why would you want to do that?" she exclaimed, indignant.
"Because I write books for adults and I write books for children, and I don't want them to get mixed up. I use one name for my children's books, and the other name for books that only adults can read. Is that clear?"
She nodded, her mind already elsewhere. You see, we put the tree up, the lights are blinking, and her next question was..."If Santa Clause doesn't exist, can I open just one of my presents now?"
So she was paying attention to me when I was talking to her aunt on the phone the other day and we were trading santa stories abotu our kids.
My daughter has selective hearing.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Interview with Tawny Taylor!

I loved Karen's interviews on her blog, so I'm copying directly here! For my first interview I'd like everyone to meet Tawny Taylor - a very talented author from Ellora's Cave, and about the nicest person you'll ever meet!

Sam: Tawny, can you tell us about your new book, Light my Fire?

Tawny: First, Sam, Thanks SO MUCH for inviting me to do this interview!
Light My Fire is the second book in my new Immortal Secrets series. It's a full length novel, longer than the launch book to the series, Dragons and Dungeons, which means there was more room for all the good stuff--more dragon love scenes , more gripping suspense scenes and more play in the dungeon . I'm extremely excited about this book, and am hoping readers will enjoy it as much as Dragons and Dungeons.

Sam: Light my Fire is one of my favorite songs - I even went to visit Jim Morrison's grave here in Paris - was his song behind the idea of the story?

Tawny: No, I'm afraid to say it didn't, though I LOVE that song too! Light My Fire was actually inspired by a huge chemical plant fire we had not to far from here. The fire was so huge, it lit the night sky for miles and miles around. I knew I had to write a story about a fire, and a hunky dragon fireman. The title just fit the concept perfectly.

Sam: I've read nearly all your books (I still have Sexual Healing on my TBR pile!) And I fall in love with your heros in each book! Tell me about your new hero, and why I'll fall in love with him too!

Tawny: Let me see...You'll fall for Alec because he's hot, and strong and protective, but also oh so gentle and erotic {{dreamy sigh}}. He's a dragon, an Immortal. I adore heroes who are strong--physically, mentally--but also have a soft spot for the heroine.

Sam: Cool! A dragon hero! I'm in love already! When can we read this book? What is the release date?

Tawny: The ebook is releasing Wednesday, December 7th! It's release is coming fast.

Sam: In this blog I try to give readers a glimpse of what it's like to write erotica. Do you have a story you can share?

Tawny: Oy. I try to tell everyone it's so NOT the glamorous life people seem to think it is when I tell them I'm a writer. I don't sit around in satin gowns pecking at the computer while snacking on bon-bons and counting the bazillions of dollars I'm raking in. My hubby and I have a large family, which means it's very difficult for me to find not only the time to write, but a space to write in. My little computer desk is wedged in the corner of my kids' bedroom, buried under a towering heap of stuffed animals. I discovered my poor printer had a cookie wedged in the paper feed, LOL. Kids! But that's my life. It's not perfect but it's wonderful :-D Maybe someday I'll be able to sit around in satin gowns snacking on bon-bons.

Sam: What? No satin gown and bon-bons?? LOL! Best of luck with this book Tawny - I know it will be a best seller! And thank you for taking the time to pop by and do my interview!

Tawny: Thanks again, Sam! From your lips to the book goddesses :-D

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Argentine Lover at the Romance Bookclub

Hi guys!

The Romance Bookclub is now starting the December 2005 book club features, and The Argentine Lover is the erotica book of the month!
I hope you are as excited about that as I am!
If you want to join the discussion and answer the questions I posted about the book, just follow the link below and sign up - the bookclub is free.

Please RSVP in the message boards under the erotic romance book. They want active participants. Let them know if you have the book, have started the book, and what you think so far!

I look forward to discussing The Argentine Lover with you this month.
(The questions aren't that hard - really!)