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Showing posts from April, 2012

Z is for ZOMG! The A to Z Challenge is Ending

In honor of young adults everywhere (including those adults who are young at heart), Z is for ZOMG!

My first A to Z Challenge has come to an end, with the last day of April and the last letter of the alphabet.

Overall I'm glad I participated. I hope this exercise will help me blog more frequently--if I can blog every day, surely I can blog twice a week. My pub sister Nicki Elson is the one who encouraged me to give the Challenge a try, and it's great she introduced me to this universe.

The best part of the challenge was meeting new bloggers! Here are some of the noteworthy writers and bloggers I came across:

*Roland Yeomans at Writing in the Crosshairs blog: His dead and undead characters in New Orleans have been interesting to follow!

*Kyra Lennon at Write Here Write Now blog: She just finished her sports romance (I love this genre) and it was great to hear from the various characters on a professional soccer team

*Heather Gardner at The Waiting is the Hardest Part blog: The …

Y is for Young Adult

In the midst of writing adult romantic suspense books (The Conduct Series), I decided to publish a Young Adult novel I'd written back in 2007: Streamline.

It's been interesting to cross genres so far, and I have a feeling I'm in for quite an education with the upcoming blog tour for Streamline on May 7-12. About 40 YA bloggers will be reviewing my baby, eek!

This story isn't your typical YA, for several reasons:

1) It's 129,000 words, when most YA's are about 80,000. (It started over 200K words(!), so my editor and I have done a LOT of chopping.)

2) It features many points of view beyond the hero (Leo) and heroine (Audrey), including parents, siblings, and coaches.

3) It's a murder mystery that's for older teens and adults due to mature themes of abuse, violence, and sexual situations.

4) There's no love triangle.

Because of these anomalies, I'm nervous about the reception to the novel by passionate bloggers. I hope there's room for my uniq…

X is for X-Rated

Are you a fan of erotica? I'm a prude at heart, and I used to blush when reading any sex scene. But when I started reading and writing fan fiction, my reaction changed. Now I enjoy a well-written sex scene, and I've read quite a few stories with BDSM, male-male romance, and kink . . . nothing fazes me anymore. I do prefer more plot than sex in romance novels, but a well-crafted intimate scene that advances plot and characterization is wonderful.

At my book club last night (see the Book Club tab above to learn more about these lovely ladies) we not only discussed our chosen read for the month (see my review of the hilarious Domestic Violets HERE), but also the erotica Dom-sub sensation Fifty Shades of Grey.

I still haven't read Fifty but I must see what it's all about soon. My friend Sally wasn't impressed by the writing but there's definitely something in there that keeps you reading.

Sally shared one theory about our attraction to books like Twilight and Fifty

W is for Wenworth Miller

Have you heard of actor Wentworth Miller? He's my favorite actor, and an inspiration for my writing. I loved him in the TV show Prison Break. He played the lead character Michael Scofield with intelligence, passion, suaveness, and just the right amount of vulnerability. I think he is so sexy!

Who's your favorite actor or actress? How have they inspired you?

And now it's time for the Author Blog Bounce! Check out instructions HERE.

V is for Vixen

A character that fascinates me is the vixen. I'm referring to the slang definition of vixen--"a sexually provocative female"--not "a woman regarded as quarrelsome, shrewish, or malicious".

My favorite TV vixen is Samantha Jones from Sex and the City.

Do you remember the melon episode? Kim Cattrall plays her brilliantly.

She cracks me up. Samantha is coy, intelligent, sexually adventurous, and disdainful of monogamy. She doesn't want to marry and she sure as hell doesn't want children.

My mother, who is in her seventies, claims that women like Samantha Jones don't really exist...that women aren't really sexual aggressors. I have to admit I don't have any friends like Samantha, but I believe there are women out there who do crave sexin' it up with multiple partners.

What do YOU think?

**Blogger help!** The past two scheduled posts have not published. Is that happening to anyone else? Any suggestions for how to fix it?

U is for Unbroken

Here's my review of my favorite read of 2011:

What a perfect title to describe the real-life hero of this novel, Louie Zamperini: UNBROKEN.

One tip for writers to evoke emotion in their stories is to put their characters through hell, and I've never witnessed such emotional torture of a character. I was on the verge of tears for most of the book and at one point sobbed, reading what Louie suffered. What makes this story even more emotionally compelling is that Louie isn't a fictional character. He's a real Olympic runner, Air Force veteran, and inspirational speaker, now age 94.

Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit, did exhaustive research for this novel and I'm proud to say I attended the same liberal arts college as she did (Kenyon College). I loved learning about the early days of competitive running . . . the firm belief that no human could break the 4:00 mile barrier . . . archaic ideas that training hills would make a runner slower . . . the c…

T is for Titanic

I had the pleasure of watching my favorite movie in 3D yesterday: TITANIC.

What an incredible love story! The romance has all the elements I find intriguing: a strong hero and heroine, sacrifice, drama and humor, star-crossed lovers facing all sorts of conflicts including different backgrounds and a meddling third party, but most of all...two people making each other better through their love.

And of course I loved Rose guessing Dr. Freud would have something to say about men being obsessed with size, and Mr. Ismay replying, "I haven't heard of this Dr. he a passenger?" Hee hee.

Have you ever referred to a movie in your writing? I'm about 2/5 done with On Best Behavior, the third novel in The Conduct Series (adult romantic suspense). I just had to mention Titanic leading up to a love scene between my hero and heroine, Grant and Sophie. Here's an excerpt:

Grant locked the door behind him and strolled into the darkened apartment. He hesitated upon noticin…

S is for Streamline

I'm getting my post up a bit late today, plagued by a bad cold that has stolen my voice. It was interesting doing psychotherapy yesterday with my lame squeaky rasps! Hopefully I did some excellent listening.

Streamline is my third release, though it was the first novel I wrote. It involves competitive swimming--a sport dear to me. I started swimming year-round at age eight and continued through college. I still swim a couple of miles twice a week with friends.

How do you streamline in the pool? Align your body after the dive or push-off to "spear" through the water with minimal resistance. Here's a beautiful streamline:

(And a beautiful body!) How do YOU streamline when you meet up with resistance in your life?

This young adult murder mystery just launched 3-27-12, and I'm looking forward to the Streamline blog tour May 7-12, hosted by Julie from A Tale of Many Reviews. Julie's signed up about 40 Young Adult bloggers and we'll offer a $25 gift card as the …

R is for Recruit

I hope this A to Z Challenge ends soon because I'm running out of ideas!

Today's letter "R" is for Recruit, or rather my short story Swim Recruit.

The NCAA allows five paid visits to universities as a prospective student-athlete, and I find the process rather fascinating. The university attempts to woo the recruit while the recruit attempts to show off her academic and athletic prowess.

A recruiting trip might be one of the first times away from home for the high school senior. Though I was a teetotaler throughout high school, I got drunk for the first time on my swimming recruiting visit to Yale. ;-)

This short story was part of an anthology benefiting breast cancer research, but now it's a sweet YA single available for free at Omnific Publishing or for $.99 on Amazon.

Not long after Abby Donahue’s family falls apart, she escapes on an airplane to Chicago for a recruiting trip. A talented high-school swimmer, Abby hopes to score both a college scholarship and s…

Q is for Quietly, Quickly, Quintessentially: Confessions of an Adverb Abuser

1) As I quietly tiptoe into today's Challenge letter "Q" (quintessentially the most challenging letter of all), I quickly realize I'll have to strike up some creativity!

2) As I tiptoe into today's Challenge letter "Q" (the most challenging letter of all), I realize I'll have to strike up some creativity!

Which style is better? I contend #2 is better for a concise, smooth read. There's no need to use "quietly"--that's the only way one can tiptoe. And the other q adverbs are superfluous.

But when I first started writing, my style was much closer to #1. I bled adverbs like a stuck pig (and I used a lot of clich

P is for Psychology

And we move forward with the A to Z Blogging Challenge today with good ole letter P, which of course is for PSYCHOLOGY!

If you scroll down the right side of my blog, you will find the "Psycho Author Series" in which I write about psychological disorders you can use to help your characterization.

It starts off HERE with a post about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, one of my favorites (and most difficult to treat!) I created a character in my newly released Young Adult Sports Romance Streamline based on this diagnosis. If you've read this story, can you guess the character?

What psychological diagnosis would you like to learn more about?

O is for Omnific Publishing

Have you heard of Omnific? It's a small press publisher that's released my first three novels, and I've been quite pleased to work with the wonderful individuals involved.

When I was querying agents for With Good Behavior (and getting nowhere), I happened upon Omnific and found a great fit for my romance novels. I've learned so much about publishing and marketing from these feisty ladies.

The publisher is Elizabeth Harper, Ph.D.--a psychologist like me. I'm lucky she gave my writing a chance! Here she is with some of her staff at the Romantic Times convention:

Micha Stone, Jessica Royer Ocken, CJ Creel, Elizabeth Harper, Lisa O'Hara
Jessica, CJ, and Lisa have whipped my manuscripts into shape with their keen editing skills, and Micha has been a whiz at marketing.

At the convention, I was also stoked to meet fellow Omnific author and A to Z Blogger Nicki Elson (check out her Disney tips HERE).

Jennifer Lane and Nicki Elson
Since Omnific's first releases launch…

N is for Naughty and Naked

Today's the cover reveal for Lisa Sanchez's naughty and naked novel Faythe Reclaimed!

Running through a strange forest with a bloodthirsty demon hot on her heels wasn’t Taylor’s idea of a rockin’ evening. Then again, neither was soaring backward through time and space. Time travel chafed and left a rank, nasty aftertaste. So, when she finds herself floundering amidst a sea of Commandment-loving holy rollers who fling accusations of witchcraft and bedevilment like hotcakes in a diner, finding her way home jumps to the top of her to do list. Too bad she can’t remember who she is or where she came from. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Taylor realizes she’s fallen for Gabriel, the mysterious Latin warlock who came to her rescue.

Battling an identity crisis and lost in a time that’s not her own, Taylor is determined to find her way back to twenty-first century Hanaford Park. But first, she and Gabriel must work together to uncover the dark scourge lurking in the shadows of Salem Villa…

M is for Marketing Tips

As the author of almost 50 books, Bob Mayer rakes in quite the healthy salary. He shared some sound marketing strategies at the Romantic Times Convention, which I in turn want to share with you. I'll also include some of my favorite quotes from Bob.

Bob talked about the Three P's to selling books: 1. Platform 2. Product 3. Promotion
"The best platform and promotion is a great product. The second best is more product." (With that many books out, Bob has definitely embraced "more".)

1. Platform. Find your niche as an author. My tagline is "Romantic Suspense Featuring Healing and Redemption." What's yours?

"You can't do everything, but be consistent." Bob focuses most on his blog and Twitter instead of spreading himself too thin across multiple social media sites. He keeps an extensive spreadsheet with all the dates for guest posts, tweeting, and bumping his Kindleboards threads as often as allowed (every 7 days). (I admit I've neve…

L is for Lessons from RT

I'm attending my first writers' conference! *clicks heels* The Romantic Times Convention in Chicago has been a lot of fun so far, and I want to share some tidbits with you.

In the "Kiss Me, Kill Me: Writing Action Scenes for Romance" seminar, writers Larissa Ione and others advised making the reasons for the fight personal. No one cares about an action scene unless there are high stakes for the hero and heroine.

There were married couples on the panel and they said they'd choreograph the action scenes together in real life, to increase authenticity. Sounds like I need to get me an author hubs to do this. ;-)

Next was my favorite seminar, on Romantic Suspense. Here's a great author, Cindy Gerard, with Roxanne Rustand to her left:

I can't wait to read the next book in Cindy's Black Ops Inc. series. These authors recommended the macfreedom program to shut off the internet while writing. (I need this!)

Finally the Young Adult panel was a hoot. Stephanie P…

K is for Kellerman

Jonathan Kellerman is a psychologist/author (or psycho author like myself) and I have enjoyed his Alex Delaware series. His character Alex is a child psychologist who consults on murder cases.

When the Bough Breaks is book #1 of a whopping 27 so far in the series. I stopped reading somewhere after #10 because the murder mystery thing was getting a bit gruesome for me, but I like how Mr. Kellerman weaves his psychological knowledge into stories.

In Chicago for the Romantic Times convention, I was talking to my brother-in-law about novelists who capitalize on their professional expertise. He's a fan of Michael Crichton and John Grisham, scientist and attorney, respectively. Wasn't it cool how Mr. Crichton used his knowledge about DNA to write Jurassic Park?

What professional expertise sparks your interest when reading novels?

J is for Jennifer

For today's A to Z Challenge post, let's talk about names.

First names. My parents named me Jennifer (a popular name in the early 1970's) and I'm lucky that I like my name. It's easy to spell and provides instant familiarity with all the Jennifers I meet. Jen is an easy nickname (I'm not a Jenny though!) There are some downsides to the popularity of my name--another student in my small college class had my exact same name and constantly got all my emails. Same thing with the large medical system where I work.

How do you like your first name? Why did your parents choose it?

Middle Names. My middle name is Elaine, and this name is fine with me too because it reminds me of the wonderful character from Seinfeld. (I hope I dance better than her!)

Do you have a middle name(s)? How do you like it?

Last Names/Changing Your Name. Psst! "Lane" isn't my surname. One cool thing about being an author is choosing a pseudonym I liked for my last name. (It would be…

I is for I.M.

I'm not discussing Instant Messaging today. Instead, I'm talking about the Individual Medley, a race in competitive swimming. The heroine of my YA swimming-romance-murder-mystery Streamline--Audrey Rose--specializes in the I.M.

The individual medley features all four strokes in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.

This race is fun to watch because there are often lead changes. Rarely is one swimmer awesome at all four strokes (even Michael Phelps has an "off" stroke of breaststroke but "off" for him would be very "on" for most of us!) The I.M. does tend to favor breaststrokers though because that stroke comes at a pivotal part of the race.

Training I.M. is fun because there's so much variety. Getting tired of butterfly? (My answer is always a resounding yes! My friend Joe calls my butterfly the "ugly".) Flip over to backstroke. Backstroke shredding your legs? Time for breaststroke. And then bring i…

H is for Heart

In his sermon yesterday, the pastor asked us if we had an "Easter Heart". In other words, is our heart strong and pumping, full of life? Has it loved? Has it broken? Has it resurrected?

The Easter heart made me think of my dear swimming friend Beth, who died in her sleep a few nights ago. She was only fifty years old, and one of the fittest people I've even known. Beth was a world-class swimmer, going 1:48 in the 200 yard Freestyle thirty years ago. That's an excellent time even today! She often impressed me with her toughness, particularly when I witnessed her breaking the master's world record in the 50 Freestyle.

Beth had a heart condition. Though her heart was full of life, love, and caring for those around her, her heart gave out. At this point I'm not sure if her heart problems led to her untimely death, but it seems likely.

Beth was a strong, independent woman. She would always pepper me with questions--she was truly interested in people--and seemed to…

G is for Goodreads

Have you heard of the social networking site It's like a Facebook for book lovers. As an author and reader, I love the site. Here's my page.

Authors can list their works and interact with readers. It's a bit dicey to respond to readers' reviews, but I've enjoyed the opportunity to thank readers for their comments, and I've also liked to receive feedback that helps me improve as an author. I've learned not to respond to negative reviews (that's an entirely different blog post!)

Readers can shelve books that they've read and want to read. My parents are in their seventies and sometimes start reading novels only to discover they'd already read them but forgotten. Goodreads is a great way to keep track of the books you've finished, and an excellent opportunity to hear about interesting books.

I'm so pleased I've learned about these novels on Goodreads from my over 2,000 friends there:

*The I-Team series by Pamela…

F is for Fielding

The Art of Fielding, that is. Here's my review for this literary fiction by Chad Harbach.

From Goodreads:

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners' team captain and Henry's best friend, realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert's daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest …

E is for Exercise

Do you have a love or hate relationship with exercise?

I admit I love exercise. Lest you think I'm completely virtuous, I assure you I have a hate relationship with healthy eating. I guess one out of two ain't bad.

Ever since I started competitive swimming at age eight, moving my body in some fashion has become a daily habit. High school and college swimming peaked at four hours of exercise a day (yes, swimmers are insane) but now I strive for an hour a day. Here are some of my favorite ways to spend that hour:

* Swimming laps with friends (two miles take us up to 90 minutes because we chat and insult each other so much between sets)
* Reading a novel on the exercise bike
* Walking with my iPod, plotting the next chapter of my novel
* Ellipticalling on the elliptical machine while playing Word Welder on the iPad
* Walking with a psychotherapy client during our session
* Strength training to pump *claps* me up! (remember Hans & Franz from SNL?)

Beyond the physical benefit…

D is for Downing

Author Hannah Downing, that is. Today is Hannah Downing's Pieces of Us Anniversary Blog Tour! I loved this novel and gave it a 4 star review HERE.

Congratulations to HannahDowning on the one year anniversary of the publication of her contemporary romance Pieces of Us! To celebrate, I get to interview the sexy hero of the novel: Cameron Harper. *bounces up and down*
Jennifer Lane (JL): Welcome, Cameron *bats eyelashes* Please tell us about yourself.
Cameron Harper (CH): Hello Jennifer, thanks for having me on your blog. I’m a tall, dark and handsome Capricorn who loves long walks on the beach… *winks* But seriously, everything I can tell you about myself is wound up with my ex-wife, Charlotte. I grew up in a normal family, one of three children with happy parents in the northeast. In my junior year of college I met Charlotte and that was when my life really began. I was so happy, until our relationship started to break down and then everything changed. Since our divorce, I’ve tried to…

C is for Coincidence

Sometimes the world seems like a small place. A VERY small place.

The world felt itty-bitty this weekend when I met book blogger Dani from Refracted LightReviews at Panera for lunch. Her YA blog was a co-host for the Launch Party of my novel Streamline last week, and when I discovered she also lived in Columbus, Ohio, we agreed to meet in person.

Imagine my surprise when I found out where Dani a city of 2 million people, she lives 100 yards away from me! We had a good laugh about living in the same condo complex for three years and never knowing it.

It was wonderful to meet Dani, and we also joined kickass book blogger Jenny from Supernatural Snarkblog (who I'd met once before) for lunch.

Aren't both of these gals adorable? I've met some of the nicest people through blogging.

What coincidences have you experienced through blogging?

Stay tuned for my "D is for Downing" post tomorrow. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

B is for Battle of Actium

Today's A to Z post is a COVER REVEAL for Astarte's Wrath by Trisha Wolfe!

Isn't that cover gorgeous? I love her bangs. My pub sister at Omnific Publishing---Trisha Wolfe---is the author of Destiny's Fire, and this prequel is surely another YA page-turner.

The title of this novel would've been perfect for yesterday's "A" post but nooooo, Trisha just HAD to coordinate the reveal for April 2nd, so I got creative by using the blurb (the Battle of Actium) to find my "B". (Just kidding, Trisha--I'm thrilled to be part of your cover reveal!)

Two thousand years before Dez Harkly developed her secret powers, Kythan Astarte vowed to free the Kythans from the binds that enslaved them to the Egyptian pharaohs and sorcerers. Discover the prophecy that originated from a very different time, and spans generations to link two very different girls...This is the beginning.

Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Actium, in the city of Alexandria,…

Blogging from A to Z Begins!

This is my first year participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge!

This challenge is an opportunity to hone my blogging skills and meet awesome bloggers by posting once a day through the month of April, following the letters of the alphabet.

Today's letter is A. I tip my hat to book bloggers by highlighting Tee's blog "A Diary of a Book Addict". Tee helped launch my first YA novel Streamline a few days ago by interviewing the hero and heroine, Leo and Audrey HERE. Thank you, A Diary of a Book Addict!

It's really fun to meet bloggers of all kinds, and on 4/3/12 I'll discuss a wacko coincidence I discovered when I met a book blogger Dani at Panera yesterday.