Saturday, May 31, 2008

Clock Watching

Or I guess "Calendar Watching" would make more sense.

I'm with you, ladies. The Wait is awful. I tend to forget what submissions I have out... except for that bulletin board to my left that I try not to check. It lists when I sent what to whom, if there have been any updates, and gives the dates.

I have one submission that I sent out in December of '07. It was acknowledged later that month, but I haven't heard a peep since. I don't have a charm for that book, which is probably good. Keeps me guessing. In the past, whatever object I associate with a book (a purple plastic horse for RETURN TO ME, a bag of rocks for ROMANCING THE STONES, etc) gets bumped or moved or it falls right before I hear something about its status.

Hearing something is often better than hearing NOTHING for months on end...

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Rough week

Wow, we all have had a rough week. I haven't had any refusals this week, but I haven't sent anything out in quite some time. I am working on a book to sub to Blaze in July. I will say I have pondered the actual plotline beyond the sexy US Marshall hero. I mean, I have to be careful it doesn't stray from Blaze hot to nail biting suspense of an Intrigue. Of course I can consider Intrigue if Blaze turns it down, huh? Maybe, but the sex is, of course, front and center, just like a Blaze.

I am also looking at the Desire editor pitch contest Harlequin has advertised on their forums. I don't know if I want to rush and try to write a Desire. I don't want to take the focus off my Blaze. In case someone out there is interested, the Desire contest is here.

And Rowan, I get refusals all the time. The last I got was from an agent. She then asked for something more contemporary, hence the Blaze I am writing. So far I have gotten 4 rejections from 4 agents. And the search continues. I am going to hit it hard once I am done with this book. You just got to keep plugging away. Just because one editor doesn't like a book doesn't mean you write crap. Someone else will see the genius in the writing and offer a contract.

The week from hell

Is it over yet? Is May almost finished? From this week's posts, it sounds like the Passion's Muses have faced some challenges. I have definitely been struggling as well. I, too, am trying to look at the positive side of a rejection. My muse isn't cooperating as she should on a book that's due in a month. And I'm just overwhelmed in general, and the idea that the kids will be out of school in just a few days doesn't exactly inspire feelings of calmness and serenity.

My motto for the past few weeks has become the lyric from the Kanye West song: "Now that that don't kill me...Will only make me stronger..."

Things are starting to look a little brighter. My current release, the anthology Sins of Summer, has been on the Amazon erotica bestseller list for a solid month (isn't that cool!?). I've been rewriting the rejected ms like a madwoman. I'm heading off to a girls' relaxation weekend at a retreat in Colorado. And, last but not least, I have another winner for deck of the Ellora's Cave Golden Age of Hollywood Playing Cards and a download copy of Sins of the Knight. It's Yvonne! Congratulations!

Next time I post, it'll be June...and hopefully smoother sailing for all the Muses.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

PMS writing

So, time suckage sucks as does rejection and refusal.

Some days everything sucks about writing.

Then again, some days everything sucks BUT writing.

I've been in a bad mood all week. Don't even try to talk to me. It won't be pretty.

Why so bitchy? Besides PMS?

An overabundance of projects. Which is not a bad thing. Really, it's not. And I should be much happier about it.

I've just finished revisions on my third SEDUCED story. I've almost finished my fifth SEDUCED story. I just started revisions for my agent on another project. I have two freelance articles to write. And (hope I don't jinx myself) so far they're all going along pretty well.

But there's this sword hanging over my head and it's got School's Out written on the blade. It signals the death of my creativity as I try to write through the yelling, the fighting, the guitar playing, the TV noise and the front door banging as kids tramp through my house.

I think the PMS will last for the next three months.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rejection vs. Refusal

Annemarie started our blogs this week candidly discussing one of the big challenges that authors face - doing the right thing for our work. I want to continue that theme by discussing another challenge we cannot avoid - when our work is turned down.

I recently submitted my fantasy novel DESTINY'S JEWEL to Ellora's Cave for their birthstone series and on Monday I received a "no, thank you" from my editor, my first from EC. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Worse... in the heart.

I shared my disappointment with my writers group and received great support and understanding. I also received two definitions that have changed the way I look at this part of writing.

According to the dictionary:
REJECTION: 1) the act or process of discarding as useless or
unsatisfactory. 2) to refuse to grant

Now, I know that my manuscript isnt useless. Nor do many of the other descriptions of the word "reject" fit my work. However.. the word refuse is used in the definition.

Look at that definition:
REFUSE: 1) to decline to accept (something offered): to refuse an award.
2) to decline to give; deny (a request, demand, etc.).

That fits what happened much better. My editor declined to accept the manuscript, denied it publication in it's current form with EC. The story was refused. By one editor. Of one story. That is much easier on my heart and muse.

Most writers have heard the story of how many times DUNE was refused (13, I believe), DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL, by Anne Frank (15 times), JONATHON LIVINGSTON SEAGULL (140!!). Knowing those numbers help a little, but for me, reframing the process in my mind was an instant balm.

I offered my editor a manuscript. She refused. That was her choice. How I feel and go forward from here - that's my choice.

And I feel just fine, thank you.

May your choices support your dreams,

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Time Suckage

Ok, so this is one of the few times I'm going to complain about being e published... But I'm sure there are authors out there who will be able to feel my pain... This weekend I pulled a piece of work from a publisher. It all went well, which was great, but my gosh, what a pita... I spent the afternoon taking the information off my website, blog, MySpace, FAR page, TRS page... And I know there are places I still missed. And now of course I am trying to decide what to do with my now available piece of work... I wanted to spend the afternoon writing, but instead I spent it pulling the cover from everywhere I could think of. And so tomorrow I am going to reread my manuscript and try to decide where to send it... Because I do want it to have a good home...

Ok, enough of my rant...

On the plus side, I got the model for my short story Eros Arrow as a friend on MySpace today... Now don't ask how I pulled off finding the name of a guy from a stock photo site... but I did : ) (And if you knew me, this wouldn't really be all that surprising I think... haha)

So really I guess today wasn't ALL bad... LOL


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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Is it a problem?

Is it a problem for a writer to write in more than one genre under the same name?

I'm probably the wrong person to address this, given that some of my work, like RETURN TO ME, crosses several genres within the same book. But what I mean is, can the same author write erotica, paranormal, suspense, fantasy, and sweet books? It's physically possible, yes, but is it wise?

In my Cerridwen Press book, RETURN TO ME, my characters have been lovers over and over in the past- so why make them wait now?

 In my August release from Samhain, ROMANCING THE STONES, the attraction is so intense the characters can't keep their hands off each other. 

But in my "sweet" 2004 book, OUTSIDE THE FIRE, and WINNER TAKES ALL, my newest release, my characters took longer to get to that point. They fell in love, the were very attracted to each other, but they waited. Which is okay. Right?

For me, "sweet" means no sex until the end of the book or until the characters are married. That doesn't mean there's no sexual tension, it's just not released in the old-fashioned sense until we all know there's a happy ending (no pun intended) on the way.

So with the release this week of WINNER TAKES ALL from Moonlit Press, I added a page to my website for the book, and gave it the subtitle: "a sweet novel", because while it still has my writing style, it's not going to sear you out of your comfy chair. It's going to make you feel more cozy and warm.

And sometimes we need a little cozy... sometimes we need a little heat. I like giving my readers the choice.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Another Winner!

Congrats to Amy S, who won a deck of the Ellora's Cave Golden Age of Hollywood Playing Cards and a download copy of Sins of the Knight.

I'll be giving away one more of these--next Friday. If you would like to enter, please email me or respond to this post.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend! Here comes summer!

Dawn Halliday

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Finish Line is in Sight

This week, I've had the enviable task of doing edits on my third EC story, SEDUCED AND ENSNARED, while trying to finish the fifth story in the series, SEDUCED BY CHAOS (working title).

Before I got my edits, CHAOS felt like it was languishing. I had lost sight of my hero and heroine, my secondary characters were much more interesting and there was no forward momentum to the story. And then I got my edits and suddenly, CHAOS seemed to be writing itself.

Why? Hell if I know. I can only thank the writing goddess for her kindness and go with the flow.

I do have a theory, though. S&EnS stars my favorite de Feo brother, Cam. I can't help being partial to him. For some reason, his was the easiest story to write. Cam is bossy, dominating, intractable and a know-it-all. He's also strong, committed and when you have his heart, he's yours forever. Perfect hero material. Don't get me wrong, all my heroes are perfect but Cam holds a special place in my heart.

Maybe, as I fell in love with Cam all over again doing edits, it helped me reconnect with Teodoro, the fourth de Feo brother. Teo shares a lot of the same qualities with Cam, though he's got a few hang ups. Okay, more than a few. But he's met his perfect match in Lacey and finally Teo's story is clicking along.

Teo has been a struggle and after I've written the end on CHAOS, I'll have to go back and rewrite the entire story because writing the last twenty pages has changed it that much.

But I can see the finish line ahead of me. And my fingers are flying that much faster because of it.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Starting over - changing course

A writer friend of mine said something to me yesterday that was very helpful - until you submit your work, everything is a draft and therefore changeable.

I am working on a new story while waiting to hear back on another that I submitted a few weeks ago to my edotir. . Two scary places for a writer, and I am doing them simultaneously. I am not good at waiting. And being at the beginning of a project can be a challenge.

I didnt have the right opening line, wasnt sure where I was going. Each day I stared at the screen making changes that weren't helping. As of last night I was ready to junk the whole think. Bye-bye retelling of the Cinderella story. It was getting too hard.

And then my friend made that comment and reminded me that I could, if I stil liked my idea, just start over. It was a daunting thought, but I was going to get rid of what I had anyway, so truly, I had nothing to loose. I made a commitment that I would be online at the same time he was (6:30 am this morning! goodness!) and I would start from the top with a goal of writing 2,000 words.

So I was.

And I did.

And now, instead of having over 3,500 words I hated... I have about 2,000 that I like and a place to go next with my hero and heroine.

I realized, the truth is, with a lot of what we do, we can change course and correct if we have the courage to do it. I read once that an airplane is off course more than 50% of the time it is flying, but as long as it lands where it is supposed to, who cares. As long as the story is good when it's finally submitted, it doesnt matter how many times I've had to write and/or change it. I just need to courage to keep going forward and trust my idea, my goal.

I hope that this week you will trust in your goals and find the people you need to support you if you need to make a course correction. It's worth it.


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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sorry about today

I was supposed to blog today but got busy writing. Hope you all forgive me. I did blog over on the TEB Hot Spot, so go check it out. Clue: David Boreanaz from BONES.

Catch me tomorrow over at Anya Howard's blog at


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Just one more thing...

As if I need one more thing interfering with my writing time, my computer has decided to act possessed. It randomly decides that even though there are little black bars on the connectivity icon, it is not connected to the internet.

But it is lying.

I've been fighting this for over a month now. Every fifth or sixth click will go through. The other clicks tell me I am not connected.

Much like a car when taken to the mechanic, my computer behaved like an angel when I took it to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store last week. So I know the problem is not with the airport card, or the computer itself. It's with the location, or the electrical system in my house, or... maybe my husband's computer (where the router is) just doesn't like mine.

I am wasting more writing time trying to GET on the internet than I would be normally SPENDING on the internet.

Maybe someone is trying to tell me something- like when the TV I used to have in my writing area (just for background noise) died.

Or maybe I need to have an IT heroine since I am doing so much research into the computer problem. There are tons of stories with computer geek heroes. They are very popular (I know, I married one). Why not a computer geek heroine?

If I could only get on-line...

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Dawn's Ongoing Contest

Congrats to Beth S. who won a deck of the Ellora's Cave Golden Age of Hollywood Playing Cards and a download copy of Sins of the Knight.

I'll be giving away two more of these--one for each Friday remaining in the month of May. If you've already entered, sit tight. Your name is still in the running for the next two weeks. If you would like to enter, please email me or respond to this post.

Happy May!

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Looking Down the Barrel

I love to be busy. Having nothing to do makes me twitchy and prone to random bouts of shopping, which is bad for the credit card.

For the past 10 years, summer has been my busiest time and this year promises to be no less so. Not only will my guys be out of school in three weeks (oh, the horror), but my freelance work becomes an almost full-time proposition from June through August. Which makes me feel like there's a sword hanging over my head as I try to finish the fifth story in my Magical Seduction series for EC and do revisions--one for my editor, one for my agent.

I know, this is not a hardship. As Raz Steel, an author friend, said to me the other day, it's better to have two revisions at the same time than none at all. He's absolutely right.

As a newspaper reporter, I like deadlines, whether it's by press time for a review or in a week for an article. I enjoy the rush of knowing I need to be fast and right and I love the satisfaction of getting it done.

As a writer, it helps to have a set date to finish a project. Even if you don't have an editor or agent waiting, giving yourself a deadline helps you visualize the end. It's a nudge that keeps you moving forward, even when your hero's being a wimp and your heroine is a wet dishcloth. It's the carrot at the end of the stick, the chocolate at the finish line.

In my world, there are always Junior Mints at the finish line. And maybe a couple of Chocolate Raspberry Milanos too.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Do calendars lie?

Because according to mine, my children will be out of school in just under 5 weeks. How is it possible that an entire school year is nearly over?

There's not enough hours in my day to do all I want (including procrastinate, I admit) already and now the kids will be around more as well. I cannot even begin to imagine what I am going to do to keep us all from going insane before the end of August.

There will be a few weeks of day camp, and some trips to the beach, play grounds, and libraries. But I have to be honest and say that I have a small feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach about the loss of what little independent time I have. I love my time in my writing salon, with the door closed, my coffee hot and no voices other than the ones in my head. I suppose it will seem all the more precious to me come this summer when I will have to take what I can when I can.

What do you do when the children are around more? How do you find the balance you need to keep you sanity (assuming any of us have that to start)?

As I write this a fight over a water gun has broken out. Time to get the referee whistle.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008



Royal Bondage

Ellora's Cave (Ellora's Cave)

By Samantha Winston and Delilah Devlin and Marianne LaCroix

Format: Trade Paperback

Price: $14.00


A lady's every rapturous wish is the king's commandin three regal stories where sex rules the land.

SAMANTHA WINSTON - Llewellyn's Song

After Llewellyn, an elf on a mission from the king, rescues a member of an all-female tribe from a dangerous beast, she opens her heart -- and her voluptuous body -- to his forbidden passion...and a tantalizing surprise.

DELILAH DEVLIN - Arctic Dragon

Fleeing the mannerly courtship of the tiresome Prince of the Frost Faeries, Queen Larikke of Northland finds ecstasy in the embrace of a sexy barbarian with a seductive secret who shelters her from a winter storm.


When the underwater city of Pacifica is in danger of crumbling, beautiful Queen Naiya Pisces meets a virile naval scientist whose special tattoo fulfills an ancient legend of her people and arouses her most erotic desires.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Virtual Book Tour - Mari

Virtual Book TOur

May 12 - Today's stop: Six Degrees of Sexy at

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Write and rewrite

I'm tinkering with a new story that stalled. I think I finally figured out why the characters are standing somewhere in my head glaring at me and tapping their feet.

The heroine is a jerk.

Funny. I don't usually write jerks. And I think, really, she isn't one. At least not in my head. But on paper, she's coming across as Queen Jerkalina of Jerksonia.

So, it's back to the writing cave. Because these two characters really do love each other. Or they will in a page or two...

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Friday, May 9, 2008

Yes, it's May! Time for a giveaway (or two...or three...)

April brought two releases for me--a print anthology, Sins of Summer, and an e-book, 10 Days in Paradise, so I thought I'd celebrate it by giving things away in May!'s what to do:

(1) To be entered in a drawing to win a $10.00 gift certificate to Samhain and a print copy of Sins of Summer, just go to my contest page and let me know your favorite place to vacation. This contest closes on May 10.


(2) To win an Ellora's Cave Card deck and a free e-book copy of Sins of the Knight, my sexy medieval, just email me or post a comment on this blog! In the body of the email/comment, say you're entering the "EC Card Deck Contest". Once you receive the deck of cards, email me to let me know which card sports the Dawn Halliday cover, and I'll send you Sins of the Knight. :) I'll pick one random entry every Friday from now 'til the end of May!

Winners for both contests will be posted here at Passion's Muses.

Happy reading and happy contesting! And happy, happy spring :). Summer, my favorite season, is almost here (and I have planned more contests for June and July, so stay tuned)!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The lusty month of May

That lovely month when everyone throws self control away.

The kids are blowing dandelion seeds. The snowblower has been exchanged for the lawnmower. And the last opened ski slope closed last week in Maine. Spring has come to New England. The boys come home from school and rush back outside. Dinner is lighter fare. Heck, everything is lighter and I am feeling more productive as I come out of that end of winter hibernation feeling.

I'm not a hot weather person (I can always put *on* more clothes - can't always take enough off), but there's something about the rejeneration of spring that I can't help but enjoy. I can walk by the river at night. Play baseball in the back with my sons. Get rid of the bulky coats. Buy more varieties of fruit. Soon it will be time for the first barbeque.

And there is something about feeling the sun on my skin that always does give me that lusty feeling. I've had two new big ideas for stories this past week, which is making it hard to keep my head focused on my current work in progress - a sexy Cinderella retelling. Aah... those sexy thoughts. For a writer, it's like chocolate - oh so so sweet.

I hope you're enjoying spring whereever you are. And were you humming along at the beginning of the blog? Do you know where those words/lyrics come from? Post your answer and the first one to get it right wins a deck of Ellora's Cave silver series playing cards where ROLL PLAY is the Queen of Hearts.

Happy May,

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Free Read on my site | Virtual Book Tour!

I am serializing a short novella on my blog, DARK LONGINGS, starting today. Check back each Wednesday for a new installment.

First installment can be found here:
or specifically at

AND starting May 12th, I will be on a virtual Book Tour promoting ROYAL BONDAGE (Pocket Books - Ellora's Cave series) and PIRATE'S MISTRESS (Ellora's Cave). First stop: Six Degrees of Sexy at More details to come on my blog.

Royal Bondage, Pocket Books - In bookstores!
Crossed Swords, EC 4 1/2 Stars, RT Top Pick!
Pirate's Mistress, Ellora's Cave - New in Trade Paperback!!

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

RT 2008

Annmarie Ortega and Marianne LaCroix, Partners in Crime who are "On the Same Page"

Here we are with model Christopher Thomas Howell....a man "bursting with fruit flavor".

Join us with Chris at his BRAND NEW FAN GROUP at

I also posted on the Romance Kittens this morning and thought I would send you there today to see some more pics of RT.

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Saturday, May 3, 2008

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

Piggybacking on the other Muses' topic this week...

I've always believed you shouldn't say anything behind someone's back that you wouldn't want to say to their face.

I learned early on with a certain relative, that no matter what she was told, she'd embellish and then tell the person her new and improved version of what I (or anyone else) said.

I also seem to be the Repository of The Secrets in my family, because I can keep them. Gets amusing sometimes to have the same secret told to you by more than one person- and you realize it isn't a secret, because no one realizes they all already know.

I can stay quiet about anyone ELSE'S stuff.

I just wish I could learn when to shut up about my OWN business!

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Thursday, May 1, 2008


If you've ever judged a writing contest or have critique partners, the rule of thumb to critiquing is to start with the positive. Before you take out the nail gun and press the trigger.

I've been blessed with good critique partners who know how to articulate their concerns. And though I can be downright pigheaded, I try to see past the fact that my partner found something wrong with my perfect ;) writing to see what made her stumble. That process has helped me hone my writing to the point that I've sold six books and have signed with an agent to help me sell more.

That doesn't mean I still don't get that little sting in my heart when another writer tells me something doesn't work. My first response...Poor deluded fool doesn't know what she's talking about. Second response...Jeez, I must suck. Third...Screw it, I'm not changing it. Fourth...Damn, I really must suck. And so on for about the next 24 hours until I realize that what made her stumble was one word or one phrase. Okay, maybe I don't suck.

Yes, I know I have a problem but there's no Writer's Anonymous. And I wouldn't go anyway. I don't want to be cured of the compulsion to write because there are so many bonuses, like creating a world where magic is commonplace and Gods and Goddesses walk among us.

And then there are the good reviews.

I got two great reviews in the past two weeks for SEDUCED BY MAGIC . One from and another from Night Owl Romance.

I have to admit, other than the review from RT magazine, which I knew was coming, I hadn't given much thought to reviews...until I saw those 4 1/2 stars and realized I wasn't writing in a vacuum anymore. People I'd never met were going to read my book. And have an opinion on it. One I might not like.

So far, the reviewers have willingly taken the plunge into my world of Etruscan magic. And it's gratifying to realize they're enjoying the ride. And if they are, hopefully other readers are too.

Yes, good reviews are an ego-stroke. And what writer doesn't love a good stroke?

What about you? What are your thoughts on critique partners and reviews?

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