Friday, August 31, 2012

Blog Contest WINNER

The winner of the blog contest is:


FLCHEN1, I need you to email me at danamariebell AT gmail DOT com with the book you want and the electronic format you want.  Congratulations!

The winning entry was:

flchen1 said...
LOL!! Thanks for giving us another reason to celebrate this month, Dana! ;)
August 2, 2012 1:01 PM 

You're welcome!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Betas and Back To School

Some quicky notes, because I'm off to blow up.... I mean, save the universe, but I wanted to make sure that before I get sucked into video games I give you all an update.

First, Throne of Oak is off to the beta readers! I plan on having it to my editor by the 31st, so Mallory, if you're reading this, keep an eye on your inbox!

Second, and most important: MY KIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL ON MONDAY!!!

Oh, yeah. Mama's gonna blow shi.... save the universe all day Monday. Just me, my coffee maker, and pixelated men.

I could get used to this...

When I'm done saving the universe (wink wink) I'll be starting Morgan's Fate, True Destiny Book 4. All I can say about that one is... someone's gonna get it!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Time for the Meat Grinder (And Other News)

I'm done the rough draft of Throne of Oak, and that means it's time for revisions/rereading/self-editing, and generally taking what I did and making it shine. It's also time for me to write the (gulp) synopsis. 

It's time for... 

Mmm. Hamburger... Is it lunch time yet?
I've finished on-time, and right around where I wanted to be, so I'm content. If you're looking at the word count meter, you'll see I haven't yet hit the goal of 80k. That's a buffer. I'm assuming that, during the grinding process, I'll be deleting stuff and adding stuff and, in the end, I'll wind up adding approximately 4k to 6k the word count. Then it's off to my betas by the end of next week, and hopefully to my editor by the end of the month!

In other news, you'll see I've posted on my sidebar about my website being down for a day or two while Yahoo does some maintenance. This will be the first time since I made the site that it's gone down, and they've given me plenty of time to warn people. For that, thank you, Yahoo. Although I'll admit, I'm not thrilled it will be down for two days, at least we've got a heads' up rather than a WTF.

So hungry...
So that's the news for this week. To make up for the lack of a website early next week, here's a little snippet from the very unedited Throne:


She screamed and clutched her chest.

Dragos, his eyes glowing red in the darkness, stepped out from the shadows of the trees. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

She stared at him, shocked to the core. The forest hadn’t whispered his presence to her. Not even Ash could sneak up on her unnoticed, but here Dragos was, the forest content to let him pass unremarked, as if he belonged.

As if he were one with it, as she was.

Dragos stepped up to the line where the Throne began, leaving them toe-to-toe. He studied her closely. “You look tired, draga mea.” 

She tilted her head. “What does that mean?”

He smiled softly. “It means my darling.”

“You can’t call me that.” Not now. Maybe not ever. If she was so weak she couldn’t even leave the Throne, how could she lead the dryads? How could she stand at his side as an equal?

He cocked one eyebrow arrogantly. “Oh? Why not?”

She took a step back. “Because I can’t be yours.” She knew what a sotiei was, and Dragos was showing all the signs that she was his. It would harm him, to take her as his blood wife, the one being he could feed on for all his years. Her life span would expand, matching his, Mina dying when he did.

He cocked his head, the question clear in his expression. “Can’t... or won’t?”

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Adventures with the Dragon

A lot of people ask me what it's like to work with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. They want to know if it requires a lot of tweaking, like going back and fixing typos and how much fun AutoCorrect can be. So I decided that I would do a post that I would not edit. You're going to see my writing in all its Dragony glory.

May the gods help you all.

okay, so it's not that bad. sure, I have to go back and fix punctuation and capitalization far more often than you'd think. And a lot of times I have to add spaces between words, and I have to say things like COMMA to actually make one. And for some reason it consistently thinks that AMARA's name should be shouted. I'm not sure why, but it is a really fond of doing that.

to make new paragraphs you have to say things like "new line" or "new paragraph", and if that's what you actually wanted to type. You have to say it slowly so Dragon doesn't get confused. And I know some people have problems with Dragon not recognizing their accent. I haven't had that issue, although I have had to enunciate a little more clearly than I normally do. And when I get on a roll and the Mary South Philly slips out, Dragon can get a little confused.

Overall though, when my hands really hurt. And the last thing I want to do is move my fingers, Dragon is a godsend. All the little tweaks and fixes are worth it, cause I'd rather type a few words than 2000.

I would have to say for someone who wants to try it, make sure you get it good microphone. It makes a huge difference. As a gamer geek, I have a pair of Logitech G 35 headphones that work beautifully. The microphone is crisp and clear, picks up the sound of my voice really well, and they're comfortable to wear long-term. I can have my music going and not here. The distracting noises of my children and my husband.

I will admit, they aren't cheap. They ranged anywhere from $90 to $130, according to Amazon. but if you're going to be wearing something long-term (like 5 to 6 hours a day), the expense is worth it.however, for the purposes of using Dragon. The main thing is the microphone. Without a good microphone. You might as well be talking to the Cat. so if you do nothing else make sure that the headphones you pick up. Have an excellent microphone.

I have noticed when I hesitate in my speech Dragon will automatically put in a period. As you may have noticed above. One of the lovely things about AutoCorrect is that it tries to figure out your punctuation for you. So you wind up going back and fixing that. I'd say that takes up the largest chunk of my editing time when I use Dragon.

So that's it. That's Dragon in a nutshell. If what you're reading here is making your inner editor want to scream in frustration and break out the red pen, then the program may not be for you. But if you're like me and think that a day of fixing little quirks is worth the lack of pain, then give it a try.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Blog Contest: Back-To-School eBook Giveaway!

I felt a great disturbance in the Force recently, as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced by a ringing bell. It's that time again: the kids go back to school!

Don't get me wrong. I love my boys, but I'm about done with Fart Wars and Lego minefields for the summer. I just want to sit quietly with a cup of coffee, some damn silence, a lack of poo gas and a good book.

Something I fully intend to do on August 27.

So to celebrate our little darlings going back to school, I'm giving away one ebook off of my published list (or, if you want Shadow, off my soon-to-be-published list). So here's how this one's going to work:

Post in the comments section of this blog entry before August 31. I'll even put a link on the sidebar just in case I write enough posts that this one disappears.

That's it! Easy, right?

If you win, I'll post your name in a new blog post and in this post's comments, at which point you'll have to email me with your choice of ebook and format. Good luck!

Remember: Only books that have been previously published (and Shadow) are up for grabs. The Hob, All For You and Hecate's Own are not. And an entry here does not affect your contest entry for the ARC of Shadow. That's a completely different contest.

PLEASE NOTE: I have comments on moderation due to spamming. If your post doesn't show up immediately, be patient; as soon as I receive the email I'll publish it. This is due to an inordinate amount of spam I received from China all over my blog about a year ago. It took two days to hunt down and delete all of the spam comments. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Win an ARC of Shadow of the Wolf

Would you like to win an ARC of Shadow of the Wolf?

By: Dana Marie Bell
Type: eBook
Genre: Paranormal, Shape-shifters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 09-18-2012
Length: Novel
ISBN: 978-1-61921-095-0

Strike a match, light the candle…and fall into the spell.

Heart’s Desire, Book 1

Christopher Beckett is from an ancient line of wizards, but with one aspect that sets him apart. His wolf. Right now that wolf is howling for a mate. Knowing it’s only a matter of time before the wolf’s needs override everything else in his life, Chris casts the spell all the Becketts have used to call their mates to them.

His wish list is short: She must be of a lineage at least as old as his own. And she must accept his wolf. When his mate appears, he realizes his list should have been one item longer.

Alannah Evans, a powerful witch of the Evans Coven, has no problem with Chris’s wolf. It’s the wizard part that sticks in her magical craw. Witches and wizards have always been at odds, so by rights, she and Chris shouldn’t be striking sparks of attraction this bright. But Chris will not be denied, and gradually she finds herself trusting him—then falling into the fire of desire.

When it becomes clear an old enemy has targeted them both for death, Chris charges into a duel that could cost him his life. Or worse: Lana.

Product Warning: Product contains explicit sex, graphic language, magic, mayhem, and a wet, naked wolf shifter bearing hot chocolate. Mmm… chocolate.

To win, go to my Write to Dana page. Send me your name (or nickname, if you don't want your name on the web), your email address, and your preferred electronic format.

The contest ends September 17! Good luck!

NOTE: Only one entry per person. Any entry missing one of the three pieces of information (name/nickname, email address, format) will be deleted without being entered. However, if you hit SEND and realize you forgot something, send it to me again, and you'll be entered.

This book has been previously published, and has not significantly changed from the previous release.

Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert

"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford