Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Randy Blokes and Nebulous Vapors

So the hot guy at Thriller Beach turned out to be British. Who knew? For me, it marks the first time a character has opened his mouth for a line of dialogue and had an accent. Initially, I fought it. What intimate knowledge do I have of that accent save my summer crush the year I was an exchange student in Europe? Will I be leaning heavily on Harry Potter? This bloke, he was persistent. So here we are. Luckily there are some great online sources for British slang. A complete and total admiration for Matthew Goode and the Inbetweeners helps, too.

You may have noticed I suspended the grow-the-blog efforts. Deadlines can derail the best-laid plans. Guess that means launching into Facebook waters isn't necessary. At least, not yet. Can you see the smile erupting on my face?

On a sad note (or happy note, depending on who you are), International Time Travel Day winner Ingeborg has yet to come forward and claim her prize. If Ingeborg ever wants to claim it, I'd be happy to send out a second copy of Love, Texas Style. It's all about the love here, isn't it? So, via, Denise Z. is the winner. Congrats, Denise! to let me know where to ship your copy.

When will you hear from me again? For a short time, I'll be a bit like a vapor. Transparent and nebulous but still around when you least expect. Hopefully, without the stink. Plumbing has yet to be installed on Thriller Island.

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Hot Guy Broke the Radio

The Vortex was busting at the seams  yesterday. Huge number of visitors. Huge. Thanks to everyone who took the extra time to drop a comment and enter the drawing. Via random number generator, the winner of Love, Texas Style is Ingeborg. Sadly, Ingeborg did not leave contact information and the blogger profile is blank, so I'm calling into the black ether in the hope that Ingeborg will contact me at I'll give Ingeborg until Sunday, March 18 at midnight CST before I head to the random number generator again. Thanks for time traveling with me, everyone.

In other news, I have taken on a ghostwriting project that will put my time travels on the back burner for a bit. Does that mean The Vortex will cease to report such cutting-edge time travel information as the cancellation of Terra Nova? (Shock! Can you see my face? No, really) Nah. The Vortex will still be here reporting from thriller island even if I have now invited the guy from the beach up into my Sawyer-style lean-to. It also means a grueling deadline, so if, from time to time, communications are quiet from thriller island, assume the hot guy broke the radio.

Since we're on the subject of ghostwriting, what is the most obvious case of ghostwriting you've encountered?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

International Time Travel Day! Woot!

What better way to celebrate Albert Einstein's birthday than to have a fun mess of authors offer up the chance to win their time travel stories for free?
Blog-hop and website-hop to the following and add your comment for a chance to win the time travel story each author has up for grabs. Authors draw a name at midnight EST, so be sure to visit early.

Madeline Baker
Cate Rowan
Nicholas Wisseman
Chris Karlsen
Theresa Ragan
Cheryl Kaye Tardif
Pauline Baird Jones

The Vortex is proud to be part of this contest. Yes, it means if you are on feed you must click through and leave a comment; and yes, that means you'll have thirty less seconds to kill on pininterest, but if there was ever a day for Vortex love, it is ITTD. One lucky Vortexer will win a print copy of the Love, Texas Style anthology containing my time travel short story "The Lost Highway." Come often, comment much. Oh, and if this is your first time at The Vortex, you are already a Vortexer.

Have fun on your time travels!

Excerpt from "The Lost Highway":

     He scrambled after the crinkled stub, gravel puncturing  the worn denim across his knees, and captured it at the base of a wild fescue. His hope of finding her again restored to the safety of his pocket, he realized the sound was an approaching car.

     White. Almost invisible through the heat cloud had the cherry-red vinyl seats not harnessed the glaring sun. The classic, rocket-shaped convertible crawled along the fractured road. Fast enough to know the '59 Thunderbird still ran. Slow enough for him to absorb the driver within.

     A woman. Thick, blond hair snaked beneath a gauzy, patterned scarf. Tied beneath her chin, its triangular point snapped in the breeze like a flag in a presidential motorcade. Jeweled, almond-shaped sunglasses concealed most of her face. Doo-wap music blared from the car's speakers.

     Perfect. Fifty miles from civilization, and he was about to be rescued by Doris Day.

Comment, comment, comment! Go....

Monday, March 12, 2012

International Time Travel Pre-Fun

The Vortex is preparing this week for the seismic shift of International Time Travel Day on March 14th. Be sure to pop over here on Wednesday for your link-happy guide to other North American authors with time travel stories to give away. I'll be giving away Love, Texas Style, the anthology that contains my short story "The Lost Highway."

The selected romance stories for Love, Texas Style had one requirement: they all had to contain at least five of ten possible words related to Texas. The editor told me she picked mine because it was so "different." Never was there a more supreme compliment.

On a desolate west Texas highway, a man at a crossroads in his life meets a beautiful woman, lost in more ways than any cardinal point on a map. Her pristine 1959 Thunderbird, her matronly dress and her optimism conspire to place her out of touch with reality. In a race against the clock to reconnect with an old love, he discovers the captivating stranger has driven straight out of her own time and into the abandoned shell of his heart.

The idea for the story came from an account of two brothers who were traveling a desolate highway and drove past a woman broken down by the side of the road. According to one brother, she simply looked "out of her time." As they traveled on past a small knoll, the brothers realized they could not simply drive on and leave this woman without offering assistance. They turned around, not two minutes had passed, and crested that knoll again. The woman was gone.

Since we're talking time travel stories this week, what is your favorite time travel story of all time?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Writer, A King and an Orange Cat

Anyone impervious to the ways of the plotting writer need only look at this hot mess to appreciate the conceptual stages of a book. I don't have an available wall, so I conquered the kitchen table (and the cat's primary napping spot on sunny days). Here, she is expressing her displeasure by tipping my Hero's Journey white board and swiping the black moment clear out of the story.

Plans are coming together to celebrate March 14th as International Time Travel Day. Yes, there is this one, but what self-respecting time travel fan can wait that long? Look for links to other participating time travel author blogs where you can comment and win free books. As Mel Brooks would say, "It's good to be the king." Next, I shall declare an International MacGyver Day where we all use the contents of our purse or pocket to conduct a means of escape from our lives.

Lastly, thanks to Vortexer Melanie, who just so happens to have a minty-new, oh-so-yummy romantic crime thriller release this month,  for sending this public service announcement my way. So true.

You're the king! Declare a holiday in the comment section...

Friday, March 2, 2012

P90x for the Vortex: Principle 2

In this, week two of beefing up the Vortex's online presence, I'm tackling Principle 2: Participate in Communities Where Your Audience Already Gathers.

By nature, I'm a wallflower. So this will be a challenge.

First, I Googled keywords: time travel blogs, time travel authors, thriller author blogs, time thriller writers, thriller get the idea. I picked ten that sounded like something I would be interested in being part of-after all, I write what I love to read. I made an arbitrary list of ten, subscribed or otherwise bookmarked to ensure I would be able to frequent these sites, and tried his step 2 suggestion: expanding my list of ten using web-based  tools. Double Click Ad Planner was no help. I'd have rather flossed Abe Vigoda's teeth during those ten minutes.

Of course, this is only half the plan. I need to sink my toes a bit in each community, make thoughtful comments and find time to participate. Easier said than done, but I did find some fun places I can't wait to return to, like the t=time blog. Who knew there were other bloggers out there who loved all things time travel?

Are you participating in online communities where your blog audience gathers? Give us your best find so we may share in the awesomesauce.

Have a super weekend, everyone!