Change, Idiots, and Mr. Evening by Mae Clair

It’s official. I’m an idiot.

I had a cool blog post lined up for yesterday’s Mythical Monday and then realized it was Labor Day. Since I’m rarely online over a holiday, I decided to save it for later, but then discovered …wait for it…I HADN’T SAVED THE BLOODY THING! *smacks palm to forehead*

What’s really frustrating is that I had tied the post (about a chameleon) into the changing look for my blog. Clever of me, don’t you think? Or, at least it would have been if I’d saved it. Hopefully, I can make it through this post without hitting “close” or “delete.” Pffff!

In any event, I couldn’t wait any longer to unveil my new blog look. So, what do you think? I’ve never been a huge fan of red, but I think the color works well with the suspense angle. And I love the mystery elements inherent in the photo of the house I chose for my header. Spooky and moody.

My home page has been tweaked, my bio redone, and my sidebar cleaned up. I even added a snazzy new graphic for my newsletter sign-up link (subscribers welcomed and eagerly encouraged). 🙂

So…the shop has been set up and I’m settling into my spiffy new digs. Of course there are always “creatures” milling about and whispers of who-knows-what rattling the window frames, and making bumps-in-the-night. I don’t’ get too upset with the distractions since they’re good for inspiration.  I expect the Mothman and Mr. Evening to arrive soon and then I can get down to the business of writing.

What’s that you say?

Young man in dark, wearing suit and looking into cameraI neglected to introduce you to Mr. Evening? No worries. He’s promised a proper introduction in book 2 of my Point Pleasant Series. In the meantime, he’s acting as muse in my newly remodeled home.

Several of my friends routinely have their wonderful muses dropping in for visits. Donna Cummings has the divine Endora, Craig Boyack the lovely Lorelei, and Julie Holmes has a hunky guy who calls her “love.”  😀 I thought it was time I summoned up my own muse, and Mr. Evening promptly answered the call…which could be a problem given his role in A COLD TOMORROW, but I’ll worry about that later.

In the meantime, I invite you to check out my new home on the web, make yourself comfy and stay a while. 🙂

Endora is Back! Bad Ex Karma by Donna Cummings

Wow, do I feel important! Donna Cummings’ supremely esteemed muse, Endora, has agreed to pop in for a quick visit, and this time she’s come bearing gifts. Remember that giveaway from last week? If you haven’t already read her fabulous interview, you can find it here. Then be sure to check the follow-up below on how to collect your prize.

~ooOOoo~

Hello lovelies – Endora here! Donna’s busy writing right now. Hah! I couldn’t even say that with a straight face. Which reminds me. I need to schedule another Botox appointment. . .

But, while I have your attention, I wanted to say a huge thank you for lavishing so much attention on me during my interview the other day. You were all so darling and devoted and I had so much fun I had to come by for one more visit.

I also wanted to give you your free copy of Bad Ex Karma, a book I collaborated on with Donna. I hope you’ll enjoy it and find it amusing. If not, well, I was probably gone when Donna worked on it.

All you need to do is email me at EndoraMuse@outlook.com. Isn’t that droll? I have my own email account! Not that I have time to answer it myself. I’ve given Donna the requisite permission, so she can do all the heavy lifting for me. I’ll be watching over her shoulder, though, to make sure she isn’t up to any mischief.

Anyway, if you’re a Kindle person, make sure you let me know which email you use so I can have the book sent there. If you’re a B&N person, let me know your email for that. If you’re neither, we’ll manage to work some other sort of magic.

Thank you again for being so wonderful. I’d love to stay but my day is filled with a multitude of important activities. There’s my daily massage, and a mani/pedi, and I’ve been dying to try out this new restaurant before I start interviewing personal assistants. Oh, and yes, I’ve got to schedule in some time to torment assist Donna. The poor dear is working on TWO stories at once. I suppose I should help her out. . .

Until next time! *disappears in a puff of smoke*

~~~~~

BEK_medBlurb of Bad Ex Karma:

The dating gods must be crazy.

I’d thought my five-year anniversary would include a fancy dinner, some great sex, and maybe fending off a marriage proposal. Instead, it was the worst sex ever, and at the restaurant, my boyfriend broke up with me.

It’s like I’ve been cursed with Bad Ex Karma. Whenever I try to date a new guy, he ends up with a concussion or a trip to the ER.

My internal “disaster consultants”, the What Ifs, completely missed the clues leading to the breakup, so now they’re working overtime to protect me from another potential heartbreak. My two best friends set me up on dates while assuring me it won’t put men on the endangered species list.

There’s one man who seems completely immune to the curse: a sexy chef named Jonathan. He keeps popping up in my life, and he stirs up the most delicious feelings. Maybe Bad Ex Karma isn’t such a bad thing after all. . .

Guest Blogger, Donna Cummings: An Interview with My Muse, Endora

I’m turning my blog over to my good friend Donna Cummings today, and her very witty, spectacular, beyond-fabulous guest (you’ll understand all of those lovely adjectives in a minute). This post had me grinning in delight, so sit back and enjoy. Oh—and Donna has an awesome treat for you, too, at the end. 🙂

~ooOOoo~

An Interview with My Muse Endora
by Donna Cummings

After I read the great post here from C. S. Boyack about the raven Doubt, I received an unexpected visit from my muse Endora. She was quite inspired by Doubt’s work, and wanted to renovate the writing cave to include room for an entire flock of ravens. She argued that it would help with our “job share” arrangement—the one where she takes all the credit and I get all the blame.

I know the best way to distract Endora from such a crazy notion is to interview her. So I’ve set things up here to look like a stage, because she’s quite the diva, and is more likely to “cooperate” if we make a big fuss.

Let me just do a quick check to see if everything’s arranged the way she likes. There’s an extra comfy chaise longue for her to lay on while she waves her hand disdainfully. Wall-to-wall mirrors so she can admire herself while ensuring I can see that she’s ignoring me. An applause machine on the “Never Quit” setting.

Yep. I think we’re good.

Ladies and gentlemen, Endora really needs no introduction, but she would twist my arm into a pretzel if I didn’t talk about her in the most glowing terms. She’s the one who inspires me to keep writing. (Usually by leaving me with all the work.) She’s the one who makes me try harder. (By sniffing at all the work I do produce.) But most importantly, she’s the one who keeps me laughing. (Because I’d spend all my time crying otherwise.)

Please welcome the lovely and talented Endora!

Me: *waves hand and coughs* That appearing in a puff of smoke thing never fails to impress. Are you sure you aren’t using more smoke lately?

Endora: *reclines on the chaise longue and arranges her flowing skirts* I have no idea what you’re talking about. I never do.

Me: Oh. Well. Uh, thanks for stopping by. I know you’ve got a busy schedule. *rolls eyes and speaks to the audience* I actually have NO idea how she spends her time.

Endora: It’s a full-time occupation just to maintain this level of fabulous. *fluffs hair* If I wasn’t so busy, I might be able to help you out more.

Me: Yeah, I bet it takes centuries to achieve that particular shade of orange—Ouch! I can’t believe you kicked me.

Endora: I was just stretching my leg out. Your chair is closer than I realized.

Me: *grumbles* Well, let’s get started. I’ve got a few questions that were submitted beforehand by audience members. Oh, this is a really good one: “Why are you always so mean to Donna?”

Endora: *sniffs* Pick one that you didn’t write.

Me: How do you know I wrote it?

Endora: Honestly. I’m your muse. I know what you sound like.

Me: I don’t know how. You’re never around. *shuffles cards* Okay, how about this one? “How did you and Donna meet?”

Endora: *speaks directly to the audience in a sugary voice* She was a fledgling writer, and I decided to take the poor darling under my wing—

Me: It was more like a chokehold. Our arrangement actually started when I was struggling with some early writing, and there was this derisive voice in my head that kept comparing my efforts to all kinds of garbage-y trash-like things.

Endora: It’s exhausting coming up with new variations for those terms. I know I make it look easy–

Me: *glares* Okay, next question. “What’s your favorite of all the books Donna has written?”

Endora: She writes books? *yawns* How droll.

Me: “What’s Donna’s best quality as a writer?”

Endora: Oh, that’s easy. The way she keeps giving so much time and attention to me.

Me: This isn’t going quite the way I planned.

Endora: That’s because you’re a pantser. You don’t plot anything out ahead of time.

Me: *grits teeth* Except your demise. I’m always plotting THAT.

Endora: Are we about done? I’ve got a million things to do today. . .

Me: Oh! So that means you’ve looked at the latest WIP? I could use your help with Chapter 5 actually.

Endora: *exhales heavily* Well, apparently I’ve got a million and one things to do now. But I’ve got to work on the important things first. Like figuring out my new theme song. I’ll catch up with you later.

Me: That line is going to be on my tombstone, thanks to you.

Endora: See? I’m always inspiring you. It’s no wonder I’m worn to a complete frazzle. I need to schedule another 52 weeks of vacation just to rest up.

Me: And I’ve got to schedule an optometrist appointment for all the eye-rolling you make me do. Anyway, thanks for showing up today. It was such a surprise. I mean, it was a real thrill—

Endora: *disappears in a huge cloud of smoke*

Me: You can’t even wait until I finish my sentence?! What a witch.

Endora: *disembodied voice* Thank you.

Me: That wasn’t—oh, never mind.

~ooOOoo~

BEK_medAs your reward for enduring Endora, I will be gifting a copy of my latest release, Bad Ex Karma, to each commenter today (up to a maximum of 20). Just let me know what inspires YOU.

~ooOOoo~


Author Bio
:
I have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances.

I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton.

I can usually be found on Twitter, talking about writing and coffee, and on Facebook, talking about coffee and writing.

Look for Donna at these haunts:
Website: http://www.AllAboutTheWriting.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/LRgT5
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BookEmDonna
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5349107.Donna_Cummings
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Donna.Cummings.Author
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/bookemdonna/

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You can purchase all of Donna’s books, including her ROGUES GALLERY of three wonderful novels at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Kobo

Guest Blogger Gemma Brocato: Listening To The Muse Even When She Whines

I’ve got a treat for you today as Gemma Brocato, author of COOKING UP LOVE, has agreed to share her thoughts about The Muse. Gemma and I connected as sister authors at Lyrical Press, now the digital imprint of Kensington Books. Initially, I had an interview planned with Gemma for today, and wanted to put the spotlight on COOKING UP LOVE. As we wait for everything to sort itself out between Kenstington and Lyrical, book titles are temporarily unavailable, but rather than cancel her visit, Gemma agreed to write a post on a subject I adore — mythology!

Let’s see what she has to say about the elusive, fickle, and oh so wondrous, muse!

~ooOOoo~

Thanks to Mae for inviting me by today, and for being flexible about what type of post I would present to her lovely followers. See, I’d completed a post about my debut novel, Cooking Up Love and had it ready to go. But the Muses moved the powers that be at Lyrical Press and Kensington to form a partnership that I’m very excited about. Unfortunately, it means my book is temporarily off the market and it doesn’t make sense to promote the book. So, I was inspired talk to you about the Muses.

AThe word Muse actually means desire or wish. As in, I wish I knew where this post was heading.

Did you know there were nine Muses? And they were all girls (wouldn’t you hate competing for bathroom time in that house?). According to Greek mythology Zeus bewitched Mnemosyne and spent nine consecutive nights with her, producing the Musai. The goddesses were born in Pieria, at the foot of Mt. Olympus. Their names might be recognizable for what they’ve come to inspire in present day. Here’s a chart:

Muses Chart

When I look at their names, I see Choir, Eros, Hymn, and Ha.

After the girls were born, Zeus fostered them out to Apollo to raise them. Apollo moved them to Mt. Elikonas where he helped them dedicate their lives to the arts, teaching them to support and encourage creation, enhance imagination and inspire artists. But the power most frequently attributed to them is the power to bring to mind…and clarify…the story the writer wishes to tell. Apparently, listening to what the Muse had to say was important. Ignore it, and she could be spiteful; leaving the artist blind or the singer or poet mute. I suppose that’s what we’d call writer’s block today.

Since the days of Ancient Greece, writers, musicians and artists have called upon their Muse for help and guidance. Homer asks his Muse to tell him the story in the proper way in both the Iliad and The Odyssey.

Eric Clapton spoke about his Muse this way: “I wish I could write easily. I’m one of those guys who’s visited by the Muse when things are dire.”

fotolia_36132060_xsOne of my favorite authors, Harlan Coben, has this to say about his Muse: “The Muse is not an angelic voice that sits on your shoulder and sings sweetly. The Muse is the most annoying whine. The Muse isn’t hard to find, just hard to like – she follows you everywhere, tapping you on the shoulder, demanding that you stop doing whatever else you might be doing and pay attention to her.”

Donatella Versace has a one and it looks a lot like her: “My Muse changes all the time because I think every designer is a bit of a Muse for themselves in a way – they just don’t want to say it.” While I do believe some of her creations are inspired, I wonder what her Muse actually wears? I’m thinking maybe Chanel.

Can you summon your Muse at will? Or must you wait for her to come? I think Amy Tan answered this best: “Who knows where inspiration comes from. Perhaps it arises from desperation. Perhaps it comes from the flukes of the universe, the kindness of the Muses.”

All I know is when my Muse speaks, I listen to her, even when she whines.

~ooOOoo~

cookinguplove_CoverWhat a great post! I loved that line about the bathroom. Cat fight, guaranteed, LOL. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts and answers to Gemma’s questions about your personal muse. And although COOKING UP LOVE is temporarily off the market, you can still add it to your Goodreads list, here.

Author Bio
Gemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a fortune from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss even the rejections, addressed to ‘Dear Author’, were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.

Her gamble paid off when she was a 2012 Finalist in the prestigious Golden Pen contest for Romantic Suspense and she received contracts for her first and second book.

Gemma BrocatoConnect with Gemma at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads