Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In with the editor 'YAY!!"

       I am sorry that I have not gotten on here lately and you have not had the joy of listening to me ramble, but my computer has been down. I had to send it in to Toshiba to get it repaired. I hate sending my computer off for repairs, I so wish they had a person come to me to fix it or that I could take it to my local repair man. Mostly I hate having to reinstall everything that I use. I have everything that is important to me backed up in several places, so I haven't lost anything, but it is a pain to have to find all the programs and reinstall them. That is if I remember all the programs I am using. I guess if I forgot something it must not have been very important.
      I am now back online and excited to say that The Dark Lady is in rounds with the editor and I should be seeing edits within the week. I am looking forward to getting them. It is so much different from the first time I was waiting for edits. I was nervous and not looking forward to changing anything in my story. Now I get excited to get my edits back, to make my story perfect for my reader.
      I will be announcing my 100 Lucky winners in The Dark Lady Celebration Giveaway in Early 2013, as soon as I have an approved cover and know my release date. Please stop by http://dawnchandler.net/giveaway.html and read the first three chapters and sign up for your chance to be one of the lucky winners.

The Dark Lady

The Dark Lady is a historical romance set in 1100 England during the time of the dark and dangerous knights. It is a turbulent time of upheaval and strife. During this time a young female child is born to a loving and doting father and a jealous, spiteful mother. Angered because her arranged marriage was not to the man she loved and jealous of the way her husband doted over and spoiled their little girl she sought revenge. Stealing away in the middle of the night with the man she loved she took the one year old girl with her. In order to keep the baby hidden she lied to the child and everyone around her. She told everyone the child was a boy, and when Vanessa was old enough to question it she explained to her that her father wanted her dead. That she had been born a girl and her father had wanted to kill her because he had wanted a son. She told Vanessa that she had stolen her away the very night she was born and had hid her for her own protection. She told her daughter that she must pretend to be a boy and never go to her father for if she didn't do as she was told he would find her and kill her. Vanessa become Van very successfully and excelled at the art of sword play and is chosen to go to Grayweist Castle for page training where she fights her way to the top of the group and becomes a squire.
Excerpt from Chapter 2
The beautiful meadow where they had first taken camp was now a ransacked and demolished mess of torn up grass and flowers. Ruts and deep holes from the warriors and their horses made walking on trembling legs difficult for Peter.
      Out in front of all the men, the King’s man blew once again on the horn. All stopped to look at the men standing with the King. Peter allowed his two good friends to sit him on a low boulder, in the warm sun. When all of Peter’s men as well as the men the King had brought were circled around them, the King motioned to Van.
      The King’s face held a serious expression as he addressed the brave boy. “Van Burgess, will you please stand before me.” Van approached the King on shaky legs, head bowed. He appeared nervous and that surprised Peter. Why was this arrogant and self-assured boy so nervous around the King? Why was he so reluctant to be questioned or to be the center of attention? It almost appeared to Peter that the boy was hiding something. Peter took a deep breath deciding that more than likely the boy was just unaccustomed to all the fuss.
      Peter’s head was beginning to ache and he knew it would soon be a blaring headache. He took deep breaths and concentrated on the King and Van and tried to ignore the throb that was becoming insistent. The King never took his eyes from the boy as his loud voice boomed across the torn up field. The bellowing voice tore through Peter’s head like a stampede of sheep. Prodding and gouging as they ripped through the soft tissue of his mind. 
      “All who have gathered here will be witness to great deeds today.” Van jerked his face up to the king’s in surprise, “Van Burgess, for your bravery on the field of battle. For your selfless act to save another, with no regards to your safety or to personal gain. For your personal stand to protect your beliefs in the face of opposition I am here to acknowledge you. Kneel.”
      Van dropped to one knee and bowed his head. Between the black clothes and the deep black hair the boy looked like a small dark boulder. The King pulled a sword from the scabbard at his belt. The shiny metal of the newly forged sword touched each of Van’s shoulders as the King said the words that made him a knight.
      Peter’s pride swelled within him as he listened to the familiar words. Richard cleared his throat beside him and Peter caught sight of the pride and emotion in his face. With a grin Peter watched the King speak the final words of the creed. “Now rise. Rise as Sir Burgess. The Dark Knight.”


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The trouble my muse causes

      I write on an almost constant basis, which has a tendency to cause a few issues in my life. I have always done it (well ever since 5th grade when my muse bit me). My mom used to say, as I was growing up, that I would space off into my own little world, but I didn't. I would be drug off into the world of my muse, okay to be fair I wasn’t kicking and screaming. No, I went into that world willing and eager.

       Now, when I say I am always writing that does not mean that I am always putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboard or however it is that I get a chance to actually get my story out. I write in my head.

      I used to be the cake decorator at Wal-Mart. Now the good thing about that was I have been decorating for over 15 years, so I didn't have to really think about my work. My fingers would do the cakes in the background. My thoughts would be on my characters and I could enjoy the unfolding of their stories. Now of course when I made faces or laughed at what my character would do or say...well, my coworkers had a tendency to look at me funny. **The bad thing is occasionally I wouldn’t hear people talking to me, as long as it wasn’t the boss or a customer I was usually okay.**

      I am a seat of the pants writer which means I don't outline, I do not know the story before I start writing and I don’t know what will happen until it happens. I have to go with the flow of the book, start at the beginning and let it go from there. My favorite thing about that is I get to find out as I go along what happens....which is why when something unexpected happened I would laugh or make a face. So I would let my mind flow and then on breaks or on lunch I would get as many notes down as possible so as not to lose the story later.

      The great thing about being able to allow my muse full rein as I worked is that I now have 38 novels completed and ready for edits. Of course the bad thing is getting them from my head and all those pages of notes, and onto the computer screen so I can start those edits.

      I now have the opportunity to write full time and I officially consider myself a professional author, even though I am still waiting for the money to think of me as one. So I have had the chance, here within the last few years, to put all those stories into the computer. In the last three years I have gotten four novels completed and the other 34 are entered into the computer, with at least 4 or 5 chapters.

      I also have several binders full of notes and 42 other novels that are only started, with at least one or two chapters going. I pull them out and work on them as they call to me. Which book that calls to me is always up for grabs, but one of them, at least if I’m lucky it is only one, is constantly running in my head.

      Now, as I mentioned, there are issues created by my muse’s constant ramblings.

      My memory sucks. My file cabinets are filled with places, people, and events from 71 novels, and some new ones that are trying to start and there isn’t much room for anything else. My attention span is small, I don’t have ADD, I just have so much going on in my head it is hard to focus on that stuff outside my head. I have always spaced off, and don’t hear when people are talking to me sometimes. I don’t mean to and I try to pay attention, but sometimes the muse’s voice is louder than the rest. As long as there is no break in the conversation I am good, but if you give me a few minutes of silence, well I know how to fill the empty space. 

      I take the good with the bad and wouldn’t know what to do if my muse was ever silent. I am lucky that my family is supportive and understanding when it comes to my writing. I try my best not to ignore them when they need my attention, but my kids grew up hearing…. “let me finish this chapter and we will go.” I tried to never make them wait long and was so excited to get my first laptop so I could just take my story with me and the kids didn’t have to wait to go to the park or wherever they wanted to go.  They never complained, probably because they knew they would get extra treats when we went out to make up for having to wait.

      Do you daydream, do you talk to yourself? For me it is the way I function every day, but to be fair, I don’t really talk to myself. I talk to the imaginary people inside my head….see, so I’m still okay.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

I love spending time on the truck with my husband, as most of you already know. I love the chance to see so many different landscapes and cultures. One thing that I have learned in travelling across country is there are a multitude of different landscapes and that what one person thinks is beautiful another may find to be ugly. My husband and I have very different points of view on what beauty is.
He loves the high mountains and pine covered hills. He wants to be somewhere in the middle of a bunch of trees. Now while I think the trees are beautiful to travel through, it is not my idea of the perfect location for a house. To me the trees block me in and I cannot see. I want to be able to look out into the distance from my writing office and see for miles.

My favorite landscape is wide open plains covered in sagebrush and cacti. Of course with that, comes rattlesnakes, bull snakes, spiders and ants, but I am okay with that too. I want a large green yard, with several large weeping willows, lilac bushes, flower gardens, and fruit trees. Surrounding my green yard I would like miles of sagebrush and cactus, minus a large spot designated for a vegetable garden.
In this desert I would also like a river running through my property and a large lake to swim in. Somewhere I can have a frog and turtle pond and a massive koi pond, but that could be in the middle of my flower gardens. I don’t think I am asking too much, just an oasis in the desert.
The only problem with my dream is that my hubby hates sagebrush. He says if I build my office high enough I can look out over the trees, but it is not the same. So what we need is a property that is mountains on one side and desert on the other side.
The other issue I have with the high mountains that he likes is the winters. They are cold and usually come with heavy snow, which if I am rich and famous and don’t have to leave the house in the winter that wouldn’t be so bad. I could curl up with my writing in front of a large fireplace and sip hot cocoa while I write.
Somewhere there has to be a property that will make us both happy. Don’t burst my bubble. I know it is out there.
What kind of landscape do you prefer? What is your ideal location for a home? Tell me about it and I will choose from the best answer and the winner will receive a prize pack filled with goodies.
Stop by www.dawnchandler.net and sign up for a free entry into my 100 book giveaway. I am celebrating the publishing of my first novel by giving away 100 copies of my novel The Dark Lady.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rolo's Travels---Taking the World by Storm..or at least the USA

We have a large “zoo” at our home. We have rats, ferrets, rabbits, dogs, cats, turtles (both red eared sliders and a box turtle), fish (about 400 hundred gallons worth), birds, a bearded dragon (named hairball) and a ball python. We are trying to get out into the country so we can have some of the bigger farm animals too.
I love my animals, but as you can imagine they are quite a chore to take care of. It may come as a surprise to some of you, but I cannot bring them all on the semi with me. Ha…imagine that if you will.
I do, although, bring my dachshund, Roland Deschain, (Rolo for short) on the truck with me. Anyone who likes Stephen King I am sure will recognize the name. I am a huge Tower Junkie and proud of it.
Now, having a dog on the truck is a great thing, but it can be a hassle sometimes. He has to go to the bathroom, when he says he has to go. He does not understand “wait”.
He loves to go on the truck and gets excited when it is time to leave. He will bark and jump around as soon as I start putting stuff in a suitcase. He knows.
He loves going all over the country and smelling all the new places. He is really well behaved and does not have to be on a leash, which he prefers. Sometimes I put him on one anyway, if there are other dogs or we have to stop too close to a road to let him out to do his business.
Now one of the biggest hassles to having him on the truck is, on the rare occasion when we need one, finding a hotel that allows pets. They are not easy to find and sometimes charge more for the pet then they do for us.
I do understand this. I have been to some hotels where other dog owners will take their dog out and he does his business and they don’t clean it up. They tear up hotel rooms and make a mess of the yards. It is because of irresponsible pet owners that I cannot take my dog with me to most hotels. I understand why most will not allow dogs, but it is still frustrating.
We were in the shop with the truck broke down for several days and we had to go several miles away before we found a pet friendly hotel. The ones that are out there are usually really good about Rolo, especially when they see how cute he is. Now that is not just my opinion, though I am bias.
We raise dachshunds, so when the two girls are in heat I will probably end up bringing them along on the truck as well, but I am not looking forward to it. Maybe Rolo will just have to stay home….but don’t tell him that, he will freak out.
Rolo is quite lazy when it comes to riding in the truck. He spends most of his days sleeping, until we stop and he can get out and run around.
Please tell me about your favorite pets and any traveling stories you may have with them. Have you had any experiences with hotels, rental cars, or taxis because of your pets? Tell me your favorite story or why your pets are special to you.
Our pets are our family. They makes us happy and give us comfort.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Panties Galore

In my novel, The Dark Lady, there is an intimate scene where he runs his hand up her dress and comes into contact with her…well, her warm folds, if you will. My last publisher was thrown off by this. She thought perhaps I had forgotten to add them, or that perhaps Van had purposefully left them off in preparation for their lovemaking. I got to thinking that perhaps my readers might be thrown off as well by this and thought I would give a short history of the panty.
Today panties come in many shapes, colors and styles, but they have not been around as long as some people may think. Panties, as we know them today, did not show up until the 1920’s and before that they had a long journey and a lot of change by the time they finally arrived at the modern day delicates that we take for granted.
Before the 12th century women went, as one would say, commando. They wore no coverings on their legs, bottoms or privates. Between the 12th and 14th centuries women wore full length leggings, from ankle to waist, and these garments were tied at the waist but left the crotch exposed.
In the mid 1500’s that changed and the change came, at no surprise, from a woman. Sidesaddle was an issue for some women. Long flowing dresses tangled the rider when trying to throw one leg over the horse’s neck and fighting to keep all your unmentionables, well…unmentioned, was a task in itself. Catherine de Medici, the queen of France, while accused of many horrible things, made a revolutionary invention. To keep herself modest, as a queen should be, while riding sidesaddle she invented the first style of women’s underwear, pantalettes. Basically, taking the two leggings and stitching them together. With the invention of elastic still years away, they still had to be tied, but the new design was still functional.
In the second half of the 16th century cotton gins and spinning machines made it possible for factories to mass produce underwear, no longer making it necessary for women to make their own or to hire out private seamstresses. They became more affordable and well known. They were produced in two styles. One piece, pantalettes, and as two separate garments that still tied together at the waist, the original leggings. The open crotch style was still produced for those who thought it was better hygiene. Now the open crotch is for a much more excitable reason.
In the mid 1800’s , Elizabeth Miller, an advocate of the women’s right movement and an advocate of the Victorian Dress Reform, fashioned and wore pantaloons, a shorter version of the Queen’s design. While the shorted legs were more scandalous, they allowed women to wear shorter skirts. Now, I don’t want to shock anyone, but they nearly showed the knees, if you can imagine that. These undergarments were known as Bloomers, due to Amelia Bloomer, in The Lily, who popularized them. These “Bloomers” were worn by leaders of the women’s rights movement as an act of rebellion.
After the 1920’s while the women’s rights movements and the right to vote flourished underwear became shorter and shorter to accommodate the shorter skirts. In the 60’s with the women wearing denim jeans and pencil skirts, the panties had to adapt. Soon came silk, rayon, and nylons.
The panty has become much more than just a covering. It is a way of expression, a feeling of sensuality and sexuality. They are as varied in style and charm as the people who were them. So no matter what your style, you can appreciate the women who came before us, who brought us from the dark ages and into the era of the light colored bikinis and thongs.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Publisher -- Black Opal Books

I am excited to have been offered a contract from a great publisher. Though the contract is not signed yet, I could not contain my excitement and had to share.
Black Opal Books http://www.blackopalbooks.com/
“Since we're authors as well as businesspeople, we know how much hard work goes into writing a book—endless hours spent staring at a page while searching for words, struggling to finish the first draft, revising, editing, more revising, and still more revising.” Black Opal Books

I am very happy to be included in their wonderful business and am looking forward to our journeys together.

The Dark Lady

Historical Romance, currently under contract with Black Opal Books.

You can read the entire first, second and third chapters of The Dark Lady at www.dawnchandler.net

The Dark Lady, while not my first novel, is the first one that I had completely edited and ready for publication. It was under contract with a publisher that I had some time constraint issues with and they graciously returned my rights. It is now being considered by another publisher, who I am hoping to hear from soon, today would be nice. 
The Dark Lady was a joy for me to write. I fell in love with the characters immediately and knew I had to tell their story.
The struggles that Van has to go through to become a whole person touched me deeply and I found myself cheering for her as I wrote.
In essence, this book is about the struggles to break though the bonds of society and prove that one is more than the stereotypes portray them to be.
I hope that my readers will fall in love with my characters as much as I have.

Vanessa Fordella should have grown up in luxury and ease with a father that doted on her and loved her. Instead her mother stole her away and forced her into the life of a boy. Becoming Van instead of Vanessa was so easy for her she was sent to page training at Grayweist Castle. Large for a girl and uneven of temper it didn't take her long to make herself well-known. She rose through the ranks quickly and was sent into battle. She risks her life to save Peter Lawston and in return for her courage and honor King Henry II bestows her with knighthood making her The Dark Knight. For years she enjoyed being a dangerous and deadly knight until one day a message tore her beloved world apart. At her mother's dying request she agrees to marry.
Peter Lawston goes home from the war with ideas of a simple and peaceful life. Peter has always had an ordered and controlled life and he wants to keep it that way. Pain and betrayal from when he was a child dictates the kind of man he is and the kind of wife he will allow himself to have. When his father grows ill Peter reluctantly agrees to marry a woman he has never met. As the carriage pulls up to the castle, Peter is hoping for a shy and controllable wife. What arrives instead is Van, a six foot tall Amazon of a woman with pent up rage and aggression who doesn't know the first thing about being docile or obedient.
Peter and Van fight and struggle for power and control of the relationship. They fall in love quickly but her secret past is always a strain between them. Peter doesn't want to give up his idea of a perfect wife and struggles to turn her into what he wants. Van has always been the one in control and is used to getting things her way. She doesn't know how to let go of the knight that she has always been and struggles to become the woman and wife that she is expected to be. Both must give up their difficult past if they hope to have any kind of a future.

Excerpt from Chapter One of The Dark Lady

Peter closed his eyes and his breathing became shallow. Numbness was beginning to overtake his mind. His thoughts were getting slower, he could feel it. He tried to concentrate on the boy’s voice above him, but his mind felt heavy and sluggish.
The voice that had been gravely and deep at first had changed; softened, like a gentle breeze across his heart. He was confused at his thoughts. His mind was hazy. Delirium was obviously setting in. A groan slipped from beneath his numb lips.
The sweet concerned voice caressed him, washing over him like a warm breeze. “Are you with me, can you focus on my face? Come on, talk to me. Open your eyes. I need to know you are going to be alright.” The gentle voice was like a melody to his war ravaged ears, a loving voice that brought forth images of that life his father had spoken of. Of children to hold and to love, not just some faceless heir to be his future, but a child to be his life.
He opened his eyes to the young boy’s blurry face. The light from the fire pierced into him, cutting through him like a dagger. He shut his eyes again with a moan.
“Come on focus, you are going to be alright.” There was fear in that soft voice that told him he was cared for. That he was needed. “Look me in the eye.” The worry that he heard enveloped him in warmth in a way no fire ever could. He could almost picture the mother of those children who would hold him at night when he was cold, as he was now. She would be beautiful, dark and exotic.
When he opened his eyes once again the boy was gone and in his place was the beautiful yet blurry face of a girl. “Are you alright?” she asked sweetly as she leaned close to him.
“I am here with you.” Concern filled him as he spotted the large gash on her check, oddly in the same spot as the lad’s injury. He shook his head to clear it. Confusion swirled through his weary mind. Peter lifted his hand and ran his fingers along the uninjured cheekbone as blood dripped onto his injured shoulder. “Your face. You are hurt. You must have it looked at.”
The face swirled in and out of focus and the boy was there once again. Peter closed his eyes tightly and shook his head. “I will. You first, I can wait.” The soft voice told him. When he opened his eyes once again she was smiling down at him. Her face was still slightly blurred, but he knew it was her from her melodious voice.
“You have such dark eyes, almost black. One could get lost in them.” Peter continued to stroke the smooth cheek above him, sliding trembling fingers down the warm and inviting skin gently cupping the soft and shapely chin before starting again. Peter squinted in an effort to keep the world focused as he looked deeply into those black eyes and thought of his future. “You are so beautiful.”
Full lips parted in a sweet tinkling laugh, like water rippling over stones. “I will forgive you that since you have lost so much blood, your thoughts must be scrambled and your vision faulty.” A wide beautiful smile took the sting from the words.
A deep trembling breath caused the world to shimmer before him and the image of the boy was once again before him.
Peter pulled his hand away in confusion as he looked at the boy. “Quite. I have lost a great amount.” His arm dropped as darkness swallowed him.

Thank you for taking the time to come visit me. Check out the free reads, free contests and giveaways and sign my guestbook at www.dawnchandler.net

Look for interviews with the characters coming soon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Writing on the Road

Running down the road in the passenger side of the Semi makes it difficult to write sometimes. I have to say I am very disappointed in the conditions of the roads around the country. Some states are fairly smooth, but some will throw you out of the seat. It is a challenge to just look at the screen as it bounces on my lap.
My husband is a long haul truck driver, he owns his own company, www.idahoramtruckinginc.com and he travels all of the 48 lower states. Now that the last child at the house is graduated from High School and started College I have the opportunity to go with him, which is much better than sitting at home and patiently…:) okay not so patiently, awaiting his return.
 I used to go with him only in the summer, while the kids were at their grandparents, but now I get the fun of winter travel, can’t be any colder than the air conditioner he runs full blast. My friends all make fun of me because I bring my blanket with me in the summer to wrap up in….if they sat here for long they would understand.
As I write this we are traveling through Washington, a beautiful state. We are in Naches, WA…well going through it on our way to load in Richland, Washington. Most of Washington that I have seen is tree covered, with lots of rivers and lakes. I am watching, with regret, as the campgrounds go by. One of the drawbacks to being on the semi is time constraints. We are on our way to the next load and unable to stop. Oh well, it is kind of cold to stop and swim anyway, out temperature gauge says it is 72 degrees out there.
I am enjoying going to all the different states and seeing the new scenery. Before I got with my husband the only trip I ever took, besides to Jackpot, Nevada (45 minutes from the house), was a trip to Minnesota, where I stayed at the fabulous Lake Toad in Frazee. I was a stay at home kind of girl and barely left southern Idaho.
One of my favorite activities while on the road is visiting museums. We have stopped at several so far, which I will make sure and tell you all about as I stop at more. I was born in Coffeyville, Kansas and have not been back there since I was 6. Recently I got the opportunity to stop there on the truck. We went to the Dalton Gang Museum and I got thousands of pictures.
It took some getting used to, to be able to write as we drove, okay, as he drives, because it would be very unsafe if I were to drive and write…fine, it would be unsafe for me to drive the Semi at all, though he is pushing for me to learn.
The bouncing screen was the hardest to get used to, but I am doing quite well at it now, as long as the roads are not too messed up. I tried to write only when we stopped, but he doesn’t stop often enough for me to get anything done that way. So, I just made it work. I now write, or do something book related, most of the day. I do miss the large screen at the house that I hook to my laptop, but other than that I am content with what I have to work with on the road.
We have internet on the truck and I am able to send my books in to publishers for consideration, or work on my site, or work on my blogs…or play on Facebook. :) I probably spend more time on Facebook then I should, but I just call it publicity for the new book and that is what I am sticking with, even though I don’t promote on there as often as I should.
When my books are finally out and available, I will have the advantage of being able to set up book signings all over the country. I am hoping that will help get my name out there faster and more people with have the pleasure of reading my character’s stories.
Thank you for stopping by to see me, and I hope you will come back often. Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to ask me anything you wish…see you next time.