Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The shame of it all

Have you seen the Dog Shaming blog on tumblr?

I think it's hilarious. I used to complain a lot about my dog - but compared to these canine miscreants he was a prince.

Every once in a while, there's a cat on the blog, but the interesting thing is, the dogs usually manage to look sorry for their misdeeds. [Some of them do anyway]. Dogs can feel shame, so the whole concepts works.

But cats are never sorry.

They do what they do because they can, and if it bothers anyone, well, that's just too bad.

I decided to try to shame my cats. I think they look more bored than repentant, but at least I was able to get them to confess.

[The signs could be a little bigger, and of course, you can't hang a sign on a cat like you can a dog, and usually they just walk away while you're trying to photograph them.]

Has your dog done anything shameful? Or has your cat done something he should be ashamed of but isn't? Tell me about it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Things You Should Never Write

I remember taking a screenwriting class eons ago and there was a discussion about "things you should never write".

There was a whole list, but I can only remember these three:

1) Never harm a child
2) Never write a comedy about another race or gender
3) Never kill a pet

Obviously there are movies that have managed to break these "rules", but the general consensus was that if you wanted to actually SELL your script, you should avoid those things like the plague.

I've been thinking about this list a lot as I struggle through my current novel.

You see, I want my villain to do something absolutely horrific...which in turn would be the motivation for another character to do something equally horrific, but if I do that, I fear I'll never sell the book. (It's not an unfounded fear since I ran the idea past my agent and she agreed.)

I want to sell this book AND I want to make it the best story possible. I haven't figured out a way to reconcile those two desires yet.

You'd think I could figure it out. After all, Maggie Lee in CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN gets paid to kill people, but most readers would say I've managed to make her a fairly sympathetic (even likable) character.

Still, I'm stumped at the moment.

What are the kinds of things you'd never read? What makes you put down a book and never pick it up again? What sorts of things make you tell your friends "don't read that book"?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

I admit to being a little late to the party with this one, but better late than never as they say.

This weekend I finally saw The Hunger Games. I haven’t read any of the trilogy by Suzanne Collins, so I figured I was coming into the movie from a fairly rare viewpoint. Most of the movies I’ve seen after having read the books that spawned them have paled in comparison, since there’s always so much more you can do in a book than in 142 minutes of film.

My overall take was that the premise is certainly unique and makes a profound statement about man’s inhumanity to man, politics, government, freedom, hope, the relentless spirit of youth and so on. I admit I ‘cheated’ a bit by watching the movie with my daughter, who has read all the books, loved them, and was more than happy to answer all my plot related questions – and I had quite a few. I’m convinced that if she hadn’t been on hand to explain a lot of the missing background, I might have been a little bit lost. I think quite a bit was left on the page and not translated to film for those of us who skipped the book experience.

While I thought Katniss was a strong female role model who managed to rise above the pouting, sullen avatar of Twilight’s Bella Swan, I would still hesitate to recommend the movie to anyone looking for a good time. Obviously the movie is based on a dark time in a dark future, so I suppose I’m not really justified in wanting to enjoy it. It wasn’t hard to watch, and despite the violence, it wasn’t unpleasant, but I have to admit I’m tired of movies that leave the audience in a pit of despair. I see fewer and fewer movies that provide me with a real sense of having been entertained. [Avengers anyone? Sorry, JB]. While Hunger Games may be well crafted, well acted and interesting, it left me with nothing but a longing for something to lift my spirits. I tend to think when you can make the good guys winning still feel like a major downer, you’ve missed the point of movie making.

If you’ve seen or read The Hunger Games [or done both] I’d love to hear your opinion. Do you think the movie did the book justice? Were you confused? Depressed? Or blown away?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Less than two months and I'm losing it...

Forgive the rambling, jumpy nature of this post, but my brain is officially fried after completing my copy edits and worrying about how to spell things like "bat shit crazy".

I'm very excited that FURTHER CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN will be out in less than two months!

It's been so cool to have readers tell me they've already preordered their copy, bloggers offer to have me do guest posts for them, fellow writers invite me to blog with them, and my publicist arrange another blog tour for me.

But I admit I'm admit I'm in a bit of a panic. What should I write about for all these guest posts? Should I write about the books? My process? My addiction to coffee? My love for my dogs?

The great thing about doing all these guest slots is that I get to meet new readers. Not that I don't love and appreciate the loyal followers here, you guys are the best! But considering book selling is a word-of-mouth game, the more people I can get my books in front of, the better sales will be, and the more Maggie and God books I'll be able to write.

I love interacting with readers and I'm on as many social media sites as I can comfortably manage. I've met some really fun people through email, twitter and goodreads...oddly enough, not as many thru Facebook, and I've just gotten into tumblr.

(You can find most of them on this page. If you're not following, or haven't liked me, on any or all of them, please do...and say "hi!" Or friend my on GoodReads and we can chat there too.)

Speaking of GoodReads, I was thinking of having an ongoing Q&A there for the Hitwoman series. What do you think?

Is there anything you'd like to see me tackle here over the next couple of months?

Why do you follow an author online? To get to know the person? To know when their next book is coming out? 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's in a word?

You’ve probably been asked this question a hundred times in a hundred different ways, but what’s once more?

What one word would you use to describe yourself?

Not an easy question to answer, is it?

I was never good at coming up with an answer, but I think I found a way to make it easier, not just to describe myself, but to get a handle on my own moods by doing so.

About a year ago, I was feeling down and decided I needed some kind of pick-me-up, so I went out and bought nail polish. It seems like a silly thing – but I hadn’t worn nail polish in years. I just didn’t have the time to fuss with a manicure or wait for it to dry etc. But I needed something – some color in my life, some way to make a statement. I bought a couple of brilliant colors and I got completely hooked. Now I have quite a collection of colors with names like Popular and Vixen and Electric. This week I’m wearing Impulsive and next week it’ll be something different – but I find I don’t choose my color, or my word, based on how I’m feeling - but on how I want to feel.

Maybe next week I’ll pick Whimsical or Scandalous or my personal favorite, Fearless and I hope I can live up to the expectation.

So let me rephrase the question. What one word would you like to use to describe yourself – if choosing it could make it true?

[And no, Billionaire is not one of the choices.]

 Here's a sample of my collection of moods. My favorite so far is Hot for Chocolate - which pretty much describes me all the time.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Seeing Red

I'm seeing red.

No, I don't think you understand. I'm literally seeing red.


I'm working on my copy edits and the editor marked every single mistake, question, and stray comma (I am guilty of many, many stray commas) in red.

Copy edits are a necessary evil, but they kill me. My eyes are tired, my head hurts, and I fear the shooting pain radiating from my right shoulder to my hand may be permanent.

Not to mention I feel like the World's Biggest Idiot since I can't keep the names of my own characters straight.

Also making me feel stupid: Did you know that there are male and female versions of fiancé ???? I had no clue.

But it's not all depressing.

On Twitter I asked whether people would say "coffee pot" or "coffeepot" and people chimed in with strong opinions. (What would you say?)

I'm also pretty amused by the Word List on my Style Sheet. I've started using it as a writing prompt tool. I pick a letter and use the words listed in a paragraph. Want to try it? I'll give you a short one.


kung fu

Here's mine: Instead of spending her summer attracting the attention of the hunky lifeguard, Mike, Alicia was stuck sipping Kool-Aid  and watching her little brother splash around in the kiddie pool. Meanwhile other girls got to ooh and ahh over Mike as he showed off his kung fu moves every time he climbed down from the lifeguard's chair.

Now you give it a try!

What's got you seeing red this week? Speaking of red, have you peeked at my website lately? It's gotten a makeover!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Two books, Two bucks!

To celebrate the re-release of my erotic-romance novella MORE THAN A FANTASY, my short story KEN'JA will be FREE at from today through Saturday August 11th.

When her fantasy man offers her freedom, will Mara pay the price?

Forced into exile on a private Aegean island, Mara Zander longs for freedom. Prince Tiran of Atlantis has watched the red haired beauty from afar for weeks. When he breaks the centuries old law that forbids contact with humans, he discovers he’ll have to compete with his brother, Poseidon, to win Mara’s heart and set her free.

Five Angels! More Than a Fantasy is a wonderful short story with an imaginative plot, a delightful heroine, and two very intoxicating males. Bernadette Gardner has created a unique story centered around the desire to have your fantasy come true and what a wonderful experience it can be when it does. – Shayley, Fallen Angel Reviews

Mate or die! Thal Warrior Tige D’Vron battles the biological imperative of his people. Can Zira, a mere human, withstand the mating frenzy?

When two prisoners of war find themselves unexpectedly freed from their captivity they discover they have no choice but to rely on each other to survive. Tige D’Vron, a Thalian Warrior, and Zira Teynor, a human intelligence courier, set out together across a nameless planet to avoid recapture by their enemies, the reptilian Ketomir.

Soon, however, Tige becomes aware of a growing desire for his human compatriot, a desire he cannot control. Thalians have long battled the Ken’Ja, the biological imperative to mate or die. In an effort to protect Zira from himself, Tige forces her away from him, hoping she will flee to where he cannot find her, because when he does, he will claim her in a mating frenzy too intense for a mere human to withstand.

5 ANGELS! Bernadette Gardner instantly grabs the reader’s attention… Ken’Ja has earned 5 Angels for its imaginative story, passion, and touching romance! – Shayley, Fallen Angel Reviews

Monday, August 6, 2012

Cover Reveal & Book Description: Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman

Woohoo! It's here!

Take three wacky aunts,
two talking animals,
one nervous bride,
and an upcoming hit,
and you've got the follow-up
to JB Lynn's wickedly funny
Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman
Knocking off a drug kingpin was the last thing on Maggie Lee's to-do list, but when a tragic accident leaves her beloved niece orphaned and in the hospital, Maggie will go to desperate lengths to land the money needed for her care.
But the drug kingpin is the least of her worries. Maggie's aunts are driving her crazy, her best friend's turned into a bridezilla…and a knock on the head has given Maggie Dr. Dolittle abilities—she can talk to animals. Unfortunately, they talk back.
It's just another day in the life of this neurotic hitwoman…

FURTHER CONFESSIONS of a SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN (the sequel to Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman) will be out in a few, short months, but it's already available for pre-order.

I can't wait to hear what you all think of it!

Speaking of being here, former Killer Chick Jennifer Hillier's FREAK hits the shelves tomorrow! This is the follow-up to her debut CREEP. Make sure to check it out!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kindle as an editing tool

Tip for the week: When you’ve finished proofreading your manuscript, consider formatting it for your e-reader and uploading it for one last pass. [I use]

I’m doing this with my novella series and I’m shocked and amazed at how many errors I’m finding in work I’ve read over and over again on the PC. I think just seeing the story in a different format with a lot less words on each page is allowing me to zero in on each sentence and really see what I’ve written as opposed to what my brain thinks I’ve written.

I’m going to do this with all my manuscripts now, for the peace of mind, it’s priceless. I’ve never been happier to come across typos in my life.