The Gypsy Muse – Author Rachel Kenley

May 25, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – The library

Filed under: Uncategorized — authorrachelkenley @ 11:25 pm

I’m a librarians daughter, but even without that I think I would be addicted to libraries.  I love to read; I love to write.  Where else would I go? It’s the next best step after the internet for finding out more on anything that interests you.  When I want to learn about something new or see if something interests me, that’s where I head.

I went to my local public library today with my sons.  I had books to pick up on (spoiler alert) mermaids to do research for my next book.  My elder son, 11, loves watching the food network and travel channel. After making his own homemade rub the other night (and it turned out great!) he wanted to see cookbooks on grilling.  We came home with five huge books. He can’t wait to get started.  My younger son takes out books on special effects and movie making.  Look for him some day in a theater near you.

And it’s not just books.  We take out CDs, DVD’s and Wii games, which is especially good because then we dont end up buying ones we don’t like. 

I love going into the non-fiction stacks looking for one book and finding two more that I wasn’t aware of.  Or walking through the fiction shelves and stopping someplace random to see what catches my eye.  You never know what you will find.

I could spend a day here!

Oh, and then there’s my other favorite thing — the joy of reserving books.  Our local library is part of a consortium of about 15 different libraries and I have access to ALL of their catalogs.  Reserving books on a topic I’m interested in is like shopping without spending.  I put the books on reserve and *poof* they show up at my library.  Somethings come in quickly, like when I’m interested in a topic that’s not trending.  Other things – like new CDs, bestsellers, or DVD’s – are more popular and take weeks to arrive.  And when they do… it’s a special thrill.

For one last practical consideration in the months to come – most of them are air conditioned.  Where can you get out of the house, take the kids, not spend money and get air conditioning.  And everything you do want to bring home is free.

Do you use your local library?


May 20, 2011

Friday Bedside Book Review

Read this book!

There are not enough glowing adjectives for me to describe the incredibly sexy vampire books of Joey W. Hill — but I’ll try. 

Vampire Mistress is the fourth of Ms. Hill’s vampire books I’ve read and it is as moving, intense and erotic as the others.  For those who’ve read The Vampire Queen’s Servant and The Mark of the Vampire Queen, Gideon is the brother of Jacob Green (the hero of those novels and of an upcoming third book, Bound by the Vampire Queen – Dec 2011).  If ever there was a character less likely to commit himself to a vampire, it’s the tortured Gideon.  And if ever there were an author who could make his journey believable – it’s Ms. Hill.

Gideon is looking for release at the BDSM club, Atlantis, run by the sexy and intuitive domme Anwyn Naime.  When she is turned into a vampire in an act of violence and vengence (because of her friendship with the vampire Daegan Rei), Gideon finds himself in a situation that will rip his emotional foundation apart, only to put it back stronger than ever.  His journey, along with Anwyn and Daegan is riviting and wrenching.

And did I mention how sexy it is?  OMG – not to be cliche, but this book deserves a warning label.  Few writers can match Ms. Hill for her ability to maintain a consistently high level of sensuality even when she’s not writing a love/sex scene.  The book is erotic ALL THE TIME, not only when there is something physical going on. 

..then read this one!

There is a second book to Gideon’s story, Vampire Trinity, which I cannot wait to read.  Also coming this year, along with the previously mentioned Jacob and Lyssa story, is a second in the vampire Daniella’s story, Vampire Instinct, which is being released in July.  That should keep the summer hot.

If you like paranormal romance, and you like your romance *hot*, you cannot go wrong with a novel from the Vampire Queen series by Joey W. Hill.

Which authors immediately go to the top of your to-be-read pile?

May 19, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – My new Droid 2

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 7:52 pm
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Okay… I admit I’d been looking forward to getting an android based phone and having apps to play with.  Which isn’t necessarily a good thing, because I’m amazed at the time that disappears while playing “Words With Friends”.  That said, I am really enjoying having this new technology.

I never thought I’d check my emails on my phone, especially since I’m a work from home writer and mom, but I admit that when I’m out (and now that it’s baseball season, I’m out a lot of nights) it’s nice to be able to review them, delete the junk, and have only the important ones waiting for me when I get home.

I chose the Droid 2 over the Droid X because of the keyboard, since I am terrible at tapping out txts and search information (and also because even though the screen on the X rocks, it feels HUGE in my hand).  I still love the keyboard, but I am more in love with SWYPE, a great technology that allows me to slide my fingers over the keys without picking them up to spell out words.  Sure some things come out funny and I have to redo them, but over all it takes a lot less time.

I particularly enjoy the Nook app.  It’s great to be able to read if I’m caught on an unexpected line or somewhere without a book.  I love the way the pages turn.  I think the color Nook will be my next technology purchase.

Oh… and I immediately searched and learned how to turn off autocorrect.  Some of the errors I’ve read?  Shudder!

I paid next to nothing for the phone thanks to the plans with  www.letstalk.comand also got terrific prices on my accessories (purple swirl faceplate, screen cover, car charger, and nonbluetooth headset for a total of $35 including shipping) at .

So, do you have a new piece of techology you love?

May 16, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompts – Well, I never…

I was once given a great idea for getting develoing a character and for creating scenes in a story.  As yourself what would your hero/heroine/villan never

a) do

b) say

c) think

Because, my fellow writers, they are going to have to do just that before the end of the book and we as the authors will have to decide under what circumstances they would be willing to do/say/think what they never thought they would. Don’t we have the best jobs?!! 🙂

One of my favorite instances of this is in a *terrible* movie, Catwoman, with Halle Berry.  Her friends have given her this totally wild and sexy leather outfit as a gift telling her it’s for when she’s having a dating emergency.  She says it’s lovely, but she’ll never wear it. Oh yeah?  Guess what she reaches for the first time she goes out embracing her new life.  Wearing the outfit shows her – and us – how much she has changed.

So…. what would your characters never do?  Now go make them do it!

May 12, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – Other Writers

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 11:47 pm
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Don't do it alone

I am very blessed. I have a lot of writers in my life.  Several of my closest friends write fiction, as I do, and when I’m going through a frustrating period whether in a new work or in not being able to get anything on the page, they give me support, understanding and a kick in the muse so that I get going again.

I belong to the Essex Writers and Artists Guild in Haverhill, MA.  We are a non-critique (support only) group who meets Thursday nights.  Knowing that they are there to listen to my work or to have the chance to listen to theirs is a comfort and an inspiration.  The emails during the week make me laugh and help me to remember the importance of taking that next step forward.  I do NaNoWriMo with a bunch of them and we go away several times a year on retreat.  It’s wonderful.

I am also a member of the International Women’s Writers Guild, another place of support, encouragement and inspiration.  Their conferences are like a buffet of words and connection.

I’ve met and spoken to writers who are on their own and I can see how hard it is for them.  The internet world does help some to find others and that’s a good thing.  Writing is solitary enough.  We need like minded people, other’s as crazy as we are and who understand our madness.

Where do you get your support?

May 10, 2011

Tuesday Tell All – A new idea…NO must finish other!

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 3:35 pm
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Okay… I’m still working on GUARDED HEART and it is progressing nicely… however, a new idea jumped into my head

work work work...

that really wants to be written.  Don’t you hate that. 

Because I know what will happen if I follow this new idea.  There’s a really good chance that neither  book/story will get done.  So for now, I continue to work on GH and make notes on the side for SWS (nope, not going to share the title yet.).  Finishing a project then following through on editing and polishing is a very important and challenging part of being a writer, but it MUST be done.

Whatever you do – finish that project!

The talent Libba Bray, author

And to keep you laughing about the process I repost a brillian blog by Libba Bray,  author of A Great and Terrible Beauty, among others, “Writing a Novel: A Love Story”:

WRITING A NOVEL – A love story

Libba Bray


This is always the fun part. Deadline crunch time. And by crunch, I don’t mean my hair. Cause I’ve washed it. Recently.

No, this is the part where I become convinced that I could advertise on Craig’s List for gangs of homeless gerbils to run across my keyboard in an agitated, looking-for-the-water-tube state, and they would do a better job. This is how it goes. Every. Single. Friggin’. Time.

In fact, writing a novel is very close to falling in love. How so? I’m glad you asked.

Look at all my pretty ideas. Aren’t they pretty? That one’s a good dancer but that one has gorgeous eyes and a car. And that one, the intellect of Spock and he gets all my jokes. I like that one. So intriguing. Yes, I’ll pick that one.

OMG, y’all. My book and I went out again yesterday, and you know what? My book is so, so clever! Seriously. It was only our third date and it brought me fresh metaphor. I know, right? I wasn’t expecting that at all. Plus, my book is so easy to talk to–it never feels like work. We just relate sooo well. I think this could be something special. I’m seeing my book again tomorrow. I can’t wait.

I love this book. And it loves me. I never want to be without this book. Never, ever. What? Were you saying something? I’m sorry I can’t hear you because my book just said the best thing ever. Wait–just listen to this sentence. I know! Isn’t my book so dreamy? I love you, book. Do you love me? Of course you do. OMG–we said that at the SAME TIME! WE ARE SO IN TUNE! This is going to be the best book ever written. Oh, whisper that again. I Pulitzer you too, honey. Sigh.

Honey…do you still love me? Well, it’s just that you didn’t say it back a few times. And you’ve been sort of inattentive. Unresponsive. A bit. Do that funny thing you did early on. You know, that funny thing that made me laugh and laugh and think that you were the cleverest book that ever lived. You know. That thing. Well, honey, if I could remember it, I’d write it down. I was kind of hoping you’d remember. No. It’s okay. Don’t worry about it. Really.I love you. Do you still love me?

My book? No, things are okay. I guess. I mean, I totally love my book and everything, but…it’s not quite as clever as I thought. Yeah, like yesterday? I came home and read page 367, and…it wasn’t very good. In fact, it was trite and it had stubble all over the page and there were dirty socks on page 45 right where my favorite part about the dog who speaks in limericks used to be and the TV was left on again. Battlestar Galactica reruns. Oh, I feel kinda bad saying this about my book, but, you know what? (whispers) I think it might be stupid. Don’t tell.

OMG. Eight hours of writing for this crap? If it starts one more sentence with “I” things will get bloody. Boring. Derivative. Repetitive–I know! We totally covered that in chapter four AND in chapter twenty. You remember, right? So why doesn’t my book? Seriously, I cannot understand a word my book says anymore. Christ, how many more weeks of this hell do I have to put in before I can start up with some new idea, like that one about the succubus and the backpackers. So foxy. I’ll bet that book is perfect. Unlike a certain annoying one I’m stuck with…

F*@*#&ing book. I hate you. I wish I’d never met you. YOU MAKE MY LIFE HELL! HELL! I wish there were another word for hell but my thesaurus says there’s not. My mother was right. I should never have gotten involved with you. God, what was I thinking starting up something with this book? Jesus. Did you hear that? Do you ever even listen to what you spew all over the page? God. Like freaking nails being driven into my eardrums and right into my brain. Miserable craptard. I wish you’d die.

Sometimes, when I watch you sleep, you’re so perfect.

(sob) It was so beautiful once. (honk, wheeze) A beautiful, beautiful word dream. (sob) Where is my pretty word dream now? Where’s my pwetty, pwetty word dream? Where? Wwwwwhhhhheeeerrrrrreeee?????

(singing) It’s a stupid novel, and I don’t care…it’s a stupid novel, and I don’t care…It’s a stupid novel, and I don’t care…it’s a stupid novel and I don’t care…

Thanks for meeting me here. Look, I’m just gonna come out with it. This–you, me–it’s not working. I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s…actually it’s you. You’re stupid. And I sort of hate you. But, you know, thanks for the great line on p. 400. I’m gonna go ahead and keep it because, really, you did give it to me and it doesn’t fit you anymore. Oh, and while you’re here, you might as well try the pie. It’s good. Yeah. I’ve had 500 pieces of it over the past few months. So I know.

Wow. Fancy running into you. It’s been ages. No, you look good. You lost weight? Wow. About 10,000 words. That IS something. Ha! I’d forgotten how funny you are. I’m serious–that was really, really smart about Elvis being a metaphor for fear of jumpsuits. Oh…sure. Yeah, I’ve gotta go, too. But it was great to see you again. Keep up the good work.

That one? Yeah, we totally had a thing. But, you know, it’s over now. So, tell me what you were saying about the succubus and the backpackers? OMG, that is the best thing ever! You know, you have such beautiful eyes…

May 9, 2011

Monday Writer’s Prompts – Arrivals

Filed under: Monday Writer's Prompts — authorrachelkenley @ 1:00 pm
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This weekend spring finally made a real arrival in New England.  Not only was the day warm, but when the wind blew, it was warm as well.  For the past few weeks it was comfortable out *until* the wind blew.  Then we were all running for coats again.

I’m expecting another arrival today – my new Droid 2 phone.  I’m very excited to have my first smart phone and I’m wondering what apps and things I’m going to want on it.  I piced the Droid 2 over the Droid X because the smaller size felt better in my hand and I like having a realy QWERTY keypad in addition to the touch screen.

Orion - freshly brushed

Our family had two new arrivals recently – cats!  Orion (an 8-year-old Maine Coon) and Lily (a

Lily - a cell phone pic

shy 6-year-old silver tabby) joined our family a few weeks ago and already it feels as though they’ve been here forever. 

So that’s the writer’s prompt for today –  What arrival are you (or your character) looking forward to?  What recently arrived in your life that changed things?  Or what arrival would throw you/your character for a complete loop?

Have a wonderful and productive week.

May 5, 2011

Thursday Favorite Things – In praise of naps

Filed under: Thursday Favorite Things — authorrachelkenley @ 1:09 pm
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Doesn't it look wonderful!

I admit it – I love to nap.

I should live in a country where they do the siesta thing, because I dont mind waking up early to get things done or staying up late for a variety of reasons, but come 1:00 or so in the afternoon, what I most crave is a good book and my bed.  Two hours later or so, I am ready to go.

Acording to Health Central- some of the most notable figures in history are known to

Shh... I'm busy

have been consummate nap-takers, including Winston Churchill, Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci and John F. Kennedy. What’s more, recent research is providing evidence that a well-timed afternoon nap may be the best way to combat sleepiness, improve work performance, and overcome the late day grogginess commonly known as the “midday dip.”

Personally, since the birth of my kids (and, yes I must admit, subsequent weight gain) I haven’t slept well at night and napping definitely helps me get through the day – and stay up until my husband gets home, which is typically after 9pm. I love that feeling of snuggling under the covers knowing that I am going to get a few solid hours of sleep.  Sometimes waking up is challenging, but as long as I have something specific planned, I’m good to go.

So if you can’t reach me in the afternoon, chances are I’m catching a few z’s.  What do you do during the day to rejuvenate?

May 4, 2011

Wednesday Wanderings – Kimball’s Ice Cream

Filed under: Wednesday Wanderings — authorrachelkenley @ 4:31 pm
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We all scream...

While the weather doesn’t seem to be consistently warm – or even sunny – here in New England, we are still hoping to have our ice-cream-for-dinner night soon.  One of the few things that hasn’t been taken over by one or two big chains is the local ice cream stand.  Yes, there is still Baskin Robbins and on the east coast Stone Cold Creamery is very very good, but there is nothing like that place where you know your favorite flavor will be available in a size you dreamed of ever since you were a kid.

For my family that place is Kimball Farm in Westford MA (they have four locations total).  Their portions are so large

It's worth the wait!

that having anything to eat before hand is just silly (and perhaps even insulting).  Opened first in 1939 and still family owned and run, Kimball’s is synonymous around here with great ice cream and a fun night out.  Over time, the Westford location has grown to include more things to do then eat.  There has been a country store attached to the ice cream stand for years along with a farm with animals.  Now it also includes mini golf, bumper boats, a driving range, an arcade and batting cages.  We plan to go early to enjoy the ice cream and then stay to play. 

What can be better – ice cream, supporting a local business and a night out with the whole family.  One of the true joys of summer.

What are you favorite local escapes?

Tuesday Tell All – Just write

Filed under: Tuesday Tell All — authorrachelkenley @ 12:54 am
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Like many, I think, yesterday I couldn’t focus.  I would turn on the news, surf the internet, and stay close to my kids.  It was an odd day, and nothing got written.

Today, other commitments kept me from writing (including here) until the end of the day.  In fact, I was going to skip it all together, and then a good friend said – Just write something.  It doesnt have to be on the manuscript you are working on at the moment, just write and own that this is who you are and what you do.

And that’s the best advice of all.  Just write.

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