2006 RWA National Convention: Atlanta Bound

Posted in Romance on March 27th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

On July 26th, thousands of romance writers will converge on the lovely city of Atlanta. The next few days will consist of dozens of workshops, fabulous parties, and tons of network schmoozing.

Now, I’ve been to Atlanta too many times to count. I love the city–it’s always teaming with activity and life. When my husband fenced competitively, it seemed we drove up there nearly every weekend for national or regional events.

So, since I’ve got a bit of Atlanta experience, I thought I’d post a do/don’t list for activites in the city. (In case you decide that you want to have convention fun and take in some of the sights.)

First, let’s start with don’t. Don’t go to Six Flags. Sure, amusement parks are fun–but NOT in July in Atlanta. The park will be hellishly hot and the lines will be hellishly long. Skip this stop!

Do take some time to visit the Atlanta Underground. There are some unusual shops here, interesting bands play, and, since it’s both underground and air-conditioned, you’ll get relief from the Atlanta heat. If you’re lucky, you can also get your fortune told and see a few fun magic tricks.

Do visit the new Georgia Aquarium. Personally, I am a shark freak–and I can’t wait to tour the facilities and see my man-eaters. (I’ve never been to this aquarium before, but I’ve heard great things about it!)

Do consider visiting the Fernbank–Atlanta’s dinosaur museum. I mean, come on–it’s dinosaurs!

Finally, don’t head to Atlanta without some good maps. It is very, very easy to get lost on the city streets.

Of course, there are plenty of other activites–you could go see the Braves, you could check out the Martin Luther King exhibit, sample some drinks at the Coca-Cola museum…yes, there are so many choices. I’d recommend checking out this city guide for more info.

Have fun! See you in Atlanta!

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How To Fly: Levitation 101

Posted in Romance on March 24th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

I love magic. Absolutely love it. Heck, I originally agreed to go out with Nick (now my husband) because on the night we met, he spent several hours doing magic tricks for me. What a sweetie!

About two years ago, I was lucky enough to see David Copperfield in Biloxi. I was less than fifteen feet away from the man…but I still couldn’t figure out how he did his illusions. And, no I wasn’t selected as one of his volunteers–a fact that still bothers me.

But let me get back to the title of this post: levitation. A few months ago, I was awoken at about 1 a.m. by Nick–he wanted to show me that he could fly. So, blinking the sleep from my eyes, I watched as he rose about four inches into the air, hovered for a bit, then slowly returned to the carpeted floor. At 1 a.m., it was a pretty awesome trick.

Nick had learned to levitate in the style of David Blaine (that’s Blaine levitating in the pic). When Nick levitated, he turned, put his back to me (actually, I think he was kind of diagonal) then he rose slowly, just a few inches. Well, I was impressed. Nick later did the tricks for our friends–sometimes it worked well, and sometimes there were a few…non-liftoffs.

I really thought David Blaine was the master of street levitation–until I saw Criss Angel go into the air. Criss didn’t just go a few inches. It looked like the man went up a few feet. And now, thanks to the magic of the internet and Angel’s apparent willingness to share his secret, we can all learn to levitate, his way.

So, if you want to learn how to levitate, watch this video clip. And you, too, can amaze your family and friends (although I wouldn’t recommend doing it at 1 a.m.!) Happy hovering!

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Veronica Mars

Posted in Romance on March 23rd, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

Every Wednesday night, I eagerly tune in to watch the exploits of teen PI Veronica Mars on UPN. Now, I’m not a teen (yeah–won’t be seeing those days again!), so why do I watch a show about high schoolers?

Simple: The characters are absolutely amazing. The plot twists often leave me suprised (this is a big feat for me–heck, it’s gotten to where I can predict the endings of shows like CSI, Law and Order, and Medium within the first five minutes of the show). But don’t get me wrong–I love all those shows I just mentioned, but, even more than I love them, I love surprises.

And I get my surprises with Veronica Mars. Apparently, I’m not the only one drawn to watch the blond’s exploits. Recently, in teasers for the show, a nice voice-over said something along the lines of : Stephen King can’t take his eyes off her. Ohhhh…I’m in company with Stephen King…how utterly fabulous.

But…back to why I like the show:

First, let me start with the characters. There aren’t any one dimensional characters on this show. Everyone has extraordinary depth–let me give you an example: The first time I saw the sheriff’s character, I thought he was pure evil–obviously a guy on the take who didn’t care about the citizens of his town. He was good-looking, self-involved, and had a wickedly nasty personality. I liked him, of course, but then…he evolved (as generally happens to all the folks on the show). I soon discovered the sheriff had a troubled past, and I learned that sometimes, he actually does try to do the right thing. Sure, the guy’s still crooked, but he’s crooked, wounded, sarcastic…and just plain fun now.

And as for the leading character…Veronica might just be 18, but she has all the attributes of a powerful heroine. She’s smart, spunky, and can deliver one-liners that would make comedians envious. She has knows how to take care of herself–Veronica doesn’t need anyone to rescue her–the chick carries a tazer!

In addition to the characters, I love the show because of the amazing plots. No, there’s no petty teen drama. Murders occur. Buses are sabotaged, babies are kidnapped, and, sometimes, Veronica gets locked in freezers…But no matter what happens, the show is geared to generate maximum suspense. Each week, the show ends in such a manner that I’m left desperate to know what will happen next time. Can you say awesome ending hook?

So that’s why I like Veronica Mars. The show’s a perfect recipe for a book–strong characters, great hooks, tension-generating plots.

If you haven’t checked this show out, I would highly recommend it (um…in case you didn’t get that from my gushing post!).

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Horror Rules

Posted in Romance on March 22nd, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

Everybody always seems to be talking about rules these days. People love to say what should and shouldn’t be done.

Phooey. I say if you can make the story work, do anything!

Unless, of course, you’re writing a horror story…Then, well, then you must follow the universally understood scary movie rules–as stated by Randy in the Scream flicks.

The rules are as follows:

1. Characters who have sex won’t survive. (Whoa–good thing that rule doesn’t apply to romance novels, huh? The hero and heroine would be such goners!)
2. Characters will not survive if they drink or do drugs. (Another uh-oh for romance land–I read about tons of characters drinking wine or beer–good thing a Jason-like killer is not on their trail!)
3. A character who says, “I’ll be right back” won’t survive.
4. Everyone is a suspect.

And here are some sequel rules from Scream 2:

1. The body count is always higher.
2. The death scenes are always much more elaborate, with more blood and gore.
3. Never, ever, under any circumstances assume the killer is dead.
(Note: Randy’s character didn’t exactly get to finish this line in Scream 2, but the intent was so there.)

Yep, those are horror rules.

And, you know what? Those rules make me really glad I write romances…

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Attention Vampire Fans!!!

Posted in Romance on March 20th, 2006 by Cynthia Eden

If you love vampires, then you have got to check out this ultimate vampire book list. There are approximately 3000 titles listed–very cool!
Go see if you’ve missed any titles by your favorite author–or go find a new author to try!

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