Who Are We?

The NovelFriends are four writers who met through Wisconsin Romance Writers and initially became bonded by our love of books. That connection has expanded, grown, and deepened into true friendship over the years. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, so follow the blog and join in the fun - we're always happy to have more NovelFriends!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Laid vs. Lied - Yes, that tired old question

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a reader who had an issue with one of my word choices. The line in question?

‘Frustrated and angry with himself, he lied back down and clasped his hands behind his head.’

This reader explained, with surprising vehemence, that I should have used ‘laid’, not ‘lied’. Don’t worry, I wasn’t offended…well, maybe a little after they informed me this only seemed to be a problem with romance authors…LOL

Anyway, the truth is, I had originally used ‘laid’ in that sentence, which sounds better to my ear than ‘lied’. But my editor promptly corrected me. And since ‘lay versus lie’ had always confused me, I did a little research and found plenty to support my editor’s position.

But this reader was quite adamant that they were correct, which left me wondering. Is there a correct answer? Could both words technically work in the above sentence, or should this reader have done their own homework before schooling me (and maybe others)?

I found this chart on Writer’s Digest, which seems to support my editor’s opinion:

Lay vs. Lie Chart

Infinitive   Definition            Present    Past    Past Participle    Present Participle

to lay       to put or place       lay(s)     laid    laid               laying
              something down
to lie       to rest or recline    lie(s)     lay     lain               lying

And a few more references:

So, what do you think? I would love to hear your opinions on this topic. As for the reader, turns out they’re just a very nice person who happens to be quite passionate about grammatical errors. ;-)

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Donna

Friday, March 22, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage - a book review by Delia

I have discovered an author who I just may love.  I read Gail Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage and loved it.

Steampunk meets Harry Potter with just a dash of Dr. Horrible makes Etiquette & Espionage a can't put down young adult book.  Young Sophronia Temminnick has been the bane of her mother's existence for years, and when her mother's friend, Mrs. Barnaclegoose, suggests she send Sophronia to Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, she jumps at the chance to send her troublesome daughter off.  Once here, Sophronia discovers that the definition of "Finishing" is certainly subject to interpretation and discovers a whole world out there from the one she'd previously been confined to.

With wonderful new words like 'mechanimal' and 'flywaymen' Ms.Carriger's book was a joy from start to finish.  I especially love Bunson's, the school for evil geniuses (how can you not love an evil genius school?) though Sophronia's inept friend, Pillover has only made the rank of discourteous genius with hopes of one day rising to spiteful genius. I love the world created in this book, which is happily, the very first of a series and I have great expectations for the books to come.

I've also discovered that the Finishing School series is a prequel of sorts to Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, all of which are going to be added to my to-be-read pile as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Friends ~ Stacey

This will be short and sweet. To me, a friend is someone I am happy to have in my life for their support in good things and bad. We cheer each other through all the highest moments, and comfort through the low times. We've got each others back. We might disagree on things, but it doesn't affect the core of our relationship.

Time spent with the people we call friends is precious, and at the beginning of March, I was lucky to get a weekend with three very special people in my life.

Us four NovelFriends met for coffee, chatted a ton, went to dinner, chatted a ton, headed off to watch the hilarious movie Identity Thief, chatted a little and very quietly, cried a little bit (well, at least I did, twice), went back to the hotel, chatted a ton, got a few hours sleep, got up for breakfast, and--you guessed it--chatted a ton.

We see each other here and there, a couple of us more than others, but that was our first overnight with the 4 of us in almost two years! We decided over breakfast we weren't waiting that long again and have planned two nights at my family cabin on the lake in June. I'm already excited!!

Okay, so maybe not that short, but still sweet. :) Thank you for a great time ladies!!

So, to our other NovelFriends out there...when's the last time you spent some quality time with a great friend?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky In Love Blog Hop

It has been an exciting week for our NovelFriends group. Not only are two of our members Lucky In Love, they are lucky with love. Donna Marie Rogers and Stacey Joy Netzel made their first appearance on the USA Today Bestsellers list with their Welcome To Redemption series. Congratulations Donna and Stacey!

So, being lucky in love. What exactly does that mean? Here are our thoughts on the topic.

Donna: I've always been a fan of St. Patrick's Day and everything that comes with it: Corned beef & cabbage, Leprechauns, Kiss Me, I'm Irish T-shirts, shamrock antenna headgear, green beer, McDonald's yummy Shamrock shakes!

And while all couples could use a little 'Luck of the Irish', I think it takes on a new meaning with Chase and Hannah from my latest release Never Let Me Go: Book 7, Welcome to Redemption. When the diner Hannah Porter works at is robbed at gunpoint, Sheriff Chase Lowell is forced to admit his feelings for his best friend's kid sister are so much more than friendship...

Delia: Is it luck? Being in the right place at the right time? Destiny? I'm not sure how we find that special someone. Were we just meant to be?

I don't know if I believe in luck. When I think about the choices I made in my life that got me where I am today, I can't give luck the credit. I'm not saying we deserve whatever we get (or don't get), but I think that the decisions we make in our lives bring us down a path that will take us where we're supposed to be. One of my favorite movies is Serendipity. I highly suggest a viewing if you haven't had the pleasure. Through a series of crazy events, we see that if two people are meant to be together, they will be. It's not luck, it all boils down to those famous words once spoken by George McFly, "You are my density."

Stacey: I married my high school sweetheart and we just celebrated 20 years in January. While I won't deny we've had our ups and downs, and it's definitely work, we have plenty of good times that make it all worth while. I definitely consider myself lucky in love and I'd choose him all over again.

In Hold On To Me: Book 8, Welcome to Redemption, Jenny made a bad choice the first time, but the moment she meets Grant, her luck is about to change.

Jamie: I am amazed every single day at how lucky I have been to have been blessed with my soulmate. Someone who has shared some pretty wonderful times with me and stayed at my side providing support when things got rough. I always dreamed of a fairy tale love when I was a kid, but this is so much more than that. We have been lucky enough to find true love.

One of my favorite things about the Sunday paper is reading the anniversary announcements and reading about all of the long married couples celebrating a lifetime together, it's even better when they tell how they met. They make me think of the movie, Up. Carl and Ellie's love story shares with all of us just how lucky we are to spend time with the person who makes our heart skip a beat.

Now it's your turn. What are your thoughts on being lucky in love? We'd love to hear your own story or about a book, movie or show that's an example of what lucky in love means to you. 
Use the Rafflecopter below to enter for a $25 gift card from your choice of Amazon or Barnes & Noble
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And don't forget, to enter for the Grand Prizes of the Lucky In Love Blog Hop . There are TWO Grand Prizes! The first is a $100 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. The second grand prize is a Swag Pack that includes paperbacks, e-books, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies and more. Just leave a comment here including your e-mail address t. Then check out the many other stops on the blog hop!

Good Luck!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Choices - The Book Version (Jamie)

Things in the book industry have been changing rapidly over the past few years and it appears that trend will continue. It has me curious about what kind of book choices you might make, and I hope it will give me the chance to get to know you better. And remember, this is just for fun. I'm not looking to start a debate. I fully believe every reader is entitled to have their own preferences for how and what they like to read.

So, tell me:
 - Do you prefer paper books, e-books or audio books, or a combination?  I used to swear I'd never give up paper books but my book collection took up too much space. My husband bought me an e-reader for Christmas, and I fought it for a while, but once I gave in, I was completely converted. I love having my entire library at my fingertips and my keeper shelf with me at all times.

- Do you have a preference for a full length novel or novellas? I tend to prefer full length novels. Novellas are also good, but I typically fall in love with the characters and want to spend more time with them. Novellas go by way too fast.

- Do you use the library or borrow books from friends or do you own most of your books? Because I use an e-reader, I own my books. Even before I made the switch though, I owned most of them. As I said, I fall in love with the characters and stories and have a hard time giving them up. I believe this goes back to a heartbreaking, grade-school library book incident.

- Do you typically read one genre or a wide variety? I read romance almost exclusively, and within the romance genre I normally stick to Contemporary or Romantic Suspense. I have deviated to a historical or paranormal book at times. I couldn't tell you the last time I read something that wasn't a romance story though.

- Where and when do you do your reading? I do most of my reading in bed in the morning and at night, but if I have a few spare minutes I will read while waiting for an appointment, in the car (not while I'm driving), in a restaurant (if I'm on my own, not if I'm with someone). Pretty much if I have some free time, you'll see me with my e-reader in my hand.

Now you know a little bit about me and my reading habits. I'm looking forward to learning more about you and how you like to read.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

tear jerking - Delia

A group of writer buddies (notice I didn't say novel friends) who shall remain nameless got together this weekend and spent a lot of time talking.  I won't write about that get together, because someone claims she called dibs on that subject.  So, instead, I'll expand on a topic brought up during that get together of people-who-we-don't-know's conversation.

What is your crying threshold?  What is that little thing in a movie that'll set your waterworks going?  I'm not a big crier and tend to be a bit cold-hearted.  There's not a lot that sets me off, mostly because I tend to avoid things I know will trigger the tear ducts.  A movie starring a dog?  Forget it, I KNOW that pooch isn't going to live to see the end credits.  Anything by Nicholas Sparks?  Nope, not gonna go there.  I refuse to watch a movie knowing I'm going to come out of it depressed.  I've never seen Titanic.  I KNOW the boat is going to sink, why put myself through that?  But, every once in awhile, something sneaks up on me and my eyes go all juicy.  Man, I hate when that happens.

It's not the normal things that'll do it to me either, someone dying, a love story gone bad, you know, that kind of thing.  It's worse.  Those rah-rah 1940's war support movies tend to touch me off.  The love of country, the patriotism, the thought of those boys going off to experience hell on earth, maybe to never return home.  It chokes me up all the time - which may also explain why I tend to get teary-eyed at the beginning of parades when the VFW guys come marching by with the flags.  It's not the serious drama either, I got all choked up during a Betty Grable musical once.  I cry during Casablanca, not when Rick and Ilsa say goodbye like normal people do, but when the crowd sings the French National Anthem at Rick's Place.

But, my Achilles heal, the thing that gets me every time, all I have to do is try to tell someone about it and I start crying, comes from a very unexpected place.  It's the very last 2 minutes of the pilot episode of the sit-com Raising Hope.  If you're not familiar with the show, it's about a young man, Jimmy, who unexpectedly has fatherhood thrust upon him.  Jimmy's parents were teens themselves when he was born and just sort of bumbled their way through parenthood.  Anyway, in the scene, Jimmy is trying to get his new baby to sleep and she keeps crying.  Finally his parents come in and say they'll do for her what they always did to stop him from crying as a baby.  The father takes out his guitar and he and the mother sing Danny's Song (even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey) to quiet the baby.  Then it flashes back to the parents as teens singing for their own baby son.  (shoot, I'm starting to tear up again!)  Whenever I think of it, I imagine the two scared teenagers, just trying to do the best they can in the situation they're in, nothing but hope and love keeping it all together and I just get all mushy and have to go looking for a Kleenex.

So yeah, now you know what sets me off.  How about you?  Do you have something that'll get ya every time?