Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Compulsive Contest Entrant

Hi. My name is Penny Dune. And I'm a compulsive contest entrant.

Apparently, I need affirmation. I'm looking for someone else to tell me how good I'm doing.

Let's look at the facts here, ma'am. Contests are NOT the place for affirmation. Sure, they have the potential to do just that, but in reality, they are little more than a bunch of strangers reading your work and judging you based on a mere number of words. Sometimes as little as 25 of them.

I drafted an email to enter Miss Snark's First Victim's first 50 word crit round. Authoress is a lovely gal who has made a real name for herself in the writing blogosphere. She's got great connections and uses them well. She's consistent and active when poor sops like me can hardly get on their blog more than once a week. Anyhow, I like to patronize her blog. She deserves it.

On the other hand [back to the contest dicussion], do I really want to enter another contest? Am I wasting my time? What are my chances?

They seem so slim. Not because I think my writing sucks. No. But because 50 words is the blink of an eye. How the heck am I--or anyone else--supposed to crit 50 words? I can ask if the entry is catchy, but that hardly matters if the first sentence or two isn't followed by more... Right? Of course right.

So, it's a crap shoot, and maybe I'm just not up for gambling right now. I need to get to work instead. :D

Take care all you crazy readers out there.
Penny Dune

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Summer Lovin'


Okay, I'm going to add an epilogue, it can't be helped, but otherwise, the story is completely written... and I love it.

I started this blog long ago when this story was just a babe. It has some maturing to do in the next couple of weeks, but it won't be long before I can send it off into the big bad world and see how it does.


Thanks for sticking with me.
With this one down, I'm sure it won't be long before I have another going.

That's the way of things around here. :P
Love you all!

Friday, April 2, 2010

What Easter means to Me

I can't help but say a little about my church holiday. We celebrate new life, rebirth... All things SPRING.

It makes me thankful for all that I've been given.

Knowing there's Hope in such trying times is what puts a smile on my face everyday.

It's how I know someday I'll be published. Someday my husband will have a job again. Someday, peace will exist.

Pray for Peace.
~Penny Dune

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Day at the Races

I'm going to New York in May, and my cousin is having a party at the Belmont Races. How exciting is that? Fun, fun, fun. I hope I win something. Maybe I should start keeping track of the horses right now. How does a person even do that?

Time for some serious research. ;-)

Also that same day, I'm taking a tour in Soho. A historical/food walking tour in NYC. YUM and FUN. I have a lot to look forward to. What about you?

What's on your plate this spring?
Tell me all about it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Well, that's it.
I have my first tooth filling, ever.
Went to the dentist this morning. It was fine. Numbing agents are--for sure--the best things ever invented!!! Thank you science and inspiration.

What the worst thing you've ever had done in your mouth?
Be nice now... nothing sordid. *wink*

It's the beginning of a really GREAT weekend.
Enjoy it and read something fun.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Planning Committee

I'm it. The family planning committee...

oh, wait, that's not right either. OMG, that's hilarious. *cough* I mean, I'm that too. But, oh, nevermind.

I'm supposed to plan monthly events for the fmaily to do. This isn't as easy as it sounds!! I haven't failed miserably, but I have failed.

When we lived outside Washington D.C. for a time, we did a museum day once. Another day we did a trip to Manassas. Did you know you could spend a good week in that area and not see everything?

It takes great effort. First, it has to be scheduled. As the kids get older, time becomes more precious. Do you find that too? It seems that whenever I have a free Saturday, I'd much rather spend it sitting on my driveway in the sunshine, just watching the kids play.

But I want to do better. I need to do better, so I'm looking for something to do in April. "April?!" you exclaim? Yes, May! Because March is just about gone. If I don't plan something for late April, I won't be planning anything until the end of June. That's how busy my schedule is... :P

So, tell me. What do you do with the family as extra curricular in your area? Doesn't have to be free to be a good example, either. I'm willing to pay a few dollars to satisfy the Family Committee Head--my hubby.
We've done the local Children's Museum and the local Nature Center/State Park.

I think I might need to plan a day trip. Get out of our immediate area. :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

An Anniversary

My girl Bethanne has been married eleven years today!

Congratulations, you crazy lady!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still Writing

I am. I'm still writing.
Ugh! In case you're curious. I'm almost finished with this manuscript--Summer Lovin'.

Maybe a deadline would help?

Easter's a good date. Goal: submitt to publisher on Monday, April 5th. That means I have to have my first draft and revisions completed in less than 3 weeks. Okay. I'm a nut.

That's nuttier than thinking I would never get a cavity, which by the is no longer true. Regular check up with the dentist last week turned into my first cavity ever. You know that moment when you realize you aren't going to live forever? Most people figure this out in their twenties, or possibly earlier depending on life experience... Me? I thought I would live forever AND never get a cavity!

Oh, well.

...Maybe that is nuttier than the revisions in 3 weeks...

I hope this whole cavity thing isn't a sign of things to come. :P

My visits in blogland are less frequent, but don't think that means I don't think of you out there. have a great week.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Favorite Things

What's your favorite thing to do to pass the time?
I played Rummy with my daughter the other day. So much fun! When we got started, she decided Go-Fish was the game we were going to play. I looked at her, ten now, and thought, "no. It's time to play something else."

*big cry baby*

They grow up so fast!! I showed her how to play and now, there will be no going back. It's forward motion from here on out... Games, Books, Television, Make-up, Clothes, Talks.

I guess that's why part of me feels a little guilty about my coming trip to New York. She would looooooooove to go. She would DIE to go. And when I first talked to my girlfriend about making a trip, babygirl was there with us. So, I think when she finds out that the trip is BIG girls only, it will be a little heartbreaking for her. Especially since she'll have to stay home with ALL boys. :(

Well, I look forward to another trip a few years from now when I can take her with me. But, this time....
It's just for me. :D
And that's okay, too.
Have a great week, everyone.
Penny Dune

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Juggling Act

I try not drone on about writing. I mean, yes, most of my visitors are writing friends, but they know me and know what I'm going through. If you aren't a writing friend, I definitely don't want to bore you with my very uninteresting life. I'd rather you think my life resembles my books! haha.

All that said, I had an idea for my next novella. Since I'm saving the last chapter or two from my Summer Lovin' story until I get that far in revisions, I guess my brain has decided I can let loose. Wow, the imagination is such a FUN creature. I can't wait to start writing this story. I'm outlining and have a heroine that I think is going to be one of my best yet. She has five brothers, one that is a hockey player for the North Carolina Hurricanes. No hero yet, but I'm getting some ideas... Once I figure out what puts the story in motion, I'll have a better idea of who he is and where he came from.

All this story planning has me extra excited. Connecting my Summer Lovin' story to at least one other "seasonal" story never occured to me. Believe me, it's occuring now! My new story has a working title of Winter Craze. I went with Ice Witch at first, but after the thought of integrating the stories crossed my mind... I knew I would have to create something better. Perhaps later, I'll think of a story for Fall and Spring!

Whoooot! I just love this career--the work, the creativity, the rush.
Have a great weekend.
With Love,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Favorite Vacations

All time favorite vacations.
My current manuscript takes place in Mexico, during a vacation.

I was thinking about my own history of vacations. There are different chapters of my life that each has its own special trip or vacation. Overall, though. I've decided to define vacation. DH and I had a discussion on this very topic not too long ago. I claimed we've never been on an actual vacation in our 13 years together. You wanna know why?

1) visiting family is NOT vacation
2) family obligations [though loved and enjoyed] are NOT vacation
3) cub scout camping trips? NOT vacation :D
4) Day trips in our corner of the country are NOT vacation either

I don't remember one time that we've ever done anything that didn't include one or more of those disqualifiers. I would love to go to the Grand Canyon, just to see the Grand Canyon. Or sign up for a cattle drive--like City Slickers. Or rent a beach house on the coast for a week.

There are a few vacations I remember from being a kid. A trip to Mackinac Island. I remember fudge. Also, our family trips to Alpena and a week at a camp there right on Long Lake--we did that more than once. Then there was the trip to Disney World when I was a senior in high school. Middle of the winter, we didn't wait in line for ANY of the rides. :D Great fun!

My anniversary is coming up. DH and I are taking one night to get away. It will be our first 'official', pre-qualified vacation since our honeymoon.
How about you?
When was your most favorite vacation EVER?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Superior Scribler Award!

I am so lucky today!

Debora Dennis, one of my lovely Passionate Critters, gave me an award.

This award originated from The Scholasatic Scribe, whose father suggested she sign up for the High School Journalism Program because she wasn't strong in math.

And as anyone who's been in the blogosphere more than a week knows, the award comes with a few rules. (1) I must confess to 10 things you might not know about me and (2) I must pass this award on to a few other lucky recipients. Got it? Let's go...

1. My real name is Bethanne, I've been Penny Dune, a pen name, for several months. If you know Bethanne, then you already know this, because she can't keep a secret worth a damn. :D

2. I'm part robot...not only do I come with a pump, I'm attached to a transmitter as well.

3. It's possible there's coffee running through my veins.

4. I've lived in seven different states--and plan on doing more. I love the idea of starting something new.

5. I have LOTS of freckles... and my hubby loves them. Thank goodness!

6. Next to coffee, ice cream and chocolate are my biggest weakness... actually. No. Nevermind. These are supposed to be things you don't know about me. We all know how I love men.

7. I'm a closet Chicago fan... it's a hard habit to break. Side note: my hubby HATES THEM! :D

8. I'm a religious person. What can I say? I love God.

9. I never finished college.

10. I can braille.

Wow, as usual, that is waaaay harder than it seems. [That's what she said!] Now I get to do the honors of passing this award to a few deserving bloggers. My hat's off to Kerri Sparling from Six Until Me (she knows me as Bethanne. As a matter of fact, I use know lightly). A fellow human robotic, she has amazing scribling abilities. I wouldn't be surprised to see her name on the NYT bestselling list someday. Also, fellow writer and PCer, Kate Karyus Quinn, she writes an urban fantasy I can't get enough of. :D

Thanks for stopping by!
Enjoy the weekend.
With love,
Penny Dune

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How do you know?

How do you know it's love?

I have to comtemplate this... Imperative to the romance novel is knowing the signs, knowing how your character will react to the knowledge that he or she has fallen.

Sometimes, I have to make it up--like when my villain has fallen for the heroine...and showing, acting on that love means killing for her.

Sometimes, I can imagine it--like when my hero's best friend--Sean, married for three years to his high school sweetheart, witnesses the birth of his first child and suddenly knows... with the clarity of a perfect four carat diamond that even though he married his sweetheart because she was pregnant with a child they eventually lost, he can't live without this woman. She's his life.

Knowing you're in love might mean fighting as passionately as you make love. It might mean quiet nights of pillow talk and cuddling, or fear so stark, running seems the only reasonable option.

But the ultimate know is in his Kiss.

...i'm laughing my butt off right now, because this just came to me in a flash...

Inspired, seriously, isn't it? :D

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day

Love is in the air... or so they say.

I know it's in the air at my house.

Though I love the holiday--commercial ridden as it is--I like to think that I celebrate Valentine's Day everyday. Through thick and thin, good times and bad, sickness and health.

Hey! That sounds familiar. I hope your commitment in life, whether through marriage or friendship or even obligation, is driven by Love.

I'm one month from being married for 11 years....
It's only gotten better.

Sorry this post is late. Hope your day was peaceful, smart and full of love.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Heroes -- The Series

A Warrior

A warrior is a person experienced in or capable of engaging in combat or warfare, especially within the context of a tribal or clan-based society that recognizes a separate warrior class. According to the Random House Dictionary, the term warrior has two meanings. The first literal use refers to "a man engaged or experienced in warfare." The second figurative use refers to "a person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics." <-- from wikipedia.

One thing I loved about the character Wind-in-his-hair--from Dances like a wolf with Wolves. [yes, I had to make fun, just a little. ;)]--he is youth makes his pride volatile. He is the first to stand against the newcomer. He is protective. Perhaps in every Warrior hero beats the heart of a protector, huh?

I like the second part of the wikipedia definition, showing great vigor [well, really what hero doesn't show great vigor? hmm?], courage or aggressiveness. A warrior for the cause. Again, protecting what's his, whether it be a tree hugger, a cancer survivor or women's rights.

I like the idea of a warrior hero. I like a good military intrigue. I love old historical westerns, too. When so many people today allow life to float on by, it's really nice to read a story with drive.

Wow, I'm finished! 10 hero types. 10 blog posts. There's satisfaction here. Thanks for sticking with me!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Heroes -- The Series

Ick on the movie... not my cup of tea.

Well, oddly enough, I think this is my least favorite hero. Probably because most protectors I've read are too over the top. I don't mind an alpha with a protective streak, but the protector is too one track-minded. More like a father in some cases.

Again, I'm wracking my brain for a good example...

as usual, I'm thinking of lots of characters that aren't complete Protectors... There's a small part of most women that want to be cherished enough to have a man want to protect them. Too see the danger and think of them first.

I had a dream recently in which my hubby was getting ready to bathe in a creek. But before hand, he built a fire to warm up. It was cold--early spring, late fall or something. Well, the fire spread to an old fire truck that was nearby. The fire truck went up in flames. Our neighbor yelled at us to run! We both ran and while I struggled to get over this ledge, I watched my hubby's back, leaving me in the dust. Not even a hand up to help me get away.

Obviously, I have some protector issues... Hahahaha. Or perhaps, I'm just one of those gals that doesn't need protecting. ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Heroes -- The Series

The Rogue... like Errol Flynn, mmhmm.
Charming, Dashing... Careless.

What is it that makes the rogue tie down?
What is it that makes him finally SEE the woman? Because you all know that the rogue is just another word for womanizer. Right? The man who goes from one woman to the next, never leaving an unsatisfied gal in his wake. They enjoy him and share him, knowing he is like a bird and can't be caged. [okay, i just threw up a little in my mouth]

So, why does the heroine win?
The heroine will not be charmed by the Rogue. She will not see a dashing gentleman. Nope. She most likely will not see him at all, which is what draws him to her in the first place. He will wonder about that one. And in wondering he will discover something deeper.
True Love and a mate worthy of his humility.

Don't look only to a Regency for your Rogue. He can be found in a contemporary, too!
If you'll pass on the Rogue, try the Tycoon--at Romance in Writing on FRIDAY!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Heroes -- The Series

Though teen wolf isn't exactly first generation paranormal [don't forget Young Frankenstein!], it's pretty darn close. More importantly, it portrayed a shifter who didn't need to be overcome.

The biggest SHIFT in paranormal characters was when they went from villain to hero. Take vampires, for example. At first they were blooksucking, human-seeking, nefarious goons. Now most people love them and want to find out that their most recent conquest has just joined the Vampires Anonymous 12 step program... 12 steps to better blood the moral way. [you know, like a blood bank]

What makes the paranormal so appealing?
1) the unknown
2) the danger--uh, yeah, have you ever embraced a wolf?
3) the power

I've become a sucker for a Shifter. My introduction to them came from Christina Dodd's series, The Chosen Ones. So intense, so steamy! Dodd blends our known rituals with those of her shifter world so that I became a believer while reading...

And isn't the one of the best things about reading, anyway?
So, tell me. What's your favorite creature?
The shifter?
The vampire?
The Zombie?
The Fairy (what is a fairy guy, anyway?)?
Or, The Fly.... EW!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Heroes -- The Series

The Beta Hero -- The Nerd
Do you want to know who my favorite beta hero is? Ken Karmody, from Suzanne Brockmann's Out of Control. Do you know what Ken "Wildcard" is? He's a SEAL. Maybe it's the contrast that did it. He acted tough, but he was also horribly insecure. And he just isn't quite what you expect the heroine to connect with.

Taken from the Road to Romance webpage:
Beta heroes need to grow, change, learn. Nice doesn't equal perfect. An easygoing guy who's funny and sweet hides his feelings more effectively and feels pain more deeply than an alpha hero (who will, when angry or upset, stomp around, growl, and hit stuff). A beta hero hides his pain behind a smile, a joke, or a quiet reserve. A beta hero is more likely to walk away from a confrontation or do what he believes the heroine wants than to stand his ground and fight it out. This isn't wimp behavior because he's not afraid for himself, he's afraid for the person he cares about.

One of my all time favorite, video-tape-is-warped movies is While you were sleeping. And wouldn't you know? Those ladies at Road to Romance used Bill Pullman as an example for a Beta Hero. Mmmhmm. Lovely.

These gals really know what they're talking about!
The question is, do women want an Alpha or a Beta???
Don't forget that Bethanne is working on a post to kick off next week with another blog on all the heroes we love.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Catch a Falling Star...

...and put it in your pocket. Never let it fade away.

In case you're wondering what you can do with a star.
I'm here to tell you, "save it for a rainy day."

This song reminds me of the great things I already have...
For love may come an' tap you on the shoulder, Some starless night.
Just in case you feel you wanna hold her, You'll have a pocketful of starlight.

Why do you think he needed starlight to hold her?

...and the things I have to look forward to...
for when your troubles start multiplying, An' they just might.
It's easy to forget them without trying, With just a pocketful of starlight.

I don't have to ask how starlight can help. Stars are wishes, dreams, hopes.
Having one in your pocket is like being richer than Midas.
So, don't forget. Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I've been trying to figure out what makes a snob...
is a person who only uses expensive and high end stuff?
or can it be a person who only likes ONE type?

I have to ask because I think I'm a coffee snob.
The thing is, I like my Eight O'clock Coffee. I can't stand Starbucks... with a passion it does absolutely NOTHING for me. Last week I recieved a free sample of Gevalia, made in Switzerland, and I brewed it as the directions instructed, even cleaning my pot first. But, I didn't like it. It didn't seem smooth to me. The taste was rich yet unappealing...

So, am I a coffee snob?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Sandwich Generation

I read a blog today that talked about The Baby Boomers also being the Sandwich Generation. Described as Sandwiched between taking care of children and taking care of parents in their old age.

Okay. I'm not big on labels. So, my take is a little different than this gals. I didn't think this lady was that old, but if she's a baby boomer, she'd have been born in the forties. Making her... in her seventies, possibly in her sixties. My parents were born in the fifties. I would not call them baby boomers. I could be wrong. Maybe they are!! My parents ARE taking care of my grandmother.

What I'm trying to describe is the fact that we ALL, at some point, hold the likelihood of becoming Sandwiched. My uncle--definitely NOT a baby boomer--is hitting this stage. He was married later in life[thank goodness he probably won't read this! He's in his fifties? late forties, at least...I think, Sorry Uncle Doug! Not saying you're old.] and now has 3 young children. His mother is an awesomely spry, active--dare I say it?--impulsive woman. No one "takes" care of her!! Go Grandma! She went to Europe with her newly widowed sister this fall. They must have had sooooo much fun. Anyway, he helps her out, though.

What determines a Sandwiched individual?
1) Age of parents
2) Age of becoming parents
3) Age the kids move out--seriously, my neighbor has a son--26--who still lives at home... and he does shit for himself, the prick.

Anyhooo... I'm interested in this idea. Mostly because I most likely will never experience it. My parents are young, 57. They never took care of kids and parents. As well, my hubby and I started having kids at 22. By 50ish, our kids will mostly be independent and my parents--God-willing--will still be fit at 75ish. Isn't 50 the new 30? :D

I guess, in a nutshell, I feel bad for the people who wait until they are well into their thirties to have kids. They will be sandwiched! I can't wait until I'm 50...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tiger of Talmare

I can't help but do a little promo for one of my critique partners. Published with Shadowfire, she has an imagination that isn't of this world and a sense of humor that never fails to make me chuckle. If your idea of a good read includes new worlds and sexy men, this book is for you!!!

Tiger of Talmare

Melissa Stark will take on just about any job as long as the price is right. But this particular job she would gladly take on for free because Captain Zachary Knight has been a thorn in her side ever since she stole his starship ten years ago.

Back then he was a genuine hero and poster boy for the army's hybrid breeding program. Now things have changed. Zach has been accused of a massacre on the planet of Talmare and is being shipped home to stand trial. But certain influential people want to make sure Zach never reaches Earth and Mel and her crew on The Revenge have been hired to intercept him and return him to Talmare.

It should have been easy money. The problem is, Zach is impossible to resist and once Mel gets her hands on him she's doesn't want to let him go. Now those same people are also after Mel.

Shadowfire Press Frontiers of Love Scifi Erotic Romance Themed Novella
Genre: Scifi Erotic Romance
Heat Rating: Fire

Buy it HERE!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Biggest Loser

Okay, here's my thought for the day...

I've been a fan of the Biggest Loser for several seasons.
But something happened during this past season and the season that starts tonight.

The show went from Inspirational to Gawking-worthy.
I mean, I'm uncomfortable watching it, because it seems to be less about normal people trying to get better, but about pulling viewers in with sensation.

I'm not saying these people aren't normal or worthy of being on the show. Not that at all. They want to be there. They are obese and [most likely] need to be there. Part of me still roots for them, the underdog. The other part of me says, "Shame on you NBC for making the show a circus!"

Okay, I've watched some of the intro...
The stories are dragging me in. These people have hope. That's good. They need it.
Well, I guess we all need it.

I'll be watching the season very carefully!
I don't want to see any circus side shows. I just want to see people working hard to lose weight and make a better life for themselves. :D

It's like a romance novel.
Have a great week.
Penny Dune

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Today is January!!! You know what that means? I get to find another man for my month.

In all honesty, I would like to post a picture of my husband. He's handsome, but more than that, he's kind, loving, funny, protective...irritating, a good father and a great lover. *sigh* I just had to say that, because I don't want people to think of my Man of the Month as some tribute to a standard that is lacking or unobtainable. As an artist, I appreciate good-looking things. Men included. :D

Really though, the only thing that Man of the Month does for me is DATE me. It's not good when you don't recognize most of the men in a photo lineup and the ones that you do recognize are all in their late thirties, forties and fifties... or older. Eeek!

The first day of the rest of my life:
Entered a writing contest.
Exercised like a good girl.
Hung out with my man.
I did drink one too many yesterday...but it was more a lack of food that put me over rather than a problem with being over-served. :P I hate that. I didn't expect it because when we finally got to our friends house, I only had two glasses of wine. Not very much!
It was an appropriate end to a yucky year.
I look forward to this one.