Monday, December 31, 2012

A Very Gollum Christmas?



Back again with the latest segment of... 
Random Facts and Tidbits. 

Random Courting the Flame Fact:

Well, it’s official. I didn’t win best cover for YouGottaRead Review’s December Cover Contest. A heartfelt thank you to all you showed up to vote. You guys rock! Truly. Sure, it would have been nice to take home the honors, but victory or no victory, I know I have an award-winning cover. My cover artist, Nika Dixon, was an absolute joy to work with and in the end she gave me a stunning cover that I never tire of looking at. That's "winning" in my book.

Losing aside, I am reluctant to say goodbye to the holiday season. I had a wonderful Christmas with my family, and so...I’ve decided to extend it, in my own special way, with another Courting the Flame e-copy giveaway. I’m calling it my “Review It and Win It” contest. Here’s the skinny. I need reviews. Honest reviews, which means...I. Need. You. Agree to review my book, and it’s yours free. Just visit my 



facebook page and personal message me your name and email address to be entered. The first five names to message me win. In return, leave your honest review at the location of your choice: MuseItUp Publishing.com, Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com or any other (dot.com) for that matter. Make your review as long or as short as you like. A rating would also be nice. It’s really that simple. Obviously if you’re entering a contest to win a book, you plan on reading it! I’m only asking you to tell me what you think of it when you’re done. Good luck!


Diana DeCameron Tidbit:

Okay. So what’s been going on in Diana DeCameron’s life? Actually, I think the better question would be what hasn’t been going on. It’s been well over a month since my last—why do I suddenly feel like I’ve stepped into a confessional? LOL. All joking aside, I am a wife, a mother of two small children, and like many other authors I have a day job. Add Christmas preparations to an already overstuffed schedule and, well, you get the idea. With another Christmas under my belt, however, I finally have a few minutes to slowly ease back into the swing of things. I’ve definitely missed writing and I can’t wait to dive back into Book II. (sighs) Yes, it’s still unnamed. One thing I did manage to do over the holidays, though, was finally get out to see The Hobbit.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before in one of my previous posts, but for those who don’t know…I’m a HUGE Tolkien fan. Yes, yes…I’m one of those crazy fans who’s read the Lord of the Rings umpteen times. I can quote Gandalf with the best of them. I collect Tolkien’s works and I’m delighted to say that I’ve passed that love onto my children. There were quite a few (requested) Hobbit and LOTR’s items under the Christmas tree this year. Even though the movie released on December 14, as a family we decided to see it over the holidays when we could enjoy it. This past Friday, we finally managed to take it in…in all of its glorious 3D splendor. Don’t worry. I’m not going to review the movie…just share a few of the “tender” moments I had with my kiddos while watching it.

I’ll admit, the first 30 minutes were a tiny bit slow. I’m not complaining, mind you. I’d sit through those 30 minutes again in a heartbeat. I was concerned about the kids. I went into the movie knowing it was 2 hrs and 49 minutes long. Again…not complaining. I just thought that the kids would get restless. I was wrong. While driving home after the movie, I mentioned that I thought the intro was a tiny bit on the slow side to which my youngest replied, “No, no…Mommy. I liked seeing Frodo not surrounded by lava and smiling at the beginning. It made me feel all…happy inside.”

(Sighs) Kids. They really have a way of putting things into perspective.

Minus the slightly slow start, I absolutely adored the movie—every cinematic moment. My all time favorite scene, however, had to be when Bilbo spared Gollum’s life in the mountain. I thought Peter Jackson masterfully illustrated Gandalf’s “Gollum” discussion with Frodo while in the Mines of Moria (LOTR).

Gandalf: “Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity.”

 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

While reading The Lord of the Rings, my oldest would continually get frustrated every time Gollum escaped a scene unharmed, even though he caused so much pain and hurt to others. My answer would always be… just keep reading and you’ll understand. I think the visual of Gollum’s tortured soul staring into Bilbo’s watchful yet hidden eyes finally did the trick.
When the scene ended, I leaned over and whispered, "See? This is what Mommy is always trying to get you to understand. Everyone and everything has a purpose in life. If Bilbo WOULD have killed Gollum—"

“I get it, Mom. Gollum had his part to play…"

(Double sigh)

Yeah. It was a great night out. I love special family moments, especially ones that revolve around great books. Thank you J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson for everything you’ve done and continue to do to spark lively conversations and bring families and friends together. Speaking of friends, it’s nice to be back, folks. I’ll make it a point to visit more often.

Don’t forget to visit my Courting the Flamefacebook page to sign up for your free e-copy of Courting the Flame. Until next time… 

Peace, Love, and Joy in the New Year!

More Facts and Tidbits to come...

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sooooooooooooo Excited!!!

I just found out that COURTING THE FLAME will be entry #6 in You Gotta Read Reviews' December Cover Contest!!! My beautiful cover, created by Nika Dixon, will be featured starting December 6th. (bites finger nails) That's just 4 days from now!!! Voting will take place December 21 through the 26! I'll keep you posted on all the details as the days tick by.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Something You Can't Quite Put Your Finger On...

Back again with the latest segment of...
Random Facts and Tidbits.


Random Courting the Flame Fact:
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.” 


Although some of the characters may proceed forward with reluctance, Courting the Flame is, indeed, a story that chronicles the journey to self-discovery—an idea summed up quite nicely in the above quote.

Diana DeCameron Tidbit:
Human beings…oh but we are a complicated lot. Born into this world at point “A”, hopefully our life experiences help to move us along that tiny space that is our existence, encouraging us to grow and change and morph into something new. Something exciting. Something better than before. I say hopefully, because my life experiences have proven that some of us never really budge from point “A”. But rest easy, that is not the topic of today’s post. I am choosing not to focus on the stagnant souls, but on those who have somehow managed to grow despite themselves, adversity, or a steadfast reluctance to change. 

I’ll be honest. For the first 30 plus years of my life, I remained fairly consistent as a human being. My life views were predictable. My behaviors followed a pattern. I questioned nothing and did as I was told. My beliefs were based, for the most part, on those of my parents, extended family, and any others I chose to surround myself with. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that the belief systems were bad, they just weren’t…well, my own. It would take many years and a willingness to search my soul to finally realize that I actually had my own opinions. Don’t worry. I’ll keep them to myself, LOL. Besides, the “what” isn’t nearly as important as is everything I learned about myself along the way. 

Over the past year, I’ve had several opportunities to touch base with people from my past, and each encounter has been a wonderfully uplifting, albeit sometimes emotionally overwhelming, experience. A twenty-five year high school class reunion, touching base with work associates from my past, and even some chance encounters while shopping have brought me face to face with many of the ghosts from my past. Not one to let myself off the hook, I made sure to apologize for anything I may have done or said in my teens or early twenties that may have caused pain or hurt to another. Sometimes those apologies came with words and sometimes they were wrapped up in a hug. Why apologize for something I may or may not have said or done? Because I’m a realist, folks. I’d like to remember myself as a saint, but twenty-five years was a long time ago. Better to be safe than sorry, I say. 

Yes, there were some souls who hadn’t moved an inch from where they stood twenty-five years ago, but many had and besides, life is a journey and it’s never too late to jump on board. I wish only the best to those who have yet to experience change. It’s a wonderfully freeing experience. I am far more at peace with myself at 43 than I ever was at 16, 18, or 21. Becoming a wife and parent had a lot to do with that. Becoming an author pushed me over the edge. 

As I stated earlier, though, it’s those souls who have managed to change and morph into something new in the face of adversity that really catch my attention. You know the ones—those individuals who come out on top despite the odds. It’s a phenomenon that has intrigued me since as far back as my undergraduate days. Although his views are now considered outdated, I still find myself contemplating Philosopher John Locke’s concept of the “blank slate”. Is the core of who we are solely derived from our nurturing? Is it a combination of genetics and upbringing? Or are we a combination of both nature and nurture with a little something else thrown in? Something you can’t quite put your finger on even though you know it exists. As a writer, it’s the unknowns that we can have the most fun with…which I do (please excuse the shameless self-promotion) in Courting the Flame.

As always...
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh...and more Facts and Tidbits to come.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Different Kind of Sickness...



Back again with the latest segment of...
Random Facts and Tidbits.

Random Courting the Flame Fact:

Those of you who’ve already read Courting the Flame will get this reference, but there are a couple of characters in my paranormal romance who struggle with…shall we say, anger issues. Displaced anger has always been a topic of interest to me, but anger that crosses over into hatred? I’ve been trying to figure that one out for years now. Courting the Flame is my attempt at nailing it down.   

Diana DeCameron Tidbit:

Why is the world filled with hate? Some days I feel paralyzed by it. Click on the television and—Bam! There it is. Story after story of people hating on each other. Some days you see family members hating other family members. Sometimes it’s workers hating coworkers. I’ve even seen strangers hating strangers. And just as varied as the actual hater combinations are, are the actual reasons to loath each other. At last check, people can hate one another for a myriad of reasons:  ethnic backgrounds, sexual preferences, religious preferences. Political views, job choices, and hair color are also popular choices. The list grows daily.

Sighs.

From my perspective the only thing that hate spares, is itself. Hate loves more hate. Some days I feel like it’s reached epidemic proportions. Even I have to admit to feeling twinges of “hate-like” emotions from time to time. Fortunately, I never allow myself to be fully pulled into its black hole of negativity, at least not now that I’m older and wiser. Hate had a much better chance with me when I was young and naïve, when I was willing to expend my energies on something as dark and destructive as hating another human being. Now I realize how precious my energy is. These days, I don’t waste it.

And here’s another thing. Hate? It spreads like wildfire. Doctors are always going on and on about what the next big “flu” will be. Surely, I’m not the only person who sees the seriousness of our hate pandemic? I haven’t crunched the numbers, mind you, but I’m fairly certain that hate takes more lives each year than the flu bug ever has. It can ruin friendships, tear families apart, threaten to tear communities apart. Look back through your history books, folks. Hatred is on many of the pages!

But here’s the craziest part. This hate thingy—it’s completely treatable. I kid you not. We could completely eradicate it from the world by simply respecting each other’s opinions. I’m not talking about agreeing with each other, I’m simply suggesting that we respect each other’s views. Empathy is another biggy! Remember the old adage, never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes?

Of course, maybe this hatred thing stems from our inability to express anger without being hurtful toward others. Feeling angry is normal. But people seem to enjoy it much more if they can direct it toward someone else. Me? I choose to work through my occasional bouts with frustration in other ways…say, like writing. Sometimes I pop in my ear buds and go for a walk. Sometimes I even resort to eating salted caramels. Hey, whatever it takes…right?

But that’s enough about my thoughts. I’d really like to hear yours. All are welcome to comment, of course. My only request is that you be respectful of other people’s opinions and feelings. We’re all adults here. I really think we can handle this. Right?

Right?!

As always...
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh...and more Facts and Tidbits to come.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Hear Voices...


Back again with the latest segment of...
Random Facts and Tidbits.

Random Courting the Flame Fact:
Today’s fact is historical in nature. At one point in Courting the Flame, leading lady Gracie Clarke reminisces about visiting Sturbridge, Massachusetts as a child. Sturbridge is home to the Old Sturbridge Village, the Northeast’s largest outdoor museum highlighting what life was like in rural New England circa 1830. Gracie never imagined herself revisiting Sturbridge as an adult, at least not accompanied by worldly cityite Michael Turner, proprietor of Turner’s Gallery of Fine Arts. The idea seemed completely preposterous. Oh so she thought…
   
Diana DeCameron Tidbit:
Today’s topic? Intuition—that instinctive bit of awareness most of us experience without having a shred of evidence to support our gut feelings or hunches. Now, I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I consider myself to be quite intuitive, at least when it comes to reading people. For me, the experience is most palpable the first time I interact with someone. In my world, most people give off a very discernible vibe or energy. Open yourself up to it, and you’d be amazed just how much you can learn about someone from the energy they cart around with them.

Some people’s energies wash across me like a warm summer breeze and I think, Wow! Now that’s a good egg. I really need to spend some more time around that person. A smile usually follows. Other people’s energies seem dark and overbearing at first, causing me to step back from them. The more time I spend around them, however, observing them more closely from afar, the more I find that my initial interpretation was way off. I like to refer to these individuals as the “smoke screeners”. I have to admit, they are the individuals I find most intriguing to be around. They’re not always the easiest to hang out with, mind you. Oftentimes, I’m met with, “How can you stand to be around (fill in the blank)?” And my answer is always the same. “Because there’s a spark in there. I can see it. It’s just trying to find its way out and I, for one, would really like to be there when it does.”

But then there’s the other end of the spectrum, those individuals whose energy levels are sooooo dark, they stop me dead in my tracks, causing my skin to crawl and my eyes to twitch. I can think of three very unsettling encounters that I’ve experienced just recently. One of which was at the checkout line of a grocery store. As I waited to checkout the items in my shopping cart, I noticed a man standing behind me with two items in his hands. Feeling guilty I said, “If that’s all you have, you’re more than welcome to go ahead of me.” He turned to face me and we locked eyes for only a second or two as he nodded thank you and moved ahead. Instantly, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end and I backed away from him. No part of his outward appearance shouted, Warning! Warning!! As a matter of fact, he appeared to be a well-dressed, middle-aged man, polite enough, but all the same…scary as hell! That’s when the little voice inside my head screamed, Step away, Diana. Step away—RIGHT NOW! After he left, I threw my items on the counter and hightailed it out to my car. I packed up my trunk in a frenzied state and then sped away, checking and rechecking my rearview mirror all the way home. It was a very unsettling experience, but indeed…quite real.

I’d like to say that my intuitiveness is fail proof, but that would simply be a lie. Throughout the years, there have been quite a few individuals who’ve pulled the proverbial wool over my eyes. My initial take on them was that they were “good eggs” based upon what I perceived to be positive energy levels, but as time went on their true selves eventually surfaced, a pill that's always difficult to swallow.

Part of the problem may be my innate desire to find some level of “good” in all people. I know, I know. I’ve already had numerous friends and family counsel me on my very noble yet unrealistic expectations for humanity. What can I say? (Shoulder shrug) I’m a hopeless optimist…but surely I’m not the only one. (Shakes head) See? There I go again. Seriously, though…I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic of intuition? Does it exist? Are you also someone who hears little voices inside your head urging you or warning you against certain activities and/or individuals? If so, I’d really love to hear from you. This is definitely a phenomena that I'd like to delve more deeply into. Call it research...or therapy, LOL.

More Random Facts and Tidbits to come. Oh…and to anyone who’s read Courting the Flame and is courageous enough to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you. Anonymous reviews are fine. Feel free to leave your ratings/comments wherever you feel most comfortable. For the most part, Courting the Flame is now available wherever e-books are sold.

As always...
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh...and more Facts and Tidbits to come.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Great News!!!

Attention Nook Owners!

Courting the Flame

is now available directly from


Be sure to download your copy today!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Life's Magnum Opus


It’s been a while, but here are this week's...
Random Facts and Tidbits.

Random Courting the Flame Fact:

Today’s Courting the Flame Fact is short and sweet. Very early on in the editing process (like three years ago early) my editor cut a scene from my original manuscript that involved leading lady Gracie Clarke and outlandish artist Chloe Stuart going to...a rock concert. Why did I write the scene, you ask? Because it seemed like a fantabulous idea at the time. Why did my editor cut it from the manuscript? Because I wrote it at four AM when everything seems like a fantabulous idea, LOL.
   
Diana DeCameron Tidbit:
For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved this time of the year. From spooking out my house, to costume shopping for the family, to throwing Spooktacular Halloween Extravaganzas, there’s not much about autumn that I don’t absolutely adore! This yearly affliction begins to boil in my blood come mid September. Each year, the falling temperatures and dwindling daylight find me eagerly awaiting them in my garden. Why? Because I know that their heavily anticipated arrival is sure to bring with it an equally anticipated change in scenery.

In lieu of summer’s lush greens, some may find it odd that I welcome autumn’s shades of brown and gray (I’m speaking of the leaf variety, of course…not the Christian variety), but to me it’s like waking up on a rainy Saturday morning and thinking, Ohhhhhhh, what a perfect reason to sleep in. Sometimes you just need that excuse to rest guilt free. Fall is my excuse. Not that I just laze around from late September through December. Actually, I’m quite busy this time of year, but it’s a different kind of ‘busy’. There’s a lot of getting-things-in-order type activities going on. That, plus I love to pass on my “it’s-okay-to-rest” energy to others…especially of the “rooted” varieties.

As the leaves drop from the trees, I always make sure to smile up at my deciduous friends and say, “Rest easy. Soon you’ll be covered with a blanket of snow. Consider it your personal invitation to curl up for a long winter’s nap.” I also have the same conversation with my flowers. Of course it’s difficult to say goodbye to my butterfly bush and black-eyed Susan’s, but I always send them off with a pep talk, as well. “You guys really outdid yourselves this summer!” I gently trim back their spent foliage. “Rest up now and I’ll be looking for your tender green shoots to pop up again come springtime.” They continue to come back year after year, so I’m assuming they’re okay with the process.

Hmmmm. You know, it’s the strangest thing. Whenever I write these blog posts I always uncover something about myself that I never consciously realized before. But I suppose that’s all part of the writing process, isn’t it? This evening’s great epiphany? I believe I’ve actually pinpointed precisely what it is about autumn that I find most attractive. I can’t believe it never hit me before. (Palm to forehead) I mean…good, Lord! It’s a major theme in my writing—the whole death/rebirth connection. Autumn is the culmination of life—a sort of magnum opus that ends in falling leaves and fading colors. What a beautifully poetic expression of the cycle of life. It’s as if autumn is a Phoenix at precisely the moment it bursts into flames. Burning out in a blaze of glory, you smile up at it knowing it’s only a matter of time before it returns again, eager to restart the process.

Sigh.

I feel another reincarnation discussion coming on, folks. Brace yourselves, LOL.

More Random Facts and Tidbits to come. Oh…and to anyone who has read Courting the Flame and is courageous enough to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you. Only honest opinions, please. Feel free to leave a review wherever you feel most comfortable. I’d truly appreciate any and all feedback. Also, attention Sony Reader owners! Courting the Flame is now available directly from the Sony Reader Store.. Stop by and check it out.

As always...
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh...and more Facts and Tidbits to come.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Houston, We Have a Winner...



Congratulations to Lorrie and S. Durham!

I appear to have (2) free e-copies of Courting the Flame with your names on them, ladies. 

Also, a big thank you to fellow Muser Kay Dee Royal
for allowing me to hang out over at her blog :


I had a blast chatting up my book and talkin' "reincarnation".
Plus, I got to give some books away!

It was a win-win...literally.

Friday, September 14, 2012

You Still Have Time To Win!!

I'm guesting this week at fellow Muser,
Kay Dee Royal's...



Kay asked some great questions, and boy did I ever have a fun time answering them!

Stop by, check out the interview, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free e-copy of...
Courting the flame!

(2) e-copies will be awarded!

Winners will be drawn 9/23/12.

Good Luck!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Have I Met You Before?


Here are this week's...
Random Facts and Tidbits.

Random Courting the Flame Fact:

Today’s Courting the Flame Fact will be short and sweet. One day while I was at work, (yes, I have a full-time job besides writing) my friend Holly was talking with me. When she was done, she spun on her heel to exit my room and tripped over some boxes on the floor. After we both burst out into a serious fit of the giggles, she turned and said to me, “Well…I guess there’s a reason my name isn’t Grace.” And BOOM! Just like that, I had a name for my heroine. I added the “ie” to the end, and that’s how Gracie Clarke came to be.
   
Diana DeCameron Tidbit:
Dictionary.com defines reincarnation as the rebirth of the soul in a new body. More often than not, Buddhism is the religion people most associate with reincarnation, but there are many other religions that believe in the concept of the soul, upon the death of its body, coming back to earth in another body or form. Celtic Paganism, some Native American belief systems, Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity (at least one time), Judaism, and Islam are just a few. I have no doubt there are many, many more.

But just how many religions believe in the concept of reincarnation is not the topic of today’s discussion. The real question is…do I?

I’m sure I’ve blogged about this before, but honing my writing skills has definitely been a spiritually eye-opening experience for me. It’s almost as if everything I’ve done up to this point in my life has been in preparation for the moment when I’d finally be brave enough—seasoned enough, to put pen to paper (or in my case fingers to keyboard) and explore the darkest recesses of my mind. I’m talking about the ‘unknowns’— all those things about ourselves that we’ve consciously or subconsciously filed away. And let me tell you, once I found mine?? Sheesh. Let’s just say there was a lot hiding back there, LOL…a lot more than I’d have thought possible for someone who just turned 42.

Looking back at my childhood, though, it’s easy to see that I’d blocked a lot along the way. I shrugged off many of those weird childhood occurrences as just plain, well…weirdness. Since writing Courting the Flame, however, it’s not that easy to do anymore. For instance, when I first sat down to write my debut novel it was just me, myself, and I. I distinctly remember editing myself saying things like, “Goodness…No! You can’t write that!” Then a year later I came into contact with the woman who'd be my first ever editor and that meeting would forever change the way I viewed my existence and my writing. I know I’ve told this story before, so I’ll keep it brief.

Here we were on opposite sides of the country, yet the moment I heard Claudia Suzanne’s voice for the first time, I felt completely at ease. It was as if we’d known each other for ages. Now I know I’m not the only person to have had this type of experience. My question to you is: Why? Why is it that some souls feel soooooo familiar when we know there’s no way we’ve ever met them before…at least not in this lifetime? And that ‘instant connection’ feeling doesn’t end with just people. I’ve often felt it with locations, as well. I think I was about 12 or 13 the first time I saw the ocean. I remember walking over the sand dunes and laying eyes on those foaming waves thinking, Yep. I’m meant to be here. It felt very much like a homecoming in some ways.

In closing, I have one last story to share that further demonstrates my point (assuming that I actually have one). My brother, (who’s 11 years my senior) took me for a hike in the woods once when I was about sixteen. By this point in my life I’d experienced quite a few of those previously mentioned ‘strange occurrences’, but I’d gotten rather good at shrugging them off. On this particular afternoon, however, we’d reached the peak of the mountain we were climbing and decided to plop down on the ground to enjoy lunch before we continued on. I remember sitting on a huge boulder, reaching into my backpack for my sandwich, and then stopping mid-chew, another ‘odd’ feeling washing over me. I slowly scanned from left to right and said, “Bubby? (That’s what I called my brother) You….ahhhh….notice anything weird about this place?”

He munched on his sandwich, looked around, and answered with a, “Nope,” between swallows.

I surveyed the landscape again. This time more closely. “Don’t you think it’s odd that there are absolutely no trees where we’re sitting? I mean, look around. We’re on the tippy top of a mountain and this little rectangular shaped plot that we’re sitting in has absolutely no trees on it. None. Natta one.” I blinked at him. Several times. “It’s like there’s an open field smack dab in the middle of a forest…ON THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN!”

He scanned again, shrugged, and then moved onto his apple. I wrinkled my forehead, got up, and surveyed the area more closely. I’m not sure what I was looking for. Perhaps I was searching for the remains of some sort of ancient dwelling place or maybe it was an old piece of rusted farming machinery I was seeking. Ultimately, I found nothing more than the tiny little plot of treeless land on the top of a tree-filled mountain, but even more unsettling than the plot of land was the feeling I got when I stood on it. It was an undeniable sense of connection. And even though I found it to be slightly unnerving, I didn’t want to continue on with the hike. I wanted to remain there. Again, that ‘familiarity’ thing had kicked in. Had I been here before? Was I somehow connected to someone else who’d been here before?

So where am I going with all of this? Truth is, I just don’t know. The only thing I do know is what I feel, and sometimes I feel like I’ve met people and been places that I know darn well I never have before. Bottom line. End of story.

Take that for what it’s worth.

Diana


More Random Facts and Tidbits to come. Oh…and be sure to catch me this Friday, September 14th at fellow author Kay Dee Royal's Paranormal & Erotica Romance Musings. I'll be guest blogging and giving away a couple of e-copies of Courting the Flame. Hope to see you there.

As always...
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh...and more Facts and Tidbits to come.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

On a Musical Note...


Here are this week's...
Random Facts and Tidbits.

Random Courting the Flame Fact:

Since I seem to have landed on a ‘musical note’ this week (you’ll understand when you read my tidbit below) I figured I'd share this little fact.

Without giving too much away, there’s a really fun scene in Courting the Flame where Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet makes an appearance. If you’ve been following along you already know that, very much like myself, Gracie loves to listen to music, but she’s all about alternative rock. Classical music has never been on her radar. However, there is one part in the book where Gracie’s feeling all…well actually, it happens right at the moment when she and—Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Okay. Seems I can’t tell you without blowing the scene. Never fear, though, I can still share the interesting fact…which is actually more of a tidbit now that I think about it. (Drops shoulders) Oh, just follow along and you’ll understand in a minute.

Long after I finished writing Courting the Flame I decided to visit the Museum of Fine Arts website. Seeing as though it is home to Renoir’s Dance at Bougival (which just so happens to be very important to Courting the Flame), visiting the site was something I liked to do from time to time. For whatever reason on this particular day, however, I decided to skip the galleries and visit MFA’s online gift shop. I’d never been there before and thought it might be interesting to see what they had for sale. Imagine my shock when I found this gem staring back at me. I read the description and was like….Noooooo way! You have got to be kidding. But it was no joke.

For a mere $98.00, you can purchase this beautiful fine Italian music box adorned with none other than Pierre Auguste Renoir’s Dance at Bougival which just so happens to play…you guessed it,  "Romeo and Juliet" by Tchaikovsky. I can’t make this stuff up, folks. 

   
Diana DeCameron Tidbit:

So I was driving in my car today, radio blaring, when this song…this absolutely amazing song came on Alt Nation. The moment I heard the opening strains I felt connected to it. The melody rocked me so violently that it literally made my heart skip beats. Instantly, I felt short of breath, my palms grew sweaty, and chills ran up and down the length of my spine. All of which happened within the span of a nano-second.

Ohhhhhh my God! I have to—No! I need to find out who is responsible for this musical magnum opus, I thought as I raced into my driveway, slammed my car into park, and laid my head against the headrest, the tempo, harmonies, and lyrics all conspiring to take over my body, giving my soul permission to dance freely. One segment of the song had such killer harmonies that for one fleeting moment I actually felt as if I had glimpsed heaven. I'm being one-hundred percent serious here, folks.

Sigh. Music. It’s such a powerful medium, at least for me. As a teenager, I remember wanting nothing more than to disappear into my room—not to smoke, not to do drugs—but to listen to my favorite songs over and over and over again! Uninterrupted. Music has always had a powerful hold on me. I come from a musical family, so I suppose that’s par for the course, but the hold music has had on me has always seemed so extreme.

And as a once-upon-a-time semi-professional singer, I can also tell you that when you cross that invisible line between listening and performing a song, the affect intensifies seven-fold. No longer are you merely ‘taking it all in’, but you become a part of the tones, the melody, and the energy given off by other people listening along. If all goes well, it’s a truly euphoric feeling. Truly.

In my opinion, it all goes back to the power of positive energy. I know, I know. Everything always goes back to energy for me, but I do believe the world is filled with it, some good, some bad, and some musical. Apparently, I exist on some sort of  ‘musical’ energy field, a place where songs like Trembling Hands grab a hold of your soul and won’t let go, an invisible field where emotions dance and mingle freely with the tones, the tempo, and the unforgettable tunes created by bands like...The Temper Trap.

—Enjoy




More Random Facts and Tidbits to come. Oh…and while I have your attention, I’m once again reiterating this statement from my past posts. Reader reviews for Courting the Flame are starting to roll in. If you’ve read Courting the Flame and are willing to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you, as well. Feel free to leave your reviews at  Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, or Goodreads.com.

As always...
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh...and more Facts and Tidbits to come.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hmmmmm...


Here are this week's...
Random Facts and Tidbits.

Random Courting the Flame Fact:

In 1998, I was fortunate enough to visit Mount Rainier National Park in Washington. Still considered to be an active volcano, Mount Rainier is a well-know icon on the Washington horizon. Eatonville is just one of the many small towns to live in its shadow. When the idea for Courting the Flame started to gel in my mind, I knew that Eatonville would somehow be connected to Gracie’s past. In comparison, it was the complete polar opposite of Boston, a distinction that really worked nicely with my building story line.

Here are just a few shots of Eatonville to give you a sampling of its natural beauty and small town charm.  In the first two photos, you can see Mount Rainier looming in the background.  
   




Diana DeCameron Tidbit:

Happy to say that I’ve just returned from a much-needed getaway at the beach. Hmmmmm. (Leans in) Apparently, I like the color fuchsia…especially considering the fact that my iPod and vacuum cleaner are exactly the same color, LOL.



More Random Facts and Tidbits to come. Oh…and while I have your attention, I’m going to reiterate this statement from my past posts. I’m excited to announce that reader reviews for Courting the Flame are starting to roll in. All of them extremely positive. If you’ve already read Courting the Flame and are willing to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you, as well. Feel free to leave your reviews at museituppublishing.com, goodreads.com, or Amazon.com.

As always...
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh...and more Facts and Tidbits to come.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Short and "Sweet"


Here are this week's...
Random Facts and Tidbits.

Random Courting the Flame Fact:

Soooo…which character are you?”

I get that question all the time from family and friends. I think they assume my answer is going to be leading lady, Gracie Clarke. It’s a fair assumption, I suppose. They’re family and friends. They know me well, and yes…there are many parts of Gracie’s personality that clearly mirror my own. We share the same speaking patterns. We’re both slightly neurotic. About many things, LOL. But if I were to answer that question 100% truthfully, there’s a bit of me in every character in Courting the Flame…even the really rotten ones.

That’s the thing about being an author. You get to explore parts of your psyche that you didn’t even know existed. I find it to be quite therapeutic. As I’ve said before, I’m a “pantser”. When I sit down to write, I fly from the seat of my pants. Sure, I have a vague idea of where I’m going. I know how my story will begin and how it will end, but much of what happens in between is just as much of a shock to you as it is to me. There were many instances while writing Courting the Flame when I found myself in the middle of a scene and something would pop up on my computer and I’d be like…”Whoa. Where the heck did that come from?!” (Shivers) But in the end, it’s all good. And…it’s makes for a great story.

Soooo…which character is…’the hubby’?”

That’s the second question I always get…to which I respond, “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…” Loudly. My husband’s not a fan of fiction, and he’d certainly never allow himself to get pulled into one of my stories, LOL. Seriously, though, the male characters in Courting the Flame are a culmination of every single “male character” I’ve ever interacted with…in one lifetime or another.

Which brings us to the third most popular question I get from family and friends?

Soooo…do you really believe in all that ‘reincarnation’ stuff?”

Hmmmm. That’s a really good question…and one that I’ll save for another blog entry. Come on…I have to give you a reason to come back.
   
Diana DeCameron Tidbit:

This week’s ‘Diana Tidbit’ is short and “sweet”. Chocolate covered caramels. That’s right. I’m addicted to chocolate covered caramels. Can’t get enough of the things. In my opinion, they should definitely be one of the major food groups. Most definitely!


More Random Facts and Tidbits to come. Oh…and while I have your attention, I’m going to reiterate something from last week. Reader reviews for Courting the Flame are starting to roll in. All of them extremely positive. If you’ve already read Courting the Flame and are willing to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you, as well. Feel free to leave your reviews at museituppublishing.com, goodreads.com, or Amazon.com.

As always...
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh...and more Facts and Tidbits to come.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chirp, Buzz...and BAM!


Here are this week's...
Random Facts and Tidbits.

Random Courting the Flame Fact:

Once I settled upon Boston as the setting for Courting the Flame, the next step was to find an inspiration piece to get the creative juices flowing. To me, the process is very much like that of decorating a room. You search and search for something to build your theme around, a special vase or an interesting pillow, for instance. Once you find that item…BAM! Everything else falls into place.

In the case of Courting the Flame, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Dance at Bougival was most definitely my inspiration piece. There was just something about the painting that instantly grabbed a hold of me. I think the girl’s vibrant red bonnet was the first thing to catch my attention. Of course, the man’s yellow chapeau also caught my eye. But without a doubt, it was the ambiguous expression on the girl that really drew me in. It had a very sort of ‘Mona Lisa’ quality to it and that intrigued me. Enough to incorporate it in my novel, LOL. And the rest is…well…Courting the Flame history.        

Diana DeCameron Tidbit:

So today was one of those days when you try to take care of a zillion and one home improvement projects (you know, all those things you’ve let slide because…well…you’ve been busy writing a novel for the past four years), and out of nowhere it hits me. Somehow I’ve wandered blindly into the final days of summer. I say wandered because I never saw the end coming.

No longer did I feel hot and sticky. Instead, a cool breeze settled in bringing with it a new soundtrack. While I was 'busy' getting things done, the romantic atmosphere created by spring and early summer's serenading birds was replaced by the desperate chirping and buzzing of all those late summer insects. I can't help but wonder if they're trying to share their last thoughts with the world before the cooler temperatures finally silence them. Take, for instance, the cricket who decided to make a home on my front porch. For a good hour, I actually thought the sound was coming from someone blowing a whistle. I went as far as to search out the culprit. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it was only a lowly cricket trying to say hello.

So how does any of this qualify as a Diana Tidbit? Because it leads up to a personal preference. Believe me, I was more than shocked by today's great epiphany, but it didn’t sadden or depress me. Not in the least. Why? Because although I love the summer, and I do…I’m a fall girl through and through. I absolutely adore this time of the year because it makes me feel nostalgic, and nostalgia makes me feel creative. Hmm. Maybe that’s why Gracie ends up in Boston at precisely this time of the year. (Shoulder shrug)

Who knew?  


More Random Facts and Tidbits to come. Oh…and while I have your attention, I’m excited to announce that reader reviews for Courting the Flame are starting to roll in. All of them extremely positive. I’ve attached the latest one here:

If you’ve read Courting the Flame and are willing to share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you, as well. Feel free to leave your reviews at museituppublishing.com, goodreads.com, or Amazon.com.

As always...
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh...and more Facts and Tidbits to come.