Tag Archives: julie garwood

What is in a name?

Hello Scribblers!  J Monkeys coming atcha from inside a snow globe.  Or at least that’s how it looks from my office window.  A fresh batch of snow fell last night and everything in view is covered – trees, roofs, even the sky is white, matching the gently falling flakes.  Quite a contrast from the book I’ve been reading this morning.

How do you select a book at the store?  Usually, it’s one of two things that prompts me to pick something up – either a cover that attracts my attention, or the author’s name.  When it comes to authors, naturally, it’s repeat business for me – I’m buying books by authors I’ve read before and enjoyed.  Lynn Kurland, Julia Quinn, Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux.  Sometimes it’s a new book written by a friend or acquaintance – especially when they are written in a genre that isn’t typically my cup of tea, but where I know from experience that I’ll enjoy the ride – Kristan Higgins’ contemporary romances, Katy Lee’s inspirational romances or Casey Wyatt’s urban fantasies, for example. 

This morning, I’m reading a book that I chose based on the author, but it isn’t an author whose work is familiar to me.  In fact, the book I’m reading is his debut novel.  Nor was the book/author recommended to me by a friend.  I’m reading Dracula the Un-Dead written by Dacre Stoker – great grand nephew of Bram Stoker.

dracula-the-un-deadI’m almost exactly to the half-way point in the book and it’s a delight!  It’s not scary, which is a good thing for me because I do NOT like scary stories.  Mr. King’s The Shinning still haunts me 25 years after I read it!  While I loved The Stand, there were parts that I found creepy – I remember reading it while sitting in a corner, hidden from any ghouls lurking in the ether.   But Dracula the Un-Dead seems more like a drama than horror as I think of it today.  It’s written as a sequel to the original book.  In truth it’s co-authored by Dacre Stoke and Ian Holt apparently written (according to Wikipedia) “Because of the Stokers’ frustrating history with Dracula’s copyright, Dacre with encouragement from screenwriter Ian Holt, decided to write “a sequel that bore the Stoker name” to “reestablish creative control over” the original novel.”  What an interesting idea.  I don’t know the extent to which it would reestablish copyright – but hey.

But if you’ve enjoyed the rise in vampire stories in the last decade or so, you might want to take a look at this homage to the original.  It’s well done (at least the first half!) and worth a few of your hard earned dollars.  And, again according to Wikipedia, they wrote it based on Bram’s original notes and stuff pulled out of the original novel.  Again, a cool idea. 

Today’s secret: Dracula is Un-Dead and available at the bookstore once again.  :)  Oh and by the way, they have begun filming season 6 of True Blood, speaking of popular vampires.  The delightful Mr. Skarsgard has revealed a spoiler-ish something from filming.  Click here to find out what.

Today’s question: how do you decide to buy a book?  What changes you from a browser to a buyer?

Ransom

Hidey Ho Scribblers!  J Monkeys here.  This week I want to talk about something important: Ransom.  Not the plot device that throws your characters together, the Mel Gibson movie, nor the very good book by Julie Garwood.  No, I’m talking about ransom-ware. 

This past Monday morning, I was doing my usual routine.  Hubby was in the shower getting ready for work and I was online, trolling for an episode walkthrough of last week’s True Blood.  (I must have my weekly Eric Northman fix!)  All of a sudden, my computer screen blinked off and a new screen came up.  It had a big, scary FBI logo and a square where my webcam was activated, showing a not-terribly-attractive-unwashed-morning version of me.  I read the first line, “This PC has been locked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for downloading illegal MP3 files, videos, etc.”

Um, I’ve never downloaded an illegal MP3 in my life, in large part because I don’t know how.  Every MP3 file on my PC was bought from iTunes or copied off of CDs I own.  The only videos I ever watch are on YouTube and I’m pretty conservative when it comes to viewing….um…adult content, shall we say. 

So I was pretty quickly convinced that this was some kind of mistake or something.  I told Hubby about it (he’s a techy guy) and he came to look at my screen (while wearing just a towel, I thought I had told him about the webcam…)  Hubby read both the first and second line of the screen and quickly came to a new conclusion.  Line two read, “Pay $200 to the address below in the next 72 hours or your computer will be permanently locked.”

Huh?!  I’m pretty sure the FBI wouldn’t be asking me for $200.  I mean, if I had committed a crime and they were looking for me, wouldn’t they want to arrest me and charge me?  Hubby told me that this is a Ransom-ware virus made to scare people into forking over some cash.

Sadly, it took my very computer savvy husband two nights to get my PC back to normal.  Here’s a link to the directions in case anybody’s curious.  And in that time, I had an epiphany.   The only things that I have backed up on a flash drive are my two completed novels.  I have eight completed books right now and four in the works.  Several of my books have extensive illustrations or research.  And what about my personal stuff, tax returns, resumes, pictures, etc?  I’m going to get it all backed up next week.

This week’s secret: Up to date antivirus software is very important!

This week’s question: Do you have your work backed up somewhere?