Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What is YOUR Christmas Reality?

This is our 2011 tree because I'm too busy
to go take a picture of  this year's tree.
The other day, someone in my Facebook feed posted about ice cream, and said it might be weird to talk about ice cream at Christmas but it's great after a hot day at the beach.

First, when is ever it weird to talk about ice cream?

But it got me thinking. We didn't used to be such a global society. I grew up in Massachusetts and I don't think I even knew anyone in or from Florida or other southern states, never mind people from the other side of the world. Christmas is Christmas, and it meant snow and cold, and that's what all the Santa Claus traditions are founded on.

As I got older and the world shrank and we all started moving around more, it was laughing about how those poor people down south had to endure warm weather and no snow on Christmas, but we still didn't really *think* about it.

Now I talk routinely to people all over the world. When closing an e-mail, I have to be careful whether I'm wishing someone in Canada a happy Thanksgiving in the wrong month, or someone in England happy Independence Day (whoops!). I know people in South America and Australia are starting their summer, as we're starting our winter.

But what I really started wondering last week was how that changes the details of Christmas. I mentioned this to someone at work, and she looked at me like I was dim. "Santa has a sleigh. He needs snow."

Well, yeah, our Santa has a sleigh. But maybe the Santa in Australia doesn't have a sleigh. Maybe their stories say that he starts his "one-night" ride in a bathing suit, riding the clouds on a wagon-toting surfboard or something. I mean, does the Santa who delivers presents in Australia even live in the North Pole?!

I'm hoping some of you who read this blog live down under (or in South America or Indonesia or anywhere not the US!) and would be happy to share your Santa Claus with us.

If poor Santa hauls your presents around in that heavy, fluffy suit, I hope you leave him ice cream instead of cookies and milk! LOL

In the meantime, wherever you are, whatever you do this week, I wish you the loveliest of holidays and/or "the last week of the year." :)

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Today's Farce is Brought to You by Natalie's Brain

The morning routine has changed this year, what with Number One being gone and Number Two being spoiled...okay, not spoiled, but she doesn't take the bus to school, so she doesn't have to leave at 6:45 a.m., so all three of us are leaving at the exact same time every morning, so we're all trying to take showers at the same time.

That's reason number one.

Reason numbers two, three, and four are my recent blog tour, my new day job hours (starting at 8 instead of 8:30), and my increase in freelance work as well as awkward timing of that work.

Those are the reasons I've been getting up at 5:30 every morning.

Due to ice and snow earlier this week, I was getting up at 5. I didn't have as productive a day as I wanted yesterday, so I had to get up at 5:00 a.m. today so I had time to do some stuff and turn it in.

You with me so far? Good.

One other bit of background you need to know: I wake up almost every morning 1 or 2 minutes before my alarm goes off so it doesn't wake my husband. Also because it's effing obnoxious.

So this morning I wake up at 5:00 a.m., turn off the alarm, take a shower, get mousse and conditioner in my hair and moisturizer everywhere, and go out to feed the cats. Only one shows up.

I spend some time searching for BG and can't find her in any of the bedrooms. She's not locked in the downstairs bathroom as she is most nights, nor under beds or desks or tables as she might be when she thinks we are going to lock her away. I even checked outside, concerned she snuck out and no one noticed. Can't find her.

I boot up my computer, start up some programs, and glance at the clock. Huh. Why does it say 2:46 a.m.?

With a sick feeling, I hit the home button on my iPod. Yep. 2:46 a.m.

Well f**k.

I went to bed at 12:25, so I got just about an hour and a half of sleep before I started my day. That's not gonna work. But I'm wide awake, and my hair is wet. I can't just get back into bed. Plus I have all this work still do to. Should I go lie awake, struggling to sleep, and doze off around 4 only to get up at 5 so I can get the work done? That's stupid.

(Uh, yeah. This whole thing is stupid.)

So I worked until 3:45, prepping for today's blog stop and the promotion that has to be done, as well as completing three client projects and updating the checkbook with today's paycheck. During that time, BG (pictured above) shows up at my door with that same accusatory expression. While she ate the food I'd set aside for her (after some coaxing, cuz come on, it' THREE FORTY FIVE A-FREAKING-M) I took Maya into the bathroom (lest she eat BG's food) while I dried my hair.

Then I put on clean pajamas and went to bed.

Woke up at 6, made sure the shower was going, and dozed until 6:30. Got up, brushed my teeth for a second time, realized I needed 5 minutes to get dressed and 5 minutes to redo my hair, and got back into bed.

As you can guess, I got a venti mocha with an extra shot for breakfast. It kept me feeling alert, but did not make me articulate or keep me from making stupid mistakes all morning, at which my boss laughed every time because she was so amused by this story.

I know there are some of you who routinely get up at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. (I'm looking at YOU, MJ), but how many times have you done it by mistake?

I don't think I'll be recovering from this until the middle of next week. Good thing I got copyedits yesterday...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December Goodreads Giveaways for Goddesses Rising

Sunroper will be out in 20 days, and to celebrate the completion of the Goddesses Rising trilogy, I'm running three giveaways over at Goodreads. Go enter!

And while you're at it, check out all the stops on my blog tour for A Kiss of Revenge. You can enter at each stop to win an iFrogz GoLite Battery and Flashlight. Don't know what that is? It's portable electricity. Charge the battery, and then you can charge your phone or tablet or e-reader or any USB device on the go! This giveaway ends tomorrow, so don't delay! :)



Goodreads Book Giveaway


Under the Moon by Natalie J. Damschroder

Under the Moon

by Natalie J. Damschroder


Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.


Enter to win





Goodreads Book Giveaway


Heavy Metal by Natalie J. Damschroder

Heavy Metal

by Natalie J. Damschroder


Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.


Enter to win





Goodreads Book Giveaway


Sunroper by Natalie J. Damschroder

Sunroper

by Natalie J. Damschroder


Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.


Enter to win

Monday, December 02, 2013

Frozen Heat Catches Fire

Scorch, mascot for the Harrisburg Heat
Everything I did last weekend seemed to be about temperature.

On Friday, Number One and I went to see Frozen, the new Disney movie. I kept hearing that it was so much better than its trailer—from adults, no less—and I was in the mood for that kind of thing.

Well, it wasn't as great as I was led to believe, but I liked it a lot. It got me teary, and made me laugh... Okay, full disclosure. Olaf saying his carrot nose was like a "weetle baby unicorn" cracked me up so hard I HAD to see the movie.

It was well animated, and the sister relationship broke my heart. It was great to see that as the core of the story rather than the love stuff, though you know I'm all about the romance. :) There were some predictable plot twists that disappointed me, and Number One and I had a writerly discussion on how we would have done it, which was also fun. She liked the songs. They felt a little too High School Musical to me, and both of us agreed they didn't fit smoothly into the story.

Immediately after Frozen, we joined the rest of the family for Catching Fire. I really liked it. It's been years since I read the book, so I wasn't driven to compare like I usually am when I see a book adapted into a movie. I adore Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks! They did a magnificent job, and the film was well weighted. One review (EW, I think) said that events happen around Katniss without her being a real catalyst, and that amused me. I mean, that's the whole point! She doesn't WANT to be a symbol or launch a revolution. And she doesn't want it in a way that's very different from the typical Hero's Journey. She never really embraces the role, which I think makes her more relatable than the typical hero. I left the theater feeling well satisfied and looking forward to Mockingjay. I hope they have more on the screen than was in the book (too much happened off the page with Katniss unconscious, IMO), but I have to admit I dread the Peeta brainwashing part.

Saturday night we went to the Harrisburg Heat game, local pro indoor soccer. We finally won a home game! And it was a good one. Very exciting, with a mascot soccer game at halftime that was quite funny. The poor Whoopie Pie goalkeeper couldn't ever see the ball! LOL

How was your holiday weekend?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Making Beautiful Music

This really has nothing to do with the post contents,
except that it's got a guitar in it. Not that anyone played
a guitar last night. It's music, and I don't like posts
with no pictures! And...Jason Manns.
Number Two got to have a really cool experience over the past week.

She was selected to play in the county orchestra at the 2013/14 festival. Ten or so schools from all over the county supplied a couple dozen musicians and a couple dozen singers. They spent about two days rehearsing together, and then put on a concert last night.

It was pretty intense! Sunday from 2:30 until 8:45 they got their music and learned the basics for it and then did auditions for placement. Monday they started at 8:30 and finished about 5:15. Tuesday Number Two had a test and two quizzes, then regular orchestra, then lunch, then bused over to the other school to rehearse until dinnertime. After dinner they changed for the concert at 7.

The music was incredible. The choir sang for about 40 minutes, then the orchestra played for about 45, then they got together and played/sang three more selections together, including Over the Rainbow and the Battle Hymn of the Republic. The orchestra section included a suite from Carmen, and OMG, they sounded so good! It's a huge difference hearing high school kids who really want to do well and work hard to do it, compared to those who just kinda wanna, or are forced to.

I'm really looking forward to the opportunities she'll have over the next four years and beyond.

~~~~~~~~~~
To all of my American readers/friends/fans/family, I wish you the very best of Happy Thanksgivings!

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Kiss of Revenge is Here!

A Kiss of Revenge CoverA Kiss of Revenge

Available Now
from Entangled Ignite

Marriage is completely over-rated, especially after Reese Templeton’s quadratic failure. She’d rather settle down to a solitary life of owning a bakery—after she tracks down the man responsible for her husband’s death and making her a human Taser full of enough electricity to short out a city block or send a man into cardiac arrest with just one kiss.

But alluring P.I. Griffin Chase is stirring up those feelings of need again. Only this time, her desire to be in his arms has nothing to do with her fear of loneliness and everything to do with the current charging through her body every time he looks at her…touches her.

Griffin hasn't remained at Reese's side just because of the spark that has nothing to do with her super-human talents. He's willing to compromise his rock-solid principles so she can find closure. But before they can move on, he must help her catch her late husband’s killer, staying on track before she has a chance to exact her revenge. Because leading Reese to jail in handcuffs may just break his heart for the final time.

A Kiss of Revenge
by Natalie J. Damschroder
Romantic Adventure/Romantic Suspense
Entangled Ignite, 2013
ISBN 13: 9781622662067

Purchase From:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
iBooks/iTunes
Diesel eBooks

Goodreads
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lots of Stupidity...But Not Totally Sure Where It Lies

WOW it's been a long time since I posted here.

Hi, everybody! *waves*

Understand, not posting is not for lack of wanting to post. I just get so busy, and then I can't think of anything to post about, and then I make a note of something I *do* want to post about, and I go so long not getting around to it that the topic is no longer timely.

Not like anything I ever say here is REALLY all that timely.

So. Stupidity. Yeah.

It started with my car. I took it for service last week, and they were supposed to check out my left blinker. It sometimes works quite normally, sometimes doesn't flash at all, sometimes clicks in double time but doesn't blink. If I adjust the signal arm a tiny bit and hold it just off place, I can keep it working. So last week they claimed to have narrowed it down to the flasher, ordered the part, and said they'd call my cell phone so I could come in and get it installed.

The next day, they called my home phone (not cell phone) and said my part was in and I could pick it up any time during business hours.

:/

I finally had a chance to call yesterday and went in today to get the part replaced. An hour and a half later, they said "Nope. Still not working." The good news is that I don't have to pay for the part that didn't fix the problem. The bad news is that the new part will be $100 more. The stupidity is that they have decided it's the signal switch that's bad. Which makes total sense, right, considering what the problem is and how I'm dealing with it?

The guy was very apologetic, but that's an hour and a half out of my day, plus the 40 minutes of travel time, totally wasted. (Well, not totally. I didn't bring my laptop, thinking it would be quick, so I didn't work at all. But I did get to read a really good book during that time. That's never time wasted. :) )

I ran a few other errands and came home with Super Glue to repair my Harry Potter mug, which spontaneously disconnected from its handle when someone put it...so they say..."very gently" into the dishwasher. I read the directions on the bottle. "To pierce the seal, rotate tip until clicking stops." Turnclickclickclick. Turnclickclickclick. It was still clicking when I felt a puff of air against my hand. Then I got an uh oh feeling and looked down at said hand, which was, you guessed it, covered in Super Glue.

I managed to get a bunch off with olive oil and salt, and then went to the store to get nail polish remover with acetone (Super Glue's nemesis), which got some more off. But the bulk of it, down between my fingers? That's not coming off, and of course that's the most ANNOYING place for it to be. *sigh*

Okay, that's enough about stupidity. How about Almost Human?

We're really enjoying the show, which is a relief because I really wanted to like it. I love both Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, and of course I've loved JJ Abrams' stuff and always want a show with his name on it to be as good as shows that came before. So far, this one has the potential to be.

The first two episodes were pretty different from each other. My friend Gail said in her recap of "Skin" that some people have said that episode was supposed to air later in the season but they
moved it up because of the "appeal" of the sex trade. I guess they either assume their demographic is straight males, or that they have the female/gay male demo locked up with Urban and Ealy.

Okay, they're probably not wrong.

Anyway, the first episode was about How Kennex Got Dorian, and there's a lot of darkness there. His partner's death, his ex-girlfriend's secrets, his memory loss and his inability to assimilate his synthetic leg, the deep rage against the enemy and inability to trust a synthetic partner. The second episode had more humor. Karl Urban...I mean, John Kennex smiled a lot more, he was more comfortable with everyone around him. The crime was also a much lighter one, despite the horror of what they were doing to the abducted women. So it will be interesting to see what comes next, and if it's jarring because it connects better to the darkness in the pilot.

That's all for me today. I have a crick in my neck from looking around the cat who thinks 3:45 is a good time for dinner, and a book coming out Monday that I have to prep for. Oh, and client work pending! Almost forgot about that! I better get to work!

Let me know what you think about Almost Human, and if you have any good recommendations for removing Super Glue from skin. :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

All Entangled Eve Blog Hop


Visit all the authors in this hop to see what they have to say and enter their giveaways!

Halloween is supposed to be all about the scary, but really, for most of us, isn't it all about the candy? :)

When I was a kid, we used to haul in our bags and dump them out on the floor to see what we had. We'd swap what we didn't like with each other (it was often my brother and/or my cousins and/or a friend or two). We'd eat a bunch just because we could. And then we'd hoard it. Fights often ensued when I found out my brother had snuck a full-size Kit-Kat out of the bag in my room when I wasn't there.

Some of my favorite trick-or-treat candy was stuff I didn't normally buy the rest of the year. Bit-o-Honey. Charleston Chew. Now and Laters. Sugar Babies. Yeah, all the stuff that stuck to your teeth!

My tastes as an adult are much more refined. I prefer dark chocolate, especially containing bits of something: toffee, salted caramel and almonds, peppermint bits. That's not trick-or-treat kind of stuff. The stuff I buy to hand out is usually Dove or Whoppers or Peppermint Patties. LOVE the years we don't get a lot of kids!

In recent years, candy companies have been coming out with holiday-specific flavors, like candy corn M&Ms. There's a bag of those on my table right now. Which limited editions are your favorites?

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lucky 13 Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop

From today (October 13) to the 26th, you can visit any/all of the blogs participating in the Lucky 13 Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop and enter to win a great grand prize! Read our thoughts on trick-or-treating, Halloween recipes, our stories, and more! Individual authors are also doing their own giveaways, so there will be many chances to win!

Read all the way through for my giveaway, the Hop links to all the other authors' posts and giveaways, and the overall hop giveaway at the end! The prizes include a Kindle Paperwhite!


October is my favorite month of the year. Crisp, clear air and lots of sunshine. Wood smoke. Football. And usually, for some reason, a lower level of stress. :) And then, of course, there's Halloween.

I like Halloween. I like the way a neighborhood feels with everyone out and about, exclaiming over the kids' costumes, and I like the candy. I don't like that here in central Pennsylvania, they think it's too dangerous to have trick-or-treating ON the actual holiday, so with rare exceptions (like this year), it's on the Thursday before. Which means last year, I was done with the holiday a whole week before the rest of the world.

But when I was a kid, it was different. We started when it got dark and kept going until we'd exhausted every street in every accessible neighborhood. And I was WAY more into costume planning than I am now.

I remember the year I was a punk rocker with my best friend. My mother teased my hair about a foot and a half off my head and sprayed it with all kinds of glittery spray paint/hair spray. I don't remember what my clothes looked like. There's got to be a photo somewhere...

Another year I was a gypsy. My brother's was better that year, though. He'd broken his foot so he wore jammies and a robe and put a bandage around his head so he could be a complete accident victim. I think he was missing a tooth, too.

We often went with my cousins. One year, my Pink-Panther-obsessed cousin insisted on a PP costume. It was, of course, cheap plastic, and it split up the legs. She was so upset it pretty much ruined the whole night for her. :( But every year that we did this with my cousins or with friends, we came home to warm our hands on hot cocoa and talk about what we'd seen.

And then we'd inventory our candy so our annoying, sneaky little brothers couldn't steal any.

What were your Halloweens like as a kid?

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Road So Far (aka, My Thoughts on Fall TV Premieres)

Regular readers of this blog (for some value of "regular" that equates to my haphazard posting schedule, of course) know I'm a pretty rabid TV fan these days. It's my vital relaxation/revitalization time, but I'm also seeking good writing and good characterization to feed the evolving author in me. And I'm always full of opinions! So let me offer some on the shows so far:

Revenge
This is the show I watch with my boss. I mean, we both watch on our own, and eagerly go to work the next day to discuss. So far, it's hitting me at the same level the first two seasons did. I thought they did a masterful job sweeping away loose ends from last season. In just a few sentences, we have Nolan out of jail, the Initiative gone, and justice served. We also have Charlotte no longer pregnant and alone, though she's pretty lost.

Nolan is still my favorite character. Emily is really pushing the bounds of likability, though they managed to pull her back just in time (barely, and almost). I don't really want the return to season one that they promised, though. It feels redundant and stale to go backwards. I want her to evolve. How about Emily decides the best revenge is helping people at the expense of those she hates, rather than tearing down people who are actually trying to atone for their sins? And maybe building some relationships of her own, instead of destroying them as fledglings.

I don't buy that Aiden is fully on Victoria's side. All he'd have to do is tell her, oh, everything. He went looking for the box, so why hasn't he just SAID that she's really Amanda?

And then there's Jack. Guh. He did and said the only thing he could do in that moment, but I call BS that he doesn't feel anything for Emily. He's right up there with Nolan as my favorite character.

How I Met Your Mother
So far, so good on the season-long one-weekend concept. Not much to say about this show. It's enjoyable, and I'm glad it's finishing up.

Castle
I've seen pictures of Nathan Fillion on set, and while he's already looking great on screen, I think he's going to be looking even better. But let's not be superficial or anything. :) The show's been hit or miss so far. The serious stuff has been great, but the attempts to make Castle be Castle and have some fun with the crime-of-the-week have been, well, weak. I won't say the storyline has failed, because the relationship stuff has also been great, but I just really want the gang back together.

I'm behind on Bones, but can I just say puh-LEEZE put the Pelant crap to rest? And if they make such a huge deal of Cam's identity theft and then just drop it, I'll be very annoyed.

Sleepy Hollow
I had a few reservations before the season started, but I'm really liking this show. Someone posted somewhere about getting Crane some new clothes. NO THANK YOU. I LOVE LOVE LOVE his period clothing. It's washable, geez! There is a high level of creepiness here, but they've definitely put the right focus on the characters and relationships. Irving is very intriguing to me. He's not the skeptical, hard-assed obstacle typically put in that role. So of course I'm suspicious about his motives.

Supernatural
We've only had one episode so far, but my feelings are mostly good. Mostly. I mean, how many times do we have to visit the "lying for your own good" and "carrying secrets as burdens" territory? That said, I thought they motivated it well. Dean isn't choosing to keep this secret, he has compelling reasons for being forced to. I would like to see a storyline for him, which we haven't had to a strong enough degree since he was the first seal. But I thought Jared did a nice job channeling Tamoh, and he seemed excited to have the opportunity to do that.

I can't wait to see what they do with Crowley, and Misha always does fantastic with whatever they give him, good or bad. I liked to think Cas's pleasure drinking the water was Misha's pleasure getting rid of the damned trench coat. :)

S.H.I.E.L.D.
Because my expectations here were so high, they were also pretty low. So far, I'm enjoying the show. I like all the characters/actors and the storylines have been fine so far. Clark Gregg's tweeting adds an extra dimension, though, that might be influencing me. :) There's definitely room for improvement, of course, as the chemistry develops and everyone settles in, and the writers can get deeper into things now that they're past the initial intros and have familiarized us with the world.

Trophy Wife
I would like to like this better. Characters are all fine, acting fine, love the littlest kid. I just think that putting Kate in a helpless, eager position destined to lead to her failure is going to get very old, very fast. I hope they don't make it the focus of the show.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
I added this to my DVR because it had big buzz and the concept appealed even if some of the actors didn't. It made me laugh some, and I didn't hate anything about it. But it doesn't stick in my brain much. On the bubble for me.

New Girl, Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Glee, Hawaii 5-0
These are pretty much status quo for me, with Modern Family leading the bunch.

Revolution
Way behind on this one. Only watched the first episode. Whoa at how dark it's gotten, enough to make me laugh at how everyone wondered if they'd have to lighten it up for the 8:00 time slot. The actors don't seem to have missed a beat over the hiatus.

Arrow
I like the new direction here, and the maturing of all the characters. Felicity is probably my favorite female character on TV right now.

The Tomorrow People
I didn't know much about this show except Robbie Amell's relationship to Stephen and that the kids have powers and Lucifer (aka Mark Pellegrino) is the bad guy. It had more nuance than I expected. I'm sufficiently intrigued.

The Michael J. Fox Show and The Crazy Ones
I freely admit I'm watching both of these for the lead. Nostalgia plays a role, as does missing both Michael J. Fox and Robin Williams on TV. The vehicles give them both a chance to do what they do best. Fox has a better chance, IMO, because it has heart and balances the schmaltz with a bit of edge. Williams is the best part of his show, but the established dynamic might be too grating and I just don't like SMG enough.

How are you feeling about your favorite shows this season? Which new ones do you like best?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October Ignites Cover Reveals

Next month, the cover of MY Entangled Ignite, A Kiss of Revenge, will be up here! But today, I'm participating in the global cover reveal for the October Ignites. And Entangled is doing a giveaway! Help share the covers and buy links (below) for the September Ignite releases, and you'll be entered to win a $15 gift card.

Click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter the giveaway.

Sizzling Hot September Releases from Ignite:
Secrets and Sins: Malachim by Naima Simone  http://amzn.to/1ag9W db

Sweet Treason by Gail Ranstrom http://amzn.to/16vWeTq

Dangerous Desire by Annie Seaton http://amzn.to/16vWeTq

For Love or Vengeance by Caridad Pineiro http://amzn.to/19yhnJb



And now, without further ado, I introduce:

October Ignites Covers

In the Arms of a StrangerHer Rocky Mountain GuardianTwo Can PlayTo Love and ServeLeaving Las Vegas

Monday, September 30, 2013

Welcome to Guest Blogger Felicity Heaton!

It’s wonderful to be here at Natalie’s blog to talk about my latest release, Her Wicked Angel, which is the sixth in my Her Angel romance series.

I’m going to be sharing an excerpt from the book with you today, but I also wanted to let you know that I’m celebrating the release by giving away the first book in the series, Her Dark Angel, for FREE at selected Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, and Apple iBookstore sites.

FREE EBOOK: You can find all the links for the Her Dark Angel free ebook offer (and two other free paranormal romance ebooks) at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/paranormal-romance-ebook-offers.php

Here’s more about Her Wicked Angel, including an excerpt from this long angel romance novel.

Her Wicked Angel
Felicity Heaton
The King of Demons and the Devil’s right-hand man, Asmodeus is a dark angel born of evil and created for destruction. When his master orders him to venture into the mortal world and retrieve a female for him, he seizes the chance to leave Hell for the first time, uncaring of what the Devil has planned for her…until he sets eyes on the most beautiful woman he has ever seen—a female who awakens new feelings within his black heart, unleashing passion so intense that it controls him and desire he cannot resist.

He will not let his wretched master have her. She will belong to him.

Liora is a witch with a bad reputation and an obsession with fighting demons. A mission gone wrong sees her sent to Paris to cool off, but when a dark and deadly warrior with a gaze of golden fire lands in her life, she ends up burning hotter than Hell for the wicked angel. Nothing will stand between her and the immense, forbidding male. Not her cousin. Not Asmodeus’s sworn enemy and twin, Apollyon. And certainly not the Devil.

Caught up in a tempest of danger and soul-searing passion, can they survive against the odds and seize their forever after?

Her Wicked Angel is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores, and many other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/ebooks.php?title=Her%20Wicked%20Angel

Her Wicked Angel – Excerpt
Liora stared deep into the incredible swirling gold depths of Asmodeus’s eyes. She had countless reasons not to trust him, but she couldn’t bring herself to listen to them or her head where he was concerned.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cover Reveal for Slow Ride Home by Leah Braemel

Slow Ride Home
by Leah Braemel
Contemporary Western Romance
Release Date: 11/11/13
Losing his father was hard enough, but now Ben Grady must face the fact that he and his brother may not be sole owners of their beloved ranch. To protect his family’s legacy, he’s forced to rely on the legal prowess of the woman who stars in his erotic fantasies: Allie O’Keefe. Ben’s never forgotten the illicit encounter they shared fifteen years ago—or forgiven himself for letting her go.
Allie thought she’d moved beyond the scandal that cost her Ben in the past. But working so closely with the seductive rancher arouses the wild child within the cautious woman she’s become. Though she tries to keep business and pleasure separate, Allie soon gives in to temptation, and discovers Ben’s sensual skills surpass even her X-rated memories…
Allie has every intention of leaving Bull’s Hollow forever after her investigation is complete. But there are a few complications. Not the least of which is that while saving the ranch, Allie’s lost her heart.
Pre-order Links
Amazon US
B&N Nook
AMZN UK
AMZN Canada

EXCERPT
If someone had told Allie O’Keefe fifteen years ago that she’d set even one toe on Bull’s Hollow Ranch again, she’d have cussed them out. After she’d decked them. Which explained why Allie jammed her foot on the brake when she reached the ranch’s wrought-iron gate. Or maybe she stopped because of the man talking to a group of ranch hands in front of the ranch’s trailer office. It wasn’t just his weathered brown Stetson that stood out from the standard baseball caps the others wore. After a casual glance in her direction, he resumed talking.
Read More after the Jump!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Being a Big-Time Author

You know what's cool about staying in a Hilton instead of a cheap chain hotel? When your toilet won't flush because the flapper tore and the chain detached, they actually have someone working in engineering, even at 8:00 p.m., to come up and fix it.

Lovely setup at Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
Signed copies are on hand there if you missed me tonight!
Last week, I stopped at my local bookstore and asked to sign the stock they had on hand for Heavy Metal. They said yes. It was cool. I felt a little bit like a big-time author, because when I asked and told her who I was, she was all, "Oh, yeah! That would be great!" You know, like she recognized my name.

I realized that maybe I need to start acting like a big-time author. You know, the whole self-fulfilling prophecy or whatever concept applies here.

So this weekend I'm in Connecticut for Fiction Fest. It's the first time I'm attending a conference without a friend also attending. I'm a little bit freaked by it, but no one will really notice if I go all wallflower. I'll hear the keynote by one of my author heroes and learn something in each workshop, and have dinner with one of my closest friends afterward.

I also had my publicist try to arrange booksignings while I'm up here, and she managed to get one scheduled tonight in Mystic. Which is SUPERcool, because the car chase in Heavy Metal starts in Mystic. I used that angle in the press release she sent to all the local newspapers and radio stations. I did a sponsored post on Facebook that over 9400 people supposedly saw, and even got a few "yeses" on Goodreads when I sent invitations.

I worked extra hours yesterday so I could leave early today, and things went well until about 3:00 when I hit Connecticut. We crawled up 95. 88 miles took me 3 hours, so even though I'd built in tons of extra time and didn't even stop to go to the bathroom for four hours, I barely made it by 7. I'd hoped to get there early, but I did at least get there on time. Barely.

And then I sold one book. I feel really bad about that. Not for myself, but for the bookstore. Good thing I'm up here for the conference anyway, because the $3.40 I spent on a candy bar in the store totally negated my royalty. But hey, maybe the copies I signed will sell over the next couple of days. That will be worth it.

In the meantime, I'm totally indulging myself. I didn't eat breakfast (just had coffee) or lunch (nibbled on sunflower seeds and M&Ms because that keeps me awake while I'm driving) so I ordered room service. I feel all big time now! :) See how lovely my meal was?  ----->

So tonight I'm being a layabout, watching season 3 of Veronica Mars on DVD and probably staying up too late, considering the 7:30 registration time tomorrow. If you happen to be attending Fiction Fest, too, and you see me, make sure you say hi! Then I won't feel like a wallflower. :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Week of Insanity? No, Month of Insanity vying for "of the Year" status

birds on brick walkway
My husband made new friends in Boston
What a week this has been!

On Sunday, we drove 7 hours from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts.

On Monday, we moved Number One into her dorm. Emerson College's system is amazing. They're right in the city, on Boston Common, so you can't exactly park and unload at your leisure. You pull up to the curb, they check you in, hand out passes, unload your vehicle, and take everything up to your room while one of you take the car back to the garage.

Sunday night/Monday morning, I paid for the WiFi in the hotel. But after that, I checked my e-mail Monday night in the lobby. After that, I had no access until I got home Wednesday night.

It was awful! Because Heavy Metal came out on Tuesday, and I couldn't be involved with the release at all! HUGE thanks to all my fellow Entangled Publishing authors for helping get the word out on Facebook and  Twitter while I was gone.

I'm not the only one with a new release! Entangled has a slew of new books out this week. Particular shout-out to the Select authors who share my "book birthday":
Heaven and Hellsbane cover Deep Rising cover
Heaven and Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro
Deep Rising by N.R. Rhodes
Other releases include:
Ivy Entwined by Laura Simcox, Entangled Edge
Risky Surrender by Robin Bielman, Ever After
Eat, Play, Lust by Tawna Fenske, Flirt
Take Me, Diane Alberts, Ever After
One Night at the Spa by Kathy Lyons, Ever After
The Demon's Desire by Kenda Leigh Castle, Covet
The Awakening: Liam by Abby Niles, Covet
Chaos by Christine O'Neil, Entangled Teen (Ember)
Darker Days by Jus Accardo, digiTeen
Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Entangled Teen
The Liberator by Victoria Scott, Entangled Teen
Everlast by Andria Buchanan, Entangled Teen
Relic by Renee Collins, Entangled Teen
Gamble in Gold by Natalie Anderson, Indulgence


There's definitely something for everyone in that mix, so check them out!

Now, I'm off to play catchup with work, writing, laundry, and prepping for my blog tour. Let the insanity continue!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Kid's Perspective on a Mom's Writing Career

Her view overlooks this spot.
So two weeks from today, Number One will be moving into her dorm room overlooking Boston Common. Two weeks from tomorrow, we will kiss her goodbye and drive home to our one-child household.

I had a chance to guest blog at Peanut Butter on the Keyboard this weekend. The writer moms running that blog mostly have little kids, and one of the universal traits of writer moms with little kids is guilt. Especially those who have kids and a day job and write. We feel like we can never give enough to everyone.

I envisioned doing a chat with Number One for this guest post, but it ended up being a long-winded interview. (She comes by the trait naturally, and I'm sure that didn't need to be said LOL). So part of the interview is up at PBoK right now, and the rest of it will be on Everybody Needs a Little Romance on 8/23. Want to see what a kid who grew up with a writer mom thinks? Check it out!

~~~~
Also, don't forget to enter the Goodreads drawing for a copy of Heavy Metal, which releases this month!
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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Heavy Metal by Natalie J. Damschroder

Heavy Metal

by Natalie J. Damschroder


Giveaway ends August 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, August 05, 2013

Who's Your Mystery Man Facebook Event

My newest publisher imprint, now named Entangled Ignite, is launching the new look with a Facebook event this Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EDT. You can learn more or join the event here.

Throughout the week, the featured authors will be posting clues on their blogs leading us on a hunt to determine/discover the men who inspired their heroes. Read the blogs, collect the clues, and attend the party to win giveaways! There will be a $100 Amazon gift card grand prize and the authors will be personalizing Authorgraphs (digital autographs of their book covers) for anyone who wants one!

Here's the lineup for the week:

Today!

Kay David http://kaydavid.com/blog
Stephanie Feagan http://www.stephaniefeagan.com/

Tuesday 8/6

Joya Fields http://joyafieldswriting.blogspot.com/
Maya Blake http://mayabauthor.blogspot.com/

Wednesday 8/7

Cathy Perkins http://cperkinswrites.com/sample-page-2/
Naima Simone http://www.naimasimoneauthor.blogspot.com/

Thursday 8/8

Elle James http://www.ellejames.com/
Eve Devon http://www.evedevon.com/blog.html

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This Awesomeness is Just What I Needed Today

Via Facebook!

Started at The Daily Dot here and here. But I loved it so much I wanted to embed the original videos all together.







I want to hug all those kids in the last video, but the passionate little one especially!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Indulgence Cover Reveal!

Indulgence CoversI don't write for the Indulgence line at Entangled Publishing, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to participate in the reveal of the line's sexy new look!
Indulgence brings together classic romance, new and fresh voices, and alpha heroes. They're short contemporary romances that are edgy, light, and whimsical and guarantee a happily ever after.

Below are three of line's newest releases. Check them out! And click the banner on the left to see all the fantastic new covers in greater detail.





Famously EngagedFamously Engaged, by Robyn Thomas

A chef and a rock star. They couldn’t be from more different worlds…
Rock star royalty’s favorite son, Jake Olsen, couldn’t help but interfere after listening to his future brother-in-law talk non-stop about his ex-wife, Beth Carlisle. Jake decides that the only way to get the groom’s mind off his ex-wife is to give her a fake fiancĂ©.
Before Jake can convince Beth of his plan, he's forced to move in with her to avoid the paparazzi. Their instant attraction makes for a sizzling "first date", but soon Jake’s fame gets in the way and Beth wants out. Too bad Jake's figured out just why her ex is so obsessed with her, and he's afraid he's not going to be able to give her up either.
Now it's up to Jake to convince this chef together they make the perfect recipe.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble (Coming)

The Wedding GambleThe Wedding Gamble, by Cindi Myers

Preschool teacher Laura Nichols is celebrating her birthday and sister's bachelorette party in Vegas. Being in Sin City is thrilling and she intends on tapping in to her wild side. Laura can't resist the added excitement that comes with saying yes when a hunky man off the street proposes...
FBI agent David Abruzzo has been working undercover as a thug to bring down the Zacolli crime family, but his cover depends on convincing the mob he came to Vegas for a quickie wedding. If they catch on to his plan, his cover's blown, and he's as good as dead.
Over the course of 48 hours, David and Laura use rollercoasters, glowing condoms, and exotic male dancers to stay alive and bring the crime family down. But it will take more than Lady Luck, one night of passion, and a little Vegas magic to turn their fake marriage into something real.


Dishing Up Desire

Dishing Up Desire, by Barbara DeLeo

Image consultant Blake Matthews is facing his toughest PR challenge yet: salvage the image of celebrity chef Kirin Hart. Once he does, he'll be able to acquire LA's most successful PR firm. But Kirin's no easy fix. She's stubborn about changing her comfortable homemaker image, and is being sued for sexual harassment by a junior staffer. She needs a PR lifeline fast. Only problem is Blake wants more than to make her over...
Kirin doesn't need a makeover--her fans love her as she is. But she could lose everything if the sex scandal and reputation that has followed doesn't get quashed right away. Kirin agrees to let model-perfect Blake work his magic for two weeks, but things get complicated when she can't deny the way her body flares to life whenever he's near.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Gambling on a Heart by Sara Walter Ellwood

Gambling On A Heart
Book 2 of The Colton Gamblers

Blurb:

She once lost his heart on a bluff. Will she risk everything to win it back?

Beautician Tracy Quinn spends her days making the women of Colton, Texas beautiful, while living down the nickname of Olive Oyl, given to her by the only man she has ever loved—Zack Cartwright. She spends her nights alone, despite what her ex husband wants their friends and neighbors to think.

Ex-rodeo cowboy. Ex-bad-boy. Ex-Marine. Widower and single dad Sheriff Zack Cartwright can describe his life in exes. One ex in particular reminds him of what’s missing in his workaholic life: Tracy Quinn. For years since she broke his heart, he’s practically made avoiding her a second job. He still wants her, but can never go after her.

When cattle rustlers target her brother’s ranch, Tracy and Zack are stuck working together. Her son could use a positive male role model, and his daughter is wild for a chance at a “substitute” mom. But Tracy’s ex threatens to sue if she lets Zack near her son, and the Colton grapevine is abuzz with rumors about their past relationship. Is it worth the gamble to see if what they have is more than lust?

CONTENT WARNING: Spicy sex

Excerpt:
“I was hoping you could keep me company this afternoon.” He skimmed his fingers over her cheek.

Her insides, heating up like lava under the surface of the earth, pooled in her low belly. Her lips parted.

Against her lips, he whispered, “Tracy, I want you.”

She had thought of little else since he’d left her standing on her porch Friday night. He was asking her to enter into a sexual relationship without any hope of a future--without love.

But she was already in love with Zack.

Both of their kids would benefit from them being together. Hadn’t that been what she’d decided while she tossed and turned in her big, empty bed?

With her gaze locked on his, she murmured, “I want you, too, but I have a stipulation.”

He leaned back. “What is it?”

“I’m no one’s bed-buddy, Zack. I know what my reputation is in this town, but it’s all wrong.” She swallowed her rapidly thumping heart back into place. “I’ll only go through with this, if you promise to treat me as a serious girlfriend. That means we date, we visit with our families and we share our kids.” When his expression hardened, she quickly added, “Mandy likes me. And I adore her. I’d like to bring her here, to the shop, for a few hours and play. And take her shopping. I know your mom tries, but she’s busy with her foundations and charities she does for the Junior League.”

The breath she sucked in was full of Zack’s scent of sage and leather. “Meanwhile, you can teach Bobby how to ride and maybe take him to the sheriff’s department and show him around. Jake won’t like it, but I’ll deal with him.” Having laid her demands out on the proverbial table, she held her breath, waiting for him to tell her what she could do with herself. After all, a man of Zack’s caliber could have any damned woman he wanted. Tracy was just handy, and according to the gossip of her ex-husband and mother-in-law, she was easy.

He studied her for a few moments. “That’s more than one stipulation.”

“Take it or leave it.”

“Tracy, it won’t change what I told you Friday night. I’m never getting married again.”

His words stung as much now as they had the other night, but she didn’t show him how much. She kept her face determined, as if she were haggling over one of his horses, rather than her body and soul.

“Fine. But I’m not a floozy. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. But I have my son to consider. And I’d hope you’d feel the same about Mandy. They’re bound to see us together. What do you plan on telling your six-year-old daughter when she asks about me? That I’m your friend with benefits? I know that isn’t what I want to be teaching my son.” Moreover, she didn’t want to give credence to Jake’s claim that she had no sexual morals.

“Okay,” he said at last. “We’ll play the game your way.” He pressed her against him. “Luck would have it I’m off this afternoon, too. I’ve already put in sixteen hours.”

When his lips captured hers, she knew she’d made a pact with the devil, but she couldn’t stop the elation surging through her. There was something he wanted from her. Sex was a big portion of it, but something else kept Zack from walking away and hooking up with any one of the many available women in town.

Bio:
Sara Walter Ellwood is an award winning author whose novel Gambling On A Secret was named by bestselling author Carolyn Brown in the Happy Ever After Blog on USA Today as one of her favorite romances of 2012. Although Sara has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her stories. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for nearly 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia.

She also writes paranormal romantic suspense under the pen name of Cera duBois.

Buy Links:
Lyrical Press | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Author links:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Sign Up for Newsletter

Giveaway:
*Please leave your email address to qualify*

Tour Grand Prize is a swag pack full of goodies! A signed copy of Carolyn Brown’s Just a Cowboy and His Baby, an ebook copy of my last release Gambling On A Secret, a notebook, a pen, and a custom jewelry set—all tucked into a keepsake box. A $20 value.

*Swag pack is for the entire six-week tour. Winner will be announced on September 1, 2013

*Open to Continental US citizens 18 years and older and where not prohibited by law.

*For the complete list of rules click HERE (pdf).

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Now That's What I'm Talking About! A non-spoilery review of White House Down

A couple of weeks ago, I saw Man of Steel and came away disappointed because of the lack of character development, sufficient character motivation, and wanton destruction with no thought to the consequences. 

Today, I'm here to say that White House Down was, surprisingly, a far better movie. I know, right?!

Those who pay attention to such things tend to go into a Roland Emmerich movie expecting something fun, funny, and full of action with the highest stakes imaginable. A true popcorn movie that you pay to see simply to be entertained. I found much more, and think this is his best film since Independence Day.

Emmerich has done his share of wanton destruction, so it was really nice to find him fairly restrained with this movie. Things blow up, but they're specific and non-gratuitous. The writing was solid, the character development just enough to make us care about the people we're watching. I know that makes it unfair to compare this to Man of Steel, because they were trying to do two very different things. One was a one-day event while the other spanned a lifetime. Still...

The opening of the movie was nicely tense. If you have a basic idea of the storyline, you know right away, as each person is introduced, what is going to happen to them. I found the initial invasion a bit too easy, though they did set up why that was. I just thought someone would have fought back, at least had time to draw his weapon. But that minor complaint was offset by great actors doing a great job, from the big names (James Woods!) to the unknowns (that bad guy who referenced Speed with such deliciousness!). Especially good was the actress who played Channing Tatum's daughter, who brought off a tricky combination of terror and bravery with aplomb.

Number One and I give this two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Not Your Average Day of News

Let me know when the bombardment's over
I came home yesterday to a positive barrage of news. Some so incredibly good, some so incredibly bad, and some just mind-boggling.

Number Two is very into tennis, so first I got hit with the rundown of retirements and upsets. She'd started the day with her favorite player getting injured and having to retire, so that bummed her out. It got worse when Federer went down and freed up the path that would have been John's.

While I watched that suprising win over Federer with her, I browsed my Twitter feed. OMGYay, DOMA defeated! Prop 8 dismissed! Fantastic!

Aaron Hernandez arrested. Patriots release Aaron Hernandez. Then, a short time later, Aaron Hernandez charged with murder.

Somewhere in the middle, shocking in its timing and its (fan-related) connection to home, was the concurrent arrest of Cleveland Browns rookie linebacker Ausar Walcott for murder and immediate release by his team. In this house, we are a fairly equal blend of New England Patriots fans and Cleveland Browns fans. As far as the teams go, Walcott (undrafted rookie who hasn't done anything yet) is obviously a much lesser impact on his team than Hernandez (star tight end with $40 million contract). But murder charges in the NFL? Two on the same day, and both of them for our teams? Kind of freaky.

So then I come on down to my computer to get to work and I learn of a woman being outed for plagiarizing. She claims she hired a ghostwriter and didn't know that person stole the work. Her bio claimed *she* was a ghostwriter who got such unheralded acclaim she decided to publish her own book. But then once discovered, she said she can't write.

Mind-boggling!

Did I miss anything else? What other news stories made your eyes pop yesterday?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Man of Steel? More Like Man of Sillyness

I love action movies. I was the one who dragged my husband to see the latest Die Hard film, and my geek factor rose to 20 over Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness. 

The one thing most action movies have in common, though, that I really hate, is indiscriminant destruction. Yes, I thought The Avengers was the best movie of 2012, but I really cringed for New York during the whole final battle.

But at least in The Avengers the good guys were trying to stop the destruction, and MOST of it came at the hands/bodies/creepy ships of the aliens. At least we were shown the people in harm's way, and the effects on some of them as the battle raged. I could forgive the excessiveness in a film that had fantastic characterization and acting, a solid, interesting plot, and well-developed motivations.

Man of Steel? Not so much. WARNING: From this point on there are rampant spoilers for the recent film Man of Steel. I'm holding back nothing. So read on at your own risk.

I was a little wary of this film before I went. I didn't care for the Dark Knight trilogy all that much, and wasn't sure I'd like the "darker, grittier" tone that was supposed to match those films. I also was a little bored at the idea of the Zod storyline again. But I love Superman (and really, more I love Clark Kent) so I wanted to give it a try.

*heavy sigh*

It turned out, I liked the Zod storyline overall. Russell Crowe was good as Jor-El, and I found the extended backstory of Krypton actually interesting. I appreciated that they took a new approach to Clark and Lois's meeting and connection. And I thought the most interesting thing about Clark's personal thread was his struggle (and sometimes failure) to always be the better man. The best part was seeing him save people, and then be passive aggressive against a bully.

But his character development fell far, FAR short of what they were striving for. They NEVER gave ANY hint that he had this rule about not killing people. (If I missed it, please feel free to correct me in the comments!) They did a decent job showing his dilemma when Zod threatens the entire planet if they don't turn him over, and I can appreciate the hints of "is he a hero or a threat?" that flow throughout his interactions with the human military.

But then they start fighting, and it all goes to hell.

First, they destroy Smallville. Not just General Zod and his cultish followers. I have to insert a whine here about how they made a big deal of how Kal-El would soak up the young, strong rays of the yellow sun and develop powers as he grew up, and then Zod and his crew got those same powers after, oh, five minutes. Their invulnerability was kind of ridiculous. So anyway, then they start flinging each other around the town, blowing apart buildings and making things explode and taking down military helicopters. The "saving" that Superman does isn't quite enough to sell me on the colonel or whatever saying "this man is not our enemy."

During this battle, Clark gives no thought to the innocent people who might be behind the walls he just smashed down. He doesn't try to move the fighting away, or to rescue anyone. Afterward, he's all grave and melodramatic in thanking the colonel for seeing that he's not a threat, but he doesn't go see if anyone was hurt in all that shrapnel and structural collapse.

And THEN. They go do the same thing in a couple of big cities. Zod doesn't care, he wants to destroy all of humanity so he and his five fellow surviving Kryptonians can start over (I guess they'll harvest the 20,000-year-old babies in the genesis chamber of the crashed scout ship, because of COURSE they haven't reached their expiration date yet). Buildings topple, cars fly around, pavement buckles. We have an odd stretch where Perry and some guy from the Daily Planet try to save some chick as if we should care desperately about her plight, when we barely met her and I never even caught her name.

So after all that, when there are probably thousands of casualties already (not counting the babies in the destroyed genesis chamber), Zod doesn't get sent back to the Phantom Zone with the rest of them and he's determined to end Kal-El. Ensue a pointless fistfight because they both have the same powers and indestructability. AGAIN they plow through buildings and probably kill thousands more people without a blink of Clark Kent's eye. Zod uses his infrared vision/laser eyes to threaten a family, and Clark kills him to stop him.

And then Clark yells an anguished "nooooo!!!!"

So I kind of figured that was because he'd killed the last of his kind, leaving him all alone, but the debate all over the Internet (ref. Entertainment Weekly) is all about how a major trait of Superman is his sometimes desperate attempts not to kill anyone, ever. For me, it's not about whether it's okay for him to kill. It's about whether the writing sucks or not, and this writing pretty much violated every major "rule" of characterization.

Any action can be justifiable if it's well motivated. In the bus scene where Clark saves his classmates and his dad thinks that was a mistake, have Clark argue that life is more valuable than reputation. Give him an opportunity to stop a horrible crime and instead of physically harming the culprit, turn him over to the authorities. Have him at least SAY something about moving the fighting out of Smallville, and let him lead the bad guys to open land. Destroying trees and abandoned buildings and the occasional farm implement will satisfy your mindless need to smash for no reason. Then when the whole planet is in danger from the World Engine, let him lament the loss of life a little bit. Give it some depth, not just a tossed off concept. Have him go crazy with grief at all the people being killed by Zod's relentless attack, let him have a full conversation with SOMEONE at SOME point about his responsibility not just to save lives, but to avoid taking them. When he fights Zod, let his blows be about avoiding collateral damage instead of causing as much of it as possible.

Then, MAYBE, I might buy that he has some remorse over killing the bad guy.

As it is, I'm left feeling that Superman is not all that super, and is in fact kind of a douche.

What did you think? Do you disagree? Counterarguments welcome in the comments!