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Nadja Notariani
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Profession: Author

Profession Status: Established

Work :
The Third Fate

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$2.99


Work :
Her Dark Baron

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$0.99


Work :
Practical Arrangement

Rate :
$2.99


Genre(s): 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, Action-Adventure, BDSM, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Demons, Detective, Drama, Erotica, Gothic, Highlander, Historical, Humorous, Inspirational, Medieval, Mystery, Paranormal, Pirate, Regency, Renaissance, Roman, Romance, Scottish, Shape-Shifter, Stone Age, Suspense, Thriller, Time-Travel, Vampire, Viking, Victorian, Werewolves, Western, Sports, Other

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Last Activity: 1 year ago

Joined:04-02-2012

Nadja Notariani

Female
Scranton Pennsylvania United States


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About me

Nadja Notariani was born in Rochester, Pennsylvania. Her upbringing included
very diverse environments, affording wide and varied richness of ethnic and
religious tradition. Raised in both an Italian/Mediterranean American home and a traditional German household, Nadja gleaned the unique benefits of viewing the world through two widely different lenses.

Nadja resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, ever embracing new adventures with her three sons and faithful German Shepherd. She also boasts two daughters, who have flown the nest to pursue their own adventures.

Within her titles, readers can find romance and adventure, from contemporary to paranormal to historical, always with a happily-ever-after. Nadja enjoys hearing from readers and can be found at her website, on Facebook, Goodreads, and at Romance Novel Center. Readers are welcome to contact her via email.


This biography was provided by the author or their
representative.

My Blog

Researching for Romance Writing: Sex, Sensuality, Or Both!

Welcome to Researching For Romance Writing, a weekly meme where I feature my latest finds. Please feel free to share any links or tips you think will add to the discussion. Happy Researching!

For those new to this feature, I've listed past topics below.

Celtic Legend And Lore
History In Style: Seventeenth Century Dresses
Action Sequences MMA Style
The Claymore Sword
A Peek Into Riding Habits
Whiskey Making
Sexy Is Not About Looks
Barley Farming
Biting The Bullet




Sex, Sensuality, And More...Or Less: A Romance Writer's Investigation.

Writer's Relief posted an interesting article, Writing Sex Scenes: How Much Is Too Much? I'll hazard a guess that if you ask romance readers, you'll get a wide variety of responses. Sex and sensuality are no strangers to romance novels, it's expected within the pages of a good romance. The disparity comes when asking what constitutes 'enough' sex or sensuality. Some readers prefer great romantic tension and build up, but fade to black intimate scenes. Others prefer the same, but with the addition of a sexual scene or scenes - as the case may be. Readers of erotica want plenty of both - and more graphically depicted. Personally, I would categorize erotica as a separate sub-genre of romance, but the lines are blurred with the addition of the tag 'erotic romances', and therefore, I include erotica in my discussion, noting that I recognize the division.

Most readers I have spoken with conveyed similar sentiments. While they hold a certain personal preference, they are not opposed to more - or less - sensuality or sex provided the scenes are well written - and of course, that the story is one they enjoy. Nearly all expressed aversion to sex scenes slapped within a story simply to boast a sex scene. Sterile and clinical descriptions of the act likewise affected readers negatively. But, my research subjects are few - mostly consisting of romance reading friends. Menopause Maniac linked back to Daily Mail, where poll results claim a staggering 91% of the 400 women quizzed reported to have read at least one erotic book. More than two thirds, 68%, stated they would like to do so more often. Despite the small pool of readers polled, results suggest that readers welcome sex and sensuality in romance novels.

Erotic content in romance novels is on the rise. As a reader, I'm not opposed. But after asking around, one theme popped up over and again. Sensuality is the key. Sex in and of itself isn't what grabs readers up and carries them away. Rather, readers want to be caught up in romance, in sensuality and seduction. If along the way they indulge in a sultry sex scene, well...I haven't heard any complaints about that!

How Do You Feel About Sex Scenes In Your Romances?


~ Nadja



Researching For Romance Writing: Biting The Bullet
Welcome back to Researching For Romance, a weekly series revealing my fabulous finds for use in writing. Please feel free to share any great sites that offer greater information on whatever topic is featured. :}

The Origination Of A Phrase: Bite The Bullet

We've all heard the above phrase. There are different variations to the sentiment, and equally different meanings. The term can apply to taking a chance, stepping up to the plate, or even to death. Time has a way of 'turning a phrase', so to speak.

During my research into Native American culture, specifically the Plains Indians, I discovered where the phrase originated through reading. Apparently, white buffalo hunters, after finding themselves on the wrong end of a Comanche spear (or perhaps more apt - after finding their friends and acquaintances on the wrong end of Comanche spears) decided it better to take their own lives rather than end up captive to a war party.

Victims were tortured horribly when caught killing buffalo solely for their hides. The Indians wanted to send a powerful warning to those slaughtering their very means of survival. Tensions had escalated for years over thinning herds and shrinking hunting grounds. As a result, Comanche (Not only Comanche, I'd like to add) warriors actively sought to destroy the men responsible. Speared to the ground, men were discovered with their ears, tongues, and even genitals severed and stuffed into their mouths. Some were skinned and left for dead, just as they had left the buffalo. Others were used as a base for cooking fires, the cast off buffalo carcasses roasted on the captive's belly. Brutal, no? White buffalo hunters feared capture (and most importantly what would come after capture) more than death - and can you blame them? Not without irony do I note that these adventurers, so intent on financial gain, 'Bit The Bullet' so to speak in chancing capture to hunt the buffalo in the first place. But I digress...

Nearly all hunters carried a .50 calibre cartridge that had been emptied and filled with cyanide. Hence, when the day was lost, they would 'Bite The Bullet' rather than face the alternative - capture and certain torture at the hands of a war party. I had never heard this before. My introduction and understanding of the phrase had led me to believe its gist was 'taking a chance' or 'testing fate'. While the phrase has taken on this meaning since those days, its origin reveals a much more sinister beginning.


~ Nadja



The Ugly Truth
What Is Truth? ~ Pontius Pilate

Memories happy, faces laughing
linger in the mind's eye
blissfully ignorant to

Truth.

Moments tender, heartfelt words
whispered, uncoerced gifts
bitter upon the palate of
Truth.

Times distant, abandoned
contemplative, untouched
vetted in the aftermath of
Truth.

Night descends, shadows
devour certainty, tomorrow
lays trampled beneath
Lies.


Meh... More theraputic than I expected. Go figure.


~ Nadja




Cover Reveal: A Practical Arrangement
The last few days have been a mixture of image selection, option choosing, tag-line finding, and anxious/excited stomach-roiling waiting. It was worth every blessed second. Many, many thanks to Elaina at For The Muse Design !

Without further ado, I happily share my latest cover...











۩ A Practical Arrangement, Nadja Notariani ۩






Miss Evangeline Grey, intelligent and sensible, has no desire to marry, her reluctance born from the dire warnings of her overly emotional mother. Her father has other ideas, however, and decrees that unless she weds by the spring, he will choose a husband for her.


Prim and proper Evangeline accepts her father's issue with little more than mild alarm. Knowing herself plain of face and sharp of tongue, she believes herself capable of warding off any perspective suitor. Her plan goes awry when the scandalous seducer, Mr. Thomas Masterson, visits her family's home, for Thomas has learned that he must procure a wife to receive his full inheritance.


When he discovers Evangeline's predicament matches his own, Thomas determines to orchestrate a practical arrangement. A war of wit and word results, and Thomas finds himself ever more beguiled by the soft heart he discovers under Miss Grey's stern, inhibited exterior. Patiently, he endeavors to gain her respect and awaken her passions. As tenuous trust blooms between the rake and the reluctant, unfortunate events – and Thomas' past reputation – threaten to destroy the peace and happiness he has found within the bonds of his Practical Arrangement.


~ Nadja

16 August 2012A Trend Setter?
Indulge Me My Delusion A Brief Moment...Please? Lol.

A year ago, almost to the day, I published my first novel, Claiming The Prize. The story centers around an up-and-coming MMA fighter looking to break into the premier mixed-martial-arts organization. Here's the blurb:

Claiming The Prize, Nadja Notariani


Walking a solitary, disciplined path in his pursuit to become the light heavyweight champion of the American-Mixed-Martial-Arts-Organization, Drago Zadrovec leaves the security of his homeland to train in the United States. But once within the exclusive MMA organization, Drago finds himself increasingly drawn to his mentor's daughter, Grace Antolini. Quiet and gentle, yet thoroughly immersed in the world in which he exists, Grace captures his heart as firmly as his quest for the title, igniting a long buried passion inside the fighter. Subjecting his body to the brutality of the cage and opening his heart to the woman he desires to share his life with, Drago comes to understand that his journey is comprised of more than want of victory in the ultimate goal of Claiming The Prize......

Claiming The Prize was inspired by many years of sitting in gymnasiums, watching my son train in wrestling, jujitsu, Muay-Thai kickboxing, and boxing, which in turn led to my enthusiasm and appreciation of the sport. However great my enthusiasm, MMA is not a sport many women actively follow - at least comments from my Hot Jocks In July Giveaway led me to believe.

While reading at Juliana Haygert's site this evening, I discovered a newly published title featuring an MMA fighter! I'm over the moon, as readers are grabbing up this title - and delving into the world of MMA - with a healthy side-helping of romance - hot romance from what I read! I hope the new-found love affair with cage fighting heroes, coupled with the potent romance combination, will encourage readers to seek similar titles - namely, Claiming The Prize!


Here's the book Juliana featured - check it out. I've added it to my TBR pile. Delicious MMA fighters - decadent romance? I'm all in!

Seducing Cinderella, Gina Maxwell






~ Nadja


Two Fathers...Twice The Love And Learning
It's Father's Day. I lived a different life than many who will make tribute to fathers this day, for two very different men fulfill the role of father in my life.

Womens childhood relationships with their fathers are important to them all their lives. Regardless of age or status, women who seem clearest about their goals and most satisfied with their lives and personal and family relationships usually remember that their fathers enjoyed them and were actively interested in their development.
Stella Chess quotes


I was quite young when my parents divorced. Cultural differences and family issues raged throughout their lives - and therefore - through my own. My father is a good man, upright and very, very German. He is possibly the most intelligent person I've ever known. His demand for excellence motivated me, but I struggled to live up to his expectations.


It is impossible to please all the world and one's father.
Jean De La Fontaine quotes

My father was my teacher, instilling in me a love for G-d, his law, for justice. He read to me almost daily. G-d's law was ever discussed, examined, explained. Never allowing me to take the easy way out, my father insisted I confront myself in all areas of life. A master logician, he rebuffed any faulty argument, shaping my worldview and igniting in me a thirst, a quest for knowledge, truth, and wisdom. I can not fully express my gratitude. His example laid the foundation for my love affair with words. English words, root words, Hebrew words, Greek words - all were defined, compared, and discussed. My father studied continuously, he does so to this day. My father taught me the beauty of ritual and worship. I respect him highly, and his opinion is one I value dearly. I will get the harsh truth when I ask for it (and sometimes when I don't ask for it); this comforts me. It's a stable rock to stand on, to spring from as I pursue new adventures.

I remember a very important lesson that my father gave me when I was twelve or thirteen. He said, You know, today I welded a perfect seam and I signed my name to it. And I said, But, Daddy, no ones going to see it! And he said, Yeah, but I know its there. So when I was working in kitchens, I did good work.
Toni Morrison quotes

In stark contrast, my step father hailed from the Mediterranean. He is a man of love, a man of hugs, of praise and openly expressed emotion. Large family gatherings, boisterous conversation, gentle guidance, and a world where everything revolved around the family table - a life where connection held top billing - this was his gift to me. He taught me every bit as much as my father, but his lessons focused on building strong family ties and offered a sense of belonging. While he held very high expectations, his love was never in question. Praise was given when I succeeded, and maybe lavished even more when I put myself out there and failed. I never wondered if he was proud of me. There was never a time I could not share my joys, my fears, my anything. He suffered through the teen years like a trooper, schlepping through malls and Deb Shop like a pro! He spent countless hours schooling me in Cribbage - we still play...and he still wins. Chiller Theatre on Friday nights around a large bowl of popcorn, motorcycle rides to get a frozen custard, noodle making day, yard work, laundry, after dinner dishes...he spent time with me - and still does. We have tea. We talk about life. We laugh over the kids.

A father is someone that holds your hand at the fair makes sure you do what your mother says holds back your hair when you are sick brushes that hair when it is tangled because mother is too busy lets you eat ice cream for breakfast but only when mother is away he walks you down the aisle and tells you everythings gonna be ok.
Unknown quotes

In some ways, I count myself luckier than most. Two very different men stepped up to the plate to raise a daughter in two very different ways. The benefit is all mine. I gained the ability to view the world and all that goes on in it through two lenses - at times complimentary, and at others opposing - and because of that, I have the richness of both perspectives.

To both of my dads...Thank You. I love you.


The father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, "Daddy, I need to ask you something," he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan.
Garrison Keillor quotes

Researching For Romance ~ A Peek Into Riding Habits
Astride Or Aside: A Romance Writer's Investigation...

Welcome back to Researching For Romance, a weekly series revealing my fabulous finds for use in writing. Please feel free to share any great sites that offer greater information on whatever topic is featured. :}


Wife Of Bath
The narrow cut of Victorian era gowns prevented riding astride, as did social dictates of the day. But farther back in history, it seems riding astride - alone, and certainly in front of a man in the saddle or pillion - was fairly common. Wife of Bath is one example of a woman depicted riding astride.



We can thank, or curse, Anne Of Bohemia for introducing the side-saddle to England around the year 1392. Over the following centuries, ladies riding astride became less and less common and finally scandalous. The side-saddle evolved over time under the hands of women such as Catherine DeMidici, who improved matters around 1580 by daring to hook her leg over the pommel, setting her in a more front facing position and giving her better control over her horse. Improvements by the mid 1600's were such that Queen Christine of Sweden was thought to have ridden astride, so erect and straight was her posture. But she was, in fact, riding side-saddle.

By the eighteen hundreds, no woman who gave a whit about her reputation would ride astride, even though split riding habits were in circulation! Woman in a Riding Habit (L'Amazone), 1856
is one such example my research returned to again and again (Victorian Amazon being the title for ladies wearing such a get-up and riding astride), but I would note that the split skirt is not clearly depicted and, therefore, not reportable as such.





Richard Almond, writing for History Today has trawled medieval and Renaissance sources for insights about ladies’ riding habits in the Middle Ages and what they reveal about a woman’s place in that society.
'I suspect that most of us rather vaguely assume that medieval and Renaissance courtly ladies rode side-saddle and the rest of female society walked. But research reveals that there were four different riding styles and whether and when women rode astride, pillion, on-the-side or true side-saddle has never been fully investigated by historians. Did how women rode indicate class or role, or did it depend upon what activity they were doing? Relevant supportive textual evidence on the subject is scant and what exists can be vague or ambiguous, while images of the period can be difficult to ‘read’. Fortunately there is a good deal of varied iconographical evidence to interpret. Yet there is also the added difficulty of differentiating between imaginative pictures depicting myth and romance and those illustrating everyday life...'

This was an informative read, broadening my understanding on the subject. In the end, romance writers have a small bit of leeway when opting to have their heroine ride aside or astride as long as not writing a Regency (say... 1810 onward) or during the overlapping Victorian Era (1837 - 1900), unless you want to write about an absolute hoyden!

In my own historical novella, my heroine rides astride in front of the hero and later on her own. In the remote setting of Northumberland, England, 1640, I imagine 'country-grown' girls from the lowest ranks of nobility enjoyed freedoms not enjoyed by those of a higher station or living amongst courtly officials. Aside-or-Astride was not a favorite research topic for a few reasons. First of all, the information to be gathered was almost exclusively about higher ranking nobility. Secondly, there are some conflicting articles and information amongst history sites. And third, I simply hold no great passion over/on/about the issue. But I did learn a great deal and have filed it all away for future use.


~ Nadja


16 June 2012
Enjoying Meine Madchen and Announcing Winners!

I'll be on vacation for the week! I'll be visiting around next week...see you then. I've a daughter home on leave, and I want to squeeze in every moment I've got with her. Her next stop is Annapolis, and her first year as a plebe will not allow for much visiting!


Here are the winners from the Shameless Summer Giveaway Hop! I'll be sending emails!

First Prize - Amazon E-Book The Third Fate and $10.00 Amazon Gift Card: Holly Wright

Second Prize - Amazon E-Book (one each) The Third Fate and Her Dark Baron: Diane

Third Prize - Amazon E-Book of The Third Fate: Rose Hariston

Thank you to everyone who stopped by during the hop. :}



Medeia Sharif gifted me this awesome award earlier this week! What a fun post.


The rules for this award:
This award is for book bloggers only. To receive this award the blog must be at least 50% about books (reading or writing is okay)
Along with receiving this award, you must also share your top five favorite books you have ever read. (More than five is okay) You must give this award to 5-10 other lucky book blogs you adore.

Here are my top five books (I reserve the right to change my mind at any time...I've so many books to love and gush over, tomorrow's list may be completely different! Ha!) I've stuck to fiction, and listed five books that I would read again and again.


* Pride And Prejudice, Jane Austen is my all time favorite book. This romance makes any list ...every day. :}













* A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini





* The Flame and The Flower, Kathleen Woodiwiss


* Red Storm Rising, Tom Clancy


* Zoya, Danielle Steel


Have a great week! ~ Nadja


Summer Abandon, Tall Fences, And Naval Academy Adventues


June is a busy month filled with distractions. In the northeastern states, June is the month we finally shake off the chill of spring and see temperatures rise into something resembling honest to goodness warmth; you know... that need-a-fan-kind-of-warmth where bare feet and bare arms are comfortably exposed. It's glorious! The early days of summer lure us to set aside work and simply enjoy the nice weather. On the side is Killer Rock, Nay Aug Park, Scranton, PA. Here's one brave soul! It's great to see teens rejoicing in summer abandon.

I indulge the welcome heat and sunshine, as I long for these days during the cold and harsh winters of the North-Atlantic states. All the while, those goals are waiting. In an effort to maintain my progress, I've learned to combine my loves. Ha.


I've a lovely new canopy (one day I'll post pics, it's raining today. Sigh) and comfortable chairs around my patio table. Plants decorate my newly secluded side yard after the privacy fencing went up {now if I can only get the back of the yard privacy fenced in the next month...I've a neighbor who has me steamed! Steamed, I tell you! Er, more on that some other time after my current 'fotch' wears off. :{ And no...it's not over my dog, I simply liked the cartoon. My dog, however, holds no affection for said neighbor...I think he bears a grudge on my behalf. Lol. Ah! Such a gut Schutzhund. :}



Last spring






My husband landscaped a beautiful little section outside my writing nook window with my favorite - marble rocks. It looks so neat and clean. He added a basket-hanging post and two small flowering hanging baskets. It's lovely. I can enjoy it from my patio while outside and from my writing chair when inside.



Similar to my neighbor's. Lovely, isn't it?
My fountain cracked over the winter despite draining and winterizing. I probably won't replace it this year with all that fencing to purchase, but my next door neighbors put in a large pond at the base of their sloped backyard and a beautiful man-made 'babbling-brook' which keeps the water cycling. We're already separated by 6' fencing on that side (and they are the nicest neighbors ever!), but the sound of all that water carries nicely!

It's a peaceful setting, and I plan to utilize the space for some serious writing and reading! Do you have a favorite outdoor writing space? An oasis of sorts where you can enjoy the great-outdoors and still strive to hit those writing goals?

On The Writing and Goals Front...

* Chapter Seven complete. Check.

* Evangeline is in store for a few surprises in Chapter Eight. Oh! The writing bliss!

* Exercise: Gillian's Ripped in 90 (or 30, for I cannot remember which it is...lol) is great. We're alternating between those workouts and her abdominal series. I've become fairly comfortable with eight pound weights for most of the workout, although my triceps want to revolt and string me up alive. I found a new hated exercise. It's a side plank position, top arm extended toward the ceiling, where you must pull up and in with the bottom leg. The strength needed to maintain balance while attempting such a feat is proving a difficult challenge for me. A few weeks and I'll be a pro. For now...I'm just happy my workout partner isn't laughing-her-unmentionables-off at my shaking arm!

* WanaTribe (link is to my home page) is a fantastic site. Thanks so much Elizabeth Mitchell for inviting me! This is a great platform building site. Established authors are sharing information and writing tips, marketing helps, and just plain old and much needed encouragement. Creator, Kristen Lamb has done a fabulous job laying out the site for easy navigation! Check it out.

* My new weekly series, Researching For Romance Writing, is generating some great comments! I love the little tidbits I've picked up in addition to my own research. My goal is to stay three to four weeks ahead of myself here and to sprinkle different themes over the weeks. A little historical, a bit of contemporary, a dash of paranormal - mix up the older research with the new to keep it interesting.

* Social goals are a continuing area of enjoyment and success. Keep those interesting posts coming, everyone! I love reading!


* DD#2 will arrive home over the upcoming weekend! It will be a two-week-visit before she packs it up and we deposit her on the U.S. Naval Academy doorstep! She's a mixture of nervous anticipation and anxiety. She, like me, tends toward over analysis. Can she cut it? Will she make the grades? Is the additional nine year commitment the 'right' decision? It's so difficult to have grown children. You see them struggle with life-changing decisions and then remember going through those times yourself. I'm so proud of her! I know she's got what it takes, and deep down, so does she. But it pleases me that she takes time to reflect and contemplate, to consider carefully and weigh her options.

Check in with fellow ROW80 writers!


~ Nadja


10 June 2012Researching For Romance Writing: The Claymore
Today, I continue my new post series: Researching For Romance. Tune in as I share the interesting tidbits I've discovered during the writing process!

The Claymore: Popular Battle Weapon And Oft Wielded Sword Of Romance Heroes...

In Depth Info , a great research site, explains that the claymore was a Scottish weapon used in the late medieval period (1300-1700's). Heavy (a good five pounds), the claymore was wielded with two hands and was an offensive weapon. With a reach up to sixty inches, this weapon was brutal when employed, but could also be disadvantageous if an attacker broke inside the swordsman's stroke arc. Thrusts, swings, and downward hacks were deadly; the combined weight of the sword and body momentum easily penetrated English armor and could even break shields.



The use of the term Claymore can be deceiving as the true sword has definite properties. William Wallace was said to utilize this weapon, but his sword had a more narrow point and lacked the leather wrapping around the ricasso; so in the strictest of terms, it was not a 'true' Claymore. I've read the sword used in the movie was.

Medieval Storm The Castle , another interesting site, tells that while the sword gained greater notoriety during its use against the English during the 1700's, it had been long in use by that time. It remains part of the uniform of the British Highland Division to this day.

The claymore, in its loose interpretation of the name, was used extensively in the back and forth border battles between England and Scotland between the 1400's and 1700's. The Battle of Killiecrankie (1689) was the last documented instance of the sword's use in significant numbers. (wikipedia )

The Claymore seems to have developed from the cross-hilted sword and has been depicted on graves as far back as 1539, although the Claymore widely described in novels is often the Lowland Claymore. No more precise dating can be determined beyond late 16th century for the exact time when the sword came into common use. I was extremely interested in the evolution of the Claymore and discovered that this sword is of German origin. My Armoury offers a more thorough vetting than I will go into.

In my novella, Her Dark Baron, the hero has a Claymore strapped to his back as he rides to his home. Living on the English/Scottish border in the mid 1600's, a time of vicious border raids between the Scots and English, and secretly crossing the border to seek and eliminate key rebels, Baron Gervase Daltrey may well have employed this deadly weapon. Researching the Claymore was definitely an educational experience, growing my knowledge in heaps.

What have you researched recently? Have any great finds to share?


~ Nadja




06 June 2012Insecure Writer's Support Group: A Yiddish Assessment
Welcome, fellow IWSG writers! Another month has rolled on by. If you can bear to hear it, we'll mark the half-way point in 2012 at June's conclusion.

What?




You heard me! Half-way. This meshugga-time-stealing-Meyven devouring my days is stealthy and slinky, slurping minutes, hours, weeks, and months in insatiable greed. Feh! I've never gotten a good look at this schmutzy abomination, no, but sure as G-d made little green apples, he's a schmendrick if ever there was! I nearly plotzed upon realizing how much time had gone by - and the helping of gornisht I had to show for it!


On closer examination, this Yiddisher Kop has enjoyed a bisl, say a nosh, of success. All my mensch friends, the shikses included, have been schmaltzing and kibitzing with me like a kosher mishpoche of good natured yente!

Nope! You won't hear any more kvetching here! I've no real tsuris to speak of. My friends schlep and schmooze me toward shalom with expert spiels. I'm reminded to take up my rightful place, a baleboste with chutzpah enough for three!

Nu? My shtick is finished. Mazel Tov!

This Yiddish Assessment was provided in light of Julie Glover's wonderful post, Adding A Little Yiddish To Your English. It was quite funny.



On The Writing And Goals Front...

* Chapter Six is finito. Chapter Seven is underway.

* Stopping by one of my favorite 'writerly-advice-blogs' I happened upon K.M. Weiland's post, The Two Conflicting Needs Of Every Character. It was just what I needed after combing through my six chapters and wondering if writing two seemingly exclusive needs into my heroine was a wise move. Providence intervened, blessedly! Take a few minutes to enjoy a great post on creating delicious inner conflict that will spill over throughout your novel.

* Exercise. Oy Vey! I began the second series in Jillian's 'Ripped in Thirty' (I believe that's what it's called...and ripped is an appropriate word, although I mean ripped as in ripped to shreds like a destroyed rag. Ouuuuch.) It hurts so good. :) I must make mention - I deplore burpees. They are a loathsome exercise. Unfortunately/Fortunately (for I really cannot decide), they produce the results I like.

*It has been an amazing couple of weeks! I connected with an established author, sparking what promises to be a fun-filled-bout of encouragement and friendship! Her sense of humor and experience are welcome additions in my life!

* I completed my first professional edit. Critiquing is a skill I've been honing as I plod along with my own works, and I've critiqued as a beta reader a number of times. This is the next step, and I'm thrilled.

* A local friend and author and I have been hitting the notebooks together! Wow! What an encouraging thing. We've twice now met up for a few writing sprints - and engaged in some fantastic brainstorming. She's a gifted and motivated writer, two qualities I admire and appreciate. Having that camaraderie has spurred me onward, and I hope to offer her the same as we continue our friendship. Best of all, she's an avid exerciser (is that even a word...lol?...I'm going with it for the sake of a laugh), so it's a double win. Ha!

Have a wonderful mid-year month, IWSG members. Also, I'm adding the link-up to ROW80. Check out every one's progress and cheer them on!


~ Nadja

Researching For Romance ~ Action Sequences
Welcome back to another peek into my research files! This Sunday, I'll talk about my plentiful research into the action scenes from Claiming The Prize.


Longtime readers made introduction to the world of MMA during my writing and editing of Claiming The Prize, if that is, they hadn't already. My sons participate in the sport of wrestling, and my oldest son has also trained in jujitsu, boxing, CrossFit, along with dabbling in judo and kick-boxing. George St. Pierre mentions Royce Gracie in his commentary and trains with Renzo Gracie, a brother of the MMA legend. My son was able to train with the jujitsu specialist, Royce Gracie, last summer! It was a dream come true for him.

Many people incorrectly assume that MMA fighters are unintelligent. This couldn't be farther from the truth. This sport requires not only a well conditioned body, it requires the ability to constantly adapt, to gain in knowledge and skill, to mesh together and utilize multiple facets of martial arts, boxing, wrestling, kick-boxing, and the plethora of others into an ever evolving game of strategy. All of the trainers my son has worked with are highly intelligent individuals, concerned not only with my son's physical training, but with his character, his motivation, his education, his soul. Knowing and understanding the body's physiology, proper eating habits, business sense, selecting the right team to take a fighter where he needs and wants to go - these are paramount to success.

Wrestling technique is a must in the world of mixed-martial-arts, the body awareness learned on the mat an invaluable asset when grappling, but it is only one piece of an intricate web of skills needed to compete in this brutal sport. The intense cardio fitness needed to compete for a minimum of three rounds, each lasting five minutes is mind boggling! Daily two - three hour practices are commonplace during wrestling season, and that is only to compete for three periods of two minutes! Sprints, hammer drills, grass-rolls, and PT (physical training aptly named 'pain-and-torture' by the wrestlers) are daily drills - loved and hated all at once - by those dedicated souls committed enough to stick out the grueling practices.


It all pays off in the ring, or cage! MMA is about more than fighting. It's about honing one's body into the best it can be. It's about channeling energy, achieving, and dedication to a lifetime of work for a fifteen minute window to prove yourself.

As stated in the back cover of my first novel, I gained valuable knowledge sitting in countless gymnasiums across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Observing from the bleachers, I watched my son practice these skills until he could barely stand another minute. Each roll of wrist, shift of hip, or angle of head holds purpose and meaning. Every strike thrown, takedown attempted, sprawl employed, or arm-bar locked up leads him closer to those sublime moments of seeing his name on top of a winners bracket. Over the years, I've picked up wrestling jargon, jujitsu moves, and the like. At one jujitsu tournament, a man laughed after my son's match, shaking his head with a smile. I had been coaching from the edge of the mat, unaware of anything around me as I instructed, 'Heavy with those hips! Now, go! Squeeze it! Tight!'
'You must be a wrestling mom,' he laughed.
I smiled sheepishly. 'Yep. I guess I am.'
'Wrestlers usually do well in jujitsu,' he informed, as if the news would be new to me. 'They've got great hips.'
I only nodded. My son took first place that day not only in his own weight bracket, but in the combined brackets of 100-200 pounds, teen division. It was all thanks to those great hips. Ha! (And I'd like to believe maybe from that little bit of coaching I dared to offer...lol)


~ Nadja


Close Encounters Of The Embarassing Kind
And then we laughed and laughed...

The cyber-world presents a ripe environment for misunderstanding. Inflection, tone, body language and the like are conspicuously absent from conversations sailing back and forth across invisible paths. Add in my tendency to assume (Oh! The Assuming!) and you've guessed it, a recipe for hilarity.


Hesitant to post what will surely become known as 'The Notariani's Debacle Of 'Aught Twelve', I consulted my humor loving family. (They ever enjoy a laugh at my expense - it's the way of my family; I reciprocate when I can.) All agreed, 'You've got to laugh about it! Don't be a sensitive ninny.' So...here goes.



I've developed an acquaintance/friendship with a fellow blogger/writer over the last few months. We comment back and forth, read what's new and interesting on one another's blogs, email once in a blue moon. I'm an extrovert, and enjoy talking/writing/communicating - so much so that I'd talk the ears off my victims friends and family - and I adore a jokey-and-pun-filled-euphemism-laced-conversation. Now this particular writer/blogger has made a few comments that offered hints of the quirky humor right up my alley. (Believe me, my sister and I can laugh at anything. ANYTHING. It's a gift...and a curse) Fellow blogger/writer and I very recently guffawed over the All-Knowing-Google. So...when I opened an email from a person bearing the same name and listing Google as the means of introduction, I immediately jumped to the following conclusions (quite in error)

1) Same name = same person
2) The acquaintance had taken on the comfortable status of friendship where humor reigns supreme.
3) The new addition to those I count as friend had decided to inject aforementioned supremely reigning humor via a cheeky email.
4) Hilarity would ensue after my equally cheeky reply.

Cringing commenced the next morning. In the end, same name most definitely does NOT = same person. Please write that down. Ha! In fact, it turns out that the email happened to come from an entirely separate entity (who just happens to share the same name as fellow writer/blogger/acquaintance/friend)!! When I received the reply to my cheeky reply - well - I nearly laid an egg, fairly certain of my gross misunderstanding. I immediately forwarded the three emails to blogger/writer with a boldly typed request, 'If this is not you, please email me immediately.' Clarification was given, and mortification followed.

So... Did I learn my lesson? For today. My sense of humor overrides all good sense at times, and I make no promises that it will never happen again. I learned long ago not to promise what I cannot hope to fulfill. I've had to dig my foot from my throat in the past, and remain quite confident this shall not be my last painful extraction. Ha!



After I managed to patch up my sorely abused dignity, I had to admit, the whole incident was quite funny. It's like something out of a Seinfeld episode. For now...there are two people of the same name - most likely wondering and shaking their heads. Writer/blogger/acquaintance/friend has been exposed - prematurely and confusingly - to my absolute slavery to gaining a laugh, and person-of-the-same-name likely thinks me a lunatic. Ha!

...But I've no worries :} Here at the Notariani household...we laughed and laughed....


~ Nadja

A Spellbound Scribe? Sure!
Another week is zooming by! Time, surely, speeds up as I number my days with equal parts hard work and silliness...

It's that time again. Another check-in brings us to that reckoning of accomplishments and progress, revealing the good, the bad, and the ugly! Ha. How are you faring? On top of the world? Struggling to scale the next peak?

I've had a fabulous week. A Round Of Words In 80 Days introduced me to Claudia Lefeve , and over the course of the last year, we've visited back and forth, coming to know and encourage one another as we dare to write, edit, and publish as Indie-Authors. So, when an invitation came to join up with The Spellbound Scribes I said, 'Sure!'...well, after I picked myself up off my smarting keester and pinched myself once or twice.

Spellbound Scribes features posts on writing and the like straight from the hearts and minds of paranormal authors! Monthly themes from differing perspectives offer readers a sampling of opinion and style, broadening the scope of topics deliciously. I sure hope you'll stop by and support these talented ladies...ahem...and me too! *shameless promotion in progress* Ha.




On The Writing & Goals Front...

* Chapter Five is complete. Phew. This chapter was an absolute joy to pen...er, pencil. My heroine is knee deep in it, not knowing whether to sit or stand. She's all 'sixes-and-sevens' for the moment, and my hero is wearing an impish grin, smugly satisfied at her present state. This delightful theme will continue through Chapter Six, much to my amusement.

* Exercise is done and done!

* Social goals - check.


* Promotion for The Third Fate continues, and I have to give a huge shout out to Vickie and Shauni at Innovative Online Book Tours . Ladies, you all are fabulous. Thank you for making my first book tour a wonderful experience. To anyone nearing a new release, I highly recommend you check out this site. I am impressed with their professionalism and the reviewers who've signed on.

* Chapter two is well on its way to being typed. For a few weeks, I couldn't muster the 'umph' needed to get my fingers to tapping. I feel better having finally worked on this, and can offer no silliness on what I consider an odious task. (okay...call me out, for I cannot help but offer one final Ha! before I close)


~ Nadja

Researching For Romance ~ History In Style

Beautiful Dresses From The Seventeenth Century...

Next up within my newest blog feature, Researching For Romance, I'll share some lovely fashion finds! Historical novels/novellas share top billing in my romance reading favorites along with contemporary and paranormal. When writing a contemporary, dress is easily described in as elaborate or little detail as the author would care to go into. Within the paranormal world, the author can get downright creative - or not - as preference dictates. But when writing a historical, the fashion spectrum narrows.



The gowns and beautiful dresses of long ago enchant me. So, when I wrote my first historical novella, researching popular fashions was a treat! The mid 1600's were a period of varied dress for ladies. Courtly gowns were far more elaborate than the Northumberland countryside setting in which I have my heroine, Lady Mariel Hayes. (At that time, whether one was 'high' enough on the nobility ranking to rate the official title or not, the feminine persuasion was addressed or referred to as 'Lady' by polite society. Encyclopedia Britannica)





Both of the gowns pictured are fine examples of what Mariel may have worn. The green above is just beautiful! I love the neckline and fitted waist.




In this painting, (Workshop of Gerard van Honthorst Title: Amalia van Solms (1602-75). Wife of Prince Frederik Hendrik. Date 1650 Medium Oil on canvas.) we see a princess' gown, which is bulkier and more elaborate. My hero and heroine are far lower on the nobility tier, Gervase being only a Baron.






One fashion accessory I had to include in Mariel's wardrobe was the snood. I own a few snoods myself, covering my hair a priority on those days when humidity reigns and my overly-zealous natural curls go wild! Wild, I say! Here's a beautiful snood my research produced. I modified it's sparkly look to tone it down a bit for my Mariel, who is not a flashy character. Ha!




What is your favorite historical dress style? (I'm also partial to empire waisted gowns, but that's for another post!) Do you research clothing, too?





On The Writing and Goals Front ~


* Chapter five is moving right along. My heroine begins to be affected by our rakish hero, as she catches glimpses of what lies beneath his exterior. How? Why? Well, he's come up against an enigma...a woman who challenges him, confuses him. As he begins to know her, through their interactions and through watching family dynamics, he's drawn to her. She's not what he expected. He understands that he wants to have her know him...wants to earn her trust. It's a good time for me as a writer to eek these two characters toward one another little by little.


* Exercise is checked off the list for this week. I broke the minute mark in holding a breaking parallel squat. Noodle legs followed. It was a glorious feeling....well, after I got my sea legs back. Ha!


* Social media goals - check. Easily.


* Promotion is wild and crazy. Summer Kick-Off has me offering my latest, The Third Fate for only $0.99 through the month of June. Reviews are coming in, emails are flying back and forth through cyber-space, and I'm smiling ear to ear. Even though it can be harried and consuming, I'm having a blast. Thanks to all the readers who've taken the time to post reviews and stars. You all make me smile.


* The Third Fate's online tour with IO will wrap up this week. I've been introduced to some fantastic review sites, and look forward to following.


* Another round is nearing the close. The next will begin 02 July! I need to set my goals over the next two weeks to prepare. I've decided to push hard through the next round, and may set a goal to be ready for edits on my current WIP by next round's end. It's a daring move, but I'm feeling it....we'll see!


Have a great week, everyone!
~ Nadja


Summer Kick-Off Promotion!
Memorial Day weekend signals summer's kick-off, at least in my mind. To celebrate my favorite season, I'm offering my newest release, The Third Fate for $0.99 through the month of June! Snap it up for a little paranormal frolic on the covered patio. :}


Buy At Amazon!

'One Fate be granted mortal man, used for evil or good as the inner voice directs. Alas, the divine spark draws the eyes of the Fates, the Second Fate sparingly gifted by their hands. Be warned offspring of the gods; guard your gifting well. For if the Third Fate be unleashed, the soul lays bare before one so touched by the gods.' ~


Cautious and quiet by nature, Paige Kinnell watches life unfold from the sidelines, maintaining her simple existence as a shield to hide behind. But underneath her shy, careful ways, Paige senses a disconnect with the world around her, indulging instead her ever curious interest in the legend and lore of time nearly forgotten.


One chance encounter with an ancient of the undead begins an unraveling of reality as Paige knows it, leaving her to sort through dreams and enchantments, discovering along the way that one's Fate can be mere illusion, and that the consequences of opening her heart to another may cost dearly.


Cael Maccinnis, the handsome Highlander she's met, seems the answer to every unspoken longing of her heart, even as he awakens dark, secret desires buried within her soul. As strange and unnerving changes begin occurring in her mind and body, Paige has no choice but to face her life's unnatural turn and confront the frightening implications. For within Paige's past a secret lay dormant, hidden even from her. This truth, guarded well and wielded by the Fates themselves, becomes the catalyst invoking the power of The Third Fate.



While Memorial Day signals the promise of summer, it also marks a day to remember.

As the parent of a U.S. service-person, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the men and women who are on active duty, in the reserves, attending college through ROTC, or enrolled in military academies. Your service does not go unnoticed. As we remember those who have fallen in service to country - in service to fellow citizen - I'm reminded how fortunate I am to be here. My grandfather fought in Europe in WWII, my father in Vietnam. I'm sure they knew many men who weren't so fortunate. May G-D be with you all.


~ Nadja

Real Life Evaluation And Trauma-Drama In Fiction
Another Wednesday check-in has come around for ROW80 participants.

June 21, 2012 will mark the end of this round. Time for a reckoning. Self assessment. Introspection. Evaluation.

How did you fare? Meet a lofty goal and want to proclaim it from the roof-top? Learn yourself better? Discover your limits only to push past them? All these questions should be building as we near the end of a round. It is necessary as we begin fixing our goals for the next.

We've got a few weeks left! Push hard to the end.

On The Writing/Goals Front...

* Begun writing chapter five. I struggled with the ending of chapter four. I didn't complete this chapter on time, finishing only last night. I was tired and cranky and having to forcibly extract words from my brain. This chapter exhausted me. But! Now the hero and heroine are once again under the same roof. Their interaction should perk me right up!

* The typing... Crickets, crickets. *smiles awkwardly*




* The exercise. Whooping victoriously! On-toes push-ups! That's what this girl has graduated up to. Jeepers! It sure did cut into my numbers, though. Anyway, I'm feeling mighty proud.

* Discussed a hang-up I have my heroine experience with my brainstorming partner. I want her to have this issue, offering fodder for fantastic tension and misunderstanding between her and the hero, but I need to tread carefully. As a reader, I shy away from overly dramatic heroines. It's a real turn-off for me. I shy away from overly dramatic people in real-life; their absolute enslavement to emotion makes me uncomfortable - and wary of their ability to make sound judgements. I'm using a bit of this with my heroine to balance her issue. 'Experience the emotion, recognize the issue, yet overcome and master one's self.' That's my motto. Oops...control freak in the blog...sorry :} Finding the perfect balance to craft a likable, admirable and sympathetic character without venturing into melodramatic-mess-territory is proving a fine line.

How do you feel about trauma-drama in your heroine or story?


Winners from the Sinful Siren Giveaway Hop....Drumroll, please....

First Prize - LaceyBlossom

Second Prize - June M.

Third Prize - Eva P.

Congrats! I'll be sending emails and prizes out in the next few days! Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered! Come back on June 8, as the Summer Giveaway Hop begins with more chances to win.


~ Nadja



Researching For Romance ~ A New Series
Welcome to Sunday's Check-In For ROW80. Today I'm Introducing A New Weekly Post Series.





Traveling around the blogs, I've seen a few authors talk about their writing research. I enjoyed it so much - I've decided to create my own version of this informative meme. Researching For Romance will be a Sunday feature, and I hope to share random tidbits my own research has produced/produces during the writing process. From historical clothing styles to Celtic myths, from Jewish and Muslim legends on the djinn to fighting styles within the world of mixed-martial-arts, I'll explore my finds. Writing in multiple sub-genres within romance, my research takes me all over! I hope you enjoy. Please feel free to add your comments and share relevant web-sites helpful to the topics posted. Gaining knowledge is always on my to-do list!



First up is something from my newest novel, The Third Fate, a paranormal romance. Being a fan of all-things-Highlander-ish, I grabbed hold of Celtic legend and lore during the writing of The Third Fate, soaking up the myths with an eye toward creating a cohesive back story on the origins of the vampire. Certainly, this research proved great fun. Writing a paranormal romance was liberating, offering me great freedom to loose my imagination in new ways. I loved it.



The Mabinogion, (pronounced Mabin-OGion) a collection of Welsh stories, first introduced me to Pywll. His service to the god of the underworld, Arawn, inspired my tale of vampire creation within my novel. Adding to my collection of tales, I discovered Mysterious Britain, another site perfect for perusing Celtic myths.



At first, I compiled a list of Celtic gods and goddesses, needing to sort through the plentiful deities. Druid Circle filled my head with all manner of suggestions from their extensive collection. I appreciated the description(s) of the god/goddesses realm, origin, and jurisdiction(s), which gave me enough back story in most cases to know if the god/goddess fit into my growing storyline.



Most striking, for me, was understanding that wide variation existed between the beliefs of Celts, who were spread across vast territory. Welsh, Irish, Briton, and Scottish legends vary greatly. I had wrongfully assumed the Celtic religion to be one entity before my research. My studies on religion had more centered around Jewish studies along with the ancient and contemporary religions of the Near East. By no means have I completed an exhaustive study! So much is available; paranormal romance writers have nearly unlimited potential to craft fantastic stories from the wealth of myth and legend surrounding the Isles and their fascinating history.

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Comments

Nadja Notariani
Author

2012-11-23

Thanks, VJ!  Glad to meet you!

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

 


VJ Dunraven
Author

2012-11-23
Thanks for accepting my RNC friend request. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. :) What a beautiful book cover you have!

Deborah Gafford
Author

2012-07-29

Thanks for the add! I look forward to reading some of your work!


Nadja Notariani
Author

2012-05-18

I'm participating in the Summer Siren's Giveaway, which runs through 20 May, 2012.  Prizes include a copy of my paranormal romance - The Third Fate, my historical novella - Her Dark Baron, and an Amazon gift card.  Thanks for stopping by; hope to see you there! 






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