Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Rant on Today's Prom Dress Drama

So scrolling through my facebook feed, I saw a few stories about girls getting hell from their schools about their prom dresses. One had to cover up, the other had to leave. None of these dresses made me bat an eye.





This one is classy and almost too modest aside from a bared back and sides

This one reminds me of "Cha-Cha from GREASE.

This one looks like something my conservative grandparents would have loved me to wear to Sunday school... at age 13.

Seeing all this insanity inspired me to dig out my senior prom picture and post in on Facebook with a rant. It seems my dress would have violated all of these.


Prom for most girls is the first time they get to dress in grown-up formal wear. Seriously, that was the freakin' point of prom. It was a rite of passage and acknowledgement that teenagers are becoming adults and thus ready to dress as adults and engage in courtship.  

For me it was that AND the first time I got to dress up in front of my classmates, many of whom called me a "dog" and barked at me when I walked through the halls. It was a chance to try to be pretty and to show them that a guy was willing to be my date. Sadly, my date had dumped me the week before as had the one who was supposed to go with me to Junior Prom, which I skipped, heartbroken. This guy at least was a gentleman enough to still go with me and pretend for a night.

And my dress was VERY special. I was dirt poor but still had some money saved up for a dress, but as you can see, I was very small. All of the stores renting and selling dresses sneered at me and told me to try the CHILDREN'S section.

Yeah, like I wanted to look like a little kid for my first chance to dress like a woman.

After raging at my experience at the formal stores, my goddess of a mom took me to the fabric store and we designed a dress and she MADE it for me. I still have it, though it will never fit again. ((I MISS YOU, MOM!!))

And despite being dumped by my boyfriend and just pretending to everyone that I had a smitten date... and the crappy food at the big event, I had a wonderful time. It really was magical. Girls who had been mean to me complimented my dress with sincerity. Boys who had mocked me actually apologized and said I looked beautiful. Hell, some of them even danced with me.

NOT A SINGLE ONE LOST THEIR MINDS OVER MY BARE BACK AND SHOULDERS.

Seriously, this school dress code thing is insane and demeaning to girls... and boys who now seem to be thought of as mindless animals who will go crazy over an exposed shoulder. These schools are DESTROYING what they themselves have established as a night every student should remember fondly.


I wonder what they'd have to say about Carrie White's dress.





 Oh, wait, I know!


I CAN SEE YOUR DIRTY PILLOWS!



::Mic Drop::

Friday, May 8, 2015

3 Book Deal!!!



OMG, you guys, I've been sitting on this good news so long I thought I was going to explode.

I am pleased to announce that thanks to my fabulous new agent, Nephele Tempest, I've signed a 3 book deal for my heavy metal romance series with Borough's Publishing Group!

Here's the blurb for the first book, for now titled, CHORDS OF DESIRE.

Kinley Black's dream comes true when an interview with her favorite band turns into an opportunity to become a roadie. She is determined to out-man the rest of the road crew who scorn her presence. But it's hard to be manly when the sight of the lead singer strikes chords of desire within her.

Quinn Mayne, lead singer of VishÓ§us, is furious when the road manager hires a woman to haul their gear. Taking such a beauty on the road is like dangling meat over a pack of feral hounds. However, threat of a discrimination lawsuit leaves him no choice. Despite his reluctance, he can't help being impressed by his new roadie's determination any more than he can suppress his urge to protect her... or his craving for her lush lips.

Combating the advances and animosity of her coworkers, Kinley's talent and skill earns the band's regard... and more heated glances from Quinn. When she is promoted to guitar tech, one roadie's resentment grows until he goes to deadly lengths to stop her. As her foray into the male dominated world of heavy metal deepens, Kinley learns that she has to do more than protect her heart, she has to protect her life.


I am so excited!!! Stay tuned for release date news and cover reveal!! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

AXES OF EVIL II is out!!!



Sorry guys, I've been MIA for the last month. Between my blog tour for BITE AT FIRST SIGHT, frantically writing my next book and getting things in order for more awesome news that I can't wait to announce, I didn't get around to blogging.

Anyway, apparently while I was in Vegas, the long awaited heavy metal horror anthology released: AXES OF EVIL II: RISE OF THE METAL GODS.

Edited by the awesome Alex Johnson and with incredible cover art by Stephen Cooney which pays tribute to IRON MAIDEN's "Killers" album cover, it is a plethora of tales that combine two of my loves: Heavy Metal and Horror.

Here's the table of contents:

1. Living After Midnight by Morgan Sylvia
2. Metallifer and Lucifer by Magenta Nero
3. Everybody Needs at Least One Demon by Neko A. Lilly
4. All the Hellish Cruelties of Heaven by Paula D. Ashe
5. Violent Angel by Thomas Roche
6. Firebrand by Valentina Lovecraft
7. A Butterfly for Havoc by Dani Raschel Jimenez
8. Rise of Axlotl and Fangus Khan by Deb Hoag
9. Witchbone by Greg McWhorter
10. Tesemini by Brooklyn Ann
11. Children of the Damned by Michael Fisher
12. Summoning by Jim Goforth
13. Groupie by Mimi A. Williams
14. Metal Magic by Aghori Shaivite
15. Until the Sandman Sleeps by April Hawks
16. The Swan Song by Stuart Keane
17. Soon Be Dead by Mary Genevieve Fortier

And do you see who's number 10?

That's right!

ME!!!

My short story, "Tesemini" (Salish for "Lake of Spirits"), which is sorta a prequel to my "Brides of Prophecy" series, is about a teenage garage band without a garage. So instead they rent a haunted church. Spooky fun ensues.

This is the actual church that inspired my story.


I am so honored that my story was accepted and I was included among so many talented authors.

I do plan on releasing "Tesemini" on its own as a free ebook, but that probably won't be until Summer.

In the meantime, I highly recommend you check out the anthology!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

BITE AT FIRST SIGHT BOOK SIGNING TOMORROW!!!




I will be signing copies of my newest release, BITE AT FIRST SIGHT tomorrow, (April 17th) at the Coeur d'Alene Hastings (101 E. Best Ave) from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM

If you're in the Spokane/ Coeur d'Alene area, I'd love for you to come see me!!

I will have bookmarks, tea, and red velvet, white chocolate chip cookies, and of course, BOOKS!

And yes, I will be wearing my top hat!

Here's the blurb:

Her interest is purely scientific
Cassandra Burton wants to study medicine, surgery, healing, and everything related to the human body and its mysteries-and she's willing to rob graves to do it! But a lady can meet dark and dangerous characters lurking around the cemetery. And who could be more fascinating than Rafael Villar, Lord Vampire of London? If she could study his physiology, she could learn so much that would help humans. After all, he's immortal-and Cassandra is now his prisoner...
Until she gets close enough to touch
As if Rafael didn't have enough to worry about, with a rebellion brewing and his allies out of reach, now he's confronted by a beautiful, fearless lady who wants to heal the scars he's born for centuries. He can't keep her, and he can't let her go, and worst of all, he's every bit as intrigued by her as she is by him.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

TNEE Recap Part 3: Stranded in La Grande



After four nights in Vegas, I was more than ready to get back to Reno and have a good rest before picking up the car and heading home.

On the seven hour drive, I got some pictures of some scenery I missed.

Back in Reno, my sweetie's dad was away on business but we had fun hanging out with his step-mom, who convinced his dad to give him his grandma's banjo. Apparently she was like a rock star in the 20's. It was awesome!



Of course the car was late getting finished the next morning, but we still were on track to get home by 2am Tuesday... until the car broke down in La Grande, Oregon, 5 hours from home.

...And I had a virtual release party planned for BITE AT FIRST SIGHT the next afternoon.


It was irony at its best. Right after getting front end work done on the car, the rear blew up. Thankfully we broke down right by a hotel... with an internet connection.

Too exhausted to do anything, we checked into the hotel and called all the nearby parts stores first thing in the morning.

The thing about having an old car and trying to get parts is that it can take awhile. We were told by all that it would take until the next day. It was a good thing my sweetie had just gotten paid from one of his jobs and was able to get the room for another night because, thanks to the Planet Hollywood overcharging my account by $465, I only had 45 bucks to my name.

But there was nothing to be done about it. We went and picked up some lunch at a wonderful cafe, picked up some hard cider and my sweetie dealt with the car while I first fought with the hotel. (The Planet Hollywood, NOT The La Grande Inn.) I had to bring my bank in on a three-way conversation before I got anywhere. I got a little over half of my money back. 

Then I celebrated my book release. 

                                     

Despite being stranded, I actually had a nice time. The party was fun, I got to interact with a ton of readers and authors I adore, AND reviews for BITE AT FIRST SIGHT were popping up everywhere, casting a cheerful glow on my troubles.

Another cool thing about La Grande was that it had a Trolley! I forgot to get a picture, but here's one from google images.




The next day as we got the parts, we discovered that we needed tools we didn't have to do the repair (But at least we HAD tools. Always have tools when you have an old car). So we had to take it to the shop... as we're both mechanics, this was a blow to our pride.
The shop then discovered that we were given the WRONG parts. That meant another day of waiting... and fighting with the Planet Hollywood to get the rest of my money back. But at least I had some of it and was able to reserve the room for another night.

We had dinner at this fantastic barbecue restaurant. 17 bucks got us brisket, tri-tip, ribs, mashed red potatoes, cheesy cauliflower-broccoli bake, and cornbread. And it was delicious. 
We walked back to the hotel and got a friendly wave and smile from the local sheriff (With constant sights of my boyfriend walking to the parts store and auto repair shop and the jacked up car in the hotel parking lot, I figure he knew our situation). Really, everyone in that town was super-nice. If you end up stranded, let it be somewhere like La Grande.

We cuddled and watched Con-Air before going to bed.

The car was ready the next morning right at check-out time and we were finally on the road home. My boyfriend even got to pump his own gas in Oregon, because with his car's antique filler hose, the attendant decided it "would be best that way."

There aren't many interesting sights on the drive from there to Coeur d'Alene, but we did see these nifty rock formations.




Then a whole lotta nothing.

By the time we reached Spokane, we joked about how we never imagined we'd be so happy to see it. (It's a rival town thing).




Another bit of local humor are two signs you pass on the way home. First is "Now Leaving Apple Maggot Quarantine Zone" followed by the beloved, "Welcome to Idaho!"






After this crazy trip, I am eternally grateful to all of my friends and family, in person as well as online. Your supportive comments and words of encouragement lightened my stress.

And I cannot thank my boyfriend enough. Yet again, if he hadn't been with me, I would have been royally screwed. And his attitude about the whole thing was calm and optimistic. He didn't yell or freak out, which in turn made me not freak out. He helped turn a series of calamities into a romantic vacation. And THAT is why BITE AT FIRST SIGHT is dedicated to him.

One reader is completely right. I need to get him a good present. I'm going to start with a new blower motor for his car so the heater will work... and then I have some other, more fun ideas.

So, that was how I spent the week of my third book release. I don't think I want to travel again for awhile.

Check out  PART ONE and PART TWO

Monday, April 13, 2015

TNEE Recap Part 2: Viva Las Vegas

Check out PART ONE

After our long drive and side trip in Reno, we made it to Vegas. The lights are so bright you can see them on the horizon long before the city comes into view.



Driving in was scary as hell as I encountered the infamous "Spaghetti-bowl" for the first time. As I saw an ambulance rush to a wrecked car, I was grateful that my boyfriend was driving.
We arrived at the Planet Hollywood late at night and exhausted. And that's where the trouble started. The valet was terrible and tried to tell us that we'd have to park and then haul our bags all the way through the parking garage, then the shops, then through the casino to get to our room. We got that part sorted out. And the front desk lady practically called me old when I checked us in.

"You look so YOUNG here!" she said, pointing at my driver's license. "How long ago was this taken?" I wanted to slap her. After a 15 hour drive, followed by a seven hour drive, of course I looked haggard.

The bellhop was nice, though.

Finally we checked into our room. I will say that the bed was comfy and the giant bathtub was nice. After a rant and a hard cider I had a nice long soak and some romantic time with my sweetie before having a much needed rest.

The next day just had panels, which I didn't sign up for because there was no guarantee I'd make it there Wednesday. Still, I figured that like most hotels I'd been to for conventions there'd be a lobby or common area for authors and readers to hang out. Another bummer was that I'd forgotten my top hat in the other car.

Not this one. They wanted to lure you into the Casino and shops. I had no problem hanging out in the casino since I could smoke in there, but I never encountered any other convention attendees there. All the other organized get-togethers were for Vegas shows and attractions that I had no desire to see. I can't handle crowds and loud noises. So aside from on Facebook and registration, where I got my badge and schedule, I didn't encounter anyone until the VIP signing on Friday.

Thankfully I had my boyfriend/assistant with me and I was able to implement plan B. He ended up showing me the fun local sites of Vegas. I had THE BEST chicken-fried steak I'd ever eaten at a little diner called "The Blue Skillet" and then he took me to Lovett's, a hidden place that sold frozen custard. Yum!

Then he took me to the Calico Basin to see some gorgeous rock formations and do a teeny bit of climbing before I took him out to Pasta Mia for his birthday dinner. It was decadent.



These are called "Indian Marbles" The wind carves them from the rocks.




On Friday, my fantastic man found a costume shop and got me a top hat! He's a miracle, I tell you. After picking up the hat, I went for a swim in the pool... which was only 3 feet deep and open until 5... in VEGAS. Still, I had a nice swim before it was time to meet up with the wonderful Rissa Watkins. She came all the way to Vegas just to see me, so I totally wanted to take her out to lunch.

We went to Bubba Gump Shrimp and although it was spendy, it was AMAZING! I wish we had one in my area. Then it was time for the VIP signing.

My magnificent assistant pretty much shooed me aside while he set up my table with books and swag. I sold a few books and finally got acquainted with some readers, bloggers, and fellow authors. Sahara Kelley and Connie Suttle were at the tables next to me.



Shortly after that, authors Amy Jarecki, Kathryn Le Veque, Dan Willis, and I hosted a wine and appetizers gathering with some readers. We had a delightful time and I gave them all signed copies of my newest book, BITE AT FIRST SIGHT.

The next morning was the signing. My poor assistant was run ragged running back and forth from our room to my table. We were almost late because the hotel put a bunch of extra charges on my card and we had to get that straightened out. (More on that later.)
The signing got a late start anyway because the hotel had changed our location and it took the readers awhile to find us. Still, we had a decent enough crowd and I almost sold out of my new release as well as sold a few of my other books. And everyone recognized me with my top hat. :D




I was stunned at how many readers knew me. Some digital readers even came to my table with print-outs of my covers for me to sign.

We also had a big raffle and a reviewer was very pleased to win a bag of books and my homemade huckleberry jam!




After the signing, we took off because there was no way in hell I was spending another night in that hotel.

My sweetie finally tracked down his friends so we had dinner with one of them and then went to another's house. There were a couple other guys there and as we were having beers and chatting, one of them served up bowls of exquisite sauteed shrimp. Then he served us a rack of lamb. Seriously, I wanted to kidnap that guy. He was an amazing cook.

After that my sweetie and his friend jammed out on the huge collection of guitars in the living room. Then with a pleasant buzz I was happy to check into the La Quinta, who not only didn't rob me, they also had a fridge, microwave, AND coffeepot.

But right after we checked in, another of his friends called to see if we wanted to meet up for pizza and beers.

And did I mention that his friend is now the lead guitarist for the band, HELL YEAH?

So yeah, we got to party with rock stars. Though only in retrospect. At the time it was just catching up with an old friend.

Needless to say, we had a lot of fun, though I was a little hungover on our drive back to Reno. 

The adventure continues in PART 3

Friday, April 10, 2015

TNEE recap Part 1: The Road Trip

I'd say the popular yearbook quote from the 70's is fitting for this: WHAT A LONG, STRANGE TRIP IT'S BEEN.

I went to The Novel Experience Book Convention last week. I planned on bringing my boyfriend to act as my assistant since he used to Live in Vegas and could act as my sherpa through that crazy city. He also has much experience with trade shows and similar events and boy did that pay off.

The adventure began far before Vegas, though. Because I couldn't afford two plane tickets, we decided to drive. Alas, the car we'd planned on taking had a computer issue that would cost big bucks to fix and he can't fit in my tiny car so we resorted to taking his 1963 Ford Falcon convertible. We would stop in Reno for the night to visit his dad who scheduled an appointment to get some dearly needed front work done on the car.

I was totally imagining driving through the Nevada heat with the top down. You can laugh now.




We took the scenic tour down highway '95 and it was gorgeous. However, between high winds, rain, and treacherous steep grades and passes, it was also kinda scary.

But we saw some beautiful sights:

This is us leaving Coeur d'Alene

The landscape changes a bit in the middle part of Idaho

Then goes back to trees nearing the south.
This was in some White Water rafting town. I still don't know what that skeleton originally belonged to.
We also passed through an area near Hell's Canyon with all these houses on giant hilltops, but I didn't get a picture. :(

Night fell by the time we left the Idaho border and dipped down into Oregon. By then, freezing cold wind was blowing INSIDE the car due to a leak in the firewall. His heater didn't work very well so by the time we got to Reno we were wrapped in blankets with teeth chattering.

His dad greeted us at 3AM and ordered us to go to bed.

In the morning his dad (a kind, brilliant, and amazing guy) took us out for breakfast and then took us on a tour of his wife's antique store. My sweetie ended up buying me this amazing vintage jacket that went PERFECT with a dress I had for the VIP signing.

I was also shocked to discover that Nevada didn't look like the landscape from the Roadrunner cartoons.

Then we got the sad news that the car would take a few days to be fixed. But then his dad decided to loan us his car to take to Vegas.

That was a much smoother, warmer trip. I got to see all sorts of crazy sights, starting with giant military bunkers and fields of buried missiles. Then there was this creepy lake that looked prehistoric. And then there was the infamous Clown Motel... that overlooks a $@%@ cemetery. Can we get any creepier?







Then we passed some brothels and area 51 before it got dark just in time for me to see the lights of Vegas on the horizon. 










(To be continued) PART TWO and PART THREE