Saturday, December 29, 2012

2012 Recap

January: I kept up with my blogging and plowed full steam ahead into Book 2 of my Regency Paranormal romance series. My critique partners, Bonnie R. Paulson and Shelley Martin are too be thanked for providing crucial feedback and motivation.

February: This month has been difficult for me since my mom passed away on Valentine's day of '09. However, I think I handled February of 2012 pretty well. I kept writing, kept blogging, and didn't overdo it on the drinking. I slept through the actual day and went back to writing.

March: As winter began to abate, life got easier as usual. I got to go to the movies for the first time in for-e-ver. Naturally, we went to see the HUNGER GAMES. LOVED IT! I got further on book 2 and began getting acquainted with my fellow Sourcebooks Casablanca authors. Awesome ladies!

April: I wore my fingers to the bone going for the final stretch in my novel...and I got to do the best thing ever for my writing productivity. I ditched my family to stay in a hotel room. I drank red bull and hard cider and chain smoked while writing non-stop for hours. I took a few breaks to swim in the 24 hour pool before returning to the world of my characters. I think some of the best scenes were accomplished that night.

May: W000t! I finished the rough draft of book 2, then I finished revising the first book in my urban fantasy series, THEN I started a new rock star romance novella. I also made the decision to go back to college and get my English degree because I was tired of being a janitor. In many ways it was a dream job. The solitude and ability to listen to music all shift was glorious. However, the low pay and other annoyances eventually wore on me. I also got to enjoy a good season of fishing and morel mushroom picking.

June: Ahh, sweet, glorious summer! I eased off a little on my workaholic frenzy and allowed myself to socialize and catch up on fishing.

July: This was a fun month. We kicked off with an awesome 4th of July BBQ. Our neighbor fell in the pond.

We also picked several gallons of huckleberries and I finished the rough draft of a rock star romance novella.
Best of all, I got to work on the developmental edits with the awesome Deb Werksman. She is wonderful to work with!

August: My husband went out of town for two weeks and I celebrated my 30th birthday. My party was awesome. I had live music!

While the husband was away, we were supposed to quit smoking. I wanted to kill everything....especially when my beloved cat, Isis, died--- on my birthday. Some good things were that the anger from quitting smoking totally killed my appetite so I lost like 15 pounds.

Also I got the cover for BITE ME, YOUR GRACE! And I was able to work a deal with a friend so I could use his house as office space two nights a week. I got my copyedits done in a week.

September: I started college as well as the third book in my regency paranormal romance series. OMG, I had no idea that I'd be so slammed. If it weren't for my weekly writing nights I wouldn't have made it. I quickly learned that "self defense" was not the best choice for a P.E. credit. I pulled my groin muscle the second week and had to use a cane for a few days. By the end of the month, I gave up on quitting smoking.

October: So slammed with school I practically missed Halloween. But I got a new cat. He belonged to the neighbors until they got a new puppy. Then he adopted me.

November: Still slammed with school....and page proofs.

December: I made it through the semester with 4 As a B and a C+. It was a joy to go on vacation and focus on my writing. Almost at the halfway mark in Book 3. I got my ARCs in and almost died from joy.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, all!

The view from Grandma's house

Merry Christmas, everyone! It's an extremely busy time for me. First we go to my paternal grandmother's tree farm on Christmas eve for dinner and celebrating. Then we go home and drink eggnog and watch A CHRISTMAS STORY. Once the kids are settled down and in bed we get ready for Santa.

On Christmas morning, we get up waaaaay earlier than I'd prefer and open presents. The kids make a huge mess and it's like pulling teeth to get them to clean up the wrapping paper and get ready for Christmas breakfast at my husband's parent's house. Then I put the turkey in the oven and we head out. My mother in law makes hashbrowns special for me. It's awesome. After breakfast we exchange gifts and then we head back home to get ready to go to my other grandma's house.

At grandma's house we get spoiled rotten with baked treats, pie, and my turkey. The recipe is here.

After all that's over, we go home and I collapse on the couch with some hard cider and refuse to do anything for the next 24 hrs.

It's exhausting, but so wonderful to spend time with my enormous family.

What's your Christmas tradition?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

WINNER of the ARC Giveaway!

The winner is...... LIZZIE ASHTON!

...and when I drew the name I realized something fun: The hero's last name is Ashton! Whoa.

Anyway, a huge congrats to Lizzie! Send me your postal info and I'll send you the book!

For the rest of you, thanks so much for entering and for your support. And be sure to stick around because there's going to be lots more chances to win once my blog tour kicks off.

Have a great Saturday! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

End of Semester Celebration... and ARC Giveaway!

Holy crap, my last blog post was in November? I knew was slammed with schoolwork, but damn. Anyway, I'll give you all a recap of my experiences and lessons from the semester later but now we have something more exciting. 

::deep breath::..........

MY ARCS are HERE!!!!!

After much celebrating and showing them off to friends and family, I had to figure out what to do with them....aside from staring in dazed shock. I only got 5. The rest are with reviewers....which has me excited and terrified.

My mother-in-law took one, husband insisted on another, and two went to dear, supportive friends.

The last will go to one winner who comments on this post before Friday at midnight. 

Big hugs to all of you!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Why I think dreams should have a comeback in fiction...and an extrapolation on dick jokes.

I WANT this chandelier!

This blog post was inspired by my last assignment in my literature class.

We're reading Medieval literature right now and finally the instructor gave us a break from the tragic and sometimes just plain boring and assigned us some fabilaux, which are short humor pieces. Two of which were delightfully bawdy.

Here's an example from "A WILD DREAM:" "...the woman launched into her tale, and like it or not, lay all of the details bare of her dream at the penis fair, how some were good and some were bad, and she bought the largest they had, by far more impressive than any, for fifty shillings and a penny."

Seriously, this story was about a woman who fell asleep angry after her husband got too drunk to put out and had a dream about going to a fair selling only dildos. Reading assignments like this are why I love college.

The homework was to answer the question as to if stuff like this is still humorous and why.

 I thought the story was self explanatory. But I still formulated an answer like a good student.:

"As a fan of bawdy comedy, I absolutely adored the phallic humor in the last two tales: 'A Wild Dream,' and 'The Ring That Controlled Erections.'

 I believe that there are indeed enduring elements of human behavior that will always be humorous and those stories are totally still funny today because it is a permanent aspect of human nature to laugh at ourselves. And one of the main ways we laugh at ourselves is through sexual humor. 
Face it, sex, and the parts involved, is quite strange and silly when you really think of it. And the two fabliaux, as well as "LYSISTRATA", prove that dick jokes will remain funny for the duration of human existence." 

Then we were supposed to ask a follow up question to our classmates as well as answer it. I decided this question should be posed to you all as well:

"Dreams are explored a lot in classic literature, but not so much in modern literature because many publishers see it as a cliche. Do you see this as a bad thing?

"I do. 

"Dreams are one of the greatest mysteries and equalizers of humanity. We all have them and none of us understand how or why. We can all empathize with when reading about nightmares and ludicrous adventures in the sleeping mind. I found "A Wild Dream" to be especially funny because I once had a similar dream. (Though I didn't hit my husband in my sleep.) I also once had a dream where I was helping my cats build nests so they could lay their eggs. Crazy dreams are an integral part of human nature and should remain a part of literature."

So, what do you think about dreams in modern fiction? Are they cliche or should they make a comeback?

...and if you're a fan of bawdy literature, I highly recommend LYSISTRATA. It is by far my favorite thing I've read in this class. Monty Python humor and dick jokes abound!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cover reveal for BITE ME, YOUR GRACE!

OMG OMG OMG, it's finally here! Isn't it lovely!

I adore the tumultuous sky and Gothic manor house in the background. I love how they look like they're trying to rip each other's clothes off. I love how the characters look like the characters! I love the guy's sexy long hair, Brad Pitt lips, and sweet man titty. Oh yes, we like sweet man titty around here.

April 1st, you guys! ...and in the meantime, BITE ME, YOUR GRACE is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Okay, I'm going to go back to squealing and jumping up and down. Have a great weekend, all!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 More Horror Movie Recommendations!

It's the Halloween season, which means I'm back with more movies recommendations. From scary to goofy, from classic to obscure, there should be something here to get you into the Halloween spirit.

1.) Vampire Party

I totally gotta thank the awesome Urban Fantasy author, Jess Haines, for turning me onto this hilarious French film. Chock full of corny humor, puns, and off-color shenanigans, I couldn't stop laughing. There were spoofs on spoofs!

2.) American Gothic

My husband introduced me to this one. A group of people wreck a plane on an island off the pacific northwest coast and encounter the only inhabitants: an old-school "Ma and Pa Kettle" couple and their three "kids." I gotta say, it's one of the most creepy and messed up movies I've ever seen. It's flat out WRONG on so many levels, but you can't look away....and then you can't stop traumatizing other people with it and recommending it on your blog.

The one who played "Ma" also played Lily Munster

3.) Gremlins 1 and 2

I chose these for something family-friendly. These movies epitomize the universal adage: "FOLLOW DIRECTIONS!"

I can't be the only one who thinks they're just as cute when you feed them after midnight.

.....okay, maybe not.

4.) Fright Night

What really made this movie awesome was its quirky characterization. Every member of the cast has their time to shine. For the most part, FRIGHT NIGHT is lighthearted and full of laughs... except for the scene with the wolf. Completely mind-blowing in its incredible display of emotion and special effects, it REALLY makes this one epic.

Best line ever: "Honey, are you okay? Do you want a Valium?"

5.) 1408

Holy mind-f*ck, Batman. Watching 1408 almost makes you feel like you're on drugs. With a deceptively calm beginning, the film soothes you into a false sense of security before accelerating the crazy-sauce to an almost unbearable adrenaline rush.

Best line: "Do you drink, Mr. Enslin?" "Of course, I'm a writer."

6.) Retardead

Yeah, not exactly a "P.C." title, but if you like Craptastic horror movies, you'll love this one. It's the sequel to "Monsturd." The evil scientist who created the poop monster now unleashes his next evil plan: to turn special needs people into an army of supergeniuses to help him take over the world. Unfortunately, his experiment has some horrifying side effects.

The only movie with homemade special effects so gruesome, I actually gagged...then applauded.

7.) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Remakes are usually a tough sell for me, but I totally love this one more than the original. For one, it stays fairly true to the original. For another, they actually gave the heroine a brain and didn't have her obnoxiously screaming the whole time, which was the main reason I didn't love the 1974 version.

8.) Creepshow

Okay, this is more like a bunch of mini-films, but they're all a lot of fun. Sai King's cameo is one of my faves. "Meteor shit!" LOL.

Another favorite line: "I waaaant my birthday caaaaaake!"

9.) When the Bough Breaks

Sometimes when you randomly rent a movie, you are pleasantly surprised. This one is another "holy hell, that's disturbing!" kinda flicks. I'm not usually a fan of serial killer movies, but this one's intriguing and twisted enough to keep my attention.

Severed hands and ice cream trucks....yeah.

10.) IT

Okay, the book is waaaaaaaay better, but the movie has its good points,Tim Curry being one of the biggest ones. Either way, the premise of a group of misfits finding true friendship and defeating a monster has got to be one of the best stories ever.

We all float down here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Success Story: SHELLEY MARTIN!

Hi Brook, I’m so glad to be here!  As you know getting published in the traditional manner is getting more difficult day by day.  I really started getting serious about being published when I finished my first manuscript, around four years ago.

I stalked the internet, applying all the tricks I could find on how to write a query and synopsis.  I rewrote my manuscript over and over until I thought it was perfect, then I sent out the queries.  And then it happened.  Rejection.  The big no’s kept coming and I wasn’t getting anywhere fast.  After a year I realized I must be doing something wrong so I joined a local writer’s group, the Idaho Writer’s League.

IWL gave me the confidence and encouragement I needed to push on.  When their state competition came up I entered several categories.  I wrote Wingless first, but the editor I hired to help had some very painfully honest words for me about it.  Then I wrote Gargoyle, which won me an award.   Wingless and my other manuscript got above average scores, but were barely noticed. 

I began sending out queries for Gargoyle, but still, no one would bite.  Eventually I asked one of my author friends what her publisher wanted.  She said novellas. So I picked up Wingless, worked it into a novella and submitted it.

For the first time I got a request.  And then another, and another.  After careful consideration I decided to go with Pink Petal Books.  They were highly recommended on Predators and Editors, and I know I made the right choice!  What a fun and supportive team.

Wingless was released on August 2nd, and Gargoyle will be released Nov. 1st. Spirit Tracks, a free short will be available to anyone who requests to receive Pink Petal Books newsletter, and will be released to amazon a month after that, still free for a limited time.  Already other projects are in the works. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sorry I've been absent

Yeah, it's been awhile since my last post. Between quitting smoking (been slipping with that, but not quite giving up), going back to college, and working on my books, it has been a challenge to keep up with my networking. I am now in the process of restructuring my schedule and reorganizing my time management. Whew!

On the bright side, at least I AM getting some writing done. So I shall have to update those progress bars soon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Progress report on quitting smoking.

Insanity like this deserves an insane meme. And damn, I want that cigarette.

Seriously guys, I think I hate this more than when my wisdom teeth came in and nearly crushed my skull. I think I even hate it more than being pregnant. This has got to be the hardest thing I've faced in my entire life. Naturally, I've suffered many setbacks and pitfalls and learned a few things.

A.) Quitting smoking is worse for people who suffer anxiety disorders...because face it, one of the main side effects of quitting IS anxiety.

B.) Holy crap, addiction is painful and your brain is one deceitful son of a bitch, always trying to trick you into falling back into old habits.

C.) Drinking makes me want to smoke, so I've had to dramatically cut back on drinking. This is probably good for me, but damn I don't get to have any fun.

D.) This struggle has really screwed with my mind and emotions, so I'm going to refrain from making any rash decisions until I'm myself again... Please, God, let that happen.

So, without further ado, I give you my 11 day progress report, written in journal form. I also realized I was PMS-ing during the 1st week. Yay. Couple that with my cat dying and you get the worst summer vacation ever.

Smoking Progress report

Day 1.) Still hung over from my 30th birthday bash so I didn’t even want to smoke for half the day. When the cravings sank in, I did my best to occupy myself with a jig-saw puzzle and cinnamon gum. I HATE gum. Tried to get an electronic cigarette but all the stores were closed. Ended up cheating and having 5 cigarettes. Still, when comparing that to my usual 20 +, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Day 2.) Got my electronic cigarette and only had two real cigarettes. Still, spent most of the day sitting around like a shell-shock victim unable to focus on anything but the torturous cravings for a real smoke.

Day 3.)  Puffing on the e-cig like a mad thing and actually getting a bit of writing done. Almost made it 24 hours without a smoke and beginning to feel optimistic….then I found out my cat died. Totally bought a 6-pack of hard cider and a pack of cigarettes. I think I smoked like 10.

Day 4.) Remembering my friend saying if it’s not that, it’ll be something else to make me relapse. So gonna prove him wrong. Back to not smoking. Hating life. Devastated about my cat. Forced some more writing. Tried my friend’s homemade cherry wine. Really liked it, but drinking makes me want to smoke. I smoked 3.

Day 5.) Damn, everyone in the neighborhood smokes! Locked myself up in the house until I was half crazy but did get a fair amount of writing done.  Begged one of my only non-smoking friends to hang out over there. Went to the Idaho Writer’s league book fair. (My first out in public appearance since quitting) I made it an hour before a panic attack began to threaten. Hung out with my friend and didn’t think about smoking the whole time…. But I smoked 2 when I got home. Ranted to Shelley Martin and felt better.

Day 6.) Went shopping and didn’t think about smoking for most of the time. Got enough writing in to feel proud of myself. Hung out with friend again and was even more distracted from smoking. Thank you, friend for providing the distraction and putting up with my craziness. But…smoked 2…again… when I got home. Ranted again to Shelley Martin and felt even better.

Day 7.) Tested myself by hanging out with one of my smoking neighbors. It went pretty well until the religious solicitors came by. No, I do not want to punch this well meaning little old man in the face…wait… yes, I do. I better go. Crushed my Red Bull can in my fist and walked away. Blared Mercyful Fate loud enough for the whole block to hear so they knew not to knock on my door. Got some dishes done and a bit of writing. Friend stopped by to check on me. Had some insane writer’s block and decided to loosen it up with a few drinks. It helped, but then I wanted to smoke. Another neighbor gave me a couple cigarettes too.   

Day 8.) Had to drive to Spokane to pick my husband up from the bus station in 101 degrees. I HATE driving in Spokane. Husband was supposed to be quitting but was smoking when I picked him up. I was pissed and tempted, but only took a drag of his. Had a little hang-out reunion with neighbors and friends. Only took a couple drags of his smokes until I had a beer and stole one. Made it last, smoked it in halves. We also split his last one.

Day 9.) Had to go to the college and pick up my textbooks for the semester. Aggravating, but made it without smoking. Looked at my bank balance and felt even better when I realized we would have been screwed if I hadn’t quit. Had a pickle-making party with husband and friend. Doing great until I had more of that cherry wine and decided to visit neighbors. Smoked 2 cigarettes.

Day 10.) Stepdaughters back home along with my son. Full house is making me want to scream. Writing not going well. But still holding strong on the not smoking. Had an hours-long panic attack. Then the full body aches sank in. I’d heard of those but hoped they were myth. Took son to hang out with friends. They played video games and I got a bit of writing done. I wanted a drink, but didn’t because drinking makes me want to smoke. Felt better. Went home and straight to bed. Another panic attack set in along with worse body aches. Felt like coming down off of acid that was cut with too much strychnine. Was awake nearly all night.

Day 11.) 36 hours without a cigarette. Still aching and wanting to crawl out of my skin, but if I’ve made it this long, I can do it longer. Today’s plan is to make pot roast, clean the kitchen, and finish up my launch materials for book 2.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Memorial Post: ISIS, A.K.A, "My Preciousssss..." 11-?-2005 - 8-?-2012

When I was very young, I saw "LADY AND THE TRAMP" for the first time and fell in love with the Siamese cats. Shortly after I declared: "When I grow up, I'm going to get a Siamese cat and name her Isis. She will wear a jewel studded collar and eat out of a crystal dish and I will love her and spoil her rotten."

And so I did. The "crystal" dish didn't last long thanks to the kids, and the jeweled collar made her itch, but Isis was indeed loved and spoiled rotten. I'd hold her and pet her and croon "my precioussssss." We couldn't watch LORD OF THE RINGS without her tripping out, thinking the TV was talking to her. :)

Yeah...steak and lobster spoiled.
When I got Isis, she was small enough to fit in my purse...which she often rode around in until she was big enough to perch on my shoulder. Unlike all previous cats I'd brought home, Isis didn't hide under the bed for three days. Instead she strode right up to the dog (who was like 20 times her size at the time) and started growling. Then she pounced on him....then they were wrestling...and then he belonged to her, heart and soul.

Isis LOVED her dog.

Like most Siamese cats, Isis was very territorial and protective. She used to guard us and our property with extreme vigilance. For a long time she'd watch me bathe and try to grab me when I ducked under to wash my hair because she thought I was drowning. She chased the deer out of our garden and often attacked them. The neighbors would laugh at the sight of her perched on a doe's back, biting and clawing it like a miniature lioness. I wish we had pictures or videos of that.

She also watched over me when I was sick...along with her consort, Isuzu.

Isis was completely fearless. She was a master huntress. One time, she even took down a crow. If she wanted something, she was pretty good about getting it, whether it was a few licks of my ice cream cone to half of my string cheese. She would perch wherever she wanted.

In the cupboard...

On my back...

On my brother...

And blocking my computer if I ignored her too long.

Last week my husband was out of town. Isis went missing, but it wasn't unusual since she stays out for days in the summer, especially when she's mad at us. I figured either she was angry at my husband for being absent or she'd gotten trapped in my neighbor's shed again.

Two days after my birthday... (and quitting smoking), my neighbor approached me and asked if I was missing a cat. My heart rose with hope because usually after he asks that, he says he got dive-bombed after opening his shed.

"You found her?" I asked.

He nodded sadly. "She's dead."

Sure enough, there she was on his property. It looked like she'd been dead a few days. Maybe it happened on my birthday. She was too far away from the road for it to have been a car, and she wasn't bloody and mangled, so it wasn't the psycho killer dog next door. My other neighbor said he's been watching her chase deer just the other night, so I'm thinking she tangled with the wrong one.

I like what one of my friends said: "She must have been one balls to the wall cat to have burned up her nine lives so quickly."

Indeed she was. Goodbye, Isis, the most bad ass cat I've ever known. You will be missed and never forgotten.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

6 reasons why I'm quitting smoking, damn it.

...And yes, that "damn it" was supposed to be ambiguous. That was a "damn it" of determination as well as agony in anticipation of the suffering I shall endure.

I started smoking for the dumbest reason ever: To kill time waiting for the school bus. Some golfer had dropped a pack on the ground at my bus stop and there was my damnation. That was 16 years ago and I've been smoking a pack a day (2 packs when I'm drinking) since.

Why I decided to Quit:
  • My youth: Okay, I admit it. A big part of me subscribes to stupid stereotypes about youthful looks and feminine beauty. It really sucks that women get "older" while men get hotter. Though society brainwashing aside, I must admit that my complexion and teeth will likely improve with abandoning tobacco. 

  •  My Health: Yeah, there's all the PSA's and blah blah blah lung cancer, blah blah emphysema etc. But in the throes of addiction you don't really think about it. Hell, as I'm craving a cigarette right now, I'm not thinking much about it. But I am thinking about how in the last decade I've been getting colds easier and taking longer to bounce back from them. I'm thinking about the times I cough and wheeze like an 88 year old man at the worst moments. I'm thinking I don't want that anymore. I'm also realizing that I have a career I worked my ass off to achieve as well as a family I want to be there for.

  • Money: Yeah, all the non-smokers rant about this being an obvious point, but as we smokers watch them spend five bucks or more a day on fancy coffee, gum, candy bars, etc, we don't see much difference.... Until the income level becomes really tight AND one has smoked since a time when cigarettes were waaaay cheaper. It was like $1.75 for a pack of name brands 16 years ago. Now I have to shell out $4.00 for one of the cheapest brands. On a tight budget this is quickly becoming unacceptable.  

  • Scorn for my weakness and will power. Really, I feel like the weakest, most pathetic person in the world for being such a slave to something so stupid. For needing something so bad. Needing something that's slowly killing me.

  • Those obnoxious non-smoking situations. Movies, some bars, writing gatherings, you name it. It really sucks to miss an important part of something because you have to step out for your fix. I'm going back to college in a couple weeks and they've turned the place into a tobacco free campus. For the most part I think that's an abusive intrusion on people's rights. My last time there, we smokers had to stay 20 feet away from the entrance to any building and away from any shelter in the freezing cold and pouring rain. Apparently that wasn't good enough for the precious non-smokers. Now if you want so much as a drag, you need to leave campus, which means you won't make it back in time for your next class and thus you'll fail and never get a degree. a new non-smoker, I kinda get it. I haven't seen my brother in a long time, but today... because he had a cigarette, I told him to get the hell away from me before I tackled him like when we were kids and snatched that sweet cancer stick from his fingers.

  • My singing: Yeah, even when I was a first Soprano in high school choir, I was no Sarah Brightman. And childbirth, age, and smoking have deepened my voice and I'm still no Bruce Dickinson. But there are times when I can sing something and I can feel that I nailed it...and then the damn cigarettes make my voice crack...or worse, I cough. I'll never be a superstar, but damn it, I LIKE to sing.

  • The Cute Guy/ A.K.A. The Oh, damn, I smell factor: Don't worry, I adore my hot husband (who is quitting too but out of town so we don't kill or enable each other) and I'm a good girl, but hey, I'm sure we've all encountered "the cute guy" and wondered how he kisses. But, even if I wasn't married, the cute guy is a non-smoker (I think all of them are) and likely wouldn't want to taste ashtray breath. That thought got me thinking: during the times I was single, how many guys have I lost a shot at because of my smoking? Again, the non-smokers may see this as a giant "DUH" but A.) I've only dated other smokers and B.) You miss details like this in the throes of addiction.     

So there you have it, all my reasons from the serious to the ridiculous. I hope one or more are enough. In the next couple days I'll post an update of my progress. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Book one is soon approaching copy edits. Book 2 is with my beta readers. I have just begun book 3 and I am scared sh*tless.... but also really excited. The hero is introduced in book one and I got to know him better in book 2. He is very, very damaged. Seriously, I haven't worked with a hero this damaged EVER.

I got chapter one finished with relative ease, and let me tell you, it really begins with a bang. But now the worries seep in. Can I live up to such a big promise? Can I convincingly redeem this hero? Can I give him a HEA worthy of his suffering? Can I keep the reader turning the pages?

I think of many books I'd anticipated that did not live up to my expectations...and I pray this will not be one of them.

However, despite my trepidation, I truly AM excited about this book and thrilled to be writing again. I love editing, but I miss the magic of creating a new world and story.       

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Updates and Rambles

For being on vacation, I've been hella busy. In fact, I'm actually on my way to help out at the bookstore and I just woke up, so this post will be a mish-mash of rambling thoughts and news.

1.) Huckleberries are awesome. I've been up in the mountains with my man and friends picking them by the gallon. Sold a few, made some money, and made milkshakes.

2.) People in Hollywood do not understand how lady parts work. This randomly popped in my head when I was trying to sleep. I'll give 2 movies as an example.

WAITING:  The movie was hilarious, but near the end one of the female characters drops her pants to reveal what looked like a toupee glued to her crotch and really fake squares of toilet paper stuck to the top... nowhere near where toilet paper would be used.

LOST HIGHWAY: Some cop says: "That guy gets more p*ssy than a toilet seat." Um... maybe a toilet seat for really drunk, clumsy women.

3.) Why can't the world just f*ck off when I'm trying to write. Seriously, I just started book 3 in my historical paranormal romance series and I keep getting interrupted. People are lucky I'm not violent.

4.) Gardening seems to be more of a man thing these days. Seriously, we rent out gardens every season and all the renters are men. They do a damn good job, too. My husband does all the gardening for us because I have a brown thumb.

5.) Holy Crap, I'm turning 30 in a few days.

6.) Double Crap, I'm quitting smoking when I turn 30

7.) OMG, I'm going back to college in a few weeks!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My experience working with an editor.

This weekend I've been working with my editor on BITE ME, YOUR GRACE. On Sunday, she called me around midnight her time.

I'm all, "Wow, you're up late!"
She replies, "Well, I'm reading the most awesome book."
I'm about to say, "Oh yeah, I totally know how that is..." Then I discovered that she was talking about MY BOOK!

WOW, working with a professional editor is AMAZING! At first I was petrified at the intimidating prospect of one of the top romance editors in the country scrutinizing my work. I thought she was going to hate it. But she didn't. In fact, it was almost like talking with my critique partners. She had genius suggestions to make the book its very best. And when I disagreed with something, she didn't get grumpy. Instead we brainstormed together until we came upon a solution we both liked. And it was AWESOME!

I cannot believe how incredible it is to have a professional in the industry who loves my book, believes in it, and is on my side to help me make it shine.

Time zone differences can be tricky, though. :)

Anyway, I can't wait to meet her in person and give her a big hug!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Why I've been neglecting you all.

As you can see, I haven't been blogging for awhile. Aside from the usual summer fun, I've completed the first draft of my rock star romance novella, finished the first revision of my 2nd regency paranormal romance, and... just this weekend... went through the first round of revisions with my awesome editor for BITE ME, YOUR GRACE!

Also, I've been helping out at the local bookstore and enjoying a brief vacation that I can't really afford...but really need before I go back to college this fall.

AND, I've been helping out my awesome critique partners, Shelley Martin and Bonnie R. Paulson with their upcoming releases.

WINGLESS by Shelley Martin comes out August 2nd:

Cover art by Valerie Tibbs:
And Bonnie's second installment of her apocalyptic thriller series is out right now!

It has been an exciting month! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Onion Twist Bread!

In a mixing bowl, mix a package of dry active yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and let sit for ten minutes.

Then, Stir in 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup hot water, 1/2 cup milk, a beaten egg, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. After that, mix in 2 more cups flour.

On a floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough. My husband's huge hands were useful for this part. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for about an hour in warm place.

Now make the filling. Mince about a 1 1/4 cup onions and 2 tbs garlic and cook in 1/4 cup of butter until clear but not brown. Mix in 1 tbs poppy seeds, 1 tbs sesame seeds, and 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika and set aside.

After the dough has risen (it didn't seem like it did much for me) beat the living crap out of it. Punch it! Punch it hard!!!

 Roll the dough into the closest thing resembling a rectangle and then slice it lengthwise into 3rds.

Spread the filling along the the centers of the three pieces.

Roll the pieces up, doing your best to seal the seams. Then place the pieces diagonally on a greased pan. Starting in the middle, braid the pieces by tucking the left piece under the center and then the right UNDER the new center. Press the ends together. On the other end, bring the outside strips alternately OVER the center strip and press ends together.

Isn't it pretty? But you can't cook it yet. First you have to cover it and let it rise again for another hour. Then bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Butter it and coat with Parmesan and poppy seeds. This is not only yummy, it helps disguise your bad braiding job. :) 

Bake another ten minutes and then make a feeble attempt to allow it to cool before you eat it. As you can see, mine split open a bit, but it tasted awesome!