Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First event!!

I've managed to stay pretty hermity in the writing world, never meeting anyone face to face and doing all my business online for years now.

It all changes Friday.

Yup, I am headed to Cincinnati to stay in a lovely hotel and meet people like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lori Foster, Jill Shavis, Wendi Zwaduk...

The list is insanely long as to who all will be there.

And ME!!

I plan on going completely fangirl for two days straight. Maybe I will remember to give out a couple business cards but this trip should be a blast. Glancing over the event list has me dancing in happiness. To prepare...I had my rainbow colors put back in.

*fluffs hair*

Feeling more spunky already.

I'm bringing along cover art magnets of all my upcoming/current releases so if you want a magnet, catch up with me at the event. I'm happy to give you one, while they last.

Okay, pics and such to follow. Probably not till I come home but...

Off to visit Lori Foster!

Happy Writing!

Proper care and feeding techniques

Yesterday, the amazing Amazon Goddess, Saranna DeWylde (author of books like Desperate Housewives of Olympus and Lust and Other Drugs) made a facebook post about the proper care and feeding of your author.

This inspired a list.

How to Take Care of your Author

5. Don't interrupt the process.

If I could, I would put this in neon, bleeping, flashing and otherwise screaming the words. The process is sometimes not the neatest thing in the world. Ray Bradbury sat in his swivel chair and twirled back and forth...gaze wandering over the flotsam he collected until--kapow!--inspiration hit and he would start with the clickety clacking. Some authors clear their heads by playing Words With Friends. Some wonder aimlessly through facebook pictures until...POW! hits. Shirley Jackson was walking her baby (something one did back in her day) when the stroller wheel caught a rock, throwing it up and pegging the baby in the head. She finished her walk, just watching that trickle of blood on her kids head...went home and wrote the Lottery in one sitting.

The process is strange and it has been described more as finding a story than creating one. It only takes the connection of seemingly not connected things in a writers brain (for me, it was once bacon soap, werewolves and sex) to make that little shift in reality to where stories are born.

So, if you see your author staring into space, staring at YouTube videos, poking their pasta with a fork...this doesn't mean start talking. They probably aren't there, even though the lights are on. No one is home. They are ass deep in a swamp, machete in hand, looking for a relic. So shut up.

4. Respect the work.

The key word in that sentence is work. This one kind of ties into number 5, but stay with me. If the laptop is open and your author's fingers are flying across the keyboard, don't walk up and start asking them what they want for dinner.

Chances are good, they don't care about dinner. They are still looking for that damn relic and you just made them lose the thread of thought that it took them all morning to catch and now that it is gone...they hate you a little. Unlike reading a book or watching a movie, writing a book doesn't have a handy pause button or ability to just wait for you to pick back up again. Thread gone, author staring at the page with no fucking clue what they were going to type next. They now have to reread the past five chapters, try to find the characters and the thread again and...yeah, I mentioned they hate you a little?

You are better off bringing whatever you think they might eat and leaving it silently next to the desk and creeping away. My kiddos are kind creatures and when I am in THE ZONE, they will quietly supply coffee and if I go a day without eating...they stick food near me.

I once wrote a 90k book in about a week. There really wasn't anything else I did but write that book that week. I didn't really shower...or brush my teeth...or sleep...

I ate when I remembered to and if there was food nearby. The kids kept me in coffee. They like my writing because it means that although there might be a week like that when I am Out Of It and in THE ZONE, I am home with them the rest of the time and more than happy to spend hours shooting things on their video games or looking through magazines or traveling around to where ever they want to go.

The price is that when a story grabs Mommy by the ass, she is GONE till it lets her go. Most of the time this doesn't happen and I write like everyone else (3-7k a day in the morning) and it is just a day job. But the good stories just come out like vomit...

So as an author, respect the process and let it happen. As a person who loves an author, understand that sometimes they are there...other times, they aren't.

3. Offer inspiration.

My best friend ROCKS at this. She takes me on adventures that I wouldn't dream of having. She finds new foods, new places, new people to feed her author pal and I soak them in...later regurgitating them into stories. College is excellent fodder for the writerly brain. Soaking in life is excellent inspiration, too. Don't be afraid to try new things, to go new never know what your rock of inspiration might be.

2. Don't be surprised when your author knows all about tobacco enemas but can't remember someone you introduced them to last week.

I am TERRIBLE about this. I know some really trivial information and can spew it, at length, at the slightest trigger. I don't remember people FOR SHIT. I have to really get to know them before their name stays with me. Even then, I can lose it. It isn't that I don't like people...I just can't tell them apart. I do the same thing with my characters. I can tell you the whole story line in a book I WROTE but I have no clue what I named the people in it. And I LOVE my characters. It's just the names aren't the important bits for me.

I can tell you all about books I have read, too. I can't remember who is IN them...but I remember who wrote them. I don't know why.

I've noticed a lot of authors do similar stuff. We remember lots and lots of info...

But forget bread three times in a row at the grocery store.

Why? I dunno. But for proper care and feeding of your author, expect this and be ready to whisper names in their ears.

1. Know that your author will love you in a way that no one else ever will.

Most authors end up, in some way or another, putting little nods to the people who took care of them into their work. Either by flat out dedicating the book to them or by writing out a funny story that they remember about them into a longer tale. Having your very own author means that you will be given immortality through the work. An author also is willing to look at you, really look at you, and see all the bits, even the gritty dirty ones and love you for them. They add to your character, after all, and that is what we love...characters.

So for the times when the author stares at you blankly and the times they snarl when you come too close to the laptop...

Remember, it isn't that they aren't devoted to you. They hold whole worlds in their hands and you have the ability to shape those worlds with your love of them.

Take care of your author...and they will take care of you. Forever.

Happy Writing!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fireworks!!

It's Friday so, yes, time for Friday Fireworks!!

To win the Kindle Fire, you will have to scroll to the bottom of the blog for the entry information.

But for my Friday Fireworks blog, I want to salute the Marine Corps.

A few of you, who know me in real life, may know that I come from a military family. I was raised surrounded by Marine men and taught the values of that way of life from a very young age. My uncle, JuJu (Virgil Parnell), served in the Corps and traveled overseas for many years, some of the proudest of his life. He kept many of his old buddies from those days until the day he died and when my mother married a Marine when I was a teenager, I found that the Corps was a brotherhood that didn't care about age or any other restrictions...if you were a Marine, you were automatically family to them.

My older brother served for awhile. My father couldn't have been prouder of his choice. When I, right out of highschool, decided I wanted to serve our country as well and signed on to the Air Force...well, I didn't earn the proud slaps on the back. Semper Fi...doesn't extend to the flyboys. I mean, it was good I chose to join and all...but it just wasn't the same.

My author pal, Heather Long, found a quote that brought tears to my eyes, especially since we recently lost Uncle JuJu. I have heard my entire life that they are "Always a Marine," but never really understood the saying. On her website (which you can find here) Heather traced back the history of this truism
. "Now the official motto of the Marine Corps League, the origin of the statement is credited to a gung-ho Marine Corps master sergeant, Paul Woyshner. During a barroom argument he shouted, “Once a Marine, always a Marine!” MSgt. Woyshner was right. Once the title “U.S. Marine” has been earned, it is retained. There are no ex-Marines or former-Marines. There are active duty Marines, retired Marines, reserve Marines, and Marine veterans. Nonetheless, once one has earned the title, he remains a Marine for life. - USMC Heritage"
I've been reading Heather's Always A Marine Series since she created it and found it to be nothing but respectful to the branch of the military that I hold so dear to my heart.

She has managed to capture the fact that they aren’t just soldiers, but men and women who give up time and make very personal sacrifices to defend freedoms we take for granted.
Since Memorial Day can be easily redefined as a day to say thank you to our military men and women and the families that love them, I thought featuring her series on my blog a fitting Memorial Weekend salute.

Once Her Man, Always Her Man
Can Luke and Rebecca bridge the pain of a decade long abandonment in one cold Texas night?

In this story, Heather takes a man and a woman, separated years before when he left to serve, and reunites them. Will one night be enough to span a lifetime of hurt? She does a wonderful job, in this one, of telling a long lost love story in a way that is fresh and new.

Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here
They’ve shared everything, but will one night be enough?
Heather steamed my glasses up with this menage story. Jazz is not your typical Marine but then again the men that Heather teams her up with are anything but mundane themselves. My only hope, when reading this one, was that perhaps there is more to come of them since the author left this one very open for more of their story at a later date.

Tell It To The Marine
Take one Marine and introduce him to the movie star of his dreams and it sounds like a script right out of Hollywood, but for James Westwood and Lauren Kincaid, reality just might be the ticket they’ve both been searching for…
Coming Soon!

Proud To Serve Her
Sparks fly, wine pours and what follows is a total seduction of the senses as Damon prepares a birthday that Helena will never forget.
Coming soon!

Her Marine
The last thing either expected was a soul deep connection that brings them both wonder, but is the spark of lust enough to bring these two loners in from the cold?
Coming Soon!

So, yeah, if you are looking for a great military romance to curl up with for the holiday, pick one of this series up. More are coming out and...They really touch upon what it is all about. Real people, really feeling something.

Friday Fireworks Blog Hop QuestionWhatseries is Mel known for and even has a Facebook Group for?
(Hint: Check out her ‘books’ at )

10 Authors. 10 Questions. 10 Easy Answers.

You will go from blog to blog gathering questions about each author. There will be a hint and a link that will lead you to the answer.

In order to be entered to win the big prize, a Kindle Fire, you will need to send your answers to Brandy at SUBJECT: Friday Fireworks
You must include all 10 questions with answers.

Winner of the big prize will be drawn and announced on Heather Long's blog. Any prizes offered individually on the author's page will be taken care of by that author.
Who's Participating:

Monday, May 21, 2012

Things to get excited about!

List time!!

Today, we are doing top five things to get excited about!!

5. True Blood starts on June 10th!

Okay, a lot of True Blood has me throwing popcorn at the screen and howling, "WHY?!?!" but I get to look at Erik. So, yeah, this can be #5.

4. School is almost over for the kiddies!!

Okay, in a week or two, I will regret my enthusiasm for that one...right about when they get bored with each other and World War Three breaks out at my house but as of now?

Yeah, as of right now I really am looking forward to the end of charter school for a few short months and the fun that can ensue. Bring on the pool, baby!! We always launch our summers off with a camping trip on Memorial Day weekend...but there will be a special blog here and Friday Fireworks...

3. I'm going to do a salute to the Marines on the blog on Friday.

How can I salute the Corp? What do I know about it? Well, you will have to come back on Friday for all the details and I will be featuring Heather Long's Always A Marine series, too, so much to see here Friday...

2. So while you are here this weekend, why not enter to win a Kindle Fire?

*tosses much confetti*
This could be you...minus the uncomfortable suit.
I have been teasing you guys with this one for over a month so...that is how I plan to put the fire in your Memorial Day fireworks show...with a KINDLE FIRE!! Yes, you could win a kindle fire, not to mention possibly snagging some ebooks to load it with. Friday Fireworks is a blog tour with me and nine AMAZING authors and the grand prize, to one lucky winner, is going to be the Fire. I'm excited.

1. Odd Stuff re-releases with Red Rose Publishing!!

On the 31st so get your selves over there and snag a copy when it goes live!! Love the new cover and I hope you all enjoy my fun paranormal romantic romp.

Uh, is this a great week or WHAT?
Happy writing!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Things that make me smile...

The boys woke me up at the buttcrack of dawn this morning. Their aunt got them Halo and ever since she did...they have been Halo'ing every waking moment that I didn't give them other stuff to do.

I shall one day have my revenge.

But on that note, I wanted to talk about things that make me smile.

10. Baby feet.

Nuff said.
Things that make you go awww...

9. My kids belly laugh.

Kids have this way of laughing so hard that it seems to spiral up from inside them and take up their whole body. I love that.

8. Cheesecake.
NY Style...mah fave
What? Cheesecake is the shit.

7. New book covers.

Even the ones I don't love for whatever reason...they still have my name printed boldly on the cover. I can't help a shiver of pleasure and a big grin for book covers.

6. Swag.

Free stuff from other authors, be it books, bookmarks, magnets or whatever, makes me smile. I don't think anyone becomes an author or works in this industry if they don't LOVE it really makes me act like a kid on Christmas to get author goodies delivered right to my door.

5. Chocolate.

Double the amplitude of the grin if you just add bacon to the chocolate.

4. Making my kids dreams come true.
Yeah, seems simple but anytime my kids want something for awhile or have a dream and I can help them achieve it or give it to them, it makes me smile like a loon.
Soft kitty, warm kitty...

3. Hugs.

I think that if you manage not to smile when someone hugs you, maybe, just maybe, you really don't have a soul.

2. Other people who love books/writing.

What is cooler than having someone to talk to about all this cool stuff???
1. Coffee
Oh, yeah, that is cooler. Especially if it is an espresso with steamed milk, topped with a little whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate. Not that I drink that everyday but...


That first sip rocks.

What makes you smile?

Happy writing!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My office is noisy...Writer's Version of We Are Young

Beak Full of Bug

My office is noisy. There are two active nests on my front porch (one on each end) and the babies are LOUD. I can tell each and every time someone's parent comes back with a beak full of bug because a cacophony of chirps alerts me to the fact that the children are HUNGRY and they see FOOD.

If I was their parents, I would fly south and say that I didn't realize it wasn't time to migrate. Just sayin.

Since I am being hit by a barrage of tweets, chirps, and other such happy noises, I figured it was a good day for me to do another one of my spoooftastic song lyric days.

I know.  You love those.  And I love you.

Without further ado, the Writer's Version of We Are Young....
I call it We Are Writing.  Enjoy!

Give me a second I,
I need to get my story straight
My friends are all on facebook now, wordcounts making me feel fake.
My character she’s waiting for me to get her a new car,
My hero is hasn’t talked to me this week so I’m not happy so far, and
I know I’m going to finish this novel
I know the pub wants it last week
But facebook and skyping
The holes in my plot, you see
I’m trying hard to edit
So by the time the coffee cools in my mug
I’m killing the characters 

All Off…
We are writing
So let’s be bestsellers
Or at least get reviewed

We are writing
So let’s just do NaNoWriMo
Tweet and sprint a bit…Write a blog.

Now I know that I’m stuck
I don’t give a duck
I guess that I, I just thought
Maybe I could save this stupid plot
But I probably won’t
So I’ll start another
‘Cause I found someone to kill with rubber

We are writing
So let’s be terribly clever
And together…we can have some fun.

We are writing
So let’s create new worlds
Even if perhaps we realize they’ve been done…

Writing a novel tonight (Nananananana)
Just plotting away tonight (Nananananana)
Drinking too much tonight (Nananananana)
Edit some more tonight (Nananananana)

Might have a drinking problem
I didn’t shower today
So will someone come and crit this book tonight
I wrote 3k more words
Than I did yesterday
So will someone come and crit this book

We are writing
So let’s kill off the bad guy
And not headhop again

We are writing
Crit partner said I used passive voice
I can edit that part out

So if by the time you query
You’ve written the synopsis
You’ve finished the book tonight…

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Win For Berlin

Online Charity Auction
Meet Berlin: She's a charming little girl with a beautiful smile, a shining countenance and a debilitating disease. You see Berlin has Osteogenesis Imperfecta -- Brittle Bone Disease.

Berlin was born with Brittle Bone Disease and though she's only seven she already knows what it feels like to have a broken arm, leg, and fractured vertebra -- repeatedly. But you'd never know by speaking with her that her life is anything but normal. Even when Berlin's slowly making her way across campus with her mobility walker, she always has a bright smile, and will shout out to friends and parents of friends with a warm welcome and a friendly wave.

But Berlin isn't walking these days. You see, she recently fell and ended up in the hospital where it was discovered she'd re-fractured her Tibia – the main bone in her lower leg – and a pin from a previous surgery had shifted through the bone. That shift means that Berlin can't walk until she has surgery. Due to lack of insurance coverage, they treated the new fracture and sent her home, denying her the needed surgery.

Every day children right here in America go without needed medical care, and it breaks my heart. Every Day. I pray today is not going to be Berlin's day to go without treatment.

With the help of some incredibly generous members of the writing community and local businesses an online auction has been created. Beginning Friday, May 11, at 1:00pm PST, simply go to, enter A Win For Berlin in the search field (or click here!!) and start bidding on the great gifts and services donated by Award Winning and Bestselling authors, artists, and local businesses.

You'll find everything from signed books to “Meet and Greets” with your favorite authors and artists, and a wide array of everything in between. In addition, we'll have some great items up for bid from local businesses.

Don't see anything you want to bid on? No problem, keep checking back for new auctions to be added over the next week or check out one of our donation auctions.

I want to thank Virginia Nelson for allowing me to hijack her blog, today. As my daughter says: “Girl Power Rules!” And to Brenda Novak for her Auction For A Cure to Juvenile Diabetes: You are an incredible inspiration. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What is coming...

Okay, I figured my cyber-social-calender is getting full enough that I am having a hard time keeping track of it so I should share it with you all so you know where to look for me.

For starters, I will be guest blogging over at Long and Short Reviews here on May 10th at noon. (That is Thursday, for those of you who don't want to look it up.)

Aside from that, I have the Friday Fireworks event coming up on May 25th. Friday Fireworks is a blog hop and there will not only be book giveaways as you hop through the blogs but a grand prize that will put your hearts on FIRE. And that is all I am saying about that one for now...but you can look at the pretty widget somewhere over there------------------->

Then, to ring in the official start of summer, I'm taking part in an event with Night Owl Reviews called the Summer Fun Web Hunt starting on June first. There are LOADS of prizes for that one and you can click over there somewhere-------------------------> to get more details about that one.

Coffee Time Romance/The Romance Studio are celebrating their anniversary in a couple days so starting on May 12th, you can all ask questions of the editors of Champagne Books (yes, that means me, too) and lots of other fun stuff over at the forums. Click the little Coffee Time celebration picture to find out more about that one.

So...other than book releases, that is all I can remember right now. I may edit this and add more but for now...yep, busy month and lots of fun stuff coming. Lots of chances to win prizes like giftcards and...more. ;)

Hope to see you guys there. For now, g'night and happy writing!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sneak Peek! Rumour Has It

So, yesterday I kind of wrote a book. Yeah. I mentioned on here that I have been busy? Well, I have been too busy to write which kind of made me have loads of inspiration and need to write...but gave me no time to do so. Yesterday, finally, I let myself write a little.

And a book came out.

Rumour Has It has been an idea in the back of my head for awhile, festering and growing, so that when I sat down to write it, in one long gush it came out.

Yes, the idea behind it was inspired by the Adele song of the same name. My kids kind of hated me yesterday because the song was on repeat all day.

The excerpt below is unedited but I think it is enough to let you guys see why I love Lizzie so much. Jeremy isn't too shabby either.

But first, the blurb!

Elvis left the building a long time ago…

Liz knows that there are some things you just can’t live down. Marrying an Elvis impersonator was one of her biggest mistakes yet when he comes rolling back into town, needing a place to couch surf, she can’t say no to the father of her child.

And someone else took his place…

Jeremy has been engaged in the world’s longest long game. For thirteen years he has loved Liz and her daughter but never made a move, waiting for the right moment. When her ex-husband shows up out of the blue, he realizes it is time to put up or shut up.

But now that Elvis is back, the rumors are flying.

Jeremy makes his move, leaving Liz in a tailspin. Elvis comes back, the man she has always secretly loved is making moves…but why now? The sparks fly and the gossips mouths are running…but will Liz find the love she has been waiting for or will the small town gossips destroy her like they did so long ago?


Liz made some dumb mistakes in her life...marrying an Elvis impersonator in Vegas, for instance. That shit they tell you about stuff staying in Vegas? Lies. Just sayin.

The Elvis was a guy that she knew since high school who decided he was going to be a professional poker player, moved to Vegas and became an Elvis after he was there but still…

You don’t live down being the small town girl who married Elvis. Not where Liz lived.

Small town Ohio is good for one thing. Gossip.

Slamming her car into park, Liz glared at the man outside her window. “This better be good.”

“You know I am good, baby. We had a few years solid of good and—”

Glaring at her ex-husband, the Elvis impersonator, Liz let her lips turn up in a smile that said nothing about being happy and a whole lot about being threatening. “For starters, I spent about four thousand dollars to stop having good times about a decade ago, Vernon. And call me baby again and I am gonna shove my foot up your ass sideways.”