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Showing posts from April, 2010

Interview With Annette McCleave

I met Annette in 2008 when we both finaled in the Golden Heart contest. She went on to win the award for Best Paranormal Romance with DRAWN INTO DARKNESS, a book that became the first in the Soul Gatherer series and was published by Signet Eclipse. Book two, BOUND BY DARKNESS, comes out next month. I'm so excited about this series! Annette breathes fresh life into the paranormal genre with her fascinating tales of demon-fighting Soul Gatherers and a collection of evil, ancient relics threatening to unleash Hell on Earth. Literally. I adore Annette's writing. It moves. Fast-paced and action-packed, her characters come to life from the first sentence and her plot will keep you reading long into the night. Here's a peek at BOUND BY DARKNESS:

Soul Gatherer Brian Webster has long lived with the guilt of his failure to save his teenage sister. When another girl dies in his arms as she protects an ancient coin from a demon, he takes up her cause. The coin is one of thirty pieces …

Winner & Other Random Stuff

I'm behind in my blogging duties! I have a really excellent excuse, however. Last week my gallbladder turned against me. A few days later, my pancreas decided to join the party as well. I have an appointment with a specialist today to see what the problem is and how to fix it. In the meantime, between pain and lack of food (I can barely stand to eat), I've had a hard time focusing on the things I need to do.

Like blog.

So, here's a quick catch up post before I put up today's interview of awesomeness.

WINNER of the MOB'S Interview drawing is: throuthehaze Congratulations! You get your choice of a paperback from Susan Mallery, Shayla Black, or Lynsay Sands.

Other Minorly Interesting Tidbits:

1. I have 5 spots left in next week's Query Workshop.

2. I've discovered a new-to-me band called 10 Years and am using a few of their songs on the playlist for an upcoming project.

3. Speaking of upcoming projects, while Agent of Awesomesauce Holly has CASTING STONES, I'm …

Fun Stuff!

My friend Mandy is having a contest on her Romance Yardsale site. Romance Yardsale has some awesome goodies and every sale goes toward helping Mandy and her friend Bria make it to RWA Nationals this year.

One lucky person entering this contest will win their favorite Romance Yardsale item! Here's what I'm hoping to win:



The contest ends today, so go check it out! Entering is easy and you might win some cool stuff!

Not Less Than

I wasn't sure I was going to blog about this. It's a passionate subject for me (and for many), and I didn't know if I had anything to add to the discussion. Even as I type this, I'm not sure I'll actually post it.

Not because what I have to say isn't important. But because I want to be careful not to spill emotion without a point that goes beyond anger.

Last week, a woman from Tennessee took her adopted seven year old son and put him on a plane back to Russia. He traveled alone and was met at the airport by a courier his mother had found online. The note she'd given him said she couldn't handle him anymore and was giving him back.

Let's get the obvious out of the way. No one actually approves of what she did. But there are plenty who aren't ready to condemn it, either. The reasons I've heard basically circle back to this: he had serious issues, she feared for her family, and she had to do something.

Indeed, she did. Tragically, she did one of…

Interview With My Overstuffed Bookshelf

I first came upon the My Overstuffed Bookshelf site by browsing a client's blog. She had a list of sites currently running book giveaways, and I decided to check out a few of her links. I'm so glad I went to My Overstuffed Bookshelf! Amy Jacobs, the woman behind MOB (You know I'm going to love a site I can nickname MOB!), reads and reviews a wide range of books--from children's to paranormal to many of the sub-genres within romance. I find her reviews to be concise, insightful, and straightforward. She also interviews authors, hosts giveaways, and consistently displays the kind of books-are-my-crack mentality that makes me feel right at home.

I subscribed to MOB and love getting emails with two to three short reviews in it every day or two. When I contacted Amy and asked if she'd be willing to be interviewed on my blog, she seemed excited about the prospect. I asked her to recommend a favorite book to my blog readers, and she chose Michele L. Montgomery's RIVER…

And The Truth Is ...

Thank you to all who entered my Spot the Lie contest (Otherwise known as HELP! I have nothing to blog about!). My friend Annette makes yummy soaps in all sorts of fun shapes at her etsy shop. I thought a custom made soap (you get to pick the design and the fragrance) would be fun!

The truth: I did go to leadership camp in high school, and our bus driver Henry (soon nicknamed the Bus Driver From Hell) got us lost. Three times. And yes, we were served nothing but cold rolls and carrot sticks when we arrived as the kitchen had long since closed. I also skied down an icy hill while at winter camp and took out a pastor at the bottom. And we did have an exchange student from Japan to whom we taught the most excellent art of sock wars.

The lie: I never read a poem from the stage of a county fair when I was seven. Or since then. For some reason, people rarely ask me to speak in public. I think it might be for fear of what I'll say.

The winner: Leona!!! I used random.org to choose a winner f…

Workshop Updates

Need help from the Query Ninja? I have 10 spots remaining in May's Query Workshop. In June, I'll be running another synopsis workshop and will open registration for that within the next two weeks.

If you're considering querying, or you just need help seeing your plot clearly, check out the Query Workshop before it fills up!

*Note: This cupcake is not one of my hubby's. After all the cupcakes he willingly makes for me each week, asking him to make a Query Ninja one on top of everything else seemed a bit risky. There is, after all, a hefty life insurance policy on me. I'd hate to give him any ideas.

Truth, Truth, Lie

1. Yesterday evening, I finished revisions on CASTING STONES. Yay!!

2. No time to take a break or give in to brain-deadness, though, because I have a critique folder to clean out and a plot workshop to give this week.

3. After that, I start work on two YA proposals to send to Holly.

4. No rest for the mostly crazy.

5. My grandma continues to improve. Daredevil made her a Get Well Soon card the other day and wrote the following message: I hope God revives you.

6. We'll be focusing on vocabulary this week in homeschool ...

7. Yesterday, I saw a headline on an online news site that said "Celebrities Disrupted by Volcanic Ash."

8. OMGHOLYCOWNOWAY!!!!

9. The fact that someone thought that topic was newsworthy is mind-boggling to me.

10. I'm having a hard time thinking of funny things to say today. For reasons why, see #1-3 and focus on the word "brain-deadness."

11. So, instead, we'll play a game called "Spot the Lie." I'll list four things. Three of …

Winners of Lisa Mantchev Books!

There was a total of 182 entries in the drawing for the Lisa Mantchev giveaway! Thank you to all of you who participated. Come back this Wednesday for an interview with a fabulous book blogger and a giveaway of one of her favorite books! As usual, I used Random.org to generate the winners:

Winner of an ARC of PERCHANCE TO DREAM: Heather

Winner of a paperback of EYES LIKE STARS: Carrie

Congratulations, you two! Please leave your email for me in the comment trail so I can get your mailing info.

Interview With Lisa Mantchev

I first met Lisa Mantchev last year on Twitter a few months before her first novel, EYES LIKE STARS, hit the shelves. We struck up a conversation, discovered a mutual love of cupcakes, and before I knew it, an ARC (advanced reading copy) was on its way to me, and she was set to do a series of guest posts on my blog. The ARC arrived, and I devoured it in one gulp. EYES LIKE STARS is enchanting, gorgeous and breathtakingly unique. I was captivated from the start and thought about the story long after I'd reached The End. I've waited a year to get my hands on the sequel, and thought it only fitting to have Lisa back on the blog to celebrate the release of her next amazing story. Here's a peek at PERCHANCE TO DREAM:

Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, …

Lumberjacks of the World, Unite!

1. The above picture represents all you need to know about my efforts to force my boys into some paltry semblance of personal hygiene.

2. Last week, my grandma, who lives in California, suddenly got very ill and needed emergency surgery. The doctors felt she was likely to have a heart attack during the procedure or just not wake up at all, so early Wednesday morning, I raced to the airport and made my flight to California with six minutes to spare.

3. Which meant I had the joy of sitting in a middle seat.

4. Which wouldn't have been so bad if the man to my right had possessed even a rudimentary understanding of things like bathing, deodorant, and not stretching one's arms above one's head when one's underarms could conceivably be used as a biological weapon of mass destruction.

5. At any rate, my grandma is a trooper and came through the surgery. Her recovery is up and down at the moment, so how she eventually fares remains to be seen, but I'm glad I went to see her.

Winner of A ROGUE IN MY ARMS

I tallied all the entries for the A ROGUE IN MY ARMS giveaway and, using my trusty random.org, came up with three lucky winners:

Tahereh
Karen Amanda Hooper
Robin K


You've each won a signed copy of Celeste's latest book! Please leave your email in the comment trail, and I'll contact you regarding your prize. Thanks for entering and enjoy some fun reading!

Interview With Celeste Bradley

Of all the authors I'll ever meet, Celeste Bradley will always have a place of honor in my heart. Why? Because 5 years ago, I served her a cup of coffee late one night and when she commented that she needed the caffeine because she was pulling an all-nighter to finish writing her book, I enthusiastically exclaimed that I, too, was a writer. I was. I had seven chapters on my first manuscript finished. She was a multi-published author. We weren't exactly on the same playing field. But, she treated my statement with respect and even offered to read my chapters for me, something I would never have dared to ask for. After she read, she was again gracious enough to meet with me personally and rip my book to shreds. Well, almost all of my book. She did point to one line and say, "I was going to be kind, until I saw this line and realized you're the real thing. So, the gloves came off because you have talent." I took notes, listened carefully, and learned valuable lesson…

Zombie Grasshoppers Bring Down The Kitties!

1. Last night, my hubby looked at me and said "It's Monday."

2. I acknowledged the truth of that statement.

3. He sort of glared at me and said, "It's Monday. Where's the blog post?"

4. I informed him I'd posted on Sunday night.

5. To which he replied, "That was a writing post. I want a funny post. It's Monday. You're supposed to do a funny post."

6. Sheesh. My public, he is never satisfied. So, because he makes awesome cupcakes for my blog interviews, does laundry, and selflessly gives me 10 hour writing days at the bookstore when he'd rather I was home parenting with him, I'm doing my usual funny-ish Monday post on a Tuesday.

7. Yesterday, I noticed a co-worker's fingernails.

8. They were noteworthy because every nail was ridiculously short except for her pinkies. Both nails on her pinkies were long.

9. Because I'm the curious sort, and because not everyone wears the evidence of their mental instability on their sleeve …

Life After Querying

So, you've taken the plunge. You've condensed your 90k novel of fabulosity into a three paragraph query letter. (Probably with the aid of a pint of Ben & Jerry's, a stack of pancakes, a few bags of Cheetos, and a shot or five of vodka, but whatever.) You did your homework, researched agents, followed all of their slightly different submission guidelines, and hit send.

Now, your queries, synopsises, and first chapters are out there in the ether, taking up space in inboxes across the country and you have a choice.

What do you do next?

A. Obsessively check your inbox five times every three minutes because even though the average response time is somewhere between five weeks and never*, you're probably going to be the exception.

B. Finish off the Cheetos, the vodka, and the pancakes while writing a lengthy list of additional flavor ideas to your buddies Ben and Jerry.

C. Stalk your chosen agents across Twitter, asking them how their slush pile reading is going and offering …

Winner of the HEX HALL Giveaway!

I tallied up the entries (a whopping 212!) and used random.org to generate the winner of a signed copy of HEX HALL and a hexy t-shirt and that winner is KATE (commenter #2)!! Congratulations! I'll email you for mailing info.

Thanks to all who entered. Be sure to come back next week when best-selling historical author Celeste Bradley takes on the inimitable Captain Jack Sparrow and gives away THREE signed copies of her latest release. Three winners!! Be here or ... yanno, be somewhere else where no one is giving you three chances to win. (No, really. Be here.)