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Showing posts from June, 2010

Interview With Sarah Rees Brennan

It's rare for me to take to my blog and gush about a book outside of an author interview. The one exception I can recall from the last two years was Sarah Rees Brennan's DEMON'S LEXICON. That book blew my mind. Literally. There I was, totally captivated by the story, entranced by the vivid characters, sucked into the plot so thoroughly I couldn't bear to sleep until I finished the book when suddenly WHAM. Sarah did something very few authors ever manage to do. She surprised me. Completely. I thought I saw the plot twist coming at the end. I was SO INCREDIBLY WRONG. I was left reeling in the most delicious sense of the word. I raced back through my memory of the story and saw all the stepping stones leading to this moment and acknowledged that Sarah had now irrevocably earned my total devotion.

I approach a lot of authors asking if they'll be interviewed on this blog. I don't feel nervous about it. These are my peeps and I can't wait to share their awesome st…

Winner: Kristin Tubb Giveaway

As always, I used random.org to determine the contest winners. Congratulations to the following:

1. Winner of the signed hardback copy of AUTUMN WINIFRED OLIVER DOES THINGS DIFFERENT: Bentley Family

2. Winner of the comet bead necklace and signed SELLING HOPE bookmark: Gretchen Stull

3. Winner of the signed SELLING HOPE bookmark: Rae Ann Parker

Congratulations! If I don't already have a way to contact you, please leave your email in the comments and I'll make sure your prize gets to you. Thanks for reading!

Bulls, Ladybugs, and Restraining Orders

1. Remember last week's loooong list? And how I said I had another 20 in me but was cutting it off for your sake? Yeah. Well. I still have those 20 and ANOTHER week of life rolling around inside my brain.

2. Be warned.

3. Last Sunday, as we were driving home from church, we turned onto a quiet residential street and saw a bull nonchalantly strolling across someone's driveway.

4. A bull.

5. A. BULL.



6. One that looked a lot like that one. He was plodding along, all of his latent "WHAT?! You dare to wave a red cape in my direction? Now you must die!" instincts cleverly hidden from the casual observer. He was trying hard to blend into the scenery. Very "Nothing to see here, folks. Bull? What bull? I don't see no stinking bull!" but we were on to him.

7. We called the sheriff's office. The lady asked us to repeat our story. Seconds later, we heard sirens.

8. I sincerely hope none of the officers were wearing red.

9. Last weekend, we also spent Saturday at Hol…

YA Project: Storyboard for ASYLUM

I thought it would be interesting to post a blog of what starting a new project looks like to me. I make a playlist, find setting pics, find character pics, and play around with back story/story set up details. It looks something like this:

Playlist song #1: Sleep Well, My Angel by We Are The Fallen

Notes: Any more songs by this artist that work for this story? Found five.



Setting: Breckenridge Asylum, located in a secluded forested area of South Carolina. Owned by Marcus Holt, weapons and technology developer.











Notes: Are they allowed outside? Where do they dump the bodies? There must be a way out. Also, must be a way to keep them in. Find images.








Playlist song #2: For You by Staind

Notes: Find other songs by this artist for playlist? Found four.




Plot Notes: (must brainstorm/flesh these out)

*Rules of magic

*How are they committed?

*Holt's agenda? Why? How far is he willing to go? Why? What does that mean for the characters?

*Who are the secondary characters? Need patients, staff, and Holt&…

New Winner of Kris Kennedy Contest!

Since Kris Kennedy's fabulous THE IRISH WARRIOR went unclaimed, I visited random.org and selected a new winner.

And the winner is ... Leona!! Congratulations. :) Please leave me your email addy so I can get in touch with you about claiming your prize. Thanks for reading!

Interview With Kristin Tubb

I first met Kristin Tubb at a Music City Romance Writers' meeting when she was a guest speaker teaching us how she organizes all the historical research she does for her novels. I was both impressed with her detail-oriented prowess, and a bit nauseous at the thought of doing so much RESEARCH for a book. Hence the reason I won't ever write historical. Then, Kristin picked up her book and read a section. I was hooked. Her writing is so vivid, you feel instantly immersed in the world of her story. When she agreed to be interviewed AND to unveil her brand new cover for SELLING HOPE on this blog, I was thrilled!

Here's a peek at SELLING HOPE:

It’s May 1910, and Halley’s Comet is due to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere. And thirteen-year-old Hope McDaniels and her father are due to pass through their hometown of Chicago with their ragtag vaudeville troupe. Hope wants out of vaudeville, and longs for a “normal” life—or as normal as life can be without her mother, who died five …

Look What We Have

Introducing the newest member of our family ... Jack. (You're shocked at the name choice, I know!) We adopted him from our local animal shelter on Tuesday. I'll have better pics soon. He's a tiny little thing with a bob tail and the biggest purr I've ever heard. Spastic Kitten has grudgingly decided to allow Jack to live, but she hasn't yet decided to forgive him for existing. I have hopes they'll be friends in another few days.

Paging The Contest Winner!

Diane Garner, you've won the Kris Kennedy giveaway, but I don't have any contact info from you and you haven't responded to the winner's blog post. I hate to see your prize slip away, but need to wrap up the contest as well. If I don't hear from you by this coming Friday, June 25th, I'll have to draw another name for the contest.

If anyone reading this knows Diane and how to contact her, please tell her she's a winner! =)

EPIC FAIL

I promised to share the story of how a seriously misguided decision of mine ended in an episode of EPIC fail, and here it is.

When we first got married, we lived in a small condo in southern California. Small, in this case, is not a euphemism for cute. Or charming. Or almost-regular-size. Small is a euphemism for living space so confined you couldn't open the refrigerator if the dishwasher was open.

Into these small quarters, we brought two cats and a dog. We kept our cats indoors which meant I had to find a suitable location for the litter box.

The bathrooms had no space for it unless I wanted to put it smack dab in the middle of the floor.

Ew, right?

The bedroom had just enough space for our bed, two dressers, and a small path for us to walk to the closet, which was tiny too.

Not that I really wanted a cat box in my bedroom.

We'd rented the second bedroom to a friend of ours from college, and he didn't seem excited to have a cat box in his room either.

I wasn't about …

Beware the (Potentially Suicidal) Ostrich

1. I have to warn you. I feel a looong blog list coming on.

2. You should probably turn back now.

3. I mean it.

4. Notice the sudden obsession with all things ostrich?

5. Yeah. That's just the beginning.

6. Still here? Fine. But don't say I didn't warn you.

7. I saw several movies in the last two weeks: Karate Kid (Awesome Squared! Better than the original.), The A Team (Awesomesauce double-dipped with a side of Heeeelllllooooo, Bradley Cooper! And Liam Neeson. And a crazy dude who tried to jump start an ambulance with a defibrillator. My kind of guy.), and finally Prince of Persia.

8. Hence the ostrich obsession.

9. I mean, I've always kind of had a thing for them. Who wouldn't? They're fierce, wobbly-necked death machines. I can't really quantify the kind of awesome that entails.

10. But I can try. Here's a glimpse of the scene that got to me.




As soon as I saw the necks, I started laughing. I kept laughing long after most of the theater had moved on to the n…

Winner of the Kris Kennedy Giveaway!

Thank you for being so patient with me as I spent the week in the land of corporate training without even a decent wireless signal to light my way. It's past time to give a signed copy of THE IRISH WARRIOR away!

*drum roll please*

And the winner is Diane Garner! Diane, please leave your email in the comment trail so I can contact you and send you your prize!

Thanks for reading.

Heeellllooooo??

Yes, I'm still alive. Sort of. I'm out of town for the week doing a stint of corporate training for my job and have extremely unreliable internet service. Never fear! I shall be back to blogging (including announcing the Kris Kennedy winner and sharing at story you'll probably wish I'd kept to myself) Thursday evening when I get home.

See you then!

Interview With Author Kris Kennedy

I met Kris Kennedy in the spring of 2008 when we were both Golden Heart finalists. I was quickly impressed with her intelligence, friendliness, and generosity. Once her first book hit the shelves (remember last week's deliciously medieval THE CONQUEROR?), I was impressed with her talent as well. Her writing is rich in historical yumminess, her plot grabs you from the first page, and her characters are people you love spending 300 pages with. When I learned her second novel was coming out this month, I couldn't wait to have her on the blog!

Here's a peek at THE IRISH WARRIOR:

Inhibited, accountant-minded Senna de Valery comes to Ireland to finalize a deal that will save her faltering wool business. What she gets instead is a cunning English lord with dangerous ulterior motives.

Forced to rely on her wits, not her ledgers, Senna frees an Irish warrior chained in the prisons, and together they flee across the war-torn land of medieval Ireland. But Finian O’Melaghlin is much mo…

Memphis! Hot Dang!

1. Hubby and I spent the weekend in Memphis on a press junket for TNT's new show Memphis Beat.

2. The up side? I got to spend a kid-free weekend w/my hubby on someone else's dime and met Jason Lee and Alfre Woodard (who grabbed me while I was sitting at our table on our dinner cruise and pulled me onto the dance floor with her).

3. The UP side? We took an accidental scenic tour through a less-than-polished side of Memphis and I took notes on everything I saw just so I could bring you this blog post.

4. But first, Graceland. We spent a chunk of Saturday morning taking a VIP tour of Graceland, and it was interesting. I don't know that I'm totally down with green shag carpet on the ceiling or furniture that looks like a giant shaggy squirrel donated its coat and then industriously carved up the armrests with evil intentions, but it was very interesting to see how he lived. One of the members of his entourage (Jerry somebody) met us there and talked to us for a while about E…

Winner of Barbara Poelle's Giveaway!

As always, I used random.org to determine the winner of the Barbara Poelle giveaway. Thanks to all who entered!

The Daring Novelist is our winner. Congratulations! You've won a copy of the (deliciously medieval) THE CONQUEROR and a 10 page mss critique from Barbara! Please leave your email addy for me in the comments, and I'll get in touch with you re: claiming your prize.

Thanks for reading!

Interview With Barbara Poelle

Barbara Poelle is a literary agent with the Irene Goodman Agency and is the person responsible for bringing us the delicious medieval romance whose gorgeous cover you see to the right. I met Barbara when the RWA national conference was in San Francisco in 2008. She was lunching with my friend and fellow Pixie Kris Kennedy (who is responsible for writing the delicious medieval romance to the right!) in the same sports bar as my current lunch mates and me. (Of all the sports bars in San Francisco, she had to walk into mine...) Kris grabbed me and introduced us.

Thankfully, I hadn't consumed too much caffeine at lunch or that spontaneous conversation could very well have ended with my name on the HOLY COW DON'T ENGAGE THIS GIRL IN CONVERSATION IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE list at the Irene Goodman Agency. Barbara was enthusiastic, friendly, and even in a short conversation, exuded the kind of savvy, smart, go-for-the-throat business sense she's known for. (This assessment had NOTHI…

Camels, Slingshots, & the Grand Canyon

This pic is a t-shirt recently offered on woot.com, and I laughed myself stupid when Clint shared it with me.

What I'm listening to right now: Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy

1. The more exposure I have to the general public, the more I subscribe to the belief that certain gene pools could use a bit more chlorine.

2. Yesterday, Clint, Starshine and I went to the Renaissance Festival. As we were walking past a large corral where little lords and ladies could take a ride on a camel for the bargain price of $5, a teenage girl behind me said to her boyfriend, "Oh, those poor camels! They must be so hot out in the sun! I bet they wish they could just stay in the shade."

3. Her boyfriend agreed.

4. Is it possible we have a generation of kids who have no clue about a camel's natural habitat? I mean, Tennessee gets hot, yes, but we've got nothing on the desert.

5. On a side note, I could smell that camel looooooong before I saw him. I wonder if the camel has any natural predator…