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Showing posts from January, 2011

Chewy & Strangely Tasteless

1. My daughter takes after me.

2. As proof, I offer the following true story.

3. We were at a friend's house hanging out with several other couples, and I was holding Princess J on my lap while I fed her a bottle.

4. Remember last week when I revealed the (potentially career-ending) fact that I had inadvertently snorted half-chewed sandwich up my nose when hit with an Insta-cough?

5. Princess J had an Insta-cough moment as she was drinking the bottle and ... wait for it ... all the proof you'll ever need that she is MINE ...

6. Shot two streams of formula right out of her nose.

7. I love that kid.

8. Starshine had an interesting moment of his own this week when Clint took the boys with him to an Asian grocery store in Nashville.

9. Among other things, Clint purchased a type of Chinese candy that is wrapped inside rice paper, boxed, and then sealed with plastic wrap. As they were driving home, Clint told the kids they could open their candy, and then informed them the treat …

Winner of the Lili St. Crow Giveaway!

This was definitely a popular giveaway! Thanks to all who entered. I hope you'll check out Lili's books next time you're in your local bookstore (or browsing online). You won't be disappointed!

As always, I used to choose the winner. And the winner of the signed 3 book Strange Angels series is ...

Please email me your shipping information, and I'll pass it along to Lili. Thanks again for entering and happy reading!

Winner of RAZIEL!

Thanks to all who entered Abby Zidle's giveaway! As always, I used to select the winner. And the winner of RAZIEL is ...

Ishta Mercurio!!
Ishta, please contact me at cjredwine01 (at) yahoo (dot) com with your  mailing info, and I'll pass it along to Abby. Congratulations and happy reading!

Hourglass Cover Revealed!

My good friend and writing partner Myra McEntire has some exciting news to share today! Her debut novel, HOURGLASS, hits the shelves in May. It's an incredible book, and I can't wait for other readers to get a chance to enjoy it. Humor, suspense, and some really awesome plot twists combine with authentic, well-drawn characters and a super-cool time travel premise to make this book a must-read! To be one of the first to get this book, head to Amazon and place a pre-order.

Today, Myra unveils her cover. Here it is! (Pay close attention to where she's standing...)

Interview With Lili St. Crow

I became a fan of Lili St. Crow (who writes adult urban fantasy as Lilith Saintcrow) a few years ago when I bought one of her books, read it in two days, and immediately headed back to the book store for more. When she began writing YA, I was thrilled! I loved STRANGE ANGELS, the first in her YA series, and each subsequent book has thoroughly hooked me as well. Lili writes adrenalin-fueled books with interesting, imperfect characters and layers of mystery. JEALOUSY is the third in the Strange Angels series. Here's the premise:

Dru Anderson might finally be safe. She’s at the largest Schola on the continent, and beginning to learn what it means to be svetocha–half vampire, half human, and all deadly. If she survives her training, she will be able to take her place in the Order, holding back the vampires and protecting the oblivious normal people.

But a web of lies and betrayals is still closing around her, just when she thinks she can relax a little. Her mentor Christophe is missin…

Interview With Editor Abby Zidle

When my agent Holly told me her friend Abby Zidle, an editor with Pocket books, wanted to take on the Spork of Doom, I said (in my sporkiest voice), "Bring it!" And she did. Abby's official bio reads:
Abby Zidle is a senior editor for Gallery and Pocket Books, where she acquires a variety of commercial fiction and nonfiction.She loves sexy romances, horseback riding, and trashy television, and has a cat named Wally who likes to be spun on her kitchen floor.She is known to a select few fellow publishing goofballs as the Wombat of Terror, due to her general aversion to conflict of any sort. She should probably not be broadcasting this to her professional contacts.

But along with an awesome interview with the SoD, she brought one of her January releases to give away! Here's the premise:
Kristina Douglas’s sizzling debut series introduces a realm of fallen angels and ruthless demons, where an eternal rebellion is brewing… and one unsuspecting woman can change the fate of t…

News Flash! Weekend Edition

I am REALLY excited about next week on the blog.


Why, you ask?

Because the week went from great to HOLY COW THE AWESOME, IT BURNS! First, one of the authors I'm featuring in my top ten book picks from 2010 just agreed to do an interview on the blog. This is an author I've recently started stalking made contact with, so I'm super thrilled to have him. Also? He's the first male author on the blog. That has to be worth a party, right? Right.

Second, Lillith Saintcrow, who will take on Captain Jack this Wednesday, is now giving away not one, not two, but a signed THREE BOOK SET to one of my readers.

You see? The awesome. It burnnnnnnnsssssss.

At Least It Wasn't The Bird of Paradise

1. Sooo, I sort of sucked as a blogger this week.

2. I did, however, rock as a writer.

3. Next week I'm going to be both awesome writer AND awesome blogger.

4. Watch for it.

5. On Monday, The Spork of Doom interviews an editor from Pocket and she reveals her unusual nickname, why she'd be an incredible minion, and a fabulous new paranormal book coming out this month. She's even giving away a copy of the book to one of my readers!

6. Plus, for the first time ever, my hubby writes a (somewhat aggressive) note to accompany his cupcake creation.

7. On Wednesday, Captain Jack interviews best-selling paranormal author Lillith Saintcrow (and a reader can win one of her books too!). It remains to be seen if my hubby will write a (possibly homicidal) note with her cupcake as well.

8. Also, I'm going to do a post on my ten favorite books from 2010. Everyone who comments with one of their own favorite reads from last year will be entered into a drawing for one of my favorite b…

Winner of LINGER!

After using to generate the winner of a signed copy of Maggie Stiefvater's LINGER, I'm pleased to announce the winner is Deb!

Deb, please contact me with your shipping info so we can  get that in the mail to you. Happy reading!

Interview With Maggie Stiefvater

It's no secret, I'm a huge fan of Maggie Stiefvater's writing. Even before her mega-hit SHIVER hit the shelves, I was hooked. Maggie's prose is lyrical and hauntingly atmospheric. Few authors have the power to usher their readers so completely beneath the skin of a story like Maggie does. She was on the blog before SHIVER came out, giving us a peek at SHIVER according to a Twitter feed from the main characters. Fun, yes? So, when LINGER came out, I couldn't wait to have her back on the blog.

Here's the premise for LINGER:

"In Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her b…

Progress Report

I still can't tell you what my new project is about, but I can give you an interesting (I hope) peek into my main character's mind. Some characters just start talking in my head, and before I know it, I've got enough info on them to fill several books. Some are more reluctant to just open up and let me see behind the curtain of their everyday life. For characters like those, I have to find unusual ways to climb beneath their skin.

Rachel is proving to be a very layered character to get to know. I thought she was one thing and went, "Hm. A pretty straight-forward character with clear goals. But where are her flaws?!" Because a character without flaws isn't authentic, and I want to write with depth and authenticity. A character's flaws are often what push them further and further into a story's conflict, or what cause additional conflict.

I made Rachel's playlist, and she surprised me with some of the picks. I can't really explain how I know

Tortilla, Thou Art My Nemesis

1. Yes, I know it isn't a cat. But seriously? This pic made me laugh so hard, I had to have it for my blog.

2. Also? I don't really want to meet a wombat in person. It looks like a cross between a beaver and Dracula. No. Thanks.

3. I got super organized this past weekend (le gasp) and revamped my workshop website. I also listed the dates for every upcoming workshop for the entire 2011 year. Take a look, register if you need some help writing a query or synopsis, or if you want help understanding pacing and plot structure. And of course, feel free to send other writers my way!

4. Along with revamping my workshop site, I lined up some Really Fun Stuff for the blog this month.

5. For example, this Wednesday, Maggie Stiefvater, author of SHIVER and LINGER, will take on the infamous Jack Sparrow in the first cupcake interview of 2011. She's offering a signed copy of LINGER as a prize to one lucky commenter!

6. I've yet to break the news to my hubby that once again I requ…

The Dastardly Deed

This year, my hubby put coal in my stocking. Actual coal, not that yummy chocolate stuff. He took a charcoal briquette off the BBQ, stuffed it in a sandwich baggie, and shoved it in my stocking.

That wasn't the Dastardly Deed.

He also left a nasty note to Santa pinned to the outside of my stocking. It made libelous, unsubstantiated claims as to the general state of my nature (Naughty) and said I didn't deserve any presents.

That wasn't the Dastardly Deed either.

He said I'd opened a box of Hot Tamales which were already inside my stocking and snitched a few and that justified the note and the coal. A) They were in MY stocking. B) Which meant they were MINE. C) Nobody saw me do anything of the sort.

But none of that was the Dastardly Deed.

No, that happened a little later Christmas morning as I was opening my presents. I picked up one beautifully wrapped box which said it was from Clint. He saw which present I was holding and started laughing.

Not a good sign.

I figu…

Resolutions I Can (Probably) Keep

I learned some valuable lessons in 2010. Since I'd hate for those lessons to go to waste, I thought I'd use them to guide my list of New Year's Resolutions.

1. I will pay strict attention to what I'm actually holding in my hand BEFORE applying the contents to my toothbrush. I don't care how late it is.

2. I will never trust that my side of the bed is booby-trap free before sliding under the covers in the dark.

3. For that matter, I will never trust that any area in my house is booby-trap free, no matter what time of day or night it is.

4. I will NOT reach blindly into my purse searching for my car keys. Not that fate would be cruel enough to dispose of another moth corpse inside my handbag, but you never know.

5. I will remember if I've just touched cinnamon oil BEFORE rubbing my eyes.

6. I hope.

7. If I hear a strange hissing sound from behind the refrigerator, I will NOT pull the appliance away from the wall without first grabbing a handful of towels and do…

Super Secret YA Project

I promised you a post on my current writing project, even though I'm not going to give away any incriminating specific details. My deadline is March 15th. *left eye twitches slightly*

I respond strongly to visuals when writing, so one of the first steps for me in any new project is to find a few (Very few ... I like to keep my imagination free to make up my own details.) pictures that help set the scene for me.

Like this one:

And this one:

And then I start listening to my characters so I can get to know them. One of the best ways for me to a) get to know my characters and b) create the atmosphere/mood for the story is to build a playlist specific for that story. The narrator of the story usually drives most of the playlist. The narrator of my current project is Rachel and her songs sound like this:

And this:

Sometimes, I know a specific scene is coming, and I search for a song just for that scene. For this project, I needed the following song for a scene that happens near the end…

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Planning To Kill You

Behavior: She meets you at the door when you return home.

Meaning: You might have brought home witnesses. Reinforcements. A dog. She needs to know if her dastardly plan must be altered to achieve her desired results.

Behavior: She winds around your ankles as you walk.

Meaning: Um, hello? Face-plant, anyone? If she times it just right, you'll bounce your face off the counter top, ricochet off the table, and execute a perfect 10 of a landing through the sliding glass door and the entire thing will look like an accident.

Behavior: She climbs on top of you and begins to knead your stomach.

Meaning: She could be checking for weakness in your internal organs. Or maybe she just likes her meat nice and tender.

Behavior: She stares at you with unblinking malice.

Meaning: Do I really need to spell it out for you? She's staring at you with unblinking malice. Your days are numbered.

Behavior: She stares at you with unblinking malice and then suddenly looks behind you like there's an axe murde…

*Insert Clever Title Here*

1. Ooh, look! I'm blogging again!

2. Yeah. I know. You're thrilled.

3. Although, can you really call this a legitimate blog post when all I'm going to do is tell you about upcoming blog posts?

4. Still reading?

5. Then I guess this qualifies as a legitimate blog post.

6. You should know I had tremendous difficulty spelling "qualifies." And "legitimate." And also "difficulty," which is pretty ironic.

7. I attribute this to the fact that it's 12:20 a.m. Sunday morning, and I spent the day digging my way out of the Laundry Uprising, so I'm too tired to really see the screen.

8. Oh, the lengths I'm willing to go to bring almost-useless posts to my readers!

9. Hm.

10. I get punchy when I'm tired. It's remotely possible I've already sailed well past punchy and into delirious.

11. I might re-read this in the morning and delete the whole thing.

12. Anyway, posts are coming!

13. There's one about my new writing project (tho…