Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review

I can't believe it's the last day of 2011 already. A whole lot has happened this year, both good and bad, but overall I was very blessed.

On the family front, we bought a cabin at our favorite mountain spot, took trips to Monterey, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, L.A. and Humboldt. (Not including the trip I took by myself to RWA New York City!!) We picnicked, spa'd, soccered, laughed, smore'd, bbq'd and all around cherished our time together.

On the writing front, I published three books this year, got some really great reviews, sold three other books that are coming out in 2012, met some of my writing idols, killed a chunk of my TBR pile, and learned some tools to help me with character development that I hadn't thought about before.

And, if you don't mind, I'd like to keep my NYE tradition alive...I make really freaking lofty goals every year, strive my best to do a tad over normal, then see where I land.

Here's my list of goals for 2011 that I wrote at the end of 2010:

*Sell a book in The Crimson Bay Series to one of the major publishing houses in NYC.
*Find an editor who believes in my work like I do.
*Write every day
*Spend more time enjoying the little things rather than worrying about them.
*Finish another two books: the third in The Crimson Bay Seres and another (maybe a paranormal YA??? I'm tossing ideas around...)
*Final in the Daphne duMaurier Contest
*Final in the Golden Heart Contest

Now...for those of you in the writing biz, you know how hard some of those goals are to reach in a single year. (A final in both Daphne and GH?!? What was I thinking?)

But overall I think I did all right. I didn't only find one editor who believes in my work, but two. I'm working with the wonderfully talented Esi Sogah over at HarperCollins and AnnLeslie Tuttle at Harlequin. What stuns me about these women is that they're not only knock-your-socks-off smart, but very kind. They not only care about the writing, but about the writers, as well. I'm a lucky gal.

I didn't write every day, but darn close...minus the two month hiatus when I had men working in my kitchen during the remodel. My writing time was sucked up into the Home Depot vortex. Other than that, I think I was on the money.

I have been enjoying the little things. Instead of worrying how I'm going to afford gas back and forth to San Francisco Friday and Saturday for SFARWA meetings, I just go to the dinners Friday night, have a great freaking time, turn around, drive home, drive back in the morning, spend time with really great friends, and figure the friendships made are worth more than the money spent. That's just one example, but a good one, I think.

I didn't finish the third book in the Vampires of Crimson Bay series, but it's 1/4 done and IT SOLD to Avon Impulse, the publisher who bought the first two. I also wrote two paranormal novellas and sold them to Harlequin Cravings.

(And, in case you were curious, I don't have any plans to write a paranormal YA. Not anymore. I've got two other paranormal series stirring up in my brain after the Vampires of Crimson Bay series. I'm going to focus on those. My agent will KILL ME if I come at her with a YA at this point. ;))

Lastly, I didn't final in either contest. HOWEVER, I got really good scores (or at least really good for me--best yet),and one of my critique partners finaled. Seeing her all dolled up, heading to the Death by Chocolate Award Ceremony at RWA in NYC...I just couldn't be happier for her. For now, I'm living vicariously through her. :)

Okay...Really Freaking Lofty Writing Goals for 2012...that's the official title. Officially.

*Final in the Daphne (I want this sucker so bad...)
*Write and sell a third (and maybe a forth) novella in the Isle of Feralon series for HQN (Cravings)
*Write every day
*Write and sell another dark, gritty, sexy paranormal full-length novel to a major publishing house for a traditional print run. I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to work with HarperCollins again...time will tell.

Okay...I think that's it. Of course I could say I want a brilliantly starred RT review or to hit the NYT and USA Today Bestsellers lists, but I won't put those goals here. Not yet. I haven't made it to the point where I can start looking that far ahead without feeling like it's unreachable. Know what I mean? It's like waking up every morning saying you're going to hit the lottery. Sure, it's a goal. It could happen. But that doesn't belong on any Really Freaking Lofty Goal Lists either.

And what would a year in review be without The Year in Review from JibJab? Enjoy!

Hope you have a wonderful New Year! Bring it, 2012! I'm ready!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ah, yes. Inspiration via Snow Patrol

I've taken a bit of a break from writing Forbidden by Fate, novella #2 for the Harlequin Cravings line.

And, to be honest, I've been stuck. Every time I open it up, I write 500 words or so, then my inspiration dries up.

But yesterday I found "Run" by Snow Patrol. Though I didn't really pay attention to the lyrics, I wrote 1k yesterday and I'm aiming for 2k today. I just took a break between writing bursts and looked up the lyrics. No wonder it's so inspirational for this WIP. It pretty much sums up the theme.

Back to work I go!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vamped Up Price ERROR

Just wanted to clarify something...

VAMPED UP is NOT $262, as Amazon states. (You can check out the massive oversight--and overprice--HERE.) We're working out the glitches and hope we haven't scared you off.

The e-version released December 6th for $3.99. You can get your e-copy from your favorite e-retailer. Here's a few:
Books a Million

However, if you are interested in purchasing a PRINT COPY (hey, thanks so much!), it releases December 27th for $4.88. NOT the $262 Amazon is claiming. You CAN preorder VAMPED UP for the correct price here:


I can't apologize enough for the inconvenience. And if you are one of the people who've emailed me wondering why the price is so high, it's not. I'm sorry. As soon as it's fixed I'll let you know.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How'd I celebrate the release of Vamped Up, you ask?

There were bright, happy faces...(A rare pic of Husband--he's the hunky, hunky, cheesy one on the right.)

There was cinnamon coffee cake...LOTS OF IT...

There was Settler's...(I was red and ended up winning only 1 game of 3 for the night.)

And there was Guiness...

I'd say I had a damn good release day.

(Side note: I took the wild goose that we found in our backyard to our local Wildlife Rescue Center. Turns out it wasn't a goose at all. It was an American Coot.
It'd somehow flown in from the river, hurt it's wing and couldn't get back. The Wildlife Rescue is going to fix him right up and set him free. Good deed done for the day!!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Vamped Up release day!

Today was a big day.

VAMPED UP released!

I celebrated by going to a local bookclub (Hello Monday Mamas!) and eavesdropping while they ooh'd and aah'd over someone else's book. (The author was a friend of mine and her work is really great, so I didn't mind sharing the spotlight. :wink:) I drank coffee, laughed, talked writing and the future of my series. It was a perfect morning.

This afternoon I cooked. Cleaned. Did laundry. Oh, and chased a poor, little helpless goose who'd somehow lost his way. He showed up on our back porch. Our yapping terrier nearly got to him, but I noticed the little guy in time. We corralled him in some brush and put him in a cat-cage. He was scared and no doubt, hungry, but at least he's out of the cold for the night with some chicken feed and water. I'm going to call the local wildlife rescue service in the morning and see what they can do for him.

What are my plans tonight, you ask? I'm going to scratch up some homemade coffee cake (after I borrow some flour from my neighbor), make a rich cup of coffee, spike it with some Bailey's, and play Settler's of Catan with Husband and a friend. Check back later and I just might post a picture!

Can't wait.

Oh! And Goddess Fish is hosting a virtual blog tour for the release. If you comment on any of the blog posts, you're entered into a giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon giftcard. Stop by and say Hi! If you've got questions for me to answer or just want to show some love, this is the time to do it. I'll be popping in and out of the blogs all week, looking for questions and comments.

Here's the schedule:
December 5: My bookish ways
December 6: Reader Girls
December 7: Among the Muses
December 8: AsianCocoa's Secret Garden
December 9: Parajunkee's View
December 9: Immortality and Beyond

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Kindle Giveaway!

Ready for a huge giveaway this holiday season?

The Dark Temptresses and I are giving away a Kindle and a whole stash of e-books to one lucky commenter. All you've got to do is click on the link below to be taken to the Darker Temptations blog, and comment on any post posted between now and Dec. 19th. The winner will randomly be chosen then!

Super easy. (Wish I could enter!!)

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Today has turned out to be a freaking awesome day. Good. One of the best in a long while. First, as I was shopping in Target this morning, I got a call from my agent. She had great news to share...that I'm not going to announce just yet.

Then I came home and had a package from HarperCollins waiting for me. (Those are always THE BEST. Like Christmas. And your birthday. Times ten.) Take a look at what was inside:

Early copies of VAMPED UP! They're GORGEOUS. Breathtaking. Prettier than I thought they'd be. The e-copies (found at pretty much any e-retailer) release Dec 6th. (THAT'S NEXT TUESDAY!!) The print version releases Dec 27.

Now you ready for The Bad?

No, I didn't find a new and creative way to point UP. (Hardy-freakin'-har!) I sliced my finger open while cutting onions yesterday afternoon. It was a new knife. A slippery onion peel. I dug into my flesh, bled a ton, and even cut through my nail bed. It was nasty. I rushed to the doctor to see if I needed stitches, if they could re-attach the flap that'd come off. No stitches, but they glued the skin and nail back in place and strapped down some surgical tape. Now I have to wear the funky hand bandage from hell for a week.

Want to see The Ugly picture of the cut?

Told you it was ugly. That whole sliced part is REMOVABLE. :shudder:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In the words of Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.

--I had one of those "down and out" days yesterday, and it wasn't because the fog has decided to blanket northern California all week. There were a few reasons why, none of which I'm going to go into right now. I'm not really sure why this particular poem came to mind (I've only read it once and it was years back), but certain lines kept popping into my head. I didn't exactly know the name of the poem, or where it came from. It simply cycled over and over in my head--even drowned out the radio--while I was driving home from my in-laws last night.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

Yup. I've mulled over the internet, whined to a select few, confided fears in others, and now I'm over it. I'm embracing Mother Teresa's words of wisdom and writing my heart out until...well, until tomorrow comes and I'll do it again.

And maybe within the next few days, weeks, months, I won't be so cryptic.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. On towards Christmas!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm not one of those

On the eve of Twilight's Breaking Dawn release, I must say...I have absolutely NO desire to stand in line for 2 hours in the godforsaken cold just so I can see a movie with a theater full of screaming girls. I don't want to sit for two hours getting kicked in the back. I don't want to huff and puff when the pre-adolescent girls pull out their cells to update their Facebook statuses mid-movie. I mean, it's SO IMPORTANT for your "friends" to know you're "watching" the movie, right? Then watch the darn movie and put your phones away.

:deep breath:

Don't get me wrong. I want to watch Breaking Dawn. I do. (I would've rather watched the whole shebang in one film instead of two, but whatever, Hollywood.) I just want to watch it when I won't have to share an armrest with a stranger or stand in long ass lines for a $4.00 box of Goobers.

I'm just sayin'...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Vamped Up goes into the world--NetGalley Review Time!

I'm a little nervous...

VAMPED UP goes out to reviewers on NetGalley today.

I absolutely love this book. It's my baby. I fell in love with Eve and Ruan right away. From the moment they popped on the radar in INTERVAMPTION, I couldn't wait to tell their story. It's the first book I've written that elicited serious emotional reactions from me as I wrote it. (I teared up during one scene and released butterflies in my stomach for a few others.) My writing got stronger through the pages and I went deeper into these characters than I've done with any others.

But I still worry. There are bound to be imperfections and people who don't relate to the work. I'm sure there'll be bad reviews. There'll be expectations that aren't met. (Especially after the great reviews of InterVamption.)

Nothing can be done about that.

(I would like to think ALL writers, regardless what stage of their craft and career they're in, go through this kind of panic mode when reviewers get their hands on our work. You pray there are good reviews with the bad. No wait, you pray that the bad reviews are swamped by good ones. That would make the bad reviews more tolerable, wouldn't it? I know I'm rambling--told you I was nervous.)

Anyhow, I suppose I have to suck it up. Allow myself to sweat and worry. Then let the story go. It's like dropping off my youngest at school for the first day. As I left the parking lot, I couldn't help but wonder how his first day was going to go. Were the other kids going to be kind to him? Would he make friends? Would he sing and play and be happy or would he sulk by himself? Is Vamped Up going to live up to the expectation I've placed upon it? Will Ruan and Eve reach through the pages and grab readers' hearts? I sure hope so.

I'm just so damn jittery this morning and it has to be because my latest work is finally going out into the world.

Good luck, VAMPED UP. Fly, baby, fly.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Three Year Writing Anniversary to me!

I started on this crazy writing journey three years ago today...or this week, or next, or whatever. Anyhow, the day is close. I remember that by Thanksgiving in 2008, I'd already had a few chapters down the chute and my fingers were buzzing.

With each anniversary comes reflection and hopefully a little appreciation of how far you've come as a couple.

Me and my writing journey...we've come a long way.

I started writing with an idea: A girl who has visions of death before they happen. I thought I'd like to read a book like that. That's it. Nothing earth-shattering. I tossed around the idea for a couple weeks, but not once did I sit down at the keyboard to spit out a novel. The reason is simple: I wasn't spectacular at creative writing in college. I found myself so bogged down by the "rules" of the writing project (whatever it may have been at the time), that I never allowed myself the freedom I needed. (This is the reflection, part.) Write a poem using the five senses? Great. I'll do it. Write a short story using these very specific, and very random, fifty words. No problem. The writing was grammatically correct, structurally sound, and the stories flowed...but there was no meat to them, and the teachers could tell. (It wasn't until I tossed the rules that I *got* it.)

One day, Husband said, "Why don't you try writing a book?"

My response was something like, "I don't know if I can." (I was thinking something like holy hell, 400 pages would take FOREVER to write!)

"Well, why don't you sit down at the computer, no pressure, and see how far you get?" he said, like it was nothin'.

And it was nothing. I mean, writing a novel is SOMETHING. It's hard and tedious and strapping. But I had absolutely nothing to lose.

That story, set in Joliet, Illinois, about a marine who goes to war and a girl who finds herself through life (and death), was written in three months. I wrote late at night when the Husband and munchkins were sleeping. I wrote furiously. No holds barred.

It wasn't great. But it was a start. The writing bug got under my skin. I took the next step. How do I learn to write great books? Learn from the best! That's when I found RWA National and went to my first RWA conference (2009 Washington D.C), where I soaked up what the best of the best had to offer an enthusiastic newbie like me. I traveled by myself. I didn't know a single person there. I was focused on, not a writing career, but writing a single book that people loved to read.

That's where the journey really began...

Because I like lists, I'm gonna break down the timeline from there on out.


-First story written


-first story rejected by 100 agents
-Dark Tide Rising written
-half of Intervamption written
-Dark Tide Rising rejected by same 100 agents


-Dark Tide Rising given two offers of publication from e-publishers
-Intervamption finished
-Dark Tide rising sold to The Wild Rose Press
-Offer of representation from agent for Intervamption query
-lost representation (agency closure)
-New offer of representation from agent (Hellooo Nalini!)
-half of Vamped Up written


-Intervamption and Vamped Up sold to Avon Impulse
-Dark Tide Rising published in February
-Vamped Up finished
-Intervamption published in July
-Claimed by Desire written
-Claimed by Desire and 2nd novella sold to Harlequin
*Vamped Up published in December
*Feralon novella 2 written


*Book 3 in Vampires of Crimson Bay series written
*Claimed by Desire published in Summer
*2nd novella published in Fall or Winter

(*'s are things to come, pending the stars aligning "just so" and the current path continuing as is.)

Quite a relationship we've had the past three years, isn't it? What that list doesn't include are the amount of wonderful writers I've become friends with. The critique partners who've helped shape my work. And how my becoming President of SFARWA this year has impacted my career. Since my first conference in D.C., I haven't missed a one. I still hope that people (or even one person) loves my work, but now I've got the bigger picture--this is my career.

And I can do this. (At least that's what I tell myself when I sit at the computer, staring at the blank screen!)

I only hope the next three years are as eventful as the last!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Wanna see something cool?

Awwwwww, yeah!! That's the grand reveal I've been waiting for--the cover of VAMPED UP, Book 2 in the Vampires of Crimson Bay Series. And (holycrapIcan'tbelieveit) do you see that unbelievable quote in the corner?!? Yup, that's from #1 New York Times Bestselling author Christine Feehan. Yup, that's what she had to say about my book. Yup, I'm passing out from lack of oxygen. I'm walking on air. Drowning. Spinning. Elated. Somebody pinch me.

VAMPED UP releases December 6th from Avon Impulse. It'll be available at all local e-retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble,, Books-a-Million, etc, etc) for e-books and print on demand.

If you haven't read the first book in the series, INTERVAMPTION, it's still .99 cents at your local e-retailer, too!

In other good news...I've revamped my website: It should be easier to navigate now. I've also added updated snippets of the books I've written and am writing, including Claimed by Desire.

And did you know I blog at Darker Temptations now too? I post there every other Thursday. (Not this one, but the next one.) We'll be giving away some pretty cool things next month (LIKE A FREAKING KINDLE!!), so check back.

I'm gonna leave you a song that's got me rocking this week. I'm trying to work (and focus all my creative energy) on the second novella in the Feralon series, but once this song got under my skin, all I can think about is a character you'll meet in VAMPED UP. This is HIS song. Angry. Bitter. Redeeming.

So here you go--the song that's in my head every day. The song I sing picking up my kids from school. The song blaring from my radio as I'm driving.

So if you happen to be local, and see me flipping out in my car, I'm not crazy, I promise. I'm rocking out. Got any songs stuck in your head lately?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Really good reason to be MIA this month. AND A TWO NOVELLA DEAL TO HARLEQUIN!

Yes, I've been MIA for, like, a month. (You may throw stones now.)

But I've got good reason. Swear.

We're doing a massive remodel on our kitchen and bathroom. Everything in our kitchen cabinets has vomited into our living room. Laundry is a pain since my laundry room is stuffed to the brim. I've been swallowed in edits of Vamped Up, Book 2 in the Vampires of Crimson Bay Series. They turned out great, better than I'd hoped. I've spent the last two days writing the back cover blurb for the book, and since there seemed to be a consensus among reviewers that the back cover blurb for InterVamption didn't do the book justice, I'm trying to redeem myself. (But that comment in and of itself is a compliment, don't you think? The blurb didn't do the book justice. Ah yes, the meat of the book was great, but the blurb fell short. I'll take it.) We've been battling some sort of Sheetrock dusting cold, which means the kids get the coughs and sneezes and pass it around like a hot potato. And I sold a two novella deal to Harlequin.

Wait. Hold the phone. OHMYGOSH, DIDN'T I TELL YOU?!?

I wrote a 25k word novella titled, Claimed by Desire, this summer. Super Agent Nalini pitched it and sold it to Harlequin Cravings. I'm so beyond thrilled that they wanted two novellas instead of the one. I absolutely love the world I created and want to spend more time there. I can't wait to dive back in. (Did I mention I've got nothing written on the second one? Not a single plot line or sketch of a character. And I've got a due date! Whoa! This "real writer" stuff is heavy. I better get my backside in gear.)

Anyway, Claimed by Desire will release Summer of 2012 with the second one releasing Fall or Winter of 2012. I wish I had something more concrete to give you. Oh wait. I do.

Claimed by Desire Blurb

As teenagers, dragon shifter Rafe Landon and empath Misty Burke shared a heart-stopping love and heated passion that neither expected…especially since on the mystical Isle of Feralon, dragons aren’t supposed to embrace members of other races. Fearing for Misty’s life should she be claimed as his rider, Rafe commits the ultimate sacrifice and sets his love free, banishing her from the enchanted isle.

The last thing he expects is for Misty to return to Feralon ten years later as a very mature, and deviously sexy woman on a mission: use her heightened sensory powers to locate the missing Draco stone, a sacred gem that strengthens the dragon race. But Rafe is hiding a secret of his own. Forsaking a rider will end his life…in two days time. Despite his eternal love for Misty, he refuses to imprison her on the isle, condemning her to an early grave.

For Misty, Rafe will gladly pay the ultimate sacrifice—he’ll die, so she can live.

It’s not long before Rafe and Misty are swept away by undercurrents of passion that never waned. Their quest to find the sacred stone may be more of a journey than either realized—one that not only leads to the lost gem, but to true, undying love.

Whatcha think?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


For a very limited time (and I don't really know exactly how little--a week maybe?) e-copies of INTERVAMPTION ARE .99 CENTS!

.99 CENTS!

I can hardly buy a bag of peanut m&ms for under a dollar anymore, and that's gone in, like, sixty seconds. At least by buying this book, you'll get to enjoy your purchase longer. Hey, in hard economic times like these, you really gotta look at what you're getting for the cost, right?

.99 cents.

That's it. That's so cheap I might download a copy of my own. I'd offer to give one away in some sort of contest or sweepstakes, but they're like, less than a buck. You can't buy a gallon of gas on that. Or a loaf of bread. Or a gallon of milk.

But you could buy a book that I'm absolutely in love with. One I poured my heart and soul into. Maybe if you give it a shot, you'll love it too. What've you got to lose? Some spare change you could find in your couch? (Oh, I'm just loving this.)

.99 cents. Crazy.

I'd be absolutely thrilled if you went and bought yourself a copy. :grin:

Friday, September 16, 2011

How I'm handling edits on Vamped Up, Book 2 in the Vampires of Crimson Bay Series

I got the first round of edits back on Vamped Up yesterday. Actually, I got the commented manuscript back two days ago and the revision letter yesterday.

Before I'd ever reached this stage...before I'd snagged the best agent on the planet and the most dedicated editor...I wondered how authors viewed their edits. What's the revision letter all about? What's the process like? How long do you have until you have to send them back? Then what?

I can't speak for everyone because, let's face it, every writer is going to have a different experience with their editor or book and a different process for dealing with the mountain of revisions they inevitably receive.


When I saw my editor's email in my inbox, glaring in bold--Book 2 edits--with that little paperclip symbol, I freaked. I got butterflies. I took a really deep breath, and I opened the mail.


Now when I dove into the book, I was looking for her comments in the margins. (THERE'S SO MANY OF THOSE DAMN RED THINGS! I'M TALKING MAYBE 2 BUBBLES PER PAGE.) I wanted to see where she tripped up in my writing, where the comments slowed down (meaning she was absorbed in the story) and where they picked up (places that still needed work). I noted those in my trusty composition notebook. I fixed some easy-do's. I highlighted new changes I wanted to make, leaving little notes for myself in the margins. I got reacquainted with the novel and my characters. (WELL HELLO, RUAN, IT'S BEEN TOO LONG.)

That's it.

The first run through is over. Took two days.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. I opened the revision letter. It was four pages worth of suggestions, divied up by character. (ie: Ruan--fix XYZ on page 123. Dylan--go into more detail on her xyz from chap 8-12. Savage--what's with his blablitty-blah issues in the beginning? Move that to chap x and flop that end part to the middle. Mesh it flawlessly.) (I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE STRUCTURE OF THIS REVISION LETTER! SEE, I'M A HARD CORE PLOTTER. I CAN WEAVE A PLOT LIKE NO ONE'S BUSINESS. I CAN CREATE A STORY OUT OF A SIMPLE IDEA AND THROW MORE COMPLEX ISSUES AT THE CHARACTERS THAN THEY KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THE CHARACTERS, I TEND TO SPIN THEM ROUND AND ROUND ON MY PLOT STRING, AND FORGET TO TIE SOME OF THEIR ENDS TOGETHER. WHAT I MEAN IS, MY EDITOR POINTED OUT PLACES TO MAKE MY CHARACTERS STRONGER. WAYS TO BRING ABOUT MORE OF AN AH-HA MOMENT. WAYS TO TORTURE THEM WITH THEIR PAST. IT WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED. NO, SHE DIDN'T DO THAT FOR INTERVAMPTION'S REVISION LETTER. MAYBE SHE'S REALIZING MY STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES AND WORKING WITH THEM. I DUNNO. ALL I KNOW IS, THIS IS GOING TO WORK AND MAKE VAMPED UP SHINE!) Seeing all the work that needed to go into Vamped Up and feeling a little overwhelmed, I re-formatted the letter. I double spaced it. (YES, IT WAS FOUR PAGES SINGLE SPACED!) I gave each character his/her own page. I took out the "I thinks" and the "You shoulds" and gave each instruction a 1,2,3 assignment. Now, I've got this really tight word doc straight from my editor about what I have to get done. It's gone from "wouldn't this be great here" to "get this shit done in order and make it snappy!" Just the way I like it. It's now eight pages long. (HOLY F#@%& EIGHT PAGES...EIGHT PAGES...HOW THE HELL AM I GOING TO GET THIS DONE. I SUCK. I TOTALLY SUCK. SHITDAMNSHIT! PRESSUREPRESSUREPRESSURE! HEADEXPLOSION!)

Then I closed all documents and put it aside for the day.


I cleaned out my kitchen cabinets and stayed up late watching the season premieres of Vampire Diaries (WHY OH WHY, DON'T ELENA AND DAMON HOOK UP ALREADY?!?) and America's Next Top Model All Stars.

Today, tomorrow, the next day and the next, I'm going to be editing. Non stop. I'll go down the list, tweak what needs tweaking, iron what needs smoothing. Then I'll read through it again from the beginning to make sure it's tight. Then I'll download it to my kindle and read through it again, taking notes, to make sure it reads right. (THAT'S FOUR READS OF MY 400 PAGE BOOK IN THREE WEEKS, IF YOU DIDN'T CATCH IT.)

Then, and only then, will I send it back to my editor...on October 9th...a day early.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting Older

Husband was going to call up some friends to play basketball at our house this evening. We have a small court that acts as our driveway, certainly enough room for two on two. He called a few friends and his younger brother to play. When he hung up the phone, he looked at me with a puzzled frown on his face and said, "Damn, we're getting old."

My reaction was something like "Well, gee. Thanks."

He scratched his head, perplexed, like he didn't hear a word I said. "I called up Joe, asked him to play this evening and he said, ', wait. I'll have to check with the wife when she gets home from work and make sure she's all right with handling both kids on her own tonight'."

I nodded, not sure how this makes me old.

Husband continued. "Then I called up Sam and asked him to play. He said, 'Great, what time?' I told him around six and he said, 'Well, I got someone coming to fix our water heater. It broke last night. Let me see if I can reschedule it'."

I blinked slowly. "So because your friends have to check with their wives and fix their water heaters, that means that I'm old?"

"I call Joe and he has to check with his wife before he can come out and play. I call Sam and he's got to fix something with his house." He laughed, a playful gleam in his eye. "Wanna know what Cam, my little brother said, when I asked him to come over?"

I waited.

"He said, 'I'm in. What time?'"

So there you have it. The passage of time does funny things. You get older and wiser, but with that comes all kinds of baggage. (Some of that baggage is priceless and cheek-pinching cute, though, isn't it?) Although I don't know anyone in their thirties who would go back to being eighteen, it definitely has its perks. Zip zero responsibilities.

And this is what we have to look forward to from here:

*Wait until the middle of this video for a great laugh. Just when you think he's being a gentleman, complimenting her hair, he says the unexpected. I suppose there are some things time never changes...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Suspending Disbelief

In paranormal and urban fantasy, there is something called Suspension of Disbelief. It's the idea that when I bend back the cover of one of those novels, I'm expected to be whisked away to another world. I'm prepared to believe that vampires exist (they may or may not sparkle), that werewolves shift beneath every full moon (then walk among us during the day), and that love can exist between paranormal creatures from different species. Demon and vampire? No problem! Angel and Fae? Sure!

But there are certain things you have to keep real...

Like location, for example. If I'm expecting the reader to think the story takes place in San Francisco on the Embarcadero, I better have my facts straight. I better know which piers exist and which are skipped. I better know the Embarcadero curves westward as the numbers increase. I better know where the bars and restaurants are, and where there are more tourists than locals. Throw a vampire in there and I can believe it. Take me to a pier that doesn't exist, while you insist that it does and you may have lost me.

I can suspend disbelief of the world you've created, but cannot ignore the rules of my own.

This includes the concept of time. Am I the only one who had a problem with the length of Bella's pregnancy in Twilight? Were you able to hop on board the "we just consummated our marriage and I feel my belly expanding" train? I wasn't. I could believe Edward sparkled in daylight. Could see the Volturi on their thrones in some foreign land. But I could not get past the pregnancy issue. (And really, it was all because Meyer had to show Jacob imprinting on Bella's young. The baby had to be born quickly. But does that make it the right tool to use? I don't think so. I put the book down at that point. Sad...)

I can believe in lust at first sight. I can believe characters may be attracted to paranormal creatures of a different species, but...

You have to keep the logic behind their relationship real. Does the heroine feel threatened by the hero at their first meeting? (ie: is she being kidnapped, held at knife point, strangled by a stranger in her bed, shoved into a trunk, buried alive, held at gun point during a hostage situation?) If so, how can the author expect the reader to believe that instead of fear and anxiety in the given situation, the heroine would be lusting after her captor? The wicked, yet warm gleam in his eyes, the hard ridges of his abs, the way he softly grated the rope around the curve of her neck...nope! Sorry. Doesn't cut it. I can believe there are vampire-therian-shifter wars. In fact, I can easily believe there are prisoners of those wars who eventually become love interests to their "enemies"...but the key word is EVENTUALLY. That change of heart must be gradual to be believable.

(I'm reading Showalter's Heart of the Dragon and let's face it, she's one of the hottest paranormal writers in the market right now.) When the hero first meets the heroine, she has accidentally stepped into an enchanted mist and rocketed into Atlantis...where the hero must kill her for entering. Does the heroine fall all over herself gazing into his eyes? No, she shoots him. Over and over again. Knees him in the crotch. Screams for help. Does she also notice how strong he is? Yes. But it's done in such a way that you know she's putting up a fight. You know she wants to escape his hold, not nuzzle into it. Only after a long while does she notice the other, more gentler, things about him.)

In other words, take your reader to another world. Ask them to believe the unbelievable. But don't ask them to forget the laws natural to them.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Winner!

Nikki from Close Encounters of the Night Kind has won a Kindle copy of Intervamption!

My clue was "Where is my favorite pizza place?"

And you know what? I went this weekend!

Smugs Pizza Joint! There it is! For $4, you get a slice of pizza, a soda and a bag of chips!

It's deee-licious. And no, I didn't go to Smugs to be able to post these pics for the Scavenger Hunt. I haven't been to the Arcata Square in six years (far too long) and just happen to plan a trip for the same weekend as the Hunt. Coincidence? I think not.

You know what? I think Nikki and I are both winners. :wink:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Intervamption GIVEAWAYS

At the moment, there are only two ways you can get your hands on a free copy of Intervamption.

1-Follow and comment on my interview post over at My Bookish Ways. The wonderful blog mistress, Kristin (I just adore her name--heh), is giving away a print copy of the book. The giveaway ends in 10 days.

2-Follow the scavenger hunt clues from Darker Temptations that should've led you here. We're kicking off the blog right and giving away A TON of awesome books. (The rules and timeline for the hunt should be up at Darker Temptations sometime today, though I think the deadline is Sunday. Keep checking back!) For the chance to win a kindle version of Intervamption, you should be looking for the answer to my clue: the name of my favorite pizza place. Find the right answer somewhere on my blog and take it back to Darker Temptations. Follow the rules for your chance to win! Good luck!

So there you have it! If you win the print copy of Intervamption and would like a bookmark (or 2!) to go along with it, email me and I'll get you one. If you win the kindle copy of Intervamption, go to and request an autograph. I'd love to digitally sign your book!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Vampires of Crimson Bay #2 has a title!

Vamped Up!

It's release date is December 6th and the blurb can be found in the "Books" tab above. I'm very excited about this story. Ruan and Eve were great characters to write--I really put them through the ringer! Not to mention, I think the book contains some of my best writing to date.

If you purchased a copy of InterVamption, the first chapter of Vamped Up is given as a teaser at the end.

I should have a cover to share soon.

In other good news, I'm going to be posting bi-monthly on the Darker Temptations blog. I'll be posting every other Thursday. Other fabulous authors included in the blog are Danica Avet, Cynthia Eden, Erin Kellison, Katie Reus, Marcella Burnard, Rebecca Zanetti, and Sayde Grace. I'm very excited to be a part of such a talented group of writers. I'll give you the heads up when it gets up and running.

Until then...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trying something new--stuffed manicotti

I'm a creature of habit. I tend to cook the same things for my family. I order the same things off menus of familiar restaurants. I'm not that spontaneous. And I steer clear of certain aisles in the grocery store all together.

So when Husband came home with portobello mushroom smoked chicken sausage, I thought what the hell am I doing to do with that?

Husband offered to eat the links raw, which convinced me he really is the rugged mountain man I thought he was.

Instead, I went to the store, picked up a few easy ingredients, came home and cooked THE BEST pasta dish EVER. It tasted like something we ordered from Macaroni Grill. Husband kept blinking at me during dinner, like I was a mirage...wearing a chef's hat.

So, of course, I want to share the recipe with you. It's easy cheesy.

Portobello Mushroom Sausage and Cheese Manicotti

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup dry red wine. (I used a 2008 Gnarly Head Merlot)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
dashes of Italian seasoning
15 oz ricotta cheese
2 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded or diced
3 oz Parmesan cheese, graded
3 links portobello mushroom sausage, chopped
10 manicotti shells


Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onions and garlic, saute until translucent. Add red wine, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.

In medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses. Stir in sausage and season with pepper to taste.

Boil manicotti. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread 1/4 cup sauce along bottom of oiled 13x9x2 glass dish. Fill each pasta shell with about 1/3 cup cheese-sausage mix. Arrange stuffed manicotti in single layer in dish and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over top. Bake uncovered until heated through and bubbling, 20-30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

That's it! Easy, right? This isn't a dish I'd make frequently, but it's definitely going to be one we treat ourselves with from time to time.

To top it off, Husband did the dishes after dinner! Score!

**WRITING UPDATE: Vampires of Crimson Bay Book #2 will have a title and cover soon. I can't wait to share them with you! Intervamption continues to get great reviews--THANK YOU, readers! I'm chugging away through Book 3 in the Vampires of Crimson Bay Series. Tentative finish date is November. (I'm really gonna need Fall rain to get me through.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Intervamption now available in print!

Huzzah! The kinks are all worked out! You can now order Intervamption in print format at all the major e-retailers.

A heads up, though...if you preordered the book through Amazon, you may need to double check you shipping summary. I went in this morning to check the status of my book shipment, and an account warning stated that since there was a delay in shipping, I had to REAPPROVE the order before they could ship my books.

Thank you all so, so, so much for your patience. I can't wait to hear what you "print readers" have to think. :grin:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Technology can be both a blessing and a pain. The e-version of Intervamption released July 26th without a hitch. Reviews have been great (check out the new snippets on the REVIEW tab above), and I couldn't be happier with the outpouring of support from friends, family and new readers.

But today was supposed to be the smooth-sailing release of the print version of Intervamption. We've encountered some problems. They're being worked out (never fear) as I sit and type this. Ebook sellers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders are showing the book is "Out of Stock" or "Temporarily Unavailable for Purchase". Between Super Agent Nalini and Editor Extraordinaire Esi, the issues will be resolved ASAP.

So...yes, there is a glitch. Intervapmtion is available in print. You can pre-order it on Amazon and it will be shipped once we iron out the kinks.

Please keep checking back. I'll post something here as soon as I have the good news. And, hey, if you have a minute, why don't you take a look at the new box on the sidebar that shows all the wicked cool blogs I'm visiting this month!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review, Interview and Florence and the Machine

There's a few things I want to point out today.

1-Kristin, over at My Bookish Ways, gave an awesome 4/5 hat review for Intervamption. I'll be guest blogging for a paranormal/urban fantasy event on the site in late August or early September. I'll keep you posted on the deets as I get 'em.

2-I did an interview for Kaitlyn at Nocturnal Readings. If you're interested in the inspiration for Intervamption or which character is my favorite, that's the blog to visit.

3-I'm blogging over at Pensfatales Friday, tomorrow, August 5th. The post topic is "SEXY" and it was oh-so-much-fun to write!

4-Florence and the Machine is totally bad case you didn't know already. I found the video below on youtube last night, as I was reeling through songs to listen to while I write Vampires of Crimson Bay #3. It's obviously not an official video and because of that, I'm not sure how long it'll last on my page before it's pulled. If you get to view it, count yourself lucky. It's true artistry. No Lady Gaga theatrics. No KISS pyrotechnics. No Beiber side-swiped hair. Just a voice that can shiver you to your toes.

(Edited to add: you have to click the black screen to cue video.)

And just in case that one doesn't last long, here's another.

Wow. Just wow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Want to know what made me smile today?


Vampires and Earls and Romance, Oh My; New From Avon Impulse: Intervamption and I Love the Earl
Desperate Circumstances and Dueling Personalities Collide in Two New e-Originals
New York, NY (PRWeb) August 03, 2011

Avon Impulse delivers two new titles from rising stars in romance—Caroline Linden and Kristin Miller. Avon fans will delight in I Love the Earl, a novella from award-winning author Linden that serves as a prequel to her breathtaking new historical romance series about three brothers seeking their fortunes—and love. Miller is a brand new Avon author who will appeal to fans of paranormal romances that combine powerful heroines and sexy, brooding heroes with a good dose of chemistry and wit—think Jeaniene Frost and Kerrelyn Sparks. Her debut title, Intervamption, is the start of The Vampires of Crimson Bay series, set in a world of vampires and shapeshifters, where nothing is what it seems.

I Love the Earl:
Margaret de Lacey has accepted her unmarried state with dignity, if not delight. She had no suitors when she was young and starry-eyed, though regrettably poor, and it’s unlikely any man will court her now that she’s older, wiser, and still just as penniless. Until, that is, her brother unexpectedly inherits the dukedom of Durham and settles an enormous dowry on her, making her the most eligible heiress in town. No gentleman in London is more in need of a wealthy bride than Rhys Corwen, Earl of Dowling. He contrives an introduction to Margaret because of her dowry, but she swiftly sets him right: no fortune hunter will win her heart or her hand. Far from put off, Rhys is intrigued. Interested. Entranced. And soon the only thing he needs more than Margaret’s fortune…is her love.

Slade, a fallen assassin, has been given a second chance. Called back into action for an unknown task, Slade must shift into what he hates most: a vampire. When he awakens, an instant attraction ignites between him and his sexy vamp teacher, Dylan, who’s been assigned to show him the ropes. Dylan’s orderly life blew up recently when a rogue vampire killed himself right before her eyes. On top of that, her pride and joy, ReVamp --or the Rehabilitation Facility and Management Program for Vampires--is in major trouble. She's been accused of providing infected blood to the locals, weakening them and making them easier prey for their enemies, the shape-shifting therians. Forced to question long-held allegiances, Dylan and Slade have no choice but to trust in each other as mayhem reigns around them.

About the Authors:
Caroline Linden knew from an early age she was a reader, but not a writer. Despite an addiction to Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, she studied physics and dreamed of being an astronaut. She earned a math degree from Harvard College and then wrote software for a financial services firm, all the while reading everything in sight but especially romance. Only after she had children, and found herself with only picture books to read, did she begin to make up a story of her own. To her immense surprise, it turned out to be an entire novel—and it was much more fun than writing computer code. Now the author of eight books, she lives with her family in New England.

Kristin Miller is the author of Dark Tide Rising, a romantic suspense, and the Vampires of Crimson Bay series, a paranormal series featuring a blood war between vampires and shape-shifters from Avon Impulse. She lives in Northern California with her family.

I Love the Earl
Avon Impulse * e-book originals * on sale 8/2/11 * ISBN 9780062109477 * $1.99

Avon Impulse * e-book originals * on sale 7/26/11 * ISBN 9780062105202 * $3.99

More information available online at Avon Romance
You can read the article in its entirety here: PRWeb

Isn't that AWESOME?!?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Intervamption Bookmarks!

In other exciting news:

THANK YOU Brenda Pandos for designing these AMAZING bookmarks! They're absolutely perfect. Thank you for capturing my vision of them, before I even knew what I wanted. Can't wait to start dishing them out!


Talks of e-books and the e-revolution buzzed around RWA national this year. Everywhere you turned, people were talking about the "future of publishing" and what that meant.

No one had any solid answers.

BUT one very valid concern did grind my brain more than others: What will happen to book signings and author autographed copies of books once the world turns digital?

Kindlegraph has answered the question. allows authors to electronically sign kindle copies of their books! How cool is that?!?

I've already signed up both Dark Tide Rising and InterVamption. I've already had a few requests for both books--even before I signed up. Aww, shucks, you guys. Nothing like making a girl blush.

Now, I guess, the only question is how this process is going to work when readers want the same experience of waiting in line to meet their favorite authors and get that coveted autograph. Will it be the same? No. Probably not. I think Kindlegraph is simply the first phase of part of the transition of the e-revolution...but what a great one it is!

It's also super easy to sign up. All you need is your kindle/amazon email. I'll be checking my Kindlegraph account regularly...hope to see your request there! :grin:

Friday, July 29, 2011

Those Vampires in Crimson Bay are HUNGRY! Recipes today!

I rolled out of bed this morning in a great mood. Other than the nail stuck in my tire that had the sucker all but flat, today's been good.

In light of my odd morning mood--believe me, I am sooo not the morning person around my household--I managed to find two recipes from the Vampires of Crimson Bay's A How-to Cookbook by Miss Canine

Truly Bloody Mary
• 1 ½ oz vodka
• 3 oz tomato juice
• 3 drops Tabasco sauce
• 1 dash lemon juice
a pinprick of AB blood

Blend all ingredients. Serve with a blood-soaked celery stick. For mundane tastes, omit the pinprick of blood and replace the blood-soaked celery stick with a dry one.

Tomato basil and O+ soup
• 4 cups chopped seeded peeled tomato
• 4 cups tomato juice
1 cup of your favorite blood type, freshly siphoned
• 1/3 cup fresh basil
• 1 cup milk
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
• 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

Bring tomato and juice to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Place tomato mixture and basil in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan; stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Add cream cheese, stirring well with a whisk, and cook over medium heat until thick (about 5 minutes).

For a healthier version, substitute the blood of a dieting mundane or light cream cheese for the ingredients in the classic recipe. And for mundane tastes, simply omit the blood.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vampires of Crimson Bay Newsletter via Avon Romance

The last few days have been a crazy-happy whirlwind. I think the best way to describe my elation would be to show you what has me grinning until my cheeks hurt.

Bitten by Paranormal Romance Review

The Jeep Diva Review

Kristin at MyBookishWays also rated it 4 of 5 stars, but the review is yet to come.

If you're interested in a reading a Vampires of Crimson Bay newsletter, follow the Avon Romance link below:

"Kristin Miller’s debut Avon Impulse novel, InterVamption, is set in the wild and wonderful world of Crimson Bay, where vampires and shapeshifters (also known as therians) have battled for centuries. Though the vampires of Crimson Bay are rather secretive, Kristin managed to get a copy of their latest newsletter. Enjoy it HERE–and be sure to download your very own copy of InterVamption today."

And hey, if you want to see a Cali girl explode with happiness, why don't ya comment on the Avon blog post? I think I'd officially die a giddy girl. *grin

Monday, July 25, 2011

Have you heard the news? Intervamption releases tomorrow!

Here's the deets:

The blurb:


Either one or both of your parents has vampire blood. Welcome to the vampire race!

Please keep a few things in mind as you ease into the most difficult phase of your life:

1. Light sensitivity, humming teeth, and stomach pains are completely normal. You’ll also be faster, stronger, and sexy as hell (if you’re lucky).

2. You’ll bloodlust and go crazy if you deny your body’s urge for blood. Why fight it?

3. Do not pierce the skin of a mundane involuntarily. We’re not animals and will not behave as such.

4. Therians, our shapeshifting brethren, cannot be trusted. Their loyalties shift as often as their identities.

And finally,

5. Lighten up—you’re not dead.

Contact Dylan, owner of ReVamp, in Crimson Bay, California, for more information.

E-Version releases July 26th, 2011
Print copies available August 9th, 2011

Avon Impulse
Barnes and Noble

How much:
E-Version $3.99
Print: $7.99

"Crisp writing, an intriguing world, wicked humor, and scorching romance—I love Kristin Miller’s InterVamption. If you love paranormal romance, this series is ‘the same but different’ in spades! Get ready to be blown away."--Virna DePaul, National bestselling author of Chosen By Blood

**I hope you read the book, I really do. And hey, why don't you stop by and tell me what you think? I'd loooove to hear from you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Good News Galore!



Now that I got that out of my system, I feel better.

There are days--oh, believe me, I've had 'em--where I feel like nothing is going right. The writing is sluggish, at best. And I just don't know how I'm going to break-in to the industry that is full of so many wonderfully talented authors.

Everyone's so great! And I'm so...well...I'm just me. From the bottom of the mountain, the climb to "measure up" is steeper than hell.

Today was NOT one of those days. Today was a great writing day. A big day.

At nine o'clock this morning, the UPS guy pulled into my driveway. We weren't expecting a delivery. Husband went outside, received the package, came back in and said, "It's from Harper Collins."

He had me at "Harper".

I opened the package, heart in my throat, and found this:

Wanna see InterVamption's sexy backside? I do...

They're mass market size! They're dark and crisp and perhaps the most beautiful thing I've seen--perfect children aside, of course.

As if today couldn't get any better, InterVamption got it's first review! Here is the link from Goodreads, though I don't know if it's going to show if you don't have an account. It received 4/5 stars and I'm THRILLED to death that the reviewer liked it as much as she did.

I was also asked to be a featured author on a blogging event coming up later this month, but I don't have the details yet. The blogger contacted my publicist, who contacted me...gosh that sounds weird...and of course I agreed to do a Q&A, because HELLO, who wouldn't?

To top the cake, the writing FLOWED today. It was one of those everything-is-in-place-and-right-with-the-writing-world-kind-of-days.

I like those.

Night all.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Would you rather...

write one book that hits HARRY POTTER/TWILIGHT hard, then drop off the face of the publishing earth,


write book after book, making a long-standing career in the writing industry?

I've heard this question asked a ton. By my non-writing friends. By critique partners. And I think the response could depend on where in the writing industry you stand. If you've already hit it big and can't seem to make another book work as well (anyone read Meyer's The Host?), you may long for a slow and steady career. But, I could imagine someone on the other foot, coveting that #1 NYT or USA Today Bestseller slot.

I'm not sure where I stand. I look at the Twihards and Potterfreaks and think wouldn't it be cool to have a following like that? I could only dream of writing something so profound that it comes to life and overtakes a generation. All Rowling's money aside (and it'd take boatloads to cast that lot aside, I'm sure), I don't know if she'll ever be able to write anything again, for fear it'll inevitably be measured against Harry Potter...and fail.

Could I write one book or a series of books and be done? Could I stuff the storytelling inside me? I don't think so...

It makes me wonder where Rowling hides her scribbling notebooks. And how much they'll be worth when they're uncovered.

What about you? Which would you rather write? One HUGE hit or a series of steady ones? (Not that we have any control over that, of course, but it's fun to ponder.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Guest blogging this morning. Follow me--this way!

Just wanted to stop in to let you know I'm guest blogging over at author Lisa Sanchez's blog today talking about What I Learned at the RWA National Conference.

Stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win two free e-copies of my romantic suspense novel, Dark Tide Rising!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

RWA Parties! Parties, galore!

Every night at RWA National was a party.

The first night my friend and I went to the Hard Rock and heckled two bartenders--one, a Billy Idol look-a-like, and the other, a middle-aged Hispanic man who entertained us while we tried to order (poorly) in Spanish.

Another night was the Avon cocktail party at The Boathouse in Central Park.
It was BEAUTIFUL. See?

I sat outside on the patio with a Cosmo in hand, watching a family of turtles bob in the river below. The sun set, slashing red and orange across the sky, making me dizzy in disbelief. (How on earth did a little gal from northern Cali end up here?) I'm beyond blessed to have been invited to such an event. It wasn't long before people gathered around me on the patio--a few agents (Hi Nalini, Christine and Marlene!) and author Elizabeth Jennings. They are just the nicest people on the planet and I'm thrilled I got to experience that night with them. It was magical. (Yes, Elizabeth, I will go to the Italian Women's Festival with you. No, not this year. Maybe next.)

I felt like I'd stepped into a dream world where NYT Bestselling authors were kind and humble and enjoyed gabbing about writing as much as I did. Oh wait...that's EXACTLY how it was.

*That's NYT and USA Today Bestselling author Eloisa James, posing inside a cut-out of her own cover.

*And that's me, casting adoring glances at the lion. I'm a Leo, you know. We lions gotta stick together.

Another night was the Spencerhill Literary Agency cocktail party. It was great meeting the other writers who are represented by my agent. (They're all smart and savvy and sooo nice, fyi)

*Whatcha think of my dress? *grin

No matter how much fun I had when the sun went down each night, I was glad to get back to my room. (I don't do well running on such little sleep.) Here's an invite and my "comfortable" shoes:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Photo Diary of My Week at RWA's 2011 National Conference

Registration Goody Bag:

**Wanna know something cool?!? The Conference was partly sponsored by Avon, my publisher. A thumb drive was part of the registration package. On that driver were four sample pieces of was MINE and the other was my fellow SFARWA member and conference roomie, Rachael Herron! How sweet is that?!?

Me, in front of the Harper Collins office:

*I was sooo nervous for the Avon sponsored Digital Day, can you tell? I'm uber-glad Rachael was nice enough to come with me and show me the ropes. The Digital Day was great. I met everyone from the editors, to the marketing team, to the cover artist who designed my FABULOUS cover, to other lovely Avon authors. It couldn't have gone better.

Holding up my t-shirt at the Avon Signing:

**Wasn't that sweet of them to print it up?!? Totally made my morning. Can't wait to be a part of the signing next year!

Avon Author Spotlight:

*Wanna know the coolest thing about the spotlight? Seeing my cover on the bigscreen. Hearing my wonderful editor, Esi, gush about the book. It feels amazing to know that someone loves my work as much as I do. Oh, and hearing the crowd ooh and aah over the cover and blurb wasn't too bad of a feeling, either. *wink

A little hole in the wall Italian restaurant my roomies found on the last day of the conference:

*It was the BEST Italian food...

...but the company made it better:

*That's A.J., Rachael and me. They seriously made the trip the AWESOME experience it was. We got along so well--it's too easy to LOVE them--that every night I laughed till I cried. I'm gonna miss those slumber-party nights...

The LOOT I ended up taking home:

*Forty-eight signed books in all. $374 worth of top-notch reading material for a $25 checked bag fee. Not too bad, eh? My TBR pile is enormous. Can't wait to dig in.

More to come tomorrow...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's the little things...

I wasn't expecting a package from UPS yesterday, so you can imagine my surprise when the big and brown truck pulled in front of my house and blared the horn. The package was big. Fluffy. The return address read "Harper Collins Publishers."

My heart sped.

Look what was inside:

There's a bracelet, a NYC magnet featuring Times Square, a subway map in a nifty little holder, and a book called, "My First New York" about famous people and their first trips to the city. In case you haven't heard, RWA's national conference is being held in New York City next week. I'll be there from Monday-Saturday.

This little package, preparing me for my trip, was over the top. I cried. The publisher didn't have to send anything like this. They didn't have to think of me...but they did. It was the littlest thing--a bag filled with goodies---that made all the difference for me; I still don't think of myself as "making it" in the writing industry (and doubt I'll ever think that way), but as of yesterday I feel like I'm giving NYC a run for its money.

Writing update: I'm on Chapter 3 of my novella, still on page 60 of Book3 in the Crimson Bay Series. I should be finished with the novella by the conference and Book3 by Fall. And I must admit, I'm having much more fun writing the novella than I thought I would!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

There's a first time for everything--a novel and a novella?

Ever wonder the difference between a novel and a novella? According to

nov·el 1 (nvl)n.
1. A fictional prose narrative of considerable length, typically having a plot that is unfolded by the actions, speech, and thoughts of the characters

no·vel·la (n-vl)
n. pl. no·vel·las or no·vel·le (-vl, -vl)
1. A short prose tale often characterized by moral teaching or satire.
2. A short novel.

If you've been around this blog, or me, any length of time, you know I'm a novel-writing fool. Or at least I try to be. Although Dark Tide Rising was complete at 77,000 words, the two paranormals contracted with Avon Impulse are over 100,000 words each.

To think about writing something for the Harlequin Nocturne Bites line, I need a complete, kick-ass, dark and wild story between 10,000 and 15,000 words. That's cutting down a lot for me!

I've learned two things about myself, after writing one complete chapter of the work:

1-I can't keep it short and sweet.
2-I have a serious problem with massive amounts of plot

I think I'm going to have to try to keep it as concise as I can, then go back and weed unnecessary things out. The hard part? Deciding what's unnecessary.

Side note: I got copy edits back for Intervamption yesterday. I'm going to be working on those this weekend, along with trying to finish the novella. Maybe I'll give you a hint what it's about when I get closer to knowing that myself. *grin

Monday, June 13, 2011

The NEW COVER is here!! And a RELEASE DATE!

I'm sooo excited this morning!!! I can finally post the cover, title, and release date for the first book in my Vampires of Crimson Bay Series. It's dark. Sexy. Mysterious. Ominous. Just like the book itself.

I'm absolutely, positively in love with it.






Isn't it GORGEOUS?!? Avon's graphic design team really outdid themselves.

Intervamption will be released from Avon Impulse July 26.

It's right around the corner! How'd that happen?!? I'm glad you won't have to wait long to get your copy. If I were shameless I'd say it's super smokin'-hot good, but I'm I won't.

I will say that I'm uber proud of this book. Esi, my fabulous editor, and I worked hard smoothing kinks and making the pararnormal world really Pop! I can't wait to give a teaser. I can't wait to skip around the net on my blog tour. I can't wait for you all to meet Slade, my shapeshifting assassin hero, and Dylan, my Vampire Rehabilitation Specialist heroine. You'll love them...

Whatcha think?

Monday, June 6, 2011

New Nook Commercial: Read Forever

I love absolutely everything about this video. But I mostly love the focus...reading...from whatever device moves you. Whether you love the eBook or the traditional print book, just read. Read forever.

I'm reading Gena Showalter's Heart of the Dragon right now. It's paperback and happens to be the last book I bought from my local Borders before it closed down. What about you?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Short Term Memory

First thing I did when I awoke this morning was try to find some news. Since the television was occupied by Looney Toones, I started up my computer and began google searching recent events.

Japan radiation update

Rebuilding Japan

Gulf of Mexico oil spill

Oil work on Gulf of Mexico beaches

I got nothing. All articles relayed information from the past. Like I was reading the tragedies from a history book.

So I added today's date to the searches.

I got nothing but a current article linked to the old information. I was flabbergasted. It seems news stations and papers have taken the attitude: It's not top news anymore, so why write about it? This has to be a result of google top searches on those subjects dwindling.

But Americans can't have such a short term memory, right?

Then I hop on Facebook. Most of my friends are shocked that we're still getting rain in June. Like it's never happened before.

Why doesn't anyone remember when high school graduations were held the first week in June? (I graduated today, actually, 13 years ago.) Why doesn't anyone remember how class after high school class had to have a back-up plan: 1) graduation on the field with unlimited tickets 2) in case of rain, graduation in the gym with two tickets. Why doesn't anyone remember the panic when it rained a few days before graduation and everyone was worried it wasn't going to clear up in time to have the ceremony on the field?

On the day of my elementary school graduation a huge storm was brewing. Strong winds cracked our huuuge "Graduation Class of 1994" banner in half.

It may not happen every single year, but it happens enough that people shouldn't be shocked about it.

I'm just wondering why we have such a short term memory? Doesn't anyone care about the cleanup efforts from the oil spill? The one that was said to be the greatest oil disaster in history? Doesn't anyone care about the extent of radiation in Japan or how the radiation dumped into the ocean is affecting that ecosystem? And why, on a much lower level, doesn't anyone remember that rain and storms are often a part of the first week in June?

I'm sure no one will have an answer. I'm just rambling.

And, as you can probably guess, I'm loving this rain. I just wish I could drink my coffee and catch up on my news while watching it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What The Hell Wednesday

No, this is not a new feature on the site. I'm simply wondering what the hell is happening on this wacky Wednesday.

This morning I went to the local flea market with my mom and my munchkins. There wasn't exactly blue skies, but it wasn't raining either. Right when Princess decided she wanted a life-size Rapunzel pinata for her birthday it started POURING. Guess who had to run through the market, into the street, and across the parking lot carrying a big ass paper mache Rapunzel, cradling her as if the rain would make her melt?

This girl.

As the storm moved northeast, we heard Tornado Warnings Sacramento.


Also on this What The Hell Wednesday, you'll never guess what I found while perusing the shelves of Salvation Army:

What. The. Hell. Right?!?

Who would buy something like that? No. Scratch that. Who would take out their camera in the middle of a packed Salvation Army and take a picture of that?

This girl.

When I looked around, got a whole lot of "What the hell are you doing" looks, I snapped this picture too:

So at least if anyone was paying attention maybe they wouldn't think I had a thing for ceramic japanese aliens in purple jumpsuits.

I had a good laugh. Which got me more looks. It was a crazy day. Glad it's over.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Things that can be found on my desk right now

1-My Starbucks coffee cup. It's red. It has "love" scrawled in loopy letters on the side. It's filled with French Vanilla roast Starbucks homebrew. Heaven.

2-A silver heart shaped box given to me by SFARWA via Sophie Littlefield. I received it after being a member of the chapter for a year. It's looking a little stained, but the inside is deep blue velvet, soft and warm. There's nothing in it, but it doesn't stop me from peeling the lid and peeking inside every now and again.

3-Three notebooks. There's a pink one with papers sticking out all over for SFARWA meetings. There's another worn pink one with white spots containing messy notes for Book2 in the Crimson Bay Series. It's falling apart and I love it. There's a blue and green spotted one for Book3. That one is less messy, but it's new. Give it time.

4-A fake orchid. I have a black thumb. The plant is perfect because it's always pretty, it's always green, and because I don't have to worry about watering it, I can focus on my WIP.

5-The board book "Five Silly Monkeys". Tank wanted me to read it to him over and over again yesterday. Here it sits, just in case he asks again.

6-A box of Tangled party invitations. Princess' 7th birthday is coming later this month and I have to send those puppies out to family and friends.

7-Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola bar wrapper. Breakfast. What can I say?

8-A rectangular straw box holding my thumb drives and pens...for my work and note taking.

9-A picture of Tank at a high school track meet wearing too-big sunglasses. His "girlfriend" let him wear her RayBans. He thought he was too cool. He's even got his tongue out and his eyebrows up.

10-Bronze hair clip. Because for some reason I slept with it in my hair and when I sat down at the computer this morning my head hurt like hell. I must've slept on it until my scalp was raw and didn't even know it. Ouch.

So that's what is on my desk. What's on yours?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Silent Sunday: Letter from John Keats to Fanny Brawne

"...I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time...I cannot exist without you - I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again - my Life seems to stop there - I see no further. You have absorb'd me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving...My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it?...Do not threat me even in jest. I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion - I have shudder'd at it - I shudder no more - I could be martyr'd for my Religion - Love is my religion - I could die for that - I could die for you...You have ravish'd me away by a Power I cannot resist: and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavoured often "to reason against the reasons of my Love." I can do that no more - the pain would be too great - My Love is selfish - I cannot breathe without you."

--John Keats: Letters to Fanny Brawne, 1819

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Extreme Makeover: Writer Edition

I've been thinking a lot about what kind of writer I am. I figure I'm a good mashing of a plotter and a panster. I create a sort-of-plot-outline-thingy with turning points labeled out (that rarely turn out that way in the end). I don't know where my chapters should begin or end or what my characters are going to do in any given scene. I let the story work itself out...within my boundaries, I suppose.

I stepped back from the computer today, listened to the washing machine whish and whirl, watched Bailey, my "rat-dog" terrier, curl up in a ball at my feet and waited for inspiration to strike me. It didn't, but that's not the point.

I realized I'm not an organized writer. Not at all. I don't clean my house (or even my desk!) before settling down to write. I don't shower, dress in my best, or get a manicure before pounding away at the keys. Most days I'm in my pajamas with a cooling cup of coffee and my hair--Lord, my hair!--just isn't cutting it. I think I've scared the postman on a few occasions.

What about you? Are you a grungy writer like me, or do you primp and prep for your writing day?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Things I'm loving right now while I plow through Book 3 in the Crimson Bay Series

10-How long this freakin' blog post title is. Yowzer. Guess my brain is so fried I can't come up with anything more concise.

9-Ben Harper

8-Devil's Food chocolate cake.

7-Last week of school for my munchkins=no early morning alarms

6-While I've gained 3-5 pounds writing each of my books, this one is different. I'm LOSING weight while writing. No, I don't have one of those treaddesks. I'm writing in the mornings and spinning in the evenings. Seems to be working.

5-Early summer rain. My muse is flowing even though everyone is grumbling about the rain sticking around later than normal.

4-I can't stop thinking about RWA National. It's in New York City at the end of June and I'M GOING. I didn't think I'd be able to make it this year. Finances got a little tight. My daughter's birthday lands smack dab in the middle of the trip. We've resolved those issues--albeit with a lot of mommy guilt. Wanna know what I'm most excited about? Traveling alone. Last year I went with critique partner Lisa Sanchez and had a BLAST. But there's nothing quite like showing up to the airport, checking in, finding a corner to sit and read or write all by your lonesome. Very freeing feeling not knowing anyone. It's like taking yourself on a date--dinner and a movie. LOVE it.

3-Deadliest Catch. It's my all-time favorite show and the season just started.

My obsession over the show is no surprise to those who know me well. I love the ocean. I'm fascinated with ice, ice fields, ice bergs. I love anything and everything revolving around ships. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with adding a little gruff in the form of crabbing alpha males.

2-Finding The First Book Ever Written. Yup. I cleaned out my desk yesterday and found Nine Days in Joliet, the first book I ever wrote. I laughed, combed through it, Ooh'd and Aah'd. I can't believe how far I've come in a few years. No wonder I received rejections from everyone in the business. Sheesh. Needless to say, that manuscript is now lining the burn barrel in our backyard. (I have a thing for burning old work--very liberating. The day of my college graduation I went to the beach with friends, lit a massive bonfire, and tossed in all my notebooks.)

1-I got the cover for Book 1 in the Crimson Bay Series! Can't share it yet, as I'm not sure if the image they shared is the final cover. As soon as I get the go-ahead, I'll post it here. *grin

Monday, May 23, 2011

Meet an Author Monday Blog Hop! Join in!

Here's how it works:


Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment as you hop from blog to blog! We'd love to chat with you!


Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
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