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: