Monday, June 21, 2010

A Bit of a Break

I have been a bad blogger. Bad. Very bad. Okay, I just looked at the last couple of weeks...not too bad. But not great, either. I apologize to my faithful friends. All three of you. Unfortunately, it will be worse this week and next.

Next week because I have tons going on. It's all good stuff, but will keep me tied up most of the days and evenings. And I'm glad it's next week and not in July, which will be crazy-busy. A different crazy-busy because that's when Promise releases. (WOOT! WOOT! Ahem, sorry. Just couldn't control myself.) That means lots of blogs, here and other places, and you will be so sick of me that you'll wish to return to these days of my bad bloggership.

This week because I really, really need to work on Purpose so it can, indeed, come out in the fall. It still needs about 25,000 words and I have a really great idea to tie into the current story. But it's not just writing new stuff, which is relatively easy because it's so exciting. The first couple drafts are so much fun to me, they don't feel like work. (Of course, they're such garbage, I then have to put lots of work into them...but I digress.) It's also making it work with what's already there. So it needs focus and time.

Which means I will be quiet here until I can get through the difficult parts. Once I get back into revisions, I'll feel like being creative somewhere and what better place than here? I'm sorry to all two of you who will miss me dearly (I see I just lost someone already). But I promise I'll be back. And I'll be much more lively than I have been.

In the meantime, I might have some cool updates regarding Promise and I will keep you updated about them. Otherwise, I hope you're all enjoying summer, family and vacations. Talk to you soon!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Five for Friday

One of the reasons I worked so hard to bring my family to Florida sooner rather than later is because the state offers an excellent scholarship program for all of its high school graduates. We will have three in college at the same time, so, yeah, that means a lot.

One of the requirements is for students to put in community service hours. My oldest, who will be a senior next year, procrastinated on this forever. The Man (his dad) found a great opportunity for him. One of his techs' wives is a marine biologist for some kind of non-profit organization. She needs help. So Son#1 and her husband go out on the boat and cruise the harbor and into the Gulf, replacing batteries in fish detectors. Now how's THAT for community service?!?

Anyway, this guy (in his 50s) texts my son the other day about a party out on one of the barrier islands on Sunday. It can only be reached by boat. And he adds, "It's Father's Day. I'm sure your dad would love spending the day with all the girls in their bikinis."

Say what?!? Obviously, I didn't think that was such a great idea. So today's Five for Friday are some ideas we can do for the fathers in our lives, whether they are our dads, step-dads, grandpas, husbands, fathers of our children, uncles, neighbors, etc. Ideas that moms can embrace a little better than a big party with drunk, half-naked girls.

  1. Create a Jib-Jab Father's Day greeting.
  2. Make a photo video of old family vacations put to dad's fave music.
  3. Hire a lawn service to take care of the yard this week.
  4. Write a short story about one of your favorite memories (since we are mostly all writers here...)
  5. And, heck, I guess if he wants to sit on the beach or go to a party where there are young girls in bikinis, it is his day. And, after all, there are guys to appreciate, too. :)

Enjoy the weekend! Pamper the dads in your life. Give them lots of love.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Five for Friday

I'm feeling a little brain-dead after all the excitement this week. So I'm keeping it simple (but hopefully not lame haha).

Five things you should know about Promise:
  1. It's not, I repeat NOT Young Adult. Older YA readers will enjoy it (and some have already), but if you're looking for a squeaky-clean book for children, this is not it. There seems to be a misconception that it's YA and I don't want parents mad at me for exposing their innocent kids...or readers writing about how shocked they were with it.
  2. It's basically a prologue for the rest of the series. Part of the misconception might be because Alexis is 18 when the story starts. By the end, she's 20 and very much an adult through the rest of the series. Promise introduces the characters and some of the mythology, while sharing the love story between Alexis and Tristan. I'll be doing a guest post for Tynga's Paranormal Summer Fest on June 23rd, with a more in-depth explanation.
  3. Promise will be available widely starting the end of July, including on (paperback and Kindle),,, iTunes/iBooks, Smashwords, etc., as well as through indie and chain bookstores.
  4. But, you can only pre-order Promise through the website:
  5. All pre-orders will be signed and include a discount coupon for an e-book version, so you can keep your signed copy pretty and nice.

Next week may be a little crazy. I'm making my bi-monthly trip to Orlando for the day job, along with everything else going on in prep for Promise's release, while also working hard on Purpose. Knowing the ending of Promise, I'm pretty sure readers will be anxious to know what happens. (I'll be hiding in a bullet-proof safe room until book two's release.) So, if I'm a lame-o blogger next week, at least you've been warned. :-) Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My First Awards

The generous and entertaining Dawn Embers (found over here) has granted me not one, but two awards. And these are my first ever blog awards! Thank you, Dawn, for popping my award cherry. :-) I am so excited and flattered!

First...the Prolific Blogger Award.

So, right now, I'm not feeling so prolific. In fact, I feel like I've been slacking with you all, my lovelies. Much of the PITA stuff for publication is nearly out of the way, leaving only fun stuff (until the next book, anyway), so I'll have more time to play with you all. And more time to write. Yay!

I think the only thing I have to do with this one is pass it along. If I'm mistaken, please let me know what embarrassing things I must do. *Just because you tell me doesn't mean I'll do it, though. Just sayin'.

I bequeath the Prolific Blogger Award to:

  • Michelle Gregory over at beautiful chaos - Like me, she likes blogfests. AND she is hosting one that I'm really looking forward to on July 1st: Share Your Darlings. For this one, writers can share beautifully written or favorite scenes that ended up being cut because they just don't help the story. I have one in particular from Promise that I still LOVE, so I'm glad for the opportunity to share it. Thanks, Michelle! She's at a writer's conference right now (lucky!), but will be back to share all kinds of good stuff...I hope.
  • Courtney Reese over here - Courtney did my FIRST EVER author interview. It was so much fun! And she's a prolific blogger because she has, like, 25 blogs. OK, 4, but isn't that more than enough?!? That's what I call prolific!
  • Elizabeth Mueller over here - I always enjoy what she has to say, whether it's laugh-out-loud funny or thought-provoking. You need to follow her.
The second award is the Life Is Good Award. And who can argue with that? OK, I know sometimes we feel like we can, but, really, imagine if you were one of our characters! Makes our own lives seem not-so-bad after all.

 I get to answer questions for this one.

1. What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
Well, I guess it would be biographies and autobiographies, which is also what I write. People are so interesting and have such fascinating lives! Oh. Wait. Huh?!? I was just told that Harry Potter, Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake, Katniss Everdeen, et al...Are. Not. Real. Seriously?!? And Alexis isn't either?!? ACK!!!!

Ahem...OK, then...I guess that means I read fantasy/urban fantasy/paranormal/contemporary fantasy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I loved this genre when I was young, but through my teens and 20s, I leaned toward thriller/horror/suspense, as in Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Harry Potter renewed my love for all things magical and otherworldly. I like fantasy because it gives a real escape from our sometimes harsh realities.

If you couldn't write in the genre you do, what genre would you write in? 
I have a couple ideas for thrillers and I might enjoy romance...if I didn't have to follow the rules.

3. Pepsi or Cola? 
Mich Ultra. Isn't Pepsi a cola? Before I became addicted to Diet Coke, I was a Pepsi drinker, for sure. I've cut my DC addiction down to just a couple a week now. Now it's water and the occasional beer or wine or martini.

4. How do you like to spend your Sundays?
Writing and sleeping or on the back of a Harley or on the beach

5. Penguin or Giraffe?
Both. And elephants, too.

6. What type of vehicle do you drive?
A convertible. After more than a decade of mommy-mobiles, including the dreaded minivan and SUVs, I now drive a car I want and love. It's a 2-seater which gets me out of mom-taxi driving. Fortunately (and unfortunately), my kids can drive now, so it hasn't been too much of an issue. Although, the Tahoe still sits in the driveway for when it's needed.

7. Would you lick a battery if your life depended on it?
I have, so I guess so.

8. When do you like to write - in the morning, in the afternoon, evening?
Whenever I can, but I'm a night owl (this will post in the morning, but I'm writing it at 11:15 at night).

9. Which do you like more - Facebook or Twitter?
Definitely Facebook. I think Twitter moves too fast for me. I'm so busy keeping up with everyone's tweets, I forget to tweet myself. Except for #wipfire. I miss it.

10. If you get hurt (like a scrape on the knee or break your arm), do you ask for a band aid?
Usually only if it's on my hands and onions and garlic will irritate it while cooking. I love to cook...and that's usually when I get hurt. I've never broken my arm or any other bone, but I'm pretty sure a band aid won't do much for that. Am I mistaken?

People who get this award...
Whew! Did I blabber enough for ya? Does that make up for my recent slacking? Now you know more than you probably want to. Or is there more? Ask away...but just because you ask doesn't mean I'll answer. Just sayin'. ;-)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Beach Scene Blogfest

Yay! Another blogfest! This is Rachel Bateman's Beach Scene Blogfest.

I loooooove the beach....the scenery, the sounds, the smells... It's my favorite place to be. So I couldn't pass up this blogfest. Although Promise has lots of beach scenes, this one is from a Top Sekrit Project earlier this year. A project that never went anywhere, so I thought, well, at least I can use it for something. It's not great stuff, but it is one of my fave beach scenes that I've written. (Be sure to check out all the other great scenes. The list is on Rachel's site.)

I ran straight west, to the beach at the end of the road, the sun baking me the whole way. As I ran onto the sand, I felt no better than when I’d left the gym, but now I was angry at myself for such stupid behavior.

“What was I thinking?” I growled aloud.

“I was wondering the same thing,” Jerrick said as he walked toward me.

What are you doing here? Why are you always showing up everywhere?”

“I wanted to make sure you were okay.” He flashed my favorite smile. “And because I like being around you.”

“What? Why?!” I didn’t understand him. Why me?

“Do you want me to leave?” He hitched his thumb back toward the street.

“Yes!” I blurted and something flickered in his eyes. “I mean, no. I mean…I don’t know! Just give me a minute. I need to cool down.”

He gave me exactly a minute. “Are you cooled down?”


And the next thing I knew, I stared at the ground, hanging over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry. He gripped me tightly as he pulled off my shoes while striding toward the water. I squirmed and beat my fists against his back while he kicked his own shoes off, but I may as well have been fighting a robot. He plowed through the water, out to where the shelf dropped several feet. By then I shrieked and giggled like a schoolgirl.

“Don’t you dare!” I squealed and he let go of me.

I plunged under the cool water and realized when I touched the ground, the water was a couple inches over my head. I pushed up and tread water as Jerrick just stood there, the water chest-deep on him.

“Are you cooled off now?” He asked with a smirk.

“Yes.” I splashed him. He ducked under the water.

He smiled when he came up right in front of me. “You can’t stand, can you?”


He pulled me into one arm so our heads were level, pressing me against him, our faces only inches apart. His body felt warm, even in the cool water. His eyes locked onto mine and I wondered if he was about to kiss me. And this time, I wanted him to. In fact, as a water droplet slid over his nose, through the groove and onto his lips, I had to fight the urge to catch it with my tongue.

Then a breeze stirred against my wet skin, raising goose bumps and making me nipply against his chest. He groaned as he bent his head closer to mine. I closed my eyes and savored the moment - his smell, the warm breath on my cheek, the heat of his body against mine.

His lips lightly brushed across my cheek, then he whispered in my ear, “You are sometimes too much for me."

He strode easily through the water and let me go as soon as it was shallow enough for me to stand. I just stood there, staring after him in shock, as the low waves whooshed against and around my calves.
"What does that mean?" I asked with bewilderment.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Five for Friday

Blogfests! They're all over the place this month! So this week's Five for Friday is all about blogfests. What I'll be doing this month (I hope you'll join the fun!):

  1. Amalia T's Dream Sequence Blogfest - Today, June 4
  2. Rachel Bateman's Beach Scene Blogfest - Saturday, June 5
  3. Sangu Mandanna's Character Interview Blogfest - Tuesday, June 15
  4. Michelle Gregory's Share Your Darlings Blogfest - Thursday, July 1

That's only 4, you say? Of course, this is Five for Friday. Not Four for Friday! What's number 5? My entry for the Dream Sequence Blogfest!

I wrote this sometime last year and it was at one time on my website. This is a dream Alexis had the night she met Tristan. You can read that night over at the Promise excerpts at The dream means nothing. Seriously. Don't go reading anything into it. It's just her fascination with "mythical" creatures getting the best of her.

Warning: It's not really that good. I read it now and wonder what the heck I was on while writing it. But I realized all my other dreams give too much away. So here you go...

We sat on the beach by Mom’s cottage at sunset, but neither of us paid attention to the vivid colors in the sky or the whispering waves of the Gulf of Mexico quietly sliding over the sand. Our eyes were on each other. His were sparkling as he smiled slightly, seductively. He lifted his hand to my face and stroked his fingertips across my cheek. I shivered, though all I could feel was warmth spreading over my skin.

“Beautiful,” he murmured in his low, sexy voice.

And I was beautiful in my dream. Not my normal, ordinary self. Chestnut hair, striking mahogany eyes, perfect features…I was as beautiful as my stunning (and somehow forever young) mother. But I was definitely me – my pounding heart and shallow breathing confirmed that.

He leaned in and his mouth pressed against mine, kissing me gently at first, his satiny lips sliding so softly against mine. But as the heat built, the kisses became longing and searching. I opened my mouth slightly and he tasted even more delightful than I expected, like his scent, but intensified. It filled my mouth, coating the back of my throat and I couldn’t get enough of it. I kissed him hungrily, my hands caressing his face and sliding back into his hair, pulling his hard body against me.

We were abruptly lying in the sand. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from Tristan's. As he kissed me, his hand slowly, lightly trailed down my side to my waist, then slid under me at the small of my back, pressing me against him. His mouth moved over my chin…along my jaw…down to my throat…kissing and tasting and sucking.

He looked up at me, his eyes smoldering. And that’s when I noticed the fangs. They made perfect sense to my dream-self. He was too beautiful, too perfect to be human, after all.

I smiled to show him I wasn’t scared. His eyes glinted before he bent his head again, his mouth at my throat. My body trembled with anticipation. I wanted him to bite me. Then I felt the pierce and a small sound, a mixture of pain and pleasure, escaped my lips.

He looked up again at my reaction. I could feel the wound already healing – that’s what my body did, healed itself. His eyes sparked as they caught mine, then they darted to the disappearing bite mark on my throat. The fangs disappeared. He was just Tristan again, the Tristan I met in class that night, though saying he was just Tristan was like saying Brad Pitt was just Brad Pitt. But now Tristan’s inhumanly beautiful face was filled with disgust at what my body did. Then suddenly he was gone.

And the pain of loss and betrayal ripped through my body.

“No!” I awoke with a start, disoriented for just a moment.

Of course, I thought as my heart settled down. What else could I expect? Guys like Tristan and girls (freaks) like me just didn’t happen. I just needed to forget about him.

If he would only let me…