Tuesday, December 27, 2011

At Paranormal Haven today!

Come visit me here to win a copy of Midnight Reckoning!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday...my husband makes a huge Polish feast every year for Christmas Eve, and every year I wonder why I ate so much.  We'll be eating leftover galumpkies for a week.  Also, he totally surprised me and got me the ONE thing I really wanted...an iPad!  All he had to do was wrap up a small "decoy" box and instruct me not to shake it (which you know I did as soon as he was out of the room), and I was completely diverted.  Turns out he'd slipped the real box under the tree as well, and I never even bothered to dig for another gift.  He knows me well.  I'm extremely gullible.

Beyond that, my house is covered in LEGOs.  And my daughter has her face stuck to her new Kindle Fire and may never emerge from her bedroom again.  The house is trashed, but life is good. 

May you all have a relaxing week!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Time...

Time for the blog tour to begin!  With MIDNIGHT RECKONING coming out on January 1st, I start roaming the internet today, giving away signed copies and chatting about Jaden, Lyra, and how exactly a cat vamp and a werewolf manage to get together when they make one another's fur stand on end!  Today I'm being hosted by the lovely Carmel at Rabid Reads...hope you'll stop by and try to win the prize!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SHADOW RISING

Okay, so I know that MIDNIGHT RECKONING isn't even out yet, but because of the way ye olde publishing works, it was actually finished a few months ago.  And then, because I love my characters (and am also slightly insane), I wrote the third book in the Dark Dynasties series, SHADOW RISING.  Haven't done edits on it yet, but I do know that my lovely editor is really enjoying it, and as of yesterday I have a final cover AND the cover copy!  I got the go-ahead to share them with you:)  Behold the pretty:


Ancient Secrets, Dark Passions . . .
As one of the Grigori, a noble vampire dynasty shrouded in mystery, Ariane has spent her life hidden away in the desert. Like all of her kind, she is a watcher, fated to observe, forbidden to act. Yet when her best friend Sammael vanishes, she defies all rules and flees her safe haven to bring him home.
A shape-shifting assassin for the House of Shadows, Damien Tremaine is hired to locate Sammael. His hunt for the wayward Grigori leads him to Ariane, the rogue vamp who stands between him and his bounty. Damien never lets emotion interfere with his work, but a single touch from the sexy, beguiling vampire shatters his self-control. Drawn together by their common goal, what begins as an alliance of necessity soon becomes one of desire. But when the secret at the dark heart of the Grigori comes to light, Damien and Ariane must make a choice that could bind them eternally . . . or tear them—and everything they care about—apart.
***
I believe this will be out in August of 2012...and I can't wait!  I love Damien, the smartass, amoral assassin from DARK AWAKENING, and he was, as I expected, a lot of fun to write.  Creating a heroine who could handle him was a challenge, but Ariane was more than up to the task:)  You'll be meeting Lyra Black first, though, the fiesty she-wolf who captures Jaden's heart in MIDNIGHT RECKONING...I'm anxious to hear what you all think of her as well.  The way she and Jaden deal with one another was still making me laugh when I was checking the final proofs for the book to go to print. Lots of good stuff coming up!



Monday, September 19, 2011

Music Monday, and Some Release Dates!

Yay, I'm back!  Yes, I'm late, as usual...I needed an extra week for the book, since we got smacked pretty hard with Irene here in Southern MD, and no power plus children home from school (and bored) is not a great work environment.  Turned it in a week ago, spent the week re-entering the world, and am now...well, ready to get back to work:)

First things first...this is Music Monday, and I've been listening to a lot of my older stuff on Ye Olde iPod lately.  Here's a great song from a favorite of mine, Aqualung.  I love both the music and the lyrics.  Enjoy!


Second thing is I have a better idea of my release schedule for the next year (huzzah!).  Looks like this:
January - MIDNIGHT RECKONING
March - MIRROR, MIRROR (will be available online through eHarlequin, digital only, and is the first of a
              number of erotic romance novellas I'll do for their new Cravings line)
July - (no title yet) novella in Harlequin's summer anthology VACATION WITH A VAMPIRE, and
         provided I get the final thumbs up on story, will be about Justin, the vampire king from RENEGADE
         ANGEL and his unwanted but eventful vacation from Terra Noctem;)
August - SHADOW RISING

*there is also a distinct possibility my second Cravings will be out digitally late in the year...it's tied to the first and has an ornery dragon as the hero.  Er, well, anti-hero, I guess.  I like those!  And I like fairy tales, too, hence the overarching theme of the fairy tale bad boys finding true love.

Happy Monday, everyone!    

Friday, August 19, 2011

Not Dead Yet

Popping in quickly just to let you all know I've got a manuscript due in 2.5 weeks and copyedits due on Tuesday, so I'm going underground...when things begin to hit the fan near deadline (happening right on schedule, argh), I lose all blogging mojo since all I have to say is "Still writing...brain leaking out ear...need more coffee..."  Thus, I will rejoin you (unless I have something amazing to offer) on September 7th.

Enjoy the rest of your summer...and the kids going back to school!  *fist pump* 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Music Monday 8/15

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had a great weekend.  We had a BIG thunderstorm last night, and our neighbor's house got hit by lightning.  So this is like the second time in two months that a house in here has been hit, and naturally, every fire truck in the county showed up.  No fire, fortunately.  I'm starting to worry that there's something about this neighborhood that attracts lightning!  At least the temps have cooled off. 

Anyway, since it's Music Monday, I have a couple of songs for you.  You get a bonus song this week, since I just hit up iTunes and downloaded a bunch of things, which means I can't decide what to share!  First up is Skylar Grey, who you may know as the haunting voice in Eminem's "I Need A Doctor".  Her solo album drops this fall, and I'm pretty excited about it.  I love female vocalists who sound like this:

Next up is some lovely yummy Britpop, which I have a serious weakness for.  This is Clare McGuire with "The Shield and the Sword".  She has such a cool voice.  Not sure about the dancers in the red leotards (I guess the point is that she's copying Gaga, Katy Perry, and...Adele, maybe?), but love the song:)

Have a great one!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fantastic Fables...Ty as the Huntsman

If you love fairy tales like I do, you might want to check out the version of Snow White I did for Tynga's Reviews!  The instructions were to write one of our characters into a classic fairy tale, so I made Ty the Huntsman in Snow White...and I LOVE the way it turned out!  My publisher has provided a book for the giveaway, but whether or not you already have a copy, it's a fun thing to check out:)  I believe the contest ends in a few weeks, so there's lots of time to win.  Have a great weekend!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Fun

Not much to offer today, except for YAY FRIDAY!  I'm still writing away on Shadow Rising, my house is still covered in Chewie's fur...actually, he went to get groomed today because he desperately needs it.  Here is His Highness begging for a potato chip:


I was directed to this clip yesterday, and since it made me laugh (I was a big He-Man fan back in the day, and...well, I was always pretty sure this is the kind of thing he would participate in behind the scenes), I figured I'd share it.  It's pretty fabulous:)  Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Battle of the Sexies: Sidekick Edition

So today at Book Faery Reviews (my post should be up after noon), none other than Ty MacGillivray's best friend Jaden Harrison is participating in the Battle of the Sexies: Sidekick Edition.  Swing by and give him some love, if you're so inclined!  He doesn't really consider himself a sidekick, of course...but I was happy to put him out there and let him strut his stuff anyway:)  There's a fun giveaway involved, too, so check it out!

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Music Monday 8/8

I found it!!

Okay, to clarify, I found Damien and Ariane's song.  I'd been waiting for one to show up.  That's kind of how it works...one day I'll hear something, and it just clicks as being "their song".  Every one of my couples has a song, and though this one has arrived a little later than some, it's perfect!  So now I have to buy it and listen to it a billion times:)


Hope everyone had a good weekend.  Lots of running around here, on top of plenty of writing.  I've got a month before Shadow Rising heads offf to my editor, so I'm pretty well swamped.  That last month before deadline is always a killer!  Here, I'll show you the duo who are currently running my life.  Here's Ariane, beautiful, sheltered, but handy with a sword:

And here's Damien, jaded, elegant, a cold-eyed killer with a sharp tongue and more going on beneath the surface than he ever lets on:

They're driving me crazy. *sigh*  Not that it's much of a trip for me most days:)  Have a great one!! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Club Day!

I'll be at the Forever Romance facebook page from 12-2 EDT today chatting about DARK AWAKENING, and I hope to see some of you there!  We're already debating about the hottest vampire in book, TV and film.  I voted for Spike, because...I love me some Spike. 

It's the Billy Idol thing he has going on.  So never going to get over it.  But it's awfully hard to pick.  I mean, I'm still missing Mick St. John.  WHY did they cancel Moonlight!?  That's why I'm leery of starting to watch new television shows.  Every time I decide to like one, it gets canceled.  I'm going to try again, though, and start watching Grimm on NBC this fall.  I put the trailer up on my facebook...it looks REALLY good!  Of course, if you throw fairy tales into anything I'm probably going to try it out.  And then, of course, there is my renewed obsession with the Thundercats.  I was a child of the 80s, so I used to watch the original series religiously.  And now...they've rebooted it for Cartoon Network and actually made it BETTER! 

My husband is excited for The Walking Dead to start again.  I just can't do it.  I'm zombie-phobic.  No, really

So what are you watching this fall?  Have you seen anything good coming up?  Have a great day, and I hope some of you can join me for the chat!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Music Monday 8/1

Happy Monday, everybody!  I can't believe it's August already.  I'm not exactly sure where the summer went, but it's certainly going.  It's been so hot here that I've got to admit fall doesn't sound too bad.  Cabin fever in the summer sucks.  Couple of things to share...

First off, my book is the featured pick for the Forever Romance Summer Book Club this week!  You can join me on the Forever Romance facebook page on Thursday from 12-2 EDT to chat about the book.  Should be lots of fun!

Second, today's song.  I heard this on the radio the other day and thought it was adorable.  Hey, I don't ALWAYS need dark and moody;)  For this Music Monday, I give you Rachel Platten.  It's the chorus that hooked me.


And so we're off and on our way through another week.  I've traveled so much this summer that I'm ready to park my butt and just stay put for a while!  All of my guest blog stuff is written and turned in, and for the most part, done...though I have a couple of very fun things going on this month.  Jaden from Dark Awakening is a contestant in Book Faery's Battle of the Sexies II: Sidekick Edition on th 10th, and I've written Ty into Snow White for Tynga's Reviews Fantastic Fables event, which I don't have a date on yet.  I'm writing away on Damien's story, which is an interesting experience because he never shuts up.  Seriously, his mouth runs so much on every page that I have to make sure he isn't just dominating everything completely.  Strong characters can be interesting to rein in.

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Reading Between the Wines today!

Yes, I'm still on my tour of the blogosphere.  July has been busy!  I've got a fun interview up over at Reading Between the Wines (and seriously, that is about the greatest theme for a book blog EVER), so please come over to chat.  There's a signed book giveaway, too!

I'm heading home from my gramma's tomorrow, tired and probably five pounds heavier.  I have been in Charlotte, land of barbecue, and I have, um, indulged.  My goofy six-month-old Newf, Stella, has dug up several flowers and scrounged a variety of foods off the counter while we've been here.  Yesterday it was two hard-boiled eggs.  Chewie has decided he likes the bathroom, which is nice and cool for him, but we found him in the bathtub yesterday, just sitting...dogs are weird.

Hope to see you over at my guest blog today! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Music Monday...and VampChix!

Hope you all will come visit me at VampChix today!  The very cool writer Michele Hauf invited me over to talk vampire creation, and I'm giving away a signed book for those interested.  I met Michele at RWA, and am in awe of both her mad writing skillz and her vast knowledge of all things vamp:)  Since I know she loves her some Adam Lambert (as do I), have some guyliner goodness to start your Monday.  This is one of my faves...Adam singing a song written for him by Matt Bellamy of Muse, Soaked.  And we all know how I feel about Matt Bellamy:)  Hope to see you over at VampChix!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Traveling Again

Happy Friday everyone! Posting has been a little lighter this week since I've made my last road trip of the summer...I needed to head down to steamy North Carolina and see my gramma. I'm having a hard time believing we're almost in August! Actually, I'm trying to ignore it:) Hope you all had a good week! I have a couple more guest spots coming up next week at VampChix and Reading Between the Wines, so I'll let you know when those go up. I've had some great reader feedback lately, so thanks to everyone for that! Two big things I'm getting: people really like Jaden, and they really like Vlad! Which is good, since I'd like to have book 4 be about Vlad. Readers would also like Lily to get off her butt and call Bay:) I promise, offstage, she did just that!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I have to go...my spazzy youngest dog is counter surfing again!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Deadly Destinations today!

Take a tour a Chicago's vampire club Mabon today with Dark Awakening's Lily Quinn!  We're at Dark Faerie Tales' Deadly Destinations event...and there's a giveaway, of course.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Music Monday 7/18

I'm feeling like something a little older today...here's a song I listen to plenty during my darker scenes!  Gotta love the Pumpkins.  And the video, which was made by a Watchmen fan, is incredible.


Hope you all had a good weekend!  I cleaned.  A lot.  Behold, my clean desk, a sight rarely seen!

Yes, the toys on the desk are mine:)

I've got an excerpt up at RomCon today, and tomorrow I'm up for the Deadly Destinations event over at Dark Faerie Tales.  I hope you all will join me!  That's been my month...busy busy busy!  Fun, though, and I've met a lot of readers.  Have a great Monday, everyone!  I'm nursing a messed up back (AGAIN), hence the late post...send some healing energy my way, willya?   

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Q&A, Live Chat, and Giveaway!

Hope you all can join me today for a live chat at Literal Addiction from 2-4 EST! Additionally, you can check out a Q&A I did at Book Monster Reviews, a partner of Literal Addiction. I'm giving away a signed copy of the book, plus a Dracul tattoo, at each place! Hope you'll join me...Michelle has also designed some kickass fangear just for the occasion:)  Head on over and check it out!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Paranormal Roundtable

For posterity:)  It went really well...I wish we'd had more time, Carolyn and Caridad were fascinating to listen to!  I love hearing how other authors work, and what they think about our subgenre.
Listen to internet radio with HBGFeatures on Blog Talk Radio

Join me on Blog Talk Radio today!

Okay, I won't pretend I'm not nervous..I have a tendency to babble and/or talk really fast...but today at 1 pm ET I'll be participating in a Paranormal Author roundtable on Blog Talk Radio with my fellow Forever Romance authors Caridad Pineiro and Carolyn Jewel!  Go HERE to check us out!  Now if I can only prevent my children from coming after me during this event...what are the chances?  Hope you'll listen in!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bitten by Books today!

I don't have the link yet (not until the interview goes live around 1 pm EST), but since I managed to corner Ty, the hero of Dark Awakening, and get him to do an interview, I hope you'll all come over to Bitten by Books and see what he had to say!


I was up last night writing a version of Snow White with Ty as the Huntsman (I'm participating in a very cool event called Fantastic Fables: Paranormal Edition at Tynga's Reviews in August), and the night before writing a tour that Lily's giving of Mabon, the vampire club she and Ty turn up at in Chicago, which you'll be able to read next week at Dark Faerie Tales as part of their Deadly Destinations event.  Tomorrow I'm participating in a paranormal roundtable on Forever's Blog Talk Radio, which you can either listen to live or later on, as it'll be up there eternally for posterity, I think:)  I'm nervous...but I'll have the link up tomorrow!  Busy busy...and check this out!  The novella I'm doing for Cravings this fall is already "buzzworthy"!  Click HERE to see what RT had to say about MIRROR, MIRROR.  I'm looking forward to writing it...I hope the story comes out as cool as it is in my imagination.

Off to work I go (which means heading into another room, lugging yet another cup of coffee and my laptop).  Hope you all have a great day! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shameless Romance Reviews today!

Just a reminder that I'm at Shameless Romance Reviews today!  I had a lot of fun with the post...see my overweight cat! Discover the source of my inspiration for the Dark Dynasties!  Enjoy a picture of some hot dude taking off his pants!  Come on over and try for the giveaway...you know you want to:)  Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Music Monday 7/11 & Blog Tour Update

Happy Monday, everyone!  First, here's a song to get the day started.  It's by a British band called A Silent Film...they're very good.  This is a fan-created video, since they don't have an official one for the song.  Pretty pictures!:)


More writing for me today!  The kids have gone to their grandparents' for a few days, so IN THEORY I should be able to get work done while the sun shines.  First, however, I appear to need more coffee. 

In other news, the Release Month Blog Tour for Dark Awakening rolls on!  Tomorrow I'll be at Shameless Romance Reviews talking about how I came up with the Dark Dynasties (featuring cat pictures and one of my favorite hot man photos of all time...some of you will recognize him, as I've drooled over it before).  And of course, there's a giveaway!  Wednesday I'll be at Bitten by Books with an interview I did with Ty MacGillivray, the hero if Dark Awakening.  He was reluctant at first, but we managed nicely!  You can RSVP HERE to get an extra 25 entries in my giveaway to win one of five signed copies of the book (and let me know if you have trouble with the link, as I have a different one if there are problems).  At the very least, make plans to swing by and chat with Ty and I.  It was a fun post to do!

Have a great day...it may be a Monday, but the sun is shining here:)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Dog Blog

Happy Friday!  It had to be a dog blog today.  You'd understand if you could see the massive amounts of dog hair floating around here.  I'm not kidding...Chewie is blowing his coat, and I have never seen anything like it in all of my existence.  I've heard rumors of what it's like to live in an ocean of Newf hair...the actual experience is something else, though.  And yet, how can I be irritated when the source of the enormous fur-bunnies is this guy?
This is him begging for potato chips yesterday.  He's very hard to resist.  Or ignore.  And apart from him, we have his sister, Stella, who is NOT shedding much at present but is doing her level best to keep my attention in other ways. 

What a sweet face.  You'd never know that in the last week she has eaten two sticks of butter, a small container of leftover Hollandaise sauce, and large amounts of my youngest child's every breakfast.  Can you say "counter surfer"?  She also has such a spaz at feeding time that she often lands in her water dish (the water then landing everywhere else), she keeps delivering branches from my blackberry bushes to me, and there is a particular spot in the yard that she appears to have chosen for some sort of canine archaeological dig.  I'm sure it's very important.  So one of my Newfs thinks he's a bear only partially awakened from hibernation, and the other thinks she's a border collie.

They are currently piled up against my desk chair groaning at one another.

So how was everyone's week?  The writing has been slow (need to change that), but I've read a few books from my RWA stash.  Enjoyed The Fallen: Raziel by Kristina Douglas (actually Anne Stuart!), and The Princess in His Bed by Lila DiPasqua.  And now I'm going to finish Embers by Laura Bickle, which is very awesome thus far...I just got sidetracked because I didn't want to bring my Nook to the horse barn to read, so I grabbed something paper (and less destructable!) instead.  My poor Nook has a crack in the frame.  I suppose I'll use this as an excuse to get a Nook Color at Christmas:)

Read anything good lately?  Enjoy your weekend!  Oh, and check out this most excellent review of Dark Awakening at Reading Between the Wines HERE.  The site immediately won my heart because of the wine glass ratings, but it really is a great review.  My goodreads page for the book is making me very happy right now!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Bookmarks, Contests, and a NYC Wrap-Up!

Right off the bat, I've got to tell you about a lovely author who invited me over to blog today.  Joan Swan, who makes her Kensington debut soon, interviewed me...and she's made absolutely GORGEOUS bookmarks with a Dark Awakening theme.  There are five she's giving away, and you have to see how pretty they are!  Apart from that, there's a copy of Renegade Angel and a signed copy of Dark Awakening up for grabs.  Prizes galore!  Please come visit, it was great fun to do the interview.  And for real, those bookmarks.  WOW.  Click HERE to go!

And now, the NYC recap.  I realize I'm late on this, but I paid for my week o' fun with the Migraine From Hell, which cranked up shortly after I got home.  The week was well worth the headache, but it took me until today to really feel human again.  So without further adieu, here are some snippets from my week in New York!

On Tuesday, I quickly met up with my buddy Cheryl Brooks and some of her Sextet (if you like some serious hawtness, check out their menage anthologies from Siren...or just check out Cheryl's Cat Star Chronicles, because ROWR).  We wandered away from Times Square and, um, in some sort of direction.  I don't know what direction because I never really know where I am.  Eventually, we ended up at the Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue, and did what writers do...we hunted for our new releases!  It was soooo cool to find them both, nearly side by side!  After that we went to Trump Tower to have lunch. The man has his face on the water bottles, his daughter's jewelry line on display, and a bunch of Apprentice-themed junk for sale.  It's like crappy Disney World.  Still, we had a ball.  Except for the hair I found in my salad, which then got exchanged for another salad.  Ew.

That night was the ENORMOUS Literacy for Life signing.  The one in which I participated a couple of years ago in DC was nowhere near this big!  I had my little RITA finalist flag at my spot, and I only barely restrained myself from making off with it.  I can't even begin to describe the noice to you.  Check out this little vid of the place before the doors opened to the public.  The sound?  Just authors.


After that, a bunch of us, including the lovely Marie Force, went and got rowdy at Sardi's.  There, it was decided that erotic YA Amish romance is, indeed, the wave of the future.  The food was great, but I could have eaten twice as much as what I ordered.  I know, right?  Oink.  I loves mah food.  Here's me and Sextet member Mellanie Szereto.
Wednesday was kind of the Literacy Signing hangover day.  It had been so loud, and I shouted so much (because it's impossible to talk otherwise) that my throat was pretty raw.  On the upside, I got to sit by Janet Chapman, who has been enchanting readers for a loooong time, and she is a completely awesome human being.  I loved talking to her.  On my other side was Linda Castillo, who made a smart, funny neighbor.  I am seriously in awe of these women.  Seeing what they have done and continue to do keeps me pushing.

So Wednesday I had lunch with Ann Leslie Tuttle, my editor at Nocturne, and we went to a very swanky restaurant called Blue Fin.  Several tables away Tara Gavin was entertaining the likes of Gena Showalter and Nalini Singh.  I was very good and did not explode into some kind of insane fangirl moment...but you know I wanted to!  Instead, I had a lovely time with Ann Leslie.  She showed me pictures of her adorable baby.  I made her look at pictures of my kids and my big slobbery dogs.  It was great:)

I had my fangirl moment later, and also snagged a signed copy of Archangel's Consort. *happy sigh*



I wore a lot of black, by the way.  And my feet are still killing me.  Such pretty heels.  Such terrible instruments of torture.  Wednesday night I went to dinner with Kristen Callihan, who makes her debut with Grand Central in the spring with Firelight, a Victorian paranormal that not only has a gorgeous cover, but is also just generally kick-ass from the excerpt I read.  Kristen is awesome.  We had burgers and beer, and I failed to get her to adore fried pickles.  Check out her cover!


Thursday was insane.  Had a great meeting with Kevan...you know, I'm just realizing that I have NO pictures of Kevan and I.  I have no idea why.  I ran around a lot.  I grabbed too many signed books because I have no willpower, got to attend the GH/RITA finalist reception (free champagne, woot!), and then walked with a group of people to the Grand Central cocktail party.  There are not words for how cool it was.  Hopefully someone will have pictures from it...I know there were some taken.  I, um, had my hands full of a glass of ever-refilling wine. *ahem*  I just love the staff there...so much energy!  So irritatingly younger than me!  SO FREAKING FUN.  After taht, I caught a cab back to the hotel, and my father (who had arrived earlier in the day) and I went to see Rain, the Beatles tribute on Broadway.  It so rocked.  I grew up loving the Beatles, and it was great fun to do this with Dad.  The guys who play them are just crazy talented.  Then we went for the best Italian food I've had in years at Villa Barulia.  Great night.

Friday arrived.  I was dragging butt a little, but it's hard to flag for long when you've got all this outside your window (an insane 44 floors down!).  I was nervous for the RITAs.
The day was a blur.  Had a great sit-down with Selina McLemore, my editor (who, damn it, is also younger than me by a couple of years!).  Ran into a lot of fun people.  Talked incessantly.  Ate very good sushi.  And in the evening, made my way to the Marsal-Lyon Agency cocktail party waaaay up in The View Lounge at the top of the hotel.  It rotates. *urp*  I combattted the unpleasasnt sensation with cosmos and good conversation.  Here's me, Marie Force, and Robin Kaye enjoying the evening.

I was already all dressed up for the awards, as was my dad.  Didn't he look handsome?  I was seriously so, so glad he was there.  And he was in awe of what a big event this actually is.

So after a quick dinner with Marie, Dad and I made our way to the ballroom to meet Ann Leslie.  I had to do some mini-interview, which I barely remember and probably don't want to.  My nerves were shot!  Plus, I always think I must look like a complete dork.  Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised, who knows?  Or maybe I'll just try not to ever see it. 

The ceremony itself was great.  I loved listening to the speeches of the writers who won...all very inspiring.  I didn't end up taking home the gold statue, but you know, being at conference this year made me realize that I'm at the beginning of what looks like it could be a nice, long career.  As impatient as I am, I do have time.  All I can do is keep working hard.  Um, and I really do want to win one of those statues one day:)  After it was all over, Dad snapped a shot of me and my cheering section.  Can't tell you how lovely it was to have two of my dearest friends rooting for me in the audience!
You know, I'm 34.  You'd think that eventually I would stop being surprised that I am possessed of a fairly ridiculous amount of cleavage.  And yet, this picture made my eyebrows go up.  Oh well...artfully displayed is key, right?:)

I spent the rest of the night in my room, decompressing and eating incredible bacon-covered pizza with my father.  I was sad, sure.  There's just as much stress as excitement involved in something like the RITAs, but I wouldn't have traded a moment of it.  And I was, cheesy as it may sound, proud of every woman who took the podium that night.  Writing is tough.  Celebrating the women who do it, and do it well, is wonderful.

So here I am, back at home.  I spent a nice weekend with my parents (at least, utnil my stupid headache kicked up).  I have been hugged and slobbered on, I have thrown my heels into the recesses of my closet, and I'm getting back to work. 

And there you have it...probably the longest post I've ever done on here!  Have a great day, ladies, and I hope you enjoyed the pictures!  
 
 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Off to New York!

This would normally be a music Monday, and really, I think this says it all!

Tomorrow morning I take the train into NYC, where I will (hopefully) not get lost on my way to the Mariott Marquis in Times Square.  I'm so excited!  I haven't been to New York City since I was about fifteen.  That was amazing, and I have a feeling this time will be equally so.  DARK AWAKENING hits shelves tomorrow, and I'm so thrilled I get to sign it at the Literacy for Life signing (in the ballroom from 5:30 to 7:30)!  The temporary tattoos arrived while I was away, but...*sigh* Well, it wouldn't be a big deal of a week if it didn't start with a snafu.  They're very cool.  And they're a different mark than I wanted.  Don't ask how I managed to end up with the one test image I uploaded when I was having issues.  SO, I've got some very cool bat symbols that will allow the interested to be a Dracul for a day.  Vlad Dracul and his bloodline feature pretty prominently in the book, and I actually have a big soft spot for sexy Vlad, so it doesn't bother me too much.  Here's the tat:
I'll work on getting the Cait Sith ones when I get back.  But in the meantime, you too can be a seductive bat-shifter:)


Anyway, I'll blog from the hotel, hopefully with some cool pictures and video.  I know I've mentioned I love my phone...it does everything!  So I'll see you Wednesday, when I'll be hanging out with my buddies Cheryl Brooks and Marie Force.  That's one of the things about being a writer...your friends end up scattered around the country, so RWA is a great way to meet once a year!

Happy Monday, all!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Midnight Reckoning...and Release Day Approacheth!

Do you know what's sad?  I totally forgot Wednesday was Wednesday, hence the absence of a middle of the week post.  Sorry about that!  I'm cramming in as much relaxation as I can, because tomorrow we head home, and Tuesday I'm off to NYC for RWA '11!  I'm sooooo excited (and nervous, because it's intimidatingly huge).  It's been a lovely week here, and we've decided we're definitely returning next summer.  Wine tasting is one of the most fun things I've done, and I'm bringing home a few bottles to share.  I got my toes done.  I got a facial (wow...need to do that again).  I parked my butt on the deck and watched the kids swim and kayak.  And I read Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh, which means I will now be salivating over the coming (September) installment of her Guild Hunters series until, well, September.  NEED IT!

Speaking of coming attractions, Dark Awakening is finally almost out!  WOOHOO!  It hits shelves on Tuesday, and I'll be signing it Tuesday evening at the big Literacy for Life signing at the Marriott Marquis in NYC.  5:00-7:30, hope to see some of you there!  I will have my funky Cait Sith tattoos with me to distribute.  And bookmarks.  I even got my suit dry cleaned for this...should be good:)

Finally, the cover for the second installment in the Dark Dynasties series, due out in January, has arrived!  I love it.  Seriously, these covers have made me incredibly happy.  What do you think?

I love it.  Jaden and his wolf.  Hope you all had a great week!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cayuga Lake blogging

Hi Everybody!  Well, here I am, trying to relax on the lake.  So far, so good!  Cottage is smallish, but perfectly nice, and the deck is huge and hangs out over the lake.  Check out what I get to look at each morning with my coffee:
I could sit out there all day.  Well, actually, I mostly do.  There's a bit of rocky beach (Cayuga is quite rocky...just about no sand to be had) on either side, and a fire pit we roasted marshmallows over with friends last night.  The kids have been busy with squirt guns and an inflatable raft we tethered to the dock, andthe dogs...well, our old puppy is content to sit on the deck and watch the world, but the Newfs have taken to the lake like their long lost friend.  Stella is a born swimmer, loves to retrieve her Katie's Bumpers when you toss them into the water for her, and she tried to "rescue" my daughter the other day by pulling her in by the derriere:-)  Chewie just likes to wade around and slurp up the water!  Here's a vid of them on the first day:
Today, some wonderful family friends I grew up right by are coming down to go wine tasting with Brian and I while the kids go have some fun with my in-laws, and tomorrow is my birthday.  I never thought I would spend another birthday in NY once my family left the area, but this is a beautiful place...I'm really happy to have come back.  Here's to a week of relaxation!  I'm so doing this again next year:-)

Friday, June 17, 2011

In Which the Intrepid Author is Almost Hit by a Tornado

Okay, not exactly.  But I worried for a while.
It was was a wild night here!  The sky turned pale green (a bit paler than this picture, but green nonetheless...this is just the best representation I could find on the web), the clouds overhead were visibly rotating, and we had lightning hit the yard.  I only caught the flash out of the corner of my eye while I was out on the porch watching the storm crank up, but the hiss and snap was unmistakable.  No tornados, incredibly, but this is the sort of thunderstorm that spawns them.  We do get the occasional small tornado here in Southern Maryland...I have no desire to see one, but I really thought I was going to.  The power in the entire county was out for probably a half hour/forty-five minutes, and one of the houses in the neighborhood was hit by lightning.  We had about six fire trucks come wailing in here, firemen crawling all over that house with flashlights...apparently, there were sparks shooting from the eaves or the gutters, and they were worried there was fire inside the walls.  Considering the tarp on the back of that house today, I'd say the lightning put a hole in the back of the house somewhere.  That or they had to open up the wall to make sure nothing was on fire.  Anyway, it was interesting (I'm willing to be the homeowners with the new hole in their wall found it less so).  I have NEVER seen a sky that color before.

Heading for the Finger Lakes tomorrow, so I'll be blogging from there all next week, provided the wi-fi works as well as advertised.  We've never taken a vacation involving a rental cottage and all the mutts before (cue ominous music...dun-dun-DUNNNNN).  Hopefully, the place will still be intact when we leave it.  My mother-in-law is bringing lots of wine, and we'll be celebrating my birthday there on Tuesday.  Yeah, I'm going to be 34.  I think I'm officially in my mid-thirties now. *sob*

Anyway, I'm going to load up my Nook with books to read today, and I have plans to park it on the deck, enjoy the lake, and read.  Okay, and I have to work, too.  Boo.  Hiss.  But there's no rest for the wicked:-)

To close my morning babbling, I do want to say thanks to all the readers who have already read and enjoyed Dark Awakening and are posting their love around the internets.  You all get a big *MWAH!* from me!  Release day is so soon, and it means a LOT that people are already enjoying the book enough to sing its praises publicly.  I love this book.  I really, really do.  And Ty, as has been stated in various places, is really more of an anti-hero in some ways...but his journey was a fascinating one to write, and I love that people seem to "get" him, that they rooted for him.  I've got linkies to the reviews on my facebook page and my twitter feed, and I believe most are linked through Goodreads as well, so if you haven't already, please come friend me here, there, and everywhere:-)

'Kay, I'm off...I have a zillion packing-related things to do today (ugh).  Hope you all have a great weekend!  Please keep your fingers crossed for me that the Newfs don't destroy anything, and I'll keep you posted on my doings up on Cayuga Lake.  And I'm curious, because that storm last night is still very much on my mind...have any of you actually SEEN a tornado?  Because even just seeing the clouds spinning freaked me the hell out.  I just wonder what it's like actually being present for a real funnel cloud.

Happy Friday!   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hump Day Humor

Obviously I'm a bit late today...the kids' last day of school is tomorrow, and for whatever reason, the mornings this week have been more painful than usual.  And by "painful," I mean, "the kids are trying to kill me and they're not even being sneaky about it".  Ah, summer.  Here it comes, ready or not.  In lieu of something intelligent (since I already have nothing left in that department today), I give you a bouquet of cat humor.  Is it Friday yet?

The Wilford Brimley cat:



Dunecat:


Vampire kittehs:



Liu Kang...FIGHT!:


And finally:






Have a great one!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Giveaway at Borders True Romance blog!

I'm chatting today at Borders true Romance blog HERE.  Please swing by and say hello for a chance to win one of THREE signed copies of Dark Awakening!  My cup of cofffee and I will be in and out all day, and it was a really fun interview to do.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Music Monday 6/13

Every couple I put together in books ends up having a theme song.  I don't know why, they just do.  Sometims each particular character will have one as well, but that depends.  I'm assuming this happens because I'm a music junkie, and I draw a lot of inspiration from it.  Anyway, I've already given you Gideon's song from Call of the Highland Moon...but since this is the run up to the release of Dark Awakening (and it's a book very much on my mind anyway!), I wanted to share Ty and Lily's song.  This pretty much summed up their romance to me, and I listened to it a LOT while I was writing.  Actually, I still listen to it a lot.  But then, I'm also a Muse junkie:-)  Two things, though, before I leave you with a song:

Tomorrow I'll be blogging at the Borders True Romance blog HERE.  There'll be an opportunity to win a book in the comments, and I'll be there to chat all day.  Looks like my buddy Cheryl Brooks is there today, too...she's amazing, get thee over there!

Also, I mentioned this in the comments on the last post, but in my babbling litle video, I was wrong about the timing of the Literacy for Life signing.  The doors open at 5:30, and if the last  time I was at one was any indication, the earlier you get there, the better.  It's really busy, but well worth it!  You can find the list of all the authors who will be signing HERE.  Nalini Singh's gonna be there.  I'm so hitting her up for a picture/signed book before the doors open.  Perks of being an author, heh heh heh.

Enjoy the music, have a great one!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Vlogging

So there you have it, the woman behind the curtain.  Yup, I am a living, breathing person behind the keyboard!  Also, my fat cat was in the background, you may have noticed.  He's very good at sitting still.  It's kind of his occupation!

Anyway, thought it might be a cool way to share that little teaser book I got.  I love it!  So cool!  I want to frame it or something, but it'll probably just go on that overstuffed bookcase behind me.  I'm so glad you couldn't see the surface of my messy desk:-)

Hope you all have a great weekend!  I'd like to encourage everyone to join the Forever Romance Summer Reading Book Club on facebook HERE.  At the end of every week, there will be an author chat, and there are some really great books Forever as coming out this summer.  Yay, beach reads!  Or in my case, porch reads.  I'm scheduled for the end of July, should be lots of fun.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tattoo You

Last night I was busily ordering stuff online.  "Signed By Author" stickers for books, which I have somehow never had until now, were a must for the national conference.  I also ordered about 200 temporary tattoos of the Cait Sith mark.  I'll be giving them out in NYC, but provided they turn out ok (I see no reason why they shouldn't), I'm going to make them available on my website too, as a freebie.  So look for that sometime soon...I just want to make sure they're as cool as it looks like they'll be before I display them!  Depending on which dynasty has the focus in each group, and how well people like these, I'll add more dynasty marks as we go along.  So if you're planning to come to the big Literacy for Life signing on June 28th in NY, I'll be there with fresh new copies of Dark Awakening, bookmarks, and tats!  Yay!

I was also messing with my schedule for New York.  Holy crap, I'm going to be busy!  Way busier than a couple of years ago when I attended the one in DC.  Lunches, cocktail parties, get-togethers, publisher spotlights, signings, and a few workshops I want to take...this is very interesting, and pretty intimidating, for a small town, runs-around-in-ratty-jean-shorts kind of girl.  Still, I'm psyched.  I just hope my feet hold up.  God, I hate heels.  Cool thing is my dad, who has done business in the city for years and isn't intimidated by it at all, is coming in on Thursday to be my RITA date for Friday:-)  So I'll get out of the pressure cooker for a while on Thursday night, which I'll likely need because Thursday looks insane at this point.  We're going to a Beatles tribute show (he's the guy who raised me to have an undying love of The Beatles) and a yummy (very late) Italian dinner.  I've been pining for good Italian food!  Win or lose, I'm so glad I'll have family there to cheer me on, and since my dad is the guy I got all of my "writer stuff" from, it's good that it's him.  We share a sense of humor, so I know I'll be entertained:-)

Have a great Wednesday! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Music Monday 6/6

Morning, everyone!  Hope you all had a good weekend.  We did...went to a neighborhood block party, enjoyed some good beer and good company, and I got my hair did (ha ha) so there's no white peeking through when I head for New York at the end of the month.  It's so annoying to be going white at this age.  Thank you, genetics.  I'm so excited for RWA this year!  I even got on the elliptical last night!  Those of you who've been around for a while know about my love/hate struggle with exercise.  I was doing great with the P90X thing until a couple kids went down with pneumonia earlier in the spring.  Haven't managed to get back on that yet, but I will.  Just...not yet.  It takes an hour and a half every night that I don't quite have right now, but the elliptical I can do...if you saw the dresses I've got lined up for the conference, you would totally understand the need for this:-)  I'm so psyched I've got my iPhone now, it'll be way easier to take pictures.

Anyway, this is Music Monday, and I do have a song for you!  This is one I played a LOT while mulling all things Dark Dynasties, and I think it's a great song for Ty and Lily.  You should know I'm a Duran Duran fan from way back...my parents had Seven and the Ragged Tiger on vinyl and I played that thing OUT.  I'm so glad to see them back in such great form.  Anyway, check out Before the Rain, and have a great one!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

And the Winner Is...

Carla!  Your name was picked from the prize hat this morning, courtesy of my daughter (who is soon going to insist on some kind of sparkly dress and theme song to announce her if I keep making her do this).  Please send me your address at kendra@kendraleighcastle.com, and I'll get your book out to you this coming week!

Thanks to everyone for participating.  I now have a TON of new reads on my list to check out!  I'll be doing another giveaway once my author copies arrive, so keep an eye out:-)  Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday! And More Free Stuff!

Happy Friday!  I'm...not exactly sure where this week went on me.  Well, okay, I am a little, since I've resumed my passionate love affair with my Nook and am happily devouring Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter books (I'll be finishing Archangel's Kiss today).  The story is, of course, right up my alley (Angels! Vampires! Everyone is hot and many are snarky!), but her voice is the kicker.  Juuuust right, drew me right in.  I would like a man-harem of the Seven, please.  As soon as they can be delivered.  And of course, I'll have to read her Psy-Changeling series after this.  Hooray for getting into an author when she has a big backlist for me to enjoy!

So, a small announcement, and then I'll open the floor to discussion so somebody can win a signed copy of Dark Awakening, since I have another to give!  It looks like I WILL be doing at least a couple of HOT short stories for Nocturne's new Cravings line, which will be available online only (this is a more erotic counterpart to their Bites line).  I've just gotten the thumbs up on the outlines I did, so I couldn't tell you yet when these will be available, but I think quite early in 2012 with the schedule I've set up.  I will, of course, keep you posted!  I'm going to a dark faerie tale place with these, which should be a lot of fun! 

Aaaaand now,  the (very non-fancy) contest: like last time, open until midnight PST.  I'll do a drawing, assisted by my lovely hat-owning, paper-selecting daughter.  Just let me know if you'd like to be entered in the comments!  And for discussion, since I have the summer ahead and am determined to carve out more reading time on my brand spankin' new screened-in porch, what are the books you have REALLY loved this year?  Did you grab one that really lit a fire under you, like "OMG MUST KEEP READING NOM NOM NOM" (or something like that)?  I love to hear what people are reading, esp. because I love a book I can sink my teeth into myself:-)  I mean, you don't even want to know how excited I am that Dmitri's Guild Hunter story is coming out in September. *happy sigh*  Oh, and please check out this AWESOME review from the amazing Kristina!  She has a great book review site going, and I am completely tickled that she loved Dark Awakening so much!  Click HERE for the goodness!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What A Week!

Sadly, not in the greatest of ways, but at least I got my internet working this morning.  I feared/fumed that it was our nefarious local cable company once again...the internet goes out here a LOT...but it was just my stupid computer.  I'm starting to worry about the computer.  I think in the next year it needs to go bye-bye.  I can usually sense the disturbance in the Force when they're starting to lose their will to live:-)

Anyway, this will be a short-ish post today.  I've had bronchitis for a week, from which I'm sloooowly recovering (with the aid of lots of medication), and my sinuses finally sent me into a full-blown migraine last night, which I'd been concerned was trying to happen.  One of my eyes went numb.  At first, I wanted to chalk this up to the fact that I had to go to both my youngest kid's kindergarten "moving up night", followed almost immediately by my oldest child's "growing up night" (she is in 5th grade, it was a bunch of moms, and it was sponsored by Kotex...yeah, good times).  Sadly, no.  Mah head, it simply decided it was time to a'splode.

The only bright spot of the evening, in between the eye numbness of impending doom and the actual head explosion, was that my husband has finally gotten bored enough with the things he normally plays with at work to have decided to get the both of us actual, real live 21st century phones.  With internet, even.  Woo!  I realize how sad this is...I'm like the only person I know who didn't have a phone that could run the world.  I had never played Angry Birds (fixed!).  I had never had an app for, erm, anything (also fixed!).  So when I can look at the screen for longer than a few minutes at a time, I will be all about setting up my shiny new iPhone.  Oh yes...as an iTunes junkie, I kind of have to have the pretty Apple phone.  Brian got a Droid.  I think mostly because when you do various things, it says, in the cool robotic voice, "Droid!".  No, really, that may be his favorite part.  I fear for his work, though...he really, really likes Angry Birds.

So!  I will be able to tweet and facebook and whatnot from National this year while I am wandering around semi-lost in the enormous hotel!  Cool, huh?

Anyway, today let's talk technology, because I have no freaking clue what I'm doing with this phone.  Are there, uh, app-type thingies you would recommend?  Any good games?  Because really, this IS a toy;)  I am off to try and work now, but will check in later!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Music Monday 5/30

Hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend!  Today's bit of musical inspiration is actually visual too.  I had planned to use something else more pertinent to a book, but this is too gorgeous to resist, and the music could work very well for a romance, I think.  I absolutely love violin.  Complete sucker for it.  In FACT, I had a string trio at my wedding, I love strings so much:-)  As for the video...it honestly just took my breath away.  This, my bloggy friends, is Iceland in all its glory.  I had no idea it was so full of light.  Sometimes, it's nice to be reminded that there are still places like this on earth, little touched and full of beauty. I think my idea of heaven might look a bit like this.  Enjoy.  And to see it a bit larger (well worth it) simply click the first link beneath the vid.


Raw Lightscapes from Enrique Pacheco on Vimeo.

Lucky Thirteen

Warning, mushy post ahead!
The Guy I Fell in Love With, Circa 1997, with Fizgig

For me, this is a sweet day...Brian and I are celebrating our 13th anniversary.  And for the first time in all those thirteen years, he actually lined up a babysitter himself and planned to take me out to dinner without my knowing about it!  My grin was a mile wide...even after all this time, it's nice to know he can still surprise me.  Not that he needs to most of the time.  The man puts up with my weird hours, handles living with me when I'm a watery mess, and pushes me to follow my own dreams while I move around the country to enable him to follow his.  We've shared a lot of joy, much of it from the three beautiful kids we've made together, and weathered our share of sorrow and difficulty too.

I was little more than a kid when I met him...eighteen and just starting to figure myself out, much less other people.  Mr. Confident scared the hell out of me in some ways...I knew it was going to be serious from the get-go, and I was a master of the unserious.  But hell if I could figure out how to let him go.  He's tricky like that:-)  I married him a week after he graduated from the Naval Academy, a month shy of my 21st birthday.  We were young and stupid, but because of it I think we rolled with the punches more easily than we might have had we met even a few years later.  In a lot of ways, we've grown up together.  And because of good fortune or just simple compatibility, neither of us fell out of love with the people we've grown into. 

Neither of us is perfect: he's got a temper, I've got a mouth, he's into structure and I seem to roll with a certain amount of chaos whether I mean to or not.  He is not a romantic, and I...well, take a look at what I write.  But my husband is honest, true, unfailingly loyal, and deeply good-hearted.  He's the sort of man who rescues small creatures from the road, meticulously paints teddy bears or clouds on nursery walls, and sends the kids into shrieking gales of laughter by being a big kid himself.  Oh, and he still looks damn fine in a uniform.  In short, I got a good one, and I'm glad he's mine.  Happy Anniversary, babe.  Thanks for loving me.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Thanks so much for playing along, everyone!  I had my daughter pull a name out of a hat this morning, and the winner of a shiny new copy of DARK AWAKENING is...

NANCY!  Congrats!  Drop me a note at kendra@kendraleighcastle.com, and I'll get your book out to you on Tuesday.

I'll be giving away another book this coming Friday, so be sure to come back!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dark Awakening Giveaway!

It's Friday!  Friday, Friday, gettin' down on...oh, God, forget I sang that.  Anyway, a couple of days ago, I received a most excellent surprise from the fabulous Latoya Smith: four hot off the press copies of my book!  They are gorgeous.  So, so gorgeous.  I was on my way out, so I grabbed one and forced all the parents at my youngest kid's preschool to observe its beauty.  Probably they were afraid, but I was excited:-)

In any case, I gave a copy to the graphic artist who did the Dynasty tattoos for me, and I'm hanging onto a couple until my actual box of author copies arrives, but I thought it would be fun to give one away.  Because, hey, Friday, free stuff, it's all good.  I'm not going to get fancy, just do a drawing, so if you'd like to be entered let me know in the comments.  Contest open until midnight tonight (PST), and I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

And for discussion, since I started with that awful earworm of a song (the Epic Mullet Guy version is way better), what other sings make you crazy in a "this sucks but it won't leave me alooooone" kind of way?  A recent one for me was Nickelback's "This Afternoon" (you click that link at your own risk...some of the band is cute, but the video quickly becomes obnoxious bimbo overload).  Yes, I know there are a lot of Nickelback fans out there.  I'm not one of them, belonging to the prestigious Every Time a Nickelback Song is Played, God Kills a Llama group on facebook.  And yet, despite my lunging to change the channel every time I heard the opening chords of that song, there it would stick.  Sometimes for days. *shudder*  Share you pain, win free stuff.  It's all good!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ye Olde Opinion Box

And before I get started, I have to say that I just love this picture.  Show of hands: who would like to be this woman in this moment? *raises hand and waves it madly*  Vampires.  Yum.

Anyway, I need some help, as you may have surmised from my whiny title.  I'm supposed to do some erotic short stories.  Which is AWESOME, because hey, my books always get rated hot, so I should be able to stretch a little further, right?  But I would love to read some more erotic romance before I dive in so I have a better feel for the structure.  And...stuff.  So if you would, can any of you direct me to your favorite erotic short stories?  Even just your go-to author or authors.  There's so much available, I don't know which direction to go!  And over the last year, my reading time really took a beating.  Haven't managed to read much, though I THOROUGHLY enjoyed Olivia Cunning's Backstage Pass.  Rock Hard is next on my list, woohoo!  Though I'm not sure anything can surpass having music written all over your body while you...uh, what were we talking about?  Oh.  Um.  Anyway, today's an open call for suggestions.  What are you loving and just as importantly, why?  I'm interested to hear your answers!

In other news, my dogs are getting so big that I trip over them all the time.  Especially in their favorite room, the kitchen.  Trying to operate around a big, lumbering, hungry bear dog and his smaller but waaaaay more spastic companion has become...difficult.  They are right now trying to eat one another's faces directly beside my desk chair, which won't bother me until they try to knock me over.  Oh, and Stella has taken to stealing things off the counters when we're not looking.  Argh.  I still love them to pieces, by the way.  But the "big dogs" chapter of my life is thus far an interesting journey.  I've decided to give one of my next heroines a Newf sidekick.  It's gotta happen:-)

Have a great day!  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Schedule, etc.

So I've decided I'll be on a M/W/F blogging schedule around here, if you all would like to know when to come looking for something new.  As today is Tuesday, consider this FABULOUS BONUS CONTENT.  Erm, or not:-)  Do have a couple of things...Romantic Times has given DARK AWAKENING 4 stars and a HOT rating, along with a lovely review calling me a "rising star" (*blushes*) and saying the new series is "sure to please".  Couldn't ask for more!  Awesome kickoff.  Also, I see a couple of my Goodreads readers who have already won copies of the book have enjoyed the story and rated it highly, and I hope they know I am SO appreciative.  I want people to love this story as much as I do, and it's really great to see the book starting off well-received.  Aaaaand...that's all I've got for today.  So I will present you with the Lonely Island/Michael Bolton collaboration that is still making me laugh a couple of weeks after I first saw it.  Davy Jones! Giant squid!  Catch you all tomorrow!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Music Monday 5/23

Thought I'd kick off my Music Monday thing with a song that has been part of the soundtrack for every Scottish hero I've written (and there have already been a few in my short career).  From Call of the Highland Moon's Gideon MacInnes to Dark Awakening's Tynan MacGillivray, my Scotsmen have a sweetness at their core, even if it's not readily apparent at first.  And though they would never admit it, being the sorts of men who aren't into discussing such alien concepts as "feelings" except under extreme duress, they want very much to love and be loved in return.  This also scares the hell out of them, but you know...they're men.  Supernaturally powerful men, but that doesn't make a lot of difference in this area.  In their more vulnerable moments, this lovely song by a favorite band of mine, the appropriately Scottish band Travis, always seems to apply.  I've loved it for years now, so it seems like a good one to share.  Hope you enjoy it too!
 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Return of the Blogger

Hey everyone!  Okay, prompted by butt-kickings from various people in my life (all much appreciated, btw), I'm hopping back on the blogging train.  I made it through the experience of writing two books in six months with most of my sanity intact and probably more white hair, though I don't let my roots grow out enough to really know for sure:-)  I've got a lot of exciting stuff happening in my professional universe, and I've got a series launching on June 28th.  If I ever say I have nothing to blog about right now, smack me. 

We'll start with tomorrow and a suggestion from my buddy Lisa.  I am a complete music junkie, which you'll figure out quickly if you listen to my ramblings for any length of time.  I use music for writing inspiration ALL the time, and sometimes can even tame my writerly ADD enough to have it playing while I'm working.  Some books lend themselves to that more than others...seems to depend. Sooo, henceforth, we'll be having Music Mondays 'round these parts, wherein I'll share a song that I've used or am using in my writing.  My iPod is full o' goodness.  So this should be fun!  I'm always open to suggestions for new stuff, too.  As for Wednesdays and Fridays, which are the other days I'll be hanging out here, well...we'll see what I come up with:-)

As for tonight, I wanted to share something cool with you all.  I recently sold Dark Dynasties books 3 and 4 to Grand Central (YAY!), and the description of Book 3, SHADOW RISING, interested the good people at Romantic Times enough that they mentioned it HERE. Is that not cool?  I've only got about three chapters of that book done so far, but I absolutely love the characters already.  Gonna be a fun one.

Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Win a copy of Dark Awakening!

Hard to believe, but the release of Dark Awakening is only a couple of months away!  Wanna win a copy and read it, say...now?  My publisher, Forever Romance, is having a week of giveaways on Twitter to celebrate the royal wedding, and today they'll be asking trivia questions and selecting FIVE winners to receive a copy of Dark Awakening!  If you're into Twitter (I keep trying, and then forgetting about my account, and then trying, and then forgetting...it's a vicious cycle), check it out a @ForeverRomance all day today.  Good luck!

I just finished writing the sequel, actually, and am now crawling out of the Writer's Cave O'Pain to re-engage with normal life.  It's been a busy year, but things should be smoothing out now a bit, so I'll be here more often:-)  YAY for hitting another deadline!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Party at Aunty Cindy's!

I'm hanging at my buddy Aunty Cindy's today to talk about my RITA final.  Click here to swing by!  I'd love it if you came over to chat.  As for me, I'll be back to regular blogging when the book is turned in, quite soon.  Confession: I kind of suck at multi-tasking:-)  I did decide what sort of dance I should do if I actually WIN a RITA...I discovered the wonder that is Big Freedia yesterday.  Can I make my booty move like that?  Will I stand on my head at the awards ceremony?  Will they throw me out for standing on my head and shaking my booty?  Only time will tell...
 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Renegade Angel is a RITA finalist!

I knew today was the day that the phone calls went out for the RITA finalists.  And I'm not going to lie, even though I knew I was up against a LOT of fabulous writers, I had that little glimmer of hope that I'd get a call.  And...right about 11:00 am...

I got one:-)

Did I squeal in the lovely Jeannie Adams' ear?  Oh yes.  Did I hang up and shriek at the top of my lungs?  Oh hell yes.  I'm still shaking.  I know that a lot of readers probably don't even really know what a RITA is, but the best way I can describe it is sort of the Oscars of Romance.  It's a big, peer-judged contest...THE big contest, and we hold a lavish awards ceremony every year at the national conference, on the last night.  And this year, I'll be sitting there with Kevan (my agent) and Ann Leslie (my Nocturne editor), in my pretty new dress (which I'm going to need to buy!), and loving that this book was recognized for being something special.  I don't care if I win.  I'm just honored, and thrilled, and I wish I could bottle this feeling and pull it out whenever I feel like things are too tough.  It's a difficult business...but there's so much magic in some of the moments it gives you.

It's a good day.  A really, really good day!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Final Cover

Hi Everyone!  Had to share this with you...they've tweaked the cover just a bit before release.  Same idea, but bigger hot dude.  Nothing wrong with that:-)  Hope you all like it!  Have a great Thursday.  I do apologize for posts being sporadic during the week right now.  With a deadline in a month and a lot of work to do, sometimes online is the last place I should be!  And my updates, if I gave you one every day, would read "Writing", "Still writing", and the ever popular "Yep, STILL writing!"  I am a snoozefest of a human being right now.  I did get a brand new Durango a few days ago.  THAT was actually pretty exciting.  I really liked my Flex, but believe it or not, we needed more space.  This is what happens when you start adding enormous animals to the family.  Speaking of, we get Stella this weekend, so expect pictures soon!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday Fun

I'm swamped with work.  It's time for the Magic Dance!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Abby...Normal

So this weekend I went up to Wilmington, DE to see the musical version of Young Frankenstein with my MIL and daughter.  It was SO FUN!  I haven't seen a musical in a long time, but I really enjoy them.  And of course, I'm a big Mel Brooks fan.  My dad introduced me to the awesomeness of his films back when I was a kid.  I loved them instantly (in fact, Young Frankenstein was my first), but they're managed to improve as the years have gone by, too...because I didn't quite get all of the jokes when I was younger:-)  Same went for my daughter.  I was, um, pretty glad she had no idea why I was giggling so hard at Elizabeth's post-coital ode to the monster's, erm, endowments with the song "Deep Love".  There was also a plethora of boob jokes.  Pretty sure she DID get those.  Igor stole the show.  The guy who plays him in the touring company has also played him on Broadway and in London, and he's fabulous.  Here's a little trailer for the musical:

Now, the guy playing Frederick Frankenstein in these clips wasn't playing him in the show I saw.  Actually, the actor I saw do it was much better...this guy played a few other parts.  In any case, it was a great day, and it was a good way to introduce my daughter to the wonder of theater.  I've never forgotten my first show (Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages Theater in Toronto), and I'm betting she'll never forget hers.

Hope you all had a good weekend!  I've been ridiculousy busy, and it's the out of the house kind involving lots of car time.  That's life with three kids for you:-)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

For the LOTR Junkies

I am one.  A Lord of the Rings fangirl, that is.  And I am beyond excited that The Hobbit is finally getting made with Peter Jackson at the helm!  Anyway, I ran across this the other day and thought it was VERY cool.  Pogo, the musician responsible, does some really interesting mixes.  He says this one isn't polished yet, but I say it's lovely anyway.  Happy Hump Day, ladies:-)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pretty Things

I was rummaging in my pictures this morning, trying to come up with something decent to post, and discovered one of my potential candidates for Damien who I didn't show you.  He's one of those up-and-comers in Hollywood, and I believe he's in that new Beauty and the Beast take-off, Beastly.  Alex Pettyfer.  He's quite lovely, check it out.


Pretty, huh?  I can't say I'm excited about the movie from the trailer (and that is my favorite fairy tale, so major bummer for me), but Alex is kinda nice.  I think the movie has Vanessa Hudgens in it.  This may be part of the reason for my lack of excitement.  Maybe it's just me, but the current crop of popular stars and starlets just don't interest me much.  And there's a disturbing trend towards anorexically skinny bleached blondes...I mix them all up.  Oh well...Tangled hits Blu-Ray at the end of the month, and I'm looking forward to that.  Plus the teaser trailer for The Hangover 2 just came out.  Yeah...that's one I want to see too:-)

Monday, February 28, 2011

On the Mend/Puppy Fever

How is it Monday again already? I spent the better part of last week nursing yet another child through bronchitis, hence my finally giving up on posting at the end of the week. Hearing about dosages of prednisone and albuterol and antibiotic is just really not all that interesting.

HOWEVER, I'm back (insert golf clap here)! The vampire/werewolf forbidden romance continues apace. Got a little behind in the plague breakout, but working on catching up. I'm still doing P90X, shockingly...I did a month of the Lean version of the program, but at the end of it I knew I could step it up, so have switched to Classic and restarted on Week 1. It has added an extra month onto this workout journey of 90 days, but it's cool. I was in such incredibly lousy shape I had to start with something a little easier. There is this...thing...called Plyometrics. It's an hour of "jump training", very aerobic, lots of hopping and jump squats and you name it. The demonstrators are dying by the end of it, so you know what a beast this thing is. Anyway, it's not in the Lean program, but is in the Classic, and it's one of the big reasons I'm glad I waited. I would NOT have made it through that just starting out. Now I can, just soaked in sweat. I am, at present, in probably the best shape of my life. Ever. And I have a ways to go yet! Last night was Yoga. I'm getting quite bendy:-)

On to the Puppy Fever portion of the program. We found out this weekend which puppy will be ours! We had been down to two, and the breeder feels this one is much more what we're looking for, very friendly and interactive. She's certainly bright-eyed! I'm probably in for it.
We aren't sure what to name her.  Again.  It was going to be Stella, but I'm not really sure she looks like a Stella.  Because of her distinctive off-side blaze, we're actually thinking of just naming her...Blaze.  A friend told me that sounds like the name of a sassy saloon girl:-)  We'll figure it out.  I'm just really glad we know who's coming home!  She's a cutie...I liked the look of her from very early on.  We go get her a week from Friday.  I think I need to catch up on my sleep before then!

Have a great Monday!