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:
video
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

video
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!