Monday, December 29, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I'm going to be so busy with my kids tomorrow I know I won't have time to post anything here.

So...




Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Vacation

Dusty has taken two weeks off to celebrate the holidays, which means I'm taking two weeks off to celebrate the holidays. I plan on getting back to writing January 2 (I promised Bunny, right?), but odds are good I won't be as visible in chats and things until the New Year.

So:










Did I miss anyone?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Two Things

First, Angela James is conducting a little reader survey:

Best of Samhain 2008 survey

In a blog post elsewhere in the blog-o-sphere, Teddy Pig lamented that epublishers don’t publish a top ten bestseller list for the year. I accepted his “challenge” and at the beginning of 2009, Samhain will be publishing their 2008 bestseller list. But I wanted to make it a fun event, and do some other reader-driven lists, so I put together a quick (only five questions) survey for Samhain customers to choose their favorite books and covers. Please take a moment to fill it out and help us compile some “best of” lists to publish with our bestseller list of 2008.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=cx0Pt6VHI_2fJ4m5lSThk8Qg_3d_3d


So head on over and participate (even if it's to vote for someone who's not me! And no, I'm not saying who I voted for either.)

Second, it seems we have a winner for the Name That Book contest:

CRYSTAL DEE!

Steel Beauty was chosen as the new name of the book! Please email or post your choice of prize! The choices were:

1. A gift certificate to
Books On Board (which can be given as soon as the contest ends - no delayed gratification!);

2. An ARC of
Very Much Alive, Book 1 of True Destiny, before it releases in February (the ARC would be given in February, and will be available only in e-book format);

3. A free copy of Cat of a Different Color
or Sweet Dreams or The Wallflower (available only in e-book format; again, no delayed gratification!)

4. A copy, signed by me, of
Hunting Love (available only in print; would require a physical mailing address and would not be given until March, so definite delayed gratification!)

Crystal will also be in my dedication of Steel Beauty!

And just so you know, I totally stole some of those titles for other novels, so keep an eye out for them in the future. ;D

Monday, December 15, 2008

Inspiration Photos

Someone asked to see my inspiration photos for Logan and Kir.

Here you go!

Logan:



Kir:


What do you think?

Free Reads, Contests, and Blogging




Monday, Monday! I have quite a bit going on today before I officially go on Christmas vacation.

Where to start?

1. The contest to name The Book Formerly Known As is now officially closed. I'll be posting the winner tomorrow, so keep watch!

2. Guest blogging: I got asked by Novel Thoughts to do a guest blog. The topic: How did I come up with the idea for The Wallflower? You can read my answer here.

3. I've posted a blog on The Samhellion Blog about Italian traditions, and how they seem to be changing in my family. You can read that here.

4. And just in case you aren't tired of reading things I've written, I've got three (yup, THREE) free holiday reads for you! The Ornament: Emma and Max is now live on The Samhellion website! Parts Two (Simon and Becky) and Three (Adrian and Sheri) are on my website.

5. And I'm going to be at the Samhain's Moderator Appreciation chat tonight on the Samhain Cafe from 7-9 p.m. EST.

6. And, of course, edits on Very Much Alive (which I will probably start tomorrow, all things considered).

See? THIS is why I need a vacation, lol!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

One More Day

Tomorrow I go through the names for the Book Formerly Known As and pull a winner. I'll announce who won on Tuesday, so stay tuned.

And if you have any ideas, go ahead and enter them!

Friday, December 12, 2008

For You, Dad

My family adores Andrea Bocelli, but my father especially loves him. I ran across this when I did a YouTube search for him.

Happy Holidays, Dad.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rum Pa Pum Pum



So I remembered something today, and learned something today.

I remembered that I don't like rum. What reminded me? I ordered a Mai Tai in Red Robin tonight. (Don't worry, Dusty drove.) It was very, very rum-y. It kinda tasted like the bartender took some rum, added some ice, and then did some funky stuff with red and yellow food coloring and called it a Mai Tai.

What I learned tonight? The more Mai Tai I drink, the more I like rum.

Remind me to stick to Mudslides. I think they're less dangerous.

Monday, December 8, 2008

One More Week

One more week to help me come with a name for The Book Formerly Known As. Because as of Monday the fifteenth, the contest is over! So if you have an idea of what you think Belle and Rick's book should be named, post it as soon as possible.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Releases at Samhain

Okay, yes, I suck. I would say I didn't put them up yet because I wanted the Kindle contest to remain front and center, but that would be a lie.

I just plain forgot in all of the hullabaloo of doing my newsletter, finishing book 5 of the Halle Pumas, setting up the contests on my sites, writing two (TWO!) blog spots to go live December 15 and working on two, maybe three freebie holiday stories. BTW, The Ornament: Max and Emma, part one of my holiday freebies, will go live on the Samhellion December 15. The other parts will be posted here, on my blog. Oh, and on December 15 I go through all the names for The Book Formerly Known As and pick a real name!

I'm going to be very, very busy December 15.



This is why I'm taking two weeks off this month. My brain needs a rest.

Anyway, here's the new releases from Samhain Publishing:

Monday, December 1, 2008

On The First Day Of Christmas...

My true love gave to me...

CONTESTS!
(You expected a bird?)

First up:


Here's what Angela James has to say about the contest:

This holiday season, I have teamed up with 38 of the authors whose work I have edited over the past three years. Together, we’ve accumulated a heck of a lot of prizes to give away to all of you. They include:

Gift certificates to online stores
Books
Laptop bag
Books
Australian gift pack
Books
Vera Bradley purse
Books
Fun promotional items (like the now infamous Samhain coffee mugs)
Books
…and more! (and did I mention books?)

Every day from now to December 12th, I’ll be posting a new contest on my blog to win that day’s prize. Your entry is only good for that day. To win the prize for any other day, you’ll need to come back and enter again.

The grand prize at the end of the 12 days of Holiday Hell Contest is two Kindles, to be awarded to two lucky winners who have entered the Kindle drawings (which are separate from the daily drawings. Entry into the daily drawings does not enter you into the Kindle drawings).

How do you enter the Kindle drawings? Easy (okay, really it does take a little work). Go to each of these two pages: Kindle 1 & Kindle 2 and follow the rules. You’re going to have to visit 17 author websites for each Kindle, find the Kindle graphic and write down the name of the book featured on their graphic. Come back here and fill out the form completely. Actually, that is pretty easy when the grand prize is a Kindle. Two Kindles! In addition to winning the Kindle, you’ll win your choice of one Samhain ebook in Kindle format from each of the 38 authors participating in the contest for a total of 38 books for your new Kindle!

The fine print: You can win one of the daily Holiday Hell prizes and still be eligible to win the Kindle. You must complete the entry form for each daily contest entirely, double checking that your name and mailing address are correct because this is what I’ll use to mail your prize. If your prize comes back to me due to an incorrect mailing address, you forfeit your prize. Prize winners will be drawn before the end of each day following the contest (ie Day 1’s prize winner will be drawn before the end of Day 2) and will be announced on my blog. Kindle winners will be drawn and announced here on December 13th. All prizes will be mailed by December 20th.

Only one entry into each drawing per household/IP address. Duplicate entries will be deleted and entrants will be disqualified.

International entries are welcome and I will mail overseas, but will not guarantee receipt by Christmas as it will go by dolphin due to the obscene cost of shipping overseas.

I reserve the right to modify the rules at any time.

**I have verified that all icons are up and on the authors’ websites, so if you can’t find one, look again!


Oh, and did I mention:




Samhellions, we need your help! The mission…should you chose to accept it…is simple but dangerous. Some of our authors are in a Grinchy mood and they stole all of our beautiful holiday ornaments. Your job is to infiltrate their lair (website) and find the color of each precious bulb. Please be careful – there are spies EVERYWHERE. (Disguises are available at CheapSpyGearandSushiShop.com)

There's no pressure but…our happy holiday depends upon finding all of the missing decorations before midnight December 4, 2008!

Thank you for helping us save the holidays for readers everywhere! The Samhellion Elves.


How to Play:

Each author has placed a graphic of a Christmas bulb (ornament, not light) on their website. Go to each website on the list, locate the bulb and write down the color. Please note - each graphic is within 2 clicks from the main page of the site.

Once you’ve collected all the info, come back here and fill out the form below then click submit!

Remember…this is top secret stuff. If you spill the beans about what you’re doing the price could be…your life! (insert spooky laugh here)

Rules:

One entry per household.

Void where prohibited.

Only complete and correct entries will be accepted.

Winners will be announced on the Cafe list and this website.

Each entry will be used for a random drawing for a free ebooks from all of our participating authors. (33 ebooks / winners total).


And guess what? I'm a Grinch! Muahaha!


And finally, don't forget about the Name That Book contest I'm running, that ends December 15!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Glasses

I'm off for the morning to Lenscrafters with R to get new glasses. We're both due. I'm not sure what color frames I'm going to get this time, but I know if R has his way they'll be red again.

Once I have them I'll post a picture. In the meantime, have a good morning, everyone! :D

EDIT: Please note: BAD HAIR DAY AHEAD!



The new glasses! I'll try to get some other shots to show you at Thanksgiving tomorrow.

And you can't tell in the picture, but they're kind of a cross between blue and purple!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Voice Has Fallen And It Can't Get Up


I've lost my voice due to this stupid head cold everyone in my extended family seems to have. Which means R and M will probably take full advantage of the fact that Mommy can't yell at them (I mean, God knows I did when I was their age). While my mother would laugh and say "Ain't karma a bitch?", I kinda feel like this:


Friday, November 21, 2008

Passionate Plume Erotic Romance Contest

EDIT: It's Passionate PlumE. With an E. Remind me not to post while on cold medicine. Sheesh.

Passionate Ink is holding their yearly contest for erotic romance! There are two parts to the contest: one for published authors and one for non-published authors. So check it out!

We're open for entries in our two erotic romance contests--for published and unpublished manuscripts. The only all-erotic contest in RWA.

Full contest information can be found here: http://www.passionateink.org/contests

Here are the details!


Passionate Ink's Fourth Annual
THE PASSIONATE PLUME CONTEST FOR PUBLISHED AUTHORS

Deadline: 2/7/09
The only published, all erotic romance award in RWA!

Five Sizzling Finalists in Five Categories:

Contemporary - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in a contemporary setting. Includes series and single-title length romances. Can also include elements of romantic suspense/intrigue.

Historical - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in a historical setting.

Futuristic/Fantasy/Sci-fi -novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting in the future, an alternate world/reality, or another planet. Includes elements such as elves/faerie, sword and sorcery, aliens, etc.

Paranormal/Time Travel - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting that includes elements of time travel, angels, vampires, werewolves or other paranormal themes.

Novellas - novellas of 25,000 words or less with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting. All novels entered must be at least 25,000 words in length. Novellas are considered 10,000 to 25,000 words. All categories are open to alternative lifestyle entries–and any entry that reflects an erotic romance between two or more people, straight, gay, bi, or any romantic combination.

Judging and Prizes:

First Round: Will be judged by readers, writers, reviewers, booksellers and librarians.

Final Round: Five finalists will be judged by multi-published authors and reviewers. The decisions of judges are final. Winners will be announced at the Passionate Ink gathering at RWA National in San Francisco. First place winners will receive a Passionate Ink pendant and an award graphic for their website. All others will receive certificates and a finalist graphic for their website. Results will be listed in Passionate Ink’s newsletter, on the website, as well as have their names published in the ROMANCE WRITER’S REPORT.
Rules for Entry

Eligibility:

1. Contest is open to all published authors (25,000 word min. to be considerated “published” for all categories except Novella, which allows authors published in shorter works of 10,000 words or more) in the erotic romance sub-genre with any erotic romance publisher (regardless of RWA non-subsidy, non-vanity publisher status).
2. All entries must possess a first copyright date or first North American printing date of 2008.

Entry Deadline and Mailing: Mail print entries and materials to:

Passionate Ink

Passionate Plume Contest

c/o Karen Steele
1304 Forest Marsh Dr
Neptune Beach, FL 32266

Email ebook entries and entry form to pp4@passionateink.org.

Must be in .pdf format. Official Publisher-released digital versions of print books in .pdf are acceptable. Otherwise, print book submissions must be snail mailed in quantities of four books per entry.

1. All entries must be received by February 7, 2009. Any that arrive after this date will be disqualified and returned unopened.
2. It is the author’s responsibility to enter the book in the correct category. All clarifications as to category should be made prior to submission.
3. One novel cannot be entered in multiple categories, but multiple novels (up to three per category) are welcome if accompanied by the proper paperwork and full entry fee.
4. There must be a minimum of five entries or the category will be canceled. If the minimum number of entries is not attained, entrants will be notified. The entrant will be asked to provide a second choice of categories. If the entrant does not wish to place the entry in another category, the entry and associated fees will be returned.
5. If you are submitting a print book, feel free to sign your books. Remember, you must send four copies of the print book.
6. Failure to comply with the rules will result in disqualification.
7. Decisions of the Contest Coordinator are final.

Entry Fees: Passionate Ink members: $15 Others: $25 Email payments via PayPal to: Treasurer@passionateink.org or mail payments to:

Passionate Ink
Passionate Plume
c/o Robin L. Rotham
PO Box 2412
Norfolk, NE 68701

Make checks payable to: Passionate Ink ** A returned check fee of $7 will be charged for an NSF check**

**Be sure to write Passionate Plume and the title of your entry in someplace (such as the Memo field on a check, or the Other or Messages field in Paypal) so we can match your payment with your entry.**

1. Entry fees must be received prior to the entry deadline.
2. Include your name in the subject line and the titles of your entry(ies) in the Paypal comments box.

Email questions to Karen at pp4@passionateink.org. Entry if via email - Entry form to be copied into your email can be found at Passionate Plume Entry Form **If you have any problems or questions, email Karen at pp4@passionateink.org


AND


Passionate Ink's Fourth Annual
STROKE OF MIDNIGHT CONTEST

Deadline: Deadline: 2/7/09

**Remember The Stroke of Midnight is a contest for unpublished erotic manuscripts. BOTH PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED AUTHORS MAY ENTER. However, if published, this must be a new genre for the author (For example, if the author has published in paranormal erotic romance, she can enter in one of the other categories) **

Five Sizzling Finalists in Five Categories:

Contemporary - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in a contemporary setting. Includes series and single-title length romances. Can also include elements of romantic suspense/intrigue.

Historical - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing

romantic relationship in a historical setting.

Futuristic/Fantasy/Sci-fi - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting in the future, an alternate world/reality, or another planet. Includes elements such as elves/faerie, sword and sorcery, aliens, etc.

Paranormal/Time Travel - novels with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting that includes elements of time travel, angels, vampires, werewolves or other paranormal themes.

Novellas - novellas of 25,000 words or less with erotic elements that focus on the developing romantic relationship in any setting.

1. All novels entered must be at least 25,000 words in length. Novellas are considered 10,000 to 25,000 words.

2. All categories are open to alternative lifestyle entries–and any entry that reflects an erotic romance between two or more people, straight, gay, bi, or any romantic combination.

Judging and Prizes:

First Round : Preliminary-round judging will be completed by three qualified judges - Passionate Ink and other RWA members experienced in critiquing and/or published authors familiar with our genre. All scores will be added and averaged to determine the entrant’s ranking. Every attempt will be made to provide entrants with detailed score sheets and judges’ comments from this preliminary round. Top five entries in each category will move to final round.

Final Round : The top five finalists in each category will be ranked by the following industry professionals:

Contemporary: Adam Neville, Black Lace

Historical: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency

Futuristic/Fantasy/Sci-fi: Peter Senftleben, Kensington Aphrodisia

Paranormal/Time Travel: Jessica Faust, BookEnds Literary Agency

Novella: Tracy Bernstein, NAL Heat

First place winners in each category will receive a free one year membership in Passionate Ink ($25 value), a certificate, and an award graphic for their website. (Writing teams will split the membership.) All other finalists will receive certificates and and a finalist graphic for their website. All entries will be returned after finalists are determined and statistical information is complete. Winners will be announced at the Passionate Ink gathering at the Romance Writers’ of America National Conference in Washington DC. Results will be listed on the Passionate Ink website and in the chapter’s newsletter.

The decisions of judges are final.
Rules for Entry

Eligibility:

Contest is open to all authors with unpublished, uncontracted full-length erotic romance manuscripts (at least 10,000 words) in the category they wish to enter.

Entry Deadline and Mailing:

Deadline for entry is February 7, 2009. All materials must be received by then.

Three easy steps to enter!

1 - Email all information from the entry form to som4@passionateink.org with the title "SOM Entry". All entries will be confirmed.

2 - Attach your entry to your email in RTF or a Word 2003 compatible format.

3 - Send your entry fee, either via Paypal to Treasurer@passionateink.org or by check to

Passionate Ink

Stroke of Midnight Contest

c/o Robin L. Rotham

PO Box 2412

Norfolk, NE 68701

1. Entry form and payment must be received by the Contest Coordinator by February 7, 2009. Any entries received without corresponding entry form and fee by the deadline will be disqualified.

2. Submit entries (or questions) via email to SOM4@passionateink.org. It is the author’s responsibility to enter the manuscript in the correct category. All clarifications as to category should be made prior to submission.

3. Entrants may enter as many categories as they wish with DIFFERENT submissions, but cannot enter the same manuscript in two categories. Each entry must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee and Entry form.

4. There is a minimum requirement of 10 entries per category. If a category does not receive a sufficient number of submissions to make the category viable, the category will be canceled. The entrant will be asked to provide a second choice of categories. If the entrant does not wish to place the entry in another category, the entry and associated fees will be returned.

Entry Fees:

Passionate Ink members: $15

Others: $25

Email payments via PayPal to: Treasurer@passionateink.org

or mail payments to:

Passionate Ink

Stroke of Midnight Contest
c/o Robin L. Rotham
PO Box 2412
Norfolk, NE 68701

Make checks payable to: Passionate Ink ** A returned check fee of $7 will be charged for an NSF check**

**Be sure to write Stroke of Midnight and the title of your entry in someplace (such as the Memo field on a check, or the Other or Messages field in Paypal) so we can match your payment with your entry.**

1. Entry fees must be received prior to the entry deadline.

2. Include your name in the subject line and the titles of your entry(ies) in the Paypal comments box.

Entry Format:

1. All entries must be electronic in RTF or a Word 2003 compatible format.

2. Send a maximum of the first 35 pages of your manuscript, 20 pages for novella entries.

3. Entries must be in proper manuscript format: One sided, double-spaced with one inch margins all around, size 12 font (like Times New Roman or Courier) is recommended.

4. On the first page only, title and category on top left; page number on top right. Subsequent pages should include only title and page number.

5. Name of author should not appear anywhere on manuscript; the entry will be disqualified if name is on submission.

6. A synopsis of up to 5 single-spaced pages (which will not be judged) must also be included. No cover page is necessary.

Email questions to Mia and Felicia at som4@passionateink.org.



**If you have any problems or questions, email som4@passionateink.org

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Shout-Out To All You iPhone Lovers




I don't have an iPhone, I have a Mogul by HTC. But they both have one thing in common that most phones don't.

e-Books.

I carry around about fifty e-books on my cell phone, something that surprises people who only use the standard Razrs and flip phones that come with most plans. Yeah, I paid extra for that, and the ability to have weather, and take notes when I get a story idea in the middle of the grocery store (I just type it into my phone and voila! instant portable outline). I can take pictures, record video...

Ahem. Yeah, love my phone. =)

And I know that iPhone lovers love their phones, too, for similar reasons. So this news should be pretty welcome:

Austin, TX - November 18, 2008 - BooksOnBoard, the premier ebook retailer, has entered into definitive agreements with Samhain Publishing Ltd. and Lexcycle, Inc. to make the entire Samhain romantic fiction catalog of ebooks available on Lexcycle’s Stanza. Stanza is the highest rated and most popular ebook reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch.


Cool, right? To read the entire article, click here!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Book Naming Contest

I Need Your Help!

Bella Luna, book 4 of the Halle Pumas, needs a name change. It turns out Samhain has a book titled La Bella Luna already in it's line-up, and I totally agree that means Belle's book title gets changed.

However, nothing I've come up with works. So, here's the deal:

T
here is an excerpt here of HP4. I'm starting this thread here for contest entries. My editor, the lovely Angela James, and I will read over those entries. If you come up with the winning title, you'll have your choice of prizes:


1. A gift certificate to
Books On Board (which can be given as soon as the contest ends - no delayed gratification!);

2. An ARC of
Very Much Alive, Book 1 of True Destiny, before it releases in February (the ARC would be given in February, and will be available only in e-book format);

3. A free copy of Cat of a Different Color
or Sweet Dreams or The Wallflower (available only in e-book format; again, no delayed gratification!)

4. A copy, signed by me, of
Hunting Love (available only in print; would require a physical mailing address and would not be given until March, so definite delayed gratification!)

The winner will also get, regardless of choice of prize, a mention in my dedication of HP Book 4! So go read the excerpt and help us come up with a title!


P.S.: The contest ends December 15th!

CAT ARC WINNER!

We have a winner of the Cat of a Different Color ARC contest:

SHIRLEY!

Shirley, I've sent your copy! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Not Long Now

The next "New Releases" post will have my book in it!




Four more days, four more days, four more days...

Yup, the Snoopy dancing has already begun.

And only three more days before I give away an ARC of Cat of a Different Color! If you haven't gone to my website and entered the contest, hurry! Time's almost up!

Oh, and on Monday, when I announce the winner, I'll be starting a new contest connected to Book 4 of the Halle Pumas. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert


"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford