Wednesday, December 30, 2009
(The keyboard glows purple. PURPLE! So cool!)
We've decided while we're at it to rearrange the office so it's more comfortable for me to work. With the arthritis there have been days where I can't sit even in my big comfy chair; I need to prop my knee up on a pillow. I usually either wheel my laptop into the family room (pre-netbook) or use my netbook on a dinner tray. Not the most comfortable way to write, let me tell you. Well, that will soon be a thing of the past. We picked up a chaise lounge that was slightly broken (the back wobbles a bit) for $200 at the local furniture store. Dusty assures me the wobble can be fixed with a bit of plywood and a convenient wall, both of which we just happen to have. So soon I'll have a place to prop up my knee in my workspace.
Ergo, I will have no further excuses not to write.
(Did I mention that the glowing alien head on the lid blinks at me when I put the lid of the laptop down? It glows BLUE. My laptop is black, blue and purple. My favorite colors!)
I hope everyone had a Merry Chrishanukwanzaayule! (I'm a paranormal author. I'm allowed to make up words.) Ours has been hectic, but so far it's been pretty good. The kids even let me throw out some of the crappy Taco Bell toys to make room for "the good stuff". I didn't have to twist any arms, either!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Alexander “Bunny” Bunsun is a Bear on a mission. He arrives in Halle, PA for the sole purpose of checking up on his cousin Chloe. Something is not right, and the family has sent Alex, along with Chloe’s brother Ryan, to find out what’s going on. He intends to fix the problem and head right back for Oregon and his own life, but when he meets his mate all bets are off. She’s an unusual she-Wolf with a love of tattoos, a soft southern drawl and lime green hair. She’s perfect.There’s only one problem: Tabitha Garwood is Outcast, exiled from her Pack and alone in the world. Living in Halle after being Wolf for eight years has given her a new sense of peace, but another Wolf is out to make her life a living hell. As Outcast she has no one to protect her… until she meets Alex.When Alex’s cousin is left for dead and Tabby is threatened, it’s up to Alex to keep his growing family safe. To give Tabby the loving home she needs he could be forced to give up the control he’s worked so hard to obtain.If he does, someone could die.
Travis Yardley-Rudiger deliberately stayed away from Jamie Grimm, desperate not to pull her into the petty little war of wills between himself and her grandfather, Oliver Grimm. Unfortunately the reemergence of Baldur and Loki and their claiming of Jamie’s sister Jordan put her squarely in Grimm’s sights. Her torture at Grimm’s hands ended with Travis determined to claim and protect the woman he’s loved for years, but how will she take the news that Travis is actually Tyr?Jamie isn’t certain what’s going on, but one thing is certain: Travis’s stand-offish attitude has done an abrupt one-eighty. He’s even gone so far as to move with her into her sister’s condo while she convalesces. And when he reveals who, and what, he is, Jamie is left to wonder what the Norse God of Justice could possibly want with a crazy redhead with severe family issues?As far as he’s concerned, it will be Travis’s pleasure to show her…
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I got notice this morning about a Christmas contest over at Blackraven Cafe! They're giving away a free copy of Only In My Dreams (and other holiday goodness), so if you're interested here are the rules:
Good evening everyone,
Some of you may have noticed the new Christmas look that the Cafe has taken on for the holidays. Well, that's not all that's going to occur at the Cafe this Holiday Season. The Blackraven has a surprise for you, so you might want to sit down for this one.
Starting tomorrow, I will be hosting my 25 Days of Seasons' Greetings Bash. What does that mean for you? Well, for 25 Days, you will be introduced to a different author for one. In addition to meeting a new author everyday, I will also be sharing some of the authors' fondest Christmas or Holiday memories during this time of the year.
But wait, it gets better. In addition to those memories, we will be giving a way books. That's right! For 25 Days, The Blackraven will be giving away free e-books of some of your favorite authors thanks to the generosity of the authors, myself, and Kat.
I know! I know! You're saying to yourself, so what do I have to do to win some of these books. Here's the deal...CONTEST RULES
You must become a follower of my blog. There is a reason behind this and here it is. I wanted to do something for all of my loyal followers and subscribers, as well as the loyal readers of the authors. Why? Because you guys ROCK and deserve it.
So, if you aren't currently a follower, please let me know in your first post that you have signed up when you enter the first contest and I will double check before I enter your comment into the contest. If you're already a follower, no worries.
For those of you who are subscribers, if you could sign up as a follower as well, it will make it easier for me to check, as I don't want to miss anyone. However, if for some reason you have problems, just let me know you're a subscriber and provide your email address that you listed to subscribe and I'll be able to verify it.
2. All of the contests will be overnight as usual, but there is a catch. First, once the deadline passes, I will make it to where no one else can post a COMMENT, so don't be late. Besides, I'm giving 24 hours to enter the contest, which is fair enough.
Second, when you leave a comment, also leave your email address so that if you win, I can email you your book. This is where the instant gratification comes in for YOU. We will not wait until the end of the 25 Days to announce the winners. I will announce the winners every day. If for some reason you forget to add your email, I will give you 5 days to contact me off-line at blackraven DOT contests AT gmail DOT com.
Third, because there will be contests going on not only in the authors Christmas and Holiday memories, but also in the interviews, the rules apply to all of the contests that occur this month at the Cafe and until stated otherwise.
3. If you win a book that you already have, we will not exchange it for a different book of the authors. Sorry!
4. The lovely ladies of Dark Diva Reviews have graciously agreed to help me introduce the authors and their Christmas and Holiday memories. So, be sure to show them some love and check out Dark Diva Reviews. As you can see, they are already helping me provide you with the contest rules. Thanks Ladies!
5. Since we're giving away only e-books, everyone can enter the contests.
6. Remember, the fun begins tomorrow, Dec. 1st and will end on Dec. 25th.
7. Please DO NOT SHARE your e-books with others.
8. The winners will be selected using LIST RANDOMIZER at RANDOM.ORG. and I will post the order of the winners from each contest when the winner is announced. So, not picking from the hat.
Kat and I hope that you have a wonderful time and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us off-line.theblackraven36 AT yahoo DOT comthekatsmeow41 AT yahoo DOT comWe appreciate you following us and this is our way of saying thanks.The Blackraven & Kat
Monday, November 30, 2009
Shadow of the Wolf comes out at Liquid Silver Books one week from today! That means you have one more week to enter the contest to win a free copy! So if you haven't entered yet, now is the time to do it!
Remember, the only formats that will be available are:
Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
Microsoft Reader (.lit)
The book will be available ONLY in the formats listed above!
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
But I managed to get the YouTube trailer for Shadow of the Wolf complete.Wanna see?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Want to win a copy of Shadow of the Wolf, Book 1 of Heart's Desire? All you have to do is click here. Fill out the form with your name, email address and your preferred electronic format and you'll be entered to win!
The winner will be announced on my website, here and on MySpace December 7, 2009, the day the book releases.
Please note: Available formats for Liquid Silver Books are:
Microsoft Reader (.lit)
The book will not be available in any format not listed above.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Admittedly, I did go back and add a character that I'd completely forgotten about. And since she's both important to the current plot and the heroine of the next book, well, I couldn't leave her completely out. But I didn't flesh her scenes out, just put them in so I remember to take care of it in The Meat Grinder. I had a working title for Shane Joloun Dunne's book, but it will probably be changed thanks to the way this girl is working out. I'm thinking the title might be something along the lines of Treasured.
Second (the bad), I'm finally going to see my doctor about my migraines and possibly switching my medication. The Imitrex keeps me from descending into the bowels of hell while a sadistic gnome tries to batter his way out of the top of my skull with a ballpeen hammer. (Do they still make those?) But I'm hearing from a lot of other migraine sufferers that my symptoms should go away after taking these meds and, since they're not I should switch it out.
Now I don't get migraines that come, I say "Owie", I take Excedrin Migraine and I'm better in a day or two. I get puking so hard you're peeing yourself while every mote of light is a stab at your brain through your eyeballs for about an hour. That lovely experience is followed by the feeling that your head is both floating and about to explode, and God forbid any lights are on between me and the bed. Then I pretty much pass out with a cold wet washcloth over my face. Yeah. Those kinds of migraines. The ones you hear about and think "It can't be that bad." Well, I've gone through a birth where they turned off the epidural and my son got stuck in my pelvis (a nurse I know actually winced when I told her that); I've had the front of a tooth sheer completely off, exposing the nerve, and had to wait a day before a dentist could see me; and I've had migraines.
I debate which one I'd rather go through. They're that bad. The Imitrex so far, if I take it at the right time, keeps me from getting sick. I still get the migraine, but not as badly. And yes, I'm learning all my triggers. Sodium nitrate has pretty much been eliminated from my diet, but there's not much I can do about weather changes. Stress will always be there but I'm learning to let things go since it's a major player in whether or not I'll get one. Still, if I can stop it in its tracks that would be so much better. Hence me actually listening to people and going to the doctor.
Pity my husband. Getting me to worry about my own health is like dragging an elephant by its trunk while someone tries to shove a Buick-sized pill up its butt. I worry a lot more about him and the kids than I do about me. He's the one who called the doc!
Now for the OMFG. I got a tweet from the lovely Bree half of Moira Rogers letting me know that Dare to Believe was #2 at FictionWise. And Bella, one of the Samhain Cafe moderators, let me know that Only In My Dreams is #1 at MBaM! How freakin' cool is that?
Friday, November 13, 2009
I have an live interview over at I Do Not Want To Wait's blog today, and if you comment you'll get the chance to win an ebook of your choice.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Only In My Dreams is the last Halle Puma novella.
Yup, you read that right. The Halle Puma series is officially over as of today. The novellas are complete, pretty much the way I'd originally envisioned them when I wrote to Angela James and said, "I think I can take The Wallflower and make it a series. What do you think?" And Gabe and Sarah's story ends the series in almost the exact way I'd planned. (I say "almost" because once a story hits the Meat Grinder nothing is sacred. Out went the crazy Mad Hatter and in went... well, you'll see.)
Does this mean I won't write a shifter ever again? Does it mean that Halle is now in "Backlist Land," never to be seen again? What happens to Max and Emma? Does he convince her to name their first-born son Magnum, thus insuring another generation of male Cannons with porn star names? Does Becky ever get Simon that corset for the Rocky Horror Picture Show? Does Sheri ever take Adrian moon-bathing and does Sarah get to video tape it like she'd secretly planned? Does Gabe ever get Sarah over her fear of waitresses?
And most important of all: does Rick ever find Belle's stash of airhorns?
Guess you'll have to wait and find out. I'm hoping to start a new series, the Halle Shifters. In that I'll be introducing Bears, Wolves, Foxes, Tigers, Lions, Coyotes and maybe a wereBunny or two. (Although my husband has pointed out that if there ever were any werebunnies they were a brief, tasty blip on the evolutionary scale.) Oh yes. And Pumas. It is Halle, after all.
When does the new series start? I have no idea. I've finished the first book and turned it in, so now it's a wait and see. Do I want to shut the door on Halle? Nope. I just knew that after Only In My Dreams the Pumas needed to grow a little. Take a step out into the big, wide world and see what else was out there. If I do things right you'll see more of Max and Emma, Simon and Becky, Adrian and Sheri etc. Because like you, I don't really want their HEA to end. I want to find out what happens next.
Monday, November 9, 2009
I've done a guest spot for Novel Thoughts today about Only In My Dreams, Halle Pumas Book 5. Here's a little snippet:
Once upon a time Gabriel Anderson, Sheriff of Halle, Pennsylvania, Marshall’s Second to the Halle Puma Pride, and mate to Sarah Parker, was given a wonderful opportunity to serve the shifter community even more than he already did. He was asked to fill the shoes of a deceased Hunter, one of the few shifters sanctioned to hunt down rogues. But the training required would take him away from his newly found mate for six months. So rather than have them both tortured by memories of being together and then apart he accepts the advice of his trainer and slips away in the dead of night, leaving her without marking her.
Six months later, he’s come to regret that…
If you want to read the rest of the post click on the link above or on the Novel Thoughts banner. Comment and you'll be entered to win a book off my backlist. So if you've never read a book of mine and are curious, or are missing one, now's your chance to catch up before Only In My Dreams releases tomorrow!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Nov. 5th: Live chat from 9-10 p.m. EST with Fallen Angels (readers' choice of ebook give-away)
Nov. 9th: End of my ARC contest and a give-away at Novel Thoughts
Nov. 10th: RELEASE DAY for Only In My Dreams (I'll be at the Samhain Cafe in the morning)
Nov. 11th: Live Samhain Cafe Chat from 7-9 p.m EST and CHILDREN HOME FROM SCHOOL ALL DAY (sob)
Nov. 12th: Live Coffee Time Romance chat from 9-10 p.m. EST
Nov. 13th: Interview with I Do Not Want To Wait blog (and give-away)
Yes, that first chat is tonight. The click-through to the chat room is on the upper left. Pick a nickname, click "Enter Room" and come win a book!
So far I've broken the 10k mark on Noble Blood; hopefully despite the crazy fun that is a release week I'll manage to break 20k next week. Heck, I need to break... 24k? to stay on track. My goal this week is 12500 words minimum. So far, so good.
Remember, if you haven't entered the contest yet to win an electronic ARC of Only In My Dreams you have until Sunday night. Monday morning I'll announce the winner and email their format of choice! I wish all of you good luck, and if you don't win there are other chances to win a copy. Just attend one of the chats or comment on one of the blog posts above and you'll be entered.
All of my beta readers (save two) have gotten back to me on Bear Necessities, and I'm not really expecting to hear from those two. One just started a new job (YAY RR!), and the other is crazy-busy. However, I should have the synopsis done and the book off to Laurie Rauch (my new Samhain editor) next week.
Gah. I think that's it so far. I'm running around like mad and having a blast doing it. Jaden of Noble Blood has decided to be a pain in my butt, but Duncan and Moira are cooperating nicely. Those two will whip that vampire into shape in no time flat.
P.S.: The music in my head changed, as it tends to do when I start a new project. So far the theme song for Noble Blood is Seal's "Kiss From A Rose". I went to look up the lyrics because I couldn't understand something he'd said, and had to laugh. See, I always thought the lyrics were "kissed by a rose from the grave". The actual lyrics? "kissed by a rose from the gray"! How appropriate for book 2 of The Gray Court!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Today was one of those "Let's see how hard I can trot" days. The new washing machine/dryer was delivered half an hour early (and works, which gives it a leg up on the last pair); I almost forgot to make M's lunch for his field trip today; I had to finish the artwork paperwork for Mating Games and Animal Attraction; I finished the Meat Grinding of Bear Necessities; and I did final line edits on Shadow of the Wolf.
Guh. Brain death imminent, but I got it all done. I'm not sure how, either. I think I may have subconsciously cloned myself and passed off the housework to the poor confused fool who's still wondering what to make for dinner tonight and why her new washing machine plays a jaunty tune every time the cycle is done.
I'm going to enjoy myself this weekend, glut myself on leftover Snickers bars and get myself ready for NaNoWriMo (by glutting myself on leftover Snickers bars, of course). Next stop: Noble Blood!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This is the part that's work.
Today, tomorrow and probably part of Saturday will be spent on it. On Sunday (or Saturday, depending on how things go) I'll be sending it to the Betas. Once I hear back from them I'll be able to do the final polish, write the synopsis and send it to my editor.
Have I mentioned I love Bunny?
“Ohmigod, ohmigod.” Tabby pulled her hair, staring into her closet. It was six forty-five and her mate would be here any minute, she didn’t know his name and she had nothing to wear.
“Little black dress.” Cyn stuck her head in Tabby’s bedroom, grinning at the pile of clothing around Tabby’s feet. “Can’t go wrong with a little black dress.”
“Guh.” The panic was threatening to tear Tabby apart. She stared at the three black dresses hanging in her closet, her hand moving between them like a demented butterfly.
Glory’s head peeked in from the other side of the doorway. “The sleeveless one.”
“Uh?” She held up her sleeveless black dress, the one with the red belt and matching shoes.
Two heads bobbed in agreement.
Tabby stripped, more than used to being naked in front of her roommates. Hell, when she’d first moved in with them they’d been shocked at how easy she felt being nude. Glory had actually asked her if she was gay and trying to tempt them to “the dark side”. She’d then giggled and said that she might be susceptible to temptation if the dark side had chocolate. Tabby had just shaken her head and put some clothes on. She’d spent so long as a Wolf she’d forgotten some of the basic parts of being human, like pants. The first time she’d used a toilet after so many years had been an interesting experience, something Mrs. Anderson still chuckled about.
When Cyn and Glory found out what she was, they’d realized why she was so comfortable with nudity. They’d freaked a little. They hadn’t accepted her immediately. In fact, there’d been another girl, Brit, who’d worked at Living Arts. Brit had left, refusing to believe what she’d seen the night Tabby, drunk off her ass for the first time in her life, let her Wolf loose in the middle of the apartment. But Glory and Cyn, after the initial shock had passed (and after, they claimed, they wiped up the dog drool) had accepted her without reservations. Hell, they’d mocked her once the hangover had passed.
If she thought they’d take it she’d make them Pack in a heartbeat. She missed having that connection, the knowledge that there were others for her to rely on without a shadow of a doubt. Part of her wondered if her dipshit ex had ever told his father the truth, or if he’d shrugged and let it go. Let her go.
Tabby shook her head and reached for her hairbrush, smoothing down her hair. That didn’t matter now. Her mate would be here any minute. She slicked on some berry gloss and stared at herself in the mirror. Then she stuck out her tongue and made a face. She was so nervous her Wolf was whining. She slipped her feet into the red high heels, grabbed her favorite purse, and headed for the living room. “Well?”
Cyn circled her finger. “Twirl.”
Glory wolf-whistled. “See you at work tomorrow.”
Cyn snickered and threw a pack of condoms at her. “You’ll need these.”
Tabby swallowed. “I’m gonna throw up.” Nausea roiled in her belly. She bent and picked up the condoms just as the doorbell rang.
Glory had the door open before Tabby could drop the packets. “C’mon in!”
In stepped the hottie from the store. He wore a green shirt that really emphasized his hazel eyes, dark wash jeans that looked painted onto his thighs, and thick soled black boots. Now that she was upright she could see how tall he was. He towered over her, the top of her head barely reaching his upper lip. She’d hit his chin in her bare feet. His bald head gleamed, his jaw clean-shaven. She could see the tattoo that circled his biceps and her fingers itched to trace the design. In his hand he held a daffodil.
My favorite flower. How did he know? Tabby smiled, knowing it was trembling. “For me?”
He held it out, a smile on his full lips. “Hello, Tabby.”
“Thank you.” She reached for the daffodil.
He coughed. “I’ll take those.” He reached over and removed the condoms from her hand, grinning at her embarrassed squawk. “It’s okay, honey. I’m just glad one of us is, um, prepared.” He eyed the condoms. “Very prepared.” He unrolled them, one eyebrow rising in disbelief. “And optimistic.”
Glory was practically doubled over with laughter. Tabby’s face was beet red. She snatched the condoms back with her free hand, snarling as one got left behind in his big paw. She could hear Cyn snuffling and snorting behind her and just knew they were practically choking on their laughter.
She turned to her two roommates with a smile. “Don’t make me forget I’m housebroken.” They stopped, but from the way they were clinging together Tabby figured it was only a matter of time before one of them broke again. She turned back to her new mate. “And you, whose name I don’t even know.” She smiled at Mr. Chocolate. “Thank you for the flower. My name’s Tabitha Garwood.”
Mr. Sin held out his paw, the condom miraculously gone. “Bunny.” She wondered if he’d dropped it or shoved it into his pocket for later.
Wait. “Bunny,” she repeated carefully.
“Alexander Bunsun, but everyone calls me Bunny.” He grinned.
She sniffed. Nope, his scent is definitely Bear.
“Are you laughing at my name?” Bunny’s hands went to his hips but she could tell he wasn’t pissed by the way his lips quirked up.
She blinked. “Yes.”
He coughed but she could tell he was trying not to laugh. “Dinner?” He held out his arm.
She gave him her sweetest smile and took it. “Yes.”
“Hold on.” Glory stopped them by placing her hand on Bunny’s arm, her expression worried. For all that Glory liked to flirt like mad when it came down to actual dating she could be a real worry-wart.
Bunny chucked her under the chin. “I’ll take care of her. My word on it.”
Glory studied him, and Bunny stood still, allowing her intense scrutiny. Glory relaxed and nodded, looking relieved. Tabby wasn’t sure she felt the same.
Something tells me Bunny is going to the top five on my Favorite Hero list just for that scene alone.
No word yet on Shadow of the Wolf's release date, but I'm expecting final line edits any day now. Liquid Silver Books sets the release date after final editing is done, so I should have something for you by Thanksgiving.
Only In My Dreams is out November 10th! The last Halle Puma book! Muahaha! (Okay, maybe not the last of the shifter novellas. Ben and Dave look like they might be a novella rather than full length, but I've had stories fool me before so I'm not holding my breath.) Also during November is NaNoWriMo, which I signed up for. I'll be working on Noble Blood, Book 2 of The Gray Court and a M/M/F menage. I think. So far it's leaning that way, but Duncan and Jaden might surprise me and refuse to touch bits. We'll have to see.
So that's it for my updates for now. You'll see this silly little bean like cartoon at the top of my blog that has my NaNo word count on it. Right now he's sleeping, since I'm not working on that project yet. And if you're not signed up for my newsletter that will be coming on Sunday, November first. I'll talk about my on-line appearances for November, give you the Hottie of the Month and any further news I've got like what I'm going to be doing at RT in April.
Now off to grind the meat...
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Luckily I finished Bunny's rough draft yesterday. If taking today off means I have to do some editing this weekend so be it. The medicine I take for bad days like today can sometimes make me sleepy, and editing with your nose on the keyboard and fuzzy vision isn't such a great way to make a good story. What's most annoying is I JUST got over a head cold. It's frustrating when the mind wants to go but the body won't cooperate. Blech.
Anyway, hopefully the rain will ease up and so will my body. If not, I'll be playing hide and seek for the rest of the day. So for those of you who miss me, remember two things: Today is release day for a lot of publishers out there and rainy days are great days to read a book; and TA Chase's blog story should be updating today. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with his work he writes M/M, so if that's not your thing I suggest skipping it. If it IS something you enjoy... what are you waiting for?)
Monday, October 26, 2009
And in the Meat Grinder. I hit the 66k mark today when I finished the rough draft, so I'm pretty sure it will hit the 70k mark once finished. I plan on polishing it for the next four days and then sending it off to my beta readers for a final finish. So everyone who has been waiting for Bunny and Tabby, we're finally at first base! (Home plate being release day, of course!)
Then... NOBLE BLOOD! Menage time! Duncan, Moira and Jaden, here I come! Here's the quickie blurb I came up with for Noble Blood:
This will be my NaNoWriMo project!
Duncan Malmayne has found his future wife, the lovely half-leprechaun, half-sidhe Moira Dunne. He whisks her away from her family, ready to claim the woman who will make his life complete. There's only one small problem: she's been blood-bonded to his vampire.
Jaden Blackthorne loves Duncan Malmayne more than almost anyone. The only person who touches his heart even more is Moira. Her strength impresses him even as her loyalty humbles him. He'd do anything to see the two people he loves most happy. Even leave, knowing it will slowly tear him apart.
And Moira? She's not having any of it. Her two men are sulking, hiding from each other. The lovely leprechaun is going to put her foot down. And when an earth sprite puts her foot down, it really shakes things up...
Friday, October 23, 2009
The result? The rough draft of Bear Necessities has crossed the 60k mark and there are at least two more scenes to write before the meat grinder next week. The Big Fight Scene is done, and all that's left are the Questions/Explanations and Lovin' Aftermath scenes. That should put me just over 65k before the Meat Grinder, in which I fully expect to add another two to five thousand words. This might hit 70k before I'm done, but I'm not going to hold my breath. I need every one I can suck in through my stuffed nose right now, thank you very much.
If you don't hear from me this weekend it means I'm in a Nyquil-induced coma, happily dreaming of Bears in love.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The first thing we noticed about the cruise ship was how beautiful it was.
The second thing we noticed was the size of our cabin.
Yup. Four people, two under the age of eighteen, in that room for three nights. We spent very little time in there, thank God. I won't even go into the size of the "bathroom", or how I had to sit sideways on the bed to do my makeup in the "bedside" mirror. But it was clean, and quiet, so I can't complain too much. I just wish we'd known exactly how small the rooms would be. We might have upgraded rather than going with this. Getting the scooter in and out was an exercise all by itself.
So we left our tiny cabin and went exploring. Guess what the first thing my family found was?
Yup. The video arcade. Le sigh. M wanted the pool, R wanted the video games. R won, and M had to wait to go swimming. M was not happy. M took it out on the poor, defenseless dirt bike riders in the virtual world. Poor virtual people. How many times can you be run over by a five year old before you give up and cry like a little girl?
But we eventually made M happy.
Night-time swims will do that to you. He collapsed soon after into an exhausted little heap, wet, happy and clutching his stuffed puppy. R on the other hand had to have his PSP taken away before HE'D go to sleep.
That let us know we needed to try harder. Heh.
Day two of the cruise: NASSAU!
Yup, sunny, hot Nassau. Which, by the way, was NOT designed with mobility scooters in mind. I didn't take a picture of the "handicapped-accessible" curbs. I was too busy cursing the fact that I couldn't get up them. That kind of curtailed our enjoyment of Nassau. But what I saw was beautiful. A tip for those of you like me who are mobility challenged? Try some of the tours where you ride a boat or a bus for most of it. Don't try and sight-see on your own unless you're in a wheelchair with tall wheels and a nice burly guy to help you on and off the sidewalks.
We skipped the beach in Nassau thinking we'd hit it in Cocoa Cay the following day. After all, it was the Bahamas, right? Beautiful sunny and hot are like synonyms for the tropics. So we hit the pool for a little while before I left to get my hair done for the formal dinner with the family. Which, unfortunately, I don't have a picture of yet. I need to scan it in after I unpack. We had a lot of fun, met family Dusty hadn't seen in a while and I'd never met, and afterwards took the kids back to the pool. Once again the PSP had to be removed from ten year old hands before sleep took place.
Maybe he'd sleep after a day on the beach, right?
Last day of the cruise! We head to breakfast, eager to bury ourselves in warm sand and swim in turquoise oceans. This image didn't bother us too much.*
After all, sunny, Bahamas, beach. Then the couple next to us told us that the trip to Cocoa Cay was canceled due to the weather. Apparently they use a ferry to get you on and off the island and the seas were too choppy to allow the ferry to safely meet the cruise ship. We were handed a modified "ship compass", a sort of what's-happening-today outline. The boys were disappointed. As R pointed out he really wanted to bury M in the sand. And M really wanted to be buried. We quickly headed off a meltdown by offering a day by the pool. The boys agreed and we hit the pool deck, ready to enjoy our day.
And the pool deck hit back.
Sunny my very large tushie. I thought I left October behind but, damn it, it found me. I'm pretty sure it was between fifty and sixty degrees after wind chill, and the wind was fierce. If not for a quick grab my new red hat would have become a dolphin's latest fashion accessory. But the kids wanted to swim. Insisted on it, in fact. So we compromised. We'd allow them one hour, then back to the cabin for warm, dry clothes. So I parked my behind in a lounge chair, covered my bathing-suit clad self in a long towel and tried not to shiver too much. People in jackets and long pants walked by and stared at the crazy people in the pool, two of which were my children.
The beach picture I promised you? This is pretty much it.
After five minutes M decided it was too damn cold and hit the hot tub for the remainder of the hour. Much more stubborn, R pretended he was a polar bear until his tummy started to hurt. Then he, too, hit the hot tub. Of course, after five minutes he decided he felt better and got back in the freezing water. Gah. We dragged them out as soon as the hour was up. We then forced them to go to the children's play area of the ship, where we dropped them off for a few hours of supervised fun while we hit the casino (I still can't win at slots, damn it) and Dusty headed off for a relaxing massage. Dinner that evening was fairly informal. I somehow wound up at a table full of men. Not that I'm complaining, but most of them were either jail-bait or just past jail-bait. It wasn't a big deal, since I have nephews who range from eighteen to two years old. I know how to talk to boys. ;D
Unfortunately my back was beginning to make its presence felt. Forcing the scooter up and down ramps with my legs and my back, plus standing around in heels for family pictures during the formal dinner was taking its toll. I took a Tylenol with Codeine because I realized I might not be able to walk back to the cabin without it. Then I ordered the tiramisu for dessert without reading all the ingredients.
Did you know they soak the ladyfingers in Kahlua on that ship? I didn't. I had to be dragged back to the cabin. I still couldn't walk but really? I didn't care. Dusty took the kids back to the kids' area where they did some kind of pirate thing. He went to visit his family once they were signed in.
I went to sleep. It was a happy sleep, until The Dread Pirate M got back to the cabin and landed on my butt.
The next morning arrived way to early. We were told the night before that our call number is Lavendar Two, and we have the luggage tags to prove it. After breakfast (which is from six a.m. to eight a.m. this time) we are to go to a lounge and wait for our call.
We missed breakfast. We got there at eight fifteen, by which time they'd already called our number. The crew sighed and shook their heads at us when we told them we hadn't heard any announcement in our cabin. "That's because we don't do ship-wide announcements anymore," explained one crew member. Apparently everyone would respond rather than just the ones they wanted and that created chaos. So instead they wander through the lounges holding up a card that has the different colors on it and yell for you.
Yeah. That works. Not.
Off the ship, through customs, on the dock and damn it's cold out! Florida isn't supposed to go below seventy, damn it! I'm shivering in a maxi-dress and a shawl, and my kids are huddling together for warmth. Off to the airport earlier than we'd planned since they pretty much boot your ass off the ship with a smile and a fond farewell, and did you know you can't check your luggage in more than four hours before your flight? Home sweet home, order pizza because no way in hell am I cooking, and sleepy-bye for this tired, sore writer.
And we didn't give R the PSP either. He slept like a baby.
*P.S.: Ignore the date/time stamp. I didn't realize it was screwed up until I looked at the pictures. Some have the right day and time, some don't.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tomorrow I leave for sunny Florida. I leave behind my Bunny, knowing he's in good hands. The big confrontation scene is coming up next, followed by some luvin' and some reveals. I'm thinking Bunny may shatter the 60k mark by the end of the Meat Grinder. I'm not sure how close he'll come to 70k, I just know I'm nearly at 60k and his story isn't over yet. But he WILL be done before NaNoWriMo hits, I know that for sure.
I'll be without internet, computer or phone for (Friday, Saturday, Sun... gah!) FOUR DAYS. All I'll have is my PDA and my camera (the phone part of my PDA won't really work at sea unless I sign over any future grandchildren to the tenth generation or pay a really hefty fee).
So if anyone needs anything now is the time to get a hold of me.
To tide you over while I'm gone, here's a sneak peek at Bear Necessities:
Oh shit. Oh, fucking shit. Tabby waited as Glory rinsed her hair out. My mate is out there. My mate. What’s even weirder? My mate is a Bear. And I have orange roots.
She was damn near hyperventilating. When she’d called dibs on the dude little did she know she’d actually get him! And now she was going to wind up meeting him for the first time with orange roots. She was going to look like a half melted Skittle. She grabbed Glory’s arm. “Y’all tell him I’m dead. Please?”
Glory grinned. “What is wrong with you?”
“Remember the whole woof woof thing?”
“That guy out there?”
Glory’s eyes widened. “He’s a woof woof too?”
“Er, no. More like grrr grrr.”
Tabby shook her head. “Never mind. That whole werewolf mate thing in romance novels?”
Glory’s mouth did that really wide “O” thing. “Really? He’s your mate?”
“Yes! And I am having serious hair issues.” She put on her best pleading look. “So, tell him I’ve been killed in a horrible vegetable dye accident.”
She held up her hands in mock-prayer. “Pleeeease?” She blinked, trying to look desperate. Hell, she probably did look desperate.
Tabby quivered. That deep, rich voice rolled over her, making her think of wicked things involving dark melted chocolate and lit candles. “No customers allowed in the back room!”
Glory, bless her heart, threw a towel over her face, hiding her hair. “Sorry, you’ll have to wait out front.” Of course, now the towel was soaking up the still running water. She was going to be drowned by a towel.
“Is everything all right in here?” The man’s voice was pure sin, deep and slightly gravelly. “Why is her head covered in a towel?”
“Please. Tabby will… be a while.” She could hear Glory clap her hands and tugged on her shirt, desperate to have the water turned off. “Why don’t you hit one of the diners in the area for lunch? Maybe do a little shopping? Um, oh! Frank’s Diner has the best burgers in town!” Finally someone turned the faucet off saving her from a watery grave. She could just see the obituary: Woman Drowns In Towel.
There was a deep, happy sigh. “All right, if… Tabby, was it? Will be more comfortable. When can I return?”
“Uh…” Glory was obviously at a loss. Cyn was the one who usually took care of Tabby’s hair.
“Try around seven.” Cyn sounded amused, the bitch. “You can take her out to dinner. In fact, Tabby has the rest of the night off.”
“But she has to be back in to work by two tomorrow afternoon. Oh, and the lady loves steak.” Tabby groaned behind her towel. That’s an understatement. “Glory, see to it he has our address, okay?”
“Trust me, just do it.”
“Okay, boss.” The curtain swished, but the scent of Bear remained. Glory must have stepped through the curtain.
“Ladies, it was a pleasure meeting you.” The curtain swished again. The Bear was gone.
“Oh honey. You are so screwed. Literally.”
The towel was whisked off her head. Glory bunched it up, wringing the water out over Tabby’s face. “You always were a greedy bitch. I should get Cyn to leave you with orange roots.”
Tabby sputtered and wiped the water away from her eyes. “Don’t worry, Glory. Some day your prince will come.”
Glory blinked her big blue eyes, trying to look innocent. Tabby had seen that look more than once just before something outrageous came out of Glory’s mouth. “God, I hope so. What would be the point otherwise?”
Cyn started laughing.
Tabby shook her head. “You are so bad.”
Glory smiled her sweet, happy smile. “I know.”
Have a good weekend and I'll talk to you all on Tuesday!
Monday, October 12, 2009
Thursday I'll be at the airport no later than eight a.m. We leave for Florida that day, ready to spend some time with Dusty's family. When we get back I'll finish the rough draft, send it through the Meat Grinder and fire it off to my beta readers. We're approaching the finish line on the first full length Halle novel! WOOT!
P.S.: I found out today that my free Halloween read, Little Red, will be available the day I leave. *headdesk* I won't have access to my computer the entire time I'm gone so I won't be able to leave you a link to it. Look for it at The Samhellion, and I promise I'll post a link the day I get back!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
This is for those of you who use an Android smartphone (which isn't me, btw; my smartphone is Windows Mobile based):
All Romance eBooks (ARe) has partnered with Aldiko to make their eBook catalog available to Google's Android-powered mobile phones.
Palm Harbor, FL (PRWEB) Octobe r 8, 2009 – Readers will now be able to browse, search and seamlessly download more than 10,000 http://www.
allromanceebooks.com[eBooks], including free reads, to their Android phones directly from ARe without a computer, cable or subscription using the Aldiko application.
With the Aldiko app readers can easily browse ARe's extensive online book catalog, read detailed descriptions and book reviews, and quickly find the books they are looking for using a powerful search tool right on their Smartphone. They can organize their purchases by criteria such as title, author, or subject, edit detail information, tag, bookmark and search—all on a fully customizable display. New features include a full text search that allows readers to find words g! lobally within the book, and a look up feature, which lets users search for a word in the dictionary, Wikipedia, or on Google.
"Readers love the convenience of being able to download ARe's eBooks anytime, anywhere," said Julie Cummings, ARe's manager of Publicity and Marketing. "Earlier this year we launched an iPhone compatible catalog and it's been hugely popular with our consumers who use ATT. We're really excited to now bring that same service to customers who use other cellular carriers," Cummings added.
"Our mission at Aldiko is to provide an open platform where users can discover, access, read and manage a wide variety of digital publications instantly and seamlessly" said Tiffany Wong, co-founder of Aldiko. "The partnership with ARe will help us offer the best and broadest selection of titles to our users."
Aldiko is available worldwide and is free on the Android Market as well as available as a paid premium app for Android open platform phones. To learn more visit Aldiko at http://www.aldiko.com and Android at http://www.android.com.
All Romance eBooks, LLC was founded in 2006, is privately held in partne! rship, and headquartered in Palm Harbor, Florida. The company owns All Romance, which specializes in the sale of romance eBooks and OmniLit, which sells both fiction and non-fiction eBooks.
Aldiko Limited was founded in 2009. The company has developed an ebook reader application, "Aldiko Book Reader" for use on Android-powered devices. . With Aldiko, users can build and organize their digital library, read on the go and wirelessly browse and download from a broad range of digital publications right on their Android-powered devices.
I love smartphones because of their versatility. My PDA, calendar, phone and ebook reader all on one palm-sized device. How can you go wrong with that? I even make notes on possible book titles. I jot down story ideas I get when I'm in the grocery store. Heck, the entire plot of Only In My Dreams was written down on my smartphone's Notepad at five-thirty in the morning because I didn't want to wake the household by going down to my computer. So yeah, I love smartphones and am always happy to see more apps and more ways to make them even better, especially for those of us who use them as our ebook readers. So enjoy!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
That getting ready for a cruise could be such a pain in the hiney?
I spent most of yesterday doing the "pre-boarding" check-in that has to be done prior to three days before the cruise, picking drink and food packages, double-checking that, no, my scooter will NOT be a problem for the cruise line and making sure that any land-sea excursions, which cost more than the birth of my firstborn by the way, are all lined up and accessible by wheelchair.
I think I did more paperwork for a four day vacation than I did for the mortgage on my house.
The cruise we're taking is a family reunion on Dusty's side, so we're also making sure that we don't forget to meet and greet there as well. And thank God I bought a back-up dress for the formal reunion dinner. The one I originally planned to wear needs some alterations and I just don't have time to go get them done. (I can't sew. I'm about as crafty as a doberman pinscher.) Suits had to be bought for little boy bodies and one man body, causing much moaning and groaning in the Bell household. But the major indignity the poor males in the house had to suffer through?
Shoe shopping. Yup, none of them had dress shoes. I've heard less complaining at my local Pathmark ("What do you mean you only have on cashier on a Saturday?"). At this point I'd happily trade the paperwork for the shoe shopping.
Whaddya say, sweetheart? Want to trade?
Anyway, I'll be without internet from October 15 through the 19th. Despite my grumbling about the paperwork I'm really looking forward to this. It's two firsts for me: I've never been on a cruise and I've never been to the Bahamas. I'll make sure I take lots of pictures to post so you can see my pasty self under a palm tree. I figure with my pale skin I'll be bright red in about .3 seconds!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Want to win an ARC of Only In My Dreams, Halle Pumas Book 5? Simply click here, fill out the form with your email address and the electronic format you'd like to receive the book in and you'll be entered to win! The contest ends November 9th, when I'll post the winner here on my blog, my MySpace blog and on my website.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Yesterday kicked off Banned Books Week at the Samhain Cafe. Whether you agree or not with the premise behind it, everyone can agree with free books, right?
The Samhain Cafe will be partying from Saturday Sept. 26th, to Saturday, Oct. 3rd. Authors will be giving away books; Samhain Publishing will be giving away books. So make sure you check in during the week and comment for prizes!
P.S.: To see a just some of the books people have tried to have banned from schools and public libraries for various reasons, click on the picture above.
P.P.S.: Charlotte's Web? Winnie The Pooh? Seriously?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Now I have to decide if my brain will let me work or not. Bunny is starting to chatter again and I really need to work on him. If I'm going to attempt NaNoWriMo in November I have from now until the end of October to finish, polish, polish, polish. And in mid-October I'm going on a family-reunion type cruise with Dusty's mother's folks, so that will cut some time into the writing.
Huh. I was going to say maybe I'll take a stab at it, but all things considered that's a bad thing to say. I think, instead, I'll ease into it. I'll try some editing, see if my head explodes or not. If you're on the Eastern seaboard and you hear a kaboom, don't worry, it's just me.
Update from SuperDad: Apparently M decided to crawl around on all fours at the bus stop, baaa'ing and pretending to be a sheep. He would then stop and stare at the other kids because, well, he was an evil sheep. *headdesk*
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Next week kicks off Banned Books Week at the Samhain Cafe. Whether you agree or not with the premise behind it, everyone can agree with free books, right?
The Samhain Cafe will be partying from today, Saturday Sept. 26th, to Saturday, Oct. 3rd. Authors will be giving away books; Samhain Publishing will be giving away books. So even if you can't stop in today for my chat from noon - 1:30 (EST) make sure you check in during the week!
Note to self: Do not post before caffeine has kicked in because apparently I have the IQ of a gnat. Banned book week does NOT start today, but the 26th. And today is not the 26th. It's the 19th.
Still, I'll be chatting today from 12 - 1:30 and giving away a book, as promised. Just because I'm a dork doesn't mean you have to suffer.
"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
"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