Monday, April 27, 2009

All Romance eBooks Has Kindle Wireless!

Guess what? All Romance eBooks has added a wireless Kindle function for all of you who own one, love that function but can't get the ebooks you want at Amazon!

"COOL!", says I, as I've gotten more than one letter asking when my book will be up on Amazon.

Now I don't have a Kindle so there's no way for me to test if they have Cat of a Different Color or Very Much Alive, so I'm relying on you who DO have the Kindle to let me know. I'll make sure to spread the word.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

RT 2009, Day Five: The Writer Has Landed

Me, at the Giant Book Fair... with no books.

Before anyone goes "EEP! What do you mean, no books?!?", Angie came by and snapped this picture of me AFTER I'd sold out of Hunting Love.

Arrived at the Book Fair an hour early, and boy did I need it. They went through the books I'd (foolishly) taken with me (they were mine... as in Hunting Love) and put little yellow stickers on them. Then they told me where I'd be parking from ten forty-five until two.

Middle of the row. Gah. Gotta park my chariot. Found a spot that said "NO EXIT" and decided it would do.

Set out pens, post cards, flyers and chapstick, said hello to my neighbors Will Belegon and Renee Bernard, and settled down to-

Hello again, Debbie!

Debbie was a conventioneer who found me at the Ebook Expo and pretty much ordered me to Write Faster. Being a loyal minion of my fans, of course I agreed. Well, she found me at the book fair, too. I think she was helping the RT staff to make sure that everything was set up the way it was supposed to be, but that didn't mean she wasn't snagging books while she was at it. And one of the books she snagged was mine.

I probably had the biggest grin of any author there.

So the real wait began. At ten forty-five the doors opened to the registered conventioneers. At eleven they opened to the public.

At eleven thirty I was out of books.

Gone. All six to eight of them (I forgot to count). I wound up signing brochures for two and a half hours and pushing pens on unsuspecting passers-by.


By two o'clock I was more than ready to call it a day. I wound up going through a different exit than everyone else, because the No Exit I parked the scooter by? The registers. Um. Seems the sign was only there temporarily until they moved it to it's REAL home. One of the RT staffers let me out rather than have me wait in line to not pay for books.

Thanks, whoever you were!

I headed to Downtown Disney and bought presents for my kids after hitting an early dinner at Olive Garden, which I never get to go to since my husband only likes MY Italian (a compliment, trust me). Then I debated hitting the Mr. Romance competition.

I didn't go. Frankly, at that point I still had to pack for home, every joint in my body ached, I had bruises and scrapes from getting my chariot in and out of my OTHER chariot (btw, HATE the new Rav4), and I wanted to read and sleep, not necessarily in that order.

Sorry, no half naked men pics (for now, anyway; I have to see what's in my suitcases).

Sunday I headed out, had some stuffed french toast and sat in the airport until it was time to come home. Texted Dusty "The writer has landed" when we arrived.

God I'm glad to be here, even though I had a blast. I missed my kids, and I missed my time to write. Back to work tomorrow, but tonight, good night! I'm freakin' exhuasted.

Friday, April 24, 2009

RT 2009, Day Four: I Am A Victim of Comedy

Stephanie Burke tries to get someone to laugh during the Sinfully Sweet party. You laugh, you lose!

So today was both busier and quieter than my other days at RT. At ten-thirty I was stuffing goodie bags with D. Renee Bagby for the Sinfully Sweet Party. Lots of fun and games, prizes, some ick moments and a crap load of cookies that wound up in the trash. The challenge of the mad libs was to read what we'd written without laughing; if you could do that you won a prize. You got a goodie bag just for volunteering. Other games included "Make up the wildest people/sexual position you could think of" (Bill Clinton and GW Bush in a sixty-nine? Really? EW!) and "Write the first line of a book" (which won the grand prize of a one-of-a-kind hat just like ours and a prize bag).

Lunch time saw me grabbing something NOT from the hotel restaurant but from the little cafe off to the side. The egg and cheese croissant sucked pretty badly, but I was starving and about ready to chew off my own hand if I had the right sauce.

Club RT! I got to meet a few people who love the Pumas but weren't aware of Very Much Alive, so I handed out some postcards and got to sign one. An RT volunteer even took a bit of promo, thanks to the lovely Anne Cain covers she saw on my table (Natalie, I promise I'll take Steel Beauty's cover with me next time; I didn't think to bring it!). Then it was off too... a short nap.

I was tired; still am.

Met some of theSamhain/Linden Bay authors, like Bianca d'Arc and Samantha Sommerby, for some wine and cheese with Marty Mathews and Angela James. Lorelei James (no relation) had the most kick-ass cowgirl boots, and one of the worst dance floor stories I'd ever heard.

The vampire ball. What can I say about the vampire ball?

The Vampire Ball dinner show

Um. Hmm. It was sort of Universal Studios meets the Rocky Horror Picture Show with a bit of Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame thrown in for spice. The lead vampire lady sang three times. Van Helsing sang once. And my brain tried to sing itself outta there.

I don't know about you, but when the head vampire lady starts to sing "When I think about you I touch myself", my first thought is "ick." And when the Hulk started playing guitar and Hellboy and Batman looked like they might have a fist fight I focused on my white-sauced chicken, sticky rice and three little tomatoes (they like three tomatoes here for some reason) and tried my best not to watch anymore. I texted Dusty, and he wanted to know what exactly I had been drinking to see V stagger on stage and die at the feet of Harley Quinn while Van Helsing made a pass at the woman in white.

Trust me, there is not enough booze in the world to make me see that. I volunteered.

So I'm back in my room, glad I avoided part two of the "mystery vampire theater". Comfy jammies, a little sangria, and an early night before my last RT event: the giant book fair. I MIGHT do the Mr. Romance contest before going shopping for my kids, so if I do I'll take some pictures.

Mel? So far no one's done anything incriminating, not even Flash. The biggest thing going on is the people next door to me have a screaming match every. Damn. Night. I sense divorce court in their future. Disappointing, isn't it?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

RT 2009, Day Three: I Am A Bad Fairy

Bad picture. Bad fairy.

Sorry for the lousy picture. My regular camera died and I'm forced now to use the video camera with no light to take pictures. This one was so dark I had to turn the gamma all the way up, but I promised you a fairy in a corset and damn it you're getting one.

So day three got off to a lovely start. I slept in a bit (I got up at seven; yup, total slug-a-bed), had breakfast, did my usual morning routine, posted a few naughty mini-excerpts on the Cafe and headed to Club RT.

Club RT was very crowded. I got to chat with a few people, and it was fun. Didn't sign a laptop, but you can't do that every day. :D

Off to a panel on e-marketing and got some really good ideas. Look for a slight update to my website in the future if I can figure out how to get it to work!

Lunch. No lasagna again (pout), which makes them evil since lasagna is the main ingredient to a happy life. I think they see me coming and hide it. Chicken parm was lovely, though.

A two hour panel on the myths of epublishing with Treva Harte, Angela James and Raelene Gorlinski. Lots of fun, tons of info, and perfect if you weren't as familiar with epubs.

Back in the room, relax. Change nail polish color. Attach pretty white butterfly on pinky nail (I'd show you, but the f'ing camera...). It looks like I took Tinkerbell and shook her little ass all over my room, spraying fairy dust hither and yon. The poor car rental people are going to think the sparkle fairies had an orgy in the driver's seat.

Wait wait wait. I hate waiting, especially when a) I leave my scooter back in the room thinking I'm not going to be standing in line and b) when standing in line for twenty minutes and my hip and knee start to ache. Argh. Go into ball: oooooh, sparkly. Sat with some very nice people, like a librarian from a small town in Carolina (don't ask me which, I'm freakin' tired. You're lucky I'm speaking English) where people go to dig up fossils and mostly find shark teeth. Fairy costumes ROCKED, especially the ones with the light up wings.

Yes, I have wing envy. What of it?

Food was steak with some bland brown sauce, potatoes that might have been au gratin at some point in their lives, a pile of yellow... stuff, and three tomatoes. Um. Steak was good?

Fairies! Eve Vaughn was on the Unseelie Court, and being part of the DC Area Storytellers of COURSE I made sure to sit on their side of the ballroom. I actually got up and paraded the stage, but couldn't take part in the contest since it required standing on the dance floor. Done enough standing today, thank you.

First place was won by a man dressed as the Green Man and calling himself Willow. The costume wasn't the awesomist in my opinion, but damn if it didn't win on originality. A leather-clad man in a long, white wig with a rockin' bod and an oak leaf mask?

I could see why he beat out all the other fairies.

God, I wish you guys were here.

Headed back to room a little early since I'm not exactly a twinkle-toes on the dance floor. Had fun, but it was time to wash away the glitter and prepare for another day with a temporary fairy wing tatoo on my boob.

What? I forgot to buy baby oil. With my luck the sucker ain't coming off until the second coming.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

RT 2009, Day Two: I Signed A Laptop

Me at the Ebook Expo. Photo courtesy of Angela James and up on Twitter.

I miss my waterbed, but all things considered I slept fairly well last night. I was up at six, not exactly the quickest duck on the pond, but my eyes were open and I knew where the coffee pot was so I was good to go. Got out the door by a little before eight, loaded the scooter into the car, and headed off to RT. Got registered pretty quickly, for which I was grateful. It looked like they had everything well in hand.

I decided to skip the morning mixer, mostly because it occured to me that one of the events, the Samhain Bookseller event, was outdoors. I needed to make sure that I knew how to get the scooter from point A (i.e., airconditioned comfort) to point B (outdoors, next to the pool, with nary a hunk in sight. Le sigh.)

Oh! Wanna see the scooter? Someone actually recognized me because of the blog I wrote for The Samhellion about it:

Yeah, for those of you there, I was THAT crazy lady on the scooter. For those of you who weren't, yes, it occasionally listed to port. Those bags were full of BOOKS.

I went to the Samhain morning workshop where they talked about the publisher and answered any questions on submissions and what they're currently looking for. It turned out to be serendipity when I took one of their flyers, because all of them went pretty fast and I was able to give one of mine to someone who'd missed out.

Next was the hybrid paranormal panel, where they discussed the difference between urban fantasy and paranormal romance. What I got out of it was that there seems to be a difference of opinion on the subject. Me, I think it's an urban fantasy if there's no promise of an HEA. If there is the promise of an HEA, and even better if its fulfilled, then it's paranormal romance.

LUNCH! They ran out of lasagna (pout) but because they did they paid for my lunch. Wasn't that sweet? I'll have to try them again when they HAVE lasagna!

Off to the Men in Menage panel. I learned that there are two types of menage readers: those who don't really care if the guys have a little somethin' goin' on, and those who SQUICK-EEP-EW! over the very thought of manbits touching manbits. Me, I'm kind of an equal opportunity reader (and writer: just check out Very Much Alive!) but I get that not everyone is.

The Samhain Booksellers event was fun. I got to sign some totebags, and a copy of Hunting Love. There's something wierd and wonderful about signing a tote bag or a book, and knowing that someone is going to treasure that, a feeling that was even bigger when I did the Ebook Expo. Someone asked me to sign their laptop.

Their laptop.

Can you imagine? I texted Dusty immediately, it was such a Squee! moment. And I hope that if that person reads this blog that they know they made my day.

Off to Target for tea mugs (because Target didn't have tea cups), a not-so-quick trip to McD's, and back to my room to fill you all in on my day after blowing good night kisses to my sons over the phone. I'll be late posting tomorrow (possibly as late as Friday), since the Fairy Ball is tomorrow night. However I will make it up to you with a picture of a dork in a red corset with fairy wings.

Yes, me. Who else would pair a red corset with black and purple fairy wings?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

RT 2009, Day One: A Loooooooong F'ing Day

Damn, is that title an understatement.

I got up a bit before seven this morning and helped the hubby get the ten year old off to school. Grabbed a quick shower, wrote a blog post, finished packing, got the five year old up and dressed (okay, Dusty mostly got the five year old ready), and was out the door by ten thirty for my flight.

Which was, of course, delayed.

So I arrived in Orlando about two hours later than I planned. Got my bags, hitched them to my scooter, and headed for the rental car place, planning on hitting the kiosk, my car, and the highway, in that order.

The kiosks were down. No idea when they'd be back up.


So I waited in line and tried not to run over the very cute, very energetic three year old in front of me. Half an hour later, the man behind the desk says, You know, that scooter might not fit into a mid-size SUV. Let's say we upgrade.

Okay, says I. Let's.

I cross the street and hit the elevator, because scooters just do not do well on escalators. Go figure. I ask where the regular size SUVs are and I'm given a location.

Only one problem. The parking spots are empty.


So I head back, and the nice man insists he told me I could take a mid-size instead. Like I'm going to pay an extra one hundred dollars for having the privilege of renting the car I wanted in the first place. Downsize me back, please?

Seven o'clock. Can't get the GPS to work because I'm still in the parking lot. Thank god I know where International Drive is even if I don't know exactly where the hotel is. See? Disney every other year really DOES pay off, dear!

Find hotel, check in, ask where I need to go to sign in as an author. Around the bend, look for the signs, no problem.

Except they stopped signing people in at six.


Head to room, which, by the way, is supposed to be handicap friendly. If this is handicap friendly, I'd hate to see hostile.


Eight thirty. Starving. Ready to chew off own arm. A fiber apple muffin and a soft pretzel just aren't enough food for me. Head to Friendlies for some chocolate ice cream therapy.

Ahhh. Much better.

Head back to room and discover that high speed internet is a luxury, not a privilege. If I want it I need to go back to the main part of the hotel, prop my feet up on a coffee table, open my laptop and pray.

I am using my cell phone as a modem to post this.

And now, at roughly ten thirty at night, I've updated the buy links on my website and I'm ready to collapse. I'll post a bit more tomorrow after I get back from dinner.

I'm here. I'm alive. And I'm already jonesing for my Verizon FiOS.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Polish Your Pitch at the RT Convention

****Permission to Forward Granted*****

Join Angela James and Ron Hogan at RT this Wednesday from 11:45-12:45 to "Polish Your Pitch". Angela
got left off the official RT schedule so please help spread the word!

"Samhain Executive Editor Angela James and publishing industry
commentator Ron Hogan of lead an interactive workshop on
creating a great story pitch. Come prepared to tell us what your
novel's about; we'll take your description apart then help you rebuild
it better, stronger, faster. Don't be afraid...we'll be gentle."

Ron Hogan is well known as a savvy,fair book reviewer and knowledgeable commentator on all
aspects of the publishing industry, both digital and print.

Angela James is the Executive Editor of Samhain Publishing. Her mission is to drag readers
(and authors) to the digital dark side, one reader at a time.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday. EEP!

omgomgomgomgomg... RT is coming! Steel Beauty is coming! I bought a scarf I don't even need! I don't WEAR scarves! What was I thinking?!? AAAAAAAHHH!!!!

Oh, back rub...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm a Passionate Plume Finalist!

I'm a finalist in Passionate Ink's Passionate Plume contest!

Congratulations to the Passionate Plume Finalists!
The first round scoring for the 4th Annual Passionate Plume is complete, and the books this year were phenomenal! Several categories had books miss the top 5 by hundredths of a point - it was a truly competitive round.

Thank you to everyone who entered for your support, and congratulations to the finalists :

Jenna Bayley-Burke - Her Cinderella Complex
Eileen Ann Brennan - Marnie’s Secret
Mari Carr - Erotic Research
Katie Reus - Running From The Past
Saskia Walker - Reckless

Futuristic /Fantasy/Science Fiction
Mechele Armstrong - Settler’s Mine 3: The Woman
Dee Brice - His Virtual Assassin
Mari Freeman - Birthright
Mima - In Service
Denise Rossetti - Strongman

Elizabeth Amber - Lyon, The Lords of Satyr
Alice Gaines - Sans Regret
Samantha Kane - Retreat From Love (Brothers In Arms
Kate Pearce - Simply Sinful
Emma Wildes - A Devil’s Bargain

Jade Buchanan - Horsfall: Tail of Two Brothers
Samantha Kane - A Lady In Waiting
Anna Leigh Keaton - Sweetest Desires
Natasha Moore - Sunrise in Jewel of the Nile II
Carolina Valdez - Tie ‘Em Up, Hold ‘Em Down

Paranormal / Time Travel
Dana Marie Bell - The Wallflower, Halle Pumas Book 1
Crystal Jordan - Treasured
Mackenzie McKade - Black Widow
Jennifer North - Party Vamps
Eden Rivers - Broken Pentacle

Look for the next contest submission period to open in November 2009.
Congrats to all the finalists, and good luck!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Guess What I Did?

Guess what I spent all day yesterday doing? (Have I mentioned I hate HTML?) Yup, I changed the look of my blog and website.

Why, do you ask? Well, when you've been hit upside the head with what my friends call "The Mackerel of Truth" you need to take a good, hard look at how you can fix things. And just about every poll and blog out there claims that people prefer dark text on a lighter background. Some have even said that they'll see the dark background/light text and immediately leave the website.

Not exactly what I want to hear, but it is that stinky mackerel and I have to listen.

Small problem: I'm so not changing my "logo" (the eyes, love the eyes!), which means that the background MUST remain black or it looks kinda... dorky. I took a look at some other blogs and websites, and decided that a compromise was in order: starry background and header with gray text boxes, the color pulled from the "clouds and moon" image you'll see on the website. Voila! A new look, and still well within the "Dance with an alpha in the pale moonlight..." theme I'm trying to go for.

I'm not sure if it meets with what the people want to see, but the text is now dark on a lighter background. Let me know what you think; I'm still willing to adjust things if people really hate it.

P.S.: Six days to RT AND Steel Beauty!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Does Anyone Else Detect a Whiff of Eau de Lawsuit?

Got home from the family's Easter shindig (Happy Belated, btw!) to find the Twitterverse all a-twitter (pardon the pun) over something Amazon had done.

Rolling my eyes, because, really, Amazon has done an amazing amount of stupid crap recently, I read on, only to find that Amazon had managed to finally climb Mount Stupid and firmly plant their flag at the tippety top.

Amazon, in an astonishing display of asshattery, has removed the rankings from books. Mostly, to be precise, books of the GLBT variety, irregardless of sexual content. Mark R. Probst was amongst those who wrote to Amazon to find out what was going on. Their response?

"In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.

Hence, if you have further questions, kindly write back to us."

And when people said "WTF?!?" they quickly backtracked and called it... a glitch.

The list of books includes those on how to raise children when you're a lesbian couple; a guide to college life for GLBT students; a travel guide for gay women; books that mention (MENTION) the GLBT lifestyle in a positive manner. We won't even get into the many gay friendly romances and YA titles that had their rankings stripped, thus making it much more difficult to find them in the Amazon search engine. A list has been written over at Meta Writer if you'd like to see some of the titles that are considered "adult".

Rest assured, however, that those books that contain ANTI-gay material are just fine. (Insert rolled eyes here.)

Pretty specific glitch, wouldn't you say? My first thought when I saw it? "How to start an ACLU Class Action Suit in three easy steps."

Now, others have already blogged about this, and in much greater detail: Smart Bitches, Dear Author and Elisa Rolle just to name a few. A petition was started up in protest prior to Amazon's "glitch" discussion. I, for one, can't see how a "glitch" could have done something like this. It's pretty broad. If it is simply a glitch, then someone needs the spanking of a lifetime.

And not in a good way, either.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Panic in 3... 2... 1....

I always get like this just before a trip. I see the calendar and suddenly it hits:

HOLY CRAP! I only have Eleven DAYS!?!

I only have eleven days.

Do I have all my promo? Did I count out how much I'm bringing so I won't be overloaded? Do I have all my reservations in a row? Do I remember how to take apart my scooter and put it back together again?

What dresses am I bringing? More importantly, what shoes?

I have to buy tea cups for the Sinfully Sweet party! GAH! Got the tea, no cups! And... and...

Oooh, back rub.

I love my hubby.

Okay, so other than the promo stuff, this is what happens when I'm close to going on a trip. Once I'm at the airport I'm fine, because there's nothing, literally nothing I can do if I missed something. But for the next week and a half?

Total basket case.

Add in the R&R on Only In My Dreams and this insistent little voice that's telling me you did it wrong! and you're looking at an EPIC basket case. (Did I say I'd have that done in two weeks? Seriously? Was I drugged at all?)

So today's focus will be on getting those tea cups and re-reading OIMD to try and figure out what I did wrong this time.

Oh, and trying not to panic. (Although those back rubs are pretty nice...)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Releases at Samhain

New This Week

I'm not going to tell you which one of these is tempting me (okay, which three or four, actually); I'm trying to be good before I go blow a chunk of change at RT.


Damn it. Where'd I leave my wallet...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Let The Madness Begin!

Rain again today and a trip to the doctor's office kept me from writing. Gah. But I never try to let a day go by where I don't do something that I consider "work-related", whether it's writing, editing, promoing or updating my website. So today I began going over what I'm going to need for the RT convention and making sure my bookmarks were all ready to go, since it's only three weeks away and already ALL of my April weekends are booked.

This will be my first convention as an author, and my first book signing where I actually have a book to sign! I'm two parts excited and one part nervous wreck, but going over everything I'm sliding more towards excited. All of my promo has arrived on time and is in good condition (with a minor snafu of white caps on the lip balm, but that's my fault not the company's so I'm not stressing over it). I've taken my scooter apart and put it back together after Dusty sent me from the room and jumbled the pieces to simulate how the airport will most likely give it back to me. I even have my costume for the fairy ball (including two wigs; I can't decide between the blue or the purple)!

Now all I have to do is decide how to get that promo to RT without killing myself or accidentally running someone over in an unfortunate multi-suitcase/scooter accident.

I wonder if I can do a "Countdown to Florida" gadget here...

EDIT: Dang, getting and putting up the gadget was easy! Keep an eye on the clock!

Friday, April 3, 2009


I really really hate rain. And we've had a lot of it recently.

Long story short? Arthritis sucks, especially when you're only forty. Ugh. I'm moving like Tim Conway's little old man in the Carol Burnette Show. Hey, at least my brain is moving along just fine, right?

(I was tempted to post the wheelchair skit, but I haven't had a chance to really play with my new scooter yet. Maybe after RT...)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Contest!


Want to win an ARC of Steel Beauty? To enter, go to my Contact Me page and send me your name, email address and the electronic format of your choice. The winner will be announced here and on my website April 20th! Good luck!

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