Friday, January 30, 2009

One of THOSE Weeks

Have you ever had a week where you feel like you're running in place? You're hot, you're sweaty, you're legs hurt and you're breathing hard, but you haven't gotten anywhere?

Yup. I'm having one of THOSE weeks.

Monday was fun. I posted the Sammie winners, and that was pretty much that. M decided he needed his Mommy, and Mommy wound up hopping up every ten minutes (Dusty timed me) to deal with something M wanted.

Tuesday I read over what I'd written, realized it would need major overhauls, and wrote the Aaand They're OFF! blog post. Then M decided he needed his Mommy...

Wednesday, SNOW DAY! Yup, both kids home, building slush forts in the back yard and sucking down hot chocolate. Of course it started to rain, so of course my kids sat down in the muddy slush and continued to play. Dusty, watching them, says "Are you telling me my kids don't have the sense to come in out of the rain?"

Thursday, I updated my website, particularly the Books section. I think it's neater now, but feel free to let me know what you think. Otherwise? The doorbell rang at one p.m. Not expecting a package or anything, Dusty went to the door, only to find R standing there looking sad. Seems school is getting out early for the next two days due to parent-teacher conferences and we forgot, so we weren't waiting at the door as usual. Eep. Lift hands from keyboard, deal with bad teacher note, deal with sad older son, younger son wants attention...

Friday. Yelled THREE TIMES at R as he stood on the corner waiting for the bus, because a) he threw an ice ball at the stop sign just as a car was going past it, b) he SAT DOWN on the ice and started building an ICE FORT and c) he almost left his trombone behind when he went to get on the bus.

I'm sensing a theme this week. The theme is Dana Isn't Writing. Gah. And today I woke up with three new scenes in my head for Bunny, Tabby and Julian! Argh. So here I am, a frustrated author, with no one to turn it on.

Or do I?

Tonight, I'm heading to my BIL's. I'm GM'ing my MC's World of Darkness game, and there will be death tonight! MUAHAHAHA! *cough* Maybe I'll actually get their back-up characters to be something other than Awakened...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Releases at Samhain

It's Tuesday, which means New Releases!

New This Week

Aaaaand They're OFF!

They're racing around the track, it's Bunny on the outside with Julian running a close second. Coming in third it's Tabby, almost neck and neck with Julian.

Coming up on the first turn, beautiful form on Bunny, Julian coming up close behind, Tabby right on him, now pulling ahead is Tabby!

And they round the bend heading into the straight, it's a third of the way done folks, look at that, coming up on the second bend...

Guys? Guys! Where are you going?!? The plot's that way! Damn it, get back here!

Ugh.

I hate it when they do that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

And The First Annual Sammie Winners Are...


2006 Best Selling Books

1. Loving Lies 1-59998-056-8 – Lora Leigh
2. Blackmailed 1-59998-111-4 Annmarie Mckenna
3. Nauti Bouy Lora Leigh
4. Colters' Woman 1-59998-145-9 Maya Banks
5. Hunter's Pride 1-59998-057-6 910 Shiloh Walker
6. The Distressing Damsel(About a Dragon) 1-59998-061-4 G.A.Aiken
7. Loup Garou 1-59998-003-7 Mandy M. Roth
8. Evolution's Embers 1-59998-009-6 Mary Wine
9. Lords of the Were 1-59998-160-2 Bianca D'Arc
10. Seeing Eye Mate 1-59998-156-4 Annmarie McKenna

2007 Best Selling Books

1. The Strength of Three 1-59998-553-5 Annmarie McKenna
2. Checkmate 1-59998-326-5 Annmarie McKenna
3. Overheard 1-59998-315-X Maya Banks
4. Brazen 1-59998-564-0 Maya Banks
5. Fantasmagorical 1-59998-579-9 Annmarie McKenna
6. Go Fetch 1-59998-141-6 Shelley Laurrenston
7. Hara's Legacy 1-59998-482-2 Bianca D'Arc
8. Two Sighted 1-59998-476-8 Annmarie McKenna
9. Kiss and Tell 1-59998-186-6 Sandy Lynn
10. Long Hard Ride 1-59998-468-7 Lorelei James

2008 Bestselling Books

1. Stay with Me by Maya Banks
2. Cowgirl Up and Ride by Lorelei James
3. The Wallflower by Dana Marie Bell
4. Tied Up, Tied Down by Lorelei James
5. Reckless by Maya Banks
6. Claiming Their Mate by Paige McKellan
7. Mistress to the Beast by Eve Vaughn
8. Wolf Unbound by Lauren Dane
9. Standoff by Lauren Dane
10. Between a Ridge and a Hard Place by Annmarie McKenna

Readers' Choice Books of 2008 (total 11 books)

1. The Englor Affair by J.L. Langley
2. Rough, Raw and Ready by Lorelei James (tie)
2. Handyman by Claire Thompson (tie)
4. Wolf Unbound by Lauren Dane (tie)
4. Stay With Me by Maya Banks (tie)
4. Out of Bounds by T.A. Chase (tie)
4. Cowgirl Up and Ride by Lorelei James
8. Firedrake by Bianca D'Arc (tie)
8. Collision Course by K. A. Mitchell (tie)
10. Wallflower by Dana Marie Bell (tie)
10. About a Dragon G.A. Aiken (tie)

Readers' Choice Book to Date (2006-2008)

1. Colter's Woman by Maya Banks
2. My Fair Captain J.L. Langley (tie)
2. Without Caution J.L. Langley (tie)
4. With Reservations J.L. Langley
5. Blackmailed by Annmarie McKenna (tie)
5. Long Hard Ride by Lorelei James (tie)
7. Go Fetch! by Shelly Laurenston (tie)
7. Handyman by Claire Thompson (tie)
7. Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston (tie)
7. Loving Lies by Lora Leigh(tie)


Readers' Choice Cover 2008


1. Sleight of Hand = Anne Cain (tie)
1. The Englor Affair = Anne Cain (tie)
3. Firedrake = Anne Cain (tie)
3. Into the Lair = Anne Cain (tie)
5. Tequila Truth = Tuesday Dube
6. Rough, Raw and Ready = Scott Carpenter (tie)
6. One and Only = Angela Waters (tie)
6. Handyman = Angela Waters (tie)
6. Fated = Dawn Seewar (tie)
6. Collison Course = Anne Cain (tie)

Readers' Choice Cover to Date (2006-2008)

1. Fireflies = Anne Cain
2. My Fair Captain = Anne Cain
3. Handyman = Angela Waters (tie)
3. Firedrake = Anne Cain (tie)
5. With Caution = Anne Cain (tie)
5. Tequila Truth = Tuesday Dube (tie)
5. Steelflower = Anne Cain (tie)
8.Rough, Raw and Ready = Scott Carpenter (tie)
8. Twilight = Scott Carpenter (tie)
8. A View to a Kill = Anne Cain (tie)


We've been told next year's Sammies will be all about 2009, so here's to a good year, and congrats to all the winners!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Sammies and A Contest



First up, The Sammies! Samhain Publishing's first-ever awards ceremony, live in the Samhain Cafe! I'll be there, bowl of popcorn in hand, ready to cheer the winners. Any bets on who will win? I have my faves, but I'm not making any guesses.

Good luck everyone, and I'll see you on Sunday!

And...

Contest!

Hi, everyone! It's that time again! Who wants to win a free ebook?

I'm giving away an electronic copy of Very Much Alive, book 1 of True Destiny, which releases from Samhain Publishing on February 17th!To enter, just use the Contact Me section of my website and send me an e-mail with your preferred format (.pdf, .rb, .prc, .Sonypdf, .lit or .html). The winner will be announced February 16th and will receive their copy the same day!

And keep your eyes peeled! In March, the Hunting Love anthology, my first ever print book, will be in stores! I plan on running a contest beginning of March for an autographed copy, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Heavenly WIPS and French Twists



Blind Man's Bluff
(which I'm thinking of renaming Eye of the Beholder) is out of the Grinder and off to the beta readers! WOOT! Book 2 of True Destiny is on its way!

Which, finally, means I have room in my brain for Bunny, Julian and Tabby! DOUBLE WOOT! My Halle Shifters are going to be born. Of course, right now it feels like I had to induce labor, but really I think Julian and Bunny were just being polite and letting Travis finish first since he'd started first. Tabby... well, Tabby's been ready for quite a while, so I imagine her men kept her, um, occupied while Travis and I finished seducing Jamie.

Have I mentioned Bear Necessities will be a menage a trois story? Did I? Okay, just checking.

So I'm pain free, have a story out the door, working on another and have two more percolating in the wings, both oddly enough M/M. We'll have to see who wins that little argument, Ben and Dave or Jeff and Fenris. I'd lay money on Fenris, but I've been wrong before, especially since both stories have been whispering to me pretty strongly.

It's a gooooood day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Releases

New This Week


Look! Eve Vaugh, one of the DC Area Storytellers, has a book out with Samhain today!

Friday, January 16, 2009

WIP Me, Beat Me

Humorous Pictures


Can you tell I'm feeling better?

I was able to start the Meat Grinding process on Blind Man's Bluff today! WOOT!

Of course, since I've still got a touch of migraine I had Word set to blue background/white text and thanked God I didn't have any edits from Angie this week (I can't do those in the blue background setting). So all in all about 4k got added/edited in, and we're nearing the Beta Reader mark. I should have it out to them by the end of next week, barring unforeseen problems. Y'know, like migraines, or children who think it would be really neat to make the Estate of Panic kitchen in my basement.

BTW: Thanks for the advice, Anonymous and Val O. I DO plan on talking to my Doc when I see her next. (Yes! She can be taught!)

P.S.: I felt so sorry for the lady who got stuck in the kitchen!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I AM Stupid

You know those T-shirts with "I'm With Stupid!" on them? Guess who I am.

Okay, here's what happened. I'm forty years old and already I have osteoarthritis in my back and knee. (I also have an undiagnosed problem with my left hand, but we're working on that.) And I don't bother trying to hide it. If you're going to the RT convention I'll be the short redhead in the black and blue scooter zooming around, because no way will I be able to walk a convention for more than, oh, six hours before being laid up for two days.

Anyway, Saturday here in sunny DE we had some freezing rain. In fact, it's rained a lot more than usual around here (and Dusty is very happy it hasn't been cold enough for it to be snow), which means I'm taking more Aleve than usual. Except Saturday, with the freezing rain, where nothing I did alleviated the pain in my knee. I tried heat. I tried putting my leg up. I tried putting my leg down. I lay down on the sofa and propped my knee with a pillow. And I took twice the dosage of Aleve you're supposed to take in a 24 hour period. Eventually the hands got thrown in the air and I told Dusty I was going to bed to try to sleep.

Sunday morning, I woke up queasy. Not really surprised, considering I'd abused my stomach, and it went away fairly quickly so I didn't think anything of it. Luckily the rain had stopped and so had most of the pain.

Cut to Monday, where I'm queasy again. Only this time, I'm queasy all day. I funneled Spiced Chai tea through my system in an effort to get it to calm down. It worked, barely. Tuesday, however? Tuesday I've got a headache. One that gets worse as the day progresses. And one that throbs in time to my heartbeat. Oh, and I notice little things, like I'm constantly shading my eyes and wishing people would talk in soft mumbles.

Queasy? Check.
Heartbeat headache? Check.
Moving headache (where it goes from front to back or side to side)? Check.
Sensitivity to light? Check.
Sensitivity to sound? Check.

And here I thought I'd merely overdosed on Aleve. Nope, we're talking full-bore migraine. Thank you, Ms. Bell, we hope you had a fun time on Name That Moron. Enjoy your consonlation prize.

Gah.

So I took two Imitrex last night, hoping to slow it down. And while it worked last night, this morning I'm wishing that the sun wasn't quite so bright.

I'm goint to try to get some work done. As long as I use the blue background/white text option in Word I should be fine. But I won't go near any white websites/chat rooms for at least another day, possibly not until Friday. The migraine won't let me.

Now I'm going to go lay down and put a cloth over my eyes. Blogger makes me write on a white background and it kinda feels like Gollum is stabbing my eyes with a toothpick. If I'm not back before Friday, have a great week!

Thus ends the tale of why I AM Stupid.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Releases at Samhain

New This Week



Second Chances Take Me Again


P.S.: Don't forget to vote for me over at Preditors and Editors! I'm nominated for Authors in 2008 and Romance Short Story for The Wallflower! The polls close tomorrow!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Have You Voted Yet?

The Samhain Best of 2008 survey closes down on January 11, so if you'd like to vote for your favorite Samhain books, authors or artwork click here!

Also, you can vote for me on Preditors and Editors! The Wallflower was nominated for Short Story Romance, and I was nominated for Author! WOOT! So go vote for me! (Please? There's brownies in it for you...)


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wow and Thank You

Someone just emailed me to tell me they nominated The Wallflower for the short story category of the Editors and Preditors poll!

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/shortstoryr.shtml

I've never been nominated for anything before! Can I squee?

New Releases at Samhain

New This Week

All Bottled Up Burn Fall Into Me

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wait...

I think I missed something. I was on the Samhain Publishing website and saw some releases I didn't see Tuesday.

Either I need new glasses again, or we had some additions I missed. I'm betting on #2. So to be on the safe side I'm posting them all!

New This Week



Y'know, Samhain has the prettiest covers.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

It's Stuck In There

Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head and nothing you do will get it out?

The Chipmunks: Christmas Don't Be Late. You'd think it would be songs from Chicken Little running through my head, since that movie has been M's latest kick (and actually had bands I LIKE), but oh, no. My brain has to boogie to the LAST movie kick M had.

Gah. How the heck am I supposed to write two love scenes to The Chipmunks? And one of those scenes is between Bunny and Julian! Two big strong guys humping to Alvin, Simon and Theodore. It's actually worse than Mousercize.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Holiday Season

So, the holidays are over, the tree is down, the lights are put away and the eldest goes back to school on Monday. How did my holiday go, do you ask?

Well, it started out somewhat poorly. I got a rejection letter for Save A Horse, my submission for the Cowboy Up And Ride anthology at Samhain. And while there's always going to be that little pinch of disappointment when I receive one I've gotten enough of them to know that sometimes the story just doesn't work for the editor. Not every story does. (The authors chosen were Lorelei James, Moira Keith and Nicole Stancil. Congratulations, ladies! I'm looking forward to reading your books, and I doubt I'm the only one!)

Now I have to decide what to do with Save A Horse: rework it into something longer and submit elsewhere (it's a novella set in the Gray Court's world) or make it a free read. Ponderings for another time, though, since I'm supposed to be working on Bunny right now.

The good news? The rest of the holiday was pretty good, actually. The Night of the Seven Fish had some substitutions (a lovely tilapia in lemon sauce, for instance), jewelry from the hubby and a Wii for the kids from Granddad that all of us have played. Santa brought the kids Rock Band and the family is trying to convince me to sing since I come the closest to being able to carry a tune. I convinced them to buy a second guitar so I could play bass.

As for the vacation I took? I still managed to do some work. Edits came in on Very Much Alive, so I got those done, and I snuck in some work on Bunny while Dusty was sleeping. New Year's Eve saw Dusty and I ringing in the new year kicking bad guy butt in City of Heroes while the ball dropped (and I'm starting to get whispers of a superhero story, gah!), with the Mummer's Parade on New Year's Day. (And being a South Philly girl I so have to make someone a Mummer in a story.)

And in case those of you outside the Philadelphia area are wondering what a Mummer's Parade is, here's the third place winner in the String Band section of the parade, the South Philadelphia String Band (trust me, it's worth watching):



And Fralinger, the winner of the 2009 String Band section:



These guys are anything from policemen to construction workes to lawyers to senators. Not one is a professional performer, and any money made goes right back into the "club" for next year's performance. They march from 2 Street to City Hall and the judges, giving performances along the way.

And this is my favorite part: The Fancy Brigade. I couldn't find a video of this year's winners, but I found last year:



Congrats to all the Mummers!

P.S.: Mr. Murray, our thoughts are with you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Interview and My New Year's Resolution

I have an interview, and it's with fellow DC Area Storyteller D. Renee Bagby!

What are the DC Area Storytellers? They are a group of authors who live in and around the Washington DC Area. I'd go into greater detail, but instead I'll direct you to our brand new blog. And if you happen to live in the area, take a look at our upcoming events. Perhaps we can meet you at one of our signings or at a convention.

Oh, and this year's New Year's Resolution: I shall not kill and eat my children no matter how many times they make me watch Digimon.

I like having attainable goals.

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