Friday, September 23, 2011

Computers and Contests

I finally have my website program and all my website files on my new work computer. In case you hadn't been reading my tweets a couple of weeks ago, my old work computer's video card/drivers became totally messed up, and I wound up spending far more time than I would have liked trying to revive it.

Okay, Dusty spent far more time. I know video games, not video cards.

Long story short, it would do a hard freeze after half an hour of Dragon Age. When updating my website, it would freeze, then then bring up the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.

Attack of the Fifty Foot BSoD

Pretty soon all it was doing was freezing and blue screening. After about a week of this we tried updating the video drivers, which didn't work. If anything, it made things worse. We tried all sorts of solutions to stop the deep freeze treatment, but to no avail.

Frustrated, I wound up ordering a new computer.
No aliens have leaped out of my screen...yet.

My old gaming computer has become my work computer, and I've gotten a newer, shinier video game computer that has Mr. Bell all Kermit-colored with envy. I'll be paying it off for a bit, but at least I can once again update my website and play video games without fear.

You don't want to see what happens when I go through video game withdrawal. Not even chocolate can save you if that happens.

So my website is up to date, including the pre-order button at Amazon for Artistic Visionand the contest I was hoping to start over a week ago is finally posted. I'm giving away a signed copy of Noble Blood, Book 2 of The Gray Court, which will be out in print October 4. Details on how to enter are below the excerpt.

Nobility has its privileges…and its price. Sometimes it just sucks. 
The Gray Court, Book 2 
For Lord Duncan Malmayne, it was love at first sight with his true bond, the lovely half-Sidhe, half-leprechaun Moira Dunne. Yet something is missing from his relationship with the fiery redhead, something that prevents him from completing the Claiming and making Moira his forever. 
As problems multiply in what should be a magical, idyllic time, the depression weighing on Moira’s Sidhe heart signals a potentially devastating condition. Mate sickness. Her instinct tells her what’s missing: Jaden Blackthorn, Gray Court vampire, Duncan’s bond brother and closest friend—who tactfully withdrew from their lives after Duncan declared his love. 
Jaden is both heartbroken and elated that the two people he loves most in the world are together. It’s best he cut off all contact to give them space to complete the Claiming. But trouble is brewing in the Malmayne clan, and when Jaden’s forced back into their lives by the Hob, their extremely rare tribond clicks with a reaction that’s swift, sensual and all-consuming. 
But not everyone looks upon it as a blessing. In fact, the price of their love could be a potentially fatal shift of power…  
Warning: This book contains explicit sex, graphic language, and M/M/F love scenes between a Sidhe lord, a vampire and a leprechaun. And no, that’s not the start of a dirty joke no matter what my Beta readers said. 

Las Vegas, Two Weeks Before Christmas… 
Jaden danced across the floor, wondering what the fuck was wrong with him. He was starving, and not just for blood. But none of the many hot, available bodies called to him. Hell, at this point he’d be willing to pay for a body that appealed, but none of them did. Not one, damn it. Not even the blond with the blue eyes whose build so reminded him of… 
Okay, not going there. 
Jaden loved a big, strong man, and dayum if that guy didn’t have big and strong down to an art form. Not even the stupid Santa hat detracted from his looks. 
Then the guy had to go and ruin it by lifting some little twink up in the air and almost dropping him. 
He laughed and rolled his eyes. Or not. 
He hit the edge of the dance floor and made his way through the crowd, pausing only long enough to check his watch. Almost two thirty, and he still hadn’t fed or gotten laid like he’d originally planned. As a vampire he couldn’t even get good and drunk without a little veinicular help. 
Heh. Veinicular. 
Jaden sighed and propped up a wall. It was pretty fucking bad when the best part of the evening was a lame vampire joke. He hadn’t been laid in more months than he could count, and sucking without fucking was, well, chocolate without peanut butter. Coke without rum. 
Turner without Hooch. 
Jaden rubbed his chest. The ache that kept him from following that blond’s tight end right to nirvana had been growing by the night. He knew exactly who to blame for it, too. 
Damn it, he missed them. He missed them both so much it hurt. 
“You okay?” 
He grimaced and stared down at the small Asian woman in front of him. “Yeah, I’m good.” 
She shook her head, her glossy black hair shimmering under the lights. “If you’re hungry I could feed you.” Her startling eyes looked up at him with a mild expression, almost as if she was offering to order him something off the dollar menu at Taco Bell. 
Akane Russo had the weirdest eyes of anyone he’d ever met. One eye was dark brown with a startling light hazel star in the center. The other eye was a pure light hazel. Black brows were a straight slash above them, giving her a stern expression. 
Those eyes freaked him the fuck out every time he saw the woman. Considering how many times they’d worked together over the years, he’d found himself freaked out quite a lot. He’d long ago become used to the sensation and counted her as one of his few real friends. “Nah. I’m good.” 
One brow rose in disbelief. It was almost Spockish in its elegance. “You sure? You look really hungry, Jade.” 
He grinned and tried to make it look like he meant it. “I’ll be fine.” 
She shrugged. “All right then. But eat soon, okay? I’d hate to have to hunt your ass if you go feral.” She started to walk away, ignoring his shiver, but before she got very far she turned back. That golden star in the center of one of her eyes widened. “There’s something different about you.” 
Oh boy. He had no idea what she was seeing, but there was a curiosity in her expression he could live without. He had no desire to be dragged off to her lair and dissected. “My shirt is new. It’s Marc Jacobs.” He spun, making sure to leer at her over his shoulder. “You like?” 
Her eyes rolled, the star shrinking to its normal proportions. “Please. I’m probably the only piece of ass in this bar not interested.” 
He wiggled his butt, confident she would turn him down. “You sure?” 
She laughed, the sound remarkably sweet from a woman he’d once seen rip the head off a Black Court vampire. “I’m sure. I don’t poach, remember?” 
He frowned and wondered what the hell she was talking about. Before he could ask she waved good-bye and headed back to the dance floor. 
“Freaky ass dragon bitch.” 
She glared over her shoulder at him. “I heard that.” 
That startled a laugh out of him. How she did that he’d never know, but it sounded like she was standing next to him in a nice, quiet room. He shook his head and turned back to the dancers. He had no idea if he was going to be able to fine a real meal tonight, but he was sure as hell going to try. 
The sight of the blond man bent over the red-headed twink brought home that no, he wasn’t. Damn it. 
He headed toward the door, his hunger effectively demolished by the thought of Duncan and Moira. It still amazed him that she’d let him in after his role in kidnapping her sister-in-law Ruby. The human had been a trooper when faced with the Deranged Darling. 
Just thinking about Kaitlynn was enough to have him clenching his teeth in rage. So he brought forth the memory of how he’d made her pay oh so dearly for everything she’d done, including the murder of her own father. She’d been bitter going down his throat, but at least he had the satisfaction of knowing she’d never hurt anyone else ever again. 
Duncan was now head of the Malmayne clan and newly mated to Jaden’s dream woman. Too bad Jaden couldn’t be there with him to celebrate. The way Moira had defended her new sister-in-law had earned Jaden’s undying respect. He’d left a piece of his heart in her soft hands. Hell, he’d left fully half of it there, since that’s all he’d had left to give. Duncan owned the other half, and had for a century. 
He couldn’t even muster up any enthusiasm when his favorite song came on. It had been a while since he’d heard Seal’s Kiss from a Rose. He always smiled when he heard the line, “I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the gray.” Everyone thought that the line was “rose on the grave”, but they were wrong. He’d looked it up one night, wondering why that line haunted him. 
A rose on the gray. Damn it. Visions of Duncan’s gray eyes and Moira’s fiery hair danced before him. 
Aw hell. Now he was getting all mushy and stuff. Next thing he knew he’d be sending little Hallmark moments to the both of them over Facebook or something. If he didn’t get himself under control soon he was going to wind up destroying all of them. Duncan, ah, beautiful Duncan and his sweet little leprechaun deserved better than that. 
This was Jaden’s burden to bear, and bear it he would. No matter the cost. 

Just head to my "Write to Dana" page and send me your email address (I'll contact the winner for a mailing address, so no need to send that) and what name or handle you'd like me to use when I announce the winner. (Think "Puppydog Eyes 775" or "Kitty in Poughkeepsie" if you don't want me to use your real name.) I'll post the name or handle of the winner here and on my website on October 7!

Also, I'll be starting a contest for a download of Artistic Vision the beginning of November. Artistic Vision comes out November 22 in E-Book; no print date is available yet.

P.S.: for those of you asking about a release date for Howl For Me, I don't have one yet. I'm hoping to get one soon, and I'll put it up on my website and here once I have it.

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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