Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Preparedness, Bell Style

1. Back up files immediately, even though you're pretty sure it's all going to be just fine. I use this:
I pay for extra storage, but I can now work from any computer in the house whenever I want. 
2. Pick up bottled water, food, etc. You know, that stuff that makes your body go.
3. Don't eat all the food or drink all the bottled water before the hurricane arrives. Seriously. I hate grocery shopping the day before a hurricane hits.
4. Make sure you take a shower. Use that stuff that doesn't make your body smell. (I needed to remind my boys of this one, especially that last part.)
5. MAKE COFFEE. Lots. Like, freeze some of it, because the other stuff that makes my body go is made in an electrical appliance called a coffee maker, and if the power goes out... well. It won't be pretty.
Only 45 cups? Not sure that'll be enough.
6. Explain to the dog that she's a little too big to be in my lap, even when it's skeery outside.
7. Explain to the cat that he doesn't need to swipe at the dog because she's in my lap. I've got this one, thanks. By the way, did you mean to get me too?
8. Ignore the cat when he ignores you and your question. And your bleeding hand.

9. Watch the Weather Channel obsessively for days, even when you don't understand what they're saying.
What the hell does 941mb actually mean? Stronger winds? I get that when I feed Dusty bean burritos.
10. Edit schmedit. I'm making more coffee.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Scaling the Heights...Or Not

There are times when you must admit to something that you truly don't want to. Something you can't really change, but affects the rest of your life. It makes you unable to do some of the things (and wear some of the things) that you truly wish you could.


I am short.

I know, I know. The PC term is "vertically challenged", maybe even "height deficient". I get that. But not only am I short, I am of that class of vertically challenged people known as "fluffy". Now, to be fair, I've been on a diet for months and I've lost 25 lbs, but that does not take away from my inherent fluffiness.

(I prefer to think of myself as fun-size, but people look at you kind of funny when you say it. Especially this time of year. The last thing I want is to be saddled with the nickname Snickers.)

No matter how much I love it's peanutty goodness.
This is never brought home to me more than when I'm clothing shopping. Short and fluffy tends to equal big-ass flowers, v-necks and boat necks, and worse: black black black.

Just like this.

Yes. I'm wearing all black right now. But that just proves my point!

So I'm already looking at clothing for the Romantic Times Convention in 2013 (which I will be going to in Kansas City, MO). Usually, I'd be looking at Fairy Ball costumes, but this year, alas, there will be no fairy ball. Instead, they're having their 30th Anniversary Formal Ball. Which is cool, I admit. They even mention bringing your tiaras.

I am totally going to get my inner Disney on.
So I'm looking at gowns, and I see one that's absolutely stunning, and it's made for fluffy girls, which totally rocks, only... have to be seven feet tall to wear it without tripping all over the beaded hem. And tripping the six people in line behind you.

See, I forgot the short part of short and fluffy.

But hey! I found another gown that meets the fluffy AND short requirements in one dress:

Now the model wearing it is 5'10", which means it will still puddle on the floor for me. But unlike the previous dress (which I desperately love, but has a beaded bottom so you'd have to practically take the dress apart to size it for 5'0"), this dress would cover me just fine. The one before it would cover me and the scooter with fabric to spare.

Yes, I know the two dresses I fell in love with are black. If I got it in pink... well...

I'm sure you see my problem.
Oh. On a side note, Morgan's Fate is officially in the Meat Grinder. I hope to have it out to my beta readers by the end of next week.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Quickie... Sort Of

I've been sick this week, so I've been mostly off the radar. BUT, I have two pieces of news.

First, I'll be finishing the rough draft of Morgan's Fate by the end of next week.

Second, The Hob is now available for pre-order on Amazon!

I'll keep an eye on Barnes and Noble for the pre-order links, and once they go live I'll add them to my website.

Third, that's two books available for pre-order: The Hob and All For You, which finally has info up on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

It'll be busy next week, with the first round of edits for Robin and finishing up Morgan's Fate. Once Morgan is turned in to my beta readers I'll be starting the second Poconos Pack book, Mr. Red Riding Hoode. Oh, and I should also be getting paperwork and edits on Throne of Oak soon.

Wow. Looks like the holiday season is going to be a busy one! 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cover Pretty: THE HOB

Look what I got today!

The Gray Court Book 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel

Robin Goodfellow has met his match.

When the Black Queen kidnaps one of the White Queen's nephews, Robin Goodfellow is sent to ensure that the young prince safely returns to the bosom of his family. True to his role as Oberon’s Hobgoblin, he is ready for anything…except meeting his truebond, the very delicious, very human Michaela Exton.

Michaela has dreamed about a flame-haired rogue named Robin Goodfellow since she was a little girl, but everyone knows Puck doesn’t really exist. In real life, it’s a dark-eyed man named Ringo who makes her heart beat faster.

She is closer to her dream man than she thinks, and nobody knows it better than Robin, who wears the guise of Ringo. But there’s competition for her love in the form of Lord Raven, who holds a secret that will rock the foundation of Robin’s world. As a Black Court delegate does the unthinkable, leaving an enraged, grief-stricken Robin hanging onto his humanity by a thread, only Michaela has the power to bring him back from the killing edge—if she survives.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, graphic language, Robin Goodfellow and... Really. Do I need to say any more?

Kael stretched and groaned. “Gods, I’m glad I’m back.”

Robin chuckled quietly. “Don’t like flying, my friend?”

Kael snorted, amused. “Hardly. The seats are too tight, I always wind up near a screaming child, and the bathrooms are laughable. And that’s before I get on the plane.”

Oh, Robin was growing more and more fond of this one. “After you.” Robin bowed with a grin, aware of the sound of another car pulling into the parking lot. He turned and saw the most mind–searingly orange Jeep Wrangler he’d ever been privileged to lay eyes on pull into the parking spot next to his. The grin faded from his face as the engine revved twice before cutting off.

Behind the wheel was a dainty female in hospital scrubs. She smiled over at them before reaching down to grab something off of the passenger side floor. He tilted his head, trying to get a better glimpse of the woman.


He tilted his head the other way, staring at the tiny figure in the driver’s seat. There was something about her, something that called to him. What was it? Robin sniffed, but all he could scent of was exhaust, rubber, human, and pooka.

“Robin, we need to go.”

Robin turned and nearly snarled at Kael, but the concern on the pooka’s face stopped him. What had he been doing, staring at a human female?

A car door slammed shut. “Excuse me, is everything all right?” She practically bounced in place. “Hi, Kael.”

Kael’s tense posture visibly relaxed. “Michaela. Just getting home from work?” Kael smiled sweetly at the dainty, brown–haired sprite of a female. The girl barely reached Kael’s shoulder. Robin guessed she’d be roughly chin height on him, were he in his normal form. As it was, she barely reached his shoulder as well. Her face was passably pretty, with a bottom lip fuller than the top and a square, soft jaw. Her deep brown eyes gleamed with good humor over a larger than average nose. Her figure was obscured by scrubs that were covered in the scent of illness and some hideous yellow bug–eyed things in brown pants and ties that grinned and capered about her person. Sensible white shoes graced her feet, and her dark brown hair was bundled up in a tight ponytail. Her pale cheeks were flushed with wind and happiness.

Dear gods above. Robin felt faint for the first time in his life.

It was her.

It was the woman from his dreams, and she stood before him, tiny and vulnerable and tempting as sin.

That sweet smile turned on Robin. “Are you Kael’s friend? I’m Michaela. Pleased to meet you.” Michaela held out her hand. “I saw you standing there, looking like you were lost. Let me guess, you can’t find the elevator, right? And I bet Kael here is too much of a pain in the ass to show you.”

She laughed as Kael took her hand and placed it on his arm. Robin wanted to rip Kael’s arm off and beat the pooka to death with it. “Of course I was going to show him, once he was no longer blinded by your Jeep.”

“Hey, no mocking the Punkinator.” She wagged her finger at Kael before turning back to Robin with a sweet smile. “It took me a week to remember where it was when I first moved in.” She shifted the heavy bag on her shoulder and pointed to a concrete column. “Follow me, I can show you where it is.” She hmph’d. “Blind, my ass.”

Kael stared at her with something akin to awe. “Ringo is staying with me for a few days, and haven’t we had this discussion before? Are you sure you should be speaking to a stranger so easily?”

The laid-back way Kael spoke to her made it clear they’d been friends for some time. His concern for the female was admirable, but still...

Robin fought off the urge as his eyes tried to shift to the green light that spelled death for any who crossed him. Kael had done nothing but be polite to the tiny woman, a friend of his to boot. Robin should have no quarrel with Kael’s actions, but the way Robin was reacting to them was startling.

However, Kael had a point. Robin blinked down at the strange little brown wren of a female. There was no way she could fend off two full grown men, if they were so inclined to harm her. If Ruby had done such a thing he would have paddled her ass, mate or no. “Indeed.”

Michaela smiled up at him serenely. “You won’t hurt me.”

Robin blinked again. His brows rose. Apparently the woman was certifiable. On the basis of Kael’s introduction, she trusted him? “Is that so?” Tempting though it was to accept her challenge, Robin was not a complete bastard. His little human was all right for the moment, but her insane belief that the world was a safe place was going to get her killed.

“Mm–hmm.” She laughed. Laughed, as if the implied threat were nothing. “C’mon, let me show you where the elevator is.” She headed past the ugly concrete column, still chattering away like the perky little bird she resembled, but this time she looked up at Kael with a frown. “Oh, Kael? FYI, some new tenants moved in while you were gone. They gave me the heebee–jeebies.” She shuddered delicately.

“Oh?” Robin exchanged a look with Kael. Perhaps they were sharing space with some Dark Court Sidhe after all. If so, it might be prudent to move their lodgings.

Her lodgings. Robin’s instincts were telling him to get her the hell out of here, get her somewhere safe, but he couldn’t. Not now. If he was right, if she truly was his bondmate, the last thing he wanted to do was draw attention to her while at a convention full of Dark Court fae. To do so would be to court disaster on an epic scale.

Kael’s stance became protective, hovering over Michaela. “Did they bother you?”

“Nah.” She wrinkled her nose, that pretty smile back on her face. She was absolutely adorable, and Robin wanted her on his arm, damn it. “I let them find their own way to the elevator.”

She looked like a stiff breeze could pick her up easier than it did a sylph, but she bounced along beside them without a care in the world.

“You’re awfully confident for someone the size of a flea bite.”

Robin almost laughed at the insult Kael muttered.

Michaela did laugh. “I know, but I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve if someone decides to get frisky.” She made some idiotic motions with her hands and feet that Robin assumed were supposed to be some form of martial arts and looked more like a squirrel having seizures. “Take that, bad guys!”

Robin couldn’t stop himself from patting her on the head. “You’re cute.”

She wagged her finger in the air. “And lethal. Don’t forget lethal.” She waved toward the elevator. “And here we are.”

The amusement in her gaze let him know how seriously she was taking her own pronouncement.

Interesting. He hadn’t been this hungry for a female since Ruby. He kept the predatory anticipation that filled him off his face, for fear he would frighten her away.

This one was available for consumption, and he would feast for many years to come.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lora Leigh's RAW 2012

This was my first year at Lora Leigh's Reader/Author Weekend, and it won't be my last. I had a blast and met a lot of new people, and managed to hand Carrie Ann Ryan the worst plot bunny I've ever given anyone in my life:

Dark Meete, the free-range turkey shifter. 

You had to be there. It got so bad, Joy from Joyfully Reviewed hunted me down and ordered me to knock it off before Carrie actually writes the damn thing.

So my first night was pretty uneventful, other than the taxi driver from hell trying to kill me before I got to the hotel. I wanted to kiss the cold, hard concrete when we arrived at the hotel. I had no idea that taxi drivers in Pittsburgh attend the Mario Cart School of Driving, because I swear he was trying to bounce off the other cars. I spent the evening in my room, eating room service and thanking all the gods I could think of that I wasn't road pizza.

My second day in Pittsburgh, I arrived at the area where the convention was being held and was asked if I was willing to help hand out the memory books to the convention goers. Of course I was, as long as they got me a seat. I spent part of the day with Sharon, a lovely lady who frequents the cons with her husband, Art. Art is a sweetheart who keeps trying to steal my wooden, hand-carved cane.

I also got to meet Sophie Oak and Shayla Black, who came by to help hand things out for a little while. 

The T-shirts behind me were also being given away. I wound up giving mine to Joy, however, as they didn't have one for her.

After registration it was time to meet the authors in a very informal setting. I got to sign some memory books before heading to my room to change for the Fall Fantasy Ball. 

Here I am in my leopard costume (and yes, there will eventually be a leopard shifter in the Halle series) with the other Suzie Homemaker (she had an eyeball in a glass and called it a Highball... she was hysterical) and Ranae Rose, whose Regency costume was to die for.

And  Carrie Ann Ryan, Mistress of Dark Meete:

You can't see it here, but the Mistress had a pink, sparkly riding crop I'm sure Dark loves to be tenderized with.

(Joy is going to kill me the next time she sees me. I just know it.) 

And the lady everyone was there to meet, Lora Leigh! I had total mask envy. 

The following day was breakfast with the authors, a nice, relaxed setting. I got a seat next to the coffee, so I was golden. Then more author meet and greets, a quick lunch, and speed dating with the authors! It was so frenetic that I'm not sure anyone got pictures of it. You would sit at a table, sign memory books and answer questions for ten minutes before running to the next table in line, lather, rinse, repeat. A lot of fun, but hard on the knees.

Time for the Pajama party! Of course I wore my T-shirt and yoga pants combo, like I always do. 

I have to admit, though, I left the party early. The music was so loud it was making my brain bang against my skull, so I accepted an invitation from the Book Obsessed Chicks to join them for a drink.

 Duh. Like I was going to say no.

We talked about everything from Prince Alberts to Graceland, and had a grand old time. I didn't leave until almost two o'clock in the morning, only to stumble out of bed at seven to get ready for breakfast and the book signing. 

(I haven't found a photo from the book signing yet, but when I do I'll update the blog.)

Then home, sweet home and my own bed. I missed you, bed. Apparently I had Papa Bear's bed in the hotel, while Ranae had Momma Bear's and Carrie had Baby Bear's. (See? This is why I gave her the turkey shifter!)

All in all, this con is what I call a Keeper Con, one I'll definitely be going back to. Lora stated at the costume ball that they are hoping to have another one, but back in Maryland again and around the second week in October. I look forward to being there!

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