Wednesday, August 29, 2012

For those of you who are contemplating holiday shopping...

For those of you who are shopping for mothers, grandmothers, sisters, etc., I'd like to introduce you to Amy. She runs a nifty little Etsy shop called Sweet Silver Jewelry. I came across her designs when we were looking for a good present for my mom's birthday.

She makes amazing personalized jewelry - I'm not talking about the etched ID bracelets of the early 80s, but gorgeous silver jewelry that's decorative on the front but has a little secret on the back.

For my mom, we got a necklace with all the grandkids names on the back, along with dangling semi-precious birthstones. And I just got one with my kids' names on the back - no birthstones. I ended up getting one for my sister in law, too. Because she's awesome.

Amy's got different patterns, shapes and fonts available to help you create a one of a kind piece. They're unique and heartfelt gifts - we all love our necklaces and wear them almost all the time. 

Because they're individually crafted, it's best to order earlier rather than later. This is the link to Sweet Silver Jewelry and here are pics of my and my mom's necklaces so you can see the pretties for yourself. :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where's science when I need it?

Summer's ending. It feels like autumn is rolling toward me like that big rock in the first Indiana Jones movie.

My oldest son, Killian, is starting college today. (I'm totally crying on the inside. Okay, probably a little on the outside, too.) It's not that I want him to be a kid forever, it's just that I want to have a rewind button, where I can go back and visit his being a kid whenever I'm having a day like today.

Seriously, that too damn much to ask?!

My youngest son, Corwin, will be starting high school next week. (Please see the aforementioned crying and need of a rewind button.) I would give just about anything to play pirate ship right now.

But honestly, I know I have nothing to actually bitch about. I have great kids who are healthy and happy, and I know it's more than some parents have, so really, I shouldn't whine.

We're trying to get ready for hubby to go to Singapore for a freaking month. I'm not a fan of the Dance of the Single Parent. It's not because I can't do it alone. I can, just fine, as a matter of fact. But we really miss him while he's gone. And I know he misses us, too.

I'm still trying to get used to my sister being gone. As it stands now, we probably won't see each other until after Christmas, because that's just the way life's working out. It's not like we can't talk or text, or email, but it's not the same as hanging out together.

I'm also trying to come to terms with dying relatives - relatives for whom an entire set of matching, monogrammed emotional baggage is included.  

Add in the stress of conference prep, and I'm just about fried.

So I'll just be here, trying to outrun that big ass boulder and waiting for science to catch up with my need for a rewind button.

C'mon, science! I'm counting on you!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Introducing Anya Breton (who, by the way, is awesome!)

It's been a while since I've done an author interview on here, but I met this wonderful woman on the Twitterz and had to lure her over to the blog. She writes erotic romance along with some YA and she cracks me up. See? It's win-win-win! And as a bonus win, she's giving away a e-copy of her latest release A's Surrender out with Siren Publishing and part of the Randy's Diner series. (Directions for entering will be posted after the interview, but for now, let's get to know Anya!

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m editing my paranormal erotic romances for the Hex Appeal line coming in October from Ellora’s Cave and also working on book three of Randy’s Diner.

What do you like best about being a writer?  What do you like least?
I like writing best LOL. I like just about everything else least (synopsis, blurbs, hooks, submissions, all that!).

What would you do if you weren’t a writer?
I don’t have the luxury of writing fulltime. My day job is web design. That’s what I’d do if I weren’t a writer ;)

Of all of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite and why?
My favorite would probably be a secondary character in my Lore series, Oneiric—he’s Boston’s First (a vampire city ruler) and the lead singer of an emo band. He’s charismatic and flawed. I like him because I could toss him into just about any situation and it would be fun to write.

What genre of books least appeals to you and why?
Non-fiction. I read to escape. Living life is about as much reality as I want to take.

If that’s a copout, then in terms of fiction, I’ve never been able to get into Westerns or high fantasy. I’m a fairly lazy person and high fantasy generally requires brainpower. Westerns…I’m just not into spurs and cowboys.  

(I feel the same way about cowboy books!)

Do you listen to music when you write or do you need quiet?  If you listen to music – what kind?
Yes, I’m always listening to music when I write! Ambient noises distract me and the house is never quiet.
What I listen to depends on what kind of story I’m writing and what I’m in the mood to listen to. I generally create a playlist for each book. Sometimes the playlists include whatever I was obsessed with at the time rather than things that fit the story specifically. Other times I fit the tone of the story—like a story about Fire witches probably includes songs about fire and aggression. My musical taste is broad so I don’t have a simple answer.

Do you family and friends know you write erotic romance – if so, how have they reacted?
Some do. Some don’t. I haven’t volunteered the information but they’ve found out. Reactions have been pretty good so far. I think perhaps they haven’t quite realized what erotic romance is :D

Do you have any bad habits?
I asked my guy for help on this one. He said, “Adopting cats.” :D

(LOL - My husband would say the same thing!)

Do you have any pet peeves?

Most of my pet peeves these days are commute-related because I commute two hours a day to the day job. The big one would be people who drive (slow) in the passing lane. And the people who speed up when you close in on them and/or slow down after they’ve passed you. Drives me bonkers!

What do you like about where you live?
A question I feel qualified to answer! I’ve moved over twenty times between six states in my life so far. I can say without a doubt that cost of living here is cheap. We have a decent number of shops and restaurants around without the city being too congested. And we can day trip to many different awesome locations. I’ve even come to love the countless fields of corn.

If you could travel back in time, would you? If so, what time period would you visit and why?
I’m going to be completely annoying here. I like the idea of eras past in theory but in practice, not so much. Two periods come to mind for visiting. The first would be to zip back to watch one of William Shakespeare’s play at the Globe theater in Elizabethan England—and then come right back! LOL I wouldn’t want to hang out in that filth and disease-ridden era for longer than a few hours! And I’d also like to attend a Victorian/Edwardian ball—and come right back for the same reason.

Angel or Spike?
Mal or The Doctor?
Print book or ebook?

Tell us about your upcoming releases?
Book two in the Randy’s Diner series, A’s Surrender, just released on August 5th with Siren Publishing I’d characterize it as a sweet erotica with public spanking :D
My next book isn’t due out until October 5th. It’s called Alpha Exposed and is my first paranormal erotic romance. I’m excited because it’s also my first with Ellora’s Cave. The cover is beautiful and the story (about public sex) is sooo sexy! The male in this one is all Alpha, literally—he’s a weretiger Alpha!

Here’s the blurb for A’s Surrender:
Graduate student Ashley Dixon needs $10,000 to bail her dad out of jail for allegedly robbing an ATM. Randy’s Diner—a place people go to receive “service with little more than a smile”—promises to be the perfect job to earn cash. If only Ashley can get over the scandalous things the waitstaff and customers do over an order of a burger and fries.

DivorcĂ© Oliver Clarke is accustomed to dominating both in his professional life as CIO at a Fortune 1000 company and also in the BDSM scene. He knows he’s found his ideal submissive after one look at the wholesome little waitress inside his favorite diner. First Oliver must rein in his desire before he frightens away his new obsession.

Ashley is faced with a tough choice. Can she accept being Oliver’s slave for cash to free her dad, or will she need more?

For more information, excerpts and links to purchase see: Anya's website.

And if you want to enter, please leave a comment or question for Anya, along with a valid email address so she can contact you if you win! I'll draw a winner on August 31st by noon so enter now!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Back from AAD in NOLA!

Let me preface this post by saying, I'm not a summer person. I never leave the house without sunscreen, I like the shade, and being hot and sweaty doesn't appeal to me in the least. But more than anything, I straight up loathe humidity. Heat and humidity are a vile, vile combination and New Orleans in August is pretty much nothing but heat and humidity.

But, weather bitching aside, I had an amazing time. Authors After Dark really is a fabulous conference. It was so great to see old friends and meet new ones. The authors and readers who come to this con are absolutely wonderful. My stomach and face still hurt from all the smiling and laughing. There's a connection that readers and writers share that's unlike anything else. And maybe that's because that at the heart of it, we're all readers who love getting lost in a great story.

This is a shout out to all the people who made this conference unforgettable for me - you know who you are and I adore each and every one of you. Thank you for being awesome. :)

And here are some pictures of New Orleans. There are plenty more on my facebook page.

 The lovely (and hot and sweaty) Cafe du Monde.
 Love the ironwork in this city!
 A voodoo shop. I did get a reading while I was in NOLA - but not at this place.
 This is the centerpiece I made for one of the dinners for me and Jen Armintrout. I think it turned out pretty darn well. :)
 Spiffy house on Royal Street.
 I've never seen corn in ironwork - oak leaves? Yes. Corn stalks? No. Very cool!
 Evidently this lamp post has been naughty...
 Me at the book signing.
 Graves in the St. Louis Cemetery.
 I love old graveyards, so this was so cool to explore.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Texts from Cait - Part Twelve

While I'm off traipsing around New Orleans, I thought I'd share another series of texts from my sister, Cait. This cracked me up - in fact, I was so amused, I had to read it to my brother Andrew. He actually giggled. It was adorable.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I'm outta here...again!

Today's the day! I'm headed off to New Orleans with Jennifer Armintrout, Mia Watts, Kris Norris, Jessica Jarman and Gwendolyn Cease. We're off to the Authors After Dark Conference - and it's gonna be AWESOME!

I'm not bringing my computer, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to post from my iPad, but I'll try. But in the meanwhile, I'll have a new Texts from Cait post on Thursday. I'm gonna schedule that bad boy right now. And I'll definitely post pics when I get back.

Hope you all have an fantabulous week!

Oh! For anyone who reads realistic YA, get yourself to a bookstore, pronto! Lara Zielin's, The Waiting Sky is nothing short of brilliant! I really enjoyed her previous book, The Implosion of Aggie Winchester, but damn, I'm in love with The Waiting Sky! Go forth and purchase!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Texts from Cait - Part Eleven

Some of you know that my baby sister moved to New York to live with a friend. Well...they also have roommates - a married couple who have kids and a (questionable) nanny. Especially questionable since the mother doesn't work outside the home and no one really watches (or feeds) the kids. Well, you know...except Cait.

Anyway, here's the deluge of texts I got last night. Can't wait to go for a visit and  meet these freaks gems.