Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday is For Getting (and Getting Away With) Stuff

If you're one of my Facebook friends, or follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen this. If so, sorry for the repeat. But I think it bears repeating, because I love it.

My baby little younger brother (he's no longer a baby, and he's taller than me) sent me this:

It's necklace. The open book is engraved with the title of my first (about-to-be) published book, In a Fix, on one side, and my initials on the other.

Is that not the most perfect gift ever for a writer? Supremely thoughtful.

And to think, he used to be such a brat ... ;)

(Thank you, Eddie!)

Now, if you want to read a real post, head on over to The Debutante Ball (by, yannoh, clicking on that link), where this week we're discussing "getting away." Of course, being me, I had to take it one step further and make that "getting away with it."

So, tell me, have you gotten away with anything fun lately? 

And/Or, what's the the coolest gift you ever got?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Little Hump Day Cursing ...

Okay, this camel is courtesy of Kari Lynn Dell (who received in an email from a friend, who found it God knows where) over at Montana For Real:

Is that not the best curse ever? Ha! I love it. I may have to embroider it and hang in on the wall. 

If you haven't visited Kari's blog, you're missing a real treat. She's an honest-to-by-God cowgirl, living on a ranch and riding in rodeos. Oh, and in her spare time she writes romances. How's that for an eclectic lifestyle? The woman can do it all!

Do you know any interesting curses you can share with me? (Camels need not be involved, though always appreciated.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

When Life Hands You a Lemmon...

... make use of her superb graphic artistry!

When I decided I wanted a fun logo for use on my blog, and anyplace else I happen to want to leave a mark, my first thought was of Jessica Lemmon. I'd seen some of her graphic artistry before, and knew her deft touch was just what I needed to bring my idea of a martini-swilling chameleon to life.

Here's what she came up with for me:

Isn't that fabulous? I LOVE IT! The chameleon represents my aura-adapting main character, Ciel Halligan, who is a kind of human chameleon. (You can click on the Books tab at the top of the blog to get a better explanation of that.) And the martini is because ... well, duh. Martinis are magic. ;)

 And when I hired Jessica to draw the above, she threw in a few other things as well, which I also love. My new "signature":

and some spare olives. You can never have too many spare olives:

I told Jessica I wanted to showcase her here on my blog, and she kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me.

Me: Does being a supremely talented artist come naturally to you, or did you have to put in hours upon hours of grueling practice?

Jessica: I came out of the womb with a pencil in my hand! Okay, not really. Could you imagine? My poor mother! I've been drawing a long, long time. My dad can cartoon and my mom can paint, so there was no lack of creative doodlers in my family. Tons of hours of practice, but it wasn't grueling. Unless you count the disastrous 3D computer class I took in graphic design school. *shiver*

Me: Your artwork has a whimsical quality I love. Is this a reflection of your personality? Are you a whimsical person?

Jessica: Aww, thank you so much! I *am* a whimsical person, and tend to be drawn (pun intended) to that style. To quote Elf, "Smiling's my favorite!" It's probably why I named my blog Sm:)e Feel Good.

Me: You're a writer, too. Do you really think it's fair that God gifted you with two talents when He only gave some of us one? IOW, do you ever worry that you're hogging the talents? And that some poor person out there doesn't have any talent because you got theirs?

Jessica: Ha ha! There are plenty of creative people with more than one talent. Johnny Depp can play bass guitar and act. Jennifer Lopez can dance, act, judge, and sing. And Henry Cavill...
 ...Um, what was I saying? 

Me: I know from reading your blog that you've gone meatless. Was this mainly for philosophical or health reasons? Do you ever find yourself drooling at the thought of a hamburger? Or is tofu a lot more satisfying than I realize?

Jessica: Truth? I *cried* at the sight of pizza when I gave up cheese, but burgers weren't as difficult. Chicken wings on the other hand, oy! Once I found a substitute - basically any veggie FRIED and SPICY - it's easy to ride out the cravings. And yes, tofu *is* satisfying, IN THE RIGHT HANDS. Cooking veggie is like regular cooking. If you're a lousy cook, you get lousy food. The main reason I went "Vegan Lite" (this is veggie eating without the politics) was for health reasons. I was tired and sick a lot in the last decade-and-a-half. A bonus to the energy I gained from my new way of eating was the nearly 30 lbs. of weight loss. I jokingly call it "the beer and French fry diet" because those are the two things I absolutely refused to give up!

Me: Post vegetarianism, you also implemented "ThurSTUDay" on your blog. Was this to give you something to drool over after you gave up meat?

Jessica: The jig is up! You have to admit, a big slab of man is very calorie friendly... *grin*

Me: Is there one question you wish I'd asked you in this interview? If so what is it? (Feel free to answer it, too.)

Jessica: I think you covered it, great job *applause*  I just want to remind everyone we'll be doing another crossover interview wherein I turn the tables on you. *evil laugh* You can find my blog at  - only people who enjoy smiling/feeling good are encouraged to visit. ;-)
[Note from Linda: Can't wait!]

Me:  Conversely, is there a question you wish I hadn't asked you? 

Jessica: LOL, nope, I'm an open book! Or maybe I lack that filter that normal people have. *shrug*

As you can see, Jessica is clever and funny, as well as being artistically gifted. Gol-blamed talent hog ... *mumble-grumble* 

[Aside to Jessica: Thanks again! I think it's perfect. :) ]

Friday, June 22, 2012

Adding to my List of Fears (as if I need more...)

I'm afraid of spiders, closed-in places I can't easily get out of, flying (mostly because it involves being in a closed-in place I can't get out of), and department store fitting rooms.

(Okay, that last one isn't exactly a fear, per se, but they do make me cringe.)

And now I can add something else: book signings. More precisely, my first book signing, which has been scheduled by lovely publicist at Tor. (Click here for details.)

So, I'm suppose to read an excerpt, take questions from the audience, and then sign books.


Okay, first of all, the excerpt. Which part of the book? How many pages? For God's sake, will I be able to find a long enough stretch without either bad words or, um, compromising situations???

*deep breath*

But let's say I figure that out, rehearse the crap out of it, and manage to get through the reading without stumbling too badly. (I mean, I'm supposed to be an actress. I can do this, right? RIGHT??)

There's still the question part. 

What if nobody asks a question? Or what if somebody asks one that takes me off-guard, and I stare blankly, mouth open like a fish gasping for water, and, yannoh, generally look like an idiot?

*another deep breath*

All right, I can plant family members strategically throughout the store ahead of the signing, and have them wander over and ask prearranged questions at the appropriate time, I suppose. I do have a large family in the area. Surely all those Christmas Eve parties we've thrown for the whole clan count for something, right? They'll show and do their duty.

Finally, the actual signing.

What if nobody buys my book? (The aforesaid family members have already pre-ordered, so I can't expect them to.) What if nobody wants me to sign???

Or *gulp* what if some kind souls do? I don't know about you, but, anymore, the small muscles in my hands are a lot more attuned to typing than to holding a pen. After about two signatures my penmanship turns to crapola. I could possibly permanently disfigure the books the kind souls are buying!

Whew. Glad I got that off my chest.

If you'd like to read a someone more normal post I am over at The Debutante Ball today, it being Friday and all. We're talking about fathers this week, and my dad was pretty special. Also, funny. Click here to see what I mean. (It involves ketchup and babies. If that's an incentive...)

So tell me, on this fine Friday, what are you afraid of?

Monday, June 18, 2012


Well, almost. They should be delivered today, and I'm so excited!

As a reader, I've always thought it was totally cool when I got a special bookmark to go along with a book. (Yeah, I'm a total book nerd. I'm sure most of you can identify.)

Confession: Way back before I had an agent (or even a finished book to pitch to an agent), I would hold the bookmarks of the authors I met at signings and dream of having my own someday. Bookmark, I mean. (Oh, all right. I dreamed of having a signing, too. Dreams are free--why limit yourself?)

And now, thanks to the help of a wonderfully talented graphic designer--Jeff Fielder--I do.

When I decided it was time to go ahead and have the bookmarks for In a Fix made, I was at a loss as to how to go about it, so I did what I usually do in such cases. I went to Twitter and said, "HELP!"

Once again, Twitter came through. Jeff''s name was bounced back at me by my friendly tweeps, and attached to it were glowing recommendations. I checked out his website (, decided I liked what I saw there, and contacted him.

He has been a dream to work with--a total professional. I sent him images of my book cover and told him what the book was about, and he took it from there. Though he said he'd be happy to revise, I loved what he came up with on the first try.

Here's the front:

And here's the back:

Cool, huh? And he didn't even cost me an arm and a leg! Being a writer himself, I suspect he understands that the vast majority of us don't have unlimited promotional budgets.

Jeff provides print-ready files for his clients. I sent the files to, which I'd heard from several sources provided a high quality product for a reasonable price.

I can't wait to slip one between the pages of an ARC of In a Fix!

If you'd like one, and don't want to wait for the (admittedly slim) possibility that I'll be signing books at a bookstore near you, just pop me an email at linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com. I would be happy (okay, thrilled!) to pop one in the mail for you.* I'll even sign it if you like. :)

 Oh, yeah. The question for today: What's the weirdest thing you've ever used as a bookmark?

(Me? I'm fond of old grocery lists, bookstore receipts, and appointment reminder cards from the dentist's office. But only when I don't have a REALLY COOL bookmark that matches the book I'm reading.)

*Until they run out, of course. It would be tough to do after that.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rationalizations-R-Us Redux

A while back (almost two years, in fact--my, how time flies!) I did a post on excuses. (What? You need proof? Okay, click HERE.)

In that post I talked about my imaginary website, "Rationalizations-R-Us," where people can come if they need to justify some behavior they may be feeling a tad guilty about engaging in, and I provide them with a handy rationalization.

DISCLAIMER: I will not provide a rationale for anything that will physically harm another person or animal. There is no excuse for that.

If you, however, feel an urgent desire to decimate a whole pizza or main a hot fudge sundae, I'm your gal. 

I felt bad about providing excuses for poor behavior ... until I, yannoh, visited my imaginary site and browsed around until I came across this: "Relieving people's guilt about actions that don't harm others is a good deed. Reduced guilt = less anxiety. Less anxiety means fewer anxiety meds must be taken."

See? I'm not enabling bad behavior. I'm reducing the nation's dependence on Xanax and Valium!

So, anything I can help you out with today? Tell me what you need justified, and I'll give you a rationalization in the comments. 

Or, if you've already mastered the technique yourself, do share the highlights of your rationalizations!

P.S. It's Friday, so I'm over at The Debutante Ball. This week the topic is "If you like my book, you might also like ..." Which was difficult for me, since my book hasn't been released yet. So I had to mix it up a bit by ... oh, heck. Just click HERE and see for yourself.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Wednesday Wink at the World, Plus a Little Rockabilly Noir

All you're getting from me today is wink...

 Source for winking camel photo here.

Because I am way too engrossed in my pal Vicki Pettersson's latest book, The Taken, the start of her new Celestial Blues series.

Get a load of the cover:

Gorgeous, yes? I'm gonna have to get me one of those. (Relax, TG. I'm talking about the dress, not the guy.)

But if beauty alone isn't enough to entice you, here's the book description:

Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he's an angel, but that doesn't make him a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he's been dumped back onto the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine "Kit" Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her clipped.

Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let the sable-haired siren come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to solve the mystery of his own unsolved murder—and dole out some overdue payback for the death of his beloved wife, Evie.

Joining forces, Kit and Grif's search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn't Grif's biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, along with the answer to the haunting question of his long afterlife . . .

Sounds fun, doesn't it? Pardon me while I go get lost in the rockabilly-noir world Vic has created. I am LOVING it so far. YUM! 

Question 1: What's making you wink at the world today? 

Question 2: Can you believe I found a winking camel?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Ketchup Day to Me!

Today is TG's birthday.

Happy Birthday, sweetie-buns! 

Yes, I actually call him that. Also "sweet-cheeks" and "sweetie-pie" and "honey-buns," and a lot of other disgustingly saccharine endearments. I'm sure he has a real name, but I haven't used it in a while.

But it's a special day for me, too. It's Ketchup Day! 

(Yes, that's a ketchup-shaped cake. No, I didn't bake it. Seriously, moi? In the kitchen? Hahahahaha!  It's from The Chocolate Swirl.)

That's what I call it, anyway. It's the day TG catches up with me in age. Yes, I am *gasp* a few four whole months older than TG.

I know! What a cougar, huh? Rowr! 

And, as I've pointed out before, it's cool being married to a Gemini. I get to sleep with twins every night! Hard to top that arrangement. ;)

Hope you guys all have a great day, too, even if it is Monday and not your birthday. :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

What Kind of Potato Are You?

What can I say? It's Friday. Sure, there are vast numbers of Highly Important Things going on in the world, but who wants to dwell on those when you can instead figure out ...


Baked Potato -- You're plain and simple at heart, but you dress up well when the occasion warrants.

French-Fried Potato --Your true character comes out when you're dipped in hot oil. You look good in red.

Mashed Potato -- It takes a little effort to get the lumps out of you, but then you're one smooth number!

Au gratin Potato -- Warm and delicious, but basically cheesy.

Potato Salad --  You're happiest when working with other ingredients--er, people.

Potato Chip -- Crisp and salty, but you tend to snap under pressure.

Me? Well, I guess I have to go with baked. At least half-way. ;)

How about you? Are you one of the above, or perhaps one I forgot to mention? Do tell!

P.S. Since it's Friday, I'm over at The Debutante Ball. Is there, you may be wondering, a connection to potatoes in my post there? The answer is a resounding, passionate yes!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Little Hump Day Oddity For You

I was directed to the OddityCentral website by one of my friends on Facebook. If you're here for your camel fix, I'm going to suggest you click on that link to see some truly spectacular camel art.

Here's a taste of what you'll find there (photo by Steve Hoge):

WOW! That is some serious shaved-camel art! And the other pics there are just as amazing.

Of course, what's truly amazing is that the camels stood still for it.

Speaking of odd, I was messing around with the scanner, trying to get some good images of the ARC of In a Fix to show someone, and wound up with this:

So now we know what happens when you can't close the lid on the scanner before you scan. I kind of like it, actually. 

What's the most amazing--or the oddest--thing you've seen lately?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Imagine a Clever Title Here

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt." 
~Mark Twain

Hmm. Seems to me that could apply to blogging, too. So today I'll try to leave you with a little doubt. ;)

But I do have a "Special Secret" for you over at The Debutante Ball today, and I'd love to see you there.

Before you go, are you more likely to open your mouth when you shouldn't or keep it closed when you should speak up? Do tell! 

Happy Friday! Hope you have a great weekend. :)