Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Friday and I'm Feline Fine!

Yesterday was a great day. Good news on several fronts converged to make it one of those days you wish could be a template for every day.

It was a marked contrast to a few weeks ago, when every dad-gum thing that happened felt like another kick in the shins. (I won't bore you with the details. Nobody died, that's the main thing.)

But now everything is back on track. *knocks wood* (Yes, I'm superstitious.) The extended family has electricity, air conditioners are working, and my kiddos' lives have taken happy turns.

And, um, my editor emailed me with the news that In a Fix got a 4 1/2 star review in the most recent issue of RT Book Reviews, and is one of their Top Picks!!!!!

(Please pardon the excessive use of exclamation points. Sometimes they escape the confines of decorum, and go leaping out onto the screen without restraint.) (!!!!!!)

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the whole review or not (what constitutes "fair use" for a review, anyway?), so I'll just share a few of my favorite lines:

"Seamlessly blending humor and action, Grimes thoroughly impresses with her debut novel."

Some other really nice stuff, and then:

"This deliciously sexy and fun-filled romp simply is a must-read."

I'm...well, pretty much gob-smacked, is what I am. And, of course, very, very happy. :)

For those of you tired of hearing another author yammer on about her book, you can look at this picture of my daughter's cats instead:

Vera and Valentine are "feline fine," and so am I.

Oh, and it's Friday. You know what that means. I'm over at The Debutante Ball, where this week we're discussing selling ourselves. Er, I mean marketing our books. Stop by and say hi if you get a chance.

So, how are you feline--er, feeling today? Hope you're gearing up for a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday is for Wildly, Wackily Working!

Hey, it can't all be social media fun and games around the interwebz. Sometimes I have to actually, yannoh, work on the books. (I know! What's up with that?) 

Got my editorial letter for Quick Fix. Whew! Such a freakin' relief to know Book 2 isn't an utter disappointment to my editor. I mean, I thought it was okay, but you never know, so I was sweating it.

Of course, just because my exceedingly talented (and astute--did I mention astute?) editor adores the book doesn't mean she didn't find room for improvement. Which is good, because that's her job.

So, that's what I'm doing today (and probably for the next several todays)--tweaking, fixing, and implementing said improvements.

But here's somebody to keep you company while I'm busy:

I took this picture at the Reston Zoo last March*. Isn't he cute? If you look close, you can see he's smiling. He wants you to have a Happy Hump Day. And so do I.

* Click here to read--or reread, as the case may be--that post. It has humping tortoises, if that's any incentive.

Oh, wait...I almost forgot the obligatory end-of-post question. Um...

Do you prefer evergreen or deciduous trees?  Bonus points if you tell me why.

Monday, July 23, 2012

*Sniff, Sniff* Is That a Rose I Smell?

Please pardon this self-indulgence, but I'm going to share a few things with you that I, as a writer, find cool.

Those of you who are writers yourselves know it can be long, arduous road to publication, with lots of bumps and bruises along the way. But it helps it to stop and smell those proverbial roses along the way. Celebrate, if only in a minor way, the nice little moments. Don't just whizz by them while running toward the next major hurdle -- stop and appreciate them. Smile at them. Inhale deeply. Remind yourself it's not all potholes and skinned egos.

The roses I'm stopping to smell today:

Click here to go peek inside.

I love the "look inside" feature at Amazon! I do it all the time with other people's books. It's fun. The next best thing to being in a brick and mortar store and fondling the book itself. And now it can be my book other people are virtually fondling! 

(Hey, like I said, it's the little things...)

The second rose I'm smelling is the Giveaway at GoodReads. Tor has put ten copies of In a Fix up for grabs. You can enter (it's easy--just click the "Enter" button there) up until Aug. 10th. There's even a nifty countdown feature. Click here if you want to see it. And, yannoh, enter. (Hey, you could get a FREE COPY. That way, if you think it sucks, at least you didn't spend your hard-earned money on it.)

If you can't decide if you want to enter to win a free copy, you can always go look inside first. ;)

What little things in life have you smelled--er, appreciated--lately? 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Um, yeah, about that "guilt" stuff...

Our topic over at The Debutante Ball today is "Guilty Pleasures." I had no trouble with the "pleasures" part, but the "guilt" part kind of threw me. Why feel guilty about a little self-indulgence?

Okay, wait a second. In case you think I have no conscience at all, let me reassure you. I am capable of feeling guilt. Mostly over the major things -- you know, the stuff that hurts other people.

Lying, cheating, stealing ... I would feel horribly guilty over any of that.

Doing physical harm to anyone? Fuhgettaboutit. Cannot even contemplate it.

But eating candy? Having a cocktail or three (with no driving involved)? Eating chips, appreciating a nice specimen of the male persuasion? Reading a book that may not be classified as *cough* great literature? Well, I just don't happen to think there's anything especially guilt-worthy about it.

How about you? What sets your inner angel yammering in your ear?

P.S. My post at the Ball has pictures!

Seriously. You should go look. It's easy. Just click here. Tell Deb Linda that Badass Linda says hi. Try not to crack up at that "badass" while you're doing it. ;)

EDITED TO ADD: Looks like my wonderful publisher, Tor, is giving away free copies of In a Fix on GoodReads. Click here and enter (it's easy-peasy) for your chance to, yannoh, not pay for my book!

What's that you say? You've already pre-ordered? Why, thank you! If you win, you can give one away. :D

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yes, there's a camel ... sort of.

I've been pretty busy of late, what with one thing and another. So I've decided I'm due a day of doing whatever the hell I want. Which, for me, means reading. Guilt-free reading. Reading fun stuff, stuff that isn't necessarily tied to my writing in any way, so it's not "research."

And the little voice in the back of my head that keeps telling me I should be working on the next book, or polishing my drawer novel, or working on promo for In a Fix instead ... well, today I'm telling it to stifle.

The creativity batteries are officially in recharge mode!

No chores, either! No laundry, no housework, no yard work. (Ha! Like I ever do yard work anyway, other than pull a stray weed or two, and occasionally turn on the sprinkler to water the tomatoes. But still.)

(It's possible I may go to the liquor store. We're low on bourbon and gin, and cocktail hour later may be lacking a certain oomph without either a Manhattan or a martini. We'll see. TG may just have to stop for supplies on his way home from work.)

So, what's the perfect image for the lazy Hump Day I'm planning? Why, a camel back sofa! Sadly, this one isn't mine, but I can imagine myself lounging on it, with a good book, and maybe some bonbons.

Image source.

Not cute enough for you? *sigh* How about this:

Image source.

Okay, technically that's not a camel. It's an alpaca. But alpacas are camelids, which are what you might call camel cousins. So close enough. And very cute, yes?

Happy Hump Day! May yours be as productive -- or non-productive -- as you want it to be. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

WHEW! Now that THAT'S done...

Those of you who've been reading my blog for a while may have *cough* noticed that I have a book coming out soon. In a Fix will be released on Sept. 4. (That may not sound all that soon to you, but trust me, it's approaching like a butt-stung bull for me.)

And book 2, Quick Fix, is already in the talented hands of my editor, The Amazing Mel (Melissa Frain) at Tor. I have complete faith in her ability to whip that sucker into shape before it's release next summer.

It's book 3 that's been giving me fits until recently (like yesterday). For some godawful, unknown reason--possibly a touch of writing OCD--I can never seem to get a good start on a WIP (work in progress, for you non-writers) until I have a working title that I like. Which is really kind of silly, because there's never any guarantee a publisher will let you keep the title. They may have their own ideas about what constitutes a title that will, yannoh, sell the book.

Now, I was lucky, because Tor decided they liked In a Fix as a title for book 1, and I'm pretty sure they're going with Quick Fix for book 2. Which is cool, because I would probably never be able to think of them any other way, and it would get awkward if I called them one thing while everyone else called them something else.

But there's no guarantee they'll go with my title for book 3.

(Hell, there's no guarantee they'll even buy book 3. I'm guessing that will depend on how well books 1 & 2 sell. But I'm going to be optimistic and write it anyway, because I love spending time in Ciel's world, and it's fun to tell her stories.)

But back to my little OCD problem: I just couldn't commit to a title in my head. I knew I wanted it to contain the word "fix," of course, for series continuity. And I do have a ton of possible "fix" titles for future books (yes, I am very optimistic about the series going on for a while), but I also need the title to fit the plot of the specific book. And none of the ones I have in reserve were really doing it for me.

Until yesterday, when I thought of ...


Which will work nicely, I think, with the overall plot of the book. And when I showed it to TG, he said, "Yes! I love it! It's kickass." So there's that about it.

I think it's already working, because I now know where the book will start. I even have a tentative* opener:

"It's not that I'm averse to holding on to something long and cylindrical, even if it does wiggle a bit. But when it hisses at me, I get nervous."

* Tentative because these things always tend to change as I write the book. Who knows what it might morph into before I'm done? But it's a start. Something that will give me writing momentum, which is the important thing at this stage.

So, if you're a writer, how important is it for you to have a working title you like?

Whether or not you're a writer, is there anything you're a little OCD about?

Friday, July 13, 2012



A little SCARED?

Mildly nervous?

Or just meh?

Me? Well, since nothing too awful has ever happened to me on a Friday the 13th, I'm going to go with ... mildly nervous.

I'd say "meh," except I figure that would just be inviting disaster. Waving the red flag in the face of the Friday the 13th demons, so to speak. Because while I'm not especially superstitious about the number 13, I am rather touchy about tempting fate.

How about you? Superstitious or not? Are you willing to tempt fate?

P.S. My Friday Deb post is up over at The Debutante Ball. The pics are waaaay better there today. I really dragged out the, um, big guns for you. ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not everyone can pull off this look ...

Image source.
But if you have the right attitude and the proper sense of style, you can be Queen of the Mini-Vacay. 

Happy Hump Day! Whatever you do today, do it with flair! 

See ya when I get back home. :)

Monday, July 9, 2012


Saw this on Facebook. Thought to myself, huh, what a good idea!

Later, gators!

(I'll be back midweek sometime. Don't worry, where I'm going has internet. Usually. So I won't be completely out of reach.)

Try to muddle through without me. ;)

Friday, July 6, 2012

SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE -- Yup, that's about the size of it!

This is a big week for my sister Deb Joanne Levy. Her debut novel, Small Medium at Large, was released here in the States on Tuesday. (It was released a little earlier in Canada. Huh. Just because she's Canadian, all those Canucks got it before we did? The nerve!)

But that's all right. I can deal. It's here now -- that's the important thing.

So, wanna see it? Okay, here:

Great cover, yes? And what's inside is even better.

To find out more about it, click here to read my post at The Debutante Ball today. You might even win your very own signed copy! :)

What's that you say? You're too old to read a middle grade book?

Well, (A) it's a great trip down Nostalgia Lane -- a totally fun read for adults, too, and (B) it makes a great gift for any kid in your life!

Friday question for you: Do you believe in ghosts?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Hump Day 4th!

What? You're here? You expect me to post on The Fourth of Freakin' July???

Ha. Well, here I am, so I guess your expectations are not going unmet. I just hope you're not expecting anything long. Or, yannoh, amazing.

This is all you're getting:

Image source.


Oh, right. Your camel.

Okay, how about this:

Image source

 Or maybe this:

Image source.

To my non-USA friends: may you enjoy the day anyway! :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Derechos and Drive-by Posting

Whew! You may have heard about the derecho that hit the eastern part of the country.

Don't know what a derecho is? Neither did I until we got hit by one.

A derecho is basically a "land hurricane" -- a very bad windstorm that covers hundreds of miles, and leaves a path of destruction in its wake. No, I'd never heard of it, either. Click here if you're dying to learn more about it.

Well, that damn derecho did a number on DC and its environs. We were fortunate in that we didn't lose power ourselves, so we had air conditioning (thank goodness!), but we were without internet and phones for way too long.

No interwebz? Ugh! The horror!

Not all of our extended family was as lucky, so we've had refugees from the storm. Actually, it turned into kind of a house party, which was fun.

Anyhow, that's my excuse for not having a real post today. You can, however, find me over at Jessica Lemmon's Sm:)e,Feel Good blog, being a smartass there instead of here.

Hope you'll stop by there and say hi! :)