Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quick Fixes, Tours, Trees, and (of course) a Camel

Guess what!?

I haz QUICK FIX galleys!

Notice at the top it says "Advance Uncorrected Proof." That means it still has some typos. There are even at least two that aren't my fault, I swear! Because while I do make mistakes, and plenty of them, I don't make those kind of mistakes.* So if you read this version, please cut me some slack.

I held a little contest over on my FB page, and gave away one copy. I'm going to hold another contest here on my blog, too, in a few weeks. The blog QUICK FIX Warts-n-All (because, yanno, typos) Contest will even be open internationally. So stay tuned!

For those of you who feel like the odds are against winning a contest, but would still like the chance to read QUICK FIX way early, it's...

ARC TOUR Time! It's like Hammer Time, but without the parachute pants. ;) (If you don't know what I'm referring to, you may consider yourself officially young.)

Remember when we did this for IN A FIX? I loved that! Everyone who read the ARC signed it before sending it on to the next person on the list, and I wound up with it at the end of the tour. It's one of my most prized possessions. :)

The exceedingly BADASS (by which I mean "nice," but she doesn't like being called nice) Karla Nellenbach has very, I mean bad-assedly...volunteered to handle the tour for me again.

It worked so well the way we did it last time, I figure we'll just rerun it:

1. If you'd like to read the ARC, it will be mailed to you. (If you happen to live in the US, that is. Out of US-ers, stay tuned. I'm hoping an e-version will be available on NetGalley.)

2. When you're finished (Maybe taking no more than a week? Don't worry--it's a fast read), you send it to the next person on the list (name and address supplied by either Karla or me via email). Please sign your name in the book, so I'll have another Really Cool souvenir when the book gets back to me!

3. Sometime in the future (a little closer to the August 20th release date), mention QUICK FIX on some social media platform, whether it's your own blog, a Goodreads review, Twitter, Facebook, or a bookselling site, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Just give your honest opinion of it--you're not required to blow smoke up my nether region.

That's it!

So, if you're interested in participating (and I'd LOVE it if do!), just email me at linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com, and I'll put you on the list. First come, first serve. :)

Before I sign off, let me find you a Hump Day camel. Hmm... how about a pen-and-ink drawing, in keeping with the lack of color on the QUICK FIX proof cover?

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

OH! And a question...

Um...what kind of tree are you?

A. I'm the most POPLAR tree in the woods.

B. Sometimes I can be a real BIRCH.

C. Woof. DOGWOOD all the way, but especially mornings.

D. MAPLE, because I'm so sweet I could top your pancakes.

E. HEMLOCK: I'm pure poison, baby!

F. Fill in tree of your choice.

*No, I won't say what the typos are. Trust me, you'll know them when you see them.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Camel...or Peacock?

You decide:

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Okay, so it's obviously a camel. But doesn't it look like it wants to be a peacock?

In my head, this camel has decided it wants to be be more than a camel. It wants color (i.e., creativity--if you're catching on to my symbolism here) to be a part of its life, and it it isn't afraid to display its "feathers" proudly.

Sure, they might not be exactly like the oh-so-perfect feathers of the real peacocks (i.e., the "professionals") out there, but you know what? They're beautiful all the same. Different. Unique camel feathers.

And that's what makes them special.

Further cogitation: It seems to me that a lot of new writers see themselves as camels, and other writers* (who may be a little (or a lot) farther down the Great Rocky Writing Path) as resplendent peacocks. Well, you know what? I say, if you're a camel, wear your colors proudly!

*This applies to more than writers, of course. Whatever your creative outlet, give those "feathers" your own unique twist.

Disclaimer: If this post is as wacky as I suspect, I plead drugs. No! Not that kind. Medication. Wait...not that kind, either! Oh, heck. Let's just say I did not escape the crud TG had. Woo-hoo, fun times. But I'm almost better now, so it's vaguely possible you might get an intelligible** post soon.

** I was going to say "intelligent," but that's just crazy talk. Let's not expect miracles. ;)

Happy Hump Day! Go forth and display your colors!

Oh, wait...the question. Hmm...are you a camel or a peacock (or peahen, I suppose, depending on your gender)? What makes your feathers special?***

*** Hey, I told you I was medicated... 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Humps are Drooping

And apparently directionally challenged...
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

So last week's snowstorm wasn't as bad as predicted -- we wound up with only 5 inches instead of the predicted 8 - 12. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how disappointing 5 inches can be when you're expecting upwards of a foot.

HA! Not really. I was thrilled we (and by "we" I mean TG) only had to deal with the lesser amount. The snow blower was more than up for the job, and TG had our driveway cleared in no time. Also our sidewalks and the neighbors sidewalks. Yay, snow blower!

So why are my humps drooping? Because my poor TG is sick. :(

Though we were both dutifully vaccinated against the flu, the vaccine wasn't a great match this year, and he got hit by the flu truck. Or possibly the reeeeally bad cold truck. But considering how fast it came on, and the fever, and the body aches, and awful cough ... well, my money is on the flu. Maybe not quite as bad as a Monster Flu, so perhaps the vaccine took the edge off.

Me? I'm taking care of him while doing my level best not the breathe in any germs. (Me: "Want some chicken soup, honey? Here, catch!") I've been sleeping in the guest room so I, um, won't disturb his rest. (Okay, okay...perhaps there's a slightly less altruistic reason, too. But, hey, if I don't stay well, how can I toss soup at lovingly take care of my dearest?)

And I'm in the middle of a painstakingly careful proof-read of the first pass pages (where it looks all typeset and officially like a real book -- YAY!) of Quick Fix. Which I'm trying desperately to finish before any of those tricky germs slip by my defenses and lay me low.

But I'm very excited to see this on my computer screen:

If you can't read that second page, it says:

Tor books by Linda Grimes

In a Fix
Quick Fix

I have a Books Page! As in, more than one book! (Hey, you have to celebrate the little things in this biz. Stop and smell every rose, that's my motto.)

So, are your humps droopy or perky today? (Perky, I hope.)

What roses have you stopped to sniff lately?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Return of the Camels! (And, unfortunately, winter.)

I've had a few people mention that they've missed the camels the past few weeks. So here ya go:

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
"He's right behind me again, isn't he? With that silly grin on his face.  Damn. It isn't easy being this beautiful."

So, anyhoo, I'm expecting 8"-12" today (ironically enough for a ... oh, never mind; you know how my mind works by now). Sadly, I'm talking about snow. Heavy, wet snow. The kind that breaks tree branches and is a total PITA to shovel. 

Happily, TG is home for the day, and eager to play with his snow blower. Which I hope works well on heavy, wet snow, because if it doesn't, I'll be out there with a shovel, alongside him. This will not make me happy. 

If all goes well (i.e., the blower works), I plan to pull out my drawer novel and play with it. Because it just feels like, on a snow day, I should be playing hooky from the usual writing, and the drawer novel is calling to me. I have no idea if/when I'll ever decide to send it out into the world, but I can't seem to leave it alone. 

Do you have any projects (writing or otherwise) that keep drawing you back in? 

Happy Hump Day! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

GAME. SET. MATCH. Cover Reveal!

So, one of my agency sistahs, Jennifer Iacopelli, has her first book coming out on May 1st. Which kind of sucks--

WAIT! Don't take that the wrong way. It only sucks because it's so far away! Other than that, it's totally cool!

And one thing that doesn't suck is, while we may have to wait until May to read it, we at least we can get a peek at the awesome cover right now!

Full of the fabulosity, yes? I love it. But then, I have a thing for stubble. And kissing. And tennis. 

Not that I play tennis anymore. My knees object to all that side-to-side hopping around. Also, once I realized I'd never be able to grunt like the Williams sisters, I kind of lost heart. 

But I still like to watch. (Heh-heh.) Especially Roger Federer. That man can play! But I digress...

And now I'll be able to combine two of my favorite vicarious activities--tennis and reading! I can't wait. 

Game. Set. Match. Synopsis:
Nestled along the coastline of North Carolina, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the best elite tennis training facility in the world. Head Coach, Dominic Kingston has assembled some of the finest talent in the sport. From the game's biggest stars to athletes scraping and clawing to achieve their dreams, OBX is full of ego, drama and romance. Only the strong survive in this pressure cooker of competition, on and off the court.

Penny Harrison, the biggest rising star in tennis, is determined to win the French Open and beat her rival, the world’s number one player, Zina Lutrova. There’s just one problem, the only person who’s ever been able to shake her laser-like focus is her new training partner. Alex Russell, tennis’s resident bad boy, is at OBX recovering from a knee injury suffered after he crashed his motorcycle (with an Aussie supermodel on the back). He's hoping to regain his former place at the top of men’s tennis and Penny’s heart, while he’s at it.

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. Her parents have seven Grand Slam championships between them and she’s desperate to live up to their legacy. Her best friend is Teddy Harrison, Penny’s twin brother, and that’s all they’ve ever been, friends. Then one stupid, alcohol-laced kiss makes everything super awkward just as she as she starts prepping for the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

The Classic is what draws Indiana Gaffney out of the hole she crawled into after her mom’s death. Even though she’s new to OBX, a win at the Classic is definitely possible. She has a big serve and killer forehand, but the rest of her game isn’t quite up to scratch and it doesn’t help that Jasmine Randazzo and her little minions are stuck-up bitches or that Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and oldest brother, is too hot for words, not to mention way too old for her.

Who will rise? Who will fall? 

Told from rotating points of view, GAME. SET. MATCH., is a 'new adult' novel about three girls with one goal: to be the best tennis player in the world.

If you want to learn more about it, you can check it out on Goodreads here:

AND here's a Rafflecopter Link for those who want to win some cool prizes:

Do you watch tennis? (Tennis players have nice, um, hipular regions. Just sayin'.) Do you have a favorite player? 

Alternate question for those who are not (yet) into tennis: What is your favorite vicarious activity? 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Interview with the Penguin

Okay, not really. It's an interview with the creator of one of my new favorite characters -- Poe, the penguin in Kerry Schafer's debut novel, BETWEEN. This bird, so seemingly incongruous (though he isn't, not really) in the story, just tickled me no end.

About Kerry:

Kerry Schafer lives in Colville, Washington, with her family, which includes two cats, a rescue fish, and a preternaturally large black dog. A self-styled perpetual student, she earned an RN from Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta; a BA in English (Honours) from York University in Toronto, Ontario; and an M.Ed. in counseling psychology from Washington State University.


 ”Vivian’s life is finally on track. She has a job she loves as an ER doctor and has just met – literally – the man of her dreams. But when her eccentric grandfather is murdered and designates her as his next of kin, she discovers that she is the last of a race of beings known as dreamshifters. It is her task to guard the doorways between waking and dreaming, which have already begun to unravel, spilling dangerous creatures from dream into the waking world. When she sets out to close the open doors and protect her town and the people she loves, Vivian confronts dragons, intrigue, and the dark secrets of her own family history. In the end, she comes face to face with a sorceress seeking eternal life and ultimate power. Vivian must find a way to stop her, or reality will be forever altered.”

The Interview:

1. BETWEEN, to me, reads like blend of realistic contemporary fiction and pure fantasy (yay, dragons!). It's a seductive combination, like salty/sugary snacks, which are somehow more addicting than either salty snacks or sugary snacks alone. Was it your goal to become the Maple-Bacon Potato Chips of the literary world? 

Mmmmm. Now you have me thinking about salted caramels and chocolate dipped potato chips. This may be the first interview resulting in a five pound weight gain! In truth, my goal was just to make it onto the snack market. I'm flattered that the word bacon has now been used in proximity with BETWEEN.

2. Is it true that your unhealthy love--er, I mean fascination with--penguins led to the creation of the most unlikely sidekick ever? Or did Poe just show up on the page of his own accord and take root?

Unhealthy penguin love makes it sound like I have need to schedule an urgent appointment with a psychologist! What led to Poe turning up on the page was more of a philosophical thing than an actual Penguin obsession. Once upon a time there was a real life penguin whose name just happened to be Vivian. He was a male penguin, but he was named by some British scientists and maybe Vivian is an appropriate boy's name for them. Who knows the minds of scientists? Anyway - Vivian and his pals were rescued from an oil slick, cleaned up, equipped with transmitters, and turned loose to swim in the deep blue sea. The fun part of this was that the scientists created a website and posted a map on which they marked the penguins' regular progress on the way South to the breeding grounds. Vivian had other ideas. Instead of swimming South as expected, he swam in circles for awhile, and then struck out North. And so the whole idea of Swimming North came to mean something to me - defying expectation, going your own way, daring to go against the flow, so to speak. The penguin came into the initial draft of the book as a visible reminder of this. And then he refused to leave and sort of took over.

3. Now that BETWEEN has been out in the world for a little while, have you noticed a difference in your writing process? IOW, has the fact that one of your books is now being read by people who don't know you from Adam had an impact on how you approach the blank page? Are you more aware of anonymous eyes peeking over your shoulder, or are you able to put that out of your head as you create?

God. Those anonymous eyes. They scare the shit out of me. I sit down to write and I start to think about the 1-star reviewer who totally despised the first book and said "I have no idea what I've just read." I think about the people who were unhappy because there wasn't enough romance and the people who loved the ending because it wasn't a cliff hanger and the people who hated the ending because it wrapped up too many things and wasn't a cliff hanger. And then I think about that quote from Bill Cosby: "I don't know the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everyone." I try to pay attention to the criticism that makes sense to me. And then I just shut it all off and go back to the story. What does Vivian want? Zee? Poe? What's in the way? I figure it's their story and I'd better listen to them.

4. Who was the toughest nut for you to crack, character-wise, in BETWEEN?

Zee. I made the mistake of initially basing him on a real life person. He had to be completely rewritten. And then there was a draft in which Warlord Zee was hot and steamy, but Real Life Zee was boring in comparison. Fixing that was a challenge. But I think he was worth the trouble.

5. Can you give us a teaser for Book 2?
Sure, with a disclaimer. At this point, I have no idea what will make the cut in Book Two. So here's a little passage that may or may not be in the final book:
"Vivian tried again to get her head clear, never an easy proposition when Zee was in her immediate vicinity. He was supposed to be tucked safely away in George's old cabin, safely out of sight, doing research into dreamshifter lore. She'd been planning on driving up to join him the minute she finished this shift – the last of her two weeks notice.
"I don't understand what you're doing in Krebston at all."
He avoided her eyes, suddenly deeply interested in a spot on the floor.
"The dragon," she breathed.
"All sorts of noise on the scanner about fire in the sky. Speculation about terrorists and UFOs online. Wouldn't be surprised if Homeland Security is in town."
"You were going to go take down a dragon. Without me. Walk right into the middle of a whole damn crowd of law men."
He shoved his hands into his jeans pockets and gave her the crooked smile that made a dimple in his unscarred cheek. A strand of hair fell across his forehead and into his eyes; she wanted to reach up and push it back, to feel the warmth of his skin beneath her fingers.
She also wanted to slap him."

Linda here again: Oooh, that sounds great! And if it does wind up on the cutting room floor, then at least we got to see it here.

Thanks for visiting my reality today, Kerry! And the rest of you, too. If any of you would like to visit an alternate reality (aka, a book), I heartily recommend BETWEEN. Just remember, though--Poe is MINE.