Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Humpy New Year!

So, I was just doing a search for appropriate (or inappropriate, as the case may be) images for a Wednesday New Year's Eve post, and here's a screenshot of what popped up:


Imagine my surprise when I saw the cover of THE BIG FIX on the top line of suggested images. Huh. So, is Google yanking my chain, or is my rep for camel posts that strong?

Whatever. I just wanted to pop by my sadly neglected blog one last time this year to say Humpy New Year to you all! May your 2015 be full of love, happiness, and dreams fulfilled. :)


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mmmm...COOKIES!


Okay, anyone who knows me at all realizes the kitchen is not my preferred venue for creativity. So, when my good writing buddy (and kickass fantasy author) Kerry Schafer (click here for her cookie recipe) asked me to participate in this virtual cookie exchange, I came this >< close to refusing. On the grounds, you know, that I don't bake cookies. I buy them. 

But then I remembered that I do occasionally bake cookies. From scratch, even. 

But only this recipe for the world's easiest peanut butter cookies: 


Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky, makes no diff)
1 cup sugar (white or brown, whatever's on hand)
1 egg (white or brown works here, too)


Stir it all together, shape into 1-inch balls (heh-heh, I said balls), place balls (oops, I did it again) 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet, flatten balls gently with fork (snicker). 

Bake at 350° for 12 minutes (or until golden). Remove to wire racks to cool. 

Got that? 1+1+1, ball 'em, fork 'em, bake 'em. Ta-da!

Easy-peasy. And really yummy! Also, gluten-free, if that's a concern for you. 

Oh, and technically I'm supposed to persuade four other bloggers to post their favorite cookie recipes on their blogs next Tuesday. Only I know so many wonderful bloggers (all of whom make excellent cookies, I'm sure!) that I couldn't decide among them. 

Sooo, if you happen to have a cookie recipe you're dying to share, next Tuesday (Dec. 16) would be a good time to do it. You can let me know in the comments if you do, so I can stop by and get a look at the wonderful cookies I will not, alas, be baking. Unless, you know, they only have three ingredients and don't require decoration. ;)

Peace, Joy, and Merry Everything to you and yours this Holiday Season! 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ciel's new cover!

So, are you thinking what I'm thinking? WTF? No posts for two months, and now two days in a row? 

I know! But after I made yesterday's post I got the final version of the cover for The Big Fix from my editor, and I just can't wait to share it. 

See, Tor, in its infinite wisdom (yay, Tor!) decided to "repackage" my series. Which basically means switching up the cover art to more accurately reflect the light, sexy, and fun innards of the book. 

Because, regardless of the old saying, people do tend to judge a book by its cover. 

I think readers new to my series will get a better feel for the ... well, atmosphere, mood, tone--whatever you want to call it...of my books when they see this on the shelf:


I kind of freakin' adore it. :)

Yeah, I know. Ciel's hair is still too long. But, hey, it's the right color this time! That has to count for something. And I love the little touch of Hollywood (this book's main setting) they got in there with Ciel in the director's chair, holding the clapper board. 

Billy and Mark *cough* aren't too shabby either. ;)

The truly fun part of this cover for me is that I got to pore over pics of cover models (along with my editor, Melificent the Great, aka Melissa Frain). The Art department asked for our input. Tough job, but somebody had to do it... 

(Yes, it is possible I pored a lot more over the guys' pics than Ciel's. I mean, some bodies decisions are harder than others.)

Anyway, since the cover is up at Amazon, Goodreads, and maybe a few other places, I just thought I'd make it official here, too. 

The book will be out May 26 (I know--it's a long time to wait), but as soon as advance reader copies are available, there will be an ARC tour. So it's possible those who are tearing their hair out in anticipation--surely there must be one or two of you? No?--okay, those who are mildly anxious for the next Ciel Halligan adventure could get to read it ahead of time. Details to come. 

Happy Tuesday, y'all! :D 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Don't pay the ransom--I got away!

Wow. Been a while, huh? 



Okay, so I wasn't really kidnapped. Unless you count kidnapped by life. (Ba-dum-bum.)

Yes, I've been remiss in my blogging duties for the past few months. Got a little caught up with things over the last part of the summer. Edits, copyedits, drafting the next book, family time, etc., etc., and so forth. 

Geez, it sounds boring just recapping it in this truncated form. *huge yawn* Honestly, you should be thanking me for not subjecting you to it while it was going on. 

To make up for my absence, I offer you this adorable baby animal pic:

Via morgueFiles.com
Why a lamb? Because I'm feeling a little sheepish, of course. (Go ahead. Groan. You know you want to.)

I'm still in the middle of drafting FIX 4 (working title: FIXER UPPER), and having all kinds of fun with it. Good thing I can type and giggle at the same time. I'm such a multitasker! 

Wow. I just noticed there's a "tit" in the middle of "multitasker." (It's possible I notice things like that way too much. What can I say? I'm *cough* observant. Also, it appears, situationally ADD.)

*Ahem* What was I saying again? 

Never mind. So, what have you been up to? Please say hi and let me know you're still alive and kicking. :)



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

If you walk a mile in someone else's shoes...

...your feet will probably hurt. Because, really, what are the odds the shoes will be your size? 

Try to understand other people, sure. Be sympathetic to their struggles and problems. But keep your own shoes on, because you won't be any good to them if you're limping. ;)

*Ahem* Moving on...

I like to take long walks when I'm plotting. (My books, I mean. Not a bank job or a murder. Though, admittedly, it sometimes amounts to the same thing.)

I'm lucky in that, though I live firmly in the bustling heart of suburbia, a stream runs through my neighborhood, with woodland on either side of it, and a trail next to it. 

video


There's even a pond. 



Takes me all of about five minutes to get to it, and then I can pretend I'm deep in the woods. In the spring and summer, the birds and chattering squirrels provide enough background noise to drown out the sound of nearby traffic. It's pleasant. 

Sometimes I get lucky and see a few critters.








I'm the first to admit that I'm a fair-weather walker. If it's raining (or too hot, or too humid, or too cold ...), I tend to stay indoors and confine my ambling to the plot trails in my head. I mean, I'm all for exercise, but there's no need to be uncomfortable about it. ;)

Luckily, we've been hit with a stretch of fair weather here. Heck, it was 49 degrees F this morning! In JULY! And it's only supposed to get up to the high 70s today, with low humidity. Whoa. You can bet I'll be hitting the trail later. 

But before I do, here's a Hump Day camel for you:

Via MorgeFile.com

Keep looking up--you'll find inspiration in the beauty of the heavens. But remember to look down occasionally, too, so you don't step on a turtle. Or worse. ;)


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday is for Weird Grammar

Today's grammar lesson brought to you by "Weird Al" Yankovic:





Hey, whatever gets the word out. ;)

"What?" you're probably saying at this point. "No camel? But it's Hump Day!"

Okay, okay. Here's a grammar lesson that includes a camel, from Grammar.net. (Which I'm assuming is okay to share here, since the site helpfully included the embed code for it.) Anyway, it's a very handy site, because it includes a little box where you can enter your text for a quick grammar check. Tres cool, yes? 


Grammar.net [Infographic provided by Grammar.net]


So, do you have any grammar pet peeves? Do share!* 

*Unless I'm the guilty grammar party. Because all of my "mistakes" are, of course, merely stylistic choices. As are, I feel certain, yours. ;)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I'm ba-aack! (Admit it. You didn't even know I was gone.)




I know, I know. It's been a while. I had places to go, people to see!

The last two hump days I was in my home state of Texas, visiting my family. Didn't even have my laptop with me. Yup, I did it. I managed to go without my computer for over a week. *buffs fingernails on chest proudly*

Okay, I had my handy-dandy smart phone with me, so I wasn't totally unconnected. But still. No real keyboard! That was a sacrifice, I tell ya. I mean, I was reduced to texting. (On the up side, I'm now a whiz at sending text messages. I can even "Swype," which is basically texting by sliding your finger across the popup keyboard really fast. It's amazing how accurate you don't have to be, and it still manages to guess what you want to say. Most of the time. And when it doesn't, hilarity generally ensues--as anyone who's been to the damnyouautocorrect.com site can tell you. Hilarity a good thing.)

I also learned how to take selfies...but not very well. Here I am in a practice shot with my mom. There are clearer pics of us, but we decided a little blur in the focus isn't necessarily a bad thing when you get to a certain age. ;)


Here's a friend I made at my baby brother's* house (you may have to squint to see him):


Still can't see him? Okay, here's a closeup:


Kind of a "what the heck are you doing in my garden?" look on his (her? hard to tell) face. Cute, though. 

Anyhoo, it was a great visit, but now it's back to the reality of my unreal worlds. Ciel awaits, anxious to see what kind of trouble I'll be leading her into next. Hmm. What sort of shenanigans might she get up to in our space program? Will she be able to prevent an international incident? Or will she perhaps cause one? Only time, and my flying fingers, will tell!

Happy Hump Day to you all! Hope all is well in your corner of cyberspace. :)



*Yes, I still call him my baby brother, even though he's now older than I am. Don't question it--it's one of those weird space-time continuum paradoxical thingamajigs. Way too complicated to understand. You'll only hurt yourself if you try.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Guess. What. Day. It. Is!


Well, yes. It IS Hump Day. But, more importantly, it's TG's Birthday!


Happy Birthday to the best husband any woman could have!

(Wait...let me rephrase that. Any woman cannot have my husband. Just so we're clear there.)


Hey, honey, remember when I used to be older than you? ;)

P.S. Happy Hump Day to everyone not quite awesome enough to have a birthday today. You're still cool. :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What's better than a camel pic? Carol Kilgore's new cover reveal, that's what!

I'm coming out of bloggy exile because the lovely (and I'm not just saying that because she's from my home state of Texas) Carol Kilgore has revealed the cover of her latest novel: SECRETS OF HONOR. 







*Drum roll, please*



Niiiice! I don't know about you, but I love my crime fiction to have a kiss. Or ten. Whatever. As long at there's smooching with the crime, I'm cool. 

About SECRETS OF HONOR:

By the end of a long evening working as a special set of eyes for the presidential security detail, all Kat Marengo wants is to kick off her shoes and stash two not-really-stolen rings in a secure spot. Plus, maybe sleep with Dave Krizak. No, make that definitely sleep with Dave Krizak. The next morning, she wishes her new top priorities were so simple.

As an operative for a covert agency buried in the depths of the Department of Homeland Security, Kat is asked to participate in a matter of life or death—locate a kidnapped girl believed to be held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Since the person doing the asking is the wife of the president and the girl is the daughter of the first lady’s dearest friend, it’s hard to say no.

Kat and Dave quickly learn the real stakes are higher than they or the first lady believed and will require more than any of them bargained for.

The kicker? They have twenty-four hours to find the girl—or the matter of life or death will become more than a possibility.


About Carol:

Carol writes grocery lists, texts to her family, new lyrics to old songs for her dogs, love notes to her husband, and novels for herself. And for you. In between, she blogs weekly at Under the Tiki Hut and is active on Facebook and Twitter.
She sees mystery and subterfuge everywhere. And she’s a sucker for a good love story—especially ones with humor and mystery. Crime Fiction with a Kiss gives her the latitude to mix and match throughout the broad mystery and romance genres. Having flexibility makes her heart happy.


You can connect with Carol and her books here:

Under the Tiki Hut blog:  http://www.underthetikihut.blogspot.com
Website with Monthly Contest: http://www.carolkilgore.net



Congrats on a great new cover, Carol! Can't wait until September when the insides become available, too. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday Woefully Woesome Woes

A few things have been keeping me busy since last I posted here...

Via Wikimedia Commons.

Which led to...

Via Wikimedia Commons.

And also to...

Via Wikimedia Commons.

Okay, so those pictures might be a trifle exaggerated. The ants weren't quite that big. But they made up for in numbers. And the little bastards seemed particularly resistant to the kitchen-safe ant spray we tried to use on them. In fact, I'm pretty sure they liked it. (Think of the trouble Noah could have saved us if he'd just "accidentally" stepped on those two buggers when he had the chance.) 

Ugh. The torrential rain, the leaking basement, and THEM*. 

Yes, this did happen a week ago (which is why I didn't bother to post last week), but the trauma lingers. Lingers, I tell ya!

The whole thing left me feeling...

Via MorguFile.

Life is back on track now. Which is to say, I'm holed up in the Editing Cave again, pulling my hair out. If I'm bald the next time you see me, you'll know it hasn't gone well.  

Hope life is being kind to you all! :)



*If you got that reference, congratulation! You're old.**

**Or an old movie buff.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wednesday again? Already??

Ugh. I'm late today. Sorry about that. This post will be lame. Sorry about that, too. 

I'd like to lodge a formal complaint with the universe:

Time is moving too damn fast. Slow it the eff down al-freakin'-ready!

Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, here ya go:



By Peter Dowley from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Newborn in the desert) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
You may now proceed to "awww." 

And if you have any hints on how to slow down time, I'd love to hear them. (As long as they don't involve dentist waiting rooms. I already know how well that works, and it's not worth it.) 

[Damn it. I just realized I forgot to buy any half-price Easter candy at the grocery store. This really isn't my day.]

Oh, wait. TG just offered me a Manhattan. Things are looking up.

Cheers!

(Yes, that's it. That's all she wrote. Hey, I told you it would be lame.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Those humps look a bit pointy, but who am I to judge?

Your camel pic for today:


It's a prehistoric cave painting of a camel, on display in the National Museum of Mongolian History in Ulaan Baatar. 

"Why a cave painting?" you may be asking yourself. 

Well, it seems appropriate, as I'm currently hiding in my editing cave, working feverishly on The Big Fix. It's amazing how a few relatively small plot can ripple out through a whole manuscript. One thing leads to another, and before you know it, you're making adjustments all over the place. 

Which is time-consuming enough, but made more so because, as I'm editing, I keep coming up with stuff I want to include in Book 4. So I have to stop editing and write down enough of whatever big idea intruded itself into my psyche to make sure I won't forget it when it comes time to start seriously drafting Book 4 ...

But you don't want to hear about all that. Admit it--you just came here for the camel pic. And that cave painting just isn't going to cut it, am I right?

How about this guy?

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com

He looks like he wants to be friends. Or perhaps like he's calculating the distance to spit on you. One or the other.

Actually, I'm sure he just wants to wish you all a Happy Hump Day! As do I. :)

Okay, back to my cave. Wish me luck! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Now, that's stinkin' funny!

So, a friend* shared this with me. Can't imagine why she thought I'd be amused...



Okay, okay. I am amused. Fart references are inherently funny. Ask any ten-year-old boy. 

No doubt we decorous (stop laughing!) women of a certain age are supposed to be above this kind of vulgarity. But (heh-heh, I said bu--never mind), seriously? Anything that provides a good laugh without hurting anyone's feelings is all right by me. 

If the painting above is too subtle to inspire a raucous enough release for you, there's always createfarts.com, where you can not only customize your own personal expulsion, but you can also email it to a friend! Or a perhaps a cherished family member. Or to someone whose opinion differs from your own, like that agent or editor who didn't appreciate your genius.**  

May your Hump Day be full of raucous expulsions! (Of laughter, people. Laughter.) 

*Name withheld to protect her decorousness (decorosity?), though she may choose to reveal herself in the comments. 

**Not really recommended. The publishing circle is relatively small, and word gets out. 

Mini-poll:

A. Farts are hilarious!
B. I pretend not to enjoy fart jokes, but laugh on the inside.
C. Farts are a part of nature best ignored.
D. Discussing farts is offensive and I will never visit this blog again.
E. I'm choosing "E" because it doesn't contain that offensive word.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Waiting for Candy!

Don't you just know this guy is stretching out those lips in hopes of something sweet?


Andrew Butko [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Last week I ran a little caption contest. (Click here to see the entrants' caption offerings.) 

All the entries were great! It was a tough decision. I finally had to go with the one that made me giggle with its touch of naughty language. (What can I say? I may have grown up, but my sense of humor retains a certain, um, juvenile Je ne sais quoi.)

Here's the winner:

*Drum roll*

"We'll play later," she said. Right.
I wouldn't have busted my hump if I'd known the bitch was talking about Hide and Seek.

So, Susan Swiderski, stretch out those lips, 'cuz your candy is coming! (Well, as soon as you email your snail mail address to linda(dot)grimes(at)gmail(dot)com.)

Congrats, Susan! And thanks to everyone who took the time to think up a caption. :)

And to everyone, a Happy Hump Day! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Caption this Lazy Camel & Win CANDY!

What is this poor dromedary*--who can't be bothered to stand--thinking? 


I'd caption it myself, but I have a To Do list as long as Rapunzel's hair to get through today. So I'm counting on you. 

Come on. You know you want to entertain me! 

Okay, candy. You want candy. Have you tried Trader Joe's chocolate covered Sea Salt Butterscotch caramels? 


Yowzers. These things are GOOD. Addictive, really. (No, I'm not being paid to endorse these things. Though if Trader Joe's somehow got the notion to up and send me a case of them, I wouldn't turn it away.)


Caption contest will close Tuesday, April 1, at noon Eastern Daylight Time. Winner to be announced next Wednesday (Apr. 2). Contest open wherever the USPS will let me send candy. 



*Photo credit goes to my darling daughter. Thanks, sweetie!

P.S. TG just asked me if I'd seen the "Shared Notes and Highlights" section of the Amazon Kindle page for In a Fix. (Just click on the link & scroll down to get to it.) Apparently when you read on a Kindle you can share your thoughts (or, in this case, your favorite quotes) with other readers by highlighting them as you read. Um...interesting selections, is all I can say. Well, that and I sincerely hope my mother doesn't scroll down. ;) 

Okay, now put on your thinking caps and caption that camel! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's all this talk about "hybrids"?

Seems like everywhere you look in the author corner of the blogosphere you see another post about hybrids. Hybrid this, hybrid that, yadda-yadda-hybrid-yadda. 

Huh. Well, okay. I can get with the program. 


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
What? Looks like a hybrid to me. A camel-sheep hybrid.

Okay, okay...so that's not exactly the kind of hybrid all those other writers mean. They're referring to traditionally published authors who choose to self-publish some of their work, and self-published authors who decide to go with traditional houses when the opportunity arises.

I haven't tried to hybridize myself (not yet, anyway--who knows what the future might hold?), but I like the idea of it. Because why does it have to be an either/or thing? 

I've read passionate posts about how traditional publishing is the only "legitimate" way to go, and equally passionate posts about indie publishing being the wave of the future for "intelligent" authors who wish to control their own destiny. 

But must it always devolve into yet another Us vs. Them situation? Don't we have enough of that kind of rivalry? Liberals vs. conservatives, democrats vs. republicans, employed moms vs. stay-at-home-moms, my team vs. your team, dark chocolate vs. milk chocolate, Billy vs. Mark...frankly, all the bickering gets annoying after a while.

Which is why I like the idea of hybrid authors. I guess I'm just a peace-maker at heart.

More and more trad authors are venturing into the indie realm for the sake of control. And there are plenty of indie authors who would leap at the chance to be traditionally published. 

Seems to me keeping your mind open to all the publishing possibilities is a good thing. 

But, of course, you're entitled to your own opinion. Feel free to share it in the comments. Rant, even, if you feel strongly one way or the other. I rather enjoy reading other people's rants. 

If you have no opinion on the indie/trad/hybrid debate, tell me:

What you think of my hybrid camel-sheep*. Cute? Or just wrong? 

Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?

Billy or Mark? 

Or are you in the "why choose if you don't have to" camp? 


*Yes, I know it's only a fuzzy camel, not really a camel-sheep. Work with me here... 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Holy Hump Day! What IS that I see? Could it be...

Look what I found in my my front yard this week:


Crocuses!!!

You know what that means. Spring is coming. In fact, we're supposed to get up to the low 70s today! 

Granted, there will storms later this evening, followed by a 35-40 degree temperature plunge tonight, and tomorrow is looking distinctly non-short-sleeve-friendly, but hey, let's just take it one day at a time. It's supposed to warm up again over the weekend, so I'd say things are definitely...

Photo courtesy of my darling daughter.
...looking up!

(Come on. You knew I'd sneak a camel in here somewhere.)

Question of the Day: What do you think that camel is looking at?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NOT QUITE DEAD

No, not me, silly. I'm talking about my buddy Lyla Payne's upcoming book. Today is the big cover reveal, and I'm so pleased to share it here!



[Photo credit: Iona Nicole Photography, cover design credit to Eisley Jacobs, both at Complete Pixels.]

Isn't that a gorgeous cover? Hey, you wanna see the whole cover? Of course you do! 



Click here to see the cover reveal post on Lyla's website. (Which, admittedly, looks much like the reveal here. *grin*)


Learn more about Not Quite Dead (and Lyla's other fabulous books!) here: http://lylapayne.com/

Best of all? You can win a copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hey, what are you waiting for? Enter! WIN! Enjoy. And good luck. :)

Edited to Add: The giveaway is open internationally! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hump Day Hide-n-Seek

Everybody hides from something. Work, their feelings, another person, responsibility...you name it, somebody is hiding from it.

Photo courtesy of my Darling Daughter.
Right now, for instance, I'm hiding from the vacuum cleaner. And the snow shovel. (Oh, and my skinny jeans. I hope like heck they won't find me before this winter eases up and lets me get back to my walking routine. On a related note, I'm also hiding from ice cream. And succeeding about as well as my camel buddy above.) 

I was thinking about this the other day while I was writing. Characters hide, too, don't they? From their emotions, from other characters, from the bad guys. Pretty much from the same things real people hide from. As with real people, some of them are better at it than others. And therein lies a good source of conflict. Fiction falls flat without conflict. Anything that provides it is a good addition to a writer's toolbox, so hooray for hiding!

Okay, 'fess up. What are you hiding from? Do tell!* 

For the writers among you, are your characters hiding from anything?


*Unless it's from me. Then just make some sh!t up instead. 


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WARNING: Post Contains Camel Toes (Really. Camel Toes.)

I got a picture in an email. There they were, big as day. 

Now, I've heard buzz about camel toes, but heck if I can figure out what the deal is. Why does there appear to be such a concerted effort to spot them on the internet?

Huh. Whatever. For those who seem obsessed, here ya go:


But, honestly, I don't see what all the excitement is about. ;)

Okay, okay...I'm kidding. Obviously I know what a "camel toe" is. But you really didn't think I'd be showing it here, did you? I mean, I do have some standards, you know. Not many, granted, and not high ones, but still. They exist. 

So, who would send me such a risque picture? Why, my darling daughter, of course! And she appears to be proud of it, too.


Yup, I'm afraid the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I couldn't be prouder. *beams*

She and my son-in-law visited the Gulf Breeze Zoo. Knowing my penchant for posting camel pics, they kindly added to my collection. (You'll be seeing more of them in the future.)

In the meantime, have a Happy Hump Day! And try not the think about camel toes. Go on. I dare you. 

[Photo credits for today: DD and Son-In-Law. Thanks, kiddos!] 
.
.
.

(You're still thinking about them, aren't you?)
.
.
.
(Still? Come on. You have to stop. It isn't seemly.)
.
.
.
 (Really. Enough is enough. Try focusing on the humps instead.)
.
.
.
 (No, wait. Scratch that--gah! Um, no, don't scratch that. Not in public, anyway. Just...)

Oh, hell. Have a nice day. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hump Day is for Flirting!

Hey there. *bats eyelashes* Come here often?

Photo courtesy of morgueFile.com.

What? She looks flirty to me. (How do I know it's a she? I don't. She just looks like a girl, all right?)

So. Flirting. How do you feel about it? 

Me? I like it. I'm flirting right now in another window. 

Now, before you get all "Why, that hussy!" on me, let me explain. I'm flirting with an idea. It's part of writing process when I'm working on a first draft. I get an idea. Kind of just see it in the corner of my mind. 

Some ideas bold. They march themselves right up to me and say, "Lady, you need me. I'm here. Let's do this thing!" (I do like an idea that can take charge.)

Others are a bit more bashful. They linger in the murky shadows of my imagination and dare me to notice them. Some of them are so goofy I just roll my eyes and tell them to go bother somebody else's muse. But some are...well, stickier, for lack of a better word. They hang back but don't go away. They play hard-to-get, flirting with me.

As much as I enjoy the sheer brashness of the bold ideas (let's face it--they make my job easier), I'm a real sucker for the sticky, bashful, hard-to-get ideas. They don't always work out, but when they do, the payoff is sublime. 

Do you flirt? With people? With ideas? Both? Do share! 

Oh, and Happy Hump Day! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Bright Before Sunrise Night

Wow. Another post from me this week, and it's not even Wednesday yet. If I'm not careful, y'all are going to get spoiled. ;)

But this is a special week! Another one of my fabulous critique partners, Tiffany Schmidt, has a book coming out soon (Feb. 18, to be exact). 



Pretty, huh?  

The tagline for Bright Before Sunrise is: 

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.” 

To help get the rollout started, a whole bunch of Tiffany's friends and fans are recounting how one night changed our lives. Here's my effort:


So, which night changed how I see the world and myself?

Oddly, I slept right through it.

It was the night my father died. I was twelve years old, and had just started junior high. Tall and gawky and awkward, I'd always counted on my dad for a daily dose of knowing I was beautiful to someone. His eyes were my Mirror of Erised—they always showed me what I most wanted to believe about myself.

I grew up when he died (at forty-five—way too young—of a heart attack). A world that could take your father from you was no safe place to be a kid, so that part of me—the carefree, somebody-else-will-take-care-of-the-scary-stuff part—was altered. I still had my mother, of course, but my father's death had shown me how tenuous even the most permanent parts of your life can be.

The one adult who won't—who can't—check out before you do is yourself, so I became that adult. Oh, I still laughed and played with my friends, but my inner adult was always on guard. Still is.


Fortunately, my inner adult has a sense of humor, and is willing to turn a blind eye to occasional bouts of immaturity. I hope my dad--wherever he is--is, too. 


But enough about me. Here's a little more info about a really fantastic book:

BRIGHT BEFORE SUNRISE description:
Jonah and Brighton are about to have the most awkwardly awful night of their lives. For Jonah, every aspect of his new life reminds him of what he has had to give up. All he wants is to be left alone. Brighton is popular, pretty, and always there to help anyone . . . but has no idea of what she wants for herself. Her seemingly perfect life is marred only by Jonah, the one person who won't give her the time of day, but also makes her feel, well, something. So when they are repeatedly thrown together over the course of one night, anything can—and does—happen. Told in alternating chapters, this poignant, beautiful novel's energy and tension, amidst the humor and romance, builds to a new beginning of self-acceptance and hope.

About Tiffany Schmidt:
TIFFANY SCHMIDT lives in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles. And while she thinks sunrises are quite beautiful, she'd rather sleep through them. Send Me a Sign was her debut novel. Find out more about Tiffany and her books by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt or visiting www.TiffanySchmidt.com.


And now, how about you? Was there one night in your life that changed how you saw yourself and/or the world?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Cheap Thrills, Cheap Laughs! AKA, Tawna Does a Marine! (Wait...does that sound bad?)

You know me--if there's the possibility of a cheap laugh, I'm there. If there's a cheap thrill to be had, count me in. Both together? Man, I am all over that!

Which is why I'm lucky to have a critique partner like Tawna Fenske. I get to read her special brand of panty-melting humor before almost everyone else. (Be jealous. Be very jealous.)

The good news? Her latest book is being released today:




Are you fanning yourself yet? 

Here's the back cover copy:


She thought she’d sworn off military men for good…
Sam Kercher is every inch a wickedly hot Marine. Tall. Sexy. Lethal. When his best friends call in a favor, Sam is forced to face an entirely new line of duty—playing nanny for their newly divorced sister and her squirming seven-month-old twin boys. If Sam can dissemble an M16 in his sleep, diaper duty should be a cakewalk…right?
Unfortunately, Operation Nanny isn’t quite that simple. Sheridan has sworn off overbearing military men, so Sam must protect her from her dirtbag ex without revealing just how much he has in common with her brothers. Or that he’s been ordered not to touch her. Ever. Problem is, Sheri’s one hell of a gorgeous woman, capable of making this hard-bodied Marine even harder. And Sam wants her bad.
Protect the girl. Care for the babies. Hide his identity. And keep his hands off. But even the most disciplined Marine has weaknesses...and Sheridan is one Sam might not be able to resist.

Pure fan-yourself fun! 

And the best part? Today you can get it for $0.99! (See? That's what I mean by cheap laughs and cheap thrills. Inexpensive, not tawdry. Though if by "tawdry" you mean...oh, never mind. Just read the book and prepare to laugh yourself silly while you melt.) 

Click here for your e-reader buying options at the Entangled site.* 



* I know this looks like I'm pimping my CP, but I'm doing you a favor by telling you where you can get this much fun for such a low price. So, really, it's more like a public service announcement. I'm thoughtful that way. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Camel with the ANSWERS!

Do you ever wish you knew all the answers? 

Good news! This guy does:

By Berit from Redhill/Surrey, UK (Portrait  Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Well, he looks like a know-it-all, anyway. Regal, a little bit snooty perhaps, but obviously just chock full of wisdom. 

So, I'm opening up the floor. Got a pressing (or not so pressing? possibly even...dare I say it...silly?) question that needs an answer? Just leave it in a comment, and Mr. Smartypants will give you an answer.* 

Go ahead. Ask Mr. Smartypants anything! 

* Note the careful phraseology of that statement. An answer. Not necessarily the right one, or even a good one. ;)

Edited as needed to add questions:

Patsy: Will it ever stop raining?
Mr. Smartypants: No. It will always be raining somewhere in the world. 

Diane: Bacon, booze, or chocolate?
Mr. Smartypants: Yes. 


L.D.: Who does your hair?
Mr. Smartypants: No one. Who could possibly enhance what Mother Nature gave me? 

Carol: One hump or two?
Mr. Smartypants: Depends entirely on how satisfactory the first hump was. ;)

Susan: Who's gonna win the Superbowl, and does anybody really care?
Mr. Smartypants: A football team. What, you need it to be more specific? Okay. Either the Seahawks or the Broncos. As for anybody caring...


Photo courtesy of morguefile.com
This guy cares so much he's already front-loading for the game. ;) 

Tracy Jo: Will it ever warm back up in MN?
Mr. Smartypants: Technically, yes. Most likely on a Tuesday afternoon in late July. But it will be for such a brief interval that if you blink you'll miss it. So don't blink in July. ;)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Freezing My Humps Off

Hello again. 

It's still winter here in Grimesville. This is a view of my deck. No, I didn't go outside to take the picture. It's 5 freakin' degrees F out there! I'm thinking I won't be venturing out until, oh, say, April. 


TG is outside trying to convince the snow blower that the layer of white powder hasn't frozen solid overnight. He's made of hardier stuff than I am.

Apparently, these camels are, too:

By MJCdetroit (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo courtesy of morguefile.com.

Me? I plan to settle in with another cup of tea and Book 4. I much prefer to do this "winter" thing vicariously, so...

It's cold in Ciel-land right now. Maybe I'll bury her in a snow drift and see how she handles it. Or perhaps I'll let her go sledding off an unexpected cliff. Or ice skating...without skates. Skiing? Snowboarding? 

Hmm. Where can she get into the most trouble? *thinks cruel authorly thoughts*

Question for the day: How do you feel about winter weather? 

A. LOVE IT! I'd live in an igloo if I could.

B. I'll venture out into it for the sports, but give me a nice hot tub afterward.

C. Eh. Maybe a quick walk, if I have the incentive of hot cocoa waiting at the end of it.

D. I'm willing to look out the window at the gently falling snow as long as there's a fire in the fireplace beside me.

E. Pardon me while I hibernate until the spring thaw.

Happy Hump Day! Stay warm. :)




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday? Whoa...how'd that happen?


So, have you missed me? 

No, wait. Scratch that. Sounds too needy. 

Actually, I've missed you. Yes, you. You know who you are. No, don't look over your shoulder--I mean you. And, if I might I be so bold as to say it, you're looking particularly snazzy today. Is that a new outfit? And have you done something new to your hair? Love it! 

(Okay, relax. I can't really see you through your webcam. But, if one is to believe reports, the NSA can, so you might want to nix those naked web-surfing plans...)

Me? Oh, I've been keeping myself busy with this and that. 


You know, taking care of business. Spending time with family and friends (both real and imaginary). Pulling people's heads out of camels' mouths (er, so to speak), etc. Becoming appalled at how rapidly time is whizzing by while I try to keep up with it. I mean, come on. 2014? Seriously? How the hell did that happen?

(Oh, before I forget, that first picture up there is from: http://www.idreammortgage.com/2013/07/17/welcome-to-get-over-the-hump/  Not that I'm advertising for them. I've never even heard of them. I just liked the picture.)

Anyway, in between playing nurse for various family members and waiting for my editorial letter on The Big Fix, I've been working on other writing projects. Book 4, of course, tentatively titled Fixer Upper, is my priority. Contracts are highly motivating. 

Here's a teensy-tiny bit from it: 

"Weightlessness, I decided, was way overrated. My stomach concurred." ~ Ciel Halligan, Fixer Upper 

Oh, dear. What has Ciel gotten herself into this time? 

I've also been toying with a high-stakes thriller and revamping an old paranormal suspense. Gotta keep some extra irons in that fire!

morguefile.com

So, what have you been up to lately? Has 2014 (!!!) been treating you well so far?