Friday, May 29, 2009

Winner! Countdown: May

After a random drawing, the winner of this month's contest is:


You mentioned you had the books offered up as the prizes, so email me at "" and we'll talk. :)


Thursday, May 28, 2009


The Countdown: May contest is officially closed. Thank you to everyone who participated. The answers were varied and gave me several new authors to check out. I'll post the winner tomorrow afternoon.

I've also got some news I'll post tomorrow (not bad news, but not YAY-SQUEE news, either).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fun With Numbers

I wonder if the number 27 is my new lucky number. Good things happen for me on the 27th of months.

For example...

On May 27th of last year, I received a career-changing email from my now-agent, Jonathan Lyons, offering representation (a year ago today, which just makes me grin).

On January 27th of this year, I first received word of German interest in my books. A deal was made not long after.

And on October 27th of this year, THREE DAYS TO DEAD releases into the wild, exactly one year and five months after the representation offer.

I think I like the number 27.

Five more months until TDTD is out. *looks at calendar*

Holy crap, when did June get so close?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Countdown: May Contest!


I think I said I'd do this yesterday, but since it was a holiday here in the States, I didn't. I did, however, have a yummy dinner of steamed shrimp and corn on the cob, and I chased it down with the last two episodes of "True Blood" Season One.

Eventually I'll post my thoughts on the series as a whole (as well as my new crush on Sam Trammel). Needless to say, though, I've got vampires on the brain, so this contest is going to revolve around vampires. And it'll be an easy one, I swear.

First, the prizes! Keeping vampires in mind, I thought hard about a fun, vamp-oriented prize, and I decided on books. We all need more books, right? But for added fun, the winner gets a choice.

CHOICE #1: The first three Southern Vampire Mysteries books, by Charlaine Harris (Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead).

CHOICE #2: The first three Night Huntress books, by Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, At Grave's End).

Both series feature awesome heroines, humor, drama, and varying degrees of sexiness. Plus hot vampires!

So what must one do in order to be eligible for this prize? Leave a comment on this post answering the question below, and you'll be entered into a random drawing. You have until Thursday evening (May 28) to comment.


My own answer: I'd like to be a vampire in Molly Harper's NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS world. They are starting to mainstream into society, and they can go outside in the daytime with, like, SPF 500 sunscreen.

How about you?

And don't forget: the winner of Countdown: May! is automatically entered into an October drawing for an advance copy of THREE DAYS TO DEAD!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jacob in the Box

My nephew playing with packing peanuts, courtesy of my brother and Youtube.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I *heart* Shapeshifters

I do. I prefer them over vampires. I suspected as much before, but my taste was reinforced yesterday when I threw myself into Season One of "True Blood." I don't have HBO, so I had to wait for the DVD release last week to get it. After the exhaustion that was our yard sale, all I wanted to do last night was watch TV.

Seven hours of TV. I finally quit at quarter til two, after devouring the first seven eps of TB.

Love. It.

I've probably ranted before about judging movies/shows on their own merits--especially those adapted from another medium, such as graphic novels or books. Part of it is my former-film student geekiness, that recognizes the necessary differences between visual and print media. I have read the first two Sookie books (I'm working on it!), so I could ruthlessly make comparisons. But I won't.

Because I can't. One is not the other. And I love both for their own charms and quirks.

So where is the evidence that I will, 99% of the time, choose the shapeshifter over the vampire? In both the Sookie books and TB, I was rooting for Sam. I love Sam.

Want more evidence? I've never even read the Twilight books, and I will willingly cast my vote for Team Jacob--cuz werewolves are hot. I fell over myself to read all four Mercy Thompson novels once I started them, because of the werewolf awesomeness in those books (heroine shapeshifter bonus!). Give me a paranormal romance with the heroine stuck between choosing a shapeshifter or any other sort of character, and I'll be rooting for the shapeshifter (unless they are irrevocably evil, duh).

I'll chat more about my impressions of "True Blood" once I've finished the series, but for now, I'm enjoying the hell out of it. And I'm seriously considering paying for HBO this summer, just for the new season.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Note On Growth

I'm sure I've mentioned, at least in passing, the revisions (I like to think of it as a surgical procedure, at the very least) I did back in February/March on my superhero novel. The one I was slapping around in preparation for presenting it to my agent.

The good news is that he likes it. Yay! On Tuesday, we chatted a while about revisions and something he said made me laugh (internally, I'm pretty sure I didn't giggle about it over the phone). (Paraphrasing) "You wrote this before THREE DAYS, right?" "Yes."

Which is where growth comes into play. I have a lot of trunk novels, and I don't regret a single one of them. They helped make me into the writer I am now. I needed the practice, and that simple exchange was confirmation that I have grown as a writer. And growth is important.

The superhero novel still has flaws. Most of my Jonathan's notes hit upon some of the problems I still had with the book, and some of the things my lovely beta Nancy had pointed out to me. Things that still need to be fixed. But I let my subconscious work out the problems for me these last few days, and I think I figured out how to solve several of those issues in one fell swoop.

Cross your fingers for me.

How about you guys? Any moments like this where you realize, "Hey, I have gotten better at this writing thing"?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Heroes, Contests, and Tony, Oh My!

Just a couple of quick things.

First, the awesome Jackie Kessler is giving away copies of her upcoming release BLACK AND WHITE, co-authored with Caitlin Kittredge. I am uber-excited about this book (superheroes!). To get in on the giveaway, you just have to follow Jackie on Twitter. She'll have drawings as she reaches 600, 700, and 800 followers.

Countdown: May! Contest will commence Monday, May 25th. This one will be a little simpler than the last contest, and there will be prizes. As with April, the winner of May is automatically entered into an October drawing for an Advance Copy of THREE DAYS TO DEAD. So look for details this coming Monday!

The new project is moving along swimmingly. In just over two weeks, I've hit the halfway mark and this feat coincided with a flash of insight. I now know who the Big Bad is. Yay! This book is giving me several new Favorite Lines.

And the best part of about last night's "24" finale? It made me dream about Carlos Bernard. *happy sigh*

Thursday, May 14, 2009

That New Idea Smell

If only new ideas came with a neat scent, like new cars do. Did you know you can actually buy air sprays that smell like New Car? I kid you not. It's strange, but there's something exciting about that scent. It screams SHINY! NEW! FUN!

It's pretty rare (for me, at this point in my writing career) for me to stumble upon an idea that just reeks of the New Car Smell. The one you want to inhale for hours, roll on the seats, and revel in its awesomeness. I stumbled into one of these ideas on Friday, May 1st, over a pitcher of sangria and an eclectic movie marathon.

Most of my ideas start with a question. THREE DAYS TO DEAD began with, "Why would a dead vampire hunter be brought back to life? What could only she do?" It evolved into something a tad different, but that was the basic question.

The New Car idea I'm playing with now began as, "Why would a coven of vampires hold a town hostage?" I had no idea, so I let my mind wander a bit over the course of the movie marathon. At some point (probably around 2 am), another question occurred tome: "If vampires did take a town hostage, who would be sent in to negotiate?"

I woke up Saturday morning with my mind whirling, did a few hours of research, and by noon I had half a dozen characters and an opening scene in mind. So I started writing. I've written every day since, and my word count is sitting pretty at a healthy 33,000 words.

I'm having fun with this idea, more fun than I've had since I wrote the first draft of TDTD. Exploring a new world, with new characters and their issues, is very freeing. I'm excited to write this, because I'm uncertain where it's going. I'm getting there at the same time as my heroine, and that's part of the excitement of the journey.

Now all I need is a title. :)

How do you guys react to new ideas? Do they take you over?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Read in 2009 Update

As of last night, my count of books read since January 1st is twenty-three. It may not seem like a lot to some, but for me, it's an amazing number. Especially when we're only 18 weeks into the year.

Last week I set a nice little personal record of three books in one week: NICE GIRLS DON'T HAVE FANGS (Molly Harper), TAMING THE FIRE (Sydney Croft), and FOOL MOON (Jim Butcher). Yes, I know, I'm woefully behind on the Dresden books, which is why Grave Peril is next, then I tackle a few more new-to-me authors.

I've said it before, but reading is one of the greatest tools in a Writer's Toolbox, and it's one we have complete control over. I hear a lot of people say, "I don't have time to read," or "I've always wanted to write a novel, but I don't like reading." Um, what? For me, books have become the gasoline in my creative fuel tank--if I don't refill it once in a while, I'm going to lose steam.

What's everyone reading right now?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Star Trek

The new movie was frakkin' awesome! And I say this as someone who did not particularly like the original series. I got started with The Next Generation, and became addicted through Deep Space Nine. And yes, I admit it--I'm one of twelve people who loved Enterprise.

But this movie just rocked. It rocked its cast, its concept, its music, and its fans, without excluding non-fans. The nods were awesome--lots of fun things in there for fans to enjoy, from the first "red shirt" to "Admiral Archer's prized beagle."

Eric Bana makes a truly bad-ass Romulan.

Friday, May 08, 2009

In Drei Tagen Bist Du Weider Tot

If you haven't stopped by the League of Reluctant Adults yet this week, we're having another theme. This week is "The Mother of All Vampires" Week, to celebrate both a Leaguer's release and Mother's Day (this Sunday, folks!). So stop by and join the conversations!

In other news, some random Googling of my name landed me on Droemer's website, where I discovered my German listing for THREE DAYS TO DEAD, as well as the super-hawt cover. The Bond-girl, spy-leather look is pretty awesome.


The title (In Drei Tagen Bist Du Weider Tot) literally translates: In three days you are dead again.

Two other fun facts:

Germany release is 10/05/09, twenty-two days before the US release.

There are apparently three German horror films with the exact same title.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Taming the Fire (ACRO Series, #4) Taming the Fire by Sydney Croft

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
As soon as my box arrived from Amazon today, I cracked this one open. It didn't disappoint (not that any of them have).

More exciting action from our favorite ACRO operatives, as well as some new and interesting faces. I would have liked more Annika and Creed (cuz they're my favorite couple), but it's a minor thing, since the other story lines were so fascinating.

My only real complaint is that I read it too fast, and the next one isn't due for a while.

View all my reviews.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Author Scoop Interview

I was asked to participate in the "5 Minutes Alone..." series of interviews on Author Scoop, and the interview is now online. I chat briefly about THREE DAYS TO DEAD and writing in general.

If you don't follow Author Scoop, add it to your list. It's a fun and informative resource. Thank you, William Haskins, for allowing me to participate.

Friday, May 01, 2009


The humidity is here, and it's only May 1st. Ick. Not to mention the high pollen alerts. Every morning, my poor car is dusted yellow. Double ick.

I have fun news! Thanks to the awesomeness that is Kat Richardson, I have a room for DragonCon! I am thrilled to be able to attend this year. Working in retail for so many years, I've never been in a position to ask off on Labor Day weekend (traditionally a busy weekend for shoppers). Now that I'm a lesser peon, I asked my manager about getting the time and he said no problem!

DragonCon! Have you seen the guest list? Authors, actors, and entertainers, OH MY!

Now comes the big decision: fly or road trip it to Atlanta. Road trips are less fun alone, I admit, but I have so much fun thinking and plotting while I drive. Plus I've flown in one plane in my life and it freaked me out. Hmm...


In other news, my cover is starting to pop up on Amazon and other sites. Woot!