Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Getting Under the Moon

I hope everyone is getting back to "normal" after the holiday weekend. My kids are back to school, but struggling with the shift in sleeping patterns again, and of course the calendar is full until January. Not as full as it used to be, and not as full as some other people's, but full enough.

Guess what I did on Saturday? NOTHING. I didn't work (no immediate deadlines), I didn't clean (no guests on Sunday), I didn't cook. Wait, maybe I cooked. Yeah, pasta with garlic and broccoli. Easy stuff. I didn't do yardwork (should have, it was nice out) or put up Christmas decorations (way too early!).

I spent the vast majority of Saturday reading. Yep. I read all of Trinity Faegan's The Mephisto Covenant: The Redemption of Ajax. I was a little apprehensive, because I loved her Bombshells (published under Stephanie Feagan) and I've anticipated this book for so. damned. long. But it actually exceeded my expectations, and my only gripe is, of course, that I have to wait a whole year to get the next one.

You know how my number one thing I'm thankful for last week was that Under the Moon became available on Amazon? Well now it's available all over the place! Look for it on All Romance eBooks, Fresh Fiction, Books on Board, or your favorite e-book retailer. Barnes & Noble doesn't have it up yet, but I guess that's why they're lagging behind in the e-book race. :(

The paperback will be available next week! You can read an excerpt at the book page on Entangled's website.

Today I'm talking about how I decided on character occupations over at The Book Boost.

Tomorrow you can find an interview posted at Jeanz Book Read N Review. Thursday another interview will be posted at Rage, Sex and Teddy Bears. (Man, I love that blog's name!!!) We wrap it up on Friday with a guest appearance at Lucy Felthouse's. The cool thing is that all of these interviewers ask me different questions (there's occasional overlap, but not much!). They are very skilled! :)

Off to take Number One for a haircut, then back to work on copyedits for Acceptable Risks, my romantic adventure with Carina Press coming out next April. (Let me say that title was incredibly difficult to come up with, but oh-so-obvious once I did! Thank you, Carina PTB for choosing it from my list! :) )

Friday, November 25, 2011

I Don't Remember What I Was Going to Call This Post

This is the life of someone who blogs: Whenever you're doing something worth writing a post about, you think up the post while you do it. Am I right? You have the title and image layouts all planned, and some of the jokes or descriptions.

Unfortunately, if you can't actually write the post for a week, you forget all the details. Was I going to call it "This Would Exhaust Anyone" or "Annual Autumn Satisfaction" or Annual Autumn something cool that is completely irretrievable now.



Last Saturday was yardwork intensive. While Numbers One and Two and their father raked the backyard, I cleaned the gutters.

I love heights, so this is my job a few times a year. It would be safest to go up the ladder, clear what I can reach, go down the ladder, move it... But do you know how many friggin' hours that would take?! So I just sit on the roof, lean over to pull the leaves, maple seeds, and shingle grit mud out, then slide down a few feet and repeat.

The hard part is the trees. See the spruce poking up over the left side? We have those at three corners. They have more tree above the roofline than below it. If I don't take the clippers, hand saw, or chain saw up with me, I get poked all over the face and head by branches I'm ducking to reach the clogged downspouts.

I'm also very out of shape. My shoulders were super sore after I was done. Exacerbated by the raking I followed it with, as we swept 11 piles of leaves onto the tarp and dragged it up the hill to the front of the house four times.

Here's the result:

It's the biggest pile on the street, maybe the biggest we've ever had (there are a few feet to the right you can't see). We got to do all the leaves at once this year, due to the snow and wind and delayed pickup schedule. And we only have three maple trees! I always feel bad for people who have twice as many or even more. But then, those people probably cheat and use leafblowers or riding mowers, anyway. Our neighbor uses a massive riding mower for his 1/8-acre lawn. I have to admit, it looks gorgeous right now, like a carpet. But it's funny.

So that's our rite of passage into winter. Despite mild temps this weekend, we're bracing ourselves for a wet, heavy season. Hopefully, we get a few weeks off before the snow starts. Oh, wait...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Thankful List

1. Under the Moon on Amazon!
Just in time for Black Friday shopping! Get yourself a little treat. :) (It should soon be available in other e-book venues like B&N and Books on Board, etc.)

2. My Family
My amazing kids, who went all out for me for the GISHWHES yesterday (post with pics coming soon), and my long-suffering husband, who never fails to support me and make me smile. Not to mention my delightful in-laws, with whom we spent a lovely day, and my great father, stepmother, and brother—our phone calls today made it perfect.

3. My Clients
I'm so lucky to have such professional, smart, easy people to work with, even if they somehow always manage to dump on me at the same time. :)

4. My Editors and Publishers
Elizabeth Bass and Kerri-Leigh Grady are treasures. If I ever take one of them for granted, someone should tie me to a stake, cover me in bird seed, and let loose a herd of squirrels. (Squirrels don't congregate, so you know if they're in a herd, they're crazy.)

I'm also oh-so-thankful to be part of such fantastic publishers as Amber Quill Press, Carina Press, and Entangled Publishing. (In alphabetical order, as well as order of relationship. :) ) In the wild upheaval that is publishing today, I'm lucky to have these partnerships.

5. About 50 Gagillion Hours of TV Recorded
And now I'm going to go relax and watch some. :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It May Actually NOT Be a Train!

Yes, I'm seeing the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Though I might have put my editor into a coma. That would be a bad thing.

I actually got to watch some TV last night. OMG! BOBBY! I was in so much shock I couldn't have an emotional reaction to it. The one thing they could never, ever do, and it looked like they did it. Much like at the end of season 2, however, we knew there was one more episode before hiatus (well, those of us who watch Nikita knew that), so I held my breath until the preview for the next ep. As soon as Dean said he was breathing, I could, too. They just CAN'T kill Bobby! Again, I mean. For real.

This weekend will be for catchup. Leaf raking, gutter cleaning, the 44 e-mails I've put off while I focused like a laser. Shopping, which might be a little fun rather than tedious and frustrating. We'll see. School play tonight. Number One wasn't involved this year, but one of her best friends was, so we'll go to see her.

Today I'm also blogging at Fresh Fiction about pets. My mother-in-law had a funny story so I stole it. I also shared some pictures of our cats. Come tell me your pet stories, and enter to win an e-copy of Under the Moon. That second link is directly to the contest page, so you can go directly there if you don't have a comment for the blog page.

Tomorrow I'm interviewed at Flutey Words. Aubrie asks some really great questions!

Okay, that's all for now. I'm off to find a pair of jeans without holes. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ubiquitous Me

My fantastic publicist, Roxanne Rhoads, informed me that her interview is in the new issue of Night Owl Reviews Digital Magazine. If that's not a big draw, read it for the interviews with other urban fantasy authors, an article on Allison Brennan, and much, much more!

I posted a deleted scene from Under the Moon at Everybody Needs a Little Romance today.

I'm also at Castles and Guns talking about quirky traits. Come see what mine is and tell me what yours are.

And if you missed my radio guest spot with the fantabulous BK Walker, you can still hear it on demand right here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Soccer-Filled Weekend

The soccer season is usually over the first weekend in November, but thanks to Tropical Storm Lee and the Snowstorm of October, we ended up having two games for each kid this weekend.

Both kids' teams had some pretty big obstacles this year. For Number Two, they had a new coach whose mom died a couple of weeks into the season, so she missed a lot of practices. They'd lost four players and taken on a couple of new ones, and the weather canceled a lot of practices. They had a really hard time meshing. But last week and this week they really came together. They'd gained confidence and comfort with each other, and played hard, coming up with enough wins to finish in second place in their division. The detail Number two is proudest of is Goals Against. She and her co-goalie held 7 opponents to a total of 7 goals.

Number One had different challenges. She had the same coach she's had since fifth grade (he's the best coach in the world, I swear!), but because of a big dropoff in participation at this level, they cobbled together a U19 team that had one senior, a handful of juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, and three 8th graders. Most of the girls hadn't played together, and they faced the same scheduling issues. Number One missed one game due to a groin pull and ankle injury, and was hobbled in others for the same reasons. Yesterday (Saturday), they played with only 7 players against 9 on a field sized for 11 on a side. They didn't win any games, didn't even score more than one goal all season, but they never gave up, never backed down. Today they played fiercely against an overly aggressive team. I'm incredibly proud of them and so glad Number One had the opportunity to play.

Number Two is in fine shape (though she might be sore tomorrow), but Number One is pretty battered. Yesterday she played in goal and was magnificent, but she had a "save" blocking the ball with her abdomen, which now hurts when she sneezes, coughs, or laughs, and tweaked a hamstring. The hamstring wasn't much of an issue today because she got kicked in the kneecap, so that pain overwhelmed the hammy. She can barely walk tonight. But she wears her injuries as badges of honor, so who can complain? She can rest for the next six weeks, until indoor soccer starts. :)

The blog tour continues! Today (Monday!) I'll be at Rosalie Lario's blog, where I talk about why I set my books where I do, and at Rachel Firasek's blog, participating in her month of thanks with a thank-you letter to my mom, who died long before she got to see me reach this level of success.

Tonight (Monday! I'm really messed up writing this post at midnight-ish) I'm doing a radio interview with BK Walker at 6:00 p.m. EST. Tell your friends, and come give a listen!

Now I am off to bed, visions of my Patriots' win over the Jets dancing in my head. :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Supernatural and Soccer and Scrambling

What did you think of last night's episode of Supernatural? I did a recap and review over at Supernatural Sisters. Come chat!

This is going to be a super-busy weekend. We have two soccer games today, followed immediately by a managers' dinner for my husband's work. Two more soccer games tomorrow, one of them an hour away, plus family coming over so we have to do housecleaning in the morning. But this is the LAST soccer weekend! We can start sleeping in on weekends again, and I can use them to catch up on all the work I didn't get done during the week.

Actually, things have slowed down a bit. My promotional commitments are spread out so I don't feel so scrambly. (You can find me at Paranormal Romantics tomorrow and Rosalie Lario's blog [check out her gorgeous new cover today!] on Monday. Monday I also have a thank-you letter posted Rachel Firasek's blog on Monday. She's doing a whole month of thank-yous, and some of them have been heart-wrenching. You should go read them.

My client work is steady but I'm not under an outrageous (self-imposed!) deadline. I'm awaiting some edits on one book and a revision letter on another, but while I wait for those, I have to put a pause on writing the third goddess book, just in case they think I went off the rails on book 2. So I actually have some time to hang out! Kind of. I'm at least going to try to check in on the blogosphere and do some catching up there.

Now that I've thoroughly jinxed myself, I'm off to the soccer game!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The 11-11-11 Singularity

I wondered what to call tomorrow, when the dates all line up, and got caught up in this page. Interesting stuff, that all comes down to essentially nothing. :)

But there is one way 11-11-11 is extremely meaningful to people in my life.

I work at a chiropractor, and the three doctors use bubble forms for each patient. You know, like students use for standardized testing? They are SO EXCITED to be able to just draw one line across for the date bubbles. They'll never be that lucky again.

The even better part is that it's a Friday, when we have the most patients. Maximization! :)

Is 11/11/11 going to be special for you in any way?

I will be blogging at Romance Junkies tomorrow, and then very late in the evening, it will be my turn to post the recap/review of Supernatural at Supernatural Sisters. I've been trying SO HARD to avoid spoilers for this episode, but I opened a Google alert for one of the boys and saw the major detail I didn't want to know. *scowl* I shall endeavor to enjoy it anyway. Come over and chat about the show and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Poking My Head Out for a Sec

I've been in self-imposed, work-induced exile for so long, I have no idea what's going on with anyone. I have to change that soon. I don't know when. Last night I dreamed my publicist kept filling up my inbox with commitments. It was empty when I woke up, but that's just an invitation.

Tuesdays kind of suck. I didn't work at the day job as late as I normally do, but even so, I'm behind. But I guess I'd be a lot behinder if I'd worked an hour and a half longer.

My DVR is dying. It's one of the crappy DirecTV refurbished ones they send free, and it was refurbished in 2007, and it gobbles up chunks of recorded shows if you don't watch them in, like, one day. Which pisses me off because I won't be able to watch this season's Supernatural episodes again until the DVDs come out. I have to call to get a replacement DVR, but we're SO behind on recorded shows because I've been working too much. Maybe we can catch up during hiatus.

I have to say, I'm really enjoying Pan Am, a lot more than I expected. We like Unforgettable, too, mainly because of Poppy Montgomery. Her ability is cool, but other than that, it's just like any other cop show. The supporting cast is distinctive, though, and has potential to grow on us like Ryan and Esposito did on Castle. I originally thought them bland.

Bones is back, and I liked the premiere—the new dynamic between Booth and Brennan has made the show fresh again—but I can't stop thinking about how they cheated the audience. I'm a latecomer and a casual fan, so how must the rabid fans feel about never having gotten that first REAL kiss, never being able to see them fall over the edge into real love?

I'm gonna stop there because I could talk TV all day. LOL I have a ton of work to do!

Tomorrow, I'll be a guest at Leah Braemel's blog, talking about... *digs around* ...the kinds of books we read and how we choose what to read next. Come tell me what you've been reading that's good so I can add to my TBR list! :)

Thursday I'll be doing a speed date at Romance Junkies. Each person gets to ask two questions.

Then I have a regular post at Romance Junkies' main blog on Friday!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Year-End Splash Party!

Just a few quick updates...

The Romance Reviews YES! Party is underway! Today I have a question in the Q&A section, which gives you more clicks to play the game, which enters you into the prize drawings! Have fun! :)

Tomorrow I'll be at Fang-tastic talking about amusing errors or something.

Monday come join me, Lisa Kessler, Sarah Gilman, Darynda Jones, and L. Anne Carrington for a chat at Night Owl Romance.

Wow. I was tired last night. I never finished this post! I think I'll just post it now and pretend that was my intent...

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Yesterday's Near-Death Experiences

Today I am nowhere but here. Tomorrow I will be at The Qwillery, so come join us! I'm giving away a gift certificate to the online bookstore of your choice.

So yesterday morning, I arrived at work and hit the bottom step to the employee entrance. In a split second, that foot shot sideways, and I came down on my shin (dented, bruised) and knee (scraped, bruised, still achy). The knee slam aggravated my right hip, too.

On the way home last night, I'm driving along, slowing as I near a busy intersection. Now, I'm on a major road that has no stop signs or stop lights for at least 5 miles. There were cars ahead of me and behind me, and stopped on either side, exiting side roads. I locked on the guy on my right for some reason, maybe his car was inching out. He was watching to his right. You know how you just KNOW something is going to happen, even if you don't think it in so many words?

Yeah, he pulled out, still not looking in my direction, making a left turn across my lane. I did the slam-and-swerve, as his rear fender filled my vision. I had two seconds of resignation, sure I was going to spin him around, but I swear I missed his bumper by just a couple of inches. I thought he bumped me on the way by because my car lurched, but it was either my car settling after the violent stop, or the car behind me bumped me. I actually have no idea if there was a car behind me, because I was too busy watching the jackass in my rearview mirror, continuing on down the road without even a flash of brakes.

Guess I jammed my right wrist and the seatbelt had fun with my left shoulder and neck. Those are better than they were last night, but still twingy. And I'm still pissed at the MFer who can't look both ways.

And THEN! This is the best one. I was sitting at the dining room table, using my laptop. Frisbee jumped up behind me, as she is wont to do, and stretched up to put her paws on my shoulders. Then she tried to sit back down, but her claws got caught in my sweater. I gagged and choked a "help!" until Number Two came out to unhook those claws I couldn't reach.

*glares at needy cat*
What? I wanted petting.

So far, today has been a much safer day.

What's your most memorable near-death experience?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Do You NaNo?

Today is one day after release day, and I hit #2 on the Carina most popular chart! Woo hoo!

I'll be featured by Carina Press this afternoon, with a post on their blog and some stuff on Twitter and Facebook.

I'm also participating this month in The Romance Reviews YES! Party (Year End Splash party). My Q&A days are Nov. 4 and 23, but there are a ton of authors participating, with bigger tons of prizes available.

So who's doing NaNoWriMo this year?

In 2006, I did my first NaNo with Under the Moon. That book got me an agent and lots of good responses from publishers, but we were submitting a genre-fence-riding book when the bottom fell out of the market, so I didn't find a publisher for it until Entangled, who was willing to offer a contract and then get me off the fence. (It's now planted on the "romance" side, though still leaning on the "urban fantasy" fence. :) )

I participated in and won NaNo for the next five years. One year, both my kids did it with me. After Number Two decided she didn't like writing after all, it was just Number Two, who ALWAYS finished before me, the stinker. I think she's doing it this year, but I'm not.

It makes me sad, in a way. Five years with a certain atmosphere in my house, an excited urgency driving us. There's a fantastic camaraderie with other NaNo participants, and always people whose word counts challenge me (and, occasionally, vice versa!). I'll really miss it!

But I'm not complaining about why I'm missing it. Promotion for two book releases, a double deadline with two publishers...triple if you count book 3 of Goddesses Rising, which isn't due for a few months but I'm working on it every day. I didn't wait until today to start it, or I'd be doing THAT for NaNo. :)

So how many of you are participating? Have you done it before? What's your record? Let us cheer you on!