Monday, May 31, 2010

My First Author Interview

Just a quickie post today so I can get back to family. We're spending this Memorial Day with my dad (veteran) and brother-in-law (active duty).

My first author interview is up at Critique This WIP. Thank you to Courtney and the girls for this opportunity. Go check them out!

Have a safe and fun holiday! Tomorrow's teaser: photos from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. It was awesome!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Five for Friday

Happy Friday! And there's no better one than that before a long weekend! Woohoo!

Actually, my weekend has been extra long. In fact, yesterday started mine and I've been in Orlando. While you're reading this, I'm at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure and, hopefully, checking out the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!!! According to rumor, today is a soft opening.

(Truth be told, I'm writing this Wednesday night to post on Friday with the magic [sadly, not HP magic] of technology. So, I'm not positive we'll get to go through HP world, but if we do, I'll tell you all about it next week!)

Anyway, here are five things I hope we all get to do this holiday weekend:

  1. Spend time with family and friends.
  2. Relax.
  3. Appreciate our freedoms and remember the fallen soldiers who gave their lives for us.
  4. Take a dip in the pool, sit on the beach or at least spend a little time in the great outdoors.
  5. Drink an ice-cold beer or some kind of frozen concoction. Or both.

Enjoy your weekend! Be safe!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

TRUE BLOOD!!!! I have Season 2 on DVD in my hands! Woohoo!

No, I have not seen all of the second season. I admit it. The Man and I watched Season 1 on DVD last year and didn't subscribe to HBO in time for the start of Season 2, so we've been waiting patiently. Well, he has. I cheated and watched some of the episodes at a friend's house. But we will be watching all of the episodes back-to-back the rest of the week, getting ready for Season 3 to start in 19 days (which I know because of that handy counter down at the bottom *grin*).

So this week's teaser is from the latest Sookie Stackhouse book, Dead in the Family. I haven't started it yet - I'm making myself finish Dracula first, so it's a teaser for me, too. So I'm flipping to a random page to see what exciting tease I can share...
I wasn't going to ask Bill why he was reluctant to contact someone who could help him. Bill was a stubborn and persistent man, and I wasn't going to be able to persuade him otherwise since he'd made up his mind. We sat in silence for a moment.

"Do you love Eric?" Bill said, all of a sudden. His deep brown eyes were fixed on me with the total attention that had played a large part in attracting me to him when we'd met.

Was everyone I knew fixated on my relationship with the sheriff of Area Five?

Nope, not gonna give away her answer, for all of us who haven't read it yet. :-) And if you have - or beat me to it - well, I just read ahead anyway. Bwahahaha!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Five for Friday

Looking for something good to read this weekend? Check out and bookmark these review blogs for great recommendations for urban/contemporary fantasy and paranormal reads.

1. All Things Urban Fantasy
2. Bitten by Books
3. Ex Libris
4. Paranormal Haven
5. Book Chick City

Have a great weekend and happy reading!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

So, I thought about keeping to the Teaser Tuesday theme and being a real tease and only showing you this:

Or this...

But I'm too excited to wait even a day longer. So....

Here it is...

Wait for it...

Am I being a big tease?

OK, here it is.


The front:

And the whole thing:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Insane Characters...and Writers

I see you had the pleasure of meeting Alexis last week. I apologize for her insanity. She really is in a dark, miserable place in PURPOSE. We will soon be making strides in digging herself out of there once again. It’s the most emotionally packed section of any of my books so far and it really is good, but it’s the most difficult part to write, rewrite, revise, etc. I hate it just as much as she does.

Anyway, last week’s posts were the result of many things going through my mind in the weeks prior. It was a fun way to introduce you to Alexis, Tristan and excerpts of the book and hopefully whet your appetite for PROMISE. It was also a good writing exercise in character development. The posts were actually kind of difficult to write because in the three books I’ve been writing with her, her voice has changed as she matures and evolves. The posts are based on where she’s at in PURPOSE but more in the voice of the third book, but limited to what you experience in PROMISE. So, yeah, a challenging writing exercise.

It wasn’t the marketing and writing challenge that led me to the idea though. It was actually one of those weird ideas writers get that kept growing in my mind. Someone (sorry, I can’t remember who it was) posted on Facebook that they stopped on a piece to start on something new, right as the characters in the first piece were about to have sex. She wondered if the characters were mad at her. I imagined these poor people, naked in a semi-dark room, panting as desire all but consumes them and they just have to stand there and wait until the author comes back to write the scene.

My mind took off with it from there. I imagined characters coming to life in our computers while we’re away, a la “Toy Story,” taking revenge on the authors who left them suffering. Then I got even more carried away with the idea from “Men in Black” that our big universe is really just a marble in someone else’s much larger universe. We are living out the lives of characters in a bigger story that someone else is writing.

Just like in the books we write, our own story is about the exciting times, the times that form our character, challenge us, make us become better people. We create havoc in our characters’ lives to help them grow, because the smooth, happy times don’t accomplish what a crisis can. That’s what our Writer does for us – gives us obstacles to overcome, weaknesses to improve, breaking points that we can survive, all to better equip us to fight our own enemy and to reach our potentials.

Most of the time, our lives are boring and we just live them out on our own, until our Writer decides it’s time to grow again. So maybe, like us, our characters are carrying on in their own little worlds with all that mundane stuff when we’re not looking. They go to the bathroom, do the laundry, wax their eyebrows, get that embarrassing health issue taken care of…things that must be done but don’t move the story along.

Or maybe they’re limited to our computers, destroying the alternative outlines that kill them off so you’ll forget you ever had that idea. Or maybe they’re frozen in time, naked in the heat of the moment or hanging upside-down from a tree branch or staring their enemy in the eye, unable to do anything until we write it down. Or maybe they’re just running rampant in our minds, poke, poke, poking us in the gray matter, screaming in our heads until we finally sit down and give words to their stories.

My characters are very real to me, so I can imagine any of the above. Can you? Or am I really just as insane as Alexis?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Five for Friday

I know, it’s Saturday now. Sorry this is late. I was waiting for a moment when Kristie was away to post this, but she shut the computer at 5:30 p.m. last night! Can you believe it?!? She never turns off the computer until like 2 a.m. So I was kind of stuck in the dark and then she got to work this morning, and I finally have a chance to put this up.

So, here are my five favorite things [from Alexis]:

  1. Tristan – His eyes, his purrrrfectly chiseled chest, his hands and what they do to me [shudder], his luscious lips…
  2. Vampires and everything magical and fantastical
  3. Chocolate croissants
  4. Writing
  5. You!!

There’s something else, but, unfortunately, I can’t tell you right now. You’ll have to read Promise and Purpose.

Thank you for distracting me from my woes this week. I guess now I have to go back to waiting in my misery. Kristie promises to be back, though, so we can finally finish this story.

Talk to you soon!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Not-So-Enlightening Conversation With Tristan

Hello, real-lifers, it’s Alexis again. Yes, I’m still here, even after what I did Monday and Tuesday. So either Kristie doesn’t know yet that I posted two whole chapters of Promise or just doesn’t care. I guess we’ll find out soon. I’m a little giddy today. Tristan’s here! Yes, he still makes me giddy. That’s a good thing, considering we’re supposed to spend forever together.

I’ll start by telling you a little bit about the true love of my life. First, he’s absolutely beautiful. Yeah, you probably get that already, with all the gushing I did over there. But I can’t help it. And he’s much more than just good looking. He’s an amazingly talented artist and a math geek, too. He likes to cook, ride motorcycles and watch sunsets on the beach.

Tristan: Sounds like a personal ad. Except the math part. That’s not very sexy.

Me: Even the math part’s sexy about you.

Tristan: Haven’t we had this conversation before?

Me: Um, yes and no. We had to delete that scene.

Tristan [frowning]: Too bad. I kind of liked that scene.

Me: Don’t worry. There’s still lots of kissing and, um, other stuff. So, well, [trying to be sneaky here] what were you like as a kid?

Tristan [answers with a scowl]

Me: Okay, fine. I know you don’t like talking about your past. What do you want to talk about?

Tristan [smiling now]: You.

Me: Today is about you. What’s your favorite memory?

Tristan [huge grin]: Hurricanes.

Me: Hurricanes?

Tristan: Specifically, Hurricane Alexis.

Me [blushing profusely]: Um, yeah…well, they don’t know that part yet. And if we’re not careful, that might become a deleted scene, too.

Tristan: Right. I certainly don’t want that to happen. No secrets out of these lips. All of my favorite memories would get us in trouble, though. I guess there’s the time you threw the dart at me. Or our first sunset. Ah. Our first kiss. That’s an excellent memory.

Me [grinning]: Yes, it is.

Tristan: And then there was kicking Edmund’s ass.

Me: That’s a horrible memory!

Tristan: I would have never let him hurt you, my love.

Me: So sex and violence? Those are your favorite memories? You are such a man!

Tristan: Most definitely. [He winks. And if you don’t know what that does to me…shiver.]

Me: You’re avoiding the real you.

Tristan: We’re both pretty good at that, aren’t we?

Me: Yeah, I guess we are. So, real-lifers, you’ll just have to read the books to know more. Maybe Kristie will bring us back sometime, if you ask her nicely.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

It’s me, Alexis, again. No, Kristie hasn’t come back yet, but I’m feeling a little better, having control of the blog this week. At least I have control of something, since I have little over my own life.

I’ve been digging around her files, too, to make sure she doesn’t have any horrible plans for me. Apparently, she’s a pantser, because I can’t find any outlines. A few notes here and there, but nothing good. I, personally, am an outliner. I don’t know how pantsers do it (for you non-writer real-lifers, pantsers write by the seat of their pants, without a real outline). I think it’s good for me that she’s a pantser, though. Gives me a little more control, right? [crazy grin, rubs hands together] Bwahahaha! (Did I mention I’m about to lose my mind?)

I’ve been perusing through the blog, too, and apparently Tuesdays are for teasers. So I’m giving the ultimate teaser. This will really teach Kristie to leave me in such a state! You’ll need some time for this, but if you really want a taste of Promise, go here. Yep. I put up two whole chapters! Hehe.

Go on. Go read it. Then come back when you’re done. Since you’ll know a little more about us, you might have some questions now. And if you don’t have any about us, feel free to ask anything about Kristie. I live in her head – I know all the dirt!

(And, um, if I don’t come back, please, please, please beg Kristie to have mercy on me.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

This Blog Has Been Jacked

Ahem. Um…hello? [Tap, tap, tap] Is this thing on? Oh! Uh…hi. I’m, uh, looking for my author. Do you know her? Her name’s Kristie. I’m Alexis, from Promise, and I kind of need her right now. Have you seen her? No? Well, crap.

See, we’re working on the next book, Purpose, and she’s left me in the middle of a big crisis. In fact, it’s absolute hell for me and I’d really like to get past this part. Yeah, we’ve already finished it once and I know things will get better, but I just really hate getting stuck back here again. It nearly kills me every time we go through it. And now she’s left me here, about to lose my freakin’ mind.

[Sound of a document opening.]

Oh. Hold on a sec. Maybe that’s her.

[Document closes.]

Son of a witch! Yeah, that was her alright! She opened the file for just a minute, said something about having to live her real life for a while and I’d just have to wait, then closed it again. So now I’m supposed to just sit here and wallow in my misery until she decides she has time for me again! She has these things called day-job clients and real kids and trying to get stuff done for Promise’s release. Apparently all stuff that’s more important than us right now. Doesn’t she know I’m on the verge of insanity?!? The nerve!!!

Well, I’ll show her! Since I’m a little on the crazy side anyway, I’m jackin’ the blog this week. Yep, it’s all mine. I’ll plead temporary insanity when she returns. It’s her fault, anyway. She put me in this mess.

Hmm...I better not go too crazy. After all, I’m a writer, too, and I know exactly what happens to characters who misbehave. Not even I’m safe. I know all about changing points of view in the middle of a book or series just so you can off the MC. [gulp] Kristie wouldn’t really do that, would she? I kind of like living in her head and I think she likes me, too. I’m not positive, though. I mean, if you knew the things she put me through… She’s horrible sometimes! Like right now, when I’m suffering through the darkest days of my life. Huh…maybe she’s really a bitch.

[Looks around, sees the sidebar.]

Oh, well, she looks nice. And she has a lot of friends, so she can’t be too bad. Oh! Look! There’s you! Look at all you real-lifers with your cute smiles and safe lives. Must be nice. Trust me. No matter how tough your life seems, it’s nothing like ours. I’m sure you don’t have demons chasing after you and your loved ones. Well, not real, physical ones that growl and bite and tear off body parts. Oops. I better watch what I say. Kristie would kill me if I give anything away. I mean, actually kill me.

So…what are we going to do this week? I guess I can start by telling you a little about me. I’m not really good at that, though. Maybe that seems weird, since you’ll be learning all about me in Kristie’s books, and they do get extremely personal. I mean, very close-up, with Tristan and me. [blushes] But, admittedly, those are my favorite parts. [shy grin]

Um…about me…well, what do you want to know? Why don’t you ask the questions and I’ll answer them this week. I can probably get Tristan to come over, too. Can you say yummy? Hmm…maybe I don’t want to share after all. We’ll, see…

If we have time before Kristie comes back and discovers what I’m doing, I’ll introduce a couple other characters this week, too. And they can probably tell you more about me than I can. So, if there’s anything you want to know, now’s the time to ask. We have to be careful and not give away too much – none of us want to be killed off – but since I’ve just been left hanging here, I’m willing to take a few chances. Maybe next time Kristie will think twice before leaving me like this again, the little witch.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Winners!!! 50 to 100 Followers Giveaway Update

Wow! We did it! 106 Followers!!!! You all are the very bestest followers ever for joining me here and telling your friends. I sincerely appreciate every one of you for spending a little of your precious time reading my rambles. {{{HUGS}}} to all of you!

We have 303 total entries in the giveaway and it looks like you’re all excited for it to end now that we’ve reached our goal. And so early! What over-achievers you all are.

Before I announce the winners, how about we look at what you can win?!? Thanks to all of you who threw in some great ideas.

[Said in game-show announcers voice] And, here are the prize packages…


Grand Prize:
  • Adult (U.S. winner only) – Your choice of a book from Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series OR from Allyson James’ Mortals series; plus a signed ARC of PROMISE by Kristie Cook; plus a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks to keep you awake for all that reading; plus a bottle of Got a Date To-Knight OPI nail polish (you’ll know its significance after reading PROMISE hehe); plus a surprise PROMISE gift.
  • Young Adult Gift Basket (U.S. winner only) – Your choice of a book from The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (obviously, MOCKINGJAY will be pre-ordered for you, but won’t arrive until Aug. 24) OR your choice from FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH or DEAD-TOSSED WAVES by Carrie Ryan; plus a signed ARC of PROMISE by Kristie Cook (it’s not YA, though, Rated R, so if you’d like something else, we can arrange it); plus a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks to keep you awake for all that reading; plus a bottle of Got a Date To-Knight OPI nail polish (you’ll know its significance after reading PROMISE hehe); plus a surprise PROMISE gift.
      • International (uh…this is for international winners, in case that wasn’t, you know, obvious) – $35 gift certificate to Book Depository plus a coupon code for a free download of PROMISE as an ebook, once available

      Runners-Up (two)
      • Pick any one of the above mentioned books plus a signed ARC of PROMISE by yours truly
      • (International) - $10 gift certificate to Book Depository plus a coupon code for a free download of PROMISE as an ebook, once available

      And the winners are…

      Another *druuuuuuummmmmmroooooollllllll*<

      Grand Prize: Ebyss
      1st Runner-Up: Rebecca T - SonshineMusic
      2nd Runner-Up: Shirley


      Email me at kristie AT kristiecook DOT com with your choice of YA or Adult (or let me know if you’re international) and a shipping address. Please note that I don’t have all the prizes in hand yet – it will be a few weeks. Everything should ship out the end of the month.

      Friday, May 7, 2010

      Five for Friday

      For Mother's Day, five things I love about being a Mom:

      1. Flutter of those first kicks
      2. Hearing their heartbeats for the first time
      3. First cries
      4. First smiles
      5. Looking UP at them (two are a foot taller than me!) and saying "Because I'm the Mom! That's why!"

      Oh...and the pride I feel when I see what great young men they are growing up to be. I love my herd!

      Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!

      Thursday, May 6, 2010

      OMG - I Feel Like an Arse

      LOOK!!!! ----------------------------------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>

      See all those followers??? Holy cow! Nice to meet you all! And I feel like such an arse now because I've been a very lame blogger this week.

      The good news, though? I am compiling the prize basket for the giveaway. And we're almost there! Almost to 100 followers. It happened so fast, so I really must get a move on. Specific announcement coming tomorrow.

      Because it happened so fast (I expected this to go until May 31), I have a question for my lovelies. We can stop it at 100 followers (a few extra if I don't catch it right away) and there will be 3 winners - 1 grand prize and 2 runners-up. Or we can let it go on until May 15 and go for 4 winners - 1 grand prize and 3 runners-up. What do you think? Just so you know, there are a total of 247 entries right now. Don't forget...every comment gains another entry for you. So tell me your thoughts!

      Edited to add: The prizes won't all be ready for a couple weeks anyway (I really thought I had more time but you all are just full of awesome energy!) case this affects your opinion.

      Tuesday, May 4, 2010

      Teaser Tuesday

      After last week's insane week, I'm somewhat discombobulated this week, trying to catch up on things that have been ignored. So, for this week's Teaser Tuesday, I'm teasing you with a few of my favorite things to cheer us all up. :) Enjoy!!

      And because I have this insane crush on William Levy, another one of him:

      I used insane twice in this 20-word post...must tell you something about how I'm feeling right now. LOL

      What would you add as your favorite things? Point me to a picture and we'll share.