Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Sooo...this week's tease will be a bit delayed. It will be posted Thursday. Sorry!!! But it's not because I'm taking all advantage of my break and being a big slacker. No, not at all. It's because it's Michelle Gregory's "Share Your Darlings Blogfest." Another blogfest!!! Woot!!!
*There are only 12 of us so far. It's not too late to join! Go on over and sign up!

Writers are often told to "kill your darlings." For a long time, I thought this meant that you have to be willing to kill off a character for the sake of the story, even if you love that character with all your heart. I have no idea if the phrase ever had to do with that or not. But the real writer-ly meaning is about cutting those sentences, paragraphs, scenes or even chapters that do nothing for the story, no matter how much we love them.

They might be beautifully written, but boring. They might provide a little character-building, but don't have any conflict that keep the pages turning.They might be an interesting flashback or a dream or back-story that can be better woven into other scenes rather than be a whole chunk on its own. Whatever the reason, we writers love them, they are our darlings, but we know we must kill them.

I'm especially excited for this blogfest because there is one scene in particular that I absolutely luuuuurve and I had to cut it from Promise. It didn't pull its weight in moving the story along. Removing it was like cutting a little piece of my heart out. It's one of my fave darlings and I'm so excited I get to at least share it here. (And this, by the way, is why I save new versions of my writing all the time and when I cut a scene...it's not completely gone. You just never know when you can use something...)

So come back Thursday to share my little darling. In the meantime, here's some music enjoyment from the Promise playlist. I haven't yet figured out how to put one of those playlist doo-hickeys up, so for now I'll just post the first two songs here - and in video form!


The Middle - Jimmy Eat World

Analyse - The Cranberries

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Interrupting My Break for an Important Reminder

First: Thank you for sticking around, although I'm taking a break from blogging right now. I'm still reading as many of yours as I can when I get the chance. Even if I don't comment, I'm reading. And I will be back - with a vengeance - by the end of this week.

Second: I'm interrupting my break for a blatant promotion, so you've been warned. I just didn't want anyone to miss out, in case you've been waiting to pre-order Promise. After looking at the calendar for the hundredth time, we've decided that we must have all pre-orders by July 9 to ensure that they can be signed and delivered by July 30. With next week's holiday, time can slip away fast.

Place your order at www.IHavePromise.com on the Where to Buy tab.

And if you're not quite convinced to buy yet, check out this review at Ebysswriter (yes, it made me all tingly-happy).

Thank you so much!! Now I'll leave you to your own busy lives for a few more days. Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Guest Post and Giveaways

I'm visiting over at Tynga's Reviews today and wanted to invite you over to Paranormal Summer Fest! Tynga's featuring a guest post by yours truly PLUS a giveaway of Promise and bookmarks. (There are lots of other giveaways going on there, too, so check it all out while you're there.)

And, while we're on the subject of freebies, there's only one week left in the Goodreads giveaway, with 3 signed ARCs up for grabs. I just ask that if you win, please post a review on Goodreads. *grin*

OK, back to working in Purpose. It's coming along nicely, by the way. Of course, I'm creating shiny new words (that really aren't shiny - but they will be once they're polished), and I love this part. It's the figuring out how to weave them into the existing story that will be painful.

Have you ever had a book that came up so short on word count that you had to create all kinds of new plot twists and sub-plots? What did you do - add new chapters or weave it into and around the existing structure? How did it work for you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Bit of a Break

I have been a bad blogger. Bad. Very bad. Okay, I just looked at the last couple of weeks...not too bad. But not great, either. I apologize to my faithful friends. All three of you. Unfortunately, it will be worse this week and next.

Next week because I have tons going on. It's all good stuff, but will keep me tied up most of the days and evenings. And I'm glad it's next week and not in July, which will be crazy-busy. A different crazy-busy because that's when Promise releases. (WOOT! WOOT! Ahem, sorry. Just couldn't control myself.) That means lots of blogs, here and other places, and you will be so sick of me that you'll wish to return to these days of my bad bloggership.

This week because I really, really need to work on Purpose so it can, indeed, come out in the fall. It still needs about 25,000 words and I have a really great idea to tie into the current story. But it's not just writing new stuff, which is relatively easy because it's so exciting. The first couple drafts are so much fun to me, they don't feel like work. (Of course, they're such garbage, I then have to put lots of work into them...but I digress.) It's also making it work with what's already there. So it needs focus and time.

Which means I will be quiet here until I can get through the difficult parts. Once I get back into revisions, I'll feel like being creative somewhere and what better place than here? I'm sorry to all two of you who will miss me dearly (I see I just lost someone already). But I promise I'll be back. And I'll be much more lively than I have been.

In the meantime, I might have some cool updates regarding Promise and I will keep you updated about them. Otherwise, I hope you're all enjoying summer, family and vacations. Talk to you soon!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Five for Friday

One of the reasons I worked so hard to bring my family to Florida sooner rather than later is because the state offers an excellent scholarship program for all of its high school graduates. We will have three in college at the same time, so, yeah, that means a lot.

One of the requirements is for students to put in community service hours. My oldest, who will be a senior next year, procrastinated on this forever. The Man (his dad) found a great opportunity for him. One of his techs' wives is a marine biologist for some kind of non-profit organization. She needs help. So Son#1 and her husband go out on the boat and cruise the harbor and into the Gulf, replacing batteries in fish detectors. Now how's THAT for community service?!?

Anyway, this guy (in his 50s) texts my son the other day about a party out on one of the barrier islands on Sunday. It can only be reached by boat. And he adds, "It's Father's Day. I'm sure your dad would love spending the day with all the girls in their bikinis."

Say what?!? Obviously, I didn't think that was such a great idea. So today's Five for Friday are some ideas we can do for the fathers in our lives, whether they are our dads, step-dads, grandpas, husbands, fathers of our children, uncles, neighbors, etc. Ideas that moms can embrace a little better than a big party with drunk, half-naked girls.

  1. Create a Jib-Jab Father's Day greeting.
  2. Make a photo video of old family vacations put to dad's fave music.
  3. Hire a lawn service to take care of the yard this week.
  4. Write a short story about one of your favorite memories (since we are mostly all writers here...)
  5. And, heck, I guess if he wants to sit on the beach or go to a party where there are young girls in bikinis, it is his day. And, after all, there are guys to appreciate, too. :)

Enjoy the weekend! Pamper the dads in your life. Give them lots of love.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

It's a Character Interview Blogfest! Woot! I luuuurv blogfests. Today's is brought to you by the lovely Sangu Mandanna at Echoes of a Wayward Mind. Check out the link list to read writers' interviews with their characters. Does interviewing our characters fall in the same category as talking to ourselves? Hmm...

Oh, well. Who cares? I don't! Everyone thinks I'm weird anyway.

So, you've met Alexis (sort of) and Tristan (sort of) here and here respectively. You can get to know them a little better here, where you're also introduced to Sophia, Alexis's mom. Sophia is a hard nut to crack. She's had a tough life, but I'm not sure when and how it will all come out, so I'm not going to give any spoilers here. Just know that life has led her to become independent and pretty distrusting. On the other hand, she has an undying loyalty to her heritage, so even when she doesn't agree with the decisions, she'll follow through on them. She takes her responsibilities very seriously.

Because of this, many of my early readers don't like Sophia, especially in the beginning, but they do usually by the end. She really is a badass (get a glimpse of it here) and she behaves the way she does to meet her obligations while protecting Alexis. In her mind, these two needs often conflict with each other.

Anyway, onto the interview...

Me: Hello, Sophia. Thank you for giving me a little bit of your time.

Sophia: Thank you for having me. To be honest, I'm glad to have the opportunity to give you a different perspective, from a more mature point-of-view, if you know what I mean.

Me: Mmm...Yes, more mature. But we won't go into just how much more mature right now.

Sophia: I am not ashamed of my age.

Me: And you shouldn't be. If I looked like you, I'd want to live forever, too. You're just too gorgeous.

Sophia (waving her hand in dismissal): I certainly hope we're not here to discuss my age or my appearance. I believe we have more important topics?

Me: Yes, of course. So, let's start with your relationship with Alexis. Are you two close?

Sophia: We are very close. She calls me her best friend and we're really each other's only friends, at least while mainstreaming. I do have good friends, whom I miss very much, but my daughter needs me most right now.  So I am here for her and I know she is always there for me. She's always been well behaved and had no reason to keep secrets from me. At least, until now... But it's to be expected. She's been going through many changes and has to accept a lot at face value. It would frustrate me, too. In fact, I think she handles it quite well.

Me: So why are you so hard on her?

Sophia: Well, like any mother, I just want what's best for her. But I'm in a different position than most mothers. I have a good idea of what her future will be like. If all goes well, best case scenario, Alexis will be amazing, but she will also have a lot of pressure on her. Much more than I ever will. After all, the future of mankind will rest on her. And if it goes badly...well, let's just say it will be bad for all of us.

Me: And that's why you're so protective?

Sophia: It's a hard place to be in, being her mother. I know all of the dangers that lurk out there, wanting to take her life. I also know that she is well protected. But I can't stop being her mother. I can't stop worrying that we're all missing something that will end everything. And I also can't keep her from trying to live a somewhat normal life. I know she has dreams and aspirations, and I want to do what I can to help her achieve those...but not at the sacrifice of her life or the world's future. It's a fine line I must walk every waking minute.

Me: You're right. You are in a difficult position. But enough about Alexis. Let's talk more about you. What do you do when you're not working or ensuring your daughter's safety?

Sophia: I love to read. I love books and stories. You can experience so much in the safety of your own home. That's why I always wanted to open a bookstore. I wanted to share all these stories and experiences with others, especially children. I enjoy watching movies, too, especially spy movies from the 50s and 60s. I always love a good romance, whether a book or a movie. I suppose because it's been so long since I've had one myself.

Me: Do you ever plan to remarry, after Alexis leaves the house?

Sophia (with a laugh): If we can ever get to that point! Seriously, though, I don't know. It takes a special, er, man to be able to handle our love. It would have to be when I don't mainstream anymore, when I can be with someone closer to us...someone who can endure the physical aspects... (she winks)

Me: Okay, then. I think we'll leave it at that. Thank you, again, for joining us. You certainly did give us a different perspective on things.

Sophia: You're very welcome. (in a whisper) Now, since we're on the subject of men and me...do you have any plans? I mean, I don't mind, for Alexis's sake, but will there ever be a time...?

Me (with a sly smile): Now, Sophia, you know that's up to you. If you meet someone that grabs your attention, I'm sure you'll let me know.

So, there she is, laying it all out. Well, most of it. Okay...not much. But at least we know her side of things a little better. I think it makes it easier to at least empathize with her actions. Stay tuned to the Soul Savers series to learn more...and to find out if Sophia ever does get a mate.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Just a quick heads-up on Promise giveaways around the 'net:

  • Goodreads has three signed ARCs of Promise up for grabs. Over 230 entries so far. Enter here.
  • Tynga's Reviews will be hosting a guest post from me on June 23rd. She'll also be giving away a signed ARC of Promise, as well as bookmarks. This is for her and All Things Urban Fantasy's Paranormal Summer Fest going on all this month. Giveaways, interviews and guest posts by all kinds of authors. Check it out!

Okay, off to write my blogfest entry for this week. Tune in tomorrow and meet Sophia, Alexis's mother.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Five for Friday

I'm feeling a little brain-dead after all the excitement this week. So I'm keeping it simple (but hopefully not lame haha).

Five things you should know about Promise:
  1. It's not, I repeat NOT Young Adult. Older YA readers will enjoy it (and some have already), but if you're looking for a squeaky-clean book for children, this is not it. There seems to be a misconception that it's YA and I don't want parents mad at me for exposing their innocent kids...or readers writing about how shocked they were with it.
  2. It's basically a prologue for the rest of the series. Part of the misconception might be because Alexis is 18 when the story starts. By the end, she's 20 and very much an adult through the rest of the series. Promise introduces the characters and some of the mythology, while sharing the love story between Alexis and Tristan. I'll be doing a guest post for Tynga's Paranormal Summer Fest on June 23rd, with a more in-depth explanation.
  3. Promise will be available widely starting the end of July, including on Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Borders.com, BarnesandNoble.com, iTunes/iBooks, Smashwords, etc., as well as through indie and chain bookstores.
  4. But, you can only pre-order Promise through the website: www.IHavePromise.com.
  5. All pre-orders will be signed and include a discount coupon for an e-book version, so you can keep your signed copy pretty and nice.

Next week may be a little crazy. I'm making my bi-monthly trip to Orlando for the day job, along with everything else going on in prep for Promise's release, while also working hard on Purpose. Knowing the ending of Promise, I'm pretty sure readers will be anxious to know what happens. (I'll be hiding in a bullet-proof safe room until book two's release.) So, if I'm a lame-o blogger next week, at least you've been warned. :-) Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My First Awards

The generous and entertaining Dawn Embers (found over here) has granted me not one, but two awards. And these are my first ever blog awards! Thank you, Dawn, for popping my award cherry. :-) I am so excited and flattered!

First...the Prolific Blogger Award.

So, right now, I'm not feeling so prolific. In fact, I feel like I've been slacking with you all, my lovelies. Much of the PITA stuff for publication is nearly out of the way, leaving only fun stuff (until the next book, anyway), so I'll have more time to play with you all. And more time to write. Yay!

I think the only thing I have to do with this one is pass it along. If I'm mistaken, please let me know what embarrassing things I must do. *Just because you tell me doesn't mean I'll do it, though. Just sayin'.

I bequeath the Prolific Blogger Award to:

  • Michelle Gregory over at beautiful chaos - Like me, she likes blogfests. AND she is hosting one that I'm really looking forward to on July 1st: Share Your Darlings. For this one, writers can share beautifully written or favorite scenes that ended up being cut because they just don't help the story. I have one in particular from Promise that I still LOVE, so I'm glad for the opportunity to share it. Thanks, Michelle! She's at a writer's conference right now (lucky!), but will be back to share all kinds of good stuff...I hope.
  • Courtney Reese over here - Courtney did my FIRST EVER author interview. It was so much fun! And she's a prolific blogger because she has, like, 25 blogs. OK, 4, but isn't that more than enough?!? That's what I call prolific!
  • Elizabeth Mueller over here - I always enjoy what she has to say, whether it's laugh-out-loud funny or thought-provoking. You need to follow her.
The second award is the Life Is Good Award. And who can argue with that? OK, I know sometimes we feel like we can, but, really, imagine if you were one of our characters! Makes our own lives seem not-so-bad after all.

 I get to answer questions for this one.

1. What is your favorite genre to read? Why?
Well, I guess it would be biographies and autobiographies, which is also what I write. People are so interesting and have such fascinating lives! Oh. Wait. Huh?!? I was just told that Harry Potter, Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake, Katniss Everdeen, et al...Are. Not. Real. Seriously?!? And Alexis isn't either?!? ACK!!!!

Ahem...OK, then...I guess that means I read fantasy/urban fantasy/paranormal/contemporary fantasy/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. I loved this genre when I was young, but through my teens and 20s, I leaned toward thriller/horror/suspense, as in Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Harry Potter renewed my love for all things magical and otherworldly. I like fantasy because it gives a real escape from our sometimes harsh realities.

If you couldn't write in the genre you do, what genre would you write in? 
I have a couple ideas for thrillers and I might enjoy romance...if I didn't have to follow the rules.

3. Pepsi or Cola? 
Mich Ultra. Isn't Pepsi a cola? Before I became addicted to Diet Coke, I was a Pepsi drinker, for sure. I've cut my DC addiction down to just a couple a week now. Now it's water and the occasional beer or wine or martini.

4. How do you like to spend your Sundays?
Writing and sleeping or on the back of a Harley or on the beach

5. Penguin or Giraffe?
Both. And elephants, too.

6. What type of vehicle do you drive?
A convertible. After more than a decade of mommy-mobiles, including the dreaded minivan and SUVs, I now drive a car I want and love. It's a 2-seater which gets me out of mom-taxi driving. Fortunately (and unfortunately), my kids can drive now, so it hasn't been too much of an issue. Although, the Tahoe still sits in the driveway for when it's needed.

7. Would you lick a battery if your life depended on it?
I have, so I guess so.

8. When do you like to write - in the morning, in the afternoon, evening?
Whenever I can, but I'm a night owl (this will post in the morning, but I'm writing it at 11:15 at night).

9. Which do you like more - Facebook or Twitter?
Definitely Facebook. I think Twitter moves too fast for me. I'm so busy keeping up with everyone's tweets, I forget to tweet myself. Except for #wipfire. I miss it.

10. If you get hurt (like a scrape on the knee or break your arm), do you ask for a band aid?
Usually only if it's on my hands and onions and garlic will irritate it while cooking. I love to cook...and that's usually when I get hurt. I've never broken my arm or any other bone, but I'm pretty sure a band aid won't do much for that. Am I mistaken?

People who get this award...
Whew! Did I blabber enough for ya? Does that make up for my recent slacking? Now you know more than you probably want to. Or is there more? Ask away...but just because you ask doesn't mean I'll answer. Just sayin'. ;-)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Big, BIG News!!

You can now pre-order Promise! Woohoo!!!! Everything is ready to go. All pre-ordered copies come with a discount coupon for an ebook and will be signed by yours truly.

*Okay, so I know it's not, like, J.K. or anything, but hey...it's something. ;-)

If you'll be in the Southwest Florida area (or would like to make a special trip to Paradise) on July 30th, come to the Promise Release Party! Everyone who pre-orders is invited. Pick up your signed book and celebrate with us. Trust me...I will be celebrating!!!!

So how do you get yours? Go HERE (or www.IHavePromise.com/p/where-to-buy.html). Thank you in advance!!!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

More Harry Potter! Yes, I'm a big fan. And you can call me lazy. Or busy. Yeah, that's it...busy. For real - I have waaaaayyyy too much stuff going on. So I'm keeping it simple...but still FUN!!!

Today's tease is for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I movie. There's a new trailer!! Woot!

And for Twilight: Eclipse, here's a new trailer, too. I don't like this one as much as the others though...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Five for Friday

Blogfests! They're all over the place this month! So this week's Five for Friday is all about blogfests. What I'll be doing this month (I hope you'll join the fun!):

  1. Amalia T's Dream Sequence Blogfest - Today, June 4
  2. Rachel Bateman's Beach Scene Blogfest - Saturday, June 5
  3. Sangu Mandanna's Character Interview Blogfest - Tuesday, June 15
  4. Michelle Gregory's Share Your Darlings Blogfest - Thursday, July 1

That's only 4, you say? Of course, this is Five for Friday. Not Four for Friday! What's number 5? My entry for the Dream Sequence Blogfest!

I wrote this sometime last year and it was at one time on my website. This is a dream Alexis had the night she met Tristan. You can read that night over at the Promise excerpts at www.IHavePromise.com. The dream means nothing. Seriously. Don't go reading anything into it. It's just her fascination with "mythical" creatures getting the best of her.

Warning: It's not really that good. I read it now and wonder what the heck I was on while writing it. But I realized all my other dreams give too much away. So here you go...

We sat on the beach by Mom’s cottage at sunset, but neither of us paid attention to the vivid colors in the sky or the whispering waves of the Gulf of Mexico quietly sliding over the sand. Our eyes were on each other. His were sparkling as he smiled slightly, seductively. He lifted his hand to my face and stroked his fingertips across my cheek. I shivered, though all I could feel was warmth spreading over my skin.

“Beautiful,” he murmured in his low, sexy voice.

And I was beautiful in my dream. Not my normal, ordinary self. Chestnut hair, striking mahogany eyes, perfect features…I was as beautiful as my stunning (and somehow forever young) mother. But I was definitely me – my pounding heart and shallow breathing confirmed that.

He leaned in and his mouth pressed against mine, kissing me gently at first, his satiny lips sliding so softly against mine. But as the heat built, the kisses became longing and searching. I opened my mouth slightly and he tasted even more delightful than I expected, like his scent, but intensified. It filled my mouth, coating the back of my throat and I couldn’t get enough of it. I kissed him hungrily, my hands caressing his face and sliding back into his hair, pulling his hard body against me.

We were abruptly lying in the sand. I couldn’t pull my eyes away from Tristan's. As he kissed me, his hand slowly, lightly trailed down my side to my waist, then slid under me at the small of my back, pressing me against him. His mouth moved over my chin…along my jaw…down to my throat…kissing and tasting and sucking.

He looked up at me, his eyes smoldering. And that’s when I noticed the fangs. They made perfect sense to my dream-self. He was too beautiful, too perfect to be human, after all.

I smiled to show him I wasn’t scared. His eyes glinted before he bent his head again, his mouth at my throat. My body trembled with anticipation. I wanted him to bite me. Then I felt the pierce and a small sound, a mixture of pain and pleasure, escaped my lips.

He looked up again at my reaction. I could feel the wound already healing – that’s what my body did, healed itself. His eyes sparked as they caught mine, then they darted to the disappearing bite mark on my throat. The fangs disappeared. He was just Tristan again, the Tristan I met in class that night, though saying he was just Tristan was like saying Brad Pitt was just Brad Pitt. But now Tristan’s inhumanly beautiful face was filled with disgust at what my body did. Then suddenly he was gone.

And the pain of loss and betrayal ripped through my body.

“No!” I awoke with a start, disoriented for just a moment.

Of course, I thought as my heart settled down. What else could I expect? Guys like Tristan and girls (freaks) like me just didn’t happen. I just needed to forget about him.

If he would only let me…

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure doesn't officially open until June 18, but they held a special "soft opening" for on-site hotel guests only on Friday, May 28. And guess what? We just happened to stay on-site for the first time and got a sneak peek!

Total. Awesomesauce.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see everything. Of our whole group, I was one of two of us who agreed to wait in line for the ride in Hogwarts castle, while everyone else ran around, checking things out. They only gave us two hours in that section of the park, but we thought we'd have time to still see everything. We toured through the castle (it's part of the line), strapped ourselves in for the ride, got through almost all of the ride (which is very, VERY cool! It was like we were on a broom, playing Quidditch and being chased by dragons)...

Then the ride broke down. Our "cart" was perfectly upright for the first 10 or 15 minutes. Then they moved us and we were kind of hanging forward for about 5 minutes. Then they moved us again and we leaned to the left. Then finally they up-righted us and we sat...and sat...and sat... And then they turned on the lights and said the ride was officially broken down and someone would come to release us. We were one of the last ones out. Total of about 45 minutes stranded on the ride. By the time we got out, the HP World was closed down and I didn't get to visit the shops or go on any other rides. But I have a story only a handful of us can share. :-)

So here are some pics I did manage to snap. I can't wait to go back and experience it all!!! Hopefully, the ride will be permanently fixed by then!

Entrance to Hogsmeade

If you get a chance, you have to check it out. There's nothing like seeing your imagination come to life like this. And if you're going, let me know. Maybe I'll meet you there! :-)