Monday, February 28, 2011

Doing the Happy Dance

Yep, I'm doing the Happy Dance! Book 3 still doesn't have a title, but as of yesterday, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. That's right - it's DONE!!!

Of course, it's just the first draft and there are many more drafts to go. So sorry, lovelies who can't wait to read it, it'll be a while. In fact, my publisher is planning on an early 2012 release, but we don't have a date yet. I'll let you know when we do.

Finishing a first draft means it's time to celebrate, though. And what better way than with a giveaway? I know, right?! More happy dancin'!

I'll announce the details later this week. I might tie in a contest to help me name this most recent child of mine. Um...that would be Book 3. NO, I'm not pregnant! Aack!!!

Anyway, watch for the announcement, coming soon. In the meantime, do the Happy Dance with me!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Asking for Your Help for a Good Cause

Just a reminder that our Books for Boobs / Get in the Shower With an Author fundraising event continues! Purchases made at through the end of the month support breast cancer research. $2 per book, $5 per 2-book special and $5 per special edition Soul Savers T-shirt will be donated to Team Ta Ta Trotters and the fight against breast cancer.

Already have Promise and Purpose? Don't want to buy? You can still support the cause by pledging my walk in the Race for the Cure in March. Every little bit helps!!! Donate here.

Thank you, lovelies! Now I'm going back to writing - almost done with the first draft of the enigmatically titled Book 3.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sample Sunday

I'm on deadline this week and have been writing like a maniac. I did take a break to check out a new hashtag on Twitter: #SampleSunday, where authors post links to samples of their books. Thought it sounded like fun and if you check it out, you'll find lots of new reads to add to your TBR pile. I know! You love for me that, right?

Here's my #samplesunday excerpt, from Chapter 1 of Promise (the rest can be found at the book's website):

Chapter 1

9 Years Ago

The sensation of being watched clung to me like a spider web, invisible threads bristling the back of my neck and down my spine. I brushed my fingers across my shoulders, as if I could drag the feeling off and flick it away.

It was ridiculous, of course. Not just ridiculous to think I could pull it off so easily, as if it really was strands of a web, but it was even more absurd to feel it in the first place. Nobody ever held that much interest in me. Sure, sometimes people stared with curiosity when they picked me up on their “weird radars,” but usually they just ignored me. No one ever watched so intensely.

Yet the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end at the feeling as I visited my favorite Washington, D.C., monument for likely the last time. I sat on the stone steps with the stately Thomas Jefferson behind me and gazed over the Potomac River tidal basin, enjoying the peace just before sunset. Well, trying to enjoy it anyway.

I blamed the feeling on my unruly imagination, with it being twilight and the sky looking so ominous. It was the perfect setting for one of my stories. The sun hung low—an eerie, orange ball glowing behind a shroud of clouds, a column of steel-blue rising around it, threatening to snuff it out. I envisioned something not-quite-human watching it from the shadows, waiting to begin its hunt under the cover of darkness.

That’s all it is, just my fascination with mythical creatures, I told myself. Uh-huh. Right.

Surrendering hope for a peaceful moment, I hurried to the closest Metro station. The feeling of being followed stuck with me on the train ride home, but at my stop in Arlington, I forgot the spooky sensation. Some kids from school stood near the top of the escalator as I stepped off.

“Hey, there’s the weird girl who heals,” one of them said loudly to the others. “It’s s’posed to be really freaky to watch.”

“Hey, freak, got any tricks to show us?” another called.

I pretended not to hear and crossed the street to avoid them. My eyes stung, but no tears came. I wouldn’t allow them. It was my own fault—I’d been a klutz with the Bunsen burner in Chemistry and my lab partner saw my skin heal the burn almost instantly. Kids harassed me about it every day the last two months of school. If I didn’t let them get to me, they were usually just annoying. Usually.

Night had crept its way in during my ride home. I walked quickly through the bright commercial district and turned down the darker residential street for home, still four blocks away. Footsteps behind me echoed my own. I quickened my pace. Two more days. That’s all. Just two more days and we’re out of here.

“C’mon, dude, we just wanna know if it’s true,” a boy’s voice said.

“Yeah, just show us. It doesn’t hurt, right?”

I glanced over my shoulder. Three teens followed me and I caught the glint of a blade in one of their hands. I realized their plan to satisfy their curiosity—slice me open and watch the wound heal. What is wrong with people? Of course, it hurts!

Bungalow-style homes lined the street, each with an empty front porch. Not a single person sat outside on this summer’s evening. No one to witness their fun and my agony. My heartbeat notched up with anxiety.

Pop! Crack! The streetlights along the entire block blacked out at the sounds. I inhaled sharply and halted mid-stride. The footsteps behind me ceased, too.

“What the hell?” Surprise and fear filled the boy’s question.

A couple appeared from nowhere, about twenty-five yards down the street. It was too dark to see their features. I could only tell their genders by their shapes. The woman’s high-heeled shoes clicked on the pavement as they walked toward me. The man, big and burly, pulled his shirt over his head and handed it to the woman. Without breaking stride, he took off one shoe and then the other, leaving him with only pants. What the…?

I considered my options. The woman and her half-naked companion blocked my way home, but I wouldn’t just raise my chin and walk brusquely by them, pretending they meant no harm. Because I just knew they did. I stood trapped between the boys with the knife and the odd couple. Somehow, I knew the knife was less threatening.

“Boo!” The woman cackled as the boys took off running. As she and the man closed in on me, the alarms screamed in my head.

Evil! Bad! Run! Go!

My sixth sense had never been so frightened. I couldn’t move, though. Fear paralyzed my body. My heart hammered painfully against my ribs.

The couple stopped several yards away. The woman studied me as if assessing a rare animal. The man lifted his face to the sky, his whole body trembling. I followed his gaze to see the thin, gauzy clouds sliding across a full moon. The woman cackled again. Panic sucked the air from my lungs.

“Alexis, at last,” the woman said, her voice raspy, like a long-time smoker’s. “We’ll get such a nice reward for you.”

My eyes widened and my voice trembled. “D-do I know you?”

She grinned, a wicked glint in her eyes. “Not yet.”

Or ever, if I can help it.

I turned and ran. My pulse throbbed in my head. Breaths tore through my chest. My mind couldn’t focus, couldn’t make sense of it. But my body kept moving. The bright lights of the commercial area I’d just come from shone like a beacon. I ran for their safety.

The woman abruptly appeared in front of me before I was half-way down the street. The shock sent me hurling to the ground and my head smacked hard against the pavement. Stars shot across my eyes. My hands burned from asphalt scrapes. Fighting the blackness trying to swallow my vision, I rolled onto my side, gasping for breath. A sticky wetness pooled under my temple.

My eyes rolled up to the woman, who now pointed some kind of stick at me. Her lips moved silently as she waved a pattern in the air. I felt pinned to the ground, though nothing physically restrained me. Panic flailed uselessly below the surface of my paralyzed body, making my breaths quick and shallow. I was done for. They could do anything they wanted with me. There was no escape now.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

The creatively titled "Book 3" is coming along beautifully. I just wish I had more hours in the day to write. First draft should be done soon, though, and then it's on to planning and writing a novella. Planning? you ask. Yes, planning. I know, I'm supposed to be a pantser, but I think I've switched teams. We'll see. A blog post  about that is coming tomorrow on my other blog.

For Teaser Tuesday, here's a little rough-draft snippet:

We stood back-to-back, our knees bent in fighting stance, palms held out. My heart thrummed erratically as the adrenaline—and lingering electricity—shot through my veins. Hundreds of beats thundered in my chest as we waited…and waited. When the two vampires didn’t appear, the air imprisoned in my lungs finally released with a whoosh. I leaned forward with my palms on my knees, panting, trying to slow everything down to a normal rhythm.

“That was fun!” he said, stepping in front of me. I looked up at him and lifted an eyebrow. A wide grin filled his face. He meant it. “Come on, you weren’t really scared of those two, were you? They’re not a real threat.”

“She wants to kill me. That’s a real threat in my book.”
“She missed her opportunity. You’re too strong for her now. I think you could have fried all of us and still been left standing.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines, My Lovelies!

I'm not a fan of VD - Valentine's Day, that is. But whether you are or not, maybe this will sweeten your day...

Tristan says:

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Alpha Males and Shower Shots

I'm over at the Ex Libris blog today, discussing why smart women love our alpha heroes.

But Thursday, I was in the shower. And not alone. The Get in the Shower With an Author event on Thursday was a ton of fun. Books, Tees, friends, food, wine, beer, cupcakes and all for the benefit of ta-tas. How could it not be fun?!?

Very special thanks to Mr. Shower Door in Naples, Sassy Cakes and Tropical Smoothies at Gateway Plaza in Naples for your support! Thank you to the readers, fans and friends who came, too!

Don't forget! Any book and t-shirt purchases at throughout the month of February support the cause - the fight against breast cancer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In case you missed it...

Just a quick note to all my writer-followers who haven't found my other blog yet:

You should read Monday's post. Especially if you blog. Before you do anything stupid. It's important. Trust me.

I'll make it easy. Click here:

Now the rest of you can scroll down to yesterday's Teaser Tuesday (which was posted about an hour before Wednesday).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

It's late, so a quick idea of what Alexis is going through right now in the first draft of the fabulously titled, "Book 3."

And what's coming next...

Two of these happen to be the, if that's what you call it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Awards Day

I've received and passed on a few awards over at my other blog. Here, though, I wanted to share a special one given to Purpose by Tahlia Newland. It's her M-Award that she only gives to books that she finds particularly moving, meaningful and memorable.

This means so much to me because writing a memorable book - one where the characters stick with you - is what I strive for. I also love when people find my books meaningful. I want them to entertain, but I do admit that there are meaningful messages woven into them.

Thank you, Tahlia, for this honor and recognition!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Books for Boobs

Yeah, you read that right. Here's the scoop:

Get in the Shower With an Author Book Signing
Thursday, February 10, 2011
6 - 8 p.m.
Mr. Shower Door
13500 Tamiami Trail
Naples, FL

I will be in one of the showers in their showroom signing books. And it's all for a good cause - Team Ta Ta Trotters and the fight against breast cancer! We'll have both Promise and Purpose available for purchase, as well as Special Edition Soul Savers T-Shirts.

Buy a book for $15.99, we'll donate $2.

Buy both books for $31.98, get a free T-shirt and we'll donate $5.

Buy a T-shirt for $15, we'll donate $5.

Can't come? Order books and shirts at now through February 28, 2011, and we'll make the same donations.