Happy Cyber Monday

Monday, November 26, 2012
Since I'm not the brave sort to get out into the crowds on Black Friday, I adore a good Cyber Monday.  A couple of my books are for sale today on AllRomance Ebooks and my publisher's website. But I didn't see any for sale on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  I know, depressing, huh?

Anyway, I had a good Thanksgiving, saw some family...and then some more family. And a couple more family members. Some of us many family members saw the last Twilight movie together, and we were totally taken in by the trick scene.  We bought it hook, line, and sinker! But someone (the lying meanies) had told us that the movie wasn't like the book. So when all these crazy things started happening, we totally flipped out, buying it all. 

Does it ever upset you when the movie strays from the book?  I'm still all "why did the Weasley's house have to burn down?" from the Harry Potter movies. Though sometimes, I do like how movies put a new twist on it that's better than the book.

Last night, my hubby was wrestling around with the two-year-old. She accidentally scratched him in the eye.  Yes, IN THE EYE!  He's still in pain this morning. So, we may be taking him to the doctor to make sure he didn't hurt his cornea or anything like that.  Though, if he ended up with an eye-patch, I have to say, that might be sexy.  I've had a major thing for pirates since they introduced Hook to the TV show, Once Upon a Time (and I didn't get to see last night's episode yet, so don't tell me what happened!). But isn't he the yummiest looking pirate you ever saw?  Meow!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I really don't have much to say today.  So that's all I have to ramble about.  How was your Thanksgiving and Black Friday? 

"Next Big Thing" & Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
I'm only doing one blog post this week, so I decided to do it today because...

1) I entered my book trailer for The Color of Grace in the You Gotta Read video contest and voting starts today!  So if anyone wants to vote, you can go here http://yougottaread.com and my video is Entry # 3.  Voting ends November 26th!


2) The lovely author, Ivy Bateman, tagged me to do one of those "Next Big Thing" things, and today is my day to do that.  So here's a little something about the book I finished writing in October.

What is the working title of your book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

I don't know for certain. Probably from the story Lily by Cindy Bonner. The heroine falls in love with a hero that is completely unacceptable for her. I liked the forbidden love aspect, and wanted to write a love story that happened between feuding families.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary New Adult Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

I always suck at this question and can never think up a good match. But here goes...

Kristen Stewart - for Paige, the heroine

Josh Hartnett (from his college years) - for Logan, the hero

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Forgiving your brother’s murderer may be noble, but falling in love with him is tantamount to treason.

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

Probably represented by a publishing house if anyone will contract it!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

2 months. This one spilled out very quickly once I got started.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.

-Easy by Tamarra Webber
-You Against Me by Jenny Downham
-Losing It by Cora Carmack

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I saw a blurb for You Against Me by Jenny Downham, and that story sounded similar to an idea I had for a book, so I decided to write my book before someone actually came up with the same exact idea I had (though I have a bad feeling it might already be out there somewhere).

What else about your book might interest the reader?

Umm...I plan on making it the first in a series.

So there is my next big thing entry!!  I didn't tag anyone. It seems like everyone has already been tagged, so I didn't bother!

And that's all I have today, folks!  
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate! 

I Survived a Book Signing

Friday, November 16, 2012
So I made it through the local author open house I went to last night! My first author appearance.

They had ten different tables of authors displaying their books.  I was the only romance author there, the only one with an iPad slideshow, with free pencils, and free suckers, and a giveaway drawing...oh, and the only one with a table cloth on my table (my husband said that was a nice touch--a thank you very much!). So when anyone came by my table, they were like, "Well, you've done this before."  But, nope, I hadn't. I just researched what I should do.

I was definitely the youngest of the group, so I got one, "You're not old enough to have written this many books."  I also had the most amount of books at my table.  Everyone else brought one or two of their stories.  So I heard a lot of "Wow, you're prolific," and "Did you write all these?" (I tried to make one sarcastic joke of, "Nope, I stole a couple of them," but that didn't go over so well, so I didn't give that  answer again!)

My mom (who'd just made it home from Montana) and a couple of my sisters showed up. They went around to all the tables, and I could hear Mom saying, "That one over there is my daughter." Yep, nothing beats good PR like a proud mama!

Then another lady, who worked with one of my sister's came to buy two of my books that she hadn't read yet. I was so nervous signing her books that my signature was atrocious. And since her maiden name is my married name, I wrote a really corny line like "it's an honor to share a name with you." I know...what was I thinking?

Anyway, one of the other authors bought one of my books, and yeah, that was pretty much the extent of the book-selling portion of my evening.

There were probably only a handful of people that didn't have a table set up who came to the event, but all the authors milled around to all the different tables all evening, which made the place look busy and active.

It was nice to meet other authors who live in my area. I only knew one of them before last night, and she was my creative writing professor in college (she's also my boss's wife). I was glad our tables were set up next to each other so we could talk.

Since I had worked at that library a few years ago, it was really nice to see the librarians again.  It reminded me how much I loved working with them, and it made me miss them. They took a copy of each of my books for the library circulation.

All in all, it was a good learning experience and showed me that I CAN survive a book signing...and where I need improvement. I saw how easily other authors talked about their books, so I know that's what I need to work on the most. Thankfully, no one asked me what any of my stories were about, because I knew I'd flub that up. They just picked the books up and read the back blurb to find out for themselves.

Ann Dee, one of the librarians, went around taking pictures.  So, she'll probably have those uploaded later today on their Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/#!/PPLonline  I'll be the one wearing my "Be Careful or you'll end up in my novel" t-shirt if you want to hope over and take a look!

So that was my book signing experience in a nut shell! Now I think I'll go back to the part of being an author I like most: just writing a story.

Book Signing Preparations

Monday, November 12, 2012

My mom has left to attend her sister's funeral. There is supposed to a blizzard, or blizzard-like conditions, where she's going, so I hope they all travel safely.

Here at home, the weather has dropped. A lot. What was in the sixties yesterday morning is in the low twenties this morning. Bluck. I'm not ready for winter yet.

But I'll tell you what I AM almost ready for.  Thursday!  There are three days left until my first public appearance as an author!!  I don't yet know how many other writers will be at the local author reception I'm going to on Thursday, but I hope there's a bunch so I don't stand out too much.

I have lots of stuff to take (besides my books, of course). My iPad is ready to give a slideshow of my books, plus I stole some dum-dum suckers from my husband to give out with my free postcards I'm going to take as well.  I also bought some flouresent-colored pencils and printed out my email address on some clear postage labels to stick on the pencils.  It doesn't look as home-done as I feared it would. So, check, on the free pencils I have to give out.  And I have my little fish bowl ready with a sign pasted on it for the giveaway I'm going to do.

I still need to get some extra cash in case someone actually wants to buy one of my books...I may need change to give back.  Then I wanted to get a few pens so people can fill out their names on the giveaway forms. And I'm hoping I can find a black plastic table cloth to put over the table and give it a little more pizzazz.

Watching me all aflutter this weekend as I prepared everything, my husband just shook his head and grinned at me. He thinks it's cute how excited I am.

So, that's what I'm all about this week.  I just hope I don't flub anything up.

In other news, I did a word count this morning, and if I was participating in Nano this month, I'd be just a little behind on my wordage.  I have 15,000 written so far this month. To be a track, a person should have 20,000 words done by the end of the today.  But I guess, the morning is still young.  Maybe (doubtfully) I can still plug in another five.

What are your big plans for this week?

First Author Appearance

Friday, November 9, 2012
Hey, I forgot I had a blog for a week or so there!  But I really didn't have anything to write home about so, yeah, I just didn't write.

But now I do. Both good news and sad news.

My aunt passed away on Tuesday. This hasn't been a good year for my mother. First her husband, then her sister. It's going to be so strange without Aunt Ruth. She lived the farthest (furthest?) away but she was the one who never missed out on sending a birthday card and always wrote a nice letter with it. It still amazes me when someone is that good about always getting out birthday cards, especially when you come from a huge family.  I never send them, and am still spotty on the whole Christmas card thing. 

Anyway, the world lost a very fine lady this week.

My mom will head out with some of her siblings on Sunday to attend the funeral in Montana. While she'll be gone, I'll have my first public appearance as an author.  The public library in Pittsburg, Kansas is starting an annual local author reception, and their first one will be next Thursday (November 15th) from 6pm to 7:30pm.  They sent out a call for any author in the area to reserve a spot at the reception. So, I contacted them. I'll have a table, where I can sign and sell some of my books. 

Every time I think about it, my stomach does all these weird twists and gurgles. So, I try not to think about it too much, because I'm all shy and awkward out in public, and I know I'll totally suck at this.  But I'm still really excited about it too (strange, I know).

I have pictures of all my book covers on my iPad, so I can set it up and run a repeating slide show at my booth. I also have an idea to put out a giveaway drawing where the winner can have any book of their choice. Do you think that would be an okay idea? Oh, and I have some freebie postcards and stuff people can take.  I wish I had pens or highlighters (as Jennifer Shirk says are really good freebies), but even if I ordered them now, they wouldn't be here in time.

Oh, well. We'll just see how it goes.

I got my new iPad this week.  And Amber Skyze was soooo right.  Lydia saw the new one and wanted to play on it instead.  But she hasn't gotten too upset when we told no.  She still has her own to play with. She and I sat on the couch last night and wasted the whole evening on them.  At one point, she lifted up her iPad to bump it with mine and said, "Cheers." I thought that was too cute.

And...that's about all I have to report today.

Oh, oh, oh! I guess I did have another thought. I've been reading a lot and I've discovered one thing I really like about some of my favorite romance stories: the amount of face time the hero and heroine have together.  It's making me worry I don't give my heroes and heroines in the stories I'm writing now enough time ALONE together to connect, and talk, and argue...and other things. I really like those scenes best where it's just the two of them sparking and creating chemistry.

What are your opinions on the subject?  Do you like a lot of background, outside characters and subplots taking away from the main romantic focus of the story? Or do you prefer most of it to be just the two of them doing their thing?

The iPad Thief

Friday, November 2, 2012
My thoughts and prayers are for everyone who was in the path of Sandy this week. I hope you're all doing okay. I'm also worried about my mom's oldest sister, Ruth from Montana, who's been in the hospital all week. She has some organ damage (I'm not sure if she had a stroke, heart attack, or what) but she now has some brain activity which was better than she was a few days ago.

Since all the big, bad stuff is happening everywhere else, it's pretty quiet in my little nook of the world and surprisingly warm weather for the end of October, though the cold is supposed to come in next week. No creepy-scary Halloween stories for me either. But my house did see A LOT more trick-or-treaters than it's ever seen before. That means, I gave candy to to nine kids--seven of them relatives, of course!

So I noticed during the set up for my book blog tour for The Color of Grace, that some people didn't receive some of the emails I sent them, or I didn't receive some of the emails THEY sent me. And I figured out the source to one of those problems the other day.

My daughter has taken over our iPad.  Yep, that's why. Whenever an incoming email comes in and pops up a message at the top of the screen, she gets excited and says, "I have an email!" Then she touches the message, which brings her into the email section. She must've watched me delete spam--a lot--because once she gets into the email screen, the first button she touches is the trash button.  So, yes, my kid has been deleting my emails as soon as they come in.

The iPad has become a glorified babysitter for whenever mom and dad want to get anything done, and she screams and rolls around on the floor throwing a fit whenever we "ground" her from it, plus it's good motivation device to get her to do something ("Oh, you want the iPad, huh? You have to eat your supper first. Ha!"), we can't keep it away from her forever.  Well, I guess, we could.  But she has us too well trained.  So our solution....

We've ordered another iPad. Yes, I'm humiliated to admit, the two-year-old has won this round.  All those times she's said, "It's my iPad," and we argued, "No, it's OUR iPad," well...we were just deluding ourselves. It was really her iPad.  So, mommy and daddy have ordered another for just them.

We'll see how this turns out.  And, yes, if you ever sent me an email to which I never replied, go ahead and send it again because it's possible the little heathen--I mean, angel--deleted it!

What kind of embarrassing things have your kids or pets trained YOU to do?? And please tell me this doesn't make me an awful parent...just really weak!