Friday, July 30, 2010

Launch Party!

So, I kind of promised a giveaway a while back. Things got crazy and I kept putting it off. But I signed contracts with two publishers this summer, and that deserves a celebration. So I thought there was no better time to start it than the eve of my first sale going live for Decadent Publishing's launch. Yes, people, it's tomorrow. Go to and buy my story. Or buy someone else's story. Hell, buy a lot of stories!

In fact, I'll give you a little incentive to buy. I've got a couple good old-fashioned paper books to give away.

First up, from the woman ultimately behind me becoming a published author, I give you...


A signed copy of Made to Be Broken by the wonderful Kelley Armstrong.



Next up, early this year, I needed a book to break me out of my reading funk. This one did it.


A signed copy of Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry.



If these were digital copies, I could send them anywhere, but as of right now, I don't have the cash to mail physical books wherever I please, so I need to limit this contest to residents of the US and Canada. I love the rest of the world too, but shipping is just insane.


So, to win one of these lovely books, there are a couple things you can do.

1) Comment. Simple, I like comments. They make me happy. So tell me something fabulous that will make me smile. It can be anything from a funny story to a great joke to which Decadent release you can't wait to read. (Worth 1 entry)

2) Buy my story from Decadent. Send me a copy of your receipt at selestedelaney(at)gmail(dot)com (thanks, Laura, for reminding me I needed to put that in here). At this point, I'm flying a little blind, but based on my own previous e-book purchases, it should say what you bought on it. (Worth 3 entries -- because it's my blog and I can do that :P)

3) Buy any other stories from Decadent. Same deal with the receipt. (Worth 1 entry for every title purchased.)


I'd love for you to tweet, facebook, etc about the contest, but I'm not sure how to keep track of all that, so it won't get you anymore entries. It will, however, get you my deepest appreciation :)


I'll let this run until Friday, August 20 and announce the winners in the post on Saturday the 21st. First winner drawn gets their choice of titles, second winner gets the remaining book.

So, get to commenting and shopping, and let the game begin :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: Ocean Breeze

Today is the last day of our beach themed drinks. In honor of my mom and her need for more amaretto this week (plus it's pretty and blue, and we all know how I like pretty drinks :P) :


1 shot white rum

1 shot amaretto

1/2 shot blue curacao

1/2 shot pineapple juice

Mix the above in a cocktail shaker with ice and pour. For something a little different, you can add some soda water on top. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Weekly Update: July 27

Still on vacation, so there isn't a ton of news.

My diet has collapsed during the vacation, and workouts/walks have been hit or miss at best. *sigh* I dread getting on the scale when I get home.

The galley came for "Of Course I Try" and the few issues I found have been fixed. Yay! I'm just waiting to hear back from the publisher about how much of an excerpt I'm allowed to put up on the website. Hopefully that will be up tonight or tomorrow.

I'm still toying with other story ideas and trying to flesh out a plot for the one I mentioned in Saturday's post. Unfortunately, I'm not getting a lot of time to hang out with my laptop, so it hasn't gone far. It will though.

That's really it for this week. Keep an eye out on the main site for the excerpt. If I get the okay, it's a juicy one ;-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

When the Dead Speak

Last week, Carina Press author, Inez Kelley, did an interview where she talked about how the dead speak to their lost loved ones in her books. The interview got me thinking about how in certain television shows, you always wonder when someone dies whether or not they are going to stay dead. This phenomenon isn't limited to fantasy shows either (Tony Almeda anyone?), but it is most common there.

Of course, as soon as I started on this train of thought, I began pondering if there were any characters I'd killed that I would want to bring back from the dead. And if I did, how I'd manage it.

You see, I'm okay with characters coming back, as long as it makes sense. For example, when Dean came back from hell on Supernatural. He didn't know how he came back at first, but within a couple episodes of the season, he and the viewer found out, and most important -- it made sense within the mythology of the show.

So, if I was going to bring someone back, it had to work. In fact, I wanted the coming back to be important to the story I planned to tell. That's kind of a tall order.  I'm working on a couple of potential series right now. In one, there's only one character I'd consider bringing back, but the way I'd have to do it isn't appealing. It would change the character in so many ways I'm not sure if I'd like him anymore. Then there's the other story with the character I didn't feel quite got to tell his part of the story. I felt bad about him dying, but I couldn't see how to bring him back.

Then I had this image of him come to mind reminiscent of something zombie-like (I know that's vague, but I don't want to give too much away). I tossed around a couple things, and once I was done juggling ideas, I threw one at my husband and said, "Does this make sense?" He asked a couple questions, but agreed that it would work.

I'm working on another project, but I wanted to jot down the beginning of the story I envisioned for this character. It's only four paragraphs long, but within that I found the other thing I needed -- the link between his re-birth to the story. It needs a lot of fleshing out, but I think it could be something really fun.

Even though I didn't think I'd ever bring someone back from the dead, sometimes when the dead speak, it's a good idea to listen :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: Orgasm on the Beach

Continuing with our beach theme...

If you think sex on the beach sounds good, don't skip the best part. Have an Orgasm on the Beach

1 oz. white rum

1 oz. coconut rum

1 tbsp. blue caracao

1 tbsp. raspberry schnapps

4 oz pineapple juice (you can go up to 8 oz, but I like my drinks like I like my men -- strong :P )

Mix all the ingredients in a shaker and shake well to chill. Pour & garnish with a cherry (just because *evil grin*)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weekly Update: July 20

I promised to keep you updated on all sorts of things.

We'll start with the diet. I lost 3.5 pounds the first week (and I didn't do a fabulous job of keeping up with my workouts since I had so much other stuff going on, but I did what I could). Of course, even though I tried the first couple days, I haven't been sticking to the diet since we've been away from home. I have, however, been doing a ton of walking, so I'm hoping the change in eating isn't going to hurt me too much while I'm gone.

On the writing front, edits on "Of Course I Try" have been sent back, and as far as I know it is still set for an August 1 release.

I just got word from my editor at Carina that I should be getting my editorial letter from her shortly after that. So August will be all about revising Badlands. It is looking like the release date is now at the end of February. As we get closer to the date, I'll let you know for sure when it will be available.

In the meantime, I have a short story I'm thinking of re-working, along with another novella to plot, and had something amazing come to mind while we were driving and wrote the opening to yet another story. In other words, things are quite busy here. Did I mention I'm still wanting to re-write Avalon's Return for NaNoWriMo?

Yes, I might just be crazy. I'll let you know that as soon as I'm sure one way or the other :P

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Revision Hell?

After holding my breath waiting for edits to come on "Of Course I Try", they came Friday afternoon just a few hours before we were due to leave for vacation. Needless to say, I opened the file with my nerves strung more than a little tight. My kids were going nutty, and since it was a short, I really wanted to get the revisions done before we left.

I had three hours.


But I opened the file and dove in. Here's what I learned from this first foray into working with an editor on revisions (keep in mind, this was a short story and I wasn't asked to make any story changes):

-       Do the easy stuff first. If they changed your punctuation or mention that it's (no I didn't do this, it's just an example) bated breath, not baited breath, those are easy things to accept or reject. Getting these things off the edge will dramatically decrease the amount of work staring you in the face.

-       Word repetition. In this particular story, there were a few of them done for effect, and I thought my uber-betas had caught the rest, but my editor, Kate, found a bunch more. She said I could leave them if I really wanted them, but I think I only left one. The rest were easy enough to tweak, and that slashed a bunch more work.

-       By this point, I was left with the bigger things. (Which in this case weren't huge. I mean it's only a short story.) Those got tackled one at a time.

-       Then I went back and gave it another read-through and filled in a couple places where I'd felt something was missing.

Done. That was it. Patient and methodical got me through the revisions in time to answer Kate's question about one thing I'd left that confused her and still leave on time for vacation.

I'm not delusional, really. I know that revisions won't always be this easy, but all things considered it wasn't a bad experience at all, even with the crazy time frame. In fact, even knowing the next one is a longer piece that will probably need more intensive work, I'm looking forward to my next editorial experience.

So, revision hell? Not so much.

Either that or it just brings out my demonic side and makes me feel right at home.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: Myrtle Beach Breeze

Getting ready to head on vacation soon, and I figured it would be nice to stick with some beach themed drinks for a bit. Today's offering is the Myrtle Beach Breeze

Mix the following in a glass with ice

1 1/2 oz. Coconut rum

1 1/2 oz. light rum

1 oz. cranberry juice

3 oz. pineapple juice

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Weekly Update: July 13

There really isn't a ton to update this week.
I haven't received my editorial letter on "Of Course I Try" yet. It's a short, so there shouldn't be any problem getting the edits done on vacation, but I'd really love to get them before we leave since my net access might be dicey while we're gone. *bites nails*

My new business cards and bookmarks arrived yesterday. I need to get the bookmarks cut, but I'm really excited to have both cards and swag :)

The sale of Badlands should be 100% official before we leave, which will be nice.

Since my other writing is giving me fits, I'm debating working on another short while I'm gone. Or the new novella. Or busting my butt and getting the other piece done so I can let it stew for revisions.

All in all, things are moving along. Looking forward to announcing all of this to the family while we're visiting :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Always Wanted to Be a Caveman

My friend PJ Schnyder and I are planning a writers' weekend this fall. Originally we were looking at Florida, then a photographer friend of hers said, "Come to Vegas, we'll do a photo shoot." She suggested this, and while part of me said, "Cool! Vegas, baby!" the other part of me looked at myself and cringed at the thought of pictures.

PJ, in her wisdom, said to look at the trip as motivation. After a lot of stress and ice cream (yes, I am a stress-eater), I decided to say screw it and try this diet my friend, Dani, has been having a lot of success with. Of course, it gets a little sticky in that after this week, I'll be spending a week with my in-laws, then a week with my extended family. Remember that stress-eating thing? Yeah. I'm screwed.

But I figured even if I fall majorly off the weekend during that time, I can at least get a try this thing out for a solid week first. So, from now until at least next Saturday, I am a caveman.

Different people call the diet different things: the Paleolithic Diet, the Caveman Diet, the What-Are-You-Thinking-You're-A-Modern-Woman Diet. Okay, that last one was mine. Basically at this stage, the diet involves grazing on foods that could realistically have been gathered back in the stone age. Nuts (but not peanuts or cashews) that are in their plain, raw state, fruit (especially berries), and veggies with a preference for root vegetables (except potatoes). That's during the day. Then for dinner you can have whatever you want (this changes in later stages).

Honestly, at this point, the diet seems nice and healthy. Only a couple of problems. I don't really like much of what I can eat during the day. Fruit is fine (especially with it being summer), but vegetables and nuts? Um. Yeah.

I'm going to give it a try though. I've been told the weight loss is enough of a motivator to stick to it. Here's hoping. I'll let you know next week how things went, but I probably won't update on it again until all the visits are over.

But anyway, if I'm crabby this week, please blame the diet.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: Sel's Green Apple Martini

Welcome to Thirsty Thursday where I will feature a recipe for an adult beverage every week. Of course they will contain alcohol. Of course they could impair your judgement. Of course they are full of calories and bad for you. Get over, mix up, and enjoy every second of it.

This week is my very own version of an apple martini. There are literally dozens of variations of these floating around the web, but most of them have one disturbing thing in common -- not nearly enough vodka. So, here is the way I make them...

Sel's Green Apple Martini

3 shots Green Apple vodka (I use Smirnoff)

1 shot Green Apple Pucker

1 shot Sprite/Sierra Mist/7-Up (whichever you have handy)

Splash of sour mix

Shake with ice, strain, and serve.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekly Update: July 5, 2010

I know, I know, I just showed you the cover for my short yesterday, but I'm going to do it again just because I love it so much.

There, that makes the blog all nice and pretty.

Anyway, I don't have edits for anything yet.

BUT (and I do love a nice butt -- er just ignore that)... I did get a likely release date for "Of Course I Try". Lisa from Decadent Publishing let me know this morning that they are planning on the short as part of launch day. Yes, that's right, I get to be part of day one team! I am super geeked and can't wait to find out what else is coming out so I can share that news with you as well.

When is launch day? Oh, yeah, you might need to know that. "Of Course I Try" will be released on August 1. Yes, people, less than a month away!

Want to be excited with me now?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

News! And a cover!

I recently revised and submitted this old short story I had in my files. The problem (as I so often have) is it was too romancey for a lot of markets, but I wasn’t sure it would be romancey enough for others. The thing was it had romance, but again, not the lovey-dovey variety. It wasn’t a pretty story. It’s harsh — some might even say dark. (Okay, yeah, it’s dark :P)

When I first wrote it, “Of Course I Try” clocked in at somewhere under 1300 words. It was super short, but I wrote it for a challenge with a 1500 word cap. The revision brought it up to just under 2k.

I got a response from the e-publisher I'd selected to sub to the same day I sent it in. They liked it, but it was too short. Did I have a longer (5k+) version? I didn’t, but I emailed back that I’d work on it. That was Friday. I spent that night and the next developing the story, adding some history and the entire thing more depth. At first, I was nervous. I liked the original story. It was tight and fast and had a very high tension level. But when I was done, I realized that while the original worked on one level, the new version gave so much more.

Then again, I still wasn’t sure how other people would feel about it. I sent it to a couple beta readers who were speedy and awesome (Thanks PJJanelle!).  So, Monday rolled around, and I had a shiny new version of the story (5600 words) and a longer synopsis. I sent it wondering if I’d just wasted my weekend.

Monday night I got a response along the lines of “great story”, but there was no contract or deal attached. I stared at it for a long time trying to figure out what it meant. I lasted until the next day when I sent an email asking if that meant they wanted it — LOL. The answer came back as a yes, and I started filling out the contract and paperwork immediately. Everything was sent in Wednesday.

I’m happy to say that not only has Decadent Publishing acquired “Of Course I Try”, but I even have cover art to share with you! Dara managed to capture Max almost like she stepped into my brain and snapped a picture.

I want to thank Lisa, Heather, and (the super-speedy) Dara. This is a great opportunity and I get to be published alongside some really good friends. I can’t wait for the August first launch.

And before you ask, I don’t have a release date for the story yet. Though if Lisa or Heather happen in here, maybe they could help with that.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Take a Deep Breath. Do You Smell That?

It's the sweet smell of a brand new blog. I'm still setting up the page, but I hope to have my first real post up sometime this week :)