Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Evernight Publishing

As a mom, my kids' first birthdays hold a special place in my heart.

My son wanted nothing to do with his cake. He didn't want to touch the frosting. We had to dunk his fingers in the frosting and actually smear it on his face for him so we could get that required first birthday picture. To this day, he still doesn't eat frosting--he scrapes it off cake.

My daughter, on the other hand, was a sugar-junkie from the beginning. The main reason she had so little frosting on her face was because it all went in her mouth. It's at the point where the two of them basically split cake when we have it. He eats the cake, she eats the frosting.

Saturday, October 1, is Evernight Publishing's first birthday, and I can't wait to see how the party turns out. If you've paid attention to the books they put out, I'm pretty sure Evernight is going to be the kind of toddler that savors every delectable bite of that cake...and you can bet it'll be rich and chocolatey.

With this party on the horizon, it is my pleasure to announce that I've signed my third contract with Evernight. The follow-up to last year's holiday story, Yes, Alana, There Is a Santa Claus, will be included in this year's holiday anthology. Making the Naughty List will be part of this year's anthology Stockings and Suspenders.

This story follows a different narrator, an elf named Daisy. She's not exactly your stereotypical elf. Brady picked her off the streets of Detroit years ago, and now with him dating Alana, she feels left behind. So, Santa sends her on a mission of the utmost importance. She needs to get a man named Gage Thomas off the naughty whatever means necessary.

So, in celebration of Evernight's birthday and my new sale, I'm giving away a copy of my latest Evernight release, GunShy. (I'll be choosing a winner on Friday.**** CORRECTION: The contest runs through the weekend. Winner will be drawn on Monday!****)

And... Evernight is also going to choose a winner from commenters here for a $5.00 Evernight gift certificate.

AND...every time you comment on one of the birthday blogs, you're entered for the grand prizes as well.

In order to enter for all of those goodies, just follow my blog and post a comment (and don't forget to include your email). It's a birthday party, so tell me your favorite memory of a birthday, favorite party game, favorite kind of cake... I'm pretty open as long as it has to do with birthdays :)

Oh yeah, and on their birthday, Evernight will be marking down ALL of their books, including GunShy, by 75%! That means even if you don't win, you can still get it at a great price.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Drinking and Thinking...about Books

Last night we went out to dinner and I actually ordered a drink. Now, as much as I enjoy my adult beverages, I don't often order drinks when we're out for dinner. They tend to be over-priced...blah blah blah. But I'd finished a project yesterday and wanted to get something to celebrate. In the spirit of celebration, I perused the menu for something a little different and ordered a mojito--a drink that I enjoy but don't have very often.

For me, picking something like that is sort of like going into a bookstore and grabbing a book from a genre that I don't normally read but I've liked before. It makes the stories I do read there more special somehow. For instance, I read a lot of YA, but very little contemporary YA. The exception to that is Hannah Moskowitz. Love her work. I don't read much homosexual erotica either (yes, jumping from YA to's what I do), but I decided to give it a chance and found that in certain ways I like it better than a lot of straight erotica (but odds are it'll still be a less common purchase). My mainstays in reading are what I normally write--speculative. Give me some weres and vamps or spaceships or clockworks or even elves and gnomes and I'm a happy girl (as long as it's well-written and a fun story). But in those other genres... I'm a lot more picky.

A friend once told me there's nothing like a really good mojito. He's right, but there's also nothing like a really bad one. And this went beyond bad. It was horrible. It tasted like really syrupy peppermint schnapps on the rocks--a big old glass of it. Nothing against peppermint schnapps, I mean, it's tasty in hot chocolate, but it's definitely not a mojito. I sent the drink back, but the peppermint taste was so strong that not even my cajun shrimp could cover it.

So, imagine buying a not-my-genre book and sitting down to read it and ending up with a similar experience. Since it's not a standard read for me, the book that leaves the horrid taste in my mouth that no amount of Kelley Armstrong and Richelle Mead with a Mark Henry chaser will kill, risks ruining the entire genre for me. That shit will make me pick my ass up and desert an entire section of the bookstore.

Now, one good thing is I've had a decent mojito. Hell, I've had a damn good mojito. I know they're out there, so other than making sure I never order one at that particular restaurant again, I'm not going to avoid mojitos at all cost, after all, I know they can be yummy. To be fair though, odds are I won't risk ordering one blindly. It'll take having had one at the place before (mmmm....Pickle Barrel...) or having a friend tell me the place makes good ones. Otherwise, I'm going to stick to what I normally drink.

The same is true with books. If I pick up a YA contemporary that turns my stomach (or melts my brain), I'm still going to buy the next Hannah Moskowitz book. A gay erotic romance with no character development or discernable plot? Meh. I know there are good ones out there, but I'll base that reading on recommendations from now on. This is, from my discussions with others, a pretty standard way of thinking. Beyond judging a book by its cover, readers often judge a genre based on the first book they read in that genre.

So every writer--traditional, digital, indie, I-don't-care-what-the-newest-label-is--needs to keep that in mind. That means the editing, plot, characterizations need to be the best you can make them. Your book could be the first one a reader picks up in that genre. It will be the book by which all others are judged. What kind of taste do you want to leave in the reader's mouth?

Have there been any books that you've read that would have turned you off to a genre if you didn't already know there were better books out there?

Monday, September 12, 2011

One Lovely Blog

Bea at Bea's Book Nook bestowed upon me another blog award.

It's very pretty and all, but damn it, I want to get like a badass blogger award or something. So far I'm cute and lovely, but.... okay, yeah, enough bitching.

There are two very simple rules that accompany this award:

1.  Share "7" facts about yourself and...
2.  Pass this award on to "15" other deserving blog owners (hahahahahahahaha

"7" Random Facts About Me:
1) When I started college, I was an aerospace engineering major. Turned out it wasn't just my high school physics teacher I didn't like...I  just hated physics. Jumped ship sophomore year after one aero class.

2) My first completed novel is still sitting on my hard drive waiting for the moment when I have time to do a re-write. My original beta reader has informed me it's the story of mine that she reads over and over, so I should probably get to it eventually.

3) I tend to be very non-confrontational. I prefer not to rock the boat unless someone is in severe need of a dunking.

4) I have a very unhealthy addiction to diet pop (soda). I managed to quit once, but it was only after a huge fight with a friend where I basically stopped eating for three days. I figured I'd already gone through the caffeine withdrawal, so I'd stick to it. Lasted about three months.

5) Generally speaking, I don't spend money easily, especially large sums of money. On the rare occasion it happens, it's usually something I've secretly debated buying for months.

6) I was a band geek. Specifically, I was in marching band all through high school and for three years at Purdue.

7) When I was younger, it was very rare for me to not finish a book. In the last two years, I've become a serial DNFer. I have almost an equal number of half-read books in my TBR pile as I do unread. Not a comment on the authors as much as it is me. My reading is very mood-dependent and an author whose work I would soar through today could be the absolute wrong thing in a month.

Time to pass this onto 15 5 other deserving bloggers (Sorry, my brain can't handle thinking of fifteen this morning):

1) Michelle Muto

2) Laura Horwitz

3) Anne Michaud

4) Tammy Crosby

5) Danielle LaPaglia (just because I know how much she loves me when I give these to her :P)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blues and News

First and foremost (since people have been asking), I'm doing better with the depression. I'm not back to my normal (I use that term loosely) self, but I'm getting there. Thanks for all the *hugs* and happy thoughts and love. Every bit of it helps and is appreciated :)

I am a little melancholy today though. It's the first day of school. The Boy is a fourth grader, which means in two short years he's going to be in middle school. I'm pretty sure that means I'm old, but I'm going to try to ignore that fact and just do my thing. But...Mini-Me started first grade this year (and she got her ears pierced in celebration of becoming a big kid). She's been doing half-days for a while now, but this will be the first time in almost ten years that I've been alone all day every day. I'm not really sure how it's going to go. On the plus side, more time for writing! On the down side...yeah, we're just going to pretend the depression thing doesn't worry me.

In the meantime though, I have news!

Remember a couple weeks ago when I announced that Evernight Publishing had picked up GunShy and the Cupid's Conquests series? First, I have a group of authors hard at work on more stories for the series which has me totally geeked. Second... my editor and I busted through edits, and they bumped up the release date. So scratch November. GunShy is coming...*Drum-roll*... September 16! Yes, it will be available ten days from now. I'm crazy excited and I really hope people love this story.

In other news, authors from Decadent Publishing (including me) will be at The Romance Studio chat room tomorrow night at 9pm eastern time (6pm Pacific... hopefully the rest of you can figure it out from there). Please stop by! I'm pretty sure the people in charge are doing giveaways (*hint* Check out which authors are there and have their websites at the ready to search for answers to questions... at least that's how they did it last time :P)