Monday, November 18, 2013

In Defense of the Clitoris

Sorry for being AWOL. Life and other stuff took over and blogging fell by the wayside, but I'm back to discuss something very near and dear to the hearts of most women.

The clit.

(WARNING: Cussing and pervy sex talk commencing as soon as you click play.)

Okay, fun is over. This is serious business. So last night I was working and typed the word "clit" into my manuscript. (For WTF purposes, what I'm about to tell you just happened again when I typed it in the previous sentence.) Scrivener autocorrected it to "clot." No. I'm not kidding.

Considering what I write, this is a word my computer should have learned by now. I'm a fan of the clit and use it frequently in my work. (Gods, that sounds so dirty. I'm an author, not a prostitute. I swear.) So, one would think it'd either have been auto-added to the dictionary or I would have added it at some point myself. Obviously I did not, which means this is a new thing.

That's right. I would have been correcting "clot" in edits for years now if this had always been a problem. But my heroes have not, in fact, ever massaged the heroines' clots. Mainly because...ewwww.

So I decided to see if this was some weird sex policing thing. Oddly enough, dick, cock, glans, hard-on, jack-off, and many other male-centric words don't have any issues. Now one could argue some of those have other, non-sexual definitions or that glans can refer to male or female genitalia. However, I've never heard it used for a woman. We don't talk about the glans of her clitoris. We just talk about her clit. Also interesting? The word cunt is obviously okay too, because derogatory terms for lady bits are just fine and dandy.

 I don't know. Somehow it just seems strange that this word--perfectly good word, I might add, and one that is more commonly used than its longer, clinical-sounding form--is suddenly an issue. Especially when it is in the dictionary already for the program being used.

Whoever is in charge of the stupid autocorrect of the world, fix this shit. Or should I say caca? Because apparently that doesn't need autocorrect either. My two-year-old nephew will be ecstatic.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Seducing Her Rival Blog Tour!

I totally forgot to tell you all about this yesterday! I have a short blog tour going on for this release, and there are prizes! Other than today's post, I don't have direct links to stuff yet. I'll try to update through the week, but the links may just take you to the main blog page until I get to fixing them.


I'm giving away a Nook Simple Touch as well as two amazon gift cards, so get thee touring, people!

Tuesday 10/29: Fade Into Fantasy
Thursday 10/31: Margay Leah Justice
Friday 1/1: What I'm Reading
Saturday 1/2: A Bookish Escape
Monday 1/4: Simply Ali
Tuesday 1/5: (Change of plans here...) Herding Cats...Burning Soup
Thursday 1/7: Toot's Book Reviews
Friday 1/8: Nina's Literary Escape

That's it. Easy Rafflecopter entries. Get touring!

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's Here!

OMG! It's here!

*muppet flails and panic*

Yep, it's that day already, Seducing Her Rival is out in the big, wide world.

What? You hadn't heard about this one? New marketing plan. Blah blah blah. I will save you the boring details and just give you this...

When cruise ship turbulence sends children’s charity guru Mercedes Vega—and her tropical cocktail—flying into a mysterious stranger, she’s convinced her free vacation is a dream-come-true. But Lucas Bellamy isn’t just sexy as sin and richer than God. He’s her business rival, determined to outbid her charity for the land she desperately needs…a fact she doesn’t learn until after a night of mind-blowing, toe-curling sex. Unwilling to give up, she formulates a plan to make the charming playboy fall in love with her and back out of the property deal.

Lucas is drawn to Mercedes, but he won’t stand down—after all, he has promises of his own to keep. But one scintillating night with the enigmatic brunette leads to another, and before long, it’s unclear who’s seducing who, leaving Mercedes wondering whether the man she’s supposed to hate is the only salvation from her past.

What better way to beat the fall blues than escaping on a hot, sexy cruise?

I knew we were on the same page.

And so it's easier for you to sink into the pages of this one, here are links to most of the bigger ebook retailers:
Barnes & Noble
All Romance

If you buy someplace else, feel free to hit me in the comments with where and I'll add it to the list :)

Also, if you happen to read Seducing Her Rival, I'd love it if you left reviews all over the internet.

Now I'm going to go finish panicking, because I excel at that.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


So, a while back, I sold this quirky little book called Gaming for Keeps to Entangled Publishing. When asked, I described it as Chuck meets The Hulk. My editor described the series potential as The Big Bang Theory meets The X-Files. Needless to say, it wasn't your typical romance.

The path forward from that wasn't a super-smooth one. The challenge of keeping things quirky and geeky and romantic all at the same time while still remaining fresh took a lot of mental twisting.

That's why I'm super excited to announce that Entangled has signed me for not one, not two, not three, but FOUR new TRAIT novellas. (Yes, officially the series is called For Keeps, but I still call it TRAIT.) I can't say a lot about what happens next yet, but I will say the mash-up for book 2 is a little different. This time around, we're going a little more Leverage meets Dollhouse meets Warehouse 13.

Like I said, it's a quirky series, and I am so appreciative that Entangled is as excited about this as I am. And my new editor makes me squee. So keep your eyes peeled for news regarding the release of book two in the For Keeps series, Conning for Keeps! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New Chapters

As I recall, a few weeks ago I promised an explanation for my absence from blogging this summer. Basically, I was waiting to discuss it publicly until all the Ts were crossed and all the Is were dotted.

None of it's been secret exactly. In fact, most of the world that pays attention to me knows that I relocated to the other side of the state in June. What I've talked about a little less is the reason why.

Next month would have been my 17th wedding anniversary. Yesterday, my divorce was final.

So yeah... I've been dealing with all the feels--good and bad--this summer in addition to moving. I've been doing my best to stay on top of all my upcoming projects, but something had to give and it ended up being the blog. I'm going to do my best to get back to it now, but I wanted my readership to understand I wasn't disappearing for no reason. I just didn't want my moodiness to rub off more than necessary.

On to good news.

If all goes well, I should have two books out before the end of the year! That's right. No hard core promises yet, but I think it's going to happen. Keep everything crossed. Just a reminder (since I haven't been around for a while) that I do have a street team. We gather on Facebook, and they get snippets and news before anyone else. So if you really want to be on top of everything I do, please send a request to join the Renegades: Outlaws of Romance. We supply the virtual booze; you supply the charming personalities ;-)

*raises glass*

Here's to new chapters in both writing and life. Let the adventures begin.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I'm Late

No. I am NOT pregnant, thank you very much. I meant late with my post. And...other things. But not that thing. *shudder*

I realized something during my blogging hiatus this summer. I hate forced blogging. That whole "oh no, it's Tuesday, I have to post something!" Not a fan. Especially since my best ideas tend to come say...the day after I post, but by the time it would go live the following week, it'd be old news.

As much as I'm trying to organize my life (and believe me, I am), I think I need to make a return to disorganized blogging. I'll be starting back up at the Evil League of Evil Writers as soon as I get a nudge on when, but for here, I think I'm just going to blog when I have something to say. I know that goes against all the rules of blog-building. But let's be honest for a minute...a lot of people have moved on from regular blogs. They're pinning and tumbling and whatever-elsing. And I'm doing all of that too...when the urge strikes.

That's the aspect of Pinterest and Tumblr that I love. No one gets in a huff if I miss a day or whatever. No one cares that I'm mainly just posting things I find pretty or inspiring. And it never feels like I'm standing around shouting, "Buy my book!" ...even when I mention my books. I love that.

I'm not saying I won't blog here. I built this place, damn it. I'm going to use it--in fact, I'm still planning to strive for 4-5 posts a month. However, it does mean that it won't be consistent. It means I'm going to post when I have something to say (whatever that might be), but not worry about the day of the week or if I already posted the day before. I won't worry about "talking" too much or too little. I'm just going to be.

So, in case you want to comment on something....two big casting announcements have come out in the past week. Team Charlie & Dakota (50SoG) or Team Sam & Caitriona (Outlander)?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Year, New Life

My kids started school today, and for the first time, it was kind of a bittersweet experience. There have been a lot of life changes in the past several months (more on this in the weeks to come, I'm sure), and it all kind of culminated today. You see, we moved across the state to be closer to family. Which means the kids had to start at an all new school. Which would be awesome, if any of their cousins went to their school. The one that lives closest is in a different district, and the ones that are in the same district go to a different school (different levels entirely as mine are in elementary, and the two cousins are finishing their last years of Jr. High and High School). Needless to say all back-to-school excitement was tempered with a lot of nerves.

And today was anticlimactic. They went to school. They met some kids. They came home. The biggest differences were the new rules for the new teachers, which they would have had anyway. Life...went on, as it likes to do.

It was kind of a mirror of everything else that's happened. All this life-altering to-do just kept on going. It's strange how that works, and even stranger that it's rarely seen in fiction (at least not genre fiction--maybe this is what literary fiction is for but I'm not the person who would know such things).

You see, in a book, you get a snapshot of reality. The characters care about each other in some way (even if that way is hate). You don't get a much of a look at the people who are just there, the ones that show life just happening. And even with those close characters--they are all right there through everything.

People say that art imitates life, as if it's a mirror in the way my kids' first day of school was, but I don't think that's true. Art, to me, takes life and experiments on it. It filters it and removes all the mundane details. It condenses it into a concentrated fraction of what life would have been. And then, it takes another concentrated substance (or more than one), and throws them all into a fire to see what happens. Where life ebbs and flows around itself, art...explodes. It doesn't show you the big picture, it shows you the flash.

I'm not really sure there's a magical, important point to this post. It was just where my mind went after walking the kids home from school.

Tomorrow I think I'm going to take a little tiny piece of my life, sit in the sun, and hold a magnifying glass over it. Something's bound to happen. Just wait and see.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm Back and Siri Is Stupid

Hi all! The summer of madness officially ends a week from today, at which point I'll start filling you all in on the drama and whatnot that has been consuming all my brain power. For now, I'm going to share a silly story from yesterday instead. (Please bear in mind that the conversation was not archived, so exact wording may be off, but the conversation is basically correct. And the later, funnier, bits are exactly what the damn thing said.)

So, I'm in the car with my kids driving to the grocery store when we start discussing bacon (as we often do). This led to the kids arguing about what male pigs are called. They both had solid arguments and I wasn't really sure who was right. (Turns out they both were in their own ways, but that's beside the point.) So I do what any good mother with an iPhone and her hands on the steering wheel would do--I turn to Siri. This is what happened...

Me: What are male pigs called?
Siri: I'm sorry, I don't see Mal Pecks in your phone book. Should I search the web for Mal Pecks?
Me (frustrated): What are male pigs called?
Siri: You have ____ new email messages. Which one would you like to read?
Me (getting cranky and trying to enunciate): What are MALE PIGS called?
Siri: I'm sorry, I don't know what you mean.
Me: Siri, you suck donkey balls.
Siri: Now, now.
Me (making WTF face): Well if you could understand any of the words coming out of my mouth...
Siri: I don't understand.
Me: Siri, you're a dumbass.
Siri: I am?
Me: Pretty sure.
Siri: I don't know what you mean. Would you like me to search the web for "pretty sure?"
Me: And thank you for proving my point.
Siri: It is I who should be thanking you.

At this point, the kids and I were laughing so hard, I couldn't talk anymore. It was a good night. Hope you had one of those too :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What Happens in Vegas...

Coming out of blogging hiatus to ask you to come hang with me in Vegas!

Seriously. I'm heading out this weekend for a friend's wedding and then I'm going to be in Vegas for the week for a conference. AND on Tuesday the 20th at 7pm, I (and a bunch of other Entangled authors) will be doing a signing at the Clark County Library (1401 E. Flamingo Rd.) Come out and see us! Buy books, get swag, chat about books! What could be better than all that?

Oh yeah. It's in VEGAS! WOOOT!

Ahem. I might be a little excited :)

Seriously, stop by and talk to me about whatever. Books. My new house. Vampires. Steampunk. Sex. Jeremy Renner. (Yeah. If someone could actually get Renner to show up, I would kiss said person. I might kiss Renner too--it'd be worth the restraining order after.)

So please stop by if you can.

And my blogging hiatus is officially over after I get back from Vegas. Time to get this thing back in gear :)

And did I mention?


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Nothing to See Here

No, really. Personal life news happened yesterday and I'm running around like a crazy person. Specifically today I'm running from one side of the state to the other and back again...after an appointment at noon. So, there's no post today. However, the Gaming for Keeps blog tour is still going, and I'd love it if you'd stopped by these last half-dozen places and said hi :)

6/21: Ramblings from this Chick Guest Post
6/24: Cocktails and Books Interview
6/25: Stella ExLibris Guest Post
6/26: You Gotta Read Interview
6/27: Confessions from Romaholics Interview and Review
6/28: Dawns Reading Nook Interview

Normal posting (or as normal as it ever was) will hopefully resume next week :) 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

In Defense of Man of Steel

Let me start by saying that Superman is not my hero-of-choice. Like Captain America, he's just too "good" for me. This isn't a slam on Henry Cavill or Chris Evans, but to put it in perspective, my favorite Cap scenes in Avengers are where he's mouthing off to Tony Stark because he's not being nice. Basically they are hunky and awesome and too nice for my inner bad girl to deal with.

So, when I went to see Man of Steel, it was with pretty low expectations. Parts of it were worse than even my low expectations could deal with, but other parts were refreshingly good. And because I'm all full of positivity today, let's start with the good.

(Oh, and there will be spoilers galore. You've been warned.)

First... Henry Cavill looks AMAZING as Superman. (Yes, I'm a girl. Yes, I noticed. Yes, I liked what I saw. Deal with it.)

Second... It wasn't all camp and bad jokes! It was kind of dark and brooding. I really liked that. I never quite bought into the alien falls to earth and is raised by humans and everything is just awesomesauce. I LIKED that it was hard and scary for Kal-El.

So poor Kal (I like that better than Clark) has all these powers and all this...noise in his head that he can't deal with. I watched the scene with him as a little boy in school and all I saw was any other special needs kid (specifically autistic kids) who are overwhelmed. And the students response to it was very real too. He's different and everyone knows.

No wonder he's more than willing to listen to Jonathan when he pushes the "they will fear you" line. That's his DAD--the guy whose job it is to look out for and protect him. So he listens. And he keeps listening. The one day he questions Jonathan and gets torn apart between wanting to be the hero and wanting to listen is the day he watches his dad die.

This, quite realistically, fucks him up...for years.

One could argue that by age 33, he should have come into his own and not been playing by those same rules. But he's not human--he doesn't have the kind of friendships that would help him grow into his own, and his father-figure died--a fact which he feels responsible for. So, I am totally willing to forgive the delay as Kal quests for information on where he came from. AND I understand why he's so ready and willing to follow the path laid out by Jor-El. He'd spent however many years yearning for a new father and fell back into the pattern of wanting to listen and please. (Yes, Superman is a submissive. *shrug*)

This was horribly real and tragically beautiful. Loved it.

Also, I felt like he and Lois had enough of a connection and enough going on between them to justify the kiss at the end. The writers put in enough feeling (and the actors worked it) so it didn't feel like an "extra" to me.


I also like that he killed Zod. His entire existence to that point had been about life-saving, especially after watching Jonathan die. I like that Zod forced Kal to face that choice of killing the one to save the many. Obviously the Phantom Zone didn't keep Zod away--Kal couldn't trust it to work the second time "just because." So, yes, I'm glad they had him kill the fucker. And I am interested in seeing how that affects Kal in the next installment.

Now onto the bad.

The special effects of the fight scenes on earth. Dear gods, some of them looked like they'd been done by first year film students. I don't know who was in charge of quality assurance there, but they dropped the ball. It made the fight scenes suck for me.

And they were LONG. Like gouge my eyes out from the bad FX and beg for them to make it stop long. Extended fight scenes can be done well. If a particular film-maker can't do them well, it's far better to have short but awesome fights.

Zod. *sigh* I'm sure the guy is a good actor, but after seeing him as a bad guy in this and Premium Rush... I just don't buy him as a bad guy. I want to hand him a puppy and a cookie and tell him to be a good boy and go play with his legos. Sorry.


Logic Fail. Lois knows he's Clark. She CALLS HIM Clark all the damn time. This means the military knows he's Clark Kent. All of Smallville knows--because I'm sorry, after he shows up as Superman, no one is that stupid. So, him showing up at the Daily Planet trying to disappear again... No... No. No. NO. I would have been fine with Lois knowing. I would have been fine with just the IHOP guy and the priest in Smallville knowing enough to know Clark is Superman. But once the government knows? There are no secrets. I can suspend disbelief long enough to pretend they couldn't figure it out, but if they KNOW? I can't believe it'll stay a secret. If you're going to pull an Ironman, then don't puss out at the last minute.

To sum up, I loved the history and the build up of the romance. Loved Henry Cavill in the role. I will probably see the next one. But I'll be horribly disappointed if the people in charge don't even out some of the issues.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Release and Blog Tour Madness!

So, you might have heard me mention that Gaming for Keeps came out yesterday, but if not, here are all the links your heart could want to find it....


Barnes & Noble




All Romance eBooks

Now that that little bit of business is over, onto the blog tour! Some of these stops may have giveaways, but since I'm not sure which future ones will and which won't, I'm not mentioning any and you'll just have to look (because I'm evil, that's why.) Also, anything after yesterday is a general blog link since I don't have direct links yet.

6/5: Reading Reality Interview and Review
6/7: Tangled in Pages Interview
6/10: Harlie's Books Interview and Review 
6/11: Manga Mania Cafe Interview
         Here Be Magic Post
6/13: Storey Book Reviews Guest Post and Review
6/14: Bookishly Devoted Review
6/19: Bookin It Reviews Guest Post
6/20: As the Pages Turn Interview
6/21: Ramblings from this Chick Guest Post
6/24: Cocktails and Books Interview
6/25: Stella ExLibris Guest Post
6/26: You Gotta Read Interview
6/27: Confessions from Romaholics Interview and Review
6/28: Dawns Reading Nook Interview

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Teaser Tuesday

So...I'd planned a righteous rant for today. Problem is, I'm still too angry and it came through in the words. No one needs that kind of negative energy from me. So, I'm holding off until I have a little more distance and then I'll still post about the most important parts of it. 

Instead, today we're going to celebrate! Gaming for Keeps comes out Monday!!! 
(EEP! *panicked muppet flail*)


So yeah. I'm nerv-cited, heavy on the nerv. Which sounds a little like nerd which is kind of close to geek, so... how about this geektastic excerpt and I'm going to go flail in the privacy of my bedroom.


He waved the bartender over but a girl slid onto the stool next to Cal and the bartender stopped for her first. Typical.

“What is the strongest decent-tasting vodka drink you know how to make?” Penelope? Her voice startled him and his fingers slipped in the condensation on his mug. Only his quick reflexes kept the beer from sloshing all over him.

She turned his way. Same dark brown waves—this time done up with leaves pinning them to her hea —same button nose, same sensual golden-brown eyes. Somehow good fortune had decided to shine on him for the moment and brought her to his side again.

Penelope leaned on the bar and pursed her lips as she looked at him. Her gaze didn’t rake over him like other women’s—she stayed fixed on his eyes like she could pin him in his seat. He’d never felt so happy to be trapped. “For a minute there, I figured you had on some ridiculous gauntlets or something, but I guess you just have butterfingers.” She winked, breaking the spell she’d cast on him. “Cursed by a sorcerer with a flair for the ridiculous?”

His lips twitched into what felt like a very non-broody non-dark-elf smile, and he fought his way back to seriousness. “Unlikely. I would have killed him before the incantation left his lips. I rather think it was shock at the way in which you so boldly invaded the space I’d clearly defined as my own. Few would have the nerve to attempt such a maneuver.”

“Yes, well, not so long ago I sent a human aggressor into the fetal position with nothing more than a single move of hand-to-hand combat. I’m feeling rather full of myself right now. Pardon me if I don’t consider a dark elf who can’t decide between a scowl and a smile to be much of a threat.”

Oh, he already liked her a lot more than was wise. “I think I’ll choose to alternate between the two in order to keep you on your toes.”

“And here I thought you wanted to drive me off.”

“Perhaps.” He shrugged, noting the way her eyes lingered on his shoulders. “Or maybe I was just waiting for someone brave enough to stick around.” The bartender returned with her drink—something crimson and steaming. She’d said vodka, so he shouldn’t react to it too badly after the beer. The bartender set the glass down, and Cal tipped his head toward it. “I’ll take one as well, and put them both on my tab.”

The bartender was gone before Penelope managed to get a word out. Her mouth snapped shut a second later. She held up her glass, stared deep into the contents for a moment, then turned and met his gaze. “I appreciate the drink, but I hope you aren’t expecting anything for it.”

Huh? “Only the pleasure of your maddening company for as long as it takes you to drink it.”

She regarded him over the top of the glass, something like a challenge dancing in the depths of her eyes. The glass slowly tipped up, her lips molding against it, and she kept tipping. Her throat worked as the liquid poured through it. When she placed the glass back on the bar, it was empty. She ran her tongue along her lip, catching the drops of red that lingered. “And now?”

If she was this much of a spitfire all the time, he was doomed—in the very best way possible. Assuming she liked him, too...and that she didn’t have a boyfriend. He’d deal with the latter issue if and when it came up because, at the moment, she wasn’t acting like a woman with a man waiting for her.

He jerked his head to the side in a half-assed shrug—two could play her game. “And now you either walk away, let me buy you another drink, or stick around to talk just because you find me charming. Your choice.” He took a sip from his own glass and turned to examine the bottles lining the far side of the bar. And watch her in the mirror behind them.

Her lips curled up and then she pressed them together in a way that was simultaneously innocent and sexy as hell. “If I let you buy me another one I’ll have to drink it much slower. You could be stuck talking to me for hours. Positive you don’t want to take your chances with someone that’s more of a sure thing?”

This was so much better than a stalker-ific phone call could have ever turned out.

Cal tilted his head toward her and forced himself to frown when all he wanted to do was completely break character and grin like an idiot. “I don’t know about that.” He waved at the bartender and pointed at her empty glass when he finally got the man’s attention. “Seems like you just confirmed you are most definitely a sure thing as far as conversation goes.”


So there's a little taste-test of Cal and Pen. If you want more (and I hope you do) there are all sorts of things you can do!

Add Gaming for Keeps to your Goodreads shelf

(It might be other places too, but I know you can) Pre-Order from 


AND the official blog tour starts tomorrow! So be sure to keep an eye out for all of that <3

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Still Riding High Up in the Aether

Shot of me from Opening Ceremonies.
HUGE thanks to Russ Turner photography
(Hoping to work with him again soon.)

I have so much love for steampunk conventions. Much, much love.

As some of you may know, I was at Up in the Aether the convention last weekend. After hitting its predecessor, World Steam Expo, on the last year of its existence, I was a little worried about destroying another con with my presence (because clearly I'm that important), but I went anyway.

It's always a little nerve-wracking for me to attend a con where I know next to no-one. Other than the wonderful Cindy Spencer Pape who organized the literary track (and her wonderful husband), the closest I came to knowing people was because I know their work or I met them very briefly last year. So...yeah. I basically went in blind.

Hanging with Christian Friday night
Fortunately it was one of those take-off-running-style cons as the literary track hit go about an hour after I arrived at the hotel (ie--enough time to check in and change out of street clothes). Big thanks to my parents for inviting me to stay for lunch because it wasn't until we were at Opening Ceremonies that Scott Lynch, Elizabeth Bear, and I realized we didn't have a break the rest of the night. (Yes, I could have skipped Stump the Author since I didn't have to be there, but I really wanted to.) So after sneaking out with the love birds (I can call them that without being snarky because they are absolutely twitterpated and adorable together.) for a quick bite, it was back into panels until 10:30.

Rachel & I showing off our nail polish :P
There was much in the way of imbibing in spirits that night while dancing with Christian Klaver and making new friends. I made other friends after the dancing too who insisted I wasn't as old as I am (MWAH!) and also made sure I didn't pass out in the hallway on my way to my room.

Needless to say, I decided to behave myself on Saturday. That lasted until my new friends Rachel and April announce I was going with them to a party where one of the con organizers (Michael Wiggins) called me out on my earlier "I'm not drinking tonight" vow. I have no will-power, what can I say? It was the most moving party I've ever attended in that we started in one room, moved to a suite, and then security moved us downstairs. At 4:30 I decided it would be wise to get some rest since I had to check out in the morning before my 10:30 panel.

With the inimitable Vourteque
Sunday was another day of panels with more awesome authors, including Tee and Pip of Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences fame (please reference this post and get in on the Initiative!) who were incredibly sweet and awesome. (One of the highlights of my weekend was actually Pip and Bear tying up my too-loose corset on Friday. It was like a kinky geek girl fantasy come to life.) Panels off an on all day led up to multiple people trying to convince me to stay for all the music and parties that night, but alas, it wasn't in the cards this year :(

Assuming they want the resident party-girl author back next year though... ;-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Steamhopping Along with the Ministry and a Clockwork Mafia Giveaway!


When I think of steampunk, that (after the clothes, because...hello? Corsets. Bustles. Dusters. <3) is the first word that comes to mind. Of all genres of literature, steampunk (along with the other punks) has the most craftspeople dedicated to bringing it to life in the real world. THat is an amazing and beautiful thing. And what I love most about it is that it fits so well with the importance of creating within the literature.

Mad scientists trying to take over the world do so through their creations. And sometimes the heroes do battle with creations of their own.

It was one of the aspects I really wanted to focus on in the second book of the Badlands series. Where book 1 mainly displayed the clockworks as minions of an evil mind, in book 2 (Clockwork Mafia), we see the evil that science wrought put up against the beauty that it can create as well. I wanted it to be a reminder that no science is inherently good or inherently evil. It's a message that resonates today as we weigh the pros and cons of things like stem-cell research and genetic engineering.

That is one of the amazing things for me about creating steampunk romance. I not only get to write stories about how boy meets girl, but I get to fill them with messages designed to make people think. And gadgets. Because gadgets are just cool and I wish I could make them in real life. Sadly, I lack the skills, but if someone wants to make me a clockwork dragonfly hair pin, I wouldn't turn it down ;-)

But enough about me and my blathering. I know what you're really here for...the giveaway! Yes, this is the only copy of Clockwork Mafia I've given away so far, but you have a little more reading to do first. Find out what the Ministry Initiative is all about (You'll need this to enter for the book, plus it's more of how awesome steampunk is with regard to creating new ways to enjoy the genre...just don't forget to enter for the book before you leave!)

Galileo Games and Imagine That! Studios have teamed up to bring you an ambitious steampunk project! The Ministry Initiative is a two-part creative endeavor that will not only premiere new fiction from the steampunk world of the Ministry but also present a brand new role playing game from the makers of Bulldogs! and the ENnie Award winning game Shelter in Place. Thrill to the tales in Ministry Protocol anthology, or join in as an Agent in The Ministry Initiative RPG.
Find out more about this endeavor and support the Kickstarter here:
So that's it. Get in on the ground floor and join the Initiative! First though, enter to win a copy of my latest steampunk release, Clockwork Mafia!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

RT and Street Teams, Oh My!

Okay, I know, I know, I should have a third thing in there to really make that title work, but it's what I've got.

So...RT. Where to start? I love RT. Anyone who knows me knows this. To anyone and everyone I met this year though, I need to issue an apology. There have been major personal issues going on during the lead-up to RT (and will continue for a while). This led to minimal sleep for a few weeks right before RT as I busted ass to get the house ready to put on the market (and stressed about it). It meant I was sleep-deprived before I even got there. Add in convention madness, and I was in hard-core space-cadet mode while there. So if you introduced yourself and I don't remember you. Or if I zoned out while talking, please forgive me. By next year there will be less drama and I can return to my normal state of absent-mindedness which is not nearly so...uh...bad. We'll just go with bad.

To that end, I'm not going to do the run down of who I spent time and had fun with because I had fun with everyone I interacted with...I just don't remember everyone's names. (I'll do a couple specifics, but they will be limited to less than a handful.)  In general though...

  • The Gaslamp Tea crew--xoxoxoxo I am so proud to be included in this group of amazing authors every year. Thank you!
  • Everyone at Entangled--you guys rock. I had so much fun hanging out with everyone. Thanks for taking the newbie in and making me feel at home (even if a couple of you looked at some of my costumes like I'd lost my mind :P) 
  • The AWESOME book bloggers--I love you guys! You all made me smile more times than I care to count. And you also reminded me that when food wasn't is made from potatoes. ;-)
  • My Carina Press peeps--Thanks for the support and the silly conversations. And a specific thank you to Angela James for putting my fears to rest. I breathed a lot easier after that. 
  • Katee Robert--thank you for NOT killing me in my sleep. My kids really appreciate it ;-)
  • Angie Fox--No Walking Dead spoilers...I promise! Thanks for a ridiculously late night of fun and conversation. It totally made my con. 
  • Scalzi...I will never forget your face now. Though I may always introduce myself and say "What do you do?" You know, just for fun :P

I know I'm forgetting people, so please forgive me. I love far more people than are mentioned here. Some of you talked me down from my panic attacks. Others made me feel more beautiful than I have...ever. I love you all <3

That said... there was a vote going on Facebook over what to name my street team members. Renegades won! So I'm in the process of building a facebook group for the street team. This particular rebellion is in the infancy stages at the moment, but if you want in on the ground floor, go find The Renegades, do the secret knock, and I'll let you in as soon as we're up and running :)

I will be at Up in the Aether con next weekend (seriously, if you are in the Detroit area, please come by!), but after that, I'm going to build the group on Facebook and the snippets and fun and madness shall begin! If you aren't following the Entangled Group or my author page, please do that so you don't miss the announcements!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Squeeage and Some Promo Stuff

Okay, I know, I know. I need to do an RT post. It'll be up sometime this week, but I still have crazy-mad RT hangover (dead tired and minimal brainage) so it needs to wait a couple days (brainage is reserved for book writing at the moment).

Instead, I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who has been pimping and buying Clockwork Mafia. I know steampunk is a fairly small list on Amazon, but it thrills me to no end to see one of my books on there. I don't know where it topped out last week, only that it dropped off the list over the weekend but was back on as of yesterday. It also earned a silver star and a staff pick on ARe. I'm insanely humbled.

In other news, you still have a little while to help me figure out what to call my street team members (which will, in turn, help me figure out what to name the team). To vote, you have to join the Entangled Publishing Group on Facebook. Then, there's sometimes a lag while you get all approved and stuff. And then you vote here. There's an additional option in the comments, so if that's your favorite, just say so in the comments and I'll count them up. I believe we're closing up voting on Friday, so get cracking!

I'll do the RT post this week and then talk about the street team and how to join next week!

Oh, and Gaming for Keeps (which you may or may not have seen me getting all a twitter about) comes out June 10! So keep that one on your radar!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Find Me At RT! (Oh, and Buy My Book!)

Hey all! It's April 30, and that means I'm on my way to Kansas City for the Romantic Times Booklovers' Convention. This is one of my favorite cons every year, and I hope to see you there.

Of course, I'm going to be a little crazy (possibly crazier than on a normal day--or at least more scattered), so it might be easier for you to find me than for me to find you. (Read as: Sel is dead by day 2 and gets tunnel vision. She completely missed Paul Wesley walking by her table at lunch last year. Odds are unless you slap her, she might miss you too.) With that in mind, here are some places you're likely to find me:

3:45-4:45: Setting the Stellar Steampunk (Moderator)
9:00-12:00: Ellora's Cave Party
After midnight? Probably the bar (if it's open)

1:30-2:30: Steampunk Clockwork Tea (Hostess)
2:45-3:45: It's Not About the Goggles (Panelist)
4:00-6:00: Ebook Expo--signing (I'll have print copies of Kiss of Death & my YA Pretty Souls as well as all my digital books available to buy)
8:30-12:00: RT's 30th Anniversary Ball
After midnight? Probably the bar (if it's open)

11:15-12:15: Hero Speed-Dating (
7:30-8:30: Entangled's Candy and Spoons!
8:30-12:00: Vampire Ball (whatever it's called this year...though I probably won't be there until after dinner)
After midnight? Probably the bar (if it's open)

7:15-7:45: FANtastic Day Party
8:00-9:00: Carina Press Cocktail Party
9:00-12:00: Harlequin Dance Party
After midnight? Probably the bar (if it's open)

So, yeah. When in doubt, check the bar. 

In other news.... today is the release of Clockwork Mafia! Yes, it is finally out and in the wild and you should definitely buy a copy. If you missed my blog tour last week, please rush back and check out all the awesome stops...

But in the meantime, buy the book. Read the book. Love the book (I hope). Review the book (whether you loved it or not--it's okay, I can take it). To make it easy on you, here are some links to buy from: 
Carina Press
All Romance
Barnes & Noble

If you do those things, you will make me incredibly happy...even if I don't get to see you this week at RT. 

*hugs from Kansas City*

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hero Speed-Dating and What It's All About

Jeez. That title makes it sound like the hokey-pokey or something. Oh well.

For those of you who aren't aware, I'm one of the hosts for a couple reader panels at RT. First there's the Steampunk Tea that's going strong for several years now, but the second is a new one called Hero Speed-Dating.

Myself and five other brave authors (Diane Alberts, Saranna Dewylde, Jeffe Kennedy, Suzanne Lazear, & Katee Robert, to be precise) are going to talk about what we think about when we create our heroes. Sounds standard enough, but that's just the first few minutes... then the fun begins.

You see, we aren't just talking about our heroes, we're going to be our heroes for the rest of the panel. That's right! Each of us will be "posing" as one of our heroes for a round of group speed-dating. Readers will sit with each hero once as we pitch ourselves to them as prospective dates. If at the end of the pitch, they're interested in getting to know us further, they get to enter to win a "date" with the hero (a prize pack from the author).

Seriously, this should be the most ridiculous fun to be had while sober at RT Kansas City. I really hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Convention Survival Guide

(This post is a longer version of an interview question for later in the week. A twitter conversation with Eleri Stone convinced me to post it here as well. If you're going to RT--or any large cons--this year, enjoy. If not, uh...sorry? Sucks to be you?)

People often ask for advice when attending a convetion like Romantic Times. It's a big place, packed full of people, and it's easy to lose sight of little things. (And it's easy to think other things just won't matter--they will, trust me.) So, with three RTs under my belt, I have a lot of advice to share. Take what you want and leave the rest, but I've erred where a lot of these are concerned so you might want to learn from my mistakes ;-) 

  1. Hydrate—first and foremost, stay hydrated. It’s really easy to not think about this and then you end up weak and tired and cranky (and that’s before the alcohol gets involved). Hotels are notoriously dry anyway, so why make the problem worse. Keep a water bottle on you at all times and use it.
  2. Don’t forget to eat! I’m notorious for this. When I am busy and having fun, I will forget to eat. I’ve learned to pack protein bars so I can shove one in my bag when I leave the room in the morning. That way when I finally realize I haven’t eaten in hours, I have a quick healthy(ish) snack that I can munch between panels. Other things that work well for this (some more packable than others: little boxes of cereal, fruit, string cheese, jerky... Point is, have something with you. I also usually take protein powder and my blender bottle for a quick and easy breakfast.)
  3. Plan your wardrobe in advance. I will honestly start packing about a week ahead of time (at least) because it's easy to forget costume pieces or the shoes that go with your pitching outfit or... Figure out what you want to take and then minimize where you can. (This last bit is especially important when room-sharing because of limited space.) I am a big fan of items that can do double duty for both parties and day wear.
  4. Have a plan. Nice and tight or loosey-goosey. Doesn't matter. But know what you most want to get out of RT and what your "can't miss" events are. (Might I recommend the Steampunk Tea and Hero Speed Dating?) Do what works for you, but I don't suggest completely winging it unless you are just hanging at the bar (which I totally support too :P) 
  5. Dress up...or don't. Every party has a theme. Not everyone will dress for it. You don't have to, but some of us really get into that. It goes back to packing. Figure out what you're most interested in dressing for (or what you have to) and go for that. (I, for one, won't be doing the disco theme. I don't have the clothes. I dont' want the clothes. I'm not wasting money on the clothes. But that's me. I fully support everyone else in their attire choices.)
  6. See that last bit? It's important for more than just clothes. Don’t judge people because they sin differently than you. Some people’s idea of a good time is a little more loose and carefree than others. This is okay. If you aren’t comfortable in that atmosphere, find a spot where you are comfortable, but let them have their fun their way.
  7. Don’t be a wallflower. I’m naturally an introvert, so this was hard for me, especially my first year. I was lucky in that my roommate was really outgoing and then I met another really outgoing author at the pitch sessions. Between the two of them, they wouldn’t let me wallflower. There are thousands of people at RT, even if you only meet one new person a day that you can talk to, it’s one more than you knew the day before (Note: the bar is great for meeting people.), and odds are they’ll introduce you to one or two of their friends. By the end of the week, you'll know a bunch of people and have some new friends from around the globe. 
  8. Business cards! Have them. Use them. When you talk to someone and they give you theirs, try to jot down a note or two on the back about who they are and what you talked about. It won't always help you to remember them, but sometimes it's enough...especially after a couple hours at the bar.
  9. Try not to be intimidated by authors. Most authors are extremely excited to meet and talk to fans and potential new fans. It’s why we’re there! And a lot of us are at least as nervous about chatting with new people as you are. So talk to us—about our books, our costumes, the toilet paper stuck to our shoe… 
  10. Oh yeah, shoes—bring comfy ones. Yes, bring cute ones for the parties, but you will be walking a lot (think a day at Disneyworld with a six-year-old), so you’re going to want to be sensible during the day. (Also, back to hydration…drinking water helps keep you from retaining water which means the cute shoes should still fit by the end of the night. Swollen footsies are no one's friend.)
  11. Unless you're required to be somewhere (ie--if you're speaking on the panel, you should be there unless you're in your room puking your guts out or otherwise dying), don't feel like you have to go to everything. Of course someone will want you there, but if you need a break or you have to choose between two awesome sounding options, it's what you want. No one is going to hate you for not showing up to their panel. (Except maybe me, but I'm evil, so it's part of the gig.)
  12. However...if you have promised to help someone (with a panel, corset tying, supply moving, whatever) do your very very best to be there. If you don't want to help, don't say you will. Or say "maybe" if you genuinely plan to try. Just don't leave someone in the lurch because you got a better offer.
  13. The models...yes, they are very attractive. Yes, they've chosen a profession where they are used to being ogled a lot. This does not, however, make them playthings. They're human beings. Please treat them that way. 

That's probably not all of the advice I could give, but it's a lot to take in. Feel free to hit me with questions and I'll be happy to tell you everything I know. 

Also, Angela James did a brilliant post about staying safe at conventions. It's well worth a read. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

NEWS! I Have News!

So I finally got the okay from my editor to announce this.

*blows trumpet*
*drum roll*

I have signed a three-book contract with Entangled Publishing's Brazen line! Yes, the line that brought you Katee Robert's Wrong Bed, Right Guy and Laura Kaye's One Night with a Hero will be giving you books from me too! Sexy books!

The series doesn't have a name yet, and I can't give any release information, but the first book in the series is tentatively called Seducing the Enemy and it's steamy. No, I mean it, there's an actual steam room in the book. :P

Seriously though, I'm super excited about this new venture, and I hope all of my loyal readers will follow me over to the Brazen side of life.

To that end, I'm probably going to be starting a street team at some point--maybe soon since Gaming for Keeps comes out in the near future. So if you love me and want to help out, please send an email with the subject line "Street Team Volunteer!" to

That's it for now. I'm hoping to have more awesome news to share soon, but in the meantime, please feel free to happy dance with me. As always, rhythm is optional. And with Brazen, so are clothes :P

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Sometimes It Feels Good

Super quick blog today since there's a TON of life and work stuff going on that I am woefully behind on.

However, I'm really geeked about something that happened recently and wanted to share. I recently offered a query critique in a charity auction. Did the critique and looked at the revised query and offered a few other suggestions. Thought that would be the end of it.


Author contacted me just a few days ago to let me know they'd finally submitted the query to an agent and got a full request in response. It's possible nothing will come of this, but I was so excited for the author that I smiled all day. And I also felt really blessed that the author thought enough of my crit to keep me posted on how the journey was going.

Critiquing strangers/new people is not my favorite thing in the world, but it's moments like this that remind me why it's a good idea to do it anyway.

Thanks for making my day, author ;-)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Love in a... Dirigible?

Less than a week ago, we celebrated the equinox and the beginning of spring. (Granted, here in Michigan it's not feeling all that different from winter, but I'm hopeful that'll change soon.) In most faiths, spring and the holidays associated with it are times of celebrating renewal. It's when the earth starts to come alive again. As Henry Rollins recently saidthis is the time when resolutions should be made. And considering some life upheaval going on, I needed that reminder, especially where love is concerned.

In five weeks I have a new book out--YAY! For those of you who have read Badlands, you know Henrietta Mason didn't exactly finish the story in a good spot. We're talking about a woman who was left questioning everything she ever believed in. Hardly the ideal situation for finding romance. Yet that's the heart of Clockwork Mafia. Like spring, it's about rediscovering oneself in the depths of despair and fear. It's about learning to enjoy the way the wind whips through your hair as you hang on the ratlines of a dirigible...instead of thinking about what a messy end you'd meet if you let go. And for Henri, part of that is about finding and accepting a love she doesn't really think she deserves.

For me, that's what this spring is about--possibilities and taking chances. It's about love, life, and finding happiness in all the strangest of places. It's about learning to fly tied to nothing but the kite string of life.

If you hunt back through my posts to New Year's, you'll see that I'm not a big fan of resolutions--mainly because the way they tend to be stated sets a person up for failure. But, I do so very much like Henry Rollins that I'm going to take up the springtime resolution this year. Want to know how? (Sure you do, otherwise you would have stopped reading when I started rambling a while ago.) I resolve to be at least as brave and open to life as my heroines, to take things as they come and make the most of them, to soak in the love and joy in the air, and to learn to hang without fear from the ratlines of life.

Giveaway time! Okay, this is a little tricksy, because I can't giveaway Clockwork Mafia quite yet. BUT, I do have a lovely print copy of the Fairies Gone Wild anthology sitting next to me (which just conjures up all sorts of naughty thoughts about spring break and making the best kind of bad decisions), so here's what I'm gonna do. The giveaway is open internationally, BUT there are caveats. The print book is US only (sorry, shipping hurts). If you are international (or if you're US and would rather), you can win a digital copy of Clockwork Mafia instead. ...I just won't be able to send that off for a couple weeks (April 22). Hell, if you want, I can send you a different title from my digital backlist instead. (It's spring and I'm easy that way, what can I say?)

Confused yet? Don't be. Just enter the rafflecopter below for a chance at a free book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, as much as it probably doesn't seem like it from the post, this is a blog hop, people! You're here, but now you need to go to all the other hippity-hoppity blogs in the list below. There will be prizes at each of them, as well as a grand prize from Emma Shortt (who is all kinds of awesome).

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Post! With...WORDS!

I know, I know, I've been posting videos the past couple weeks, and I may continue to do so for a while. But a break today for an announcement.

I have lost my website.

"What?" you say. "It's right there!"

But alas, that's just what's already been loaded onto the internet. When I switched out Beauford (MacBook Pro) for Boris (MacBook Air), the files weren't transferred, and my husband did a clean sweep of Beauford before passing it down to Mini-me. To complicate matters, iWeb (on which I built the website) isn't exactly friendly about such things as this.

What does all of this mean for you, dear reader? It means I'll be switching my website well as my blog. It appears I can build a decent website on Wordpress and load it onto my domain. With that, it seems really silly to continue to have my blog on blogger (even though I find it easier to use than Wordpress).

So, sometime in the next few weeks, this blog will cease to be, and the weekly post will be nothing more than a re-direct to the new one. And hopefully after that, I will be done moving blogs. It's exhausting and frustrating and makes me want to pull the wings off flies. (Not really, I prefer not to touch flies with anything other than a swatter if I can help it, but you get my meaning.)

There are more announcements coming as soon as I get the official okay to talk about them. AND there's the release of Clockwork Mafia on the horizon. (I believe it's just about the 40 day countdown *gulp*) In fact, you can pre-order that puppy all over the place already (like here, here, here, or here) as well as add it to your Goodreads shelf. (If you're a reviewer, it's even up on NetGalley, so grab a copy!)

So, that's it for this week. A little news that's not really news, but that some of you would want to know anyway. Unless the blog gets moved at warp speed this weekend, next week will likely be more music and then I'll get back to more regular posting. (I hope.)

Ta! And have a fantastic week!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy...

Still in the month of madness here, and I'm actually doing really well. I just don't have enough brain power to come up with blog posts yet. So...

I'm finishing up some work on Kiss of Life right now, and wrapping myself up in the awesome of Remy. For those who don't know, Adam Lambert is my character model for Remy, and this song always makes me think of the character in all his fantabulous glory...

Talk to you next week... or maybe just share more music next week. We'll see :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Peeking Out of the Editing Cave

This month is going to be crazy busy with edits on two books happening as well as finishing the draft of another. Did I mention revising and subbing another one? Yeah. It's kind of crazy up in here. So unless I have something brilliant to say, I'm going to share music from some of those projects' playlists instead.

Right now I'm working on edits for Gaming for Keeps which comes out in September from Entangled Publishing. (WOOT!) Took me a while to figure out which song best fit this one, but considering it's for the Geek Collection and it's a romance...and... Well, this one just spoke to me.

Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cover Dissection!

So, other than revealing them, I don't really talk about my covers a lot. I have some that I love and some that I...don't. You see, the fact of the matter is authors get to fill out this little paper about our book that gets sent to the cover artist. From there, they interpret what you sent and build a cover based on it. That's it. That's our say in things. Sometimes if something is really off, we get to go back in and say "Whoa! Wait a minute!" But reality is, we trust the cover artists to do their job.

It's one of the reasons it's so exciting to get covers that are just right. And sometimes it isn't fully clear to the reader (or casual viewer) why it's such a perfect cover. So, I'm going to dissect my newest cover (for Clockwork Mafia) which I love.

*I was going to try to do this all fancy-pants with circles and arrows and numbers, but yeah...not happening tonight. Sorry.*

Okay, first and foremost is the mask. Isn't it gorgeous? Henri wears an elaborate clockwork mask like that in the beginning of the book, and I love that her face is hidden for this cover. You see, a lot of Clockwork Mafia is about Henri figuring out who the hell she is in the aftermath of the events in Badlands so it's very appropriate that she's "hiding" on the cover.

Then there's the dragonfly. While it isn't exactly like my clockwork dragonfly tattoo, it's fantastic. And it's one of Henri's designs that gets a lot of play in this book. I'm really glad it's on there.

Then there's Carson. *happy sigh* Okay, first off, the model is just beautiful in general. Secondly--though I think he actually has short hair rather than long hair pulled back--he looks like Carson. Honestly, the more I look at him, the more he looks like the character right down to the way his neck is all scruffy.

And here's my favorite part of the entire cover. Henri in her mask is kind of representative of Philadelphia society life. And the dragonfly is representative of her life as an inventor... And Carson is trapped in between the two. It's incredibly symbolic for the story.

Honestly, I have no idea how the cover artist managed to fit things so perfectly, but I don't think I could have paid for a brand new photoshoot that captured the essence of this story as well as this cover did. HUGE thanks to Kix by Design for the incredible cover. And if you happen to know the name of the model for Carson... ;-)