Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
So last week I lied. And y'all tried to spot the lie. And a surprising number of you caught me.
Dude, I was hoping to fool more of you. I tried to make my truths ridiculous and my lies believable, but apparently, I am an epic fail. No poker for me. My bluffing sucks. And now, for the record, The Straight Scoop:
1. I have answered the phone to find Tobey Maguire on the other end of the line and worked on a film for which someone other than myself was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, & a Screen Actors Guild Award. TRUE. Patricia Clarkson was nominated for just about every supporting actress award for Pieces of April. Tobey Maguire was the "it" boy of the moment cuz Spiderman had just released & he just happened to be friends with the producer I was working for during my brief and ill-fated sojourn into the film industry. So, I have to ask, would you have been more or less likely to believe me if I'd told you it was Sigourney Weaver? Katie Holmes? Or if I said I'd been backstage at Conan O'Brien talking to someone in a prom dress? Do any of those make a better story?
2. I rode a camel in Morocco, but I have never been south of the equator - the lack of which eats away at my soul. TRUE. Sadly. I'm desperate to get below the equator. Soon... very soon... Australia is calling me.
3. I was valedictorian of my high school, a National Merit scholar and in Mensa - but I can't tell my left from my right. TRUE. Right and left are tricky bastards. They move around on you. My left, your left, stage left, leftfield... any one of those might not actually be to the left at any given moment. They are trying to mess with my brain. North and south are awesome. They don't try to screw with you by moving all around. I don't have any trouble with the compass points. And they like me, so take that made up directional left/right-ness! (If you read my books and I say someone is pointing their right hand, I have no idea which hand is pointing. No joke.)
4. I once had my head stapled shut after gashing it on the ceiling, didn't get home from the emergency room until two in the morning and went to my 7:30am class the next day. (Did you know there is something called the halo effect where head wounds close to the brain seem to hurt several inches above your actual skull? Soooo weird.) TRUE. The guys who took me to the hospital got special permission from the ER folks so they could all be in the room watching when the doctor took a staple gun to my head. It made this great whir-ka-chunk noise. You can't beat the sound of staples in your scalp, baby.
5. I hate earthquakes, thunderstorms, and blizzards, but love the natural power of tornadoes. I blame The Wizard of Oz. Tornadoes=magic. BIG FAT LIE. Oh-my-freaking-god do I ever hate tornadoes. They freak the hell out of me. I grew up with earthquakes & blizzards (love 'em) and took to thunderstorms right off (love love love!) but tornadoes give me the heebie-jeebies. I once heard a tornado warning on the radio when I was driving through Mississippi and, not knowing what county I was in, had no idea if it applied to my area. This led to three straight hours of me freaking out and watching the horizon, preparing to drive my car to the side of the road and go lie flat in a ditch if I saw anything funnely. Good times.
6. I once cried and nearly hyperventilated between sparring and board breaking during a karate belt test. And passed the test. (Never discount the sympathy vote in martial arts.) TRUE, actually. This one does surprise most people who know me well. I'm not usually much of a crier. To explain, there was a freaking ton of adrenaline in my system and I was trying to calm down after sparring (which always wigs me out, I'll be honest - I'm a grappler or a run-away-er by nature and standing there, waiting for someone to take a swing at me, is so not my thing) and my body decided the handiest outlet for my adrenaline high was great gulping sobs and big fat tears. First and only time it's ever happened. So I'm kneeling on the floor, making this awful heee-heee noise and my sensei tells me I have to break. I get up (still sobbing), position my boards, and break 'em all first try. And the hysterics magically stop. Attacking boards is apparently a hella effective way of relieving an adrenaline overload.
7. I can both lead and follow lindy hop. If you don't know what that means, you are in the majority, and while I refuse to explain, I will tell you that I did it at RT with Jess Granger and it was awesome. (Kinky girl-on-girl lindy... ooooooh.) TRUE. Lindy hop is a swing dance. I love it because it has this fabulous blend of totally-nerdy and bizarrely-cool, which is my favorite ever. Behold the lindy-ness:
Monday, May 24, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
How does this work? I've posted seven statements about myself below. At least one is true and at least one is a bald faced lie. All you have to do is figure out which is which.
And because I love to share the wealth, I'm nominating a few
- Shelli Stevens - the author your mother warned you about... naughty books for all occasions
- Kinsey Holley - werewolfy goodness of the steamy delicious variety
- Kelly Fitzpatrick - laughter & romance, my favorite combination
- Kate Diamond - founding member of Damned Scribbling Women blog, romance afficianado, and aspiring scribe
- Jess Granger - sci-fi romance to fire the imagination and tug at the heartstrings
- Liz Talley - fabulous new author of comtemporary romance with Superromance
- Sela Carsen - Paranormal. Romantic. Comedy. (the trifecta)
And now, to the lies!
1. I have answered the phone to find Tobey Maguire on the other end of the line and worked on a film for which someone other than myself was nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, & a Screen Actors Guild Award.
2. I rode a camel in Morocco, but I have never been south of the equator - the lack of which eats away at my soul.
3. I was valedictorian of my high school, a National Merit scholar and in Mensa - but I can't tell my left from my right.
4. I once had my head stapled shut after gashing it on the ceiling, didn't get home from the emergency room until two in the morning and went to my 7:30am class the next day. (Did you know there is something called the halo effect where head wounds close to the brain seem to hurt several inches above your actual skull? Soooo weird.)
5. I hate earthquakes, thunderstorms, and blizzards, but love the natural power of tornadoes. I blame The Wizard of Oz. Tornadoes=magic.
6. I once cried and nearly hyperventilated between sparring and board breaking during a karate belt test. And passed the test. (Never discount the sympathy vote in martial arts.)
7. I can both lead and follow lindy hop. If you don't know what that means, you are in the majority, and while I refuse to explain, I will tell you that I did it at RT with Jess Granger and it was awesome. (Kinky girl-on-girl lindy... ooooooh.)Soooo.... how truthful was I? Can you spot the lie(s)?
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
These fabulous books aren't from new-to-me authors, so I knew they would be good, but for some reason the stellar reality of these books has surpassed my memory of the awesomeness I could expect to find within.
Maybe it's just a factor of mood. Was I in exactly the right mindset to be reading these books? Is that why I found Erin McCarthy's A Date with the Other Side to be a double helping of charming and delightful with a side of ghosts? Or why I turned to goo midway through The Givenchy Code by Julie Kenner, moaning, "You had me at cryptography"? (I'm a math nerd, I can't help it if the Fibbonacci sequence makes me weak.)
Whatever the reason, I'd like to thank the Gods of Pleasure Reading for giving me this particularly delightful stint. What about you? Have you had a good run lately? Any books you want to gush about?
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The Spring Showers Promo over at Coffee Time Romance is still going strong with many an excerpt and many a chance to win cool prizes. Today, the fabulous folks at Coffee Time have posted an excerpt of Serengeti Storm and if I'm understanding the fine art of prize-giving correctly (which I believe I am, but my brain is swiss cheese at the moment for reasons I won't go into here) then one lucky commenter on the thread will take home a shiny new download of Serengeti Storm. (Oooooh! Aaaaaaah!)
So come on by and comment to win. Or just come on by to chat with me or with other booklovers at the forum. This whole forum thing is a recent discovery for me (I know, I'm slow) and I'm kinda loving the concept (though sadly, my internet time is limited these days so I can't be as active as I'd like at the moment *le sigh*).
Saturday, May 15, 2010
The new Samhain newsletter is about to launch and we're calling on everyone to spread the word and share the sign-up link below. The monthly newsletter will focus and feature upcoming and new releases - both in eBook and Print -as well as free downloads and contests. There will also be links to the social networks, Twitter and Facebook, and soon, YouTube.
Here's to getting the word out on our fabulous authors and their wonderful stories...because, it's all about the story!
~Samhain Publishing Marketing Dept
Friday, May 14, 2010
Over at Dear Author, there is a poll/post/conversation/whatever about whether or not you, as a reader, skim over or skip the sex scenes in the novels you read. The comment thread is particularly interesting as various viewpoints weigh in. I, personally, am of the non-skimming variety - but I don't skim anything when I read. (Even Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. I read every single word and I freaking hated that book.)
I think if the author is doing his or her job, you shouldn't want to skim. Ever. When you are tempted to skim, isn't it a sign that something is unnecessary? That it doesn't work or it isn't a part of the whole? Sex scenes, like any scene in the book, shouldn't be gratuitous. They should advance the plot, develop the characters, and be a sign of conflict or resolution in action. That is what makes them satisfying to me - not the mechanics.
If you automatically skim through a certain type of scene, assuming it will be no more than Tab A into Slot B then don't you run the risk of missing some poignant, character-altering moment the author has embedded into that moment? Some authors do fall into formula, but others brings something vibrant & fresh to each new scene - sexual or otherwise. My God, the idea of skipping a Jenny Crusie sex scene is a pure horror to me! She's so exquisitely brilliant! Skipping? Never! (See also: Mary Hughes, Emma Holly, Eloisa James, etc...)
And you know what makes no sense to me at all? If so many people are skimming the sex scenes, then why are hotter books selling better? Publishers aren't seeking out heat just because they have a secret kink they're trying to foist on the reading public. Those books sell. So are people buying the hot & erotic romance novels only to skim virtuously over the steamy passages? Or is it a case of buying the magazine for the articles and denying any knowledge of the dirty pictures in the fold out section?
Well, if that's the case, I fully admit to looking at the centerfolds. (Sorry, gran.) I like a beautiful written turn of phrase that captures the feeling of a moment - whether it is sexual, comedic, romantic or all of the above. And you know what drives me up-the-freaking-wall? When I get two hundred pages of steamy, detailed build-up only to have the bedroom door slammed in my face.
A deftly-handled fade away is lovely (see: Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James), but if you are describing the sizzley, tingley, oh-baby-I-need-you tension in the car on the drive home in one paragraph and the first sentence of the next paragraph is "The sex was good" then you will hear my scream of "What in the freaking hell was that?" resounding throughout the house. You threw me out of the story. There is leaving it to the reader's imagination (good) and then there is evicting your reader from the premises at a crucial moment (bad).
A writer's goal should be to keep the reader inside the story, engaged and making him or herself at home. But sex just complicates everything, it seems. Will the fact of a sex scene make a reader skim? Or will the jarring lack of one toss the reader out just as readily?
You tell me. Do you skim sex scenes? Do you (gasp!) skip mine? Are you more inclined to be enraged by an unsatisfying climax (har) or by a heavy preponderance (yeah, I said it preponderance!) of unnecessary sex scenes?
My take? To paraphrase Marie Antoinette, Let there be sex! But please, let it be well-written.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Anyway, because I am a nerd and I think this is amusing, I offer visual proof that Viv Arend and I are not the same person. Look!
See! Totally separate human beings! Are you not amazed?
(But don't worry, you can continue to mix up our books. It keeps life interesting to have a nombre doppleganger out there. And if I'm gonna be mixed up with someone, at least it's someone awesome.)
Monday, May 10, 2010
I love having cause for celebration on a Monday morning, don't you? Mystical Nymph of the Literary Nymph Reviews gave The Sexorcist four-and-a-half nymphs! Here's a little snippet of what she had to say...
"The Sexorcist is the latest release in the fun and creative Karmic Consultants series. It’s a fast paced and well written contemporary paranormal release filled with unique and unusual characters, a quirky premise and fun, snappy dialogue that’s guaranteed to keep your attention from beginning to end. Oh, and let’s not forget the intense attraction and blistering hot sex between Brittany and Luis. While these two lovers make up the backbone of the story, characters met in previous releases add great fun, a little chaos and some amusing situations that left me chuckling."
Is that or is that not a great big slice of awesome to start your day? She liked it! She really liked it! And if you are of the review-reading persuasion, you can check out the full report HERE. Happy Monday, booklovers!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Good morning, booklovers! Today we have something new and different.
Some authors will interview their authors in great detail before they sit down to write a book. They learn every little detail about who this hero or heroine or villain is. I'm not one of those authors. I have never once interviewed a character of mine.
Until today. Alannah Lynne is interviewing Rodriguez from The Sexorcist at her blog today. Also... we're talking about wedding disasters. C'mon over. Everyone has a wedding disaster story...
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Swing on by and learn why I used to get thunderstorms and earthquakes mixed up (no joke) and tell me about your favorite stormy moments.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
I reveal: My must-see movies. My unhealthy nerd-lovin' for quarks. And the reason why all my blogs sound like incoherent, unrehearsed ramblings. Don't miss it!
Check out the interview!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I've contributed to two baskets this year. The first is my Alaskan Experience Gift Bag - including all manner of Alaskan goodies (salmon! gold! wild berries! bears!) and a signed copy of Tickle My Fantasy. You can bid on it HERE. Here's a peek at what you'd win...
AND... the Rubies of 2009 Golden Heart infamy have put together a basket drawing goodies from all the corners of the world (yes, even Australia). There's a signed copy of TMF in that basket too, along with a box of Alaska Wild Berry Chocolates (which, seriously, those things as so freaking good I can almost not express the awesomeness of them). The Ruby basket also includes a bunch of gift cards, a few critiques, and more delicious edibles than you can shake a stick at. Check it out HERE. (This picture is just a tease... there's sooooo much more in there, so be sure you check out the full list.)
The Auction runs all through the month of May, with certain special "limited time only" auctions happening intermittently throughout the month. Bid early, bid often, and help this great cause.
Monday, May 3, 2010
If you're jonesing for your next contest fix, here are a few places to assuage your contest withdrawl:
Moira Rogers is hosting a fabulous contest right now in an attempt to lure new readers into our dastardly clutches. Get Hooked on a New Series! Enter to win the first book of a series - and you get to pick the ones you're eligible to win, so you won't risk winning something you've already read seventeen gazillion times. Visit http://www.moirarogers.com/ to enter.
And... Coffee Time Romance is currently hosting Samhain's Spring Showers event. Excerpts galore, free books to be won, and a fun romance community all bundled into one. Check it out at http://www.springshowerspromo.com/
Mega-congrats, Amy! Your shiny new Sony Pocket Ereader will start winging its way through the wild and wonderful world of the postal service tomorrow.
Thank you so much to everyone who participated. Happy reading!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I'm extending the ereader contest thru Sunday May 2nd at 11:59pm EST. You can still enter two ways - by emailing a copy of your Sexorcist receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org with "ereader" in the subject line AND/OR by emailing the correct answers to the questions found here to the same address, with the same subject line. The winner will now be announced on Monday, May 3rd.
Also, if you happen to be in Ohio (at RT or otherwise) I'll be signing Tickle My Fantasy and Shifting Dreams today at the Romantic Times Bookfair from 10:45am until 2pm. Come say hi to me! I'll be the one with paw-print tattoos on my arms.
And, in still more unrelated news, I'm blogging today on the movie Repo Men (and I'm in rare form, if I do say so myself) with mega spoilers at the Raven Happy Hour Blog.
It's May! The lusty month of May! Perfect month for reading lusty books! So get out there and get reading!