Thursday, August 27, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Videos from RWA Nationals

Were you unable to make it to the RWA National Conference in New York this year? Did you get caught in a meeting or sleeping in after a fancy publisher party or running out to catch a Broadway show and you missed some parts? This year, whether you were there in the ballroom or not, RWA is giving us the opportunity to watch (or rewatch) the Keynote and Featured Speakers, as well as the RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony!
The first speaker was Keynote Barbara Freethy, who talked about the ups and downs in her long career (and the curse of the cartoon cover):

On Friday, Julia Quinn spoke (and her story about her mom made me grin):

Saturday morning was Nalini Singh (and I might have mentioned once or twice that I'm a total fangirl where this goddess is concerned) - and as I mentioned in my post-conference post, she spoke of protecting the joy (among other things):

And then it was time for the RITA and Golden Heart Awards Ceremony. I was delighted that we were able to stream this year and able to debut our new theme song (composed by Carl Wishneusky and underwritten by Stephanie Laurens). I was truly thrilled to be part of putting this awards ceremony together - along with my extraordinary committee (Linda Needham, Victoria Alexander, and Terri Reed), our brilliant MC Lisa Kleypas, and our goddess of an Office Liaison, Judy Scott, as well as the fantastic gentlemen and lady of our production company. If you loved it, I can't take the credit, because the awards shows are defined by the host and the speeches of the honorees (and the videos were a labor of love from one of our esteemed committee ladies), but it was fun to be a cog behind the scenes. So here it is, in case you missed it, this year's Golden Heart and RITA Awards Ceremony:

And, just in case you're interested, you can also view and purchase RWA2015 photos: (download free RWA2015 headshots here)
And purchase RWA2015 audio recordings:
This way we can be there even if we weren't, and remember even the details we forgot. So let's celebrate romance together! :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tiger - Week One

It's been a good week, boys and girls!  Folks seem to be enjoying Tangling with the Tiger, but in case you haven't checked it out yet, here's another little teaser and a (Top Pick!) review that just popped into my inbox.  :)

Tangling with the Tiger - Out Now
“I don’t want you to get the wrong idea. I’m not anyone’s savior. I’m not going to heal you with love or anything like that. I don’t want a mate.”
“I’m too broken to ask for that,” he said softly. “But when I’m with you things are…” Again the words, why wouldn’t they work? “Peaceful. I just want some of that peace.”
She wet her lips, the sight tantalizing and distracting. “So you use me for peace and I use you for…um…” A blush stained her cheeks.
Sex. “Whatever you want.” He could have said it for her, but he found it entirely too adorable to see bold, brash Grace stammering for words.
“Right. So we just use one another and everyone’s happy?”
Happy. That was a word he hadn’t thought about in a while. His thoughts fractured, skittering after happy, chasing it, trying to remember what it felt like.
He focused on her face, on the tiny frown wrinkle between her brows as she studied him.
“Your eyes were doing that thing again.”
Grace. Happy. “Yes.”
Her frown deepened. “What?”
The words weren’t working. So he dismissed them. Her lips were close.
So he kissed them.


According to the lovely folks at Night Owl Reviews who gave us a Top Pick (!!!) Tangling with the Tiger is "awesome, fun, steamy, suspenseful, and exciting to read. I was caught up in the fascinating and truly original storyline, romance, action, and drama."

Check out the Full Review.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Odysseus, Orpheus, and the Quest for a New Car

My attempts to buy a car have now descended to the level of farce.  (Or Greek myth.  If someone told me the gods were messing with me, I would be relieved - at least then I would have an explanation.)

After a number of previous setbacks, I worked up my gumption, checked dealer inventories and set off on Saturday to test drive (and possibly buy!) a model/trim that is on my shortlist. 

We arrive at the biggest car dealership I've ever seen, but alas we do not see the car.  Salesman says not to worry. He will locate it - every car on the mega-lot has GPS on their locator system. 

Every car except that one.

We hop in another car with our salesman and drive it around the mega-lot, looking for the distinctive blue paint of the missing stick-shift model.  He realizes it may have been moved to an overflow lot off site and drives us over there.  Voila!  It exists!

And the keys are locked inside it.

Not to worry! Salesman leaves us in the overflow lot and runs back to the main lot to get the spare key.  He returns triumphant!

And the battery is dead.

Salesman runs back.  Gets a jumper box.  The car starts!

And the alarm goes off.

Only way to turn off the alarm is to turn off the engine, but once the alarm is deactivated, the car refuses to start again.  Turn the ignition and click-click-click.  Nada.  Salesman decides to try jumper cables to another car, under the assumption that the jumper box is out of juice.  Goes to fetch the cables.  Returns.

Click-click-click.  Nada.

Salesman confesses there was the beginnings of a nest of some sort near the battery.  Something might have chewed through a wire... The service department will have to look at it. 

And they've all just gone home for the day.

But if I buy today, I can get an amazing deal!  I decline, preferring to buy cars that run.

We head to Dealer #2 - much smaller, but I've checked their inventory and they have the model/trim I'm considering.  We make it there before closing.  We see the car.  A salesman sneaks up on us (in a strangely creepy manner).  I express a desire to test-drive the car.  No problem!  I hand over my license.  The salesman asks for proof of insurance.  "But I don't own a car."  (He does not seem to understand that insurance companies insure CARS, not random carless drivers.  Keeps referring to me as "never having been insured" even after I explain to him that I have had insurance in the past, but I do not currently because I was living in Manhattan where I did not want a car and then have been renting cars as needed and using my credit card insurance for the rentals since leaving the City.)  Alas, he can't let us drive the car without proof of insurance.  He will not even unlock it. 

But he wants to talk numbers.  I can get a great deal if I buy today.

I return home carless.  Again.

The Fates are screwing with me.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dream Big! (But Know That Humanity Is Basically Doomed)

So here's the thing. I just saw TOMORROWLAND (I know, I'm way behind on movies) and it puzzled me.  The message of the film (hammered home with the delicate subtlety of a piano being repeatedly dropped on your head) is that Dreamers are our most precious resources, we must foster them and they can fix any calamity but only if we never ever stop believing in the possibilities of the future.

Yay!  Lovely message, eh?

And it would be, if the basic pretext of the entire film wasn't an assumption that human beings, as a whole, will latch onto any hint of negativity and replicate it diligently until they destroy the world with their persistent Doomsday thinking.

It was strange to me that a film whose entire purpose was to be all "Optimism, rah!" was founded on an assumption so inherently pessimistic.

Also, I gotta say it kind of bugged me that they used dystopian novels like 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 as negative examples--examples of that negative Doomsday thinking--when the entire movie was set up as a dystopian story.  Seriously?

The point of dystopian novels is not to show us that we're doomed!  It's to show that we can break out of that doom if we are only aware of it, that man can rise above, even when we have boxed ourselves into a corner in our quest for perfection/safety/etc.  So why would you use dystopian stories as a symptom of the apocalypse in your heavy-handed Story of Hope?  Especially when your Story of Hope is a dystopian story!  Come on, people.  Think it through!

So while I loved the "Yay, Dreamers!" aspect and several other elements of the story, the basic contradiction of optimism/pessimism confused me like there was no tomorrow.  (See what I did there?)

Friday, August 21, 2015

How to Make Vivi's Release Week Perfect:

Step One:

Send me lovely Facebook notifications of sterling reviews for my precious babies:

"My visit with Lone Pine Pride, while over too soon, was a delightful and passionate way to spend my evening and I can't wait to visit these fascinating shifters again." -4 Stars, Literary Addicts. FULL REVIEW.

"Breathtaking paranormal romance [...] While I certainly do not want to be on Dominec's bad side, that is one tiger I wouldn't mind tangling with because he certainly captured my heart." -5 Stars, Literary Addicts. Full Review.

Step Two: 

Flood me with sweet tweets, including mentioning me in the same tweet as Kate Elliott and Chuck Wendig.  (Squee!)

Step Three:

Cake for every other meal!  (It was my birthday and I do not believe on holding back when it comes to cake.)  ;)

THANK YOU to everyone who celebrated with me, either in person or online.  I hope you continue to enjoy the Lone Pine Pride! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

We Join This Series Already In Progress...

Good morning, darlings!  Today I'm visiting Fresh Fiction to chat about Tiger and on-going series.  Are you a start-from-the-beginning reader or a just-dive-in-wherever reader?  Come join the conversation!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Which Lone Pine Pride Shifter Are YOU?

Ever wondered how you would fit into the Lone Pine Pride?  Take this quiz to find out which shifter you are!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Happy TANGLING WITH THE TIGER Release Day!  Today is doubly special because it is also my birthday.  What better present than to have a book I adore launching out into the world today!

I'll be visiting the Samhain Cafe, and chatting about milestones and birthdays (and giving away a book) over at the Ruby blog, but if you just want to check out Grace & Dominec's story, read on! 

It might be love. If they don’t kill each other first.

Siberian tiger-shifter Dominec Giroux doesn’t play well with others. Horribly scarred by the Organization scientists who killed his family and tried to turn him into their pet assassin, his sanity has been hanging by a thread ever since his escape.

His one reason for living—revenge. But when he snaps during one of the shifters’ strikes against the Organization and goes on a killing spree, it doesn’t go over so well with his pride mates.

As the only female lieutenant in Lone Pine Pride history, Grace Calaveras has a lot to prove, and a lot on her plate. The last thing she needs to deal with is Dominec’s brand of crazy, but until she can get him under control, she’s his babysitter.

It would take a miracle for these two to find common ground, but when they’re sent on a mission that could impact the future of every shifter in the world, lioness and tiger form an uneasy alliance…and unleash an attraction that could be their salvation. If it doesn’t destroy them both.

Read an Excerpt.  Buy from Samhain :: Amazon :: B&N :: Kobo :: iBooks

Monday, August 17, 2015

My Date with a Tiger

Happy TANGLING WITH THE TIGER Almost-Release Day!  Today I'm visiting the Samhain blog and chatting about my "research" trip to a Thai tiger sanctuary.  Come on by and tell me about your own insane travel stories.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lone Pine Lovin'

Tangling with the Tiger releases in just four days, so now is the perfect time to be catching up on Lone Pine Pride reading - and Fresh Fiction seems to agree with me.  Today what should pop into my inbox, but a notice about a shiny new review from Fresh Fiction for Hawk's Revenge.  Behold!

"There's a good mix of extraordinarily believable shapeshifters populating this tale, from black bears to lynxes. [...] HAWK'S REVENGE is well worth a  read for fans of paranormal romance. Just don't get clawed."

Check out the FULL REVIEW.

Thank you, Fresh Fiction!

Now, who's ready for some tigers?  ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tangling Teaser Tuesday!

Happy #TeaserTuesday! It's only one week until TANGLING WITH THE TIGER is released into the wild! How's about a little peek inside? 

Dominec and Grace aren't your typical couple...

She wasn’t sure what made her pause with her hand on the latch. A whisper of sound, a trace of a scent, or maybe just that awareness of someone watching her that shivered across her nerve endings.
She turned, hand still on the latch, and looked up. She didn’t see him, but instinct overruled her senses and told her he was there.
“Spying is rude, you perv,” she called—pitching her voice softly so she wouldn’t wake her closest neighbors if they were already sleeping.
Nothing. But the certainty that he was up there didn’t diminish.
“Dominec.” Sharper this time. A smidge louder. “Get your ass down here. I know you’re there.”
The scrape of a claw against shingles. A heavy body shifting above her head.
She was so prepared to see the pale yellow tiger leap to the ground beside her, she stumbled back a step when Dominec dropped to a crouch beside her in human form. His hands were partially shifted to give himself a better grip, but his clothes were damp from the snow, proving he’d been up there in human form for a while.
Dumbass. It would serve him right if he got hypothermia.
The wet cloth clung to the muscles of his shoulders and chest, accentuating the sculpted strength of his human form. His hair was damp as well, the jet-black locks curling more with the moisture, lending him a false air of boyishness. The night shadows did nothing to hide his scars—if anything making them even more ghoulish—but she’d long since stopped being distracted by the marks. Instead she found herself captivated by the heated intensity in his black eyes. Dominec was unsettling on the best of days, but today she found herself unsettled in an entirely different way.
“What are you lurking up there for?” she demanded, her voice sharper than she’d intended, but she didn’t want him to see how he’d rattled her. “Are you stalking me?”
Dominec tipped his head to the side. She wasn’t surprised when he ignored the questions. “Is Kelly your mate?” he asked.
“What? No. Who told you that?” Shit. Was that the rumor going around the pride? Had Kelly started it? Just what she needed. For it to get back to her mother that she and Kelly were official.
Dominec’s expression darkened further. “You’re in love with the Hawk?”
She snorted. “Please.”
“Kye? Xander?”
“No.” What the hell was with men that they all needed you to be mated? Like their puny masculine brains couldn’t comprehend the idea of a woman who might be enough on her own.
“But you have a mate?”
“Not that it’s any of your fucking business either way—”
“Answer the question,” he snapped.
Typically she would tell someone who made that demand where he could shove his question. She had no idea why she answered. “No. I don’t have a mate. Happy?”
He lunged for her with that insane speed—no one moved like Dominec—too fast for her to get her guard up. His hand closed on the side of her neck, his thumb along her jaw. She threw up a hand in an instinctive palm-heel strike, going for his solar plexus to knock his breath out and send him back a step, but his other hand redirected her strike away from his body, twisting his grip, his fingers locking around her wrist. Her free hand lifted as he leaned in to attack—head butt? Fangs to her throat?—but before she could make contact his lips pressed against hers and—
What the HELL?
He was kissing her.
Shock froze her muscles.
Dominec CrazyAss Giroux was kissing her.
And he was GOOD.