RT Convention 2016

I’m excited to say that I will be attending the RT convention in Las Vegas next April 2016. Not only am I looking forward to rubbing elbows with all the remarkable authors and amazing readers, but I will be selling Pucker Up and The Tenth Life of Mr. Whiskers at the Giant Book Fair. I’ll also be promoting the release of Lip Smacked, the sequel to Pucker Up. I’m hoping to release it around June.

I’ve never been to Vegas. Never. My roommates and I are planning on living it up while we’re there. Can you say Chip N Dales? Unfortunately no one else wants to ride the zip line at the hotel so that I’ll be doing alone.

So if you’re going to be in Las Vegas the second week of April, come by and meet your favorite authors.

photo (15)

Me, René and Amanda in 2013

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El Dorado Hills book signing success.

Cheryl Mahoney, me, and K.D. Blakely at Face in a Book

Cheryl Mahoney, me, and K.D. Blakely at Face in a Book

I had a lovely time yesterday at Face in a Book in El Dorado Hills, CA at a book signing I had with two of my favorite author friends, K. D. Blakely and Cheryl Mahoney. We had a great outpouring of support from family and friends and we got to meet some new readers.

Cheryl was signing her Beyond the Tales series books, The Wanderers and The Storyteller and her Sisters. Both fabulous stories that can be read in any order.

K.D. Blakely brought the first 3 books in her Chimera Chronicles series; Secrets in the Dark, Secrets in the Deep, and Secrets in the Dawn. She’s currently working on the fourth book and I’m super excited for her to finish so I can read it. It’s a great series.IMG_1274

I had a great time talking to friends I hadn’t seen in a while and meeting new people. The store staff were a delight to work with and they were also very pleased with the turnout. Hopefully we’ll be able to do this again next year when each of our next books are released. And yes, I’m still working on Lip Smacked but I’m making great headway. I’m very excited to get it finished and out into the world.

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Update on Lip Smacked

Hey everyone,

Sorry for my long absence but life has decided to throw a couple curveballs my way. I am currently working on the second book to Pucker Up which is titled Lip Smacked. It’s the continuation of Ivy, Garren, Thane, and Athena’s journey after they woke up the cursed prince and have to travel back to Salmagundi to fix the wards.Sounds easy enough, right? But since when has anything gone according to plan for these guys. I’m hoping to have it published by the end of the year.

As I’m writing I have also been reading the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead, my favorite author. I’m just started the last book and man has this been an excited ride for Sydney and Adrien. I’m conflicted about book simply because I want to just plow through it and read the hopefully happy ending yet IT IS THE LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES. I also want to take my time and enjoy being with these characters as long as possible. But I guess that’s the great thing about books- you can always go back and live the world again with a simple turn of a page.

I’m also excited to meet Richelle Mead again when I see her at the RT Convention in Dallas next month, and all the other fabulous YA authors.

Is there a book or series that you love reading over and over again? Let me know.

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Alan Rickman strikes again

My apologies for taking so long to post again. My life has been a bit of a roller coaster lately because, apparently, I’m going through a midlife crisis, though I don’t understand why some people see it that way. But that’s for another post. Now, I want to talk about the movie I saw this weekend, The Butler.untitled

Now, the only reason I even went to see this movie is because of the cast; more specifically, Alan Rickman. This will come as no surprise to those who know me or have read this blog. To say I love him would be an understatement. Although his part was brief in this movie, it was still my favorite part. He was superb and really did justice to the persona of Ronald Reagan. As soon as he appeared, a huge grin adorned my face that didn’t fade until the ending credits rolled.

I was a little iffy on seeing Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan. I’ve never liked her after learning of her actions in Hanoi, and a heavy influence from my Vietnam vet father, judging her as a traitor to her fellow Americans. I don’t pretend to know why she did what she did and at this point, I don’t care. But as I realize that we are all one and that everyone deserves love, I am putting the past behind me. Holding on to that grudge doesn’t prove my loyalty for my father, it merely burdens my heart with unnecessary hate. And hate has no part in my life.

The movie was good, not great. At the end it seemed way too political for my taste. It was more like Obama propaganda than a serious movie about the relationship between a hard-working father and a son who is ashamed of his father’s profession but still yearns for his approval. I found it interesting that each man affected change for the better but in very different ways.  The characters were well played, interesting and earned my empathy. The main message I got from watching the movie was that you are never too old to change the way you see the world around you and to take action to do what you feel is right.

gambitAnd of course, Alan Rickman rocked! Now I can’t wait until October when Gambit finally comes out in America. I don’t know why it took so long but Halleluiah it’s a comin’!

 

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Writers of the Future book signing

photo (22)One of my favorite aspects of being a writer is all the creative and talented people I’ve been smart enough to surround myself with. Andrea Stewart is one of those people. She truly is gifted in imagination and the craft of writing speculative fiction. She is a recent first place winner of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest and had her short story published in the annual anthology. And yesterday, she and a few other winners—Stephan Sottong,Tina Gower, and Timothy Black— had a book signing at the local Barnes & Noble.

I read her short story, Dreameater, as soon as I got home last night. Wow! It’s about the relationship between a young daughter and her dysfunctional, supernatural mother. Of course after reading her other work I wasn’t surprised at how good it was. To read a review of Dreameater, check out Kody Kline’s blog20130501-095631

Andrea is one of those people that when you meet her, you just know she’s going to make it big in this industry. Her stories are unique and fantastical and totally gripping. Plus, she’s also one of the most humble and thoughtful people I’ve ever met.

You’ll also love her book, Dragon Maiden: A Short Story. Andrea Stewart, remember her name. She will be big one day!

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Who am I?

That is the question I’ve been asking myself all year. Well, all my life really but more so since my mother passed away just after Christmas. A very good friend of mine introduced me to a series of books, Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch. By reading the books, discussing the more complex points with my friend, and sitting quietly with myself, who I am is slowly coming into focus.

1. I am a creator. I create fantastical stories in my head and transfer them into books. In college I did some drawing but writing is really where my passion lies. The thrill I get when someone has an emotional reaction to my words, whether they laughed or cried or were merely entertained, is like no other feeling in the world.

a pointillism picture I did in college

a pointillism picture I did in college

I have also created three wonderful human beings—with the help of my husband, of course— which I take great care and delight into guiding them to become happy and independent adults. I help them find the answers to their questions instead of giving it to them, I encourage them to make mistakes and try new things, but I don’t push. I let them make their own decisions about their lives, to a degree. Dropping out of the fourth grade to play video games all day isn’t an option.

I also create the events in my life, whether pleasant or not, intentional or not. Because I know my thoughts manifest my reality, I focus on the positive and what I desire rather than what I don’t want. Occasionally I have to remind myself to stop worrying but the more I practice just living in the moment and being grateful for all that is in my life, the more I have to be grateful for. I know everything will work out because it always has, one way or another.

My mom's favorite flower, the iris

My mom’s favorite flower, the iris

2. I am love. I love everyone. I may not like certain people, but that does not exclude them from my loving them. How could it when we are all one? And that also means that I love myself. I’ve always liked myself—I’m funny and kind and the most loyal friend you’ll ever find—but I’ve realized that for the past decade or so I’ve haven’t been a loving person to myself. I put my happiness and desires behind everyone else. That’s what I thought a wife and mother was supposed to do. But how can I tell my children to go for their dreams and be happy when I wasn’t following my own advice. And not just in my career, but all aspects of my life. A lot of changes are coming, but if I listen to my gut and focus on my goals, it will all work out for the best.

I drew this during my Garth Brooks period

I drew this during my Garth Brooks period

3. I am a loyal friend. I was never part of a clique but I’ve always had one or two close friends at a time. For those I call a friend there is almost nothing I wouldn’t do to help out if I could, from carpooling to lending money to giving them a place to stay for a few days. I love helping those I care about. Now, a couple times my generous nature has been taken advantage of and those friends have faded from my life. But there are a few that could show up at my door, dragging a dead body behind them, and I would grab my big shovel without question a second thought. I’m pretty sure “Holy shit! What the hell happened?” would be my first reaction as I help shove the body into the trunk.

On another note, my goal for the summer is to complete The Count of Monte Cristo. A couple friends swear it’s the best book ever. It’s a very thick book but I figure if I read a couple chapters a day, I should get it done before fall. Wish me luck. What are your summer reading goals?

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RT Convention 2013 – the workshops

As I mentioned in my last post, I attended the RT Convention at the beginning of the month and had a fabulous time. Not only were the parties spectacular in the evenings, but the afternoon was filled with wonderful workshops, and not just for writers, but readers and booksellers as well.

This is Len, the cover model I've been stalking since my first RT convention

This is Len, the cover model I’ve been stalking since my first RT convention

One workshop I attended mainly out of curiosity was one about writing realistic BDSM. Now, I never read past the first few chapters of 50 Shades of Grey( I was beginning to wonder if the character had a real medical condition with all the blushing she did) but I thoroughly enjoyed a BDSM Snape/Hermione fanfic story, For the Potion Master’s Amusement. It’s a long but gripping story and if you also ship this couple – 50 points to Slytherin! The presenters of the workshop debunked a lot of myths society has about this lifestyle that some books have perpetrated.

Speaking of 50 Shades of Grey, the author E. L. James was at the RT Convention to support a friend and I heard from the Twitter rumor mill that she stood up during one of the workshops and demanded the panel to stop trashing her book. I wasn’t there and have no idea what was said, but I applaud her for standing up for herself. She could’ve sat back and smiled, counting in her head all the millions of dollars in her bank account now because of her books and just ignored the obvious petty jealousy of the others. That’s probably what I would’ve done.

Another workshop I attended was American Idol – Writers Edition. It’s a contest held by the Seymour Agency that awards the winner a one year contract/mentorship with literary agents Nicole Resciniti and Louise Fury of the L Perkins Agency. Before the convention, I sent in my first 3 chapters of my current WIP, What the Fae?. The contest is about finding a unique writing voice. Out of over 80 entries, I made the top 20. And after reading the first pages of all the finalists and being scored by a panel of judges(agents and editors) and votes from the audience members,  I was awarded the prize, and a bouquet of flowers. So exciting!!

Me being an author

Me being an author

Then, if that wasn’t exciting enough, I was able to sign and sell my book Pucker Up at the Giant Book Fair along some amazing authors like Richelle Mead. I totally talked to her and got her autograph, too. It was a surreal experience to autograph my book for readers. I also autographed a few shirts, tote bags and even someone’s Kindle. One person wanted to get her picture taken with me, too. You’d think people actually knew who I was. So much fun.

I know this is just the beginning. Soon I’ll have a mile long line of fans waiting to see me and have their own fangirl(or boy) moments. So now, I am busy writing away to get What the Fae? finished and in the hands of my two new agent mentors and hopefully have it ready by the next convention. Life is good!

 

 

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