Thursday, December 27, 2007

Oh where oh where has Elijah gone...?

MANY of you have written me to complain you cannot find Elijah in your bookstores. I need a HUGE favor. BE MORE SPECIFIC. Give me the name and exact location of the store telling you the book is not available or out or what have you. Tell me the name of the store you had to harass to force them to bring the book out of the back room. Tell me your story in detail. Leave it here in my comments. If you do me this favor you help me to A. Kick their butts. B. Prove to my publisher that it is not my imagination that you all can't find it. Please, LIST ALL THE STORES you tried and failed in when hunting down E. Address and phone number is very very useful.

Thanks guys. Things like this make and break hard working artists. We have to know where the flaws in the chain are and what's jamming up the works so this doesn't happen to you anymore.

hope you are having a great holiday. Happy New Year!
J

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

E is on sale!! WOOT!

And I do mean E as in ecstasy...E and in Elijah...and E as in EVERYONE run and get it! And Amazon and B and N are open for reviews. Please think of me. No go! Run! Fly!

Don't make me call out the flying monkeys ;)

Monday, December 17, 2007

We're on!

The chatroom is back up for the moment...hoping for the best here people. The instructions are to go to my website at www.jacquelynfrank.com find to window pane that says message board and click...then find the link to the chatroom in the page header that loads up. Type your name in and you are good to join us for the pre-Elijah party!! WOOHOO! I said before...I say again. Giving away gifties and books and all good things. So come on over!

PRE ELIJAH CHAT PARTY 10 to 10 today!

WEll, more like 12 to 10 because I had a minor crisis come up I had to deal with. Sorry I was late. But I am here now and waiting!!

Let's party! I have signed copies of Elijah to give away along with other treats!

Come on...I am waiting!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tick tock!!

Goes the clock! Four days until...



Oh yes. Oh yes!! Okay now watch me hurl as my nerves take over. BTW Damien just showed up on Amazon for Pre-order!! I haven't checked on B and N yet.

So I am holding an informal sort of contest to see who can send me a picture of Elijah (not an ARC STEPHANIE) on the shelves of their bookstore first :) I will think up a nice prezzie. If you can't post it or an url to it here with a link, just send it to me in email. First one in gets the goodies!

And don't forget that I am signing in Asheville on the 29th. I hope you guys in the area will come make it. I know with the holidays it's tough timing. But try please?

On release day I will be spending the day chatting with fans and friends in Brenda Williamson's yahoo group ALL DAY! I will post Elijah tidbits...and I will be giving away all kinds of gifts! Including an ARC of DAMIEN!! I don't have them yet, but as soon as it comes in, you can have it if you win it! So join me there, won't you?

I am cooking up a very special surprise for January. You'll only understand the value of it if you read Elijah. So...hurry up :P

Yule is fast approaching and I STILL haven't got my altar set up! We just found the box with my main components in it, but the gal heling me around the house...err...isn't. Kinda. So I am interviewing for a new housekeeper again. Those of you who pay attention to my life understand that this is person number 9 or 10 in like four years. I have such a headache!!!! But I just interviewed a nice girl and she seems promising. I am holding a couple of weeks of tryouts to see who works out.

I feel generous today! I just got my author copies of ELIJAH! Who wants an autographed, shiny special new copy? I can't send it until the holidays have passed because I am overwhelmed with work, prep, interviews and more. But you will have it after the 2nd :)

All you have to do is comment here. I want to hear stories. In honor of my obligatory frayed nerves, tell me about a time you were the most nervous EVER and what happened. Best story wins :) Usually I pick from a hat...this time I am going to see who makes me feel less like a dweeb. lol.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Two to Share.

Elijah: The Nightwalkers, Vol. 3 by Jacquelyn Frank
BUY IT NEW


* Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
* Pub. Date: January 2008
* ISBN-13: 9780821780671
* Sales Rank: 666
* 416pp
* Series: Nightwalkers Ser.

ROFL Demon at 666!! It was too funny not to share!

That's one. This is number 2:



Stella Price did the art for this. Isn't it fanfuckingtastic?!?!?!
She rocks! Give her props people!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Secret Santa Deadline!!

Our secret Santa draft is coming to a close! You have until 11 PM tonight, PST, to send your name and address in to Stephanie at billsteph@sbcglobal.net or private message her on the message board to join up. Tomorrow she will announce who you get to buy your 20 dollar gift for. It is SO much fun to know you are getting someone a gift they spend so much time wondering who it will be from! Well, okay....that's how *I* feel. But I am on painkillers today :P

hehehe

C'mon! No Scrooges! Sign up!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

ON THE RADIO!! WHOAAAAAA, ON THE RADIO!!

I am going to be on the radio!!! Michelle Pillow and Mandy Roth have invited me to be their guest next Wednesday on their talk show. Woo hoo!! Here's the link for those who want to hear me babble and make a general ass of myself live and in person...PLUS you get to call in live and ask me stuff. Please, PLEASE call in and ask me stuff so I am not hanging in the cold cold wind all alone...

Link to show : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ravenradio

Listener dial-in number during LIVE shows
(646) 595-3998 (New York number, long distance charges apply)

THE RADIO PLAYER:







THE BUTTON:

Listen to Raven Happy Hour Radio on internet talk radio

This is going to be fun!! They are even letting me talk about ACN :) Wait'll I tell Laura at ACN about that. She will be so pleased. And I am going to give away a treat, so if you call in you get a shot at it! I won't say what it is precisely, but the name Damien is going to be on it!! But you have to make it on live with me to get it. May the best deviant fan win! Muhahaha!

Hugs and Kitties,
Jacki

PS: Someone pointed out I forgot to tell what TIME it is. I am pretty sure it is 11AM-12PM Wednesday. I know...I am a dork. What can I say? See, this is why I need YOUR help lol.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Phew! Are you people tired or is it just me?!?!

Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule or Hanukkah, call it whatever you will, it means a heck of a lot of shopping and even doing it all online is still exhausting! I don't know how you "out there" shoppers can bear it! Especially the pregnant ones afoot on this board. There ought to be a law!


Now that I got the majority of the bitching out of the way....SECRET SANTA!!! We're doing a Secret Santa! A great way to celebrate all our respective holidays and come together as a family of our own here at JF.com. Here, at least, we know is a group of fabulous humans who all have one thing in common with us. A love of Nightwalkers! So here's the deal. You pony up 20 bux to buy a gift. Simple right? And here's the secret part. We all give Stephanie our addresses in Private Message...because I trust her implicitly with this valuable information and I believe you all agree with me on that...and then she scrambles them all up and secretly hands each of us our respective targets to be gifted. Now, I recommend jumping onto the Secret Santa thread and speculating about several things you might like in the 20 dollar range to help your Secret Santa out. (This is to keep those who need the help from panicking. By no means does it suggest you gotta pick what they request, Santas.) Then everyone sends their surprise gift to their target recipient and voila! We can oohhh and ahh in the Secret Santa thread and on here too if you like.

I went, with Susan, to the Animal Compassion Network (ACN) wine tasting. I hate wine (so does Susan) but I was into the yummies and I even met the GM of the local BAM and we're going to rig up a signing for Elijah's release! So if you are in the Asheville area...I am coming to the new home town and want to see you there!!!

We handed over our juicy raffle check and the women of the ACN were in raptures. 750 bux is nothing to sneeze at. They were appreciative and delighted. I have pics. I will say this though...I won;t be going next year unless they remember key things like trash cans and, most importantly, CHAIRS for the DISABLED folk! There was one chair in the whole place not being used by the band (lovely wonderful awesome music btw) and I swear there were old men and women eyeing those young fellas and considering yanking those chairs out from under them and yelling : It's JAZZ! You can stand when you play jazz!---or maybe that was just me. :)

So anyway, I took pictures :) Here they all are...as promised.

This is me:





And our lovely Susan M.





Our Lovely basket up for auction thanks to Amy!



And a lovely Gingerbread masterpiece from the Biltmore House...the tree as well!



Time to part with the golden ticket!


And that was that. Good deeds done, my dears. I am so pleased. You all did such a wonderful job! I hope Selena liked her goodies!

MWah! Don;t forget...Secret Santa! Oh and even more important....15 Days til ELIJAH!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Release, Retraction and Reaction!

Ahh...I love the smell of alliteration in the morning!

I have much to tell you and much to do, so let's get cracking. First of all, I wanted to mention straight off the bat that in my last blog I flapped my gums about the edits to my article in the RT Spotlight without knowing all the facts. Now that I understand everything much more clearly I have come to realize Romantic Times Magazine didn't even touch my article before it went live. The bad butchering job was someone else's fault completely. For that, I owe them a huge apology and lots of air kisses. Mwah! Mwah! They were super cool about it, though, and let me send a revised article in of my own editing. It will show up on the website as bonus content for those who subscribe.

Good news!!! Elijah was bumped to an early ship date! December 18th is now our official release date! Look at that! You just had 2 weeks cut off your wait time!! Aren't we thrilled? I am!!

I have so much to do and so little time to do it. Yule looms and I have a big family. I did most of the hard work already :) And this year, I am getting a PS3 for Christmas :)

Save me from Thanksgiving. I love my family, but as eager as I am to see them, I am just as delighted when it ends. Phew. And you know you feel the same. Don't look at me like that! :P

I have Elijah ARCs! Just a few, but a few is enough. I thought I would celebrate the day by giving one away. All you have to do is comment in response to this blog...except you have to tell me one of the funniest family holiday stories you have. (Or nightmarish if that floats your boat) It can be any holiday...I won't discriminate.

I am so happy to see so much activity returning to the forums on my website. I take total responsibility for it falling off in the first place. There were too many things happening back to back and it ended up being a design for quiet and boriiiing forums. I hope we can continue to fix that together.

Anyway...I have to go shopping now!

hugs and kitties,
Jacki

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things to be THANKFUL for.

You.

Yep. That's it. I am thankful for you. You who have bought my books, you who have slathered me with adoration, and you who helped me raise $650 dollars for the Animal Compassion Network!! Laura, my contact at ACN, actually squealed when I told her that...and that I was jacking the total up to $750 with a one hundred dollar donation of my own. I am going to attend the wine tasting and silent auction party on 11/29 and she said we will take lots of GREAT pictures for you guys of me handing that juicy check over! She also promised me that my skills as a busy body will be warmly welcome and appreciated. I think she thinks she won the lottery. In a way, Hendersonville Shelters low treatment and respect for the beings it rescues was responsible for this; if they hadn't pissed me off so royally, I never would have found the ACN. Kinda ironic really. I believe ACN will be their utter destruction one day...and it amuses me to think they are feeding that fire themselves.

Beautiful.

This past year I have also been tremendously grateful for Kensington Publication, Editor Kate Duffy, the brilliant Art and Sales departments, and everyone there who helped launch me into your path with Jacob. It is Jacob's one year anniversary this week. Gideon was a solid follow-up, but it will honestly pale in comparison to Elijah. This week Kate Duffy let loose a little secret we've been keeping in an article for PW Magazine. The Nightwalkers series will be drawing to a close with Noah in the fall. But before you wail and tear at your clothes, she also told that in the following year we will begin a new series called The Shadowdwellers. Yes, my lovelies, you will finally get to see this race in great depth...and I think you will also get to see me open new doors for myself as I dare to stretch myself under Kensington's liberal auspices. I was very conservative and wary when I wrote the first five of my books...and now knowing Kensington like I do, I know I am free to explode in any direction I want to. I plan to bite into that apple of opportunity with really sharp teeth.

I am hugely grateful and thrilled to have yet another 4.5 star review from The Romantic Times Magazine! I am also honored to be an author In the Spotlight for the January issue. Unfortunately, the article I wrote was sliced and diced, and rather poorly at that, and so the true point and feeling of it was obliterated. It was meant to be a major ass-kissing, slurpy, lovey-dovey homage to all of you. Honestly, I had put all my heart and humor into it, not realizing there was a 500 word limit (and after all, how does one limit their love for their readers to 500 words??) and it was reduced without a final consult with me. Am I angry? Oh yeah. It sounds awkward and dorky, with references to things no longer there. Will it kill me? No. But that isn't the point. The point is I was trying to do something nice that I knew you all would get to see and now it's kinda ruined for us both. However, I am not trying to assign some kind of blame so much as I am trying to tell you that the dog ate my homework. I did it. I meant to hand it in. But I SWEAR the dog just gobbled that sucker up when I wasn't paying attention!

I also admit that I might not have been as sensitive to it as I was if I hadn't called a bookstore in Asheville to arrange a signing only to have them actually say to me...."Send us a copy of the book to review and we'll see if it's appropriate material for you to have a signing here."

Well...what a way to keep a gal humble. So, I am going to send them a book...and I am going to call another damn bookstore. 'Cause honey, if you don't know me, it stands to reason you don't give a damn about me, my book, or my readers...and I only want people handling my Elijah release signing who are thrilled to have us there. People who don't get that TONE in their voice when they say... "Oh...romance..." like you or I would say "Oh, festering pus-filled boils." What is up with that? I mean, I never claimed to be Shakespeare, but this is the one genre with consistently blistering sales numbers, dominated by a huge cross-section of women from all walks of life, and yet it's still a section tucked in the ass-end of the store as if it has something to be ashamed of? In a world where electronification of everything, including books, is wiping out careers, stores and quality control daily, one would think you'd know better than to spit on the hand that feeds you.

*kicks soapbox away*

Anyway, my sister arrives tomorrow with my brother in law and my gorgeous nephew. I can't wait to see him! And for once I will have him trapped in my house! MUHAHAHA!!! Pinched cheeks (on both ends) will abound! The cats have no idea what's coming. LOL. At least he has a cat and has learned how to treat them. I can't say the same for my cats knowing how to treat Christopher! LOL. Anyway, I have missed them so terribly. We are having a lot of family here this year. It ought to be interesting. But those are details for Saturday's blog. (We are having da turkey a day late cuz my dad has to work on the real day. Bummer huh?) But the point will be all of us being together. I think my dad will even come see my house if I am lucky! I think it is finally ready!

Better be. I'm freakin' broke. lol.

Happy Thanksgiving EVERYONE! Especially to you my so very loyal friends and readers. MWAH!

Hugs and kitties
Jacki

Friday, November 16, 2007

Okay, I give!

I just looked up who bought ticket number 86 and therefore won the ACN Raffle Basket.

The winner is....Selena Illyria! Yes, that naughty gal from The Pink Chair Diaries! I want to thank her so much, as well as all of you, for supporting my cause.

Now, what am I up to? Oh, the last forty pages of Damien. The slowest part of the editing process for me. Why? Because I ran out of my WAKEY WAKEY medication!!! It's a long story that I can give you in brief format. I moved. I made an appointment for a potential new doctor. New doctor was an asshole who thought my fat ass needed a good slicing and dicing to make me all better. Hated new doctor so had to find another. Now, you know how long it takes to get new patient appointments...so this new new doc can't take me until Dec. 11th. I only had three refills left on all my meds EXCEPT my Provigil. Which only had two of course. Now it has none. So from now until the 11th I cannot drive and every time I start reading the slightest bit of anything, including my own work, BAM!! I fall asleep. Snores abound. So even though the script is due back Monday, I had to beg for an extra day or two to offset the damn nap attacks.


This is very inconvenient. Annoying even. The cats seem to love it though. They just pile on and snooze right with me. That is when one of them isn't PEEING on everything. Apparently, (I believe it is Nino) one of them doesn't like a) the black and white neighborhood tomcat that has taken to taunting him through the sidelight windows of my door--neener neener neener, I am out here and you are trapped in there and can't do anything about it while I pee on the porch!-- or b) the Feliway hormone thingy I bought in an attempt to calm them down and to get them to quit fighting. Apparently it either works really well on cats to destress them...or they pee on it. I think mine decided to pee on it. Or there's c) the new kittens are really on his last nerve, or d) the litter in the boxes was way too fershtunken to stand! I have remedied this with deodorizer, some blue crystal somethingorother that works totally AWESOME. I have eliminated almost everything fabric from the floor, I am throwing that damn Feliway thing away and spraying Petzyme all over the place before I am forced to bonk a certain kitty on the head! Especially cuz I love him to death and we all know I am not giving any of my cats away. I will buy some cat attract later too to help the matter. I hope.


Other than that, I wanted to say I am generally happy and very much looking forward to my Thanksgiving this year. My sister is driving down from CT to stay with me. She is bringing my nephew and I decided to buy and wrap all his gifties early so he can open them in front of me. Sigh. I am going to miss having B here to play Santa for. This will help.


Also, on the 29th I am going to the Animal Compassion Network's 4th annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Event. I hate wine, but I love to buy stuff lol. I am also hoping to hand over our check at the event. This should allow me to get a pic with one of the founders. Or all of them! Also, Amy has done it again! I asked her to make up another one of her fabu baskets to put up for auction at the silent auction and, VOILA! She did a splendid job!!



I think that this basket could potentially earn the ACN a mighty pretty penny :) I am so proud of my Amy. She makes me look SOOOOO good!

Anyway, have I mentioned I love you guys? Well, I do. With the holidays upon us, I just wanted you to know that you all are one of those things I am so very thankful for!

MWAH!

Hugs and Kitties,

Jacki

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Generosity Makes Us All Winners

It's SO true. As corny as it sounds, it is so very true. I have never felt so good about anything I've done before, including getting published, than I have about organizing, pimping and then success at having reached my goal with the Animal Compassion Network raffle. First, we all owe Amy a huge debt of thanks for making that basket, all the time she has donated to me this year to see you all get your prizes and gifts in a timely fashion (cuz if you left it up to me, I would forget all about it, I promise you that) and the enormous effort she and her mother are putting into making the book thongs and key chains you've seen. They are also building up the stock of 400!!! thongs/chains I need for my party bags at the Romantic Times Convention! Not to mention she is storing huge amounts (and LBS!! Thank you very-strong-and-manly hubby Sean!) of goodies I am putting into the bags! Needless to say, I owe Amy, her mom and Sean a huge Yule gift. :) And these bags I am giving away at my party...well, let's just say they are legitimate gift bags, just for you guys, and will be bursting with delicious rewards.

I plan on generating a newsletter this coming year. It's goal number one. In that inaugural newsletter, I would like to introduce the Fan Club, finally. Joining the club will mean committing to the newsletter (electronic only I am afraid) and some sort of introductory gift package. Of course there will be some kind of fee if there has to be, but it will be more about balancing the cost of the gifties than it will be about me making some kind of profit off of you. I already get my percentage. I am happy with that. The Fan Club will have mailings, too. Either promotional gifts or release reminders. I also hope to integrate that with projects like my anticipated bi-annual raffle for the ACN. Yeah, bi..as in two. One in the fall and one in the spring. I figure you won't mind being generous twice a year, especially considering the cause and considering Amy and I plan to get better and better at these baskets.

Okay so...here it is...the moment you have all been waiting for!!

WHO IS THE BIG WINNER OF THE RAFFLE???

I don't know!! Well, not yet. Here's what I did. I asked Amy to pick the number. She had no access to my list of buyers, had no idea who bought what when or where, had not bought any tickets for herself for obvious reasons (she gets everything she wants from me already lol...but she and her mom both made donations without wanting tickets!) and therefore was completely unbiased. I needed to do this since my largest supporters were very good friends of mine. If one of them should be chosen, I want no cries of fair or unfair or fixed or whatever. So I left it all up to Amy. Then Amy made her son practice writing his numbers 1 thru 100 lol!! The numbers went into a 'hat' and I am sure she let him pick out the winner...which she emailed to me a little while ago.

Sound fair enough to everyone? Good. The winning ticket number iiiiiisssss....

86!!

Great number! Maxwell Smart's brilliant companion...or a number indicating nixing/killing something off. Just the same, it was lucky for somebody. I should go to my little list and see who bought ticket number 86...heh...but I won't. Not yet. I set your numbers in emails to you and you shoulda kept track of em. (Don't worry, if you lost it or whatever, I have the list) But it is far more fun to send you all scrambling for your tickets (emails) to read the numbers! So the name is my secret until the winner gives a shout out on here...or tomorrow when I coldly and cruelly force you to wait for the name to go with the number. To be fair, I won't look for myself until tomorrow either. I wanna be surprised too!

Congratulations Winning Ticker Number 86! You have won our gorgeous basket. Please email ASAP with your mailing address where you would like the basket sent so I can forward it to Amy.

Now, for a moment of mourning. It is official. I lost ALL of my books in the move. And when I say MY books...I mean MY books. All of my author copies of Jacob and Gideon and all of the Elijah ARCS are gone. So is all my Christmas wrapping. Turns out, I have a small closet that, when you open the front door of my former apartment, you cannot see that it is behind that door. So everything that was in there is gone. Now, were it me...when I repainted the place and saw these things had been missed, I would have called the former owner and let her know. But, clearly the management saw no need and chucked it all. (Are you wincing and groaning in agony? Can you feel the pain? Ugh! I felt the exact same way when I realized I couldn't find my holiday wrap and it confirmed my hypothesis!)

Anyway...this leaves me with no stock of my own (although, luckily, I had just signed about half of my stock and sent it home with Amy for future prizes...but I do not believe that included ARCS. Damn shame.) I will have to see what I can do about this, but the ARCs are gone forever. There's no getting those back. It occurs to me that a couple of people may have won ARCs in contests I had floated out there and never gotten them. If you are one of those people, please write me at jacquelynfrank@hotmail.com citing the contest, it's date and it's conditions as well as who sponsored it and I will come up with an alternative prize for you. I am so sorry this happened. Also, at RAW, Lora Leigh's Readers Appreciation Weekend, I put an ARC up for raffle and never chose a winner...because I could never find the darn books! I will select one of those names right now (yes I still have the bag! Although, the kittens did get ahold of it and tussled with it across the living room...I managed to salvage all the entries!) and will send the raffle winner and alternative prize: an official Nightwalkers Nightshirt and one of my new 2008 Nightwalker Calendars.

The winner I just picked for that RAW prize is Francesca Rodriguez of NY. I will be emailing her a link to this blog so she can see what is going on lol. I hope she forgives me for taking so long to figure this all out.

Okay! That has to be it for now because I am freakin busy!!! I gotta wrap up Damien and send the edits back by tomorrow. I gotta get the house in shape for family and company...I gotta give sick kitties medicine!

ACK!

Okay...I'm better. Good luck guys! See you soon!
Hugs and Kitties
Jacki

Thursday, November 8, 2007

GOAL! GOAL! GOAL!! FINITO!

SOLD!

Yep, you heard me. All the tickets are sold. 100 raffle tickets at five dollars apiece equals five hundred dollars donation for the Animal Compassion Network! YAY!! And better than that? People gave a few dollars here and there over ticket cost...and a few said keep the money anyway when I had to send back news the tickets were gone. I don;t have a true total as yet, I am waiting for some checks to clear and, until the 15th and the basket drawing, I am leaving pathways open to any donations still to come. I limited the field to make these tickets and the prize more appealing, as if the cause wouldn't be enough, and because I had no idea what the response would be. I am so thrilled to have sold out a whole week ahead of schedule.

I won't change the terms of the raffle. 100 tickets stay at 100 and the 15th is the drawing. Next time, we'll do a bigger basket and a wider pool of tickets. And yes, there will be a next time. But not to worry, I will keep it to a bi-annual event. One for autumn and one for spring...the seasons when the births of feral and unwanted domestic animals goes through the roof. I will get more creative and the rewards will improve over time, and I hope you will all have fun helping me help ACN.

Now the suspense...oh, my favorite part! The TEASE!...we get to endure days and days of waiting...mwahahaha! Perfect! Also, I am going to give the final total when I announce the winner. :) Heh...so maybe I am tormenting the winner and ACN.

Did I mention I love you all to bits!?!?!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

HURRY UP!!

Seven! That's it! As of this moment I only have seven raffle tickets left to give out! I am so proud of you all and so freakin' happy I could just pop! I cannot wait to present this check to ACN. I know they have run out of funds...or are scraping by...as they try to launch bigger and better projects, so this is going to be a great little boost just in time for the holiday season.

If you have sent in money, it's all first come first serve. If I should run out of tickets, I will present you with a choice--to donate anyway or have the funds returned to you. Only you and i will know what you choose and I am far from making judgments. I am just pleased to be so close to my goal!

Now i have to make up cards numbered 1-100 and toss them in a bag. To make sure it is fair, I will have the cleaning girl pick the winner on the 15th. Heh. She doesn't know who any of you are so she has no vested interest in a winner. Sound fair enough?

Anyway, thanks again.

I just received my first edits for Damien. They give me like 13 days to run through them. Oy! I never know when they are gonna spring it on me either. It's like a warped surprise party...I have no choice but to attend...only I wasn't expecting it so any plans I had made kinda go to hell. But I am NOT cancelling my hair appointment again! Three months without cut and color? And somewhere in here I need a pedicure cuz, damn...I have Swamp Thing feet...only, the swamp dried out from massive drought.

I admit, I let a lot of things slide this past month. I am in a funk, I know. Guess we all know why already. I am doing a lot of things wrong and making it worse. I suppose we'd call that self-destructive behavior. I grumble at myself to 'snap out of it' but I already know that's not how these things work. It will take time and coping skills and an outside resource to help me manage and balance it all. But before I can find a good shrink, I have to find a good doctor. The first one I tried thought I needed a gastric bypass after one look at me...cuz, don't you know...all our problems can be solved by complicated major surgery and losing weight.

Anyway, I couldn't get a new appointment for a new doc until December 11th. This time a woman. So we'll see.

Oh! That reminds me! December 12th I have been invited to be a guest on a radio talk show with Mandy Roth and Michelle Pillow. There will be a call in number, live, and we can talk during my spot on the air. If you miss it and want to hear it, it will be archived later on and also turned into a podcast. We just made the plans so I barely know anything about it, but I betchya I will be giving something away to one of the callers. You guys gotta call and talk to me. If I start rambling aimlessly I am bound to say something dorky.

Anyway, I am off! Have a good night!
Hugs and Kitties
Jacki

Friday, November 2, 2007

And the winner is....

I wanted to make a quick announcement. The winner of raffle ticket number 21 is Renee! I swear this was utterly random. I am actually surprised I haven't chosen a friend of mine before this. Of course, Renee knows this doesn't get her ass off the hook and she is wholly expected to purchase a ticket as well.

And that goes for the rest of ya! I am only a third of the way there with 13 days left to go. That third has been given out to a small number of people being VERY generous. I am proud of them and YES I am guilting you! Maybe that's because my little kitten Magellan has now got a cold virus and is all sickly...and he ripped up one of the pads on his rear paw around his nail. He's certainly turning out to be an accident prone little bugger!! But What I mean is, I am shelling out big bucks to nurse my adoptee to a semblance of health (something I believe wouldn't be an issue had he been properly cared for) so one little raffle ticket won't hurt you. Oh and because it was asked...I will send that basket out to anywhere in the world so for those in foriegn countries...or Canada...just pay in American dollars and we are good to go! You can have a chance just like anyone else.

Okay, so I am being pushy and bossy and such. I can be that way when I am passionate about things. I really am grateful to everyone who helps and everyone who spreads the word for me.

A note about the Pittsburgh Romantic Times convention in April!! I am having a super fabulous party Friday in the morning entitled The Nightwalker Stud Muffin Mixer where I will be serving up gourmet muffins and, with any luck, some studs to serve them. Heh. Still working on that part. Anyone with a hot hubby they want to volunteer?? Anyway, I am in the process of crafting the gift baggies! The stuff I am gathering so far is utterly gorgeous. I am sparing no expense. Anything for those who take the time to come and support me. I am so very excited about my party debut. I plan on spoiling all of you. Especially those who are here with me every day of the year.

Love you guys. Thanks for putting up with my sporadic presence of late. I am starting to settle into a routine once more. I am lucky to have such patient people in my life. You're all fabulous.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Yowloween!

Well, at least that is what it is in my house! With six cats, two of whom are new kittens, there's a whole lotta bitchin' going on.


It's funny because I got kittens for two reasons. One, I saw how my big bully, Damien, ended up harrassing the adult cat I adopted last year because he never saw him as anything but annoying competition. They still have fights even a year later. Not good. But when Leo came to live with us, as a kitten, he and Leo became buds quickly.


Well it worked like a charm again. Damien has once again shown his softer side and completely does a 'proud papa' with the new boys. Of course...strictly on his own terms and until he gets annoyed and decides to push them off, but still he is the only cat in the house that has warmed up to them, lets them sleep against him, and even bathes them.


The second reason was so that the very kittenish Leo would have playmates. As the former youngest of the group, he wants to leap and pounce and play...and he often wants to do it on bully-boy's back. It has led to yowling cat fights because though they are buds, Damien has no desire to play. Hissing and spitting ensues. Fur flies. So I thought youthful kitties for Leo to play with would be just the thing.





Instead, my formerly passive and sweet Leo yowls, growls, hisses and snaps out to bite the poor boogers on their heads. This is not good. Not good at all. Leo knows he was the delta of the group, and he is determined to set these two spunky kittens below him. Unfortunately, scolding him every time he bites them hasn't helped things...but for once I am at a total loss as to how to manage them! I made peaceful transitions between four cats. What is different this time??


Well, part of the problem was that Magellan, the black kitten, hurt himself on Friday so badly he couldn't bear weight on his left front paw and he was squealing incessantly in pain. Although nothing was broken, the vet thought it wise to support the paw with a cast.



BEFORE:





AFTER:







The Bully and the Baby with the BOOBOO:




This resulted in some MAJOR coddling all weekend long...especially cuz the splint was freakin' as big as he was! He couldn't move at first. And then I had to drug him for the pain so he spent a lot of time stoned out on my chest. Thus...Leo's fave place was usurped and he did NOT take kindly to it.

FILMAGE:


But after seeing such a pathetic little thing, wouldn't you want to spoil him? Anyway the cast came off this Monday and all is better for Magellan...save for the random nip on the head. I am giving Leo some loving as we speak. Maybe he will get over it tolerably after a bit of time.

So now that you have a cat update, I wanted to give you a Halloween update on the raffle status. Keep in mind I haven;t been to my post office box yet, but I have given out numbers 1-20 for ticket numbers so far. I am very happy about that, and grateful to those who sent in above the raffle total just for the ACN with no expectation of reward or favor in return. I will continue to take donations and sell tickets until the moment I draw on November 15th or until I reach number 100 in ticket sales. This means you will have a 1/100 (or better...I don't think I will sell every chance though I hope I do!) chance of winning. 1 in 50 if you buy two tickets. 1 in 25 if you get four. Remember, you can pay via paypal to email addy jacquelynfrank@hotmail.com or you can snail mail a check to PO Box 2164 Skyland NC 28776. Please make this donation. The more I talk about this, the more horror stories I hear about the Hendersonville Shelter. The ACN is, pardon the pun, rabid about closing them down and about providing a humane alternative. Please help me support them.

On a book note (bet you never thought you would hear about my books again!!) Elijah is on the cusp of release! Only two months left to go! I wanted to say a couple of things. Firstly, E got his review in PW and boy was I happy! Romantic Times releases E's review in the next issue in time for his Jan. 2nd release and I just saw the gorgeous ad Kensington is putting up. (Although, I did try to get them to make the book cover bigger...sigh. You know I try my best for you gals!! LOL!!) Apparently the consensus is that this book is scorching hot. Searing. POOF! You'll be nothing but ashes. But, (demure eyelash flutter) that's not me saying it. It's the reviewers...but you know ow THEY exaggerate...

I thought I would celebrate the holiday with a giveaway. Comment here to enter and you will win a chance at the raffle basket. I will donate the five bucks for ticket number 21. I will draw the name at the witching hour. Heh. Midnight tonight. Winner gets ticket number 21. I guess I ought to have saved number 13 lol...but I wasn't thinking ahead.

Anyway...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

PS: I am the featured author HERE: http://ravenhappyhour.com/ravenblog/?p=184

The site is run by Mandy Roth and Michelle Pillow :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Let's Raffle Their Feathers!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to give you an update. I got my paypal account for Jacquelyn's Boutique up and running! You can now make payment for raffle chances using the jacquelynfrank@hotmail.com address. I realize this makes things easier for everyone, and so I decided I would absorb the percentage of charges Paypal will take out for each payment made to me for the raffle. Least I can do, really. You are all so great to take part in this. And frankly, I don't care what country you are from. If you pay your five American dollars per chance and your number gets picked, I will happily send it out to you wherever you are, whatever the cost. That's the whole point of this, isn't it? To give in a way that purely gives to animals I feel are in danger for their lives.

So, now, no excuses and no slacking off and no "I'll do it later..." I know my fans. You have good hearts and give more than lip service. Together we will be a powerful force. YOU get a 1 in 100 chance of winning a prize...ACN gets 500 bucks.

BTW, a woman named Laura from ACN called me today. They heard about my little raffle. :) The things she told me they are doing...oh my! I am going to be invited to a wine tasting (ewww...wine) and silent auction (oh AAAAAAAmy....I need another baaaaaasket) on November 29th. The have restaurants from all over catering, wine is being donated, and get this...only 20 bucks a ticket to get in! I said she was undercharging!

She also told me their plans for the future. They are trying to establish a specialized pet store where they will sell safe toys, good fooods and adopt animals out without using any cages! The cats will have a huge habitat, the dogs will play together. They hope to expand and offer vet care, grooming, doggie daycare...and anything else they can think of! It will be wonderful because everything you buy, all the profit goes right back to the ACN! A nonprofit store run by a charitable network. Amazing idea! Also, I learned that they have actively been in court trying to shut down a certain infamous shelter!

I am more certain than ever now that I have chosen the worthiest of causes. My 18 dollars a month to the ASPCA is important, but this is spectacular! I am thinking of making a bi annual event of this raffle. Fall and spring. The next one will happen after the Romantic Times convention. Anyone who misses out on going, not to fear, all the goodies I am giving away there will end up in the new basket. And trust me when I say it is SUCH fun stuff!

I would like to add this: If you wish to make any donations to the ACN beyond your five dollars...just leave me a note in your Paypal payment explaining how many chances you are buying and how much beyond that is for ACN. Together, we can change what is happening to animals in this area. I know we can!

You are all beautiful and may you all be beautifully blessed!

Love,
Jacki

Friday, October 19, 2007

Long Time No Blog!

Howdy! I am glad to see you all are hanging on despite my sporadic blogging behaviors. I wanted to say hello and to let you all know I am doing much better this week. This has a lot to do with my very loving friends and fans who had nothing but kind and supportive words (and chocolate) for me. It also has to do with the two adorable kittens I adopted from a local shelter.



I ought to say three. Three kittens. Unfortunately one of the original set of kittens tested positive for FIV, feline AIDS. Thank the universe and its kind nature that Susan M. was with me that day, trying to cheer me up...poor thing. Instead she had to help me go through my first ever act of euthanizing an animal. You can imagine what I was like. Bawling, heartbroken... disastrously depressed. I stayed with the poor little thing through it all, and Susan stayed with me. How honored I am to be treasured with such a good friend. How blessed we were to have known that sweet purring spirit, even if for only a few hours.




Then I got my mad on. The shelter made me furious. It was the first time I had ever seen such lax practices. No testing? No paperwork for the adoption process? Not even a phone call to see if I was a responsible human? Anyone could walk in there and take however many animals they wanted without so much as a question. The only thing I signed was a paper exempting them from responsibility if the animal tested ill. Ass covering at its finest. Oh, and checks. I signed checks. Now I don't mind paying a fortune for the benefit of some feline babies...anyone who knows me knows how much I love cats, but clearly all they cared about was covering their costs so they didn't lose money on housing the creature until they could foist it off on another.




Here's the thing. The shelter's attitude? Their first responsibility is animal control. They had an enormous map behind the front desk, the county sectioned off and the names of the male enforcement officers who manned each section. It was clear looking at their spiffy uniforms, new facilities and pretty trucks that this was where the focus of their funding and their interest lay. In a nutshell, this was NOT an animal shelter. This was a animal control and law enforcement facility. You see, an animal shelter shelters the animals first. Protects them, cares for them, and doesn't give them only ten days to live before euthanizing them. This one cat, a black furry thing who was so desperate for love and attention he threw himself against the bars of his cage repeatedly and meowed like crazy...when I noted he had gunk in his eyes and he might have an infection, the woman who manned the desk gasped and hushed me. "No. No. He's just depressed and not grooming himself. Don't say that or they will put him down if they think he has an infection."





HUH?!? What happened to a few eye drops and a little petting time? Put a cat down because it has a small flaw?? No. No this is NOT an animal 'shelter'. It's a death machine. And the volunteer groups that have been trying to rescue these animals before euthanasia...working their butts off to foster them and bring them into the local Petsmarts to help find them loving and good homes (I had to fill out a LOT of paperwork for them and was turned down for having too many cats! An idea I could understand and appreciate.) But this 'shelter' shut its doors to all volunteers and volunteer groups, refusing them access even to take pictures of the animals for flyers and websites to help in getting them adopted. The 'shelter' claimed some sort of insurance issues and that they couldn't be responsible...yadda yadda yadda...the unsaid meaning clearly that, once again, covering their asses was far more important to them than the lives of these poor creatures. Shelters all over the USA work in tandem with volunteers and other groups to facilitate adoptions. Why is it so impossible for the Hendersonville County Animal Shelter at 828 Stoney Mountain Rd in Hendersonville, NC 28791-1349 to achieve the same synchronicity with those caring outside groups who would help them save lives? Why is it they are only open from 9:30 to 4:30 weekdays (during average work hours only) and only open from 9:30 to 11:30 on a Saturday? (BY THE WAY: the times on the site are a lie. I originally went to adopt on the previous Saturday around 1pm thinking they would still be open. They were closed.) That means that the average 9-5 worker only has a two hour window each week in which to save the life of a potential pet. Two hours. Ten day lifespans. I am not making this math up or spinning it my way. It's simple logic. This 'shelter' is interested in animal control first. Adoptions are only a secondary byproduct. It's shameful. Horrifying.



Back to my story. You see, my two original kittens were in the same cage together. At 8 weeks and 6 weeks old, it was clear they weren't from the same litter. But anyone who has seen how rough and tumble kittens are and how sharp their claws are knows the odds of them biting or clawing each other to the point of drawing blood is very high. It was a miracle the second kitten didn't test positive for FIV as well. I have to retest him in four months just to be sure just the same. How irresponsible!! Putting two unrelated, untested kittens in the same cage?! The lack of concern and basic knowledge for contamination issues (it could have been the very viral Feline Leukemia instead, an automatic death sentence for them BOTH at that point) is appalling. Worse yet, they know full well how easily they can be contaminated...but just didn't care.




After putting my new kitten on his path over the rainbow bridge, I marched back to the 'shelter' to give them a bit of my New York attitude, to find out how long the kittens had been together, and to warn them to warn others who had adopted from that kitten's litter of the contamination. To be fair, the woman behind the desk was horrified that I had to put the kitten down. She had considered getting him for her own daughter. I was also glad she had dodged the bullet. I also noted that she knew the name of the person who had adopted the kitten's litter mate without even looking it up. Here, at least, was an individual worthy of 'sheltering' these poor creatures. She was the one who hushed me to save the life of that poor black cat. I am almost afraid to mention it because I fear she will get in trouble for her clandestine attempts to do what the entire 'shelter' should be doing. To that end, I will not mention her name. She hastened to offer me a replacement kitten. I was ready to lash back at her for that. You cannot replace one spirit with another like that! This isn't like trading in a faulty toilet paper roll at Walmart! But out of the corner of my eye, through the open glass, I saw two kittens tumbling and playing around in a cage, at the start of their ten days (I knew because I had not seen them the day before) and with no volunteer groups availed the opportunity to help them. I knew it was a risk. These too could test positive for some disease...but before I knew it I was holding one in my hands and thinking: "Better a fifty fifty chance with me and my tests than the odds it has here."





So, I took the boy of the pair to my doctor. Thankfully, he tested negative to everything but roundworms and FLEAS. Yes, both of my new kittens were infested with fleas and worms! The 'shelter' didn't even treat them for these simple parasites! GAH! It makes me so mad!! And I hope it makes you mad, too. Mad enough to maybe write them. Mad enough to support what I am about to do.



Recently, Amy, my beautiful and talented Fan Club President, made up a gorgeous basket of Nightwalker promotional items. I have the pictures here:









Inside this adorable basket are items such as signed copies of Jacob and Gideon, signed book covers, an "I spend my nights with the Nightwalkers!" nightshirt, a "Curl up with a GOOD Demon!" book cover to protect your paperbacks as you read them, and many more goodies, as well as the basket itself and its seasonal decorations. Want it? Oh, I know that you do. And this is a good thing because for a mere five dollars a chance, you can buy the opportunity to win this basket. I have limited it to 100 chances. If I sell every chance, I will make 500 dollars to be donated to a 501 c3 organization known as Animal Compassion Network (ACN). As I understand it, 98 percent of the funds donated go directly to resources for the animals they foster and rescue. They are a NO KILL organization. This is local to me and a much better alternative than the County run machines who would rather be part of the problem instead of a compassionate part of the solution. Being from New York, I am much more used to a different level of care and concern...a level I believe the ACN has achieved.





In order to sell these chances to you, I had intended to use EBay, but they have a policy restricting the use of EBay for raffles and chance drawings. So I am left with no choice but to do this directly, from here, using my business account. Simply make a check payment for five dollars per chance that you wish to buy out to Jacquelyn's Boutique and mail it to my new post office box address: Jacquelyn's Boutique (or Jacquelyn Frank if you prefer, either will be fine) P.O. Box 2164 Skyland, NC 28776. Or, you can make a Paypal payment to Jacquelyn's Boutique using the email jacquelynfrank@hotmail.com. Once I receive your payment I will issue you chance numbers from one to one hundred via email. The winning number will be randomly chosen on November 15th (plenty of time to use that gorgeous little basket on the Thanksgiving table!)and posted here for everyone to see. Amy will send the basket out shortly afterward. I will let you know how many chances actually sold and how much money we were able to raise for ACN. I will also keep you apprised along the way. :) Also, if I get checks above the allotted 100, I will return them unopened to you. Any questions? Just ask me at jacquelynfrank@hotmail.com. You know I will respond to you ASAP.

Together you and I can make a small dent in the much needed resources for the ACN. We can save kitty lives, spay and neuter, give shots...eye drops. Love.




In New York if I had run an organization that kept animals infested with disease, fleas and parasites in cages and then killed them in a manner likened to mass murder, I'd have been arrested for animal cruelty. What I wouldn't give to subject the Hendersonville County Animal 'Shelter' to the standards of New York law. However, since I cannot, I will undermine them much better this way!!



But now for a more cheerful touch to my little story and pet adventure.



I would love for you guys to meet the newest members of my kitty family. The grey and white striped kitty is named Malcolm, after a certain captain of a certain ship named Serenity. Mal is adventurous, a scrapper, warm on his own terms and the funniest little bugger I ever met. The black one is named Magellan, after a very famous explorer, because he was the first to scale the baby gate blocking the door to their room and venture out into the scary unknown in spite of the fact that he is a huge fraidy cat! LOL. I adore him for that mixture of bravery and cowardice. He is a very different spirit than the kitten he was meant to 'replace'.















But that kitten will not be forgotten. Not by me or Susan or, I daresay, anyone here who has read his unfortunate little story. I never had the chance to name him, but I am doing so now. His name is Oliver, after a famous unfortunate orphan. Rest peacefully, Oliver. We'll see you again whenever you decide to return to us and try again.





And one last touch to send this home:





Cambridge Dictionary definition of SHELTER:


shelter (PROTECT) noun [C or U](a building designed to give) protection from bad weather, danger or attack





Wikipedia's definition of "Animal Shelter"


An animal shelter is a facility that houses homeless, lost or abandoned animals; primarily a large variety of dogs and cats. The animal is kept at the shelter until it is either reclaimed by an owner, adopted to a new owner or placed with another organization. In the past, they were more commonly referred to as "dog pounds", a term which had its origins in the pounds of agricultural communities, where stray cattle would be penned up until claimed by their owners.


Well, it seems Hendersonville meets the bare minimum. Perhaps. It depends on opinion I suppose. This has been mine.

What's yours??

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Like A Bandaid

Perhaps not many of you will understand this, but just so you know it made sense to me. I just came back from driving to New York and back. I dropped B off days early. Sunday. Visited Laura for a minor mental dissolution, and left as unexpectedly and impulsively as I had arrived. I suppose most people would have milked every day they had left with B to the very last drop, but most people didn't have to listen to her sob on the phone saying, "Mommy come get me!" and have her beg me incessantly, "I want Mommy! I want Mommy!" ceaselessly through every waking moment since the day she figured out what was happening.

It wasn't about what would make ME happy. And anyway, listening to her didn't make me the least bit happy. In fact, every "I want Mommy!" was like getting stabbed really hard in the heart. She didn't mean it this way, but it felt like: "I DON'T want YOU!" I began to cry in front of her constantly...it was like tugging off a superglued bandaid in teeny weeny increments. I was desperate to feel the pain and get it over with. I found the fastest solution and executed it coldly and smoothly. I ripped off the bandaid.

But before you think me a coward...like I think myself to be...speed has its flaws. Like her tiny Tinkerbell slippers, pink. sitting on the floor forgotten. Or laughing at 5:30 this morning at a show and slapping a hand over my mouth to quiet myself so I wouldn't wake her...before remembering it was no longer necessary. And those tile and wood floors I am so vainly proud of?

The whole house echoes. It's empty.

Dust coats everything as they continue to work, so occasionally I can make out the print of a small bare foot.

The bandaid is off...but like an amputated limb, I still feel the pain.

Friday, October 5, 2007

My menage...Me, Ben and his brother Jerry.

Yeah. I went out and bought a shameless number of pints and seriously didn't give a rat's patootie. I am living every day in a series of disjointed thoughts and realizations.

Example: The floor guys are putting in my beautiful and carefully chosen floors. Floor I picked out and chose to do because I knew B would somehow manage to get everything known to man on the beige rugs. WTF?? Who buys beige rugs anyway??? Between B and the cats I knew I needed to choose tile and wood throughout. Easy to wipe up surfaces.

So I am standing there watching the guys sponge off the gorgeous terra cotta tile in the kitchen and I was chatting with them and said something like: "B's going to have a hard time fucking this stuff up!"

Then I remembered.

So I moved away to appreciate the pretty tile entryway that had just been laid, the gorgeous decorative pieces making it so unique, and yet it was a large functional square so that when B comes in with snow on her boots, she can avoid the wood floors and take them off...

Then I remembered.

So I stop looking at the floors. I come inside to pay bills. It's an adult thing and can't relate to B in any way. It's a safe thing to do. Except I go to write a check and I see my Disney Princess checks that I bought because B picked them out.

Despair and depression are knocking at me door. I am fighting them off with Ben and Jerry. If I add Lindy Sue it'll be a gang bang.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

To B or not to B...

Tonight has been one of the hardest nights of my life. I wrote the previous blog to you all so I could tell as many of my friends, fans and family as I could, all at once, about the impending loss of my child so I wouldn't have to repeat it individually over and over again. The "ripping off the bandaid effect" you could call it. Tonight, as B and I prepared to go out for dinner (I have no kitchen right now due to tiling), I was scolding her for leaving a mess on the counter. She was studying me a moment after apologizing to me for the mess, tilted her head and said, "You know, when I got on the bus this morning I was crying a little because you want me to go to Mommy."

I swear, I had been holding it together and being as normal as rain in spring. I have said nothing to her about any of this. It must have been her mother. I was so taken by surprise that I instantly burst into tears, grabbed her close into a hug and told her I don't want her to leave. I don't ever want her to go. She is my baby girl and I would never want her to go. But, I told her, she belongs to her Mommy too. I told her that her mother was fixing her life now and could take care of her once again, so I have no choice but to let her go.

Goddess, she is so smart. She had this all figured out. I don't think Karry told her specifically...I don't know...but she knew she was leaving imminently. She was so quiet and thoughtful about it, I had no clue she had known already last night that she would be leaving very soon. She had climbed on me, begged me to let her fall asleep on top of me because I was so comfy. I wish I could have said yes. I wish my body didn't ache so badly. I wish a lot of things. But the signs were there that she already knew. Stupid me for not remembering how clever my girl is.

The night spiraled from there. Once my tears confirmed her speculations, I had to tell her everything. I did my best to explain it all in terms she could best cope with. How to make her not feel guilty about leaving me? How to make her know that leaving me was breaking my heart at the same time so she would know just how much I love her? I told her that no matter what, no matter when, she would always have a home with me if she needed it. Then she said, "What about if Mommy dies? How will you know where to find me? I'll be alone. I don't want to sleep without you all alone." I told her that I would come as fast as I could and come get her. She told me, "But it's a long drive and it will be night once before you come." I actually smiled at that. The kid's got a hell of a memory and brilliant deductive reasoning. I said, "Oh, but for you I would take a plane. I would race up to NY and be there in a matter of hours. Three...maybe four at best. As soon as I find out, I will come get you." This seemed to relieve her greatly. So adult...so reasoning...and then... "But who will I play with while I am waiting?"

Bingo. Seven year old perspective has return in blazing glory! lol. That defining self-centeredness that doesn't fade until sometime after her teenage years, that innocence, and that short-sighted simplicity just takes my breath away.

Of course it was all downhill after that. Now that she knew her mother was coming for her, she kept saying, "I want Mommy!" over and over and over and over again. She clung to me, hugged me, and demanded her mother perhaps three dozen times. All I could do was tell her she had to be patient, that there was a plan and it would happen soon. My little love had no idea that every time I heard "I want Mommy!" it was like a knife stabbing me true and deep. I was hurt, jealous, angry and devastated all at once, and I couldn't show a second of it because I am the grown up. But all the same, I am human. And right now, I am so fragile I feel I could shatter any second. Suddenly so many things no longer seem to matter anymore! Things I thought were so important have flown away into nothingness. I can't delineate specifics, my mind is too scrambled, but anyone who knows this feeling knows what I mean.

Now I watch her sleep next to me and love all the little bits of her. Her little toes...the rosy curve of her baby soft cheek...and the way she makes me giggle when she farts robustly in her sleep. I felt the need to write you and tell you how I feel, not to gain sympathy, but to gain understanding. To remind you that the world can change in an instant. Beware of that. Live every moment carefully and deeply. I have sixteen days notice. So many are not so lucky.

Thank you and Blessed Be my friends, for no one deserves it more than you.
Jacki

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Sad Circumstance.

Such a mild title for a moment like this. I simply don't know any clearer way to put it. Frankly, I am not feeling very pithy or cute right now. My entire world has been turned upside down. My heart lies in shredded pieces.

Bianca is going back to live with her mother.

Last night Karry called me and told me she wanted Bianca back, that she felt she was back on the right road and had reclaimed her life. She calmly tackled each issue and point, anything I could have questioned and everything I had demanded of her. She had, in all honesty, met just about every requirement.

I had no power to argue. I could barely speak as it was. I know she gave birth to her, and she does have every right to have custody of her child and raise her in any manner which she sees fit, but in my heart, as any of you who have followed this blog know, she is my baby. My little girl. And October 18th her mother will come and take her away from me. My devastation is soul deep. I can't stop crying. My chest aches so badly.

What can I do or say? We have joint custody, but she is the natural mother and has full power over her rights to her child. My guardianship will remain in place and if anything ever happens to Karry, Bianca comes to me. Thank the Sweet Goddess for that. Even so, I cannot demand Bianca. B has been sad and wants her mother very badly. We always want what is distant from us and we always forget the sharp edges of what it means to live with someone after a while. She complains that I am too strict. B wants to sleep with me every night and she wants to watch TV til she falls asleep. (It actually keeps her awake) I don't let her, but her mother does. I structure her, I refuse to let her act up, be disrespectful or lie. She can walk all over Karry easily and she knows it. But that's not grounds for keeping a child that doesn't belong to me.

So I had to agree. I have to let B go. It will be good for her. She loves and misses her mom. They are moving into her previous school district, so it will be old friends and familiar halls and and even more familiar setting of expectations. I will be able to keep tabs on her with the social worker, with whom I have a relationship already. She will let me know how Bianca is doing truthfully and as her guardian I will still have the right to ask.

But it doesn't change the hole that has just been ripped into my life. She will visit, maybe for whole summers, but it doesn't change the weight of the rock in my gut. I just bought her Halloween costume, but I won't get to go trick or treating with her now...or ever again. No Yule. No Thanksgiving. No giggles. No baths. No falling asleep in my arms. No stories. No arguing me into a corner. No wet willies in my ear.

I feel like I won't ever draw a breath again without feeling the pain hugging tight around my ribs right now...right where her little arms would be in a hug-as-tight-as-you-can contest.

Seventeen days.

I can barely breathe. How will I ever pull this off? How do I keep it together so she won't be made to feel guilty for going? How do I let her know I will miss her with all my heart and soul at the same time? We're not telling her about the change until the week before "just in case", so I have to keep calm for that long at least. Then I will put these kidnappers up in my house, as my guests, and let them take her over and take her away. And no. I won't make them get a room elsewhere, because then B will want to stay with them and that's a few more precious nights I can still have her to touch and hug, even if I only become incidental since Mommy will be there.

And I will paint her room pink and purple and I won't care anymore if the colors match anymore. I will put Tinker Bell up on every wall, and I won't give a damn if future guests like it or not. But I won't order her furniture because I won't be able to bear setting it up after she is gone. It would be so hollow. At least she will still be here for the decorating part. I can watch her enjoy that part. She will remember that somewhere there is a place, just for her, waiting longingly for her to come back to it.

And there will be a bedroom, too.

Monday, October 1, 2007

La Da Dee La Da Da!

Life goes on! I am guest blogging over at Lucy Monroe's site! It's a fun one. Thought you all might like to go check it out. She was sweet to invite me. My floors are being torn up, and don;t you know I just found out that TWD on the calendar from school means Teacher's Work Day. (which means no school).

Well DUH me! How silly of me not to realize immediately what this meant! The meaning of TWD is so abundantly clear! I feel so foolish!

So now I have seven year old child, dangerous implements, workmen and debris all blended up together!

Gotta love life! LOL!

On top of that, B is punished for an indeterminate amount of time. First, she disappeared down the block without asking or telling me where she was. (I had a good guess of course, but it's the principle of the thing) Then I caught her fighting with a boy. Then she lied to me once or twice. Then I found out from ANOTHER MOTHER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD that she was messing with the automatic garage door. Open. Closed. Open. Closed. I hadn't even heard it! So hard to believe! Am I the only one who remembers the old "Wait til your father gets home!" warning, only to lie in bed and suddenly heard the sound of the garage door opening, the sound going through you like ice? Well, I didn't hear it this time! Damn modern insulation...damn Susan for keeping me entertained...damn--err--everything! I was sitting on the phone realizing why the other mom was dreadfully reluctant to let her daughter play over my house! In her eyes I am clearly going to let my kid run with scissors, stab others with pencils, eat paste, use a BB gun indoors and I will, no doubt, keep the pot handles on the stove turned out and my meds lined up and crushed into powdered rows for the taking.

Sigh. Well, I am off to go do laundry...maybe I will give B a ride in the dryer.

hugs and kitties
Jacki

Thursday, September 27, 2007

And now the BAD NEWS

Not for you...but for me.

I lost my marbles yesterday. Sorta a straw and the school busting my hump sort of thing. I got a letter warning of B's imminent suspension (the day before said suspension) because of lack of vaccine records. Shame on me, I thought these things were transferred from the previous school.

This in and of itself wouldn't have made me go bonkers, but heap it on top of unceasing letters from the teacher scolding me about how I didn't do this or that and this and that and this AND THAT wrong...only to have B come home RAGING with fever (okay, 100 degrees...but still!) and telling me the teacher took note of her not looking so hot or acting like herself but did nothing about it...well, I popped a vessel. I was going to be reasonably angry when I was on the phone until the office worker quite condescendingly began to say "North Carolina State Law says--"

what could I say?

"I'm from FUCKING New York Lady! I don't know North Carolina's State Law!"

--click--

Not my most shining moment. I know this. Yes, I eventually had to grovel and apologize...yadda yadda yadda...but I am not happy. All my research, only to find out her school is overcrowded (750 students!!), has NO school nurse save for one day a week, and is running TRIPLE bus runs! I am not a happy camper. I realize this is a heavy area of growth and that with a bureaucracy it takes a dog's age for them to friggin agree on everything, or anything for that matter, but seriously.

The staff has flawless manners....they would never even consider saying a word like fuck...but normally I wouldn't either when it came to dealing with a school or other professional arena. But it's been nothing but one thing after another since I got here, hoity expressions, highlighted, underlined and exclamation points on the teachers notes...it was "How Many Ways To Make You Feel Like An Inept Parent."

I guess I reached my end. Glass houses and all that. Send my kid home burning up like that? And yet have the nerve to send me notes about forgetting to include her initialed homework log? (It was signed but left on the table....and Bianca is literally twitchy over this! "I have to have everything or my teacher will get mad!" she says this morning as she checks and double checks.

Good thing she can;t read well enough yet to realize I sent the teacher's note right back to her with my own message attached. IT read: "You have a charming way of writing notes that make me feel like the most inept parent in the world."

Can't wait for the response to that one.

First, the good news....


Here it is!! AS expected and as anticipated, LAdies and Ladies......the cover for Noah!!!


Tell me is this hot or what???






'Nuff said!





Monday, September 24, 2007

GUEST BLOGGER: LUCY MONROE



How real are your characters?

Some kids have imaginary playmates; I created whole imaginary worlds in my head and I'm still doing it. My characters become my friends and you know...I never really let them go. Not when the book is finished, not when it's finally in print...not even when I move onto something new. They're always a part of me. Just like, yes, definitely - I'm a part of them.

I've often been asked whether there is any of me in my characters. The answer is: How can it be otherwise? Amanda's (The Real Deal) initial sensual insecurity was very familiar to me when I first met my husband. Annabelle (Annabelle's Courtship) shares my interest in political issues, not to mention her propensity for getting into trouble because of her havey-cavy plans.

But the parts that are me? They're integral to a bigger whole, to a character that is more than a reflection of his or her creator, but someone who becomes very real to me. On occasions, too real...just ask my kids who no longer make the mistake of asking for anything they really want while I'm writing the black moment. When my characters are in pain or doing stupid things, I feel it. In any other profession, that might make me crazy - but as a writer, I sort of see at as essential to writing stories that are going to connect to my readers' hearts.

If I connect to my characters first, then hopefully, the link is there to be made and my readers will make it and through it, sometimes even a link to me.

I've also been asked if I model my characters after real people. The answer is a complicated one. Just like real life. :) I often recognize things in my characters that remind me of someone I know, but then that's true of living, breathing people too. How many of your friends have personality traits in common? Is it any surprise that my characters share bits of who they are and what they are like with the people that populate *my* world? However, I don't usually see these similarities until the book is in print and I'm reading it again with some distance achieved. I discovered that the lab tech Vannie in Satisfaction Guaranteed has a lot of my mother-in-law's feistiness. Simon (The Real Deal) shares a lot of traits with my husband, but I'll let you speculate which ones they are. ;-) Jillian (The Real Deal & Deal With This - Nov 07) exhibits a dichotomy of character as an actress I first saw in my baby sister.

I guess the reasons my characters are so real to me is that just like the people around me, they are layered and filled with personality quirks just like the rest of us.

Who is your favorite character from a book and if you don't mind saying...how come? Does he or she remind you of anyone you know or have met?

Hugs,
Lucy

P.S. I almost forgot...I love giving away prizes, so I'll draw a random name from the commenters on this post and that person will win a signed copy of my latest Harlequin Presents Mediterranean Brides duo.

Monday, September 17, 2007

RAW 2007

I know you all have been patiently awaiting this post telling you all about RAW. LOL. Sorry but I am SOOO tired I needed extra sleep today plus I am still unpacking a house if you recall. All of these pics are AMY'S (thanks for sending them!!) And they will all be added to this website in the future as a memory page. RAW was a smashing success and will be held again next year and I encourage EVERYONE to come. I loved it!!


This is Ms. B and Crazy Sue. They were both wearing tails and doing the Stray Cat Strut together all day lol.



This is me having Christine Feehan palpitations! This was the PJ party. I was totally into the spirit lol. Look Ma, almost no BLACK! (Won't see that again!)






Inez, Crystal, Amy, Sally, Jules Bennet and Me at the Saturday signing.



Mary Wine, Angela Knight (and her husband the bodyguard Mike TOO SWEET!) and Lucy Monroe!!







Sylvia Day and Shayla Black getting carpal tunnel syndrome.















Veronica Chadwick and Lora Leigh













This here is Crystal and Naughty Nikki TRYING (lamely) to be eighties RAD and ROCKIN'!



































This is me and Amy succeeding lol!




More RAD RAW Rockers


























This is the prep time...look at my B's pink hair!~



















Here is Amy, Me, Crystal and B. (At this point B was dreading another "BORING!!" day. Heh. She found a child her age shortly after.












This is Thursday night at an impromptu pizza party in Lora Leigh's cabin. I am TOTALLY getting a cabin next year! They rocked!







That's Amy, Sally (her mom) Me and Sylvia Day ans down in front is the charming Mary Wine. She looks SO much like Jane Seymour it gives me chills!
























And this is Angela Knight, Amy and Me. Angela lives just minutes from me now! She was so sweet! She even invited me to go to RWA chapter meetings together. I think I did the fangirl giggle for like an hour after that.






















Leave it to B to be totally unimpressed with Lora Leigh!!! That look is all "Whatever! Where's the sugar?"






















And this is me getting bored with regular pics and all that professional decorum bullshit :)



















And best for last, putting the rumors to rest....yes, AMY is MY bitch!

















Hope you enjoyed that! Looks like fun don;t it? A more comprehensive page will be up later for you to enjoy, hopefully with some of my own pics. I think, however, that my camera is full on pics of B's nostrils. She got ahold of it and was doing self portraits for about an hour.

See you soon!
 

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