Monday, May 26, 2008
Now on to all things personal. I figured I would share this with you all since I share everything else, and it's something that can potentially affect my presence here for a while. After RAW in September, I am going to be scheduling gastric bypass surgery for myself. As terrifying as it sounds, that's about how scared I am. But I am more afraid of dying young...and dying without ever having lived my life to the fullest. Food is my curse, one that no one can throw off completely. When I say I have tried EVERYTHING else first, I really do mean it. Those of you who have met me in person must see how I struggle, how frustrating it is for me to live with both morbid obesity and fibromyalgia. The fibromyalgia will most likely never go away, not as severe as it is for me, but carrying around a whole other person most certainly makes it worse, and shedding that other person will most certainly help. In all things.
Before making this choice, I asked myself to give 25 reasons why I would want to do this sort of thing. They rolled off of the top of my mind without hesitation. Some were simple, vain things...but most were about the quality of my life. This is a drastic decision, not to be entered lightly by anyone. But I have chosen a top class surgeon, one who has done this over a thousand times. In all those instances, he has had only one mortality...and that was from an unexpected heart arrhythmia...more likely due to the patient's obesity that the surgery.
I was still hesitant just the same, that fear thing again, plus I don;t like being spoon fed my resources. I turned to someone I knew who had been through it. Angela Knight. I don't think she'll mind me mentioning we've talked, she's very open about it in her blogs and such. It was a good perspective, a real one, and we spoke for hours. I think I am much better prepared for it. But I also know I will be talking to her again and again for a variety of reasons.
Why am I sharing this with you? So that you understand why I am too weak to write to you for months afterward. So that you understand how stressful the progress toward it will be for me. You won;t see it affect my work for at least a year or better, but somewhere down the line there will be a hiccup in the pacing of my releases. Worst case scenario, that is. But the hope is that I will bounce back better than ever, that I will be healthy for my tour of Australia and London. That I will be more comfortable than ever before as I sleep in flat hotel room beds. That I will have the energy to walk and sight see as I haven't done in years. Decades. It's too late for me to repair the damage done to my uterus, which was removed last year, but perhaps I will find the energy and health and well being I need to become a foster mother...or to adopt a child. I have so much to offer now, and so little hope if I don't do something.
I hope you don't mind if I share parts of the journey with you. It will be mostly about needing your support, or a place to vent, or, hopefully, my best resource. You. You've all been by my side for some time now. Making me who and what I am. I know you are the best place to turn because you've proven to be kindhearted, generous and loyal to a fault. I'll be selfish and I'll need you a lot. I just thought I'd warn you!!
Now, I have one other favor to ask. If you have won a prize from me (other than the RIF covers) please email me with the name of the prize as the subject line and you snail mail please. I have a lot of names here and no idea who won which prize. My assistant will be mailing them out while I am away but I need to know how to sign what before then. I don't want you to have to wait til I come back on June 8th. Do this quickly, I leave tomorrow morning and I only have a day stopover in between next week.
Meanwhile, I want to run a new contest :) This one will be bunches of fun. I want to call it the Rumpelstiltskin contest. I have a middle name. Oh yes, and it's a pretty one. I like it. But no one out the knows what it is unless they are my very best of real life friends. So...that means if you want to know what it is, you have to figure out the name. Here are your clues. It has eight letters. It is the title of a song. The name of a winery. And it means "Who is like God".
Everyone who gets it right enters a drawing for a Noah ARC. :) Be careful. You only get one guess!! Send all entries to the usual email: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pick a winner when I come back from my NY trip and before I go to Ohio. Good luck!
And don't forget, Damien hits the shelves tomorrow!! (Yes, the date was moved again!!) Go and get him!! The buzz is pretty sweet so far! And I was #69 on B and N the other day!! (Great number huh? Suits me so well!!) Let kick ass!!
Hugs and kitties to all of you!
Friday, May 23, 2008
This one is a clear attempt to appeal to my love of felines. ;)
This link leads you to an ingenious slide show :)
This is a very different and artistic approach :)
And this made an appeal to me missing my B. Man, do you guys know me or what???
And now for the winner.
I hope this works.
Jace you are soon to be the proud owner of a full set of autographed books. Mainly because you made me laugh :) Email me you snail mail at email@example.com
I have an interesting blog for tomorrow (or Sunday if something else comes up!)
Have a great time this holiday.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
But that was just in the beginning. Now I get several letters a day and sometimes they are worded in just such a way that I am in threat of walking on air for a week and getting a big fat head and ego! I do try to answer every letter quickly, and I absolutely answer everything I am sent. If you have ever sent me something and it wasn't responded to, it means either I never got it or I made a filing mistake without intending to. I did that once and wrote the gal months later when I realized it :) The address you use for all contests and correspondence is firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't be shy about writing me if that's what you want to do. As you see it is something I take great delight in.
One other thing I try to do is make appearances in places where groups of individuals request my presence. If you have a book club or writing group or even an RWA group that would like to have contact with me, please don't be shy about asking. I enjoy meeting my readers face to face.
Now on that note, I wanted to put something out to you. I would like to visit London and Australia. I know I have many fans in London by the number of letters I have received...but I have no idea how to find the best place to go in either of these countries. If anyone knows of a great book shop willing to throw a big signing and put a lot of effort into gathering those fans together (advertising, coffee, snacks, etc.) then please send me the name, address, email, phone number and the name of the central contact connected to that store.
Australia is another story. It's such a big country. But since I have friends who live near Perth, I think I can start there and then slowly work out where to go next...if I go to more than one location. Now, this is all going to be at an undetermined time of year...preferably springtime in each country respectively. You know...the WARMER part of spring...but not too warm that's I'm going to sweat my bollocks off. Only you guys can tell me when that will be. After all, these are YOUR countries!!
Now, someone pointed out to me that I was supposed to give away two sets of books. Good thing, too!! I totally forgot! You may love me, but this is one author with a shitty memory. It wasn't always that way, but age and medication has gotten the best of me. Please forgive me my lapse.
Anyway, our second winner is....
Crystal, please send me your snail mail addy at the above address.
As for everyone else, I have had custom decks of cards made up for the promotion of Noah's release in September. Only 100 decks exist at this time, several were given away at RT, but now I am giving these decks out very carefully :) and it is hard to get a hold of them. I am going to give a deck away to a winner. If you want to be that winner you have to do the following:
Send me a picture of you (or your kids or your cats...etc) with ANY of my books!!
Now, the person who is going to win the deck of cards will be random from those entries, but the person who sends me the most creative (sexy, funny, romantic, artistic) picture will win the ENTIRE set of Nightwalker books, including the Noah ARC, all signed by me :) AND a deck of cards to boot. This is a HUGE prize. :) I hope you have fun competing for it!! I will pick my favorite pictures and post them in the blog announcing the winners on Wednesday of this coming week. So best get to it!! :)
Have fun!! Love yas!!
Hugs and Kitties
Saturday, May 17, 2008
But I am very certain you are going to let me know one way or another :P
I have chosen a winner from all the responses here, but before I give the name I wanted to say a couple of things. First, if you are wanting to join in the comments and don;t know how, all you need is a Google mail (gmail) account. What is Gmail? Click on THIS LINK to get started. Then you simply sign in and voila! Access to all my contests and more.
Second, I am having another chat party :) It's a plan in it's early stages yet, but I figure June 28th, the last Saturday in June, will be a great date for it. You are going to want to come because I will be inviting all your favorite authors over a 12 hour period!! Thus your task for today is...tell me who you would like to see and speak to at my next Chat-a-thon!! Please, don't even say JRW or CF or SK because I am NOT going to be able to get them.
But my buds Gena Showalter, Yasmine Galenorn and Bianca D' Arc are very likely candidates :)
Now....the winner of signed copies of Damien and Noah is...
This is a random winner drawn in my head like a stick figure using complex addition and subtraction logic.
Now for a story. I went out yesterday with my niece to Pet Harmony, we are making it a ritual to go and socialize with the cats and even the dogs. When we get back, Ryanne (my live-in assistant) and my sister Lynnora are standing outside the front door. As I walk through the house I hear them laughing their asses off. Always one for a good joke, I ask "What up?". As I approach I step in something wet and sticky.
Have you ever come up on people who were so toasted they barely made sense? Apparently while we were gone my sis and Ryanne thought it would be fun to get pissed. Why the laughter? They had been heading outside with Ryanne in the lead. Apparently she forgot to hold the door open and it slammed closed into my sister. The result was alcohol abuse. The door smacked my sister head-on while she was carrying a glass of wine and sent it splashing up in her face, down my door, on the cement and my floor.
Apparently this was hysterically funny. I suppose it would have been for me, too, if I had just spilled my sixth glass of wine all over myself. OMG, were they ever tanked! My sister has hazel eyes, but after that much wine they were a bright jade green with large pupils and you could see the nastagmus (jittering) of her eyeballs. (This is what cops look for when they suspect you are drunk driving) My niece and I just went back inside and sat down, giggling every time they laughed (still because of the door) in peals of hysteria.
I turned to my 14 yr old niece and said: "Now, you see why getting drunk is bad? It makes you act like a total dork. It's much more fun to be sober and watching the lunacy of others!"
In truth...I am in the mood for a martini. :P
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Plus, I just got my author copies of Damien :) Gorgeous shiny purple. I hope like hell you guys like.
Anyway, I am SOOO friggin happy, I have to give stuff away.
I will give away TWO sets of a Damien and a Noah ARC to someone who responds to this posting and tells me:
What do you think Noah's heroine should be like??
Ready? Set?? GO!!!
Hugs and Kitties
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
You have won yourself a Advanced Release Copy of the much coveted Noah! It was a completely random selection, but I know you are going to LOVE it because you LOVE Noah so much. And thanks, all of you, for telling me why you love this series and the characters in it. I was so surprised by the magnitude of the response and the depth of thought you put into those responses. It was really very sweet...even if it was motivated by greed for Noah ;) Ha!
Now for something new.
Reading is Fundamental. Remember those words? All throughout growing up I heard it on PBS after Sesame Street, The Electric Company, The Magic Garden. We all did. Not too long ago a notice came out in my RWA Newsletter about RIF and how is was being proposed in Bush's new budget that all government funding be ripped away from this program that provides reading materials to young, disadvantaged children all over the United States...some of whom have never even touched a new book all their own before.
This is the RWA Article:
The 2009 proposed U.S. budget calls for the elimination of funding for Reading Is Fundamental' s (RIF) Inexpensive Book Distribution program. The program distributes free books to 4.6 million children and families and runs reading encouragement programs in 20,000 locations in the U.S. RIF President and CEO Carol H. Rasco says, "Unless Congress reinstates $26 million in funding for this program, RIF will not be able to distribute 16 million books annually to the nation's youngest and most at-risk children ... Since its founding in 1966, RIF's programs have played an important role in improving literacy in this country." Visit RIF's Web site, http://www.rif. org/get-involved /advocate/ what/, to see how you can take action.
I was one of those children. When I was around 9 or ten years old a RIF van came to my school. It was like a truck full of magic. The class lined up and every student got to pick two new books. I remember asking a woman...how do I return these? She smiled and said, "You don't. These are all yours to keep forever."
I remember being awed by the concept. I remember clutching those two books to my chest and thinking "Mine! All mine!" Not a hand me down, not a library book. And I had chosen them myself so I wasn't being told what I had to read. Both covers had little girls on the front of them and I remember both stories to this day...because I still have those two RIF books. Truth and Consequences. And Secret Emily. Secret Emily became a favorite I read over and over, the story so fantastical and mysterious! I was on the edge of my seat with every page. The end was a surprise and a delight.
See. Told you I remember. Do you remember? Do you think for one minute it would be tragic if I had not gotten that book that made me love fantasy stories? Had it not started me down a road of magic and make-believe? My love for the paranormal was born in that book. That book, that one RIF book, could be what spawned the author you love to read.
So CUT AND PASTE THE ABOVE LINK IN THE RWA ARTICLE.
Write to your senators and representative using the pre-made letter. It will take five minutes of your time at most. Please. Because you never know if a little Sherrilyn or a wee Christine or even a needy Kresley might be out there waiting to be born for you. In a book.
One single book.
And if you want more reward than that, I am going to give it to you. EVERYONE who mails out those letters...CC it to me at email@example.com and I will send YOU a signed cover flat of Noah. Include your address. I will send cover flats of Noah until I run out of them, then will switch to Damien until I run out of THEM and then Elijah.
If you think that makes me crazy...I say it makes me serious and passionate.
Get to it.
Hugs and Kitties
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
So....what is the fun, you ask?
Has it really been so long that you think it's going to be that easy???
I wanted to let you know that there are going to be some changes to the website. Great changes. The excerpt from Damien will go up soon...and so will Noah's!! Only...hehehe...Noah's will be under lock and key and only YOU can unlock it. It's a fun game with a chance to win an ARC weekly at it's heart. :) FUN!! But...err...did I mention you can't get to it until you find the key? Yep. And the key is only to be found in Damien :P. FUN!!!
But while they are working on THAT fun, I wanted to tell you that the NOAH ARCs have arrived!! Actually I have been sitting on them for two weeks already. I am dying to give these gorgeous books away. However, because Damien doesn't come out til the 3rd, anything you win now will not come until a week after Damien's release date....and that would be just mean! (Although not nearly as mean as the winner of the very first ARC at my RT party who has it in her hot little hands and must resist! (Or...at least she said she would!!)
But I am ready to give Noah to a lucky person who comments in this blog today about who their favorite Nightwalker series character is and why.
A winner will be chosen randomly and announced tomorrow :)
Oh, I totally have to tell you this. Yesterday I found out that one of my fans loves Noah so much that she named her baby boy after MY Noah! How freakishly weird yet awesomely cool is that?? LOL. Nah, Noah is a wonderful name. That's why I picked it! I thought that had to be the ultimate compliment. She doesn't know it yet, but that just earned her an ARC. :) (CRYSTAL THIS MEANS YOU....email your snail mail address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!!)
That's why I picked the contest theme for the day. I am ready to give Noah to a lucky person who comments in this blog today about who their favorite Nightwalker series character is and why.
Hugs and Kitties,
Monday, May 12, 2008
RT wiped me out (I still haven't uploaded my camera....but I will before this blog is through. I have had so much to tell you about that, the books, my life...but the latter seems to have overwhelmed me at present. (That and recovering from having both laptops crash on me at once!) Thank the universe for the GEEK SQUAD!! I LOVES me some GEEKS!! Now, I am as girl geek as you can get without going to college for it, but they haven't invented the shade of white I was when my primary AND backup data was, for DAYS, irretrievable!! This is the ultimate nightmare for a writer! And yes of course I back up my stories on a USB drive...once every six months or so anyway. And what was I doing to make the primary laptop die? Installing a backup harddrive so just this kind of thing couldn't happen!
*bangs head on desk*
My second mistake was using my Dell P.O.S. as my secondary. I threw that yoke off this time. I bought another Vaio. I now have two, both under a year old. One in red and one in silver. Ahhhhh. The geeks saved all of my work, pix, music (yes at a hefty little fee) and even cut me backup disks. I was without bytes for an entire week. It hurt so much.
And I was so much less distracted by Facebook, MySpace and Email that I spent hours writing for the first time in months, even if it was longhand. So...I have an announcement to make about that. I am going to keep my pages up and all, and I love coming in after 2 or 3 weeks and seeing all your remarks and comments and the sweetness that is ya'll, but if you want to make real live contact with me you can only trust my Email. (Or the occasional Scramble game on Facebook...I am addicted at the moment.) In case the link fails, it's email@example.com. You'll easily see it a thousand times in this blog.
Next on my list of things to tell you...I am going to Lori Foster's Writer/Reader get-together. It's in Cincinnati OH June 6th through 9th. I am so looking forward to this event. If it weren't for Lori Foster, *I* would not be published. I would never have been brave enough to submit, but I was brave enough to enter an obscure contest for something called Brava...never quite understanding that you weren't supposed to whip something up in a week and still manage to catch the eye of Kate Duffy. Now that I am in RWA and have talked to the sea of up and comers out there did I realize just how challenging that was. All I knew was I LOVED Lori Foster. I went to her site to fawn over her. Then, poof! A little blurb about a contest. Go figure!!
You can hate me for ten seconds. You have my permission.
Next up, I am going to remind you that Damien is up for imminent release!! June 3rd by my knowledge...May 27th by Amazon's freakish calculations. Go figure. Then a mere three months and Noah arrives!! I am celebrating the release of each with an appearance. Lori Foster and Cincinnati will be the first and RAW in Kentucky with Lora Leigh will be the one for Noah. Also, for those in Michigan, or thereabouts, I promised a bookstore owner named Melissa Bliss at:
Paperbacks n' Things
8044 N Wayne Rd
Westland, MI 48185
...that I would do an exclusive signing and I hear she is utterly amazing when it comes to gigs like this! Now, the date isn't set...but I was hoping to go in early October :) See some foliage and some Northerners. I will also be on the Florida Romance Writer's 'Cruise with Your Muse' in January and that is where I wil celebrate the release of the new series. I know I am being secretive about the Shadowdweller series, but this time it is not my evil intention to torture you. It's just taking some last minute adjustments before it's perfect for ya. Oh! Also...I think we're gonna make a book trailer for Noah!! Cross fingers!!
Okay, enough information for one day. How about some pics??
Studs with me and Susan M!
My best friends Tanya and Laura with studs (left)
Me and the soon-to-be Mr. Romance!
Me and Lori Foster...AT LAST!!! I was so thrilled!