Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Mega Drop

Yesterday, the family and I went to the summer fair. I *love* fairs and everything about them - the music, the men and women trying desperately to get you to throw a dart at a balloon to win a stuffed animal, the smell of fried foods and ... the rides! Fans of Amaretto Flame will remember that Jackson and Olivia went to a fair in Staves and rode a ride called The imagine my excitement when I saw this:

Oh, was ON! I had to ride it. I can't even begin to imagine how high up this thing goes, but you get on and a bar comes down over your head and snaps you in. Then, you're brought all the way up to the top of this tower, where you sit for a few minutes. The view is breathtaking. From there, I could see everything - the beach across the highway, all of the fair was amazing!

Then, with no warning at all, you free fall. I wish I could have a picture of my face in the first 1-2 seconds of falling because I imagine it was a hilarious sight! It only takes a few seconds to get from the top to the bottom of the ride, but it was one of the funnest rides I've ever been on. I had such an adrenaline rush when we got off that my hands were shaking!

When I wrote Amaretto Flame, I had never been on a ride like this, but I had heard of similar rides. I am soooo glad this one was at the fair so I could check it out. It was really a blast. What's your favorite fair or carnival ride? Here are a few other pics from our big adventure!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And Then the Grandmother Booty Danced...Wait...What?

I've been thinking a lot about my characters lately. Specifically, whether or not my characters come to life on the page; whether they are real. If you've ever read a book by Christopher Moore, you'll get a fine example of characters who are multi-dimensional and very real. (I highly recommend the A LOVE STORY series...hilarious!) So in thinking about my characters, I realized that there is something that really, really bugs me about a lot of the YA books I read.

I have no problem believing that a character has just sprouted wings and is flying across the sky, or that a character has used his or her mental powers to read minds, but the moment a teenager in a book makes a hot chai latte or prepares a quiche, I'm all, "nu-huh."

It takes me completely out of the story, and leaves me sort of rolling my eyes. It's not that I don't think any teenager has ever made a quiche before, or spent all day preparing a delicious lasagna dish, but most teenagers (and myself) would pop some pizza rolls in the microwave and grab a coke, right?

This bothers me so much that when it happens in an otherwise fabulous book, I will obsess over it slightly and when talking about the book, will never fail to mention it. I'm sure there are things in my book that had readers rolling their eyes as well, which is one of the reasons I've really been trying to work on making my characters as realistic as possible; staying true to each character.

Another thing that really bugs me...insta-love. I cannot believe that two people are in love unless I am falling in love with them during the story. If they meet one day and are making wedding plans the next, I'm just not buying it.

It made me really curious, though - what are your pet peeves in a book? What really irritates you and has the potential to ruin a book for you? Leave me some comments and let's discuss!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Book Giveaway: Fifty Shades of Grey

It's been way too long since I've written a post - no excuse for that! So, to make it up to you, I've decided to do a book giveaway! One person will have the chance to win a paperback copy of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY - and the entry is super easy. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what book you're reading right now and what you think of it!

The winner will be chosen at random May 27, 2012 at 8pm. I'm gonna have to ask that you are 18 or older to enter, simply because I don't want my younger readers' moms and dads to gather at my house with various weapons ready to beat me! ;) But we'll do another giveaway soon for everyone. Thanks!! Here's the Goodreads description of the book:

When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. 

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms. 

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Pretty cool, right! Enter now. ;) Make sure you leave an email address so I can contact the winner! :)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of you, and my wish for you in the new year is that no matter what you do, you're happy doing it! :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Destiny by Mireille Chester: Excerpt

Hi guys! So sorry I've been MIA lately...things have been a little crazy. But I'm back, and I come bearing gifts!

I am SO excited. *Jumps up and down a few times. One of my closest writer friends, Mireille Chester, has offered to give me and you guys a lil' taste of Destiny, the last book of her Chosen One Trilogy. If you haven't read the others, well...hurry! You can get them here and here. Before I give you the excerpt of Destiny, I should just mention that if you love the romance aspect of paranormal and fantasy books, these are a must-read. Ok, Ok...without further ado:

Destiny Excerpt:

Jasper pulled me to his chest and rested his chin on my head.  “Shush.  It’s alright, Shlova.”  The words were reassuring but his voice was tight and I could hear his heart beating hard under my ear.  I looked up and had to keep back more tears that threatened to come at the sight of him.  His eyes were closed, his jaw clenched.
“I’m so tired of this,” I whispered.
He took a deep breath and let it out.  “It’s almost over.”
Dodge moved closer and nuzzled my face.  I’m sorry, Hayden.
I brushed the tears from my face and rubbed his nose.  “It’s not your fault, Bud.”  I heard a chirp from up above and I looked up as a blue bird flew down to sit on my knee.  I pet the little head.  “Hey, you.”
She looked from me to Jasper.
“She says there are no packs of any kind for a day’s travel in any direction.”
“Thank you,” I said.  “Could you do me a favor?  I need to get a message to Melana.”  I could feel everyone looking at me.  I focused on the bird so I wouldn’t change my mind.  “Could you let her know that we are heading to Howel to see if I can help heal Damian?  Tell her we’ll be marching straight from there to Paradin. Enough is enough.  I’ll let her know when we leave Howel and we’ll meet her somewhere.”
She bobbed her head and flew away.
“Hayden?”  Tara’s caramel colored eyes looked straight into mine.  “Are you sure?”  I knew she’d been secretly hoping we could delay the fighting until after the baby was born.
I nodded and looked up to see Jasper’s reaction.  His eyes were closed.  I watched as he swallowed and took a deep breath.  He opened his eyes, looked at me and nodded.
“Tomorrow, Hayden, Dodge, Matthew and I will head to Howel with Rainen, Harold, and Gina.”  He looked around at everyone.  No one argued with him when he had this look on his face.  Well, maybe just me, though at this point in time I agreed with what I knew he had decided.  He was thinking ahead and when it came to battles and strategies he was one of the best.
“The rest of you head back to Sageden.  We’ll need everyone ready when we get there.  Rally everyone.  Send runners to reach those who live farther away.  Shanus, alert the Scannoves.  Phlann, I need you to get to the Winged Ones’ meadow.  Find Taleessa.  She’s the black filly who got her wings just before we left last year. Send her to the Northern Regions.  She got her ruby from Faren.  The two of them need to get together and alert the dragons.”


WOW! I cannot wait to sink into this one. If you want it, sneak over here and grab it up for yourself. Or, learn more about Mireille over at her blog, and find out the rest of her Destiny tour dates

P.S. Mireille...*big hug* I am SO proud of you! :D

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Mistake

I'm a writer. My #1 rule has ALWAYS been to write from the heart. That said, I'm working on Shadow Wishes, the sequel to Amaretto Flame, and I've found myself second guessing, pushing it off to the side, pulling my hair out, and nearly going nuts trying to get this thing completed. Why? What is making it so difficult...and then I realized my mistake.

Amaretto Flame is the very first time my work has been read on a widespread basis, meaning not just family and friends. I am thrilled at the response I've gotten, but I've had my fair share of critics, too. That's expected, and to be honest, I've craved criticism, believing it will make me a better writer. If I know what you hated, and what my downfalls were, I can work on those things in the next book, right? To a certain extent, yes. But I've found myself dwelling on every critical comment regarding my work and then going into the sequel with those things in my heart.

I finally realized I can't do that! I have to write what's in my heart to write, and go where the characters lead me. I can't stop in the middle of a scene and think about someone who particularly hated the same kind of scene in Amaretto Flame. Yes, I want everyone to love it...I want to deliver exactly what people want to read. But here's my reality check: I'm not going to be able to do that! There's no way everyone's going to like every single part. There's no way to write something that EVERYONE will love. So, I have to take it back in and write something that I love.

I think in doing this, I'll capture the same things I was able to capture in Amaretto Flame - the things so many other people loved. This is just a small realization I had, and wanted to pass along to others who might be struggling with the same thing. We all know we're supposed to be writing things we love...things we feel deeply about. But when you're reading all the comments on your work and then you're holding on to those things, are you really continuing to write what's in your heart, without second guessing yourself? That's my new game plan. I'm going back to the word doc with only one thing in mind - write what I love. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Random About Me w/ Pictures

I thought you might find it fun to learn a little bit more about me, and who doesn't love visual aids? So, here's some random stuff!

Coffee. My manna. Nectar of the Gods. Can't live without it! My very favorite kind of coffee is freshly ground Pecan Praline - I can't even tell you how amazing it smells when it's brewing. Yum!

This is my very favorite t-shirt (can you tell I wear it often?) and it's from the Cunningham Muffins Youtube video by Liam Kyle Sullivan. I think he's hilarious and although not for the faint of heart, his videos just kill me! What? You watch True Blood, I watch things like this. Don't judge. ;-) Also, I'm very much a jeans and t-shirt girl. Also, I wear flip flops year round. I will probably get married in them.

This is what I look at pretty much all day long. When I'm not writing fiction, I'm writing nonfiction. Hmmm. Not really sure what's on that screen. ;-)

I am a complete and total romantic. I write my favorite quotes like this and stick these little index cards in books, sometimes my own books and sometimes other books for people to find. I love finding quotes or scenes in a book that really move me. 5 points to anyone who can guess what book this is from (and what book it's peeking out of)!

I live very close to the Gulf of Mexico, and lots of casinos. I don't go to the casinos very often, but when I do, I never win anything!

Christmas (Yule) is my very favorite holiday. I don't know why - it's just as magical for me as it was when I was a child. I hope it always is!

So, now that you know a lot of useless stuff about me, I want to know some random/weird things about you! Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite song, favorite quote, movie, holiday, whatever you want! I'll leave you with just one more pic, and something that is very important to me!