Monday, February 28, 2011


I totally dropped the ball on this and should have posted on Friday! I've just barely come up for air from revisions on book 2 and expect to start edits on book 1 at the end of the week. Then I'll dive back under for a while.

Anyway, thanks so much to everyone who entered my contest! I'll be doing another one at the end of March. has halped me pic a winner...Tracey (funny in the 'hood)!!! WOOHOO! Congrats, Tracy! You get your choice of either a $25 B&N Gift card or a synopsis critique. Thanks again for stopping by the blog! :D

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Indie? Commericial? Both?

Okay, so I really wanted to post this the day after the Grammies, but since my blog schedule was already full, it's going up a bit late. Really, my brother-in-law is the inspiration for this post. You see, he's an Indie snob. He avoids all things mainstream like the plague. He posted this huge rant the day after the Grammies expressing his excitement over Arcade Fire's Album of the Year win and basically said main-stream, commercial artists could shove it...well, you get the picture. This got me to thinking, though. Isn't Indie really Pre-commercial?

Think about it, a few years ago, Green Day wasn't considered commercial or main stream. But after they won a Grammy, a mainstream audience took notice. Their popularity soared and their songs were being played along side other Top 40 artists. Then the detractors started wagging their tongues calling Green Day sell-outs and shouting to the heavens that the band no longer cared about their indie roots. Really? I mean, seriously?? I like Green Day. I liked them pre-commercial success (uh, Brain Stew...brilliant!) as well as after. And isn't it every artist's goal to reach the largest audience possible? Of course it is! We WANT millions of people to buy our CD's, books, DVD's.

Think of Arcade Fire as the Indie pubbed author. They've been around for a while, found their popularity in a smaller, yet no less valid audience. They've perfected their craft, played the venues, paid their dues. Then, one day, some mainstreamer somewhere happens to hear one of their songs, passes it on to someone else, and so on and so forth. Their peers in the music industry start paying more attention to them as well. And before you know it--BAM-O! Grammy. In the weeks that follow, mainstream music customers grow curious, they buy their albums, and so it goes. Arcade Fire is no longer "Indie" but "Commercial". A great literary example of an author going from indie to mainstream is Audrey Niffenegger. She sent The Time Traveler's Wife as an unsolicited submission to MacAdam/Cage, a successful indie publisher in California. The book has sold millions of copies and from I found on the interwebs, her second book sold for a seven-figure advance.

Same goes for commercial, or "traditionally" pubbed authors. Think of them as Rhianna. Agented, contracted, publicized, she's got a cameo in a dozen records this year, as well as her own successful album. Everyone knows who she is, they recognize that trademark red hair she's sporting lately, and there isn't an hour of the day when some radio station, somewhere isn't playing one of her songs. Yet where was she on Grammy night? Sharing the SAME stage as Arcade Fire. Singing to the SAME audience. Building a fan-base in the mainstream, television viewing world.

Indie? Commerical? No matter how you classify yourself, we all have the same goal, to put our books out into the world and have them read by the masses. Otherwise, we'd just print out our manuscripts, put them in a binder and circulate them to friends and family only. We're all on the same staircase, people. We're just on different steps. What do you think? Is Indie really Pre-commercial or will there always be a line separating two artistic sides of the street?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Magic and Mayhem - Digital, Paper, or Both

Hey guys! A quick reminder that if you haven't entered my contest to win either a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card or a synopsis critique, there's still time to enter! Just check out the original post here. I'll be picking a winner at the end of the week.

In the meantime, I'm blogging at Magic and Mayhem today, talking a little about my love of paper books versus my new obsession with e-books. Check it out!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Contest Time!!!

Okay, so I promised a contest a month until SHAEDES OF GRAY sees the light of day. Without further ado, here's contest numero uno! I'll pick a random winner at the end of the week and you'll get your choice of prize! That's right! Hurray for choices! You can have your pick of either a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card or a Synopsis Critique. According to one of my CPs, I write a pretty mean synop so this was her idea. ;) Synops are usually the bane of writerly existence. When an agent asks for one, I swear I can hear a collective groan in the universe. In the past year, I've written my fair share. For books I hadn't even written yet. So, ya, you could say I'm getting fairly good at it.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. If you mention this contest on your Twitter or FB, send me a link in the comments and you'll get another entry! Blog about it and link to in the comments and you'll get one more entry! YAY FOR CONTESTS! I can't believe the count-down to December has already begun!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Snow, Snow, Go Away!

Winters are long in Idaho. Looooong. We won't see green grass until April. March if we're lucky. I want to see a view out of my window that isn't a blanket of white. I found these pics I took over the past couple of summers. Spring is right around the corner, right?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WIP Song of the Week

This song is from the first book in another urban fantasy series I'm working on. It's full of bad choices, secrets, and oh yeah, demon slaying! I'm a 90's music junkie, Bush being one of my all time fav's. Gavin Rossdale's voice is yummy! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Grandma, Howdy Doody, and Julia Child

My grandma passed away last week. She was 95 years old and it wasn't unexpected. I'm now officially grandma-less as my other grandma passed away a year and a half ago. I was thinking about what I loved the most about my grandma, Mary. Isn't that the perfect grandma name? She was a woman surrounded by books. She was progressive, she attended college, she believed that a woman should be educated and able to take care of herself. She also sort of reminded me of Julia Child. She even had my grandpa build custom counters in their cabin to accommodate her height. That's probably where the similarities end, but who can tell why kids perceive things the way they do.

She used to read to my sister and I when we were little. Our all-time favorite book was one of those little Golden Books: Howdy Doody's Animal Friends. Whenever we went to her house to visit, my sister and I would run straight for the drawer where she kept it. We'd climb up into her lap and she'd read it. She had a the BEST voice for reading aloud. Mellow, soft, with just the right amount of inflection. It was magic when she read.

I never saw her without a book. She was a regular at her local libraries. The librarians knew her by name and would put aside books they thought she'd like. She loved Dick Francis. She didn't buy a lot of books, she was a very frugal and practical woman. But boy, her library card must have smoked from over-use. :) Even when she got older, and her eyesight wasn't as good, she looked for large-print books. Whatever she could get her hands on. Oh, and she was AMAZING at crossword puzzles. Seriously. She even had crossword dictionaries!

Thanks for reading to me, Grandma. Thanks for making me bowls of popcorn and for buying Honey Nut Cheerios. Thanks for putting a bay leaf in the chili and telling me and Niki that whoever got it in their bowl would have good luck. Thanks for sewing beach cover-ups for me out of big fluffy beach towels. Thanks for teaching me how to make the most kick-ass Thanksgiving turkey ever. Say hi to grandpa for me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Magic and Mayhem - The Art of the Fight Scene

Hey! I'm blogging at Magic and Mayhem today and I'm talking about my love of all things actiony and crafting a believable fight scene. Hope to see you there!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be My Valentine

Ready for some Valentine's Day fun? I was perusing the interwebs and found some fun Valentine's Day facts.

Check out Nadia Lee's post on Magic and Mayhem to learn more about Valentine's Day in Japan. For instance, did you know that in Japan women are required to give men Obligation Chocolate? You heard me right. Read the full post for all the interesting details.

I came across another site full of Valentine's Day facts and superstitions. Here's a few fun snippets:

Heart-shaped chew toys, anyone? About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine's Day gifts to their pets.

73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men, while only 27 percent are women. Way to go, guys! You're doing something right!

In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling. Does anyone else think we should bring this back in fashion? Me either.

Romance never dies, people! The oldest surviving love poem till date is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C.

Parents receive 1 out of every 5 valentines. Aww! 'Nough said.

And what V-day would be complete without a little smooching. Did you know...

Kissing isn't only fun, it's EXERCISE! French kissing involves all 34 muscles in the face. A pucker kiss involves only two.

The term “French kiss” came into the English language around 1923 as a slur on the French culture which was thought to be overly concerned with sex. In France, it’s called a tongue kiss or soul kiss because if done right, it feels as if two souls are merging. In fact, several ancient cultures thought that mouth-to-mouth kissing mingled two lovers’ souls. I LOVE this one, and I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you why! ;)

Passionate kissing burns 6.4 calories a minute. A Hershey’s kiss contains 26 calories, which takes five minutes of walking–or about four minutes of kissing–to burn off. A good kiss can TOTALLY justify that chocolate your man bought you, right?

Colgate's got nothing on tongue wrestling! Kissing is good for teeth. The anticipation of a kiss increases the flow of saliva to the mouth, giving the teeth a plaque-dispersing bath.

Want some more sexy kissing facts? Check out this link.

Hope your day is full of Love and Kisses! And not just the chocolate kind! ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011


Happy Friday, everyone! Just wanted to give a quick congrats to Rose Moriarty who won the drawing in Michelle McLean's interview giveaway! Thanks to everyone who visited and commented on the post and congrats again to Michelle on the launch of her book. :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

WIP Song of the Week

Actually, the song this week isn't from the book I'm working on right now, but for the one I just finished and is hanging out with my CP's for a while. I wrote a killer scene in book 2 that takes place in a club. It's like a fetish club on steroids. I wanted it to be creepy, and if my CP's feedback is any indicator, I got the job done. This song put me in the perfect mood for that scene. How I love Shirley Manson!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Comeback Queen

Don't let the title fool you. This isn't going to be a post full of inspiration and triumph. Nope, I'm going a little baser today. This post is all about the snark.

I wish I was the girl with the snappy comeback. The one who can fire off snark at the speed of light. But alas, I think of really GREAT things to say a few hours (or days) too late.

Case in point: Most of you know I used to coach high school volleyball. Well for anyone out there who's never coached, I can tell you, I'd rather muck out porta-potties than deal with angry parents. Don't get me wrong, most of the parents are great. But there's always one or two who make it their life's ambition to make your life a living hell. Last fall, I had a monster team. Almost six players too many. You see, our school district's policy is NOT to cut athletes. If a student wants to play, they get to join the team. But it's not so easy. I had 16 players last year. That's almost 3 full teams. There's no way I could play all the girls all the time. And it was strongly suggested to me by my superiors that I focus on playing the girls who were capable of winning games. I mean, it is a Varsity sport after all, we're not out there for any other reason than to win.

Anyway, one parent was particularly miffed that I didn't play his daughter. It wasn't like she didn't get to play at all. I made sure she was on the court at least once. But that wasn't good enough for this particular dad. I happened to make eye contact with him at one point in the match and he stood up in the bleachers and proceeded to make some very inappropriate gestures at me. I hate confrontation. Like, HATE it, hate it. And my stomach instantly rebelled, threatening to send my lunch back the way it came. Dear old dad waited until the gym was almost completely cleared at the end of the night, made a B-line for me and proceeded to rip me up one side and down the other. Lovely.

I stood there and took it. I tried to be understanding, accommodating. I tried to explain my position. But all in all, I didn't stand up for myself. I didn't tell him that HIS behavior had been inappropriate and that HE (not me) was being a poor role model for his child. Eventually, my Athletic Director took over, and we dealt with him more than once over the course of the season and I let it slide.

But yesterday, I saw him in town and started thinking about our first encounter. And wouldn't you know it, every single snarky, awesome comeback in the world snapped into my brain. All of the uber cool "take that, asshole" things I would have liked to say waited at the tip of my tongue. And damn it, I'll never get the opportunity to put that jack-ass in his place.

Luckily, I get to use those snappy come-backs and snark in my writing. They might not pop into my head at the moment I need them, but it doesn't matter. I put them to good use, eventually.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Little Mayhem Never Hurts

I'm blogging over at Magic and Mayhem today, talking a little about outlining and how I (sort of) overcame my pantser ways. Stop by and say hello!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tough Girl

This was definitely not the post I intended to write today. But I'm sitting here, looking out my window at the elk. The herd is huge this year, I think word's gotten around that there's free food. My grandpa started feeding them about ten years ago in an effort to keep them from raiding his haystacks and stealing from the cattle. They're a bit of a nuisance this year; they trampled the "elk proof" fences around the haystacks and have taken up residence with the cattle. They're ravenous eaters.

Anyway, the elk were leaving the feed yard to spend the rest of the day in the trees. As I watched them pass by my house in a single-file line I noticed one cow had a horrible limp. Her entire body rocked and lurched from the effort of walking and it broke my heart. I know what will happen to her. Nature isn't kind to the weak. The herd will take notice and shun her. Soon they'll push her away from food, drive her from the group. One weak member will weaken the entire herd. Survival of the fittest and all that. She'll die. It's an inevitability. And being the highly sensitive person I am, it made my stomach lurch with worry. I wish I could unsee it. I wish I didn't know this poor elk was hurt. I can't help her. There's nothing I can do. And I hate to feel helpless.

For some reason, it made me think of my MC. I once told my agent that Darian was the woman I wished I could be. Darian is tough. She's unapologetic. She's realistic. She doesn't let anyone push her around. But more than that, she's strong. It's not that she's uncaring, but she knows how to stand up to nagging things like worry and overwhelming emotion. If she were sitting here right now, she'd feel sorry for that poor elk. But she wouldn't lose any sleep over it. She'd rationalize that this is how nature works. She might even put the creature out of it's misery. I can see her doing that. Because she does what has to be done and she never whines about it.

The beauty of writing, though, is that for a few hours a day, I get to be Darian. I have the privilege of living in her skin, being that tough girl, making the tough decisions without shedding a tear. I get to be the woman I wish I could be. Her adventures are my adventures, her strength is my strength. And since she's a part of me--a character forged with a lot of my personality traits--at the end of the day, maybe I'm a little more like her than I think.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

WIP Song of the Week

This song completely sums up Tyler. He's a permanent fixture in the Shaedes world and I've missed him. I'm glad to be writing him again. I didn't think I'd miss him quite so much.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blog Chain: Are You a Social Networker?

Hey everyone!

I'm still on hiatus, but I'm going to go ahead and start a round of the blog chain. I've been really busy lately and the next couple of months are going to be busier still. I've had a lot to think about since my book sale, one of those things being my platform as an author. So for this round of the blog chain I'm wondering:

Are you a good social networker? What aspect of platform building do you focus on the most? Which aspects freak you out?

I'm incredibly introverted. One on one, I think I do pretty well. My personality comes out with my close friends. But put me in a group and I sort of freeze up. I'm shy. I don't talk a lot. I often find myself hanging out in the fringe where no one will notice me. But with my book releasing this year, my agent and editor have advised me to work on building my platform. Get out into the authorly world. Make some friends, some connections. Put my name out there.

I'm not a very consistent blogger. Mainly because I wonder, what do I have to offer that someone hasn't already covered? I don't tweet very much. I can't ever think of anything witty to say in 140 characters or less. Facebook? Yeah, I post a status update every once in a while. I have a Tumblr account that I've never used and though I read a TON of blogs, I comment on very few.

I think social networking is hard for me because I'm very self-conscious. I'm always worried about what people might think of me. That I'll be snubbed by the cool kids and outed for the socially awkward person I've always thought myself to be. Fear more than anything keeps me from reaching out to other authors, no matter how much I want to join in. One of my friends and CP's said something pretty profound to me yesterday. I think it might be a quote from someone or somewhere, she's good for deep thoughts like that.

"It's none of your business what other people think of you."

Sounds sort of harsh at first. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized she was right. It isn't any of my business. I can only be me. I can't please everyone. I can't always be witty or charming or outgoing. I can only put my thoughts out there and it shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks about it as long as I'm happy with it. I shouldn't be afraid to dive in to the deep end of the social networking pool. I can always tread water for a while until I'm really ready to swim.

I don't focus on one social networking aspect more than any other. Frankly, they all scare the holy living crap out of me. But I figure if I do a little here, and a little there, sooner or later I'll find a rhythm that works and I won't worry so much about what everyone thinks. I can only be myself. And that's good enough.

Be sure to check out Margie's post after mine!