Friday, October 30, 2009
Finally, she hooked a publisher for the story. Good for her! She was paid an advance of roughly $12,000 for the work, which at the time was pretty good money. She'd been living with her family in California but yearned to return to her roots in New Orleans. It wasn't until she wrote her third book (with a hefty advance of half a million) that her family could actually afford to relocate.
I don't think anyone can argue with the great successes she has had in her very long career. What I found really interesting was that reviewers and critics hated her work. They found it too flowery and that it was overly dramatic or purple-prosey. From all accounts she took this criticism to heart. She HATED being raked over the coals this way. Still..it didn't matter. Her stories flew to the tops of the bestseller's lists and readers loved her. Movies were made and money rolled in. YAY for Anne!
I'll admit that most of my reviews are pretty good but there HAVE been a few bad ones. They just killed me. They hurt my heart! Yes, I realize (and have been told repeatedly by friends) that this is just ONE person's opinion but I don't think it really hit me until yesterday how very true that is. To think that an author of Rice's popularity would worry about the scathing reviews of ONE PERSON makes me shake my head. Hell, all of us would love to find the success she has had over the years!
In other news: Today my husband and I celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. He was in his first year of law school when we married in Houston, Texas to very little pomp and ceremony. Because of time constraints and yes, money, we married in the home of a local Justice of the Peace. He wore a nice suit and I wore a pretty but very average dress. There were no witnesses or friends or wedding cakes or gifts but we were fine with that. We were in love and we saw our lives spread out before us with infinite possibility. Now two kids later, happy successful careers for both of us, we are finally a couple again instead of a couple-with-kids. Once again, we are seeing the adventure ahead and it's nice.
Check out the BIG SALE at Ellora's Cave!!! All books featuring Vamps and Shifters are marked down drastically for Halloween. If you haven't read my shifter stories, now is a great time to pick up either Feral Moon, Highland Beast, Lone Star Lycan or Ringo's Ride. The sale won't last much longer so check em out. Hot shifters for a pittance. How can you go wrong?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I'm a big music fan. To me, nothing compares to hearing a good musician live. Last night I had the pleasure to see on of my favorite singer/song writers, Bobby Long perform. This wasn't my first time to see him. I've been lucky enough to see him about five times in the past year, but he never ceases to amaze me. Each time is like the first time, but at the same time, it's like you're seeing an old friend. His lyrics almost make you feel like you know him, like he's showing you little glimpses into his soul with each word he speaks. With each strum of his guitar.
I've once heard his music compare to musical poetry and that perfectly describes it to me. I lose myself standing in that crowd, singing along and letting the music wash over me. Even seeing him for fifth time, I still get a little teary eyed when he plays Being a Mockingbird. And last night, I was lucky enough that he played one of my favorite songs, Sad Woman Blues when I requested it.
Good music has the power to transfer you to a different place, much like the books we write or read. I read for escapism and I get that same private little getaway from all the stresses of my life when I step into that dim bar, and watch Bobby Long up on the stage with his guitar. It's mesmerizing. For that hour I step into a different world. I think that's one of the signs of a talented musician much like it is the sign of a good book.
He's not yet signed, but I have no doubts that he is going places. I feel blessed that I'm experiencing his music from the beginning and can't wait for the chance to hear him again. If you're in the Los Angeles area, he'll be at the Hotel Cafe again tonight.
Is music a form of escapism for you? Who are some of your favorite performers that you've seen live?
I'll leave you with a video of Bobby performing one of my favorite songs, Left to Lie.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Later, when I had kids of my own, I loved going through catalogues and finding just the perfect costume for my little ones. I can't remember HOW many times my daughter was a witch! Several. Orange taffeta with black lace, lace-up black boots and velvet and satin pointy hats. Yes, um, I went overboard. Always. My son liked doing the whole BOY thing. He was a vampire with a cape and fake blood dripping from his mouth. He was a ninja, too. The cutest costume he ever had was a black spider. It was a 'cute' black spider though. At the time he was about four and I'll never forget that one. It was a suit with a colorful padded belly. Many 'spider legs' were attached and when he held out his arms those legs spread out. The outfit came with a black top hat that featured a big orange and yellow band. So cute. I later sent the costume across country to my sister in Florida and her two boys used the costume.
I honestly felt a little guilty getting very pricey costumes. BAAAAD Regina! But I worked out a way to deal with the guilt by finding other 'like minded' moms. We began with trade costumes every year. This way the child had something new and fun but it didn't cost mom the moon and the stars to do it! We began a nice little sharing network with this stuff. In October, the calls would start...what do you have this year? A funny spider? A witch? Perfect.
I know there are lots of cute 'make em yourself' costume ideas but I never leaned toward the crafty. I envy those who can whip up something fantastic with a little bit of felt and a huge imagination! What are some of the best costume ideas you've come up with? Do you make them up at home or do you whip out the credit card?
Monday, October 26, 2009
Halloween has origins in the ancient celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in or sau-an), which is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf (pronounced kalan-geyf). The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".
The celebration has some elements of a festival of the dead. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home whilst harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces.
Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.
Truthfully, and maybe I'm going to sound dumb here, but I really didn't know ALL that. I knew there was more to Halloween than candy and pumpkins, but I didn't know the whole of it.
So, tell me, how much importance do you place on this particular holiday? Do you have any special traditions? Do you dress up still??
Friday, October 23, 2009
Last night was a tough night and I'm a little bleary from lack of sleep. Please forgive my lack of WITH-IT-NESS. I thought I'd post my favorite poem. I'm not a big poetry-person but this one, I think, is how we should view ourselves. We so often find little faults with this or that feature in ourselves. When I went to RomantiCon, I met women of every shape, size, and color and each and every one wore a smile. We were women who were happy and in our element.
Hope you enjoy this, ladies! Wishing you the very best of weekends!
By Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That's me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That's me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style
.I'm a woman
Phenomenally.Phenomenal woman,That's me.
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Thursday, October 22, 2009
nook lets you loan eBooks to friends, free of charge. Remember, what goes around comes around.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Its fall, it gets darker earlier, it's getting cooler (well it SHOULD be getting cooler. Not so much in So Cal), but this is the time of year I love relaxing with a good book or movie. Here are a few things I'm looking forward to in the next few weeks.
Lacey Alexander has a new good coming out November 3. I love, love, love her erotic romances. Their scorching hot, but also emotional. I can't get enough of her books and I know this one won't be any different.
Yep, I'm a Twilight girl. The first movie disappointed me, but I have really high hopes for the second. It's got a bigger budget, and the special effects I've seen so far have FAR surpassed what they did in the first movie. I will be one of those women in line with my friends to see the movie at Midnight the night before it officially releases.
Nothing is as relaxing and enjoyable for me as listening to live music. One of my favorite singers, Bobby Long will be in town next week and I'm giddy with excitement to see him again. Think in the vein of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen or Tom Waits. Though not signed yet, he's phenomenal. Give it a listen. Above is one of my favorite songs by him, Sad Woman Blues.
Lastly, Desiree Holt has a new release available today! You don't want to miss this one!
Rachel Windsor knew nothing about Gabriel Peralta except that he was walking sex appeal. He blew into her life without notice, here today then always gone on a puff of wind. But each time he appears, he does things to her body that even her fantasies haven’t conjured up, driving her to orgasms that shake her like a raging storm. His mouth knows every inch of her body. The imprint of his intimate kisses linger long after he disappears.
Now he’s back again, his life unexpectedly on the line. But even in the danger zone his sexual demands are more scorching than ever and this time, Rachel is determined not to lose him—or the erotic lifestyle that binds them.
Ahhhh. The cold and flu season. Don't ya loooove it? Two-thirds of the Three Wicked Writers crew is sick. Anne is flat on her back with the flu, poor thing, and I carried a wicked head cold home with me from Romanticon. It was almost as if God said...Hey YOU! You had too much fun and now you must PAY! Well, that head cold has morphed into a little flu and I must confess, I've been a little wobbly over the past few days.
Considering the circumstances, I thought I'd run a little poll by you all. Remember growing up and you'd drive along with your friends with the radio cranked to ear-splitting pitch? Some drivel laden song would come on and everyone would sing it at the top of their lungs? I sure as hell do!
So here's my list of totally worthless songs. They have a pretty good beat and are kinda catchy but have no redeeming social value at all. My number one? Sugar, Sugar by the Archies, followed by Dizzy by Tommy Roe. And who can forget Hanson's Mm Bop? And the best of the best? Barbie Girl by Aqua Aquarium which debuted in 1997. The newest of the lot of totally worthless songs? HUMPS by The Blackeyed-Peas. Yeah, kinda catchy tune but no redeeming social value at all.
So put on your thinking caps and tell me...what tops your list of totally worthless songs?
Friday, October 16, 2009
All I know is, I'm ready to go back NOW. This picture is me at Sunday's huge, ginormous booksigning. Thanks to Tracy Cooper-Posey's sweet husband, Mark for snapping this one!
Here I am with a big group of friends. From right to left it's ME, Desiree Holt, Tessie Bradford, Anny Cook, Dee Brice, and Cindy Spencer Pape.
Umm. Okay. This is Brian, a Caveman, and my cover model for Feral Moon (part of the Tempting Turquoiose anthology). He stopped by and saw himself on my cover. We introduced ourselves and I told him how much we all appreciate the beautiful work they do to help our books fly off the shelves. He was so nice. He left but came back a few minutes later with Rodney, another Caveman, who took our picture. I was so surprised!!!! As it turns out several others stopped to take a pic of the lovely Brian at the same time and I honestly didn't know where to look. LOL. Sooooo...he's looking one way and I'm looking the other. Do I look SCARED???
This is Anny Cook and I at the booksigning. We work together, along with Cindy Spencer Pape, as critique partners. It was the first time we'd met in person and she's just as wonderful as I'd believed!
The ladies from Two Lips Reviews were EVERYWHERE. What a crazy, insane bunch! This is a pic of Laura K. and EC's own Kaenar Langford. Both of these ladies kept me in stitches!
Hope you enjoy my pics of RomantiCon. This is just a taste, I assure you. From Friday nights Psychedelic Soiree, to the spectacular goodie bags, workshops, the Appreciation Dinner, performances by the sexy Cavemen, and lots and lots of friends it was a time to treasure and look forward to again!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I love television and movies. It's definitely one of my favorite things to do. Like reading, I like getting lost in those other worlds and forgetting my cares for an hour or so.
In no particular order, here are some of my fall faves.
Favorite Character: Peter. He's such a good guy and I love that!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Even though I look forward to this time of year because it's such a welcome break from the hot summer, there's also a part of me that dreads it. This is the time of year so many people get sick. I have a Kindergartner this year which means days spent in class with 20 other five and six year olds so this year, I'm dreading it even more. I worry she'll catch more this year with the germs, the weather and being around so many other children all the time.
I've always gotten my kids the regular flu shot. I never really thought twice about it. They said it was good for the kids and so I did it. I've never had any problems with it and plan to get theirs soon for this season as well. I'm learning of the h1n1 though...I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and I'm just not sure what to do. I always stress when it comes to important decisions for my children. I'm always so scared of doing the wrong thing for them.
There's a part of me that thinks...'duh, it's obvious you should get the shot'. The strain of flu is so dangerous for kids and I would hate to risk my little girls getting it. Especially since my oldest kiddo is in school now. But then there is the other nagging part of me that worries about the shot as well. It's completely knew and so there's no way to know if there are any kind of long term affects, especially for children. I've read a little online and the experts are saying its much safer to get the vaccine then risk contracting the virus. They said they spend the same amount of time creating the vaccine for h1n1 as they do the regular flu shot each year because the flu changes each year so in response they must chance the vaccine each year.
Still, there are so many out there who are nervous too. I read that something like 50% of Americans polled don't plan to get the shot for their kids. I have mixed feelings about that. It makes me feel a little bit validated for my fear, but on the other hand, it's scary too. I'm just not sure what to do.
Do you get flu shots every year? Are you planning to get h1n1?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
First let me say that I have a serious lack of pics because I kept forgetting my camera so I'll be sending out begging and pleading emails for pics that I hope to post on Friday. I'm sooooo bad. Was just having such a good time that I wasn't thinking about pics. Baaaaad Regina!
I roomed with the insanely sweet and funny Desiree Holt. We traveled from Texas together, trudging through airports and hanging out just about everywhere during the convention. Friday night we attended the Psychedelic Soiree and had burgers, hot dogs, and lots of dancing and singing provided by the uber-sexy Cavemen. Honest to God, the Cavemen alone made the registration fee seem a pittance. They were everywhere throughout the convention, hanging out with everyone and happily posing for pics. The Friday night event featured lots of 60's costumes (think go-go boots and mini dresses) and the music ROCKED! Tons of door prizes were handed out and I'm not kidding...these were BIG prizes. Of course, we filled the place and most of us kept the bar hopping, too! Think we didn't go to bed until 2 a.m. or so.
Saturday was filled with workshops for both authors and readers. We asked the big questions of readers...what do YOU like in your stories and what do YOU hate! Authors and editors took notes and LISTENED to readers. Let me tell you, it was eye opening! The only problem with Saturday was every workshop was so damn interesting that it sucked having to make a decision about which one to attend. Choices, Choices! That evening we attended an Appreciation Dinner. It was a dressier event and the food was delicious with many entree choices. The Cavemen were available for pics and again there were lots of door prizes. Matter of fact, there weren't any events were things weren't given away and these were BIG prizes. Computers, Sony eReaders, books, gift baskets.
I'll write more on Friday (and hopefully have pics) but I CAN say were are definitely having this bash again next year. I can't think of a single soul who attended this weekend who won't be back. That's just how much fun it was.
So now I'm home and already missing Desiree, Anny Cook, Cindy Spencer Pape, Bronwyn Green and Kelly Kirch, the gals from Two Lips Reviews, and many many others. There are just to many to name. They feel like family now! Anyway, I'm off to do my mountain of laundry and nurse the head cold I brought home with me and hunt down some pics!!!!
Monday, October 12, 2009
So, with the change in season, I find myself having to switch up my workout routine. I've been using the elliptical machine we have in the basement, which gives me a great workout, but it's COLD down there these days. I don't like the cold!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
By the subject line and the Homer picture you've probably guessed I have good news to share, huh? LOL
Well, I do. This isn't about publishing though. It's personal good news. Recently, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with uterine cancer. We were all pretty devastated by the news. At the time, we didn't know anything more than that. Cancer. We hear that word and our world falls apart. I didn't realize just how big an impact it would have on me, until someone close to me ended up with it. My first thought was how unfair it all seemed. She's the sweetest lady in the world. The type of person who rarely gets angry, never holds a grudge, and prays daily for everyone, including strangers. Why would someone so good have to go through this? But, I don't suppose I'm the only one who has felt that way about a sick loved one.
I struggled, but she was in good spirits. Her attitude (once again) quite frankly amazed me. Despite how I felt inside, I knew I had to put all that aside and do what I could to make this whole thing as easy on her as possible. It was our turn to be there for her. To show our support and be the caregiver for once.
Earlier this week the first big step in ridding her body of cancer took place. She had a hysterectomy. The operation went well, but we didn't have any news, good or bad, regarding the cancer. Had it spread? That question has been on all our minds for the last few days and I can easily say we've been holding our breath. Well, this morning we finally got word that her cancer has not spread into the lymph nodes. This is the best news!!
She's being released from the hospital today and will be going back in a few weeks for some type of follow up treatment. We aren't sure what sort of treatment exactly, but we're thrilled to know that she's feeling good, the surgery went well, and no cancer in the lymph nodes. Yes!
Between my dad's strokes and my MIL's cancer, it's made one thing very clear in my mind. Life is damn fragile. Live it to the fullest. Cherish your friends and family. Eat that piece of chocolate. Take that weekend away with your spouse. Enjoy the leaves falling from the trees. Read that book you have next to your bed....because you never can tell what tomorrow will bring!
In other news. If any of you are around at noon est today come and party with me and a few of the other Red Sage authors at After Dark. I WILL be giving away a few ebooks, sharing hunk pictures, and posting a few hot excerpts. *grin*
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I'm sure most of you remember my mini-freak out session back in August when my oldest started Kindergarten. That was a huge milestone for us and one she passed with flying colors. She's doing great in school and absolutely loves it. She's made it to the ABC club which means she knows all her upper and lowercase letters and sounds. She's been star of the week and kiss kicking that sight word list in the rear! She's making friends left and right and I love it.
Usually I pack her lunch but she's really been interested in trying to buy lunch at school. She's been asking and asking and this week I finally cave. Each student has a six digit lunch number they have to memorize which is did! This Monday morning I gave her a five dollar bill when I brought her to school. Its the first time she's had money like that without me right there with her. She felt like such a big girl and has been buying her lunch all week!
Then this morning she came crashing into my room all excited and woke me up by telling me she has her first loose tooth! At this moment she's showing it to her almost two year old sister and explaining that "I have a loose tooth and that means it wiggles".
I know its just a tooth but it's so crazy how fast they start to grow up. It's like all of a sudden it's milestone after milestone. Its exciting and scary at the same time.
All I can so is sit back and enjoy the ride. She's a special little girl and I love watching her grow!