Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Cat Who Hates Me

I’m a cat person. Some of my friends even jokingly call me the Cat Whisperer because I pretty much get along with all of them. I love cats and they love me… mostly.

My dad’s cat, Katie, does NOT love me. She hates me. With a passion. Now to be fair, she pretty much hates everyone with the exception of my dad. She tolerates my mom, but probably only because Mom feeds her.

Katie - Can't you just see the disdain for me on her face?

It still kills me though, every time I visit them, I try to play with her, try to feed her, try to pet her, all with no joy. If I get within two feet of her cat tree, she starts to growl! If I get too close, she swats me.

As for my dad, he gets along with most any animal, especially, of course, his rotten cat. My cat, Luna, however, doesn’t like him very much… but he has been known to spit gum at her occasionally… don’t ask!

Luna - The epitome of cute.

It occurred to me today that cats and readers have something in common. Not that they growl and swat me! But because what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another person… or cat. How many people love love love 50 Shades of Grey? Yeah, soooo not me. But I adore The Stand by Stephen King and I’ve found quite a few scathing reviews of it that I completely disagree with. Taste – and the love of a cat apparently – is subjective.

So the next time I get a less-than-glowing review, I’ll try to keep Luna and Katie in mind. And I’ll do my best not to growl at the reviewer.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The LOOK Challenge

Loni Flowers has asked me to join in the LOOK Challenge. Before I talk about the challenge, let me encourage you to drop by her blog and check out her debut novel, Taking Chances.

Now on to the challenge! Here are the rules:
  • Find the first usage of the word "look" in your work in progress and paste the surrounding paragraph(s) into your blog.
  • Invite as many people as you want to take part in the challenge with you.

I’m excited to share with you a brief peek at my work in progress, Gypsy Magick, a novella sequel to my first book, Magick Charm. This story is about Megan Beaty, the sassy police office who helped out the twins in my first book. Her ex-partner, Roberts, has spitefully spread nasty rumors around the department about her. She’s also been secretly dating Pete, the owner of Voodoo Pete’s, a bar in the French Quarter. A body showed up behind Pete’s bar and Megan has been called in to investigate:

            If she thought her reputation was bad now, it would devolve into horrors she couldn’t imagine if she admitted to dating a murder suspect. Oh my God, murder! she thought. It was easier to be detached about the situation when she wasn’t closely involved. No, Pete was no murderer, she was sure of it. The problem was, the gang of cops outside were itching to find the culprit. The murder was gruesome and the body had been seen by enough people that the department was certainly under pressure to arrest a suspect quickly. Someone like Roberts wouldn’t look any further than the surface.
            A murder, appearing to be voodoo related, occurred only a few steps outside a seedy voodoo bar. The proprietor has a well-known reputation for being a voodoo practitioner. Suspect number one could easily be railroaded.
            Megan shook her head at the thought. No, that would never happen if she was involved in the investigation. She wouldn’t allow it.

Here are a few authors whose current works in progress I’d love to check out! Want to play along?
  1. John Marani
  2. Amy Turner
  3. Kendall Grey
  4. Kinley Baker
  5. Louann Carroll
  6. Lindsey R. Loucks
  7. Jean Murray
  8. Katie O’Sullivan
  9. Shawna Romkey
  10. Patricia C. Lee

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Sunshine Award

The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blogosphere. I’m so pleased to have been awarded one by Loni Flowers, author of Taking Chances! Go check out her blog here.

Here are the rules for accepting this award:

  • Link back to the person who gave me the award.
  • Answer the following questions.
  • Nominate ten bloggers for the award.
  • Link my nominees to the post and let them know about the award.

On to the questions!

What is your favorite Christmas/festive movie?
Scrooge with Albert Finney. This is actually a musical version of this classic story, and it has long been a tradition in my family to watch it at the beginning of the holiday season each year. The songs are great too – “I Hate People” is darkly entertaining, of course sung by Scrooge himself. “Thank You Very Much” is catchy, plus it turns a funeral into a huge dance number. Not many musicals can boast that accomplishment!

What is your favorite flower? 
I love sunflowers because they’re so pretty and cheery! I also love purple flowers – for example, I had irises in my wedding.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?
Diet Coke! I swear, they must put crack in it or something, I love it so much!

What is your passion?
Aside from writing? I love biology, especially marine biology! Manatees and sharks are my favorite. Really, I’m a fan of virtually any kind of animal. I have three children who happen to have four paws and whiskers! I also enjoy sewing, making jewelry, and video games (especially The Sims 3 and Skyrim).

What is your favorite time of year?
I’m super psyched because fall is coming up soon! I think fall has all the best clothes – pretty autumn-y colors, sweaters, and boots. I love watching the trees change color, getting ready for Halloween (my favorite holiday), and letting the cool breezes come in through the screen door.

What is your favorite time of day?
Night. Let’s be clear – I am so not a morning person! The only thing that keeps me from being homicidal in the morning is coffee. At night, I get to curl up on the couch with my husband, my cats, and my laptop. I usually get my best writing done right before bedtime.

What is your favorite physical activity?
The words “favorite” and “physical activity” do not belong in the same sentence, in my opinion. But if I have to choose something, it would be what I call a zombie shamble. Let me explain! I have this great app on my phone called Zombies, Run! It’s an audio story that puts you in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. People in the story with you and some friends on the radio help you navigate around to pick up necessary supplies, complete missions, and essentially outrun zombies. The point is to help you exercise and keep you running. Well, I don’t run; I walk. So I’ve taken to calling it my zombie shamble when I do go out for some exercise.

What is your favorite vacation?
New Orleans! This city has so much soul, history, and life! You can either tour the city, seeing museums and the aquarium, shop, have a drink on Bourbon Street, or just relax at a sidewalk café, people-watching.

Here are some of my favorite bloggers and my nominees for the Sunshine Award:
  1. John Marani at Metaphysical Meanderings byJohnnieTwoBrows
  2. Amy Turner at Lyre’s Musings
  3. Samantha Harvey at Ask A Witch
  4. Marne Ann Kirk at Cowboys and Dragons at the Cafe
  5. Cindy Young-Turner
  6. Penelope Marzec
  7. Dottie Taylor at Tink’s Place
  8. Jenn Nixon
  9. Constance Phillips, A Writer's Musings
  10. Hildie McQueen, Writing by Moonlight

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Swimming Through a Hurricane

I’m in central Florida this week, visiting my family for my mom’s birthday. All is fantastic with the exception of one thing – the hurricane. It’s coming through this week on the day I was supposed to be flying home, so I changed my plane ticket until Friday just to be safe. As it turns out, the storm seems to be headed farther west than was initially thought, but I’m here for the duration.

So yesterday I found myself floating in the pool watching the clouds go by. Already, some serious winds were blowing in. Today, it’s not exactly safe to be swimming in the pool, and tomorrow I expect it to be even more interesting. Just so long as there's not enough rain to have to be swimming outside the pool!

Hopefully, we won’t lose the power. Not only would that kill the air conditioning, but reading is challenging at night without a light! I’m getting a lot of reading done right now. We can’t exactly go out anywhere, so we’re chilling with a pile of novels.

If we do lose power, I won’t be able to get online, so I’ll take this opportunity to give you one last chance to get in on my book giveaway. It ends at the end of the day tomorrow. Go here and enter!

See you on the other side of the storm!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Practically Dreaming Giveaway

There’s a couple days left to get in on my GoodReads giveaway of a paperback copy of Practically Dreaming. Just follow this link to sign up! In addition to the book, you’ll get a handful of swag and a book tote I had printed especially for this book release.

While you’re over at GoodReads, please do me a huge favor and vote for Practically Dreaming in a list of “Good Books to Read in 2012.” I’m currently #7 on this list! Just click on the tan button just underneath the book title that says “vote for this book.” Get me to #1 and I’ll hold another giveaway here on my blog for a copy of the Practically Dreaming ebook!

Want to check out a little excerpt? As you probably know, I’m a huge fan of manatees and whales and especially sharks. I’ve been thinking about them a lot because last week was Shark Week – a holiday around my house that ranks only just second to Halloween! So with that in mind, I hope you enjoy this scene, in which Lachlan takes Tierra diving:

            Tierra looked around her again and spotted a swirling school of tiny grey fish moving quickly in a group. She had never tried to connect with a fish’s mind and wasn’t even sure she could, but she reached out now. At first, she didn’t think it would work. Fish didn’t see those same mental pictures cats and dogs and birds did. They didn’t feel emotion in the way people understood it. A fish’s dominant sense was instinctual. It took Tierra a moment to recognize it because instead of a picture or an emotion coming from the fish, she simply felt an overwhelming imperative. This instinct was far more overriding than any she might feel now, which would be tempered by intellect. What she got from the school was a single thought, as if shouted from a megaphone. It translated roughly to something like “swim fast!”
            She would have turned and fled as well had she not recognized it as an alien thought. The question of what had triggered the flight instinct made her wonder if she should do some flying of her own. She tensed her muscles to swim toward the surface, but Lachlan’s hand on her arm stilled her. She turned to look at him, saw him staring at something in deeper water, and turned to see what he was watching.
            The queasiness she’d felt on the boat slammed back into her along with a colossal dose of adrenaline. Her breath came faster and bubbles from her regulator streamed toward the surface. She looked up, seeking the outline of his boat. They had come away from it quite a bit. Retreat was out of the question. She wasn’t as fast as the shark swimming out of the shadowy depths of the ocean.
            Lachlan got her attention and pointed to the reef beneath them. A couple more hand gestures and his message was clear. Their best chance was to sink to the ocean floor and remain as still and calm as they could. She nodded and Lachlan took her hand and slowly began to move both of them to the sea floor.
            What kind is it? Tierra wondered. Grey, reef, white, blue, bull, thresher? A part of her believed it was imperative she know the exact type of shark about to eat her. Maybe it was just a way for her mind to make sense of the situation. She had always been one to rationalize her fears. This particular fear, however, was about seven feet long, a dusky dark brown color, and headed straight toward her. Its massive head swung back and forth in the current.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blog Love

It’s been a busy week, but a fantastic one! I had my very first book signing for Practically Dreaming at 13 Magickal Moons in Occoquan, VA.

Me and store owner, Samantha Harvey, next to a selection of Crescent Moon Press books!
Thank you, Dave Kula, for the pic!

I’ve also begun making my way around the blogosphere. Today, Cindy Young-Turner was kind enough to host me for an interview on her blog. Please stop by and give her blog a little love as well as these other blogs who have been kind enough to support my book release this week. Thanks you, everyone!

Cindy Young-Turner (post 1 and post 2

Trindie Books (Magick Charm was their Book of the Day!)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Practically Dreaming is Here!

Today's the day! Practically Dreaming is officially for sale! Here's a little about the book and a peek at the beautiful cover Jeannie Reusch created for it:

In a Zodiac-based world, finding a mate is easy. Falling in love is the hard part.
Astrology influences almost everything, from career choice to where people live. Even romantic matches are based solely on astrological compatibility and determined by the infallible Council of Venus.

Animal psychic Tierra has every reason to trust the Council—save one. Her match with fellow Virgo, Evander, works better on paper than in person. But she stubbornly hangs on, believing their relationship will grow and develop, all the while trying to rationalize her feelings for Lachlan.

Veterinarian and Reiki master, Lachlan, hides a secret, which has kept him single for more than two years. This Pisces dreams of a happily ever after with Tierra, but believes it’s impossible for him.

Tierra and Lachlan must confront their doubts, differences, and society’s belief in the Council. Will they defy the odds and choose each other? Does astrological certainty eclipse the chance to fall in love?

Amazon: Paperback and Kindle
Barnes & Noble: Paperback - Nook coming soon