Friday Forwards - #45

Friday, July 27, 2012
I found today's Friday Forwards on the Hott Books blog. Regina over there said it had been forwarded to her as well, but she didn't mind if I borrowed it today.  So let the forwarding begin!


1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn’t.

2. I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it!

3. Some people are alive only because it’s illegal to kill them.

4. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

6. You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me

7. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

8. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

9. I’m not a complete idiot — Some parts are just missing.

10. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

11. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the-room-spinning medicine.

12. God must love stupid people; He made so many.

13. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

14. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

15. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

16. Being ‘over the hill’ is much better than being under it!

17. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up.

18. Procrastinate Now!

19. I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?

20. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

21. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

22. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!

23. They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

24. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless DEAD.

25 A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.

26. Ham and eggs… A day’s work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.

27. The trouble with life is there’s no background music.

28. The original point and click interface was a Smith & Wesson.

29. I smile because I don’t know what the hell is going on.

Our Frog Croaked

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
A couple weeks ago, my husband went four-wheeling with a couple of his buddies, and of course they had to go down by the creek and drive through the water. To those guys, driving on nice flat, dry ground is simply too boring and too safe.

So they came back with with their four-wheelers dripping wet and full of creek water...and frogs. My hubby found a tadpole swimming around in his floorboard. I'd never seen one so big before; it had to be three to four inches long.  Lydia has never seen one at all.  So we found a bucket, filled it with water and plopped the tadpole in.

Hubby worried the chlorine in the tap water would kill it, but the next day, it was still swimming around in there, very much alive.  Lydia constantly wanted to go out and see the tadpole.  She learned you had to tap the outside of the bucket to get it to move around.  As the days passed, we watched back legs grow.  The tail began to turn transparent, and front legs sprouted.

This past Saturday, we went to a wedding for my niece. It took place three hours away, so we rushed around all Saturday morning, trying to upload a Chipmunks movie onto the iPad for Lydia to watch on the ride. This was her first long-distance trip.

She slept for a good hour on the way there and didn't start getting antsy until we were about ten miles from our destination.  So that went well.  The wedding was a great success too. The bride was sooo beautiful (not that I'm prejudiced!) and the groom couldn't stop grinning.

We drove back without incident (I know, how not-exciting, huh).  But when we returned, Lydia immediately wanted to see the tadpole. So I carried her over to the bucket only to find the tadpole was gone and a tiny frog lay upside down floating in the water. God rest his little soul.

The hubby thinks it was his fault because he had been using filtered water to fill the bucket. He thinks the filter took out a lot of the chlorine.  But the night before, he didn't use the filtered water.  However, I am of the (probably wrong) opinion that the tadpole turned into a frog and drowned.

Either way, we apologized to Lydia, and then she started apologizing to us.  Now if you mention the word frog around her, she starts saying, "Sorry, mama, sorry."

After watching her interest in the tadpole, we think she needs some kind of pet.  The husband says cats and dogs are out. So...maybe a fish!

Two Writing / Blogging Tips I Learned and Appreciated This Week:

--Be careful which pictures you post online; just read this woman's trials : Roni Loren's Blog

--Want a likable main character? Make him/her think of others, not themselves : Jody Hedlund

I've Gone Greek!

Friday, July 20, 2012
I've kept myself busy this week, planning for my big book tour in October.  They say you need to contact the blogs you want to be on your tour two to three months beforehand so you can reserve your spot, and also to give the blogger time to read your book if they need to do so.

So, check, did that!  Go, me!

There were sixty places I wanted to contact, and over a five-day time period, I got all sixty of them sent a tour request. So far, twenty of them have replied to reserve a spot.  I think that is doing rather well, thank you very much.  Then two more bloggers I didn't send a request volunteered to host me for a day on my tour. And who knows, maybe more of them will reply later on.

My big goal was forty blogs (yes, I aimed high!) with four stops a day.  But I'm not so sure I could handle scheduling forty different places and keeping track of them, and organizing, and...whew, makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

The pros and cons I've learned from setting up your own virtual book tour are these:


*Some people have flat out told me they only deal with publishers or professional tour planners, they don't like to hassle with individual authors. So there's a big con.

*Trying to keep everything in order is really, really time consuming.

*Making sure each blogger has everything they need is going to be lots of work too.


*I've met so many new and interesting people this week.  If I'd had someone else plan all this, I wouldn't have heard about new babies coming on girls getting ready for college. One blogger even got me to buy some new buttons for my social networking sites that she designed especially for me (can you see them over there on the right sidebar?!).

*When you do it yourself, you don't have to worry about things not getting done. You have complete control over...well, things!

I bought a bunch of different things for prizes, thinking some people might want to give away something besides a book.  But a majority just want the book!   

So that has been my adventures in book tour scheduling. It's definitely a learning experience.

All right, enough about that.

I've Gone Greek

Guess what?  Yep, one of my books is being Greece.  Is that totally cool or what? Can you guess which book it is?

Okay, for all you who don't speak Greek, it's The Best Mistake.  I knew it was going to be translated, but I had no idea it was going to get a new cover too.  Isn't it beautiful?

So that's what I've been up to lately.  What have you been doing?

Cover Reveal - The Color of Grace!!

Monday, July 16, 2012
So I was all nervous about getting the cover for my September release: The Color of Grace.  I sent in my cover art form last December, which gave me half a year to worry, and stress, and wonder what it would look like. Had I given enough information on my request form, had I not given enough, had I said all the wrong things to accurately portray my story? 

This is my second YA story, and since my first one is my most popular book, I was (and still am) really determined to top that one with Grace's story here.

On my cover art request form, I remember listing of about fifty different symbols I have in the story (roses, plaid coats, necklaces, snow, gloves). It probably drove the cover artist crazy with so many different objects she could put on the cover.

Then I worried I had listed too many symbols and she'd try to put ALL of them in there, making it a jumbled mess.  And that wouldn't do at all because I kind of wanted a stark, lonely-ish looking cover because my heroine feels lonely a lot.

Then...then I remember writing down that I did NOT want a cover with just a pair of hands holding because those look, and I quote "lame."  Seriously though, look up YA romance on Amazon and you'll find at least a handful on the top one hundred hits.

I probably drove the poor artist crazy with all my strange suggestions.  But from my scattered ramblings, she came up with an idea.  And here is what the lovely Harris Channing created:

Available : September 2012
(Blurbs, videos, & excerpts coming soon - or you can see them now on my website!!)

Friday Forwards - #44

Friday, July 13, 2012
His name was Bubba, he was from Mississippi ... and he needed a loan, so ... he walked into a bank in New York City and asked for the loan officer. He told the loan officer that he was going to Paris for an International Redneck Festival for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000 and that he was not a depositor of the bank.

The bank officer Told him that the bank would need some form of security for the loan, so the Redneck handed over the keys to a new Ferrari. The car was parked on the street in front of the bank.

The Redneck produced the title and everything checked out. The loan officer agreed to hold the car as collateral for the loan and apologized for having to charge 12% interest.

Later, the bank's president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the Redneck from the South for using a $250,000 Ferrari as collateral for a $5,000 loan.

An employee of the bank then drove the Ferrari into the bank's private underground garage and parked it.

Two weeks later, the Redneck returned, repaid the $5,000 and the interest of $23.07.

The loan officer said, "Sir, we are very happy to have had your business, and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out on Dunn & Bradstreet and found that you are a distinguished alumni from Ole Miss University , a highly sophisticated investor and Multi-Millionaire with real estate and financial interests all over the world. Your investments include a large number of wind turbines around Sweetwater, Texas. What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow $5,000?"

The good 'ole boy replied, "Where else in New York City can I park my car for two weeks for only $23.07 and expect it to be there when I return?"

You can thank the acquisitions editor at Liquid Silver Books for this joke!!

Tom Cruise Ruined my Book

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Remember back in 2005 when Tom went on the Oprah show and was so excited about his new relationship with Katie Holmes he stood up and jumped on the couch?

Yeah, I thought that was cool, sweet, romantic, and all that jazz too. So...I referenced it in one of my stories. In How to Resist Prince Charming, my hero has to keep his relationship with the heroine secret because her dad just might kill him if he found out. So I have a line that goes a little something like:

"Sometimes, he wished her father would find out about them already. He couldn’t stand this waiting for the other shoe to drop. Tired of keeping his feelings for her quiet, he was ready to go on the Oprah show and start jumping on some couches, for the love of God."

And now that line can no longer be quite so wonderful. And here I was so certain Tom and Katie would stay together forever. I mean, don't ALL Hollywood couples marry for life? Okay, I knew it wouldn't last, but couldn't they have at least had the courtesy to wait until my story was out of print before splitting? Geesh.

Damn you, Tom.

Yeah, I should probably make him share the blame with Katie since she's technically the one who filed, but it's just so much funner to blame him.

And that's enough of me being awful for the day, making fun of real people like they're characters in a movie. That must be the worst thing about being a celebrity: complete strangers making fun of every crisis in your life like it's no big deal. Makes me kind of glad I'm a nobody.

Well, this nobody is practically climbing the walls. I heard from the cover art director at Whiskey Creek Press and was told my book, The Color of Grace, has been assigned to a cover artist and I'd be hearing from her "shortly." Nine days later, and I'm still checking my email every ten seconds, hoping a cover or at least "word" about my cover will come in. Nothing yet.

I'm going crazy with impatience over here. It's making me do insane things, like rage at people I don't know for getting divorced.

But at least my edits are well under way for the story, which is helping to calm me down a little bit.

In less than two months, Grace will be here!!! I was excited about this story to begin with, but then my line editor had to go and tell me how much she liked reading it. And she didn't just say "oh, and I liked your story" like it was some kind of afterthought, she GUSHED, paragraph after paragraph, about all the different things she loved. To say the least, I'm over the moon with joy.

So...that's what's up with me. Have any famous celebrities totally ruined any of your books lately? :)

Carol Kilgore's IN NAME ONLY

Friday, July 6, 2012
Congratulations to Carol!!!

I've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for her story IN NAME ONLY to release, and it's finally here. Technically, the book's big release day is next Tuesday (July 10th), but it's available now at Amazon, so I already bought my copy, Hehe (I feel so sneaky)!

Ergo, I'm wishing her a happy release day today because I'll be too busy reading to say much of anything on Tuesday!

Happy Release Day, Carol!


No home. No family. No place to hide. For Summer Newcombe, that's only the beginning.

The night Summer escapes from a burning Padre Island eatery and discovers the arsonist is stalking her, is the same night she meets Fire Captain Gabriel Duran. As much as she's attracted to Gabe, five years in the Federal Witness Security Program because of her father’s testimony against a mob boss have taught her the importance of being alone and invisible.

No matter how much she yearns for a real home, Summer relinquished that option the night she killed the man who murdered her father. But Gabe breaks down her guard and places both of them in danger. Summer has vowed never to kill again, but she's frantic she'll cost Gabe his life unless she stops running and fights for the future she wants with the man she loves.

Sneak Peek (found on Amazon!)

Chapter One :

Summer Newcombe's nose twitched. Smoke. Nasty smoke, not the tantalizing kind from some south-of-the-border concoction in the Pink Tortilla's kitchen. The acrid tang that made her eyes water meant fire. She took stock of the customers as she balanced the chips and salsa tray, and none appeared to notice. She sniffed again. Definitely smoke. Something was burning, and she had no intention of getting her fanny scorched in a run-down Texas beach dive.

As she slapped two menus in front of a young couple, a woman's scream tore through the happy Friday night sounds. Summer turned. A narrow lick of flame teased the creaky floorboards at the rear corner. A second flame erupted.

People jammed the small Upper Padre Island eatery, all eager to get an early start on the weekend. Fifty, at least, plus staff. The twenty or so in her section crowded toward the exit. Screams and shouts of "Hurry!" and "Get out!" drowned the shuffle of feet on the wooden floor. 

I know, I know.  You want to read it now too, don't you??  I'm glad I'm not the only one.

It's available in EBOOK and PRINT!

Happy Reading!

Getting Ready for September

Monday, July 2, 2012
Happy July to you!

My book fan girl has been temporarily appeased.  *happy sigh*

I finished reading the two books I had been waiting for forever to come out.  And I must say, Thief of Shadows was exactly what I'd been anticipating and more! Usually, I build up a book in my head before it releases and I expect all kinds of awesome things. Then, here it is, and bluck, it isn't as good as I hoped it would be.  I'm so happy this book wasn't the case.  I just couldn't put it down and had to read one more hour (forget a mere one-more-chapter) until so many hours had passed, I found myself at the end.

It was the kind of experience I've always wanted a reader to have after opening one of my books.  *wistful sigh...yep, I'm quite the sigher today!*

I don't have much else to report except that my next book comes out in TWO months.  I've researched sixty different book bloggers who represent YA romance books and have personalized notes written and ready to send out to each blogger to set up a book tour for The Color of soon as I get a cover for it, which I hope and pray and wish comes before the end of July. Hopefully, at least half of those bloggers will be willing to host me on my tour.

I've really put a lot of work into setting up this tour, looking for the perfect bloggers to contact, writing up guest posts, pre-answering typical interview questions, setting up a headquarters page for tour hosts to visit and get their information, buying gifts just right for giveaway prizes. I'm nearly exhausted already and I haven't even started yet! But I'm still jazzed enough to say I totally can't wait until September; this is my favorite book I've written so far!

So that's my daily update. What big things are you preparing for?