Apr 23 2014, 3:33 pm in fashion, RT Booklovers Convention, The Mark of the Tala, Twelve Kingdoms
First off, I posted this to the website, and waxed breathless about it on Twitter and so forth, but I got all wrapped up in posting the NestPitch stuff and never mentioned it on ye old blogge here. My upcoming release, The Mark of the Tala, first in my Twelve Kingdoms trilogy, got the best possible review from RT Book Reviews! You can’t read it online for another two months, unless you’re a subscriber, but this is what it says:
“This magnificent fairy tale will captivate you from the beginning to end with a richly detailed fantasy world full of shapeshifters, magic and an exciting romance! Andi isn’t your ordinary must-have-a-prince-to-save-me type of princess. She begins as the invisible middle sister, not a great beauty like Amelia, nor a warrior like Ursula – instead Andi is content to remain a wallflower, until she meets Rayfe and her entire world is turned upside down. She makes wise choices, all to save her people from the harsh realities of battle, and even when faced with horrible options, her course is one of truth, loyalty and love. Rayfe is dark and intense, keeping his feelings close to the chest, but trusts Andi to make the right decisions. They are a remarkable pair, one who celebrate individuality with a partnership that will last for a lifetime.”
- RT Book Reviews, 4.5 Stars TOP PICK!
4.5 Stars is their top rating, so I’m over the moon. The story threads this reviewer picked out are exactly what I wanted this book to show. The book comes out May 27 (so soon!), but I’ll have copies to sell and give away at the RT Booklovers Convention, which starts May 14. It takes place in fabulous New Orleans this year, so this gathering which is already essentially one big week-long pary will be extra festive. I’m particularly thrilled to be sharing a house in the French Quarter with some writer and book blogger friends.
On one of my author loops last night, someone asked about dress code and how to know what to wear. Seeing as how this is my 5th RT Convention, I offered some advice. Then I thought, I should just post it here, too. Because there is kind of a trick to it, which isn’t always clear to the uninitiated.
Each evening there’s a big party that you can find on the agenda. If you click on the links on the website, you get more details. For example, Thursday night is the Samhain Saints and Sinners party and it says:
Calling all angels and devils! Samhain Publishing invites you to join us Thursday evening for a wicked good time. Sweet and sinful eats. Delightfully dangerous beats. Amazing author treats! Come dance the night away with our Samhain Authors — whether you wear halos or horns, you’ll be sure to find some kindred spirits!
The translation here is that people will come in costume as angels or devils. You don’t HAVE to – and lots won’t – but that’s your cue. Heather Graham’s party used to be called the Vampire Ball or the Fairy Ball (they’ve kind of morphed over the years) and still says “Calling all vampires, vixens, queens and kings … royal courts of light . . . and darkness!” So that gives you a costume cue, should you choose to accept it. Vampires AND fairies is how I read that one.
For the Harlequin Dance Party, they say “a spectacular dance party and an evening of glamour” which means dress up and be sparkly.
For the rest of the time, it’s generally business casual. A lot of people dress up – it can be a big fashion show – and a lot of people don’t. Many authors dress in ways that reflect their book themes. I tend to stick with my own personal style. I often see the advice to wear comfortable shoes, and for walking around the French Quarter and the Riverwalk, I’d definitely agree. However, this is a great opportunity to show off your fabulous heels too! You know I’ll be wearing mine.
Apr 20 2014, 2:56 pm in effervescence, Spring, Word-Whores
I’m over at Word Whores this Easter Sunday, with a bit of an ode to effervescence.
Apr 17 2014, 12:08 pm in NestPitch, pitching, query
Nest Pitch JK8: THE GIRL ON THE HALF SHELL
Category/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 120,000
Virgin rich girl burner and superstar addict find love in NYC. These two lost people, a guy fresh from rehab and the daughter of a 60s music icon, fight to hold onto a searing passion.
If the MC was an Easter egg…
Alan is milk chocolate because he is smooth, seductive, a blend of pleasure and pain.
Excerpt: 300 words
People would have stared at my father even if he had not been famous. He is just that kind of man, but it has taken me until the age of eighteen to understand that. In my younger years, when I hated Jack in fleeting spurts, I thought fame was like a suit, he could take it off for me if he wanted to. Now I know better than to have childish expectations of what my father can or can’t do for me. Life with Jack is what it is. It is enough that he showed tonight, even if he did miss nearly the entire senior class spring recital.
I carefully conceal myself in the stage curtains as I watch Jack slipping into the auditorium and fading back into his customary seat in the far left corner. I can feel him in the darken theater though I can only make out a hazy detail of shape with my eyes.
Any other parent making that entrance would have had no impact on the audience. It is soundless. But my father is Jackson Parker, an icon of the sixties, forever part of the music and voice of a generation, and the entire chemistry of the room instantly alters.
Rene drops her chin on my shoulder as she stares out at the audience. “So, Jack did come,” she says. She frees my fingers from the shabby velvet and tosses a harsh glare at the curtains, their ages beaten elegance a thing she finds preposterous since the private Catholic boarding school we reside at cost a small fortune in tuition each year. The shabbiness of the facility she is certain is nothing more than deliberate proletarian punishment for children of non-proletarian families. “He said he would come and actually showed. Chalk one up for team Jack.
Apr 17 2014, 12:07 pm in NestPitch, pitching, query
Nest Pitch JK7: UNDER THE YELLOW ROSE
Category/Genre: NA/ Romantic Ghost Story
Word Count: 104,000
Free spirited twenty-three year old single parent nurse meets sexy thirty-two year old history professor. Professor rents his spacious Victorian house to her. Unfortunately, it is still occupied by the spirit of his deceased mother.
If the MC was an Easter egg…
Jemma would be green-apple flavored, though sweet like an apple she will kick if provoked!
Excerpt: 300 words.
As the sun slid beneath the horizon turning the page on another day, Jemma Hollister nudged her rust-speckled Volvo into its usual parking space at Dreamhaven Nursing Home. Holding her breath, she reached down and shut off the ignition. The cantankerous old car sputtered and shook, but the engine kept on running.
“Come on bitch! Die already!” Jemma hissed, slamming her fist into the dash.
The car emitted a long unhealthy sounding wheeze then finally gave up the fight.
“Damn girl! Remind me to stay out of your way tonight!” Remarked a familiar voice outside her window.
Jemma looked up to see a tall, gangly, black man smiling down at her.
“Hey Martin!” She hailed, grinning up at him sheepishly. “Wanna buy a car?”
Martin took a step back pretending to assess the vehicle in question. What used to be pearly white was now a sickly shade of yellow and the driver side mirror was secured with a bumpy wad of duct tape. All four tires were maypops (may pop at any time), and the once luxurious upholstery was stained and threadbare.
“Just kidding,” Jemma smirked. “I wouldn’t do that to you.” Then after hauling herself and her overstuffed nursing bag out of the car, she attempted to shut the door. At first, it closed like any other car door, then with a tiny squeak of protest it fell ajar.
“Damn it Agnes!” Jemma cursed. “I don’t need any more shit from you tonight!” Lifting one leg, she forcefully kicked the door back into place. When she turned back around, Martin was holding his hands up and inching away. “Sorry,” she sighed. “I didn’t get any sleep again today.”
“Understandable,” he replied lowering his hands. “So who’s this Agnes chick anyway?”
“Oh,” that’s just what Kenzie calls it,” Jemma explained, gesturing to the car.
Apr 17 2014, 12:06 pm in NestPitch, pitching, query
Nest Pitch JK6: THE FERGUS SHE
Category/Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 50,000
Rachel’s got a smart mouth, an insane mother, and a hereditary demon waiting inside of her. When The Fergus She takes over Rachel’s body, Rachel has to get control back before her life is destroyed.
If the MC was an Easter egg…
If Rachel were an Easter egg, she’d be a double-yolker, because where Rachel goes, The Fergus She follows.
Excerpt: 300 words.
It was just another Friday night at the Albion—boring and dull with limited chances that I’d find one real man in the Pub-of-my-life. I wrapped my lips around the amber “o” of the beer bottle and tipped a dribble of warm brew down my throat. Not that I wanted a man. I was off the opposite sex for a while; sick of being duped. For all my bravado, my strength and what I hoped was a little intelligence, I still couldn’t figure out how to find a nice man. I was perpetually drawn to the losers who skidded along the alleyways of dead end streets.
A cockroach scuttled across the burgundy swirls on the grimy carpet, followed by a pair of pristine white sneakers. I dragged my eyes up the acid-washed jeans to the black belt that neatly clutched a white t-shirt in its grasp.
“Wanna go a round?” The voice belonging to the legs said.
“A round of what?” My scathing glance slid up to a clean-shaven face.
“Darts?” The word held a confused shrug.
The man-boy showed me a handful of sharp instruments sporting multi-coloured feathers. He gripped them anxiously in his thin fingers, as if hoping the darts could replace his lack of plumage and win a mate.
I stared at the would-be suitor, until he sighed in defeat and retreated. The four other eligible men in the room had watched the exchange and were now very aware that I was not up for the taking. I lifted my head and ran my haughty glance over each face. One by one, they looked away from my thunderous expression; my ice-queen posture.
That’s right boys, leave me alone or I’ll eat you alive.