Monday, January 17, 2011

Are They Right or Delusional?

Hi everyone,

There's a big myth in the industry, one that I'm frankly confused about so I thought I'd throw it out here and see what everyone else thinks.

What I thought was an old belief, the idea authors write books and the agents, editors, and publishers do everything else, is somehow making a comeback. The argument today is that if a publisher expects the author to promote their own work, they are no better than a vanity press. Therefore, it's up to the author if they "feel like" doing book signings, guest appearances, etc.

What do you think?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Slept like a baby...

Thank you Unisom! And I'm imagining the purge I did yesterday on my blog helped a bunch. I feel great today. What a difference resting my eyes has made. I can see clearly again. Yay! :) Thanks to everyone who encouraged me yesterday. The support is always, always appreciated!

I've pulled my mom's things from the drawer I kept them in and set them out. Every day I'll work on doing something new. I'll package them up tonight. Tomorrow I'll put addresses on the labels, and next week, they'll be ready to go to the post office. A little at a time. Makes it less daunting and heart wrenching.

My other goal, in the next few weeks, is to put together a book of "Mom"--a bunch of her writings and things I've saved from her Diaryland and other places. I think this will be a wonderful tribute to her. I'm planning on getting done through, something simple and inexpensive, but something anyone can order to have on hand for Mom's grandchildren, neices, nephews, etc. I think the family would like that.

Anyway, I've got a boatload to get done again. Monday, D2D goes off to the printer, so I'm excited to get the copies in my hands ;) Honestly, I've been waiting a long time to write this book, but it's turned out even better than I expected. I hope everyone will love reading this one.

Hope everyone has a fabulous day!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Insomnia Sucks

Ever have a guilty conscience? I do, and it's keeping me up late at night. Maybe confessing this will help shake the little demon loose from my brain and I'll be able to get some sleep.

I promised a boatload of people I would send them copies of some of my mom's artwork, poems, musing, and other things. I printed everything off, made sure I had enough copies of each, sorted the pages by person, and then there they sit--unsent since August. Just sitting there like a great big fat elephant pointing it's trunk at me and going "tsk, tsk, tsk."

Essentially, this is the very last thing I have yet to do concerning my mom's death. When I'm finished with that, there's nothing left to do. And yet, as much as I want to move on (seriously, no one really evern chooses to grieve) I can't seem to bring myself to "finish" with her things. I miss her too much.

I know people, very generous, kind people who rallied and supported me when I needed them, are waiting patiently for their packages. I'm just so *stuck* in this place I'm not happy in, but moving forward is even worse.

Guess I'll suck it up and deal with it. Everyone has to, right?
(Excuse typos and such on this blogpost. I'm going on one hour of sleep and my eyes are crossing ;) )


Saturday, January 08, 2011

Oh Where, Oh Where has J.R. Gone?

I'm right here and I've got some great news:

Stark Knight and DFF: Dead Friends Forever, the first in each series, are on sale the month of January. Download them for just $1.99.

I've got a boatload of dates coming up and I'd love to see y'all there! Here's where we are on release dates:

February 15th: Detour 2 Death (Extreme Hauntings #3)
There are worse things than death, but not at Marsden Memorial hospital.

Kaylee Hensler knows her best friend Davey is on the brink of death. She knows this because she’s a psychic. When she flees the girl’s reformatory to get to him, she has no idea the special sort of hell waiting for her.

Reapers are collectors and they come in many forms. In Feverland, the world created by Davey’s sickness, the red reaper goes by the name of Molok, an ancient evil with deep roots. In Shadowland, the dark side of the hospital, a black reaper promises torture and torment to lost souls. The white reaper is the most fearsome, giving Kaylee three days before he collects both her and Davey’s soul.

Kaylee has one secret weapon, one she doesn’t fully understand. Her abilities will be tested, her loyalty betrayed, and her love misplaced. No one escapes Death.

May 15th: Redemption (stand alone Urban Fantasy)
*Special note: I'm so thrilled to share the fabulous Nancy Holzner has agreed to give me a cover blurb! Super excited!!

Half-angel Savannah Mantas smells the sulfuric stench of wrath when it enters her city, Iron Point. Resurrected by the archangel Michael, she's hunting for redemption and half-demon Nico Montenegro is her prey. He comes from the Fringes, the border between the city and the toxic wasteland beyond.

When they meet, Nico tells her a story, one of genocide and confiscated bodies. Not revenge, but justice is his purpose and his target is the most admired family in the world–Commander Hathaway and his daughter.

Hathaway's soldiers are slaughtering Fringers and secretly feeding them to Revenants, mutants who survived the bio-bombing of 2120. They have a twisted idea they can train these clever creatures like dogs and keep them out of the city long enough to mobilize an evacuation for the wealthy and well-connected.

Savannah knows better. Revenants are what killed her. When they attack, the last of humankind may wiped out completely. Stopping Hathaway might just be enough to gain her redemption and escape a hellish fate.
October 1st: Racing the Moon (stand alone Horror)

A sickness has come to Alaska, targeting rural Inupiat villages. Dorian Kapadonis, head geneticist for the Epidemiology Intelligence Service is going to find out why, if he makes it out of the Brooks Range alive. His niece, Amanda McCourt, knew her first case at the EIS would be tough, but a missing uncle, entire families mutated by a mysterious illness, and becoming prey for savage creatures was more than she expected.

Major Damon Wyatt, on his first undercover operation, finds his loyalty to the Defense Intelligence Agency tested when he uncovers the secret life of his superior. With the help of an Inupiat shaman and an expert biologist, he and the EIS will fight to find a cure for the Lycan virus and save those already mutated into the monster the world knows as werewolf.

Would you like to meet me in person? Here are the upcoming conferences and events I’m attending:

2/4-6/11: Love is Murder in Chicago, IL
2/26/11: Ladies Evening in Medford, WI
3/12/11: Egocon in Stevens Point, WI
5/7/11: WRWA Spring Conference in Fon Du Lac, WI
6/3-5/11: Readers and Author Get Together in Cincinnati, OH
6/10-12/11: Printers Row, Chicago, IL
6/17-18/11: Wisconsin Festival of Books, Waukesha, WI

Join me in February and onward for a fun-filled and exciting Blog Tour:
2/7: Simply Books
2/14: Paranormal Indulgence
2/14: Chris Redding-Author Blog
2/15: Paranormal Indulgence
2/17: The Subtle Chronicler
2/19: Jen Wylie-Author Blog
2/21: Teens Read and Write
2/24: Word for Teens
2/28: Reading, Writing, and Waiting
3/3: Yay! Reads
3/5: Tina's Book Reviews

I'll be adding more dates to the Blog Tour and posting regularly about all the great goodies I'll be giving away, the fun contests, and interesting posts as they come up. Hope to see you soon!


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I HATE this!

I'm sharing with you a major pet peeve. As a reader, as an author, as an editor, nothing gets me gritting my teeth more than this. Please, please (PLEASE!) read the definitions of this word:

Smirk: smile affectedly or derisively, expressing smugness or scorn instead of pleasure, evoking insolence, or offensive smugness, to smile in a way that is contemptuous

Note that if you have your hero or heroine engaging in "smirk" at any time, you are showing them to be smug, derisive, scornful, and contemptuous. To me, even in the worst situations, there is no reason for ANY good guy/gal to smirk. A villain? Have him or her smirking all day long if you like, it will make me hate them forever

Okay, having said all that, I respect that others have different opinions about the word smirk. I will (almost) always suggest a different word if I come across a hero or heroine "smirking" at any time in my editing endeavors. As a writer, for the hero and heroine, I'm firmly anti-smirk.

To make a point, look at the two pictures below. These are the first two images of (non-cartoon characters) that pop up in a Google Images search, first for Smirk, then for Smile:

What do you think? Have a pet peeve of your own you'd like to share? Let me know!


Sunday, January 02, 2011

Ms. Holzner, You Had Me at Circus!

The opening scene of Deadtown by Nancy Holzner prepares the reader for a fantastic journey, and the rest of the book does not disappoint. I expected a great, action-packed adventure, something Urban Fantasy offers in spades. What I didn’t expect, was to have such a richly developed world, I wanted to get involved with a fight for civil rights. I had to keep telling myself Paranormal Americans don’t really exist. Holzner did such an unbelievably wonderful job of stealing me away, I stayed up way past my bedtime to read “just a little more.”

Between the mad crazy drama of a campaign ad gone horribly wrong, and the incredibly moving struggle Vicki, our heroine, endures for love, family, and her own flirtation with a burning evil inside her, there is no shortage of suspense. I wanted nothing more than to see Vicki triumph, no matter how difficult Tina, her zombie demon-slayer student, made it for her. Rarely does a book offer so much escapism for me. Thank goodness there’s a sequel!

Deadtown is Urban Fantasy at it’s finest!