Sunday, April 27, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

The lovely Jami Davenport tagged me, so I'm playing along -- but because just about everyone I know has been tagged with this one, I won't be passing it on. Instead, anyone who reads this post and wants to play can consider themselves tagged. Fair enough? :)

The rules:

Tell seven random and/or interesting things about myself. Get five blog buddies to play, too and link to their blogs. Don't forget to post the rules.

1. I once sang The Theme from Mahogany in a Philipine restaurant in the middle of Munich, Germany. Under duress.

2. In my varied employment history I have been a movie theater ticket salesperson, a newspaper folder, a day camp counselor, an ice cream salesperson at festivals, and the Easter bunny.

3. In junior high, I went to Washington DC as a state finalist in National History Day with an individual performance about Chief Seattle (Sealth).

4. I taught junior high English for six years before staying home with the kids and pursuing a writing career.

5. My first foray into romance writing was fan fiction. A favorite TV show ended on a most annoying cliff hanger, and then was cancelled. I had to write an ending that gave the main characters their HEA. From that point on, I was hooked!

6. At WesterCon one year, I dressed up as Krissy Kochanski. If you can name the series that character is from, you win a prize! (Oh, and Maia, you're not eligible, since you were there! LOL)

7. In Lessons In Trust, the ambassador who throws the dinner party that Lucia and Eric attend is from Isole dei Re. If you've read Lucy Monroe's books, you may recognize that as the setting for her trilogy that includes The Prince's Virgin Wife, His Royal Love-Child, and The Scorsolini Marriage Bargain. She was nice enough to "loan" it to me for a fun little in-joke!

So there you go. Some are new, some I may have mentioned before -- now, does anyone have any interesting items to share?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Off to Portland!

I'm heading out to Portland, OR for the Rose City Romance Reader's Luncheon. I'll be hanging out with a ton of great authors, as well as meeting readers! I'm very excited (and a little nervous, truth be told. This is my first event like this that I've attended on the author side of the equation!). And the best part is, the money raised goes to support literacy in Oregon. Cool, huh?

I'll be back later in the weekend with a report, and pictures. See you then!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Richard Armitage -- Sigh!

So I mentioned a while back that I'd glommed onto North and South, finally succumbing to the Great North And South Crusade (thanks, KristieJ!). After watching it via Netflix, I ran out and bought my own copy.

(Haven't seen the movie yet? Skip the rental step and just go buy it. You won't regret it.)

Yes, I own it. Yes, I've watched it more than once. Yes, my oldest child has actually learned to play the violin piece by ear because it's been in the DVD player, on main menu, so often that all three can hum the theme song.

ANYway, one of the many, many reasons I love North and South is Richard Armitage. Oh, my heavens, Richard Armitage. Those striking good looks! Those brooding stares! That gorgeous voice!

Le sigh. Le swoon.

Needless to say, N & S was my first introduction to Mr. Armitage. Now, of course, I'm checking out everything else I can get my hands on that he's been in. I hear he's fabulous in Robin Hood, which starts its new season on BBC America on the 26th. If I'm quick, I can get the previous season on Netflix and catch up before the new show.

That, of course, means I have to finish my current Netflix rental, The Vicar of Dibley: Holy Wholly Happy Ending. I've never actually watched The Vicar of Dibley before, so some of the character relationships and in-jokes are going right over my head. But I don't care. RICHARD ARMITAGE is in it! As Harry, Gerry's love interest! And he's SMILING all the time! It's brilliant, I tell you. The most we got out of Mr. Thornton was a twitch at the corner of his mouth a couple of times. A full-on grin is like a gift from the heavens.

So, Richard Armitage. Amazing in North and South, and so far, impressive in other stuff as well. Go see for yourself!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Book BIN Tuesday -- Nothing But Red

The purpose of Nothing But Red is to bring attention to the issue of violence against women worldwide, as well as the continuing need for equality, through art—both written and visual—and by raising money for a charity that strives to help women of all faiths, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, with the support of dedicated volunteers who share a desire to promote equality.

From the Press Room section of the Nothing But Red website:

Nothing But Red, the anthology of literary and visual arts inspired by the impassioned plea of Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon in response to the “honor killing” of 17-year-old Du’a Khalil Aswad, is now available for purchase. Sales of the anthology, which is currently available in multiple formats at, will benefit the international human rights organization Equality Now.

“I’ve met some amazing people who’ve worked incredibly hard to put this book together over the last year, whether as contributors or volunteers,” said Skyla Dawn Cameron, originator and editor-in-chief of Nothing But Red. “We can’t change Du’a’s fate – but we can let the world know that there are people who still care. That’s where this fight really happens: with each of us, challenging ourselves to do something to make the world better.”

The 313-page collection, which can be purchased as a trade paperback for $15.95 or as a pdf-format e-book for $5.95, is being released on the one-year anniversary of the death of Aswad. An Iraqi adherent of the Yazidi religion, Aswad was stoned to death by family members and neighbors; her brutal beating and murder was captured in a graphic video and spread on the Internet.

Shortly after learning of the murder, Joss Whedon, creator of the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, penned an emotional response on the website His post, which built from the topic of Aswad’s murder to the contemplation of misogyny’s transcendence of culture, religion and era, ended on an appeal to his fans to do something active to change the cycle.

“True enlightened activism is the only thing that can save humanity from itself…” Whedon wrote. “Her face was nothing but red.”

Taking its title from those words, Nothing But Red is a response to Whedon’s call to action, which is included as an essay in the volume. A full list of contributors can be found at

Equality Now was chosen as the recipient of the anthology’s proceeds due to Whedon’s public support of the organization and its mission to “[voice] a worldwide call for justice and equality for women,” as stated on Equality Now’s website.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Red-Letter Day

Last weekend we headed north for a day of shopping, park-going, and generally hanging out as a family. I decided to take a side trip to a couple of bookstores, one I'd never been to and one I hadn't checked out in a long time. See, a fellow Samhain author was collecting data from anyone interested in seeing how many Samhain titles are on the shelves at various stores. It's a highly unscientific survey, but fun to look for that familiar red moon logo on the spine.

So I beelined straight to romance in the first store. Small romance section, smaller trade paperback romance subsection. Fewer Samhain titles than I'd seen even in the closest local bookstore, which isn't known for having a lot. Also a bit surprising because I knew the mall Waldenbooks less than a mile away has a huge selection of Samhain titles in their truly impressive romance section.

Twenty miles down the road we stopped at another Borders. I wandered through the romance section, heading for the trade paperback shelves with my pen and whatever receipts I could scrounge from my purse. (You'd think I'd be more prepared for situations like this, being a writer and all. You'd be wrong.)

Midway down the second shelf I started to grin. There, in glorious technicolor, was Tease Me, Please Me.

Now, this wasn't the first time I'd seen TMPM on a bookstore shelf. However, it was the first time I'd seen it without having lobbied for it first, either by participating in a signing or requesting that the store stock it.

I'm not really a local author -- I live about an hour south of this particular store. I didn't ask them to put a copy on the shelves. But there it was, looking SO pretty. :)

I finished my task and returned to the "D"s, taking TMPM off the shelf and carrying it to the information desk. I told the nice woman behind the counter that I was the author and asked if it would be okay if I signed it, since I didn't want her to think I was defacing store property. Turns out she's a big romance fan -- even attended an RT convention years ago -- and was pretty darn excited for me, too. We even got around the pesky "need to see ID" rule thanks to the promo postcard I happened to have in my purse (ah, the perils of having a pen name). So I signed it, she slapped a signed by author sticker on it, and it went back on the shelf.

I don't think I stopped smiling for the rest of the night.