#Swoonies2016

February 14, 2016 at 10:13 am (Events, FAFW) ()

Wow. What a Valentine’s Day! First, I wake up to (among other things) a beautiful handmade card from my husband, then I discover I’ve been officially nominated for a Swoonie, Heroes & Heartbreakers’ head-to-head battle for the Swoonworthiest Couple of the Year.

LadyandKingSwoonie(I wish I could take credit for this stunning graphic, but all of that credit needs to go to the wonderful people at H&H!)

[Ahem. Vote here.]

So what this means? Well, in a basic view, it means some people loved Lady and King enough to nominate them for this tournament, and I can’t tell you how freaking happy that made me. Seriously. I knew Lady and King had an audience, that there were readers out there who would like my kind of dark Victorian romance, and to see that I had reached them was better than a Reese’s peanut-butter cup the size of my head. Now, to be in this tournament with some heavy hitters of historical romance (Tessa Dare in my bracket? Come on!!!) I can only say what has developed into a cliché, but is so very damn true: It is an honor to be nominated.

I mean it. Nobody had to buy my book, nobody had to read it. Nobody had to take the time to write posts or reviews or chat it up on Twitter. Nobody had to take any amount of their precious time and do anything with THE FIGHTER AND THE FALLEN WOMAN and I am well aware of that, so when I say it is an honor to be nominated, it is that, and one that bolsters me to keep writing, to keep living in my dark Victorian world and telling the love stories only I can tell.

So thank you to anybody who has ever bought my book or read it, taken the time to post about it or even reach out to me and tell me you liked it. I cannot tell you how much it all means.

Now, this is by no way a concession post or a faux-humble “Just to be nominated” speech meant to manipulate anybody. I firmly intend to have some fun in promoting the Swoonies, do my best to get into the next round. Profound apologies for the influx of posts to come in the next 4 days, but I’m going to try to make sure you have fun, too.

Starting now.

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Vote here.

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Some End-of-the-Year Love for THE FIGHTER AND THE FALLEN WOMAN

January 3, 2016 at 11:48 am (Events, FAFW)

Hello and Happy 2016! We rung in the new year with black-eyes peas and collard greens (with cheesy grits, of course) and watched Sherlock on PBS. Not necessarily the craziest thing in the world, but some food-inspired luck and the Cumberotter is hard to beat. I hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday season.

December brought me wonderful news for my dark historical romance, THE FIGHTER AND THE FALLEN WOMAN, the first coming from About.com where it was ranked one of The 10 Must Read Romance Novels of 2015. I discovered at that point when people talk about their jaws dropping, it is, in fact, a thing that happens.

Allow me to post a screenshot here (and pardon the squishy graphic, but that’s how it appeared):

About.com screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next wonderful news I received was when Wendy the Super Librarian (who gave me this phenomenal review back in March that I still go back to in moments of doubt and it bolsters me) who listed FAFW as one of the 12 Best Not-Your-Usual Historicals of 2015. Since I had a battle even getting my romance some consideration, having it ranked on this list with the likes of Jeannie Lin and Michelle Winningham was worthy of a pretty epic boogie dance party in our living room.

HeroesAndHeartbreakers-BestNot-Your-Usual-Romancesof2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, more great news. Heather Waters, site manager for Heroes and Heartbreakers, listed Lady and King as one of her Top 8 ‘Ships (that’s slang for ‘relationships’ with the kids nowadays) of 2015. That honor is huge and meant so much to me, but another couple in her list was Max and Furiosa, from this summer’s blockbuster movie, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. I cannot even begin to describe what that meant. I loved that movie, really fell in love with the characters and their journey and their flaws and weaknesses and how they overcome them, so to have my Lady and King on a list with them? I’m still in shock. Here’s a snap of that piece of awesome:

HeroesAndHeartbreakers-Top30Romanceof2015Top8Shipsof2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you knew the struggle it was to see FAFW published, the years of knowing I was fighting such an uphill battle for the kind of story I wanted to tell, but I had to tell it like I had to breathe, you would know what amazing honors each and every one of these listings are. Not from contests I entered, or even reviews I solicited, they came from people who picked up the book and read it but, more importantly, they got it. I knew there would be readers who wanted stories like Lady’s and King’s and I thank whatever force it was in the ‘verse that got my book in front of them. If you’re one of them, I thank you too.

So, thank you 2015, for seeing THE FIGHTER AND THE FALLEN WOMAN published and getting it out to some great people. I’m working on my next dark Victorian romance and hope to have some great news during the year to make 2016 a worthy successor.

Happy New Year everybody.

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Hallelujah.

June 3, 2013 at 8:08 am (Events, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized)

I had a teacher in high school, a really amazing one, but she had MS. She never said what it was, if anything, but every February seemed to beat her up pretty badly. March was a celebration because it simply was no longer February. Well, Mrs. Anderson, I now know how you feel.

Now I’m not saying my life is anything like somebody’s fighting such a cruelly debilitating muscular disease, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my Mays are Mrs. Anderson’s Februarys–I, too, get the living shit beat out of me. I’ll save you the gory details, but suffice it to say, I was a damn happy camper Saturday morning, because it was June 1st.

June 1st. Say it with me now. Juuuuuuune first. *inhales deep and cleansing breath*

Truth be told, April was a bitch-on-wheels too, but May is the one that’s always painted the target on my back. This year I got a twofer. Lucky me. But that doesn’t matter, because it is now June. June, June, lovely June.

The Girls are strong and fierce with their ideas, I’ve got some great things planned writing-wise, and some really fun events to look forward to. I tell ya, this June–and this summer–is going to be epic. Amazeballs. Legen–wait for it–

So in honor of today, June 3rd, a most awesome day to be sure, I give you a mighty hymn from the Church of Cayne.

Amen.

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Happy Anniversary to me.

August 6, 2012 at 9:31 am (Events, Random Thoughts, Writing)

Holy crap. I just realized today is the 16 year anniversary of when I started writing. Rather than be embarassed or ashamed at how long the journey to publication is taking me, I wear each and every one of those years with pride. I could not be where I am now–and let me tell you, I freaking adore where I am right now–without each and every one of those 5,840 days.

And let me tell you one other thing–these next 16 years? I’m going to tear the mother fuckers up.

Yawp.

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Sing. (Or, in this case, Write.)

March 26, 2012 at 8:01 am (Events)

Today is the day Golden Heart and RITA calls are made. And for the first time in quite a few years, I’m not glued to my phone. I had some personal choices that resulted in my not entering, and to tell the truth, it feels almost as good as Cinnamon Roll Day, but today is not about me.

Today is about everybody else who entered.

First, I offer great big congratulations to everybody who’s getting one of those magical calls today. As the hours pass and the names get posted, I look forward to squeeing for all of you. I really hope I’m personally acquainted with a few names, because there’s nothing like a rousing celebration to start off a Monday (and I like to use graphics in my celebrating–just ask L.A. Mitchell about the Golden Heart squee-0-gram I sent her involving the General Lee.)

And for those who sent in copies of books or copies of the first 55 pages (including synopsis), sent in your entry fee and started praying to your god(s) of choice, I not only squee heartily in your direction, I stand up and cheer! With a peppy mix tape playing loudly behind me while I make every scene in the Bring It On franchise look like a dull gray miasma of sludge and inertia! And confetti cannons that blanket the ground in glitter and colorful ribbons! And cupcakes–yes, lots and lots of cupcakes, all with your name on them! (Yes, it looks a lot like that.)

I celebrate anybody who steps up to the bat and celebrate hard. God knows how often we strike out, get brushed back, a hit only to get tagged out at first, or a nice fat smack upside the head, so anytime you square off and face down that goal you’ve had on your list–REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME–then you know somebody over here is cheering for you.

That means it’s…yes, I think that means…ANTHEM TIME!!!

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For Every Yin, There is a Yang

October 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm (Events, Random Thoughts, Writing)

For a second, I thought about calling this post Stop Jerking My Yang but then decided not to. (And now I’m thinking about Don’t Go Breaking My Yang but that just seems to be getting silly, and if there is one thing I Will. Not. Have. here at my blog, is silly.)

Right-o then. Moving on.

So, to get this post aligned more in the direction I had originally intended, (I chalk the above up to low blood sugar…), I give you a postulate of mine:

When something/body treats you like shit, there will be something/body soon after who will balance that with good.

Backstory, you ask for? Why, I’d be delighted!

This was discovered many moons ago when I worked as an assistant manager for OfficeMax. One normal day I was behind the customer service counter when a man (I will not use the term ‘gentleman’ for obvious reasons) came in asking about a pen refill. We didn’t carry that pen, ergo we didn’t have refills for it either, hadn’t since I had been there. This man did not believe me and became more and more belligerent, until finally he yelled at me and threw the pen at me, skipping it across the counter with no small degree of force.

*asshole* Oh, excuse me. Had a sneeze there.

Well, later that day, I was covering for a cashier on break and rang out two nuns, penguin suits and all. Transaction completed, they blessed me.

You heard me right. They blessed me. With hand gestures and everything. Ignoring the fact I’m not Catholic and am not really religious, it was kinda cool. Like the universe had seen the man (*asshole* Whoo, allergies are really kicking up this year!) come in and be a tool, and decided to send in a crack squad of Really Nice. And ever since then, I’ve noticed that when some awful thing has happened, an equal good has soon after. Thus my postulate.

Why am I bringing this up today, you ask? Well, I’ve discovered a corollary:

When the universe sends you crap/distractions/stuff to keep you from your writing, the Girls in the Basement will balance that with The Shiny.

This past week or so (let’s call this a 7-day’er, not just a ‘since Monday’ length of time) the job has been pretty abysmal. Now, it’s set to radically improve in just a little over twenty-four hours, but for now, I’m riding the Shit Train. Yesterday, as I was driving home, I put my iPod on my Trance mix so I could relax and arrive home without the vestiges of Work Ick all over me. Lo, in the middle of Barber’s Adagio for Strings, I get a delightful idea that is building on a past delightful idea for an upcoming story of mine. Awesome, right? Yes, but the Girls were not finished!

I lay down to get a little rest after having spent the day restraining myself from throwing an elbow at the back of somebody’s head like a MMA fighter with a snootful of angry and, bless those Girls, as I was thinking of how my heroine looked, they sent me a line that made me jump up and grab a pen! (Because we all know what happens when we don’t, right? Right?)

Spectacular line committed to paper, I lay back down, this time with the iPod and the rest of the soundtrack in progress queued up and I now have the first quarter of my book, the two turning points after that, and a rough idea for an ending. If you asked me to, I could sit down and write this sucker, it’s that alive, vibrant, and sketched out.

And it’s gonna make BROKEN look like a basket full of kittens on the back of a unicorn while tiny fairies in pastel dresses dance on glittery rainbows overhead. I am in love.

Bring it, universe. I’ve got your yang right here.

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This Monkey Typed Shakespeare

May 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm (Events, Virtual Gems)

 

Hi! Yes, I’m still alive (which you knew because you check me out on Twitter or Facebook, right? Right? *wink wink*)  So anyhoozles, I promise to get something like an update post here soon (maybe with some awesome pictures of pancakes), but I had to tell you what happened to me this week first.

So I’m at work on Monday, dressed very nicely in a patterned white, button-down shirt, navy slacks and navy heels. Tres office chic, no? A little before lunch, I’m craving a little something fizzy and caffeine-y, so decide to go to the small store across the street and get my infusion of diet Dr. Pepper. Rather than take my big bag o’purse, I grab a couple of bills and start to stick them in my pocket. But as the bills don’t get tucked away anywhere, I’m realizing my slacks are sans pockets, tiny decorative ones or otherwise. Specifically, I think, “Hey. These pants don’t have pockets.”

The thought cracks me up so much–really, I’m my own best audience–that I instantly decide to tweet that very thought. See? 

So I get my frosty beverage, eat lunch, work, yanno–daily things. A little later I notice that I was getting some rather odd responses to my tweet. By men. By men I don’t know and who do not follow me. Responses like:

  • Seriously? Without pockets, what’s the use of clothes at all?
  • Better than the other way around.
  • What, you mean pockets without pants? That’s what I have.
  • Check your shirt. Is it red?
  • “Hey, these pants don’t have pockets.” ~Commander Wil Ryker

And with those last two comments,  I think I’m starting to understand. Somehow I’ve stumbled into a Star Trek: The Next Generation reference. I tried to google it and came up with something kinda close, but am still having a general WTF moment. I pass it off until the next day, when I think to hit the button that shows retweets. Needless to say I was gobsmacked when I saw my innocent little post had been retweeted by the one and only Jane Espenson.

Yes, I had a moment. Several, in fact. However, rather than own up to my savaant-like tweet, I simply sat back, enjoyed my brief brush with Jane, and reflected on what I had learned.

  1. Post what you want to, not what you think is going to gain you retweets and followers. As soon as you stop trying so hard is when you hit it out of the park.
  2. It’s true. Sit a monkey in front of a typewriter long enough and he’s going to spit out Shakespeare.

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February 1st is Darynda Jones Day!

February 1, 2011 at 5:00 am (Authors, Events)

 

It’s here, it’s here!! The day I’ve been fluttering for, sputtering for, tingling, ringling and zingling for is here, here, HERE!! The debut novel of the wonderful, talented, hard-working, and lest we forget, stunningly beautiful redheaded Darynda Jones is being released. TODAY!!!

(I love this photo–she looks so casual, so fun, so much like your BFF. True story–I’ve never met her IRL (not for lack of trying in Orlando) but I just *know* she is as cool and nice as she looks in this photo.)

When Darynda won the 2009 Golden Heart for Best Paranormal Romance, she popped up onto my radar. I started following her (sounds so much nicer than stalking…) and when I heard the blurb to her fantasmagorical sounding book, FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT, just totally fell in girl-love with her. And, obviously her agent (Alexandra Machinist) and editor (Jennifer Enderlin) thought so too, because Darynda sold in a 3-book pre-empt auction. (Read the story of how it happened here and I dare you not to squee as much as I did.)  

And today is the day. FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT is released. Now. I am so dang excited I can’t stand it!! Here–read this and tell me you’re not just bursting in impatience to get this hardback honey in your hands right now!!!

A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper.

Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

So, do yourself a favor–forget the groundhog tomorrow, because let’s face it, if he sees his shadow tomorrow, most of you are going to want to make stew out of the poor furry creature–and buy this book. (Easy link here: Amazon) Trust me, once you crack page one, you won’t care if it’s winter, if Starbucks is giving away cards for lifetime coffee, or if Hugh Jackman walks by. That’s how good this woman writes.

The best part? SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT comes out in August, so you won’t have that long to wait to get more sweet and crunchy Darynda goodness. Yum-my!!

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Time Out

October 13, 2010 at 9:00 am (Events, Random Thoughts)

I wanted to let everybody know I’m doing a time out from my blog for a few months. I’ve got a book to edit that is just looooooooming over me, and I realized some things have to be let go so I can really tackle that sucker. I’m still going to be Tweeting, Facebooking, and as silliness permits, letting the girls play on Tumblr, so please stop by one (or more) of those venues to say howdy. I look forward to seeing you in those neighborhoods!

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I’m in book heaven!

September 23, 2010 at 8:33 am (Events)

 

If any of you have wondered what that high-pitched noise you’ve been hearing for the past few days is, allow me to answer–it is me.

You see, the closer we get to next Tuesday (September 28th), the more excited I get. The more excited I get, the more I start vibrating like a top at its highest speed, accompanied by that buzzing/humming noise it makes. By Sunday night, I’m probably going to wear a hole in the floor from my excitement.

Why am I so excited you ask? Because next Tuesday is the Perfect Storm of book releases, and life cannot get much better than this lineup:

Marilyn Brant’s Friday Mornings at Nine, follow up to her delicious debut, According to Jane. (I was stunningly lucky enough to get an arc of this book, and let me tell you–as much as I loved ATJ, I think she outdid herself for FMAN. It is like dark chocolate with almonds and dried cherries.)

Heidi Betts’s The Bite Before Christmas, and if you’re like me and wondering what the reigning queen of sexy, sassy writing can do to a vampire, then we’ll both find out Tuesday. I have the feeling she’ll blow the other paranormal writers out of the coffin with this one.

Jeannie Lin’s Butterfly Swords, winner of the 2009 Golden Heart for Historical Romance. I got a teaser copy (first chapter) of this at Nationals this year, and zowie–is this an exciting, passionate story! When Jeannie talks about honor, romance, and adventure, she’s not kidding!

So, I’m going to edit my fingers to nubs between now and Tuesday morning at 12:01 a.m. (or whenever the nearest bookstore to me opens it’s doors–I can’t wait for an Amazon order to come via regular shipping. I could lose hours, people–hours of lucious reading!!!) and then dive in. I’ll probably ask Montana to just hook me up to an I.V. so I don’t even have to waste time eating, because two minutes spent on a bowl of cereal means two minutes more before reaching The End of all of these yummy books.

My books, a cuppa tea, and a comfy chair? Tuesday is the new happy, my friends.

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