Friday, September 30, 2011

Grammar Jokes

So I got feedback from my agent yesterday for Begonia Bribe.  She loves the story but thought perhaps I should work ahead a little more for the polish... erm... oops... I TRIED!  I really did! This one just seemed to be hard to WRITE for the first part... but then feedback time was SUMMER and people were BUSY, so it didn't have nearly the number of eyes on it that my first one did...

I know better now...

What that MEANS though, is last night and today are commited to going through her changes for the final deal, and so instead of a blog full of clever words, I am sharing some comics that have amused me a lot...

Really... could anything BE more me?
 Somebody shared it on FB. The 'owner' was Zain Sheriff, but don't know if he's the artist, or just the sharer...

You've probablyl seen this...

This goes with some Aussie humour (see, when it's Aussie, humour gets a 'u').

How is a MAN like a wombat?

He eats, roots and leaves.

But to understand, you have to know 'roots' in Australia is... erm... a euphemism for the big dandy, if you know what I mean... and you ALSO have to be able to spot the misplaced comma... So it is an Aussie insider grammar joke! (Ausome, eh?)

And finally... because I'm me and Misattributing is my superpower...

It's a thing of beauty, isn't it?

So wish me luck on my deadline... (because it might kill me).

And I will be here tomorrow to begin NaBloWriMo!!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest Enid Wilson

How is it that I didn't realize Enid was an Aussie until now?! I totally need my honorary Aussie status put on hold! (but that would make me sad!) Though Enid claims to be camera shy, so I've got my suspicions she's only part Aussie. Show me a good football tackle and I will let go of my hesitation (Go Crows!) erm...

Anyway, Enid has been a regular around these blog parts for quite some time, so I know a bunch of you know her, and I am thrilled to be part of her book tour. She has such an interesting concept in her book—pulls together really disparate ideas, which I love—but I will let her tell you about it. So without further ado, welcome Enid!


Thank you Hart for hosting me. I love Hart’s blog posts, especially pure insanity ones. They are humorous and often with a touch of humility. So I’ve taken out an excerpt from my latest novel, Every Savage Can Reproduce, Pride and Prejudice-inspired Science Fiction, to give you a bit of taste of my crazy thoughts too. It’s about some aliens called andulas and I guess you probably know who Mr. Collins was from Jane Austen’s classic:

The three andudas climbed off of Mr. Collins body. A1 said, “Crawl on your hands and knees, and follow us.”
Collins nodded affably again. 
Happily, A1, A2 and A3 led the High Commander of Earth, in his pink body suit forward on all fours, secured by a vine leash as they made their way through the muddy forest towards the wilderness centre of Hartfield. Along the way, more and more andudas caught a glimpse of the strange man-pet.
Finally, they arrived at a giant entwined fig tree nearly ten meters tall. One of the andudas used its tail to press on a tree branch in a deliberate rhythm. After a few moments, a part of the tree base lifted up, and a pebble path appeared. The andudas jumped onto the pebble path, down the base of the tree and under the ground. 
Collins crawled along behind them as obediently as a domestic pet. Down and around they went. The blue haze of the planet’s surface atmosphere gradually dissipated. The High Commander felt as if his head was about to burst. He shook it a few times and gulped in deep breaths. 
What am I doing? he thought. Why am I crawling on the ground? His thoughts were forming more clearly, and he realised that something had been stuffed into his mouth. Something was wrapped around his neck, and it was being used by someone to pull him along. 
No! He was pulled by an animal – an anduda! He finally remembered his encounter with the vicious creatures. He wanted to stop crawling and demand that these damnable inferior animals release him. But his body felt shaky. 
Looking around, he saw that he had been led into a cave-like space equipped with some shabby tables, chairs, cabinets and equipment, like a laboratory or factory. Several other andudas were busy nearby, but not jumping about, as andudas normally did. They, in fact, were walking awkwardly, and their hides were a range of skin colours other than brown. 
We’ve captured a bad man from Earth,” one of Collins’s captors said, and the others nodded. As the speaker released its hold on the leash, Collins gathered his strength, unwound the stinging vine from around his neck and struggled to stand.
Where am I? Do you know who I am?” he demanded. “I am the High Commander from Planet Earth. I demand to be released and returned to my vessel immediately, or I will send a signal to my base, and they will dispatch warships to arrive at Hartfield within hours. My majestic and wise Queen Immortal will knock down every tree on this planet. She will round up all the andudas and lock you in our zoos, where you will be taught better manners.”
A1, A2 and A3 looked at each other and then burst out laughing. The other hybrid andudas stopped their work and looked at Collins with wide eyes.
Where did you find this piece of work?” a blue-skinned andudas by the cabinet asked.
A3 saw his ship dropped, down by 829451.”
A2 saw him walking at 829892.”
A1 found him cute.”
I did not. Andubie, do not listen to him.” A1 hopped closer to the blue andudas. “I thought this two-strand from Earth would be good for your experiment.
Experiment?” Collins screeched. On hearing the intention of the andudas, he began to run back toward the passage they had come down. But before he could take more than a few steps, one of the walking andudas jumped in front of him and knocked him to the floor with its tail. 
Collins yelled, “I am the High Commander of Earth! Stop this assault! My most respected Queen Immortal will launch an air strike on Hartfield if she hears about this.”
Put him on the table!” one of the hybrid andudas instructed. “He is not a good specimen but I do love to experiment on foul-mouthed humans.” 
Once the andudas had Collins secured on the table, they began making surgical incision on Collins’s tissues, until the High Commander screamed himself unconscious.


Well, how do you find the aliens? Leave me comments about your favourite aliens from movies or books, for a chance to win a copy of Every Savage Can Reproduce in pdf format and a souvenir from Australia. Giveaway closes on 10 October and is open to readers worldwide. 
Below is the detail about Every Savage Can Reproduce (ISBN: 978-0-9806105-9-8):
In the futuristic society on Planet Earth, Elizabeth Bennet is accused of luring Fitzwilliam Darcy to an illegal establishment, which leads to their exile deep in the centre of a rebel planet. The subsequent galactic war exposes dark secrets regarding the autocratic Queen Immortal. Will Elizabeth and Darcy discover their love for one another and find their way back to Earth? 
Set in the 39th Century, this novel is a tale of Pride and Prejudice-inspired science fiction, where Jane Austen’s characters take on new lives but still face the barrier of class distinction and seek to overcome their faults, as in the original classic.
For more information, please visit me at
Happy commenting!

Thank you so much, Enid--this looks thoroughly entertaining!  Good luck with sales and the tour!

[on a totally side blog author note: I am also at Burrowers, Books and Balderdash today being delusional]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NaBloWriMo 2011

So October is SATURDAY, right?  I haven't heard much hype on this this year, and I'm not sure why. This was the first big blog event I participated in back in 2009, and my first cluster of new followers (you know... besides my friends I begged to follow me). I guess there are a couple really great things about this activity, and all of them make it a great one for October, so I am presenting my case in the hope YOU will join, too...

First though, I should probably tell you WHAT it is... NaBloWriMo stands for National Blog Writing Month and people who participate commit to writing a blog post every day for a month. WHY would you do that? Well see, it's like this...

1)  Daily Writing Habit: A lot of people need a bit of a push to write more regularly, and this is a nice way to get going—a group activity where you've committed to a daily blog. It doesn't need to be LONG, but getting into the habit can be good for #2...

2)  Good Prep for NaNoWriMo... You think BLOGGING every day is big, you oughta write a book in 30 days! But strangely, the habit... both the habit of daily writing, and the habit of following through on a commitment FOLLOWS...

3)  It is a good exercise in goal setting and planning. Surely, unless you live in a wind tunnel or mysterious vortex, there are going to be good days and bad days. It is good practice for scheduling a couple ahead.... it is a good practice for being scrappy and pulling something together ANYWAY... It is just a good practice at coming ACROSS as consistent, even if life persists in being unpredictable...

4)  It's a fun, interactive event—Now I am making some assumptions here, but in past years, the sidebar to the NaBloWriMo blog has had all the participants, so it was easy to meet others who were doing it—a great way to meet some new bloggers.

5)  It's a great tradition—some great people do this. They are fun and friendly. But besides that, it sort of sets off a marathon for me each year... NaBloWriMo, NaNoWriMo, prep for ABNA, ABNA...

As to what I will do differently around here to add weekends to my routine...

I've noticed I have a LOT of friends who've had book releases this fall... a lot more than made my guest list. So I am going to use weekends, at least partially, to share some new books by people we all know. I ALSo have intentions to change my recommended BOOKS page to just a recommendations page. It will include links to fellow bloggers who EDIT (as a business), as we have a few, and I will make an attempt to get my book recommendations up to snuff—I don't update nearly as often as I should.

And when all else fails, I can post llama pictures... I never get tired of llama pictures...

So Who's In?

Go let them know!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


So if you go chasing rabbits...
First, I need to apologize to the lot of you for how absent I've been as a blog visitor. I usually try to sneak in several while I'm at work and we are under a grant deadline, for starters, but I ALSo got sucked down the Pottermore Rabbithole yesterday—it's VERY fun. Man, I love those books, and this is a great interactive way to relive some of that. There are a lot of notes as to Jo's writing process, which is SUPER cool, and then the finding little treasures really brings out my inner geek.

BUT, the work deadline still has about 9 days on it, so I can't promise things will get better before then... I will try harder, but it is what it is...

Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit video


I have a young friend who went to a psychic yesterday... Now some of you may have your opinions on the matter, but she was told a great many things and I find she now seems significantly more relaxed. You see, she is in a state of flux... looking for a job... not permanently attached romantically... not sure even, where she wants to LIVE in the long run. Anything goes... and she was stressing. WIRED might even have not been an off description... this psychic gave her clues to a timeframe, some sort of big details... some idea of the spiritual support she has helping her... and it helped.

And it took me back to the last time I was unemployed... erm... I was 22 and fresh out of college... I've actually had TWO jobs more often in my adult life than no job, and that's even if I count maternity leave as not working... you heard me. Half my life, and not ONE FREAKING BREAK.

I should sound more grateful. I know that. There are people who depend on me and it would be a whole lot worse if I didn't have the means to take care of them, but this got me thinking back to that 22 year-old me.

WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING, diving so fast into the work force. I could have taken time to travel. I could have screwed around a little... I could have moved somewhere with fewer ties (not that Portland wasn't its own kind of adventure, but I DID know some people).

But I know exactly what I was thinking.

I have never been able to tolerate uncertainty. I've taken jobs I like just a little less because it was a sure thing, rather than wait to hear on something I wanted more. I've made decisions with a safety net... a back-up plan.

Heck, even with my writing, it is just a side job, until such time as I blow them away, eh?

Would the word of a psychic have calmed me enough to sort of just let things happen back then? (WOULD they have happened, if I hadn't been such a diligent, hard worker MAKING them happen?) The job I got, they practically BEGGED me to take because the woman hiring me had formerly worked for the advertising agency where I did my internship—would I have even gotten a letter and resume to that agency to APPLY if I hadn't have worked like that? Heck, it was a branch of an LA agency—possibly not. Maybe it HAD to go the way it went... And had it not, I never would have met HWMNBMOTI or my fabulous friend Natalie (you know a friend is fabulous when you name your first born after them).... Then again, who knows what I might have done instead?

Then There is the Other One

Compared to HWMNBMOTI, I am a verifiable THRILL seeker—jumping at every opportunity, diving into sweet oblivion as I take risk after risk... You see... I don't think my dislike of uncertainty means I don't like new things. Heck, I like to shake it up now and then. I just never let go of one thing, until the next is firmly in my grasp. (is that the insecure cancer in me?)

He, on the other hand, thinks of everything that can go wrong and won't actually leap—he has to be shoved off the edge. (or dragged, as the case may be—something I've done to him more than once)

But man, I DO like to know where I'm going next. I like to have.... wait for it... a PLAN! BUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Doesn't need a bunch of detail, but I can't just dive without the basics.

This is called managing uncertainty--I'm not sure if they got that.
Sort of how I write, come to think of it... (not with an outline, but a timeline--I don't know the details, but I DO know the destination)

Now I am not a person who puts a ton of stock in all this.. I've had my tarot read, and found it fun... I dabble in astrology (and know I will achieve fame near the end of life or after death, so I have that going for me)... but it is all more amusement and hobby than guidance... I'm not sure if I could alter my perceptions of uncertainty ANYWAY... I think I may just be too stubborn.

So what about you? How are you at dealing with uncertainty? Do you ever look at any of this future telling? Do your characters? (Oooh! And do they fight it if they learn something?!--I love resistance of a prophecy—never works, but makes a great story)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Genres as Beer

You heard me. This is high logic here. Seriously... I was thinking the other day about something I've frequently said... when I drink beer [note: remember my often said philosophy—if you can see through it, why bother? So really I am mostly talking about ale, though the Beer Wench has proven to me that variety in lager is indeed available]

Back to writing and beer... When I drink beer, there is sort of a 'flavor total' I seek. I love a variety, but if it is amber, I like it bitter, if it is golden it needs to be REALLY bitter... but if it is BROWN, then I sort of prefer something a little on the sweet side. Especially if it's DARK brown and heavy—I like a porter, or a smooth oatmeal stout better than a plain old stout.

See... This is how I WRITE! Let me e'splain...

Let's say TOPICS addressed determine how DARK a beer is...Death is of course darkest, but if death is pretty black, rape is nearly there and kidnapping is pretty dark brown... are you with me? Psychological trauma is amber—because it's dark, but easier to overcome.

Sweet stories of love and romance? Golden. Unreal elements would be those unexpected thrills... fantasy, paranormal--(can you say pumpkin spice or ginger ale—and by ginger ale I mean an ale made with ginger, not a soft drink)--I like these, too—quite a bit if they're done well, but honestly, I like them best STILL DARK... those Christmas Ales that are brown and have nutmeg and cloves are AMAZING. The mainstream version not so much...

A FUN romance... (I'm sorry... is my cynic showing? *cough*) But a comedic romance or a romance with some life lessons (usually sold under the heading 'chick lit') would be still golden but maybe... FRUITY... (My buddy Stacy writes romance with enough humor and action that I'd maybe call them a raspberry ale, though surely she'd prefer to be a snozberry) My point is, even in fiction there is a 'flavor total' I prefer... if it is DARK, I need the sweet elements. My cozy mysteries have dead bodies... but they are funny, on the light side... Maybe nut browns.

I write a darker MOOD in most of my stuff, but the death (if even there) isn't so central, so the topic isn't quite as dark. In this writing I focus on YA (which allows some 'innocence', by ALWAYS having a character or two with a sense of humor, and by allowing for a relatively happy ending. And I generally focus on more 'relatively dark' instead of fully dark... yes, death, but it is more peripheral, rather than the theme... I kidnap a lot (is that bad?) Two of my ten books have included rapes.

So there we have it.

What kind of ale do YOU write?

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Summer Vacation

by Hart Johnson

[Today's little travelogue is brought to you by Michael DiGesu at In Time... it's a blogfest! Check out here for more participants!]

Portland, aka Beertopia or Beervana
Portland Oregon

I spent June in my favorite city opening a Microbrewery. I participated in a love triangle... sort of... well one of them is sort of just my best friend, but MAN can he kiss! There was a murder involved... erm... two actually... and the Russian mafia, but I drank a lot of fabulous beer!

This is my city. Isn't it amazing? (Mt. Hood in the background)

Also known as Bridgetown

Roanoke's Mill Mountain Star
Roanoke Virginia

Then I flew to Roanoke for a Little Miss Beauty Pageant. That might have been a little annoying... the Little Miss part, I mean. But there are great people there—family and friends...

I spent a lot of time at the newly renovated Patrick Henry Hotel

And HERE, at the lovely Elmwood Park

Here's the lovely Kahlotus city center
Kahlotus Washington

And FINALLY, they put me in an institution. It didn't matter HOW long I tried to explain the difference between bad and naughty.

And here it is from a distance. Impressive, eh?

The OUTSKIRTS of Kahlotus...

*cough *

In case you missed it, what I MEANT to say is the only way I really 'went' anywhere was through writing, but I had a darned productive summer. In June I wrote What Ales Me (a 'sassy' mystery), based in Portland. In July I did first revision of Begonia Bribe (my second Cozy Mystery, based in Roanoke). Then I did agent requested revisions on Kahlotus Disposal Site... (edgy YA).

I revisited Roanoke in September, and I am leaving for Kahlotus tonight...

On a side note, I was pleased to note when I searched Kahlotus images, my book cover, designed by my friend Joris, was on there several times...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Substitute Blog

So like I had a really clever blog planned for today, like, innut? And I fort I might be clever annat... but instead my wee childing haz an algebra test today, and I spent my evening doing Algebra and recovering with Vodka. Erm.

So today I present you with proof Math isn't ALL evil. Right?

See. People on drugs do math *shifty*. Source

And condoms like math. Source

And Evil Villains like math Source
Oh wait... I just undid that evil thing I said, didn't I?  Sorry, my attention span is shot.

In OTHER news... I am a week into Weight Watchers and down 6 pounds as of yesterday, and we've hit Week 3 in the Couch to 5K, henceforth to be called Couch to KEG because that is what Kevin the Farmduck thought we said. *shifty*

Seriously though, vodka recovery aside (and it was within points anyway), I've done really well. I love weight watchers.

And I have an encourager for any of you interested in picking up a good habit like exercise. Three weeks makes a habit.  What does that mean? If you can FORCE yourself to adopt a behavior for three weeks, then the effort of making yourself do it drops drastically... it is a part of your routine. Apply it to writing daily. Apply it to eating better. Apply it to exercise (it was an MPH in public health who told me that).  Three weeks is as long as the wrestling match seems TOO HARD. After that it is just maintenance (not something to take for granted, but not nearly as hard).

So there.

*note:  I was actually more punchy and less vodka infused than this blog may imply.

And it's THURSDAY. You know what that means!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The New Reality

So last week I shared a link on FB about the percentage of people below the poverty line being the highest since 1993, and in hard numbers this puts the US at the highest number of poor people ever. This led to a great debate among a couple of my FB friends—very civil and with lots of back-up sources—it was pretty cool, actually, to have civilized dialog from very different views, but then, I DO have fabulous friends.

Family living in car in Atlanta - source
One of the things brought up in this debate was the 'new oil boom'. Now I'd heard a little something on this, as one of my long-time friends has been unemployed (he's a civil engineer and cash-strapped states have badly tightened their belts, so a lot of the work that kept him going for 15 years has dried up), and HE mentioned the oil fields... at the time, I was 'say what?'--I just hadn't paid attention to that level of news.

Anyway, this oil boom has led to a housing shortage... in Eastern Montana, of all places. But then just that night I learn a 2nd degree relative (technically once removed... erm...) is MOVING to one of these fields in North Dakota. (in a 5th wheel trailer with a daughter—so yes, housing shortage... I can tell you, I'm not sure I'd want to winter in North Dakota in a trailer)

And it got me thinking...

Construction Grand Coulee Dam, Grand Coulee, WA
Digression: My Stepdad, the Dam Kid

My stepdad grew up in the 50s with his father, an electrician who specialized in the set-up of dams... you heard me, hydro-electric power—those giant things that block rivers in exchange for electricity... there was a TIME there weren't all that many, but post-WW2, America wanted MORE POWER... Anyway, he and his family moved all over the US as his dad worked on one dam and then another. He went to 3 high schools... for a while he and his dad moved on to the next place while his mom and sisters stayed (his older sister wanting to finish high school in a place she wasn't a stranger). I think it was hard on their family in some ways, but really developed character in others. And I think several families moved together—the same type of crew needed for each new location—almost like the military that way.

Back to My Story

So is this happening again? Or might it? I can see a reasonable application of this model in wind. Windmills can be built pretty much anywhere with open land... and there surely is some specialized skill in the building. Now oil is limited to where there are oil reserves, so the set up there isn't going to jump place to place to place. But it just seemed there may, in this economy, be a new, necessary mobilization.

I wonder how long this stuff will take to come to books. What comes to mind is Steinbeck's Dustbowl stuff, but maybe that is the pessimist in me. Still, can you imagine living in a normal city, leading a normal life, and being uprooted to move to a trailer in North Dakota. (don't get me wrong, North Dakota has some charm—I actually think Bismark is a charming little city, even if I only spent a lunch there on my drive moving here from Oregon). But MAN, those winters! And the emotional upheaval of moving to pretty much the middle of nowhere... what stories might there be?

You have any first or second degree experiences with the new realities?  You think any of them might make your books?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Welcome Lynn Rush!

So I spotted Lynn early in my venture into social marketing. She has a presence that is fun and professional at the same time, and I totally thought she was already a PRO... you know... 6 or so books under her belt. She just carries herself that way—with confidence.

So how lucky am I that it so happens I got to read her DEBUT book!? (And it's a great one—very well done), and then I sent her some interview questions, and so THAT is what you get today! (you know the deal: me in purple, Lynn in blue)

Without further ado, WELCOME, LYNN!

You did a couple things with Point of View that I found really interesting. Your narrator is both MALE and DEMON. It seems to me as a woman on the side of the good guys, neither of these decisions would have felt most natural to me (even though I definitely see how this is the most interesting angle to tell it from)—did you ever conceive of this story from a different viewpoint, or was this the way it came to you? Can you talk a little about that decision?

This is actually how it came to me. I love reading first person stories, so I’m not surprised I enjoy writing first person stories. Taking it from the male POV…now that was a bit of a surprise to me. I find men and how they process things so very interesting, so it was a fun challenge. You can bet I pulled on all my resources for help: asking my husband and drawing from my educational and occupational backgrounds as well. But it was fun and I had a blast writing it.

Your female love interest is TALL!!! As a tall woman, I'm very aware this doesn't seem to happen that often. Are you tall? Most of Beka's appearance has what seems to me, symbolism to it, but this feature I found particularly interesting. Was there a reason for this, or was it just sort of how you pictured her?

I’m actually not tall. I’m barely five foot five. But, I love surprising characters. By that I mean, I wouldn’t expect someone super tall to be super agile. I wouldn’t expect a big muscular, tattooed and pierced guy to be super cuddly and sensitive. Or a super wimpy-looking guy to be able to pick up a car. Now, not all of that is in Wasteland, but I mentioned them to prove my point. Beka is surprising to me. As her character unfolded, I liked where it went. I love that about characters. What did you find symbolic about her? I’d love to hear it (as long as there aren’t any spoilers**LOL**)
[Tart response:  Her fairness--the blonde hair and very fair skin all were symbolic of what she represented.]--shout if that's too close to spoiler.

This was my first angels and demons story I've read and I was very interested to watch the line—flirting with religion and religious mythology without ever really getting into religion. Do you feel like you had to be careful here? Is this book fairly representative of the sub-genre, in your opinion. [on a side note, I think you did this very well—I think delving deeper into religious issues would have pulled me out of the story, but ignoring it entirely would have felt wrong, too]

Consciously careful…not really. I pretty much write what’s on my heart. I’m a Christian so some of that leaks into my writing through symbolism, things like that. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not really a preacher-type person. However, they do know about my faith in God, but you’re not going to be steamrolled with finger pointing, preaching, and judgment by me. That’s not what I’m about. That’s not what my writing is about. I just want to write books for an age group who doesn’t really have much out there to read: the after high school age but not into the steamy adult novels age. That’s what they’re calling New Adult. Some term in Upper YA, too.

Wasteland is your debut novel, but I remember spotting you—already established and networking—when I started blogging two years ago. How long have you been writing seriously, with the intent of publishing? And how long ago did you start social networking?

I started to write seriously May of 2008. I can remember it specifically because it was when I found my first national writing organization, found a critique group, and survived my first critique. I was hooked then. I absorbed anything and everything and kept on writing.

I started my blog around September of 2008. I’d dabbled a bit before that, but didn’t know what I was doing. It was after a social media lecture I’d attended that I jumped into it full steam. I’ve never looked back. I love blogging, Facebooking, and Tweeting. Not sold 100% on the Google+ yet, but we’ll see where it leads.

I'm interested in Jessica. The immortals—the guardians and angels, are in agreement that this mortal girl is a greater treasure than they... and it seems to me her high power is one of forgiveness (or is it perception?)... I'm curious if your conception of her is different, and I'd like to hear your views on what truly makes one 'divine'--is forgiveness central there? Or is this more how the character played out?

I mentioned earlier how I like to give people surprising power. This applies with Jessica as well. We first meet Jessica and she appears quite weak. She’s a child. Barely fifteen. But when things get rolling, she turns out to be a powerhouse. Something I couldn’t have expected. I love doing that with characters. I didn’t really have Forgiveness in mind while writing Jessica, more it was her releasing people from the confines of lies and deception. But I can see how someone would see forgiveness. That’s what I love about books. People can see different things in them. Love it.

Oh, back to the question.

Like David. His mother bound him to something he never wanted. He was trapped into doing evil, killing, bringing humans to his demonic Master. So, Jessica’s more about releasing someone from supernatural bondage than anything.

And as to geography... I know you are located in Phoenix... and your story happens in Arizona, California... there is mention of Utah... is this strictly a familiarity element, or were there additional reasons for location?

I love Arizona. The desert provides a wide variety of obstacles to throw at characters. It’s really fun, actually. The rest of the states mentioned were just because I’ve either been there or I know people who live or have lived in those states. It’s a built in resource knowing people who live in the climate you’re writing about. 

And finally-- do you have another project currently in the juggernaut? Where is it in process? And how similar or different is it from this one?

I do. Actually, I signed a three-book deal with the same publisher, Crescent Moon Press, for my Violet Night Trilogy. All three books are already written, and I’ve first round edits on book one (Violet Midnight). I’ve written book two to Wasteland (tentatively called Awaited) and it’s going through the critique process now. Crescent Moon Press hasn’t bought that one, but they have first right of refusal since it’s based off Wasteland. So, we’ll see how Wasteland does. Maybe things will go well enough that they’ll want book two as well.

Impressive!  So you've really been seriously writing and polishing--a note to all of you--I think that is about where we ought to BE when our first is published--have a passel lined up and nearly ready to go in case you cause a publisher to swoon, which it sounds like Lynn has!

Thanks so much for having me here today, Hart. I really enjoy your blog!!

And thank YOU, Lynn! For the great read and fun interview! Good luck with book sales!

Short Bio:
Lynn Rush began her writing career in 2008. She has both an undergraduate and graduate degree in the mental health field and has enjoyed applying that unique knowledge to developing unique characters.
A former inline speed skater and mountain biker, Lynn has been known to test the limits of her athletic endurance. So, when she's not writing, she spends time enjoying the Arizona sunshine by road biking nearly 100 miles per week with her husband of fifteen years and going on jogs with her loveable Shetland Sheep dogs.
Catch the Rush:
Barnes and Noble:
All Romance Ebooks:
You Tube Trailer: 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ahoy, Me Hearties!

Some landlubbers may not know, but today is Talk Like A Pirate Day!!!

Now my REAL blogging efforts have been put into today's Burrower's, Books and Balderdash post on books about pirates. HERE, we're having a little Pirate Party...

And if we are going to have a PIRATE party, we first need a couple PIRATES, eh?

I think Cap'n Jack is about the sexiest man on the planet... even if he's fictional... It's the eyeliner, yes? GADS but I love a man in eyeliner.


Tell me I'm not alone here.(though the adeptness Depp has with expressions are FABULOUS for making a woman feel naked, which surely is an admirable goal)

Any of you not quite so into this gender bendy stuff may appreciate Will Turner a little more... and he IS pretty... especially with that GREAT BIG GUN, eh?

And no party is complete without a nice dose o' GROG, right?

And just so yibus know how to speak today... some helpful Pirate Phrases... (for a fuller list, check here)

Ahoy, Matey - Hello, my friend!

Avast ye - stop and check this out or pay attention

Bilge-sucking - insult

Dead men tell no tales - phrase indicating to leave no survivors

Feed the fish - will soon die

Hornswaggle - to defraud or cheat out of money or belongings

Savvy? - do you understand and do you agree?

Scurvy dog - the pirate is talking directly to you with mild insult

Shiver me timbers! - comparable to "Holy Crap!"

Three sheets to the wind - someone who is very drunk. One sheet is mildly drunk and four sheets is passed out.

Yo Ho Ho - cheerful exhortation to demand attention

So thar ye go, ye scurvy dogs! Set out and parlay the word!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mini Update

Squeaky Wheel 1:  Asshat Telephone and Technology 1

What does that MEAN?  My computer complaint generated a refund of $29.97 which was woefully inadequate. (I was requesting $250, remember). And the internet was not back on... So I CALLED...

The annoying trouble is, if they think you owe then money, the HING BLOODY HINGING AUTOMATED SYSYEM will only funnel you to people who are able to take your money. The man I reached was pleasant, nice, sympathetic... and had no power to do a FREAKING THING but take my money.  So he transferred me.

I waited on hold AGAIN.  And the system asked for my identification number... which I didn't have... BECAUSE IT WAS THE WRONG FREAKING PLACE!  I might have yelled at the person on the other line... they couldn't transfer me BACK which seemed totally unreasonable... Then the idiot HUNG UP ON ME!  You hear that AT&T? One of your subcontractors is REALLY RUDE!


So I called back and swore at that automated guy... If you swear at him, he says, "It sounded like you said, you wanted to talk to a customer service representative. Is this right?" *snort*  Who the HECK got stuck programming all that swearing so that was how he responded. I've experimented over the past months. Pretty much any demand as to what he can do to himself gets that response. Most often I just say 'YOU SUCK'.

And I had to wait on hold again... And I reached a nice man who was even MORE sympathetic... a very nice man with a deep soothing (I suspect black) voice, so listening was nice, too, and he had the decency to stay on the line with me to make sure I was actually connected to who he meant to connect me to...

Felicia.... Oh, Felicia... You need a few lessons in customer service.  She CLAIMED that all those repair people would have FIXED my bloody phone... Felicia, were you at my house? I told her to run our records--they could verify in ALL that time that no call lasted longer than maybe 10 seconds. On occasion we COULD connect, but then it would DROP. MOSTLY we couldn't connect. People calling US never got past 2 rings.  I went through the comedy of errors of these repair people, none of whom had the story from the LAST several people who'd been here. We only got it fixed because WE finally understood the problem well enough to walk the guy through all the things that DIDN'T work so he had a fresh starting place (a short in one of our jacks was interfering with all calls, so he had to disconnect that jack entirely from the system). Felicia also said, 'well I SEE here they've already credited you the..."

Ahem!  We were not short service for one half of ONE month. We were short five months... NOT ADEQUATE.

So she said "the only thing I can do is send you to cancellation."

Kathy, in cancellation, heard my tale and was OUTRAGED on my behalf and within five minutes had credited us another hundred dollars--enough that our account was no longer in the red (so internet was on the next morning).  She said for any MORE, I would need to write to corporate headquarters, and encouraged me to do so. She said while I was at it, I should give them an eyeful about the inefficiency of this infrastructure. The people who collect your money should be able to adjust bills RIGHT THERE... no transferring around... Sure, maybe it's a manager, but the current system puts people on hold WAY too long. (my night of calls totaled 2 hours--if I hadn't have been so determined, I may very well have given up--honestly, I think that's their goal)

So the lesson... right from the get go, if you have trouble like this, just SAY "I want to cancel" because the cancellation department is the only one with any power.



So Weight Watchers at Work fell through... not enough people in my building... but I was psychologically set to start, so I signed up online. They had a special--buy a 3 month package, get the 4th month free. Plus some discount on the sign-up, I think.  For $65, I have 4 months.

New Weight Watchers is a little different. I get quite a few more points, but foods HAVE more points too--As best as I can tell, this is an attempt to count carbs, as well as the fat, fiber and calories that have always been part of the formula. They just have it set up to encourage certain choices.

I am on day 3.  Not super hard (though a little). I LIKE the online food diary. The only trouble is I like some transparency for planning... right now, i don't know how many points something is until I plug in a specific thing, where before I had a real feel for broad categories of things "things like this are more, things like this are less". I'm not saying the old system is superior, but i think the online set-up doesn't have the 'okay, it works like this'.

And that's probably ME. I think a lot of people prefer to learn food by food. I'm a big picture person, though... remember?  "what trees?" (which is why I married the guy who sees life for the pine needles).  But I'm smart... I will learn it. I will just need to be diligent for a while.  I've stayed on points so far... used some of my weekly floating points for Friday cocktails (will do the same for Saturday cocktails)

I LOVE that they've added fruit to the freebies... Veggies always were, but when I feel really hungry, veggies don't really do it for me. Fruit can in the short run (had a peach last night at 1am because I felt like hunger might keep me awake--that was my staying up too late, but still... it's not like that's a rarity for me)

So anyway... that's where I am.

Back to normal Monday. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

AT&T Sucks Rocks

Fine friends, my land line didn't work from March to August. Internet still worked, so because of how AT&T bills, I paid my bill (the late fee is exorbitant)... until this month... when instead of a payment, I sent them a BILL, with a letter explaining the refund that was due to me.

They proceeded to shut off my home internet. I decided while I raise my stink, it is maybe time to take a blogcation, as I can VISIT blogs from work (though on the light side, as I have a few big deadlines), but I can't take the time to write and post from work.  So I will be back MONDAY (though if service isn't going, I may only do a few a week), and the next few days... if you wonder what I am up to, I am yelling and screaming at the idiots who run Asshat Telephone and Technology.

I will give a shout if it works. My next bill to them will include my TIME for waiting on the phone for all the failed service calls, my cell phone bill, and the new DSL thing we had to buy. If it goes to a 3rd letter, I am suing them for pain and suffering in an amount adequate to make up for lack of sugar daddy.

What can YOU do? 

Spread the word that they STINK.
Complain about them TO them and elsewhere.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If I could be...

So Talli Roland is super smart, yeah? This is her second book release event I'm participating in and her second home run idea...

Willow Watts, in Talli's latest book (released TODAY) has settled into a boring life until an impersonation of Marilyn Monroe she does goes viral on YouTube... so Talli has asked all of US who we'd be for a day, if we could get away with it...

For more info on the blogfest and a list of everyone participating, check here.

They only look pained...
If I could be Anyone, I'd Be...

JK Rowling... Author extraordinaire, responsible almost single-handedly for several new generations of excited readers...

There are several reasons I'd love to be Jo... She is WICKED smart, she is MAJORLY creative, she turned her life into a fairy tale, she is KIND, she keeps making amazing decisions (I mean would YOU realize what a win it would be to hold out on movies until they agreed to only make them very close to how you wrote them?), she is one thing I will surely never be: Classy...

But mostly, she is living every author's DREAM.

And maybe, just maybe, if I was Jo for a day, I would come away from it with some of that magic...

Yup... that's my choice...

As for Talli...

She is getting a little slice of that dream today... I wish her a ton of luck with her latest book... and just so YOU get the proper temptation to go check it out...

About Watching Willow Watts

For Willow Watts, life has settled into a predictably dull routine:

days behind the counter at her father's antique shop and nights watching TV, as the pension-aged residents of Britain's Ugliest Village bed down for yet another early night. But everything changes when a YouTube video of Willow's epically embarrassing Marilyn Monroe impersonation gets millions of hits after a viewer spots Marilyn's ghostly image in a frame.

Instantly, Willow's town is overrun with fans flocking to see the 'new Marilyn'. Egged on by the villagers -- whose shops and businesses are cashing in -- Willow embraces her new identity, dying her hair platinum and ramming herself full of cakes to achieve Marilyn's legendary curves.

But when a former flame returns seeking the old Willow, Willow must decide: can she risk her stardom and her village's newfound fortune on love, or is being Marilyn her ticket to happiness?

And because now I KNOW you're tempted... Here is where to buy!

Amazon UK:

Good luck, Talli!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kill Someone Already!!!

So I got feedback on my soon-due Cozy from Superbeta late last week. [should a superbeta who knits be a superknitbeta?] Leanne... whatever the case—she is FABULOUS and has not only read everything I've ever let ANYBODY read and provided great feedback, but reads cozies like a lunatic... [she also reads YA like a lunatic... making her not only superknitbeta but a double lunatic, perhaps with genius rising...] *cough*

The feedback...  

Okay. So she said it nicely... pointed out that she looked in several cozies and on average, the murder happens at the end of chapter 3—late, as mysteries go—my OWN first cozy found the body at the beginning of chapter 3... this one... erm... chapter 7.

I knew it was late, but this was my SECOND, and there was not only the Reintroduction of characters and careful (tenuous) stepping on last book's plot [GADS—how do you dance on the wire between reviewing what needs to be known and not giving away for those who will read the first book AFTER the second?!--because cozies really don't NEED to be read in order—that is sort of the point... but at the same time, I want my characters to live lives and have real stuff happen...] and then of course the intro of THIS book's characters and plot... Yeah, I probably got carried away... not backstory exactly, but between setup, character and backstory... yeah... chapter 7... so sue me...

But Leanne gave me my reality check I needed...

So I am rewriting...

A party with all the characters (or most) critical to THIS book, has been moved from chapter 5 to 2 and the body find has been moved from 7 to 4.

But NOW... the careful work of rewriting the rest (through chapter 8 anyway) so that all the rest accounts for the order of the changes...

It's important... it needed to happen.

It's really why we need a beta reader who devours our genre...

In other news...

I am taking a class today—my first class in about four years. I know a few things about classes.

1)  the brain takes more energy than any organ, so if it's a good class (which I suspect it will be—calculating sample size, which may bore the lot of you, but as a stats geek, I will both have to pay careful attention and see lots of relevant applications to my day job) I will be exhausted, by the end of the day (it is 9-5, pretty much)
2)  Chances of me getting in HERE other than my lunch hour are slim, and possibly not then... certainly no blog visiting (sadly) (or facebook or any other fun stuff)

In HAPPIER Other News...

So this Couch to 5K thing... I've done 8 workouts in 2 weeks... and my neighbors are the world's best people... we aren't burning up the roads exactly, but we are really doing it. Oliver's person is FABULOUS. My neighbor of pool fame is FABULOUS. This is a thing that is working... the peer support is wonderful...

And as a bonus, Oliver's person, who used to work at Border's brought me an AMAZING gift bag this morning. It is mostly writing journals—two large, two smaller, but ALSO a dystopian novel (YA—she thought kids and I might all enjoy) and a workout video and a CD! She swears she got a lot of stuff free with Border's closing, but it is still FABULOUSLY generous!

So I apologize for my absence today!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gameday Madness

Saturday Michigan Stadium held its first ever night game. It was against Notre Dame—a classic rivalry...

Door decal
I guess you should know some background. We live close enough to Michigan Stadium that people pay us to park in our yard for football games. It depends how big the game is on how much we charge... and how far ahead of game time we begin. We can tell the latter by when our street is full so there is no more free parking around. Normally, for a 3:00 game... it is about noon... for Saturday's 8:00 game... also noon... yes. Eight hours ahead of the game...

You see, South Bend is close enough for an easy drive... and those nutty fighting Irish like to come shake it up... even if they DON'T have tickets... A lot of people come just for the party.

So normally we charge $15 a car to park... we drop to $10 for minor games... For this one we increased to $20...

Hubby had 4 regulars call to save them spots... and we do that for our regulars—that is one of the perks of going to the same house each week.

What it meant was we knew we'd fill, but not until closer to game time, so we had room for some tail-gaters in our yard... quite the spread they had, too... (there was even a blue one)--they were great—offered food and beer to the hubby who was working it... told Joel how cute he was...

And we filled... and then some... it was actually a great atmosphere... and a good game except it should not have been nearly as close as it was...

So this was a very good thing for us. We made enough money for the tires that need replacing AND an oil change... those things that come up and aren't factored into the monthly budget... definitely a good thing.

This was our yard at capacity--12 cars

I still managed to get some editing done, but not at the pace I would have liked... I'm in a mad rush, though... Here I go!