Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Howsh it goin, you guysh?

I am stoned.

My injured neck and shoulder finally sent me to the doctor yesterday, and after commenting that he'd never seen two shoulders quite so uneven (my left has been riding about two inches higher than my right for the last week), and prodding my strained muscles and tendons, he told me to take two weeks off work and gave me a blammo prescription for cyclobenzaprine. He also recommended I see the chiropractor--we have a guy who comes to town once a week, and the first six visits are covered by medical.

Of course, there's no way I can afford to take two weeks off work, but I am taking a couple of days. Carrying trays of drinks and heavy plates of food in my left hand had me in agony over the last five shifts, to the point that after three or four hours my shoulder and my ear were trying to make sweet, savage love with each other. Even on Robaxacet, within ten minutes of starting a shift, I was lurching around like Quasimodo, complete with pained grimace and inarticulate grunts.

The cyclobenzaprine works much better than the Robax, but holy crapweasels, does it ever knock me on my ass. I took my first one last night at 5, and by 7 I was zonked on the couch, a puddle of drool forming on my pillow. I'm hoping that the side-effects will calm down between now and Friday, since my boss is stuck covering for me at work and I can't imagine he'll be having fun working a Friday night by himself.

This will also stall my writing for a bit--despite the perfect ergonomics of my La-Z-Boy/laptop setup, doing between 1 and 3k a day for the last little while hasn't been helping me get better. So I'm just going to take it easy and try to keep it under 1k a day. Although I refuse to take a total hiatus--I'm on a roll and could lapse into writer's block at any moment, so I have to forge ahead while I can.

The annoying thing is, I didn't even do anything to deserve this. Just about everyone has asked (with mandatory eyebrow waggle) what exactly I was doing when I threw my neck out.

Um, sleeping. Alone. I went to bed fine last Tuesday night, and Wednesday morning I couldn't turn my head. Which really, really sucks. I mean, if I'm going to injure myself in bed, I'd at least like to have earned it. But no, apparently sleeping is a high-risk physical activity for me.

Jeez, I feel old.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ooooh, Lookit What I Got!

Normally when the doorbell rings, it's the local Jehovah's Witness out to save my soul, or the obnoxious neighbor kid who won't go away until you apply your hint with a sledgehammer and a barrage of rotten produce, or a kindly passing pedestrian letting me know that my brake lights are stuck on again. But this morning, it was the Purolator lady with a basket of goodies for me. Yay!

As she handed over the box, she grinned and asked, "More books?" How's that for living in a small town--everyone knows everybody else's business, and they're often just as excited as you are when awesome things arrive.

Have to say, I'm as stoked as I was the first time. I'm wondering if it's ever something you get used to--holding your own book in your hands. As much as I love ebooks, as much as I hold to the belief that they're just as "real" as print books, there's something very...tangible about paper and ink. And the knowledge that now my work is accessible to the 90+% of the population that prefers print to digital doesn't hurt, either.

I will, of course, be putting one or two signed copies up for grabs as release day nears, and will think of something suitably mortifying for you all to do to qualify. I'm sure you won't disappoint me, either.

Just so you know, I haven't sniffed these books yet. I've been on muscle relaxants all week since I put my neck out on Tuesday, and I'm worried the fumes from the ink will interact with the drugs. Best to play it safe. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Procrastinating... harder work than you might think.

My kids went to their dad's on Sunday and, Monday being Victoria Day here in Canuckyland, they stayed there overnight. This meant I had the entire house to myself for over 24 hours. My boss, realizing the rareness of this occurrance (on par with a planetary alignment or the day my daughter says no to cake), offered me the night off work, too, so I had nowhere to go, nothing to do.

Woot! So what's a writer to do with 24 uninterrupted hours but sink into the La-Z-Boy with the laptop and write some blammo smut?

Apparently plenty.

I spent all day Sunday cleaning my house. Living room, kitchen, family room, bathroom, a week's worth of clean laundry finally folded (but not put away yet--baby steps, people). Oddly, I'm a little disappointed in myself. I take a certain pride in my ability to maintain the stereotypical facade of the absent-minded, slovenly, obsessive writer. On any normal day, my house could be falling down around me, and I'd rather be bloghopping, writing or engaging in lengthy email discussions about books.

But never fear. I haven't quite gone over to the dark side yet.

In between these uncustomary bursts of domestic activity, I managed to read the entirety of Ann Aguirre's Grimspace (yes, I'm the last person on the planet to read it, but I've now remedied that), and enjoyed it so much I purchased the second in the series from Sony before I went to bed so I could start it first thing Monday morning. Monday, I did nothing but sit on my ass and gobble up all of Wanderlust in one orgy of sci-fi gluttony before the kids walked back in the door at 3:00. And I had pizza delivered for dinner because the last thing I felt like doing was cooking.

After dinner, smut time, right? Uh, no.

Despite the fact that Lianon and Rhianna have been trying everything short of semaphore to get my attention back where it belongs, I spent the evening tinkering with the beginning of my giant, huge, epic fantasy WIP from ages long past (ten years ago, to be exact), the wellspring of all my current books. I'd originally written it in MSWorks, and saved it in individual chapter files, and I'd been dreading the Herculean task of taking each one and going through them, paragraph by paragraph, to modify the formatting and copy them into one file. As I went, I began to read, and got sucked in.

Not by the awesomeness, but by the suckage.

Much as I love the story itself, some of those scenes... *shudder* Oh, the horrors of my then-newbie mistakes! POV inconsistencies galore. Clunky dialogue riddled with "As you know, Bob" exchanges and a dismaying lack of contractions. Infodumping that would shame even Robert Jordan. Redundant redundancies that are appallingly redundant.

"What was I thinking with those funky dialogue tags?" I expostulated to myself. "And the redundancies? And what's with all the telling? Where's the subtext? Do my readers need to have every little thing explained to them? Are they idiots? And the fade-to-black sex scenes? Sheesh, is one orgasm too much to ask? Also, the redundancies, what's up with them?"

In desperation, I opened some of the later chapters and was much reassured that my writing has improved over time. But damn, that thing is going to need some work.

One day, I'll be up to performing the radical surgery that will make that puppy ready for submission. One day, I will conquer it. But not today.

Today, my friends, is for smut. Hot girl-on-girl smut. Nothing will stand in my way, dammit.

Lianon and Rhianna, here I come...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cover Art Squee!!

Well, here it is, in all its nekkid glory: the cover for my July release from Samhain, The Chancellor's Bride. If there's one thing that can be said for historical fantasy, it's that stock photos with, you know, clothes suitable to the period are hard to come by, resulting in an abundance of cover heroes and heroines strutting around in their birthday suits. And you won't hear me complaining about it, either...

Those of you who have read Bound by Steel may recognize the two lovely gentlemen in the blurb below--Chancellor Collin and his lover-cum-manservant, Harral. The moment I wrote their characters, I knew I had to give them their own story--and a woman they could both love to bits.

Her love for two men could save their future. Her secrets could destroy them all.

Recently re-elected Chancellor Collin sur-Gaerig is a rising star on the political scene, and everyone expects he’ll soon be rewarded with an estate and title. He also has a dirty little secret: he’s in love with his manservant, Harral. If anyone—especially the wife he’s expected to take—discovers their affair, all his aspirations will go up in smoke.

The mysterious woman he finds lying half-dead in the street is strong, beautiful, independent…and aroused when she catches him and Harral in a compromising position. As Aelis worms her way past their closely guarded defenses and into their bed, they realize she’s the perfect match for both of them.

But Aelis has a secret of her own, an ex-lover’s blackmail scheme that could get them all killed. To save the men she’s come to love, she’s willing to sacrifice her own happiness, maybe even her life.

Collin’s not about to let that happen. For the first time in his life, he’s willing to risk it all in order to have it all. Even if it means he could lose the man he’s loved for years—and the woman they both want to love forever.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, including m/m and m/m/f; violence; bad language; financial irregularities; uneaten dessert; gratuitous invocation of various deities; and breakfast-table hijinks you’re not likely to witness at your neighborhood IHOP.

For those of you scandalized by the idea of a dessert going to waste, I'm just going to apologize and say the plot demanded it. I can't be held responsible. The muse made me do it.

If you all would like to read an excerpt, I have one up here--and it should be safe even for my mom to read. I'll be posting some steamier stuff as the release date gets closer, along with the obligatory contest wherein I demand commenters say embarrassing things in lolcatspeak for a chance to win a copy.

For now, I'm just going to sit back and stare at the unbelievably sexy curve of that woman's spine, and ponder how a man's armpit can get me all hot and bothered...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Excerpt Monday!

It's Excerpt Monday again, that day when a bunch of us share links to excerpts from contracted work, released books or WIPs. Everyone who's playing this month will be posting five links to excerpts by other authors. My own is to a snippet from the work in progress you can see in my sidebar. I've picked 5 authors who all write similar genres with similar heat levels.

Kirsten Saell, Erotic Romance/Fantasy (NC-17)

Ella Drake Erotic Paranormal Romance (NC-17)

Ainslinn Kerry, Paramornal Romance (R)

Elise Logan, Paranormal/contemporary (R)

Vivienne Westlake, Historical Erotica (R)

Kate Willoughby Fantasy/Paranormal Erotic Romance (NC-17)

Want more? The Excerpt Monday site has a buttload of links to a ton of talented authors. Yay!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy...yeah, whatever :)

Other than Blammo, my youngest, barging in on me in the middle of my morning pee because he couldn't wait to shout "Happy Mothers' Day!" and hand me my marigolds (awww...), today has been pretty much like any other Sunday.

When I asked the kids last night if they wanted to do anything special today, or did they want to go to their dad's like usual, Firstborn replied with a grin, "What better Mothers' Day gift than a few hours to yourself without your horrible children?" Always knew he was smarter than he looks.

Considering I had to work (the only time I've ever had the holiday off was when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with Blammo, the baby who thought he was an elephant) and could therefore not plan anything special like pizza or dinner out or what have you, I agreed, a few hours alone in the house would be very nice.

Wanting to mark the occasion, I refused to do any chores at all today, other than a single load of laundry (needed a shirt for work) and a brief stop at the grocery store. Once I dropped the kids off at the boat, I turned into an amoeba and didn't move until 4:30 other than to periodically extend a pseudopod and engulf some food or coffee.

Work was tolerable--customers were extra generous, which is not surprising when you are served by a mother on what's supposed to be her special day. My boss made me a huge pile of ginger fried shredded beef for dinner, and when I got home the kids were back and getting along.

All in all, a good day. I've never been the sentimental type--I forget my own birthday half the time, and only make a big deal out of Christmas because it's an excuse to shop and eat turkey. A little time to myself, and a little time being a mother, that's cool with me. :)

Hope you all had a good day, whether that meant breakfast in bed or seafood brunch or dinner out or a plastic cup full of marigolds delivered to you mid-pee. It's all good. Happy Moms' Day!