Friday, September 30, 2011

Food Friday!--Customer Satisfaction

First things first--I'm thinking about doing one of two things: either changing the focus of Friday from food, which would result in a blog title change, which I really don't want to do. Or, posting every other Friday. Why? I like talking about food, but at the same time, I don't. If that makes sense. I'll decide later.

So, today, what's floating through my mind food-wise is this: if you're a picky eater--I'm talking like, it takes a solid five minutes to give your server your order--actually, scratch that, so picky that no matter how many times you go to a place, the kitchen never gets it right, despite the best efforts of every person on the staff, including the manager--why would you continue to go there?

I'm not asking/thinking this in a rude way. It's a genuine curiosity. Everyone has a right to be picky about their food, especially when they're paying for it. I know that whenever I go out to eat, if I get chicken, I always ask the kitchen to burn it, like literally BURN it. I can count on one hand the number of the times the kitchen as taken me at my word--I guess everyone thinks I'm pulling their leg, when in fact I'm straight serious. Still, I don't throw a fit, I don't ask things to be recooked, I especially don't cause a flat-out scene.

So, I don't understand why other people do. Maybe my patience comes from working on the other side. Or maybe I was raised with manners, which is something some people today seem to be sadly lacking in. I really don't know where the difference in handling the situation comes from. Readers, any clues?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Random Thursday!

On today's list of random things I'm thinking/doing/are happening:

Breakfast with my family. We don't often manage to be together in the same place, and today it just happened that we all decided to go eat breakfast at the same restaurant. One of those quirks of the universe.

E-mailing after Midnight. Don't do it, whether or not you're sober. Just spent the morning explaining to the formatter that my fingers are fat, and no, I don't think she's my editor. Clearly, I have a problem with my fingers being fat, something made worse with a lack of sleep.

Editing. I hate it. I loathe it, I despise it, I might start running out of normal adjectives here if I'm not careful. Yes, I understand the vitalness of it. That does not mean I have to like it. Which is good. Because I might have a problem.

My Cats. I feel like this may an entire post here someday. My cats are special creatures. I'm watching one of them right now, who probably weighs more than a two year old child, and I'm waiting for the moment when he takes off running, hits the kitchen floor, and slides straight into the cabinets. Because he does this at LEAST twice a day, without fail. No rhyme, no reason, at least not to me. He just gallops everywhere like he's part horse. I call him my special child--because if he was human, I'd have to treat him like Ralphie from the Simpsons, and pray he didn't eat the red crayon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Writing Wednesday--The Art of the Blurb

Does anybody watch Mad Men? Well, obviously not at the moment--neither do I, but hopefully they'll be rectifying that grievance here soon. Anyway, one of the things I've always loved about Mad Men is that they actually show the process of ad-writing. I have no idea how accurate it is, but it looks pretty damn accurate, for the simple reason that there are times when the various characters want to pull their hair out.

Every time I need to write a blurb, I experience their pain.

I don't know what it is. I can write novels, entire novels, and only feel the urge to slit my wrists once, maybe twice. Ten minutes into writing a blurb and I would gladly swallow a fistful of Ambian to get out of the job.

Is it a block? Some sort of ingrained habit about boasting that kicks in? Or just a general inability to say things in a concise manner? I'll admit, that's a bad habit of mine, one I've had to curb in writing but which I can' seem to curb in real life. I couldn't begin to tell you the number of times my friend has told me to "hurry up and get to the point already".

Like I said, I don't know what it is. But I know it's a pain in my ass. And now you know what I'll be doing today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Taken Tuesday!

No, you didn't read that wrong. And no, I didn't type that wrong. In honor of the upcoming release of my next work TAKEN on November 8, I'll be posting a small excerpt each Tuesday for the next seven weeks (or five, depending on how you count them).

TAKEN is my interpretation of the classic crime fiction/noir genre, with a dash of paranormal and romantica thrown in. It's a little gritty than either Shades of Gray or New Moon Rising and definitely racier. I had a ridiculous amount of fun writing it, even when I wanted to tear my hair out at times.

Ok, so enough of my yammering. Below you'll find an excerpt from Chapter Two--I hope it whets your appetite for more!

     I crossed the lobby of the Waldorf, waved at the check-in clerk. I was close to an hour late. Jack would already be waiting with the room key. I ignored the glitz, glamour and tourists and headed for Peacock Alley.
     I stopped in the entrance, did a slow scan of the room. Lunch hour, even for WASPs and bankers, was long finished. Still too early for the dinner crowd. I spotted Jack tucked away in the back right corner. A single shot glass sat on the table.
     I paid no attention to the whispered comments or stares thrown my direction as I wound my way through tables. Until the overly loud one about my hourly price.
     “Honey, if you’re asking, you can’t afford me.” The idiot’s friends, every one of them decked out in three piece suits and ties, snorted and laughed. Drinks spilled over the clothed surface and I rolled my eyes. Future of America, my ass. Which got slapped as I walked past the table.
     I froze, shut my eyes and counted to ten. Opening them, I shook my head at Jack. He eased back down into the booth, gave a sharp nod. I spun on my heels, my oversized bag connecting with the asshole’s head. My deliberate stumble brought the ice-pick heel down on the toe of his wingtip. His eyes widened when I pushed my hands out to break my fall, my palm closing over his dick.
     I leaned in, watched beads of sweat pop up on his forehead as I twisted my fist. My native Kentucky twang came out when I spoke. “I’ll put that down to being young, dumb and full of cum, so I won’t do anything other than make your balls ache in the worst way possible. But the man over in the corner, he’d like nothing more than to peel the skin off your face before he pulls your tongue clean out your throat and strangles you with it. So when I stand up, you’re going to apologize. And then you’re gonna leave.”
     I paused, watched my words sink in. Nobody said a word. I straightened, brushed my hair back, tugged down the hem of my skirt. Muttered and stammered apologies spewed forth, wallets yanked from pockets, cash tossed carelessly on the table. Turning, I continued making my way to Jack.
     I slid into the booth across from him, rolled my shoulders. The picture I’d had of him in my head for the last hour didn’t hold a candle to the reality. Eyes so bloodshot the Red Cross could have pulled a pint of blood from them, cheeks and chin covered with scruff, hair in a hundred directions. He looked like hell.
     We’d be lucky to make it to the room.
     “Keep your seat, Jack.”
     “Maybe.” He leaned back as the server placed two shots on the table. His eyes roamed up and down, did a better job of assaulting me than the banker could ever dream of doing. “What’d you tell the kids?”
     “The usual. You were sitting here entertaining about a hundred different ways to kill them.” I lifted my glass, clinked it against his. Tequila slid down smooth, added fuel to the fire already burning.
     “You didn’t give me that much time. I’d say I was only up to number twenty five.” Jack held up two fingers, tapped his empty glass on the table. “And who were you today?”
     “Hundred dollar an hour hooker. There’s a Queens husband with a weakness for them and a Queens wife with a suspicious nature.” We tossed back the second round and I licked my lips clean, sighing. “I’d wager soon there’ll be a Queens ex-husband paying a generous amount of alimony and child-support.”
     Jack grunted, ran a hand through his hair. He’d tugged the tie loose and the knot hung crooked. His knee bumped against mine, slid between them. “What’s the work? New client?”
     “One of yours. Ian Hamby.” I slipped my shoe off, skimmed my toes up his calf. “Missing cousin. Bad attitude.”
     “Trouble. Bad trouble there.” His eyes skimmed over the bag next to me. “That why you’re late?”
     “Had to take Monster home.” Jack grunted again, eased his knee back. I slid my foot back into the shoe, wiggled my toes. “You ready?”
     “As far as you’re concerned, always.” We stood, his hand pressing into the small of my back. The first evening diners were coming in, tourists mingling with jaded locals. More lawyers and bankers surrounded the bar, sly glances sliding our way. Jack eyed them back, until leers die and shoulders hunch.
     “You’re scary, Jack.” My heels clicked on the marble, the sound sharp in contrast to our lazy walk. “Very scary.”
     Jack pulled me in front of him, curved his body around mine to press the elevator call button. I squirmed back against him, his quick intake of breath stirring the fine hairs around my ear. “You like it.”
     “Maybe.” I tilted my head, sighed when he nuzzled the crook of my neck. “Hard day?”
     “Getting harder.” He ground against me and this time my breath came short and harsh. “They’re sending a bottle up in an hour.”
     “An hour? Feeling ambitious?” The elevator dinged and a couple exited, cameras slung around necks, maps open. Jack nudged me forward, waited until the doors slid silently shut before spinning me around, pressing me against the paneled wall.
     “No. Hungry.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Media Monday

So, time for another running dialogue, this time for one of my new favorite series, Two Broke Girls.

Before the Show

Somehow, I've gotten sucked into watching How I Met Your Mother. I may have to do more research on this show. It's pretty darn amusing. And it has Jason Sudekis, who, for reasons I can't decipher, is totally hot. Maybe it's the humor. I love funny guys and I love witty, sarcastic guys and I love it even better when I manage to get both for the same price.

The Show

What I love about this show is the wisecracks start at the very beginning. They're actually going so fast, I can't keep up. So, I'll throw down the ones I manage to remember/catch in time.

"I don't cry. I sold my tear ducts to an organ bank two years ago."
 "I forgot you're Equestrian Barbie, you came with a horse."
"Well, that's Puerto Rican noise, you'll get used to it."
"I don't even let the men I sleep with sleep with me."
"If I were going to go lesbian, she'd be the last lez I'd be in."
"I prefer my usual cash on the bedside table."
"Look, Chanel No. 2!" --(After a character falls in horse poop)
"You almost ruined a perfectly happy fake marriage."
"Oh, joke's on you. I don't have a future."
"Oh, your bed's so soft." "That's my boob!"

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Random Thursday

We, being everyone I work with, just received the news that the mother of one of our fellow co-workers died yesterday. I'm not going to wax maudlin, or spout off about death being part of life or some other crap like that.

I'm going to say one thing, the thing that as I get older, I hold to more and more:

Don't just go through life. LIVE it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Writing Wednesday!

Before I start this, let me make a disclaimer: no, I am not being paid by Mira Grant to pimp her books. They are, quite simply, that awesome.

I'm in the middle of re-reading Feed. It's always fun to re-read a book, especially if you're like me and you go stalker-tastic and hunt up as much as you can about the book and the characters and whatnot. This time, I'm picking up on lots of little hints and clues about something that was like, "whoa, what the fuck" when it came up in the second book. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but I'm getting used to it.

I'm also prepping myself for the scene toward the end where one of the major characters dies. I wept, flat out wept, when this death occurred. It wasn't the fact this person died--ok, yes, that also had a lot to do with it. But really, it was the way Grant wrote the scene. To make it short and not too spoilery, there's a complete and total dissolution of self before the death. There's grief before the actual event, actual grief--in a commercial fiction, zombie book.

Clearly, Grant is something of a rule-breaker. Even more clearly, she rocks.

The last time I discussed these books, in relation to Writing Wednesday, I mentioned how I would feel accomplished if I was ever able to reach a reader in such a way. In the past month, since the re-release of Shades of Gray and the release of the mini-prequel, Hole in the Wall, I've seen my sales go up, I've done an amazing blog tour and made contact with new readers.

My proudest moments have come from the reviews where people told me they laughed and cried and held their breath and felt.

I don't know if I'll ever have the same huge fan base that Grant has accomplished with Feed and Deadline. But when I read reviews like those, I feel like maybe, just maybe, I'll somehow manage to get my writing in the same league.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!

So, I'm not reading anything new this week. Really, I shouldn't be reading anything at all, since I'm thisclose to finishing Taken. But, my subconscious or whatnot has been bugging me to pick this book back up and read it again, despite the fact that after reading it the first time I had horrible dreams/nightmares, freaked out anytime I heard a moan, and freaked out more when I didn't hear anything.

Yes. I'm rereading Feed. I'm not sure whether to curse you or praise you to the heavens, Mira Grant.

Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the past twenty six years: with an idiot--in this case, my brother Shaun--deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick to see what happens.
I read those opening lines in Borders (may you rest in peace) and bought the book right away. Devoured it (no pun intended) in a day, maybe two--I think I was working doubles, which slowed down my reading, since I barely had time to sleep let alone read. Did the same with the second book, Deadline. And I'll tell you now, if anyone knows how to get their hands on an ARC of the third book (not due out until right around my birthday next year, i.e, the first part of June), Blackout, you will live a life of amazing luxury--in one of my books. And I'll love you forever.

You can purchase Feed and Deadline at various places, or just click the pretty pictures below. As always, happy reading!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Media Monday--What I Want to Be Watching

With the end of True Blood, I have a dearth in my viewing schedule. Actually, I don't really have a viewing schedule, since I'm super selective about what I watch, which may not seem the case, but is the truth. I mean, really--you have to be a conscious effort into following both Boardwalk Empire AND South Park.

So, what I'm looking forward to/salivating over this season:

Mad Men
Boardwalk Empire
Walking Dead
The Good Wife
Two Broke Girls

There might be more. I doubt it. You'll notice that four of the five up there are drama--I like to be engrossed while watching television. Now, if I just want to relax, which is totally different, I go straight for turn your brain off comedy, which I'm hoping is the case for TBG.

The Fall 2012 Season kicks off tonight, with one of those shows being TBG. What shows are YOU looking forward to this year?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Food Friday--Deviled Eggs

I realized something the other day--it's been forever since I actually shared a recipe on Food Friday. I'm actually preparing this today to take to a cookout/day drinking event. It's a standard party treat that never gets old.

*Boil a dozen eggs (please, don't make me explain this part)
*Ice, peel, and halve; keep all the yolks in a separate bowl.
*Add mayo, mustard, salt and pepper to taste.
     This is where you can get creative. Depending on my mood and the occasion, I'll use Creole mustard with Tony Catcatori seasoning, or honey mustard with sea salt, or even just good old fashioned yellow mustard. Like I said, get creative, work with your own personal tastes. It ain't called the incredible, edible egg for nothing.
 *Spoon the filling into each egg half; dust with an appropriate spice


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Writing Wednesday

I'm nearing the end. Maybe another 20K to go. I honestly may lose my mind. God help us all.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!

Today, I'm SUPER excited. Yes, I'm so excited, I had to break out the CAPS button. Just be happy I restrained myself and didn't bold it as well.

The latest offering from J.D. Robb, New York to Dallas, came out today. I love this series. Seriously, I LOVE it. There I go with the CAPS again. Anyway, I bought it after work (which reminds me, with the demise of Borders, I was torn between Books a Million and Barnes & Noble. Today settled that--Books a Million is even more freaking expensive than B&N, which I didn't think was possible. Or I can hope Wal-Mart stays up on new releases. But I digressed a while back.), and rushed home to read, but not before posting my teaser:

She may have been going into her own personal hell to face a killer, but right at that moment she considered herself the luckiest woman in the world.

And now, I leave you all to go devour my book. I love Tuesdays!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Media Monday--True Blood Season Finale: I'm Still Waiting

Well. That was disappointing. On a variety of levels.

Things I Was Expecting to Happen, And They Did:

The Fairy Thing Went Nowhere. Nowhere. No.Where. Honestly, what was the point? All it did was provide an easy out for times when there was no other way. Again, in writing, we call that a deus ex machina. It doesn't fly in books. It doesn't fly in television.

No Real Resolution--For Anything. The end of this episode seemed like the set up for...well, another episode. It did not seem like an appropriate cliffhanger to keep us interested for nine months. Hell, I barely cared nine minutes after it was over.

The Continuation of Making Likeable Characters Either Total Assholes--Or Dead. I may be alone, but I've always loved Hoyt. He's like the adorable puppy/boyfriend you always wanted, if only for a little bit. And now he's the absolute asshole of the show. Tara? The damaged friend, the one you actually kind of love to hate but still love. And now she's dead. Jesus? A grounded half to Lafayette, but grounded because he understands the potential craziness of magic. And how he's dead. Alan Ball, what the hell were you thinking?

Things I Wasn't Expecting,  And They DID Happen

The Introduction of MORE Characters. Alan Ball, just because you killed some people off--some who definitely didn't need to go--does NOT mean you bring in more people who the audience will end up disliking. Didn't you learn your lesson from Tommy Mickens?

The End of the Bill/Sookie/Eric Triangle. Jeez, really? It's a triangle for all of what, three episodes? And talk about the most anticlimatic breakup ever. I was so bored, I actually started checking the sales on my books.

Pam's Breakdown. The only part of the entire episode I cared/teared up over. Add to that Pan letting Ginger comfort her, when she is clearly not a people person, and it just hurt my heart.

Overall, a disappointing ending to a disappointing season. The news has already been released that there will be a fifth season, so maybe Ball and company can redeem themselves. If not, well--my Sundays will be free and clear.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Random Thursday--Goals

Today, I have very few goals. Because I like to pretend I can accomplish things.

1. Eat breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day.
2. Do laundry. Or get someone to do it for me.
3. Go to the grocery store. So I can eat at some other point today.
4. Finish writing Taken. I don't know if I'll make the last one. I've got between 30 and 35K to go. My brain may in fact leak out of my ears before the end. But I'm going to give it the ol' college try. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Writing Wednesday--Close to the End

Close to the end of what, you might ask? Depending on the day, it could be close to the end of my rope, but in this particular case, I'm referring to the end of my work in progress, Taken, featuring Frankie Post.

One of my biggest problems--and also one of my biggest strengths--is my imagination. It's great, because, well, it's hard to be a writer if you don't have any imagination. But it sucks, because, well, my brain will flash forward way faster than it should. So maybe that's ADD combined with imagination.

I tend to get super impatient around the halfway to three quarter mark of a work. I mean, like dancing with ants in my pants impatient. I can see how things are supposed to go--dialogue, specific scenes, everything on how to get from point A to point B. I just can't type it fast enough, not and not risk screwing up the first draft so much it'd take forever and five days to fix it. A rough first draft is one thing. A disaster of a first draft is another. Which is exactly what I would end up with if I typed as fast as I wanted to.

So, even though I want to sit down after dinner (hey, nutrition is important) and bang out a good four to five thousand words, I'll limit myself to around two or three thousand. Because I'd rather get it close to right the first time, than so far off I won't even recognize what the hell I wrote when it finishes edits.

So maybe I am close to the end of my rope. But at least it will be well constructed.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teaser Tuesday!

Today--I have jury duty! Big, fat, not happy day to me. Don't get me wrong, I believe everyone should do their civil duty. I just think they should keep a record of people who always end up getting dismissed for certain concrete reasons, i.e. a degree in criminalology, and to keep things truckin', not call those people again. Or just do like one of my professors suggested and come up with a professional juror job position type thing.

Anyway. Today's teaser comes from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, which I will be reading while waiting for them to decide they don't want me to sit on the jury. At least my morning will be somewhat productive. Anywhere, here it is:

A large part of our job didn't even involve interacting with the vampiric world--it was the human world that needed tending.

Short, and to the point. Oh, and it has a really pretty cover, which is always awesome. And even though I'm too old for him in real life, I do have a crush on Adrian. Because I like bad boys. Yum.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Media Monday--True Blood

So, this is going to be a little different from our normal review. Seeing as I work in the morning (boo! hiss!) and will be dog tired when I get home, I'm going to write the review while watching the show. Think William Faulkner meets Roger Egbert or whatever the heck his name is. I'll try and censor my language. But I doubt it'll work.

While I'm Waiting: (approx. 15 mins before start of show)
Alan Ball--question: what was the deal with the fairies? Really, did they serve a purpose, because I don't feel like they did. After that first episode, I was in serious doubt about the entire season. Thankfully, things did get better. Mostly. Although I still don't know why we needed to time-travel, unless it was just for the hell of it. I mean, if that's what it was, cool, go with it, own it. But as a writer, that's what I like to call a deus ex machina. Otherwise known as "I have no idea how to get from point A to point B so I'll just throw something completely random and off the wall in there and hope people don't notice."

Damn. HBO takes forever between programs. I feel like I'm getting old here. Although I am getting a sneak peak of Boardwalk Empire, so that's good. Oooh, I think we may be starting. Or it's just another commercial. Yep, just another commercial, but it's the cool one with the population countdown, so I'll forgive them. Kind of. I really just want the show to start. Like now.

Maybe I should start watching Hung. It looks amusing. Although I'd have to catch up on seasons. But there is a great girl fight, so it may be worth it.

Enough with the advertising! Jeez, just show the program. I get it, Boardwalk Empire is coming back on. And I'll totally be there. But I want True Blood first. Just help me out here, okay?

Finally! Thank you, HBO!

The Show:

And, recap time. Bored. Sam Trammel is insanely hot. Terry is bad-ass. Marnie is bat shit crazy. And now the fun starts.

Fabulous line. "This is what PMS used to feel like." I could totally get behind dealing with PMS with semi-automatic weapons.
And the blood is spilling already. But Sookie's hair looks fabulous. Seriously.

Title credits. Scary, yet sexy. Except for the roadkill and decomposing stuff and the bugs. All that's just gross.

And we're back. This is kind of cool. Like schizophrenia in visual form. Look, even Jesus uses bat-shit. Obviously not a too horrible phrase. And, wow, Marnie patting her belly like she just had a good snack. Classic.

Jason. Awesome. Seriously awesome. And people thought you were just a walking erection. Aww, sad moment with Jessica.

Sam and Alcide. How bad am I that I seriously want Sam to just go bat-shit on this guy. I'm not a big fan of Luna. Wasn't a huge one of Debbie, but at least she's taking a stand against Marcus. Kind of. That counts for something. Although Marcus is a tricky bastard, even if he's prejudiced as all get out.

And we're back to the craziness. Although it's nice to see Jesus being all medical. I don't think she's alive though--yep, I was right. Uh-oh. Jesus is acting nuts. This could be good or bad. Considering that we're still one episode from the end, I'll go with bad. Oh, we're getting to Marnie's motivations. Granted, they're decent, but her execution is kind of sucking. And who said blondes are stupid. Holly and Sookie are totally owning that.

Andy. Holy shit-pants. "Don't go all lost in nature retarded." What's up with the fairies? Didn't I just ask this question? Did I get an answer? Not really.

Converging storylines. Always fun.

And shit is about to hit the fan. On a side note, this is really tiring.  And that was one of the worst deaths ever. What the fuck. And really, Marnie? You're such a total bitch. Boys, don't do it. Don't. Do. It. Shit. I think they're going to do it. Or, Pam is going to turn this in to more of a cluster fuck.

I lied. Now, the shit is going to hit the fan. I'm totally Team Sam. The things I would do to that man. And none of them are publishable.

Jesus. By the way, it looks really weird typing that. Anyway, this is not looking good. Demon face talk is always bad. Knives are never good, either. Oh, and look, blood. Always a sign of a party going in the wrong direction.

Jason. Oh, shit. Jess, fix this.

Andy and fairies. This is not good. I don't trust this wench. Although I love the carb comment. Andy, take heed. This is not good, not good by any means. Really, don't trust this wench. This feels like a huge ass trap.

Sam. I know you can fight better than that. Oh, there you go. Really think you should have killed him, though. As evidenced by the fact he just tried to kill you. But, look, Alcide took care of that for you. More shit hitting more fans. I feel bad for Debbie. Really. No, really.

Back to the nut. Although that's a cool trick. Don't have a crystal ball, use a puddle of blood. What is up with that one guy? He's like a flippin' sheep.

And the bathroom. This better be the most kick-ass spell ever, considering all the shit Jesus is going through. It better break the bond, or I'm going to be seriously pissed.

Jason and Jess. Well, it was cute until the Monster Mash started. Now I'm worried about them walking into the wall of crazy sunshine. Thanks for being a loud broadcaster, Jason.

Holy Shit Pants! Holy Shit Pants! Holy Shit Pants! What the heck was that. And what the hell is this? Christ on a cracker, Jesus, could you get your shit together and do it like the fuck now because this is seriously not good in the least.

Thank you, Jesus, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Although Tara had the best line. "I quit this group."

Best visual. Eric using the aorta as a straw.

Nice execution, Bill. Although with Marnie dead, what the heck is the last episode about?

Back to Andy and the fairy.  I really think this is odd. Alan Ball, why are you introducing new shit this close to the end? Got to love Arlene. Backwoods and strange, but she's got a good heart. And much better hair this season. Much better.

Fallout/Cleanup. Always the worst part. And Tara actually wasn't super annoying the last few episodes. And Sookie, just choose one. Actually, just choose Eric. Jason, stop being an ass. You like the girl. She likes you. Just kiss her. You know what just occurred to me? Lafayette has a really small bed. Or maybe it's small because there are two grown men in it. And what's up with Jesus? Because something is, I can tell. Oh, shit. Really? Son of a bitch.

Okay, that's all folks. This was exhausting, so I doubt I'll do it again. Unless it's for Boardwalk Empire or Mad Men. Those two move at a slower pace, thank God. Catch you tomorrow, for Teaser Tuesday!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Shades of Gray Blog Tour: Final Stop--Excerpt and Giveaway!

So. We've reached the end. This is both a sad and momentous time. First, I'd like to thank all the bloggers who participated in the tour, because obviously, without you this wouldn't have been possible. I'd especially like to thank Belinda, over at The Bookish Snob - you've been one of my biggest supporters and fans since the beginning, and rest assured, I spread your praise as often as possible. I'd also like to thank everyone who has followed along. I hope you've been entertained and informed, at least a little of both, each day.

When I first sat down to write Shades of Gray, I had no idea how big it would become. Granted, it's not terribly big yet, but it's getting there. Still, when I sat down and started thinking about the kind of character I wanted to read about, I didn't plan on the start of a series. I just had the nebulous idea of a girl, the kind I'd like to hang out in a bar with, and from there came the idea of how to turn her life upside down, and from there, how to make things even more complicated.

But in the beginning, it was just about telling a story. One other people would like, that I'd be proud to say I wrote. A story that would have people saying, "When's the next one coming out?" or "I've been telling people about your stuff since I finished reading it."
There've been people along the way who've hated the story. Who called the story amatuer and self-indulgent and pretty much prayed I'd never write again. There've been people who, while more kind, just couldn't get into the story. Those people have made me, made my writing, and made the next story stronger. So, they get a thank you.
And then there've been people like you. Who've found something to keep reading. Who've been entertained and amused and moved and a host of other emotions. Who've been supportive without ever even knowing it, or suspecting how much it matters.
This final stop - and giveaway - are for you.
But first - an excerpt! A cliffhanger, if you will, to keep you going until the next book.

One line. Two lines. Which did I want?
I was pretty good living the one line life. I got to drink whenever I wanted. Have sex whenever I wanted. Sleep whenever I wanted. Have sex whenever I wanted.
Maybe I focused too much on the sex. Not possible.
On the other hand, something about two lines made me warm and fuzzy inside.
I blew out a breath and sat on the edge of the tub. Crossed my legs. Uncrossed my legs. Stood up. Paced to the door. Back to the tub. Sat down on the edge.
I had no idea three minutes took so long. I’d had sex in less time. Not recently, thank you, Theo, but in the past.
Ninety seconds. I was going to die.              
One line. Two lines. One line. Two lines. Which did Theo want, one or two? We hadn’t talked about it. Joked, but not seriously discussed. Probably two lines. Maybe.
What if he wanted one line? Not all the time, but right now. What if he wanted a walk down the aisle first? Hand fasting, and how did that even work, really?
The timer went off and I jumped, nearly falling into the bathtub. I stood, surprised to find myself shaking a little. Taking a deep breath I picked up the test.
Oh. My. God.
Two lines.

Again, thanks so much for following along. I've had so much fun doing this, and can't wait to be out on tour again. But now - the giveaway!

The rules are very simple.

1. Be a follower on Twitter (lmpruitt)
2. Leave a comment with your email below.

EVERY person who does those two things will get a copy of Shades of Gray AND New Moon Rising. Yes, I said it, and I meant it. EVERY PERSON WHO FOLLOWS AND COMMENTS WILL GET A COPY OF BOTH BOOKS. Ok, I'll stop yelling now. You have from now until Sunday at midnight to follow and comment. I'll e-mail copies as people respond (unless it's the middle of the night - then you'll get them when I wake up/get home from work).

As always - HAPPY READING!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blog Tour--Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews

How bittersweet this is--the last stop before the last stop. The end before the end. The chocolate before the pretzel. Wait, that one doesn't work too well.

Either way, we're over at Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews today. And tomorrow, we're finishing things up here.