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Category Archives: The Holidays

Spring Has Sprung!

Okay, so maybe I’m a little premature in welcoming the Spring, but we had a sunny day last Saturday and I’m definitely ready for warmer temperatures! In looking at the last time I posted about the Spring, it’s fun to see where my headspace was at last year and what books I was working on. Last Spring saw my first month of real book sales and it’s awesome to find myself a full time writer now a year later!

I’ve been thrilled with the response to the release of my latest book, Find Me When the Sun Goes Down! Right now it’s sitting at #16 on the list of Hot New Releases for Horror this month, but it has fluctuated as low as #6 (definitely my strongest release ever). I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see people reading this series, as Anja and company have a special place in my heart. I hope to have the print edition ready to go in the next couple of weeks.

I just started on my next book today, The Company of Shadows, and so far it’s going really well. I’m trying something new, adding the perspective of the bad guy this time, which will hopefully give a better insight into his motivations and vulnerabilities. It’s about a girl (Cady — rhymes with lady) who gets sucked into the fight between a demon hunter and the demon he’s pursuing in their crappy part of town. The demon hunter is very closed off, removed from a lot of human contact, but he *wants* normal things, and Cady provides the perfect distraction when they’re thrown together. The demons in this world are the type to possess human bodies, so think less of the grotesque scaly type demons and more the sexy predator hiding among the human population type demons. Cady’s a smart girl trapped in a dead end life until she gets caught up in her next door neighbor’s supernatural drama. I haven’t decided how steamy this one will get, with sensual demons and the sexy guy next door it has a lot of potential, including the potential for an entire series. We’ll see what the characters get up to.

If all goes as planned, I hope to have this one written in about a month, then another month to edit. After that, it’s back to Anja in Miss Me When the Sun Goes Down.

Silent Night, Busy Night!

Hey, everybody. Sorry I’ve been radio silent for so long, life has been getting away from me lately. In addition to the craziness at work, we’re going through a remodel at home and it’s been a little crazy here too. Luckily, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Between holidays and PTO, I have only eleven days left of work! Eleven!!! By the end of the year we’ll have our house back to ourselves with much anticipated improvements and I’ll be writing full-time! I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to focus on my writing and family! I might even try to remember what some of my other hobbies are again.

I’ve been taking my down time from writing and putting it to good use by going back to re-edit my Mercy books for grammar and continuity with everything I’ve learned from my editing team. I’m thinking of putting together a boxed set of them next year, maybe with some character interviews and deleted scenes I’ve posted here before.

I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to getting back to Anja and Bishop for the next book in my Forged Bloodlines vampire series! I already have most of the book plotted out in my head, but I love the process of nailing down the outline and fleshing it out from start to finish. If you think Anja got into trouble in her home town, wait until she goes abroad after Bishop!

I hope everyone’s getting into the holiday mood! Here’s a pic of our tree with our pretty new mahogany floors. :)

Vacation Days Four and Five

This is the last day of our trip to Olympia and the motel is serving little sausage patties so I make myself an english muffin, sausage and egg sandwich even though I know it’ll blow my sodium levels through the roof! Not much to do this morning but pack up and head for home, but on the way out of town, we cruise by the police station, for a quick look; research for a future book.

Beautiful, gorgeous, sunny day today and the drive back is smooth as silk. We stop for gas and a coffee (and bathroom break of course) and once more at a rest stop before stopping for lunch at Wienerschnitzel’s for a last chance to break the diet while on vacation.

The house is nice and quiet when we get home as the youngest is at school and the oldest is completely nocturnal, guaranteeing us a nice quiet afternoon to decompress. I manage to make my 2k of writing and I’m back on the horse with my daily writing quota for Nine Steps to Sara, (it feels good to be back on track!).

This gives us all day Tuesday to relax and veg out before returning to the stack of work we both know has piled up in our absence.

A nice vacation over all, can’t wait to do it all again in October!

Vacation Day Three – Avengers Assemble!

We’re reminded at about midnight as we get ready to go to sleep that the club across the street from the motel likes to play loud music on Sat and Sun nights until 2am. No worries, the TV has music channels, so we put some music on and drift off to sleep like babes (which means we wake up every two hours).

Sunday morning breakfast is a repeat of the day before, but we’re eager to get outside before the worst of the heat settles in for the day. Another stop at Target and we pick up a figure of Thor and I get a Captain America dogtag necklace, woot!

Today we decide we are going to drive around looking for houses, which is ridiculous because our house isn’t remotely ready for sale, but we can’t resist because we’d love to move to Olympia. We have no real plan, so we drive around looking at signs for new construction until we find a development we fall in love with and spend an hour drooling over show models. This one is called the Wellington, sells for only $235k and has a perfect office downstairs for me for writing!

By the time we’re done, I need a pitstop, so we go to Fred Meyer and pick up more figures, this time of Skrull – boring!

As we’re both pretty hungry, we pull into a mexican restaurant called Plaza Jalisco and sadly the food is salty, but otherwise completely devoid of flavor. Even the salsa tastes tomatoes, but no heat to it, which is a huge disappointment. It’s been a week since we’ve seen The Avengers, and we decide to escape the heat of the afternoon with a matinee showing. It’s the 2nd week, middle of a Sunday afternoon and the theater completely sells out. Not a single space is left… this movie is Awesome!

After the movie, we head back to the motel and there is thankfully parking as the boat festival has started to pack up. We’ve been gone all day and decide to order from PizzaTime and watch Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol on Blu-Ray hooked up to the TV. Jeremy Renner is awesome as usual, and I take another nice relaxing back after dinner.

Not a single word of writing done today and I am completely guilt free!

Vacation Day Two – Electric Boogaloo

Because everything is better when you put Electric Boogaloo, right?

We wake up bright and early, as always it’s a little bit strange sleeping away from home, but a nice hot shower cures the aches and pains of getting older. The Phoenix Inn boasts a free breakfast, but on weekends they never have any meat unless you like biscuits and sausage gravy (I don’t, but the Captain does), so it’s a bagel with cream cheese and some crumbly scrambled eggs for me. I’m reminded that Washington’s water tastes blecchy unless it’s filtered (but not as bad as California’s, double blecch) and decide to stick to the bottled water in the room.

Then it’s on to the wooden boat fair!

The booths have all kinds of wares from blown glass sculptures to honeycrafts to insurance. (Yep, there is seriously a booth for selling insurance. Just when I thought I could escape work!) We find the cutest dress for my 13 year old and after some furious texting (because I don’t pretend to know what she actually likes anymore), we confirm she likes it and buy it for her along with some flavored honey sticks.

After lunch at the Black Bear Diner again, It’s starting to get hot out, so we head to the mall in search of air conditioning, more retail therapy and maybe a movie. Bummer for us, it’s not all that cool in the mall, but chocolate peanutbutter ice cream helps.

Back to Target to buy more figures and we get Hawkeye (yippee!). We also discover that they sell Avengers dogtag necklaces too, so we try our luck and end up with Black Widow, which the Captain promptly claims as his own.

Because we’re on vacation, we decide to throw resolutions out the window and pick up Taco Bell for dinner back in the room. I’ve only written 36 words today and I decide that I’ve earned a couple of days off, even though I’m right in the middle of Nine Steps to Sara. I take a nice relaxing bath, and we chill out in the room all evening.

Trip to Olympia

We take one or two short vacations a year because I hate to travel and don’t like to go too far from home. Here is a recap of our recent trip to Olympia, WA.

Day One – It’s a bright, sunny day, perfect for a road trip. After an unscheduled trip to the dr’s office, we’re on the road only about a half hour behind schedule, not too shabby. We’re off on the road to Olympia with a tank full of gas, and I’m excited to see the miles per gallon gauge go up as soon as we hit the freeway.

1st stop – we’re completely derailed from our careful schedule by the lure of chilidogs at Wienerschnitzel, not even an hour into the trip. Neither one of us is particularly hungry, but we agree, it’s worth the stop since it’s a rare treat.

2nd stop – it’s a well known fact that I have a bladder the size of a thimble. So even though I went at the last stop, we stop again in Kelso at a Target and a new theme is born. This is the week of the Avengers mini action figures. You know those little mystery figures you can buy at the store for $2.99 and you have no idea which figure you get until you open it? We decide that every time we stop at a store that carries them we’re going to buy one until we get the complete set, or get bored with the premise. This stop gives us:

3rd stop – rest area. I just can’t resist these stops. They’re clean, there’s lots of nice green grass and trees to look at if you want to stretch your legs and best of all, easy to get in and out of. Two minutes later we’re back on the road.

Olympia here we are!!!

It’s still about three hours before we can check in to the hotel, so we stop off for a look at Danger Room, the coolest comic book shop in town. Besides the two Serenity books we get, they have a bunch of free comic books left from Free Comic Day and we load up. Now it’s on to Cascadia, where they have milkshakes so good, we have been drooling over them for a whole year since we were last there. We step up to the door and see a sign – new ownership – uh oh. It all looks the same when we get inside, but opening the menu we find there has been a complete overhaul. No more 6 kinds of french fries (the spicy fries and garlic fries were the best!) and no more specialty burgers (I liked the Sarape one which had guacamole, pepper jack cheese and enchilada sauce). Instead there are different burgers and you can even get some rare ones like buffalo burgers (as in the animal, not the hot wings sauce). The milkshakes are still fantastic, but overall, it’s a disappointing trip.

Still can’t check into the hotel so we stop off at Burial Grounds coffee for a mocha.

We pull into The Phoenix Inn about a half hour before check in time, but they let us in anyway with some very friendly service. We get the same room we always get, mostly because I love the bathtub out in the middle of the room. A little bit of a rest and about 1000 words for Nine Steps to Sara written and we’re out to the Black Bear Diner and the tri-tip steak is so good!

After dinner it’s on to Target for another mystery figure, this time it’s Tony Stark:

Then it’s back to the room to rest and relax and unfortunately not get any more writing done. Tomorrow is the old fashioned wooden boat festival, and we’re looking forward to exploring all the tents and wares!