Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring Author Round-Up!

I'm in the last days of a deadline crunch. Nothing to see here but my brain smoking. But there's plenty to see over at Petticoats and Pistols! April 28-May 2 they're hosting a Spring Author Round-up.

"The Fillies will be taking a short vacation. For the next six days we’ll have guests taking up the slack. You won’t be left in the cold. No siree. Every day you’ll have several new blogs to comment on. Don’t forget to scroll down and comment on all the authors’ posts. We’ll have two or three drawings for prizes every single day. Yep, this is a big bonanza and your chance to cash in!"

I'm a featured guest author on Thursday, May 1. In celebration of my upcoming release The Fall of Rome, I'll be giving away the first two books of the wild west series, Lasso the Moon and Romancing the West, plus a customized wild west messenger bag. Hop over and check out the list of guest authors and the awesome prizes being given away every day!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?

During one of our long walks in London (we love to walk there), we passed Shakespeare's Globe Theater. The original theater burned down long ago, but it was reconstructed to look exactly like it.
We've toured the Globe before, although I've yet to catch a Shakespearean performance as we're always in London during the off season. Someday...

Although we were on or way to somewhere else, I did ask Steve if I could just pop in the gift shop. There I fell in love with some art that I'd never seen before. In particular, a stunning print of Romeo and Juliet. It was a 'have to have this' moment. I cringed when I saw the price. No doubt marked up for the Globe, plus the American dollar was at a low. I moved on in my browsing, and what do I see? Steve carrying to the print to the cash register! (So sweet!)

I am now the proud owner of this beautiful print of an original watercolour and inkwash drawing by Elizabeth E. Schuch--signed by the artist! (Ignore the faded Immortal markings. That's from the website)
"See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand! O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek!"

I found the website after I got home. The prices are much more reasonable via this route. The art is beautiful. I think I'm going to start a collection, 'Shakespeare' next. Go browse the beauty at Immortal Longings.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Magical London

Steve and I took a long walk on our last night in London. It was windy and raining, but we had umbrellas and, hey, it was our last night in the city we love! We started at Parliment and Steve got this magical shot of Big Ben. Looks like snow or stardust, doesn't it? Nope. Just rain.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Brush with Bond, James Bond

It seems like forever since I was in London. Actually, it was just last week. I have several delightful photos to share, but since many of you are waiting for evidence that I actually did see Daniel Craig, the new (and incredibly hot James Bond), I'll start there.

First let me say, I have the best husband in the world. Knowing I have a fantasy crush on Mr. Craig, he alerted me that Daniel was going to be present for a film premiere of his movie Flashbacks of a Fool. That premiere was only a few short blocks from the flat we were staying in. He didn't complain when we braved the crush of fans vying for a glimpse of the movie's stars as they walked the red carpet (yes, it was really red). He even volunteered to take pictures. He's taller than me and could hold the camera higher. A must when there are multitudes of people straining for shots with their cameras and phones. He was patient when Daniel took forever to conduct red carpet interviews with journalist on the OPPOSITE side of the carpet. (We are now intimately acquainted with DC's backside) And he didn't even flinch when Daniel finally came over to our side and I squealed with excitement.

So, without further rambling, here are some extremely candid shots of Daniel Craig compliments of my awesome husband. Let me add that Mr. Craig was unbelievably humble and gracious with his overly enthusiastic fans. In addition to being a fine actor, he's a nice guy. Talk about refreshing.

Not a cigar in his mouth, but a Sharpie-the pen he used to sign autographs. He needed his hands free for a sec. Check out those blue eyes!

The smile. That's all I'm saying.

And now for the bonus, the movie trailor...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Evie Shines at Romantic Times

I wasn't there to accept the award. I don't even know if they announced my name since I couldn't attend. But I know I won because Carol Stacy of Romantic Times BOOKreview Magazine emailed me a few weeks ago. I've been dying to share the news, but winners were asked to keep this under their hats until the formal announcements were made at the Awards Luncheon at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. That Awards Luncheon was this afternoon, so I'm shouting it out, dang it!

ALL ABOUT EVIE won the 2007 RT Reviewers Choice Award for Best Contemporary Romance!

I am thrilled!

I would be honored no matter what. I can't imagine how many books the reviewers read per year for the magazine. But I am especially astounded considering the magnificent books and authors I was up against. My heartfelt thanks to the hard working reviewers and everyone at Romantic Times. Wow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Jet-lagged and Pensive

The best part about arriving home yesterday was being reunited with our beloved nutty pets, (L to R) Sadie, Cheyenne and Billie. To say they greeted us enthusiastically is an understatement. They were well cared for while we were in London, but six days is a long time. They missed us and we missed them. Last night, while I battled jet-lag and tried to make headway on the deadline book (a true effort of diving right back into work), all three of them spent the evening curled up by my feet in my office. It gave me the warm fuzzies. It's good to be the center of their universe. *g*

I zonked out early last night and woke at a crazy early hour this morning. My body clock is still ticking on London time. I've spent the morning catching up on some business and, you guessed it, working on the deadline book. Soon, I'll be heading into the library for a full day's work. How is it possible to take a six-day holiday and not feel rested?

The Romantic Times Convention is in full swing. After attending for thirteen years straight, it feels odd not to be there. PW's Barbara Vey and Smart Bitches', Sarah, are blogging about the festivities. I'll be experiencing RT vicariously through them.

Two things that are on my mind: Writers' organizations and related email 'loops' and blogging.

JA Konrath offers a thought-provoking post on the advantages (or not) of belonging to writers' organizations.
And on blogging...

'The very last thing an author should be doing is starting a blog," says author and blogger M. J. Rose. "Not just because the very act of writing the blog draws on the creativity energy that it takes to write our books, but because only a small percentage of us have something to write about three or four times a week, week after week, that readers crave - other than our books." Read the entire article on writers' blogging here.

I may not be rested, but I am pensive. Time away from the Internet, time with my husband and time to soak in some culture and history has prodded me to reassess my priorities. My chaotic schedule is not going to change. So how do I improve my quality of life? Like I said. Pensive.

But it's all good.

Pics and tales about London forthcoming. If you could take an impromptu holiday, where would you go?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

London at Leisure

I couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather for my last day in London. The sun has been beaming all day and the temperature is quite mild. Instead of running about, squeezing in last minute sightseeing, I've been taking it slow. Steve joined a friend to hit a couple of museums. I strolled Charring Cross Road and Leicester Square--window shopping and people watching mostly. Although I did stop in the Murder One, a bookstore that carries several of my books. I did my, "Hello, I'm an author and you have a few of my books. Do you allow stock signings?" bit. Happy to report they were thrilled to have me sign my books. I dread the day when I'm turned away. How mortifying would that be? And, yes, I've heard it happens once in a blue moon.

For those of you who asked about the pictures I took of Daniel Craig at the red carpet event the other night... I'll post those when I get home. In the meantime, here's something to hold you over. A press shot of what I experienced live.
Yesterday, I attended the London Book Fair. I expected it to be more like BEA where authors are heavily featured and advance copies and signed copies of books are plentiful and free to attendees. Sadly, that wasn't the case. Present were tons of publishers from across the world, as well as distributors, like Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and IPG, and several high powered literary agents. They were focused on business. Making deals. Selling foreign rights and such. I strolled the floor, met a couple of people at Ingram and also introduced myself at the Harlequin Mills and Boon booth. Tonight I'm attending a cocktail party hosted by Ingram. Looking forward to the casual networking opportunity, although I'm really glad my husband and a couple of friends will be there, too, as I can be terribly shy when on my own.
Saw an incredible musical last night. Spamalot. Laughed my butt off! I'm a huge Monty Python fan, so I was thrilled that the non-Python cast pulled off Python humor so spot on. This show was truly a highlight of my trip.
So much to share, but I'm off to enjoy the last few hours of my holiday. Cheers!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cheers from London!

Checking in for anyone who hasn't given up on me. No, I haven't given up blogging. I'm just on hiatus as I cram on the deadline book. No, I haven't crossed the finish line yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Meanwhile, I took a brief break with the blessing of my editor because I had previous plans for a week in London, England. In fact, that's where I am now! I've been here for three days... two to go. Lots to report on the awesome sights, but not just now. I will tell you that I did blow up our converter because I didn't realize (or 'realise' at they write here in the UK) you couldn't use it to plug in electric heating hair implements! There was a 'pop' and lots of smoke, a stinky burning smell and my shrill, "Oh, no!!"

Of course I was distressed that I blew up our one and only converter, but even more so... no flat iron for the entire trip? Nooooo! Luckily, my new, snappy, short bob (picture Posh with funky layers) is doing pretty well via a blow dryer (which has a UK adaptor) and metal hair brush. Thank goodness.

It's particularly important that I have a good hair day today, because Steve just got back from a walk along Charing Cross Road (lots of bookstores there) and said there's a film premiere in Leicester Square at a cinema just a block from where we're staying. He knew I'd be interested in staking out the red carpet because the star of the featured film is..... Daniel Craig!!

Honestly, I am not a crowd person, but I'm going to brave the crush. How can I not? A glimpse of the new and fantabulous James Bond in the flesh? One of my co-workers is nuts about Daniel. I'm going to try to get a picture for her. Okay. It's for me too. Wish me luck. Hopefully I won't get trampled. Or arrested.

Later tonight, we're meeting two friends for dinner. Tommorrow we head for the London Book Fair. I'm not sure what to expect, but both of my publishers will be there and I look forward to saying hello. Full report of the event coming soon.

Best overheard line so far: On the tube ride (subway) from the airport into the city, a senior gentleman of about seventy-years was seated across from me. Very British in his attire and demeanor. A quiet, conservative bloke intent on a crossword puzzle or some such. This went on for quite a few miles. Not once did he utter a word. At one stop, a woman got on and tried to sit in the seat next to him. The tube lurched forward and she lost her balance, landing in his lap. She was mortified and apologized profusely.

He pushed his black rimmed glass up his nose and smiled. "That's alright," he said in an upercrust accent. "The ladies are always falling all over me."

It was so unexpected. So well timed. We all laughed. It was a great way to start off my holiday.

The only spoiler so far has been Leatherheads. Yes, I saw it. Don't ask.

Off to see Daniel. Maybe. Cheers!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Just Saying...

"People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it." ~~- Harlan Ellison (Author/TV Writer)

Not that I'm complaining, just saying. Writing is hard work and I'm feeling the burn. Excuse my absence as I bear down on the last of Evie's adventures. Well, the last adventures you'll get to read about anyway.

When this book is turned in, I'm going to treat myself to a cinematic experience. (read: I'm going to the movies!) I haven't been to a movie theater in, hmm, six months. My top pick, must see? Leatherheads!

What about you? What's your top pick movie must see?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Picture That Never Was

Everyone keeps asking if I'm going to share the picture that Barbara Vey took when we tripped upon the filming of Law and Order SVU on location in Grand Central Station. I physically whipped Barbara around (poor thing). "There's Christopher! So close. Take his pic. Quick!"

She tried. But the assistant director stepped in her path and barked at us before she could snap the shot. "No flash!" he yelled.

Okay, okay. It's not like the camera was rolling. They were in between takes. But whatever. Being the good and polite mid-westerners that Barbara and I are, we apologized and scurried away.

So, sorry. No picture of Christopher Meloni. Well, except for this one that I found on line. Watch. I'll get in trouble for posting it. "No posting without permission!"

Hurry and enjoy before I'm forced to remove it or before they haul me off to jail or some such. The things I do for you. Jeesh.