Monday, July 28, 2014

Photobombed: the Kristan Higgins edition

So there we were on the last night of the Romance Writers of America convention in San Antonio, in the late-night scrum that always gathers after the awards ceremony--me, Gail (a fabulous friend and soon-to-be-released Kensington author that you'll be hearing more about in a few months) and the amazingly talented Virginia Kantra ... three roommates who had spent the week navigating workshops, signings, meetings, and more restaurants than I want to admit to (my scale lies, I tell you, LIES!). 

It went like this:

Virginia: Let's get a roomie photo! Hey, you! Random stranger! Will you take our picture?

RS: Of course! Okay, scootch in there and say "sexy cowboys!"

Jess, Virginia and Gail: Sexy cowboys! 

RS: *snaps picture* *fiddles with phone* Okay, let me make sure it looks ... (burst out laughing)

Because here's what we got:

Yes, folks, that's a Frownyface Photobomb from uber bestselling (and totally amazing) author Kristan Higgins because we hadn't invited her to be in the picture (and, well, because she saw the opportunity and took it, and she's like that!).

So we tried again: 

Much better! 

Many, many thanks to those of you who stopped by to visit at the booksigning (and let me tag along on some touristy stuff!), and also to those of you who raised your hands last week to get advance copies of HARVEST AT MUSTANG RIDGE. I'm sending out another batch of books today, now that I'm back home. As for the rest of you, it's available for preorder now, and will be in stock next Tuesday!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Goin' West and Book Giveaway!

Arizona: Morning, killer, what have you got on tap for today?

Me: Packing, sending out promo books, updating the website, and blogging about how I'm leaving for the RWA convention in San Antonio tomorrow. And how if folks are in the area, they should come see me in the Hs--for JESSE HAYWORTH--during the big literacy signing on Wednesday. It's gonna be the bomb.

Arizona: I thought you didn't like broadcasting when we travel? (Translation: Didn't we agree it's dumb to Facebook vacation stuff while the house is empty?)

Me: Not usually, but you'll be home, and I trust you and the cats to guard The Fortress against any and all marauders while I'm gone.

Arizona (squares shoulders): We're on it. Where's Lucy? We'll go walk the perimeter. Oh, and sweetie? Don't forget to go through your purse this time. 

Okay, so maybe I forgot the last time, and got my pocket knife--the one he gave me on our first date, no less--confiscated by the TSA, which made me very sad. And maybe this time there would be a couple of other goodies that wouldn't pass muster (Arizona worries about me). But, honest, I'm not going to forget this time!

(Adds 'disarm' to my to-do list. Just in case.)

So I'll unpack my knife and such, and I'll pack lots of random stuff I probably won't need and forget things like socks and a hairbrush, and then tomorrow morning I'll be winging off to San Antonio for six days of Romance Writer Immersion Therapy. I'm going to see the Alamo, Eat All The Foods, and reconnect with friends I only see at conventions, even though some of us don't live all that far away from each other. And I'll be signing at the huge (like 400 authors!) literacy signing:
At the "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing, hundreds of romance authors meet with and sign books for fans, with the proceeds from book sales going to literacy organizations. Since 1990, RWA has raised more than $825,000 to fight illiteracy.
The 2014 "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing will be on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter Hotel in the 3rd floor ballroom.
This year, proceeds from the Literacy Autographing will benefit ProLiteracy Worldwide, Literacy Texas, Restore Education, and Each One Teach One San Antonio.
It's open to the public, and I'll be there signing WINTER AT MUSTANG RIDGE, in the H aisle for JESSE HAYWORTH :)

If you're coming to the conference as an attendee, come see me a second time on Thursday from 3-4:30 at the NAL Spotlight author signing, where you can get a free copy of the new book, HARVEST AT MUSTANG RIDGE!

And speaking of free copies of HARVEST AT MUSTANG RIDGE, I'm mailing out gift packs (including signed books) today to the awesome readers who were gracious enough to post reviews of WINTER during the first couple of weeks it was out. In this day and age, online reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, etc. are critical for authors, as is positive word-of-mouth! 

So if anyone reading this would like to receive a free advance copy of HARVEST AT MUSTANG RIDGE in exchange for posting an honest review or two and mention the book on social media in the first couple of weeks it's out, I would be happy to send you a copy. Just email your snail mail address to drjsandersen AT (check the spelling, as it's a weird one--sorry about that), and I'll send them out as long as I have copies left!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Purple Prose and Way TMI

Last night, it went like this ...

Me (collapses back onto the couch after succumbing to the stomach thing I've been fighting): Ugh. I feel like death on a stick.

Arizona: Poor kid. (pauses, studying me) Death on a stick, huh? Is that like a corn dog?

(On the TV, a Chopped chef starts breaking down a skinned rabbit, talking about how he needs to add fat because it's such a lean meat. The dead rabbit looks like ... well, a dead rabbit. And brings back memories of walking past a certain ethnic butcher's place every day during grad school, and the funk of supposedly edible corpses hanging in the windows mid-August, buzzing with flies.)

Arizona (pondering now): Or are we talking more road kill here? Some sort of rodent maybe, cooked over a campfire? You know, take a stick, shove it up the critter's--

The TV chef (spills out a tub of pale, gelatinously fleshy blobs onto his cutting block): And now, for the sweetbreads! 

Me (claps hand over mouth, bolts for bathroom)

Arizona (voice floating after me): Sorry!


And, well, now it's 3 a.m., and I'm up blogging because I feel like death on a stick and have been praying to the porcelain god at regular intervals. Which got me thinking about purple prose and really terrible (or awesome, depending on your point of view) euphemisms. Like death on a stick. Praying to the porcelain god. The old technicolor yawn.

I won't share all of the searches I've run over the years, looking for colorful shorthand phrases for various body parts and bodily functions that will fit in this book or that (or at least provide me with a good giggle), but here are a few of my favorites. For man-parts: purple-helmeted soldier of love, joystick, 100% all-beef thermometer, bacon torpedo. For lady-parts: Bermuda triangle, love lips. For that time of the month (in itself, a euphemism): the fun bits are performing their monthly maintenance (thank you, Arizona!), shark week at cooch creek (one that I probably shouldn't find as funny as I do). For lovemaking: play the game of twenty toes, throw another log on the fire, bump uglies, visit the happy valley ...

Some days, I picture an NSA grunt pounding up an echoing corridor, bursting into her superior's office, and gasping, "I've got an IP address with combined searches for 'how to make a pipe bomb,' 'how to crash a small plane and walk away' and 'what's the largest magazine I can get for a Glock 9 mm?' What should I do?" Her superior just looks at the name, shakes her head, and says, "File it under 'writer, comma, romantic suspense."

(Mind you, I'm sure the grunt is a computer program these days, and the run up the echoing marble corridor is pure fantasy, but, hey. My mind likes scenes, not data streams.)

Anyway, I figure the euphemism searches are more or less safe from that sort of scrutiny ... but I sure do wind up with some weird ads in my sidebar. And if you want to share a euphemism, lay it on me! 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sharks, snakes and spiders, OH MY!

At a fabulous friend's house this past weekend for a most yummy BBQ (I keep typo'ing that as BBW, which tells you how roly poly I'm feeling the day after--truly the sign of an excellent party), the conversation turned to the recent sightings of Great Whites in Long Island Sound. 

(This is particularly relevant to my beloved and me, as we fish out there in our kayaks and, upon catching a big striped bass or whatnot, will tether it behind the boat and tow it home for dinner. Needless to say, we keep a watchful eye and a sharp knife close at hand to cut the line should the need arise!)

The conversation went something like this:

FabFriend: I saw a picture of all these sharks in the water near some swimmers, maybe down in Florida? *shudders* No, thank you!

Me (because I'm evil and I know what makes her twitch): Okay, you've gotta do one or the other to save your life--Do you swim through those sharks or walk through a room full of snakes?

FF: I die. *holds out bowl* More salsa?

(In retrospect, I should've--hypothetically, of course--put one of her kids in the scene, as she's a real mama bear and would undoubtedly walk across those sharks' backs and use the snakes for jump ropes if her kiddos were involved.)  

If she had turned it back on me, I would've been okay, as I think snakes and sharks are both pretty cool, and love watching them in the wild. If she had asked about putting me in a glass box and filling it with spiders, however, it would've been Game Over! *shivers* *shudders* *does little squirmy I think there's something up my pant leg dance*

You know that meme with a picture of a burning house and the caption "There was a spider, but I think I got it"? Yeah, that's me. Or it would be, if I didn't have that pesky live-and-let-live gene going on. So more often it's that age-old battle cry of: "Honey? Could you come get the spider and take it outside?" (At six-four, Arizona can pluck the suckers off our ceilings flat-footed. And, of course, put bowls and groceries on the tippy top shelves, just so I have to climb up on the counters to get them down.)

The other day, I did the leap-EUUUWGH! thing upon discovering a Giant Wood Spider lurking beneath the solar collector for our motion-activated lights. Whereupon Arizona went into Crocodile Hunter mode and hunkered down to study Mr. Spider, and was all like, "Ohhh, look! Babies! There have to be thousands of them! Come see!"

(Okay, maybe it was Mrs. Spider.)

Me: No. Thank. You. (In retrospect, I should've said, "I die. More salsa?")

How about you ... would you swim through sharks, walk through snakes, or get packed in with spiders? Or, yanno, snag more salsa?