Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rome! Florence! Venice!

I'm back! I know I said I might not post again until after I sent out my first round of queries, but I miss you guys. So, here's a visual tour of my Italy trip.


The Colosseum

Inside Saint Peter's basilica - the most extravagant building I've ever seen.

The Trevi Fountain. Pictures just don't do it justice. So cool.

A fat, friendly and sneaky pigeon who gobbled some weird Italian Dorito type things I tossed him while sipping Prosecco.

Me atop the Castel Sant'Angelo. After Prosecco.


The Duomo. Didn't go to the top. Deathly afraid of heights.

Just a random cool clock. I have a thing for vintage clocks.

The River Arno at sunset.

On our vineyard tour. The vineyards all keep one bottle of each variety from each year (or something like that). A lot of bottles at this place.

During the wine tasting. Yummy Chianti and the remainders of some Tuscan bread and olive oil.

The Tuscan hills.

Cute rustic signs during our vineyard hike.

Another cool countryside view.

And we totally had an Irish pub by our hotel in Florence. Huzzah.

My future home.


One of many cute bridges.

The Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge.

Some boats near the produce market. Got some yum strawberries and grapes.

A cool door. Right up on the water. Isn't that so weird? Just boat up and step into your house.

A seagull. I kept cursing them for not standing still, and this one finally did.

So, what happened while I was gone? How's life? And writing?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Don't Be Afraid: A Big, Random and Somewhat Lengthy Post

So, my computer has not been my friend lately. It came down with another virus, this time requiring my hubs to completely wipe the whole hard drive and reinstall everything. So, yeah. Add that to my already inconsistent blog posting, and that to the fact that I'm headed to Italy on Sunday, and you get one BIG post to catch up and tide you over until my return.

First, random news:
  • I got an email last week from an agent I queried last summer, who had already rejected me (very nicely I must say), rejecting me a second time though I had not resubmitted. I had to get a little cosmic giggle out of this, because I am about to start querying my latest book, and it was like the universe saying, "Gear up, girl, it's time for some torture".
  • I officially bombed out for the second half of the Campaign thing. Partially my computer's fault, partially me being lame. Sorry, guys.
  • I've officially named by current book. I was calling it Noir, as a nickname, but since this had been used before, the new name is (drumroll, please): Martinis with the Devil.
  • I entered Janet Reid's pay-it-forward agent contest. Universe, now is the time to repay me for that double-rejection thing and the computer virus thing.
  • I will be in Italy from Sunday to Sunday. Yes, I will post pics when I get back!
  • After that, I am doing a "final" read through of my book and beginning to query. I've done all the major structural edits and all the boring nitpicky edits, and now it just needs some polish. Then, Query Land! So, (and hold me to this) I will be querying by April 15th. Tax day.
  • So, I may not post again until after the first round of queries is out. We'll see how it goes.

Okay, now for some fun! The lovely T.F. Walsh has tagged me in the Lucky 7 Meme! It is super fun (make sure you check out hers). Here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 authors
5. Let them know

And here's my snippet from Martinis with the Devil. Unfortunately it hit right at a scene break.

It wasn’t Alexander.

It was a woman wearing a mask over her eyes, ninja style. At that moment, that split second when the shock of realization hit me, something smashed into the back of my head and everything went black.

* * *

Something acrid was being waved beneath my nose. I jumped up and moved across the room in an eye-blurring motion.

“Settle down, Zyan, it’s just me.” Eli was sitting on the floor of the safe room. The HR sat next to him.

“Oh, thank God,” I breathed. The HR was okay.

“Yes, I’m sure He had something to do with it,” the HR said, a gentle smile on his lips. Such a peaceful expression, despite coming within a hair of being murdered.

“How long was I out? Where’s the assassin?” I asked in a rush.

Hope you enjoyed it! I am tagging:

Abby Minard
An Alleged Author
Colene Murphy
Matt MacNish
Deana Barnhart
Jai Joshi

Have fun, writer friends! Have grand adventures while I'm on my maybe-hiatus. Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Urban Fantasy Picks for March

So, I've been trying and not succeeding to get better about posting my newsletter stuff here on my blog... it's a work in progress :) Anyways, click here for this month's issue. Also, I'd love to get more interviews/reviews/fun stuff going on with the newsletter, so if you are an urban fantasy writer and/or reader and have an idea or want to be featured, I'd love to hear from you.

These are the books I'm stoked about this month:

Newly-bitten tattoo artist Riley Poe feels herself changing in unimaginable ways. Eli Dupre, her vampire lover, has seen the change in her and fears for her humanity. His rival, Victorian, tells her she must see the patriarch of the vampire cult that attacked her to save her soul. In the vampire cult's fortress in Romania, Riley will face her worst fears-and the dark powers threatening to destroy her. And she'll have to do the one thing she's been determined not to do-put her trust in Eli.

I love the tattoo artist thing here. Fun! But this author should know I already have claim to the names Riley and Eli :)

Rayne would do anything to save her twin sister, Sunny, from the Vampire Consortium dictator who wants her dead. Instead, she's been commissioned by Slayer Inc. to find Sunny and Magnus and deliver them to the Consortium...which Rayne knows means certain death. She also knows that if she and her boyfriend, Jareth, disobey orders, they are signing not only their own death warrants, but also those of every vampire in the Blood Coven.

As a rival slayer with a personal vendetta moves in, Rayne and Jareth must do something to stop her. So they embark on their most dangerous journey yet, deep beneath the streets of New York City and through the Gates of the Underworld. But when a greedy god demands the ultimate sacrifice, will Rayne be forced to choose between her sister...and the vampire she loves?

Gorgeous cover, right? Gates of the Underworld... rad.


Okay, so honestly? I just picked this one because Damon's yummy. Not even putting the description in. Haven't read these books. Addicted to the TV show. Enough said.

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure. He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?

This just sounds super fun. Plus, the MC and I share a nickname.

When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice.

Sounds like a neat plot. And I swear, I just realized this one has a Lex in it, too. Not doing this on purpose :)

So, what are you dying to read this month?