It’s Monday. Which means you’ll find me blogging over at the Debutante Ball, because Monday is my day over there. This week, the topic of conversation is rejection. You can click on over to read my take on rejection if you wish. If not, here’s the quick summary version:
Everybody gets rejected
Writers get rejected a lot
Write something new.
And that is the gist of the thing.
Here’s hoping that the Monday Dragon is only moderate in intensity this week.
Author enters, stage left and peeks into website. A cloud of dust rises and she sneezes. The sound echoes.
Kerry: Hello? Anybody still here?
Kerry: I know I’ve been absent and silent and neglectful of this blog, and I offer heartfelt apologies. Here’s the thing:
Over the last three months, not only have I been working to get the word out about the release of BETWEEN, I’ve also been working on the second book, WAKEWORLD. As if this was not enough to keep a woman busy, I also have a full time job AND I’ve been putting in practicum hours to get back the RN licence that I let go night upon 20 years ago. There was a new dog, a near disaster with said dog and the cat, and then another new dog. Kids. Cars. Stuff.
So, as you can see, I’ve been busy.
So busy, in fact, that I not only had no time to blog, I also had no words left over at the end of a day. Nothing to say to anybody, in fact. Even my poor family got basic communications but nothing more than necessary. I avoided the phone even more than usual. And if I ever had a minute to contemplate a blog post, the part of my brain where the words come from was as blank as the computer screen.
Hopefully this situation has now been corrected. I’m happy (ecstatic, in fact) to report that I have completed all requirements of the RN Refresher Course. Which means I’m back to my usual somewhat controlled insanity of work and home life and writing. Hopefully this means I’ll get to hang out here a little more.
Right now, I must betake myself to work. I wish you all a happy Friday. Read something good, hug someone you love, do something good for you.
Today we are privileged to have a visit from Dina James, author of TIME HEALS, the long awaited sequel to ALL WOUNDS. Now, I haven’t had a chance to read the new book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first one. As for the author – well, if I said she is an awesome and wonderful human being I would probably wake up dead with a knitting needle through the throat. So, I will stick with the party line – Dina is Evil – and only add that we spent a weekend as roomies at a writing seminar and I lived to tell the tale. Let’s just get on with the interview, shall we?
Kerry: We all know that you are Evil, but your main character, Rebecca, is a healer. Is this a case of your Inner Good surfacing in your writing?
Dina: *eyebrow raise* Of course not! Everyone knows I don’t have any of this “inner good” of which you spe-
Well, uh…that’s…um…. I was born with that little bright spot in my otherwise Dark and Evil soul, so it’s technically not mine. It’s genetic. Passed down from my great-great-great-grandmother or something. I keep hoping it will fade, but it’s a persistent little thing and insists on surfacing at the most inopportune moments (like in my writing). It’s totally ruining my rep.
Kerry: Can you share a teaser from the book?
Dina: I love teasing! It’s so much fun! You have to tease just right though, because teasing can be mean, and I’m not mean. I’m evil. There’s a difference! *ahem*
IN A WORLD –
Wait. No. That’s not right. That’s a movie teaser. *flip flip flip* Ah, here we are! Book teasers!
The right side of her neck tingled, followed by a familiar tug beneath her breastbone. She sighed and sat back against the couch.
“Sorry, Billy.” She slid her arms from around the werewolf’s neck and kissed the top of his head in consolation. “Duty calls.”
“Mmmph,” he snorted in acknowledgment. His upper lip curled in annoyance. “Want me to pause this? Could go grab some ice cream for us while you’re seein’ what needs doin’.”
She moved out from behind him and stood. “Nah. I’ve seen this movie a hundred times. Keep watching. We’ll talk about food when I’m done.”
Billy grunted. She was learning to speak Anubi and knew he’d made a noncommittal sound of agreement. Anubin for “okay.”
“Back soon.” She kissed the top of Billy’s head again on her way past him. He gave a contented growl. He was such a love-bug. Anubi might be social creatures, but she was beginning to think that was an understatement.
She climbed the steps and went to the linen closet door at the end of the hallway. She opened it and pushed the dark knot in the wood between the lower and middle shelves. They swung back and to the side, revealing the hidden entrance to the Eastern Enclave.
Though she’d been an Ethereal Healer nearly two months now, Rebecca was still getting used to not only her abilities, but her responsibilities. She could channel her own life-force to help and heal those thought imaginary or immortal, and there was no shortage of trouble among the Ethereal planes. As Syd, her mentor and – she couldn’t help but blush as she thought of Syd – boyfriend had said, word was slowly getting around that the Eastern Enclave was back in business, and the number of beings needing help was starting to increase. This was the third time this week she’d been summoned by the enclave.
She entered the hidden room and reached for the candle lantern by the door. She lit the wick and looked around. “Hello?”
“Oh, thank Arachne it is so.”
Rebecca looked up toward the voice she heard. Her eyes widened and she drew in a sharp breath.
She let it out in the loudest scream she’d ever produced.
Voilà! You have been teased! I hope you enjoyed!
Kerry: What is your favorite part about writing?
Dina: Tea. Definitely the copious amounts of tea I consume while sitting for hours, butt-in-chair, spending time in my own little worlds with those I most like to be around.
Well, that and the general avoidance of people who live outside my head. I have a sign above my office door that says, “I know I’m in my own little world, but that’s okay. They know me here.”
Kerry: Tell us about something that you enjoy besides writing.
Dina: KNITTING! (Like you didn’t know that was going to be my answer.)
It’s an odd little story, actually, my yarn addiction. I never used to be a knitter. I learned once when I was fifteen. A family friend (male!) taught me on one of his visits and I, being fifteen and not wanting to embarrass the family, sat and patiently learned from our guest how to knit and purl. I spent his entire visit attempting to make something, but it…uh…didn’t…um…work.
Yeah. Moving on!
After he left I put the needles down and never thought of them again. In fact, years later I sold them and the yarn at a yard sale and thought that was that.
Fast forward about twenty years. I’m a writer, doing my thing, la la la. I notice a couple writers whose work I greatly enjoy are knitters. Then another. Then another. What’s going on? What’s the fascination with knitting? It’s just…yarn and ugly sweaters given at Christmas and itchy wool, right? What’s so fascin-
Ohhhhhhhhh. THAT’S what’s so fascinating!
It’s hard to explain, really, but I’ll give it a go. Some people have yoga. Some people drink booze. Some people eat cookies and watch trash TV. Everyone has their way to soothe their spirit and let their damaged calm be restored.
That’s what knitting is. That’s what it does. Once you get over the initial “OMG THIS SUCKS I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO MAKE ANYTHING USEFUL I HATE THIS THIS IS SO STUPID WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THIS !)#&*!#&(!&^#*!#%*!%@&*!^%@!,” it’s amazing.
At first you feel like a dork because you can’t make it work and it looks SO EASY when someone else does it. But then you find a way that works for you (there are many, many ways to knit) and it’s bliss.
You, as both a writer and a knitter, will understand.
It used to be when I was stuck in a particular spot in my writing, I’d go do the dishes or scrub the bathtub. Both are something to do with your hands while your brain gets to wander. Knitting, pardon the bad pun, rules for working through plot tangles.
It’s also useful for insomnia, which many writers suffer. I totally see the appeal for writers now. I just didn’t expect to be such an addict about it. I’ve been knitting for two-and-a-half years (not that I’m counting!) and I’m not seeing any decrease (HA HA YARN JOKE!) in my passion for the needles.
Also, they make excellent stabbing weapons. Double-pointed needles allow you to use both ends. Circulars have a strong nylon cord strung between them that can double as a garrotte in a pinch.
What? You expected me to have a non-violent hobby?
Kerry: Do you have a favorite character?
Dina: Not that I’ll admit to. I can’t play favorites with my imaginary children! At least…not when they can hear me….
Kerry: And last but not least, if you were ever to speak to a stranger in an elevator, what would you say?
Dina: Oh, I do this all the time! My favorite is, “You’re not a serial killer, are you?”
The look on their face is priceless!
Thanks again for having me, Kerry!
Kerry: Thanks for being here! Best of luck with Time Heals!
And now, moving onto the book:
IME HEALS (Stranger Things, #2) –
Rebecca MacDonnell is strange. More than that, she’s a Stranger, a human born with the ability to use her own life’s force to heal ethereal beings. Vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, goblins, and other things thought only imaginary all need help sometime, and when they do, they come to her.
Some things, however, are beyond help. Something is stalking all Ethereals, great and small. Beings of every race are fleeing a terror no one will acknowledge, let alone name.
At seventeen, Mistress Healer Rebecca is still learning to manage her power. She must learn to control it before it controls her.
Unless it’s already too late.
When her burgeoning ability gets away from her, that which heals turns to harm and drives her loyal man-wolf bodyguard Billy straight into the arms of the unknown horror.
Unlikely new friends are her only hope to finding out what’s happened, and she must enter new – and dangerous – territory in order to do it.
I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to have the opportunity to give away five copies of If You Find Me by my long time writer friend, Emily Murdoch. This is an amazing book – beautifully written and full of hope. But I’m not reviewing it today, and I’m going to let it speak for itself.
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.
Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.
I have been absent here at the blog, I know. This is because I have been present in a lot of other places. Too many other places, in fact! And now I have reached the point where anything beyond sitting on the couch and drinking coffee feels like a ridiculously unreasonable expectation.
What? I need to go to work? Clean house, write books, do nursing practicum stuff, take care of the sick animals?
No thank you. Me. Coffee. Couch. We’re good.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, especially on a Monday. And so, today, I’m over at the Debutante Ball, blogging about too many decisions. And coffee.
I will also be getting my butt up off the couch shortly and taking it to work, even though that is a decision intensive process all by itself.
Now you have a decisions to make: click the link, or not? This is a pretty easy one. All you have to do is move your finger onto this link: http://www.thedebutanteball.com/?p=27811. Click. And there you are.
DIVIDED, by Jennifer Sights
During a routine case, private investigator Elena Ronen meets and falls in love with Vittorio Santini, member of a secret coven, and a kiss awakens her dormant magical powers. Because Elena wields an extremely powerful form of magic, she struggles to convince her enemies she has no desire to take over the coven. When loyalties are questioned, and Elena can no longer tell friend from foe, she must prove she wants nothing more than to live her life quietly. When this wish falls on deaf ears, Elena and Vittorio must work together to defeat their enemies as they try to save their love, their lives, and the lives of those they care about.
So here we are, on a day I never quite believed would come: the last day of my first ever blog tour.
The last two weeks have been an incredible whirlwind of blogs and media and book launch fun. I’ve shared my thoughts on magic, dreams, alternate realities, dragons and penguins. I’ve been interviewed by many wonderful people.
And I have really nothing left to say about any of these things that has not been said.
The support and help from bloggers and readers and other authors has been amazing, and what I want to do today is take the opportunity to pay it forward, with your help.
As thanks to you for participating, I’m offering up two chances to win a free, signed copy of BETWEEN, to two people selected by a random number generator. Here’s how it works:
1) The Pay it Forward Giveaway is an all included, open to everybody, international event.
2) Time frame is from the minute this blog goes up until I post my own comment in the comments section closing up the fun. (Just to make the timezone thing easier, and to indulge my love for the random and unplanned)
3) Winners must respond to the email notifying them of their winning within 7 days.
3) Participate by performing any of the following actions and then sharing here, in comments, which book, author or blogger you chose and which action you performed:
Now then – go forth and share the love of books and writing and make an author or blogger feel loved.
I find that I am short on words.
My Twitter friend J.C. suggested that I get around this by writing a letter to my pre-published self. This wouldn’t be a bad idea, except that this self of which we speak is glassy eyed and nearly non-responsive, caught up in a state of shock. You see, we never dreamed, my former self and I, that launch week would be so marvelous and eventful. We dreamed of maybe being published someday, of seeing a book on the shelf somewhere with our name on it. That was the extent of things.
At the beginning of this week I braced myself. I’ve been told that a book launch is often quiet and anti-climactic, and I didn’t want to be disappointed.
There was no need to worry, as it turned out. I was carried along on an amazing ride full of exciting surprises and moments of wonder.
First and foremost, I want to express my gratitude to all of the people who helped in so many ways. I find myself wanting to list specific people, but I know I will forget somebody important and I’m not going to go there. Let me just say this – for the emotional support, the little gifts, the great reviews (and even the honest but not so wonderful ones), for hosting blog posts and giving interviews, for your retweets and Facebook postings, and for sending me pictures of the book in the wild – I thank you from the deepest recesses of a very grateful heart.
One of the most exciting moments for me was seeing this picture of BETWEEN at a Barnes & Noble on Launch Day:
Books so often don’t get this wonderful exposure. I was fully prepared for BETWEEN to be shelved on the stacks. In fact, I’d cased out the Barnes and Noble in Spokane to see where it would be, and was worried when I realized that shelved alphabetically it would be on a bottom shelf, right hand side. Nobody would ever just stumble across it, I thought. In my worst nightmare daydreams I imagined it languishing there, unloved and unseen.
So seeing my book on display in the New In Paperback rack was a huge rush. Especially when I started looking at the company it is keeping. Unbelievable.
Forgive me for showing you one more pic of the book in the wild. Think of me as a new mother with the endless baby pictures. We are so in love we just can’t quite restrain ourselves. So here is my Book Baby at a lovely Indie store in Spokane, Auntie’s Books:
Another amazing thing happened. My awesome Public Relations guy, (yes, it gives me great pleasure to be able to spout that phrase) Brad Brownson, arranged for me to guest blog over at USA Today Happy Ever After. It’s not everyday that a debut author gets an opportunity like that, and I was (and still am) very excited about the whole thing. I admit that there may also have been some brief episodes of panic, and I’m eternally grateful to Julie Butcher and Leigh Evans for getting me through that. (I love you guys)
One of my favorite things about the week was Susan Spann’s running series with my little buddy, Random Penguin. My favorite post involved Random Penguin’s very own book signing event.
The fun was ongoing over at the Debutante Ball, as well. For those who may not know, this is a group blog made up of writers with debut novels coming out in 2013. All of these women are phenomenal human beings with fantastic books, and I count myself as exceptionally lucky to be the Monday Deb. In case you are getting hungry and thirsty reading through this long post on the events of the week, I refer you to Deb Kelly’s post on what to eat while reading BETWEEN, and includes recipes for Salmon Chowder and Dragon Smoothies!
There was so much more, including my Launch Day event at Bitten by Books. I would have loved to be here sharing all of the blog stops every day, but I discovered that there just wasn’t enough time to Do All The Things. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to have a time turner for sale and the blog was a casualty. All of the official blog stops are listed here, though, and you can still go back and read if you so wish.
But don’t go away quite yet!! There are all sorts of wonderful and exciting things still happening that I want to share with you!!
The winner of the blog contest was David Connors – who will be receiving a copy of BETWEEN, a dragon-in-a-bottle, and a little bag of dream stones.
If you happen to be on Twitter, don’t miss the Twitter Chat with me, Book Country, and my beloved agent, Deidre Knight. That’s coming up on February 5, at 9 pm EST. (That’s 6 PM PST, and if you live elsewhere, you’ll have to do the math)
Throughout the month of February, there is an ongoing contest and giveaway for a $50 gift card at Coffee Time Romance.
As for today, I’m getting ready for a celebratory Launch Party with friends and family, here in my own small town.
Thanks for stopping by! If you read Between I would love to hear from you. Actually, I’d still love to hear from you if you don’t. I try to respond to all comments.
Yesterday morning one of my co-workers arrived at my office door, frowny-faced, hands on hips.
“I’m mad at you.”
I ran through the (long) list of obnoxious behaviors of which I am capable, and asked, ‘What have I done now?”
At which point she grinned, and said, “You kept me up until 1 am reading your book.”
And that, my friends, was really the high point of my day, despite a whole slew of exciting thing coming up this week with the blog tour and book launch!
Today’s blog stop is at Coffee Time Romance, where I answer the question, “Why is there a penguin in BETWEEN?” by asking some questions of my own and sharing some penguin factoids. You can follow along for all of the scheduled Blog Tour stops here. In addition, the Debutante Ball is all about BETWEEN this week, starting Monday.
On Tuesday, I have a fantastic launch day party planned at Bitten by Books, with a live Q&A and giftcard giveaway!! Watch for details!!
There will be a few surprise stops this week as well, though, so watch this site, or Twitter, or my Facebook Page for updates and unexpected fun!
Enjoy your Saturday – hug somebody you love (yes, this includes the fur-babies) and do something nice for you.
At your first doctor visit when you are expecting a baby you are given an EDC – Expected Date of Confinement. And yes, that is the term that is still used here and now in 2013. There are magical calculations done to arrive at this date, involving the fullness of the moon, the speed of paint drying, and the current humidity. People – especially first time parents – tend to think of it as a solid and immutable fact. Baby will arrive on Tuesday, January 29th, at precisely 1 pm.
How many babies are delivered on the actual due date? Well, I’m sure there must be some. Or one. Somewhere. But I have yet to see this happen, and I was a Labor & Delivery nurse for five years.
As a debut author, when I was first given my EDC for Between I fervently believed. That would be the day people would hold copies of the book. It would magically appear on shelves across the country at 8 am the morning of the 29th. People would get their pre-ordered copies on the 29th.
But over the course of the year I’ve been watching other launch days and realizing that the Planned Launch Date is about as accurate as the EDC for giving birth to a baby. There are premature launches and late launches and really every kind of launch imaginable.
Between is no different. Some of my friends are currently holding copies in their hands. (Yes, currently. They are carrying them everywhere and sleeping with them under their pillows. I expect no less.) Some stores have them on the shelves. Other people who pre-ordered have not yet received a copy, and some stores don’t yet have the book on their shelves. Hell, some bookstores may never carry Between, as unbelievable as that is!
The good news is: the book is launching. I am, officially a published author!! And this makes me happy.
I’d love to have you follow along on the blog tour. Today’s stop is at the Knight Agency, where I’m talking about my publishing story.