It Stopped my Heart

It should come as no surprise to those who follow my blog that I am a big fan of Netflix. I think I have 63 documentaries, series, and movies in my queue.

63 is a lot of things to watch, especially considering that rarely is one thing a simple sit-down episode. In fact Supernatural is well over 200.

So imagine my reaction when I’m scrolling through my queue and I see the little tombstone of doom that says this show is leaving instant on a certain date. Usually within a couple weeks.

Be still my heart.

Thankfully, the one leaving I only have 8 more 22 minute episodes to view. It was pretty scary there for a moment. So I think we all know what I’ll be doing until the 15th.

Until next time.

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Signing at the Chocolate Affaire

I meant to take pictures. I really did. It just didn’t happen. As one of the organizers of the authors, I spent so much time running that I never had a chance to take pictures.

But I can tell you about it. Hey, I’m an author; it’s in my skill set.

First, I’m an extreme introvert so having to go out, surrounded by mostly strangers then reach out to talk to strangers requires oodles of mental preparation and a few cans of Dr. Pepper.

Some folks just want to pass by and not make eye contact with the writers. We get quite a few who just like looking at the covers (there are some awesome covers), and then there are those readers who are searching for their favorite authors and no-one else will do.

Then there are those that slow down and have to be lured over. Usually, the titles or covers do it. Other times, I’ll say something like ‘Come talk to the writers. We don’t bite but some of our characters do.” To be fair, these statements get weirder by day 3 of the event as I’m sleep deprived and my mind is spinning from caffeine.

To me book signing isn’t just about the sales. It’s about finding your tribe in a sea of humanity. My sense of humor tends to be twisted and dark. Not everyone appreciates it, but a few do. Those are my kind of people, even if they don’t read.

My favorites are those who tell us who their favorite authors are and ask who we have to match. I make it a point to find out what everyone writes so I can direct them to the right authors who might peak their interest. Almost every writer at the booth will do so. We love readers, no matter the genre and want them happy so they keep reading.

And lastly, the best ones are those who return year after  year. We lost one. Betty was in her nineties but she’d walk to the event year after year to meet her favorite authors and chat with everyone about their books. But we have our followers. Extraordinary readers who usually buy from everyone because they love reading so much. I keep joking we’re going to put their picture up as the ten most wanted Chocolate Affaire readers. It is nice to see a friendly and familiar face in the crowd. It’s scary that they will know your book better than you:D

Until next time.

 

 

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February a Month to Celebrate

It’s Friday! Yay! I’ll be working and signing at the Chocolate Affaire this weekend. Eating chocolate goes without saying. Mmmm, chocolate.

Even if you can’t come to downtown Glendale, there’s still plenty of things to celebrate. Great googly-moogly, there’s a lot of things. So I thought I’d shamelessly copy and paste them from the National Day Calendar website. Which means many of them are links to click for more information. Awesome.

  • Free and Open Source Software Month * This is an amazing tribute to others sharing to help others.
  • American Heart Month Near and dear to my heart (sorry, I couldn’t help it.)
  • An Affair to Remember Month  I might have to break out the movie just to watch it again.
  • Black History Month
  • Canned Food Month
  • Creative Romance Month  Hey, it’s like a day to celebrate my kind of writing
  • Great American Pie Month Mmm, pie
  • National Bake for Family Fun Month
  • National Bird Feeding Month
  • National Cherry Month
  • National Children’s Dental Health Month
  • National Grapefruit Month
  • National Heart Month
  • National Hot Breakfast Month
  • National Library Lover’s Month
  • National Macadamia Nut Month
  • National North American Inclusion Month
  • National Snack Food Month   Snack foods deserve to be celebrated.
  • National Weddings Month
  • National Embroidery Month     I don’t embroider but I admire those that do.

Until next time.

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51 Authors signing at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire

If you’re in Arizona and looking for something to do this weekend, there will be 51 authors signing their books. From NYTimes bestsellers to first time authors, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.

Friday 5PM-10PM

Name

2

Marie Patrick

3

Cathy McDavid

4

K. T. Roberts

5

Tonya Plank

6

Arabella Thorne

7

Kris Tualla

8

Deena Remiel

9

Stacy Connelly

10

Pamela Tracy

11

Kayce Lassiter

12

Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan

13

Tia Dani

14

Tina Swayzee McCright

15

Wendy Ely

16

T. L. Smith

Saturday 10-2PM

2

Calista Fox

3

Pamela Tracy

4

Taylor Michaels

5

Julianna Douglas

6

Arabella Thorne

7

Suzanne Floyd

8

Leslie Keller

9

Ginger Scott

10

Abigail Johnson

11

Sabrina Devonshire

12

A. K. Smith

13

Maegan Beaumont

14

Dane McCaslin

15

Erin Quinn

16

Tina Swayzee-McCright

Saturday 2-6PM

2

Carmen Gerakos

3

Mona Hodgson

4

Cheyenne McCray

5

Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan

6

Kayce Lassiter

7

Cathy McDavid

8

K. T. Roberts

9

Kris Tualla

10

Marion Ekholm

11

Anna Questerly

12

Deena Remiel

13

Vijaya Schartz

14

Stacy Connelly

15

Ellen L. Buikema

16

Charlene Kingston
Saturday 6-10PM

2

Marie Patrick

3

Tina Swayzee McCright

4

Tia Dani

4

Linda Andrews

5

K. T. Roberts

7

Kris Tualla

8

Deena Remiel

9

Vijaya Schartz

10

Wendy Ely

11

Suzanne Flaig

12

Sandra Rose Simmons

13

Tim Moore

14

T. L. Smith

15

Rita Toma

16

Cheyenne McCray

  

Sunday Noon-5PM

Name

1

Carmen Gerakos

2

Linda Andrews

3

Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan

4

Kayce Lassiter

5

Taylor Michaels

6

Julianna Douglas

7

Tonya Plank

8

Vijaya Schartz

9

Ginger Scott

10

Tina Swayzee McCright

11

Tia Dani

12

Wendy Ely

13

Merle McCann

14

Susan Budavari

15

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A Little Escape

In between the manic cleaning, cooking, and celebrating of my youngest birthday, the hubbinator and I managed to squeeze in 2 movies.

The first was the awesome Austenland. As we sat down to watch it, the hubbinator wanted to know if this was like the Battle of LA or another alien/zombie invasion flick.

I blinked kinda slow because I was running behind his thoughts. No, it’s about them park around Austen.

Right. In Texas. There has to be lots of action. Texas has to blow the national gun average. The zombies/aliens won’t know what hit ’em

At which point, I kinda keeled over with laughter. Wiping the tears from my eyes, I had to explain it was about Jane Austen and her romance novels.

Romance novels? Hubbinator slid off the couch relocated to the computer to take over the world. You had Netflix send us a chick flick as one of our DVDs?

Yep. Sure I grinned. And I enjoyed my chick flick with the occassional sound of marching armies and bombs in the back ground.

Afterwards, we went to the movies and watch Resident Evil The Final Chapter.

Awesome. Lots of fighting. Almost too much fighting and not enough time to catch a breath between. But it was awesome and I can’t wait to add it to my collection so I can have a marathon over the summer with all of them in a row. That said, there were a few places were it was drawn out for dramatic effect and a few scenes (like the predictive fight scenes) that could have been eliminated but not harm the story. But still I loved it and hope maybe they’ll do one last movie, cuz there’s the whole rebuilding of the planet thing.

Oh, and since I’m talking movies, Netflix did send us an awesome movie that I need to add to my collection: The Kingsmen. It stars Austen’s Mr. Darcy, er, I mean Colin Firth and a lisping Samuel L Jackson as the evil supervillian. If you love spy movies, action, and spoofs, this is the perfect way to spend an evening. 

Until next time

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Days to celebrate this week

There are days I need to celebrate something, anything, so why not check to see what national day of the week to get ideas.

In case you missed it, here are some of my favorite days from this week:

The 22nd-National Blonde Brownie day. Mmmm, brownies.

23rd-National Pie day. I think this should be a monthly celebration because it’s pie.

24th-Beer can appreciation day. I’ll have to tell the hubbinator to appreciate the container while enjoying the contents.

25th-National Opposite day. Anyone else visualizing a SpongeBob Squarepants episode? It can’t be just me.

26th-Peanut Brittle Day. I’ve never made peanut brittle but I love to eat it. Maybe next  year, I’ll try making some. Okay, lots of peanut brittle.

27th-National Big Wig day. So, not what I thought but here’s the link so you can read more about it. http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-big-wig-day-last-friday-in-january/

28th-National seed swap day. Given that I’m getting ready to start my garden this is perfect timing.

Until next time.

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Free Writing Workshops February 5th

Free workshops in downtown Glendale during the Chocolate Affaire.

Saturday 10AM—
Workshp: All the Feels: Teen Romance 101

TWILIGHT. ELEANOR AND PARK. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Young adult romance has come a long way since SWEET VALLEY HIGH. Today’s teens crave swoony heroes, complicated heroines, strong plot lines, and a fresh story, along with their happily ever after. Come learn from local YA authors Ginger Scott (THE HARD COUNT), Abigail Johnson (IF I FIX YOU), and Sara Fujimura (TANABATA WISH) how to create stories for teens (and the young at heart) to give them “all the feels.”

Bio:

ABIGAIL JOHNSON was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snowstorms for year-round summer and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip in a purple spiral-bound notebook what she still has, and has been writing ever since. She became tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high-school production of CINDERELLA, and publishing her first novel, IF I FIX YOU. Visit Abigail online at: abigailjohnsonbooks.com.

 

GINGER SCOTT is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including WAITING ON THE SIDELINES, GOING LONG, THIS IS FALLING, WILD RECKLESS and THE HARD COUNT. A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. Ginger has been writing and editing

for newspapers, magazines and blogs for pretty much ever. When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a

baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona

Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils). For more on Ginger and her work, visit her website at: http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

 

SARA FUJIMURA is the American half of her Japanese-American family and spends a month each summer at her in-laws’ house in rural Japan with her teen-aged children. So it will be no surprise that she’s written about Japanese culture and bicultural kids for such magazines as APPLESEEDS, LEARNING THROUGH HISTORY, RAISING ARIZONA KIDS, and MOTHERING, as well as, writing travel-related articles for the book TO JAPAN WITH LOVE. Sara has been a creative writing teacher for over a decade, doing presentations for SCBWI, Girl Scouts, Desert Rose Chapter RWA, ONEBOOKAZ, Phoenix Comicon, and at several anime/manga/Japanese culture conventions. She’s also the organizer of Rock the Drop-Phoenix, a guerrilla literacy event to support YALSA’s Teen Read Weekwww.sarafujimura.com

11AM—Vijaya Schartz
Workshop: THE FUN THING ABOUT PLOTTING:

Every writer plots, even if they write by the seat of the pants. Whether in your mind or in a written outline, plotting is an integral part of fiction writing. The best stories are carefully designed for maximum impact, foreshadowed, with incredible twists that make you say, “of course… it makes perfect sense. Why didn’t I see it coming?” A well thought out novel will fascinate and delight the

reader, who will cherish it, re-read it, and crave for more of your stories. Come learn a few plotting techniques that will keep your stories fresh, original, and irresistibly compelling.

Bio: Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything

and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims to also travel through time, as she writes without boundaries about the future and the far away past. Her love of cats transpires in many of her books… and she has over twenty-seven titles published. Her stories collected numerous five star reviews and a few literary awards. Find her and her books at

http://www.vijayaschartz.com

Noon K. T. Roberts
Workshop: How the Whodunit is Done

From research to putting the words on the page, this workshop will teach you some tricks of the trade.

BIO: K. T. Roberts writes romantic suspense with sass and brass, and she is the alter ego of Carolyn Hughey, an author of humorous contemporary romance. In 2012, Carolyn decided to write in the genre she loves to read and see on the silver screen. What developed from that is the Kensington-Gerard Detective Series, using the pen name. Blind Retribution is her first romantic suspense for Montlake Romance.

 

Originally a Jersey girl, she lives with her real-life hero, Bob, in Arizona; they have four children. And as a former chef, on those rare occasions when she’s not writing, she loves to whip up some gastronomic treats for family and friends. For more information about K. T.’s books, visit her website at www.ktrobertsmysteries.com.

1PM-Butterscotch Martini Girls
Workshop: Making Stuff Up With The BMGs

Join the Butterscotch Martini Girls for fun and hands-on world building as they share their quick and dirty (some dirtier than others) tips & tricks to plotting that will keep your readers riveted to their seats, as they order more butterscotch martinis and turn pages late into the night to find out what happens next.

Bio: What do logos, blabs, and boxed sets all have in common?” It is…The Butterscotch Martini Girls!!! BMGs is a group of writers to came together for support, fun, promotion and, of course, Butterscoth Martinis.
2PM—Cheyenne McCray, Calista Fox, Cassie Ryan, Erin Quinn
Workshop: Got Romance?

Chocolate—check. Champagne—check. Now for a little romance! Join New York Times bestselling and award-winning authors as they discuss their inspiration for crafting romances that leave readers sighing—or reaching for a fan! The romance genre is as diverse as the characters that fill the pages. Hear from four authors who bend the genre in different ways and are experts in setting a romantic stage!

BIO:

Cheyenne McCray is an award winning, New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author who enjoys creating stories of love, suspense, and redemption. She loves building worlds her readers can get lost in. If you would like to find out what Cheyenne is up to these days, cruise her website, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and even drop her a line or two. CheyenneMcCray.com

“Combines pulse-pounding danger and passionate love…tantalizing.” – Publishers Weekly on the BURNED DEEP trilogy

Calista is a former PR professional, now writing fast-paced, steamy books to set your pulse racing! Her publishing houses include St. Martin’s Press, Grand Central Publishing and Harlequin. She is an Amazon bestseller and has won many Reviewer’s and Reader’s Choice Awards, as well as Best Book Awards. Calista is a college graduate and teaches online writing classes. She is also a Past President/Advisor of the Phoenix chapter of the Romance Writers of America national organization. www.calistafox.com , http://www.facebook.com/calistafox and www.twitter.com/calistafoxbooks

Cassie Ryan (a.k.a. Tina Gerow) started her published writing career writing steamy paranormal romance under another pen name. However, when one of her critique partners, Brit Blaise, suggested she try her hand at erotic romance, she gave it a shot! After all, she’s not a girl to turn down a challenge of any type. So, she pulled out all the stops and wrote the first several chapters of what would become CEREMONY OF SEDUCTION.

After hearing Audrey LaFehr from Kensington speak on a new erotic romance line shed started called Aphrodisia, at RWA Nationals, Cassie sent in her partial and went back to writing. So, when Audrey fished her partial out of the slush pile and offered her a three-book deal, Cassie Ryan was officially born.

Cassie lives in Phoenix, Arizona and besides being a write-a-holic, is a frequent speaker on several writing and motivational topics.

ew York Times bestselling author Erin Quinn writes dark paranormal romance for the thinking reader. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the RWA RITA Award, Booksellers Best, WILLA Award for Historical fiction, the Orange Rose, Readers Crown, Golden Quill, Best Books, and Award of Excellence. Go to www.erinquinnbooks.com for more information or follow Erin on Facebook or Twitter

3PM-Pamela Tracy
Workshop: Wannabe/Gonnabe, Ten Things Every Writer Should Do at the Beginning of his/her Career

This workshop deals with tools, techniques, and tenacity.

BIo:

Pamela Tracy is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty works.  First published in 1999, she’s written contemporary, historical and suspense – all in the romance genre.  She’s been a Rita finalist and has won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the year award.   She is currently president of Christian Writers of the West.

4PM— Mona Hodgson
Workshop: RESEARCHING HISTORY FOR THE STORY

Historical research involves so much more than digging into a setting or

time period for historical accuracy. Learn how to research the history of

your chosen setting and time period for characterization, plotting, and so

much more.

Bio:

MONA HODGSON is the author of 40 books, historical novels and novellas for

adults and children’s books, including her popular Sinclair Sisters of

Cripple Creek Series, The Quilted Heart novellas, and Prairie Song. Keeper

of My Heart, is a novella in The Convenient Brides Collection. Look for

Something Blue in The Heirloom Brides Collection. Her children’s books

include bestseller, Bedtime in the Southwest and Real Girls of the Bible: A

31-Day Devotional.

5 PM—Charlene Kingston
Workshop: Social Media

Confused by the social media options? Not getting the results you want? Let me cut through the noise to give you the straight story on social media, what it can and cannot do, and how to use it for your business.

I help you find the tools that showcase your business strengths to your target audience. I help you find the conversation topics that turn casual visitors into clients and fans.

Bio:

Charlene Kingston is an information strategist, writer, and speaker with 25 years of experience providing information products to solve practical business problems.

Through Crow Information Design, she provides information solutions for businesses and freelance professionals through websites, blogs, ebooks, social media tools, training programs, software user assistance, technical writing, and feature writing services.

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