Thursday, July 21, 2005

Going out with a BANG!

I leave tomorrow for 10 days, so this will probably be my last post until I get back the first week of August. I thought I'd share this FICTIONAL email with you all.

***WARNING*** No children! No sensitive eyes!!!!

The Best Dang Divorce Letter Ever:

My darling...

I know the counselor said we shouldn't contact each other during our "cooling off" period, but I couldn't wait anymore. The day you left, I swore I'd never talk to you again. But that was just the wounded little boy in me talking. Still, I never wanted to be the first one to make contact. In my fantasies, it was always you who would come crawling back to me.

I guess my pride needed that. But now I see that my pride has cost me a lot of things. I'm tired of pretending I don't miss you. I don't care about looking bad anymore. I don't care who makes the first move as long as one of us does.

Maybe it's time we let our hearts speak as loudly as our hurt. And this is what my heart says, "There's no one like you, darling." I look for you in the eyes and breasts of every woman I see, but they're not you. They're not even close. Two weeks ago, I met this girl at Flamiingos and brought her home with me. I don't say this to hurt you, but just to illustrate the depth of my desperation.

She was young, maybe 19, with one of those perfect bodies that only youth and maybe a childhood spent ice skating can give you. I mean, just a perfect body. Tits like you wouldn't believe and an ass that just wouldn't quit. Every man's dream, right? But as I sat on the couch being blown by this stunner, I thought, look at the stuff we've made important in our lives. It's so superficial.

What does a perfect body mean? Does it make her better in bed? Well, in this case, yes, but you see what I'm getting at. Does it make her a better person? Does she have a better heart than my moderately attractive wife? I doubt it. And I've never really thought of that before.

I don't know, maybe I'm just growing up a little. Later, after I've tossed her about a half a pint of throat yogurt, I found myself thinking, "Why do I feel so drained and empty?" It wasn't just her flawless technique or her slutty, shameless hunger, but something else. Some nagging feeling of loss. Why did it feel so incomplete? And then it hit me. I didn't feel the same because you weren't there to watch. Do you know what I mean? Nothing feels the same without you. I'm going crazy without you! And everything I do just reminds me of you.

Do you remember Carol, that single mom we met at the Holiday Inn lounge last year? Well, she dropped by last week with a pan of lasagna. She said she figured I wasn't eating right without a woman around. I didn't know what she meant til later, but that's not the real story.

Anyway, we had a few glasses of wine and the next thing you know, we're banging away in our old bedroom. And this tart's a total monster in the sack. She's giving me everything, you know, like a real woman does when she's not hung up about her weight or her career and whether the kids can hear us or not. And all of the sudden, she spots that tilting mirror on your grandmother's old vanity. So she puts it on the floor and we straddle it, right, so we can watch ourselves. And it's totally hot, but it makes me sad, too. Because I can't help thinking, "Why didn't my darling ever put the mirror on the floor?? We've had this old vanity for what? 14 years and we never used it as a sex toy."

Saturday, your sister dropped by with my copy of the restraining order. I mean, Vicki is just a kid and all, but she's go a pretty good head on her shoulders and she's been a real friend to me during this painful time. She's given me lots of good advice about you and about women in general. She's pulling for us to get back together. She really is. So we were doing Jell-O shots in a hot bubble bath and talking about happier times. Here's this teenage girl with the same DNA as you and all I can do is think about how much she looks just like you did when you were 18. And that just about makes me cry.

And then it turns out Vicki is really into the whole anal thing, that gets me to thinking about how many times I pressured you about trying it and how that probably fueled some of the bitterness between us. But do you see how even then, when I'm thrusting inside your baby sister's cinnamon ring, all I can do is think of you?? It's true, darling! In your heart, you must know it. Don't you think we could start over? Just wipe out all the grievances away and start fresh? I think we can. If you feel the same, please, please, please let me know.

Otherwise, can you let me know where the fucking remote control is?!




Wednesday, July 20, 2005

One Acetone Soak Too Many

Remember me getting free nails so this chick could learn arcrylic?? Well, she did a decent job three weeks ago and then I was gone to DFW. She KNOWS I leave for Nationals THIS WEEK, and the entire point was to let her practice on me so I look good for Nationals. Duh. So last night I go in to have her "fill them" (they're the french manicure look). She RUSHES through it, doesn't buff them, which means they look dull, then says, "Come back tomorrow night and we'll soak these off and put gel nails on instead of acrylic."


So I'm like, "That's cutting it really close. I don't know that I'll have time." (Trying to urge her to finish these to look good.)

She says, "Oh, we can do the gels when you get back then."

I'm thinking, okay let's get these buffed and done with, even though they're rushed. INSTEAD, she says, "Go out the back so Lori (owner and "teacher") doesn't ask to see them." Which means she knew they looked like shyt. I said, "Aren't you going to buff them?" She said, "It doesn't make that big a difference. Your cuticles are dry so we'll put oil on them instead."

Yes, the oil made them look better...til the oil DRIED and was gone and now I have these dull looking things.

So I go in tonight, so we can soak these off AGAIN and let her do the gels. She's not there. I called her cell. She says, "Remember, we're doing the gels when you get back?"

OMG. SOOOOOOO PISSED. I said, "Well, I'm not going with them looking like this. I guess I'll just paint them to cover it up."

Her answer. "Polish."

Me: What??

Her: "It's polishing your nails, not painting."


I storm back home and I'm livid. LIVID. I don't do nails because mine DO grow. But as they grow, they split. So when we started this (for free), it was to just do an acrylic overlay so my natural nail wouldn't split. After she kept screwing it up and I kept having to soak them off, my nails were so brittle I would sneeze and they'd break. Now I have trashed nails.

So, I leave in two days. I'm going to PAINT them and cover this crap up then I'll soak them off myself and NEVER go back. Ever. Ev.Er.

So what color would go with ALL my outfits?? Pink won't match red. Red won't match pinks. I hate this.

Remember this: You get what you pay for. I just did.

Books, books and more books

I really have to get another bookshelf. I just don't really have the room, so it looks like I may have to start using up more vertical space and putting shelves up on the walls, all the way to ceiling.

So while people are buying books at Nationals and having their favs authors sign them, I'm doing what I did last year. When I heard James Patterson was going to be there, I brought my hardcover of KISS THE GIRLS and he signed it for me. Hee! That was neat. I just wish I'd gotten my picture taken with him. That part sucked. I did make him blush, so that kinda equaled out the no picture thing.

So now I'm looking at my stacks of what to bring to beg a signature. I want to bring KILL & TELL from Linda Howard, but I only have that in paperback, so that's out. I do have ALL THE QUEEN'S MEN, my 2nd fav, but I'd rather her sign a first edition. The only first edition of I have in hardcover is ....~swivels around to get the title then remembers it's in the bedroom, waiting its turn~. Anyway, I found a 1st edition of my fav, but I seriously don't think I can get it before I leave. Which totally sucks. Looks like I'm going to take Mr. Perfect, which I was up until 4:30 finishig the other day. Now I have to go through my Crusie hardcovers and see which one of those to take with me. Then I have others, like Elizabeth Bevarly, Jodi Thomas, Anne Frasier (don't know if Anne Frasier is going to Nationals or not though.) I was going to take ALONE from Lisa Gardner, but she's not going. (Grr.) So do you have any you're bringing with you, rather than purchase, to have signed??

So instead of staying up and reading Jennifer Crusie, now I'm back on a Linda Howard kick, as if you can't tell. I devoured Linda Howard's KISS ME WHILE I SLEEP. Frank Vinay was back, as was the mention of John Media, whom I adore, so lovers of KILL & TELL will definitely want to grab it up. This little cover, as sexy as it is and as SUBTLE as it is, still was raised as a concern with the RWA "graphic standard" they attempted to start. Thankfully, after tons of debate and some not-so-nice emails, RWA's board has decided to shelf the matter for another time, I guess. The book was great. I read it in one day. Then, like the slow learner I am, I read MR. PERFECT and was beyond impressed, as always. This may kick KILL & TELL from my all time fav spot for her books, but doubt it. I'd rank it #3. KILL & TELL, ALL THE QUEEN'S MEN, then Mr. PERFECT maybe. Of course, that puts KISS ME WHILE I SLEEP as #4, and since it's kind of part of the first two, that doesn't make much sense. Hmm...I think I'm putting WAY too much thought into this. Needless to say, she's my icon.

Now, you have to understand, I LOVE everyone one of her books I've read save for one: DIE NO MORE. I didn't care for the last one because it was too "chick thrill". I don't want Linda Howard trying to take on a new sub-genre. She's successful beyond belief with her voice planted perfectly straddling the line of romance and suspense, and I want it to stay that way. She, like no other I've found, has that perfect balance. And she does male POV so well, don't stick me in a chick-thrill where I only get the heroine's POV. I love those guys, so let me into their mind for awhile, dang it. And as Kristen Painter and I were discussing the other day, there's something about 1st person POV that seems ...shallower. You'd think if we are in the main character's POV the entire time, it would feel deeper, but for some reason, she and I had the same feeling on this. Give us more POVS and get us more involved. Make us understand more of the people, gives us the situation and opinions of more than one, and maybe that makes us understand the event to an even larger degree. I don't know, I'm merely speculating, but that's what comes to mind.

So what am I reading now? Back to Blaze. As you know, my Walmart was sucked dry of any Blaze books, and why? I still don't know. But came forward for me, and I got a crapload in the mail. YAY! Problem with Blaze, I'm finding, is that there are tons of "series", four books written by four authors about a single group of people or whatever. Well, once I find out there are others as part of the group, I don't want to read it without having all in the series and reading them in order. I'm weird that way. So out of the 10 blazes that came, I only have about three to choose from. That sucks. So I'm reading another Jo Leigh, called Arm Candy. So far, it's great. And I'm liking the hero way more then the heroine, so that means I'll end up with a greater satisfaction with her as the book progresses. I look forward to it.

After another nap, though.

Time is spewing away

I leave in two days to head to Reno.

~One moment please - must pop another Xanax~

I'm leaving from DFW, and my parents up there are watching the four kids while I'm gone for a week, which is why I'm leaving so early. I'll be there Friday and Saturday just to hang out, then Sunday evening I get on a jet plane and HASTA LA VISTA, baby! I'm outta here!!! On the many loops I'm on, I was talking about being in DFW before Reno and was invited to the DARA (Dallas Romance Writers of America) monthly meeting. Their guest speaker?


I swear, the poor guy's gonna think I'm stalking him.

He'll survive. I think.

So I'm mostly packed up and ready to go. I got my dress back from the tailor and dry cleaned. This isn't even my dress for the gala, but for the Death By Chocolate party. Things are so crazy, I swear. Now I just have to pack up the stuff for four kids for a week, and get my "cannot forget for conference" stuff packed up and stowed and KNOW it's going to be okay.

On top of all this chaos, I've not been sleeping. I was up until 7am one night..morning. Then 4:30. Then 3:45. So I am getting closer to normal sleeping hours. Last night, I totally drugged myself up, and I still didn't crash until almost 1am. Then it was even harder to wake up than normal because of all the Xanax and Flexeril I'd taken. ~le sigh~ And although I only have today and tomorrow to have EVERYTHING ready, B says "Let's take today to do nothing but relax and watch movies." I translate that to: and sleep. I need to. I need to be rested before the chaos and thrill of next week sweeps me away like last week's alley trash...but there's just still SO MUCH TO DO!!!

I have a folder I've been putting all my papers that I 'can't possibly forget for Nationals' in. BUT, it's now overflowing, so I had to move to a three-ring binder style. I found a black one that reads "I FELL OFF THE MONKEY BARS". I thought if I totally snapped and went beyond mental at Nationals, someone might see that and then they'd all nod their heads in understanding. That's my hope anyway, should anything happen.

On the "new and exciting" news front: I'm the new Promotions Manager for Romance Divas. If you're not a member there, you really should join. There's a great chat forum and it's so much better than emails to me to hold information (no saving or printing off emails) and to be able to go back and remind yourself of links or whatever. I'm really looking forward to working with Kristen, Jax and Lisa. And yanno, with the 43 loops, the two I moderate, the board of KOD and being the recruiting assistant and all that jazz...well, I had some free time. ~smirk~ Thank gawd, I'm the Multitasking Demon.

As you can tell if you're STILL reading this, I have to get back into the habit of blogging daily, otherwise I run at the mouth like a colon after a Mexican fiesta.

And I'm running around this house like a chicken with its head cut off. And, for all you city folk, let me tell ya...I've seen it, and it ain't a pretty site.

And it kinda puts a damper on Sunday dinner of fried chicken, too.

Bad, bad visual.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Guest Blogger Alert: JULIE KENNER!!!

Well, for regular viewers of my blog, it's no secret how I feel about Ms. Julie Kenner. I truly believe that anything she touches is golden, and to be able to call her my friend is an incredible honor. Now if only I could lure her back to our monthly meetings! Oh, the perils of having so many projects! Please feel free to comment and/or ask questions, as she'll check back in here regularly to reply!
So. Apparently I have become my heroine. No, really. Let me explain. My current book is CARPE DEMON: ADVENTURES OF A DEMON-HUNTING SOCCER MOM (A Booksense Summer Paperback Pick. And a Target Break-out Book! Yay! Check it out. Shelved front of store or in the Sci-Fi section. End commercial.) At any rate, since I'm doing this blog tour to tell folks about the book, I thought it made sense to talk about the book or the character or something somewhat relevant. Which meant I had to come up with a topic.

I found one today at the mall, at the same time I realized that I've become my heroine, Kate Connor (note how carefully I got back to my original thesis after that brief commercial break? Snazzy, huh?).

You see, Kate is a Demon Hunter. She's also a mom, and a rather harried mom at that, considering she has to keep the whole demon-hunting thing secret. And that, you see, is what I have in common with Kate. Not the Demon Hunting part, but I've got that harried mom bit down to a science.

Case in point: this afternoon. C's day care is closed for teacher workshops, and so I figured this is a good day to shop for clothes for the RWA National Convention coming up in Reno later this month. (Clothes being necessary since my hips have expanded such that my pants no longer fit; I've therefore made the wily decision to wear dresses at National since they will still fit even after I beat my hips and caloric intake into submission. Which would probably happen faster if I put away the potato chips I'm currently eating, but now that I've bought dresses, it's not like I'm any hurry ...)

But I digress. At any rate, C and I schlep to Lakeline Mall with the goal of finding mommy dresses. So. We head first to the cookie place (for the promised treat for a well-behaved child), only to get waylaid by the Dippin' Dots stand (little tiny pellets of ice cream that we discovered at Sea World and really are yummy). After much negotiation, we decide on the Dots over the cookie. No problem. Buy. Sit. Eat.

Except they don't melt as fast as they do at Sea World (thanks to the industrial strength air conditioning in the mall). So after about 3 bites, C wants a cookie after all. I weigh whether it's better to teach my kid some deep life lesson about decisions and commitments and bargains (and, possibly, calories) against the possibility of sitting at a sticky table in the food court for 30 minutes while we wait for the dots to melt.

I cave. We buy a cookie. (See? One demon slayed already!!)

We head through the mall, C happily munching and me searching for Ann Taylor. Ann Taylor, I realize, is not in Lakeline Mall.


But I can adjust. I'm channeling a kick ass Demon Hunter after all. Surely, I can find a dress. Or three.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a Casual Corner with some really cute clothes in the window and a giant SALE sign. Ah, nirvana!

We enter. At this point, C is covered w/ chocolate (from the chips) and green stuff (from the icing) and crumbs. I tell her NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING. The sales girl laughs. I am heartened by this blatant show of understanding, but still keep a sharp eye on the kid.

I manage to pull off a few dresses in my size before C gives in to the urge to touch. Off we go to a dressing room where, before trying on anything, I clean the kid's hands with water, a napkin, and a lot of rubbing.

Now the fun really begins. The dressing room is the curtained kinds, and every time I'm in my underwear (braless - I was wearing a tank top), C manages to pull the thing open. (Have I mentioned she's 3?) And she also plays "spanky" on my butt. Yeah, I know. But the kid finds it amusing. Of course, she yells out "spanky butt" loud enough that I hear giggles from the adjoining dressing rooms.

Despite my mortification, I manage to find 3 dresses, in a size smaller than I usually wear. I decide I love Casual Corner's dress forms and sizing policy. Nothing demonic there, but maybe magical?

We pay. We move on. The store is still in tact, the unsold clothes aren't sticky w/ cookie. I consider the venture a success.

Next, I discover a sale at Dillards. DARLING dresses for $9.99. Yes, $9.99. I and a bunch of other women (also with strollers) are digging through the racks. My child decides to play hide and seek in the racks. I hear a little voice calling "Marco!" and I have to yell "Polo" just to get the kid to come out. We were getting some strange looks.

But overall, the adventure was a success. My own little 3 year old demon behaved pretty well, all things considered (I could make it as a demon hunter, huh?) and I got a pile of new clothes.

Life is good.

USA Today bestselling author Julie Kenner spent years mainlining venti nonfat lattes and working full time as an attorney, writing about four books each year, and being a mom. Finally, she realized that sleep is a good thing, and quit the practice of law to write full time. She lives in Georgetown, Texas, with her husband and three year old daughter. Her current releases include THE GIVENCHY CODE and CARPE DEMON: ADVENTURES OF A DEMON-HUNTING SOCCER MOM, currently in development with Warner Brothers and 1492 Pictures. CARPE DEMON was also selected as a Summer Paperback Pick for 2005 by and is a "Target Breakout Book!" For more info, visit Julie on the web at

Men vs. Women

Yanno how there are those people in our lives that want something from us? Different people pulling you a billion and one different ways? And there seems to always be something in it for them, and although you know this deep down, you still haven't figured what "that" is for some of them? I have a few in my life like this. Well, okay, I have one. All they want from me is a blog entry.

I'm not even kidding.

And it's a guy.

~pauses for a moment while all the chicks reading this think on it~

Yes, that's right. There's a guy out there that wants NOTHING MORE from me than a blog entry. How odd is that? Usually if it involves a male and me, there's an alterior motive. He wants another photo. Or he wants me to talk to him, or he wants...well, you know. But not this one. I never hear a word out of him until I go more than a few days between entries. Then, I get the "eye".

Now while this may seem weird (yeah, well, okay, it IS weird), I find it endearing (he's going to scowl when he reads "endearing" used to describe him as he reads this) but it IS endearing. He knows how important my writing is to me and what satisfaction I get out of just blogging and letting my thoughts ramble on. I think he may be my badge holder. The one that reads "I'm a writer". When I forget, he peals off the back and slaps it back on my shirt (or forehead) to remind me. And yes, we're going with a peal off back, because he has this mean side to him, so we're really, REALLY not going to let him have a name badge with a stick-pin on the backside, k? Thanks.

So I was rambling to him (he doesn't reply unless it's about my blog) about picking and choosing different elements of different guys, what's great about them, what totally sucks. His comment: Blog it. (He's really, really a blabbermouth sometimes. Two-word reply that must be a full moon.)

(He's rolling his eyes now, by the way.)

So okay, I'll blog it. What do men need from a woman? They want beauty. They want brains (sometimes). They want confidence and sexy and blah blah blah. I imagine they want tall and thin and someone that looks like she hasn't eaten at Burger King EVER, much less twice this week. ~blink~ But most of the guys I know don't want that skinny chick. Hard to believe, but they really, honestly, seem to like curves. Where we see fat, they see soft. While most of the times in my life I felt like men looked at my chest while I spoke, those good guys seemed to want nothing more than to look into my eyes, sometimes to the point of having to move my hair back from my face to do so.

So what do WE want? What's your "perfect" guy? I want it all: Looks, jobs, personality, his family. What does he do? What does he look like? What's his family like? What's his personality like? What total package of a guy does it for you? (If you're a guy reading, reverse those questions to apply to girls. If you're married, spare me that mushy shyt about "My wife is my ideal." Cuz puhleeze, there's no real ideal that wraps it ALL up, so let's not pretend there is. There's close, but there's no perfection, which is why romance makes up such a huge chunk of the sales: We read what doesn't exist so we can live that fantasy. Don't argue with me, either, because that's like...MATH.)

I was in a chat room one time (well, I'm in there ALL the time, so let me start over.) One day when I was in the chat room that I frequent, this girl was saying, "We have to be thin with big tits and a tiny waist and long hair and a perfect face with blue eyes. Men? They just have to be tall."

Fitting, isn't it? Have you read a romance lately where the hero WAS NOT tall? Didn't think so.

Yeah, actually... my Blog Hero, he's tall, too.

Told ya.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Well, this perks a girl right up...

So I put on this capri set that my aunt had given me. Just something for around the house, errands, all that jazz. I thought it was cute.

I came out of my room and my two youngest daughters stared at me and BOTH said, "You look like Mimi."

Mimi would be my MOTHER.

Outfit was quickly removed and placed in the Goodwill bag. ~sigh~

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Blaze! Oh, Blaze! Where forth art thou, Blaze?!

So for those that don't know, Harlequin's Temptation line ended, and so their Blaze line is going from four a month to six a month. As someone aiming for the Blaze line, this was great news for me. So I'm doing what any writer does: reading my line.

BUT, Blaze is empty at my bookstore (this would be Walmart as my source without having to drive to a bigger town.) Nothing. No Blaze. All the slots were filled, and a huge amount was of Harlequin's Love Inspired line, way more than normal. So what's up with that?? I need my Blaze fix! So, to get my fix, I hit Those are coming, but does anyone have any idea why there weren't any when they restocked the books? I LOVE getting inexpensive books at, but I DO NOT like paying shipping.

Blaze! Come back!!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bitch bitch bitch, that's all she ever does

Yeah, well, it's my blog so I can do that. And right now, I'm staring at my crappy writing while reading Jennifer Crusie and thinking, "OMG. I SO suck compared to this."

Do you ever get like that?? You look and admire and get lost in the greatness of another writer and think "There is no way that'll ever, EVER be me"? I'm there, right now.

Thing is, I know I have the talent. And this last year, the things I've learned and grown in are TRULY immeasurable. I have no doubt I'll be published and be happily published and have a CAREER in publishing, not just one book or whatever. I really, really don't have that doubt.

I don't think.

So I msn a friend of mine and I said, "I have no talent."
He said, "Quitting then?"
I said, "I'm too stubborn to."

Which is true. I am. And instead of giving up on it all, I read more. I make myself feel more inadequate as I read Crusie after Crusie, Blaze after Blaze. Why? Because if I absorb it enough, I'll think that same way, I'll create that same thing, because that'll be what I KNOW.

Are you glad you left some of that cheese behind. *chomp*

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Love & Hate of Small Towns

So I was reading on another blog how the writer was sick of reading about small towns in novels. Well, I happen to be writing a novel that has to do with a small town. And I'm reading one right now (by Jennifer Crusie) that involves a small town.

So here's why I think there's a love/hate situation with small towns, and it's summed up (both the love it AND the hate it part), in three simple words:

Everyone knows everyone.

You love it, because it's familiar, it's how it has always been and how it always will be. And you hate it for those very same reasons.

BUT, one of the things I personally love about small towns are the odd little people that live there. Now, don't get me wrong - odd little people live in big cities, too. But in small towns, you see more of them, you KNOW more about them. So how fun is it to read about a quirkly little gay old dude in the big city? It's not. There's a million of them. But toss in an aging gay man in the middle of a small town, and heck, there's a story right THERE. Not only would he be way more noticed, but he's got that insta-conflict with small town "values" and traditions and all that jazz. (I'm not writing about that, although Stephen King did once - and I remember it because of that very fact.)

So although this one other blog's writer mentioned hating reading about small towns, I think we're kind of drawn to those types of stories anyway, where everyone has their little secrets, which is kinda funny, since everyone else already KNOWS those secrets. And the secrets of the daddy, and the granddaddy, and let's not downplay what great-granddaddy did back in 1910. Infamy isn't always a bad thing, especially when it's happening to someone else.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Get the cheese! I've got the whine.

So while I'm sitting here pondering the latest in the "Brenda has the WORST luck ever" moment of the hour, I look at my shins. Find a cactus because I have the desert. Now, I have to tell you, I don't use lotion. I hate lotion. It leaves my hands and body and like..EVERYTHING...covered in this slimy skin like a coating from a slug. Yes, it does. Don't argue.

But look at those shins. ~sigh~

So I'd bought some cocoa butter, because as much as I dislike lotion, I like the IDEA of lotion. I like the IDEA of having soft, if not plump, skin. ~eye twitch~ So like the inexperienced twit that I am, I open the cocoa butter and eye my shins with determination.

(pause for dramatic effect)

So out goes my palm, reading to accept the gooey, slimy, white gunk (this could be a Blaze...hmm...) and I squeeze. (Yeah, still lookin' like a Blaze here...)

And then I cringe.

So this is one of those bottles that you don't have to actually squeeze, apparently. I know this, because I had a good 1/2 cup of lotion sitting in my little hand, trying to get thoughts of Blaze outta my brain because THAT much white gooey spunk would just be....ew. ~does a mental flush for us all with my deepest, yet not really that sincere, apologies~

If I had to go through it, you all must suffer with me.

So I take my palm and splat it against my other palm in an attempt to distribute the gunk. Then eye my shins. After literally 20 FULL MINUTES of rubbing my shins, my feet, my thighs, my stomach, my arms and yes, even the parts of my back that I could reach, I finally got the white film off my flesh.

Did I mention I hate lotion yet?

And all of this while I was contemplating the "Brenda's luck sucks" moment, which of course, merely added to it, making the opinion more like fact - which brings me, belatedly, to the topic at hand.

One of my a-list agents (there are only two on my a-list to begin with) is reopening submissions for queries. Well hell.

I have one completed ST RS that has revisions on it that would make your mental red pen twitch in a slow death inside your brain (I wrote it before I had a clue. Now that I have a clue, I know that the book is not remotely ready for ANYONE to see, much less one of my two a-listers.) Well, the other seven books you've heard me mention on here aren't finished! AND....hello?! I'm unpubbed. Which means no one wants to really seriously look at me without a completed novel in hand.

Now, that brings up a question. I'm an RWA PRO member. That right there proves I can complete a manuscript. That same book finaled in my first contest I entered, The Merritt. (It's also the one that needs a crapload of revisions.) But is that enough to PROVE to an agent that this unpubbed can and has completed a novel? Or can I not submit a query until it's polished within an inch of its life??

AND (yes, grab another hunk of cheese, because no, I'm not done yet) does someone aiming for category NEED an agent? I think so. I want one. I don't know jackcrap about contracts or whatever. And this particular agent is big on "careers" with her authors, which is what I desperately want. AND (I have a lot of those today - too much caffeine), she doesn't charge basic office fees (yanno, copies, mailings, blah blah blah) and if you are a long-time reader of this blog, you know I have issues with that. She's like.....PERFECT!!! AND, (dang, too much of that word here) I LIKE her. I like her personality, I like how she reaches out, I like her attitude and I seriously only hear great things about her. She rocks. I wanna rock WITH her. But I can' least, I don't THINK I can. I'm not entirely sure, but I think she wants a completed, polished one, not just my synopsis (btw, those are tons easier to write if you do them BEFORE the book. Little FYI.)

Okay, enough of that. Leave the leftover cheese here when you go - I'm sure I'll sink my teeth into it a bit more as I stare at my screen and whine about my luck and timing and all that jazz.

Cocoa butter, anyone?

At least it smells good.


I'm thrilled and honored to host Alesia as she tours blogs to promote her newest book, NICE GIRLS FINISH FIRST. Here, she talks about it with us.

So one day I was thinking about today’s woman, as I often do, considering that I write funny books about the everyday (and not so everyday!) things we all go through, and I was wondering about that perpetual dilemma – the Myth of the Nice Girl.

Somehow, through a peculiar evolution of the professional environment, women today are finally recognized (mostly) as equally competent, ambitious, and dedicated as men in the workforce. (We’ll leave the “we have to work smarter and harder” argument aside for now.) But yet, we have an added burden: we have to be NICE.

Now, this isn’t really tough for most women, most of the time. We were raised to be nice. That’s what little girls do, right? “Play nice!” “Be nice!” Except, well, there are times when you can’t be all that nice . . . Boyfriend cheating? Kick him to the curb! Um, in a nice way? Opposing counsel trying underhanded tactics? Notify the judge and get him sanctioned! Er, nicely?

The idea of a character who is very ambitious and a great person, but a little bit of a tough chick on the surface, really intrigued me. And I had the perfect character in Kirby Green, newly-hired exec at the Whips and Lace Co. She’d pretty much stolen every scene she was in in AMERICAN IDLE (Double RITA finalist, how cool is that??). Then I wanted to compare and contrast Kirby with a character who was so nice that she was in danger of becoming a doormat. Brianna sprang to life. My good friend who is an opera singer (no, really!) provided some great background for her. Then I set the two of them loose to play on the pages – each helping the other learn something about life, and about herself. That’s how NICE GIRLS FINISH FIRST was born.

Can we be successful as women today and still retain some of that niceness that was so valued in earlier years? I think so. But nice doesn’t mean dumb, and today’s nice girls DO finish first. They might just have to kick a little ass along the way.


Thanks for helping me celebrate the release of my second novel!! – Alesia Holliday (p.s. This nice girl is frantically polishing some pages due to Hollywood interest – you can see the details at

Be smart - run out and snag it now! I'm gonna!

Well, I survived the parental units

I'm back. Of the four kids, only two returned with me: the toddlers. EEKS!

Carly is up in Wisconsin visiting my dear friend, Shari. Shandie is still up at my parents, because when Carly flies home on Saturday, Shandie then hits the sky to take her place for her own one week vacation. Then, of course, Shari and I meet up in Denver to connect our flights for OUR one week vacation in RENO!!! Busy times, I'm a'tellin' ya.

While I was gone, I read a TON. Something occurred to me last night when I stayed up til 3:45am to finish a novel: I always fall in love with the heros. I can only say: This has got to be what it takes to create a fanbase...the hero. Yum. ~takes a deeeeeeeeep, cleansing breath~

I did finally read two more Jenny Crusie books. I'd only read CHARLIE ALL NIGHT, which was cute, but didn't blow me away. I've now read STRANGBEDPERSONS and MANHUNTING, and I'm blown away. I hope to start BET ME soon.

As you all know, I'm a huge Julie Kenner junkie. Her latest novel (to me) just solidified that little fact. I finished NOBODY BUT YOU in just one and 1/2 days...SO good. I'd read SILENT CONFESSIONS and then it's follow-up, SILENT DESIRES, in that same record time. Although Julie is exploring paranormal right now, she's got the perfect balance to me for romantic suspense. Seriously, I can't say enough.

Also, I was up late reading Sandra Brown's WHITE HOT. I was pleased to find that Sandra Brown pulled me back into her fan base. She sold me with ENVY, but a couple after that did not wow me, but WHITE HOT got me all over again. Such an amazing plot line with more twists and turns than a freeway built across a mountain range. If you love ENVY, grab this one, too.

So that's what I did while I was gone: Read a ton. And yes, I worked too (mostly during Vacation Bible School - shhhhh, don't tell anyone! I think I may burn in hell for working on a scandalous story aimed at Blaze while in church.) My plot, and more importantly, my characters, are coming along nicely. I'm still working with FIRST DRAFT IN 30 DAYS, and I'm quite happy with the process, although I haven't been able to work on it as much as I'd hoped (I've been reading! BAD BRENDA!)but I am glad to find the book useful. As you writers know, it's like winning the lottery when we find a book on our craft that truly helps us!

Let's see...other news? Oh, how about this little gem? My mother, and I quote: "You really should lose some weight. I don't think I've ever seen you this heavy."


To which I replied: "Guess dementia is setting in already, Mom. You forget the five years in Vidor when I was 15lbs heavier than this." (She didn't see me as often, so maybe that was the difference.) My almost 15 year old daughter (pardon me while I sob over her upcoming birthday) actually GAPED at her grandmother, and said she couldn't believe she'd said that. Mom tried to backpeddle, but yeah...well...yanno. Too little too late. Since so many of you have read my struggles and incredible discontentment with my weight lately, I thought you'd just LOVE reading that juicy news. The irony? Mom said this while FRYING HOMEMADE FRENCH FRIES for dinner. Why not just insult me while running an IV of lard right into my ass? Seems like that would be easier, right? Ugh.

Oh and this week, I have to go back and have my nails redone (shocked? Right.) I'm accepting prayers on my behalf for the pain I know I'm about to endure.

Reno, come faster.