Friday, June 22, 2012

Books for Cancer, prizes gone wild, and new purse!

A few fun new items over at Vampire Book Club's Books Fighting Cancer auction!!

1. Ann Aguirre has thrown in a really nice prize: you get to design a main character's love interest for an upcoming story set in her Razorland world. Plus you get a signed novel. Check it out!

2. I'm so thrilled with response to my part of the auction, instead of a small part namesake, you get a choice: small part namesake in Mr. Real...or smartypants sidekick to heroine namesake (who has a 50% chance of getting her own book down the road). It is a truly good part. More here.

Read about all the items up for grabs.

Of course,  you can also make any Amazon orders through the Amazon links on the site and affiliate proceeds will go to this excellent cause. Ends July 23rd. I've been thinking for months about springing for a Kindle...if I'm going to do it, this might be the time!

My new purse
I got this vintage  purse the other day. It a very fuzzy and wintery purse, possibly too much so for using when it's 80 degrees out, but I so love it.

I think I might have to wait until winter to proudly carry it around...maybe...but that doesn't mean I can't display it here.

It reminds me slightly of a bag a James Bond girl might carry in one of those Bond movies that have scenes in the Alps or Siberia. Or maybe that is just my imagination. Actually, I think I just associate those dangling fuzzy balls with some long ago Bond movie.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Books Fighting Cancer auction - with 2 ways to play!

Hello friends! I hope everybody had a nice weekend. I visited family in Wisconsin, which involved watching little girls do gymnastics, plant shopping with mom, meeting an old friend for coffee, and spending a crazy amount of time at the kitchen table chatting and eating loads of cookies.

Anyway, that's not all that happened this weekend - Chelsea of Vampire Book Club kicked off a really important auction called Books Fighting Cancer. It runs through 11:59 CST June 23rd. 

Chelsea is raising money for brain cancer research in honor of her father, whom she lost to Brain Cancer recently. You can read more about  her father, the research institute, and her decision to do something meaningful for Father's Day on the auction home page  here. I also lost my dad to cancer some years ago, so this is a cause that is dear to my heart.

There are two ways to participate.

1. Click through to Amazon from one of the links on at the top of reviews and buy your books (or whatever else) that way. 
Chelsea is donating all affiliate commissions to the cause this week. Here is a list of reviews, but you don't have to only buy what VBC has reviewed: once you hop to Amazon from one of those links at the top of any review, anything you spend counts toward the commission she will donate - a great time to spring for those books you've been eyeing! (Or if you've been thinking about getting a Kindle or doing some early Christmas shopping!)

2. Bid on one of the prizes (including one from yours truly!)
There are lots of fun prizes - here is the list of stuff up for grabs. Note that there is a special Carolyn Crane prize pack built around my upcoming spy PNR, Mr. Real - A character named after you, a digital ARC of the book and a signed print ARC of the book! 

That's all for now. I hope everybody has a wonderful week. Stay cool! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bedeviled by cover possibilities...the MR. REAL self publishing saga continues!

One of my new favorite things as a self publisher is filling out my cover artist, Anne Cain's, cover spec sheet.

She asks all sorts of questions about my vision for the cover and what the characters look like and wear, and what covers out there capture the general spirit of what I'm going for.

So last night I filled that out for my new novel, MR. REAL (The first in a series, out later this year, possibly October.)

I am typically a very micromanaging person with specific ideas, but this cover is throwing me.

I've been calling MR. REAL a spy PNR. In fact, it would be more accurately described as a paranormal romantic suspense with dashes of contemporary romance, UF, and sci fi. Needless to say, it is completely unpublishable by normal publishers. lol.

I don't have the back blurb done yet, but here is a rough description:
When free spirit Alix Gordon stumbles on an occult computer program in her late aunt's house, she's excited - and determined to act responsibly for a change, using the power for innocent things fabulous clothes and accessories. But, on one long, lonely rural Minnesota night, she uses it to bring a sexy, dashing spy from a liqueur commercial to life. 
When Paul, the LA fighter/actor who plays the character of Sir Kendall (and has come to hate him) finds himself inexplicably drawn to rural Minnesota and discovers what Alix has done, he is NOT amused. Paul invades their love nest, determined to put a stop to the madness...somehow. But is Sir Kendall really just a stock spy character from an ad? Or is he transforming into something far more dangerous and powerful? 
Anyway, that's a cursory description, but you get the idea. I have a strong sense of the level of photo realism, the lighting I want, but I am really torn on some big things. Like, between this being a couples cover, a "clinch" cover, or a beefcake cover. Or is it something else? A shoe? 

For example, I want to signal that this is a romantic book, and it's very regular in how romantic it is, with a HEA and all that, but it's also very oddly cross-genre.  So, do I get a cover that suggests the quirky nature of it, or that suggests the mainstream elements? I don't want to scare readers off, but also I don't want to sell it as something it's not. 

Anyway, I gave Anne all my thoughts. Like a witches cauldron of cover thoughts! She does not have an easy job. I can't wait to see what she comes up with, though!! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Anthology out - with my ghost story!

What fun to have this anthology out! I was so honored to be invited to contribute to this (back in 2010!) It got delayed, but here it is. 

I had so much fun writing my special ghost story for it.

Now I'm sort of laughing looking at the book blurb, especially the part where it says "ghosts come to life so that lovers can be united in the flesh." Er... that's NOT what happens in my steamy little story!  Actually, it's one of my sweeter stories, though. 

OLD SALT...a synopsis
Cassie Nolan, snarky tour guide at a seaside tourist trap in North Carolina (‘the haunted pier’), wishes that a certain strapping young sea captain who died in 1870 had a less pathetic haunting technique. Old Salt, ghost of the haunted pier, has been the object of Cassie's ridicule for years. Imagine her surprise when she discovers Old Salt is totally hunky, and pretty fed up with her attitude toward him. 

Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance
A wonderful collection of stories of supernatural love by Sharon Shinn, Dru Pagliasotti, Caridad Pineiro, Jennifer Estep, Gwyn Cready, Carolyn Crane, Jeannie Holmes, Anna Campbell, Julia London, Christie Ridgway, Holly Lisle and Liz Maverick. In happy-ever-after endings, ghosts come to life so that lovers can be united in the flesh.

If you get it, I so hope you like it. A lot of places say it's not releasing until August 7th, but actually, it came out June 7th in the UK in paperback, and as an ebook worldwide. However, you can get it in paper in the US through the backdoor, and it's not that easy to find in ebook unless you have a Kindle or Kobo. If you're interested, here are the links I could find:    
Ebook UK: Kindle | kobo | looking for others!
Ebook US:  Kindle | Kobo |  looking for others!
Paperback UK: Amazon UK | WHSmith | Alibris | MurderOne
Paperback US: Not officially available but you can get it here:  Amazon | Alibris | A1outlet