Do YOU Judge A Book By Its Cover?

People don’t tend to imagine I am the creative type. Even the family therapist–who has seen me once a week for five months–was shocked when my daughter told her I write vampire novels. Her exact words were:  Wow, I did not expect that. Apparently she isn’t the only one.

The fact that I am a writer came up a few times in casual conversation with a few of the moms and teachers with whom I traveled on my daughter’s field trip this week, and not one asked what I write about. As an experiment, just to see if I could get any bites, I actually inserted the detail that I was publishing a novel next month into as many conversations as possible today. No one expressed even a smidge of curiosity (though they had a million questions about my daughter’s adoption).

I admit I don’t look or act much like the type to write dark urban fantasy, much less the steamy yet squirm-inducing scenes that are my preference. My fellow chaperones know me as the “one always wearing a headband” as none have ever seen me in public without a head covering of some sort and may or may not suspect it is for religious reasons.  They know me as the mom who won’t let her twelve-year old daughter wear belly-baring bathing suits or shorts any shorter than the tips of her fingers. They know me as a wife who has been married to one man for over ten years and an ad executive who has been at the same company for nearly as many.

I am what my husband refers in car-speak to as a “sleeper.” The unassuming sedan that goads the hopped-up muscle car into a race, then blows its doors off as soon as the light turns green. I am proof you can’t judge a book by its cover. But you will anyway. Which is why mine looks like this:

Blood Toy e-book

You can Pre-Order now:)  Can’t wait?  I am looking for Advanced Reader Copy reviewers.  Just leave me a note in the comments below!

Excuse Me While I Get Sappy

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My feet feel like bricks and look like balloons after walking 6000 miles—give or take—over the last three days all over D.C. We toured Mount Vernon today. In the museum, there is a simple exhibit with a fireplace, a wooden chair, and a box of letters. George Washington wrote Martha hundreds of letters during the times when they were apart. After he died, she burned all but three. My daughter couldn’t grasp why she would do such a thing. It did not occur to her that this woman who lost her husband would simply desire to keep their private sentiments as a couple, private and separate from the stories we would be telling for generations about our first president and the father of democracy.

At the end of the day, our tour guide, Lisa Pickel, gave the most inspirational speech to the kids. She said she hoped this trip gave the kids the desire to travel and the inspiration to do great things. She shared that she had traveled to more than 50 countries (67 if I remember) and every state in the US. She’d sky dived numerous times and walked across Spain (I really wanted to ask if she’d thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and if she knew Tick Tock, because all those gals must know each other, right? Right?) She told the kids that they would be asked over and over again what they wanted to be when they grew up…and that she was forty and still figuring that out. She told them to think big; the whole world was within their grasp.

I gotta say, I envy this woman. I too am nearly forty. I have a very successful career and have been doing it for over ten years. I get to travel too, but beyond convention center, hotel, and boardroom, I never get to see much more than the view from a taxi cab. I have been across the country twice and on three cruises, to Mexico and Grand Cayman. On each one, three of seven days had passed before I relaxed enough to enjoy it. I have a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter and can honestly say getting (and keeping) them both was a huge accomplishment.  So I am happy with my life, but…

But…what did I want to BE when I grew up? What did I want to DO? I wanted to be an author. I wanted to publish my first (and second and third…) novel. I am so excited that I will realize my dream finally one month and one day from today. (You can Pre-Order it now.) But if I had heard Lisa’s speech twenty years ago, ten years ago, it might not have taken me so long to do it.

A Moment of Silence and Reflection

I am chaperoning a middle school field trip to Washington DC this week. You will forgive me I hope for the tone and brevity of today’s blog.

We visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial yesterday.  Coming the day after Memorial Day, the many gifts left by friends and relatives of those that gave their lives in that terrible war were still at the wall.

wall gift man wall gifts 3

wall gift 2 wall gift

The kids raced down sidewalk beside the Memorial Wall and took smiling selfies in front of it.

wall gift line

The cannot possibly grasp the magnitude of what they are standing beside, else how could they smile? There are 58,286 names on that wall.  My daughter took this picture because she thought the dog was cute.

wall dog

She didn’t notice the dog is holding a MISSING poster.

Each name on the wall is marked with either a diamonds or a cross. The diamonds signify a soldier who made it home to be buried. The crosses signify those that never did. I looked up an old war buddy of my step-dad’s while we were there, though the tour group didn’t wait on me to do it. Thankfully, his name is marked with a diamond.

wall name

I don’t like writing non-fiction and never will, but I do know that I will never imagine an injury greater than those we (as humans) have committed (and continue to commit) against each other, nor create a protagonist more heroic than those who founded and fought for this country.

Tuesday Teaser and New Goodies!

We are little more than one month away from the launch of Blood Toy!  I just got my final ePub and Print book back from formatting today along with the logo for my self-publishing empire. Check this out.

Red_blackI designed it myself then hired Mary to turn my sketch into a killer png file.  You’ll see it in the bottom corner of future teasers and of course on the finished book:) Speaking of teasers, here’s another.  I am still looking for ARC reviewers.  If you don’t want to review, but can’t wait to read, you can pre-order here today!Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 10.36.08 PM

Should Have Told Them To Put The IV In My Left Arm

  

This is all I can think of as I wait for my ultrasound to determine if I have kidney or gallbladder stones or something else causing my abdominal pain today.  I am told to plan on a two hour wait.  I cannot remember when I have had so much uninterrupted time which I could be using to write.  And I cannot use my right hand because this IV hurts like the dickens.   Even thumb typing hurts.  Damnit I did not want to be a Blood Toy.

On second thought, who am kidding?  Of course I did.  But this is not what I had in mind.

Want More Than A Snippet?

Now that Blood Toy is available for Pre-Order, I am searching for Advance Reader Copy (ARC) reviewers to check it out ahead of the June 29 launch.  Bloggers, fellow authors, avid readers…if you want to read it before it hits the general public, comment on this post, and we’ll talk.  You might want to head on over here to see what you’re getting yourself into first.

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