Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Hunksday!!

The world is covered with hot looking guys and I feel it is my duty to bring them to you readers! :)

Today we are honoring Zac Efron. We all first saw that gorgeous face in High School Musical, and he was of age completely okay to lust after :)


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ewww..that hero is SOOOO not my type.

Okay, so I'm reading a romance now and it's a pretty decent story. But when the author described the hero, he has long dark hair that he keeps pulled back in a ponytail. Which first of all, he is a wealthy business man and that kind of hair seems so uncharacteristic and also so out of style. This book is only 2 years old.

But anyway, nothing about a man's appearance turns me off faster than long hair. My apologies to my readers out there who like long hair. It is just not my thing. I am much more of a clean shaven, neat and tidy, short hair kind of gal. Preferable with some gel. Yes, I like a guy who uses product. (If you need some examples, click on my Hunksday posts)

So here I am with the story that is pretty good and this hero who just doesn't light my fire. So what's a girl to do....well....we fantasize. When I read the story, I still picture a tone and tanned guy, perfectly coiffed.

So what about you?? When you're reading romance and the character's description just doesn't appeal to you...and in romance, it really really you imagine someone else instead??

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ever consider trying a Raw Diet??

Whenever I think of this diet, I always call to mind the episode from Sex and The City, when they go to the Raw Restaurant. In the end, Samantha wants what's not on the menu...and ends up with their hot waiter in the back room.

But anyway, my good friend Marek is trying the Raw Diet to help find a healthier way of life. Please stop by his blog, Eating Raw Foods, and follow his journey!

Monday, July 26, 2010's time to just chill out.

This has been on my mind a lot. The other day, after a random post I made on Facebook about my kids going to the play room at the gym, a commenter replied saying: "I'd be too freaked out about germs."

My sincerest apologies to the Germaphobes..and I feel I can call them this because most I know will openly tell you they are a germaphobe, but seriously? I think it's time to take a step back and just relax a bit.

I'm sure most Germaphobes think I am insane for taking my kids into public restrooms and also use them myself. Or for taking my kids to the play room at the gym, or indoor play facilities like Chuck E. Cheese and what not. Or children's museums or the zoo or the aquarium, amusement parks, arcades, etc where people put their grimy hands on things all day long. And oh the horror...we take our kids on an airplane!!!

But seriously....look at all we'd be missing out on if I let paranoia take over.

And I don't look at every human being as a cesspool of germs.

Yeah, everyone got real freaked out by swine flue and the other flus out there and all the other germs. (and I wholeheartedly believe the media is to blame for that) But I'm not gonna live my life in a bubble. I do my best to keep my kid's hands clean and we use hand sanitizer when we're out at places where a sink and soap and water are not easily accessible. Yeah, the kids still gets colds and viruses from time to time...that's all a part of life.

I know I read once that using too much antibacterial cleansers in your house will eventually make the germs immune to it. And actually houses that are a little bit dirty have healthier kids. The kids in immaculate homes never build the antibodies to fight off the common cold and other little viruses.

Some articles I found very interesting:

Life Style Lounge


Care 2 Make a Difference (this one's the best!!)

I try my best to be aware of what's going on in the world...but sometimes we have to just turn a deaf ear and let our kids be kids and enjoy life.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Book giveaway!!

Wicked Good Books is running a contest and giving away 20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler!!!!!

Now I kinda know a round about, distant way...we have a mutual friend. So I know this book is awesome!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Hunksday!!!

This week, I had to go with someone I've crushed on for a long time. I am pretty girly- I like clothes and makeup, I do scrapbooking, I read romance, I adore romantic comedies...most of my interests are things that most guys think are stupid. And probably some girls too. But I sat intently through three movies that are all guy..nothing but suped up cars and scantily-dressed women. And all for one reason: Paul Walker.

The eyes, the hair....everything...completely yummy.

What's your opinion???

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

When the market doesn't want what you write

This post is sort of a continuation from yesterday's post.

I'm struggling right now to find a home for what I write. I can proudly say I write chick lit. My writing is not pink covers and endless shopping trips, but it is the newly evolved chick lit where the heroine is smart and sassy and independent. The stories focus on her life and dreams and not on the next pair of expensive shoes she buys (though she still may indulge from time to time!).

But I'm stuck in a world where vampires and werewolves rule.

No offense to those of you who are finding great success right now. I am very happy for you! And I'm sure for some, it's been a long time coming...waiting for the market to be ready for what you write. Huge kudos to you!!

But here I sit...wondering what I should do right now. I've seen some of my fellow romance and chick lit authors take their stories and give them a vampire makeover. But that is just not me. Should I try anyway...try to conform to what's popular right now?? Or do I sit back and keep doing what I'm doing...waiting for the day when the trends circle back around?

But that might be a while. I am convinced the vampire/werewolf thing will not fizzle until the last two Twilight movies have been released. So we're talking at least a couple years from now.

My only hope is that when it does fizzle, the masses will want to read what I write. When they've become bored with bloodsuckers and all that, I hope they'll want something smart and sassy and more true to life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is it over yet?

Okay, so I hope I am not alone in hoping (wishing) that the vampire/werewolf trend is coming to an end....soon...very soon.

Nothing against all those authors out there who are, probably after many years, getting their stories out there. I am ecstatic for them and I wish them the best of luck. But honestly, it's just not my thing. Never has been.

I read this article in yesterday's Buffalo News and quite honestly, it sorta ticked me off. I adore all things chick lit. It's what I read, it's what I write. And it has so evolved from pink cartoony covers and endless shopping trips. That's not what today's chick lit is. But it's still getting bashed.

And yes, I do agree that the industry saw a huge influx of chick lit the end of the 90's and into the twenty-first century. But if you ask me, the exact same thing is happening now with all these vampire and werewolf stories. How long will it be before the consumer tires and wants something else?

I know no one can predict the future and the next big thing is anybody's guess, but I can't help but hope it means a comeback for women's fiction and chick lit..but the smarter, wittier side we're seeing now.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Double post- but this is an emergency!

Well, not really, I guess. But I need your votes!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!! With cherries on top...and whipped cream, or whatever else you like on top!!!

My cover is in a contest! Please vote asap!! Stop by You Gotta Read Covers and on the right hand side, click on my book- A Bitch Named Karma! Voting ends tomorrow night!

Thanks so much!! I love you guys!!!

I can’t survive without the internet

Yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking. This girl is addicted to Facebook, email, blogs, message boards, yadda yadda. Well, yeah, I guess that is sorta true. But I am addicted to the internet for more than just that.

I am so lost without it.

Lately I have been having to do without the internet. For some bizarre reason, my laptop keeps losing its connection with my wireless router. (I will be talking to my computer guy about this asap.) And I can’t tell you how it bothers me when I try to click on a site and I get that “problem loading page” message. I look to the lower right hand corner of my screen…that red “x” glaring at me…laughing and saying “ha ha, no internet for you!”

It’s most frustrating when I am working on my writing. I have become so accustomed to having the internet that I use it everyday while I am working on my current project. I use for its thesaurus—and it’s so irritating to have a word that I know I want something else for and I can’t look one up. (I have Word’s synonym function as a backup, but it’s not as good.)

And just research in general. Remember when we were kids and doing a report meant spending some time in the library to look up the info you needed? Well now, everything you ever wanted to know is at your fingertips, literally. I hate when I’m working on a project and need to look something up and I just can’t.

I love the internet!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Blogfest of Death- Better late than never??

****I feel so horrible!! This was supposed to be posted earlier today, but unfortunately, I was having some internet issues. :( I sincerely apologize!!!!

I did a blogfest a few months ago and I quite enjoyed it! Very fun to participate in!!!

But when I came across this one at Tessa's Blurb, I wasn't sure if it was for me. Death??? I don't write paranormal stuff or action adventure type of stories, so death is not something I really write on a regular basis. But I do from time to time. Most of my writing is true to life type stories, and unfortunately, death is a part of life.

So for this Blogfest, I am sharing this scene with you. I can't say enjoy...cause it's really sad, but some feedback would be wonderful. :)

The party guests had congregated near the kitchen to see what the drama was and I suddenly felt like a monumental ass. Half hour into the party and I had already ruined my little man’s perfect day. Never in my life had I wanted to be anything like my mother, until that moment. Her parties were always perfect. She never burnt a single thing.

I turned and walked toward the bathroom, needing to get away from all the eyes before I burst into tears. Two months in and the pregnancy hormones were already working overtime. I blew my nose and re-powdered my face. Might as well pee too, since I was already in there. As I pulled on the toilet paper, I noticed a very bright dot on the center of my very plain underwear.

So much for not bursting into tears.

A knock came on the door. “Lex, you okay?”

“Get in here!” I yelled to Rich through my sobs, not caring if I sounded hysterical.

“It’s okay,” he said after closing the door behind him. “No one cares about the food.”

“Look!” I showed him my underwear and the pea-sized spot. His eyes widened like flying saucers.

“That’s bad, isn’t it?”

“Yes…no. I don’t know!”

He knelt in front of me and pulled me to him. “What can I do?”

“Can you get my pregnancy book from the night stand?” I managed to calm myself down and think rationally. I thought for sure I had read about spotting in the first trimester.

Rich brought the book in to me and I flipped to one of the early chapters. I then read from the book. “Pink spotting is common during the first trimester, and is usually caused by the egg implanting into the lining of the uterus.”

“But this is bright red,” Rich said, stating the obvious. I scanned further down the page.

“The most frightening type of spotting or bleeding during the first trimester is fresh blood, or bright red. While this can be serious, it is not always confirmation that a miscarriage is occurring.” I looked up at Rich, both of us wearing an expression of panic. “Many things can cause bright red spotting or bleeding. If you are experiencing cramping or clotting, this could signify something serious. Seek medical care as soon as possible.”

“Are you cramping?”

“No. I feel fine…normal.”

“So what should we do?”

“I don’t know. We have a house full of people. And my doctor’s office is closed.”

“We can go to the hospital.”

I thought for a minute. “No. It’s okay. It’s probably nothing.”

“Are you sure?”

“This is Preston’s big day. I’m not gonna ruin it.” I wiped and looked at the toilet paper. Nothing. I held it up for Rich. “See. It’s done. No more blood.”

I freshened up again and tried my best to make myself not look like I had just been crying. I rejoined the party and pretended like nothing had happened. I sat with Preston on my lap as we opened all kinds of fun new toys and clothes and the tricycle that Rich and I had picked out. Camera flashes came from all over the room with wide smiles behind each and every one.

Cake time and I sat Preston on the dining room table with a huge sugary confection glowing in front of him. As our family and friends started an off-pitch rendition of
“Happy Birthday to You,” I felt a small pain jab at my stomach. My eyes rose and met with Rich’s on the other side of the table. He saw my expression and immediately his wide smile went flat.

The pain sharpened, like a shard of glass being jammed into my mid-section. I gripped one of the dining room chairs and fought to stay on my feet. Me crippling over in pain would only cause mass hysteria. And I didn’t want that for my boy’s big day.

Rich made it to my side before the song had ended. “Are you okay?”

“No,” I answered as cheers erupted all around.

I grabbed Marcus’s arm and told him I needed to run to the store.

“Right now?”


Maybe he sensed that something was wrong. I’m sure the looks on both mine and Rich’s faces were a giveaway. All he said was “okay” and turned his attention back to the table and the birthday boy.

By the time Rich and I got into a cab, I could tell that my underwear were soaked through. With blood. Intense cramping continued to hammer at my abdomen, in waves, just like labor.

Forty-five minutes later, we were in the ER exam room waiting for the on-call obstetrician to come in. But my pains had slowed considerably. That had to be a good thing, right?

A stout man with graying hair came in, followed by a woman wheeling a machine. I recognized it immediately—an ultrasound machine.

He didn’t say much, aside from “Hello. I’m Dr. Leiman,” and after sticking his hand up inside me, asked if it hurt when he pressed on my stomach. It didn’t.

The ultrasound tech lubed up the wand and inserted it. She moved it around and fiddled with the machine and I struggled to make out what was on the screen. It was dark and blank and silent. I didn’t hear the whump whump whump of a baby’s heartbeat. But maybe this ultrasound machine didn’t have sound.

The doctor turned to me. “I’m sorry Ms. Marshall. But you’ve lost your baby.”

“No, that can’t be right. The pains have weakened. I feel better now.”

“I think you’re through the worst of it.” He turned to the screen and pointed to a little blob. “See this here?”

I nodded.

“That’s most likely the fetus. But there’s no heartbeat.”

I strained my eyes, praying for something on that grainy screen to move or blink or do something so this nightmare would end.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Do you read one book at a time or several?

I often wonder how other people read. I am the kind of person who likes to read one book and read it `til it's finished. I get so engrossed with my characters and their lives...their story, that I just have to keep reading and read `til the very end. Once I finish, I start something new.

But I know there are lots of people out there who read several different books at once. They'll have a romance on the bedroom nightstand, a biography in the living room. They have different genres to suit the mood and/or time of day.

How do you read?? And why??

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Hunksday!!!

Last week I gave a new hottie from my list, so today, we are going back to someone who has been on my list for a long, long, long time. He was hot when he was 17 and OMG, is he even hotter at 40. I am SOOOOO not kidding on this at all.

Ladies...I present...Jordan Knight:

And yeah, all these pics are within the past 2 years. And the last two...snapped those on my own camera in Cleveland.

Drooling yet???? I know I am!

Oh and if you missed it, here is the link to my radio interview with Nancy at page Readers!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Live radio interview TODAY!!!!!

I am so excited about this! Nancy at Pagereaders is interviewing me for her radio show today at 3 EST.

Click here to listen live!!

This will be my first ever LIVE interview and it's something completely new and different for me! I've done a few blog interviews, but that was easy. I could ponder the questions and write the answers out, then go back and fix them a dozen times if need be. This live I start talking, there's no deleting and re starting. YIKES!!! Hopefully I will be able to stay calm and not get flustered!

Wish me luck! And tune in to listen!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Our babies and our books.....

As a parent, we are all wired to think our children are the cutest, the smartest, the funniest....they're the apples of our eyes. We shower them with unconditional love and would do anything for them. But I think a good parent also needs to see their child's flaws. No one is perfect and it is wrong to put that kind of stress on anyone, let alone a child. All kids have their tantrums and pick their noses and say things they shouldn't. And if you are a parent who is too blind to see that...if you think your child is perfection and it's all the other kids who are little demons,'re setting yourself and your child up for disaster.

And I think the same can be said for your MS. We pour ourselves into our work...they too are our "babies". We give them so much care and time and we're so invested in them. They are part of us. But we have to be able to stand back and accept that no matter how much we want them to be, our MS's are not perfect. They all have flaws...even multi-published authors who bring in six-digit advances.

I truly believe you will never ever get anywhere in this business unless you can accept the fact that no matter how many years and tears you have put into your novel, it will need fixing. We are too close to it to see it's flaws sometimes. That's why every writer needs support, whether it be a writers group that meets in person or online or even just a critique partner who can lend some advice. Another set of eyes to help point out holes and grammar and tiny little inconsistencies. And if you do reach your publishing goal and land a super agent and sell to a big time NY publishing house...guess what?? You will still need an editor, maybe even two or three, to help you fine tune the story and make it the best it can be. (Though even then, it will still not be perfect.)

So now I'm only left to wonder what to do with those parents who think their child is an angel and mine the devil, ready to corrupt their perfect little darling. Don't think they'll take too kindly to some critique on that one.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Finally!!!!! The anthology is released!!!!

Back in, oh Spring of 2007, my writers group told me about an anthology that was being put together...all local writers writing about local things, fiction, non-fiction, poetry. I thought it sounded great. I've lived in Western New York my entire life (aside from two years away at college and a brief 9 month stay downstate), so I had to have something I could write about.

I started a piece about myself and titled it The Girl from Black Rock. (the nickname given to the area of Buffalo I grew up in). It talked about my life as a kid growing up in Buffalo and the simple things we did for fun. My family did not have much money but we did some really fun things. I sent the piece in and within a day or two, it was accepted. The editor said it was exactly what they were looking for. I was BEYOND ecstatic. I hadn't been writing for long and I was actually going to be published!!!!!

Then I wanted more. I started a fiction piece and polished that in a day or two...sent it off again. Yep..they loved that too!! Yippee!!!! I'm in the book twice!!

Well, after three years and several calls for submission, the book is FINALLY finished and available for sale!!! Click here for the link!

All proceeds benefit the Just Buffalo Literary Center, who do amazing things for our community.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hello Hunksday!

My bloggy friend and fellow Lyrical Press author, Gina Gordon posts a photo every Wednesday, calling it "Hunk or Junk" and asks her readers what they think of her chosen hottie for the week!

I THOROUGHLY enjoy this...and who wouldn't??? Don't we all need a nice piece of man candy to drool over, I mean look at every once in a while??? Help get us though the day???

If it's okay with Gina, I'm gonna go ahead and borrow this fantastic idea!! But I'll do mine on Thursdays! And call it Hunksday instead!

So for my first Hunksday, I chose someone new to my list of hotties. We just recently got into Glee. We wanted to watch it when it started, but for one reason or another, we just didn't get to. So we waited and rented it and were instantly hooked. And when we ran out of DVD's available, we watched the last few online and then caught up in time to watch the finale when it aired live.

And the character that stole my heart almost instantly.....Puck.

I don't know what it is exactly..the eyes, the smile...the hair...the whole bad boy thing, but he is so so hot. And I was so so happy to find he is 27 and 100% legal.

So without further ado, I give you Mark Salling, aka Puck!

So ladies (and gentlemen), what do you think????

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What is more terrifying....knowing or not?

I am quite the Nervous Nelly over here.

I went to The Write Stuff conference back in March. I was lucky enough to snag a pitch session with Kim Lionetti from Bookends, LLC. She was super nice and I enjoyed talking with her, as nervous as I was. She asked me to send her a partial! YAY!! I ended up seeing her afterward too...she sat at our table for lunch so I tried my best to chat her up there too...about things other than my book, of course. I figured she was sick of hearing book pitches!

According to their website, partials have a 10-12 week response time and it specifically say to drop them an email if that amount of time has passed and you haven't heard from them.'s been 14 weeks since I emailed it to her. I know she got it...I received an email confirmation. So I sit here debating on what to do. Part of me really wants to send that email and ask for a status update. But the other half of me is terrified for the answer.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

If I reach my goal....I'll take a break!

I'm busy working on a sequel to A Bitch Named Karma. I'd always had the idea floating around....but there was no way I was writing even one word until I sold the first book. Didn't wanna jinx it or anything.

So once the publishing dream became reality, of course I wondered if I should write the sequel. Do people like sequels? Do publishers like sequels?? I asked my editor the question and it was a resounding "YES!" So I started it.

The original goal was to finish it by the end of 2010. (But I didn't seriously even start it `til a couple weeks ago.) I think that's a reachable goal. My daily word count goal is 1000. I usually can write a couple hundred more than that, but that's all I can realistically manage with two kids. That will have me finishing the book around the end of September or so. I think that's decent. We're leaving November 30th for a 9 day trip. I should have all of October and November to edit. Not sure if that will be enough, but it should be pretty good. After going through the editing process with my editor for one book already, I can tell that my writing is much stronger. So, hopefully that means my first draft will be better than my first drafts have been in the past!

So anyway, I think I may take a break the first week of August. I am desperately wanting to get some scrapbooking done. If my total word count is 40,000 by the end of July, I will take a vacation! (I'm at 12,000 right now). Today is the 6th...I have 26 I'll need to do more than 1000 a day...but I think I can do it.

Do you set word count goals and reward yourself when you make them???

Monday, July 5, 2010

Signing a contract is so exhilarating!

Very excited to share with you all...Lyrical press offered me a contract for my second novelette, titled Soap Dreams! Yay!!

I wrote two novelettes, completed unrelated. A friend had sent me a link to a romance magazine that was looking for pieces with a max word count of 10,000. I thought I;d give it a try. And I really liked writing something that length. It was long enough to really get into the story (as opposed to a short story with a 5,000 max) but short enough to not be able to focus on any sub plots and I had to keep my character list short. I completed one, edited, got feedback form several places, and then sent it off. I wrote the second while I waited. And then I never heard anything. The second story was finished but the word count was too high....I let it sit. There was no point in whittling it down.

Fast forward a year or two. I had received my contract for A Bitch Named Karma from Lyrical press and I was ecstatic. And I found that they also published shorter works. Maybe I could finally find a home or these pieces that I had no clue what to do with.

But Lyrical has a 15,000 word minimum. So I went to work and bumped up my word count for Paradise Cove. I submitted it and wahlah! They loved it! Then I worked on Soap Dreams some more and when I finally had it ready to submit. And they loved that one too! I signed the contract and it's ready to mail! (Woulda went in today's mail, but no mail today!)

So happy to have found a home for these short thing I absolutely LOVE about digital publishing!! A few years ago, no one would have wanted to publish a 15,000 word story. Yeah, there are compilations but never do they take on newbie writers.