Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Adding in exercise

Last night's big achievement: I went to the gym.

Exciting, huh? It makes it sound like I didn't start that yoga class there or or had some weird phobia about sweat and jocks in public or something. But since we got back from Florida - where I managed to eat half the state - I've known I had to add regular exercise into my schedule if I wanted to affect real change. Walking the dog isn't going to cut it, because a) we're entering winter which means a lot of rain and I don't walk in the rain if it's not in Scotland or I'm paying for an experience I want to get the most of, and b) I get caught up in the work during the day so don't always get her out then.

So if I have to do exercise in the evening, and I'm paying for my membership anyway, I decided to go back to working machines at the gym. Last night was the treadmill, which I haven't done since my foot surgery last January. Done plenty of walking, sure, but not this. I like it at night because it's not nearly so crowded. The only downside is that I can't wear headphones to listen to anything, so it gets pretty boring. Still, I lasted forty minutes, which I consider a win.

Also, I found a typo in the treadmill's instructions. They had "instuctions" which I found hilarious. Until it dawned on me that my finding it was more likely a reflection of the fact that maybe I should've pushed myself harder so that I couldn't read the small print so intently.

The plan is to go five nights a week at least. Some nights will be too difficult, like Thursday since it's trick-or-treating, but I'm going to do what I can. I'm still not where I was before I left for Florida, so I have to work to get there, and then work some more to get on the path to hitting goal. I talk about it too much. It's time for doing.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall TV

My Fall TV is finally starting to shake out. I dropped most of the sitcoms I tried - Dad, The Goldbergs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine - though I'm thoroughly in love with The Crazy Ones.

I'm also in love with The Blacklist. That has lived up to all my expectations and then some. My husband and I spent half an hour after the show last night tossing around theories about what exactly is going on. We can't decide on anything, which has me all kinds of intrigued about where it's going. I really hope it doesn't let me down, though I'm not sure how it could at this point.

The jury is still out on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. My husband loves it, but I'm really not invested. I find most of the characters bland and uninteresting - probably because of bland, uninteresting actors. Five episodes in, and as soon as I walk away from the show I forget which one is Fitz and which one is Simmons. I won't even start on how dull I find Ward and Skye. But I'm not sure it's a good sign when I start the episode more curious about which origin story they're going to try and tell rather than wonder what's going to happen to the actual cast.

I haven't watched Dracula yet. That's sitting on my DVR. But the show I'm looking forward to now hasn't even started yet. It's Almost Human with Karl Urban. I adore that man. I even sat through Dredd for him. And I'd love a good sci-fi action show to sink my teeth into.

What are you watching? Anything you love? Hate?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Time is running out

The breast cancer charity anthology I contributed to, Shades of Pink, will only be available for purchase until November 15th, so the clock is ticking for you to get your copy. The anthology is over 200,000 words of romantic goodness, and all proceeds go toward breast cancer research. What are you waiting for?

Kallysten, the wonderful woman who organized the anthology, interviewed me as part of the promo for it. That interview went up on Saturday at her blog if you want to skate over and take a look.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chance to win entire pax collection

Today over at the Amber Pax blog, I blogged about my contribution, The Unbeaten Track. Find out why I wrote thousands of words that never made it into the story, as well as read one of the letters.

Also, anybody who leaves a comment on any of the posts this week has a chance to win to all five stories in the All Aboard pax collection. So what've you got to lose?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Etsy items I love

I'm starting to collate my Christmas shopping, which means I have a tendency to turn to Etsy to fill in gift holes. Yes, I'm one of those annoying people who does their shopping all year 'round so I'm usually done before December hits.

But in my recent Etsy hunts, I find myself wanting more for myself:

I order from this shop almost every year. I love her work. It's both pretty and durable, a great combination. I've been in love with her leather journals from the start. I'm thinking this might be the year I finally get one.

Isn't this adorable? She recycles sweaters into these hoodies and fingerless gloves. I bought one from her last winter and love it to pieces. Even better, she does a huge range of sizes and colors.

I love steampunk styling. I have a version of her mended heart necklace that I got as a treat to myself after Iron Eyes came out that I get comments on all the time. Lovely and lightweight.

I'm probably one of the few romance writers who doesn't like Jane Austen, but I love, love, love these earrings.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Biggest Loser

Okay, I know it's a show. I know a lot of people who lose their weight on here gain it back. I know this isn't how the real world works.

But damn, I do love this show, and I'm glad it's back on.

It's a few months of weekly inspiration, both from the contestants and getting to stare at Dolvett. I like the other trainers, but Dolvett gets to me in ways the others don't. I mean, look at the man!

Yes, very pretty. Especially when he smiles. But the way he chooses to push and inspire his teams makes my heart twist. I will totally use these next few months to help in staying focused and not going too nuts in the upcoming holidays.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New cover art for Threshold

I got the cover art for my novella coming out in November!

I love how moody it is, and the angularity of the title font since it's a vampire story. That's my vamp on the cover, by the way. His name's Sutter. Pretty, right? No wonder Max falls for him so hard.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend news

My short The Unbeaten Track is now available for sale at Amber Allure!

In non-writing news, yesterday I had breakfast in San Francisco with a college friend I haven't seen in twenty years. He's recently been making a driving tour of the country, reconnecting with people, and he's on the west coast for the final leg of his trip. We were both in the theater department and performed together, but I remember him most for being a director and assistant director. He cast me in his production of Les Belles Soeurs in what was one of my most challenging roles ever. It was also my last role in the area before life moved me on.

Anyway, we had recently reconnected on Facebook, and yesterday's breakfast was a two-hour extension of that. It's always weird how other people see your life. He paid me a great compliment in telling me how much better I looked now than I did in college, which I attribute to being happy. I wasn't back then. My early to mid twenties pretty much sucked. Theater and performing was my only place of joy then.

But the place I'm in's not what I imagined the last time I saw him. I don't think anybody can predict where they'll be accurately. And I think we spend too much time trying to make things static and perfect when that's not what life is all about.

I'm reminded of a Faith Baldwin quote: Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. Change will happen whether we want it to or not. That's the nature of life. Our happiness can hinge on our ability to embrace the change. If we resist, we have to be prepared to live with the consequences, but if we go with the flow--or even better, create the change ourselves (frankly, my husband is a master at this; when he wants something, he begins sculpting and influencing the world around him until he gets it)--we can release the fears and anxieties that might hold us back.

It's funny because I'm a very obsessive person who needs to be in control in a lot of different areas of my life. I make spreadsheets for everything, I'm obsessive about time management, and the list goes on. But I have had a ton of change in my adult life. Change I've sought, change I've welcomed. Until I moved to California, I had never managed to live at a single address as an adult for longer than 20 months at a time. In that fifteen-year period, I had twenty-one different places I called home. I changed continents twice within six years. I did so willingly and often eagerly. Now that my kids are in middle school, we don't do that anymore, but my husband and I have already started talking about what happens in seven years when both kids are out of high school, where we might want to live, what we might want to experience.

Yesterday, my college friend was telling me about the various times in his life, and he reached a period in his late twenties when he was making good money and had lost a lot of weight so he went a little crazy on the dating scene. He almost seemed apologetic when he told me, so I interrupted right then and said, "Good for you. You were young, you had the means, so why not have fun?"

This is the only ride we get. We might as well make the most of it.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Over at the Amber Pax Blog

I have a new release coming out this Sunday at Amber Allure, a short in the All Aboard pax. To read more about it, head over to the Amber Pax Blog, where there's a blurb and an excerpt posted today.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New contract

Now that I've sent the contract back, I can squee about my latest sale. My m/m/f paranormal erotic romance, "Enthralled in Silver," has been contracted by Ellora's Cave!

I don't have a decent blurb for it yet, and the synopsis is too long to post (and would give away too much), but I can say it's about Claire, a grieving young woman, who meets Seth and Simon when she goes to their employer's estate for a meeting. Unbeknownst to her, the men are lovers and locked into a turbulent relationship with their vampire boss, one they're desperate to escape. They can only do so, however, with Claire's help, so the men set out to try and seduce her into aiding them.

It's been too long since I've published with Ellora's Cave, but hopefully that's going to change in the future. I miss writing het and menage, and the heat of this particular trio makes me hungry to do a lot more.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Transgender book recommendations

When I saw this on Twitter, I immediately retweeted it. And because I think it's a good list to share, I'm telling everyone about it here.

On her blog, Malinda Lo posted a list of 10 books by transgender authors about transgender characters, all of which were YA friendly. I'm familiar with a few of the titles - isn't Kate Bornstein considered a must-read these days for trans stories? - but I'm excited about several new to me options, like the Kicked Out collection and Nevada by Imogen Binnie. Those are in my shopping cart right now.

Go check it out. If you haven't read any trans work, I challenge you to try it. Every voice deserves to be heard.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New review for The Hearts of Yesteryear

I got a wonderful new review for my latest release, "The Hearts of Yesteryear." Cat at MMGood Book Reviews gave it 4 hearts and called it "well written" and "a very sweet love story," which just makes me all kinds of happy. John holds a special place in my heart, grumpy old man that he is, and the whole point of the story for me was to show that we all need love no matter how old we are or how settled we are in our lives. Cat got that, and for that, I'm so grateful. Thanks, Cat! 

For an excerpt and purchase information, check it out at Amber Allure.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Back to the grindstone

I am back from Florida, tanner than I left as well as exhausted. Two weeks with two kids and a husband who want to do everything under the sun - and in the rain - is tiring!

We only returned last night, so I'm in the throes of getting caught up on everything. I've got good news to share this week, as well as a new release coming out this next weekend. Lots of stuff to look forward to!

Have a great Monday, everyone!