Sunday, December 18, 2011

3rd Sunday Sweet: Suprise!

Because it's the holidays and vacation, I'm most likely going to be away from my desk and computer next Sunday so I won't be posting anything. Normally today I would be posting a book review what I've read recently, however everything I've read in the last month have been books that won't be published till next year so I can't talk about them yet. (One of the perks of being a writer/blogger!) Since next Sunday is Christmas, I'm going to do my 4th Sunday Surprise today which is: Owls!

Yesterday my husband and I drove 3 1/2 hours up to Ocean Shores, WA to see a snowy owl invasion. I had never seen any owls in the wild before and needed ocean inspiration for my mermaid story I'm working on. It was a perfect mix. So without farther ado here are some great shots hubby got with his new camera lens. Click on the picture to enlarge.

No, this is not an owl, but you can't go to the beach and not take a picture of gulls.

First owls spotted.
Lonely owl hanging out.
I must have sat and watched this guy watching me for at least a half hour. Of course I named him Hedwig.
Yours truly taking notes and jotting ideas between watching Hedwig.
The cutest little sandpiper in the world.

The beautiful Olympic Mountains, home of Twilight.

Owls are such beautiful fascinating creatures. If you want to see more pictures, check out etriky flickr. Hope you enjoyed these snapshots of a perfect lovely day spent in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you for reading and supporting my little blog. Merry Christmas! And I'll see you in the New Year.

Cheers,

Melania

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WINNERS!

The Winners for "Tis the Season for Giving" Contest are:




*drum roll*




Monica Everdeen. Monica suggested "If had to give a loved one a book? I would probably choose "The Outsiders" by S.E. Hinton because a) I really loved it! b) Who hasn't read it? I mean, come on! I'm practically doing you a favor! and c) Because it teaches a valuable lesson with real emotion and situation. It made me cry (twice!) :) I just tweeted, facebooked, and highly irritated my mom by yelling! :D" Thanks for your participation, Monica. And tell your mom your yelling won you a signed copy of Wicked Lovely and Wings.

Second winner is Kara, who suggested "I would give You Are The Only One to my mom because I think she would love it." That is a very sweet gift and I believe your mother would love it too. You'll be getting a signed copy of Wings and Awakening.

Third and "Grand Prize" winner is Robin Weeks. Robin said "Hmmm. So many awesome books to choose from! Still, if we're talking wish fulfillment, I'm picking one that isn't available yet: EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton. Because, selfishly, I want my loved one to always have to include me in the oft-told story of the first time they read it. :)" Yes, you are selfish, but I adore you nonetheless. *wink* You've won the multiple signed anthology Enthralled, stuffed with lots of swag and other goodies. 

Winners, please email me your mailing addresses to melania (dot) tolan (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll get your prizes to you ASAP! If I don't hear from you in one week, I'm going to draw another winner.

All winners were chosen by RANDOM.ORG and those of you that had entered two posts were only counted once. Thank you everyone that participated in the contest. You rock!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

2nd Sunday Savors: Just Write It!

Multnomah Falls (upper part) Oregon

Every so often I mention in a conversation with a stranger or an acquaintance that I'm a writer. Usually the first response is "Oh that's cool" and then we continue the conversation. Or they say "Oh really? What have you published? I've always wanted to be a writer..." and that is the end of whatever topic we were discussing prior to my mention of my night job.

You know the saying, "if I had a dollar for every time I've heard (insert desired phrase)?" Well, I would probably have managed to fund my writing career by now from hearing "I've got a great idea for a story." Guess what? Many people do have great ideas, because humans generally are creative at some level. So we all have ideas. If you want to write a book based off your idea: my advice is to Just Write It. The only way you'll ever become an author is to finish a complete book. Sorry, I haven't discovered any other magical way of reaching authorship, that is legal I might add.

How? You ask. It's pretty simple. You sit down at your computer, open a Word Document, and start typing. If you keep talking about writing it, the book will never get written. And if you keep making excuses that you are so busy or the timing isn't write, well it STILL won't get written.

My other advice is READ. If you don't know how to write a book, read ALOT.  I started writing three years ago and since then I've read over a 100 novels of the genre I wrote in. That is double the amount of books I've read in my entire life prior.

Yes, taking writing classes are helpful too, but be careful not to be so caught up in the techniques and rules that you forget to JUST WRITE IT. How are you going to apply the knowledge and skills you've leavened if you're not writing? I've taken lots of classes this last year from conferences and workshops put on my local RWA chapter and Willamette Writers, but the most important thing I've learned is to write. That is the best way I've improved my skills. It's true practice does make prefect. And I SO have a long way to go, with each new book I write or edit my writing gets better and better.  No, I'm not published yet, but with each round I get closer to having a publishable book.

Which brings me to another point. Don't expect your first rough draft to be best-seller ready, because it's not. You will need to edit it many times and revise a lot, but the biggest step is to finish it the first time so you have something to edit and revise.

I'm sure you've heard everything I've just said before, but trust me, it never hurts to hear it again. Even I need to be told so sit my butt down and start typing. Best of luck to you all whether you are new writers or seasoned ones.

And don't forget: Tis the Season for Giving Giveaway is going on till Wednesday. Spread the word!

Cheers,

Melania

Sunday, December 4, 2011

1st Sunday Snippets: $5 Amazon Winner






And the WINNER for the $5 Amazon.com GC is using RANDOM.ORG:

Laura H.

She said: "I am often inspired by George Winston."

Congrats! Check you're email within the next hour, Laura. ;)  Thank you so much everyone who participated in the giveaway. Remember that Tis the Season For Giving is still going on till Dec 14. I have 5 paranormal YA books to give away plus swag.

It is 1st Sunday Snippets so I will give you a sneak-peak into my fantasy short story "Wish Upon a Starfish." Adrianna, the MC, is laying on a hidden rock she swims to sunbath in the nude (hey no one can see her, so why not?), when she feels someone is watching her. She opens her eyes to discover she as company-a mermaid. It's written in 3rd person. I know-shocking! Anyways, enjoy.


She slapped her tail against the rock. “Have you gone mute?” 

Her voice reached Adrianna’s ears like tendrils of misty spray. She could sit there and listen to the mermaid speak for the rest of her life and would have been quite content. 

“I am sorry.” She tried to pry her gaze away from the ethereal body. But her eyes had trailed up creature’s torso. Her bare breasts stood atop her chest like two perky mounds jeweled with crimson gems for nipples. Her gaze continued up to the petite round face. 

“No worries.” Her soft pink lips moved with the angelic choral-like voice. It was as if she spoke in four part harmony.  “I am here to offer you a gift.”

Adrianna stared into the green eyes matching her tail. “Am I dreaming?”

“Are you?”

“I do not know. Mermaids are part of stories.”

“Do you believe I exist?” The mermaid lowered herself to one elbow as if bored.

“I do not know. I think this a dream. I can believe that.”

“Do you believe dreams come true?”

“Only in faerie tales.” 

 Thanks for reading,

Melania

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tis the Season for Giving!



Rock Creek in the winter, Eastern Oregon.
CONTEST CLOSED!


Happy December!

Can you believe it's the LAST month of the year?! Have you gotten all of your Christmas shopping done or gifts ready for your loved ones?! Sadly, this year, I'm way behind. I have a few canned goods I've made this fall and several ideas for crocheted items, but this year retailers will be my savior, I'm afraid. Hey at least I'll be contributing to the economy, right?

But you didn't come here to hear me rambling about my shopping/gift-giving woes now did you? You came because you heard over the social media grapevine there might be a small itsy-bitsy possibility of a giveaway contest to be announced today.

Well guess what? You were RIGHT!!!!

So here's the deal:

I have a small stack of paranormal YA books, some signed others not, to giveaway. What you need to do is:

1. Answer the following question by leaving a comment:

If you could give any book this Christmas to a loved one what would it be and why?

2. Share by tweeting or facebooking or blogging or shouting off the top of your roof (okay maybe your neighbors might not appreciate the last one too much).

And that is it. I will randomly draw 3 lucky winners at 7 pm PST on December 14th, 2011 and will announce them shortly thereafter. That gives you two weeks to spread the word. Here are the books:

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (signed), 2 copies of Wings by Aprilynne Pike (both unsigned, but I'm trying to get some book plates), Enthralled Anthology edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong (signed by many of the contributing authors see Smart Chicks Tour Post), and Awakening by Kelley Armstrong.

 Each winner will receive one or two of these books, Enthralled being the "grand" prize. I'll also be throwing in all sorts of swag I've collected from the book-signing events I've attended this summer.

Now don't forget about the other giveaway going on for a $5 Amazon.com gift card. I'm drawing the winner for that on Sunday. Till then, happy blogging, tweeting, facebooking, and *coughs* yelling *coughs* on the rooftop.

Cheers,

Melania


PS. BTW, forgot to mention this contest is for Canada and US residents only. Sorry my worldly readers. I promise when I publish my very own novel, I'll do a contest just for you!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

4th Sunday Surpise: Music and Books

CONTEST ENDED

So many surprises to share! First:

Did you see it? It's on the right hand side of the blog under Twitter and Facebook.

I am so stinking proud of myself right now! My very first NaNoWriMo complete. Of course the manuscript is far from done. My plan is to let it sit for a couple of weeks while I return to the normal human world and do normal human stuff like clean my house, do dishes, or maybe do a little holiday decorating. Yanno, what normal non-writerly folks do. Then after Christmas I will disappear back into my little fictional world and add all the scenes I didn't have time the first round.

I have to thank my dearest husband and all my wonderful friends for enduring my non-sociable behavior the last three weeks and cheered me on. I also want to thank 2 Cellos and Apocalyptica for creating such fantastic music to write with.  Anytime I couldn't get into the mood of my novel I would play the following two songs and instantly the words would start to flow. Cellos seem to do the trick.

Surprise #2:

 U2 is my all time favorite rock band and I love this cover 2 Cellos did. These two hotties are absolutely amazing with their instruments. 

And I absolutely love this song by Apocalyptica featuring Gavin Rossdale.
These two songs pretty much sums up the relationship between my hero and heroine.

Surprise #3:

I am doing another blog contest/giveaway. It's Christmas time and I've got several signed paranormal YA books from some of my favorite authors to share with you. Stop by Dec 1 for details!

Oh, but wait! There's more: Tell me what kind of music inspires your creativity by commenting below and enter to win a $5 gift card to Amazon.com. I will draw a winner next Sunday morning.

Tis the season for giving!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping by.

Cheers,
Melania

Saturday, November 19, 2011

3rd Sunday Sweets





Last weekend on 11-11-11 two of our dear friends tied the knot. The light was perfect that day and my hubby caught some great shots of the fall colors here in Portland. I just love this time of year. When the weather gets cold and it starts to rain, it's the perfect time to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea.

This week I happened to read an awesome book that just blew me away. Many of you have probably read this series, but I was holding out-not sure if I would really like it. Then the trailer for the movie came out:



It was all I could do not to run out and buy the books. That was Monday. Tuesday I went to Powell's after work with a friend and bought The Hunger Games. Many of my friends told me to buy all three because I would want to read them all. They were so right.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Tuesday I was up till after 11 reading. If I hadn't taken a Benadryl for my allergies I would have read all night. All day Wednesday I carried the book with me at work. I would sneak in every moment I could to read. Every time someone would interrupt me on my breaks I got so annoyed. I did manage to take a short pause in the afternoon to meet a friend for happyhour, but as soon as I got home, I sat down and finished the book. All day Thursday I walked in a daze. I missed three days of NaNo and I didn't care.

All I can say is  "WHOA!"

All writers have authors they would like to emulate or hope to write as good as them. Suzanne Collins just shot up to the top of my list of awesomeness. The style with which she tells the story of Katnis is mind-blowing. So poignant, gritty, action-packed, gripping, and full of beautiful memorable moments. She has become my new standard for achievement and The Hunger Games my bible for studying the art of writing.

I cannot wait to get my hands on the other two books, but I have to exude some self-control. Last night and this morning I got my NaNo caught up and I do want to make sure I finish. I also have a manuscript and an ARC to read/review for a couple of my author friends- one of the perks of being writer/blogger. But the next two books will be my treat for completing NaNo and reviews.

Anyways, if you haven't read The Hunger Games, you better crawl out from under the rock you've been living under and get with the program. Seriously this series will ROCK your world. Click here to buy.

Happy reading and I leave you with another beautiful fall photo from Portland.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2nd Sunday Savors: 1st vs 3rd



 Above you see a starfish in the sand slowly making his way back to the ocean. As the tide rises he will get to his goal sooner than later. His journey may seem boring to the human eye watching from above, but to him it's a matter of life or death. He must have the nutrient mineral rich water or he will die. When you go down to his level and step into his suction pads you realize the urgency of his situation. From above see a beautiful purple sea creature, take a picture, and move on. But from his point of view it's "Poseidon's trident, I hope this two legged monster doesn't step on me!"

Those are two very different perspectives.

A story can be told in third person, second person, or first person. Each style gives perspective into the story. I never thought about the different styles until I joined RWA's local Portland chapter. At a meeting someone asked what I wrote. I told her 1st and she outright told me she would never read anything I wrote because she only reads in third person. I was really blown away by this. I struggled for a while. It literally affected my writing in negative ways because I started to doubt my ability to write.

I've never read a novel written in second person, so I don't have any opinions to add, but 1st and 3rd are the more poplar. For reading I prefer 1st person. I feel like I'm in the character's shoes and experiencing what is happening with all my senses. In 3rd person I feel like I'm watching a movie. If it's written well then I'm most likely to enjoy it.

I read both. I've read terrible novels in both categories and excellent as well. Harry Potter is all written in 3rd and I devoured the series. However I also love Kim Harrison's Hollows series and they are in 1st. Same goes for Jeaniene Frost.

The first novel I wrote was a YA in 3rd person. It came out contrived and terrible (part of that had to do with the fact it was my 1st book). In the rewrite I changed it to 1st and it flowed so much better. Even my husband noticed the difference. Ever since, I've chosen to write in 1st. It's my preferred style of reading.

So the point I'm trying to make is that it really doesn't matter what voice you write in as long as it's written well. Write what flows easier for you and write it well. Don't listen to people telling you this is better than that or visa versa. Everyone is different and you will never please everybody. So don't waste your time worrying about that and write what you love and makes you happy. Chances are if you enjoy writing the story someone else will enjoy reading it too.

Cheers and thanks for reading,

Melania

Sunday, November 6, 2011

1st Sunday Snipets



Happy November! I just got back from our cabin retreat where I wrote, wrote, wrote. As you can see we had our first snow and it was perfect weather to be sitting by the fire with a cup of hot coco and tipper tappering away my next novel.

November means NaNoWriMo! You can click on the link to watch my progress. You can read the synopsis to get a general idea of what I'm writing about. And for my snippet this month, I'm sharing a scene between Eva and her cousin Marcella playing around in the library. Please note, this has been written recently and has not been edited or polished. Besides that enjoy.



Taking a series of deep breaths like I do at the beginning of yoga class, I relaxed my body and emptied my mind of all thoughts save one—move two inches to the right, you damn bowl.
 
I repeated those words several times and realized that maybe I was being pretty rude. So I switched tactics.  Please move two inches to the right, dear beautiful bowl full of delectable sugar.

After a minute of that, I realized flattery wasn’t the key to success. Once again I changed my approach.

I command you to move. NOW. I focused everything. My teeth ground together and my fists squeezed so tight my nails dug into my flesh. If I hadn’t been so focused I would have noticed the pain in my palms. 

Nothing happened and by this time I had had enough. I proved my inability to move objects telepathically. 

“Grrr, whatever. I give up.” I waved a hand and got up. After sitting in one place focused so intently I needed to get up and move around. My body felt drained of energy.
I had just turned toward the window when I heard the crash of breaking ceramic on the floor. 

Thanks for reading!

Cheers,
Melania 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

4th Sunday Surprises






Three years.

Four novels.

Four rejections.

And thirteen months of fabulous blogging.



What have I learned about writing during this time?



TMI.


To much information.


In my novels it comes out in too wordy sentences or redundancy.  In my query letters it was too much information that didn't really matter for the book I was trying to publish. (I mean, how are you supposed to condense a 90K novel into two-three sentence pitch?) Then I talked too much and shared information with my friends or in this blog about what I was writing about and how excited I was.

Then the moment I hit send to my queries, I realized it wasn't good enough and I just probably shot myself in the foot by sending them out. The moment the words would leave my mouth, all the enthusiasm I felt for what I was writing sort of vanished. Editing my completed novel was like swallowing copious amounts of sickening sweet syrup.

It wasn't until recently when I realized what I was doing. Last winter you might remember me working on a "secret" project which I finished in 45 days. Nobody knew what I was writing about until I was 5K from finishing it. It felt great living in my little fantasy world for a month. Never once did I feel pressured nor did I ever hit creative road blocks. That experience should have been my first biggest clue on how my brain works.

This summer I've met several fantastic authors. When asked what they are working on next, they replied by saying whatever the next book coming out was. Some mentioned what they were working on, but most kept their current project mum, saying they don't like to talk about it, because it ruins the creative flow.
They weren't ready to let people into their world.

This week I discovered that is how I work as well. No matter how exciting my current project may be, it's best I keep it to myself for a little while longer. By the way, whose doing NaNoWRiMo with me next month?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

3rd Sunday Sweets

Welcome to 3rd Sunday Sweets. Today I'm going to review a book I recently "read." Why the quotations? Well, I read a lot but there are so many books out there that I love and want to read. It comes down to time. Luckily my day job is one where I can listen to audio books. So I download them from the Multnomah County Library into my MP3 player. Needless to say my days are much more enjoyable.

Photo courtesy of Jeaniene Frost Facebook Page
This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost is probably my favorite of all five Night Huntress series. First of all, Jeaniene has the most fascinating imagination laced with impeccably timed humor.


I first discovered Frost in the anthology Death's Excellent Vacation. I instantly fell in love with Cat and Bones, the heroine and hero of her series. I went to the library and put all the books on hold. Of course, book 3 and 4 were ready to check out before the first two. I read them anyway. There is so much action and suspense in these novels at times I have to set the book down and grab a glass of wine to calm my nerves.


This Side of the Grave takes place many months after Cat has been fully transformed into a vampire. Of course her list of oddities or anomalies continue even after the "grave." Because of this the ancient ghoul, Apollyon, begins rallying the troupes against the vampires using Cat as the target. War threatens to break out between the undead species and Cat is stuck right smack in the middle of it all. Between blood pumping fights, scalding love scenes, emotional tragic moments and fantastic humorous one-liners from Bones, This Side of the Grave delivers on all levels.


The reason this book is my favorite of the series is Vlad Tepes. Of course! He has a larger roll in this book and my favorite quote is:


"'What was that?' I gasped. 'Premature inflamulation.' He replied. 'Happens sometimes. Very embarrassing. Don't like to talk about it.'"


There are so many others. Between crying, laughing, fanning myself, and gritting my teeth the book entertained me in all possible ways. Thank you, Jeaniene for writing such a wonderful work of fiction to make this girl's day.


One Grave at a Time, Book 6 is out now and I'm looking forward to "reading."  Right now I have zero room in my condo for anymore books. So I'm waiting to buy a Kindle this winter before I purchase the whole series plus the spin-off books in e-book format. Till then, the library is my very best friend.  Click on the titles of this post to purchase your very own copies.



Sunday, October 9, 2011

2nd Sunday Savors: Research


Poenari Citadel, Romania
Due to the popularity of my Dracula's Castle post last spring I decided to add a Part 2. When I visited my motherland two years ago, I had planned on doing research for my first vampire novel. I didn't think I would be able to make to Poenari, but luck smiled on me. Sit back and travel with me through my little adventure to the castle of the fabled undead Count.

First I wanted to see what it would be like to hike to the top as my heroine did in my book. Armed with my camera and water bottle, I climbed the 1400 steps. Just as I was about to turn around because the steps seemed to never end this is what came into view.

Of course I couldn't turn around now! I practically sprinted up the remainder 100 steps leaving my poor cousin huffing and puffing to keep up.  This is what you see when you enter the citadel.

This "corridor" leads to the central tower there you can take a peek of the side of the fortress.

The view is looking east towards the south tower. As you can see above stone and red brick make up the wall. The lower section of the wall made of grey rock is the original wall. The brick lay is a result form the restoration attempt done more recently.

The south tower and possibly the place from which Dracula's first wife leaped from during the Turkish invasion. 

 Looking down from the south tower at the Arges River. It's pretty far down there. Chance of survival-pretty much non-existent.  The road next to the river leads to a large dam, hydro-electric station, and a gorgeous mountain lake.

 This walkway is where the north wall once stood and leads to the main square tower. Several earthquakes and centuries of neglect caused the wall to collapse down the side of the cliff the citadel is perched on.

 Looking down at the bottom of the tower. You can see  where the wooden beams crossed. A documentary I watched regarding this fortress mentioned the floor once stood there forming a perfect holding cell for prisoners. They would lower their captives down into the dark dungeon with no chances of them getting out. 


Here is Lake Vidraru which feeds the Arges River. The peaks you see beyond are the Fagaras Mountains and the homeland of my vampires. Those mountians are full of legends and myths, but I'm developing my own because I can. It's the beauty of writing fiction and fantasy.

Research is very valuable to writing. From research you gain inspiration for your work. I write in first person most of the time so it's very important for me to experience some of the things my character would. I have to see how things feel, taste, sound, and look like. Of course there are things I can't experience first hand.

When I went to Smart Chicks Tour, author Jennifer Barnes' advice (and I paraphrase): If you have a choice between trying something new or writing, do the new thing.

Excellent advice. New experiences supply you with an arsenal of interesting things to spice up your novel.

Thanks for reading. Next week 3rd Sunday Sweets. I've been reading lots of fun books lately. Hmm, which one shall I pick from....


Sunday, October 2, 2011

1st Sunday Snippets







Greetings friends,

Welcome to my new blog schedule. I'm going to be blogging every Sunday and this is what you can expect:



1st Sunday Snippets: I get share a short scene or piece of dialogue no greater than 10 or 11 lines of my WIP.

2nd Sunday Savors: I talk about writing or share any helpful advice I’ve gleaned along the way.

3rd Sunday Sweets: Where I review a book I’ve recently read and loved.

4th Sunday Surprises:  Well, it's a surprise. 


I developed this schedule as a means to keep me on task and for you to hold me to it. Of course if anything new or exciting happens during the week, I'll definitely share it. But for now this is the plan Stan. So here it goes. 

Currently I'm working on two different projects: a contemporary romance novella and revision of my vampire novel. For today I'll share a snippet from the vampire novel. Originally the story focused more on the vampire side of things, but in the revision I'm adding more supernatural elements such as elves and shape shifters. My heroine is a young human woman raised by a vampire family. She discovers she has a past she didn't even know she had until assassins and mercenaries began showing up on her front step. This scene is taken about 1/4 into the MS and right before the inciting incident.

I stopped dead in my tracks. After three days of running, I would not go down like a hunted animal. Everyone I loved was dead because of me. My home destroyed. I had nowhere to go. Despite my efforts I failed—miserably. It had to end now before any more innocent people died. 

I raised my arms above my head. With careful steps I turned to face the relentless hunter. The sounds of the leaves crunching under my feet and the wind whistling through the trees blended with the violent thumping in my chest. 

He stood several dozen feet away. His unnatural green eyes watched me from behind his bow primed with the lethal arrow awaiting release.

“Do. It.” I said through a taught jaw. 

Death faced me and I welcomed it with open arms. 

Thanks for reading! 2nd Sunday Savors next week.

Cheers,

~Melania 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Smart Chicks Kick it Tour at Powells

Hello! I just had one of the funnest evenings of my life and I HAD to share it with you all. As you have guessed from the title tonight was Smart Chicks Kick It tour at Powell's Books.

I have been waiting for this night with anticipation ever since I went to FaerieWorlds this summer and met Melissa Marr for the first time. She mentioned she was coming back to Oregon with Kelley Armstrong and I knew I had to be there.

The night finally arrived and without further adieu I present photos of the magically entertaining evening with Smart Chicks. Photography courtesy of my dear etriky.

The Authors:


 


Sara Zarr, funny, inspiring, and lovely to talk with. 

 Ally Condie- sweet, quiet, and overall really nice person.



And here we have the ever charming Mellisa Marr. I LOVE her Wicked Lovely series and enjoy following her inner mutterings on Twitter. She is one of my favorite authors because of the her beautiful style of writing. This woman weaves words into stories like an artist strokes a canvass with a brush filled with color. It feeds my soul and fills my well. Mellissa- smart, snappy, and sweet.

 Kelley Armstrong- wise, witty, and a wealth of inspiration.


Jennifer Lynn Barnes- gorgeous, highly intelligent (The girl is in her twenties working on her PhD in psychology researching primate cognition. Yeah I know!), and someone I wouldn't mind having a cocktail with while discussing the similarities between human and primate shopping behaviors.




 Beth Revis- hilarious, fascinating, and her book cover made my inner
sci-fi nerd leap onto the dance floor and do the moon-walk.



Margaret Stohl- hysterical, energetic, and I'm really digging the 
glasses. Her co-authored book Beautiful Creatures is at the top of my 
To Be Read list.

While waiting in line to meet the authors, I ended up with some free ink
courtesy of Powell's employee who for the life of me I cannot remember
her name. She was super cool and the organizer behind this event.



 M & M (this M was in heaven!)



Having a laugh with Beth and Margaret. 

Hope you enjoyed the photos. Of course I bought the anthology sponsoring this event, Enthralled. You can pick it up at your local bookstore or order from Powell's by clicking here.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cowboys and Vampires.



Last month I gave out a personalized copy of The Cowboy and The Vampire for my one year blog anniversary. As a thank you, I got to download a copy of the novella Red Winter written by Clark Hays, one of the authors of TCATV. 

Due to the crazy schedule I've been entertaining these days, I didn't have a chance to sit down and read it till this afternoon. What a treat. After the week I had, this was a great way to escape for a little shoot-them-up, throw in some whiskey, a couple of crazies, and a vamp. 

It's a short read, about 12K words. What I liked about it was the voice. Clark does such a great job bringing out the western drawl spiked with his classic style of humor.

The story is about Lone Pine, Wyoming (the same place as in TCATV), but set in the 1800's. Winter is setting in when people start turning up dead and not in a pretty sort of way. The town sheriff, Early, (awesome name) has his hands full as he tries to put an end to the blood-bath and kill the SOB causing the mayhem. 

My favorite character is Joe, the crazy wolfer who says "That sumbitch won't die."

At first when I read the ending I thought it seemed a bit anticlimactic after all the built tension. But after second thought, I realized it was quite fitting and an excellent way to finish the story, because now we have the possibility for more tales to come from Lone Pine. Which, by-the-way, I'm all for. 

I ain't going to tell ya anymore cause you just gonna have to read it for yourself. Here is the link to Smashwords:


And Amazon:


As we get closer to Halloween, this would make a lovely e-read for when the nights get crispy and you need to curl by the fire with a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey.

In other news, stay tuned to an upcoming newly developed blog schedule. 

Cheers,

Melania