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. 



Monday, September 19, 2011


Because I have not heard back from DragonFlame, using a random number generator to pick a contestant, I am proud to announce the new winner for Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is:


PLEASE email me your address at melania(dot)tolan(at)gmail(dot)com.  Sorry DragonFlame, I tried.

Thank you!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet and Spicy

What you see my friends is my maiden batch of peach-jalapeno jelly. I found the recipe from a magazine my coworker brought to work. It caught my attention because I had a small box of peaches about to go south in the fridge and just harvested several jalapeno peppers off the plant growing on my balcony. I figured, what the heck.

This was my first time making jelly. The whole process took maybe two hours from beginning to clean-up. While listening to the popping sound of sealing lids, I dipped corn chips into the bowl of jelly foam I had scrapped off before ladling the golden thick liquid into the jars. Sweet with a hint of spiciness and an explosion of salty-savory.

How does this tie into writing? Well, that's how I like my romance. Sweet-romantic, spicy-got to have some heat, salty- to balance the sweetness, and savory- a satisfying ending.

Happy reading/writing and sweet-spicy-salty-savory weekend to you all.


PS. DragonFlame I'm going to give you till next Monday (September 19th) to reply. If I have not heard from you, I will draw another winner for Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vacation, ah...

Greetings from a sweltering Pacific NW.

Now that summer is virtually over, it decided to finally show up. Maybe my tomatoes on the balcony will actually ripen before winter arrives. But I'm not complaining, because the rain and cold will be here soon. I'm one of those odd ducks that actually loves the descending moisture from the sky. Rain is magic. It waters the earth, keeps the foliage green, and cleans the air. It also keeps the neighbor's demon spawns indoors. (I love human offspring, but some specimens shouldn't procreate. But then I'm only god in the worlds I create in word documents.) Best thing about rain, it fills my well with bottomless creativity. Which is why I feel blessed everyday to live the beautiful Pacific NW.

Last post I mentioned I would be leaving the world of internet and cellphones. I did. It was MAGNIFICENT. Here are a few pictures of my rustic mini-vacation.

My retreat:

View looking down from the large picture window:

View looking up towards the mountains:

What I accomplished in my time at the cabin- wrote two chapters in my new WIP, read Delilah Marvelle's juicy historical romance Once upon a Scandal, and hand stitched the A, B, & Y on the blanket I'm making for one of my several prego friends.

The cabin has no electricity or running water. At night we would light oil lamps and get a fire roaring in the woodstove for heat. My little netbook has a long lasting battery and when it get down to about 20% I would plug it into the inverter/charger that I could insert into the cigarette lighter of the car. Because it doesn't draw too much power from the car battery, I could let it sit there for several hours till the laptop battery was fully charged. And that is how I got to indulge in my favorite creative hobby out in the middle of the wilderness. I do believe this lovely place has become my writer's retreat.

Thank you for visiting my little haven. Ta Ta for Now,


PS. DragonFlame, I still haven't heard from you. I need your address so I can get your prize to you. Please email me at melania (dot) tolan (at) gmail (dot) com Thank you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Hello Dear Bloglings,

It is with great joy I anounce the two winners of my 1st Birthday contest:

*drum roll*

And the winner for The Cowboy and the Vampire is:


Dark Angel!!!!!

Dark Angel suggested the Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I have been wanting to read these books for years now. Thank you for the suggestion.

The winner for Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is:

*more drum roll*


DragonFlame likes Vampire Academy by Rachelle Meade. I haven't read the series yet, but I have put them on my list to be purchased when I come back from vacation. Thank you DragonFlame for you awesome suggestion.


Dark Angel and DragonFlame, if you could both email me your mailing information to  melania(dot)tolan(at)gmail(dot)com  I can send you your prizes.

Thank you everyone for participating in this contest. A HUGE thank you to Kathleen McFall/Clark Hays and Beth Fantaskey for being willing to personalize these books for the winners. And a very special thank you to all of my new followers. I'm so humbled and honored by you.

Now I'm off to the land of no cell phones or internet for a few days. No electricity for that matter. Or running water, unless you count the creek next to the cabin. But when I get back next week, I'll share with you pictures of my wilderness adventure and update on the writing. Thanks again and happy Labor Day weekend everyone!