Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Goodreads G*I*V*E*A*W*A*Y!

Want a chance to win a copy of BLEEDING HEARTS? Goodreads is sitting on a stash of my books so stop by my Goodreads giveaway page for your chance to win one!

I also received my first Goodreads review...and I bet you all heard my sigh of relief, it was so huge. =) I know reviews are a necessary part of releasing a novel but I still had newbie jitters waiting for the first one to show. Thank you, Tricia, for your splendid words and for breaking the ice. I think I'll survive, after all.

Release day is March 15th... pre-order link is alive at the Pink Narcissus website--and thanks to everybody who's already ordered a copy. In fact, thank you to everyone who has supported me along this incredible journey... BLEEDING HEARTS would not have manifested itself without your friendship and encouragement. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

So be sure to stop at Goodreads and register yourself to win one of the first ever copies of BLEEDING HEARTS: BOOK ONE OF THE DEMIMONDE. Don't forget I'll also be going on a virtual book tour for four weeks following the release date. Watch the tour line up for additions bscause we're still scheduling visits to a host of fantastic blogs! Big prizes and tons of mini-giveaways will be springing up all over and you don't want to miss a single chance... Good luck, everyone! The countdown will soon commence!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Lucky Lady and the Wisdom of Kenra Daniels

Congrats to JUNE MANNING, the lucky winner of my Vampires for Valentines giveaway. June strolled away with a copy of Bleeding Hearts and a 25$ Amazon gift card. Don't spend it all in one place, June! (oh, wait. It's from Amazon so I guess she has to.) Anyways, congrats!

I also wanted to share this important post fromKenra Daniels, who is nice enough to let me perpetuate her wisdom.

Anyone who uses a Blogger platform...hearken to these words!

 Follow with Google Friend Connect? Not Anymore!

by Kenra Daniels
If you haven’t heard already, Google’s Friend Connect, or GFC, will no longer be available outside the Blogger platform in March. Since GFC was never available for blogs anyway, this hasn’t affected me one way or the other.

But lots of bloggers who don’t use Blogger have been unhappy about being told to add their Google Plus badge to their sidebar. They will have to start from scratch building their followings, and those new followers won’t see their blogs in Google Reader.

Without widely known alternatives, though, there wasn’t much they could do except push followers to sign up via their RSS feed, with mixed success. As far as I’m aware, Facebook’s Networked Blogs was the only other option that most blog readers would be familiar with. I’m sure there are others, just not as universally recognized.

Until Now!

You know those so-useful little Linky List sign-up tools so many bloggers use? Well, Brent Riggs, the guy who provides them has teamed up with some bloggers and developed Linky Follower! As he explains in his post, Linky Follower is FREE, allows users to organize the blogs they follow, and is not dependent on, or part of, any other service.

So, even if you use Blogger (on March 1, GFC will become Follower, available only to Blogger users, and the general suspicion is, that will be around only a short time before it, too, is phased out in favor of Google +), I encourage you to support your blogging brethren. Add Linky Follower to your blog, and use it to follow other blogs.

You can get started right now! Just head over to the sidebar and click Follow Me in the Linky Follower Widget. Signing up is quick and painless! I promise!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bloody Hearts Blog H0P Winner!


The winner of the Bloody Hearts blog hop, which ran February 13 and 14, is...


Thank you, everyone, for entering. I'm sincerely glad to "meet" each of you and hope to see you all again...

Also, my contest for the Vampires for Valentine's Giveaway Hop is still taking entries until midnight EST. Up for grabs is a 25$ Amazon gift card and the contest is open INTERNATIONALLY so welcome, one and all! Get your entries in while you can!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Bloody Hearts Blog Hop

I love to scare myself.

It helps that I'm a big coward. Always have been. I remember being seven years old and hanging out on the sidewalks in front of our neighbors' houses as my brothers delivered newspapers. I could overhear them from behind the hedges, selling Girl Scout cookies. That's right. Girl Scout cookies.

And no, neither of my brothers was actually a Girl Scout.

I was. And I was too damn scared to ask anyone if they wanted to buy my cookies. My mom figured, if she could convince me to at least go along with my brothers, she'd make them take my order form around. They hated it.

I loved it. I always the top seller in my troop. Even though my brothers would disdainfully point out I was too chicken to come up on the porch myself, my neighbors always bought a few boxes. I guess they caught a glimpse of the skinny red-head hiding behind the bushes and pitied all three of us.

Whatever. I totally raked in the incentives. And it was all because I was a coward. I won't even lie and say it was part of a master plan to delegate authority to my underling older brothers.

Although I could if I wanted to.

Bloody Hearts Blog HopI'm still a coward, although I've gotten really good at pretending otherwise. Now I save it for special times when I need a good scare. I love the feeling that I might go completely out of my mind from fright.

I still have a very low tolerance for adrenaline. Now, don't get me wrong. The coward in me is still very much alive and kicking (and screaming.) I am not a reckless thrill-seeker. I do not taunt Death with a thumb to the nose or a well-timed moon as I streak past him.

I have to be in a controlled and safe environment before I can tolerate a good scaring-myself-silly. But when I do…watch out, dog. I'm gonna get squirrely.

Sometimes, a good TV show will do it. I love ghost-chaser shows because, although they never catch a *real* ghost (shucks), I convince myself they just might. Then, I convince myself that ghosts know I'm watching ghost shows and they are angry and they want to get me. I tremble so hard I threaten to shake the couch apart.

Then I don't sleep and my husband yells at me all the next day.

I watch movies from behind my hands or, in the case of The Blob, from around the corner of the living room wall in case it gets so scary I have to hide in the bathroom. And forget Hitchcock and his Birds. I hate them all, the bastards. I can't stand listening to the flocks of starlings that like to mob my trees, screaming and laughing and daring me to come outside. Frigging flesh eating birds.

Other times, I do goofy things like play the game "What if…?" For instance: on our last trip to New York, the hubby and I went to the top of the You-know-what Building. (He hates it so I refrain from speaking it aloud for his sake.) I marched over the edge, looked down at the street below, and thought "What if…I fell over the side?" And immediately I get a surge of adrenaline so huge that I can't feel my legs.

See what I mean about being in a safe and controlled environment? If I'd played that game standing *on* the rail instead of safely behind it, the loss of leg strength would have turned "What if…?" into "There you go!" Game over.

No thanks. I like my thrills to be non-fatal, thank you. Every once in a while, it's not a game. It'll be a moment right before I fall asleep and I imagine a voice. Or I'll be in the bathroom with the lights off and I'll have my eyes shut anyway because maybe Bloody Mary will be in the mirror this time.

Maybe I don't go back to sleep for a while but it's still demented fun. For a coward like me, anyway.

My bucket list might be too boring for most nursing home residents but ah, well. I gotta be me. (Not like I have a choice, but anyways.)

The main character in my soon-to-debut book BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde, Sophie Galen, is kind of a coward, too. I don't think she ever set out to become a kick-ass action hero, but she has her moments. "Take no chances, risk no defeats" she'd say.

But she also learns that one discovers the depths of a heart only after it's been broken. That's a pretty big lesson for a coward to handle. It helps to have a strong hero to help her, a mission to drive her, and redemption for which to fight.

Okay, so there's a lot at stake, like a dark underworld of bad beasties and the scorn of a really nasty co-worker (sometimes, she can't tell which is worse.) But Sophie isn't so much of a coward that she won't try to face it all down and, in the end, she might even surprise herself.

Somehow, I doubt Sophie believes Bloody Mary lives in her bathroom mirror (I'll ask her the next time I see her.) But one thing is for sure: we both know life has its scared-silly moments and we're both okay with that, as long as we're somewhere safe.

But, not perfectly safe. Life wouldn't be living without a little adrenaline.

In honor of the Bloody Valentine Blog Hop, I'm giving away an eARC of my upcoming debut, BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde, which will be released March 15th. Winner will also snag a Victorian-style heart pendant (I love shiny things!)

Simply follow this blog either by email or Google Friend Connect (see right upper sidebar) then leave a comment to be entered in this quick and dirty contest. Bonus entries if you Like my Facebook page or follow me on the Twitter!

Winners will be announced Wednesday.

Friday, February 10, 2012

You Never Forget Your First...

…vampire sweetheart, that is.

What is it about these creatures that haunt us, possess us, and draw us away from the well-lit safe places of our everyday lives?

Is it…eternal love? The promise of an eternity of dwelling in another's eyes, of being loved to the point of consumption. To quench the desire of someone who would starve without us. To become their life, their reason to exist.

Yeah. That's probably it.

Or…is it the danger, the rush of treading that silver blade between life and death, pleasure and pain?

But then again, with vampires, there is no "line between". Life and death, pleasure and pain, light and dark, good and bad. They are everything, all at once.

Heroes with unimaginable power, undone by a brush of sunlight. Strength and weakness, entwined.

No wonder vamps ensnare us: we do like our men complex, after all.

WELCOME TO THE V4V GIVEAWAY HOP! Be sure to enter to win...the entry form is at the end of the post...
Vampires for Valentines Giveaway Hop I have to go back a long time to remember my first vampire crush. I cut my teeth on Anne Rice when I was in college. My boyfriend had an English assignment on Interview with a Vampire and wanted me to read it so I could help him with the paper. (Come to think of it, I read a LOT of extra novels in college for the same purpose.)

I balked at first. Vampires weren't my thing.

Then, Boyfriend turned big baby brown eyes on me and fluttered those long lashes. Seriously. He had eyes like the puppies on those rip-your-heart-out animal fundraiser posters. So, I heaved a sigh and read it.

I WAS BLOWN AWAY. Louis had such depth, such tragic humanity. And Lestat? What an ass. I hated him. He was cocky, he was mean, he was so in love with himself that he eclipsed the sun. That jerk had little regard for anyone else, no matter how much I wish he would.

I didn't realize he was setting himself up to be a Bad Boy. Uh oh. My first human crush was a Bad Boy. Unrequited love all the way for six solid years. I listened to more miserable music over him than I did for the boys I actually dated. That crush was my secret agony.

Lestat didn't disappoint. And, unrequited? Heck yeah. I still ache a little inside when I think of him (or when I see old Reutger Hauer movies.) I'd never invested myself in a character the way I did Lestat. I hadn't known it was possible.

It was tough but eventually I moved on and found other vampire crushes. Jean Claude: I never wanted him more than the way I did in the very first Anita Blake installment. That hint of a suggestion of a tease was a complete PHEROMONE. Eric Northman: I have not the words. (The suggestions, I got a million of them, but when I open my mouth, nothing comes out.)

There's Eric chum Bill Compton but he's off limits. That's Sookie's first vampire love. I understand the sacredness of that bond. Sookie needs to keep that all to herself, to keep it in her heart-shaped box and cherish it always. Eric, on the other hand, is free game. =)

Not all vampires aren't loveable. I know there are some really bad ones out there and some of them are downright Nosferatu. Some of them—like Still-Heart in my upcoming release BLEEDING HEARTS—are beautiful creatures but don't be fooled: inside is a demon. He may act like a Bad Boy but deep down, he's just bad.

In fact, all the vamps in my book are bad, bad, bad. But the Demivampire? Another story altogether. *wicked grin*

But don't worry…that story will be told when BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde is released on March 15th through Pink Narcissus Press (

Follow this blog to stay up-to-date on release news—we'll be going on a Bleeding Hearts Blog Tour in March, with lots of fun giveaways and visits to incredible blogs.

And although the vampires in my book are better off left alone, there's plenty of crush-worthy vamps in countless other books to love. I mean, have you visited any of the other stops on this blog hop? ;)

Which leads me to…the CONTEST! I am nothing if not an enabler. Everyone has their own favorite flavor of vampire. It was really tough to decide what to give away on this blog hop. So I decided to give away a build-your-own-vampire-sundae of sorts by offering an ebook spending spree at Amazon!

You can enter to win a $25 gift card to that monstrous online bookstore—that way you have a little cash to pick up some of the other vampires you've met along this blog hop. The cherry on top of said sundae is an eARC of my soon-to-debut urban fantasy BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde. You can visit my demivampires any time you want. ;)

What did I tell you? I'm an enabler.

You can enter to win my goodies by Liking my Facebook page. You can get up to three extra entries by following me in other places (you'll see the links on the Rafflecopter form.) If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, it's really easy: you sign in with either your Facebook profile or your email and just follow the easy steps to Winning Land. Good luck!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hittin' the Kitchen with Rosemary DiBattista

Yummy, yummy, yummy--I've got love in my tummy...and sheesh! It's itchy.
Or maybe I'm just hungry. Good thing I know just the thing to fix it.

I'll be talking about food and the people we love when I visit Author Rosemary DiBattista on Valentine's Day.
She has a marvelous Authors in the Kitchen segment on her blog and has generously invited me  to share a special recipe with everyone. When I think of love, I think of my we'll be making her PA German-style apple dumplings.

You'll also learn just how to eat one--very important if you're going to visit PA Dutch country. Those Coal Region cooks can be fairly unforgiving.

I hope you'll join us on Tuesday--it's a recipe you'll come to treasure as much as I do.