Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Because. It's almost release day!

Great Caesar’s Ghost! Where has the time gone? Sept. 18 has snuck up on me, and I have a book releasing tomorrow! That’s right. SPIRITED AWAY — and Spider, Noah, Charlie, Abbott and Costello — will finally be unleashed upon the world! Bwahahahaha!

But wait — that’s not all! Oh, no, I have been amiss in multiple ways, because, you know what else? SOMETHING WICKED is currently in a special promotion, and you can buy it for a limited time for only $1.99 at Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and other e-retailers. It usually goes for $6.64, people. So $1.99 is a HUGE discount.

That’s the good news. And it is good news, people. Go buy these books. Not just because I want you to buy them, but because I feel pretty confidant they are good books. Why? Because. Go buy them.

Because now, the bad news.

I’m gonna get real for a second. It hasn’t been the best summer for me. It really, truly hasn’t. I won’t bore you with the details of the wreck I had with an uninsured driver back in June, or the layoffs at the day job (I squeaked by — whew!). Or my dad’s heart surgery. Or the multiple trips to the vet with my cat, Dusti. Or the fact I came thisclose to a free trip to Nashville and interviewing Reese Witherspoon, only to have circumstances yank that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity out from under me, or… REESE WITHERSPOON! I mean...come on, now.

So, you get the idea. Point is, I’ve been soldiering on the way Sam and Dean or Katniss would want me to, but I think it’s all catching up with me now and I just feel…defeated. Maybe discouraged is a better word. Yeah, I’m feeling discouraged.

For example, I have no idea if anyone will buy SPIRITED AWAY because I have had the devil of a time promoting it, and I really love this book. I suck at promotion. I really do. Not to mention, it’s tough to compete with all of the amazing other books now releasing. Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother.

True story.

Well, I bother because I do, and I will. It kind of sucks to be down in the dumps for a reason you can’t really describe on the day before your favorite book that you’ve written gets published. But there it is.

By the way, Wicked Little Pixie is running a series on its blog this month where authors get real and share their experiences with depression and other issues in observance of Mental Health Awareness. I’m not the only one feeling a little blue, and it’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of, or else I wouldn’t be sharing it with you. With all three of you who might actually read this.

Sorry. *swats away the negativity* I really don’t like negativity, so I’m not going to stay this way for long. Besides, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” releases soon (even though I am pretty sure that one is going to make me cry, so what?).

And also, Henry Cavill looks like this.

See? Things aren’t so bad after all.  

Soldier on, people. And check back Friday when I bring my Fun Friday Q&As back from the dead. It's going to be awesome!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Release day for 'Texas Twist' by Cynthia D'Alba

Enter to Win


Gift Card, Mugs, T-Shirts, Etc

Real bad boys can grow up to be real good men.

Hit hard by the death of her parents, Paige Ryan needs to figure out what to do with her
life. She moves to Whispering Springs, Texas, to be near her step-brother. But
just as she starts to get her life on track, the last man she ever wanted to
see again sends it right back off the rails.

Cash Montgomery was on the cusp of having it all. Three bull riding titles, fame,
fortune and respect from his family. Until a bad bull leaves him injured, angry
and searching for comfort at the bottom of a bottle. With nowhere to go, he
moves into his sister-in-law’s old ranch house in Whispering Springs—which he’s
surprised to find already occupied.

As Cash rebuilds the dilapidated home and Paige starts out on her medical career, their
old friendship begins to reemerge and sparks are ignited. Paige knows that Cash
is nothing but a heartache waiting to happen. But maybe this bad boy has grown
up to be a real good man?

Warning: Watch out for falling lumber, falling in holes, and falling for the wrong guy…again. You can leave your hard hat on.

Award-winning author Cynthia D’Alba was born and raised in Arkansas. After being gone
for seventeen years, she’s thrilled to be back home living on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake. When she’s not reading, writing or plotting, she’s doorman for her two dogs, cook, housekeeper and chief bottle washer for her husband and slave to a noisy, messy parrot. She loves to chat online with friends and fans

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dragoncon 2014

I am back from Dragoncon and Atlanta, and holy cow, am I tired. But I always post something about my experiences, and photos — because, hey, photos!

So Friday was a whirlwind. I mostly started out by people watching, as in standing back and gawking over cosplayers and admiring how in the heck they created such amazing costumes for this thing. I saw tons and tons of "Guardians of the Galaxy" cosplays, as in lots of Groots, Star Lords, and Rocket Raccoons. And this hilarious Sharknado cosplay.

I also thought this cosplay was particularly awesome.

The first panel I went to was for SyFy's "Being Human." If you read my post about the series finale, you know I heart that show and mostly Josh and Nora. AND THEY WERE THERE! Well, not the characters, but the actors. All four of them. Their panel — hilarious. They obviously had a lot of fun working together.

After that, I headed over to the panel hosted by the guys from "The Guild." Another fun one because those guys are every bit as funny as they are on the show.

Afterwards, I mozied over to the Walk of Fame, which is where all the celebrities gather to meet people, sign autographs, charge insane amounts of money, and be gawked at. The "Being Human" cast were all there, so I went over to meet them. Yep, all four of them, starting with Nora, aka Kristen Hager, who was super nice and humble and let me talk to her for probably longer than was decent, considering her line was loooong. And then I met Meaghan Rath, who played Sally, and she is funny. As in had me laughing out loud talking about her dog. So then I went over to Sam Huntington — Josh — and waited and waited and finally got to tell him that I loved his version of Jimmy Olson in "Superman Returns" and loved, loved, loved him as Josh. He was super hyped to be there and joking with everyone. And he went out of his way to chat with the nervous and awkward young woman in front of me who was completely too tongue-tied to talk to him. So he earned brownie points for taking time to do that rather than simply signing her picture, smiling and saying thanks for coming.  A lot of celebrities don't bother to engage their fans at these things, and that is a sad truth. So anyway. Sam Witwer was next, and whoa mama. He is super hot in person. I never really had a thing for him before. I mean, I liked him, but not in that way. Again, he was taking time to talk to everyone. We talked about his role on "Smallville" and it turns out he's a Superman geek like me, although he said "I mean, there are few things I don't geek out about." ME TOO, Sam! Me too! Anyway. So yeah — the "Being Human" cast was super hyper and really engaged their fans, so they get a shout out.

Know who else did it too? The guys from "The Guild." I talked to them for a while. Got high fives. It was awesome. I can't wait to see what they do next now that "The Guild" is no more. *sniff*

When my niece got off work, she and her boyfriend met me for the "From L.A. to Sunnydale" Buffy the Vampire Slayer panel with Julie Benz, Emma Caulfield, J. August Richards and Todd McIntosh (the makeup artist from the show).

Every single year I look forward to the Buffy panels at Dragoncon. And every single year, I'm pretty sure everyone else does too. The line forms early and is long and half the people in line never make it into the panel. That's amazing that the show has so many dedicated fans so long after it's been off the air. Anyway. It was great. Emma Caulfield (Anya) is a huge X-Files fan like I am, apparently, and Julie Benz (Darla) is just always nice to her fans. We actually met Emma Saturday, and she was really nice. I reminded her of that time she Vlogged herself doing the "Which Walking Dead character are you?" quiz and how hilarious it was (she got Andrea), and she asked if she'd ever tweeted me back when I told her I followed her on Twitter and loved reading her tweets. And then she took a photo with my niece — and my stupid camera decided to be a jerk and not cooperate. She was cool and let us retake the picture until my niece had one. Thank you, Emma!

After that we did some more people watching. Dinner. Rode the Marta back to my niece's place and crashed.


We tried to watch the parade but mostly just saw heads and hands blocking our view. So we went to the Tolkien guests panel. It was four actors from the Hobbit movies, and they were all really funny and had great accents. British? New Zealand-ish? I'm not sure. I just liked hearing them talk. And Craig Parker is a total cutie.

I went to the "Arrow" panel next because, ohmygosh, Arrow! Sadly, Stephen Amell wasn't at Dragoncon. Neither was John Barrowman this year. But Manu Bennett (Slade/Deathstroke), Caity Loitz (Sarah/Black Canary), and Katrina Law (Nyssa al Ghul) were! Katie Cassidy (Laurel) and Paul Blackthorne (Det. Lance) were there too, but those two weren't on Saturday's panel. No spoilers were given, but some behind-the-scenes tidbits were shared. A fan asked how well Brandon Routh (Superman Returns) was fitting into the cast, and Caity said she'd just made a movie with Brandon and was thrilled to have him on the show. She said people were used to seeing him as Superman, but his character on "Arrow" is going to be very quirky — kind of like Felicity. I can't wait to see him on the show!

I met back up with "the kids" and we went to the "Guardians of the Galaxy" panel. The movie's director was very humble and gave great insight into how he wrote the script, did casting and made the movie, so that panel was just...excellent. So glad we got into it.

Then, we did some more people watching...

We also went to the panel "Five Truths and a Lie: Kessel Run," which featured six celebrity guests all telling a story to the same theme, and one person was lying. It was up to the audience to decide who the liar was. I won't ruin it, because you can download the podcast and hear yourself. It was quite hilarious.

So here's my I-will-never-forget-this moment from Dragoncon this year. Before this panel, we were starving. We grabbed some junk from the little cafe inside the Hilton and then sat on the floor in the line before the panel to eat it. There was a Hacking 101 panel going on in the room we were sitting across from. So there I am sitting on the floor, stuffing pineapple in my face, when I see the door open. A guy and girl walk out. The guy looks familiar. I'm thinking, "Wow, he could be Kevin Tran's twin." Kevin Tran, in case you don't know, is a character on my favorite show "Supernatural."

So he walks right up to me and says, "What are you lined up for out here?"

In my head I'm thinking "I am 99 percent sure this is Osric Chau talking to me right now. Nah, it can't be. He's not a scheduled guest." Because I would know, because I am a HUGE fan of that show, and I would know, right?

Anyway. My niece and I both answer him, he says, "Thanks" and then walks off. I lean over to the niece and say, "That guy looked exactly like an actor from Supernatural." And she shrugs and says, "I bet he gets that a lot." So I shake my head and say, "Exactly like him. I think that was him. Could that have been him?" She shrugs and forgets it. But not me, because I'm sitting there, 100 percent certain it was him. So I look on his twitter feed to see if he mentions being at Dragoncon. Um, he doesn't, but other people have mentioned running into him.

So I'm like, "Oh my gosh! I just talked to Kevin Tran! Well, not Kevin, because he's not real, but his portrayer and..." And in my head I'm freaking out, because he came up to me. And I did not say, "Are you on 'Supernatural'?" like my gut wanted me to. Gah! So we go look and he's gone. No idea where he went. And I'm still freaking out about it.

So I tweet this. And get this response.

So holy cow, I kind of sort of met Osric Chau in a totally casual way, and dang it, I need his autograph for my collection. But still. That was pretty cool.

Then we went to a couple of dance parties — the Tolkien-themed one and the Star Wars-themed one — before dragging ourselves home, exhausted.


I started out by going to the Doctor Who discussion panel where fans of the show talked about the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi. Veronica Belmont and Ann Hoevel were there, and some other Whovians in the know. Geek girls especially should know who Veronica and Ann are, because they are awesome and represent. But that whole panel was awesome. Great insight into what's ahead.

Next, I went to the "Grimm"-themed panel with C. Thomas Howell, even though I've only seen the first season of "Grimm." I have loved C. Thomas Howell since I was a tween. The man was my first celebrity crush. No lie. "The Outsiders" is one of my all-time favorite movies. Ponyboy forever! I've seen most of his movies — yeah, even the bad ones — and was super nervous. He was amazing. Getting older, but who isn't? Nothing was off limits to ask. He seemed very humble. And he looks much better in person than he has been looking on TV lately. Just sayin'. I met him afterward, and I got tongue-tied. Yep. Can't deny it. And then my niece tried to help by saying, "She's loved you forever. She forced me to watch all your movies." Awkward. But then I think she realized what she'd said, because her eyes got wide and she added quickly, "And I loved them too!" Bahahahaha. Sigh.


After that, I made my way over to the Decatur Book Festival in nearby Decatur, because my friend and critique partner Abby Niles was scheduled to make an appearance. I got there late, sweat-soaked, and face as red as a tomato (Atlanta was too HOT and humid, y'all).  But I finally got to meet her in person, and it was awesome. Her latest book, "Winning Love," is now available, and you should go buy it because it is a great read. Trust me.

So someone mentioned pictures, right?

I've put up photo galleries on my Facebook page that you can go see here: FRIDAY photos. SATURDAY photos. SUNDAY photos.

I already can't wait until next year!

Monday, August 25, 2014

My first podcast interview is now live, plus...Dragoncon!

I am truly honored to be featured as the new and noteworthy author on this week's episode of PNR Radio, hosted by the lovely and talented author Arial Burnz.

This was the first time I've ever been the subject of a live audio interview, so of course I was a nervous wreck about doing it. Fortunately for me, Arial is a terrific interviewer who made it fun and painless. Plus, best-selling author Jade Lee is also featured in this episode, and we're both giving away free books, so please give it a listen and go enter to win, people! And if you want to leave Arial a comment thanking her for having me on or telling her how much you enjoyed her interview with Jade Lee, that would be wonderful and I will be eternally grateful.

A couple of things — we recorded this before the release date of SPIRITED AWAY was moved to Sept. 18, so ignore me when I mention it's already been released. And second, I am a lot older than I sound. Yeah. I'm not a big fan of my voice, but who is, right?

You can find more about the episode and listen to it on the PNR Radio website HERE. You can also download the podcast directly from iTunes HERE, or listen to it on the Stitcher Radio website HERE. To go straight to the page to enter the giveaway, simply click HERE.

Thank you for listening!

I also want to invite all of you to the Facebook party for "Winning Love" by Abby Niles. Abby is my awesome-sauce critique partner, and this book is amazing! I'll be taking part in the Facebook party, which is happening between 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. ET tomorrow, Tuesday, Aug. 26. You can join the party HERE.

And finally...Dragoncon!

That's right. It's time for my annual journey to the Atlanta convention for all things sci-fi, fantasy, comic book, paranormal, and gaming. Anyone else going? I always have a ton of fun and report back on my adventures, so expect plenty of that to come your way next week! I will be lurking around the convention with my camera taking lots of pictures of cosplayers and celebrities and trying hard not to embarrass my niece and her boyfriend, who will be my sidekicks again this year. I am sure we will be at all the Buffy-related panels, I will try to get up enough courage to say hello to Veronica Belmont if I happen to find myself standing next to her again this year (yep — happened 2 years ago, but I totally chickened out at talking to her), and I hope to high-five the guys from "The Guild" again. They were awesome when I met them briefly a couple of years ago. And, the cast of Syfy's "Being Human" will be there, along with several cast members of my new maybe favorite show, "Arrow." It should be an exciting event this year.

And no, I'm still not in shape enough to cosplay as Wonder Woman, or anyone else. *sigh* Maybe next year?


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