Happy Thanksgiving: Have a Dinosaur Romance

DTML-JJE-2A couple of weeks ago, Elyse on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books reviewed a book called “The Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay”.  As you might expect, this prompted considerable discussion on Smart Bitches and elsewhere.  When a reviewer on Amazon called it “The Wuthering Heights of Gay Dinosaur Fiction”,  I decided that what we really need is a Jane Eyre of gay dinosaur fiction.  So I wrote it.  Now you too can read, “Jurassic Jane Eyre: The Dinosaur Turned Me Lesbian”.  But you really, really shouldn’t.  Take it from me – I wrote it, I should know!

Head on over to Smart Bitches for all the fun, including a list of charities that the book might inspire you to support.  The “book” is free at Kobo and Smashwords.  It’s also available at Amazon but until price sharing kicks in I had to list it for $.99.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and if you want some more conventional Jane Eyre (and Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice), check out my other book – my much, much better-than-Jurassic-Jane-Eyre-book:

Pride_PopcornCover_final

 

Find Pride, Prejudice and Popcorn at these retailers:

Amazon        Barnes and Noble     iTunes      Harlequin.com

Wednesday Videos: Grateful for Sleepy Hollow!

WednesdayVideoOne of the many things I’m grateful for this year is the presence of Sleepy Hollow, the TV show that io9 describes as  “the show that makes any attempt at describing it to a non-watcher sound like you’re the drunk guy who went to a historical-conspiracy website one time and Cannot Stop Thinking About It!”

I was hunting for videos and I came across this compilation which made me ridiculously happy – it’s behind the scenes interviews with Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie.  They basically act exactly the same out of character as the do in character.  It’s adorable.   Highlight:

Tom:  “Well, when you’re running down this corridor and you know people are about to jump out at you…oh, don’t look so tough!”

Nicole:  “Please!  You just had coffee with them in the chair!”

Whatever you are thankful for this year, I hope you have plenty of it!

A Season of Gratitude: Writing

Charlie Brown and SnoopyI’m continuing my short series on gratitude with eleven things I’m grateful for concerning writing.  I’ve made some big shifts in how I think about writing since summer and I have a lot to be grateful for!

1. San Diego Comic-Con 2014.  This was a huge turning point for me.  My family and I drove from San Diego – which means that when SDCC was over I had ten hours in the car to think about what I’d experienced, and what I experienced was people telling me to go make stuff.  By the end of that trip, I had a work schedule in place, a new way of thinking about my work, and had redefined some family roles when I’m working at Conventions.  Which leads me to…

2.  Support.  My husband treated my writing as an actual job worthy of attention, time, and respect long before I did.  Thanks, Glen.

3.  Convolution. A year ago I was a panelist for the very first time at Convolution and this year I was a featured guest!  It was an amazing experience.  I felt like Cinderella at the ball.  I was so inspired and warmed by everyone I met.  The Convolution/Baycon crowd is rapidly becoming family.

4.  ARCS!  I mentioned advance review copies in my Reading Gratitude entry, but I’m going to mention them again because they involve my writing.  People often ask me if I make much money.  “I make some money and I get free books” I tell them.  “But do you make a lot of money,” they invariably ask.  I look at them blankly and say, slowly and clearly, “I get FREE BOOKS”.

5.  Interfictions Online!  I’m thrilled to have sold my first essay to a magazine.  You can find it here.  What makes it especially exciting is the company I’m in.  I’m in the same magazine as, for instance, Genevieve Valentine, author of The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, which I reviewed here, as well as many other amazing people.  This is so exciting to me that when I saw the Table of Contents I got tears in my eyes, no lie.

6.  Royalty Check.  Hey, I made a book(lette) and I got my first paycheck, too!  Like a real author!  And, BTW, you can buy my book here:

Amazon        Barnes and Noble     iTunes      Harlequin.com

Pride_PopcornCover_final

 

7.  My Laptop.  Please, laptop, please never stop working  I’m sorry I dropped you that one time.  Please forgive me.  I love you! XOXOXOXOXO!

8.  Going to the movies for work.  I get paid to review things like The Book of Life and Guardians of the Galaxy.  I am living the dream, yo.

9.  Beta Readers.  You guys are the best.

10.  A flexible schedule.  I bitch about this all the time, because a flexible schedule means my writing tends to get pushed aside.  But, since my newfound since of purpose post SDCC, I’ve been able to enjoy flexibility without having to start four hours of work at 10PM every night.

11.  I go to work in my PJs.  ‘Nough said.

 

A Season of Gratitude: Television

Charlie Brown and SnoopyI only watch a handful of TV shows (due to time constraints) but the ones I watch I like A LOT.  If I know I only have time to watch about 3 hours of TV in a week, they better be damn good hours.  Here’s eleven things I’m grateful for from television lately!

Arrow

1.  Felicity chirping, “Bitch…with wifi!”.  It’s from last season, but it was a gift that keeps giving.

2.  From last season – we all thought Sara and Felicity would get into a cat fight but instead Sara gave Felicity self-defense lessons and Felicity kept Sara from getting shot.

Sleepy Hollow:

3.  Ichabod’s cappachino mustache

4.  The diversity of the cast and insanity of the plots.  Don’t let the white characters take over, show.  I’m counting on you.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

5.  The fact that the show went from “meh” to “must see TV”

6.  More than one kickass alpha woman, more than one black guy, a guy with a disability – just generally a much more diverse series than it was last season.

7.  May vs May

8.  Evil Grant.  Please show, I’m begging you – don’t make him go back to being hero Grant.  He’s a great pyscho.

Outlander:

9.  “The Wedding”

10.  Costume porn!

11.  Drunk, angry Claire having a battle of tug-of-war over a goat

Bonus:  Orphan Black and Agent Carter

I discovered Orphan Black this year and binged on the first two seasons.  Season 3 comes out some Spring.  This is an amazing show.  I love everything about it.

And…Agent Carter gets her own show starting January 6th!  Let the trumpets sound!

 

 

 

Between the Lines Books Club: New Schedule in January!

between the lines book club logoHey Book Clubbers!  We are taking the month of December off but we will be back in January.  For those who join us in person at Arden Dimick Library, in Sacramento, California, be aware that we have a new schedule.  Starting in January, we’ll be meeting on the fourth Saturday, of every month, at 10:30AM.

Here’s our schedule for the next six months:

January 24:  Little Failure, by Gary Shteyngart

Hopefully we will all survive the holiday season with our crazy families.  As the first step in post-holiday family recovery, here’s a very funny, sad, and touching book about a family which is insane but tightly connected.  This memoir of a man who emigrates to America with his parents from the former USSR at a young age is the very definition of tragicomedy.

cover of Little Failure

 

February 28:  Emma, by Jane Austen

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Here’s the classic story of a well-intentioned matchmaker who gets everything wrong.

cover of Emma

March 28:  The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis

Hattie is one of many African-Americans who migrated North from the South.  She marries and settles into a new life – but the tragedy that befalls her marriage in its early days changes her ability to connect to her husband and her children.  Each chapter is told by a different child of Hattie’s, giving us a look at history from the early 1900’s through the Vietnam War.

cover of Twelve Tribes of Hattie

April 25:  Love In the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

This book is a classic work of magical realism from the incredibly influential author Gabriel Garcia Marquez challenges our ideas about love, duty, and family.

cover of Love in Time of Cholera

May 23:  The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in a Digital Age  by Astra Taylor

This nonfiction book explores the way the Internet fails to meet its promise of democratizing speech.  It talks about how the Internet affects the way artists get paid (or don’t get paid) as well as the ways large business monopolies continue to grow despite, or because, of the presence of the Internet.  It’s a challenging book with some ideas of how to make things better.

 

cover of The People's Platform

June 27:  The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri

In this slow-paced, beautifully written novel, two brothers grow up in India.  One becomes involved with a revolutionary movement.  The other becomes a college student in America.  Their lives diverge but continue to affect each other for the duration of their lives and the lives of their children.

 

cover of The Lowland

 

See you on January 24, 2014 at Arden Dimick Library in Sacramento – and see you right here every Friday, starting January 9, 2015!

 

Wednesday Video: Sailing to the Moon

WednesdayVideoOh, this is so cute!  Two guys sail into outer space in a cardboard box – adventures ensure.

This video is from Let’s Talk About Space.  This duo, Kieran Heather and Chris McGarry, tours UK schools and talks about, you guessed it, space.  Their website is www.letstalkaboutspace.com.

 

A Season of Reading Gratitude

Charlie Brown and SnoopySince November is the eleventh month, I’m taking today to think about eleven things I’m grateful for that have to do with reading.  Some of this list refers to experiences, like snuggling with my daughter at night while my husband reads Tolkien to us.  Some of this list is just a list of books I’ve read, or am about to start reading, that were exciting.

Here’s some books and reading experiences that I’m grateful for this year:

1.  My husband and I are reading the Lord of the Rings Trilogy aloud at night to our daughter.  Bliss.

2.  Symbiont, by Mira Grant.  When will I learn not to read the first book in her series until the last one comes out?  Parasite ended on a cliffhanger so I’ve been writing in agony waiting for the next book to come out.  It’s not every day that I’m thrilled by the prospect of a tapeworm zombie apocalypse but I am SO EXCITED.

3.  Silverblind, by Tina Connolly.  The conclusion to Ironskin and Copperhead was soooo satisfying but now I’m sad that the series is over.  So maybe I’m not that grateful.  I’m semi-grateful.

4.  Between the Lines Book Club.  Those of you who can’t make it to Arden Dimick have no idea how much this book club makes me step up my game – and after a steep learning curve I feel like I’m finally hitting the right groove.  We have such a great group of people, and I love stretching in terms of reading outside of SFF and Romance genres and in terms of coming up with deep discussion questions!

5.  The West Coast Bitches Meet-up in California!  You’ll never find a nicer group of people than followers of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.  And you’ll never find a more talkative bunch of introverts!

6.  Which leads me to…Romantic Times Booklovers Convention!  After years of trying to get to this convention I’m finally going this May.  Gonna meet my fellow reviewers for the first time!

7.  ARCs on the porch.  As I disclose on my FAQs page, I often get advance review copies from publishers.  Sometimes I request them and sometimes they just appear.  The UPS Fairy brings them.  As God is my witness, that happened AS I WAS TYPING THIS POST.  I never know what I’ll get.  It’s like Christmas every day, y’all.

8.  The Dresden Files.  Everyone told me to go read the Dresden Files and now I can’t get anything done because there’s 13 books in the series and I have to read them all right now.  They are so good.  They are like Thanksgiving Dinner.  Thirteen helpings of Thanksgiving Dinner.  But not literally, because that would be gross.  They are just right.

9.  I read Hogfather by Terry Pratchett every Christmas.  This year Sarah Wendell at Smart Bitches Trashy Books wants me to write about why I re-read it.  I think I better read it again to make sure it’s fresh in my mind, don’t you?

10.  Having an excuse to read Emma.  Between the Lines Book Club is reading Emma on Feb 28, 2015.  Can you believe I hadn’t read Emma before?

11.  Getting books signed – by my friends!  I love the collection of signed books I’m amassing.  a few of them represent five seconds of interaction but most of them are signed by friends, or by authors who I actually got to hang out with a bit, or from events that I want to remember forever.