Monstrous Monday

Welcome to Monstrous Monday, hosted by Tim Brannan at The Other Side blog. The rules to this one are simple: talk about monsters. For my post, I've decided to tell you about the first monster to ever make me legitimately scared to walk outside at night...eh, daytime too if I'm being honest.

I was pretty young when I met this monster, young enough that I don't remember exactly how young, but I'm going to guess about 7ish. I'm fuzzy on memories from that age, but this one is fairly sharp. My family and I were visiting our old neighbors, the Taylors, at their new house in Hanover Park. We sat as a group in their family room watching a movie on TV:

Or "Son of Blob" as it was dubbed for its TV release.  My little heart started pounding the moment that woman inadvertently thawed the blob, thinking it was tomato sauce. The first victim, a fly. The second...

Nooooo!!!  With each kill the blob grew, as did my conviction that my parents should've never let me watch that movie. When the ordeal finally ended and it was time to go home, my courageous father went outside to warm the car---ALONE!  And everyone else acted like it was no big deal.  Hadn't they just witnessed the Blob's silent but deadly approach?  Didn't they see how its victims had no idea of the danger until they were hip deep in the unstoppable red ooze?  How could they sit there talking and laughing while my father was in mortal peril??

He came back in before I could work myself into anything more than a silent worry, and I was very happy to see him.  But it was a loooong time before I was comfortable being near a can of tomato paste again. I stayed wary of marinara until Kevin Dillon & Co. came along with this...

Come on, you knew I had to work in the 80s somehow. ;)  If you haven't seen this movie it's a pretty fun & funny retelling of the original Blob movie. What better way to face your fears than to laugh at them, right?

Now that we've conquered that monster, we've got lots more waiting for you in this Linky.


Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

That's right folks, it's here - one whole week of Spoooooktacular giveaways, hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer. Hop around this list of over 400 participants to win so many prizes, it's scary!

At my place, I'm giving away an eBook of my 80s chick lit/romance novel, Three Daves, to 5 winners. To enter, all you have to do is answer the very personal and revealing question in the Rafflecopter below (tweeting, liking & following are optional but will win you extra bats in the bellfry).

The answers coming in through the Rafflecopter are cracking me up! 

Neon sweatshirts. Definitely.

no mobile phones or internet.

big hair and mullets YECH!

You get the picture. Now...tell me your 80s fears...

And what do you get when you cross the retro 1980s
with the current zombie trend?


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Letting Go

To commemorate the release of Kyra Lennon's new novella, If I Let You Go, Kyra's hosting a bloghop in which we talk about our personal experiences with letting go. And to kick up the celebration a notch, today only, If I Let You Go is absolutely FREE in Kindle!

I didn't get past my 4th decade on this Earth without having had to let go of a lot of things. It's never easy, but the good news is, every heartache is given to us for a reason, to either teach us something or lead us somewhere better, even though it often doesn't feel that way at first (e.g. giant spiders in Lord of the Rings, remember?)

A change that proved pivotal for me, because it both taught me a lesson and led me to a better place, was when I had to let go of my beloved little house---the one where my babies were born, the one I Martha-Stewarted the bejeezus out of, the one I thought I'd never leave---to move my family out west.  I'm talking 1/2 hour west, practically straight down Roosevelt Road from one western Chicago 'burb to another. Pathetic, I know.

But it was a really, really tough decision for me. I'd firmly established myself in the miniature suburban Utopia of Glen Ellyn---how could I possibly be as happy in Batavia?  Well guess what, circumstances being what they were (the relative price of real estate, the me not working full time, the husband's freakish tallishness that proved incompatible with the quirkier areas of the home), the move I fought against happened, and the doughnut committee at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School just had to find itself a new chairwoman.  And I had to grow up and realize that the world wouldn't combust if things didn't go exactly the way I'd always foreseen them.

Because Someone Else foresees much better.  I see now that the move helped me shed some things I needed to shed, and it put my family in a corner of the world that's a much better fit for us.  I like this house we're in now. I like it a lot.  But I don't love it. I love the people who live here and the ones who visit and the experiences we have inside.  I'm in a better place.

Visit Kyra's blog for more participants. and don't forget, today only you can get If I Let You Go FREE on Kindle.


The Next Big Thing - Actors & Agencies

Today we resume The Next Big Thing, in which I answer questions about my current work in progress.  Since I skipped last week, I'll answer two questions today.

Question #4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I hesitate to answer this question.  Y'see, when I read, I like to form my own picture of a person and I don't like it when I read something after the movie's been released, because then I can only picture those actors.  So I don't want to put pre-pictures in your heads and would rather have you form your own, okay?

Although...well, there is one character for whom I pictured a certain actor, so I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give you a peek at him.  This is Maggie's ex-husband, Carl Brock:

Richard Burgi.  Recognize him?  He's been on a bunch of TV shows, including Burn Notice, Chuck, Desperate Housewives, One Tree Hill, Castle, CSI: Miami, Harper's Island, NCIS, plus a bunch of shows I've never heard of before. You might say he's a prolific guest-appearer ...and I smile every time he shows up.

The reason he's perfect for Carl is because he carries a certain self-assurance, which can often crossover into arrogance, yet he's also got a big likeability factor, and deep down, I'm just sure he has a good heart. How could anyone with such mesmerizing eyes and such a strong jawline have anything but?

I answered question #5 a couple weeks ago, so now we skip to:

Question #6: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am very thankful to be represented by Omnific Publishing. Omnific is a small publishing house that was founded in 2009 with a motto of "Romance Without Rules." They are the publishing company that gave Three Daves a shot back in 2010, and I was very happy with the experience, so they were my first choice as publisher for Divine Temptation, and I was thrilled when they offered me a contract.


An Ode to WRiTE Club

We talk often in the blogverse about how supportive writers are of other writers, and it's true.  We're all very blessed to have found each other.  And then there are those who take it a step further and not only cheer us on, but give us a platform in which to share our writing and receive useful feedback. One such person is D.L. Hammons, who's turned his Cruising Altitude 2.0 blog into a stage for writers---or more accurately, a fighting ring.  But it's the friendliest fighting ring you'll ever see.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday D.L. pits two anonymous writing samples of under 500 words against each other and anyone who signs up on this linky gets to vote for the one that knocked them out.  We're also invited to offer constructive critiques of both pieces. It's a highly educational exercise just to scroll through the comments. 

So what does all this have to do with the Insatiable vixen above?  Welllll, I dusted off an old short story and polished a small sample to enter into the first iteration of WRiTE Club under the penname Art Gallery.  I made it to the final 6 and along the way received such positive feedback that I decided to give the rest of the 2,000 word story a fresh edit. I recently found a literary magazine that I thought would be a good fit aaaand---they agreed!  I'm ecstatic to announce that my short story, Impressionism 101, will be included in the debut issue of Insatiable Magazine, a new publication of White Cat Pubications.

I'm quite certain this piece would still be gathering dust if WRiTE Club hadn't sparked me with the desire to share it with a wider audience and if all the lovely commenters hadn't been so enthusiastic.  Thanks D.L. for all your hard work and to every single person who takes the time to read and comment on the entries. If you haven't participated in WRiTE Club yet, the door is always open (just remember to sign up at the linky).

***Regularly scheduled programming for The Next Big Thing will resume next week, in which I'll answer TWO questions to make up for skipping this week. Ooooooh***


Musician and Author, Jennifer DeLucy

Where to begin?  How about at The End? As in today is release day of the final book in the Light Series by Jennifer DeLucy:
Congratulations, Jennifer!

This is a truly lovely series by a truly lovely person and I can't imagine anyone who appreciates a realistic romance set amidst a paranormal backdrop of lingering spirits, dark astrals and malevolent creatures will be disappointed.  Here's my 5 star review, but don't take just my word for it, here's what A Life Bound by Books has to say:

"Her world and those that live in it are in a word, stunning."

The Beginning

As I said, this is the last book in the series, so if you haven't yet discovered the world DeLucy has created you now have a great opportunity to get started because for a very limited time, the first book, Seers of Light, is available for only 99 cents in Nook and Kindle.

Before the Beginning

If you jump on the new release right away and buy Circle of Light either today or tomorrow (Oct 9 &10) you'll get the short story prequel to the series, Glimpse of Light, absolutely FREE.  All you have to do is forward your e-mail receipt to publisher@omnificpublishing.com.

A New Beginning

As indicated by the title of this post, Jennifer DeLucy is also a talented musician.  She's written the music for all three of her book trailers and is now opening herself up to compose music for other authors. If you have a book trailer in your future and would like an original score for it, contact Jennifer. Visit her Reverbnation page for samples of her beautiful, inspiring music. 



Welcome Insecure Writers, and much thanks to our fearless leader, Alex J. Cavannaugh (insecure, sometimes; fearful, nevah!).

As my regular visitors know I've embarked on a quest for The Next Big Thing and am answering one question a week about my current work in progress, which happens to be in progress at a publisher. :)   I'm taking a question out of order this week because it fits perfectly with an insecurity of mine.

Question #5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Are you kidding me???  One sentence?  Do you have any idea how long I struggled to reduce the thing into a 2-5 page synopsis?  And a 2-3 paragraph summary for the query? And even after all my work, I'm pretty sure the only reason that drivel made it beyond the acquisition editor's wastebasket is because I already had a relationship with the publisher.

So there it is, my insecurity: I suck at hooks and blurbs.  With a new book coming out---one I'm truly excited about---I've had lots of people ask,"so what's it about?" I respond, "Well, uh, there's this woman and then there's an angel.  And it's in the suburbs and she's divorced and...yeah...it's totally different from my last book." *apologetic shrug before changing the subject as quickly as possible*  How's that for the opposite of compelling?

Tell you what, I'll past the shortest version I've been able to come up with and if you can pare it down to one sentence, have at it.

Maggie Brock has everything under control.  Even her divorce, though painful at the time, only registers as a minor blip in her carefully constructed universe. Her life in Prairie Oaks has once again returned to a smooth, predictable pace…until an angel shows up in her bedroom.
The angel is just as bewildered as Maggie about why he’s been sent to her, but their unsuccessful efforts to gain understanding of the mystery fade to the background as their relationship grows. Soon, Maggie’s biggest problem becomes the angel himself, as her feelings for him develop into something less than saintly.
While Maggie struggles to keep her desires pure, a nefarious being lurks in the shadows of Prairie Oaks, watching and waiting for the opportunity to fulfill his ambiguous purpose. Preying on her conflicted emotions, the demon manipulates her at every opportunity, but the one to deliver Maggie directly into his hands is the last person she’d expect.

P.S. I'm wretchedly sorry for being so bad about bopping around the blogs lately.  I'm in the middle of a big project at work that I hooope will lighten up next week.