Smoke & Mirrors and #AmWriting and A Death in the Family

It’s a silly blog title, isn’t it? Considering the gravity of the situation, I don’t mean to be blasé about it.

I moved to Florida a couple of years ago to be closer to my family. After I moved, I met a wonderful man who makes me ridiculously happy.

Me and My Darling, Handsome, Silly Man
Me and My Darling, Handsome, Silly Man

Ryan has an equally wonderful family who have welcomed me into their lives and for the most part everything has been… well… wonderful.

Except we’ve known for a long time that Ryan’s dad was terminally ill.

On New Year’s Day, Ryan’s sister found him collapsed and burning with fever. Since then, it’s been a roller-coaster of slow, painful decline as he passed through the final stages of liver cirrhosis.

Last night, that decline came to an end.

I’m sorry he was hurting so much. I’m sorry to see him go. I’m sorry for what it’s done to Ryan and Emily as they had to watch their daddy die by inches. But they got to spend time with him, and say their goodbyes. They got to tell him how much they loved him before he went.

Ryan, Fred and Emily
Ryan, Emily and Fred

I’m glad he’s no longer in pain.

I’ve spent a lot of time these last few months dropping everything to be as supportive as possible to this family. It’s been hard for me to sit by and see what it did to Fred, but even harder to see what it was doing to his kids. To the man I adore and want to spend the rest of my life with. It’s made it difficult for me to balance work and writing and everything else, but family comes first.

So I hope you’ll understand why it has taken me so long to get back on the road to publishing. Why it’s probably going to continue to take me some time to build back up some steam and get more books out.

But there will be more books. For as long as I have a keyboard available to me, I will always be writing something. Even if it isn’t meant for public consumption, even if it’s just to amuse myself, writing is my escape.

It’s publishing and marketing that takes more time, effort, and other resources than I currently have to spare.

However, I don’t want this situation to cast a total pall on my latest release.

Sometimes life is hard, sometimes it hurts, and sometimes bad things happen to good people. Life isn’t always about the good, but damn it, you need to keep soldiering on and living it anyway even when the ones you want to spend it with can’t always be there for you.

It’s taken a long time for me to get this story ready, but now that it is, I’m not going to hold it back–even though I might be taking a little more time than expected away from the social media and blog tours I usually tackle at release time. I need a little time to collect myself, so you may not see me being as vocal about this book as I usually am about my book releases–but don’t let my radio silence fool you. This story means a lot to me, and it’s one that’s very dear to my heart.

This book is dedicated to the man I love, the one who just lost his dad.

I hope you all fall in love with this story the way I fell in love with Ryan and his family. Unexpectedly, unabashedly, and with a dash of pulled heartstrings along the way.

Smoke and MirrorsSmoke and Mirrors

A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she’s just like all the other magi.

A dragon who sees through her lies.

Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.

Kimberly may wield ultimate cosmic power, but even a mage has to pay the rent. No one will hire her for her magic talents until she’s got the credentials, so she’s stuck in a crappy rent controlled apartment with her mother, yearning for treats she can’t afford at her part time job in a café, counting down the days until she graduates the secret Blackhollow Academy school for magi. Only then will she have the certificate she needs to land her dream job in a coven. 

The problem? She needs a familiar to graduate. 

As an illusionist, she doesn’t have the ability to summon or create a familiar of her own. Her only option is to convince a supernatural creature to let her bind it instead. Since having a powerful Other at her beck and call would guarantee her a place in a coven after she graduates—and legendary treasure hoards are an added bonus—she thinks binding a dragon as her familiar will solve all her problems…

Because sometimes a girl needs a dragon, not a knight.

Coming May 1st, 2016. Now available for pre-order from:

(Coming soon to print!)

On a related note, I know I have not really made mention of this one yet, but I will also be in another book in the near future. They are still looking for additional authors to jump on board, too! Pure Textuality presents…

AmWriting

#AmWriting – A Collection of Letters to Benefit the Wayne Foundation

On June 7, 2016, Pure Textuality PR will play publisher once again, this time as we release #amwriting, a charity publication to benefit The Wayne Foundation.
And now, we need YOU.

#amwriting will be a collection of letters written by authors to their fledgling-writer selves:
Knowing what you know now of writing, publishing, and putting your art out into the world, if you could go back to the day you sat down to start typing in your very first manuscript, what words would you offer to yourself? Words of encouragement? Words of advice? Caution against certain pitfalls? Would you change anything about how you got to where you are today?

The publishing community is so much bigger than it was before the self-publishing boom and it continues to grow exponentially every day. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a handbook or support group. The book is to provide words of encouragement or advice to those just starting out or those who have become discouraged in their art. At Pure Textuality PR, we believe in supporting each other as a community, and we felt this project would be a good way to bring writers together and maybe give some new artists just the right nudge to keep going.

100% of the net proceeds of #amwriting will go to benefit The Wayne Foundation, a charity dedicated to offering aid and services to young women victimized by illegal sexual exploitation and the sexual trafficking of minors. The Wayne Foundation was co-founded by Kevin Smith, writer, director, podcastic guru, and (as I’m sure you’re all *very* sick of hearing by now) my artistic hero.

DEADLINE FOR LETTERS: May 16, 2016
NO MINIMUM OR MAXIMUM WORD COUNT.

_About The Wayne Foundation __

cropped-header1

Mission Statement

The Wayne Foundation is committed to spreading awareness of CSEC (Commercial Sex Exploitation of Children) DMST (Domestic Minor Sexual Trafficking) occurring within the United States.

Vision Statement

The Wayne Foundation’s vision is for a world without child slavery. We are dedicated to providing direct assistance to those victimized by exploitation.

Drop in Center

The Wayne Foundation operates the third drop in center in Florida recognized by the Department of Children and Family Services. It is located in Charlotte County Florida, and serves clients throughout Southwest Florida. Our target clientele are young women aged 13-25. Our DIC is equipped to provide daily services that include, but are not limited to: Food, New Clothing, Access to Shower, Media Center, Mental Health Assistance, SNAP/ Medicare Benefit sign-up/renewal, Family Counseling, Education Assistance, and Transportation To and From the Center.

Shelter Services

The Wayne Foundation continues to have the goal of providing shelter services to young women victimized by exploitation or trafficking. This is our primary long term objective.
Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forget Waldo, I Found Gandalf. Also Garlic, and Chainmail For Your Boobs.

Over the weekend, I went to the Bay Area Renaissance Festival in Tampa. I had such a blast!

I’ll let the pictures explain.

Check it out, I found Gandalf!
Check it out, I found Gandalf!
Having a blast with my boyfriend's sister.
Having a blast with my boyfriend’s sister.
Those are some Cirque du Soleil-style shenanigans you're pulling off there, sir.
Those are some Cirque du Soleil-style shenanigans you’re pulling off there, sir.
This guy put's Jared Padelecki's hair to shame.
This guy puts Jared Padalecki’s hair to shame.
Source: http://www.aminoapps.com/page/supernatural/4984880/new-hair-commercial
Sorry Sam. Your hair has been outdone.
We also saw some great costumes out there!
We also saw some great costumes out there!
Isn't she perty?
Isn’t she perty?
Take me away to whatever fairy tale these people sprang from. Love those costumes.
Take me away to whatever fairy tale these people sprang from. Love those costumes.

I also enjoyed doing a little window shopping…

Silly fairies, stealing all dem brownies.
Silly fairies, stealing all dem brownies. I wish I knew who the vendor was, but I was a dummy and didn’t get one of their business cards.
Seriously though, how cool are these dishes?
Seriously though, how cool are these dishes? I think Yasmine Galenorn needs these in her life.
Same with these. Looka da shinies!
Same with these. Looka da shinies! From Waterhawk Creations.
Seriously, these things were works of art.
Seriously, these things were works of art.
Take a closer look. See what I mean?
Take a closer look. See what I mean?
Speaking of art, I am suddenly reminded of good times involving Cards Against Humanity and a lot of "Shut up, Hare!"
Speaking of art, I am suddenly reminded of good times involving Cards Against Humanity and a lot of “Shut up, Hare!”
"Take your chair with you!"
“Take your chair with you!” (Ahem, Stella, Mike, Julie.)

P.S. If you like that artwork, you should check out Deanna Davoli’s website. She has some really amazing prints, coffee mugs, jewelry, and more for sale.

I can't look at this and not think of Stella Price. I just can't.
I can’t look at this and not think of Stella Price. I just can’t.
CAM03734
Just like I can’t look at these without thinking of Leanna Renee Hieber.
Or these.
Or these.
But I'll take these for myself. Loves me some dragons.
But I’ll take these for myself. Loves me some dragons.
Or just this. *pets the precioussss*
Or just this. *pets the precioussss* You can order one of these, or one of the other pretties above, from Princessories.
Or, you know, I could get chainmail for my boobs. Some guys are into that.
Or, you know, I could get chainmail for my boobs. Some guys are into that. Get your own from Hair Flowers Etc.
At the end of the day, I think I'll stick with this.
At the end of the day, I think I’ll stick with this. Order your own tiara/necklace from Precious Plunder. Bluetooth behind-the-neck headphones not included.

I would be remiss if I left out the part about the garlic. I found a booth (silly me, not getting a picture of it) selling organic garlic products. Garlic seasonings, pickled garlic, garlic in olives, sauces–you name it. I’m usually hesitant about buying any package that uses the generic “spices” instead of spelling out exactly what the ingredients are thanks to my body going into meltdown mode whenever I have MSG, so I wasn’t going to buy anything from this booth. However, one of the ladies selling from it told me how they use all organic ingredients and that there is no MSG to be found, and even gave me a sample to see if I liked it.

Whoa, did I!

I used this…

Garli Garni Seasoning from Garlic Festival Foods
Garli Garni Seasoning from Garlic Festival Foods

…and produced this:

Steak, Sauteed Fennel, and Garlicy Roasted 3-Potato and Onion
Steak, Sauteed Fennel, and Garlicky Roasted 3-Potato and Onion

It tasted better than that picture looks. Which is kind of easy, my phone takes some crappy foodie photos. However, should you feel moved to duplicate my meal, here is how to do it.

Steak:

Ingredients: Thick cut of whatever type of steak you like (I prefer prime rib) left out of the fridge until at room temperature, salt and pepper, appx. 2 tblsp oil (I prefer sunflower – don’t use olive oil, it burns too easily)

Method: Important note before starting: At no point should you use a sharp, pointy object on your steak until after it is cooked and ready to be consumed. Until then, use tongs to handle and flip it.

Use an oven-safe skillet for this. Nothing with a non-stick coat or plastic/wooden handle or other thing that will kill you with toxic fumes and/or set your house on fire.  Stick your skillet in the oven and crank it up to 490°. Because 500° is just silly. Leave it in there at least 15 – 20 minutes, long enough for the oven to heat and the skillet to get hot all the way through.

While your skillet is heating, coat your steak in oil and add a little (I suggest coarse sea) salt and sprinkle liberally with pepper (fresh cracked, trust me, it makes a difference) on both sides. I’m serious, use more pepper than you think it needs, and use your fingers or a set of tongs to flip it over so you can get the other side. Trust me. I’m an expert.

Once your skillet has heated through, do not turn the oven off. Move the skillet to the stove top, put the heat on high, and toss the steak in.

Source: http://giphy.com/gifs/l7Ky808S5hA5O

Let it sear on one side until the edges start to come up a little, appx. 1 minute. Flip it over and sear the other side.

Next, put the skillet back in the oven (you didn’t turn it off, did you? Did you?!) and leave it in there for 2 minutes (you can turn the stove top off now). At the 2 minute mark, pull the skillet out and flip the steak, then put it back in there for another two minutes.

Pull out the steak, remove immediately to a plate (with tongs), and cover with tinfoil. Don’t you dare take a fork or knife to it yet. I’m watching you. Set a timer for 4 minutes. Now you can turn off the oven.

After 4 minutes, remove that tinfoil and take a bite out of some of the best damned steak you’ve ever tasted. See? I told you to trust me.

Sauteed Fennel:

Ingredients: 1 – 2 bulbs of fresh fennel, 1/4 – 1/2 medium onion, 2 – 4 tblsp butter, 2 – 4 tblsp olive oil, 1/4 – 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper to taste.

Chop fennel (if you’re not familiar how to prepare it, here’s a good tutorial, but don’t dice it) and onion into large, bite-sized pieces.

Melt butter in a skillet on the stove top on medium-high heat. Add olive oil before butter melts completely, and swirl to mix thoroughly. Toss in the fennel and onion, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Add the water and reduce the heat to low, and cover (you can use tinfoil). Let simmer this way for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the cover and turn up the heat to medium-ish, just to work off any excess moisture and maybe brown it a little. This shouldn’t take more than 4 – 5 minutes.

Garlicky Roasted Potatoes and Onions:

While I used a NuWave Oven for these, of course you can do this in a regular oven, too.

Ingredients: Appx. 1/2 – 1Lb potatoes (I used a small bag of tri-coloreds from Trader Joe’s, but you can use whatever type you like–I suggest Russet [red skin] if you’re not sure), 1/2 – 3/4 med. onion, appx. 2 – 4 tblsp. olive oil, and some of that Garli Garni seasoning from Garlic Festival Foods. Order from Pat the Garlic Lady.

Method: Preheat your oven to 450°. Chop your potatoes and onion into bite-sized pieces. Put into a baking dish and coat with oil, sprinkle with seasoning, and then toss that puppy in the oven.

Stir halfway through cook time (appx. 15 minutes). Continue to roast until tender and golden brown. Total time should be about 30 minutes. You can test done-ness by sticking a fork in the potatoes. If it goes through nice and smooth, it’s done. If it doesn’t, give it a few more minutes.

(Note: If using a NuWave, first *fistbump* for awesome, second, adjust this to: use lowest rack, cook at 450 for 12 minutes and stir, then put it back in for another 12 minutes. Bam. Done.)

Bon appétit!

Posted in Cooking, Rants & Raves | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Forget Waldo, I Found Gandalf. Also Garlic, and Chainmail For Your Boobs.

This Is What A Conversation With My Friends Looks Like

This is an actual email conversation I had with SILENT CRAVINGS co-author, E. Blix.


Me: SUBJECT: I started H&W #7.

I R TEH EXCITE.

Also, ugh, I forgot how much of a fucking mess I had her come home to in the last book. FFS, I hate when I write myself into a corner.

E. Blix: *SCREAMING*

Me: O_O

E. Blix:

Me:

E. Blix:

Me:


We’re such bastions of maturity around here, eh? It is not unusual for us to hold entire conversations via LOLcat and GIFs. #profeshnul

Thus concludes this glimpse into the glamorous life of an author. Carry on.

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , | Comments Off on This Is What A Conversation With My Friends Looks Like

Happy Holidays! (Yes, I’m Alive. Yes, There Are More Books Coming.)

Happy Holidays to All My Fans!

It has been a long, busy year for me, and I know a lot of you have been patiently waiting for news about when you can expect another chapter in Shiarra’s adventures. The next book is in the works and I’ll have more news on that front for you after the new year.

Some of you have also asked about SILENT CRAVINGS. You can no longer find it in stores because the rights have reverted back to myself and the co-author, E. Blix. We’ll be re-releasing the book with a number of big changes. That’s right, the stripping werewolves are coming back, and with more jiggle than ever! Now with more fringe hobo vampires and a pack leader who wears Hello Kitty jammies.

On a more personal note, in the past two years I have moved across the country, and then moved again a couple more times after that. I’m all settled in now and things are going great! I have a wonderful man in my life who makes me ridiculously happy. I’ve discovered a love of baking, caught up on some long-overdue reading material (I strongly recommend CHARMING by Elliott James and FULL BLOODED by Amanda Carlson), and finished a draft of a new project.

That leads in to that holiday surprise I’ve been promising on social media…

Smoke and Mirrors

A girl who uses her illusions to fool the world into thinking she’s just like all the other magi.

A dragon who sees through her lies.

Together they just might survive a world that wants to control or destroy them both.

Coming Spring 2016

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Happy Holidays! (Yes, I’m Alive. Yes, There Are More Books Coming.)

2015 Coastal Magic Convention Recap and Giveaway

Coastal Magic Banner

This convention was a blast! I wanted to give a quick shout-out to everyone who bought raffle tickets. The money raised from the charity raffle baskets went to Habitat For Humanity, and it looks like Coastal Magic raised $431 this year. Rock on!

If you don’t want to sort through all my pics and ramblings about the con, you can skip down to the bottom of the post for the giveaways.

The Convention

It was so wonderful seeing so many awesome friends again and making new ones over the course of the con!

Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic Coastal Magic

Plus the views in Daytona were spectacular.

The Beach
The Beach
The Only Kind of Snowman You Will Ever Encounter In Florida
The Only Kind of Snowman You Will Ever Encounter In Florida
A Random Sand Sculpture
A Random Sand Sculpture
The View From My Hotel Room
The View From My Hotel Room

Anyway, I’m sure you’d rather hear more about how the con itself went, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

Thursday

Thursday night was primarily for the featured bloggers and authors to get together. The speed dating was entertaining, and I had a chance to circulate and meet a few new-to-me authors.

Coastal Magic - Author Speed Dating
Coastal Magic – Author Speed Dating

Friday

On Friday, I started my day with an early panel on Non-“Others” (with fellow authors Chudney Thomas, Kiernan Kelly and Jordan K. Rose) where I think I may have lamented a bit too much about my need for coffee.

[Non-Others Panel] Kiernan Kelly, Me, Jordan K Rose, Chudney Thomas [with mods Chelle Olson and Carol Malcolm]
[Non-Others Panel] Kiernan Kelly, Me, Jordan K Rose, Chudney Thomas [with mods Chelle Olson and Carol Malcolm]
Next up was the Bite Me! panel (with fellow authors Terry Spear, Amanda Carlson, Stephanie Julian, Molly Harper, and Jan DeLima). I’m pretty sure I terrified a few people in the audience with my, “RAWR, JESS WILL HULKSMASH BOOKS WITH ______ TROPE” declarations. Again, I blame the lack of coffee.

[Bite Me Panel] Jan DeLima, Amanda Carlson, Molly Harper, Me, Stephanie Julian and Terry Spear
[Bite Me Panel] Jan DeLima, Amanda Carlson, Molly Harper, Me, Stephanie Julian and Terry Spear
I enjoyed the 1001 Dark Nights Q&A with authors Larissa Ione, Carrie Ann Ryan, Donna Grant, Elisabeth Naughton, Lexi Blake, Christopher Rice, and Julie Kenner.

1001 Dark Nights Q&A Panel
1001 Dark Nights Q&A Panel

That night, we had the long-awaited Cinema Craptastique Bad Movie Tweetup of The Legend of Hercules (2014 version starring Kellan Lutz and Gaia Weiss).

The Legend of Hercules

That movie was every bit the cinematic turd it was promised to be (hint: it has a 3% critic score/34% audience score rating on Rotten Tomatoes), and the resulting tweets were glorious. Of course, Damon Suede made a lovely, gracious, pantsless host, so I strongly recommend you come to Coastal Magic sometime to experience the full glory of his MST3K-style movie commentary. Not to mention his excellent taste in boxers.

Cinema Craptastique - And The Pants Come Off
Cinema Craptastique – And The Pants Come Off

Saturday

On Saturday, I enjoyed listening to Eric R. Asher, Vaughn R. Demont, Elliott James and Christopher Rice speak in the Man Up panel.

Man Up Panel
Man Up Panel

After that, Damon Suede, Lucienne Diver, Kiernan Kelly, Nancy Holzner, Lisa Kessler, Alivia Anders and Jeffe Kennedy had me in stitches with their off-the-cuff Flash Fiction panel just before the signing.

Flash Fiction Panel
Flash Fiction Panel

The book signing itself was fun and busy!

Coastal Magic Book Signing - The View From My Seat
Coastal Magic Book Signing – The View From My Seat
My book signing table buddy, Molly Harper, smiles for the camera. (PSA: Read her books. Seriously. Stop reading this post and go get them now. They're amazing. I'll wait.)
My book signing table buddy, Molly Harper, smiles for the camera. (PSA: Read her books. Seriously. Stop reading this post and go get them now. They’re amazing. I’ll wait.)

That night we had the mixer. I fortified myself beforehand.

Protip: If you're visiting Daytona, swing by Mai Tai's for a peach elixir martini. You won't be sorry.
Protip: If you’re visiting Daytona, swing by Mai Tai’s for a peach elixir martini. You won’t be sorry.

Sunday

Sunday was the last day of the con. It started out for me with the Kick-Ass Heroines panel (with fellow authors Paige Tyler, Christina Farley, Tawdra Kandle, Lucienne Diver and Julie Kenner). I didn’t end up getting any pics of this one.

My weekend ended on a bingo-laden note at the meet and greet (with fellow authors Eric R. Asher, Tere Michaels, and Kait Ballenger).

Meet & Greet
Meet & Greet

Now… on to the giveaway!

U.S. Only Giveaway

I brought back a ton of swag and books for you, my lovely readers! Be sure to follow and thank these authors for signing their books just for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

** Signed by the author

The above prizes will come with an official Coastal Magic 2015 swag bag. In addition to the books, the winner will receive bookmarks, pins, coasters, candy, etc., from authors like Elisabeth Naughton, Tigris Eden, Jordan K. Rose, Hildie McQueen, Olivia Gaines, Carrie Ann Ryan, and more!

(Sorry, no international entries as costs of shipping outside the U.S. are prohibitive.)

NOTE: Winners have 72 hours to reply to their notification email with a mailing address. After 72 hours, if no reply is received, a new winner will be chosen.

Please be kind, pay it forward, and tell your friends who couldn’t make it to the con about these special giveaways so they can play along at home, too!

Posted in Contests & Giveaways, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Friday Funnies – Shiarra Waynest Talks About New Year Resolutions

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra and her friends are going to discuss her New Year Resolutions.  Over to you, Shia!

______________

Sara: Ha! Since when is Alec Royce your friend? I thought he scared the daylights out of you.

Shiarra: He does.

Royce: Do I really? How intriguing.

Shiarra: Yeah. See, you creep me the fu—

Sara: Ahem!

Shiarra: . . . err. Yeah. I hardly consider us bosom buddies.

Royce: Interesting choice of words, Ms. Waynest.

Shiarra: Hey! That’s not what I meant. See, if you don’t stop acting creepy like that, I don’t know how I could ever consider you a friend.

Royce: Why not? I’ve done more for you than that fleabag who shadows you.

Sara: That’s not very nice.

Royce: I never claimed I was nice. I’m simply stating a fact.

Shiarra: Okay, first of all, that “fleabag” is—was—my boyfriend, so of course he spent time with me. Second of all, Chaz does not have fleas.

Royce: No? Would “tick-infested” be more accurate? Those werewolves do like to spend their time wandering in the woods, I hear.

Shiarra: Ugh. That is the last thing I want to think about when it comes to someone I slept with. You don’t have to rub it in. I’m already kicking myself enough for making that mistake.

Royce: As you should be.

Shiarra: Man, what is your problem tonight? Why are you so mean?

Sara: He’s a vampire. I think that means he automatically turns into a grouchy old man in a young guy’s body.

Royce: If that wasn’t such an apt description, I might have taken offense.

Sara: . . . thanks?

Shiarra: Anyway, we’re here to talk about making a resolution for New Year’s. My resolution is going to be to spend less time with pervy, manipulative vampires.

Royce: I’m hardly a pervert, Ms. Waynest. I simply enjoy watching you squirm.

Shiarra: Ew!

Sara: Oh, yuck! I’m with Shia on this one. You are being gross.

Royce: My, you two are squeamish. I had no idea you were as affected by me as Shiarra, Ms. Halloway.

Sara: Affected? Don’t you mean “totally creeped out by?”

Royce: Perhaps. It’s not like I haven’t sensed desire from you both at one point or another.

Shiarra: One. More. Word. Just give me a reason to smack you.

Royce: Ah, that’s right. Our contract does give you certain liberties. It would be an interesting experiment to see how you fare without your stakes.

Shiarra: Stop talking dirty and maybe we won’t have a reason to resort to violence, Mr. Pervy-McPerv-Pants.

Sara: On topic, I think your resolution should be never to use “Pervy-McPerv-Pants” in a sentence ever again.

Shiarra: Gee, thanks.

Sara: My resolution is going to be to take more insurance work. The pay is better.

Shiarra: What? That’s not much of a resolution.

Sara: Yeah, well. You keep bitching about me paying to keep the company afloat, so.

Shiarra: There, that should be your resolution. No more money out of your own pocket to pay the company’s bills.

Royce: Ladies, might I remind you this is a public forum? It might not look very good to prospective customers if they know your business is in such dire straits.

Shiarra: Considering what’s been in the papers, I’m not sure that it will come as much of a surprise to anyone. Anyway, you’re right. Back on topic!

Sara: What about you, Royce? What kind of New Year’s resolution does a vampire make?

Royce: I’m not sure that I need to. It’s not something I’ve paid much mind to. Though it dates back to an ancient Roman custom, the manner of its celebration has changed over the years. Originally, one was meant to ask the god Janus for forgiveness for their past transgressions and for the god’s blessings for the coming year. At the time, the people made promises to do something to better themselves or their families on a more personal or spiritual level. It didn’t even take place in December—it was sometime in the spring. March, if I recall correctly. The fad of choosing to diet and whatnot instead has only gained momentum in the last, oh, fifty years or so.

Sara: Hey, that reminds me. I want to lose ten pounds this year.

Royce: . . . why do I bother?

Shiarra: Hey, I’ve got it! Maybe your resolution this year should be to stop being such a snarky asshole.

Royce: I’ll take that under advisement.

______________

Do you lovelies have any New Year’s resolutions this year?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ’em now!

Posted in Friday Funnies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Friday Funnies – Shiarra Waynest Talks About New Year Resolutions

Friday Funnies – The H&W Gang Talk About What They Do On New Year’s Day

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra and her friends are going to talk about how they spend their New Year’s day.  Over to you, Shia!

______________

Chaz: New Year’s day?  I love going to see the latest blockbuster to hit the theaters.

Sara: I like going to Rockefeller Park to go ice skating.

Arnold:  Yikes.  I’d probably fall and break my ass.

Sara:  That’s okay, sweetie.  You can watch me for a bit, and then we can go get some hot chocolate and snuggle.

Royce:  Ugh.

Shiarra:  I think this year I’m going to go to the Museum of Modern Art.  I haven’t gone there in a while.

Arnold:  Oh, oh, I want to see the Tim Burton exhibit!  Do they still have it?

Sara:  I hope they do, that sounds like fun!

Chaz:  Awesome!

Shiarra:  Man, I can’t wait.  Looking forward to waking up to a beautiful sunrise, a nifty parade, and—

Royce:  Do you mind?

Shiarra:  . . . excuse me?

Sara:  Oh.  OH.  Yeah, Shia, that wasn’t nice.

Chaz:  What, sunrise?

Royce:  Yes, you insensitive cretin.

Shiarra:  Oh, please.  This isn’t about you.

Royce:  Then why am I here?

Chaz:  Because we like to see you suffer?

Sara:  Wow, that was cold.

Royce:  Honestly.

Shiarra:  Come on, you don’t do something special on New Year’s?  Even if it isn’t during the day, sun shining, birds singing in the trees . . .

Royce:  Ms. Waynest, if you keep this up, I’m going to be forced to do something to make your New Year’s day one you’ll never forget.

Everyone:  . . .

Shiarra:  . . . what?

Chaz:  Are you hitting on my girlfriend?

Royce:  What?  That was a threat, you idiot!

Shiarra:  That was really creepy.  In a pervy way.

Royce:  That just goes to show where your mind is when it comes to me.

Chaz:  I dislike your tone.

Shiarra: I dislike him.  Period.

Royce:  Somehow I doubt that.

Shiarra:  Violently.  Dislike you.  Violently.

Sara:  Hey, pervy vamp man?

Royce:  Don’t call me that.

Sara:  Are you being grumpy because you’ll be spending New Year’s day alone?

Royce:  Hardly.

Arnold:  Oooh, think you touched a sore point there.

Chaz:  He should spend it alone.  Who the hell wants to share a coffin with a leech?

Royce:  I’m not about to share my list of conquests in a public forum, but if you want to compare notes later—

Shiarra:  I don’t think so.

Chaz: But honey—

Shiarra:  NO.

Royce:  *smirks*

Chaz:  You and me, buddy.  Later.

Royce:  I’m looking forward to it, dog.

Shiarra:  . . . ew.

______________

Er, ew.  Okay, what about you, folks?  How are you planning to spend your New Year’s day?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ’em now!

Posted in Friday Funnies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Friday Funnies – The H&W Gang Talk About What They Do On New Year’s Day

Friday Funnies – The H&W Gang Discuss Their Christmas Plans

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! This was originally written as a guest post for the Christmas holiday in 2012. Remember when everyone was freaking out about the world ending because the Mayan calendar was also ending? Shiarra is here with some of her friends (and otherwise) to tell you about it. Over to you, Shia!

______________

Shiarra: Well, we’re still here, so I guess the Mayans got it wrong.

Royce: Actually, the event had more to do with new beginnings than death.

Chaz: How would you know, dead man?

Royce: It’s called research. You might want to try it if you can tear yourself away from the gym once in a while, dog.

Chaz: You son of a—

Sara: Ahem. It’s almost Christmas. We’re supposed to be filled with good cheer right now. Hint, hint.

Arnold: Hey, I’m filled with good cheer. This is pretty entertaining.

Shiarra: No kidding.

Sara: Blood spatter and flying fur isn’t very festive.

Shiarra: Maybe it is for vampires and werewolves. Hey, we’ve got one of each here. Why don’t we ask them?

Chaz: You never used to take that sarcastic tone with me before.

Royce: Clearly you have not spent enough time around her.

Arnold: Man, I never dated her, and even I know she’s a walking punch line.

Shiarra: Hey!

Sara: Can’t argue with that.

Shiarra: Oh, come on.

Chaz: I never thought you were a walking punch line.

Shiarra: That’s great. You’re still an ass.

Chaz: What?

Royce: Ms. Waynest, if you would take five minutes to stop and think about your actions instead of rushing headlong into things, perhaps you would not have such terrible luck in your affairs—personal and otherwise.

Sara: Shush. That makes sense, and you know that’s taboo territory around here.

Arnold: You know you’ve got problems when the big, bad vampire is the voice of reason.

Shiarra: I hate you all so very much right now.

Arnold: Hey, where’s your Christmas spirit?

Shiarra: Left it in my other purse.

Chaz: Since the world didn’t end, maybe we could do something to celebrate.

Shiarra: Oh, yeah, like I’m going to be caught dead going anywhere with you.

Chaz: You’re here, aren’t you?

Shiarra: This is different.

Sara: Yeah. No interviews means no money to keep the biz afloat. Don’t want H&W Investigations going under, you know. We’ve got a secretary’s Christmas bonus to pay and all that.

Arnold: You know, I’ve been thinking. How are you guys going to celebrate the holidays without your families? I mean, being on the run and all.

Royce: And you lot call me the cold, callous one.

Arnold: Shut up, fangs.

Royce: Watch your tone, spark. Don’t test me.

Sara: Stop it, you two. Anyway, I guess Arnold has a valid question.

Shiarra: Like we need him rubbing it in. It’s not my fault the cops are after us!

Sara: Ahem.

Shiarra: . . . okay, maybe it is my fault.

Chaz: If you’d stayed with me, you wouldn’t be in so much trouble.

Royce: If she had stayed with you—

Shiarra: If you finish that thought, I am going to do something very un-Christmas spirit-y to you.

Arnold: Scary.

Royce: How interesting. I think that’s the first time you’ve threatened me in quite some time.

Chaz: Keep looking at her like that, and it’s not the only threat you’ll have to deal with tonight.

Sara: Um. I don’t think the fangs and fur are allowed here, Chaz.

Shiarra: Whatever. I’m so done with these guys.

Sara: No kidding. Someone’s not getting that Doctor Who Limited Edition Giftset he asked for on his Christmas wishlist if he doesn’t ease back on the throttle.

Arnold: What? You got—holy crap, no way! That’s sold out everywhere!

Sara: Yep. It would be a shame if you didn’t get it this year. Honey.

Arnold: Blackmail! Not fair! I was behaving!

Sara:  Ahem.

Arnold: Okay, okay. I’m sorry.

Sara: Not to me.

Arnold: Sorry, Shia.

Shiarra: Yeah, whatever.

Arnold: Come on, man! This is the top item from my wishlist on the line!

Shiarra:  Cry me a freakin’ river.

Sara: Ahem. Shia.

Shiarra: Okay, fine. Apology accepted.

Royce: You are such children.

Chaz: I think you’re just mad because the mage didn’t have to apologize to you.

Royce: As Ms. Waynest so succinctly put it—“whatever.”

Shiarra: Don’t do that. It’s creepy.

Arnold: Man, everyone’s filled with holiday cheer tonight.

Sara: ‘Tis the season to be snarky. I think it’s time we retire to the very spiked eggnog.

Shiarra: Seconded. Let’s go open some presents. I could use some consumerism spirit right about now.

Arnold: Hell to the yes.

Chaz: Hope there’s something under that tree for me.

Shiarra: Sure. A giant lump of coal with your name on it.

Chaz: That’s not very funny.

Royce: Actually, I agreed with Ms. Waynest. We both thought it was amusing. I even had your name inscribed on it.

Arnold: If I wasn’t so afraid of you, I’d fistbump you so hard right now.

Shiarra: Having a vamp in your pocket comes in handy now and then. Merry Christmas, people. Sleep tight. Don’t let the vamps or Weres bite.

______________

Looks like Chaz got just what he deserved under the Christmas tree. What about you? What do you hope to find under your tree this year?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ’em now!

Posted in Friday Funnies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Friday Funnies – The H&W Gang Discuss Their Christmas Plans

Friday Funnies – Shiarra Waynest Talks About Her Christmas Wish-List

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra is going to tell you a little bit about what she wants for Christmas.  Over to you, Shia!

______________

Shiarra:  This one is easy.  I want one of those nifty sunglasses that are also MP3 players and spy cameras!

Sara:  Really?  Those are so cheesy, though.

Shiarra:  I know.  It’s perfect.

Arnold:  I want that Hayao Miyazaki boxed set.

Chaz:  Was that English?

Arnold:  It’s a DVD boxed set!  It comes with Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke

Royce:  Cartoons?  Really?

Arnold:  It’s anime.  They’re not just “cartoons”—it’s art.

Chaz:  Uhm.  I’m with the vampire on this one.

Arnold:  Says the guy who reads DC comics when he’s not trying to be a Schwarzenegger impersonator.

Shiarra:  Back in the land of adults . . .

Sara:  Don’t worry, sweetie, I’ll get you your DVDs.

Arnold:  Yay!  And a “This Land” T-shirt.

Sara:  Err.  Sure.

Shiarra:  What do you want, Sara?  I need to get started on my shopping.

Sara:  Cripes, you really put it off to the last minute there.  Get me that Godiva chocolate truffle gift box again, that was amazing.  None of that See’s crap, though, that stuff is nasty.

Shiarra:  Aw, man.  See’s is awesome.  And cheap.

Sara:  Heathen.

Chaz:  I need a new set of weights.  I broke my last set.

Shiarra:  . . . I am not even going to ask how that is possible.

Arnold:  The vampire is being very quiet.  Should we be worried?

Royce:  I don’t see much reason to get involved in this immature banter.

Shiarra:  Is the big bad vampire too good for Christmas or what?

Royce:  I have seen the passing of too many winter solstice fads to feel a need to participate.

Shiarra:  You don’t buy anything?  You don’t give your employees a Christmas bonus?  What kind of Scrooge are you?!

Royce:  I never said I didn’t participate on any level.  I’m hardly that heartless.

Arnold:  Could’ve fooled us.

Royce:  I do give my employees plenty of time off around the holidays, as well as bonuses and gifts.  People would hardly want to work with me if that wasn’t the case.

Chaz:  I’m surprised anyone wants to work with you to begin with.  Are the gifts supposed to make up for 24-7 blood breath?

Shiarra:  Oh, ew.  I didn’t even think of that.  I thought you were going to say something about being forced to work under duress and pain of biting or something.

Royce:  Gods.  What do you people take me for?

Arnold:  An evil, soulless vampire with no morals to speak of.

Shiarra:  Except when it’s convenient!

Royce:  . . . I must concede your point.  However, I still don’t celebrate Christmas, personally.  I can see why others get involved, but it holds no interest for me.

Sara:  Oh, come on.  There must be something you want.  Money doesn’t buy everything.  Believe me, I know.

Royce:  *looks at Shiarra*

Shiarra:  AUGH.  Okay, that’s it!  We’re done!

______________

What about you?  What’s on your Christmas wish-list?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ’em now!

Posted in Friday Funnies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Friday Funnies – Shiarra Waynest Talks About Her Christmas Wish-List

Friday Funnies – The H&W Team Talk About Whether They’ve Been Naughty or Nice This Year

H&W Covers

I’ve decided to revamp the Friday Funnies and re-post the guest posts I’ve written for blog tours and such. I may sneak in a few new ones here and there. Since some of the blogs I originally wrote these for have disappeared I thought it might be a good idea to save and re-share the posts here.

I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably familiar with my characters by now, so I’ll save you the chore of reading through my intros. For anyone who stumbles across this who is not familiar, basic info on the characters can be found here, a funnier idea of who they are (in GIFs) can be found here, and a book list/buy links can be found here. All character interviews will be tagged that way so they’re easy to find on the blog.

Now–on with the shenanigans! Shiarra is going to tell you a little bit about whether she and her friends are getting gifts or coal in their stockings this Christmas. Over to you, Shia!

______________

Shiarra:  Okay, I’m here, and—WHOA.

Chaz:  Do you like it?

Arnold:  What the hell is that?

Chaz:  It’s a reindeer antler headband.  With some added tinsel.  And bells.  I liked the Christmas lights.  You press a button here and it either blinks or stays solidly lit—

Royce:  Can I leave on the grounds that this is too ridiculous for anyone with an ounce of dignity to endure?

Sara:  No.  If we have to put up with it, so do you.

Shiarra:  Honey, could you maybe put those away for a while?

Chaz:  But… *puppy dog eyes*

Shiarra:  Err…

Sara:  Good god, you guys.

Arnold:  I thought I was overdoing it with the Santa hat.  Yeesh.

Shiarra:  Man, and I thought today’s topic was going to be uncomfortable.

Arnold:  Hey, I like this topic.  Put me on the naughty list!  I want some of that Santa’s coal bubble gum in my stocking this year.

Sara:  You’re so ridiculous, sweetie.

Arnold:  I know.

Sara:  I was good.  I didn’t throttle my sister or let any of my clients or any of the people I was investigating get away with fraud or infidelity.

Shiarra:  I was sort of good.  Does it count if I broke a law or two because I had no choice?

Arnold:  Beats me.

Royce:  I suppose it may depend upon the circumstances and what you did.  I can speculate, but I’d be curious to hear what laws you believe you have broken.

Shiarra:  Yeeeeeeah—no.

Chaz:  Don’t worry, love, I don’t care what you did.  Anyway, I think I was pretty good this year.  I helped save some lives, tore apart some vampires…

Royce:  That’s not a rousing endorsement in my book.

Shiarra:  But it is in mine.  Keep up the good work, honey!

Chaz:  You got it, babe.

Royce:  I almost wish it was possible for me to be ill.  Ugh.

Arnold:  You are such a Grinch.

Shiarra:  No coal bubble gum in your stocking, mister.  You get the real deal.

Sara:  No kidding.  I’d toss in a few stakes and garlic cloves for good measure.

Royce:  Just try it, children.  I might have a few solstice surprises in store for you.

Arnold:  I don’t think anyone is interested in what kind of surprises you’ve got planned.

Royce:  Of course not.  The only times I ever see any of you are when you wish to steal something that belongs to me or when you come crawling to me for assistance.  I’m getting rather tired of this farce.

Shiarra:  You complain too much.  Are you trying to distract us from whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year?

Royce:  What?  Of course not.  I think it’s rather obvious where I fall upon the spectrum of morality.

Shiarra:  I don’t know.  You’re scary and occasionally mean, but sometimes you do nice things.  You donate to charities and you helped me a couple of times when you didn’t have anything to gain, even if it was in a really weird way.  I think you’re nicer than you’d like people to think.

Royce:  I have my reasons for acting as I do.

Arnold:  Such as?

Royce:  Cultivating donors isn’t a task done overnight.  Gaining the trust of a human that fears me—such as Ms. Waynest—is an endeavor that takes time and patience.  The payout is what makes the hunt worthwhile.

Shiarra:   . . . okay, I could’ve gone my whole life not knowing that.

Chaz:  Don’t worry, love, I won’t let him touch you.

Royce:  Don’t be too quick to make promises you cannot keep.  You might end up on that naughty list, after all.

Shiarra:  I am all kinds of done with this topic.

Sara:  Naughty list.  The vamp is definitely on the naughty list.

Royce:  As if there was ever any doubt.

______________

So what about you? Is Santa going to put you on his naughty or nice list this year?

If you’ve never heard of my books and want more info, head to the main page of my website for news on the latest deals, the reading order, etc. Or you can support more of this silliness by buying ’em now!

Posted in Friday Funnies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Friday Funnies – The H&W Team Talk About Whether They’ve Been Naughty or Nice This Year