Saturday, March 31, 2012
Some of you may know...
I was running a couple of little contests here on the blog. I really want to thank all of you who participated! Using random.org, I entered all of your names into a cyber hat (well, I numbered you based on when you entered and then entered you in random.org...you get the idea...)
The winner of the ARC of Lips of Velvet is...
Carolyn, I will email your ARC over to you today!
The winner of the $20 Amazon giftcard is...
I will email you your giftcard later today!
Congrats to you both and thanks everyone for entering :)
And...since I have another release coming up in another month...
Keep your eye out for more chances to win! And if you didn't win Lips of Velvet, please remember you can pick up a copy from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks or Bookstrand!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Guest blog from the fantastic Nora Snowdon!!
There is a major conspiracy happening in Hollywood and, whether due to political correctness or just indifference, the media is not reporting it. I, myself, had no clue until I began my intensive research for my recent novel, Love at First Sniff. Once I started studying werewolves, the evidence was impossible to ignore.
Werewolves have taken over Hollywood. At first I thought it was a coincidence that an increasing number of gorgeous werewolves were turning up in movies and television shows. After all, other fictional characters—vampires, zombies, witches, etc., were also enjoying a resurgence. But then I realized these other ridiculous creatures were just red herrings concealing the true purpose behind these shows—human inculcation into the werewolf culture. Presenting werewolves as sexy lovable characters is the first step in normalizing their behaviors.
Look closely at some of the top movers in L.A. and tell me you don’t see the canine resemblance. George Lucas and James Cameron both produce epics about cultures clashing, drawing on their own experiences as Lycans trying to fit in with the humans they live amongst. And the very fact that they’ve never denied their werewolf heritage proves my point.
Now I am very much a believer in a world where all cultures can co-exist peacefully, but I also feel that the public has a right to know when a particular group of people (or werewolves) are pushing their agenda in the guise of entertainment. We need to stand up against werewolf propaganda and return Hollywood to its rightful position as a mindless shell for product placement. Just say “No!” to werewolves in the movie industry.
Well…unless someone wishes to film my werewolf romantic comedy, Love at First Sniff…
Read more about Nora Snowdon at www.norasnowdon.com
Available now where all fine e-books are sold (Click the bookseller to find it)
Back Cover Preview:
Rosie has met the man of her dreams... Or could it really be her nightmares? After fabulous sex, he suddenly disappears. He re-enters her life in time for her to discover he's being forced into a shotgun wedding.
Lucas finds in Rosie everything he's ever wanted in a mate. Only problem is, she's human. His werewolf parents want him to marry a nice girl with a fur coat, but the woman they've chosen is a bitch in more ways than one. When his fiancée Annabelle accidently bites Rosie she is thrown into a whole new fuzzy lifestyle.
If Lucas can just downplay the negative aspects of being a werewolf - fleas, the desire to chase motorcycles, and Uncle Harold - maybe he can convince Rosie that Annabelle's bite is actually a good thing. Now that she too is a werewolf, they can be together.
Can Lucas win back the love of his life? Can Rosie love a man who moonlights as a wolf? A sexy comedy that will have you howling...
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Yes, it is a cover art reveal day!!
*throws confetti and petit fours*
Oops. Sorry. Guess throwing tiny cakes at you is messy. Ignore that. The pool boy will clean it up.
*claps hands* Heya, Handsome, clean-up on aisle four. And what did I tell you about wearing a shirt? Take that off. Thanks, studly. The gals like to see your sweat drenched pecs.
Now that the pool boy is properly dressed for the occasion, here is the cover art for my sexy new story, coming soon from Rebel Ink Press, Accidental Pirate.
Okay, is the guy not delicious on this cover?
I love his eyes. *swoons*
But that is fitting for my Sterling.
Not sure who Sterling is? Oh, he is a captain or at least he WAS a captain till his ship gets taken by the lovely, red hot mess Jamie.
Guess it would be easier to give you the blurb.
Hangover, check. Ship, check. Hot babe, check.
Sterling McCabe woke up to a lovely lady pirate stealing his ship. What he didn't plan on was the assault she would make on his heart.
Jamie Ashley stumbled over a priceless necklace. What she didn't plan on was stealing the very sexy Sterling McCabe's ship in a mad dash for American waters.
Constantly battling their attraction, Jamie and Sterling are in for a rough ride. Jamie yearns for the affection of the beguiling Sterling while McCabe is desperate to slake the raw desire for his little pirate.
Boat chases, wild friends and a sea tempest create the perfect storm of sexual tension...
Yeah, it is a fun little title and I can't wait to share it with you!
But before you get to read Pirate, we have a guest coming tomorrow!! The clever and lovely Nora Snowdon (writer of elegant smut) is stopping by the blog tomorrow to tell us about her new Rebel Ink Press release, Love at First Sniff. It is on my TBR pile...it sounds awesome.
Okay, enjoy the pool boy and the tiny cakes.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Today, my friend and fellow author, Buffy Christopher (check out her website here) posted that it was Diabetes Alert Day.
I figured, in honor of this day, I would share something a little personal with you blogophiles.
My mom recently dropped about a hundred pounds and lost a bunch of hair and I didn't know what caused it. I thought maybe stress. My kids, who visit her overnight upon occasion, said that she was still eating normally when I wasn't around and she was eating when I took her out so I didn't know what was up but I knew it wasn't cool and that she needed to see a doctor.
She has no insurance. She isn't rich. She didn't want to go and fall into a sinkhole of debt.
So I took her to my sister's house in Pennsylvania for a week.
My sister, a diabetic herself, recognized something that I didn't see. So she tested my mom's blood sugar.
My mom, in the week that we were in PA, ranged around 500.
Today, she and I visited a doctor that didn't require insurance and found out the expected. She is a Type 2 diabetic.
My mom has now started treatment and will be following up but she is not the only one going through something like this. I attached the cool chart that Buffy found as a picture for anyone who thinks they may have symptoms or who just read what I said about my mom and thought...hey, that sounds like me!
There are three types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood. Gestational diabetes is what many pregnant mothers face. And then there is Type 2, which is what my mom is dealing with.
Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with Type 2. It means either your body isn't producing enough insulin or your body is ignoring the insulin you are producing so the cells are basically starving. (The doc today even described my mom as malnourished due to it.)
Glucose is the food for the cells, what keeps them alive. The body normally breaks down sugars into glucose to feed the cells. In diabetics, the sugar is just kind of hanging out in the bloodstream rather than going to the cells. (This is all from what I understand of today.)
Again, if you think you may have symptoms, get checked. If you want to learn more, check out
It isn't something that you can put off.
Celebrate this holiday with me. Let's spread awareness and save lives.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Lately, I have felt...impatient.
I have multiple books coming out (something years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of.) Even one year ago, my confidence level wasn't to a point that I would have believed that I could be not only a multi-published author but a multi-published author in more than one house.
Yeah, I've done that. I should be super duper proud of me.
Instead, lately I have been impatient. I haven't gotten things done as fast as I want them done. Yes, as an author I comprehend publishing schedules...that isn't it. (Although having five contracts signed and under my belt before March is over...feels pretty darn good.) I want more.
So before 9am this morning, I buzzed off another query on one of the stories still floating uncontracted in my harddrive. Yes, there are a few. There are a few more WIPs.
I set an unrealistic goal this year for myself, or so it seemed when I set it. I wanted to contract a book a month for 2012.
I know that a writer has no control over publishers. Even if you write the best book ever written, there is no guarantee that someone is going to shoot you a contract on it.
But I wanted to see if I COULD push myself outside my box and force myself not just to write but to send out what I wrote without painfully gnashing my teeth for months over it.
Write it...two crit partners...edit it...out the door.
For a control freak, that was like saying, "Just dive out of the plane without the parachute. No big deal."
That it has worked so far is leaving me...
Restless. If I can do that, it seems like I should be doing more.
I'm not sure exactly what MORE I want.
I have a long list of goals I wrote myself for 2012. You see, this is the year I turn 35. After two strokes, I realized awhile ago, I might not have forever to do the things I want to do. 35 was a magical number in my head. I was supposed to have a bunch done by 35 since it meant I was officially closer to 40 than 20. (I know, my idea of math skills is sort of wonky. But you can't pretend to be close to 20something when you are closer to 40...so...)
The list was something like this:
1. A contract a month for each month of 2012
So far so good...I have a small buffer, even. My impatience has me firing off queries still. Hence my 9am query letter.
2. Become okay with my body
This one was weird. I wouldn't mind losing weight. Even if I don't lose weight, I comprehend that I am not Igor and that there are those who find what I got hot. But so long as I was getting in my own way, so long as I wasn't okay with what I saw in the mirror, it is a weakness. I have been working on believing that I am beautiful, sexy, desirable. And...uh...it is a process. I have gotten to the point that I don't make faces at myself in the mirror anymore or look at my ass and gag. Not bad progress for almost April but I was hoping it was more of an overnight thing.
3. Sustain my ability to stay home with the kids.
I managed to make it home with them for the first time in their lives. Now...to stay here.
I have had two really lame goals for most of my life. I have said, since I was a freakin teenager, I want to see the ocean and desert before I die. I have traveled from San Antonio to Toronto, from Colorado (and stood on the Rockies and looked out at the world) to the hills of West Virginia and yet...
Still no oceans or deserts. It is like Fate is up there grinning at me..."You can get close but not quite there...not yet."
5. Be willing to fall in love.
Not fall in love...I wasn't putting a goal on love. Love comes when it wants to. I just wanted to get into a place where the idea wasn't terrifying. Right now, I'm still not there. Love means giving up control (something I suck at.) Love means being willing to trust that person with your heart and know they will probably break it. Love means throwing that parachute into the wind and instead taking their hand...
I suck at that.
A friend of mine told me yesterday that it isn't my job to make a man impassioned when I mentioned that I wasn't the kind of girl that inspires those kind of feelings in a man. I kind of want to be that girl...shh...don't tell her. And if it isn't my job, I would still like to meet one...one that just finds who and what I am irresistible. I figure probably part of the problem is that willingness I mentioned. If I am not willing to leap off the cliff with him...why would he be willing to risk everything and shove me into a wall, risking rejection and whatnot, just for a moment in my arms?
Oh, and I am a bit of a bitch. But that isn't on this years list to fix.
So it is almost April. Almost the halfway point of the year. Deadlines loom and my list lingers in the back of my head with little to nothing checked off.
Maybe I am impatient with myself for setting goals like this. Maybe the universe for making it so hard to just DO them.
But regardless of the why, I sit here today and am restless.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Today's six sentence sunday is a snippet of my coming soon story, the Hypnotist. Hypnotist is a mf erotic romance...
He resisted the temptation to pick her up, slam her into a wall, and take her lips.
Her head finally tilted back and her gaze met his. Her eyes were a chocolate brown, soft and as sweet as the candy they resembled. Her cheeks were flushed, possibly with embarrassment for checking him out, and the glasses on her nose had fallen down a bit to droop.
He imagined her pitching the glasses across the room, letting that waterfall of blond fall around her shoulders and climbing his body like a monkey up a tree.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Okay, I am trying to get some work done. I know...I am on vacation. The boys are off running around with Uncle Bob. Princess is over visiting (read pestering) Aunt Shelby and Mom and Dad are discussing possible things they want to do later (cemeteries and such (read: Mom is puttering about the kitchen))
But it is driving me CRAZY knowing that the work is piling up while I am not doing it all week and that I am just gonna play catch up all next week so it is either stress out or make a little dent today...
So, really, it is less stressful to work for an hour and NOT panic over it rather than not work and continue to panic.
I keep thinking of the quote from Eat, Pray, Love.
“Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that's not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today. But...we seem to like it. Alarming statistics back this observation up, showing that many Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their offices than they do in their own homes. Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure). Americans don't really know how to do NOTHING. This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype-the overstressed executive who goes on vacation but who cannot relax."
I am feeling that this week. I have not really...not really...relaxed yet. I have worried if the kids are having fun. Is my mom relaxing? Is my dad okay? Am I spending too much? Am I spending too little? Is there something I should be doing? Should we go here? Should we just relax?
And I keep looking down the hill at the monastery.
Within view of my sisters house, there is a monastery. Full of nuns (supposedly, but they are ninjas or something because I haven't seen a single nun...and I have been diligently watching since I got here) who are doing whatever nuns do on the side of a mountain in Pennsylvania.
I keep wondering what DOES a nun in Pennsylvania DO all day long? Garden? I mean, they have TONS of land to do that on but I haven't SEEN a nun so...well, that sort of makes that unlikely. You have to be outside to garden. They aren't singing on the side of the mountain like Julie Andrews. (I did. I howled The Sound of Music at the top of my lungs but it isn't a nun calling song, apparently...and no...there weren't many around to see my show. The across the street neighbors did glance over at the loon visiting from out of state. Probably they think everyone from Ohio is nuts now. We won't tell her that I am FROM here...) Do they travel around doing good deeds? But they don't seem to LEAVE much. (I haven't SEEN one yet and have been watching all week.) And they taught my older sister Italian so do they spend their days in prayer and study?
Bet they know how to sit at peace and NOT work.
I think that is why I am fascinated with the nuns this trip.
There are these gorgeous peaceful mountains all around me. I took a vacation and am spending money to GET AWAY for awhile...because I know I have been stressed and I needed it.
But it didn't work. I brought all my stress with me. I haven't managed to silence the worry, the stress...or the thoughts of work. I haven't managed to slow down even one little bit. I just changed what I was worrying about and where I worried about it for a week.
And I think a lot of us do that on vacation. We don't really STOP worrying. We just change where we are doing it and the topic of the panic.
And then we scratch our heads when we come home and wonder why we are not refreshed and why we need a vacation from our vacation...
I kind of wish I could visit the nuns.
But something tells me that they would be confused as to why I was visiting...
For those of you who look at my pictures, today's is from the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and it is Nike of Samothrace...or Winged Victory of Samothrace. We went to the museum yesterday and this was originally part of a larger statue in a fountain. Kind of the first ever multimedia piece because you had the gurgling fountain and the flow of the water and the flow of her dress...in 190 BC. Pretty impressive, right?
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The kids and I have hijacked our parents and run away to the mountains of Pennsylvania to our hometown for a week of vacation and a visit with our family there. Day one was mostly just travel to get down here and saying hellos.
Day two dawned beautiful. I watched the sun rise over the mountains, cloaked in mists and watercolors and it was gorgeous. Packing everyone up in the car, we headed off to wander the hills.
And my kids learned what fascinated me for years growing up...
The wonder of WHAT IS OVER THE MOUNTAIN?
I remember being a kid (in the years before school) and wondering, while looking from our yard up at the mountain (we lived on the side of the mountain so you could see up it to a point and that it went down but there was a mystery as to what WAS up it...) and thinking...
What was OVER there? Was there something wonderful on the other side of the mountain? Maybe a castle? Or a fairy land? Or a dragon, waiting to eat me alive?
Anything could have lurked up the mountain.
When school started (we didn't travel much...my mom didn't drive...so...I only had that yard, really, till school started) and I got on the school bus...
I was shocked to finally get to see the other side of the mountain.
And when they taught me that stupid song about the bear...who wanted to go over the mountain to see what he could see and all that he could see was the other side of the mountain...
Well, I was kind of pissed, really, that my mom hadn't taught me the song earlier so I would have KNOWN that the other side of the mountain was just more houses, mountains and fields...
Just like our side.
But as I told my son this morning when he looked out at the mountains and said to me, "Mom, I really wonder what is on the other side of that mountain over there."
What was on the other side of the mountain was possibility.
For one dumb, hick kid who never traveled out of her yard (and didn't know about traveling bears) ANYTHING could have been on the other side of that mountain. And wonder was born.
And a storyteller.
Speaking of a storyteller being born, my contest for my new release, Lips of Velvet is still running to the end of the month. For the details, check out the blog here.
I am also running another contest over at Lisa Pietsch's blog here. Check it out.
And I signed a contract with Decadent Publishing for their 1Night Stand Series!!
All in all...lots of exciting stuff.
Lots of possibilities.
Go find what is over your mountains.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Time to celebrate, folks...
So Lips of Velvet is releasing on Saturday.
And I am going on vacation that day. Which, I gotta be honest...I haven't done in YEARS.
I CAN'T WAIT.
I want to share my happy with you, my readers, my friends, my buddies. *throws hard candy at readers*
To celebrate, how about I give you free stuff?
To start, do you want to win a $20 amazon gift card? Yeah? Okay. You can do that.
Three ways to win:
1. Enter here, on my blog in the comments section belooooow.
2. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Or you can private message me on facebook.
But I hope you haven't stopped reading. To win you MUST TELL ME WHAT YOUR FAVORITE DRINK IS. Yeah, pretty easy. Nothing too complex. That and your email addy so I can send you your amazon card.
But that is not all.
No, no, no. I mentioned this was a big gala event, right?
Yes, a contestpalooza even.
You can also win a copy of Lips of Velvet, releasing on Saturday.
How, you may be asking, do I win that?
Ah, to win that great prize you must rummage around. You can go to my website http://virginianelson.webs.com or my publishers website http://www.rebelinkpress.com or any number of other places across this world wide web that I have blasted with the blurb over the past few months and tell me the answer to this question: WHO DRAGS SANDRA OUT FOR A NIGHT ON THE TOWN?
For that one, you must email me. You see, if you put it in the comment section, it would sort of ruin it for everyone. So...send your answer and your email addy to email@example.com with Contest in the subject line and ... we will see who wins the PDF copy of Lips of Velvet!
Both of these contests end March 31st, 2012
Best of luck to you all!
And if you can't wait and want to buy a copy...grab yours today here!
Feel free to repost.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Rock Creek, Ohio is really close to my house. Close enough for me to go get some pancakes. Especially if someone else is making them. The website for Bissell Maple Farm also seemed pretty intriguing. I mean...they sold maple mustard.
What was maple mustard?
So I woke up and called and asked how much for the pancakes?
When the person who answered said free...I have to admit I became leery. I mean, if they didn't value their pancakes...Was I driving to some tiny little farm with a woman baking pancakes in her kitchen and making syrup on the stovetop?
But...uh...I like pancakes. And I don't like to cook. So off we went.
And then my googlemaps failed me and I was pretty sure I was driving into the Blair Witch Maple Project. When the road turned to a dirt road, I got a little scared and more certain that I was headed to that woman over her stove top.
And I was really hoping she at least washed her hands...
And then I saw the horse drawn carriage.
Uh, yes. I did just say horse drawn carriage. Parking my car as directed, the kids and I loaded up onto the ride and I started snapping pics. Yes, I did take a picture of the horses butts. Shut up. This is my blog. And I was easily impressed by a spotted butt.
The tour blew my mind.
It turns out that this family has been in the business of making syrup for about 100 yrs. A lot of syrup gets made from Ohio (and apparently always has) and it used to be a really long and drawn out process since when sap comes out of a tree it is about 70% water.
I had no idea.
So they take the sap, pump it to a 2k tank and when it gets full, they send it to a reverse osmosis system.
Yes, I said reverse osmosis.
You see, this farm was a family run operation but by family run, I do not in any way mean old fashioned. They had a unique blend of the most modern technology and ways that had worked for their ancestors. Take the reverse osmosis...it allows them to have a smaller evaporator (see the cool picture here) because most of the water has been removed from the sap already. I believe the man advised this allows him to make about a gallon of syrup every 15minutes.
He also told us that the floor of the evaporator room was laid a little each year by himself and his father...and if you looked at it, you could see how every year they got a little better at the process...How cool is that???
He also advised us that his father chops every bit of wood they use to feed the evaporator himself...
Just like his father before him.
Uh, how can you not love that?
From there we went to the gift shop and sampled things like maple candies (which this farm makes for Daffins!), maple creame (which my kids LOVED), maple mustard (which I had to try!) and of course, maple syrup. We also got to try maple nuts...which are lovely. Our orders were rung up on an ipad (more of that old farm meets the best tech...love it.)
And then they gave us free pancakes.
Free. My kids scarfed their weight in pancakes smothered in real maple syrup while live musicians serenaded us with banjos and such. All in all, amazing.
Stuffed to the gills, we hopped back on the horse drawn carriage and rode back to the car.
If you haven't made it out to the Bissell farm and you are in the area, apparently they do this every year and it is REALLY worth the trip. They are right in Rock Creek, Ohio (directions on their website) and they are doing the tour today and March 17th this year.
If you aren't in the area...consider visiting. Or just visit their website. They ship aaaaaall over.
Friday, March 9, 2012
They are short. They are sexy. The word nipple is used.
What most people don't mention, but the readers know, is that at some point in the story, we get to see that the characters are real people. They face some kind of real life issues. Maybe (like in my upcoming story, Taking Control) one of them has been battered by the media to the point that they have given up on relationships. They have lived their life being sheep and are looking, but don't realize it, for a moment to be in control...to be powerful.
Maybe they have been in a relationship before and been screwed over so many times that they have a hard time trusting anyone and the story is about them learning to let go, to trust again. Maybe it is about them learning to enjoy the little things, the moments that take your breath away.
But there will be sex. The readers know when they pick up a short erotic romance novel that there will be sexual tension that crackles between the two (or more) characters, that they will find a way to grow, as characters, somehow in that small space of time and that there will be a payoff that is like fireworks going off. The bigger the fireworks show, the better.
You can get them on your tablets. You can get them on your phone. You can read them on the beach or in the comfort of your home and unlike days gone by when people in the doctor's office could see that you weren't reading something five inches thick and with a cover that was easily recognizable as it was on Oprah's Book Club last week...no one knows that you are reading about something naughty. Unless you blush.
And that is why they aren't going away.
I read a blog yesterday written by a man who called the fact that romance holds such a huge chunk of the market 'unexplainable' and had to giggle. Really? Unexplainable, dude? I find it exceptionally explainable. In times gone by, Edgar Allan Poe wrote short stories and they were called trash and he had a heck of a time making a living off of them...
Yeah...I bet you know who I am talking about. Poe is sort of well known, now. Considered by some the father of the detective genre, his work was arguably some of the most interesting of his time. But he died and a critic was quick to post a really long obituary about what a general waste of space he was and how no one would remember who he was as he was a drunk nobody. We all remember Poe. The critic? Not so much.
Penny dreadfuls saw success in the 19th century. Again, these short stories (intended for adolescents) saw widespread print and were very popular. One of them was Sweeney Todd. You may have heard of it. Again...bashed at the time. They were considered to be corrupting the public...
Will people keep reading romance? Well, they have been around since 1740 that we know about (possibly earlier...arguably the some of the Greek myths could be called romances as well) and are still here in 2012. As long as two people find new ways to fall in and out of love and new ways to hurt each other and grow and develop as people because of it, other people will want to write about it and still others will want to read about it. Especially if the people doing the writing do it in smart, sassy, funny--and sometimes steamy--ways.
Will people keep debating whether it is a valid form of literature? Oh, hell yes. And as long as some of us are making a living at it, well, it will continue to piss off others who aren't making a living with their more 'credible' forms of literature.
Will I keep writing romance?
Yes. I like to think that some people really like what I write. And for the ones, like that blogger, who consider what I do to be the literary equivalent of finger painting...
Well, I like to piss people like that off. It makes me happy. Finger painting is such good, clean, fun, after all.