Friday, March 30, 2007

Heads up! Jill's Guest Blogging with Bailey on 3/30!

Hey all! Thanks so very much for the great feedback on my interview with Jill Shalvis!! Hope you had as fun a time reading it as I had doing it!

Just wanted to let you know that Jill is Guest Blogging on Bailey's site today and the contest to win her new book Smart and Sexy in ON!

Keep your fingers crossed for Bailey as she's under a TORNADO watch for the next 2 days. That is one disruption we all hope Bailey will be able to avoid !

BAILEY

I have to say this. I love my town. Where else can I go 750 ft and see both a motorcycle pulled over by a cop, the dark haired rider standing on the side of the road with his head thrown back in disgust , looking for deliverance from above AND a horse crossing the road; its rider sitting straight and tall wearing a beaten up brown leather duster and a well-worn cowboy hat with a pheasant feather stuck in it?

Two kinds of bad boys... shiver me timbers!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Smart and Sexy says it all

I promised you, my blog readers, a special and exciting treat. This is one WIP that was a thrill to work on.

May I present, the one, the only, writer extraordinaire, …

Author, JILL SHALVIS!!!!
M: Jill, I can’t thank you enough for giving me this opportunity to not only ask you all the questions that have percolated in my head since first being introduced to your works by Bailey, but to spread the word about your exciting new novel, Smart and Sexy, coming out April 1st by Brava/Kensington Publishing.






J: I just found out SMART AND SEXY has hit the stores, as a matter of fact. I can’t wait to see it on the shelves...






M: For my regular readers here, I have to say that I was struck by the heroine’s first name. Did you name her after our Bailey? **VBG**

J: Actually, I had that book outlined and proposed way before I met Bailey, so no, unfortunately ...

M: In Smart and Sexy I am curious as to the names you picked. Did they have any special meaning for you? The name Noah Fisher has me sensing hidden levels of meaning. It's a strong name.

J: Just loved the name ... No deep meaning other than that.

M: Were your characters inspired or patterned after anyone we know in "famous" circles or do they represent your internal ideal? Has anyone from your youth provided a role model that you've used in your stories? Good (or bad)? If so, do we see that influence in Smart and Sexy?
*
J: I try really hard not to model my characters after real people. I like to make ‘em up from scratch! That way I don’t have to run into anyone at a holiday party for example, and have them want to hurt me.

M: LOL! The title, Smart and Sexy - what does it refer to? Is it that Noah is Sexy and Bailey is Smart? Do both represent Bailey? Or does it refer to both of them?

J: The title is the brainchild of my wonderful Brava editor Kate Duffy. She’s a goddess at titles ... But I’d like to think Smart And Sexy refers to both of them.

M: I have a confession to make about Noah Fisher. I liked him, a lot. There was something touchable about him. I found it endearing when Bailey labeled him "Superman" even when he was only doing what came natural to him. Noah is a regular Joe who happens to have a bit of know-how. Not major Jedi Master type stuff, but enough to be real and you let us readers see his vulnerabilities, which he works through. Your sense of humor was warm and generous when you wrote about his feelings for Bailey. I enjoyed the romance more because of it. Why did you choose to give Noah the vulnerabilities that you did? Can something like that ever be plotted out or did his character just "speak" to you?

J : To me, a character isn’t real unless there are flaws and vulnerabilities. I try to plot them out ahead of time but sometimes they just come to me after I’ve gotten to know their stories better. I didn’t really “get” Noah until about halfway, and then I went back and layered some of those things in.


M: I get a kick out of their business name, Sky High. Can you tell me why you picked that title?

J: Other than the fact that both Noah and Bailey join the Sky High club, literally, in this book?


M: Men and women of strong character appear in all of your books that I've read. We find them strong in emotion (tortured hero, Griffin, in White Heat was intense) , in passion and integrity. In spite of the foibles of human nature, the growth that they experience in their relationship as well as individuals during their romantic journey makes them stronger people. It’s a very healthy outlook. It must be a challenge to live, never mind write yet you make it look easy. I suspect it's quite a creative process to make it fresh and entertaining every time. What is your secret? What is your preferred activity for "refreshing the well"?


J: No secret. I refresh the well by making sure to live life, experience every day stuff. It keeps my mind sharp, hopefully.

M: You have a wonderful sense of humor and I must say, a sense of the ridiculous. What inspired you to chose Bailey’s method of … high jacking?

J: Well I figured Bailey had to be a little bit like me, meaning she would not have had a gun, nor known how to get one. So she ... Improvised. I do that a lot. Not hijack sexy pilots, but improvise.


M: Are we going to read about Brody and Maddy anytime soon? What about hunky Shayne?


J: Shayne’s story comes out in December and is called STRONG AND SEXY. Brody’s and Maddie’s story is scheduled for next June, I believe ...

M: I have been really curious about something lately; what is the draw of button-fly jeans? Zippered jeans are much faster for ... you know, aren't they? Noah wears button fly jeans ... any particular reason?

J: Personal preference. I just think button fly Levi’s are sexy.

M: During the process of writing Smart and Sexy, what was the zaniest or most obtuse inspiration?

J: Probably the hijacking scene ...


M: Really? What was so zany about the Hijacking scene? Did you chuckle as you were writing it? Was it one of those scenes that practically wrote itself? I personally thought it was fun and deliciously quirky, but why that and not the "get away golf carts" instead?

J: First of all, this book did practically write itself. Some books are gifts like that, and this was one of them. Secondly, if I don’t crack myself up when I’m writing, then I know I haven’t gotten the humor right. There are definitely days where it’s easier than others, but the humor is very important to me. I tried to make the hijacking scene, the get away golf cart scene, the makeshift dressing room scene all as funny as possible, and a bunch of other scenes that I’ve forgotten by now because I’m in the middle of a different story altogether, LOL, and trying to make THAT story funny as I write this ...


M: If someone is just discovering your books, and wants to read beyond Smart and Sexy, where should they start? Which book or series of books captures the synopsis of your romantic dream? Yeah, I know, HOW can you possibly pick one of a few out of the amazing number you've done? *wink*

J: Are you asking my favorite? After SMART AND SEXY, probably GET A CLUE, SEEING RED, or HER SEXIEST MISTAKE ...

M: Here's a good question: Why pilots and planes? . You have quite a theme going; bush pilots, private planes and the people who fly them, male and female. The subject of planes seems to be a passion for you. How far will you go? What other aspects of planes and/or pilots haven't you gotten to yet that you are itching to write about?


J: Right now, it’s the three pilots for my Brava editor. Next year I’m also writing two more firefighters for my Harlequin editor. After that, something new!


M: Oh, yes, you sure know your way around heroic firefighters. White Heat and Seeing Red come to mind as favorites. But you've written about pilots in quite a few of your stories and it never ceases to amaze me how you zero in on the unique way it fits with your characters. Have you ever thought of writing about the hurricane spotters? Or a female Coast Guard helicopter pilot? You said you might try something new ... as in, a pilot of a spaceship? Come on, Jill. tease us with a tiny hint, *VBG*


J: Well I just finished an attitude ridden French doctor for my Lost meets Survivor meets Gilligan’s Island story THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE, 10/07 ...

M: Has an experience in your life lit the fire of flying in your blood? Have you personally flown a plane, you know, had the controls? If not, is it a goal that you will someday? I have no way of knowing but I think it must be like driving a car at NASCAR - a passion - intense and focused as well as a sense of freedom. How is it that you capture that so well?


J: Haven’t personally flown a plane, but I’ve been on lots and lots, small, big, and everything in between. I do love being in the air ... But mostly I wrote these three pilots because I thought it was a sexy occupation that would make fun adventurous romances.


M: Speaking of themes and inspiration, in your latest book, Smart and Sexy, ON SHELVES NOW - we are once again flying with you into adventure and romance. Even the cover of Smart and Sexy shows Noah and Bailey in the seat of a plane. Speaking of covers, how much influence do you or can you have about the covers of your books? In any event, it seems like you combined both passions well in this book, Jill. I Loved it!

J: I have no control over covers, few authors do!


M: I had no idea. You mean, the hunky models on covers are always a pleasant surprise? How about the quotes (or are they taglines?)?
Do you have input there or are they surprises too? Can you remember a quote ever giving you the "warm and fuzzies"?


J: Yes, the nice covers are always a surprise. The not so nice covers are a big bummer, but I’ve been very lucky lately ... Knock on wood!! When another author has a quote on the cover of an author’s book, it’s just called a quote. And since all the quotes I’ve received were from authors whom I greatly admire, they were each a great thrill.


M: Jill, thank you so much for taking the time to share your insights with me and my readers about your new book and the inspirations that went into writing it. On behalf of my blog buddies and myself, we wish you continued success in your writing career. Can’t wait for Shayne’s and Maddie and Brody’s stories!
*********************************************************************************


Hey Blog buddies, don't take only my word that this is a great book, check out these reviews from two savvy readers:


And the excitement doesn't end with this interview; it's just beginning!

Mark your calanders!
On March 30th, Smart and Sexy's author, Jill Shalvis, will be guest blogging on
Bailey's site.


Be sure to check it out.

Psst!

Rumor has it that there might be a contest where a lucky reader can win their own copy of Jill's new book! *wink*
Did we tweak your interest with those other titles? Want the scoop?


Here's a link to her website - JILL
*********************************************************************************
*WHEW!* This is the most exciting blog I've done yet. Hope y'all had fun!
And thanks for visiting everyone!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Jan and Dean Moment

A blast from the past


Remember the Jan and Dean song, Little Old Lady from Pasadena?


I passed one of her petite gray haired relatives yesterday. She was driving a compact car whose back window was strewn and decorated with cute and cuddly stuffed kittens (with bows mind you), a lamb and a puppy or two.


No, I didn't have any trouble passing her. She had already been pulled over by a state trooper for SPEEDING .


LOL


Go, Granny, Go!




Wednesday, March 21, 2007

EEK!

You will NEVER believe this!

I overheard my youngest saying proudly to my DH,

"I can spell a naughty word."

"Oh?"

Pride strengthened his young voice.

"Yep. S.H.I.T."

This mom's response. "EEEEKK!!!!"

My DH's? " LOLOLOL"

Typical.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Snark the Shark

That was me today, A Snarky Shark.
I impressed the hell out of my boss.
Made her smile.

Oh, yea, curious kitty has claws.

We were to have an online seminar today. Turns out the poop in the fan in the office and it was not doable. I was asked to reschedule. Not a problem, I say.
Well, not for me making the call, but it was for the snooty asswipe who was on the other side of the line.
Sense a bit of hostility? You bet.

"Of course we can reschedule the seminar, however you lose credit and you will be charged for the next one."
Excuse me?
(See, when you update to this exhorbitantly expensive accounting program, they graciously offer two free "teaching" seminars.)
I asked '"Why?"
"Oh, well there was a tech set aside for this event, without 24 hours notice, they're locked in."

(Excuse me again, but all they do is sit on their well padded chairs and talk to us for 50 minutes, perhaps even take over our computer to zip at mach speeds "showing" us important short cuts while never answering our initial questions - like the first session)

I asked, " There is no recourse?"
"No"

Inflexible toady. That's when the strangest feeling took over me and my face heated.

"Do you mean to tell me that if someone gets sick, that there is no flexiblity? HOW can we give you 24 hours notice. People don't plan on getting sick. It happens. No notice. Don't you people take that into account?"

He replied. " Oh, well, is this person necessary to the session?"

"YES." ( I said a few other things to the lad)

"Oh. Please hold, I'll get back to you." (imagine the sound of sucking lemons)

The short of it is - we got credit.

It's not like they have to GO anywhere, or do anything creative like juggle knives while debugging a computer. Sheesh!

So I got on a high horse and rode the bucking bronco.

They make enough money, why do they feel the need to deprive us of something that, with good and willing PR and customer service, would enhance the word of mouth about their product?

As it is .... my word of mouth is full of sharp snarky shark teeth.
CHOMP!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Why was this hidden from me?

I found this paper all folded up when I went to clean the 'man-zone'. Imagine my suprise when I found this!



A Prayer:




Dear Lord,


I pray for the Wisdom to understand my man;


Love to forgive him;


And Patience for his moods.




Because, Lord,


if I pray for Strength,


I'll beat the livin' shit out of him ...




Amen.

Yep, I bet she could too.





I just love the works of Bill Dobbins. That's where the sword lady comes from. The man's a genius with a camera. I bet she'd give Xena a run for the money, don't you?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sweet Spring Snow

Have you noticed that I've not had a new blog since Wednesday?
Not for lack of trying, I assure you.
I wrote a blog dedicated to a trip down memory lane and Blogger ate it.I tried to post a blog about the snow we were getting, Blogger ate it.
I also tried to post a St. Patty's day entry ... and you guessed it, Blogger was still hungry.

I'm here trying again, but I've run out of steam and patience. By that I mean, I'm not investing a lot of brainpower and emotion in today's entry.

We did get twelve inches of snow. Originally we were expecting 4-8. What a surprise. It was pretty , but nothing clung to the trees or powerlines so pictures would only show a blanket of white. Nothing artistic about that. It's still a spring snowstorm which means the snow won't stay around for ever. The sun is getting stronger day by day, so the snow will melt faster.


I think that's the best part about spring snow. Sweet.
I read The Greatest Lover in all England by Christina Dodd.

It was cute.
It was a read perfect for a snowy day when going outside only has once purpose; to shovel.

I don't do "shovel". That's a guy thing.
**ducks as my guy lurkers throw a snowball at me**
(That's if I HAVE any *grin*)

This week , my little one read to the dog that bit him - all went well.

The handler said that the dog was in a paranoid state for an entire week after that. He wouldn't go near the kids at other sessions, just kind of sat their stiff, afraid to move. It took him a week to recover.

Can animals know when they screw up? Can they experience anxiety and fear like we do and "walk on egg shells" because of it?

This dog sure seemed to. Once he "recovered", he was again his more natural and easy going self. I think it was a good experience for both boy and dog to realize they forgave each other.

Like I said, it was a good session.


I was hoping for a special post tomorrow, but no such luck. Technical difficulties and all that.

So, here's a little humor to rev up the start of a new week.
Let's hope we all have a good one.
Not let out one.
*giggle*




Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The D.D.D.

Dynamic Dentist Duo

What a potential nightmare!

Ever see Little Shop of Horrors?

I met a fan. She's a dentist. She was in my mouth. I am recovering.

Ever hear of or see Abbott and Costello?

Costello was the chubby, bubbly, endearingly clumsy one.

Abbott was the dry, serious, action guy of the pair with a low dose of humor.

Combine Abbott and Costello with the dentist ( & throw in an assistant) from The Little Shop of Horrors and you have my experience yesterday when I had my temporary filling put in.

The side of my mouth is healing. My mind is awhirl. I think I may need a new dentist.

You want to know another thing? She is paranoid.

I must have looked at her funny, I guess, because she shouted at me,

"What?!! Why are you looking at me like that? What's going on?!"

"Um, I was just trying to figure out if that floating fish was, you know, a soda bottle because, um, it kinda looks like it was one at one time." (said fish was hung from the ceiling)

I got silence from the dentist, however the chirpy assistant says:

"Oh! Don't you just LOVE it?? I got that from this nice lady who recycles them and it's SUCH a pretty color and it's really amazing how they cut it and its incredible that they were able to do such creative ... yada yada yada...."

Can we say "Overcompensate"?

I am really thinkin' I need a new dentist.

If I wanted a comedy team from the Twilight Zone, I'd go to the movies.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

It happened

My Monitor fried!

It happened just like I feared. I was online this AM cruising my favorite blogs and had just written ONE comment when ZAP! the screen went black except for this bright thin white line down the middle of the screen which shrunk down to a brilliant white pinpoint smack-dab in the middle of the screen when and with a POP!, it went out to black.

I can't swing over $200.00 buckaroos for a new monitor right now. What to do? Recycle.
I had kept the old Win 98 hardware for which we replaced the entire set up when we had to purchase the new XP edition after our last tower did the Fry/Pop dance.

So, I'm able to at least blog a bit but my eyes are going nuts here. The screen is much smaller than I had become used to and it is concave ... or is that convex?

Anyway ... I have a treat coming up in the next couple of weeks. Sooner if I can swing it.
But I can't say anything yet because it is a work in progress.
I can say, I'm nervous, excited and honored to be involved.

It will be a blog post . A special blog post. And I'm tres excited! *grin*

Hope you have a wonderful Monday everyone!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

FYI

This is a heads up. I've been noticing my monitor screen bouncing. The picture shimmers or 'burps'. Should it go "POOF", I'll have no way of letting you guys know why I'm suddenly incommunicado. I have put this in "sticky" mode to alert you, my blog buddies. Thanks to Mailyn who taught me HOW to do a sticky. :-)
Until then, Please bop on down underneath this for any currents posts. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The People Side of PBR

As promised in the previous post, I am going to share some observations of the crowd that night.

The biggie that I observed is the abundance of .... Beer.

Oh yeah, the yellow liquid was flowing by the cup and the long neck. I was astounded that people would not only pay their admission and parking fees but were willing to fork over oodles of moula to drink themselves into oblivion. Six Dollars per bottle. $6 !!

Can't you get a whole six pack for $12?? Not that I know these things, I hate beer.
Gives me the willies and shivers as it bubbles past my tastebuds.
Give me a Long Island Ice Tea or Sex On The Beach instead.

Anyway,
the interesting thing about the prescence of beer is the effects.
*grin* I'm sure you know where this is heading.
Human nature unplugged.

Sitting two rows behind were a young crowd of exhuberant twenty-somethings. Drinking.
Directly behind us was a young family with young children; four years to seven years old. Grandma came along for the show too.

There I was, watching a bull come out of the shute when I felt a splatter on my arm.
Puzzled, I looked behind me and cringed with horror.

I shall now refer to her as DB - drunk bimbo. Seems DB was leaning forward OVER the four year old child with her cup of beer instead of leaning back into her own seat when DB, OOPSIE, dropped her almost full cup of beer over the head of the child.

When I'd turned around, all I saw were eyes widened in shock on the face of this little boy. The pungent aroma of beer surrounded him as the liquid soaked his neck, shirt and pants. The cup landed at his feet.

Grandma turned into a hissing and spitting cat - calling DB a "drunken bitch" ... (hey, that also is DB - you can switch the words if you want) and a stupid and irresponsible bitch.

DB's response, (use an almost monotone disinterested voice - spouting words not heartfelt) Oh! I'm sorry. Want me to get some towels or something? I didn't mean to do that."

The grandma said some words as you can imagine.
DB's reply, "Well, it's not like I make a career out of dumping beer on kids you know ."

What could I do? Nothing really.
However, I had a whole pack of travel tissues that I had just opened so I turned around and worldlessly gave the package to the grandma. She took them without a "thank you". That didn't bother me though. She was under extreme stress on behalf of her grandson and she was still muttering aspersions towards DB.

Eventually, security was called, people were moved to who-knows-where, child got a T-shirt from one of the kiosks to replace the beer satuated one and the show went on.

The people in front of us, young professionals I'd guess, were sober- at first.
Remember, I told you the music tracks at the PBR were awesome?

Drunken people know ALL the words.
And they sing them.
LOUD.
Not always on key, not on cue and not always succinctly. But that doesn't matter, they're having FUN!
Two beers please.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My First PBR Experience







Wow, last night I had the time of my life!




Witnessing real cowboys on real bulls without commericals has to be one of the best experiences I've had yet!!




This has been a goal of mine for over twelve years; to go to an official PBR event. (Professional Bull Riders)

Finally one came close to home, and with only two days to purchase tickets, I wasn't expecting a decent seat. Surprise!
We weren't that far from the shutes and although we were far up in the bleachers, it wasn't like we were seeing ants. We had a perfect view of the bulls, the cowboys and arena.

The only drawback was that my camera's zoom didn't have the best picture taking ability from so high up. But I'll share with you some of my excitement.
I didn't know what to expect. Would my asthma kick up because of animal dander and/or hay?
Would it smell? The answers to both is NO. I was able to enjoy the experience in fine form. Not so fine a form as the bullriders, though. *grin*










Live PBR vs. TV.
Live has AWESOME music tracks,
Intermission entertainment called KISS CAM - where anyone showing up on the Big Screen had to smooch for the camera *wink* --(no, I didn't get the opportunity),

You get to see what the cowboys do after the camera swings away from them.

Live has instant playback just like football.
Live has the additional entertainment of the crowd and their antics. (I'll get to THAT later)

Live has the Bulls - close up and personal. There's a lot of power in those beasts and you really appreciate them when you are that up close and personal. Of course, no where NEAR as close as the bullriders get.

















TV has commercials.


Edited comments and views.TV has you remotely viewing without getting the full effect.
I vote for FULL EFFECT everytime. Whenever PBR comes back into my neck of the woods, I'm going back. Live is much, much better.








Yeeehaw!!!!







How do you prod a recalcitrant bull to go back into the pens?


Very carefully.


That's why there's always a guy on a horse with a rope.


Is that horse called a Palomino?

Cute horse!

The thing I liked about this event or any PBR event is that the bull has a chance against man. The bull fighting in Spain only has one outcome for the bull. I'm uncomfortable with that.
Here, at the PBR, the battle between bull and man is challenging for both. Sure, man can get hurt, perhaps even die, *shudder*, but for the most part, they both survive to have a rematch on another day.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Bull Riding

I'm hopefully seeing the PBR in action tonight for the first time in my life. Wish me fun!!!