You Know You Want It

the pages of the mind crop 2Yes, this is the tagline for THE PAGES OF THE MIND.

From the seriously gorgeous cover!! Yes, yes – I know I’m a tease. YOU people know I’m a tease! But the cover reveal is coming Thursday, September 17, via RT Book Reviews. But look at it on Amazon – even MORE Of a tease there, I think.

Only two more days!!!! I can’t wait for you all to see it. 🙂

Dark SecretsIn other news, look for a really fun thing tomorrow, from the DARK SECRETS crew. Rachel Caine is lovely, enthusiastic and a brilliant writer, but when she asked us about doing a FaceBook party… well, you’ll just have to see the results. There may be video evidence.

If you’re in an around the Denver area, there’s still time and room to register for the Reading Until Dawn Conference. I’ll be road-tripping up with my buddy Darynda Jones, which should be a kick. I’ll be the one drinking wine and playing Cards Against Humanity. There’s also a signing open to the public, Saturday, October 10, 3-5:30pm, if you’re in the ‘hood and want to drop by!

header_0Finally, I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be at the Tucson Festival of Books this spring, March 11-12. This is the 4th largest book festival in the U.S. and will be crazy fun. I might be a fangirl puddle by the time the weekend is over. Plus my mom, stepdad, stepsister, brother-in-law and nephews are all there, too. Spring break in Arizona + family fun + Books! What more can a girl ask for?

Well, lemon-drop martinis, but I’m sure I’ll get those, too. 😀

Meeting My Heroes and Fighting the Bitchee

BuDtaRTIcAA18InThis last weekend I attended Bubonicon for the first time. It’s a local, fan-run convention for sci-fi and fantasy. Apparently they started out46 years ago with six people and had worked their way up to something like 800 this year. They treated me very well and I’m glad I went.

The SFF community, however, is very different than the romance one. Having been at RWA the week before, I found the contrast marked. Never I found a more supportive, generous and non-competitive community than the romance writers. So much so, that I’d forgotten that not all writers are like this. Don’t get me wrong – the Bubonicon staff and fans were amazing. Some of the featured writers were, too. More of them were than weren’t. I got to sit and have a drink with SFWA president Steven Gould (author of Jumper) and his wife, Laura J Mixon, who also writes as MJ Locke. They made time to introduce me to their daughters and are really wonderful people. I hadn’t known Laura or her work before, but we were on a panel together and she’s so smart and amazing.

A couple of authors, however, were less generous and pulled serious attitude on me. I’m sorry to say they were older women, more established than I in fantasy writing and full of teh bitchee. One, sadly, is a writer I’ve been reading for a long time and I now regret having a bad experience with. They very much reminded me of being in grad school and the way the older women scientists singled me out. One, for example, gave my essay a C and my male classmate an A. I looked at his, to see what I missed. Not finding it, I asked her. She said that she graded me more stringently because women had to work harder to succeed in science. Seriously. She said this with a straight face.

That, however, was the 80s and I’d really thought we’d put that shit behind us.

*Deep Cleansing Breath*

 The best part of the weekend, however, was meeting and listening to Stephen R. Donaldson, pictured above. I’ve always had a mixed relationship with his books. I hated the Thomas Covenant books (and I’m not alone in that, I know – possibly the most unlikable hero ever), but I loved the Mordant’s Need books. Even hating Thomas Covenant, I read anyway, recognizing the brilliance of the writing and storytelling. Those books were tremendously formative for me, especially finding in Mordant’s Need a heroine like Terisa at a time when the dense fantasies all seemed to feature male protagonists. I’d had no idea Stephen lives in Albuquerque and I was thrilled at the prospect of hearing what he had to say (on ending an epic series – right up my alley) and I was also nervous. As with above, sometimes meeting heroes can be more disappointing than anything.

You guys – he was amazing. So thoughtful. So genuine and not full of ego. I sat with writing buddy Darynda Jones, who is deep into her Charley Davidson series and was also blown away by what he had to say. I’m going to be a tease because I was so rapt that I didn’t take notes and I can’t quite reconstruct what hit me so profoundly. Except that he talked about how finishing a series left him hollow and in this state where he couldn’t even celebrate because he felt so removed from the world.

Exactly how I’ve felt. Remarkable for me to feel both that sense of connection with one of my writing heroes and that I might be doing things “right.”

I’m hoping to invite him to visit our local chapter and speak there. If he does, I promise to take notes this time!

Hot & Sultry Summer of Romance!

HotSultrySigningIf you live in or around New Mexico, stop by the Page 1 bookstore Saturday afternoon! I’ll be doing a very fun panel with Katie Lane, Celeste Bradley and Darynda Jones. The event may or may not include us reading from the raciest (hot and sultry – we deliver!) passages of our books, but dinging out the naughty words. There will be prizes!

Before and After – the Real ROI

 003044In May I spent a week at the RT Booklovers Convention in New Orleans.

 

 

 

 

In a funny coincidence, I ended up on the same flights with good friend and local RWA (LERA) chapter-mate, Darynda Jones.

This is far more of a coincidence than it might sound. While our local chapter meets in Albuquerque, Darynda and I live at nearly opposite ends of New Mexico, which is a pretty big state. Thus, while I fly out of Albuquerque – an hour’s drive south for me – Darynda flies out of Amarillo, Texas.

However, we both connected to New Orleans via Dallas Love Field. And were on the same flights both going and coming back.

Total surprise to us both.

Thus, we ended up with Before (left) and After (right) airplane selfies.

I think it’s interesting to see the difference in our faces. The light is warmer in the After pic, because it’s morning in New Orleans, versus the harsher mid-afternoon light of Dallas in the Before. But even factoring that in, I think we both look more relaxed and happy in the After pic.

Maybe a little more tired. Possibly a few pounds heavier from all the damn beignets.

But still, I look at the photo of us after a week with our tribe, talking books, reading and writing non-stop and I see that it was good for both of us. I’ve kind of been harping on return on investment (ROI) lately, because so many people seem to want to apply that standard to the cost of attending conventions. This is more of a business approach than I typically take to writing. After all, if I only cared about making money, I could have become a stockbroker. If I can make a good living as a writer, I’ll be delighted. That is, in fact, my plan. But that’s partly because writing feeds me on other levels, too.

I can see it in my face.

Eleven Pipers & the Divine Ms D!

fifthgraveWe’re counting down to Christmas and today, instead of offering you eleven pipers piping, which could get seriously irritating pretty damn fast, I have one of my local chapter friends offering something even better!

Darynda Jones is a mega-selling Big Deal Author, it’s true. However, she’s also a member of the Land of Enchantment Romance Authors (LERA), my local RWA chapter. When I moved to Santa Fe a few years ago, I never expected that I’d become part of this truly close, supportive and awesome group of authors. Another LERA gal, Katie Lane, will be handling the Eight Maids a Milking Day.

Today is our LERA Christmas Party, so I get to leave in a few hours to spend some time with these gals who are truly part of my greater family. We’ll be posting pics, so look for those later today!

On to the presents!

Darynda is giving away a digital copy of any of her books – winner’s choice – and a $25 iTunes gift card. Check out her Facebook post on this! Or refer back to my original post for rules.

Good luck everyone! I hope you get to spend some festive time with your besties, too.

Twelve Days of Gifts!

CM-3152-SSToday marks the start of my Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway! For BaGOfH_CIAAuf91the next twelve days, I will be giving away special treats to mark the countdown to Christmas. Yes, I know that the first day of Christmas is really Christmas Day and it counts up from there – I promise they do it correctly in my naughty holiday novella, Five Golden Rings.

But this is way more fun!

And, because this is the season of appreciating good friends, look for some of my writer buddies to be participating too! More details as time passes….

So, for today’s Goodie Giveaway, rather than 12 Drummers Drumming, I’m offering a Create Your Own Cookie Collection from Wolferman’s Bakery, plus a digital copy of Five Golden Rings. (Or one of my other books, if you already have one.)

At the very end, I’ll draw a from all the entries and draw a winner for this really pretty sterling silver Partridge in a Pear Tree pendant (or a $100 gift card, if overseas shipping becomes an issue).

To enter just comment on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads. Share the Facebook posts, Retweet the tweets, say something about how much you like the author or books. Either tag me there or comment on this post to tell me what you did. Easy peasy! I’ll draw each day’s winner the following morning and the Grand Prize Winner on Christmas!

The schedule so far!

12/13   12 Drummers Drumming

A dozen Wolferman’s cookies and a digital copy of Five Golden Rings!

12/14    11 Pipers Piping

Darynda Jones, $25 iTunes gift card and a digital copy of any of her books!

12/15    10 Lords-a-Leaping

Carolyn Crane with a special delivery of her favorite candy treats and an ARC of her brand new romantic suspense Off the Edge!

12/16    9 Ladies Dancing

Tawna Fenske, who I can vouch is great in bed, will be giving away a copy of Believe It or Not!

12/17    8 Maids-a-Milking

Katie Lane with goodies and copies of her Cowboy Christmas books!

12/18    7 Swans-a-Swimming

Debut author Audra North is offering a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N along with a copy of her debut book Falling for the CEO!

12/19   6 Geese-a-Laying

Anne Calhoun will be giving away some Ghirardelli chocolates, an ARC of Jaded – not out until February! – a copy of Uncommon Passion

12/20    5 Gold Rings

Something very special from Jeffe

12/21    4 Colly Birds

Megan Mulry with a hot-off-the-press ARC of her upcoming release R Is for Rebel!

12/22    3 French Hens – TBA

12/23    2 Turtle Doves

My fabulous agent, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg is offering two lovey-dovey opportunities for a query and first chapter critique!

12/24   And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Pendant Grand Prize!

Release Week Shenanigans

Jeffe & DaryndaWHEW!

You know, we call it Release Day, when our books hit the market, but it’s more like Release Marathon. My mom has a friend who says “the birthday isn’t over until all the gifts are in.” That’s a bit how this feels. Yesterday was like my birthday, with all of the congratulations on the release of Rogue’s Possession, and now there’s more today and for the foreseeable future.

You guys are so great!

So, there’s all sorts of things going on.

My fabuloso buddy, Darynda Jones, also has a release today, making us Release Day Twins. Thus, we’re doing a Trivia Showdown over on Facebook. It’s pretty damn funny, I think. See, I asked her five questions and she gave me her answers. I posted them as multiple choice, filling in the other options myself. Maybe it’s diabolical of me, but I get pretty tickled when people choose my red-herring answers. Today she’ll ask ME five questions. Top prize is a $50 gift card to Wolferman’s Bakery, for the sheer numminess. Book giveaways are naturally also part of the deal!

I’m also over at Here Be Magic today, with an excerpt from Rogue’s Possession, just for fun – and wishing sister Word Whore, Veronica Scott a very Happy Birthday!

There’s a couple of giveaways in progress also. Hie on over to Pearls Cast Before a McPig or, if you want to read a chat between Rogue and Gwynn (who doesn’t, right??) you can visit So Many Reads.

See what I mean?

Send baked goods!

In Which I Catch You Up on ALL THE NEWS

eK lunchAnother photo from the RT Convention. This is me (in the yellow hat, if you don’t know) going out for barbeque with the eKensington group. I’m standing next to Alexandra Nicolajsen, who is the Digital Content/Marketing Manager for Kensington. The rest are other authors, except for the lady kneeling by the pig’s snout. That’s Alicia Condon, Editorial Director of Kensington’s Brava line. Just in case any of you want to stalk her at a conference. 😉

I feel like I have a lot of news to catch up on. I’ve been posting things in dribs and drabs, but I’m not sure where I posted what or who I told which thing. So, it seems like a Fridayish, wrap-the-week up kind of thing to list it all here. Forgive me if this is stuff you all already know.

So…

RUBY, Book 3 in the Facets of Passion series, releases on Monday!!!!Ruby_final  There have been a lot of great reviews already, so I’m really excited for this one to hit the world. I’ve also been giving copies away on Twitter this week to people who sing back the songs to me when I post lyrics. Pretty fun! Maybe I should do it on Facebook, too?

Along those lines, Book 4 in Facets of Passion, ORO, will be in Carina Press’s erotic holiday anthology coming out in December that Angela James is editing. I’m just thrilled about that, especially about the stellar writers I’ll be keeping company with: Christine d’Abo, Jodie Griffin and newbie writers to Carina, Elise Logan and Emily Ryan-Davis.

 This weekend (starting today, in fact) is the Southwest Book Fiesta. I’ll be hanging at a booth with my local chapter, the gals from LERA. I’m the Featured Author at the booth from 11 to 12 Saturday, May 11, and again from 5 to 6. Also, at 2pm, I’ll be on a panel with some other romance authors, including the fabulously famous New York Times Bestselling Author Miss Darynda Jones. I fully intend to bask in any glory she happens to reflect.

By way of promoting the Book Fiesta, I was interviewed on local TV. It’s kind of fun to watch – and very brief!

When I was at the World Fantasy Convention last fall, I met this Australian gal, Em Craven, who has a popular website called the E-book Revolution. She later interviewed me via Skype and posted the podcast recently. It’s about an hour long, but we had a really interesting conversation. She comes at things from a more fantasy/science-fiction perspective, a group of readers who’ve been oddly slow in embracing eBooks, especially as compared to the romance community.

In other news, I have confirmation now that my modern retelling of The Phantom of the Opera will officially be called MASTER OF THE OPERA. It will come out in January 2014, in six digital episodes, releasing every two weeks. SO interested to see how it’s received. I’m working on edits for it now and having a great time with my new Kensington editor, Peter Senftleben.

After that, Book 1 of The Twelve Kingdoms will come out in trade paperback in June 2014, with Book 2 in December. Book 1 is the one I called The Middle Princess, but that title will change. The spin-off story Negotiation, a prequel to the trilogy, will be out in an anthology, THUNDER ON THE BATTLEFIELD, Volume II,  in June – eBook first, followed by mass-market paperback.

I’m auctioning off two things in Brenda Novak’s big online auction to benefit diabetes research. One is a one-on-one mentorship with me, for you aspiring writers out there. The other is the opportunity to have a meal (your choice, as schedules allow) at the RWA convention in Atlanta with me and the fabulous Carolyn Crane. We’ll treat and you can bring one friend along – or keep us all to yourself! – and dish with you on any topic you like.

Finally – and this is funny – I’ve been talked into having a Street Team. For those who don’t know, this is just a loose association of readers who want to pimp my books to the world. Because this concept always makes me think of Westside Story, the team is officially the Jeffe Jets. Yes, you can absolutely sing the theme song and I think we *have* to get the jackets at some point. At any rate, if you want to play, let me know. If you want to coordinate, even better because I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.

Whew! I think that’s everything. A lot, right?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Boy on Boy

I’m just about out of Tucson photos. I need to get busy around here again.

I’d hoped to be taking a lot of nifty pics in Boston this weekend, but alas we’ve canceled our trip. Ironically, I also finished my revision of The Body Gift, which had been consuming my thoughts and energy. So I don’t even relish my suddenly free weekend to work on it.

I am, however, going back to the novel I started before Christmas, which I think I’ll call The Middle Princess for the time being. No, I don’t always do three-word titles. Sometimes I do one-word titles or, in a salient example, an eight-word title.

At any rate, I’ve been thinking about male/male romance.

What – you didn’t follow that transition? Keep up!

For those of you living under a rock, m/m romance is a huge trend these days. These are essentially traditional romance novels, except that the hero and heroine are a hero and hero. The novels are largely written by women and read by women. There’s all kinds of debate about whether or not the stories are accurate depictions of male homosexuality, and if they should be. Every once in a while someone will produce an article where gay men make scathing comments about the romance/sex/level of realism. And they speculate about why women want to write and read this stuff.

The astute women ask why hetero men like to watch girl on girl so much and leave it at that.

It would be kind of amusing to see an article about girl on girl porn scenes, asking lesbians about the level of realism and whether these scenes accurately portray a lesbian love-affair.

So, I read one of these books a bit ago, partly to broaden my horizons and partly because the book received such a good review. I enjoyed it, too. One of the characters was more dominant, a business-man who wasn’t openly out of the closet. The other, flamboyantly gay, “never topped.” The dynamic felt familiar. One man was more ambitious, busy and closed off, the other more emotional, who loved to cook and read.

Some conflict revolved around being out together in public, with the one being so flamboyant, dealing with family and similar issues that this less-acceptable sexuality brings. But the main conflict came from the balance of power in the relationship, vulnerability and intimacy. As the more flamboyant man sulked, threw fits and struggled emotionally, I realized that a lot of that behavior would have annoyed me in a female character. It was as if, by being male, he had license to behave as outrageously as he wished. In some ways, his emotions were more valid to me, than they would have been in a female character.

So, this is one book and I’m not a sociologist. Still, I’ve grown up in a culture where women’s emotionality is considered boggy ground. As professionals, we’re expected to behave more like men emotionally. In relationships, being too emotional is considered cheating. I wonder if the m/m romance gives more room to explore the love relationship without bringing up those damming triggers.

When I brought this up with a group of writer friends, though, the ever-saucy Darynda Jones blinked at me and said, “I just think they’re hot.”

There you are then.

First Grave on the Right


Tis the season for debuts.

I’d like to introduce you to another young lady new on the scene.

Next Tuesday, February 1, marks the release day for First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones. I know you’re wondering how a glamorous young novel gets ready to hit the scene. I’ll give you a little peek.

This gal is acutely conscious of her figure. A good work out starts the day off right.


A healthy (and slimming) breakfast.


A bit of beauty rest for our gal.

Then it’s time for a trip to the salon! A facial is just what a girl needs.

A new hairstyle, to wow the paparazzi.

Dress rehearsal! Trying out her new spot at the book store.

I think she looks amazing, don’t you?

Thank you to Kimberly Hull and Larry Redlin at Skinplicity, the most exclusive spa in Santa Fe, for donating their services. (And yes, I totally told them I’d say that, since they indulged me in my picture-taking.)

As a special bonus, I will give my ARC away to the first commenter who can identify five ways that my ARC cover is different than the final cover (top photo). There are audio book excerpts included!