Thursday, September 28, 2006

MadLibs - Round 2

I'm here in humid Boca Raton. How come no one has figured out that AIR CONDITIONING fixes the humidity problem inside????? I just had breakfast downstairs at the hotel and feel like I've been in a sauna. The client's office will probably be just as bad (sigh). I'm going to start showing up for training wearing a t-back and gauze, I swear!

Ah well, enough complaining for the morning - here are round two of the MadLibs"


Mrs. Fifi Vanderbold, the freaky and whiney heiress, has filed for divorce from her husband, Percy Vanderbold, the former cold chair of Harvard, class of '38, now in the swimming pool. Mrs. Vanderbold claimed that her husband had drank her bed of pink flowers and tracked stupid mud into the house. He also criticized her cooking. Mr. Vanderbold, when asked to comment, said, "Oh No! I didn't do it. The pet Gator ruined the flowers. And I offered to take her out to restaurants more often!"

(fyi - Tammy gets extra points for the Gator reference) :)


Mrs. Fifi Vanderbold, the shriveled and damp heiress, has filed for divorce from her husband, Percy Vanderbold, the former succulent toe nail of Harvard, class of '38, now in the motorcycle business. Mrs. Vanderbold claimed that her husband had sneezed her bed of gold flowers and tracked hairy mud into the house. He also criticized her cooking. Mr. Vanderbold, when asked to comment, said, "Yikes! I didn't do it. The pet gorilla ruined the flowers. And I offered to take her out to restaurants more often!"


Mrs. Fifi Vanderbold, the creepy and ignorant heiress, has filed for divorce from her husband, Percy Vanderbold, the former filthy skateboard of Harvard, class of '38, now in the necklace business. Mrs. Vanderbold claimed that her husband had danced her bed of purple flowers and tracked monsterous mud into the house. He also criticized her cooking. Mr. Vanderbold, when asked to comment, said, "Holy crap! I didn't do it. The pet tiger ruined the flowers. And I offered to take her out to restaurants more often!"

So let the voting begin - who was funniest??????

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

MadLib Results Round 1

Six of you entered the MadLib challenge. The topic was "Newspaper Article." Here are the results from the first three:


Mrs. Fifi Vanderbold, the sticky and mucky heiress, has filed for divorce from her husband, Percy Vanderbold, the former loose axle of Harvard, class of '38, now in the Superman cape business. Mrs. Vanderbold claimed that her husband had fainted her bed of puce flowers and tracked lustful mud into the house. He also criticized her cooking. Mr. Vanderbold, when asked to comment, said, "Woot! I didn't do it. The pet Siberian White Tiger ruined the flowers. And I offered to take her out to restaurants more often!"


Mrs. Fifi Vanderbold, the crazy and fierce heiress, has filed for divorce from her husband, Percy Vanderbold, the former adorable stilleto of Harvard, class of '38, now in the pasta business. Mrs. Vanderbold claimed that her husband had forgot her bed of aubergine flowers and tracked hot mud into the house. He also criticized her cooking. Mr. Vanderbold, when asked to comment, said, "Ay Caramaba! I didn't do it. The pet Platypus ruined the flowers. And I offered to take her out to restaurants more often!"


Mrs. Fifi Vanderbold, the radioactive and slow heiress, has filed for divorce from her husband, Percy Vanderbold, the former conservative singer of Harvard, class of '38, now in the clown business. Mrs. Vanderbold claimed that her husband had hesitated her bed of green flowers and tracked foresighted mud into the house. He also criticized her cooking. Mr. Vanderbold, when asked to comment, said, "Holy Moses! I didn't do it. The pet cow ruined the flowers. And I offered to take her out to restaurants more often!"

Hope you enjoyed! More tomorrow as I am off to sunny Boca Raton.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Books & MadLib Monday

Good morning all, and sorry for no post yesterday. I had computer issues early in the morning and an eye appointment at lunch (came back looking like a stoner). Anyway, tiny print was not an option for the afternoon.

Got a great surprise yesterday - books have arrived. Check it out - boxes of pretty books!

Anyway, just had to interrupt the (should-have-been) Monday post to share my excitement over books. I'll try to take another picture of me laying in the books. I did think about sleeping with some.

So anyway - my new idea that I was going to do on Monday before the computer malfunction and the eye doctor experience was Monday MadLibs. Do you all remember MadLibs? God, I hope so. MadLibs were fun and I figured what a cool idea for fun on a blog. So away we go - you fill in the blanks and I'll put it all together and post results later this week.

Funniest MadLib blog wins a signed copy of Rumble! Here's the list:

Verb (Past Tense)

Ready - set - MadLib!

Friday, September 22, 2006


Every once and a while, I see someone who just makes me stop for a second and go "huh?" Does this ever happen to you? Like this morning. I'm in Atlanta this week, so I'm doing the hotel thing again - great for people watching, mind you - but this guy.........

So I'm headed back to my room after breakfast at the clubhouse and I go to get on the elevator when this guy gets off. He's wearing dark, ironed (with a HUGE crease in front) blue jeans. I could have even gone the "okay, he's anal retentive about wrinkles and likes the dark dye route," but the pants legs were about five inches too long and he had them rolled up on his ankles. Not even in a couple of neat tucks over and over - no ONE BIG HONKING ROLL - five inches up his leg. He had one of those big bellies too and no hiney, and he was one of those who insist on tucking in his polo shirt (that was WAY too tight) into his pants. The waistband was pulled up almost to his boobs (yes, he had boobs) and his tennis shoes (to contrast the dark jeans and shirt) were a glaring white.

Now I'd put this guy at mid to late thirties.

So what the heck happened? This is the free world????? Everyone has television (mostly), everyone is out among society everyday (mostly). Why do some people miss the boat? And I don't mean designer labels and expensive items. Heck, even Wal-Mart has fashionable clothes. I'm talking about people who had to have looked HARD to come up with the things they wear. What is going on with them?

If anyone has a theory on this one, please blog it. It's one of those things I've never, ever been able to come up with an explanation for.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Remember When

Okay, I want to start this off by saying I'm not that old. Stop laughing, those of you who know me - I'm not. I haven't even hit the big 40 yet. Technically, I barely a member of Gen X, so I can't be that old. But this is something I got to thinking about last night and then started wondering where this dependency came from - on cell phones.

Recently movie theaters in Dallas got together because they had the grand (I think) idea of blocking cell phone signals in the movie theater. YEAH!!!!! I thought. No more yelling like some psychotic bitch in the movie theater at the a-hole that thinks I paid $7.50 to hear him talk. But people were so up in arms about it, that I don't know if it will ever happen. And you should have seen the people on television protesting. I guarantee not a single one of them would be receiving a phone call that started with "we have an emergency at Mercy General and need the best brain surgeon in Texas" or "that's a 42 car pile up on I-20 and we need all emergency medical personel to attend." Nothing like that. I know it's nothing like that because I've heard the conversations. They usually go something like this:

"Hello" - "No, I'm at the movies." - "We're seeing ______." - "Yeah, it's all right. (so and so) looks hot." etc...............

One lady even made the argument that her husband had a heart attack in the theater and if she hadn't had her cell phone to call 911, he would have died. Uh, yeah, because there are no land lines in the theater and even if there were, theater employees would never call 911 for a heart attack victim??????? Then some said "I need to know if my babysitter needs to get ahold of me." Blah, blah, blah, the list goes on and on.

But I remember a time when there were no cell phones. When babysitters were expected to babysit and you checked in with them if you were paranoid that you hadn't hired the right person. I remember when an emergency was just that - not "girl, there's a sale on t-shirts at Foley's, what color do you want? Then there's the people who have their six, seven, eight year-olds with cell phones. Have you lost your damn mind. Their arguement - when they needs to be picked up they can call that way they are not unattended. Excuse me - what about we try "parenting" again and we make sure small children are never required to use a cell phone to make sure adults do their job.

I remember a time without answering machines too. You know, when if someone wanted to talk to you, they had to keep calling until you were home.

Life seemed a lot simplier and less frantic before we all decided we were too important to be unreachable.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More Praise for Rumble

I got an email yesterday from Bella Stander - Promotions Woman Extraordinaire - to say that she'd read RUMBLE (copy supplied by fabulous agent Kristin Nelson) and loved it. Check out her blog where she talked about it.

Now this is particularly pleasing to me for two reasons - One, when I worked with Bella in January she told me she did not read romance. Two - as a book promotions expert she is exposed to all manner and level of books but she liked mine.

For those of you who don't know Bella, let me assure you that she knows what she's doing. If you can't afford the publicist route - or it's just not prudent given the size of your print run or distribution - then I'd definitely look into setting up a couple of phone sessions with Bella. I had two one-hour phone sessions with her in January and the result was a five page document outlining my goals for RUMBLE, both pre-sale and post, and how I was going to achieve them. Not only did she put this non-marketing person on a plan in the right direction, she unleashed the marketing creativity in me that I didn't know I had and it hasn't stopped since then. Every week I come up with new ideas for ways to market RUMBLE. Some of them a little late now, but I'm storing them for the next book.

Basically, my talks with her taught me to think like a marketing professional and that's something I didn't have any bend toward whatsoever. So if you need a little direction with your publicity - need a jump start in your marketing thinking - schedule some time with Bella.

You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Curse or Expectation

So now that Whitney and Bobby are the latest of the "reality tv" breakups, I have to say that I'm getting tired of hearing that there's a "curse" on couples that star on reality tv shows - showcasing their ridiculous lives. Let's take a look at the list - Jessica & Nick, Whitney & Bobby, That drummer guy and the beauty queen (Barkers I think) - and I know there's more that I'm not remembering.

Now really. Are we shocked that these couples didn't make it???? Are you living under a rock?????

I think the networks knew exactly what they were doing when they put these people on tv. They weren't hoping to show how Hollywood couples struggled, loved and thrived under the bright lights and pressure of being famous. Heck no! They picked people they knew sooner or later were going to self-destruct, with the hopes that they'd catch it on a live feed. It's like having the paparazzi living in your house with a set of tv cameras.

But it goes to show how silly Hollywood people are. They actually believe people are interested in watching them eat Thanksgiving dinner or debate the merits of whether Chicken of the Sea is chicken or tuna.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

More Bad Behavoir

So I've been blogging recently about bad behavoir and lack of manners among general society. With my travels I see more of it than I'd like to, but it's also been interesting in its own frustrating (and sometimes disgusting) sort of way. The topic this time however, is not my choosing, but it is definitely one of my pet peeves. Actually, my husband asked me to blog on this topic of bad behavoir - probably in the hopes that it would be corrected by society and he'd be able to go forth in peace from now on. :) Yeah, right. Anyway the rule he'd like everyone to follow is:

Don't blow your nose at the dinner table.

I have to agree - this is gross. Especially in a restaurant, especially when it's people you don't know. Maybe you can stomach it if it's your husband or kids, but c'mon, people, this is really bad manners.

So when I bring up this subject, I always have someone get indignant (probably a table-blower) and ask "so what am I supposed to do, go to the bathroom just to blow my nose?" My answer - "yes, that's exactly what you're supposed to do." Some people seem to think the idea is ludicris and a waste of time. My question to them is - would you break wind at the dinner table too? Of course, I have some family that considers this act a tribute to the cook that the food was delicious, but that's a whole other issue and one I promise I won't be featuring in any of my books!

Obviously, most decent people are apalled at the thought, but what's the difference? In reality, gas diassaptes and is gone. Blow your nose and a snotty rag/napkin is then sitting on tablecloth along with your dinner and everyone else's - carrying god knows what germs.

I don't want to see/hear anyone blow their nose while I'm eating any more than I want to see a man rearrange himself or anyone scratch their butt.

Allergy season is among us - let's take those drippy noses to the bathroom.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Lazy Friday

Yeah! It's Friday. And boy was it long in coming. I am tired this week. I don't know whether it was the travel or the allergies acting up (I LOATHE ragweed) but I feel like I've lived a hundred weeks in this one. So I'm super glad it's Friday. Of course, I have five billion things to do this weekend, but hey, maybe I'll actually sleep till 6:30am or something cool like that.

So next week I speak at my local RWA chapter (DARA). I'm doing my workshop on taxation for writers. I hope too many people don't drop off to sleep. The Internal Revenue Code tends to have that effect on people.

I was putting together my workshop papers this morning before work and got to thinking about doing workshops altogether. "They" tell you to put in your bid for workshops at local writer's groups, RWA National, etc because it's good exposure. My question is - what if you stink at public speaking?

There was a time when I said - absolutely not - I am not doing workshops. I don't have anything to say and if I got in front of a group of people, I wouldn't be able to say it anyway. Then of course, I took my new job as a corporate trainer and that excuse sort of flew out the window. :) I'd actually given up right after my sale and hopped on the workshop bandwagon - figuring at least I could talk about taxes. In fact, for my new job, I had to give a demonstration workshop of anything I choose and this tax workshop is what I did. I got the job, so I guess it isn't so bad.

Taxes are easy for me. The thought of teaching writing technique, however, scares me to death. Who am I to talk about technique and tell other people how to do things right? I only did it right once so far. That hardly makes me an expert.

So what do you teach at writer's groups? And if you don't teach yet, have you thought about what you want to teach?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Personal Space

So first of all, I'd like to thank everyone who read this blog and made things happen. My mom emailed me to say that last night on the news they announced that the air marshalls would get to dress regular and not be treated differently. I never thought I had that much influence, but there it is. :) Now, if we could just handle that whole bathroom door thing, life would be sweet.

My second complaint - and this is one I come across more than just while traveling - people encroaching on your personal space.

I am a big personal space person. I will hug you if I like you, but I don't want to stand close to people I don't even know. I don't want them touching me and I definitely don't want to be close enough to smell them or feel them breathing on me.

So where this is very annoying is waiting for your baggage at the airport. Now, I get off the plane and usually make a pit stop (remember I NEVER make people get up so I can go on the plane) then I head across the terminal to get my baggage. People start to congregatge around the conveyor and at first they tend to keep a reasonable distance from each other and stand about five foot from the belt, so that everyone can actually SEE their luggage as it comes by. Then there's those people who show up at the last minute and literally step in between you and the guy next to you and stand directly in front of you, completely blocking your view and definitely invading your personal space.

Inevitably, these people are loud talkers or shifters (people who have to walk in place or do aerobics from one leg to another). Now I travel comfortable because most flights are hot, so I wear hiking sandals. I have to say that San Diego almost lost one of their citizens on Monday, because if he had stepped on my foot one more time, I was going to beat him with my carry-on. And I could have easily taken him.

So again, why do some people think they're so important that they should just push their way to the front then walk all over the people who were standing patiently in line? Are parents not raising children with any manners anymore??????? If we could carry liquids on the plane, I'd be tempted to have one of those mixes that we did as kids that smelled like the boys locker room. I think it was sulfur and something else. Yuck. But I bet no one would want to stand anywhere near me, much less close enough to step on my feet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

On the Road Again

You guess it - I'm on the road again. Back to sunny San Diego.

Since my flight out here was on none other than 9/11, my husband was a little worried and asked me a question that I've spent a bit of time studying on - "Have you even seen any air marshalls?"

My answer - I am pretty sure I have.

Based on the complaints of air marshalls in Dallas, my understanding is that they are required to wear suits. Don't even get me started as to why, when that sticks out a heck of a lot more than a guy in jeans/t-shirt and carrying a duffle bag, but this is our government at work. I have to say, as a writer, I spend a lot of time studying people. Not just looking - studying. And unless I'm frantically trying to get my blog to post while they're boarding the plane (like yesterday), I usually have some time in the airport to indulge my people studying.

This is why I think I've pegged the air marshalls - they have on suits, like all the other traveling businessmen, and they have those damned Bluetooth earpieces, but there's two huge differences:

1. The AM's aren't yelling into their earpieces puffing themselves up with their own importance and making sure everyone within a country mile can hear their entire conversation. (Like we want to).

2. The AM's don't pause from yelling to glance around and see who's looking at them thinking they're important. The AM's study, they don't glance, and when they use the phones it has that whole MIB feel to it. All they need is the sunglasses.

Which leads me to my next question - why do businessmen have to yell into their phones like self-important asses???? I absolutely hate these men. If my husband was one of these men, I'd kill him - divorce wouldn't be enough. No one is that important if they're flying commercial.

So have I seen an Air Marshall - I think so. They're the well-dressed, observant men who know how to talk on the phone at a civilized level. The rest of you should take lessons from them.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Weekend Update

What a fun weekend! Had a couple of friends come over to break in the new poker table. What did we play - Texas Hold 'em, Of course! It was a lot of fun even though I never, EVER win at cards. In fact, my bad luck is the kind of things stories are written about, and I've made it part of the concept of the book I'm working on now.

I had the big drawing for the contest winner for the ARC of Rumble. And the winner is (drumroll, please)........

Kathy Sullivan of Garland Texas!!!!!!!!!

Kathy is a member of DARA and a great all-round lady! I am thrilled for her to win the ARC!

I also saw two new movies in the last week and wanted to give you some advice and a warning.

First up - Snakes on a Plane

This movie was fun! Of course, I'm one of "those" people who just LOVE B-horror movies. Now, I want to give you fair warning - I think it was Wikepedia described this movie as "high concept." Uh, not so much. In fact, not at all. It gives the barest minimum explanation for why someone would put a bunch of poisonus snakes on a plane and that's about it. BUT, did I mention the fun factor???? This is definitely a movie you want to catch on a Friday/Sat night when all the teenagers are at the theater. Hearing them all scream is as entertaining as the movie. And this movie has the added merit of actually causing me to jump - once! But a movie hasn't made me jump in years, so Snakes on a Plane get the "one seat jumper" distinction!

Next movie - The WickerMan

I don't think I can begin to describe how much I hated this movie, except to say

I want back my $13 and two hours of my life!!!!!!!!

This is horrible. Totally, TOTALLY predictable and not the least bit interesting besides.

Can someone please, please tell Nic Cage that he has jumped the shark!

Did I mention horrible?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Last Chance for an ARC of Rumble!

Here's a reminder, folks. Anyone who hasn't signed up for my newsletter needs to do it soon. The drawing for a signed ARC (advanced reader copy) of Rumble will take place tonight.

I figured I'd turn 39 and draw a winner for my birthday.

I promise I will not be spamming your in-box. I don't have time to create beautiful newsletters and send them weekly. Heck, learning enough html to send the first one has been like attending college classes again.

Here's the link. Good luck!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

RT Review Revisited

I finally got my RT magazine in my hot little hands. I held off on posting their review on my blog (or website) because it was only available to subscribers at first and I figured anyone who would give me a TOP PICK probably wasn't the group of people I wanted to piss off by releasing their reviews to the general public before they intended.

My cover is made the table of contents page, so that was another thing to celebrate. Of course, that doesn't really surprise me since Dorchester did such a fabulous job with the cover design. It is truly eye-catching.

So without further ado - here's the meat of the review:

"Rumble on the Bayou is a wonderful, poignant and fun mystery, with a strong romantic subplot, in which all the major characters act in intelligent and responsible ways, not taking stupid chances. Filled with likeable and interesting individuals, this first-rate debut novel is a truly fantastic read."

Doesn't that just make you want to cry? Well, it makes me want to cry. Oh wait - already did that.

You know what my very first favorite part of the entire review is - when they said my characters acted intelligent and responsible. When I first read the review I let out a seriously loud "whoop" at that part.

Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, infuriates me more as a reader than a stupid hero/heroine. I read a book one time where the heroine kept rushing away from the hero even though everyone in the northern hemisphere was trying to kill her and he was the only one saving her butt. When she took off for the four-millionth time, I threw the book against a wall and yelled "let her go - maybe she'll die!"

You know you've reached an all-time low when you're yelling at inantimate objects.

So what's your pet peeve as a reader - bad plot, too much description.........???????

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How to Piss Off Your Cat and Spend $150

Today's topic - Hairballs.

We have a huge kitty named Vinnie. Technically, he's a feral cat (my husband rescued him and seven other kittens from under an air conditioning unit at his job). Thank God he gave away six of them before he got home with the last two - Vinnie and Marie.

Although Vinnie is probably not supposed to be a purebred, breeders always assume he is a Maine Coon. He is a huge cat (weighs in at 19-22 pounds, depending on season) and that's not fat. He's got this enormously thick set of fur and huge green eyes and he's absolutely gorgeous. This first picture is one of Vinnie before the $150 left my wallet.

The problem - the heat in Dallas this year.

Now Vinnie is eight years old and I have to say that until this year, I haven't had that much of a problem keeping knots out of his fur. Realize, of course, that a cat will only tolerate a brushing for so long before they've had enough. And when a cat has had enough of anything, that's when you stop. Completely.

So Vinnie's hair kept knotting worse and worse and I couldn't get it out, so we got him a haircut - a Lion Cut to be exact.

So check out the next picture and see how you can piss off your cat and spend $150 at the same time. Isn't he cute????? I wish he would have stood for the picture and you could have seen the furry little back feet. It's too much!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Contest #2

I know, I know - Contest #1 hasn't ended yet.

Yeah, but technically, contest #1 is a shorty. The Contest #2 winner will be drawn on September 30th. So here it is - A Gator Gift Basket!

The gift basket contains a stuffed alligator (representing my alter-ego - The Insta-Gator), some items made in Louisiana, an alligator bottle opener necklace, a recipe book featuring cajun recipes from my family and a signed copy of Rumble on the Bayou!

Entry is the same for all the contest - just sign up for my newsletter. To sign up click here!

If you've signed up before, you are automatically re-entered in all contests, so don't worry.

Good luck!

Monday, September 04, 2006

In Memory

Just logged onto the internet and read the news that Steve Irwin, better known as The Crocodile Hunter, died from a stingray strike while filming a special in Australia. Read the story here.

While I am not shocked by the manner of his death, I am deeply saddened. I loved watching Steve Irwin, and his dedication to animals was foremost in his life. Since I am a huge animal person myself, I could appreciate the work he did and the thrill he derived from doing it. The only caveat is that he died doing what he loved to do while alive.

It's a huge loss for Australia and the many animal organization and zoos he worked with.

My condolences to his wife and children.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Let the Contests Begin

It's officially September and I am barely one month out from the release of Rumble on the Bayou! Whoohoo! It seems like forever in coming, but at the same time, I need a couple more months to finish everything up.

I said I would start contests in September and although I have not yet updated my website, I thought I'd give my blog readers the head's up - to enter all contests, all you have to do is sign up for my newsletter. Once signed up, you'll be entered in everything I do over the next three months. It's that simple.

And please, don't worry about me spamming your in-box with a newsletter every day. I simply don't have the time even if I were rude enough to have the desire.

The first contest prize - a signed ARC of Rumble on the Bayou.

There's only one available and I'll draw for a winner on Setpember 9th to celebrate my birthday.

Here's the link. And keep a watch out for more contests coming soon, including the big Dooney & Bourke giveaway!

Have a great weekend and a safe holiday!
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