Friday, May 31, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - Take me out to the ball game...

It's Friday!  What are you celebrating this week?  To join this great hop, head on over to VikLit's blog and sign up!

This week, I'm celebrating the fact that I'm going to see a Rangers game.  You all know that hockey is my preferred sport, but I do enjoy going to a baseball game every once in a while.  This will be the first game I've attended in several years, and I'm already geared up for a stadium hot dog.  Yum!

How was your week?

Photo Friday - Cooking edition

I'm not a chef.  I don't even cook that much.  I tell myself it's not because I can't, but because I don't want to.  I'm not sure people believe me when I say this.

Regardless, one of the stars in my limited culinary repertoire is bruschetta. I made a batch today for my mom's book club, and it seemed to go over well, if the empty bowl was any indication.

Do you cook?  What's your signature dish?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Does author behavior influence your buying habits?
There's been new chatter in the Twitter-verse about authors behaving badly (although really, does it ever stop?).  By now, you know the basics: someone responded badly to a review/blog post/Tweet written about their book, and given the public nature of the internet, their meltdown quickly went viral.  It's not pretty, but like a train wreck, we (in the collective sense) can't look away.

My question to you is this, dear readers.  When you see or hear about these author meltdowns, does it influence your buying behavior?  I ask because one school of thought tells us that no publicity is bad--even if people are talking about you for the wrong reasons, it still gets your name out there.  Perhaps this is another example of infamy being better than obscurity.

Personally, I think meltdowns by new authors can be the kiss of death. You (in the general sense) have not yet developed a forgiving fan base, and why would you want your name associated with any kind of negativity?  Maybe I'm wrong, but I think those authors who have written a gajillion NYT bestsellers have a sufficiently large fan base that even when said author is being obnoxious, enough of their fans won't see it that way, and will continue to buy their books.  Of course, you don't write a gajillion NYT bestsellers unless you're a professional, and professionals tend to conduct themselves as such.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Thanks

I hope you all are having a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.  I just want to take a minute to thank those who serve or have served, either in the Armed Forces or as a First Responder.  I know it doesn't always seem that way, but we as a nation are grateful for your sacrifices.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - Movie edition!

It's time for another edition of Celebrate the Small Things!  Be sure to sign up here to participate in this great hop!

This week, I'm celebrating the fact that the Hangover Part III was released!  I totally loved the original movie, and while I thought Part II wasn't so great, I'm excited to see Part III.

Yes, I know these movies are ridiculous.  And immature.  And not everyone enjoys them.  But they make me laugh, and I get to look at Bradley Cooper for 2 hours.  Seems like a win-win to me.

What movies are your guilty pleasure?

Photo Friday - Revisions

Image credit
I'm headed back into the revision cave to polish Thomas and Claire's story.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Love in Bloom Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations go to...

Meghan Stith

Please email me your address, and I will get your books in the mail!

Thanks to all who participated, and be sure to come back next month for another giveaway!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pictures from Dallas Comic Con

I attended the Dallas Comic Con this past weekend, and was surprised by the number of people there.  I knew Comic Cons were popular, but this was really something.

The line to pick up your pre-ordered ticket.  Note, this line winds back and forth through the parking garage.  It took over an hour to get through, but at least we were standing in the shade!
There were three fields of cars, along with a parking garage about a quarter mile away.
Costumes were out in full force, ranging from the truly detailed...

Yes, that is a giant Chewbaca
My friend Cathie meets Darth Vader
Why so serious, Joker boy?
To the lackadaisical.

Guess he figured the mask was good enough?
I got to meet Adam Baldwin (who has very pretty eyes, by the way), and I also got to see Horatio Hornblower, er, I mean Ioan Gruffudd!

Such a lovely voice...
And of course, no Con would be complete without a little swag...

My new favorite purse...
So there you have it!  It was a fun weekend, and I'd definitely go back again!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Making new friends...

Look who came to visit today!  Isn't he adorable?

We put out some celery and carrots, so hopefully he'll stick around and grow.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - Technology edition

It's time for another Celebrate the Small Things post!  Check out the sign up link on VikLit's blog to join us!
This week, I'm celebrating technology. I finally broke down and got a smart phone, and I am currently addicted to Words With Friends and Ruzzle (my username is Lara Lacombe, should any of you want to play.  I'm horrible at Ruzzle, but pretty good at WWF, if I do say so myself).

What are you celebrating this week?

Photo Friday - Comic Con edition

This weekend I'm going to the Dallas Comic Con!  I've never been to a Comic Con before, so I'm pretty excited.  As you can see, I do enjoy my comics/graphic novels, and I think it's a safe bet I'll find more this weekend.

Have any of you been to a Comic Con before?  What should I expect?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop!

This month, I'm excited to participate in the Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop, hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer.

The prize for this giveaway is a collection of three autographed Harlequin Presents books!  The Forbidden Ferrara by Sarah Morgan, The Argentinian's Solace by Susan Stephens, and Strangers in the Desert by Lynn Raye Harris.  That's a lot of love for one giveaway!

The Forbidden Ferrara (Harlequin Presents Series #3068)The Argentinian's Solace (Harlequin Presents Series #3058)Strangers in the Desert (Harlequin Presents Series #3051)

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter form below.  The giveaway is open to US residents, and will run through May 22.  I will post the winner's name on May 23.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Inquiring minds, and all that...

So here's a question for all you readers (translation: everyone): what makes you decide to take a chance on a new author?  Is it the book blurb?  The cover?  The phase of the moon?  Some other intangible quality?

I generally pick up a book based on its cover, then read the blurb.  If I'm still interested, I'll flip to a random page and read a paragraph.  If I still want to read, I'll buy it.

This strategy works for physical books, but obviously with an e-book, I can't actually pick it up.  I still look at the cover and read the description, but for some reason, I don't really worry about the excerpt. I think it's the allure of one-click buying that makes me skip my final step.

How do you decide?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

You like me--you really like me!

Lots of love going around the blogosphere these days--I've got 2 more awards to share with you all!  Many, many thanks to both S.K. Anthony and J.L. Murphy for these awards--I really appreciate it!

First up is the Super Sweet Award!

Here are the questions:

What is your favorite dessert? Buttermilk pie
Cake or Ice Cream? Can I have both? :)
When do you like desserts most? Um, I don't understand the question.  Am I awake?  Because if so, I want dessert.
Would you choose cookies or cake? Depends... Are they chewy cookies?  'Cause that's the only way to go.
Vanilla or chocolate? Hmm... I like swirls, but if I have to pick just one, I'm gonna go with chocolate.

Next up is the Shine On award!

Here are my 7 facts:

1.  Pedicures are something of a guilty pleasure for me.  I have to wear closed-toe shoes most of the time, but I still like my feet to look pretty!
2.  I love musicals.
3.  I have yet to buy a smart phone--I still have a simple model that will talk, text, and take a picture, but I can't surf the internet or do anything fancy.
4.  I am mildly afraid of heights.
5.  Mosquitoes find me irresistible.
6.  My favorite season is fall.
7.  I haven't ridden a bike in about 20 years.  I know they say you never forget how, but I have no desire to test that theory...

I'm going to shake things up a bit--rather than selecting only a few bloggers, everyone who reads this post has been awarded!  Pick one, pick both--let's keep it going!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - Recovery

Have you joined this blog hop yet?  It's so easy--head on over to VikLit's blog to add your name to the roster, and come celebrate with us!

This week I'm celebrating the fact that the spring semester has ended, and I now have a few weeks off before my summer session begins.  I plan on sleeping, writing, and sleeping some more :)
What are you celebrating this week?

Photo Friday - Graduation edition

Today is our graduation ceremony!  Hard to believe the school year is over...

I'm not actually participating in the ceremony--I'm volunteering to check-in graduates, but I won't be sticking around for the awarding of degrees.  None of my students are graduating right now, but I hope these students enjoy their special day!

Are you attending or participating in a graduation ceremony this spring?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

More blog love!

The lovely and kind S.K. Anthony has nominated me for a blog award! Many thanks!

This is the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and the rules are simple:

1. Display the logo on your blog (check!)
2. Link back to your nominator (done--thanks again, S.K.!)
3. Share 7 things about yourself
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award
5. Notify your nominees

Here are 7 things about me!

1. I was born and raised in Texas, but don't have much of an accent.
2. I learned to read when I was 2 years old.
3. I like to have a candle burning when I write.
4. My favorite color is green.
5. My favorite TV station is BBC America.
6. I love to watch hockey.
7. I am on a never-ending search for the best Bloody Mary.

And now for my nominees--15 is a lot, so I'm just going to stick with 5.

Deniz Bevan
Deb's Writing Room
Jen FitzGerald
Father Dragon
Lexa Cain

Head on over to their blogs, and tell 'em hi for me!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring has sprung!

Well, this weekend, at least.  Temperatures have gone up and down over the past few weeks, but the past few days have been quite lovely. I took advantage of the weather to visit the Arboretum, which was a garden paradise.  I thought I'd share some of it with you, to start your week off with something pretty!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Celebrate the Small Things - Recap edition

After taking the month of April off, I'm happy to be back and participating in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop, hosted by VikLit.

This week, I'm celebrating the fact that I survived the A to Z blog challenge.  It was tough but fun, and I had a blast reading everyone's posts and responding to comments on my own blog.  I really enjoyed the experience, and I'll definitely sign up for next year's challenge!

I'm also celebrating playoff hockey.  Although my beloved Dallas Stars did not make the playoffs, my other team, the Washington Capitals, did. I'm watching their first game as I write this post, and so far, they're winning <knock on wood>.  If you've read my blog for very long, you know that Thomas, the hero of my second book, looks a lot like Brooks Laich.  I tell myself that watching the games counts as research. :)

Finally, I'm celebrating the fact that tonight, I'm going to see Iron Man 3!  Hooray for superhero movies!

What are you all celebrating this week?

Photo Friday - Conference edition

Photo Friday is back!  After a month-long hiatus courtesy of the A to Z blog challenge, I'm happy to return to my regular Friday features.

Today's picture is the bag I received at the 2012 DFW Writers' Conference.  I had a wonderful time at last year's conference, and I'm excited to return this year.  They have a great line-up scheduled, so it looks to be a productive and educational weekend!

Is anyone else going?  Be sure to say hi if you see me there!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Looking for a new book?

I'm thrilled to announce that today is the release day for my friend and fellow agency sister Amara Royce's debut book, Never Too Late!

Amara is celebrating all day--stop by her blog for a full schedule of events, and for a chance to win some awesome prizes!

Congratulations, Amara!  Happy release day!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

IWSG - May edition

Welcome to the May edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group! I missed April's post due to the A to Z blog challenge, but I'm back and I hope you guys will forgive my absence.

Today I want to talk about motivation.  What keeps you on track, writing-wise, when life gets in the way?  Do you have a daily goal in terms of word count?  Do you have a set schedule, a dedicated time to write every day?

As for me, I find that keeping a daily record of words written helps, because it makes me want to write even more the next day.  My schedule prevents me from writing much while at work, so I devote several hours every night to take care of my blogging and writing.

I love challenges like NaNoWriMo, be it the November full version, or the summer camps.  I signed up for the April camp, and challenged myself to write 20,000 words.  Although I am about 2,000 words short of my goal, I did manage to finish the manuscript I was working on, so I consider it a win.  I love the social aspect of the challenge, and the way my progress is mapped out every day.  There's something about feeling like part of a group that makes writing more fun and keeps me on track--after all, I don't want to be the slacker in my Cabin!

What about you?  How do you keep going when you're tired, or when the words just don't flow?