Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Sad Goodbye

I went to the book fair today-it was insane. Row upon row of amazing authors-Gena Showalter, our own Lillian Feisty, Tawny Taylor and so many more signing books and looking lovely. Tawny was talking to someone wielding a video camera-I'm not sure what that was about but maybe she'll spill the beans!

Had lunch with Jax and Karen, where we were met by Katherine Belle and her husband and gorgeous little daughter {she's adorable!}. You could see everyone was beginning to drag-and from what I heard about the party that I missed the night before-the Cowboy Vampire bash-I can understand why.
Everyone was beginning to pack up-slumped in bar chairs-relaxing and recovering in preparation for the Mr. Romance competition and the Immortals party-the last party of RT.
I looked at some of the pics that have been taken throughout this week-wait till you see! Everyone looks so amazing in their costumes. Of course there are some that perhaps should be locked away in some bribery vault-but I'm sure those will pop up as well.

A few of us holed up in a hotel room and cuddled on the bed-resting and chatting. We decided to-gasp-forego the Mr. Romance thing in lieu of an early dinner. Cookie was coming to pick me up and they were all exhausted-plus-when you've seen six or seven gorgeous hunks walking around in tight shirts for a few days they start to get a bit commonplace {did I just say that?! I must really be tired!!}

Cookie joined us and Feisty, Karen, Lisa and I went to this awesome seafood place...and then we parted ways. It was sad-but I'm heartened by the fact that I will see them all again in six weeks for RWA.

Now they have to get revved up and sexy once more for their last wild night as Immortals. I'm looking very forward to those pics-They have some great costumes for that. ;)

My wonderful week of fun has ended-I have a bag of books and pens, magnets and cards...I've met so many fascinating people-gotten my fill of eye candy-celebrated my first sale at a Fairy Ball-and met a handful of divas and other authors I am proud to call friends.

I want to thank them all for making this such a special week for me. And thank everyone who came to my blog for sharing the fun. If my mother wasnt coming for a visit I think I could easily sleep for a week.

I cannot wait for RWA!!!! Safe journey to all those flying home tomorrow-I'll be seeing you online soon!!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Glitter, Glitter Everywhere

Day three with your Voyeur on the scene. I would have written last night but I was wrecked-the fairies actually shut down the hotel bar. That's right. Kicked out, wings and all.

I guess I should start this story out with my morning news. Hobbling to my computer fairly late in the morning with my coffee and a new batch of aches and pains from the Moulin Rouge party-I proceeded to follow my usual regime. Checking divas, checking email etc. Two sips in my email was open to a reply from an Ellora's Cave editor-an email that sent me immediately into shock {where I still live}. My first manuscript actually got accepted. OMG.

Of course no one is available and most of the girls are in the middle of Club RT-which is a signing thing for readers. ACK! Luckily Crystal has great timing and called me just in time for me to freak out all over her lol.

Finally get a hold of Feisty-and she and Karen and Lisa yell and cheer and whoop and order me over immediately. A few hours later-after calling relatives and everyone I could think of-I arrive with Cookie in tow who joins me in a celebratory toast before running away in fear at Feisty's mention of a costume and glitter for him as well.

I must have told everyone who came near me my news, divas and perfect strangers alike. And several people bought me drinks {dangerous but very nice}. When the girls were totally done with their workshops on being bad girls, Feisty and Karen and I went to dinner, then came back to Fairy Up {yep, I got to go to the fairy ball-my hubby dipped into our savings and gave me mad money to celebrate my big day with my diva friends-gotta love him}.

Thankfully I was an Autumn Fae for the last Ren Fest, so I already had a costume. {quick aside-our La Lisa-Eden Bradley was being approached by tons of people who had read the RT mag that proclaimed her a top pick of the summer and saying, "You're Eden Bradley"-she's famous!!!}

Karen was a water fairy and she looked so graceful and beautiful. Feisty was a feisty springtime fairy-make her put up pics of her wings...amazing} Jax and Lisa were Good and Evil-one fairy all in ethereal white, one dark and Gothic. They were stunning. Christina Cross was fall and fiery-very nice! I actually didnt see a bad costume. Oh and Tawny Taylor! She won the costume contest-and she deserved it-she made that thing herself and it looked professional and awesome!

I was dying to see Kristen because she had described her dress-but I couldnt find her. I know she's tall but I am really short...and they kept playing 70's disco {ie-I was dancing like an insane vine covered person-leaves and twigs on my dress and in my hair shedding throughout the night.}

Once again I know there will be pics-there will be pics on blogs of people I dont even know and book sellers and fans and I dont know what. All I know is people kept positioning us and there were lots of flashes. Geesh. I went from avoiding pics on the internet to shaking my shimmy for the camera-look what a little butterscotch martini can do {who knew martinis came in so many flavors?!}

As for Karen and Feisty's room-which was getting ready central? I really really feel for the housekeeping staff. It looks like a glitter bomb exploded all over it.

After closing down the Fairy Ball we went downstairs and closed down the bar. We had a blast! It was a great way to celebrate my first book acceptance and just a phenom time. I will never forget it. Of course that may be because I will never get all the glitter off-we'll see. lol

Today I'm taking an RT break. They are going to workshops and I think the Vampire Hunters Ball. Or the Cowboys or Cowboy Vampire Hunters-I cant remember. I am going to hang out with Cookie and do a little private celebrating.
Saturday I'm going to the book fair during the day though-and I'll be back with a report.

I cant tell you how sad I'll be to see everyone go! I love the divas!!!! But I wont think about that today. I'm still high from the Fairy dust.
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hey Sister, Soul Sister

Its me again. I'm pooped and I have waffle shapes on my thighs from fishnets-but I had to give you all the skinny on the days events. BTW for those who have requested pictures...they will come. You may regret you asked-I tried to avoid them-but they kept happening lol. Although I must admit even I can't wait to see the STUNNING Feisty in her amazing high class corset that Lisa laced her into {every man's fantasy, that image}. Oh and Lisa and Jax-who arrived today-Looked scrumptious and amazing in their matching best. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Came in time for a quick stroll down promo alley-informative and fascinating-people are very ingenius. I grabbed a few goodies. :)
Had lunch with Christina Cross, Karen D., Lisa and Feisty-then it was upstairs to stand in line. We didnt care-the view was worth sticking around for. Yep-the EC Caveman Calendars. A line of hunky muscle men just sitting there...being hunky...with pens.
The real model for Feisty's EC anthology was there-and several others. I was so agog I didnt even get a calendar-so the wonderfully generous Karen gave me hers instead. {I lurve Karen}
Then we hung out in the bar with some wild and crazy authors, just a bunch of wonderful people, including Tawny Taylor {who looks great! I love her nose ring!}, followed by a quick drive-by from diva and Samhain editor Angela James-who gave us another goody bag, until it was time to get ready. Did I forget to mention the divas are awesome? The girls chipped in to make sure I went to the Moulin Rouge party! I'm completely blown away by their generosity and kindness.
I'm also completely blown away with Lillian Feisty's magical box o' stuff. I went into her room in jeans and came out in a red and black ruffle dress, fishnet stockings, a rose in my wildly teased hair and gloves. And that was just extra stuff she had on hand.
Jax then made me the hottest whore in the joint with a fantastic Moulin makeup job-and I was ready to paint the town. I have to admit I was a bit insecure-I mean, I was hanging out there in a way I do not usually hang out, surrounded by male models and HAWT divas. But in the end I had a blast and my only regret was that I didnt carry my glasses with me-the men strutting half naked on the stage were a little blurry.
Oh and I forgot to mention Kristen-she looked lovely as well-very elegant and gorgeous. Everyone looked amazing. Afterwards we met some fascinating new friends-yes in the bar again. Writer's from Italy and Israel-from all over. Thats been the true revelation for me. The incredible variation. All walks of life, all heights and body types, all cultures...and yet we are all creative people-most with dirty dirty minds. ;)
If they arent sick of me yet or too busy-I may hop over for lunch tomorrow. They have a lot of workshops and some signing to do. Then again-merely hanging out in the lobby bar of this hotel has been some of the most fun I've had in my life. The people watching alone is worth it. Very inspirational.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Divas Ride The Storm

Your Voyeur on the scene here, ready to make my first report. Holy Moly! What a day I had yesterday! I didnt get to the hotel until about 7pm { poor karen didnt get there till sometime around 11 due to storms in Dallas-she definitely needed a drink after a seven hour delay! } and I walked into different world. Though I hear the Marriot had slightly better accommodations, I'm used to Quality Inns and La Quintas-so color me impressed by the Hyatt. The bar and major gathering place was directly in the center of the hotel as Cookie and I arrived, a balcony wall above it glowing with projected pictures of books, the balls that were coming up this week etc. Very cool.
Women were everywhere. Many in cowboy hats, several in bunny ears, one already wearing a fairy costume.
It was so wonderful to see my friend and the author of one of RT's reading picks for the summer, Eden Bradley {LaLichi lol} after all these months of phone calls and emails. As I'm sure many of you know-she's even more beautiful in person. And right beside her, EC author and someone who makes me laugh hysterically, Lillian Feisty!
Cookie and I took my two friends to dinner where we chatted as if we'd been hanging out forever and met this interesting couple-Cookie was of course bragging about being out with three erotic romance authors.
He dropped me off with the girls, leaving the estrogen laced hotel for the safety of home, and I went back to the bar.
I met Kristen-and several other divas from RD, had a white chocolate martini that I almost spilled on several people-yes apparently I can trip even in slightly elevated flip flops-and squee'd over a few authors.
Lauren Dane-{I've always loved her stuff}squee/Jade Lee-Squee-both very nice/and Fred the cover model-heehee-who did in fact show his abs. Feisty made me cross the bar to ask one particularly hunky guy if he was her cover model-weird fact-he had the same name and the same hair, but he was actually a husband of an author...not a cover model. He was very nice about it though-promised he didnt bite...anybody but his wife lol.
I met so many wonderful ladies last night-missed a few who I wont get to see until RWA-and sadly got heavily tipsy on just two chocolate martinis. I'm a cheap date.
If I can get over there today-it promises to be interesting. EC cover model calendar signing, preperation for Moulin Rouge party-did I mention cover models? There is supposed to be a doozy of a storm here today-you think anyone at the Hyatt will notice?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Your Reporter on the Scene

Okay gang, tomorrow is the day. The Houston Hyatt will be swarming with romance writers, fans, publishers and male cover models. Divas to the left of me, divas to the right. Costume balls and activities every night for a week.

And I'll be here...right here...outside the hotel since I couldnt afford the fee this year. Sigh. But I will get to see a lot of my good friends for dinner, maybe hang out in the bar once or twice.

And I'll let all of my other friends in on the peripheral info. Who knows what famous authors dressed in wings and fishnets might be walking down the hall? Maybe a male model will straggle into the bar shirtless-could I be that lucky?

Anyway, hopefully this allergic reaction that has caused one side of my face to swell so irritatingly will go down by tomorrow, so I wont scare those shirtless Romeos away. :)

Safe flights to everyone in the air tomorrow. And happy writing to the rest of us.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

13 Reasons I Loved Wild, Wicked, & Wanton

They're inseparable friends who share their wildest secrets and dares. The latest bet is the boldest of all: each must sleep with whomever the others have chosen and return with every juicy detail. For divorce Abby it's a pair of sexy veterinarians who are fulfilling their own desire. For heartbreaker Blaire it's the one man she never had the courage to bed. For sensible Callie it's an irresistible stranger. For readers, it's an erotic fantasy come true.

I recieved a copy of this novel after promising to create an interpretive dance based on the story and write about it on my blog. Unfortunately, this book is so steamy that I think I pulled something mid choreography-so I'm putting it in my Thursday Thirteen instead.

1. It has it all. Menage, submission, voyeurism/exhibitionism, and laughs.

2. Wild- Starts out with a bang {umm no pun intended} and just keeps going strong. I loved it. You get two for the price of one. Wonderful Seth, and unattainable Mike. Seth is the man you want to marry, Mike is the man you always wanted to have that wild fling with. In this story, Abby gets them both. Lucky.

3. The Nottingham Monster {trust me lol}

4. Wicked-Rand...oh Rand. You can pat me down anytime. Or spank me...your call. :)

5. Wanton-The sweetest most reserved friend has the deepest secret. A closet voyeur and exhibitionist, she meets her match in just as unlikely a candidate-nose to the grindstone, country club Jack. If any of you have ever imagined having an "adventure" outside of the bedroom-this couple is for you!

6. This novel made me laugh one minute, and feel the need to turn up the a/c the next. My favorite combo.

7. Last night I had to read it straight through-much to Cookie's chagrin.

8. Did I mention it had a threesome, sex in exciting places, even handcuffs?

9. The Heroes-every last one of them-were delicious. Even poor Mike...Jaci? What about Mike? lol

10. The ABC's-the Heroines-their friendship is warm and real and funny and familiar. Its what makes this novel so rich.

11. Jaci Burton. She never disappoints

12. All of these women have had their demons, but thats not what defines them. Their successes and friendships do that instead...I really like that.

13. This book is pure inspiration. As a writer, I was inspired by her talent. As a reader, it inspired my imagination. As Cookie's wife...well lets just say I've added to my to do list. Was that TMI?

Anyway, its coming out really soon and you should definitely add it to your TBB lists. Hot Thy Name is Burton!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Peace in My Garden

Its been a bad few days-well, a bad few weeks. A lot of death, a lot of heartbreak. But when I go out into my backyard, and see the flowers I planted-simple as they are-I feel better somehow. I hope it affects you the same way. :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

13 Things I Learned On My Trip

Thirteen Things about RG

1. Friends are an amazing gift. Friends who give you anti anxiety meds when they learn you are terrified of flying are worth their weight in gold!

2. Turbulence is groovy. {Only when #1 is applied}

3. Baby planelets are too small for a normal size human being...let alone my 6'4" Cookie. {thats my hubby's new nickname}

4. Before a trip of any kind, no matter how somber or impromptu, retouch your dye job. Spending several days with multiple family members commenting on a few stray grey hairs does not equal fun.

5.If the rental car company offers you a GPS, take it! {This one I knew already-but men are stubborn creatures who would rather wander around lost than admit they need help}

6. For a gathering that may consist of several hours on your feet, wear comfortable shoes. Pretty, yes-but comfortable. When will I learn?

7. All you need to get by in any situation is one pair of black pants and friends/siblings with good taste. Thank you Sis!

8. I learned I still really dislike burials on a gut level and reaffirmed my desire to be cremated. On that note I also learned I can get through one for family.

9. I learned that my sainted, perfectly amazing grandmother had a fun, feisty and sometimes silly side with her friends and sister...and it only made me love her more.

10. I learned that it is never too late to reunite with relatives.

11. I learned that if you step out in the morning with your husband in your pjs to look at the snow, make sure that you havent accidentally locked yourself out without an extra key. {long, embarrassing, COLD story}

12. I believe that the friend with the survival kit referred to in #1 deserves just one more mention ;)

13. There's no place like home.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I remember

I can still see her, standing in the doorway in her housecoat and slippers, nearly bouncing with excitement as my Grandfather and I pulled up in the driveway.
She'd hug me so tightly, talking about how much I'd grown and how very much she missed me, as she pulled me into the kitchen to fix me a snack and find out what I'd been up to since she'd seen me last.
I remember the Irish blessing, the hallway filled with photos of us, the funny plastic runners covering the carpet.
We'd sit at the table, Grandpa would tell me about funny last names he'd read in the obituary or the phone book or strange bits of trivia that made me laugh-while Grandma would fiddle around in the kitchen, making her soup, starting my laundry {yes, she washed all my clean clothes-but I didnt care cause her washing machine was magical and made everything so soft and fresh smelling}.
She'd pass by me just to touch my face or tell me she loved me. She never hesitated. And I always felt like a princess, pampered and utterly spoiled.
She lived through the Depression, and she had all sorts of memories of her large Irish family, 1st generation Americans, and her early years married to my Grandfather when he was a soldier during WWII.

I was often given my own tv room, because as she put it "Young people dont want to hang out with older people", while she and Grandpa watched a show on painting and she read the Reader's Digest with a magnifying glass.
At some point my Grandfather would come in and play me his newest tape collection, usually Big Band or Bing Crosby, and he'd whistle along to the music, telling me about this musician or that, it seemed he knew everything.
Then we'd have girl time. Grandma would run my bath, wash my hair, powder me with her giant powder puff and put me in the best smelling pj's on the planet. Then she'd tuck me in, but not before telling me once more how very much she loved me.
When I was older, I asked for more stories, fascinated by the past. She and Grandpa would fill my head with anecdotes about my father, or tell me about the time when they shared living space with other soldiers and their wives. She told me about how they had met and my Grandfather's first "interview" with her giant Irish brothers.
I had a rough adolescence, but it never seemed to enter her door. Inside Grandma's house I was always a princess, always coddled and spoiled, always sure I was loved.
I wish I had appreciated it more, written all the stories down, spent more time with them both. But they never complained.
Before she lost her memory of me due to Alzheimer's, for years after my Grandfather had passed, she and I would talk on the phone, usually about him and how very much she missed him, how lost she was without him. And even then, she did her best to let me know how much he had loved me, how much they both loved me, and how she knew I loved her.
A few years past I went to see her in the nursing home, certain that my experience would not be a shocking one because I had been a nurse in an Alzheimer's ward and I had experience with the disease.
When she didnt know me, when she seemed nervous to have me talking to her, I left. I got into the elevator and cried my heart out. I felt as if I had lost her then. But I consoled myself with the memories of her, those memories of unconditional love that I took out whenever times were hard, whenever I needed a hot cocoa or a hug.
Yesterday my father called to tell me she died. She'd been fine, eating in the dining room, and then her heart just stopped.
I cried for me. I cried because I would never again round the corner in my Grandfather's big car to see her waving in the doorway. I would never again have her hug me, feel her soft skin, watch her as she pinned up her hair in that style she'd worn for years.
But I am happy for her. My Grandmother loved my Grandfather, all she'd wanted for the decade plus that she'd been without him was to join him. She had outlived everyone, her siblings, her parents, her husband. And now she's with them all again.

I love you Grandma Kay. Give Grandpa a kiss from his Wiggle Worm.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Men have an interesting idea of Beauty. See The Novelty Girls blog today for a glimpse. It got me to thinking. I and many others in my generation have dieted, starved, worried ourselves into dis-ease and dis-orders because of the current definition of Beautiful. We see the glossy magazines and we think-that is what beauty is. We see the Supermodel shows, the pageants, the accolades given to the most beautiful girl and we kill ourselves trying to mold our unique bodies into one uniform definition. But beauty has never been a static thing-its changed drastically throughout the ages.
The Venus of Willendorf-around 24,000 years old. This was their goddess. This was the definiton of fertility and beauty. Abundant and lush-she kept hunger at bay, and nourished her children

The Dreamer of Malta-found in the Hypogeum and dating to 3000 BC-she was found beside an abandoned shrine with others like her. Another goddess figure, she gives us a peek into another time. A time when people werent spending a small fortune on dangerous diet pills and going on programs destined to fail. And it isnt like this lady had stopped at one too many fast food joints-this was fertility and the symbol of it was woman. Beauty was a woman's softness, curves, a woman's bounty.

Venus of Urbino by Titian {1538}This is one of my favorites. She would not be on the cover of Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition-but she is stunning nonetheless.

Rubens-of course and the other is The Grand Odelisque by Ingres {1814} The winds of change are in the air-but a woman is still soft and sensual.
Flash forward to today. Sure heroin chic is on the far side of the spectrum-but they are still considered by many in the fashion world to be the IT thing.
I do not begrudge a thin woman her due, I am simply trying to make a point. I wonder if back in the days of the Willendorf Venus young girls were stuffed with animal fat and grains, not allowed to do too much work, desperately trying to epitomize the full figure of the goddess in order to attract a man. Ya think?
If we define ourselves by the judgments or whims or perceptions of others, than we miss the point and end up leading lives of quiet desperation. Either judged only by our beauty-or our distinct lack of it-by today's standards anyway.
You are beautiful because you are YOU. Big or small, short or Amazonian, freckles or peaches and cream. Women are beautiful. We have the capacity to create life, we love, we nurture, we dream. We are beautiful because we are sassy, or shy...tattooed or covered in jewels. We are beautiful because we are. You are unique in the universe, there is NO ONE exactly like you...and that is a beautiful thing.