About Me

Hi! And welcome to my temporary home on the web. My official website will launch this summer, but until then, you can find me here, on Facebook or Twitter, or, every Monday over at the Magic & Mayhem Writers blog.

I'm represented by Joanna Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary, who sold my urban fantasy to Ace last year. THE SHADOW READER is about a human who is torn between two sides of a fae civil war, and it's schedule to hit the shelves in November of 2011!


My last Livejournal post

Would you believe I tried updating LJ three different times and days last week, and LJ was either down or working so slowly I couldn't stand it? Totally frustrating. So, I decided to wait and try to post today, and I'm having the same trouble. I thought I could wait until my website launches this summer before abandoning LJ, but no, I'm officially finished here. Or, at least, I'm finished with my LJ public account. I'll still use LJ every once in a while for locked posts, which are usuallly only relevant to my Real Life Friends, but other than that, everything will be moving to a temporary Wordpress site for now. You should be able to reach my site by typing in Later today, I'll post the updatery post I've tried to post here numerous times.

I'm not abandoning all of you guys, though! I've already added a number of you to my Google Reader, and I'll add more in the next few days. That's the good news. The bad news is that I'm not going to be checking my LJ friends list very often, so if you have any locked posts, I most likely won't see them. I know. It completely sucks. I've been a huge fan of LJ and the LJ community ever since I signed up about 4 years ago. Most of my writer friends I met here, so I am really sad to leave. But it's just way too frustrating to remain here.

If you don't want to add my Wordpress blog to your RSS feeder, no worries. You can follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook, or hop over to the Magic & Mayhem Writers blog. This week, we're talking about query letters and posting the ones that landed us an agent. I posted mine today, provided my top three tips for writing yours, and if you comment between now and next Monday saying you'd like me to take a look at your query, I'll pick a random commentator and do so.



Hey! Look! I'm posting!

At 3am. I can't sleep. So, I need to entertain myself. Therefore, I present to you the most random post ever (one of these days, I'm going to do a writing update here!).


1.  Do I have restless legs syndrome (RLS)?

Chances are, if you are reading this answer, it is because you are concerned that you or someone you love may have restless legs syndrome (RLS). How many of the questions below are true for you?

  • When you sit or lie down, do you have a strong desire to move your legs? Yes!
  • Does your desire to move your legs feel impossible to resist? It *feels* impossible, but if I concentrate really, really hard, I can sit still.
  • Have you ever used the words unpleasant, creepy crawly, creeping, itching, pulling, or tugging to describe your symptoms to others?
  • Does your desire to move often occur when you are resting or sitting still? Nope. I usually describe it as aggravating.
  • Does moving your legs make you feel better? Oh, yeah. Nothing better than moving my legs.
  • Do you complain of these symptoms more at night? Duh. It keeps me awake. During the day, I can move them without disturbing my sleep.
  • Do you keep your bed partner awake with the jerking movements of your legs? Nope, Trey could sleep through the Apocalypse.
  • Do your ever have involuntary leg movements while you are awake? What do you mean by involuntary? When I'm sitting "still," I usually move my legs... until somebody hits me and tells me to stop (Mother!)
  • Are you tired or unable to concentrate during the day? Not lately despite negative 2 to 3 hours of sleep. Yay for the 2nd trimester!
  • Do any of your family members have similar complaints? Hmm. Don't think so.
  • Does a trip to the doctor only reveal that nothing is wrong and there is no physical cause for your discomfort? Heh. A trip to the doctor almost always reveals there's something bizarre wrong with me.

If you answered "yes" to a majority of these questions, you may have RLS. Oh no! If you do have RLS, you are not alone! Whew! Up to 10% of the U.S. population may have RLS. 10%, eh? Many people have a mild form of the disorder, but RLS severely affects the lives of millions of individuals. Hmm. I can still function during the day, so I suppose I'm not "severely" affected.

Other randomness:
  • I learned from Ghostfinder that today is William Shatner's 80th birthday. I'm thoroughly impressed.
  • I've seen my book cover! It's the most beautiful and awesome and kickass book cover ever!
  • Did I ever mention here that I'm having twin boys? I know I mentioned the twin thing; can't remember if I've posted since we learned they were both boys.
  • My legs are shaking are shaking while I'm writing this.
  • Anyone watching American Idol? Casey is my favorite, though I wasn't a fan of his performance last week. Nirvana and Casey don't mix well.
  • I've had several Real! Life! Authors! read and blurb The Shadow Reader. This makes me extremely happy. Happy as in I want to go around and hug everybody! Authors are awesome and witty and so, so generous with their time. I <3 authors!
Oh! Oh! I'm feeling sleepy. Maybe I can get a few hours of rest now!

P.S. I have a tag for "randomness." This can't be a good thing.

Friday Five: American Idol Version

1. I was worried when Simon Cowell left the show, but I think American Idol might be better than ever. I love the addition of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. I love watching them watch the performers - you can really tell they have a passion for music and musical talent. And while I sometimes think Steven and Jennifer are a little too lenient on the contestants, when they don't like someone's performance, they say so, and they say so in a polite and constructive way. I always liked Simon's honesty, but it's nice to see judges be honest, helpful, and decent human beings.

2. I have a favorite contestant! It's Casey Abrams. He's freaking awesome and thoroughly entertaining. I don't normally like the type of music he sings ("I Put a Spell on You," "Georgia on my Mind," etc.), but he's making me a fan of it.

3. Ashton Jones was booted off last night. She was one of the wild cards the judges put in last week, so it's clear America doesn't love her. I think she was put through mostly on her personality - she definitely has a stage presence. She has a decent voice, too, but when you compare her to the others in the competition, she really isn't at the same level.

4. Diddy Dirty Money (or whatever he's called these days) was on. I think he's pretty much a badass even though I'm not a fan of his music, but the song he performed caught my attention because of Skylar Grey, the girl on the piano. Loved her voice! Apparently, she sings for a lot of rappers. If you're a fan of Eminem, you might recognize this song she co-wrote:

5. Oh! Almost forgot. I loved Adam Lambert's performance, too. I loved Adam back when he was on the show - he was always entertaining - but I was kind of happy when he didn't when because I knew he'd have a music career anyway, and I wasn't sure if the other guy would have had a career if he hadn't won. Anyway, Adam sang Aftermath, and I thought he rocked it. Take a listen. Doesn't it sound like the band, Live?




It sounds completely ridiculous (and kind of arrogant in a way, too!), but I've created a Facebook Fan page. I have a private Facebook page, but I'm trying to keep that to people I know in Real Life, so I started playing around with the fan page. I love Patrick Rothfuss's FB.* He has all these cool tab-things at the top of his page. I've spent way too long trying to figure out how to add them to mine and finally figured out the FBML application. Or, at least, I mostly figured it out. (There is an extremely helpful how-to video here: )

The problem is, my pages aren't showing up in tabs; they're on the left sidebar. If anyone knows why they're there and not on top, please let me know. I'm thinking maybe I can get more options if I have fans? There's a little tip on one of my pages that says I need 25 fans to be able to name my page, so maybe that unlocks something special?

Anyway, yes, you've probably guessed it. I'm here asking if you'll like me on Facebook. I cringe doing this because I hate asking people to like me - it's just weird, ya know? Especially since most of you haven't read my stuff. But... if you do like me, think of it more as a beta test. I have cool plans for FB in the future, but I'm just playing around with it right now to see how it works. If I discover some cool tips and tricks, I'll be sure to share them here. Plus, you can unlike me at any time and I promise you won't hurt my feelings. :-)

Also, I know my blogging here is super sporadic. I am so easily distracted these days with book two and babies times two. Really not sure which is causing me the most stress, LOL. But I do blog every Monday over at Magic and Mayhem, so if you'd like to keep up with me, hop on over there. Or... you could like me on Facebook. *looks innocent* I won't post a million times a week on FB - people who do that annoy the heck out of me - but I will update my status and let people know how the writing is going.

* Bought his book today. It was one of the last two copies!

Quick blog post for Firefly fans

Read Patrick Rothfuss's blog:

I <3 Patrick Rothfuss. I <3 Nathan Fillion. I <3 Firefly. I <3 THE NAME OF THE WIND.

And WISE MAN'S FEAR comes out on March 1st!!!! Even if you're not a fan of Firefly, you should buy that book. Well, you should buy it after buying and reading THE NAME OF THE WIND. Truly one of the most epic epics of all time. Yes, it's that good.

That should be the next book you read.

Really. Go to the bookstore now. Buy it. Read it. You'll thank me later.

Car shopping

Yep. We're going to need a new one (or a new used one). I think we might be able to make do with my car for a little while, but my husband's car? Nope. We'd have to move both front seats all the way forward in order to get two baby carseats in the back. And even if that works, fitting a double stroller into the back might be problematic. Pretty sure it will fit in my car, but if we need to pack anything else, say like a suitcase for a weekend trip or anything, we're going to have to get creative.

So, car shopping we are going. We looked a little last weekend. I'm incredibly resistant to the idea of buying a mini-van even though I know it's the practical thing to do. But, really, a mini-van will never feel like my car. I'll feel like I'm borrowing my mom's car to drive around town in. Still, I decided I'd at least try one out.

We went to a used Toyota dealership because they had several vehicles we wanted to look at. Unfortunately, this means we had to deal with a salesman, a salesman who pretty much fit every stereotype out there. He was tolerable at first. He made small talk then asked what we did for a living. Car salesmen always ask this, not because they care, but because they want to know how much money they can get out of you. When I'm asked this question, I usually answer that I don't work, but Trey absolutely hates it when I say this. We don't have kids yet (T minus 5 months) so it makes me sound like a total loser. So, against my better judgment, I told the guy, "I'm a writer."

The inevitable response: "Oh, I have a story for you! A great story! A long story!"

I bit my tongue and focused on not rolling my eyes. The last time I told someone I was a writer, they spent almost twenty minutes talking about how great their story was and how it needed to be told. Fortunately, that guy had been giving my grandmother a manicure, not me, so I could mostly ignore him, but still. Even when I stress that I write fiction, not memoirs or non-fiction or whatever, I usually get a response like this. It's just easier telling people I do nothing.

Anyway, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when car salesman dude refocused on selling us a mini-van. We tried stressing that we were just beginning to look at vehicles and were still trying to decide what type we wanted to get, but he just would not let us go. And he almost had us. He was trying to sell us a $22,000 2008 Toyoto mini-van and I basically said, "Okay, we'll buy it for $17,000." He was playing with numbers this whole time, going between 18k and 19k and we were pretty much on the way out the door.

He said, "You'll buy for 17? I'll go check with my manager."

I hate it when they "go check with their manager." Such a waste of time.

Anyway, he comes back with the number, "We can do it for $19,400."

Trey and I are both like, "Hell no," though we didn't say it like that. I'd been out for nearly 8 hours that day, which is twice as long as I'm usually out so Trey politely asked for his keys because I was hitting my exhaustion threshold. I was okay with the car salesman up to this point. I mean, I know he needs to sell cars to make money, but when he says, "Fine!" stands up from the table, turns on his heel and storms off? Uh, no. Any chance he had for a sale either that day or any day in the future vanished. I don't make deals with people who throw hissy fits. Plus, Trey and I were very clear from the beginning that we were just starting to look. We hung around there longer than we should have.

But we still weren't able to leave. The salesman was practically holding Trey's keys hostage. We waited for him to bring them back. And waited. And waited. I've been pretty mellow during this whole pregnancy thing* - no major mood swings or anything - but I was exhausted and about two seconds away from going Psycho Pregnant Bitch on that guy. But then he returns with his manager.

Ugh. I could have been a bitch with just the salesman, but I still didn't have it in me to be mean/abrupt with someone I just met. So, we had to listen to the manager for a little while.

Anyway, to make a long story a little shorter, we escaped without buying a car. Turns out all the salesman was doing anyway was tweaking how much they were going to pay us for our trade-in. They really weren't moving on the price of the car that much. Even if we decide to buy a vehicle exactly like the one we saw there, I'm not going back to that place. The car salesman's behavior totally lost him a future customer.

Now, contrast this to the behavior of the sales lady at the Kia place we went to the next day. We explained we were just starting to look, she showed us cars, let us test drive, then when we were ready to go, she handed us her card and said to give her a call if she could help us in the future. If we buy a Kia, I am definitely giving her my business.

* Other people's opinions may vary. I will, however, admit to being especially needy/whiny these last few months.

Please, World, Be Nice to Me

(Business stuff first: I blogged over at Magic & Mayhem today about copyedits, which came on Friday. I love, love, love receiving edits! It's such a great learning experience.)

So, last week I said I was starting to feel better, right? I must have jinxed myself because, despite being a hermit for the last month and a half, I managed to get strep throat when I went out last weekend. Strep throat + lingering morning sickness (which occurs mostly in the evenings) = Not Happy Sandy.

I was back to being 100% miserable, which was so thoroughly depressing. I intended to get a ton of writing done last week but was instead a weepy, sniffling, useless bum. I'm hesitant to say it, but I think I feel okay this morning *knocks on wood* so I'm hoping to be uber productive this week. I might even start reporting my word count soon. I haven't done THAT in... gosh, over a year, I think.

I must get out of the house some, though. I think my muscles almost completely atrophied since Christmas. I can't walk around a store for five minutes without feeling like I'm going to die of exhaustion. It's absolutely ridiculous and more than a little embarassing. I mean, I wasn't the most in-shape, athletic person before this whole pregnancy thing, but, damn, I could go to the gym for an hour or (badly) play a game of soccer once a week. I didn't feel so freaking decrepit.

Anyway, the goals for today are to:

1. Go to the gym and walk for a half hour on the teadmill. I would take the dogs for a walk instead, but it's a bit too cold out there for me and I still have the sniffles. :-(
2. Get at least a quarter of the way through my copy edits. I could finish them all up relatively quickly, but this is my last time to make changes so I want to make sure every word is perfect.
3. Write 1,000... er, 500 words on TSR2 (I don't have even a working title for my sequel yet). I'll try for the 1k, but I want to actually make my goal, so I'll start small today.

Wish me luck, folks!

(no subject)

1. Thanks, everyone, for the hugs and contratulations last week! I'm (slowly) making my way through responding to all the comments. Had a pretty good weekend, sickness-wise, so I'm hoping this week will be a good one, too. :-)

2. Today, we're launching the Magic & Mayhem blog. We're introducing ourselves and talking about what we write and the authors we love. We also have a number of giveaways going on throughout the week. I'm up first, so if any of you want to hop on by, that would be great! :-)  Oh, and isn't the blog pretty? Shawntelle created it and I think she did a fantastic job!

3. It was over 70 degrees this weekend. Such fantastic weather! Unfortunately, it's supposed to drop down into the single digits within 48 hours. That's a 60 degree turn around in two days. Sometimes, Texas weather is ridiculous.

The reasons I've been so scarce online these days

So, I haven’t been around much lately. It’s no secret that I’ve been super sick and exhausted for the last couple of months, so it probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that I’m pregnant. Pregnant times two, actually.

Yep. Two babies are due August 11th. To say that I’m kind of freaking out about that would be an understatement. I have no clue what to do with one baby, so the thought of having to juggle two? Ahhhhh!

Not that the twins thing was a big surprise to us. We were supposedly prepared for it since we had to do IVF*. Honestly, though, I think I put all my mental preparations into bracing for yet-another-negative-pregnancy-test. I’m still adjusting to a positive pregnancy. One baby changes your life. Two babies… Double the change? Scary.

Anyway, I promise this Livejournal account won’t turn into a pregnancy, babies, kids blog, but I felt like I should mention it because I’ve been feeling extremely guilty about how scarce I am online. I glance through everyone’s posts usually, but I’m still lacking the energy to muster up the words and clicks to comment. And there are a ton of posts that I’ve wanted to make and just haven’t felt up to it – fun, exciting, and cool posts, mostly, like the release of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and THE IRON WITCH (congratulations again, Karen!). I’m also woefully far behind on responding to emails. *sigh*

I’m getting better, though. I mean, I’m not bedridden anymore. I started venturing outside the house again a couple of weekends ago. Just for an hour or two at a time, but that’s more than enough. The couple of times I stayed out longer than that, I nearly died. And today is so, so much better than the beginning of this week, which were just plain awful. I’m actually upright and haven’t had to run to the restroom to throw up yet today. Win! (Also: *knocks on wood*)

Of course, the fact that I’m having twins is also making me freak out about my writing. I haven’t had energy to write these last two months. I’ve tried, opening up my Word Doc and staring at the same 5 pages I wrote back in November, but no luck. My creative energy is utterly gone. But! As I said last week, I’ve started to read again. Reading is like fuel for my writing. The more I read, the more I want to write, so I’m starting to feel that itch again. If I can just feel well for a few days, I know I’ll be able to make progress. And I need to make progress. Twins tend to come early, so I have a self-imposed July 1st deadline for a solid first draft.** (My actually deadline is November 1st.)

So that’s what’s going on with me. I will be blogging a little bit more than usual. Starting on Monday, I’ll be posting over at theMagic & Mayhem site, a new urban fantasy/paranormal group blog consisting of me, Amanda Bonilla, Shawntelle Madison, and Nadia Lee. Definitely stop by next week and say hello.

Since I’m feeling decent at the moment (and this blog is already super long), I’m off to attempt to do something productive. Ciao!

* I’ve debated mentioning the IVF thing publicly because it’s personal and seems to be kind of a taboo subject, but after 3+ years (which is a short amount of time compared to what some couples go through) of unexplained infertility (meaning that every test comes back with perfect results but still no pregnancy), I know how frustrating it can be when it seems like everyone else is getting pregnant by accident or the very first time they decide to try. And on the verge of that frustration comes a huge wave of guilt because the only thing I should be feeling for other couples is happiness. And I do feel happy, but still, there was always that underlying sadness. So, just know that it wasn’t easy. It involved lots of tests and procedures and three months of evil needles and a surgery all just to tell me everything looks perfect. IVF is the only thing that was effective for me, and I know how damn lucky I am that it worked at all, let alone the first time.

** My first drafts tend to be very solid, mostly because I’m one of those edit-as-you-go people. I know, I know, all the conventional wisdom says to just write a crappy first draft, but it just hasn’t worked for me so far (though if I get stuck, I will write a crappy chapter here and there and then fix it later).