Monday Mayhem – Watch out world edition

Psst. My buddy, Jennifer Johnson, is here today, and I believe she’s been spending too much time staring into her belly button. Be nice. Nod, smile, back away from the crazy lady, and be sure to leave a comment so she won’t come after you.

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Words.

I have a love hate relationship with words. Words are a lot like the tasty morsel in the Kong toy. Me? I’m the dog who spends fourteen hours trying to manipulate that morsel out of the tortuous plastic device. People who know me well, and even not so well, except for my transparent intolerance for sloppy word use on Facebook realize nothing sets me off more than the taunt with an overused or misused word or phrase.

Some of these may include but are certainly not limited to: literally, uber, nemesis, opaque, or random.

So, I guess word misuse is my torment. My pleasure is the rich hues found in the definition of a word. I like to Google words my eighth grade teacher taught me to see what images I find. This is probably my best friend’s fault because she had this running joke about someone’s picture being in the dictionary next to [place your favorite insulting adjective here]. It only took me a couple of times looking up ‘gullible’ or ‘idiotic’ before I figured out what she was doing.

But I digress.

I’m amazed at the variety the Internet ascribes to any particular word. Take for instance,

Kerfluffle. It’s such a happy word. Somewhat whimsical in its triple *f* composition, and the hint of one definition by its first syllable which is then turned on its ear by the last two syllables. Can anyone be depressed when pronouncing it? Can anyone’s paradigm not be shifted by the orderliness of its disorderly definition?

And yet what a plethora of pictures appear with the search engine.

Such as:

or

Or

That guy made a great Ming, did he not? I wasn’t too enamored with Flash, but this guy rocked in a creepy evil villain sort of way.

And he’s who Google says looks like *kerfluffle*. Ming and pie and some chicks in a bedroom Man, you gotta love the Internet in its ability to search and assign meaning to anything because somebody blogged about it and found a pretty or provocative picture.

And there were many other pictures as well. Kentucky Fried Chicken. Beans. Badger. Paddle, and of course the requisite cute cat picture with the misspelled words. I mean, honestly, haven’t we beaten the dead horse enough with this cheezburger cat nonsense? What is wrong with people?

What does it mean anyway? And that whole texting the dog thing. It’s funny and all, but dogs have paws. They couldn’t possibly manipulate a phone to send texts.

My dog has no sense of anything except his enjoyment in eating, peeing, and sniffing. That’s his life. My kids try to make him look at pictures in books, watch TV, and even listen to me over the telephone when I was gone recently on a business trip. The dog doesn’t enjoy any of these things. He runs away from the children when they walk in the room. Though he’s a pretty good dog as far as dogs go, he has bitten them on more than one occasion because he’s tired of all the crap they put him through. In fact, tonight each kid had part of the dog in their hands pulling him like he was a slinky as they argued over whose bed he was going to sleep in.

It was, I believe, quite a kerfluffle.

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Jennifer Johnson needs more time to navel gaze. She writes contemporary romance and has written five full length novels with three publishers. She has also had short stories published in four anthologies from Turquoise Morning Press. Her book, Rescuing Riley, the sequel to Rescue Me, will be released in October of this year from Turquoise Morning.

Find out more about her at

Website: http://booksbyjenniferjohnson.com

Blog: http://jennfrancesca.blogspot.com/

Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMJ58I

 

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Monday Mayhem – Tombstone Edition

Fodder and I have some interesting conversations while riding in the car. Just last week I promised him I’d try to work the word ‘cocksmith’ into his eulogy. That led to a discussion on what we would have engraved on a tombstone. Here’s what I settled on for the love of my life:

Here lies Mr. Mags – beloved husband, father, and one damn fine piece of ass.

He was pleased.

What do you want on your tombstone? Tickle my funny bone and you might just win a little prize. Ready? Go!

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Monday Mayhem – Duranies Rock On!

I’m on vacation this week (which means I am busy typing and editing), so I asked my good friend and fellow Duran Duran junkie, Karen Booth, to stop by and talk to you about her smokin’ hot new release. Check it out here:

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If it wasn’t for the pesky brunette vs. blonde thing, I might make a guess that Margaret and I were separated at birth. We are both Midwest girls, both writers, lured to the South by our husbands. Margaret and I also share an adolescent love that never managed to go away, a vaguely unhealthy preoccupation with Duran Duran.

When I first befriended Margaret and found out she is also a Duranie, my only thought was this: “She’s so awesome. We could be such good friends. As long as she’s a Simon girl. If she’s a JT girl, this might not go well.” Ah, silly me. Of course Margaret had to be a JT girl (John Taylor for those not up to speed on Duran Duran vernacular). Dammit.

Alas, Margaret and I have learned to set aside our friendly JT rivalry. Neither of us will bad-mouth the other in his presence. We would never send him disparaging tweets. If we happen to show him a slightly unflattering picture of the other person, that’s purely by accident. Besides, he’s a rock star, he’s bigger than life. Surely there’s plenty of him for Margaret and I to share.

My brand new (smoking hot, if I do say so myself) book, Love My Way, comes complete with a hunky-on-the-outside and sweet-and-geeky on-the-inside rock star named Peter. He’s dead-set on snagging my heroine, Katie, but she isn’t ready to risk her heart for a rock star and she definitely isn’t willing to share. So, I want to know which rock star you want all to yourself, the one you aren’t willing to share. One responder will win an e-copy of Love My Way!

Love My Way

After her fiancé penned a “Dear Katie” letter, Kate Stillman vowed she’d never give a man more than one night. Free from emotional entanglements, she’s had some hot one-night stands, her heart has stayed off-limits and her photography career has skyrocketed. It’s the perfect plan until a Miami getaway brings her face-to-face with Peter Barrett.

Hunky rocker Peter has been pursuing Katie from afar ever since she photographed his band. In the flesh, it’s clear it was more than flirtation. Katie gives in to their sizzling chemistry, thinking Peter will appreciate her one-night rule. Instead, he balks and extends an invitation for a second night of pure abandon, an offer too tempting to refuse.

When they part, Katie realizes her rule protected her heart only too well. Time away from Peter leaves her wanting him more. Every steamy late-night phone call makes her wonder if she can love again. But when Peter returns and her trust is tested, Katie must overcome her past to learn that love her way was never the way at all.

Buy now at: Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, All Romance e-Books

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Monday Mayhem – Fresh meat!

I’m traveling quite a bit over the next few weeks, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to introduce you to a few of my author buddies. I’m kicking this little foray into the unknown with a complete unknown. I’m crazy like that.

Meet my very funny friend, Evelyn Jules. Her debut story, Blind Faith, will be released by Turquoise Morning Press later this summer. I had the opportunity to read this sizzling little story, and trust me, you’re going to want to read it too! Without further ado…Ms. Evelyn Jules!

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Hi everyone! I’m taking over Margaret’s blog today. *maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh* If only you knew how long I’ve wanted to do this. But now I have special permission seeing as how I’m an official author and everything. Yep, it’s true! I signed my first contract with Turquoise Morning Press in April! It just magically floated into my inbox one day. Okay, that’s not exactly how it happened. You want the real story? Here goes….

It all started about a decade ago…Oh. You want the Cliffs Notes version? Hmmm. So a year ago I went to the Lori Foster Reader/Writer Get-together in Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended as a ‘reader’ but I was also there to support my incredible author friend, Margaret Ethridge. I follow her wherever she goes. True story. During the get-together there was a raffle with fabulous prizes. One of those prizes was a professional critique of 10 pages of manuscript from Kim Jacobs at Turquoise Morning Press. Guess what? I love watermelon gum. Oh, and I totally won the critique! 😀

As soon as I got home I started writing like a fiend. It took me close to two months before I had something I thought was presentable. This was my big chance. I didn’t want to waste it. They always say the waiting is the hardest part. Hardest. *giggles* Yeah, I write smut. I might as well come out and say that right now. Anyway, it was another two months before I heard anything. Kim gave me tremendous feedback, offered several suggestions on improvements, and in the final line of the email she told me that if I was willing to make the revisions, she was very willing to look at it again and offer me a…contract. *gasp* The ‘C’ word! What every author and aspiring author dreams of!

So I went back to my writing cave, added another four thousand words to my story, polished it, hugged it, kissed it, and forced Margaret to edit it more times than I can count, then I held my breath and resubmitted it. Fast-forward to April 1st (also known as April Fools’ Day). I got an email from Kim. She said my story made her laugh and cry. She loved it. More importantly…she wanted it! Happy, spastic dancing ensued. But it all came to a crashing halt when I recalled what day it was. Wait a minute. This wasn’t a joke, was it? I wasn’t entirely convinced either way until I received that ‘C’ word. My very own contract! Happy, spastic dancing ensued once more, this time accompanied by fits of sobbing. Margaret can tell you all about that. She was the recipient of a very watery phone call.

And I suck at Cliffs Notes. But I would like to share one last important detail with you. My first story, an erotic romance entitled Blind Faith, will be released this summer. Here’s the blurb:

Faith Lawson is just your average, wholesome librarian with a dirty mind . . . until a chance encounter with a handsome stranger brings her fantasies to life in a frantic night of passion. But when he walks out her door, he leaves a piece of his past behind that changes everything.

Sounds good, right? Just smile and nod. Oh, and please come visit me on my blog, twitter, and facebook for updates, news about future releases, fun games, contests, and general dirtiness! Thanks so much to Margaret for having me here! Don’t tell her I told you this (because she gets all weirded out when I get schmoopy) but she’s totally my favourite author.

So to leave you all with a question, what will you be reading this summer (besides Blind Faith)?

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Thanks, Evelyn! I’m going to bypass the schmoop and post a few links. Be sure to like/follow/bookmark these babies so you’ll know when Blind Faith becomes available!

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

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Monday Mayhem – Jet plane edition

I’m off to Dallas on business today. Just a quick trip there and back in one day. I’ll be traveling more for my day job in the coming months, so I’m trying to adjust to the idea. People may not know this about me, but I’m actually a bit of a hermit. I like being home. I love my bed. I spend hours of quality time in my chair each night. I’m also a little fond of that guy who lives here with me.

It’s not that I hate travel. I used to love it. I still would if airline travel wasn’t such a ginormous pain anymore. I’m just too restless to deal with the hurry-up-and-wait aspect of it all. That, and I find that as security measures tighten, people tend to play fast and loose with the old manners.

My problem is, I’m not one who enjoys the journey. As I’ve mentioned before, I am terribly goal oriented. I want to be where I’m going and then when I’m done there, I want to be home right away. Oh, and I don’t have a whole lot of patience with flight times over 3 hours, either. Being a mid-westerner, that means I’m screwed if I want to go beyond U.S. borders.

I know that short of developing Genie skills or the sudden availability of transporters, I am going to have to learn to suck it up and learn to kill some time. It isn’t that I don’t have toys to play with. Tomorrow, I will be hauling a laptop, a Kindle Fire, and an iPod Touch with me. And I will still be tapping my foot and checking the clock.

How about you? Do you like to fly the barely civil skies? How far would you stray? What’s your favorite part of being away? The best bit about coming home?

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Monday Mayhem – Like buttah!

Insanely busy and without a decent post.

I’ll give you some topics. Talk amongst yourselves…

Colored jeans: Hip, trendy and super-cool, or an invitation for others to mock your coral-clad tuchas?

Smutty books: Do people seriously expect us to believe they’ve never read one before?

St. Elmo’s Fire: Which character are you?

Doughnuts: Krispy Kreme or Dunkin?

I threw that last one in there to make the Canadians babble about Timmy Ho’s because I just like to say Timmy Ho.

I’ll try to do better next week, but I can’t guarantee anything. Happy Monday!

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Monday Mayhem – New release, fabulous weekend, & my bed

Soooooo much going on today. Are you ready for this?

Inamorata is now available in all ebook formats! Run, run read!

As I was scurrying about the interwebs this morning (posting links, updating this site, etc…) it suddenly struck me. Inamorata is my fifth…FIFTH…full-length novel released in just eighteen months. The third in 2012. No wonder I’m so damn tired all the time. It’s a sickness, I tell you.

Of course, you know what this means, don’t you? I need to stop screwing around on the interwebs and get to writing. More to come in 2013!

All this release day excitement on the heels of an incredible weekend at the Annual Reader & Author Get Together in Cincinnati. I had such a good time catching up with old friends, meeting new ones, and in typical Margaret fashion, making a fool of myself to score a laugh or two.

And THIS! Check out this fabulous blog post on the kindness of strangers – it features one of my best friends AND one of MY BOOKS!

And last night, I crawled into my very own bed with my warm and snuggly man. Could life get any better? I think not.

Whew! How’s your Monday going?

Here are a few pics from the weekend:

TMP Authors
Slept with my editor, the fabulous Lola del Sol, in order to earn extra commas.
Bribed Kim Jacobs, Publisher, with a ginormous Diet Coke from Sonic.
Mugged for the camera with Renee Vincent
Spent time with some of the best friends any woman could ever have.
Fangirled Jill Shalvis
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Monday Mayhem – I’ve been memorabling you all day

Sorry, couldn’t resist a little Gilmore-ism with the title. What can I say, I can still quote that show in my sleep…

Just a short post today because it is a holiday, and I am trying to live up to my new mantra: I am allowed to relax. Unfortunately, just typing it reminds me of all the things I need to do and how little time I have at my disposal. No. Stop. I am allowed to relax, and relax I shall!

It’s a crazy-busy week for me this week. I’ll be traveling most of it—including a jaunt to Ohio for the Reader & Author Get Together 2012. I’ll recap all the fun and excitement for you when I get back, I promise.

In the meantime, I would just like to say a very heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all of the brave men and women who fight to protect and preserve our freedom. The sacrifices you and your families have made for our country are deeply and truly appreciated.

I hope we all take a little time away from the cook-outs and pool parties to remember those who gave their lives for their country, and all veterans, young and old. Their accomplishments were and are the epitome of a work in progress.

Wishing my fellow Americans a mindful and happy Memorial Day.

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Monday Mayhem – Let’s Play Catch-up

It’s bullet point day! I know you’re all as excited as I am, so let’s get to it. Here are the pertinent facts in the order generated by my highly disordered brain:

1) I just realized that Inamorata releases in two weeks! Woooot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Went to a beginner yoga class on Saturday and it almost killed me. Seriously, my abs haven’t hurt this bad since I tried to follow Denise Austin’s Pilates tape (Yes, I said tape. I’m old.) I remember the night I was afraid I’d never pull myself out of the bathtub like it was yesterday. I saw myself dying there, shivering and shriveled, and still without a six pack. Oh, wait. That was yesterday…

3) Still running. Still hate the process and love the results.

4) Got the nicest email from a reader about Spring Chickens. Want to make an author’s day? (Any author – not just me) Drop a line, write a review, Tweet, FB, Pin, or smoke signal them and tell them that you appreciate their work. We are delicate little flowers. We need sunshine and love and a constant sprinkling of reassurance. Seriously, something as simple as ‘I loved it’ makes us want to dance. Sometimes I even jitterbug.

5) I’m moved into my new daytime digs and feeling my way through the new job. I’m on the opposite end of the building from where I spent the last 7 years. My parking routine is completely out of whack.

6) Monday. *sigh* I miss Castle.

7) Leo Sayer is playing on my iPod. Don’t judge.

8 ) I may or may not (that’s my oh-so-subtle way of playing it coy) be planning to write a little short story involving Maggie McCann and the Sullivan clan for an anthology. They’ve all been chattering in my head, making plans, vying for dialogue…the usual.

9) I’m heading to the Annual Reader and Author Get Together in Cincinnati June 1-2 at the Marriott north. I’ll be signing books Friday, June 1from 7-9PM. If you’re in the area, please come by and say hi! Here’s the 4-1-1!

10) Long weekend coming up! I plan to sleep, eat, and write. What are your plans?

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Monday Mayhem – Run away! Run away!

I retreated this weekend. Grabbed my coconuts and took off as fast as I could. But, instead of running from the plot bunnies that had been chasing me, I took them with me to the Diamond State Romance Authors writing retreat.

I planned to take a lot of pictures, but, being me, I left my camera on the coffee table at home. Luckily, Brinda Berry – hostess with the mostest and retreat planner extraordinaire – posted some on her blog. Check this place out! Yes, it was every bit as fabulous as it looks.

I also thought I’d write a blog post about the experience, but my fellow loft dweller, Megan Mitcham, posted this write up on the DSRA blog this morning.

Whew! My work here is done!

What’s that? You want to know more? Okay, fine, I’ll do the work… Here’s how this went down:

On my way through Conway, I picked up my road trip buddy, Voirey Linger, and we took off for the hills. I didn’t scream (much) as we twisted and turned our way up into the Ozarks, and my feisty little car handled like a champ. We arrived in beautiful Ponca, Arkansas in time to horn in on the first of seven two-hour writing blocks scheduled.

I set up camp in an Adirondack chair on this fabulous second-story screened porch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When it grew too chilly and dark on the porch, I shared these comfy couches in the loft seating area with Brinda.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Friday, I managed to clock a total of 3,809 words. By Saturday, we were well into the swing of things. I finished one short story and started another, hitting 7,263 words by the end of the final writing block. Woot! I was stoked. Been a long time since I was able to put up big numbers. It felt good.

Between blocks, we stretched our stiff joints by strolling along the deck or creek, and our stomachs by trolling the snacks in the kitchen. We counted helpless giggles as out weekend abs workout, and adopted a few select euphemisms as the key words of the weekend. I’d share them but…yeah. Look at this group of degenerates – do you really want to know?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, it was a fabulous experience in a gorgeous setting. What could be more exhilarating for a writer than setting the plot bunnies free in the woods?

It’s your turn to share now. How was your weekend?

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