I haven’t been to a conference in a year. The two I did last year weren’t really conferences – one was a workshop (Andrea Brown Agency-sponsored Big Sur workshop on writing for children, middle grade, and teens – a fabulous workshop but I felt a tad out of place), the other was a convention – Romantic Times, in Los Angeles (which was wonderful, crazy and busy and a little too – um – manic in it’s must-party atmosphere, since I was still recovering from surgery).
April, somehow, seems to be conference month. RT happened earlier this month, in Chicago; and seemingly there were more writers there than readers, so I’m kind of glad I didn’t go. Plus I am just out of costume ideas, lol.
Last weekend was the Pike’s Peak Writer’s Conference, which looked fantastic – so many terrific agents/editors/speakers, that you wonder how any of them get their real job done
(I know – they work on their iPads on the plane, in the restaurant, at night in their
This is Aaron Michael Ritchey, author of The Never Prayer. Photo swiped from Aaron's site. Thanks, Aaron!
jammies…). A good blog about Pike’s Peak conference is from my friend Aaron Michael Ritchey, and you can find it here. Okay, maybe it’s not so much about the actual conference as it is about the energy supplied by the people you meet in real time for the first time and the wonderful things that happen when you get so many creative people in one room at the same time. At any rate, it’s a really interesting blog post. (Aaron is a really interesting guy who wrote a fantastic novel called The Never Prayer. You should read it.)
This weekend is the Desert Dreams Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona as well as the New England Conference in Salem, Mass. Before I knew the dates for the Salem conference, I signed up for DD – I’ve been there before, it’s small and mighty and I wanted to see friends and family. Plus, Salem is clear across the country and I wasn’t sure about spending the money, psychics and ghost tours notwithstanding. No – to be honest, I didn’t even know the New England conference was the same weekend and I’d hoped to do both, especially since my editor Steph Murray with Crescent Moon Press will be there, as well as a bunch of CMP authors.
But – I’m here at Chaparral Suites, my son getting ready to spend the weekend with family while I get ready to pitch to three agents and enjoy seeing friends, absorbing writing information, have a terrific book signing, and make new friends. Because after all, conferences/workshops/conventions are about making new friends, and strengthening long-time friendships as much as they are about learning craft.
When we writers climb out of our writing cave to go to a conference/workshop/convention, we get to spend time with people who understand us, who talk to people that only exist in our computer screens like we do, who look up weird facts on the internet that with anyone else would look extremely suspicious.
We’re with a huge bunch of people who get the beast. I guess, in a way, it’s like going to a convention of Bobs. Only other Bobs know what it’s like to be a Bob. Well, only other writers know what it’s like to be a writer.
Sorry this isn’t a wine blog today – I just didn’t plan ahead. Next week, I promise. In the meantime, off I go to meet relatives, hug old friends, drink a little too much wine, become good friends with new people, and in general simply bask with other writers.
Plus, have fan-girl moments. I saw both Brenda Novak (NYT Bestselling Author) and Brenda Chin (one of Harlequin’s TOP editors) at dinner last night (not together, though they were sitting in booths next to each other). It was VERY hard not to squee all over both of them – but since conference hasn’t officially started, and since they were in deep discussions with the person they were with, it seemed rude. However – at noon today, conference starts. All Squeeing will therefore be totally valid.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Here it is…
Isn’t it cool? All the Little Moons have the same cover, with just the title font/color being different. The Little Moons are the short story works of Crescent Moon Press authors, another way to get our name out there. And they all go for only 99¢! A terrific way to “taste” new authors.
~ So, here’s the blurb for BLOOD DREAMS, A Caine Brothers Short Story (available June 1st):
It’s December, and Los Angeles is in the grip of a serial killer – or so Gregor Caine would like to believe. But the moon grows fat as it builds toward the Winter Solstice and a rare eclipse. An old woman searching for a friend gone missing believes danger is coming, and the Blood Dreams that keep interrupting Gregor’s sleep portend a swarm of demonic activity.
After summer’s setback, Kendall Sorbis is finally getting started on his Revenge Life List. First up, open a portal to the Chaos Plane. Second, invite the Caines to come and play…
~ This is definitely a bridge between book 1, Demon Soul, and book 2, Demon Hunt (which will be out this summer); mostly restless intrigue and no romance…but it carries a lot of hints about both Book 1, 2, and the culminating adventure in Book 3, so it’s a short story packed with information.
So there you go – Blood Dreams will be out June 1st, for 99¢ only. Mark your calendars, lol!
Wow – after cover reveals and guests this week, I’m finally back with some tasty wines. Spring is here, and the weather is warming up where I live. It must be time for some Chardonnay! Today I’ve got three, and they’re all from California…and they were all on sale.
Edna Valley Vineyard 2009 Chardonnay Paragon ~ San Luis Obispo County Alcohol 13.9% by Volume. Regularly $13.98; on sale at Vons for $9.97
On the Label: “Our vineyards enjoy one of California’s longest and coolest growing seasons, thanks to sea breezes funneled inland through Edna Valley. Our Chardonnay has amazing flavors of lush white peach and sweet spice with a crisp, clean finish. You will love our Chardonnay with fresh seafood, grilled chicken or roasted pork.”
My Take: Edna Valley wines can be in the upper teens, so when I saw this one for under $10 I grabbed it. It was actually a chilly day and I wasn’t in the mood to cook; luckily Ocean Fresh, our local seafood monger, had sent me an ad for freshly made clam chowder and crab cakes ready to pop into a pan or the oven. (The food was divine!) This Chardonnay stood up well to both the creaminess of the chowder and the spice of the crab cakes. It was not a big, oaky Chardonnay, but it had the clean finish of a Pinot Grigio as well as the lush fruit, and it handled the seafood brilliantly.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ I shall have to check out more of Edna Valley’s wines.
Simi 2010 Sonoma County Chardonnay Alcohol 13.5% by volume; regularly $17.49, on sale for $12.59 at Vons
On the Label: “Simi Chardonnay reflects the diversity of flavors found throughout Sonoma County. The area to the west gives pear and a luscious mouthfeel. The southern region brings citrus and crisp acidity, and vineyards in the north add tropical notes. These combine into complex fruit aromas, a creamy and toasty round mouthfeel with a brilliant balance that makes this Chardonnay delicious with cream-sauced chicken, salmon and mild cheeses.”
My Take: This was a lovely Chardonnay. It had that creaminess that I like, but it wasn’t over-oaked – in fact, oak was almost impossible to detect. I really enjoyed this wine, which we had with our “I doan wanna cook” meal of a rotisserie chicken from Costco and smashed potatoes. Add some fresh green beans to that, and you’ve got a delicious meal. Anyway – the wine went beautifully.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~ But a bit on the pricey side.
Geyser Peak Winery 2009 Chardonnay Alexander Valley Alcohol 13.5% by Volume $11.12 regular price (HA!) at Vons, on sale for $7.78
On the Label: “At our winery in the heart of the famed Alexander Valley, our winemakers are impassioned to create wines that engage the senses and inspire the soul. To ensure the bottle you open delivers all the delicate aromatics captured here at the winery, we seal our Chardonnay with a screwcap closure.
Taste profile: Ripe pear and tropical fruit flavors with a hint of vanillin oak. Creamy and elegant with a crisp finish.
Enjoy with: Light pastas, roast chicken and light veal dishes.”
My Take: I really enjoyed this wine, but a part of that could be that I am partial to Geyser Peak. We visited the winery back in the late 1980s, on our first-ever wine tour, and had a blast, so the wine is suffused with rosy memories. I will say, though, I’ve never been disappointed in a Geyser Peak wine. This one has that hint of oak that I so adore.
My Rating: ~ Very Drinkable ~
So there you have it, three Very Drinkable California Chardonnays. Go forth, and stock up for the ever-changeable weather to come!
As usual, this is just my honest opinion and depend upon my mood, the weather, and whether the cat has tried to kill me that day. Your taste buds will differ.
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
BLOOD DREAMS, a Caine Brothers Short Story, will be out June 1st. DEMON SOUL is available for the Kindle and the Nook! Have you read it yet? Catch up, because soon DEMON HUNT will be out (summer 2012)!
Rating System: Undrinkable, Barely Drinkable, Drinkable, Very Drinkable, and the ever popular Stay away! This is MY wine, you slut!
Before I tell you about this book, I want to mention the cover. This is a nice, powerful cover – the woman on it is staring at you with a frank expression, a bit of a smile on her face, her hand on her hip – you just get the feeling she’s kick-ass as well as sweet. Plus the ocean behind her – well, let’s just say Nevada is now a coastal town, lol. I really enjoyed Book 1 in this series.
Crimson Sunrise, Book 2 of the Tueri Fated Souls series.
Saari Mitchell attends a Tueri conference in Las Vegas, Nevada to strengthen her bonds with Dhelis Guidry and Brogan Vincent—and see if they can make their three-sided relationship work. But when Saari and her vampire brother Mag’s lives are threatened, her trip to paradise soon becomes a surreal fight for survival.
Dhelis and Brogan’s psychic abilities are no help in finding Saari. Desperate to save their mate, they call in favors from the psychic and preternatural community, but the information leads only to more questions. Is the threat against Saari personal or part of a larger plan that threatens every human and Tueri’s existence?
Crimson Sunrise is the second novel in the Tueri Fated Souls Series.
Said of the first novel in this series, Moonlight Bleu:
“Moonlight Bleu by Renee Rearden is one of those ‘blow your socks off’, totally awesome, amazingly entertaining and, completely wonderful stories that make you want to yell about it, at the top of your lungs, from every roof top you can get to! Rearden’s talent is fresh and brings a new face to the world of the paranormal genre.” ~YzhaBella’s BookShelf
“Renee Rearden has exploded onto the paranormal fiction scene with this debut novel—Moonlight Bleu! The concepts in this novel are fresh and creative, and I look forward to seeing future developments…from an exciting new author to watch!” ~Digigirl’s Library
“Read! It’s a good book!” ~ Christine Ashworth
Do you have any questions for Renee? Bring ’em on!
Monica has written an awesome book called Socialpunk – I’ve read excerpts, and it’s so cool! She’s celebrating with a blog tour and a contest, and yes there are prizes. The contest takes place from April 3rd – April 30th in conjunction with the Socialpunk blog tour.
This is a photo of Monica Leonelle, taken from her website.
Here’s the Blurb for Socialpunk: “Ima would give anything to escape The Dome and learn what’s beyond its barriers, but the Chicago government has kept all its citizens on lockdown ever since the Scorched Years left most of the world a desert wasteland. When a mysterious group of hooded figures enters the city unexpectedly, Ima uncovers a plot to destroy The Dome and is given the choice between escaping to a new, dangerous city or staying behind and fighting a battle she can never win.”
“Twelve cups of water sat on the table, four for each of them. Next to each cup sat a pill—yellow for fat, red for carbs, blue for protein, and green for vitamins.
Vaughn took the red pill, ripped it in half like a pack of sugar, and poured it into his cup. He set his cup into a contraption on the table and it whirled and hissed. When the machine finished, the cup had a pink, swirly liquid inside.
Nahum looked at the four cups in distaste.
“Not up to your standards?” Vaughn asked, shooting his drink. He swallowed the mixture in one large gulp. “I would get you something else, but we’re rebuilding our hash. We can’t afford real food, plus it’s bad for you anyway. Extremely difficult to maintain a balanced diet.”
“Synthetic food can’t cost that much,” Nahum countered. He grinned. “We had it in our little fake world, at least.”
Vaughn chuckled. “Synthetic food is even worse for you than real food. Shortens your life. We stopped eating that stuff at the turn of the century. It gave people long-term hyperactivity, which can kill you. LTH took out a lot of the population, kind of like cancer in your day, except a bigger deal because the population had dwindled so low already. Plus, people live indefinitely now.”
Nahum’s nose twitched as he laughed. “People don’t live indefinitely.”
But Vaughn looked genuinely surprised. “Of course we do. Have you seen anyone who looks over the age of twenty-five to yo
“What does that mean, though?” Ima asked out of curiosity. “How could you live indefinitely? You may not look older, but you still age.”
Vaughn grinned. “Like I said before—there’s a lot you don’t understand about this world.”
~~ Monica Leonelle is a well-known digital media strategist and the author of three novels. She blogs at Prose on Fire (http://proseonfire.com) and shares her writing and social media knowledge with other bloggers and authors through her Free Writer Toolkit (http://proseonfire.com/free-writer-toolkit).
Okay, sorry about this guys but I couldn’t upload her book cover or figure out the Rafflecopter thingamajiggie, and despite my sending her emails, I’m not getting any response from her. <insert pouty face here> If you leave a comment and are interested, I’ll see what I can do to get you into the contests she’s holding.
Anyway, the book looks interesting, yes? Visit her at her website and read more!
~ Until the next time, cheers – and remember to drink responsibly! ~
Demon Soul is available for the Kindle and the Nook. Demon Hunt coming Summer 2012
A Caine Brothers’ short story, BLOOD DREAMS, is coming soon!