Monday, March 30, 2009

GCC Presents Jennifer Echols!

I love Jennifer Echols!

From popular author Jennifer Echols comes a touching and romantic story about a troubled teenager and a rookie cop who just might be able to save each other—if they can save themselves first...


All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far… and almost doesn’t make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won’t soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won’t be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge—and over…

Taking readers on an unforgettable journey through the lingering effects of loss and the redemptive power of love, Going Too Far will appeal to fans of powerful and poignant teen novels by Deb Caletti and Sarah Dessen.

Jennifer Echols has written two romantic comedies entitled Major Crush and The Boys Next Door. She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The best laid plans...

OMG! I just posted a huge blog on how I might have sprained or broken my foot while doing taxes and it just erased everything. Sigh. Suffice it to say, I am in a terminator boot.

Guess who won't be doing yard work this week?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An Answer From My Husband

I came out the other morning and found my husband reading my blog, you know, the one where I lambast him for being so hot and hijacking the covers? This is what he had to say:

1. You'd think that someone who comes to bed colder than the polar ice caps and who slides their icy hands and feet onto my body while I'm trying to sleep would appreciate a little heat.
2. I hijack the covers and hold them because I am trying to escape your frigid body with a wall of wool and cotton.
3. I didn't bring that cat home. In fact, I didn't bring any of them home so if you have to get up a thousand times a night to quiet dogs and let out screaming cats, that's your own bloody fault.


I'm seriously falling behind on life. I think that's what I get for making MORE my New Year's resolution. Maybe I wasn't cut out for more. I am behind on writing blogs,on reading blogs, on critting, on my house and on promoting. Next year, I am definitely going for LESS.

Enough said. Today, I am going to try to catch up on critting and blogs. Tomorrow, on promotions and house. Thursday is yard and writing.

That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Amanda Ashby: Secret Zombie Lover

What if a Love Spell Was More Than You Bargained For?

By Amanda Ashby

Love spells gone wrong, boyfriend-stealing cheerleaders, and Zombies who want to eat you for dinner. In ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH by Amanda Ashby, love has never tasted— or rather felt— so good.

Tomorrow is prom, and all Mia wants to do is cast a love spell on her date Rob Ziggerman to keep him away from cheerleading goddess Samantha and save him all to herself. But somehow she ends up inflicting a zombie virus onto her whole class instead. At first Mia loves all the attention her classmates are giving her; treating her like a queen, compliments galore, and all the chocolate a girl could want. But then zombie hunter hottie Chase explains they are actually fattening her up. Why? Because in twenty-four hours, Mia will be the first course in their new diet. That’s what being the ZOMBIE QUEEN OF NEWBURY HIGH means. She’s sure she and Chase can figure something out, especially when the alternative means that her classmates and teachers will be feasting on her bones. But in the meantime, she’s suggests that no one wear white to tomorrow night’s prom, because she has a feeling that things could get very messy.

Doesn't that sound fabulous? Now, here's an interview with Amanda...

TB: Why zombies? You have a hidden fear of them, don't you?

Amanda: I have a not so hidden fear of everything scary! In fact whenever my husband tries to watch horror movies, I spend most of the time behind the couch!

TB: What are your favorite zombie movies?

Amanda: Shaun of the Dead - it is just so incredibly funny and if you watch a lot of UK comedy you will discover that the whole cast is made up hilariously funny actors and actresses!

TB: What are your favorite zombie books?

Amanda: You are So Undead to Me by Stacey Jay, Happy Hour of the Living Dead by Mark Henry Breathers, A Zombie's Lament by SG Browne and next up on the reading list is Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.

TB: What would you do if attacked by Zombies? Are you prepared for that?

Amanda: I am so prepared for it. First stop I would make sure I don't look like the side-kick because side-kicks always get eaten first (it's the rules). Next I would make sure I have some good running shoes on as well as my handy little Zombie Survival Kit which is full of essential zombie stopping ingredients!!!

TB: What surprised you about writing this book?

Amanda: How much I related to my main character Mia. I never set out to write a blood and guts horror book (see above comment about being a scaredy cat) so really it was just about exploring how it would feel for a regular person to get into a very irregular situation! It was lots of fun!!!!!!!

About the Author:
Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and has spent the last ten years dividing her time between England and New Zealand. When she’s not moving countries, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to watch television, eat chocolate and sit around doing not much, but let's just keep that between ourselves, shall we?). She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two young children. Her debut adult book You Had Me at Halo has been nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award. This is her first book for young adults. Visit her on the web at

"Zombie Queen of Newbury High is a delightfully fun, fresh, and funny read! Amanda Ashby creates a highly likeable heroine in Mia Everett, who, despite her best intentions, turns her classmates into zombies. And with prom quickly approaching, she must find a way to undo it before, well before she gets eaten! Never again will you look at prom, your classmates, or even zombies in quite the same way! ~Alyson Noel, New York Times Bestselling author of Evermore

"Zombie Queen of Newbury High is a delicious treat! Who knew zombies could be both fun and funny? It's Zombilicious!" -- Michelle Rowen, author of Bitten & Smitten
"Zombie Queen of Newbury High is where popularity can turn you undead (with an unsettling appetite) and Prom will be a little dangerous this year.  Amanda Ashby moves into the YA world with snapping prose and an entertaining high school mix of teen crushes, popularity drama, and a zombie squad. Zombies beware--you'll love to follow the twists and turns of this fresh and fun novel!" -- Kelly Parra, author of Invisible Touch

“Amanda Ashby's book, Zombie Queen of Newbury High, is filled with twists, turns and humor, sure to totally draw you in. I loved the fact that this read was more than your typical high school teen love story. If you're like me and can't get enough of books filled with mystery, suspense, with a dash of relatable relationship and friendship probs on the side, I def recommend picking up your own copy—you won't regret it!” -Jami Katz Book Club

Monday, March 16, 2009


I am pleased to offer up this interview with the fabulous Liz Funk, author of Supergirls Speak Out. I saw Liz on The Today Show a couple of weeks ago and was impressed with her knowledge and sensitivity. Check out this interview!

TB: Why do you think that the pressure to be a supergirl is so persuasive in our culture?
Liz: I think it's a two-pronged problem. The first issue is that there has never been so much pressure on girls, from the media, from their peer groups, and from their schools to be smart, accomplished, pretty, charming, rich-looking, and glamorous. The second issue is that today's young women don't have a sense of intrinsic worth--why they matter outside of what they look like, what they've accomplished, andhow others perceive them. It leaves them very vulnerable to wanting to please everyone and be a "good" girl.

TB: What traits do Supergirls have?
Liz: Supergirls are almost always very type-A, ambitious, goal-oriented young women. I found that frequently, Supergirls were very cognizant of their looks and put a lot of emphasis on having a boyfriend or having guys in their lives. Supergirls seem to have high hopes for themselves and although they're not overentitled, they like to see success come quickly.

TB: What can parents do to avoid having their daughter become a supergirl?
Liz: I think parents need to explicitly tell the young women in their lives that they matter! Girls are constantly bombarbed with unrealistic images of women in the media, and many girls get the message that if they want to be loved or to get attention, they need to be just as perfect as the charming, successful, nice girls they see on TV. As such, girls also need to have a strong grasp of media literacy: that is, understanding that almost everything we see on TV is scripted and airbrushed to perfection, and that girls shouldn't compare their lives to the fantasy lives they see girls leading on TV.

TB: Can you tell me some of the signs of a supergirl?
Liz: Well, that's the thing about Supergirls: it's very hard to tell from the outside if a Supergirl is struggling on the inside, because half of what makes being a Supergirl so difficult is that Supergirls make it look like they have everything under control and that their overachieving comes naturally to them. However, there are some signs and symptoms for friends and family of suspected Supergirls to spot,like excessive caffeine consumption, secret studying and exercising,being constantly exhausted, being irritable, and being obsessed with one's looks.

TB: What's next for you?
Liz: I just got really interested in screenwriting. I actually wanted to be a screenwriter far before I wanted to be an author--in middleschool and high school--and the Hollywood bug just bit me again, so I'm starting to work on some screenplays. Also, I've been slowly-but-surely working on a novel for the past year; it's a novel of social criticism geared towards twentysomething readers. We'll see what happens! My most immediate goal right now, though, is probably to graduate from college in May. I have a major case of senioritis,and I nee

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Things that Irritate me About Sleeping With Husband

Don't get me wrong, I love my husband. He's a wonderful man. But as I was tossing and turning last night I realized I no longer like to sleep with him. Here's why:

1. He's hot. Since I am always cold, you'd think this would be a good thing. But in the twenty years since we've been married he's morphed from a comfy heating pad into a hulking ball of fire. Honestly, sleeping with him is like jumping into a vat of boiling oil--while having a hotflash--in hell.

2. He's a cover thief. He not only steals the covers, he hijacks them and holds them hostage by throwing one leg on top of them. (Probably because he's hot.)This makes it difficult to move, like being wrapped in a straight-jacket. I can tug, pull and yank and they stay immobile.

3. His cat. I can take partial responsibility for this because I brought him the damn cat, but I had no idea how many sleepless nights this would result in. The cat loves him unconditionally. Searches for him through the house, screaming and then gazes at him with eyes full of adoration when he finds him. Of course, I've seen the cat gazing at a table lamp the same way, but I don't tell my husband that. The cat sleeps with us, then gets hungry (or too hot) and wants out. So I jump up to let him out and he freaks because he thinks I am going to throw him out of the bedroom, so he runs under the bed. After I crawl back under the covers, he remembers that he wants out. No short term memory. So he cries to get out, I try to let him out and then he hides again. I HATE THAT CAT.

4. Our bed is too small. We've both grown since we were first married and no matter how much weight I take off, the bed remains too small. Enough said.

So basically, I'm dreaming of the day when the kids leave so I can make a guest room out of one of their rooms. Now I know why the Bradys slept in separate beds. Smart people.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Relief and Hope

I have a myriad of emotions going on today. So much so that if the men in white were within fifty feet of me, they would no doubt throw my arse in a straight jacket and cart me off. Like most writers, I am bat-crap crazy.

Huge sigh of relief when I sent Speed to my agent. Riley, Parker and company have left my psycho brain alone, no longer torturing me with scenes from their lives. Thanks for that. The thought, (that flittered through my mind like a peice of torn up paper), is that I could actually focus on my life. You know, things like running, work, and mopping the floor. But alas, that is not to be, because as soon as the crew from Speed left, the crew from Black took up residence, roasting weenies on the fires of madness that burns in my cerebral cortex.

Like I said, bat-crap crazy.

So I'm working on another synopsis and trying to get these nuts to leave me alone. Or maybe I'm the nut and my characters are the sane ones.

It's hard to tell.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Who are These People?

And what are they doing in my home?

Being the parents of grown children is challenging. We are at the point (18 and 19) where they are independent, but not. For instance, we are still paying for their cell phones, electricity, food (when they eat at home) and in the case of our youngest, gas. My son pays for his own gas, college, and half his insurance. Daughter pays for half her insurance, clothes and coffee. (A habit that rivals mine, so it's not cheap keeping her in coffee. Ask her boyfriend.)

I don't get to see them much. A text here and there. You know, "Going fishing! TTYL!" Or, "I'm off to the beach with friends! Text you when I get there".

I want to go to the beach with friends.

I know they still live here because their rooms look lived in (i.e. messy) and usually have various components (X-box, laptop, TV, radios, etc.), left on. Their clothing still appears in the dirty laundry. Including my daughter's boyfriend's comfy clothes, which he keeps here to change into to when they watch movies or lounge around. Food disappears from the fridge and my gas card still disappears from my wallet.

Dirty dishes appear in the sink as if by magic. And yet, very seldom do clean dishes get put away by themselves. Where's the magic when you need it? Clean laundry gets rooted through, but rarely folded or put away. The sports section appears every morning in front of the toilet (EWWW) and I have to take it out.

I'm kind of starting to resent them.

For instance, I fold clothes and my daughter's lacy Victoria Secret panties are right next to my Walmart specials. We still get bills in the mail or delivered to our inbox from the college, iTunes and Verizon. But amazingly enough, the garbage never gets taken out. My makeup still gets used. In theory, I share a car with my daughter, but it's never here. The home phone is always off the hook and dead, in spite of both of them having their own cell phones. Nice cell phones. My son has an Envy, my daughter a Voyager and I have a three year old LG. Huh?

I still get little sticky notes on my computer asking me to make various doctor's/dentists appointments for them. Hey, I should just be thankful they are thinking of those things, but why can't they make their own appointments on their snazzy phones?

I shouldn't complain too much, both are doing well, have jobs, are educating themselves and learning how to fly. They better be. Cause I'm getting more and more tempted to push them out of the nest as time goes on.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

mini me

So my parents bought me a laptop the other day. A mini one. I'm still getting used to it, but it's so cute... it's like the big laptops got together and had a baby. Still getting used to typing on it and have to get an external disk drive to get word on it, but I think I'm gonna love it.

Sent Speed off to my cold reader. So excited! I can't wait to see what my agent thinks. I am working on plotting notes for my new book today. I love starting a new project. Everything is new and fresh before all the snarls come into play. I am not going to spill the beans on what this one is about... suffice it to say, that this one is totally character driven, so I need to create fully realized characters before I even jump into it. This one has to be handled so sensitively... we'll see how it goes.

am going to try to catch up on blogs today... I miss everyone!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Wish I Could Blog...

But I can't. I woke up at 3 (AM, people, AM) and couldn't go back to sleep. Now I am stuck working on my book because it tasks me all the damn time and I have to go to my local Starbucks and swill gallons of overpriced, over sweet, cream and sugar and chocolate laden caffeine. Because, well, it's just that freaking good. The coffee, not the book, though I'm actually pretty pleased with the book, as well.

I was going to blog about my wonderful dinner with Jane Porter and other authors and readers and how cute Jane looks pregnant, but I'm still needing that coffee. So maybe later.