Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Movies of the Year

I'm back from my trip, and I'm bushed. I realized last night while I was trying to pass out on the couch that even though I've chimed in to a few great new shows this Fall, it's been a long while since I've enjoyed a good movie.

But my faves of the year have to include Iron Man in the number one position (which is out on video today!) God, I loved that movie, the Robert Downey, Jr. snarky rendition of Tony Stark was perfect, and since I'm very much a Marvel fan I thought they did a great job with the storyline.

Along the same lines with the comic book hero movies, I've heard amazing reviews about the Dark Knight and I can't wait for it to be released on video to watch it (although I know I should have seen it on the big screen). Since I haven't yet seen it, I did find a few other reviews so that I could competently make a recommendation:

"The haunting and visionary Dark Knight soars on the wings of untamed imagination. It's full of surprises you don't see coming. And just try to get it out of your dreams." Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"Heath Ledger was really as good as everyone said he was. While Jack Nicholson’s Joker in 1989’s Batman was campy and diabolical, Ledger’s Joker was unsettling, disturbingly matter of fact about his criminal exploits, and fascinating to watch. Ledger was The Joker. He had the mannerisms perfected, from the smoothing back of the wiry hair, to the flicker of his tongue, to the lumbering walk. It was such a commanding performance that any scene he was in, everything else paled in comparison." Eclare Fair

So what have you seen this year that you want to rave about? What are you looking forward to on the list of movies still to come?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Il est tout au sujet du voyage

I'm in Montreal! We needed tires. Don't ask why I drove 900 kilometres for tires. Long story. But I won't be home until late on Monday. While we're here we'll be visiting family and friends and I'm sure we'll have loads of fun. First we'll do some of the "family part" and eat too much food before heading to NDG to do the "friend part" and get our tires. We'll be going out for dinner in Old Montreal and I hope that the weather is nice so that we can hang out on a restaurant patio with a good bottle of wine and catch up. It's been too long since we've seen our friends. Then we'll go on to the next place and spend some time with my grandmother, who I love with all my heart. She's smart and strong and an inspiration to me. She shows me the kind of woman I want to become.

Coming back home is bittersweet because we love Montreal, and that car ride...whew. Anyone else go on long car rides like this on a regular basis? Since we head up there at least four or five times a year, I've learned a few tricks to make the drive easier.

1. Lots of batteries for the video game.
2. Extra DVD's for the television.
3. A set of headphones.
4. A cigarette plug adapter.
*Note that all of these things involves electronics designed to keep my five year-old busy?

We also play lots of eye-spy games and tell stories. And making time for breaks is a must with a child on board. Even if he doesn't have to pee...he will...and giving him a chance to stretch his legs keeps him from getting too cranky. We also try to travel at non-peak traffic times, even if it means getting up at 4:00 in the morning.

So I'll see you when I get back, or maybe...
Voyez-toi à Montréal

Friday, September 26, 2008

I had to laugh when Maria Zannini asked me to share my book signing experiences as part of her continuing market series...seeing as how I've only had one book signing event, and it was just two weeks ago, so I'm surely no expert. BUT...having said that, maybe because of the fact that I am a newbie, I am also the perfect person to ask. I don't have the fan-base that a more established author can use to draw people to the store for a booksigning, which means I have to rely on other things. So here's my short list of things to do before the event to try and make it a successful one:

1. Sign up for BookTour.com You can create an author page with them that has links to reviews, interviews, your website and blog, and more importantly, you can enter all of your upcoming events (even online or "virtual" events like guest blogging). The idea is that BookTour.com lets its reader members know which authors will be in their area for booksignings, and hopefully this can draw a few curious people into the store when you're having your event.

2. Send out a newsletter or an email blast. Go ahead, send it to everyone, even if they're not in the area. I sent one to a friend that lives 2 hours away, knowing she wouldn't be able to come, but I sent it anyway. It was an invitation with a request to let others know. And of course, she didn't come, but she did send three of her friends over to the store who do live in my area. The idea is to get the word out. Your email contacts have contacts, who have contacts, who have contacts...

3. Have the bookstore send you a copy of their promotional poster or flyer. Get it printed in colour. If you work in an office, or anywhere out of the home and you don't have a problem with your co-workers knowing that you are also an author, then post it in the lunch room (you might have to ask if its okay first). I also posted it at my grocery store, my post office, the three neighbourhood libraries, my husband's office, my mother's office, my lawyer's office (I wouldn't normally have picked this location, but we're friends)...so you get the picture. How will people know that you'll be signing books if they have no way of finding out?

Doing these things will probably also bring your friends and family to the store, but that's not a bad thing. It means that when you sit down at that chair and start signing books for your mom and your best friend from high school, that you'll also be garnering the attention of the other shoppers wandering around looking for something interesting to read. And when they see the crowd at your table, they might just think you're more famous than you really are and decide to take a chance with your book. My booksigning went very well and I was surprised at the number of people that I sold books to, or gave bookmarks and postcards to, or just talked to, who weren't family or friends. Hopefully, they are soon to be what I would be excited to call "fans".

Be sure to visit Maria's site today to see what other advice and tips she's sharing from other authors.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where's your favourite place to go?

For me it's bookstores. I love bookstores. I could spend hours in a bookstore, perhaps the whole day. It could take me an afternoon just to peruse one aisle in my favourite genre.

(This is the Selexyz Bookstore in Maastricht, Holland, installed in an old Dominican church.)

(Borderlands Science Fiction Bookstore in San Francisco is home to this hairless Sphynx cat.)

On Thursday evenings when hubby goes off to play hockey, kiddo and I head out to the bookstore after dinner. We'll take turns. First we go to the children's section. We'll play with the dress up costumes for a while, then take a turn on the train set with Thomas before settling into a corner to read a few of the new releases. If it's close to Halloween, Christmas, or Easter, then that's even better because we'll find all of the themed books and read them out loud. Usually, before we're done we've gotten the attention of a few other kids as well and I have a circle of chubby, rapt little faces staring up at me. It's hard at that point to call a halt to storytime, and I'll read "just one more".

(Shakespeare & Co. Antiquarian Books, Paris. Probably the most photographed bookstore of the world.)

Life in a bookstore is like a wonderful melding of cultures. I liken it to walking through Kensington Market in Toronto and drinking in all of the colours and scents, the people talking and shopping. No matter your likes or dislikes, everyone can find something to interest them. I'll look around and always see five or six people in the magazine section, picking up everything from home reno mags to magazines about fashion, crafts, pets, photography and sports. Then there are those who are hanging out with the comics and Manga books (I loved the graphics in To Terra, by Keiko Takemiya). And whether you're looking for a treatise on Catholic dogma, a history of the Mennonite faith, or a copy of the Talmud...they could be sharing the same shelf space.

(A view from inside the bookstore Shakespeare & Co)

You might find popular fiction next to the biographies, or science fiction next to a grouping of inspirational self-motivators. People come to sit quietly, curled up in a window with something new, or they come with friends and laugh at the happenings of the day over coffee. Whatever it is, bookstores seem to have a life of their own that encompasses wonder and excitement, laughter, tears and learning.

(A very cramped bookstore in Calcutta, India.)

For kiddo and I, after we've spent some time with Dr. Seuss and Harold and the Purple Crayon, we head over to the sci-fi and horror sections. While I'm picking up this book and that one off the shelves to read the first pages, my amazing child will sit on the floor and every once in a while he'll show me a picture or laugh over a word that he sounded out all on his own. And then we'll do the same over in the romance aisle before heading back downstairs to pay for our treasures. Finally, when the sun has long gone down and it's way past bedtime, we'll run through the cafe to grab a cookie for the ride home. As I'm driving, I'll look in the rearview mirror to find him passed out in his seat with his new book clutched in those little hands and it makes my heart melt.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This was a very unproductive weekend for writing. I went visiting, shopping, had dinner at the in-laws, watched a movie...oh and I went to a sex toy home party.

It's like Tupperware, um...but not.

I've been to one before. It was a "boy/girl" party a few years ago when we were all newly married. But I'm thinking that was the wrong time for a party like this. Now that we've all got our noses to the grindstones and a couple of kids under our belt, now that the mortgage is a firmly-entrenched part of our lives and we haven't had a real vacation since that honeymoon, might be a better time to have a party like this. And I like the boy/girl idea. The party I went to this weekend was "just the girls" which was fun but it lacked that extra hit of testosterone that the guys would have brought with them.

Anyway, I wish I could provide you with something witty and/or interesting this Monday morning. But I'm about as brain dead as a fried zucchini, so that's all I've got.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hop on over to the Vauxhall Vixens for my blog today! I'm talking about crazy feats of daring and the lengths we go to immortalize ourselves.

Man on Wire

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sick of all those motivational posters they insist on putting up in the office?

Here are some de-motivational words of wisdom you won't find on the lunch room wall...

Saturday, September 13, 2008


My first booksigning at Chapters this past Friday went very well! Thanks to everyone who came out!

Signing books.
I wasn't the one taking the pictures folks, but you didn't really want to see my face anyway did you?...oh, and yes that is a HUGE Twilight display right behind me LOL

Yay, a fan!

More crazy fans...
actually this is my husband and a friend of mine with her sister...but they're still fans I swear it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

FRIDAY FUNNY is postponed for this week...but I have a good reason, honestly.

Today is my very first scheduled Book Signing!

Details: I'll be at the Chapters book store in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada this evening at 7:00 p.m. EST signing the first two books in my Immortals Series--My Immortal and Immortal Kiss.

For those of you not too far away, I'd LOVE to see you there, it's going to be a blast...although you'll probably meet my mother. She'll be the one with the camera that just won't quit :)

Now, if you can't make it and you're really dying to get a signed copy of one of my books (and who could blame you!), I will also be attending some other events before the end of the year, including a few in the USA. But here's to hoping that my first event is a successful one!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

For today, another book review!!

One of my favourite authors blew away the whole scene with the first in her Psy/Changeling series in 2006. Since then the books have just gotten better...and better.

Nalini Singh's newest installment Hostage to Pleasure is the sixth book in a fabulous series. With every word Ms. Singh has created a rich, compelling world. An alternate earth, a world of the future. Not one of peace and vision but one where a dangerous war is brewing between the species. Changeling, Psy and Human...

Dorian is a sentinel for the DarkRiver clan, a Changeling leopard without the ability to change. Ashaya is one of his sworn enemies, a scientist for the Psy Council--the very same council ultimately responsible for the brutal killing of his baby sister. But is Ashaya as cold and emotionless as she so perfectly portrays? The caged beast inside Dorian doesn't think so, and is determined to break through Ashaya's walls to find out the truth, and to find out what she's hiding...even if it means inciting the rage of a brilliant sociopath and bringing the Psy down on them both.

I seriously recommend this book--but definitely read the prior books first. This is a series that builds a larger story that should be read in succession to truly appreciate the awesome world-building this author excels at.

Monday, September 08, 2008

All right...

I've had about enough of the warm fuzzies. Should last me right through to Christmas.

So where were we then?

Right...big, bad, totally hot immortal warriors who kick demon ass. Strong, sexy, amazing women who don't take shit from anyone, especially not said warriors...
He he, I love this job...

Having finished Dark Immortal, let me give you a little taste:

Alric lifted a hand to her face, lightly trailing a curled finger down her cheek. Callused and rough, but warm on her skin.

She started, her gaze jerking back up to his. His hand was too large, like the rest of him. She knew very well there was little she could do if he decided to use that size and strength against her.

And so did he.

It should scare the crap out of her, but even so, she didn’t pull back from him.

He touched her with such gentle care, almost trepidation. As if he were more afraid of her, of what she might do, than she was of him. Curiosity rode her. If by some fantastical twist of fate this man was telling her the truth, then she would know from his kiss.

Won’t I?

More to the point, if he kissed her and she felt nothing, then they would both know it. She would be able to put aside the ridiculous uncertainty that continued to torment her once and for all, and maybe he would even let her go.

His gaze shifted to her mouth before he closed the distance. Warm, firm...but light. He was giving her all the time in the world to reject his touch and pull away. When she didn’t do so immediately, he groaned and leaned in closer. There was nothing demanding in his kiss, and yet she felt as if she were being marked, as if this one kiss could break down all of her walls and leave her shivering and vulnerable.

"Diana." He murmured her name as if it were made to be uttered in his deep voice, his breath stealing between her slightly parted lips. His hand curved around the back of her head, holding her to him with the gentlest of tethers as he slid his tongue across her lips.

The kiss changed. From soft and unthreatening, to one that hungered—and dared her to feed the hunger. Accept it. Crave it.

Oh God.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

So as you know, I've been very busy trying to make my deadline for Dark Immortal, and I did it!

But it was a grueling process. This book was very hard to write, and I found myself locked away with my laptop for many, many...many hours while it seemed as if the rest of the world was enjoying the summer.

I hate to say it, but my family suffered. And my friends. And my job. When I wasn't writing, I was distracted, irritable, and clearly my mind was still in another world with my characters.

And so I want today to say THANK YOU to everyone for riding this deadline along with me with patience and understanding, which I appreciate from the bottom of my heart.


Friday, September 05, 2008

For this week's FRIDAY FUNNY!!

I can remember doing way too many of these dances starting somewhere around Billie Jean and Thriller!

What do you remember about those times?