Your Keeper Shelf

Next week I’ll be headed to New Orleans and the Authors After Dark Convention. It’s my second AAD con and my first attempt at being on author panels. I don’t talk well in front of people so this should be rather interesting.

One of the panels I’m on is about keeper shelves and what’s on mine. I’m still trying to figure out what I can’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t-ever-want-to live without in regards to books. But, while I’m trying to figure it out for myself, I thought I’d ask you about yours.

What books are on your keeper shelf? What do you read again and again and again?

~lissa

Cowboy Lust Cover!

Ain’t he yummy? Damn, y’all! For those who don’t know, this is an anthology of cowboy stories for Cleis Press. Cleis has always had some of the best erotica around and I’m thinking this collection of stories is gonna be no different. I’m lucky enough to be included with authors like Delilah Devlin, Cat Johnson, Charlene Teglia, Randi Alexander, and Cari Quinn. The forward of the book is written by none other than Lorelei James, too.

While I’m not new to erotic romance and erotica, I am rather new to the cowboy writing world. I’m learning quickly that I love it and have several cowboy books in the works. When I learned about this anthology, I was tempted to write something for it, but shied away and didn’t until I ran in to Delilah at Authors After Dark last year. More than once she said, write something for it, and so, by the time I got home, I was ready to write something for it.

Tentatively my contribution is titled Small Town Famous, the tagline of which is: Iron bars stand between a girl with a shotgun and the cowboy who made her the talk of the town.

You can pre-order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The release date is August 14th.

~lissa

Glad to be home…

No truer words were ever spoken. Okay, well, maybe truer ones, but at this moment, nope.

I am very glad to be home from Authors After Dark. I am very glad to not be living out of a suitcase. I am very glad to have my own shower and bedroom. I am very glad to be relaxed and not running everywhere from the second I get up. And, I am glad to be eating home cooked, real food again. Man, oh man, am I glad of that!

I’m gonna tell you, it’s miserable going from whole wheat, whole grain, natural foods to processed and eating out a lot. However, there was strawberry cake one night that I might kill to have a slice of again…

I met some fabulous people at Authors After Dark though and I am very glad to have gone and met them. Melissa Schroeder (straight shooter and I love that), Kris Cook (just so fabulous beyond words), Joy from Joyfully Reviewed (who welcomed me with such open arms and a smile), and Cat Johnson (who gave me valuable branding/marketing ideas). I spent a lot of time with Samantha Kane and Mari Freeman. We laughed, we went sightseeing, we journeyed to Starbucks! I met people who (when they knew who the hell I was) have loved my books and people who have in the past ragged on them and ripped them to shreds. I met people with ginormous egos and others who were so down to earth and kind and sweet. Larissa Ione was one of those down to earth people and I caught her as we were both standing off to the side at one point. We struck up a conversation and she was easy to smile and laugh and talk. I had not read her books before but because of that one moment, I will try them now. Others, not so much.

I got to spend some time talking with Delilah Devlin. I had met her at Lori Foster’s Reader and Author Get Together. I learned a lot from talking to Delilah and she’s so kind. I also met Sidney Ayers again. She’s very quiet but easy to smile and told me that her books are funnier than the covers appear so, I bought the first one, Demons Prefer Blondes and am going to give it a try!

The tattoo artist tagged me within seconds of meeting me as submissive (which is true). Kinda caught me off guard though and I left my friend Kendra alone with him and her tattoo shortly after that. She’ll forgive me…lol.

I met people from Twitter whom I just wanted to hug and cuddle with… @esmerose1977 and @juju221.

And I hung on the ever fantabulous Dakota Cassidy because I truly can’t get enough of her! She’s very gracious to tolerate me.

Look at me name dropping! LOL. As if, right? However, these are people I met and who stood out to me. Of course, I cannot forget Jen B. and Susan, two readers who actually knew me, actually looked for me. Those were awesome moments.

Aside from Lori Foster’s Get Together, Authors After Dark is only the second con I’ve attended. It was interesting, busy, however it was more busy for others than for me. I was more a tag-a-long than anything. I was a late sign-up, which was fine. Not being in the mix and middle of things, allows one to observe and listen and even find time to connect. I didn’t have to be here or there or in two places at once and that was nice. Very few people knew me, but, in the grand scheme of things… One of my roommates, Eliza Gayle… Now everyone knew her and some were falling all over themselves to get to her. Readers, and bloggers, and authors alike gravitated toward her. She was truly in her element and that was cool to see. Whereas me, I was like a fish out of water…

Authors After Dark 2012 is in New Orleans. I won’t be going to that one. August? New Orleans? Off-season? No… But Philly, that was amazing. It was so different than the Southern cities I’m used to. The atmosphere was hurried, lively, loud. I loved walking around the city, seeing the sites, the architechture, the history. The history was fabulous. And the cheesesteaks. I have to say y’all, the cheesesteak thing… There’s a bit of controversy there. Is it best with Wiz? With provolone? With American? Hell if I know! The one place we went, they said provolone. The people we talked to outside that place said wiz. I do believe after trying both, I’d have to go with wiz. Are you wondering what wiz is? Cheese Whiz. It melts into the steak better and is just more delicious. I am however cheesesteak’d out. I’m actually tired of eating out all together and as I said earlier, I’m glad to be able to eat home cooked, real food again.

I came home with two new book ideas, one I need to write on today and one I need to get started on very, very soon. The whole time I was there, I couldn’t wait to get back to writing and so, I think I shall do that now. And today will be an Elvis Presley listening day… Do you have a favorite Elvis song? Mine is Moody Blue.

Hope all of you had a great weekend and are on your way to a great week.

~lissa

 

Edits and Other Things

I’ve been working on edits this week. They haven’t been as hard and difficult and hair-pulling as other edits I’ve received from my editors, however, I want this book to be great, to be awesome, to be incredible. It’s important. I know most authors and hopefully all authors want their books to be great. It doesn’t always happen and readers don’t always see the end result as being the best thing EVER, but we authors, we strive for it.

Along with edits, there’s been a lot of healthy eating, the emphasis being on healthy and on eating. Whole grains. Little to no preservatives. Little to nothing processed. Gallons of water. Whole foods and nothing that says fat-free or sugar-free. It’s been interesting and I feel so much better. Migraines are less. PMS symptoms are less. I’m sleeping better. My moods are better. I’ve also been eating more and migrating more toward organic foods and local foods. It’s more expensive in some ways, but I’m looking for the payoff in better health.

I am writing. With edits it’s been slower than I had planned, but I am writing. I am also reading. On the sidebar of my website homepage here, is ‘What I’m Reading Today’. As you can see it’s a Dakota Cassidy book. It’s the second in her ex-trophy wives series. I love this book. I loved the first one, too. She’s got such a wonderful voice, so raw and real. If you haven’t read this series yet, think about giving it a try. The books are full of wit, sarcasm, getting even-ness, learning to stand on one’s own two feet, laughs, growing pains, etc… I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

I am headed for the dinner table.

Oh, and per the begging request of a friend, I’ll be taking my Keurig to Authors After Dark and setting it up in her room. At least I’ll have yummy coffee while there next week. If you’re going to be at AAD, please hunt me down and say hi…

~lissa

I’m Still Here…

I’m still here. I promise. I pinched a nerve in my lower back a few days ago and well… PAIN. To sit, to walk, to stand, to pretty much move at all. PAIN. Add in PMS and I’m just a barrel of fun!

I was just starting to get back to my writing after the Lori Foster event. I didn’t get the chance to write as much as I’d hoped. I did spend a lot of time people watching though. I was asked, begged, pleaded with to try and go to Authors After Dark in August in Philly. There were a few spots open because some people didn’t pay evidently by the end date and I jumped in and reserved a place. I’m all paid up, too.

I’m going as an author but I won’t be doing the signing because  my books are not in print. Oh well. I will have some promo at Authors After Dark. And my friend and I are looking to do a Do You Know Vinter? promo thing… How fun, right?

In case y’all didn’t know, we took some winding, mountain roads through Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina on the way home from Cincinnati. Beautiful areas. Depressed areas. Crazy ‘get me the hell out of here’ areas, and lots of inspiration. We happened upon a park called Breaks Interstate Park. It’s the Grand Canyon of the South. It’s gorgeous and spans both Virgina and Kentucky. I was speechless at the views.

I will be driving to Authors After Dark and well, I can only imagine the winding roads I’ll find on that trip. I’m looking forward to it. I’m going as a tag-along, a hanger-on because I hadn’t planned on going at all. We’ll see how it goes.

For those readers of mine that are wondering, I have not heard from my Samhain editor. I sent her a follow-up email. Hopefully, she’s just incredibly busy and will get back to me soon.

I will be venturing into self-publishing this Summer and it will hopefully allow me to write some shorter, hot pieces while I still working on the longer pieces for my publishers. Speaking of… let me ask y’all this… Do you want hot, erotic books still? Or are your tastes leaning toward more mainstream, sweet romance? I know Samhain has been pushing that they accept mainstream and sweet and yes they still accept and take erotic and I’m really wanting to know what readers are wanting. Are you still interested in erotic stories or have your tastes calmed and now you want more of a mainstream book?

As a reader, I don’t want sweet. I don’t really want mainstream all that much. I still want the hot, sexy, squirm in my seat and locate the batteries books.

So as a reader, what do you want to read more of? Spill your guts…

And now, I’m going to have to cut this short. I’ve stood here writing this post and my back is protesting mightily. It’s off to the couch for me with some ibuprofen and a pillow between my knees. An iced caramel macchiato that can be sipped through a straw is probably a good idea too.

Hope y’all are staying cool this weekend…

~lissa

 

 

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