mermaids

Mermaids & Friends: Amy Patrick

Friends, I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Amy Patrick to the pond today. Her debut, CHANNEL 20 SOMETHING, released earlier this week. It’s such a fun read, and I gobbled it up in one sitting. But don’t take my recommendation alone! Here’s a blurb:

22-year-old Heidi Haynes is almost one year into her “real life”. She has her first reporting job and her first apartment, but she’sCTS FINAL COVER yet to experience first love. Yes, she’s in a comfortable relationship with her college sweetheart, and according to her friends and family, he’s perfect for her. But for some reason she’s not as eager to talk about walking down the aisle as he is.

And while Heidi’s doing what she wants to do, she’s not where she wants to be. She longs for big cities, big-market breaking news, and real independence from her way-too-close-by helicopter parents. Problem is, the last time she…
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Nationals!

Already, our fabulous mermaids are storming the wilds of Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas.

Yuppers, it’s #RWA14 – Romance Writers of America National Conference, 2014!

Yes, it’s hot (90 degrees at 10 p.m.). Yes, it’s crowded (4,000 women in one hotel means very crowded). And yes, it’s busy (just try to make all those workshops you had on your wish list!)

Yours truly isn’t in attendance this year, but already has intercepted various Facebook posts from others. We know they’ve survived, and some are probably, at this minute, buying cowboy boots.

Check back tomorrow, to see if I’ve managed to snag a few pictures from the Fishy Ones, and we’ll see just how sparkly their fins can be!

In the meantime, here’s what this Mermaid was doing in their absence…

 

muse3

At last the Internet Gods cooperate… here we are, painting our hearts out instead of writing.

Hey — better than San…
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Perspective

Life is about perspective. Or so we hope. Or maybe, so we are reminded. A number of years ago, I stood in front of my mirror, trying to lump my hair into something that didn’t resemble a villainous Star Trek character.  To no avail.  The strands refused to cooperate, as did the rest of my appearance.  A frumpy outfit hugging a poochy belly.. green tinged skin glowering under fluorescent lights.  Bloodshot eyes pegged into a puffy face.  And a nice hint of a double-chin laughing at me from its less than obvious hiding place.  I hated what I saw and was angry at all the maladies I felt had been unfairly heaped upon me.  Why, oh why, I bemoaned, must I look like a freak show in a fun-house mirror?  It wasn’t fair.  Others didn’t have to go through this.  Why did I?  As I scrubbed my teeth, I silently grumbled about the days when my hair cooperated, my clothes fit and my face wasn’t a replica of the Grinch. …
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Time Suck of Scheduling

I just spent a good two hours trying to get my conference app up and running for RWA 2014. This was a colossal waste of my time and energy. All it managed to do was make me swear at my computer and threaten to throw it off my deck.

For the last five years I’ve made up my schedule for the conference in a regular document. Each year, I “Save As” that year’s location and start replacing. It seemed to work for me.

I try to add some humor into them as well. “Mingle at a bar” or “Find a buttertart” (that’s for you, Holly). At one conference, I put “Have Sex with Husband” right after my return flight landed. Well, said husband took advantage of my conference time to throw stuff away at home. My youngest called in tears that he had thrown away her American Girl dolls. Another was crying that he was making them get rid of half of the contents of their rooms. I’m a pack rat…
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Online Shopping: Convenience or a Disease That Must Be Cured!

I shop online. And the Internet knows. It follows me to every site I visit. Facebook. USA Today. The Astrology page. The little box in the corner with my latest purchase haunts me. Reminds me. Yes, I did spend that money. Yes. I did buy that dress. Or even worse – No. No. No. You forgot to buy it! And here’s your chance to correct your mistake. Shop. Shop. Shop…

And don’t tell me to turn off the Internet. Don’t tell me not to visit all the places I love to visit. And don’t tell me to stop shopping (Bank of America has already got dibs on that, thank you very much). What is it about online shopping that makes it so – dang easy to spend money!

I was do some research for one of my WIPs, and learned about the DARK NET. It’s a place hackers go to hang out and create mayhem. Shouldn’t online shopping be considered some sort of black hole that eats money?

But worst than…
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Magical Summer Memories

Apple PieIt’s summertime again, and as always it’s passing too fast. Although schools out and we don’t have rehearsals and practices to rush to every evening, there is still that cursed day job and at least a thousand other things demanding my immediate attention. It makes me long for the simpler times and a slower pace of life.

Growing up, I loved visiting my grandparents house in the summer. They lived in a very rural area dominated by rolling mountains and lush green valleys. It is still litterally fifty miles to the closest fast food restaurant or Walmart. The cell phone reception is crappy and they are probably still using a dial up internet connection, but you know what? For me, my grandparents house represents one of the happiest places on earth.

My favorite part of the summer was when all of the aunts, uncles and cousins came for Fourth of July. After a day full of fun playing in the hayloft…
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Book or TV Boyfriend: How Far Would You Go?

As authors and/or readers of romance, we are passionate about the characters. We love our heroines, but the hero–well, we can get obsessed. They are strong, captivating, bad boys, decent men, with honor, revenge, loyalty or redemption top of mind. We want them silent and brave, sexy and broad-shouldered (a six pack can add to the love), but willing to do whatever they must do (once they’ve put aside that pesky character flaw) to be the man they were always meant to me (for that one special woman!). Yep. We love to write them and to read them. And we are fans.

But let’s talk about the extremes of fandom for a moment (since I understand extreme fandom better than most:)…

Scan 141770001Back in the day, I fell for a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and yes, around the Internet lately, I’ve been talking about my Whedon obsession. And yes, I know NOT a book, but a TV show that…
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Living the Sorta-OCD Life

Susan-Mermaid-avatarSome of my mermaid friends know that my daughter returned to the nest two years ago. She made a brave decision, and walked away from an abusive and failing marriage.

She’s made a lot of progress since that sad day, but one thing hasn’t changed. Obsessive-compulsive living. I know, because I have it, too.

This condition, often dormant (or so we tell ourselves) has most recently emerged, yet again, as the two of us teamed up to redecorate our home’s main bathroom. The lavender color it sported for two years, on which we agreed only after hours-long discussions, was voted out. Unbeautiful, it lay on the walls with a sort of hyper-polite, John Gielgud air. Trust me, there ain’t no joyful living with a slightly grape-griege wall surface tapping on your brain in the morning as a person brushes her teeth.

20140624_104853_1She settled on a vibrant teal (inspired by a clock, but…
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Summer Reading Recommendations from the Dauntless

I love book recommendations. I especially love YA book recommendations. And I REALLY especially love YA book recommendations from my writing friends. What’s more, I’m at the beach this week, and I needed to load up my kindle with lots of good reading.

So who better to ask than the Dauntless, my fellow YA Golden Heart finalists from this year?

Here’s what they had to say:

 

1. SWEET EVIL series/SWEET RECKONING.16007855

I am crazy about the Sweet Evil series by Wendy Higgins! If you haven’t picked up these books yet, now is the perfect time to start, because the third book in the trilogy, Sweet Reckoning, was just recently released and shot right onto the bestseller list. The series features the sons and daughters of fallen angels, whose lives literally depend on being bad influences. Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna is fighting her fate until she meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe and her willpower…
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Gentle Endings

There’s no good way to end a relationship, especially if one party doesn’t want it to end.  But how to react when the relationship never got off the ground?

A friend of mine is swimming in a tarn of internet dating.  And I’m along for the ride.  We have lawyers who can’t spell lawyer.  A world traveler who has never heard of Machu Picchu and one bozo who only wanted to discuss the dimensions he would bring to the relationship.  Yes, those dimensions.  Within this jambalaya of bachelors, there are of course, nice, sweet guys, who by all accounts look good on paper, but just don’t have that “something” that connects her to them.  So then the question arises, how to let them know, it’s just not there.

Asking me for advice, less so for my dating experience (ahem, 10-year wedding anniversary coming up) and more for wordsmithing, I give her my .01 cent of advice.   Be nice, be gentle, but be honest.   Something like, Mr. Bachelor, you are a…
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