Saturday, August 30, 2014

What doesn't kill us...Stop trying 2014!

This has been an interesting year to say the least.
On New Years Eve night I made the mistake of saying "Well--2013 was a bit rough, I bet 2014 will be great!"
While the ball was dropping, I was picking lice out of my kids hair.
Within a week my 93 yr old grandmother hit her head and lay in the hospital bleeding into her brain because of her blood thinners. She passed away within a few days.
School began again and it was crunch time for me. It was my final classes before graduating with my Bachelors degree. They were all upper level classes and very difficult. I also had undergrad research and a few other things to do in order to be a more likely candidate when I applied to get into my Master's program.
During the week I went to classes. During the weekends I worked at the hair salon trying to scratch out a living.
In the middle of this the landlord demanded more and more money that we didn't have. Even when we handed over all of our school returns and paid up until May--she wanted more. We were very insecure of our home at the time. Would we still have a place to live? Where would we go if she booted us? Our usual familial relations that we would stay with had no room and had their own issues.
Then in the middle of this I realized that I had been lax in homeschooling my children. Crap. They were behind. Sooo---in the middle of the crazy race for our home, my education and my job I buckled down and dragged the kids up to where they were supposed to be and beyond. They ended school early and got high marks on their assessments. Yay for that.
My hubby finally got an awesome job that would pay well and only get better with time. Finally--security. I quit my job and graduated in May.
Our landlord changed her mind and frequently and ended up wanting an exorbitant amount of money per month that would stretch us thin--even with my husbands good pay. We decided that we needed to move on. We found a cute new house and gave ourselves 2 months to move...Unfortunately the house we chose was still getting worked on and didn't have room to move anything until a week before we were supposed to be out of our other house. It was a crazy week that extended into the following week. With my hubby traveling and working it was me and my two little girls moving ALLL the stuff from our old house to our new house.
In the midst of this summer moving my mother had a stroke and lost all control of her right side. Thankfully, she regained her ability to move and is nearly normal.  Also, a week later my Mother in law was in the hospital and my youngest split my oldest's lip accidentally with a golf club...needless to say there were many trips to the hospitals.
We finally made into our new home (of course we are still organizing--I see us being done in a few years) but of course things are still crazy.
I got into my Masters, hubby is working on his oral dissertation and both my girls started another year of homeschooling. And hubby has been traveling a lot.
This week we decided to go with him to stay at the motel for three days and have a vacation.anything. We did get pool time but because of taking antibiotics me and the girls got burnt (surprisingly, I got the worst of it.) The Tv had no kids channels and my special monthly friend decided it would be a great time to show up. Also, I decided to literally peel off the skin from the top of my foot with the spring loaded metal gate. Youch!  Now I know what it's like to have my skin peeled off in little strips. I have been curious since I heard about that form of torture in the history books. I  toughed it out though.
The day we left, I got horribly lost on the way home from dropping him off at work (I'll post about that later) had many other things go wrong, went to the Dr. And found out I have Bronchitis and my oldest had a bladder infection. All of us had a sinus infection. Got our meds and took off to get hubby and hour late. Four hours later we arrived at the motel got caught on a big curb and ripped off some of the bottom of our car. We never did get wifi, so no schooling or

Le' sigh.
The whole time I have felt like screaming at the various things beating against us. Like this:

But We have survived--so far and we're home.
It's a new school year. A new house and a new season. I am ready to get er' done. Even when fate throws shit my way I can and will slog through it.
Oh. and I will definitely NOT say anything this New Years. Fate took it as a challenge when I said this year would be better so, this year I'm saying wow. Alot of really awesome things happened (cuz--really they did) and leaving it at that. Maybe then next year we'll just have normal everyday stresses instead of a big ol heap of weird crap.
Hope you 2014 and this last week has been good.
Tell me...What's new with you?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

9 Years married today, 12 years together. What to say?

Today is the celebration of 9 years married to the man I love. He is not only a husband, father and coauthor of our books but he is also my best friend.

I know that sounds super cheesy but it's the truth.  And I think that's why our marriage is still strong.
When I first started dating hubby I didn't know what the future held for us. He was that cute, smart funny guy that I liked spending time with.
Over the next year he helped me start discovering who I was and helped me see that I was pretty and worthwhile.(trust me, he had his work cut out for him.)
When he proposed I was ecstatic and skeptical. Why did this dude want to marry me?

I said yes (Obviously)and over the next year we worked on getting everything ready for the big day.
The wedding day was beautiful. We had blue skies and sunshine. Our family and friends gathered around to help us celebrate our day and it went off with nary a hitch.
Over the last 9 years we've had our ups and downs. We had two beautiful children. And both of us have gone back to college. Stress is our drink of choice. *G*
But the nifty thing is that each of those moments, the hard and the easy(not many of those) the good and the bad. The hectic and fun...
Drew us closer together. It became us against the world. We fit together so nicely and we compliment each others oddness.
We have both grown individually and as a team. I am a better person because of my husband and I think that we go as good together as we did 9 years ago--maybe even better.
The newness wears off and the passion ebbs and tides but if you have someone that you can have fun with outside of the bedroom. Someone you can't wait to share experiences with or news with, then you have the ingredients for a long and happy marriage.

So--Happy Anniversary to my husband and best friend. I have enjoyed the last decade and look forward to the next one. Here is to many more adventures!


Friday, February 28, 2014

Why I would suck at surviving the Zombie Apocolypse.

I am a fan of zombie movies and stories.
(I have really wanted to write a book about the end of days--maybe featuring zombies maybe a plague. I dunno yet. but I think it sounds super fun.)
The Walking Dead is an itch I scratch every Sunday night and I have read some really good zombie apocalypse books. (my favorite right now being J.L. Bourne's Day by Day Armageddon.)

I have talked at great lengths with my hubby and friends about our zombie apocalypse plan and the "What would you do?" Oftentimes we have great discussions while watching the walking dead, picking apart the actions of the characters. I've even taken the quizzes. According to them I would be a long term survivor and I'm most like Michonne (Hells yeah).

But in reality, I know that it would really suck if I got plopped down into the middle of the chaos of the ZA.
Let's talk first about my fighting skills; Which are---none. I have basic fighting skills and no weapons except for whatever I can get ahold of...and yeah. You can bet your ass that I'll be grabbing shovels, baseball bats(with nails stuck in them) and anything else I can grab and go all Tyreese on those MoFos
but--still not a gun. Or a wicked kitana. Or a tank.

And talking about tanks. My vehicle blows chunks. It's not a fast sports car or a big 4x4 truck. It would so not be my choice for a survival vehicle. The one car related skill that might help is my ability and knowledge of siphoning gas and my awareness that newer cars have a nifty feature that prevents that. So, as long as I come accross some older vehicles with gas--I'm square.
--also, I'd like to note that unlike Rick in the walking dead. I am not a horse person. The last time I rode a horse, I was 9 and we fell off. That is not promising equestrian skills.
Next: I have a family. My hubby/my soul-mate and two little innocent girls. As well as parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins that I give a big damn about.  And a handful of good friends. So not only would I be watching Hubby's back and protecting my girls with every fiber of my being but I would have to try to save the rest of my family/friends as well. Can you imagine trying to protect little children in a time like that? Not easy. At. ALL.)
le'sigh. The idea of anything happening to these people and especially my girls fills me with so much dread and horror that I'd have a bleeding ulcer by time a week was out during the apocalypse.
Now, that is bad enough but here's another fun kicker. I am as bad as a damn child when it comes to my pets. When my cats are sick or missing or in pain, I worry and dither. So--if I had to abandon them to save my family, I would worry about them. I would picture every horrible thing that could befall them happening. (again, bleeding ulcer). And if I saw a zombie eating them, it would play over and over in my head at random times for the rest of my life--eating away at my heart
And we would have to move eventually. Even though it would take awhile to get to our little town (as it would obliterate larger cities first) the herd of walkers would eventually sweep through the area and we can't forget the zombies that are buried. If those come out to play--whooee. That'll be fun because our area is lousy with graveyards. Hell there's one within view of my house. We would be screwed.
The only--and I mean only thing that might save our asses is if the Zombie Apocalypse happens during these Polar Vortexes. Eventually it will freeze the zombies. Even if they cannot feel pain, eventually, without warm blood coursing through their tissue they will freeze like a slab of meat. It might happen after a few appendages break off but, I'm not picky.
If it happens in the summer--well. Then I'm headed north until it passes. (maybe I could hook my cats up to a sled. People do it with dogs...hmm)

So. Here is my circling thoughts for the night. How about you? How would you fare in the world of undead chaos?
What's your favorite movie/show/book about the undead? I'd love to hear your thoughts. :D

Friday, January 17, 2014

CHARACTER INTERVIEW with Braxton from "RunAway Groom"

Hi all.
I have a special treat for you today.
Are you ready for it?
Okay...I won't tease you any longer.
Today I have a special guest.
Braxton Dean from the fabulous Virginia Nelson's "Runaway Groom" came by for a little chat.

So, Let's give him a warm welcome.

Hey there Mr. Dean. Can I call you Braxton? *Flashes big smile*
Yes, ma’am.
So, I hear you’re trying to win back your lost love. What is it about her that makes your heart go thump?
What doesn’t? Abby is my best friend, my first love, the person I want to tell when something good happens and the first person I want to call when things go to shit. She’s hot, she’s smart…I’m amazed by her.
Ok. I understand that you were young, but as a previously scorned woman, I have to ask—Why did you leave her? And you left her at the altar. Wow.
It’s a long story.
Anyway. Sorry. I know. You were young and scared.
*manly grunt*
So. Tell me about the letters? How many did you write? Were they Love letters?
They were awful private, ma’am. *tugs at collar* How did you hear—nevermind. This town is so small, I can’t fart without someone knowing about it.
Haha. Yep. Gotta love small towns. So--*checks out Braxton covertly*
*fans self* woo. Goodness. A girl has to be pretty mad to resist your charm.
*laughs* Well, Abs, she gets me. I may not always say the right thing, but I’m honest.
That is a very special thing to find in a partner. What did you do when you left? Where did you go?
Again, sort of a long story. Everywhere and nowhere, really.
I’ve heard you can’t take the Country out of the country boy. You seem pretty down-to-earth and sexy—er—charming *blushes*. I take it that your roots run pretty deep her in Watkins Pond?
I grew up in Jefferson, swam in Watkin’s Pond for about as many summers as I can remember…yeah, I go back a ways.
So---Just one more VERY important question. Do you have any brothers? And are they single? I’m asking for strictly scientific reasons—yeah. *glances around to see if anyone heard*
*grin* Actually, I do. And actually…yup. Hang on, let me give you his number. *waggles brows* How do you feel about cops? I have this buddy, Lou? You might like him, too. Cowboy, cop…Just sayin.
Hmm, A man in uniform? Can I just say…Le sigh. And a cowboy to boot? *Hums Desperado*
*clears throat* Other than the busy-bodies I’ve heard about, your hometown sounds quite charming. What attractions would you recommend, if say an author decided to come visit for a while to soaking some down-home ambiance?
We have a real nice dance hall over in Austinburg. Lou, he rents his horses out for trail rides, if you’re into that sort of thing. We also have this covered bridge festival yearly—everything from maple treats to cheesecake, good people, scenic views—folks seem to enjoy it.
How are things progressing with the two of you? Will it be love or WWIII?
Only time will tell. My Abs, she’s stubborn. Once she gets her mind set…Only time will tell.
Thanks for chatting with me. It was fun. Good luck with Abigail. Sounds like you’ll need it.
Thank you, ma’am. I fear you may be right.
Let’s give a big round of applause folks. 

Now, How about some Blurb and excerpt action? Let's take a closer peek at Braxton's world and the little town he calls home.

He’s ready and waiting. She’s wanting…but wary.

 Runaway Groom
Watkin’s Pond, Book 1
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

The groom is back in town.
Abigail lost her best friend years ago when he ditched her at the altar like a loaf of stale bread. Now he’s back and determined to do whatever he has to—even lie, apparently—to get under her skin. Although he makes her hormones rev to life in a way that no one has since he left, she is equally determined not to fall for his boy-next-door charm.
His bride-to-be is somewhat reluctant.
Braxton Dean was too young and stupid to know better when he walked away. Years of trying to fill the Abby-shaped hole in his heart have left him empty, and now he’s going to win back his girl—or get over her. But first he needs answers. Particularly why she never responded to any of his letters.
It might take a whole town to make this wedding happen.
With the help of their friends, the two battle it out. The army? An entire town of busybodies. The prize? Happily ever after.

Warning: Contains indignant old ladies, steamy sex (but not with indignant old ladies), seduction cake, and condom bouquets. Yes, we went there.

Enjoy the following excerpt for Runaway Groom:

July 7, 2005
I’m sitting in a diner in the desert. The sun peeking over the mountain lights up everything in these reds so bright they almost hurt the eyes. You’ve never felt a hot like this, all dry, nothing like the days that we went swimming over at Watkin’s pond…
I don’t really know why I’m writing you. I don’t have answers and right now you probably want them. I just know I couldn’t do it.
I miss you though.
Love, B

Knuckles white, Abigail put her beat-up Ford Focus in Park, and glanced at her best friend. “I can’t do this.”
“Pussy.” Applying a coat of lipstick to her lush red lips in the mirror, Carnie shot her a glance. “You can do this. It isn’t like you’re about to face a firing squad. It’s just a bonfire.”
Shoving her hand through her short, pixie-cut brown hair, Abigail blew out a frustrated breath. “I would rather face a firing squad. If you ditch me to go running off with the new boyfriend…”
Carnie gave her a dirty look, tucking her red hair behind her shoulder. “I would never do that. I know how bent out of shape you get every time we go anywhere that Braxton might be. Really, though, it will be fine. The crap happened a thousand years ago. You’re adults now.”
Abigail didn’t feel like an adult. She felt like the rejected teenager even thinking of Braxton Dean.
It didn’t help that he’d become sexier with age. Heartbreakingly handsome, Braxton made her thighs clench with just a glance. She needed to remember the pain and humiliation rather than how it felt to be pushed into a bed by him. Better to remember the chest-constricting, blinding terror when he’d ditched her and vanished rather than remember his face a mask of unleashed passion and his green eyes wild with need. The former would keep her knees together.
The terror of that time—it wasn’t something she shared with anyone, not even Carnie.
Remembering gave her the strength she needed to peel her fingers from the wheel. “You’re right, of course. I can do this. No big deal. We’re both more mature now. He probably won’t even say a word to me.” The last came out a bit hopeful, even to her own ears.
“Yeah, at his birthday bonfire, he isn’t going to say a word to the woman he dated for years and ditched at the altar like a loaf of stale bread. Really, Abs, you need to get pissed off rather than feeling pissed on. You’re totally the injured party here.”
“He had his reasons. I’m sure he did.” Why was she defending his dumb ass?
“What reason could be good enough for that grand act of douchebaggery?” Carnie raised one well-plucked brow at her. “Besides, these are our friends. You need to remember why we’re here. He took off. He stayed gone. This is our town. You’re going to walk in there and show him what he is missing. Rub in his face what he can’t have.”
“I don’t know. He really wasn’t a jerk…not most of the time.”
“Let’s just go find Mike and the crew, and have a good time. All of our friends from high school are here and it’ll be good to catch up with them.”
Nodding, stomach still a bit of a knot, Abigail opened her door and stepped out into the muggy Ohio night. Stars hung like tiny lanterns above the recently mowed field and the sound of laughter carried on the breeze. The bonfire, a huge conflagration, was surrounded by what looked like hundreds of folding chairs, coolers and other party miscellany that beckoned Abigail onwards. Who knew? Maybe she would meet someone new and end up being really happy she wasted the extra five minutes to make sure everything was shaved and neat?
Carnie strode with her usual impulsive bravery into the melee. Abigail stuffed her hands in her jeans and resisted casting her head down to avoid any stares that might be coming her way. Instead she held her head high, but refused to meet anyone’s eyes. In small-town Ohio, everyone knew she hadn’t seen Braxton since that fateful day when he left her standing, flowers in hand, waiting for a runaway groom. Everyone knew that instead of marrying her, Braxton—golden boy and football hero—ran off to parts unknown, and she’d neither heard from him nor caught a glimpse of him when he’d come to town until a few weeks ago. He only returned home now to help his father with his tool store after his father’s stroke made it hard for the old man to get around like he used to.
Everyone watched to see how she’d handle it.
She wouldn’t give them a show to chew over for the next decade. She’d act like it was ancient history, like she hadn’t spent years wondering how a man could go from saying he loves her to leaving her to stand alone against a whole swarm of gossips with nothing better to do than tear her to shreds for being moronic enough to think he would stay.
She concentrated so hard on what she wouldn’t do, she slammed to an abrupt halt against a firm chest. His firm chest. Braxton. He smelled the same, damn him.
Even over the scent of wood burning, the ripeness of summer and the bitter tang of someone’s spilled beer, she inhaled his soap, familiar cologne and under it all, simply Braxton.
Her stomach clenched. Part of her wanted to smack him and demand answers. Part of her wanted to run away. Part of her wanted to pull his face down and kiss him because she’d missed him so much.
Instead she hid behind an armor of polite civility and gave a short, sharp nod. “Braxton.”
“Abby.” The word came out almost a plea. His eyes held a sad look she quickly identified. He pitied her.
Double damn him. “Happy birthday.”
And even though she promised herself she wasn’t going to give everyone a show, promised herself she wouldn’t feed the rumor mills...
The sound of her slap rang out across the field. Even in the flickering light from the bonfire, her handprint marked his strong jaw and she couldn’t ignore the pleasure it gave her. Silence seemed to spread across the night as he touched his cheek. Her mouth hung open, shock rippling through her as his gaze locked on hers.
“I deserved that.” The timbre of his voice seemed to stroke across her skin, stirring up a potent cocktail of emotions—lust, love, fury and pain. The worst part was disgust at herself for feeling anything.
“You deserve worse.”
Instead of arguing with her, which almost would have made her feel better, like it meant something to him, he simply nodded. “Wanna go somewhere to talk?”

About the Author
Virginia Nelson believed them when they said, “Write what you know.” Small town girl writing small town romance, her characters are as full of flaws, misunderstandings, and flat out mistakes as Virginia herself. When she’s is not writing or plotting to take over the world, she likes to hang out with the greatest kids in history, play in the mud, drive far too fast, and scream at inanimate objects. Virginia likes knights in rusted and dinged up armor, heroes that snarl instead of croon, and heroines who can’t remember to say the right thing even with an author writing their dialogue. Her books are full of snark, sex, and random acts of ineptitude—not always in that order.

 Squee! I am so happy about this book. I lurv a good small town love story. 
 It is available NOW! I must insist that you go and get your copy.  

If anybody has any questions for Braxton or Virginia leave it in the comments and I'm sure I can convince one of them to answer you.
Tell me. What burning questions do you have?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 A Year in Review.

At this time of year I usually get nostalgic. I think back over the years and am amazed at all that I have been through.
I follow many other author's blogs and really enjoy when they write about their lives and accomplishments over the previous year. So, I thought: I should do one of those as well. And then I though: Man. I am about to bore people but what the hell. Let's do it anyway.
Steps onto the stage*
On that note...Here goes nothin'.

The last year has had it's ups and downs. It has also had many changes.
-January- in January we all were starting out a new year full of hopes and expectations. And me and my husband were among those wondering how the year would progress. By this point we were already excited. We had been contracted by Champagne Books for our first little short story and it was due out in February. Like any new author we were riding high on the idea of being published and struggling to figure out the whole "marketing" thing. But I pushed forward and made some appearances on some awesome blogs and interviewed with whomever wanted to speak to me. At the same time I began my Junior year in college and was both eager and weary of school.
_February- Ah, February. The month our book, Nordic Prince went up for sale. I cannot even begin to explain how wonderful it was seeing my book up with all of the other real--honest-to-goodness-authors. Promo,promo,promo.
-March- Our little book kept chugging along and our muse was feeling pushy and wanted to know about Stephan Mills's sister. And so, I began working on South Sea Siren. Within a couple weeks we had her done and sent her out to our Betas and Crit. partner.
-April- We sent in Amanda's story and held our breaths. We also outlined a third story about another supporting character and came up with an idea for another 1 Night stand story. And of course. Promo--promo-promo on NP.
-May-We got contracted for South Sea Siren through Champagne Books.Now was the waiting game. Waiting to see the cover art(Which is like Christmas), waiting to run edits and waiting to run line edits before she's a go. In the mean time. We both were keeping busy doing finals for college.

(I won't go into it in too much detail but at this time I also was caring for my 2 little kiddos and my Mother-in-law who was suffering from Senile Dementia and Alzheimer disease. Needless to say, both the kids and my MIL kept me on my toes)

During the Summer(June, July) we had many things going on in our personal life: Taking the children to various fun things for the summer break and my MIL going in and out of the hospital and moving and having other personal probs that eventually convinced us that we were not enough to care for her properly. By August we had to move her into a nursing facility which flooded us with both guilt and relief that we still feel today. In-a-between I took summer classes and wrote half of my 1NS story as my husband outlined and began two other stories. We also had our cover reveal and minor edits. We were set to release our second baby in August.

-August-South Sea Siren jumps out into the fray and promos begin for her. Meanwhile, our writing became more sporadic as our muse got ornery.
-September-October- SSS did okay among her counterparts but the surprising thing is Nordic Prince--Our little story that could. He continues to be under 100 k on Amazon. Usually around 46k. Wow. I am impressed. (Pets book).
-November-December- Craziness. Pure Craziness. Finals at school. Promos Job gain-job loss. Holidays, promos. And a Writing meeting with my group MUSE(Most Underappreciated Super Egos) and now our muse has returned.

Last year, we started a few stories and published 2. This year. 2014 we planned to double that number but you know what??
I think we can do better than that. I think this is the year that we publish at least 6 stories and I think a few might even be novels.
There you go folks. I am accountable. So--even with graduating in the spring and other familial issues we will up our game and make 2014 rock!

How was your 2013? What are your goals for 2014? Give a shout and share your awesomeness.