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Alethea’s Last Hoorah Party

I’m leaving bright and early tomorrow and heading to my book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Cary, NC. (7pm)

But tonight, WE PARTY!

Please join me and one of my favorite bands — the Adam Ezra Group — tonight at Iota in Alexandria, VA!

I feel a deep need to share the music I love with the world. It’s a curse!

Tickets are $12, but there are no pre-sales (and therefore no Ticketmaster add-on charges). Come early and stay late! The show starts at 8:30.

If you’d like to check out the Facebook invite and see who’s going, click here.

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If you happen to have any gently used shoes, please bring them along — the band is collecting donations for Soles4Souls. All along their spring tour they’ll be collecting shoes in their Love Basket to donate to those in need all around the world!

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Iota
2832 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA

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ENCHANTED Book Signing Pics (Dulles)

Some GREAT pics from the book signing last night, courtesy of my fellow mermaid and lovely assistant, Carlene Love Flores (and super-salesman, Aidan)! There were bubbles and little girls and fairy wands galore! Check out the rest of the album here.

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My Story on Endpapers

I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to the juxtaposition of seeing an author’s book on my TBR pile and then meeting them in person. I mean, I’m often careful what I say about books on the interwebs because I know someday I probably *will* meet that person, but there’s still a fangirl jolt when I see the face behind the covers.

So you can imagine how much I lit up when I realized I would be sitting next to Alma Katsu at the Nora Roberts Mega Book Signing…and what a complete jerk I felt like for not remembering to bring The Taker and my ARC of The Reckoning for her to sign.

Needless to say, we hit it off anyway, and realized we live about five minutes from each other. Hooray for new local writing friends! I see much coffee and venting in our future.

I invited Alma to be part of this year’s Month of Authors and Artists (coming up this July!), and in turn, she invited me to answer a few interview questions on her blog. In true Barabara Walters fashion she asked some great questions…which is to say that the answers got quite personal, and I talked about some things I don’t usually mention (like why I really left Tennessee).

Do please drop by to read my ramblings and leave a message!

Also on her blog, Alma is running a contest through the end of June! You could win a NOOK tablet ($199 value), B&N gift card and even a bit of alchemy: Imp’s Ears of exotic perfumes and a magician’s mojo bag from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. She’ll have swag for three runners-up. Entering is both fun and easy — click here to see how. I highly recommend entering. Good luck!

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I Have a New Publicist

I have a new publicist. She’s 11. As of now she’s almost on par with my parents for getting the word out about ENCHANTED.

Mom and Dad have started handing out flyers, genuinely and personally, to people they encounter throughout their day.

My Little Publicist brags about knowing me to all her friends, and hand-decorates sidewalks.

Everything about this book has been so incredibly magical. And magic is better when shared!

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The Tale of The Fairy GodBoyfriend

This week over at the Waterworld Mermaids site, we’ve been telling love stories.

Today is my day to contribute, and so I have offered up to the world the (very abridged) story of Princess Alethea and The Fairy GodBoyfriend.

You’ve all wanted to know how we met? Well, here it is.

But you have to click over to the WM site to read it! (Comments are off here — please comment there.)

The roses are still fresh — hope you’re all still having a lovely week! xox

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Happy Holidays from the Fairy Godfamily!

May you have peace and joy, wherever you are, whatever day you celebrate.

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Marlene Contest Now Open to Entries!

As you know, I’m a member of the infamous WRW (Washington Romance Writers) group. (Yes, that’s the one of which Nora Roberts is also a member.)

Every year, we hold a writing contest called the Marlenes. And it’s time for the 2012 Marlene contest!

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Polish your manuscript and submit it for a chance to win!  The 3 finalists in each category get their manuscript read by an editor or agent, and the category winner will receive a critique by a published author!  All entrants receive great feedback from judges who love to read romance!

The Marlene Awards is a contest for unpublished manuscripts sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America.  Every entry is evaluated by at least three judges.  Finalists are ranked by publishing professionals.  The grand prize winner in each category receives a detailed critique from a published author.  This year’s list of judges and prize critiquers is as follows.

Series Contemporary
Judge: Johanna Raisanen, Harlequin
Critique Author: Liz Talley

Single Title
Judge: Megan Records, Kensington
Critique Author: Jeanne Adams

Paranormal
Judge: Heather Osbourn, Samhain
Critique Author: Kristen Painter

Historical
Judge: Esi Sogah, Avon
Critique Author: Diane Gaston

Romantic Elements:
Judge: Latoya Smith, Grand Central
Critique Author: Deanna Raybourn

Young Adult:
Judge: Holly Blanck, St. Martin’s Press
Critique Author: Diana Peterfreund

Entry fees vary based on entry date. From December 15 to midnight December 31 EST, the fee will be $20 for WRW members, $25 for non-WRW members. From January 1 to midnight January 15 EST, the fee will be $25 for WRW members; $30 for non-WRW members. (FYI…the big change this year is that the contest is now open to ALL
unpublished manuscripts, regardless of the publishing status of the author.)

For a complete list of contest rules, eligibility, and deadlines, please see the Official Marlene Contest Page.

And to all the entrants: BEST OF LUCK!

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Maryland Renaissance Festival

Things got busy and the to-do list got longer, and this item sat up at the top, happily ignored until the Fairy Godboyfriend said, “Hey, did you ever upload those pics from the Maryland Renaissance Festival?”

So now I have. And I’m glad I did, because there are some really great pics here. Hooray for iPhones! We went on the very last day of the festival. It was a crisp, cool, and positively gorgeous day.

Click the basket (or go to Facebook) to see the rest of the album! You’ll be glad you did.

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Knight Saves Princess

I meant to post about this back during Capclave, and I kept forgetting. I meant to post it again when Scott Edelman passed the video along to me…and I forgot then too.

Then a few days ago, someone linked to the article about how Terry Pratchett was signing a contract with Dignitas to lead his own assisted suicide. And I remembered again. But let me tell the story in order.

I heard from a little birdie friend of mine that Sir Terry Pratchett might be making a guest appearance at Capclave. It was perfect timing, right after my reading, and I would be free for a few hours to hang out.

I had been waffling about this particular reading, since most of the folks who attend Capclave are also members of WSFA, and it was to them that I did my very first dramatic reading of “The Monster & Mrs. Blake.” I’ve performed that reading now a few times…but no matter how good I’ve gotten at it, I didn’t want to do it again for the same audience.

My great thought was that I would read “The Unicorn Hunter,” since I still maintain it’s the best story I’ve ever written. (It’s still available for free to read here, if you’re in the mood to quibble.) But when I started practicing this one, it just didn’t come across as a good read-aloud. For one, I couldn’t get the demon’s voice right. My range was bouncing all over the place. It was terrible.

I’d heard someone mention a great panel they attended once where the panelists brought poetry and prose they had written when they were in high school and shared that. Why not? So I had my little blue book with me, the one with the gilded pages, and I was going to make a fool of myself in front of a bunch of people because I hadn’t prepared anything else.

Then suddenly, Terry Pratchett’s visit was announced. He was only going to be at the convention for an hour, and the time had been pushed up to RIGHT during my reading, so that he could catch a plane back to the UK. The entire convention closed up shop and gathered in the main auditorium. No one came to see me. I waited until Sir Terry and my friend walked by, and then I followed in their wake to attend the talk as well.

So yes, folks, back in October, this Princess was saved by an honest-to-god Knight. And I can’t believe I forgot to tell you.

Here is the very nice video Scott shot of the whole talk. It’s an hour long, but well worth the time.

I’m very glad I attended. It made me laugh and touched my heart to be part of such a wonderful community, and such a fantastic visit with such an icon in such an intimate setting. (Muches of suchness!) It was so very interesting to hear Sir Terry speak of the assisted suicide that he took part in for the BBC. What I didn’t realize was how personal the discussion would be for me.

If you remember, back in July I posted about visiting my beautiful grandmother who is in hospice with Alzheimer’s. She’s been there a very long time. I’m sure she doesn’t recognize us. She doesn’t really even speak in words anymore. She looks good, and seemed happy, but she scares quite easily because nothing is familiar to her anymore. It scares me to think of what it would be like to live like that…but I suppose if it got to that point I wouldn’t be cognizant of what I’d lost…not that it makes the situation better.

Once upon a time, I’m not sure I would have supported something like Sir Terry is deciding to do with his death. I would have called it cowardly. And yet, I wonder what my grandmother would have decided had she been given such a choice back when she had the ability to make choices. Of course I don’t want my grandmother to leave this world. But it’s times like these–especially over the holidays–that I miss her so much and hate…well…you know.

I’ve been working on the sequel to Sunday’s book–it’s about Saturday, of course. Her hero is a young man whose father succumbed to an illness like Alzheimer’s (though it would have been closer to dementia in fairy tale land). How would an illness like this affect our hero’s life? What would he be afraid of? And, conversely, what would he not be afraid of?

Through these questions I am forced to find answers…both about Peregrine and myself.

Oh, how art imitates life…and how beautiful and unfair life can be, all at the same time.

Love you guys. xox

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Designer Shoes

It was written in the stars. Always has been.

I had my tarot told once at the Llewellyn booth at a Publisher’s Showcase. Scott laid all the cards on the table and stared at them a moment with that contemplative face all doctors make. Then he put his palms flat on the table, leaned over to me, and said: “YOU. DO. TOO. MUCH.”

The woman behind me in line whispered, “It’s not good when they yell at you like that, hon.”

The reality of it is: This year I had to face facts that the writing wasn’t paying enough, so I got a day job at a bookstore. Yes, retail on my feet all the time. My feet began to hurt off and on.

Then came Dragon*Con. After that, my left foot began to hurt every day.

Now I have a third job: Subbing for the Loudoun County Afterschool program at 9 middle schools in the area.(I have to sub tonight, as a matter of fact. I’m going to see if the kids will help me bling this blank canvas up a bit.)

My benefits kicked in, the pain in my foot became a pain in my neck, and I finally went to the Urgent Care down the strip mall from the bookstore. (It’s amazing how much more one will actually consider going to the doctor if the doctor is exceptionally convenient.) Urgent Care sent me to a podiatrist. The podiatrist gave me this and sent me to have a few x-rays.

“People will take you seriously now,” he said as he showed me how to strap myself in.

I need to wear this 24-hours a day (except when showering) for 2 whole weeks. And while people will definitely take me seriously, I do need a better story to tell. Stunt riding on horseback? Saved a baby from a runaway train? Foiled an attempted mugging?

“I do too much” just sounds like…well…not enough.

Any ideas?

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