Friday, May 30, 2014

Springing into Summer

While many of our friends were holed up or digging out of their winter and terrible swinging spring, we have more of the usual here in Arizona, sunny with a chance of breezes. Being originally from the mid-west, I sympathize with all my friends in other parts of the country.

So don't hate on me as I go into some recaps for this year.

January first saw the release of my two novellas, Defending Hippotigris and Scent of Treachery.

Just in time for DarkCon 2014. Had a great time with so many of my friends, and got to feel up the GOH, Adrian Paul from Highlander.

In March we braved the cool, breezy 80's at the Tucson Festival of Books. I was side-by-side with my besties, Gini Koch and Marsheila Rockwell, and a whole crew of writers from our Phoenix crew.

It was my first time there and loved it. Got an excellent location and met so many new readers. Including a sweetheart of a young man, Matt, who bought books for his girlfriend Jennifer. Books live on after flowers die. Heard from Jennifer about a week later. She loved her books and agreed she had a pretty darn good boyfriend.

Met lots of other authors too, in particular, Ben Bova, a Science Fiction icon. I got up the nerve to ask him to contribute to my column "Ask 5 Friends" on  Worst he could say was no, right? But he didn't. He agreed to be one of my "Friends" (danced back to my booth on cloud nine). So, keep an eye out for the release of You and the Horse You Rode in on, possibly late May. My other four "Friends" are L.E. Modesitt (Yes, I got him too), Gini Koch, Weston Ochse and Dr. Bruce Davis.

With TFoB such a success, I'm signed up for next year and headed home to write for a few undistracted weeks before the summer events get started. I need to get another novella written and finish up another novel for my agent, while she shops the ones already in her hot little hands.

As for summer events, LepreCon takes place over Mother's Day weekend, our local SciFi/Fantasy. I'll be on a variety of panels covering the many aspects of writing, craft and business. From Product Branding to Writing Smut.

In June I'll be at the Phoenix Comic-Con. I'm still working on my street creds to earn panel but I'll be there, thanks to my wonderful friends Marsheila Rockwell and Jordan Summers. Come see us in booth 2428. My books will also be available at Mysterious Galaxy, just a few booths away. Maybe Nathan Fillion, Stan Lee, Richard Dean Anderson, and John Barrowman will cruise by our booth and I'll be able to snag an impromptu photo op. Yeah, I know, I already have a picture with Capt. Jack, but he's so cute I just want to give him another hug.

Barely recovering from all those gorgeous men, I'll be heading to Las Vegas for CombatCon. Besides Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica and Colin Cunningham from Falling Skies (more hottie photo-ops), there will be all kinds martial arts presentations, as this conference is dedicated to the theatrical aspects of combat. Any conference that needs a check-room for weapons...  Hey, carrying that 14th century sword around is hard work and where you going to prop it during lunch?

Beside learning some new moves for my characters, I'll be hosting several panels on writing, such as Girls with Guns. I'll also be there with a friend, T.M. Williams representing Wicked Women Who Write. Funny, we started that up as a local social/support group of authors who frequented the same conferences. Shows how things can take on a life of their own

In July I'll head off to the Mecca of all SciFi Cons, San Diego/International ComicCon. Even 'street cred' doesn't get you on the floor there, but I'm going to learn the 'hows and wheres', for when I do earn my spot in the ranks. I have a fabulous guru, Gini Koch.

In August I'll be avoiding our hottest months, where we often hit 115+ degrees, by staying inside to write, with the exception on CopperCon, but that's not confirmed yet. I'll have no excuse for not getting LOTS of writing done, which I'll need. To make up for the week off when I head to HAWAIICON. Yeah, Hawaii and SciFi, ComiCon right(write) on the beach!

What a way to wrap up the summer, right?  Maybe some of you will be joining me in Vegas or Hawaii. Check out    and   for details.

Chat with you next with Con updates.  And more pictures of Hotties!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day is to Remember

Yes, all fun aside, I'm going for the serious here. Monday is Memorial Day and the papers are full of grocery sales, furniture bargains and a whole lot of out-of-school celebrations, but in some places the purpose of Memorial Day will be taken serious.

Arlington National Cemetery

These, and just as many other brave souls across our country, gave up their lives so we can gnaw on BBQ ribs, slosh down waterslides, and consume vast amounts of alcohol over this 3-day weekend.

I'm not trying to harsh your buzz. I'm a veteran and I feel compelled to recognize my brothers and sisters. The ones we lost, the ones still fighting and the ones who will one day serve.

I just want you to take one small minute of your weekend and give thought to that someone you probably knew who made the ultimate sacrifice.  Your grandfather, grandmother, father, mother, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, son or daughter, your best friend or even that kid in high school that you don't even remember, but last week their face showed up in your newspaper or Facebook page, because they lost their lives, in uniform.

Any uniform, not just military. Police, Firefighter, and every first responder who stepped into danger to protect and serve. Every one of them still serving as they step out their front doors today.

Remember them.