I bought a journal and it’s not working out for me

Imagine with me, if you will, a glorious time called 1990.  I was in third grade, which was memorable for the following reasons:

  • I wore enormous pink, plastic glasses
  • It was the last year I had long hair until 1998 (what’s up Dorothy Hamill haircut, circa 1976?  Yikes)
  • I got lice (unrelated to the poor decision to go with the aforementioned Dorothy Hamill ‘do)
  • I met Sara, Rambling Jour regular!
  • I was somewhat of a kleptomaniac (if Justin Bovee is reading this, I stole your Cedar Point pen and I’m really, really sorry about that).

This was also the year that my grandma gave me my very first diary.

1990.

Let that sink in a minute.

As of today, twenty-five years later (shout out to Sara–hey, we’ve been friends for 25 years!) the diary still has an entire section of blank pages.  In fact, I think I wrote a four page concluding entry in 2002 or 2003 to summarize the fact I was now super old and totally in love with The Hubs who, at that point, was still The Boyfriend.

With that stellar track record, I was at Target the other day, buying cat food, and thought, “Hey, you know, you totally should start a journal and keep track of all these cray cray thoughts wandering around in your head.”

Sure.  Makes sense.

So, I shelled out $6.99 for a super cute aquamarine colored journal, with pictures of pencils on the front and a magnetic closure.  Let’s be honest: it had me with pictures of pencils embossed on the front.  Not to mention, I’m a sucker for notebooks and writing utensils.  I get waaaay too excited in office supply stores.

It’s literally still in the bag on my bedroom floor.

Not going so well with that whole journaling thing.  I mean with so much spare time….

….which, obvs, I don’t have.  Right now, I’m juggling three different writing projects (and–get this–all of them are paranormal.  No historicals right now!) and working on promotions for With Me Now.  By the time I’m done with that, I’m literally falling asleep in front of the computer.  I’ve turned into my friend Candy who, when we were teenagers and having a sleepover, would say, “I’m going to fall asleep now” as she was falling asleep.  Example: the other night I was eating a potato chip and talking to The Hubs and legit started to fall asleep.

No Bueno.

And, I guess, much as my problem was as a kid, I don’t know what to journal about.  My mundane life?  My crazy, Harry Styles/Steampunk/weird imagination?  I’ll be honest, I’ve been known to write story ideas in crayon on the backs of envelopes and I keep a notebook in the bathroom/by my bed just in case an idea hits me when I’m sleeping or in the shower or whatever.  But a journal.  Ehhh….I got nothing.

What do you guys journal about?  Story ideas?  Frustrations?  Scandalous opinions on certain boy banders?  I feel like everything that my brain generates turns into a novel/blog idea anyway.  Hmmm.

Here’s what I’m thinking of using it for, since apparently I’m less journalist and more…weird.  Maybe I’ll use it to write down one bizarre thought a day.  Something that’s completely random.  Example: today I’ve been thinking about blank and white striped corsets.  Journal entry.

This is turning into a fab idea.  Next thing you know, I’m going to be using this as blog prompts.  And then as fodder to help me get out of writer’s block.  And then, in another 25 years, I’ll blog about how I still haven’t finished this journal either.

Life goals, kids.  Life.  Goals.

Books, battlefieds, and booze: That’s how I roll

Well, that was a weekend.  Today I’m hobbling around like a 95-year-old coal miner with bad ankles.

But I won a medal.

signing2Soooo, let’s journey back to Friday night, which was my very first ever book signing.  And I was filled with terror, anxiety, overwhelming shyness and, of course, I wore a miniskirt and platform shoes.  Because nothing tempts fate more than a miniskirt and platform shoes.

The Hubs and I were circling the block, trying to find a place to park (side note: metered parking is a joke.  Twenty-five cents for fifteen minutes?  No.  Stupid) when I saw a sign outside of a shop, which read, “Book signing: 6-8.”

I said to The Hubs, “Oh look!  There’s a book signing!”

Pause.

I said, “Oh wait, that’s my book signing!”

And thusly, I both mentally and physically arrived at The Adams County Winery.

It was actually really, really fun.  The ladies at The Adams Country Winery were amazing and so incredibly friendly.  I got to try a few wines (I’ve wanted to try their white wine, Gettysburg’s Tears, for years and I was NOT disappointed) and discovered asigning1 magical thing called a wine slushy.  It was a pretty slow night, so I didn’t sell crates of books or anything, but it was a fabulous experience.  My mother and Rambling Jour regular, Sara, and her hubs Jai, all came down and hung out.  It was so much fun!

I did live Tweet part of the book signing, mainly, my anti-social, panic princess nervousness before the signing started.  Reviewing them, my favorite was this gem:

As I panic for my #booksigning, I picked a Monster to drink. Now I’m nervous and ready to do a cartwheel.

Luckily, I didn’t attempt the cartwheel.  But I did almost fall off the curb.

It was a fabulous experience and I’m looking forward to setting up another signing where I can be equally as awkward.  So, if you weren’t able to come out to this signing, no worries because there will (hopefully) be more.  In related news, setting up book signings is actually hard.

On Saturday, the other moment we’ve all been waiting happened: The Hard Cider Run at Hauser Estate Winery (what is it with her an wineries? Said no one ever).  This was my first ever 5k so I had no idea what to expect.  Well, other than having to run 5k.  The Hubs was not entirely excited about it, but upon packet pickup we were presented with a t-shirt that says “Will Run for Cider.”

We were very excited about this.

run1We actually missed our 9:10 wave because traffic was so bad, but we managed to join the 9:30 wave.  And.  Can I just say.  This race was amazing and an insane amount of fun–but it was HARD.  It wasn’t a little stroll through the vineyard.  It was a cross country, hiking up huge, steep hills, and stumbling down hills in the hot, glare of the August sun.

And because this wasn’t like, the Tough Mudder or something, we also ran through grape vines which was really, really cool.

The Hubs and I walked a lot of the race–but so did everyone else, because the terrain was crazy–and our time wasn’t the kind that will win records, but I had an amazing time.  Upon crossing the finish line, I was promptly presented with a medal and a banana.  I know, right???  I was thrilled.  Gift bananas, awards, and then a glass of cider–where I get to keep the glass?  Sweeeeet.

Later that evening, we went to the Gettysburg BrewFest, which is exactly what you’d think it is: a festival of beer.  Yes.  There was rumor there would be sobriety checkpoints everywhere that night and the last thing I wanted was The Hubs to drink water all night, so we made the adult decision to walk to the BrewFest, instead of drive.

Which seemed like a good idea at the time.

On a normal day, it would have been fine.  On a day where we’d earlier run/walked over three miles, it was not, in fact, a notable decision.  Here’s what I learned about myself at BrewFest:

  • I do not like pepper infused port.  I said, and I quote, “Blech.”
  • I have an affinity for hard cider
  • I’ll buy hoodies in 88 degree weather
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with mac and cheese are a gift from God
  • After three glasses of beer, I will go up to guys with beards and say, “Can I have my picture taken for you?  It’s for my blog.”

So that happened.

According to my Fitbit, I walked/ran 18 miles.  My ankles are so unhappy.  My back and arms (which is odd, because the heaviest thing I carried was my laptop bag) are unhappy.  Last night, as I was flopped across the couch, I said to The Hubs, “I seriously just want someone to strap me into the Rack so my arms and legs can get a good stretch.”

I then looked at him and said, “Can you just grab me by the ankles and pull me across the floor?”

As I’m still hobbling around like Quasimodo today, obvs his answer was no.  I’m so old these days.

I still have a ton of hardcopy books in my possession, so if you’re interested in an autographed copy, just let me know.  This can totally happen.

Meanwhile, it’s back to the real world.  But then, recently I’ve been a firm supporter of rejecting reality and substituting my own version.  One Direction is breaking up.  I have to go to work tomorrow.  If you need me, Harry Styles and I will be riding Falcor to Castle Greyskull to have lunch with Poppels and the cast of Zubilee Zoo.

In other words, back to status quo.

With Me Now book signing: Today! Come meet me!

Or just come grab a book mark, piece of chocolate, and don’t make eye contact with me.  Whatev.

coverSooo, after like….24 years of talking about being an author (I’d like you to imagine me as being a cool fourth grader, but no.  It was me and Sara, with our big glasses, on the teeter totter talking about writing), tonight it the night I’ll be starring in the role of Author.  Yes!  I have a box of books and book marks in the trunk of the car and I’m on my way to Gettysburg.

Well, not this second.  I’m wearing a One Direction shirt and Pittsburgh Pirates shorts and watching Madagascar.  And, yeah, my kids are outside.  Shame/No Shame.

I am so freaking nervous for tonight.

But look, hey, my social awkwardness aside, come out and join me!  Books are $15.  Chocolate and bookmarks are free.  There’s no charge for my awesomeness.  You can find the party at:

  • Adams County Winery, 25 Chambersburg Street, Gettysburg PA 17325

I’ll be the one sitting/standing behind a stack of books, giggling nervously.

Unless I get swarmed by hundreds of fans (doubtful) or one Harry Styles (hahahahaha, right), I’ll be live tweeting my nervous, sarcastic comments on Twitter.  Click here for the fun.

And, of course, expect pictures, an after action report, and the results of my first 5K tomorrow.  Or Sunday, because I’m going to the Gettysburg BrewFest tomorrow night.  Soooo…..yeah, there’s always the chance you won’t hear from me until Monday.

Tonight, though, tonight is the night!  I’ve already told The Hubs that we’re totally doing a whisper campaign via The Muppets Take Manhattan: I’ll sit under a glamorous picture of me and say “hmm hmm hmm” like Kermit and The Hubs will slink around crowds whispering, “Hey, did you see that girl over there?  That’s Heather ‘The Rambling Jour’ Curley.  She wrote that amazing book ‘With Me Now’!”

It worked for Kermit and Manhattan Melodies.  That makes it legit, right?

Seriously, though.  If you’re in the area tonight, stop by!  And if you’re not in the area, send positive thoughts/prayers/juju/whatev that I don’t trip and fall or spill something on myself.  Because you know, I totally threw caution to the wind and am wearing a white shirt.  And platform shoes.  Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out like that time I ate blueberry pancakes right before I pitched my novel to an agent and dyed my teeth purple.  That was fun.

Internal shriek of terror: 5 days until my book signing!

You know that part in “Ice Age” where all the Dodo birds are slinking forward and chanting, “Doom on you!  Doom on you!  Doom on you!”  Yeah, that’s what keeps replaying through my brain.  If there was a pie chart of things I’m nervous about for my book signing, it would include:

  • Nobody showing up
  • Millions showing up
  • Harry Styles showing up
  • Spilling something down the front of my shirt
  • Sporadic nosebleed
  • Laryngitis
  • Getting my hair stuck in a swing (as in swing set) chain and completely missing the book signing

I’m noting the last one because this happened to me in preschool.  So, it’s completely plausible.

paperbacksSo, mark your calendars friends because, as you know, on August 21, 2015, The Rambling Jour show goes live in Gettysburg for my first ever, book signing/release party extravaganza!  Join me at The Adams Country Winery (click here for directions) 25 Chambersburg Street retail location from 6p to 8p.  I’ll have free bookmarks and free chocolate.  Feel dismiss the whole “Strangers With Candy” vibe that last sentence kind of, you know, gave off.  Books, free bookmarks, free chocolate, wine, and witting repartee with your host, Heather Hambel Curley.  The Princess of Panic.  The Sassmaster Supreme.

Keep in mind: There are only 20 copies of my book that will be with me at 25C.  That leaves you only twenty chances to snag a copy and have it autographed by me, in Gettysburg.  So, for reals, get there early and strut right up to me.  Already have a copy?  Bring it!  I’ll sign it.

Local groupies: if you can’t make it out to glamorous Gettysburg, that’s okay because I’m going to get some stuff set up here too.  Let’s not panic yet (aka, leave the panicking to me).

Also fun: I’m going to live Tweet the book signing for my own amusement.  And that means exactly what you’re thinking: lots of sarcasm, wit, hilarity, and euphemisms.  Follow me here: Heather_Curley

Also, I’ll be hanging out at the Hard Cider Run (actually, I’ll be competing there because it’s my first 5K ever!!!) and the Gettysburg BrewFest, both on Saturday, so if you see me there, come and say hi!  I’ll give you a bookmark.

Needless to say, I’m nervous.  But then, I’m always nervous.  Which is why I’m medicated.  Anyway, so, if you’re around Gettysburg this Friday (or live around the area–Jeff, Verity, Scranton, Levi, and Karen, I’m looking at you), come out and say hi.  Buy a book.  Snag some chocolate and a bookmark.  Ask me to dance.  It’s going to be epic.

And if no one shows up, I’ll eat all the chocolate by myself, so it’s totally a win/win situation.

With Me Now is in paperback! And I’ll sign it for you 8/21!

I know, right?

I’ve been in some kind of Harry Styles coma for the past, like five days.  Okay, maybe since November.  Anyway, Shuff (typo and it stays) is happening and I’m stoked.  You should be too!  In the order populated by my brain:

  • With Me Now is now available in paperback!

No ebook reader?  No problem!  Evernight Publishing has released With Me Now in paperback.  Right now it is available by clicking here and next week it will be available on Amazon.  Sweet!  And, hey, do you want that signed?  Because…..

  • Book signing/release party/let’s get together, yeah yeah yeah!

On August 21, from (most likely) 6p to 8p, I will be live and in person at 25C Wine Shop in Gettysburg!  Come and drink wine with me.  Meet Rambling Jour regulars The Hubs, Sara, and Sara’s Hubs Jai.  Possibly my mother!  We’ll laugh.  I’ll be awkward.  I’ll have books to peddle and maybe you’ll be the lucky one person to show up and I’ll award you with a mug or tote bag.  Come on.  Join me!

  • I got a tattoo!  Again!

tat3It’s August, that time of year where a girl’s thoughts turn to all that empty space on her body and the need for another tattoo.  So, this happened the night before the One Direction concert.  Side note: I was not excited about the 40-something One Direction fan at the concern who repeatedly hit me in the tattoo with her boobs.  This was in no means thrilling for me.  I ended up having to invade Jackie’s personal space in order to avoid the ongoing boobage assault.

Anyway.

So, the tattoo is, obvs, a quill pen, an inkwell, and a quote.  The quote is actually a quote from Doctor Who (but you knew that, right?).  And actually pretty applicable to my life.  Hurray for third tattoos!  So, now I’ve got one on each from hip to ribs and my sea turtle by my belly button (you can kind of see it in the picture).

Of the three tattoos I have, this one was not particularly pleasant to get.  As in, I wasn’t sad when it was over.  I’m cold hearted and emotionless, but even this made me think “yikes.”  The Hubs asked me if I wanted to go somewhere at some time and I just babbled out “okay.”  I have no idea what I agreed to.  I have no idea what he said.  I’ll let you know when I get there.

  • I’m co-writing a book with Rebecca Hamilton and I’m so excited, I literally almost tumbled off my chair.

Also of note: I’m clumsy.  So, Rebecca Hamilton is the super awesome, USAToday Bestselling author of the Forever Girl series.  Her writing is amazing.  In fact, you should check her out here.  She’s friends with my girl Lindsey Loucks (who you should check out here) and we’re all agency sisters with TZLA.  She posted on Facebook that she needed a cowriter for a steampunk/paranormal series, to which I said, “Sign me up!”

And now it’s happening.

The only things I’ve ever co-written were reports in college (at which, I did not play well with others).  This, however, is so awesome!  I told her that she and I are like Peanut Butter and Nutella.  We go so well together!  Served best with a side of Harry Styles (sorry/not sorry)!

There’s definitely more on this to come, so stay tuned.  Steampunk?  Paranormal?  Yes.  And it’s amazing.

  • Newsletters.  Because I can’t get enough of me.

And neither can you!  So, I’ve been putting off putting a newsletter together for my writing because…well, until recently there hasn’t been much to say other than writing/rejecting/and salacious fan fiction denying (don’t ask what/where it is, because I’m not telling.  Most likely).  But now, it’s happening!  So, if you’re interested in an occasional newsletter from me, click the Contact Me tab above and fill out the form.  In the comment box, just type “Sign Me Up!”

Once I get a better process for that, I’ll let you know.

Okay, kids, I’ve gotta go write.  I’m juggling three projects right now and I just realized I have porkchop stains on my shirt.  Which is not hot.  Trust me, I’ll be hotter at the signing.  Or, at least, hopefully wearing clean clothes.

The one in which I did NOT get arrested: One Direction!

Pardon me while I fan girl.

So, the night I’ve only been waiting for since I entered my credit card number into the Ticketmaster site and secured myself two tickets to One Direction’s One The Road Again Tour finally arrived.  Let’s discuss when I was last at a boy band concert.  Or, for that matter, any concert at all:

  • July 16, 2000 at Three Rivers Stadium to see N Sync.

I’ve been busy.  Or, possibly fell in a hole or asleep or something and woke up and fifteen years had passed.  Whatever, anyway, the point is that I’m old and going to a boy band concert.

Because this was repeatedly brought up to me.

Aaaaaaanyway, my girl Jackie and decided that, prior to the concert, we were going to pregame.  And, when you’re in thirties, have been on the boy band bandwagon since New Kids on the Block had the greatest hits (hahahaha, see what I did there??), how do you pregame for the One Direction concert?  Alcohol, One Direction on YouTube, and One Direction’s 2013 cinematic masterpiece, “This Is Us.”

Yes, we’re ridiculous.  Yes, we drank almost a whole bottle of Firefly something or other.  But The Hubs gave us a ride to the concert.  His last words to me were, “If you call for bail money, I’m going to let you sit in jail overnight.”

Challenge accepted.

I’d been live Tweeting my preparation for the 1D concert, namely, how enormous my hair was thanks to a lot of teasing, a lot of hairspray, and some kind of horrible accident with “texture spray.”  Welcome to the jungle.  Anyway, so, relive with me, if you will, our approach to the best city on earth (I refuse to reason with anyone who says otherwise), Pittsburgh, for the concert:

IMG_4044IMG_4045IMG_4046

The last tweet about the near riot occurred in the in the merchandise line (side note: it’s super hard to pick which $40 t-shirt you want to buy when you’re peering over the heads of girls you could possibly be old enough to be their mother.  Noooo, surely that’s not true (the old part, not the $40 part because that’s completely accurate).  The girls we chatted with here probably, oh, I’d hopefully estimate as sixteen?  Seventeen?  Thirty-two?  Anyway, while I was debating between the “Harry is hot on the black shirt” and the “Harry is hot on the gray shirt” and the “Harry is hot on the tank top, but I’m not paying $40 for a tank top” and the “Is that hoodie legit $75?  Or is that a 9?” a large, hairy man walked past and I said to Jackie, “that’s a hairy guy.”  The girls turned around and said, “OMG, wut????”  I repeated, they said, “Oh, I thought you said that guy is Harry Styles.”  No, trust me, if I saw Harry Styles strolling around Heinz Field, I wouldn’t be remaining stationary.  Unless, of course, I was collapsed on the floor.  We had a delightful, whispered chat with the girls (Hahaha, no, you’re right, I didn’t whisper because I don’t have an indoor voice).  At one point, Girl on the Right whispered “My favorite is Harry.”

“Omg, mine too.”  I said.

We bonded.

Forty bucks later (and one helpful woman who told me not to restrain myself because “this is your night, you should enjoy it”), I was the proud owner of a “Harry is hot on the gray shirt.”  Side note:  Should have bought a small.  I think Harry and I could fit in the medium together.

Anyway.

IMG_3966So, at this point, Jackie and I made our way to our seats which, when I purchased them were “best available.”  They were not floor seats, as floor seats were $600 bucks and I’m poor.  Am I jealous of you, floor seated girls?  Yes.  Yes I am.  But Jacko and I made it work.  I mean, look how excited (and pale!) we are.  We bypassed the $8.25 Miller Light and settled for $4.00 water.  Really Heinz Field?  Really?  I’d almost rather be dehydrated.

But yeah, our seats were super far away from the stage.  But we could see the stage.  We were in the same zip code as One Direction and when you’re old and poor, this is all very exciting.

A lot of people around us had ear plugs.

“Meh,” we said.  “It should be fine.”

For whatever reason, probably the fact I drink too much, I don’t actually remember waiting for N Sync to come on stage waaaay back in 2000.  I remember sitting there with my girls Candy and Christine.  But I don’t remember waiting for them to come out.  I bring this up because I swear we waited for One Direction for like, fourteen years.  In fact:

IMG_4048IMG_4049

After the opening act was finished (Icona Pop or something? I don’t know.  I didn’t care.  I did like their song Emergency, though, to the point I downloaded it….), we waited like another hour for the guys to come out.  Jacko was ready to take a nap.  I was suddenly concern if I gasped out in delight when I saw 1D that I might choke on my gum and 1D didn’t address that in their safety briefing so what then–

And then the concert started.

IMG_4016I learned some things during the concert.  First, I have a difficult time taking a picture of a stationary screen with a moving picture of Harry Styles.  It is a physical impossibility, post likely because a) my brain has a hard time with filtering through the “omg, omg, omg” that’s going on and b) my phone was recently submerged in the toilet and I’m lucky it found Harry at all.  Whatev.

Second.  At one point during the concert, possibly during their new song “Drag Me Down” (which, I’m happy to endorse as their best song ever), Liam encouraged everyone in attendance to “Sing along, dance, whatever it is that you want to do, do.”

Jacko and I exchanged a look.

Riddle me this, Liam.  What I want to do……well, it’s obvs what I want to do.  How is security going to react when I’m dancing up to the stage and say, “Well, Liam told me to do what I want.  Harry’s just right over there.”

But, nooooo.  I honestly didn’t want to have a paragraph in “1D Day: The Blog” that started off “and everyone laughed and laughed and laughed and then we had to call for bail money.”  The concert was amazing.  These guys have amazing voices and are just energetic from first song, to last song.  I was sitting there sweating, so I have no idea how they do it.  Brutal.

IMG_4033And then, on the way home, Jacko and I somehow found ourselves on the wrong trolley.  The Hubs planned on meeting us outside of the city because it was a scene of chaos and insanity once the concert was over.  I guess it wasn’t so much we were on the wrong trolley, but for a good ten minutes we thought we were trapped in the back train.  In that time where we were convinced we would be riding until the end of the line on the faaaaaaaaar side of the South Hills, we discussed how we really just wanted, like, MTV: Unplugged with One Direction or “An Intimate Evening with One Direction.”  Tell us what we really want to know.  What do those tattoos really mean, Harry?  Louis, what do you use to heal your tattoos because this Saniderm patch I’m using sucks and makes me irate (side note: I got another tattoo).  Niall, your Irish-ness makes me eternally happy.  Liam.  Just keep being Liam.

Here’s a picture of me and Jacko, post concert, successfully back in my hometown and made it through the concert without being arrested, kidnapped, or escorted out of the concert for public drunkenness/inappropriateness with Harry Styles/public nudity/what have you.  Will the brutally hot men of 1D remember the concert in Pittsburgh?  Probably not.  Will I?  Absolutely!  It was a great show, even if I was like, 7500 yards away from the stage.  Check that puppy off the old bucket list and replace with “Meet One Direction.”

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled Rambling Jour.   Just wait until you hear what’s in the works with my writing….

Of deodorant, wet iPhones, and wedding extravaganzas!

So, it was one of those days.

There are just some days where I just…I don’t know, I struggle.  That time I called the sex line instead of the Spanish interpreter/language services.  That time I emailed an HR rep and apologized for the “constipation” instead of the “inconvenience”.  That time as I child I slid down a pile of gravel and ripped the back of my neon pants open (it was the 90s, don’t pretend like you weren’t wearing neon pants too).

This weekend started out with an experiment of sorts: I bought clinical strength deodorant.  I know, that’s really random.  But, look, I’m cute and pretend to be glamorous, but I have rank underarms.  It started after Older Child was born.  Evidently, I turned into The Hubs because after Older Child was born, all I did was sweat, eat steak, and drink beer.

I’m a glam-azon.  Whatev.

So a fancy pants display (and when I say fancy pants display, what I mean is a sale sticker hanging off the shelf) distracted me at Target and, next thing I know, I’m buying a seven dollar squat container of deodorant.  It promised to be summer fresh and would…I don’t know, make me smell less like I just got finished working in the mines and instead was an elegant author.  You know, like Meryl Streep in She-Devil.

My main concern was that it would melt my arms off or something.

I had to go to an offsite meeting Thursday, so I starting packing up my gear about twenty minutes before I had to leave.  That gave me time to pee and fix my eyeliner.  So, I shoved my phone into my back pocket and headed off to the bathroom.  Makeup fixed, hair brushed, and then….I went to pee.

The next thing I remember is the horrifying plop! splash! sound from behind me.  The cold fist of fear stilled my heart (no, really, that’s the nice way of saying a hissed “fuck me”) and I straightened, turned, and saw….you guess it, my damn iPhone just chilling in the bottom of the toilet.

Here’s the first thing that came to mind:

  • Oh shit!

Here’s the second thing that came to mind:

  • Get it!

So, yeah, I pulled it out of the toilet and dried it off.  I stared at it.  Now what?  What happens when you drop your phone in water?  I mean, is it at this point now a total loss?  Should I just head to my meeting and then to the phone store?  Most importantly, how can I live without my phone?

Well, as legit as these questions were, I had to get to my meeting.  So, I threw my phone into a baggie filled with like, a third way up with rice.  It was not awesome.

But the phone still works.

Hey, I’m not asking questions.  I pried the side of the phone open later and the sim card was dry.  This seems good.  The camera?  Still works.  Touchscreen?  Still works.  Music?  Good and loud.  So, thus far, the phone has survived its first (and hopefully only) dip in the toilet.  I’m so clumsy.

fun coupleBut not so clumsy I can’t dance!  My BFF Rachel Elise got married yesterday, in a gorgeous ceremony.  I’m five years older than Rachel (I remember visiting her mom in the hospital after she was born.  Her mom gave me a pink bubble gum cigar) and we grew up together.  The groomsman I was paired up with was her cousin Christopher and I’ve also known him his whole life.  Christopher is my kind of guy: he breaks out into song.  He dances at a moments notice.

We dubbed ourselves The Fun Couple.

When it was time to walk in and be announced, we actually weren’t sure what music we were dancing in to—so, we discussed dance options.  Because dancing is always an option.  We’d settled on possibilities of disco, jazz hands, and spirit fingers.

And then we got to dance in to Glenn Miller’s In the Mood.  Sing, Sing, Sing.  Whatever you want to call it: check us out.  We danced and jived our way into the 1800s barn that the wedding was in like the pros we are (okay, that he is.  He’s going to school for music; I’m just weird).  We danced and sang the entire night away.  I’m so happy for the adorable couple!  Shut up and dance with me.

Of note, the clinical strength deodorant did not hold up like I’d hoped.  I applied before the salon appointment and after.  By the time Cute Groomsman Levi asked me to dance, I smelled like armpit.  Gross.  Gross!!!  I’m seriously ready to just start wearing a fanny pack and carrying deodorant with me all the time.  Is that deodorant in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Glamorous.  Always glamorous and sophisticated.

Requesting book reviews is so hard, I had to eat cake

Well, to be fair, I probably would have eaten the cake anyway.

Two days ago, I celebrated the fourth anniversary of my 29th birthday.  Ehhhhh.  Three years into my Dirty Thirties and I ate a lot of cake, chip-chop ham (what’s up, Pittsburgh food?), and weird quinoa chips that I’m still not sure how I felt about.  And then I went to bed early.

Today’s list of Things To Do includes:

  • Blog (yo yo yo)
  • P90x3 (it’s currently 90 degrees out, so I’m putting that on the proverbial back burner)
  • Run (natch)
  • Request reviews for With Me Now

Now.

Let’s talk about requesting reviews.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being bad and 10 being “Invade Russia in Winter”, requesting book reviews was a firm and stressful 3. Maybe a 4.  Here’s how it works:

1.  Research reviewers

My time was cut down but utilizing the Indie Book Reviewers List.

2.  Decide if reviews are a) accepting paranormal books and b) accepting reviews at all.

Because a lot of reviewers aren’t.

3.  Write witty request, personalized and individualized but still professional and awesome.

Poor spellers need not apply.

4.  Attach book with some emails, some without, some with my picture, and that one I forgot to attach my cover to, even though it was in her submission request guidelines.

**Important note** read their submission guidelines.  Requesting a review is horrifically similar to send query letters to agents.  You wouldn’t slide the printed copy of your 800 pages manuscript under the stall door in the mall, would you?  No.  Well, you shouldn’t.  Look, I don’t even like making eye contact with people in the restrooms at the mall, so if you’re out trying to approach agents/reviewers/potential dates/Harry Styles in the bathroom, just stop.  For all of us.  Stop.

5.  Wait.

I went through like, four pages on the website and got so stressed out, I cut myself a generous slice of leftover birthday cake and took a break.  Yieeeesh.  Why is this so hard?  This shouldn’t be hard.  I wrote the darn book.  I’m generally familiar with myself.  So, why can’t I just bundle it all up into a tidy email?

Who knows.  I’m sure it’s some kind of fear of rejection/having lived too close to creosote and nuclear power plants for the majority of my life.  I’m socially awkward.  This is why you need to come to my book review/release/lets hang out at a winery in Gettysburg next month.  Watch me avert eye contact and say noncommittal things like, “Wow, thank you so much for coming out!  This is so awesome!”

Completely unrelated: I’m sitting here blogging while Younger Son is watching Sesame Street.  Of note, I’m really not thrilled with wrong sounding Muppets and Will.I.Am is singing and honestly looks so bored that I’m just waiting for him to storm offstage or kick a Muppet.  Ugh, 1980s.  I crave you.

Anyway.

So, I’ll post if/when reviews ever get posted for With Me Now.  I do, in fact, have one awesome review posted by my girl, Theophania.  Read it here.  And while you’re at it, be my friend on Goodreads.  People get very excited about Goodreads and I use like, an nth of a percent of it.  I need to get better at the far reaches of social media.  Jeez Louise.

Okay, break time is over.  Back to the salt mines.

Hold onto your butts: The Review Party is back on!

Get out your 2015 social calendars and write this down: August 23, 2015.  Sunday.  1pm to 3pm at The Adams Country Winery.  I’m going to be there signing print copies of my recent release, With Me Now.  YES!  Evernight Publishing is fabulous.  Let’s be honest.  I was crushed when I was going to have to cancel everything for that weekend.  Evernight didn’t even bat an eyelash when I asked them about it, so we’re on.  Like Donkey Kong.

So, come out and hang out with me.  We can laugh and chat and have a fantastic time.  I’m going to have a ton of With Me Now stuff to giveaway.  “Swag” as the kids call it these days.  Maybe we all drink some wine together!  Anyway, this is a laid back, fun day.  I’m not a serious person and I’m bad at reading out loud, so come for prizes, books, and hilarious repartee.  Remember:

  • August 23, 2015
  • Sunday
  • 1pm to 3pm
  • Adams County Winery

bookreleaseheatherI’m telling you.  Be there.  Look how excited I am for everyone to come and hang out with me.  We can all process from the party to the battlefield and hang out.  The Hubs and at least one reader (Gburgjedi, I’m looking at you) are authorities on the battle.  So come and learn something new!  It’s going to be epic.

In other news, I’ve finally established two works in progress to work on, when I’m not out peddling With Me Now.  Project A: the sequel to With Me Now.  Because, you know, we can leave our friends hanging out post-Gettysburg.  And no spoilers because, remember: if you win this month’s contest (for those just tuning in, read With Me Now leave a review on Evernight’s site and on Amazon by the end of July and you can win something awesome) that mean’s you’ll already know what happens at the end.  The sequel will pick up a few months later.

What you can expect: more archeology, more sex, and more turn of the century shenanigans!

Project B: Project B is a Civil War historical fiction.  Because that’s how I roll.  I actually had three plots to choose from (again, HaydenAlonzobecause that’s how I roll.  I’m not happy unless I’m stressing out over multiple projects) and the winner….drum roll please….is about the 1st Minnesota Infantry.  Yeah!

For those of you who’ve been here awhile, you know about this guy: Private Alonzo C. Hayden of the 1st Minnesota’s Company D, who was mortally wounded and died on the battlefield following the charge of the 1st Minnesota.  Expect more of him in my novel.  I nearly went blind the other night reading census records and military records about him, just to learn more about who he was.

It’s hard to just pull a person out of history and try to figure out who they were.  Like, for example, my ancestor John Hanway.  He was a Union soldier with the 13th West Virginia and he died at Camp Douglas.  That’s all I know about him.  He was 21 when he died.  Alonzo was 24.  I’m starting to feel industrious and want to request their military records.  Caveat: I don’t know if you can request the records of someone you aren’t related to, so I don’t know if I can request anything about Alonzo.  Stay tuned for that.

Note: I enjoy his picture and my picture together.  He’s brutally hot and I don’t care about the potential weirdness of that statement.  I’ve never once insinuated that I’m normal.

So, hey, things are looking awesome!  With Me Now is available, there’s more writing in the works, and, according to my other publisher, I’ll be finding out the new release date for Anything You Ask of Me.  So, there’s that.  Plus, Since April is with my agent and that’s fantastic….

….and in a few weeks, I get to see One Direction in concert!!  Yaaaaaaaay!!!

Oh, and I recently bought a FitBIt, so all this jumping up and down and dancing around like a maniac is really adding to my step count.  Yesterday was the first time I met my step goal (10,000 steps) and it scared the crap out of me when it started vibrating on my arm.  I thought the silly thing was about to blow up or steal my car or something.

Evernight Release: Obsession By Design

OBSESSION BY DESIGN –
The Weathermen 2
***Click HERE to purchase directly from
Evernight Publishing***

BLURB

On her first day working for Emmett Radcliffe, President of Radcliffe Software and Web Design, Liane Peyton learns that Emmett hired her not only for her design skills, but for her coding abilities. Liane finds herself building a secret database for Emmett and his friends, but saving the planet isn’t Emmett’s only obsession. He has his sights set on Liane, and he will stop at nothing to have her.

Emmett is part of a group of friends financing the efforts to put a stop to The Madeline Project. The program now has a mind of its own, thanks to a virus called Tommy Twister. These men have power, resources, and money, but they’re as ruthless and possessive as the storms ravaging Earth.

They call themselves the Weathermen…

ADULT EXCERPT

She pushed her hips against his erection and moved her tongue over his, imitating his movements. She needed this man inside her right now or she was going to die from desire. Was that possible? It had to be, because she’d never felt such intense longing.

His mouth still on hers, he backed her up against the sideboard and then released the kiss. “Turn around.”

Once again, she obeyed without hesitation. Emmett leaned her over the furniture. He tugged her hair until her head was back, and then he licked her neck. “I’m going to fuck you, Liane. And you’re going to take it.”

She cried out in pleasure as he moved his other hand over her ass, giving each cheek a couple of hard smacks. The dress wasn’t thick, and it stung, but she absolutely adored it. He let go of her hair and pushed the dress up, revealing her ass. “Oh yes. I knew you had a nice one.” His hands caressed her cheeks, moving down the backs of her thighs and up her lower back. “You are exquisite.”

Liane didn’t answer him. She couldn’t. All she could do was close her eyes and absorb the sensations. Never had she been taken like this. This was heady and raw. It sent her emotions spiraling out of control and her arousal to places it had never gone.

He told her to spread her legs a bit, and then he slipped a finger into her ass crack and underneath to her throbbing clit, over and over, until she pushed back against him and writhed against his touch. “Please…” she whispered.

His lips grazed her neck. “Please what?”

“Oh…”

Emmett slid a finger between her moist folds and Liane cried out again as fresh desire raced through her. “You are soaking wet.”

“I can’t help it. You did that to me.”

“Mmmm… I can’t wait to taste it.”

Her exhale came out in a shudder, and when he pushed his other hand into the opening at the front of the dress and placed it over her left breast, she began to whimper. He rolled her nipple between his thumb and forefinger while she shook her head back and forth, silently begging for release.

“I wonder how these taste.”

“Please.”

“Tell me what you want, Liane. In detail. Or I won’t do anything more than I’m doing right now for the entire night.”

How the hell did he have this kind of control? Was he human?

“I want you to make love to me.”

He chuckled, and shivers ran up and down her spine. Emmett gave her nipple a squeeze, and the tiny jolt of electricity it sent straight to her clit forced a loud moan from her. “You’re going to have to do better than that, gorgeous. Come on. Use your imagination.”

Shit. He was going to torture her with sex. “Okay. I want you to lick that.”

Another squeeze, this one tighter. She cried out again. “That what? Use real names. Come on, Liane. You’re a grown women with a lush body. Own it. Tell me what you want me to do to every square inch of it.”

“Spank me more. I loved that. And lick my nipples. And suck them. Please.”

“Good girl.” His hand moved to the other breast, where he proceeded to tease it in the same way. Then he slipped a long finger into her pussy, slowly, while she let out a long moan. “Don’t stop. Tell me more. What else do you want me to do to you?”

“Fuck me. With your tongue, your fingers, and your dick.”

“Good girl. Very good.” He moved his finger in and out gently, and the movement sent shock waves straight to her clit. She was going to come. No doubt about it.

“I can’t think anymore.”

He kissed her neck. “Yes you can.”

“You mentioned tying me to your bed.”

“Yes, I did.” That voice! It washed over her until no other sound existed. “Tell me about that. What do you picture when you think about it?”

“I’ve always had fantasies.”

He moaned softly as he continued playing with her nipple and her pussy. “Is that true? Tell me about them. Please, Liane.”

The realization this was turning him on just as much sent her excitement level through the roof. “I want you to tie me down and spank me, and then fuck me silly. Fuck me until neither one of us can breathe.”

“Oh my God. You shall have your wish, beautiful lady. But first, if I don’t get inside that hot, wet pussy I’m going to come in my pants.”

***CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO MEET ALL THE WEATHERMEN***

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