Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “Because The Night”

Hear And See Kristen This Week!

Today’s Brew: Blueberry. All is back to being right with the world.

by Kristen

Once I start working on a book, I’m always dying to talk about it. I spend so much time with the characters they are real to me, and like I’d want to share the juicy exploits of my real life friends, I want to do the same for my fictional ones.

Most of the time that involves talking Julie’s ear off while she tries to get something done in the relative peace (ha) and quiet (snort) of my home.  Now we can add Intern Sara into that mix.  This week, I get to share with the world. And it’s awesome.

  •  On Wednesday, I chatted with Brian LeTendre about vampire books and hair bands for the May 7 podcast of See Brian Write.  We had so much to talk about, he invited me back just so we could talk music.  Tonight, I’ll be talking to Ariel Burnz from  Ilovevampirenovels.comUpdate: you’ll be able to hear it May 26! Tune in for a giveaway! 
  • SATURDAY!!  I’m signing books!!  Please come say hi! If you have a copy of BECAUSE THE NIGHT or NIGHT MOVES, I’d be happy to sign them. If you want one, I’ll have to available for purchase. I’ll be at the NECRWA Book Fair at the Burlington Marriott in Burlington, MA from 4-5:30 PM.  It’s free to the public. Bella Andre, Meg Maguire,  Madeline Hunter, and over 20 other romance writers will also be signing.  I’d love to see your beautiful faces if you’re in the area!
  • BECAUSE THE NIGHT will be available on Audible on May 13!  I’m so excited about this.  It’s going to be surreal for Callie to have a voice that’s not in my head. Jessica Almasy will be narrating. She’s read the audio versions of many of Gena Showalter’s books, so I know she’s done an excellent job.
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Pre-Release Day Jitters!

Today’s Brew: Trying to decide when to start the birthday celebration. Until then, Pumpkin Spice.

by Kristen

Tomorrow is kind of a big deal.

It’s my birthday.

It’s NIGHT MOVES’ book birthday, too.

Release day always seems to sneak up on me. Forever it seems like it’s months or weeks off, and then it’s holy shit, I have a book coming out tomorrow. What the hell am I supposed to do now?

I know, I know, enjoy it. But these are my babies. You guys don’t know Melanie and Ryder yet, so they’re taking their first wobbly steps out in the world. It changes things.

NIGHT MOVES started as a short story, and when I wrote it, I don’t know if I ever planned on making it an actual book.  But something about it spoke to me, and I kept asking “now what?” I do remember the moment when I realized this story belonged in The Night Songs Collection, it was one of those warm fuzzy feelings that I get when it all comes together. From there, I guided the story to The End. I say guided, because I always let my characters take the reins. I’m boring, and they’re not. I just record what they tell me.

Before you’re like WTF Kristen, I have QUESTIONS about what happened at the end of BECAUSE THE NIGHT. What do you mean new characters? Melanie, Ryder, and everyone else you’re going to meet cross paths with Callie, Tristan, Blade, and Talis.  They’re all going to join forces to move on in the new world you have so many questions about. I just have to ask you to trust me on this one, it all works. You will get all your answers, not wrapped up in a neat little bow, because homey don’t play like that, but you’ll get them.

The series doesn’t move in a straight line, I took some chances to tell the story the way it needed to be told. I mean, hell, it starts as YA contemporary and moves into vampire smut.  I’m pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to do that, but I did it anyway.  All of the things that seemed like grand ideas as they flew out of my fingers on the the screen, the things that the betas liked, and my editors, will readers like them?  How will they like these new characters? I have one vision of my book in my head, but is that how it comes across to everyone else?

It’s revoltingly terrifying.

I could never do this alone. It truly takes an army to release a book. Everyone on Twitter has been so supportive, my agency as made sure everything has gone smoothly, and honestly if it wasn’t for all of you guys, I don’t know if I would do it. When I say thank you, it doesn’t seem like enough. Any time someone tells me they enjoy something I wrote, my heart swells. Sure, they’re just words on a page, but that’s my imagination. That came from me. It’s not a skill I can hone, it’s something that just is. It’s a very vulnerable thing to share.  Artists have to believe in themselves A LOT to put their work out there. Critique is scary. But the praise is worth it.

I’m humbled any time anyone thinks anything I have to say is worth reading. I hope you all love NIGHT MOVES, because without you, it wouldn’t exist.  And I’m grateful for every single one of you.

XX
Kristen

 

Fame < Infamy

Today’s Brew: I’m drinking the French Toast Coffee I bought for Julie. Because I feel like it.

by Kristen

ONE WEEK UNTIL NIGHT MOVES!!!

I’ve always been fascinated by musicians. When I was really young, like kindegarten, first grade, my dad used to bring his favorite records into my room and play them for me on my Bee Gees record player. We listened to Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, The Kingston Trio, and Waylon Jennings because my favorite song was The Dukes of Hazard theme.

Do you see the groundwork that was being laid for my life? You take out the Australian Disco sticker on our delivery device and I was being set up for a lifelong love of outlaw musicians. Buddy Holly seems tame now, but in the 50’s, he was a trailblazer. Not only did he set the standard for what we know as the recipe for a rock band: 2 guitars, bass, and drums, but he helped blur the racial divide in popular music. The Kingston Trio helped lay the groundwork for the folk rock movement in the 60’s.  I loved these nights.

Fun Fact: I’ve seen Johnny Cash live!  In 1995, at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Concert in Cleveland.  My friends and I were on a mini tour and actually there to see Bon Jovi. Every time I said I was excited to see Johnny Cash, people gave me funny looks. Take that, hipsters. I am thirty years ahead of you.

I’m addicted to the way I feel when I think of you.–Fall Out Boy, Fame < Infamy

As time went on, music became a part of the fabric of my life. I’ve gone to hundreds of concerts, maybe even into quadruple digits, I don’t know anymore. These people have become my friends, and more than that. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because the music is magic, I’ve always been fascinated by the world that revolves around a single note plucked from a guitar string. The amplifier calls us to gather, and we watch and listen, beginning for something original and outrageous. We ask these people to take us away from our lives for a song or an evening. The musicians are the conductors of our fantasies, not just physical, but emotional. Tell me your mind has never wandered to imagining a better life while you’ve listened to your favorite band. I’ll call you a liar.

And that’s why I write about musicians.

I am God’s gift but why would he bless me with
Such wit without a conscience equipped–Fall Out Boy, Fame < Infamy

But it’s not just the fantasy I’m interested in. I love juxtaposing it with the reality. In Because the Night, Callie knew Tristan before he was famous, and she has a hard time dealing with the changes it’s caused in him.  This wasn’t exactly fiction. A friend of mine struggled in years, playing in cover bands and tribute bands (because that’s all that really makes money if you’re playing the local circuit), and finally got a chance in a band that became successful. I’m not naming names here, but if you went to any high school anywhere in America, you’d see this guys face on at least one T-shirt. I make very subtle references to the band in Because the Night. I went to see him in this new band, and was shell shocked.  He wasn’t even the same person. Shallow, self absorbed, and just generally a jackass. It was hard to deal with, especially knowing what a funny, sweet person he used to be.

In Night Moves, you’ll meet Soul Divider. Soul Divider’s heyday has passed, but don’t tell their singer, Drake Bonham. I can’t tell you who I based him on, because like Drake, this person’s lawyers are much better than mine. He still thinks he deserves his place on the A-list, and will do anything to stay there. The rest of the band, his employees, have been forced to come along for the ride. Riding a wave to the top is fun and exciting. Trying to climb back up after falling off is soul sucking and degrading. If you’re a writer trying to get your work out there, you know how it feels to think no one gives a shit. It’s awful. You do all this work, and everyone’s all like “hey, Dino erotica!” Soul Divider understands your pain.

As these guys get older, some of them are tired of sewing their wild oats. They just want to settle down, buy a house, have some kids, and play gigs. But they’re trapped in other people’s fantasies. It’s hard to make those things agree. I have friends in this situation, too. One rock star girlfriend can’t even have a Facebook account under her own name. Fans have broken through every security feature she put on it, and posted her private info on public forums.  I blended a few musicians together to create Ryder Maddox. The guy who loves the music, but is tired of the fame. What else can he do? He’s been playing in bands his whole life. I’ve read many interviews with musicians who have had to move on. No one wants to hire them. They have no marketable skills in our world. Because they’re artists, they’ve figured out a way to persevere. But some of them have a love hate relationship with the fantasy.

These guys have everything that we mere mortals want, but does it make them happy? Not always. That’s what makes the story.

Get ready for Night Moves!! Because the Night is 99 cents until March 25!

The Failure of Fear

Today’s Brew: It’s snowing, so I decided not to go to yoga. But I’m out of creamer, so now I have to leave the house.

by Kristen

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Sometimes I don’t find inspiration, inspiration finds me. Last spring, I’d finished the rewrite of Because the Night. The book you have in your hot little hands was originally two books. I’d torn them apart, and it changed the tone of the series. It was my first major revision, and even though I was much happier with the new book than what I’d started with, learning how to really put a book together exhausted my soul.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write next. Did I want to do jump right into the sequel? Or did I want to give Callie and company a break? The answer, in Night Moves, wound up being both.

Melanie introduced herself to me in a short story. Someone just out of college, someone who thinks she’s doing all the right things. She’s got the job, she’s making good money, she’s got a boyfriend. If Melanie was your friend of Facebook, she could probably fool you into thinking she had her shit together. But like most Facebook statuses, that would be a lie. Like so many other people in America, her job became an infestation that took over everything. All she did was work and it pulled her away from the person she used to be. She knew it was happening, but she surrounded herself with people who accepted less than they wanted or deserved in life, and she begrudgingly accepted it as something that happened when someone became An Adult.

Her boyfriend knew better, and took matters into his own hands. And so the adventure known as Night Moves begins.

I can empathize with Melanie. Of course, I created her. But when I was in my early twenties, I had one of those jobs. It didn’t take over my life, but it sucked my soul. I worked in a bank. I was a teller. I may have mentioned before that numbers feel like rubber bands squeezing my brain, so working with other people’s money and numbers all day long was extremely stressful for me. But that wasn’t really the worst part of it. The people I worked with were all lovely…

You can feel the but coming, can’t you?

Most of them had worked in that local bank all of their lives. They had wonderful families and kids, and I’m sure most of them were really happy. But I noticed a pattern. Everyone was watching the clock, waiting for five o’clock, waiting for Saturday, waiting for their two weeks vacation so they could go to Aruba. They were always waiting for something.

I felt like a bull in a china shop. I needed more. In that environment, I began to think it wasn’t possible. I remember actually having the thought, “Well, I guess dreams don’t come true.”

I’ve fallen on my face a lot in life, I’ve made mistakes. But that thought haunts me like a nightmare. I was trying to convince myself to settle for something I knew was wrong for me.

Meanwhile, on my days off I was going to concerts all over the Eastern seaboard. I needed that extreme opposite  in my life to feel alive. Some days I drove straight home from wherever the show was and wait straight to work, only stopping home to shower and put on my bank teller uniform.

Fun Fact: I used to wear combat boots to work at the bank.

So why the hell didn’t I say screw this, I’m out of here? I was afraid.

I’d convinced myself that no other job was going to be better than the one I already had. I figured it was better to stick with the devil I knew. I stayed there for five years.  I had to actually work up the courage to leave that job. I didn’t do anything spectacular, I went back to school and got a part time job at Piercing Pagoda. But the world didn’t end, and I was much happier.

When I tell that story, it doesn’t even feel like I’m talking about me anymore. Sure, sometimes I’m afraid of change. But I’m way more afraid of missing out on what life has to offer. I don’t ever want to be simply waiting for things to happen, like my two weeks vacation, and not be able to enjoy the moment.

When I put Melanie in the worst case scenario of that situation, I wanted to see what she’d do. And then I kept asking What If. She takes chances, she feels alive. She has to learn who she is again.

The fear of failure can be exactly what hold us back from getting what we want.

NIGHT MOVES COVER REVEAL (AND PRE-ORDER!)

Today’s Brew: I haven’t even had my coffee yet!

by Kristen

Today is one of those days where the hours and hours of sitting on the couch with the computer on my lap, listening to what the voices in my head have to say and capturing it all pays off. BECAUSE THE NIGHT ends…unresolved. So without further ado, I give you NIGHT MOVES:

NIGHT MOVES COVER

Night Moves–The Night Songs Collection #2–Coming March 26, 2014

We bonded in darkness, over darkness.

Melanie Vaughn’s job ruined everything. Her social life, nonexistent. Her relationship with her boyfriend, a hostile roommate situation. She resolves to fix everything one snowy afternoon, but instead comes home to discover her boyfriend is already exploring other options. Blonder, bustier options. Rage drives Melanie to do the unthinkable.

When Soul Divider was on the top of the world, so was Ryder Maddox. When the band faded into obscurity, Ryder’s luck plummeted with it. In a last ditch effort to rekindle the band’s heyday, Soul Divider teams up with powerful vampire clan leader, Talis de Rancourt. In return for her services, the band pays the ultimate price for never ending fame.

Now on the run, Melanie meets Ryder in a middle of nowhere hotel. She never expected her teenage rock star crush to be as lost and as in need of a companion as she is. Their connection is all consuming, even before they find they share another kinship: murder.

The newly turned vampires in Soul Divider still have a lot to learn. The police and public begin to connect the girls that go missing or die in sync with the band’s tour schedule. Back at home, clues are also adding up against Melanie as well. Between constant media coverage and unrelenting attention from the authorities, Melanie and Ryder find themselves in uncharted territory.

NIGHT MOVES will be available March 26, 2014. My, ahem, birthday. So if you were wondering what to get me, the gift that keeps on giving is right here, baby. Add it to Goodreads!!  

UPDATE: You can also pre-order NIGHT MOVES on Smashwords!

I know what you’re thinking right now. Who the hell are Melanie and Ryder?  What about Callie, Tristan, and Blade? NIGHT MOVES continues the story of The Night Songs Collection from a bit of a different angle. Callie, Tristan, and Blade all make appearances in NIGHT MOVES, and the characters are going to come together in the next book to tell the conclusion of the story. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy meeting these new characters and going on tour with Melanie and Soul Divider!

What a Week

Today’s Brew: Blueberry coffee to go.
by Kristen

Seasons in the Sun Final

HOLY CRAP. I don’t know what it is about this week. If I did, I’d bottle it so I’d have it forever.

  • Seasons in the Sun is on a blog tour this week. The reviews are so awesome. I can’t stop smiling!  Check them out here.
  • Seasons in the Sun is FREE on Amazon! Not sure how much longer it will be, so if you haven’t grabbed it yet, go get her! Even better than that, ever since I mentioned it on Twitter, it’s been in the top 10 for its category!! Oh. My. God. That’s YOU GUYS who did that. Wednesday Night alone saw over 100 retweets, favorites, and shares about the book. You guys. *beats chest, fist pumps in your general direction*
  • I was featured in the local paper for the paperback release of Because the Night. If you’re visiting the blog for the first time because of that article, hi! Enjoy your stay! Check out what Julie has to say, too.
  • Because the Night is also enjoying a nice boost because of all of this attention.  I’m  doing a little giveaway on Goodreads, too.
  • If you guys can still stand me on Monday, we’re revealing the cover of Night Moves, book 2 in The Night Songs Collection. It comes out March 26, so you have a little bit of time to catch up on your reading!

 

All The Undead News You Can Use!

Today’s Brew: Blueberry. I bought 2 boxes yesterday

by Kristen

Things have been busy around here, and it’s the good kind!  Julie is wrapping up edits on Running Away. My Night Moves will be out in less than a month.

But that’s not all we have to tell you about!

  • Running Home and Because the Night are now available at The Book Shack in The Independence Mall, Kingston, MA! If you’re in the area, please stop by and visit our books! We’re working on distribution in additional indie bookstores as well, but you always remember your first.
  • We have an intern!! We’ve known Sara forever, but it had been a while since we’d seen her. Now she’s back in our lives, and she’s a little bit Kristen, and a little bit Julie. Just like the Donny and Marie song but clearly so much cooler. Not only is she going to be helping us out with The Things, but she is writing as well! Her ideas are unique, well developed, and they will blow you away as much as they did to me and Julie. The coolest thing about when we asked her to share her stuff with us was she wasn’t the least bit shy about it. It took Julie and I a long time to get to that point.  I know you don’t believe it, but it’s true.

Without further ado, meet our intern, Sara!

Tell us about yourself. I’m a TV and media producer and costume designer, and sometimes a bellydancer, and now a writer.

What are you writing? Fantasy/sci fi, strong female characters in worlds that are fantastical and familiar.

 Fave food: I’m a total foodie, but Japanese food is my favorite.

 Fave movies: Chick flick: Fools Rush In. I’m Salma Hayek obsessed.  Under the cherry moon with Prince, and he talks in it. And best movie ever made is Malena. It’s Italian. Just watch it, don’t read the back or the reviews.

Fave band: Can I pick 5? Doro Pesch,System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Incubus, Pat Benatar. If you ask me tomorrow it will be slightly different. I feel single right now, not having one favorite band!

Describe your perfect day:  One when you  wake up naturally with sunshine, lots of sleep, see cool people, have cool conversations, go to the beach, and have an inventive meal.

I told you she was awesome! Stay tuned to see what Sara’s got up her sleeve!

And Julie will have more news to share tomorrow!

Be My Valentine!

Today’s Brew: Caramel Hot Cocoa. Because it’s a special day. Hallmark SAYS SO.

by Kristen

I was at work, bored out of my mind listening to people rave about a new platform to sell investment banking, and I came up with a brilliant idea.  See? Good stuff can come out of sitting in a cubicle.

I decided to ask some of my author friends what their main couples would get each other for Valentine’s Day.

I think Mr. Jacob Farrish would whisk Lady Eleanore Barnaby off for a few days to Bath or Cornwall, to spend time alone. He’s a busy barrister! 😉 She would most likely give him a set of new law books, and a more…um, PRIVATE present later.
–Olivia Kelly, The Heart of a Duke

Corbin would get Mara a new bow and Mara would get Corbin a silver shield. Lol.  Not as fun in the middle ages.
–Tammy Farrell, The Darkness of Light

Beau would get Jack something sarcastic. A slogan tee with ‘If I were chocolate, I’d eat myself‘ written across the front. Or maybe, ‘James Bond 2.0‘  Jack would get Beau a limited edition Yoda doll to replace the one that was broken during the chaos. Or, all things considered, he may get her one of those squidgy stress balls with his face printed on it…
–Louise D. Gornall, In Stone
For their first Valentine’s Day together (if they make it that far, because you’ve got to remember a. They got together two months before graduation and we all know how that usually works out, and b. Tash is kind of an emotional land mine), Grant would most-likely spend weeks stressing over what to get Tash and then eventually ask his mom for guidance. She would tell Grant to get Tash a sweater or something, and Tash would hate it. Tash, on the other hand, would probably be so uncomfortable about the mere thought of taking part in Valentine’s Day that she’d attempt to lighten the mood with some kind of gag gift, and Grant would be horrified because he’d wonder if deep down Tash secretly believes that he would be caught dead wearing a “Female Body Inspector” T-shirt. After a few moments of extremely creative cursing (on Tash’s part) and painful politeness while inwardly violent self-kicking (on Grant’s part), they’d both admit how socially awkward they are and have a good laugh about it together. And then they would make out. The end.
–Isobel Irons, Promiscuous

Abel will give Brandon a customized heart-shaped guitar pick stamped with I PICK YOU, plus a hoodie with the Castaway Planet logo. His valentine card will be very large and festooned with smooching robots, and it will play a tinny “Let’s Get It On” when opened. Brandon will give Abel a limited-edition Captain James P. Cadmus action figure and a giant tin of cinnamon jelly beans, because cinnamon jelly beans will remind him of their road trip always and forever. Also, his construction-paper valentine will look handmade by a monkey with extra thumbs, but Abel will put it under his pillow anyway.
–J.C. Lillis, How to Repair a Mechanical Heart

Tavis would create a special corner in the hedge maze at the Imperial Palace for Faylanna, one with some of her favorite plants from the Gardensia Exotica planted there. It would be secluded, so she could have time to herself if she wanted, or with just Faylanna, Tavis, and their daughter.  Faylanna would secretly arrange with Tavis’ steward to clear several days of commitments and tell him to spend the time any way he wanted, so long as it had nothing to do with being the Crown Prince. They’d end up leaving the city, taking no one but themselves for the week.
–J. Elizabeth Hill, The Nine
 Cerise would give William a doctor costume and he’d go rent a wing of some hospital.
Torren has always loved literature and spent a lot of his free time reading, so as a romantic gift, Lilly would get Torren something book-related, such as an autographed first edition of a book he adores or a new book he hasn’t read yet but which she knows he’ll love. Torren’s romantic gesture for Lilly, on the other hand, would lean toward the experiential rather than the material. He would plan a romantic date and not tell her where they were going. Something super special like showing her a spectacular view she’s never seen before or taking her to a production of Turandot, which was the opera they saw on their first date together and which captivated her and stirred her emotions.
–Jeanie Grey, Awakening 2
Eliza would get Nicholas something ridiculous and so wrong it was right like a plant stand. Nicholas would get Eliza a crazy amount of food, not fancy especially but a lot. Like lobster and stuff. And an onyx necklance. He’d say it was pretty and deathy like her.
–Julie Hutchings, Running Home
Tristan would get Callie an antique sewing machine and some really pretty fabrics, like crushed velvet with a funky dye to it, because she’s been sad she hasn’t been able to make anything since she’s been in Vegas.  Callie would get Tristan a journal, a leather one with a cool cutout pattern for his songs. Then one of them would say something to ruin the whole thing, but they’d make up and have a great night.
–Kristen Strassel, Because the Night

BECAUSE THE NIGHT and NEWS for the rest of THE NIGHT SONGS COLLECTION!

Today’s brew: Blueberry awesomesauce

by Kristen

It’s been a great week for The Undead Duo! Julie finished RUNNING AWAY, and RUNNING HOME  is finding new fans with it’s 99 cent sale.

I’ve been waiting about as long as it look Julie to write Running Away for BECAUSE THE NIGHT paperbacks to be available.

You know, about this long.

And on Thursday, they came to be!!  You have several options. You can order your very own copy on Amazon. Or, if you fill out the form below, I will send you an autographed copy. Same deal for Julie. $15 each including shipping, US only. I love you outside the US people, but dude, it’s like pay my rent or pay shipping.

BTNweb

But wait! There’s more!  Julie and I tend to start and end things at the same time, and I typed THE END on the latest installment of The Night Songs Collection, a little ditty called SILENT NIGHT. It’s sort of a Christmas Story. It’s new vampires in the same world that you all know and love from Because the Night. I’m billing it as Pretty Woman meets Dracula at Midnight Mass. It’s still far away from seeing the light of day, but as we all know, you can’t edit nothing.

And even more!!  NIGHT MOVES, the next book in The Night Songs Collection, is coming SOON!  I don’t have the exact release date yet, but SOON!  The cover reveal is March 11, and if you’d like to participate in the party, click here to sign up.

Phew! I’m tired just telling you about all of this! I’m taking a sort of break before I start the next project, which is something totally new for me. And I have a gigantic pile of edits patiently waiting for me. Oh, who am I kidding. You all know I never take a break.

Not Always What You Expect

Today’s Brew: All the hot stuff. Snow day number, what? 16? 20?

by Kristen

FreePort [No. 007]: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

I’m a dork. I love museums. Yesterday Liz and I went to the Peabody Essex Museum to see from here to ear. This modern art exhibit features 70 zebra finches playing electric guitar. What did I just say? Yes, they play guitar. The birds land on the strings, hop around, preen, chirp, sing, even bicker, and their movements turn into music. All of the guitars are set for different effects. The birds can also land on a couple of bass guitars, too, and they eat birdseed out of overturned cymbals.

Bad ass.

The amazing part of the exhibit was how melodious music from the pitter patter of little birdie feet could actually be. It was one of the most fascinating exhibits I’d ever seen.  Now I’m trying to get McGee to start a band.  Believe it or not, he isn’t interested.

One cool thing I realized while looking at the other exhibits was that art can make me angry. These things that people come up with! Beautiful and bizarre. I’m jealous that others have big brains that can see things than no one else does. Why do we conform? Why do we except less than spectacular in our lives? We’re all capable of so much.

After Liz and I parted ways, I had two choices: sit in traffic or go to the mall for a while. I know, art just pissed me off because it was so fabulous and I go to the mecca of mediocrity. Had I not needed a few odds and ends for my makeup kit at Sephora, I probably would have opted for traffic. I took my time at the mall, went through all the stores to see what was happening. Most of my makeup jobs are commercial or corporate, very natural, no makeup looks. Vogue Italia is not knocking down my door for any crazy avante guard shit. But still, I should keep up with trends.

My eyes.

I’m pretty sure all the old supply closets from 80’s sitcoms and soap operas exploded, and the debris made its way to the mall. I saw high waisted jeans. Belly shirts. More polyester fibers than I can tell you about without breaking into a sweat. Chain patterns. I like to consider myself pretty open minded to fashion, but these clothes weren’t just ugly, they won’t flatter anyone who’s ever had a cookie. Thank God for online retailers, because that’s where I’ll be replenishing my closet this season.

Today, as I mentioned, it’s snowing, and I love these days. I don’t have to worry about driving in the nonsense and I get to write all day. I’m putting the finishing touches on one first draft, then I’ll be diving into promo and edits on the other books in the pipeline.

Speaking of promo, you may or may not have been aware I had a short story, more of an expanded scene from Because the Night, available for free on Smashwords. All I kept hearing was how FREE was the gateway to success, but I’m not comfortable making a full length novel free forever. My solution was this short story. I figured it was just a teaser, and if the reader wanted more, they’d buy my full length books.

Notice I said HAD. People didn’t like it. It confused them. They thought it was too short. They didn’t get what it was supposed to be. So I took it down. While I’m surprised that it didn’t work, I’m not sorry I tried it. Like the birds on the guitars and the clothes at the mall, you never know what is going to be beautiful and what is going to send you running in the other direction.

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