Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas & happy holidays!

May your holidays be filled with love and joy.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A fascination with clutter

My guilty little secret lately is that I am addicted to the show Clean House. Niecy Nash, the host, is hilarious, but my real fascination with the show is that they go around the country finding people with the most cluttered houses and organize them. I have some sort of weird fascination in seeing just how horrible the clutter can actually be in people's homes.

But it's not nearly as simple as the clutter itself. The problem is that nobody lives in a house so overflowing with junk that they can't walk around, unless there are some emotional or psychological issues involved. So getting Joe Smith to give up his collection of 5000 Beanie Babies or Jane Jones to part with her 6200ceramic bunnies can be a problem.

I'm the anti-pack-rat - I hate clutter with a horrible passion and sweep for it on a regular basis, boxing off anything not nailed down to charity. If it doesn't fit or we don't use it, why have it collecting dust or sitting in cardboard boxes in the house or garage?

Of course, I'm married to a man with a teensy bit of pack-rat in him - he tried a couple of years ago to get me to let him keep his dot-matrix printer by offering to let me print drafts of my books on it.

My 500 page books.

This would take a week and a half. Not to mention how much my poor editor would have appreciated the eyestrain . . .

If I ever decide to quit writing, I'm going to become a professional organizer. In fact, perhaps I should audition for Clean House. I'm pretty blunt, so I could be the Simon Cowell of the show - "Are you OUT OF YOUR FREAKING MIND??? Why would you POSSIBLY want to keep THAT??"

On second thought, maybe I should keep my day job.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holding out for a hero!!

I'm guest blogging at Romancing the Blog today about heroes and why we love them! Please stop by and say hi!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Well, it has been a wild and crazy ride

I never did log back into the NanoWrimo after the first week's horrific computer/server problems, but I think I did okay:

Tired now. Editing madly till I turn it in 12/3 . . .

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A day to be thankful

Dear readers,

If you're in the U.S. and rushing around baking pie and roasting turkey, or if you're somewhere else around the world and today is just a regular Thursday, please take a moment to know I'm sending you my very best wishes for a wonderful day.

This year has been rough and today when I sit down with my family for the annual feast, when we hold hands around the table and share what we're most thankful for, all of you will hold a very special place on my list. I am thankful for your kindness and caring and for your generosity in making my books a small part of your life.

May the holidays bring you much love and joy and many, many delicious kinds of pie!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

2009 is the Year of the Warriors of Poseidon!!!!

The great news is that there will be a wealth of Warriors in 2009!! Here's the projected schedule:

January 6, 2009: WILD THING - Bastien's novella in this anthology - will be reissued in mass market paperback at the $7.99 price point for all of those who hate paying $14 for trade.

April 13, 2009: THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF PARANORMAL ROMANCE – The U.S. release of the British book by the same name – 24 of paranormal romance’s hottest authors! Alyssa’s short story introduces Rhys na Garanwyn, High Prince, High House Seelie Court. He was so sizzlingly hot that Alyssa just HAD to bring him into the Atlantis world!

June 2, 2009: ATLANTIS UNLEASHED - Justice's long-awaited story. It's much longer than the others (turned it in at 500 manuscript pages) and much darker and more emotional. I hope you love it as much as I do. I so wanted Justice to have his happy ending.

July 7, 2009 - the very month after Justice's book: ATLANTIS UNMASKED - Alexios meets Grace and his life is never going to be the same. The Fae also enter the fight in the form of the deliciously hot Rhys na Garanwyn, High Prince, High House Seelie Court. New battle lines will be drawn!

October 6, 2009: ATLANTIS REDEEMED, Brennan's book. He met his heroine Tiernan in Justice's book and oh, holy Poseidon was it an explosion! Plus there is that small problem that he can't remember her the minute she's out of his sight . . . Wow. This one is going to be tough to write my way out of . . . but Brennan deserves the best.

So there you have it. Only a few short weeks until WILD THING hits bookstores everywhere and then 2009 belongs to the Warriors of Poseidon!! Thank you so, so much for your kindness in trying my books and for your patience. I am truly blessed.

hugs, Alyssa

Monday, November 17, 2008

Argh! Why am I always right about this stuff??

I kept saying, "Chuck, don't kiss her! She's a bad guy!" "Don't kiss her; she's Fulcrum!"

But did he listen??? NOOO!!


In other news, please PLEASE don't pay any attention to the mock cover posted at amazon for the MAMMOTH BOOK OF PARANORMAL ROMANCE. That was just an art draft mockup and the artist didn't know which authors were in the book so put random names on the front to show placement. The cover in my blog is correct in terms of author names. Thanks!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I've got a short story in this book - it's a British publisher and the U.S. release will be in April. Love, love, LOVE the cover - the moons and wolves are gorgeous. What do you think?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Oh, big sadness - and big fun!!

David Tennant will no longer be Dr. Who!!! Lovely, lovely David Tennant. He's SO MUCH FUN in that role.

In the big fun news, my dear friend Elissa Wilds has just released her debut book - and it's FANTASTIC!!! Rush over to her website or to your newest bookstore and pick up BETWEEN LIGHT AND DARK today!

Alyssa, deep deep in the book

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Gave up on "official" NanoWrimo

The website is so slow as to be nonexistent. Who has that kind of time? But the idea is still fun and giving me an energy charge - so I'm still in the game on my own. Wrote an entire chapter today and boy did things take a wild left turn!! Who knew that a Fae high prince I "discovered" in a short story would pop up in Atlantis? Can't keep a good Fae down . . . And whew! He's seriously hot. Wow. I mean -- oh, sorry. I'm back now. LOL. Oh, and for anyone who wondered, 50,000 words is roughly half a book for me. Atlantis Unleashed clocked in at 104,000. So that's a pretty smoking month! Happy November, by the way!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

So it's November

Trick or treating was way nicer with friends and a nice thermal mug secretly filled with Shiraz . . .

Soccer at 8 a.m. was WAY nicer with a hooded jacket and a nice thermal mug containing about half a pot of coffee . . .

And now I'm Nano-ing. Which is not some obscure Mork and Mindy reference (yay, syndicated TV) but means I've decided to join in the craziness that is National write-a-novel-in-a-month. If the website ever loads, I'll even post wordcount, etc. There's something wonderfully satisfying about knowing that more than one hundred thousand people across the country and even around the world are all working together to meet the 50,000 words at the end of the month goal.

For me, thermal mugs are evidently a good thing:
I'm here!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This is your brain. This is your brain on deadline.

Yes, I hit a new all-time low. I got out of the car at the soccer field to pick up my son and looked down at my feet:

Then I got back IN the car and drove 'round to pick him up, remaining in the car. Poor kid is already going to need therapy, having a writer for a mother . . .

Navy Guy made me deadline brownies

Yesterday was a bad, bad day. Bad. Darling husband came home and provided big hugs and homemade brownies. With walnuts. Lucky, lucky Alyssa.

Also, there was a pug bath, because how can you be sad with this for entertainment??

Please everybody share your de-stress tips with me!! Thanks!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cold snap!!

35 degrees overnight!! In Florida!! I pulled out the LL Bean jackets for the kids. I *love* it - it's great writing weather. Anybody actually seeing snow yet?? My daughter has never seen snow (that she remembers). I need to travel to snow this winter!!
alyssa, back to the book! Yay!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Goodbye to email

I had to pull the plug around noon; finishing the book!! Wish me luck and send Alexios and Grace "happily ever after" vibes.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

August 26, 1920

All of our daughters should know this date. It's the date the Nineteenth Amendment was signed into law, giving women in this country the right to vote. Only 88 years -- only 88 years of having a voice -- of claiming for ourselves the right to representation upon which this country was founded.

The prevailing argument against giving women the right to vote was that we "didn't want to be bothered with unwomanly things." I absolutely LOVE the response one suffragist of the time had to this. In 1915, writer Alice Duer Miller wrote:

Why We Don't Want Men to Vote

* Because man's place is in the army.

* Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.

* Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.

* Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.

* Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.

Today I took my daughter AND my son to vote with me (Florida has an early voting provision). I wanted them to see democracy in action. I wanted them to be part of the first election in our nation's history that has a black man and a woman on the presidential and vice-presidential ballot.

No matter what your politics, please vote. And remember those women, 88 years ago, who fought so hard to give us this amazing right.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gone to the dogs

So Sunday afternoon we had a call from the lovely Retha Puvogel (her name is an anagram for Heart Pug Love, in those truth stranger than fiction moments), who is the coordinator for the Orlando Pug Rescue. She was on her way up here to Jax Beach for a pet rescue fundraiser at Paws Park - could we stop by?

I seriously needed a break from the deadline, so we loaded up the entire family and headed for the park. Precious and Buckeye, our two rescues, clearly were excited:

It was our dogs' first time in an off-leash park and I was worried that they would be intimidated (or worse, aggressive to the smaller dogs, since my four run in a pack) or that I'd be chasing after them like crazy when it was time to come home. Imagine my surprise and delight when it all went wonderfully!! They absolutely loved it. Had a blast, played chase with other dogs, got mad attention from other humans, but stayed in a loose orbit around me at all times. One whistle and (mostly, Buckeye had some roaming to do, I admit) they'd be back at our side.

It was fabulous and raised money for all the rescue and dog-related groups out there. I'm dying, of course, to write something about a "tail wagging good time" but in our case, it was more about the tongues:

If you're in the market for a new pet, dog, cat, ferret, or whatever, please check out PetFinder. Or if you have a few dollars to spare in this tough time, please help out your local rescue group or humane society. The economic crunch is really hitting them all hard.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy weekend!

I'm fighting another giant headache but managed to have lunch with a friend and stop by the bookstore. Picked up Julia Quinn's MR. CAVENDISH, I PRESUME - even if you're not a historical romance fan, read Julie. Her dialogue is wonderful - it sparkles right off the page. And she is one of the nicest people on the planet, so it's just a feel good purchase all the way around. Found John Irving's UNTIL I FIND YOU on the remainder table for $7 instead of the $15 that the paperback version cost, so I bought the heavy hard cover version and splurged for another pumpkin spice latte with the difference. Also the dog whisperer's newest - with 4 dogs it can't hurt to learn all that I can learn about keeping my furry herd in line. (Saw him on BONES and was fascinated.)

My lovely editor cover conferenced ATLANTIS UNMASKED yesterday; I can't wait to see the art they come up with for him. I'll share as soon as I see it.

Oh, and let's see how this works:

Happy weekend!!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The hidden universe of characters

Because WILD THING is being reissued in mass market paperback in January (I'd better check on that, actually; Berkley sometimes switches around release dates on reissues and doesn't tell us) and I get a chance to read Bastien's story again and see if there were any "oopsies!" in the printed copy that I wish I could have changed then. Actually there was one oops in that I mentioned the Atlantean ability to change eye color like a mood ring but didn't actually mention it - ok, Bastien's eyes were two different colors in the space of a couple of different pages because of what he was dealing with and there it was. Nobody ever wrote to me about it, like "hey, loser, your MAIN CHARACTER changed EYE colors!! Don't you have an EDITOR?" or something like that, but I would have been prepared, because I knew why he changed eye colors but I just didn't bother to tell my READERS.

This is the tip of the iceberg (heh, icebergs, oceans, Atlantis, I crack myself up in a very first grade sort of way today, maybe because I'm on a caffeine overload since Starbucks brought my beloved pumpkin spice lattes back out, so forgive me the stream of consciousness) when it comes to the actual universe a character lives in and the author knows ALL ABOUT but doesn't have room to tell you in the book.

Why not? You cry! We want, no, need, no, DESERVE to know this stuff!! Well, the answer is simple. It would be a backstory dump of leviathan proportions and it would bore you silly and it would make for 7000 page books.

So there are going to be tons of things an author knows about the universe of her characters that will be revealed gradually or maybe never revealed at all but will be part of the rich tapestry of life experiences that have grown that character into the self he or she is in the book.

The problem is in the balance - and this is often true of life, too, which sadly took me about 30 years to figure out, but that's a very long story and one that probably needs a prologue from a practicing psychiatrist or at least a witch doctor -- and when the balance is good, or even great, you're going to care enough about the characters to give a serious damn what they do in life and where they go and if they end up happy or get their comeuppance or whatever you feel they deserved. Because you've INVESTED in those people, and you DESERVE TO KNOW.

I didn't get this at first. I got it as a reader; I really did. There were plenty of characters that I'd wonder what they were up to now. But when I wrote my very first novel and people would come up to me at booksignings and ask "What are Jules and Sam doing these days?" I would be taken aback and think thoughts like "if only I had a red hotline to Imaginary Character Land I could tell you . . ."

Because I'd created them and then I'd been done with them, I'd forgotten that they lived on in the minds of those who'd invested in their lives during the course of reading my book. This, let me tell you, let me shout from the rooftops, THIS is an amazing gift that readers give authors. For a reader to invest that kind of emotional energy in a character I'd created -- it's humbling and validating and totally blows me away with joy and gratitude. But the first few times I didn't expect it. Authors were the *other* people.

Oh, yeah. Now, me, too.

So sometimes I can tell you a lot about characters that you'll never read in the books, if you're really interested. Sometimes I DO know the answer to the question you're dying to know, but I can't or won't share because it will ruin an upcoming plot twist if I give away the surprise. For example, when I discovered the big secret about the Atlantean priesthood that you're going to find out in ATLANTIS UNLEASHED, I nearly fell out of my chair. (Alaric is freaking out, let me tell you, and he's not much of a freak-outer.)

So, anyway, back to the page proofs, then on to the prep for copyedits for Unleashed. My short story for THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF PARANORMAL ROMANCE is done and edited (had to change "drawers" to "trousers" which tickled me). Then back to new pages on Alexios's book. He's quieter than some of the others in the Seven, so it's interesting to peel back the layers in his character universe until I can see him for who he really is instead of the scarred face he presents to the world.

Oh, and I PROMISE to put the first couple of chapters of Justice's book up on the website by next week. Sheesh. It's October, already. Hmmm, I think I'm going to need more of that pumpkin spice latte . . .

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The other Atlantis

preparing for launch October 10. I'm going to try to go down and see it.
Here's the story - first time since 2001 there've been two shuttles on launch pads at the same time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's Tina Fey's world and the rest of us just live here

Have always loved her and I was thrilled to see her have a glory night last night. (Never forget - First female head writer of SNL!! And since she's gone, it's back to utterly un-funny, but maybe that's just me . . .) And she had the luck to receive one of her Emmys from the lovely David Boreanaz from one of my favorite shows, Bones.

And Christina Hendricks has that Sophia Loren look going on and was utterly glamorous and gorgeous in that green. seriously, I want that dress!! Plus it cemented my desire to be a redhead again.

Did you watch the Emmys? What were your favorite moments and/or gowns? I have to admit the opening was totally awful for me - people who have months to prepare for something and go with the "I have nothing prepared" always annoy me, though. It seems disrespectful to the audience, somehow. I know they were going for funny but it so wasn't.

Rainy here today and a great day to figure out why this chapter isn't working and fix it and move on. Alexios is trying to tell me something - I just don't quite know what, yet. I should get cover art for ATLANTIS UNMASKED soon, so I'll be sure to share.
hugs and happy Monday!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Talk Like a Pirate Day and scary 80s hair

I've been working on Alexios's book, ATLANTIS UNMASKED, and trying to talk him off the ledge (Grace is driving him nuts). These alpha males get flustered easily when their hearts start to become involved . . .

It's TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY so of course I'm driving my kids nuts. (Hey, "nuts" is a theme here). My husband Navy Guy has to do a big inspection at work and I offered him 10 bucks to talk like a pirate while he did it. I'm guessing he didn't . . .

Some friends of mine and I were trading scary '80s hair pictures and this one from high school (those are my baby brothers) made me cringe. The fluffiness, it is scary. OTOH, I'm kind of thinking about going back to this (my actual) hair color? Thoughts? The only downside is that I wouldn't be able to blame my flake-out moments on my blondeness . . .

Have any pirate stories or scary 80s hair you'd like to share?
Alyssa, who promises to start blogging more regularly

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Random Musings

Random Musings because it's just that kind of day - brain is not on track for anything cohesive.

* We're stuck indoors while fierce rain and winds lash down and everybody has cabin fever. I've been reading some books I'm judging for a contest and working on a short story for THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF PARANORMAL ROMANCE that will be coming out with a British publisher (but here in the U.S. too) sometime next summer. It's a satirical take on The Princess and the Pea (all of those shallow princes who fell in love on looks alone always drove me nuts; what if Rapunzel's glorious hair hid the personality of a troll? Who the heck CARED if a princesss could feel a pea under mattresses?). Anyway, mine involves a spoiled princess, a cranky serving wench, and a very surprised elven prince. I'll post a little bit later after I've played with it some more.

* I'm roasting a turkey just because. Love turkey. Love to make turkey veggie soup the next day. Love turkey sandwiches.

* Did I mention the rain? And the first day of school canceled till Monday? And cranky bored kids?

* Michael Phelps eats 12,000 calories a day. I'm taking up swimming. Now. On NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me show, at the end where the panelists make predictions, Peter asked what Phelps would do next. One of the predictions was "go back to his day job as Mayor of Atlantis" and I laughed so hard I nearly snorted Diet Coke on my keyboard. (In a strange coincidence, Alexios's heroine is a former Olympic contender in swimming.)

*Finally, last but certainly not least, I have been overwhelmed by all the gracious posts and private emails from all of you about the delay in the books and my health. I feel so grateful and humbled that you have all been so kind to me. Thank you with all my heart.

hugs, Alyssa - off to carve a turkey :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good news and bad news . . .

VERY IMPORTANT: Okay, the Bad News first.

With many apologies, I have to report that ATLANTIS UNLEASHED will not be released in August as previously reported, but it has been moved to June ’09. I was very, very ill the first half of this year and everything had to be pushed back. I am really sorry that the announcement of the delay didn’t get made sooner; with everything going on, updating websites was far down my priority list. Please accept my sincerest apologies for not letting everyone know about the delay – and that it’s so long – much sooner. Sometimes life and health issues just get in the way, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate you all for hanging in there with me. You are amazingly kind and generous - all of the emails and messages have truly lifted my spirits when things were difficult. Thank you so much.

To help make up for this delay, I’ll be posting free short stories, excerpts and deleted scenes on the website over the next several months until WILD THING is reissued in mass market paperback form in January, and then during the January until June timeframe. Thank you for trying my books and for hanging in there with me when life and health had to come before writing.

The Good News - No, Great News - is that we're going to have a gracious plenty (as my Southern friends say) of Warriors next year. Here's the projected schedule:

January, '09: WILD THING - Bastien's novella in this anthology - will be reissued in mass market paperback at the $7.99 price point for all of those who hate paying $14 for trade.

June, '09: ATLANTIS UNLEASHED - Justice's long-awaited story. Both my editor and my agent said it's the best story in the series yet. It's much much longer than the others (turned it in at 500 manuscript pages) and much darker and more emotional. I hope you love it as much as I do. I so wanted Justice to have his happy ending.

July, '09 - the very month after Justice's book: ATLANTIS UNMASKED - Alexios meets Grace and his life is never going to be the same. I'll have some deleted scenes up soon where you'll meet Grace and see why he's drawn to her.

"Fall" '09 - exact date to come: ATLANTIS REDEEMED, Brennan's book. He met his heroine in Justice's book and oh boy was it an explosion. Plus there is that small problem that he can't remember her the minute she's out of his sight . . . Wow. This one is going to be tough to write my way out of . . . but Brennan deserves the best.

So there you have it. The bad news and the good news. Please accept my sincere apologies for the delay in letting everyone know and thank you so, so much for your kindness in trying my books and for caring about what happens to my Warriors. I am truly blessed to be able to write my stories and I am grateful and humbled that you enjoy them.

hugs, Alyssa
ps There will be excerpts and extras and short stories posted soon on the website - stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Me and dear friend Marianne Mancusi at Sambuca's family style Italian restaurant - home of the bowling ball sized meatballs!!

The whole gang: Marianne and me and Cindy Holby and Barb Ferrer and Liz Maverick. We had a blast!! and then ice cream. oops!

Central Park view at dusk - gorgeous!

Me, Barb, and Best (Assistant) Editor in the World, Leis Pederson at Ellen's

Outside of Ellen's - surprisingly not too long of a wait to get in pre-theater, but I do try to schedule my theater going for Tuesdays and Wednesdays and avoid the weekend crush Loved it, loved it, loved it!!!

Alyssa, who will have more later


Yes, I'm still singing sea with Ursula's song from The Little Mermaid on Broadway (go here for a wonderful snippet if you have time; it has music) last night. (Ursula was played by Meredith Inglesby and she ROCKED THE HOUSE!!!!) Why do I always love the villains best?? Hmm, maybe something to ponder later . . .

The funniest part was when Sebastian made a reference to "Grandpappy Poseidon" and we cracked up!! I was with a very good friend who knows my books and Best (Assistant) Editor in the World, so they laughed so hard and tried to convince me to use the line in my books!! Can't you just see Ven saying something like that when Riley has her baby???

We had dinner at Ellen's Stardust Diner before the theater and it was amazing! All of the wait staff are aspiring singers and dancers and actors, so they sang all through dinner - some of them will be on Broadway very soon, if the level of voice talent is any indicator!! The girls had an amazing time.

And, best of all, I'll post more pictures in a few minutes!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Posted by Picasa
Posted by Picasa

Start spreading the news . . .

New York!!! My favorite city in the entire world!!! I'm here for an entire week and having a blast. We have an amazing apartment (see above for view from my window) and the week is jam-packed with fun, sights-seeing, shopping, museums, spending time with Best Editor in the World, and going to shows. Tonight is Little Mermaid on Broadway. Okay, must run but enjoy the pics!! I'll try to post more daily.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Summer!!

Happy Summer!!!!

Wow! It's been a while since I checked in - crazy crazy times here. But it's finally summer, my darling son graduated from elementary school (how did that happen?? he was just born!!) and no more homework, projects, or early morning alarms! yay!!

How are you all doing? Any fun summer trips?

We are going to a Disney family vacation this week. We're staying at the Wilderness Lodge and doing the whole crazy park-hopping thing. I'm not really theme park girl, but it seems like it would be impossible to have a bad time at Disney. LOL. After that, I'm off to NYC for a week mid July to meet with editors and agents and take my daughter the diva to Broadway camp.

Then of course it's San Francisco the end of July for RWA national. I hope any northern Californians can come out and meet me!

Just had some amazing news!! The More than Magic contest of Romance Writers Ink announced their winners - and ATLANTIS RISING took first place in paranormal! But wait, there's more - ATLANTIS AWAKENING took second place!! But wait, there's more! LOL. This is the most exciting - ATLANTIS RISING is the grand prize winner of all the categories!! I was so honored and thrilled and surprised!! (You can see the full list here - there are so many very talented writers on that list; I'm very proud to be part of it.)

In news you really want to hear, I should finally know the new release date for ATLANTIS UNLEASHED within the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!!!

Okay, more later. I'm off to watch the Tonys. But I promise not to fall out of touch again!!
ps If you've been waiting on a mailing, they're all finally going out this week, we promise!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday free throws

1. Go see PRINCE CASPIAN. Even if you don't have kids. Loved it! I so wish I could have dinner with C.S. Lewis.

2. My dear friend Karen Rose's first hardcover novel just came out and it's brilliant! If you love romantic suspense or even straight thrillers, this book is for you. James Patterson even gave her a cover quote. Check out SCREAM FOR ME now!

3. I'm still at Romance Divas all weekend talking about mythology in writing - pop over and read the posts - fascinating stuff happening.

4. I just wrote a post over there, in fact, that made me realize a basic truth about my dark and twisty mind: I think my subconscious hangs out in bars with Stephen King's subconscious and they shoot tequila together.


5. Remember the Boy Scout Rescue Mission? Found out today that my darling son's class had to write an essay and do a multimedia project on "My Hero" this week - and he wrote about me and did a movie!! I'll see if he can figure out how to load the movie here; it's pretty cool. (And yes, that was the sound of me getting all choked up.)

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Guest blogging!

Come visit me over at Romance Divas with other fabulous authors as we talk about myth in paranormal romance!

Everything Old Is New Again – Using Mythology in Romance

May 16, 17, and 18 at Romance Divas


P.C. Cast

Robin D. Owens

Gena Showalter

Lori Handeland

Alyssa Day

Want to know how to use mythology, culture, fairy tales, or folklore in romance? Romance Divas is hosting a 3-day workshop with some of the hottest names in the genre. It will take place at the Romance Diva Forum. All are welcome. To get access to the forum you will need to register.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Guest blogging!

If you're an aspiring writer, stop by and see me at Romance Vagabonds today. I'm talking about supbplots!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bid on signed books!!

Okay, it's an auction, so you're actually bidding, but author Brenda Novak
has a huge annual fundraiser to raise money to fight juvenile diabetes and you
can bid on a full set of mine HERE!

There are many many more things to bid on, including an African safari!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Great Mommy/Boy Scout Rescue Mission of 2008

And you all thought an author's life was glamorous . . .

So my darling son went away Saturday morning for his first sleepover camp away from home. He's still a couple of weeks shy of his 11th birthday, and I spent most of Friday night hyperventilating. Because:

1. First sleepover camp
2. First camping trip without a parent, just the Scout masters
3. They held it in the Florida Keys. Which is a very very very long way from Jacksonville. (440 miles, to be exact, but more on that later)

Finally, Saturday morning, I decided to let him go. After all, I'm very adventurous. My husband is very adventurous. I didn't want to crush Connor's sense of adventure at such an early age because Mommy was worried.



After more than 10 hours in the van, they finally arrived Saturday night and set up camp. In the swamp. Seriously. Long Key State Park smells like a swamp or a sewage treatment plant. I'm sorry if you're from Long Key, but even driving up to it I could smell the stench through my closed windows. (Driving. Up. To. It. Yes. I'll get to that . . . )

We got a call at breakfast Sunday, things were good. Much camping activity planned. No call Sunday night, but okay, scouting things. Independence. Mommy tries not to worry.

Monday morning the phone rang. It was the scout master. Heart leaps in throat. What's wrong?

Connor is in bad shape. Because the SWAMP they picked to camp in is -- wait for it . . . this is a shocker if you know anything about Florida or swamps . . . A MOSQUITO NESTING GROUND.

The poor kids have been SWARMED. Connor has my blood chemistry, which means that he, too, is very attractive to all manner of stinging insects, and he reacts badly to them. The scout master says, We're all bitten pretty badly, but poor Connor is the worst. The other scout master is on the way to the store for FIVE MORE CANS OF BUG SPRAY.


Connor wants to come home. Also he has a bad scratch right next to one eye.

Okay. I say, reasonably, I think, Are you all coming home early since you're being dive-bombed with mosquitos?


Okay. I say, I'm on my way. Less than an hour later, Tom Tom programmed, daughter ensconced at the home of a very wonderful friend, I'm in the car heading south. Driving south.

Driving. South.

For Four Hundred and Forty miles. South.

Arrive at camp site amidst stench 7 1/2 hours later and bugs start to dive bomb me. Walk through group of very depressed-looking kids, all scratching their bug-bite covered limbs, to find mine. He's in the tent packing up. Say, Connor come out here.

Child is a mass of welts from head to toe. Literally. Swollen up so badly behind his ear, his ear is pushed out from his head. Neck covered, Arms and legs covered. Every available inch of space covered. He's trying to roll up his sleeping bag, I say, forget that, just throw it all in the trunk. We make the mad dash out just before all blood is sucked out of my body by kamikaze mosquitos.

Head 30 miles back up the road, trying desperately to keep poor kid from scratching himself raw. Stop at lovely Key Largo Holiday Inn resort and put child in shower. He comes out and sits in only his shorts on bed while I slather him with half a tube of cortisone cream. EVERYWHERE is covered with bites. They got in his clothes. Bites even in his armpits. Between his toes. Gave him Benadryl, I take shower to wash 440 miles of road off. We head for dinner, he eats like starved thing. Other boys ate faster so he never got seconds.

Back to room, collapse in exhaustion. Wake up Tuesday and drive the 410 remaining miles home.

Wait, are we getting to the glamorous part yet? Oh, no. Hmm. Maybe where I washed 8 loads of laundry yesterday, with all camping clothes, gear, and sleeping bag wet and sandy from beach . . .

But he did tell me he helped clean up a turtle nesting ground Sunday and he was proud of that. (The welts and bruising are healing now.)

We got matching t-shirts and are calling this The Great Mommy/Boy Scout Rescue Mission of 2008. Because you have to laugh about this stuff. And who wouldn't drive 900 miles in 2 days to rescue her kid? It's in the Mommy contract.

But from now on? No camping trips further than 150 miles. Seriously.
Alyssa, trying to survive the final 4 days of spring break

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The happiness of THE END

random stream of consciousness; done the end done red bull done coffee the end diet coke must go to dentist now will snore in chair is that bad?

ok after nap I'll take a look at final clean up; goal is to get this baby to editor by the 21st. Happy happy happy done

Oh, and just filed taxes too so life is happy now. House? Hmm. tornado seems to have hit, indoors, sometime during last month or so . . .


Sunday, April 13, 2008

for some reason I want to take a nap

Could it be the sleepover Princess had last night, where the girls were up, giggling, till midnight? Or could it be some sort of subconscious puggy mind control, because I walked through the family room on my way to find caffeine, and had to pass this:

Fun news!!

Just heard through the grapevine that my good friends Catherine Kean and CL Wilson won in the historical and paranormal categories of the prestigious Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence contest!!

Catherine writes lovely, richly nuanced historical romance that really pull you into her world. And CL spent FIVE YEARS writing the first two books in her series - you better believe they are amazing!!!

Cheers to both of them!!

T-5 . . . continued

Received a lovely note from a reviewer today. She said that she read on my blog that I was going through a rough patch with
revisions, and then she wrote:

"I finished reading the Anthology Shifter yesterday and thought I would
share my review ( I'm a reviewer for a Dutch website on English
(romance) books) of Shifter's Lady with you, just to let you know what
an amazing writer you are and how much we love what you do. We hope
you'll hang in there also on these bad days."

What a thoughtful thing to do - I have to tell you that notes like this and the posts you all make on my blog, and all the emails are so encouraging when life is getting in the way of the writing. I'm back at it today, after yesterday's sinus migraine and "Family Fun" aka "Stand around in the heat and spend $40 on raffle tickets to win nothing but at least we're raising money for the school" Day.

Life is good. I'm very lucky. Hope you're all having great weekends!

Friday, April 11, 2008


Bad day. Brain melting. Child still sick. Will try T-5 again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

T minus 6, and chapter 1 changes again

for the 4000th time, but who's counting????? argh.

ATLANTIS UNLEASHED, copyright Alesia Holliday/Alyssa Day

Four months ago: A cave deep underneath Mt. Rainier, Cascade Range, Washington, United States

Justice took inventory of his condition, his weapons, and his chances, as he’d done so many times before in his centuries as a warrior and came up with:

1) bad,

2) worse, and

3) odds-on favorite to be a dead man in the next five minutes.

Condition, physical:
Currently lying flat on his belly with his face smashed down on the side of a wet and soon to be seriously enraged tiger. Peacock-sized egg on the back of his head from rough handling by the vamp and wolf shifters who’d carried him down the long tunnel from the surface. Possible cracked rib or two. The ketamine they’d darted him with was mostly worn off, due to the nature of the Atlantean immune system, but he wouldn’t bet any gemstones on his ability to transform into mist.

Condition, mental: Fury bordering on homicidal rage. In other words, standard operating procedure. Ha. SOP. Poseidon picked his warriors carefully, or so he’d always heard.

The sea god must have been multi-tasking the day he decided to add Justice’s name to the list.

Weapons: None. The sword he’d worn for hundreds of years--indeed since the king of Atlantis had given it to him with not a single word of explanation but only a look steeped in contempt—gone. The slightly less-dumb of the two shape-shifters standing guard over Justice and his furry friend Jack stood off toward the mouth of the cave, fondling Justice’s sword like he couldn’t believe his luck.

The shifter wouldn’t have his sword for long. That was a vow.

Justice would have smiled if he wouldn’t have ended up with a mouthful of wet tiger fur.

They’d taken his daggers, too. The better to kill them with.

The drugs were probably still interfering with his access to Atlantean water and energy powers, too. He’d assume he was powerless; didn’t want to rely on the unreliable when he was otherwise weaponless against two wolves and a tiger.

Chances: He’d bet his Atlantean powers against most shape-shifters, even in close quarters like this, but five hundred pounds of tiger? Even one who was sort of a friend when he walked on two legs and called himself Jack?

He’d have to call it even odds. And that was before he ever got to the two wolves.

But Justice knew one critical fact: he’d rather spend eternity roasting in the lowest of the nine hells than spend one more minute with his face pressed into the side of a wet tiger.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Okay, I'm doing the 7 day countdown to turning in the revised version of ATLANTIS UNLEASHED by the 15th. Suffer along with me (and my friend Barbara Ferrer is doing the same). My brilliant and long-suffering editor has suffered long enough waiting for this book. Everybody please send me "Brain not-melting" vibes and cyber chocolate, okay?

In more fun news, here's an interview with Kendra Leigh Castle, author of CALL OF THE HIGHLAND MOON, out now!!

Alyssa: Tell us about your world and why it called to you:

Kendra: Big sexy men in kilts, magic and, does Scotland NOT call to anybody? Okay, so maybe that's just my own fixation at work (Seriously, though! Hot guys in kilts!). But I've always loved romances where the Highlands were involved. Well, Highlanders, to be more specific. And anything supernatural pulls me right in, always has. So I developed the idea of a remote estate in the Western Highlands of Scotland where the actual Stone of Destiny (not the one currently on display in Edinburgh) is guarded by a pack of werwolves whose origins are shrouded in mystery. Civilized by a saint and assimilated into the Clan MacInnes a thousand years ago, the MacInnes Wolves roam the part of my world that I like best: the magical part that bumps right against the everyday reality we all live in. I've always wanted to cross that border and see what was I took a peek, and there was Gideon MacInnes, tapping his foot impatiently and refusing, in his delicious Scottish brogue, to wear a kilt. I feel that the butt-hugging jeans were a fair compromise.

Alyssa: Why will readers fall in love with your hero?

Kendra: Gideon is my favorite type of hero: strong, stubborn, smart, loyal, and charmingly imperfect. I just loved the idea of this big, handsome Highlander who's always been the "good son," who always welcomed having responsibility heaped on him, trying to cut loose just once and having his well-ordered universe come down around his ears. He might be a big, tough werewolf, but Gideon has a good, honest heart, and I hope that's what readers love about him.

Alyssa: Why will readers identify with your heroine?

Kendra: Smart, funny, and self-deprecating, Carly Silver has a strong attachment to her home and family, who she loves even though they make her crazy. She's driven and ambitious when it comes to making her business, a romance-centric bookshop called Bodice Rippers and Baubles, a success, and is really pretty happy with her life. Except for the part where she's way more successful with animals than with men, that is. She has no idea how beautiful she is, which is one of the reasons it was so much fun to land a real live hero straight out of fantasy on her doorstep to tell her. Carly is someone I would be glad to have as a friend, and I'm hoping that my readers feel the same way!

Alyssa: What has been the most surprising thing to you about becoming a published author?

Kendra: I guess I'm still learning to deal with the fact that this isn't just me plugging away at a story on my laptop's an actual business! I'm not just writing a I'm also fielding revisions, edits, publicity, etc., on top of the book writing, and trying to balance all of that with my day-to-day "mom stuff" that goes along with having three young kids. It's a step learning curve, but I wouldn't trade it. And I even almost actually wrote something in my day planner the other day. Sanity through better time management: I'm getting there.

Alyssa: What's next on the horizon?

Kendra: The sequel to Call of the Highland Moon, called Dark Highland Fire, will be out in October, and I'm currently working on story that comes after that one. The werewolves and some of their otherworldly counterparts are keeping me very busy!

Alyssa: How can readers learn more?

Kendra: You can visit me at my website. I also blog twice a week at Wickedly Romantic.

Alyssa: Just for fun, what is your favorite movie that you've seen lately?

Kendra: Oh, tough one! I don't get to the movies nearly as much as I'd like. The last thing I saw at the theater that I really loved was Enchanted. I'm always up for a fractured fairy tale, and I think Disney did a great job poking gentle fun at their oh-so-perfect cartoon princesses by moving one into modern day New York City. And then giving her Patrick Dempsey (*drool*)! Poison apples? Helpful sewer rats? Giant dresses and over-the-top dance routines in Central Park? I'm SO there. Yes, mentally, a part of me is still five years old. It's part of my, um, charm.

So that's it for now - send me GO ALYSSA, GO JUSTICE vibes and cyber chocolate, and check out Kendra's book if you have time. THANK YOU!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

All that and chocolate bunny ears!!!!

Wow! I have so much to be thankful for!! Tomorrow is our 12th wedding anniversary. It has been an amazing twelve years, and my husband is a true romantic hero. If it weren't for his support, I'd still be practicing law, instead of writing the books and telling the stories that I love so much.

Tomorrow is also the day that the printed New York Times newspaper with my name on the actual bestseller list comes out!! And it's going to happen again next week!! Yep, we found out that SHIFTER is #14 on the NYT list for the second week in a row!! Woohoo!!

There will be chocolate bunny ears to nibble to my heart's content, and everyone is healthy and happy here. I'm feeling so lucky and grateful these days, and I wish all of you the very happiest of Easters and as many chocolate bunny ears as you can possibly eat!!

Speaking of delicious (didn't you love that segue? LOL), my dear friend Julie Leto's rocking paranormal romance, PHANTOM PLEASURES, is coming out soon!!! And to celebrate, she's doing some great giveaways at her blog,
starting Monday!
She's not only giving away a chapter a day of her upcoming paranormal romance, PHANTOM PLEASURES, but she's also sweetening the pot by offering a $20 Amazon/Borders gift card per day to anyone who leaves a comment. So stop by and check it out! You'll be glad you did.

And enjoy those bunny ears.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Thank you all 10000 times!!!!! I’m thrilled beyond all measure to report in that SHIFTER kicked some serious butt on the bestseller lists!!! I give so much credit and thanks to my fabulous co-authors and my brilliant, wonderful readers!!!

Here’s the tally:

14 on the freaking NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST!!!! This is the biggie, folks - the absolute pinnacle of publishing success. Wahoo!!!

45 on the USA Today list - which means if you bought the paper today, you could find us listed in the LIFE section!! This list contains all books sold - fiction, nonfiction, childrens, cookbooks, you name it. Wahoo!!!

And all sorts of other wonderful ones, including NUMBER ONE bestselling romance for all Waldenbooks and Borders!! Guess you used that coupon! LOL.

Anyway, it has been champagne city around here. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.



Friday, March 07, 2008

Free short story - on its way!!

I'm a little behind on posting the free short story on my website since I'm in mad turnaround on revisions. Look for it by the 15th!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I'm so thrilled!! Finally!! SHIFTER is in stores today, with Ethan and Marie's story in Shifter's Lady!!

Stop by my website for excerpts and more exciting stuff!!

UPDATE!! A COUPON!! If you go to your local Borders or Waldenbooks (love them!!), use THIS COUPON to save $1.00 on SHIFTER and many other of your fave books!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


And I've posted an excerpt!! Go to my website and log in to the members-only section, go to Extras and Excerpts and read away!! I hope you love Ethan and Marie as much as I do!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I'm issuing a blanket apology to the universe for my crabbiness. I have so much to be grateful for - my family, our health, that my husband is home now instead of off in a war zone. My wonderful readers. I think I'm going to start a gratitude journal in one of my lovely, unused notebooks to focus on the positive instead of the negative. What are you grateful for today?
hugs and thanks for putting up with me!!
PS here's my favorite paragraph of the day as I go through edits:

Keely felt a wave of dizziness threatening to topple her from her feet. In the space of an hour, she'd gone from her nice, calm, bland office at Ohio State to a place where crazy people were planning to kill themselves or somebody else, to rescue more crazy people, who were running through a place that couldn't possibly exist, because of a vampire goddess, who couldn't possibly exist.

“Of course, I am standing in Atlantis," she said out loud, staring up at the dome over her head, again. "Either that, or I'm having some sort of psychotic breakdown."

- Atlantis Unleashed, c. Alyssa Day

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Snippets from the universe of Karma

Things never to say:

1. My child would NEVER act like that! (the parenting fates will smack you down for this one, every time!)

2. I NEVER miss deadlines or ask for extensions! (until you've had to deal with a lot of deadlines, one on top of the other, in addition to a few life crises at the same time, saying this is just annoying to every other writer in the world)

Things never to do:

1. Go in the express lane at the grocery with way more than the designated number of items.

2. Tailgate another driver. Just DON'T do it. Ever. Especially to me. The next minivan that rides my tail because they're so hot to break the speed limit in my neighborhood is going to be very unpleasantly surprised when I stop dead in the middle of the road, get out of the car, and start yelling.

3. Separate me from the Diet Coke or chocolate on deadline.

Alyssa, a teensy bit stressed out (could you tell??)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Random snippets

Words: My word of the day e-mail from (yes, I'm a geek, I know this, but we writers all have a mad love affair with words so better to just admit it) was virago. What struck me were the 2 so very contradictory definitions:

virago \vuh-RAH-go; vuh-RAY-go\, noun:

1. A woman of extraordinary stature, strength, and courage.
2. A woman regarded as loud, scolding, ill-tempered, quarrelsome, or overbearing.

Strange, that. Speaks volumes about how society thinks of strong women. My Atlantean heroines are strong women, and Marie in Shifter's Lady in SHIFTER is no different. But she has a quiet sort of strength that is no less powerful for being gentler.

Deadline brain: Yesterday I sat at dinner and asked where the butter was. My son glanced at me, startled, then at the butter, where it sat not 3 inches from my plate. "Um, Mom," he said, very cautiously. "It's right here."
My daughter said, "Oh, oh, deadline brain."


happy weekend!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

when we meet Keely


Chapter 4

Archaeology Department, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Dr. Keely McDermott folded her arms, realizing that both of the men in her cramped office could read her body language like a red warning flag, but not giving much of a damn. “I don’t care how prestigious it is, or what an honor, or which government is asking. I need a vacation.”

The powerful-looking man in the black suit opened his mouth to speak, but she held up a hand to stop him. “Look, Mr. Liam--"

“Just Liam,” he said, a trace of impatience in his voice.

She studied his chiseled cheekbones and the waves of silken black hair that were just a shade too long for him to be a standard-issue government flunky. The breadth of his shoulders and chest combined with his towering height didn’t add up to cubicle jockey, either. Not with that kind of muscle. But since when did civil servants start looking like ancient warriors?

Ancient warriors? Where did that thought come from?

Keely blinked. For half a second there, his midnight-blue eyes had seemed to flash silver at her. She wasn’t just tired, she was at a whole new level beyond tired. Zombiefied, maybe. She glanced at her discarded gloves, which lay on her desk. But she didn’t need them; everything had been cleared. She was safe in her office. “Okay, Liam. Here’s the thing.”

She lifted her shoulders and rolled her neck to try to alleviate the tension that had knotted her up into hunchback status. “I spent eighteen months out of the past twenty working the Lupercale. Eighteen months, three cave-ins, one mugging, and two trips to the emergency room.” She shook her head. “You’d think my Italian would have improved more by now.”

George Grenning spoke up from where he hunched in a chair by the door, seemingly trying to fit his lanky frame into the smallest possible space. He’d worked with her for five years and was head of her department, but he still didn’t seem to have any self-confidence, even though he was her boss and had fifteen years on her. “You’ve been back a week, Keely, and still haven’t told me much about it. The Lupercale. The actual cave where a she-wolf nursed Romulus and Remus, the twin founders of Rome. I’d give my left arm to have been invited on that dig.”

Keely’s eyes narrowed, but George’s open, affable face showed only a touch of awe, no envy. Archaelogy was a small world, and academic politics lent themselves more to backstabbing professional jealousy than any true camaraderie, as she’d learned, painfully, through her own experiences. Even though he outranked her in the office and in the field, her special . . . talent . . . meant that she was highly in demand.

Highly in demand, in spite of the fact that nobody knew she was anything but normal.

Liam turned the full effect of his “I am in command” stare on George, who shriveled even further. “Dr. Grenning, while I appreciate professional curiosity, I have very little time. Perhaps you could excuse us while Dr. McDermott and I discuss the parameters of our request?”

Keely almost laughed at the sheer nerve of the man. He’d just dismissed George from her office. “George stays,” she said flatly, lifting her soda can. Maybe a little caffeine would help. “And you’re not the only one with very little time. I said no, so perhaps you should be on your way?”

Liam clenched his jaw, and the illusion of pleasant persuasion he’d worn like a mask faded, leaving stark arrogance and command stamped on his features. “I would be more than pleased to accept your denial, except that my high prince has tasked me with this mission,” he gritted out. “We are aware of your Gift, Lady Keely. We know you are an object reader, and as such you possess a Gift believed long lost in the waters of time. For that reason, and because of your reputation as a brilliant archaeologist of impeccable integrity, it is my honor to invite you to Atlantis.”

Keely’s laughter got trapped in her throat as she looked into his eyes, which now smouldered with pure liquid silver, distracting her. “How do you do that thing with the eyes? And, seriously? Atlantis? The lost continent? You--"

The beginning of his statement suddenly registered, and she shot an alarmed look at George, who was staring avidly at the psycho who claimed to be from Atlantis. “My what? I don’t know what you’re talking about, and clearly you’re a nutcase. Atlantis, right. Sure, let me pencil that in.”

She pretended to scan her desk calendar. “I can fit that in two weeks from now, right after I excavate Oz.”

Liam never cracked a smile. “I know not this Oz, but your priorities just changed.”

- copyright Alesia Holliday, writing as Alyssa Day, 2008 for Berkley Sensation

Friday, February 08, 2008

at least my feet are ALWAYS warm . . .

You'd never guess I have a big old house for them to run around in . . .

Oh, oh. Brennan's in trouble . . .

from ATLANTIS UNLEASHED, coming in August (but don't forget SHIFTER coming in 3 weeks!!) I'm on the final week of this book and thought I'd share little snippets so you don't forget about poor Lord Justice, trapped by Anubisa . . .


Before Alexios could move, Brennan flashed through the room, a miniature meteor shower of sparkling mist blasting through the air in his wake. He swept the woman up into his arms and turned to face Alexios and Christophe. He bared his teeth at them; all that naked rage and fury was once again on his face and battling with something else. Something shining and deadly, like an unsheathed sword.

Something Alexios had never once seen from Brennan.

But he’d definitely seen that look from someone else recently. When Prince Conlan looked at Riley, his bride-to-be.


“Damn,” he muttered.

“Brennan, put down the nice human,” Christophe said, grinning. “She’s--"

Mine,” Brennan said flatly. “She’s mine. Come near her and die.”

Alexios lowered his sword arm and sheathed his weapon, then sighed and lifted his head to stare at the ceiling. “Great. Just freaking outstanding. Unconscious bloody humans, Justice possibly in the Void, and Brennan has lost his tiny little mind. Welcome to my nightmare.”

An icy wind sheared through the room and materialized into the form of high priest Alaric, clad all in black that was only alleviated by the shimmering silvery green light of the power glowing in his eyes. “You are in luck, warrior. I specialize in nightmares.”

- copyright 2008, Alesia Holliday writing as Alyssa Day & Berkley Publishing Group

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Historic Day

No matter what your political beliefs, today is an historic day. Two of the major candidates are a woman and a black man. One of them is going to be in the race for president. Think about that! This never could have happened back when I was a child, and now I can watch the Super Tuesday results with my children and know that a new era is finally beginning. I am so proud that this day finally, finally came for us.

Terrific Book Tuesday!!

I'm thrilled to share that my friend Colby Hodge's new book TWIST is out now!!!

I interviewed Colby, and here's what she had to say about TWIST:

There’s always a moment….

Abbey Shore never intended to be the savior of the world; it was just something that happened. She’d expected her importance no more than her father’s tragic death—or the fact that she was left poor and “flipping” houses in the Chicago suburbs to finish college.

And there was no way that she could have predicted the house on which she was currently working had an odder occupant than the usual resident ghosts: a swirling nether vortex that would not only reunite her with the handsome Doctor Shane X from the Sacred Heart’s ER, and the eerie, leather-clad beauty who’d seemed to shadow his every move, but send her one hundred years into the future, into a dying land filled with roving bands of humans fighting to survive, and the “ticks” against whom they fight.

Oh yes, Abbey’s life has had a… Twist

ALYSSA: TWIST is a departure for you – what made you want to write in such a different universe?

COLBY: Wow. That is a really hard question. It's not something I set out intentionally to do, as in hey, I want to start writing Urban Fantasy, it was more like Shane appeared in my head and the world formed around him and the opportunity presented itself with the new Shomi line. It was one of those times when the planets aligned correctly. I do have a lot of dark places in my head and now I let my imagination explore these places. The universe in Shomi was a fascinating one to explore. I love world building and also enjoyed the back and forth with my editor as he made me explain the logic behind the universe. Its a genre I'd really like to continue to explore.

ALYSSA: Tell us about Shomi.

COLBY: Shomi is a new line of cutting edge fiction geared towards the college age market. I like to think of it as a bridge between YA and traditional adult romance. Its purpose is to encourage young people to read. I like it because you can take more risks with untraditional plots and characters.

ALYSSA: Why will readers fall in love with Shane?

COLBY: Shane has seen a lot. In his lifetime he's seen the world go from a pretty happy place to a dark place where every minute is a fight to survive. He's seen a lot of personal tragedy also. Shane is a good person who is forced to do horrible things to survive. Every day he lives goes against every thing he believes in. When Abbey comes into his life, he finally finds something worthwhile to fight for and to die for.

ALYSSA: Just for fun, what movie have you seen lately that you love?

COLBY: Attonement. Loved it. The acting it in was just phenomenal and the story, even though tragic was beautiful. I also just watched Equilibrium with Christian Bale which was really good.

That's it!! Please check out Colby's website and her new book!! It's a wild ride!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

PEARL Finalist (times 2!)

I received some very cool news today! The wonderful readers over at named ATLANTIS RISING and WILD THING (for which I give all credit to the amazing Maggie Shayne, Marjorie Liu, and Meljean Brook) both as finalists for their prestigious PEARL awards for outstanding paranormal romantic fiction. I am so honored to be part of such an amazingly talented group of finalists!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Little Ray of Sunshine for you!

My dear friend Lani Diane Rich's new book will be out February 5th, and it's simply beautiful. Lani and I and a small group of friends have been in this writing thing together since nearly the very beginning of our publishing careers, and it's so important to have people you can turn to in the hard times -- and share news with in the good times. She's good people, and this is an amazing book. I thought I'd interview her for my blog and tempt you to check out her book. If you like funny, intelligent, heart-warming women's fiction, you'll love A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE.

Alyssa: A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE is a departure for you – you’re known for madcap comedy and snarky, fast-paced women’s fiction. But this book is deeper, quieter, and simply lovely. What made you want to move in this direction?

Lani: You know, it's funny, because a few people have seen it as a departure, and I didn't notice! I think it's just a matter of giving the story what it needs. I've always had emotion in my books, but usually used it to flavor the funny. Here I swapped that balance, because that's what this story needed. I had a good time, too, really swinging for the fences with the emotion and not holding back.

Alyssa: No spoilers, of course, but what will surprise readers to learn about EJ as the book progresses?

Lani: That she's not near as tough as she seems. In the opening, EJ has really shut herself off to people, and is in no hurry to reconnect. As the story progresses, she's gradually forced to face everything she'd run away from, and I had a great time writing that transformation.

Alyssa: The theme of mothers and daughters is one you often explore in your books, in myriad intriguing ways. What is it about this often-fraught relationship that fascinates you?

Lani: I think all family relationships fascinate me, but this one especially because it's about women at different stages in their lives, and how those stages conflict. I love writing women past the age of fifty who are still vibrant and flawed and struggling and dangerous and conflicted, and I love writing the daughter who watches this woman in horror and thinks, "How am I going to sit across the table from that?" There are so many levels of subtlety in female relationships, but the mother-daughter relationship is the most fraught with landmines and just fun to write.

Alyssa: What do you WISH someone would ask you about A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE?

Lani: I wish they'd ask about the jokes. I thought, when I went into it, that using jokes as a way for EJ to communicate with Luke was such a great idea - so much opportunity for subtext and humor, and it showed how hard it was for her to be straightforward when it came to what was really important to her. I still like that element, but I didn't realize how hard writing the jokes would be! For the rough draft, I used placeholder jokes just to see if it worked, but when I got to the final draft - because I'm not a fan of stealing someone else's work and it's impossible to find and properly attribute the original writer of a joke - I had to write them myself. I spent a lot of time studying jokes, learning structure, thinking, trying them out on friends. I thought that because I'm a funny girl, writing jokes would be easy, but in order to be good, jokes have to do a lot of heavy lifting in very few words, and it's hard! I want someone to ask me about that so that the next time they hear a good joke, they realize that someone worked hard on that and got no credit and probably no pay. It's an art form, seriously, and it should be appreciated! I finally had to have EJ acknowledge that the jokes she loved best were the bad ones, because I couldn't make them as good as I wanted them!

Alyssa: Okay, this is totally frivolous, but what movie have you seen lately that you love? What movie have you seen lately that I can add to my much-updated WORST MOVIES IN THE WORLD list?

Lani: Oh, man, I don't see a lot of movies; I'm a TV girl, myself. I have gotten into documentaries lately. I really enjoyed Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock?, a doc about a female truck driver in her seventies who bought a $5 painting at a thrift store and forensically proved it was by Jackson Pollock, but the snooty art community came back with, "What are zees fingerprints! Zis is art, not science!" They actually found an acknowledged and provenanced piece by Jackson Pollack with paint dribbles that matched up to her painting, as if he had done them both at the same time, side by side. And still, the art community turned up their noses to her. The woman was offered millions of dollars for it, but she won't sell the piece until the art community admits it's Jackson Pollock, and they never will. I think this movie is great for writers to watch, because the characters are so strong, and what they want is so clear. It's a real-life example of what stories need in order to work; it's just fabulous.

Now for your Worst Movies list... hmmm. I can't think of any off the top of my head. Like I said, I don't see many movies!

Be sure to pop by Lani's website and check out the excerpt for A LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE - you'll be glad you did!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Help a fellow author

Patry Francis is a talented author whose debut novel THE LIAR'S DIARY came out in hardcover from Dutton last spring. The trade paper release is today, January 29th, but a few weeks ago, Patry was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. She's had several surgeries, and her prognosis is good, but given that Patry won't have much energy for promoting, a number of bloggers are banding together to do it for her.

'THE LIAR'S DIARY blog day' is today. Please pop over to
Patry's website and check it out. In support of Patry Francis and this remarkable blog initiative, Penguin Group USA would like to offer 15% off the paperback edition of The Liar’s Diary when purchased online from the Penguin website until 2/15/2008. On the shopping cart page, enter PATRY in the ‘coupon code’ field and click ‘update cart’ to activate it.

If you have a moment, check out her book. Or send her your thoughts and prayers and healing energy. Thank you!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Looking beneath the surface

I have a friend, a writer I truly admire, Stephanie Bond, who gave a tip during a workshop to learn to write in small increments. She can set a timer and write for an hour or even 30 minutes, which means she is far more productive than I. I've tried this and I can even do it if I'm at the very end of a book, when every moment, sleeping and waking, is lived in the alternate reality of the novel's universe, and my own world is only viewed dimly through bewildered eyes.

But usually it takes at least an hour to read and re-read, to sit and dream, staring off into space, before I can fall into the place where the words come exactly as I want them. Well, never exactly, because there is always revising and rewriting, but closely enough that I'm satisfied with the words on the page.

Another technique many writers use is the crappy first draft, or don't-look-down first draft. Where you write anything, just to get it on the page, and then worry about revising later. I've never been able to do this, either. It paralyzes me. The Muse works differently in all of us; the Process is something that I've learned should be left alone. It's an arcane mystery in a world of pragmatism, at least for me, how this thing we call Creativity works.

So I let it be, unanalyzed, and try to be grateful that it works at all. Looking beneath the surface, trying to find the words.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Okay, it amuses me

I played the "which Battlestar Galactica character are you" game and came up with this, which probably should worry me with insights into my evil nature:

Which character are you? And am I the only one who CAN'T WAIT for the final season??

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Creativity and depression

I'm sending thoughts and prayers to Heath Ledger's family, especially to his daughter, today. I cannot imagine how difficult this time must be for them, especially with the media furor.

Many of the journalists have commented on the link between creativity and depression. I know that artists, writers, musicians, and actors have a consistently higher -- much higher -- rate of alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide than the general population. Depression is rampant. Lately, even before this tragedy, I've been wondering what it is about the creative mind that makes us subject to the black pit so much more than "normal" (for want of a better word) folks.

There's a place inside herself where an artist goes - and I include writers and actors and musicians in the word artist, here -- to find the emotion that resonates through our work. Some of us have much darker places than others and must enter those shadowed nooks and corridors of memory and experience in order to create.

Yet others can write/paint/sing about pain from a more surface perspective. They don't have to FEEL the pain to translate it into art. Maybe it's a glib shallowness; maybe it's a healthy way to live and create. Certainly, it's an individual experience.

But for many of us, the experience of channeling creativity invokes the emotion described, and we often feel it at a sharper level than even what we put on the page. The pain informs our work and deepens it; the empathy colors our perspective and point of view. Does it make the work better? It does, or at least we believe it does, to the point of being afraid to seek out medication or therapy with which to better cope with the demons devouring our equilibrium.

What is the answer? I wish I knew. "Outing" depression as a chemical imbalance instead of stigmatizing it as it was in years past is a beginning. Perhaps studies proving that creativity does not suffer when the lowest of lows can be softened would be another step forward.

As a child, I believed that I must live in a garrett in Paris, freezing and starving but for crusts of bread and sips of wine, in order to be a "real" writer. As an adult, I know that creativity doesn't depend on external trappings. As a writer who wrote an entire chapter once in the midst of the hell that is Chuck E. Cheese, doling out "more tokens, Mommy!" every page or two, I can promise you that surroundings mean nothing when the story has you in its hot and sweaty embrace, urging you to write on, write on, write ON.

But who can prove to us that treatment for depression won't blunt the edges of creativity? And until they do, will we be forced to watch shining talents crash and burn all around us?

I don't know. I don't have any answers, just unanswerable questions. I do urge any of you reading this who have suffered with depression to talk to somebody about it. Get help. We're all in this together, and my thoughts and prayers are with you, too.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This may be my next car

The Saturn Flextreme

You can read all about it here, but what really snagged my attention was this line:

As early as 2010 or 2011, "Driving range after leaving the house with a fully charged battery pack and a full tank of ultra-low-sulfur diesel is estimated to be 444 miles."

Think about it!! I'm already considering trading in my beloved BMW convertible for a Prius, but maybe I'll hold out for this one. It's so important for me to be eco-friendly and this is just - WOW! Plus it looks like something a space pilot would drive on her day off, which tickles me.

Chatting with readers this week

I'll be chatting with readers at the Cherry Forums this week and answering all sorts of questions about ATLANTIS AWAKENING. You do have to register to participate, but it's a fairly painless process.

Also, I'm off to get my hair cut CLEAR OFF today and changed back more toward my natural red. Wish me luck!! Will post pics, I promise!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Insomnia really REALLY stinks

Have had 6 hours total sleep in the past 4 days. But I get to do really constructive things, like raise my winning percentage at the Hearts game on my computer to 26% and find little-known internet gems like my new obscure British title:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Milady the Most Honourable Alesia the Prickly of Biggleswade by Biscuit
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Post yours here if you're bored! Oh, and any cures for insomnia would be awesome.
Alyssa, off to drink more coffee

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Happy New Year!!

How is it 2008? I remember being a kid and thinking I'd be positively ANCIENT (i.e. older than 30, LOL) at the year 2000! And here we are nearly at the end of the decade.

I don't do resolutions, but I feel like setting some goals. I'm big on career goal-setting, but this year my goals run more toward the personal:

I'd like to achieve balance. I spent so much of 2007 running around like a madwoman; chasing after my own tail much of the time. Stress-induced migraines and stomach ache were my frequent companions.

This year, I want to do things a little differently. BE a little different. My goals are to:

1. do some travelling for pleasure, not just for work.

2. spend more time with the kids doing things they like and simply enjoying them for the fascinating individuals they are.

3. sitting still and living in the present instead of constantly berating myself with "what's next?"

How about you? Care to share any life goals?
hugs and happy New Year's!!