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!!!