Friday, July 24, 2009

Random thoughts

I'm a little sad. I know, I know, what do I have to be sad about? Career is going along wonderfully, I had the BEST time in DC at conference, life should be all roses and champagne (and red wine; Darling Agent sent another case of wine to congratulate me on this second book's awesome showing on the New York Times list).

But my husband and best friend in the world is still gone for 4 more months (at least; needs of the Navy) and I miss him dreadfully. It's harder than I can explain to go through deployment. The kids miss Daddy and I miss him; not just his presence and hugs but his calm efficiency -- I get to the be the creative person when he's here while he deals with the pest control guy and the lawn and the car repair and taking out the trash and etc. etc. etc. But when he's gone I get to be Mom and Dad and in charge of everything. It's tiring and frustrating, and believe me when I say that all the single parents out there have my total respect. But it's a little different for military spouses who are single-by-deployment. We live wherever the military stationed us, not necessarily near any family support. I have good friends, but it's not like I can say "please take the kids for a week, I'm on deadline."

Anyway, enough whining. I am so fortunate and grateful that we are all healthy and I know how lucky I am. I'm just . . . a little sad. Please do me a favor and hug a military spouse or single parent friend of yours. Take them to lunch, offer to watch the kids for an hour, or have a margarita evening. Something. It's kind of lonely sometimes, and friends mean everything to us.

OK, enough of that. What's new? I'm trying to get caught up after conference. We're in the middle of packing up all the books we're sending out to you, so if you were a winner from my newsletter contest, please be patient. This has been a crazy week. We'll get them out as soon as we can!

We saw Harry Potter - I'm not sure I loved it. It seemed to go on too long and yet not cover enough of the book. What do you all think?

Also strangest thing I've heard myself saying lately: "Do NOT unclog the toilet with that sword!"

Ah, yes. The glam life of the NYT bestselling author continues . . . ROFL.

Oh, and I'm going to get a tattoo. Hee.

So what's up with you?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Life, it is surreal

Just keep staring at the New York Times list and having moment of shock to see the books I'm sandwiched between:

27 ANGELS AND DEMONS, by Dan Brown. (Pocket)
28 ATLANTIS UNMASKED, by Alyssa Day. (Berkley)
29 THE BOURNE SANCTION, by Eric Van Lustbader. (Grand Central)

Um, really??? Really???

Personal note to my readers: I want to make you all chocolate cake. Seriously. Everybody come to my house for cake and champagne. All week long. I adore you beyond all reason.


Alyssa (Oh, and in the "real world" I'm unpacking from conference and doing mounds of laundry, ah the glam life. I bet Dan Brown and Eric Van Lustbader are NOT doing laundry. I'm just saying . . .)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Washington D.C. RWA conference happiness!!

Wow! This week is crazy. I wasn't sure what bringing kids to conference would be like, but was determined to be low key about it and have a good time and not stress about what I was missing, and so far so good. They've been great and really helpful - all 3 of us helped set up the giant signing which raised money for literacy charities and they've been having a blast meeting so many of my friends and colleagues.

OK, I don't know how to begin to break this down unless I do it day by day so here goes:

Monday, flew in, cab to Marriott Wardman park - gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I don't know what I expected from the largest conference hotel in DC but it wasn't this. Beautiful landscaping, feels almost like being in a country estate. flowers everywhere. Location is terrific, too, only blocks from the zoo and surrounded by many many places to eat and little shops too (already hit the CVS for the loaf of bread, jar of peanut butter, and jar of jelly. (did I mention kids? LOL)

Threw kids in wonderful outdoor pool Monday evening to burn off travel energy

and then hung out with friends. Even slept! In a hotel! which I can never do!

Tuesday: off to the spy museum first thing. This place is insanely wonderful. My son is still telling everyone we see that they MUST go - and I have to agree. He and Eileen Carr's sons went on a special interactive 1-hour program where they actually became spies, deactivated a nuclear bomb, and saved Canada. Or Kandar. I wasn't exactly sure. But they loved it! The rest of us toured the rest of the place, which is also hugely interactive and very very cool. Princess climbed through the overhead duct system spying on the crowds and felt very "spy-ish" she told me. Success!!

Lunch at a microbrewery and we were fueled up for an afternoon at the Smithsonian. Air and Space first, saw Amelia Earhart's plane and went to a show at the Planetarium. LOVED it! Rejoined the Smithsonian since there are good chances we'll move here next summer and then of course blew some more money in gift shops. A quick sweep through Natural History and then back to the hotel with our aching feet.

Dinner with Serena Robar, Cindy Holby, and Barb Ferrer, where I received a photo of my first-ever "dump" - a standalone cardboard case of only my books that gets prominent placement in the stores!! My friends and I were squeeing (embarrassed kids again; theme of the week. Heh.)

Will tell all about Wednesday later, including my 5-minutes before the booksigning news that I HIT THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST AGAIN!!! Thank you again!!!

But for now, pictures!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

ATLANTIS UNMASKED in stores now!!!

Sightings in bookstores abound! And this time you only had to wait one short month! Yay!

I had so much fun writing Alexios's story - especially after he and Grace seemed to have such a strong connection in Unleashed. I couldn't wait to discover more about her - she is my first warrior heroine and I absolutely love her. Strong, funny, and totally in control - except when it comes to Alexios.

Of course, he's exactly the same way about her!! And the scene between Alexios and Alaric on the waterfront where they have a very uncomfortable conversation about "feelings" made me laugh so hard even as I was writing it. I hope you enjoy it as much.

I'm actually doing some booksignings, too! I'll be at my local Borders here in Jacksonville this Sunday the 12th with 10 other authors; then I'm with hundreds of authors at the giant literacy fundraiser booksigning at the RWA national conference next Wednesday, July 15, and I'm doing a signing with the wonderful Karen Rose in Altamonte Springs, near Orlando, Florida, on August 8th. All details are on my "About Alyssa" page of my website in the left column. I sure hope to see some of you there!

Please feel free to share and forward this post everywhere book lovers may gather and THANK YOU!!!

Thank you, as always, for reading my books. I appreciate it more than I can ever tell you.

Happy July!!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Excerpt snippet time!!

Woohoo!! Atlantis Unmasked releases Tuesday (sightings are already pouring in) so here are some "get you in the mood" snippets:


“It’s almost impossible to shoot a bow while driving.”

Grace Havilland clenched her fingers around the steering wheel of the Jeep and waited for the Atlantean warrior riding shotgun to respond to what she thought had been her very reasonable point.

Waited. Waited a little longer.

She’d met Alexios months ago and seen him sporadically since, but she’d never been in such a small space with him. It felt like being trapped in a cage with a lion that’d just eaten a full meal. Deadly, dangerous, and exhilarating, but maybe—just maybe—you’d live through it.

Unless he suddenly felt like a snack.


Alexios looked around the crowded lobby, remembering the countless times he’d waited for one or another of his fellow warriors to be healed. Unlike the healing chambers in Atlantis, which were an oasis of serenity—all fresh air and sunlight, soft silken cushions, and masses of flowers from the palace gardens-- this room where desperate and injured humans waited smelled of sweat, blood, antiseptic, and despair.

Grace huddled in an orange plastic chair, strangely diminished without her many weapons strapped to her body. He stood across the room from her, leaning against a battered vending machine, and tried to think of a time he’d seen her without them, but came up empty. The bow, knives, and guns were part of her; oddly dissonant to her beauty and her name.

Grace. It suited her. She was Grace in motion, in and out of battle. Except now, when she hunched in that ugly chair, arms wrapped around her knees, waiting for the bleakest kind of bad news.


“Hello, Grace.”

She jumped a little at the sound of his voice; the sound she’d been waiting for—and dreading--all morning. Coffee splashed over the rim of the mug, stinging her fingers. “Ouch!”

“Not the greeting I would have expected, but you do have a history of surprising me.” The amusement colored his voice until it was as rich and dark as the coffee.

She told herself the shiver snaking down her neck was simply because of the cold. He couldn’t possibly be as formidable in reality as he was in her memories. Adrenaline-fueled attraction, that was all.

Pasting what she hoped was a friendly but neutral expression on her face, she put the mug down and swung around to face him. “Alexios. Welcome. We’re glad you’re here. Did you just get in through the magic doorway?”

It hadn’t been the adrenaline.

He was tall. Broad-shouldered and lean-hipped with the exact muscular body type she’d always found irresistible, but that wasn’t what she saw first. It wasn’t what anyone would see first.

In the bright afternoon sunlight that turned his mane of thick hair the color of molten gold, the sight of his scarred face was almost shocking. She’d seen him—seen his face—several times before, but always in the night time. Always in the dark. The merciless quality of the winter sunshine cast dark shadows along the jagged edges of the badly healed gouges. The left side of his face was scarred from temple to chin, leaving only his left eye and, oddly enough, his nose, whole and unmarked. But the right side was perfection; both counterpoint and mockery to the damage it mirrored.

The half-smile that had quirked at the edges of his lips faded under her perusal and she was suddenly desperately ashamed. How long had Alexios been forced to endure the stares and speculation? And, worse, what torture and unimaginable pain had he suffered that could have caused such scars?

His narrowed eyes, rapidly turning the deep, turbulent blue of a storm-tossed sea at dusk, gave her the answers: far too long and far too much.

“No," he replied, a grin quirking the edge of that sensual mouth. "I took the tram.”

More tomorrow! Whee!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

ABC Family channel: you FAIL. FAIL FAIL FAIL

Imagine my horror and disgust when we're freshly home from the pool and watching Scooby Doo (my 9 y.o. daughter, 12 y.o. son and I) and a commercial for upcoming ABC Family programming comes on. The girls in the spot are driving along listening to a tape from Dad, apparently, where he warns them about venereal diseases.


When the fire quit coming out of my ears, I wrote this, using the contact information on the ABC Family site:

"I am absolutely furious that you're blasting commercials on your family-friendly programming that feature the words "gonorrhea, syphillis, and genital herpes" over and over. My nine-year old is trying to watch Scooby Doo, of all safe and family-friendly shows, and was subjected to this garbage. I expect better of you and am very disappointed that you are letting down your target demographic in such a huge and awful way."

Since when are venereal diseases funny? Or --and hey, ABC "Family" -- family-friendly topics?

Anyone who has read my books knows I'm no prude. But there's a huge difference between what adults choose to read and what young children have blasted at them on a channel touting itself as family friendly.

Change it, ABC Family. Change it, now.