Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wedding Planning

A funny thing happens when you get engaged. Suddenly you're thrown into planning the biggest party of your life, i.e. your wedding. Which is awesome, but kind of daunting at the same time. Especially since we're having the wedding in Kingsland, Texas, where Jacob's parents have their gorgeous lake house. When I saw the house for the first time two summers ago, I knew then and there if we ended up getting married, I wanted that to be the spot.

The good thing is Jacob's mother has been amazingly great about helping us with all the details that have to do with holding a wedding there. (Tent, tables, chairs, linens, place settings, dance floor, food, cocktails - there's so much!) I'm very lucky to be getting such a fab person as my future mother-in-law and I'm immensely grateful for her help.

So a few of the details we've decided so far. We're going to hopefully have the ceremony itself down by the lake outside, then the reception in a tent near the house. (Closer to bathrooms and electricity and such.) The dress will be garden party casual - since it'll likely be high seventies, low eighties. I'm all about having guests be comfortable. For dinner we're going to have a combo, hopefully, of tex-mex food and bbq. What else WOULD you have for a Texas wedding? :)

I found a DJ that I like - hopefully we can book them. It's a husband/wife team from Austin that seems indy and cool and not cheesy. (I have a great fear of a cheesy DJ!)

What I have NOT done is gone to look for a dress yet. Mainly cause it's daunting and also expensive! New York has to charge a real surcharge on gowns to pay the rent on their expensive salons. Maybe I'll rent a car and drive to shops in Jersey instead. I don't know. I have been looking at photos though and kind of know the styles I want. Of course, some of what I like wouldn't work in an outdoor wedding and agan I want to be comfortable rather than overdressed. So I'm thinking something classic, but simple. Like these:

Anyway, we'll see what they look like me in real life. :)

That's about all I've got so far. But stay tuned. I'm sure you'll hear a lot in the coming months. After all, April really isn't that far away!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

I want to believe

Part of my job is going and interviewing celebrities. And I've done so many of them now that usually it's not that big of a deal. But there are some exceptions - when the celebrities are those I personally admire. And there aren't many I admire more than David Duchovny. So when the invitation came in my email to interview him about the upcoming season 3 of Californication, I squee'ed very loudly!

David Duchovney and me

I was also a bit nervous. You see, when meeting a celeb, it invariably changes your opinion of them forever. I usually put them in one of two camps - the nice and the jerks. For example, John Stamos was kind of a jerk. Lauren Conrad - awesomely nice. Recently I got to meet Diablo Cody and she was totally cool.

In any case, I was really worried. What if one of my favorite actors turned out to be a jerk? What if he sneered at X-Files and the cult following the show has attained. I would be very sad.

But luckily, this turned out not to be the case. He was totally great - really nice and a good interview, too. I asked him about X-Files after all the Californication questions and he said that he would like to do X-Files movies every couple years until he was basically in his grave and that Gillian and Chris Carter were with him. The problem is the studios see "X-Files" and they think summer blockbuster. They don't want them to just do the smaller, darker films like the last X-Files movie was. The kind that are basically just two hour long episodes of the former show and don't have the big smoking man conspiracy type stuff in them. So we'll see.

In any case, it was a great interview and a great way to end a very wonderful week!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Champagne and Caviar, Oh My!

My friend Liz Maverick threw a congratulatory engagement party for Jacob and I last night, complete with champagne and caviar. And not just ANY champagne, mind you, but a beautiful bottle of Cristal.


I was almost afraid to drink it, it was so pretty!

Luckily, though, Jacob didn't have the same reservations.

It was quite a spread! Liz researched all the perfect champagne friendly foods! Almonds, strawberries, dark chocolate, creme, salmon, cheese...

A wonderful night - thank you Liz, for being such a great hostess! We'll always remember - you were first! :)


Thursday, September 17, 2009



PS I said yes! :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend with Mom

This weekend Mom came down for a visit. Poor thing - her flight got delayed 6 hours and she was stuck in the Manchester, NH airport the entire time. Yuck! But once she got here, we had fun, so hopefully it was worth it!

On Saturday, we took her to our favorite pancake place in Jersey City. She had to agree they were the best pancakes ever. Then we headed into the city, fighting the rain, to visit Times Square (and the M&M store) and check out the Fashion Week tents.

mom mm

At night, we went to Rosa Mexicano to have a delicious dinner. I had the carne asada tacos. Mmm!

We played Scrabble at night, which was fun. I'm not very good, but a lucky break in which I was able to use all my letters helped me rally. (Word was "Currents" in case you were wondering!)

The next day Mom and I and Molly headed up to Storm King Mountain to do some hiking. (Jacob was watching the first Cowboys game of the season at home.) It was warm and sunny and we took lots of good pictures. Take a look!

Hiking with Mom - Storm King Mt

Hiking with Mom - Storm King Mt

Hiking with Mom

Hiking with Mom - Storm King Mt

Hiking with Mom - Storm King Mt

Hiking with Mom

Hiking with Mom - Storm King Mt

I'm tired today, but it was a fun weekend!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blood Coven Vampire reboots are ALMOST HERE!

So as many of you know, Berkley has "re-booted" my Blood Coven Vampire series and the release date for the first three re-packaged books is fast approaching. They say we'll start seeing them in stores in the next couple weeks, with the roll-out continuing through November. In addition to the beautiful new covers, they have new back cover copy and I've gone through and updated all the pop culture references and made a few other minor changes. For example Girls that Growl will now end with the cliffhanger ending it was originally supposed to have. I had taken it out originally because we weren't sure if the fourth book would ever be released.

Speaking of the fourth book...Bad Blood is out in January! Not too much longer!! In this book, we go back to Sunny's point of view. And it takes place in the city of sin - Las Vegas. After writing the book, I had a huge urge to go back and visit. Hope to do that in the next year or so. Unfortunately, for those of you who like to collect book editions, there will only be a "new cover" version of Bad Blood - so it won't match your other books if you have the square older editions. It's not a choice I get to make, so I apologize!

Anyway, for those of you who have not yet read the series, here are the new versions and their new back cover copy. You can go to my website for excerpts. Except for Bad Blood - gotta be my MySpace friend to get that excerpt. :)

Two sisters—as different as the sun and the rain. For one, getting into the Blood Coven is to die for. But for the other, getting out could be lethal…

When Sunny McDonald gets dragged to Club Fang by her twin sister Rayne, she doesn’t expect to find anything besides a bunch of Goth kids playing at being vampires. But when some guy mistakes Sunny for her dark-side-loving sister and bites her on the neck, she finds out that his fangs are real—and deadly.

Now, Sunny has less than a week to figure out how to reverse the bite, or else she’s going to end up as the perpetually undead. And not only will she be a vampire, she’ll also be bonded to Magnus—the bloodsucker who bit her—forever. And forever is a really long time…

Two sisters—as different as the sun and the rain. For one, getting into the Blood Cover is to die for, but it seems destiny has something else in mind…

Rayne McDonald had it all figured out. Get turned into a vampire, become the mate of the Blood Coven leader, and live the high-life for all eternity. Too bad the head vamp took a bite out of her twin sister by mistake. Now, not only is Rayne still not a vampire, but she learns she’s a slayer instead—destined to destroy vamps gone bad.

After being recruited by a secret organization, Rayne is given her first mission: infiltrate a seedy bar downtown and expose its vampire owner, Maverick, for purposely spreading a nasty blood virus. Luckily the Blood Coven sends some help—in the form of sexy vampire Jareth. Will vampire and slayer be able to settle their differences and work together to bring down the evil Maverick? Or will they find their own hearts on the line?

Rayne McDonald thought getting into the Blood Coven was the hard part. But now there’s a new breed of trouble in town…and the former slayer and her vampire boyfriend may be the only ones who can stop it.

Now that she’s an official vampire and full-fledged member of The Blood Coven, Rayne assumes her vampire slaying days are over. Sure, she doesn’t have any vampire powers, thanks to a mutated blood virus, but she and Jareth can go out in the sun, which is a pretty good trade-off.

But just when Rayne’s starting to enjoy her afterlife, she’s contacted by Slayer Inc once again. It seems that a member of her high school’s football team has disappeared—and the powers-that-be think the cheerleaders had something to do with it. Now Rayne has to infiltrate the squad before the cheerleaders have a chance to sink their teeth into someone else…

Sunny McDonald is in the ultimate forbidden relationship. Her boyfriend Magnus is a vampire, and the leader of the Blood Coven. Their differences have never been an issue, until now…

When the Blood Coven decides that Magnus needs a mate to be his co-ruler, Sunny’s humanity puts her out of the running. The Coven’s chosen candidate is Jane Johnson, a magna cum laude graduate of Oxford University who just happens to look like a vampiric celebutante.

Sunny is suspicious of a Rhodes Scholar who can’t answer the most basic poly-sci questions, but Magnus brushes it off as petty jealousy. Still, when the Blood Coven goes to Las Vegas for a vampire convention—where Magnus and Jane’s bonding ceremony will be the main event—Sunny and her sister Rayne secretly tag along. And Sunny’s not going home before she learns the truth about Jane. Because not everything stays in Vegas—especially bad blood…

Sunday, September 06, 2009

DragonCon Wrap-up

On my way home from Dragon*Con. Am tired, as would be expected, but it was worth it. Still, we crammed a lot into three days. I spoke on five panels, played Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Simi" in the parade, and changed in and out of a lot of costumes.

The panels at Dragon*Con were great- better, I think, than most of the romance industry conventions I've spoken at. The audiences were large and engaged and asked really good, on-topic questions. And I got to learn some stuff myself - from my highly esteemed co-panelists. Cherie Priest cracked me up the most on Vampires vs. Zombies. (She took the side of vampires. I was zombies. Definitely a worthy opponent.)

I also got to panel with (among others) Heather Brewer, Richelle Mead, Stacia Kane, Susan Sizemore, Carol Nelson Douglas, Caitlin Kittredge, Jackie Kessler and Mark Henry. The Urban Fantasy people are so much fun. Definitely my kind of writer peeps.

Here I am at the "Blood and Fur" panel with Richelle Mead and Heather Brewer. YA Vamp authors unite! :)


The panels were all really well attended, which I love!


So anyway - moving on to costumes. Day one I did a steampunk inspired outfit. Dress is from Hot Topic, waist cincher handmade and bought off Etsy. I did the wristbands myself from leather and stuff I found at Michael's. Steampunk goggles are from Gothic Rennisance. The clockwork butterfly necklace is also from a vendor off Etsy. It was super cool. Oh and the Victorian lace-up boots were actually from Payless!


Leanna was a beautiful Victorian lady in honor of her new book, "The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker", which was just released.


Costume #2 was me as "Simi" the demon from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. Sherrilyn asked Jacob and I to be in the parade as the official Simi and Acheron (her Dark Hunter hero) We got to ride in a Shelby Mustang in front of thousands of people. It was quite an experience!


Jacob dressed as Michael Jackon on day #1. The geeks at the con were slightly confused, but the people of Atlanta loved him!

DSCN0066 - Copy

That night, we met up with Liz, Cheri and Chris for a Time Traveller's ball.

Check out Liz's hair and top hat!

There were a lot of fabulous costumes at the Time Traveller's Ball. Some pretty, some disturbing.




One of my favorite panels at the Con was with Malcolm McDowell of Clockwork Orange fame. Actually just before the panel we found ourselves sitting one couch over from him! He was just hanging out. I wanted to go up and say hi but I felt too nervous and also didn't want to be intrusive. His panel was great though - learned a lot about the behind the scenes of one of my favorite Kubrick films.


Later - when I find someone with a good pic, I will upload the piece de resistance - my Zombie Bo Peep costume. It is a work of art, let me tell you. Very disturbing art! I got a lot of attention from it, which was fun!


Thursday, September 03, 2009

What I've learned from HGTV

So lately I've been watching a ton of HGTV which has numerous house buying shows. The top ones areProperty Virgins, My First Home, and House Hunters. Each has a slightly different format, but the basic idea is a househunter or couple or family tour a variety of houses in their price range and decide to buy one.

It's way more fascinating than it sounds actually and gives me great insight on what I need to look for when it's time for Jacob and I to buy a house someday.

First - people don't really know what they want. They ask for an older neighborhood with big-trees and character - "not cookie-cutter" is a common request. But then they tsk over the tiny bathrooms and closets and low ceilings and small rooms without updated appliances. Older houses with "character" are not new houses with new stuff, end of story.

To me, I'm happy as a clam if the house looks like everyone else's on the block. It's what's on the inside that matters. Big, walk-in closets, master bath suites with separate shower and soaker tub. Big, open floorplans with lots of windows and light. That's what I want - not character. I can create my own character with my own decor.

Second - people judge the home by its current trappings. If it's a model home, they ooh and ah over the furniture and decorations - and always end up prefering it to others. If they hate the current furniture or wallpaper - they won't buy the house - even though those things are so easily changed. People are emotional buyers. They fall in love with a house and it's current "look" rather than consider all pros and cons and looking at the "bones" of the house.

Third - people really want to be close to work. And they'll pick a crappier, smaller, more expensive home in order to be so. For most cities, the older homes circle the inner perimeter and are smaller and more expensive. The nice, big, cheap subdivision houses are always further out. So definitely something to consider.

Fourth - people really expect to walk into a house and buy it - with no money down! They want the seller to pay all closing costs, they don't want to use their savings for a down-payment. Now a lot of these shows were filmed before the crash - but let me tell you, it's giving me a great realization as to why we had the crash. Semi-employed people falling in love with houses they can't really afford and putting no money down or going into an interest-only mortgage. If you can't even come up with $5,000 for closing costs maybe you should just rent for a while and save some money!

Fifth - I personally don't want a fixer-upper. Some people love that kind of project. Not me.

Sixth - You alway have to make some kind of sacrifice. And you need to go into the process knowing what you're willing to give up. Location? Space? Yard? Condition? Only truly wealthy people can get it all.

Seventh - Sandra, the realtor on Property Virgins, is awesome. She's like a realtor and a therapist all in one. I totally want her as my realtor if we ever buy a house!