Monday, August 27, 2012

E.J. Wesley's Cover Reveal Party

I've been on an unplanned blogging hiatus due to distractions stemming from a very busy start of the new school year at the college where I work (damn real life anyway) but I am jumping back into the blogging pool today to help celebrate E.J. Wesley's cover reveal party for his book BLOOD FUGUE. E.J. is totally awesome and one of my favorite bloggers out there, so it's a treat to be able to join in his celebrations. Woo-hoo E.J.!

Here is all you need to know, straight from the man himself:

Author E.J. Wesley is throwing a blog party to celebrate the release of his new book cover and wants you to join in the fun. Jump over to his blog to learn about how you can win some awesome prizes, including $50 toward a cover of your own and advance reader copies of Blood Fugue.

The Rocking Cover!

Cover work by Sketcher Girl, LLC -

What's the Story About?

“Some folks treated the past like an old friend. The memories warmed them with fondness for what was, and hope for what was to come. Not me. When I thought of long ago, my insides curdled, and I was left feeling sour and wasted.”

Jenny Schmidt is a young woman with old heartaches. A small town Texas girl with big city attitude, she just doesn’t fit in. Not that she has ever tried. She wears loneliness like a comfy sweatshirt. By the age of twenty-one, she was the last living member of her immediate family. Or so she thought… 

"We found my ‘grandfather’ sitting at his dining room table. An entire scorched pot of coffee dangled from his shaky hand. His skin was the ashen gray shade of thunderclouds, not the rich mocha from the photo I’d seen. There were dark blue circles under each swollen red eye. A halo of white hair skirted his bald head, a crown of tangles and mats. Corpses had more life in them.”

Suddenly, instead of burying her history with the dead, Jenny is forced to confront the past. Armed only with an ancient family journal, her rifle, and an Apache tomahawk, she must save her grandfather’s life and embrace her dangerous heritage. Or be devoured by it.

BLOOD FUGUE by E.J. Wesley, is the first of the MOONSONGS books, a series of paranormal-action novelettes. At fewer than 13k words, BLOOD FUGUE is the perfect snack for adventurous readers who aren’t afraid of stories with bite. Available wherever fine eBooks are sold September 2012.

Join the Party!

The Open Vein, E.J.'s blog -

E.J. Wesley on the Twitter -

One quick note from me before I get sucked back in to real life. If you aren't already familiar with E.J.'s blog, you really need to check it out. He's a great writer and I've no doubt that the Moonsong series will be fantastic. Congratulations, E.J.!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Short-Lived Stint as a Dog Groomer

Last week I mentioned that I was reading Dog Grooming for Dummies in an attempt to learn how to groom my dog Clancy myself. Sadly, even a book for dummies was not simple enough to prepare me in any way for this task.

I got my supplies ready and was all set to go on Saturday afternoon. My mom agreed to be my grooming assistant and we bribed Clancy with treats so he would behave during our efforts. It turned out that Clancy's behavior was not an issue at all as he was an angel. The only issue was my complete incompetence with a clipper.

I spent two hours trying to clip Clancy and, if you've ever seen a dog with mange, you have a good idea of how poor Clancy looked by the time I was finished with him. He had clumps of hair sticking out all over and the more I tried to even out the clumps the closer Clancy came to being bald.

I finally stopped and called a real groomer in the hopes that someone could repair the damage. Needless to say, the groomer had little choice but to shave Clancy completely in order to even out my disastrous clip job. She tried to be nice and say that my work was not the worst she'd ever seen, but I told her there was really no need to spare my feelings, I knew the truth.

In the end, my attempt to save money by grooming Clancy myself cost me more than twice as much as a regular trip to the groomer. And, it may be years before I am able to look at a clipper again without having traumatic flashbacks. Poor Clancy was completely exhausted by the time the whole thing was over.

On the bright side, Clancy looks cute as can be with his newly shorn locks. And, his fur is so short that he probably won't need a cut again until November or later.

So all's well that end's well, and Clancy has forgiven me for my ill-advised grooming attempt. But, he has made me swear that I will never touch a clipper again and I have a feeling he's going to hold me to that promise.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is hosted each week by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next? 

What are you currently reading? 

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

I've reached Book 5 (and the last installment available for now) of the Song of Ice and Fire series and I am trying to read it as slowly as possible because I hate the thought of being finished with the series. I love Martin's universe and characters so much that I will be sad to say goodbye to the world of Westeros.

Since I got my dog Clancy nearly 5 years ago now, I've had more bad experiences with groomers than I can count. I finally decided to just give it a try myself. I got clippers and other supplies, and I'm now reading Margaret H. Bonham's Dog Grooming for Dummies. The title couldn't be more appropriate for me when it comes to this sort of thing, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that poor Clancy won't end up too humiliated to leave the house after I try my first clip.

What did you recently finish reading? 

Stopover at the Backworlds' Edge by M.Pax. This is the second installment in Mary's Backworlds series, and another great read. It was fun to get back to Craze and his adventures through Mary's imaginative world. I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series.

What do you think you'll read next?

When I first participated in this bloghop a few weeks ago, Tim at Life of Riles mentioned that he was reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. By coincidence, I had just ordered the book that same day as I had heard so much about it. Since then I've seen it popping up everywhere and I'm really looking forward to getting into it soon.

Last week my mom and I visited the Cincinnati Museum Center to see their current featured exhibit, A Day In Pompeii. I loved the exhibit and was totally fascinated by the glimpse into the lives of the people of Pompeii before the city was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius. I saw Robert Harris' Pompeii in the museum shop after viewing the exhibit and it caught my interest.

Thanks as always to MizB for hosting this fun hop!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome Carol Kilgore!

I'm excited to have Carol Kilgore as my guest today as part of her In Name Only blog tour. Carol is stopping by to talk about one of my favorite subjects - dogs!

Take it away, Carol.

Hi, Julie. Thanks for hosting me here on What Else Is Possible. I'm excited to be spending some time with you and your followers.

I know you are a big pet person, so I thought I would talk about a pet that appears in my debut novel, IN NAME ONLY. The pet is a little coppery-colored Chihuahua named Chica.

Just like her human, Maxie Lamar, Chica is full of pep, with a personality to match. She is definitely the hero of her own story. And you'll need to read IN NAME ONLY to see how it plays out.

As soon as I knew the role Maxie would play in the story, I knew she needed a companion. The first thing I thought of was a cat, but almost as soon as the word cat formed in my mind, I knew Maxie wouldn't be content with a cat. She needed a small dog—one that was her canine equivalent. Given the Padre Island setting for the story, a Chihuahua seemed appropriate.

What do I know about Chihuahuas? I grew up with one named Little Bit, but I know I'm not an expert. 

So I looked online before writing Chica's part to make sure my memories were correct. Most were. But I had an ace in the hole. My neighbor has a Chihuahua. Our backyards join, so I spent some time standing on a bench and peering over the fence to watch the Chihuahua and her sisters, two toy fox terriers.

I have two large male herding dogs, a rescue border collie and a blue heeler (Australian cattle dog). Both of our dogs have strong herding instincts, but each herds in a different way. Our heeler even tries to herd ducks. I love watching them try to herd each other.

But when our boys and our neighbor's girls are all together, there's not one bit of herding going on. The little Chihuahua rules. Just like Chica!

No home. No family. No place to hide. For Summer Newcombe, that's only the beginning.

The night Summer escapes from a burning Padre Island eatery and discovers the arsonist is stalking her, is the same night she meets Fire Captain Gabriel Duran. As much as she's attracted to Gabe, five years in the Federal Witness Security Program because of her father’s testimony against a mob boss have taught her the importance of being alone and invisible.

No matter how much she yearns for a real home, Summer relinquished that option the night she killed the man who murdered her father. But Gabe breaks down her guard and places both of them in danger. Summer has vowed never to kill again, but she's frantic she'll cost Gabe his life unless she stops running and fights for the future she wants with the man she loves.


Carol Kilgore is a Texas native who has lived in locations across the U.S. as the wife of a Coast Guard officer. Back under the hot Texas sun in San Antonio, Carol writes a blend of mystery, suspense, and romance she calls Crime Fiction with a Kiss. She and her husband share their home and patio with two active herding dogs, and every so often the dogs let them sit on the sofa.

Learn more about Carol and follow her here:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

IWSG and Michael Pierce Interview

I can't believe it's already time for the August meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Thank you as always to Alex!

For this month's meeting, I'm re-posting a post I made back in March, 2011, when there were about five people reading this blog. I recently came across the article I referenced in this post again and found it as inspiring now as I did when I first shared it, so I thought it would be appropriate to share it again for the IWSG. Here is my original post:


Too Late?

One of the biggest concerns I had when I started trying to become established as a writer was that I had waited too long to get started on this goal. I was certain it was too late, and I was too old. I thought everyone would think I was foolish for trying something new, and the voice inside my head insisted that since I didn't start this when I was 20, there was no point in starting it now.

There was never anything rational about this, as when I have come upon people my age or older who are trying new projects or pursuing new paths, I have never once felt that they were foolish, and I never would. So I'm not sure why I held myself to a harsher standard, except for the fact that I've always been my own worst critic, and old habits die hard.

As I still have these thoughts swirling around in my head, I was pleased to come upon this article by Richard Goodman called, appropriately enough, Never Too Late.

The title of the article, which originally appeared in The Writer magazine and was reprinted on the Gotham Writers' Workshop website, caught my eye immediately. I was hoping it was about what I thought it was about. And sure enough, it was.

It was inspiring to me to read that Goodman was older than I am now when he published his first book. I could totally relate to his thoughts and experiences, and I found myself nodding my head in agreement more than once.

While I found the whole essay inspiring, I particularly enjoyed reading about Harriet Doerr, who wrote her first book Stones for Ibarra when she was 73.

If it wasn't too late for Doerr at 73 or Goodman at 46, then surely it's not too late for me, either.

Or at least I hope it's not. See, old habits die hard. ;)


As I mentioned last week, I interviewed Michael Pierce about his wonderful book Provex City for my Books column. The interview has now been published and is available here. Thanks again to Michael for sharing with me!