Monthly Archives: July 2012

RWA National Conference Update

This week I’m at the national RWA conference in Anaheim, California. (Hop, skip and a jump from my backyard.) It’s only day two of the conference and I’ve already had such a great time.

I’ve gotten my hands on great freebies,including books, bookmarks and other swag from some of my favorite authors. I’ve attended a few workshops on how to evoke emotion from readers and learned from the best in the biz. I’ve given away books and even had my first signing event with the proceeds going to ProLiteracy Worldwide.

This is my fourth RWA conference, and each year I take away so much valuable information about the market, trends, how the industry is changing, how to write effectively and hone your craft, etc.  But all of those things combined–the books, swag, excitement over the signing, and learning from the best–couldn’t beat my favorite part: the friends I’ve made.

I’ve made friends from Canada, Phoenix, Texas, New York, Maryland, Seattle, to name a few. I talk to everyone. I smile constantly. I try to hide my nerves and absorb as much as I can. Because in a few short days, the conference will be over and I’ll be left staring at my computer screen again. Some of the friends have been quiet, shy even, while others have been loud and boisterous, making me giggle until my cheeks hurt.

While I’d love to post pictures today, I’m sucking wi-fi off the conference lobby and it’s slow as heck. So I’ll leave you with a single picture. One of me and my best friend Bo. He sure was cute…

Things I am Terrified Of!

Hello everyone! So there are a few things I am terrified of, and no I am not talking about the things that go bump in the night. Oh no, give me a vampire or werewolf any day. I admit ghosts scare me but nothing, and I repeat nothing scares me more than a dentist!

Yeah you read that right. Big badass Sayde Grace is scared of the dentist! Insane right. Today I bring this up because its a character trait which is real and when I read about a character having this fear in a book I totally relate to that character.

As a reader I always love little touches of reality that connect me to a character. As a. Writer I try to put those touches into my books. My question to you is what can you relate to about the most recent book you’ve read? Comment to enter to win your choice of my digital books.

Sayde Grace

Hug ‘Em While Ye May

Last night, a good friend’s 19 year old cat died. He’d lived a wonderful, long life filled with adoration and love, so it’s hard to be sad for him. He was just moving on. But I’m terribly sad for my friend. He was her only companion. His sister had died a couple of years before and his person is single. I worry for this friend. Like me, she struggles with depression. Lucky me, mine is controlled very easily with diet and exercise. Hers is a bit more intractable. Her grumpy old curmudgeon of a cat gave her purpose and kept her focused. Her friends will try to take over some of that while she moves through the grieving process.

I didn’t tell this story, though, to bring anyone down. My point was this: The only guarantee any of us gets in this life is that none of us gets out of it alive.

Pause and look around at the other living beings sharing your life. Spouse, children, pets, friends. They’re here today. Tomorrow, one of more of them may not be. So if you have a few seconds, consider dishing out a round of hugs. If you have a few minutes, offer up a few words of appreciation – even something as simple as ‘I was so lucky the day I found you (or you found me – or however that happened)’. Your blood pressure will drop. Your happiness will rise and your levels of stress hormones will decrease. Sure, the car may break down tomorrow or a bill you thought you’d paid will come with a late notice attached to it. But for today, if only briefly, act on the love you bear for those who share your life and home. You’ll all be better off for it.

Kale Chips

I hope everyone had a safe Independence Day celebration. We did our usual – fired up the grill to sear a few bratwurst and stayed FAR away from fireworks. The critters do not like them and even if we like the shiney stuff, we don’t feel like we can leave the animals home alone.

So we hung out with our dock neighbors who, it turns out, are all ER nurses. One gal works the burn unit at the local trauma hospital. Her stories fuel my hope that everyone enjoyed a pleasant, drama-free holiday.

And, because I have absolutely nothing in my brain today, I offer up one of my favorite recipes.

Kale Chips

You want one bunch of Italian Kale (also known as Black Dino Kale) – it’s a kale with a relatively flat leaf rather than the curls around the edges.

Preheat your oven to 425.

Wash your kale and shake out the water. Stem the kale, then break up the leaves into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt or garlic salt. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the kale and toss well. Do this in a big bowl, or a large plastic bag that you can seal and shake.  You can add any other spice(s) you like. I like my chips with a bit of kick, so I add in a Korean chili blend. Just don’t do what I did today and pour half the bottle in. <cough> It’s a little much.

Once your kale is coated with a thin sheen of oil, spread the leaves in a single layer on a cookie sheet. If you have an oven the size of a breadbox like I do, you’ll have to cook your kale in batches.

Put the kale in the oven. Don’t go far. Set your timer for 8 – 10 minutes. Check to see whether your kale is crispy. If not, pop it back into the oven. Timing is an art that depends on how fresh your kale is and what the water content is in the leaves. The kale will darken and get crispy. This is exactly what you want. The darkening indicates that the sugars in the leaves are carmelizing. Pour your hot kale chips out into a bowl.


Kale chips do not keep, so eat them the day you make them. This cooking method does alter the flavor of the kale considerably, but if you loath kale, this isn’t likely to change your mind. But when everyone else is crunching away on potato chips, my kale chips take care of my craving for salty, crispy goodness.

As an added bonus, kale chips gross out my husband. That’s a win/win. For someone. 😀

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day to those folks in the USA!  May our troops come home safely and may everybody one day enjoy the sense of freedom. 

My post is a bit late today.  See…we went out on the lake.  It has rained the entire month of June in the Pacific NW, and today, finally, there was sun.  Glorious, hot, beautiful sun.  So we went out on the lake and had a nice brunch.  Now I’m home catching up.  First…this blog.  Then I have a deadline of next Monday, so lots of work to do.  ALSO…Consumed is released tomorrow.  Tomorrow!   (Well…maybe midnight tonight.  Just sayin. 🙂  )

So, I’m off to meet my deadline.  For now, here’s Consumed:

Sometimes You Mate For Life 

Katie Smith is the best of her class, part of an elite hunting force trained to eliminate werewolves from the hills of Western Virginia. She’s good at it because she has the kind of focus and drive that won’t back down no matter how steep the odds. Call it southern sass. Whatever it is, there’s no denying her willingness to risk everything for the only man she’s ever cared about–a man on the verge of losing his very humanity. . .

Sometimes You Mate To Stay Alive

For the past ten years Jordan Pride has dedicated his life to protecting his people from a deadly shifter virus. But in a rare moment of distraction, Jordan’s guard drops just long enough for his fate to take an irreversible twist. Unless the woman he loves surrenders everything to him, again and again, under a full moon rising. . .

To purchase Consumed:

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY – I hope there’s sunshine and freedom where you live!

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