#RWA14, stress dreams, and a giveaway

I can always tell when I’m about two weeks away from a trip because the crazy dreams start. Sometimes I’m in college and failing a history class because I never knew how to find the classroom. Sometimes there’s a maniac clown after me and all the doorways are tilted. Listen, don’t ask. I have a long list of dreams that just…I can’t even explain. I’ve gotten pretty used to those. Last night I had a new one:

I’m fully clothed but in the shower. With me, although I don’t know it at the time, is a an author whom I’ve never met. Because of our last names, we are usually near each other at book signings. In real life, I know what she writes and that she has an impressive sense of style and fashion. More than once I have admired her shoes. In my dream, she’s a zombie. And in this world, zombies hate water. So I’m in the shower, but she’s hidden behind her own black shower curtains inside the shower and I’m dumping buckets of water over her shower. In my dreams and in my real world, bucket = old Country Crock container. Just so you get the full visual. So I’m dumping. And dumping. And dumping. Every now and then there’s a mumbly growl from behind the black curtains. Finally I get smart and pull down the handheld shower thingy and aim it over her shower curtains.

Then the water pressure dies.

So I’m in the shower with an angry zombie.

Somehow I grab her by scruff of the neck, but she’s doing that cartoon glance where she’s looking obviously at my hand and back at my face and back at my hand and back at my face. When I look down, there’s a fang sticking out of my hand. Everyone knows that zombieism is contagious through the bite, right? I don’t know why she had fangs. Also, she must have introduced herself by saying “I’m a zombie” because she looked pretty undead to me. Except for the fang sticking out of my hand.

I did not notice her shoes in the dream. Also, this is why I do no prepping for doomsday. Instead of smashing her with the handheld shower thingy, I reach inside. When doomsday comes, I’ll be the first to go. It’s okay.

When I woke up, I had my dog in a wrestling hold that’s probably called the double chicken wing or something creative and he was all “What the what?”.

No animals or zombies were harmed in this dream episode. But now you will understand why I’m a zombie in San Antonio.

STILL, IF YOU’RE NEAR SAN ANTONIO ON JULY 23, COME AND SEE ME! This is the video from Atlanta’s literacy event. It’s cool.

At the literacy signing, I’ll have my two latest books (Santa, Bring My Baby Back and A Minute on the Lips, I think) and some freebies (and I know where at least one zombie is sitting. I’ll protect you. You trust me, right?).

bracelet (1)I’ll also have some of these bracelets to give away! If you want to win one before that or you aren’t in the San Antonio area, here’s a chance to win your own: Heartwarming Authors Blog.


Adventures in Fiction THIS WEEKEND

If you’re in Dallas/North Texas/driving distance, come see me at Adventures in Fiction this Saturday, February 15. Here’s a link to the site: Adventures in Fiction.

Where: InterContinental Hotel, Addison, TX

When: Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.

Why: BOOKS! AUTHORS including Rachel Caine, Jill Shalvis,, Lorraine Heath, so…so many! And me. Click the link to see the list. Seriously. Do it. I can wait right here.

I’ll have Stuck on You, Can’t Help Falling in Love, and Santa, Bring My Baby back as well as my newest book, A Minute on the Lips. PLUS THERE’S MORE! IT SLICES, IT DICES, IT JULIENNES…wait, that’s a different commercial. MORE FREEBIES!! What? YES! BOOKS*. And candy*. I know what works.

*while supplies last and all.

Come see me.

Santa, Bring My Baby Back, Chapter 2 Excerpt: New man, new plan, fresh lipstick

Santa Bring My Baby Back(Available now. Amazon Link:::Barnes and Noble Link:::Indiebound Link)

All the way around the pool area with its cheery inflatable snowmen and flashing candy canes and down the long hallway decorated with album covers and three different themed Christmas trees, Grace rehearsed her lines in her head. She was going to need a job, a place to stay, and some time to pay her hotel bills. Checking all three off the list might take some finesse.

Grace paused in the doorway of Viva Las Vegas to give her eyes a chance to adjust to the change from the bright lobby to the darker restaurant. Her first impressions were of lush plants—a theme at the hotel—and some rocking Elvis tune competing with the clinks of silverware on plates and low conversations. A very cute, very young hostess dressed as a showgirl in Santa’s workshop pointed her toward the bar. When Grace dumped all her baggage in a seat and draped the dress over the top, she noticed Charlie, but he didn’t look up from his plate.

Thanks to his concentration, Grace had a chance to observe him before she announced her presence. His crisp white dress shirt and black tie were covered by a large cloth napkin, which might also be a tablecloth in real life. She appreciated his broad shoulders and the flex of muscles in his back as he twisted on the seat. The edges of his sleeves were white flashes as he made steady progress of clearing his plate with quick bites, not like he was in a hurry, but took pride in efficient operation. And his long legs were propped up on the brass footrest that ran along the bottom of the bar. His slicked back black hair was probably the stillest part of his body. Charlie seemed capable. Strong. Solid. For some reason, she had the urge to wrap her hand around his arm and maybe rest her head on his shoulder.

Not exactly what she expected from a man with rock-star good looks and enough gunk in his hair to preserve his style in a tornado.

She patted her own, slightly crunchy updo and decided to give him props for that. It showed commitment.

When he’d opened her dressing room door, the first thing she saw were his dark brown eyes. For a minute, she’d been frozen by the connection. Then she’d noticed his Elvis-like hair and had to wonder what his story was.