Monday, January 28, 2013

You Talkin' To Me?

Portrait: Lucy In Winter

Lucy + Heating Vent = Happy Dog

Also, dog who doesn't move for 14 straight hours.

Also, dog who hogs up all the heat for the kitchen and turns into a canine heating pad.

Also, dog whose hair blows in the hot wind like a model.

Also, dog who refuses to go outside when it's nippy.

*Penny does giant eye roll*

And in totally unrelated news, here is one of the promo items I got for LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE. This is Licking Lucy Lemon Lip Balm from the fabulous Etsy shop Be Greatful. These lemony flavored lip balms are the most delicious thing ever! I'm not kidding. My whole family is in love with them. If you're looking for some fun products, check out this cute on-line store. Here is the link for the lemon lip balms...YUM! I will be offering the special Lucy Lip Balms once the book is released.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weenies In A Plaid Shirt: Disturbing Trends In "Lumberjack" Culture

I would like to take this opportunity to discuss an issue that has been troubling me lately.

The disturbing alteration of the "lumberjack" concept.

What started as a bad-ass jumbo Paul Bunyan with an axe has somehow morphed into the most alarming watered-down and ill-conceived fashion statement...

The Hipster Lumberjack.

Two words that should NEVER be combined. Hipster. And lumberjack.

How did this happen? I don't know, but lumberjacks everywhere must be extremely upset.

I know I am!

Let's break it down, using "The Hipster Lumberjack" from the Nordic Store...

1. He's wearing...he's wearing...*gulp*...a cardigan sweater. Not just any old cardigan sweater, but a shawl-collared cardigan.

Um. No. Lumberjacks + Cardigans = Don't Happen In This Universe. Ever.

2. His plaid shirt is BUTTONED UP TO THE TOP BUTTON.

3. His beard is groomed.

4. His hair has "product" in it. OH MY GOD!

5. He has a "sensitive, emo" look about him. Like he's thinking about his latest knitting project. And kittens.

6. Lumberjack Hipsters often wear funky glasses. Thick, dorky glasses for purely decorative purposes.

7. They also wear...skinny jeans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Somewhere in Alaska, a lumberjack just snorted so hard he caused a small earthquake.)

8. Many own cats. And snuggle with them.

9. They are super skinny, and look like a strong wind will blow them over. Into the nearest Starbucks.

10. They like to wear knit caps. Even in the summer.

A real lumberjack...

* Does not wear a god-damned cardigan sweater. Or buttoned up shirt. He wears Carhartt pants and long-underwear and a Carhartt jacket. He wears protective goggles not "decorative eyewear" and he wears a knit cap because if he didn't, he'd get frost-bite on his ears and they would fall into the wood chip pile.

* Does not have gel in his freakin' hair, or a twirly mustache or long-ass sideburns. He has a big mother-effin' beard that harbors small animals during hibernation season. It doubles as a scarf for insulation purposes.

* There is no such thing as an "emo" lumberjack. A real lumberjack doesn't have pet kittens or a knitting project. His hobbies include drinking, smoking cigars, and possibly more drinking.

* Is not skinny. He is big and beefy and bulky and massive. And he could crush emo Hipster Lumberjack with his little beefy pinky finger.

Let's just say that if we staged a celebrity death match between Hipster Lumberjack and Paul Bunyan, Paul would snap little Hipster dude in half in under 3.4 seconds. And then go out and chop down a couple of acres of forest. All without breaking a sweat.

For the record, I approve of "Wolverine-Style Lumberjack" compliments of Hugh Jackman. Plaid shirt (not buttoned up to the top), axe, killer beard, massive body, looks like he wants to hurt something. No kittens anywhere.

Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!


P.S. For some very amusing "urban woodsman" aka hipster lumberjack fashions, please check out this linkie at GQ, for the Junya Watanabe fashion show from January 2011. Photos by Yannis Vlamos, including the one at the top of the post. Yipppeeeeee!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Hop


I was asked by Judith Arnold to participate in this blog hop, and I decided it would be fun to talk about LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE since the book will be released soon. 

1: What is the working title of your book?


2: Where did the idea come from for the book?

One morning I was making breakfast for the kids, and I got this idea for a funny story about Lucy, our dachshund. She has an obsessive licking habit, and I thought it would be amusing if her licking problem turned out to be a super-heroic power.

3: What genre does your book come under?

Children's Fiction

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Julia Roberts would be Lucy, Vanessa Hudgens would be Natty, Tommy Tinkerknuckle would be played by Justin Bieber, and "Mommy" would be played by Kate Beckinsale. Of course.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

What happens when an ordinary weenie dog consumes a pile of magic beans? She turns into a super hero! 

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?


7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

It took me twenty minutes to write the first draft. Then I had to find an illustrator! You all know I am a huge Etsy fan, so I went to Etsy and researched artists who did fun, quirky artwork with animal subjects. Luckily for me, I discovered Sara Pulver at 3Crows. She is a brilliant artist with a quirky sensibility and a fabulous sense of humor. I sent her an email and asked if she was interested in writing a book with me, and she said yes! We had a great time working on this book together. Sometimes Sara would come up with an adorable painting, and I would adjust the text to reflect her vision of the story. We worked on the book for months. Sara's artwork blows me away. She is an awesome collaborator with amazing creativity. I feel very lucky and blessed to have found such a perfect partner-in-crime for my first children's book.

Sara's painting Cat Road Trip, available at Etsy.
Her paintings are full of fun, color and humor!

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I'm not sure exactly, but I do see some similarities with Richard Scarry books. Sara adds a lot of fun detail into the background of her paintings, so it creates a really entertaining vision for the reader, examining all the characters and unexpected treasures that add so much to the story.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Lucy, my dachshund. She's a nine pound long-haired, black-and-tan miniature doxie who is a total sweetheart, but lazy as anything. She hates going for walks! Seriously. Who has ever heard of a dog who hates walks? Diva!

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This is going to be a series! We are already brainstorming additional stories for Lucy. I have a fun one for Christmas that involves Lucy stealing a stocking and wrecking Christmas. Then she has to use her super hero powers to fix it! 

Another cool thing about this book is that we're releasing it in hard cover, paperback and digital formats. There's something for everyone. 

Thanks so much to all of my readers, colleagues and friends who have supported me on this crazy adventure. I can't wait to release this book. Should be soon. I will make a big announcement when it's release day!

Please stop by Heather Rigney's blog Mermaids Love Sushi to check out her post for this blog hop. I adored the story idea she's working on now. Really fun and funky!

Stop by Judith Arnold's blog to see what she's working on next--a women's fiction novel called The April Tree. It sounds wonderful.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Final Countdown

Their hair is almost as big as mine.

Enjoy! Happy Sunday!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Beard of the Day

Ewan McGregor. Oh my. Oh my goodness. This is a strawberry blond beard/stache combo that makes me swoony! Look at those gorgeous eyes, too.

For more totally delicious pics of Ewan's Beard Excellence, check out this post at Just Jared.

Happy Beardy Friday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Spot Of Color

Need a spot of color during this drab, dreary day? Check out these gorgeous Mandarin ducks from the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Photo was taken by Michael Schmidt for National Geographic. This photo is available as a free wallpaper download if you're interested. Here's the link.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Jack and Mimi, Sitting In A Tree...

Inspiration for Mimi, from 123rf

Inspiration for Jack, compliments of Scott Speedman

Starting THE LUMBERJACK AND MIMI SPARKLES today, the second installment of the LUMBERJACK IN LOVE series. Yee haw!

Here's another source of inspiration...


Happy Beardy Friday,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Beers And Cheers

First up...The Beers!

I read this cute, quick, sexy story by Angela Quarles last week--Beer and Groping in Las Vegas. The title hooked me instantly. It's awesome! This is a short contemporary, with a paranormal premise, two geeky characters, tons of pop culture references (including Monty Python and Star Wars similes), some sexy times with beer (original and very well done), finishing up with a sweet HEA. There was a bit too much sex for such a short story--I would have preferred more dialogue--but I liked how Quarles managed to squeeze in some sweet, touching sentiments with all the boinking. Overall, a nice debut with room to grow. And I especially appreciate having geeky characters who fall in love. 

Grade: B

One more beer...

Still my favorite winter beer. I would definitely recommend drinking a nice frosty Allagash White while reading Beer and Groping in Las Vegas. :)

Now for The Cheers...

LUMBERJACK IN LOVE made some Best of 2012 Lists! Woo hoo!

I made Kati's Top 10 Best of 2012 List (from Romancing Rakes): "Break out the flannel and get ready to laugh out loud while falling in love with a bearded lumberjack." Yay!

LUMBERJACK also made the Best of 2012 Novella list from Swept Away by Romance (Jennifer Ashley's A Mackenzie Family Christmas was in that group, too!).

Marcus from LUMBERJACK made a 2012 Swoony Heroes We'd Run The Other Way From list! From Basia's Bookshelf: "He's sexy, smart, funny and sweet...There's a giant deal-breaker for me...he lives in the woods." Hee hee!

And finally, a great honor only bestowed upon the finest of novels...My original cover for LUMBERJACK made the LOUSY BOOK COVERS blog. 


Folks from all over the world are now making fun of my (joke) book cover, without actually realizing the cover was supposed to be a joke. So I guess the joke's on me? them? Hey, he included a link to Amazon so I'm not complaining. This site is definitely entertaining. My two favorite covers are Elfthade and Spending Christmas With A Yeti

LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE is off to the formatter, and I'm starting book #2 of the Lumberjack series today. 

Hope everyone has a great week!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Quick Message From Lucy

Hello there! This is Lucy, long-suffering weenie dog who lives at Penelope's house.

(Yes. That is a HORRIBLE, ill-fitting tomato red sweater that Penny and the other humans in my house thought would enhance my wardrobe. Personally, the collar alone works JUST fine for me. No need for this asinine sweater. After they finished laughing until they cried, they removed the offending garment from my body. *shudder*)

Just wanted to say a quick hello to everyone and let you all know that Penny is hard at work finishing up LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE, the most brilliant book she will ever publish, with the most stunning and exciting heroine ever to grace the pages of a book. (That would be me. Lucy.)

Happy New Year to all the humans and canines and I guess cats, too, and also birds, alpacas and any other quirky pets out there.

Penny will be back when she finishes my book and makes me a star.

Time for my 149th nap of the morning,

P.S. Penny made a cool new blog for me today. LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!


Here's to a wonderful 2013 for everyone!

All my best,