Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Well, it's nearly 9pm so Valerie's guest post will be a Thursday giveaway, because I figured most of you were busy Halloweening!  We had a great time here, but nothing as exciting as Halloween in Japan on the Navy base.  We had hundreds of little Japanese munchkins--all wide-eyed with excitement over their first trick or treat experience!

Daisy the pug pumpkin was the star of many, many families' Halloween photos!

This year Daisy was a pumpkin again, but we have added Rescue Dog Riley to the mix:

Happy Halloween from my family to yours! 

hugs, Alyssa

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Friends' Books Wednesday - with Yasmine Galenorn!

I’m drowning in deadlines here, and therefore THRILLED to announce my friend, the amazing Yasmine Galenorn, is our guest today!!  Her latest in the fabulous Otherworld series, SHADOW RISING, releases on October 30!!

 Here’s a bit about Yasmine:  New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn writes urban fantasy for Berkley: both the Otherworld Series and the Indigo Court Series.  In the past, she wrote mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and nonfiction metaphysical books. 

Yasmine has been in the Craft for over 32 years, is a shamanic witch, and describes her life as a blend of teacups and tattoos.  She lives in Kirkland WA with her husband Samwise and their cats.  Yasmine can be reached via her website at, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Available for pre-order from,

We're the D'Artigo sisters: sexy, savvy ex-operatives from the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. Being half human, half-Fae means our powers go haywire at all the wrong times. My sister Camille is a wicked-good witch, with three gorgeous husbands. My sister Delilah is a two-faced werecat and a Death Maiden. And me? I'm Menolly, a jian-tu turned vampire, and I'm dating a sexy werepuma and the godfather of vampires. Unfortunately, life is about to get very, very nasty...

Nerissa and I can't decide on what we want to do for our promise ceremony and we're bickering like an old married couple. My sisters and I head to Otherworld for a meeting with Queen Asteria, where we discover that Shadow Wing has dispatched Telazhar to reignite the Scorching Wars. And as soon as we return back home, we find Gulakah, the Lord of Ghosts, waging a battle to control the magical beings over Earthside.  Caught between two terrible enemies in a battle spanning two worlds, we can only hope we're in time to stop all-out annihilation.

Doesn't that sound terrific??  And now, without further ado, the FRIVOLOUS FIVE!! 

AD:  You are a total cat person. If two beautiful kittens were dropped on your doorstep, is there any chance you’d name them Mr. Spock and Tribble?  Or Yoda and Chewbacca? Or Frodo and Gandalf? If not, please give us your choice of names!

YG:  Well, since all my girls are named after goddesses, not much of a chance. They are named according to the way they respond to the names that I present to them. (Yes, it’s a bit of a ritual).

HOWEVER…I do love that our neighbor kitty is named Tank. It seems so silly considering what a sweet, big fluffball he is, so we always call out TANNNNNNNKKKKKK!!!!!!! It’s the TANKSTER!!! The TANKAROONI!!! when he comes over and he gets all happy and excited. (Yes, all my friends do too…I can haz the influence!).

AD:  Does your perfect vacation involve mountains or islands?  (I know, “vacation? What’s a vacation?” LOL)

YG:  Va…va-cay….vay-cay-shun…what the hell is that?

Okay, it would totally depend on my mood at the moment. Love volcanoes and warm tropical breezes, but I also love the ancient mountains here. But then again, our mountains ARE volcanoes…Oh wait! Can I choose the beach over here? The Pacific coast along Washington is windswept and wild and primal.

Or hmmm…maybe it would be fun to stay in a five-star resort with a gorgeous cabana boy or two or three… *drifts off, musing for a moment* OH…um…wait…what was the question?

AD:  If Einstein and Copernicus arm wrestled, who would win?

YG:  Well, Copernicus would knock Einstein out from being the center of attention, but it wouldn’t matter because to Einstein, everything’s relative…

(Yeah, I know, I make horrible jokes. I’m allowed to because…I said so!). 
(Don’t you love how I’m not answering any of your questions directly? I’m contrary that way).

AD:  What will be in your backpack when the zombie apocalypse hits?

YG:  A bag of frozen peas, a squash, an ear of corn, a sunflower, and a bucket. Ten points to whoever gets the reference!* ;)

AD:  If the fabulous D’Artigo sisters attended a costume party or masquerade ball, what would they choose to wear?

YG:  Camille: Since she already dresses like Elvira meets Stevie Nix meets fetish bar, she’d probably dress up in…oh…as a prim librarian!

Menolly: She’d put on kitty ears and come dressed as Delilah.

Delilah: She’d put on those god-awful gold lame stretch pants she had to wear in Night Huntress, a T-Shirt that says “Surprise! You’re my Baby Daddy” and come as a guest on the Jerry Springer show!

*Okay, okay…check out Plants Vs Zombies

 YAY!  Readers:  Please tell us in the comments which 2 historical figures YOU’D love to see arm-wrestle for a chance to win! One winner will receive a copy of SHADOW RISING from me and, thanks to Yasmine’s generosity, one of you will receive a $15 online gift certificate to either or

PS: Comments are moderated to avoid spam - you only need to post once. It will show up ASAP. Thanks!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stop the Bullies!

Everywhere I turn, I see that October is National Bullying Prevention Month, which, I think, misses the point.

EVERY month should be National Bullying Prevention Month.  The bullies don't go away in November, or hide out and stop their torment in the spring.  This is a horrible problem, and it targets a population which we should be the most vigilant about protecting: our children.

I was the "brain" in school--smart & nerdy, but we moved too often (Dad was in the Air Force; I went to 13 different schools by the time I graduated high school) to even register much on the bullies' radar.  My son, however, is a different story.  He's smart, short, skinny, and he wore glasses when he was younger.  Almost textbook bullying material.  In school, "different" makes you a target, and he went through a tough period for a while.

Here's what he had to say about it:

"The worst part?  Nobody cared.  None of the other kids helped, or went to find a teacher, or did anything but watch, or walk away, or even laugh.  Everybody saw it and nobody cared.

The bullies had more sense than to attack kids in front of teachers, so it was hard to get the teachers or guidance counselor to believe me.  Most of the bullies were super-sweet in front of teachers--they were often the jocks or popular kids--so nobody wanted to believe me.

It made me really, really angry and really, really tired.  I felt hopeless, waking up knowing that it was going to happen again.

My advice: no matter how embarrassed you might feel, tell your parents about it. My parents kicked serious butt.  Make sure you have somebody on your side, and never, ever give up.  It can get better.  It WILL get better.  It doesn't matter how bad it seems, there's always a way to make it better.  Hang in there!" - Connor

Thanks for supporting our Authors Against Bullying blog tour.  There's a list of all the participating authors below; please check them out.  I'm offering a copy of Queen Bees and Wannabes to one of my commenters who is going through the tough teen years with a girl now, as I am.

To anybody who is facing bullying now, please never give up.  Get help, get advice, or get away. NEVER give up. My family sends you all of our love and hopes for a better tomorrow.
PS A huge & enormous thanks to Mandy Roth for her brilliant work coordinating and doing the tech magic for this event, and to Yasmine Galenorn for her idea and coordination.

Sites that can help: (thanks to Mandy Roth for compiling)

Teens Against Bullying: Created by teens, for teens.(middle school and high school)
Kids Against Bullying: Site is interactive and set up to help kids understand if they are being bullied, if they are the bully they should stop, etc. Younger kids will appreciate this.
National Bullying Prevention Center: Founded in 2006 the site is full of useful information for getting kids involved in anti-bullying, helping kids who are being bullied and bringing awareness to the cause.
Stop Informative and has a “kids corner”.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Friends' Books Wednesday . . . on Thursday: SHILOH WALKER!!

Yep I'm a day late.  Yesterday was a blur of appointments and dealing with the aftermath from the car accident. I'm crazed at the end of a 10-31 deadline, so I'll just say a few things:

Tomorrow is the AUTHORS AGAINST BULLIES blog tour! Check back here for an interview I did with my kids, for their up-close and personal perspective on this terrible problem in our school.  I'll have links to the 50+ authors participating, too.

Don't forget the standalone e-novella of Wild Hearts in Atlantis (Bastien's story) went live on October 2nd! If you don't have this story, trust me, you want it! Readers have called it one of the HOTTEST of my Warriors books!  Check it out HERE!  (Scroll down a little for the links to the novella.)

And, in e-novella news, Ethan's book will be released next!! Yes, Shifter's Lady, starring panther alpha Ethan and Bastien's sister Marie of Atlantis, will be out November 6th!!  Check it out HERE!

Finally, I know, I know, the bane of my existence, Alejandro's Sorceress. We're still waiting on processing. I'm tempted to throw this novella in the deepest pits of hell at this point.  I'll update when I have news.

But on to the GOOD STUFF!!!

Introducing the awesome SHILOH WALKER!!! A little about her latest book:

BLIND DESTINY is a super-hot and exciting retelling of a tale from Grimm-and the excerpt gave me the shivers!

 Shiloh was gracious enough to answer my Frivolous Five before she went on vacation - read on for a bit of fun and a chance to win a copy of BLIND DESTINY:

AD. What is your favorite kind of cake?  Frosting?

SW: Oh... I'm not much of a cake-eater, but if you put Red Velvet with cream cheese icing in front of me, I'll all but attack it.

AD:  If a reality TV show were built around your life, what would it be called and why?

SW:  Procrastination Nation.  Because I EXCEL at procrastination.  Or maybe... I'M TELLING MOM... the highs and lows in the life of your average mom.  O.o

AD:   Your typical working day: Naps or no naps?  Coffee or tea? How many dents in your wall from banging your head against it when you get stuck on a plot point? 

SW:  I only nap if I just didn't sleep at all.  I'm a rebel-I drink coffee... and tea.  No dents in the wall.  But lots of grooves and lines in the floor from pacing.

AD:    Pirates or ninjas?

SW:  Oh, come on.  There is absolutely no question here.  Ninjas-you could turn ONE loose on a ship and they'd all be dead before they knew there was a problem.

AD:    Most annoying commercial you've seen lately?

SW:  Any and all political ads? Um, if that's incendiary, then...

Hmmm... I don't watch much TV.  And the guy has a habit of muting any and all commercials, but the Progressive commercials with Flo?  Those annoy me.  However, I will tell you this... I love the M&M commercials.  With the little M&M characters?  There is this one with the pretzel M&Ms?  I love it.  It's so cute.

 OK, you heard it here first: Shiloh's a ninja girl! For a chance to win a copy of BLIND DESTINY, please tell us in the comments whether it's pirates or ninjas for you, and why! 

And happy Thursday! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Join Authors Against Bullying Friday -- and my car accident

On Friday, I'll be part of a massive effort, spearheaded by Mandy Roth and Yasmine Galenorn, for authors to speak out against bullying.  I'll by interviewing my kids, who have both experienced bullying, for a first-hand look at what it feels like to be the victim of such horrible attacks.  Here is a list of participants, courtesy of Mandy Roth.

In other somber news, I was in a terrifying car accident Saturday, in which a MORON driving in front of me on a high-traffic, high-wind, freeway bridge high above a river, hit a bump and his UNSECURED king-sized box springs went flying through the air and straight at my face.  Yes, it smashed into my windshield at 50 mph, and just the sight of it blocking out the sun as it shot toward me, and the instant thought that I was going to be decapitated or plunge into the river, was enough to scare the crap out of me. 

Not to mention the shattered pieces of glass all over my car.  I didn't realize until a couple of hours later that several of them were in my hair and clothes.  So I spent Saturday afternoon and all morning today dealing with insurance and glass repair people and I have to take car to shop for body damage.  BUT NOBODY WAS HURT, THANK GOODNESS--and I'm especially proud that I did not jump up and down on the moron's head.  The state trooper said that the ticket carried a mandatory court appearance for the guy, so I can only hope the fine is huge.

But my kids were not in the car, and as I said, nobody was hurt, so I'm putting this one in the "lucky it wasn't worse" category, although I'm not sure when I'll be wanting to drive over that bridge again . . .

My wish for today is that you all drive safely, surrounded by cautious drivers who do not fling bed parts at your head.

PS Shiloh Walker will be my guest on Friends' Books Wednesday this week.