Monday, August 25, 2014

A Birthday Visit to Diagon Alley

Today was GPS's eleventh birthday. And an offhanded remark led to a pretty amazing birthday present from the siblings.

A few weeks back, GPS was asked for a birthday wish list. The semi-joking response? "I just want my Hogwart's letter."

Well, of course, right? Harry Potter got his letter when he turned eleven. Isn't that what every self-respecting HP fan would want?

FutureStar and Midkid heard this and jumped into action. So when GPS got back from baseball practice tonight, this is what happened:


Hedwig was waiting at the front door, and the acceptance letter was on the front porch.



Inside, signs welcomed us to Diagon Alley (up the stairs).


At Flourish and Blotts, GPS was given the First-Year textbooks (a three book Hogwarts Library). 


Then on to Ollivanders, where GPS received a wand and bookmark, and was "sorted" into Hufflepuff (complete with house lanyard)!


Then we all went downstairs to the Three Broomsticks...
 

Where we feasted on homemade Butterbeer and pumpkin pasties.

Best birthday ever, or what? :)


Friday, May 09, 2014

Quick Poll! What's Your Favorite Kind Of Hero?

Hey all! I'm looking for a little input. If you had to pick just one kind of hero, what would it be?

  • firefighter
  • cop
  • military man
  • bodyguard
  • other (tell me in the comments!)

I'm curious to see what's popular!

Monday, March 24, 2014

All About #MyWritingProcess - The Blog Tour

Thanks to Skylar Kade for including me on this writing process blog tour!

1. What am I working on? Currently, I'm tidying up and revising one of my earlier books, Hooked, for re-release later this year. It's my first foray into self-publishing, and the learning curve has been steep! I'm enjoying it, though. I'm also closing in on the ending for a new rodeo-set novella.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? Wow, that's a tough question. I've been told that my dialogue stands out - and considering my college degree was in playwriting, I guess that's fitting! And no matter how angsty the story, I can't resist leavening it with a little humor.

3. Why do I write what I do? Because I'm a sucker for a happy ending. Romance is what I love to read, love to watch, and love to write.

4. How does your writing process work? I'm supposed to have a process? Oh, maybe that's what I've been missing... :)

I've always been a pantser, frequently following the muse down pathways inspired by "what if". And though this can be an exciting start, I've had to learn to rely more on structure and outlining as my stories and series become more complex. (This was especially challenging while I was working on The Girls Most Likely To, a trilogy set during a high school reunion. All three novellas took place at exactly the same time, leading to a lot of "what did she say in that scene?" and "were they kissing or just holding hands there?" as I explored the same reunion events from different perspectives.)

As far as the rest of the writing process, it's pretty much whatever I can cram into my schedule around work, family, and sleep. Sleep gets the short end of the stick most of the time.

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to swing over to Kinsey Holley's blog next Monday for the next installment!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Meet The Author - Danube Adele

NAME:  Danube Adele


TITLE OF FIRST BOOK: Quicksilver Dreams, Book #1 Dreamwalker Series

RELEASE DATE:  January 6, 2014

FAVORITE WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: I’d read an adventure story written in the first person by Gena Showalter called Playing With Fire.  It was such a fun, lighthearted read, and I completely enjoyed myself.  I may have even read it in one sitting. It got me thinking.  Could I do this?  I hadn’t had time to write for a while because my children (identical twin boys) were young, but now they were older. Quicksilver Dreams started as a short scene written in the first person as an experiment, and it was such a blast, my characters were so real for me, that the story filled in naturally.  Taylor Lane became this very spunky, kick*ss character that you could really cheer for.  She wasn’t someone who ever gave up.  She might get knocked down, but she came back swinging.  I loved that about her.  Then she meets Ryder Langston, someone with his own demons to slay, and letting the two of them hash it out was exciting.  They were both intense, passionate people and by the end of the story, you’re really pulling for them. 

FAVORITE NON-WRITING STORY/SAYING/MEMORY: I get my best thinking done in the shower.  Really!  It’s the least distracting place, and the ideas just flow. It’s a place where I don’t have to solve an issue between kids, I don’t have to look for a missing object for my husband because I seem to be the only one who knows where anything is (even when it’s not mine), and I don’t have the dog blowing unfriendly toxins at me. The shower.  Seriously.  And, it’s a glass shower, so I even get extra time to think because I take the time to squeegee it.

COMFORT FOOD: After a busy day that gets me home too late to be motivated to do something healthy, my go-to food is this great little mom and pop place that is really small enough to be a hole-in-the-wall-Mexican food restaurant. It’s cash only and has the best meat-bean-rice-cheese burritos around. This was a hard question because sometimes, In-n-Out Burgers is the place. Sorry. It’s a toss-up.

COMFORT READ:  Authors I’ve gone back to time and again over years have been Joanna Lindsey, Nora Roberts, Christine Feehan and Kresley Cole to name just a few. I sincerely can’t pick just one.

YOUR PERFECT DAY: My usual workdays are jam-packed with activity where every part of the day is completely accounted for, which is why I love days when I can stay in my soft PJ bottoms until noon, lounging in front of the TV with my kids, my husband and my dog all intertwined on the couch with a book in one hand and a football game on at the same time.  In my family, we enjoy laying all over each other and randomly snoozing. A family that loafs together stays together. That’s my motto. (-;

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?:  Dreams Of A Wild Heart, Book #2 in the Dreamwalker series, is coming out in June, so I’m currently in the middle of the editing process.  At the same time, I’m writing Book #3, which does not yet have a title, but will be coming out in December.
  
Links:

& Carina Press (To buy the book!) http://bit.ly/1f7hXXK 

Author bio

Danube Adele wrote her first romance at the age of seven when she penned the story of her dogs falling in love and having puppies. She’s been dreaming up romantic tales ever since. A lifetime resident of southern California, she spends time playing at the beach, camping in Joshua Tree National Park, and hiking Mammoth Mountain. Always a lover of adventure, she and her husband took their sons on a cross country road trip to Florida and back in an old VW Westfalia, that had no A/C, in the month of July, and still, it continues to be the best trip they ever took. Extensive travel and trying new things has kept the creative spark alive. Danube lives in Claremont with her biggest fans, her loving husband, amazing and wonderful identical twin sons, and a teddy bear of a Rottweiler.  Her debut novel, Quicksilver Dreams, Book #1 of the Dreamwalker series was officially released January 6, 2014.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book BIN Tuesday - Quicksilver Dreams by Danube Adele

My name is Taylor, and damn but my life changed overnight. One moment I was just a regular girl working two jobs to pay my bills, and next thing you know, I'm uncovering secret metal disks at my boss's house. Now I'm reading minds, dream-walking and being saved from bad guys by Mr. Dark and Brooding.

That would be Ryder Langston, my new next-door neighbor. He's sex on legs but he's also a secret agent from another world—no joke. I believe him now because he dragged me back here "for my protection" after he discovered someone was trying to assassinate me on Earth. It isn't working out so well.


There's a war going on, one that's been fought for generations. Ryder's having trust issues (not that it's stopping us from falling into bed), and it turns out I'm connected here, if you know what I mean. The target on my back finally makes sense, but there's nowhere left to hide…

****
Sounds awesome, doesn't it? Why not hop over to Carina Press for this New Adult Paranormal - and Buy It Now?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Eric Sheffer Stevens Interview, Part Four

In which I ask a lot of random, silly questions, and he is infinitely patient with me.

If you weren’t an actor, what do you think you would you be doing?

Carpentry. Well, I am doing carpentry. Is that a fair answer? I have a dream, still, of just having a farm somewhere and a shop in the barn, and building stuff. I kind of think I would go crazy at some point, but that’s my go-to thing. I have to be doing both of those things. So if you took acting away, that’s all I would be doing.

What position did you play in the Broadway Show League?

(long, drawn out silence.)

The softball…?

Oh! I’m shortstop. “What position…? In a Broadway show…? Oh, league.”

As The World Turns. Julie and Julia. Pizza Hut. Oikos Yogurt. The world wants to know. Do any of your characters not eat?

(Laughter) I don’t think the guy in Teenage Daughter ate. Did he?

We were trying to remember that. We know he was looking for Pop-Tarts at one point.

Oh, but he was high. That’s not fair. Someone who eats all the time sober.

Yes, there’s tons of characters that don’t eat, I’m sure. I don’t eat all that much.

So it’s an acting choice, then.

Yeah. I’m starving right now, now that you’re talking about it.

Any TV shows that you’re watching this season?

No.

Any favorite songs?

Music-wise, I’m fed mostly from that radio station in Seattle, KEXP. That’s what I listen to most of the time. I bought the new Arcade Fire but haven’t listened to it yet. I don’t know if that’s helpful.

(We discuss my middle child’s first audition experience.)

Our kids are away from it. If they, on their own, show an interest, you don’t want to squash that. But you also don’t want to be driving your kid around to auditions all the time when they’re young. If they can wait until college it’s probably for the best.

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk again. Do you realize it’s been three years to the month since the last time we talked?

That doesn’t even make any sense.

I know!

How can it be?

It was November of 2010.

No.

Well, I saw you at the filming, but the last interview we did was in 2010.

(Sounds dubious) Right...

Was that when I was doing the show? As The World Turns? Or was the show over?

The show was over. It finished airing in September of that year. So it was a couple of months after it finished airing.

 Wow, I think I must have lost a year somewhere.

I’m sure I did. I have three kids and every time I turn around they’re taller.

That’ll do it. That takes some brain cells away.

So mark your calendar for 2016. We’ll chat again.
***

There you have it! Hope you've enjoyed the series. And don't forget to watch Eric in Elementary this Thursday - or to sponsor his team for The Race to Deliver!

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Friday, November 15, 2013

Eric Sheffer Stevens Interview, Part Three

In which we discuss documentaries, theater, and kids

I noticed a credit for the narration of After the Fall on your IMDB page. I was wondering how you got involved with that project.

Oh, that’s a good friend of mine who produced it. Really fantastic piece. She’s been involved in this story for years and years. Over ten years. It’s about these children who were in orphanages when (Romania) was still under communist rule. They (the authorities) ended up paying people to donate blood, and so you’d get repeat customers, sailors and prostitutes, trying to make fifteen dollars or whatever, and a lot of it was tainted with AIDS.

And then they used it in the public blood supply, and infused children who weren’t getting enough nutrients with this blood to sort of perk them up. It was a regular practice to give them infusions when they were malnourished. So scores of children in Romania contracted AIDS while they were in orphanages.

And she became sort of convinced that she wanted to tell the story. So she hired a film crew and she filmed and interviewed over seven or eight years, I think. And then she had somebody cut it all together, and then she asked me to do the narration for it. Which I was happy to do.

Was it your first voiceover experience, or have you done that kind of narration before?

I feel like I have. I can’t really identify what it was… (laughter) I’m not really sure. Nothing, I guess, that’s seen the light of day.

Is there any stagework in your future?

We’re starting a workshop tomorrow on a play that we’ve been developing for a while. So we’re going to go into the rehearsal studio for three days and workshop this play and get it into shape. But then I’m not really sure. Two of the four of us that are working on it just got Broadway shows, so it’ll depend on how long their shows go, I guess, before we’ll be able to get it up. Because we would all four like to do it together. But we’re at least getting the workshop done. 

We’ve done some public readings of it before, but the last one was a year ago, and now it’s moving on to its next stage. It’s just been kind of slow because we’ve not been able to be in the same town at the same time. So we scheduled out this time starting tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that because I love this script.

How about Jenny? Any joint projects you’re working on?

She’s actually one of the four actors in the play that we’re doing. She’s busy, doing great.

Have you considered doing theater in other areas? Say, the Ashland Shakespeare Festival in Oregon, or anything along those lines? (interviewer’s note: I have a vested interest in this, as I live driving distance from this festival.)

Yeah. I would kill to work out there. I mean, I’ve stopped doing a lot of regional things because of kids, but that’s the only reason. When the kids are – I don’t know if I have to wait until they’re out of the house. But at least when they’re older, and don’t want to hang out with me anymore, then I will be back out going to places. Yeah, Ashland would be a great place to work. I would love to go back to Baltimore, even the McCarter in Princeton. Well, maybe not Baltimore (currently). I’d have to live there. But all the commutable ones, I’d really be up for doing.  

NOTE: One upcoming project Eric didn’t mention was the benefit screenplay reading for the Vermont Shakespeare Company, which takes place Saturday November 16th in NYC. Here are the details:

Reading of the screenplay "WILL" by Jon Glascoe

Saturday, November 16th
The Atrium
725 Fifth Ave
(between 56th and 57th Streets)
Doors open at 7PM
Reading begins at 8PM
$10 at the door
There will be snacks and a cash bar with wine specials!

All proceeds to benefit Vermont Shakespeare Company's summer 2014 season.

Jon Glascoe is a writer, producer and director who co-founded NYC's Cyprus Films in 1996. He now lives and writes in Vermont.

WILL tells the story of William Shakespeare. It is about the mystery of genius -- a mystery to the man who has it, as much as to those who wonder at it. But it's also an epic, a universal story of freedom and humanity in a tumultuous time when the modern world as we know it was being formed.


So if you’re in New York, go check it out!


Also, Eric is running in the Race To Deliver, an annual fundraising race he’s participated in for the past five years. It raises money for God’s Love We Deliver, a charity that provides meals and delivers them to the homes of people who are unable to do leave the home because of illness. GLWD was originally created to serve those homebound because of suffering from the ravages of AIDS in the '80s, but they have grown to include many illnesses. Anybody who would like to pitch in and support us in the race and GLWD in their mission can do so online at glwd.org.  

To donate, go to:  https://www.glwd.org/race/find.jsp Under "sponsor a runner", type in Sheffer-Stevens. Let’s help his team reach their fundraising goal!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Eric Sheffer Stevens Interview, Part Two

Interview With Eric Sheffer Stevens, Part Two

In Which We Discuss Los Angeles and I Hate My Teenage Daughter

So, I’m guessing you’re back in New York now. How long were you in LA?

A year. We had a lease on our place, and we ended up staying through the end of our lease. We would have come back sooner if we didn’t have the lease. Once we found out Teenage Daughter was done, I was dying to get back home. But we just couldn’t.

It was nice. It was a really nice chapter. We loved it there, but not enough to stay there. We were really excited to get back to New York. And then we were here, and missed the ocean and the mountains and all that. But not enough to move there.

But visiting’s good.

Right. Visiting’s much better.                                                       

So the whole family did move with you - you didn’t do the commuter marriage thing?

No, we all went out. It was great. Put the kids in school there, they loved it – you know, when kids are young they make friends easily – and they just thought it was a great adventure. And then they were excited to come back and go to their old school here. So it was really nice. It worked out well.

What was it like working on a sitcom?
We had *fun*. I would have liked for that to have gone on longer. We had a great time together. It’s a really great group of people. We all hung out together, went to each other’s places, I’m still in touch with all of them. And I stay with them when I go out to LA.

And it was really fun performing it live. It’s really just an easy schedule. It’s the easiest of the schedules. Because it’s one twenty-five minute segment every week. There was a table read on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were I think just 9:30 to 2:00 to rehearse, then you get the weekend off. Mondays and Tuesdays were longer days, but that was it. You could drop the kids off at school and be done before they were done with school. Three of the five school days. That’s pretty dreamy.

It was just fun! I loved that character, I loved the material, really really good writers, and, you know, for a bunch of reasons it  just didn’t work out. But I loved doing it.

Well, we enjoyed watching it.

Thank you. That’s nice.

And, uh, as you know, some of the episodes didn’t air here in the US. But they did overseas, and there are some fans who are very resourceful.

Yeah, I know! People sent me links and I got to see them. *I* didn’t get to see them until they aired in wherever. New Zealand or something. I don’t know where it was.

Well, I’m glad you got to see them, then. I always thought it was sad – if they’re going to put the time and effort and money into filming, why not at least show them?

Yeah, they’re business decisions. I don’t waste my time trying to understand them. (Laughs)

So, if you had an opportunity for another sitcom someday, you’d be interested in that?

Oh, sure! I don’t think there’s anything I’d say that I wouldn’t do. 

LINKS TO:

Friday, November 08, 2013

Eric Sheffer Stevens Interview, Part One

Interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens, Part One

In Which We Discuss His New Movie, The Business of Acting, and Some New Projects


Three years ago, I had the good fortune to interview Eric Sheffer Stevens here on this blog. So when I heard about his new movie, I reached out to see if he'd be up for another chat. Luckily, the answer was yes, so earlier this week, I sat down on the phone with him and had a great conversation. I'll be posting it in sections over the next week or two. Enjoy!

Congrats on the new movie. Can you tell us a little about it?

Thanks! Yeah. I spent two days on this. It’s called Life Itself, it’s a film about this couple that bought an apartment I think in the sixties. It’s Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton. And they are thinking about selling it, and all the issues that that brings up for them – whether or not they really should leave…

They do test it and put it on the market. Cynthia Nixon plays Diane Keaton’s niece, who’s acting as their real estate agent.

So I’m one (half) of the first couple to come see the place and walk through it. And, uh, I’m sort of a jerk.

Did you get to do any of the work with Morgan Freeman or Diane Keaton? Or just (Cynthia Nixon’s) real estate agent?

Both, or all three. Yeah, it was really, really fun. It was a thrill to work with all three of them. It was a really nice set. Warm. Like I said, I was only there two days, but they were having a really fun time. The director’s name is Richard Loncraine, and I think they’re on schedule, and –

Oh, CRAP. I totally forgot about an email I was supposed to respond to. I think they finished wrapping. I was invited to the wrap party. Talking about it made me think of that.


Oh, well. I may have missed the wrap party.

The creative professions – acting, dancing, directing – it’s kind of an odd job. Because there’s no such thing as long term steady work where you sign a contract and you’re working for years. But more like peaks and valleys, and most of it based on the whims of other people.

Right.

So how do you deal with that kind of ebb and flow?

In a very … zen kind of way. I try not to look very far into the past or very far into the future. It’s a mystery. And I think the more you treat it as a mystery, the less frustrated you get with it. Especially the longer you’re around it.

And you also learn – if you’re able to step out of it and look at it – to appreciate it for that very same reason. You’re trading the security of something for having multiple adventures. For being guaranteed adventures. And you never know what they’re going to be. You’re just open to that experience when it comes along. So you trade knowing what you’re going to do tomorrow for being surprised by what’s going to come up.

Over time, as you look back on it, it’s a pretty great trade. That’s kind of my perspective on it.

I like that.

So I’d gone quite a bit after Teenage Daughter, and then I’m in the middle of kind of a flurry of things right now. But all during that year, none of that came up, but it was just part of the mystery of it. Like, “Wow, that’s strange.” But I have plenty of other things that I do that make life full, and that I enjoy, actually. And that isn’t just that one thing. So I have time for those things. And then jobs come along, and that’s nice, too.


Do you have some upcoming projects that you can talk about at this time?

I did a guest spot on Elementary, the Sherlock Holmes show on CBS with Jonny Lee Miller.  I just did that a couple weeks ago. (Note: Episode is scheduled to air November 21.)  And I’m going to do The Good Wife in a week, and Nurse Jackie in a week.

So, yes, you are very busy!

Yeah, that’s what I mean! Isn’t it strange? I mean, you go through this sort of (slow) time, and then things all pile up on each other. There was actually a conflict between these two, and I was like, “How can there be conflict? I’ve been wide open acting-wise for so long.” I almost didn’t get to do one because I was working on a different show.

So that’s the mystery. You have to honor the mystery. (laughs)  

Tune in next Tuesday for the second installment, where we'll talk about IHMTD, Los Angeles, and working on a sitcom. 



Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Strip Series On Sale - With Gorgeous New Covers!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

I'm so excited that the first three books I wrote for Samhain, The Strip Series, are now available at a discount with gorgeous new covers. Here's a little info on them: 


A walk on the wild side with her favorite bad boy is just what this good girl needs...

Mollie Mason is sure her night can’t get any worse. Stuck in an inflatable rubber cake, she overhears her fiancĂ© slamming her to the entire guest list of his bachelor party—and then she catches him cheating! But discovering her high school crush has witnessed her humiliation is the icing on the cake.

Cade Gallagher has wanted Mollie for years. And when she asks him to help her prove to the world—and herself—that she’s not just a good girl, he knows he’d be a fool to say no. But she wants a temporary fling. Will two weeks be enough time to convince her to take a chance on him—forever?


He’s vice. She’s nice. This potent mix has to be handled with care...

It seemed easy enough. Hit the local all-male strip club, pick a likely target and hire him for her best friend’s bachelorette party. But the stripper who catches Caroline’s eye has a different agenda. He’s an undercover cop, and Caroline ends up under arrest—for solicitation!

Tony DiMarco realizes too late that he’s made a mistake. Caroline’s reputation and business are suffering, and he feels responsible. He feels something else too—the pull of red-hot desire. He wants Caroline, but she’s afraid that he’s just trying to make up for his mistake. Can this determined vice cop teach her to trust him?


When the stakes are high, she’s ready to shed more than her inhibitions...

Dani’s been in love with Carter forever. But she’s nothing like the women he dates—glamorous, exciting, spotlight-ready. Instead, she’s stuck in the best-friend role and can’t seem to find a way out of it. Until a scheduling mix-up finds her enrolled in a strip-aerobics class. Now this buttoned-down wallflower is finding her wicked side—and liking it!

Carter can’t understand what’s happened to his best bud. She’s gone from sweet to sexy in ten seconds flat—and Carter’s lucky enough to be around for the ride of a lifetime. But he knows from past experience that relationships don’t last. He’s got to get things back on track before the most important friendship in his life is damaged forever.

Problem is, Dani has no intention of going back to being just friends. It’s about time someone challenged Carter’s assumptions about love and friendship—and Dani’s just the woman to do it!

*** 
So if you haven't read these books before, I hope you'll give them a chance! (Especially with bargain pricing and those gorgeous new covers!) And thanks to Samhain for giving them such a lovely makeover.