Tag Archives: AZ

Me, Myself and March

1 Mar

I know, kind of a weird title, don’t you think? But in my defense it’s about the month of March and how busy it’ll be for me. So, it is about me, myself and March.

The month starts with a great tradition we Romanian people have, called Martisor.

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We celebrate for 8 days (cool tradition, huh?), from March 1st until March 8th which is our national Mother’s Day. Women wear these trinkets for the entire month, reminding us of spring knocking on our doors, but also who loves us (we receive the trinkets from boyfriends/husbands/fathers, etc).

I have to admit I don’t really celebrate Martisor anymore since I moved to the US, but Mom is still visiting so we plan on getting together with my oldest sister and my cousin for a little party. We need this since mom is leaving on March 5th. We spent the past 6 months together talking our heads off until late at night, laughing, crying, soaking in the sun, and our bond became so strong, so intense, so deep unlike any other relationship. Mom, I will be missing you like crazy!

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My friend Tina along with her lovely hubby John is visiting until March 6th. They are from New Jersey and contemplate moving to AZ. I say: pack and come faster! If you love sun 365 days a year, a relaxed and laid back atmosphere, and not too crazy traffic then AZ is the place to leave.

March 14th I’m leaving for the Festival of Books held  at Univ. of Arizona in Tucson, AZ.

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Between March 15-16 from 9:30am and 5:30pm you’ll find me in booth 107 along with some of my favorite authors: Kris Tualla, Morgan Kearns, Deena Remiel, Mimi Sebastian, Virginia Nelson to name a few, and many, many more. This is an incredible opportunity for you, your family and your friends to buy books at incredible affordable prices, receive swag, bookmarks and participate in countless giveaways.

March 17th I’m participating in the Toastmasters Tall Tales Contest at the district level. I won the club’s contest with a story about how I grew up in the land of Dracula. And yes, I lived among vampires.

March 21st I will be teaching a workshop about the importance of a critique group during the process of writing. The workshop will be held at Dog-Eared Pages a fantastic library in Phoenix you MUST check it out. I’ll start promptly at 5:30pm for an hour log presentation followed for Q&A. If you want an autographed book then don’t miss out on this event. I have a really nice pen I’ll be using 😉

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Address:

Dog-Eared Pages Used Books 

16428 N. 32nd Street 

Phoenix, Arizona 85032 

I look forward to Natalie and Caleb’s wedding on March 28th. Can’t wait for these two to tie the knot, two beautiful and incredible individuals who I’ve known for a couple of years now, ready to start on their together journey through marriage, family and love.

This pretty much wraps my March so far. I haven’t mentioned my Toastmasters Club meetings every Thursday starting at 6:30pm. I try to make it to all of them, but then again life gets in the way and I miss a few. I still struggle with my fear of public speaking but I can see a big difference in my attitude since joining it. If you like me fear public speaking I encourage you to find a Toastmasters Club near you and join it. It really helps, promise. 

I also didn’t mention my nephew’s surgery, which is scheduled on the same day as my mom’s departure, March 5th. Talk about bad timing. He’s been in the hospital on and off since September of last year until December 18th when the doctors removed his colon (mind you he is only 19yr. old). This will be his second surgery, with one more to go until he will finally function normal.

I rarely get so personal on my blog, usually keeping my family’s affairs out of it, but I think it’s important for you all to know that as a writer we don’t stop being someone’s child, someone’s cousin, sibling, friend, co-worker, parent, spouse and the list can continue. We don’t stop cooking, doing laundry, taking out pet to a grooming appointment, watching a movie or going on a date with our partners. We do all of the above. And then some more when our imaginary friends talk to us, one story at the time.

Dog-Eared Pages–your magical bookstore!

9 Aug

If you didn’t make any plans for this weekend, here a place you might want to check out. I’m talking about Dog-Eared Pages Bookstore located in 16428 N. 32nd Street, Suite 111, Phoenix, AZ 85032 (just south of Bell Road on the west side of 32nd Street). Melanie and Tom, the owners of this fantastic/magic/welcoming bookstore are celebrating the store’s 5th anniversary with tremendous prizes. It will help them a lot if you take the time and stop by. They need the support of all customers and you can be one of them!

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See below what I’m talking about and don’t forget to stop by!

A Rummage Anniversary Sale/Treasure Hunt

This is your chance to take your time and really browse the stacks.

We still have thousands of great books we put on the shelves the first year we opened. Instead of us pulling them off and putting them in the bargain room for $2.00/each, we’ve decided to let you have the fun instead.

Any used paperback book you find with our 2008 label is yours for 50¢!

Any used hardcover you find with our 2008 label is yours for $1.00!

Any rare and collectible book with our 2008 label is yours at a 50% discount!

Sale starts today and continues until August 31st.

It’s a win/win!

A great way to discover a new author to try out, and pick up that book you always meant to read, while you help us make room for new books.

Plus:  a top-secret list of a few of these 2008 books and if you happen to purchase one of them, you’ll get to draw for a special prize!

Come on in and help us celebrate surviving one of our toughest years ever. We couldn’t have done it without you. THANK YOU!

Author In The House- Virginia S. Nelson

14 Mar

I am so thrilled to have as a guest today my wonderful friend and incredible author Virginia Nelson. We met last year at the AZ Dreamin’ Conference and we hit it off immediately. We became fast friends, sharing the same love for writing.

Virginia, before we start talking about your book, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?

Oh boy, where to start? Let’s see I’m Native American, a Scorpio and a retired teacher who spent close to twelve years teaching in the Middle East. What an experience that was! As you know, I now live in sunny Arizona where I spend most of my time on the computer hammering out my novels.

Besides writing, what other things do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I’m a pretty active hands-on type of woman so when I’m not writing or reading I’m usually creating some type of historical costume – another passion of mine. If I’m not sewing, you’ll find me crocheting, beading or embroidering. Sadly, these days I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do. 

What is your daily routine as far as when you have an idea for your story?

Did I mention I live by schedules… I’m up around 5am, pour myself a cup of coffee and hit the computer. After checking messages and Face book I go to work on whatever book I’m working on. I remain on the computer doing thirty minute sprints. On my short fifteen minute breaks, I pour another cup of coffee and check messages again. I’m on the computer till about 2 at which time I take a well deserved break and eat some lunch. Afternoons are usually dedicated to edits and rewrites. Dinner around 6pm with my soul mate then we usually review what I worked on that morning. Bed comes early around this house – usually after an hour or two of television. While my other half gets his first two hours sleep I usually have a book in my hand and read for another couple of hours before drifting off to sleep. Sunday is the only day I actually take off and I tend to spend it with family or at the theater. (I love good movies)

Where do you get your ideas from?

I can honestly say most of my fiction stories come from my dreams. (I’m a very avid and active dreamer).

Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what would be your favorite and why?

I would have to say Eternal Blades – Sekhmet’s Guardians – Book 3 has to be my favorite so far. It’s not just the love story between characters but the sub-plots are so intriguing and complicated. Jennifer, the heroine from book one of the series is kidnapped by her “now” husband’s identical twin brother and is convinced she can help him see the light and change his evil ways.

Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?

Up until a couple of months ago I would have to say my personal relationship with my high school sweetheart. In 1966 Tom and I, both young teenagers ran away to get married. Sadly we didn’t go through with it and as fate would have it we ended up getting married to someone else and loosing touch with one another. Thirty years later we were reunited and are now planning on formally tying the not at the http://www.romancenovelconvention.com .The famous cover model Jimmy Thomas will be performing the ceremony. What better place to get married than a romance convention?

Does any of the stories you’ve written stem from real life experiences or basically just from imagination?

I think all authors use real life experiences in their work. Although my series was dreamed I know that some of my personal experiences as a young Native American woman come through Jennifer’s personification.  Sins of a Man, the story of a Mafia hit man, another novel not related to the series, I am currently working on is based on an individual I met in 1969.

Does your ‘muse’ have a name and if so what is his/her name?

I wouldn’t call him my “muse” – more like a pain in the rear, but Gabriel, the leader of Sekhmet’s Guardians is my biggest pain. He is the one who refused to let me sleep until I wrote their story.

What other genre besides the one you are writing about now would you like to venture into writing?

I actually wrote non-fiction for twenty years before venturing into to paranormal and urban fantasies. I think after I manage to complete all current projects I would like to try my hand at suspense and a screenplay.

Who are your favorite authors?

That’s a tough one, since I am an avid reader, who loves series; I would have to say I love J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed novels. As a young adult I read everything Wells and similar authors wrote in addition to the classics.

Who is your favorite female and male characters from your books and why?

My series is multi-plotted with several characters. Each has their own uniqueness and special place in my heart so again that is a tough question. Where Gabriel is cold and heartless in the beginning of Eternal Lovers, he is soon transformed into the kind of man every woman would like to fall in love with. Still I think Raphael captured my heart from the very beginning. (He’s Gabriel’s best friend and the hero in book two, Eternal Nights). He’s the kind of hunk who is easy to talk to and has a love for animals similar to my own.  As far as female characters, hands down, I would have to say Alice, who is Jennifer’s best friend. She is crazy and wild, has a reputation as a die-hard shopper who is hooked up with a rock star.

What do you think is the hardest thing about being a writer?

Balancing everything from writing to editing to promoting – especially time. Years ago, when I first started writing non-fiction the rules were much different than they are now.  A writer’s job was to write. Editors edited and promotion was left up to the experts. Nowadays it doesn’t matter who your publisher is, a writer is expected to do it all.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start off being a writer?

Learn as much as you can about the craft you are entering but remember to stay true to yourself. Personally, I have watched a lot of talented authors pay way to much attention to all the rules they have learned and in doing so lost some of their voice and muse. It’s OK to follow the rules, it’s also OK to break a few along the way. I know I did.

If you hadn’t become a writer, what do you think you would be doing right now?

Running my creative costume business.

Tell us about your latest story.

Ancient Legends – New Worlds – Humans weren’t the only ones to migrate to America

SEKHMET’S GUARDIANS – BOOK ONE – ETERNAL LOVERS

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When two hidden worlds collide near modern day Lake Michigan, Jennifer, a young Native American, is confronted with the reality, not everything is as it seems and things do go bump in the night. The questions she has long since asked are answered in this epic tale of self-discovery when she meets Gabriel, the director of Guardians Incorporated.

Born in New Tuat, Netchkhet, now known as Gabriel came to Earth some five thousand years ago to protect the human race.

Disillusioned by an unfulfilled prophecy, he has become cold and distant – even from those of his kind. He secretly waits for his enemy to take his head so he may leave this world for good.

Can a tiny Selkie melt his hardened heart and restore his faith in a power far greater than himself? When history repeats itself, can he save her from death’s embrace or will they be robbed of a future again?

 EXCERPT –

“Raphael, where the hell are you and why isn’t your phone turned on? Did she get the flowers? What did she think of them? Did you tell her I was drunk like we discussed? Am I forgiven? Do you think it would be alright if I see her now?”

God, what was with this guy? “Gabe, slow down, my man. First things, first. This morning Jennifer asked if she could go for a ride again so I figured it would be a good time to talk to her about last night. She didn’t remember much except she was scared. She actually thought maybe she was coming down with some bug and between that and the alcohol, she figured she overreacted. So I didn’t have to come up with the bull shit story that you were drunk… Do you hear what I’m saying? Gabe, it’s all good.”

He could hear Gabriel breathe a sigh of relief into the phone. “Great! I’ve been wondering how that was going down and what excuses you were going to have to come up with for my stupid behavior… thanks buddy… Raphael, where are you, it sounds like you’re in a well?”

 “Actually, I’m at the lake.”

“Again? Why the hell are you back there?”

“Not again–still. We rode out here this morning, like I already told you. Brought a lunch with us, so during lunch, we had our talk. She seemed pretty relaxed and was really tired. Guess she didn’t get enough sleep last night so I gave her a sleep enhancement, if you get my drift. Then, before I knew it, I closed my eyes and zoned. I woke up 10 minutes ago and before I started packing up to head back, I realized my phone was off. Man, I’m sorry, I had no idea.”

Dead silence…

“So you’re headed back now?” Gabe finally asked.

“Actually, no.”

He could hear Gabe grind his teeth.

“Pardon me?”

“I was packing up and she said she wanted to stay and watch the sunset over the lake…  She said she wasn’t in the mood to be around a bunch of people back at the house. Hell, what was I suppose to say? I told her I’d call the house and let her friend know so they wouldn’t send a search party. They all know she is safe with me.”

More silence…

“So is she?”

“Is she what?”

“Safe with you?”

“Oh, fuck me!  No fuck you, Gabriel! Didn’t we go through all this last night?”

Silence…

“Gabriel, I’ll have her back at the compound safe and sound before too long. I’m just indulging her. I’ll report in when I get her back to the house. Goodbye.”

The call ended shortly after Raphael heard Gabriel mumble a few choice cuss words before he threw his phone across the wall. Raphael wasn’t sure if he hung up or Gabriel’s phone ended the call when it shattered. It really didn’t matter, both men were pissed off. Raphael put the cell phone back in his pocket and walked back toward the cove.

Looking around he saw the horses grazing on the grass near by. The horses weren’t tied up but they were well trained and wouldn’t venture far. He looked at the spot were the blanket had been, the grass still laying flat against the ground. That was when he realized Jen wasn’t standing there. Where is she? 

He looked down both directions of the shore line, then his eyes focused on a large boulder near the water’s edge. What the Hell?   There laid her clothes, her boots leaning up against the rock. 

A good fifty yards from the shore, he spotted a little head bobbing in the water. Her arm reached for the sky as she waved to him. He threw his head back letting out a sigh, and prayed she’d worn a bathing suit under her clothes. Something told him she hadn’t. He waved back as she started swimming closer to the shore.

When she got within about 15 feet from him she stopped and motioned for him to come in. “Come on in, the water’s great!”

“Jen, I don’t think that’s a good idea, the fish in the lake are bigger than you are. Come on out. I’ll build a fire so you can warm yourself and not get a chill.”

“Nope, having too much fun… you’ll have to come in to get me.” She giggled, turned, and swam off, showing him a glimpse of her naked backside as she did.

He watched her as she swam farther and farther away from him and the shore. The sun was setting and even with his perfect vision he was having trouble seeing her against glare on the water and the high waves. Suddenly, he saw her go under. He waited and waited some more. She didn’t come up. Searching the water, he still couldn’t see her.

ALL HELLS BELLS!  He stripped out of his clothes. Leaving his boxers on, he plunged in head first. Swimming as fast as he could, he neared the spot he’d seen her last. Diving deep he looked for her. No Jennifer. He resurfaced, and then dove again. On his third trip to the surface, he felt a tap on his right shoulder.

“BOO!”

He turned to face her while treading water. “Shit girl, you gave me one hell of a scare. Are you out of your mind?”

“Nope, not at all… It got you just were I wanted you.” Jennifer giggled again before tapping him on the back. “Tag, you’re it!”  She turned and kicked off, skimming across the water in another direction.

What the Hell?   Her arms didn’t move like most swimmers, but her body wiggled up and down as she soared across the surface of the water. He had to use his super speed to catch her. God, she was as fast in the water as a water moccasin. 

Available worldwide in books stores and on Amazon

Eternal Lovers – Paperback –  http://tinyurl.com/b8ll29b

Eternal Lovers – Large Print – http://tinyurl.com/ae3u6lv

Eternal Lovers – Kindle –          http://tinyurl.com/amvlphl

Also available Cupid and Penelope – A Different Kind of Love Story

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Cupid and Penelope – Paperback – http://tinyurl.com/ayn33ud

Cupid and Penelope –  Kindle –        http://tinyurl.com/bfyue39

Eternal Nights – Sekhmet’s Guardians – Book Two is scheduled for release in May, 2013 followed by Eternal Blades – Sekhmet’s Guardians – Book Three in December, 2013.

Additional links to author’s website: http://www.authorvsnelson.com