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An Unexpected Friendship

Twitter BFFs

Twitter BFFs

Over two years ago, Shirley Braden of gluten-free easily tweeted a link to me and a friend of hers, Katie Oliver. It was a manifesto by another writer (Thank you for reminding us, Shirley!). Who knew we would be sitting with each other in Shirley’s dining room two years later?

I checked out Katie’s blog and the first post I read, The Little Blue Box had me in stitches. I can’t remember laughing so hard at a blog post like I did with that one. Katie writes Romantic Comedy. My experience with reading RomCom was limited to Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding and Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.

We planned to meet in real life last year when I went to Shirley’s for a retreat with friends. But as real life happens, it will get in the way of what we want for a time. I knew there would be another chance for us to meet.

In the meantime, we did a crossover post: Just Desserts. We placed her characters from The Little Blue Box with my characters J.D. & Ari. Because I write general fiction, I’m more accustomed to witty banter than placing characters into comedic situations. I am now able to think about different scenarios and how they can be turned into bits of comedy. When she sent me what would be the final major draft, before we made some minor tweaks, I almost fell off my chair from uproarious laughter.

Katie’s first three books were published earlier this year: Prada & Prejudice, Love & Liability, and Mansfield Lark. As expected, I laughed hard and tweeted harder. She created wonderful characters that you want to crawl into the book to spend time with them. Even the minor characters. But not the psychos. I recommend staying away from them. They ooze crazy, yo.

When Shirley set the date for this year’s retreat, I told Katie she had to join us even if it meant me driving up to get her myself. She’s the one Twitter friend I make sure to talk to almost daily, even if it’s small talk, and I wanted to give her hugs in person instead of *hugs* on Twitter.

And so we met.

After the initial oh-my-gosh-we’re-sitting-next-to-each-other shock wore off, it was like it always is on Twitter – full of laughter. We commented more than once on how much fun it was without wine involved. Okay, maybe it was how insane we were and we still hadn’t opened the wine. We fleshed out a collaboration we’ve been talking about for months and had to keep getting ourselves back on track, because in person, conversations easily go off on tangents. We’d end a fit of giggles with, “Okay, what are they doing?” or “Where are they going?” or “Why are they doing this?” then snicker about something else two minutes later.

The fun and laughs aside, Katie is a supportive and encouraging friend and I am thankful for Shirley introducing us.

I can’t wait to do it again, unless Katie gets us in trouble with her midday shenanigans first.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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What I’m Reading

Books from the bookstore are great, but so are the ebooks by my friends.

Books from the bookstore are great, but so are the ebooks by my friends.

One of the things I like about Twitter is making friends with other writers. I don’t mean we follow each other on Twitter, I mean we talk to each other, crack jokes, share inspiration, and encourage each other. This leads me to reading their books, but I hate writing reviews because I hate reading reviews. I never know where the reviewer is coming from and whether or not the review is reliable because each one is subjective. What they might like, I might not and vice versa.

So, I’m going to share with you what I’ve been reading and you can decide if you might like it or not. Each of these authors is a different genre.

Katie OliverPrada & Prejudice, Love & Liability, and Mansfield Park (aka The Dating Mr. Darcy series)

I made friends with Katie about two years ago through a mutual real life friend and somehow we still have not met. Okay, somehow is a stretch. She lives in another state and when I happened to be nearby with the mutual friend last year, shit happened and we couldn’t meet up. We swear it will happen though!

Katie has a gift for romantic comedy. This is from the person (me) who read the first two Bridget Jones books and Confessions of a Shopaholic in the genre before Katie’s books were published earlier this year (January, February, and March respectively). I was laughing so hard with Prada & Prejudice, I kept putting it down to tweet Katie to tell her how much I was laughing. Then there’s the basil joke we keep resurrecting for the heck of it. In Prada & Prejudice, Rhys Gordon is hired to help get the once popular department store, Dashwood & James out of the red and into the black. In doing so, he must keep Natalie Dashwood from spending money the family doesn’t have and get her invested in turning the company around. Enter Ian, husband of Natalie’s best friend and ambitions bigger than anyone knows. Love & Liability and Mansfield Lark each follow some characters in Prada & Prejudice. I devoured the next two books just as quickly as the first. Katie is currently working on the next set of books for the beloved characters of the Dating Mr. Darcy series.

Katie on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Bianca SloaneLive & Let Die, Sweet Little Lies, and (coming soon) Every Breath You Take

I met Bianca through Katie and if you watch tweets between us, we talk about General Hospital. Part of the fun with them is that as writers we will come up with wild scenarios about where a storyline could go for the hell of it, as well as make serious guesses based on what was said and done. Make fun if you like, but I call it exercising our writer brains.

Bianca has said she writes about the dark side of love. You know, the stories of what happens when love goes murderously wrong. I’ve read both Live & Let Die and Sweet Little Lies. Both of them were page turners for me. I couldn’t put either of them down. Live & Let Die follows Sondra’s quest to find the truth about  her sister’s murder a over year after her sister disappeared while out on a night jog and later found dead with her face bashed in.

Bianca on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Ian LittleTexting Orwell, Hell In The Kitchen, and Luckbox

I love giving Ian a hard time on Twitter. He’s a great bloke to take it and attempt to return it. But at the end of the day, he makes me laugh with nothing but his wit and his angry toddler avatar.

Ian’s books are available on Kindle and I had to ask Chaz if I could borrow his Kindle because I really wanted to read Ian’s books. So far, I’ve read Texting Orwell. I’m getting around to the other two in time. If you saw my “to be read” (TBR) pile of just my physical books, you might be floored. I told a friend last week that it could fit two bookshelves. This does not include my TBR for ebooks. Texting Orwell is a novella romantic comedy focused mostly on Daniel’s point of view as he decides today is the day to tell Debbie how he feels about her, but Debbie calls in to work sick. He must figure out a different way to tell her. Modern technology and an interfering mother become aids in his plan.

Ian on Amazon

William WoodwardThe Eight Walls of Rogar, The Stair of Time (Books 1 & 2 of the Lost Kindoms of Laotswend Trilogy)

I don’t even remember how I started following William, but we started chatting when I responded to one of his tweets. He’s an all-around nice guy with a fabulous imagination, which is required when you write fantasy. If you aren’t sure about investing in an unknown writer, he’s like me and post fiction on his website. His serial fiction series on the site is called Lost Town.

Fantasy and science fiction usually takes me a longer to read because of the time it takes to absorb the world the authors build for you. Unless you are a writer, you might think it easy to do. I have a lot of respect for sci-fi/fantasy authors because of the time it takes to create their worlds. The Eight Walls of Rogar follows Andaris as he sneaks off from home seeking adventure in Fingar Forest. He has never been away from home and during a storm he takes shelter in a cave then finds himself in another land. What I appreciated about The Eight Walls of Rogar was William’s ability to create the tension needed in action to feel for the characters in involved. At one point, I found I was holding my breath without realizing until I knew one of the characters had made it to his destination while being pursued. He also threw in something completely unexpected which gave me a giggle fit. I can’t tell you what it is or it would ruin the surprise.

William on Amazon

Amy Sumida – Godhunter

Amy has quite a few books under belt. More than I could list for you. Her Godhunter series contains twelve books so far. I’ve only read the first one. We met through a mutual Twitter friend who interviewed her for his blog. Amy is also an artist and is from Hawai`i. Yes, we will have to get together the next time I’m home for a visit. Maybe a rainbow will bless us that day.

Godhunter is about Vervain Lavine, a witch and a godhunter. The gods that we think of as gods are really Atlanteans who came to our world when they were displaced. They feed off our energy when we worship them, but find they don’t have enough when sacrifices become less and less. Vervain stumbles onto a plan to keep humans at war in order for the gods to continue feeding off our energy and has to work with other gods if she wants the plan to fail. I love a kickass heroine and spins/twists on traditional tales/legends. It didn’t hurt that some of the book took place in Hawai`i either.

Amy on Amazon

Currently reading:

Geoffrey WestRock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (The Jack Lockwood Mysteries)

I’m only a few pages in and can’t say much yet, but I will tell you Geoffrey is a real gentleman.

Geoffrey on Amazon

TBR:

Zero Echo Shadow Prime by Peter Samet

First Contact (The Terran Chronicles) by James Jackson (Amazon and Barnes & Noble)

The Night Porter by Mark Barry

To be published soon & added to my TBR list:

When You Are Mine by Kennedy Ryan  (Amazon pre-order and Barnes & Noble pre-order)

Fifteen Weekends by Christy Pastore.

If you want to see what I’m reading at any given time, you can find me on Goodreads.

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Just Desserts Crossover

Waikiki Marina and Diamond Head

Waikiki Marina and Diamond Head

In the midst of working on the J.D. and Ari series, Katie Oliver tweeted me after I published a part and joked about what would happen if they met her characters Alex and Dana. The joke quickly turned into brainstorming tweets. Chance smiled on us as I was in her neck of the woods back in September. Fate stepped in and we were unable to meet up. Instead, we did this through private messages and email. I had a lot of fun working with Katie on it and learned a lot on how to incorporate her romantic comedy style with my dramatic style.

If you haven’t seen me sharing her posts on Alex and Dana on Facebook or Twitter, go through her archives. Katie always makes me laugh. Even if you do not want to sift through her archives, check her out. Her first book, Prada and Prejudice, is scheduled to release in January 2014. Keep an eye out.

For those of you familiar with J.D. and Ari, this crossover falls into their timeline a week after Stripped. If you are not familiar with them, the link above will take you to the page with all the links to the posts. Head over to Katie’s blog through the link below for our crossover.

I hope you enjoy Just Desserts.

 

 

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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