Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Book Blog Meme

It's another blog meme! (I stole this one from Mary.)

Contemporary, Historical, or Paranormal?

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
 Mass market. Cheaper, easier to hold and carry with you to doctor's appointments and whatnot.

Heyer or Austen?
Totally Austen!

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
If I had to choose one for the world and the other would be destroyed, I'd totally go with brick-and-mortar. Bookstores are my happy place.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
I like B&N more. Maybe because working there helped me earn money for food and gas while I was in grad school.

Woodiwiss or Lindsay?
Probably Woodiwiss. I haven't read one in ages, but her Flame and the Flower was the first romance I ever read.

First romance novel you ever remember reading?
Uh, see above.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?
By author! I also divide my books into categories.

Keep, Throw Away, or Sell?
Keep or trade at used bookstore. Throw away? A tree died for that book!

Read with dustjacket or remove it?
Remove it. It always gets in the way, comes off, or crumples when I leave it on.

Sookie Stackhouse or Anita Blake? Anita Blake up through Blue Moon. In the later books, Anita's too busy shagging everything that moves to scare me or move me, which is why I prefer the earlier books in the series. Other people, however, do not have this problem, so it's totally a personal reading preference that has nothing to do with Hamilton's considerable talent.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
Stop when tired, though I usually try to make it to a chapter break.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Seeing as "It was a dark and stormy night" was the opener to one of the most notoriously bad books ever, I'd have to say "Once upon a time."

Crusie or SEP?

Buy or Borrow?
Buy or trade. I'm not good at returning, so I try not to borrow.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
Browse, mostly. Sometimes recommendation. When I do buy a book based on a review, I generally ignore the review and consider the plot synopsis. I've read too many well-reviewed books that I've loathed and poorly reviewed books that I've loved to put too much stock in something so subjective.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
Tidy ending! I hate cliffhangers.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
Anytime is a good time for a book. Lately, nighttime is the only time I seem to have.

Series or standalone? Stand alones. I tend to fall behind with or get tired of series.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?The Sirens of Ming Hai, a political spy thriller by John Williamson. Williamson self-published his book, one bookseller in Virginia informed me, because several editors felt it contained sensitive political information that might get them into trouble. I wasn't expecting much when I picked it up, but I so thoroughly enjoyed this intense, intricately plotted, edge-of-your-seat ride, I was even moved to write a brief Amazon review of it (and this is normally something I am too lazy to do, regardless of how much I enjoyed a book).

Monday, January 29, 2007

Blog Meme Deluxe

I'm on a tight deadline, so you know what that means--it's blog meme time! Here's a fun one you are all welcome to steal.... (FYI, I filled this out on Sunday, hence the lack of work references.)

10 Favorites

Favorite Color: Dark red
Favorite Food: Mulate's bread pudding. (Mulate's is a restaurant in New Orleans, and their bread pudding is a religious experience.)
Favorite Month: October
Favorite Song: Constantly changes. Right now it's "Headlock" by Imogen Heap
Favorite Movie: Star Wars
Favorite Sport: Ice skating
Favorite Season: fall
Favorite Day of the week: Saturday
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: chocolate peanut butter passion
Favorite Time of Day: Evening

Current Mood: restless
Current Taste: chocolate chip cookie
Current Clothes: Jeans, blue t-shirt, comfy socks
Current Desktop: NASA supernova
Current Toenail Color: Apple of my OPI
Current Time: 5:44 PM
Current Surroundings: stacks of books and papers
Current Thoughts: How many more minutes of freedom do I have before I have to wrestle Maggie back on the potty? And will Marin be scarred for life from this whole potty training experience because I hardly play with her while I'm wrestling her sister onto said potty?

First Best Friend: Elizabeth Badaluco
First Kiss: This boy in kindergarten. (It was just a peck!)
First Screen Name:Pandorra
First Pet: Freeway, the county fair goldfish
First Piercing: earlobes
First Crush: Probably the boy in kindergarten. If we're talking first pre-teen obsession, it was Joe Elliott from Def Leppard.
First CD: Pink Floyd's The Wall

Last Cigarette: In college. I was "smoking" to prepare for an audition. (And I tanked it!)
Last Drink: A Woodchuck Hard Cider. Probably after the last time I took Maggie to the potty.
Last Car Ride: To and from my fabulous hairdresser's this morning.
Last Kiss: A few minutes ago when Marin planted one on my cheek.
Last Movie Seen: Dreamgirls. So freaking awesome, I can hardly stand it.
Last Phone Call: My brother Troy, last night.
Last CD Played: The new Evanescence one.

Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Guy/Girl Friends: Yes.
Have You Ever Broken the Law: Yes.
Have You Ever Been Arrested: No.
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: Yes.
Have You Ever Been on TV: I was on NPR once and Sirius radio once, but I don't think I've been on TV.
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: Yes. It was brief and during Mardi Gras, long, long ago.


Thing You're Wearing: My wedding rings, my silver-and-moonstone ring, my gold ankle bracelet I bought to commemorate my first book sale, and my contact lenses.
Thing You've Done Today:Got my hair cut. Talked smack about Bush and Cheney with my hairdresser. Made lunch for the kids. Potty trained. Took a nap with Maggie after hours of potty training. Washed dirty training pants. Wondered how my child would adjust to being the only girl in her high school wearing Pull-Ups.
Thing You Can Hear Right Now: Jose playing with Marin. The television. Maggie snoring.
Thing You Can't Live Without: Since these are things and not people, books and Diet Coke.
Thing You Do When You're Bored: Eat, unfortunately. I don't get bored that often, though. Can't say the same thing about eating.

1. My house
2. My car
3. My salon and day spa
4. 1.2 feet from Maggie's potty

1. My mom
2. Jose
3. Sharron and Kim (Yes, that's four. So sue me. There are more.)

1. Black or White: Black
2. Hot or Cold: Hot.

See my daughters settled and happy.

Monday, January 22, 2007

New Cover

I'm deep in deadline lurk, which is my current excuse for being a giant blog slug. But for anyone who cares (Hi, Mom!) my April 2007 release, Finding His Child, finally has a cover! I do not yet have a cover blurb, but maybe soon.

I love it! Captain Sidepart here isn't exactly how I pictured the hero, but he is quite cute. I am LOVING the spooky forest and flashlight--the artist did a rockin' job of capturing the feel of the book.

Yay! The cover gods have smiled upon the House of Montoya.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


A few years ago, I went with my brother Tom and sister-in-law Suzanne to see Minnesota's then brand-new Lynx team play basketball. (The Lynx are Minnesota's WNBA team.) Jose and I didn't have kids yet, but I always knew I'd have little girls--whether they were mine through biology or adoption. (That is not to say that a little boy would not have been equally adored and fussed over, but so far that is not to be.) So when I saw the Lynx charge out onto the shiny, professional-grade floor with their professional-grade uniforms and professional-grade basketballs, I did something really embarrassing. I started to cry.

Not the big, weepy ugly cry, but I definitely choked up. Tom and Suzanne asked what was up, and I told them, while fanning my face and trying NOT to explode into a loud, sloppy mess, that when I was a little girl, I'd always dreamed of being good enough at basketball to be a professional. But I knew that even if I had been awesome at b-ball, that dream was not to be--there were no professional women's basketball teams. And here, 15-20 years later, I was sitting in a stadium watching part of that dream come true. My daughters, if they had the talent and the desire, could be professional sports players, because these women had broken down the barriers.

That's about the point where Tom started making fun of me.

And, as it was, any talent I had was strictly limited to WRITING about basketball, because I pretty much looked like I was seizing up when I played it. Ergo, I gave up on the sport altogether before I even hit high school. But you know, just knowing the possibility was there would have struck me as all kinds of awesome.

So today, I'm having a similar moment watching clips of Nancy Pelosi take her place as the first female Speaker of the House. No matter where your politics lie, today has a significance that transcends party lines: Our daughters, if they have the talent and desire, can now more easily aspire to be House Speaker, because that door has now been opened. As Pelosi herself said, "This is a moment for which we have waited more than 200 years. For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling. For our daughters and our granddaughters now, the sky is the limit."

Anyone have a Kleenex?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Things I'd Like to Forget from 2006

Last year, I filched an idea from Arianna Huffington at the Huffington Post and did a blog entry on the "Things I'd Like to Forget from 2005." Now that the new year is upon us, I decided that forgetting the bad and remembering the good was such a spiffy tradition, I'd like to do it again. So without further ado, here are the things I'd like to forget from 2006. Happy New Year!

• Any celebrity whose ribs are visible where their cleavage should be. Bony is not pretty. Beautiful women have booties, girlfriends!

• That Pluto is no longer a planet. I don't like change.

• Crotch shots, any and all.

• That the number of US troops who have died in Iraq is now greater than the number who died in the 9/11 attacks, and the war itself has gone on longer than our involvement in World War II.

• Michael Richards and Mel Gibson. Here's a freebie from the clue factory--if it talks like a racist pig, it IS a racist pig. Spewing vile garbage and then acting like you don't know where it came from is ridiculous. It came from YOOOOOUUUUUU.

• That orphaned babies from Africa are being touted in the tabloids as "celebrity accessories." A baby is not an accessory, you soul-less losers.

• That I spent more than a fleeting second contemplating why Ashlee Simpson had suddenly become likable by simply dropping a few thousand on plastic surgery and extensions.

• Mark Foley's pickup lines.

• That not enough people realized the camp brilliance that was Snakes on a Plane. Go rent the video, people! It's hilarious!

V for Vendetta. Here's a lesson for all you girls out there: If a guy hides behind a mask, tortures you within in an inch of your life, shaves your head, and wants to blow up the world, DO NOT MAKE OUT WITH HIM! He is a LOSER and you can do BETTER. Grow a pair of ovaries and find someone who deserves you.

• The mental image of Danny DeVito having sex in the White House, or anywhere for that matter. Eeeeeeuuuuwwwww.

• That Anne Heche's character on her stupid new TV show has the same name as my daughter. If Marin becomes the new Emma, I'm SO coming after you, Celestia.

• That our air is such a toxic mess of chemical soup, my babies already have allergies and possibly asthma.

• That people so easily forget that Tara Reid is a crackhead just because after several years of fame, homegirl finally got a stylist who isn't dropping acid. We are so easily swayed by appearances. How many chances would Britney have gotten if she were ugly?

• Lindsay Lohan's illiterate Blackberry eulogy to Robert Altman. Our education system is in need of a serious overhaul....

• Those industry-paid scientists who are still saying global warming doesn't exist.

• Those "Mrs. *MY BOYFRIEND'S NAME HERE*" T-shirts. You have a name, girlfriend, and you're worth being addressed as an individual.

• Whitney Houston's behavior on her ex-husband's reality show. Here's to ditching the loser, getting off the drugs, and being the diva you were meant to be.

• That I didn't buy my grandma that "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me" T-shirt at that street fair when I had the chance. It would have cracked her up.

• That the violence in Sudan and Uganda is still going on and getting worse.

• K-Fed, Fed-Ex, and any other hygiene-challenged Feds splashed all over my trashy magazines.

• My continuing sad addiction to trashy magazines. I can't even use the "I'm living in Korea and they're my strange connection to home" excuse any more.

• That the Pussycat Dolls are still here and churning out "hits." (At least they kept their undies on, if little else.)

• That '70s "jiggle TV" is back, in the form of unchallenging game shows with briefcase toting bimbos in tiny dresses. "The need for feminism is over," my big butt. Do you see half-clothed men standing around holding briefcases and caressing flashcards on TV while the women do the talking and get paid the big bucks? No, you do not. We had one smartass female game show host, and she was fired and sent back to England--probably because of the neck-to-ankle coats she wore. Women are not to be used as decorations, Howie, William, and anyone else out there who wants to embrace this disturbing throwback trend.

• The morbid photos of Saddam Hussein with the noose around his neck. Yes, he was a violent dictator, but the pictures were creepy and a little too cavalier, IMHO.

• That Miss Nevada thought the good people of her state would still let her represent them after those creepyass party photos were released. Here's another freebie from the clue factory: When you're on camera trying to lick your own breasts, it's OVER, honey. Turn in your sash and begin anew.

• That whole OJ thing. Yuck.

• That Val Kilmer, my high school crush, is now being compared to a whale. Oh, how the mighty have fallen ... into a giant vat of fried dough, apparently.

• That it's been over a year since Marin was born, and I still haven't gotten rid of the last ten pregnancy pounds or rediscovered my waist.

• The way Tom Cruise sucked all the fun out of Katie Holmes. It was a sad spectacle to behold.
• That Victoria Beckham (aka Posh Spice) hasn't dieted herself invisible yet.

• That repeat drunk drivers still don't get a mandatory bitchslap and 20-year sentence.

• That Naomi Campbell thinks it's OK to beat the cleaning lady.

• The image of Borat (aka Sacha Baron Cohen) giving himself a neon yellow thong-wedgie. My retinas are burning! My retinas are burning!

• The idea of Screech releases a sex tape. Get a JOB, dude.

• The painstaking pop media documentation of year #2 of Jennifer Aniston's sad-sack life, post Brad. Grow a pair of ovaries, get a new haircut, ditch the black dresses, and stop clutching your pashminas like they're security blankets! And would it kill you smile for once? Perhaps, suggests my brother Troy, finding a nice 20-something boy toy would help, too.

• That TSA confiscated my Body Shop lip gloss at an airport checkpoint, because apparently Candy Pink Lip Shimmer is a threat to national security. And here I thought it just looked nice with my complexion....

• The Diet Coke and fruit gummy binge I went on during my last book deadline. I'm STILL twitching.

• That Austria was invaded by yellow sack spiders. I never, ever want to hear the words "spider" and "invasion" used together in a sentence again. GAH.

• Bubble skirts. Go back to the Land of Fugly from whence you came.

• Ditto to ankle boots.

• And of course, a mandatory ditto to skinny jeans. Here's a helpful equation for today's trendsetters: Anyone with a butt + skinny jeans = denim-encased turnip. No woman wants to look like a denim-encased turnip. I'm just sayin'.

• The tragic and completely idiotic accident that temporarily crippled my beloved Frankenshoe (aka my Toyota Scion XB). As well as the fact that Ms. Dumber Than a Bag of Hair drove HER car away from the scene HER idiot driving skills caused, while I had to beg the mentally deficient community service officer to give me a ride home so I didn't have to walk eight miles in the dark lugging a car seat and a box of books on my back.

• The Cutting Edge sequel. What an unmitigated disaster.

• Not seeing Michelle Kwan in the winter Olympics.

• The rumors that Jessica Alba might be playing Wonder Woman.

• That someone found my blog by searching for the words "Fat Woman Sad."

• That my husband could next in line to go to Iraq (AGAIN)from his facility because the woman ahead of him says she's too heavy to go. (Yes, I have tried stuffing the boy with Krispy Kremes, but then he gets up and walks across the room, thereby burning all of the extra calories. I seethe with jealousy over his metabolism.)

• That lumpy mess Gwen Stefani wore on Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago. Cat suits with belts directly under your armpits are not flattering.

• That New Orleans is still not rebuilt, and that experts are now saying the entire state of Louisiana is sliding into the ocean. Why Louisiana? Why, God, why? And would You consider taking Florida instead?

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Tracy Montoya writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.

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