Monthly Archives: July 2013

Or, What I Enjoyed the Most About Atlanta
My book swag in the goody room.

My book swag in the goody room.

10. Meeting Robyn Kaye, Kristen Ashley, and Hannah Howell on the patio.

9. Listening to Jude Deveraux speak about her process.

8. Free books.

7. Learning about Save the Cat. I’m behind the curve.

6. Kristan Higgins’ luncheon speech. I cried.

5. Cathy Maxwell’s speech about starting poor. I could relate.

4. Putting my swag in the goody room for the first time.

3. Meeting really cool ladies like Jennifer Tillman and Caroline Fyffe.

2. Learning everything I ever wanted to know about metadata and backmatter.

1. Catching up to old friends from California Mary Galusha and Maria Connor.
<3 Anna
Or, An Excerpt From My Upcoming Novel Elixir

“I’ll look out for zombies.” Showing off, Hunny sprang onto the hood of a white Nissan and leap-frogged three cars ahead, scrambling over roofs and sliding down windshields.

“Keep the noise down,” I warned. Reds were attracted by sound.

Elixir, ms pg 23

<3 Anna

Or, Have You Picked Up Your Copy Yet?

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Spell of Binding, the sequel to Spell of Summoning, is now available at all major online book retailers. If you haven’t gotten your own copy, yet, check it out. If you read it please leave a review on your favorite site.

And don’t forget Spell of Summoning, the first book in the series, is on sale all summer long!

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

All Romance Ebooks

Happy reading!

<3 Anna

Or, I’m Sharing My Favorite Romantic Video Montages

I like to pretend Scott and Isaac on Teen Wolf finally admitted their obvious love for each other. This video pretty much expresses that fantasy perfectly. Enjoy!

<3 Anna

Or, What Made me Believe in Ghosts

I’m not the kind of person who looks for evidence of the supernatural. I love to read and write about it. My favorite TV shows all have paranormal and supernatural themes (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf), but I never had a concrete stance on whether ghosts are real until I moved into a haunted house.

In 2008 my husband, our daughter, and I moved to Ogden, Utah into a sixty plus year old home. We were native southern Californians and this was our first experience living in the Beehive State. My husband’s job transferred him to nearby Roy and we were excited to find a cheap house within fifteen minutes of his office.

The house has a main floor plus a full basement that can be used as a “grandma apartment” with its own kitchenette and bathroom, and an attic with two bedrooms and a bathroom. Though there were only three of us, it was perfect. We could have a playroom for our daughter, a rumpus room downstairs, and both my husband and I could have our own home offices. I loved it.

Haunted House Winter

The basement is level with the car. The main floor is in brick. The attic is above that. The garages are in the back.

The first unusual experience happened almost immediately. At the rear of the property was an older garage with a much newer garage addition built onto the side. I adopted the older garage, but when we moved in it looked like it hadn’t been used in decades. It was coated with dust and cobwebs. Someone had dug their own mechanic’s pit into the ground and miscellaneous car parts and shop tools were rusting in drawers and cabinets. The first thing I did was cover the mechanic’s pit and clear out the space from top to bottom so I could park my car inside without being afraid of breathing in the Hanta virus.

Old Garage

What the garages looked like before we moved in. The old one is to the right. You can see part of the newer addition on the left.

After a rough day of cleaning I was standing in the doorway of the old garage and I saw a man behind me, to my right, on the edge of my peripheral vision. Scared that a nosy neighbor had snuck up on me, I spun around. No one was there.

My little girl is standing in the same spot I was when I saw someone who wasn't really there.

My little girl is standing in the same spot I was when I saw someone who wasn’t really there. The old garage is on the left. The newer one is to the right.

The kitchen on the main floor didn’t usually have any supernatural or scary vibes. But one day my three-year-old daughter and I returned to an empty house. With her in the lead, we rounded a corner into the kitchen. Something by the windows caught her eye and she called out, “Hi, ghost.”

I'm writing at the kitchen table in front of the windows where my daughter saw someone.

I’m writing at the kitchen table in front of the windows where my daughter saw someone.

There was no one in the house but us and I didn’t see anything. When I asked her what she’d seen to make her say that she didn’t want to talk about it.

My daughter is making a potion with her grandma while I cook dinner in front of the windows that spooked my little girl.

My daughter is making a potion with her grandma while I cook dinner in front of the windows that spooked my little girl.

The worst area of the house, though, was the attic. When we bought the property the previous owners, who’d only lived there two years, had been using the adorable attic bedrooms—with their hand built shelves, wood paneling, and sloping ceilings—as storage space. I couldn’t understand why!

As soon as we moved in I swept the two rooms and spread out my daughter’s impressive toy collection, made curtains for the windows, and lay down large play rugs. I couldn’t wait to spend hours of fun, imaginative play in there.

Except no one ever wanted to go up there.

The attic. Here is my daughter and her friend playing in the pirate ship playroom I made for her (complete with canvas sail and freestanding ship's wheel). This is the room my brother slept in. Once.

The attic. Here is my daughter and her friend playing in the pirate ship playroom I made for her (complete with canvas sail and freestanding ship’s wheel). This is the room my brother slept in. Once. See the light spot in the background?

One reason, which has nothing to do with the paranormal is, heat rises. During the summer the attic was the hottest level of the house. Beyond that, though, I always got a bad feeling up there. The stairs leading into the attic were narrow, steep, and covered in thick green carpet. I slipped on them at least a dozen times in the three years we lived there. My daughter fell so badly once, while carrying a play set down, that she still remembers it six years later. When I used those stairs I purposefully gripped the banister tight and planted my feet solidly on each step because it became an almost certainty that if I wasn’t paying attention I’d slip. Especially on the way down.

And the attic stairs were always cold. Winter or summer, it didn’t matter; they were colder than the rest of the house.

All those toys in the attic used to power on constantly and randomly. My daughter still has a lot of battery powered toys and I can honestly say, except for Zhu-Zhu pets that come on if something touches them, none of them power on by themselves. None. But in the attic, toys would sing and light up and talk without human interference all the time. We just got used to hearing the little piano start playing music, or the animatronic bear say, “I love you,” or the electronic book sing the Alphabet Song. At any time of the day or night.

When we had overnight guests I set them up in the attic. They would have privacy and their own bathroom. So when my brother came to stay for Thanksgiving I made a place for him in the attic. I didn’t say anything to him about the strange feelings I got up there because I didn’t think he’d believe me and I also didn’t want to influence him. Maybe it was just me.

Haunted House Edited

The red arrow points to the attic window of the room my brother slept in. The blue arrow points to my brother, yes, but also the front door I heard open and close from my spot in the basement below.

The next morning he described his night spent in my attic. First, the plastic vanity against the wall turned on and flashed its lights and played a bright, tinny melody. He hadn’t touched it, even by accident. Once he’d actually fallen asleep he said he woke up to a man bending over him, his twisted and angry face inches from my brother’s.

My brother wouldn’t sleep in the attic again after that. When he visited next time he slept on the pull-out couch in the basement and was much happier.

The final incident I can share happened over the summer when my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nephew were visiting. Because it was hot we were all chatting in the rumpus room in the basement. We were directly under the main floor living room.

Keep in mind our house was older and had a lot of wood floors. It made noise—pops and creaks—all the time as it settled, expanded, and constricted in different temperatures. But that day I heard the front door open and close.  My husband always came home through that door, never the basement door, so I knew who it had to be. I remember leaning back my head onto the couch and following the sound of his footsteps as they crossed from the door to our bedroom on the other side of the house.

Excited, I announced, “Sounds like he’s home.” I rushed upstairs to greet him, but the house was empty. The front door was still locked. There was no car in the driveway except mine. There was no one there.

I still haven’t researched the property or its previous owners. Half of me is scared I’ll find nothing. The other half is afraid I’ll discover I was living in some hellish murder house. But I have never had any other supernatural experiences in any other home I’ve ever lived in, and because of my husband’s job I’ve lived in nine different homes since we got engaged.

By the time we moved away that adorable playroom in the attic I’d spent so much time decorating was being used for storage and no one ever went up there unless they had to.

<3 Anna

Or, How I Make New Friends at the Salon

My phone went off at the nail salon today. The alert is the sound effect in Super Mario Bros when you get a one up. My Vietnamese manicurist, who doesn’t know much English, looks up and says, “Mario?”

I just laughed and nodded. “Yep. Mario.”

<3 Anna

Or, I’m Sharing My Favorite Romantic Video Montages

Here is a beautiful video showcasing all the reasons I have a crush on Eddie Redmayne. From Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Enjoy!

<3 Anna

Or, Spell of Binding is Now Available

I’m thrilled and delighted to announce the release of Spell of Binding (Dark Caster Series Book 2). You can find Dani and David’s story at Amazon and Barnes & Noble with additional sites coming soon. Check it out.

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Cover Blurb:

Daniela Ferraro can’t touch people without hurting them. So when she wakes up in the Dark Caster’s cell next to the one man guaranteed to mess with her heart, she will risk anything to escape.

David Wilkes has no idea why he’s been abducted and thrown in a locked room with Dani, the woman who jilted him two years ago. But when the Dark Caster threatens David’s four year old son, David will not stop until Ryan is safe and the evil necromancers tormenting him are destroyed.

When Dani’s powers are bound and her necromancer friends are out of commission, the only way to protect the people she cares about and keep the Chaos Gate firmly closed is to trust in David.

But the closer Dani gets to David the more lethal her touch becomes for the only man she’s ever loved.

And don’t forget Spell of Summoning is on sale all summer long for 99¢!

<3 Anna

Or, Look Out RWA, Here I Come

I’ll soon be flying to Atlanta to attend the Romance Writers of America national conference, and I can’t wait! The books, the authors, the workshops, the luncheons, the swag, the new friends!

The RWA conference is one of the highlights of my year, and this is the first year I’ll be attending as a published author. So, my attitude and goals are very different. Instead of focusing on workshops about craft or characters I’ll be zeroing in on workshops about marketing, branding, and the ebook boom.

Sounds fun, right?

<3 Anna

 

Or, I’m Sharing My Favorite Romantic Video Montages

If you’re obsessed with Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert from The Vampire Diaries the way I am, then you’ll love this!

<3 Anna

"A sizzling and sweet paranormal romance." 5 stars.
--Christine Rains, author of the 13th Floor Series

"A wonderful, suspenseful love story." 5 stars.
--Coffee Time Romance

"A great paranormal adventure with many twists and turns." 5 stars.
--Community Bookstop

"This book kept me on the edge of my seat." 4 stars.
--The Reading Cafe

Anna's bookshelf: Read

The Duke Is Mine
5 of 5 stars true
I'm not ashamed to say I cried at the end of this book, or that I read it in a single day because I couldn't stop.
Forbidden
3 of 5 stars true
The story started out a page tuner I could not put down, but by the middle I was skimming to the end just to see how it all wrapped up. I think the James' are wonderful storytellers, but this particular story didn't do it for me. I'd lov...

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