Saturday, March 31, 2012

best. party. ever!



First of all, enormous thanks and hugattacks to EVERYONE who came out to FoxTale Book Shoppe last night for the Wicked as They Come book launch party. Every time I looked up, I saw someone else that I adore coming through that door, and it was one of the most magical nights of my life.


You know Delilah is happy when Delilah gets gummy and huggy.

I want to thank everyone, but I know I would forget someone, because last night was like a giant hurricane of love and glitter. But I hope you'll indulge me as I thank some of the people who drove from far, far away to be there. Brooke and Kendal of Villainess Soaps came down from Tennessee and brought me my own, beautiful, full-size set of the soaps and perfumes, which are GORGEOUS, as are THEY. The marvelous Kristen Chase, Founder and Editor of Cool Mom Picks and star of The Kristen Show and the Mominatrix herself braved some super-rough traffic to be there. Mandy Horetski of GeekMom came all the way down from North Carolina! My Aunt Sunny and Uncle Bill came down from Tennessee. And the super-talented Meghan of One Girl Vaudeville brought contact juggling worthy of the Goblin King himself and then wowed us with fire spinning on the Woodstock green.


That's right. There was FIRE at my launch party! How cool is she?!



And Jeremy, one of the nicest people I've known for over 15 years now, who brought me a beautiful Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Box filled with candy and a vintage Starscream Transformer that made my husband so happy he's still talking about it.



And the wonderfully awesome girls of FoxTale, who offered to throw the party and then TOTALLY ROCKED IT. The display was so amazing! Everything was perfectly orchestrated.

And thanks to my family and the Red Door Writers Group and the girls of Willow Tree and Thomas of North Fulton Drama Club's steampunk Tempest and my high school friends and Jon Plsek who made my Facebook cover photo and my Cobb County friends and Dr. Krog's work friends and the ICAN mamas and Cakes by Darcy and Debbie for emergency fangs and Ericka for emergency mustaches and my internet friends and my real-live-people friends and Nanook's friend Hal and author James Tuck and Croft Photography and EVERYBODY EVERYBODY EVERYBODY!

Still haven't heard me gush enough?


Here's the link to FoxTale Book Shoppe where you can buy a signed copy.

Here's the link to Villainess Soaps, where you can buy the oh-so-delicious soaps and perfumes inspired Wicked as They Come. The samples were gone in a flash last night!

It was, quite simply, the best night ever, and I'm so grateful for everyone's support.

I JUST LOVE ALL YOUR FACES.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

you want to come to this party.



Tonight.

FoxTale Book Shoppe in downtown Woodstock, GA. 7pm.


Steampunk, costumes, vampires, really awesome cake, wine, snackies, door prizes, signed books, a reading, and general shenanigans. EVERYONE IS INVITED!

Here are some teaser photos.
And watch the video to see how to seal an envelope with sealing wax,
although I didn't leave the stamp on long enough and it got gooey.
I was just too excited.


Door prizes, including handmade jewelry and adorable journals.

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And you might even get to meet the Villainess herself, the lovely Brooke!
There are perfume samples, too. YUM.

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A lion in a crown and a giraffe in a party hat. Who wants to miss that?

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Come one, come all! I'll be there in a corset and fishnets, ready to rock. Ready to blush and sign your book as long as you promise not to show it to my grandmother. Ready to feed you the best cake you've ever eaten and chase it with a gulp of Bludwine.

READY TO ROCK.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

the dirty truth about release week (and also life)


Things I Learned My First Week as a Published Author


1.
You're going to gain 5 pounds.

Whether it's because you're worried to death and nibbly or celebrating constantly, you might as well just drop the diet and quit caring. Life's too short to turn down cake and cupcakes and cake pops and chocolate hazelnut sea salt caramel torte, which is what I was enjoying in that pic up there. It was fully as amazing as it sounds.

2. Your full-time job will involve being online and freaking out.

For a few days at least, you will want to follow every link, record every review and interview, thank everyone on Twitter, respond to all the well wishes on Facebook, and constantly email your agent and editor with email titles such as OMG OMG OMG, I'm freaking out, man.

3. You're going to need a nanny.

If you have kids, do yourself a favor and secure a favorite aunt, beloved teen sitter, or very generous grandparent. You will need personal and emotional space, and your children will sense your desperation like bludbunnies scenting a sheep carcass, and they will BLEED YOU DRY and drive you insane. At the very least, shove them out the door with a paper bag full of granola bars and tell them not to scream unless they lose a limb.

4. Don't think you're actually going to get any writing done.

You're not. Your brain won't even be able to do the thing where you put the words together rightly in order the. Heaven help you if you're on a deadline. Ask me how I know.

5. Be on the lookout for amazing mail.

This week, I received five bludbunnies, 24 hat-shaped cake pops, 5 pounds of perfume and soap samples, plus all the usual stuff I review for Cool Mom Picks. Thank heavens I came home right after lunch today, or all that gorgeous soap and chocolate might have melted like the Wicked Witch of the West, and then I probably would have cried into it and licked up the puddle.

6. Go ahead and tell yourself you're not going to look at reviews/Goodreads/Amazon. You will anyway.

Because you can't help yourself. You will refresh them. You will compare your baby to other books. You will investigate screen names and stalk blogs and Twitter feeds. Because you are a writer, and that means you are infinitely curious and utterly narcissistic. That's okay. WE ALL ARE.

7. If you have a significant other, you should apologize in advance.

You will not mentally be there. You will not want to snuggle in front of the TV and watch Firefly and discuss your day. You won't want to listen to anyone else talk about anything that isn't your book. You won't cook, you won't clean, you might forget to do laundry and not remember for a couple of days that there's stinky stuff moldering in the wash. Oops. You're going to need a lot of hand-holding, reassurance, understanding, and delicious food. Lots and lots of delicious food. See point 1.

8. Think you're introverted or shy? You're going to have to get over it.

You must walk into bookstores, introduce yourself to managers, and sell your book. You're going to have to hand postcards or business cards or bookmarks to anyone with open hands. You're going to have to read an excerpt of your book to a quiet room of everyone you've ever met, including your wealthy uncle and your 10th grade TAG teacher and your favorite boss and the ladies in your neighborhood. You're also going to have to email popular people to ask for guest blog opportunities and beg people to retweet or share things and ask all sorts of real life people for favors, such as bringing a potluck dish to your launch party. And then you're probably going to want to write lots and lots of Thank You notes, afterward. Which shouldn't be hard, because YOU'RE A WRITER, DAMMIT.

9. Even when it happens, it's not going to feel real.

You think getting an agent and selling a book will change everything forever, but... it mostly stays the same. Then you think having a book on the shelf will change everything forever, but... it mostly stays the same, just gets more busy and anxious. I hear hitting the NYT bestsellers list is also oddly anticlimactic, and I'd really like to find out for myself. The truth is that no matter how many times I look at the pictures of my book at B&N and Books-a-Million, it still doesn't sink in that this is real, that I'm a published author. It's kind of like losing your virginity or turning 21 or getting married-- something madly huge has happened, but... you're still the same.

10. It's going to be awesome.

Seriously. The last two days, I've felt like Harry Potter when he drank Felix Felicis. Happy, smiling, slightly disconnected from reality, just following my heart and stomach and occasionally brain to wherever they lead. I love everybody all the time. I want to reach through the laptop and hug all the reviewers and bloggers and people who retweeted things or added Wicked as They Come to their TBR pile. I want to share my top hat cookie pops with all of you.

Kind of. They're really good.

This week? Rocks. And I couldn't be happier.

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A special note on What It All Means

When I was little and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I used to say a vet or an advertising executive. I always thought authors were out of reach, that writing a book was impossible. When I got older and my friends chose colleges and professions and people asked me what I wanted to be, I said "I just want to be happy." I was high school Valedictorian, but I didn't do a speech because I didn't have anything to say.

If my high school invited me to speak today-- because who doesn't want a vampire sexytimes author addressing their impressionable youth?-- I would say this:

Forget other people's hopes and expectations and pieces of paper and sitting behind a desk being bored. Figure out whatever makes you feel alive and do that. Just because it's not a job on your counselor's list doesn't mean someone won't pay you to do it if you kick enough ass. Comfort won't make you happy but passion will. If you have to sit behind a desk to pay the bills for a while, stay up all night following your dreams. Find someone who cares as much about 10-years-ago-you and 1o-years-from-now-you as they care about in-their-bed-now-you and commit to caring that much about them, too.

Never stop fighting. Do the thing that scares you. Resist much. Obey little. Paraphrase badly. Borrow extensively-- ideas and quotes, not money. Never stop reading, never stop learning, never stop questioning and asking What If?

But above all, if you find yourself thinking, "I should change something" or "I wish I was doing something else with my life," then for the love of all that's holy DO IT. You have nothing to lose but mediocrity and the status quo. You've got one life, a million chances, and a body that's going to start getting wrinkly at 33, so just carpe the hell out of that diem. Nothing tastes as sweet as the revenge of a fulfilled life.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

real or not real?


Presented with a very honest, very gummy,
I'm-not-sure-this-is-real-but-I-dig-it smile.

I left 3 signed copies at the Alpharetta B&N. More to come!

Which Atlanta bookstores should I hit up later this week?

<3

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Monday, March 26, 2012

behold my anklebiters, and behold my love for you


The doorbell rang.

No, wait. It didn't. This is 2012.

I got a Facebook message from dear friend and alpha-beta reader Ericka, the second person ever to read my book.

"Check your front steps," she said coyly. There was also a smiley face. And I always follow mysterious and impish directions.









That's right.
My friends Debbie and Ericka made bludbunnies, nestled them in fake grass,
crafted a box with Criminy's face on it,
and planted it on my front porch as a surprise.
Because they are AWESOME.

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I've been overwhelmed with gratitude all day.

The friends leaving encouraging messages on my Facebook wall.

The reviewers saying such lovely things and taking the time to post their reviews on loads of different sites and on Twitter.

The readers telling everyone on Twitter that they were buying and pre-ordering my book.

I mean... I have readers.

That blows my mind.

That people I've never met, who don't owe me anything, are buying my book.

I'm grateful for Stephanie and Renee at Pocket, who have scored some amazing interviews for me, and who sent out loads of review copies.

I'm grateful to my agent and editor, who have been basically patting me until I chill.

And my friends. Oh, my friends. Stephanie sent me that gorgeous bracelet. Jenn made a coffee corset. Brooke turned my characters into smellies. People are driving over from other states for the launch party. People are buying multiple copies of the book and telling their friends and knitting hats and sewing corsets and stopping at Michael's to help me shop for paper masks. And my parents bought... well, grumblemumblegrumbleawholeboxofbooks.

I'm just blown away by HOW MUCH Y'ALL ROCK.

Everyone I know is busy as hell. With families and kids and husbands and parents and cancer and work and school and grad school and birthin' babies and so, so many things, and I appreciate the time it took you to make me smile today.

I just love everybody so much my face hurts.

So here's to release day tomorrow.

Thank you so much for reading anything I write.

YOU ROCK.

love,

d.

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And thank you, Ericka an Debbie, for the bludbunnies.

Anybody have an idea for what I should name them?

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

choo choo choose Criminy Stain


If you find yourself in the Books-a-Million in Chattanooga, TN,
you might find this majestic creature in the wild.

Be careful-- he bites.


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That's right, y'all. My book is available three days early, in places where they don't pay much attention to rules. My parents' order landed on their front step yesterday. My mom is halfway through. Heaven help me, and bless my heart.

We're going to B&N later to see if we can catch a glimpse, too.

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Thanks to Derek for the first picture of Wicked as They Come in the real world!


Friday, March 23, 2012

one week. ONE WEEK.


Things I Must Do Before Next Friday:

1. Drop the cake toppers off at my favorite cake place to discuss THE CAKE for THE PARTY.



Because THE CAKE is pretty much the most important part of THE PARTY.

Note: Dude on the left is green/slit-nosed because he's a lizard boy. Not Voldemort.

2. Buy forks, napkins, and plastic cups to match the Team Edward plates I bought for 70% off at Target as a joke. For eating THE CAKE.

3. Write 18,000 words on book 2 so I can enjoy THE PARTY without guilt.

4. Figure out what the heck to wear. I'm good at buying it, I'm decent enough at not falling over in it, but I sort of suck at putting it all together.

I mean, honestly. Look at all that shimmery goodness. It took me 30 years and two pregnancies of watching What Not To Wear twice a week before I learned how to wear bangle bracelets. I don't have a mental schema for what goes with the Little Red Riding Hood corset/hood set. My instinct is to make a skirt out of gray fur, AND THAT'S NOT EVEN THE PARTY'S THEME.

5. Buy 6 bottles of wine and put the custom wine labels on mostly straight, preferably while not having a glass of wine, because then they would be totally CATTYWAMPUS.

6. Take care of bangs, eyebrows, gray hair, and nails before everyone realizes I'm actually nine years old and spend most of my time doing handstands instead of grooming.

7. Keep collecting four-leaf clovers and shoving them into books.


Three are missing. Did you notice? Those went into bubble mailers today for the Goodreads giveaway winners. It only took me four hours to figure out how to sign them. My usual signature is basically the one I learned to copy from my mom when I was in high school. So it looks like a fishhook trailing string. No one wants that in a book.

8. Pursuant to that, come up with a BIG-ASS MONDO GIVEAWAY to run on this blog. I have all these books I'd like to sign and ship out, complete with lucky clovers. And I have a steampunk necklace from Clockwork Couture. And soon I'll have samples of the perfumes and soaps from Villainess. So... I should get on that. Yeah.

9. Try not to spend all day on FB and Twitter, flailing like a Muppet. If I get too blabbity-bajiggity about the book in the next week, please let me know. Just @ or comment with STOP TRYING TO MAKE FETCH HAPPEN, and I'll clam up. Promise.

10. Breathe. Honestly, I keep forgetting to do that.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

you remind me of the babe


I did something today that I haven't done since I was thirteen:

I wore blue eye shadow.



Back then, it was just another social and aesthetic tragedy.
Today, it's a sort of self-indulgent, secretly geeky inside joke.

The color?

GOBLIN GIRL.

It's a pure mineral shade of glittery teal from Sweet Libertine, and it's lovely. I thought it would make my hazel eyes go brown, because that's what the color wheel would indicate. But really, it just made me feel fancy. Same old dirty lakewater eyes, just with extra GOBLIN.

I think tomorrow, I'll try Bitchin' Rock Star from Mars.

If you dig mineral makeup with geektastic names and very reasonable pricing, check out Sweet Libertine. My order took almost two months to reach me, but I hear they're trying to streamline their order fulfillment process. At the very least, I totally forgot about it and had a wonderful surprise when I hit the mailbox at 11pm last night after writing most of that dreadfully smexy scene.

Now, armed with glittery goblin eyes, I'm going to finish it.


Wish me luck, and tell Jareth I said hi.

*gulp*

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p.s. Did I futz with those pictures?
Hell, yes, I did. It's 8:30pm, for heaven's sake, and I'm 34.
I'll up the goddamn bloom if I want to.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

how to make me blush


Lunchtime poll: How does the first sex scene of a romance novel get written?

Let your imagination run wild. Go on. I'll wait.

Whatever you just imagined, it's probably wrong.

Here's what *really* happens.

1. I have to do this. I can do this. The windows are open, the night air intoxicating and bright with the possibility of spring. The soundtrack is on. I know exactly where this scene is going, and I AM READY.


2. Whoa. Dude. This is really hard. I mean, no. Not hard. I mean, it's not floppy. It's... difficult. The characters are right there, on the cusp. But they keep yapping. Too much witty repartee. Too much flirting. Get down to it, y'all.

DO IT. NOW.




3. ARRRRRGH. STUBBORN JERKS. WHY WON'T YOU JUST... YOU KNOW... DO THAT? Sigh. Something is missing. Something... wine. Yes. New bottle of Malbec. That'll help.




4. Okay. Almost there. Egad, y'all are all wordy and stuff. I DON'T KNOW ANYONE LIKE THAT. When are you gonna get around to the good parts? Jeesh. Where'd my wine go? Another glass, maybe?


5. Oh, okay. Now I remember how that works. On to page 253!

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Why do I mention this? Because I've secured my first speaking gig. It's not specifically about writing sex scenes, because I'm not prepared to stand around and blush at a roomful (hopefully!) of people. No, it's called It Was a Dark and Steamy Night, and it's my attempt at condensing the dirty secrets of the writing and publishing process into one entertaining hour of me yapping in a corset and tiny hat. If you'll be in the Atlanta area April 14-15, come on out to STEAMFest Atlanta for a spectacular steampunk festival featuring musical acts, dramatic performances, panels, exhibitions, speakers, movies, and some very rockin' DJs.

And if you're lucky, at some point, I'll blush. A lot.

It's pretty much inevitable.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

smellies, no longer sekrit. still awesome.


I... think that speaks for itself.

The ever-amazing Brooke at Villainess Soaps presents the Wicked as They Come line of soaps and perfumes. I would describe them for you, but Brooke's descriptions are so masterly and apt that I don't think I can do them justice.

There are three different scents-- Criminy, Letitia, and Tabitha-- and each is available in handmade soap and perfume. I've been using Brooke's soaps for around seven years now, and they are practically perfect in ever way.

There will be free samples at the book launch for you, oh yes.

There will be giveaways soon on my site and Pocket After Dark, mais oui.

Or you can get the sampler on Villainess, which includes all 6 products in the line.

As for me, I'm going to bathe in Criminy and swan about, because when someone makes your characters into the exact scents you imagined, it's a dream come true.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

way down yonder



I get so nostalgic in spring. Part of it has to do with living in my home town and having layers and layers of memories attached to places. Take the Chattahoochee River, for example.

When I was a kid, I played here. I waded down those bumpy shores and dug my toes deep in the muddy glop, searching for freshwater clams that I was sure would eventually yield pearls beyond my wildest imaginings.

In high school, I came to the same park, even though it had gone downhill. I climbed trees, had picnics with my friends, and watched the sunset, waiting for boys to kiss me on the deck in the forest.

That deck is gone now. Here's the only part of it I found.


It hurts my heart, seeing the park going downhill yet again. Two of the playgrounds torn down, the climbing tree blocked off by ugly fences.

And yet.

My children stare at the river with the same excitement and longing I felt. They inch down the shore, getting as close to the sluggish water as they dare. They approach the geese warily, despite my warnings that the filthy things are demonic. Just to see what will happen.



It's a strange algorithm, that river. Some things taken away, some things added, some things constant. The horses still switch their tales on the far bank. The rowers still cut through the current. The wind still shakes the trees against the bright blue sky.

The same smell of possibility still rides the air.

And the biggest difference is that there used to be three of us, then there was one, and now there are four.


It's strange, the things that come together to hold you in a place.

If not for this river, there would be no town. My family wouldn't have settled here. I wouldn't have grown up here. After high school, when all my friends were running away to bright lights and big cities, I felt the pull of home instead.

Now here I am again, seeking out the river. The smell of it at night, the rustle of kudzu, the flash of red-winged blackbirds along the shore.

"Don't go too close to the water," I told my children. "There are river gators."

Because that's what my parents told me. Because that's what their parents told them.

Sometimes, I think that's what home is. Not so much the stories that actually happened, but the ones we made up and liked enough to pass on.

(tl;dr: Just watch Big Fish, and you'll get the idea.)

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Friday, March 16, 2012

something out of nothing



Oh, 2005 Delilah. There's so much I need to tell you.

For one thing, there will come a day when painting murals for a living will not be your dream. You will realize that the only thing worse than working in a cube is being ordered around by bitchy pregnant women who want the cat's ears to be a little more, "You know *gestures*?"

But you will always be proud of painting this mural in two days using your PTO.

Sure, it got scrapped after that and became the set of the next play, but it was one of the funnest things you've ever done. You dropped heavy into flow, kid. You barely remember painting it. You had a spiritual experience, painting that.

And one day, you'll be glad of it, even if you don't remember it or understand it.


That's the way the best things happen. When they're supposed to. Because they're supposed to. Even if you don't understand it at the time.

Even if you read The Giving Tree for the first time afterward and decided it sucked and you wished you hadn't anchored the mural with it.



After you painted it, you decided to quit your job and work with your best friend again, even though it wasn't enough money to live on. It was one of the best decisions you ever made, getting to spend that last year with her.

Every Spring for the rest of your life, you'll think of that painting. And smile.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

cough cough EXCERPT cough vlog cough


Featuring an excerpt from my book.

This would be my second time reading out loud from it.

Funny voices, hair tossing, and blushing feature prominently.

Also vampires, mermaids, and carnivals.

I will get over my fear of reading my work out loud. I will. You will be my victims.

Besides, Google Analytics says only 100 people check the blog every day, and most of you are probably people who saw me with short hair in middle school or in my gingham bathing suit in high school, so WHO CARES?

In any case, ENJOY.

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there will always be unruliness. BUT.



Attention! Achtung! Baby!

If you read this blog by going to www.unrulyhelpmeet.com, I have bad news.

I'm switching entirely over to www.delilahsdawson.com or www.delilahpaints.blogspot.com.

Still unruly, just not willing to pay $13 a year for the privilege.

More later.

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p.s. GUESS WHAT I HAVE?


I'm busy stuffing 4-leaf clovers in them just for you.

There are 3 giveaways for 5 books going on right this second.

One of them involves a gift card for corsets and tiny hats.

Find them HERE.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Pinteresting...

So I've succumbed to THE PRETTY.

Since Tumblr keeps spoiling things for me, I've turned to Pinterest.

I have boards for each of the books I'm working on, not to mention a couple just to track things that catch my eye.

If you're on Pinterest, too, follow me. I'll follow you. We'll pin things.

Click on the board you like to see more,
except the first one, because it's a stubborn critter and refuses to link.



Note: I don't own these images, in most cases, and have done my best to provide source material. If you see something that belongs to you or needs a source link, please let me know, and I'll take it down or provide credit.

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

everybody hop on the airship brothel

Diving back into Blud book 2, Wicked as She Wants.

60k to go, 1.5 months to do it.

Let's rock this dirigible, shall we?

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Any suggestions for songs that suggest a steampunk airship brothel, cyborg bears, an enchanted snow forest, or a drunken pianist who strongly resembles Louis de Ponte du Lac?

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

extra krispy


Sitting on the back porch, eating a hot Krispy Kreme donut, reading on my Nook.

It was a good day.

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win some pulp and sexy






Goodreads Book Giveaway







Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson






Wicked as They Come




by Delilah S. Dawson






Giveaway ends March 20, 2012.



See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.








Enter to win



I've got 3 up for grabs this time. Winners will be autographed, and, if you're a blog follower, Facebook friend, or Twitter follower, I'll scribble in some extra added bonus secrets.

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