Autographed Copy

Today being Valentine’s Day meant that I needed to do something special as an author for the readers out there. It would look pretty stupid if an author named Valentine who writes romances didn’t do squat on Valentine’s Day, right? I’ve been pondering what to do for a week. And then I got these nifty little gold stickers in the mail. I bought them for the book signing part of the Romantic Times convention. They say “Autographed Copy.” So what I’m going to do is post over at my Lex Valentine blog and devise a contest of some sort that will include people needing to comment or answer a question in comments. Then, I’ll drop names in a hat and let Rott or the babies pull out a name and the winner will get an autographed copy of one of my print books. This way, I can try out those nifty gold stickers!

I’m a bit amazed at the planning that is required to go to one of these conventions. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff I need to do before I go.  I need to have my promo materials created and purchased and all put together before I arrive. I need to check on whether I can connect my netbook to my phone and get internet that way or if I’m going to have to pay for it one way or the other. I need a haircut. I need a pedicure. I need…stuff. And I have to look at the agenda and decide on some sort of schedule for myself of events and workshops.  This is going to take weeks to pull off!

Because of the convention looming and books I need to write not getting written and my life just being exhausting right now, I’m not much in a Valentine’s mood. Not even interested in chocolate. I did buy myself some Creme Brulee though. I really doubt Rott and I will do anything. I can’t even remember the last time we did.  He doesn’t get romantic very often. When he does I cherish the moment. I have a pink Valentine’s card from a couple of years ago that was sweet and mushy and made me cry. I can remember him bringing me flowers once from one of those freeway off ramp vendors. I didn’t care where got them. It truly was the thought that mattered to me. Lately, we’re not romantic with each other any more and in some respects it makes me sad. The flip side of the coin is that I totally understand why we aren’t. Stress. Big stress that we both have trouble letting go of so that we can have a sweet day together. And anyway, it’s a work day so it’s not like we can spend it together.

Losing Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad. At least I won’t have a stomachache from too much chocolate or too much rich food.  I’ll order a pizza and we’ll watch a concert on Palladia. That sounds relaxing to me.  Might not be romantic but at the end of a long work day, I’ll take relaxing and quiet over romantic.

I looked for an appropriate Marcus for Valentine’s Day and couldn’t make up my mind. He’s so hot any of his photos are appropriate!

YUM! He’s all dressed up and ready for a romantic night. No Monday, Valentine’s Day or not, is complete without Marcus!

Before I go, don’t forget to head over to the Lex Valentine blog for a chance to win an “Autographed Copy” of one of my print books. I promise to throw in some promo goodies too. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your sweetheart!

PS:  Happy Birthday to Paul Diaz…wherever he may be now.

Who Dares

I suppose I don’t talk about my emotions enough here. I just sort of skate along the surface of things. Mostly, I don’t feel that there’s all that much happening in my emotional life that I could fill a blog post. My life doesn’t vary all that much. Work, struggle, struggle, work. And write. Occasionally fight with Rott or Nikki. If I had to dig deep and pull out a bunch of emotions I suppose I could, but I just don’t feel the need to. I spend too much time putting them away so I can get stuff done.

When I do take them out and think about them, nothing changes so I just don’t do that a lot anymore.  It’s not living in limbo. It’s survival and I spend (and have spent) a lot of my life just trying to survive. Now that I’m actually writing books, a dream I’ve had for most of my life, I expend a lot of my emotion there. I give mine to my characters. It’s an easy way to express them and deal with them. And then I don’t have to come here and put so much of me out there for you to read. I mean, I say enough stuff that ya’all are always feeling sorry for me. Don’t need more. I feel guilty enough as it is for saying some of the things I do say!

At any rate, I got an email yesterday that made me think about love. Now, I think about love on a regular basis since I’m a romance author. But, sometimes I don’t think about it in more personal terms. Here’s what happened yesterday: I got an email (it’s a newesletter type blast not a personal email) from a popular cover model. He said he hadn’t posted any photos in awhile because he was suffering from a major broken heart and just hadn’t had the motivation to do anything.

Talking with a couple of other authors our first thought was who the hell would break this man’s heart? Yeah, he is hotness personified, but on top of that he’s NICE. Like really NICE. C’mon, nice guys who are hot do not grow on frickin’ trees! I mean really, who would dare to dump or hurt such an awesome guy? Obviously, a woman who doesn’t see what we see.

And there is the nutshell.

None of the nice guys I know deserve to have their hearts broken whether they are cover model hot or not. It’s just that we all assume that the hot nice guy has a lot more opportunities to find a perfect woman. Yet, while he may think she is perfect for him, he may not be perfect to her. She doesn’t see what we see.  Beauty, and niceness, is in the eye of the beholder always. Sure, there’s like thousands of us who think this man is amazing, but all it took was the one who didn’t to hurt him.

*sigh* Love sucks. We all know it. It’s why I make money at writing love stories. Because no one is immune from being burned. There is always someone out there who dares to break our heart. Lucky people never connect with that person. Some of us meet more than one. We salve our hurts and bolster our hopes by reading the Happily Ever Afters that romance authors offer.

I guess that makes it okay that I don’t come here and bleed out all over this blog. I do my bleeding in private and use it to fuel the stories that help other people who are bleeding out. I like that I’m giving people enjoyment. I like that I’m giving something back. And I like that my emotions and my struggles and my pain can be channeled into those stories that make others happier.

In Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton, one of my all time favorite books, Colin is hugely jealous because the woman he loves has something to show for her life. Penelope has a body of work (writing a snarky column) that people talk about and that she will be remembered for. And he’s jealous that she has that when he has nothing. The jealousy makes him more possessive of her.  Which kinda turns on the reader and makes her adore Colin all the more. But the thing is, there’s that whole notion of pouring your emotions into something that gives to others.

So instead of me giving you the blow by blow of my deepest emotions here, I give you books filled with hope that even if your heart gets broken, it will mend. And not every person you meet will be one who dares to hurt you.  I strongly believe that everyone has someone, and sometimes more than one someone, who will make your life richer and make your heart soar. If I didn’t believe that, I would never write it into a book.

I know that you’re all expecting a Marcus today since it’s Monday, but in honor of an amazing man who didn’t deserve a broken heart, I give you Jimmy Thomas instead. He’s just as hot if not hotter than Marcus so feel free to drool.

Quick bit of news then I’m outtie. First, if you check the Lex Valentine blog, you’ll see my new hot cover from Ellora’s Cave. The book, Rock My World, is about to go into edits so I’m hopeful that you may see this book before the year is out. Also, Sunstroked, the next Tales book has gone to my editor so I believe it will be out in October. I’ve got a Veteran’s Day project in the works that is something from last year that was tabled and my Spellbound Treasure book should coming in the next couple of months too.

Wishing you all a wonderful heartbreak free Labor Day! MUAH!