Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dixieland Sushi - Redux

Recently, Amy from Austin wrote me and said her book club had picked Dixieland Sushi for this month. Hooray! I love book clubs, especially when they pick my books (cha-ching! That's a few more donations to the Lockwood Girls College fund - thank you, you have just helped educate two children).

She asked that I come up with a few discussion questions, and here was my best shot:

1. There are a lot of flashbacks to the '80s in Dixieland Sushi. How do you think popular culture affects our memories of growing up? And the '80s - great decade or greatest decade? Discuss.

2. Jen's spent a lot of time forgetting where she came from. How does Riley help her get in touch with her roots and bond with her family? And how necessary is family (after the birth and raising of a person)?

3. Do you think America is a melting pot or a tossed salad? (And "I'll toss your salad" is the WRONG answer - get your minds out of the gutter, people!)

4. Mr. Miyagi - is he a great modern day philosopher or the greatest modern day philosopher? Discuss.

4. Where are the 'ritas? Can someone please refill my glass? (Okay, just kidding on the last one, although a margarita sounds pretty good about now).

And if anyone else is interested in picking Dixieland Sushi for their book club, let me know, and I'll send along some signed postcards. In fact, if you pick any of my books for a book club, I will send along signed postcards and goofy discussion questions - all free. See? We all benefit from my shameless self-promotion.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm alive, but Dead Jimmy isn't

Okay, I don't know if you all are freaked out by the swine flu (or freaked out by the people who are freaked out) but this stuff is scary. Yes, it's probably overblown (I'm talking to you Sanjay Gupta), but maybe, just maybe it's not. I'm hoping it's not. I'm hoping everyone who says we're overreacting is completely right and can rub it in all of our faces later when the world is still here and it's not a post-pandemic wasteland where the survivors have become cannibals who wear gas masks (Note to self: stop reading "The Road").

Ahem. Well, on a lighter note, I'm alive and not currently running a fever or anything remotely like swine flu and you can rest assured that you will not catch anything from this blog. Okay, so you won't catch anything unless you roommate or husband or coworker has coughed all over the keyboard you're using. I can't guarantee your computer. I can only guarantee these contents are 100 percent swine flu free.

Speaking of untimely demises, it's time for another glimpse into Every Demon Has His Day. I've saved one of my best characters for last. Dead Jimmy is the ghost of Constance's soon-to-be-ex-husband (he'd died before he could sign the divorce papers).

And if you thought an ex was annoying alive, trust me, he was a thousand times more annoying dead.

"You're dead," Constance said, managing to keep her voice steady despite hte fact that everything she thought she knew about the world was being turned upside down.

"Well, no duh, Connie," he said, calling her by the nickname she had hated since grade school. "Getting a screwdriver in the back by a demon will do that to a guy."

Constance blinked hard twice. The man who killed Jimmy really was a demon?

"What did you say?"

"I was killed by a demon - remember? He gave you a business card," Dead Jimmy reiterated. "You know - guys with red horns. Except they don't always have horns." Jimmy looked around the kitchen like he'd never seen it before. "Say, we got any beer?"

Constance signed, went to the fridge and pulled out a can of beer, and set it on the kitchen counter. Jimmy attacked it like he hadn't seen a beer in weeks. Of course, being a ghost made things complicated, as his hand kept going straight through the can like smoke through air.

"Dammit," he cursed.

Read more about Dead Jimmy and the other characters of Dogwood County in Every Demon Has His Day.

Stay safe everybody - wash your hands!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A little Nathan

It's that time again - time for another little "Every Demon Has His Day" teaser. This one is about Constance's love interest, Nathan Garrett. I've had a couple of people write me and ask me where they can find a Nathan for themselves. I wish I knew (no offense, hubby)! If you have a man who's willing to slay demons for you, that's true love.

Here's a little more about Nathan:

Nathan Garrett was the youngest of the Garrett brothers, notorious throughout Dogwood County for their good looks and their fast hands. In high school the brothers - a set of twins and the youngest, Nathan - pretty much were responsible for relieving the greater Dogwood County female population of their virginity between the years 1991 and 2000....

Nathan wasn't stupid. He knew what he looked like. And he knew he had a certain reputation, but honestly, he was leaving that life behind and turning over a new leaf. He hadn't been out on a proper date in months. Sure, he'd had his share of girls in Dallas, but frankly, after you've dated three or four Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, they all start to look the same. Besides, he'd left Dallas in part because he wanted to put his flings behind him. He came home looking for some peace and quiet and maybe a girl who could do long division.


In just the last week, he'd had more than his share of accidental meetings with exes that had scared the life out of him. Either his standards in high school were very, very low or some of the girls hr knew had really let themselves go. So far, Mindy Conrad had been the worst. She'd surprised him in the aisle at Kroger two days ago, and in ten years she had managed to gaind ouble her weight while losing most of her theeth. Nathan didn't know how that worked, but guessed, by the contents of her cart, she ate her fair share of ice cream and pudding.

Nathan put his hand on the doorknob and prepared to turn it when Robbie dropped his notepad and bent down to get it. That left him with a perfect view of Constance. And for a second, he couldn't move.

She had the same stark, clear blue eyes and the same spattering of freckles on her small button nose. But somehow, she looked different. She'd changed. Grown up. Her hair was a little longer and striaghter, but still the color of wheat, and she had her slim arms crossed ont he table. In ten years, she'd become more womanly, and less girlish, her roundness now slimmer. She'd always been in the moderately cute category. The kind of girl who was cuddly cute, but not beautiful. Now she was something much more than that. There was no way around it. She had just plain blossomed. She was take-your-breath-away-goregous, the kind of girl who'd make you have trouble remembering your own name.

And in that instant, Nathan knew he'd made a terrible mistake.

Why, oh, why, didn't I call? he thought, as he took a deep breath and opened the door.

Want more Nathan? You can only find him in Every Demon Has His Day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You might be a geek if...

So, since Every Demon Has His Day is in the Sci-Fi section of your local bookstore, my so-called friends have pointed out that this might make me a) eligible for entry into the next Trekkie Convention and b) makes me a geek.

Well, sad to disappoint my frenemies, but my geek status has never really been in question. I might not watch the Sci-Fi channel, but I *might* have dressed up as Princess Leia one Halloween (Okay, so not exactly Leia - my hair would NOT do side buns - but her younger cousin "generic space princess"). And, yes, I just might have stood in line to see all the Star Wars Prequel movies just to see Yoda kick butt, even though those damn romance scenes were a little like taking a salted lemon wedge to the eye.

I am allergic to going to the gym (instead of breaking out into a sweat, I break out in hives). The last time I went to the gym, it was to take advantage of a free promotional "work-out" with a personal trainer. After just ten minutes, I tossed my cookies all over the free weights. Sad, but true. This body was simply not meant to be in shape.

But, I'm not complaining about being in the Sci-Fi section. According to Amazon, I might be 9,580 in general sales, but I'm 62 in Sci Fi/Contemporary and 55 in Thriller/Psychological (suck on it Jodi Picoult and James Patterson! Oh, wait, you guys are still ahead of me and bizillionaires while I am a sad sack thousand-aire - my bad).

At any rate, the whole "am I a geek" thing has brought up a question from a reader - does buying Every Demon Has His Day make YOU a geek? The answer is clear: Absolutely NOT. Buying Every Demon Has His Day makes you:

and - my personal favorite -
Filthy Rich.*

So, fear not. No geekiness will rub off on you. Just lotto winnings and Hawaiian vacations. **

**Buying Every Demon Has His Day will not make you Gorgeous, Famous or Rich or send you to the Hawaiian Islands or help you win the lotto. But, it will help pad the Lockwood Girls college fund and that, in the author's humble opinion, does makes you brilliant.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ah, Friday

Well, it's four o'clock, and both my children are alive. The day has been a success.

Trust me, both of my young'uns have tried their best to end their short lives today (my eldest decided that a day at the park should end with a quick sprint toward traffic and my youngest's idea of learning to walk is pounding her head into every available hard surface, preferably those with sharp corners).

At any rate, thanks to the wonders of television (my favorite babysitter - judge me if you dare), I can write this quick blog entry.

For those of you desperately looking for "Every Demon Has His Day" and can't find it - check out the Sci-fi section. For some reason, it's there. Search me. I've been informed my friends that because I have a novel in Sci-fi, that means that I am officially a Geek. Not that my geek-i-ness was ever in question (I never won a game of dodge ball in my life and, yes, I might have dressed up as Princess Leia - I won't disclose whether or not it was on Halloween or whether or not it was last year).

And while Ashton Kutcher may have just lined up a million followers on Twitter, I am still looking to break 50. Sad, but true. So, if you want to boost my ego so I can pretend that I have friends, become one of my followers at I promise I won't make you drink any Cool-Aid, blue or otherwise. Is it just me, or is the "following" thing just a tad bit cultish?

That's it for now. I should go. I think one of my offspring found some scissors.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Chosen One

Hi all,

It's Wednesday again (I think - my eight-month-old has recently decided she's allergic to sleep, and therefore I don't know if I'm coming or going these days).

Time for a little peek inside Every Demon Has His Day.

Today, we're going to focus on Constance Plyd, the hero of our book, who is known for her chicken-fried steak recipe and being the Chosen One.

Constance leaned forward and picked up the magazine. And then something strange happened. The minute she touched the picture of Dante London, she felt like she'd been shocked by an electric current. Her eyes widened in surprise, and then they glazed over and rolled back in her head. She felt a surge of energy go through her, and she was frozen to the spot. And then the images ran past her eyes like TiVo on fast-forward.

She was having a Vision with a capital V.

And it was as vivid as it was sudden: Dante London, barely legal pop princess and queen of all things white trash, was destined to become the mother of the Anti-Christ.

Besides the fact that Constance is the "Chosen One" who happens to get visions, she's just like you and me. She's in the middle of a messy divorce and can't quite seem to get work life or her love life in order. Want to read more about her? Pick up Every Demon Has His Day at your local bookstore (it might be in the Sci Fi section) or at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hanging with my Peeps

As my two-year-old digs into her fuscia-colored Peeps, she thoughtfully eats an entire rabbit and then sticks out her tongue. "Don't like, Mommy," she says, shaking her head. This decisive proclaimation, however, doesn't stop her from promptly reaching for another one.

She, like me, has a love-hate relationship with those marshmallow Easter treats, which brings up the question: Are they tasty treats? Or crimes against marshmallows?

Well, the answer may never be known. If you've always wondered, however, just how tough this candy is, check out this site:

It's what happens when researchers have a lot of expensive equipment and too much time on their hands. You find out, for instance, what would happen if you dropped a Peep into a bowl of liquid nitrogen.

Happy Easter, folks. You're welcome!

And, in it's All About Me news, Every Demon Has His Day is #41 on Amazon's bestseller list!! (Okay, well, it's technically #7,554, but it's #41 in the Mystery and Thriller/Thriller/Psychological and Suspense category. Odd, because I actually didn't know Every Demon was a thriller/psycholological suspense book, but I guess you learn something new every day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Party Like It's... a new book out!

Hi all,

I am happily tired (instead of the usual toddler-induced fatigue), after spending a lovely evening at my friend Bethie's. She outdid herself with one of her fabulous book launch parties celebrating Every Demon Has His Day, and I am still full today from everything I ate. For those of you who haven't heard of her parties (they're pretty much world-famous), she bakes and cooks everything from scratch. Case in point - her party pizza (dough and sauce made completely from scratch). I think she stopped just shy of growing her own bathtub cheese, but everything else was completely Martha Stewart-ized.

I am particularly amazed by this, since my version of a homecooked meal is to dump a can of cream of mushroom soup on a frozen chicken breast and throw it in the oven. (Sure, defrosting it first might improve the taste, but where's the challenge in eating non-rubberized chicken?). My oldest daughter, however, thinks I'm a great cook. But fortunately for her, her favorite thing to eat in the world is chicken nuggets, and those come fresh from our freezer (just hold the cream of mushroom soup).

But more importantly than the food was the company. I haven't had that many adult conversations in a row since before my oldest was born. I've got two girls (age 2 and 8 months) and last night reminded me I really need to get out more. I knew something was up when shortly after waving bye to the babysitter, I hit the gas so hard I think I actually left skid marks, and then started cackling uncontrollably, shouting "I'm free! Free! I'm FREE!!!!" like a recently released hostage.

Don't get me wrong, my girls are adorable and I wouldn't trade them for anything (which works out, since I'm pretty sure I'm stuck with them). It's just Mama needs to get her grove back every now and again (and a little bit of wine doesn't hurt either).

So, thank you to everyone who came to the party, to the hostess with the mostest, and to my husband who put both girls to sleep last night (God bless him).

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Congrats to the winners!

Just wanted to congratulate the winners of the Win It Before You Can Buy It contest. These lucky ten get signed copies of Every Demon Has His Day:

from Warren, Ohio

from Biloxi, Mississippi

from Worthington, Indiana

from Freedom, Pennsylvania

from Thayer, Missouri

from Cedar Creek, Texas

from Hillsborough,New Jersey

from Elko, Minnesota

from Citrus Heights, California

from Schaumburg, Illinois

I may not be "excellent" but you guys are! And thanks to everyone else for entering. And if you didn't win (and I know the feeling, because so far it's Me: 0 Lotto: 594), don't worry. I'll have another contest soon and you can try your luck again. Or, take control of your fate and just buy "Every Demon Has His Day" right now!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Demon Middle Managers

So it's Wednesday. I thought I'd try something new. Like, every Wednesday I do a little something more in-depth about the characters in Every Demon Has His Day. So, you can get to know them a little better, and get the answer to that age old question: What the !@#$ was she thinking when she wrote that?

Yaman and Shadow

"Oh, hell on a stick," Yaman added, glancing down at his feet and noticing blood splatters on his toes for the first time. "I think I ruined my shoes. Dammit - these were my favorite pair!"

"What do demons care of shoes?"

"Are you joking? They're Bruno Magli's."

For those of you who haven't yet read the book (and why haven't you - it's been twenty-four hours since it's been in stores. HEL-lo). Yaman and Shadow are the middle manager-like demons Satan sends to earth to try to help him find the prophet who is going to foretell the coming of the antichrist who will help Satan take over the world (oh, yeah, and it's funny, too - doesn't that just sound like a comedy?). They're disgruntled, slightly inept, completely self-absorbed, and pretty much exactly like all my worst bosses over the years (you know who you are!).

Yaman and Shadow, unlike my previous employers, however, are my favorite characters. It turns out when middle managers are demons they are actually pretty funny. At least, I think so. Yaman is a Pride demon and Shadow is a Glutton demon, and the two don't see eye to eye on pretty much anything, especially how best to execute their assignment.

They were two of the first characters I created for Every Demon. I thought it would be funny to have demons - while evil - be disgruntled with their earthbound assignments in a way that middle managers at Chrysler might be (not that I'm saying Chrysler is an instrument of the devil).

So that's my little tid-bit for today. Read more about Yaman and Shadow in Every Demon Has His Day.

Buy it at Amazon.
Buy it at Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

It's here!

Today is your lucky day. No, you didn't win the lotto (probably), but you DO have the chance to buy Every Demon Has His Day. It is offically in stores this week, and I want to caution that while I know you all are going to rush the bookstores, be careful not to run over any little old ladies on your way to the cash register. There are plenty of copies for everyone. No shoving!

For those of you who know me, the idea of a stampede ensuing at your local B&N for me, is sadly comical. That would only happen for one of my books, if say, Stephenie Meyer were there signing Twilight, or if J.K. Rowling came out of retirement. I once had a book signing on the same day as the release of a Harry Potter book. Nothing is more depressing than having a swarm of people in Harry Potter garb asking you - as you sit gamely behind your book signing table in front of your picture and a big stack of NON-Harry Potter books - where the bathroom is.

But, I digress.

Today is an excellent day because my book is in stores, and I will concentrate on that. It's a good thing I have this positive news, because I recently found out that, as I always suspected, I am, not actually, excellent. Recently, I was up for the 2009 Gayle Wilson Award for Excellence for Young Adult Romance (see the backstory here). I lost out to Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore. I'm okay with this, if only because Clement-Moore's books are called the Girl vs. Evil series. How can you top that? Besides, I'm a big fan of sarcastic wit, and there's a lot of that in Hell Week.

And, fear not, I have not forgotten about the Every Demon contest. I will be announcing winners shortly. But don't risk it - head to your bookstore TODAY and buy Every Demon. There might be some Harry Potter fans wandering the aisles who will snatch up your copy before you get there. Don't take any chances.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

I'm a twit

Okay, at long last, I've finally joined the Twitter Nation - I'm officially a twit. Come visit me at Now, you can find out just how dorky I am as I try to contain myself in 140 characters. And this is just what I need - yet another excuse to procrastinate!

I promise I won't use my Twitter powers for evil, like to tweet during the President's address if I happen to be in the audience (I'm talking about YOU house Republicans and Dem Claire McCaskill!), but since I'm most likely not going to be in a place where the President is speaking, I'll therefore promise not to tweet under dangerous circumstances like driving. I can't parallel park when I'm fully concentrating on it, so adding texting just won't work.

And for those of you on Facebook or MySpace, I'm on there too. Drop by and say hello.

And don't forget, if you haven't already entered to win a signed copy of Every Demon Has His Day - you've got two more days. I pick names on April 6! To enter, email me at

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A good buzz

And I'm not talking about the kind of buzz you get from three glasses of Shiraz (unfortunately), I'm talking about good critical buzz for Every Demon Has His Day (which, for those of you counting down the days, is out in less than a week). The critics are heaping on the praise, which is fine by me, because like I always say, if you have something nice to say about me, please say it often and where lots of people can hear it.

Single Titles
Romance Reviews Today
Steph Su Reads

The book hits stores April 6, but you can win your signed copy before that, by shooting me an email at Or if you really, really can't wait, you can preorder it on Barnes and Noble or Amazon right now. They've been known to send out copies early (I have no idea how their mysterious warehouse distribution centers work, but they do!).