Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spellbound wins!

Thanks everyone for voting for Spellbound in the Book Whore Cover Wars challenge -- we won!

Spellbound has been doing great, and it's so exciting to see some lovely reviews popping up and to see so many people adding it on Goodreads!

Unfortunately In His Eyes didn't fair so well in DABWAHA, and it's now out of contention. But big hugs and kisses to all of you who braved the insanely complicated voting process to give it a boost!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Please vote for me!!

I'm not above begging.

Dabwaha is incredibly complicated. Sort of. Basically you just go here:

Then you create an account -- just your name and an email address and a nickname.

Then in each box where there are two book titles, you pick one of them, working from the left and right-hand side into the middle.

Basically what you need to do is make sure "In His Eyes" ends up as the last name in the middle.

That's it!

I will be eternally grateful!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dirty Deeds...

So, as you know, In His Eyes is a finalist in DABWAHA.

The author I've been pitted against in the first round is (evil and mean) Ruthie Knox, and she's already thrown the first punch.

I therefore respond in kind. (Hair pulling postponed -- for now.)

First of all, let's look at (evil and mean) Ruthie:

As compared to the wonderful, fabulous, talented, well, me:

I think that clarifies everything.

Vote 1, Emmie, on 22 March, at the DABWAHA tournament site. (Go here for instructions.)

*NB: Ruthie may not be actually evil OR mean. In fact, I think she's a pretty amazing author and nice person, having got to know her a little on Twitter. You should definitely check out her books. After you've voted for me. :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

It's Spellbound release day!

Spellbound is now out there, ready for your waiting eyes to devour!

Spellbound is only being released as an e-book, which means you need a computer, an e-reader, or a smart phone or iPad to read it. Who knows, one day it might be on a shelf, but you'll have already read it by then, won't you?

Want to know a little bit about it?

Well, here goes.

It's sexy. Like, really sexy. Like, my mother's not allowed to read it. Got the picture?

It's also funny, a little sad, a little quirky, and a little bit magical too.

On the Destiny site, you can read an extract, which is actually the first whole chapter.

And for those of you with Kindles (or wanting to use the Kindle app on your iPhone or iPad), if you jump onto Amazon and it's not available, just click "pre-order" and it'll fly into your device as soon as it's available. (It might take a day or two from now, just while we wait for timezones to sync up...)

I hope you have lots of fun with Belle, Nick and crazy Aunt Gertrude!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More competition news

On the day before its official launch (which is tomorrow!) Spellbound is fighting it out for cover supremacy on the Book Whore blog. Please pop in and vote for me if you can! You have to agree, it is a GORGEOUS cover...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

In His Eyes is a DABWAHA competitor!

Very exciting news to share -- In His Eyes has made it to the final eight in the Category section of DABWAHA, the Dear Author Bitchery Writing Award for Hella Good Authors.

DABWAHA nominations come from Jane and Sarah from Dear Author and Smart Bitches, respectively. Being nominated is a total thrill, especially when I look at my fellow nominees, who are all authors who rock my socks off.

But saying that is not really in the spirit of DABWAHA. You see, bartering, bribing and vote mongering are all kind of acceptable in this comp. And it is not only traditional, but expected, that you will totally trash-talk your opponents on any and all social media platforms available.

The virtual eye-scratching and hair-pulling has already begun thanks to Sarah Mayberry, out of the gate early with her trashy twittering. She's awesome like that -- so sweet and helpful and...

Oh dear, I don't know that I'm going to be so good at this whole trash-talking thing...

However I will be asking for your help voting for me. Voting opens 19 March, so stay tuned!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Food, glorious food!

I'm home now and the days have just flown. So fast, in fact, that I think the jetlag is still trying to keep up with me! But I did promise you all a foodie blog post and I do like to keep my promises.

As I mentioned in my previous travel updates, I spent a great deal of my time in the US sampling the vast array of food and drinks available to me. I have to say that being located in LA was a good thing, because the cliches about the organic/vegan/wholefood culture there are, well, a little bit true. And for a gal eating out pretty much every day, that wasn't a bad thing. Not that it means I kept to that unsullied diet all the time. Oh no. I sampled from the meat, carbohydrate, and yellow (deep fried) food groups plenty too.

I'm going to start off covering my neighborhood -- particularly the street I spent most of my time on: Abbot Kinney. For Melbournites, I'd compare Abbot Kinney to Brunswick Street -- lots of groovy stores, vintage shops, and more cafes and restaurants than you can poke a stick at.

I'm going to tell you about my favourites, first.

I have to start with Abbot's Habit. Mostly because I probably went there the most often. As a lunch spot it was perfect -- healthy food, a casual (very!) attitude, low fuss. As a quick lunch break from writing it was perfect. And my favourite was this:
The Alvino wrap: turkey, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, pesto-mayo, onions, sprouts and avocado on a sun-dried tomato wrap (I always ordered no onions, though, ew). I even got used to the compulsory side pickle, strange as it is to Aussie palates. The awesome thing about it was that the turkey was slightly warm, which was just enough to gently melt the cheese. The warm turkey, melty cheese and crisp sprouts and lettuce combined with the sweet tomato and pesto-mayo.... Mmmm.... Have I made you drool yet?

My other favourite "take a break" place was called Zinque. A bar more than a restaurant, Zinque not only had a decent wine list, but was also able to make an outstandingly good cup of tea. (And we know how important that is to Emmie.) In fact, I'm pretty sure I had more tea than wine at Zinque.
How could you not? Especially when they serve proper Jasmine green tea in a beautiful pot like that?

Lemonade, across the road from Zinque, fascinated me with their Coles-Cafeteria-style approach to serving the most delicious, brightly colored and beautifully presented salads I've ever seen. But it headed quickly into 'special treat' territory when a small salmon and salad lunch veered towards $20. Another slight disappointment was the much raved-about Wolf In Sheeps Clothing, where my duck main (or entree, as the US would have it) was very meh and so tiny I was still ravenous afterwards. Luckily my dining companion ordered fried chicken and it was so huge she couldn't eat it all and I got to gobble from her plate. Lucky for me in two ways, because it was also delicious. I would totally go back and order that.

I also enjoyed delicious meals at Wabi Sabi (was with some other Aussies and got a bit tipsy, so to be perfectly honest, I don't remember the food that well, but I'm pretty sure it was good), Primitivo (I ate tapas-style at the bar and it was fine, but not awesome), and Gjelina (very delicious Brussels Sprouts char-grilled with figs!). The Tasting Kitchen was also wonderful, for a delicious Manhattan, beautiful pasta (a rare treat for this gluten-intolerant gal), and a to-die-for waiter. (Don't judge! When dining alone, the scenery is very important. :) )

I also had lunch at Gjelina take-away very early on in my visit but didn't bother going back. My 'grilled cheese' was toasted to the point of charcoal and so oily I couldn't balance it on my lap for fear of imparting grease stains onto my clothes. But it was fun sitting in the little alcove next door, on the milk crates provided as seats, soaking up the sun and watching passersby.

There are two other neighborhood spots I want to mention. First, Oscar's, which is not on Abbot Kinney, but around the corner (sort of) on Rose Avenue. Oscars served me probably the best Mexican food I had during my time in the US.
Not only were the soft-shell tacos delicious, the sangria was totally divine. Not too sweet, not too fruity, but cold and refreshing and alcoholic. Seriously yum.

Also on Rose Avenue is the legendary Cafe Gratitude. At Cafe Gratitude the food is vegan and organic, and every dish is named for an affirmation. So when you order your food you have to say something like "I am relaxed" or "I am peaceful".
To add to your physical and spiritual wellbeing, the waiters have a 'question of the day' for you to ponder while you wait for your order. On the day I went, it was "What brings you joy?". Having just spent that morning working on my new book, then walked in the sunshine to Rose Avenue, and with a catch-up with a screen-writer friend to look forward to that evening, my answer was easy: "Being here, doing this."

I think that's about it, for Venice. Although, of course there were more! Seed down near the beach, and Mao's Kitchen, and more! And I haven't even covered the amazing (and weird and wonderful) edible things I found in Texas! Ah well, another post awaits being written, I think...

Writing this has made me hungry! What a pity there's no Abbot's Habit a short walk away to go grab my Alvino wrap (no onions)!! I shall just have to make do with what's in the fridge...