Daily Dish

Musings, ramblings, and miscellaneous writer neuroses of RITA award-winning comedy and New York Times bestselling author Alesia Holliday.

Thursday, July 28

Here I am at Reno!!

Signing books at the enormous RWA booksigning. Hundreds of authors signed books graciously donated by our publishers and all proceeds go to support wonderful literacy causes! I had a terrific time catching up with so many readers and author buddies, and sold books and talked until I completely lost my voice!

ps a little SNEAK PEEK!!!!

For a sneak peek of the new series by my evil twin . . . er, alter ego, look HERE!

Reno Day 3!!

For exciting news of the conference, look here! trying to post pics now . . .

Tuesday, July 26

Reno Day 1: WOW!!

What a way to start the Reno conference - with an offer for my super-secret (until now!) paranormal proposal!!! Wahoo!! And, in even more exciting news, I saw dozens of people I know and happened by sheer random chance to be standing by a friend when she got a phone call of her VERY FIRST SALE NEWS!!!!! Can't spill any details yet but how cool to see somebody once a year and happen to be present for news like THAT!!! Stay posted . . .

In other news, lost at least ten dollars GRANDLY at various complicated slot machines - am hopeless gambler, evidently. Also, had to get up at 4 am. to fly here (EST) and it's nearly midnight my time now, so off to get some sleep before the huge booksigning and chick lit party tomorrow! Did I mention that I LOVE conferences???

Saturday, July 23

Half birthdays and car repair

I had to take the ugly practical Honda that I DESPISE to the shop today for routine maintenance. Of course, I was praying that they said it was ready to DIE ANY MINUTE; that the TRANSMISSION was going to fall out through the MUFFLER or something hideous, so I could say: "There's no sense putting good money in this CRAPPY CAR, so let's trot across the street and buy the car I REALLY WANT." Like THIS. Or THIS. Or even THIS.

But NO. The viciously evil car gods have decreed that ugly practical cars are also indestructible, evidently. So there was nothing wrong that a couple of spark plugs didn't fix.

How WRONG is that???

In happier news, Monday is darling daughter's half-birthday. This is a proud tradition that I started because I don't get to celebrate the kidlets' birthdays often enough. Once a year??? Come ON!! Once a year to celebrate an event that included hours and hours of LABOR and the word EPISIOTOMY?? I think not. So we do half birthdays, too. She'll be five and a half, and I made half a cake and she gets half a present (must do a treasure hunt for the other half).

What can I say? I LOVE that kid. When she turns 16 and a half, she can have the Honda. I'm sure it will still be going strong.

Friday, July 22

The isle of lost toys

Remember how Rudolph and his friend Herbie the elf who wanted to be a dentist and Yukon Cornelius visited the island of lost toys? Well, I need a ticket to the first train headed that way because we are seriously missing some toys around here.

When I get ready to move (and married to Navy Guy, I've got a lot of practice), I do the run-through/declutter/pare down thing. So we took a truckload of stuff to GoodWill, put many many hefty bags out for the trash, and gave outgrown toys and clothes to various friends. But, suddenly, on the eve of major driving trip, my son discovers he has LOST his GAME BOY.

WHY can't they ever lose the CHEAP toys? We have an inventory of every happy meal toy ever invented (which says more than I want it to about how I feed my kids when I'm on deadline), but do any of THOSE go missing? HELL no. It's the $100+ dollar technotoy, natch.

Darling son says, in the midst of holding back the tears: Don't worry, Mommy. I'll ask Santa for another one so you don't have to spend so much money.

This made me cry. How can you be mad at a kid with a heart like that???

So tomorrow is all about packing for trips and TURNING THE HOUSE UPSIDE DOWN to look for that stinking toy. But if you happen to know if cheaptickets.com has a special on that round trip to the Isle of Lost Toys, please give me a shout out . . .

Countdown to Reno: 3 days
Countdown to Big Move: 24 days
Countdown to book due: 24 days
Countdown to Alesia going totally insane: Odds are on 14 days, max.

Wednesday, July 20

Check out my cool boyfriends list!

At e. lockhart's blog, here.

Tuesday, July 19

7 days!

Lunch with agent? Check.
Breakfast with editor? Check.
Dinner with other editor? Check.
Dress for the Ritas? Hmmm. Original Cinderella gown takes entire suitcase - may have to downsize full skirt concept . . .
Separate suitcase just for shoes? Check.
Lovely necklace-styled name badge holder that the darling and wonderful Cindy Holby gave me for luck? Check.
Two beautiful silver ladies - my two Rita pins for finaling? Check!
Clothes for the week? Oops! But at least my new pedicure is fab . . .

Monday, July 18

Countdown to RWA Nationals - 8 DAYS!!

And -- EEK!! -- only 28 days till the BIG MOVE. From Florida, home of the 100+ degree heat wave, to Virginia, home of ?? Virginians? Seriously, I can't WAIT to explore Virginia. I hear that it is incredibly beautiful and we will be (again) very near the beach. (One of the advantages of marrying Navy Guy - we always tend to end up near water . . .)

So today I'm finishing up my first legal thriller, BLONDES HAVE MORE FELONS, and it makes me miss practicing law a little bit. I really did have prospective clients who were every bit as . . . INTERESTING . . . as some of the clients in BLONDES. One poor man in Pensacola tried to hire me every month around the fifteenth, when the nearby Naval Air Station tuned in the frequency in the implants they'd surgically installed in his TEETH.

Eight days till Reno - I'm so excited! The RWA national conference is the biggest event of the year in the romance/women's fiction writing community, and my first novel, my BABY, AMERICAN IDLE, is nominated for TWO Ritas (Best First Book and Best Mainstream Novel with Romantic Elements)!! It's the Oscar or Emmy of RWA and it is such a HUGE HONOR to be a finalist. The other finalists are all brilliant writers and the books are incredible, so being a finalist is as far as I'll get. But I'm so thrilled to be part of the group! Especially with my very first book - the one that made my dream of becoming a published novelist come true.

AMERICAN IDLE is being re-released as a mass market sized paperback (the size that fits in the grocery store racks) on August 2nd, and I'm very pleased about that, too! If it weren't for that countdown to moving thing, life would be peachy. Now where did I put that packing tape?

Friday, July 15

Now touring M.J. Rose!!

M.J. is part of a happening new campaign to raise money for a great cause and try out a new virtual buzz technique. Read on for details!

Also, check out The Literary Chicks for my thoughts on the new Willy Depp-a-Wonka . . .


M.J. Rose Pledges Literacy Donation for Each Link to The Halo Effect as part of the first "Good Books/Good Cause" Campaign

NEW YORK, July 5 - M.J. Rose, nearly as well known in some circles for the wildly creative strategies she advocates to a growing audience on her marketing blog, "Buzz, Balls, and Hype", as she is for her feverishly paced thrillers, has come up with the perfect strategy to capture overwhelmed consumers' attention in an overloaded marketplace for her newest release THE HALO EFFECT (Mira Books; Mass Market Paperback, July 2005).

The two-week "blog-a-thon" for the Anthony Award-nominated novel aims to connect book lovers with a good cause and a great summer read.

On July 5th, coinciding with the release of THE HALO EFFECT, Mira Books has teamed up with "VidLit" to produce a short film that uses animation and the latest in digitial multimedia illuminate the world within the novel. Rose has secured pledges from real-life supporters - her publisher, agent, family and friends - who will collectively donate $5 to the nonprofit literacy organization, Reading Is Fundamental, for each website or blog that links to Rose's THE HALO EFFECT VidLit before July 19.

Rose's goal is to get 500 blogs to link to the VidLit and raise $2500+ for the charity.

THE HALO EFFECT is the first book in the Butterfield Institute series, featuring sex therapist, Dr. Morgan Snow. In each book she struggles with the conflict of preserving her patient's privacy and the dangerous and sometimes criminal things she hears. She sees everything from the abused to the depraved, from the couples grappling with sexual boredom to twisted sociopaths with dark, erotic fetishes and the Butterfield institute is the sanctuary where she helps soothe and heal these battered souls.


"Potentially explosive - Rose's latest is not for the squeamish... [Dr. Morgan Snow] is an engaging guide to the world of dysfunction that Rose painstakingly constructs." -Publisher's Weekly

"The Halo Effect is tense, engrossing, and sometimes so real it's frightening."
- Linda Richards, editor of January Magazine

"Dr. Morgan Snow is a refreshingly vulnerable character whose spunky decision to go undercover in the demimonde is both believable and hair-raising. THE HALO EFFECT will have you on the edge of your seat from page one"
-Katherine Neville, New York Times bestselling author of The Eight

About M.J. Rose:

M.J. Rose, is the author of five novels, Lip Service, In Fidelity, Flesh Tones, Sheet Music and The Halo Effect. She also is a contributor to Poets and Writers, Oprah Magazine, The Writer Magazine, Pages Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in Pages Magazine, The Vestal Review and several anthologies including Best American Erotica and The Auntie's Book. Rose is also the co-author with Angela Adair Hoy of How to Publish and Promote Online, and with Doug Clegg of Buzz Your Book. With a background in advertising (She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art), Rose used her business smarts and entrepreneurial acumen to become what Time magazine would call the "poster girl" of e-publishing. Signed to a major New York publishing house in 1999, Rose has gone on to help other authors creatively market their work through both of her popular and well-read blogs, Buzz, Balls & Hype and Backstory.

What's left? Watch the VidLit!


Other resources:

Buzz, Balls & Hype


Tuesday, July 12

Countdown to the move and a bomb threat

So what kind of vicious, stupid person threatens to bomb a commissary? A commissary is a grocery store on a military base. In this case, a Navy base. When we went to swimming lessons today, they were cancelled and half the base was shut down due to an active bomb threat. Of course, I'm hoping/half-convinced that this is the stupid prank of some employee who didn't feel like working today.

But, in light of the vicious attacks in London, it's kind of scary. What kind of cowards bomb innocent people on trains? On buses? In the produce aisle?

Some days, it is very hard to write light-hearted fiction. On the other hand, the reader letters from people who are sad or ill or going through tough times convinces me that fiction written to entertain has a valuable place in the world. So I'm going back to work, and continuing with my packing. I guess I didn't need milk all that much anyway . . .

Friday, July 8

Now touring: Deborah LeBlanc!!

For a very different kind of read than I usually talk about, today I'm highlighting the intriguing and terrifying suspense of author Deborah LeBlanc - Sneak a peek at GRAVE INTENT! - Alesia


In all their years at the funeral home, Janet and Michael Savoy had never seen anything like the viewing for nineteen-year-old Thalia Stevenson. That's because they had never witnessed a Gypsy funeral before, complete with rituals, incantations, and a very special gold coin placed beneath the dead girl's hands...When that coin is stolen, a horror is unleashed. If the Savoys don't find the coin and return it to Thalia's grave before the rising of the second sun, someone in their family--perhaps their little daughter--will die a merciless death. The ticking away of each hour brings the Savoy family closer to a gruesome, inescapable nightmare. Only one thing is certain--Gypsies always have their revenge . . . even the dead ones.

"A powerful, haunting tale." --Tim Lebbon, author of Desolation

"Grave Intent is a first-rate novel, filled with genuine dread. I defy you to put this down after the first two pages--it can't be done!" --Gary A. Braunbeck, author of In Silent Graves

"Iconic writers like Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Peter Straub who have sold millions penning psychological thrillers designed to scare the living daylights out of readers had better beware—they’ve all just met their match and her name is Deborah LeBlanc. An irresistible blend of horror, mystery and dark fantasy, Grave Intent is like a wild roller coaster ride through the seven levels of Hell that doesn’t stop until readers are all suitably slack jawed in shock and delirious with all-consuming fear. In a word: Awesome!"--Paul Goat Allen- Ransom Notes

Thursday, July 7

A Moment of Silence

for the victims of the vicious attacks in London today, and their families and friends.  My family's thoughts and prayers are with you all. 

Wednesday, July 6

A fun new talent - Misty Simon!!

My friend Misty Simon has a wild and wacky new mystery story that you should take a look at!!

At 24, Ivy Morris has never lived outside her father’s home and in fact sleeps in the same room her mom decorated over a decade ago. Until she gets a letter with the words “your inheritance” offering her a home and a costume shop of her own 3000 miles away.

But when she arrives to assume her new life she is bombarded by a slew of people looking for the perfect dominatrix or disturbingly tight wrestler costume for the upcoming Harvest Ball. Between overpowering biddies and stolen lingerie from the worst-kept secret side business, things get even more complicated when a woman is murdered at the ball—a woman wearing the same costume as Ivy.

With the help of her new friends and a cute guy trying to rev up his journalism career with this mystery, and revving up her heart in the process, she must solve the murder before someone succeeds in their quest to POISON IVY.