Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Today I welcome Jaime Samms to my blog!

Today I'm welcoming Jaime Samms to my blog so.. take it away Jaime!

As an author, what scares me the most?

What if this is the last great idea?

I believe every writer thinks it. Not very many of us will ask it out loud, though. That just makes the possibility too real.
You always hear writers talking about their craft as something as fundamental to life as breathing, more important than eating or sleeping. (Not more important than caffeine, though. Don’t get me wrong. We do have our priorities.)  But we speak of our stories–our creations–as we speak of our children. With pride, excitement, frustration, but ultimately, with love.
We love what we do. We have pride in our creations. Writing is a part of our fibre, DNA, spirit, soul.
When we can’t do it, we go a little bit nuts. Someone once told me; for them, not writing was the spiritual equivalent to a bad asthma attack. As though their soul was fighting to take the next breath, to let go of the trapped, stale air, but was, instead, suffocating under an invisible weight.
The weight was the weight of nothing: no words. No ideas.
And in that moment of wondering if you’ll ever fill up again, who would dare to tempt fate and ask, out loud: “What if? What if the last story was the last great idea I ever have?” No one dares. Not even me, because I didn’t decide to write this blog until I was once again (thankfully) in the spiritual free-fall of a new idea.
For me, the binding comes soon after I finish something. For a day or two, my mind rests. I’m free of the guilty feeling of not putting words onto the page and I revel in the pride of a job well done. I let myself feel good about not writing. I enjoy the contentment of having completed a project.
Then it begins. I start to feel the emptiness of “what next?” It isn’t that I don’t want to think about what I will write next. I literally can’t. My mind shunts away from looking for new ideas, like a trickster engineer in my brain, continually switching my mental train to a new track for his own enjoyment. It isn’t even that I want to hang onto the previous characters. They have told me their story. I’ve written it down, and they are gone. Moved on. It is me who is trapped on the endless loop of no ideas. The longer and more intense the finished project was, the longer this stage lasts, but every time, it lasts just long enough for panic to set in and I begin to think…”What if…”
You would think by now, I should be able to recognize the pattern, and sometimes, I catch on. Sometimes, it isn’t until I am finally well into the next project that I can appreciate the break for what it was. A necessary part of the process. Down time of the soul. Regeneration.
But holy hell, is it scary when you’re in it.
So if you love a writer, and one day, they look at you, their eyes half-wild and a bit staring, their lips slack, just hug them and whisper in their ear “It isn’t the last one. Don’t worry. You’ll have more stories to write. You’ll be okay.”
Trust me on this. You’ll be their hero for recognizing their distress. You can’t fix it, but you can help them not go off the deep end.

All about Jaime:

Jaime has been writing for various publishers since the fall of 2008, although she's been writing for herself far longer. Often asked why men; what’s so fascinating about writing stories about men falling in love, she's never come up with a clear answer.  Just that these are the stories that she loves to read, so it seemed to make sense if she was going to write, they should also be the stories she wrote.  

These days, you can find plenty of free reading on her website. She also writes for Freya’s Bower, Loveyoudivine Alterotica, Pink Petal Books, Dreamspinner Press and Total E-Bound. 

Spare time, when it can be found rolled into a ball at the back of the dryer or cavorting with the dust bunnies in the corners, she's probably spending reading, drawing, gardening (weather permitting, of course, since she is Canadian!) or watching movies. Well. She has a day job or two, as well, and two kids, but thankfully, also a wonderful husband who shoulders more than his fair share of household and child care responsibilities. 

She graduated some time ago from college with a Fine Arts diploma, with a major in textile arts, which basically qualifies her to draw pictures and create things with string and fabric. One always needs an official slip of paper to fall back on after all....

Jaime and Wild Child Publishing will be awarding a $10 Wild Child Publishing GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better are your chances of winning. Jaime's tour dates can be found here:  ttp://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/09/virtual-book-tour-as-advertised-by.html


As Advertised
by Jamie Samms



Tyler’s life perked up when he met Jake. So what if long-time friend Marty can’t stand him and his landlady has no use for his new beau. Tyler’s determined not to see the dark side of his lover. It’s his own fault for believing people don’t go around keeping secrets and lying.

Tyler should know better.  He’s an ad executive.  He knows the packaging is what sells, and Jake is quite a package.  His lover is no slouch when it comes to false advertising, either, and when Tyler finds out the truth, it hurts.  Weathering Jake’s lies and secrets gets easier with the help of new friends, Libby and Steven. In fact, Tyler figures that maybe a lot of things would get easier with Steven.

Tyler should have known better.  Not even someone as seemingly perfect as Steven Jessop is completely as advertised.

This time, though, Tyler has to make a decision. After all, sometimes, even if what you see is not what you get, what Tyler’s uncovered in Steven might just be what he’s always wanted.


Thanks to Jaime for stopping by!

Friday, October 12, 2012

The last leg of my journey... or also known as the THIRD LEG!

Day 9: Our last full day in Southport...

Yeah, I wish.

I've given up on sex and writing. So souvenir shopping can take the place of that, right?


How about instead some really fucking amazing Italian food? We go to a place called Prezzos and we have a wonderful lunch. Highly recommended.

It's our last day in Southport and the whole time, other than seeing hubby's Grandparents, we haven't been into the City Centre. I can't tell you how mad I am about this but damn, it's a big reason I came to England.

I'm sorta pissed but there's nothing I can do now. We rush about getting last minute souvenirs and then head to hubby's mum's house for a delish dinner and down the hatch go my methotrexate pills.

I'm out of coffee creamers too so it's time to head for home.

Meep. :(

Day 10: Now it's time to say goodbye... October 4

You're not leaving, right?

Yeah. It's time to start our journey back home. We're all packed. I'm going to miss my lovely MIL but I'm not coming back until we can have a door. Minimum requirement. :)

Anyway, we drag our bags back to the Rail and low and behold, our train breaks down. (Or at least that's what they said because that bitch booked out of there when we vacated the train)

So stuck on a platform with all the rest of our train goers, we wait for the next train with our load of bags. Now, once we board the train, a woman with a pram (stroller) grabs the area reserved for priority seating for those who have mobility needs.

She acted like we weren't there (even though my husband was stumbling around with his cane) and when I asked her to move, she ignored me. I really lost my temper on her and my husband had to hold me back, which turned into a wrestling match with him when his bad knee gave way as the train took off. I almost left the train in a fit of rage at the next stop but waiting another fifteen minutes would only put a crimp in our travel plans.

Anyway, she left but had much difficulty getting off the train since our bags had magically boxed her in. *innocent whistle* When my husband sat down, his poor knee wouldn't bend. I almost had a screaming fit.

(Note: when I'm on my methotrexate day, because I'm not feeling well, I tend to get angry easier. I usually fairly easy going.)

Anyway, the rest of the train ride wasn't too bad but the Midland trains seemed to run late and break down every time we rode on them, even when I headed to meet up with RJ Scott.

AND OMG!! I met RJ! *spin*

It was lovely to meet her and her family, even though I was totally knackered from traveling. I wish I had pictures but my phone was lost in my bag and dude, I wasn't thinking straight on my methotrexate.

While I was hanging with RJ, hubby was hanging with his BFF. It was good to see Little Dave. :)

Day 11: Sorta boring but a welcome boring. October 5

After a yummy brekkie, I go back to bed for more sleep. I'm exhausted and thirsty. Hubby brings me back two massive bottles of Evian and I officially love him!!! :D

Who knew my love could be bought so cheaply?

So now that I know the value of a door, I will treasure them always. :) I took a big nap and then got ready for a dinner out with Hubby's dad and family.

It's been six years and my hubby's brother and sister are so big now! They're teenagers and... oh god, they all know about my writing. *hides under the table* I don't think I've ever turned that red. I guess hubby's dad asked for help in googling me.

No worries! We have a forward thinking family. I think. :D

Day 12: London bound. Oct 6

After waking up and having another nommie brekkie buffet (and sneaking a sausage sandwich back to the room for hubby) we head out to London for our last full day in England. We're alone in First Class on the train all the way to Euston and we chat about missing home all the way down.

I mention his man cave and he rattles on about it and I agree with him. Except that last part wasn't "Fortress of Divinity", instead he said "Fortress of Virginity" Anyway, I pointed out that wasn't true because it's been a long time since he was a virgin and he has a bad ass man cave.

Anyway, at London Euston, I nearly was run over by a crazy cabbie but I had three bags and a purse. Fucking bite me, okay? Don't mess with Texas.

So we go to the Intercontinental Park Lane. O.O Wow. I've stayed in some nice hotels but nothing like this. I kept thinking we were in the wrong hotel. But this hotel was WOW. Like Pretty Woman... except I'm not a hooker. Wait, I think I wrote a book like that.

The bar. We tend to see a lot of bars in our travels.

Anyway, I rest up for the fabulous dinner we have planned at Shogun's. So much has changed in my life since I was here last. I got married, wrote a book, lost my mom, my aunt and two grandparents, my sister, and a cousin. And this place doesn't look any different and the menu is still fabulous and I almost made myself sick again eating all that was on my plate.

Last time, we stayed in the hotel the restaurant is attached to. Tonight, we stayed in super luxury. And life will continue to change but it's good to know, some things will stay the same.

Day 13: Heading home! YAY!#!@! Oct 7

I haven't been this excited to see my home since... well my last vacation. Let's face it. We're homebodies. My idea of a vacation is shutting off my phone and checking my messages when I feel like it. So no more trips to... wait. I'm going to GRL.

I'M GOING TO GRL!?!?! I forgot about this. It's nine days away. 9 DAYS AWAY!?!

Oh God. Well it's 6am London time and I keep thinking it's 1am Orlando time. Fuck. Well anyway, we head to Gatwick and got on a broken train. *sigh* but we made it there. We go upstairs to the First Class check-in and we have our tickets.

I swear to goodness, traveling first class out of Gatwick is worth it for the special security checkpoint. We were the only ones in there and there was jazzy music playing. Snazz!

Anyway, we hit the first class lounge where I starting on my foraging for the day with Eggs Benedict. Yum! I also do a little bit of shopping for everyone, including Mary Calmes. :)

When I come back, I ask how much longer it will be until the Orlando flight boards, because it's nearly boarding time on our pass. The lady says not for another half hour. Well that's odd. I should have just gone at the point so we could have a leisurely stroll and board when we felt like it but I listened to her.

BIG MISTAKE! We almost missed our flight!

When we leave the lounge, it says the gate is closed. We thought "That can't be right" so hubby starts running with his cane but I can't keep up. I tell him to run ahead and let them know to hold the plane.

They were calling our names for us to check in or risk the plane leaving. Anyway, we are the last people to get scanned in but it took me a few minutes to catch my breath. I had no time to get situated before we took off. I was mad.

And then we are leaving and flying in the air! Bye London.

Why is Titanic on this map?
I know my boy is from Liverpool, but seriously...

Across from us, there was a couple and they reminded me of Hubby and I but twenty years from now. They were cutie!

Next to them was a gay couple that was adorable! I hearted them!

As nice as first class was, it's still nine hours in a tin can. No matter what you do, you're still trapped up there with not much to do.

Except maybe eat scones?

Fortunately, I took it out on my manuscript.

For eight hours, I pounded away at my computer and I'm so close to being done with Dangerous Submission. I'm loving these changes!

But I loved being home with my kitties even more! I missed them so much. OMG. Love them!

4362 miles since my last check-in? Holy shit!

Again, they knew right away it was me and Cheddar started meowing and Milly wouldn't come out until she knew it was me.


GRL! OMG. It's nearly here!

Good thing I have swag! :)

All in all, at the end of the day, it's good to be back home. There was so much to do and so much to see. I love seeing my MIL (I promise to be a good DIL) and Father-in-Law and Nan and Grandad and BFFs. It's good to go but it's so nice to come back home.

That's all folks! :D Tune in next time, which is hopefully a long time from now, when Lori goes on vacation and does whatever the fuck she wants to do! :D Sayonara! 

Part Deux of the Tolands GO TO ENGLAND (WOOOO!)

Onward and upward is what I always say!

The cattery called and Milly and Chester are fine. Picky eating (like at home) but just fine :)

Day 5: Next Verse, Same As The Last - Sept 29

This is a lovely way to wake-up and enjoy my coffee! Still have creamers left too!

Today we just messed about in Southport doing shopping. There's all sorts of charity shops (I swear they are all in Southport) and I love all the kitschy shops around town. But we nearly walk our legs off and this is all really cool because I feel better. Maybe the iron pills are working? :D YAY!

They are still not done with my damn iPhone unlocking. It will have to be picked up on Monday. $#%@ I'm about to lose my temper.

But we have a lovely dinner and then off to bed!

Day 6: Off to Grandmother's (and Grandfather's house) we go! - Sept 30

First off I have to say: don't plan shit on Sunday in England. It will ALL GO WRONG!!

It rained most of the day but we still had plans to head off after Hubby's grandad got back from church. I should have nixed it then but we gather our things at set off.

Still a lovely view with the rain!

We stop for a bite to eat before getting on the rail and I decide on a steak and kidney pie. I'm so excited because I love pies :D Oh yum! One place in the US does a lovely pie, which is George Washington's home. I could eat ten.

It gets there and something about the smell turns my stomach. Hubby added to my sadness by trying it out and telling me how delicious it was too. I wanted to cry. Something about the methotrexate just changed my tastebuds. Some foods taste great, some turn my stomach (including some green teas) I'm destroyed.

So now that I'm about to toss my cookies (translation: vomit), we headed into Liverpool and... wait. What the fuck do you mean the Wirral line is closed? Is it actually closed like it was when we arrived (it wasn't! it was just the station that we needed to change at) or was it completely not running?

Not running and buses are replacing train service. Well, considering Grandad's house is only a short cab ride outside of City Centre, we decide to take the train as far as we can and then grab a cab.

And it was lovely seeing them. Nan was sick so I couldn't chance hugging her but we had a lovely chat. After a while, we didn't want to wear them out so we took off and when Nan got up to see us off, Hubby handed her the cane he uses for his knee and it was almost as tall as her and I'm not exaggerating!

They are the most adorable couple ever. We say our good-byes and catch a taxi. And OMG, this is where we almost die!

Again, not exaggerating!

Going back to City Centre in the rain, we are almost run off the road by a crazy guy when going through a toll booth. Considering we had been waiting in line and he could have gone through the toll lane he was blocking, he had no reason to roll down his window and start shouting at our driver.

Are we supposed to pay extra for the LOLs?

Anyway, finally back home, safe and dry. Time for dinner and sleep!

Day 7: OMG NOOO! - Oct 1

Hubby is officially sickie.

Whoa. Back up here. How the hell did I not get sick with my depressed immune system but my hubby did? What the fuck? (Maybe Airborne works... I dunno)

I put him back to bed and he had better be all better by tomorrow (hopefully) but I share a taxi with my MIL into Southport and I'm off to walk around because I feel good. (I'm enjoying this while I can and oh it feels amazing!)

I eat at this lovely parlor (roast beef dinner) that has seriously the most delish lemon meringue pie ever.

Heaven on a plate? I think so! :)

So I walk until I'm almost silly in the head but I can't seem to find anywhere that is able to unlock my iPhone. So after some shopping, I head home, disappointed.

But Hubby is better so I'm happy :) and I'm also happy I'm not sickie either.

So off to bed, and night night ickle Rosie!

I'm going to eat your face off while you sleep. 
Because I'm a fat cat and I'm that hungry!

Day 8: No door! I'm going out of my mind! Oct 2

Oh! We have pictures of our babies in my e-mail this morning! Oh how I love them and miss them.

He loves the camera!

Mum is not here so I'm not getting out of bed!

We don't get to walk around much at home in Orlando so we're just wandering about town grabbing little items as souvenirs and food. Yum! We get candy for Kele's brood. 

And for fuck's sake, can you please make some more tea mugs that have something Liverpool on them? Residents don't want them but foreigners who need something to bring home to mad frothing family members who are brilliantly excited that you've gone to Liverpool want to hold a coffee mug from the illustrious city. 

That is all *puts away soapbox* you may carry on. 

Also the whole time we've been here, we've had a lovely bathroom to shower in but no door to our bedroom. I didn't mind we had Hubby's old double bed (sorta romantic actually.. *giggle*) but privacy would be lovely. 

By now, we're sort of on edge. Not even lupus or my husband's wonky knee has killed our sex life but no door is such a damn cock-blocker, I'm losing my mind! I can't even concentrate on my writing, even though the iron is helping.

Oh yeah, we did shit today but fuck me if I can remember it. I think we visited the ocean?

If we shack up here for the night, 
does it mean we're paying for sex?

In the next installment, will Lori lose her mind after being denied sex for over a week? ARGHHH! Stay tuned.

Back from the dead...My time in England and back to the US!

The good news: I made it back from England in one piece. The methotrexate my rheumatologist put me on has done wonders so far. My cats don't hate me for being gone so long!

The bad news: Arseing my way across England with five pieces of luggage was really hard. I couldn't get my old iPhone unlocked in England so I couldn't tweet/check-in/communicate with the outside world. I couldn't eat pie.

The ugly news: I had no door on the room at my MIL's house. I'm still not done with the rewrite on Dangerous Submission (OMFG %$#@). The trains system in England picked all the days we traveled to fuck up. (I CHECKED!!!!)

So allow me to explain.

Day 1: Take-off! (Sept 25th)

My husband has been flying to and from England in First Class on Virgin Atlantic since he immigrated to the US and I have been wondering what all the fuss is about.

Note: Fuss is pretty much deserved. First Class on Virgin is quite nice.

Heading to the airport is pretty cool since my BFF Kele Moon and her husbank took us to the airport so we didn't have to pay ridiculous parking fees. After agreeing to write lots of iMessages and e-mails to her, we went to check-in.

Even Upper Class has its own check-in behind the lovely rope. No standing in line. It's straight to a small place with a bench for you to sit down and gather your thoughts...and realize you forgot your damn skin cream you only manufacture.

Fuck. But I'll be fine. I'm a big, tough girl and things will be fine.

So we head to the lounge and hang out. There are awesome little snackies, including these Biscoffs that I am addicted to. I snarfed down a few before getting a load of them and shoving them in my purse. (That's right, I'm pilfering from the 1st class lounge. :D how lovely)

We decide to leave early to hit the Duty Free shop but they've already closed my flight for liquor and I'm so pissed. I knew I should have bought it when I was down there the first time. *sad*

Anyway, we head for our flight, which was slightly delayed but after we boarded, we were able to settle in.

My little suite in the sky!

Yeah, that's champagne on the tray next to me. :)

So these are massive seats with little foot rests for you to stretch out on while flying. And a table pops out from by where the TV is. I watched Men In Black 3, which was great. I loved how they tied the series together at the end. 

This soup was lovely!

OMG, so was this steak :D

This was sooooooo yummy! OMG!

After dinner and a movie, I played a bit on my iPad and tried to get into another movie but it was difficult. So Time For Night Night!

Please lower the lighting and make my bed please... thank you!

That's the bar in between the seats. Yeah Baby! :)

Now all I need is a good book to read... hey!

So many good books to read. 
It says new if I haven't read it on this device. 
I think.

After a few minutes of reading, I was sleepy. For 8 hours, you are trapped on this tin can in the sky and you know what? Going there, it really helped to have a lay down bed! I slept and woke up refreshed.

My husband, poor baby, didn't sleep, but it was hot on the plane so I wasn't surprised. Anyway, after a full English brekkie...

Almost forgot to take a picture, it was so nommie.

...It's time to leave! And after a quick inspection at Border control (where I got confused because they asked if we were partners - I said no, hubby patted me on the head and said yes) and I'm in England. 

Day 2 (sorta): Onward Ho! Sept 26

After we've collected our bags and grabbed our first class train tickets, we're on our way to Liverpool! I love Liverpool. It's so gorgeous. 

Speedy train takes us away and after a quick snack and a nap on the train, we have arrived. 

Note to self: Don't let hubby try to figure out anything while operating on no sleep, especially not tube maps showing where NOT to get off. Also, don't listen to the train people, especially if you are rolling big huge massive bags. They mean well but they aren't rolling huge bags. 

We manage to get on the Northern Line and head for Southport. Hubby is nearly passing out by this time and after we manage to get dropped off at his mum's house, he crashes.

This is when we learn the room we'll be staying in at my MIL's house has no door right now as her partner is working on it. *facepalm* right now, we don't care. Sleep rules.

I let him sleep it off while hanging out with his mum. Tonight is my night for my methotrexate dose so we arrange for a kebab takeaway. While we are figuring this out, I get an emergency message from my BFF that my rheumatologist called with my blood tests and I'm officially anemic. 

*head desk* so that's the headaches and dizziness and flightiness. Well, I thought the flightiness was the blonde moments but I'm not usually like that. Anyway, before the takeaway and since hubby is up, we go foraging for iron pills. This is a lot harder than it looks because England and the US don't always match up as far as medicines are concerned. 

A lovely chemist at Boots was able to help us out and told me while she didn't have it, I needed Ferrograd C and then sent us on our way. After a nommie dinner and my pills down the hatch, I hit the sack!

Day 3: Bottoming is so much fun! Sept 27

My MIL's kitchen is soooo gorgeous!

So I wake up and the first thing I do is realize I need food while going through the lows (bottoming out) of methotrexate. 

My MIL is a great cook but I need specific snacks that I know I will like because these pills do weird things to me (will be fully explained later) So this gives me a chance to head to Tesco's. 

Good part: I'm at Tesco's! YAY! *run around*
Bad Part: I feel like utter shit! Boo. 

After getting hooked up by Tesco's pharmacy with my iron pills, I pick up snacky bits like yogurts and cheese and bread and juices and tons of water, because I drink that by the bucketload when I'm on my methotrexate day. And of course Tesco's Gateaux! (Please click on the link for NOMMIE goodness)

I head home and after cheese and bread, I crash out for the day while hubby goes out to wander around.

I woke up that evening to find out that the kitties are not eating. Cue me freaking out while trying to not alert my husband that they are not doing well as I calculate how the fuck we can get home RIGHT NOW!

I gave them some tips and said I would call tomorrow. I cross my fingers and try to calm down but I'm worried about my babies! OH NOES!

Day 4: They are going by so quickly! Sept 28

I wake up with way low blood sugar (that's what I get for sleeping on a empty stomach) and we head out into town for a stroll and nom! We stop at this lovely cafe in town and hubby has the English breakfast and I have the beef (gotta up my iron intake) and then stroll about town. 

Did I read this right?

Getting to visit with my Mother In Law is lovely! I hear about everything and see all sorts of old pictures, including my husband from primary school. OMG, he was such an adorable redheaded boy! (Still is ;))

Every day is relaxing and I'm just enjoying myself. But I realize I don't have enough coffee creamers. This could spell disaster for the Toland trip to England.