Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Book Release Party!!

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Awesomeness Alert!!! JULIET IMMORTAL by Stacey Jay, my dear friend and writing partner, hits bookshelves August 9th!!

I can’t recommend this story highly enough and not just because it’s dedicated to me (although it is and I will be honest–having a book dedicated to you is pretty awesome). I loved this story WAY before it was a “real”book,before it was even a book deal. Let me tell you why:

Because Romeo and Juliet (yes, the Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare) is lame. There. I said it. Somewhere, right now, a University official has started proceedings to revoke my English degree. But it’s true! Yes, Shakespeare is a master of language and brilliant and who am I to critique him, blah, blah, blah, but that doesn’t make R & J any less lame. Think about it. Juliet killed herself over a guy she knew for less than a week! That’s not romantic. That’s . . . crazy. And Romeo–don’t even get me started on him. He didn’t love Juliet. He was in love with the idea of being in love. (Hello, Rosaline, anyone?)

Enter Stacey and her awesome creative powers. She has crafted an entirely new kind of Juliet, a Juliet who is brave, and strong, and makes me proud to be a girl instead of want to vomit. I urge everyone to check it out–even if you love the original R & J.

Here is the “official” description:

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.”
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn’t anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she’s fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she’s forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

What I did on my summer vacation: An essay (with pictures).

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

I did lots of things on my summer vacation. It was fun. Except, not really. Some parts of my vacation were fun. And some parts were filled with soul-crushing despair, like when my brother (or my brother’s girlfriend, depending on who is being questioned) “accidentally” let our Chihuahua outside over the Memorial Day weekend where he was immediately stolen/eaten by large dog across street/smashed by car/taken by aliens (again, depending on who you ask).

This prompted much sobbing, wailing, frantic sign making, and neighborhood canvassing by me and my 11 year old daughter, but all that accomplished was a) a whole bunch of people said this: “Oh, you have a Chihuahua? We have a Chihuahua/Pomeranian/Yorkie______(insert breed of small dog). But we WATCH our dog.” The implication being that if only I wasn’t such a negligent pet owner, my dog wouldn’t have been lost; and b) a guy got my phone # off a flyer and started texting me, wanting to know if he could “comfort” me.

Not. Even. Kidding. I now know exactly how sick, twisted, and freaking INSANE 99.9% of the population is. Especially when there is a $500 reward involved.

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This is Danny. Isn’t he cute? He hates everyone, especially men and small children. He bites, has a skin condition, and weird toenail growths. If anyone has seen him, I am still offering a $500 reward. My husband is offering a $1,000 reward for you NOT to bring him back.

After the Great Danny Disappearance of 2010, I read a lot of articles on Dealing with the Loss of Your Pet and How to Help Your Child Deal with the Loss of a Pet. All of these articles said absolutely, positively DON’T attempt to comfort yourself/your child by immediately running out and buying another pet. Therefore, I immediately ran out and bought another pet. Because, seriously–what kind of an idiot wrote that?

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This is Jasper, the replacement Chi. He likes everyone, doesn’t bite and has a shiny coat and perfect toenails that look like they are French manicured.

You would think one Pet Tragedy per summer would be the limit, but no, not in our house. Just 2 short weeks after the Danny Disappearance/Jasper Replacement, my husband calls me from his cell phone. While heading out of town on a bike ride, he had come across a tiny kitten stumbling along the side of the highway, BEING EATEN BY GREEN FLIES EVEN THOUGH IT WASN’T DEAD. Its eyes, specifically, were the part being eaten. I would post a pic, but it’s too disturbing and graphic. Thus, my daughter and I jump in the car, collect the kitten and rush it to the vet. $200 bucks later, the kitten has been poked, prodded, washed, hydrated, dosed with various medicines and wrapped in a towel. The vet assures us the kitten will be fine, gives my daughter the “St. Francis” award, and sends us on our way. We go home, name the kitten Francis, and my daughter spends the weekend nursing it with a bottle, wrapping it in blankets, singing to it, etc. You get the idea. Monday morning–bam. The kitten is dead.

But wait. It get’s better. THEN, a few days later, we go to my husband’s parents’ farm in Oklahoma. And my father-in-law (who owns many, many dogs) tells my daughter that someone has just dumped off an adorable, teeny-tiny dog (because people are always dumping off dogs at their house), and does she want to see it? Of course she does! So do I! So she helps him fix up some food for the adorable, teeny-tiny dog and we trek across the street to the barn where he has left the dog penned up in a room with some of his other dogs. And we walk into the room just in time to see the adorable, teeny-tiny dog being mauled to death by the other dogs! I’m talking ripped to shreds, complete with its head dangling from its neck. Except somehow it wasn’t dead! Because God hates me, apparently. We got to watch it take its last, horrifying, pain-filled breaths.

And now I’m pretty sure my daughter is permanently scarred. I know I am.

We decided to get away from all the pet death by going to Branson, Missouri. Branson is where famous people go to perform when they are not famous anymore. Apparently it’s also where famous people go to perform when they are not alive anymore because I saw lots of signs for Elvis and Michael Jackson. We didn’t go see any dead people or not-famous people, however. We went to Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. I cannot even describe what the Dixie Stampede is like. It’s awesome. In a scary, Sarah Palin, white, overweight, overprivileged,Republican way.

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This is what they serve you to eat at the Dixie Stampede. An ENTIRE chicken. Seriously, this is my actual chicken. They also serve you a slab of pork, an enormous potato, a cauldron of creamy vegetable soup, biscuits, and an apple turnover the size of my head. Drinks are either Pepsi or tea, and silverware is not allowed. Basically, my caloric intake for a week. I felt very wasteful. But then there were cups shaped like cowboy boots and girls in hoop skirts and ponies and pig races and singing and dancing and I forgot all about my pesky social conscience. And at the end, Dolly sang “God Bless America” and all the riders came out wearing light-up costumes just like Robert Redford in The Electric Horseman and when they lined up the costumes made the American flag and… sniff, sniff…it was just so beautiful.

And then on the way out my brother-in-law paid $40 for a stick horse he could have gotten at Wal-mart for $10. Sucker.

After Branson, Kate Perry and I headed to Walt Disney World for the annual RWA conference. The RWA conference is where we super-important authors go to do super-important authorly things. Like try on princess Minnie Mouse ears.

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Doesn’t Kate look adorable?

We also go there to win important awards.

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Me with Simone Elkeles whose book, Perfect Chemistry, won the Rita for Best Young Adult Romance!!!!

After RWA, Kate came back to my house to continue her annual visit to Arkansas. You see, she lives in San Francisco (and other boring places like Madrid and Buenos Aires), where nothing much exciting happens and there’s nothing to see or do. So every year, I take pity on her and let her come here. Where she can spice up her life.

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By sitting in giant chairs

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cavorting with monkeys

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being Jurrasic Park’d

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and finding true love.

After Kate went back to California (and continuing with the Pet Tragedy theme), I accidentally poisoned our cats. Don’t ask. The good news is that they lived and I am only $575 dollars poorer.

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We thought things might settle down after the near-fatal poisoning, but my sister decided 9 months was long enough and went into labor.

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Jax Allen Rose was born on August 23rd!! And he’s already bad-ass, as you can see from his Harley shirt, beanie, and socks. Plus, he’s named after Charlie Hunnam’s character, Jax Teller, on Sons of Anarchy.

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Incidentally, Charlie Hunnam is my newest imaginary boyfriend.

And that is what I did on my summer vacation.

The End.

Newsworthy

Friday, January 8th, 2010

It’s a new year!! I’m not going to go so far as to say I’ve made a resolution to be a better blogger, but I have written it down on my “To Do” list. To Do” list sounds much less intimidating than “New Year’s resolution” list, don’t you think? Resolution just sounds so . . . icky. And hard. Like Geometry. Which I made a D in, if anybody was wondering. (But I still managed to graduate from college and law school, so HA Mr. Shedd! You were wrong! I DIDN’T need to know whether point b was an interior angle of AOC or LMNOP or whatever the heck those letters were you were always talking about.)

So, in the interest of being a better blogger, I thought it might be fun to start doing a weekly (monthly?) roundup of random, interesting news articles. Naturally, by “interesting” I mean scandalous/pointless/gossipy stuff, preferably involving celebrities.

For example, has everybody heard the big news? Kate Gosselin got new hair.

kate gosselin new hair
Or rather, as the LA times blog put it (much more succintly) “The Hedgehog is Dead.” LOL. Except . . . I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I almost think she looked better with the hedgehog. That was her thing, you know? I mean, besides the eight kids, bitchy vibe, & smarmy ex-husband. The hedgehog was her trademark. Now she’s just another chick with blond extensions. I didn’t even recognize her until I read the headline. Although she does look less like a scary psycho soccer mom who is just waiting for you to fall asleep so she can stab you with one of her Pampered Chef knives, which is probably a good thing if she’s really “making room for romance.” I think she and Marilyn Manson would make a good match.

China Builds Women Only Parking Lot

china women parking lot

(From BBC) A shopping centre in China’s Hebei province has built a car park with wider spaces that it says is designed especially to suit women drivers. The women-only car park in Shijiazhuang city is also painted in pink and light purple to appeal to female tastes. The parking bays are one metre (3ft) wider than normal spaces . . .The Wanxiang-Tiancheng shopping centre had also “installed signs and security monitoring equipment that corresponded more to women’s needs” . . . The Global Times website says female parking attendants have been trained to help guide women drivers into their parking spaces. The bays also have extra lighting.

Some People may consider this concept sexist, but personally I think it’s THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER. Giant pink and purple parking spaces just for girls? Sign me up. Who cares if it seems chauvanistic? Not me. I freely admit I can’t park. Other people freely admit it too, as evidenced by the  concerned motorist who left a helpful note under my windshield at Olive Garden that said: Learn how to park you stupid idiot!! (prompting my then-4 year old daughter to exclaim,”Wow, Mommy! I didn’t know you were a stupid idiot!”)

Ditto for the female parking attendants and extra security lights. I’m all over it. How could you not be? You never hear about a guy getting kidnapped from the mall parking lot. It’s always some poor woman who gets snatched outside the food court and stuffed in a trunk, never to be seen again. This idea isn’t sexist; it’s just good sense.

In fact, I like the whole “women-only” thing so much, I think they should extend it to other areas of life. Like grocery stores. Specifically, the jars they sell at grocery stores. You know, the ones that an enormous robot apparently welds shut with super-glue and a flamethrower back at the factory? They usually hold pickles or pasta sauce or the strawberry jam I would really like to put on my toast except I don’t keep enough dynamite around the house to get the lid off?

It would be so great if they could give some of those bright pink and purple easy twist-off lids and put them in a special “Women Only” aisle. I thought getting married would solve this problem, but it turns out my husband isn’t keen on staying home 24/7 in case I need a jar opened. He also doesn’t like being awakened at 2 in the morning to unscrew the lid from the Peter Pan jar either. I’m not sure why. So having special “Girls Only” jars would help him too. It’s a win-win situation.

Parents Arrested for Tattooing Children
tattoo arrest

(FromChattanooga Times Free Press) Two Chattooga County parents have been released on bond after charges that they tattooed six children with a homemade contraption consisting of electrical cord, spliced wiring and a guitar string for a needle . . . Both Ms. Marsh and Mr. Bartels were tattooed with the device and, on the same day, six of their children — a 10-year-old, two 11-year-olds, a 12-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old — also were tattooed, the sheriff said . . . the only person not tattooed was a 7-year-old boy. . . They said he was too young,” the sheriff said. . . All six children were tattooed with the same needle, in the same way and on the same place on their bodies.

“Electrical cord, spliced wiring, and a GUITAR STRING string for a needle??!!” Are you serious?? These people are actually allowed to go about in the world unchaperoned? Because I’m pretty sure you have to have the IQ of a goldfish to do something that spectacularly dumb. And reckless. It’s bad enough they used a guitar string as a needle but using the same guitar string on ALL SIX KIDS? Have these people never heard of germs? It’s 2010, not the middle ages. I thought everyone over the age of 5 understood the basic concept of how diseases are spread. Even if they’d used a brand new, hygenic tattoo machine with disposable needles the whole thing would still be so, so wrong, but man . . . why not just skip the tattoo part and drink each other’s blood, or go down to the local hospital and lick some bedpans? Geesh.

And that’s all for now. More ranting next week.

xoxo
Julie


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