Friday, November 29, 2013

Annual Thanksgiving pictures!

It's that time of year again! Here are pictures of my turkey and the rest of the Thanksgiving feast!

Yum! Now I have to start prepping for the Christmas feast!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Four-star review of Reckoning!

The first blog review of Reckoning (Ashes #2) is over at Ciska's Book Chest, where it gets four stars. Read the review and find out more!

Today's mood: Thanksgiving edition

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go bake some more pie.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Goodreads giveaway of Ashes and Reckoning - just one week left!

Want to win TWO free, autographed books? If you're a Goodreads member, just enter my giveaway for a chance to win signed copies of the Ashes series.

Just one week left to enter!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thoughts on NaNoWriMo and Thanksgiving

It's November, which means it's time for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Which also means it's time for me to feel vaguely guilty for not participating in NaNoWriMo.

Because I think NaNoWriMo is a great idea. I'm all for giving writers the incentive to push hard and fast and finish a story, whether that story's been stuck at chapter four, or at the outline stage, or is still just floating around in the writer's head. I've been there: I spent years working on a very early (and very terrible) version of my debut novel - and for much of that time I just tinkered with the same dozen-or-so scenes, over and over again. At some point - shortly before a milestone birthday, I won't say which one - I realized this was never going to get the book actually written and completed.

That's where the beauty of NaNoWriMo lies - it provides that motivation to get out of bad writing habits and eliminate distractions so that you get the bulk of a first draft down. Notice I didn't say that you finish your novel. NaNoWriMo just gets you through the first draft (and if you're writing a long novel, you may have more to write. You still need to stash the book in a drawer for a while, read it through with fresh eyes, edit, edit some more, edit yet again, give it to beta readers, gather their feedback, implement their feedback, edit again, and give it to someone to copyedit and proofread. Maybe we can make January the National Novel Editing Month?

I'll be honest, though, the main reason I don't participate in NaNoWriMo is because of the "No" part. November's a busy month for me because of Thanksgiving. I particularly look forward to Thanksgiving because I enjoy the cooler weather and the opportunity to cook for a lot of people. I've had some people think I'm nuts because I like to prepare the entire feast, but to me it's comforting.

  • I usually have the feast on the day after Thanksgiving. My guests are all friends, as my family is too far away, and this gives them the chance to spend the day itself with their own families, and then come over to my house for Thanksgiving 2: Turkey Boogaloo.
  • Having the feast on Friday also gives me an extra day to prep. I can spend Thanksgiving day itself making pie and cornbread and other make-aheads at my leisure. 
  • While I do prepare the whole meal, I don't make everything from scratch. I get frozen pie crust for my pumpkin pies; I order an apple pie for my blaspheming friends who do not like pumpkin pie; I buy bread rolls at the store; I use Williams-Sonoma turkey gravy base for the gravy. 
  • Similarly, I use the cranberry sauce out of the can. I am not a huge fan of cranberry sauce, so I asked the friends who do like it whether I should track down a fun recipe for it. To a man they all said the stuff from the can was fine with them. I extricate it from the can so that it's in the perfect shape of the can, and then put it in my fanciest crystal dish - it sits there on the table looking ridiculous and amusing the guests until dinner time.
  • My turkey is simple but delicious. I just rub it with a thyme-and-rosemary butter rub and chuck some herbs and onion into the bottom of the pan. I've tried brining and some other fancy tricks, but the herb butter rub gets me the best results.
  • Now that I've made a number of Thanksgiving feasts, they're not that daunting. There are two main challenges that always exist. 
    • Getting all the side dishes ready and turkey carved at the same time. Thanksgiving is a flurry of prep at the beginning and a whirlwind of prep at the end. In between those prep times is a long period of loitering in the kitchen, nibbling on things, and having some wine. 
    • Which leads us to challenge 2 - having just enough wine to make the loitering and basting enjoyable (not to mention taking one's mind off one's aching feet) but not enough so that you forget a side dish or two (a scenario that's happened to at least one person I know). It helps with the second challenge to pace yourself with a good wine that you'll feel guilty about gulping, and save the silly sweet stuff you got at off an end cap at the Trader Joe's for after dinner, when even the teetotalers are drunk on food anyway and no one will notice that you are pixillated.
  • There is always room for pie. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

Feel free to leave me a comment about how you like to spend your Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ashes selected as today's Indie Book of the Day!

Ashes (Ashes #1) was selected to be today's Indie Book of the Day.

Learn more about Indie Book of the Day and their award-winning books.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ten random facts about me

Will have this on Facebook as well, but here it is for the blog readers and followers.

  1. I am a cockroach-phobe, so much so that it took me 20 years to finally watch the "They're Creeping Up On You" segment in the movie Creepshow.
  2. I have eaten alligator, snails, squirrel, frog legs, rattlesnake, and a fried shrimp head (not all in the same meal).
  3. The first writer I ever met was Leonard Wibberley, author of The Mouse That Roared, among other works. His wife was the principal of my elementary school. I was 8 years old so details are fuzzy, but I remember him looking a good deal like Papa Hemingway, and I remember being amazed at actually meeting a real writer. 
  4. My favorite time of year is Christmas.
  5. I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate. Don't even bring up white chocolate; to me it tastes like wax.
  6. When I need to recharge, I go to the beach. Any type of beach, any season. As long as I'm near the ocean, I'm good. In my fiction you'll notice a lot of character moments at beaches.
  7. I'm a latecomer to book series. Didn't read Harry Potter or A Song of Ice and Fire until their fourth books were published. Didn't read the Hunger Games books until long after Mockingjay was published.
  8. I sort of miss the days when The Wizard of Oz showing on TV was a once-a-year special event.
  9. Speaking of The Wizard of Oz, it wasn't until embarrassingly recently that I figured out how they did the Horse of a Different Color trick. Yes, I'm slow.
  10. The last book to provoke an audible non-laughter response from me was Cormac McCarthy's The Crossing (when you find out how the old blind man became blind). 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Today's mood

This isn't related to my writing. It's because I just realized I'll be cooking Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd of 16 people, possibly a few more.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Slightly belated report from Stan Lee's Comikaze 2013

This past Saturday I went to Stan Lee's Comikaze 2013, a newcomer to the con scene (this is only its third year).

Going to this con was something of an impulse decision, as I didn't know what it would be like. But frankly, it was going to be such a long time til 2014 San Diego Comic-Con (and who knows if I'll even be able to get passes this year) I figured I had nothing to lose. I'm happy I did, because I had quite an enjoyable time.

Got to the L.A. Convention Center an hour before opening, expecting lines and a mass of humanity. It was so empty that I got parking on the first floor of the structure and waltzed right up to registration with no line. Quite a difference from SDCC! I loitered in line until 9, and then they let us out onto the vendor floor. There was a good array of vendors, including quite a few Steampunk vendors. I ended up buying the novel Queen Mab by Kate Danley (who is a lovely person and signed it for me). I also bought some goodies for my boys, who couldn't make it that day, and some more buttons for my fangirl jacket.

Probably the highlight of the day was the cosplayers. Lots of them, and because Comikaze is so new, the floor wasn't crammed with people the way it is at SDCC so there was room for the cosplayers to strut their stuff and be photographed.

Here are some of my favorite cosplayers from the day:

A Gizmonic Institute employee with Tom Servo 

Black Swan ballerina 

The Toxic Avenger! 

Daenerys Targaryen with one of her dragons 

Captain Hammer's here, hair blowing in the breeze! 

A stormtrooper looking for some droids

Of course, it wouldn't be a con without some signings, and the one I had my eye on was the ever-awesome Bruce Campbell. The line for Bruce's signing was huge, but I got in it early (I was smart and brought lunch with me into line) and I was able to get my copy of If Chins Could Kill signed. And he called me "darlin'." I'm a very happy fangirl.

Bruce Campbell, being groovy 

There were panels as well. Unfortunately I missed a few I would have liked because of being in line for Bruce, but I did manage to catch the Troma panel, which was enjoyable even though I think their movies are more fun to hear about than actually watch. I also caught the Thrilling Adventure Hour panel, which was amusing and made me want to seek out some podcasts and get to know more about this show.

The Troma films panel, including an actor from The Toxic Avenger. The guy with the mustache fourth from the left is Ron Jeremy.

The Thrilling Adventure Hour panel guests. Yes, Castle fans, that's Molly Quinn over on the left.

All in all, a very enjoyable day. The con still has a few details to iron out. More maps and directions for the panels would be good, as there was some confusion about where the panels were. The food and beverage stands seemed pretty overtaxed (the Starbucks ran out of milk!). And there needs to be more seating (no way my husband could have handled the entire day, so it's just as well he couldn't make it). But I think it's a great con so far and provided they keep their attendance capped and don't stuff the venue over capacity (I'm looking at you, SDCC) I see no reason I won't keep coming to the con in years to come. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Giveaway at Goodreads!

Calling all Goodreads members. I'm hosting a giveaway of both books in my suspense series. Enter for a chance to win signed copies of Ashes and Reckoning. Giveaway ends December 4th!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Reckoning by Kelly Cozy


by Kelly Cozy

Giveaway ends December 04, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Reckoning (Ashes #2) is now available

Good news! Reckoning, the second volume in my two-book suspense series, is now available for purchase on Amazon in ebook and print editions!

It is also available for non-Kindle formats at Smashwords; I'll update the Reckoning page as soon as the book is up on the Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and iBook sites (this should happen in the next few weeks).

I hope you enjoy this book! I think you will - in terms of its plot, it's quite a ride! And its female lead character, Deirdre, is probably my favorite female character in all my books.

If you read it, be sure to stop by and let me know what you think!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Today's mood

Because Saturday I'll be at Stan Lee's Comikaze con!