Sunday, December 30, 2012

Kittens Apologize For Party

Marketing Maniac: We are really sorry for trashing your house.

Liza: We or you? Because I don't see the other kittens here.

MM: Most were traumatized by the flattened dogs and the howling baby wolf. They're in counseling now. Deadbeat Kitten is claiming she can't do her edits due to her near death from the eggnog poisoning.

Liza: What about Tell Ado?

MM: She's okay. She's writing an original store about a Christmas party gone bad. At least I think it is. You haven't written a story about drunken kittens behaving badly, have you?

Liza: Not that I recall.

MM: I gave her Shakespeare and Snoozeball to type so her head won't get so big this time.

Liza: That was very thoughtful.

MM: Now, to prove my sincere sorriness for ever having that party, I made you a whole bunch of new marketing promos.

And, I've found you a new spokesperson. Not as cute as me, but he won't be prone to have parties.

 Liza: Maniac, you speak as if you're leaving? 

MM: After all the trouble I caused...I didn't think you wanted me anymore.

Liza: I'll agree you've been bad, but hey, who am I to cast stones. Did you see D'Ann's interview?

MM: *snickers* I think that was your best blog ever. And no one skimmed it. One even read it twice.

Liza: Yeah, those were my best comments yet...

MM: So you understand that breaking the rules can be refreshing. 

Liza: I suppose...

MM: So why did you nix my NYC building promo? I worked really hard on that.

Liza: Maniac, you may be a cute kitten who can get by with anything, but I'm not. You cannot plaster hundred foot tall signs on NYC buildings. 

MM: Why not?

Liza: Well, for one thing, the tenants can no longer see out the windows. They must feel like they're working in a very tall shoe box.

MM: Maybe you can send them copies of your book so they'll understand what a good cause they sit in the dark for.

Liza: No, I've ordered all those signs down.

MM: All of them?

Liza: We can keep the billboard. That's on public property.

MM: How about this promo?

Liza: That's Silas Condict Park, white trail. My lawyer says that's okay. Public land has no copyright issues. Although the nice ranger who created this trail might object.

MM: What trail? I don't see a trail.

Liza: It's hard to see, but see the tree in middle of the picture, the trail is to the right of that.

MM: Glad I don't have to hike with you. Further down, I've put your book in the tunnel cave on the rattlesnake ledge. Is that okay?

Liza: Yes, but don't be surprised if a hiker just grabs the book and takes it with him. Hikers tend to be readers.

MM: Don't worry, I've hired a bear to frisk them when they leave the cave.

Liza: *laughs* I've always thought that cave would make a nice sleepover for bears if only we didn't keep trudging through it.

MM: How about this one?

Liza: That's the swamp in Tourne Park, before they drained it. The swamp looks terrible now. How'd you get the words on the clouds?

MM: Spray paint.

Liza: You can do that?

MM: I can't, but I hired some crows. They're very clever.

Liza: Evidently. I had no idea clouds could be spray painted.

MM: Well, you have to hire the crows, because they've patented the technique. *smiles* See, I'm starting to pay attention to laws.

Liza: Well done! You're growing up.

MM: I am. Speaking of which, any chance I can have a giant mug. I've out grown my cup.

Liza: We all do. How about a large paper bag?

MM: All Right!

Liza: So my wonderful followers, which of the promotions do you like best?

MM: Let's not forget my former promos:
Liza: Ah yes the dam graffiti at Split Rock Resevoir.

MM: And this one. I risked my life putting this up.

Liza: Ah, Hawk View at Wildcat Ridge. Yes, you could have been picked off by the predator birds flying about. A few have made a run at Jess.

MM: And finally, Jonathan Wood's Beaver Pond.

Liza: Is there some reason why you made the sign so clownish. Honestly, it looks like the signs I make.

MM: You don't like the signs you make?

Liza: Between us, I like yours better.

MM: Really?

Liza: Truly. You have a gift, Maniac. It's going to get me arrest, but you clearly have a gift.

MM: *Preening* Compliments feel sooooo good. Please vote for your favorite promo. Sadly the small NYC picture cannot be voted for. *sniff* 

To vote, leave a comment below or try that silly voting thingie on the right.

Liza: If I put the poll up. It's not very user friendly. 

MM: Okay, leave a comment below. 

Liza: I promise not to erase your comments.

MM: I can't believe you did that.

Liza: Me either! I was simply trying to highlight the lovely compliment Allison wrote and suddenly it declared the comment deleted.

MM: Liza's bad. 

Liza: *nods* My bad.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Fabulous D'Ann Lindun Comes to Visit

Liza: This blog has been declared the funniest interview in blogdom. If you agree, please follow me. Otherwise, I'll think you insincere. 

Enough groveling, let's get to the interview:

Liza: Today, a brave young cowgirl with eleven horses, has come to talk about their book, Vaquero. Let’s all say in unison “Hello Miss D’Ann Lindun.”

Liza’s followers: Heloooooo, hi, howdy, hi horses, Miss D, what’s your horses’ names? Lindun:

Liza: Sorry, my followers don’t follow instructions very well.

D’Ann: *Laughs* No problem. Hello everyone.  And my horses’ names are Anastasia, Casey, Cinnamon, Cody, Fawn, Lantana, Layla, Pard, Raine, Skye, Sundae, and just for the record they didn’t help write this story.
 *looks at Liza* Why would you even think that?

Liza: Well, I have author kittens. And now my dog is talking about writing a book. Your horses wrote me an email, so I know they can type, although that must be one impressive keyboard.

D’Ann: My horses wrote you an email?

Liza: Yep.

D’Ann: How would they even get your email?

Liza: I wrote them first.

D’Ann: Why would you write to my horses?

Liza: I thought you might have finally come to your senses about being on my blog and changed your mind. Since horses spend a great deal of time standing around looking grand, and you are so very busy publishing a new book every three weeks—

D’Ann: You’re exaggerating—

Liza: Not by much. Anyway, I asked them— Hold on, I have the emails.

 Dear Horses,
Will you remind D'Ann she foolishly asked to guest blogged on my site on Dec 28th. I sent her the attached documents and have not heard back. If she's swamped in edits, will you fill this stuff out for her.

Thanks, have an nice gallop now.

D’Ann: You wrote "Guest blogged". What does that even mean?

Liza: It means I'm a terrible proof reader. When I get rich, I’m going to hire a full-time editor to sit beside me and correct my errors on everything I write.

D’Ann: Good luck in filling that job.

Liza: Back to the email conversation, a short while later your horses responded:

Sorry, Liza.
We kicked D'Ann in the butt, and she got moving.
the horses

D’Ann: I’m not comfortable with you becoming pen pals with my horses. Nor did I appreciate being assaulted by my own horses.

Liza: Sorry about that, but I didn’t actually tell them to kick you.

D’Ann: No, you asked them to fill out the material, but evidently, they concluded it was easier to kick me. *rubs butt* Can we begin the interview now?

Liza: Nope.  I want to go straight to your excerpt

D’Ann: Can I give your followers the blurb first?

Liza: Later. Nope.

D’Ann: Why?

Liza: Because this may be the best excerpt I’ve ever read. Only it’s long, so I want it up front before people stop reading. (Followers, don’t roll your eyes at me. I know you start skimming halfway through my blogs. I’ve turned your cameras on so I can track the movement of your retinas. Halfway through you either have a seizure or you start skimming.)
Crap, now they’ve put their thumbs over the camera hole.

D’Ann: Can’t really blame them. Watching their retinas is a bit creepy.

Liza: Here’s D’Ann’s fabulous excerpt from Vaquero, a contemporary western suspense that promises to knock your socks and boots off. (And hopefully those thumbs off the cameras)

She abruptly pulled out of his embrace and fastened her dress back together. “I need to get back. Daddy will be looking for me.”
Swallowing his disappointment, Cord said, “I’ll walk you back, chica.”

Her eyes were hard, or maybe it was just the moonlight playing tricks on him. “Chica? Don’t call me that. And you can’t tell anyone what happened between us. This was a mistake. I’ll see you around.” Before he could react, she vanished out the door.

“I’ll see you around.”Had she really just said that? He found his shirt on the floor and, after jerking it on, left the bunkhouse, slamming the door behind him. She teased him, got him hard as hell, then vanished? What the fuck had just happened here?

Just a few feet into the dark, someone stepped in front of him. In no mood to talk, Cord started to push by when the other man grabbed his arm. “You too good to talk to me, Mex?”

Buford LaDelle. Cord sighed. What was the guy’s problem with him? “No, just tired.”

“Worn out from work, or something else?”

Cord jerked his arm away from the bigger man’s grip. “Not that I feel like sharing my business with you, but yeah, I’m beat from roping all day.”

Another man moved out of the shadows. Buford grinned at him. “I think he’s worn out from that little joyride he just gave Shayla. How ’bout you, Spike? Think that’s it?”

“Yeah, I think that’s it,” Spike agreed.

Buford got so close Cord could smell the alcohol on the other man’s breath. “That it, Mex?”

“Get lost.” Cord moved to step around Buford, and the bigger man slugged him. Hard. In the stomach. Not expecting it, he doubled over, fighting to catch his breath. Before he could suck in enough air, one of the men slipped a lariat over his head, pulling it tight against his neck. The other one grabbed his wrists and bound them with a slick leather strap, a rein maybe.

What the hell? It was one thing to have a fistfight over a girl—all guys did it—but he’d never been attacked in the dark and roped like a wild steer before. Cord struggled, and the rope around his neck tightened until he feared passing out. Stars danced in front of his eyes, and his ears felt like they had cotton stuffed in them. He tried to speak, and his voice came out in a hoarse growl. “Let me go.”

Buford chuckled. “Not until you learn your lesson, son. I don’t know how things are done back where you come from, but around here, illegals don’t fuck our women.”

“I didn’t—” The rope dug into his neck, cutting off his words. He was as American as they were, the crazy bastards.

Like a prisoner being dragged to the gallows, Cord was hauled toward the corrals. Every time he tried to speak, one of them jerked the rope around his neck, making it impossible for him to call for help. At the branding pens, Buford yanked Cord up tight against one of the corral posts, securing him like a trussed hog. His nose pressed against the rough cedar pole. He turned his face so his cheek rubbed it instead. Spike pulled Cord’s hands around the pole and tied them, rendering him helpless.

“What now?” Spike asked.

Buford held up something that flashed in the dim moonlight. A knife. “I say we geld him. Cut off his nuts and feed them to him.”

The buddy chuckled. “Good plan. That’ll teach him not to go between the legs of decent white women.”

Cord struggled against the rope binding him until it cut into his neck. Warmth trickled down his neck, and he knew it had to be blood. They were only trying to scare him. No one in his right mind would do something so crazy.

Buford crowded up behind Cord, pinning him even tighter to the fence, and reached around and unbuckled his jeans. They slid down over his hips and thighs. He stood tied, half naked, his jeans and shorts pooling around the tops of his boots, as they discussed what to do next.

“We’re gonna need another couple of ropes to hold his legs apart,” the buddy said helpfully. “I’ll go get ’em. But you’re gonna have to do the cuttin’ ’cause I ain’t touchin’ no other man’s dick or balls.”

Buford considered that, turning the knife in his hands. “Yeah, you got a point about that. I ain’t no queer. But we gotta do something to teach this boy a lesson.”

Cord twisted his hands, desperate to get free, but the tie they’d used tightened with every move. He couldn’t catch a deep breath. Sweat beaded on his forehead and ran down his back. The joke had gone far enough. “Turn me loose and I won’t kick your ass,” he demanded in a harsh whisper.

“Oh my God.” A woman’s voice. Shayla. Out of the corner of his eye, Cord saw her take in the scene. Horror filled her voice. “What are you doing? This isn’t Deliverance. Let him go right now.”

A rough laugh rumbled out of Buford. “Not a chance. Your daddy told us to take care of the problem, and we have it handled.”

“I never agreed to this,” she said stubbornly. “Pull up his pants and turn him loose.”

“We’re just scaring him a little.” Buford’s tone changed to vicious, and he stepped toward her with his fist closed. “Now get on out of here.”

She turned and fled. 

Liza: Please tell me Shayla is NOT our heroine.

D’Ann: If you would have let me give the blurb first, you’d know the answer to that.

Liza: Well, give it to us now.

-short blurb-
That should have been placed before the excerpt

When Cordero Ybarra and Aspen O’Hare meet, there is an immediate attraction. But he holds his secrets close, refusing to open up about the night racial prejudice almost killed him. Aspen refuses to trust Cord—or any man. She’s been abandoned one too many times. When another woman lies and says Cord wouldn’t take responsibility for a child they created together, Aspen believes Cord is a deadbeat just like her father. It is only after she uncovers the truth that Aspen realizes Cord is nothing like the men who’ve deserted her before. When an immigrant worker is hanged by the same two crazies who branded him, Cord sees the truth. The shame he’s carried about being the victim of a hate crime is going to cost him the woman he loves if he can’t let go of his past.

Liza: Yeah, that really puts the excerpt in context.

D’Ann: It would have IF you had let it lead the excerpt.

Liza:  My bad.  I wish people would take their thumps off the camera because I want to make sure they are still reading.  I bribed the horses with some fresh grain and they told me all of D’Ann’s secrets. Here’s what I discovered:

Falling in love with romance novels the summer before sixth grade, D’Ann Lindun never thought about writing one until many years later when she took a how-to class at her local college. She was hooked! She began writing and never looked back. Romance appeals to her because there's just something so satisfying about writing a book guaranteed to have a happy ending. D’Ann’s particular favorites usually feature cowboys and the women who love them. This is probably because she draws inspiration from the area where she lives, Western Colorado, her husband of twenty-nine years and their daughter. Composites of their small farm, herd of horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, ten ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in her stories!

Liza: Sounds like a delightful person, right? Well read on my on: 


D’Ann Lindun has admitted to cannibalistic cravings. 
She wants to grill and eat a fellow author.

D’Ann: No I don’t!

Liza: You said, and I quote: Anne Stuart-I’d grill her like a fish on how she makes her alpha men so wounded, and yet so yummy sexy.

D’Ann: I was speaking metaphorically. You asked me who I’d like to be stuck on a deserted island with!

Liza: Yes, and Anne Stuart is no doubt taking a restraining order out against you even as we speak and will make sure she’s never on any island with you, so you’ll need to find someone else for dinner.

D’Ann:  *grips head* Why did I come on your blog?

Liza: I’ve no idea. Did you not read my other interviews with authors?

D’Ann:  Yes, but you appear to be getting worse.

Liza: Do you hear that Fox News? I’m getting really good at fabricating news. You need to hire me!

D’Ann: Can we end this blog please.

Liza: Are you sorry you came?

D’Ann: Getting there.

Liza: Then my work is done.

Followers, FOCUS! 
No more skimming. 
It’s time for the links to D’Ann’s fabulous book: Vaquero.


D’Ann’s Links


Liza: Let’s all thank D’Ann  and all her horses for coming to my blog today. It was lots of fun…for me anyway.

D'Ann: Thanks for having me over, Liza. It’s always a hoot!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Morning After the Kitty Party

Writing Kitten: Am I still alive? I can't feel anything? Do I have a tail? I think Ed Bite ate it right after she declared it unnecessary.

I really shouldn't have had 20 saucers of egg nog. Did you see which publisher I signed with. I can't remember anything after the third saucer.

What happened? Where did all these dogs come from? On no! my litter sis, Corine, is sleeping with a dog! Corine wake up and run!
Oh this is really bad! Where did all these dogs come from. And why are they so flat?

What happened last night. Why didn't Liza wake up and rescue us. How could she possible sleep through this?

Oh look, that little pup tried to call for help. This is terrible! Dead beat Kitten, are you really dead now?
Is anyone but me still alive. I do not want to be the last kitty standing. Cute or not, they'll send me to the gas chamber for this disaster. 
Is anyone still alive?  Anyone?
Mouse: I am.
WK: What about your friend?
Mouse: Exhausted and sleeping. Dodging a houseful of drunk cats and dogs is no small feat.
WK: Are there any KITTENS still alive? Anyone?
Is it safe to come out?
Are the dogs permanently flat?
WK: I fear so. 
That's not good. One of them called PETA.

WK: We've got to get them out of here and clean this place up. How many of us kittens are still alive?

I'll answer that once the dogs are gone.

Baby wolf: My mom says I can wake the dead. I'll get everyone up.

Scaredy Kit: What the bloody **** is that? Everyone, wake and run! Wolves are among us. Run, run for your lives.

Liza: *stumbles in the room* What is that god awful noise? Stops and stares at room.

Liza: Maniac, Tell Ado. You guys are in soooo much trouble.
MM: *enters from outside* Hey come out and see your new advertisement. Whoa! When did all this happen? Nevermind. Come see my best marketing ploy ever.

Liza: *steps outside* Oh Maniac, what have you done now? I'll definitely need a lawyer this time. 

Nope, I'm not showing you what Maniac has done until my lawyer tells me how much trouble I'm in.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Kittens at an Author Party

Welcome to the Kitten Author Party. If you are human, you will have restricted rights. You may laugh, but do nothing else. This is not your party, it's ours.

Writing Kitten, Tell Ado: What if no one comes to our Author Party?

Marketing Maniac, Kitty-Kitty: Are you kidding? I’ve promoted this all over town. Everybody, who’s anybody will be here.

WK: I think I'll go hide.

MM: What? No! They are coming to see you. I’ve told them all about Saving Casey and your other books!

WK: My book is called Saving Kitty. Liza’s version is called Saving Casey.

MM: Well, they’ve read Liza’s version and can’t wait to publish your version.

WK: Liza’s not going to like that.

MM: We just won’t tell her. Seriously, humans are clueless. Most don’t know we kittens even have a publishing industry at all. Speaking of which, here comes one of several publishers I invited.

Welcome Archer, have a seat and the paper.
Archer: I didn’t come to read the paper. I want to read Tell Ado’s version of Saving Casey. I loved the human version. I laughed, cried, and yowled in rage. Fabulous book.

MM: I’ll let Tell Ado know you wish to read her book. Ah and here’s Thatcher, from Young Kittens Publishing.  May I  offer you…oh I see you brought your own book.

Thatcher: Yes, Saving Casey by Liza O’Connor. I couldn’t put it down. I would have stayed at home had you not promised you had a kitten who writes like Liza.

MM: They write almost as if Tell Ado lives in her head. 
Here’s Shakespeare, the best scribe that’s ever been. Come in Shakes, I got a new author for you.

SS: Great!  I’ve heard about Tell Ado's giant head, so I brought backup in case I need help typing all these stories.

We work in shifts. That’s Snoozeball.

MM: Well done Shakespeare! Now, I invited the best editor there is, however, she can’t show until later, but that’s not a problem since first Tell Ado has to first tell you the story of Saving Kitty.

Thatcher: Saving Kitty?

MM: Just think of Saving Casey with Cats and Kittens.

Thatcher: So Old Cat is going to die and inexplicably wake up in the body of a young kitten, and she decides to take on the young kitten’s life.

MM: And foolishly thinks all her life experiences will make it an easy turnaround.

Thatcher: Does she name the prior kitten, Old Kitty and herself New Cat.

SS: *typing furiously* Hold on, I’m getting confused.

MM: Here’s Tell Ado. She can tell her story.

All: *Gasp!*

WK: I know my head is ginormous.

MM: It’s okay. Once you share your stories, your head will return to normal.

WK: Then let’s get started. I can barely walk with this giant blimp head.

*Hours later*

WK: That’s it for Saving Casey.

Thatcher: I’ll give you a five year supply of catnip for the rights to the book.

WK: I love catnip.

Archer: You better love a giant head as well, because you’ll be so junked up with catnip, you won’t be able to tell Shakespeare or Snoozeball what to type.

MM: What’s your offer?

Archer: Quarterly shipments of Kitty treats.

Thatcher: I’ll match that and provide a live mouse every six months as a bonus.

Archer: Moist, premium kitty treats, and two mice each quarter.

Thatcher: Cans of sardines and thirty mice a month.

Archer: *glares at Thatcher* Try to make a profit on that. Yes, it’s a fabulous book, but Tell Ado is unknown.

WK: My namesake is the most prolific writer in human history. 

Archer: Perhaps, but her last book was published in 2006. The young kittens coming up don’t know her. AND, you are not her. You are a talented young author, who shows promise. However, we have no proof that you’ll survive the editorial process.
MM: speaking of which, the editorial cats have arrived. 

ED YUK: I hate the word ‘that’, all forms of ‘to be’, and echoes.

ED BITE: I hate the word “thing”. If you can’t find a better word, then you don’t deserve to call yourself a writer.  Also, I detest unnecessary fluff, redundancies, and flashbacks. And if you use an adjective, I will bite you. And if you are told to change something, CHANGE IT! Do not argue with me! 

TA: But Maniac, what if I truly believe the editors have misunderstood my writing and I'm right?
MM: Then we bring in Ed Thug. He has no trouble  being the bad cop.

TA: Okay, okay. I’ll change the paragraph. It’s not worth drowning over.

MM: Wise choice Tell Ado. I knew you were going to be a good investment.So for your Sr. Editor, I found the best in the business: Sr. Ed. Terrior

WK: But that’s a dog. I’m terrified of dogs.

MM: Me too. But EVERYONE: cats, mice, dogs, seals, elephants, and lions all agree that this little terrier is the best in the business. She’s meticulous, tenacious, dedicated, and determined that every story is presented the best it can be. So suck up your fear of dogs and thank God you have her.

TA: If I do, can I avoid the others?

MM: No. They all have their purposes and skills, even Thug.

TA: And what is that?

MM: To make you a better writer and your books a better read. Remember the fighter’s motto: No pain, no gain. You can’t do this alone. You need your army of experts.

TA: *breaths in deep* I’ll try. So which publisher should I go with?

MM: Not sure. Let’s get drunk on eggnog and then decide.

1.     Will Tell Ado’s head shrink to a normal size?
2.     Which Publisher will Tell Ado choose?
3.     And can Dogs and Cats work together? Or will this become an editorial disaster?

This blog brought to you by Maniac Advertising