Monday, February 28, 2011

Interview and Giveaway: Allison Pang




I must confess my secret shame. Somewhere, in my parents' basement, there is a box of unicorn figurines that I collected from age 10 to 15. It started with a Secret Santa gift from my fifth grade "boyfriend" Mark Hobbs and somehow morphed into an army of one-horned equine ceramic nightmares. I can't bear to part with them, but I don't want them in my house, either. So for now, my parents are stuck with them.

When I needed an idea for the main character in my 'Nice Girls' vampire series to have an embarrassing collection from childhood, I naturally leaned toward unicorns. I'd lived through the creepy horse obsession all girls go through, and I needed to channel it constructively. So Jane ended up with unicorn lamps, unicorn music boxes, and various sweatshirts she prays will never see the outside of her closet.

When I heard my agent sibling, Allison Pang, featured a foul-mouthed unicorn in her book, A BRUSH OF DARKNESS, I thought she'd be a natural fit here at NICE GIRLS DON'T WRITE NAUGHTY BOOKS.




A BRUSH OF DARKNESS features Abby Sinclair, who wields an enchanted iPod, has a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.

A former marine biologist, Allison turned to a life of crime to finance her wild spending habits and need to collect Faberge eggs. A cat thief of notable repute, she spends her days sleeping and nights scaling walls and wooing dancing boys....Well, at least the marine biology part is true. But she was taloned by a hawk once. She also loves Hello Kitty, sparkly shoes, and gorgeous violinists. She spends her days in Northern Virginia working as a cube grunt and her nights waiting on her kids and cats, punctuated by the occasional husbandly serenade. Sometimes she even manages to write. Mostly she just makes it up as she goes

Please welcome Allison to the blog and see details below to enter for a free copy of A BRUSH OF DARKNESS.

MH: OK, I have to ask. Why a dirty unicorn? Were you traumatized by a snarky unicorn as a child?

AP: Heh. Many of the unicorn’s behaviors were directly inspired by several of my cats (I have a particularly pervy one who drags my bathrobe around and humps it. Whee.) But honestly, I adored unicorns growing up – so I knew I always wanted to have one in a story I wrote. In this case, I thought a pervy unicorn would be more fun than the standard straight man, so to speak. He gets to do and say things I could never get away with writing for the hero/heroine.

MH: Bonus question, what's your favorite unicorn quip? Also, it takes some stones to make a hentai joke in a romance novel, nicely done!

AP: *bows* Yeah. Hentai. Sadly I was exposed to far more of it than I would have liked in college. I do adore anime as a whole though. Favorite quip… (to Abby)

“The Faery Queen’s daughter is missing and *you* were likely the last person to see her. Just answer their questions and be honest. Unless, of course, you really did do something to her,” he amended hastily. “In which case, lie your f--ing ass off.”

MH: The urban fantasy tends to be pretty serious. Is it difficult for you to balance the humor/badassery required of you?

AP: Sometimes – but I think it depends on the scene – but that’s also part of the reason I have Phin (the unicorn). He brings levity to a number of places that might not otherwise have them. As far as badassery goes, I’m not sure Abby is really all that badass, honestly. I tried to make her more normal than anything else (although she’s obviously got some funky powers here and there).

MH: You chose a couple of different mythologies to blend for BRUSH OF DARKNESS, can you tell us a little bit about your world-building process?

AP: Eh. It’s a Kitchen Sink world, I guess. Anything and everything could potentially show up, but the overall flavor of the world building is decidedly Celtic, since I based the original concept of the CrossRoads off of the True Thomas poem Thomas the Rhymer. I knew I wanted to expand on it – the three paths he could have taken essentially equal the three mythological Paths that many of the OtherFolk fall on – Heaven, Hell and Faerie.

MH: There are a veritible crapload of supernatural creatures in BRUSH OF DARKNESS, do you have a favorite?

AP: They’re all fun. Many of the creatures from the Midnight Marketplace scenes are actually cameos of characters I or my friends have run in online RPGs. Sort of inside jokes, I guess.

MH: What's next for you?

AP: The sequel to A Brush of Darkness has been turned in and I’ll have revisions for that soon, as well as the writing of Book 3, so those two things will probably consume most of my time for the next several months. After that, I’ve got a sort of Steampunk fantasy thing I’d like to work on.

OK, everybody, leave a comment below indicating that you've tweeted, Facebooked or mentioned A BRUSH OF DARKNESS on your blog, and your name will be entered to win a copy! The winner will be randomly selected after 5 p.m. Central time Wednesday, March 2. Thanks for stopping by, Allison!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Excerpt from THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF





There was a little production issue with HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF and the promised excerpt of THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF was not include in the paperback. So I'm posting it here. THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF comes out on March 29. Enjoy!



Dante Hosts a Baby Shower in the Seventh Circle

1

The best thing about being a werewolf was that you never needed a sports bra.
It’s hard to explain to humans the absolute freedom of running on all fours. The feeling of my feet hitting the ground without anything between the pads of my skin and the earth, the undeniable pull of the moving forward, the spring of the leap, the scent of the cold North wind. It’s every awesome Nike commercial combined, without having to fork over a hundred bucks for shoes. Because you don’t need any shoes. Or boob binders.

I dashed through the underbrush, following the fresh scent trail left by a panicked rabbit. I yipped in my excitement, barreling between trees and under low fingers of pine. The foliage grew thinner, golden-green light filtering through the pine needles as we approached a clearing. Silly Rabbit, heading for open ground. My canine brain was rolling over the potential hilarity of a Silly Rabbit as a Sitting Duck, distracting me from a less familiar scent on the breeze.
Man.

A strange man was not supposed to be wandering this close to the Crescent Valley, a fingernail-moon shaped dent in the Alaskan interior that was a lush, game-filled heaven on Earth for werewolves. Alone, there was nothing I could do but hide, and hope he wasn’t armed. Without breaking my stride, I turned, ducking under the branches of a pine tree the width of a minivan, and waited. I didn’t recognize any part of this human’s scent. It was smoky, mossy, but sort of fresh, like new leaves and my mom’s homemade bread. My mouth started to water a little. That was weird.

My ears perked up at the sound of footsteps trudging through the soft, dry grass. I hunched close to the ground and waited for his boots to appear in my line of vision. I held my breath, knowing I would growl and give myself away. The delicious greenery-and-home-cooking smell invaded my head as two feet stepped precariously close to my hiding spot. Old boots, worn and well cared for, stopped just outside the treeline, as if the wearer was waiting for something.

I heard him uncap a canteen, take several swallows of water, and then step away. I crept further from the branches, getting a better look at the tall, broad-shouldered form. From the back, I could see wavy blond hair sticking out from under an old navy baseball cap on his head. All he had on him was an old backpack and the canteen. So, not a hunter. Probably just a hiker, wandering too far away from the nature preserve.

Still, the fewer humans that saw wolves near the valley, the better. He stopped again and turned. I ducked back under the brush. Branches obscured my view of his face, but his scent grew stronger and my brain sort of, well… stilled. Everything seemed calm and clear and the usual organic alarms that shouted “Stranger danger!” quieted.

I huffed, trying to shake away the strange, numbed feeling. I liked my alarms blaring, thank you very much.

The man tramped into the woods, away from my little village. Some magnetic pull drew my paws in the same direction, to follow. I managed to break the spell and sprang out from under the pine needles, running towards home. The pounding of paws on dirt had almost cleared my head when I picked up a more familiar scent.

I skidded to a stop, my paws dragging into the cool, packed dirt and sending clods spraying onto my mother’s candy pink wool dress.

Mom had a full, round happy face, with twinkling brown eyes and a mouth made for smiling. That didn’t mean she couldn’t be downright scary with the maternal wrath when she wanted to be.

“Margaret Faith Graham, you get on two legs, right now,” she commanded sternly, tapping her slippered foot against the ground. From my oddly fish-eyed, waist-height perspective, it should have been intimidating. But I’d been getting that same look since I’d been old enough to turn wolf. My sister-in-law, Mo, stood behind my mother, giving me her best, “I tried to stop her” expression.

I sat on my haunches and huffed. Mom cocked her fists on her hips. “Don’t you sass me, young lady. Alpha or no, I’ll phase and bite a chunk out of your hide.”

Rolling my eyes, I concentrated on my human form. Arms, legs, fingers, and toes. I felt a warm, tugging sensation, a thread being pulled through my chest, as my body stretched and pulled. I rolled my neck, enjoying the release of tension as my vertebrae snapped into place. My vision blurred into a golden haze, then focused. Finally, I was standing on bare human feet.

I smirked at Mo, who still wasn’t completely comfortable hanging around with the frequently nude. She covered her eyes with one hand while making warning gestures with the other.

“How could you just not bother to show up?” Mom demanded.

I stared at her, my face blank, as I tried to figure out what exactly I’d missed. Honestly, there were a couple of options. Behind Mom, Mo held her hand over her head, making wiggling motions with her fingers. I arched my brow at her. She wiggled her fingers even harder, which really, was so much clearer.

“I was… attacked by a squid?” I guessed.

Mo’s hand dropped to her side and she glared at me as Mom turned to her. Mom rolled her eyes at the both of us. “How is this-“ Mo demanded waving her hand over head, “Attacked by a squid?

I shrugged.

“Shower,” Mo said, wiggling her fingers again. “Baby shower.”

“Well, don’t blame me because you suck at charades.”

“You skipped out on Katie’s baby shower,” Mo told me. Suddenly, Mom wearing her good church dress in the middle of the woods made a lot more sense.

“Oh, well, I wasn’t going to that anyway,” I said, shrugging.
Mom spluttered. “You told me you’d meet us at the community center this afternoon!”

“To help you clean up!” I exclaimed. “There was no way I was going to spend my Sunday measuring Katie’s belly with toilet paper and eating little mints that taste like toothpaste.”

“Well, you’re about two hours late to help with clean-up.”

I look up at the sky, gauging the height of the late afternoon sun. “Oops. I must
have lost track of time.”

“How could you skip your own cousin’s shower?” Mom demanded.

“Because I have eighteen cousins, not counting second cousins, and at any given time at least one of them is pregnant?”

Mom gave me a sharp look and stalked toward the village. Mo gave me a sympathetic grimace.

“Oh, don’t you stand there all pious and pretend you had a good time at the shower,” I told her as we followed Mom’s trail through the trees.

She made a face and whispered fiercely, “You know I didn’t. Hell, I didn’t have a good time at my baby shower. Baby showers should be reserved as punishment for betrayers in the seventh circle of hell. But I went. Why? Because that’s what being part of a family is all about, spending a Sunday afternoon doing stuff you really don’t want to do.”

“Says the woman who moved three thousand miles to be away from her parents,” I said, shrugging into the Carhartt jacket Mo shoved at me. My brother’s light autumn coat practically hung to my knees and could wrap around me twice.

“Yeah, because my parents would have the mother-to-be naked in a drum circle, drawing down the moon goddess. By comparison, your werewolf stuff is downright Rockwellian.”

I snorted. Mo’s parents were unapologetic hippies. Two years before, Mo had moved to Grundy all the way from Mississippi just to get away from them, only relenting and allowing them to visit after Eva’s birth. Now that I’d met them, I couldn’t blame Mo for picking werewolf pack drama over constant hovering and deep discussions of colonics.

I picked up my pace to catch up with Mom. “Wasn’t I sweet as freaking pie to Mo the whole time she was pregnant?” Mom and Mo both raised their eyebrows. I added, “For at least the last trimester. Didn’t I show up when Mo had her cub and present my new niece to the pack like Simba in the damned Lion King?”

“Please stop calling Eva a ‘cub,’” Mo muttered. “You know I hate that.”

“My point is I’m plenty supportive of the women in the pack when they have babies, I just don’t want to be there for the frilly free-for-all,” I said.

Mom, who’d given up on correcting my colorful vocabulary years ago, simply stared at me.

“Mom, please don’t make me pull the Alpha card on you.”

“Being the Alpha doesn’t mean you get to do whatever you want to do without regard for the feelings of others,” Mom intoned in her “important pronouncement” voice, turning away and walking out of the tree line.

“Kind of does,” I countered, but softly, under my breath.

“I can’t wait until you get pregnant,” Mo said. “And you’re forced to sit through your own shower, we’ll probably have to duct-tape you to your pink-bedecked Mother-to-Be throne.”

The very idea of being pregnant made me stop in my tracks and burst out laughing.

“Oh, haha, laugh as much as you want, Scrappy,” Mo told me, as I braced myself against my knees for support. “You’re planning on marrying a male wolf-”

“I didn’t say ‘plan,’” I clarified. “I said, when I get around to mating, I’m going to marry another wolf.”

“Well, you’ll be pregnant before you leave the altar. You know you have super-absorbent eggs. It’s hereditary. Your brother’s ninja swimmers scoffed at modern prophylactics.”

“Ew. Damn it, Mo. I did not need that picture in my head.” I scowled at her. She preened a little and loped after my mother.

Seriously, my brother and his mate were nearly sickening to watch. They were a combination of every nauseating chick flick ever made and the complete catalogue of Barry Manilow’s love songs. But in its own twisted way, their Disney movie love affair helped me reconcile with said brother after years of not speaking and/or knock-down drag-out fights. (The knocking and the dragging was mostly done by me.)

So I was the tiniest bit fond of her, as fond as I could be of a human Outsider.
Mo and I were a study of contrasts. I was small and what I prefer to think of compact and sporty- like one of those Porsche coupes. Mo was one of those “shouldn’t be hot but somehow through the combination of interesting features is” girls. She was willowy and tall, with a black, curly halo of hair that had grown out to her shoulders while she was pregnant with Eva. I had stick-straight aggressively brown hair that I never cut. She tried to be nice to everybody, where I never really bothered with that kind of crap. I charged into situations; she actually thought them through… which usually meant I got the first swing in.

Thanks to Mo, my mom was finally able to do all the frou frou girly bonding shit she wanted to do when I was growing up. You’d think I’d be jealous, but honestly, I was happy for my mom. She’s a smart cookie. She knew that stuff made me miserable and that I would only be suffering through it for her. While Mo actually enjoyed getting her nails done and going shopping for something besides hiking boots.

She cleared her throat and pitched her voice into an intentionally cheerful tone. “Speaking of your brother-”

“If the next words out of your mouth have anything to do with sex, I can and will hurt you.”

“Fine,” she said, frowning. “Then the next words out of my mouth will be ‘fire extinguisher.’”

I scowled at her, self-consciously rubbing at the crown of my head, where she’d actually beaned me with red metal canister to break up a tiny little altercation between Cooper and me. Total overreaction on her part.

“Speaking of my brother,” I prompted her, while sending her a mildly threatening glare as Mom opened the front door of our snug little house on the outskirts of the village. Mo and I stepped through the door as Mom strode into the kitchen to make tea. That’s what she did when she was angry… or upset… or happy. Really, she was an all-occasion tea drinker.

I pulled on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt, wondering how long I would be apologizing for this latest misstep.

“Cooper wanted to know if you could drop by the Glacier in the morning.”

“Why not the house?” I asked, quirking an eyebrow at her.

“Well, there’s someone he wants you to meet, or at least, see.”

I groaned at Mo. “Mo, please tell me he isn’t going to try to set me up on some lame blind date.”

“Not quite. There’s a guy who’s been coming around the saloon asking questions about the attacks last year. Cooper thinks he’s some sort of paranormal investigator. Nicholas Thatcher, PhDs. As in he has more than one. He’s not your typical Paranormal State wacko. There’s not a dowsing crystal or thermal camera in sight. He seems to be doing actual scientific research. As Alpha, Cooper wants you to come by and get a look at him, see what you think.”

I quirked my lips at her. “That was low.”

She grinned at me. I was the youngest leader in our pack’s history and eager to prove my mettle. I’d inherited the job under less than ideal circumstances from our previous Alpha, creepy-ass- and by no coincidence, thoroughly dead- Eli, who took over the job for my self-exiled brother.

It’s a long story.

I took my job as pack leader seriously, and Mo knew the best way to get to me was to appeal to my position. She could be a conniving, sneaky wench, our Mo… hence, my being the tiniest bit fond of her.

“Why the big discussion? Let’s just get rid of him. Run him back to the Lower 48. Or we could go with a slightly less pleasant, but bloody and satisfying, second option.”

“Cooper and I think you should meet him before you jump to any conclusions.”

“Fine, I’ll meet him, and then maybe, his tires develop problems while he’s in the saloon and he ends up careening into a ditch never to be heard from again.”

“You’re a werewolf, not a freaking Mafia hitman.”

“It’ll look like an accident.”

My mother shot me a sharp look, snatching the kettle from the stove with a clatter. “How many family conversations are going to be interrupted by me telling you, no, you can’t kill someone and make it look like an accident? Now would you two please sit down and drink this tea before it gets cold?”

“Yes, ma’am,” we chorused sheepishly, taking seats at the table.

“Way to go, you got us into trouble,” I grumbled.

“I wasn’t the one planning the cold-blood murder of complete stranger,” Mo stage-whispered.

“No, you only plan cold-blooded murders when someone takes the last chocolate chess square without asking.”

“A girl’s got to have her priorities,” Mo insisted.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF is now available




Happy Release Day! HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF is now on the shelves!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bitten by Books event on Tuesday

Rachel, the wonderful webmistress of Bitten By Books will be hosting an event for the release of HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF on Tuesday. If you RSVP for the event ahead of time, you will earn an additional 25 entries to win a signed copy of HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF.

To RSVP and earn the extra entries, click here.

First signing for HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF

Hey all,

With HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF coming out TOMORROW, I thought I should let you know that the first signing for the book will be held at

Saturday, Feb. 26, 2-4 p.m.
Books-a-Million Store
125 S. Hampton Place
Clarksville, TN.

Did I mention that the book is coming out TOMORROW?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Adventures in Long-Term Romance

When a couple has been together for 17 years, it's difficult to come up with something they haven't done before for Valentine's Day. We've done the dances, the dinners, the movie dates. And this year, Valentine's Day was a random Monday night during which we struggled to get dinner on the table while the kids ran around the house like a couple of caffeine-infused bouncy balls.

I've done a couple of spa days a year for the last few years. I like massages and body wraps, but I'm not a big fan of facials. (I always feel like my face has been sandblasted.) David, however, had never had a massage. I thought it would be fun(ny) to book one for him. So, I made a reservation for a couple's massage at my favorite local spa...

After convincing him that suggesting that I pay to have another person rub his back was not, in fact, an elaborate "relationship test."

Now, David is a manly man. Huntin', fishin', marathon runnin', all that. It's safe to say he has never seen the inside of a spa. And I'll admit I had way too much fun with him in the days leading up to our appointment, describing what "undressing to the level of your comfort" meant. For a day or so, I had him believing that being buck naked or wearing a swim suit and socks were his only two options. (It means strip down to your briefs if you're inclined.)

I also may have briefly misled him into thinking that his massage therapist was going to be a big burly dude.

Now, like most spas, mine is decorated in that Earth-toned, mellowed out fashion that's supposed to keep you from thinking about the outside world. David took one look at the waiting room and said, "It's like Pier One and World Market had a baby."

There was a debate in the changing room, in which I unsuccessfully tried to get him to wear the leopard print spa robe instead of the black one.

Once we got into the therapy room and I convinced David that I was, indeed, just kidding about the bathing suit, we had a lovely time. The massage tables had this heated padding system that I want to get installed in our bedroom somehow. There was plinky-plunky music and low lighting. The therapists were quiet, professional and didn't do the Vulcan nerve pinch once.

I glanced over halfway through the session, and it looked like David was in a coma. He insists I was snoring at point, so I can't judge. As we tried to peel ourselves out of the happy little heated blanket cocoons, he muttered, "If I'd known this is what you did every time I went fishing, I probably would have stayed home with you."

So overall, this Valentine's Day was a success. And we're probably going back for another appointment in a few months.

But I did steal the black robe for the trip back to the changing room.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Special Content from the Fourth Jane Book!

As promised, here is an excerpt from the as yet untitled fourth Jane book, which is due out in March 2012. To give you some idea of what is happening in the plot, Jane and Gabriel are engaged. Jenny, Mama and Jane have reconciled to a degree, and Jenny and Mama are helping Jane plan the wedding. Jane has hired Iris Scanlon, who specializes in planning vampire weddings to run interference. The scene involves wedding dress shopping with Jane's bridesmaids and family.

Please keep in mind that all materials are subject to change before publication and the property of the author. And don't forget to check out HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF, which comes out on TUESDAY!!

Enjoy!
Molly
___________________________________________

I didn’t know how comfortable I was mixing my supernatural friends and my family. I mean, sure, my parents hosted a beautiful baby shower for Jolene. But at the time, they didn’t know she was a werewolf. And Andrea had been human at the time. Now that my family was aware of my friends’ “unique” nature, I expected it to feel different.

I hadn’t counted on them bonding over their mutual exasperation with me. My clumsiness, my stubbornness, my ability to injure myself or others just by walking across a room. It was the stuff of instant sisterhood.

“I never thought I’d see the day Jane would voluntarily go shopping,” Mama said, sipping the tea provided by a harried shop assistant named Claire. “I thought poor Andrea would have to use her vampire strength to hog-tie Jane and put her in the trunk.”

"I haven’t read many books on vampire wedding etiquette, but I think hog-tying the bride is rude in any culture,” I noted.

Andrea ignore me, adding, “I practically have to force her to go with me at gunpoint to shop for jeans. She always finds cute stuff, with my guidance, but she acts like I’m torturing her.”

“Well, to be fair, she has flashbacks,” my sister added, winking at me as she handed me a fluffy full-skirted gown.

“Jenny,” I said in a low, warning tone.

Mama looked at me quizzically and then burst out laughing, “Oh! I’d almost forgotten about that.”

Jolene and Andrea exchanged glances, silently debating over whether the potential hilarity could be worth suffering my wrath. They grinned simultaneously.

Uh-oh.

“I hate you guys,” I mumbled as I strode into the dressing room and took the first of Mama’s dresses off the hanger.

As I wrestled my way into what felt like miles of tulle, Jenny was telling the story of Homecoming dress shopping with me my sophomore year. Jenny was nominated for the court, so Mama was insisting I go to the dance to support her. Jenny, of course, had already picked out her gown before she was even nominated. But it was three days before the big event and I was still lobbying to wear jeans and combat boots. Mama and Jenny had frog-marched me into the Tot, Teen and Tween Shop downtown to find something “that won’t make you look like a motherless hobo,” as Mama had so gently put it.

After a dozen ruffled, bow-covered nightmares, I’d decided I’d had enough. I yanked a dress over my head, forgetting about the zipper. The zipper got caught in my hair. I felt like I was being attacked by the ghosts of evil prom queens past and fought back. And because the dressing rooms were framed with curtains instead of doors…

“She came stumbling out of the dressing room into the shop with her panties bared and her dress over her head,” Jenny hooted.

Andrea and Jolene were falling all over each other laughing. I glared at the lot of them.

“I think I remember why I hate shopping,” I said, my hands on my hips.

“Oh, honey,” Mama murmured, her eyes misting. “It’s so beautiful!”

I turned toward the mirror and flinched.

“I look like a bad meringue hallucination,” I said. The skirt seemed to explode from beneath the bodice, making my hips look a mile wide. The hem was hovering about an inch off the ground and revealed my white gym socks. The sleeves were those padded “belle” sleeves, but they’d long since deflated and hung from my biceps like droopy balloons. Iris had stopped in her tracks across the shop and dropped the tiara she’d been holding.

“You look like Cinderella,” Mama cooed. Behind her, Iris, Jolene and Andrea were shaking their head in sync.

“If she was doing the walk of shame home from the ball,” Andrea muttered. Jolene and Jenny snickered. I bit my lip to keep from joining in.

What? Even I can appreciate a good snark at my own expense.

“You couldn’t have worn nicer socks?” Mama asked. “Well, baby, I’d say you have a winner first time out.”

I shrugged. “Mama, this is not the dress.”

“But you look so-”

“Mama, I want you to close your eyes. And for just one moment, forget how excited you are about me finally getting married, and how excited you are about finally seeing me in an actual wedding dress. Close your eyes and really think about my body type and what looks good on me.”

Mama complied.

“Now open your eyes,” I said.

Her eyelids popped open and she scanned me from head to toe. She blanched and she made her “I smell something face.”

She shook her head, as if that would make the image go away. “Oh, honey, no.”

I nodded, my lips tucked into a humorless grimace. “There we go.”

“That is not the dress.”

I shook my head slowly. “I would like this off of me now.”

Claire helped me wrestle the skirt back into the dressing room. “Don’t feel bad, Miss Jameson, this dress has been here since 1992. It’s been forced on countless brides by their mothers. It’s still here. That should tell you something.”

I thought of all of the women who had worn this dress before me and shuddered.

“We have it cleaned a few times a year,” she assured me.

The rest of the evening was a blur as my friends and family argued over which silhouette suited me best. Jenny and Mama went to search in the backroom, where the owner stored the dresses for brides with “problem areas.” Iris had begun making notes on which manufacturers she could call for special samples.

“What’s that?” I asked, pointing to the light purplish blue-grey dress hanging on a rack near the register.

Claire laughed. “Oh, that’s a dress for the costume shop down the street. Our seamstresses do repairs and alterations for them all the time. DeeDee Wannamaker dressed up as Elizabeth Bennett for some charity costume thing a few weeks back and split a seam. That just goes to show that dress clothes and a few dozen sausage balls don’t mix.”

I stepped closer to the dress. I lifted the plastic bag protecting the material and smiled. This was the sort of dress an Austen character would wear… in a highly sanitized, beautifully lit movie adaptation. And unlike every other dress in this shop, I could actually see myself marrying Gabriel in it.

I turned over the tag and saw that the dress was my size. Obviously, the wedding dress gods were smiling on me.

“Can I try it on?” I asked Claire.

“I don’t see why not. Just avoid any sausage balls.”

“Not a problem.”

“It’s been dry-cleaned, right?” I heard Andrea ask as I went back into the dressing room.

I slipped the dress on and it seemed to caress me like water sliding down my skin. It was light and comfortable. There was a smattering of beadwork along the empire waist, emphasizing the elegant bell of the skirt. The hem was scalloped with lace and beadwork. The sleeves were short and capped and actually made my arms look long and graceful.

I wanted to be married in this dress. That special feeling that all brides talk about? Finding “the one,” this was it. I ripped the curtain back and stepped out. Andrea and Jolene squealed. Confirmed!

“Oh, my gosh, it’s so beautiful,” Andrea gushed as Jenny clapped her hands over her mouth.

Jolene’s face fell from its usually luminous smile. “But wait, it’s a rental gown. People have worn it before you. It’s used.”

“It’s vintage,” I corrected her.

“It’s icky,” she mewled.

“I wore vintage at my wedding, and you didn’t say it was icky,” Andrea said, her brow lifted.

“I did, you just didn’t hear me,” Jolene retorted, wincing when Andrea punched her arm, “Ow! This is what I get for hanging out with vampires. My aunts tried to warn me.”

“Your aunts are vicious bitches,” Andrea shot back.

Jolene shrugged. “You’re not wrong.”

“Hello, can we re-focus on my bridal hotness?” I demanded, gesturing to the long, slender lines the dress somehow “magicked” onto my body.

“Jane, I think we need to go with a ball gown and a long-sleeved jacket,” Mama was saying as she emerged from the back room. She stopped in her tracks when she saw me and tilted her head, her expression confused. “Oh, well, that’s nice.”

“Nice? Mama, that’s gorgeous,” Jenny said, stepping closer so she could examine the beading. “Really, really beautiful, Jane, and so completely you.’”

“It’s so nice to hear you say that and know you don’t mean it as an insult,” I told
her. She nodded as she bent to examine the hem.

“But it’s grey,” Mama said. “And it’s not a wedding dress.”

“We could definitely build a theme around the dress,” Iris offered.

“But it’s so plain,” Mama whined. “And I’m just not getting the ‘bridal’ feeling from it.”

“But I am getting a bridal feeling from it.”

“But why grey? Why not white?” Mama asked.

I smirked. “Mama, if you really want to have that discussion, I will give you a detailed explanation. For once, I have details to give.”

“I do not want to hear this,” Andrea said, shaking her head.

“I think I do,” Jenny said. When Andrea and Jolene turned toward her, surprised, she lifted her hands in a defensive gesture. “Hey, I’m the only one having completely human sex here. I don’t think curiosity is out of line.”

“But Jane, everyone will think-”

“No one’s going to think anything. It’s not like it’s possible for me to be pregnant. I’m a vampire. All the traditional planning rules have been drop-kicked out the window. Besides, wedding dresses weren’t traditionally white until Victoria made it popular. It’s not an authenticity stamp or anything. So, tell me, forgetting that this is supposed to be virginal white. Do I look pretty?”

Mama took my face between her hands. “Absolutely gorgeous.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Close to 200 Followers!

Remember months ago, when I declared that when I reached at least 200 followers on Twitter and the blog, I would post special bonus content here on the blog?

Well, we were within kissing distance of 200 followers here at NICE GIRLS DON'T WRITE NAUGHTY BOOKS. So you have to vote on whether you want special content from

HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF

THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF

OR

A little bit of content from the fourth Jane book.

Leave your votes in the comment section!


By the way, did I mention the fourth Jane book is being released in March 2012?

And this is why I will never run out of book material...

So I had lunch at Panera with my husband, David, today. He had to leave a little early and while he was walking out, the sweet-looking older ladies at the next table noticed he was wearing his gun, badge and cuffs. They started talking amongst themselves about whether was police or FBI. (David got a kick out of that.)

I told them indeed, he was a police officer. They made a few comments about how strange it must be to wear the badge all of the time. And then one of them piped up, "The cuffs got our attention. We were just talking about someone who left her husband for someone she met in a bondage chatroom."

I did not see that coming.

One of the other ladies said, "You have to watch us when we get together. You get older and the filter just goes away."

Boy, howdy.

Various Blog Interviews and Giveaways

I'm doing a bit of a blog tour to promote HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF. You can win a free copy by partiicpating!

Here's a 20 Questions game with Bookhounds
http://maryinhb.blogspot.com/2011/02/20-questions-with-molly-harper-author.html

Giveaway with Bookhounds
http://maryinhb.blogspot.com/2011/02/20-questions-with-molly-harper-author.html

Q&A with the Fiction Enthusiast
http://thefictionenthusiast.blogspot.com/2011/02/author-interview-molly-harper.html

Amberkazte
http://amberkatze.blogspot.com/2011/02/author-interview-contest-with-molly.html
I'll post other links here soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Winner for the Valentine's Day Giveaway

OK, I randomly selected Jolene Allcock to receive a copy of HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF. Also, because Anci's story was just sad, I'm sending one to her, too.

Could you please send me your shipping info to jane.jameson AT hotmail.com?

Thanks,
Molly

Monday, February 14, 2011

Good news all around today!



I found out this morning that AND ONE LAST THING... has won the CataNetwork Single Title Reviewer's Choice Award for 2010, which is awesome.

Also, I will be attending the RT BookLovers Convention in Los Angeles from April 6-10!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody. In honor of the schmoopiest day of the year, I thought I'd offer a giveaway of my latest book, HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF.

Leave a comment below in which you reveal the sappiest, sweetest romantic thing a significant other has done for you. Link, Tweet, or Facebook this post. (Let me know which one you did.) And you will qualify for a signed copy of HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF.

As for me, I've come not to expect a whole lot of pre-planned romance from my husband, David. I mean, we've been together for 18 years. He only has so many tricks in his bag. But every once in a while, he really pulls out all of the stops. Like during Christmas 2003, he suddenly declared that we would be opening our presents two weeks early. He brought me this red paper mache box covered in rose patterns. Inside were a Phantom mask and two tickets to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. We were leaving for New York in a week and he'd already arranged for me to get the time off with my boss.

Seeing a show on Broadway was one of the top ten things on my Bucket List. David knew that and he managed to plan the whole thing as complete surprise.

That is, without a doubt, the most romantic thing he's ever done for me.

So what's your story? Leave a comment and I will randomly select a winner on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How the Snowpocalypse Led to HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF

An ice storm. Stranded in a strange, isolated place without power. Children with an unsettling ability to win staring contests. This is how horror movies start.

Watching the news coverage as cities across the Midwest are pelted by the much-touted historic blizzard, I’m having strange sympathy pangs. In January 2009, an ice storm ripped through Kentucky, taking out power and phone lines for thousands of homes, including mine. The first night I spent camped out in my in-laws’ darkened living room with my two young children, I was sure this was just a temporary blip. It was going to be a funny story we could tell the next winter. As in, “Remember that night we had to sleep on an air mattress in front of Grandma’s fireplace and cook on a gas grill in the garage?”

By the sixth night, I was no longer amused.

Over the next week, Kentuckians were cold, cranky and progressively ill-groomed. I returned to my dark, cold house to forage for supplies one afternoon, only to find my neighbor shaving his head in his driveway. I sincerely hoped that was related to the lack of electricity and not just a personality quirk I'd never noticed before. Neighborhood block parties have been stilted and awkward since.

But I managed to channel my cabin fever, before going the full fire-ax-through-bedroom-door and elevator-full-of-blood route. I started writing. Having recently published the Nice Girls books, a vampire romance series about an undead librarian in small-town Kentucky, I’d already decided that I wanted to write a werewolf story. And being isolated, in the dark, in an increasingly crowded, enclosed space, I decided to set the story in the frozen regions of Alaska.

While we waited for the power to come back on, I wrote about twenty pages of notes by candlelight. What emerged was the story of Mo Wenstein, a woman who moves across the country to escape her intrusive hippie parents and make a life for herself in the remote town of Grundy, Alaska. Cantankerous neighbor Cooper has been giving Mo a hard time about her place in her new community since day one. But when Cooper stumbles onto her porch, naked, with a bear trap clamped around his ankle, she realizes there’s more to him than a surly- though attractive- surface. A series of werewolf attacks, for which Cooper may or may not be responsible, dysfunctional werewolf clan drama, and romantic hijinks ensue.

The manuscript grew over the next few months and became HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF, which is due to be released by Pocket Books on Feb. 22, wherever books are sold. The sequel, THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF, will follow on March 29.

So, while the encroaching claustrophobia is frustrating, make the best of your snow days. Use the milk, eggs and bread you hoarded to make French toast. Plow through the To-Be-Read pile of paperbacks on your nightstand. Write journal entries about the sights, sounds and emotions you’re experiencing as a blizzard survivor.

You never know. You could turn this experience into your first manuscript.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Storming Louisville

And yes, until this flipping snow lets up, most of my blog entry titles will contain storm references.

I will be spending most of March 19 in Louisville. First, I'll be doing a book signing at:

1-3 p.m.
A Reader's Corner
138 Breckinridge Lane

And then I'll be holding my first-ever launch party for HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF at

7-9 p.m.
The Bard's Town
1801 Bardstown Road

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fun Austen-lovers quiz

I'm watching the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice today and found this fun quiz over at StrangeGirl.com. I was actually a little surprised by the results.

I am Elizabeth Bennet!


Take the Quiz here!



You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed.

I always saw myself as Anne Elliot type, or maybe Elinor Dashwood. (But hey, it's better than being Catherine Morland!)

If you'd like to take the quiz, the link is here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

In which I pull back the curtain...

And reveal that the Wizard is just a guy in a hot air balloon.

I spoke to a group of high school students on Thursday about writing and getting published. They were a great group, engaged, thoughtful, asking great questions. It was very cool as one of my former English teachers was there and came in to tell the kids that even in high school, she and the other English teachers called me "the next Erma Bombeck." (Which was so much nicer than what I suspect they called some of my classmates.)

At the end of the session, we were talking about where I get my ideas for books. I explained that I get most of my ideas from every day life - conversations, the news, funny things I see while out and about. But the kids seemed to think there was some sort of magical formula. Like I sat in front of a crystal ball and a higher power sent these ideas to me. (If only.)

Eventually, one of the girls made a teasing comment about the other wearing the "special jacket" that day. It turns out there's a boy at their school who smells "completely awesome," so the girls all want to wear his hoodie around at school. They apparently take turns and seem very civil about the whole thing.

I said, "OK, there's an idea right there."

"What?"

"Say you've got this guy, who smells fantastic, he's irresistable to all women. They follow him around like he's Justin Bieber with a normal haircut," I aid. "Maybe his family's under a curse or he's an incubus. And while he was pretty happy about this during his teens, now he's lonely, because he can't find someone to love. He never knows whether a woman really loves him, or if it's his evil smell powers. Maybe he meets the girl of his dreams and he's desperate to get her to love him for real. Maybe he meets a girl who's under her own curse, so she's got similar trust issues. That's the beginning of a book idea."

They blinked and frowned, confused. "That's it?"

"Uh-huh. I mean, it's rough, but you could eventually turn it into something."

"You just see or hear something from every day life and you make it into a book?" they asked.

I nodded.

The girls seemed oddly disappointed.

I didn't have the heart to tell them about The Legend of Stephanie Meyer's Lucrative First-Time Author Book Deal, and how it didn't apply to all writers. It seemed cruel.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blog storm!

My publicist at Pocket sent out a mass e-mail to bloggers yesterday about my experiences in the 2009 ice storn and how they lead to writing HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF. Several blogs have posted it. You can find some of them here:

Layers of Thought

Broken Teepee

Poisoned Rationality

Other blogs have posted interviews and Q&A's, the first one is posted here:

Romance Author Buzz