Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Knight/Prince Phillip Maddie and Dragon James!

Shining armor and a cape!


And for your viewing pleasure ... Maddie hunts dragons!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Being from Southern California we aren't really used to the major season changes that most of the country experiences. The seasons change, but it is just a lot more subtle that everywhere else.

Here in Helena there are a lot of fir trees (we are up on a mountain after all), but there are still quite a few that are putting on a spectacular show for us.

This is our neighbor's tree, it's right off our deck. Pretty.

These are in the little canyon right behind us:

We are also seeing lots of deer around. These guys walked right past our deck and ate up the grass in the front. I took this picture from our deck, so you can see how close they were!

As pretty as fall is, I hear in Montana it is pretty short! And for proof of that, word on the street (and by street I mean my iPhone weather app) we are supposed to get a mix of rain and snow tonight. What do you think? Do these clouds look like they've got snow in them?

Now might be a good time to invest in some long sleeve shirts...Pretty sure I only have two that fit! If you live in colder climate, where is your favorite place to shop for winter clothes?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fairy Tale Giveaway on My Author Site!

I'm having a pretty awesome giveaway on my author site

I'm giving away a copy of two of my favorite fairy tale books: Beauty by Robin McKinley and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, and this super amazing fairy tale necklace!

Come on by and check it out!

Friday, October 14, 2011

NaNoWriMo is Almost Here!

The insanity known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) is just around the corner! I will be working on my Austenesque novel Attempting Elizabeth as I also try to move and prepare for the holidays.

My daughter, Maddie, loves fast rides. She puts her hands up on roller coasters. She's three. Actually, she's been doing this since she was two. Gadget's Go-Go-Coaster in Toontown at Disneyland? Front row. Hands up. Yes siree, Bob. She also has tackled the Matterhorn at least four times. Her dry comment as we whizzed by the Abominable Snowman? "Oooooh, 'citing!"

This could be partially my fault. I've always tried to have her look at things as exciting instead of scary. I started this really young with Maddie, before I knew that she was a natural born dare-devil. I am now rethinking that particular parenting strategy (do you know kids that literally climb walls? I have one!)

However, I think that Maddie has a pretty darn good outlook on roller coasters, and on life. It doesn't have to be scary. It can be "'citing!" So that is how I choose to look at NaNoWriMo and the whole rest of November. It's going to be an exciting ride!

Front row.

Hands up.

Here we go!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Swinging Like Big Kids

Winter is coming! There are only so many play outside days left in the calendar year!

So what do we do? When it is cold and blustery, and the rain clouds are coming in over the mountains, we put on our hoodies and head out to the park!

Nothing better than swinging like big kids!

On the tire swing even!

Because everyone knows that swings are fun!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Longer Sample of My Novel!!

I've put up a longer sample of my novel Awake: A Sleeping Beauty Story up on my author blog.

I would love if you could check it out and let me know what you think!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Introducing Jessica Grey

I've gone back and forth on whether to use a pen name for my writing. And I've finally decided to go ahead and use one. So, without further ado, meet Jessica Grey.

Hey! That girl looks just like me!

So, why Jessica Grey?

Grey is my mother’s maiden name, and my first book, Awake: A Sleeping Beauty Story is dedicated to my late grandfather, Charles Richard Grey, who was a huge influence in my life and a great reader. He introduced me to Mary Stewart, one of my biggest literary influences, and I still have his copies of his (and mine!) favorite Stewart novels. I actually began using Grey as a pen name when I was in middle school, and so when I decided to publish under one, it was the best and most obvious choice.

I am launching my new online presence this week, and would love if you would join me on my new blog! I will be sharing fun writing stuff, excerpts from my upcoming book, and random ramblings on music from my infamous writing playlists. Good times all around. I also have a Twitter account dedicated to my new pen name @_JessicaGrey.

We are actually getting pretty close to the launch of Awake! Only four more months to go!

I am excited!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: Caroline Bingley by Jennifer Becton

Caroline Bingley. For Austen fans, even hearing the name can bring up feelings varying from annoyance to revulsion. For me, the feeling I get is kind of the same as the one that shimmies up your spine when someone scrapes their nails down a chalkboard. That “Oh my gosh, why? Make it stooooop” feeling. Caroline is one of the best examples of what I call “Austen’s smack-able characters,” and she could write some pretty darn smack worthy characters (pretty much everyone in Sense and Sensibility for example)! You love to hate Caroline.

So what is Jennifer Becton thinking centering a whole entire Pride and Prejudice continuation on this smack-able, nails-down-the-chalkboard, crazy girl? I have been wondering that every since I heard Caroline Bingley was coming out. I loved Jennifer Becton’s other Personages of Pride and Prejudice novel, Charlotte Collins. I really, really loved it. I also really enjoyed her thriller Absolute Liability. I mean the woman can write . . . but CAROLINE BINGLEY? Surely, you jest.

I don’t know quite how she did it, but at the end of this book I like Caroline. Not only do I LIKE Caroline, I totally get her. I sympathize with her. I want her to succeed. I want her to be happy. Up is down . . . wrong is right . . . “Dogs and cats living together . . . MASS HYSTERIA!”

The story picks up right after the end of Pride and Prejudice with Caroline being banished to her mother’s home in the north by her brother Charles for her interference in his romance with Jane Bennet (and her refusal to apologize to Elizabeth). To Caroline, who wants only to help further her families connections in society and to find her own home, this is a truly harsh punishment.

While in the north Caroline continues to try to advance her standing in society, but her best-laid plans seem to come to naught. To make matters worse for Caroline, her brother has saddled her with a paid companion, Rosemary, a woman she cannot stand. Caroline desires to distance her family from their roots in trade, but her mother’s husband doesn’t seem to be ashamed of his trade as a bridge designer at all, and his partner, the young and handsome Mr. Rushton, has the audacity not only to not be ashamed of his trade, but to find Caroline and her machinations amusing.

Can Caroline let go of her fear long enough to find her own home? Could it be be possible that Caroline will find a true friend where she least expects? Could Mr. Rushton be any more hot? The answer to that last one is no. If he was anymore hot readers everywhere would be spontaneously combusting, and I can’t imagine Ms. Becton wants that on her conscious, so she wisely went with an appropriate level of hotness.

So here I am, all confused and feeling slightly like I’ve cheated on Lizzy Bennet by ending up liking Caroline Bingley as a character. We often forget that Caroline is so very young, that was one of the first things that struck me while I was reading this book. She tried so hard to present a sophisticated and urbane front that, I, at least, forget she was the same age as Lizzy. Also, as the reader comes to learn more about Caroline’s history as Becton presents it, and the pressure put on her by her father (intentionally or not), and how she internalized that pressure, she becomes a much more understandable and sympathetic character. I’m not saying that she is easy to love, but there is something about the difficulty in getting past those prickles that makes the reward worthwhile.

Did I mention Mr. Rushton is hot?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Check Out My Interview for the Teatime Ten

The lovely Emily at O Beauty Unattempted! has interviewed Nancy Kelley and myself (the co-creators of Indie Jane) for her Teatime Ten feature this week. We were honored that Emily would included us in this popular weekly feature. I would love it if you could check it out and comment! Thanks!!!