Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cruise Envy? Not anymore...

Back in April, I posted about my severe cruise envy. I had only been on one cruise in my life, and was salivating for the chance to take another.

Well, this past weekend, in celebration of my 30th birthday, I satisfied that craving! My sister and I set sail on the Carnival Fantasy Fun Ship to Cozumel, Mexico. It was amazing! I'm sure I set a new record for the amount of relaxation a person could have in one weekend. Basically, I slept, ate really good food (dang, I miss that chocolate melting cake), read, and drank alcohol. Not a lot of alcohol, but enough.

Sending a special shout out to Table 161 in the Celebration Dining room! We so rock!

And, now, for what my friends affectionately call pic spam:

Here I am with fellow table mates Mindy and Carol. Mindy shares my love of smokin' hot paranormal romances!

Here are the coolest party girls you'll ever find. Alyssa, Amy and Renee, you girls know how to have a good time!

The gentlemen of Table 161, Christopher and K.D., along with K.D.'s girlfriend, the lovely Nancy, whom I just discovered is a fellow football fanatic! Woo Hoo, Nancy!

Here I am, lounging on the beach in Cozumel. In a word: Lovely!

Here's my sister, Tamara, in the Botanical Gardens in Chankanaab Marine Park. Again, lovely.

No, this is not a Corona ad. This is the actual view from my spot on the beach. Yes, you have the right to envy me.

If you are in dire need of a little R&R, I highly recommend hopping your butt on a cruise and heading to Mexico! You will not regret it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Thank you, Regis and Kelly!

For those of you out there who do not watch Regis and Kelly in the mornings, this is the week to turn things around. For the past two days (and two more to come), Regis and Kelly have been in New Orleans, and they are doing a phenomenal job of portraying the city in a positive light.

I have been so touched by the praise, and wonderful promotion the Crescent City has received this week. Truthfully, I don't know how anyone who watches the show can refrain from calling up a travel agent and booking a trip to New Orleans right now. I want to do the same, and I live here!

Although they have touched upon the devastation--because, like it or not, there are still so many parts of the city that are still devastated--Regis and Kelly have shown the rest of the country that New Orleans is coming back. The French Quarters is back. The music is back. All the great food is back!

So, all of you out there, come on down to the Big Easy. You will not regret it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Eight Random Things

There seems to be something going around these days. I've been tagged by two people, Patricia Sargeant and LaShaunda Carruth Hoffaman, to talk about eight random things. Boy, are they asking for it. :)

Here are the rules for the Eight Random Things post:
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about herself.
2. People who are tagged write a post about their own eight random things and post the rules.
3. At the end of the blog, the person has to tag eight people and post their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

So, without further ado, here are my Eight Random Things:

1. I have to physically stop myself from raiding the clearance racks at Macy's. There should be a support group for those of us who can't help but zero in on those red clearance signs.

2. In my Social Psychology class in college, I was deathly afraid my classmates were going to find out that I was the person who continually messed up the grading curve. It's not my fault I'm a nerd!

3. I sometimes answer to the name Wicked Whore. It's because I've been known to do just about anything to see the Broadway musical, Wicked, which I just saw for the eighth time a couple of weekends ago.

4. If gas prices go up another five cents a gallon, I will no longer be able to afford to drive my car. This is fact, people.

5. When I was about six-years-old, I stole a Hershey Bar from K-Mart. I remember looking my dad in the eyes when I did it, so I'm sure he paid for it. I still thought I was getting away with doing something bad. I should have known a chocolate addiction was in my future.

6. When I wrote "The End" on my first book, I got down on my knees, and with tears in my eyes, thanked God. It was 2:28 a.m., July 31, 2001.

7. I nearly gave up my undergrad scholarship over my fear of public speaking. I refused to take a required speech course. I eventually got through the class after months of therapy to combat my Social Phobia. It worked a little, but the fear is still there.

8. I have never sucked the head of a crawfish. That's something just the Louisiana people can probably relate to.

Let's see who I'm going to tag...

  • Tara-The Amazing PR Goddess

  • Naomi

  • Cynthia Justlin

  • Shauna Roberts

  • Yeah, I know, I should have picked eight people, but it's hard finding people who have not already been tagged.

    Monday, May 14, 2007

    Book Signing Etiquette: It's okay to say hey!

    This past Saturday, I had another of those "Wow, I'm a real writer" days. I had my first book signing at a large chain bookstore. I signed Deliver Me at B. Dalton Book Sellers in the huge Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.

    It was an...umm...experience.

    Here's the thing, I've always been one of the mall patrons who's tried to avoid eye contact with those writers sitting at the front of the stores with smiles pasted on their faces. Because, of course, once you make eye contact, you feel obligated to go up to them, talk, and buy the book. However, after my first time on the other side of the table, I have an entirely new perspective.

    This may shock a lot of you out there, but I feel it is my duty to reveal this hidden truth. You do not have to avoid the author like he/she has the plague. It is perfectly okay to come up to the table, say hello, read the back cover blurb, take a bookmark, and decide not to buy the book. Authors will not kick you in the shin for not buying their book. At least not this author. Although I was tempted to kick the woman who took three chocolates out of my bowl, then came back for more, all without saying hello. Really, honey, if you're going to take a girl's chocolates, the least you can do is acknowledge her presence.

    Other than the awkwardness of the "dodging-eye syndrome" as I've named it, the book signing was fun. I signed 21 copies of Deliver Me, and only two of those were to people my family members had sent heads-up emails to earlier in the week. The rest are new Farrah Rochon fans!

    Here's a picture of me at B. Dalton. Most of those books were gone by the end of my two hours!

    Wednesday, May 09, 2007

    Guest Blogger: Sandra Schwab

    I'm extremely excited to have fellow Dorchester author Sandra Schwab stopping in at the blog today. Sandra's latest novel just hit the store shelves. Look for CASTLE OF THE WOLF's eye-catching cover at your favorite bookstore, and if they don't have it, tell them to order it. Now!

    Let's find out a little more about The German Voice of Historical Romance, Sandra Schwab.

    Who or what inspired your writing? And how did you end up writing in a second language?

    I have always loved inventing stories, so writing them down was just the next step and one that I took enthusiastically when I was seven years old. Apart from two or three years of writing melodramatic poetry in my late teens, I've been working on a novel or other ever since. If there is one author who inspired me, it is Rosemary Sutcliff, a British writer famous for her historical novels for children and YA. She was a wonderful storyteller and used vivid imagery to draw the reader into the story and the historical setting. My two favourite novels of hers are EAGLE OF THE NINTH, set in Roman Britain, and BLOOD FEUD, set in the 10th century and moving from Britain to Scandinavia and on to Constantinople. Her books made me fall in love with history.

    Nevertheless, my early novels were all fantasy stories (with strong heroines!), which were influenced by the British and American tradition – not a good thing when you're writing for the German market! I was nineteen when I started sending out proposals, and twenty-four when it finally dawned on me that my stories were not suitable for the German market.

    Big crisis!

    But hey, there's another language I can speak fairly well, so why not try it in English? After all, the worst that could have happened was to get even more rejection letters. But I was incredibly lucky: I found a lovely online crit group, joined RWA, started taking part in contests, won contest, got e-mai,l then call from New York, and eventually I sold my first novel to Chris Keeslar at Dorchester.

    What is your writing process?

    I usually start with a rough outline, then begin happily writing away – until I hit Chapter 3 and my Chapter-3-blues hits me. The Muse stomps off into a corner to sulk, while my characters get stuck in interesting places such as on board of a steamship on the Rhine or in the British Museum on the way to look at the vegetable lamb. After that, the only thing that helps is to write patchwork-style (starting with the love scene *g*).

    When I wrote CASTLE OF THE WOLF I also found that listening to music while writing helps me to dive into the story. Funnily enough, the theme music for CASTLE had absolutely nothing to do with either the setting (Black Forest) or the period (1827): it was John Denver. :)

    What are you currently reading?

    I've just started Julia Ross's CLANDESTINE – I love her writing and the fact that she is a huge Dorothy Dunnett fan. As she put it so nicely in the dedication of THE SEDUCTION, "Lymond will forever remain unequalled."

    Give us a sneak peak of your new novel.

    tells the story of Cissy Fussell, who finds out after her father's death that she has inherited a castle in the Black Forest – but only on one condition: in order to keep the castle she has to marry the son of her father's old friend.

    Ever since he returned home from the war, physically and emotionally wounded, Fenris von Wolfenbach has lived in the castle of his family, retired from the world like the beast in the fairy tale. Thus he is far from happy when one day a young Englishwoman turns up on his doorstep and claims his home as hers. Fenris is prepared to use any means fair or foul to get rid of his unwelcome visitor again. But will he manage to put Cissy to flight with rats on the loose? Or will she unravel the secrets of the Castle of Wolfenbach and eventually tame her beast?

    Thank you so much for having me, Farrah!

    And I want to thank Sandra for stopping in. For those of you (myself included) who love a tortured hero, it sounds like CASTLE OF THE WOLF is the perfect escape!
    Visit Sandra's website for more info on her wonderful novels!

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    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Blogger's Block

    We've all heard of writer's block. It's a nasty, detestable phrase in the realm of publishing, and something I personally do not believe in. I do not allow myself to get blocked when writing. I may hit a bump in the road, or find myself waist-deep in a writing pothole of sorts, but to be blocked? Nah. I just won't allow it.

    However, these past couple of days I have found myself blocked of the ability to blog about cool stuff going on in my world. Well, at least I think it's cool stuff. Others would probably just yawn.

    Some of my "blockers" have been technical difficulties. For example, I've been trying to post a podcast of this cool roller derby I attended, but I'm Google Video-challenged. Another "blocker" is the home computer. Currently, it's chillin' with the Geek Squad over at Best Buy after being overtaken by a dozen--yes, a dozen--Trojan viruses and spyware.

    But, all in all, I just haven't been able to come up with the right words to write. Whenever I've attempted to blog about something over the past couple of days, I've deleted it on account of my words reading more like gibberish than the prose of a published writer. It's frustrating!

    I tell you, if writer's block is anything like blogger's block, I never want to experience it.