Winners!

Everyone is a winner! If you left me a joke, email me your mailing address and I’ll get your book in the mail (hopefully) this week.

Send all important data to: piathewriter@gmail.com

Congratulations to HB, Trix, and TracyG!

…and thank you for participating in this blog hop for Autism!

For those of you who didn’t have a chance to visit sooner or were shy about the jokes, stay tuned to this blog. As soon as I get all my ducks in a row and re-release the former Silver Publishing stories, I’ll be hosting another giveaway to celebrate.

Have a great day, dear Readers!

~Pia

 


Who Loves a Book Sale?

Eostre's Baskets

My latest release, Solo Flightis on sale for only $3.49 right now! That’s 40% off!

Several of the other Eostre’s Baskets stories are on sale too. Click the beautiful graphic to see the full list of available ebooks in this collection, and their tempting sale prices.

 


Autism Speaks

“people with autism can understand humour & make jokes but an often literal understanding of the world can lead to confusions”

I met my nieces in Florida this month. They ran me ragged at every turn. We waited a half hour for the Dumbo ride. I learned the names of five My Little Ponies, and the story of Princess Luna. I figured out how to allow high-fives without letting it turn into a hitting game. I witnessed bits and pieces of sixteen viewings of Frozen, laughed every time I was tickled by little fingers, and patiently repeated “please cover your mouth” at dozens of coughs as if I hadn’t said it several times already.

They wore me out. No doubt about it. I have a new respect for parents who do this 24-hours a day.

I may have returned home exhausted, but I loved the visit. They were full of pure energy and joy, untainted by the stresses of work, bills, and other adult nonsense. They reminded me what it was like to be a child. To believe in magic. To adore a favorite stuffed animal. To hug a princess but cringe from the Grinch.

My nieces are healthy and beautiful and clever and even a little sassy. I’m grateful they haven’t had many struggles beyond having to shut off the iPad to take a bath or breaking into tears after being caught hitting each other. I’ve read a lot about autism since signing up for RJ’s blog hop, but there’s a lot more information out there. I don’t have to do this – my girls aren’t affected by this disorder, but you never know when you might meet someone who is. From mild, barely noticeable symptoms to facts like the one bolded above, and beyond, austism runs a wide spectrum. Aren’t you curious what’s out there affecting the kids all around you?

Thank you for visiting, dear Readers. Don’t forget to check RJ’s list of participants to hop to the next blog and the next autism fact by clicking HERE. And to learn more about autism, www.autismspeaks.org has some great articles.

For those of you that stayed this long, how about a prize or two? In support of the autism fact above, tell me a joke and then tell me your preferred prize: paperback of Fallen, Man Whore, or Hounded by Love, or one of the ebooks on my backlist. Don’t forget to come back April 15th to see if you won. I don’t have time to chase you down.


Goodbye Silver

 

With little notice, Silver Publishing has gone through some changes that required them to revert all rights back to me. All Silver Publishing books should now be off any retail websites. Please be patient, as I hope to turn them around to other publishers as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I hope to give away a couple of paperbacks still kicking around the house somewhere. Possibly this week.

With this, I’m also asking for recommendations for cover artists. I hope to self-publish the short stories while I work through the submission process for the longer ones. Send me names and examples. If I score a good one, I could have a finder’s fee. Free ebooks anyone?

 


For a Cause

April 2nd was the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day. My friend and fellow author, RJ Scott, has organized another blog hop to help raise awareness about Autism. Every day during the first half of April, bloggers will post a fact about autism, and share not only a blog post, but also a prize for lucky readers. So hop on over to RJ’s blog to find the links to several posts already live, and make note of others to read as the month goes on.

 


Enigma in Introversion

I’m a bit of an enigma, even to myself.

Here I sit, contemplating the strange contradiction of my mind, while waiting for another hour to pass so we can get this event over with. No, not the contemplation, but the wedding event. I’m in Tampa. It’s raining, thundering too, and that’s today’s saving grace. I love a powerful storm, and I hate weddings.

Yes, the author who writes happily ever after over and over again hates weddings. Maybe hate is too strong of a word you may think, but let’s face it, the bride will never read this, and besides, it’s not her fault. She’s a wonderful girl, and she’s got a great family, both by birth and, soon, by marriage. I’m happy for her — I am — but I’d rather stay in the hotel tonight.

It’s me. It may be the start of their happily ever after, but it’s also a party. A party with a lot of people. A party with a lot of people I don’t know. A party with a lot of people I don’t know being loud and drunk and social. I could keep going but I think you get the idea. It’s all well and good to celebrate a marriage, and it’s a perfect milestone to what should be many years of love and happiness — their own happily ever after — but as a world-class introvert, I dread the celebration.

Maybe I’m not really an enigma, but I like the word. Enigma. It’ll give me something to think about when I retreat from the inundation of stimulation within the wild celebration of romance and happiness. Happily ever after. I wonder if the best man needs one with that twink usher?

I could cut you off with a shoulder of stone
Smoke all night and leave the party alone
Screw myself with an inscrutable pout
But I just want you to come figure me out

I don’t want to be another mystery, oh no
I don’t want to see who’s looking at me, oh no

~Dar Williams, Another Mystery


Solo Flight: excerpt and news

BestsellerIcon100X100Thank you, dear Readers, for making Solo Flight a bestseller on ARe!

 

 

 

 

For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, here’s an excerpt:

 

Friday, March 21st

Hawk pounded down two flights of stairs. No waiting for the elevator. Not when everyone in the office was excited for the weekend. He jumped the last three steps and landed on both feet, breathing hard. He pushed through the fire door into the lobby and melded into the crowd of employees filtering through the turnstiles and out the main entrance.

Finally. The weekend.

Once out the doors, Hawk powered up his phone. “C’mon. C’mon. C’mon.” He hated having to keep his phone off in the building, but not so much that he’d risk his job. Not in this economy. He willed it to find a signal as he hurried to his car. It took so long to connect and check for messages.

He paused at his car, shaking the phone as if the action would speed up the process. “C’mon. There’s got to be a message.” Nothing. He swiped the screen and hit the Voice Mail button. Just because the icon didn’t indicate a new message didn’t mean Jarrod hadn’t called.

Hawk listened to the digital voice: “no new messages.” His heart fell into his already churning stomach. He hit Disconnect and dialed Jarrod’s number. While the phone rang solemnly in his ear, Hawk opened the car door and dropped into the driver’s seat. No need for his coworkers to hear him plead at a voice mail. It was embarrassing enough alone.

After the brief, curt message and the beep, Hawk spoke. “Hey, honey, I hope you’re not still mad at me, huh? I mean, let’s just forget I even asked. Okay? Go back to the way we were? I know you’re going out with your friends tonight, but call me. Okay? Okay, um, bye.”

Hawk stared at the phone, disgusted with it when he knew he should loathe himself instead. If Jarrod didn’t want to move in together, maybe Hawk should face the fact that they weren’t meant to be. They’d been dating for over a year.

On the other hand, Jarrod had standing plans with his friends to go clubbing every Friday. So, even if they hadn’t had an all-out screaming match Wednesday evening when Hawk had spontaneously suggested Jarrod move in with him, Jarrod still wouldn’t call. Maybe his silence was just normal Jarrod. Maybe.

“He’s just not ready.” Hawk laughed, and it sounded hollow as it echoed in the small cab of the car. He shook his head. “I just have to give him more time.”

He tossed the phone on the seat and stuck the key in the ignition. Just because they couldn’t live together didn’t mean he and Jarrod didn’t have something good. It wasn’t perfect by far, but it wasn’t awful either. Having a boyfriend with commitment issues was better than not having someone at all.

Being lonely would be much more painful.

* * * *

Hawk poked at the dinner in the microwave. The corn was steaming, but the cobbler still looked frozen in the middle. He considered the so-called Salisbury steak and decided if the dessert wouldn’t cook, then the rest probably wasn’t worth his bother.

With a frayed and singed pot holder, he lifted the tray from the oven and dropped it into the garbage. He tossed the pot holder in on top and slammed the lid shut. As he dialed the pizza place down the street, he dug a marker out of the drawer by the fridge and then scrawled “pot holders” on his grocery list, right under “frozen dinners.”

He ordered a pepperoni, olive, and feta pizza while staring at the short grocery list. How depressing. Jarrod could cook but preferred to eat out, and Hawk couldn’t cook anything that didn’t have microwave instructions on the package. Even then… He glowered at the garbage can. That was not his fault.

A half hour later when a knock sounded at his door, Hawk checked his phone one last time and promised not to hope for a message from Jarrod for the rest of the night. Jarrod always called on Saturday mornings anyway. Jarrod would sleep off Friday night, walk down to the corner for a double something with chocolate or whipped cream or however the heck he ordered in that secret coffee-shop language, and then call Hawk to set plans. He would probably act like nothing happened, and Hawk decided he would too. He was content with status quo. He only wanted more when he saw some straight couple being sappy and sweet in public. He didn’t really need that kind of romance when he knew Saturday would be an expensive dinner on Jarrod, a stupidly funny movie, and wild monkey sex until they both passed out. It was their routine, and Hawk did love a comfortable routine. And good food. And great sex.

Hawk grabbed his wallet off the counter. As the second knock sounded, he was already opening the door. It wasn’t pizza awaiting him on the other side. He frowned at a giant basket wrapped in dark, opaque cellophane.

The basket shifted as the deliveryman peeked around it.

“Delivery for a Mr. Hawk?”

Hawk cocked his head and forced a smile. No reason not to smile at a cute man. Wasn’t that what Jarrod often said to excuse his constant flirting?

“Just Hawk,” he said. “But I was the one that ordered the basket. It was supposed to go to Jarrod Peyton over at the Center Street apartments.”

The deliveryman shook his head. His smile remained, and he sounded convinced. “No, this is the address we got. You look like you need this.”

“Need…?” Hawk frowned again, but under the glow of the deliveryman’s handsome smile, Hawk’s irritation softened almost as soon as it started. “I didn’t buy it for myself.”

The man shoved the basket at Hawk, and Hawk instinctively raised his arms to catch it. The man stepped back, nodded once, and said, “I hope you don’t mind me being so forward, but if you’re convinced this is a mistaken delivery, how about I stick around and help you explore all the gifts you weren’t expecting?”

Yes.

“No.”

Hawk swallowed the lump in his throat. He didn’t consider such things. He didn’t even fantasize about anyone except Jarrod most of the time. The energy sizzling between him and this stranger bearing gifts caught Hawk off guard. He’d believed in chemistry once upon a time, but he’d also thought he was falling in love at first sight a dozen times before and, a dozen times, had his heart broken.

Lust. That was all it was, even if it was stronger and more alluring than ever before. Just steamy, needy, sexy lust inspired by a little spat with his boyfriend.

Hawk bit back an apology and then an invitation. He tore his gaze away from the man’s deep eyes, the color of churned earth. While avoiding the man’s powerful gaze, Hawk found his own skipping along a body that screamed masculine from underneath his clothes. Even behind the jeans and warm coat, the man looked strong and sturdy. Just the way Hawk liked them. The breast of his jacket had a name patch sewn on just below a Rabbit Run courier service logo. Joe.

Joe. Simple, masculine, sexy. Oh, gods, Hawk, you have a boyfriend!

Hawk couldn’t remember the chemistry between him and Jarrod ever being so strong that it left him tongue-tied. Finally, he managed to find words acceptable to voice. “Thank you, though.” He swallowed, hard. “Joe.” He nodded, resisting the urge to squirm under such intense scrutiny. “I’ll just bring this by myself.” He licked his dry lips. He tried and failed at not watching Joe’s mouth as Joe mirrored the gesture with a shy flicker of his tongue. “To my boyfriend,” Hawk hastily added. The electricity in the air fizzled, as did the smile on Joe’s ruggedly handsome face.

“Oh.” Joe put on a stoic expression, but Hawk could tell it was forced. “My apologies, Mr. Hawk.” Joe nodded once. “Enjoy your basket.” He turned and started walking away.

“It’s not for me.” But Joe didn’t seem to hear him. He disappeared down the stairway without looking back.

Copyright © Pia Veleno


Quick Announcements

Quickly, because I have to get my ass to the Day Job…

 

Solo Flight is officially available today! Yay!

* To celebrate, Hounded By Love is on sale for only $4.19 on the Loose Id website!

* Speaking of sales, don’t forget LI has daily deals for readers who shop at their storefront. Last week’s releases are always on sale, and today that includes a couple of other Eostre’s Baskets titles.

* I’ve shared a “behind the book” story on LI’s new blog: www.loosenyourid.com. Along with the bloggery, LI is showcasing some beautiful jewelry inspired by the Eostre’s Baskets collection.

 

Solo Flight

 

More later, dear readers! Happy Tuesday!


An Ode to the Courteous Driver

Not sure why I felt the urge to do this in poem form. I never really got the hang of poetry, not even in my angsty teenage years. But hey, no one is perfect. Right? …Right?? 

Thank you to the drivers who slow down when passing a runner on the road.

Thank you to the drivers who move over,
crossing the yellow line
to give me a wide berth,
as I huff and puff,
thinking about my stride and pace and pulse
all the while, hoping each and every driver sees me.

Thank you to the drivers who smile and nod.
You make me feel safer running down the shoulder of the road.
When I know you see me, I know I’m safer.

Running makes my heart race,
but that’s nothing compared to a car speeding by
well over the speed limit, and nothing like
seeing a driver holding a cell phone to his ear, unfocused,
and nothing like hoping a passing car sees me as a try
to stay as far out of the way as possible on the tight inside curve
with a white shoulder line under my feet
crumbling into the dirt and debris on the side of the road.

Thank you to those that acknowledge the runner,
who take steps to ensure we’re not a target but also
aware that you’re aware of us.

I even have a thank you for the hunters
who slow way down as they pull out of the hunt club
shouting compliments on my colors. Sure,
there may be a few who are merely appreciate
the shortness of the purple and pink shorts,
or the knee-high look of my bright yellow compression sleeves,
but some do understand and appreciate the importance of
dressing like a highlighter to enjoy a hobby safely.

I think I can safely say this for every other road runner:
To each and every one of you who take the time
to be extra safe and cautious around us crazy runners,
thank you from the bottom of our hearts
to the tips of our sore, aching toes.


Eostre’s Baskets: Books and Baskets (free baskets!)

I haven’t told you about the baskets yet? I really thought I had. You’re going to love this. I know I do!

Solo Flight isn’t just my next release, it’s one book of nine in a special collection called Eostre’s Baskets.

I borrowed this summary of the collection from Loose Id’s website:

EsotresBaskets_Banner_300x380

When you order an adult Easter Basket from Sundae’s, you might not get what you’re expecting, but Essie guarantees you’ll get exactly what you need. No relationship problem too big or too small; this Easter, Essie Sundae fixes them all.

The books in this collection are linked by the gift of a basket from Sundae’s Custom Easter Baskets. Beyond that, they all stand alone and may be read independently from each other without missing anything.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I admit, each one of the Eostre’s Baskets titles sounds wonderful, and I’m trying to figure out how to find time to read them all!

Not only does this collection come with nine fabulous stand-alone titles, but two lucky readers will win their very own basket created by Essie herself! Interested? Check out Essie’s website - Sundae’s Custom Adult Gift Baskets - Click on Order a Basket to enter the drawing!

Stay tuned, dear Readers, I am collecting website links for all of the Eostre’s Baskets authors. I hope to share them with you soon. In the mean time, visit Loose Id to check out the interesting blurbs and sexy cover art for all nine books by clicking: Eostre’s Baskets

Solo Flight, by Yours Truly, will be available March 25th on LI’s website. Third-party retailers some time thereafter.

Happy Sunday!
~PV


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