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Long live the blog!

German cover of Frostbite
Well, I won't lie. It's been a long time since I posted anything here, and for that, I apologize. But, my wedding weekend aside, these last two weeks are the closest I've had to a vacation since March. So, that's pretty sweet. That isn't to say there isn't work to be done--because there's always work to be done. It's just a little less stressful than usual (expect the stress to kick up again in January). lolcatz has been off from work too, so our household has been filled with games and TV. I'm kind of amazed at how often we can stumble across Back to the Future or Star Wars and watch them like we've never seen them before. I've also had the time to do some of the hobbies I never have time to do: cooking, genealogy, and reading travel books to plan hypothetical non-work vacations. Good times.

Since our wedding was small and had no reception, lolcatz and I have also been celebrating our marriage with family and friends in the form of cake parties. Here's a shot from one we hosted at our house:





Let's zoom in on the cake. One of those tiers is vanilla with a layer of raspberry mousse filling and a layer of passion fruit mousse filling. The other two tiers are chocolate cake with layers of coconut mousse and chocolate mousse.





We ate a mess o' cake that night and then had another party the next day with more cake still. And that, my friends, is why people start to lose their figures during marriage.

Christmas was pretty awesome too. I had brunch with a bunch of friends (and tested my culinary skills by making two dozen scrambled eggs) and then went and saw Sherlock Holmes. Growing up in a time when everything (really--EVERYTHING) was closed, I'm continually enchanted by the fact that I can see movies on Christmas day.

So, that's the rundown. Sorry again for the blog lag, but my next post should make up for it. Why? Because tomorrow I'm taking an epic one-day trip which I will report faithfully on when I get back.

I'm going to Forks, Washington.

You've been warned.


Off the market

Win
Well, I'm happy to report that I'm a married woman! lolcatz and I hopped town this weekend for what turned out to be a really amazing wedding. Whenever I told people it would just be the two of us at the wedding, I don't think anyone realized how serious I was. We had no guests, just us and the essential personnel (officiant and photographer). Of course, that doesn't mean we didn't still have the full-on dress, suit, and flower action going on.





We'll still be having parties (involving cake!) with family and friends now that we're back in town, but it's pretty nice not having to deal with a formal reception. We got lucky on a lot of things--say, like, the weather. Facebook and Twitter followers might remember me lamenting the rainy and cold forecast. Well, it was cold, but the rain stopped that morning, letting us have the ceremony outside. Soggy ground was a little tough on my 4" heels, but it was worth it to get Tyra Banks "smizing" shots like this:





A lot of people have asked about the flowers. Those are Schwartzwalder calla lilies. They're so dark a purple that they look almost black in some lighting. They're also incredibly awesome and got us free champagne on the plane ride home when I carried them with me, alerting the flight attendants that we were newlyweds. Alaska Airlines: still my favorite airline.

My wedding band was actually made by one of my readers, who happens to be a jewelry designer here in Seattle! Unfortunately, I currently have misplaced the detailed photos she took of it, so I'll have to hold off on showing it off (my camera can't do it justice). Thanks, Sophia!

All in all, everything came together beautifully considering we planned it in only 3 months, and many thanks to the family, friends, and readers who supported us! Even with a small wedding, there was still a lot of work right up until the last minute. People have asked about a honeymoon, but we're putting that off for a warmer time of the year. And for those who worry about my books being neglected, have no fear. Even at my own wedding, I can't stop doing the author smile:





Lastly, for those who submitted entries to the lolbook contest, thank you to you as well! We got a lot of entertainment out of those this weekend. The contest is now closed to new entries, and I'll announce a winner later this week.


In Soviet Russia, wedding dress alters you

SD Icon
So, today I went to get fitted for wedding dress alterations. Contrary to the potential six weeks I was quoted, the dress came into the store in only two weeks. That certainly takes the pressure off.

Anyways, some of you know I was married before. At that wedding, ten years ago, I weighed 40 pounds more than I do today. So, you can imagine how excited I am to be wearing a much slimmer dress this time. I am so excited, in fact, that I've been going to great pains to make sure that dress looks as good as it can. I'm back with a trainer at the gym and tracking calories on my refrigerator again to make sure I'm hitting the marks.

Going along with this, it was also extremely important to me that the dress be taken in as much as was absolutely possible. I figured between losing a few more pounds at the gym before the wedding and the fact that the dress's top has boning in it, getting that baby altered to an uber-small size wouldn't be a problem. Well - I foresaw one problem. I was afraid the seamstress would say something silly like, "I need to leave some room so you'll be comfortable" or "Breathing is important" or "Will you be able to sit?"

Well, no such worries today. I met with the seamstress who, as it turns out, grew up in Soviet Eastern Europe. In keeping with every stereotype I have, this lady--while super nice--was also really hardcore about her business. Me being comfortable never even came up, and she was the one who jumped right in with, "Okay, we need to get a certain silhouette here." And man, did she do it. There was a whole lot of pinning and lacing going on, the full extent of which became clear when I was driving home and realized how relieved my stomach was. For those worrying I'm going to be in a straight jacket, have no fears. It's not that bad, but it's definitely keeping me on track with the gym regiment. The seamstress seemed very apologetic that she would have to take the dress in, which I didn't understand at first. Having a small dress made smaller is quite an ego trip. But you know what's not small? The labor and cost for cutting through heavy fabric and boning. Yikes.

Still, all things considered, I guess that crazy mom on Toddlers and Tiaras who kept telling her poor child "Beauty is pain" was right. Apparently that was true in the Soviet era as well. I've got some pretty tall heels too, which my feet are grudgingly getting used to. I can handle that, so long as it doesn't turn into "Beauty is a sprained ankle." And no matter what else Toddlers and Tiaras has taught me, I refuse to wear fake teeth or hair pieces. I will also not be dancing like a stripper in front of judges who are thirty years older than me, but hopefully that goes without saying.

Anyway, I leave you with a couple of things. For those who keeping asking to see the wedding ensemble, again: no postings until after the wedding. Not just for lolcatz's sake, but also because...well, it ruins the surprise all around.

I'll also be harassing you about this all week: Bitten By Books is down to the finals in its Favorite Paranormal Author 2009 poll. I'm in the finals, as are some other good people. If you feel like voting, the link is here on the right side of the screen.


Keyed up

German SB
First off, I want to thank all those who went and voted over at the favorite paranormal author poll at Bitten By Books. The response was crazy after I posted yesterday, so thank you! It ends tonight, so we'll find out for sure how I did. Again, I appreciate the support. You guys rock the house.

Today I'm going to talk about...dueling pianists. Odd topic, I know. The other night, I went to a party with lolcatz. It was for employees who have been with Microsoft for ten years. You nay-sayers can think whatever you want about Microsoft, but they throw great parties. 2000 people at a venue jam-packed with every type of food (Chinese, Mexican, Indian, and more), bars with free drinks set up all over the place, and entertainment in various parts that included the Presidents of the United States, as well as a dueling piano bar.

That last one was where we spent a lot of our time. Guilty pleasure: I love dueling pianists. I don't know why either. I'm kind of amazed at anyone who can improvise on an instrument, and when that guy from the Kalamazoo piano bar was on American Idol, I thought that was pretty awesome. I enjoyed the show at the party immensely and watched with fan girl enthusiasm.

I don't know how many of you have been to piano bars, but here's what I learned the other night: I think the shows are staged. No pun intended. As we were watching, I discovered that I had the eerie ability to name the songs they were going to play before they played them. Them: "Here's our all-time most requested song!" Me: "'Piano Man'!" Them: "Hope you like the 80s!" Me: "'Living on a Prayer'!" Them: "Here's a group we've been asked for all night!" Me: "Journey!" Them: "Time for an epic song!" Me: "'Bohemian Rhapsody'!"

Are those songs requested at every piano show every time in every city? Have I just seen too many of these shows? They always claim to be all-request shows, but I just don't buy the idea that that many people really want to hear "Sweet Caroline." I have to also admit that I don't like it when they change the lyrics to make certain songs more upbeat. Sorry, "Piano Man" isn't supposed to be funny. It's supposed to be poignant and about broken dreams. Kind of like the Georgina books.

Anyway, those are my totally random thoughts for the day. I'll close by addressing the concerns of those who are worried about me working too hard in planning a December wedding. I appreciate you thinking of me! But have no fear, guys. It's not stressful at all because it's a small wedding. And by small, I mean it's pretty much going to be lolcatz and me. So, that's why I can put this together in so short a time. I have no DJs, favors, or buffets to worry about. It's also why friends and family haven't received invites. It will have a dress, bouquet, cake, photos, and bride & groom--so all the important bases are covered. Also for those asking: there are no sordid reasons for a December wedding, unless you count tax benefits. And to answer my favorite question of all: yup, my books will still be written under the same name. :)


Blog overdue

Blood Promise
Whoa, I just realized I haven't blogged since Sunday. I mean, the Spirit Bound cover was cool, but cool enough to neglect LJ that long? Unclear.

Anyway, as I try to figure out where my week went, I'll get one piece of housekeeping out of the way. Bitten By Books is doing one of their most ambitious polls yet: Favorite Paranormal Author 2009. There are so many great candidates that they're doing it in rounds, and this week is my round. If you want to go vote for me (or any of the other awesome people there right now - I don't mind!), then head over to this link and look for the poll on the right. This round ends tomorrow night, and you can pick two authors.

Okay. Richelle's week. As often happens, particularly with those of us who are chronically running late, I'm transitioning from polishing Succubus Shadows's first draft to round 1 of Spirit Bound revisions (i.e., bringing us to SB draft 2). People always wonder about why release dates are what they are, and it's because of all this polishing and revising that needs to be done. Believe me, you wouldn't to read some of the first drafts I've turned in!

So that's kept me busy. On writing breaks, I've been doing some wedding planning too. Facebook and Twitter users know that I ordered my wedding dress this week. I was pretty lucky that the one I'd seen and liked online was as cool in person--and that it can arrive within 2 months, which is pretty short turnaround for bridal gowns. The 2 months is important because lolcatz and I have decided to tie the knot in December. In an attempt to preserve my personal life, I won't be giving out any more info on date, location, etc. here or on any other public sites. So, most of my fans will learn about it after the fact. But don't worry--there'll be lots of pictures!

And for those who asked, I can't post dress pictures because lolcatz reads this! I'm not overly traditional, but even I have boundaries. :) And speaking of the man himself, I've gotta run because he's home sick with a nasty cold, and I'm going to double my post office trip today with an orange juice/tissue run. I usually have a pretty good resistance to colds (knock on wood), so cross your fingers our home doesn't go under quarantine.


Step right up, win a prize

Win
Today was the last day of the Puyallup Fair, an event often regarded as the second most fun (legal) thing you can do in Western Washington. No thanks to my tour (which started around when the fair came to town), I just barely made it this year. This is the third year lolcatz and I have gone to it, and it was kind of the site of our first date.

Because let's face it, guys. Nothing says romance like children falling off of sheep:





Yes, it's that time of year: Mutton Bustin', that make-your-small-child-ride-sheep-for-money phenomenon that's sweeping the nation. I won't lie: this was what first drew us to the fair two years ago because we really had to witness it in person. This year, there were no parents trying to convince the organizers that their screaming child truly did want to ride a sheep, so that was refreshing.





And as always, the Puyallup Fair kept it classy:





Like any fair, the place was teeming with elephant ears, carnival rides, and adorable baby animals.







Among the baby animals were pygmy goats, my all time favorites. I'd sneak one into my backyard if I could, but I've already seen how our HOA deals with rule breakers. If the KGB is afraid of them, I don't stand a chance.





Here's the craziest thing about today's fair experience. The fair has lots of games, begging you to come spend your money and win a prize. I didn't play any of them, yet somehow, I came away from the fair with a prize anyway:





If I didn't know any better, I'd say that looks like an engagement ring. We'd best take a closer look, eh?





Holy cow. It is an engagement ring. I now kind of regret that milkshake I had at the fair because it looks like I'm going to be trying on some dresses soon. So the next time one of you tries to coax me toward Adrian or Dimitri, I'm afraid you'll have to face the facts: I'm all Team lolcatz now.


*ATTENTION:
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I have red hair and subsist entirely on Kona coffee.

Other crucial information--such as my books, background, and appearances--can be found by clicking the links below.

Please note: I am HOPELESSLY behind in responding to e-mails and LJ comments right now. Be patient as I catch up!

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