Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I Know You Are, But What am I?

I've met so many wonderful authors along this publication journey. And among that awesome, gifted group AJ Nuest stands out. And that's saying something! She is not only a fantastic writer, but she's freaky, scary smart, I-Need-to-Charge-You-to-Listen-to-Me funny, and I'd-Hate-You-If-I-Didn't-Love-You talented. The day we met my own writing career took a turn for the better. She's a great author and an even better friend. I'm so pleased and honored to welcome AJ Nuest to the Naughty Author Chicks!! *crowd goes wild*

Thank you Naima Simone and the Naughty Author Chicks for allowing me to hijack their blog in celebration of my KINDLE FREE DAYS for She’s Got Dibs!  Whoo Hoo! I’m very excited to be here!!

At the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie, I am who I write. Yep. Each character I create—young or old, good or bad—is me to some degree or another. Although, I must admit, rarely do their lives resemble mine, at least not in its current state. Take Tessa, my heroine, from She’s Got Dibs. She’s not the AJ of today. She’s AJ from twenty…er…many, many years ago.

***the screen blurs with crazy waves as eerie music warbles through the speakers***

We harken back through time, to the days when AJ was still single and all Sheryl Crow wanted was to have to some fun (and she got the feeling, she’s not the only one).

 AJ Then (Tessa’s Life)

The words “What’s for dinner?” did not exist. When I got hungry, I went to the store or nearest diner, bought what I wanted and ate it. My refrigerator was empty save for a few packets of takeout ketchup (or mayo—a girl can never be too careful) and a half-empty bottle of wine.

AJ Now

The words “What’s for dinner?” hit at 4:00pm and continue at fifteen-minute intervals throughout the evening until said dinner is prepared, served and eaten, at which time the words “What’s for dessert?” begin. I have not seen the back wall of my refrigerator in fifteen years.

AJ Then (Tessa’s Life)

I didn’t own a car. No need. The Chicago Transit Authority and a stream of unending cabs took me anywhere I wanted to go for a nominal fee. Or I walked. GASP!  

AJ Now

Two trucks, an SUV, a motorcycle, two ATVs, a dirt bike, a camper, two scooters and four pedal bikes. What. The. Hell. Exactly how many modes of transportation does one family need? That’s just obscene.

AJ Then (Tessa’s Life)

No pets. I came home to change my clothes, have a snack or when I needed sleep. I tried owning a plant once, but evidently they need to be watered occasionally or they die. Who knew?

AJ Now

We’re actually running low on the pet meter with just two dogs and two cats. We’ve been known to host up to ten cats depending on the strays that arrive—pregnant—and decide to hole up in our garage. We also owned a fancy rat at one time. Don’t ask. I’ve long since decided I’m never going there again. Oh, and I now have a huge vegetable garden and an apple orchard.

AJ Then (Tessa’s Life)

No exercise routine. Well…unless dancing in nightclubs counts as a “routine”. Didn’t really matter because I weighed 115 lbs. and wore a size four. If I wanted to wear my skinny jeans, I skipped the previous night’s dinner. The next morning I woke up having magically lost 7 lbs. In short, I sucked. No one knows this better than me. 

AJ Now

I haul my chubby butt out of bed at 6:00am every morning—yes, all seven days a week—and ride an average of five miles on my pedal bike. I sometimes repeat this routine after dinner, two kids in tow. My life is a steady stream of exercise, reading product labels and tracking my fat intake in an effort to control a heinous cholesterol gene.

Yep, I was Tessa all right. Yet for as much fun and freedom as I had back then, I wouldn’t change my life and return to being that woman for anything in the world. No way, no how. I know my life is messy and chaotic. It’s filled with dirty laundry, hairballs and a garbage can that is ALWAYS full. (ß Seriously, how does that even happen?) And while it was a blast to relive the past and pretend I was Tessa Adams while writing She’s Got Dibs—live as an ultra chic event planner who condos in a downtown Chicago high rise and is dating a gorgeous millionaire—I’m happy being the AJ of right now. After all, I’m the one who gets to be the heroine in my next book, as well. J  

If you’re interested in finding out more about Tessa’s life, be sure to download your FREE COPY of She’s Got Dibs, available at Amazon through June 29th!

Book blurb: 
True love does not exist…or so event planner Tessa Adams learns the day she gets jilted—twenty-four hours prior to walking down the aisle. One-night stands are much easier, and with sexy philanthropists like David Brenner, how can she resist? Now if she could just get rid of him. Had she known the biggest event of her career would be working for David’s father, she would have cut and run. Instead, she’s unwittingly become a part of his parents' plan to destroy his life-long dreams. Will sacrificing her love protect him or be the ultimate betrayal?

Wealthy and gorgeous, David Brenner seemingly holds the world in the palm of his hand—his generous heart and infectious smile are just two in an endless stream of attractive qualities. But the one thing he wants, he can’t have—a repeat of the passionate night he spent in the arms of a skittish Tessa Adams. His family’s far-reaching power threatens to crush their dreams. To prove his love, he would risk everything…but will the return of her ex-fiancé be their final undoing?

She’s Got Dibs, won 1st Place in the Contemporary Category, Heartland Romance Authors, Show Me the Spark! Contest, 2010

“Dibs.” He extended his hand.

Frowning, she accepted his greeting. “Dibs on what?

“No.” He chuckled. “That's my name. Or well, actually, my nickname. Either way, it's what everyone calls me.”

“O-o-okay...” The guy definitely had the smolder covered...and those incredible ice-blue eyes. Yikes!

“And you are?”

“Oh, Tessa Adams.” She laughed.

“And everyone calls you...?”

Her frown returned. “Tessa.”

“Oh.” He scanned her face. “No nickname, huh?”

“Not that I recall at the moment.”

He pressed his full lips together as if restraining a smile, eyes twinkling with merriment, and handed her the notepad. “Here's your confirmation number. The room's at the Waldorf Towers over on Park.”

Two suites at the Waldorf? In this mess? What was he, a wizard? “Wow, great. Thanks so much for the help.”

“Glad to be of service.” He retrieved his briefcase and started down the corridor, abruptly stopped, and peered at her over the perfect slant of his shoulder. “And don't worry, Tessa, I'll think of a good nickname for you.”

She offered him a blank stare. “Hey, knock yourself out.”

Mischief danced along his lips before a grin broke free and he continued down the hallway.

“What a whack job,” she muttered.

Download She's Got Dibs from Amazon for FREE here!


Author Stuff:

Multi-published, award-winning author and editor, AJ Nuest, lives in a small farming community in NW Indiana with her loving husband, two beautiful children and a bevy of spoiled pets. She and the cat are currently vying for dictatorship. The cat is winning.

Author links, web pages, fan pages and book trailers:
FaceBook Page 
Author FB Page 
She’s Got Dibs Pinterest Page 



AJ Nuest said...

Okay, wow! Naima, I do believe that is the BEST introduction I've ever received. LOL You are too good to me! Thank you so much and thank you to the Naughty Author Chicks for allowing me to be here! I'm thrilled to spend the day with you! XOXO

mary campisi said...

Hi AJ!! I loved the post! Wishing you the very best with 'She's Got Dibs'...


AJ Nuest said...

Thank you, Mary! I'm happy to see you here! Whoot!

Naima Simone said...

Hi, AJ!
We're so glad to have you here with us! And I meant every. Word. Hee-hee! Awe-SOME post!

AJ Nuest said...

You know I love ya, baby! Thank you, Naima!!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Hi AJ! **waves madly** Great post! I tend to give my heroines aspects of my personality or the strengths I wish I had. Good luck with your heavy promo week.

Calisa Rhose said...

I know I'll 'see' you Saturday, but I just had to stop in and laugh. Yep, I think you were describing me (only a lot shorter!) in this post. But it's not my chubby butt in my bed, when I gain a pound it always goes to my belly! ALWAYS. I'd love if some chubcells drifted a little further south. And I don't ride a bike, which I should. :) I love Tessa. But, like you, my life now is priceless. Happy tours hon. Good luck! :)

Darcy said...

What a fun post, AJ. And your book sounds equally wonderful. I never thought about it before, but maybe the reason so many of my heroines are sort of wimpy is that I subconsciously give them that aspect of me. Now all I have to do in real life is grow the way some of them have so someday I'll have more guts. Anyway thanks for a rather eye-opening, and as I said, extremely funny, post.

AJ Nuest said...

Hi Vonnie! You know, whenever I don't like the way I would normally react in a situation, I think to myself, "What would (fill in the blank with current heroine's name) do in this situation?" I swear it gives me strength I never knew I had. Perhaps one of these days I'll wake up and actually believe I'm Tessa, or Rowena, or Jille...or Faye... God, that's scary. LOL Thanks for stopping in! Love ya!

AJ Nuest said...

Thank you, Calisa! I just need an all over skimming. LOL An inch here, another inch there and I'd be happy. But dang, they just do NOT want to come off. And I'm sorry, I'm not giving up my York Peppermint Patties. The paramedics can pry them from my cold dead hand. LOL See you Saturday! Love ya!

AJ Nuest said...

Hi Darcy!! I think I do just the opposite, but I totally agree with you. I give my heroine's the aspects of my personality I wish were stronger -- like not being afraid in certain situations or backing away from confrontation when I know I'm right. Sometimes they even help me stand up for myself which I am usually loathe to do. Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate it!! XOXO

AJ Nuest said...

Okay, ladies, I'm packing it in for the night. It's nearly nine here and I'm a bit blurry from staring at the screen. Thank you so much for hosting me today! It's been a blast to be here!! Whoot!

Ashlyn Chase said...

Love this blog post! What a trip down memory lane.

It made me think about my young adult self in Boston, living in an apartment so small, none of the doors opened without hitting furniture. Now I have a 4 bedroom home on 16 acres in NH. Yup. How far we've come.

Dalton Diaz said...

AJ, I was laughing so hard at the description of then and now. You nailed it! I also wouldn't change a thing. Well, maybe it would be nice to have the energy I had back then.

Great post!

AJ Nuest said...

LOL Ashlyn! I had the same apartment, I swear! One time a friend came over and said, "Where's the bedroom?" I answered, "You're standing in it." The only two doors were the one to the bathroom and the one to the outside corridor. I loved that place, but I wouldn't go back. My big screen TV wouldn't fit. LOL Thanks for commenting!

AJ Nuest said...

Agreed Dalton! I would love to have that energy! I remember coming home from work on Friday and taking a quick nap so I could go out around 11:00pm and and stay out all night. Geesh, now I'm lucky if I make it to 9:30pm. LOL Thanks for stopping by!!

Mai said...

LOL this was a great post AJ! I will download this an definitely read more from you in the future.