Thursday, January 31, 2013

Books/Movies/TV Shows we're looking forward to

What books/movies/tv shows are you looking forward to in 2013?


B.E.: I was really looking forward to the new season of The Biggest Loser, but so far, every time I find a person I can root for, they lose the weigh-in.  Except for Jackson.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that kid.  He's inspiring. 

Whenever someone asks me about what books I'm waiting for, I draw a blank.  I know there are good books about to be released, but until I have the cashola to buy them, I don't think about them.  One I can point to right now is Between by Kerry Schafer.  It's her debut novel and it sounds AWE-SOME.  (And look for a surprise from Kerry right here on February 5th.  I'm so excited!)

As for movies, I can't watch them in the theater, so whatever's coming out will have to wait until it hits television or I shell out the bucks for a DVD.  (But personally, I'd rather save that money and buy books.)


CLARICE: Scary as it is to admit, I'm looking forward to the winter premiere of The Walking Dead, the return of Dr. Who, Falling Skies and Warehouse 13. As far as movies go - I absolutely CANNOT WAIT for Star Trek: Into Darkness. [Confused? Don't forget, I'm only the contemporary ALTER EGO of a paranormal/sci-fi author you may have met once or twice. LOL]


JB: I can't wait to read THE LAST WORD by Lisa Lutz. I've loved all of her Spellman Investigations books. Like Clarice, I'm looking forward to the return of Doctor Who and his new companion, Clara.
I'm not a movie buff (probably because I've written them and find them too predictable).


Tell us KILLER FRIENDS: What's going to keep YOU entertained this year?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dear Diary....

I remember my first diary. I'm pretty sure one of my grandmother's gave it to me. It had blue, lined pages, a hardcover, and most importantly, A LOCK and KEY!

I wish I'd hung onto to it so that I could see what my seven-year-old self was thinking and worrying about.

Over the years I've kept journals of sorts.

Sometimes it reads like a list of never-met goals: lose weight, write more, be a better person, practice patience.

Sometimes it's a collection of rants about how crappy I think my life is on any given day. (When looking back at old entries, I berate myself for being a drama queen.)

Sometimes it's a giant To Do list: Clean the bathroom, vacuum, run, bathe the dog.

Sometimes it's a log of "brilliant ideas". "Doomsday is coming" from Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman was scrawled across more than one page in my journal. It was also underlined. Boxed. And starred....back when I had no idea what it meant, lol.

Last year, I used The Life Organizer by Jennifer Louden to guide my journalling.

In December I thumbed through a few old journals before throwing them out. (Yes, I threw them out....maybe not the best choice, but I felt like they were giant psychic weights holding me back.)

Basically I figured out the only way to stop whining about a problem/challenge is to either decide it's really not a problem/challenge or to do something differently.

This year I'm doing a lot of things differently. Like making my goals public and blogging about my progress....it's a new "journal" of sorts.

Tell me Killer Friends:  Do you journal/keep a diary? When did you start? What do you record in it? Do you go back and learn from your old entries?


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

HOOKED by Liz Fichera --Teaser Tuesday


It's release day for HOOKED by Liz Fichera!


Get hooked on a girl named Fred…

HE said: Fred Oday is a girl? Puh-leeze. Why is a girl taking my best friend's spot on the boys' varsity golf team?

SHE said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate me—especially Ryan Berenger.

HE said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to go—especially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.

SHE said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.
But there's no denying that things are happening as the girl with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile…



"Not just a Romeo and Juliet story, the book examines the conflicts of white versus Indian and rich versus poor, giving it far more heft than the average romance. Bravo." (Kirkus STARRED Review)



I became a fan of Liz after reading "Captive Spirit".  (This is a HUGE compliment coming from me since I normally dislike historicals and Captive Spirit takes place at the dawn of the 16th century.)

I decided that the reason I liked the book so much was the way Liz created her heroine Aiyana. She made her a strong, relatable young woman.

That's why I can't wait to meet Fred, a Native American Girl who joins the all boys' golf team, in Liz's debut young adult novel HOOKED.





HOOKED Excerpt: From Chapter One:


I believed that my ancestors lived among the stars. Whenever I struck a golf ball, sometimes the ball soared so high that I thought they could touch it. Crazy weird, I know.

But who else could have had a hand in this?

Coach Larry Lannon towered over Dad and me, his shoulders shielding us from the afternoon sun. "So, what's it gonna be?" he said, his head tilted to one side with hair so blond that clear should be a color. "Are you in?" He paused and then lowered his chin. "Or out?"

I drew in a breath. Even though Coach Lannon had said that I could smack a ball straighter than any of his varsity players at Lone Butte High School, his confidence still rocked me off my feet sometimes. He wanted me on the team. Bad.

"Chances like this don't happen every day," he added, and I ached to tell him that they never happened, not to my family. Not in generations.

See, here's the thing about Coach Lannon. I met him by accident at the end of the summer as I waited for Dad at the Ahwatukee Golf Club driving range. At first I thought he was some kind of golf-course stalker or something. He kept gawking at me as I hit practice balls. It was kind of creepy. I figured he'd never seen an Indian with a golf club.

Anyway, I pretended not to notice and concentrated on my swing. I smacked two buckets of golf balls beside him with my mismatched clubs as if breathing depended on it. After my last ball, Coach Lannon walked straight up into my face and declared that I had the most natural swing he'd ever seen. The compliment shocked me. And when I told him that I was going to be a junior at Lone Butte, one of only a handful from the Gila River Indian Reservation, the man practically leaped into a full-blown Grass Dance. He'd been stalking me at the driving range ever since.

Now that school had started, he was making his final pitch to get me to join his team.

(Taken from the HOOKED excerpt on Amazon.com.  To read the rest of the chapter, go here.)


For more info about Liz and her books, be sure to visit her!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Crazy Busy... Ain't It Great?

"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it." -  1st Baron Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg 

I don't know about you, but I'm basically lazy.  There's really isn't a better way to spend a day than laying around, reading books and watching TV.  Well, unless I start to think about how lazy that is, about how other people are being productive while I'm not, about how much work I have to do that isn't getting done.  Then I feel like dog doodle.

And after stumbling across Baron Acton's quote up there, I know why.  I may feel like there's nothing better than being a slug, but in my heart, I know it's not true.  The days I'm happiest are when I have a ton of things to do and I get them all done.

Right now, I'm up to my eyeballs in stuff.  I'm currently maintaining three blogs and contributing to another.  I've got a few big changes coming in my life - not the least of which is helping my daughter move from Colorado to Michigan next month.  I need to convince this extremely shy but super sweet stray calico to let me snatch her up and find her a home.  And there are still all the things I should be doing on a regular basis - you know, like keeping house, writing, editing, submitting...  I get tired just thinking about it.  Every time I check something off the list, though, I feel great.

Just this weekend, I scheduled a guest post by romantic suspense writer Karyn Good for The Unpublished Writers' Guide to Survival - due to go live this morning.  I set up a special teaser/pimpage post for friend and debut novelist - Kerry Schafer - scheduled here at The Killer Chicks on the 5th.  Those things don't seem like a heavy load, but I was supremely satisfied when I got them done.

So, what about you?  Done anything lately that's left you supremely satisfied?  How do you feel about being 'crazy busy' - love it or hate it?  (Or hate it while it's happening and love it later?)

Friday, January 25, 2013

You may already be a winner!

Many of the writers I know, both independently published and traditionally published, spend a lot of time worrying about money, how to maximize profits, how much to spend on cover art, where their promo dollars will do the most good, how long it should take a royalty check to get from the publisher to their mail box…but I don’t worry about those things anymore.

I’ve decided I’ll just live off of all the winnings that are awarded through my e-mail spam box. In just one week alone, I’ve amassed a sizable fortune, apparently by doing nothing more than simply having an e-mail account.

This week:

*I inherited $10,0000 million from Mr. Jerry Utah – I don’t actually know Jerry, but apparently he likes me enough to have left me all his money.

*Chiso Age contacted me about the $10 million inheritance from Africa – apparently Chiso has been trying to reach me for a while, all that money has just been sitting around with no one to claim it.

*I won a $3.5 ATM card – Yeah. $3.5…three and a half bucks is a mere pittance, but perhaps I’ll invest it.

*The Malaysian government owes me $5 million – which I believe is more than the entire Malaysian government is worth.

*The Swiss Foundation has given me $6.5 million pounds – I suspect this is for my chocolate research.
My goal is to prove that chocolate really is the food of the Gods and with $6.5 million [pounds with a
dollar sign] I might be able to finish my research.

*The Federal Government of Nigeria says it owes me $1,500,000 – I suppose they lost a bet.

And
*Gareth and Catherine Bull [yes, as in ‘it’s all bull’] are sharing 1.5 million pounds of their Euro lottery
winnings with me. Considering they’ve never met me, I’d say that’s a tremendously kind gesture on
their part.

So, with all that loot, I’m not going to worry about selling books anymore. I’m just going to kick back
on my yacht and study chocolate. Maybe I’ll buy a bridge.

Have you won anything or inherited a fortune this week? I’m sure you have, just check your spam
folder.

Speaking of winning – I do not have a winner for this week’s ARC of AN AFFAIR IN APRIL yet. There’s
still time! Visit HERE for the details. No Bull.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Got Hobbies?

January is National Hobby month. We each have ours.


CLARICE: I'm a hobby junkie! I love crocheting, beading, painting and drawing. I've also been into quilting, candlemaking, cross-stitch, needlepoint, dollhouses and Japanese temari. My latest obsession is Zentangle - using repetitive pattern drawing as a means to meditate and focus your thoughts.


B.E.: I haven't been very good to my hobbies lately.  I love to crochet, but I've had an unfinished blanket sitting in the back room for over a year.  I used to draw, but my sketchbook lies buried at the bottom of box of 'important stuff'.  I'm really big on baking - and even won a contest once for my walnut graham cracker cake recipe - but with my ever-widening butt, I had to stop.  When I owned a house, I liked to garden.  Gardening in a rental is just depressing, though.  Maybe once life settles back into some form of normal, I'll hook back up with my hobbies, but for now, my hobbies will have to wait. 


JB: I train to run half marathons (13.1 miles). Okay, I walk a good part of the time, but I'm slowly running more and walking less. I cut 15 minutes off my finishing time last year!

I also like to cook. I just hate to clean up afterward.

And like all writers, I'm a reader!

Tell us about YOUR hobbies, KILLER FRIENDS!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Silver Linings

No, this post is not about the movie. (Sorry if you're a Bradley Cooper fan and were hoping it was.)

If you follow my personal blog, you know that I've been posting my goals for 2013 and my progress.

One of my goals for this year is to run with someone other than my DH and dog. It may seem like a simple goal, but it's one that terrifies me. Why? Because I'm a HORRIBLE runner.

I'm slow, slow, SLOW.

But last month someone invited me to join her on a group run and Sunday I gave it a try.

I was too slow for the group. (which sucked and was humiliating and which frustrated me beyond belief) but because I went out out and joined them, I was able to snap this picture. (Which I love because in the six years I've been going here I've NEVER seen so many geese on the pond.)


It was my silver lining.

So was trying and failing, because I got over my fear (obviously a justified fear, lol). You're probably thinking I'm not going to try that again, why subject myself to a situation fraught with the possibility of failure, but you'd be wrong.

I've been in touch with the group and will try again with the soon (albeit with modified expectations).

I'm telling you this because over the years I've known writers who tried something, failed, and gave up.

Or who've tried something, failed and have repeated the same process over and over again, learning nothing from their misadventures.

Or those who've tried, failed, and blamed others completely for their failure.

I've probably been guilty of all of the above myself, but I've learned the following from running:

1) If I give up, I'll never cross a Finish Line.

2) If I fail once, I need to learn to adapt my strategy the next time out.

3) It's not the fault of everyone else that they're faster (better/more successful) than me.

I may be slow, but because of these beliefs, I'm improving. I've completed 3 half marathons (13.1 miles) and I took 15 minutes off my finishing time last year. So I AM getting a teensy bit faster.

I feel like I've learned from all of my writing failures (not all "happy" lessons, but things I needed to know). I try to find the silver linings in most situations.

I believe that setting a goal and actually going for it, can be the biggest success of all.

Tell me Killer Friends: What are you afraid of trying? What are your goals for 2013? Have you learned from your failures? What silver linings have you found?

Another scary thing I'm trying this year, is to post free-writings each week on TEN MINUTES TO THE UNIVERSE along with my pal Cynthia Valero. 

This week I posted one featuring some of the characters from CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN. Check it out! If you're feeling brave, play along!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - An Affair in April

Here's a short, short excerpt from AN AFFAIR IN APRIL - coming April 1, 2013

Remember, if you'd like to read the whole story before everyone else - you can stop by my contest post to find out how.





“Would you mind if I put my arms around you?”
The handsome stranger’s question took Evie by surprise. Her pen fell out of her hand and rolled across the scuffed linoleum floor. She looked up from her notes, momentarily tongue-tied. She’d been watching him from the moment he entered the recreation department classroom where this evening’s self-defense class was being held. Secretly she’d hoped the tall, muscular man in the Property of the Spring River Valley Athletic Department T-shirt would turn out to be the class instructor.
“Um…sure,” she replied instinctively before her muddled brain kicked into gear. “I mean no. I wouldn’t mind.”
He bent to retrieve her pen, his long, slender fingers brushing hers as he handed it back to her. “You don’t look old enough to be here.”
She laughed. At twenty-five, it had been a while since anyone had questioned her age. The flattery felt good. “You’re sweet. I am legal, I assure you.”
The mischievous sparkle in his warm brown eyes made her breath hitch. She clutched her pen tightly, afraid of dropping it again. Not that she hadn’t enjoyed watching him move to get it back for her.
“I just meant, this is the Senior Self-Defense Class.” He nodded toward the classroom entrance where half a dozen older women, most clearly over sixty-five, were arriving. The ladies each stopped to stare at Tall-Dark-and-Charming and began giggling like teenagers. So much for the dignity of maturity, but Evie certainly couldn’t blame them.
“I’m…covering the class.” She stuck out her hand, sans pen. “Evie Prentice. I write for the Lifestyle section of the Herald. I’m doing a piece on health and fitness, so I’m auditing classes at the rec this week.”
His smile widened as he shook her hand, his grip firm and confident. Her heart fluttered. “I’m Tanner Croft. That’s with a C, and I wasn’t being forward before. I just need a volunteer, and I usually ask the first student to arrive.”
Evie’s cheeks heated. She had to get a hold of herself. This was work, no time to fall for a pair of broad shoulders, soulful eyes, and a high voltage smile. “Oh, I…well, since technically I’m just an observer—”
“You’ll do fine.” He slipped her notebook off her lap, set it and her pen on the chair next to her, and tugged her to her feet as the rest of the students took their seats. With a glance at their growing audience, Evie followed him to the center of the room where several thick mats lay on the floor. “Don’t worry. You won’t get hurt. In fact, the object tonight is for you to hurt me.”
“Oh…” She envisioned taking a bite out of one of his bulging biceps. “Okay.”

~*~

#SpringRiver Valley


Monday, January 21, 2013

Pimpage

Today I'd like to talk to you all about something scary - Pimpage.

You see, I was having a discussion with a friend of mine recently about pimpage.  If you're not familiar with the phrase, that's because it's not a real word.  I can't even remember if I made it up or if I heard it somewhere else.  Either way, it's used to describe marketing your own writing or the work of others.  Basically, you're playing the pimp, trying to sell books.  And yeah, it's not the nicest way to put it, but it's remarkably apt.

I think we writers - for the most part - have a tough time with the concept of pimpage.  Selling our books feels suspiciously like selling our bodies.  We're opening our pages to the world so that others can peruse our wares, maybe take us home and fondle our inner selves a little.

"Hey, baby.  Want to see my chapters?  They'll make you feel real good, baby."

It's a scary prospect.  Which makes it understandable why so many of us are awful at it.

Personally I have a tough time pimping for myself.  I always feel like I'm bothering someone or that I'm being pushy or even that I'm imposing. On the other hand, I have no problem hawking for other people - as long as their work is good.

Way back when, in my old life, I was a salesman.  In fact, I was a manufacturers' representative for companies who make electronic components, tools, etc.  And as a company, we represented about 20 some lines.  Some of the lines were easy to sell.  Their products rocked my world.  I mean, if you're the kind of person who gets rocked by ergonomic screwdrivers and industrial heat guns and replacement semiconductors (which I am).  Easy peasy.

Which is why, if I love a book or I love the author who wrote it, I have no problem pimping their books.  I get excited about something; I want everyone else to have the opportunity to get excited about it, too.

Not sure why I can't exactly pony up with the pimpage for myself, though.  Again, it comes back to not wanting to toot my own horn.  Trust me, it's not from a lack of excitement about my writing.  And it's sure as heck not a lack of belief in my work.  Maybe it stems from a lack of belief in myself.

What do you think?  Are you the kind of person who can easily sell yourself and your books?  Or are you like me and can only get the courage up to sell for other people?  Maybe we should start a support group for the pimping deficient.  ;o)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fast Forward

My initial plan for the year was to release one book of my Spring River Valley series every month from January to December…but after releasing JILTED IN JANUARY [back in December actually] I started to think about how much I hate waiting for a new book in a series to come out.

After careful consideration, and because I’m in charge of my own release schedule – I released FIXED UP IN FEBRUARY and MIXED UP IN MARCH earlier this week, so people who enjoyed visiting my fictional town of Spring River Valley don’t have to wait.

Because I also like sneak peeks and special giveaways, I’ve decided to give away TEN advance reading copies of AN AFFAIR IN APRIL – Book 4 in the series.

So from now until the ‘official’ release date of Book 4 [April 1], I’m going to give away a copy a week, one on every Friday starting on January 25th through March 29th.

Enter to win! To be entered in the weekly drawing to receive either a .pdf or a .mobi/.prc copy of AN AFFAIR IN APRIL, all you need to do is one of the following:

Tweet about any one of the Spring River Valley Books – use the hashtag #SpringRiverValley, or tweet to me at @ClariceWynter about one of the books or the series

Or

If you’ve read one [or all] of the books and left an Amazon or Goodreads review – contact me and send me the link to the review [clarice @ newoa.com] [no spaces]

Or

If you’ve blogged about any of the books or the series or reviewed any of them somewhere other than Amazon or Goodreads, contact me and send me the link to the post

I’ll pick one winner every week [enter once and you’re eligible to win on any one of the ten Fridays!]. I’ll announce the winner on Twitter and at my blog and at Killer Chicks and I’ll send you the format of your choice as listed above.


An Affair in April

Lifestyle reporter Evie Prentice decides the wisest move is to protect her heart when, while on assignment, she lands in the arms of sexy self-defense instructor Tanner Croft, a man with a reputation for charming all the ladies in town.

Tanner relishes the challenge of convincing the prickly journalist to take a chance on him, but when a public scandal gives Evie the opportunity to grab a front page headline, the connection they forged is threatened.

Will a question of trust cool their love affair just when things start to heat up in Spring River Valley?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ditch Your New Year's Resolution Day

Today's National Ditch Your New Year's Resolution Day. 


CLARICE: I ditched New Year's Resolutions years ago and became a firm believer in the un-Resolution. I prefer to look at what I've accomplished in the previous year and look at that as a starting point for the new year. In 2012 I set out to create a contemporary romance series and I did it - this year my plan is to learn how to promote more effectively - so I guess that's my un-Resolution for the year.

JB: Unlike Clarice, I haven't ditched resolutions, I've just reformatted them as goals. One of my goals for the year is to publicly track my progress. I'm doing that at my blog.

I'm going to have to ditch my goal to use BANISH EXCUSES as my mantra for the year. It's just not working for me.

I meant to resolve to 1) Drink more Water  2) Eat more Apples 3) Say "who gives a ^&*%?" more often...and really mean it.

B.E.:  I used to make a big deal over making resolutions, but like most people's New Year's resolutions, they'd fall apart within the first few weeks of January.  Now I try to make goals.  They usually end up the same way - dead early in the year - but I don't feel as guilty about letting them fall by the wayside.  ;o)

This year, my only goal is to 'Embrace Change'.  It's going to be a weird year for me, and I figure I either have to embrace the changes headed my way or let them run me over.

Oh, and I have that goal to lose weight again.  (That's a yearly thing.)  For 2013, though, I might have to amend that to 'not gain'.  If I can make it to 1/1/14 without adding any more pounds, it'll be a win.


Tell us KILLER FRIENDS: How have you done with your resolutions? Are there any you "meant" to make?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A less than stellar review changed everything

This may seem like a disjointed blog post, but I promise that if you read to the end, you'll see how it all connects.

When THE FIRST VICTIM came out, I eagerly read every review.

Some people loved it, but those aren't the reviews I think of.

The one I remember best said:

"I was consumed by the mystery, wrapped up in the momentum (J.B. Lynn did an excellent job with pacing) until it all came to a halt with a sex scene. If this had been a movie, it would have been when I would have gone to the bathroom or gotten a refill of soda. It ruined the momentum of the story for me and was not needed. I think it would been better to have the scene fade to black and kept the story moving forward instead of breaking for an intermission. I had trouble getting back into the story after it. For this reason, I can only give it 4 stars."  Read entire review here.

I know, I know, "Boohoo for JB. She got a four star review instead of a five."

But the review REALLY bugged me. Finally, when I figured out why, I wrote and thanked the reviewer for her candid, thoughtful review. After thinking about it, I'd realized that I agreed with her. It was my least favorite scene in the book. It was there because someone else wanted it there, not me, and that was evident on the page.

It was an important lesson (if a tad painful/mortifying) to learn. One that was foremost in my mind as I wrote my next book CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN and its sequel FURTHER CONFESSIONS OF A SLIGHTLY NEUROTIC HITWOMAN.

For the record, the same reviewer gave both of those books five stars, lol.




Yesterday was the last stop on my CONFESSIONS TOUR (but there's still time to enter the drawing to win a pair of signed books today -- just go here!).

The lovely person who organized the tour for me was Donna of Girl Who Reads.

She's also the reviewer who wrote what I think of as "the bathroom break review".

As part of the tour I did an interview on Ali Talks Live. (Listen at your own risk. We dissolved into giggles at one point.)

Ali asked me what advice I'd give writers. I said to risk failure...pretty sure I said "fail big!".

Advice I'd like to add to that?

Don't be afraid to learn from your mistakes and those that point them out to you.

Thanks, Donna!

Tell me Killer Friends: Have you ever learned a lesson from someone's criticism?

PS -- If you missed the Q&A on GoodReads, you can find it here.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Sleeping Ugly

Hi All!  It's my turn to post for Teaser Tuesday and I thought I'd throw something out there that I've been working on.  It's very early in the first draft on this sucker, but it's a lot of fun to write.  I guess you could classify this as a Paranormal Mystery (with romantic elements? I haven't decided that part yet.)  Without further ado, I give you the opening scene of Sleeping Ugly...



It was morning and I was ugly.
Near as I can figure it, I pissed in the wrong witch’s pool at some point.  All I know is one night I went to Spanky’s, drank a lot, danced a lot, and went home with the first available hottie.  The next morning, I woke up cursed.
And ugly.  Did I mention ugly?
Not the best outcome for a twenty-two year old fashion model, let me tell you.  I had a photoshoot the following week.  I had an agent who kept promising me the cover of Vogue if I kept going the way I was.  Sure, twenty-two is a bit old for a modeling career to take off, but I had hopes.  It had to take off.  It wasn’t like I had skills to do anything else.  Even on a good day, I’m not fit for fast food or retail sales.  Like this, I’m not fit for even that. 
Who wants to buy food or clothes from a hag?
I spent the first twenty-four hours of my ugliness trapped inside my apartment with the drapes drawn and the door closed.  After the initial shock of seeing myself, I threw towels over all the mirrors.  It was like someone was sitting shiva in there.  Until I tried to get ready for bed. 
With nothing and nowhere to go, I opted for an early bedtime.  Brushing your teeth is an interesting experience when you can’t see yourself.  So I sucked it up and pulled the towel down.  Prepped for a glimpse of gruesome, I got the second shock of the day when a nearly normal me stared back.  Other than looking like I had the roughest day of my young life, I was me again. 
Chalking it all up to the worst hangover ever, I swore off booze and went to bed, confident in my beauty.  I didn’t remember falling asleep.  I don’t even remember dreaming.  I closed my eyes in the dark one minute and opened them the next in the soft light of dawn.
I wish I could say I felt a tingle or a twitch.  Even a burning sensation in my nether regions would’ve been preferable, because it would’ve provided a warning.  Nope.  I got nothing.
Except ugly.  Overnight ugly.
At first I totally doubted my sanity.  Nobody gets ugly overnight.  Then again, no one gets pretty throughout the day either.  Either a person is always pretty or they’re always ugly. 
Psychotic break now or one earlier in my life—neither option made me feel any better about myself.  Of course, the only other answer seemed just as crazy.  Magic isn’t real.  Curses don’t happen in real life…
Unless they do.