Saturday, December 30, 2006
So those are my 5 books this year, but then they aren't. I write for a UK publisher, and they don't do Halloween there, poor souls. Doubt they fancy 4th of July either. Well, ain't that just great.
I'm reading Kimora Lee Simmon's Fabulosity, and she does a great bit on building your brand. Which is so not me, I mean, I don't have that kind of energy to put on a persona. But if I did, I think I would be a Hooray for Holidays girl. The book is actually empowering, too bad her hub decided to announce he had a mistress before his wife's book came out. Classy.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Ms. Bayley-Burke shows a flair for drama as the reader wonders what the outcome will be of this situation. - CK2s Kwips & Kritiques
Jenna Bayley-Burke brings us a short but sweet tale of happy ever after, from a misunderstanding gone awry, leaving us with a warm heartfelt smile on our face. - Sensual Reads
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
My kids seem to be in the same holiday spirit as Bravenet. The big one refuses to nap, the little one refuses to use the potty. My oh-so-fun lethargy issues are back, which makes all of this worse. Bring on January!
My mind is starting to swirl, andticipating writing the next book. Which I have decided to plot, and then write out of sequence. Must keep myself on my toes. But not until Jannuary. I am on vacation!
**update...the website is out until January 1. Got to LOVE Bravenet. NOT!**
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Sulking in the spare room is doing nothing for her, so Abby hitches a ride on her daughter's father-in-law's plane, thinking she'll spend the weekend in Chicago...but she ends up in Paris! Out of her element she is forced to concentrate on herself and what makes her happy...which surprisingly enough is the man she thought she couldn't stand!
Nikki Rivers' The Christmas Strike will resonate just as deeply in July as it does at this time of year. Treat yourself to this fast-paced, emotional without being over the top, and tons of fun story of looking for yourself and finding everything you ever wanted.
Jane Demeo has been hiding behind her shapeless clothes and stutter for far too long. Determined to prove to her co-workers at the advertising agency, and herself, she can give a presentation without stuttering, she asks her friend for advice. The elderly actress has the perfect solution...invent a character who does not stutter.
Modeling her character after a cat at the shelter she volunteers at, Jane transforms into sexy Sasha. The character works well in presentations, but Jane is uncomfortable with the attention her sexed-up persona receives, until she catches the eye of her boss.
What a fun story of love requited. Well thought out characters and well researched. With Her Wildest Dreams Emily McKay shows why she's become so popular with so many Harlequin lines.
Four places I've lived:
1 Los Gatos, California
2 Albany, Oregon
Four favorite foods:
Four movies I could watch over and over:
4. My Big Fat Greek wedding?
1. Survivor (go Yul!)
2. Real World
4. Deadliest Catch
Four places I've traveled:
4. Oregon Coast
3. Greek Islands
2 The Pink Heart Society
3. Romance Divas
I am too kind to tag. Yes, I am. I can be kind. Can to. It's been known to happen when I am plied with chocolate.
Monday, December 18, 2006
140 Books - 19 classics, 1 fic, 52 non-fic, 68 romance, 39 Harlequin (12 Blaze, 5 NEXT, 12 MX, 2 Temptation, 7 Presents, 1 Romance)
In terms of novel submissions?
42 subs, 28 rejections, 1 sale, 1 agent, 8 pending, 5 contests (2 finals)
In terms of short story subs?
59 submissions, 39 rejections, 1 contest win, 12 pending, 3 published on websites, 5 contracted
I am so glad I get to clear the books for next year :) I'm hoping I contract at least 2 novels next year...and 5 more short stories.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
Now, my evening write time will be spent amongst kiddos at Chuck E Cheese. I wanted to get it done today, let it sit tomorrow, do a read through on Sunday, and have it in the lovely editors inbox on Monday morning. I'm no longer so hopeful.
I want to get done with it...I want to get back to my reading binge. Leslie Kelly's Asking For Trouble is right here on my desk...mocking me.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Open Invitation by Karen Kendall - Hysterical...and thought provoking without being pushy.
Wife For A Week by Kelly Hunter - She took me to Hong Kong for New Years! You MUST read this one for that alone!
Can You Keep A Secret by Rose Middleton :: I love the Christmas in July/Secret Santa set-up...and Australia in winter.
What was the best book you read this year?
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
This is my first story by Jenna Bayley-Burke. I enjoyed her smooth style of writing and her ability to bring the hero and heroine to life. I know I will be looking for more stories written by this very talented author. --CataRomance
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
How About Tomorrow - Sweetheart Rose Rosette
In Silhouette - English Tea Rose Rosette
Dream Ring - Last Rose of Summer Rosette
If We Listened - Last Rose of Summer Rosette
I love short stories! I wonder...if I collect enough Rosette's, maybe they'll let me bundle them together as a collection!
Monday, December 11, 2006
I made it through chapter 4...all the way to the chapter I need to add. I'm thinking dream sequence. I need some nooky in my books as a reward. As soon as I get a solid chunk of time this book will be revised! Now...where did I put that time? No, not on this shelf...and who put this empty jug of minutes back in the fridge!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Woman's World (US)
The People's Friend (UK)
My Weekly (UK)
Woman's Day (Australia)
The Wild Rose Press
Flash Me Magazine
Wild Child Publishing
The Australian Women's Weekly/Penguin Books short story contest 2007
Saturday, December 09, 2006
First 3 chapters...done! Onwards!
Friday, December 08, 2006
With Cooking Up a Storm, Jenna Bayley Burke brings readers a hot and sensual romance full of the flavor of love – a little spicy, a little sweet, and very fulfilling... Witty dialogue and sizzling love scenes are skillfully woven into the book, each one full of emotion and purpose.
Without a doubt, Cooking Up a Storm is a book to treasure.
I'm in love...What a fantastic review!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Brandy Alexander...by f-i-l makes them with ice cream. Ohmigawsh. So good.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Oh...I can do that? Good idea! For Hanukkah we wrap.
3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white? Colored. M&M novelty lights.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? I would if I could find any.
5. When do you put your decorations up? First weekend in December
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Fudge.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: The years we did both Christmas & Hannukah. Any excuse for a party or a present, I say
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Yeah...see I have to bow out on this one.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Pajamas, so we'll look cute in the Christmas photos.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? The boys used Hubba Bubba's decorations from when he was a kid. There are way more than fit nicely on the tree, but they don't care. BigBoy even used some of his money to buy a garland for the tree! Too cute!
11. Snow! Love it or dread it? We wish for it every year...unless we have to go somewhere. Snow is great for just-stay-home days.
12. Can you ice skate? No.
13. Do you remember your favourite gift? Um...BigBoy made me a sleigh out of popsicle sticks last year. Poor Hubba. He tries, but is very practical with gifts.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Trying to make memories for the boys so they'll be more interesting when they fill out these things.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?I told you, Fudge.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Hmmm. We do a Swedish Christmas Eve with part of Hubba's family that I think is a great tradition for the boys. Hubba's Grandma always did it, and so he won't miss it!
17. What tops your tree? The gawdiest star. Seriously. It would win an ugly tree topper contest. But it lights up, which is improtant to the boys.
18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving. As witnessed by all the things my boys are getting. Christmas & Hannukah. It's party central here!
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Hanukkah O Hanukkah...Jingle Bells
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Gross.
2. Latkes : applesauce or sour cream? Sour cream.
3. How many menorahs in your house? Just the one, but Big Boy is pushing for his own.
4. How much have you lost at dreidel? An entire bag of peanut m&m's
5. Do you wrap Hanukkah gifts? Of course!
6. How do you decorate for Hanukkah? Window stickers, placemats, towels...if it is gawdy, odds are I have it.
7. What is your favorite Hanukkah treat? sufuganyot (jelly doughnuts)
8. Ever wished you had Christmas instead? Not since learning Santa wasn't bringing the gifts.
9. Favorite Hannukah memory :: BigBoy's first Hanukkah he had a visit from most his unlces on different night sof Hannukah. It was grand.
10. Do you like when Hanukkah falls early or late in December? late, especially if it overlaps with Christmas.
11. Favorite Hanukkah gift? Honestly, I buy them myself now and say look what you got me, honey?
12. Your menorah : oil, candle, or electric? Candles.
13. Favorite Hanukkah song? Hanukkah oh Hanukkah
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Trying to make memories for the boys so they'll be more interesting when they fill out these things.
15. Gelt : cash or chocolate? Sadly, chocolate.
16. What is your favorite Hannukah tradition? Reading the story of Hanukkah to the kids so they can realte the ritual to the history.
17. Hanukkah or Christmukkah? Please. Hanukkah. There is no such thing as a Hanukkah bush.
18. SNL fave: Hanukkah Harry or Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song? The Hanukkah song, original version.
19. Do you cheat at dreidel? Not with kids.
20. Latkes: potato or vegetable? Potato. Anything else is uncivilized.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Jo is all for being impulsive, but when the pregnancy test comes back positive, she realizes a baby is something she should plan for with her partner in crime. Bruno hasn’t called since their marathon night together, but she thinks telling him is the right thing to do, until he proposes marriage!
Bruno keeps Jo racing and twirling until she doesn’t know how she feels, let alone what they should do about it. Smart, sexy, and brilliantly romantic, this is a story sure to lift anyone’s spirits. With every turn of the page, you are drawn to these passionate characters until you want to cheer along with the crowd at the happy ending. All I have to say is…you mean I have to wait until February for her next book?!? Drat.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
Lauren knew how to tease a man insane. Everything about her tonight seemed to be trying to seduce him, even the promise of getting whatever he wanted in return for tasting her food. Since the flow of air through the dining room felt like her caress on his skin, no doubt the salad, a strange concoction of weeds, seeds, avocado and oranges, was charged with the same sexual energy.
She couldn’t expect him to eat and talk at the same time. He pushed the salad around with his fork, hoping to make it look like he’d eaten as he tried to keep the conversation at the table flowing. But he felt the weight of her narrowed gaze, though he avoided it since he saw the challenge she set in front of him. Avoided her and the golden wrap dress she’d donned. It tied with a sash, making him wonder if he untied it, would the whole thing would fall away?
To keep sane, he focused on work. Far easier to understand the motivations of the attorney, professor, former CEO, and the two men trying to convince them all no better investment existed than using recycled restaurant grease to fuel automobiles.
“We’re turning an environmental burden into a conservation benefit.” Even in a suit, Henry Moss looked like a college senior who’d rolled out of bed and jumped into the only thing clean left.
“But this is currently a niche market. I can’t power my car with cooking oil.” He speared what looked like an orange and hoped for the Moss would delve into the sales pitch long enough for him to take a few bites. Avocado first. It would melt in his mouth.
“With the slightest adjustments, it can. Making those adjustments available to everyone is what we provide.” Moss’ partner, John Pratt barely looked more presentable with his shaggy hair and fuzzy goatee.
“But what kind of traction can you show?” Dean Walters laid his fork across a clean plate and leaned back in his chair. The man had acted as smug as befit a former CEO of the largest vehicle manufacturer in the country.
“For our size, we have generated significant revenue.” Moss said, leaning forward. “Our profits will be exponential. The more people who take on the responsibility of alternative fuels, the higher the demand, and the easier they are to access.”
“It’s admirable gentlemen.” Professor Volk laid his napkin next to his empty plate. “We all wish consumers would be environmentally accountable for their choices. But Americans go for cheap and easy. The gas station on the corner is simply more convenient than the one alternative fueling station in the metro area. There are many fuel alternatives – ethanol, natural gas, propane, hydrogen, fuel cell, electricity, methanol, and the list goes on. You have a double challenge, getting people to choose biodiesel, and choose your method.”
To keep from answering the question himself, Cameron shoved and orange section into his mouth. Except it had to be the most acidic, bitter orange he’d ever tasted. Swallowing it down he realized it wasn’t an orange, but a grapefruit. Leave it to Lauren to find the one fruit he detested to make him look like a finicky eater.
Pratt cleared his throat. “What we are offering is ease and economy, a way to convert a consumer’s existing car into a more efficient model. It’s an investment that pays them back in just over a year for the average person, sometimes as quickly as six months for commuters and sales people who rack up the mileage.”
Lauren stood, collecting the plates. Everyone else was as enthralled by the debate as he should be, if he weren’t so distracted by Lauren. He had two options to get his focus back at dinners. Either end the arrangement now, or sleep with her to take the edge off. Really, he had no choice at all.
AVOCADO CITRUS SALAD
1 avocado sliced
1 grapefruit, supremed Reserve the juice (or use the pre-sectioned grapefruit in the deli case)
1 orange, supremed. Reserve the juice (or use a can of mandarins, discard the water)
2 T pine nuts, toasted
1 bag pre-washed Mesclun mix
Toss the sliced avocado in the citrus juices. In a large bowl toss together all ingredients. That's it! There's no dressing to this salad. The ingredients meld so well there is no need!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
AND...Cooking Up A Storm is sold out on Mills & Boon. Maybe all this promo is paying off!
The Coffee Time Review of Cooking Up A Storm is up. "..an intense and steamy romance that will have you on the edge of your seat." 4 cups again! I'm on a roll with them!
Saturday, December 02, 2006
He stood on the landing and leaned over the railing, taking in the view of the downstairs. Come For Dinner catering earned every penny, no matter what they charged him. The house looked better than he’d ever seen it. Sonja Anders had decorated everything in white. Sterile, stark, cold. Now the rooms were washed in warm light, red scarves covering the lampshades and adding to the ambiance.
It was intimate, without being romantic. Classic, without being feminine. Everything he needed it to be. A weight lifted from him as he descended the stairs. He liked that it looked different, not wanting to seem like junior filling in for the old man.
The change in lighting, red pillows and throws on the couches, lush green plants in shiny silver pots, and little vases overflowing with red roses lining the dining room table and scattered on every other open surface made a statement. Saying to all who entered he was here to make his mark on the company. He’d never let on it really meant he’d gotten lucky when he hired a caterer.
At the base of the staircase he checked his watch. Ten minutes until the party started, guests would be arriving any minute. He wiped his damp palms against the gray wool of his slacks and closed his eyes, enjoying the solitude while he could.
A warm force plowed into his chest, opening his eyes with a start. He gripped the whirlwind by her slim shoulders and looked into her large round eyes framed by long blonde eyelashes. He couldn’t help but grin at the startled look in that gold flecked green gaze. Without letting her go, he pulled back taking in the smattering of freckles crossing her button nose, the long strawberry blonde hair pulled tight into a braid, and the milky skin of her shoulders, bare but for the thin spaghetti straps of her gauzy black dress. He blinked hard, bringing himself out of shock and dropped his hands, running one through his hair.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize anyone had arrived yet.” Cameron looked about the room for her date, but saw no one. She looked vaguely familiar, but both of the female executives invited were old enough to be this woman’s mother. “Who did you come with?”
An impish grin played on her pouty pink lips. She held out her hand. “I’m Lauren Brody, with Come For Dinner catering.”
“Oh. I apologize for assuming.” Stupid ass. Caterers could be pretty and well dressed. “I just never expected…wait, have we met?”
Her head jerked back and she gasped, her hand pressing against her stomach. Then just as quickly as she reacted, she calmed. “No we haven’t been introduced. But I’ve catered parties for the Anders’.” Her voice was breathy, almost to the point of a whisper.
“Have you decorated this way before?” His stomach sank. He’d look like a Bob Anders clone, the king of suck-ups.
“No.” She shook her head. “Mrs. Anders had her own sense of style. But I assumed since you had so little time to organize the dinner, you wouldn’t have time to decorate as well. It’s a service we provide for many of our single male clients.”
He quirked an eyebrow. “How did you know I was single?” And did she care?
“I asked your assistant. I needed to know if you would have a date for the evening, for the seating arrangements.”
He nodded furiously. Right, seating arrangements. Couldn’t just tell people to plop down wherever at a formal dinner. Thank goodness Lauren had him covered on that end. For two years Sonja Anders had been gently reminding him he should have a wife, but lately her approach grew more direct. As in blatantly telling him he couldn’t handle his new position without a wife. As if he had the time or energy to devote to a relationship.
Sonja Anders was obviously wrong. He didn’t need a wife, just Come For Dinner catering.
“If you’d like,” Lauren began, “I could give you a run through of how the night will go.” She crossed the room, turning on the stereo and picking up butane lighter from an end table. Cameron had to smile as the sounds of Pink Martini filled the large room.
“Isn’t that a little loud?”
“You want it just a smidge to loud at the beginning. Nothing is worse than stepping into a silent house. Gets the social swirl moving. Do you like it? I have six CDs in the rotation if it’s not your style.”
“No, I’m a fan. The founder went to Harvard, so they’re pretty big back there.”
“You went to Harvard?” Cameron nodded. “Impressive. And a relief. I started with Sympathique, but Hang On Little Tomato is disc five.”
Cameron liked her before, but with eclectic tastes in music mirroring his own, she was dancing in dangerous territory. If he had time, or cared to risk his reputation with trying a relationship, she’d be an option. But showing his vulnerability to the world was not.
“I’ll turn it down as we start serving cocktails. Raspberry Martinis, and of course, Chivas for Mr. Anders. We’ll be serving potato crisps with a caviar dip.” She slid about the room lighting candles. Did she know he needed to romance the team into trusting him?
“For dinner I’ll lower the volume more. Anita Baker should get us through the salad, and beef filet. I’ll crank it when it comes round to Pink Martini again and serve a flourless chocolate cake with raspberries for dessert.”
He watched as she walked around the room like she owned the place, far more comfortable there than he was. But then, she knew how to throw a party. He was in uncharted territory.
“Thank you for putting all of this together tonight. It’s exactly what I needed.”
A gleaming smile lit her face, lifting her rosy cheeks. “I’m glad to hear that. I hope –”
The shrill peal of the phone interrupted her. Cameron held up a finger so she would hold that thought and stepped to the side table lifting the receiver. Before he got out so much as a hello, the doorbell chimed.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Available from Mills & Boon and AmazonUK.
When it comes to relationships, sexy venture capitalist Cameron Price sticks firmly to casual flings. But when relocation takes him to Seattle, his boss insists that finding a girlfriend will be a smart career move.
Still content with snacks rather than a full banquet, Cameron makes a deal with caterer Lauren Brody. To keep the husband hunters at bay, she will pretend to be his girlfriend, and in return he'll hire her to cook at all his corporate events!
But their first kiss is incredibly tasty! Soon, the chemistry between Cameron and Lauren is electric, and their shared passion is threatening to boil over - which isn't part of Cameron's plan!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Hero Hotness Factor = ♥♥♥♥♥
Heroine Lovability Factor = ♥♥♥♥♥
Awww Factor = ♥♥♥♥♥
Stickability Factor = (will live happily ever after) ♥♥♥♥♥
Humour Factor = ♥♥♥♥
Weepy Factor = ♥
Did you know that Jenna Bayley-Burke reads cookbooks like most people read novels?
Also, Jenna hates to wear shoes, but always wears socks!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
- A Romance Review name Cooking Up A Storm a Hot New Release for Decmeber.
- Marilyn's Romance Reviews says Cooking Up A Storm is "a real winner" and "absolutely delicious and delectable, full of passion, romance and humour"
- Of Cooking Up A Storm, Contemporary Romance Writers says "Sincere thanks to Jenna for this incredible sizzling and entertaining story."
- Coffee Time Romance says Cooking Up a Storm is "an intense and steamy romance that will have you on the edge of your seat!"
- Trashionista's invited me to do a guest blog on the genesis of Just One Spark!
- Kate Willoughby is chatting be up for an Author Spotlight
- Debra Parmley highlights me for Make Believe Mondays December 3rd
- I took a turn on Heather Waters' Idea Boutique next week too.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
What does that leave? Well, since Hubba helped with the Hannukah gifts, I'm helping him with stocking stuffers (stockings are usually his thing, since Christmas is not mine). He needs to find something for our sister-in-law (we drew names this year, and I got Pop, he got the nurse s-i-l). And of course...I need to shop for him...he's been very, very nice!
Friday, November 24, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Rose is content to watch her goddaughter Daisy for the weekend while her mother is away, but Leo wants to make sure Daisy is well looked after, and he worries Rose isn’t up to the task. As he spends time with his niece, and with Rose, he realizes how much he’s misjudged the confident, successful, organized vintage clothes dealer.
Strictly Legal winds its way through misunderstandings, undeniable attraction, and deep yearnings. An emotional story that doesn’t stretch to the extreme for the heart tugging moments, instead this book relies on nothing but great writing and spot-on characterization. A fast read that speeds towards the end as tensions mount and more is at stake. The stunning details and sassy tone bring the characters to life. Absolutely fantastic!
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Dee did a beautiful post about it, which inspired me to make my own top five list of things I am grateful for, and y'all should do the same.
- Healthy children. BabyBoy just had a major growth spurt, which came on the night after I organzied his closet for winter. As soon as I get in there again, he'll have nothing to wear. Probably better than belly shirts and capris, but they were shirts and pants last week!
- HubbaBubba. Not only is he cute as can be, he actually thinks I can pull this writing gig off. I wish he worked less, he wishes I worked less...I guess that means fifteen years after we met, we still kinda like each other.
- Weird families. In this day and age, coming from a long line of successful matrimony is unheard of, but both HubbaBubba and I have great role models. Maybe that's why I believe in love stories. That, and they are all crazy, which gives me plenty of things to ponder. Like why my mother-in-law will garden in a downpour, while her boy won't play golf in a sprinkle. Or how I can be content to never again leave the house, but my father would prefer to live the rest of his life on a cruise ship. People are just weird.
- Mi casa. We're outgrowing it, in that HubbaBubba has decided I need an office so he doesn't have to listen to me tapping the keys late into the night. But I love this house. We picked out everything, I brought my boys and my dawg home here, and I LOVE my neighbors. When is that going to happen again?
- Friendly types. I have a great group of girlfriends in my neighborhood whom I adore. I snatched my cousin back from across the Atlantic and drag her with me everywhere I can, which isn't enough since she has a life and all. My writing friends are wonderfully supportive, especially Laura, who has a magical way of saying, I hate this, but here's how to fix it. There are the moms from my boys schools who are incredibly generous with their time and ideas.
Oprah is right, there is something to this gratitude thing...
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Anyway...this book is my...marry them in the middle. So often books end with a wedding and then maybe, if you are lucky, you get the epilogue. I married them half way...and now things really start happening! In romance, we know they will end up together, so it may lighten my gray moment (let's face it, I only make it to charcoal on a good day) but maybe not. Kate is awfully stubborn.
Here's hoping it brings on word count! I'm behind on my NaNo...and have little time to write today. Thanksgiving concerts for both babes! How cute is THAT!
Monday, November 20, 2006
My eye finally stopped raging, and I was able to get my contacts in yesterday. What a releif! And a bit scary...I'd been driving in my glasses, and now that I can see, realize I wasn't the most sighted person. Not good, not good.
I hit the half-way mark on my NaNo last night, and I think I may marry them off today...if the kids nap! Cross your fingers!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Oh geesh. I am so behind on my NaNo...and it's not a scheduling issue. My m-i-l took the boys for a day so I could write...and I did, just not enough. Today was better, but at this point, I need a mad rush of words. One of those brain dumps. Too bad my brain is empty.
You know...some refer to books like this as pineapples. Tomorrow is my day of the pineapple. I'll eat it for breakfast, feed it to my characters and see if it helps.
On another note...isn't this a fun cover!
Thursday, November 16, 2006
That is, if my Cerebellbottom weren't causing a twitch where I wear clothes that don't look good on any body type, or my Hippohippus wasn't triggering the impulse to eat chocolate in mass quantities. Maybe if I get a pacemaker installed in my Laurel Resting Lobe I'd get moving, instead of reading Cooking Up A Storm...again.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Taking her youngest to college sends Dana Logan spiraling into depression. Just who is she now that she has no one who needs her? Always a helicopter mom, clearing the path for her children to have an easy life, she's unsure what to do with herself now that no one needs her to run their life.
After a surprise visit to her son in college ends in the sharp realization that in doing everything, she's done too much - Dana begins the drive home. In the middle of a blizzard. When she gets lost and resorts to peeing in a ditch, her car is stolen, stranding her in a tiny town with only twenty dollars to her name.
She spends the night in jail (as a guest, not an inmate), breaks into a library (to read), and insults the entire town before she meets a family who, with their folklore and wisdom, help her find her way back to herself. Dana finds dreams she'd forgotten and learns her life and worth did not end because her children left home.
Off Her Rocker is a well-crafted bit of story telling that has me believing in the power of the imagination, and just maybe in ghosts. A quick read because of the fast pacing of the scenes, but this book could be savored slowly to enjoy all the emotions stewing in the background. This would be a great gift to a recnt empty nester.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I got my first review of my December release, Cooking Up A Storm, today! The book isn't on the shelf in the UK just yet, but it can be ordered from Mills & Boon now, or from AmazonUK on December 1. Enough plugging, let's dish.
On her What's Marilyn Reading blog, (and hopefully coming soon to The Pink Heart Society reviews) Marilyn says:
- It's absolutely delicious and delectable, full of passion, romance and humor.
- A sincere thanks to Jenna for this incredible and entertaining story!
Friday, November 10, 2006
Now, back to Derek and Kate. I think. had a blankie emergency this afternoon and only have my evening write time to get anything done...and there is laundry begging for attention. As in...I have nothing to wear to my RWA meeting tomorrow!
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Fiona Lowe tagged me to confess 5 things you might not know about me, again. Hmmm. Well...
- I hate to wear shoes...which is why my socks usually have holes.
- I once knew how to put together a layout for a yearbook. Now, I'm challenged to cut and paste a scrapbook together.
- I have seen two movies at the theater in the last six years. (My Big Fat Greek Wedding & Little Miss Sunshine)
- Every time I've ever moved, I've gone North. If we move again, odds are we'll find ourselves in Washington by default.
- I have more books on my shelves than I will ever read, and yet I still crave more. It's my addiction. Think there is a 12-step program?
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Yes, but it is early, SandySue schedules days off, I'm OK on my wordcount, and I have more excuses if you need them. Like...
Pocket Diet needs me to review recipes for
AND...The lovely editor would like to read the rest of Her Cinderella Complex! So...since that hasn't made it through the uber-busy CP...I need to go over it again and again! But get it to her as quickly as I can!!
Someone on one of the NaNo boards has this quote - something like writers wait for inspiration, authors just write. Something like that, but better. Anyway, it is helping me with this book. It's museless, and since my CP has been missing her muse for 6 months, I may have to get used to it!
(If anyone has heard from a Russian bodybuilder named Bertha, please send her back home. Without her there is no romantic comedy. Just scary paranormal! Everything goes para without you, Bertha! I'm thinking she finally absconded with my muse, David. She's been hot for him for years. Bertha, he's married. Send him back!)
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
The Colors of Sex :: Both Kate & Derek are RED: People who like red tend to be tigers in the sack. They are easily aroused and enjoy sex in every way imaginable. Once the sexual spark is ignited, it may take hours to extinguish. When two reds get together, the ensuing erotica could make Lady Chatterly blush. Lovers of red tend to be aggressors and weaker colors should be aware.
Hero Archetypes :: The PROFESSOR: coolly analytical, he knows every answer. He’s logical, introverted, and inflexible, but genuine about his feelings. At work, he likes cold, hard facts, thank you very much, but he's also honest and faithful, and won’t let you down. Think Leonard Nimoy in Star Trek, Robin Williams in Flubber, Kelsey Gramner in Frasier, Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind
Heroine Archetypes :: The BOSS: a real go-getter, she climbs the ladder of success. This is a “take charge” female, who accepts nothing but respect. Reaching her goal post the most important thing in life to her, and she isn’t bothered by a few ruffled feathers along the way. Think Annette Bening in American Beauty, Candice Bergen in Murphy Brown, Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth.
Emotional Baggage or Internal Forces Keep Lovers Apart
» Inability to trust, especially opposite sex
» "I am a rock;" emotional detachment
» Some past incident, e.g., abuse, has left emotional scars
» Sense of unworthiness
Devices to heighten suspense (notes from David Freeman workshop)
» A enemy or obstacle interferes with a soft goal
» Hero forced to face his emotional fear, limitation, block, or wound
» A character forced to make a difficult moral choice
» Foreshadowing (many ways to do this)
» Any scene where a seduction occurs, or might occur
***edited to add***
Enneagrams (thanks Janet)
Derek :: Type One: The Reformer The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic. Ones are conscientious and ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are teachers, crusaders, and advocates for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards, but can slip into being critical and perfectionistic. They typically have problems with resentment and impatience. At their Best: wise, discerning, realistic, and noble. Can be morally heroic.
Kate :: Type Three: The Achiever The Success-Oriented, Efficient Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious. Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming. Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with their image and what others think of them. They typically have problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best: self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be-role models who inspire others.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I'm all over the map on this one! I was waiting to hear back from my lovely editor on which story to write, so I didn't plot my NaNo. Not usually a problem...but...this story is getting away from me for a couple of reasons:
- My hero has no conflict. He just loves her. End of story. Not good on page 17.
- They've (ahem) twice already. Again, by page 17.
- I'm having to watch my timeline with a stopwatch since it takes place in the same time frame as Just One Spark.
- I have no idea is even interested in a JOS follow-up.
- There are other stories I could be writing. Though they all have similar problems...
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Here's another problem I have...I have a hard time settling down to write one book. What's worse, I can't double dip, the characterization goes wonky. Someday, when I am a better writer. But as for today...this l'il problem of mine is stinking up my NaNo.
I can't decide what book to write. So...I started a Just One Spark follow up with Kate and Derek called Sure Thing. I thought, hey, I know them, easy peasy. Except...the timeline overlaps so I have to be careful with the order of things...and I need to find Derek's conflict. Since he falls in love with Kate at first...um...experience, I don't see a problem for him. Yet. It's there.
But then...there are a few other stories buzzing around too. Ones with more conflict, I think. Though. Hmmm. I'm not sure if my editor will like any of them. The friendly inseam measuring story or the reunion after a near death experience or the walk in with the faulty door. All have um...fun scenes at the start....
Derek, dude, what's your cheese? I mean, besides trying to analyze everyone? Because Kate doesn't mind. She thinks that's cute. (Send me good writing vibes, will ya?)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
- I was a retail management genius. No seriously, I was darned good at keeping department stores in line, so much so that I still like to shop early in the morning so I can see the new freight roll out.
- I've been a pimp. That's what temporary staffing feels like. Even when you do it right.
- My girlfriends call me at all hours with their nursing dilemmas. I am a wealth of nursing knowledge.
- My 5 year old can play chess. OK. So this is not interesting about me, but I am quite proud of this. I am not so proud that I have yet to beat him at backgammon.
- I got married at 18, and I wasn't pregnant. Still married, as a matter of fact. That he is cute as can be does help, as does the fact that he does dishes and bathes the boys every night! Choosing who to marry is another skill I have...but like the nursing thing, I know longer have any use for it.
Monday, October 30, 2006
There are millions of writing prompts out there, taunts and teases to get you writing something anything, in the hopes that starting writing will get your story flowing.
As much as I appreciate writing prompts, I can't stand to waste my writing time. Sure, finding different ways to describe grass gets words on my page, but at the end of the exercise I don't need to save my work and I find that depressing. So much so I was skipping writing prompts all together for a while.
Until I realized there were lots of little things I always meant to write down, tidbits worth saving and remembering. Jotting them down has the same purpose as traditional writing prompts - it gets you writing - but more than that it helps you say what you always meant to say, to those people you always meant to say it to.
Try these ideas on for size this month. When you sit down to write, warm up with one of these practical prompts...and if you dare...share it with someone you love.
1. A Child is Born. Write about the day your first child was born, from morning to night write down what you remember. Write about the first time you witnessed a birth, or about the time your sister practically ran out the door, your brother-in-law practically tossing their toddler at you as they raced to the hospital. Great for a baby book, or a funny letter to the person in the story.
2. Let me count the ways. Write the name of your favorite person/animal at the top of a page. List 100 words to describe him. Great to slip into 'thinking of you cards'. Scrapbookers do pages like this with a picture in the middle and write the words around the photo in different fonts.
3. Creme de le crumb. List your top te favorite foods...and why. Pair with the recipes for an easy holiday or wedding shower gift.
4. And What Do You Do? What was your first job? How did you get it and what did you make? Great to share with kids about to start their first job.
5-11. What was your most memorable Thanksgiving? Christmas/Hannukah? Easter/Passover? New Years? Valentines? April Fools? Halloween? These stories are great to tuck into cards...and also for local newspapers or magazines during the time of the holiday.
12. Graduation Day. Write about your graduation, or the graduation of your child. Preschool graduation stories are great for baby books, stories of your graduation can be tucked into congratulations graduate cards for years to come.
13. Drive Me Crazy. Is there a story behind your first car? Tell the tale, and pass it to a teen saving for their first car...with a few bucks.
14. Back in My Day...Write down those stories your grandparents told you. Go into as much detail as you can.
15-20. Good things come in threes. Brothers, Sisters, Neighbors, Parents, Cousins, Friends. List your three favorite memories of the best people in your lives. Save the lists and tuck them into birthday cards.
21. 15 minutes of fame. Were you ever in the paper? on the news?
22. Music of My Heart? Have you ever played an instrument? Sung in public? If you really need to stretch, what is your personal anthem and why?
23. Book Report. What was your favorite book this year? Write a letter to the author expressing your appreciation. Mail, or email it.
24-25. Take me away. Relive your favorite vaction from childhood, and adulthood.
26. How does your garden grow. Is your thumb green or brown? What grows ni your backyard?
27. Man's Best Friend. What is the story of your first pet?
28. Love Letters. These can be simple, or extremely difficult. don't put too much pressure on yourself. a cute note to tuck inside and unexpected lunch sack or folder will be much appreciated.
29. Year in Review. Write your holiday letter a few months early. Tuck it into holiday cards at the end of the year.
30. Aspirations for next year. Pretend your are a reporter, and write teh article of your accomplishments for the year to come.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
COOKING UP A STORM
The gunmetal gray sky outside his office window mocked him. Cameron Price reminded himself that the Internet claimed it rained more in New York than here in Seattle, but that little tidbit hadn’t kept the leaden sky from unloading its fury each time he stepped outside.
He’s a fish out of water. He doesn’t want to be in Seattle, so why is he?
He needed to like it here. Maybe if he focused on the good. In the summer it would be beautiful, but he had to get through November without going mad. And the coffee tasted better, though he couldn’t decipher the way people ordered it. At least he got to drive a great car and live in a big house. But the car was a gas-guzzler and the house as white and cold as a hospital.
He’s trying to see the bright side, but is a pragmatist. Hopefully the reader identifies with this feeling.
He grunted in frustration and sat up straighter in the leather desk chair. The party tonight had him riled, and he needed to get over it. Which was why he’d driven into the city, to get a vision of the office in its Saturday relaxed attitude. Everyone expected him to show up on Monday, but he wanted to get a bead on the inner workings before he started meeting people at the party.
He’s always thinking, trying to do the unexpected to keep one step ahead of everyone else.
HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX (the book I JUST finished)
Absolute perfection. The most spectacular wedding Weed, California and its three thousand inhabitants had ever seen. The exact wedding Heather Tindall dreamed of while she waited eighteen long years for her chance to escape the tiny Northern California town.
Small town girl in the perfect wedding. How did she manage that?
The wedding details read like a who’s who of bridal magazines. Vera Wang designed the white wedding gown; Amsale did the petal pink bridesmaids dresses; the cake came from the bakery famous for bringing chocolate tiers en vogue; the florist had two books out; and the photographer already sold exclusive rights to the photos to People magazine. It didn’t look like she’d planned it all in two months. Why did she only have two months to plan it? And where did she get the money to fund such an occasion?
So why did she feel like a tsunami was about to hit? Her doubts begin to swirl.
No one knew none of it was real. No one would ever know. Sure, everyone had been surprised by how quickly things happened, but never doubted the story she fed them. No one, not even her three sisters already marching down the aisle realized Curtis Frye thought of her only as his personal assistant. Curtis Frye, one of People magazine’s most eligible bachelors for three years running, stood at the altar in the Kenneth Cole black tuxedo she’d ordered. He’d suggested wearing the Ralph Lauren he wore to most functions, but a simple reminder he’d allowed her carte blanche in planning the wedding and she’d scheduled him for a fitting. The same day she signed the contract. She's signed a contract to marry her boss, and everyone bought their story. Yet, in spite of the perfection, she doesn't seem happy.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Except every minute Jack spends with Paige he’s remembering exactly why he fell so hard in high school. By the time Paige is responding to his advances, all thought of revenge are out the window. He’s forgotten all about his plan, until Paige learns his original intent.
With one liners like “Um, there’s a chicken in your pool” and “time for this swimsuit to walk the plank” Getting Hot in Hawaii will keep a smile on your face the whole way through. Kerri Leroy does a splendid job of incorporating all five senses so the reader feels in the scene. The flora and fauna of Hawaii are beautifully showcased, and the story delicately written.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
To get your NaNo drafted in November a few things will have to be set aside so you have the time to write. For me, the first thing to go is the internet. I refuse to let myself on the internet until I have met my daily word count goal.
- Make a list, and check it twice. To keep myself from logging on periodically, I make a list of things I need to check on the net. Before I get online, I double check to make sure I really need to know the price of summer-themed scrapbook paper today. If it can wait until December, or getting ahead on my word count, it does.
- Junk it. Set your junk email filter on high. Mail from family and friends still comes through. Only check the junk folder if you have time.
- Garbage Day. Empty your recycle bin and temporary internet files to make your computer run faster.
- Put away the surfboard. Blog surfing, forum haunting, message boards and the like are on restriction. Just like kids don’t get to watch television without doing their homework, no internet candy for you until you’ve got your words in.
- Reward Yourself. On days you make your word count goal. Do more than give yourself a pat on the back. Indulge in your favorite guilty pleasure.