Thursday, November 30, 2006

Pink Heart Society Review

Another great Cooking Up A Storm review! Here's hoping it means sales...

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


Dreams & Desires, the charity anthology which includes my short story, The Forest For The Trees, is available for pre-order on Borders & Barnes & Noble.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The buzz on Cooking Up A Storm

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Hannukah is taken care of! 8 gifts for each boy - bought and wrapped. No joke. HubbaBubba and I shopped together (for the first time in 15 holiday seasons) and also knocked out my brother and his parents! I'd already taken care of my Dad as well.

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

And so it begins...

My final push to finish this NaNo. I'm going to EARN my December book binge.

I'm trying to decide my December from Cooking Up A Storm, or a travelogue of my reading adventures...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Strictly Legal by Kate Hardy [Modern Extra Sensual]

Barrister Leo Ballantyne thinks his sister’s best friend is a complete flake and a rotten influence, encouraging her to live such a bohemian lifestyle. Rose Carter thinks Leo is a pompous, pretentious, judgmental…you get the point. They never expect to agree on anything, until 4-year old Daisy shows them how much they have in common, and how wrong first impressions can be.

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

Thank Goodness for Thanksgiving

I'm not only refering to the way the holiday gives us an excuse to be gluttons and stuff ourselves full of turkey, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. I mean the way it forces us all to slow down, take a breath, look around and be thankful for all we are blessed with.

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.
  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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

I always have to be difficult

You know, I should learn to take the easy road. But no...had to give myself a challenge with this book. I love a good'll notice Hannah never says 'I love you' in JUST ONE SPARK. In COOKING UP A STORM, I tried to make the heroine the aggressor. Curtis fought me a bit on that one, so I gave him a scene. He earned it.

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

Finally! I can see!

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

Brain Farts

You know...I think there is something wrong with my brain. I just have no story to write. Perhaps it is trouble in my Perpetual Mystery Ganglia causing me to scour the internet to find out what my house is worth and if there are houses with an office in this school district for sale. Because writing in a room with a door that locked might help.

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


Check out my interview on Trashionista!

I worked in baccarat to my NaNo yesterday...thinking about marrying them off today. I love that getting married is NOT the conflict of this book!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Off Her Rocker by Jennifer Archer [Next]

"Sometimes you have to lose your way to find yourself."
Off Her Rocker 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

Cooking Up A Storm!!

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!

Thanks Marilyn!

Friday, November 10, 2006


Cinderella is off to the's hoping she stays there. I don't want to be caught holding a glass slipper.

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

Lookee here!

I need to play a bit of ketchup. Check me out at the Cataromance Lounge chatting up my latest reads.

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

A day off from NaNo!


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!!

My eye hurts

It's official - this is a novel. How do I know? Because I cannot write a novel without developing some sort of ailment. This one is an irritated right eye. But, I didn't let it get me down. Today was my big write day (BabyBoy had preschool for 2 1/2 hours!) and I got my words in anyway. With no muse, thank you very much.

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!)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Point and Click character development

I'm working things out with SURE THING. Doh! There was a reason why Derek was so obsessed with why women cheat. Geesh. I can be so dense. Thank goodness for the internet!

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
Kate ::
» Inability to trust, especially opposite sex
» "I am a rock;" emotional detachment
Derek ::
» 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

NaNo panic attack!

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:
  1. My hero has no conflict. He just loves her. End of story. Not good on page 17.
  2. They've (ahem) twice already. Again, by page 17.
  3. I'm having to watch my timeline with a stopwatch since it takes place in the same time frame as Just One Spark.
  4. I have no idea is even interested in a JOS follow-up.
  5. There are other stories I could be writing. Though they all have similar problems...
What would you do? Start over, or push on? I'll let you know what I do...after the weekend is over!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The multiple personalities of a writers mind

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, 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 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


On Sale Now!

I re-read it the other day. There is almost no way to tell the hero looks like young Elvis. That will be our little secret :)