Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve Dream Dates

Romance heroes are so much easier to love than real people. I mean, I think we all would love to see Hugh in a towel coming out of our bathroom New Years Day...but then, the reason we love him so is we know he'll be in bed with his wife.

But this isn't about reality anyway...I'll be watching the ball drop from the comfort of my own couch. New Year's just isn't the same without champagne, and since this babe has me on a dry spell, HubbaBubba and I are staying home. Which gives me plenty of time to fantasize about men who do not watch football at every waking moment, nor want to discuss the strategies of bowl games and the BCS...okay, taking a deep breath here...






Go and see all the men to fantasize about in my Pink Heart Society Post.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

What Does A Year Add Up To :: 2007

I did this last year, so wanted to see if I'd changed any...

In terms of books read?
159 books -- up 19 from last year, and more romance. Good improvement I think!

In terms of novel submissions?
37 subs, 24 rejections, 3 sales, 6 contests, 4 pending -- 5 fewer submissions, 4 fewer rejections, 2 more sales...2007 was good for me and small press, but I spent the year in revision purgatory, so here's to leaving that in the past! I want to write something new!

In terms of short story subs?
27 subs, 17 rejections, 2 pending, 5 contracted, 2 published on websites, 1 pending -- half the subs of last year with half the rejections.

Last year's goal :: I'm hoping I contract at least 2 novels next year...and 5 more short stories. -- I think I did pretty good on that front!

I am so glad I get to clear the books for next year :) This hadn't felt like a good writing year until I put it in perspective. Next year I hope I can keep up my pace, contracting 3 novels...and 5 more short stories!

2008 reads

  1. Steamy Surrender by Ally Blake (Modern Extra)
  2. Natural Blond Instincts by Jill Shalvis (Flipside)
  3. Stress and the City by Stephanie Rowe (Flipside)
  4. An Impossible Dream by Emma Darcy (Presents)
  5. The Mediterranean Millionaire's Mistress by Maggie Cox (Presents)
  6. All Work And No Play by Julie Cohen (Modern Extra)
  7. Sleeping Partner by Kelly Hunter (Modern Extra)
  8. The Greek Billionaire's Baby Revenge by Jennie Lucas (Presents)
  9. Billionaire on Her Doorstep by Ally Blake (Romance)
  10. Just Once by Susan Napier (Modern Extra)
  11. Chance It by Joanna Gilpin (Temptation)
  12. No Competition (Harlequin Ginger Blossom Mangas) by Debbie Macomber
  13. Misunderstood (Harlequin Pink) by Roberta Leigh
  14. 500 Great Dates - Lisa Sussman
  15. Chocolate and Zucchini - Clotilde Dusoulier
  16. Man Catching Made Easy - E Jean Carroll
  17. Destinations South - Elizabeth Bevarly (Sillhouette Special Edition)
  18. BEYOND SEDUCTION by Kathleen O'Reilly (Blaze)
  19. SUMMER DESSERTS by Nora Roberts
  20. INA MAY'S GUIDE TO CHILDBIRTH by Ina May Gaskin
  21. FLIP FLOPPED by Jill Smolinksi
  22. LIFE ON THE OTHER SIDE by Sylvia Browne
  23. WHERE THERE'S A WILL by Day LeClaire (Romance / Close To Home collection)
  24. MILLION DOLLAR LOVE CHILD by Sarah Morgan
  25. YOUR POWER TO CREATE by Caroline Myss
  26. WAKING UP THE KARMA FAIRY by Meg Barnhouse
  27. HOOKING UP OR HOLDING OUT by Jamie Callan
  28. Heart On Fire (Harlequin Ginger Blossom Mangas) by Charlotte Lamb
  29. Eden Burning by Elizabeth Lowell
  30. Maui Rose by Annette Mahon
  31. Just Business by Kathryn Attalla
  32. Island Dreamer by Robin Jones Gunn
  33. The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity
  34. Anything Goes by Debbie Rawlins (Blaze)
  35. Just Try Me... by Jill Shalvis (Blaze)
  36. Gotta Have It by Lori Wilde (Blaze)
  37. When She Was Bad by Cindy Kirk
  38. I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron
  39. A State of Mind: My Story by JZ Knight
  40. See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide to Writing Chick Lit by Mlynowski & Jacobs
  41. The Firefighter Lyons/Brooks/Mellor
  42. How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman
  43. HIDDEN OBSESSION by Joanne Rock (Blaze)
  44. HIGHLAND FLING by Jennifer LaBrecque (Blaze)
  45. SCANDAL by Julie Kistler (Blaze)
  46. BEDDED BY A BAD BOY by Heidi Rice (Modern Extra)
  47. COME AND GET ME by Alyssa Brooks
  48. Sex Lives of Wives by Holly H. Hollenbeck
  49. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  50. Chocolate For a Woman's Soul by Kay Allenbaugh
  51. Receiving Prosperity by Louise Hay
  52. Einstein Never Used Flash Cards
  53. Power Sleep by James B. Maas
  54. Seeing Stars (MX) by Kate Hardy
  55. Lunch Lessons
  56. 4 Day Win by Martha Beck
  57. The Other Side And Back by Sylvia Browne
  58. Blind Date Marriage by Fiona Harper
  59. The Sex Diet by Rhonda Nelson (Blaze)
  60. Past Lives, Future Healing by Sylvia Browne
  61. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  62. Her Celebrity Surgeon by Kate Hardy (Medical)
  63. The Consultantant's Accidental Bride by Carol Marinelli
  64. Pregnant on Arrival by Fiona Lowe
  65. The Baby Rescue by Jessica Matthews
  66. Her Miracle Baby by Fiona Lowe
  67. Careful What You Wish For by Lucy Finn
  68. San Francisco Surrender :: Cops - Will Belegon
  69. Savior :: Bodyguard - Jade Falconer
  70. Into The Heat :: Smoke Jumpers - Kate Burns
  71. Fraternization :: Military - Cara North
  72. Stumbling On Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
  73. The Practical Guide For The Boyfriend by Felicity Huffman
  74. Girlosophy 2 : The Love Survival Manual by Anthea Paul
  75. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
  76. The Leather Bride by Tilly Greene
  77. Satisfaction by Kim Cattrall
  78. Type Dirty To Me by Sammie Jo Moresca
  79. Collared Hearts by Angelia Sparrow
  80. Stage Fright by Jude Mason
  81. Chicken Soup: Christmas Treasury
  82. 10 Secrets for Success by Wayne Dyer
  83. Chosen as the Frenchman's Bride by Abby Green (Presents)
  84. The Muse by Leigh Ellwood
  85. Two-Week Mistress by Nicola Marsh (MX)
  86. The Frenchman's Captive Wife by Chantelle Shaw (Presents)
  87. Sexual Intelligence by Kim Cattrall
  88. Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert
  89. Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes
  90. Lady Beware by Jo Beverley
  91. The Perfect Score by Julie Kenner (Blaze)
  92. Cassolette by Iona Blair
  93. The Night After Christmas by Susan DiPlacido
  94. Grounded by Rose Middleton
  95. Life Laughs by Jenny McCarthy
  96. This is Chick Lit - anthology
  97. The Bachelor Chronicles by Lissa Manley (Romance)
  98. Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
  99. Laughing in the Dark by Chonda Pierce
  100. Dangerous Company by Kay Gregory
  101. The Invisible Man by HG Wells (audio)
  102. Jack of Diamonds by Leigh Ellwood (e-book)
  103. Breaking Becky by Stephanie Saint (e-book)
  104. CHICKEN SOUP FO R THE COUPLE'S SOUL
  105. CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE WOMAN'S SOUL
  106. THINK LIKE A GUY by Giuliana DePandi
  107. WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS, MEN ARE FROM HELL
  108. HOW TO BE A GREAT LOVER by Lou Paget
  109. Private Confessions by Lori Borrill (Blaze)
  110. If You Could Read My Mind by Jeanie London (Blaze)
  111. Secrets :: Volume 12 by Saskia Walker, Jess Michaels, Leigh Wyndfield & Dominique Sinclair
  112. The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
  113. Breathless by Trish Wylie
  114. Around the World in 80 Dates by Jennifer Cox
  115. The Sugar Solution
  116. If Life's A Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits? by Erma Bombeck
  117. Priceless by Kelly Hunter (Modern Extra)
  118. The Millionaire's Seductive Revenge by Maxine Sullivan (Desire)
  119. Staying Single by Millie Criswell (Flipside)
  120. In the Merde For Love by Stephen Clarke
  121. Detour Ahead by Cindi Myers (Flipside)
  122. On Angel Wings by Roz Denny Fox(SuperRomance)
  123. Better Single Than Sorry by Jen Schefft
  124. A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke
  125. Serial Bride by Ann Voss Peterson (Intrigue)
  126. I Lost Everything In the Post Natal Depression by Erma Bombeck
  127. Entre Nous by Debra Ollivier
  128. Shoe-ology by Karn Krutson
  129. The Perfect Fit by Meghan Cleary
  130. Make-Believe Cowboy by Terry McLaughlin (Super)
  131. Bit By The Bug by Michelle Pillow
  132. Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck
  133. Feeling Good by David Burns
  134. The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell & Bill Moyers
  135. Don't Sweat The Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
  136. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  137. Men are From Mars by John Gray
  138. Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain
  139. Life Strategies by Dr. Phil
  140. Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  141. Someone To Love by Karen White-Owens (Kimani)
  142. Simple Gifts by Shelley Galloway (American)
  143. 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet by Suzanne, Jennifer, and Amy Barnett
  144. Big Shot Bachelor by Nicola Marsh (MX)
  145. The Ranchers Redemption by Elise Mayr (Romance)
  146. Bibliotherapy by Nancy Peske & Beverly West
  147. Life According To Lucy by Cindi Myers (Flipside)
  148. The Nanny & Her Scrooge by DeAnna Talcott (Romance)
  149. All Cracked Up by Patsy Clairmont
  150. For Women Only by Shaunti Feldman
  151. Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women edited by Jayne Ann Krentz
  152. Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
  153. Asking For Trouble by Leslie Kelly (Blaze)
  154. White Hot by Trish Wylie (Modern Extra)
  155. The Night Before Christmas (Anthology)
  156. Marriage Material by Ally Blake (Romance)
  157. For Better or Cursed by Mary Leo (Flipside)
  158. Share The Darkness by Jill Monroe (Blaze)
  159. Cry Wolf by Amanda Carpenter (Presents)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday 13 - Resolution Revolution

Are you making New Year's resolutions? I think they are a good idea, a way to evaluate where you are and where you want to be. And The Secret is all about daydreaming your way to success, right?

  1. Throw out my fat jeans. Since baby and I are in a weight gaining stage right now, I can't set a number, but by next year's holidays I won't cringe when getting into the shower.


  2. Have confidence driving the minivan. Yes, I am that mom. And I am terrified to get behind the wheel of that bohemoth.


  3. Send out updates on the kids. Until I went all headache crazy, I used to send the older relatives an update every month or so. They miss them.


  4. Keep up with my girlfriends. After I have a baby, I lose my brain cells and become a lazy friend. I can do better.


  5. Exercise every day. I need to make this a part of life, like brushing my teeth. Since I got knocked up, I haven't done much at all. I hate to be cold when preggers. And it is COLD!


  6. Meditate. Seriously. I need to take 5 every day to just check in with myself. I get to frazzled.


  7. Keep my eyes open for oportunities to give back. I really want the kids to have a sense of community and helping others really does that.


  8. Keep a cleaner office space. My office is in my bedroom...and it is a bit overrun, which I know freaks out Hubba Bubba. I organize from time to time, but I need to maintain the cleanliness factor.


  9. Make the bed every day. Come on now, do you really? I did in 2006, but then gave it up to see if the man would notice. He didn't.


  10. Get back into the writing groove. After the emotional bumbs I took this year, I've had some time off. I miss writing.


  11. Watch movies! I miss movies. And they come On Demand now...no excuses really...


  12. Read more. Yes, I read lots, as We Call It Research can attest. But, my to be read shelves are bursting. I need to get through them. And it's not like I've stopped buying books...


  13. Count my blessings. This really helps maintain a postive outlook, and we can all use more of that!


What's your New Year's resolution?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

12 Days of Christmas - Harlequin Presents style

I found this on the I Heart Presents blog...and am still grinning about it. Imagine, what would a Presents Hero do for the 12 Days of Christmas...oh, wait...editor Tessa Shapcott spelled it all out for you!

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Twelve diamonds sparkling,
Eleven billionaires bidding,
Ten princes proposing,
Nine mistresses marrying,
Eight sheets – they’re silken,
Seven playboys pleasuring,
Six Greek tycoons a-laying,
Five desert kings!
Four virgin brides,
Three French men,
Two hired wives,
And the boss’s secret baby.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

THE GREAT CHRISTMAS FLOOD

We were so excited the boys slept until 7 on Christmas morning. And then we went downstairs.

Our entire kitchen was flooded. Our fridge sprung a leak in the middle of the night, and we were left with standing water on our hardwood floors. Joy, yes?

Hubba Bubba managed to undo the water from the fridge - the one we fixed last year when the defroster went out and, you guessed it, leaked all over the kitchen.

I hate this fridge. Why does it break all the freaking time? It is 6 years old. AND, to top it all off, GE can't come fix it until New Year Eve.

On the good side, BabyBoy said Christmas was a 'dream come true'.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Check me out...


I'm winding up the PHS FinDaBoo program, plus there are tips from Presents authors on how to rock the I ♥ Presents Instant Seduction contest.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thursday 13 :: 13 ways to find my blog



  1. lines from romance fiction novels (my T13 first lines post)

  2. international disturbed people's day

  3. free romantic reads (from the sidebar, I guess)

  4. christmas sleighs with popsicle sticks

  5. The Girls Next Door (this makes me laugh every time)

  6. jenna

  7. pink b-day cake (I stole this from Dana. Wonder if she gets hits from that cake as well)

  8. lovely romantic onliners for your girlfreinds (sorry ladies)

  9. online writing contests

  10. rr and rw challenge: 2008 (my reality TV addiction strikes again)

  11. tracy montoya (?)

  12. spying in high heels on usa network

  13. stories that warm your heart (awww...)

I am glad to be getting so much blog traffic as of late...not sure how to parlay it into anything but numbers, though.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Giving Season

I have a love-hate relationship with this time of year. On one hand it is cold and wet and I would like to just snuggle under a blanket with a book and a cup of tea. On the other, there is so much to get done (even though all my holiday shopping is done - Hubba is another story. He still has his folks and the stockings to do...but I'm going to let him this year. I am!) that I never seem to find the time.

And don't get me started on cleaning. I think I hate it more than most, and then today I hurt my back cleaning...and found out my carpet cleaner was being held together with electricians tape. Grrreat. So, the carpets are still icky and my back hurts.

Even with all the holiday hassle of crowds and cleaning, there are opportunities at this time of year that don't come along every day. Charity organizations make it easy to contribute, and to show you children how to give back. There are always food drives (which is fun to see which foods my kids want to give, it is either the uber healthy or the junk), giving trees (which I understand why they want all new things, but if they let us do gently used I could give a HUGE box), the annual room clean-up to get rid of the toys not in use and make room for Santa's gifts, and this year because of a tragic flood, Bay's school is collecting school supplies for a local elementary school that lost everything.

And there are always the Salvation Army bell ringers. Great time of year to clean out the change from your car.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I love Kristi Gold.

No, I've never met her. But I'm researching technique as I prepare to start a new story, and she is one of my personal faves for writing Alpha males. (House of Midnight Fantasies, anyone?) Lucky for me, she wrote an article on writing the Alpha male...

I liked it so much I wanted to see what other articles she'd written and found one that really touched me and the year I've had, When Life Is Tough. It didn't turn me around, but it did let me know that someone else has come through the depths of it and their career has thrived.

It's all about positivity. My grandmother loved romance novels so much she never gave up her Nora Lofts novels, she designed romance novel covers in art school. I want that office I can decorate with those drawings. My grandfather and my aunt both found such light and enjoyment from my becoming a romance novelist. They both thought it was such fun, I need to embrace that feeling and see what I come up with.

One of these days something I write will be light, fun, and flirty again.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Congrats to the EPPIE finalists

I had nothing to enter...but some of my friends made a very good showing ::

Contemporary Romance

Perfectly Good Nanny - Paty Jager, The Wild Rose Press
Bride Of The Emerald Isle - Trish Wylie, Harlequin Romance

Historical Romance

His Majesty, The Prince of Toads - Delle Jacobs, Awe-Struck eBooks

Inspirational Fiction

Meagan's Chance - L. C. Monroe, Samhain Publishing

Poetry

Phaze in Verse - Kally Jo Surbeck, Will Belegon, Aurora Black, Kara Fey, James Buchanan, N (Nelli Rees), Michelle Houston, Eden Bradley, Sapphire Phelan, Alessia Brio, Charlotte Boyett-Compo, Missy Lyons, Dahlia Rose, Jenna Allen, Victoria Blisse, Kathryn Lively, Brenna Lyons, Sarah Winn, Mundania Press/Imprint – Phaze Books

Science Fiction/Futuristic Romance

Falling - Imogen Howson, Drollerie Press

See all of the EPPIE finalists.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Who says lights go on the tree?



I stole this from the Playground Monitor, for obvious reasons.


And...because we all know how much I love free online reads, especially romance or chick lit, I have to tell you about these two things...which morph into 14 things, but I digress ::


12 Days of Chica Lit!! Plus an extra bonus day - 13 free stories from the likes of Mary Castillo, Caridad Pineiro, Caridad Ferrer, Misa Ramirez, and Tracy Montoya...plus others whose books I haven't read, but these ladies are wonderful, so I am sure the others are just as fab!
A Dead Guy in a Pear Tree by Leslie Kelly - it's on eHarlequin, with daily installments...
Go on...read up!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is a hit a hit, or just a blip?

The little program that tracks who comes to my website has gone crazy! I mean CRAZY! And why do you think that is? Because I am an uberfamous best selling author? Hey, be nice. It's gonna happen and some reporter will pull this post as proof I am full of myself. No, no. It's not me...it's my addiction to reality television!!

Seriously...google Girls Next Door...click on images...and who is first on that list? Moi!

If only the GND fans would buy a book, I could get BigBoy the big box of K'Nex, instead of the small one. Hey, it is worth a shot!!











Until I can afford the expensive toys at holiday time...I'll just be content knowing The Hills is extending the season so I get to see Lauren and Whitney in Paris, and Girls Next Door season starts on Sunday!

They must have been done with filming before the writers strike ;)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Oops!

This is just so funny. I don't keep kosher, but I don't have ham either :) I cheat and do turkey ham...veggie sausage... but not right now. Baby does not like spice.

Ah well, let's all laugh at the mistake. Happy Hanukkah people. Go have a jelly doughnut.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The new look of Her Cinderella Complex

I just got the cover for Her Cinderella Complex. The book isn't available in ebook until February, print until December...but this is the first cover I've been able to banter with. At Mills & Boon it's all handled for you. But with Samhain, I had a choice of cover shots. I got to have an opinion about tweaking things. So much fun, I tell you.

And...when y'all read the book, you'll agree that dreamy look on the heroine's face, leaning on the distant hero, is spot on. Pure perfection.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

INSTANT SEDUCTION

A brand new writing competition from the world’s best-selling romance series is about to hit the blogosphere!

It’s an exciting time for Harlequin Presents: from January 2008, there will be 12 of our intensely passionate romances available every month (some of them from the line I write for, Modern Heat!). And with this increase of titles comes a great opportunity for aspiring authors – we will be looking to buy more books for publication!

The old saying goes that first impressions are lasting impressions – and when it comes to reading a Harlequin Presents, that certainly holds true. If the first chapter doesn’t immediately grip the reader with its pace, passion and intensity, then she won’t continue to turn the pages.

So Presents is inviting unpublished writers to show us how they can grab the attention of our readership with first chapters that really sizzle. The INSTANT SEDUCTION competition offers prizes that are chances of a lifetime for the lucky winner and runners-up:

*First prize – win yourself an editor for a year!

*Two runners-up will be given editorial critiques of their first chapter entries and also a personal telephone consultation about their writing!

Visit the I ♥ Presents blogsite for full details of the competition – and the chance to prepare for publication with an exclusive series of writing tutorials prepared by the editorial team at Harlequin Presents, including advice on First Chapters, How to Write a Synopsis, Loving the Alpha Male and Generating Emotional Conflict.

Entries for the competition will be accepted as on-line submissions only from 1st January until 14th February 2008. Entries should comprise of the first chapter and a synopsis of a previously unpublished/unsubmitted novel aimed at Harlequin Presents. Address for entries: instantseduction@hmb.co.uk

**Even if Presents/Modern Heat is not your ideal line, the information offered as a build up to the contest is a wonderful education for anyone who wants to write for any of the Mills & Boon lines. Everything is cooperative in the London office, so the basics of what they are looking for in Presents, Romance, Medicals, and Historicals doesn't waver. A solid chapter one, focused conflict, and knowing your characters will make your submission a winner for any line.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Review Thoughts...

I got the most flattering review today for Found...I've been lucky to have the same reviewer for most of my short stories over at ecataromance...so in this review she spoke to that which really made my day. OK, so it made me misty. Pregnancy hormones? Maybe, but it is still fabulous.

Regardless of the storyline or genre, Jenna Bayley-Burke makes readers care about her characters and what eventually happens to them... Through clever wording and vivid descriptions, this gifted author lets readers experience every instance of the story, as desires and sincerity abound. Each story I have read by Jenna Bayley-Burke has been moving and profound, and this notable story is a wonderful example. FOUND will touch readers by stirring their own emotions with its heartwarming impact.

Who wouldn't want to find THAT on the web, hmmm?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Cooking Up A Storm is out in Germany!

MITTERNACHTSDINNER FÜR ZWEI
The translated title means Dinner for Two, which I like more than Cooking Up A Storm, so that has to be a good sign. No clue who this couple on the front is, though.

And of course, the first thing I do is run the blurb through a web translator to find...

A dream man to the Vernaschen! refined are prescriptions Laurens passion! With her party service, she wants to conquer the business world of Seattle in the storm. When she meets at an organization the overturning attractive finance adviser Cameron Price, tremors it between them immediately. He makes a delicate proposal: Warmer friends should play on official occasions! In return she becomes acquainted with new customers. Yet the spicy arrangement wakes Laurens appetite... Can she have her dream man in a dinner for two with culinary delicacies and be named kissing to an erotic dessert - and more? Do - tempt?

OK...so I need to find better software...but I love that they focus on the dinner for two that they have because it is such a playful and provocative scene

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What is WITH email Thursday 13


Why do companies spam? Really. Do they thing these subjects will garner interest?

  1. dealing with HOT FLASHES‏

  2. I crave your indulgence‏

  3. E-MAIL ADRESS LUCKY WINNER (great spelling)

  4. CONGRATULATION !!!‏ (just the one?)

  5. Christmas Newsletter‏ (I'm not fond of these from people I know...)

  6. Need gift ideas? We've got plenty.‏ (braggart)

  7. The Winter Forecast Looks Delicious‏ (yes, but will it snow?)

  8. BAD HAIR DAY MYSTERIES‏ (OK...so this was author promo and turned out to be OK...still!)

  9. Get the benefits of a face lift without the plastic surgery‏ (what are you saying?)

  10. LYSOL® Cold and Flu Guide‏ (too late. I already have the plague)

  11. Interested in you‏

  12. Don't Give it All Back while Away‏ (hmmm...what?)

  13. Important : Security Alert On Your Paypal Account (does anyone actually fall for these)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I love free!

==> FREE! For a limited time, download the audio version of Stephanie Bond's Blaze novel Just Dare Me absolutely FREE from eHarlequin.com! Don't miss out! Click here!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Whisper has hit the shelves over at Ellora’s Cave

Roxanne Whisper loves acting out her wildest desires with her mystery lover. Part of the fantasy has always been the element of the unknown. No names, no talk of the daily dribble in their lives. Yet she has been more honest with him than any man before.

When it comes to winning women over, Jett Rich loves a challenge. With Whisper, he’s not only able to live out his sensual fantasies but he’s also found the freedom to open up about his magical abilities. He trusts her when he tells her he’s a modern-day witch, but does she think it’s all part of the fantasy?

When Roxanne discovers that her secret lover is her rival in real life, their sexy arrangement is about to become much more complicated. If they dare, they might end up gaining a much bigger prize than they both bargained for — love.

Buy it

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What do you want for the holidays?

I don't know what to buy people.

Truly. I have done NO holiday shopping. I have a handful of things for the boys, but with Hanukkah coming early this year, I don't have enough. But with all the toy recalls, I honestly don't want to go out and buy something else I'll have to check the numbers on and send to the manufacturer.

And Hubba Bubba? Please. That man has everything. Everything I can afford at least.

I don't really want anything either. Diamonds and a trip to Paris, yes...but likely we'll be getting bunk beds and a minivan.

Anyone else not feeling the need to buy this year? I don't want to seem cheap at family gatherings, but I am just not into it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Owning It

I'm just going to put it out there. I'm not doing NaNoWriMo this year.

I know, I always say no excuses. But life kicked me hard, twice, and I was already down, and what I am writing is morbid and depressing. I don't care to read it. I won't subject anyone else to it.

Two weeks from Tuesday I should be better. I should be back to feeling like myself. And then I will write something someone may care to read.

I wish life had cooporated with NaNo, believe me. I'd love to be writing about beaches and sly glances and cake. I'd love to be able to hold those thoughts in my mind for more than ten seconds. I miss them.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday 13 - Back in the Saddle


Thirteen Things that can make you happy when things go wrong...


1…. Chocolate! No list is complete without chocolate.
2…. Romance novels. Really, they do give us hope that everything will work out eventually, don't they?
3…. Falling Leaves. I am an autumn junkie. If it weren't so cold, I'd be watching leaves fall right now.
4…. Laughter. Thank goodness for the stand-ups on Comedy Central. And my Greg Behrendt CD.
5…. Friends. Especially the ones good at distracting you rather than asking how you are doing.
6…. Pineapple. So it may be odd, but it does make me happy. Looking at them, eating them...
7…. Library book sales. Supports my habit without giving Hubba a coronary.
8…. Nail polish. Somehow, when my nails look good, I do feel a bit better.
9…. Pedicures. A foot rub can do wonders for the sole. HA! I couldn't resist the pun.
10…. Photos. After all the losses I've had these last few months, seeing my loved ones smiling in pictures warms me.
11…. Statistics. Just don't ask. As long as they are in my favor, life is good.
12…. Reality TV. Not the dating shows. Those can be disturbing. But shows that show reality - like Little People, Big World, Kids by the Dozen, John & Kate Plus 8 (OK, not my reality, but fun)
13…. Sleep. It's all I want to do anymore. Too bad I am too busy to get my fill.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)



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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I sold another NaNoWriMo novel :)

I sold my second NaNoWriMo story, FOR KICKS to Black Lyon Publishing last week. And I even worked my way into a pre-baby release, ebook and print, so that is double the lovliness. Here's my too long book burp ::

Breeze Cohen knew something was missing from her life, but she didn’t have time to stop and think about it. She had everything – a career on the fast track, new condo, nice car – but nothing that made her feel…well, feel.


Logan Chandler knew life was short, and didn’t waste a minute. Life was meant to be lived, ravished, enjoyed. He worked hard so he could play hard. And he would love to play with Breeze Cohen. She fell into his arms, not once but twice. And the second he touched her she froze like ice. But he could see that was only the surface. Beneath her cool façade he knew she burned for him.


When the department store she manages messes up the training for an exclusive athletic shoe launch, Breeze volunteers to make it right, traveling across the country to ensure the roll out goes as planned. While on the road she has more time to think than ever before, and with Logan popping up in her thoughts and in person, she wonders if walking on the wilder side of life with him might be just the thing to get her feeling again. But when she feels more for him than either of them planned, can she confide in him, or will she abide by the affair being just For Kicks?
**that book cover is something I mocked up. I'm sure the real one will be better :D

Friday, November 09, 2007

I've been...reading

The Greek Billionaire's Baby Revenge
Harlequin Presents
December 2007
Jennie was at the Emerald City conference, so I was able to get a copy before the book hit the shelves - which I must say, made me feel pretty darn special. Jennie is delightful, and I think debut books are fabulous in general, so I was quite excited.
The Greek Billionaire's Baby Revenge blew me away. Even with my high expectations, this story is classic Presents, which is what we turn to these books for, right? Total escapism, brooding alpha male, and locations! A Russian palace, Greece, and a luxury Las Vegas resort. Private planes and blackmail and revenge and a scene on a desk that is NOT to be missed.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

CAKE, Baby!

My friend Dana has been doing an homage to cake on her blog...and what do I plan to write my NaNo about? Hmmm? CAKE!!


She is such a good pal. Now...what is the story?


a cake decorating competition?

designing a cake for a wedding?

someone who makes cakes for a restaurant?

cake cookbook author and the food photog?


hmmm....and yummmmm!


Monday, October 29, 2007

Stealing Pictures

Michelle put up pix...so I thought it was only right that I pirated them. I mean, what are friends for? This is me, Michelle and Gwen of Brazen Hussy fame.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Who Says Whining Doesn't Pay Off?

Emerald City Writers Conference - 3rd dose

I cannot beleive I made it to an 8 am class. I must truly be serious about this writing thing. Who knew?

Ann Roth & Alexis Morgan presented Making Your Characters Real, showing us their character charts. Then it was on to Block Busting : Putting the Joy Back in Writing with Laurie Schnebly Campbell. This was a great class. She explained why writers block happens (self-preservation) and why white knuckling it through isn't the best option.

Mary Buckham's Seven Deadly Sins of Synopsis Writing was up next.
The most common stumbling blocks
1. Too many names to track
2. Too many details
3. Making it passive instead of active.
4. Not finishing the synopsis.
5. Not using transitions to change POV, time, or place.
6. Not unfolding the synopsis as the story unfolds.
7. Raising questions in a synopsis.
8. Vagueness.

Yes, there are 8...but the 8 deadly sins just sounds silly. Susan Lyons' Wild Mind workshop played into the writers block one, teaching us to let our mind do its work and get out of the way.

After the workshops were over it was time for lunch...and a moving keynote from Jane Porter which left the room in tears. She not only writes with emotion, she delivers it in person.

For a complete change of tone, there was the raffle for the baskets, proceeds benefiting DAWN. I was at a table with Cherry Adair, who closes the conference each year with her special brand of motivation. She was so excited to get to her presentation, she put her hands on her props and put 'magic' in them.

I beleive in magic...8 of the 10 people at our table won a basket! Gwen won another (called the Brazen Hussy basket, fitting for a 2 basket winner)...and I was up front, hoping with each basket that I was the winner. I didn't want to be the only one at the table without a basket...

My whinig must have been truly pathetic. One of the annoucers of the raffle (who had way too much fun listing what was in Gwen's basket) gave me hers! I kid you not!

Then it was time for Cherry! Each year, she asks politely (Ha!) for all the writers to commit to finishing a book before the next years conference. Those of us that rise to the challenge come up to the front and get certificates...and this year she even made up pins!

And the cherry on top (Ha!)...she gave 3 scholarships to next years conference, AND a scholarship to Nationals! WOWZA!

That is generous and amazing, but the best part was standing up with those who finished their book. Both of the women on either side of me said they wouldn't have finished their book without Cherry's enthusiasm and the fear of not being able to stand up when she asked who finished. How fab is that?

My Cherry book, HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX...comes out in January/October from Samhain.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What to do when your middle sags...and drags...

Emerald City Writers Conference...part deux

For some reason, I didn't sleep well last night. Took me forever to fall asleep, then I was up at 2, and finally gave up at 5. Sad, all this space to myself and I can't even sleep!

Since I was awake, I had no problem making the early morning workshops. Susan Mallery talked about Writing Faster, and since people came to hear what I had to say about that, I knew it would be packed! She scared us all with a schedule, but had practical advice for how to increase our output. Namely :
  • write every day. Writing in bursts leads to not writing in bursts.
  • increase your daily page count slowly. When you are comfortable with that, increase it again.
  • schedule in emergency weeks. Life happens.
  • Write forward. If you like to edit, do that after your pages are in for the day
I liked the first workshop so much, I stayed for the second - How to Prop Up Your Sagging Middle...and not your tummy! I love beginnings and endings, so the middle is the part that makes me work...hmmm...I like my hair and my toes...wow, this workshop is a metaphor for life...but I digress... Some hints :
  • Have a midpoint. This gives you somethingto write to, and once it is over, it is all downhill from there.
  • The middle is what makes your characters relatable and likeable. It is where you explain what you introduced.
  • If things are dragging, make something happen. (I use penguins, she suggested burning down the town!)
  • Never have more than a half page of introspection.
At lunch they did the basket raffle - buy raffle tickets and maybe you'll win a basket full of goodies...alas, I didn't win...but Gwen did :)

I just ran up stairs to rip off my shoes...they were cutting of circulation in my swolen feet! No more of those until summer! So...now I am in comfier clothes (since I don't think tennies go with my dress) and off to learn some more :)

Leah Hultenschmidt has demons all over her desk!


Emerald City Writers Conference - Day 1

I made it all the way to Bellevue without falling asleep! Quite the accomplishment, I assure you. I even found a killer parking spot and my room without a problem - except for the broken ice maker on my floor. But I digress...

Then it was time to find the conference gurus and sign up. Right in the lobby fellow Dreams & Desires and Samhain author Susan Lyons was waiting...with chocolate! She directed me to the registration downstairs where I picked up my goodie bag (more chocolate, bat erasers, a Kate Walker book and a mini notepad were the highlights). I found Shelli Stevens for a quick hug, then retreated to my room to relax.

At dinner I quickly latched on to PHS reviewer and the only person I've ever mat who may love category romance more than me, Marilyn Shoemaker. We gushed about the gift baskets and giggled as Jenna Petersen insisted on taking a picture of the three Jenna's at our table. She promised to put a 'Jenna is not fat, just pregnant' disclaimer on it, but we'll see...

Christina Dodd gave a funny talk about how there is no 'right way' to write a book, giving hilarious examples of how Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jayne Ann Krentz, Julia Quinn, etc do it...I'll have to be sure to give her an appropriate hand gesture for her insights. In case you were wondering...Christina can write a book backwards and Lisa Kelypas bought herself a HUGE diamond ring for inspiration.

Then it was time for the editor and agent panel. They were asked all the obligatory questions - what is hot right now, what have they seen too much of, what do they hate most in submissions. It turns out hte answer to the last one is tape. Seriously...stop taping your submissions. And be sure to get the postage right. And nobody send Leah Hultenschmidt demon stories for a while...she has them all over her desk!

more later...

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Long and Short of It

My short story, A Familiar Ring, is up at Long And Short Reviews as their free read of the week! I love this story about love that defies the lost and found.

Raffling Off Editors...

Tired of submitting to slush piles and getting rejected before the editors even see it?

Want a chance to get your book before a print editor???

Want a guaranteed that the editor actually reads it?

You don't ever get that request for a FULL manuscript??

Well here is your chance!! Win a chance to have your completed or nearly completed manuscript read and receive a one page critique from Hilary Sares, Kensington editor (Debut, Brava, Approdisia lines)

YES!!!! FIFTEEN people will win this amazing opportunity. How do you win this amazing chance??

RAFFLE -- $100 per entry. Enter as many times as you want.

Rules: You may enter as many times as you want at $100 a "ticket".The more times you enter, the better your chances are. Winners will be randomly selected from a drawing of names on December 21st, 2007

~~~~~~~~ RUNNERS up will get....
2nd place Runners up.... (#16 and #17 winners) Chris Keeslar, Senior Editor, Dorchester Publishing (Leisure Books and Love Spell) will read and critique 100 pages ~~you get to put a proposal of 100 pages before Dorchester's editor, and receive 1 page critique. Again, he will consider buying if you impress him! (Historical Romances, Magna, Contemporary, Paranormal)

Leah HultenschmidtEditor for Dorchester Publishing(Leisure Books and Love Spell) ~~ will read and critique a 100 pages! Again, she will consider buying if you impress her!(Historical Romances, Contemporary, Paranormal)

3rd place Runner up (#18, #19, #20 and #21 winners) Leanne Burroughs Publisher/Editor of Highland Press, will read and critique 4 full manuscripts -the publisher/owner of Highland Presswill read and giveeach a 1 page critique.Again, she will consider buying. (Historical Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary,Mainstreams YA, Childrens) Trade size PRINT Books

Details....The raffle runs through midnight EST December 15, 2007 The random drawing will be held on: December 21, 2007 so 21 people will have a very Merry Christmas!!! Winners will be notified by phone and email on that day. All monies raised go to help author Dawn Thompson's hospital and medical bills. Dawn recently had a bad fall. She is a new writer so has to wait for nearly a year or more to start receiving her royalties. She doesn't have family to help her and has a lot of needs not being covered by her insurance. Money will go to help her pay for medicine not covered, and other needs arising from her recovery. All drawings will be final. No Refunds

Any questions about the contest email ::
Deborah Macgillivray
Kensington, Dorchester, & Highland Press author
writer@deborahmacgi llivray.co. uk

To enter
Name:
email address (working email addy for you will be billed $100 through Paypal):
Penname, if any:
Your full address:
Your Phone number:
The Title of your manuscript:
The genre of your manuscript:
Is your manuscript completed? Yes NO If no - expected completion date

Once your email application is received you will be sent a "ticket" bill through Paypal at $100.00 for each entry.You pay enter has many times as you want to increase your odds. You will be helping a fellow writer get back on her feet after trauma, and you finally get that GUARATEED chance to be read by some top print editors.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So I was...

...OK I was procrastinating. HUGE shock. I really need to get my mojo back. ANYWAY...I was mentioned in an article. Who knew?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Do you think this quiz thinks I'm a man?

Trish & Fiona have done this recently...mine is OK, but I do love to cook, though nothing can be bad about a Chocolatessen!
Your home is a

Athletic Magnate's Headquarters

Your kitchen is someplace you never go, because you "have people for that." There's a Chocolatessen, which is rapidly becoming your favorite room of the house. Having one is also becoming a trend among your wealthy neighbors. Your master bedroom is the size of a small barn, with carpet thick enough to reach your ankles. Your study has hardback editions of every classic ever written, plus a special edition of Rich Dad, Poor Dad with the parts you ghost-authored highlighted. One of your garages holds your collection of ferraris, and is measured in acreage.

Your home also includes a guest wing and private quarters for your servants. Your guests enjoy your animatronic replica of the cantina at Mos Eisley. Outside is your hedge maze and gardens, meticulously tended by a team of world-class botanists.

And, you have a pet -- a doberman pincer named "Warren".

Below is a snippet of the blueprints:


Find YOUR Dream Home!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Busy Busy

Not only am I hustling through life, trying my best not to vomit all the time...the kids are BUSY! Really, this should be the part of parenting they warn you about. The school concerts. field trips, art classes, homework...these are the hardest working tiny people!

I don't know how those uber-scheduled kiddos do it. Mine only get one extra thing at a time (because Mommy can't handle more) and they get burned out with that! Hmmm....perhaps I'll have to explore this and try my hand at writing womens fiction.

Nah...I like the escape! I have two stories vying to be written as my NaNo, which is nice. Cupcake (which might not have a love scene) and Cake (again, with the prudish characters). If I wasn't writing something for Phaze right now, I'd swear preggo brain is rejecting all things sexy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

For the love of Category...

Dear Author has had a great discussion about category romance this week. I thought I'd pull some of my favorite quotes :)

I think it’s incredibly hard to write category. -- Charlene
Teglia

Writing a single title is like producing Swan Lake–the big stage, all the
lights, the choreography, the cast, the costumes, the music. Category is
producing Swan Lake in a phone booth. It takes a lot of skill to pull it off. --
Nora Roberts (attributed to a freind of hers)

Category romances are some of my favorite reading material when I’m extra
busy and need something to read for short periods of time -- Angela
James

I’ve always considered them the hardest genre for an author to write. There’s
just so much that has to go on in such a short amount of time. I’m always in awe
of writers that do it well. -- Sarah McCarty

I find great categoricals perfect when it comes to giving an emotional
punch–good story, goes straight into the relationship, then Pow! great conflict,
and very satisfying ending. -- Gennita Low

70 Days of Sweat...


or...a great way to get your Nano-prep & NaNo novel done :)


I think people work better as a group...there is an accountability facctor that really keeps motivation rolling. This time around, the goddesses of 70 Days of Sweat coordinated it so the span starts a bit before NaNo (October 15th) rushes through the month of words, and winds up on January 15th...yes that is more than 70 days, but the beauties are giving us holidays off...23 days of them!


Come on, how can you say no when they are being so generous?


Alison Kent, Jo Leigh, HelenKay Dimon, Larissa Ione, Stephanie Tyler, Shiloh Walker, Lauren Dane, Diana Peterfreund, Jaci Burton, and Portia Da Costa are offering their support during the process. So far over 200 people have signed up, including MG Braden, Susanna Carr, Shelli Stevens, Bronwyn Jameson, Delilah Devlin ... too many people to name...so...


Go sign up on the website, and write a few pages today...manuscript pages if you aren't NaNo-ing, do up a character chart if you are.

Monday, October 15, 2007

At it again...



I'm loving up on a man at the Pink Heart Society. Hey, what do you expect? It's Male On Monday. That is like an international internet holiday, every single week!