Saturday, March 31, 2007

And then there was Jaime

Today, Xavier will meet Jaime. When I dreamed up this idea, I thought it was an unrequited high school crush coming to fruition. The lovely editor has other ideas. So today, Xavier makes his first appearance in Driven to Distraction. And he'll meet Jaime. Or...j'aime. I hope. I need to get another chpater out. MUST stay ahead of Trish and Ally.

Jaime Cruz :: After working for five years at an inner-city school in Washington DC to cancel out the student loans she acquired to earn her teaching degree, high school Spanish teacher Jaime Cruz is ready to return home to Oregon. After saving her pennies so she could afford movers to haul all her possessions across the country, Jaime is set to get on the road and drive herself back home. Except her car is nowhere to be found. The police find the shell of her car, but the insurance won’t come in for a few weeks.

Ever try doing those internet personality quizzes about your characters? It is a fun way to burn time when you're unsure what will happen next!

If Jaime were a shoe she's be a...Running Shoe :: purposeful. Friendly but brusque. Streaming through life. Khakis and a cotton tee.

Color of Sex type...BROWN: If you love brown, you're a real treasure for the right mate. Brown lovers tend to be warm and deep, sensitive to the needs and desires of their partners.

Personality type...LIBRARIAN: conscientious, orderly, bright, leads with her brain not her looks. Shy mouse. Know-it-all. Serious, efficient, rigid, repressed.

Sign...Libra – weighs things before acting. Perfectionist, determined. Attractive face with good bone structure and a clear gaze. Long and wavy hair, curvy body, short. People pleaser who prefers harmony to truth.

Type of woman...Dollarless diva – credit card queen. Clothes are well worn. “I really can’t afford it.” Moneymaking side gigs. Life in the poor lane.

Ennegram type...The Helper. The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Write-Off Begins!

Trish, Ally, and I all got the go ahead on our MX stories, so we are all head down, trying to get the words out....Trish started the challenge by presenting her Letting Loose hero. T'is only fair I show off Xavier a bit...don't you think? Here's the hero inspiring Driven to Distraction ::

Xavier Moreau :: Finally finding the time to take the American road trip he’s been dreaming about since he spent a year in an Oregon high school before returning to France for University, Xavier Moreau wants to see and experience everything he’s ever read about in textbooks. His only timeline that he make it to Oregon for a friend’s wedding, and his flight back to Paris.

Later this month I'm contributing to Pink Heart Society's year long FinDaBoo program with my take on point and click characterisation. Writing is fun, people. Here's some of how I created Xavier...

SEX COLOR - 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 TYPE - CHARMER: fun, irresistible, unreliable, creates a party, smooth operator, playboy, rogue. Leo Dicaprio. Salesman, newscaster, gambler

SIGN - Sagittarius – seeker, tactless, restless, jovial. Rangy, athletic body type. Need stimulation. Prefers the last minute approach. Blisteringly honest. Doesn’t deal in nuance. Any action is better than none.

ENNEGRAM TYPE - Seven: The EnthusiastThe Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Covering my bleep!

While the children were playing tourguide for their grandparents at the zoo...I finished a synopsis, just in case the lovely editor is not bowled over by the two she has. Today is...another synopsis (I am glutton) while the boys lead my parentals around a museum.

Now...who's read the RITA nominated books? I feel like it's the Oscars and I need to see them all so I can comment...y'll know me and talking! I absolutely adored Terry McLoughlin's Make Believe Cowboy. I'm still excited Barbara Dunlop's MX, The Perfect Boyfriend, made the cut.

I need to get reading!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Alone at last!

It's just me and the old 'puter, folks! Hubba Bubba is at the links, parents took the babes to the zoo...just me and a blinking cursor. I warned my editor to be telling what I may write without guidance!

Now, on to the important things in life...this was the last week of reruns on THE UNIT! But someone tell me...who got voted off American Idol? I'm not watching, but am intrigued by the Sanjaya paradox.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


The Ducks are out of the NCAA playoffs. The air is sad on my street. Yes, U of O alumni have taken over the block. And now...we are in mourning.

I didn't get a RITA nod. No shock. I got some great advice about the contest. It gets your books in the hands of other authors who can become readers, who are your true champions.

I've been 'without book' for so long my mind is spinning. Must. Start. Story. Soon.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm not a RITA finalist...

...but my friends are! Congratualtions!!
Spying in High Heels

Spying in High Heels - 2007 RITA for Best First Book & Strong Romantic Elements Finalist

High crime meets high fashion in this intriguing mystery as a Los Angeles shoe designer finds herself in over her head when murder, embezzlement, and a hot detective collide in her life.

Blind-Date Marriage by Fiona Harper 2007 RITA for Best First Book & Traditional Finalists

...and get this! There were 5 finalists from my local chapter!!

Heat Of The Moment by Diana Duncan Harlequin Enterprises, Silhouette Intimate Moments - 2007 RITA for Best Long Contemporary Romance Finalist

The Boss and Miss Baxter by Wendy Warren Harlequin Enterprises, Silhouette Special Edition - 2007 RITA for Best Short Contemporary Romance Finalist

Date Me, Baby, One More Time Date Me, Baby, One More Time - 2007 RITA for Best Paranormal Romance Finalist

This delightful and witty paranormal romance debut features pretzel-eating dragons, cursed mathematicians, and a guardian of the Fountain of Youth in desperate need of a date.

2007 Golden Heart for Best Short Historical Romance Manuscript Finalists

The Price of Love by Delilah Ahrendt

Letters from Home by Kristina McMorris

Saturday, March 24, 2007

RITA finalists notified tomorrow

You know...I am aware my RITA odds are slim...but I am still excited about the nominations. I read a lot, and I want to know if I've read one of the books that gets a nod. Or, if I 'know' the author.

Last year I wasn't in RITA or GH, so it wasn't a big thing to me. This year I am in the game, and so are many of my writing chums, and I want to see who I can root for!

10 am central tomorrow...someone who has the best job in the world that day will start making calls. Unofficially we can all track them here ::

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cheerios are donut seeds

It's Spring Break! This is our first, since BigBoy is in Kindergarten now we are on the school schedule. I loved Spring Break as a kid, so we are aiming to make sure he does to. Mini-golf, museums, hikes, zoo...something fun every day...

...and yes, I am supposed to be writing a book...but I have a solution for that. My parentals are trekking here to partake in the Spring Break action, freeing me from the land of Boydom for a few hours a day!

Until they get here...I'm on kid duty. That means, trying not to embarass them at bowling alleys, keeping up with them on bike rides, and pointing out birds on walks. Not much time for writing, so I'll just celebrate contracting two more shorts with The Wild Rose Press. Found with Champagne Rose and Treasured with American Rose. No clue when they come out...but I am that much closer to my secret plan to collect enough short stories there to get my own anthology.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Man Card

Have you noticed the vast Easter conspiracy afoot? Cadbury Creme Eggs have shrunk! It's true, check it out at your local grocery. Now...I am not one for the goopy confections, but my brother is up in arms about this.

Does this mean he needs to turn in his man card? I mean...really. They are sugar filled eggs. Who truly cares? It makes me wonder about masculinity sometimes. To look at my brood of brothers you'd think testosterone rules the land. 4 of the 5 are incapable of conversation when football is on...the other one is like that when soccer is involved. When one got his hair styled for his wedding, the others responded with..."Dude, what did they do to your head?" They're all athletic, outdoorsy, manly men. Perfect hero material...except...
  • One carries his mini-dog in a purse. Yes, his dog.
  • One is thinking of boycotting Cadbury.
  • I've heard a rumor one has had a mani/pedi.
  • One is a regular Slim-Fast drinker.
  • One took a four day road trip...with our MOM!
  • One can cook! He is not a chef, mind you...just crazy in the kitchen.
  • Two don't drink coffee, one doesn't drink alcohol.
  • Two are clean FREAKS. Great as a brother, as a romance hero???
Tell you think they are skating on thin man-ice? Or is this what we escape by reading about alpha romance heroes?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm talking coffee!!

Over at the Pink Heart Society I'm talking coffee! What's your fave?

...coconut milk latte
...almond joy mocha
...cinnamon maple latte
...caramel macciato

Sunday, March 18, 2007

In Review...

I really wish there were a bigger market for short stories. I love them. Really, j'adore. And mine with The Wild Rose Press are doing so well, too. Ah, well. Someday, we'll all have short attention spans like me, then I'll rule the short story queendom.

In the meantime...I've found some great review sites, and enjoyed chatting up the reviewers about short stories.

  • "Ms. Bayley-Burke is able to paint a vivid picture of a tough decision and the results of them. She also shows the choices you may make in life affect how you end up conducting yourself with your children. I felt the story was believable since many people elope to escape the stress of planning a wedding. It was a wonderful story and very heart felt." --4 cups from Coffee Time Romance
  • "I found this short story very enjoyable. I liked how the couple was reminiscing about their life together. It was humorous and sweet and gave that warm, fuzzy feeling. I would buy this book for myself. I thought it was a very nice, satisfying snippet and it made me smile." --Sweeter Romantic Notions
  • "A delightful little read. One that made me think. The dedication also made me smile." --4 champagne glasses, Cocktail Reviews

Thursday, March 15, 2007

GROUNDED by Rose Middleton

Of all the clubs in town, she had to dirty dance her way into his…

Other men would do anything to be in Rocket Jones’ shoes. Heir to a media empire, CEO of the hottest nightclub, and now, a raven-haired goddess offering him no-strings-attached sex. He’s got it made, right? Wrong. Once is never enough. Before he knows it, he’s willing to fight through her dark past, family expectations and her career to make her his.

It was only supposed to be one night…

Fighter pilot Robyn Banks is on a mission to satisfy a seriously deprived sexual drive. With ten days to play, she beckons the sexy hunk down from the shadows and gives in to carnal desires. She’s under no illusion about her destiny, and it’s not with the suave businessman who comes from a world of opportunity. But as the days count down until she must return, Robyn is forced to relive the nightmare that saw her run from her family and for the first time, confront her demons and decide on a future. Can she find a way to combine her love of flying with the man who’s stolen her heart?

To read an excerpt, visit Ellora's Cave!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ask Kate Walker : On the Pink Heart Society Yahoo Group

Harlequin Presents & 12-Point Guide to writing romance author, Kate Walker is holding an open forum Q&A on the PHS loop. Check out some of the great conversations going on ::

Rachel asked :: I'm having a real dilemma with my heroine's name. Do you have any personal guidelineswhen choosing a name? Will an editor take one look and say 'no way'if she doesn't think the name works.
Michelle Styles answered from experience :: If a name does not work for an editor, they will ask you to change it.
Kate answered :: I have to say that I haven't had Michelle's experience with names (and in 51 going on 52 books, I've never repeated a name either - not sure how long I can keep that up!) The only time there was ever any bother with a name was when - in one of those amazing coincidences that happen - another author and I both had the same, unusual name for out heroine. And the books were out in the same month!
What really matters is that you have a name that means you can tell her story - an editor is not going to worry about a name if the story is vivid and emotional and the writing style carries her through.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I'm tired...

Oh my. All kindergarten teachers should get a medal of honor and a cruise. Truly. I am completely wiped out after one day in the classroom. Usually I do a couple of hours, and that is big fun, but BabyBoy wanted to stay all day....and I thought it might help BigBoy get over his hot lunch phobia...yada yada...don't try this at home people. Especially the worm hunt. We topped off the day with a trip to the park...and a tromp through the mud puddles.

On the writing front...nothing happened. I am too exhauseted to think. Though...while stapling St. Patrick's coloring books with one eye on BabyBoy and the dinosaurs, I did resolve a plot kink in the too complicated story yet to see syno.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Manic Monday!!

Eh...not really. In real life I'll be hanging out with kindergarteners. web presence has gone mad!

  • It's Male on Monday at the Pink Heart Society and I am drooling over the men of The Unit.
  • Dreams and Desires is featured on Romance By The Blog chatting about dreams, desires, and what it means to be a woman

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Oops. I'm doing it wrong. HUGE surprise, since I do everything absolutely perfectly.

Blue Moon Communications publicist Theresa Myers (who in her other life writes romance novels) gave a fantastic talk on media training at my RWA meeting. I learned...if I ever do need to go on Regis & Kelly (hey, it could happen if I win the lottery or something) I need to call her first. Seriously. I am a fidgeter of the first order, and I'd have to learn how to squelch that before doing an interview.

She has a great series of articles where you can see all the ways I've represented myself poorly. Professionalism has never really been my 'thing'. I'm much more comfortable hiding my shyness behind cracking jokes than acting like a lady at tea. I mean, I check my mail in my socks, people! I NEED to twirl a curl of my hair to keep from going crazy. Let's not even get into my mad desire to tell the most uptight people a truly bawdy joke. I can't stand to be around people who aren't smiling, so I always go for the cheap laugh.

What about you? What are the things you'll have to squelch when you sit next to Oprah?

Friday, March 09, 2007

Weekend Plans

You know what's weird about me? (Yes, lots, but shush.) We make BIG weekend plans and usually don't even make it to the grocery store. Take this weekend...on the schedule we have BINGO night at the elementary school, KidFest at the expo center, a Passover parenting class, and I have a local RWA meeting & lunch. We also have to go to the grocery store. And clean the upstairs. Think any of it will happen?

I'm betting on the RWA meeting and lunch, only because Maggie shows up to take me. I can't miss talking her ear off all the way there and back. Poor thing.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thinking Thursday

I think I have writing whiplash. Truly. I was so excited to write Driven To Distraction...but now that the partial is in my editors hands I've forced a full stop. I don't have time to write something she doesn't like again. And so I wait...and read...and try to write a short story...but...I want to write DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION. Ugh.

You know, this is the problem to have :)

Oh...and BRAVO has a program tonight called WHO'S AFRAID OF HAPPY ENDINGS about being a romance writer. Must check that out.

Monday, March 05, 2007

International Ban-The-Butt Campaign check in, ala PHS Diet Club.


This is my new take on figuring out what is wrong with me. Hey, no snickers from the peanut gallery. one was fine. Missed out on my m-i-l's chocolate pie, but I'll live. Losing wheat isn't hard, except at breakfast. I am a toast and cereal junkie. Bananas and yogurt, here I come!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

TRASHIONISTA reviewed Cooking Up A Storm.

I love when I find happy bits when I google my name!

I enjoyed Jenna Bayley-Burke’s debut Just One Spark and I enjoyed her second book, Cooking Up a Storm, even more.

Lauren’s a great character - strong, independent, intelligent and sexy, while still remaining human and funny, and Cameron’s a lovely hero too. There weren’t any forced/contrived plot points and for the most part everyone behaved just as I would like them to.

-Keris for Trashionista

Cooking Up A Storm got 5 Stars on Book Reporter.
  • Jenna Bayley-Burke has written a real winner
Lover of Books gave If We Listened an A.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Read Lori's Blaze debut!

Private Confessions by Lori Borrill (Blaze)
Trisha has been having a steamy affair with her boss for months. Only...neither of them realize it until Trisha starts to connect the dots and senses her online mystery lover is none other than Logan, the man she was trying to distract herself from. Their sexy cyber chats are scorching, but once Trisha slips and allows fanasy and reality to blend, can he forgive her for knowing the truth?

Thankfully he has no choice. The ad executives must travel to an island resort to meet with a client, and there they can't resist acting out a few of their online fantasies. Once they are back home Logan's faith begins to wane again, and Trisha does the only thing she can - she protects her heart by finding a new job away from Logan. Luckily, their best friends are about to get everything the couple want - marriage and family - making the two reevaluate whether pride is more important than love.

A brilliant debut by Lori Borrill, a favorite on the eHarlequin boards. The virtual sex the couple shares to distract themselves from their mutual attraction before they catch on they are having cybersex together, is blistering. Read this one for the balcony scene alone! It's worth it! The book sizzles from cover to cover, fulfilling the Blaze promise...and then some!