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
  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)
  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)
  106. THINK LIKE A GUY by Giuliana DePandi
  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 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


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


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 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 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's my addiction to reality television!! Girls Next 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


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


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:

**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 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!

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? 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