Thursday, September 28, 2006

American Title III - My Worthy Opponents!!

The American Title III finalists have found each other! We've started an e-mail loop to keep each other company and share the nerves and the fears—and the FUN. (Because as my old boss Chuck Barris used to say, “If it ain’t fun, don’t do it.” I think he was quoting Groucho Marx, but don’t quote me.)

And to make our loop extra special, we've got past AT winners Janice Lynn and Gerri Russell aboard for advice and counsel.

And by the way, the only reason I'm calling the finalists "my worthy opponents" is because I can use the boxing nuns photo!! I love those boxing nuns!

What we really should be called is winners -- even though nobody's won yet. In fact, the contest hasn't even started. But I figure we're all winners because Dorchester Publishing chose our manuscripts to go forward in the contest, so that means they considered all of us worthy of publication, right? Right! So that's pretty cool.

And as finalists in the American Title contest, we’re all going to be in Romantic Times magazine with our book titles and a little blurb about each of us and excerpts from our books, so that’s an exciting blast of publicity right there! So yeah, we’re winners!

Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my worthy opponents:

Meretta Pater – RISING SIN
Sally Stotter – DARE YOU
Linda Thomas-Sundstrom – BARBIE AND THE BEAST
Cathy Pegau - HAUNTED


So that’s us. We’ll be hanging tight for the next six months or so, sharing the joys and sorrows of this insanely amazing contest and in the end, one of us will walk away with a publishing contract with Dorchester. Wish us luck!


Saturday, September 23, 2006

American Title III Finalist!!!!!

Let the party begin!!

I'm thrilled to announce that my contemporary romance, THE KAMA SUTRA CHRONICLES, is a finalist in the American Title III Contest!!

American Title is put on by Romantic Times magazine and Dorchester Publishing, and it's similar to American Idol, with people voting and contestants being eliminated. For five months, RT will post on their website different aspects of our books, such as the first line, a page of dialogue, a love scene, etc., If you’ve got an e-mail address, you can vote for your favorite. Each month two finalists will be eliminated until there’s one winner. And that winner will be awarded a publishing contract with Dorchester!

Okay, let me just put it out there.....I'm hoping the winner is ME!!!

The first round of voting begins in mid-October and I’ll be posting the dates and results here. Don’t worry, I won’t let you forget to vote!

Now let's party!!!


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

All right, all right, I'm back!

It's been a week since my last posting and I have a few excuses, but none worth mentioning. Let's face it, I was a slacker. Hey, I was on vacation! And shoot, I couldn't believe how hard it was to get a wireless connection, but I've already talked about that. I really want and need to do this every day, even if it's just a drive-by posting.

Like today. I need to get ready for the day job but I've been surfing and blogging and checking up and visiting people I consider friends (even if they've never met me before. *g*). That's the way it feels out here, don't you agree? Like a friendly community of writers you visit regularly, just to see what's going on.

I always stop by Deadline Diaries first, of course, just to see what's what. And then I drop by Maureen Child's, natch. I check in on Jill Shalvis who cracks me up every day, then I go over to see Gina Black, who's always got something interesting to say, and Allison Brennan, who's brilliant, and some of the OCC girls like Jen Apodaca and Dana Diamond and The Writer's Vibe and Mary Castillo. I'm probably forgetting a few.

Then I stop in at the agent blogs - Pub Rants, Bookends, Rachel Vater, Miss Snark, Nephele Tempest - just to see what I should be neurotic about this week. (Kidding. Sort of.) And I love the new Brava Authors' blog because some of my faves are there. Once in a while when I really need to de-stress, I've got my fave celeb sites like Celebrity Smack, Go Fug Yourself, and Ted Casablanca's The Awful Truth. Those always crack me up.

So for goodness sake, who has time to do their own blog? *g* But I'll try to check in more often. Hope you will, too!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted

I’m vacationing with my family—the extended family, including husband and mom and brothers and in-laws—on Balboa Island, where we used to spend summers when we were much younger. It’s charming, idyllic and quiet—well, it was until we arrived. I have four brothers and they all talk louder than the next to get a word in edge-wise. They’re rowdy and they like to drink and wrestle and tell dirty jokes, all at the same time occasionally. And since I married a bartender who knows all the best jokes, he happily fits right in with the gang.

It’s not the best place in the world to get any writing done, but I’m giving it my best shot. At home, I can usually write with a little background noise, maybe a radio going in the next room, but here with the family, the noise is constant and up close and personal, and like—hey, is that your computer? What’re you writing? Can I check my e-mail? Did you get a connection? Is that your website? Lemme see! We’re going for a walk! Look at the pelicans! Is it happy hour yet? (This question is usually asked around 9:00am but hey, we’re on vacation.)

But I’m here to work.

However, despite the outrageous rental fee, the house we’re staying in doesn’t have a wireless connection. So after many attempts to hook into some poor island sap’s unsecured wireless connection and not having much luck, I gave up on the notion that I might make a good wireless pirate, bit the bullet and took myself off to Starbucks eight blocks away on the island's main street. I paid the outrageous $9.99 fee to hook up with T Mobile for 24 hours and finally got a clear connection. I a happy surfer? Hmph. No. I’ve learned an interesting and somewhat dismaying lesson about myself. I can’t concentrate with all these strangers around me. Are they looking over my shoulder? Are they judging me? Am I projecting? Well, yes. See, I thought all those people who write at Starbucks were just trying to be hip and groovy, but it turns out that Starbucks is a “hot spot” for wireless connectivity. So I guess they're just minding their own business, trying to get connected to the internet. And now here I am, one of those people......

So...does it bother you to write in public places? Or do you find it stimulating? And aren’t you happy that pumpkin scones are back?? I love those things!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Blogging from Balboa!

Here's a sneak peek at where I'll be next week!

When I was a little girl, my family rented a house on Balboa Island every summer. It had been years since we'd been back but when my mother turned 75, my brothers and I decided to surprise her by taking her to Balboa for a week. It was so much fun that we've kept the tradition going for the past three years.

Balboa is a little island a few hundred yards off the coast of Newport, California. It's no more than a mile or so wide, connected by a two-lane bridge to the mainland and by ferry to the Newport Peninsula. There's not much to do except take a walk or read or sit on the beach or the front porch and watch the world go by. Oh, and there's eating and drinking, of course! It's the sort of place that forces you to relax. The main street is two blocks long and you'll find all sorts of restaurants and shops and a tiny book store that we usually visit at least once a day. You can rent a boat and cruise around the harbor or take the ferry across to the fun zone and ride the Ferris wheel and stumble through the house of mirrors.

So, I'll be blogging from Balboa next week and I hope you'll join me!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Got Books?

I had so much fun with my review of Gemma’s book that I left it up for a whole week! Ah, but I’m starting to get grief from my fans *snort!* who want some new blog, so it’s time to change topics.

If only I could think of one.

I’m kind of amazed at those writers who blog brilliantly every day of the week. Hell, I’m lucky if I can come up with a sentence or two here and there. However, I’m working on it. As you all know—because you know me, and I know you know me—I’ve hooked up with a fabulous group of authors over at Deadline Diaries, so any day now, I should be one of those brilliant bloggers everyone’s talking about. Any day now...

Meanwhile, I’m looking for a few good books. I haven’t glommed a new author in years but recently I’ve been yearning to find more good old-fashioned romances. You know what I'm talking about -- a wonderful love story, not too heavy on the paranormal or the suspense. A friend recommended Erin McCarthy if I wanted a funny, sexy romance so I bought a few to test drive, so to speak. The first one I read was Heiress for Hire and it made me smile as I read it so I've ordered a few more of hers. I’m also re-reading The Eight by Katherine Neville. Has anyone else read this book? It blew me away when I read it over 15 years ago and I've wanted to re-read it ever since. I’ll let you know if it's as good as I remember it to be.

What are you reading? Do you have any recommendations for a fabulous romance I can sink my teeth into? Let me know. I’m in the mood for love, ba-by!