Monday, February 26, 2007

In the Mood for a Little Romance?

My birthday was Friday, and it was a hectic day. Basically, in all the craziness of life, my birthday ended up a tad overlooked at home. Hey, no big deal.

However, my DH is a sweetheart, and today he picked up my car, detailed it for me, and returned it with a really sweet, mushy birthday card inside. When I arrived home, he had supper cooked and on the table. See? This is why he's my very own romance hero after eighteen years.

Oh, and by the way . . . What Mattered Most is LIVE and ON SALE NOW!

I think I want to celebrate by giving away a copy! Tell you what . . . in the comment section, tell me the most romantic gesture you've ever experienced, and I'll draw for a free copy in the format of your choice. Let's see . . . how about if we leave this open until noon tomorrow (Pacific Standard Time)? (I'll also be giving away another copy over at RWKF this week -- see my upcoming Friday post for details!).

Comment away!

Waiting . . .

I'm having an affair with my refresh button today. I'm not sure when the new books go live, so I keep checking.

It's kinda like waiting for Karin Tabke to put up her first line contest winners weekly. By the way, I have to write another sentence! That's very cool, too, since I expected to be out after this last week -- I couldn't get my new line exactly the way I wanted it.

Over at the Samhain blog, my new editor is blogging about her process of evaluating submissions, which is pretty interesting. (Especially to me, since I have two subs in her slush pile right now!) Also, in another post, author Lauren Dane is talking about the anti-hero -- a topic near and dear to my heart.

Speaking of anti-heroes . . . a certain one of mine is hanging around today, waiting as well. Maybe he'll chime in later . . .

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Whoo! WHAT MATTERED MOST Releases in Two Days!

I am sooooo excited. I love this story, but never thought I'd sell this book because John is kinda an anti-hero. So I am very grateful Samhain was willing to take a chance on me (and John!).

Here's the blurb:

A man in the worst place he can be—between two women—and forced to choose which one lives or dies.

Houston homicide detective, John O’Reilly, is torn between two women. One is the woman he’s loved without hope for years. The other carries his unborn child. Now, a man bent on revenge wants O’Reilly to choose, and any choice he makes could cost him everything.

Gutsy sheriff’s deputy, Lanie Falconetti, is determined not to repeat her mother’s mistakes in love. Her no-strings attached affair with John O’Reilly leads to an unexpected, but joyfully welcomed pregnancy. However, the shadow from John’s past threatens not only her chance at happiness, but her life and that of her unborn baby as well.

You can see Anne Caine's gorgeous cover art and read an excerpt here:

John's been hanging around anxiously the last couple of days, so I'm afraid he may hijack the blog tomorrow and Tuesday . . . unless Lanie beats him to it! Check back!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

If One Believes in Signs . . .

Then this has to be a good one.

A Law & Order reference on my publisher's contest page for the week of my release?

I hope it's a good sign. :-)


Thank God it's Saturday! This has been a long, weird week (culminating in a long, weird day yesterday).

It's only three days until What Mattered Most releases! I had all these grand plans for promo for that book . . . and I'm finding that I am not superwoman when it comes to juggling promo, writing, my family and my teaching career. I'm afraid of what will happen when I toss grad school into the mix!

I've been reading a lot lately over at Romancing the Blog. There was an interesting post from agent Kristin Nelson about reinventing oneself from the mid-list. Kind of makes me glad I'm not looking to make a living from writing. Writing, although important to me, is definitely my second career -- teaching is my joy and my passion, plus it pays the bills. :-D

Today's post was interesting -- a take on the plethora of group blogs out there. And an earlier post this week was on the role of literary criticism in the romance world. As an English teacher and former English major? Right up my alley.

On my weekend agenda are laundry, cleaning, and grading papers. Just what I want to spend my birthday weekend doing, LOL. What are you plans for the weekend?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Today's Post . . .

. . . is at Romance Worth Killing For! We're talking about sexual tension all this week, so come check us out!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Looking for My Thursday Thirteen?

Well, I had good intentions, but . . .

This has not been one of my better days, LOL. Not that it was a bad day, just a largely unproductive day. I did see a couple of former colleagues at our school's Open House tonight, so that was cool. I was going to grade during Open House (this is our s-l-o-w Open House where no one shows up -- vastly different from our August one where you can't catch your breath!), but I ended up getting nary a paper graded. I am behind.

I have to come up with a blog topic for my post over at RWKF tomorrow -- we're doing a theme week on sexual tension and what can I say that hasn't already been said?! Am wracking my brain, believe me!

I also have until tomorrow to post my next line in Karin Tabke's first line contest . . . and I haven't written the next line! Can we say procrastination? Technically, the line is written . . . it's just really, really, really bad and I need to fix it before I post it.

One of my colleagues told me today he didn't know how I got everything done, and I laughed. My secret? I don't. I do a handful of things very, very well, another handful of things at a decent rate of competency, and a lot of other things get half-done or fall by the wayside. I had this huge promo plan for What Mattered Most . . . and I think I did one thing. I'm trying, though! Maybe since my birthday is this weekend, I need to have a big birthday bash and give away debut prizes? What do you think?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Drive-by Posting

Busy, busy, busy, and I know I should be even busier, busier, busier promoting for What Mattered Most, due out a week from today.

My new excerpt, which is not posted anywhere else can be found here.

Over at Romance Worth Killing For this week, we're talking about sexual tension.

I'll try to be around more often this week, and maybe I have some goodies to give away . . . so check back often!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Good, The Bad, The Ironic

The irony: I write romantic suspense and don't much care for Valentine's Day.

The good: My niece was discharged from the hospital today. She has viral meningitis, and thankfully, not bacterial meningitis.

The bad (for me, if I were single) and scarfed from Larissa:

Never Date a Cancer

Clingy, emotional, and very private - it's hard to escape a Cancer's clutches.
And while Cancer will want to know everything about you, they're anything but open in return.

Instead try dating: Leo, Sagittarius, Gemini, or Aquarius

Found this while at blogthings. It's totally me:

You Are 56% Control Freak

Generally, you are in control but not a control freak. You life is usually in order.
However, sometimes you get too obsessed with making everything in your life picture perfect.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ah, It's Raining . . .

And pouring.

I have website issues, two weeks before What Mattered Most releases. I hope to have those fixed, um, shortly.

More seriously, and very scary, my niece has been hospitalized today with meningitis.

We're having icky rainy, stormy weather, seven years to the day since a deadly F4 tornado tore through the area in the middle of the night. (The DH called earlier, said the news was talking about New Orleans being hit by tornadoes earlier today.)

The electrical gnomes are acting up around here again.

Monster #2 left my good black pen out . . . and Sallie the Wonder Dog ate it.

There are positives, though -- I managed to check off everything on my TTD list today. Monster #2 has all his homework done. Monster #1 is being more responsible about homework. And What Mattered Most releases in two weeks!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Reading Obsessions

I love cookbooks. (And the Food Network, but that's a completely different post!)

I like food, I like recipes, and I love to read cookbooks. The weirdest thing about this is right now I don't actually have a kitchen (I have a microwave, a temporary counter, and a hot plate.). So I'm reading all these recipes I can't cook.

Obviously, I'm a glutton for punishment.

Do you have any strange reading habits?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Methinks I Need An Early Night . . .

I am so flippin' tired tonight. It's been a wicked long day in what's been a wicked long week. I'm not complaining, far from it, because I love my job, but I don't think I've stopped to breathe all day today.

All I really want to do is lie on the couch and veg.

What's your remedy for exhaustion?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Still Dreaming . . .

Not sure if I'm dreaming more lately, or if reading my student's research on dreams is making me more aware of what I dream.

Last night wasn't about being chased.

Last night was a Harlequin Presents dream.

I know, I know, get all your laughing out of the way. First, I love the occasional Harlequin Presents. I loved them all through high school, when I read every one the local library had. Alpha heroes, spunky heroines, exotic locales (hey, London is exotic!), Big Misunderstandings, the Other Woman, secret babies . . . what wasn't to love?

So last night, I had the whole exotic locale (some touristy beachy area with a historic district), the rich, powerful hero, the determined heroine . . . and a secret baby. Although the baby wasn't a baby, but a teenage boy. Not sure why the heroine had kept the child a secret . . . I think she didn't know where the hero was all those years (hey, it was a dream, okay?). Anyway, she had two other children, two daughters in the early teen years. I think they were adopted, but I'm not sure. The alarm woke me up before I got the whole gist of everything, but the feeling of the dream has stayed with me today.

How cool would it be to harness my dreams into novels?

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Different Kind of Dreamin'

No weird dreams last night (teacher dreams, but nothing completely weird -- no chasing, either).

I made round four of Karin Tabke's first line contest, so I had to dream up the next line. I really have to get to work on this manuscript!

Over at Romance Worth Killing For, we've not only been dreaming up fun new content and ideas, but we're in the middle of dreaming about our first round robin read! Go check it out and help us build the backstory for our hero and heroine!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

More Weird Dreams for Me

I've been lazy today. Finished the laundry, but basically, I've been vegging on the couch. I think it's the cold weather -- I simply want to curl up with a throw and the remote. So I've been alternating between Ghost Hunters on SciFi and the Little House on the Prairie marathon on the Hallmark channel.

Had another "being chased" dream last night. I have a student who's doing her research project on the secret meaning of dreams. Maybe I should consult her. Again, the idea was one that could be possibly spun into part of a book plot, although this dream was scarier than the other. The first dream involved a woman taking her children and running from a very bad marriage-situation. She was hiding under an assumed identity. Last night's dream didn't make tons of sense, but I know there was a group of people traveling together (I was watching most of this "movie" dream, although early in it before it morphed, I was monitoring my ninth graders taking a test in it and my friend Mary and I were at the drive-thru window at KFC. Weird, huh?). In the dream, one woman was obviously the protagonist, and there was a lingering attraction of some sort (maybe a newfound attraction with an old acquaintance?) with one of the men in the group. I'm not sure why or where they were traveling, although there seemed to be something medical going on.

The location seemed to be tropical, kinda jungle-slash-coastal (does that make sense?). Anway, the latter part of the dream had a sense of doom and threat lingering over it. The group was hiding in some kind of village, with rough buildings, where people had already been killed. The heroine went into the ocean, swimming away from the threatening men seeking them.

Hey, I told you I dream weird. But I couldn't look away from the movie, and I woke up with it vivid in my head. Makes me wonder why I'm dreaming all this and if I'm seeing parts of future books or what.

How do you dream?

Edited to add: Did some research on "being chased" dreams. Supposedly, it's a sign of anxiety in real life. Gee, what would I have to be anxious about? Excuse me while I roll laughing on the floor.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Morning Musings

I had the weirdest dream last night. I've always dreamed of running and being chased in some manner, of hiding, even when I most needed to be found. Last night's dream was kind of along those lines and was very vivid. I tend to dream in movie format -- sometimes I'm in the movie, but often I'm watching the movie unfold. (This is a lot like my writing style -- my books run like films in my head. What can I say? I'm a linguistic and visual/spatial learner.)

Anyway, I woke up thinking about the dream and how it could be modified to work as a book plot. I need to take notes on that for a later date.

What I really need to do is kick Afterburn (Angel and Troy Lee's story) into gear. I've written all of three sentences, the same three sentences I have over at Karin Tabke's first line contest.

What's on my plate for today? Laundry, an errand, and cleaning. I need to return some emails. Do some planning for the nonfiction units I'm teaching next. And I need to draft a list of minute minders, the little wake-me-up-to-thinking questions I give my 9th graders along with their DOL sentences. I love the way they think. Maybe tomorrow I'll share with you some of their answers to this week's minute minders.

What's on your agenda for the weekend?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Today's Post . . .

Is at Romance Worth Killing For!

And I'm back online! It's been a long, quiet week. ;-)