Saturday, June 28, 2008

In Case You Missed It...

I heard from a few readers who had trouble reading my blog post at Deadly Vixens and, asked if I'd be kind enough to reprint it here. I aim to please, kids. So, here's the post in its entirety for your reading pleasure:

What the World Needs Now Is Love, Sweet Love

A couple of decades ago, The Police had a hit song with When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around. I don't know about everyone else, but with all that's going on these days: soaring gas prices, global warming, endless war, I sometimes feel the world is running down. So how do I make the best of what's still around?

I reach for a romance novel. Now, contrary to popular belief, I don't read romance because I'm some desperate housewife who believes that someday her white knight will pop off the Ajax bottle and whisk me away to a land of endless sex, wine, and chocolate. Though...the idea does hold some appeal...

...Where was I? Oh, yeah, right. Romance novels amid the world's turmoil.

I've never understood the derision the genre creates in non-readers. There are plenty of things I don't enjoy that others do. The Three Stooges come to mind. But I don't automatically consider Stooge fans so out of touch with reality, they believe it's perfectly acceptable behavior to smack their friends on the heads with a ball-peen hammer.

Some of the greatest stories and legends in the world have a romance at the core. Ditto the most popular movies, theatrical productions, and songs. Yet the snark level is much lower in those versions of media. So why is romance acceptable in every other forum except printed on pages?

Is the cover art to blame? Then how do you explain advertisers using clinches and bare skin to sell everything from cars to cologne to sports drinks? We still buy the products, don't we?

Maybe it's the love scenes. After all, no one makes love, right? Okay, scratch that.

What could the naysayers know the rest of us don't?

Is it so totally unbelievable that two people might meet, overcome an obstacle or two, and become a united couple after the experience? God, I hope not. Because I think I've just described how most of us came into existence.

Reality check: In real life, I've never seen men who fight crime dressed as bats or spiders. Last I heard, no planes have gone down on a deserted island, stranding dozens of passengers (or just one passenger who likes to talk to a volleyball.) There has never been a dragon, an alien invasion, or a zombie. Except in our imaginations. And the advertisements on the back of comic books do not accurately depict the sea people you can buy and grow in your own sea-quarium.

But love? Love is what makes us people rather than humans. Love is what binds us one to another. Love is our creation, our ultimate gift, our hope, our future. Nowhere is love depicted better than in the wide spectrum of romance novels. And when the world starts running down, it's the best of what's still around.

Naysayers, take notice.

Friday, June 27, 2008


It's official. A Little Slice of Heaven is now available on e-book from The Wild Rose Press. Here's the blurb:

When Gianna Randazzo discovers a downtrodden man near the family pizzeria's Dumpster, she wonders if he might be cleaned up and passed off as a date for her ex's upcoming wedding. But Kyle Hayden is not the homeless man Gianna thinks he is. In fact, he just might be her Prince Charming in disguise!

And here's an excerpt:

Gianna Randazzo leaned against the locked door, her heart swimming in cold sweat.

“Whatsa matter for you?" Claudio demanded. “That mean black dog outside again?"

While his raisin eyes glared with I-told-you-so smugness, Gianna gulped huge buckets of air to regain some semblance of calm. “I-It's not a dog. Or the injured cat I’ve been trying to catch.

“The bum you leave food for, eh?" Inching closer, he bounced a finger at her nose. "You should listen when I talk-a to you. I told you he no go away if you feed him."

“I always leave his food on the bench by the bridge after closing,” she snapped. “I didn’t expect him to be in the parking lot tonight.”

“I don’t know why you’re surprised,” Claudio retorted. “All the strays eventually find their way to the door. This one...he no different. What’d you make him tonight? Maybe the smell so good, he couldn’t wait.”

“That dish was for Mr. Whiskers. You think I’d bring the poor man anchovy filets?” Gianna turned to peer out the window. Was the man still there? Yep. He stood beneath the grainy light of the street lamp, an oddly shaped item in his hands. "What's he holding?"

Claudio leaned over her shoulder. "You think he got a weapon? Here, wait." He ambled to the ovens and wielded one of the long-handled pizza paddles like a samurai sword. "You call the cops. I make sure he no leave 'til they show up."

"Stop it." She strained her eyes, watching as the man edged closer to her door. "I think…” Could it be? “I think…” Yes, she definitely saw leaves and stems. Maybe even yellow blossoms. “He's holding flowers."

Want to read more? Well...there's another excerpt available on my website. After that, you'll have to buy a copy of the book for more.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm Guest Blogging

Yes, because I don't have a full enough plate, I'm guest blogging at Deadly Vixens today. Stop by and see what I have to say about love, the romance novel, and its importance in the current world. And be sure to check back at Deadly Vixens on Saturday, June 28 for your chance to win an electronic copy of my new release, A Little Slice of Heaven.

And for those keeping score of the Query Game:

Queries sent: 4
Queries left to send: 2
Manuscript revisions completed: 3
Manuscripts left to revise for send out: 1

It's all downhill from here!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

When Does Technology Go Too Far?

Okay, so it's dinner time last night and the phone rings. My Caller ID notes an out of state number from a company with three initials. Hmmm...
Well, I'm on the Do Not Call list so it can't be a telemarketer.
I pick up the phone. "Hello?"
A tape recorded message tells me that this is a call from a non-profit organization, but no one is there to talk to me right now so they'll call me back at another time.

Hold up...

I'm getting calls FROM a company's voicemail now?

What's up with that?

Now for the fun stuff.

Query Status:

Sent: 2
Left to be sent: 4
Manuscript revisions completed: 2
Manuscripts left to revise for send-out: 2

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Today's Quickie Update

Queries out: 1
Queries left to send: 5

Second of the manuscripts to be snail-mailed is complete and currently awaiting proof-reading. Target mail date: Friday, June 20.
Right now: working on revisions to another manuscript.

So far...all work on or close to schedule.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

LIRW Agent/Editor Luncheon Redux

It was a fabulous day this past Friday when the LIRW welcomed industry professionals for our 11th annual Agent/Editor Luncheon at the charming Carriage House of the Milleridge Inn. While each year I attend this event holds a special place in my memory, this one will always hold a special place in my heart. Because this year, I received the honor, Light of the Island, from my fellow chaptermates. I'm so grateful I found my local chapter and have never once regretted any of the work I've volunteered to handle on their behalf. In return, I've made wonderful friends, found insight and wisdom for my manuscripts, and am never at a loss for a partner for a razzarita or Starbucks run! I am humbled by their affection, and I sincerely thank them for honoring me in such a wonderful way.

But the day wasn't all about me. The day was for all of us: writers, editors, and agents alike. We connected, we laughed, we dined on the Milleridge's rich and decadent chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce. And each of us went home with a feeling of accomplishment. Kudos to all who make this annual event a success!

Special kudos to Debora Dennis, our luncheon chairperson, who did an absolutely phenomenal job this year! Yes, dearest, I owe you a drink. Name the time and place and I'll be there. Here are a few photos from the event. Not as many as I always intend to take because the moments seem to get away from me:

Raelene Gorlinsky (red dress/black hat) of Ellora's Cave chatting with Bertrice Small (floral print) and another guest.

The cocktail hour with many of the LIRW ladies.

This year's chairperson, Debora Dennis, finally unwinding with a champagne punch! (In the background left wearing the red skirt is Faith Black of Avalon Books.)

LIRW Ladies chatting with members from VFRW, NJRW, and BCRW.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday 13: Helpful Hints from my Inbox

One of the things I really dislike are the bulk emails I get from well-meaning friends. Still...every once in a while, something useful comes from those angels/you're my friend/hug a mom today viral plagues. This one I received was full of helpful household hints: more than 20! I knew I had a Thursday 13 in the making and I saved the list for a week where I was pressed for time. With the LIRW Luncheon tomorrow, this week's the week. Enjoy! And I hope you learn something!
1. Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick off those stringy things. That's how the primates do it!
2. Peppers with three bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Those with four bumps are firmer and better for cooking.
3. Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop. Set heat to medium-low and heat until warm. No soggy crust!
4. When you buy premade canned frosting, whip it with your handmixer before use. You'll double the contents and halve the calories!
5. Use a wet cotton ball or Q-Tip to pick up broken shards of glass you can't see.
6. To keep away mosquitoes, place a dryer sheet in your pocket.
7. Use hair conditioner to shave your legs.
8. To get rid of fruit flies, fill a cup or glass with 1/2 inch of cider vinegar mixed with two drops of dish liquid. The flies will be drawn to the cup.
9. To reopen a sealed envelope, place it in the freezer for an hour and it will open easily.
10. Clear foggy windshields with a chalkboard eraser. Works better than a cloth.
11. To make scrambled eggs or omelets richer, add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, half and half, or cream cheese when mixing.
12. To prevent squirrels in your garden, sprinkle cayenne pepper. The pepper will ward off the rodents but won't hurt the plants.
13. Got ants? Pour small amounts of cornmeal in various areas. The ants carry the meal home but can't digest it and die.
Has anyone ever tried any of these? Do they work? Let me know!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hot Enough For Ya?

Here in NY, the temperature has soared above 90 degrees for the fourth day in a row. In a perfect world, I'd sit in an air-conditioned room, whether at home or in a local coffee house, laptop poised, fingers flying over the keys, music playing, and an icy drink beside me.

Alas, each day I must leave my fantasy life behind to drive to Le Day Job where there is no icy drink, no laptop, and I'm constantly reminded by my boss that I sing a little too loudly. Well, at least there's air conditioning, right? Wrong! Because of power outages over the weekend, I walked into an office hotter than a greenhouse. And as of this afternoon, the maintenance crew was able to get a/c running in 80% of the building. Can you guess what office was in the 20% area? Yep...mine.

Oh, well. At least I have the ladies room, right? Oh, yeah. Did I mention they're painting the ladies room on our floor? Umm...okay. On the bright side, every time I have to pee, I get to take the elevator down to a floor with working air conditioning.

How are you handling the weather?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday Pop Quiz: Booklist Your Name

Saw this on another website and thought it might be fun. Write the letters of your name in a downward column and then fill in a title of a book for each letter. To make it doubly hard on myself, I chose books that I loved that somehow inspired me. Adding to the level of difficulty, I limited myself to one book per author. So here's what I came up with:

Glory In Death by J.D. Robb
Infernal Affairs by Jane Heller
Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
A Little Slice of Heaven (No rule says I can't use my own book!)

A Moment in Time by Bertrice Small
Running From the Law by Lisa Scottoline
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
The Bonds of Matri-money (Still no rule about my own book!)
On Writing by Stephen King

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Congratulations, Debora!

It's Release Day for my dear friend and LIRW partner-in-crime, Debora Dennis. If you like a lotta heat with your laughter, be sure to check out her new novella, The Kandy Shoppe, released today from Blade Publishing. Need a little peek? Here ya go:

Kandace Parker wants nothing more than to create a thriving ice cream parlor, but her rundown equipment isn't cooperating. Watching her profits melt away each time her freezer breaks is only half her problem - the other half being her ex-boyfriend and super sexy repairman, Jason Chapman.

Jason is man enough to admit he's made some mistakes in his personal life; the biggest one was pushing Kandy away years ago. He knows the Ice-Cream Queen won't willingly give him a second chance, so he devises a plan to keep him front and center in her life with the hopes of wearing down her defenses.

How far will Jason go to to get his second chance? How far will Kandy go to keep her freezer running? When desires collide in The Kandy Shoppe they will have to decide if decadent sex is enough or if love is the best dessert.

As someone involved behind the scenes, let me assure you this story is hot, sensual, and laugh-out-loud funny. I bought my copy. Let me know what you think after you've read yours!