Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Let's Play "Where's Gina?"

If either of my websites suddenly disappear from your computer monitor, don't panic. I'm currently updating the sites and servers. It's a learning process for me so be patient. Meanwhile, the blog will be up and running at all times so if you need to make sure I'm still alive, here's as good a place as any to find me.
What else is new in my life? Hmmm...
My girl turns eighteen this coming weekend. 18! Maybe it's hormones or maybe I'm just a huge softie at heart, but I spend a lot of time crying these days when I think about that. Wasn't it yesterday we sang the Gin Blossoms together? (I Found Out About You, which she sang as "I'll Never Buy You.") And Sam Cooke? (The girl's version of Cupid: "Cupid, draw back your bow, And let your arrow go, Straight to my mother's heart, For me...")
Oh, don't get me wrong. I love the woman she's becoming. She's beautiful, smart, sassy, and compassionate. Except for a few rocky months in junior high, we've been very close throughout her lifetime. And we still sing together: thanks to the musical influence of her mother and her cousin, Missy, The Girl's song repertoire spans four decades.
But as the big One-Eight approaches, I know that she'll be moving on. First college, then eventually a family of her own. "Mom" will be the person she calls occasionally or the obligation visit for the holidays. My time with my girl is running short and I'm not ready to let go yet.
Sniff!
Okay...enough of that. Toughen up, old girl. Let's move on to other news before I drench the keyboard and electrocute myself.
My local writing chapter, Dunes & Dreams, is officially listed on the RWA website! One step closer to affiliation. I'm so proud of all our members who continue to support our chapter with their time, energy and ideas. Way to go, ladies! We've got big stuff on the horizon! Remember: One Word at a Time...
First round of edits for Kismet's Angel went back to my editor at The Wild Rose Press. Next comes a cover! Really! And of course, I should be getting a cover for A Run for the Money from Avalon Books within the next few weeks. You can bet they'll both be posted here and on my websites immediately after hitting my inbox so stay tuned for those.
With the warmer weather reaching New York, I've been scheduling booksignings and appearances, so be sure to check the right margin of this blog for details on where you can see me. Even if you don't buy a book, stop by, say hi, ask me about writing. I promise I'll have some exciting surprises ahead.
What's new with you?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Discover Jane Austen's World

Yup. I'm talking about it again. Next Saturday, April 25, from 11 am to 1 pm, Dunes & Dreams Romance Writers is proud to present a special program: Jane Austen Revisited. Focusing on information pertinent to romance authors, Regency historian Barbara Hellering will provide us with a fascinating peek into what made that time period so unique. She'll discuss the necessity of making a proper marriage, the fashions, the food, and of course, the politics. A brief Q & A will follow her workshop.

All are welcome to attend at no cost, so come to the Mastics/Moriches/Shirley library on Saturday, April 25 at 11 am. Bring a guest.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day Rewards

It's April 15. Did you file your taxes? I know; it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn't it? Well...here are a few treats for you to choose from to reward yourself for doing your IRS duty.
Maggie Moos is giving away free scoops of ice cream.
Cinnabon offers free cinnamon bun bites.
Papa John's is offering free pizza to last-minute filers who use the promo code "1040."
One of these offers is bound to make you feel a little better, right?

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Excerpt Monday!

Over on the Romance Divas, we're celebrating Excerpt Monday where authors give you a sneak peek at something they're working on or recently released. As a special bonus to go along with the Pop Quiz I usually post, I thought I'd treat y'all to a piece from A Run for the Money, my soon-to-be-released rom-com from Avalon Books (release date: August 2009). So sit back and enjoy! The following occurs when our heroine, Nicole, must learn how to surf from the hero, Dante and an old hippie named Moondog:

Squeezed into a glow-in-the-dark yellow wetsuit, Nicole could barely exhale and when she did she could have sworn she wheezed. Well, if she was going to look like an old schoolbus, she might as well sound like one, too.


“You ever been snowboardin’, Clipper?” Moondog asked.


She managed an oxygen-deprived, “Sure,” but didn’t dare attempt a more verbose reply.


"Do you board goofy or natural?"

"Goofy."


"So you'll probably surf the same way. How about body surfing? Ever do that?"


"Yeah." In the confines of the tight suit, one word answers were the best she could manage.


“Good. Then you already know the fundamentals of catching a wave and riding it in. That’s half the battle. So, we’re gonna start you riding a long board to catch waves. We’ll paddle out beyond where they’re breaking, like where those guys are.”


He pointed at a circle of men and women, hands anchored to a multi-colored chain of surfboards.


“Once we hit the whitewater, you can either plow through it or raise your chest up so’s the water slips between you and your board. We’ll work on other maneuvers like the turtle and the duck-dive if you decide you want to keep surfing. You and Dante can come back anytime, okay?”


Chances she’d return to this nightmare were as slim as notebook paper. Still, she gave him her brightest smile. “Okay, Moondog.”


After all it wasn’t his fault her mother had the emotional depth of warm Jell-O. Nor could she let Dante suffer for her mother’s pettiness. So she’d press on, keep going, even if the victory would be hollow for her.


All she had to do was finish this surfing gig, get through whatever else Papa Joe demanded of them, and then use whatever money she received to make a new normal life for herself. A normal life without her heart.


“Ready then?” Dante asked from her right.


Nicole nodded and climbed atop her board.


“Remember,” Moondog said, “keep the nose a coupla inches out of the water.”


She repositioned herself, and then gave Moondog a thumbs-up. “Got it.”


At least, she thought she had it. Until the first wave pulled her beneath a powerful undertow. One minute, she balanced on her knees, prepared to meet the wave head-on. The next, an icy wall slammed her, and she fell.


Water filled her nose and mouth, sharp and salty. Her body became as frail as a rag doll’s, and she somersaulted a dozen times, scraping her scalp against the ocean floor. Pain pierced from head to toes, cramping her legs. Water whooshed around her, in her ears to her brain. With no idea if her head faced the ocean’s bottom or the surface, she panicked, fighting against the force crushing her from every direction.

Her heartbeat thundered inside her skull, growing louder and more rapid.


I’m going to die. Oh, God, I’m going to die!


From the depths of the darkness, a strong arm wrapped around her waist, pulling her out of the maelstrom. She came up into sunlight and air, head aching, nostrils stinging, eyes burning, and her throat raw as she gasped for breath. With every scintilla of strength left in her fingers, she clung to the sinewy biceps that separated her from swirling death.


“Easy,” Dante murmured, running a hand across her back in soothing circles. “I got you.”


To her intense embarrassment, she broke into loud, life-affirming sobs. Dante only held her tighter while she humiliated herself for the benefit of the surfing audience.


“It’s okay,” he continued in that same comforting tone. “You got taken unawares. You’re okay.”


She pulled away, not because the fear subsided, but because his stroking affected her in far more dizzying ways. “I’m sorry,” she rasped, her throat like sandpaper. “I can’t do this.”


“Sure you can,” he replied. “You took a tumble, that’s all. Happens to the best surfers.”


She shook her head. “I’m done.”


He chucked her under the chin, forcing her gaze onto his smiling face. With the sun gleaming behind him, he resembled some kind of water god, a delicious Neptune.

“Come on now. ‘Remember the treasure.’ That’s our battle cry. Right?”


Battle cry, schmattle cry. If today got any worse, those words would wind up her epitaph.


But what choice did she have? She couldn’t let down Dante, couldn’t let down Papa Joe. Regardless of her fears, she reached for the surfboard still tethered to her ankle and climbed aboard. Maybe if she drowned trying to get the money, her mother would regret her threat.

Every gray sky had some shaft of sunlight. If only she could find a way to give her mother that shaft…

For more excerpts from other super-talented writers, check out the following links:

Cami's First Kiss

Another Time, Another Place

A Soul For Trouble

Set the Night on Fire

A Halloween Novella

Jeannie Lin's asking you to vote in a poll for her opening of Butterfly Swords

Rocky Mountain Howl

Del Fantasma-Tiger Juice

The Chancellor's Bride

Fatal Encounters

Scenting Cinnamon (Rated NC-17!)

Bound by Blood (Rated NC-17!)

Asking For It (Excerpt rated PG, site rated NC-17)

A 21st Century Courtesan (Excerpt rated PG, site rated NC-17)

The Scroll Thief

Resisting Kane (Excerpt rated PG, site rated NC-17)

Inheritance

The Encounter (Rated NC-17)

Dying Embers

More Than Magic

Soulguard

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Regency Period...

I'm really excited to tell you about April's program for members (and guests!) of Dunes & Dreams Romance Writers. On April 25, we'll be meeting at the Mastics/Moriches/Shirley Library to welcome Jane Austen-era expert, Barbara Hellering. Barbara has spoken to dozens of groups in libraries and universities and has even been featured on Good Morning America to discuss Jane Austen, her time, and world.
So if you've always been fascinated by the Regency Era of English history, or you're planning to write a Regency romance, you might want to circle this date on your calendar. Saturday, April 25. 11 am to 1 pm! All are welcome to the program.
More info can be found on the meetings page of the Dunes & Dreams website. Come join us!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I'm Guest Blogging Today

Stop by the 2 B Read PASIC blog to read my entry about The True Meaning of Happily Ever After. Bring tissues. Or...
Head over to Dunes & Dreams blog for my latest inaugural post.



Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's Official!

You're looking at the new name and logo for our provisional RWA chapter: Dunes & Dreams. Nice, huh? Yeah, co-founders Debora Dennis, Candace Gold, and I are pretty happy with it. Within the next few weeks, we'll be unrolling the new website, blog, etc. Of course, nothing else has changed. We're still committed to providing our members with all the tools they need to make their dreams come true. We still balance the needs of the unpubbed with the very different needs of the newly pubbed and multi-pubbed. And we're all still very proud of what we've accomplished, what we have coming up (all kinds of exciting news on that front!) and the terrific group of writers who all work so beautifully together to make this chapter so special.

Looking for a writing group that will help make your dreams for romance publishing come true? Why not check us out? We offer a lot online as well as in our monthly meetings so don't let distance stop you!