Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Glamorous Life of a Romance Author

We hear it a lot: how exciting our lives must be, how much money romance authors make, and we all live in pink palaces by the sea (think "She-Devil," a bad movie with Roseann Barr and Meryl Streep).

Today, I'm willing to share with you the details of my glamorous day.

1. Got up at 7 am to hit the day job while the rest of the fam slept in (dh got up just as I was leaving because he had an early morning paddleball game).
2. Day job til 1:30, then food shopping.
3. Came home, schlepped the groceries up the slippery, snow-covered driveway (in high-heeled boots!)
4. Dh took over at the patio so he didn't have to put shoes on, took the bags and brought them into the kitchen. Asked if I needed help putting stuff away. I said, yes, let me just go to the bathroom first. Dh volunteered to give me the frozen stuff so I could put it in the garage freezer (again, this deletes the need for him to put on shoes.)
5. Went to flush the toilet and discovered the guts had disconnected (apparently I'm the only one in the household who knows how to attach the floater to the flange, so no one feels the need to warn me in advance. Fixed the toilet.
6. Put away the groceries (including the frozen stuff in the garage freezer).
7. Removed the used K-cups from the counter and filled the Keurig with water (another set of mysterious tasks only dear old Mom knows how to accomplish).
8. Gave the pets food and water
9. Washed the family's breakfast and lunch dishes.
10. Cleaned the cats' litter box.

I've been home about an hour now; it's closing in on 4:00. I haven't eaten, I'm still in my work clothes and high-heeled boots, and I'm about to start folding and putting away the laundry that was left to pile up because yes, that's another feat only Moms can handle.

Is it any wonder I believe I need my very own wife? Well, guess what? That was the inspiration for Nobody's Darling, which will be coming out from Avalon Books next April. All parents need a hand every once in a while and April Raine's business "Rainey-Day Wife" helps fill the gaps and give struggling parents the gift of extra time. But Dr. Jefferson Prentiss believes businesses like April's do more harm than good by placing the intimacies of family life onto profit-seeking strangers. Who do you think is right?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ponderous Questions

I feel a series of bizarre questions plaguing me these days. So, in no particular order, here's what goes through my mind at random times during the day (and night):

1. Can someone explain the appeal of open toed boots?

2. That kid in the hamburger bun in the Manwich commercials: is that a boy or a girl?

3. What exactly is "the pompatus of love"?

4. In the movie, Groundhog Day, Bill Murray's character relives the same day over and over until he learns what's important in life, but Andie McDowell's character has only met him one day. So how come she falls in love with him so fast?

What's going through your head?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mercury's in Retrograde

If you know anything about astrology, you'll know that Mercury in retrograde is a bad thing. Particularly for anything that has a plug and requires an electrical outlet. Case in point:

1. I cracked the screen of a brand spankin' new netbook**
2. My laptop died**

**These two events happened months ago, so technically it's not part of this Mercury episode, but I bring it up for a reason.

Okay, so during this particular Mercury retrograde (known as MR for brevity in all future mentions) phase:

3. My desktop died
4. My washing machine died (at the tender age of 7!)

Now, here's where Mercury gets tricky. Technically, you not only hafta watch your already owned electrical items during MR, but you're also warned against buying *new* electrical items during MR.'s Christmas time? And I can't be without a desktop and a washing machine until mid-January when MR ends.

What's a girl to do? No, really. What would you do? I welcome all suggestions that do not involve sharp items, bloodshed, or the ingestion of mind-altering products. Give me something good, and I'll send you a prize!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Cover Day!

You know it's going to be a good day when you wake up to find your new cover in your inbox. So allow me to share the joy. Take a look at what Avalon Books has come up with for Book I of the Nobody series: Nobody's Darling.

The blurb? Divorced mother of two, April Raine, is just starting to get her parenting services business in the black, but television psychologist, Dr. Jeff has put her company at the top of his list of Family Unfriendly Businesses once too often. Now April and Jeff will spend thirty days in a remote cabin in the Adirondack Mountains, surrounded by television cameras, to the delight of a talk show’s audience, in a 21st century Battle of the Sexes. When the dust settles, who’ll come out on top? The mom? The doctor? Or will love prevail after all?

I'll even give you an excerpt to whet your appetite a little more. This is actually one of my favorite scenes.

He paced the kitchen behind her until the constant back and forth sent an army of annoyance marching down her spine. When the pacing continued for nearly thirty minutes, she considered tying him to a chair.
Just when she decided to retrieve the excess clothesline, he popped his head across her writing pad. “I think I’ll make tuna salad for lunch.”
“I’m very happy for you.”
“Would you like some?”
“No, thank you.”
“Okay then.” He straightened and walked to the pantry.
Relieved at having him occupied with some task, however lame, April returned her attention to her letter. “…I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the television footage (unless Dad or Lori taped it for you) because you should be in school, but so far, I’m holding my own against--”
“Oh, for God’s sake, where is the blasted tuna?” Jeff’s noisy fumbling in the pantry broke her concentration. “You’d think with a cabinet this deep, someone would have thought to mount a light inside.”
Slamming her palm on the counter, she rose from her stool, abandoning her letter for a quieter time and place--maybe a foxhole in Afghanistan.
“Move,” she ordered, emphasizing her demand with a quick nudge of her elbow to his chest. A split second later, she held the can before his face. “Right here in the front, Jeff.”
“Well, I probably moved it into the line of sight while I was digging in the back,” he mumbled.
Men. She’d never come across one who could find an item in a pantry, closet, or garage unless it sprouted arms and waved with wild abandon.
While she watched him, impatience growing, he spun around the kitchen, that same puzzled look never leaving his face. “Where’s the can opener?”

Exhaling on a sigh, she opened the utensil drawer and pulled out the necessary item.
“What’s that?” he asked, turning the can opener over in his hands as if it were an ancient relic from an archaeological dig.
“A can opener, silly!”
“Don’t we have an electric one?”
She shook her head. “‘Fraid not.”
“Well, then, how do you use one of these things?”
Lips twisted in a smirk, she took the opener and can from him. “Here.” She clamped the jaws of the opener around the can’s rim and cranked the handle a few times. “Just like this. You think you can take it from here, Doctor?”

“No need to get snotty,” he replied. “I’ve just never seen one of these before.” He took the can from her. “Thank you. I’m sure I’ll be fine now. Go on back to your letter.”
April knew better than to even try. Returning to her seat, she waited patiently and counted to herself.
One… two… three… four… five--
“Oh, for God’s sake!”
She’d reached five before the next catastrophe struck. Not bad.
“What do you need now?”
“I spilled tuna juice all over myself trying to take the lid off.”
He not only got the fishy liquid on himself, he spilled smelly droplets all over the floor. The floor she’d scrubbed clean yesterday.
“Okay, Jeff, you win.” With another exasperated head shake, she grabbed a roll of paper towels and knelt to wipe up the mess. “Go change your clothes before you have every cat for miles howling outside our door. Then you can start a fire for us while I make your lunch.”
“Oh, no, you don’t. You just want to make me look inept in the kitchen.”
“You’re doing a fairly good job of that on your own,” she replied. “Now go.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

'Tis the Season

Life's a little crazy right now. So if my posts are sporadic, bear with me. I'll be around, just writing, preparing for the holidays, and juggling the many flaming torches I keep in the air on a regular basis. To quote Arnold, "I'll be back."