Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Five: Five Favorite Books I Read in 2011

I set myself a goal this year on my Goodreads page: to read 50 new books between January and December. (For the record, I read 57, which means I have to up the ante for 2012). Here are a few faves from this year's reading list (with links to where to find them on Amazon):

1. Reason to Believe by Leslie Ann Dennis
2. Shut Up and Kiss Me by Carolyn Hughey
3. Blood and Bone by Dawn Brown
4. Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis
5. One Summer by JoAnn Ross

I hope you found a new treasure in this list. Feel free to recommend something to me! I've got a lot of reading to do for next year!

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Still Just $7.07 at Amazon!

Yup. You can still get your copy of Book I of my Nobody series, Nobody's Darling, for seven bucks at Amazon. That's a $16.00 savings! So why haven't you ordered one? For yourself, for your friend, for that lady at work who's always reading, for your mom (it's sweet with no sex, violence, or harsh language!). It's a great stocking stuffer for any reality television fan, for any romance fan, or for anyone who might need a little warmth in the coming winter months. Need a sneak peak to whet your appetite? Okay. I'll oblige, but first, the blurb:

April Raine was married and pregnant at eighteen, divorced ten years later, and has struggled to provide for her children. Now a successful businesswoman, she accepts a challenge from a daytime talk show to compete in a thirty-day battle of the sexes. April is up against a television psychologist who claims her organization hurts the very people she alleges to help.

Dr. Jefferson Prentiss, television's Dr. Jeff, is haunted by the loss of his wife and newborn son, and by his role in their deaths. To atone, he's dedicated his professional life to the ideals of family. The talk show challenge presents him with the opportunity to prove not only the sagacity of his self-help book, but the inherent danger of paying strangers to perform those family tasks that should be done out of love and nurture.

Once inside an isolated cabin filled with videotaping equipment, April and Jeff learn from each other, tackle their demons, and discover a new awareness between them: love.

Now, the excerpt:

The rich, nutty smell of coffee tickled April’s nostrils, rousing her in a way a buzzing alarm clock never had--subtly, sensually, one heavenly sniff at a time. She couldn’t decide whether to get up and follow the hypnotic odor or snuggle deeper into the blankets for more sleep. Her eyelids fluttered once, twice, but she didn’t have the energy to fully open them, no matter how intoxicating the scent around her.
The coffee’s aroma mingled with spicy cologne. Cloves, one of her favorites. Content to allow her other senses to revel in the stimulants they experienced, she refused to open her eyes.
“Wake up, darling,” a male voice whispered low in her ear.
“Mmmm,” she sighed and rolled over. “Five more minutes…”
Hold it. A male voice? In her bedroom? And calling her, “darling?”
She sat bolt upright in the bed, eyes round and wide, heart pounding. Her hands clawed at the blankets until she clutched them to her chin. When her vision finally focused, Jeff’s solid frame and easy smile registered on her frantic brain cells.
She let out a deep sigh of relief. “You scared me to death!”
Jeff was already dressed in a sweater and jeans ensemble. The sweater had a charcoal gray shadow-stripe pattern. The hue brought silver glints to his eyes, like dew sparkling on freshly mowed grass.
Wake up, sweetie! It’s a little too early in the morning to wax poetic.
“I brought you a cup of coffee,” he said, indicating the white mug he held. “David will be here in an hour. You’ll probably want to shower and dress before he arrives, and it’s important we discuss how we’re going to handle today’s interview. Privately.”
Only one sentence in his little speech registered in her sleep-filled mind. “You…brought me…coffee?”
God, she sounded like the heroine in a bad comic book movie--ready to swoon because the hero brought her the magic elixir of life. But no one had ever brought her coffee in bed before. Not even on Mother’s Day or her birthday.
Squelching ripples of delight, she reached to take the mug from him. It really was coffee, and it was still hot. She sipped the brew, and the spicy tang tickled her tongue.
“Thanks, Jeff. This was just what I needed before today’s torture begins.”
“No charge,” he said as he took the cup from her and headed toward the door. “There’s a full pot downstairs when you’re ready. For now, I’ll give you some time to get up, shower, and dress. But don’t take too long. We want to rehearse what we’re going to say to Grant and Jocelyn before David shows up and starts screeching about spontaneity.”
Once she was certain he’d returned to the kitchen, she tossed off the blankets and rose from her bed. Stretching the kinks out of her back, she heaved a deep sigh. The last two people she wanted to face today were Satan’s sidekicks--Grant and Jocelyn. At least having Jeff on her side, rather than against her, would ease today’s interview. The man exuded confidence. Not to mention sex appeal.
She shook her head to dislodge her bizarre thoughts.
April, honey, you really have to get a hold of yourself. Remember that song from South Pacific.
With a broad smile stretching across her cheeks, she broke into a chorus of, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair.”
Yes, indeed. A nice hot shower is what I need to clear the idiocy from my brains.
She strolled into the bathroom humming her new mantra and stopped short before the sink. Ah, and so it begins, she thought with disgust. Globs of green shaving gel and black stubble coated the basin. He couldn’t take a minute to rinse this filth out? So much for being thankful Jeff was with her.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Another New Cover!

Today, it's Katherine's turn to brag. She finally got her cover and release date for her latest historical, Echoes of Love. Once again, the multi-talented Tamra Westberry captured my story to perfection. What's that? You want a blurb? Okay!

Royal governess Chesna Dubrow must protect the five-year-old king of Amatia from Napoleon Bonaparte's invading army. To do so, she'll be forced to wed one of the emperor's loyal soldiers. But Pietor Gabris isn't any soldier. Years ago, he broke Chesna's heart, forgetting the vows they'd made to love each other forever.

Pietor's return to Amatia is embroiled in subterfuge. Amidst the deceit surrounding him, he clings to the one truth he cannot ignore--his timeless love for Chesna. Yet confessing what's in his heart would sentence them both to death. To keep Chesna safe, he must portray the role of traitor, ensuring her animosity continues to blow hot and harsh.

As danger and intrigue swirl around the palace, can Chesna place her faith--and heart--with the one man she swore she'd never forgive?

Echoes of Love will be available in May 2012 from The Wild Rose Press.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Cover!

Came home to a few nice surprises yesterday, and the email from Avalon Books in my inbox was one of the top two. It contained the cover for the third book in my Nobody series, Nobody's Perfect. Ready?

Nice, right? It matches the other two in the series and I love the little heart on the microphone. Why a microphone? Because my hero this time around is a radio deejay. Here's the blurb:

To outsiders, Summer Raine has a perfect life. But inside her perfect home, her perfect marriage has fallen apart. Still, she never expected to have her husband's infidelity aired on Cliff Hanger's nationally syndicated radio show. Once she's tossed the cheater out, she hopes to start her own business as a wedding planner. Funds, however, are in short supply. Lucky for Summer, her sister April hires her to work at Rainey-Day-Wife until she can get back on her feet again. But...Summer? A nanny?

Craig Hartmann spends his work days as Cliff Hanger, shock jock, but in real life, he's a quiet, divorced father of three trying to hang onto his family and his sanity. What he needs is someone who'll help him find the perfect balance. When he seeks an expert at Rainey-Day-Wife, he's stunned to find himself face to face with the woman whose life he ruined in a radio stunt gone awry.

Juggling sports practices, temper tantrums, and trips to the emergency room while planning the celebrity wedding of her sister's dreams, Summer discovers that the "perfect" life is one where nothing ever goes as planned. But this hunky deejay, his three rambunctious children, and all the chaos they engender just might be a close-to-perfect fit for Summer.

Nobody's Perfect will be available in February 2012.

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In Memoriam: The Day That Would Live in Infamy

Take a moment today to remember the loss of so many brave and dedicated people!

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Five: Five Things I'm Looking Forward To This Weekend

It's the first weekend in December and I've got big plans! "What are you up to now?" you ask. Well, I'll tell you:

1. I'm speaking at the monthly meeting of the Rhode Island Romance Writers tomorrow. The topic is Hips Don't Lie: Body Language Between the Sexes. I've added some new facts and fun into the mix so if you're in the area of the Cumberland Library, stop down (or up).

2. Did I mention I'm going there with Trisha and Flo? Because what's a star without an entourage? And these two ladies always keep me laughing and always make a fun time even better simply by being there.

3. The Newport Mansions are all decked out for Christmas and we'll be at the Breakers tomorrow night for their special celebration.

4. Providence! No, not the divine intervention, silly. The city. I've been assured Rhode Island's "not that big." So we'll spend time in Providence on Sunday before the drive back home. Yay, sightseeing! And I hafta hit a Christmas store for an ornament/souvenir. Family tradition.

5. While I'm partying in Rhode Island, my local chapter, Dunes & Dreams, will hold its annual elections, and guess who's on the slate? Yep. I'm running (unopposed) for 2012 Vice President. (Only in RWA is it not a demotion to go from President to Vice President.)

Don't worry. I'm bringing the camera.

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