Saturday, November 24, 2007

This Weekend, Get a Little Lost...

Time to celebrate the electronic release of Lost in Paradise! (which, by the way, is currently 4th on the Champagne Rose best-seller list...maybe we can move it up a few notches...) Just read the excerpt below, then email the trivia question that follows to The contest runs today and tomorrow (different excerpt tomorrow!), and the winner will be announced here on Monday.

What do you win? A free download of Lost in Paradise, of course!

Willing her feet to step one in front of the other, Ash followed Jen to the front porch. “What am I doing? What if this was a stupid decision? What if I’m really supposed to open my own law practice, go into politics, like Jess and Anne? Like Dad?” Like everyone else in my family? Her knees felt funny, and she sank onto the bottom porch step.

Jen tried the door. “You’re not,” she said over her shoulder.

“How do you know?”

“Because you spent the last two months of law school miserable and because you needed a change.”

“My parents are going to kill me.”

Jen joined her on the step. “To tell you the truth, I think your parents have other things on their minds these days.”

Like explaining to the press why my father was caught with drugs and a nineteen-year-old prostitute in his car? Two months before he was about to receive the Democratic presidential nomination? Ash dug her toe into the pavement, tracing cracks and watching ants scurry.

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Suddenly, her decision to leave Boston and the center of the Kirk family scandal didn’t seem like the worst decision in the world. In fact, when she thought about it, it seemed downright practical.

She eyed the car and wondered how long it would take her to unpack. Not that long, she decided. The apartment was supposed to be furnished, and she’d brought only a few clothes and books. Most of the memories she’d put into storage or burned.

Jen worked her fingernail beneath some peeling paint on the porch railing. “Just because your father and both your sisters went into politics doesn’t mean you have to. Even if you did graduate from Harvard.”

Ash hugged her elbows. “Yeah, but it would make things easier. How the heck am I supposed to explain that I turned down a job at one of the best firms in the city?”

Jen shrugged. “You’ll figure something out.” Her voice softened. “Besides, you need this. You need a summer to yourself. You need to be…” she paused, searching for the right word. “…away.”

“Away from the media circus? Or away from Colin?”

Trivia Question: Why has Ash just left Boston?

Email the answer to

Friday, November 23, 2007

It's My Release Day!!

Yes, it is 4 am - and yes I am up at this ungodly hour, blogging. Why?

Well, it's Black Friday, and though I don't hit the stores and the sales every year, this year hubby and I have some Christmas deals to buy that can't be beat. So we'll be out the door around 4:30 to try and arrive ahead of the crowds.


More exciting, though, is that TODAY is the electronic release of Lost in Paradise, my fun contemporary romance with The Wild Rose Press! This book has a special place in my heart, since it was the first one I ever wrote. Over 6 years later, it's seeing publication. I'm so thrilled!!


A breeze kicked through the living room, one of those warm summer gusts that sweeps in from nowhere. It lifted the hair off her neck and blew a puff of dust across the doorstep. For an instant, the room seemed to widen, to swell with warmth, and sun flooded the space.

Wow. Maybe Jen is right. Maybe he is perfect. Eddie wasn’t tall, but the faded green t-shirt he’d put on outlined every muscle she could see. Sweat lined the creases in his forehead, and brilliant blue eyes met hers. Their color startled her, so bright they made the summer sky seem shady and dull. The more she examined them and tried in vain to match them to a Crayola color that had never existed, the more she felt a strange tumbling in her stomach that she didn’t like at all.

God, what’s wrong with me? He’s just a guy. Pull it together, Ash.

Taking a deep breath, she shifted her gaze to the doorjamb above him "Hi, Eddie. Come on in."

He didn’t move for a moment, just stood and studied her. Cocking his head, he wiped his forehead against the sleeve of his shirt, then stepped across the threshold and into Ash’s life. Maybe it was the sun, maybe the odd wind that had picked up at just that moment, but suddenly she had the strangest urge to reach over and touch him, to run one finger along his brow and down his cheek. She studied a wrinkle in the fold of his shirt and wanted to smooth it. Something hovered in the space between them, and a strange sense of closeness pierced her throat and stopped her words.

Eddie reached for Ash’s hand. "Nice to meet you."

She placed her palm in his, for a moment only, but she liked the way it felt. Warm. Safe. “I’m-uh--Ashley. Ash.” She altered her first name, and didn’t offer her last, in case he’d been watching the news lately. And who hadn’t?


You can also view the totally awesome (and revamped) trailer for the book, here:

So, as part of your holiday shopping today, why not go over to The Wild Rose Press TODAY and buy your very own copy of Lost in Paradise? Or, if you're feeling lucky, I'm running a little contest this weekend to celebrate my release. Check back here tomorrow and Sunday for additional excerpts and trivia questions. Email me the right answer, and I'll put your name into a drawing to win a free download of Lost in Paradise!

P.S. - If the book isn't up on TWRP website when you visit, keep checking back through the day...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Here's a new way to prepare your Thanksgiving Turkey!

1. Cut out aluminum foil in desired shapes.

2. Arrange the turkey in the roasting pan and position the foil carefully. (see picture below for details)

3. Roast according to your own recipe and serve.

4. Watch your guests' faces...

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Annmarie Ortega

Welcome to another Writers' Wednesday! Today I'm happy to welcome erotica author Annmarie Ortega to share her story with us.

Hi Annmarie! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, I am a published erotica writer from Chicago, Illinois. I have been going to school to complete my Bachelor's Degree in Fiction Writing, and I first got published in October of 2005. I am currently published with New Concepts, Whiskey Creek Torrid, The Dark Castle Lords, Red Rose Publishing and Resplendence Publishing. My work is available in both ebook and print.

Wow, that's great! Tell us about your most recent work.

My most recent release is called Deal With the Devil from Resplendence Publishing. It's a story about a woman who makes a deal with the Devil, but instead of wanting her soul, he wants her body. I will also have a short story out in time for Christmas at Whiskey Creek Torrid called Jack's Frost.

What advice can you give to new writers, who are just starting out?

My advice to new writers is to always keep writing... Don't get bogged down on rewrites, you can always go back and fix things. Also, don't be afraid to submit your work. Go for it and see what happens.

What kinds of books do you most enjoy? Any favorite authors?

I love reading romances and erotica. My favorites are Sherrilyn Kenyon, Madeline Hunter, and Marianne La Croix. Marianne writes for Ellora's Cave and I met her back in 2005, and we've actually become very good friends.

OK, the million-dollar question: how do you balance writing with the rest of your life?

When I'm not writing I try to fit in the rest of my life. I spend time with my family, try to catch up on reading, and watch television. I'll go rent movies and try to play catch up on what's been released on dvd.

How do you compose? Computer, by hand, dictation...?

When I write, I usually start out writing everything by hand in notebooks. When the first few chapters are written I'll enter everything into my computer, then go back to the notebooks.

Thanks for joining us today, Annmarie!

Want to know more about this author and her work? Visit her at her Myspace page!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Check Out My New Trailer!

I've been playing around with my trailer for Lost in Paradise (released this-coming Friday!!), and here's an almost-finished version. I thought I'd see what my blog readers today think. There's a bit at the beginning that's sans music...I'm still trying to decide if it works.

What do you think?

Monday, November 19, 2007

What I Love (and Hate) About NYC

Yesterday I drove down to Manhattan to visit a dear old friend of mine (well, the friendship is old, not the friend). Spent the day walking the Upper West Side, having brunch and catching up - it was really nice. Even better, this is *the first time* I've ever driven to the city all by myself; I've been down there many times since moving to this area, but always with someone else in the car or via public transportation. And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with how I navigated myself. I love the city, but it totally intimidates me. So the fact that I managed to get myself there, and find a parking spot without too much trouble, was a happy moment in my adult life :)

Having said that, I almost got side-swiped a half-dozen times by random yellow cabs, which reminded me of some of the reasons I'm glad I don't live there, year-round. Here's my list, of sorts:

What I Hate About NYC:

1. The traffic - See above re: yellow cabs. Driving in NYC is literally taking your life into your own hands. You have to be fearless, pushy, and willing to cut across two lanes of traffic as lights are turning red and pedestrians are jaywalking and buses are cutting you off. It's a blood pressure nightmare.
2. The pollution - Yeah, it smells bad a lot of the time. And sometimes when you're crossing the bridge into the city, you can just see the smog hanging over the skyscrapers. Not pretty.
3. The homeless - Though it's not honestly as bad as other cities I've visited, there are still a lot of bums sleeping on subway grates.
4. The parking (or lack thereof) It's horrific to try and find a spot on the street, metered or not. And if you give up circling and park in a garage, the prices will turn your hair white. That's why most native New Yorkers don't own cars in the first place.
5. The prices - Just about everything is 15-20% more expensive than where I live. Gas prices, food, movies, lattes, you name it, it costs more there.

What I Love About NYC:

1. The people - So many, and from so many walks of life. You want to find inspiration for a character in your book? Park yourself anywhere in downtown Manhattan and just take notes for a couple of hours.
2. The buildings - Old or new, they're gorgeous, really. The Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State Building, or the brownstones, or the skyline itself, lit up at night - they will all take your breath away.
3. The energy - It's like no other place I've visited. There is something about the size, the variety of neighborhoods, and the city's distinct sense about itself that it is one of the powerhouse urban centers in the world, that is overwhelming.
4. The opportunities - For jobs, shows, mammoth events (think the Macy's Day Parade or the NYC Marathon), culture, star-watching...truly, there's something here for everyone, no matter what you're seeking.
5. The restaurants - Yum! Any kind, any ethnicity, any flavor, any atmosphere, any price range - and often within one square block. Tell me somewhere else you can find that kind of culinary variety!


Reminder! I'll be back in NYC at the Small Press Book Fair on December 1 - at West 44th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues. Only $1 to get in the door - and books, books everywhere, as far as the eye can see! Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Just Found Out...

...that I have two articles featured in the November issue of my publisher's newsletter, The Samhellion. I had submitted them but wasn't sure when the editors would be using them. Anyway, check it out; they're titled "Groovy Love: Woodstock Lives On" and "Sexercise 101: How Step Class Can Steam up your Sheets" (I know you want to read that one!)

And did you hear about the very romantic true-life story about a guy who saw a woman on a subway train & was so enchanted he launched an Internet search to find her again?! You can watch the interview with the couple here. Every once in a while, a happy-ever-after happens in real life, too!