Monday, September 29, 2008

Kyle Came....and Went

Last night was a bit wild as Hurricane Kyle hit Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. After making landfall though he was downgraded to a tropical storm. Which, when you're sitting in the dark listening to it howl and slam, really amounts to nothing.

We did lose power, but only for about an hour, in the middle of the night. And miraculously my trees are in tact - at least the ones out front and I haven't checked the back 40 yet.

So...back to normal for now. I'll be back later with a book blog - but I am not working much this week as the husband is home today and off for the rest of the week to do "home improvement" jobs.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kyle's identity crisis

Kyle can't figure out who he is: Mr. Tropical Storm or Mr. Hurricane. Either way, it looks like we're in for a soaking this weekend, and in the interest of preparedness, I'm expecting to lose power for at least a little while (during Hurricane Juan, it was out for 5 days here). I've got the generator to keep the food from going off, but it might mean the blog's pretty quiet as I won't be using the generator to power the pc. I'm working to try to get my revisions finished before that happens, and also do up what needs doing around the house just in case.

There is always reading and crafts to keep a girl (and her kids) going...I might have to pull out the knitting needles.

Anyway I'll catch you on the flip side one way or the other.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

42 - A Question of Impropriety

I'm still in the throes of revisions but my one indulgence the last few days - besides gazing at my new cover - has been reading A Question of Impropriety by Michelle Styles.

I didn't critique this book, so I had the rare pleasure of reading it as a reader would, and not as one who'd already seen a first draft.

This was, perhaps, the most romantic of any of Michelle's books I've read. Diana is lovely, and Brett has the sexiness of a rake with the heartwarming loveliness of a gentleman...imagine if you took Willoughby's passion and Colonel Brandon's ethics and crafted a hero. YUM. The cover is brilliant as well, as a key scene is a waltz and Diana wears a rose-coloured gown.

It was also refreshing to have a Lady who embraced her sexuality despite a previous bad experience.

This book is followed by Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife due out early 09 and features the story of Simon Clare, Diana's overbearing, somewhat blind-to-the-world-around-him brother. I wanted to throttle him. But it's a gorgeous set up for that book, and I know you'll also get to catch up with Diana and Brett. :-)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Huzzah! The North American Cover

Found this on Barnes and Noble today.

I notice it is part of the Western Weddings series, rather than By Royal Appointment...I had an inkling, when I got the western cover, rather than the royals....

Back to revisions for me....I'm on the last 2 chapters of the first go-round, then it'll take a refining round to make sure the changes are smooth and make sense.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Book covers and casting

I thought I'd post some pictures today, comparing my casting to what ends up on a book's cover, and how I think it worked. Sometimes details can be wrong but the feel works wonderfully, and other times it's the other way around, and sometimes everything is perfect.

I was lucky I got nearly perfect first time around. Here's the cover for Hired By The Cowboy - my Connor in casting had hair a little shaggier than the cover model, but then the focus is on the heroine, Alex - and you can see for yourself how well THAT turned out - plus the feel is LOVELY. I was very fortunate.

Then we have Marriage at Circle M - the cover definitely depicts a scene in the book, the colouring is just wasn't quite RIGHT for me but I think that was because I was still in love with the hero. It was a good seller for me so obviously something worked:

And The Soldier's Homecoming - heroine is great, the feel is good, and the only noticeable thing different is the hero's hair:

Now, with my last, here's the cover and the casting. I actually like the hero casting better than my own - first time that has happened! This guy could really be Brody Hamilton. You can see for yourself how the heroine doesn't match up. BUT, I love it anyway because the feel is great. A central scene is a magical barn dance thing and the MOOD of this cover is spot on.

So there are a few examples of my covers and how my casting pictures and descriptions - that I send to my editor - get translated.

Now I'm off to have lunch and keep slogging my way through the revisions. The hard part now is feeling like things are disjointed because I'm shifting things around so much. The hope is that when I go through it again, it will make sense better and read more seamlessly.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Book Blogs, CP's, and hot guys

Welcome back to "Why I love my critique partner, part 100,002."

My CP Michelle organized this year's AMBA event and I really wish I could have attended. Taking the time...and the money...for a lunch isn't something I can do every year though, and I had to miss it. Afterwards Michelle went home to a computer that blew up and now she needs a new router from her ISP. So she's been offline...just when I got my new cover and am struggling with revisions and miss her lots. Meanwhile she is probably feverishly working on her own revisions without internet (or CP) interruption.

Of course she knows how I miss her, and when I got back from my morning walk after the school bus, there was a lovely message on my voice mail from her. I CAN'T BELIEVE I missed her call! Dammit! Why did she call? To give me a pep talk.

I cannot imagine writing without her. I really can't. Even though we only read each other's first drafts, we bounce ideas off each other, crack the whip or offer a shoulder - whichever is needed.

I hope she's back online soon!

In the meantime, pop on over to the Pink Heart Society today - I'm blogging Male on Monday and it's all about Canadian boys- part 2 since part 1 seemed to be missing a few faces. Today there are more birthday surprises at the Pink Heart too so it's worth a look.

And now, for my book blog 41 - Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson.

My daughters got this book as a present. They had already read Anne Of Green Gables, I've read all the Anne books and we have the movies as well, so they were quite keen.
If you're looking for LM Montgomery's voice you won't find it here. But it IS well written and enjoyable. A few things that drew me out of the story were POV changes..we'd be in a main character's POV and then suddenly two or three lines in a minor characters and then back again.
The other thing is that this book is actually very positive when you expect the story of Anne's early life to be tragic and sad. On one hand I understand completely why this was necessary. No one would want to read a book that was so dark. And disturbed me that Anne loved Mr. Thomas rather than being horrified that he beat his wife. I don't know. I enjoyed the book but there were times when it didn't feel quite right. The girls really enjoyed it as well and now want to read Anne of Avonlea as our next bedtime book. They are reading chapter books themselves now, but somehow the tradition of reading aloud is still going strong. I'm really going to miss it when we stop.

A good job but when it comes down to brass tacks, I'll take LM's sparkling characterization any day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Keeping the well filled

Sometimes I forget the importance of keeping the well filled. Every now and then the well runs dry and I just get TIRED. My writing is uninspired and I just feel the panicked need to produce and produce. Which is exactly the WRONG way to go about it - at least for me.

What I need to remember, and every now and again I DO remember, is that my time AWAY from writing is almost as important as the time spent at the keyboard.

I let the well run dry this summer.

And when the latest revisions arrived, I realized a good part of what was missing was stuff in the well.

That's why I spent a couple of hours with music...why I read a book...(I did get through about 80 pages of revisions, which is a good start anyway)...and it's why last night I sweet-talked the husband into a day trip.

It was nothing hugely important. Just a trip to the coast to see a few things. It dawned clear and crisp and after hanging out the bedding, we jumped in the truck and headed to Peggy's Cove. We took the dog with us too...and had a grand time scrambling over the rocks, offering to take pictures of other tourists, sitting and listening to the waves, and also to the woman playing the accordion and singing at the lighthouse.

We stopped at the Swiss Air Memorial just south of the lighthouse.

We went on to Mahone Bay and ate fish and chips next to a gazebo and watched the ducks bobbing and meandered up the main drag to a pewter shop where we bought a wedding gift for a friend and I got a celtic cross for myself. And to a gift shop where the girls each got a geode.

We went to Lunenburg and wandered the wharf area.

We came home very tired.

It was a lovely day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Well that was a short trip...

into the cave. I found myself leaping out of it to get the mail today, and am I ever glad I did. My hardbacks of The Rancher's Runaway Princess arrived!!!!!!!!!! I will confess to loving the cover, even if the heroine's hair is completely wrong - in the book she's a red head. But I LOVE the hero's look. I want to take off his hat and see if his hair really is that little bit shaggy. And I love the lights around the barn...the feel of it is very good for the book.

It was a toss up what I wanted more - the western cover or the royals. I think the fairy-tale would have been great, but I do know there have been a lot of royal covers lately. Either way, I'm happy.

I'm probably going to read it to confirm to myself that not EVERYTHING I write is drivel.

I also discovered a missing element in the revising-but-almost-rewriting novella today. Music. This might sound daft but sometimes music does help me get in touch with my emotional side. Truly. And I think in August I just wasn't ready for Christmas Carols. However the leaves are turning here, school is in and it was cold...cold enough I might actually turn on the fireplace tonight. So I put Josh Groban's NOEL on and added Ryandan's album to my playlist for good measure. I do hope it worked. And I hope that what is swirling around in my head actually manages to be translated into the book. I think that's the biggest challenge right now.

But for now it's dinner and homework. And maybe a quick read?

The cave, and AMBA - revisited

Hey guys, remember the time when I was writing the novella and I said how sometimes I felt like I had NO idea how to write or what I was doing? Hah. Turns out at least THOSE instincts were bang on.

My revisions, such as they are, have arrived and now I have to put aside fun flirty story and descend into the dark, scary abyss known as the Revision Cave. I may not be out for quite some time. Or I may keep up posting, so that at some random points over the next several days I at least have some contact with a world outside a ranch in Montana at Christmas.

You are welcome to send gifts of chocolate and wine. If I am silent for longer than a few days at a time, feel free to call in the cavalry such as marshals, special forces soldiers, or Viper jocks.

In the meantime.....

Today is the annual AMBA lunch in London.

Last year, I attended as many of you will remember. I had used my passport exactly twice, both times going through US customs. But I'd never been overseas. I'd never travelled alone. I'd never left my children overnight, for Pete's sake. And I kissed them goodbye, hopped on a plane, and after 9 very long hours, saw a friendly face in the visage of Biddy Coady in arrivals area at Heathrow.

We took the express from the airport and then black cabbed it to her flat. I remember also being overwhelmed at the craziness of the driver and holding on for dear life...impressions of Speaker's Corner and Buckingham Palace whizzing by me. I was exhausted. We had a late lunch/early supper and vegged with a dvd...oh my god, I was in London. A whole ocean away from home!

During that week I met so many people and made so many memories. There was the editorial lunch and meeting several of the editors. There was the afternoon in Richmond with Trish...and realizing I'd met someone I could travel with so very easily. There was the AMBA lunch where I met so many people - including the unstoppable Kate Hardy and the wonderful Kate Walker. Getting a hug of welcome from her was so very special.

There was also meeting in person for the first time my critique partner Michelle Styles...a true force and whirlwind and without whom I'm certain I would not be published. There was the reception at the Oriental Club where I drank too much champagne, mingled with editors and authors and embarrassed myself by crying when it all became too much...when I realized where I was, and the company I was in. It was a huge moment for me. A moment when it struck me what I'd somehow managed to accomplish. I wasn't dreaming. I was LIVING my dream.

Then of course there was a raucous dinner, a few tearful goodbyes followed by a cab ride home, and hours spent talking into the night with Michelle...our time together was so fleeting and I'm sure we were still talking as we fell asleep!

There was also spending time with Biddy...and Anna Louise Lucia - one of THE most amazing women I know - and having lunch with so many of the Mouse and Pen ladies...oh my God. There was just so much and it was hard to take it all in.

There was dinner with Anna, Biddy, Anna-Biddy's-sister, and too much wine. There was wandering through Battersea Park and Sunday lunch and a whirlwind bus top tour alone and wandering my way back to the flat for one last evening.

It was a week I will never, ever forget. And today when they are all lunching and hugging and having a marvelous time, I'm incredibly lonely for all of it. I especially think of my buddy Natalie Anderson who is attending for the first time this year. She's in for such an amazing time.

So in absence of being across the pond, I'll raise my glass to a most incredible group of writers and friends. And hope that one year soon I'll be able to join you in person again.

If I ever come out of the cave, that is.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Eye candy

Well, this hero has grabbed a hold of me more than I thought he would, so today is a veritable feast of pictures. A smorgasbord of Trucco. God bless Google images. SO without further ado, explanation, or otherwise distracting WORDS...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I love the mailman

Granted, I don't know if it's a mailMAN or a mailWOMAN, because we have superboxes at the bottom of the hill. But the husband picked up the mail yesterday and there were two lovely envelopes in it for me.

The first held my Spanish translations of The Soldier's Homecoming - Retomar la pasion - which I already knew was slotted for release next month in NA. And which looks like this:

The second envelope had a bigger surprise as I did not know it was coming....and it appears to be a South African translation of Marriage at Circle M! At least inside the cover it says Afrikaanse so I'm assuming. And it looks like this:

Now if I could only find my cover for The Rancher's Runaway Princess, it'd be a trifecta of bouncy news.

Monday, September 15, 2008

NUMBER 40! And an interview

I'm over at Book Talk with J&J all my interview was posted and I'll be around to participate in the comments. There's a copy of Falling For Mr. Dark and Dangerous up for grabs, and Jen (half of the J&J) is throwing in a copy of Hired By The Cowboy! Come on over!

I've hit number 40 for books read this year...meaning I may actually get to 52 books - one a week - by the end of 2008.

Book 40 is special to me. It's THE MILLIONAIRE'S PROPOSAL by Trish Wylie and I've been looking forward to it ever since she told me the premise. Beautifully paced, with lovable characters all around, and just the right balance of backstory with emotional moments...I cried a couple of times in this one.

The idea is that Kerry Doyle is finally doing something for herself in the form of a trip, and she meets Ronan O'Keefe. Ronan is a travel writer, and then some...but he's also losing his sight. He takes Kerry on a fantasy fulfillment trip, but it's also a way for him to SEE some of the people he loves for the last time. One of my wipe my eyes moments was when they were in Fiji and he was talking to his friend Abbie. But Kerry misses all the signs until they reach Paris. And when she finds out...the world just drops out from under her.

On a personal level, Trish's travel philosophy is clear in this book and it brought back some lovely memories for me. Last fall I met her in person for the first time when I met her at Victoria Station and we took the train to Richmond to have lunch with our editors.

We talked, and talked, and talked. And after lunch we got lost going back to the train and had the most marvelous time. We sat on a bench and just soaked in the afternoon for a while. We took pictures of fun things and saw stories everywhere. We indulged my inner Jamie Bamber fangirl, got off the train in Hammersmith so I could have my picture taken there. It was one of the most special afternoons of my life, to be honest. I still get sentimental about it. This is a woman I KNOW I can travel with (which is why we're roomies for nationals next year) and after I was home we chatted about that afternoon. We spent hours doing not much of anything...walking, talking, looking, chatting up a flower seller at the Hammersmith station...but Trish said it's those moments that make everything so special. We'd just found the singing duo Ryandan about that time too and she played me the song "Stay With You" and I got very wibbly.

So when I'm curling up with her book and I read on page 30, "Some places you might forget, but you won't forget the people you met along the way. Memories Kerry, Kerry Doyle - yours, the people you meet's - that's what you'll have at the end of every trip you take. Moments; snapshots in time if you like."

Well at this point I'm a blubbering mess... and I'm THIRTY PAGES IN.

I also, incidentally, had several "I wish I could write like this" moments.

Well done Trish. And thanks for the wee trip down memory lane...I can't wait until next year!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Roast Beef and Humiliation

We had a great weekend. We cleaned the house yesterday morning, did a load of towels, and I FINALLY finished my youngest's we just need to hang them. My inlaws arrived at lunchtime and we had a great day.

I kind of out did myself at dinner...I think it was the biggest meal I've cooked since we moved and it was delicious. I tried a new recipe for roast beef that was soooooo good. It involved making a rub and then making the gravy from the drippings that were already rich from the rub, and adding red wine, beef broth, bourbon sauce and flour. We rounded it out with mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon, maple carrots, cucumber dill salad, fresh rolls, and apple pie. Oh yes and I made stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer.

However the good news ended the moment we sat down to Canasta because the mum-in-law and I got our butts well and truly kicked. It was downright humiliating. But we had fun anyway, lots of laughs and this morning we got up and the husband made a big breakfast. Now I KNOW I have to hit the treadmill this afternoon!

First though, I'm finishing the book I'm reading - Trish Wylie's The Millionaire's Proposal. It's wonderful. And I'm going to do a big book blog on it tomorrow because there's something extra special about this book for me.

And tomorrow it's back to working on Highest Bidder...I can't wait! I love it when I look forward to work....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Crazy Friday

I'm just FINALLY opening my document and have exactly 90 minutes to work. Don't ask me where the morning went - you won't get a very polite answer! But it's gone and some things are crossed off the list - some that took longer than I planned. Oh well. Such is life.

I'm off after that for the weekend - the inlaws are visiting and we have to stock up on some groceries as the fridge is bare and the house needs a tidy in the morning before they arrive. But I'll leave you with a lovely new pic of Michael Trucco...and I'll be back on Monday. Oh and that card game that's gonna happen (after the last get together, the games were 2 to 2)???? The boys are going DOWN. :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oh help!

I must be crazy.

This story has taken hold of me, and I'm pretty sure that it's now going to be a full category-length project.

I'm in love with the hero. Dev is deliciously hot, plus he's got some great flaws AND some other little tidbits that are really lovable. His motivations are for the right reasons even if he doesn't always go about things the right way. And Ella is smart and sharp and also kidding herself big time, but it's not all her fault, because Dev isn't being exactly honest with her. It's the first book I've written where the hero and heroine are already married. But this isn't a marriage in jeopardy- this is a union that's been all over but the cryin' for quite some time.

Indulging myself with this is probably crazy, considering other things that I absolutely have to write, so I'm really going to have to organize my time to cram it all in. But sometimes, when characters and a story call, and you rediscover why you love writing in the first place, you just gotta do it.

So..the word count meter is changing on the sidebar to read 50,000 rather than 25,000.

In other news....I have popped over to Blake Snyder's blog lately since reading Save the Cat! I'm putting a link here to a post with regards to romance writers etc. that I found really really wonderful. It's called The Love of Writing and The Writing of Love. One of my favourite bits is "Like any great love story, it’s about what I identified in Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies, the motto of every Buddy Love tale: “My life changed for having met another!”"

And is September 11. I've taken a moment to stop, and remember. Have you?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's Wednesday

It's Wednesday. Today has nothing going on. No special school things. No new blogs to load for other sites. No guest blogging for me today. It's an ORDINARY day. Nowadays ORDINARY is so rare, they are EXTRAORDINARY. LOL

I'm working away on the novella, I kind of petered out yesterday being really tired after staying up so late the night before. So I'm back at chapter three today...

In keeping with that, I'm posting another casting pic of Michael Trucco because they are FUN.

Isn't he just the picture of cuteness? He's got the greatest smile. And looks like he'd be a good time, yeah?

I mentioned today on a thread over at eharl how I think most artists are not "flaky" like the common perception seems to be. Artists are creative people and also very type A. They are overachievers, perfectionists, ambitious, driven, determined. Artists are always being told how difficult it is to break into the business and they do it anyway. Tenacious, passionate. Definitely not lackadaisical or lazy.

And sometimes that determination really serves the artist well, and Michael Trucco is a good example.

Last December he was in a car accident with a friend, and broke his neck (C spine injuries). His injuries were scarily similar to those suffered by Christopher Reeve...just goes to show how the tiniest thing can make a world of difference. He said that "When everything settled, my hands were laying next to my face on the roof of the car and THEY WOULD NOT MOVE. Needless to say, that scared the s#*t out of me. I took a beat, and remember thinking to myself that I CANNOT be paralyzed. This just can't happen to me....I won't let that happen!" He had surgery to fuse vertebrae together, had to wear a heavy duty brace for while, and then go through rehab. Apparently the pain was pretty intense at times. This all happened during the writer's strike period. So where is he now?

Well, he finished filming BSG's final season, filmed a new pilot and he's reportedly on board for a new BSG movie (similar to what RAZOR was last year). He said in a report to fans that "I cherish each and every new day with every rising sun. Life is precious, friends and family are priceless. I am sincerely grateful for all that I have. "

Anyway...there's my Trucco pics for today, now I'm off to work away on the novella.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Too much fun

I'm having WAYYYYY too much fun with the new novella. I think probably because I'm not worried about what I can or can't I'm lettin' 'er rip with things I couldn't get away with in Romance. Sometimes a girl's just gotta cut loose. So the heat factor is up a notch, and so's the irreverence. I just love the hero. We see him though the heroine's eyes at the beginning and gradually I think the perception is going to change. I do know that he's sexy. And ultimately a good guy, even if the heroine thinks he's being unreasonable. And I also know WHY he is acting the way he is, even if she doesn't...even if the reader doesn't. Yet.

I'm 5k in. My logline is: When uptight journalist Ella Turner buys her husband at a charity auction, all she wants is for him to sign the divorce papers. But cowboy Dev McQuade has other ideas…

I actually made myself laugh last night...and stayed up wayyy too late.

Not sure where this will end up, but it is very nice just changing the pace and having some fun writing it.

Ok so what else is going on today...oh yes, Trish Wylie is over at the Harlequin Romance Author blog as our Spotlight in Six interviewee. She's giving away a copy of her latest release so head on over.

And as much as I'd love to post another pic of Michael Trucco - and I will, another day - today I'm posting a pic sent to me by Jim this morning. I LOVE it.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Save the Cat and new casting pics

There's some action going on in the comments for my book blog below on Save the Cat...if you have 2 cents you'd like to throw in, it's kind of fun. I haven't answered craft questions in a while and i'm in a great mood as I'm at the beginning of a new project and this is always the most fun part as it's all about possibilities and not into the drudgery of sagging middles, plot holes and nonexistent motivations.

And I have another casting pic I have to share because it just works, works, works. It's now the desktop on my pc though honestly, I'm not sure i'll get any work done as I keep minimizing my windows to stare at it.

Right - off to watch a movie with my girls and I'll be working tonight after bedtime!

Book Blog - Save The Cat

I admit that I jumped on the bandwagon of Save The Cat after hearing about it from several people. Then I knew that the author, Blake Snyder, was going to be at RWA Nationals...and THEN I heard that he really wowed the people attending his workshop. So...Save The Cat came to me along with some other books from Amazon.

(First of all, a bit about amazon. I know brick and mortar stores are wonderful, but I can't tell you how many times I've gone in for a specific book and it is not stocked. If I want a new release, or a best selling author I know will have backlist on the shelf, in I go. If not, though...all my craft books come from amazon. Same with research books, and any fiction I read that I doubt I can find elsewhere. It's one stop shopping, I spend MORE money and I get free shipping each and every time.)

Right. Back to Save The Cat.

There are things about this book that appeal to me and scare me to death. The logical part of my brain says "YES!" to the idea of mapping out your story. It makes sense. His beat sheet makes sense, in a "let's make this book tight" and a pacing sort of way. However this also frightens me. I have gotten to the point where planning so much makes me feel like I'm in a box before I've even started the actual writing. The saving grace is that Snyder does say that after you've gone through the process of creating your "board" - of laying out your beats for your story - you MUST be willing to throw it all away in the face of actual writing. In other words, what you thought would work might not work at all, or you might have an insight that changes everything. See, this I can get on board with. I tend to know my characters, but don't think too much about planning out every scene. When I let my characters guide me, that is when the magic happens. So I'm of two minds when it comes to laying it all out before hand. It makes me feel like I'm a slave to MY story instead of being the conduit through which my characters tell THEIR story. Not sure if that makes sense or not.

That being said, what if I took this idea and made it my own in that I write the story, THEN do the beats, and that way I can find the holes and fix them before I send it off to my editor? Similar to when I did a colour coded synopsis a la Jennie Adams. It showed me where my holes were. It also showed me structure, because you will be heavier on some elements than others in different areas of the story.

Ok..moving on.

There are other absolute gems in this book and IMO every new and aspiring author should read chapters six and seven several times. Screenwriting is very similar to writing romantic fiction (and possibly most genre fiction). So the "rules" he lays out - Save the Cat, Pope in the Pool, Black Vet, The Covenant of the Arc (possibly my favourite) - they all apply. And it would save a lot of beginning writers A LOT OF TIME if they knew this before hand. Same with chapter seven - the first heading is The Hero Leads and BOY do I remember being at fault of this!

I also love the idea of the logline. A logline is like finding your centre while doing Thai Chi. When you feel at sea, go back to your logline. Remember what your story is about, and go from there.

All in all a highly recommended book on craft, conversational, clear, and funny. Now I'm thinking I should get Save The Cat Goes To The Movies.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Paging Rebekah!

Rebekah, you've won the birthday prize! Please e-mail me with your address and title of the book you'd like, and I'll mail out your prize!

We were anticipating some rough weather courtesy of Tropical Storm Hanna, but the local forecasts aren't too dire. Regardless, we did some preparations so that if the winds etc. take us by surprise, the consequences shouldn't be too bad. LOL. It still doesn't look like tomorrow will be that pleasant, but that's no biggie. Wet I can handle.

I am taking a break for a few weeks and working on something short and fun. I'm actually quite excited about it, and at the same time I'll be doing some research for my newest book. I have completed my casting for the short and needed a heroine who looks girl next door sweet but also is used to getting her own way...and a bit of a bad boy who is set in his ways and just as stubborn as she is.

The heroine is based on this pic of Carrie Underwood, the hero a bit of a blend, actually. Between the flirtiness of Michael Trucco (and yeah, all the picture gazing made me pull out my Battlestar DVD's again) and Ryan Peake, the guitarist for Nickelback.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Back to School - Happy Birthday to the L'il Pink Guy!

This month marks the second birthday of The Pink Heart Society! And this week also marks back to school in our house, hooray! So I'm in a bit of a celebratory mood all 'round.

First of all, our favourite little pink dancing guy needs a prezzie for birthday number two. In keeping with the school theme, I did some shopping. But then I thought, hang on a second. This is the first of the month. Pinkie's got some traveling to do. And he's gonna need something to put all his loot in.

Kate Hardy and Fiona Harper - The Pink Guy's not sharing.

Here's his prezzie from moi! keeping with the party theme...and waxing a bit nostalgic...if you go HERE and do a little searching, you'll find the very first post I did for the Pink Heart Society back in its inaguaral month of September 06!!! Have a peek, and answer this question in the comments:

What did I get my degree in?

The random, correct winner gets their choice of a backlist book!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Book Blog and Reel Review

I finished up a couple of books on the long weekend. Both were great reads!

First up is Michelle Styles's AN IMPULSIVE DEBUTANTE.

As Michelle's critique partner, I see things in a first draft stage and then again in the finished book. It's always neat to see how things have changed or morphed through subsequent drafts and revisions.

An Impulsive Debutante has Lottie Charlton as the heroine - the same Lottie that caused such a scandal for Emma and Jack in A Christmas Wedding Wager.

This is a great book...and a fine example of how to take a villain from a previous book (Ok, maybe villian is a little strong, but Lottie certainly wasn't likeable) and turning them into a wonderful main character by exploiting the exact same qualities that we didn't like them for previously. Kind of like taking a personality trait and pointing out positives and negatives of that trait - Lottie is the same person but this time we get to see all the positive parts of that and how she has a HUGE heart. Tristan isn't bad either...though we know his plan is going to blow up in his face, we understand exactly why he's keeping his secret from Lottie.

And it is, I think, one of her best reads as far as keeping threads tight and pacing.

The second book is CJ Carmichael's MATTHEW'S CHILDREN. This is the second in a trilogy called Three Good Men about three brothers. Matthew is a lawyer we met briefly in the first book, who is recently divorced and trying to figure out how to be a good parent when he's given the world's most difficult case - defending a soccer coach who's been accused of impropriety. To top it off, the other lawyer assigned with him is Jane Prentice, the woman everyone thinks is responsible for the breakup of his marriage.

They never had an affair, but Jane had fallen in love with him and doesn't know that he'd had feelings for him too. After his wife made a scene in a restaurant, they've spent the last year avoiding each other whenever possible.

Both of them, along with his rebellious son, his angry ex-wife, the whole community...are invested in this case. All the threads weave together so well I just couldn't put it down. CJ didn't shy away from difficult subjects - is there anything more polarizing than a child whose been abused and the person accused of doing it? I love how she took risks with this book, and as as result I think it's my favourite of all of hers that I've read so far. Way to go CJ!

And the girls and I watched CHARLOTTE'S WEB on the weekend as well. Is there anyone more perfect than Charlotte? Selfless, giving, kind....and such a good friend. The crows added fantastic comic relief, and the cast was incredible. Robert Redford as the horse afraid of spiders was fantastic. And I loved Beau Bridges. Dakota Fanning was, well, Dakota Fanning...adorable. You cannot help but love her. And yes, I cried at the almost end. I'd been warned and my eldest, who is also quite the faucet at sappy movies, was sniffling beside me. My husband just shook his head.

Great movie! is crazy day as I am going to update my home page, send out my newsletter, put up the new releases on the Harlequin Romance Author Blog and work on editing the novella. I'm hoping it won't be that difficult. :-)

Monday, September 01, 2008


The winner of my August contest is NIKKI COLE! Nikki gets signed copies of HIRED BY THE COWBOY, MARRIAGE AT CIRCLE M and FALLING FOR MR. DARK AND DANGEROUS. Congrats!

It's the PHS second birthday this month and I'll be taking part in a treasure hunt as part of the month-long celebrations. But for now...Birthday day means the homage to Hugh here's my contribution: