As promised…

I went to New York for 5 days to attend the Romance Writers of America national conference. Here are some highlights of my trip to NYC for RWA15.


Travel was smooth as silk. After discovering that we’d be on the same flight, I hooked up with fellow writer Renee N. Kelly in Atlanta and we shared a ride into Manhattan together. I even brought Pocket Jamie along for the adventure!

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Got checked in, changed, and ready to head down to the Harlequin author Meet & Greet when who did I spy waiting for the elevator on my floor???


I have no photo because, frankly, I was too busy trying to fangirl without actually dropping to the floor and worshiping the ground she trod upon. Those of you who know me know that I am wary of meeting my idols live and in person. I hate it when they disappoint me by being human. I’m happy to report that SEP is everything gracious and lovely. We had a nice chat on the ride down, and apparently no restraining orders were filed.

Wednesday night was the huge Readers for Life Literacy signing. Here’s my set up:


My friend and roommate, Karen Booth was signing as well:


Now, some of you may have noticed that there was no mention of food so far in my post. That’s because, other than a bagel at the airport, I had none. The schedule was so jam-packed, and I didn’t want to miss a thing to take time out to eat. You can bet your bippy I did once the signing was over. Back in comfy clothes, I ventured across the street to Junior’s Famous Cheesecake for fortification.

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Thursday was my busiest day.

I started out by attending some publisher spotlights and signings. Here I am with my new BFF, Lisa Kleypas.


After offloading books and other goodies in my room, I joined my DSRA pal, Mia Kay, for a walk up to the Random House offices. There we had lunch and listened to their editorial team talk about their digital first imprints, Loveswept and Flirt. Here are some highlights from the walk up Broadway:

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Upon our return, I worked the line for the Kensington Books signing, handing out my nifty ‘How deep is too deep?’ promo buttons for GOING DEEP (September 15, 2015).


Then, I ducked into a fabulous workshop on Conquering High Concept led by Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Avon editor, May Chen.

After that, it was time for the Carina Press wine break, where I got to schmooze and booze with my fellow Carina authors.

The next thing I know, it’s time to slip into my party dress and head off to the Bowery district for the Kensington Books party at Duane Park jazz club. I was lucky enough to hook up with fellow Kensington authors Sharon Struth, Terri-Lynne DeFino, and Sonali Dev in the cab line.

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There were cocktail and passed hors d’oeuvers. We had a great time mixing and mingling with publisher, Steven Zacharius, and the whole Kensington team, including my acquiring editor, Martin Biro.


Upon my return to the Marriott, Karen and I slipped into our PJs and headed downstairs for the pyjama (they are Canadian, after all) party where we sugared ourselves up good before heading off to bed.


Friday we hit the ground running with a keynote address from historical romance mega-star, Julia Quinn. After that, more spotlights and signings. Here I am with my fellow diamond, Elle James:


And the always charming and glamorous, Olivia Gates:


As the morning wound down, I slipped out of the conference to meet up with fellow Gilmorian and NYC native, Marla, for a fabulous lunch at Arriba, Arriba and my very first caramel frappachino.

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Back at the hotel, I slipped into a session on developing characters given the incomparable Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Copious notes were taken, but will make sense to no one but me. Then it was on to another publisher spotlight before I dashed up to the ninth floor to help set up for the Passionate Ink RWA speakeasy party:


Sadly, I couldn’t stay long once the festivities started to heat up, because I was due to change and head for the historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for the Harlequin authors Black and White Ball!

There were a bunch of us in the cab line, so the doorman cut a deal with a limo driver, and nine of us arrived at the party in style!

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Once there, we drank, ate delicious desserts, then donned our dancing socks – yes, socks – and boogied the night away.

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I’m proud to report that my partner in crime and I shut that baby down!


Saturday was tennis shoe day.


It was also the easiest day in my schedule. I attended workshops and leadership meetings, slipped into a great seminar on dialogue led by Alyssa Day, Elizabeth Hoyt, and my other new BFF, Kristan Higgins (squee!):


After that, the roomie and I decided it was time to slip out for a little John’s meatball pizza, and a walk in the lovely low-80s evening before dashing back to dress up one last time for the RITA and Golden Hearts awards ceremony.

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I had a few author pals who were finalists. so the cheering was loud and proud. So happy for fellow Team Megibow (kt literary) client, Tiffany Reisz. She won the RITA for best Erotic Romance for THE SAINT.


She even let us touch her RITA. Very gently. And with great reverence.

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We shared a celebratory cocktail in the bar after the ceremonies, where I posed with my RITA. She’s a little smaller, and made of chocolate, but someday….

The following morning, I hugged my roommate extraordinaire goodbye while she stood in the FedEx line, then hooked up with my travel partner, Renee, for the trek back to JFK.


And that, my friends, was how I spent my summer vacation. Want to share in a little of the loot from my trip to NYC? Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving away goodies to random winners chosen from my mailing list and from my Maggie Wells Street Team.

Sign up to be a part of one or both today!


Teaser Tuesday – Karen Rose Smith


Drape Expectations cover from Kensington

Caprice and Roz were digging more deeply into their Thai food when Caprice’s cell phone played.

“I’d better check this,” she said to Roz. “Juan is at the house we’re going to be staging and he might have run into a problem.”

But when she glanced at the screen, she saw Ace’s face.  Uh oh, just what was she going to say to him?  She swiped the screen and put the phone to her ear.  “Hi, Ace.  What’s up?”

“Caprice…”  Ace’s voice sounded strained and very strange.  “I’m at Alanna’s house,” he continued as if there was something wrong with that.

She was sure he’d been at Alanna’s house a lot lately.  “Does Alanna need something?”

“No, she—”  There was silence…absolute silence.

“Ace?  What’s going on?”

“Alanna’s here, Caprice, but the thing is—she’s not breathing.  Her eyes are wide open.  She has no pulse.  I think she was strangled!”


DRAPE EXPECTATIONS on Barnes and Noble:

Karen Romance Website:

Karen’s Mystery Website:

Facebook: KarenRoseSmithBooks

Twitter:  @karenrosesmith

Karen’s blog, Cats, Roses…and Books!


Monday Mayhem – I beg your indulgence

I know I promised you a big post about my trip to NYC and pics and all the good stuff. I promise I will do a post, but while the conference and trip were great, I received some news Sunday morning that ended my weekend on a very sad note. My beautiful BeBe (Black Betty Ethridge) passed away under the crepe myrtles Sunday night.


She was m furry best pal and most devoted companion. She had expressive brown brows, fuzzy paws, the worst dog breath in the world, and loved nothing more than a good snuzzle. She was the last of our litter of siblings, and at nearly 14, reaped the benefits of two people happy to indulge her every whim.She even had a special tuffet in my office

BeBe (2)

It was so hard to come home and not hear her haroooo.

So, can you give me until Thursday (next open blog day) to get the pics uploaded and give you the lowdown? I just need to…breathe a little.





Weekend Writing Warrior – 7/26/15

More from my current WIP, Play Dates, the first book in what I hope will be a series featuring some hot single dads and the women who capture their hearts! Post-mortem: Part II


“So you just left?” Mike stared at him, a mixture of awe and incredulity written all over his face.

Colm smothered a bark of laughter. His best friend would never win any poker tournaments. Hell, the guy only won a single pot when he held cards so good he couldn’t suppress his glee. In those rare instances, it was easier for him or James to nudge the ante just enough to make the guy feel good, then bow out gracefully. If Mike ever figured out that he truly sucked at poker, they’d risk losing the only Friday night entertainment they’d seen in months.

James selected the two cards he didn’t want in his hand and plunked them down on the table. “You’re missing the point, Mikey boy, he had every man’s dream date–dinner, sex, and a clean getaway.”

All action stilled when a muffled squawk came through the walkie-talkie shaped monitor. The three men stared at it, each sending up silent pleas to God and Benny Binion that this was simply a minor disturbance in the force.


Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think, and be sure to check out all of my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors!


Teaser Tuesday – Andrea Dalling

HANDLING CYNTHIA, Book 2 in the Second Chances series by Andrea Dalling, is now available on Kindle Unlimited.

1 Handling Cynthia 900 x 1350
Cynthia Darlington can’t forget how Trent Weber kissed her before they left for college—backed up against her Mustang, wrists firm in his grip, her body yielding to his desire. Now, five years later, she seeks him out at their class reunion, newly aware of her submissive nature, and hungering for his dominance. With so much time and distance between them, he’s practically a stranger now. Giving herself to Trent could be the culmination of all her hopes—or a teenage fantasy gone horribly wrong.

When Trent watched Cyn walk away after their kiss five years ago, it was enough humiliation to last a lifetime. But with one look at her in that tight black dress, his old desire resurfaces—and with it, the dark fantasies of her bound and submitting to his will. He longs to master this beautiful, confident, and supremely independent woman. If he can’t convince her to submit to her deepest cravings before the weekend is out, he could lose his last shot at the one who got away.

This BDSM erotic romance novella is intended for an adult audience. It contains scenes of flirtation, hot kisses, seductive bowling, a spoiled sub, a demanding Dom, second thoughts, and second chances.

With a thrill in his stomach, Trent caught sight of Cyn. She looked edible. Short dark hair, ivory shoulders he wanted to graze his teeth across. The old fantasies rushed back—fingers closed around her wrists, restraining her the way he had during that kiss. What would she think of him if she knew?

Moot point, because he’d never get that close to her again. Fool me twice, shame on me. He wouldn’t be a fool for any woman. Not even Cyn.

As he approached, she stepped forward and hugged him. He breathed her perfume, like oranges at Christmas, and imagined himself taking a bite. She held him in a long embrace. A knot in his chest loosened and he held her close, then remembered his resolve. As he pulled back, the accidental glide of his palm down the silky bare skin of her arm shot heat into his groin.

His throat thickened. Ever since that decadent kiss, his fantasies of dominating her had grown stronger, darker. Her body, so pliant in his arms as he’d held her against the Mustang when they were teenagers, had betrayed her submissive bent.

“I’ve missed you.” The words spilled from his lips without intent. Way to play it cool.
She stepped back and smiled, the corners of her eyes crinkling. “I missed you, too.”


Monday Mayhem – Frenzy!

First, let me just say:



The draft for FLIP THIS LOVE is complete, has been pre-edited, revised, and is now back with the ever-fabulous Jewels for another round of scrutiny. Which is good because this


appeared in Friday’s edition of Publisher’s Marketplace, and my agent posted this awesome announcement on the kt literary blog.

Next up? RWA National Conference in NYC!


Literally finished revisions Sunday, so I’ll be frantically packing for the next two nights. I can’t wait!

In the meantime, you can gaze upon this and we’ll all pretend we’re at the beach.

Coastal Heatbanner

I’ll be back next week with a full report!



Weekend Writing Warrior – 7/19/15

More from my current WIP, Play Dates, the first book in what I hope will be a series featuring some hot single dads and the women who capture their hearts! Post-mortem: Part I


Melody blinked up at her, the to-go cup of coffee poised millimeters from her lips. “And that is was it? He just left?”

Monica peered into the depths of the cardboard box in the center of the island and shrugged as she extracted a doughnut. “Well, yeah, what was he supposed to do?”

Emma zipped through the kitchen, high on hot chocolate and fried dough, singing a song about a sparkly castle on glittery hill. She ran smack into Monica’s leg mid-twirl, grinned up at her, completely oblivious to bits of flyaway brown hair adhered to her sticky cheeks, and held up one sugar-glazed hand in silent supplication. Monica obligingly dropped a doughnut hole into her waiting palm.

The little girl twirled away and Monica turned back to her sister. “What would you have done?”

Melody took the delayed sip of her coffee, then heaved a dramatic sigh. “I suppose I would have gone.”


Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think, and be sure to check out all of my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors!


Special cover reveal!!!

Rare Form by Jen Crane
(Descended of Dragons, #1)

Jen Crane eBook cover (1563x2500)
Publication date: October 6th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

A Secret Past

Fiery redhead Stella Stonewall can’t decide between a margarita and a manhattan.
The rest of her life? Please. Stella has never really fit in, and her pretty world comes crashing down when she learns it was never her world at all.

Rowan Gresham is domineering, brooding, and as sexy as chocolate-dipped sin. When he transports Stella to the magical realm of her parents she recognizes her rightful place immediately. Gresham’s motivations are less clear.

A Scorching Chemistry

The enigmatic Gresham aids in Stella’s metamorphosis and their chemistry ignites, though a long-time girlfriend and a significant age difference stand in the way.

A Battle for the Rest of Her Life

Stella’s life fast-tracks to extraordinary when she enrolls at Radix Citadel for Supernatural Learning, an enchanted college whose students turn furry on the regular. As Stella learns to navigate the magical new world of Thayer she must also find her animal form, a task as elusive as her ancestry. Stella soon faces an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn to manipulate an animal form she never knew she possessed.

Though she grew up on a working cattle ranch, Jen Crane has been in love with fantasy and science fiction since seeing a bootleg tape of Quantum Leap in the 90’s.She has a master’s degree, and solid work histories in government and non-profit administration. She’s been published in reputable newspapers and magazines.

One day, though, she said, “Life’s too real for nonfiction. I’m gonna write about love and magic.”

Jen is happily living out her dream in The South with her husband and three children, striking that delicate balance between inspiration and frustration.

Sign up for sneak peeks, news, and giveaways at

Author links:

Teaser Tuesday – Katie Kenyhercz

Here’s a peek at Home Ice by Katie Kenyhercz!

Home Ice Final Cover

“It took me one week to figure out you were different.”
Dylan lifted his brows. “Different from who?”
“From everyone. You don’t play games. You’re refreshingly transparent. Whatever you feel or think, it’s right there on your face, and most times you say it out loud. You don’t hold back or pretend to be someone you’re not. I knew that, and I questioned it anyway. It says more about me than you.”
A stray piece of hair had come out of her ponytail, and he tucked it behind her ear. He let his palm brush her jaw on the way down. “I might not be like this if I had to do it the way you did. Training hard takes its toll, but it’s different when you have twenty-two people at your back no matter what. People who believe in you and support you. Even make up for your mistakes. Until we talked about it, I took my team for granted, but the kind of guys they are, everything they’ve done for me … it lets me see the best in people.”
She bit her lip and wrinkled her nose. “I can only imagine what you saw the first time you met me.”
“I saw a beautiful girl covered in snow, determination, and probably butt bruises.”
The laugh burst out of her before she could check it. “Uh, yeah. Well, what I’m trying to say is I’m sorry for shutting you out, and I’ll try to be better about reflex judgments.”
Home Ice






Monday Mayhem – Excuses, excuses

Please excuse Margaret from the internet today. She has been ill this week and has been using every word she could muster to make this happen:


She hopes to be done with this first draft and back in fighting form next week, when she will tell you all about her preparations for her New York adventure and the Romance Writers of America conference. In the meantime, please enjoy the (unedited) excerpt below with my compliments.


Epstein’s Mother

Flip This Love – a work in progress

“That’s it. Suck, sugar.”

The husky timbre of his voice sent shivers down her spine. One warm hand slid from her shoulder to her back. The tips of his fingers dug into the valley of her spine. He could nearly span her waist. Her nipples puckered when he slipped his hand into her hair. Oh, how she wished she’d worn it up. She loved the feel of him skin on skin. She almost wept with relief when he wrapped his big, broad palm around her nape. Heat seeped into the taut muscles of her neck. A thin stream of hot moisture escaped the corner of her mouth and trickled down her chin.

“Oh yeah. Suck harder.”

It wasn’t the first time he’d said those words to her, and God help her, she knew it wouldn’t be the last. She was weak. A quivering mass of happy, hurt, and oh-please-touch-me-again.

The man was right. She needed to suck it up. And hard. If Harley Cade was back to stay, she had to be on her guard. The man was as insidious as the kudzu that crept into her mother’s flower garden.

Laney pulled the spent crawfish shell from her mouth and dropped it onto the butcher paper in front of her. Fingers tangled in her hair and tugged lightly, a tiny jolt that sent a lightning bolt of white-hot desire streaking straight through her. She looked up in time to see him flash old Mrs. Hillbury a dimpling smile and commandeer the folding chair beside her.

“Evenin’, Delaney.”