Monday Mayhem – Guilt Offering

The dog ate my homework!

Okay, maybe not really, but the result is the same: I don’t have a post prepared. What can I say? I’ve, uh, been…busy. I am prpared to offer appeasment, though. No, I don’t have a Central-Eurpopean country to hand over, but I do have one more novel releasing this year. How about a sneak peek from Inamorata? Will that get me off the hook?

Warning: Frank DeLuca was never PG-13 and probably never will be. The potty-mouth…

Anyhoo…Here’s your bribe. Let me know what you think, and have a happy Monday!

Inamorata – Coming June 2012 from Turquoise Morning Press

After twenty-five years of cooling his jets in a wall sconce, Frank DeLuca figured the afterlife owed him a break. Hadn’t he been a model ghost? He didn’t possess little kids, screw up the television reception, or throw random objects across the room just to get attention. Hell, he never even made creepy noises in the dead of night.

All he asked was a peaceful existence where someone would turn him on every once in a while. The light, that is. He needed just a little bit of light in his afterlife.

Instead, he got a sullen, silent little boy who cried for his mommy every night. The kid came with a set of hyper-tense grandparents whose marriage was crumbling under the weight of old insecurities and words left unspoken. As if that weren’t enough to drive a guy to hide out in his light fixture, providence tossed in a little a spitfire of a girl who flipped his switch in every way. Gina Ferro turned out to be the kid’s mother. She also happened to be a ghost.

Thrown together by Fate and bound by history, Frank and Gina must learn to trust each other with the keys to their pasts in order to unlock their eternity.

Excerpt:

He let go, allowing the soul-crushing pain to swamp him, plummeting to earth once more. He couldn’t crash and burn any worse than he had before. Twice before. Once when he was living, and once long after he’d been dead. Frank blinked the glare from his eyes and focused on the blank wall in front of him. The rosebud wallpaper was gone. The sheetrock had been stripped, sanded, and painted blue. A blue that was just a half-shade lighter than the blue that coated the walls in nineteen-eighty-seven.

He shook his head to clear it. Finally, his gaze tracked to the right where he spotted a bookshelf loaded with books, games, and stuffed animals. At the very top, a collection of trophies like the one he once kept in this very room was proudly displayed. Tiny gold men holding bats glistened in the soft amber glow of evening. He gaped at them perched atop their faux marble and fake brass pedestals.

He could see it so perfectly in his mind’s eye. A spotless trophy, gleaming bright gold in the light cast from the cheesy 70s directional sconce mounted on the wall. His mother running her fingertip over the engraved plate bearing his name.

“Francis DeLuca.”

The name rolled off his lips even though he hadn’t spoken it aloud in nearly two decades. Not since the night he introduced himself to the little girl who moved into his room. Not since he fell in love with Cam.

His eyes locked on the gilt batter glued to the top of the tallest trophy. He couldn’t look away. Obviously they didn’t belong to the little guy snuggled into the race-car shaped bed. But something told him they belonged here, just like him.

He stared hard at that trophy, seeing his mother’s wind-up, flinching just as he flinched when she hurled it across the room, smashing the bulb in the brass-colored wall sconce to bits, stealing the last wisps of breath from his lungs, and sentencing him to an eternity as the middleman.

On August nineteenth, nineteen-eighty-seven, he died. That was the day he broke his mother’s heart. That was the day his fate was sealed.

Shaking his head, Frank glared at the woman perched on the side of the bed. She was tall and slim, her hair so blonde it was almost white, her skin as pale as milk. Long, graceful fingers fussed with the edge of a Thomas the Tank Engine quilt, but the backs of her hands were veined and dotted with sunspots. It was her face that called to him. Stoic. Silent. Stone-faced.

“Fuck. Here we go again.”

Share

Monday Mayhem – Picking Favorites

The gift card winner is: Carol! Thanks for your comments!

It’s release week for Spring Chickens and I am doing a happy dance. If you haven’t heard my crowing already, here’s the 4-1-1: Trade Paperback can be ordered NOW! Digital versions and all outlets other than the Wild Rose Press Bookstore will release Friday, April 27th!

Whew!

An author once told me she gets ‘the jitters’ each time she has a new release hit the shelves, despite having over a dozen titles out there. She’s not the only one.

This never gets old. Each release is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Like a first date without the pointless rambling and the possibility of spilling food down the front of my shirt. (Which I will do anyway, but you won’t see it so it won’t count against me.)

I can’t help but wonder if you’ll like my writing. Will you fall for Lynne and Bram the way I did? Will there be a second read? What if I never hear from you again?

Oh, the hand wringing!

Just like dating, all I can do is put myself out there and hope we connect on some level.

Spring Chickens is a different sort of story for me. My hero and heroine are a little older, a bit wiser, and a whole lot warier than they were when they were young, but in a way it’s much more optimistic than anything I’ve written before. I know authors (and mothers) are not supposed to have favorites, but…Shh. Don’t tell the others.

Desert island time! If you had to pick only one book (no cheating and naming a series!) by your favorite author, which would be your favorite and why?

One lucky commenter will win a $20 gift card to the online bookstore of their choice! Winner will be drawn on Sunday, April 29th at 6PM US-Central time. Please tell your friends!

Share

Monday Mayhem – It’s me again, Margaret

I’m back! Did you miss me last week? Aren’t The Karens a hoot? Love those girls!

So… Hi! I didn’t really have a topic picked out for today, so I thought I’d play catch up with some bullet points.

1)         Just a little over one month until Spring Chickens is released! I love Lynne. I love Bram. I really love Bram. Ahem. Sorry… Anyway, I can’t wait for you to meet him, uh, them. Need a refresher? Here’s the blurb:

You don’t have to be a spring chicken to fall in love.

The residents of Heartsfield, Arkansas think Lynne Prescott has it all. The wealthy suburban divorcee captures everyone’s attention when she blows into town to dispose of the family farm. But her nosy new neighbors don’t know she ran away from home.

Bram Hatchett’s interest in buying the land adjoining his farm is yesterday’s news, but the handsome widower’s inability to contain his attraction to the land’s beautiful owner quickly becomes fodder for the local gossip mill.

A rickety old porch and a disturbing decrease in the poultry population bring them together—but with wagging tongues and grown children against them, Lynne’s inclination toward flight comes smack against Bram’s aversion to fight. Can they whittle away the secrets of the past in order to scratch out a future together?

Mark your calendars for the week of April 23rd!

2)         Been getting some really awesome reviews on Commitment! Yay! If you do not review the books you read on a site like Amazon, GoodReads, or Barnes & Noble, I’m asking that you please consider doing so. Not just my books, but any book. Your thoughts and opinions matter a great deal to authors and readers alike. More and more, I’m seeing more and more places that require a minimum number of public reviews before an author can even pay to advertise on the site. You don’t have to write an essay. Just simply say what you liked or didn’t like about the book. That’s right; you can say you didn’t like it. Honest reviews are always appreciated. Please just remember to be gentle. Authors are like small woodland creatures…

3)         Hey, are you following my photo a day challenge on my Facebook page? It’s been a lot of fun. Stop by, click the ‘like’ button, and check them out! 

4)        Been writing lately, but it’s been more for my close, personal friend, Maggie Wells than for myself. Seems she got a little ambitious with the series planning. Silly Maggie.

4)         Silly Margaret: I decided it was time to shake off the cobwebs and start working out a little harder, so I signed up for a 5K that’s being held at the end of April.  I ran almost two miles yesterday. It was the first time we’ve run the riverfront since last fall. I’d forgotten how different road running can be from the treadmill. I’m hoping I can build enough endurance in the next six weeks to run the whole course.

5)         For anyone in the greater Cincinnati area: I’ll be signing books at the 8th Annual Reader and Author Get Together June 1-2! Details here!

I have a big anniversary coming up in a couple of weeks, but I’ll save that for another post. Yes, I know. I’m such a tease…

So, what about you? What’s fun and exciting in your world? Read anything good lately? Seen any good movies? I require constant entertainment, so please share!

Share

Monday Mayhem – Meet Maggie and Tom!!!!

Just in case you haven’t heard me shout it from the rooftops…It’s release day for COMMITMENT!!!

All digital formats are now available – trade paperback coming later this week.

The ebook is only $3.99 at the TMP Bookstore, Amazon, B&N, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords . Whew! That was a lot of links. I hope I got them all right.

Okay! Let’s talk about Maggie and Tom…

We first met these two in Contentment,  but their story is not truly a sequel. Commitment runs concurrent to Contentment. That’s a fancy way of saying, the timelines overlap. If you’ve read Contentment, you know what’s going on with these two, but you don’t really know how they got there or how it will turn out for them. Well, now you know…

Author true confession #1: I did not read Paramour or Contentment after they were released.

I mean I never sat down (or in my case, crawled into the tub) and read them like I book I just picked up. It’s not that I don’t love the stories or the characters. If you had any idea how real these people are to me, you’d call the men in the white coats. It’s just that by the time a book gets to market, I’ve been through it at least 6 times since I turned it in to my editor. After a while, the words begin to blur.

True confession #2: The first draft of this book took  me a total of 9 months to complete. Getting to the point where I could type ‘The End’ almost killed me.

Those of you who were around when I was writing Commitment know. It was so frustrating. I loved the characters. I loved the story they had to tell. I knew exactly where it was going to go and how I wanted to get them there, but something kept holding me back. I simply could not force the words from my fingertips. Thankfully, I have one of those painfully honest friends who pointed out a few areas she thought I could improve. In other words, she gave me all the reasons why she hated my book. I didn’t agree with her, but the feedback lit a fire under me. I went back in to make a few changes, determined to prove her wrong. Voila! It all clicked. For that, my painfully honest friend will receive extra kisses of gratitude.

True confession #3: I adore Tom and Maggie.

These two crack me up. Their story is much more light-hearted than the one I hung on poor Sean and Tracy. There’s nothing I love more than two snarky people in lust. Or love. Or both. LOVE these two together. I love the steam that rises between them. I think of all the couples I have ever written, Tom and Maggie are the most evenly matched in tone and temperment. That makes their tug-of-war more fun to watch.

True confession #4: I started reading Commitment on my Kindle last night.

I didn’t mean to, honest. I opened the file to re-read the dedication (because I couldn’t remember what I wrote) and thee next thing I knew, Mr. Man was snoring away and I was five chapters in.

True confession #5: In a roundabout way, I may have dedicated this book to myself.

Want to know how?

Buy the book. 

Happy Monday to you all, my friends. I hope your mayhem is marvelous. 

 

Share

Monday Mayhem – Begin as you mean to go on…

Did you hear? It’s a new year. Yep, 2012 slipped in while I was sleeping. Sneaky little bugger. Oh well, I’m glad it’s here at last. Not that 2011 didn’t treat me right. I think we can all agree that it did. Even in the end, 2011 kept giving and giving. It was incredible!

Contentment was named Most Memorable Story of 2011 by Another Look Book Reviews, and Paramour made a couple of end of year polls, and was ranked #3 in Top 25 books or series of 2011 by Heather Brewer at Everybody Needs A Little Romance. I’m still a little flabbergasted. The past couple of years have been a whirlwind—of the very best kind.

And now, a fresh new year. It’s hard to believe 2012 is here already. So much to do, so many things to look forward to already! What’s my plan of attack? I will begin as I mean to go on—head-first, full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, and watch out, here she comes!

There’s tons of good stuff coming our way this year, so here’s a quick rundown from my little corner of the world:

Week of January 23: Commitment from Turquoise Morning Press

 I got cover art – wanna see?

 

Isn’t it pretty? I cannot wait for you to spend a little time with Maggie and Tom. These two are fun, sexy, and oh-so-delicious together. And they’ll be available soon! Squee!

Week of April 23: Spring Chickens from the Wild Rose Press

Oh my goodness, Lynne and Bram. I hope you fall for them as hard as I did. I loved writing this book. I love that this hero and heroine aren’t exactly spring chickens. I love that they fell in love, despite the fact that they can’t see each other clearly when they get up close and personal. Who says presbyopia can’t be sexy?  Certainly not me.

Week of June 4: Inamorata from Turquoise Morning Press

He’s baaaaack! The sexiest ghost ever to be stuck in a 60s-era light fixture is back. I’m editing now and preparing to send this baby off to my editor, but I can tell you that a new family has moved into the Stafford house, and Frank DeLuca seems destined for a new love. That is, if he can let go of the past and learn to trust in the promise of eternity.

(Cover art to come)

Whew! Pretty cool, huh? Well, that’s not all. I’ve been huddling with my editor and publisher about the possibility of finishing out the Long Distance Love series. That’s right; there will be more Jack and Ellie to come! The plan is to combine all of the published stories with five or six new short stories to round the series out and bring them full circle. I’m working on them now, and I can’t help looking at this for inspiration:

I love that cover. It’s sooooo them. Anyhoo – stay tuned for details.

That’s what I have on the docket for now. I plan to start chasing the plot bunnies running around in my head, and hopefully will have a new novel or two completed in this brand-spanking-new year. Perhaps I’m being a little ambitious, but I don’t see the point in aiming low.

Whatever happens, I’m excited for 2012. How about you?

What are you looking forward to in the coming months? Any goals or plans you care to share?  Happy Monday, my friends. Thank you for making 2011 a banner year for me. I wish you and your loved ones a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2012.

Now go out there are kick some ass!

 

Share