Monday Mayhem – Catholic guilt edition

So I think I may have to change my author picture to something like this:

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I was a complete slug this weekend. I mean, I didn’t leave my house other than to go to the Kum & Go to refill the massive mug.

Nor did I write.

What did I do? I read THE ANGEL by the fabulous Tiffany Reisz. I napped. I watched more episodes of Friday Night Lights than anyone should admit to watching in one weekend.

But somehow, I managed to make it through the entire weekend without adding a single word to my fledgling work in progress.

I did do authorly things. If you missed the Unforgettable Heroes II pre-release party on Facebook, you missed a good time. Lucky for you, you can still order your boxed set for only $0.99. It includes SPRING CHICKENS!

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AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1U1in0N
IBOOKS: http://apple.co/1NoBT8o
B&N: http://bit.ly/BNUH2
KOBO: http://bit.ly/KoboUH2

/sales pitch

I also packaged prizes to be sent out and started assembling goodies for my street team. I just didn’t put any words on paper.

That’s when the Catholic guilt kicks in. I feel bad about having so much free time and not making anything out of it.

Yes, I know sometimes I need to give it a rest. I know that reading a book or watching television can and are helpful to me as a writer/storyteller. I just have a hard time with the need to have something to show for my time. And the upcoming month is going to be action packed. UNFORGETTABLE HEROES II releases this week, SEDUCING STEVE will be going on sale September 10-14th, then GOING DEEP releases September 15th. In the midst of all that, I will be working edits on FLIP THIS LOVE and possibly A WILL AND A WAY.

So, I should have used this weekend to crank on the draft of LOVE & ROCKETS.

But I didn’t.

And I feel guilty.

Apparently not guilty enough to stop ogling Kyle Chandler, but there you have it. My confession.

Bless me readers, for I have loafed…

How about you? Are you ruled by guilt, or do you revel in guilty pleasures?

 

 

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 8/16/15

Not much new to share this week, so here’s a little more from FLIP THIS LOVE – coming April 2016 from Kensington/Lyrical Press!

Leaning down, he brushed a kiss over her lips. She arched when he pulled away, silently asking for more. Harley wondered if she even knew she was shoving him away with one hand, but all the while begging for more. It was one of the things that kept him coming back to this maddening but irresistible woman. Rolling half on top of her, he pinned her to the mattress so she couldn’t wriggle away.

“Do you believe me now?”

“That I ruined you for other women?”

Harley was gratified to note the tremor in her voice. He liked her best when she was just slightly off balance. He figured he was less likely to get steamrollered if she couldn’t get her feet planted firmly on the ground

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Be sure to check out all of this week’s excerpts from my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors!

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Monday Mayhem – Mostly lazy edition

In case you missed it, I did end up doing my RWA wrap-up post on Thursday. Thanks for letting me slide on the Mayhem last week.

I spent most of last week polishing FLIP THIS LOVE (Coastal Heat #2) to get it ready to turn in to my editor. I’m pleased to report that I pressed send on Friday – one day ahead of schedule! Woo hoo!

Though it was a sprint to write it on time, I loved bringing Laney and Harley’s story to life. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it. It should be available from Kensington/Lyrical-Shine in April 2016. But don’t forget that book #1 – GOING DEEP will be out September 15, 2015.

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With this three book series plus the sequel to THREE LITTLE WORDSA WILL AND A WAY coming in June 2016, I’m going to have my hands full in the coming months. That’s why I am asking for help by forming a street team.

Street team members are a merry band of readers who help spread the word about new releases and promoting sales on back list titles. In exchange for their efforts, I provide them with advanced read copies of upcoming titles, swag (bookmarks, pins, etc.), books I’ve picked up from my fellow authors, and other prizes and gifts as my way of saying thanks. If you are interested in joining my street team, complete this form!

Other than that, I’ve done very little writerly work this weekend. Oh, I played around with my series bible (the document were I keep all the details for the Coastal Heat books) some, and I may have written a few sentences – 4 to be exact, and the gist of those were jotted on an index card while in NYC – but mostly, I relaxed and recuperated.

After the month-long writing marathon and the whirlwind that was RWA nationals, I needed it.

I took care of some chores, did a few errands (Did you know that apparently every grocery store in the metropolitan Little Rock area was closed while I was away?), napped a couple of times, cooked an actual meal, and watched multiple episodes of Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it.

Okay, that’s kind of a lie. I feel a little guilty about not getting more accomplished, and there are bits of LOVE & ROCKETS (Coastal Heat #3) floating around in my head, but…yeah.

How was your weekend?

 

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 8/2/15

Hello, Warriors! The last month has been a whirlwind. Not only did I just spend five fabulous days at the Romance Writers of America national conference, but I wrote a book in 31 days before I left. Yep. That’s what a surprise deadline will do for you. I know I shared a little tidbit from Flip This Love (book #2 Coastal Heat series) before, but here’s another taste. Hope you enjoy it!

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“Delaney—”

“I said no.” She kept her voice pitched low but coated in the sticky-sweet honey she was taught would soften even the harshest of blows. “Stay away from me, Harley Cade. You had your chance to make something happen and you blew it.”

Once again, he covered her hand with his. She tried to pull it away, but those thick, strong fingers wrapped her up tight. “Sweetheart, you weren’t ready for the chances I wanted to take.”

****

Be sure to check out all of my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors posts!

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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.

Wednesday:

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???

SUSAN ELIZABETH PHILLIPS!!!!!

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:

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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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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:

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And the always charming and glamorous, Olivia Gates:

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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:

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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!

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Saturday was tennis shoe day.

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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!):

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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!

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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.

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

 

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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:

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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.

Signed,

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.”

 

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 5/10/15, cover reveal, and FREEBIE!

Hi gang! Remember the book I wrote about the hotshot reporter and the even hotter marine biologist guy? Well, Going Deep will be hitting the e-book shelves on September 15, 2015 and I got gorgeous new cover art! To celebrate, I’m sharing 8 lines from Brooke and Brian’s story this week. Anyone up for a little dancing in the moonlight?

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“Can you sing?”

“Not on a bet.”

“Whistle?”

Raising one eyebrow, he stepped into her space, forcing her to follow him into the smooth glide of a waltz. “Do you need me to hail you a cab?”

“I haven’t actually waltzed since the junior high cotillion,” she murmured, nostalgia curving her lips. “Do you hum?”

“I’ve been humming every second since I saw you tonight.”

****

Here’s the gorgeous artwork from Kensington/Lyrical Press sent this week:

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And here’s the scoop on this story:

Going Deep

To the heart of the story.

Brooke Hastings almost won a Pulitzer Prize for her hard-hitting reportage. Now she’s sitting on the story of a lifetime and wants to prove she’s not a one-hit-wonder. But in order to get the world to take notice, she’ll need the help of the one person she loves to hate—Brian Dalton.

Brian Dalton stumbled into celebrity when he landed a show on the Earth Channel. But the hunky marine biologist never forgot the serious, studious boy who left Mobile a decade before. Now back in Alabama, he’s looking for the quiet life he always wanted and hoping for a chance with the girl he always loved. When Brooke asks him to help expose some of the lingering effects of the Gulf oil disaster, Brian jumps at the chance to help preserve the place both call home…

Available for pre-order now!

All Romance ~ AmazonAppleB&NGoogle ~  Kensington Kobo

And if that wasn’t exciting enough – Kensington/Lyrical Press is offering Three Little Words for FREE this month! Grab a copy now!

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AmazonAppleB&NGoogle ~  Kensington Kobo

That’s all I have for now. Be sure to check out all of the Weekend Writing Warrior posts here.

Happy Sunday!

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Monday Mayhem – Big news! Wow news!

Just in case you haven’t seen me crowing on Facebook, Twitter, and random street corners…

I HAVE AN AGENT!

Last Monday I accepted an offer of representation form my dream agent, Sara Megibow of KT Literary! I queried her in March with a pitch for Full Court Press, and within a month I had an offer! For those of you who don’t know, that is unspeakably fast for the publishing world.

So, yay! I’m beyond excited to be working with Sara and thrilled by her enthusiasm and ambition.  There could be big things happening! Wow things!

What? You still want more good news? Well, nothing is set in stone yet, but it looks like you may be seeing a sequel to Three Little Words! I submitted A Will and a Way (formerly Bossy Pants) to my editor, and they liked it! I’m just waiting for the details to be worked out.

That’s not enough excitement, you say? How about I tell you that Kensington has put Three Little Words on sale for the low, low price of…FREE!

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AmazonAppleB&NGoogle ~  Kensington Kobo

That’s right. Tell all your friends to grab their copy now, because Greg and Josie and their sexytime romps are up for grabs!

And finally: The winner of the signed ‘collector’s edition’ copies of Paramour and Inamorata is:

Arlene Hittle

Congratulations, Arlene, and thanks for commenting!

Wish you’d won them for yourself? Watch this Wednesday’s Whatcha Reading? post for another chance to win a set!

That’s all I have for now, dear friends. Well, that and this picture of a really cute boy who made me chase him all around the backyard, then graciously allowed me to feed him chips and sugar cookies for lunch (Hey, I can do that, I’m the grandma.).

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How was your weekend? Munch on anything yummy?

 

 

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Weekend Writing Warrior – 3/8/15

I’m starting new things! Of course, that means multiple projects in the works until one grabs some traction. Here are a few naughty lines I wrote to open the sequel to my September release, Going Deep. This one is called Flip This Love.

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“That’s it, suck, Sugar.”

The tips of his fingers dug into the valley of her spine. Her nipples puckered. A thin stream of hot moisture escaped the corner of her mouth and trickled down her chin.

“Oh yeah. Suck harder.”

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 dropped the empty crawfish shell to the sheet of butcher paper in front of her and stared up at Harley Cade  slack-jawed as he dropped into the chair next to hers.

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Hee! Welcome to Mardi Gras in Mobile. Who’s up for a little friendly banter at the annual crawfish boil? That’s all I have this week. I appreciate you stopping by to read. Be sure to check out all of my fellow Weekend Writing Warriors!

 

 

 

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