Giveaway!

I’m giving away an autographed copy of The Boyfriend of the Month Club over at the Girlfriends Book Club today. Just follow the link to leave a comment. The giveaway is open till this Saturday, January, 24.

“Romance readeboyfriend of the month clubrs will revel in the Austen-perfect happy ending and the warm friendships among members of the club.Publishers Weekly.

At thirty, Grace O’Bryan has dated every loser in Daytona Beach. After the ultimate date-from-hell, Grace decides to turn her dwindling book club into a Boyfriend of the Month Club, where women can discuss the eligible men in their community. Where are the real life twenty-first century versions of literary heroes such as Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy?

Could it be successful and handsome Brandon Farrell, who is willing to overlook his disastrous first date with Grace and offers financial help for her parents’ failing Florida gift shop? Or maybe sexy dentist Joe Rosenblum, who’s great with a smile but not so great at commitment? Unfortunately, like books, men cannot always be judged by their covers…

 

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College spirit and life lessons

Stay Positive. Go Big or Go Home. Keep moving forward. Develop your brand. Don’t listen too closely to the cheers or jeers of others…

No matter what you do in life, these are all words to live by. Here’s an excellent article printed last Sunday in the Tallahassee Democrat titled Life Lessons I learned from being FSU’s Gold Guy.

If you follow college football, then you know Gold Guy is one half of the Florida State Garnet and Gold Guys–two students who douse themselves in glitter paint and run around the stadium cheering for the Seminoles.

I thought this article was excellent. For anyone. Especially writers.

Oh, and Congrats to Ohio State for winning the National Championship!

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Latina power

I know I should have beengina rodriquez writing last night, but, well, the Golden Globes were on. And so was Downton Abbey. AND The Good Wife. It always seems like some sort of conspiracy theory that all the good shows come on at the same time. Thank God for the power of the DVR and On Demand :)

While switching channels between shows, I caught a tiny bit of the Golden Globes. I think it was kismet that I happened to catch Gina Rodriquez’s acceptance speech for her work in Jane the Virgin. I have to admit, I was intrigued by the show’s title when I first heard about it awhile back, but I never saw the show. I knew it was based on a popular Venezuelan telenovela (Spanish soap opera), but I just didn’t have room on my limited TV schedule for another how.

All that changed last night, when after her speech, I channel surfed through ON Demand to find a few episodes of the show.

Yep. I’m now hooked. Love the premise! Love Abuela! And love Jane. Oh, and the guy who plays Raphael isn’t half bad either.

 

 

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Does your first paragraph do its job?

I recently saw there was a contest that invited you to send in the first paragraph of an original work. It’s called “Write Start” and it’s being sponsored by Paste and Bibliophile. Most authors struggle with those opening lines, because let’s face it. You only get one change to make a good impression and the first lines of a book are it.

There’s lots of great writing tips to be found right here.

We’re calling on aspiring and seasoned writers to submit a single opening paragraph—a collection of no more than 75 words—that leaves the reader intrigued and eager to know more. This won’t be any ordinary paragraph. It should hook the reader from the outset, be rich in description and remain unburdened by fatty detail or flowery prose. Don’t cram in too much information; the best entries will balance omission with admission.

I’m not going to enter, because I thought it would be fun to post the opening paragraph to my upcoming romance trilogy. I hope they do the trick and leave you wanting to read more  :)

That Thing You Do  coming April, 2015

Allie Grant aimed her flashlight at the padlocked door to the Margaret Handy Senior Center. On the surface, the abandoned building appeared like any other ranch style structure built in the nineteen-fifties. Lots of brick, lots of windows, lots of deterioration. But this wasn’t just any crumbling building. According to her anonymous source, this building was haunted.

Then He Kissed Me  coming May, 2015

If Lauren Donalan were asked to rank the best day of her life, she’d answer hands down that it was the day her son Henry was born. She might have been eighteen and dumber than an armadillo, but she’d been smart enough to know a good thing when she saw it. Even if that good thing did wake up crying every two hours with a poopy diaper, wanting to be fed.

That Man Of Mine  coming June, 2015

Once upon a time there was a seventeen-year-old girl named Mary (No, not that Mary and not that long ago). But there was a similarity in their stories that women of all ages were all too familiar with. Both Marys had gotten inconveniently pregnant. One, by Divine Intervention, and the other…well, let’s just say it was the sex that had been divine.

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Lilly does Target!

lilly pulitzerI know I’m not the only one excited to hear that Lilly Pulitzer is opening a new line at my favorite store (besides Nordstrom that is).  Yep, Lilly is doing Target. And I’m absolutely thrilled.

I love Target for so many reasons, one being they are quickly becoming the nation’s best little bookstore. With the death of Borders and so many Barnes and Noble’s closing, I’ve found that if I want a real time book fast (and discounted), Target is my best bet. Sad, but true. I’ve never had any of my own books sold in Target, but it’s a goal I’d love to achieve. New York Times list? Sure, I’ll take it. But honestly, I’d rather be in Target ;)

Another reason this just all tickles my funny bone is that I have a heroine in an upcoming book (THEN HE KISSED ME, coming May, 2015) who ends up designing a Lilly inspired maternity line (that’s a bit of a spoiler, but I think I can say that it won’t ruin the book for you).

Check out these Lilly star sandals. I definitely WANT a pair of these!

star sandals

 

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Setting the mood

father of the bride houseGuess what I got for Christmas?

Father of the Bride (both 1 & 2)! I have to admit, these little gems are my guilty pleasures. I absolutely adore Steve Martin and Diane Keaton in these films and no matter how many times I watch them, I never fail to laugh.

One of the things I love so much about the films, is the mood. Light, fluffy, romantic… it’s pure escapism. Exactly the kind of mood I want to create for my books. And that house! I know people love the Home Alone house, but for me, it’s the Father of the Bride house. That front image, the lovely kitchen, the back patio, and that basketball court. I love it all. Especially the scenes in the 2nd film where Steve Martin (at the height of mid-life crisis) sells the house to Eugene Levy. And then has to buy it back. Ha! He’d better!

Father-of-the-Bride-house-living-rm

father of the bride closing image

 

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Don’t judge me because I still have my Christmas tree up

And the outside lights. Yep. They’re still on too.  Usually I keep my lights and my tree up till Jan 2. I mean, please don’t tell me you take your tree down on December 26 (because that always makes me sad!). Jan 5, however, is just a tad wee bit too long, but since our oldest daughter flew down on Saturday for her holiday break I am more than justified in keeping the tree up. We picked up her up at the airport late (she missed her original flight from JFK) and we pretty much crashed that evening. Yesterday, however, we celebrated her arrival with a lovely dinner out at Shula’s, followed by a rainy evening in, watching a movie (Downton Abbey was being recorded on the DVR).

Chocolate

So, what did we see, you ask?

The Babadook.

Now, normally, I do NOT do scary movies. I am Big Chicken number 1 at this house, but Steph made a pretty good case as to why we should see the movie, and since I’m thrilled she’s here, she won.

I will admit, I actually liked it (a little wine helped that along). It was creepy, yes, but also very well acted, and poignant, as well. As far as scary movies go, I give it a thumbs up.

The only thing missing from a perfect evening was chocolate. About half-way through the film, the girls and I made this horrifying discovery. I mean, less than a week ago, the house was filled with candy. So I ask you. WHERE did all the chocolate go?

I am going with the Babadook took it.

Must go to out today and replenish. For all our sakes.

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An airport reunion, and what I’m reading now

Happy New Year! And a belated MDarwin Geracierry Christmas to everyone  :)  I hope your holidays have been as awesome as mine have been. Working in labor and delivery is one of the best jobs in the world (besides writing romance!) but there is always a price to pay, as in working holidays (and weekends, etc…). This year my winter holiday was New Years (and yes, there were lots of babies born in Tallahassee to ring in 2015.  Fortunately, I had Christmas off and got to spend it with family (including 2 of my children).

The third (and oldest) who works for Nordstrom and lives in Jersey is flying in today to celebrate a late Christmas with us. I’m so excited! We’ve had her little dog, Darwin, living with us since August because oldest daughter travels a lot in her new job which is not conducive to owning a needy pet (and let’s face it, little dogs are needy). We’re taking Darwin to the airport with us (which is a 2 1/2 hour drive to Jacksonville) so that they can be “reunited” immediately. I really really hope that Darwin makes a huge fuss over Steph because she misses him greatly. I also hope he doesn’t get car sick (which he is prone to). Will keep you posted.

On another note, I wanted to share my latest read with you. It’s an anthology, composed of 6 different stories by 6 different authors and it’s titled Snowy Days, Steamy Nights. Yep. Just my cup of tea. I started with Jamie Farrell’s Smittened. Jamie is my crit partner, but I didn’t get a chance to read this story before it went off to the copy editor, ssnowy dayso it’s a special treat to get to read it in it’s perfect form. It’s absolutely awesome, and I can’t wait to try out the other stories as well. Go forth and buy! You will not be disappointed!

SMITTENED (Jamie Farrell) – Dahlia Mallard is determined save her ice cream shop by getting country music superstar Billy Brenton to attend her risqué flavor-tasting event. But the closest she can get to Billy is his drummer, the womanizing Mikey Diamond. The more she gets to know Mikey, the more she wants to save him from his bad boy ways. When he discovers she’s using him to get to Billy, will she still be able to have her ice cream and eat it too?

 

 

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My Writer’s Christmas List

shutterstock_236854057Today, I’m over at Girlfriends Book Club where I unveil my Christmas Wants List. You can check it out here.

This weekend, I plan to finish my Christmas shopping (wish me luck!)

Hope you have a good one!

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