Monday, December 22, 2008

Orgasmic Brownies

Jane, one of the midwives I work with brought a plate of brownies to the hospital the other night. They were, quite simply, the best brownies I've ever tasted. So I promptly went to Publix the next morning and bought the ingredients to make a batch. Mike Geraci brought some to work and I'm still getting rave comments from his co-workers. So this afternoon I made another batch to have for the holidays because really, you can never have enough chocolate in the house. The recipe is from and it's called Outrageous Brownies. (Although they really ought to change the title).
Don't be scared away by the "difficult" level. If I can make them, anyone can. Also, don't skip out on the instructions to refrigerate well before cutting. I really think that adds something special to the consistency.

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (1 cup for batter and 1/4 cup in the chips and nuts)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups diced walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.
Stir together 1 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips with 1/4 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kate Spade is the Devil

Yesterday, while on my trip back to Tally from my parents' house in Melbourne, I stopped at the Prime Outlet Mall outside St. Augustine in the hopes of getting a few Christmas deals. While the economy sucking is a negative for us all, the one bright shining star in this mess is that retailers are going crazy with their sales. Kate Spade had a whooping 40% off all their merchandise, a lot of which had already been marked down to begin with. I tell you, the devil himself couldn't have come up with a better deal to tempt me with. I'm so not a designer type of girl. Prada, Gucci, Coach, they all leave me cold. Kate Spade is another story all together.

But I was strong. I wasn't there to shop for myself, you see, I was there to shop for others. So after combing through the store, I wiped the drool off my chin and shut the door on Kate Spade.

I did go on to find pajamas for my girls, designer fragrances and Christmas ornaments. All at reduced prices, so the trip was a total success.

Hopefully, the January sales will be even better than the ones they're holding now. If Kate goes down to 50% I'll happily throw myself into the inferno.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oprah is fat again

It's official. Oprah is fat again. She's going to announce it in the January issue of O magazine and start another 'lifestyle' change so she can get healthy, lose weight, and start America on another craze while probably making trillions in the process.

Honestly, with all the crap going on in the world, I really can't believe this sort of stuff makes headlines. Don't get me wrong, I really like Oprah, but please, can't she move on to something else?

In more important news (at least in my universe) I've finished my revisions for Bunco Babe Gone Wild. I didn't have a lot to do, but one of the things my editor asked me to do was to show more of my heroine's growth. So I went in and changed up one scene, which of course had a domino effect. Each scene after that was altered, so I had to go in and fix it, which led to more fixes, and, well, you get the point.

I'm printing it out this morning, finishing my Christmas decorating and then sitting down to read it again from beginning to end. Hopefully, they'll be in her inbox bright and early tomorrow.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas and Revisions

My tree is in the same state it was in 6 days ago. It's up, but there are no ornaments on it yet. A few years ago I convinced Mike Geraci to buy a fake tree. It took lots and lots and lots of whining but I eventually got my way. This is the first year he actually sort of admitted something to the effect that it *was* pretty convenient to simply get your tree out of a box and put it together in a few minutes. He's softening, I tell you. Of course, once it was up, only 1 friggin strand of lights on the tree worked. I swear, he got a gleam in his green eyes with an "I told you so" look, but he was way too smart to actually say it out loud.

This weekend, I'll get around to trimming the tree and putting up the rest of the indoor decorations (I still haven't gotten around to organizing the closets but it's on my list). I also hope to get my revisions on Bunco Babes Gone Wild done and back to my editor early next week. There isn't a lot to do revision-wise, for which I'm grateful, but what I do need to do is subtle layering-in which requires a lot of going over my ms numerous times to make sure I get it just right. Hopefully much progress will be made on all fronts.

Oh, and while you're out Christmas shopping, don't forget to buy the best present of all. Books!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just put my big fat Cuban Turkey in the oven and blogged about it over on the Title Wave blog.
I wish everyone a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

American Title 5

I blogged over at Title Wave this morning (very early this morning). Go check it out. I had an opportunity to ask the current American Title 5 contestants a question and got some interesting answers!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

World Peace And Organized Closets

My dreams in life are simple:

1. World peace.
2. Keep the people I love healthy, safe and happy.
3. That my books become wildly successful.
4. That the Noles win another football championship under Bobby Bowden.
5. And that I one day, organize all the closets in my house.

Is that too much to ask for?

One day, I dropped my husband off at the aiport for a 2 week business trip and left him thinking I was finally going to orgazize all the closets in the house. I started writing a novel instead. Now 6 years and 4 manuscripts later, I'm finally going to start organizing those closets. Wish me luck. Here'a an ugly preview of this weekend's job:

Laundry room, laundry room shelves and kid's hall closet

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bunco Babes Gone Wild!

I can't believe it's already time to cover conference my 2nd book. My editor contacted me last week and asked what I envisioned on the cover. I always feel so un-artistic at times like this. I swear, I'm a totally left-brained person (I'm not even sure how I manage to write fiction). So I had to call Mel and ask her opinion (Louisa was on the eve of deadline, otherwise she'd have gotten a call too) and she gave me a few things to pass along. Otherwise, I think I might have been blank. I'll just have to trust the folks at Berkley to come up with something fantastic.

And speaking of fantastic, I got my cover copy today. I really love it! I think they got the spirit of the book perfectly. Here's the back cover blurb:


Georgia Meyer needs some time to think—and what better place to get her head on straight than Whispering Bay, Florida, in the company of her sister Frida and her sister’s Bunco friends, better known as the Bunco Babes? Georgia’s boyfriend—and boss—Spencer Moody made a slight miscalculation in the romance department and gave her a calculator instead of an engagement ring. So she needs some sisterly advice, in between rolling dice and drinking frozen margaritas, as to her next move.

While considering subtracting Spencer, Georgia meets the very handsome Dave Hernandez. Unfortunately when a Bunco night gets a little out of hand, Georgia reveals more of herself to Dave than she intended. Now, as she helps the Babes prepare for a Bunco Black Tie fundraiser, she needs to search her heart—and keep her shirt on—long enough to decide if a love affair with Dave might be a dream come true or just a flash in the pan.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I'm on!

Pretty cool, huh?

Mel found my first book Bunco Babes Tell All available for purchase on Amazon last week. She called just as Crystal put the color on my hair. There I was, pacing around Red Hots (my hair salon) with my hair sticking up on end, hyperventilating.

It's a pretty awesome feeling.

Of course, it's early and the cover isn't up on the site yet, but this means people can start ordering my book!

Good Dialogue and warm garlic cure everything

It's no secret I love old movies. But somehow, I've always managed to miss The Lady Eve. It's been on my netflix list forever, but kept getting bumped down for something else. I finally watched it last night. I might have to watch it again tonight. That's how much I enjoyed it. There was so much terrific dialogue and I know I missed half of it because I was laughing so hard. Plus I had garlic in one of my ears, so my hearing was a little under par.

Let me back up a day.

I went to bed Thursday with a mild sore throat and woke up Friday morning with an earache. My mother-in-law swears that sticking a piece of warm garlic in your ear helps cure earaches. By Friday night I was miserable. I thought, why not? I warmed up the garlic, stuck it in my ear, and curled up to watch T.V. The instant I saw "The Lady Eve" pop up on my list of Free Movies On Demand, I clicked it.

Let me tell you, they just don't write dialogue like that anymore.

The plot is deliciously simple: Card shark/con artist Barbara Stanwyck tries to scam bumbling/handsome/naive millionaire Henry Fonda. Of course they fall in love. But the ending isn't exactly typical.

Watching Barbara Stanwyck outwit/outsmart/outplay Henry Fonda is like eating chocolate cake. And the fact that I woke up this morning without my earache is the whipped cream on top of it.

Friday, November 07, 2008


I sent off my finished manuscript Bunco Babes Gone Wild to NY last Monday. Now I've got my fingers crossed and hope my editor loves it as much as I do. I know they'll be revisions, but I really think the story is all there.

Of course, all the crunch writing I've done the past 2 weeks have left me exhausted. My throat aches and my ear feels funny. I don't do sick very well (don't have the time, either). I'm hoping a good night's sleep will fix all that. Ever the optimist, I am.

Oh, and for any writers out there wondering if they should book signings, go check out Gerri Russell's great booksigning tips right HERE. With my first book coming out next May, I've already been stressing a little about this. She makes it sound so easy! I'm sure it's not, but as usual, her advice is fantastic.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On Stephen King

Mel pays tribute to Stephen King over at the Knight Agency Blog today. It's scary stuff. Go check it out HERE.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Procrastination City

That's the name of my new town.

I bet you've lived there too. At least once in your life.

I've lived there a lot. I might even retire there. You can read about it in the Title Wave Blog.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How I spent my weekend

Or rather, my last, last weekend. Technically, I'm not supposed to be doing anything but writing (and working, etc...) but a girl has to take time out to have a little fun.

That's a picture of the lovely Deidre Knight (friend and fantastic agent) at her recent book signing in Madison. A good time was had by all. The book signing was held at this nice little restaurant in Madison called Town 220. Madison is the cutest town ever. It's so cute, books are set there ( Marley Gibson's "Ghost Huntress" series and Mary Kay Andrew's "Hissy Fit") to name two.

Deidre was signing copies of her new book RED FIRE. The book is the first in a series featuring yummy immortal Spartans. I can't wait to tear into my copy. But I'm saving it for after I finish my first draft of Bunco Babes Gone Wild. It will be my reward, so to speak.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Author Talk!

I took this off Gena Showalter's blog. It's just too delicious! Deidre Knight's new book Red Fire comes out Oct 7. Don't miss it!

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Ex List

I need to get hooked to another television show like I need a hole in the head, but tonight I'll either be watching or definitely tivo'ing CBS's new show The Ex List.

I can kick myself for not thinking of the premise first. It would make a great book.

What if you learned you had already met your soul mate? When a bachelorette-party psychic reveals to Bella Bloom that she has already met the true love of her life, she goes on a quest to find this mystery man from her past. With a limited time to locate him, Bella puts her normal skepticism aside and, with the help of her friends, lists all the males she has dated, befriended or even briefly encountered in her lifetime. It’s an illuminating and sometimes humiliating search, but Bella knows it might be her only chance to find “the one.”

The actress in the show was the chick with the fake (or not fake?) amnesia from Grey's Anatomy, that story line being one of the many reasons I don't watch GA anymore (I have to agree with Katherine Heigl- the writing on GA leaves a lot to be desired) but I'm always harder on medical shows than other genre-dramas, so I'm probably not the most neutral person on that score.

I really hope I like this show. In my opinion, the world needs more good romantic comedy!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bunco Octoberfest

Last night the Bunco Broads had Octoberfest at Joan's house. A good time was had by more than all (that's all I say about that). Joan outdid herself. She served bratwurst and knockwurst (although I always get those two confused), sauerkraut, potatoes, pickles, beer, wine, you name it. It was all muy yummy:)

I had the distinction of rolling 2 boobies, which means I wore the boobie hat most of the night. I'm kicking myself for not having brought my camera, because really, the boobie hat looked more like pimp apparel. Believe me, when I wore this hat, the dice were actually afraid of me.

I also brought my computer along so I could share my book cover to Bunco Babes Tell All. The Broads all loved it! I wish I could post a pic of my cov er but unfortunately it's not in jpeg form and I have no clue how to convert it, if it's even convert-able that is, so I'll have to wait to share.

On another note, I'm completely Dunder-Mifflined (yes, that's my own made up word) that The Office will not be on tonight. The VP debate is apparently knocking out regularly scheduled programs. Grrrr... Jim's proposal to Pam last week was the best. After half a season of trying to find the perfect way to pop the question, he drops to his knees in front of a gas station while it's pouring rain and blurts it out. Romantic? Yes! It was spontaneous and so unexpected. I had tears in my eyes. Pam, being no dummy, said yes. I swear, Jim was my soulmate in another life (no disrespect meant to Mike Geraci- my soulmate in this one)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Project Ugly

Thanks to Loinfruit (eldest daughter) and a little help from Mel, Kristen and Kiwana, for the past 2 seasons, I've been totally hooked on Project Runway. Last night's challenge was a fun one. Outed designers from this season came back to pair up with the remaining contestants to come up with an Avant-garde look inspired by an astrological sign.

Since I'm a fashion idiot I had to go look up the phrase. I mean, I sort of knew what it meant, but couldn't really put it into words. Here's what wikipedia had to say:

Avant-garde (pronounced [avɑ̃gaʁd] in French) means "advance guard" or "vanguard".[1] The adjective form is used in English, to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics.
Avant-garde represents a pushing of the boundaries of what is accepted as the
norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm.

Notice that nowhere in that definition is the word UGLY mentioned. Of course, ugly is in the eye of the beholder. But really, people, take a look at this:

The outfit on the left was designed by Blayne, who went home last night.

The stunner on the right was Kenley's creation. She should have gone home last night too, but Terri, who's just a tad more irritating than Kenley got the boot. I think the judges were tired of her attitude. I think this was supposed to represent Aquiruis? But I don't get it.

Jerell was the winner last night, although I wasn't crazy about this design.

These were my personal faves.
Leanne on the left, who, I personally find a little wimpy in personality, but her designs are really growing on me. I think the only reason she didn't win is because she's won the past 2 challenges. But as a Scorpio, I found this design to be brilliantly dead on.

Same with Korto. I LOVE this look on the right. Korto is by far, the most consistent designer in my opinion. Other than one dud look this season, the rest of her stuff has been dead on.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Is that a hammer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Okay, that line is corny as all out, but apparently Mel won't be satisfied until I blog about the hunky guy who came to fix my bathroom the other day.

Currently, the kid's bathroom (which was infested by termites but that's a long story I won't bore anyone with), has been in a state of disarray for the past 2 months and is being renovated. I can't wait until it's finished. Seriously. We only have 2 bathrooms in the house and it's been hell, what with 2 teenagers, one of which I now realize showers for at least 30 minutes a day. But I shouldn't complain. There are people all over the world without decent plumbing so whining about my termite-infested bathroom makes me feel a little selfish, but I digress...

So there I was, pounding away on my laptop computer when my door bell rings. It's the 2 guys who are going to work on my bathroom today. One of whom is Dave Hernandez (the hero in my current wip- Bunco Babes Gone Wild). Of course, this guy wasn't really Dave H, since Dave H is a totally made up guy in my head, but honestly, he was a dead-ringer for the guy in my imagination. They even share the same occupation.

Talk about inspiration. How many excuses can I make to go "check out the progress" they're making?

My muse is now on over-drive as I discreetly try to catch any glimpse of my Dave-look-alike as he makes his frequent trips from the bathroom to the front lawn where they have set up some sort of lumber-yard, I kid you not.

My fingers fly all over my lap top.

At the end of the day, the guys ask me to come see their work. They want to make sure I'm satisfied before they leave (won't even go there)...

So I amble over to my bathroom, which seems very tiny now, with these 2 guys and me trapped in there, as I ooh and ah over their work.

"Great job!" I exclaim.

Both guys smile.

I turn red. I can feel it. My Dave-look-alike is smiling straight at me. He knows I've been crushing on him all day long.

And suddenly, the scene I've been working on takes a whole new meaning and before I know it, that corny line ends up in my manuscript. I'm just not sure who says it yet... him, or her:)

Monday, September 08, 2008


Last night, I hit a writing milestone. I sent my first edited manuscript back to NY!

I have to admit, I was pretty overwhelmed when I ripped open my FedEx package and found my first ever set of copy edits. There were all these blue squiggly marks over it, most of which I was clueless about. It looked like a high school freshman English project:(

But thanks to Mel and the Internet I was able to figure it out.

Of course, I procrastinated doing my edits until I had absolutely no choice. Mostly, because the thought of rereading my manuscript yet one more time was like going to the dentist. And partly because I was terrified that I'd read it again and proclaim it to be crap. Happily, only a teeny part of it read like crap to me (which Mel says is normal) but overall I was pretty happy with it.

I have to give a big shout-out to the girl at the Kinkos on Thomasville Rd who helped me last night. She copied all 423 pages of it in color (and only charged me for black and white), then helped me find a suitable, ie- CHEAP package to send my baby off. In the end, we used the same exact bubble wrapped big-ass envelope it came in, so we were being environmentally correct too. Talk about excellent service:)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Back to Bunco and Sangria de cava

Last night, my Bunco group, the soon-to-be-made-famous by my books (ha, ha) Bunco Broads of Tallahassee had our annual planning session. An extremely good time was had by all.

Debbie (my fellow Bunco Broad co-founder) hosted and served up this most delicious (and I cannot emphasize that enough) Sangria de cava. The recipe is from the famous Columbia Restaurant, an Ybor City tradition since 1905. For those of you who don't know, Ybor City is the old Cuban section of Tampa- think rolled cigars and Cuban coffee- two of the best smells in the world.

I had no idea that The Columbia gave out recipes on their website. To be honest, I, who consider myself just a little bit computer savvy (don't laugh, Mel) didn't even now that the Columbia had a website. But I do now :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Back from the Beach

I'm back from my writing vacation in which Mel, Louisa and I accomplished much and a good time was had by all. Still not unpacked of course (much to Mike Geraci's chagrin) but if I give in and put the suitcase away too early he might think his procrastinating wife has been abducted by aliens. Wouldn't want that, would we?

I blogged about my days on the RR (redneck riviera) over on the Title Wave blog. Go check it out:)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mel's got a new website!

Mel has a rockin new website Bitchin Ficion!

On another note, I am totally in love with Hank the Clydesdale. Apparently this was a superbowl commercial, but since I didn't watch the superbowl, I missed it. Thanks to the Olympics, I'm now catching up on all these fantastic commercials.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Charmed and Ready

Isn't that a great title? And it's got an awesome cover to go along with it. Candace Havens' 2nd book in her campy witch series is being rereleased in Mass Market Paper Back format. Here's a blurb on the book:

After spending most of her life single-practically an occupational hazard for a witch-Bronwyn's finally found a sexy warlock to love. But it's going to take more than a few love spells to keep him from getting jealous about her latest gig-protecting a rock star named Zane from the creepy Goth guys in cloaks who keep showing up at his concerts and zapping his mojo. Bronwyn would like nothing better than to blow them up in an inferno of Love That Red smoke, but they're proving elusive. And in the meantime-what girl wouldn't want to hang with the hottest man in music?

You can find out more info on Cadace and her books here.

I'm so praying that the Berkley Cover Gods give my Bunco series an equally awesome cover:)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I can't believe it's over

So America's newest Favorite Dancer is Joshua. I never voted for him, but I have to admit, he was awesome. My personal fave was the runner up, Twitch- a name I'm planning to steal for a character some day. Even though Twitch wasn't the best technical dancer, I always loved watching him.

Thing's I'll miss most about the show:

Cat Deeley's gorgeous self- her beautiful smile, her sometimes outrageous outfits, her not-so-funny-but-who-gives-a shit-because-she's-just-so -lovable jokes, and her ability to make even the booted contestants think they've just won by giving them a hug.

The awesome dancing.

Watching what Mark does to his hair for each routine.

Watching Courtney and Gev (who never disappointed me).I really wish Courtney would break up with her boyfriend for Gev. They'd just be so damn cute together.

Hearing Mary Murphy scream someone was on the Hot Tamale Train:)

Things I WON'T miss:

Mia Michaels and the sour-puss look on her face when someone out-choreographs her (although that is pretty rare, because she is a kick-ass choreographer)

Nigel's Electric Smile. Seriously, I think Nigel accidentally knocked his teeth out during an especially dangerous tap routine and he had to have veneers before the art of veneers was perfected. Nigel, you're a billionaire. Get yourself some teeth that fit!

My poor DVR is going to go through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The only 2 things I have scheduled now is Project Runway and Madmen. Until the new fall line up, of course :)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Insomnia and Happy Anniversary to me

It's 3:23 am and I'm still up. No big surprise. With my work schedule, I'm used to having insomnia. I just hate that it hits at the worst times. Tomorrow or rather today, is my 23rd wedding anniversary. Mike Geraci and I are going to celebrate in some special way. We'll see. All I know is that I'm dragging him to see Mama Mia. Everyone has seen it and loved it and now it's my turn:)

So I'm trying to take advantage of the fact that I'm up. I should write. My second Bunco book is due November 1 and I really thought I'd be a lot further along than I am now. I'm such a slow writer though, and I have to stop to self-edit. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help myself. And it doesn't help when Mel tempts me to stop writing by gushing over Emily Giffin's newest book Love The One You're With. So what do I do? I run to the bookstore and buy it, despite the fact that I was saving it as a treat to take to the beach later this month. I read it in one day. She's such an awesome writer, you can't put it down. I won't give away the ending, but I will say, I would have ended it a little differently.

Okay, so no more distractions, I'm determined to write until I fall asleep. Hopefully it won't be my own writing that does the trick.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A real live chapter!

I feel sort of like Pinocchio jumping around saying he's a real boy, but the analogy is pretty similar. I'm going to have a real live RWA chapter to belong to!

Not that I don't adore my online chapter, RWA Online. It's an awesome community of writers and I'm grateful to have them 24/7. But I've always yearned for some real -live-on-face time with other writers. It's one of the reasons I love going to conferences. Nothing beats the high you get talking about writing with other people who also love talking about writing.

Here's the link to the new chapter: Florida Panhandle Romance Writers.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Best News Evah!!!

This was announced on Publisher's Weekly today:

Rose Hilliard at St. Martin's Press preempted world rights to four books by editor-turned-author Louisa Edwards via Deidre Knight. Set amid the New York restaurant scene, the first book in the series is called Can't Stand the Heat and is slated to launch in fall 2009, with subsequent titles to appear every six months. Knight is a romance author as well as agent, and Edwards was her first editor at NAL. When Edwards left New York publishing, Knight briefly worked with Hilliard, who subsequently left for SMP.

I am so thrilled and excited for Louisa that I can't stand it!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Writing, Motherhood and Volunteering

Ever since my kids were little, I've always volunteered at whatever function/school event/sports gig they were into. There was probably even a time when I could be considered a professional volunteer. You know the ones- the class mother, etc...

Now that my kids are older and my youngest 2 are in high school, the volunteer days are sparse. A part of me misses the old days, but a bigger part of me is probably relieved. My life is busier now than ever- 2 jobs (nursing and writing) plus helping take care of a house and family. But on the days I do do my volunteer thing, I think I enjoy it more than I did when the kids were little. Probably because it's the only time you can really be around your teenagers when they're doing their thing and they don't seem resentful.

Today, I'm helping with costumes on "Beauty and the Beast". It's an all out high school summer production and it should be awesome. The costumes are being rented from an off Broadway company. I used to be pretty handy with a needle and thread, although it's been awhile since I've sewn. Hopefully, I'll be more help than hindrance:)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Our Town Mondays

My group blog, Title Wave, is undergoing some plastic surgery.

The blog look hasn't changed yet (but it will). What's different right now is the content. We've decided to go with the Our Town Mondays theme created by blogger Travis Erwin.

This Monday is our debut and Gina is blogging about her hometown, LA. Go check it out here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Live Chat at TKA!

Jessica Andersen & J.R. Ward Chat It Up with TKA this Thursday @ 8pm EST!

JESSICA ANDERSEN, recently picked as one of the “hottest” authors in romance by Publisher’s Weekly, and fellow critique partner, New York Times Bestselling Author, J.R. WARD, will chat with TKA this Thursday. As a special bonus, J.R. will announce the winners of the PURPLE PROSE CONTEST, conducted on her message board last month.

Known for their dynamic characters and mind-bending plot twists, these ladies are forerunners in the field of paranormal romance. Jessica’s latest novel, NIGHTKEEPERS, Book One in THE FINAL PROPHECY SERIES, is based on an ancient Mayan doomsday prophecy, and Book Six of J.R. Ward’s enormously popular, THE BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD SERIES, LOVER ENSHRINED, hit bookshelves this month to worldwide acclaim.

Don’t miss the opportunity to talk with these amazing writers and get the inside scoop on their novels and upcoming projects! Leave a comment in the “Jessica and J.R. Chat It Up” post on the TKA Blog to win a copy of NIGHTKEEPERS and LOVER ENSHRINED. Check back on Thursday to see if you are the lucky winner and read special guest blogger Jess Andersen's views on picking the perfect critique partner.

WHO: Jessica Andersen & J.R. Ward




HOW TO CHAT: Follow this link TKA CHAT ROOM. Enter a screen name and select “log in.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Those 2 dirty words: High Concept

It's my turn to blog over at Title Wave today. I blogged on "high concept" a phrase that just a couple of years ago made me cringe. Today, not so much, because I finally think I'm getting it!

On another note, I just finished my second round of revisions for "Church of Bunco". My editor asked me to put in another sex scene, something I was more than happy to do;)

I also sent off the proposal for Bunco book 2, which I'm calling "Bunco Babes Gone Wild". Hopefully, she'll love it. Keep your fingers crossed for me:)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Holy Bull Durham!

Baseball players wearing thongs? Talk about superstitions.

Jason Giambi , a first baseman for the NY Yankees (boo!) admitted last week that he sometimes wears a gold thong under his uniform to help him out of a batting slump.
The ever delicious Derek Jeter ("lazy" eye or not) also admitted to trying it. Man, I'd love to be a fly on the wall in the locker room for that one!

The whole thing reminds of that hysterical scene in Bull Durham when Crash (the Kevin Costner character) persuades Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) to wear a garter belt under his uniform to help his "concentrate" while he's pitching.

I've always loved baseball, but it's taken on a whole new meaning for me now:)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day

Mike Geraci and I finished re-doing the hall bathroom last night. Like really late last night:) At least my part is done. Today, he's going to finish off the job by putting a coat of clear varnish over the tiles. It was a big job, but the results are fantastic. Will have to post a pic when it's all done.

Will also have to get him to put out the flag today as a reminder to the kids that today is the day they need to be especially thankful for all the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.

Stephanie (oldest daughter) is taking my mother-in-law out to the Florida National Cemetery where my father-in-law is buried. A retired army colonel and veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars, John Geraci is only one of thousands of veterans buried there. It's extremely humbling to drive through the miles and miles and headstones.

On a lighter note, tonight's The Bachelorette, and of course, I have to work. But never fear, my trusty DVR will tape all. My rose game predictions for going home tonight:

Chris (nice guy but definitely a filler)

Eric (big nosed and all he and Deanna have in common is that they're Greek. Plus, he's creepy)

Ryan (self-proclaimed virgin)

I know Mel thought I was crazy for liking Sean, but other than the little mullet (which can easily be fixed with a pair of scissors) I really like him for DeAnna. He's cute (has beautiful eyes!), has a great personality (he and Jesse need to go on the road with their lemon act) and I love his Kentucky accent. I predict Sean will go far.

I'd also like to see Jeremy open his mouth. I'm sure he and Deanna had some one on one time during the cocktail party last week that they didn't let us see. Also looking forward to seeing more of Graham, Jason, Jesse and that yummy Brian!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

There will be Blood all right

Mine. Because I almost tore my hair out watching this movie. In my quest to catch up on watching the "best" movies of last year, I ordered There Will Be Blood on pay-per-view yesterday. What a waste of $4.99.

I didn't get it. I mean, I got it. But really, 8 Academy Award nominations?? I don't have a problem with Daniel Day Lewis winning Best Actor. As far as I'm concerned Daniel Day Lewis could recite the yellow pages and it would be Oscar worthy. And he deserves it for this film, because his performance is the only good thing about it. But honestly, Best Picture of the Year?

I've never read the Upton Sinclair novel Oil! that the film is based on. Nor do I have any wish to after watching the screen version. It's not only depressing and overly long, but there's something about it that didn't gel for me. Part of it was the lack of dialogue in a lot of the film. And then there was the very distracting sound track. Mike Geraci commented that the music was weird, and I had to agree with him. To be fair, the cinematography was beautiful, but I have no desire to ever see another set of badly stained teeth or another head of greasy hair. Ever.

The best part of the flick, was that both Mike Geraci and I got to sit down for 2 and some hours (we're remodeling our hall bathroom), but then anything would have been a nice break after stripping wallpaper all morning. And... I have to say that after almost 23 years of marriage, it's nice to discover something new about your husband. I had absolutely NO idea that Mike Geraci knew so much about drilling oil. He had this very scientific explanation for everything that happened on screen. At first, I was suspicious, like ,"C'mon, you've seen this movie before!" and he was like, "No, I haven't. I would have killed myself if I'd seen this twice."
LOL. Who knew? My husband, the oil expert.

So far, I've seen Juno, Atonement, and now this crap. 2 more Academy Award flicks to go:)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Chat with Gena Showalter

New York Times Best Selling author (God, I just love writing that!) Gena Showalter is going to be chatting live at the TKA chatroom tomorrow night. Here's the link.

The first book in Gena's Lords of the Underworld series, THE DARKEST NIGHT is climbing its way up the charts. The book is absolutely FANTASTIC and not to be missed. Gena is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet and I'm absolutely thrilled for her.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Catching up

I just came back from a fantastic trip to Boston (first time there) where I attended my friend Marley Gibson's Launch party. You can read all about it here on the Title Wave blog. It got me thinking about my own launch party next year. I'm definitely going to plan some sort of Bunco theme ( of course ). I'm thinking frozen margarita machine, beer, and since it will probably be in early May, maybe some sort of Cinco-de-Mayo theme. Of course, I still have to finish the revisions on the book! I tried to get it in by May 1 but I've made so many changes to the second half of the book that it's taken me longer than I originally thought. My editor at Berkley has been very patient. I'm hoping that the full will be in her inbox by next Monday:)

And since all work and no play makes Maria a dull girl, I did surface from revision land to run out to play Bunco last night with my group, the Bunco Broads of Tallahassee. I won most games (I seem to be on some sort of lucky winning streak lately). Hopefully, that will continue...

Unfortunately for Jason Castro, his lucky streak came to an end last night on American Idol. I've loved Jason from the start, but even I was ready for him to go. The past few weeks he's steadily gone downhill. Not sure what Jason's problem is (well, maybe I do- proving the point that you really can get tooo mellow), but he proved to be own worst enemy. Hopefully though, some smart label co. will pick Jason up. As much as I enjoy David Cook, Jason is probably the only artist this season I'd buy a CD from.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lords of the Underworld

Even the title is breathtakingly sexy, isn't it?

I finished the first book in Gena Showalter's newest series, Lords of the Underworld and it was fantastic! THE DARKEST NIGHT comes out in May, followed in June and July with 2 more books in the series. Best of all, there will be more!

For an excerpt go to Gena's website here: The Darkest Night.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I had a TETL moment (Too Embarrassed to Live) at work last night. This one directly involved my new Dansko Professional clogs.
About half my unit is wearing these now and everyone raves about them. This clog has been credited with the elimination of aching feet and legs, sore backs, tired muscles, etc. So after I left work Sunday morning feeling like a mule who had been kicked around for 12 hours (don't ever let anyone tell you delivering babies isn't hard work), I decided to bite the bullet (they cost $115) and drink the Dansko Kool-aid.

The girl at the Walk-About store told me it takes a few weeks to "break" them in. My first night wearing them I felt like a Geisha walking on thick wooden slats. My feet are completely flat (no natural arch at all) and there was something poking into the side of my foot. So by the end of the night I was practically limping. But that's okay. I can suffer temporarily if the pay off is worth it in the end.

When I woke up Tuesday, my feet felt fine and I wore them to work again. So there I was, standing by the desk in Triage talking, and I pivoted to turn and leave. I must have turned my ankle because the next thing I knew, I was went down. But just like a movie, I went down in my mind in slo-mo. There was a huge Ultrasound machine stationed on the wall next to me and I can remember thinking I was going to hit my head on it. All I could think was "No! Not the head! Broken bones can be fixed, but I need my brain to finish my revisions!!" Everyone said I went down screaming "I'm fine!!" but I don't remember that. Of course, everyone came running to my aid. I jumped up as fast as anyone wearing 5lb wooden clogs can, my face so hot I could fry an egg off it, saying, "Everyone go back to work!"

Tonight is night 3 of the Dansko Clog. Hopefully, I will master the art of wearing them. I just pray I don't have to run in them anytime soon:)

Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm Back... and Free Books!

I'm back from the beach, where we had an incredibly relaxing week. The weather was crummy (only 1 day of sunshine) but I hear it was like that all over north Florida, so better to be at the beach with crummy weather than at home, right?

Meanwhile, I spoke to my fabulous editor at Berkley, Wendy McCurdy, who gave me some great suggestions for revising my manuscript. Like "up the tension in the last half of the book". Now why didn't I think of that? LOL. She's absolutely right of course. I've been brainstorming with myself, not a sin in the eyes of the Church:) and I think I've come up with a few ideas. Now I just have to put them on paper and see if they work out.

Besides sleeping and shopping and playing lots of Scrabble and Monopoly at the beach, I also got to read an advanced copy of Gena Showalter's fabulous new book The Darkest Night. It's absolutely fabulous and incredibly sexy! A must read for everyone. Kristen Painter is giving away an ARC. Go to her blog and check out the details!

And talk about free books... my friend Marley Gibson's first book comes out in less than a month. Leave a comment on her blog and if she gets more than 50, you'll be eligible for a free copy of Sorority 101- Zeta or Omega? Isn't the cover fabulous? I plan to scoop up a bunch of these at her launch party next month!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Off on Mini-break!

I'm nearly finished packing for my vacation (which starts in about 3 hours!). The family is headed off to Seagrove Beach for a week of sun and fun, which I desperately need. Lately, work has been super hectic and as much as I love it, I need a break from birthin' babies.

On another fun note, I mailed in my contract to Berkley. Very exciting! When the guy at the mail store (who is a big talker and loves to see what you're mailing) asked what I was sending, I couldn't help but practically shout, "It's a publishing contract!". He was duly impressed and helped me double check that I had, indeed, signed everything in the right place. I told him years from now (when I'm rich and famous, of course) he could brag that he had helped me start my career:)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Thanks to Mel, I've been turned on to HBO's new miniseries, John Adams. Based on David McCullough's Pulitzer-winning biography, it stars one of my favorite actors, Paul Giamatti.

It also stars Laura Linney, who I've had trouble connecting with since she played in that really disturbing movie, The Life of David Gale, which is probably a testament to what a good actress she is since I can't quite forget her in that role. However, I'm really loving her as Abigail Adams. I remember one of my girls did a report once on First Ladies and picked AA so I knew she was a remarkable woman and I'm really loving how Laura Linney is playing her. Coincidentally, she and Paul Giamatti have played a married couple before in The Nanny Diaries. We all sort of snickered at my house when we made that connection:)

The series is being hailed as true to McCullough's book and the Colonial times look gruesomely authentic (as shown by a very nasty Inoculation scene). But so far the only scene that's disturbed me is the Tar and Feathering scene from Part I. I really had no idea how nasty the process was. I mean, it almost sounds mild (tar and feathers) as opposed to say, Drawn and Quartered. But watching that scene I cannot believe that the victim could have survived having all that hot tar poured over his body. Ugh. Very nasty stuff that was.

The series continues on next Sunday for a total of 7 episodes. And even though I know how it ends :) I'll be eagerly watching.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Make it Work!

Today was my turn to post on the Title Wave Blog. Go check it out. And Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

AI Update

Kristy Lee Cook has not been kind to The Beatles.

I have nothing against the girl. She has a nice voice, is pretty, and seems very sweet in her interviews with Ryan. But for the second week in a row she's managed to butcher a Beatles song and that's just unpardonable in my book.

Last week, she country-fried steak'd "Eight Days a Week", sounding more like a chipmunk on crack than Dolly Parton on crack (as Simon described). But this week, she admitted to the camera she really isn't familiar with the Beatles (So I know that's probably an age thing , but if you're going to call yourself a musician, then you really need to know the superstar classics. It's like a writer saying she's never heard of Shakespeare).

Since Kristy doesn't know any of the songs, she picked one based on the title. Okay. I can live with that it. "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" is a great song, sung in a beautiful throaty style by Lennon. But I don't think Kristy got it (Lennon wrote the song in homage to the Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, who for a long time had to hide his homosexuality). While you can certainly interpret the song any way you want, Kristy chose not to interpret it, I guess, since she sang it with all the emotion of a wooden puppet on stage.

As sentimental and entertaining as Beatle fest has been the past two weeks on Idol, I say it's time to move on. Same with Kristy Lee.

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