Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Like I say in my post, I'm trying hard not to stress over all the holiday stuff still left to do. But it's hard. I'm a woman. Stress is my middle name.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Something is telling me the other direction might be better. But yet... Argh. Not sure. Maybe listening to Fearless a few more dozen times might jiggle something.
Meanwhile, I have my Florida Panhandle meeting today at noon. It's our Christmas party. It's raining catfish and doggie treats outside and I hate going out in the rain but the party should be fun. Plus I've been cooped up writing for too long!
Monday, December 07, 2009
Want to have lots of reading ahead in the New Year?
You could be the winner of a $50 gift certificate to Borders PLUS a bag full of some of my favorite books. If you've read Bunco Babes Tell All or Bunco Babes Gone Wild, write a review and post it online. It doesn't have to be long or overly flattering- (I want your honest opinion!) Post your review on a website like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc. You'll get 1 contest entry for each review. For example, if you write a review for Bunco Babes Tell All on Amazon.com, that's 1 entry. If you write a review for Bunco Babes Tell All on Amazon and Goodreads, and a review for Bunco Babes Gone Wild at Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes & Noble, that's 5 entries! And a better chance of winning.
If you've already written a review for one of my books, perfect. Just let me know where it is and that you're interested in entering the contest.
To enter, send me an email at email@example.com with the word "Contest Entry" in the subject line. Tell me where the reviews are, and it's that simple. Contest ends December 20.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Here's a picture I snapped seconds after the first one. Where did the weird little white ball come from? I went to the Ghost Alpha Team workshop here in Tallahassee last year and we discussed these white balls. Most of them are flukes, but some of them... well, I won't talk about what some of them are. I just know there are no ghosts in the Geraci household. Unless, it's a dog ghost. Maybe it's the ghost of an ancestor of Truffles who is here to shame her into being housebroken. Hey, a girl can dream, right?
I'm spending the day cleaning and packing for our Thanksgiving trip to visit family. I hope everyone has a wonderfully blessed and healthy Thanksgiving tomorrow!
On a happy and thankful note, I will leave you with this awesome review I rec'd from Night Owl Romance. Bunco Babes Gone Wild was a top reviewer pick! You can read the entire review right here.
"I found this story to be as funny and charming as the first in this series, Bunco Babes Tell All. You don’t have to read both to enjoy either, you just have to sit back and start reading." Terri, Night Owl Romance. 5 out 5
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday was cool and overcast, a perfect day to walk around the shops, browse, and buy (books, of course!)
I got a kick out of this sign. Apparently, The Bookshelf was originally a bowling alley. Fun, huh?
I have to say, of all the book signings I've done so far, sitting in this chair was my absolute favorite. Comfy leather with a pillow for my back!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday night I attended my friend Debbie's book club meeting. Debbie's the blonde standing next to me wearing the glasses. She's also the friend who took the author photo that's in the back of my books.
Her group read my debut novel Bunco Babes Tell All. What a nice group of ladies! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting them, drinking wine, eating good food, and talking up my favorite subject- books! Besides my own book, we discussed books they'd read and books my own book club had tackled (like The Time Traveler's Wife). The Help has been on my TBR pile for a while now and after hearing how much this group loved it, is going to the top (after I turn in the manuscript due in January, that is.)
At the end of the evening, I surprised them by giving them all copies of Bunco Babes Gone Wild and Debbie's hubby took this very nice pic of us.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Here's the excerpt in question. Reprinted with permission by the author (that would be me). Warning: 1 mild expletive. No Raunch.
Bunco Babes Gone Wild
Set up: Georgia and Dave have just finished tearing down a wall at the Senior Center. The air conditioner in the building is off and they want to cool off...
Dave pulled off his jeans. Underneath he had on a pair of board shorts. Georgia crossed her arms over her chest. “That’s a bathing suit.”
“You sound disappointed.”
“Well, I’m not.”
He gave her a look that said he didn’t believe her. “Your turn.”
“I’m not stripping down to my underwear.”
He walked out the sliding glass doors and onto the beach. Georgia watched, blatantly jealous as he dove into the cool blue water. He made her feel prudish. But she wasn’t a prude. There was just something… unnerving about him. Like she was betraying Spencer. Which was ridiculous. Dave had absolutely nothing over Spencer. Spencer was classically handsome, smooth, successful, smart, urbane, thoughtful (well, most of the time). Dave on the other hand, was just sort of good looking. Sure, he had a nice butt and every once in a while he could be funny, but he was like beer. It was tasty, but who wanted beer if you could have champagne? And she was definitely a champagne kind of girl.
If Dave could strip down to almost nothing, then so could she. Besides, he’d already seen her boobs. And it wasn’t like she was naked. She was wearing a bra and underwear.
Her bikini was a lot more revealing than—
Her fingers froze on the jeans zipper. Shit. She’d forgotten she was wearing granny panties.
But that was good, wasn’t it? It was in no way revealing. Or sexy. Or anything remotely connected to sexy.
She bit her bottom lip. What if Dave thought this was the sort of underwear she wore all the time? She craned her neck to see him floating on top of the calm water. It looked absolutely blissful. A river of sweat ran down her back, pooling into her already damp jeans.
The hell with it. What did she care what Dave Hernandez thought of her underwear?
She peeled off the jeans and dumped them onto the floor. Just stripping down felt good. She could only imagine how the cool ocean water would feel next to her overheated skin. She’d keep the sweaty T-shirt on till the last second. Just in case someone should come by.
She waded over the shore and dipped her toe into the ocean. Dave was still floating, oblivious to her.
“Go ahead, it feels great,” he called out.
What? Did he have eyelids on the side of his head?
“Don’t look!” she yelled, hastily working her way out of the T-shirt. She dumped it onto the sand then ran into the water and dove in. It felt as delicious as she had imagined, the salty water all cold and tingly against her skin. She surfaced and planted her feet on the sandy bottom. The water was chest deep.
“What wasn’t I supposed to look at?” Dave asked, coming out of his floating position. He ran his hand through his wet hair, slicking it back. It emphasized his strong cheekbones and square jaw. Her gaze drifted lower, to his mouth. She remembered how slowly he’d kissed her—
“Nothing,” she said, relieved that he’d obviously not caught sight of her granny panties. She’d worry later about him seeing them when they got out of the water.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
On another happy note, I got this very nice review from Dew on the Kudzu. I will say in advance that I think it's funny that the reviewer used the "raunchy" (in a totally positive sense, that is) to describe the book. My own editor at Berkley said she drawn to my "raunchy sense of humor", so I guess it's official. I'm a little bit raunchy. Go figure! I'm beginning to really warm up to that adjective.
Bunco Babes Go Wild
Author: Maria Geraci
Publisher: Berkley Trade Paperback Original Publication
Date: November, 2009
At first I was a little nervous about a book that had Bunko Babes in the title... I'm not a game player and don't understand groups of people that get together on a regular basis to do so. I thought.... "boring chicklit".
Well, I am happy to say I was very wrong! This book is funny, sarcastic, raunchy and has a hot scene in it that will wake you right up! Georgia and her sister Frida are two ex-hippie children who's mother believed in free love and they've never known who their fathers are. This experience molded them into two completely different people. Frida is a "by the seat of her pants, floats in the breeze" kinda gal, whereas Georgia has planned her life down to the last minute detail. So she is shocked when her boyfriend of 5 years gives her a calculator for their anniversary instead of an engagement ring.
The funny starts here as Georgia escapes to her sister's art studio/muffin shop and the next thing she knows she drunk in the middle of a bunko club game flashing her boobs. Then a really hunky guy walks into the middle of it. Now we have the funny, the sarcasm, the raunchy talk and the hot stuff! A fun book to read and part of a series. Not only are they amusing tales to read, there's a slew of Bunko appetizer and drink recipes in the back.
Monday, November 09, 2009
So it's now official. I've been bit by the 2009 Christmas shopping bug. There is just something about those kiosks that pop up the first of November that fascinate me. They are always filled with all sorts of things that you never knew existed, but now can't live without. I know Mike Geraci is hoping that one day they'll come out with a vaccine for that particular little virus, but until then, I must let the disease process carry out to its natural conclusion. It's just not healthy to keep that sort of thing in, you know?
But I digress... there was a purpose to going to said mall, and that was the book signing! This is me in my "author pose". Sitting next to me was Louise Gouge, a very nice lady who writes Inspirational Historical romance. She also teaches English at Valencia Community College and offered her students extra credit if they came to the event and interviewed some authors. One her students interviewed me. So cute! Note the unfuzzy dice sitting in front of me. That was given to me by Kim Adams, a very lovely lady who I met at the RWA conference in D.C. Kim is a military wife who used to be the Bunco coordinator at Fort Meade (they're now stationed in Hawaii). I love those dice! And they make a great ice-breaker too!
Posing with Lucienne Diver, who was one table over (we were seated alphabetically). It was great seeing Lucienne again!
So there you have it. Me. In the Mall. Only feet away from all those lovely kiosks, doing what I love to do, schmooze with readers. A terrifically good time was had by all. Thanks Central Florida Romance Writers!
And on another note, I want to thank the wonderfully brilliant Marilyn Brant for hosting me today on her blog. She let me rant on about my heroes and heroines. I'm also giving away an autographed copy of either Bunco Babes Tell All or Bunco Babes Gone Wild to one commenter. You have all week to check in right here, but don't wait, the week will be over before you know it!
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Which... brings me to this awesome review from Dolce-Dolce:
Bunco Babes Gone Wild by Maria Geraci is a tale of female friendship, sisterly love, romance, and rivalry. Bunco is a dice game that gives some women a reason to get together to share a few drinks, snacks, gossip and bond. Some groups raise money for charity. From what I hear, a good time is had by all. I first heard of it in the 80's when it was something of a craze. I have never been, but its adherents are ardent.
Georgia, a successful business woman comes to visit her Bunco-playing sister and escape her rocky office romance. Once there she is drawn into her Bunco playing sister’s social circle, business problems, and a compelling new relationship. If you are looking for romance with plenty of female bonding on the side, this steamy tale will be right up your alley. Maria Geraci writes with a contemporary voice that captures the angst of modern sexual politics and female rivalries in a light romance. All set against a background of sun and fun in Florida.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Before I get to talking about Nalini Singh's newest bestseller to be, I want to congratulate Arkansas Cyndi. She's the winner of my newest release, Bunco Babes Gone Wild. Cyndi, Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address so I can mail you your book:)
If you aren't Arkansas Cyndi, don't despair. Today I'm over at Cheeky Reads where I'm giving away another free book! So drop by right here and leave a comment:)
Okay, back to Blaze of Memory. This was the surprise I was talking about last week. I'm thrilled to be hosting New York Times bestseller and fellow Berkley author Nalini Singh on her world wide blog tour to promote her newest book in the Psy/Changeling series.
Nalini Singh returns to the Psy/Changeling world and its “breathtaking blend of passion, adventure, and the paranormal” as a woman without a past becomes the pawn of a man who controls her future…
Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she’s dangerous. Charged with protecting his people’s most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It’s a task he’s never hesitated to complete…until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might yet prove the enemy’s most insidious weapon.
Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor, and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity itself. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die…
Sounds awesome, doesn't it? To Read an excerpt click here.
“...When it comes to delivering stories that grab you by the throat and don't let go, Singh is in a class by herself!” - Romantic Times
“...An outstanding November read!” ~ Fresh Fiction
“...BLAZE OF MEMORY had me in tears with the tenderness that Dev and Katya exposed in each other. This story adds immensely to the series…You will want to revisit this love story again and again.” - Romance Junkies
Leave a comment with your answer to the question below in the next 24 hours to go into the draw to win a signed copy of Branded By Fire, the previous book in the series. (Or if you prefer, you can choose a mass market copy of the An Enchanted Season anthology).
Click on the following to read an excerpt from each book:
An Enchanted Season
Branded by Fire (warning, excerpt may singe your eyebrows off).
Contest Question: Who are your favorite couples in fiction (books, tv, movies…)?
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The day has finally come! Bunco Babes Gone Wild hits book stores everywhere! I've had some very exciting reviews for this book and I'd like to share a few of them with you!
"Maria Geraci's Bunco Babes Gone Wild is a one hellava read and is a must for everyone's stimulus package. I wish I could be a Bunco Babe (but Michelle won't let me)." President Barack Obama.
"I begged Maria Geraci to come on my show and allow her fabulous new book Bunco Babes Gone Wild to be in my bookclub. But she turned me down. Said she was waiting for Ellen, instead." Oprah Winfrey (trying brave to fight off the tears.)
"If only NBC would let me play Bunco on the air then I know my ratings would go up!" Jay Leno.
"I tried to option the movie rights to Maria Geraci's fabulous new book Bunco Babes Gone Wild, but I was beat out by Courtney Cox. Unfortunately, Courtney and I are no longer friends now." Jennifer Aniston.
There you have it. Just a few of the fabulous things people are saying about Bunco Babes Gone Wild. And because I want you to be able to say equally fabulous things about my new book (which means you'll have to read it first), I want to give one random commenter a chance to do just that. Leave a comment and one of you will win a copy today!
Monday, November 02, 2009
If you're on my mailing list, then you should have received my November newsletter already. Look for details on my new contest. The prize is another $50 gift certificate to Borders and a totebag of my favorite books. Contest deadline is December 1, just in time to get away from the hectic holiday schedule with some great reading! Just in case you're not a newsletter subscriber (why not?- you can remedy that by going here), here's the details on the contest:
Write a review of either Bunco Babes Tell All or Bunco Babes Gone Wild or both and post it at either Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or Goodreads. Then send me a quick email at email@example.com with the word "contest" in the subject line. Tell me where you posted the review and you'll receive one entry for each review. For instance, if you review Bunco Babes Gone Wild over at Amazon that's one entry. If you review Bunco Babes Tell All and Bunco Babes Gone Wild on all 3 sites, that's 6 entries. The more reviews, the more entries. If you've already done a review in the past, that's fine. Just let me know where it's at and I'll give you credit. Contest ends December 1 and is open only to US residents.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
On another note. I had a fantastic Halloween last night! I made 2 recipes from the Pioneer Woman cookbook (will post on them later next week), watched college football, wrote some, had a lovely dinner (eating those awesome PW recipes) then sat out on my front porch with Mike Geraci and gave out candy. I'm not sure how many Trick or Treaters we had, but I would guess at least 150 kids came to our house. Here's some pics of the cutest trick or treaters ever (they were looking for bones, btw)
Saturday, October 31, 2009
By the way, Happy Halloween everyone. It' s my 2nd favorite *holiday*. I just went to Publix and wiped them out of candy (well, almost.) I get a million Trick or Treaters at my house so I must be prepared.
Here's an image to leave you with. Truffles dressed as The Great Pumpkin!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Today is Sneak Peak Friday.
That means I'm going to let you in on a few things.
First, my Which Bunco Babe are you? contest is almost at a close. There's only 2 more days to enter, so hurry. You can take the quiz right here and directions to enter are at the end. I haven't done an official count yet, but right now by glancing at the entries I'll tell you that so far, the number of Kittys and Sheas are pretty close. Pilars of the world, where are you?? Remember contest ends November 1.
Which brings me to my November contest. Write a review for Bunco Babes Tell All and/or Bunco Babes Gone Wild and post it either on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble or Goodreads or any other place you can review a book, and earn one entry per review (yes, this means you'll have a chance to enter multiple times! And no, the review doesn't have to be a 5 star- I want you to be honest!) The prize will be another $50 gift certificate to Borders plus a gigantic bag of books. The books are going to be a collection of my favorites, which means they are all going to be fantastic, which means one lucky winner is going to have a lot of hours of great reading! Believe me, this is one contest you aren't going to want to miss! I'll have more details up on my website and on the side bar of the blog. Contest will start on November 3 and end December 1.
Oh, and don't forget, you can win a copy of Bunco Babes Tell All by leaving a comment right here at Book Junkie. You have till November 3 to enter.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
To celebrate I'm over at Book Junkie where the lovely Brande has posted a review of Bunco Babes Tell All and a Q&A with yours truly. I giving away an autographed book, so go on over and comment and enter to win.
Yesterday I recieved a lovely surprise (although I guess you can't really call it a surprise since I was expecting it, but you know what I mean). I opened my door to find a package from Harper Collins. And now, I haven't switched publishers. Inside my HC package was my copy of Pioneer Woman's Cookbook! I won it on Goodreads. The book is absolutely gorgeous, filled with lots of beautiful pictures, and I can't wait to start digging into the recipes!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Speaking of countdowns... there's just 4 days left to enter my Which Bunco Babe Are you? contest. Follow the directions at the end of the contest to enter. There's an autographed book and a $50 gift certificate to Borders up for grabs, so don't miss out. I'll be hosting another contest in November, so look for details on that one too.
Plus...he he.. I have a special surprise for next week. But you'll have to tune in to find out. Don't ask me what it is though, because I'm terrible at keeping secrets. Unless... you've told me a secret, in which case my lips are sealed;)
Monday, October 26, 2009
Here's how I imagined the breakdown:
Drive to Civic Center: 20 minutes
Park and walk to the gate: 10 minutes
Buy a program, check out the merchandise, and find our seats: 15 minutes
Sounds good, no?
This is how it went down:
Get stuck in traffic because it's FAMU's Homecoming (which I forgot) and everyone and their brother is trying to get downtown: 40 minutes
Get stuck in the line to park, then find out the parking lot is full and you're getting diverted to a parking garage across the street: another 15 minutes
Run from said parking garage to the civic center in 2 inch heels: another 5 minutes (although it seemed like an eternity).
So you do the math. We are now 20 minutes late.
Luckily for me, half of Tallahassee was late too, because the show was just beginning as we got inside the civic center. Hearing the theme music sends my pulse racing, so we started running again to find the right section and our seats. I also think I might have been yelling something like, "Brandon! Janine! I'm coming!!" Yeah, I might have yelled something like that.
All I can say is that it was worth it. Every second of it. The show was fantastic. I laughed, I was wowed, and I even shed a few tears. Even my thighs are happy we went:)
Saturday, October 24, 2009
My Stop Plodding, Start Plotting! workshop at Romance Divas has "officially" ended, although I'm still going to be posting material today and taking questions through the weekend. I'd given this workshop once before for my land based RWA group Florida Panhandle Romance Writers but never online before. I learned a lot. And hopefully so did the participants. There's a really great group of writers over at RD and although I've been a member for awhile, I've never really participated. But I hope to change that and be more active in the future.
On the nice news front, I got a really lovely review of Bunco Babes Tell All over at Ellz Readz. Yay! There's nothing lovlier than hearing that someone loves your book. I don't think I'll ever get tired of it!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
First, it's finally official. I signed the contract for my next book and it's on its way to New York, ink barely dry. I sold a third Bunco book back in June, but after some deliberation, my pub decided they wanted me to go in another direction. So I came up with another concept (still women's fiction, still funny and still sexy, I hope!) but not Bunco related. The book is titled (tentatively) The Boyfriend of the Month Club. Here's the working blurb:
Grace O’Bryan has just turned thirty and works as the manager for her parents’ embarrassingly tacky Florida gift shop. And Grace’s professional life isn’t her only source of frustration. She’s also dated every loser Daytona Beach has to offer. After the ultimate date from hell, Grace decides enough is enough and turns her dwindling book club into a Boyfriend of the Month Club. By coming together to discuss the eligible men in their community, maybe she can help someone else avoid the frustration of finding out an attractive cover doesn’t always mean there’s a good guy inside. Comparing the men they’ve dated to classic literary characters such as Heathcliff, Mr. Rochester, and the ever popular Darcy and Wickham, club membership explodes as the women of Daytona Beach come out in droves. Unfortunately, Grace is about to discover that men are a lot more complicated than books, and that what separates the Mr. Darcys from the Mr. Wickhams might not be so cut and dry after all.
I told Mike Geraci that a research trip to GatorLand is in order. Believe me, when you read the book, you'll understand. MG isn't sure he wants to do GatorLand. But he will. Trust me. And when I go, you'll get plenty of pics!
So, my next Yay! thing:
I won a copy of Pioneer Woman's cookbook from the goodreads program! If you don't know what goodreads is, then you should. It's like the biggest online book club in the world. They also do giveaways (my book Bunco Babes Gone Wild is a current give away, so if you want to win a free copy, head on over there and enter!) I've never entered one of their give aways, but you know how I feel about PW's upcoming book. So I put out the positive vibes, entered and was notified yesterday that I won! Recipe updates to follow...
And my last Yay! thing:
Today, my Stop Plodding, Start Plotting! workshop began over at Romance Divas. It's free if you're a member. So if you want to partake of my awesome workshop (he) come on over and sign up then look for me in the Author of the Month section.
So, that's it for Yay! stuff for me. Plenty to jump up and down about, don't you think?
Monday, October 19, 2009
No, it's not too early to start thinking of Christmas! My good friend Marley Gibson, author of the fabulous Ghost Huntress series has a new book out and isn't the cover just fabulous? The book came out last week and below, you'll find Marley's interview with her co-author Cecil Murphey (who also co-authored the NY Times best seller 90 Minutes in Heaven)
by Marley Gibson
Co-authors of Christmas Miracles, coming October 13th from St. Martin’s Press
I am extremely privileged to have the opportunity today to talk to my friend and co-author, Cecil “Cec” Murphey, and to chat about our upcoming book, Christmas Miracles.
Marley: Cec, thanks for spending some time with me today.
Cec: Marley, it's great that you could take time away from important things like making a living to spend a little time with me.
Marley: I’m so jazzed about our Christmas Miracles book that’s coming out soon. I’ve had a lot of questions from folks wanting to know how we met, what brought us together, etc. So, I thought we’d do a back and forth on how it all came to be. Of course, I have to give props to our amazing agent and friend, Deidre Knight, for bringing us together. For those of you who don’t know, Cec co-authored the runaway New York Times bestselling hit 90 Minutes in Heaven with Don Piper.
Cec: I have to say thanks to Deidre Knight as well. Between Deidre and my assistant, Twila Belk, I've been able to sell quite a few books. 90 Minutes in Heaven has been my big book. I'm also proud of a book I wrote in 1990 called Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story. The book has never been out of print and has hit close to four million in sales. Early this year, Cuba Gooding Jr. starred in the made-for-TV film version.
Marley: That’s amazing! You are truly prophetic and definitely “the man behind the words.” Now, people ask how we teamed up. Sadly, there was a personal tragedy that brought Cec and me together as friends.
Cec: True. In early 2007, our house burned and our son-in-law died. Aside from the grief over Alan, we lost everything. Deidre and Jan, my-then-assistant, sent the word out of our tragedy without telling me. I'm immensely grateful for every gift people sent, but I probably wouldn't have admitted I needed help and wouldn't have asked. They taught me how much we need other people.
Marley: Deidre put out a call to other clients of The Knight Agency, to help Cec and his family out in any way in their time of need. At the time, my company was moving and we were cleaning house. We had a ton of office supplies that we were either going to throw away or give to some of the charities the company worked with. I got my boss’ permission to send a large care package to Cec…full of office supplies for him to re-stock his writer’s office. You name it…post-its, staples, paper clips, pens, pencils, markers, white out, ruler, scissors, paper, notebooks, notepads, envelopes, a laptop case, tape, glue, folders, binder clips…etc. A veritable potpourri of office delights. I was hoping that it would help Cec have a sense of getting his office back so he could keep working.
Cec: Marley's gift was the most unexpected I received. We hadn't met, although Deidre Knight had spoken of her many times and kept telling me she was wonderful. I wonder if you can imagine what it was like for me to open that box from someone I didn't know. I saw all those practical things for my office and yelled for my wife. I felt as if I were reading a first-grade book. "Look! Look and see! Oh, look!" I was overwhelmed by the gift and even more to receive it from a stranger. Those supplies were the most practical gift anyone could have given me. I'm still using black paper clips and red folders from Marley.
Marley: Awww…thanks, Cec! I didn’t have to think twice about doing it. Writing is such a solitary “sport,” but the writing community always astounds me with how they help their own. Not long after that, over plates of spinach and Gouda omelets, Deidre introduced me to Cec in person and I was thrilled to finally meet the man behind the words. Deidre knew we needed to work on a project together and thus began our brainstorming. What did you think of that first meeting, Cec, and cooking up the idea to work together?
Cec: Deidre and I had already spoken about a Christmas book and I had some idea about what it should contain, but nothing had come together. One day Deidre told me that Marley was coming to visit her and she wanted us to work together on a Christmas project. Marley and I talked before we ate and again during the meal. Everything felt right to me. I knew my strengths and Marley knew hers (and Deidre knew both of us). Everything clicked. Marley, a far better networker than I am, immediately sent out the word for submissions. Within days she had almost four times more than we could use. (She read every one of them!)
Marley: I was truly impressed with the submissions we received and it was hard narrowing it down to the ones we chose for the book. We’re fortunate to have such a go-getter agent in Deidre Knight. Cec, can you share how the whole idea of Christmas Miracles came about and what you thought of the project originally?
Cec: For me, it actually started while I was on the rapid-rail train from the Atlanta airport when I listened to teens talk about Christmas and it was mostly about gifts. I had the idea then, but nothing really came together. Months later when Deidre I and had a meeting, she brought up the idea of a compilation and mentioned my working with Marley. I've been Deidre Knight's client since 1997 and I've learned to listen carefully when she comes up with an idea. I said yes before she gave me all the information.
Marley: That’s the truth about Deidre! Getting back to those submissions, Iwant to say we got more than two hundred submissions for Christmas Miracles. So many wonderful stories to read through and select for the book. It was a challenge to pick and choose which ones were right for the book, but I loved every minute of it. After I chose the entries that would go into the book, Cec toiled long hours editing the works for a unified voice. What was the biggest challenge you found in the editing process, Cec?
Cec: I've been a ghostwriter and collaborator for twenty-plus years and this was a switch to give the book a unified voice—which was mine. It would have been easier to stay with each writer's voice, but the book—like many compilations—would have been uneven in tone and quality. When I discussed this via email with our delightful editor, Rose Hilliard, she was (to my surprise) familiar with my work. She told me she liked the warm tone of my writing and that I don't waste words. "That's the voice we want," she said. It still wasn't easy, but it was an exciting challenge. After Marley and I agreed on the stories and gave them that unified voice, our editor pulled six contributions. Although different, Rose felt they were too similar to other stories.
Marley: Can you give our readers a preview of the book? A favorite story perhaps…or one that moved you to tears? (I have to say the little boy who wished for nothing but to be able to read a book all the way through because of his stutter had me bawling when I read the submission.)
Cec: That's not fair! I liked them all. The one that touched me most, however, is the last story in the book, "Sean's Question." We had almost finished the book and I was teaching at a conference in Florida. I felt we needed one strong story at the end. Despite all the good ones, I didn't feel fully satisfied to conclude the book. On the last day of the conference, I met a conferee named Sara Zinn for a consultation. As we talked, I mentioned Christmas Miracles and that I still needed one more story. "I have a Christmas story," she said and told me about Sean. As I listened, tears filled my eyes—but, being the macho type I am, I was sure it was an allergy. Sara wrote the story, and it became the one I sought.
Marley: Oh yes…that one is an emotional one all right. It was meant to be in the book because of how you met at the conference. Now, you and I have both had challenges in our lives that others might have found too much to take, but we are both very strong in our faith and our relationship with God. How do you think Christmas Miracles is going to help others feel closer to God and experience His miracles in their own lives?
Cec: Awareness and appreciation are the two things I want readers to grasp. Awareness means for them to realize that they're never totally alone in life. Those unexpected, out-of-the-ordinary events remind us of that. Appreciation means to be thankful for what we already have. Too often, and especially at Christmas, we focus on what we'd like or what is supposed to make us happy. Christmas Miracles gently reminds readers of both.
Marley: In this day and age when our country is fighting two wars, unemployment is high, and a lot of people have a lack of hope and faith for their future, what do you want readers of the book to take away from Christmas Miracles and how can the stories in our book help provide comfort to those struggling?
Cec: I want readers to see that miracles do happen—sometimes simple, unexpected blessings or those that involve the supernatural (as in one of Marley's stories). I call myself a serious Christian. For me, the world's greatest miracle began with the birth of Jesus. Regardless of a person's religion, this book encourages readers to think about life during the Christmas season and see that life as more than gifts and celebrations. It's also a reminder that God loves us and hears our needy cries.
Marley: Beautifully put, Cec, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Can we share what’s next after Christmas Miracles? J
Cec: Why it's the Cec and Marley show, of course. Because of our go-getter agent and our enthusiastic editor, we've already received thumbs up for The Christmas Spirit. This will be stories of people who express the true spirit of Christmas by acts of love and kindness, for release in the fall of 2011.
Marley: And I can’t wait to start working on that project! Thank you so much for your time, Cec, and answering my questions. It was a privilege and honor to work with you and I look forward to our future projects together. You’ve helped me along during a trying time and I appreciate your friendship and support.
Cec: I liked this project because Marley had to send out the word, collect submissions, read them, and discard the weaker ones. I get to see only the better-written stories. (Don't tell her that I have the better job.) Although I mentioned only one story, all of those in the book touched me because of the poignancy of their situations and the miraculous answers. I won't say the stories increased my faith, but they increased my appreciation for the delightful mix of human need and divine intervention.
Marley: Thanks again, Cec! God Bless! And to our readers, please be sure to pick up a copy of CHRISTMAS MIRACLES, out October 13, 2009 from St. Martin’s Press. It’s a great stocking stuffer or gift basket filler. We hope you, too, will discover your own Christmas Miracles your life.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
There's also a tiny sneak peak into my next, next book, The Boyfriend of the Month Club. And for now, that's all I'm giving away:)
So you're probably wondering why the word Target is in my blog title. I've always joked around that I'll know I've made it when I see my books at Target. Well guess what? Yep. I'm at Target! Not physically, mind you, but hey, that's a technicality right now, because last night while I was accidentally googling myself, I found Bunco Babes Gone Wild on sale online at Target! Check it out right here. Pretty cool, huh?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Maybe books should be like movies and come with ratings. I think that would solve a lot of problems. But unfortunately, they don't. Sometimes, you pick up a book with one expectation, and what you get is something altogether different.
Take "The Time Traveler's Wife" for instance. *spoiler* Here's a book with lots of sex, lots of profanity, and a few strange scenes (Henry's masturbation) thrown in for good measure. I will say that that masturbation scene threw me a bit, but I kept reading. Not so much because I loved Henry (I found him to be extremely selfish, but also extremely compelling) but because the writing was just so damn good and I had to find out what happened at the end of the story. That said, out of curiosity, I went to some review sites and read what people had to say about the book. Not surprisingly, there were as many 1 and 2 star reviews as there were 4 and 5 star reviews. Big books are like that. The more people that read a book, the more all over the spectrum the reviews are. But what surprised me is the frequency in which some of the 1 star reviews called the author out for excessive, offensive sex and profanity. I don't know about you, but if I pick up a book and it offends me, I stop reading it. Life is too short to do something that a) I don't want to do if I don't have to, and b) makes me uncomfortable/squirmy.
So let's go to what I really want to say here. If you pick up a book that's been labeled erotica or Christian literature, then you know what you're going to get. But what about all those books in between? Namely, the genre most dear to my heart: chick lit/women's fiction. From my own personal experience (and I haven't gotten a 1 star review yet, but I will welcome it if it means that lots of people are reading my books!) I've come across people who have told me that they are *shocked* by the sex in my book. These are people who know me, so I have to wonder how well they really know me if they are that shocked, but for a long time now, if anyone has asked me to describe my books I say it's "Bunco meets Sex and the City." And that pretty much takes care of that. And honestly, there's not that much sex in the books. Really. And the few scenes that are there, I think are pretty funny, or at least they are to me, but I'll stop right here, because that's not what I want this post to be about.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that stories are about real people. And real people (especially single men and women in their 20's and 30's and beyond) have sex, occasionally cuss and do other assorted things/behaviors that you'd find in any movie/TV series out there. Here's another big shocker: Teenagers also have sex and use profanity! Pretty much with the exclusion of fiction that's been labeled "Christian" I would expect to find a little or a lot of all that in a book that focuses on male/female relationships. Now, let me scoot back a bit more and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Christian literature. There's a market for it and most of it, is, I'm sure, wonderful reading. I myself, am a Christian, I just don't happen to write Christian fiction. I write the kind of books I want to read, because if I don't love my own books then why should anyone else? So, for future reference, let me just say that all my books are going to be rated R. Pretty simple way to solve the problem, huh?
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Everyone who knows me, knows I adore Dmitry. Last season, he was paired with the sadly uncoordinated Holly Madison, and even I couldn't bring myself to vote for them. But now that he's paired with the beautiful, talented Mya, (their chemistry is freakin' unbelievable!) all I can say is that they better win.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Besides being a great time for everyone involved, Bunco is a natural for fund raisers. In Bunco Babes Gone Wild, my characters host a Black Tie Bunco fundraiser to raise money for the town's new rec center. But real live groups across the country play Bunco to raise money for breast cancer research (which gives me an idea for my own group) and I can't think of a better cause.
FYI check out the "ref" in the background. It totally cracks me up! Bunco disputes!
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
So, my Seminoles lost. Again. To Boston College???? All I can say is we SUCK. But I still love my Noles. We just have to get our act together.
That said, I took a trip to Hogtown yesterday (Gainesville) to visit the middle son because it was Parents Weekend. We couldn't spend the entire weekend there because it just so happened to also be Homecoming for the youngest daughter. She looked so pretty in her dress! It's always rough being torn between 2 kids events. Can the Universe not plan things out a little better next time please?
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
My September contest winner is Nicole P!
Last month was pimp my critique partners contest month. Which means Nicole is getting a copy of Can't Stand the Heat and Bite Me! The only thing Nicole had to do to enter was be a member of my newsletter community.
Congratulations, Nicole. I know you're going to love these reads.
And don't forget about my October contest. Take my Which Bunco Babe Are you? quiz and enter a chance to win a signed book from yours truly and a $50 gift certificate to Borders.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
And about that chat...
On Wednesday, September 30th @ 9pm ET, Louisa Edwards will be the featured guest author in The Knight Agency chat room. Formerly an editor at Penguin's Berkley imprint before turning in her editor's hat, she describes her debut novel, CAN'T STAND THE HEAT (St. Martin's, Sept. 2009) as a "culinary romance."
Louisa has an in depth knowledge of the ins and outs of the publishing industry, and she'll be sharing lots of information about her experience as a first-time author and details on her upcoming projects.
Hope to see you there! Of course, there will also be fun trivia and prizes!
Here's the 411 on CAN'T STAND THE HEAT: For sharp-tongued Miranda Wake, the chance to spend a month in Adam Temple’s kitchen to write an exposé is a journalistic dream come true. Surely Miranda can find a way to cut the hotshot chef down to size once she learns what really goes on at his trendy Manhattan restaurant. The trouble is, she never expected Adam to find out her most embarrassing secret: this critic has no idea how to cook.
As for Adam, well, he’s not about to have his reputation burned by a critic who doesn’t even know the difference between poaching and paring. He’ll just have to give the tempting redhead a few private lessons of his own—teaching Miranda what it means to cook with passion.
To learn more about Louisa, visit http://www.louisaedwards.com/.
What: CHAT with Louisa Edwards
Where: TKA's Chat Room
When: Wednesday, September 30th @ 9pm ET
How to Chat: (1) Click on this link: http://client1.sigmachat.com/sc.php?id=115545(2) Enter a username and password (any combination) (3) Click Login
Monday, September 28, 2009
It's official. Thanks to the lovely and talented Jax, my website has undergone some updates! Look for an additional page titled quiz, where you can find out which Bunco Babe you most resemble. To celebrate my upcoming November release of Bunco Babes Gone Wild, I'm holding a contest. Take the quiz, and follow the directions at the bottom of the page to earn a chance for an autographed copy of Bunco Babes Tell All and a $50 gift certificate to Borders. You know you're dying to find out whether you're a Kitty, a Shea or a Pilar. So go ahead and enter!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday I attended my monthly RWA land chapter meeting. The Florida Panhandle Romance Writers celebrated our one year anniversary! Usually we meet at the local library branch, but the room we use was already taken, so we met at Julie's Place, a local restaurant. We're spoiled beyond spoiled now, because I think we're going to start meeting there from now on. We had our own little room and full service (coffee, lunch, etc..) Plus, it's right off I-10 so it's perfect for our out-of-town members. I presented the afternoon workshop- Stop Plodding and Start Plotting! (cute title, huh? Mel came up with that). I think it went over really well, and I might think about adding to it to maybe one day try to present it at Nationals.
While the meeting was taking place, my beloved Charlie was at the animal hospital recovering from double ear surgery. He had two hematomas removed. Charlie is 11 years old and weighs over a 100 lbs, which makes him really old in dog years. He's such a trooper though. I'm taking him back to the vet today for a bandage change. The stitches don't come out for 21 days though. Ouch. I just hope I can keep him from messing with it too much. I'm calling him Civil War Charlie now. This picture is all the explanation you need for that. At the bottom of the pic you might see a small brown body (it sort of blends into the wooden floor). That belongs to Truffles, my 8 month old dachshund. Unfortunately, she's way too fascinated with Charlie's bandages. It's a chore to keep her from trying to help him take them off.
Saturday night ended with a bang when the Noles beat 7th ranked BYU in their own home stadium. What a game! It was like the good ol' days again. I'm really hoping this is a trend that will continue for the rest of football season.
Sunday evening I had my L&D book club meeting at Bonefish Grill. A super time was had by all. The book of the month was The Time Traveler's Wife, which we had hoped to all watch at the movies together (so we could compare the movie version to the book version). Unfortunately, we missed the movie by 2 days. What can I say? We are irony's bitch. Still, we all agreed it was a super book, even if there were parts that were a bit disturbing to some of us. Next month, we were going to read Jane Austen's Emma, but I persuaded the group to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies instead. I've heard a lot of contradictory things about this book and can't wait to get my hands on it (rubbing palms eagerly!)
Friday, September 18, 2009
Sigh. I just love the cover to my pal Marilyn Brant's debut novel According to Jane. Don't you? It looks so soft, so romantic, so wistful. I've been looking forward to reading this book for a long time now, and I'll soon be rewarded for my patience because it comes out Oct 1! Book Junkie recently did a fantastic interview of Marilyn that you can read here. There's also a contest giveaway involving an arc and some fabulous Starbucks coffee so run on over and comment!
Here's the blurb for the book (which by the way, won the 2007 Golden Heart award for Novel with Best Romantic Elements!)
It begins one day in sophomore English class, just as Ellie Barnett's teacher is assigning Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice". From nowhere comes a quiet 'tsk' of displeasure. The target: Sam Blaine, the cute bad boy who's teasing Ellie mercilessly, just as he has since kindergarten. Entirely unbidden, as Jane might say, the author's ghost has taken up residence in Ellie's mind, and seems determined to stay there. Jane's wise and witty advice guides Ellie through the hell of adolescence and beyond, serving as the voice she trusts, usually far more than her own. Years and boyfriends come and go - sometimes a little too quickly, sometimes not nearly fast enough. But Jane's counsel is constant, and on the subject of Sam, quite insistent. Stay away, Jane demands. He is your Mr. Wickham. Still, everyone has something to learn about love - perhaps even Jane herself. And lately, the voice in Ellie's head is being drowned out by another, urging her to look beyond everything she thought she knew and seek out her very own, very unexpected, happy ending.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I'll tell you what's cookin', it's Louisa's book Can't Stand the Heat!
Today, Louisa's blogging over at Romance Novel T.V. and she's giving away a culinary themed package (cookbook, apron, spatulas...)as well as talking about writing contemporary romance (my favorite!) So go on over and leave Louisa a message. You might get lucky!
Monday, September 14, 2009
This particular story revolves around Kitty. She's celebrating her 35th birthday and lamenting her non- existent sex life and dwindling bank account. She's certainly needing a little male companionship and some money. She is a real estate broker who's fallen on hard times as a new cookie-cutter neighborhood has cropped up in town and is represented by another broker.
The "Bunco Babes" try to make Kitty's birthday special by hiring an exotic dancer. While she's being detained by Officer Bob, Kitty's thoughts go to Steve the Plumber, the hot repair man who shows up to fix her broken toilet just as Bunco is getting underway at her house. After everyone leaves for the night, there is a knock at the door and Steve has returned because he left a plumbing tool at her house. Basically, Kitty's toilet is not the only thing that gets fixed by Steve the Plumber on this particular night!
BUNCO BABES TELL ALL is a very lighthearted read. If you just don't have time to schedule regular girls' nights out with your friends, pick up this book and you just might get your girlfriend fix. The gossip, food and drinks are always flowing. Maria Geraci has created a storyline that will be easy to follow-up on in future novels.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Look familiar? These gorgeous little aqua flip flops have become like my writer's totem. The wine glass of course, needs no explanation. But I don't think you can tell by my picture that the little ceramic flip flops with the pink flower is actually a wine cork. So cute!