Monday, March 30, 2009

Louisville Bunco Mommas!

Aren't they fabulous? The Louisville Bunco Mommas are the first group (outside my own) to be featured on my "Let's Play Bunco!" page.

Last month when my website went live I put out a call to Bunco groups across the country to see if they wanted to be featured on my website. One of my first contacts back was Rachel Wintringham, one of the members of the Bunco Mommas (love that name)

Go check them out. There's a fabulous recipe for Chicken enchilada salad that sounds absolutely yummy.

Louisville Bunco Momma tip: Do not take Bunco or life too seriously! You can learn a lot from Bunco, and the most important life lesson is to roll with the dice, but always make it fun!

Awesome philosophy, ladies!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Blog pimpage

Today's starting out busy.

There's so much blogage going on out there, I thought instead of writing a new post I'd share the goodies.

First, there's my group blog Title Wave. The blog has an entirely new look and concept. Go check it out. We're talking about the best way to back up files.

Then, there's the Knight Agency Blog. Secret Agent 24/7 is going to answer publishing questions today.

And last but not least, go read Mel's interview over at In Bed with Books.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I see Lawn Boys...

Mel called me this morning to tell me she had a dream that Berkley had changed the title of my book to Bunco Babes Go Mowing.

All I could do was laugh. Especially because Naughty Kate emailed me last night to tell me that RT had reviewed my book. I got 3 stars! It's not the awesome 5 cups of coffee I received from Coffee Time Romance or the 4.75 I got from Night Owl Romance (2 obviously very smart reviewers there...) But I'm very happy with it. Heck, they gave one of my favorite books Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin 3 stars too, so I think that puts me in some pretty illustrious company. But what cracked me up the most about Mel's dream was how it coincided with this tidbit from the RT review:

The first novel in Geraci's Bunco Babes series really enforces the importance of friendship between women, despite a somewhat fatuous title. Kitty, the heroine, is not the most complex character, but she shows heart and sensitivity.

I admit I had to look up the word "fatuous." I had a rough idea of what it meant, but I needed a (cough) reminder. Here's what said:

FATUOUS /ˈfætʃuəs/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [fach-oo-uhs] Show IPA
foolish or inane, esp. in an unconscious, complacent manner; silly.
unreal; illusory.

Louisa wondered what RT would have made of the book's original title, The Church of Bunco.And I can only imagine what they would have made of Bunco Babes Go Mowing.

I have to admit that title is growing on me.

I'm seeing lawn boys. Lots of bare-chested, well-muscled, sweaty lawn boys. Now I just need a plot...

Monday, March 23, 2009

"My roommate's mother loved it!"

Can I just say I really really love that quote and wish I could use it for a book blurb?

It came from the lovely Jennifer, the youngish twenty-something reporter who interviewed me for the upcoming May/June issue of Tallahassee Magazine. I gave her an ARC (advanced reader copy) and she emailed me back to say that while, she hadn't read it yet (insert Maria smirk here) she'd loaned it to her roommate's mother who is a Bunco player and that said mother loved it and read it in one day. Needless to say, I was thrilled. Go Jennifer's roommate's mother!

It's just so weird for me to think that people beyond my critique partners, agent, editor and mother are actually reading my book.

Here's a link to another review. This one is from Night Owl Romance. I got a 4.75 out of 5! And I I DO intend to put the following quote somewhere. "This book was awesome." Yep. She's talking about me. Or rather, my book.

This is almost better than Bunco Cupcakes!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bunco Cupcakes!

Are these not the coolest ever? These scrumpilicious looking cupcakes come from Two Parts Sugar a site I can see myself getting sweetly attached to. I have Elen to thank for bringing these to my attention. I must confess, when Elen first sent me to Cupcakes Take the Cake (another awesome site) I wasn't paying attention to the actual picture (I'm currently at my parent's house in central Florida for a less than 24 hour stay in order to attend a memorial mass for the mother of a dear friend of mine). I'd just sat down after a 5 hour drive and was multi-tasking- checking my email and talking to my mother at the same time, so I bookmarked the site. Then Elen commented back, "did you see those Bunco cupcakes?"

What? Bunco cupcakes? I quickly went back to the site and saw that yes, indeed, they were Bunco cupcakes. How on earth did I miss that?

Thank you Elen and Two Parts Sugar for bringing a HUGE smile to my face on what was otherwise, a very sad day for me.

Another reason to love cupcakes. They make you smile!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bookmarks and Cupcakes!

It's less than 2 months to the release of Bunco Babes Tell All and I'm getting pretty psyched. Yesterday, I received my bookmarks. They look fabulous, don't they? I stuck one up on the cork board above my desk in my closet so that I can stare at it as I write. I know, pretty goober of me, but there you go. Little things get me going!

And talking about little things... I know I'm late joining the craze. But I just can't seem to get enough cupcakes in my life. Last month, at my cousin's Big Fat Cuban Baby Shower, instead of a cake, they served gourmet cupcakes.

Isn't that gorgeous? And they were to-die-for cupcakes. Chocolate with a creamy filling inside and smoothest, most delicious frosting you can imagine. Yummy.

Since I'm the Queen of showers (bridal, baby, you name it... all my co-workers are constantly getting married or pregnant), I'm always finding myself in the middle of helping host a party. This Saturday I have 2 bridal showers to go to. One I'm attending as a guest, and one I'm co-hosting. Instead of cake, I'm doing cupcakes. I'm not actually baking the cupcakes this time (I'm having them done by the fabulous Tasty Pastry.But one of my goals this year is mastering the art of the gourmet cupcake. I found this awesome cupcake stand online at Target. Unfortunately, I don't have time to order it, and my local Target carried a smaller version that only holds 13 cupcakes. So I bought 3 of them. I going to decorate the sides with flowers, etc.. so it will be serve as a centerpiece as well as a dessert holder. I'm hoping the whole thing will turn out fabulous. I'll let you know!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Is Big Brother watching me? or why am I turned on by leather holsters?

So, in lieu of my great belief in conspiracy theories, I have another little mouse (not a squirrel, mind you, it's definitely a mouse) running around in my head that tells me that someone is always out there listening, watching and reading. You just have to watch Enemy of the State with the brilliant Will Smith (love Will) to never want to use your cell phone or log into a computer ever again.

Last night I was up late writing (one of my best writing times) and I needed some information about a gun. In my wip, my hero (Zeke Grant, police chief of Whispering Bay- love Zeke too) is wearing one of those sexy leather shoulder holsters with a gun tucked inside.

Okay, short break from the topic here, but is it just me or are there other women out there that get turned on by the sight of a guy (preferably a cop/good guy) wearing one of those leather holsters? The minute I gave Zeke a leather holster, my heart began to pound. Just typing the word "Glock" gave me a thrill. I kid you not. And I am not a gun girl. Despite my many conservative views, I am firmly in favor of strict gun control.

So, instead of writing, I got distracted and started to think of other visual cues that did it for me. A black tuxedo (shaken, not stirred), Vampire fangs (hello? Almost any vampire. Except for those creepy ones from 30 Days of Night). Guy with a leather holster (any sexy cop you can think of).

I remember reading once that if you wanted to make your hero instantly appealing, just give him a gun. I never really understood that until now. Even the whiny guy from Bones looks kind of hot in his leather holster.

If short skirts and stilettos do it for men, I can have my little leather holster thing going, right?

I might have to take back the tux thing. I honestly can't tell you which of these is nicer...

Okay, back on topic. So, since I am clueless about guns, I start googling things like "how to carry a concealed weapon", and before you know it, I've hit some of the most bizarre sites you'd ever want to encounter. Very creepy. But I couldn't stop. And then it occurred to me. Cripes. What if Big Brother is watching? What if I get put on some "lunatics to watch out for" list or something? With that lovely thought, I turned off my computer and finally went to bed. If I don't blog for a couple of days, send someone out to find me...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

In which Maria Steals Mel's Blog to wish her a Happy Birthday

I felt so deliciously sneaky doing it, that I might just do it again one day. And soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book Giveaway!

For all you readers out there (and I hope that's a LOT) are you a member of Goodreads?

It's a free site dedicated to all things BOOKS. You can write your own reviews, read other's reviews, hook up with your favorite authors, see what your friends are reading, join virtual bookclubs and even sign up for free book giveaways. This month in honor of my upcoming debut I'm giving away 2 ARCS for Bunco Babes Tell All.

Once you're a member, you can sign up in the Giveaways section under Books.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eat your heart out, Samantha. Naked Guy can dance!

That's right. Not only can Naked Guy act (do not snicker) but he can also dance! Last night was the premiere of Dancing with The Stars, and honestly, as much as I love the show, I had no idea with the exception of Belinda Carlisle (I was a huge Go Go's fan in the 80's) who this season's *stars* were. So imagine my surprise when Sex and the City's Gilles Marini shows up with Cheryl as his partner. Talk about some serious heat. He was outstanding. He was hot. He was sexy. He was gorgeous. He was... well, you get it. The judges also agreed. He got the top score last night. Cheryl was worried that Naked Guy didn't have a large enough (cough) fan base. Is she for real? I predict Naked Guy and Cheryl will have a long and prosperous season.

So... the show was moving along and I was still reeling from watching Naked Guy do his thing, when the host Tom Bergeron announces there will be a secret surprise star, because one of the stars hurt herself during practice last week (on a side note- this show is becoming more dangerous than an NFL football game for injuries) and she had to be replaced on 2 day's notice. They keep building this up and building this up and then suddenly they announce it's Melissa from The Bachelor! Yee haw! The audience goes wild. Maybe even wilder than when Naked Guy danced, because it appears that like me, a lot of America has fallen in love with Melissa. At this point, I get on the phone with my friend Terri and we spend the next hour rehashing the Melissa/Jason debacle and how thrilled we are that Melissa is on the show.

Ordinarily, I hate the girl who cries a lot, and believe me, Melissa was one wet Bachelorette. The only person who cried more on the show was Jason. But her tears always seemed genuine. Whether The Bachelor people gave her a great edit or she's just a great girl, I bought into it. She wore her heart on her sleeve and I just found her so dang adorable. And now she's back! And boy, can she dance. She came in second in points only to Naked Guy. And she only had 2 days to rehearse. Even her "official" DWTS bio pic is a cropped picture of her and Tony b/c they haven't had time to pose for one yet. I'm also loving that Tony has a great partner in Melissa. The last 2 seasons he'd had aging divas with no rhythm (Susan Lucci and Jane Seymour) for partners and the guy deserves better.

I do have to add, however, that I got a bit uncomfortable listening to the Jason bashing. Even Bruno called him a big Loser. Not that the guy doesn't deserve it, but it's over. With Melissa on DWTS, maybe we can get some closure on the whole mess. I say, let the healing process begin. Oh, and let's all vote to keep Naked Guy on the show.

Monday, March 09, 2009

To the squirrel who ate my hamburger...

It's been over four decades, but I've decided to finally forgive you.

When I was four, my mother took my sister and I to McDonald's, which at the time, was a big deal. My parents had only emigrated to the US from Cuba a few years earlier and money was still very tight. I hated catsup and mustard back then (I know, total brat) and my hamburgers had to be ordered "plain" which meant my mother had to wait the few extra minutes it took to cook it, etc. It was a beautiful sunny day, so we went outside to the few picnic tables in the back of the restaurant. The tables were surrounded by large trees. Which, of course, means there are rats with furry tails, I mean, squirrels in the vicinity. I swear, I only put my hamburger down for a couple of seconds while I ran off to play. Those couple of seconds were all it took for some giant meat-eating squirrel to come along and whisk my burger off. Right in front of my four-year-old eyes.

I learned a valuable lesson that day.

Never trust a squirrel.

So when my friend Terri sent me these pictures of Finnegan the Squirrel, I was extremely suspicious at first. Sure, Finnegan looks friendly enough. But then, who really knows what's inside a squirrel's heart? I kept going back to the pics, trying really hard not to smile. In the end, I gave up. Okay, maybe not ALL squirrels are bad. Maybe not even the squirrel who stole my hamburger that day so very long ago. Maybe he was just hungry.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

What if no one likes my book?

Yesterday it occurred to me that my book comes out in exactly 2 months. In just 60 days someone can walk into BAM or Borders or Barnes & Noble and go to the counter and pick it up, and I have to tell you, it's a pretty frightening thought.

Remember this line of dialogue from Sleepless in Seattle?

Meg Ryan character: "It's like that dream where you suddenly look around and you're naked."
Rosie O'Donnell character (sighing): "I love that dream."

Yeah, well, I don't.

Not that I ever recall having the naked dream, but I've definitely had the naked daydream. This is the one where you imagine yourself going into the bookstore and overhear two people saying, "Well, that book sucked!" And you realize that they're talking about your book.

In the course of the past year I've had the "what's your book about?" question more times than I can recall. And I always respond something like this, "Well, it's about this group of women in a small town in north Florida who play Bunco." This either gets a smile or the inevitable, "what's bunco?" question. And then I say something to the extent of, "It's kind of like women's fiction, but not. I mean, no one dies or has breast cancer or anything, so it's sort of light and fluffy..." and I go and on until I usually get embarrassed and change the subject. Because, really, who wants to listen to someone go on and on about their book?

And then something else occurred to me last night too (call it my post-Bunco epiphany).

I have to get over it.

Because let's face it, no matter how funny, charming, sexy, etc, my mother, critique partners, editor, agent, etc. think my book is, there will be people out there who will think it sucks because that's just the nature of life. Some people will love it, some will think it's merely okay, and some won't like it at all. And I'm going to have to learn to be okay with that. I didn't set out wanting to be the next Maeve Binchy. I can only be myself and write what comes naturally to me.

So, what's my book about?

It's about this group of women who play Bunco in north Florida, and yes, there's sex in the first fifty pages (because let's face it, people do have sex), and it's funny and light, and part of the conflict revolves around a missing pair of thong underwear and this evil land developer who wants to build condos on the beach, and... Well, you get it?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bachelor Conspiracy Theory part 2

This photo comes from screen caps taken during the January premiere of The Bachelor to hype us all up. So, my question is this: Who the hell is the chick in the blue dress? Is even Jason capable of proposing to 3 different women in less than a year? First, there was DeAnna, then Melissa, then blue dress chick. I think blue dress chick is actually Melissa (whose dress last night was clearly yellow) but the dress has been altered in the pics by ABC to confuse. It's not all ABC is guilty of. Go here to Reality Steve. I totally believe him. I've always known that the producers mess with the contestants, but I would never have believed that they would go so far as to have Jason propose to one woman when he knew all along he was going to dump her.

This next pic is just too embarrassing for words.

For a fun take on it all, go check out the video on Kwana's blog.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Bachelor Conspiracy Theory

Call me cynical but if there's a conspiracy theory, I'm in.

It doesn't matter what the theory is about, or whom, or whatever, but like the old saying goes, If there's smoke, there's fire. Unless of course, the conspiracy theory involves me. Then it's wrong.

It's been my painful duty to have to burst the bubble of those I work with and who also watch The Bachelor along with me (but someone has to do it). It's been fun these past years playing Tuesday morning love quarterback and speculating on who's getting a rose, etc. But what's going to happen tonight in the BIGGEST season finale ever is just plain wrong. And, I hope, the demise of the show. Because really, don't most of us dupes tune in to see a romance? And from what I've been reading, there really WAS a romance this season, but the producers decided to hide it from us and instead give us DRAMA. They're finally going to produce on their continual silly promise to give us the most dramatic rose ceremoney evah.

I mean, I know it's reality TV, which means it's not. But regardless of what happens I've always believed that the final person is who the Bachelor/Bachelorette thought was the best of the 25 and whether they ended up engaged or even dating for just a week, or not picking anyone at all (as in Brad's season) that part of the show was at least semi-honest.

Now, according to Reality Steve this season has been one big scam from the beginning. And I really liked Jason, with his pitiful soulful eyes and his "It's all about his son" spiel. And while I have nothing against Molly, if Melissa is really being duped, like I think she is, then I truly feel sorry for her. On the other hand, maybe Melissa has been a part of it all from the beginning. Who knows?

I just know that unfortunately, I'll have to rubberneck tonight's finale episode. I just won't be able to look away.

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