Monday, June 29, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Ever see that old movie "The Russians are coming, the Russians are coming"? (Probably not. I've never seen it either, but I love the title). Well, just sub in "Cubans" for "Russians" and you'll get an idea of what my B&N book signing was like. It was awesome. There's nothing like a signing in your home town to make you feel special! Add in some friends from high school and grade school who also showed up, and I can still feel the lump in my throat.
One of the best parts of the book signing was meeting a local Bunco group who showed up to buy some books before they went out for dinner and socializing. A lot of the ladies in the group have kids who attend Melbourne Central Catholic (my alma mater) and one lady told me her daughter was a Stinger (dance and drill team). Talk about bringing back memories. You see, I too, was a Stinger (ahem, make that an ORIGINAL Stinger as well as a Stinger Forever-- blog for another day!) I really hope they contact me so I can feature them on my "Let's Play Bunco!" page. I was so overwhelmed by all the people I forgot to get a contact name. I really have to be more organized.
After the book signing, I attended the Romance Book Club that Lee Duncan hosts. Lee is a member of STAR and has just sold her first book Romancing the Storm to Harlequin. What a great coup! The fabulous Kristen Painter was also there and a good time was had by all.
Oh, and one of the best parts? I sold out of books!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
This morning I'm off to my hometown of Melbourne, where I'll be doing a book signing at the Barnes & Noble on New Haven Ave. So... if you're in the area, stop by around 5:30. I'll be there! Afterward, I'll be attending a book club meeting and I'm very excited. I can't wait to see what kind of questions people have for me!
Monday, June 22, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
No, really, they have. A couple of months ago, my publicist at Berkley emailed to tell me that Bunco Babes Tell All had been selected as a free give away by the National Examiner. I have to admit, I had never heard of the magazine. Of course, now I see it everywhere. It's at my Publix, right next to the checkout stand. Pretty cool, huh??
Every week, in the back of the magazine, they give away DVDs, books, jewelry, perfume, etc. There are 5 copies of Bunco Babes Tell All being given away this week, so besides seeing some pretty cool pics of Stars without makeup, you can win some freebies!
Monday, June 15, 2009
The fabulous Jacksonville Divas with Dice are now on my links section, because of course, in my world, Bunco groups never go away, they simply get their own page.
The Drunkobabes have this fabulous traveling pig. Yes, you heard me, a traveling pig. Really, it's one of the best Bunco tips ever. But you don't have to believe me. Go see for yourself. Right here.
And while you're there check out their chocolate martini recipe.
Other updates to my website include some new reviews for Bunco Babes Tell All. Here's a great one from Fallen Angels Reviews.
Fallen Angels Reviews
Kitty Burke, Pilar Diaz-Rothman, and Shea Masterson are best friends and also founding members of The Bunco Babes of Whispering Bay. Every Thursday these friends along with nine other women meet up at each other's houses to eat, drink frozen margaritas, have fun and play Bunco.
Kitty is just thirty-five. She and her friends think it is about time that she found Mr. Right. When Kitty's toilet breaks down, she gets a delicious surprise in the form of Steve, the plumber. Steve happens to be her ex-boyfriend's cousin. He is in town for a few weeks. Kitty would like to start something up with Steve, but Pilar and Shea don't think Steve is the right choice as he has been married three times. Will Steve turn out to be Mr. Right or will he be Mr. Wrong?
I loved Kitty. She is my absolute favorite. First there is her encounter with Steve. Making first impressions is the most important thing when meeting a guy. Kitty definitely knows how to make one on Steve. It is no wonder he didn't run after her first performance. Then there is Kitty's phobia. She has what is called stripperphobia. This is the fear of having a stripper remove his clothing and wave his thing in your face, while being handcuffed to a chair. Now after reading all about stripperphonbia, if this doesn't make you want to read Bunco Babes Tell All then I don't know what will. Maria Geraci has become my new favorite author of 2009! I can't wait to read her next piece of work.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Fortunately for me "Titanic" was on T.V. I just can't resist seeing Jack and Rose fall in love, so I watch it again for the zillionth time. After it's done, I think, great! now I can fall asleep. Nope. Because then "Enough" with Jennifer Lopez comes on and for some reason (never was really crazy about the movie) I now find it fascinating. By the time J Lo kicks Billy Campbell's very nice butt in, I'm beyond exhausted and finally fall asleep. But I wake up a tad later than I wanted and I was supposed to meet Debbie at 8:40 in the hotel lobby so we could go to mass. I rush and shower and dress and am, like, 15 minutes off schedule, so we get to mass a tad late (but before the readings so we're okay in the technical Catholic sense).
After mass, we go back to the hotel, meet Deidre and Shannon and head to Athens, home of the UGA Bulldogs. Now that my son is about to be a Gator I suppose I should feel some animosity toward the Dawgs, but I don't. We meet up with Jennifer and Jia and Jennifer's daughter and her friend and have brunch at this New Orleans style place, which I can't remember the name of to save my life. I have poached eggs over crab cakes and it's beyond yummy. Now, with my tummy stuffed, we all head over to Borders.
The Borders in Athens is awesome. Vicki, our contact person, has set up our signing in the rear of the store. Jia puts up the purple and white balloons (the red and white ones have died) and the awesome TKA author sign and we're set. The crowd in Athens is very nice, and I get to meet Jessica Hunt, whose husband Chris interviewed me for the Athens newspaper. I'd sent her a copy of my book last month and she told me she loved it (and I loved hearing that!) We answer questions, sign books and thank the crowd for coming. It's sad in a way, because now it's over. Jennifer and Debbie have to leave, but Deidre, Shannon, Jia and I stay to have coffee and do a little book shopping. I immediately check out the romance section (very nice) and an even nicer section toward the middle of the store that features a lot of women's fiction-Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella, etc, and decide that this is where I should be. It's obviously a co-op space, but I snag a few of my books and place them prominently next to my idol, Sophie. Hey, if I don't push for my own work, then who will, right?
After having a frozen caramel coffee drink (which is not called a frappuccino, since this word is copyrighted by Starbucks- something I learned while writing Bunco Babes Tell All) D and I say goodbye to Jia and Shannon and head back to Madison where my car is located. After fiercely hugging D goodbye, I gas up my minivan and head to Cracker Barrel to get an audio book for the trip back home. I select "Every Breath you Take" by Judith McNaught. JM was one of the first romance authors I loved and her "Paradise" remains one of my favorite romances of all time. I'm a little ticked to find that the audio book is abridged (hate that!) but it passes away the time and before you know it (and despite getting lost just once- see a theme hear?) I arrive back in Tallahassee, worn out, happy and ready to hit my bed.
This Friday, I'll be blogging on the TKA blog highlighting some of the Q&A we did. Hope to see you there!
Monday, June 08, 2009
Day 2 (Saturday) started out with me picking up Shannon at her hotel. We hit the drive through at Mickey D's then swung by Deidre's house which is near the historic old downtown section of Madison. Just as I pulled into her gravel driveway, a horse-drawn carriage filled with a small group of tourists went ambling by the road behind her house. If you didn't know better you'd swear you were in another century. The homes in Madison are quite frankly my dear, beyond lovely. Deidre told us the story of how Madison avoided Sherman's torch during the civil war. Apparently, one of Madison's citizens, Joshua Hill was a pro-Union senator. He also had ties to Sherman's brother at West Point. He met Sherman at the entrance of the city and begged him not to burn his home. Deidre said that the story goes that the citizens of Madison laid out all their valuables on their front yards so that the Yankees would take their things, but spare their homes. Thus, Madison avoided the fate of most of rest of Georgia's towns along Sherman's route. Pretty cool, huh?
So after we do a little historic tour of Madison, Deidre, Shannon and drove to Buford in my mini-van, with D directing us with her hand held GPS tool (more on that later). The ride was beautiful. We went through small town after small town past cotton fields and talked about everything from our writing to bizarre unrelated topics like Pica (the compulsion to eat dirt).
We arrive at Books for Less in Buford where everything is pre-set up for our Author Q&A and book signing in the adjoining coffee shop. Jia has everything set up, including the red and white balloons I now recognize from yesterday's signing and the awesome poster. The crowd is very friendly and is genuinely interested in the publishing business. Most of them are writers and aspire to publish one day. We get asked a broad range of questions, including the old "Where do you get your ideas from?" I really love listening to my fellow TKA sisters answer this question. Dreams, daydreams, fantasies, etc, is the answer most given. I tell the crowd that most of my inspiration comes from real live experiences, from listening to other people and people watching (the crowd now looks at me suspiciously, wondering if one of them will end up in one of my books)- no really, they are very gracious, and after our Q&A we sign books and munch down on some tasty snacks that Jennifer has provided.
Deidre, Shannon and I all load back up in our car to meet Jia and Jennifer and Debbie (who didn't attend the Buford signing b/c of familial obligations) and head back to Madison for the next signing. This is where D's GPS system fails us. We get lost no less than at least 4-5 times, however this is not necessarily a bad thing b/c we get to see more of the beautiful Georgia countryside, hit a Chick-fil-A for something to drink, and do what all writers do whenever they are together- talk about and plot their books:)
We arrive at Dog Ear Books in Madison (one of the cutest book stores ever!) where Jia has arranged the red and white balloons and the now much beloved TKA signing poster with our faces and books on it. I know I'm showing my complete dweebness again when I say that seeing a bookstore poster with my face and book on it gives me a thrill like no other. I really hope I never lose that feeling:) We meet a bunch of very nice people ( a lot of them Deidre's friends) sign books, then head over to Town 220, the restaurant next door for dinner. I had the scallops and risotto with a balsamic reduced sauce. It was absolutely delicious. I completely cleaned my plate and would have licked it clean if I wasn't in public. I kid you not. One of the really cool things about this restaurant is that there's a large glass window into the kitchen where you can see the chef and his crew preparing the food. This immediately made me think of Louisa because of her Recipe for Love books and made me wonder how her hunky chefs would do with an audience. I think a couple of them would love it, actually.
After dinner, Jia gave us a tour of the agency, and even though I've been there a few times, it's always a thrill to walk through and see all the stacks of client books, including mine! We pick through some freebie books, then head back to our respective beds because by this time we're all beat, and we need to start the day all over again.
Coming tomorrow: Author Tour day 3 and the ride home!
Friday, June 05, 2009
The day began when I left Tally around 10:00 in the morning. Thank God it didn't rain today. The drive through Georgia was short, sweet and uneventful. The only exception being that because I took 2 Benadryl last night to help me sleep I was incredibly thirsty. You know the sensation? Yeah, cotton mouth, that was me. And because I hate to stop more than necessary while driving, I figured I would hit a drive through at a Mickey D's and get a coke. Ha. The fates were against me. The first place I stopped was a Wendys, which apparently doesn't open till 10:30. About 30 miles down the road (we're talking rural Georgia here) I spy a McDonalds. Yes! I roll into the parking lot, and I swear, I never saw the sign to order food, so I circle back 2, yes 2 more times. Finally I spy the order sign and there is a line that had me thinking that McDonalds is now accepting food stamps. That's the only rationale I can come up with. Either that or they are giving out free food because everyone in town was there. Being the impatient sort I am, it irked me to no end. I just wanted a Coke! I finally got one about an hour later at the Chik-fil-A drive through. Coke and chick fillet nuggets. Totally worth the wait:)
So I get to Madison (town outside Atlanta where the awesome Knight Agency is located) at exactly 3:15 pm and check into my hotel. There are apparently no less than 3 weddings going on this weekend (I guess the old June bride thing is still alive and well) and my room is still not ready. Considering that I'm supposed to meet Deidre at 3:45 this is a bit of a problem. I smile as sweetly as I can and the tell the clerk that I really need my room since I am a very famous author and am about to meet my fans in little more than an hour (he he, I really didn't say that last part). The clerk apologizes and offers to walk down the halls with me and find a clean room. We score and I get a room, which was sweltering hot because they left the air off, change my clothes, put on some lipstick and run out to meet Deidre, who is picking me up in her cute little red VW bug.
We veer through Friday afternoon rush hour traffic and arrive at Borders in the Stonecrest Mall. Jia, The Knight Agency's fabulous girl Friday extraordinaire has everything in place. There's 2 big tables, lots of balloons and a fabulous poster with all our pics on it. I meet the wonderful Debby Giutsi, who is nicer than can be, and the equally awesome Shannon K Butcher, who makes me feel like I've known her all my life. Jennifer St. Giles arrives just a tad later and I don't get to officially *meet* her until we finish the signing, but she's also a total sweetheart. A bunch of ladies from the Georgia RWA chapter showed up for our Q&A, which was fun. After we sold some books, Suzanne (not sure of the spelling) from Borders, allowed us to sign stock. I have to say the Borders staff was very nice and very romance friendly.
After the signing we head over to the BugaBoo Creek to eat dinner. Eating at Bugaboo Creek is sort of like eating at the Country Bear Jamboree at Disney. There are stuffed animal heads on the wall that occasionally start talking to you. Yep. Kind of strange and awesome at the same time. The food was great and the company was even more fabulous. Since Saturday is Shannon's birthday, Jia had arranged to have a cake (all chocolate, all delicious) and the Bugaboo wait staff (moose puppets and all) came out to sing Happy Birthday. After receiving a kiss from the stuffed moose, Shannon cut her cake and we all stuffed ourselves on chocolate strawberries and cake. Very yummy!
After a quickie stop at WalMart to get bottled water and a few DVDs for Deidre (I recommended Slum Dog Millionaire- couldn't believe she hadn't seen it yet) D dropped Shannon and I off at our hotels.
Now to get a good nights sleep to prepare for Author Tour, Day 2...
Monday, June 01, 2009
This is not your ordinary book signing. Three of the events will feature a "How To Get Published Q&A," followed by a one-on-one meet and greet with the authors during the signing portion.
So if you're anywhere near the Atlanta area, please join us! This is where we'll be:
1--Borders at Stonecrest Mall in Lithonia – June 5th, 5pm ET8000 Mall Parkway, Lithonia, GA 30038
2--Books For Less in Buford – June 6th, 1pm ET* 2815 Buford Dr, Buford, GA 30519
3--Dog Ear Bookstore in Madison – June 6th, 5pm ET**142 Academy Street, Madison, GA 30650
4--Borders in Athens – June 7th, 2pm ET 196 Alps Road, Athens, GA 30606
*Debby Giusti will not appear at the Books For Less event. **The Madison signing will not include a Q&A session.
Also, I was lucky enough to be interviewed about the upcoming tour. Here's the link to the Athens Banner Herald and my story. Hope to see you there!