Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday 13 takes a vacation

With the long weekend making for a short week, I totally forgot that today was Thursday. Since clearly, my brain is overworked, I'm going to take a vacation this week. :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Great New Article!

I'm becoming a press whore, I think. :) I love when people share the word about THE LIST!

Here's the latest press installment, an interview on

Isn't it cool? :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday 13 - Meet Denise Robbins

Before I get into this week's guest, I just wanted to tell the Thursday 13 people that THE LIST won a 2009 Indie Book Award in the Romance category. Yay!

And with that out of the way, I want to introduce you to another author, my Twitter friend Denise Robins (@dkrobbins). You can find her at and (You can head to her blog this weekend, as I am her Book of the Week Challenge author!)

She wrote a book called IT HAPPENS IN THREES, which I just finished reading. Man, can this chick write a love scene or what!

Here's a tease for the book:

Everyone knows bad things happen in threes, especially Ruby Goodman.

1-Fired from her job
2-Her ex-fiancé turned stalker
3? . . . Ruby is not sticking around to find out

Fleeing Florida to escape her fate, she runs headlong into. . .Michael Augustson, secret agent, and. . . straight into danger.

Once burned, twice learned, does Ruby dare trust again?

And now, here's my interview with her.

1. What motivated you to write this book? Your first book.

A software engineering manager by day, I developed a passion for romantic-suspense novels when I was out of work five years ago. I began writing IT HAPPENS IN THREES as a way to combine my love of writing with a lifelong interest in true crime and mysteries. In this debut novel, I used my own knowledge of computers and software to take readers on a roller coaster ride of suspense and intrigue

2. Are the experiences in the novel based on someone you know, or events in your life?

A little bit of both. The story starts in New Hampshire where I live now and then moves to Florida and Hawaii, both places I have lived or visited. The underwater descriptions are places I have been on various scuba adventures. Of course, the computer technology aspect of the story is from my software engineering background. To top that off, I have a longtime friend who is a spook.

3. Do you have a specific writing style?

My writing style would be considered “by the seat of my pants.” I have never been a person who can outline or plot. I do try and have gotten better so that now once I start a story, I plot several events or chapters ahead at a time.

4. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

That is actually a tough question. A voracious reader, I enjoy several authors that as soon as a new book comes out I have to get it, and I try to get everything they have ever written. The author that influenced me to actually start writing would be Linda Howard after reading her book ALL THE QUEEN’S MEN.

5. What are your current projects?

My second book KILLER BUNNY HILL is scheduled to be released in July of this year by L&L Dreamspell.

I am currently working on book number four with a working title of NEVER TEMPT DANGER. This book delves into two characters who both work for a governmental spy agency, but the heroine finds herself in a pickle when her knowledge and skill gets her would-be fiancé killed and then the killers go after her. The technology focus in this story revolves around the tiny transformer robots the government wants to use in the military.

6. What makes your stories unique?

I believe the “Denise” aspect, the part that makes the stories uniquely mine, are the fact that each of my stories involves computer technology. In IT HAPPENS IN THREES, one of the characters uses software to launder money from large corporations under the guise of helping them with their network security. The heroine writes a piece of software called a trojan to get in and follow the thief’s software and then make it appear that the funds are transferred – when in fact they are not.

In KILLER BUNNY HILL, the technology revolves around nanotechnology and the creation of manmade real diamonds for use as computer chips and laser weapons.

7. How do you come up with your story ideas and your characters?

That is both the easy and the hard part. With my current work-in-progress, the beginning of the story popped into my head as I was crawling into bed one night. With IT HAPPENS IN THREES, I sat at my computer and the beginning just flowed out. I had no clue where it would take me.

If the story idea does not hit me in the head and say, “hey, write me,” I approach it a little more methodically. I sit down at a local restaurant with a notebook and pen, and I listen and observe. After a while, I start to write the name of my hero and/or heroine and what I know of them such as what they may look like, where they are from, maybe their fears, and then it hits me as to what jobs the characters have.

I tend to come up with the characters before I come up with the storyline. Once I know my characters, I can come up with a story.

8. When do you find you are the most creative or write the most?

I am my most creative and most productive first thing in the morning and usually when I am not at home. For whatever reason, when I’m at home I tend to get interrupted or sidetracked easily with everyday chores. If I go out for breakfast, I can tune out the world and write like a mad woman.

9. Who came up with the book cover for IT HAPPENS IN THREES? Why?

The main idea was mine and then my publisher tweaked it. Because the majority of the story takes place in Florida and Hawaii, there is a lot of ocean time and the heroine wears a bikini. The heroine’s scuba fins are hot pink same as on the cover. The original idea had three shark fins, but the publisher thought one large one was more menacing and I agree.

The most important piece on the book cover and any of my book covers is that you don’t see the character’s face. It should be up to the reader’s imagination to draw that picture in his or her own mind. Even on my website, you don’t know what the hero or heroine look like.

10. Were you the model for the book cover?

HA! I get asked this all the time. . .and I shall never tell

11. How to you get inspired to write your romantic scenes?

I have to say, this question made me laugh. Who needs inspiration to write a love scene? For me, the love scene just seems to flow into the story at the right time and does not require any "prep" work. Although, after I’ve written the love scene, a good "review" is always fun. :)

12. Who is your favorite character in the book?

My favorite character is Jake. For some reason, Jake, this tall, broad shouldered "Neanderthal" of a Southern speaking guy just drives me crazy. At one point, I almost made him the hero. He is so lovable and pushy that Jake actually makes appearances in all my novels and gets to be the hero in CONNECT THE DOTS, my third novel. My editor and I actually fight over him. Of course, I created him, so he’s mine.

13. What is your guilty pleasure?

Hm. There are probably too many to name. One guilty pleasure is my caffeine addiction to Mountain Dew. What can I say? If there is a can of Mountain Dew in the house, I drink that before anything else, including for breakfast. My other extreme guilty pleasure is books. OMG! I could be dirt poor, but if I see a book I want to read, especially an old one that is no longer in print, you bet I will scrape through my change jar and car floorboards to get the money to buy that book. And yes, I have done that.

Home of the new Thursday 13

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meet Candace Saunders

There's a new interview posted for THE LIST. However, this time it's not an interview with me, it's an interview with my character, Candace. What a great idea! It's the idea of Pat Bertram - author of More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

Read the interview with Candace.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm a Winner!

I just found out last night that I am the winner in the Romance category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Holy Guacamole!

I get a gold medal and a certificate, plus, the book is set to a BIG (in name, not size) NYC literary agent. I'm listed in the Awards catalog, to be distributed at BookExpo in NYC (which I want to attend but it's so pricey!) Plus, they'll put out a media release, and hopefully, that will get my foot in the door in some places where they slammed the door on my foot a few months ago.

More on this later, I just wanted to share the awesome news!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Looking Forward

I'm in a post-vacation, it's-always-raining-around-here, lull. I need some things to look forward to, so I came up with a list of 13. And you should be looking forward to next week's Thursday 13, where I interview a fellow author, Denise Robins, of IT HAPPENS IN THREES. Man, does she know how to write a steamy scene!

1. I'm looking forward to being the featured speaker and author at the UVA bookclub here in Richmond next Monday. I hope I represent!

2. I'm looking forward to a long weekend and an extra day off of work for Memorial Day.

3. I'm looking forward to going to Virginia Beach on said Memorial Day weekend for some R&R and to see for sure if we'd like to move there.

4. I'm looking forward to the BF completing his training (he was laid off, and I'm so proud of him for pushing forward and getting this new training!) so we can move to Virginia Beach if we like it.

5. I'm looking forward to the paint supplies being taken out of the kitchen. We just tore down wallpaper (evil, evil stuff) and painted. A few touch-ups, and I get my kitchen back.

6. I'm looking forward to a housing rebound, right around the time we put our house up for sale, so we can move. :)

7. I'm looking forward to a visit from my mom soon. I hope she can talk my dad into giving up a golf day so he'll come with her.

8. I'm looking forward to the gnomes that will come and remove the wallpaper from the other two rooms. (They exist, right?)

9. I'm looking forward to Janet Evanovich's Finger Lickin' 15, coming out in June.

10. I'm looking forward to the new Harry Potter movie in July.

11. I'm looking forward to summer. I love summer.

12. I'm looking forward to our next trip. We're thinking of a cruise (since we sell them) - maybe to the Mexican Riviera? I'm hoping the H1N1 virus will be a non-issue by then.

13. I'm looking forward to selling more books. I always get a happy, warm fuzzy when I see someone has bought one!

Home of the new Thursday 13

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fire Sale!

I ordered too many books for a recent book signing. Bad for me, good for you!

I have 10 copies that I will sign and ship to you for the bargain basement price of $13. (That's $3 off the Amazonprice, plus, it includes shipping.)

The first 10 people that post here that they'd like a fire sale copy will be my new favorite people, and will be taking advantage of my over-ordering. If you post here, you need to post an email, or a way for me to get back in touch with you (do you have a blog? leave that url, etc.).

What's THE LIST about? Excerpt links above, reviews on the review tab in the navigation and on Amazon page.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday 13 - Linky Linky!

Here are some links to important (to me) things from the past week.

1. THE LIST was featured in my sorority magazine (Alpha Xi Delta). You can view the PDF here, and scroll to page 29.

2. I co-hosted a LitChat in April. If you're on Twitter, it's a literary discussion every M, W, & F at 4 p.m. EST under hashtag #LitChat. You can view the transcript of my chat here.

3. Here's a link to Amazon if you'd like to buy a copy of THE LIST.

4. I don't know if I told you, but we have a new travel agent/cruise business. We can give you lots of info, and help you book an awesome deal! View our Website for Cruise Deals/info.

5. I posted my trip photos on Facebook. You don't need an account to view them. The first set is of the Keukenhof gardens and the TULIPS!

6. The second set is the Red Light District. (Don't worry, this is the PG version.)

7. The third set is of our Mike's Bike Tour of the Amsterdam countryside.

8. The next set of photos is the sites on our canal boat tour.

9. These are the general Amsterdam photos, Volume 1

10. These are the general Amsterdam photos, Volume 2 (I took a whopping 1000 pics on this trip!)

11. These are the Brussels photos - just the chocolate parts.

12. These are the Brussels photos - the things to see in Brussels parts.

13. Did you see my iReport on the Netherlands on CNN? They mentioned my name! And Jim's! My part is at about 2 min 30. If the player won't work, do a search of CNN's site for "CNN: May 2, Pt. 3"

Home of the new Thursday 13

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Everyone's a critic

I post this to show that everyone is entitled to an opinion, and no author is exempt from criticism. I take this and add it to the experience bank.

This first-page reviewer doesn't think my intro is strong enough. I post it to be fair, and to encourage all writers to take criticism with appreciation (if not a bit of angst) and use it!

Self-publishing review

Perhaps she has a point. Perhaps the first page isn't the best hook? I don't know. I wish she would've read the entire book, maybe she did, and she still didn't like it. :) Hey, I don't like TWILIGHT, and that was made into a movie, so there you go.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fruitful Weekend

Well, the "Spring Book Tour '09" completed this past weekend with a trip to the CT Fiction Fest. I went to network, and to pitch some agents on THE LIST.

I had one request for a partial, one request for a full manuscript, and one agent tell me that THE LIST wasn't for her, but she liked my ideas, and to send her my next book.

Out of that, I got an idea for another book. This one very different. I don't want to talk about it too much yet, because it's still developing, but I'll let you know more if I actually sit down and write it.

So a good weekend, and a good few days in Boston, which I'll recount for you later. :)