Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SIZE MATTER book trailer!!

Sooooo excited about this!!! One of my readers made this for me. For ME!!!!!! So so cool!!! THANK YOU Silly Reader!!!!!! Check it out!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Only 6 weeks to go!!!!!!!

I can't believe it's almost here!!!! SIZE MATTERS releases on June 1st!!

It's been a long time since I signed the contract for this one! When Simon and Schuster offered me a contract for TRY ME ON FOR SIZE, I was ELATED that they were offering me a 2-book deal. Woo Hoo!!! I already knew I wanted to write a second book and make it a series, so I was so so happy they wanted that as well. That was June 2013. Almost 2 years ago!

FINALLY it's almost time! SIZE MATTERS is the second in my Classy 'n' Sassy Lingerie series. If you haven't read TRY ME ON FOR SIZE yet, it's a must do!!! Here is my link with all purchasing info for both books!!! Click here!!!

And if you're a Netgalley's up and ready to be read and reviewed ;)

Monday, March 16, 2015

RWA Nationals for a Newbie!

I'm so excited to be lucky enough to go to the RWA National Conference two years in a row!! YIPPEEE!!!!! Last year was my first time, after dreaming of going for years. It can be pretty intimidating for a first timer, especially if you don't do any research beforehand. But luckily I did and after experiencing it all, I want to share with other first timers to help make it easier for them!

Tip #1: Make friends before you go!

Last year, maybe a week or two before I left for San Antonio, I came across a Google video chat for conference attendees, geared toward first timers. It was the coolest thing. I got to meet some wonderful ladies and learned some great things from them. But as great as their advice was, it wasn't even the best part. I made friends...before I even went. The first night in San Antonio, before the conference officially began, I wasn't real sure what to do with myself. I had no plans. I only really knew my roommate, and she had plans. I was on my own. And then I walked into the lobby of the hotel and there they were- my new friends. They immediately welcomed me into their group. I spent the next few hours with them and it was awesome. All throughout the conference I kept running into "friends" I had met online through Twitter and Facebook, some I had "known" for years. It was great to finally meet them in person. Use social media before you go to find out which of your cyber friends will be there! If none are, check out the RWA forums...make friends.

Tip #2: Make friends while you're there!

I know most of us writers are sort of introverted. And that's okay. But the RWA National Conference is a great opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and connect with other writers just like you. Here's two awesome things that happened to me. I was sitting at my very first workshop on that Thursday morning. A woman sat next to me and we started chatting. She's awesome and now we are friends. One of the nights, I had no plans, so I decided to head down to the bar and lobby to see if there was anything fun going on. I sat down and within minutes, I started chatting with some women. A whole bunch of members from the Houston chapter. I made a bunch of new friends! It is SOOO easy to make new friends at the conference. There is so much that is a conversation starter. Many people saw my name badge (pictured above) and noticed I was a first timer. They asked me how I liked it, etc.. While in line for Starbucks one day, I started chatting up a woman who was nominated for a Golden Heart award (it was also on her badge). Another friend made. VERY IMPORTANT- always have business cards on you to hand to new friends. That way they will know your name and can look you up later on when they go home and the madness has ended. The RWA badges have a fabulous little pocket in the back perfect for holding business cards :)

Tip #3: Nametags are AWESOME!

I didn't know how I'd feel about wearing a name badge for 3 solid days, but wow, it was really convenient! Soooooo many times I ran into people I knew looked familiar. Day in and day out, when at home, I see tiny photos on social media of all my writer friends. When you actually see people in the flesh, it's hard to match them with their tiny photo! But all I had to do was glance down and BAM! There was their name! It made everything soooo much easier. And I didn't feel stupid for not knowing their name.

Tip #4: Pack smart!

Most conference attendees share a room with at least one other person. This year I am sharing with 3 (EEK! This will be interesting! LOL!) So space can sometimes be an issue. My advice is to purchase a hanging toiletry bag. Everything I needed fit inside and I could grab it and take it with me to the bathroom area, use what I needed, throw it back in, then fold it up and move it out of the way. Bring only the shoes you will actually wear. I think I brought like 7 pairs last year and only wore like 4. Other people will tell you not to bring heels, but I totally did. I rarely get to wear them and they looked fabulous with my pencil skirts. During the day, you mostly sit in workshops and only walk when you go from one to the next. So totally bring them and wear them. Hangers!! One of the best things I stuck in my suitcase was hangers! The hotel only gives you so many, so if you're sharing a room with 1, 2 or 3 others, guess what? The hangers go to whoever's there first. (Edited to add- I was told after this posted- you can request more hangers from Housekeeping! Good to know!!) One other thing that was a god-send- a portable cell phone charger! I used my phone a lot during the day, for the RWA app (since it had my daily schedule on it) and the internet and texting home to check in with the hubby and kiddos, locating my friends at the conference, etc...  And as we all know, smartphone batteries drain fast. I spent less than $15 on a portable battery charger and kept it in my tote. It was awesome.

Tip #5: Dress the part!

I saw a wide range of apparel at RWA Nationals last year. I am in no way judging anyone on what they choose to wear. I am a big advocate of wearing what makes you most comfortable...within reason. Pajama pants and a sweatshirt are a no no! LOL (I must clarify that I never saw anyone dressed like that, it was just an example!) But this is a professional organization with professional people. If you plan on pitching to an agent or editor, definitely make sure your apparel is appropriate. There are plenty of options that are comfortable yet still fit into the business casual style. And if you plan on attending the Rita and Golden Heart ceremony, feel free to let your inner glamazon out! Many people go all out for the event and it's really fun. (If you're into fancy hairdos and dresses!) This is a big event for those nominated, and it's just plain fun to get all dressed up. It's the closest I'll ever get to an Oscar ceremony ;)

Tip #6: Snacks!

Before I went last year, I allocated specific amounts of money for each meal. Breakfast was included two of the days, and lunch one day. This year there is breakfast 3 mornings, no lunch. Dinners you're on your own. I planned on eating a nice lunch everyday...and that so did not happen. A few days before I left I grabbed some individually packaged almonds and some fruit bars from Target. They were a LIFESAVER! There just was not time to get food. Unless I wanted to skip a valuable workshop. There was a Starbucks in the lobby that had tons of fabulous little sandwiches and things, but between workshops, the line was soooooo long. I never would have made it in time.

Tip #7: Take advantage of everything offered!

There is SOOOO much to do at the RWA conference. There are workshops on everything imaginable related to the writing and publishing world. There are parties and meet ups and goody rooms to explore. You're doing yourself a huge disservice if you don't participate in everything that's offered to you. And don't under underestimate the power of the hotel bar! This conference is all about education and networking. It's the most inspiring thing I've ever done in my life and it's completely addicting.

Tip #8: Don't try to do too much

RWA Nationals is 3 to 4 solid days of go go go. It's okay to pick and choose how you spend your days. I planned on attending workshops non-stop and pre-selected all the ones I wanted to go to (Thanks to the handy dandy app RWA put together!) But when I got there, the reality was that it just wasn't possible. So I varied the workshops I attended and only attended the ones I needed most (mainly craft and marketing). If you're not sure a specific workshop is for you, but you want to check it out anyway, sit near the back and duck out if you need to.

Tip #9: Books, books, and more books. Did I mention there's free books?

I heard about the book signings beforehand and how awesome they were and how people shipped books home and packed their suitcases with them. When I made my plans, I had no intention of going to any publisher signings. Until the one day I had nothing going on at a particular time and checked one out. Holy was a readers paradise! Tables upon tables of authors, just giving away copies of their books for free. It was so so hard to resist. I tried to limit myself and only came home with 38...but I so could have doubled or tripled that.

Tip #10: Try to do some sight seeing!

Last year's RWA conference was my first time visiting Texas. So of course I needed to take advantage of that! I didn't think I'd have much time during the conference to sight see, (And I was right!) so I booked a flight home that left me a good amount of time on Sunday. And it was so cool! I took a fun boat cruise at the Riverwalk and checked out The Alamo. It was very very fun :)

And last but not least.....

Tip #11: Have fun! RWA Nationals is a fabulous event full of inspiring workshops. But it's also a ton of fun!!!! Last year I didn't even bring my laptop. A lot of people thought I was weird. But I honestly had no desire to write then and there. I know many people who did though. I wanted to soak up the experience. And I'm not gonna a mom of two kids who rarely gets any alone time, I was so taking advantage and got out of my room and enjoyed my time!

So there they 11 tips for RWA National Conference newbies. Maybe even some experienced conference goers will find something of use here :) And PLEASE share your own tips below. Did I miss anything important?? Maybe you can help me for conference #2 in NYC!!!!

(Check the comments for more tips from readers!!!)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

With age comes wisdom?

Over the last year or so I've kind of felt this wave of enlightenment. I didn't know how to explain it. And finally it dawned on me.....I'm getting wise.

When I was younger, it sounded ridiculous to me that people got wise as they aged. I was smart, I had a good head on my shoulders, I made good decisions, I used common how was it that I was not wise? all makes sense now.

I'm not all that far from 40 and I certainly do feel wiser. I feel more confident than ever. I feel as if I am making smarter decisions. I have learned how to be a better person, a better friend. I've learned to listen more. I stand up for myself more, but only fight the battles that are worthwhile. I've learned to hold my tongue (and fingers) when I should (but that's still a work in progress). I ask for what I want and make it happen, and I go after my dreams. I've learned what's important in life and where to put my time and energy. I now have the wisdom and experience to know what's really important.

I think youth is a wonderful thing. It's great to have freedom and a world of possibilities, experience new things, make *think* you know it all and not realize til many years later that you really didn't. It's all part of life and growing up. I've always felt the whole "coming of age" thing was not just for teens in movies and books. It can happen at any age. And it can happen more than once in your keeps happening. you agree?? Does wisdom come with age? Do you think you are wise??

Friday, February 27, 2015

SIZE MATTERS Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

I always love cover reveal day!!!

When it lands in my inbox, I'm always so nervous to click. You just never know what the cover artists are gonna do....if they get the overall theme and feel of the book. I'll be honest, the first 2 options were not winners. But we found success with #3!

SIZE MATTERS is the sequel to TRY ME ON FOR SIZE! It releases June 1st!! YAY! Can't wait for everyone to read Bryn's story!

And without further it is!!!

I love the colors. I love the guy and the girl. I LOVE the hat. So so sexy. It matches the look of TRY ME ON FOR SIZE. I'm so so happy with it!!!

Here's the blurb:

In this saucy, sexy, laugh-out-loud romp, a lingerie shop owner and single mom falls for the hunky cop who just happens to holster his own perfectly sized weapon.  

Bryn, co-owner of Classy ‘n’ Sassy Lingerie shop with her best friend Mia, is ready to get back out in the dating world after losing her husband to the war overseas. Diving into bad first dates, online set-ups, and guys who just can’t get the message, Bryn can’t stop thinking about Eli, the sexy neighborhood cop who’s also a great dad. But between Bryn’s dead husband and Eli’s messy divorce, will these two have what it takes to overcome their baggage and fan the flames between them?

And now for something else fun! I'm giving away a prize to celebrate my cover release! Enter until midnight EST! I will draw a winner tomorrow!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Another lightbulb moment....

Recently I've had another huge lightbulb moment in my life. I've had a few over the years. Read about them here!

But this time it was about exercise and nutrition. It took a long time to admit, but I am officially getting older and that meant big changes for my body. My metabolism is not what it used to be. But I was gung ho to prove that none of that mattered. I could get back to the weight I wanted, if I just worked hard. So I hit the gym...hard...ignoring the signs my body gave me that I was overdoing it. I changed my diet and cut out things I loved. (I was MISERABLE!) I became a little obsessed about it all....but still....none of it worked.

And then one day...I got on the floor to do some stretches and ab work and when I stood up pain radiated through my body. And I knew. It was the last straw. That was five months ago and my back is still not right. It might not ever be. It's a chronic condition I've lived with for many years and I know how to handle it. I shouldn't have let myself ignore it.

So I kind of woke up. I had to accept one thing in my life that I might not ever be able to change. And it sucks. Big time. It sucks to work hard and see zero results. It sucks to know I can't push harder because of where I'll end up. It sucks to know I might be stuck like this a body I'm not really all that happy with.

But I refuse to sacrifice my happiness (I like to eat delicious food! Not all the time, not every day, but on occasion. I know how to use moderation. I refuse to eliminate things from my life completely.) I refuse to do things I know will lead to me being unable to enjoy activities with my kids because I'm in too much pain.

So here I am...doing what I can to stay healthy and happy. I'm trying my best, and that's all any of us can do.

Have you had a fitness/dieting/nutrition lightbulb moment?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Lingerie or Books? Choose Your Own Prize Giveaway!

Valentine's Day is upon us. That one day of the year when everyone scrambles to show the one they love how much they love them by purchasing chocolates, roses, and stuffed animals. While I am a firm believer that gifts do not show how a person feels--it's very easy to go to the store and buy something--the thought and effort do show it. If you really think about the person and give them a gift you know they will truly love, something special and meaningful, that does show love and appreciation for that person. Listen to the ones you love. Listen to what they don't say. The gift is more than just a material item.

But this week I am totally giving away a material prize! And it's your choice!

My newest release, TRY ME ON FOR SIZE, is set in a lingerie store.

They cater to woman and couples, eventually branching out to men's things. Mia and Bryn's goal has always been to provide their customers with quality products and expert advice. And they know just how important lingerie can be. And not just for lovers to ogle. The right lingerie can make a woman (or man) feel sexy and beautiful, confident and courageous.

But if lingerie isn't your thing, a sexy book can do the trick too ;) I love a great romance. (Duh! That's why I write it!) The sparks and the passion, the gotta-have-you-now-or-I'll-die moments. I love being sucked in for the roller coaster of emotion.

So here's where the prize comes in!! I will draw one winner from the Rafflecopter below. This one winner will receive their choice of a $25 Gift Card to either Victoria's Secret for some sexy lingerie, or a $25 Gift Card to the book retailer of their choice (Amazon or B&N) for some sexy books, or whatever books get their heart pumping ;)

****Contest is open internationally, but the Victoria's Secret GC is for US residents only. If the winner is outside the US, the prize will defer to a Amazon, B&N, or other bookish GC. Contest will be open until Friday February 13th at noon EST. A winner will be drawn and notified, and if the recipient does not respond by Monday at noon EST, a new winner will be chosen.****