Monday, September 14, 2015

My crazy summer is almost over!!

It's been a hell of a few months. Here's a short recap, if you're interested:

I spent the month of June preparing (and pulling my hair out) for my 20 year high school reunion that I ended up planning pretty much all on my own. Everything went off without hitch though.

The second week of July was our family vacation. Lots of fun in the Caribbean sun!

The third week of July I was in NYC for the RWA National conference. SOOOOO awesome!!!

After that I was in countdown for my sister in law's wedding. Which included a weekend bachelorette getaway for the girls, then a weekend bachelor getaway for the boys. Then came wedding weekend.

And then back to school hoopla.

Oh yeah and I was (and still am) on MAJOR deadline for book 3 in the Classy 'n' Sassy series: ONE SIZE FITS ALL (Penny's story) I managed a 10 day extension from my editor. It was originally due tomorrow.

But now I am settling back into a normal routine. Today is the first full week of school for my kids. I'm looking forward to getting this book finished and the time off I will take after to sit and relax and do some of the things I didn't get to do all summer, like sit on my deck and read. (As long as the weather cooperates).

I've got exciting things coming up. My agent is hard at work trying to find homes for two new books! Woo hoo! Lots of bites. Hoping they pan out soon! And I'll be a participating author at the Angels and Sirens romance event in Pittsburgh, PA in March! Check it out here! I'm trying to get into a similar the event in Cleveland and I will also try to get into the Lori Foster event. I heard it's AMAZING!

How was your summer? Crazy or relaxed? Go anywhere fun???

Monday, June 8, 2015

My 5 year publishing anniversary!

I knew yesterday's date sounded familiar, but it wasn't until today that I put my finger on it. On June 7th, 2010, my first book--A BITCH NAMED KARMA-- released. That was the day I officially became a published author!!! It's been five years and soooooo much has happened. I've learned so much and have really grown as a person and a writer.

This anniversary really makes me step back and think about my career. This is my second career, in case you didn't know :) My college degree and 13 years of my life were devoted to the floral industry.  I started writing just to see if I could actually do it. To see if I could complete a book. I was soooooo proud when I did!! That book never did--and never will-- see the light of day, but when I finished it, I went on to write a book I called Not Another Chick Lit Novel. After several re-writes and a name change, it finally found a home with Lyrical Press. I was so excited and so thankful they had given me a chance. Renee Rocco believed in me and helped me start this new career I was quickly falling head over heels in love with.

There have been MANY ups and down since then, and I will openly admit I am no where near where I'd hoped to be five years later. But I am soooooo much closer. The journey to publication and publishing success is a long one and nothing about it is easy. I often describe this time in my life as me going back to school. So many adults make a career change and go back to school for a new degree. I didn't actually go back to school, but boy did I ever get an education! When TRY ME ON FOR SIZE released last year, it was like my graduation and first job after college. I had arrived and was ready to make it in the world! I paid my dues, I worked hard, I didn't give up, and those years of learning WILL pay off :)

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where I go in the next 5 years! Thank you for being here...for supporting me...for reading my books. Thank you to all my friends and beta readers who've read through my manuscripts, who helped me perfect my words. Thank you to my editors, especially Piper Denna, who saw something special in me and my manuscript and took the time to teach me. I would not be where I am without any of you, and I won't be able to go forward without you either! :)

Monday, June 1, 2015


It's my book bday!!!!! Woo hoo!!

Come celebrate with me at my Facebook party! It goes from 10 am til 10 pm, EST! Click here!

And if you want a little teaser, here's the opening scene of SIZE MATTERS! ;)

If a bicycle had a penis and eyes pleading for a blow job, the whole ordeal would be just like riding a bike. It’s one of those things a person never forgets how to do, no matter how much time has passed. But Bryn Harper hadn’t had sex with a living, breathing man in nearly two and a half years. The only sex she’d had involved rubber and vibrating replicas of manliness. So being in this position—nearly naked as she stepped into her dimly lit bedroom—felt far more difficult than pedaling around on two wheels.
“Hey.” Bryn managed a coy smile as she stood in the doorway connecting her bathroom to her bedroom.
“Wow. You look gorgeous,” Eli said, alleviating some of her anxiety.
She fidgeted with the lace hem of her see-through chemise. “Thanks.”
Bryn had been sort of dating Eli for a couple of months, and it was finally time to do the deed. She’d chosen him as her get-back-on-the-bike guy. Cute and polite, well mannered, with a smokin’ hot bod. He’d help her get it over with, make the fear go away.
They’d been friends for a while, having met at their kids’ school during Field Day. They’d bonded while serving hot dogs to ravenous elementary students. Casual coffees turned into dinner every other week. He was a nice guy to hang out with and he understood what she wanted—light and casual. Attempting to find love again was on her list, but not right now. Not yet. It was still too soon.
Bryn took a deep breath as she left the safety of her bathroom and stepped into the bedroom, illuminated by a half dozen candles. She kneeled on the bed and crawled to him, hoping it looked way sexier than it felt.
Eli’s ravenous gaze ripped off her transparent outfit and devoured her body. Wonder how long it’s been for him? He looked pretty damn hungry. He’d been divorced almost as long as Bryn had been widowed. But surely he had dated in that time. Divorc├ęs were usually back on the bike much faster than widowed riders—the anger-bang, revenge sex.
Bryn would never forget the day her doorbell rang and she ran to answer it, three-year-old Cammie on her hip, her hair a mess, never expecting to find what she did. As soon as she saw the uniformed soldier on her porch, she knew. Her husband would never come home again.
After Johnny died, all Bryn had wanted to do was curl up in bed with her three kids and hold them close. She’d stayed there for days, maybe even weeks. And when she finally came out, life was measured one hour at a time. If she could make it that far without crying, that was progress. Then it was two hours, then three. When she’d made it a whole twelve hours, she’d rejoined society and gone back to work. Her kids needed some kind of normalcy after weeks of seeing her a bawling mess of misery.
But that’s as far as the normalcy in her life went. The only things that mattered were her store and the kids. Finding a companion—love—had been the furthest thing from her mind.
But here she was, two and a half years later, and it was getting really hard to be a single mom, especially to growing boys. Jaxson and Zachary needed a man in their lives, one they could relate to. Grandpa wasn’t really cutting it. Dating Eli was part one in giving her family what it needed.
And Bryn needed a man in her life, too. Not for financial support, protection, and overall dependency, but for companionship and, yeah, sex. Lots of sex. A real, live man to hold her, taste her, and caress her body. Dildos and vibrators were fun, but they didn’t whisper sweet nothings and dirty talk in her ear or press feather-light kisses along her spine.
Bryn focused on Eli, and damn, he looked good lying there. She scanned his seminaked body. For a guy in his late thirties, he had a fine physique. Mounded pecs and sculpted biceps, muscular thighs that made her yearn to be between them. No six-pack, but she wasn’t exactly model shape, either. Her eyes traveled south to his black boxer briefs, where a tent was already forming. Phew! There was a halfway-hard penis waiting for her, and the flow of moisture between her thighs told her she was more than ready for it. It gave her the courage to keep moving forward.
He sat up and pulled her toward him, kissing her far more passionately than they’d kissed before. Until this point, it had only been mini kisses after dinner on her porch, the kids peeking out the front window. But tonight they were blocks away at her parents’ house. No giggles. No interruptions.
Eli pressed her body to the bed with his and trailed a kiss across her neck to her earlobe. Bryn giggled. So much for no giggles.
“I’m sorry. That’s my ticklish spot.”
“It’s okay.” Eli smiled at her. He had a really nice smile. And eyes. He raised one eyebrow, his lips curling into a sinister grin. “I want to taste all your ticklish spots.”
That sounded fun. Bryn’s hunger was most definitely back. She lost her giggles and pulled his lips back to hers, raking her hands down his back, hesitating at the band of his underwear. This was it. A smidgen of fear crept back in, but she squashed it, reminding herself how much better an orgasm felt when performed by someone other than herself, or a vibrator, even the Ultra Vibe with its clit stimulator and rotating pleasure beads.
Time to get that body completely naked. As Bryn reached her hands inside the elastic, the phone rang. Intent on ignoring it, she rubbed down his smooth ass. A soft murmur emanated from Eli’s throat and he moved his lips to her chest, peeling the lace away from her breast before smothering it with his warmth.
The answering machine clicked on and echoed through the house. “Bryn, honey, it’s Mom. I just have a quick question about one of the kids. Call me when you get in.”
There was no better mood killer than the sound of her mother’s voice.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SIZE MATTERS 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??