Monday, February 25, 2008

MIA and the Oscars

It feels as though I have abandoned blogosphere. I'm not visiting my favorite blogs daily, nor am I posting on a regular basis. My brain is full and focused on my deadline book. There aren't enough hours in the day and all that. I'm hoping this is temporary, because I really miss blogoshere and all the witty and delightful inhabitants.

Last night, I only watched an hour and a half of the Oscars. Two hours if you count 'red carpet arrivals'. And I only half-watched because I was trying to write.

Adore Jon Stewart, but otherwise the show was kind of boring anyway. Had a moment of insane envy when Kathrine Heigl announced--Why can't I look like that? And was bummed that I missed the performance of Marketa Irglova and her partner Glen Hansard. I recently saw ONCE and love, love, loved the music. Every. Single. Song. I own the soundtrack and it provides me with inspiration like you can't believe. So thrilled that these Indie writer/musicians won for Best Original Song--but I missed their shining moment! As well as Daniel Day-Lewis's. I'm so happy his work was recognized, because he is truly one of a kind.

Luckily sitcom/screenwriter Ken Levine offered his annual recap--as only Ken can do, so I don't feel like I missed out on too much. Check it out.

Okay. Back to my WIP. Meanwhile, here's a clip from ONCE and the song that one Best Original song. It rocks. So much heart. And what is art without heart?

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Week of Excerpts #2 -- JINXED

I'm posting excerpt of previous novels and pics from the past because I'm nose to the grindstone on a deadline and I don't have a spare creative thought in my body. But also because, personally, it's fun for me to reconnect with stories I love but haven't thought about in awhile. Since I posted about my first published co-authored book (Scandalous Spirits), I thought I'd now post about my first published solo book--JINXED. I still hear from readers about this book which strikes me as wonderful and funny because at one point a prospective agent refused to represent the story, saying readers would never identify with the poor-little-rich-girl heroine.

She was wrong. *g*


Luck is a State of Mind...

Born on Friday the 13th, hapless socialite Afia St. John is convinced she is jinxed. She’s lost two husbands, an inheritance, and can’t even keep a job serving pancakes. Hard-boiled private investigator Jake Leeds needs money, bad enough that he accepts a secret payment to hire Afia as his assistant. Believing her only skill is shopping, both are shocked by her natural talent for investigating—not to mention their sizzling attraction to each other.
Will Jake be the good luck charm that puts Afia on a winning streak or, like everything else in her life, will he wind up jinxed?

Enjoy the Excerpt..................

“Are you computer literate?”

“I know the basics.”

“Can you type?”

“If I look at the keys.”

“File?”

Afia fidgeted in her seat, uncomfortable with her prospective employer’s clipped tone. “I’m sure if you explained your system . . . ”

“You can answer the phone, right?”

“Of course.”

“Jot down messages?”

“Yes.” She sighed. “Mr. Leeds—”

“Call me Jake.” He opened his top right drawer. Closed it. “What about coffee?”

“No, thank you, Jake. I’m already over my limit this morning.”

His keen emerald gaze shifted from the drawer to her bouncing legs.

She willed them steady and offered a weak smile. “Caffeine gives me the jitters.” And so do you. She was accustomed to men falling all over her. She’d been blessed with good looks, exquisite taste, and old money. Qualities that appealed to 99% of the male population. Apparently, Jake Leeds was in the one-percent minority. He showed no signs of adoration. In fact, he’d seemed vaguely annoyed with her from the moment she’d walked into his unaesthetic reception area, though she couldn’t imagine why. She’d been on time. She’d dressed appropriately. A carnation pink Prada shift with coordinating sling backs. Professional, yet cheery. Still, he kept studying her with that disturbing, disapproving gaze.

I haven’t done anything wrong.

He’d probably read about her in the papers. Although she’d bet her Gucci sunglasses he skipped the gossip columns, he no doubt skimmed Region and Lifestyles. Maybe he’d read her name in one of her two wedding announcements. Or in one of the three obituaries. Or maybe he’d caught the article on Frank’s golfing accident. Sports section, front page. An eleven-month-old headline, but bizarre tales lingered in one’s memory. No doubt Jake Leeds was wondering why on earth he should hire Atlantic County’s own Urban Legend.

Afia’s stomach twisted. She not only needed this job, she wanted this job. She couldn’t afford to hire a private investigator to track down Henry Glick. But if she worked for one . . . She resisted the urge to stroke her charm bracelet. Rudy had suggested creative visualization over a sentimental talisman. Since she was striving to better control her fate, she visualized herself sitting behind that hideous beige metal receptionist desk, utilizing the skills she’d learned from a cranky P.I. to locate a shifty thief.

“I meant can you make it?”

“Excuse me?”

“Coffee.”

Her cheeks warmed. “Oh.” She wasn’t sure, but she thought he cracked a hint of a smile. Or was it a smirk? Either way, at least it made the stony-faced Mr. Leeds more human. His boxer-build and dangerous aura superceded his boyishly handsome face. He was, in a word, intimidating. “I make excellent cappuccino.”

“What about plain old coffee?”

“Percolated?”

“Automatic. Ten-year old Mr. Coffee.”

“I can do that.”

“Great. You’re hired.”

“I am?” His war-zone desktop suggested that he was desperate. Scattered files, phone books, and roadmaps. A mound of receipts. Stacks of CDs and abandoned coffee cups. How could he function effectively in such chaos?

He scooped up a small stack of manila folders. “You can start with these. Staple the data sheets into the folders and then file them alphabetically by last name.” That pesky smile or smirk or whatever made another brief appearance. “That’s my system.”

“You want me to start today? Right now?”

“Is that a problem?”

“No!” She cleared her throat. “I mean, no.” I just can’t believe it. “I just need a minute. I left my . . . ” she fluttered a hand toward the outer door. “The car, it’s . . . ”

“Go ahead,” he said, still holding onto the folders.

She reached out to relieve him of the files, and their fingers brushed. An innocent touch that made her blush and set her heart fluttering. Unsettled, she jerked back, tipping over her brown vinyl chair. The folders slid out of her grasp. Papers scattered to the four corners.
Jake stood and rounded his desk.

She cringed at his mumbled curse, relatively certain she hadn’t heard “fudge.” Two seconds into her new job and she was already ticking off her employer. A new record. At this rate, he’d fire her before day’s end.

No. She wouldn’t let that happen. She’d endured repeated humiliation these past three weeks thanks to heartless creditors and impatient employers. She may not have a talent for juggling numbers or a burgeoning food tray, but filing and making coffee? This she could handle.
This screamed of disaster. Jake eyed Afia St. John wondering who should get his head examined first. Him or Harmon? Jinxed? Unlucky? Inept? Talk about an understatement.

He bent over.

She bent over.

Their heads knocked.

Jake straightened with a curse.

“I’m sorry. I . . . ”

He grimaced at the tears shining in her wide brown eyes. Don’t you dare cry, lady. If she cried he’d have to comfort her. Which might entail holding her in his arms. Which would definitely entail risking what was left of his control. He was a private investigator, a master at concealing his emotions, an expert on practiced behavior, but he was also a man. She was a goddess. An accident-prone goddess, but nonetheless, a living, breathing angel on earth. He’d known she was pretty. He’d seen pictures. Last year alone she’d made the region section and the sports page. But, damn, in person she was captivating. A five-foot-two, doe-eyed, glossy-haired waif with impeccable taste in clothing. A twice-widowed beauty with questionable job skills and piss-poor business sense.

“I’ll get them,” she said. “My fault.”

She kneeled, her form-fitting dress hiking up to reveal shapely thighs, her head level with his . . . Christ. He stooped down to hide an untimely erection. “I’ve changed my mind,” he said.
Hands full of ill-sorted data sheets, she looked him square in the eye.
Oomph. A punch in the gut. He had a very hard time reconciling this vulnerable woman with her media nickname. “Black Widow?” More like “Lost Puppy.”

“You’re firing me?”

“Look, I . . . ”

She scrambled to her feet, affording him a brief, heart-tripping peek up her skirt.

Jake rose, damning Harmon and his misplaced trust. Well, not misplaced, but certainly inconvenient. A man would have to be dead not to be attracted to Afia St. John. Although two men who had been attracted to her were dead. Good thing he wasn’t superstitious, otherwise he’d have to show Ms. St. John the door, screw the money. Bolstering himself, he zeroed in on the trembling woman, prepared for waterworks. She surprised him with fire.

“You can’t dismiss me,” she said in rush. She glanced down at his appointment book and the blinking light on his message machine. “You’re overwhelmed. I can help.”

Jake eyed the scattered case files. “This is helping?”

“I have excellent people skills,” she continued. “I’m courteous and . . . and I’m a good listener. Your clients will love me.” She glanced around the room, brow creased as though she were in pain. “I’m also organized and have a flair for decorating.”

“Forget it.”

“But—”

“No decorating.”

Hope sparked in luminous sable eyes. “What about the good with people part?”

“I’m fine with the good with people part.”

She smiled, a thankful smile that twisted his gut into a knot. Well, hell. Normally an unforgiving judge of character, he cursed his bleeding-heart reaction. Beautiful, pampered, born and married into money—she was a walking cliché. It was absurd to feel anything for her other than blatant lust.

“So I’m not fired?”

“You were never fired.” He bent over to gather the rest of his files.

“But, I thought—”

“You jumped to conclusions. We’ll have to work on that. I was merely about to suggest that we postpone your start time until you go home and change.”

He felt more than saw her tense. “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?”

Nothing. “Everything.” He scanned her petite body—from strappy pointy-toed heels to belted waist to scooped neckline—while rising to place the papers on his desk. Classy. Sexy as hell. Skinny for his taste, but that face . . . huge soulful eyes, lush pink lips . . . Hell. “Unless otherwise notified,” he said, craving a cold shower, “dress to blend. That means no bright colors. No short skirts.” He pointed to her dainty pink shoes. “How the hell do you expect to run in three-inch heels?”

“I’ll be running?”

"You never know. And do something with your hair.”

She smoothed a delicate hand over her loose, sable locks looking as though he’d just insulted her to the quick. “Like what?”

Like shave it off. But imagining her bald didn’t diminish his desire. “Try a ponytail.”

“Anything else?”

“Nix the perfume.” The light, spicy scent would get a rise out of a Eunuch.

“Anything else?”

“Lose the limo.”

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pics from the Past #1

This week (and maybe next) I'm posting excerpts from some of my previous novels, including those written with my friend and partner Cynthia Valero under the name CB Scott. I thought I'd mix it up by posting 'Pics from the Past' every other day or so. I mean, jeez, how many excerpts can you read. Plus it's not like I have a gazillion books. Still working on the first fifty. *g*

Since I posted an excerpt from Cyndi and my debut book yesterday, these pics seemed appropriate. Ah, memories.

Pic #1 -- Our first big booksigning. This was at a Romantic Times Convention. It was exciting and intimidating at the same time.



Cyndi and I co-wrote and directed several Mr. Romance Competitions for Romantic Times. This particular year, super cover models David Alan Johnson and Steve Sandalis co-hosted the show for us. They were fantastic! I called the show (stage and audio cues) from the sound board and Cyndi ran powerpoint and called video cues. No, I didn't wear an evening gown the whole time. Just changed into that toward the end because I got to 'be' in the show as well. Lucky me got to sing a duet wth the handsome and talented Filippo.
Ah, yes. Good times.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Week of Excerpts #1 -- Scandalous Spirits


Because she's on deadline and crunched for time, last week, Alison Kent, shared excerpts from some of her past novels. I haven't revisited some of my past tales in some time and that actually sounds like fun. Plus it's a way to introduce some of my other adventures. So for a kick, (and since I'm on deadline too) I'm borrowing Alison's idea. (Thank you, Alison!)

First up, SCANDALOUS SPIRITS. A paranormal romance written with my good friend (and an outstanding writer) Cynthia Valero under the name CB Scott. Scandalous Spirits was a RWA Golden Heart Finalist and my (our) first published book. Published in 2002, this trade paperback is no longer in stores but it is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com -- Enjoy!

*****

“I’m dying of boredom.”

“Keen trick, Izzy, considering you’ve been dead for the last seventy years.”
Cigarette holder poised between two slender fingers, Isadora Van Buren-Valentine-Mueller-Tadmucker-Carr slicked her bobbed hair behind one diamond-studded ear, blew out a lazy stream of smoke, then snipped, “Go chase yourself, Jimmy.”

“Vamp.”

“Goof.”

Jonas Van Buren shook his head as his cantankerous younger siblings launched into yet another verbal tussle. In confounding hereafter limbo since 1928 and they were still at it. Some things never changed. “Lay off you two. Bickering won’t solve our plight. In fact, it’s what got us into this mess in the first place. Or have you forgotten?”

“If memory serves,” Isadora drawled, flicking her ashes into an etched blue crystal bowl, “Jimmy’s lousy driving got us into this mess. He’s the one who steered the Pierce-Arrow off the bridge and into the drink.”

“I was distracted,” James snapped in self-defense, plunking down the deck of cards he’d been fanning and shuffling on the table before them. But when he palmed up the snap-brim of his brown felt fedora, guilt plagued his handsome, boyish features.

“I know you were, sweetie,” Isadora quickly amended, her cupie-bowed lips drawing into a contrite frown. “I’m sorry.” Suddenly morose, she added, “If anyone’s to blame, it’s me. I’m the one who talked you and Jonas into staying late at the speak-easy.”

“You didn’t talk us into anything, angel,” Jonas said, sorry he’d introduced the subject of their physical demise in the first place. “It was a collective decision, remember? All for one and one for all.”

James’ mouth slid into a lopsided grin upon hearing their childhood oath. “You said it!”

“And how!” Isadora exclaimed, her ruby red lips curving back into a smile.

Grateful for their easily restored humor, Jonas smiled as well. Smoothing the shawl collar of his double-breasted vest, he returned then to his usual post: the arched glass window of the secluded west tower of Laguna Vista, the infamous Van Buren Estate. Or as they’d come to refer to it as of late, the Van Buren Prison.

He braced his palms on either side of the sash and looked out over the unkempt grounds in disgust. Gnarled brambles and rampant sea grass thrived in place of sculptured hedges and exotic roses. The once immaculate lawn of the Spanish-style mansion was no longer green but brown, and littered with rocks and empty liquor bottles, or as Isadora so colorfully referred to them, dead soldiers.

The former summer home of their parents, the powerful and wealthy department store tycoon Jonathan Bernard Van Buren and his socialite wife Ella, Laguna Vista had been the high-society playground for some of America’s most popular celebrities, not to mention occasional politicians and assorted European dignitaries.

Up until 1928 anyhow.

That tragic year James accidentally drove the family’s luxury automobile off a bridge, ending his fast-lane life along with that of his sister’s and brother’s. Of course it had been foggy and he’d been speeding, but as Isadora had said, the fact that they ended up in the bottom of the bay swimming with the fishes, wasn't entirely their little brother’s fault. They’d all been blotto, hopped up on hooch compliments of Isadora’s favorite ginmill. And they’d been bickering. Not that that was unusual. The Van Buren siblings were famous for their caustic, though mostly harmless, tiffs. They loved each other dearly. They just didn’t happen to agree on everything. Strike that, Jonas thought with an amused grunt, they didn’t agree on a lot of things. Like who were the cat’s pajamas? The Yanks or the Dodgers?

The details revolving around the fatal crash and the moments thereafter remained a mystery to the three siblings. One moment they’d been arguing over who would take the World Series in ‘29. The next they were free-floating twenty feet over the murky water, looking on as a fleet of gumshoes fished the dented Pierce-Arrow out of the bay. Seeing their lifeless bodies being pulled from the car was a bit of a shock to say the least. How could they be dead when they felt so alive? And if they were dead, shouldn’t they be in heaven or hell or . . . something?

“Maybe we’re hallucinating,” James had offered. “That’s what we get for drinking coffin varnish.”

“Don’t be a sap,” Isadora snapped, watching as two meds hoisted her limp, slender form onto a gurney. Pointing a translucent finger at her raccoon-ring-eyed, lipstick-smeared face a short distance beyond, she said, “I’ve been corked on bootleg whiskey more times than I can count and I’ve never looked as bad as that.”

To which Jonas replied, “Says you.”

Then it occurred to them. They weren’t kickin’ in the physical sense, but spiritually . . .

Jonas recalled Isadora and James launching into a heated debate over the subtle differences between ghosts and spirits, then lapsing into a fit of snorting laughter while plotting the swell tricks they’d get over on their cousins. He even remembered tossing in a few choice pranks of his own. But his most vivid recollection was the heart-wrenching moment they’d sobered up, simultaneously realizing the impact their deaths would have on those they’d left behind. It crushed their fanciful mindset and landed them within the grieving walls of Laguna Vista in the blink of a snake’s eye.

And here they’d been stuck ever since. A problem Jonas had spent the last seventy years trying to rectify. Ghostly limbo wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Unlike Isadora and James, he’d never reveled in the novelty of being a disembodied spirit. He’d merely tolerated their fate, as he seemed to have no choice. He longed to cross over, to join friends and family members in heaven, or at least to graduate to a higher non-physical plane. However, for reasons that eluded him, the powers-that-be turned a consistent deaf ear to his simple request. It was as if he was being punished, but for what? What?

Isadora watched as Jonas’ shoulders sagged in familiar defeat. He was mulling over their fate again. She hated when he did that. It tended to depress him, and she hated anything sad. Sighing dramatically, since it was one of her better talents, she snuffed out her fag after one last drag then rose from the settee to join him. The high spiked heels of her patent leather pumps clicked on the polished marble floor, filling the same silence that had worked her into a lather moments before.

Izzy Van Buren-Valentine-Mueller-Tadmucker-Carr, scandalous heiress-cum-flapper extraordinaire, detested silence—oh, and anything sad.

“You know,” she cooed, sidling in beside him, “haunting Laguna Vista was fun for the first sixty years or so, but these last ten years, well, sheesh. I had more fun at my own wake.”

“I know you’re bored, angel,” Jonas replied without cracking the smile she’d hoped for. “Believe me, if I could figure a way to spring us from this joint, I would.”

His brows cut down into a stern V, the reason as clear as moonshine to Izzy. It baffled him that they could permeate every wall within the seventeen-room mansion like kites through a cloud, but they couldn’t pass through the outer walls to gain freedom to the outside world. She grinned, recalling the time James had tried to escape by jumping out a window while she shimmed up the chimney. Of course, stick-in-the-mud Jonas had taken the mortal route by trying to walk out the front door. All three had hit invisible barriers.

“This is the longest Laguna Vista has remained vacant,” she thought aloud. “And for the death of me, I don’t understand why.”

“No doubt because of us,” Jonas replied, distracted by a late-seventies vehicle rolling to a stop just inside the front gate of the mansion.

“Yeah, Izzy,” James taunted, coming up behind them. “You scared everyone away.”

“Did not!”

“Did so!”

“Dry up, you two.” Jonas snapped his fingers to gain their attention then motioned
them to peer out the window. “Looks like we didn’t scare everyone away.” Gazing past the bug-splattered windshield of the four-wheeled junker, he pinpointed the willowy broad sitting in the driver’s seat. The one with the pert-nose, freckled-face, and long blond hair swept up in a playful, bobby-soxer ponytail. He let loose a soft, appreciative whistle. “Lordy, that blond’s a looker.”

“She’s sweet and all,” James agreed, leering from his third-story vantage point, “but fix your blinkers on the tomato sitting next to her. The one in the short skirt.” He snapped his suspenders and hooted. “Now that’s a choice bit of calico!”

“She’s also a choice bit of jailbait,” Izzy noted. “I’m with Jonas. The blond is definitely more interesting. Look at how she’s giving this place the once over. She’s moving in. I can feel it! Oh, I do hope she turns Laguna Vista back into a disco. I so loved the music.” She broke into the ‘Hustle’ with an imaginary partner while belting out the chorus of ‘I Will Survive.’

James rolled his eyes before training them on the blond. “Nah, she looks more like the bed-and-breakfast type to me. What do you think, Jonas?”

Jonas peered closer, noticing for the first time the logo emblazoned across the long dented door of the ancient hippie-mobile. Society of Parapsychological Sleuths. An uneasy feeling wound through his gut, the same daunting feeling that tied him in knots whenever he’d had dealings with the IRS. Rocking back on his oxfords, he palmed his hand over his slicked-back hair and sighed. “I think we’re in big trouble.”

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Sunday Ramble

Six days into my eight day writing marathon. I have been writing approximately 12-14 hours a day. Although I have been breaking to shower and eat and stretch. The stretching is important. After a few hours my legs and butt go numb. I've also been diligent about riding my exercise bike everyday. Two weeks ago, I could only survive five minutes. I know. How pitiful is that? But I've improved and last night I puffed and pedaled for twenty-one minutes! Wa-hoo!

As you know ( or at least you do now) I have given up coffee. This was huge lifestyle change with me. Instead I now drink tea. A cup of black tea in the morning, then I switch to decaffinated green or herbal. This morning I came across an interesting article on the benefits of drinking tea. Tea: The Elixir of Life Check it out!

This morning on Yahoo, there was a place to click to see celebrity couples in love. I present to you a picture of an ordinary couple in love.
Now I'm off to write about an unsual couple in love.

Arch: “You’re a pain in the arse.”
Evie: “But an adorable pain.”
Arch: “Aye,” he said with a smile in his voice. “There is that.”

Wish me, I mean them luck.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'll Have What She's Having


I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” -- WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (1989)

Romantic Comedy at it's best. Rent it. You’ll love it. I laughed. I cried. It was better than CATS. Seriously.

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Writing Marathon

I'm in the midst of an eight day writing marathon. Morning to late night wth small breaks to shower and stretch. I can eat at my desk. Just chugged a cup of hot tea and an ice-cold Slim Fast. Did I mention I gave up coffee? Yes, me. The bean juice addict. It's been two weeks now and I'm still ticking. I went from six cups a day minimum to zip--cold turkey. Amazingly I didn't go through any kind of withdrawl.

Where was I?

Ah, yes, the writing marathon. I took some vaca days from work to make this eight-day stretch happen. I'm hoping to produce a mind numbing amount of pages in this period, so I won't be around here much. No TV. No phone chats. No Internet. Well, except to check email now and again.

Speaking of writing marathons, check out Ken Levine's take on the suspended writer's strike. Viewers will be happy. Writers will be happy, but tired. I haven't watched TV in quite some time due to my hectic schedule, but I'm semi-aware of the shows out there. What new episodes are you most anxious to see?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Million Dollar Chest Hair

Seven million actually. That's if this report is accurate. According to a few on-line news sources, legendary heartthrob, Tom Jones, has taken out a policy with Lloyd's of London, insuring his chest hair for almost seven mill.

What's up with that Pussy Cat? Wow. It's just so odd to me to insure a body part. Although I think a movie studio once insured hollywood star, Betty Grable's dishy legs for a whooper amount. Apparently, Liberace also insured a body part--his hands. And if this source is correct, J-Lo's--ahem-- bodacious bum is insured. So what? If it suddenly goes all flabby or if a dog takes bite out of her rear, she collects?

Huh.

Back to Tom Jones, I have been a fan of his since I was a kid. The man is a dynamite performer and has a great set of pipes. I enjoy listening to him as much today as I did in his younger "It's Not Unusual" prime. Several years ago, I got the opportunity to meet him.

It was back when I was a full-time character actress at Tropicana Casino. Mr. Jones was appearing in the showroom and he had been asked to make a special appearnece at a high roller My boss at the time, a really great lady, knew I was a huge fan. Part of her job as entertainment manager was to make sure Mr. Jones had security from his room to the event room. She invited me to join her as she and the guards escorted him to and from. Somehow, I managed not to swoon or drool while in his company. Not even when she introduced him to me. Somehow I uttered polite words in exchange instead of blabbing and gushing and making an idiot of myself. I was however, breathless. I'm not sure how old he was at that point, but I don't think it mattered. He oozed charisma and was sexy as all get out. And cherry on the top--he was nice. Really, really nice. So, of course, I was even in more awe.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, my boss invited me to view his concert later that night with her. I promised I wouldn't throw my bra at the stage (although other women did just that!) but I did scream a lot. Then again, so did she!

It was the thrill of a lifetime. I never got to see Elvis perform but I did get to meet Tom Jones and see him rock the house! After all this time the man's still got it!




Thinking back on how down-to-earth he was, I can't imagine he insured his chest hair. But maybe a business associate did. Or maybe it's just gossip.

What do you consider to be your most valuable physical asset? I'm thinking mine's my smile. :)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Media. The Double-Edged Sword.

Tonight I did an over-the-phone interview with a reporter from a regional newspaper. I've done phone interviews before but it's been awhile. A long while. The reporter was a woman. Quite lovely. Smart and funny. The newspaper, CERISE, a premier newspaper for the women of South Jersey is the perfect venue for me and my books. A primo promo opp. I was prepared. She was experienced. No reason to be nervous.

Yeah, right.

You read/hear so much advice on what to say and not to say during an interview. So, unfortunately, I was a little self-conscious. Even though she was lovely.

Certain bullet points kept bombarding my brain.

Mention sales statistics regarding romantic fiction.

Mention RWA.

Mention your publishers. Your book titles.

Mention the Atlantic County Library system (my day gig employers) as they arranged the interview and, hey, they deserve some nifty PR.

Luckily this reporter never made me feel as though I had to defend romantic fiction. She seemed genuinely interested in my work, no matter the genre. She's coming to my booksigning on Sunday (day after tommorrow) to take pictures.

I worry, of course, that I sounded like a half-witted goober. Anxious for the article. I'll let you know the outcome.

When all is said and done, I was myself. What is, is. Have you ever been interviewes for any reason? How did it go?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Cool Beans

I received notice from blogged.com that this blog has been reviewed and rated and deemed excellent!

Um. Wow. Really?

"We evaluated your blog based on the following criteria: Frequency of Updates, Relevance of Content, Site Design, and Writing Style. After carefully reviewing each of these criteria, your site was given its 9.3 score. (out of 10!) Your blog is currently in the top ten in the Entertainment/Books & Literature category of Blogged.com"

Seriously?

Well, gee. Thank you! Seriously! Because I've been beating myself up rearding the infrequency of my posts. Not to mention they've lacked zing. In my opinion anyway. But hey, since if you're happy, I'm happy.

9.3!!!

Cool beans!

So maybe the aforementioned 'lamp' can be my reward? *g*

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Must. Have.

If you've read either or both of the first two books in The Chameleon Chronicles, you know Evie and Arch are movie fanatics. I'm currently nose-to-the-grindstone on book three and tonight in my research on 80s movies I came across this super cool piece of merchandise.
I am soooo tempted. It's from one of my all-time favorite movies. My writing room is full of eclectic stuff. This would so fit in.
You do know the movie, don't you?

Monday, February 4, 2008

What the Duck

One of the nice things about circulating in blog-o-sphere is discovering new-to-me talent. This morning I had an email from an artist who has been reading my blog. He mentioned that I might enjoy his most recent post. I certainly did. I also got a kick out of the previous one (for reasons you'll see.)


The artist is Aaron Johnson and you can view his work at What The Duck Comic Strips. He did, however, offer permission to post a couple of strips here. I can't get them to appear larger (techno-goober that I am) so please click to Aaron's site for a better look-see. He also has animated strips!


Thanks for starting my day off with a smile, Aaron!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Had My Cake And Ate it Too

As I mentioned this morning, today was the official release day for EVERYBODY LOVES EVIE. I've been so nutso busy that I sort of lost track of that fact until I was driving to work this morning. Then I realized, today is February 1. The day. A special day. Yet here I was heading into the library for a normal work day.

Le' sigh.

I put it out of my head and business went as usual until about 10:45am. My boss, branch director, Sue Wick, strolled in saying, "Special delivery!" Beth (the other Beth) and Denise gathered around and they all congratulated me on the release of EVERYBODY LOVES EVIE! The special delivery was a cake with the cover of ELE somehow painted on! It was from all of my co-workers at the Brigantine Library and I have to say I was extremely touched. My special day was now truly special. Thankfully we took pictures, because let me tell you we are all sweet lovers, so it's not like the cake was going to stay in tact for long!

I'm blessed to be working with such kind and supportive people. People who love books as much as me. Shouting out to Sue, Beth, Alicia, Lesa, Denise, Jean Marie, Doris, and Taylor.... Thank you!!!!

Celebrating Evie

Today is the official release day for EVERYBODY LOVES EVIE! I have a special story and pictures to share later, but for now I just wanted to pop in to say... Yay!!!! Everybody Loves Evie is on shelves everywhere!







..