Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kate Duffy -- One of a Kind

Yesterday, I learned a romance industry giant, a woman I called friend, passed away. Kate Duffy, Executive Editor at Kensington Publishing is no longer with us. I still can't believe it.

I'm not sure that I could write a fitting tribute, but other's have. I'll share posts that touched me most. Mary Stella spoke my heart. Kate was a mutual friend of ours. Sarah Wendell's lovely tribute prompted over 100 comments, many of them showing just how beloved Kate was. Lastly Squawk Radio re-ran an interview with Kate and boy does her one-of-a-kind personality shine through.

If you google, I'm sure you'll find mention of Kate Duffy all over the net today. That's how revered she was by the romance industry. I cherish every moment I shared with her.

Just one of many great times. A dinner party with friends, hosted by Kate. She's the one next to me (2nd from your right) Cheers, Kate!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Shedding Pounds and Gaining Momentum

I need to lose some weight. When my stretchy pants and my too-baggy jeans don't fit quite right . . . when it takes effort to button the waistband . . . time to readjust my eating habits. I refuse to buy the next size up.

Re-adjusting my current eating habits means giving up my daily Peppermint Patty and Lipton Iced Tea. For weeks now that's been my mid-day treat. Now it has to be water and a piece of fruit.

It means giving up sausage, egg & cheese breakfast sandwiches and eating cereal or two hard boiled eggs and a glass of V8.

It means making recipes from my Weight Watcher cookbook instead of ordering Chinese Take-out. And if I do waver and order Chinese, instead of my favorite dishes I have to get the steamed chicken and veggie dish which wouldn't be so bad except it has NO FLAVOR!

It means making my own soup (a super duper low cal, no salt Weight Watcher's soup) from scratch instead of nuking my beloved Progresso soup.

All in all it means willpower plus extra time and effort on my part, but I did Weight Watchers last summer and I lost 16 pounds! I'd be pleased this time around if I just lost ten. Wish me luck.

In other news, I'm banging away at my current deadline book, Into the Wild, coming in September 2010 from HQN. As with all my stories, this one's evolving a bit differently than I'd first envisioned. I've learned not to fight change, to go with the flow. The writing is most alive, most real, when I allow my creative fires to burn unchecked. I'm gaining momentum as I resist my internal editor and give over to the inner creative maniac.

In other, other news, I hope to able to share the cover of my April 2010 release, Out of Eden, very soon! Just waiting for my editor to send the final tweaked version. I think it's a splendid cover. Can't wait to show you!

In did-we-really-need-to-know-that news... What's up with Mackenzie Phillips new tell-all book?

In how-cool-would-that-be news.... Apparently they're prepping James Cameron's Titanic for a new 3-D release!

What's 'news' with you?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Seventeen years of wedded bliss to a truly amazing (and super funny) man.


I love you, Steve!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Scary Times, Sound Advice

As you may or may not know, in addition to writing full time, I work at my local library. It's a fantastic, upbeat job. I'm surrounded by books, by people who love books. We talk about books all day. What could possibly be menacing about my job?

Yet yesterday, I had to sit through a workshop entitled 'Active Shooters'. All county employees are required to attend. This workshop was designed by our local law enforcement and homeland security agency, spurred by recent and not-so-long ago incidents where a nutball storms a school, mall, or workplace and randomly shoots down victims.

They also covered targeted shootings spurred by domestic violence. I could have done without having to listen to the actual 911 call where a cocktail waitress of a local casino called to say her ex had followed her from her workplace to her car--and then to hear her scream as he killed her with shotgun blasts. Nice.

That aside, the workshop was informative and useful, I guess, but disturbing. How sad and scary that we live in times where these kinds of attacks are becoming so common we need to be educated on how to respond should we find ourselves in the middle of a public rampage. The overlying message: It could happen anywhere, at any time. What about the man who recently gunned down all those women at a LA Fitness Gym?

At any rate, as sobering as this workshop was, I thought I'd pass on the top three suggestions by law enforcement as to how to respond if you are in a building (or anywhere for that matter) and hear gunshots.

1) Evacuate. Run like hell in the opposite direction of the gunshots. Get out of the building. If you can't get out....
2) Hide out. If possible in a room where you can lock and barricade the door. Just get out of the shooter's view. If you can't run or hide then....
3) Take action against the active shooter. As a last resort, and only when your life's in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter by acting as aggressively as possible against them--for instance throwing items and improvising weapons.

I was surprised that they actually advised you against playing dead.

One thing about this workshop, it certainly fueled the fire for a proposal I'm working on where the heroine is fighting a severe 'death' phobia intensified daily by news reports.

I will now tuck away this information, God forbid I ever need it, and return to my rose-colored-glasses life.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back in the Sadddle

It was a whirlwind summer and early fall. Full of good stuff, bad stuff, and crazy stuff. Stuff that kept me from blogging on a regular basis. But because of my new template (thanks, Barb!) and a rejuvenating trip to Wyoming (thanks, Barb!), I'm back in the saddle again.

That's my sister Barb (aka Elle J Rossi) on the left and me on the right. We recently indulged in a sisterly writer retreat/adventure. Wahoo!

But I digress. Where was I? Ah, yes.

What to expect given my 'new look'.

Not much.


I wouldn't want to lead you on. Life is hectic beyond manageable. So I'll post when I can. And be as interesting as I can. Man, that sounds a lame. But it's honest!

On my immediate plate: Writing an article on the photographer/illustrator team of Fortin and Sanders for the December issue of Romantic Times Magazine. Due, er, Wednesday.

Wrapping up my next HQN (Harlequin release) due November 15.

Sounds far away. Trust me it isn't.

Also... I need to get my eyebrows waxed. My dogs need a bath. Oh, and there's the books I haven't mailed to blog winners (YES, I'm mortified!!), the synopsis on a new series that my agent's waiting for and the books I'm jonesing to read.

What's on your immediate plate? List away!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A New Look

Aw, come on. You know me. Every now and then I need a make-over. I recently went for a new hairstyle and color and decided my blog could use a new look as well. My sister, Elle, helped me upload this new template and I love it! I'm hoping this will encourage me to blog more regularly, although I can always be found at Sisters In Sync.

Bear with me while I mess with my new digs. I need to re-load quite a few links to my Blog List and I'm messing with the layout of various widgets. This will take some time since I can't devote my full attention to this fun project. Time's ticking on the deadline book and I also have an article to write for the Decemmber issue of Romantic Times BOOKreviews. Oh, and I need to eat.

Where did I put that number to the Chinese Take-out place....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Spring Into Fall

Well, folks, it's September 1st which pretty much represents the end of the summer for me. It is not, however, the end of this blog hiatus. Here's the scoop.

I'm currently juggling proposals for two new stories, one a series, line edits and galleys for Out of Eden (coming spring from HQN) and the first draft of Into the Wild (coming fall 2010--HQN). That's a lot of wordspinning and it all has to be done by November. Time is limited to say the least. Although, I won't be here much, you can keep up with me via my Twitter Updates located in the left sidebar. You can also find me at
Sisters In Sync -- Creative Chaos. In fact, I'd love it if you join me there. Everyday's a new adventure.

Until my next random post.... Happy reading!