Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thirteen New Year's Resolutions

Yes, I know, boring as oatmeal, but timely. And I figure if I set thirteen goals for the year, I'm bound to keep at least ONE of them!

1. Write every day. May have to participate in Club 100 just to kick start the habit again.

2. Write at least two new manuscripts in 2007.

3. Sell at least two manuscripts in 2007.

4. Start up the great agent safari once again.

5. Turn my website over to someone who knows what they're doing. I love fiddling with my site but it's time to let the professionals take over!

6. Work out, for real, three times a week minimum. No more "lowest setting on the recumbent bike so I can read" fake-outs.

7. In the same vein, actually WIN the Wellness Challenge in at least one category this year. I'm tired of missing first place by two or three points. I'm in it for the COIN, baby!

8. Find and destroy the cobwebs before DH can point them out.

9. Continue Date Night at least once a month with DH.

10. Start planning meals more than an hour in advance, and limit eating out to no more than once a week.

11. Create a business and promo plan, and stick to it.

12. Keep up with birthdays and anniversaries.

13. Read more romance! (Okay, I'll fess up. I threw this one in there so I'd be sure to accomplish at least one goal this year.)

So what's your resolution for 2007?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

CAPA Awards -- wow!

I'm up late wrapping gifts, but had to post a quick note that The Romance Studio has announced its finalists for the 2006 CAPA awards, and TAKING THE CAKE is on the list!

It's nominated for Best Contemporary Erotic Romance, and I couldn't be more thrilled!

For years, I would comb these lists, looking for the names of my friends so I could celebrate with them. To find my own name on the nominees list is, well, sniffle-worthy. I can't stop smiling. :)

I know Christmas is right around the corner, but I couldn't ask for a better gift than this.

Okay, back to the pressies. Best wishes for a magical holiday season!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thirteen Holiday Movies I Love

So I've been keeping up with the many and varied Thursday Thirteen participants, notably my fabulous editor Angie, and thinking it would be cool to join in. Trouble was, I couldn't come up with an initial list of thirteen to save my life.

But the holidays have inspired me, so here's my first installment of the Thursday Thirteen -- Thirteen Holiday Movies I Love.

Here they are, in alphabetical order:

1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
Yeah, it's a TV short, not an actual movie, but I can't imagine the holiday season without it.

2. A Christmas Carol (1938)
I'll watch almost any Christmas Carol adaptation, but this one holds a special place of honor.

3. A Christmas Story
"You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

4. Die Hard
What, you were expecting all sweetness and light? It's set on Christmas Eve, isn't it? :)

5. Elf
Goofy but fun. Will Farrell is absolutely fearless when it comes to comedy.

6. In The Good Old Summertime
Okay, the title blows as a holiday film, but this really is a Christmas story. A musical version of "The Shop Around the Corner", and a precursor to "You've Got Mail", Judy Garland and Van Johnson star as music shop employees who spar in person but don't know they are romantic pen pals at the same time.

7. It's a Wonderful Life
This one's a classic for a reason.

8. The Lemon Drop Kid
Bob Hope shines as a con raising money for himself, using the "Home for Old Dolls" as cover. The song "Silver Bells" was introduced in this film. (trivia buffs -- if you like "Guys and Dolls", you'll probably like this one, since it's based on a story by Damon Runyon.)

9. Love Actually
A great ensemble cast, with a mix of happy and sad stories. I'm partial to the Colin Firth storyline, but then I'm a sucker for Mr. Darcy in just about anything.

10. The Man Who Came to Dinner
A fabulous adaptation of the Moss Hart Broadway play, with exceptional performances and dialogue that sparkles. Loads of fun.

11. Miracle on 34th Street
The original only, please, and in black and white, of course. Maureen O'Hara is great as a modern mom trying to raise her daughter to be rational and realistic, and Edmund Gwinn is the embodiment of St. Nick as a real-life Santa who brings magic to both their lives.

12. Scrooge (1951)
Alistair Sim shines in this classic film.

13. While You Were Sleeping
Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman have wonderful chemistry together as lonely people pining for the one they (think they) can't have.

So there you have it – my favorites. Did yours make the list? Do you have suggestions to add? Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A New Hang-out

Yep, it's true -- Samhain has a new blog! I'll be posting there from time to time, but in the meantime, I'm enjoying hanging out there and chatting. Lots of fun readers and authors and editors are dropping in, so stop by!

Here's the link:

Hope to see you there!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Heat Up Your Winter

Looking for a good read this holiday season? You can't go wrong with a book by TJ Michaels!

She's got a new release out today, and it looks like a scorcher! Here's the scoop:


Melaniece is looking forward to spending a nice quiet holiday at her vacation home up in the mountains. Expecting to enjoy ripping open gifts with her family, she’s surprised when they spring the ultimate present on her: Michael Bannon. Could his unexpected appearance have anything to do with the strange vampire dreams she’s been having lately?

Michael is determined not to blow a second chance with the woman he should have loved years ago, even if it means revealing his true nature. Is a good guy willing to be very bad to get what he wants? Hell, yes…including drive Melaniece out of her mind. Over and over again.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Twofer Tag

I've been tagged -- again! All-around sweetie Stacy tagged me with two, count 'em, two subjects, one topical and one, well, not. I've tagged a couple different people for each of the topics, so they can continue around the web in separate directions -- more fun for everyone!

So, without further ado, here are my answers:

Six Strange Things About Me:

1. I'm addicted to print. This isn't unusual in the world of readers, I know, but people who don't read as much find it, well, a little odd. I read books, magazines, newspapers, and when they aren't available, I move on to junk mail, catalogs, backs of cereal boxes, anything I can get my hands on. I've been known to vacuum with a book in one hand, to have a different book in each room of the house (and keep all the plots straight!), and to limit my exercising to the stationary bike because I can read while I work out.

2. I amaze (annoy?) friends and family by pointing out grammatical errors pretty much everywhere. I can spot a misplaced comma, wrong usage of their/there/they're, or misspellings at a hundred paces. Currently, I'm ready to call a hotel down the road that has been boasting of "Hot wafles" for breakfast. Drives me absolutely batty.

3. I have a subscription to Entertainment Weekly, and read it from cover to cover every week. (See #1.) But since I have three kids, I rarely see a movie in the theater, or watch any show with regularity besides The Daily Show. I know more trivia about television shows I've never watched and probably will never watch.

4. I don't drink coffee, but I love the smell of it brewing.

5. My son didn't have a name until he was over an hour old, because my husband and I couldn't agree on a boy's name. (We both taught junior high and, let's face it, I love kids that age but junior high boys are well known for pushing buttons. "What about NAME?" "Nah, I had a kid named NAME last year who called me a @($%ing @($*%er.")

6. I once sang "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah" in a school talent show. As a seventh grader. In front of the entire student body. Not surprisingly, this has followed me throughout the years. My senior year, my English class sang it to me for my birthday in lieu of the traditional "Happy Birthday." I fully expect to hear it next year at my high school reunion.

So there. I'm done! And I'm tagging Kate Johnson and TJ Michaels for this topic.

Topic Number Two -- Five Favorite Christmas Songs. There are some overlaps with Stacy's list because, well, I'm pretty sure we were separated at birth. :)

In no particular order, here they are:

1. All I Want For Christmas, Love Actually version
2. Blue Christmas, Elvis
3. Christmas Eve/Sarajevo, 12/24, Transiberian Orchestra
4. Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy, Bing Crosby and David Bowie
5. Christmas in the Northwest, Brenda Kutz White

This topic goes out to Bianca D'Arc, Jessica Jarman and Jenna Leigh.

Thanks for the tag, Stacy! And thanks for playing, ladies!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Can't Beat These Prices!

Just wanted to pop in quickly to mention that My Bookstore and More is having a Holiday Sale -- so don't miss out! Here are the details...

Holiday eBook and Gift Certificate Blow-out!
Gift Certificates and eBooks are on sale through December 24th at 15% off the listed price.
So if you aren't sure what to get someone and you want to lure them to the wonders of ebooks, try a Gift Certificate and a recommendation for your favorite book. And while you're at it, buy yourself a book to read. ;)
We're talking some seriously great prices, so stop by and grab something fabulous to read. I just checked, and ALL of my releases are under $3. Can't beat that!
Today's question -- what's your favorite holiday purchase so far this year? What gift was such a great deal, you can't stop grinning about it? For me, it was a pair of microfleece gloves, marked down again and again, with a dollars-off coupon added on, that worked out to 99 cents!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Getting Smarter, one Junior Mint at a Time

So I was at my local RWA chapter's holiday party yesterday, and we got on the subject of candy. (Could have been the container of various chocolates being passed around the table.) One of my chaptermates mentioned that a university had done a study of Junior Mints candy, and discovered that they actually give your brain a boost. A group split in half was given the same test, with half eating Junior Mints during testing and half eating nothing. The group with the Junior Mints scored 60% higher on the test than the control group.

Score! I love chocolate and mint together. Who knew I could be boosting my brain power and enjoying a favorite treat at the same time?

Note: I looked for the study, and haven't found a write-up yet -- but found a different study that showed that people filed better and typed faster in a room scented with peppermint, as opposed to a group working in a scent-free environment. So I guess all I'd have to do is open the top drawer of my filing cabinet and take a whiff to get my brain perking!

I've just enjoyed a Peppermint Chip blizzard, with (you guessed it) peppermint and chocolate chunks in it. Tasted great, and even better, my brain is prepped for a night of writing. Or at least that was my excuse. :)

So what's your favorite candy? And what's your excuse for eating it?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Is it Just Me...

...or is it getting hot in here?

I've been sitting on this news for almost a week, but I finally have the okay to share my newest cover. Yay! Here's what cover god Scott Carpenter came up with for Challenging Carter, the final novella in my strip trilogy:

Isn't it just yummy?

And in related news, I have an official release date -- February 13th! (It'll be a very happy Valentine's Day in my household -- LOL!)

What's most exciting about this is that once Challenging Carter goes into e-print, the three novellas will be put on the schedule for a single author anthology, probably around the end of May or June. Just in time for a steamy beach read!

Hope your week is going great. And stay warm!

Friday, December 01, 2006

In the holiday spirit...

I have a confession to make.

I didn't write a word today.

This is unusual for me, especially lately; I've been so deep in my writing cave, I can barely see sunlight. But today I was dragged out to play, and I just got home a little while ago.

And the day was wonderful. We went to see the Nutcracker, three generations of family together, and then to visit Santa and finally dinner out. The production, by Pacific Northwest Ballet, was amazing, with gorgeous sets by Maurice Sendak and a corps of dancers that had even the three year old enthralled.

After the show we trundled down to a local department store for pictures with Santa; one of the workers there said my youngest would be her story of the day. Something to do with saying "Swedish pancakes" instead of "cheese" -- over and over and over!

And dinner was great, too. All in all, a highly successful day.

Of course, it means that I'll be writing doubletime tomorrow to make up for the lost productivity. But I can't regret the time taken out today. It really put me in the holiday mood, which has been hard to come by this year in all the busyness. Now I'm ready to start tackling shopping and cookie baking and Christmas cards.

Once I get the book done, of course. :)

Today's question: Are you in the holiday mood yet? If so, what brings out the holiday spirit in you most?