Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bowling & Movies

Friday night I took 6 men to the movies...young in my teenage sons & 4 of their friends. ;) We went to The Epic Movie. There were several snicker moments and a few belly rolls, too. I cracked up at Captain Jack Swallows. That was probably my favorite stuff from the film. Although the guy didn't even begin to compare to Johnny Depp (particularly in the looks and sex appeal department), he did a good job imitating the character.

Saturday I went with my oldest to one of his acting classes. Usually his classes are on Thursday night but this one was a make-up class from where he missed due to homecoming. :)

Today my daughter and I went bowling. So, I don't bowl. Not well at any rate. Are you supposed to break double digits in this game? The lower the score, the better, right? No? Are you sure? Because I'm pretty sure I won if that's the case. ;) Okay, so bowling isn't my thing but we had fun.

My hubby went backpacking last weekend with the oldest two and camped the night then backpacked out. Interesting what we end up doing with our children.

Any interesting things you've done with your children lately?

Oh, I also sent book 2 to my editor this past week. :) I know it still needs polishing, but I'm overall pleased with it. Will calmly (yeah right!) wait to see what she thinks. Wish me luck.

I also finished judging my Golden Heart entries and turned my scores in. I've still got to read my RITA entries and look forward to doing that this coming week.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Marketing Finally Explained

Several of my pals and I have been talking a lot about marketing and promotion recently. Trying to understand marketing can be tough. So when my mother-in-law sent me this, I thought I'd share an explanation that sorta made sense--okay, so really I found it humorous and hoped it would give you a smile, too.

The buzzword in today's business world is MARKETING.
However, people often ask for a simple explanation of "Marketing."

Well, here it is:

You're a woman and you see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed." That's DIRECT MARKETING.

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says, "She's fnatastic in bed."



You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed."



You see a guy at a party, you straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, "May I?" and reach up to straighten his tie, brushing
lightly against his arm, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed.



You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, "Hear you're fantastic in bed."


You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He fancies you, but you talk him into going home with your friend.

That's a SALES REP.

Your friend cant' satisfy him so he calls you.

That's tech support.

You're on your way to a party when you realize there could be handsome men in all these houses you're passing. You climb onto the roof of one situated towards the center and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed."


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Book 2

I've been much quieter on the blogger end of things due to working on book 2. It's tentatively titled THE DOCTOR'S SECRET SON, but that's subject to change. I think it'll be out early 2008---if I can finish it up. I hit page 165 tonight, but there's a section that I'm not pleased with and plan to do some major chopping and rewriting before sending it to my editor.

I sold an article to the RWR this week, too. :) It'll run in the September issue.

My agent is in NY right now, so that's super cool. Really hoping that someone sees the potential in my single title proposal REVENGE FOR HIRE. It's such a fun, fun story...okay, a bit devious, too, but in a fun way. ;) I'd love to promote that book and believe with all my heart it could be BIG.

Lots of board stuff going on with From The Heart. I'm no longer secretary, but am serving on the board as PAN liaison. I really hope to kick-start some good programs for the published authors in the chapter.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Colleen Gleason's The Rest Falls Away

Check out this interview with Colleen on how she came up with the idea for her fabulous new serious--and then check out the book! It's available NOW!!

From Colleen:

About three years ago, I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I've never been a big fan of vampires or horror movies, and I've never (still to this day!) read Dracula, but on the eve of Thanksgiving 2003, when I was cooking my fanny off in my kitchen in prep for the next day's dinner, I brought my laptop in to keep me company. I'd borrowed my friend Brian's first season of Buffy and I popped a DVD in just for something to watch while I was cooking.

I got hooked. I watched the whole first season that weekend, in between cooking and visiting and all the other stuff we do over the holidays. But in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about that show.

In the mean time, I'd been writing novels for years, trying to get published. I'd written contemporary stories, but my real delight was in writing in historical settings. Plus, I loved authors like Jane Austen, Liz Carlyle, Julia Quinn, and others who set their stories in Regency England.

As the months went by and I was trying to figure out what my next writing project should be, I noticed that there were a lot of books being published-and sold-with vampires in them. Many of them didn't appeal to me, because I don't find the undead romantic. To me, vampires were the bloodsuckers I'd seen on Buffy, and in the movies; but to me they weren't romantic heroes or heroines. My concept and opinion of the undead was not a sympathetic one.

So I didn't consider writing about vampires, even though I knew the market was hot for stories about them.

Until I happened to watch a Buffy episode in which Angel/Angelus (a male vampire) has a flashback to a scene that takes place in 19th century Paris.

And then the following night, I was watching the Disney version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella with my daughters.

And I started thinking what if Angelus was at the ball with Cinderella?

Then I thought well, what if Buffy was there too?

Or, better yet what if Cinderella was a vampire slayer herself?


That was the germ of the idea that blossomed into the Gardella Vampire Chronicles.

I ultimately decided to set the first books of the series in Regency-era England, which is arguably the most popular setting for historical romance novels. I realized I was taking two very hot ideas: vampires and Regency England and putting them together.

The thing that makes The Rest Falls Away different from a lot of the vampire books is that the vampires are the villains, through and through. There aren't any tortured vampires without a soul. There aren't any predestined soulmates. The main characters of the series are mortals, not vampires.

The story isn't about a vampire culture or society in Regency England. It's about a woman who learns that she's a superheroine during a time when women are supposed to do little but stand around and look pretty until they find a husband--then to wed, bed, and breed.

She learns that she has a task to do, one that is a family tradition (which makes her different from Buffy), but like Buffy, she has to learn how to balance the two sides of her life.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Tawny Weber's Double Dare!!!!

My pal Tawny got her cover for her first fabulous Blaze due out in May. Is that dress not just a dream & super sexy????? Wish I had one...of course, then I'd want the heroine's body, too, so I could actually wear the dress. ;)

I'm not sure if the image will be large enough for you to read the back cover copy or not, but let me tell ya, this is one HOT book that you don't want to miss!!!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Gerri Russell's The Warrior Trainer!!

I just have to post that Gerri Russell's book is out this week!!! As you may recall Gerri won the American Title Two contest with her fabulous historical!

Gerri is a two time winner of the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award and she's just a delight to meet. If you ever get the chance be sure to say hello & get her to autograph your copy of The Warrior Trainer.

If you haven't already gotten your copy, be sure to visit Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Signed Copy

to order!!!

Plus, Gerri is giving away a spa package. Go to to find out how to enter!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Shardai Cousino

I've been meaning to post this for over a week now. Ack. Time goes by quickly!!! Below is an article written by a local newspaper, specifically by Yvonne Moon, who I had the pleasure of meeting when she interviewed me for the same paper. Yvonne wrote this article and sent out a plea for help for this young girl. Information on how you can make a difference in this girl's life is below. Again, I personally know the lady who wrote this article after interviewing this family, so it's not a hoax of any kind. Goodness knows, I get enough of those in my inbox to feel the need to say that. Please take the time to shoot an email to with “Please Build a House for the Cousino Family in Smyrna, TN” in the subject line. In the email, please ask ABC to build a house for the Cousino family in Smyrna, TN. Feel free to add your own message about why you think this family is deserving.

Here's Yvonne's article:

All God's angels come to us disguised.

~ James Russell Lowell

In the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, the angel Clarence was a ruddy-faced, befuddled character, very unlike the image we fathom when we think of angels. Upon meeting my Fascinating Folks person for this week, I couldn’t help but think of the saying that “angels come in all shapes and sizes, often at the times we least expect.”

Thirteen-year-old Shardai Cousino, with her impish grin, wire-rimmed glasses, and shock of black hair has no telltale halo or wings protruding.

Instead she has multiple medical challenges including a very painful skin disorder that causes blister-like sores over her entire body. Each day is an ordeal that begins with wrapping various areas of her body with medicated wraps and gauze to help protect the delicate skin. Baths can be excruciating, often taking anywhere from three to eight hours. Valium is necessary to help ease the pain. Shardai is often confined to a wheelchair but her spirit soars with a boundless enthusiasm for life.

As we began our interview, we talked about the other things important in her life --- her family, her school, her teachers and all the things she loves. How she loves hip-hop, Logan’s Teriyaki Chicken, Sour Straws candy, scary movies and amusement parks with thrill rides. How math was her favorite subject but now she likes science best. She told of how her class was reading the book, The Diary of Anne Frank. Shardai spoke about the Holocaust and of how a special teacher’s lessons were teaching her and other young students how people can triumph over tragedy.

The “hows” of life are often much easier than the “whys?”

We talked for a while about the medical conditions she lives with daily.

Shardai laughed at how trying to maneuver her wheelchair down the narrow hallway of her home is like “trying to drive a semi-truck on a crowded McDonald’s parking lot.” She told of the limitations of not being able to enter through the front or back door of the home in her wheelchair. And of her dream of someday having a bathroom with plenty of storage for her bandages and medications and a bathtub/shower that is easily accessible and heated with consistently warm water.

Shardai told of her love for horseback riding, an activity she just recently started after much prodding from her mother. “I didn’t really think I would enjoy it,” Shardai exclaimed, “but my mother insisted I try it just once. And I just love it!” Shardai rides at Angel Heart Farm in Nolensville, a program offering equine therapy for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

When I asked Shardai about a wish list, her answer spilled out quickly.

“My wish list is one of thanks. To my friends, family, teachers, doctors, and people that know me a big THANK YOU! You have done a lot for me.”

As I was preparing to leave, Shardai’s mother Carol invited me to see her daughter’s recently decorated bedroom. With purple walls and bright blue furniture with touches of bright colors mixed with pastels, it’s a fitting room for one so full of life. As Shardai opened a small music box I had brought as a gift, she hurriedly scurried into the bedroom. I was attempting to show her how the trinket box played the tune “You are My Sunshine.”

“But, we can’t let my grandmother hear that music,” was Shardai’s earnest plea. She sings that song to me ALL the time and if she hears that music, I’ll never be able to stop her singing!”

Apparently, angels do come in all sizes, sometimes with a spunky wit and
a wisdom and strength that surpasses all understanding. The one I met last week has a golden glow, wears dangly earrings and has a loving grandmother who sometimes sings just a bit off-key.

For more information about Shardai, her medical condition and how you can join in the community’s efforts to have ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition remodel Shardai’s home, please read the following excerpt written by Jennifer Hood, School Counselor at Smyrna Middle School.

Shardai is an eighth grader at Smyrna Middle School. She is an Honor Roll student who also plays percussion in the band, volunteers as an office worker, and helps to manage the cheerleading squad. She has been seen volunteering in several activities in her school and her community; she is eager to do anything she can to help others. But, Shardai’s excellent academic performance, impressive extracurricular involvement, and servant heart are not the only characteristics that make her noticeable.

Since birth, Shardai has suffered from a rare skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa that creates very painful, blister-like sores over her entire body. At the age of five, Shardai was also diagnosed with Polymosytis, a muscle deterioration disorder, which aggravates her ability to manage the skin disorder. In addition, Shardai has a gum disorder that causes her gums to swell considerably and requires that she undergo gum reduction surgery on a yearly basis. Shardai’s skin disorder is to blame for the excruciating pain she must face each and every day of her life. She also must spend quite a bit of time each morning wrapping her skin in medicated wraps and gauze to protect from infection and try to allow her sores to heal. She must also undergo very painful, lengthy medical procedures on a regular basis to treat her skin.

There is no cure for Shardai’s skin disorder and pain management has become very difficult. Shardai spends several days at a time confined to a wheelchair because she is unable to walk. Shardai is unable to participate in many activities that normally developing teenagers take for granted. But, her physical condition has not quenched her spirit; she has a very optimistic outlook on life and is often found helping and encouraging her fellow students. Despite her intense pain, Shardai is very dedicated to attending school and performing to the best possible academic potential. Those who know Shardai call her an “inspiration,” and her warm smile can be “contagious.”

Shardai lives with her mother Carol and her grandmother Linda. Although both of these women have faced challenges of their own, they are wholeheartedly committed to providing the daily care that Shardai needs.

Last year, after getting to know Shardai and her family and learning more about the extensive demands of caring for her on a daily basis, two Smyrna Middle School faculty members decided to nominate Shardai and her family for Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Shardai and her family could benefit greatly from having the extra space and medical facilities that are necessary to meet Shardai’s physical needs. We need your help to make this dream a reality.

Here’s how you can help:

1) EMAIL EMHE - The application and video have been submitted to Extreme Makeover Home Edition, but we need you to help us email the show and ask them to build a house for this very deserving family. Send an email to with “Please Build a House for the Cousino Family in Smyrna, TN” in the subject line. In the email, please ask ABC to build a house for the Cousino family in Smyrna, TN. Feel free to add your own message about why you think this family is deserving. Also, if you would be willing to help build the house or to donate materials/supplies, please include that in your email as well.

2) SPREAD THE WORD - You can also help by asking your friends and family members to email the show and request the home build. Send emails to your entire family, friends, coworkers – everyone you know – and ask them to help. The more emails that are sent to the show, the greater the chance that ABC will choose the Cousino family. Please keep in mind that the show only allows one email per email address.

Thank you for taking the time to help this very deserving family!

If you would like more information or have additional questions

– please contact:

Jennifer Hood

School Counselor

Smyrna Middle School

615-904-3845 ext. 24707

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wow. It's so hard to believe it's 2007. 2006 flew by.

Quick recap (doing this by memory so I may be off a tad, but this is close):

January~Jane Millionaire booksigning at Curves

February~ I gave away ROSES for a YEAR to Heidi Hogan of Louisiana. Saw Jane Millionaire in Walmart for the first time. My local town got in a hundred copies. Here's a picture. And the town over gave it an endcap with a local author sign. I never got tMarch~booksigning at the Women's Expo in KnoxvilleApril~went to the Grand Canyon & had my first booksigning at a writing conference in Pheonix. The family& I went to the Grand Canyon. Participated in a Bachelor/Bachelorette Auction for Leukemia/Lymphoma that was hosted by Dr. Travis Stork from ABC's The Bachelor. Was very cool to meet him & have my photo taken with him & Charmaine Hunt (The Apprentice), who I also got to meet, as she was also auctioned off.May~RT in Daytona & Readers Luncheon in HuntsvilleJune~booksigning at Linebaugh LibraryJuly~Atlanta RWA conference & booksigningAugust~submitted 2 contest entries & to Harlequin Mills & Boon.

September~turned another year older. ;) finaled in the Spicy category of the SSSS contest

October~NJ conference & booksigning & the 3 Day breast cancer walk
November ~ Birmingham Readers Luncheon
December ~ won the Spicy category! &....SOLD to Harlequin in a 2 book deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, it was a very, very good year. :)