Thursday, November 03, 2011

Codename's getting attention!



Have you read Codename: Dancer? It was nominated for a 2011 Cybil Award in the Young Adult Fiction category by the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards!!!

I'm ridiculously excited to have been nominated, but I'm certainly not writing my acceptance speech. Looking at the list of the other books nominated, I'm against some VERY heavy-hitters, and fully don't expect to advance any farther. But it's such a huge honor to have been recognized. Yay!

Also super cool is that the book was named an Indie Hot Pick by Romantic Times Magazine in the December 2011 issue. Whoohoo! How cool is that?

So grab your copy today. RT says it's hot. What's not to like?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Trick or Treat!



Wanna get some treats? Gwen, Rhonda, and Amanda are all participating in the YA Trick or Treat Trail, so if you visit our virtual "homes" on the web, you can pick up your sweets!

Gwen is giving away free e-book copies of her short story "Butterface" to each visitor. Amanda is entering all visitors into a raffle to win a pair of Nutcracker tickets to a performance near them. I'm not sure yet what Rhonda's giving away, but I'm sure it's super cool, since she's awesome!

All the details are here: http://www.gemmahalliday.com/trick_or_treat.html

Come join the fun!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BLOOD RIGHTS release day! Yay, Kristen!!



It's been a long time coming for fellow Fictionista Kristen Painter, but release day has finally arrived for the first book her a much anticipated House of Comarré series. Go forth and purchase. Here, I'll help you with links:

BLOOD RIGHTS: Amazon

BLOOD RIGHTS: Barnes and Noble

BLOOD RIGHTS: BAM 

Born into a life of secrets and service, Chrysabelle's body bears the telltale marks of a comarr -- a special race of humans bred to feed vampire nobility. When her patron is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect, which sends her running into the mortal world...and into the arms of Malkolm, an outcast vampire cursed to kill every being from whom he drinks.

Now, Chrysabelle and Malkolm must work together to stop a plot to merge the mortal and supernatural worlds. If they fail, a chaos unlike anything anyone has ever seen will threaten to reign.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We're taking a break

Wow...summer is crazy! We're gonna take a little hiatus...but in case anything strange happens, we're stating our alibi right now. Just like Ross says, "We were on a break!"

Friday, July 08, 2011

A few social media tips

I love Twitter and Facebook. They're great ways to interact with other authors, writers, publishing professionals and best of all - readers. FB especially has allowed me to converse with folks who've read my books and wanted to ask questions. Twitter has given me a chance to get to know other authors better, to get involved in writing-related conversations and to have fun.

But with all that good comes some not-so-good. Here are a few things to avoid when using social media:

1. Don't be Linda Links-a-lot - if all you do on Twitter is post links, you're going to look like a spammer. I'm not saying don't ever do it, but posting link after link isn't really interacting so much as it is shilling. No one knows what those links are until they click them and without knowing you (and trusting the content you provide) people have little reason to click through.

2. Don't add your friends to your groups without getting their permission. This is just rude. It fills their inbox with craploads of FB notifications. How do you know someone wants to be a part of Fluffy Bunny Slippers Rule? Maybe they hate fluffy bunny slippers. (Okay, I'm sure no one hates fluffy bunny slippers, but you get what I'm saying.)

3. Don't be all me me me. Constant self promotion on either FB or Twitter does you zero good. If you haven't taken the time to interact, why should I care about your commercials? I won't. No one will. And don't tell me you don't have the time to interact. You have time to post commercials, you have time for some basic communication.

Here are some great ways you CAN interact on FB and Twitter:

1. "Like" the pages of your favorite authors on Facebook. That's a super easy way to let them know you appreciate their work.

2. Retweet the important info your favorite authors post on Twitter. Are they announcing a release day? Sharing a link to something they're involved in? If it seems important to them, they'll appreciate a retweet.

3. Engage - whether you're on FB or Twitter, people enjoy chatting. Ask questions! You might just be amazed at who answers you.

I can be found on Twitter here and Facebook here. Feel free to share your personal links in the comments. Maybe we can all make some new connections!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Summertime, and the reading's easy...

So, I've been a reading FOOL lately, especially on my sparklepants new Kindle. It's been AWESOME. I recently finished Solstice by PJ Hoover, The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, and Divergent by Veronica Roth. All really different and interesting reads. It's a good time for YA! :D






What are you reading now, and what's in your pile to be read?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Good luck Bria Quinlan!

A friend and one time guest blogger for the Fictionistas, Bria Quinlan, is up for a prestigious award tonight and I wanted to take this opportunity to wish her the best of luck.

Bria is more than just my writing friend, she's one of the people in my life that makes it possible for me to be me. If you have a friend like that, you know what I'm talking about. Being around her brings out the best qualities in myself and she keeps me true to who I am underneath all the layers we wear to please other people.

The award she is up for is called the Golden Heart. It celebrates authors who have not yet signed publishing contracts but who have EXCELLENT manuscripts.

I hope you will all join me in sending happy thoughts to Bria and the other contenders. They all deserve kudos for working so hard and being willing to submit themselves to peer review.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guest blogger: Leslie DuBois!

I'm at the RWA National Conference today, so author Leslie DuBois is stepping in. Thanks, Leslie!

________________________________________________________

Mean Girls Meets Center Stage



Two of my favorite things in the world are dancing and teeny bopper movies. I’ve been dancing since I was a kid and even taught dance for a six years. And name a movie starring teens since the 1980s and I’ve probably seen it…a dozen times. So put them together and I am one happy tapper (get it? Tapper instead of camper! Ain’t I clever?) Anyway, so that’s kind of why I decided to write my latest novel The Queen Bee of Bridgeton. It’s like Mean Girls meets Center Stage.

Side note: If you haven’t seen either of those movies go add them to your Netflix queue immediately. I’ll wait.

Okay, great, you’re back.

Those are two of my all time favorite teen movies. I love the comedic cruelty of Mean Girls and the awesomely inspirational dancing of Center Stage.

But one thing sets The Queen Bee of Bridgeton apart. See, the heart of this novel is in the ghetto. Growing up in a poor black neighborhood, ballet was not high on the priority list of most of my associates. But for me, it was something I couldn’t live without. We couldn’t afford the tuition to the local dance school so my mother cleaned the studio in exchange for free lessons for me.

This is where the inspiration for my main character Sonya came from. Like me, she was determined not to let anything come between her and her dream of dancing. Mix in some antics from my own version of Regina George, add a dash of brilliant choreography, and throw in a cow (yes, a cow) for some comic relief and voila, you’ve got The Queen Bee of Bridgeton.

Right now the eBook version of The Queen Bee of Bridgeton is on sale for 99 cents, but only until the end of June. You can win a copy of the eBook (as well as Amanda's eBook) along with a FREE KINDLE through the Kindle INDIEpendence giveaway which is ending soon. (See ticker in lefthand sidebar.)

Thanks for having me, Fictionistas! I hope you enjoy my book!

***
Leslie DuBois is the pen name of author Sybil Nelson. As Leslie, she has written The Queen Bee of Bridgeton, Guardian of Eden, and Ain’t No Sunshine which currently has over 33,000 downloads. As Sybil, she is about to publish the third book in the award winning Priscilla the Great series.

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

No, not Christmas. It's conference season! Around here, the rest of the year is known as cake eating season, because there's been no cake eating these last few months. Lots of working out and eating right (mostly) in anticipation of fitting into conference clothes.

Today is my RWA Nationals shopping day. I'll be headed out for a little retail therapy with one of my author bffs, who will also be looking for a few good buys. It's a fun way to prepare for the week ahead. Really, it's just a great excuse to shop and spend the day with a friend.

I know some women don't like shopping (I think they have medication for that now), but I love it. I excel at shopping the way some people do math. If shopping were an Olympic sport, I'd be the Michael Phelps of shopping. It's in my genes. If you could see my mother shop, you'd understand.

So, I'm off to peruse the stores and see what fabulous things need me to bring them home. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

YA anthology: The First Time


I'm so excited...and I just can't hide it! I'm going to be editing (and participating in) a YA short story ebook anthology called The First Time. NYT Bestselling author Jessica Verday is publishing it. Isn't the cover stunning? And look at that lineup of authors!


The book will come out in October, so stay tuned! Thanks for letting me gush!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

security!

While I was on a mini-vacay this weekend, my dear friend Maria was hacked. And not just the "I'm gonna send out Viagra Spam" kinda hacked. No. She was maliciously violated. And it was really uncool because if there is anyone in this world who doesn't deserve to be the target of such a spiteful act, it's Maria.

So, let me use this awful, awful event to remind you all. Change your damn passwords. Make them safe. The longer, the better (10+ in length = 10+ in strength). Include numbers, letters, symbols...and be smart about it. Don't do like I used to do and make it your puppy's name or your kid's name. Or worse yet, abc123.

And just in case you think you have a decent password but wanna verify it? Make sure it didn't make the list of 500 worst passwords of all time...

This has been a public service announcement. The more you know...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Let's be done victim blaming, okay?

Anyone who has been around my internet neighborhood knows that I don't often discuss politics, religion, or really anything serious online. I am passionate about our world and making it better, however. And to do so, I think sometimes we need to challenge the status quo and say "Yo, that way of thinking is broken."



I found this poster at The Gloss and I believe in the message. I'm tired of people thinking it's okay to blame the victim. If your car is stolen, nobody thinks it's your own fault for not driving a piece of crap that nobody wanted. We blame the jerk that stole the car for the crime, right?

So why do so many women still carry the weight of judgment when they are the victims of crime? Why are there still so many self-defense classes and so few real-men-don't-rape-women classes?

  Rape shouldn't be a consequence of your fashion choice that evening.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Broadway!

As you may have guessed from my book cover, I'm very into dance. I've been dancing pretty much my whole life. In fact, the 30th anniversary of my very first dance recital is this weekend!

Growing up in NJ, we used to go to shows on Broadway often. Eventually I started seeing my old friends from the dance studios in the shows, but not until I was a teenager (well, just for one show...Rick Faugno, who was my tap nemesis, played Will Rogers, Jr. in The Will Rogers Follies) and then in my 20s. Now that we're all in our 30s, I'm not certain if any of my old buddies are still on Broadway. Most have moved on to owning dance studios, or dancing at Disney World, or in Vegas, or TV work.

But even so, Broadway is still a thrill for me. So when I looked at my RWA National Conference schedule and realized I had a hole one of the nights, you better believe the very first thing I did was check the listings to see which show I might be interested in seeing.

Every year around this time, I get an itch to go to NYC. You see, the Tony Awards were just this past Sunday, and as always, they managed to remind me of the glitz and glamour of my favorite street in the Big Apple. The performances were wonderful!

If you didn't see the awards show, then you missed out on some fantastic singing and dancing, including host Neil Patrick Harris'...wait for it...LEGENDARY rap recap.



THE hot ticket on Broadway this year is The Book of Mormon, a hilarious and irreverent (yet surprisingly touching) musical from the creators of the trash-talking cartoon, South Park. I've heard it's fantastic, but what do you expect from the guys who wrote the song "Blame Canada"? If you didn't already snag yourself some tickets weeks ago, don't expect to go while you're in town for RWA.

It's been a challenge to score tickets ever since it premiered in February, but now that the show has won NINE Tony Awards, landing a seat is even more daunting. Many performances are sold out weeks or even months in advance, and the day after the Tony Awards, the producers hiked the price of tickets by an extra $13, bringing the top non-premium ticket price to $155 (although during a holiday weekend, you can tack on an extra $20.) If you want to take your chances with scalpers, expect to pay nearly $500 per seat. Each day, a ticket lottery is held outside the Eugene O'Neill Theatre for a limited number of full-price same-day seats, with the lottery drawings hundreds of people ecery day.

So yeah, RWA-goers, The Book of Mormon just ain't gonna happen. But there are still plenty of other fabulous shows. And if you're patient and flexible, you can get your Broadway fix on for 25-50% off!

How? I'm glad you asked. Check out the Theatre Development Fund's famous TKTS booths, famously known as "The Half Price Ticket Booth." You may even be able to see the original TKTS out your window from the Marriott Marquis, in the middle of Times Square. This location is very convenient to the conference, but the lines are crazy. You might be better off venturing down to the South Street Seaport location, where the lines are about 1/10 as long.

Does TKTS have tickets for every show? No. It's hit and miss, to be honest. You never know what shows they'll have from day to day. So it helps to have a list in mind ahead of time, so you can easily choose a replacement if your #1 choice isn't available.

Here's a listing of the shows that appeared on the boards at the TKTS booths last week:
http://www.tdf.org/TDF_SupportPage.aspx?id=68&do=v

Just because something was there last week, doesn't mean it will be available two weeks from now, during RWA, particularly if the show happened to win some Tony Awards a couple of nights ago. But it's a start.

So go forth and patronize the arts!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Special Guest: Gemma Halliday!

Today we have a special guest post from Gemma Halliday, and she has a contest for our readers!



Take it away, Gemma!

_______________________

Thanks so much to the lovely Fictionistas for hosting me today! Not only are they all fantastic ladies, but I’m also bordering on mega-fan of their books.

My Hollywood Confessions Blog Tour is in full swing, so please check out my website for more tour stops, as I’ll be giving away cool prizes (including gift cards, free books, cameo appearances, and Hollywood Headlines collectibles) at each stop!



Hollywood Confessions explores the sensational world of Hollywood through the eyes of tabloid reporter, Allie Quick. Allie has high aspirations - much higher than reporting on the latest celebrity gossip for the L.A. Informer, Hollywood's most notorious tabloid. But if she's going to join the ranks of the real reporters, she's going to need a headline worthy story under her belt. Luckily, she gets just that when the producer of the trashiest reality shows on TV winds up murdered, and Allie convinces her editor, Felix Dunn, that this story has her name written all over it. Between an aging dance-off judge, a family with sextuplets and triplets, and the star of a little person dating show, Allie has no shortage of reality stars to question. But when she finds herself falling for her prime suspect, Allie's relationship with her editor is suddenly on the rocks, and her life is in danger. This is one deadline Allie can't afford to miss!

One of my favorite things about writing this book was coming up with the fake reality shows that the victim, Chester Barker, had created. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a reality TV junkie myself. And with so many great slash trashy reality shows to choose from lately, it was hard creating unique ones of my own. Here’s what I came up with:


Little Love
A reality dating show where one eligible bachelor is put into a house with twenty hot, young single girls. Every week the girls tried to out-flirt each other on group dates to earn a rose at the end of the hour-long show. The last one left standing at the end of the season gets a proposal from the bachelor. The twist? All the contestants on the show are little people. Including the ‘Little Bachelor”, who happens to have serious anger issues and ends up taking out a couple cameramen during the course of the season.
(Cleary this was my homage to The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Little People Big World, The Little Couple, and maybe a smidge of explosive Jersey Shore tempers. )


Don & Deb’s Diva Dozen
Don and Deb Davenport are the parents of 12 little girls: two sets of triplets (ages six and ten) and a set of sextuplets (four-year-olds), and all of them compete in the Tiny Tot beauty pageants. In their fourth season, the ratings hit a high when Don was photographed with a string of young co-eds at trendy Hollywood nightclubs. Don and Deb announced a trial separation for Fall sweeps, Deb taking the sextuplets and doing the Southern Glitz pageant circuit, while Don took the triplets to the West Coast Sunshine pageants. But, thankfully, by May sweeps, the couple announced they were going to give marriage a try again, and the season culminated in an hour-long Don & Deb’s Reunion show where the couple took all twelve children to Vegas for a long weekend, renewing their vows at the MGM Grand.
(Take a dose of Jon & Kate, Quints by Surprise, and 19 Kids & Counting… or are they at 20 now? 21?... throw in some Toddlers & Tiaras, and just a *slight* hint of Octomom, and voila! Reality gold.)

Stayin’ Alive
Currently in its ninth season, this is the granddaddy of all reality shows, pitting fifteen strangers against each other to fight for the title of Last Survivor Alive. Each season contestants are dropped in the middle of nowhere, the only location requirements being a beach (where the female contestants can wear their teeny tiny bikinis), torrential rains (that wet said bikinis suggestively), and lots of big, hungry mosquitoes (just for kicks). All fifteen contestants have to brave both the elements and each other, fighting it out in reward and immunity challenges. Anyone not winning immunity is forced to go to the tribal staging area, where someone is sent home each week. However, they aren’t voted out on their survival skills. Instead, the contestants participate in a dance-off, where a panel of judges vote out the contestant with the worst ballroom skills.
(Survivor vs. Dancing with the Stars vs. American Idol – the ultimate competition show!)

So, what are you fav reality shows? Any great combos you’d love to see? Leave your answer in the comments below and you’ll be entered to win a prize! Since Hollywood Confessions is the 3rd book in the Hollywood Headlines series, I’m offering a FREE autographed copy of the 1st book in the series (Hollywood Scandals) in print format. I’ll pull a post at random tomorrow and announce the winner here.

Happy reading!

~Gemma Halliday
http://www.gemmahalliday.com

HOLLYWOOD CONFESSIONS
available now in:
Paperback Print
Kindle
Nook
Ebook

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Power of Small Failures

It might seem like the ability to fail in a small way is in no way connected to success, but it is. Here's how:

Have you ever been on a diet, slipped up and decided the day was shot, you'd restart tomorrow and then proceeded to eat everything you weren't supposed to that day?

Have you ever fiddled away most of a day doing everything but writing, then decided the day was basically over so no point in sitting down to the keyboard now?

Those are big failures. They take you in the opposition direction of your goal.

Learning to fail small means eating a candy bar for lunch, but then having a healthy dinner anyway.

Learning to fail small means fiddling the day away, but finding a half hour in the evening to sit down and write 100 words.

So next time something doesn't go exactly as planned, ask yourself if you're going to be a big failure or a small one. Personally, I think small failures are big successes.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

New Facebook Page--yeehaw!



Did you know The Fictionistas has a brand-new Facebook page? AND that it's the most fun you can buy? AND...uh, that we're uber-foxy?!? That's right--check us out HERE.

Every time you like our page, an angel gets its wings. A romance heroine gets her happily-ever-after. A fat kid gets cake.

Come on, be a hero.

Also, while you're being so awesome, check out our individual Facebook pages. Here's the list:

--Kristen Painter

--Gwen Hayes

--Mel Francis

--Rhonda Stapleton

--Amanda Brice

Now, go forth and enjoy, my preciousssss!

Monday, June 06, 2011

where did time fly

My oldest son will be a senior in High School this year.

I swear, it was just yesterday that he was my treefrog. His bottom was barely big enough to fit into my palm!

Now we're gonna have to do senior pics, senior prom, senior trip, worry about colleges... Ugh. So please indulge me a moment while I take a trip down memory lane. Because I'm not quite ready for my treefrog to be all growed up.






Friday, June 03, 2011

NYC Adventure. Where do I start?

 Picture licensed under the
 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic l
At the end of June, I'll be traveling to New York, New York for the first time in my life. I'm so excited--but when my friend asked me what I wanted to do--my answer was, "Everything."

Of course, I won't have time to do everything. I'm meeting with my editor and touring the Penguin offices. And Ill be meeting my agent in person for the first time. Oh, and I'm there for a conference, so I'll probably have to attend it once in awhile, too. The hotel is in Times Square, so I'll get to see that every time I step out. But what should I do with my free time, people?

If you've been to or live in the city, what are the things you always want to share or revisit? Or, how about this--let's say you and I just met up in the lobby and have four hours for an adventure in NYC. Tell me what we do.

GO!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Contests and more contests!

Once again, the long holiday weekend throws me off. I thought for sure today was Wednesday. But, uh, apparently it's Thursday. How did that happen?

Anyway, as a result, I missed my blogging day yesterday. Mea culpa. But in my defense, none of the 'Nistas sent me a "hey, Amanda, are you blogging today?" email once I never put anything up. But really, it's all on me. My bad.

It's been a good week. I started it off by taking the toddler to a brand-new spray park on Monday. That was super fun. I loved seeing her playing in the jets of water.

Then on Tuesday I woke up to an amazing review of Codename: Dancer! Kelli from the I'd So Rather Be Reading blog called my book "a perfect example of YA done right." DUDE. You can't get much higher praise than that! You can read the full review here:
http://idsoratherbereading.blogspot.com/2011/05/book-review-codename-dancer-dani-spevak.html

Now for the contests part of this post. Yay for free things!

Dance Spirit Magazine is featuring Codename on their website this month! They're giving away 4 copies of the book, autographed by me!
http://www.dancespirit.com/





Are you a teen who desperately wants a Kindle? Or are you a parent whose kid keeps "borrowing" yours so often that you think you'll need to send out a search party?

Want to win a FREE Kindle, preloaded with 17 of the hottest indie YA and MG titles? Then look no further, because July 4 is Kindle INDIEpendence Day!

All you have to do is sign up here: http://www.kindleindiependence.webs.com/

You can win additional entries for a variety of tasks, such as reading/reviewing any of the books involved in the promotion, tweeting that review, talking about a book on FB, Twitter, etc (even just a simple "I love the cover of this book!" will get you an entry), blogging, and "liking" the event on Facebook. You can find the full list of ways to earn entries here:
http://kindleindiependence.webs.com/contestinfo.htm

There's no limit to the number of times you can enter, so start sending those Tweets! The deadline is July 3!!!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Gwen Hayes

Tomorrow (May 31) is my release day for my adult short romantic comedy. I'd rate it a PG-13 if you're one of my readers of teen books looking for something with older protagonists but not adult content. Here's the blurb:

Let Me Call You Sweetheart
Available May 31, 2011

Hollywood made him a star. She makes him want to be a better man.

A Come Rain or Come Shine story

Charlotte Jeeves, “Charlie” to anyone not pulling her over or collecting her taxes, is the only one in town who’s not excited about her new neighbor, TV actor Jeeves Allencaster. It’s not “cute” how they share a name, and so not charming that he steals her muffin before they’ve even met. The last thing she wants is some slick Hollywood type turning her safe, small-town haven into a circus.

If the locals have their way, though, she and Jeeves will be dating by…well, it depends on who you ask—and how much they’ve invested in the betting pool.

Jeeves hates Hollywood. Mostly he just hates the way it’s changed him. Port Grable is the total opposite of LaLa Land—the perfect place to rediscover himself. His plan didn’t include hooking up with the bitter—yet undeniably lush—girl next door. She’s not his type, yet he can’t get her off his mind.

Trouble is, to thaw the ice around her heart, he’ll have to show her the real man behind the Hollywood charade. If he still exists…




Amazon
Samhain Publishing

Warning: Baked-good larceny is prohibited by law in many states. Please seek competent legal advice before trying this at home.


Excerpt

Copyright © 2011 Gwen Hayes
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication 
This is a mistake, Charlie repeated to herself across both the lawns that separated their houses. It was a bad, bad idea. She thought about returning home and changing clothes one more time. What exactly did a girl wear on a date she didn’t exactly agree to, with a guy she didn’t exactly like?
She chastised herself. No, no going back. The little black dress wasn’t little enough to send the wrong kind of statement, but it was black enough to be flattering without trying too hard. Plus, her patent leather boots were made of awesome. They made her legs look longer and leaner. Even though, of course, she wasn’t trying to impress anyone. She climbed the steps and inhaled deeply before she knocked on the screen door. The front door had been left open despite the December chill.
“Come on in,” Jeeves Allencaster, likely not his real name, called from another room.
This was ridiculous. What was she doing dating a movie star? She’d only meant to call his bluff. He just never stopped asking her out—like the Energizer Bunny only hot and funny and with a silky bedroom voice and piercing green eyes…and…and…and she didn’t even like him!
Charlie closed the screen door behind herself right before the dog launched at her. “Hey, Medusa.” She scratched the dog’s mismatched ears and pushed her off gently. “Down, baby.” Medusa’s curly hair would weave into the fabric of her dress and take root. The brown wiry hairs looked silly enough on the dog—she didn’t need to be pulling them out of her clothes all night.
Music started playing from the surround-sound speakers in separate corners of the room. Was he joking? Marvin Gaye?
“Subtle, Jeeves,” she called to the kitchen. Very subtle.
God. There were candles covering every flat surface in the room. And…were those rose petals on the floor? In a trail. Leading to his bedroom. She rolled her eyes. Apparently they needed to discuss, yet one more time, the fact that she was not going to sleep with him. Not ever.
“I’ll be right out. There’s wine on the coffee table,” he yelled. Plates rattled and the house smelled amazing, aromatic herbs and sweet onion. So he really was cooking for her. She reminded herself not to be impressed by that.
She pulled the bottle out of the ice bucket on the table. Pink Champagne. Pink? The man was out of control. He needed counseling. He needed…
Jeeves paused provocatively in the doorway separating the kitchen from the living room, posing for maximum effect. He had on the tightest pants she’d ever seen and a button-down shirt that was not buttoned down from his belly button up. In his hands, he held a tray of appetizers. “Oysters, foxy lady?” he asked, arching one eyebrow and sending come-hither vibes.
Charlie shook her head and tried not to laugh. Her smile, though, felt as if it were coming from a place deep in her chest, lighting up her insides. “You don’t have nearly enough chest hair to pull that look off. But nice touch with the gold chains.”
He winked at her before he strutted across the room as if he had the Bee Gees singing directly into his ears. Jeeves was utterly ridiculous.
It was at that moment she knew she would sleep with him.

Four Months Ago…
Charlotte Jeeves, Charlie to everyone who didn’t pull her over or collect her taxes, was really tired of hearing about her new neighbor, and he hadn’t even moved into the house next door yet. The whole town was talking about him. Wasn’t it cute, they said, that they shared the same name—Jeeves and Jeeves? Wasn’t it great that he’d fixed up the old house next door to her? Wasn’t he just the most charming man ever?
Granted, Port Grable didn’t get brushed with celebrity very often, but that was part of its charm. She had a feeling Jeeves Allencaster, which could not possibly be his real name, was going to ruin everything she loved about her anonymous nook in the world.
Port Grable was the town that time forgot. It had all the modern world amenities, of course, but somehow it had charmed its way into keeping the simple grace of a different era. She could drink a latte and surf the internet downtown, but it was at the counter of an old-fashioned soda shop in the back of the pharmacy instead of Starbucks. The soda machine in front of the hardware store sold Coke…in real glass bottles. Downtown, all two blocks of it, still had angle parking in front of all the stores. Angle parking. She didn’t ever drive downtown, preferring her bicycle, but knowing there was angle parking filled her with warm, happy feelings.
Port Grable had been her gift from God, her reward for waking up each day when she hadn’t wanted to anymore. If she hadn’t found this place, well, she might not have made it, and she was really afraid the Hollywood star was going to take it all away from her.
He wasn’t even all that great. Well, okay, he was really gorgeous and she’d liked him in that one show she’d seen him in…but he was more of a television star than movie star. His shows were almost popular, but they were always cable series, not network. It wasn’t as if he was Brad Pitt or George Clooney. He was just Jeeves Allencaster.
But Charlie knew that he was going to taint her refuge from the rest of the world, damn him. Everyone in town was already acting different, trying to one-up each other to impress him before he even got here. She wouldn’t be surprised if they planned a parade. It was getting unreasonable. She glanced up at the banner as she rode her bicycle onto Main Street.
Welcome Jeeves Allencaster.
Ridiculous.
Charlie got off her bike and pushed it into the bike rack. No need to chain it up. Not here. Not like Milwaukee. Even after ten years, it still made her smile every time she walked away from her unsecured bike, knowing how safe it was here. How safe she was here.
First stop, Myrtle’s Muffins. She’d been thinking of a Dark Cherry Desire muffin for days. If she was feeling virtuous, she could make it last through tomorrow. They were huge. And dreamy. The secret was ricotta cheese, Myrtle had told her once, knowing her secret was safe because Charlie would never bake anything that didn’t come pre-packaged with reheating instructions.
Charlie strolled down Main Street, enjoying all the fall decorations. The town was getting ready for the Autumn Festival. All the planter boxes were filled with late-blooming mums and colorful kale, and the doorways were surrounded by leaves of burnished orange, yellow and red. A few shops used Halloween props too, but they were friendly, happy decorations. Nothing creepy or scary. Not downtown. They saved that for the haunted house down the road a bit.
The September weather was warm enough for a light sweater over her dress. She almost always wore dresses since she moved to Port Grable. She never felt frumpy when she wore a dress, even if she threw it on straight from the dryer and paired it with her Keds. She’d worn one of her favorites today. It was hard not to feel upbeat wearing red with white polka dots.
The bell tinkled merrily as she opened the door. The rich smells of sugar, butter, chocolate and cinnamon almost knocked her over like they always did. “God, Myrtle, you’re a saint.”
Myrtle popped up from behind the counter, all buxomly blonde Marilynness. “Hey, Charlie.” She even sounded breathless and sexy.
Myrtle, not the gray-haired granny you would expect from the name, was someone Charlie wished she could hate. Unfortunately, the goddess who ate all her own baking and never gained a pound was also her best friend.
“Please tell me there’s a cherry left.”
Myrtle smiled and began wrapping the last one up. “Has he moved in yet? Lord, I can’t wait.”
“Not yet. Thank God.”
“Spoilsport.” Myrtle slapped one hand over her eye. “Oh ow. Son of a baker!”
“What’s wrong?” Charlie rounded the counter to her friend.
“There’s something in my eye.”
“Lemme see.”
Myrtle tried opening her eye, but Charlie didn’t see anything. The bathroom had better light, though. While they were in there, the front door jingled.
“Be right out!” Myrtle chirped brightly, ever the professional, even while suffering.
“I see it,” Charlie said. “Try blinking really fast.”
Myrtle made the classic goofy faces while she tried blinking out the eyelash. She even looked pretty doing that. It wasn’t fair. “You’re such a bitch,” Charlie complained.
“Yeah, I love you too.”
When the eyelash had worked its way out, Charlie reiterated how much she hated Myrtle. Myrtle reminded Charlie that she wasn’t above poisoning her food. They made it back to the front of the store giggling.
The man who’d come in was patiently waiting, checking out the local art on the walls. A few of the pieces were Charlie’s. She hoped he would buy one. Extra money was never a bad thing.
That was when she noticed it.
“Hey,” Charlie said, stopping at the counter. “Where’d my muffin go? I left it right here.”
She sent a look to the guy across the room. The one holding her muffin. He turned slowly, oblivious to his breach of baked-goods etiquette. Myrtle gasped. Charlie’s shoulders sagged.
Great.
“You, sir, have my muffin.”
The man looked dubiously from Charlie to Myrtle, where his gaze, like most men, paused a little longer than necessary, then back to Charlie. “Excuse me?”
Charlie pointed to the muffin in his hand. “My muffin. You took it. I set it on the counter and you took my muffin.”
He squinted at her. “I’m sorry?”
“It’s the last one.”
He looked behind her, to a case full of muffins and treats. Stopping, again for a second too long, on the five-foot-eight blonde treat standing next to the case.
Exasperated, Charlie closed the distance between them. “Look, you already get to be Jeeves Allencaster. You don’t get to have my muffin too.”


Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Memorial Weekend!

Today Kristen is traveling home from a very fun and successful trip to BEA, therefore she's unable to blog.

So I'm stepping in to wish you guys a very happy holiday weekend here in the US and for the rest of you... I hope your weekend is just as happy :)

Stay classy, San Diego!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Man



So I decided today I'm going to take the day off. WOOHOO. It's awesome being my own man, not having to call in COUGHCOUGHsickCOUGHCOUGH so I can run around or be lazy as much as I want.

How about you--is your boss understanding? Do you ever get to play hooky?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Jurassic adventures...



There is this place in Northwest Arkansas called Dinosaur World. It's kind of like a concrete version of Jurassic Park. Except a concrete King Kong also resides there. And cavemen.


There's no real rhyme or reason to the park. It's a paleontological nightmare in reality. I mean, KING KONG lives among the dinosaurs. As do CAVEMEN. And a giant platypus.

But it's an awesome place in the world of super cheese. And I'm a huge fan of super cheese. Here's a blog that has some pics of Dinosaur World while it was still in its glory days: http://secretfunspot.blogspot.com/2008/03/abandoned-dinosaur-world.html

I noticed a nearby gravel pull-off which seemed as though it were created solely for illegal Dinosaur World entry. In the name of blogging I stopped the car, walked down an embankment and and briefly set foot in the forbidden lost world where I took these last couple of photos.
(boy that sounds vaguely familiar...)

And here's another post that contains some really good shots of the cheesefest:

http://www.agilitynut.com/dinos/ar2.html

Now that Dinosaur World is closed, I think we are truly missing out on one of life's greatest treasures. I'm thinking I should purchase this property, and turn it into a campground. "Your site is located in the Mastadon section. If you prefer, there will be a primo Pterodactyl spot available tomorrow." And I want an awesome restaurant and bar when we offer "Jurassic Park" type tours of the compound. C'mon...you know you wanna go...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Gwen the DJ Rocks the Zone 91.3

I am super stoked! Next Friday, the 27th, from 3-4 pm Pacific time, I will be guest DJ at my favorite radio station, the Zone 91.3 in Victoria B.C. I'll be spinning a selection of tunes from my writing playlist as well as some of my all time favorites. Don't live in the area? No worries--they stream live on the internets!

If you've never been to Victoria, you are missing out on of my favorite cities. It's somehow able to stay quaint and modern at the same time. It is also remarkably clean. For reals.

The city is also very influenced by its British roots. There are double decker buses and tea shops and all the kitschy things..and I love it. My favorite thing to do, though, is hang out in the inner harbor and just people watch.

I hope you join me next Friday while I cross another item off my bucket list. It hasn't occurred to me to be nervous yet, so hopefully that's a good sign.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"My Shibuya Moment" by Jax Cassidy


Please welcome guest blogger Jax Cassidy to the Fictionistas blog today! She has just released an e-book that raises money for the victims in Japan.

________________

In my imagination, Japan is like a magical paradise on clouds. I don’t know why I’ve always viewed it as such. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching Japanese anime and cinematically breathtaking love stories that left me yearning to visit someday.

Frankly, I blame my obsession on the cherry blossoms. Whenever I see a photograph of those pink and white petals, it conjures up the idea of romance and love. That’s probably why I’ve always wanted to write a love story set in Tokyo. The combination of cherry blossoms and the vibrant city leaves me tingly all over. Humm, maybe it’s the body lotion.

But when it comes right down to it, there are so many things to love about Japan.

1. Sushi
2. Fashion
3. Hello Kitty
4. Kimonos
5. Techno gadgets
6. Godzilla
7. Outrageous game shows

Well, you get the point.

I’m sure as I listed off some of those items there’s an immediate visual image that comes to mind. See, that tells me just how powerful an impact Japan has made on you—that’s the same reason why it was so important for me to do something to help out in any small way.

After seeing the destruction and devastation in the media, I was seriously jarred. I had always viewed Japan as a strong force and with all the advancements in technology; I hadn’t expected Japan ever being in such a vulnerable state. I won’t lie, I cried for all the lives that were lost and I was certain the road to recovery would take years and years. I didn’t hesitate donating to the Red Cross and it still didn’t seem to be enough, so I decided the most meaningful thing I could do was write my love story to Japan.

One of the reasons I chose Shibuya was because it’s such a unique place. It’s 1 of 23 wards of Tokyo with a population of a little over 208,000. You’ve got everything at your fingertips, from the trendy fashion district that’s in walking distance of the park and temple, excellent cuisine, to a killer nightlife scene. It reminded me of New York City in a sense, and based on all the research, I knew I’d picked the perfect place to write about.

This story is special to me and every line that’s written held a lot of meaning and thought. As I was writing it, I had my own Shibuya Moment. Meaning: that no matter how much suffering the citizens of Japan faced, they drew from their inner strength and continued to move forward courageously. Just like writers. We may face adversity but we rise to the challenge and we fight for what we love. With that catch phrase I’d coined in my head, I wanted to paint a vivid picture for my readers about a heroine who’s faced loss and emerged whole again. This may sound kind of silly, but in writing this short story, I was able to help rebuild the damaged parts of Japan in my head. I truly believe that someday when I finally get a chance to visit—this country will once again be the magical paradise I’ve always dreamed about.


P.S. I’m doing an awesome giveaway to help raise money for charity. The prize is valued at over $500 and includes a Kindle 3G & Amazon Gift Card. All you have to do is visit my website and blog (http://jaxcassidy.com/shibuya-giveaway/) for more details.

* * * * *



SHIBUYA MOMENT...

Freelance photographer Seren Takahashi wants to heal her wounded soul after a devastating loss. While embarking on a personal adventure into Tokyo’s Shibuya district, she discovers a city rich in culture and vibrant in its exoticness. What she hadn’t expected was finding closure and rediscovering the true person hidden inside. When she gives into destiny’s pull, her journey awakens a need to live in the moment, embrace her fears, and open her heart to love.

Author’s note: All author proceeds from the sale of this story will be donated to the Red Cross and ShelterBox for the relief effort in Japan.

* * * * *

Jax Cassidy followed her dreams to Paris, then Hollywood to pursue a film career but managed to fall in love with penning sexy romances and happy endings—finding Mr. Right was just an added bonus. She writes contemporary, paranormal, and multi-ethnic romances and is Co-Founder of Romance Divas, and award winning writer’s website and discussion forum. Jax is also known as one-half of the retired writing team of Cassidy Kent.

To learn more about Jax, visit her online at www.jaxcassidy.com.

Social Networks:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaxcassidy
Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaxcassidy

Monday, May 16, 2011

Squeeeeel for the Squirrel! Guest blogger, Laura Stone!

Today's guest blogger is actress, writer, and all around awesome gal: Laura Stone! You may find her online at Hey Don't Judge Me!

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Big thanks to the Fictionista Ladies for the opportunity to guest blog!

This week a video of a little four year old girl has gone viral, maybe you've seen it? She's cute as a bug, hanging out in her britches on a warm day, playing in the front yard and being absolutely adorable. Oh, and she's holding a dead squirrel, or as she pronounces it, "A dead squee-al!" Their dog, a greyhound, caught the squirrel moments before and shook it to death, as dogs do. She immediately picked it up (it's not bloody or anything like that) and cradles it, crooning "Oh, pretty baby, pretty baby squee-al," while her dad happens to be catching this on film.

I made the huge mistake of reading the YouTube comments (protip: that way lies madness, avoid at all costs) and a small, but vocal, percentage are screaming for the parents' heads on platters. How dare they let their precious angel touch a rabid dead animal that is teeming with bacteria! Really, people? Have you ever sat on a park bench? Because I hate to break it to you, but when you're not occupying that bench, other things are. Like maybe wild animals. And your hands touch that bench at some point. And here you are, alive and among us, not rabid and deformed (I assume.) When did we get so weirded out by natural things as a culture?

I can remember when two of my kids were under the age of five and their father and I slept in on a Saturday, as you do. We were woken up by a phone call from our neighbor, laughing, who told us to go look outside our front window. On our front lawn were my daughter and son, still in their jammies, barefoot, and hurling dead rats at one another, like a morbid game of bean bag toss. We had a mouser of a cat at the time, and he happily cleaned our trees and surrounding areas of squirrels, mice, and rats, and sometimes, because he loved us, would lay them at our front door as a gift. Cats are so thoughtful.

The kids got tired of waiting for Mom and Dad to get breakfast going, so they entertained themselves. In a world of games that play for kids (can you even get Hot Wheels tracks that don't have a motor?) the important thing you just read was that my kids entertained themselves. And they were outdoors in the fresh air! ...flinging dead things. Ah, the carefree days of childhood! Please understand that we bathed the kids once they came inside. I didn't panic, I didn't smack the rats out of their hands and look horrified, that would have been a huge mistake. I told them that the rats were dead, we don't play with dead things, we bury them and let them "feed the garden."

In the YouTube video, the little girl understands that the squee-al isn't alive anymore, that her dog killed it, and that she understood she couldn't touch it later but for now it was a sweet, sweet baby. Her mother did look daggers at her husband, but they didn't needlessly panic and inoculate her from any and all diseases, they let it run its course, told her to tell it goodbye, and then it was bath time. Jeez, folks, let kids get messy. Let them poke stuff with sticks, let them eat pickles wrapped up in paper towels in nothing but their bathing suits, and don't sanitize their hands with alcohol, soap and water is a-ok. Kids should get dirty. They should scrape their knees, touch something dead and make the connection between alive and not, and you should write down every single hilariously disgusting thing they've done in a secret notebook somewhere.

After all, how else will you keep them from doing disgusting things when they're dating?

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Laura Stone hopes to one day throw the greatest party ever: cocktails with John Waters while hitting on Johnny Depp with her charming Paul Lynde impression as Corey Feldman, snacking on canapĂ©s, admits he’s been aping Michael Jackson all along. [@StoneyboBoney]

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What is your bliss?



Right now, I'm sitting on campus (I'm a tutor in the writing center) in a 3rd-floor room with large windows, looking outside at this gorgeous spring day. The wind is rustling lightly through the trees. Even though I'm "working" I'm so happy I get to see outside. When I was in cubicle hell (aka, working a day job), my desk faced the men's bathroom.

Being able to work at home with the windows open, or in the writing center, is one of the little things that makes me happy.

Lately I've been taking stock of those little things. Finding my bliss, if you will. Here are some of those small wonders in my life that make me smile:

--lying on the couch with my fiance Chad, watching the Indians baseball game
--listening to my kids giggle
--sitting on my back patio with a beer
--sunshine
--getting new clients
--reading a book
--taking a luxurious bath
--getting my hair washed by someone

What's awesome about all those things is they're either cheap or free, haha. YAY for that. But they all make me blissfully content. And there are so many more I could add to the list, too.

So, what's your bliss? What little things make you happy in life?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

new beginnings

I started a new job yesterday. I haven't worked full-time in over 2 years, so this is very exciting for me. It's also the reason I missed blogging yesterday as well. Sorry y'all.

I'm trying to focus my life with all the crazy changes I've been experiencing, but as you know, life doesn't always let you do that. It throws you curve balls and makes you swing for the fence and when you whiff and miss, you wind up spinning around without direction.

I went to the beach last week to relax before this new chapter in my life. Me and 8 other women enjoyed the sand, sun, and surf (maybe a little too much). I did a lot of soul searching--(also known as lying on the beach) and what I came up with is this:

To be happy, I have to leave the past in the past. I have to refocus and move forward. I need to be happy, healthy, laugh, and I can't settle for anything less than the best in my life. Because even though I oftentimes don't think I deserve the best, I know in my heart I do.

Many, many thanks to my girls for helping me soul search. It just wouldn't have happened without them.

Friday, May 06, 2011

What does a book publicist do? Meet Erin Galloway from Penguin Group

As a debut author this year, one of my challenges has been...well...not knowing what the heck to do. There are lots of things that go into turning a story from my head into a book on a shelf--and lots of talented people are needed to make those things happen. For instance--how does the finished product get into the hands of readers who don't reside on a branch of my family tree?

One of the things my publisher did was assign me  a publicist. Actually, I had two--but my main point of contact is Erin Galloway. Erin introduced herself early on in the process and helped me set up all my blog tours. She kept me organized and on track. And also, she was fun! I had a lot of compliments from bloggers who communicated with her. She does a great job and is a fabulous asset to the publisher.

One of the perks of blog touring is "meeting" all the bloggers out there--and boy is that a savvy group of book lovers. Many of them are teens or college students looking at turning their love of fiction into a career, so I thought I'd invite Erin to Fictionistas to tell us a little more about her career in publishing and how she got there.



1. Thanks for joining us Erin. Can you tell us what a typical day at the office is like?
One of the things I love about my job is that I rarely have a typical day.  I certainly have regular tasks, but every book, campaign and author is different so my job is ever changing.  My job is to get the best possible media exposure for my authors, so everything I do works toward that end.  I write galley letters and press releases, pitch print, broadcast and online media, and book in-store events and author tours.

2. What kind of background and or schooling is recommended?
In publicity it’s very important to have strong written and oral communication skills, so it’s best to have a degree in English or a communications field, like journalism.  I would also suggest students getting involved in their college’s newspaper and/or public relations organization.

3. Do you work with all the authors or are you assigned a few...and then say, since we worked together on Falling Under, will you also work on my next NAL book?
Each publicist is assigned a group of books and authors.  Where possible, we continue working with the same authors because it allows us to maintain a sense of continuity.  So I should be working with you on the next book!

4. Do you work in teams?
Sometimes more than one publicist does work with an author.  It depends on what is involved in a particular book project.

5. Do you read the books you promote?
Yes!  Not only is it important to have a good feel for the material so that you can promote it, but I also really enjoy the books we publish.

6. Do you get to have field trips or is your job mostly in your office?
My job is mostly based in the office, but I do attend my authors’ events if they take place in New York and I do occasionally travel for business.  For example, I attend the RWA conference each year.

7. What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is working with authors.  Being able to work with the creative minds behind the books I love to read is a privilege.  Plus I am often able to get tidbits of what they are planning for future books. ;)

8. Is this what you always imagined doing? And if not, how did you become interested in it?
I always knew my career would involve writing in some way, but I didn’t know what it would be.  I thought I may work for a newspaper, but when a college professor of mine suggested I look into publishing, I found my calling.  I moved to New York to get a master of publishing degree and when I first entered into the industry I was an editorial assistant.  I quickly realized that I was meant to work in publicity.  I love books and as a publicist I am able to share my enthusiasm and promote the books I love to read.

9. Do you have any words of wisdom for teenagers interested in working in publishing?
Really work on your communication skills.  No matter which area of publishing you enter, written and oral communication skills are vital.  Apply for internships in the publishing industry to learn more about the career path you’re interested in.  A number of publishers offer open houses for college students or have opportunities where you can learn more about the industry to see if it would be a good fit for you.  Check in with your college career center to see if they have relationships with any publishing houses.

10. Do you have a Twitter account? How important do you think social media is for your job?
I have a personal Twitter account that I have posted on exactly one time.  For personal use, I have no interest in Twitter.  But, I recognize that it can be a useful tool for a business.  So I am one of the people that posts on the @BerkleyRomance Twitter account.  Social media is always changing. The particular service, like Myspace, Facebook or Twitter, might be obsolete tomorrow, but social media is certainly here to stay.  I don’t believe everyone needs to be an expert, but I do think it’s important to have a working knowledge of the major services so that you’re well prepared.

Thanks for sharing, Erin. I know I would have dropped the ball big time if I hadn't had you organizing my calendar and checking in with me. I can't wait until we get to promote Dreaming Awake

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Art & Friendship

In just a few days, it will be my second Mother's Day. in the past 17 months or so since my daughter was born, I've gotten to know a wonderful group of new mommies (and one new daddy) who I affectionately refer to as The Stepmoms. (Don't ask.) I've never met these gals and guy in person -- just over the internet -- but they're still very special to me.

One of them in particular has gotten to be more than just a friend. Amy Lynch is a very talented artist who is sort of my go-to gal when it comes to anything creative and artsy. She's helped me out numerous times, and now I want to share this hidden gem with the world.

I first became familiar with Amy's skills when she posted a drawing she'd done of her daughter on a mommy chatboard. I was in awe of how lifelike and gorgeous it was, and knew I wanted one of my daughter. So I sent Amy a photograph, and voila!



Pretty spectacular, huh? I treasure this one-of-a-kind custom piece. Amy is enormously talented, and very reasonably priced. You can find her portfolio and pricing here on her Pencil-Me-In website:
http://www.wix.com/amykathryn/pencil-me-in

But her skills don't stop there. Amy also runs the popular sewing and crafts blog, Pens & Needles (as well as a fabulous Etsy store of the same name).
http://pensandneedles-by-amy.blogspot.com/

And now she had even added a photography business, PhotoArt by Amy.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/PhotoArt-by-Amy/109748632443475

I get dizzy just thinking about it all.

Anyway, what does this have to do with fiction or books, since after all, that's what the Fictionistas are all about. Well, I'll tell you.



Amy designed my cover, and I love it.

So if you're in the market for cover art, photo art, portraits, or hand-made custom clothes, you know who to call. She could kick Martha Stewart's butt any day in a craftiness competition, I swear.

Thanks Amy!

Monday, May 02, 2011

Guest Post: Maria Geraci


Movies I wanna watch this summer
By Maria Geraci


First off, thanks, Ficitionistas for inviting me to guest blog today!

Hollywood does two kinds of movies. The more serious “artsy fartsy” ones that go on to win all the Oscar nominations- like the fabulous The King’s Speech (which I loved). Those are the movies that come out during the fall/winter holidays right before the nominations are made. I think this is so the movie is fresh in the minds of the Academy who does all the voting and decides what’s “good” or not.

Then there is the other kind of Hollywood movie. The blockbuster. Those come out in the summer. This summer there is a virtual plethora of awesome movies coming out. There are so many in fact, I couldn’t even begin to name them all here. So I’m going to tell you about the ones I’m most excited about.

SCREAM 4

Okay, so this one is out all ready. I’m a huge Wes Craven fan. I think he’s brilliant. I absolutely loved Scream 1 and the second one wasn’t so bad. The third one was stretching it, I think, but I’ve heard absolutely great things about this fourth installment (including that no one who saw it figured out who the killer was until the end). Fabulous. Now I just have to drag Mike Geraci to the movies and we’re set.


SOMETHING BORROWED

Loved the Emily Giffin book. Love Kate Hudson. Love Ginnifer Goodwin and LOVE John Krasinski. If I don’t love this movie I’m gonna cry (advance reviews have not been good but I’m ignoring them). I’m not bothering to take Mike Geraci to this one. This is me and my girlfriends all the way.


COWBOYS AND ALIENS

This will probably brand me as the biggest Mom Geek ever, but I can’t remember when I’ve been so excited about a movie trailer. Have you seen it yet? This flic stars Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. When I first heard of the movie, I think I remember the original title was Cowboys vs. Aliens (which I like better) but none-the-less, I think it’s brilliant. Here’s the blurb:  A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way
Awesome! If this flops it isn’t because of the branding or the idea or the stars involved. I just can’t see it being anything other than this summer’s big mega money maker. I think this is definitely a family movie night kind of flic (and one that my kids will probably see more than once).



THE HELP

I absolutely loved the book by Kathryn Stockett and I can’t imagine not loving the movie (Ms Stockett also helped write the screenplay). It feels more like a winter movie than a summer movie, but I’m not complaining. I love the casting and am prepared to take my Kleenex with me! Mike Geraci can come along too.











What summer movies are you most excited about?








Maria Geraci writes fun, romantic women’s fiction. You can visit her website here. Her latest release THE BOYFRIEND OF THE MONTH CLUB is available now.




Friday, April 29, 2011

"You look stunning, babe."

According to a lip reader, that's what Prince William said to Kate Middleton when she reached him at the end of the aisle in Westminster Abbey. It was quite a sweet moment.

That's my way of telling you that, yes, I've been up since 3 AM. I didn't intend to, but one of the cats woke me up at 2:58 and I decided to pop the TV (telly?) on to see what was happening. Five and a half hours later, I'm still watching. (I'd like to add I've worked out, showered and had breakfast during that time too.)

It's only fitting I watched since I got up to see Diana get married. Kate and Will's day was no disappointment. It was sweet and solemn with some spiritual overtones not always seen in modern weddings. Her dress was beautiful, his uniform resplendent, their love obvious in the most touching way.

One of the nicest touches was the English maple trees lining the aisle. It gave the austere gothic beauty of Westminster Abbey a shot of freshness. Those trees brought down the towering arches without diminishing them. They made the whole ceremony somehow more accessible.

Did you get up? Did you see any of it? What did you think? Personally, I thought it was a romance writer's dream. All in all, I'm glad the cat woke me up.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So...whatcha reading?

I've been in a book-buying frenzy lately, haha. Not only have I been buying print books, but I've been stockpiling ebooks like the apocalypse is just around the corner.


Right now I'm in the middle of two books (I'm on an historical kick at the moment): Mistress Shakespeare, and The Boleyn Inheritance.


So, what are you digging into right now? Dish it up!