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…

Samhain Publishing

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


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.
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.
“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:

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:

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' 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 ( for more details.

* * * * *


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

Social Networks:

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!

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?

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 canap├ęs, 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
--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:

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).

And now she had even added a photography business, PhotoArt by Amy.

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.


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.


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.


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).


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.