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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Adventures in the City - Last Day!

The last day of a vacation - especially when it's also your travel day - is always the worst.  That was Saturday for us.  

We were up early, packing and showering.  I wanted to sleep until noon, but that wasn't going to happen no matter what.  We left the hotel at 9:45 and walked the six blocks to Times Square to the Hilton Doubletree where I was going to be filmed for Kindle Love Stories.  I was so nervous that I thought I was going to be sick.  I had carefully picked out my outfit - the list of colors I was not allowed to wear was pretty much my entire wardrobe so I was nervous about that too.

We got there and were escorted into the filming/studio space.  The entire crew was amazing!  They were all so friendly and encouraging and just genuinely happy people, that I was instantly relaxed.  I brought hubby and son with me to witness it all.  I mean, how often is something like this going to happen to me??  

They touched up my hair and makeup and then got me wired up.  And for the next forty-five minutes, I had a blast!  The questions were very fun and I wasn't prompted in advance so when this airs, just know that it was all spontaneous.  I did stumble a few times and they had to re-shoot, but all in all, it was a lot of fun.  I was sorry when they said we were done!  Normally I'd say I have a face for radio, but other than the flat hair, I think I looked okay.

When we were done, we took a few last minute shots of Times Square and grabbed some lunch before going and checking out of the hotel.  Hubby went and picked up the car and we were on the road out of the city by 1:20.  I felt like we had lived an entire day by that point, but unfortunately, our long day still had a long day to go.
The drive back to North Carolina took ten hours - and that was with stops for gas and dinner.  It's become a bit of a tradition to stop and eat at a Cracker Barrell on our road trips and this day was no exception.  The last twenty minutes of the drive was the worst.  We were all frantic to get out of the car and just be home.  Me?  I was frantic to get back to my dog.  My poor little Maylene who I missed so darn much!!  Our reunion was very sweet and it felt so good to walk through the door and just be in my own house!!

I slept like a log that night.

Home Sweet Home.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Adventures in the City - Day Three

Just thinking about this day exhausts me!  It was one of those that seemed to have a ton of things going on at once.

I had the pleasure of having a bit of breakfast - and by breakfast I mean a giant black and white cookie - with the lovely Noelle Adams.  I was so happy to be able to meet up with her and just have some time to chat.  We don't live close enough to do it very often so when the opportunity arises, we take advantage of it.  A good friend and a good cookie.  What could be better?

Then I went and caught the second half of the Sourcebooks spotlight at the RWA conference and it's always exciting to see and learn about all of the new books coming out.  When it was over, Sara Humphreys and I got together for lunch and a brainstorming session about our upcoming scavenger hunt!  

**Scavenger Hunt:  Sara and I are hosting this super-fun event to celebrate our upcoming releases.  "Made for Us" will be out on August 4th and her brand new (and very first!) contemporary romance, "Brave the Heat", will be out September 1st.  So in between those dates we are doing this scavenger hunt with daily prizes!  If you haven't already signed up, you totally need to because we have some AMAZING prizes!  You can join the fun HERE!

Okay, back to the city...

Hubby and son met me at the Mariott Marquis where I was dining with Sara and then we did a little more sightseeing in Times Square on our way back to our hotel.  I took a little siesta because I was so tired and then got up to freshen up and get ready for the super-secret Sourcebooks author dinner.  The dinner itself wasn't a secret but the location was.  

So I casually walked (meaning very-slowly) the six blocks back to the Mariott dressed in my party dress and pretty shoes and joined the forty-something other Sourcebooks authors while we waited for our big surprise.  Within minutes we were boarding a very cool party bus - an excellent way to travel - and taken to Bryant Park right next to the New York Public Library where we had the pleasure of dining outside at the Bryant Park Grille.  The temperature had cooled down and I got to sit with some amazing ladies while we dined on fabulous foods.  Not a bad way to spend a Friday night!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Adventures in the City - Day Two

It's days like this that I wonder why I don't travel alone.  My hubby was obsessed with getting our parking ticket stamped because the guy at the parking garage scared the crap out of him.  So we had to wait until the EXACT time on the card before we could start our day - which was 11:30.  I wanted to strangle him.  So much to do and now we're sitting around waiting to get the car stamped!

When we finally walked out of the hotel, we went over to Rockefeller Center and checked it all out.  We were huge fans of 30 Rock so it was kind of a thrill.  We hit the NBC Experience and then had lunch right there and then went across the street to St. Patrick's Cathedral.  So beautiful and it breaks my heart to see the security guards in there doing bag checks.  

I had a meeting with my agent across town and convinced my husband to have pity on me and please let us get a cab rather than walking.  And to be fair, it was VERY hot out.  So we did and it was nice except the cabs don't use air conditioning - just open windows.  So I was slightly windblown for my meeting.
Now here's a bit of childhood for you - growing up on Long Island, the ice cream man used to come around often - Mr. Softee.  We don't have that here in North Carolina and it's something we miss.  So we get out of the cab on Madison Avenue and what is parked right there????  You guessed it.  I was so nervous about my meeting that I didn't get myself any but hubby and son did and I had a taste.  My fear was that I would drip and drop it all down the front of me because, believe me, it's happened.

After we left, it was off to the SNL Exhibition.  I was positively GIDDY about this and it did not disappoint!  I am a HUGE fan of the show so to be able to go to the exhibit and see all of the memorabilia and learn so much of the history of it was just beyond exciting.  We spent probably close to two hours walking through and took a ton of pictures and when we walked out, I was sad that it was over!

It was all down hill after that.

We had to walk over fifteen blocks back to the hotel because we could not get a cab!  I couldn't believe it!  With like a million of them on the streets of New York, not one of them was empty when we needed it!  So we walked and walked and walked and walked and by the time we got back to our hotel, I was just done.  The thought of walking anywhere - including to the other side of the tiny hotel room - made me want to cry.  So what did we do?  It was fairly early - not even six p.m. - so we looked up the best Chinese food takeout in the area and super-hubby and son walked and picked it up and I ate Chinese food in bed.  It was GLORIOUS!!!

I realize we were in the city that never sleeps, but believe me...that night, we certainly did!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Adventures in the City - Day One

So I was in New York City last week. and probably about a thousand other romance authors.  The only difference was that I wasn't there for the big RWA Conference - sort of.  It's a long story.  Let's just say that I was going to go to RWA, then I wasn't, then I ended up at some things related to it.

It's complicated.

I grew up on Long Island.  It wasn't hard to get into the city on any given day or at any time.  But you know what?  I never did.  In the 27 years I lived on Long Island, I can count on one hand the amount of times I actually went into Manhattan.  So this trip was kind of a big deal.  Plus, we brought our 15 year old with us (hubby and I) and it was his first trip to the Big Apple.  So like I said, it was kind of a big deal.

We basically were all over the place our first day.  We checked in at our hotel a little before noon and then walked over to Bryant Park because the FABULOUS Kristan Higgins was there with a group of authors doing a panel and then signing.  It has been a dream of mine to meet her and so I dragged hubby and son with me on my quest to meet her.  There was a pretty big crowd there and I was happy to sit there, but I was also starving.  So we ran over to the Bryant Park Grille and had lunch and then got back as the signing was winding down and I got my chance to meet Kristan. 

Seriously, the trip could have ended right then and there and I would have felt like it was a complete success!  So happy!!

Then we got to play tourist and went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.  I don't know why this was something I wanted to do, but it was!  If you're thinking of going - Spoiler Alert - Don't.  It was expensive.  It was hot.  And basically I don't think it was worth the money.  The Marvel 4-D movie was good but not worth the price of admission.  I can cross it off my bucket list but I don't feel like I gained anything by going except to make fun and pretend that I was in Oprah's book club.  

Or Hemmingway's.

Yes, I'm THAT person.  I'm ridiculous and inappropriate and pretty much enjoy being goofy sometimes.  But I had fun and after the amount of money I spend to get in the darn place, they're lucky I didn't do more of this!  All in all it was a nice distraction and some of the figures are so life-like that it was borderline creepy.  

That night I went to an RWA cocktail party with my literary agency at Sardi's.  And if you can believe it, we took NO pictures.  I don't even know how it happened.  I wore a fabulous dress and my husband and son looked so handsome and there's no record of it anywhere!  I did get to meet two of my favorite authors - Shannon Stacey and Sylvia Day - so that was a bonus.  But no one there was taking selfies and being silly so I refrained from asking anyone to pose with me.


We walked back to our hotel - right through the middle of Times Square - and had room service bring us dinner at 10:00 at night.  It was a little decadent.  The thing was that we aren't used to so much walking and by that time of night, we were positively exhausted.

And that was only the first day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Made For Us Pre-Orders

I remember when I started self-publishing how only traditionally published authors were allowed to have pre-order links on Amazon.  I was soooooo envious.  Sigh.  Then, as time went on, the indie authors were allowed to get them.  The only problem with that for me?  I was one of those flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants writers and pretty much I published books on a whim.  Spur of the moment.  Whenever the urge struck.  I would write a book, edit and publish within a month so a pre-order link wasn't really working for me.

Well now it is!  

Now that I've slowed down and writing longer books that are being traditionally published - and don't even get me started on how much I am LOVING seeing my books in paperback in the stores! - all of my books go on pre-order about six months before they're released.  It's a little weird seeing the book on all the sites and knowing that it won't be available for so long but I do enjoy seeing how many people are ordering a title because they want to make sure they have it on the release date.

I still do it all the time with my favorite authors.  And when I do it way far in advance?  It's like a nice little surprise when it pops up on my Kindle.  It's like a little present and I think "Yeah, me!" for being on the ball and knowing how much I'm going to enjoy reading a new book.  

But then again, who doesn't enjoy a new book, right?

So "Made for Us" will be out August 4th.  SOOOOO much fun stuff is going to be happening with it!  Besides the actual release of the book - which in itself is very exciting - I'll be hosting a release party on Facebook on August 3rd - you can join here: and then I'll be doing a month-long scavenger hunt with author Sara Humphreys on Facebook that will lead up to her new release, "Brave the Heat" which will be released September 1st.  It is all going to be a lot of fun and I hope to see tons of people at these events - and by see I mean your names on my computer on Facebook!  Lol!

We are going to be giving away stuff at all of the events - signed books, swag, Amazon gift name it, we may very well be giving it away so you don't want to miss out!  To join the scavenger hunt, go to

To pre-order your copy of "Made for Us" on Amazon, you can click HERE.

To pre-order your copy of "Brave the Heat" on Amazon, you can click HERE. 

Do you pre-order your books or wait for them to come out?  Do you go to events on Facebook?  Do you enjoy winning stuff?   Tell me about it!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Two Tales, One Weekend

Sometimes I think I'm getting old.  

Then I do something that makes me feel like I'm still young.

We went to go see Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo the other night.  I was in my 80's heyday glory.  The girl can still rock and rock HARD.  They put on a great show - somewhat similar to the set I saw her do last year when she came around on tour with Rick Springfield, but it was still amazing.  And we were in the 11th row of a fairly small theater so it was almost as if I could  reach out and touch her.

But I didn't.

I even missed out on snagging one of Neil's guitar pick's because I didn't believe it would actually make it back that far and surprisingly, it did.  By the time I realized it, the guy in front of me grabbed it.  Oh, well.   I sang, I screamed and as I looked around, I almost felt like one of the youngest people in the room.  
 We made it a date night - something we don't do nearly enough - and went to dinner first and then the show.  We got home late but I was still feeling fairly energized and actually wrote for an hour before going to bed.

I even got up the next day and was still feeling pretty young and peppy.

Then came the 4th.  


I don't know what it is.  I can't explain it.  Holidays...any holiday...just exhaust me and make me want to stay in my jammies, curled up on the sofa and just do nothing.  I don't know when it started happening but basically I am NOT the person you want to invite over because everything exhausts me like I'm a 90 year old woman.

We were invited to spend the day with some friends - barbecue, swimming, and just having fun.  Did I swim?  No.  Did I even bring my bathing suit?  No.  Do I suck?  Yes.  I wore a maxi dress because I was basically too lazy to wear normal clothes.  My hair was somewhat styled.  I did manage to make some kick ass salads - potato salad and a tortellini salad - but other than that, I was content to let our friends grill.

Someone even made my S'more for me.

Okay, but in my defense...the 4th is just not my thing.  I enjoy SEEING the fireworks, I don't enjoy HEARING them.  The people that live next door to our friends were setting off what could only be described as bombs at 3 in the afternoon.  Why?  I honestly don't get what the thrill is in that.  I was pretty psyched to get home early and watch the Macys fireworks on TV, but I missed them.

And don't even get me started to how much energy I did NOT have on Sunday.

I guess my inner-party girl can only come out once a week and I used that up at the concert.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

My Last First Date

Way back when in 1989, I was a single girl.  I was working in retail management, living somewhat on my own and pretty much loving life.  In May of that year, I met my future husband.  I was actually friends with his sister but I had no idea she had a brother!  When she graduated from college and her parents threw her a party, I went with a bunch of our friends and there he was.

I knew the minute I saw him that I was going to marry him.

That's just one of the reasons I write about love at first sight because I firmly believe in it.  

Over the course of the evening, we sat and talked and I thought things were going great but then he left!  To be fair, he did ask if I wanted to leave with him and his friends - they were going to a bar - but I was only 20 and did not have proof to get in anyplace he was going to go.  So he left.  He didn't ask for my number and basically...yeah.  He just...left.

Not one to take this sort of thing lightly, I waited a few days and then began to snoop around and got his number.  Amazingly, his sister was NOT very forthcoming with this information.  So I eventually got the number and called him.  We played phone tag with one another for almost a month.  Then finally - FINALLY - we were able to talk one night and we were on the phone for four hours!  At the end of it I was like " do you ever want to go out with me?"

Brazen little hussy, wasn't I?

He said yes.  Sigh.  We went out the next night for drinks (yes, yes, I was STILL underage but I got in!) and we spent hours and hours just talking and laughing and it was amazing.  A date that started at 7 pm ended somewhere around 4 a.m.  I felt like we had shared our entire life's stories with one another and he never even kissed me!  

Kid.  You.  Not.

Seriously, how this lasted, I don't know because his reaction to me was NOT ego-boosting to any degree.  

But now, 26 years after that first date, we are still together.  Two amazing boys, one sassy pug and a whole lot of love and laughter has filled those years.  I had to dig through my stash of pictures to find one from those early days where we were actually together - there's a lot that I took of him and then lots that he took of me but all the ones of us together had other people in them and I didn't want to embarrass anyone other than us for the sake of this post!  It's a little blurry but you can still see the big hair and the cuteness.

Tomorrow is our anniversary of our first date and I'm so glad that my last first date was to such an amazing man.  I love him so much and am blessed every day because of him.

Now, for your entertainment, should you want to know what other exciting things happened in 1989 - so long, long ago - you can go here and see some of the hilarious happenings:

Today's Cuteness...

Brought to you by Maylene the Pug...