Monday, July 29, 2013

Cover Reveal!

Did that get your attention? I sure hope so, because I'm psyched to share a sneak peek of the cover of WINTER AT MUSTANG RIDGE! 

It won't be out until February, and boy does that snow look odd as we sit here in the middle of summer (well, in the northern hemisphere, at least), but how cute is Rex the Golden Retriever? And how much do we love books about a hunky veterinarian and the reluctant cowgirl who even more reluctantly falls for him? 

So, without further ado ...

The back-cover copy:

The Skye family rebel never wanted to be a cowgirl ... and she sure didn't plan on coming home for good. 
Grateful to her twin for keeping Mustang Ridge in the family, Jenny Skye agrees to return home for a month so her sister can get away. It’s the middle of winter, and only a few year-round staffers, her family, and the animals will be there. But the globe-trotting videographer is soon in way over her head at the dude ranch dealing with reservations, her redecorating-obsessed mother, and the town's hunky new veterinarian.
Despite his adventurous past, Nick Masterson is putting down roots in Mustang Ridge. When a stray dog, a missing family member and a snowstorm conspire to throw him and Jenny together, there's no denying the blaze of attraction. But can a relationship that began in the heat of the moment turn into something more for a woman who's always been eager to put her hometown behind her?  

Pre-order links:
At Amazon-- paperback or Kindle
At paperback or Nook

Add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads

Thanks for letting me share my Squeeeeeee!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Snoozing Away From Home

Hello blog friends! Sorry for the lateness of today’s post—I just yesterday got back from the Romance Writers of America conference in Atlanta. Picture two thousand women who adore romantic fiction, a whole lot of Microsoft guys in town for their own conference (it was a big hotel!), and five days of meetings, workshops, parties, and seeing old friends (and meeting new ones) from around the world, and you’ve got the idea.

It was wonderful, chaotic and exhausting, and by the time I got home yesterday, all I wanted to do was cuddle Arizona and the cats, and catch up on some sleep—which I did, crashing at around 6 pm, waking to watch what Arizona calls “the naked people” (Naked and Afraid, where two strangers, a man and a woman, are dropped in the wilderness with nothing but one survival item each, and left to fend for themselves for three weeks whilst being filmed), and then sleeping again until 10 am. Thank goodness I’m not planning on accomplishing much today!

Sleep is a funny thing for me. For a large chunk of my life, I needed to be in a completely dark and familiar room, with an AC, air filter or fan running, a blanket over my head and no other life forms in there with me. And even then it was 50/50 on whether I would sleep more than five hours. So, as you might guess, sharing a room at a conference could be challenging! Fortunately, there’s the alcohol-and-exhaustion factor of a conference, so by the second or third day I can usually shut down for a while—as long as I have white noise and a blanket over my head.

When I met Arizona, I said “Okay, self, if you’re in this for the long term, you’re going to figure out how to sleep with this guy.” And I did—finding that I feel utterly safe and sleep-enabled when I’m smooshed between his big, snoring self and the wall, with Pixel T. Kitten next to my head, purring away. I still have a blanket over my head and white noise is a must, and anything less than a queen-size bed is questionable, but I’m sleeping better these days than I ever have, even at the conference. Still, it was a huge pleasure to get home and curl up in my space, with my big warm hubby on one side of me and the kitten on the other, with paw on the top of my head like she was reassuring herself that I really was back.

Now, though, I'm sitting here in my writing space, with my brain buzzing with all the stuff I learned at the conference, and all the new story ideas my agent, editor and I talked about … and all I can think is, “Dang, it’s quiet here!”

So tell me, dear reader-writer-fan-friend, what are your sleeping peculiarities? Do you sleep well away from home?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sea Cucumber-nado

Yes, I confess. Arizona and I watched Sharknado last night. For those of you who haven’t yet experienced this gem, it’s a low-budget, campy laugh fest of a made-for-TV trainwreck by the same people (the SyFy channel) who brought you Megapiranha and Sharkoctupus vs. Crocosaurus. It premiered last week, blew up Twitter, and actually had its own front-page listing on Comcast’s On Demand menu. So, of course, it was a Sunday must-see for us.

Do I need to summarize the so-called plot? (Please don’t make me.) Suffice it to say that the title reflects things pretty well, both in subject matter and ludicrocity.

In the first five minutes, our conversation went something like this:

Arizona: Does California even get hurricanes?
Me: I think they’re called Typhoons in the Pacific.
Arizona: Isn’t that more Japan? I didn’t think California really got them.
Me: If this is the worst "time to suspend disbelief" moment in this movie, I’ll be surprised. I mean, really. Sharknado.
Arizona: Point made.

Long about the middle, amidst conversational gems such as, “Are the sharks really going to be hungry when they’ve just flown through the air and/or washed along a major freeway?” and “Wait, if the sharks are whizzing through the air due to the tornado, why do they fall when he shoots them?” Arizona says, “If the sharks are being sucked up out of the ocean and into the waterspout, why aren’t there other fish in there, too? Or an orca?”

Me: Because Perch-nado just didn’t have the same ring. Or Bass-nado.
Arizona: Right. Or Sea Cucumber-nado. Minnow-nado. Anemone-nado.
Me: Say that last one five times fast.

Suffice it to say that we had a whole lot of fun with this seriously silly movie, which included a plot twist at the end that neither of us saw coming (largely because we couldn’t figure out how it could be possible without some not-in-evidence scuba gear or a breathing tube or something). Because, yeah, campy sci-fi movies are a guilty pleasure of ours.

You know how there are certain movies you can watch over and over again, picking up from wherever? Mine include The Mummy, Armageddon and Independence Day, while one of his is The Goonies. Will Sharknado go on that list? Probably not, but it was perfect for a Sunday night laugh.

What about you? Have you seen Sharknado yet? Is it on your must-see list? What are some of your guilty-pleasure, watch them over and over movies?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Gone Fishin' ... er, Writin' ... er, Fishin' ...

Hello to all! Did you have a fun holiday weekend? Did you have a holiday weekend at all? I know that assumes a location and lifestyle that may not be true. Nevertheless, Arizona and I did just have a four-day weekend, and as I managed to turn in my manuscript the day before (yay!), we got to kick back together and enjoy some truly excellent July hot-and-humid. (Oops, just typo’d that as ‘hot-and-human,’ which really isn’t what I’m going for here, though us humans got plenty hot at times.) And during this mini-vacation, we hooked up YellowBoat and went fishing.

YellowBoat is a small aluminum craft that Arizona’s parents bought in the 80s. Registered at various points in Arizona, the Carolinas, New York and now Connecticut, I suspect he could tell some tales. However, although we have been the current custodians of YellowBoat for three summers now, we haven’t done much with him … until yesterday when, freshly power washed and wearing his new CT registration stickers on his bow, he took to the seas once more for some near-shore action.

And, as we tried various methods to entice the too-smart fish, from trolling to dragging to casting with a variety of lures ranging from “I would totally wear that as an earring” to “ewugh, what is that supposed to be?” and Arizona took to commenting, “That’s why we call it ‘fishing’ and not ‘catching,’” I got to thinking that it all felt very familiar.

Casting a rubbery green minnow toward the bank, reeling it in, and throwing it out again … That’s totally like sending a proposal to my editor. Will she like this one more than the others on her desk? Will she snap this one up, or will it be the next, or the one after that?

Dropping a weighted fake shrimpy-thing over the side and leaving it on the bottom while the boat drifts … that’s like writing the book. Will it work today, or will the words come slowly or not at all, stuck somewhere on a mental lobster pot deep below the surface?

Trolling with a bright green spoon that twirls and shimmies at the surface far behind YellowBoat … That’s like sending a new book out into the world—will I hook the readers? Will they buy up the copies or lie in wait to see if someone else tries it first?

The life of an author, rather like fishing, is a whole lot of prep-and-execution time interspersed with highs (fish on!) and lows (did I mention I caught a boat? oops. sorry about that lure you’ve had since high school). But if there’s one thing I can take home from fishing with Arizona, it’s that when there’s little guarantee of huge success on a given day, you just gotta enjoy the process.

So how about you? Do you prefer a hobby (or career!) where the harder you work the better you get, or do you like something that also has an element of lightning-strike luck to it, too?

Monday, July 1, 2013

It's a marathon!

Just a short post today, guys, as I'm in the homestretch of getting a book in to my editor, and need every second I can get to write!

Amusingly, my Yahoo! horoscope for today is: You need to step up the pace a little -- but just staying in the game is most important, so prioritize stamina over sprinting if need be. Your perseverance is practically a guarantee of success!

Ha! I'll totally take it, and feel like this is true about so many things in my life right now--writing, promoting Summer at Mustang Ridge, losing weight, paying down debt, saving money, trying to add to our little family ... In fact, I think I'll aim for a little instant gratification when I turn in this book. I'm thinking it's New Purse time, and will do some browsing the minute I hit 'SEND' on this book.

In the meantime, tell me ... what's your treat to yourself when you hit a big goal after months (or longer) of slogging away? What does your horoscope say today? What was your funniest/most appropriate horoscope to date?

Wishing you the very best :)