Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Am in Awe

Mary at The Bandwagon has been doing the Nano this month, and I've been watching her progress through her blog posts. Well, the woman has FINISHED her first draft. In 25 days. And from her description of it, sounds like she's got the first draft of a pretty terrific story!

Go give her your congratulations!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Heard it in a Love Song

I once wrote an entire novel around an idea generated by two lines from the Richard Marx song "Hazard":

I swear I left her by the river
I swear I left her safe and sound

There's also a fairly recent Trisha Yearwood song, "Georgia Rain," that just screams Silhouette Special Edition--it's about a woman who returns to her hometown years after she left to find everything different except her love for the boy she left behind. The mood is evocative and full of longing; I think it'd make a great story, but I don't write those kinds of stories.

What about you? Do songs inspire your story ideas?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Puppy for Maggie = a Kitten for Me?

So, my mom has decided to get our three-year-old mutt Maggie her own puppy. A few weeks ago, we had to have Maggie's beloved older dog companion, Dixie, euthanized. She had advanced cancer and had reached the point where her quality of life was poor. Maggie has been depressed since, so when one of my nieces came home from school with the news that a friend's dog had had puppies, my mother got the idea of getting Maggie her own puppy to have as a companion.

Now, we need another dog like I need an extra ten pounds, but I've figured out the upside to this. Ever since I had to have my beloved Simi cat put to sleep, I've been keeping an eye out for a half-Siamese kitten, even though my mom was adamant about not having any more cats. But now that Mom's gone all googly-eyed over the idea of a new puppy, I'm SO gonna leverage that into a kitten when I find one that suits me.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

June instead of August '07

Just received word from my editor that they're moving FORBIDDEN TEMPTATION up to a June 2007 release. Yay! It's only a couple of months, but that makes it a year rather than 14 months between books. Plus, I hope it means they're making room for book three on the schedule by the end of the year. (Okay, that's probably wishful thinking, but wishful thinking can be fun).

And since my birthday is in June, it's like another great birthday present two years in a row.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Southern Magic Romance Reader's Luncheon Recap

Yesterday was my local RWA chapter's Romance Reader's Luncheon. It was held at the Wynfrey Hotel in Birmingham, and we had a great time. The delightful Teresa Medeiros was our luncheon speaker, and when she finished her speech, which reminded us romance writers why we write romance, everybody was reaching for the Kleenex.

It amazes me how many romance readers are willing to travel long distances to get to have lunch with their favorite writers. Of course, Teresa was a big draw, as was our own Gayle Wilson, who is moving into single title suspense in a big way. The mind-bogglingly prolific Debra Webb was also there, reminding me just how successful a person can be when they're talented and persistent. And I was so happy to see fellow Intrigue author Kathleen Long, who came a very long way to be with us. She sat next to me at the booksigning and I so enjoyed catching up with her.

I also had a chance to exchange old memories with a fellow Banks High School graduate, DeAnn, who now writes under the pen name Giselle Carmichael . DeAnn reminded me that I had a reputation as a verious "serious" person in high school, which made me laugh, because I remember being more goofy and geeky than "serious." I guess it was the combination of shyness and good grades that made people who didn't know me well think I was serious.

I think a lot of people thought I spent all my spare time studying. I didn't. I did most of my homework during breaks and down-time at school, so when I came home, I either read or watched TV--usually my daily Gilligan's Island rerun fix. I only studied briefly the night before a test and that was it. I just had great info retention back in the day. Wish I could have some of that back now that I'm older!

I got some great books in the goody bag all the attendees received, too! Usually I get the goody bag that has all chick-lit and vampire stuff--not my preferred genres--but this time I got a couple of great-looking suspense titles, including one of Brenda Novak's newest single titles. I look forward to diving into those.

I think everyone had a really good time, and I look forward to May of 2007, when my other chapter, Heart of Dixie, holds their Reader's Luncheon in Huntsville. Karen Robards is the featured speaker.

Oh, and between now and then, there's also a little thing in Birmingham called the Romance in the Magic City conference, March 30 - April 1, 2007. It's going to be great--we already have some terrific editors and agents lined up, and lots of exciting workshops. Keynote speakers are Linda Howard, Gayle Wilson and Beverly Barton. For more information, you can download the conference brochure in .pdf format here. It will also be held at the Wynfrey Hotel.

Finally, I got my first royalty statement yesterday, and I'm happy to report that not only did I pay back my advance, but I actually made some cash in royalties. Whee! Thank you everyone who bought one of my books. And remember, if you haven't bought one, they're still available online at They make great holiday gifts for the romance reader on your list! Buy now! Buy often!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

What's That I Smell?

So I get to my office this morning, toodlydoo, blah blah same old same old, unlock the door and start to punch in the alarm code when it hits me. A strong, intense odor.

Baby powder.

I don't know what the cleaning crew did overnight, but now the entire downstairs smells like a baby powder factory exploded all over it. And maybe other people like the smell of baby powder, but I don't. In fact, right now it's giving me a headache and making my eyes burn.

I'm really sensitive to smells, probably because of my asthma. Strong smells can even trigger asthma attacks, although so far, the baby powder odor isn't doing that. But if I don't get desensitized to this smell soon, it's going to be a miserable day. :(