Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year's Eve Eve

The work week is done. The New Year's Eve plans are in place. I have Monday and Friday of next week off. Yup, at this moment, all is well in the world.

Not much left to say except HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Oh and check out this really cool website that was featured on the Today Show. You can design your own chicklitty stationary. Very fun! I'm a sucker for customization so this is right up my alley.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

RT Nominee

Ooh, ooh! How excited am I?

I just found out SK8ER BOY was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award as Best YA book of 2005. w00t! The Christmas presents just keep on coming! Of course, the competition is fierce, but what is it they say? It's an honor just to be nominated! :) Plus with this award, you don't have to physically enter - so every teen book reviewed in the magazine over the past year was eligible. To think my book stood out amongst so many good books - well, that's just unbelievably cool.

It's also especially satisfying because RWA cancelled the YA category of the RITAs.

Anyway - check out the entire list of nominees! Some very familiar faces among the finalists. So YAY to all my friends and fellow writers who made the cut. I'll be cheering you on at the RT convention.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Holiday Sale!

My darling, wonderful, brilliant editor at Berkley, Kate Seaver, has given me the best Christmas present! Yesterday she made an offer on book 3 of my YA vampire series!! Yay! As you probably know, books 1 & 2 are coming out in 2006. BOYS THAT BITE is out in April and STAKE THAT! is out in December. Now in 2007 we'll have book 3 - GIRLS THAT GROWL.

I'm so very excited because I love writing this series.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Transit Strike Day 2 - Johnny walks

Day 2 of the NY Transit strike. I thought of you all as I walked my 10 minute walk to work. It was so cold out. I couldn't imagine all you people who had to walk 5 miles or 300 blocks. Felt so bad.

Then I found out the Yankees stole away Johnny Damon and my sympathy diminished somewhat...

In other news, I scored a copy of Serenity on DVD! Yay. As you know I've been dying to see the movie since by the time I watched all of the episodes of Firefly, the movie was no longer in the theater. The DVD has 20 minutes of deleted scenes too! Can't wait to pop it in - so much for the idea of going to the gym tonight.

Oh - I got this wonderful gift in the mail - a $50 gift certificate to an Italian restaurant called Mama Maria. Problem is, the giver's name was not on the certificate, so I have no idea who it's from! If you gave it to me, please fess up so I can send you a thank you note and think of you while eating my chicken marsala. :) Anyway - whoever you are - thanks! Will be well enjoyed. :)

Okay that's all I've got. I think I'm crashing from my sugar rush. So many holiday treats around the newsroom this time of year!!


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Random Thoughts

I don't know about all of you (maybe it's just the news junkie in me), but I am fascinated by the NYC transit strike. The fact that one group of people can get together and shut down one of the world's largest cities just like that is mindboggling. I feel bad for all the regular Joes caught in the crossfire of union negotations. The ones who can't get to work. Or can't get to the airport to go home for the holidays. It's a lousy time a year for this to happen. I hope everything gets worked out soon. :( Hang in there New York!

In other news, I cannot believe Christmas is on Sunday. I feel so unprepared. I know there used to be a day, when I was a kid, where it seemed Christmas would never come. I waited and waited and waited. Now it seems like just yesterday was 4th of July! How did it come so quickly? Anyway, I'm going to go to the Boston Pops concert on Thursday night and then Friday we have a holiday party in the North End. Saturday and Sunday I'll spend at my dad's, celebrating the holiday. Then go snowboarding on Monday. So it's going to be a busy weekend.

However, New Years may be quieter. Activity Director Mary has been slacking on her duties. As of today there is still no NYE plan in place!! We're going to end up at Denny's or something!! Actually, saying Mary is slacking is overstating things. We're all trying to find a place to go - but nothing sounds remotely interesting. Every place is either 1) too expensive. 2) too far (you can't get a cab on NYE to save your life in Boston) or 3) too stupid and lame.



Friday, December 16, 2005

Sad Dog News

I'm very sad today because last night my family dog (who we got when I was a teen and lived with my dad) got hit by a car and was killed. :( We had him for almost 13 years and so of course we were all very attached to the little guy. He was so cute and friendly - loved every person and dog he ever met. We called him The Ambassador cause everytime we took him on walks, he had to run up and meet everyone. His name was Aladdin (after the Disney cartoon.) But everyone called him Al the Pal.

The only thing I can say is at least he didn't suffer. Still, I will miss him very much. It's like I never got a chance to say goodbye. To hug him one last time. It's very sad and my whole family is pretty torn up about it.

That's the one thing I don't like about dogs - they die too early. I'd like it if they lived the same lifespan as people so that you could have one dog your whole life. My own dog, Molly, is going to be 10 years old in May. I hate to think of her as a senior citizen. She's been with me through so much over the last nine years. Through different states, homes, jobs, boyfriends, etc. she's always been there. I can't imagine a day when she's not by my side.

Anyway - RIP Al. You were a very loved dog. We will miss you.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Checking In

Hey all,

Thanks for the congrats on finishing the book! It is such a relief! I took the weekend off and started the next book today. It's the sequel to Boys that Bite "Stake That!" and is going to be a LOT of fun to write, I can tell already. I love the main character, Rayne. She's a total bad girl. Uninhibited and cool in a goth kind of way. The kind of girl I always wished I was in high school. In reality I'm way more like her twin Sunny, the star of the first book.

I got to see my friends Ali and Bobby from Florida this past weekend. It was sooo much fun to hang out with them. I really wish they lived closer. (I used to live in Orlando for a short time which is where I met them.) Of course, I "see" them all the time - virtually that is. We all play World of Warcraft together every night. But it's rare we get to see eachother irl (in real life). Anyway - the three of us had an absolute blast running around and getting lost in NYC, but when the weekend ended I was pretty bummed because then I had to say goodbye. :( I really hate the fact that some of my favorite people in the world don't live geographically near me. Thank goodness for videogames.

It's Friday, but I have to work tomorrow. Got to produce some holiday stories for channel 7. Booo!! But Sat night I have a Christmas party to go to over my friend Lisa's house. She had a party last year too and it was really nice, so I'm looking forward to it, even though as a rule I am an antisocial kind of girl who hates parties.

It's like a blizzard here today. I was going to hit the gym after work, but I might just hole up in my house instead.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ding dong the book is done

Horray! My book is done! Cheer! Rejoice! Sing!

"WHAT, NO ROSES" was originially due September 1st. Then October 31st. Then Thanksgiving Day.

Did I mention how awesome and understanding my editor is? Of course I had to promise him on pain of death that I wouldn't take on any more romantic comedies during summers my house burns down. :P

There were times, I must admit, that I was tempted to buy back my contract and give up. I really thought I'd never be able to write again. That the book would be horrible if I could finish it at all, which I doubted.

But I rallied. I got back in the groove. And I actually LOVE the book now. (especially now that it's DONE!) I'm proud of it and I think people will enjoy reading it! Horray!! Cross your fingers my editor likes it, too.

Time to go celebrate! Go out on the town! Drink champagne! Eat bon bons!

Oh wait. STAKE THAT is due February 15th. :S I've got to get to work!

But maybe I'll take one tiny weekend to celebrate...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Bah Humbug!

Hi all,

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and got stuffed. :) Sadly, I had to work. TV News does not take a day off. Oh well. It's not my favorite holiday anyway. My favorite holiday used to be Christmas, but I'm not really feeling that this year either. You see, I was always very into my family traditions at Christmastime. Seems silly, probably, but we always did the same exact thing every year - even when my brother and I grew up, we still did it. I could describe the routine, but it wouldn't seem exciting to you. The point is it was something familar to look forward to every year. Something special.

Now my parents are divorced and my childhood home has been sold. My brother's way out in Colorado, my mom's in Florida, and my dad's new family is going skiing. It's just not the same. I know, I'm a grownup now and should be making my own traditions, but if you're single and alone, that's tough to do. I mean, should I bother getting a Christmas tree? Seems silly since I never have anyone over. What, is the dog going to admire it? And besides, trimming a tree by yourself seems kind of lame...

Maybe I'll pick a new favorite holiday. Like Flag Day, maybe. Or that might be bad, seeing as it would require I go out and buy a flag. Hm. Maybe Groundhog Day. As long as I don't get stuck in a time loop like Bill Murray. :) Though that actually turned out pretty well for him in the end...


PS - just so I dont get in trouble with the fam if they read this blog - for the record I am invited to the ski trip on Christmas with the step family. And I'm sure Mom would be more than happy to have me down to Florida if I wanted to fly down. I mean, it's not like I'm being ditched or anything. All I'm saying is Christmas is different this year. And that makes me much less interested in bothering with it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What, No Roses?

Hey all,

Sorry I've been a blog's been a busy, busy week! We're in "sweeps" at Channel 7 and my book is due next week so I'm polishing, polishing, polishing.

Anyway - I got the cover copy for said book - "What, No Roses?" and I'm thrilled with it!!! It's sooo perfect and better than anything I could have written myself. Anyway - I thought I'd post it to see what you all thought. :) Does it sound like something you'd like to read?

And you thought your Valentine's Day was bad?

Unless Dora Duncan can stop it, it's going to be another St. Valentine's Day Massacre. A year ago, her (now ex) boyfriend Nick stood her up at the worst possible moment. That was when she gave up important TV reporting for stories like "Too Stressed for Sex." And though such clips have a certain relevance, things have been a whole lot quieter. Too quiet. Until now. Now she's gotta go back in time (don't ask!) and stop that very same Nick from messing up the time-space continuum. She has to travel back to a place where everybody speaks easy and cuts a rug-and this Chicago ain't no musical. Here, there are tommy guns and torpedoes, guys and dolls, gin joints, flappers, stoolies, rats and a whole lot more; and prohibition means anything but no.

It's the 1920s. Time for Dora to roar.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Romance Divas Workshop

No time to blog - busy workshop'ing over at Romance Divas. Topic is "What to Expect When You're Expecting...A Book Contract."

Check it out. Ask questions. :)


Monday, November 14, 2005

Weekends and Workshops

Hope you all had good weekends. Mine was fine. I had a RWA board meeting on Saturday (I'm VP of the New England chapter) and on Sunday night, as I mentioned before, I went to see Bauhaus in concert. What a great show. Peter Murphy's voice was as amazing as ever.

Worked on WHAT, NO ROSES?, of course, as well. It's shaping up nicely, I must say. I'm looking forward to finishing and passing it in!! Sooooon. Soooo soooooooon! I also can't wait to see what they come up with for a cover. I've had good luck on covers so far, but I'm always nervous before I see them. It's BS when people say, "Don't judge a book by its cover." I always do it! I will totally buy a book if it has a cool cover. And I know others do as well. Plus the cover does so much to define the book. For the record, I told them I wanted it to look like the Chicago movie poster. Not that my opinion counts much. We'll see what they come up with. The book is part of a multi-author series of comedic time-travels, so they have to do something thematically that will work for more than one book.

BTW the first book in the Vintage Romance series is Naomi Neale's "I Went to Vassar for This?" which comes out in June and sounds adorable.

So this week I'm going to be doing a workshop on the Romance Divas website. Be sure to stop by. It's called "What to Expect When You're Expecting...A Book Contract!" Here's the blurb:

It's the moment a writer remembers forever. You pick up the phone and there's an editor on the line saying they love your book. Better yet, they want to publish your book! Suddenly, for one brief, shining moment, all your dreams have come true.

Or have they?

Once a writer sells, she's instantly thrown into a whole new world of trouble. Now, instead of worrying about margins and POV, she's got to deal with contracts, covers, revisions, publicity, etc. It's enough to make your head spin!

In this workshop, Dorchester and Berkley author Marianne Mancusi takes you down the road of publication. From the moment you get the call to the happy day your book hits the shelves, she'll explain what you can expect to happen. You'll learn about contract negotiations, advance payments, revisions, galleys, covers and cover quotes, promoting, option clauses, and more. She'll also discuss editor etiquette - how you can develop a good working relationship with your publisher that will last for years to come.

This is NOT just a class for those who have already gotten the call. This is a class to prepare you for that day, so when it happens, you won't have to scramble.

I should be posting the first lesson in the forum section this afternoon or evening. Please stop by and ask questions so I don't feel all lonley! :) You have to register, but it's free and it's a great site anyway with tons of good writer resources! So what do you have to lose?


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Made up in Manhattan

You all know her as Activity Director, but my friend Mary does more than plan cheesy nights out to fake Neil Diamond concerts. She's actually a very talented, multiple award winning (including many, many Emmys) investigative producer. She and her reporter, Hank Phillippi Ryan recently uncovered a huge ticket scandal going on in NYC.

You see, all these Massachusetts people have been getting parking tickets from NYC, even though they hadn't even been in the city on the dates of the alleged violations. And the cars cited on the tickets don't match up to the owner's vehicles.

The tickets aren't fake - and if they're not paid, they can be sent to collection agencies. But no one knows at this point what's going on - some think the police may be making up ticket numbers to fill quotas, while others believe that there could be some kind of fake or stolen license plate thing going on. The mystery of PlateGate is still ongoing. But in the meantime, Mary and Hank got some kudos in the New York Daily News!! Check it out.

Also, you can find the transcript for their story, "Made Up in Manhattan" here. Pretty interesting stuff!


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gods of the Goth Girl

Sorry I didn't write yesterday - the day sort of got away from me. Between my book being due soon and producing pieces for November sweeps at Channel 7, I've been a bit busier than usual. But it's all good.

This weekend I scored a ticket to go see Bauhaus in concert! For those of you who don't know, Bauhaus are the godfathers of goth. They produced amazing, dark, complex music back in the 80s that is still beloved by black wearing, vampire wannabe teens today. I love them. When I was in high school, I got to see Peter Murphy, the singer, when he was doing his solo tour. I had a front row seat and at one point he leaned down and sang straight to me in his deep, soulful voice. It was a goth girl's dream come true, for sure.

Then when I was in my 20s they did a Bauhaus reunion tour. I saw them down in Orlando with my friends Ali and Bobby. A beautiful experience, especially when Peter Murphy donned his vampire cape to sing "Bela Lugosi's Dead." Sigh. I remember a neighboring club did a goth/industrial night after the show so we spent the rest of the night doing the "foot stuck in the mud" dance to bands like Sisters of Mercy, Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, Lords of Acid, etc., etc.

It's interesting how when you're a teen music defines everything. If you like goth, you probably (like me) dressed all in black. If you liked electronica, you probably wore baggy pants and whistles or pacifiers around your neck. If you liked punk you had a mohawk, maybe, or at least a bunch of ripped DK shirts.

But when you grow older you can't dress so expressively anymore. It wouldn't go over well at work, for one thing! And now, no one would suspect that I totally still feel like a goth girl inside. In fact, they might think I like (ugh!) Dave Matthews! (yuck, yuck, yuck!) But that's okay. At one time that kind of misconception would bug the hell out of me, but now I'm zen with it. I'm not going to hide what I like, nor am I going to go out of my way to prove I'm cool and unique for liking it.

That said, I'm not exactly going to be wearing florescent pink to see Bauhaus... ;-)


Monday, November 07, 2005

Various stuff

Hi all,

Hope you had a fun weekend. Saturday night I went out with a group of like 12 people to BarLola - this cool new Spanish tapas restaurant on Comm Ave. Activity Director picked a winning place! The food was delish and the restaurant had a fun atmosphere. And a great martini menu as well. I like tapas cause you aren't wedded to one food choice. Very fun. I'd definitely go back!

After dinner we went out to a few bars and I didn't get back home 'til 2am! Yawn!

Sunday I slept most of the day but then went to my mom's. She recently sold my childhood home and I had to go collect some of my stuff before the new owners took posession. It was weird and sad to walk through the rooms and think that this would be the last time I ever did. I looked at my old bedroom and remembered closing the door, cranking the music and dancing away my teenage angst. I looked at the stairs and remembered every Christmas, my brother and I running downstairs to gasp at the presents under the tree. I looked at the family room and remembered all the warm cozy nights, reading by the fire. I looked at the backyard and remembered the awesome treehouses my dad built and all the fun we had in them.

The house has so many memories for me. I lived there from birth til I went away to college. My dad built the place - so it wasn't even like it had ever known any other family except mine. I kept it together until I left, then cried in the car on the way home. :(

The place was sort of my touchstone. No matter what happened, it was always there to come back to. Now it belongs to someone else. It sucks. I wish I had money - I would have bought it myself just to keep it in the family. :( But oh well, what can you do? I guess if I've learned anything at all this summer and fall it's that material posessions come and go and you have to concentrate your love on people, not things. It's just a house. It's bricks and wood. My family- the people who gave that house its meaning and memories - are still here. And they can never be sold or destroyed.

Anyway - probably way too melancholy for a Monday morning, but whatever.


Saturday, November 05, 2005

Channeling Writer Zen

If any of you have met Dorchester author Marjorie Liu, you know she's a very zen like person. I would love to have the focus and serenity that she exudes on a daily basis. So when she explained her secret to writing a book in a month, I paid attention. I hope she doesn't mind, but I'm posting her secret here:

1. I sit down at the computer.
2. I let go. I give my mind permission to do its thing.
3. I don't get up from the computer until a) I really have to go to the bathroom, b) the dog really has to go to the bathroom, c) I have to eat or else my stomach will eat itself, and d) it's time to sleep.

Simplistic but smart, right? So I decided to try it today. I wasn't in the mood to write. I wanted to do anything BUT write. I even had the urge to clean my apartment - which shows you how much I just did not want to write. But I had to do 3,000 words today to get back on schedule with The Book that Will Not End. So what the heck? I decided to try it.

I took a shower first, and thought of what I was going to write. I formulated the scene in my mind. Then I sat down at the computer. I let all of the week's stresses go. I didn't reread earlier parts of the manuscript. I started at an empty page. And then I didn't get up from the computer til I wrote my 3,000 words.

I was tempted. I wanted to go do other things. Nap, clean, watch movies, go jogging. But I didn't. Because I had to write my book. And I gave myself permission to do that. To let everything else go and just disolve my conciousness into this imaginary world I am creating.

And it really worked. I wrote my 3,000 words. And now I can go out tonight without feeling guilty. Without feeling all behind in my work. Without worrying whether I will finish my book on time.

Thanks Marjorie!


Friday, November 04, 2005

Random Firefly Rant

Sorry to be a blog slacker yesterday. The day just got away from me. But I did finish watching the Firefly series on DVD. So you can rest assured my time was well spent! Though I have to say, I'm very disapointed I can't go out and buy a season 2. Why the heck did they cancel such a good show after only 14 episodes? So not cool. Firefly could have been the next Star Trek. They could have had Firefly, The Next Generation! Now I'll never get to see whether Mal and Inara will admit their love to one another. If Kaylee can ever get the good doctor to loosen up. Will Zoe and Wash have a baby? Will we ever learn about the Shepard's past? What the heck will happen to River? And will Jayne ever meet a girl who can change his ways? (I think that would be a FUNNY episode!) The series ended in a such an unfinished fashion. I assume because they probably hoped to do another season.

Oh yeah, I forgot. There's a movie. It better answer all my questions or I'm going to be seriously mad. Of course, someone I know who saw it gave away the fact that people die in it. Like main character people! :(

Okay I"ll try to see it this weekend and then let you know what I think...But right now, what I think is Joss ought to revive the series and continue where he left off. I bet it'd be super popular now. As always, he was just ahead of his time...

Still, now what am I supposed to watch? Maybe I should start Buffy again. With seven seasons, it should keep me busy for a while... Or maybe Angel. I never did watch Angel...

Okay that's all I got today...Feel free to discuss Joss's genius, Firefly and Serenity. Just don't you dare post any movie spoilers!! We can discuss AFTER I go watch it!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Not so Desperate Housewives

One cool thing about my day job as a TV news producer is I get to interview a lot of different people from all walks of life. Some interviews are hard - especially those with mothers who have lost their children to tragic accidents. Others are quite fun.

On the fun end, yesterday I aired a story about the women of HRT - short for Hormone Replacement Therapy. They're a bunch of Massachusetts moms, sick of gossiping at the coffee house, who got together to form a rock band. They have a CD and they play shows locally.

To be honest, when I first got assigned this story I was sort of like, oh how cute, suburban mom rock band. But when my photographer and I went to film a rehearsal, we was blown away at how professional these the group sounded. They are amazingly good! Their lyrics are hilarious, too. They sing about things that women their ages can relate to: fighting with their families, drinking too much coffee, spending their husbands' paychecks, etc. Really funny stuff.

At the same time, they insist they're not some "Desperate Housewives" type band. And they're right - these women really rock out. They know how to play their instruments and the singer (Lisa?) has a great voice.

Anyway - I very rarely mention stories I cover in my day job in this blog, but I had to make an exception cause these women were so cool. I could totally see someone writing a Lady Lit book based on this concept. A group of women (all with various life issues) coming together to form a rock band. Wouldn't that be a great book? Quick - someone take the idea and write it!

The rest of you go buy their album. It rocks!


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Three things about me...

I've seen a lot of these about me type quizzes lately and I'm a total self-indulgent sucker for them. :) I think I stole this one from Barb Ferrer.

Three screen names that you've had: mari2, starrgirl, starrgrrl

Three things you like about yourself: my eyes, my creativity, my free-spiritness

Three things you don't like about yourself: my tendency to overthink and obsess about everything, my tendency to cry at the drop of a hat, my tendency to procrastinate

Three parts of your heritage: Italy, Holland, and British Isles (England, Scotland, and Ireland)

Three things that scare you: Right-wingers, jellyfish, and angry alcoholics

Three of your everyday essentials: coffee, chocolate, Internet access

Three things you are wearing right now: gray top, black pants, "I Did Not Vote 4 Bush" bracelet

Three of your favorite songs: "How Soon is Now" (Smiths), Heroes (David Bowie), Just Like Heaven (The Cure)

Three things you want in a relationship: Appreciation, love, silliness

Three things you can't live without: computer, coffee and cell phone

Three places you want to go on vacation: Iceland, Italy, Japan

Three things you just can't do: cook, do math, conform to society's expectations

Three kids names: Collin, Astrid, Rayne

Three things you want to do before you die: Become a bestseller, live in NYC, play videogames in Japan

Three celeb crushes: Ewan McGregor, Jude Law, David Bowie (Yup, I like the Brits!)

Three of your favorite musicians: David Bowie, Morrissey, Simon LeBon (heh)

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you: eyes (am a sucker for blue or green eyes), long eyelashes, and good hair

Three of your favorite hobbies: playing videogames, snowboarding, watching movies

Three things you really want to do badly right now: quit my day job, travel abroad, finish my book

Three careers you're considering/you've considered: writer, teacher, reporter

Three ways that you are stereotypically a boy: I like videogames, I like Dungeons and Dragons, I'm not obsessed with shoes.

Three ways that you are stereotypically a girl: I am overly emotional, I love unicorns, and I'm secretly a hopeless romantic.

:) Mar

Monday, October 31, 2005

Weekend Fun

Most of my weekend was spent working. I had to write 5,000 words in 2 days to meet my quota. Since a comfortable pace for me is 1,000 words a day, this was pushing it. My forearm hurts this AM. I think I'm getting carpal tunnel. :( I also had to start going through the galleys of Boys that Bite.

The good news is that I was able to accomplish it all. :) And I was able to go out on Saturday night.

As I mentioned before, Activity Director had approved my application to attend Hallo-Scream at the Bayside Expo center. It was awesome!! There were 3 Haunted Houses and a haunted museum. The actors were great - really freaky with excellent costumes. And I think they loved having 3 giggly, screaming girls clutching onto one another as we made our way through the rooms. They really got into scaring us to death!

They also had a cool pumpkin carving exhibit. Here are a couple of pics. (Click for larger image)

At one point this guy with a videocamera filmed us going through the haunted house and then interviewed us afterwards. I, for some reason, thought it would be funny when the guy asked me how the haunted house was to say, "It's Spooktacular!" In hindsight, that was a really, really stupid move. Especially from someone who works in TV and should know better than to speak in cheesy, promotional soundbites. I just know I'm going to end up on some commercial next Halloween that gets replayed every ten minutes on every network in Boston. So I now have about 11 months left before I have to leave the city forever or die of embarassment. :)

Yes, my life gives me so much fodder for my books...

After Hallo-Scream we went to this new bar called MATCH. It's on the corner of Newbury and Mass Ave for those of you who are familar with Boston. It was great! Trendy and cool with a great atmosphere and vibe. Their specialty is mini-burgers (so cute!) and martinis. I would totally go back in a heartbeat and recommend it to anyone looking for a hip Boston bar. (And I am very fussy about my hip Boston bars, just FYI.)

Anyway - this week is probably going to be uneventful as I have to write and do galleys every night after work. But it'll be worth it in the end. As my agent said, "What, you don't expect to have a life, do you?"


Friday, October 28, 2005

Writers that Whine

Read this on a couple of blogs and since I've been whining myself so often lately, I figured it deserved a mention.

First - I have the Book That Will Not End (aka: WHAT, NO ROSES?) due on Thanksgiving. Which, uh, means it has to end. And soon. But hey, no problem. I've worked it out mathmatically by word count so if I work hard I can have it finished, revised, and turned in just in time for my editor to read it over his turkey dinner. (Because, you know, once he picks it up and starts reading he's going to be so enthralled he'll forget all about cranberry sauce and apple pie and pilgrims and football.)

But then, just when I think I've got everything under control and may be able to sneak in a quick trip to Florida over Thanksgiving break, I get an email from my agent who says I need to turn in the first three chapters of STAKE THAT! by December 1st. Gulp. Turns out they need them for a cover conference. Now, don't get me wrong - cover conferences are GOOD and I want them to have all the info they need so I don't get a bad cover, but at the same time, this now means going directly to my computer. Not passing Florida. Not collecting turkey.

Okay, I say. Fine. It'll be a lonely Thanksgiving, but it's for a good cause. I can do this. Then today I get sent the Page Proofs for BOYS THAT BITE. With instructions to have them back to the mothership in one week's time.


So anyway - I promise you this does have a point - I am stressed and overworked (remember I have a full time job, too) and not sure how I am going to get everything done. So I go into a reporter friend of mine's office. And I start moaning and complaining about how terrible my life is. ;-)

She was NOT sympathetic. You see, she's a writer too. And she's got her first book out to editors now and is anxiously awaiting their acceptance. She says she should be so lucky as to have my problems and if she gets a book deal she will be happy and never complain ever again.

I laughed. Because I know I said the same exact thing a year and a half ago when my book was out to publishers. I thought once I got my book sold, I'd be happy and content and all the world's problems would disapear. In fact, if I got a book deal, surely world peace couldn't be far behind.

How silly was I!?

Anyway the moral of this story is that writers (and people in general) will always find something to complain about. I used to complain I didn't have a book deal. Now I complain cause I have too many. Neither complaint is unjustified, but neither is very productive either. (And complaining about having too many books does NOT (for the record) help you win friends...)

The best thing to do is be thankful for what you have, do your best to live up to your commitments and remember that you can always eat your turkey on the Fourth of July.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Spooktacular Plans & Character Naming

So I submitted my Saturday night outing idea to the Activity Director (in triplicate, as required - ha, ha!) and I'm pleased to say it's been approved! So this Saturday night, my friends and I are going to attend HalloScream Park at the Bayside Expo Center in Boston. It's like four or five Haunted Houses and a huge pumpkin carving exhibit. Then, after getting our scare on, we're going to go dancing at some club. Of course, my original proposal was amended by the Friend Committee so we won't be wearing costumes, but hey - better than nothing, right? (I can always dress up at RT if I feel the urge to costume myself!)

Anyway - I'm pleased. Hopefully it'll be fun or I'll probably be barred from suggested activities in the future... :)

BTW - if anyone is looking for some revenge, make sure you enter Lisa Gardner's Lucky Stiff contest. If you win, you get to name a murder victim in her next book. (Unfortunately you can't send in a complete description of the victim to make it more realistic...) This is kind of unique twist on what I've seen a lot of authors doing lately--auctioning off or holding contests to let readers name their characters.

I've never done this, but I think it's a fun idea and I can see the appeal. My friend Liz Maverick borrowed my name for one of the heroines in her upcoming December chick lit book Card Sharks. (About girls who play poker-check it out!!!) I thought that was pretty cool, actually. To return the favor, the evil vampire in my STAKE THAT! book has been given the name Maverick. (Yes, yes, I get to be the heroine and make her the evil vampire. If you know Liz, you know she'd appreciate that, really.)

Alesia Holliday always puts her kids in her books. Lani Diane Rich used her friend Wanda's name and attributes in TIME OFF FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR. In Lindsay Sands vampire books SINGLE WHITE VAMPIRE and LOVE BITES she has book editor characters named Kate Leaver and Chris Keys (obvious plays on Kate Seaver and Lindsay's own editor Chris Keeslar.) She also adds a cameo appearance of Lady Barrow herself at the RT conference.

I'm sure there are many more examples out there. Some more subtle than others. But it's fun if you're in on the joke. And if not, it doesn't detract from the book.

So you writers out there - do you put friends and family in your books? Have you auctioned off a character's name? And you readers - would you think it'd be fun to have a character be named after you? Would you like winning a contest where you got to do that?


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Undead and Unreturnable

So about a year and a half ago everyone started talking about this book. A vampire book that was supposed to be really funny. I thought to myself, well, I like vampire books. And I like funny books. So perhaps I should check this book out. It was a small book. Short with a cartoon cover. Funny title, too. "Undead and Unwed."

You may have heard of it. :P

Now MaryJanice Davidson is like uber famous author extraordinaire and the 4th book in her Undead series is hitting store shelves. No longer a slim, small paperback. This time she's got the hardcover treatment. In fact, she's such a star that for the last Undead book I saw in one bookstore that Berkley had even put out limited edition, signed and numbered copies.

You know you've made it when your books have numbers on them.

Yup, MaryJanice has done quite well for herself. But it doesn't surprise me in the least. The series is one of the funniest I've ever read. Betsy, as the reluctant queen of the vampires, is irreverent and hillarious. And her sidekicks are equally amusing. I'm sure this new one will be equally fun.

Here's a blurb:

Even the undead celebrate Christmas, and Betsy is in heaven shopping for gifts.

But all is not merry in the mansion. It?s become infested with ghosts?really needy ones who have no qualms asking Betsy to run errands for them to rectify their pasts. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose, and, being tall and blonde, Betsy perfectly fits his type.

They say Christmas is a time for friends and family. But with a half-sister who?s the devil?s daughter, an evil stepmother, a fiend living in her basement, and assorted spirits and killers running amok, Betsy is not sure she?ll survive the holidays. Oh, right. She?s already dead?

You can go read an excerpt here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Since I have good friends in Florida who get slammed by hurricanes every year I can't really justify complaining about a bunch of rain and wind up in Boston. But at the same time it's sooo annoying. How come we never got a normal New England autumn? You know, where you go and pick apples and drink cider or peep at brilliantly colored leaves while wearing cute orange cashmere sweaters? Why did it go from 80 to 50 in one day? What happened to the sun? Does it not like us? Is it off sulking somewhere because when it was hot and sunny I was complaining about that?

Okay, fine. I'll shut up. :)

But actually...while I'm complaining ... I'm not so happy with Depeche Mode either. One of my favorite bands as a teen -and now they have a new album out and are hitting the road on a worldwide tour. Great, right? Well, I just realized they are NOT PLAYING IN BOSTON. They are playing everywhere else in the universe - including foreign countries I wasn't sure even existed! But not Boston. What's up with that Dave? Martin? You have loyal fans in Boston. We bought all your albums. We wore all black for you. Why won't you come see us? The closest venue is in NYC in December. Which is not really close at all. I am very disapointed. :(

On a more positive note, you know that charity anthology Bewitched, Bothered, and BeVampyred I mentioned the other day? Well, I've been asked to contribute a short story in Volume 2. This time proceeds will go to breast cancer research. Lots of top romance authors involved and I'm very honored to have been asked.

Back to complaining about the rain...


Monday, October 24, 2005

Mar the Teacher

This morning I got to play teacher to a bunch of middle school students in New Hampshire. I taught them about the process of writing and publishing a book, had them do a voice exercise, and bribed them with candy to get them to ask lots of questions. :) (I fielded everything from "Where do you get your ideas?" to "Do you like Legos?" (Heck, yeah, I do!! Check out this Lego Viking Castle being attacked by a dragon set!!))

It was fun, but exhausting. I don't know how teachers can be "on" for so many hours a day. I taught three classes and I was sooo tired afterwards. And I even went to bed early the night before!

On Saturday night Activity Director actually let me pick the event of the evening, so I chose movie and drinks. Not as original as say, Superdiamond, but definitely less of a cheese factor. ;-) We saw "A History of Violence" - the new Cronenberg flick. I thought it was pretty good - definitely held my interest. I liked the dark themes of nature vs. nuture and Darwinian evolution of man through violence. Cronenberg always makes you think, that's for sure. Next up I have to see Serenity. I have 3 episodes of Firefly left to watch first though...

Speaking of Joss stuff - Joshilyn Jackson has a great open letter to Joss Whedon on her blog. I'd totally sign my name to that letter. I agree with every last word. Esp the part about it needing to be Spike and Buffy as opposed to Angel and Buffy. I mean come on, Jossy! That should be a given. (But I still love and adore and worship you.)

(Oh - and so Joshilyn, when are we going to play WoW? Us gamer girl authors have to stick together!)

By the way - you know those book trailers I was telling you about on Saturday? Christin Feehan says they're the #1 way she promotes her book. That out of everything she's done, these were the most successful. And I mean, Christine Feehan, people! Obviously the woman knows what she's talking about. I worship at the feet of her marketing genius!!

And lastly - Happy Birthday Jason! This weekend marked the 25th anniversary of the first Friday the 13th horror movie. I LOVE cheesy horror movies and Jason is my ultimate anti-hero. There's just something about the big oaf in the hockey mask that I find so darn cute. I have the dvd box set of all the movies and when Freddy vs. Jason came out, I saw it opening night and cheered on Jason. (My ex cheered Freddy - I should have taken that as a sign... j/k)

Yes, I'm a strange girl. Is this the first blog entry of mine you've read?!?!? ;-)


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Book Trailers are Cool

I'm off on a major dog walking excursion with my friends in a few mins, but wanted to pop on and write something so I could keep my "blogging every day" promise.

Have you seen these book trailers? Christine Feehan does them for her books and they're soo cool. A great alternative way to market a book in today's MTV society. I sooo want one! Though being a TV producer, I think I could recruit a photog/editor friend and produce them myself instead of hiring an outside company. (Not that I think I can do better, just that I am poor!) Maybe I'll do one for Boys that Bite. :)

Anyway - check them out and let me know what you think: Circle of Seven Productions.


Friday, October 21, 2005

More about me! This time alphabetically

Thought this was cool. Stole it off My Space from my ex-boyfriend Craig...

A- Age

March 2, 1974

Mal from Firefly

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Diet Sprite and Diet Coke

Nothing, uh had Cheerios for b-fast.

chocolate eclairs - mmmmmm - yum!

Mary and Hank for girl advice. My dad for everything else. :P

George W
Overly large SUVs
The dumbing down of America
I, uh, could go on...

too much for my own good.

J- JOB? :
TV News Producer by day, Author by early morning/night/everywhere in between

Don't have any, but want them someday. At least one.

L- LOVE? :
is equally the best and worst state to be in.

Love them. All types. All genres. Nothing better than curling up on a couch with someone and watching movies. Except maybe playing videogames...

I hate the phone. Please email or IM me instead.

Is this supposed to be some sex question in disguise? Sooo not answering.

Happy by Clinique. The original kind - not all the new variations.

I'm a geek guy trapped in a girl's body.

NJ writer's conference a couple weeks ago.

BU grad. Would like to go back and get treaching certificate.

Like watching old ones on DVD - Firefly and Black Adder, currently
Fave shows of all time - Buffy, 90210, Twin Peaks


7 years old. But may go soon for a weekend with friends...

NYT Bestselling author who lives in a sweet penthouse in NYC and doesn't have a dayjob.

X- how many x's do you have:
As in ex boyfriends? Huh. Um... 13? Not counting repeats.

Hoping it'll be 2006.

Pisces - and I'm totally like one. Imaginative, sensitive, compassionate, unworldly, intuitive and sympathetic.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Blogging every day. Aren't you proud?

Someone told me recently that because I'd been a blogging slacker (my words not theirs) and didn't post everyday, they'd gotten out of the habit of reading my blog all together. So I've re-commmitted myself to at least post some interesting tidbit each and every day. To keep you all from getting too bored and leaving me. :)

Er, so, now I feel obliged to entertain you. Okay, fine. For starters, check out this link It's a really freaky illusion. Funny how our vision plays tricks on us. I have no idea how it works except to say that I guess we're all in the Matrix...

Next up - have you all seen the cover for Gena Showalter's latest book "Enslave Me Sweetly"? It's the sequel to her awesome "Awaken Me Darkly" Alien Huntress book. And I thought the FIRST cover was hot. Wait til you see cover #2. I bet Gena's going to have more than a few male readers when this is released.

More on my Romance Divas workshop - It's going to be held the week of November 13th in the Romance Divas forum. It'll be mostly forum based, but I think we're going to do a live chat at some point during the week as well. It's free and I promise to be entertaining as well as informative. Topic, for those of you who missed yesterday's blog, is "After the Call." Basically I'll be talking about what happens from the moment you get an offer on your book til the time when it hits store shelves. Even if you haven't sold your book yet, it's information you should know. This way you'll be prepared when everything starts happening really fast!

Have you all read Agent 007's entry about "You've Got the Look: The Author Photo"? Basically she says looks do matter with publishers and if there's no author picture in the book, that's because the author is ugly. Just FYI, Ms. 007 - it could also be cause the author was a slacker and forgot to send in her photo on time! Er, not that I know this from (cough) experience, but I just want to throw out an FYI that even though there won't be a picture of me in Boys that Bite it doesn't mean I've morphed into an ugly troll and my publisher doesn't want anyone to know it. It's like the lack of acknowledgements. It's not that I don't believe anyone helped me with the book. It's just I uh, forgot to write them.

Sad, I know. Ungrateful, faceless author girl is very ashamed. She promises to thank everyone under the sun in "What, No Roses?", even her videogame partner who actually hindered the writing process rather than helped it. In fact, she might even thank random people off the street, just to prove she's really, really grateful...

Oh, by the way, something I AM grateful for - a kick butt review of SK8ER BOY on Romance Reviews Today! w00t!

SK8ER BOY - Mari Mancusi
ISBN: 0-8439-5604-6
Young Adult
Suburban Massachusetts - Present Day

The student body at Sacred Mary's High School is composed of two kinds of people: the populars and the freaks. Dawn Miller has always been a part of the former. That is, until the day a new girl, Starr, comes to Sacred Mary's. Starr has a punk-rock personality that has never been seen by the likes of the populars. Something beyond her appearance catches Dawn's eye, and makes her want to know more about the different life this girl lives.

One day Starr takes Dawn to Boston and shows her a world she's never seen before. She shows her the underground world of Boston. It's on this trip that Dawn meets Sean, a scruffy skater from the other side of town. As time passes, Dawn finds herself falling hard for Sean, and breaking all the rules in the process. She's now become a player in a very dangerous game. The question is, how long can she play before she loses?

SK8ER BOY is the best reincarnation of the Cinderella story that I have ever read. Dawn has the wit and charm of a princess, the naivete of a child, and yet, she is an unbeatable character that we all can identify with. As you follow her on her quest to win Sean's love, you will see the world revealed through different eyes. Does good triumph over evil? Can you really find Prince Charming? SK8ER BOY gives hope to all of the skeptics out there; it's definitely a book you will want to return to again and again.

Amanda Roberts

Okay, I've sent you a cool link, praised another author, advertised my workshop, apologized for my shortcomings, and bragged about my review. I think I've fulfilled my bloggerly duties for the day! :)
Have a good Thursday...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Random stuff not as interesting as Diana's


My blog entry is not going to be as fascinating as Diana Peterfreund's. She's just gotten back from Manhattan and blogs about her oh-so-glamorous trip. There's drinking fancy cocktails, dining on pumpkin and apple soup, viewing Picasos, watching Broadway plays (Spamalot - am sooo jealous. So. Jealous.), and brunching with her editor.

I didn't brunch with my editor this weekend. Nor did I see any Broadway plays or drink any fancy cocktails. No. I went to Superdiamond. I dined at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet with my dad and stepmom. (Which was good, but they didn't serve pumpkin and apple soup!) I met my friend for ice cream. I went to an RWA meeting and ate a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries afterwards (as the diner we went to also did not have pumpkin and apple soup on the menu.)

Hm. My life seems so boring in comparison! :) But then, Diana's finished her book. I have, uh, not. Maybe I can treat myself when The Book That Will Not End finally does.

Tomorrow night my friends and I are actually doing something pretty cool though. It's called StyleFixx and is a show of local designers who have tables where you can buy their really cool clothing, jewelry, etc. When you enter, they give you a bag with lots of free samples of cool stuff and there's a bar so you can literally drink and shop! I mean, why is this event only once a year?

Oh and Activity Director Mary Schwager would like to point out that she organized this event. So yes, sometimes she comes up with some good ideas. But I still haven't completely forgiven her for Surreal Neil...

Oh, more to come on this later, but I'm going to be doing a workshop at Romance Divas. The topic's going to be: "You Got the Call: Now What?" and will basically take you on the journey of first sale to published on-the-shelf book. It's not just for first sale authors, though. This is stuff pre-pubbed writers should know NOW - cause once you make that sale, it's all a whirlwind. This class will get you prepared.

I'll give you more details in the days to come.

So, have you heard about this anthology, BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEVAMPYRED? A bunch of very cool romance authors got together after the tsunami and created this anthology to benefit victims of the tragedy. It used to be an e-book, but now you can buy a print version as well. All proceeds go to the American Red Cross.

One of the stories, "A Dance Through the Garden of Good and Evil" is written by one of my favorite romance authors - Susan Grant. The premiss is this: "When Pastor Harmony Faithfull unknowingly hires a tall, dark, and sexy demon to be the new church groundskeeper, all hell breaks loose."

Then there's "Candy Cox and the Big Bad (Were) Wolf" by PC Cast What a great title!

"Godiva Tawdry casts a spell and burned-out school teacher Candy Cox finds the sexy young were-lover of her dreams. But when she finds out he?s really the pack slut, she sets out to ?teach? him a life lesson. It?s never smart to piss off a woman who makes a career of disciplining teenagers?"

I'm definitely picking up a copy of this book. I mean, paranormal stories from some of my favorite authors AND I can justify spending the $ cause it's for charity. PERFECT!

Okay, my blog entries are getting WAYYY too long.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005



Found this on Barb Ferrer's site, but I think it's been making the rounds.

1. When you look at yourself in the mirror, what's the first thing you look at?

My eyes. They're huge and brown and dominate my face. :) Then I look at the usually sad messy state of my hair.

2. How much cash do you have on you?

Uh, $3? I think? And a lot of quarters that I'm saving for next time I get up the energy to do

3. What's a word that rhymes with "TEST"?

REST. As in, what I don't get enough of.

4. Favorite plant?

Roses. I know that's not very original, but I think they're beautiful. And for some reason I have never been the kind of girl that guys get roses for. Which I feel is very sad actually. Do I come off as a girl who wouldn't like to get roses from a guy? I'm not sure. Maybe so. Or maybe I just pick lousy guys. That's also a distinct possibility. :P But yeah, I was 18 before a guy gave me a rose. (Including my dad who had a fondness for carnations for some reason.) And that guy who gave me my first rose (Eric) had another girlfriend. Which kind of sleezified the gesture, in my opinion. :(

Uh, probably more than you wanted to know, but it's one of those odd disapointments in my life.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?

My dad. (Who is great, despite the carnation fetish.)

6. What is your main ring tone on your phone?

A nice normal ringing tone or vibrate. It used to be THE SAFETY DANCE, but it got embarassing when I was conducting serious interviews for my TV news day job and it'd go off.

7. What shirt are you wearing?

Black camisole top with black velvet fitted blazer

8. Do you "label" yourself?

In Dungeons and Dragons terms I'd be Chaotic Good. :)

9. Name brand of your shoes currently wearing?

Uh, not sure. They're black leather boots though.

10. Bright or Dark Room?

Dark!!! Oh so definitely dark.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?

Barb Ferrer is a cool person and I can't wait to read her book!

12. Do you know what an 8-track is?

Yup. My parents had some old ones stuffed in a drawer. Andy Gibb maybe?

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?

Playing World of Warcraft (videogame) OBVIOUSLY. I mean, DUH. ;-)

14. What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say?

I don't text. I can't deal with typing in the letters. I'm more of an IM addict than anything else. God help me if I ever get a Blackberry.

15. Do you ever click on Pop-ups or banners?


16. What's a saying that you say a lot?

"What-EVER, dude."

17. Who told you they loved you last?

I **sniff** don't remember! Very sad.

18. Last furry thing you touched?

MOLLY - my very furry dog. She probably told me she loved me last actually. But it was in Dog, so I'm not sure. It could have been FEED ME, now that I think about it...

19. How many hours a week do you work?

40 at day job - and countless on writing job.

20. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?

None. Digital, baby.

21. Favorite age you have been so far?

Every age has been good and bad for different reasons, so I can't really choose. I'm pretty zen with being 31 at the moment.

22. Your worst enemy?

Myself, definitely. But hey, I'm also my best friend so I guess it evens out.

23. What is your current desk top picture?

A screenshot of my friend and my characters on World of Warcraft. (Yes, I'm a geek, deal with it.)

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?

"Happy Birthday!" (It's two of our reporters' birthdays today.)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Superdiamond and Pick Up Lines

There's always one in every group of friends. The activity director. The one not content to spend Friday night at the usual haunts where the bartenders know you and give you free drinks. No, the Activity Director scours the paper or online, searching out odd, but possibly fun activites for the group to participate in. Some are really great ideas. Others are, uh, not.

In our group, that's Mary. Mary has dragged us to many, many "interesting" events over the years. And this Friday night was no exception. This Friday night, she decided it would be fun to go see "Superdiamond."

What's Superdiamond? Well, it's a Neil Diamond tribute band, of course. Yes, I know, Neil Diamond isn't even dead and if we had wanted to we could have easily gone to see the real thing. But Mary got it in her head that the tribute band would be a lot of fun and something different to do.

As I walk into the concert area I can feel my coolness points jumping ship like passengers on the Titanic. There is actually a huge crowd - mostly college aged and thirty somethings. At 10pm, the band comes on stage with their open necked, glittery shirts and strike up the first tune.

For some reason it seems to lack the irony that would have made it kitchy instead of horrifying. At least to me. Everyone else seems to be totally into it, so maybe I'm just too cool for my own good. I decide perhaps a stoli raz and cran would make it more enjoyable so I head over to the bar.

It does help a bit. As do the earplugs. Andy (Mary's husband) sticks the earplugs in his mouth. This is more entertaining than the band and so I take a photo. My friend Lisa ponders whether the singer gets a lot of chicks. I am undecided.

I turn back to the band. They're jumping up and down. Singing a Monkees song. I learn something new - that Neil Diamond wrote several Monkees songs. I only knew he was "Coming to America." I decide maybe at least this is a pop cultural learning experience and decide to make the most of it. As you can see, I'm actually smiling at this point, though you can see a slightly haunted look in my eyes.

Until I feel a hand on my shoulder and a voice in my ear.

Eager Pickup Guy: "You don't seem like you're having a good time."

Oh God. Kill me now. Not only do I have to contend with the crooning of a tacky seventies singer wannabe, but now I have to deal with this guy. And for some reason my one word answers do not clue him into the fact that I'm not remotely interested in conversing.

Eager Pickup Guy: (incredulously) "Don't you like Neil Diamond?"
Me: "Uh, no?"

I give him the once over. Decide he looks fairly normal. Wonder why the hell he is here. Does he have an Activity Director friend as well? IS he an Activity Director himself? (This would be no good as you can only have one per group of friends.)

Eager Pickup Guy: "You know, I was going to wear my glitter shirt, but I didn't want to outshine the band."

Me: "Uh, ha ha?" (Please be joking! Please be joking!)

Eager Pickup Guy: (thinks: Now I've got her to laugh. Well, sort of. Anyway - time to make my move!) "You know, there's another band in the other room if you want to go and check them out."

Actually, I have to give Eager Pickup Guy credit. He wasn't overly obnoxious and he did get from opening line to asking me to leave my friends and hang out with him in a few smooth sentences. Problem is, he wasn't reading my body language.

GUYS - if a girl gives you a one word answer and then turns back to watch the band she hates, that's not a sign to keep going!! She's not being coy. Believe me, if he were someone I wanted to hook up with, I would have turned to face him, giggled and smiled, blushed and stared at my feet. I would have played with my hair and swayed from side to side. I might have even answered his question in a complete sentence!

Anyway - I didn't mean to turn this into a pickup lecture, but it just bugs me. I hate being picked up by guys. It's flattering, I guess, but I'm so shy that it makes me feel extremely uncomfortable to have to make conversation with strangers who have the goal of sleeping with me. Also, I'm overly nice and sensitive so I hate rejecting people, but at the same time, I'm extremely picky and so chances are I'm not going to be interested in the person who approaches me.

Does that sound totally snobby? Probably, but I can't help it.

The best pick-up line EVER in my history of pick-up lines was done by this NYC guy named Mike.

I was at a rave at the Rosalind ballroom. The place was packed. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, this cute guy comes up to me, takes my hand, shakes it and says, "Hi, my name is Mike. Nice to meet you." Then, before I can say a word, he disapears into the crowd.

Now this approach works on so many levels. If I hadn't been interested, then he didn't have to deal with any awkward rejection and I, in turn, didn't have to do anything. But if I were interested, well, now I had to go actively search him out. Find him again so I could tell him my name in return and strike up a longer conversation. (Which is what I did)

Anyway - this is a long rambling post about nothing, but it's a Monday, so what can you do?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Back from NJ

Hey all, back at work after a nice long weekend, which I spent at the NJ RWA conference. As always it was a great conference and it was nice to catch up with all my writer friends. Especially my dear Michelle Cunnah who wins long distance travel award for flying in from Rotterdam. She and Lani Diane Rich and I sidled up to the bar and had a grand old time. Only one missing was our friend Alesia Holliday. :(

Sometimes when I go to these conferences I end up just socializing and being completely unproductive, but this time I actually went to a few sessions. They had lots of good ones for published writers this year. For example, Sherrylin Kenyon (who I could listen to reading the phone book she's so interesting) did a session on promotion. I want her website! (And her fans, while I'm at it. heh)

I showed Sherrylin my cover for "Boys that Bite" and she suggested I get "BITE ME" pins made. (Like the pin the girl is wearing on the cover.) That should have been obvious, but I hadn't even thought of it!!! DUH. I think I am seriously promotionally challenged. Ah well. That's why we go to conferences, I guess.

Eloisa James did two great sesssions - one with Madeline Hunter on deceiphering royalty statements, etc. and one on being a businesswoman as well as a writer. I really learned a lot and came away inspired.

Oh - and I'm pleased to say I didn't chuck chickens at any editors the whole time. And I even dressed professionally. :) I must be (sniff) growing up!! I did, however, take a photo of the conference chicken as I was not sure if Liz brought her camera... I'm totally lazy today so I'll upload and post it later.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tuesday Thoughts

For those of you who are writers, when you create a character, do you decide what they are like or do you find them revealing themselves to you slowly as you get to know them better? In the past, I've tried to manipulate my characters - written out style sheets (fave music, fave food, etc.) and yet I find that never really works. The best way for me to really understand a character is to throw him or her in a scene and see what he/she does. I'm often quite delighted with the results.

Anyway - one of my secondary characters in "A Time to Roar" just revealed her HUGE secret to me yesterday. I was shocked! I had no idea that's why she had been acting as she did. But now that I know, it all makes perfect sense and explains a lot. I'm really glad she "told" me, because it actually adds a great little subplot to the book. Poor thing - it's a difficult secret for her to live with, but my heroine will do her best to help her get through it, I'm sure. (Even though it will be a bit awkward.)

In other news, today is the day I decided to make my seasonal switch from flip flops to boots. I can't believe I was able to last in flips this long - it's freaking October! Crazy. Anyone who says global warming is a myth...

Actually I love the fall in New England. You get to wear the best clothes. :) And since all my clothes burned this summer in the fire, I've got all new fall clothes to wear!! And even better - all new fall boots!!! Yay! (See, I am managing to look at the bright side of things.)

Let's see, what else? Oh - did any of you read these books as a kid? They're called HeartQuest and they were Choose Your Own Adventure fantasy books for girls. You got to be a tough kick butt fighter or mage or elf - just like a Dungeons and Dragons character - except there was always a sexy love interest (or two) that came along on the adventure. It was the perfect combo for me - a tomboy who deep down wanted to still be a girl. :)

Wow - everyone's talking about Serenity, huh?! And how absolutely brilliant it is? I can't wait to see it. But I'm trying to watch all of the Firefly episodes first. I did go see "Thumbsucker" this weekend, which I thought was great. But then I like deep, thoughtful, depressing movies. There's something beautiful about them.

Okay I'll let you get on with your day! :)


Thursday, September 29, 2005


I stole this from Alesia Holliday on Literary Chicks. I'd have just answered in her comments section, but you have to register for that and I'm just too darn lazy to do anything that requires registration.

1) What's your Perversion?

Alesia admits to Hobbit fancying, which I find just a tad bit horrifying. Another poster is a little tamer with her desire for men with accents. (Not sure why this is perverse though...) The third poster wants a dumb, but good looking guy with long hair who knows to keep his mouth shut.

Wow. I guess I'm glad it takes all types to make the world go round and all that!!! That one girl's Adonis is another girl's Bilbo Baggins. (Which, I guess for Alesia wouldn't be a bad thing...) I, for one, could not stand the cute, dumb, quiet kind of guy. I mean, really. Simple, lovable and loyal? Bleh! In five minutes I'd want to smack him.

Anyway - for me, it's geeks. Seriously - I don't know what it is, but a guy talking geeky to me is a major turn on. Bonus points if he's a gamer geek. Then I could say, "OH YEAH! GANK ME, BABY!" and not feel weird. (Um, if you don't know, don't ask. And if you do, then no, I've never really said that. At least out loud... heh heh.)

Of course he still has to be cute. Pocket Protector wearing geeks need not apply. Sorry, but life's unfair like that. A good example of my type of geek would be Johnny Lee Miller's character in "Hackers." Yum!

Moving on to question two:

2) What movie character would you'd most like to take to bed?

This one's easy. Christian (Ewan McGregor) in Moulin Rouge. Gah - when he sings to Satine, "How wonderful life is, now that you're in the world" I swoon every single time. I could picture Christian and I making tortured, beautiful love until the sun came up over the horizon. Maybe he'd even cry in my arms from the ecstasy and beauty of it all. :P (NOTE: This may seem quite horrifying to those of you who love big, burly Alpha men. But these are MY perversions, remember?)

3) Who is the movie character you'd most like to take to dinner?

Troy (Ethan Hawke) from Reality Bites. He's so bitingly witty and every word out of his mouth is a twisted pop culture reference. He's the quintessential Gen X poster boy. Achingly intelligent, yet tortured and misunderstood. I could cleverly banter for hours or conduct deep discussions on existential crisises and the meaning of the universe. (42)

Of course, I wouldn't be totally shattered if we ended up hooking up after dinner either. :P

Okay, there you go! My perversions! Anyone else want to share???

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ducking from reviews

I'm finally breathing easier. I think I've somehow ducked under Mrs. Giggles' radar. I had been living in fear since CT Fashionista came out that she would find it and trash it. Not that I don't respect Mrs. Giggles. I think her reviews are always entertaining and often brilliant. And she always defends her statements quite well, I think.

That said, I don't think it's a book she'd particularly care for and I was petrified to find out the details as to why. At the same time, I'm a bit disapointed, as I think it would have been fascinating, in a perverse sort of way, to see my work be torn apart section by section. Ah well. Maybe she will discover me next July when next adult romance comes out. And hey - that one may be a little bit more up her alley. (I hope!)

In the meantime, since we're talking reviews, I received an excellent review today for SK8ER BOY.

Good girl Dawn Miller has been living under her father's guidance for way too long. She's signed up for a bajillion after-school activities in an attempt to make it into her father's alma mater. She hangs out with the totally trendy Populars, who only acknowledge the presence of those who wear pink. And she's dated the rich, popular jocks - such as the current bore, Brent Baker III - who are more obnoxious than a five-year-old kid on a sugar high. Just for once, Dawn wants to see what it's like to live her life by her own rules. She wants to see what it's like to leave behind the good girl persona, and embrace the life of a bad girl. One who meets all kinds of cool new people, like Starr, the headmaster's totally punk-rock daughter; and pierces her bellybutton without permission. She wants to date a hot skater boy from the wrong side of the tracks whom her parents hate, and fall in love via text messaging with said skater boy. And this year, that's exactly what Dawn plans on doing...

Amazing. That's the only way to describe Mari Mancusi's SK8ER BOY. SK8ER BOY contains all the elements that will make pre-teen and teen girls rush out to bookstores to get their hands on Mancusi's debut: rebellion, hot guys, pierced bellybuttons, and text messaging. Each character possesses their own look-at-me attention-grabbing antics that will keep readers turning pages, and begging for more. Featuring actual text messages between Dawn and her skater boy, Sean, that will make readers think of the Hilary Duff/Chad Michael Murray romance depicted
in the movie A CINDERELLA STORY, SK8ER BOY is a marvelous book that must hold a place in everyone's library.

Isn't that great! I'm sooo psyched she liked it!!! I hope everyone does as this book is semi-autobiographical and thus holds a special place in my heart. :)


Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday BLEH

Bleh. Monday. I hate Monday. Even more so do I hate this particular Monday since I had such an excellent weekend. But what can you do? Fun ends and real life goes on.

On Friday I went to see friend and fellow writer Jennifer O'Connell read/sign her new NAL book "Off the Record." It sounds like such a cute story - about this girl who finds out a famous one-hit-wonder 80s song was written about her. I'm looking forward to reading it. Jennifer's such a cool girl, too. I love it when writers are as fun as the books they pen.

In other news - SK8ER BOY is now shipping from Amazon!! Woot! Buy, buy, buy!! :)

AND it's less than 2 weeks til the New Jersey RWA conference. This will be my 3rd year attending. My first year was the year I pitched CT Fashionista to an agent. It was the first time I'd ever done a pitch and I was soooo nervous!! I guess I didn't totally blow it though, considering the agent signed me a month later and we're still together today!! ;-) I can't believe that was two years ago!! It seems both like yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time.

Anyway - hope to see some of you at the conference. I'll be the professional romance author wearing a suit and drinking diet coke in the lounge who attends conferences to further her writing career through a series of networking exercises and who would never, ever, EVER even consider getting drunk and shooting plastic chickens at her editor in the bar.

Yup. That's me. Angelic and professional.


Um, stop laughing!



Friday, September 23, 2005

Google Games

Things are a bit dead at work since hurricane Rita is taking up most of the coverage and we who do fluffy feature stories are bumped for more important hurricane news. (Which is better than, let's say, being bumped for breaking Britney baby news.) That said, I'm not sorry that it's Friday!

So 2 more blasts from the past have contacted me through my blog! The wife of an ex-boyfriend and a high school acquaintance who had googled my friend Suzanne's name and asked if he could contact her through me! I'm beginning to think there's something to all of this.

So - scientific experiment time. The following are names of people I knew in the past and have lost touch with. Perhaps they will GOOGLE themselves, find their names, and email me. I'll let you know my results in a month or so.

Gretchen Sgorous
Jaimie Cameron
Jason Rawn
Jamie Shirley
Chris Griffin / Christopher Griffin
Eric Ziko
Haas Rogers
Pam Davis / Pamela Davis
Russ Little / Russell Little
Ewan McGregor (heh, heh - just had to throw that last on in for good measure :P)

There we go! Let the GOOGLE games begin!!! :)

Happy Friday!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Lame, Yet Productive

I was so completely lame this weekend. I didn't go out, I skipped the party I was invited to, and all I did was clean my apartment, watch movies, and play massive quantities of videogames.

Okay, that's not entirely true. I also went to my RWA meeting and got to hear chick lit goddess Melissa Senate speak. She talked about her days as senior editor at Harlequin and gave out all the dirty secrets that editors don't want writers to know. :P

I also wrote the synopsis to "Stake That" - the sequel to "Boys that Bite" and of course worked on my "What, No Roses?" book.

So technically I may be lame, but I am also productive. :)

Next weekend I'm going to the local Ren. Faire, which I'm very excited about!!! It's the same faire I based the beginning of CT Fashionista on. :) Should be fun! But don't worry - I'll avoid all gypsy curses and flying lances and I won't be wearing Manolo Blahnik shoes to traipse through the mud. :) (As if I owned any anyways!)


Friday, September 16, 2005

Sleeping with SK8ER BOY!

Happy Friday everyone!

This week actually went by rather fast so I can't really complain. And it's pay day - added bonus. :) But the thing I'm really, really excited about? Today's the day I get to hold my 2nd book "SK8ER BOY" in my hot little hands. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while might remember that when I got my copy of CT Fashionista, I slept with it that first night. I'm undecided whether SK8ER BOY will get the same under-the-pillow treatment...But I am very excited about getting it all the same.

This weekend I have to finish and polish the synopsis of my second Berkley book, "Stake That!" It's the sequel to "Boys that Bite" and is scheduled for a December 2006 release. It's very odd to now be in a position where I know when the book will be released before the book actually exists. For example, the book I'm working on now, "What, No Roses?" is out in July! Gah.

Speaking of, I'm really enjoying writing "Roses" now. I think when you first come up with an idea for a book you get very excited. Then you start writing and realize it's harder than you thought. The reason? Maybe you don't know the characters very well. Maybe they refuse to be who you had imagined them to be. But as you spend more time each day exploring them, living in their world and watching them react to one another, you start getting a better feel for them and thus the book itself. It's at that point you can relax and start enjoying the process of writing. At least that's how it is for me. Now I'm at that delicious point where I think about the book all the time and am burning to work on it. I hope that continues. (It, um, better, considering I have to finish it by November.)

Anyway - enough boring writer blab.

Oh - almost forgot! I have a critique up for auction on to benefit Larissa Ione, who lost all she had in Katrina. It ends in 3 days and is only about $15.50 at the moment. I'd love to help raise as much money as possible so if you are looking for a critique, please go over and bid. I'm totally worth more than 15 bucks--really (!!) -- and so is the cause!!!

Anyway - happy weekend everyone! I've got a rooftop party to go to on Saturday night and Sunday my friend and fellow chick lit author Melissa Senate is speaking at the New England RWA meeting.

And tonight, I'll be taking my SK8ER BOY to bed. (Wow, that sounds so dirty, huh? heh heh)


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Gena Envy

There are some writers who just make you sooo jealous. It may be their great covers. Or their multi-book deals with several publishers. Or it might be the fact that they seem to publish a new great book every month. :)

Gena Showalter is one of those authors. She's talented, she's funny, she's even (grumble) a really cool person that you can't help but like! And she writes a 60,000 word book in a week. How is that fair to the rest of us mere mortals?

I'm so stealing her muse when she's not looking.

Anyway make sure you check out Gena's new one - Heart of the Dragon. It's an HQN paranormal and it sounds (sigh) fabulous. I mean it's got a sexy Dragon hero (I've always had a thing for dragon heroes - MUCH more hot IMO than werewolves, who just seem...hairy. Ew.) and it's got the mythical Kingdom of Atlantis. (Which ever since reading Marion Zimmer Bradley's "The Fall of Atlantis" (one of my Top 27 books of all time!) I have totally had a thing for.)

But don't take my word for it. Here's the summary and you can find an excerpt here.

He'll make you burn?

He is a Dragon, a rare breed of warriors able to transform into the legendary creature at will. Though the mighty warlord breathes fear into the minds of his enemies and fire into the blood of his women, no one has ever stirred his heart -- until he encounters Grace Carlyle of modern day Earth. He burns to possess this proud, alluring beauty...but he has sworn to kill her.

Journey to the mythical world of Atlantis, where the gods' hid their greatest mistakes -- the vampires, demons, dragons, and other creatures of legend -- and experience white-hot passion, exciting adventure, and a love that defies the boundaries of time and magic.

Now please excuse me, I've got a muse kidnapping to organize...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Weekend, Auctions, and Long Lost Friends

The thing that sucks about having a decent weekend is that on Monday it ends and you have to go back to work. But hey, such is life, right?

Saturday I gave my speech on "Writing and Selling YA Fiction" to the Rhode Island Writers group. Great group of women and I thought the session went well. I'm giving another YA talk in November at the ColoNY chapter. (Southern Connecticut RWA chapter) at a library and it's open to the public. More info on a later date.

Saturday night I went to a very fun party/cookout at my friend Lisa's house. She has a gorgeous place with a nice yard and had lit the tiki torches. :) Fun, fun.

The inital auctions for Larissa Ione are up on eBay, courtesty of Romaid. More auctions will be put up all this week. If you've been dying for an autographed copy of my "A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court" now's your chance. ;-) It's only going for $8.50 right now. Bargain! And here's an unadvertised enticement for you blog readers - if you win and mention this blog entry, I'll throw in a free signed copy of Sk8er Boy, my YA that's out next month. So - that's two books - plus helping a great cause. Bid now! Bid high! Bid often! :)

A long lost, but really good friend of mine emailed me this weekend, wanting to reconnect. I was so excited cause she's great and I've totally missed talking to her. (She lives in LA, which is why we've sort of lost touch.) Anyway - in her email, she said she went through and read my entire blog, so she already knows what's been up with me! Bonus! Now I don't have to go through all the crazy twists and turns my life has gone through the past 6 months or so. Okay, sure, I do have a few things going on that I don't post online, but would share with close friends, but still - the blog thing is a very interesting way to keep people - even ones you don't think about reaching - in touch with your life.

That said, I wonder how many ex-boyfriends are checking up on me... ugh.

Of course I did this to an ex-boyfriend type myself about eight years ago. The guy in question didn't have a blog, but I did manage to track him down online anyway. He was shocked that I'd found him and we ended up rekindling our once torrid college romance for a brief time. And though it didn't end up working out - (he'd somehow managed to cure himself of Marianne Obsession in the years we'd been apart. Very sad.) it was still fun to hook up, even briefly. (Esp since he's a totally cute blue eyed surfer!!) Hm...I wonder if I mentioned his name in my blog if he'd GOOGLE himself and find me... :)

Meh, maybe some past crushes are better left as good memories. :P

Soo... have you guys ever received an email you out of the blue cause of your blog? Or maybe someone found you or you found them through the power of cyberspace? Do spill!!


Friday, September 09, 2005

TGIF - and a few Florida pics

Happy Friday everyone!

It was a short week, but that doesn't mean I'm less pleased that the weekend is here! I don't have any huge plans - I'm speaking at the Rhode Island Romance Writers group on Writing and Selling YA tomorrow and then tomorrow night there's a party I might go to at my friend Lisa's house. But other than that, I plan to lay low. After my Floridian weekend of hedonism I need some downtime.

Oh speaking of Florida - here are a couple pics... Click for a larger image.

Me, Ali and Bobby hanging out at Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffett restaurant at Universal Studio's City Walk)

Me and Baby Ian catching some rays at Disney's Polynesian Hotel. Isn't he a cutie?

Ali and I doin' a little cage dancin' at the Knock Knock Club in downtown Orlando. Yeah Bay-bee!

So as you can see there was a large variety of fun that was had. But now it's time to buckle down and finish my current book - "What, No Roses?" It's a time travel to 1929 and has action, comedy and hot, hot romance. And now that I'm back in the swing of things, I'm happy to report that it's going swimmingly. CHEER! Look for it in July 2006 as part of Dorchester's Vintage Romance series. :)

Have a great weekend!

PS While I'm shamelessly self promoting - don't forget to pre-order your copy of SK8ER BOY for the teen or tween in your life. :)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Back from Florida

Actually I was back Tuesday, but I've been a blog slacker. I do have fun pictures to post, which I can do later. In all, it was a very fun weekend. :) My friends' baby is sooo cute. Well, you'll see when I post the pics.

On Saturday I'll be speaking about writing YA at the Rhode Island Romance Writers meeting. If anyone is in the area, I'd love for you to stop by. More info can be found here.

And speaking of YA - Sk8er Boy will be out very, very soon! Yay! This story is particularly close to my heart as much of it is autobiographical from my teenage years. I hope you'll get a chance to check it out. You can find an excerpt here.

Finally, on the Out of this Blogosphere front, we've got a new read from one of my favorite authors - MaryJanice Davidson. It's a Kensington Brava release, so it's bound to be hot, hot, hot!

REALLY UNUSUAL BAD BOYS by MaryJanice Davidson
(Brava, September 2005)


Meet Damon, Maltese, and Shakar - three noble brothers from an enchanted kingdom where wooing and pleasuring is practically a royal commandment. They're hot. Irresistible. And just a little different. But what woman doesn't like a guy with a few surprises?

Excerpt can be found here.


OKAY - must get ready for work. Tonight my friends and I are going to a booksigning at the Armani Cafe for some Pocket Downtown Press chick lit author. (I forget her name off the top of my head - it's no one I've ever met.) But should be fun.


Friday, September 02, 2005

Off to Florida - Stuff for you to do

I know it's a weird time of year to head to Florida, but I go every year around this time to visit my friends who live down there. I'll be back on Tuesday and I promise to take lots of pics. :)

In the meantime, if you're looking for a substitute to my oh-so-exciting blog'age, here are a few suggestions:

For a political fix, check out Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez. She used to be a reporter at the Boston Globe and turned chick lit author. (She wrote the Dirty Girls Social Club which I believe is going to be a J-Lo movie...) Anyway, I recently found her blog and it's awesome. Political, thought-provoking, and at times so, so funny! (I especially love the entry about gay straight men.) Recently she's been posting stuff about the Katrina aftermath that just makes me want to cry in the same way I did after watching Fahrenheit 911.

If you're in the market for an editor, Romance Divas has a spotlight interview with my Dorchester editor Chris Keeslar. Learn what we writers can do to make our editors happy. (Probably not blog about them or post goofy pictures! Gah!)

Then, go wish Gena Showalter a happy birthday. The bitch is a year younger than me and beautiful, but her virtual b-day bash features naked men and beer so I guess I can forgive her.

After that, head over and wish poor Larissa well. And send her money while you're at it. She lost everything in Katrina except what she could pack in her car. I noticed she posted an update today on her situation. Man, this is all soo soo sad! I mean what I went through with my house seemed terrible at the time, but I had a warm, dry, safe place to sleep. People to take care of me. These people have NOTHING! NOTHING! It's mind-blowingly bad! I can't even wrap my head around it. Please, please do what you can to help. I don't care that I'm rebuilding myself. I'm sending money.

And finally, because even during tragedy it's okay to give ourselves permission to smile, here's a little website I found called "The Sheep Dance."

Have a good Labor Day weekend!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

More on Paying it Forward

Another writer needs our help! Larissa Ione lost everything when hurricane Katrina hit her Mississippi home. Luckily she and her family are okay, but just like me they've lost everything. I know how horrible this is from personal experience and my heart goes out to her and her family.

Anyway - there's a relief effort in the works by Larissa's friends at Access Romance and another auction on the way! So if you missed out on scoring a critique or books from my auction, you have a second chance. There's some great people up for grabs, too. Editors from Kensington, Pocket, Harlequin, etc.

I'll be volunteering a critique myself and signed books. I know I'm not a huge name author/editor/agent like some on the list, but I've been told I'm a kick ass critiquer. :) So if you write chick lit or YA and want some help, please bid on me!! I want to do as much as I can to help Larissa.

Here's the link to RomAid. They're also taking monetary/gift card type donations.

Sigh. When will the tragedy all end?


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Paying it Forward

Hi all,

When my house got destroyed by fire, so many of you sent me gift cards and money and care packages. It was overwhelming and wonderful to have such a caring group looking out for me and made it so much easier to rebuild.

Now there are others who are facing far worse situations in the southern part of our country thanks to Katrina. It's heartbreaking to see the video and hear the stories of people whose lives have been devastated by Mother Nature.

One of my dearest friends back from my high school days, Suzanne St. Amand, has been living in New Orleans for the past few years. She's a wonderful, amazing, smart, talented person and I adore her. She's also a singer and before she moved to New Orleans, she was in a successful local Boston band called Violet Tide.

Anyway - when the hurricane hit, Suzanne took refuge at the hospital she worked at. (She teaches music therapy to children.) Now the hospital is being evacuated and there's been reports of people looting the place as well. So Suzanne is driving up to Wisconsin to be with her fiance. She doesn't have much to bring with her in terms of personal posessions or clothes.

Well, when I heard about this, and the fact that a couple friends wanted to put together a care package for her, my first thought was about all the support I'd received in my own recent homeless situation. And I decided I wanted to help Suzanne the way others have helped me. So it's my turn to send gift cards. And I want you to know that I'm doing it honor of all of you. Paying it forward, if you will, to help someone else who is now in greater need.

So, thank you again for all your well wishes and care packages. If any of you were still considering sending something to me, I would ask that you send it to hurricane victims instead. (Or send it to me to forward along.) I am doing great. I have everything I need to get by. And now others need the help so much more badly.

Someone has compiled a list of hurricane victims who are also writers. You can find it here. These are people who have "checked in" and are all right. But many of them may have suffered huge losses just the same.

Thanks for listening.

Garden of Eden

It's September 1st. Fall's on the way. But there's no reason to start shivering. Instead, I suggest you turn up the heat with this sexy futuristic from one of our fine Out of the Blogosphere authors, Jaci Burton. It's got aliens. It's got spaceships. It's got hot sex. I mean, really, what more can you want from a story?

"Garden of Eden"
by Jaci Burton

Dr. Eden Mason has spent the past hundred years orbiting the Earth in stasis. Since a nuclear war destroyed everything, she and the other inhabitants of the space pods are the only survivors of the global meltdown.

One special passenger has joined them-Adam-an alien sent to recreate what was once a thriving, beautiful planet. But Adam needs Eden to fulfill his goal, in a way she never expected. Adam has loved Eden since he first came to Earth, but her father refused to allow him to meet her. Instead, the brilliant scientist kept Adam secluded while they engineered a way to save some of Earth's inhabitants before the inevitable destruction. Now Adam can touch Eden, taste her, love her like he's always wanted to, at the same time fulfilling his duty to revitalize the planet.

His love for her is energizing and Eden begins to hope that life on new Earth will be a lush garden of sensual pleasures. But Adam's not telling her everything that will happen, and his secret may end up destroying them both.

Sound intriguing? You can find an excerpt here.