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Friday, October 30, 2009

New Cover Look!

St. Martin's has totally revamped my cover look for the second installment of my Recipe for Love series, and I couldn't be more pleased. Not that I didn't adore the Can't Stand the Heat cover, because I did! And got loads of positive feedback on it. But this new cover, for On the Steamy Side, out next March, has a slightly more sophisticated look without sacrificing the fun and sexiness. I get all giddy and swoony every time I look at it!

What do you think?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vintage Romance

Never say Twitter is a pointless waste of time! Without it, I might never have found out about's brilliant idea of selling stationary featuring some of their fabulous, wacky, yet somehow chic classic romance covers.

I absolutely adore these! Especially the spiral-bound notebooks and composition books. How could looking at these not inspire you? It's wild how many of them feature guns. In one of them, the heroine appears to be throwing the gun at the hero? Villain? Who knows!

People on my gift list: Be prepared to see a few these again come Christmas morning. I bet the postcard tins make awesome stocking stuffers.

Do you ever get your holiday shopping done early? Or are you more like me, scrambling at the last minute and paying through the nose for rush shipping?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Book Signing!

I had my first solo bookstore signing this weekend, which was tons of fun. I wore the earrings Kristen Painter made for me, for luck! They totally worked. I met some very interesting readers, sold multiple copies to friends from church (yikes!) who hadn't bought it yet, and gave out dozens of cookies. A good time was had by all! It was a busy weekend; we also had a Halloween party to attend. I dressed up as Julia Child, mostly because I had everything I needed for it already. And also because I love her. Here's how it turned out! I know, I wouldn't win any lookalike contests. But I had fun! If you can't make it out, that's a whisk I'm holding up so proudly. And yes, if you look closely, there's a spot on my shirt where I spilled red wine.
This is my favorite part:Do you have any Halloween parties coming up? What costume are you planning?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Lonely Road

Writing is a solitary job. We sit at our desks and plunk away at the keyboard, and if we're lucky, the characters we're writing about will come alive enough to make us feel like we're getting some human interaction! But even with that, sometimes you just need a real live person.

I've been fortunate enough to meet lots of wonderful, funny, smart women during the course of my journey to publication. From my fabulous agent, Deidre Knight, to my first critique partners, Mel Francis and Maria Geraci, and beta readers like Kate Pearce and Nicole Montreuil. All of them have helped and supported me in too many ways to mention here. But lately, some of the best, brightest, and most vital support has come from my near-daily emails with two very special people: Kristen Painter and Roxanne St. Claire.

We talk, we laugh, we gossip (what? Moi? Never!), and above all, we provide each other with a safe, open, warm-hearted place to seek advice and encouragement. No one on the planet gets me giggling like Kristen, or kicks my butt harder when I need it. If I were 100% honest, every one of my books should be dedicated to her. And Rocki! She's quite possibly one of the savviest women I've ever met--and the most generous with her advice. She's never steered me wrong, and I know she never will because Rocki is a true friend. When she gives me her opinion, I know without a shadow of a doubt that it comes from a place of honesty, integrity, and caring. I would really, really like to be Rocki when I grow up.

On days when I can't remember why I wanted to be a writer, and can't imagine what my editor ever saw in me, Rocki and Kristen are there. And all I can think is: I'm so proud to call these women my friends.

Thanks, guys! I love you both.

The Great Costume Debate

I have a Halloween party to go to tomorrow, and have I thought about a costume? Nope. Not even a little. Anyone have any ideas? I'm really just not going to run out and buy anything for it, so I'm looking for things that can be cobbled together out of my closet. I wish all you lovely blog followers could come over and rifle through dresses and shoes with me!

Normally, I love dressing up, but this year I'm feeling so unenergized about it. Which is a little bit deadline sickness, but also I think it's where I live. I'm at the end of a fairly newly developed street without very many houses. I don't expect we'll get many trick-or-treaters. And it just feels like Halloween isn't really happening this year.

Maybe once I get knee-deep in my closet and start sifting through options, maybe I'll get more excited. Wish I had motorcycle boots and could go punk or something! That would be fun. it too late for overnight delivery from

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Tour: Writerspace

Even if you don't love to cook, you probably have a favorite cookbook. At least, before I started cooking in a serious way, I definitely did! It was more of a sentimental choice than anything else--the old version of the Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer. My mother made biscuits, cornbread, pancakes, waffles, and cookies out of that cookbook throughout my childhood. I associate it with being happy and nurtured. Now that I'm nurturing my own family, Joy of Cooking no longer makes my top 5 list--it's outdated and funny, very '50s feeling and full of things I'll never be interested in cooking--but I still go back to it for those same dishes my mother used it for. There's no better recipe in the world for butter roll cookies, and the bacon cornmeal waffles are to die for!

Want to see which cookbooks DO make my top 5 list? Check it out at Writerspace, where I want to hear where you get your favorite recipes. I'm giving away an apron, spatulas, and signed copy of Can't Stand the Heat, so come on down!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Not Exactly Blog Tour

It's not a quite a guest post, but the fabulous Tessa Dare and I are over on Dear Author today discussing our frequently maligned heroines, and what it takes to make a heroine likable. The comment thread is chock full of interesting theories and ideas! I'm loving reading through it. Check it out!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blog Tour: Romance Junkies

Ever wonder what goes into the recipes in books like mine? I'm over at Romance Junkies today, talking about my creative process in the kitchen! If you've got a favorite personal recipe, come on over and share with us. You'll be entered in the drawing for an apron, set of cute spatulas, and a signed copy of Can't Stand the Heat! Plus, you'll get to see some awesome recipes contributed by other commenters. Win!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Which Bunco Babe are You?

Before I met Maria Geraci, I had never heard of bunco. It's true! But once I read her fun, funny first book, Bunco Babes Tell All, I was desperate to try it. What could be more fun than a group of women, a pitcher full of margaritas, and a game of chance? Not much, as I found out at RT '09, where Maria hosted a fabulous bunco party that got the whole room up and laughing and vowing to start their own bunco groups.

Now, to celebrate the upcoming release of Maria's second book, Bunco Babes Gone Wild, she's created this hysterical quiz to determine with character you are! I had to share. I LOVE quizzes. Plus, if you take this one, you're entered to win a signed copy of Bunco Babes Tell All (which, if you haven't read it yet, you are totally missing out!) and a $50 gift certificate to Borders!

Take the quiz here.

I'm a Shea, by the way. ; )

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blog Tour: Romance Writer's Revenge

Today's guest blog turned out to be quite the wild ride--I'm over at Romance Writer's Revenge, and you'll never guess who turned up to chat with me! I'll give you a hint: he's the sexiest pirate of them all...and a surprisingly astute interviewer.

Seriously, you have to check this one out, it's hysterical. And there's a giveaway! Apron, spatulas, Can't Stand the know the drill.

In other news, Holly Zachariah, the Columbus Dispatch blogger who interviewed me yesterday, posted a review of CStH that I absolutely adore! Check it out.

Interview: Columbus Dispatch

Holly Zacharia over at the Columbus Dispatch runs a blog called Private Passions for the newspaper's website. We talked about first books, the road to publication, and writing advice; here's the result of that interview! As someone who loves newspapers, it's pretty exciting to me to get interviewed by a real live journalist. I hope I don't sound like a doofus. Feel free to tell me I do in the comments. : )

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recipe Testing

I've got the copyedited manuscript of ON THE STEAMY SIDE on my desk, which means not only is it time to dive back in and polish it up to a high gloss--it's time to test the recipes I'll be including in the back of the book.

Hopefully, the process will be a little easier this time, because I have a cunning plan. Since Lilah Jane Tunkle, my heroine, hails from the exact same part of Virginia I come from (what a coincidence!) I'm going to be updating and modernizing several oooold family recipes from my mother's side. Her people are from Mississippi, but I figure the southern flavors will translate to Virginia just fine. Even better? I conned Mama into doing some of the testing for me! One of our family's favorite holiday desserts shows up in OtSS, and she's been wanting to tweak that recipe for years. That's going to save me some time (and calories) but I have to admit to being sad not to have the excuse to gorge myself on different variations on Delmonico Pudding, a crazy delicious concoction of almond macaroons soaked in vanilla custard and covered with meringue. Traditionally sprinkled with chopped pecans and red and green candied fruit (it's a Christmas dessert!) Mama and I are thinking of subbing in pine nuts and/or crystallized ginger. I await the results with interest...

I'll be dedicating myself to the other recipes from the story: a Mexican street corn salad, and cheddar date rolls. Off to the grocery store now! Wish me luck finding dates.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blog Tour: Fresh Fiction

I'm over at Fresh Fiction today talking about character inspiration, and of course, the hero of CStH, Adam Temple. Because I just can't shut up about him. Is it bad that I'm maybe an eensy teensy bit in love with my own fictional creation? But come on--in my head, he looks like this!
But in chef's whites. Nom nom nom...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Heartbroken in Ohio

We got home last night from our schlep around the country, and this morning woke up to the devastatingly sad news that my favorite, beloved Gourmet magazine is closing its doors after nearly 70 years.

There had been rumors, yes, but I tried not to listen. It was too sad to contemplate! With a history that began in 1940, and one of the food world's brightest lights, Ruth Reichl, at the helm, how could Gourmet ever die?

I don't know what I'm going to do without that thrill of opening the mail every month and seeing a jewel-toned cover depicting fabulous, tempting food. And the articles! I learned more about what's going on in our country today from Gourmet magazine than I do from most newspapers. I can't even bear to think about the recipes. I'm now hoping against hope that the wonderful website will stay operational and vital...but without the magazine's resources, how vital can it be?

What a sad day. I think, in honor of the occasion, I'll bake their featured recipe for the week, spiced applesauce cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. That *might* make me feel better.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blog Tour: Romance Reader At Heart

I'm blogging over at the Novel Thoughts blog for Romance Reader at Heart. They wanted an interview with my hero, Adam Temple, so I thought I'd give my fictional food magazine, Delicieux, a crack at him! Come check it out, and comment to win an apron, spatulas, you know the drill.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blog Tour: A Book Blogger's Diary

I'm over at Book Blogger's Diary today, talking about how I got into romance, and more importantly, how I learned to be proud of it! Come share your story with me. How did you discover romance novels? There are prizes...

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