Tag Archive: booksigining


Hot Chocolate

How has the first week of your new year gone? As well as you’d hoped? Better? Not as well as you wanted?

I haven’t gotten as much writing-related work done this week as I would have liked, but I have been writing, in spite of the absolute craziness at my day-job–way more insanity than I anticipated, and the next week is probably going to be even busier.  I’ve also been working on getting a new-to-me computer set up in the home office, which is taking some time, since I have to move things onto it from my laptop and the old desktop computer, and some of those things take way too long–finding disks, trying to figure out how to install an older program that might need tweaking on a newer system…   Some of those are frustrating.

I also had to figure out if it made sense to me to participate in the very fun booksigning I’ve done the past couple of years, since I haven’t yet got Hunting Medusa ready for reissue, and settled on dates, etc. for the second and third books in the trilogy. I was disappointed to have to say no, but it doesn’t make sense to me to do it when I don’t have something new, so I’ll be bummed to miss this year, but then should be good for next year, because I am aiming to have at least the first two books in the trilogy out before the end of this year.

I know the weather has been in full-on winter mode in a lot of areas this week, but it has been extra-cold here.  I have had quite a lot of tea this week, and some very yummy hot chocolate to stay warm.  How about you? Lots of warm beverages while you’re reading?

I think I promised a little snippet of story for this week, didn’t I?  So how about a little taste of Hunting Medusa for those of you who haven’t read it yet (and those who haven’t read it in a while!)…

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Andrea rested her head on her folded arms on the kitchen table, only half listening to Kallan typing on his keyboard. She didn’t want to die just yet.

She knew for sure she didn’t want to be mutilated before she died.

But she didn’t look forward to killing the Harvester either.

She never should have had sex with him. She knew it. She’d known it beforehand.

And she should definitely not still want him.

When the phone rang, it was a relief. For a few seconds. Until she realized it was Thalia. “My cousin.” She didn’t think she needed to explain her mental caller I.D. to him.

Kallan held her gaze for a long moment. “Don’t try to let her know what’s going on,” he said at last. “I know where a lot of your cousins are located, and I’m not the only one.”

Her heart pounded harder at the implication, but she got to her feet and picked up the receiver. “Hello, Thalia. How are you?”

“I’m fine, Andi, but I think you need to get away for a while.”

She frowned, feeling Kallan’s presence behind her. Close behind her. Close enough to hear her conversation. “What do you mean?” His body heat teased her.

“The Harvesters are out and about. I’m afraid for you.”

Andi shut her eyes for a second, then opened them again when he put his hands on her shoulders. She shot him a glare and moved away, back toward the table. “I’m fine.”

“Please don’t ignore this, Andi. You know I’m hardly ever wrong.”

That was true. But she wondered if her cousin realized she was very often late with her flashes of intuition. Far too late in this case. “Okay. I’ll give it some thought, all right? Mom said something the other day about visiting.” Gods, had it only been two days ago? “And Aunt Lydia just called yesterday too. I could go to see either of them if anything seems odd.”

His hands settled on her shoulders again, massaging the tense muscles there.

She didn’t bother to shrug him off this time. He was persistent. “I could even come visit with you,” she teased, forcing a lightness into her tone.

Her cousin cleared her throat. “I actually have company right now,” she said after a moment, and Andi could almost see her blushing. “You remember I met someone in Athens last summer? Well, he’s come again to stay for a while.” Even over the phone, the emotion in Thalia’s voice was obvious.

One more cousin safe—none of the cousins who’d fallen in love ever had the curse land on their heads. A tiny bit of relief made her relax further under Kallan’s touch. “That’s terrific, Thalia. When do the rest of us get to meet him?”

“We’re talking dates,” the other woman said, a hint of a smile in her tone now. “I’ll be sure to let you know.”

“Good. And thanks for the warning. I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. I’ve got to go, Andi. Talk to you soon. But promise you’ll be careful. Danger is coming from more than one direction.”

She pushed the off button on the phone and shut her eyes, ignoring the slight sting in them. She was not envious of Thalia’s good fortune. She was just in an impossible situation here.

His warm breath brushed the top of her head a second before his lips. “That was good.”

She wanted to tell him to go screw himself. She wanted a weapon to swing at him. She wanted him to wrap his arms around her and carry her down onto the nearest flat surface.

Her eyes popped open. Damned hormones.

________________

Have a great week!

My shiny new cover art! isn’t it pretty?

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We are missing out on the snow, again.  Our weather here this week has been extra-messed-up–mid-week it was 60, before the temps plummeted and we got a couple inches of heavy, wet snow that melted already, because the temperatures went back up into the 50s.  I want a real winter! Right now, it’s raining and looks like an early spring day more than a mid-winter day.  Of course, if we were a few states north, we would be getting buried in snow, and I would be thrilled about it.

So, what is a rainy Sunday good for?  Plenty, I suppose, like household chores and reading. Or visiting with family.  My day will probably combine some of the latter and a few of that first item.  And hopefully later some writing time before the second half of The Walking Dead season begins and our whole family settles in to watch.

I’m going to miss seeing some reader and writer friends today, but I got to see a whole lot of them yesterday, at the annual Valentine’s Day booksigning.  This was my third year of participating, and they’re always a lot of fun.  Talking books with readers and other authors is one of the best ways to spend a few hours, right?  This one was a little sad for me, though, because earlier in the week, we got the official news that my publisher is going to close up shop at the end of the month.  So I have to figure out what to do with Hunting Medusa (and the other two books in the trilogy, finally!) when I get my rights back.

Most publishers don’t want to publish a book that’s already been available from someone else, though it happens.  A better option, I suppose, is self-publishing the trilogy.  Scary thought!  I have to give this more time, to figure out the best thing to do, and then devising a plan to get it done.   Guess I’ll be reworking my writing goals for the year, once I figure this out.

Now, though, I need to go do some of those things on my rainy-Sunday list.  The pics below are some of what you missed if you weren’t at the booksigning yesterday.

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And, before I go, maybe a little bit of Hunting Medusa for you…

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“Aristotle Tassos.”
The elderly man started, jumping from his chair so the papers he held fluttered to the floor beside his desk.
Athena remained standing in the doorway to his office, watching his olive skin pale before he dropped to his knees, bowing his head.
“My Lady.” His voice shook.
“Your nephew has taken the Medusa away, Aristotle. How could a Tassos do that?” She glared, noting his silver hair was thinning far more than the last time She’d deigned to visit him.
“My Lady?” He straightened slightly, though not far enough to actually look directly at Her. “My nephews burn to kill the Medusa.”
“Not Kallan.” She watched his mouth drop open. “He has helped her escape.” She narrowed Her gaze on his stunned face. “How could you not know this about him?”
Her Harvester shook his head slowly. “I am so sorry, My Lady. I assure You I will find him. And her.”
“I am sure you will. I expect you will.” She set Her hands on Her hips. “Do not fail Me, Aristotle. It has been many years since your family has fulfilled its duty. It may be very bad for you and yours if you fail again.”
Aristotle nodded, bowing, his face flushed a ruddy color. Embarrassed, She was sure, by the reminder of the failures of recent years. Good. He and his should be humiliated to have been outwitted by the Medusas of the past several generations.
“I would hate to have to return to see you on this matter again, Aristotle,” She said, gentling Her tone just a little. “I understand you are loyal to Me, even if one of your number is no longer.”

His mouth tightened. “I will make sure we get her this time, My Lady.”
Athena nodded. “I will be monitoring your progress.”
She was gone before Aristotle looked up.

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Oh, one last thing!  If you’ve been meaning to pick up a copy of Hunting Medusa (or any other Samhain title) you’re running out of time now.  Plus I just realized this morning (2/12/17) that it is on sale in the Samhain store for half price, so it’s probably a really good time to grab it in its original form.

Valentine’s Day is this week, so here’s hoping for a much better week this week, full of love and chocolate!

 

7024607531_cc3a6b87cc_z( Photo credit: RDECOM via Foter.com / CC BY )

It’s been a long month here.  Aside from the crazy first few weeks of the year at the day-job, things otherwise have been both busy and awful, and I have taken a real butt-kicking.  Until I got the ick and cough last week, though, I was still doing really well with my daily writing.  Last week kind of messed that up, and the best I could manage toward the end of the week once the fever finally went away, was working on revisions, and I’m sure I’ll need to look over those again before I actually finalize them, just to be on the safe side.

So this week, I have got to get back into my routine.  I am still coughing, but I feel like it’s slowly going away.  (Which is good, since I have the booksigning on Feb. 11; it would be terrible to still be hacking all over the place then.)  So I will ignore the coughing.  Harder to ignore will be the other distractions in my life, the family members who are ill, as those are ongoing and not going away like my cough.  If I thought they would help, I’d find myself a set of blinders, to keep my attention on the pages in front of me, but that doesn’t do anything for the constant flow of thoughts in my brain.

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( Photo credit: ** RCB ** via Foter.com / CC BY )

Hard to concentrate on one thing with that going on in your head.

So I’m looking for ideas on regaining my focus.  The things that are going on aren’t going to stop any time soon, which means they’re going to remain on my mind, but I still need to get back to being a productive writer.  So when you have a lot going on and still need to get things done, how do you manage to make your brain cooperate?  Meditation?  (I’ve tried it and am terrible.)  Something completely different?  Give me your suggestions.  I’m game to try some new things, as long as I end up back where I need to be.

And before I go, just wanted to remind those of you in the south-central Pennsylvania area, come see me and a whole lot of other romance authors the weekend before Valentine’s Day!

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Writing Hot

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( Photo credit: Frank Lindecke via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

Yes, I’m sick this week.  Coughing from an annoying tickle in my throat.  I don’t do sick days.  The last time I had a day off for a medical issue of my own was when I had my gallbladder out a number of years ago.  I took a day off last month for someone else’s medical issue.  Today, I actually left work early because I felt so terrible, just so I could come home and rest.  So that blog title isn’t just about the sort of stories I write, but about the fever I’ve had on and off all week.  I would love it if went away now.  My brain doesn’t have room for creativity right now, when it’s full of hot and headache.  So, instead of thinking so hard I make the headache worse, I’m going to tell you about the Valentine’s Day booksigning I’ll be taking part in this year.

Saturday, February 11, 2017 from noon to 3 pm at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouse, I’ll be hanging out with around 18 other romance authors, talking books and signing them, too.  This is the third year I’ll be participating, and they are always so much fun.  Plus for the readers attending, there are always giveaway goodies.

And now, so my feverish brain can rest, I think just a little snippet of Hunting Medusa for you.

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Perhaps he was a sick bastard, he mused, slowing his pace as they went deeper into the woods and the trail narrowed. Realizing the woman he wanted most was his enemy had just turned his world upside-down. His family’s enemy, a monster created by the Goddess.
He frowned up at the dark canopy of leaves above them. He wondered if any other Harvester had ever been tempted by his quarry. Or had surrendered to the temptation. If so, he was certain he’d never find that in the lore.
“Wait.”
He stopped walking at her quiet command, his gaze shifting in the same direction she looked. A doe and her fawn looked poised for flight several yards away, the mother watching them closely. Kallan held his breath as the fawn bent back to the small patch of grass. From the corner of his eye, he saw Andrea’s smile. He caught her hand in his without thinking about it first.
Her fingers were stiff in his for a long moment, then relaxed a little.
He turned to look down at her, studying her. The top of her head reached his chin, her dark hair curling in the slight humidity. Her bright gaze stayed fixed on the deer, but he knew she was aware of him by the way her pulse skittered in the hollow of her throat.

“Did I hurt you?” He kept his tone low, trying not to frighten the nearby animals.
She didn’t move anything but her eyes, shifting her questioning gaze up to his face.
“Earlier. Was I too rough?”
Color washed up her cheeks, and she swallowed, turning her attention back to the doe and her fawn. “No.” It was barely a whisper, her reply.
His heart pounded a little harder as he thought about taking her here, right here in her forest. It was foolish. He couldn’t. She would never agree to it anyway.
But he couldn’t stop the images behind his eyes, not now that he knew what she looked like, what she felt like around him, the way she sounded.

When she turned to look up at him again, he realized he’d tightened his grip on her fingers. Her expression was quizzical, then awareness surfaced, turning her eyes darker, like midnight velvet.
Kallan lifted their joined hands slowly, giving her time to stop him. When she didn’t, he dragged his open mouth along her knuckles.
Her lips parted slightly.
He bit one of her knuckles lightly and felt her shiver. “Maybe I am sick,” he breathed. “But I still want you.”
She shut her eyes, her throat working as she swallowed. “Bad idea, Harvester.”
His jaw tightened. For some reason, hearing her use the name his family had claimed many generations ago made him angry. He wanted to hear her use his name instead. Preferably while they were naked in her bed, bodies joined intimately as they had been earlier.
Instead of protesting, though, he nibbled his way down her finger until he could capture the tip in his teeth, then sucked it into his mouth.

_______________

 

My shiny new cover art! isn't it pretty?

 

I hope you all stay healthy! And if the ick strikes your house, I hope you have a sufficient stash of reading material!

 

 

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( Photo credit: Kelly Colgan Azar via Foter.com / CC BY-ND )

We have a pair of foxes that wander in and around our development.  I’ve seen them nearby recently, but not in the back yard lately, and not this close.  Of course, I have been putting in some extra hours at the day-job this week.  Probably next week, too.  But I have still been getting in ‘book time’.  Maybe not much, but still writing daily as I plan to do all year.  And working on revising the first shifter.  I’ll be working on that all day tomorrow.  Today was more overtime at the day-job, though, so not as much writing work as I would have liked.  But I’ll make up for it.  Also on my schedule for tomorrow:  figuring out if I’m all set for the big Valentine’s Day booksigning next month.

I found an interesting new-to-me show:  River.  The detective who is the main character talks to people who aren’t actually there, and he’s trying to figure out who murdered his partner.  Interesting story, but it looks like there was only one season, so I’m afraid I’ll be sad when this one comes to an end.  Tonight, though, I’m sneaking in one more viewing of Love Actually.  Yes, I know I watched it about ten times last month.  but it always makes me feel better, and with some of the awful things I’ve been seeing in the news, who doesn’t need to feel better?  My husband might be making fun of me, but I don’t care.  I love the stories and the characters.  I’m one of those people who will recite dialogue along with the characters (which my sons and sometimes my husband really hate–my kids won’t watch Princess Bride, or Robin Hood Men in Tights, or most of the Harry Potter movies with me), and there are whole sections of this that I have to do just that.  And of course, I’ll be crying by the end of it, but happy, satisfied crying.  Plus all this romance will get my brain into romance-writing mode again for tomorrow.

What do you do to get your mind-set into work-mode?  Jog around the block?  Take a long, hot shower?  Eat chocolate?

And while I’m finishing my inspirational movie viewing, how about a little snippet from Hunting Medusa?

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Silence greeted him, and he took that as a good sign. No creaking came from upstairs, as there would be if she’d wakened. Good. Nevertheless, he stepped inside cautiously, listening hard. He took another step after a few heartbeats, trying to remember just where the kitchen table and chairs stood from his limited view the day before.
He made it past the furniture and paused to listen again. Still nothing. He frowned. With the power off, the house was too quiet. Surely the sudden and complete silence would wake her, even if she hadn’t heard the brief noise of the alarm shutting down. He slid one foot forward on the smooth wooden floor, and suddenly she was there. Fiery pain shot up his left arm. He grunted, realized she’d stabbed him deeply. He swung his other hand up, managing to hit her on the side of the head.
She cried out but didn’t go down, swinging her blade again. He caught her wrist, but she managed to get another slice to his already-injured forearm before he yanked her arm behind her.
Her booted foot connected with his knee—hard—and he bit back a string of curses at the pain, but didn’t let her go. Why wasn’t she barefoot? If she’d been sleeping, she should be barefoot. His left arm was nearly useless, blood pumping steadily from his wounds, so he crowded her up against the nearest surface. The refrigerator. He shoved hard, hearing her moan when he twisted her arm a little more.
Her blade hit the floor between them. She kicked backward again, and her foot hit his knee from the other side this time.
“Dammit,” he muttered, flattening her between his body and the appliance’s cool metal surface. His arm burned, warm blood dripping from his fingers.
“Get off me, you murdering bastard,” she said, her words slurred slightly from her face being mashed into the refrigerator.
“Well now, that’s not very nice. Especially since I’ve never murdered anyone. Yet,” he added darkly, tightening his grip on her wrist. The bones in her arm were fragile and he was fully aware he could crush them, render her arm as useless as she had his. But he didn’t. He wasn’t Stavros.
“You’re not going to start with me, either, Harvester.”

_______________

My shiny new cover art! isn't it pretty?

So, back to inspiration–how do you get yourself inspired?

 

 

 

Otherwise known as the month of romance, right?  It is, after all, the month with Valentine’s Day smack in the middle of it.

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Photo credit: Sister72 via Foter.com / CC BY )

I actually like February for more than just the holiday dedicated to romance.  February is still smack-dab in the middle of winter, which I love.  I have to admit, though, that right now, I am hoping if we get more snow, the timing does’t mess with all of the romance events on my calendar for the month.

This coming weekend, I’m taking a road trip to Maryland for the Turn the Page booksigning.  I still want to be Nora Roberts when I grow up, and I love her books.  Also, my buddy Virginia Kantra will be signing, too.  My girlfriends and I always have fun when we go down for the signings–shopping for books, meeting or revisiting great authors, and a whole day for the girls.  It doesn’t get much better.

The following weekend, I’ll be taking part in an 18-author signing in Mechanicsburg, PA.  A greenhouse full of romance authors:  how much fun is that?  I have an Love is in the Air Booksigning set up on my Facebook page with all of the info about the signing.  I hope I get to meet some of you there.

And the weekend after that, the nearest Lady Jane’s Salon satellite in Lancaster will be meeting, and they always host a nice variety of romance authors.

So, while I love winter, I do hope Mother Nature takes a little break for the next three weekends.  It’s going to be a busy, romantic month here.

 

But now I need to get back to editing so I won’t feel as guilty about my three weekends of activities.  How are you spending your February?

 

Right now, I am secure and warm in my living room while the sun is glaring off a few feet of snow outside (which has given me a monstrous migraine).

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The picture above is what our backyard looked like last night before the snow had fully stopped.  My glider is well and truly buried there–the front looks worse than the back, even now that the sun has been shining on it.

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And this is what it looks like from my front door right now.  The street is semi-clear, but I’m hoping that a township truck makes a trip down dropping salt before nightfall.  Otherwise tomorrow morning, it will be an ugly, icy mess.  On the other hand, I got a message that my day-job will be starting late tomorrow, as they haven’t yet cleared the parking lots around the office.

But I am thrilled that we finally got some snow.  And not just ‘some’ snow, like a dusting or nuisance slush.  No, we got a beautiful, substantial snow.  Winter at last!  Some of my writing friends aren’t nearly as thrilled about it, but that’s okay.  We’ll be even when summer gets here and I’m miserable while they are ecstatic.  For now it’s my turn for seasonal happiness.  In a little while I’m going to start a pot of homemade tomato soup to go with grilled cheese sandwiches for supper–my guys spent quite a while outside with shovels and the snowblower, clearing off the cars and helping out the neighbors without their own snowblowers.

My writing for the weekend is actually rewriting.  This shifter story is still frustrating me, but I know when I finish and polish it up, I’ll be so much happier with it.  Then I can go back to actual writing on another manuscript that isn’t quite complete.

Also, I have a booksigning coming up on Valentine’s Day weekend!  I have all of the info on my Facebook page about the signing, and I would love to see some of you there.  There will be 17 other romance authors signing as well, so I know there will be something there for everyone.

How many of you are as happy as I am to finally see some snow to get this winter moving?

Holiday Wishes

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That picture above is the sort of thing I would like to see when I look out of my window.  It is December, after all.  But it’s much too warm here even for flurries.   Maybe by the time the solstice gets here in a couple of weeks, but it doesn’t look promising–we haven’t had a really great snow in a couple of winters.  Most likely, our holiday lights will look like this, only without the nifty reflections on water, as our tree in the front yard is  surrounded by the greenish-brown of the lawn this time of year:

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That is actually one of my favorite places to go over the holidays, Longwood Gardens.  They always have a gorgeous light display, and if you time your visit right, you won’t be shoulder to shoulder with a thousand other people hoping to look at the pretty lights, too.  I think our visit this year, though, isn’t going to happen till the end of the display in January.

Instead of the writing I planned to be doing today, I’ve spent most of the day working on social media things.  That will make it easier for you all to find me and interact, but it didn’t put words on my pages.  I think I need a clone.  Maybe just from October through January.  Then I can get everything done.  That isn’t one of my holiday wishes, though.

I wish there wasn’t always so much horror on the evening news, though wishing won’t help that–that’s why I vote at every opportunity and write letters to politicians who probably dread seeing my email in their inbox again.

I wish we all had as much reading time as we wanted–without it wreaking havoc in our lives in any way, like day-jobs.

I wish some of my favorite authors wrote more frequently than they do–I realized about two months ago that it has been an eon since I had a new Linda Howard book to read.

I wish you could see my pretty, redesigned website.  Oh, but you will, very shortly!  My web designer is making some final tweaks, and then I am going to have a fun little party on my Facebook page to celebrate.

I also wish some of you will come out to see me on Valentine’s Day weekend at a booksigning.  I’ll post details a little closer to the actual event, but south-central Pennsylvania, I’ll be signing with a great bunch of authors, just like last year on Valentine’s Day, and I can’t wait to meet you, and to see some of you again!

I wish a couple of Santa’s elves would come down from the North pole to do my holiday baking.  I know.  They’ll be too busy packing the sleigh.  Maybe I can put in a request now for next year…

What are some of your wishes for the holiday season?

Happy reading!

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That was the view from our room onto Times Square last week at the fantastic Romance Writers of America 2015 annual conference.  Dizzying, yes?  Not nearly as much as the glass elevators that zoomed up and down so high your ears will pop.

Our week got off to a fun start with seats up close and personal at Les Miserables our first night in NYC.  My crit partner has a serious crush on the actor currently playing the lead.  My conference really started, though, on Wednesday morning, when I got to meet up with the awesome woman in charge of marketing at my publisher.  I have a long to-do list now, and some new ideas for fun things to do here and other places.

Despite a few pictures I took from our room and with my roommates, I hardly took my camera out of my bag, which I should have done at least once during the Literacy signing on Wednesday, just so all of you could share in that absolute madness.  Nearly five hundred romance authors all in one big room signing their books for hundreds of fans…insanity.

I’ve found that conferences are a great way to get the creativity flowing, no matter if it’s a tiny conference with just a couple dozen authors, or a ginormous conference like RWA with almost 2000 people rushing around the hotel.  But you must first recover from the exhaustion that will follow you home from a busy several days of workshops and schmoozing.  My conference week was my vacation, and I almost need a vacation to recover from my vacation, but that isn’t happening–too much to do at the day-job this week, and a quick two-day trip to family next week.  After my 14 hour work day yesterday, I was ready to crawl into bed about mid-afternoon today.  But tomorrow, I think my brain might be functional enough for me to work on a couple things on my to-do list, plus get some of the hand-written pages I’ve been writing during my lunch breaks into the computer so I’ll be that much closer to “The End” on Medusa #3.

My favorite part of the conference last week?  Meeting my agent in person for the first time.  And my next favorite was all the romance authors I got to talk to, old friends and new.

But now I really need a little sleep.  I need to dream up a perfect way to wind down this last Medusa.  Sweet dreams to all of you!

 

 

 

New York in July

I am about to hop on a train with one of my critique partners, heading for the annual Romance Writers of America national conference.  So many romance writers, all in one spot!  It is going to be a busy week, full of workshops and booksignings, and oh my, so many more things, I can’t name them all.

I did finally squeeze my carry-on shut, and between that and my tote bag, I think I have everything I need for the week.  I’d be shocked if I didn’t forget anything, but I hope whatever it might be, that it’s low on the priority list.

 

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That will be our view in just a few hours, with some different advertisements, since I took that picture a few years ago.

I hope to see some of you there–I know I’ll run into a lot of old friends there, and I hope to meet some new ones, too.  I know for sure there will be a few, since we have three roommates coming in from out of the country, one from Ireland and two from Canada.  Anyway, if you are there, I’ll have some bookmarks and cover flats for anybody interested.

New York City in the summertime–hot and even hotter this year with so many romance writers in one spot all at the same time!

If I don’t see you there, I’ll see you here when I get back!  And not long after that, I’ll have a shiny new website design to debut!  I can’t wait to share it with all of you.