Who Loves Swag?

Me! I do, I love swag! I also love giving it away!

Is anyone planning on attending the California Dreamin’ Conference in So Cal this March? Because if you attend the California Readin’ event and sit at my table at the conference or buy one of my books at the signing afterward, you’ll be getting one of these babies!

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Custom USB Drives made these flash drives with my cover from Out of the Blue. (Here’s the front and back.) So awesome! And that’s not all. On the flash drive is a sizzling deleted scene from the book. This company has some great ideas for multi-purpose flash drives. There are so many fun ones to choose from. I highly recommend them if you need flash drives. Just click below.

Custom USB Drives

I’ve got some other surprises too, so hopefully, YOU’LL get some swag this March if you come to the conference!

I’ve seen some great swag over the years and it’s always hard to decide what my favorite is. I love pens, but I’m a fan of good chap stick too. And bottle openers and bookmarks and… the list goes on.

What’s your favorite swag item?

Huge Giveaway!

Okay… the giveaway isn’t here, but you’re only a click away from finding it!

Not Your Usual Suspects is going all out for its 6th Anniversary and YOU have 14 chances to win a book from a favorite author!

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I’m thrilled to announce that Out of the Blue is in this prize package!

So click on this link: Not Your Usual Suspects

You’ve got until the end of this month, but don’t wait! Enter now!

Happy 6th Birthday to NYUS! and Happy Holidays to YOU!

Now I’m curious… what’s the best prize you’ve ever won?

Out of the Blue Release Day!

Today is the day! Out of the Blue is out of the gate! 

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Amazon | Nook | iTunes | Kobo | ARe

Today has special meaning, besides it being the release of my tenth book. My mom would’ve been 85 years old today and I think she’d be pretty happy that this milestone is happening on her birthday. I’ll be honest, I felt a bit obligated to honor my mom since I honored my dad on his birthday with the release of Imminent Danger (five months after he died) in 2014.

Writing wasn’t anywhere on my radar when my mom was alive and I always wonder what she’d think of one of my books. I know my dad read my very first book (still not published) and asked, “Where’d you learn this stuff?” I still smile thinking about the twinkle in his eyes when he hit me with that question. I don’t think he read beyond that first book, but he always supported me. Every so often I’d get a small note in the mail attached to something pertaining to writing. One time he sent a full page magazine ad for Harlequin. He’d clipped out the page (a couple in the kitchen about to get down to business on the granite island while the batter waits in a bowl and her hands are full of flour.) It was a very sexy picture of two clothed adults, but the intention is clear as he takes her down, their lips almost touching, but not quite. I still shiver when I think of it. (In a good way.) Dad’s note said, “I saw this and thought of you.” A definite ‘AW’ moment for me. Though my dad was still alive when my first published book came out, I don’t think he read it. Alzheimer’s had pretty much robbed him of his memory and he stuck to reading short articles because he couldn’t remember a story in pieces.

Back to my mom… She always had a book on her night stand table. She loved to read at the end of the day and I guess I got that gene from her. I remember the first time I took one of her books after she’d finished (but before she gave it to a friend). I was probably 15 or 16 years old. The book might have been a Judith McNaught, I’m not sure. I just remember Mom walking by, seeing what I was reading and saying, “Do you like that?” I think it probably had a sex scene or two and I eagerly shook my head. LOL. I loved her for not taking the book out of my hands.

Thanks Mom for letting me read and fostering a love of books that I’ve had since.

Sometimes I wonder if God-or whatever spiritual power rules-is able to get books for those who’ve gone onto another plane. I know. Kind of a dumb thought, but with the release of this book, I’m feeling especially sentimental.

Happy Birthday, Mom and Happy Book Birthday to Out of the Blue!

In case you haven’t read it yet, here’s the blurb:

Recently dumped by her fiancé, Casey Turner is going for her dream career. Rebound sex with a hot stranger was eye opening, but she wants to leave her mark on the world. She’s sure that winning the new reality show Write Your Ticket will prove that she’s got what it takes to make it in the music industry. She never expects to be the target of a killer who’ll stop at nothing to see her die, even if it’s on national television.

Brendan St. John didn’t think he’d ever see the girl who disappeared after a sizzling one-night stand, but he won’t let her distract him from winning the reality show that could change his life. Of course, it’d be easier to ignore her if he didn’t have to keep saving her from disasters. But too many accidents on the set can’t be coincidence, and when Brendan interferes, Casey isn’t the only one in danger.

Despite being pitted against each other, Casey and Brendan grow closer, and the attraction that brought them together burns hotter with every look. Ultimately, only one of them can win the show, but that doesn’t stop either from being the target of someone with a mighty grudge.

If I still have your attention, and you want to get an instant taste of Out of the Blue, you can read a scene that I regretfully cut from the book. Click HERE.

AND… in case you weren’t aware of it, Brendan’s twin brother (Blake) already has his own story in Imminent Danger, one of my Adrenaline Highs books. (Blake was my first cross-over character.)

Since it’s that time of year as well… Happy Thanksgiving to all! Hope your holiday is filled with light and love.

Out of the Blue!

I’m so excited to finally show off the cover for Out of the Blue! This is book #2 in the High Stakes series. I’ll be honest… it was a long time coming, but I’m so glad it’s almost here!

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Recently dumped by her fiancé, Casey Turner is going for her dream career. Rebound sex with a hot stranger was eye opening, but she wants to leave her mark on the world. She’s sure that winning the new reality show Write Your Ticket will prove that she’s got what it takes to make it in the music industry. She never expects to be the target of a killer who’ll stop at nothing to see her die, even if it’s on national television.

Brendan St. John didn’t think he’d ever see the girl who disappeared after a sizzling one-night stand, but he won’t let her distract him from winning the reality show that could change his life. Of course, it’d be easier to ignore her if he didn’t have to keep saving her from disasters. But too many accidents on the set can’t be coincidence, and when Brendan interferes, Casey isn’t the only one in danger.

Despite being pitted against each other, Casey and Brendan grow closer, and the attraction that brought them together burns hotter with every look. Ultimately, only one of them can win the show, but that doesn’t stop either from being the target of someone with a mighty grudge.

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Look for Out of the Blue on November 21, 2016! (Happens to be my mom’s b-day. I figure she’s looking down and knows this book is for her.)

I’d love to know what you think of the cover. I’ll be honest. I love this baby!

Going… Going… FREE!

It’s been way too long since my last blog, and if I have to be honest, I’ll say this year has pretty much kicked my ass, but I have something really awesome to blog about, so it deserved a big shout!

I’m excited to be part of a huge Mystery, Thriller, Suspense Giveaway. Not only are there almost 50 FREE books, but there’s a chance to win a Kindle PaperWhite or an Amazon Gift Card!mystery.thriller.suspense This is not only massive, it’s massively awesome!! My contribution is one of my favorite books… A Little Danger. (Click on the title for a blurb and more info.)

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Look for it! Grab your books! Sign up to win those prizes! Don’t let me keep you a second longer!

Oh… and happy reading!

You Heard It Here: Motivation

I have to come clean. Near the end of 2015 and early this year, I hit a wall. It was the “I can’t handle two full time jobs and take care of the house/family” wall. Something had to give. I realized I had to find some “me time” in my crazy life. I just lost the desire to work so hard and decided that “me time” or “family time” was what I needed to rejuvenate myself.

Turns out I was right. Here’s a pic of the people I love most. (Not that I don’t love the rest of my immediate family, but these are the ones I live with. <G>)

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Having my daughter home from college and spending the winter break with her and my hubby was the best medicine I could ask for. I set aside my current WIP and let myself enjoy family time. I figured as a writer, it was about time I got back to living life a little because really… how am I going to write it if I don’t enjoy it myself.

I’m looking forward to next week when I finish the day job on set for a few months and get back to being a full time author. I’m ready to get those pages written and edited. I have my motivation back and it’s in part due to my family.

What’s your motivation?

You Heard It Here: Hollywood Birthdays!

This month’s Hollywood inside scoop is about cake. Birthday cake to be specific. And who doesn’t like birthday cake? No one on our set, I can tell you that! As you’ll see from the pictures below, we have a theme at work when it comes to celebrating birthdays. It involves a rolling table, candles, balloons, lots of posing for pictures and delicious cake. The first birthday celebration took place in October, but because we were on our hiatus, we celebrated Kira’s day when we got back to the set. Eighteen is not a milestone to be taken lightly! Here’s our cast in the living room set.

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The next flurry of birthdays all happened in December and Diego started off the celebration early in the month. Here’s the gang again, this time in wardrobe in front of a live audience.

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The following week, we pulled out another cake for Jack’s 19th birthday.

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And a week after that we celebrated Rosa’s birthday along with one of our Nick executives, Brian.

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Here’s Addison’s birthday celebration in January. The picture I didn’t get was of lots of Nickelodeon kids who came to set to celebrate. This pic was also taken in front of a live audience and the crowd loves to be on the fun stuff. Let me tell you… It was loud! Haha. But we have amazing fans and it’s great to hear how much they appreciate the show.

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I’m feeling a little guilty because I’ve missed one cast member, but Chris had his B-day in September (as did I!) and we were on hiatus then too. Imagine a cake on a table with candles and balloons and the cast posing for pictures. Haha.

I think most sets I’ve been on have celebrated cast birthdays the same way. It’s a nice way to bring everyone together and it bonds us like the family we are. We are a very lucky group of people and I think we all realize it. There’s nothing quite like a Hollywood birthday.

How about you? Any special birthday celebrations that you’ve had over the years? Maybe a surprise or two?

 

You Heard It Here: Happiness is…beer.

I’ll be honest. It’s been one of those days, weeks, months. Honestly, I never had anything against 2016 and I still don’t, but I have to admit it’s been a pretty rough start to the year. I still count my blessings and I still look for the positive, but right at the moment, happiness is an ice cold beer.

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I’m missing my daughter who went back to college after her winter break and I’m mourning the loss of so many incredible musicians and entertainers who have died in the last couple of weeks. I swear it was like some kind of crazy magical hell storm happened and started taking all the best people. So tonight I’m indulging in something I haven’t had all month because of a stomach bug. (Yes, that started in the new year too!)

I also started a new workout challenge last night so I figured I’d toast my re-entry back into the world of “healthy-writer” with my favorite lite beer. Really… sometimes there’s just nothing better that hits the spot like a cold beer. And maybe chocolate. (Yeah, I confess, I had that earlier too. I’m telling you… it’s been one of those days.)

What about you? What’s your happiness?

You Heard It Here: A Rough Start

Happy 2016!

2016. Who saw that coming? I remember in the 80s thinking how cool it would be living in the 2000s and now it’s already 2016. This is craziness.

Now, keeping in mind that I have nothing against 2016, it kind of started off a little rough for me. You may have realized that I never posted a Hollywood story on January 1st and I also missed a blog at Not Your Usual Suspects where I usually have a post every few months or so. Nope, I missed it all because my computer had a heart attack. (I know, it didn’t really have a heart attack, but it did require ICU.) Thankfully, I got it back just in time for this blog.

The other rough spot of my year so far was coming down with a stomach bug that put me down for a few days. Ugh. Nothing much worse than dealing with severe stomach cramps…unless, say, you give yourself third degree burns on the roof of your mouth eating hot chilies. Yes, it happened. Please, don’t ask. Let’s just say I’ll never make THAT mistake again.

On the bright side, it’s January 10th and my computer is fixed and my health is good. Yay.

Because life is pretty ho-hum, I thought I’d post a picture of my new front door. I’m thinking of it as the new gateway for awesome things to happen in life. What the hell, right?

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Not bad, yes? Apparently the only thing holding the old door together was the paint. It’s a little hard to see, but this craftsman style is my favorite. It’s changed the whole feel of the house.

I’m looking forward to the rest of this year with hopeful anticipation. That’s due in part to the fact that I made no New Year’s resolutions that I might break in the first two weeks of making them. LOL. I know myself too well.

What about you? Any new year’s resolutions that you’ve kept and/or broken so far?

You Heard It Here: Happiness is…

I’m going old school this month. Yep. Making a happiness list. I decided instead of one happiness, I’d write them all. Or at least the ones that are at the top of my head. So, here it goes…

Happiness is having my daughter back from college. It’s hearing her laughter from the other room and hearing her talk late into the night with her father as they catch up on sports or school.

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Happiness is having my little family together for the holidays. It’s sitting in front of a roaring fireplace and lit Christmas tree with a warm (giant) dog in my lap snoring his delight. (Yes, that’s my hip Zach is sleeping on. And if you think it’s easy to type like this, you’d be mistaken. Haha.)

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Happiness is also the new front door we installed a few weeks ago. (I never realized what a difference a front could make for an old house!)

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Happiness is being home for the holiday season instead of living out of a suitcase in a crowded tourist spot.

Happiness is having time off from work and sleeping in late to make up for having to wake up at all the crazy o’dark hundred hours. (Seriously, it gets depressing going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark.)

Happiness is the anticipation of watching Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host Saturday Night Live.

Okay… those are off the cuff. What about you? What’s your happiness this month?