Saturday, May 05, 2007

I Need Help!

I am terrible thinking up titles for my books! My editor wants me to come up with something for the second novel set on the fictitious Halo Island, and I’m hoping you’ll help.

In a nutshell, here are the particulars:

The hero, D.J. Hatcher owns Island Air, a seaplane company that flies tourists from Seattle to Halo Island and back. The flight takes about one hour. (The company is modeled on a real-life seaplane company in Bothell, Washington, near where I live.) Island Air is suffering financial problems, and D.J. may be forced to sell—something he does not want to do.

The heroine, Liza Miller, teaches second grade, but not on the island. She grew up there, and has come back to help her grandmother move from her home of fifty-four years into an apartment in a retirement complex. The move is for the best—a smaller place with a dining room and medical care is just what her grandmother needs. But leaving one’s home is never easy. An added burden is that Liza has been let go and must find another teaching job.

Both D.J. and Liza have had painful pasts. Four years before the story opens, D.J.’s wife ran off with his business partner. The following year, Liza’s fiancĂ©e left her at the altar for one of the guests. Imagine!

I won’t go into the details (you can read the story when it comes out sometime in 2008), but as you might have guessed, Liza and D.J. fall in love.

My editor would love to use the word “pilot” in the title. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I’m counting on you, and will report back on my next blog date, May 19, with the title my editor chooses.

Ann Roth
Summer Lovin’ Anthology: A Reunion Story, June 2007
Mitch Takes A Wife, August, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Spring Cleaning

I have three sets of visitors coming to stay for a few days this summer--end of May, *sometime* in June and the week of July 4th, which includes a big family reunion at my home. When do I do my spring cleaning and still have the house in good shape by July?

Spring cleaning in my house includes…cleaning the carpets (I have my own carpet machine and do the rugs in my house) cleaning the blinds (damp cloth and wipe every slat), washing windows, curtains, flipping bed mattresses, wiping baseboards, cleaning the bathroom vents and washing shower curtains, spraying dried flowers arrangements, dusting all those goofy roosters I collect, washing doors, cleaning the garage out, getting on a ladder and dusting the lights and ceiling fans) then of course all the normal stuff like vacuuming and dusting.

I'm tempted to hire a maid service to come in and do the whole house in one day, but I hate spending money on something I can do myself. I'd rather use the money I save to buy flowers for the yard. If anyone has any shortcuts, tips or suggestions on spring cleaning, I'd love to hear them.

Happy Reading!
Summer Lovin' The Preacher's Daughter June 07

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

You can go home again

I just returned from a week in Nashville, Tennessee. Although most people associate Music City with its country performers, I grew up there, so a return has a very different meaning to me. This trip in particular was packed with landmark events.

My mom, Sylvia Hyman, is an internationally known ceramic sculptor, and the first weekend of my visit, I attended the Nashville Film Festival to view the world premiere of a half-hour documentary about her by filmmaker Curt Hahn. In addition to my stepfather, we were joined by my brother, my stepbrother and his wife, so we enjoyed a mini-family reunion along with the screening.

The film, “Sylvia Hyman: Eternal Wonder,” is beautifully made, informative and amusing, although my mother wishes it had been titled “Eternally Wondering” instead of “Eternal Wonder” (it should be available on DVD by mid-June from Curt is also cutting a shorter version to accompany an exhibit of Sylvia’s work at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, June 22-Oct 7, in celebration of her upcoming 90th birthday.

Not the usual sort of visit with one’s 89-year-old mother! And she’s still working, exploring new ideas and techniques.

My visit also encompassed my fortieth high school reunion, a chance to catch up with old friends. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but we had a blast! About twenty fellow students from a graduating class of seventy attended, along with perhaps a dozen spouses. Our class comedians haven’t lost their touch (in fact, I think they’re funnier now) and everyone seemed warm and upbeat. I almost wish I were back in high school so I could enjoy their company without the teenage angst.

It’s hard to believe so much time has passed. All the same, I feel like I’m just getting started in my own life and career. My mother has done her best work since she turned eighty. So tune in – I’m revving my engines!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Best Harlequin American--05 (or why you shouldn't be embarrassed to google yourself)

Okay, admit it. You've taken your name, stuck it in the google search bar and pressed enter. If you haven't, you should start.

As an author, I do a search of my name about every two months. I've also signed up for google alerts, but usually I get information about movies that star Michelle Pieffer and Faye Dunaway rather than something about me.

However, the other day I did a google search and discovered that named Emergency Engagement their best Harlequin American of...2005.

I had no idea. No one ever notified me, so it was a fun way to end what has been a pretty good month.

Google searches have turned up some other interesting things. I've found reviews of my books, foreign editions, my bio written in French, blogs about my books, and authors who have credited me for inspiring them to write something (which is always fun). Most things I'd never know, had I not "googled" myself.

I'll also admit to googling family members, exboyfriends, coworkers, etc. It's fun to see what's out there on the world wide web, and I've located former students via their posts on myspace, by finding it first on google.

So have fun. Don't be embarrassed. You might discover you've won something, or that someone with your name is "famous" too (the other Michele Dunaways are a painter and a newsbroadcaster).


Sunday, April 29, 2007

My "Writer's Spa"

My husband, Rob, also a writer and an e-publisher, signed up to attend the Romentic Times Booklovers Convention. I decided to go with him. I mean, he was paying for the hotel room. I could hang out in a luxurious room, freed from the mundane activities of meal preparation, paying bills and housework. I could eat healthy salads and fruit for every meal, take long walks, and sleep in a king-size bed with massive numbers of feather pillows. Under such conditions, I was sure I could crank out at least 50 pages.

We drove down to Houston on Wednesday afternoon. By the time we got settled in our room I was much too tired to write. I watched "Mythbusters" and "Dirty Jobs" and planned to start my serious spa work the next day.

Thursday got off to a promising start. I woke up early and went for a nice long run/walk in the beautiful spring weather. About a mile from the hotel I found a bagel shop, where I bought a bagel and coffee to go (I couldn't find any fresh fruit, honest!). On the way back to the hotel, I fell off the curb and twisted my ankle.

I hopped/hobbled/limped about eight blocks back to the hotel, put ice on my ankle, and ate my cold bagel and drank my cold coffee. That was the end of the fitness portion of my spa. Now there was nothing left for me to do but write. I propped myself on the bed with my foot on a pillow, and I wrote and wrote and wrote--thirty pages.

As for the salad plans, I had great intentions, but Subway was the only place close enough to limp to. Subway sells potato chips. I was doomed.

That night I went to bed early with a couple of aspirin.

Friday I wrote some more--17 pages--and ate all the candy Rob brought back from the conference Goody Room. At three o'clock I packed up and started for home--and was stuck in traffic for two hours. Not exactly the relaxing conclusion I was hoping for.

At least I got a lot of writing done, which was really the point. And okay, the feather pillows were nice. But next time I want a spa, I'm checking into Elizabeth Arden!

(P.S. The picture is me with legendary Romantic Times publisher Kathryn Falk. I did attend one reception, given by