Thursday, April 02, 2009


CONGRATULATIONS Arkansas Cyndi! You’re the March winner. To receive your free autographed books please contact Ann Roth, Michele Dunaway and Linda Warren through their Web sites.

To enter the contest simply leave a blog comment and your name will go into the drawing. Simple and painless. And FREE BOOKS.

So check back often and be sure to leave a comment. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

No Fooling

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: It’s April Fool’s Day. Let’s all go out and NOT play a trick on someone, because that got old in grade school.

Instead, let me explain why April 1st really matters. That’s because there are only two more days till my birthday.

I never figured I’d be sensitive about my age, but this is a big one. Let’s put it this way: I’m going to turn 40, for the 20th time.

Ouch ouch ouch.

Now let’s look at all the reasons why that’s good:

· My older son has a job (he earns more than I do) and my younger son is in college, so my husband and I have more time together, and I have more time to write.
· I’ve been happily married for 30 years, which means I can thumb my nose at all the people who say you can’t marry someone of a different religion.
· I still have my mother and mothers-in-law (my husband’s mother and stepmother) to cheer me on when times get rough.
· Still healthy (knock on wood, take fish oil, exercise, etc. etc.)
· Just got a new three-book contract with Harlequin American. Hooray hooray!

The books center on a remodeled maternity hospital that accidentally gets a reputation as a safe haven for babies whose mothers can’t keep them. Soon babies are turning up everywhere, and the staff is asked to take some of them home. Babies … doctors … falling in love … No publication dates set yet, but I’m hoping for 2010.

Now I’m going to go enjoy April in my vegetable garden, watching the baby plants grow.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Foreign Editions

One of the most interesting things about writing for Harlequin American is that really, nowhere else but North American and Canada are your books distributed in bookstores in other languages under the Harlequin American imprint. As I said in my March 12 interview, I'm out in Australia as a Mills & Boon Sexy author with Taming the Tabloid Heiress.

Two weeks ago today I had a box in my mailbox. Enclosed was the above title, which is the Japanese version of The Marriage Campaign. I love the cover, although I really can't read a word on it. I recognized the Japanese though, and enough that I think they put two Ls in my name. I've been out in Japan several times, mostly as a Special Edition. This time, I'm out under the Desire imprint. The cover is above. The art is totally different from the original United States release.

I find it fascinating to see how books in other countries are titled, published and distributed. Thanks to google translations, I got the above image from the site and managed to learn it was a January 2009 release. Now only time will tell if the rest of the series gets translated and picked up as well. That would be fun.

I also got another book in the mail. The Christmas Date was also out in Australia and New Zealand as a Mills & Boon Sexy in December.
Last, the cover below is a release I had out in France. This is a two-in-one book and I'm out with good friend Patricia Kay. Neither she nor I knew about it until the book came out over a year ago. But I like it because again, the art is totally different.

Anyway, everyone have a great last two days of the month. It's awesome spring is finally here, and Apri is just moments away.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

American Diner

This morning I indulged in a weekly ritual that I always look forward to: Breakfast at Norma's.

Norma's is a diner about five blocks from where I live. It's been in its current spot for about 15 or 20 years, but before that it was down the street a piece (as we say here in the south). I don't remember it from those days--that was before I moved here to Oak Cliff, one of the oldest sections of Dallas. But I understand it was pretty much the same as it is now.

Norma's serves a lot of really yummy but not-exactly-healthy food. I prefer the breakfast to anything. Best biscuits and pancakes on earth, bacon and eggs, sausage gravy, grits, all that good stuff. But the best thing about Norma's is the people--the people who work there and the people who eat there.

If a newcomer enters, he'll be greeted with, "Just have a seat anywhere you like!" (No one says that to us anymore, because we know the drill.)

Pam is the manager, and she's almost always there. She knows all of the regulars by name and stops by everyone's table, coffee pot in hand, to relate the latest gossip about the neighborhood. She's got a huge heart, and she's always involving the restaurant in various charitable events--food drives, feeding the hungry on Thanksgiving, raising money so a needy child can have an operation.

A number of the waitresses have been there for years and years. If they see us come in, two hot coffees will be whisked in front of us the moment we sit down. Sometimes they don't even give us menus because we have it memorized, and it doesn't change. (Pam tried introducing whole grain pancakes once, but it didn't take.) The only thing that changes is the chalkboard specials, but even those are predictable depending on what day it is.

I like to watch the patrons, too, an eclectic mis of after-church ladies all dressed up, working men in overalls, old and young, all races, all education levels. Many of us are such regular patrons that we've gotten to know each other, and chats from booth to booth are common.

If you read any of my "Blond Justice" books of a few years ago, the diner in those books was based on Norma's. And when the books came out, I had a booksigning at the diner and I sold 75 books.

When I move to California (if it ever happens!) I will miss Norma's almost more than anything. I'm sure we'll find other favorite breakfast spots, and we'll become regulars some other place. But Norma's will always hold a special place in my heart.