Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

With the holidays gearing up, my calendar is filling with social engagements and family obligations. One of those social events is a yearly party we attend or host with a group of five other families. We've been doing this for more than ten years now. Some of the kids are in college now, some of the couples no longer together, but the tradition continues.

One of the things we usually do is a White Elephant Exchange. None of us are wealthy, but we all have enough. So when this year's hostess suggested we do something different, I immediately applauded the idea. She said she has a few soldiers stationed in Afghanistan to whom she regularly sends little gift packages. This year, with so many people hurting financially and so many soldiers away from home and their families, she wants us each to bring a gift for a soldier. She will then mail the items off.
The kids usually do their own exchange, but we decided to have each bring a new toy for a local toy drive for children in need.

I thought the sentiments were so worthwhile, I should blog about it. Maybe other people will follow suit. With Thanksgiving upon us, I always think about everything and everyone I have in my life. I'm so thankful for those who put their lives on the line every day to keep the rest of us safe.

That said, here are some links to help you send items to soldiers:

US Postal Service Supporting Our Troops links:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One question that friends and readers alike love to ask me is, “How do you come up with all those story ideas?” I have a pat answer to this question—from reading the newspaper and magazines. You see, I often get the kernel of an idea from a story about a woman in peril or a dignitary visiting the United States from some exotic land.

But when I thought about my latest release (my first from Ellora’s Cave), I realized there was no way I got the idea of a woman ending up on a tropical beach with two handsome bodyguards, the premise for the story. So I started thinking about where the spark for the idea came from. I couldn’t come up with a single clue. Regardless of how creative someone is, all story ideas originate somewhere. Anywhere.

Even from distractions. My two biggest distractions are my secret guilty pleasures—playing Scrabble on my computer and watching an occasional mindless reality show. Far as I know, I’ve never plucked a story premise from Scrabble. But one of my earlier books, Falling Star is about a grown up child star who is forced to accept a gig as star of her own reality show. So yeah, I might have gotten that idea from television.

The more I thought about my viewing habits, it hit me. The inspiration for Tropical Exposure was one of those movie star/socialites you see on the entertainment channels with a million flashes greeting them every time they leave a restaurant or go to the gym. I wondered how annoying that would be.

Hence the distraction yields inspiration. Check out the blurb for Tropical Exposure:

Megastar Marin Shay disappears from the radar a few weeks a year for a vacation from the pressures of Hollywood. This time, though, instead of the usual bodyguards she gets stuck with—beefy middle-aged men with bad breath and even worse comb-overs—she lucks into some scorching-hot eye candy.

Tony and Josh share the same objective—taking care if Marin in every way possible. And when she proposes they indulge her fantasy of a ménage a trois, both men are definitely eager to please.

There’s only one problem—one of them is really a tabloid reporter who could ruin everything.

Are you reminded of a certain pop princess? Okay, so honestly, only the character’s phenomenal celebrity is reminiscent of said princess. But that’s all it takes. This author takes the inspiring spark and runs with it. Did I mention when I was growing up all my dolls had back-stories? Even the stuffed animals had sordid lives. Perhaps my head has just always been filled with stories. Might explain why I daydreamed my way through school!

Okay—maybe I’m just weird.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Release and Giveaway

I am so excited that today is release day for my first erotic romantic suspense, or rather, my alter ego's.

Here’s a little about the book:

When Kelsey Ackerman’s assistant at her used bookstore is murdered, the police label it a botched robbery by a desperate drug addict. But Kelsey suspects the perpetrator was looking for a rare Shakespeare volume that someone unknowingly donated. Now a killer’s sights are set on Kelsey.

Jail guard Jason Jones only wants to protect her, but after suffering a controlling father and an abusive ex-husband, Kelsey wants nothing to do with the confident, hot sergeant. Until the danger becomes crystal clear, and the only man who can save her is the very man she can’t resist.

You can read an excerpt HERE or purchase the book (or any of my other books) HERE.

I will draw one commenter to receive a free copy of TROPIC OF TROUBLE.