Saturday, April 30, 2005

Well, I'm not sure I can recommend this hotel, but other than the accommodations, I've had a great time. Today the entire EC family had a great breakfast and I think just about everyone from the offices was there. With EC authors attending, it was quite a crowd! Patty Marks and Crissy Brashear gave us great news about the company and how it's growing (they've bought a new building!) and an update on what's coming this year. Let me just say...the news is exciting an wonderful. I am so lucky to be writing for a great publishing company!

After that, it was time to get ready for the big booksigning. One person told me there were 300 authors...from Heather Graham, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Laurell K. Hamilton to me! It was great to meet with so many readers and fans, including Sha herself! Hi, Sha!

The Mr. Romance competition was a lot of fun. Nine gorgeous men competing in a Question & Answer session, in Datewear and finishing up in a Posedown. And let me tell you...those guys can pose! I'd take any one of them on my covers! And under them, too!

Okay, I'd better stop before I get myself in trouble...Hi, honey! I'll be home tomorrow!

Play safe,

Friday, April 29, 2005

Before I begin today's adventures, I forgot to tell you about the Hospitality Suite here at the convention. EC has a table staffed by authors and I was there yesterday from 4-5:00. What fun! I got to meet so many readers...and I finally met Renee -- a long-time member of my group~ Hi, Renee! I sat with Denise Agnew and Patrice Michelle and we had a great time.

Today's activities got started with a breakfast mixer given by Avon Publishing. We made it down late (sleepyheads!), so most people were already gone, I'm afraid. Workshops again this morning...I went to listen to our very own Raelene Gorlinsky on a panel with Anna Genoese from TOR/Forge, Susan Grant, Sue Kearney and Linnea Sinclair discussing Plausibility Problems and Solutions in Fantasy and Science Fiction. Now, does that mean I might have an SF or Fantasy up my sleeve? You bet! It's a fantasy, but not a romance. Probably will come out via Cerriwidden under another name...but that's a different discussion. Hmmm...have I teased enough?

I also went to listen to Anna's presentaion with Melissa Ann Singer to hear about the happenings at TOR/Forge...I've been reading fantasy since fantasy was only one set of books ... JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. It was great to get a chance to sit there as a reader instead of an author and listen to all the wonderful things coming our way in the next year.

RT gave a Salute to the Buyers luncheon where we heard Sue Grimshaw, Waldenbooks Romance Fiction buyer, speak about some of the trends in publishing. You won't be surprised to to know that, although book buying is slightly down this year, two genre are selling off the shelves: paranormal and romanterotica! In fact, she mentioned EC by name in her speech as the premier publisher of romanterotica in the market today. All other publishers are scrambling to get where EC already is!

Cheyenne McCray and Eden Robbins gave a great mixer in the afternoon, but I was late 'cause I was IMing with my husband. We got to chatting and...well, you know how it goes! Tonight's Vampire Ball is still going on, but I'm beat. I love the life of an author, but these parties are doing me in! LOL

Tomorrow is the big booksigning. I'm tremendously excited about that. I can't wait to meet more readers! Besides which, tomorrow is also the Mr. Romance pagent...and we all know that's the real reason we're all here! I'll have a full report tomorrow night on all the gorgeous, hunky guys that are here.

Play safe!
Wow, what a day! But let me start at the beginning...

Because I'm still on New York time, I woke early. We had set the alarm for 7:45 (the first mixer .. ie, breakfast.. started at 8:30), but I was up by six. Ended up being great because my husband and I IMed for over an hour. There are days we don't get that much time together when I'm home!

The breakfast mixer was hosted by our own Lori O'Clare, Lora Leigh, Mary Wine and Jaci Burton and let me tell you, they put on a great spread. I had a walnut muffin that was huge! I got a chance to talk with Patty Marks and Crissy Brashear for a bit...there are some great things coming for EC! You ain't seen nothin' yet!

Afterward, Angelica and I headed up to beard the lion in his den...otherwise known as the Front Desk Manager. "He" turned out to be a "She" on the daytime shift. "She" was quite pleasant, very helpful and tremendously apologetic. We went back to the bellhop's desk for her to begin tracking it down...and lo and behold, there sat my box...right out in the open, with my name and room number on it. Not delivered. Not secure. Right there. Were we ticked? You bet!

So we gave her what for, she apologized some more and I told her I wanted it delivered to my room by the time I returned at noon. She also told us she would have the bellhop's superior contact us at some point during the day to get more information (which, by the way, he never did -- perhaps tomorrow?).

The good news is...I have my promo notepads back. The bad news is...I do NOT want to carry 47 pounds worth of them back home on the plane. LOL After mapping out a new promo plan, we decided to put the notepads out on Promotion Lane and hope people would still pick them up. They're going like hotcakes! We've gone through almost half of them already.

And yes, I still have some home, so I suspect whoever wins the contest on Monday will be getting one. Then you can let me know if the hullabaloo was worth it!

I'm afraid we skipped the Awards Luncheon. The workshops on promotion in both the morning and the afternoon sessions were great, but we were tired and decided on a quick lunch at The Grill (a very pricey restaurant in the hotel) and a nap. Gotta be rested for the party at night!

Cerriwidden launched today and EC had a nice mixer with lots of fresh fruit, cheese and crackers and a fruit punch. Raelene Gorlinsky helmed the mic and there were lots of goodies (chocolate, of course...and a neat traveler's manicure set).

Tonight was the Masquerade Ball, and I wish I could tell you I wore a costume, but alas, I did not. There just wasn't room in my suitcase for everything! But plenty of others were dressed magnificently. Our very own Mary Wine and Lisa Stoddard were two of the five winners of the costume contest. Lisa wore a white and royal blue jester's costume and Mary wore a beautiful Victorian lady's dress...complete with corset and the requiste "S" shape. But the piece de resistance of her outfit had to be the mask...covered in the same material as her dress with feathers dyed in the same hues. Yes, I have pictures and will upload them to the group soon as I figure out how to get them off my camera!

And so another exciting day in St. Louis draws to a close...till tomorrow, play safe!


Thursday, April 28, 2005

Wednesday, redux...

What's that adage about if it can go wrong, it will? The day hiccupped and I ended up with a major problem.

You see, ahead of time I sent to the hotel, via UPS, 2 boxes of notepads with my website and promo info imprinted on them. The intent was to put one notepad in every bag EC gave away at the party tonight. 400 notepads in total. There were 100 notepads in the smaller box; 3oo in the larger one.

UPS is a good company and true to their word. By 4:30 this afternoon, the two boxes had been delivered to the hotel. And then the hotel lost the larger of the 2 boxes. Yes, you heard me. Somewhere between the delivery dock and the spot where we were stuffing bags (2 floors down), the hotel managed to "misplace" 300 personalized notepads.

I did not have a happy face.

Good thing Angelica is here, let me tell you. She's very good about taking care of matters like this. Unfortunately, the box was still missing and the bags needed to be done. So, instead of putting the excerpt booklets out on the table as planned, 300 of them went into the EC bags in place of the missing notepads. And on Promo Alley? Well, let's just say it's a good thing I brought a lot of bookmarks!

So yes, I can be flexible and adapt as needed. But let me say that the hotel darn well better find that box, or I'll be asking them for the replacement value!

On to better the EC party...What a blast! So many cool people...Arianna Hart, Cheyenne McCray...dancing with Camille Anthony (let me tell you, the girl has some moves!). The EC cover models were there and I got a hug from Rodney Chapman, whose wonderful face and physique graces the cover of 'my' TALES FROM THE TEMPLE III. Over 40 gift boxes were given away as door prizes -- so many authors donated great prizes!

The party is still going, but we've conked out. The day has been long for us, even after a short nap this afternoon. Tomorrow the day gets started at 8:30 ... so till then, play safe!


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

This is way too cool. I have to admit...I've only traveled by air once before in my life...and that was 24 years ago in a short puddle jump that lasted less than an hour in the air. Today was great! I had a wonderful time flying! We were over 6 miles up in the air and I couldn't stop writing about it. So many wonderful images that will come in handy later, if I have a heroine that goes flying....

Many thanks to Angelica, my promotions manager -- a seasoned traveler who knew where to go and what to do. She pointed and I just did what she did. We arrived at the Millennium Hotel with no hassles...and almost an hour early! American Airlines sure get points for that.

After checking in (no, my promo materials that I sent on ahead are not here yet -- not panicking, not panicking), we put out 50 excerpt booklets for TABLE FOR FOUR and toured the area to get the lay of the land. Then back upstairs for a nap -- we lost an hour in changing time zones. And since our flight out was so early, I'd gotten up at 4 AM.

Rested, we headed back down to the lower lobby where all the action is -- and came back up almost immediately when we discovered only 7 excerpt booklets left! Have put 50 SECRET SUBMISSION booklets out now.

Speaking of SECRET SUBMISSION -- it was reviewed in this month's Romantic Times Magazine -- FOUR STARS!!!! I'm very psyched.

Have re-met Ashleigh Raine, Ruby Storm, Titania Ladley, and Heather Osborn. Have met for the first time, Jordan Summers and Camille Anthony. What a great group so far!

Off to get ready for the EC Fantasy party tonight...will write more later. Till safe,

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go...."

Ya gotta love John Denver! One of my favorite folk musicians. Only I'm not going as far as Colorado...this time. "Only" to St. Louis.

It didn't take me as long to pack as I thought it would (thank goodness!) my husband has decided to take me out to dinner tonight as a sort of send-off. See why I married him? He's taking the kids for the next five days...and they're going to have to deal with Daddy-taxi instead of me.

In an effort not to overpack, I'm probably forgetting something. But my philosophy is simple: if I don't have it -- I don't really need it.

Take care and play safe!

Monday, April 25, 2005

In 36 hours, I land in St. Louis. This is quite an adventure for a gal who has never been further west than Battle Creek, Michigan! I can't wait to see the Mighty Mississippi up close and personal.

I have everything laid out...and have been receiving reports from some authors already there. The weather is getting warmer. Good in the Northeast it's in the 40's...and with snow in the west, who knows what to expect?! But since we'll all be warm and safe inside a hotel and surrounded by books, who cares what the weather is doing?

Take care and play safe!

Friday, April 22, 2005

Packed my carryon today...let's just hope the airport people don't weigh it! I decided to take all my promo stuff with me on the plane and put only clothes in my suitcase. Figured that way, should my suitcase not arrive in a timely manner, I'll still have the important things. Heck! I can run out to a discount store and buy a blouse...but I can't get personalized notepads and bookmarks at Walmart!

So we managed to get most of it in my carryon...and what didn't fit, Angelica is taking in hers. Between the two of us, we've got it covered. I hope.

See you at the EC party in six days!

Take care and play safe,

Thursday, April 21, 2005

And so the countdown to the Romantic Times Convention begins! In one week, I'll be on a plane, headed to St. Louis, MO...Can't wait to see the big arch! I spent two hours today organizing my wardrobe! Need five outfits for the nighttime activities and five daytime ensembles. Since I'm flying out, I don't have room for much in the way of costumes, so for the evening affairs I've decided to go sparkly and elegant. Need to save the space in my suitcase for promo items!

Speaking of promo items...for those of you attending the RT convention, stop in at the Hospitality Suite Thursday afternoon between 4-5:00 pm. I'll be at the Ellora's Cave table. Mention this weblog to me and get a special gift!

And for those who cannot attend the the newsletter for an important announcement soon. I'll be holding a special contest for those who can't be there. (Here's a hint: each day I'll post my adventures in St. Louis here on At the end of the convention, there will be a quiz!)

Till safe!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

What a difference 6 weeks makes! The weather here is sunny and should hit 70 today. Already I've transplanted some plants and raked off the garden this morning. Now I'm settling in to spend a quiet afternoon with my imagination.

HOOKED is a new story that is currently in its second round of edits. It's a short story...but sometimes those are the most sex served quickly! Won't give too many teasers just yet...let's just say I had fun playing around the various uses of the word that serves as the title (to HOOK a man, to be HOOKED on something, a HOOKER, to come get the point...).

I've been so busy writing, I have neglected this blog once many apologies. I really need to do something about that. I've written a plus-length novel that is also in edits and that's taken up most of my time. The working title for that one is CABIN FEVER. One of the most challenging novels I've ever written because there are only two characters throughout 95% of the book. The primary focus of the story explores their relationship as it grows and then falls apart (don't worry, it does have a happy ending).

Of course, these two created themselves as do all my characters. Although I start with a basic framework, by the time I'm finished, the story is often completely different. As the characters come to life on the page, they begin to tell the story in their words. I might give them life, but they give themselves depth and personality.

Over the course of the next week, I will be gearing up for the Romantic Times Convention in St. Louis. I hope to see you all there!