Wednesday, August 06, 2008

RWA 2008 National Conference report

Well, I’m finally coming down from my post-conference high. I was visiting San Francisco last week for the Romance Writers of America’s annual conference. I met up with old friends (that's me and my great pals D'Anne Avner and Trish Albright, looking like frowsy but fabulous rock stars coming home from an all-night party), made some new ones (hey, I even chatted up Debra Dixon and Linda Howard), and generally had a good time. I will say that the highlight of the conference for me was actually the events that took place before the conference.

The Beau Monde Society and the Hearts through History chapters hosted a Historical Romance Writers conference a day before the real conference started. I enjoyed myself, and will talk about it more over on the PASIC 2B Read blog on Friday, 8 Aug 2008. Go check it out!

I enjoyed the heck out of the Victorian Dress workshop I attended during one of the several sessions offered at the historical conference. Watching these ladies get dressed (yep, they were in their knickers when I showed up a few minutes late to the session) really helped me to understand what a ritual it was just to put on clothes—and take them off—in Victorian times.

I now know that if a gentleman and lady wanted to engage in—how shall we say—a rapid moment of intimacy, there would be no way he’d remove her clothing first. It would have taken an hour just to get her back into them, if he even knew how.

The lady’s under things were constructed in such a way as to make her, ahem, biologically necessary procedures easy to take care of without removing any of her clothes, and thus the clothing would have stayed on, even though the skirts would have gone up. :-) These particular styles were from the later half of the 19th century, so the half-bustle was in vogue, as shown in the image to the right. This is a dress a woman of lower means might have worn, probably a servant or one not of the upper classes, and therefore the dress was more practical and of servicable material. Notice also that her dress buttons in front, which means she had to get herself dressed without the assistance of a servant, unlike the lady of means.

The heroine in my current work-in-progress, a Victorian-set novel, is from an earlier period and would be wearing the rather unattractive wide-skirted crinoline, which resembled an upside down bell and dangled from a “cage” around the woman’s waist. It could make high winds and sitting down without showing your underwear a bit of a challenge.

Author and historical costume diva Kalen Hughes (Lord Scandal) led the group the next day to the Lacis lace museum in Berkeley, where we discovered everything from mourning clothes to menswear
(that’s the stunning Delilah Marvelle, author of Mistress of Pleasure, beside the waistcoats), and I spent way too much money on research books. The museum’s curator explained that even when clothing moved to being machine and factory made, it was still beautiful.

I also signed books at the Literacy Signing, a first for me. This is an annual event RWA hosts prior to the official opening of the conference. So far, RWA has raised over half-a-million dollars for literacy. All the books are donated by publishers, authors sign them for free, and readers come in droves to meet their favorite authors in person. I have some great photos of friends and fellow authors posted over on my gallery at my website as well. Hope you’ll stop in and check it out!


Contest winner!

I swear, I didn't forget. However, life has been very hectic this past month, with three different trips to the West Coast for me.

However, I am happy to announce that Kay Hudson of Houston, TX is the winner of June/July's contest. I'll get in touch with Kay and get her the two fabulous books.

Congratulations, Kay!


Friday, June 13, 2008

A new contest for JUNE!

I'm having a new contest for the month of June!

We all have found typos or small errors (and sometimes large ones) in our favorite books. Although copy editors are probably the hardest working individuals on Earth, stuff still gets by them. Unfortunately, a doozy of an error not only got past me in my proofing of The Legacy, but by my CE as well. My bad...but your gain.

Here's the contest: I'm giving away a free copy of CJ Lyon's fabulous new debut novel, Lifelines, plus a copy of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight, the beginning of her incredible YA series featuring teenage vampires, to one lucky person who figures out what that error is.

Here's the rules: while there are one or two minor typos in The Legacy, as with most books, let's not waste our time with small potatoes. Let's go right for the big...potatoes. I'm looking for a specific error that occurs five times in the novel. Yep. The same error, five times. I'll give you a hint: it's in German. (That's what happens when you forget to set your spell check for the German language, folks.) If you find it, send an e-mail to me at tjb @ tjbennett . com (no spaces), subject "June Contest" with your answer as to what that error is. Include your e-mail address to contact you in the event you win, and on July 5, 2008, I'll draw a winning name at random from all correct entries. I'll announce the winner on my blog and e-mail him or her as well. The winner will have one week to respond with an address to where I can send their prize. If I don't hear from the winner by then, I'll select an alternate winning entry.

That's it! Good luck and have fun hunting for the answer in my book.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Quote of the day

"The meek shall inherit the earth, of course, but the brazen are sure to contest the will."

~ Adam Freedman

Friday, May 16, 2008

My new cover for THE PROMISE!

Thought you folks might like a sneak peek of my cover for my next historical romance, The Promise. Isn't it lovely? This one is a connected book with The Legacy in that it is about the middle Behaim brother, but instead of Germany, it takes place in the Italian city states of Pavia and Genoa. The book is scheduled for release in another year, May 2009 (yes, it seems like FOREVER). Here's the back cover copy on it and some (very) early reviews:

In a dangerous world, sometimes the greatest risk is love ...

In 1525, Günter Behaim is a Landsknecht (a professional soldier in the service of Emperor Charles V). Günter has been betrayed by love and promises not kept. As a result, he has sworn to make few promises of his own and keep those unto death. However, when his friend is mortally wounded while saving Günter’s life, he gives a pledge to marry his betrothed. To keep his promise, Günter must use every weapon in his romantic arsenal to convince the reluctant woman to marry him. As his passion for her grows, he realizes he is falling in love. Is he prepared to risk his worst fear: having his heart rejected once more?

The Spanish beauty Alonsa García de Aranjuéz is determined to withstand Günter’s relentless pursuit. Haunted by a gypsy’s curse on any man who loves her, Alonsa yearns for Günter, but fear for his safety forces her to rebuff him. As she struggles to deny the growing attraction between them, she begins to realize that fate may have other plans. With danger surrounding them, will Alonsa bite from the forbidden fruit? Or will Günter be bitten instead by the mysterious misfortune that seems to plague any with the courage to become ... Alonsa’s love?


“Lush, sexy and exciting, The Promise offers a fascinating glimpse into a rarely visited age!”
~ Victoria Dahl, author of To Tempt a Scotsman and A Rake’s Guide to Pleasure

“A delightful breath of fresh air in historical romance! With a unique setting and memorable characters, TJ Bennett delivers a gripping romantic adventure that will leave you breathless for more.”
~ Monica McCarty, New York Times Bestselling Author of Highlander Unchained

“A romantic adventure with a devastating hero that you’re sure to love. T.J. Bennett’s The Promise is a breath of fresh air in the Regency-heavy historical market.”
~ Kahlen Hughes, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Nominee; author of Lord Sin and Lord Scandal

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I hope those of you who are mothers or are celebrating your mothers are having a wonderful day. My mom isn't with us anymore, sadly, so I miss that part of picking out the card myself and sending it to her, calling her on the phone, etc. However, I'm also a mom, and my husband is an absent-minded professor type, so I normally wind up planning most family related events myself. And I've years ago given up hope of him ever taking the initiative and remembering the details of such events in advance. I've grown accustomed to suggesting gifts, restaurants to celebrate events, mementos for special occasions, and the like, for both my birthday/Christmas and Mother's Day and his family's events as well. I take it in stride because I know he's not thoughtless; it just doesn't occur to him to try to handle those details since I do it so well.

However, what he did for Mother's Day this year just goes to show how a man can still surprise his woman after 15 years of marriage. I came home yesterday a little distraught because I'd forgotten to remind him to send his mother flowers, and I feared it would be too late. Nothing about celebrations or the upcoming Mother's Day had been mentioned, so I assumed he'd forgotten, too. I thought to remind him to order the flowers and then suggest we go to my favorite restaurant for dinner because I knew he'd be upset if the day slipped by without us celebrating because he'd forgotten what day it was. When I got home, however, he greeted me with a kiss, informed me we had reservations at my favorite restaurant for 5:30pm Sunday, and by the way he'd ordered his mother's flowers that morning. All this while he was squiring our son to Urgent Care for a severe cut on his finger.

Then, with a gleam in his eye, he left, only to return an hour later with eleven blushing pink "bubble gum" colored roses and one red one in a vase brimming with greenery. He went out again to find the perfect Mother's Day cards, which he gave me today not only from him, but from our two sons as well. He spent an hour picking out the cards, and each one was perfect and in character--one containing a beautiful bookmark with a little gem on it from him, and the other two from our sons in perfect character with my relationship with each of them. Finally, the boys gave me handmade cards with their answers to the question "What is a mom?" I'll quote from one of them (although they were both wonderful):

"She's brave enough to risk anything for my life.
She's loving enough to punish me.
She's silly enough to make me laugh.
She's nice enough to feed me.
And, finally, she's caring enough to help cure our injuries.
That's my mom!"

Now, this from a middle-school boy. Is he smart, or what? Takes after his dad, I think. LOL!

Happy Mother's Day, all. I hope yours has been as nice as mine.


Friday, April 25, 2008

Now THAT's a comeback

I have to give a shout out to my friend Dana, who had the perfect comeback to a nosy busybody who found Dana's reading material (a romance) offensive to women. Would that I could be so clever as to come up with a rejoinder like this. Dana, you are now officially my hero, you sassy woman, you.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Wonderful, wonderful!

I had a lovely book signing experience at Read It Again on Friday, April 18. I don't think a bestselling NYT author could have been treated better by the wonderful bookseller, Grace Galloway. Grace went to a lot of trouble to bring customers into the store and to make me feel at home, even going so far as to set up a signing table that mimicked the cover of The Legacy (see picture). I met a lot of folks who had been lured in by Grace's wonderful promotions, a lot of local friends made it to the signing, and the wonderful personal chef of my acquaintance, Chef Norie, served snacks, treats, and wine with a German theme. I know not every book signing event I participate in will go this well in the future, but this sort of thing is one of the reasons I love being an author. It makes up for the hours of loneliness, stress, rejection, and isolation experienced by most authors as we claw our way up the ladder of success (if we ever do).

What astounded me is speaking with people who thought I was a genuinely accomplished person because I'd written a book. People, some of whom were a little tongue-tied when they met me, who treated me as though I was a bit of a celebrity because of that book. People who sat and chatted with me and shared their stories and asked me for mine--who had never met me before. The book was a connection between me and them, and it made me realize, not for the first time, that is the REAL reason why I write. To make that connection, to touch the hearts and minds of people I've never had the chance to meet, to bring them into my world for a little while and show them that love is WORTH the trouble, worth the pain, worth the investment of the heart. I love writing romance, I love the happily ever after ending, and if others can identify with that love, too, I'm so happy to be the one to help them get there.

Thanks to Grace and Norie for making my launch party a resounding success. Remember, Read It Again has signed author copies in stock while supplies last, so if you want an autographed copy of the book and plan to order it anyway, you can contact Grace to buy and she'll be happy to ship it to you.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

News Flash! The Legacy available at three on-line locations!

Good news! I checked BN.COM and, and both are listing The Legacy as in stock! Yay!

Also, the bookseller hosting my book launch party, Read it Again, now has a link for ordering the book directly from her store. I'd love it if you could support this wonderful bookseller's efforts to get my book into the hands of readers. Independent booksellers rock!

So, we finally have options and access. Whew! I was sweating it a little...

[UPDATE:] Read It Again has signed copies of The Legacy in stock. So, while supplies last, if you'd like an autographed copy of the book, you can order directly from the Read It Again website.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

When Babies Attack

Well, back from LA LA Land (Los Angeles area) and I had a fabulous time. I hung out with old friends, spent time with my sister, and gave a talk to the Los Angeles Romance Authors chapter of RWA about "Finding the Dark Side of Your Knight in Shining Armor." I used my knowledge of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to provide insight in finding flaws and areas of conflict for our wonderful male heroes, because nobody's perfect, right? Afterward, I sold out of the books at the Barnes and Noble in Encino where I gave my talk. Unfortunately, some folks who stood in line for one weren't able to get one due to a shortage of books, but it was nice to be able to say "Hey, I sold out at my first book signing!"

Everything was wonderful--except for the flight out to LA. The plane was absolutely packed, the airport personnel seemed stressed and ruder than normal, and I was attacked by a baby on board the flight. No, really. Actually, the kid was quite cherubic--a happy little fellow with no respect for personal space. His slightly bewildered dad was doing his fatherly duty and giving the mother a break by holding the baby while she vegged. They were in separate rows, and he was stuffed in the middle seat with me on the aisle and a chatty, rather large fellow in the window seat. The baby chortled and drooled on my denim jacket (the dad neglected to get a bib cloth for the obviously teething baby). I did my citizenly duty by flipping magazine pages and pointing, saying "Dog? Book?" at appropriate times, much to the smart-as-a-whip baby's delight. Partway through the flight, the tiny one conked, sleeping soundly instead of screaming at high decibels like most babies on flights. Reassured, I decided to watch the in-flight movie (National Treasure II, a highly improbable, yet strangely entertaining adventure-fest). Ensconced in my cheap airline headsets, I munched on the bag of nuts I brought as defense against airplane food (or lack thereof). I had decided, unfortunately, to partake of my favorite in-flight beverage--hot tea.

Yep. I bet you can see this one coming. Without warning, the baby awoke and decided he WANTED MY BAG OF NUTS. With daddy drowsing in the middle seat, no doubt exhausted, the baby made a sneak attack strafing run on the bag of nuts, colliding with the hot tea and sending it cascading in every direction: on my seat, my pants, my tray table, in the bag of nuts--everywhere. Of course, no one in my row had gotten food, so I had no napkins handy to clean up the mess. I sat there, stunned (nearly as much as the father was) and covered with very hot tea seeping into my pants. My gaze connected with a man across the aisle, who stared wordlessly at me for a moment and then silently handed over his napkin. I used it to mop and sop while the dad looked away in embarrassment. It didn't occur to me until later that he never apologized, and so I never had the opportunity to say, "No worries." Which might have been a good thing, because I wasn't feeling too charitable at that moment anyway.

The father eventually removed the baby to his mother, and we spent a very uncomfortable remainder of the flight avoiding each other's gaze. Very difficult to do when the man was sitting less than an inch away from me (curse Continental and its tiny span between seats).

Other than that, it was a good flight. :-)

This weekend is my book launch party in Houston, and I can't wait! Read It Again Bookstore in Houston is currently the only bookstore or outlet in America to actually have possession of the books, so if you are in the area, want a book, and want to join us, feel free. You can find the details on my news and events page.


Thursday, April 10, 2008


Just a reminder to anyone in the Los Angeles or Houston areas in the next week or so, I'll have a couple of appearances and I'd love to see you there. I'll be giving a talk and signing books at the Barnes & Noble in Encino, CA on April 13, and holding a book launch party in Houston on April 18. If you can make either of those, swing on by. If you can make both of those, well, you must be a family member, LOL!

For more details, visit my News & Events page and scroll down to Upcoming Appearances. Tah!


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

And the Winner Is.....


Brownone is the winner of my Blog Tours contest. She/he commented on both the History Hoydens' and Jaunty Quills' blogs and was entered for a chance to win along with 25 other names! Wow, I'm humbled by the number of you who took the time out of your busy schedules to read and comment on my guest hosting blog tour sites. Thanks, everyone. If you want to receive notice of other contests and news (like release information), please sign up for my newsletter. I've got some great contests planned for the future, and you don't want to miss out!

Brownone, please contact me through my website (you'll find a link on the left sidebar of my blog) and let me know which prize you would like to receive, either the $40 Barnes & Noble gift card or the $40 e-certificate for Along with your prize, you've also won a free autographed copy of The Legacy. You'll be the first in your neighborhood (wherever that might be) to get your hands on a copy. Make sure to give me the following information when you send your e-mail:

1. Full Name and Mailing Address
2. E-mail address
3. Your preference for either the B&N card or the e-cert.

For everyone else who is still eagerly awaiting a copy of The Legacy, don't despair. The distributor will have them in the warehouse today and will start fulfilling orders tomorrow. Once that happens, will also start shipping and will re-list it on their site for ordering (or so I'm told). And always, your local book store can order it for you as well if there isn't one sitting on the shelves for you to lovingly caress and fondle (oh, wait, maybe that's just me who does that).

Thanks for playing, everybody, and watch my contest page for future contests!


Sunday, April 06, 2008

FOURTH and FINAL Blog Tours stop (and a chance to win a $40 gift certificate)

Well, in all the excitement of getting my author copies, I don't want to overlook the fourth and final stop on my Blog Book Tour for The Legacy. We talked about the pros and cons of being published with a "small" press last week on the Booksquare industry blog, but on Monday, April 7, I'll be visiting with the Sisterhood of the Jaunty Quills and talking about the true stories of the runaway nuns and dangerous mercenaries who sparked the ideas for my Reformation romances.

Remember, anyone who visits and posts a comment on at least two of the blogs I guest hosted this past week will be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of The Legacy and either a $40 Barnes & Noble gift certificate, or a $40 e-certificate for, a Texas-based German food store where customers can order everything from a spaetzle-press to apple strudel imported straight from Germany! For more details, go to my contest page.

Hope to see you for this final stop!


Saturday, April 05, 2008

My "Squeeee" Moment: The Legacy has ARRIVED!

A friend of mine from California coined the term "squeee" as the joyous sound a person makes when she is squealing for, well, joy. My "squee" moment has finally arrived. I received my author copies in the mail today from my publisher, which means my long-awaited (at least by me) book is about to hit the bookshelves of America everywhere!

'Scuse me while I--

Okay, I'm back again. Remember, Medallion Press is an independent press with smaller print runs (i.e., fewer books in circulation than the big boys), so not every bookstore in your town will automatically carry it, but you can get it through all the normal bookstores you would buy any other book. You just might have to ask for yours to order a copy if it isn't already in stock. Or, you could order it from as well. Barnes & Noble, Borders, and any independent bookstore should be able to order it through their normal channels in the usual way. The added bonus is, the more people who ask for the book, the more likely the bookstores are to order extra copies to have in stock in case someone else asks, and that means more sales, which of course means more books like this--outside-the-box historicals--will build a reputation for selling and new authors will have a better chance to break into the market. So, go ask for the book because you are not just helping a new author out, but you are helping independent publishers bring other new authors to market, allowing people to enjoy a variety of choices in their reading material, and proving that America does like different if we give them a chance to find it. Phew! Off my soapbox now.

But really, isn't the book just...lur-ver-ly? SQUEEEEEEE.....!

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Legacy is on its way!

Just a quick post to those who have expressed concerns about my release date: my publisher has notified me the book is being bound and is on its way to the distributor! Yay! We should start seeing shipments by next week. So, if'n you've pre-ordered on, it should ship soon. If you go to your local bookstore and ask for it, and they say it isn't in stock, demand that they order it pronto (because, you know, you can't wait to read it and all).

We did discover a glitch in Barnes & Nobles' website, however. The book, which was listed as of Wednesday, is nowhere to be found today. We're trying to track down the monkey who hit the wrong button on the computer rignt now, and I promise when we find him, there will be NO BANANAS for dinner tonight! Hang in there, folks. I promise this read will be worth the wait. :-)


Monday, March 31, 2008

Slight delay in release of The Legacy

I've been informed by my publisher that there will be a few days delay on the release of The Legacy because of a fire at the printing plant. The original release date was 1 April, a joyously funny date that left itself open to all sorts of humorous byplay. The distributor will now start shipping the books after 4 April, which is decidedly unfunny. However, if you want to know what other interesting things happened on that date in history, go here.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Blog Tours!

In anticipation of the upcoming release of my Reformation Germany-set historical, The Legacy, I'm running my first contest in conjunction with my guest blogging tours (see below). I will be guest hosting four wonderful blogs between Mar 29 and April 7. Anyone who visits and posts a comment on at least two of the blogs will be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of The Legacy and either a $40 Barnes & Noble gift certificate or a $40 e-certificate for, a Texas-based German food store where customers can order everything from a spaetzle-press to apple strudel imported straight from Germany! If anyone has ever wanted to sample German food on someone else's Euro, now is the chance (or, of course, if books are preferred, the winner can choose the B&N gift certificate instead).

Here are the Blog tour dates:
Mar 29 - Killer Fiction
April 1 - History's Hoydens
April 2 - Booksquare
April 7 – The Sisterhood of the Juanty Quills

Here are the rules: visit and comment on at least two of the blogs and your name will be entered for a chance to win. On April 9, I'll draw a winner at random from all eligible names and announce it on my blog at The winner can contact me through my blog to claim his or her prize. Good luck and hope to "blog" at you soon!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Other Boleyn Movie

Just returned from seeing the film version of Philippa Gregory's wonderful historical novel, The Other Boleyn Girl. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the fabulous book, which is filled with court intrigues, politics, family drama, sex, greed, and just about every complex emotion that exists. The film, sadly, plays more like Beverly Hills 90210 meets the Cliff Notes version of English royal history. The book and the movie seem to be related in title alone, with none of the major scenes in the book making it into the movie.

In fact, nothing in the book that I have read so far appeared to make it up onto the screen, the screenwriter for some reason choosing to depart not only from the fictional novel, but history itself. Some features of the story are so condensed as to be entirely forgotten, such as Mary's husband, prominent at the beginning of the film, all but disappears by the end, with no mention of what happens to him that leaves her free to marry another man, as well as the fact that Mary has two children, a girl first and then a boy, by the king, not just one. That her sister essentially steals the son from her through adoption and holds Mary hostage throughout her reign by refusing to allow her to see her children unless she submits to Anne's will is also ignored. Mary comes across as a tattletale and a spoil-sport instead of the pawn of a larger game that she truly was.

While the roles--Natalie Portman playing Anne Boleyn and Scarlett Johannson as Mary, her sister--were nicely played (with respectable English accents), there was little they could do with a script that decided to completely rewrite the text of the novel, inventing incidents that weren't in the book, changing personality traits of most of the major characters, and going the "safe" route in ignoring the more complex, subtle emotions of loyalty, duty, love, and sibling rivalry that drove these women. Mary is namby-pamby, Anne is a whiny vengeful teenager, George (their brother) is a sap, and King Henry the Eighth is a bigger sap. The mother of the three Boleyns (Kristen Scott Thomas), a Howard, comes across as wronged and righteously indignant at the treatment her daughters receive from their uncle, father, and the King, whereas in the book she is a hard woman who understands the cost of the Howard family honor and eagerly offers up both her daughters to pay the price.

What were the filmmakers thinking? If they'd only stuck to the basic storyline of Gregory's novel, they would have had plenty of material to make this film as intriguing as the book for which they no doubt paid a hefty option price for the right to bring to the big screen. Heck, if they'd just stuck to history, they would have had the same. Disappointing that they chose to turn this into complete revisionist version of Gregory's book and history as well. My recommendation? Skip the movie; read the book.

Great costumes, though. Gotta love anything that lets Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson dress up in pearls, jewels, stomachers, and satin skirts. LOL!

I wonder sometimes why filmmakers who have such wonderful material to adapt from a novel so often stumble and fall? Is it worth it to even see the movie if you've read the book? The only exception I can think of in recent memory where I could answer yes is the Lord of the Ring films. While they didn't match the story line of the books exactly, the deviations taken to bring such a gigantic undertaking to film were true to the spirit of the original and often mirrored the original spectacularly.

How about you? Have you seen any movies that would have been better left as a book, or any that matched or exceeded the quality of storytelling of the books they portrayed?


Monday, February 18, 2008

Save the date and "Let's go back in time together..."

Okay, I have a date and time for my book signing/food tasting party! April 18 (Friday), 6 - 8pm, come join me in celebrating the debut of my first novel, The Legacy, a historical romance, at Read it Again & Again Bookstore in Houston on Beechnut. The fabulous Chef Norie will provide the food for the tasting part of the event. She promises to take our palates back in time and will feature something from the historical setting of my book (Early Reformation Germany)--Americanized for the modern foodie, of course.

I'll put more details up later, as we're still hammering them out, but I hope some of you can set that date aside and come visit us if you are in the area. Tell your friends! We're billing this as my Houston "book launch party." I'll be signing, so you can buy The Legacy there if you haven't already by then.

Hope to see some friendly faces at my book launch party. If you can't make it that day, but you happen to be in Los Angeles at 10am on April 13, I'll be speaking at the Barnes & Noble in Encino for the Los Angeles Romance Authors RWA chapter . I'm pretty sure there will be books there, too. *wink*


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Lose Yourself

The ladies over at the Boxing the Octopus blog have had an on-fire week blogging about the challenges and barriers--both internal and external--to a writing career. Joni's post about fat, nude writing was particularly moving. I found myself thinking a perfect soundtrack to her post would be Eminem's "Lose Yourself" hip-hop mantra for laying it all on the line. I listen to that song and feel like I could--no, like I must--go out and conquer the world, lay it all on the line, because I never know when my chance might come again. I'm not a leap-of-faith person, by nature, but that song makes me wanna.

Opportunities for success come around once in most people's lives, and sometimes we choke. Sometimes we make mistakes, and slink off to lick our wounds, bitter and resentful about turning into a "bum," instead of a "contenda" (props to Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront). But it's one thing to try and to fail spectacularly; no shame in that. Most times, when we've given it everything we have and we hit the ground anyway, face first, we still bounce--even if it is only a little. What I don't want--God, no--is to be that person who loses out on the opportunity of a lifetime because she was afraid to take her best shot. Failure is scary, and success is even scarier. Either way, you're petrified. May as well have something to show for it, right?

"A normal life is boring..."


Saturday, February 02, 2008

Romantic Times Author Spotlight and Blog Tours

Hey, just a post to let everyone know I'm a featured author this month in Romantic Times BOOKReview magazine's Author Spotlight on the "exclusive content" section of their website (for subscribers), or you can link to the page from my website for non-exclusive content. You can find an article written by me about the origins of The Legacy (now available for preorder on, a brief description of the story, and an excerpt. I was told that RT readers like the steamy stuff, :-) so I tried to choose the excerpt appropriately. All in good fun, mind you, all in good fun. LOL!

Saturday I spent a lovely day in Tomball, TX Lone Star College's library as part of an author appreciation panel. A panel of local North West Houston romance authors spoke to an interested audience on how to get published, find an agent, connect with other writers, and many other interesting topics. We also sold and autographed books and raised money through a raffle basket to donate to the library. We noshed yummy chocolate treats and mingled with readers for an entertaining and rewarding day. I didn't have a book to sign yet, so I brought my wonderful Terry's Wilde & Wooly Bears to display. I'm still debating whether I'll give these wonderful bears away. I've grown so attached to them, I may just have to keep them for my very own. LOL!

In coming months I'll be making the blog tour, so look for that as well. Several well-travelled blogs have asked me to be a guest. So, look for me in April on Booksquare, History's Hoydens, Killer Fiction, and Juanty Quills. I'll be giving a talk and doing a booksigning for the Los Angeles Romance Authors in April, and having a booksigning and tasting with my former personal chef, the fabulous Chef Norie, in Houston at Read It Again and Again Bookstore. Finally, I'll be teaching an online class in May for Elements of RWA chapter. Whew! I guess I'll get my fifteen minutes of fame and then go back to my cubby after that's all through. I'll post more details as we get closer to the events.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Why, hello there!

Oh, my gosh, I can't believe how long it has been since I blogged. Not that I haven't mentally blogged, mind you, but getting it on paper has been...problematic. I know you don't visit often, and when you do, you rarely comment. So, it's hard to be motivated without feedback. I'm a writer, yes, but it's like opening an artery for me, and opening these tiny little veins to blog seems to hurt just as much. Yes, I'm not a natural blogger, I admit it. But just so you know, these are the things I've thought about blogging on over the past few weeks:

--Phone walkers: people who walk and talk on their cell phones in public, and who seem to think they have a "cone of silence" over their heads when they do (ref: Get Smart). I've overheard a co-worker phoning his lawyer about his recent DWI, another lawyer giving advice to a woman arrested for prostitution, and a woman threatening an unseen man that "watch it, I just might be recording this conversation."

--The "sex" talk: had the talk with my sons the other day. They brought it up first. It was the moment I've been dreading. While I was anything but ready, I think I was prepared and did okay. There was a minimum amount of blushing, hiding faces, and "ewwwws"--and the kids didn't do so badly either.

--The Office: I finally have my own office. Not just an office "space" (crammed into a corner of the bedroom), but an office. My hubby (blessed, wonderful man that he is) gave up his space for me, and now I have a door. Not that the kids, the dog, or anybody else respects it, but it is there and it is the principle of the thing. And I have more space to put my stuff!

So, if you want to hear any more details about any of this, just ask. I'll tell.

For now, see ya!