Sunday, July 30, 2006

I *heart* romance readers

I'm just back from the Romance Writers of America convention in Atlanta, where I got to meet scores of romance writers and readers. I hereby make this vow: If anyone has anything bad to say about these women, I will personally bitchslap them on the spot. These ladies are the warmest, friendliest, most supportive and enthusiastic group I have ever met. I had the pleasure of doing my first book signing at this convention, and what a way to get my feet wet! It was tremendous.

The only down side of the trip was that I flew AirTran. Ugh. If you can avoid this airline, do. If not, be prepared to spend an hour just checking your luggage, which you'll have to drag through this long, snaking line. And get this, when I departed from LaGuardia, I waited on this hot and horrible line to check my bags, and after I did, the guy hands them back to me! They don't even put them on a belt for you! You have to shlep all your luggage yourself to the X-ray area. Yikes.

Departing from Atlanta, the slow and ghastly line was outside, in the 100 degree heat. Of course, by the time I got home I was sticky and exhausted. But seeing hubby and the kids picked me right up. What a greeting I got! Maybe I should leave home more often ...

Anyway, I woke up this morning to this fab piece by Aileen Jacobson in Newsday:

Click the image to enlarge. But if you can't make out the text, here's what it says:


Six years ago, long before "Desperate Housewives" hit TV, Ellen Meister of Jericho looked around at other mothers at a PTA meeting and thought of her own lifelong dream of writing a novel. "I felt, none of these other women know I have this dream or any inner life at all. They only see me as a smiling PTA face. " That's when she decided, she says, that she'd dig beneath the surface of the carpool set for her first book. In "Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA," the prospect of a George Clooney film being shot at their school gets three moms hot and bothered. The sex and scandal are "figments of my imagination," says Meister, a mother of three using her maiden name for the book. She'll speak at 8 p.m. Thursday at Huntington's Book Revue, 631-271- 1442.

So, this is truly the home stretch for me, as my official release date is this Tuesday. And if that's not exciting enough, my darling friend Myfanwy is blogging about me all week. How incredibly generous is that? Here's a link: Myfanwy Collins.

ETA: Speaking of friends, a whole bunch of mine are featured in brand new anthology from Rebel Press. Here's the lineup:
Robin Slick • Susan DiPlacido • Tom Saunders • Steve Hansen • Katrina Denza • Myfawny Collins • Marcus Grimm • T.J. Forrester • Grant Jarrett • Matt St. Amand • Tripp Reade • Donald Capone
These are all incredibly gifted writers, so check it out. Click here to order.

Friday, July 28, 2006

We have a winnah!

Mr. Stan Crocker was the first to spot "Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA" in an actual bookstore. The good folks at the Books-A-Million in Raleigh, NC were understandably shy about having a picture snapped in their store, so Mr. Crocker got creative and went to the outskirts of the parking lot and set up the lovely shot you see above.

It's interesting to note that Books-A-Million has their copies and I don't have mine. I'm not complaining, just anxious. But if another week goes by, that could change.

Anyway, Stan will be receiving a copy of the audio version of "Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA," read by Lisa Kudrow. It may take a few weeks, Stan, as I ... uh... don't have my copies of that either.

Again, I'm not complaining. It's more important that the bookstores get the product, right?

In other news, this post comes to you from Atlanta, GA, where I'm attending the Romance Writers of America convention. I got in yesterday and, despite the fact that I'd been up since 3:30 a.m., managed to stay awake through one meeting and one party. It's been a blast, and I have to say I'm impressed with everyone I've met here.

My only complaint is that the hotel I'm staying in doesn't have coffee service in the room. What's up with that? A girl can't get a fresh cup of joe here before 6 a.m., and even then you have to go to the lobby for it. And you know what that means--putting on make-up before you've had your coffee. I'm sorry, but that's just uncivilized.

Anyway, thanks and congrats to Stan. More soon.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

GOLDEN by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Here's another Hollywood entry on the Girlfriends Cyber Circuit Tour. Today I'm pleased to present Golden, by the talented Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Here's the tagline pitch to entice moviemakers:

Golden is about a teenage girl who uses her ability to see auras to navigate the complex social hierarchy at her new high school-- and to solve a sinister supernatural mystery that's haunting the hallways. Think 'Mean Girls' meets 'Charmed.'

I hope Hollywood is listening, because this sounds like a blockbuster to me. Here's who Jen would cast in the lead roles ...

As LISSY JAMES, reluctant new girl and even more reluctant seer: Amanda Bynes, Amber Tamblyn, Michelle Trachtenberg, or Kay Panabaker- vulnerability and an ability to do physical comedy and sarcasm are a must!

As LILAH COVINGTON, the hottest of the hot: Kristin Kreuk or Willa Holland- they have to be able to pull off quiet, but powerful, and say it all with one look.

As TRACY HILLARD, Lilah's sidekick: Alexz Johnson, Jamie Lynn Spears, or Lucy Hale- singing ability is a must!

As BROCK PHILLIPS, resident hottie, Chad Michael Murray or Jared Padalecki.

Once again, my elderliness is showing, as these beautiful young people are no where to be found on my radar screen. But I'm sure they're quite famous to everyone who got their driver's license post Y2K. Anyway, Golden sounds like a must-read for any young person coping with the social hierarchy of school--especially if they love a truly creative storyline. It's in stores now and makes a perfect summer read. For more information, visit Jen's website at

Monday, July 24, 2006

Spot my book, win a prize!

Though the official release date of Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA is August 1, some bookstores may be receiving shipments before that date, and actually putting the book on the shelves. If you see the hardcover in a store and are the first to let me know, you'll win a free copy of the audiobook, either on CD or cassette (your choice).

Just drop me an email at, and let me know the name and location of the store, as well as the date and time you saw the book. A photo is helpful but certainly not necessary.

Hope to hear from you! I'm eager to give away an audio copy of the book, read by Lisa Kudrow!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

"Reality Chick" by Lauren Barnholdt

Whether they admit it or not, almost every writer fantasizes about having his or her book turned into movie. So I thought it would be fun to ask my fellow Girlfriends Cyber Circuit authors to cast their books. First up is the smart and talented Lauren Barnholdt, whose new Young Adult book, Reality Chick, is in stores now.

Here's the book's tagline pitch:
What happens when a totally normal college freshman gets put on a reality TV show with a bunch of not-so-normal castmates?

Doesn't that sound perfect for teens? Here's how Lauren would cast the starring roles:

"Emily VanCamp, who plays Amy on Everwood, as Ally, my main character. I think she's really pretty without being too 'Hollywood' so she'd give Ally that normal feel. Plus I really loved her on Everwood."

"Chad Michael Murray as Corey, Ally's boyfriend. Do I really need to explain this one? He's H-O-T. Although not sure what to make of his new engagement news... Hmm..."

"Nick Lachey as Drew, Ally's castmate who she starts crushing on. Okay, okay, so he's too old to play a college freshman. But I love, love, love him."

I have to admit, I feel about a hundred years old, since I haven't heard of any of these people. But I'm sure they're hugely popular, and will get my blog tons of hits from people who have never heard of me, either.

Anyway, whether you're a teen who found this blog by search engine, or a regular visitor who knows some young readers, please check out Reality Chick by Lauren Barnholdt. It's in stores now. For more information visit Lauren's website,

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Odds and Ends

Sorry I've been such a bad blogger lately. My schedule is berserk and I just haven't had the time. But I'm feeling guilty that people click in here and there's rarely something new, so here are some random thoughts ...

  • If you want to drive an author completely crazy, tell her you're sure you saw her book mentioned in People magazine ... or maybe Newsweek ... or something.

  • Lately, my kids are insane over this website called They're begging me to pay the annual fee, but so far I've held out, and they're doing lots of fun stuff there for free.

  • Hey, if Oprah can recommend products, so can I. Here's a haircare thing I can't live without, Bed Head Shine Junkie. It's getting harder and harder to find, and I've resorted to ordering it online. Yeah, it makes your hair super-shiny. But also, if you have color-damaged hair, it smoothes it out. Fantastic!

  • I hate Capri pants. I just HATE them. If you're a fashionable female, you probably have at least a few, and maybe they don't look bad on you. But for most people, they just make you look shorter and squatter. Ick. Who needs that? Certainly not this 5'4" woman.

  • My talented friend Mark Ebner, a New York Times bestselling author, says some nice things about me and my book on his Hollywood Interrupted site.

  • If you do a search on George Clooney at Barnes and Noble or Amazon, my book comes up. Cooool!

  • If you want to read an excerpt of Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA, click here.

  • File this under Another Reason It's So Hard to Age Gracefully. I exercise and diet and diet and exercise and I'm still ... not thin. The only women my age who stay really trim are either runners or smokers. Alas, I don't have the knees for running. As far as smoking, the only thing I fear more than being fat is being dead. Sucks.

  • As long as I'm whining, can I just tell you that I'm suffering from allergies that make my sinuses swell, and I'm in pain practically all the time? The medications help, but I hate the idea of taking decongestants, antihistimines, steroid nasal spray and painkillers every day. Hot wet compresses help, but not enough. I'm open to suggestions, friends.

  • If you want to get emails from me about events and other book-related news, sign up for my mailing list.

  • Did you know that you don't need a Blogger account to post a comment on this blog? It's true! Just click the word "comments," below. I'd love to hear from you.
  • Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Meet Joshilyn Jackson

    "Meet" isn't exactly the right word, as you're probably familiar with this critically-acclaimed bestselling author of Gods in Alabama. Smart readers everywhere fell in love with her first book, and are already gobbling up her newest, Between, Georgia. Here's the summary:

    Nonny Frett understands the meaning of the phrase "in between a rock and a hard place" better than any woman alive. She's got two mothers, "one deaf-blind and the other four baby steps from flat crazy." She's got two men: a husband who's easing out the back door; and a best friend, who's laying siege to her heart in the her front yard. And she has two families: the Fretts, who stole her and raised her right; and the Crabtrees, who lost her and won't forget how they were done wrong.

    Now, in BETWEEN, GEORGIA, population 90, a feud is escalating, and random act of violence is about to ignite a stash of family secrets. Ironically, it might be just what the town needs ...if only Nonny weren't stuck in between.

    And here's just a small taste of the accolades this extraordinary book is getting:

    ***Starred Kirkus Review***
    "In her accomplished second novel, Jackson sweeps the reader away to where gravel crunches underfoot and the smell of corn bread wafts in the air. The plot is precise and sweet, and Jackson includes the perfect ingredients: quirky characters, a picturesque setting and ample surprises. Evocative and lovingly crafted."

    ***Starred Booklist***
    "Jackson returns with a second quirky and touching novel about the South. Jackson has been compared to Fannie Flagg, and rightfully so; her characters are vivid and lovable, put in situations that are so hard to explain it's just easier to pass the book lovingly along to a friend. A climatic ending with perfect story resolution makes this book tidy and uplifting, and even the most cynical reader will surely smile as the back cover closes."

    This is one of those books I want to own, and not just borrow from the library. I'm that confident I'm going to love it. So even though I haven't yet read it, I'm giving it a strong recommendation. You can buy Between, Georgia at your local chain or independent bookstore, or from any online bookseller. For more information, visit Joshilyn's website at

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Lisa Kudrow gets an Emmy nom!

    Today I was thrilled to learn that Lisa Kudrow got an Emmy nomination for her lead role in The Comeback. That show was hilarious yet chilling (in an exquisitely cringe-y sort of way), and Lisa's performance was perfect. Too bad America wasn't quite ready for such subtle and scathing humor. Like so many of the smartest TV comedies (Sports Night, Buffalo Bill, etc.), it got cancelled. I wonder if The Office will hang in there.

    Anyway, congrats to Lisa. Well-deserved!

    See other nominees here.

    It's a BOOK!

    It feels so much like giving birth I think I'm lactating. Anyway, here I am holding the actual book:

    And that pink that used to bother me? At least I don't have to plan a Bris.

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Meet Kyra Davis!

    Today I'm excited to blog about Girlfriends Cyber Circuit author Kyra Davis, who follows up her successful "Sex, Murder And a Double Latte" with "Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights." It looks like one of those smart, funny, page-turners that booksellers will have to keep reordering. Go Kyra!

    Here's the summary:
    Sophie Katz has just offered a man $12,000 for his services…is she desperate or just meshugeneh?

    Considering the kind of disasters that usually befall the half-black, half Jewish mystery writer, probably both. Because the last time Sophie saw sexy P.I. Anatoly Darinsky, he practically danced a jig when she waved goodbye-a normal reaction for a man who’d nearly bought the farm due to her misguided attempts at vigilante justice. What are the chances he’d agree to take incriminating pictures of her sister’s philandering husband? Or that he’d let her tag along-you know…for research?

    But when her brother-in-law turns up dead and her sister becomes the prime suspect Sophie’s priority is finding the real killer. With or without Anatoly’s help. Her brother-in-law’s secret life yields plenty of suspects, but the San Francisco police aren’t taking any of them seriously. So Sophie does what comes naturally to her: she stirs up trouble (to lure the killer out, of course).

    But if her crazy plan works will everybody survive the outcome?

    And here's what critics are saying:

    "…a high-octane hookup." --Cosmopolitan (Cosmo’s choice for July’s Red Hot Read)

    "Davis's San Francisco-based saga will appeal not only to female readers but to any mystery fan who has an offbeat sense of humor. Davis effortlessly explores serious social issues -- racial discrimination, sexism, adultery, multiculturalism, etc. -- while keeping the mood light and laugh-out-loud funny. Additionally, the cornucopia of subtle symbolism throughout…is priceless. To borrow a line from the book: 'Fabulous, absolutely fabulous!'" --Barnes & Noble Ransom Notes Reviews

    "Following hard on the red spike heels of 2005's Sex, Murder and a Double Latte, Davis's second whodunit delivers on the promise of the first...A cast of charming caricatures…round out a version of San Francisco in which racial politics are fun to play with and sex is steamier than frothed milk." --Publishers Weekly

    "Davis spins a tale full of unexpected turns and fun humor." --Romantic Times

    "…lively writing, action-packed plot and keen character development." --Santa Cruz Sentinel

    “…the perfect summer read…Davis constructs some broad sweeping social commentary in this book…which is bundled up amongst-what else-murder, fashion and frappuccinos.” --The GoodTimes

    You can buy "Passion, Betrayal and Killer Highlights" at your local chain or independent bookstore, or from an online bookseller. For more information, visit Kyra's website at

    Monday, July 03, 2006

    I just got an early copy of my book!!

    WOO-HOO! The world's greatest UPS man just delivered one single early copy of my book!!! If you have a low tolerance for corniness, stop reading now. If you're still with me, don't say I didn't warn you.

    Okay, here goes ... I now know what it's like to hold your dream in your hands.

    Thanks for indulging me. Have a great (safe) 4th of July!

    Saturday, July 01, 2006

    July Horoscopes

    Once again, Astrology Zone does not disappoint. Here's a snippet from this month's Scorpio forecast:

    I have been saving the very BEST news for you, and here it is! You may know that this is to be YOUR year to soar, but you may be wondering when your luck is really going to change. You might be thinking, "It doesn't really FEEL like my lucky year yet." Well, there's a good reason for that.

    Jupiter, the planet of good fortune and happiness, has been orbiting in retrograde motion since last March as it moved through Scorpio. Now, Jupiter will resume strong and sure orbit on July 6. Wow!

    Watch the days surrounding July 6 for VERY good news to develop! The more seeds you have planted over the past few months, the more opportunities will start to pop up now. You will absolutely see the tide start to turn in your favor. Jupiter will be with you until late November - lots of time to allow Jupiter to work its magic.

    To read yours, click here.

    Special thanks to the dedicated Susan Miller. May she have a full and speedy recovery!