Want an exclusive scene with Colonel Mendez??

So you may or may not know this, but I have this totally awesome bonus content giveaway going on right now. All you have to do is register your pre-order for HOT & BOTHERED, Book 8 in the Hostile Operations Team Series, and you will get a FREE scene featuring Colonel Mendez on September 1st! It will come right to your email address. There’s nothing to remember and nowhere to go on that day. It’ll be in your inbox! There will also be a scene with Flash and Emily, and some of the other HOT guys and their ladies. So how do you get this marvelous material?

Go here and register your pre-order. Easy peasy!

Is this your pet?

Y’all, Mr. Harris sent me this and it just cracks me up! This is so true — except for Nimitz, who actually feels like the dog in this picture. Every other cat I’ve ever had? Yeah, option 2. What about your pets?

*snort*

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The Glamorous Life

I find myself writing a lot of blog posts lately and then saving them into draft mode instead of publishing them. Why? Because I’ve been seriously cranky lately and I find myself ranting about things that bug me instead of sharing the nice, sunny things with you all. You can hear ranting and all that in real life. You don’t need to come to me for it, right? πŸ˜‰

Today, I’m sharing my glamorous life with you. I hope you snickered a little when I said that. Because I’m writing this post in my pajamas and my hair is piled on my head and there’s still a mascara smear under my eyes where the remover never quite gets it all the night before.

There’s also a cat squalling somewhere downstairs, and laundry that needs doing, and dinner to figure out. Yeah, super glamorous!

But I did get dressed up last week and go give a speech to a group of ladies at a local country club. It was my second such speech in a month, and though I am a horrible introvert who doesn’t like standing in front of people and talking, I’m actually starting to have a little fun doing this kind of thing.

Because the people who come always are interested in writers. They’re usually readers and they’ve come because they want to hear what you can tell them about writing books. I have fun with that!

They asked me questions too, and that gives me insight into what readers think of writers. They didn’t ask if I was rich or lived in a mansion, because I dispel that notion in the speech. I also, regretfully, had to inform them that I don’t take bubble baths in a heart shaped tub nor do I wear a feather boa. They took it in stride.

Other things I told them were that authors get ideas from everywhere–literally–and that no one asks a mystery writer if she practices murdering people, but that they often think romance writers practice sex scenes or have lots and lots of crazy sex.

I have fun dispelling the myths, I have to say. πŸ˜‰

But what did they want to know? They wanted to know how long it takes to write a book (the answer is anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months or more, depending on the book and the deadline). They wanted to know if all the travel around the world helped me as a writer (I think so!).

They wanted to know how much research I have to do (the answer depends on the subject, but also because Harlequin Presents are such compact, emotional books, there isn’t a lot of room to drop in research. The books are about emotional conflicts, not external ones.) They also want to know if I have control over my covers (no for Harlequin, yes for my HOT series), and if I have the same editor for every book or if it’s different each time (the same editor, unless she leaves and I get a new one, which did happen after 14 books with one editor).

Those are the questions I remember off the top of my head! If you could ask a writer questions, what would they be? Ask away and I’ll try to answer. πŸ™‚ I might even give away a copy of A Game With One Winner (out in stores tomorrow!)……

Are we still here?

Well, today is the Mayan Apocalypse. I haven’t put a lot of stock in that idea, ever, but I know some people have. I’m encouraged by the fact that Australia is still there and it’s tomorrow already. Surely that counts for something, right? πŸ˜‰

But if today is not the last day, and you still need to buy Christmas presents, I have a website specifically for the billionaire in your life. At The Billionaire Shop, you can buy such things as a private island, a yacht, a million dollar watch, jets, and pricey New York views.

I have quite a few billionaires in my life, but fortunately they are all my creations. They should be giving me gifts, right? πŸ˜‰ My latest billionaire will be hitting store shelves in a little over a week. Sheikh Malik Al Dhakir is sexy as hell–and a bit uncertain when it comes to expressing his feelings. In fact, he’s downright tongue-tied. You can read more about Sheikh Malik here.

I hope your weekend is lovely, and your Christmas preparations are going smoothly! Happy Holidays!

Luncheoning with Julia London

Though I am completely mired in getting this book finished in the next two weeks, I took a short break this weekend to attend my chapter’s annual luncheon. Heart of Dixie puts on a fabulous luncheon, y’all! And I’m not just saying that because I have to. We have a huge ballroom, a sit down meal, and lots of prizes — not to mention fabulous guest speakers.

This year, Julia London was our speaker. Long before I was published, I was a Julia London fan. In fact, one of my favorite contemporaries of all time is a Julia London book: Beauty Queen. I love this book with a deep and abiding love! BQ was the second book in the Lear family trilogy — all the books were good — but something about BQ really resonated with me. Rebecca Lear, the former Miss Texas with no discernible skills, a young son, and a rich husband who divorced her and left her a mess, is just wonderful to see in action. You’d think it’d be hard to sympathize with a woman this beautiful, but in fact it really is easy because Julia makes this character so likeable. When Rebecca meets Matt Parrish — they have a misunderstanding over a quesadilla — things really get interesting.

I have hauled this book around the world, and when I realized Julia was coming to Huntsville, I took it down off the keeper shelf and carted it to the luncheon. Julia very graciously signed it for me — and I didn’t realize it was out of print until she told me. This book should be available on the Kindle! Everyone should have a chance to read the fabulousness that is Beauty Queen!

Okay, so I got Julia to sign my book. We chatted for a bit, and then it was time for the doors to open. I shared a table with the most wonderful people! Lonnie Payne and his wife Tabetha have been coming to this event for 10 years. They were also accompanied by Heather Hart and her mother (the only lady whose name I didn’t get!), and Patricia Lloyd (attending her 2nd luncheon) joined us as well. Rounding out the table were my mother and her friend, Margie.

We had a great lunch, and then it was time for the basket giveaways. When I went up to draw a winner for my basket, I drew Julia’s name! I hope Julia likes Harlequin Presents. πŸ™‚ My table won about 8 baskets between them, which was awesome. Apparently, Lonnie comes along because he has this knack of winning raffles. He doesn’t read romance novels, but he supports his wife’s love of them — and he won three baskets!

After the basket raffles, we had a book signing — and then several of us stayed and went to dinner later with Julia. It was a great day, and though I was completely worn out, I needed the break from this book. So now I’m back at work, but I’m glad I had that little bit of time away where I could chat with readers and other writers and have a generally great time. πŸ™‚

With the peeps at my table

Julia London and me

Signing books