Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coming soon!

I'm back!

Refreshed, revived -- and ready to report that my website is undergoing a major revamp and should be up and ready to go February 1st.

Heather at WeWriteRomance has taken the bits and pieces that were there from an earlier design that got dropped due to circumstances beyond that earlier designer's control, and has done miracles with them. She's got a great grasp of visuals (so not like me!) and can actually translate my babbling and gibberish into things that look great on the page (far better than I envision them, to tell the truth).

I've been seeing some of the pages this past week, and while they won't all go up on February 1st, you should get a flavor of them then. The blog format will eventually reflect that, too, but it may not happen at once. So while we are in transition, bear with us.

Having a new improved website is like spring cleaning -- only better. (I wonder if Heather would come and do the same to my house. Probably not. Sigh.)

Anyway, Heather is fabulous, and I have to thank Kate Walker for passing her name along -- and of course, to thank Heather for being willing to jump into the breach and whip things into shape.

Eventually all the pages should be back and many of the ones that never made it into the revamp of a year ago will actually reappear if not instantly, then over the next few weeks.

I also need to thank PJ for filling in for me this past couple of weeks while I had a bit of a kick-back-and-relax time. It was much appreciated. But that's the sort of guy he is. He stepped up and solved Ally's problem ten years ago. He solved mine this month.

So thanks, PJ. Hope you and Ally have a great time in Hawaii. Keep us posted on the new little Antonides. Let us know when he/she arrives!

O'Kate has come back from O'Dublin and sent me the name of the winner of Santos's share of the Here Come The Grooms contest.

She'll be announcing it on her website tomorrow, I think. And then I can announce it here. We're so glad to have had so many participants.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to answer the questions.

We're looking forward to the 4th annual Here Come The Grooms contest next year. We love to do it together and, as Kate said earlier today, "I always look forward to hearing the groooms' opinions of things." Amen to that.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

We Have A Winner!

Hi. PJ here.

We have a winner here -- Karen from North Carolina is the winner of my third of the Here Come the Grooms contest this year!

Her book (MY book!) is already on its way to her. Hope you enjoy it, Karen.

Jago has written to say that Rachel in New Zealand has won his third of the contest, and her book has gone out today also.

Santos is incommunicado right now as Kate and her spouse and he and his new bride have gone off to Dublin (what is it with Santos that he's taking his writer on his honeymoon? Or isn't it the honeymoon? Maybe not. I'm sure Kate will tell Anne to find her book and let me read it so I'll know!)

As soon as they all get back from Dublin, we'll have Santos's winner to post as well.

Congratulations to Karen and to Rachel. And many thanks to everyone who took the time to find out the answers and enter the contest. We were really glad to see so many people turning out to do it!

Stay tuned because Liz and Kate and Anne are already talking about next year's contest. Should be interesting. Anne said maybe Christo would be up for it. All I know is, it won't be me. I'm going to be on my way to Hawaii for a nice winter break with Ally and the new person in our lives.

How old do you think he or she will have to be before I can get him/her on a surfboard?

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grooms Contest -- Last Day

Well, Anne has dropped the ball and can't tell you about Santos (that's him over there on the left) personally because she can't find his book.

This will give you some idea of the state of her office (CHAOS!), and she sends apologies to The Man Himself because she remembers hearing about his story as Kate was writing it (and drooling over him, she says, which I find disgusting, but what can I say?)

Anyway, she will find it, she assures me, and write about it while it is still on the shelves (which it will be until late February). So if you don't win a copy, don't despair. You can go buy one -- and Kate will be pleased.

So will Santos, provided he can be distracted from the right sister who is now his bride!

Today, in case you haven't noticed -- is January 21st. The last day to enter the 3rd annual Here Come The Grooms Contest.

This means that Anne will probably snatch the blog back and send me on my way (not a hardship, though I've enjoyed being here, but I'll have more time to spend with Ally when I'm not writing blogs) -- and we're going to celebrate the news of a prospective little Antonides coming along in a few months (Yiayia will be over the moon -- she likes the notion of great-grandchildren, and the more the better. But mine will be the best looking, she tells me!).

So, details below for entering if you haven't already done so.

There are three questions and to win you have to answer all the questions and email your answers to Anne, to Kate and to Liz. Each of them will pick a winner and that winner will get a copy of each of the these books.

Here are the questions:

1. PJ left New York after he graduated from high school. Where did he go?
2. Who was Santos supposed to be marrying?
3. What scent did Jago recognise?

You'll find the answers in excerpt on Anne's, Kate's and Liz's websites and you've got until January 21 to send in your answers.

Got it? You'll find "contact me" links on Kate's, Liz's and Anne's websites, too. Use those to email them-- all three of them with all three answers, don't forget. Good luck!

I get to come back and announce the winners, so you haven't totally got rid of me. Ally might come, too. Go for it.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Meet Ally

Hi. PJ still here.

Anne is enjoying her week or so off. She did pass along to me an email from Janet who said she would like to see a pic of Ally. Hey, no problem. Always glad to share pics of my wife.

This was taken not long after I first met her. She was working at Benny's, which was a diner sort of place near the beach in Hawaii. I used to buy my plate lunch from Ally. She was a college student at the time, under the thumb of her dad who definitely thought he Knew What Was Best for her -- including who she should marry and what she should major in.

He had her whole life mapped out.

Ally had other ideas. But she needed a little help then in order to realize them. Once we got married, she managed just fine. Took off. Lived her own life. Made a success of things.

Sometimes marriage just sort of jump-starts things for you.

Trouble is, I had some very strong memories of a wedding night I didn't think was going to happen. But once it did, well, a guy doesn't forget that.

I wasn't sure Ally remembered it, though. Not until she came back. And even then she came back saying she figured it was time we got divorced.

I didn't think so.

Anne is still looking for Santos's book. She promises to find it. She'd better. The contest ends this week! Don't forget to enter.

If you don't win, Santos's book will still be on sale in February.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

To Christo and Natalie

PJ here.

Anne just sent up a flare telling me that Christo and Natalie have left England headed for the copyeditor in Canada. So . . . no more revisions!


Anne is pleased. I'm pleased -- because that mean I can get back to my once-and-forever wife, Ally, now. And, of course, Christo and Natalie are vastly relieved.

Break out the champagne!

Really glad to see all the entries for the Here Come the Grooms contest coming in. Remember, if you haven't already entered, you can do so until January 21st. The questions are below. Keep scrolling down.

I'll be back to tell you about Jago's book, Wedded in a Whirlwind. I can see what he means about Manda having a kick like a mule now. But, given the circumstances, I reckon he deserved it.

The book kept Anne up until 1:30 this morning. She thinks it's dynamite. She gave it to me this morning so I could read and "understand" Nick Jago.

Well, I don't know about that. But it's a good book. I'll be back tomorrow and tell you a bit more.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Anne . . . flattened

Hey. PJ here.

Anne says to tell you she's been flattened by a bus. Or it feels that way.

She was up all night with Christo and Natalie and she's gone to bed with Burn Notice and isn't coming out until either Christo and Natalie come back for more revisions or she's seen all of Burn Notice or I run out of things to say.

She's hoping for the second alternative, praying like mad that Christo and Natalie stay gone (though by 7 a.m. this morning she could be heard muttering, I think it tracks. I think it tracks. I think it tracks. But how would I know?) .

Christo says it tracks and he got to spend a lot of time in the bedroom, so he's happy. Natalie says it tracks and they got a happily ever after so she's happy. And she just poked Christo and he said he's happy about that, too. And from the look of him -- a little tattered around the edges, but definitely grinning -- he's telling the truth.

Anne figures Burn Notice will be a nice distraction. And she's sure I have plenty to say -- especially since I've seen that Nick "prop me up on an altar and give me a bottle of booze" Jago is making crap out of me and Santos on Liz's website.

I would defend my honor -- and the marriage I've had to put out of my head -- but Jago is so far off the mark that I can't even dignify his comments.

As Santos is on the same island at least, I'm going to let him take care of things for both of us!

Just let me say that he's darned lucky to find a woman like Manda who will put up with him. And since he's saying things like "cancel the honeymoon" -- though God knows what he means -- I want Manda to know I've got a kid brother, Lukas, who might be just the man she's looking for. Truly.

If you get fed up with Jago, Manda, give me a shout. I'll muster up Lukas and introduce you.

Aside to Liz: how did you put up with him?

Don't forget, people, if you want copies of Santos's book and mine -- and the one where Jago is an idiot -- answer the questions in the Here Come the Grooms contest piece. Send your answers to Anne and Liz and Kate by January 21.

You'll be glad you did.

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Friday, January 09, 2009

One Groom . . . Introducing Myself

Hi. PJ here.

Anne is up to her eyeballs in revisions. So she's giving me free rein at her blog while she works. She says she has to be done by Monday, and that Christo and Natalie are NOT cooperating, and she's going to wring their necks.

Makes me glad she was a lot better humored when Ally and I were the couple of the month.

I guess we're the couple of the month again now -- at least our book is. If you don't mind a bit of shameless self-promotion, I'll just tell you that it's called Antonides' Forbidden Wife.

I figured they ought to have called it Antonides' Absent Wife. After all, I hadn't seen her in five years!

It was a heck of a shock when she came waltzing in the door. It was an even bigger surprise when she said she wanted a divorce.


Seems to me that if you're married, you ought to at least give it a shot before you call it quits. Try telling Ally that, though.

Well, I did try, in the book. Pretty successfully (if you don't mind me spoiling the ending). But Anne says the interesting bit is how we got there.

Maybe. But I like the end result a whole lot better.

If you like the process, though, answer the questions in the last blog or on Anne's contest page and you might win a copy of the book (and Santos Cordero's book and Nick Jago's book).

Anne says if you've already read mine, you can win Sebastian's book, Savas' Defiant Mistress, because she actually got copies the other day.

If you have questions about Antonides' Forbidden Wife, fire away. I'll be here through the end of the month.


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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Here Come The Grooms . . . Again!

It's back!

The 3rd Annual Here Come The Grooms! Contest starts January 7, 2009 and runs through January 21, 2009.

What does this mean to you?

Depends on if you want three chances to win three new books.

For the last three years Kate Walker, Liz Fielding and I have had Grooms come and take over our blogs -- not to mention our lives -- in January. It all began when we all had books out in February 2007, and they all had the word "Bride" in the title.

We thought our brides would like to host a "Here Come The Brides" contest on our sites. And they did.

But they had so much fun that the grooms decided they'd get into the act, too. So they pretty much hijacked the month. They ran their own contest -- and their successors, the 2008 grooms, came back and did it again last year.

Not to be outdone, PJ Antonides (my guy) from Antonides' Forbidden Wife, Santos Cordero (Kate's guy) from Cordero's Forced Bride, and Nick Jago (Liz's guy) from Bedded in a Whirlwind, have been lurking around waiting for their turn.

It's here.

We'll be introducing you to each of them in the next few days.

And they'll be along to blog. At least I'm sure PJ will.

I suppose Jago and Santos will be, too. In the meantime, PJ says that he has his question ready and you can find it and the answer to it (if you're in a hurry) on the contest page of my website. The other grooms' questions are there, too.

Just click on the tab there and answer the questions (look in the excerpts or on our blogs for the answers) and you will be entered in PJ's drawing which will be after the contest ends January 21. Do the same thing on Liz's and Kate's websites and you have THREE chances to win.

PJ says that if you have already bought his book (which he hopes you have), and you win, he will either send you a backlist title of your choice (providing he can find it in my attic) or a copy of my upcoming Savas' Defiant Mistress when the first author copies finally arrive.

That's if you're into delayed gratification, he says. As he has had to wait ten years for his wife to turn back up in his life, PJ understands all about delayed gratification.

He'll be back later this week to blog.

Send in your entries now!

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

99 Things

As we are looking forward these days, I was just given this meme by a fellow blogger. It made me stop and think about what I've done and what I'd still like to do. What about you?

Let me know if you do this on your blog. I tag any and all readers -- and if you do it, send me a link or link back here. I'd like to see what everyone else is up to.


Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland/world.
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. (absolutely no way)
11. Bungee jumped. (ditto)
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. (Does Jezzball count?)
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you weren't ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing. (but they weren't really big rocks)
40. Seen Michelangelo's David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (well, as high as they would let us go that day.)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a cheque.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt.
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone's life. (If someone around me needed their life saved, I would hope I'd be able to do it. But I'd just as soon no one did)
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.

Right now I'm close to finishing the revisions. That's what I really want to have done.

Watch this space in the coming week for the 3rd annual Here Come The Grooms contest when Liz Fielding, Kate Walker and I turn our heroes loose with their questions -- and you get a chance to win copies of our books!

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Friday, January 02, 2009

Saved by research

When people ask me what the best part of writing is, I always say, "Research."

For the uninitiated, those who hear the word research and immediately think of hours spent in high school or college poring over dusty tomes and making notes on 3" x 5" cards, let me assure you that that's not what I mean at all.

Well, occasionally there might be dusty tomes. There are rarely (at least in my research) 3" x 5" cards. Mostly there is the chance to learn -- and often very interesting people to learn from.

The dusty tomes have their place. As does the internet. Research is vastly easier in the internet age than it was when libraries had a finite number of books and an even more finite number of hours during which you could use them.

With the internet open 24/7, it's much easier to learn -- as I did last night -- which plants flower in Manhattan Beach in the summertime. It's also useful to check on the flow of traffic, to pore over Google Earth maps and decide where my hero might want to live and what's nearby.

It will even help me with some of the things I need to know about lawyers. But not enough.

And that's where real live people come in handy.

The Prof's cousin is a lawyer. A very patient lawyer. A lawyer who doesn't mind (or if she does, she hides it well, which is probably one thing that makes her a good lawyer) being asked questions about lawyers.

And a good thing, too, as if I hadn't asked questions, I'd have alienated the entire legal profession with this book. As it is, she has saved Christo from being disbarred more times than I can count. One of her emails a couple of days ago said plaintively, "Are you trying to get him disbarred on page one?"

Well, no, I wasn't. How was I do know he couldn't do what I wanted him to do? It didn't seem 'improper' to me.

Color me wrong.

Why am I just discovering this now, you ask? I asked the same question a few days ago myself.

Well, because in this book's previous incarnation, while Christo was a lawyer, much of the action did not take place in a lawyerly realm. It took place elsewhere. On the beach, in the house, in Brazil.

It still takes place there, but not so much. Now there is a workplace involved (at the editor's request). Thus there are clients. And where there are clients, there are cases, lawsuits, details that have to be right. Or else.

There is life beyond this romance and it's in the workplace because that's where the editor wants it. I don't think it's a bad idea. But I understand far more clearly now why I didn't put it there in the first place -- I know damn all about being a lawyer.

So it's a good thing we have a lawyer in the family -- even the very extended family.

This is, I am learning, part of the reason these revisions are taking so long. It's like I've had to go to law school to write the damn book. Interesting to be sure, but not exactly what I'd planned to do over Christmas vacation.

The thing is, you will probably not notice it when you read Christo's story -- because, hopefully, I will have got it right.

You would primarily notice if I got it wrong. Then you would be throwing the book across the room and saying, "I'll never read that woman's stuff again. She can't be bothered to do the research."

Well, I can. And I have. And I hope it's right now. But I will surely hear about it if it's not.

I just need to go away now and get back to work so I can get this out of here sometime in the next few days. And then I may need to explain to the editor why some things take longer than others.

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