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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Something Fun--To Keep Everyone Smiling

So you won't think I've forgotten about you--Here are some of the funniest sports pictures I've seen on the Internet. Let me know what you think. Which is your favorite?

Click on the itty bitty link under the picture, the scroll down the website that pops up until you get to the first picture...


and let us know.

Winners of more goodies to be named by the end of the week, once I figure out which end is up after travelling pretty much non-stop for the last few months... Get it...the wheel's have come off...you know, like I'm putting the pieces back together...digging out of packing and laundry and...you know, not altogether in one piece yet...like, I'm a few wheels short of a full set...look, I'm tired, ok ;o)


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Thursday, July 19, 2007


...You guys are wonderful readers and friends and don't mind authors going AWOL from time to time as needed.

Yeah, lots going on I won't bore you with, but the travelling and distractions from the writing that have also been putting the no-go on blogging have netted some great times (RWA Nationals was a blast, and I'm off to teach at The University of Georgia this weekend) and a chance to immerse my muse in some fabulous reading.

The times I've been en-route and haven't been able to (read, had the engergy to) power up the laptop were filled with catching up on my favorite authors, and there's lots more new releases to come in August (once the Potter mania has died down). So, to keep you with me (in spirit, even if you can't chill in the airport or hotel with me), I'll be posting reviews from time to time...while I continue to give away great Romantic Times Conference goodies...and, you know, chat about whatever motivational things happen to weigh on my mind while I'm at it, because who doesn't need a high-five every now and then.

So, look for more giveaway pics below, the names of some new winners (congrats and send me your snail mail addies and give me a week to pony express your prizes to you)...but first...fortunately...

I received The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes (http://www.unfortunatemissfortunes.com/homepage.php) in the mail a few weeks back--Jenni Crusie was asking for active bloggers who'd like to review her latest collaboration and I was lucky enough to be one of the 100 or so sites picked.

Reading any of my excerpts, you might guess that romantic comedy isn't the innate gift that fuels my creativity. I try not to depress folks too much, and there's alwas a touch of smart ass in what I do...but I'm an angsty girl at heart and while I make it work, you might want to have a few tissues handy when you read my stories... that said, my hat's off to authors who have the wit and intelligence and vision to tell emotionally compelling, accessable stories while making the reader laugh her ass off at the same time.

And let me just say...the Jennifer Crusie, Eileen Dreyer and Anne Stuart collab accomplishes this and then some. This won't be a "spoiler" review, because I want to you head out today--sprint, actually--to your nearest bookbuying place and snag your own copy. Consider this a "reading this will fix whatever ails ya' " review. Because the three separate but intertwined stories that make up this collaboration are, as the cover suggests, magical.

Open the book to any page, do it, and you'll immediately fall into the light and energy these authors spun into their characters--three magical sisters who can't control their powers or their hearts or the men their future happiness depends on. Dee (Dryer), Lizzie (Stuart) and Mare (Crusie) are independent, loyal and quirky young women whose misfiring powers are becoming too obvious to hide, even in the all things paranormal-friendly town of Salem's Fork. Throw in an evil Aunt, Xan (Crusie, also, I suspect) , who want's to strip them of their powers and isn't above using the men of the sisters' dreams to get the job done, and you can imagine how quickly The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes takes off and leaves you breathless with all you want to know.

The first few scenes knock you off balance (intentionally, I suspect, because the sisters' magical dilemmas are like nothing you and I could imagine) as you try to absorb the images and backstory being sprinkled in from three different points of view. You might find yourself backtracking a bit to be sure you've caught everything. But you won't mind, not really, not when Dryer's painting a delightful image of what it must be like to transform into an owl and be hovering on top of a wardrobe lusting after the hunky guy below while you hope against hope that you don't shift back to human form (possibly in the guise of the guy's naked mother, which is what you tend to turn into every time the sexual tensions heats up with any man) before you get a chance to fly away--seriously, not kidding, and somehow she makes it work...one of the funniest scenes in the book...

The action and comedy and hot relationships surrounding the sisters' fight to keep their secrets, their powers, and eventually their men are reason enough to buy this book and reread it until you catch every nuance. But do it for another reason--these are master storytellers who know how to play your emotions and show you what you're capable of feeling if you were in these characters' shoes. This is at its heart a story of three sisters trying to find themselves and still hold on to the only family they have left. Endearing. Real. These women fight for each other. They're the kind of people we'd like to be, and their committment to one another is the true magic that holds their intertwining stories together.

I suspect the authors bonded quite deeply as they wrote and rewrote and rewrote the countless times it must have taken to pull a project like this off. Boggles the mind how they managed to so seemlessly knit their work together into a cohesive story. But they stuck together and fortunately made it work--don't miss your chance to see just how fabulous a job they did. Now go buy the book--do it!!!

Oh, and I'm tagging fellow author and Crusie fan Tanya Micahels (another goddess at writing comedy that touches your soul while tickling your funny bone)--check out her blog, where she'll be posting her own review any day now: http://www.tanyamichaels.blogspot.com/

Okay--'nough of the raving about my latest read...

Winners from the comments left for the last post:

Flip--who posted at 4:59 pm and

Lifeasamama--who posted at 8:18 am

Send me your snail mail addies, folks--RT goodies coming your way!!!!

What about the rest of the stuff, you ask??? There were great tote bags from TOR at this year's conference (I snagged several for you guys) and the ususal book giveaways you drool over at every RT...gotta get rid of all of it...any takers out there??? Leave a comment to be in the drawing (there's lots o' stuff, including the goodies in the last post's pics, so don't give up)--if blogger won't let you log in (grrrr), leave your thoughts anon with your name in the post.

Later!!! ;o)

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Will she bring the A-Game? And keep reading...there are RT giveaways finally ;o)

Will she bring her A-Game today?

That's the buzz in the tennis world this morning about Venus Williams--she finally showed up at Wimbledon yesterday (mentally) after sleepwalking through her first three rounds. Will she bring her A-game to her quarterfinal match today, or will the blank-eyed shadow of her former greatness limp back out on court?

We'll talking about arguably one of the best players in the world who rarely plays events anymore and hasn't won a title in years. Why? Because she's lost her confidence, many say. She's shown her weakness and her opponents see a way to beat her now, where before they saw someone who was untouchable.

Which, big picture, begs the question, how much does Venus really believe she belongs on top? She's a three-time Wimbledon champion, and this is the tournament where she brings on the heat every year, even as she pulls out of the rest of the slams or gets sent home too early in other tournaments. So, why did it take her four matches to find the mojo this year? Does she really believe? Many are picking her to win now that she sent Sharapova home in a 2/3 rout, but if you'd asked most of the commentators who their pick was before yesterday's match, the V-bomb wouldn't have made the top of their lists.

My point? Even world-class atheletes fight doubt--and the more they achieve, the bigger the doubt and the longer the line of folks ready to take the former champions' place the first time she listens to the demons instead of her talent.

Those of you who want to publish but just aren't quite there yet, know that the published authors struggle with the same angst about their abilities as you. I say this in my workshops--every book, every challenge to our talent, every blank page we can't fill with words has the potential to terrify a published author, the same as it does you. And any author who tells you otherwise is doing a bit more damage control than truthsaying.

It's a scary place, in your head, just you and you, as you fight your way out of the nasty self-talk that attacks all of us. It's scary for everyone, even the Venuses of the world.

I'm watching her match with Kuznetsova while I type this...it's looking pretty solid but shows potential for being trouble for the last American woman in Brittan's party. Will Venus let herself win the match in her head long enough to pull it off on the court? Will you let yourself win, whatever court your current crisis of confidence is playing out on?

What do I do, you ask, on days like today, when it's easier to watch tennis on TV (or go play it at my club) than it is to fill the page with lovely words I'll one day have revised enough to be able to share with you???

Well, I write in my blog ;o) Because I know this is a place where friends come to share the angst and encourage each other and pick up their confidence and get on with their own dreams. And I pet my cats--four lovely besties put on this earth just to cuddle and purr and beg for food and love me because I'm there to give them the tuna that starts their day.

Oh, and I FINALLY get around to giving away the lovely goodies I bring back from conferences for my blog faithful. Check out the pics below--and the additional ones I'll be leaving in posts over the next week--and leave comments. I'll be sending one or two things out each week until it's all gone, which will take a while (can you tell I drove to this conference and had lots of room for stuff on the drive back???).

A few of you are already on the list of folks to glare at because they got cool stuff you might not ;o) :

1) Shannon Upright, who never received her Froggy from last March...don't know where he went, but Shannon, you'll get one of the cute dinasaurs in the first pic...I'm soooooo sorry your lovely friend hopped away :o(

2) The first two ladies who guessed right about the fairytale symbolism in the first excerpt from my '08 Mother's Day '08 novella, Baby Steps, in the June 19th post--I haven't forgotten about you, RobnL and Cas2jas (Cheryl). Something fun from Romantic times for you, too!

Send me your snail mailing addresses, ladies.

Everyone else, let me know what you think of the pics, or my ramblings, or the other excerpts I've posted on the blog (which you can track back from the links at the bottom of this post and other "excerpt" posts) or whatever. Basically leave a comment and support your sisters and brothers out here, and who knows, there may be RT goodies in your mailbox soon, LOL!!!

And be secure in your talents and your right to live your dreams, my friends. You belong on the court, the same as Venus does--who's up a break at 4-1 in the first now, BTW. She hasn't been to the quarterfinal of a major since '05 (the last time she won Wimbledon, as a matter of fact), but she's banging on the door again now.

Challenge the doubt in your world today and win!!! Bring your A-Game. That's my plan, anyway. As soon as I turn the TV tennis off ;o)

So, let me know what you think of the pics! And come back later in the week/next week for more glimpses of the bounty!!!

Look at the cute dinasours and the kittie and duckie and oversized pens and vampire teeth and notepads and can coozies and stuff... These authors picked the cutest things for RT fans... I was lucky to snag any of it, they were going so fast.

We'll do books and bags and stuff like that later, but for now, here are some more of the goddies I couldn't keep my hands off of. The picture's a little smaller than I like, but amidst all the fluffy stuff and drinkbottle and stationary, there are two decks of Elora's Cave playing cards, my friends...each card with a hunk of burning love on the backside for your opponents to enjoy while you steal their pot ;o)

Next time we'll do the tote bags everyone was drooling over, then we'll get around to the books...eventually...because I'm a tease...but you love me anyway, right???

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