Tuesday, September 01, 2015

What We're Reading

Another reading freak post!

I'm still reading The Devil in the White City. It's going to take me forever because the print is teeny. But I've added a couple YA titles and one thriller to my list!

1. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

I'm still at the very beginning, but who can resist this title? Bonus: Gena Showalter wrote it. I still can't get over that she was name checked on Orange is the New Black.

2. Firelight by Sophie Jordan

I actually didn't know what this one was about, but I'd heard good things about Jordan's books, and the cover is very cool. I should've known it was about dragon-type creatures! (See the girl's scales?) That makes this super intriguing to me, and Jordan has a poetic style that I like.

3. Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

I was writing the sequel to Terror Island, and I was in the mood for a thriller, so I checked this out. (Wouldn't you know it--the sequel is on hold for the moment as I write a secret proposal!) Anyway, this author is supposed to be pretty great, and I don't even know what this book is about. Do you sense a theme to this blog entry?

Have any of you read these books? What are you reading?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Moonlight and Magnolias

I'll be the keynote speaker at this year's Moonlight and Magnolia's conference!

It's October 1-4, and I'll be keynoting at the Saturday luncheon from 12:00 - 1:50pm. Then I'll be signing at the bookfaire from 4:00 - 5:30pm.

Check here for more details!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

What We're Reading

Hello, again!

Are you all being good readers? I finished LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE, and it was worth the read. Some very controversial stuff in there that might be upsetting, but polarization can make a book popular. And this one sure is. I think it's interesting that we have this trend—I don't know...is it a trend?—in which every book with "girl" in its title features an unlikable heroine. Gillian Flynn is a master at pulling this off, enrapturing readers while we perhaps even despise the heroine, and while I'm slowly making my way through the "Girl" books (GONE GIRL, GIRL ON THE TRAIN, LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE), it's fascinating to see what other authors do with this tricky characterization.

P.S. Some readers might never connect with the LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE, so be warned.

Anyway, this week, I've added three more books. I can't keep track of how many I'm even reading anymore. (Er...#hyperchick?)

1. LEAN IN by Sheryl Sandberg

The wonderful Stephanie Bond recommended this book. It's written by the COO of Facebook, and it's not so much a memoir as it is a statement of encouragement to women to be more assertive. It explores reasons we won't "sit at the table" (and you'll have to read the book to get that reference/story, although you can probably infer that it has something to do with men sitting at the big table while women chose not to. It's a stunning anecdote.) Very enlightening and startling.


Okay, urban fantasy fans, here's something right up your awesome alley! This novella appeared in a box set I was in, SEDUCTIVE SUPERNATURALS (not avx anymore), and it's fantastic. Cassi can really build a world, and this one is sort of a post-apocalyptic keep-society-in-line agency world. The heroine is unlike any I've read before--she's a smart paranormally inclined doctor who is vulnerable to spirit possession--and that's refreshing. I've got Cassi's other UF books, so I'll be glomming pretty soon.


Technically, I haven't started this yet, but it's sitting here right next to me staring. Pick me up now, it is saying. I'm telling it to hold its horses until I finish this blog. Yeesh, a little patience, please?

Anyway, maybe this book has good reason to be snapping its fingers at me because it's been on my TBR shelf (shelves?) for years. In spite of recommendations from friends, it somehow got lost amongst the other million books. You know what made me snatch it up? The news that Leonardo DiCaprio will be starring in the film version for Martin Scorsese. I love to read books well before the movie is out because I'll remember the overview but not the smaller details--those will surprise me all over again come cinema time. Yes, I'm simple.

In case you haven't heard, this book is about the man who is supposed to be America's first serial killer. (Yeah, not my kind of book at all!) He got busy during the World's Fair in Chicago. That's all I know and that's how I like it.

Are you reading anything fun? Share!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

What We're Reading

Remember a few weeks ago when I shared the five books I was reading with you? Well, I'm down to four now, although I anticipate getting another Overdrive audio book any day now. (Yeah, I'll be sure to shout that out when I actually get it. Can you feel the anticipation in the air?)

1. THE SUMMONING by Kelley Armstrong

I'm still on that young adult kick, and this one's a paranormal by a bestselling author. Due to life's little happenings, I had to put it aside for a bit, but it's easy to get back into. Basically, it's about a girl who thinks she's schitzophrenic because she's seeing dead people. Since this is a paranormal book, we know there's not a thing wrong with her (besides the dead thing). The writing is snappy and fresh, so I'm enjoying it.

2. SECRET PLEASURES by Cheryl Howe

Full disclosure--a good friend of mine wrote this, and I'm loving it. I grew up reading historical romance, and I've never given up the habit. This one's a historical regency, and how can a girl not adore scenes set at glittering (and some naughty) parties? How can a girl not feel for the disgraced heroine as she navigates her way around the snotty ton?

A girl cannot.

3. ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS by Barbara Freethy

We actually received this book at the RWA conference, but I discovered that I already had it on my Kindle. I'm not far into it yet, but I can see why Freethy's a bestseller--she's created a heroic family populated by firefighters and community givers, and they're very appealing.

4. LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE by Jessica Knoll

I just started this one. It's supposed to be the summer's big read, so I'm feeling very hip and with-it. After chapter one, I'm waiting to see where this leads, but I see that this is drawing comparisons to Gillian Flynn books, and that's a high bar to meet. The similarity to Flynn is pretty obvious, though--this book continues this newish trend of featuring unlikable but compelling female characters (in the tradition of GIRL ON THE TRAIN and, oh, every single Gillian Flynn book).

What are you all reading?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Exhausting. And good.

Maybe that's how you've described conferences, too, because most writers are "introverts pretending to be extroverts" at these events. When you spend a lot of time in front of a computer not using your voice box, the act of talking and networking and constantly being "on" can drain you!

And that's always the case with the Romance Writers of America conference, which was held in New York this year. BTW, if you think you can take a breath of alone-time air outside, think again.

But you gotta love it all.

I had a great time on the Surviving Hybrid panel with Tera Lynn Childs and Shana Galen, and was happy to meet audience members who came up to us afterward. The Berkley signing was fantastic, and I got to meet Kelly Collins, a fellow member of an upcoming box set we're both in. I also met readers of the Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire series--woot! Your comments were all heartfelt and appreciated!

The workshops were, as always, informative and inspiring.

Yet what would a conference be without coming face to face with old friends and writers I admire? Big thank yous to Christie Ridgway, Stephanie Bond, Barbara Freethy, and Kristen Painter for taking the time to honestly and kindly offer advice. Mary Leo and Erin Quinn, you are awesome conference partners! And I finally got to meet up with my constant critique partner Judy Duarte.

Lastly, there are the parties. Ahhh, the parties! Big thanks to Berkley for their Bryant Park Grill shindig, which offered enough food to keep my tummy full and happy for a couple days afterward. (Check out this dessert table)

After the conference, I was able to have a New York Day, which consisted of walking at least four miles over the city streets. I kid you not because, yes, I am a major walker, and I enjoyed every second. (And you wonder why I say I'm exhausted?) I had brunch at Perilla and visited Eataly with Mary Leo, but Eataly was about as crowded as Comic-Con.

Still, it had a cheese counter that made me want to dive face-first into it.

So that was my big summer vacation! What did you all do this summer?

Monday, July 20, 2015

WET AND WILD is out today!!!

Looking for a hot romance to steam up your summer? Here you go!

Wet and Wild is a prequel to the three existing Rough and Tumble books from Berkley InterMix--and it's priced lower than the other stories in the series, too. Yes, it's a 50,000 word novel, not 85,000 like Rough and Tumble, Down and Dirty, and Hot and Bothered, but you'll still get a full romance. (The difference is that Wet and Wild doesn't feature a subplot.)

You'll see a few characters from the core books, so Cash Campbell is hanging around the saloon, along with Kat the bartender, troublemaking Jimmy Beetles, and the Burton brothers from Hot and Bothered (Rochelle's wild cowboy cousins)!

Here's a taste of what's it like to get Wet and Wild...

Everyone at the Rough & Tumble Saloon has a secret…

When Reece Marlow, the ex water polo Olympian athlete, hit Las Vegas, he hit it hard—gambling, carousing, and making it a point to have sex at every Sin City landmark. Some might say he’s trying to play away the emptiness he feels from leaving his superstar career behind, but Reece is fending off even bigger secrets—ones that could potentially ruin his high-flying, endorsement-filled life.

When he meets Talia McCarter at the Rough & Tumble, he doesn’t know that she’s fighting her own inner demons, but these two are bound to light the desert nights on fire with their hot romance—and maybe find love in the flames…

It's available on
Kobo (upcoming)

Hope you like--and watch for Rough and Tumble novellas in the near future, including Naughty and Nice, which will feature Jesse Navarro from the Pink Ladies Gentlemen's Club. It'll be included in a to-be-named Christmas box set going on pre-order in October...

Sunday, July 19, 2015

RWA Bound

It's been a few years since I've been to an RWA conference, and two days beforehand, I already can't sleep because I'm so excited!

If you're going to be at the Marriott Marquis for the conference, I'm hoping I'll see you at:

* The Berkley Book signing in the Westside Ballroom on the 5th floor from 1-2:30pm on Friday, 7/24

* The Surviving Hybrid panel in the Gramercy and Olstead room on the 7th floor from 11-12pm on Saturday, 7/25 (I'll be on the panel with Tera Lynn Childs and Shana Galen.)

Unfortunately, I didn't get into the Literacy Autographing on Wednesday night, but I'm going to be hanging out with my good friend Judy Duarte, so you can say hi at her station! I'll be around until about 6:45.

Happy travels!