Hey there, Blaze Babes! Happy May! It snowed last weekend twice in northern Wisconsin where I was on a writer retreat. This is not allowed. Who would like to prosecute? Today it’s much nicer and I’m thinking maybe winter is finally over. Don’t quote me.
I’m starting a new Wrong Bed book. I think I’ve written four or five already. Let me tell you, trying to find a plausible reason two people will end up in bed together by mistake is hard. Trying to find it six times is harder. But I think I’m onto something and if the idea is approved by my editor, I’ll dive in.
I’m getting married next month! Twelve years after my divorce I’m a romance heroine again. My wedding day is the 15th, the day my Blog goes online for you all, so you can bet I’ll be writing that one ahead of time.
This month’s recipe is new to me, but judging by the numbers of entries online, I am either clueless or massively behind the times. Monster cookies? Ever had those? I think I posted a cookie recipe last month with similar ingredients, but one of my writer friends brought these last weekend and they are really disgustingly good. Who can have too many disgustingly good cookie recipes?
If you have kids, trust me, you will become very, very popular. This is a great kid cookie, and you can pretend to be indulging the little darlings from your peak of grown-up sophistication while sneaking several every day.
Here’s one recipe (I found some that took twelve eggs and three pounds of peanut butter, yikes!).
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First off, I know some of you are wondering where this month’s contest is. We’re a little behind, but today is the day!
We’ll randomly select 3 winners from everyone who comments on THIS blog post!
Winners will be announced on June 1st, along with your regularly scheduled next contest!
I hope you all had or helped to celebrate a lovely Mother’s Day yesterday! My mom and I live about 2000 kilometres (or about $800 in roundtrip airfare) apart from each other, which means we only see each other a couple of times a year. Mother’s Day, unfortunately, usually isn’t one of those times. It means no Mother’s Day brunch out or breakfast in bed, no extra hugs. At least it’s fun to shop for cool gifts. My mom and I always send each other packages (at Valentine’s Day and Easter, and often just because). So in addition her main gift, I found some really interesting spices, a couple of fun summer bracelets, some of her favourite loose leaf tea, a couple of her books by her favourite Harlequin authors (of course!) and a USB stick full of photos and videos from the past few months. (Photos of the chocolate-making workshop a dear friend and I went to last month are particularly fun!)
Our chocolates (just after we decorate them, before they went into the fridge to harden)
Thank goodness for cheap long distance calls and Skype, too. We talk to each other as much as if I lived the next street over instead of the next province over. I may not be able to treat her to brunch or afternoon tea out, but we can raise our teacups to each other and toast over a video chat.
Celebrating Mom’s birthday in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba, December 2011
And what about you, dear Blaze readers? Did you do anything fun for Mother’s Day? Do celebrate long distance like I do, or do you live close to your family?
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To all the moms out there, or everyone with a mom
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I feel guilty talking about girl-time on the Blaze Authors blog. Our books are all about the heroes, after all, and we love out hot guys in real life and in fiction. But today I’m going to sing the praises of girl time because it’s on my mind and I think it’s awesome.
To put my Girl Getaway in context, let me start by saying, I live in a man’s world. I’m married to a guy’s guy who lives and breathes sports. I’m the mom of three sons, all of whom play multiple sports. The sports mean I spend a fair amount of time around boys and their fathers. When I’m not on the sidelines or sitting courtside, I’m hanging out with my husband’s family, and did I mention he has seven brothers? I can discuss football blocking schemes with the best of them and that’s just fine with me. I enjoy all aspects of guy talk from bluntness to bluster.
Except…every now and then, I wouldn’t mind talking about decorating or nail polish. I like playing with new face creams and comparing notes on what leaves my skin softest because that’s just fun. You would think that—in return for all the times I’ve feigned interest in a spectacular paint ball win—someone in my family would pretend to consider whether I look better in the red dress or the blue. But truly, their eyes glaze over between I’ve finished my sentence.
So I took a dream trip this past week with a girlfriend. We went to the beach. Dined out and ate our food s-l-o-w-l-y. Found a chocolatier and tried everything we could scam a sample for. We shared recipes and cooked fun new foods. We traded face creams and shared secrets. It was freaking fantastic.
But I realized it wasn’t just sharing girlie stuff that made it so fun. Part of the really cool thing about hanging out with another woman is the sensitivity factor. And while I know some men are fantastically sensitive and intuitive, I’m married to a man whose many wonderful qualities don’t really include either of those. So it was great to have a girlfriend know when I was tired and might want to turn in early, or jump in and cook dinner because I was busy writing. Wow! That was just amazing.
I came home well rested, well fed and feeling great. Of course, back home the family was falling apart since they had no one to jump in and cook them dinner. But it does them good to appreciate me, right? I feel just a little more valued today. And for my part, I’m planning a girl getaway next year to rest, recharge and visit that chocolate store again…
***Pretend you have lots of downtime today and want to cook just for the sake of cooking. What would you make? We visited a spice store and came away with some really cool salts and spices to try on our recipes. I’d love to send one random commenter a copy of MY DOUBLE LIFE, my May Blaze.
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Birding. I went birding a couple of weeks ago. Seriously. This is not something I ever thought I’d do because
I thought it meant tromping around in the forest with a pair of binoculars around my neck, and then hiding out in bushes while getting eaten by mosquitoes just so I could spy on birds. Well, that’s not the way they do it in Rockport thank goodness. The coastline and barrier islands look like lace in this area of Texas making it a favorite nesting spot for birds.
If you want to see them, you’ll need a boat. Thus, at 8:00 in the morning, hubby and I boarded the Skimmer, a special boat that can float in only ten inches of water, and headed toward the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The ANWR is famous for being the winter home of the star of the bird show, the world’s only naturally migrating flock of whooping cranes. Unfortunately, they migrate by the end of March, but there are hundreds of other birds to see. And we did. I took pictures even though my camera is the size of a credit card and there were pros with us using lenses bigger than my arm. For the next four hours, we cruised between tiny islands of nesting birds, called rookeries, and sailed right up to the edge so we could get a good view. At one point, we were floating lazily along, so the photographers could get some good shots, when the captain called, “There’s a whooper!” and revved the engine. And bless his little procrastinating heart, a lone
Great Blue Heron–maybe
whooping crane stood in the marshy wetlands, ignoring us as he hunted blue crab. The boat pulled up until it bumped land and the captain turned off the motor. We watched one of the rarest birds in existence in silence, except for the clicking of cameras. I’d say this was the day’s highlight, but the whole experience was a highlight. As we pulled away from the crane, I turned all around and could see nothing but sky and water and soggy land. No houses, no traffic, and no cell reception. And I didn’t miss them.
American Oystercatchers, my favorites
Any birders out there? Lately, I’ve been making myself try new things even if I don’t think I’ll like them. And sometimes I don’t, but I always come away with a deeper understanding of those who do enjoy an activity like birding. Has anyone else tried something different and been surprised to enjoy it?
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The only thing better than a fabulous Blaze read is two fabulous Blaze reads in one book! Check out these fab May releases…
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I may be one of the few people on Earth who haven’t seen the movie Titanic. Why? I usually avoid tragic love stories. I want the happy ending–and I don’t want to start blubbering around strangers in the theater!
Of course, there are times when I’m caught by surprise from a movie’s emotional punch. Like when I watch an animated film and expect a few laughs only to be choking back the sobs. I was a wreck after the first few minutes of Up.
As much as I prefer fun and lighthearted stories, I do have a few favorite sad movies. They usually deal with relationships rather than war or natural disaster. I’m just too much of a wimp to watch those films.
I think my favorite tearjerker is Steel Magnolias. Every once in a while I feel the need to watch it. I love seeing these characters face their challenges and struggles with strength and grace. And it never fails–I start crying at the same point in the story. By the time Sally Fields is breaking apart in the cemetery, I’m right there with her bawling my eyes out.
Which movie is your favorite tearjerker? Tell me in the comment section before April 30, midnight Pacific Time. One commenter will win a $10 USD Amazon e-mail gift card. Good luck!
**UPDATE: Congratulations to Maureen! Her name was chosen using random.org and she receives a $10 Amazon gift card. Thanks to everyone for sharing their favorite tearjerker!**
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Wooot! It’s almost May. Not that I’m not loving April, it’s been one of my favorite months EVER!! April is the month that A SEAL’s Seduction hit #1 on the Amazon Kindle Bestseller List for free books. And it’s the month that A SEAL’s Surrender hit the USA Today list (still doing a happy dance over that one. Really -at random times during the day, it hits me and I just dance like a loon). It’s also a favorite month, always, as it’s my anniversary month and my husband and daughter’s birthday months. Yes, that translates to a lot of cake. All good things!!!
But now it’s almost May. And I’m really looking forward to it because I get to share Hunter’s story!!! Yep – it’s time for Midnight Special!! Have you checked it out yet? Oh please, say you have I’m so excited about this story.
I love Hunter, and have loved him since the first Undercover Ops/Sex and Lies book was out in 2011. I was so thrilled to give him his own story! He’s hot, he’s FBI and he’s a guy who is all about making things happen… his way. And that’s sexy. Bring in a very nosy, very ambitious reporter who has no scruples about hiding her identity to get a big story, put them together in a cozy train berth crossing the United States and… dum da dum… It’s Midnight Special!
You can check out a peek at the first chapter here. And for members of my Red Hot Readers Club, not only can they read the entire Prologue and First Chapter, they can also read an Exclusive Cut Epilogue! You are a Red Hot Reader, aren’t you? It’s free, it’s fun, and it gets you in to read this excerpt. Hey, good stuff!
So my fun, going into May but April rocked question for you is this… Do you have a favorite month of the year? Which one? Why? Or are you like me, and kinda switch it up depending on how fun the month’s celebrations might be
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I debated a long time about whether or not to blog about this, but I finally decided going public, so to speak, would make me accountable and that maybe, just maybe, talking about it might help others who may be thinking of having this done. Okay, here goes.
On May 13th I’m going to have Laparoscopic Gastric Sleeve surgery. If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a pic of what the surgery does.
I have been overweight most of my life, and like most morbidly obese people, I’ve tried every diet under the sun. Some worked for a while, some didn’t work at all. The easiest time I had losing weight was when I was pregnant. I am so short-waisted that I guess it squashed my stomach so small that there wasn’t much room for food. So I would get full after only a few bites. With each pregnancy I left the hospital weighing 15 lbs less than before I got pregnant.
I’ve been on blood pressure meds for a couple of years now, and I’m staring Type II Diabetes in the face. I have sleep apnea, my knees and back ache if I stay on my feet more than 15 minutes, and I get winded just going grocery shopping. How sad is that?
I want to travel. I want to walk around New York City, London and Paris, and climb the steps of Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. Not to mention, I’d like to live long enough to spend time with my grandkids. After all the trouble my teens gave me, I figure I deserve the whole grand-kid experience.
So, a year and a half ago I started looking into doing something serious about my weight. I researched a lot of things and talked to lots of people who’d had various surgeries done. And I’ve been seeing a doctor and a counselor to prepare for the surgery since Dec 2011.
I thought I’d track my weight loss here every month with just a small note at the beginning of my blogs. Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to post a before and after picture.
Wish me luck everyone and I’ll see you on the other side of surgery next month!
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A HUGE congratulations to Tawny Weber, the first Blaze author to hit the USA Today Bestseller list! A SEAL’S SURRENDER is #118!!
I’m sure you are all breaking out the bubbly and chocolate to celebrate with her. (Yes, I follow Tawny on Facebook and I know she treated herself to cupcakes or cookies, something yummy, when she heard the good news.) After you’ve raised your glass to Tawny, I hope those of you who haven’t purchased A SEAL’S SURRENDER race to your keyboards/bookstores and order a copy. Eden is one of those heroines that readers (myself included) love spending time with. And Cade, the hero? He is just plain HOT. As a fan of Tawny’s books, I’m not at all surprised to see her gracing the USA Today list. And I’ve already ordered my copy of Tawny’s latest MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, which includes a reprint of one of my all-time favorite Tawny Weber Blaze stories, COMING ON STRONG.
Please join me in congratulating Tawny!!
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