Free Book!

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Just in time for the holidays, we've made THE LAST NOEL free on Amazon for the next five days. It's light science fiction with a bit of romance and a Christmas backdrop, not to mention the end of the world as we know it! I hope you enjoy.
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PLAY DATE on sale now!!

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Play Date high res

From the time Bam Bannerman and Sean Decker ambled into my book PLAYING FOR KEEPS, I knew they had to have their own stories. And many readers made that request as well. Little did we know, those guys are so competitive, they both wanted this next book. You'll see that they don't share well. Which basically makes Rachel (the schoolteacher from PLAYING FOR KEEPS) the luckiest female on earth. I hope you enjoy the story.

We lowered the price of PLAYING FOR KEEPS to 99 cents, so if you'd like to read that one too, this is a great chance for a limited time.



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fatal obses best facebook banner

So here's the deal with this book bundle. It's only 99 cents for the next two weeks, and you get to try five different authors with five exciting romantic suspense stories! How could you go wrong? UPDATE: expired now

Anyway, I'm excited to be included in this bundle. I hope you check it out. If you enjoy TRACE ELEMENTS and you want to read the next book in the series sooner than later, let me know since I'm debating which project to start next, and the second book is calling my name.

p.s. Thanks to Rita Henuber for designing the book banner for this bundle. Talk about talented! Her book is called POINT OF NO RETURN. Chills, right?

Coming Soon!

play date
Remember the school teacher from PLAYING FOR KEEPS? Remember Bam Bannerman? Remember Sean Decker? They needed their own book, right? And it's on its way. So if you've been wondering where I've been, I've been with Deck and Bam and it's been fun! I'll post again when PLAY DATE hits the online bookstores.

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Here we go again! And just in time for the Super Bowl. I’ve been traveling a lot, writing a lot, and working the day/law job a lot, hence my absence from this blog. But it’s all been worth it because Johnny Spurling, my favorite quarterback, is ready to break hearts and take names.

Hmmm… that doesn’t sound quite right.  But you see what I’m saying. He’s my latest hero, and starting tomorrow, he’s everyone’s hunk.

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You probably know I’m a Forty-Niners fan. And the Niners didn’t make quite make it to the Super Bowl this year. (We were robbed, I tell you!). But I still have hopes for a ring, thanks to Johnny Spurling. So check out PLAYING FOR KEEPS. And thanks to all of you who read the first story in the series!

Available everywhere tomorrow. Thanks for checking it out.

p.s. I’ve been lax with the movie reviews, but I loved American Hustle. And this week we saw Jack Ryan (Shadow Recruit). My verdict? It’s so great! Pine and Costner, together again for the first time – yum. And seriously, it’s everything it hoped to be. What more can we ask? Go see it if you like light action with hilarious dialogue and spy stuff. You won’t be sorry.

Re-release of STOLEN KISSES

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STOLEN KISSES was originally released in July of 2000 as a category-length paperback. I have a special fondness for it because it won a Romantic Times award that year – my first of several awards from RT.  Re-issuing it in e-book seemed like a great idea even though I knew it would be a bit dated. On the other hand, corny romantic comedy never really goes out of style, does it? Or maybe it’s the reverse, and it’s never really in.

I’m so glad we decided to reissue it though because Samhain gave it a gorgeously sparkly cover. The original cover showed a handsome man in a suit at the beach. I mean, it is a story of an FBI agent at the beach but he’s on vacation, so not only does the suit look strange, it is strange.

So here’s the new cover, and I think you’ll agree, it’s pretty. Oh, and the story in a nutshell: Josie Galloway is a defense attorney and when she hears the FBI is questioning her beloved grandma without a lawyer present, she’s livid. She soon learns grandma is just a witness, not a suspect; plus the case is an old, unsolved crime that the agent is trying to solve on his vacation in tribute to his grandfather – the original agent on the case.

Apparently, Locke’s grandfather was so dazzled and lovestruck by Josie’s then-young grandma who was at the scene – aka a honeymoon resort on the beach – he couldn’t properly question her. This lapse has always bugged Locke and he wants to restore the family’s investigative honor. And he knows grandma needs the reward money, so he sees it as a win for everyone. And Josie goes along with it, even though she realizes grandma is matchmaking like crazy.  Josie and Locke resist the match-up because (1) she’s trying to protect her grandma’s rights, especially when she realizes grandma was the only witness, and (2) Locke doesn’t want to fall into the same trap his grandfather did by getting lovestruck by a Galloway female.  (I wanted the title to be LOVESTRUCK for obvious reasons, but my editor wanted STOLEN KISSES because a jewel heist is the underlying crime. Needless to say I was outvoted.) 

Stolen Kisses

I hope you enjoy it! And if you're visiting today because you read PLAY BY PLAY last week and liked it, well thanks!  The two books are totally different, so I don't want to mislead anyone given how close together they were released (by two different publishers). PLAY BY PLAY was an experiment in using blog entries as a way of telling a romantic story, so very different from this traditional narrative. On the other hand, they are both romantic comedies at heart, so... (Hmmm, what's my point? I'm not actually trying to discourage anyone from reading SK, just noting the different format and approach. Of course, if you're one of the readers who didn't like the format of P-by-P because it didn't give enough of the heroine's point of view or the on-page love scenes, you might actually like this one better!)

Sports blogger book: PLAY BY PLAY

Product Details
Sidelined by injury, wide receiver Jake Dublin turned to sports writing for fun and profit. His wildly popular blog – where he waxes athletic on subjects ranging from the pistol offense to the latest NFL expansion teams – also details his personal life. And lately, it’s all about the pretty young woman who just moved into his apartment building. His readers know her as the “Elevator Girl,” and they’re all rooting for Jake to score.

It’s all in good fun, and he fully intends on coming clean with his new girlfriend. That is, until she confides how she grew up in a houseful of jocks, and even dated a few. Her verdict? Never again.

Jake knows he needs to confess. But somewhere along the line, he fell in love with Sophie, and can’t stand the thought of losing her. So he procrastinates, and blogs, and digs the hole deeper, until a showdown so nail-biting, not even the best play-by-play guy could ever have seen it coming.

It's football season! As I've mentioned, I'm a Niners fan, and in the last few years I started reading tons of sports blogs and kinda fell in love with the goofy  guys who write them. They're very basic, totally obsessed, and for the most part, they seem like nice guys.  So I decided to try writing a love story from the point of view of a sports blogger (complete with blog posts and comments).  Next thing I knew, I had PLAY BY PLAY.  It's the start of a series, but the rest of the books will be full length and won't be in blogging format.

I dedicated the book to sportswriters because of their inspiration. Go Niners!!


trace elements
My short opinion of the recent movie season is that there have been soooo many good/great ones.  I am apparently at odds with critics on this.

Need I say the critics are wrong?

They panned IRON MAN III/3, and sure it wasn’t the best of the series, but come on. It was pretty darned good. You can’t compare it to perfect, i.e. Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Compare it to movies generally, and you’ll see it’s terrific.

MAN OF STEEL?  This was a totally amazing rebirth of a legend. I give it 95 out of 100. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 56 out of 100. [guess who’s wrong…]

THE WOLVERINE? I really enjoyed it. Was it perfect? No. Was it amazing? Abso-wuffing-lutely. I give it 87 out of 100. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 68. Wrong yet again.  Oh, and even the critics who rated it positively got it wrong, because their favorite scene was the one on top of the train. Ugh – it’s becoming the new car chase.  The genius of this particular movie is simpler: it lets Wolverine be Wolverine. He’s mesmerizing. Such a complicated, flawed yet noble character. And I’m not just saying that because of his abs, so stop looking at me that way.

PACIFIC RIM? I give it 100 out of 100 just for the sheer genius by which they transformed robots and monsters into really cool characters, and the way they gave us Charlie Hunnan (only to take him away – Charlie, we hardly knew ye!)**

I also saw THE CONJURING – yes, one of these things is not like the other. But I love a good scare, and this one delivered. I wish I hadn’t seen it in the theater though, because at one point, I actually screeched. That’s right, screeched. I don’t usually make noises in public. I don’t even burp in public, so honestly, I was mortified, but it didn’t stop me from silently screeching a bunch more times. Verrrrry scary. Hokey, sure, but fright-for-fright I’d say it’s Number Three in my all time lineup of scary: Exorcist, Poltergeist, and now The Conjuring. (and for those of you who say the Exorcist wasn’t scary, well, you didn’t see it the first time in the theater on Easter Sunday – oh my God, I just knew I was going to hell but not before I became you-know-who’s next target.)  And as my boyfriend at the time –  who later became my husband –  will confirm, I wouldn’t be alone for weeks, not even in the bathroom. The loss of my innocence in more ways than one! And one of the big reasons I had to marry him, obviously.

Next up is TWO GUNS. The critics didn’t like it. Deterred I am not.

Seen anything good lately? I’m up for recommendations!

p.s. Notice I didn’t see ELYSIUM. Ugh, it sounded like such a re-tread of a plot to me. And I’m not really a Matt Damon fan. So I passed. Paul went with a group of friends and thought it was fine. I’m pretty sure he’s glad I wasn’t along to lecture them on why it sucked.

And finally, this weekend we saw OBLIVION on pay-per-view. Skipped it in the theater because of the overwhelmingly negative reviews, but actually, it had some good stuff. My opinion as a card-carrying plotter is that they just paced the “reveals’ wrong. Yes, it’s fun to save the plot twists until the end, but sometimes, you’ve got to cough up a few of them  early in the story so the viewer can appreciate the brilliance in real time. As it was, I rolled my eyes a lot in the first half, then when I realized what was really going on, I became hyper involved, trying to make up for lost time. Luckily, we had it for 24 hours and could watch it again the next afternoon. Such a good movie the second time! And SPOILER ALERT they did an amazing job of letting the “other woman” be a good, decent person rather than a cyborg bi+ch. I didn’t want to hate her, and turns out I didn’t have to. So kudos to them for finding a fresh way to handle a potentially clichéd situation.

Now I have to watch all the other movies I skipped this year due to bad reviews. Good thing winter is coming.

** If you didn’t hear the news about Charlie Hunnan, I’m glad for you. It’s an abummeration. Not because I disapprove of his new movie but just because I had other plans for him. Like Star Wars VII; or Pacific Rim II, III, IV etc; or the movie adaptation of my new book. Ergo: bummer.
I can’t remember when I loved as many movies in a single year as I have in 2013. Seriously, Star Trek: Into Darkness (flawed but still so good); Man of Steel – great; Iron Man III – wonderful; White House Down – excellent.

But I would trade them all for PACIFIC RIM. Not because it’s better, but because I love mechs; I love sexy heroes; I love plot twists; and did I mention I love mechs?  I actually wrote a mech story of my own, with a female pilot. And while that book didn’t take the world by storm, it’s still one of my favorites.

Okay, back to PACIFIC RIM. Let’s start with the basics, i.e. what I loved and what I didn’t love.

What I loved – everything.

What I didn’t love – nothing.

For a mech movie, this is the gold standard. Forget silly Transformers and such, this is what mechs are supposed to be – giant machines power by human/sentient beings, bigger than life, awe-inspiring, and just plain exciting.

Oh, and just to prove I can still do a modicum of analysis:
  • Mechs: the future :: the lone champion : the ancient world.

There, I said it. Or at least, I :::’d it.

Every culture, every time period, every pivotal moment in history, has its lone warrior. Its gunslinger. Its David vs. Goliath.  There’s that one warrior – male or female – who represents us all in the ultimate showdown with evil. If the warrior wins, we win. More importantly, our civilization wins.

In the future, the mech pilot is our champion.

This is why I despise war movies. Battalions battling battalions – ugh. What a waste of life. And for what? It leads to nuclear war, devastation.  So much better to have a single champion, or a small squad of champions, stepping into the breach.

So don’t give me D-Day. Give me a mech battle.

Meanwhile, some other reasons you should see this movie:

Charlie Hunnan – we all knew he could be a charming psychopath-in-training, but here he is being charming, valiant, noble, and decent. He’s amazing in this movie. Oh, and yowza on the hotnicity.

Idris Elba – seriously, he may be my favorite actor in the world, at least at the moment. And for two solid reasons – he gives a powerful performance and he’s gorgeous. I would definitely follow him anywhere.

All the other characters – just spot on. You will love them. I don't usually like the corny absent-minded proferssor much less slapstick stuff, but this movie won me over even when it veered into that territory.

The plot? Perfection. Classic mech stuff, and no frills. No padding. Just awesome, non stop fun; unpredictability; and a depth of character that really shouldn’t be there given how little time is spent – seemingly – on characterization. Pure genius.

Going in to this film, I was worried about two potential problems: (1) cheesy special effects and (2) the bizarre idea that each mech is powered by two humans who are psychically linked. 

Trust me, the special effects have just the right amount of cheese and they t make your jaw drop exactly as far as it should.

And the two pilots? Well, there’s a history in mech lore about the lone champion(s) forced to work in pairs or a small squad. So I was willing to be convinced, and this movie really sold it. The writers/director always left the door open for the heroism of the single mech pilot, but showed how the pairing of two is almost necessary, and certainly optimal, when the mech is as ginormous as these mechs are.

And trust me, these mechs are huge. I stared at that screen as though in a trance.

You need to see this in the theater. A small screen at home, or even a bit ole 60” screen, won’t cut it. You need to see this as God intended – so big it makes you feel insignificant.

And hurry, because there are so many great movies this year, I’m worried Pacific Rim will get edged out before its time.

p.s. When my husband and I walked out of this show, I looked into his eyes and said, "Wow, right?" And he said, "It was pretty good. I liked it."  So reasonable minds can differ on how great it is, but I'm pretty sure it's awesome beyond belief.

TRACE ELEMENTS and Pacific Rim

trace elements
I wanted to post the cover the other day when TRACE ELEMENTS was released, but the wrong cover image was up on Amazon and other sites, so I waited until that was corrected. Anyway, as mentioned, it doesn’t have a lot to do with the actual story, but I like it! [As for Pacific Rim, we just saw it yesterday. I'll post about it, but since it might not be in theaters much longer, I'm urging you to go and see it on the big screen. I loved it, but then again, I am a card-carrying mech lover.]

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