(Almost) springtime in the city…

Well, I finally up and did “it,” made the move from Small Town, Virginia to Big City Manhattan–as in The Big Apple. On 2/14, yes, Valentine’s Day, my best friend, nickname of “Suz,” helped me drive my (sedated) cats the five hours or so north to our new home. The cats did great. I on the other hand, was a wreck.

But now we’re all here, unpacked (well, mostly), and settling in (well, more than mostly). I’ve traded in my SUV for a new set of wheels, a shopping cart courtesy of The Container Store. My routines, like regular sleep, have fallen by the wayside, but now that things are settling down, I’m determined to get back on track. So far I’ve only gone running once in two weeks, but in my defense, I’ve been getting organized, which burns a bunch of calories, I’m sure. And it’s been cold here, really cold and windy, too.

Still, things are settling down, settling in, slowly but surely shifting into place, not the old place or an entirely new place but, I hope, some happy melding of the two. Yesterday I attended my first RWA-NYC chapter meeting. What a nice group of not only women but men, too. Once chapter business was cleared away, Regency author Megan Frampton gave a talk on Plotting by the Seat of Your Pants. (Really, is there any other way?) Along with having a music industry background, funky cool glasses, and a wardrobe of all-black sweaters I would kill for, Megan had a lot of very helpful things to say about plotting a book. She will be one tough act to follow.

But follow I will. RWA-NYC has invited me to be their May brunch speaker, which is really super nice considering the treasurer took me aside during the break and tactfully reminded me I apparently am late with my renewal dues. I can’t say what my topic is (no, I really can’t, I haven’t a clue), but there will be food and drink and friendly faces. And May means spring in the city, so I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

In the meantime, I’m on deadline. Yeppers, Every Breath You Take, my super sexy Harlequin Blaze due out this October 1st was actually due in to my editor yesterday–as in Saturday. While I don’t flatter myself that she made a special trip into the office just to read my book, still, I really need to wrap things up so I can leave the apartment and go play. (Oh yeah, and getting paid would really help with those chapter dues). πŸ˜‰

Spring really is close. The little quadrant of park space I can glimpse from my window is dappled with sunshine and though the people walking through that park and around it are bundled to the gills, still, there’s this feeling of anticipation, new beginnings on the horizon, of well, spring.

Springtime isn’t just a season. It’s a state of being, a way of looking at life–and not just looking on from the sidelines but stepping into the thick of things to savor, embrace. Yes, it’s still cold here and windy, and I’m guessing most of March will be spent wearing winter coats.

But in my soul, it’s 75 degrees and yes, spring.


Back from RWA in Dallas…

Hi All,

I’m finally rested up from the Romance Writers of America Conference held in Dallas and ready to dish. The conference kicked off on Wednesday evening with the Readers for Life Literacy autographing. Think 450 romance authors packed into the Hyatt’s grand salon signing their books and chatting up readers. That was enough to steam up even the most Arctic air conditioned of rooms.

Instead of my normal slinking to the hotel bar post-signing for vino and fried munchies, I joined fellow authors Kathryn Caskie and Sophia Nash on a out-of-hotel foray to Cowboy Red River, a “real live Texas cowboy bar” complete with mechanical bull. Romance Novel TV came along for the proverbial ride, film crew in tow. Courage bouyed by a very large and very strong Texas style Margarita, Yours Truly climbed aboard the about-to-be bucking beast. Maybe it was the tequila, maybe it was the white Stetson borrowed from a cute cowboy called Ray, or maybe it was just my stubborn Irish pride, who knows, but bumps and bruises aside, I managed to hold my seat for the full eight seconds. For those of you tempted to remark that eight seconds isn’t all that, I say this–Try It. πŸ˜‰

That was, of course, only the first of my four days in Dallas. Other highlights include dancing to “Love Shack” at the Harlequin Party on Friday night with about-to-be Rita winner, Julia Quinn, dishing with RNTV emcee Sophia Nash on “the red carpet” at the Saturday night Golden Heart and Rita Awards ceremony and gala, and sipping champagne with Kathryn Caskie, Nocturne author, Pam Poulsen, and romantic suspense writer, Terri Ridgell in the Hyatt lobby lounge while the rest of the hotel guests evacuated in response to a (false) fire alarm–think the orchestra playing on the deck in “Titanic.”

Okay, enuf about me. Anyone else go?

I’m sure I’m leaving out lots of fun times and events, but summarizing four action-packed and star-author studded days into a single post would make for one book length blog. That said, I hope you’ll check back for pictures from the conference to be posted. In the meantime…

Happy Trails,

πŸ™‚ Hope

Got ENSLAVED–latest sighting

Copies of Enslaved can be found at Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks stores in Mesa, AZ. Thanks to Joy I of Mesa, AZ for emailing the information.

Got (a copy of) Enslaved? Email me the store name and location with “Got Enslaved?” in the email subject header, and you’ll be automatically entered in my special summertime contest. The winner will be announced in early September.

And please check back in a day or so for the dish–garnished with the occassional “naughty bit”–from the Romance Writers of America conference in Dallas.


Off to RWA…

Just a quick note before I dash off to Dallas for this year’s Romance Writers of America conference. Each year, the RWA conference kicks off with a multi-author (think 450-strong) Readers for Life Literacy autographing, the proceeds benefiting a major literacy-related charity housed in the host city. While the conference programs are for registered attendees only, the book signing is open to the public and heavily publicized. I’ll be signing copies of Vanquished as well as The Haunting and chatting with readers, fellow authors, and media in the Hyatt grand ballroom.

In between “work,” there will be publisher parties galore as well as some hours logged in the lobby lounge sipping wine, eating far too many bar munchies, and catching up with writer friends I only get to see a few times a year. The conference wraps with the Awards Ceremony and gala on Saturday where everyone puts on the Ritz to celebrate the Rita and Golden Heart winners (and console the other finalists) with champagne and chocolate. πŸ™‚

At some point during the conference, I’ll be blogging from the RWA media room set up in the conference hotel. To read the blog in progress, go to rwanational.org after Wednesday and follow the links.

Once I’m back, I’ll be posting pictures and tasty tidbits from the conference week. Also on the horizon is my blog on “Hope and Susan’s Excellent Adventure,” a post-Independence Day roadtrip to Roanoke, WV and Blacksburg, VA with my buddy, Susan. (Hint: If Susan lets me, there may even be a pic posted from that adventure, too).

In the interim,

Happy Trails–and Happy Reading,