Fun, Fast Contemporary Romance

Vacation Bride

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Jan 4, 2016 Fantasy 4 Comments

I’m super excited to announce the release of the first book in my new Brides of Paradise series. Centered around the fictional Paradise Resort in the United States Virgin Islands, these will be putting my personal spin on one of my favorite contemporary romance genres, the billionaire marriage of convenience.

white beach and sea

When Anna Williams lands a spot on the Vacation Bride reality show, she’s hoping to give her sick father a break from the Milwaukee winter, not win a rich husband. Which is good, because the hunky maintenance man whose broad shoulders and clear blue eyes have caught her attention is neither rich nor part of the contest…is he?

Chris Andersen was a disinherited resort brat until his uncle’s family crashed their private helicopter during an argument over money. Now Chris is a secret billionaire, determined to make the Paradise Resort a success on its own. To pay for improvements, he’s hosting his cousin’s internet reality series, Vacation Bride, a show where women compete to win a rich husband. The women are silly and the show’s a lot of work, but the publicity seems worth it. At least until Chris finds out he may be entering the contest himself…as first prize.

I’m having a (totally online) Facebook Launch Party January 7 from 4p.m. to 8p.m. Pacific. There will be excerpts, prizes, and general fun. Hop into your beach pajamas and stop by!

See you at the beach!

 

Romance is Everything

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Dec 24, 2015 Facebook Party, Romance quotes , , , , , Comments are off

Perhaps not everything, but I do think the winter has a certain romance. So as I creep closer…closer to the January release of my new marriage of convenience contemporary romance series, Brides of Paradise, we’ll celebrate the depths of winter with the quote from Gertrude Stein that adorned the cover of my very first writing notebook.

On January 7th, I’m holding a Facebook Party to celebrate the release of book 1, Vacation Bride. There will be quotes, camaraderie, prizes, and the book will be on sale for a special price of 99-cents (no pressure to buy!) so feel free to sign up — to get a reminder from Facebook — or just stop in and visit.

See you there!

Romance is Everything Gertrude Stein - Splitshire trees

Photo Credit Splitshire.com

New Year – New Look – New Series

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Dec 11, 2015 Brides of Paradise, Paradise Resort , , , , , , 1 Comment

I’ve been a member of Romance Writers of America for over ten years, so it seems about time to be coming out with a romance series, right? My new book is called Vacation Bride and releases January 4, 2016. This is #1 in Brides of Paradise, a series of light-hearted contemporary marriage-of-convenience/romances centering around the mythical Paradise Resort in the United States Virgin Islands.

More soon. Meanwhile, here’s a peek at my new look, fresh off twitter!TwitterBanner-2016

Speakeasy Dead FREE on all Major eBook Platforms

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Oct 9, 2015 Fantasy Comments are off

Halloween is coming! To celebrate, my (shh don’t tell people it has zombies in it) paranormal romantic comedy “Speakesy Dead” is currently free, not only on Amazon, but other major ebook platforms as well. No strings attached, although if you enjoy the book, I’d love to hear from you or get a review.

I’ve got a new contemporary romance coming out January 7th, so if you’d like to be in on the initial Facebook Release Party & Giveaway Extravaganza and/or get news of the 99-cent first day release price, make sure to join my mailing list. I don’t send out a lot of emails (about 6 per year), but when I do, there’s always a special discount or giveaway.

SD-JC-Final-med

SPEAKEASY DEAD
A Roaring Twenties Paranormal Romantic Comedy

***  Now FREE on all major ebook sites ***
***  AND available in Paperback ***
Amazon iTunes/iBooksKobo | Nook | Smashwords

Speakeasy manager Clara Woodsen will do anything to save her silent film idol from an untimely death. Even summon a demon. Even bet she can teach his half-human/half-cheetah assistant to foxtrot. But people around town are acting strange. Have Clara’s efforts unleashed a zombie plague? Or are her customers just really bad at dancing the Charleston? And can a career-minded woman find happiness with the man of her dreams if she uses her…brains?

.All Bernard Benjamin wants is a quiet life. At least as quiet as possible for a young college man possessing a golem housekeeper, five demon-summoning witches for cousins, and a dance partner who has not only two left feet but two right feet as well. Bernie is used to being his cousin Clara’s stooge, but when the chips are down, he knows they’ll back each other one hundred percent.  So why has Clara tied him up in a pentagram? And what’s she doing with that sharp, pointy knife?.

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Promote! (yikes) Discuss! (yay)

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Aug 6, 2015 Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Writing , , , , Comments are off

Ever wonder how Bernie inherited a golem? Want to revisit romantic (or pithy) moments with Max?

I’m taking the plunge and starting a Facebook “Street Team” in which to hang out, discuss my plots and characters, share favorite exerpts, and get the inside scoop on those notorious Works in Progress.

This is a small, closed group exclusively for readers who’d like to receive advanced copies and help me get reviews and spread the word about my books.

If that sounds interesting, click the banner below to join. And don’t forget: It’s not who you know but whose soul you own that really matters!

Plus…you know…swag.

FB STREET TITLED Banner for other places

Friday Fashion Find

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Jul 31, 2015 1920s, Fashion, Reproduction, Women's Fashion , , 2 Comments

It’s pretty amazing how many beautiful 1920s dresses are still out there for reasonable prices, but  I’m not sure you’d actually dare wearing any of them. The heavy beading tended to wear out the fragile fabrics.

This lovely dress is actually a modern reproduction (size large) made from a 1920s pattern.  Listed at $263.53 at JulieVintageBoutique on ETSY, I’d feel no guilt wearing it at all!

1920s-style Sterling Grey Charcoal Silver Flapper Dress,

 

Maybe I won’t take up graphic design for a living

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Jul 29, 2015 Historical Urban Fantasy, Indie Publishing, Urban Fantasy, Writing , , , , , 2 Comments

I had an interesting (and long) day designing a postcard to advertise Speakeasy Dead on one side, and a friend’s indie game called Gangster Dice on the other. The game was recently funded on Kickstarter and is going to feature an appearance by none other than Bernard Benjamin himself. I haven’t played it yet, but from what I’ve heard, it’s a hoot!

It's a work in progress

Work in progress

Of course, in order to put the QR code (which you can use with a smartphone app to link directly to a website, among other things), I had to generate a separate landing page for Speakeasy Dead….which meant a fast overhaul of my website. While I was there, I put up the beginnings of what will be page for my new Contemporary Romance series, set to release January 7, about which details will be coming later.

THEN, when all was done, I found out the card size I set up is 1/2 inch too big for the Gangster Dice box. Better now than after they’re printed, right?

So…back to the design board. Tomorrow. Or maybe next week. I’ve got a contemporary romance to finish, after all.

If you’re curious, check out the Gangster Dice KickStarter page for a preview.

At Last! Jeeves & Wooster in Bed!

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Jul 15, 2015 Blandings, Jeeves and Wooster, P.G. Wodehouse , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Jeeves & Wooster. Well, of P.G. Wodehouse. Well, of anything relating to P.G. Wodehouse that’s fabulously done.

"She looked like a tomato struggling for self-expression." -P.G. Wodehouse

“She looked like a tomato struggling for self-expression.” -P.G. Wodehouse

As far as moving pictures, this amounts to  the 1990s Jeeves & Wooster BBC show staring the incredibly talented Hugh Laurie & Stephen Fry, and the recent (cancelled, dammit) Blandings, which had a mixed first season but a terrific second year….

"Unlike the male codfish, which, suddenly finding itself the parent of three million five hundred thousand little codfish, cheerfully resolves to love them all, the British aristocracy is apt to look with a somewhat jaundiced eye on its younger sons." -P.G. Wodehouse

“Unlike the male codfish, which, suddenly finding itself the parent of three million five hundred thousand little codfish, cheerfully resolves to love them all, the British aristocracy is apt to look with a somewhat jaundiced eye on its younger sons.” -P.G. Wodehouse

…and let me digress a moment to say what a brilliant (and undercredited) performace Jack Farthing turned in as Freddie Threepwood. Dundering, but with a truely lovable sly edge.

They also filmed Blandings at what may possibly be the coolest location, ever. I don’t know if the interiors were the same place, but the art-deco entryway (much utilized) is worth the price of the series.

Crom Castle, Northern Ireland (via Wikimedia Commons)

Crom Castle, Northern Ireland (via Wikimedia Commons)

Speaking of castles, Downton Abbey fans may be crushed into the dust to know that Highclaire Castle served as Madeline Bassett’s Totleigh Towers decades before the Granthams moved in.

Highclere Castle (via Wikimedia Commons)

Highclere Castle (via Wikimedia Commons)

Let’s see…on screen, Lord Grantham’s got posession of the old homestead as of 1926, and Jeeves and Wooster is a bit wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey between the 1920s-30s. I hope doesn’t mean Lady Mary will be forced to sell!

More seriously (still not a lot), I do, of course, love Downton Abbey. Who can resist watching, if only for the beautifully recreated 1920s styles?

Downton Abbey's Rose - invented to give the show a "flapper."

Downton Abbey’s Rose – invented to give the show a “flapper.”

 

Which brings us back to Jeeves & Wooster. I’ve chafed for years because, while I have them on DVD, the only streaming option has been to rent individual episodes. Since I mostly watch TV on my iPhone under the covers, that meant getting my J&W fix from fuzzy bootleg Youtube videos. *sigh*

But sigh no more! Yesterday I discovered that the HD version that came out on blue ray a few months ago is finally available to purchase for streaming. Yay BBC! Yay Internet! Yay Jeeves & Wooster. But most of all, Yay P.G. Wodehouse.

Jeeves and Wooster season 1 HD

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Tea is for Tuesday

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Jun 30, 2015 1920s, Women's Fashion, Women's Hats, Women's shoes , , , Comments are off

The 1920s was the first era when tanning became fashionable, so after yesterday’s refreshing lounge on the beach, it’s time to show some skin at an afternoon party or a visit to the local tea shop.

Summer party illustration

 

Hats with tea dresses tended to be conservative (no wild feathered headbands). This one ought to do.

1926 Hat (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

1926 Hat (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Strictly speaking, these pumps are a little formal for tea, but they’ve got flowers on them, so I think we can pull it off.

1920s Ivory and Gold Bullion Brocade Pumps (source http://eng.shoe-icons.com/)

1920s Ivory and Gold Bullion Brocade Pumps (source http://eng.shoe-icons.com/)

 

And of course, most important of all, the dresss!

Summer tea dress deatil

White mixed lace tea dress, c.1920 from vintagetextile.com

1918 at the Beach

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Jun 29, 2015 1920s, Beach, Clothing, Summer , , , , , , , 1 Comment

It’s summer, and while that means nice blocks of time for writing, it also means I’d rather spend my time at the beach. Since we don’t have a lot of beaches in Southern Arizona, I’m compromising with a virtual trip to 1918 via that bastion of 1920s style (and naughtiness) La Vie Parisienne.

Le plongeon, La Vie Parisienne 1918

André Edouard Marty “Le plongeon” – La Vie Parisienne, 1918

1920s bathing suits were generally knitted from wool, and while there are hints of sleek, abbreviated fashions to come (even Russian bikinis!) the best that can be said for most of them is that the people at the beach seem to be having fun.

But even a wool suit looks good in the hands of a great illustrator. Sign me up for the 1918 bus tour to the French Riviera!

Nelson Beaches, NZ  Advertisement c1920

Nelson Beaches, NZ c1920 (www.teara.govt.nz)

Bernie and Clara don’t visit the beach in Speakeasy Dead, although we see in Keys to the Coven that the Woodsen Homestead resides beside one of the region’s few lakes. Summer is short in Northern Arizona. I’ll have to hurry up with a sequel if they want to work on their tan.

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