Monday, December 30, 2013

What's in store for 2014? Holy @#$%, a lot of stuff!

Conversation in my kitchen this morning:

GENTLEMAN FRIEND: So I emailed the office last night about how I wasn't feeling great and might work from home for a couple days.

ME: Yeah?

HIM: Apparently there's a really bad flu going around. It starts with fatigue and sore throat and a fever.

ME: So . . . pretty much all the symptoms you have?

HIM: Uh-huh.

ME: Based on the fact that we are a newly-engaged couple with mistletoe hanging from the ceiling in every room of the house and a strong lock on the bedroom door, is there any chance I won't be getting the flu?

That's a rhetorical question. I think odds are good I'll be kicking off 2014 with my face over a pot of steaming mentholated water, which is probably not the worst way I've rung in the new year.

No matter, my spirits are pretty high going into 2014. Here are a few reasons why:

  • I'm starting the new year with a brand new website. The fabulous LuLish Design created it for me, and I'm so in love with it I want to drag it under the pool table and give it a hand job. It has a lot of cool features like an amazing new design, cool pics taken by my gentleman friend, an Author FAQ, a Personal FAQ, a fun new About Me page, an amazing roundup of all my books, and much more. Go check it out at
    Go visit my new website at
  • In 2014, Entangled Publishing will launch my new series under the Brazen imprint. You may recall, Entangled is the publisher that released my short novella Eat, Play, Lust in August (which is still for sale here for just 99-cents!) All three of my new books slated for publication with the Brazen line in 2014 will feature my usual brand of quirky romantic comedy, but with steamier, more plentiful sex scenes and a word count that's closer to 55,000 (as opposed to my Sourcebooks rom-coms weighing in around 90,000 words). Each story is centered around one sibling in a staunchly military family (Sheridan Patton-Price, MacArthur Patton, and Grant Patton). Watch here for news on the first book in the series, Marine for Hire, which will be released in the first part of 2014.
  • In May 2014, Sourcebooks will release the third romantic comedy in my three-book deal, Frisky Business. It's already up for pre-order at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, and I'm madly in love with the cover they've created for me. Here's a quickie blurb about it:
    She's looking for something bigger than his bank account...

    Marley Cartman is fed up with arrogant rich guys who treat her like garbage, so she vows to only date men with modest paychecks and a little dirt under their nails. Her new boss, William Barclay, is exactly the kind of man she's trying to avoid: an eccentric millionaire with duct-taped shoes and an unexplained vendetta against her. But as Will and Marley butt heads over grumpy badgers and phallic artifacts, they discover that sometimes the opposite of what you want is exactly what you need.
  • Apart from my author life, 2014 is shaping up to be a pretty big year for me personally as well. I'm scheduled to teach two sessions at the South Beach Writers' Conference in Gold Beach, Oregon February 14-15. Here's the skinny on the workshop I'm teaching for both sessions:
The top mistakes new authors make (and how to avoid them!) It's easy to screw up when you’re getting started as an author. Just ask Tawna Fenske—she’s done it plenty! She's also learned a few things from years of judging contests, critiquing manuscripts, building a career in marketing & PR, and stumbling a few times in her own journey as a published author of romantic comedy. From writing craft to social media, learn the top landmines for newbie writers—and how you can leap gracefully over them.
  • What else is happening in 2014? I'm pretty sure there's something more, but I can't quite put a finger on it. (Cue light bulb popping on above romantic comedy author's head as "put a finger on it" triggers thoughts of gentleman friend).
    The site of our Sept. 2014 wedding.
    We'll be wearing a lot less clothing.
    Yep, that's right – my gentleman friend and I will be getting hitched September 6. Don't expect a lot of gushy posts about color schemes and crudités. My maid of honor is my eight-year-old stepdaughter-to-be, and she and I have both declared we will not, under any circumstances, wear shoes for the wedding. Or the reception. Or pretty much anytime in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. My dog will be the ring bearer. There will be lots and lots of wine involved. Lots.

I think that about sums it up for my plans in 2014. What does the coming year hold for you? Please share!

I'm going to go work on getting the flu.

Monday, December 16, 2013

When you sleep with strangers, they give you cool stuff

It's been more than two years since I fell into bed with someone I'd never met, but I remember the moment like it was yesterday.

I might feel embarrassed I were the only one still clinging to the memories, but I know she still thinks about it, too.

Part of me wishes this were as torrid as it sounds, but alas, that's not the case. I'm referring to July 2011 when I shared not only a hotel room, but a hotel bed with author Jeffe Kennedy as a way to cut expenses during the national conference for Romance Writers of America. Though we met in person mere minutes before crawling under the covers together, we've been online writing pals for years.
I enjoyed a romantic carriage ride with Jeffe
(center) following our first night in bed together.

And since pals like to promote each other's work, allow me to tell you Jeffe's books are fabulous. If you like your erotica with generous helpings of fantasy and BDSM, go pick up one of her books right now.

Since Jeffe is such a generous and thoughtful bedmate, she's giving it to you good all week long. Right now, she's doing a promotion centered around the Twelve Days of Christmas, offering cool giveaways for each day of the contest.

Because it sounded deliciously naughty, I asked to have my turn on the day the nine ladies are dancing. Head on over to Jeffe's blog today and find out how you can win a signed copy of my second romantic comedy, Believe it or Not.

Um, I'm signing it, not Jeffe. Though I'm sure she'd sign it too, if you wanted.

Be sure to check  her blog throughout the promotion, since she's giving away tons of other great prizes, including a grand prize partridge in a pear tree pendant worth $100. 

Tell her I said she's great in bed, OK?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Why you can't take a romantic comedy author anywhere (including a bookstore)

The good folks at Paulina Springs Bookstore invited me to participate in an event called Indies First in which respected authors spend November 30 promoting their favorite titles by playing bookseller for the day at independent bookstores nationwide.

I looked around for a respected author, and then tried to remember the difference between respected and respectable and disreputable, and then decided they all meant the same thing.

"Count me in," I said, and gave them a list of a dozen books and authors to have on-hand for me to peddle.

I arrived at the bookstore just before noon and posed for photos like a respectable author.

Hooray for independent bookstores!

Then I got to work setting up my display of books. I was excited to talk about my favorite titles, and promote all aspects of romance, comedy, and everything in between.

Doing some well-deserved pimping for my critique partner, Linda Grimes, and her awesome book In a Fix and the orangutan-centric follow-up, Quick Fix.

Right off the bat, I noticed two important things. The first is the bane of existence for all busty women forced to wear sticky name-tags. Within five minutes, the tag curls up like a dead bug and refuses to stay put no matter how many attempts you make at smoothing it out so you look like a respectable person.

Damn you, sticky name-tag and your curly edges.

And then you realize you don't look very respectable repeatedly rubbing your hand over your boob in an effort to straighten the name-tag.

The second thing I noticed is that my station was smack-dab in the middle of the children's section.

 Coupled with the aforementioned name-tag issue, this meant I found myself spending the better part of an afternoon groping my boob while surrounded by kids and their understandably leery parents.

As if it weren't weird enough to put an author of risque romantic comedy in the kids' aisle, my vantage-point staring straight out from that section gave me a clear view of the self-help shelves.

Right in my line of sight for the entire afternoon was this title:

Is it just me, or does that title just leap out at you?

So now we have an oversexed romantic comedy author staring out from the children's aisle at a book about learning to want more sex. Does anyone see a problem here?

Naturally, my mind began to wander...

I can't be the only one who thinks this sounds deliciously filthy.

Is it just me, or does this look like the setup for a deranged animal orgy?

I'm not saying I do or don't own an adult video with one of these titles. Okay, maybe that is what I'm saying. Suffice it to say, it was alarming to glance up and see these titles shouting at me like urgent commands.
Is it okay to buy touch and feel stroller cards if I don't own an infant?

In the end, the event was fairly successful. As is often the case when I do author events in bookstores, I probably spent more acquiring new books than I did selling my own. Isn't that what it's all about?

Well, that and patting the bunny.