Monday, March 26, 2012

My New (Ad)Venture

Happy Monday! It's a gorgeous day in Rhode Island, a little blustery, but the sun is out. I had a fun and productive weekend and spent some time launching my new formatting service for authors looking for someone to help them prepare their books for electronic publication. Don't worry—I haven't totally lost my mind. I'm hiring some people to help me out with this so I can continue to do what I do best: WRITE!

I've posted all the information about the Formatting Fairies here. I'm looking forward to working with my fellow authors to help them to maximize the myriad opportunities available to us today. I'll also be posting regular tips and pointers, gained from publishing 12 books on my own.

I moved some mountains this weekend on Season for Love, the next McCarthys of Gansett Island book. I'm really enjoying Laura and Owen's story as well as the subplots unfolding for some of our earlier couples. We'll meet some new characters and lay the groundwork for sizzling future romances. Fun, fun, fun as the island hunkers down for a long, cold, cozy winter.

We had dinner this weekend with one of my college friends, and afterward we went to play the slot machines at this ginormous gambling hall that is the first thing visitors to Newport see when they come off the bridge (cringe). I hadn't been in there since I was 17 and got caught (two months shy of 18) by one of my mother's friends, who promptly ratted me out to my mother. At that time, the building was devoted to Jai-Alai, a fast-paced game that's popular in Latin America. Now it's all slots, all the time. I hadn't played in so long, we had to ask how to do it. Sort of embarrassing! Being there reminded me of my late mother who LOVED to play the slots. She was never addicted or anything like that, but she never missed a chance to pull the handle. She'd hate the fact there are no more handles to pull. It's all buttons now, and no quarters to hear clinking into the tray when you win. She loved that part, too. We spent (lost) a grand total of $15 between us, but had lots of laughs in the process.

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Back Up and Running

I got my laptop back yesterday with a new hard drive. I've been making jokes about my "brainless" laptop because it's a brain without any data. The data recovery process with the old hard drive is taking forever, but they say that's a good thing. The longer it takes the more data it will recover. Fabulous! I bought a new wireless backup hard drive that will receive regular updates, and I now have a site on "the cloud" where I will post the latest files for books in progress. Yes, I should've had all this before now. Again, a valuable lesson learned the hard way.

A lot of my writing friends have told me that my experience has exposed weaknesses in their own backup systems. It makes me feel a little better to know I might've helped to keep this from happening to someone else. It's also a reminder to have a backup plan for everything you can't live without: keys, credit cards, bank account info, etc. We live in a world where everything is so accessible. I've never felt so cut off as I did for five days without my Siamese twin, as my family calls my laptop.

I'm working on getting back into the swing of things, typing up the longhand writing I did over the weekend and tending to all the usual stuff on my brainless computer.

In other news, my kids have had an exciting week. My daughter was named one of four captains of her swim team for next year (her senior year), and my son had his braces put on, much to his dismay. The worst part for him is the orthodontist told him no Coca Cola for next two years. He may need a 12-step program to wean himself!

Hope you're having a good week!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

I dropped my laptop on Friday. It's been in the shop ever since, as the techs try to recover my files, photos, music. In short--my entire business. I have a backup hard drive. I hadn't plugged it in for more than a month, but thank God I have that much. Stupid. After more than 15 years of working on computers, I certainly know better. After this, there will be onsite and offsite backup mechanisms so this can never happen again. They tell me they'll be able to recover most of the data. The good news yesterday--after four long days of waiting--is the data is there to be recovered. Huge sigh of relief. Of course, I've got a lot of crap on that computer so it's taking forever to recover it. No idea when I'll get it back.

In the meantime, I'm improvising. I wrote a ton over the weekend in old-school pen-and-paper style. My daughter showed me last night that I can dictate what I wrote via Siri on my iPhone and she will do the typing for me. After some cleanup, voila. Three books in progress, their fate now in question as I wait to hear how much or how little I'll get back from the old hard drive. I have no one to blame but myself for being stupid and careless about this kind of thing. I've had five long days to think about how it will never happen to me again.

Don't let it happen to you. Backup. Everyday. I will from now on.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hoping for Love On Sale Today

Welcome back to Gansett Island as Evan McCarthy's book, HOPING FOR LOVE, hits e-bookshelves today! Here's all the info you need about the book:

All her life, Grace Ryan was the “fat girl.” Taunted and teased and ignored by her peers, she tried every diet ever invented to no avail. Desperate to change her life as her twenties slipped away, she decided it was time for drastic measures and had lap-band surgery. More than a year later, she's lost 130 pounds and is venturing into the dating world for the first time. During a boat trip to Gansett Island with the new guy in her life, Grace refuses to have sex with him and finds herself abandoned without a dollar to her name at McCarthy's Gansett Island Marina.

At home for the summer awaiting the launch of his debut CD, music star-in-the-making Evan McCarthy is performing at the Tiki Bar when he notices Grace looking lost in a sea of happy people. Evan comes to her aid and quickly finds himself smitten. But the last thing Grace needs after all she’s been through is a guy who “doesn't do relationships.” Will Evan change his ways to win Grace's heart?

ISBN: 9781467976978

Read an excerpt!

Get it at:





All Romance E-books 

Join the Hoping for Love Reader Group on Facebook!

Friday, March 2, 2012

HOPING FOR LOVE, McCarthys of Gansett Island Book 5, Out TUESDAY!

I'm really excited to announce that Evan McCarthy's story, HOPING FOR LOVE, book 5 in the McCarthy Series, will be out this coming Tuesday! I think this might be my favorite of all the McCarthy books. I really enjoyed writing Evan and his love interest, Grace Ryan. Until he meets Grace, Evan is one of those toxic guys we all know to stay away from. He's out for a good time and a commitment-free life. Grace has recently undergone lap-band surgery and lost a lot of weight. She's venturing in the world of dating and men for the first time at 28. She's looking for a man, not an overgrown boy. Evan, who is immediately taken with her, realizes pretty quickly that he's going to have to make some big changes if he's to stand a chance with lovely Grace. Can he do it?

Read an excerpt from HOPING FOR LOVE.

Grace's character was fun to write because, among other things, she's an inappropriate laugher, like yours truly. Many of the stories Grace shares about her inappropriate laughter (wakes, funerals, weddings, etc.) are actually my stories, including an incident that occurs in a restaurant when she's out to dinner with Evan. Been there, done that, laughed about it. Like me, Grace has trigger words and trigger people who she can't make eye contact with in a tight spot. This was far more fun to write about than it is to live through!

Another thing you can expect in HOPING FOR LOVE is more of Owen Lawry and Laura McCarthy. I hadn't intended to give Owen and Laura their own book, but their story presented an opportunity in HOPING so SEASON FOR LOVE will follow HOPING. It will take us through winter on Gansett Island (even though it will be out this summer) and will include a wedding and an engagement in addition to Owen and Laura's story. After that, the series will skip forward to the following summer with Tiffany's book, LONGING FOR LOVE, followed by Adam McCarthy's story, LOOKING FOR LOVE. While I was writing HOPING, I had an idea for a follow-on series that would keep the action on Gansett for some time to come.

REMINDER: As a self-published author, I'm not able to offer this or any of my books for pre-order. The retailers don't provide that option yet. I hope someday they will. For now, I will do my best to have the book available by March 6, but please know that much of it is out of my hands once I upload the book.

I hope you enjoy Evan and Grace's story as much as I loved writing it!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Everyone Loves a Hero Giveaway Winners & Other Giveaways

Congratulations to Brenda and Amy, who are the winners of the signed copies of Everyone Loves a Hero! I was really moved and appreciative of the lovely stories readers shared about their leap of faith moments. Thank you to everyone who entered the contest!

Cole and Oliva's leap of faith is one of my favorites in all my books, and I also appreciated the kind words about how much you guys enjoyed the book. It's been out a year now and I'm still hearing from readers who enjoyed it.

If you haven't yet joined the Everyone Loves a Hero Reader Group, come on over!

I'm giving away copies of Falling for Love and Fatal Flaw on Elise Rome's blog during her March Madness promotion this week. Come on by to comment to be entered to win one of the books.

I'm really excited about the upcoming visit from my friend Bella Andre, who is coming over to the Marie Force Book Talk group on Monday, March 5, to talk about her Sullivan series as well as her other books. She's bringing a bunch of giveaway copies of the Sullivans, so if you haven't yet joined the fun at MFBT, get on over there so you can chat with Bella on Monday!

Finally, I'm excited to report that I hit my 25,000-word-by-the-end-of-the-week goal in Fatal Attack today. I'm really enjoying where this book is going. The mystery is very different than anything I've ever done before, and I'm digging it! Sam is at her all-time crankiest, which gives me the giggles when I'm writing. She's so bad and sooo fun to write!