Just Beachy


As the temperature and the leaves begin to fall, a young woman’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of…no, not love. The beach.

Warm water. Sunshine. And lots and lots of golden sand. At least, that’s where this young(ish) woman’s thoughts are. But maybe that has more to do with two blog posts that showed up in my inbox the other day.

The first was a review of Dance with Me from Romance Novels for the Beach.

If you’re a romance reader and you don’t follow Lauren’s blog, honey, you are missing out. Not only does she recommend romance reads for every taste, her reviews are honest, thoughtful and not be read while drinking coffee. (Snorting hot liquid through your nose because you’re laughing so hard is not as fun as it sounds.)

Here are some choice quotes. Or click the link above to read it all.

“This book has a lot going for it, from a sexy male lead, to some journalistic intrigue, and even a few interesting family dynamics thrown in as well.”

“A sexy read to be sure!”

Alexi’s mother tongue might not be English, but that doesn’t mean the man doesn’t know how to talk dirty. Let’s say he’s rather obsessed with Sherry’s “petals”.”

The second was romance writer Cameron Allie’s blog post about her writing sandbox.

You may think a sandbox is a far cry from the beach, but not where we writers are concerned.

A sandbox is a place to play. With ideas. With characters. Have them go down the path not taken. Mess around with other points of view. It’s a place to get messy and have fun in a public sphere.

(Check out Cameron’s post for a more thorough explanation and an example.)

It’s a good idea, and one I’m going to borrow in the future for sure, so look for some sandbox posts here in the next little while as I finish up my draft of Tease, the follow up to Please.

But not today. I’ve got important things to do. Like scour the internet for cheap flights and hotels. Keywords: Sun. Sand. Beach.


Double Happiness


I have two reasons to be happy today.

I mean, two reasons besides the fat slice of homemade chocolate cake with my name on it sitting on the counter. Oh, and everything I try not to take for granted but do – health, supportive family and friends, a cozy home in a country that isn’t devastated by civil war (yet) or controlled by religious extremists.

Reason Number One:

As if being a finalist in LVRWA’s I Heart Indie Contest wasn’t awesome enough, I’ve just been notified that Please has placed in the top three in the Erotic category! The final results will be announced in early November, so watch this space to find out if Please ranks bronze, silver or gold.

Reason Number Two:

I’m the first author interviewee on Over the Rainbow contributor Cameron Allie’s brand spankin’ new blog! We talk about early influences, literary inspiration and the weirdest interview question I’ve ever been asked. You can check it out here.

While you’re visiting Cameron’s site, be sure to read the erotic romance author’s post on popping her romance novel cherry. Whether you’re a crafter of steamy scenes yourself or prefer to just read them, it’s bound to put a smile on your face.


The Erotic (Writing) Education of Hazel Hughes


When I was in teachers’ college many moons ago, there was a catchphrase the professors kept drilling into us which really got my hackles up.

Lifelong learner.

We were charged with molding our students into lifelong learners. But more than that, we had to become them, too.

Annoying alliteration aside, it was the concept that bothered me. That I always had more to learn. That I would remain a student forever. That I could always know more, do better. That I, essentially, would never, ever be good enough.

At the time I was planning my wedding on top of putting in ten-hour days in the classroom and spending my evenings and weekends preparing lessons, grading, doing assignments, and building sets for a middle school production of Little Shop of Horrors (Who thought that was a good idea?Sexual innuendos much?).

I barely had time to do my laundry. The thought of taking workshops with names like Literacy and the Inclusive Classroom and Statistics: A Hands-On Approach didn’t thrill me, to say the least.

Homework for life? No, thanks.

Fast forward several years and things have changed. I still barely have time to do my laundry. But I’ve kind of done a 180 on the alliteration thing. And on the idea of being a lifelong learner.

The key, I’ve discovered, is passion.

When you are fascinated by something, learning about it isn’t work. It’s play.

That’s why I’ve taken more courses and workshops in the past few years than I did during my entire teaching career, and I took my fair share of those.

The courses’ names are a little different. Keeping it Hot: Social Media for Erotic Romance Writers, for example. Or the one I’m taking now, Burning Ink, with NY Times bestseller Angela Knight at the helm.

Sure, I’m a published author. One of my books has even been short-listed for an award. But that’s nothing compared to some of my classmates’ accomplishments. Even though many of us could be considered experts at what we do, we’re all still learning.

And I’m pretty sure I’m going to be doing it – happily – for life.

*Are you a romance writer? I can’t recommend the workshops offered by RWA and Passionate Ink (the erotic romance chapter of RWA), enough. Inexpensive – or even free – for members, the workshops are lead by established romance authors and attendees run the gamut, from rookies to multi-published authors. Check them out here