Men and Martinis Reviews

Have you gotten a chance to read MEN AND MARTINIS yet? I hope the answer is yes. I’m so excited about this book… it tickles me to watch the reviews creeping in. Here are a couple lines from recent reviews that I love:

I could not stop giggling out loud at this book. Between the totally excellent 90’s dotcom party setting and the strong personalities of the ‘girlfriends’, it was impossible to put down.

Love that…

The plot is more compelling than most in this genre, and the humor quite entertaining. I am convinced that if you read this book you will want more from this author.

So nice!

Stewart nailed life in late 90’s NYC dot com era. If you lived through it, or are just curious, you must read this book.
Great character development and easy read.

It’s a strange experience – reading the reactions of other people to something you tend and grow and nurture and then send out into the world. Kind of like getting a phone call from my son’s teacher about something nasty he did at school. Yesterday. So maybe the purpose of this entire post is to try to celebrate something that I put out there doing well in the face of anticipating a call from the vice principal today about something ELSE that I’ve put out there doing things that are NOT SO NICE. I’ve warned him that the elf is watching… but this time of year is so tough for the little guys. So much excitement!

Wish me luck on that call… and let me know your thoughts on MEN AND MARTINIS! I’m about a quarter of the way through the sequel, and hope the publisher will want to release books two and three in 2014! If you haven’t gotten yours yet, pick it up at Amazon, B&N or Kobo!


Girlfriends of Gotham

The release date of GofG is so close I can smell it!

And in celebration of the December 3rd release of Men and Martinis, I’m putting the Wine Country Romance Books on sale for the entire week of release. So it’s a good time to catch up if you haven’t read them! A Rare Vintage and Redemption Red will be on sale for 99 cents each for the week of December 3rd! Pick em up!

And A Rare Vintage is going to be available in multiple formats… pick it up at B&N or on iTunes…

And please help support the GofG series! I promise you won’t be disappointed!



Autumn Love

The sky is gray and the leaves are starting to cover the backyard in a crunchy brown blanket that reminds me of all the work to be done this weekend. But I don’t resent the endless chore of raking. I like getting out in the air when it’s cool and crisp, when the birds are noisily warning each other overhead about what’s clearly coming soon — winter. I love this season. I love that there is so much to anticipate once we get past September. Once we pass mid-October, it’s like a holiday sprint at our house and I am doing my best to slow it down this year and enjoy each part.

This weekend I’m cleaning out the front beds and planting bulbs, and that will be it for the gardens for the winter. My roses are still going crazy, so I’ll leave them for now and prune them once it gets really cold. But after the mulch is down, the rest of the garden will be ready to rest until spring. I’m looking forward to an explosion of color this year. I always have tulips and daffodils, but this year I’ll have giant crocus, lilies and dahlias as well. (If the deer don’t get wind of my plans). We lived in the desert for almost four years, so I’m embracing a garden-friendly climate with everything I’ve got!

I’ve already pulled out the crock pot and we’re on our second butternut squash. This week I have big baking plans, too, involving puff pastry and green apples and caramel sauce. I get happy just thinking about wearing sweaters and bustling around in the kitchen.

I don’t know why I seem to forget that these Rockwellian dreams are usually shattered by two tiny boys running through screaming about butts and poop and burping or scattering Ritz cracker crumbs everywhere. But they’re part of the fun, too. They’re excited about Halloween, of course, but the little one keeps asking when the Christmas village will be set up. (I have recently developed an old lady addiction to the Department 56 Christmas Villages, and every year I watch eBay like a hawk for my next acquisition. This year I’m adding a light house to my Dicken’s Village. Shut up. I know I’m mixing genres and those things don’t go together. It’s my village.) I think he’s as excited about it as I am, which makes me happy. We take a big trip around Thanksgiving time to see family every year, and it might be my favorite part of the whole year watching all the little cousins play together.

But before that, we have the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, which is also always a good time. I forget sometimes, in the course of our day to day lives, what an honor it is to be associated with the proud traditions of the Marine Corps. And I forget that the man I married has sacrificed a lot and put himself in harm’s way to protect the ideals that this country stands for. It is great to have an annual reminder of his commitment and to get to feel that surge of pride renewed.

I am also feeling energized and optimistic this morning because today I got up early again to start something new! I’ve been doing so much revising and editing and formatting and finalizing with REDEMPTION RED and MEN AND MARTINIS, that I haven’t gotten to just WRITE in a while. I didn’t get far today, because I’m just getting to know my characters and learning about their world, but I’m very excited about them and this project. Having a new focus reminds me why I write in the first place…

I know that spring is supposed to be the season of rebirth, but I still think autumn is the time each year when I take stock and renew myself.

Behind the Scenes

I know things have been quiet around here lately — at least in terms of me actually doing any blogging. I’ve been doing a lot of hosting and talking about other peoples’ books!

Summer is in full swing at our house, and that has meant that my writing pace has slowed considerably. Most of that is new schedules with summer camps and afternoon swim lessons and family outings in the kayaks or to the pool. I’m a creature of habit and I thrive on routine. And my routine has been interrupted! And that’s about to be an understatement. I’m taking the tiny boys on a cross-country trip to visit all of our friends and family in our home state (California). The hubs has to hold down the fort (and work) while we’re out gallivanting around, but I’m hoping to distract the little people with enough fun and frivolity that they won’t miss their dad too much.

Men and Martinis is with the publisher for a content edit. Since this is their first full read through since a major (MAJOR) revision this spring, I’m waiting on pins and needles for reactions. Other than emails that the new opening is great, I have no idea what they’re thinking about it all, so I’m trying to be patient, not stalk them to see if they mention it on Twitter, and generally play grownup. Since that’s off my desk until mid-August, I’ve been writing the first draft of Redemption Red, the second book in the Wine Country Romance series. My plan is to publish this in late August or early September… and I’m super excited, because when it launches, I’m rebranding the series with hot new covers for A Rare Vintage, too!

So I’ll be working on my trip. On my teeny tiny laptop, which will take some getting used to. I’m totally spoiled at home, where I sit at my big grownup desk with a 27″ screen in front of my face. My laptop screen is only 13″, so it’s an adjustment. But I’m looking forward to quiet nights after the boys are exhausted from running around, sitting on a patio with a glass of wine and my book. I’ll be in the mountains for a week at one point on our trip, so hope to pound out most of it up there… Of course, all of this depends on the cooperation of tiny and unpredictable people, so we’ll see. I’m definitely not planning to get anything done on the plane. That will be six solid hours of tantrum mitigation activities. Snacks, Leapsters, movies, crayons, trips to the bathroom… argh.

I have some things scheduled for the blog while I’m away, so I’m not leaving you with nothing… in fact, there’s a very fun event coming up that I’m taking part in – the Blogger Book Fair! Should be fun! Click the button on the right side of my blog for some more info on that…

Enjoy the rest of your summer… I’ll be back in August!

Clawing out of the darkness – writerly self-doubt

I’m excited to show you all the cover for A Rare Vintage in just five short days… And to release the book at the end of this month. I really like this book. It was fun. It kind of birthed itself and just happened.

And it doesn’t always go that way.

I’ve been struggling on the other project I’m working on. The publication date got pushed back indefinitely due to the struggle. And now that the ball is back in my court and a new publication date has been very tentatively set and I have a sort of firm deadline for getting my revision to my editor… I am feeling powerless at the time when I should be feeling most powerful. It’s all up to me now, right? Here’s my chance to fix it all.

I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck carrying a whole load of self-loathing, fear and doubt in one of those big cement mixer things. I feel like it pulled up in front of my house and set up that little ramp that they pour the cement through so that it ran right through the front window and into the room where I write. And I got stuck. And even though I’m out walking around and living my life, I’m actually stuck there, mired in the foul-smelling crap that got dumped all over me.

I don’t know if I can write what they want. I don’t know if it will be what I want. I know this is a business. And I love the business of writing as much as I love the art and craft of it. But I’ve been reading a lot and thinking about the things that I’m reading differently than I used to. I’ve been thinking things like, “how did he/she do that?” “how do they keep all those plot lines distinct and marching forward with just the perfect amount of tension?” “how did they show that perfect character journey without me even noticing?” “how did they build that suspense?” And to answer the questions, I read craft books. And they only serve to remind me how very difficult it is to actually DO all of those things. And do them well. And who the hell am I to think that I can do that?

Maybe this type of thinking doesn’t have a place on this blog… I’m building an author platform, right? Speaking to potential readers, right?

But maybe it’s okay — in case I ever do succeed — to tell them (you?) that it’s hard. And that it’s scary.

And so I will continue getting up early and battling with the keyboard. And maybe when I turn this draft in, they’ll shake their heads and say, “never mind. we didn’t think you could do it. it’s okay.”

Or maybe it will be okay.

Secrets and Procrastinations

I have a secret. I’ve been writing a book.

I know, that isn’t really a secret of astounding proportions, is it? I’m standing here, after all, calling myself a writer. So it should make sense that I’m writing.

But I’ve started and stopped a few things while other things have been bandied about at the publisher (bandied about means edited heavily and evidently bandying involves a lot of waiting — something I’d heard about traditional publishing but had never been lucky enough to experience first hand until pretty recently. I’m still happy to be being bandied, don’t get me wrong…) And so it is a bit of a secret that I’ve started and finished something while all that other stuff was going on.

It’s a romance. Set in wine country. (In this case, Paso Robles, CA.) It’s the first of a series… and I’m going to self publish it, most likely around the end of May/first of June. The whole idea of it makes me super happy, actually…I just think its a fun book and that the series will be super fun to write. I like romance. I like wine. Heck, I’ll probably even have someone eat some chocolate or slurp down an oyster just to make it really perfect.

The title is: A Rare Vintage. The cover is in the works…

So that’s my secret. Soon, I’ll develop another part of my site — or even a new site! — for the Wine Country Romance series. But right now I’m going to go watch Pretty Little Liars because my brain doesn’t really work past 8pm.

Just wanted to share. Because I’m pretty crappy at keeping secrets.