Gifts and Prizes and Books, Oh My!

I’m so excited to be doing my first official book signing this month at Book Expo America! I’m very flattered that my publisher, Swoon Romance, thought readers would be excited enough about my Girlfriends of Gotham series to come out and see me. Of course there is always the chance that I’ll be sitting at the table, pen poised, quietly waiting… for an hour… and then I’ll go home.

In an effort to ensure that doesn’t happen, I’ve devised a way to entice people to my table… You know, a reason beyond my fresh breath and sparkling personality… A GIFT basket that SOMEONE will win!

What’s in it, you ask? Well, let me tell you…

  • There’s a fancy hand-painted Lolita martini glass…
  • A pair of sterling earrings that look like little red wine glasses
  • A set of Ann Taintor coasters
  • A cute desk sign that says “It’s okay to have too much fun”
  • A set of designer stationery and matching pen
  • A cute pink tin of “flirt” gum
  • A fun set of cocktail napkins that says “I’d rather drink my martini than put on my bikini”

Fun, right? If you want to win it, you need to drop by and see me at the Swoon booth (PDZ638) on Friday, May 30 at 2pm!

Check out the goods:

BEA Basket

Sneak Peek at ADAGIO

Hi guys! I’m releasing ADAGIO on May 15th, and I can’t wait for you to see the inside world of the Union Ballet Company and meet Cain and Anna.

Just for fun, I thought I’d give you a quick glimpse now… Don’t forget, you can add the book on Goodreads right now! And the giveaway is still on over on my Facebook page. Go leave a comment telling me your most recent favorite book for a chance to win one of five fantastic recent releases!

Here’s your sneak peek:

CAIN

Cain Gilliam took his usual place at the barre in the center of the cold studio and tried to will away the headache that was thumping just behind his eyes. Hal and Ian, his roommates, took spots on the other side of the barre. It was nine o’clock in the morning, and Cain realized that it wasn’t that early — unless you’d spent the night before playing quarters and doing shots. And the three of them had. Cain moved slowly, stretching his muscles quietly in the few moments before class started.

“Cain,” Hal’s gruff voice forced Cain to open his eyes again, breaking the concentration he’d started to find — concentration he’d need for class. “Fresh meat.” Hal gestured to a willowy dark-haired girl taking a spot at the side of the room, on one of the barres attached to the wall. Her hair was swept back in a tight bun, and she wore black from head to toe, her thin muscles sheathed in tights and a leotard, a dark sweater tied in the front. She looked around through huge, fierce dark eyes as she adjusted her pointe shoes and pulled on a leg warmer at one knee.

“Huh.” Cain watched her as he stretched. She’d taken a spot at the veteran barre, which would surely prove to be a problem. For her. Dancers at Union were very territorial and superstitious — and they weren’t above being downright bitchy. “Should we warn her?”

“Nah.” Hal grinned, his dark eyes lighting up under the wavy blond hair.

“Boys,” Ian said, sounding bored as he leaned in to whisper to them. “That’s Anna. She’s been at the company school for the past two years.”

“Any good?” Cain asked.

Ian gave a disinterested shrug. It took a lot for Ian to notice women in any more than a cursory way.

“Did you know she was moving up?” Hal asked.

“Knew she was ambitious.” Ian stretched his shoulders as he spoke. “She auditioned last week, and I heard talk around the staff that she met him after the audition was over.”

Hal chuckled. “Guess he gave her a private audition.”

Hal’s comment irritated Cain for some reason, but he couldn’t figure out exactly why. He shook his head and turned his attention away from the new girl. She was pretty, he had to admit, and there was something vulnerable in her that he didn’t doubt played well on the stage. But, Cain reminded himself, most ballerinas were pretty. Unlike Hal, who was busily sleeping his way through the corps, Cain didn’t date dancers. At least not anymore. They were neurotic, anal, and generally difficult. And those were the ones he liked.

He tried to focus on stretching, but as the scene in front of him began to unfold, it was hard not to watch. Julianna Devereaux, the prima ballerina at Union Ballet, took a spot in front of the new girl. Inches in front of her. There was no way Anna could know she was on the wrong barre, but she was about to find out.

A perturbed look crossed her face as she looked up from her stretch, and then she clearly recognized Julianna and took two steps back, giving the prima space. Seconds later, Erica Forbes, a demi-soloist with a notoriously bad attitude, took her usual spot, about one inch behind the new girl. She turned her body and allowed her hip to press Anna’s back, causing the new girl to jump and step forward, into Julianna.

“This isn’t your spot.” Erica’s voice was nasty and loud enough to attract the attention of the rest of the company.

Julianna turned to look, but gave Anna no more than a cold up and down gaze before taking a step back and turning back around.

Cain cringed. He hated dancer politics. If Anna chose to stand her ground, which she had every right to do, she’d be forced to dance in about six inches of space. And neither Erica nor Julianna would be able to really take class either, but he knew they would stand firm just to make a point.

“Christ,” he breathed, as Anna looked around the room, her dark eyes blazing. He stood and walked toward her. “Hey,” he said in a low voice, smiling. “I’m Cain.”

“I know who you are.” Her voice was a hiss. She was shaking slightly, but it clearly wasn’t in fear. She looked furious.

Cain swallowed hard. Her dark eyes were fiery and she actually had him doubting his own resolve. He tried another tact. “So there’s kind of a pecking order here,” he told her. “First and second years usually take the center barres.” He gestured toward three barres standing in the center of the room.

“I prefer the stability of the wall.”

“Me too. But these ladies here,” he indicated Erica and Julianna who were both clearly listening while pretending to ignore them. “These ladies worked their way up, and they’re a little territorial about their spots. And they’re also very rude to new dancers.”

Julianna turned and raised an eyebrow at him. He raised an eyebrow back at her in an exaggerated mimic and then gave her a grin. She huffed and turned back around.

“You’ll get a better class if you have more than four inches to move.” He smiled. She wasn’t being friendly, but she was new and probably intimidated.

Anna’s face was reddening and he could tell she was not the type to back down easily. “This is ridiculous,” she whispered, but her hand dropped from the barre.

“Not everyone here is a complete ass.” Cain walked her back toward the center barres. He was glad she’d relented before class had begun. He didn’t like watching people suffer, and the other girls would have made sure she did. “Carla here is a pussycat.” He pointed to a wide-open spot behind a tall African American girl wearing a backless fuchsia leotard. The girl grinned at Cain and waved her arm to the spot behind her.

“Hey,” she said to Anna.

Anna nodded curtly to the girl and then turned back to Cain. “Thanks.” She took the spot at the barre and turned away from him.

Cain went back to his spot wondering why he’d bothered, just as Tatiana, the ballet mistress, entered the room.

Giveaway Time!

In honor of the debut of Adagio, and the new ballet-focused new adult series, The Company, I’m giving away some of my favorite books!

These are all books and authors that I really love…

Frenched by Melanie Harlow

Tempting the Cowboy & One Night with a Cowboy by Elizabeth Otto

Just Breathe by Tamara Mataya

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Wanna win one?

Head over to my Facebook page and leave a comment naming one of the best books YOU’VE read recently! Winners will be chosen at random from all the comments on Sunday, May 11th!

You can also add Adagio to your To Be Read pile at Goodreads!

Remembrance

Twelve years ago I lived in New York City. I was there to see the destruction that came after the initial disaster that was everything about 9/11. I was traveling during the actual event, and still suffer from some form of survivor’s guilt — I was not there when my city was attacked; when my friends ran for their lives and feared for their loved ones. My company was actually situated just blocks from the World Trade Center. When I worked there, we spent lunches under the twin towers, visiting the Ben & Jerry’s operated by the cousin of one of my coworkers. I shopped at Century 21 right across the street and at the bookstore beneath the looming shadows of those seemingly immovable structures. To watch them fall on television was so surreal that I actually thought it was a new age War of the Worlds; that it wasn’t really happening.

But when I returned to my city, to my apartment on 15th street, just above the zone that was closed below 14th, it was all too real. I bought rounds at the Village Idiot on 14th for the firefighters that trudged up out of the dust at the end of every day, their eyes vacant and their bodies beaten by what they’d seen. I played pool with them and thanked them for what they were doing down there.

One of my best friends manned a call center in the weeks that followed, answering call after call from hopeful sisters, husbands and parents, describing loved ones who hadn’t come home that day. Who never went home again.

I eventually moved away. An already dwindling dot-com economy in Silicon Alley was smashed flat by the events of 9/11, and I was laid off along with almost everyone I knew. But New York will always be my spiritual home — the place I am most alive.

In memory of that day, I will give away a copy of “Through a Dusty Window: New York City Stories 1910-2001”. The last story in that collection is semi-autobiographical and centers around 9/11 in a way. The book will go to a commenter on this post. Tell me where you were that day, what you were doing and what 9/11 means to you. A winner will be chosen at random one week from today.

Cover Reveal: Redemption Red

After lots of cover reveals for other people, I’m so excited to introduce the cover to Redemption Red – the second book in my Wine Country Romance series! This book is scheduled to be released in late October.

RR_med_borderRedemption Red by Delancey Stewart (A Wine Country Romance)

Love, loss, and a smoky red…

When Audrey Montgomery’s carefully planned life collides with the self-destructive path Tyson Dawes is on, neither of them can predict what will happen next.

Audrey is a diligent and self-reliant culinary student at Portland’s prestigious Cordon Bleu. She has a clear picture of her future in mind, and it allows little room for the steely-eyed and tormented young man she bumps into by chance while wine tasting with friends.

Tyson Dawes had a perfect childhood, raised among the vines in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. But even the most idyllic of upbringings couldn’t have prepared him for what he would face as a Marine. He returns to his childhood home angry and haunted by the storms of what he has faced and by those he has lost.

Do opposites truly attract? Can the lure of Audrey’s apparent clarity and innocence offer Tyson hope in the face of his emptiness?

This is the second book in the Wine Country Romance Series. The first book, A Rare Vintage was published in June and is available on Amazon. Though the books share a theme, each is a standalone book and can be read independently.

Add the book on GoodReads.

And if you haven’t read A Rare Vintage yet, now’s your chance!

Buy A Rare Vintage, on sale now for only .99 cents! 

Follow Me!

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Enter the Giveaway:

Must be 18 or older to enter One winner will win (US only):

– an ebook copy of both “A Rare Vintage” and “Redemption Red”
– a gorgeous bracelet created with recycled wine bottles on an aluminum
link bracelet. It measures 7 1/2 inches long and features green, brown,
blue, gold and clear color glass rings. The bracelet is handmade and can
be dressed up or down, thanks to the elegant styling.
AND

a 10 ounce jar of Oregon Pinot Noir chocolate sauce from Euphoria
Chocolate Company in Oregon (where Redemption Red is set). Great for use
on ice cream, in coffee or just on a spoon!
4 winners will win (INT):
– an ebook of Redemption Red
Enter here:   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do you like me?

Hee hee… it’s very unlike me to ask something like that. 🙂

So, I’m about to embark on a blog tour for Through a Dusty Window and am trying to build some momentum publicity-wise. With that in mind, I’m asking a couple favors of my followers.

The first one is easy. Could you head over to my Facebook page (if you use FB) and hit “like”? Not a big deal, but it would be a help to me! Click here to head over.

If you’ve read Through a Dusty Window, could you take a moment to go to Goodreads and Amazon and give it a star rating? It’d be even better if you could write a quick review! I know it’s a lot to ask, and I really do appreciate it.

Lastly, if you haven’t read the book, but think you’d like to, I’d be happy to send you an e-version free for a limited time! If you comment on this post (leaving your email address when asked — it won’t be visible to anyone but me) before March 1st, letting me know that you’d like a copy, I’ll gift you a free copy on Smashwords. My only request is that you be willing to go leave a review when you’ve read it.

Thanks so much for all the support!