How do I know? Take a look at some of the search terms people have used recently to get to my blog:
only fear (the mindhunters). Okay, that one’s not so strange. “Only Fear” author Anne Marie Becker and I live near each other, belong to the same RWA chapter (NARWA) and sit down to write together at least once a week. I don’t read a lot romantic suspense, preferring to stick to contemporary romantic comedy and certain historicals — but I read (and loved) Anne Marie’s debut, and blogged about it.
arlene hittle. Also not weird. I’d be more upset if my name didn’t drive folks to my site.
fotune+cookie+love+panda. Huh? Just because I wrote a post about the fortune I got from a cookie at Panda Express?
copy editors need to have a dirty mind. This is one of my favorites. It harkens back to this post about my experiences as a copy editor. Really, where else but a college newsroom would you have a five-minute discussion on how to describe the new “no parking” signs on campus? You can’t say they were “mounted.” “Erected” is also out.
What did we decide? Give me a break. You expect me to remember the resolution of a conversation that happened two decades ago?
Mr Happy story ideas. Not a recent search term, but I still crack up every time I think about this one. After I blogged about heroes who have names for that certain special part of their anatomy, someone got to my blog via that search.
Hmm. Maybe I should aim to become the author readers put on auto-buy just to see what pet name comes up next …
Over on my weight-loss blog, I blogged in February 2012 about how I asked for Reese Witherspoon’s sideswept bangs at the salon. To this day, I still get traffic related to Reese Witherspoon searches. (Top search terms include “reese witherspoon haircuts,” “reese witherspoon weight gain 2012″ and “reese side swept bangs.”)
Strange but true!
It’s Saturday again. You know what that means — My Sexy Saturday time. I totally forgot to take part last week … but I hope that’s the exception rather than the rule.
The idea is simple:
Post 7 paragraphs or 7 sentences or 7 words. The choice is yours. It can be from a WIP or something you already have published. Your post should be live by 9 am US Pacific Time on Saturday. Put those lucky 7s to work for you!
In honor of receiving the cover for “Blind Date Bride,” this week’s My Sexy Saturday entry is from that story.
The last thing Kari Parker wants in her life is another man — especially one as tall as a Windy City high rise. Yet when her best friend enters her in Romance TV’s “Get a Love Life” contest, that’s what she gets. Sparks fly between Kari andher bogus groom, and as she and Damien share close quarters, intimate meals and — gulp — his bed, Kari doesn’t stand a chance of resisting his considerable charms. But building a real future out of their sham marriage will be tougher than baking a wedding cake from scratch … with no flour … in a broken oven.
The setup for these seven paragraphs: Their blind-date wedding now a bad memory, Kari and Damien have ditched the reception in favor of getting to know one another over coffee (at the nearest Starbucks, of course!). Kari’s having trouble concentrating on Damien’s words over the attraction she doesn’t want to feel for her bogus husband.
* * *
Damien’s eyebrows shot up. “You didn’t seem all that shy when you were kissing me.”
Oh, god. There was that directness again. Kari bit her lip. How could she handle a man who said exactly what he meant? “Call that an aberration.”
Damien shook his head. “I don’t think so.”
“Trust me. I don’t normally act like that.”
He leaned across the table, and for a second she thought he’d kiss her again. Her lips parted in anticipation. But he merely turned her hand over, palm up, and ran his thumb over the skin at the base of her fingers. She watched it move back and forth, fast then slow, fascinated by the friction-generated heat.
His eyes never left hers, so she saw the instant his desire flickered back to life. Her thighs grew damp as her body answered Damien’s call.
The dampness provided a rude wake-up call. Kari clamped her knees together as she jerked her hand out of his grasp, ruthlessly reminding herself how badly her last run-in with lust at first sight had ended.
“Blind Date Bride” coming to e-bookstores everywhere in late 2014.
Check out the other entries in the My Sexy Saturday blog hop here.
Anyone who likes my author page on Facebook has already seen the news … several times. I’ve also been showing everyone at the office — and the baristas at my regular Starbucks. Pretty much anyone I can get to look at my phone is seeing my beautiful new cover.
To say I’m pleased is an understatement. “Pleased as punch” is, of course, a dreaded cliche — something the lovely Susan Haught keeps warning me I use too many of. She’s one of my NARWA chaptermates, and quite possibly my biggest fan. But she’s not afraid to point out where my WIPs need more W-O-R-K.
Anyway … back to the story of how I ended up with covers for two manuscripts that are NOT the one I plan to release first.
It all started last month, when I asked about cover artists — and the timing of cover purchases — on the Indie Romance Ink Yahoo loop.
Rogenna Brewer was one of many friendly, helpful folks who responded. She said that she was designing covers, and linked to her page of premade covers. That’s where I saw her. Bride.
“If she were blonde,” I thought, “she’d make a great Kari.”
Kari is the heroine in “Blind Date Bride,” the tale of a guy and gal whose friends enter them in a cable TV network’s “Get a Love Life” contest in hopes of them winning lesser prizes. But when a panel of experts deems them to have the worst love lives in America, they win the grand prize — a blind date wedding.
So I emailed Rogenna to ask if there was any way to make the bride in her “Bride” cover a blonde. We started exchanging emails about “Blind Date Bride” and its sequel, “Trouble in Paradise.” Since the stories are related, I wanted covers that looked like they belonged together. The next thing I knew, I’d agreed to a deal — buy one custom-made cover, get one free.
I couldn’t be happier.
The photo Rogenna found for “Blind Date Bride” hints at so much — my hero, Damien, is a veterinarian, so the puppy is a fantastic touch. And obviously, this photo would have been taken toward the HEA end of the story.
The photo for “Paradise” is actually from Bora Bora, the island Beth and Cody visit to film the reality show that may kill the perfectly healthy relationship that Beth thought was headed south.
(Oops — cliche alert! Luckily, I’m pretty sure I never use that phrasing anywhere in the manuscript.)
Now that I have gorgeous covers, I have a lot of work to do. The first draft for “Paradise” hasn’t even been completely written yet — I have about 20K to go. This is the story that got decimated in the Golden Pen a couple of years ago. Judges hated my heroine. Said they had no idea why the hero was with her … Obviously, I have some rewriting to do.
And I will. But first, I need to polish “Home for the Holidays,” the novella I plan to release this November.
Rogenna’s already got some great ideas for that cover, too. Through the end of July, she’s running a deal for cover design clients: Buy 2, get one free. Check it out.
It’s Saturday — and you know what that means. That’s right. Time for another visit to Sizzletown in the My Sexy Saturday blog hop.
My entry this week is again from “Home for the Holidays,” the novella I’ll be releasing this fall. The setup: Cher and Derrick have recently escaped the crowd that gathered when someone recognized Cher in Chicago. They’ve stopped for Chicago dogs at a dive in Jeffriesburg, Ind., on the way back to Langley.
“I hate to tell you this, your diva-ness, but that hat-and-sunglasses disguise doesn’t render you invisible.”
Her giggle filled the space in the car with warmth and bright light. “Just incognito.”
“If you say so.”
“I do.” With that, Cher pushed open the car door and exited the vehicle.
Enjoying how her jeans hugged her curves, Derrick remained seated. He watched her sweet backside until she turned and stuck her head back in the car.
“What are you waiting for?” She raised her sunglasses to look at him, no doubt so he couldn’t miss her narrowed eyes.
“Nothing.” Oh, how he loved Cher’s quick temper. Smiling to himself, Derrick shook off the reverie and followed her into the restaurant.
Coming to ebookstores near you in November 2013.