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Saturday, June 29, 2013

On the road with Sandy Sullivan, PART 2

We arrived at my apartment in time for me to throw a few things in my suitcase before the car service driver pulled up. My husband and son helped the driver load two incredibly heavy suitcases and two boxes into the car. Sometimes I wonder why we don't sell stories on matchbooks.
The driver and I had a lively discussion on how to get to our location. He had a GPS and yours truly shut up before he smacked me in the head. Sandy was smart and sat quietly in the back seat, not taking sides.
After hauling everything up to our beautiful suite, Sandy discovered a broken wheel on her suitcase. That'll teach you to haul 150 lbs. of books in there every week! 

Still, now we had a problem. Noticing a small strip mall behind the hotel, we prayed that we'd find a store with a suitcase before we had to be at the barbecue Saturday at noon.
Checking her facts, Sandy discovered that the barbecue wasn't being held at the hotel, like we thought, but on Jones beach, 15 miles away. We now had no way to get there and two suitcases loaded with books to sell. Grrr. 
The skies looked ominous and we worried about setting out our books drenched by a sudden downpour. A plastic tarp would be good but we didn't have one? 

The room has a kitchen and is nice and bright and sunny. The air conditioning was blasting away, making the room cold enough to keep meat. 

Even Sandy was shivering. We had to call the desk to find out how to regulate it.
We were not battling even .200!  Kim, the lady in charge, arranged for us to get a ride to the barbecue. We knocked off, praying things would look up in the morning. We met the woman and her husband who would be driving us at breakfast. Good. Then we were off to find a replacement suitcase.
 Tramping around the back alley, there were several stores but nothing that looked like it had a suitcase. We did find a dollar store and went in there to ferret out some small bags for anyone who bought more than one book.
Lo and behold! This dollar store carried luggage! Sandy found just the right bag for a decent price. And they had plastic tablecloths for the books, and small bags, as well as candy and even a gold dish!! We were batting .1000!
Returning to the hotel, we packed up our books then the fire alarm went off. We trudged down the stairs and decided to walk to Seven Eleven to get sunscreen while the fire department checked out the hotel. Visions of our books going up in flames danced in my head. But I ignored it.
We bought some supplies, including a little hard lemonade for after the barbecue and returned.
In no time at all, we were in front of the dunes at Jones beach with a delightful group of readers and authors, hawking our books and chatting up the book club members. 

After stuffing ourselves with grilled meats, pasta salads, veggies, cookies. brownies and such, we took a little walk down to the ocean. 
Although we only sold about 15 books between the two of us, we spent a delightful day in the fresh salt air by the ocean, making new friends. This is what connecting with readers is all about.

BTW, I won two gift baskets of books and will be returning with many more books than I had when I left. Please don't tell DH. 

On the Road with Sandy Sullivan

My travels to conferences to reach out to readers continues as side-kick to my publisher, Sandy Sullivan. This trip is in New York, my stomping ground.
 Sandy arrived on Wednesday. We spent the afternoon eating burgers and sitting by the 79th Street boat basin, watching boats on the Hudson River and hunky runners on the path below. It was a delightfully warm and hazy day.

Dinner outside at an Italian restaurant on the corner had us scrambling to get out of the rain. But the raindrops didn't stop us from enjoying a fantastic chocolate fondue and tiramisu! We dried off in the theater and saw the show Chicago on Broadway. Fabulous, as always!

Thursday was the day to get together with other Secret Cravings authors: Carolyn Gibbs, Troy Storm, Karen Cino, Jeanine McAdam, Cathy Greenfeder and Ruth Aleshevsky. Lunch at The Cottage, my favorite Chinese restaurant and dinner at Planet Sushi, my favorite Japanese restaurant.

We were stranded by a huge downpour and rescued by my DH to came, accompanied by Homer and two umbrellas.

Friday was an exciting day as we headed out for Staten Island where our PR person, Karen Cino,  had arranged for us to film an interview on a local Cable channel. Hoping Sandy would get a good view of the Statue of Liberty from the windows of the Staten Island ferry, we were disappointed as hoards of people swarmed on to the boat, plugging up every crevice between our seat and the windows. Alas, we got a brief peek, but the boat ride was still pleasant. Where did all those people come from? Tourist season has begun in NYC.

We had a wonderful time at the studio and filming our hour interview was great fun. Karen provided fabulous food and organized the event down to the most minute detail. Well done, Karen!!

Racing across the river back to Manhattan on a much emptier ferry, we got a stunning view of Lady Liberty -- a great reminder how lucky we all are to live here. A mad dash out to  Long Island for a barbecue today. More on that when we return. This part of the trip has been eventful...a broken suitcase, a fire alarm at the hotel and a few other glitches. Have a great Saturday. I'll return tonight for an update.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Release - MOVIE LOVERS - Hollywood Hearts, book 4

Each book in the Hollywood Hearts series is a stand-alone as well as part of the series. Meet Grace Brewster and Jake Matthews and read a little of their story. 
A bit about the book

Can revenge turn to regret? Humiliated by a slick producer and her sister’s co-star, Grace uses the Internet for payback. But the scheme turns sour, robbing Grace of the only happiness she’s known since the death of her beloved mother. Can she regain the respect of the man she loves and rebuild her life?   

Under the hot spray, she relaxed even more. Emotion gathered in her and tears flowed. She propped her head up against the tile and sobbed.
Checking her phone, she discovered a series of texts from her sister. Cara! Need to hear your voice. But I can’t tell you why. You’ll be ashamed of me. With a badly shaking hand, Grace dialed through a flood of emotion.
When she opened the door, there stood an incredible looking young man. He was about six feet two with perfectly trimmed, light brown hair on the short side, light brown eyes, shoulders as wide as a city block, and a smile that dazzled like sunlight. Her mouth hung open.

“You shouldn’t have another one of those.” She reached for the glass.

Jake snatched his drink away from her grasp and raised it high above her head. “I’m a grown man. I’ll drink what I want. Why do you care, anyway? You don’t even like me.”

He looked so sexy with his hair falling over his forehead and his tie hanging loose, waiting for her to work her magic. ...A small shiver raced up her spine. “Closer,” she motioned.
“Don’t have to ask me twice.” He stepped up until his chest was only an inch from hers. She swallowed before reaching up and grasping both ends of his bowtie. A few seconds later, it was tied. “Always wear a tux. It suits you.”

As the kissing got intense, he eased her back down until he was on top of her. Grace wound her arms around his neck then slid her hands into his hair. When he released her mouth, he began
his gentle assault on her neck.  Tiny kisses from her earlobe to her shoulder made her shiver. Her breath became ragged. He slipped his hand under her top and up her ribcage.  
Grace couldn’t stop smiling. Best date in years…maybe ever. She was humming as she entered.

Gracie shrunk back, horrified. Jake looked at her, his eyes hard. “Is that true?”
She stood silently, her feet riveted to the floor, unwilling to lie to Jake, but unable to admit the truth. 
If you want to know what happens to Gracie and Jake, you'll have to buy the book. It's available here: