Stealing Jason Wilde and The American Hotel

A few years ago, I treated myself to the ultimate girl’s getaway – a beach house in the Hamptons. Of course, I couldn’t actually afford a beach house in the Hamptons during ‘The Season’, but I managed to get a great house right before Memorial Day that didn’t require me to sacrifice my first-born child. I invited my girlfriends, the ones who had been sharing an annual girls weekend away for years, and (because I could) I asked my cousin Lisa if she’d like to come out and join us.

She said yes.

Four of my friends said yes.

The weather did not cooperate, but it didn’t matter. We drove around and walked around and shopped and ate and drank and braved the wind on the beach and talked and laughed ourselves silly.

We had a wonderful time.

In the back of my mind, I wanted to write about the Hamptons, not about the rich and famous who lived there, but rather the fish-out-of-water types who visited, like my friends and I. So I actually took notes and pictures and kept trying to think of a twist that would make for a great book that was more than just a funny travelogue.

When it finally struck me, I started writing Stealing Jason Wilde.

And the best part was, I really used all those notes and pictures, I remembered the places and sounds and everything that made the trip so special. And one of those memorable moments was at The American Hotel.

My friend Michele came out early with me, and my cousin arrived early as well, so we had a few days before the others arrived. We spent one of those days in Sag Harbor, and we went into The American Hotel for a drink. What a classy place – seriously. We sat at a small, dark bar, and I asked for a whiskey sour. I know—who drinks those any more? But it sounded good to me, and to Michele and Lisa, so the bartender, a charming New Zealander named Ray, made the best whiskey sour I had ever tasted. It may have been the best drink I’d ever tasted period. And he told us that it was in the house, because he hadn’t made one in so long.

So, were we impressed or what?

Yeah.

Before we left, my cousin took his picture. I told him I was a writer, and that if I ever wrote a book about my trip to Sag Harbor, I’d be sure to squeeze him in.

And I did.

I had a blast writing Stealing Jason Wilde, not only because I loved the characters, or because it was a bit different than my usual Rom-Com. I got a chance to go and experience my Hamptons week all over again.

What a joy!

And here’s the icing on the cake — my cousin, a wonderful artist living out in San Diego, took her picture of Ray and painted this amazing portrait.

He no longer works there. I’m so sorry, because I would have loved to send him a copy of my book – and this fabulous painting.

 

If you’re interested in Stealing Jason Wilde, it goes on sale at Amazon on May 17th, but you can you can pre-order it here— http://amzn.to/1OYEuHu

 

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The Reality Show of my dreams

A few weeks ago, Jasinda Wilder, who happens to be a husband-and-wife team who are not only great people, but write smokin’ hot books, Tweeted about the possibility of a reality show, The Real Housewives of Self-Publishing.  Since I happen to know some of the real housewives she hangs out with, I immediately commented that the world was NOT ready for a show like that.

But it got me thinking about a reality show, like Project Runway, but for writers.  It could be called The Novel Project, and I know exactly how it should be run.

Prizes would be:

$100,000.00 in cash to take a year off work to complete your masterpiece, courtesy of the Big 5 Publishing Houses

Free use of a writing studio, a cabin in the Maine woods, provided by Douglas Preston.

And Amazon, still light years ahead as far as knowing what writers really want and need, would supply five pounds of coffee, delivered weekly, as well a a gallon per week of any alcoholic beverage of choice

The host would have to be a writer who is also well known for being something else as well. A sort of Renaissance person, like Sam Shepard or Steve Martin.  Or Snookie.

There would need to be a mentor, of course, someone warm and supportive, who would appreciate and encourage writers of all genders, races, and sexual orientations.  Jonathan Franzen perhaps?

 And imagine the challenges…

 “Good morning, writers, and welcome to the Romantic Times Challenge.  For this challenge, you have to write a scene in which a dark-hearted Duke, who has married for convenience, takes his virginal bride to their marriage bed for the first time.  To complete this challenge, you cannot use the phrases “velvet shaft,’ ‘ throbbing rod of passion,’ or ‘glistening flower of desire’.

You have one day to complete this challenge.  The winner will have immunity for the next challenge, and will receive a full-page ad in Romantic Times magazine, as well as a weekend in the Inn Boonsboro, courtesy of the amazing Nora Roberts.  The loser will sign a ten-book, two year contract with a New York publishing house. “

The camera will then shift to the twelve contestants, men and women, most of them in various pajama pieces, and all drinking coffee and staring into their laptops.

 Two hours later, our mentor looks in.  All twelve contestants are busy typing away in silence.

 Two hours after that, the mentor returns.  Here is what he finds:

 Contestants #1, #5, and #11 are in the Internet.

 Contestant #2 has replaced his coffee mug with a near-empty bottle of Dewar’s, and has fallen asleep, face down, on his laptop.

 Contestant # 3 is typing, muttering to herself, “Show not tell, show not tell…”

 Contestant #4 is in a corner of the room with Contestants #8 and #9, trying to configure them in the position he described in his story, to see if it’s actually possible for two people to have sex, in a chair, with no feet on the floor.

 Contestant #6 is playing Candy Crush on her phone.

 Contestant #7 is refreshing his Amazon KDP dashboard every thirty seconds.

 Contestant #10 is reading a battered paperback version of Atlas Shrugged.

 Contestant #12 is rocking back and forth in her chair, singing I Have A Dream from Les Miz.

 Our mentor takes one look around, grabs the bottle of Dewar’s, and leaves the workroom.

 I could go on, but my heart is too full.  Who will watch this with me?

My First Video Post!!

A Slight Change of Plan release info

We have lift-off!! Sort of. My next romantic comedy, A Slight Change of Plan, is being released November 19th by Montlake Publishing. We’re still working on a cover, but I do have a pre-order button – Amazon is VERY efficient.

http://amzn.to/1847p8e

This is much like Better Off Without Him, with the accent on comedy, but I have to say, it turned out to be a great love story as well. This is not the official blurb, but should give you an idea of what’s going on. So,yeah – another kick-ass woman getting what she deserves!

A Slight Change of Plan – release date 11/19/13

Kate Everett is about to begin her ‘Second Act’. She’s been a widow for eight years, and thinks it might be time to start looking for someone to share her life with again. She quits her high-pressure job for something that will allow her more leisure time. And with her youngest son graduating college, she gets rid of the huge family home and moves into a fabulous condo that’s smaller and easier to manage. She’s pretty much got the rest of her life figured out. All she has to do is sit back and let the pieces fall into place.

But her real life never gets the memo. First, her son decides that a PhD is in his future and moves back in with her – along with his girlfriend. Her dream job falls through, leaving her unemployed. Her mother, whom she hadn’t spoken to in years, can no longer live alone, and has moved into her basement.

Her shiny new condo is starting to feel a little bit cramped.

Then there’s her oldest son, Jeff. He and his partner are Kate’s best chance for her very first grandchild, but are the two of them starting a family or breaking up?

And finally, much to Kate’s dismay, her only daughter is planning the smallest and simplest wedding in the history of all weddings.

Can this get any more complicated?

Sure it can.

Her foray into the world of dating finds her tentatively moving towards a relationship with one man just as her college love – the man who was her soul mate before he broke her heart – pops up on the same on-line dating site. Jake is now a successful businessman who realizes that he made a huge mistake walking out on Kate all those years ago, and he’s eager to win her back. Although Kate is torn between wanting to recreate the past and building something brand new in the present, it looks like her happily-ever-after may come true after all.

But when her daughter’s future father-in-law, Edward, arrives from England, something about him strikes in her an unexpected chord.

It looks like real happiness may require a slight change of plan.

Freebie Alert

A Different Kind of Forever, my contemporary romance, is free today and tomorrow, 7/25 & 7/26 on Amazon http://amzn.to/HmWs3X

We Have Winners!!!

I want to thank everyone who came by during the Holdiay Blog Hop. It sounds like Elizabeth Bennett and Bridget Jones are neck-and-neck as to who’s the favorite chick-lit character, but there were also lots of books mentioned that I’ll be looking at. Thanks for your great suggestions! And congrats to our winners – Sandy, Stephanie, Cayce, and whoever nornalissubjective is! Hope you’ll check back with me to find out when the next book is coming out – and I’ll see you all at next year’s Blog Hop.