• authors,  book clubs,  Books,  Real Housewives of NYC,  Reality tv

    Girl’s Night Out-Literary Edition

    Tonight is book group or book/wine/dinner group. Well, to be honest it’s mom’s night out with a book to give it legitimacy.

    New restaurant tonight, Persian and BYOB. Fun! PVE is the designated driver. Loves her!

    We’ve all finished THE TEN YEAR NAP and I can’t wait to get into the discussion and see who thought what of this book about mothers going through life’s adversities. I’ve got my thoughts. But, don’t I always?

    The new selection is THE LACE READER by Brunonia Barry. I’ve decided to “read” this one on audio book during walks with Jack since the weather is getting better and my TBR (to be read) pile is tipping over and full of great romances that I’m excited to read.

    Here is the trailer:

    What are you currently reading?


    P.S. I made an error! Part 2 of the NYC Housewives reunion is tonight. I’m setting my DVR are you watching?

  • authors,  interviews,  Marley Gibson,  writers,  Young Adult

    Who Ya Gonna Call?

    It’s a scary celebration here today. I’m happy to announce the release of

    It’s the first book in my friend Marley Gibson’s exciting new Young Adult series. Yay, Marley!

    As a treat I was able to pin Marley down for a few moments in between all her exciting travels and Ghost Hunts and have her answer a few interview questions.

    Now here’s Marley…
    It’s the first in a trilogy. Get out your tape recorders, crystals, and extra batteries— you’re about to go where our world meets the spirit world..Psychic Kids, Paranormal State, Haunting Evidence—these and countless other television shows are making believers out of millions of people: Ghosts exist, and they’re living right beside us. For centuries, individuals have been trying to prove the existence of ghosts. But without hard evidence, it’s been difficult to make the case. But now as science and technology have progressed, ghost hunters have been able to use scientific means, along with more traditional psychic tools, to make their case. Photographs, video recordings, and sound recordings are all producing some amazing results.

    In this new series, Ghost Huntress, meet Kendall Moorehead, a seemingly typical teen. When her family moves from Chicago to the small historical town of Radisson, Georgia, her psychic abilities awaken. She’s hearing, feeling, and seeing things that seem unbelievable at first, but with the help of the town psychic, Kendall is able to come to terms with her newly emerging gift. So, together with her new BFF, Celia, Kendall forms a ghost hunting team. They’ve got all the latest technology. They’ve got Kendall for their psychic. Now they’re going to clean up Radisson of its less savory spirits.
    The story is fiction. The science is real. Welcome to a new reality.

    2.How did you get the idea for the series?

    I was attending the New England Romance Writers’ Conference back in 2007 and attended a session run by the New England Ghost Project talking about their ghost hunting investigations. I found the idea completely fascinating and knew I had to write a story about teenage ghost hunters. I had no idea at that time that there were TV shows such as GHOST HUNTERS, HAUNTING EVIDENCE, and DEAD FAMOUS – to name a few – that highlighted such types of investigations. From there, everything just blossomed.

    3. What do you want your young readers to get from the series?

    I’d like young readers to know that the challenges of growing up and finding out who you are and what your place in life is are universal and timeless. I just want readers to see that being different is okay, no matter if you’re new to a town, have an accent, are too skinny…or are experiencing a psychic awakening.

    4. Care to give us a hint about what’s coming next?

    In GHOST HUNTRESS: THE GUIDANCE, out in September, readers will see Kendall growing more comfortable in her psychic skin. She will continue to develop and hone her abilities through the guidance of not only her group of fellow huntresses, but her parents, her mentor, Loreen, and her priest, Father Massimo…and her spirit guide, Emily.

    I am currently working on GHOST HUNTRESS: THE REASON, the third book in the trilogy that will be a little darker than the other two books. Kendall will experience some very life-changing things that will leave her questioning everything she’s ever known. That book will be out in May 2010.

    Thanks so much for being here Marley. I’m so happy for you and wishing you much success. Happy Hunting!

    You can check out Marley at her website here and also at her blog which she shares with other wonderful young adult authors: Book, Boys, Buzz here. Enjoy!

  • authors,  contests,  jack,  movies

    Super Saturday

    What’s Jack up to? It’s Saturday so Jack is taking it light and breezy being spoiled by his best bud the DH. He’s such a lucky dog.

    Speaking of the DH. The winner of The Diamonds of Welbourne contest was pulled last night at around 12:15 by my very own tired DH.

    The winner is….. Patricia of PVE designs! And she was the very first commenter.

    Congrats Patricia. I’ll let the ladies know and have a book to you as soon as possible. I’m sure it will get your artist imagination going.

    The DH was so tired because the family was just back from seeing Wolverine late last night. It was a fun and exciting way to start off the summer movie season.
    Is there anything that Hugh can’t do? Oh, Hugh.
    Have a great rest of the weekend.

  • authors,  interviews,  jack

    The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor – 3 Gems

    What’s Jack up to? Well, as I write this Jack is curled up on the couch sleeping ever so sweetly. One would never know that he got in the trash today and made quite a little mess. Nah. He’s an innocent little sweetie. Oh, yes he is.

    It’s been way too long since I’ve had an author interview on the blog and today we’ve got a special treat. Not 1, not 2, but 3 fab writers on KwanaWrites. Yay!

    Today in honor of the release of The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor, an exciting new Regency anthology, we have Diane Gaston, Amanda McCabe and Deb Marlowe the authors. I’d like to welcome them to the blog for a little Q and A.

    First off please tell us how the idea of the anthology came about and a little about the process?

    DEB: Well, the anthology was actually Harlequin’s idea! Maddie Rowe took us out to a fabulous dinner at RWA and offered us a chance at it, and amazingly, the chance to develop the theme/idea all on our own. Since we don’t live close enough to each other, we met in Williamsburg, VA to plot and plan and shop and tour—and the scandalous Fitzmannings were born! We had a great time and then we went home and about a million emails ensued!

    DIANE: As I remember it, after being immersed in history at Colonial Williamsburg, we came back to Deb’s hotel room and started thinking about scandalous Dukes. When we decided to have a family consisting of the Duke’s illegitimate children, I knew immediately who I wanted my hero to be. I think we all had the same experience of knowing instantly who our characters would be.

    AMANDA: Williamsburg was definitely a good setting for brainstorming! I’ve never, ever worked on a collaborative project before! Since I’m such a pantser (my stories have a tendency to switch gears halfway through as I follow new pathways!) I wasn’t sure how it would all work. But this went so very smoothly—maybe because we knew each other already…

    Now please tell a bit about each of your individual stories.

    DIANE: Justine and the Noble Viscount was planned as the first story in the anthology, the one that sets up the others. The whole anthology begins with my hero, Gerald Brenner, showing up on the doorstep of Welbourne Manor. He has been given the role of guardian to his mother’s other children, the Duke’s illegitimate children, half-siblings he has never met and has resented his whole life. Nothing goes as he plans, especially when the Duke’s other illegitimate daughter, Justine, calls powerfully to something deep within him.

    DEB: In Annalise and the Scandalous Rake, we meet the most retiring Fitzmanning. Annalise would rather hide in her studio than face society’s censure. She is satisfied pouring her emotions into her paintings until Mr. Ned Milford is invited to a Welbourne house party. Unfortunately, she has no idea he is actually Prattle, a famous caricaturist bent on exposing her family’s secrets. There are many obstacles in their path to love, including a pompous suitor, a slightly scandalous scavenger hunt, exposure to society’s scorn and a devastating artistic duel! I hope readers enjoy it as much as I did!

    AMANDA: Charlotte from Charlotte and the Wicked Lord is the youngest Fitzmanning sister, sort of the “wild child” of the family (which is saying a lot!). She’s a writer, a free spirit, who loves being out in nature. But she’s always loved Lord Andrew Bassington. Drew has left behind his own wild past to take care of his widowed sister-in-law and nephew, and he needs a very proper bride. Proper is one thing Charlotte has never been, but she’s determined to make him see how perfect they are for each other—no matter what it takes.

    You are all lovers of the Regency. What is it about that time period that has you so captured?

    DIANE: First of all, I think the Regency is a time period that is accessible to the modern reader. We can imagine ourselves living in it. At the same time, it is distant enough to give us that feeling of being swept away. Secondly, the era is one of great beauty: elegant fashion, houses, gardens, carriages. Mostly, though, I think the era is one of great drama. The war with Napoleon. The transition from the decadent Georgian era to the repressive Victorian one. Social change in the rise of the middle classes and the decline of the super rich aristocracy. The dawn of technology. The drama of the era gave rise to literary masterpieces from Byron, Shelley, Keats, Austen, Wordsworth, Blake. The era produced beautiful music from Beethoven Rossini, Schubert, and Liszt. Artists included Lawrence, Turner, David, and Constable. Because of this I believe there are endless stories to tell from the Regency era. I can’t wait to write some of them!

    DEB: So many larger than life characters walk through the pages of history in this period. So many forces of nature are at work. Think about it—these are the people who span the gap between the wild and wonderful Georgians and the stiff Victorians. They are dealing with war and economical unease and rapid technological advances, just like we are. Fascinating stuff!

    AMANDA: I admit, when I first started Regencies as a kid I was first drawn to the clothes! They’re gorgeous and comparatively comfortable, and go with all the beautiful aesthetics of the Neoclassical style. But then I read more non-fiction of the period, and was pulled into the arts and politics and personalities (especially the strong women!) of the era. For such a short period of time, it’s so rich in interest and upheaval. What’s not to love?!

    As a final question, I know you are all good friends, tell me something fun about the other 2 women that I might not know. I know I’m bad!

    Deb, Diane and Amanda

    DIANE: Amanda was my mentor! Shortly after she sold to Signet, she signed up to be a Beau Monde mentor and I was her first mentee. It turned out to be a great way for us to become friends and led to us rooming together on the 2003 Novel Explorations Regency Tour where we became friends with Deb.
    Deb has the most wonderful laugh. It is infectious and I love to hear it. When she sold to Harlequin Historical and joined the author loop, I welcomed “Deb Marlowe,” not realizing I was welcoming my 2003 travel buddy!

    DEB: Hmm, well, Diane has more research books than my local library! If you ever want to know anything at all, she has a book for it! And Amanda has the most amazing collection of adorable, hand-made costumes. I’m always breathless at the Beau Monde Soiree, waiting to see who she will transform into next!

    AMANDA: LOL! Last year it was Cherubino; this year, maybe Marie Antoinette.
    Well, Diane loves cats as much as I do! And she has a mega-cool talking Leonidas action figure from 300. Deb has a kick-ass sense of humor—try and sit by her in the bar at RWA, you will have a blast!
    It’s been too much fun, and a great privilege, to work on this project with them!

    Thanks so much for being here today. I can’t wait to read it for myself being a big time Regency fan.

    Amanda and Diane can be found over at the always fun Risky Regencies Blog here or
    Amanda here amandamccabe.com
    Diane here dianegason.com
    Deb here debmarlow.com

    Please leave a comment by Friday at midnight and one lucky commenter will win a copy of the new anthology.


  • authors,  book launch,  Books,  Smart Bitches

    I’m Beyond Heaving

    I love Romance Books! No big secret to my regular readers there. So last night I was thrilled to attend the 3rd Lady Jane’s Salon. Check out the site here. The only Literary Reading Series in New York devoted to the romance genre. Last night’s readers were: Alisa Sheckley aka Alisa Kwitney (and my new friend) reading from her book The Better To Hold You.

    Also reading was one of the founders of Lady Jane, Maya Rodale along with her Delightful boyfriend with the devilish accent from her book The Rogue and the Rival. What a sweet pair they are.

    The Salon was co-hosted by the fabulous Sarah Wendell from Smart Bitches Trashy Books, check it out here and she brought down the house reading from her and co author Candy Tan’s soon to be released book Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide To Romance Novels.

    I was lucky enough to snag a copy for my very own. With Chapters entitled:
    Cleavage, Corset, Codpiece and Love Grotto the book will not disappoint.

    Here is the synopsis:
    The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name…
    We do it in the dark. Under the sheets. With a penlight. We wear sunglasses and a baseball hat at the bookstore. We have a “special place” where we store them. Let’s face it: Not many folks are willing to publicly admit they love romance novels. Meanwhile, romance continues to be the bestselling fiction genre. Ever. So what’s with all the shame?
    Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan — the creators of the wildly popular blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books — have no shame! They look at the good, the bad, and the ugly in the world of romance novels and tackle the hard issues and questions:
    — The heroine’s irresistible Magic Hoo Hoo and the hero’s untamable Wang of Mighty Lovin’
    — Sexual trends. Simultaneous orgasms. Hymens. And is anal really the new oral?
    — Romance novel cover requirements: man titty, camel toe, flowers, long hair, animals, and the O-face
    — Are romance novels really candy-coated porn or vehicles by which we understand our sexual and gender politics?
    With insider advice for writing romances, fun games to discover your inner Viking warrior, and interviews with famous romance authors, Beyond Heaving Bosoms shows that while some romance novels are silly — maybe even tawdry — they can also be intelligent, savvy, feminist, and fabulous, just like their readers!
    It does look at the bad and the ugly of the romance and celebrates it and its very smart readers for the powerhouse that it and we are!
    Kwana and Sarah at Lady Jane’s
    Funnily enough on the drive from to the city I was listening to Whatever the radio talk show on the Martha Stewart channel and the talk was about a woman losing intimate interest in her husband after being with him for 10 years. A therapist came on and her easy suggestion was to read romance. Seriously hot romance. Because as we all know with women it all start in the head before action moves to other parts of the body. I’m just saying.

    Order Beyond Heaving Bosoms then and pick up a good romance today. You won’t be sorry.


  • authors,  book clubs,  Books

    Clubbing It

    Happy April Fool’s Day. I hope yours is a quiet one and any jokes played are indeed playful.

    In honor of April Fool’s Day I’m joining in with other bloggers for a worthy cause: April Food Day. Bloggers getting together for very worthy cause. I don’t have to tell you my friends what’s going on. Times are tougher than ever.

    People who never had a worry before are now turning to food banks for help and finding that the shelves are bare. There is not enough food being donated to meet the sudden rise in demand.

    Every dollar contributed provides seven meals or 10 pounds of food. A gift of $25 provides 75 meals. If you’d like to make a donation to Feeding America (formally second harvest) click here. You can make a difference today.
    Now without any appropriate transition except to say I am truly blessed, last night I attended our first meeting of our newly formed book/social club. Now I think we’ve come up with just the right way of how to handle a book club unlike some of the clubs from this NYT article I blogged about here. We decided to make the club not too heavy, but lighter, more low key by not having anyone host. Instead we choose a restaurant to go out to and have some eats and drinks and lots of chat ‘bout. How can you not have a good time with that?

    Our first selection was: Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home by Kim Sunee.

    It was a good first book full of emotion, colorful imagery and amazing food. A feast for the senses. The book sparked a lively discussion that had us chatting well past our food, drinks and later our coffee. Or maybe we just were not in a rush to get home to our kids and husbands. Hmm…

    We’re now busy thinking of what the next book will be. I can’t wait.
    Do any of you belong to a book club?
    I never thought I would, but with this combo of easygoing friends and a nice night out I’m having loads of fun.


  • authors,  awards,  Books

    And the Award Goes to…

    What’s Jack up to? Wild boy is having a fun time lately perched up high on the couch looking out the window barking at the world. He’s still not thrilled with me not taking him out as often or as long as he would like this past week but he’s been pulling a bit too much lately and the back can’t deal. I told you before Jack graduated from obedience training under ‘the no child left behind act’. But really, all is pretty good in Jack’s world.

    Yesterday the nominations for RWA’s Rita and Golden Heart awards came out which is essentially the Oscars for romance books. Twitter was all a twitter and the message boards were on fire with congratulations all around. I’d like to say congrats too all the nominees.
    I can feel my TBR (to be read) pile growing at this very moment.

    Here is the list of nominees for Contemporary Single Title Romance
    No Good Girls by Jean Marie Pierson
    Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson
    Out of Time by Samantha Graves

    Snowfall at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
    Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery
    Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves
    Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
    Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley
    Kwana sidebar: Lisa Kleypas’ Blue Eyed Devil so should have been on this list. It’s my blog and I’ll say what I want to.

    Now here is the list for Historical Romance
    Duchess by Night by Eloisa James

    In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath
    Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas

    Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
    The Edge of Impropriety by Pam Rosenthal
    The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
    To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens

    I don’t even know which way to turn here with so many of my faves on the list. Hello. Kleypas, Hoyt, James. Sigh. And the others I have not read yet but have heard very good things. So many books so little time.

    These are just two categories to get the full list you can go to the RWA site here. I like to give a big shout out Jessica Anderson, Yay! Gena Showalter and Roxanne St. Claire for their well deserved nominations. What a day!

    If you haven’t already, please check out some of these wonderful authors.


  • authors,  blogs,  Books

    CRASH INTO ME- Why Don’t Cha?

    What’s Jack Up to? You know Jack, being as silly as ever. Last night he starts barking his head off, just about waking up the whole neighborhood. I was watching Make Me A Super Model with Tyson Beckford and “Ding-Dong” the doorbell rings on the TV. Jack just loses his mind at that sound thinking it’s our door late at night. We could not convince him it wasn’t for about 10 minutes. Thanks Tyson. BTW I’m really enjoying that show this season. Anyone else?

    A while back I was over at Carolyn Jean’s blog A Trillionth Page, you can check it out here ,and was lucky enough to win a copy of Jill Sorenson’s Super Sexy thriller CRASH INTO ME. Love a lucky blog day!

    About a week later I got a lovely signed copy from Jill. Yay! Jill does a wonderful job writing strong, but very sexy characters while still making them vulnerable. You are instantly engaged with her flawed characters and kept on the edge of your seat with both the suspenseful thriller and the sexy romance. I’m talking Hot!

    Here’s the blurb from Publishers Weekly:

    From Publishers Weekly: Sorenson (Dangerous to Touch) sends tough, emotionally withdrawn FBI agent Sonora Sonny Vasquez to a small California town to investigate a series of murders in this high-tension romantic thriller. The prime suspect is famed pro surfer Ben Fortune, who lives with his emotionally damaged teenage daughter, Carly. When Sonny saves Carly from a possible suicide attempt, she meets Ben, and sparks ignite. As Sonny struggles to keep her distance, other suspects emerge: Carly’s troubled friend James, his monstrous father and his strange older brother. The tension revs as more corpses and clues seem to point back to Ben, culminating in a page-turning climax as the killer is finally unmasked. Despite the mystery, the real energy comes from the emotional relationships full of explosive sex and terrible secrets.

    Thanks so much Jill and CJ!

    You can learn more about Jill Sorenson and her exciting new works at her website here.

    BTW? Have you read any good thrillers lately? Do you read thrillers?


  • authors,  Books,  Carolyn Jewel,  Lisa Kleypas

    Happy Day Reading

    This was just lovely. Like I said before. She can write right.

    Lookie what I’ve got my hot little (ok, not to little) hands on now. Scandal by the fab author and now I’m happy to call my friend, Carolyn Jewel. Scandal has been getting rave reviews all over the place since it’s debut a hot minute ago. You can check out my past interview with Carolyn here. I can’t wait to dive in. I can feel a very late night coming.



    P.S. Scroll down for Jack’s antics. ugh! That dog. It’s a good thing he’s so cute.

  • authors,  Books,  guests,  Sarah Wendell,  Smart Bitches

    Guest Blogger! Sarah- One Smart B. on warm reading

    Imagine my twitterly glee when I saw that Sarah from one of my all time favorite blogs: Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books was offering to guest post on folks blogs today since SBs were going through maintenance. Their loss my gain. Evil I am. I jumped at the offer! So without further delay here’s Sarah…

    OMG you are SO RIGHT. My thermometer in NJ is reading a balmy 32.8 and I am excited about every last one of those last .8 degrees above freezing.

    The thing about cold weather is that it makes me crave soup, hot beverages, and really long, luscious, forget-where-I-am-and-how-cold-it-is books. These are a special section of my keeper shelf – cold weather books. I have vacation books, need-a-break-books, and the ones that Calgon-take-me-away immediately.
    My top cold weather books (add blanket and hot beverage, spiked if you like it, and really, really warm socks) are:
    “The Duke and I” – Julia Quinn. Holy smackerel I love this book. No matter where I start reading it, I’m in. Warmth of a happy family and a truly loving heroine: le sigh.”

    Charms for the Easy Life,” by Kaye Gibbons – not a romance, but three women’s storys, past present and future, heavy on the magic and midwifery.

    “Lyon’s Lady” by Julie Garwood. This one is on my bedstand because I am always FREEZING when I get in bed, and a few pages makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. I love old Garwood historicals but this one is among my faves.

    What books warm your toes?

    (Thanks for letting me guest blog!)

    Smart Bitch Sarah
    Smart Bitches Trashy Books LLC
    Thanks so much Sarah! I’m honored to have you on my blog today. I’ll be sure to put those books on my snuggle up list along with a Snuggie!

    Everyone please hop on over to SBTB when they are up and running. It is the place to be for those in the know on romance. And chime in on the books that warm your toes. For me it’s anything with a sexy rake and a stubborn heroine. Elizabeth Hoyt, Lisa Kleypas, Eloisa James please.