Monday, February 17, 2014

Bachelor Number Five

I'm hard at work these days on a new romance series that will follow a group of single people living in the same apartment complex in Hollywood.  The first book in the series is titled Bachelor Number Five and I'm hoping to have it done in the next few months.  Today I've been playing around with cover ideas, and so far I've come up with this one:

As usual, any comments appreciated!  The book has been a lot of fun to write.  Here's the description:

"From the moment Amanda Perkins first laid eyes on Bachelor Number Five on her favorite dating show, she knew it was love at first sight.  Handsome, smart and kind, Grant Hutchinson is everything she's ever dreamed of in a man.  The problem?  She's not a contestant.  And she lives halfway across the country.  These small details aren't about to stop Amanda, who will do whatever it takes to win her man."

For anyone who wants to be notified when it is released, you can sign up for the new release mailing list here:


Friday, February 14, 2014

Keep on Truckin'

Well, I guess it is fitting that it is on Valentine's Day that I just put my new annual registration sticker on my Jeep truck for the 24th time. I do love that truck! And yes, I have now been driving it going on 24 years! Knock on wood, it still runs as well as it did the day I first bought it, used, back in 1990. Here is a shot of the truck on a desert camping trip a few years back:

I can't count the number of times I've thought it was on its last legs, yet somehow I've always managed to fix it, or get it fixed, and on it goes.  This truck has been about the only constant in my life for all of these years.  Here's hoping it's got a fair few good miles left in it!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Romance on Sale

Just a quick post today to pass along that I've lowered the price of my first contemporary romance, No Cure for the Broken Hearted, from $3.99 to just 99 cents!  I think I'll leave it at this price for the next few weeks, so if anyone wants to pick up a copy, now's the time!

This book was a number-one bestselling romance on Amazon UK.  Here is the description:

"Katherine Spencer is an up-and-coming architect in New York City. Her professional life is on the fast-track. Her personal life is a shambles. Katherine compares every man she ever meets to Nick Bancroft, the billionaire’s son who broke her heart one summer long ago. Now, twelve years later he’s suddenly reappeared, asking her to design a house at the cove where they shared their first kiss. Is he looking for an architect, or something more? And should she forgive him?"

Friday, February 7, 2014

"F... the EU"

I usually try to steer away from politics in this blog, but there was an interesting international incident this week that made me think about that other profession I might have gone into besides writing.  There was a time when I was seriously considering a career in diplomacy.  I took the foreign service written exam and passed that, then moved on to take an oral exam.

During the oral exam, one of the exercises involved being placed into a room with two examiners who were pretending to be foreign diplomats whose country had a beef with the U.S.A.  It was my job to present the U.S. position as diplomatically as possible and try to resolve the issue.

In the end, I did not pass the exam.  Apparently I was not quite diplomatic enough, in their minds.  I considered trying again.  I could have kept taking it once a year or so until I passed, but by that time I was starting to think that maybe I was too independent-minded for this kind of job anyway, and so I threw in my lot with writing instead.  That doesn't mean I haven't had second-thoughts over the years.

Then this week came the minor scandal involving the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland.  All of this is particularly interesting to me since I spent part of a summer in Ukraine one year and saw first-hand the divide that exists there between the Ukrainian-speaking, Western-leaning population and the Russian-speaking, Eastern-leaning population.  This truly is a country divided in half, primarily along the Dnieper River.

Anyone who has followed the conflict over the past few months will know how violent the protests have become, all stemming originally from a decision by the current Ukrainian government not to sign a trade agreement with the EU, in exchange for financial assistance from Russia.

So in any case, this week the Russians released a recording of a phone call between Nuland and the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.  In it, Nuland is heard strategizing over who she thinks should be included in a new Ukrainian government, which seemed somewhat presumptive to me, and absolutely so to the Russians (hence their reason for releasing the tape).

Aside from the fact that Nuland also used cute yet annoying little nicknames for the personalities involved (ie., "Klitsch" for Vitali Klitschko), arguably the most jarring moment on the recording came when she dismissed to the European Union response to the situation by saying, "Fuck the EU."

Now, I do feel somewhat bad that Nuland's private phone conversation was released like this.  On the other hand, how can she not have been more careful than to have this kind of conversation on the phone, in Ukraine?

What personally stands out to me even more, though, is that I've finally realized after all these years what I did wrong during that oral examination.  I should have just said, "Fuck you guys!"  I would have gotten the job for sure! Ah well, apparently diplomacy just isn't what it used to be.  As it is, I guess I'll just have to stick with the writing...