Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Book birthday! My one year adventure in publishing (and giveaway)!

A year ago today, Risking Ruin was let out into the world. 

I had no clue what to expect.

My hopes were simple -- That someone would enjoy the story I'd written. That one book blogger would think it warranted three stars. That I didn't get hate mail. That maybe a few people would buy it.

I'm simply amazed. Though it's never topped a list on Amazon and isn't a worldwide sensation, I've 

  • sold hundreds of copies
  • gotten some amazing feedback (4.4 avg review on Amazon)
  • met some amazing bloggers, readers, and fellow authors
  • made an appearance at #59 on Amazon's erotic mystery Top 100.

I'm so thankful for all of the support. From strangers, friends, and the virtual friends I've made through this process. Your support gave me the courage to keep writing. Thank you.  

I sit here today with not just one published book to my name, but two, and a manuscript for my third.

Yes, I still have my day job. 
No, I haven't broken even.  
Yes, I am incredibly thankful.

On my Facebook page, I'm giving away not only a signed paperback copy of Risking Ruin, but two e-copies of Risking Ruin and a $5 Amazon gift card and hope you'll spend it exploring a few amazing indie authors who have supported me through this journey through their generous offering of ideas and critiques.

KJ Farham
ES Carter
M. Louisa Locke
Verity Jacobs

Giveaway valid in US only. To enter, like my facebook page and share the book birthday giveway post. Winner of paperback selected at random on November 19th. Paperback winner must have US mailing address. Winner of e-books and giftcard selected at random on November 19th. I am the only one responsible for these giveaways.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway! A signed copy of Borrowing Trouble is up for grabs!

Do you like to read "real" books?

Jump on over to Goodreads to sign up for a giveaway!
One lucky winner will get a signed copy of Borrowing Trouble in the post!

Closes September 8th, so enter today!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Massive Giveaway! 34 Kindle Romances!

Y'all, this is amazing!

 A ton of other authors and I are doing a massive giveaway!

One lucky winner gets *34 romance novels* sent directly to his or her Kindle!

Find out more deets on my Facebook page!

Happy Friday, indeed!

This ends Saturday (aka tomorrow), so enter now!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Let's get physical - Borrowing Trouble now available in paperback! (and promo code)

Let's get physical.
Borrowing Trouble now out in paperback!

Want $2 off?
Order through Amazon's Createspace here.
Use promo code HDP4BNNP
(Promo code only good through Createspace; expires September 13th)

Prefer e-books?
Both Risking Ruin & Borrowing Trouble are part of Kindle Unlimited!

Happy reading!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Borrowing Trouble - Memphis Playboy Trip Brannon Gives Exclusive Interview to 901 Living

901 Living, Memphis' premier monthly magazine featuring all of the best of The Bluff City, sits down with Trip Brannon at his restaurant Pig & Barley.

901:  Trip, thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us.  You've been back in Memphis for five years now and starting to take a leadership role in your family's business, Brannon Company.  Tell me about the transition back to Memphis.

Trip Brannon:  Glad to visit with you and I'm glad to be back in Memphis.  I've been working for Branco since I graduated from Brown, with time out to get my JD-MBA at Arkansas.  I've just assumed the role of General Counsel at Branco, which means I'll be handling the company's legal issues, but I'll also have my hands in the business as well.

901:   Branco is a very diverse company with interests all over the globe.  Any divisions close to your heart?

TB:  Absolutely. A few years ago Branco helped bring to market a line of fashionable hospital gowns for women who were wanting to maintain their sense of style during long in-patient treatments.  I've personally witnessed the positive impact of these hospital gowns on the outlook of women who are struggling with health issues.  It's wonderful to do well in business and also do good in the world.

901:  And Pig & Barley, this is quite a departure from Branco's other business lines.  Tell me about the restaurant.

TB:  Pig & Barley is not part of Branco.  I started it a few years ago with my childhood friend Bert Forsythe. We both treasure local food and felt there was a void in Memphis for South Carolina Low County style, so we jumped in.  I have no restaurant experience. Pig & Barley's success is completely Bert's doing.  We've just poached a new chef from Savannah and he is doing amazing things with fresh Gulf seafood.

901:  Your personal life has been the topic of much conversation.  You were involved with Amelia Duquette, but haven't been seen out consistently with anyone in quite some time.  Any special lady in your life?

TB:  I do not want to talk about my personal life.  Right now I'm focused on settling into my new role at Branco and looking forward to continuing the company's growth.

Oh, Trip, you have no clue what's about to come your way.  

Spend more time with Trip Brannon in Risking Ruin and Borrowing Trouble!


Risking Ruin on Amazon: Available now!

Borrowing Trouble on Amazon:  Available August 18th! Pre-order today!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Borrowing Trouble - Interview with Marisa Tanner

Get to know Marisa Tanner from her exclusive interview first published on Chapter Five by Joss Radillo

Chapter 5:You are such a successful woman so with a lot of work how do keep yourself in shape ? We know you like to jog but do you keep a strict diet?

Marisa Tanner:  I run everyday.  Sure, some days I have no choice to skip, but I make it a priority to get it in.  I've been running since high school and even was on my college's cross country team until I got hurt, so I honestly don't remember life without running.  I don't diet per se.  I eat pretty consistently, though.  Yogurt with granola each morning.  Lunch is generally a salad or light sandwich at my desk unless I'm out for a business lunch.  If I'm out for a business lunch, then I'm usually so focused that I hardly touch my meal.  I make sure to get quality proteins and greens during dinner.  I snack on almonds.  If you're going to enjoy beer like I do past the age of 30, you've got to make some sacrifices.  For me that means skipping the waffle fries at Chick-Fil-A.

Chapter 5:  being a lawyer most girls think that fashion world does not exist in this profession. How do keep so stylish and glamorous? Do you a beauty routine?

MT: Ha! I wish that were true - I'm far from glamorous, but I do love fashion.  How I present myself at work is very important.  Being a lawyer is 90% sales -- I'm selling to my clients, to other lawyers, to judges, and to juries.  I've got to look poised and polished, even when I don't feel it.  Hence my penchant for nice lingerie and expensive kick-ass stilettos to give me a secret confidence boost.  I'm minimal on make up for work, and might, and I stress might, see a colorist to touch up a few grey hairs that might be starting to appear.  Mid-30s are of full of fun things!  Outside of work, I'm either in Lululemon or Anthropologie.  Gotta let my girlie side out.

Chapter 5:  how do you balance a love relationship with so much work?
Does it scare off some men?

MT: Oh, hell, I'm the last person to give relationship advice.  My job probably does scare some men off, but I can't help that and I do get asked out plenty.  I like who I am and I've got a good life going.  My best friend Erica has been hounding me to sign up for or something, but I can't pull the trigger. I had a bad break up a couple of years ago and haven't really invested in relationships since then. I go out on a lot of first dates, but I haven't found anyone really interesting in a while.  Not wasting my time on a guy when my heart isn't in it.  

Get to know Marisa in Risking Ruin and Borrowing Trouble!   
Borrowing Trouble releases August 18th!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Sneak Peek - Borrowing Trouble - Trip's POV

Sneak Peek of Borrowing Trouble

Available August 18th on Amazon
Pre-order today


“So, you want to screw one of our lawyers? Is that what you’re telling me?”
Dad was pissed. He tossed the waiver I’d drafted onto his desk and began pacing silently. The silent pacing was the worst. I’d seen it before, but it had been a few years. He only did it when I’d really fucked up.
“I don’t want to screw her. I want to date her.”
“I knew you were taking her out for drinks, and I get that. She’s beautiful and funny. Hell, if I were thirty years younger, I’d take her out for drinks myself. Flirting is fine. Sleeping with her is not.”
I stared him down. Now I was pissed.
“At least she isn’t an employee,” he continued. “Lord knows we don’t need another sexual harassment suit.”
“I’m not harassing her,” I barked.
“Or so you think.”
“I’m not, okay. I know I’m not. It’s mutual.”
“How do you know she’s not just humoring you to make sure her law firm’s bills get paid?”
“She’s not a fucking whore!” I shouted, completely losing my temper. Rein it in, Brannon. “I like her. I want to give this a go, okay? Look, if I were only interested in fucking her, I would have just done it and wouldn’t be standing here.” He doesn’t have to know, that in fact, I have already fucked her. And it was excellent. “I’m serious.”
“Serious about her the way you were serious about the organic mushroom farm? Because that was ten months of your life you won’t get back.”
“That was a good deal. The ROI was great when it sold and you know that. But Marisa isn’t a business deal, okay? I’m not looking to flip her.” He stopped his pacing and stared at me. “Am I speaking your language now? Because I intend to invest heavily and take a long-term position. I fucking love her, okay?”
Holy shit. Is that even true? Fuck. I’ve got an option on her family’s farmhouse for whenever her parents want to sell. Shit. Real estate. What the hell is wrong with me?
Without another word, Dad strode to his desk and angrily jabbed buttons on his speakerphone.
Is he calling Mom? Because that’ll be a complete cluster fuck.
“Jimmy, how you doing?”
John Millard. Great, he’s called his ‘real’ lawyer.
“John, I’ve got Trip in my office and we’ve got an issue.”
“Shoot,” said John casually.
He’s always so fucking cool.
“Trip’s saying he’s in love with Marisa Tanner and wants me to sign a waiver allowing them to screw. What are your thoughts?”
“My thoughts? Hell, if I were thirty years younger.”
“I said the same thing,” said Dad laughing. “But gauging by his expression, he’s entirely serious and getting pissed that we’re talking about what we’d do if we were his age.”
“That so? If you sign it, he’ll have a ring on her finger by New Year’s.”
 Christ. I want to date her. I’m not asking to marry her.
“Really? By the shade of purple he’s turning from anger, I’m saying Christmas. Since we’re talking winter, loser buys a round of golf in Scottsdale as soon as that deal closes.”
They are fucking betting on me. On when, not whether, I’m going to ask Marisa to marry me. John is such an asshole. We aren’t even really dating yet. They are out of their fucking minds.
Dad slapped at the phone, ending the call. He snatched a silver fountain pen from his oversized pen box, quickly scrawled his name on the document, and thrust it at me. “Fine. Bring her to dinner Tuesday night at the house. And don’t fuck this up.”

Begging for more?
Pre-order today

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Borrowing Trouble - Musical Inspiration - My Personal Playlist

When I write a story, I often have a few songs circling through my head.

Here's what was playing in my mind as I wrote Borrowing Trouble

Neil Young - Harvest Moon

Robert Palmer - Addicted to Love

Ray LaMontagne - You Are The Best Thing

B.B. King - The Thrill Is Gone

Yes, that's right - Risking Ruin is FREE Aug 6 - 10th!

FREEBIE! Risking Ruin - Free for the first time ever! Aug. 6 - 10th only!

For the first time ever, Risking Ruin is available for ** FREE ** 
Get it today!

---> <---

Limited time offer ends August 10th!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bonus material! Interview with Marisa Tanner, heroine of Risking Ruin

Y'all, the awesome Joss Radillo has an *exclusive interview* with Marisa Tanner up on her blog...

Check it out for bonus material.

And... Joss is giving away two direct-to-Kindle copies of Risking Ruin.

What are you waiting for?

Find out what's going on in Marisa's head before Borrowing Trouble releases on August 18th!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Inspiration - Meet Bert - Hot Memphis restauranteur

Trip Brannon's best friend is Bert.  Trip and Bert go way back to childhood and together they own Pig & Barley, a low country farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Memphis.

I've had this idea of Bert in my head for a long time and tonight stumbled upon a picture of a guy that just *is* Bert.  Not really, but, damn, yes, this is what Bert looks like in my head.

Met Bert and Trip in Risking Ruin -- A sexy chick-lit novel, only 99c in July!

And get to know him more in Borrowing Trouble, out next month!  Add it to your TBR list today!


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Want to get your hands on Borrowing Trouble ahead of its August release?

ARC requests are open to bloggers and Goodreads members for "Borrowing Trouble," the newest sexy chick-lit novel iMae Wood's Give Me Memphis series.

Juggling a new boyfriend who is constantly MIA for work, his mom who likes her just a little too much, a best friend whose husband might be sneaking around, and a busy career saving clients from sexual harassment lawsuits is pulling Marisa Tanner apart at the seams. 
Being with Trip is good, but is it real? Will he bail on her like her past boyfriends or for once in his life will Trip be able to maintain focus longer than the time it takes to close a business deal? 

A follow-up to Risking RuinBorrowing Trouble maintains Mae Wood’s distinctive style of smart and sexy chick lit.

** Must be willing to accept copy of book in exchange for an honest review by September 1, 2015**
** Review copies will be sent directly to Kindle accounts.**

Friday, July 3, 2015

Author inspiration - The Rockefellers and me

When I read chick-lit or romances that involve billionaires, 
many times the family doesn't seem real to me.    

I write about the Brannon family, a fictional family in Memphis, Tennessee that's based on old cotton money.  I want them to be real and not a fantasy.

So, what's my insight?  What's my inspiration in creating the Brannon family?

Mainly, the Rockefeller family.  
I was a live-in nanny for a branch of the Rockefeller family one summer. 

No, no Nanny Diaries type novel from me.  The Rockefeller family was lovely to me in every way.

But, F. Scott Fitzgerald is right:
"Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me."

Money is not a thought in the same way it is for the rest of us.  In my experience, the stereotype of old money holds.  I dated several men with significant trust funds (and even one with a title).  People with generational money tend not to be as showy.  They drive nice cards, have nice homes, but it isn't about impressing anyone.  It's about what they like and what they want.  Their lineage along carries significance.  Doors open for them without request.  There isn't the same need to make and impression as those who are still striving to join the "right" clubs, be invited to the "right" parties, or get their kids into the "right" schools.

Oftentimes the very rich depicted in novels don't reflect the people whose compounds I was in and out of, whose seaplanes ferried me and children around to house parties, and who allowed me to burn out the clutch on a new Volvo without batting an eye.   I tried to be faithful to my experience with generational wealth in creating the Brannon family.

The biggest difference for me was in the treatments of things.  Things were meant to be used.  And if things broke, they were fixed without complaint.  For example, the matriarch of the family was surprised I couldn't drive a manual transmission, so she decided to spend a day teaching me.  We climbed into her new Volvo.  She could have had any car in the world, but a Volvo sedan fit her needs.  She patiently talked me through the steps and I ground the clutch, driving through back roads around the family's compound. I felt horrible.  I knew I might be damaging the car and knew repairs would eat into my generous paycheck.  Over my profuse apologies, she told me to stop.  Stop apologizing and drive.  She sat patiently and let me figure it out, offering kind guidance when I needed it and not caring that someone would later be tasked with taking the car in for repairs (thankfully not within my job duties) and that she'd write a check.  

I'll write more about my time with the Rockefellers and how that's influenced the world I've created in the Give Me Memphis series.   One quirky way -- In the series, one of Trip Brannon's random and short-lived business ventures is a mushroom farm.   One of the sons in the family owned a mushroom farm. It seemed like an odd choice for me, a girl whose family had found success through professional degrees, but when you grow up in a world with few limits, being a mushroom farmer is just as valid a life choice as any other career.

What do you want to know about my summer with the Rockefellers? Comment or email me and I'll respond in a later post.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Borrowing Trouble - Up on Goodreads! Give Me Memphis #2

Borrowing Trouble is up on Goodreads!

Add it to your to-be-read list!

Here's the blurb:

Juggling a new boyfriend who is constantly MIA for work, his mom who likes her just a little too much, a best friend whose husband might be sneaking around, and a busy career saving clients from sexual harassment lawsuits is pulling Marisa Tanner apart at the seams. 

Being with Trip is good, but is it real? Will he bail on her like her past boyfriends or for once in his life will Trip be able to maintain focus longer than the time it takes to close a business deal?  

A follow-up to Risking Ruin, Borrowing Trouble continues Mae Wood’s distinctive style of smart and sexy chick lit.

Look for Borrowing Trouble in early August!

If you are a blogger and would like an ARC to review, please email me.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Risking Ruin - Lawyer Bets on Love in Real Life and Loses

The tension in "Risking Ruin" is Marisa's attraction to Trip, but because he's a client, she is ethically prohibited from having a sexual relationship with him.  
She could lose her livelihood.

Come on, Mae, you say.  Would that really happen?
A lawyer is going to put her career in jeopardy for love?

Why, yes, yes it does happen.

Check out this article on AboveTheLaw to understand how getting involved with an irresistible client ended up being disastrous for one attorney.

Ex-Biglaw Partner Gets License Suspended For Sexual Relationship With Client

So, yup, nookie = license suspension. 


And it looks like when she was fired as General Counsel, he was fired as company president.  

So, Marisa and Trip have a real problem if they want to see each other.  

Find out if it works out for Marisa and Trip in "Borrowing Trouble," due for release in early August on Kindle and in paperback.

Read "Risking Ruin" - Only $.99 through June 20th!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

Borrowing Trouble -- Progress Update!

I'm totally jazzed that Borrowing Trouble is off to the proofreader!

Working with Marla of ProofingStyle!

I'm super impressed with her and know she's going to do a great job getting Borrowing Trouble in great shape for its August release.

If you're a follower of mine (bloggers welcome, but so are casual readers) and interested in an ARC for review, just drop me an email. 

ARCs go out in July.

I'm also happy to announce that I'm once again working with Figgy Gilbert on a cover.  

Figgy is a versatile illustrator with a great sense of humor.   (Seriously, check out her blog.  Not updated frequently, but it's fun to get a peek into a visual artist's doodles.)

Her custom cover for Risking Ruin wonderfully captured one of my favorite scenes -- Trip and Marisa's naughty dinner at Folk's Folly.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hey, UK! Risking Ruin only 99p through 15 May!

Hello, UK friends!

I'm hopping across the pond in a few weeks for inspiration, research, and to catch up with some friends.

Over a 4 Star average on GoodReads and Amazon!  

Readers say:  
"Sexy and Smart" 
"So cute it should be illegal"
"Refreshing, funny, and steamy"

Give it a whirl!  (Come on, it's less than a Cadbury Flake costs me in the US).

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sweet treats in Memphis

Foodie culture plays a large role "Risking Ruin

To me nothing is as decadent as an hours-long dinner filled with wonderful food and witty conversation.  

In the follow up to "Risking Ruin," Marisa and Trip's shared love of good food continues.  I thought I'd give you a preview of some of the local sweets featured in the forthcoming book, all inspired by restaurants in Memphis you can visit and treat yourself.   If you can't make the trip (and you really should) look for Mae Wood's new release in early August.

Gibson's Donuts  

Located in East Memphis, just off Poplar (but truly, what in Memphis isn't "just off Poplar") near the Eastgate Shopping Center, is a donut shop that pre-dates the donut insanity of the 2000s.   Gibson's has been there since the 1960s.   Hasn't changed much.  It's delicious.  And just like Marisa, my grandfather took me there for Saturday morning treats.  

Gibson's is unpretentious and delicious.  What more could you ask for?   Something about sports?  Okay, then, if you're a Tigers or Grizz fan, Gibson's has you covered with donuts iced in your team's colors.  

Dinstuhl's Chocolates

Photo from

Need some chocolates molded into the shape of Memphis icons, like the Pyramid?  Or the Peabody Ducks?  Or a Gibson guitar?   Dinstahl's has it.   Well over a hundred years old, Dinstahl's is Memphis's family chocolatier.   

With a location in the Laurelwood Shopping Center, it's conveniently located near Joseph, where Trip's mom loves to clothes shop.

A. Schwab Dry Goods - handspun, old fashioned milkshakes

A. Schwab Dry Goods - Photo from

If you're in town and walking on Beale Street, you must stop in A. Schawb Dry Goods.  It's a time machine.   It's got a classic soda fountain.  Try the Elvis inspired peanut butter banana milkshake.

 What's your favorite Memphis treat?

My favorite, favorite is probably the caramel cake from Bogie's Deli.  Honestly, I haven't eaten there since the East Memphis location closed, but now I'm thinking I've got a "must do" this weekend.

Happy eating, y'all!   (And happy reading -- check out Risking Ruin, a contemporary romance set in Memphis)

Monday, May 4, 2015

One thing a day - Keeping going while editing

I'm an editing fool.  I'll be editing my new novel for the next month and a half.

It's tedious.  My eyes cross.  I battle myself over word choice.  I agonize about cutting dialogue or even entire scenes.

My beta readers send me texts that contain notes about anything from typos to "No way would Trip say that" or "I need more details here.  When she's stripping on the airplane, what shoes is she wearing?"  (Last one is totally true.)

The feedback from my cherished beta readers after so many months of working in a vacuum feels amazing!

So, tentative release date is early August.   Can't wait to get some ARCs out to bloggers in late June/ early July!  If you're interested in reviewing either 'Risking Ruin' or my upcoming new release contact me.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Reader Appreciation Hop on Facebook - Giveaways Galore!

Reader Appreciation Author Hop - Giveaways by 18 Authors!

For a chance to win either a signed paperback OR a Kindle copy of Risking Ruin, simply add me as a friend and tag a friend in comments on Facebook. Winner selected May 6th!
(Winner selected based on a random draw. US based-winner may elect to receive paperback or Kindle version, while a winning resident of another country will receive a Kindle copy, sent directly to his or her Kindle.)
Please hop on over to Author Michele Tucker's page now for a chance to win more prizes!
Bonus: If you participate in all 18 authors' giveaways, you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Mae, Mae Quite Contrary How Does Your Garden Grow?

My irises are in bloom.  

I have about eight varieties in my garden.  These are some of my favorites.  

Why irises?  Because they are so hardy they can even survive my black thumb.
This is a Siberian Iris. 

Seriously, no filter.  These babies are nearly indigo

This peach one is so frilly.  
Sky blue with a touch of purple and yellow centers.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

'Surviving Bitsy' goes Beta!

'Surviving Bitsy' is out to its first set of Beta readers!

What do you hope will happen in the follow-up to 'Risking Ruin'?

I've got some surprises up my sleeve and can't wait until August 1st to share them with you.  (Tentative release date set!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Giveaway! One paperback copy of Risking Ruin up for grabs!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Risking Ruin by Mae Wood

Risking Ruin

by Mae Wood

Giveaway ends in 12 days (April 19, 2015)
1 copy available

Enter to Win

Read what reviewers are calling 
"Sexy and smart" 

"So cute it should be illegal"

"Fast paced and fun"

"I loved this book, the story was refreshing, funny, and steamy."

 "Steamy. Wow." 

"A very steamy romance"

Now in paperback and also available as an ebook for Kindle for $2.99 
or free for Kindle Unlimited Members

Click here to go to Amazon to learn more.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Trip's House - Author's Inspiration Board - "Risking Ruin" in Memphis

Magnolia Mound is a real street in Memphis.  It sits in the gated South Bluffs neighborhood, which is close to downtown, near the trolley line, and has amazing views of the Mississippi River.  Trip Brannon's house features more prominently in "Surviving Bitsy" than it does in "Risking Ruin."  So, I think about it often.   Here are a few pictures of houses on Magnolia Mound that serve as my inspiration in imagining Trip's home.  

Can you imagine yummy Trip fixing his bikes in a garage here?  I certainly can.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Work-life Triage - Forgetting Balance

As most of you know, I'm far from a full-time writer. 
 I'm a mom and a wife and a lawyer and a writer.  

 For me life-work isn't about balance.  It's about triage.

I have a preschooler.  My husband works full time  We both volunteer with non-profits and sit on a few boards. We have pets.  Other than a bi-weekly housekeeper, we don't have any household help.  I work odd and long hours.  No nine-to-five for me.   And that is my saving grace.

For the past 8 days I have been completely lost in lawyer mode.  Little mommy-ing or wife-ing and absolutely no writing.  However, yesterday my lawyering came to a full stop for a few days and I have mommied hard core.   I sorted out old toys, hosted an impromptu sleepover party, snuggled on the sofa in front of a Disney movie, made pancakes from scratch, and facilitated crafts.   With my child off at preschool, I've got a few hours of writing to sneak in before I move to wife-mode and book past-due medical and dental appointments, make a dry cleaning run, swap out moldy fruit from the fridge for fresh from the grocery, and cook a dinner that doesn't involve a microwave.    Wish me luck!   And with further luck, perhaps I'll be able to make some substantial writing progress this weekend.

So, no, there isn't any balance in my life.  No neatly drawn lines at certain hours of the day.  I can't keep all the plates spinning in the air at once.  "Multi-tasking" isn't my strong suit.  I haven't figured out how to wash dishes while taking a conference call.  I certainly don't make play-dough creatures while crafting legal arguments.  I float from one 'crisis" to another, focusing on what needs to be done and when I find that task, I'm in it as close to 100% as humanly possible.  

I don't feel balanced, but I enjoy the binge.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Romance novel tropes - Strangers Across a Crowded Room

I've been thinking lately about common tropes in romance novels.

Strangers drawn to each other across a room always resonates with me.

This has happened to me twice in my life and I didn't fall in love with either of the men.

The first was at a very swanky party at the Ambassor's residence.   Two days later he invited me out for drinks and kissed me midsentence.  I literally forgot what I was saying.

The second time was on a softball field.  I was watching from the sidelines with a beer in hand. He was playing second base.  I was too flummoxed to speak with him even though a mutual friend attempted an introduction at the end of the game at his request.   I saw him about ten years later across the room at a charity event.  We were both with our spouses.  I couldn't quite remember his name, but I remembered him.  And from how our eyes caught, I know he remembered me.

I don't know what this says about me as an author.   I know these things happen.  I've experienced them and I can recall them vividly.

Do you have a "Strangers Across a Crowded Room" story?  What's your favorite romance novel trope?  Any that make you cringe?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Surviving Bitsy - Sneak Peek! Get your Trip Brannon fix!

Need a Trip Brannon fix before 

Surviving Bitsy is released in August?


Well, ask no more.   Here is an excerpt.   

I've tried not to spoil the ending of "Risking Ruin," but come on -- it's a romance novel -- you know Marisa and Trip figure out a way to get together, right?    Send me your thoughts!

From "Surviving Bitsy"

                 By Friday, Marisa was exhausted.  Her interactions with some of her partners had been chilly since Tuesday’s arduous meeting.  Wonder when the chill will thaw?  When I lose the business?  When I marry Trip?  As soon as the thought passed into her awareness, she shoved out of her head.  Too fast.  Go slow.  This is not a race. Just enjoy where we are.  Focus on work at work.  Focus on work at work.  Marisa repeated her new mantra all day.
                “Need anything?” asked Jane, Marisa’s assistant, sticking her head into Marisa’s office, as the sunlight began to turn golden.  “That FedEx from Connecticut that you’ve been waiting on is here.  I’ve had the receptionist keep an eye out for me and she just buzzed and said you got a delivery.  I’ll bring it around.   I’d like to head out a little early to beat traffic.”
                “I’ve been waiting on that Palmer stuff all day.  Thanks.  I’m glad it’s here.  Otherwise, I’m good.  Have a great weekend,” said Marisa, waiving her hand and turning to her computer.
                “Marisa,” said Jane a few minutes later.
                “Just toss it on a guest chair.  I’m in the middle of a thought,” called Marisa over her shoulder.
                “Hhhmm.  I’m not tossing this anywhere.”  Marisa swiveled and found her assistant’s legs growing out of a large crystal vase overflowing with fragrant white Asiatic lilies.
                “Woah.  That’s not a FedEx.”
                “I seriously don’t know how I haven’t dropped this or run into a wall.  It weighs a ton.   Where should I put it?”
                Marisa swept aside a pile of papers on her desk and took the arrangement from Jane.  “Are you going to make me guess who they are from because I only need one guess,” teased Jane.
                “No, no guessing and no gossiping about this either.”
                “You don’t have to tell me, but that ship has sailed.  All of the staff is in a flurry over you.  You’ve been quite the topic of gossip all week and this just caps it off.  Have a good weekend with the hottie client.  I’m out of here.”
                Marisa extracted the card from the envelope fastened to the vase’s neck with a simple peach ribbon.  Please have dinner with me tonight, Trip.
               Well this is excessive, thought Marisa.  Lovely, but excessive.
                She fished her cell phone out of her purse and dialed Trip’s direct line.  “Trip Brannon.”
                “It’s Marisa.  Thank you for the flowers.”
                “You are very welcome.   Are you available for dinner tonight?”
                “I send flowers and I get a ‘sure’ out of you?  I’ve got to step it up,” teased Trip.
                 “Let me amend my answer.  Dinner would be wonderful.  What were you thinking?”
                “About you, naked.”
                “Well, I teed that one up for you, didn’t I?  Let me amend my question, as well.   What were you thinking about for dinner?”
                “I stand by my original answer.  You, naked.”
                Marisa pinked and shifted her weight from foot to foot.  “You are naughty, Mr. Brannon.”
                “Not any more.  I’ve made an honest woman out of you and we’re going to have a very nice dinner in a very public place.”
                “Trip,” groaned Marisa.  “I think we’ve already ticked that box at Folk’s Folly.”
                “Can you trust me not to paw at you through a dinner?”
                “Not really,” said Marisa, packing her purse to leave.
                “Okay, based upon history, that’s a fair statement.   Nevertheless, I’ve booked us a table at Flight.  I’ll even sit across from you rather than next to you, if that makes the offer more appealing.”
                “So now you’re ready to negotiate, but you haven’t heard any of my demands.  Flight is fine.  I like wine bars, as long as I can order the chocolate cake and do not have to drive home.”
                “Hear me out, Mr. Brannon.  You may not like the other terms of my proposal.”
                “Please, enlighten me to your proposal.”
                “I signed up for a 5k race tomorrow morning that I intend to run.  I will be sleeping in my own bed and will not be drinking to excess.  You will pick me up from my condo at seven.  You will drive or we will take a taxi.  We will not be asking George to drive us around on dates.”
                “Okay, any other requirements, Miss Tanner?”
                “One.  I don’t intend to be sleeping alone in my bed.”
                “Those are some imposing conditions.  You’re driving a hard bargain.”
                “Well, I’ll throw in a pot sweetener for you.”
                “What’s that?”
                “No panties.”
                “We have a deal.  I’ll see you at seven.”
                A huge smile was plastered across Marisa’s face as she ended the call, placed her purse on her shoulder, and swept up the ridiculous floral arrangement in her arms.