Friday, April 24, 2009

Brenda Novak's Auction

ONE WEEK FROM TODAY May 1st will be the start of Brenda Novak's fifth annual online auction for diabetes research!

Brenda has raised over half a million dollars in her previous four auctions, and she truly offers something for everyone. (click on the title of this post to go to the auction home page)

I'm thrilled to be able to support this very worthy cause! I have donated an autographed copy of The Wild Sight and an autographed ARC of The Treasures of Venice. That's right, you don't have to wait until September to read my second release! You just need to submit the winning bid.

The Romance Bandits have also donated a huge basket of goodies--books, promo items, chocolate and gift cards--and I'm including an autographed copy of The Wild Sight in that too.

Also, for aspiring writers, I have donated a critique of a first chapter and synopsis (up to 30 pages total) of your manuscript.

The auction runs the entire month of May so I hope you will check it out.

Friday, April 17, 2009

26 Pieces of Useless Trivia... About ME!

Still time to join my newsletter Yahoo Group (see the sidebar) and be in the drawing for one of three $10 gift certificates from Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Haven't done a Meme in awhile, so here's one compliments of my friend Piowa Puff.

What time did you get up this morning

Probably around nine. That's what time I usually get up. Being 'retired' is truly grand!

Diamonds or pearls? 
BOTH of course! Though actually, I think pearls are classier.
What was the last film you saw at the cinema? 
Australia and Hugh Jackman's chest filled that
wide screen wonderfully!

What is your favorite TV show? 
Used to be "Lost" but it's now so stupid
I only watch for shots of Sawyer's dimples.
Favorite sandwich? 
Just about any with avocado on it
If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation,
where would you go?
New Zealand or the Pyramids in Egypt
Favorite brand of clothing? 
Don't really pay attention to brands except for shoes.
I like Clark's and New Balance.

Where would you retire to?
Right here where I am! But if I win the Lotto,
LOOK OUT Tahiti!

What was your most recent memorable birthday?

About 3 years ago on a cruise ship going to Acapulco.

Favorite sport to watch? 
In person -- auto racing. Love the rumble of those engines!
On TV, probably football, but only for the huddles...
Are you a morning person or a night person? 

Morning?!?! What is that???

What did you want to be when you were little? 
Owner of a horse ranch  

What is your favorite flower?
To look at, a camelia. To smell, a gardenia or sweet pea.

What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to?
Sept. 1st and the release of my second novel
"The Treasures of Venice"

What are you listening to right now?

Nothing, it's nice and quiet, just the way I like it.

The first person you spoke to on the phone today?

Somebody calling for Macy's. My phone number is one digit off theirs.

Favorite soft drink? 
 Diet Pepsi!

Real hair color?
Salt and Pepper (and getting saltier every day)
What was your favorite toy as a child? 
Books (I was a geek, what can I say?)

Chocolate or Vanilla?
What is this vanilla of which you speak?!?!
There is no other flavor but chocolate!!!
Coffee or tea? 
Tea, hot with milk

When was the last time you cried?
 Tonight while watching the movie "Grace is Gone" WONDERFUL FILM!

What are you afraid of?
 The IRS.
I mean, THEY were the only ones to bring down Al Capone... SCARY!

How many keys on your key ring?
The one I carry has 5 that I can think of,
but I have another key ring with spares and the key to the pool.

How many years at your current job?
5 1/2 LOVELY years retired!
2 as a PUBLISHED novelist!

Do you make friends easily?
Yes, I'm an EXTROVERT (big surprise -- NOT!)

Now it's your turn! Tell me some useless pieces of trivia about YOU!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Gimme 5... Venetian Things

For years and years, the place that occupied the Number One spot on my "Bucket List" was Venice. Every picture I saw, every guidebook, every travel program that had even a mention of the city nicknamed La Serenissima (the Serene One) made me salivate.

Lucky me! My DH took me there! (maybe he was truly sick and tired of hearing me carry on about wanting to go) And La Serenissima did not disappoint, it truly is one of the most unique places on earth! The city left quite a lasting impression on me. No wonder that when I sat down to write my very first contemporary romantic suspense novel I knew I had to set it in Venice.

So let me share 5 unforgettable and totally Venetian things:

The Bridge of Sighs -- I've mentioned this unique covered bridge and shared this picture before, but this lovely Venetian landmark plays a pivotal role in The Treasures of Venice, so here it is again. The bridge connects the Doge's Palace with the prison on the other side of the canal.

The Doge's Palace -- Another landmark with a role in The Treasures of Venice! The Doge's Palace was the residence of the elected ruler of the Venetian City-State as well as the seat of government. This huge and ornate building is not to be missed on any visit to Venice.

St. Mark's Cathedral and the Piazza surrounding it are the quintessential image of Venice and are the location of the opening scene of The Treasures of Venice. The Doge's Palace is right next door to St. Mark's and there really are about a million pigeons occupying the piazza at any given time.

The Rialto Bridge -- the largest and definitely the most
unique of the five bridges that cross Venice's Grand Canal, it is lined with very exclusive shops and has been since it was finished in its present incarnation in 1591! Yup, it makes more than one appearance in The Treasures of Venice.

Finally, what could possibly be more Venetian than a gondola? These long pointy black boats embody every cliche that is Venice, and in the best possible way! Of course I had to work in a gondola for a couple of very important scenes, include a very romantic one, in The Treasures of Venice.
Only 149 more days until the book hits store shelves! But who's counting?!?!