Romantic Life Lessons, Shameless Promotion, Uncategorized

Duran Duran Brings People Together

Duran-DuranThis was how I met Melissa: Over the last few years, I’d been commenting on the Facebook status updates of our mutual friend/also my colleague Susan, who told me Melissa lurves DD as much as I do. Any Duran Duran comments, I’d “like” immediately and so would Melissa. I’m always happy to bond with a fellow Duranie and was delighted to meet Melissa in person last year. What a sweetheart she is! Now that we’re Facebook friends, I get to follow her healthy routine, which often gets me on the treadmill and reliving my 80s playlist. She also has this highly enjoyable blog about fitness, women triumphing, and her personal views on a variety of topics. This Friday, she’s put me in her fabulous blog.

And now we just need to see Duran Duran in concert together. That would complete me.


What Do Editing Romance and Caroline Ingalls Have in Common?

CarolineingallsToday was one of those days where no task was too urgent (only semi-urgent) and so I found myself with a free half hour. Because I work on several projects at once, I need to keep moving. The storm is coming soon. Once I blink, I’ll suddenly have five books to read, three more to turn in to production, and fifty emails to answer. In fact, the process of editing romance reminds me of Little House on the Prairie–where even if you finish your chores, you could be sweeping the floor again, helping Pa feed the horses, and kicking Half-Pint’s butt to finish her homework.

But since I turned in a few projects, I figure a half hour is a half hour, and it’s mine. I’ve already walked the halls, unintentionally eavesdropped, shredded documents just because it’s my favorite thing, and downloaded manuscripts onto my iPad (saving paper). Now, I’ve used up my half hour, reminded myself of LHotP and will need to rewatch every episode when I get home. Can you tell I didn’t have much to write about today?

Except for this shameless self-promotion: I used to spend my allowance on Good Housekeeping (and candy) when I was 10. I loved the idea of keeping a home clean, cooking, and crafting, so Good Housekeeping filled my reading needs. I also loved the true stories of women overcoming obstacles. And now, GH let me contribute a post for them. Check it out here.



Library Journal, I Think I’m in Love

9780525954385_medium_Romance_Is_My_Day_JobLibrary Journal

★ 02/01/2014
The beautiful irony of the title says it all—erudite romance editor by day, lonely girl by night. Bloom (editor, Harlequin) offers the American, real, and highly relatable version of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones. A lovably quirky narrator and an abundance of self-deprecating humor give this book the appeal of a good New York-girl-in-publishing chick lit title that’s bound to be consumed in great gulps. That said, this is a very well-packaged and well-written memoir, containing a great deal of substance. Bloom doesn’t gloss over the seriousness that underpins her experience, but she folds it into a larger tale to tell a phenomenal story—not of a fabulously flawless twentysomething but rather the warts-and-all saga of a woman approaching middle age who’s been fruitlessly searching for love as long as she can remember and whose story has (how could it not?) a happy ending. VERDICT Readers who are appalled at the demise of Fielding’s Mark Darcy, snap this up. It will ease your pain. Highly recommended for romantics of all stripes.—Audrey Snowden, Orrington P.L., ME

Writing Tips

Random First Sentences

Call me superficial but I will bring books home based solely on the first sentence. It’s true, the story could get better after an opening as mundane as, She didn’t like the gluten-free pasta, but I like to be wowed right away. Okay, that’s not totally true. I am a patient reader and will give the book at least a page or two. Just for diversion, here are some first sentences that compelled me to carry home a heavier bag.

Later, she would ask herself how she could possibly have missed all the danger signals emanating from the man. –Stormy Challenge by Jayne Ann Krentz

Hello, it’s THE Jayne Ann Krentz. And haven’t we all been there–ignored a million red flags and run headlong into trouble? Maybe Mr. Trouble will work out this time!

I still can’t believe Myra Jean, the trailer park psychic, was right about everything! –Wedding Belles by Beth Albright

I want to know what the psychic was right about. Plus, I love reading about weddings–even before I got married.

It’s dark, and there are hands on my naked flesh. —The Lovers by Eden Bradley

Poor thing. What’s happening to her? Is she having one of those dreams? I gotta find out.

“Stop smiling. Every time you smile, an angel dies.” —My One and Only by Kristan Higgins

It’s the anti-Clarence! Truth be told, I love grumpy characters–and Higgins’s humor.

The man who’d murdered Romain Fornier’s ten-year-old daughter didn’t look like a killer. —Stop Me by Brenda Novak

I’m a suspense-aholic and this is just the kind of opening that hooks me. The idea of an “average guy” killer creeps me out! But I have to keep reading….

Do you have any favorite first lines?

Oh…and should I say, only 9 days until Romance Is My Day Job is out in the universe!

Shameless Promotion

Scribbling Women and the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them

Four monScribbling Women_FC_300ths ago, I was approached to contribute an essay for Scribbling Women & the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them, an anthology of twenty-eight stories featuring the true love stories by romance authors (and me). All net proceeds will benefit Win (formerly Women in Need). What fun it was to read these real-life tales by some of my favorite romance writers!  You can find my story in this here collection. It’s for a good cause! Next Monday, I get to do a virginal reading of the essay at Lady Jane’s Salon. They say it’s like riding a bike.



Behind My Dedication

253257_10151592965469449_26713425_nI sometimes wonder how writers figure out their dedications–especially romance writers. In a genre with many 6+ book-a-year careers, a romance writer could thank everyone she(he)’s ever met. But after thanking your spouse, your parents, your pet, friends, don’t you run out of people? Probably not since one encounters special people all the time. My one author who’s written over 200 romances manages to craft poetic dedications every time. For my one book, the dedication was obvious. Even Sam said to me, “You’re dedicating it to me, right? If you don’t, that would be strange.” He was joking (sort of), but I wanted to find a way to name him in the dedication.

In high school, Sam was a master of hijinks. As the type who loves to run around and knock things down, he played on the football team. His freshman year, at an early practice, he put on his helmet wrong. The captain of the team said, “Come here, Cookie” and fixed it. The nickname stuck.

So that’s the story behind my dedication. Of course, today I found out that it’s slang for x-rated acts and body parts. Is nothing sacred?


What’s On TV?

After going 100 mph, the first thing I do is switch on TV. When my husband’s around, I click on CNN and iron our clothes–this makes me appear virtuous. Plus, because I’m a certain age, I do like the news. Sam also loves American Horror Story: Coven (love the cast, concept, but it’s gone off the rails) and The Shahs of Sunset (we love Reza).  If I’m alone and without interruption, I’ll do a marathon of Housewives (BH, OC, NYC), The Bachelor, Criminal Minds, Vanderpump Rules (I’m not sure I like anyone except Lisa, but does that stop me?), Scandal, and Grey’s Anatomy.

Every few months, I do a TV fast and the time might be now. Oh wait, but not before I download The Newsroom.

What shows are you watching this season? Well, maybe I shouldn’t ask since that might make me watch more TV. But it’s for research, right?


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

indexMartin Luther King, Jr. died a few months before I was born, but my parents told me about the impact of the MLK, jr, civil rights, oh, the epic 60s in general, the Vietnam War, riots in Paris, feminism, the rise of Nixon, JFK. There was a benefit to having historian parents! I still get goosebumps whenever I watch the “I have a dream speech.” It’s one of the few times when I wish I’d grown up a little earlier*.

Since it was a holiday, I vowed to take the day off…until I saw a book that need to be edited. Two of them. My husband and I bickered over the fact that I like to print out manuscripts and how much ink/paper that uses up. I compromised by transforming one of the documents into Adobe and edited using my stylus and iPad (two words I would never have used five years ago). When I’m finished, I’ll transfer changes from the Adobe version into the editing software. Is this exciting?

However you spent the day, I hope it was a good one. I ate almost a whole pint of ice cream.

*And to be around for Marilyn Monroe–I am a celebri-holic, after all…