The awesome Susan Elizabeth Phillips was at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix Friday night to speak and sign copies of her newest book, Heroes Are My Weakness. It’s awesome, by the way. I started reading while I waited for the event to start, and put aside other things (such as my own writing) to finish it over the weekend.
I just spent a good fifteen minutes perusing SEP’s book list to try to remember which of her books hooked me on her writing—except I can’t for the life of me figure it out. It seems her books have always been there, cheering me up and making me laugh. It might have been Nobody’s Baby But Mine, but I can’t be sure.
Ahem. I’m getting off track here. Let’s get back to the talk—and the authorly moment that happened to me in the middle of it.
As SEP promised on her Facebook page, she arrived wearing a lovely hat.
Yes, that’s a crab. Heroes Are My Weakness is set in Maine, which is more lobster country, but the crab was the only hat her publicist could find. (The publicist clearly didn’t check with Red Lobster. They plop a foam lobster on your head and sing “Happy Birthday” to you there—at least they did in Fort Wayne, Ind., when I turned 18. So embarrassing!)
Near the start of the presentation, she asked if anyone in the audience was a member of the local RWA chapter. My hand went halfway up. I explained I’m not a member of either of the Phoenix chapters, but I am the president of Northern Arizona RWA.
Then she asked if anyone in the audience was a published author. My hand went up again and she said, “I figured that was coming. Tell us what’s your name and what do you write?” (or something like that. I wasn’t taking notes.)
“I have a series called All Is Fair in Love & Baseball, published through Turquoise Morning Press,” I replied.
She asked me how many books there were and the titles. When I gave her the list, someone sitting behind me in the audience shouted, “I’ve read those. My mother-in-law got me hooked!”
How cool is that? Someone in the audience at SEP’s signing has read MY books.
Looking back, I should have struck up a conversation with her afterward—but as thrilling as it was to know I had a reader in the audience, it was also a little overwhelming. That’s never happened to me before. I didn’t know what to do.
Turns out, I didn’t do anything. I waited my turn for SEP’s autograph, got my picture taken with her and then left.
Next time I’ll be better prepared, right?
Confession time: When I’m not writing contemporary romance, I LOVE to read historicals.
One that I’m looking forward to diving into just as soon as I finish my current pick, Ruby Kim Law’s CAUGHT ON CAMERA, is my friend Kathleen Bittner Roth’s A DUKE’S WICKED KISS. She has graciously offered me an ARC copy to read and a second ebook to give away to a lucky reader.
Miss Suri Thurston knows the pain of abandonment. Intent on confronting the grandmother who tossed her to the lions, she travels from England to her birthplace in India. Her plans run afoul when she encounters the man who, ten years prior, left a mark on her soul with one stolen kiss. But he is a duke, and far beyond the reach of even her dreams.
The Duke of Ravenswood, secret head of the British Foreign Service, has no time for relationships. His one goal is to locate and eliminate key insurgents involved in an uprising against the British East India Company before it’s too late. But when Suri appears in Delhi, his resolve is tested as he finds his heart forever bound to her by the one haunting kiss they shared once upon a time.
With Suri’s vengeful Indian family looking for her death, and insurgents intent on mutiny tearing their world apart, can their love rise above the scandal of the marriage they both desperately want?
Intrigued as I am? Hop on over to my Facebook author page and comment on the post pinned to the top of the page. I’ll pick a winner a week from today, on Wednesday, Sept. 10.
Welcome, welcome. This week’s My Sexy Saturday theme has forced me to dig deeply into my personal archives.
This week, we’re traveling the universe as we give our wonderful sci-fi romance, of any subgenre, a nod to entertaining us with their wonderful stories.
Y’all know by now that I write contemporary romantic comedy. What you probably don’t know is that one of the first stories I wrote (still unfinished, as a matter of fact) was a sci-fi/comedy/romance. It fills part of two spiral-bound wide-ruled notebooks, pencil on yellowing sheets.
A communications specialist named Marc—human, but from a distant utopian planet that’s nearly all water—scans the universe’s airwaves for beings open to alien contact. He sees an Earthling woman and—despite protests from his brother, who learned all he knows about Earth women from the movie “Earth Girls are Easy”—undertakes a mission to woo her, wed her and take her back to his planet.
Of course, mayhem ensues from the moment Marc sneaks aboard the space shuttle, which is docked at the International Space Station. (Brother Rik notes that Earthlings are the only species arrogant enough to assume no need for security in space.) He’s a fish out of water, so to speak, trying to fit into California culture, win over Kyree’s overprotective friends and convince her she’s meant to be his life mate.
This story will probably never see the light of day. I started it in the mid-90s, long before I joined RWA and started learning about the craft. That means it’s rife with head-hopping, telling instead of showing and other beginner mistakes.
But the premise is fun and I had a blast writing the parts I finished. (Just imagine Marc shopping for condoms for the first time, with assistance from the boyfriend of Ree’s best friend.) I’ll share a snippet here—head-hopping and all—in hopes of brightening your day.
Marc had decided it wouldn’t be right to make love to Kyree until he convinced her of his origins. Now was as good a time as any, he supposed.
“Ree,” he began cautiously as they stepped onto the beach. “Remember when I told you I’m from Quaaline?”
She rolled her eyes. “Yes.”
Marc sighed. He could sense she still wasn’t ready to believe him. “Never mind.”
Ree gave him an odd look. She hoped he didn’t actually believe he was an alien. She knew some real sci-fi nerds who tried to become someone dashing, like Captain Kirk, Han Solo or Lance Lincolnway, to overcome their awkwardness—but Marc was charming enough on his own. He didn’t have to pretend to be a hero.
Marc watched her face as the thoughts ran through her mind. He raised an eyebrow in amusement and murmured, “If I’m Han Solo, you have to be my Princess Leia.”
Kyree smiled at him. “That can be arranged.”
So much for attempts to post here on a regular schedule. I have many excellent reasons for slacking—some of which I plan to blog about in the near future.
For now, know I’m neck-deep in edits for BREAKING ALL THE RULES, my spring 2015 Turquoise Morning Press release.
Yes, I prefer to make edits by hand. Maybe it makes me a dinosaur, but I see things differently on paper. Besides, it feels more real somehow. I love the heft of a pile of manuscript pages.
There’s only one problem with editing this way: Sometimes—OK, more often than I care to admit—I can’t read my hand-written scribbles.
Ahem. The trick, of course, is to finish edits and get them back in my typewritten manuscript quickly enough that I can still remember what I was trying to say.
That’s the goal, anyway.
I’ve slowly been whittling down the to-be-edited pile. As of Saturday afternoon, it’s officially a shorter stack than the already-edited pile.
It’s the small victories, right? I need a few of those in my life right now.