Magicians and magic: I saw David Copperfield! (and a couple of updates)

That’s right. I’m fresh back from Las Vegas (well, actually, not so fresh, but then, who comes back from Las Vegas refreshed?) and I got the opportunity to mark something off my bucket list. I saw David Copperfield live on stage. To understand this, you have to understand that I’ve been fascinated by magicians and magic most of my life. When I was five years old, a magician chose me to go on stage to be on a flying carpet. He told me to keep my eyes closed the whole time, much to my disappointment, and I didn’t get to actually see myself “flying”. Of course, if I’d opened my eyes, I might never have believed in magic again, so I’m glad I wasn’t a rebel back then.

I had a brief fling with Criss Angel and David Blaine, but I started to see something kind of ugly in their magic, but I’ve always loved David Copperfield. I’ve seen almost every one of his television shows, and when my husband told me to pick out a couple of shows in Vegas, I chose (with his help) The Blue Man Group and David Copperfield. The Blue Man Group was cool, of course, but we’d seen it before and our seats weren’t that great. I splurged a little on David, though. We were right up front, so close that an usher questioned us to make sure we weren’t journalists. Technically, I guess I kind of am, since I blog and write and have a degree in it and all, but on Saturday night, I was that same five-year-old girl who kept her eyes firmly shut so I couldn’t see the trick behind the magic. And it paid off. The show was spectacular, and David Copperfield was as charismatic and entertaining as he’s ever been on any television screen.

So I’ll continue my quest for magic, whether it be in what I write, read, see in the movies or on television. But I may have been as close to the real thing as I’ll ever get on Saturday.

BLOG TOUR: Visit me today at Bunny’s Review for an interview and a review (4 carrots!) of WHERE THE HEART LIES.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment for your chance at a (signed) print copy of the romance anthology FOREIGN AFFAIRS with my story “Agapi Mou”. If you’d like to suggest reasons ALL my books should be in print, I’m sure my publishers will take them under advisement…

Is it a sign of immaturity that I like Nickelodeon? REMINDER: Enter to win!

Seriously. I’ve always loved Disney, but recently I’ve found myself watching Nickelodeon shows with my kids, and now they’re being DVR’d because I don’t want to miss them! On my DVR: iCarly, Victorious and Drake & Josh. MOST of the time, I watch them with my kids.

Nickelodeon—like Disney—has a habit of creating what I consider “plastic” stars. Many of the young stars on their shows are multi-talented. They act, they sing, they dance. But often the real talent there is overshadowed by Nickelodeon’s managing and molding. It’s like finding a pretty rock and instead of polishing it up a bit and enjoying it, you have to cut facets where facets weren’t meant to be and don’t really improve anything. And yet, some of these kids manage to shine, even through the plastic coating.

Miranda Cosgrove of iCarly was the first Nickelodeon star to catch my attention. It was back when my younger son teased my older son about watching “teenage girl shows”. Well, I was once a teenage girl and I know what kind of trouble they can be, so I figured I better watch some of these shows with him. To my surprise, I found I enjoyed it, mostly because I could see some real talent in the cast of iCarly. I laughed at their antics and even teared up once or twice (yeah, I did).

It’s a slippery slope from one Nickelodeon show to many. My son and I discovered Victorious together, and I love that show. Set in a high school for the arts, it’s peopled by some pretty spectacularly talented kids, and the cast is led by Victoria Justice, whose music, I’m not even ashamed to say, is in my iTunes library.

So am I reliving my childhood by watching this stuff? Does my brain atrophy every time I sit down in front of it? Is it just good quality time with the kids? Who knows? I don’t even care. It is good quality time with my kids that I enjoy. And if it’s not exactly stretching my brain, well, maybe my brain needs a rest every now and then.

Oh yeah, before I go, remember to leave me a comment to enter to win a print copy of Foreign Affairs, the anthology from Turquoise Morning Press with my story “Agapi Mou”!

Today’s blog tour stops and a reminder about my Foreign Affairs giveaway.

Goddess Fish Promotions has taken me all over the net, it seems, and today we make two stops, both of which I’m enjoying very much. Over at Once Upon a Time I was asked a very simple but very intriguing question. Describe a trip that changed you. Think about that for a minute. I had a hard time settling on one trip at first, but finally I figured it out. After you read the post over at Once Upon a time, check out this flash piece that was inspired by that same trip: China.

The second stop today is actually a review! My Reading Addiction gives Where the Heart Lies four stars and highly recommends it!

This is a story of loss, redemption, second chances, and a little bit of skeletons in the closet to throw a wrench in it. Great story line and smooth transitions with multi-dimensional characters. I highly recommend it. —My Reading Addiction

Finally, don’t forget about my Foreign Affairs print giveaway! Leave me a comment between now and October 31 for your chance to win a copy of Foreign Affairs in print. In the comment, tell me why you think ALL my books should be in print. What would you use them for? To prop up that uneven table leg? Firewood? Paper the birdcage? Give me a compelling and creative reason and enter to win your copy of the first print book with my name on the front cover. Check it out:

Isn’t it beautiful? Wouldn’t you love to own a copy? Well, here’s a buy link in case you just can’t wait for the giveaway to end: Turquoise Morning Press Bookstore. And now I’m off to do some real work!

Ahh…Print. Finally!

Had to share the good news…I’m finally available in print! Yay! Foreign Affairs, the anthology with my short story “Agapi Mou”, is now available in print, so if you’re one of those who loves to hold a book in your hands…well, you can finally hold one with MY name on the front cover in your hands. Here’s what the cover looks like:

To celebrate being in print, I’m going to give away a signed copy of Foreign Affairs to the commenter between now and October 31 who gives me the most creative and convincing reason why my books should ALL be in print.

In other news, be sure to tune in early tomorrow for my TWO guest spots on My Reading Addiction and Once Upon a Time. Find out what I’ve been up to when I haven’t been updating my blog.

Summer colds, blog tours and free stuff!

Are summer colds the worst or what? I’ve been out of commission with one for the past week and a half. Every time I think my regimen of green tea and wine has defeated it, it comes back! Now it’s really just the sniffles (and a cough), not the sore throat and body aches I had last week, but it’s bad enough. And in an interesting twist of irony, I sound worse now and felt worse last week! So I’m getting more sympathy now than I did when I actually felt like a train had backed over me twice.

But I’m getting myself back on track blog-wise, anyway. And I’m taking this opportunity to announce the Where the Heart Lies Blog Tour by Goddess Fish Promotions. For three months, I’ll be stopping by some wonderful blogs to share my thoughts about writing, Where the Heart Lies, and a host of other topics. Here’s a schedule of the events, with links:

September 10: Welcome to My World of Dreams
September 17: Queen of all She Reads
September 24: All I want and more
October 1: MeganJohnsInvites
October 8: My Reading Addiction
October 8: Once Upon a Time…
October 15: Ramblings From This Chick
October 22: The Bunny’s Review
October 29: It’s Raining Books
November 5: The Brunette Librarian
November 12: Jersey Girl Book Reviews
November 19: Stitch Read Cook
November 19: Guilty Indulgence
November 26: My Devotional Thoughts

Each of these stops will feature a giveaway of a promotional postcard for Where the Heart Lies (signed, if you like) with a 10 percent off coupon from Carina Press and I’ll do one grand prize giveaway at the end of the tour for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a copy of Bartlett’s Poems for Occasions, which, if you’ve read Where the Heart Lies already, actually inspired the book of poetry Liam gives Alicia.

And speaking of giveaways, I’ve already been remiss in not mentioning the one going on over at Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind for Foreign Affairs, the romance anthology from Turquoise Morning Press with my story “Agapi Mou” in it. Drop by, read some thoughts from me and some of my fellow Foreign Affairs authors about the sexy men of the Olympics, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free e-copy of Foreign Affairs! Hurry, though, the contest ends on September 7!

Plus, stay tuned in October…some of my fellow horror writers and I are cooking up a Halloween surprise…hopefully.

Breaking my silence to congratulate the foreign affairs winner!

Just a quick post to thank those who participated in the Foreign Affairs Contest. The winner was Laurie Kransky, who did some super spying and sent in the first (and probably best) entry, so I was thrilled when I pulled her name out of the hat. Congrats, Laurie!

Contest and taking a break…or a breathing moment!

The days are getting shorter. Have you noticed? It’s no longer almost light at nine o’clock in the evening. The lightning bugs are still around, though. The oppressive heat has eased off a little and the sky is clear blue today. It’s August. Four months left until the Christmas season, two months left until Halloween, and only a week and a half left of summer break.

All this is my long-winded way of saying I’m taking a short break from the blogging thing. You might have noticed my teaser a few days ago. I want to do a something about Romance vs. Sex in fiction (not real life, although maybe I’ll mention that in reference to how it influences our preferences in fiction). I’m working on that and a couple of other things right now, but mostly I just want to enjoy these last few days of summer with my kids.

That doesn’t mean that my spy contest for Foreign Affairs isn’t still on. I will announce the winner of the random draw on Wednesday evening, so go check it out here: Mission Possible.

Get outside, kick a ball, go swimming or biking or take a walk. Breathe in the last bit of summer.

Mission Possible: Get out your spy gear…there’s still time to win!

Before I get to the contest, please note, FOREIGN AFFAIRS is officially out, as you can tell by the “BUY IT NOW” links to the left. You can get it for your Kindle or NOOK or other e-reader of choice now, and the print version will be out in a month or two, but why wait? There are six sexy foreign men to explore (ahem, read about)!

But now on to the contest. To celebrate the anthology release, I’ve created an assignment for you, if you choose to accept it. You can win a $10 gift card from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble by doing two things: (1) Visit my fellow Foreign Affairs authors’ websites and (2) spy! Email me ( with at least one fact about each author. Since all good spies need a place to start, I’m providing you with links to their websites below. While you’re there, you might drop them a line and let them know I said hi!

Karen Booth
Sidney Bristol
J.M. Kelley
Karen Stivali
Georgia St. Mane

I’m going to run this contest for a week, so you’ve got until August 15 at 5 p.m. Eastern to get me the information. Be sure to email me one fact about each one at, and you’ll be entered in the drawing.

Meet FOREIGN AFFAIRS editor Gabriela Lessa and spy on my anthology buddies to win a gift card!

Tomorrow morning, Turquoise Morning Press releases FOREIGN AFFAIRS, a romance anthology containing my story “Agapi Mou” along with five other stories featuring sexy foreign guys. Fun stuff, for sure, and I’ve had a great time working on it. As much credit as the writers get for their books and stories, though, I’ve come to realize that we owe so much of that to our editors. And I’ve never felt more that way than I did with this anthology. Gabriela Lessa, the editor who brought this book together, has agreed to come celebrate FOREIGN AFFAIRS’s release with me on BREATHE today.

BREATHE: Foreign men…yum! But seriously, how did you get involved in a romance anthology about them?

GL: Well, I’m a foreigner myself, since I’m Brazilian, and I’m marrying the yummiest Brazilian man. So that’s really the main reason. And I’ve always loved traveling, and the kind of men you see abroad… Yummy! My single girlfriends actually have this thing going on, they call it “playing War”. Conquering as many territories as possible, if you know what I mean… I thought our readers wouldn’t mind playing a little War themselves, through some fun characters. So when Kim (TMP’s editor-in-chief) asked editors for anthology suggestions, I immediately came up with this one. It sounded like something absolutely delicious to read!

BREATHE: What did you like most about editing this anthology? Any least favorite things?

GL: Aside from the oh-so-hot men and the wonderful stories, you mean? Working with new authors. It’s very exciting to help hone new talent. Least favorites? I wish I could’ve had twenty stories like these!

BREATHE: Which nationalities did you get the most stories about?

GL: From the UK. I got many from England and Ireland, and actually had to select a bit not to end up with too many of those. Still, we ended up with two English gentlemen that will make women swoon, and one Irish fisherman that will show that rough men can have a soft heart.

BREATHE: Would you like to do a Foreign Affairs 2? Which nationalities would you like to have represented in that one?

GL: I would love to! On this first one, we ended up with more of an European edition. English, Irish, French, Greek, Italian… Oh, my, they are so delicious! For a next one, I would love to mix it up a bit. Get some more men from Asia, Africa, South and Central America… Hmmm… You’re getting me excited about this project!

BREATHE: Tell us a little about you, your past, current and future projects.

GL: I’m a bit of a workaholic. In addition to being an editor at Turquoise Morning Press, I’m an independent editor and a reader for a literary agency, so I’m always juggling several projects. There’s a lot going on at TMP right now, and I’m excited to be working with established and new authors. My past and future projects with TMP include several of Bobbye Terry’s novels and novellas, all fantastic. And also a few new authors, like Scott Kramer, whose debut mystery, Taking the Plunge, will be released in September. For the future, I have more from my established authors, more new authors and, of course, I look forward to getting more from the wonderful authors in this anthology.

Thank you for joining me, Gabi! For more information about Gabi’s projects, visit her at

Now the fun contest part. You can win a $10 gift card from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble by doing two things. Visit my fellow Foreign Affairs authors’ websites and spy! Just kidding. But check out their websites and email me ( with at least one fact about each author. To make it a little easier for you, I’m providing you with links to their websites below. While you’re there, you might drop them a line and let them know I said hi!

Karen Booth
Sidney Bristol
J.M. Kelley
Karen Stivali
Georgia St. Mane

I’m going to run this little contest for a week, so you’ve got until August 15 at 5 p.m. Eastern to visit my buddies. Be sure to email me one fact about each one at

Foreign Affairs is out tomorrow! Win a prize!

To celebrate the release of Foreign Affairs by Turquoise Morning Press tomorrow, I’ll be interviewing the lovely editor of the anthology, Gabriela Lessa, right here on BREATHE! I’m very excited about the anthology. It features five other stories besides mine, all about handsome men from foreign lands. Join me here and find out how you can win a $10 Amazon e-gift card!