Today, it’s my turn on the long and short reviews anniversary party blog. Please stop by at the link listed below for a glimpse of DIRTY DAMSELS and a chance at the scavenger hunt prizes
In one short week I head to NYC for the annual RWA conference. Can I just tell you how happy I am that I don’t have to fly to the event this year??!! A quick drive to New Haven and then a hop on board Metro North and I can be in NYC much quicker than if I have to fly to ports west of here.
This annual conference has become for me, a time to re-energize, revitalize, and reevaluate my writing career. I get to see writing friends I only see at conferences since we live in different places, and I get to fan-girl my favorite authors and do a little harmless stalking. Hee hee.
Until next time ~ Peg
Every now and then you find an author – and meet a new friend – who you know you were destined to get to know. Katie O’Sullivan is that person to me. We originally “met” as Wild Rose Press sistahs and from the first time I ever read any of her books, she quickly became one of my favorite one-click/pre-order authors. She’s recently had a new book released, BENDING THE RULES and it’s more than a goodie!! I consumed it on one rainy afternoon because it was un-putdown-able and put my review up on Amazon and Goodreads – and on my website lickity split because I wanted to tell everyone I knew about how good the book is. Katie recently consented to write a blog post for me and it’s very timely that it’s on this day- Election Day here in the US – on a very timely topic.
Come, meet my friend Katie – you’re gonna love her as much as I do.
Katie: Huge thanks to Peggy for hosting me today! ( Peggy here – my absolute pleasure!)
It’s Election Day here in the U.S. and I encourage everyone to get out there and vote. Make your voice heard and your choices matter. Everyone should be able to stand up for what they believe in.
Actually that’s one of the themes I tried to weave into my new book. Standing up for what’s right.
As writers, we don’t live in a bubble – we live in the real world, and everything that goes on affects not only how we think about our characters, but also what they say and do. This includes what happens within our families and circles of friends, as well as what happens on the national and global stage. As an author, it’s a fine line between weaving issues into the storyline and preaching your own point of view.
One of the themes of my new second-chance romance, Bending the Rules, is about the effects of bullying. Rumors and lies have followed my heroine, Bella Costa, from high school into the present day, and affected many of the choices in her life, both her own and those of the hero of the story, Dylan MacDonald. Bella has been told so many times over the years that the harassment isn’t illegal, she even hesitates to report it when her bully crosses the line into more dangerous territory.
We all need to remember to stand up to our bullies, whether it’s an actual bully spreading rumors around the neighborhood or the internet, or your school system who doesn’t want to pay for the extra help your child may need (and deserve under the law). Or in the case of Dylan MacDonald, the broken hero in Bending the Rules, speaking out against a corporation who cares more about the bottom line than about their employees.
Stand up and make your voice heard. It’s not the easy thing to do, but it’s the right thing to do.
Get out there and vote for what you believe in. Voting is a right in the U.S., not a privilege, and you should exercise that right. Stand up and make your voice heard.
Peggy, thanks again for hosting me today! (Again, darling girl – it was my absolute delight!!!)
BENDING THE RULES, by Katie O’Sullivan
She has rules to keep her heart safe. He’s the one who inspired the rules.
Investment analyst Dylan MacDonald has been away from Cape Cod so long it no longer feels like home, despite deep roots and a large extended family. After a routine assignment in Africa becomes life or death, the former workaholic is back home and unemployed. Getting entangled with his high school crush is definitely not in his plans… Even if she was the one woman who made him think outside the spreadsheet.
Co-owner of a successful Chatham boutique, friendly and popular Bella Costa seems to have it all… Except a real relationship. She has a rule against dating local boys, keeping her love life limited to summer flings. The only guy she truly cared about left the Cape and never looked back. Until this summer. Now he’s re-igniting all kinds of unresolved feelings.
Will the past stand in their way, or can they bend the rules to find a future together?
“One more confession, before I lose my nerve.” Bella took a step closer, placing both of her hands flat on his chest, looking up into his face. He could smell the beer on her breath, but she didn’t seem drunk. “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to kiss you.”
Her eyes dropped and so did her hands. “It’s okay, I understand.”
He wrapped his hands around her waist before she could turn away. “No, I don’t think you do.” He pulled her flush to his body, bending his head to meet her soft lips, capturing her gasp of surprise with his mouth, teasing her tongue with his own. Heat and electricity surged through his body, leaving every part of him yearning for more. Her soft, luscious breasts crushed against his chest, her hands burrowing under his sweatshirt to caress the skin above his swimsuit, teasing along the elastic waist. Nothing in his life thus far prepared him for the sudden intensity of his feelings, or the effect her touch had on his body. He wanted the kiss to last forever, to hold her close and never let her go.
When their mouths finally parted, the dazed look on Bella’s face made Dylan frown. “Are you okay?” His whisper sounded hoarse even to his own ears, as if the kiss robbed his ability to speak clearly. Or think clearly, for that matter.
She blinked, the shock slowly fading before she grinned up at him. “I didn’t expect…” She lowered her eyes and shook her head.
“It’s going to sound silly.”
He gently kissed her forehead, tasting the salt of the ocean and inhaling the smoky scent of bonfire tangled in her hair. “Try me.”
“You know how when you think about something too much, you build it up in your mind? Like when you’re a kid and you want a new toy? And then, when you finally get it, it’s not nearly as exciting as you thought it would be?”
His gut tightened. He took a deep breath, putting a finger under her chin and raising her face so their eyes met, the moonlight reflecting back at him from those dark pools. She was not about to tell him that kiss was disappointing. No way.
“Kissing you was nothing like I dreamed it would be.”
He vowed to change her mind if it was the last thing he ever did. He barely recognized his own voice as it growled, “How can I make it better?”
Bella shook her head, tightening her grip on his waist. “What I meant was… I always thought your kiss would be sweet… like cotton candy. Like you. But in reality, it’s more like a wildfire, the taste so much hotter than I ever imagined… More dangerous… Like I could lose myself completely…”
Available at Amazon
About the Author:Katie O’Sullivan is an award-winning writer, whose ten novels include My Kind of Crazy, Ghosts Don’t Lie, Crazy About You, and the Son of a Mermaid series for teen readers: Descent, Defiance, and Deception. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and now lives on Cape Cod with her family and big dogs, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. She writes YA and romantic suspense novels, as well as working as an editor and full-time technical writer. Which explains all the coffee.
Want to see my review of this fab book? Click here: Bending the Rules
SO I’m back home after spending a few days in Burlington, MA at the NECRW 2018 Let Your imagination take Flight writers conference. Tired doesn’t begin to describe me today. My bones are weary!
This year, I made a concerted effort to put my little introverted self out there and meet new writers. Those of you who know me, probably think I’m having some kind of stroke by referring to myself as introverted. But I am, truly. Even though I’ll talk to a rock, I still get ridiculously nervous and feel I’m being judged by people I’ve just met.
But that’s my hangup, so….
Lots of fun and informative times at the conference.
First and foremost, met the amazeballs and national writing treasure Beverly Jenkins. She gave a master class on setting and world building that was so spot on, it’s no wonder she’s the fabulous writer she is. Every writer – whether of the romance genre, or truly, an other genre, could learn something from this brilliant woman that would elevate their writing to heights never thought of before. I have 6 pages of handwritten, excited notes from her class and can’t wait to start putting them into practice.
From the phenomenal and tech-brilliant Nam Patel I seriously increased my knowledge base of keywords, SEO’s and how to navigate through google. Nam is the kind of brilliant person who is able to break down complex knowledge principles to an understandable language for tach-no-savvy’s like me!!
I’d never heard the term Fan-Fiction before until I took a class with literary agent Courtney Miller Callahan on the subject. Boy, did I get an eyeopener!
Of course there were other workshops I attended, but these three ladies were by far the best and brightest of the bunch!
Now, I’m off to start building a better world and setting for my characters, then I have to update my internet accounts, and finally, I may just take a quick trek through a few fan fiction pages to get an idea of what this whole subgenre is really about. I can smell a potential story line here for a couple of people who need an HEA in their lives!
Of course when I’m not writing you can find me here;
Every year when the Hollywood awards season starts – you know: the Screen Actors Guild awards, the Oscars, the Golden Globes, — I start to get excited because for me that means the beginning of WRITERS CONFERENCE TIME.
No lie. There is literally a romance writers conference every single month from now until December, and I’m going to a bunch of them this year.
The very first is taking place this weekend in Burlington, MA with the NECRW LET YOUR IMAGINATION TAKE FLIGHT conference and book signing. I’ll be cavorting, mingling, and networking with hundreds of romance writers like me, and even participating in the big book signing tomorrow night.
So, if you’re in Burlington, MA area and you love to read romance, stop by the Marriott from 6-8 tomorrow night and meet over 50 of your favorite and most popular romance authors of every genre. Buy some books. Have a ball. I know I will!
And because you know me so well, you know I’ll be blogging about this event daily, letting you in on all the workshop info and little tidbits of publishing knowledge I gather. Plus fan-girling over all my fav authors!
Hope to see you there!
At 57 years old, you’d think I’d be beyond hyperventilating when I see a “celebrity.” Yeah…not so much.
My very first RWA in 2014 I actually burst into tears when I met and spoke with Nora Roberts. Not one of my finest, adult moments, but there was truly so much emotion stored up in me concerning her that when I actually got the chance to speak to her, I lost it. Like a two year old. She was gracious, lovely, and held my hand. I don’t think I washed it for 2 whole days!!!, but that might not be true because I blacked out after meeting her! and have no memory of the rest of the day!!
Fan girling. Yeah, it’s a thing. A real thing. Even though I’ve been to 4 RWA conferences and 1 RT, I still get a little queasy butterfly feeling in my tummy when I see my writing idols casually walking around a hotel as if they were, well, normal people, not romance icons. Here are just a few of my absolute meet-favorites from this year. And I’ll tell you honestly, I really struggled not to cry when I met each of them.
First, one of my newest favs, Lauren Layne.
I sat in on one of her workshops as well, but don’t ask me what she said. I was too busy pinching myself because I was sitting in the same room with her!
And look what she wrote to me!!!!!!
Okay, this next picture makes me giggle every time I see it! The incredible, sweet, absolutely lovely and funny Jill Shalvis was sososososos gracious when I basically interrupted her from eating at the Rita’s and begged – yes begged – for a picture.
And at the Literacy signing I bothered, er, spoke, to her again when she was with another of my favs, and Jill’s BFF, RaeAnne Thayne. Honestly, these two women are graciousness incarnate!!
last but certainly not least, I was able to “hang” with another of my favorite authors, Marianne Rice, who was attending her first RWA. We were having a good natured contest between us to see how many “big names” we could get to take selfies with us. Marianne WON, hands down!!! She got the fabulous Rachel Gibson!!!! And Susan Elizabeth Phillips!!! Le sigh….maybe next year.
So, don’t ever be upset or embarrassed if you’re a fan girl, because we’ve all been there!! Some of us still are, despite our —ahem--senior ages!