Archive for the ‘Blaze of Winter’ Category

Brenda Hook is this week’s winner. Thanks for your comments!


Starting a new book always feels a little weird to me. There’s so much to hash out, so much to think about, and I’m often torn between plotting and just writing. I spent a week-and-change plotting and jotting down ideas for the novella I’m working on, and starting tomorrow, I’m going to be back on a pretty strict schedule until I finish. I’m excited to get back into the (writing) swing of things, even though it’s only been just over a week since I was in full-on writing mode. So, yay!

In life-news, I recently re-watched the 1996 Kate Beckinsale version of Emma, which I like fairly well. I don’t often have time to watch TV or movies or really anything, since I have a pretty full schedule, but when I do get a few free moments, I typically go for what Mr. B affectionately refers to as “wigmen” shows, since many of the characters wear wigs. Anyway, I like this version of Emma because Mark Strong is so severe as Mr. Knightley, and the age difference is pretty believable. I felt that difference less in the 2009 Romola Garai version, with Jonny Lee Miller (she was great and I liked his acting, but I felt he wasn’t forbidding enough). At any rate, I actually like Kate Beckinsale as an actress, and I thought this version was rich and credible.  I like both versions much better than Gwyneth Paltrow’s 1996 version. They’re a little less glossy, but that adds to their charm. For those of who who’ve seen these movies, feel free to weigh in? Which do you like, and why? And for those of you who don’t watch “wigmen” stuff, what other movies do you compare/contrast?

And for this week’s giveaway, and sort of in keeping with the theme, I have two books (not versions) in one: Midnight Special by Tawny Weber, which also contains Coming on Strong. Leave a comment, and one winner will be chosen at random. U.S. only, please. Contest ends Thursday, March 13th at 9pm Pacific.

p.s. Blaze of Winter is still on sale!

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Ann Waters is this week’s winner! Thanks to everyone who commented!


So Blaze of Winter is still on sale for 99 cents (grab it while it’s hot), and I have news. Last week, I told you I really, really, really wanted to get that Connecticut contemporary manuscript finished, to the point of saying it will happen. Guess what? It did.

Aw yeah.

I finished it up early–Wednesday!–and promptly sent it to my awesome agent to see what she thinks. Fingers crossed she loves it as much as I do.

I spent the latter part of the week brainstorming for my next book, and writing down everything I could think of to make this book gel, but it just . . . wasn’t. I had the heroine (Mandy, from Christmas in Tahoe), but nothing else. It was making me nuts, until I kind of wrote off Friday and just dealt with life and the kids and other stuff.

Then, when Mr. B and I were talking about the (failed) brainstorming, he inadvertently gave me a gem of an idea that I think might *just* be the hook for this book. He didn’t even realize he’d done it until I started jumping around and raced for my laptop. We’ll see how it develops. I’m having dinner on Wednesday with two of my best pals, who are fabulous sounding boards for this kind of stuff, and if it passes their tests, we’re a go!

So this week’s giveaway question deals exactly with what I experienced this weekend: Have you ever had someone say something in passing that gave you an awesome idea? Drop a comment below and I’ll send you a paperback copy of Sabrina Jeffries’s What the Duke Desires . . . ’cause it’s still winter and it’s fun to curl up with a great historical when it’s freezing outside! U.S. only, please. Contest ends Thursday, March 6th at 9pm Pacific.

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Thanks to everyone who commented! Lisa Downs is this week’s winner!


Hey, all. Long time no blog. I’ve been crazy life-busy over the last two weeks, with work, spring break for my oldest, visits from relatives, and doing a lot of solo parenting (Mr. B has had a lot of work lately). This weekend I was supermom. Seriously. Super. Mom. Here’s a partial list of what the kids and I did:

*made banana-chocolate-chip muffins
*visited the SF Zoo
*hiked and sketched the tidepools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve
*rode bikes for hours
*went grocery shopping
*practiced telling time
*read tons of books
*went on a bug hunt (no bugs were harmed)
*built awesome Lego stuff
*had fun

It’s tough making all three of the kids happy, but I did my best. And I really wore them out. On both days I had them solo, they fell asleep as soon as their little heads touched their clean pillowcases (I also did 7 loads of laundry. And made homemade meatballs.). Mmm . . .  I keep saying supermom, but really I should just say crazy.

Unsurprisingly, the kids aren’t the only ones who are worn out, but mama can’t take a break because I need to edit the first book in my Connecticut contemporary series, which needs some tweaking before it goes to my agent. This tweaking will happen this week since all three kids are in school and I only have one relative visiting. See what I did there? I put it in bold so it will happen. There. I did it again.

I’ll check in with you next Monday to let you know how it all turns out.

I’m really anxious to finish up this book, not just because people are waiting for it, but because there are other things I am chomping at the bit to write, and I want to get this off my desk before I start on something new. I wonder, do most people work on lots of different projects at once, or do they work on one at a time? In life, I juggle many things and don’t mind working on tons at once, but with writing, I like just one project. Strange, huh?

Anyhow, a giveaway is in order. This week, it’s a signed copy of Rachel Gibson’s Rescue Me. Let me know what will happen for you this week in the comments and you’ll be entered to win. It’s a paperback, so US only, please. Contest ends Thursday, February 27, at 9pm Pacific.

Also, Blaze of Winter, featuring the fabulous Theo Grayson, is on sale for two weeks for 99 cents. Please pass the word along!!

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The winners are bn100, Kimberly Dawn, and mamawj99. Your books are winging their way through the interwebs as I write! Thanks again for joining me!



Star Harbor Series CoverToday, I am super excited to announce that you can now have a Grayson brother for every season in one package! That’s right! Seb, Theo, Cole and Val are all in one four-book bundle, because the Star Harbor Four-Book Bundle set, including Deep Autumn Heat, Blaze of Winter, Long Simmering Spring, and Slow Summer Burn is officially on sale as of today! It’s selling for $8.99 (a steal, given that each book alone is typically $2.99), but you can get it at Google Play and Amazon for even cheaper at $7.69 (an even bigger steal!). This is the perfect chance for you to introduce your friends to the Graysons of Star Harbor!

Buy links are here: Amazon | Barnes & NobleApple | Google | Other Places


We’re doing something a little different today. Typically, Monday giveaways run until Thursday evening, but this giveaway is only 12 hours long! In honor of the fact that Long Simmering Spring is still on sale for 99 cents, I’m going to give away three digital copies of the book! Like I said, the contest ends today, so sign up for my newsletter here and be quick with your comments because it will wrap up tonight at 9pm and books will be sent immediately. Please use the email you want the book sent to (won’t be made public) and your reader of choice (will be made public). International entries okay, since it’s all digital!

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The contest is over and the winners are Pat and Melody May! I’ll be contacting you to get you your prizes! 


Things at the Barrett house have been crazy, what with work, writing, kids, school projects, my own projects, birthdays, anniversaries, and oh, yes, the release of Blaze of Winter (yay!). It is not a coincidence that today I’m at Romance @ Random with a post entitled De-Stressing in Autumn. In it, I lay out five steps I’m going to take to help me relax. They are:

(1) Set aside some serious reading time.

(2) Take a walk outside in the crisp, fall air.

(3) Bake something autumnal.

(4) Listen to my favorite fall music.

(5) Try not to get wrapped up in the little things.

I think these are good first steps, and I want to start on them immediately because goodness knows things aren’t going to get less stressful as we head into holiday season. In fact, I already began by baking pumpkin bread and banana raisin muffins (which admittedly aren’t the most autumnal, but certainly do smell good). I’d love it if you stopped by here or at R@R to give me your best tips on how to relax!

On the writing front, things are going well, but never as quickly as I would like. I’m about halfway through Slow Summer Burn (Star Harbor #4), and I just got edits back for Long Simmering Spring (Star Harbor #3). I’d like to have everything done by the end of 2012, which is extremely ambitious with my work/family schedule. We shall see how things play out.To make everyone (including myself) a little less stressed out, I’m doing another giveaway! Hooray, a giveaway! (See, I’m less stressed already!) I have tons more book goodies from RWA and one copy of Robyn Carr’s Sunrise Point that went unclaimed during my last giveaway. I’ll give two winners a couple of books each from my awesome romance stash.


(1) Winner must be a member of my mailing list. Please sign up for my mailing list here.

(2) In the comments section below, tell me what you do to relax.

(3) TWO random commenters will be selected.

(4) U.S. only, please! (I’ll be shipping paperbacks).

(5) Contest ends 10/21 at 9pm, PDT.

Good luck! I can’t wait to hear from you!

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The contest is over and the winners of Robyn Carr’s Sunrise Point are Maureen and Danielle B. Thanks for all your comments!


Though I live about thirty-five minutes from San Francisco, I actually don’t get into the city all that often. My weekday schedule is kind of insane, and the last thing I want to do on the weekends is drive up to the city, three kids and husband in tow, to go do something far away when there’s plenty of parks, playdates, and pools with walking distance.

But last Friday, I was in the city not once, but twice on the same day–first to see the Cindy Sherman exhibit at SF MoMA (it was mesmerizing), and then to attend a farewell dinner for one of my good friends who’s moving away to take a position at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I considered it a huge treat because I’d had a really productive week, which culminated in me turning in my completed mansuscript for Long Simmering Spring, Star Harbor #3 (Cole’s story).

Now SF MoMA is in SoMA, the south of Market area that, at this point, consists of tech startups, museums, warehouses and hip restaurants. But dinner was at the center of one of the coolest parts of the city–the Mission. Now, at this time of year, the Mission becomes famous for hosting a very popular Halloween street party (much like its next-door neighborhood, the Castro). And it just happens to be where Theo Grayson, hero of Blaze Of Winter, is living before he returns to Star Harbor.

Inspired by both my city trip and the Halloween holiday, I wrote a scene from Theo’s point of view that takes place about a month before the beginning of Blaze Of Winter, in the time-frame of Deep Autumn Heat.


San Francisco

“Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, one hundred.”

Theo Grayson finished his set of crunches and stood up. His large loft seemed emptier than usual, despite the loud laughter and cheering coming from the open window. He walked over to the window overlooking 21st Street. Arms on the sill, he leaned out. Two stories below was a mass of humanity.

The sidewalks were jam-packed with bodies, and people were beginning to spill out onto the street.  It was the same story all the way down to Valencia. Halloween in the Mission was one of the great perks of living in San Francisco. Just one of the many things he’d miss if he were back in Star Harbor.

Though he wouldn’t miss the weather. It was chilly—about fifty-five degrees—but scantily-clad beauties were out in full force. One woman walked by in a glittery push-up bra and some skimpy shorts—a sight he’d never see in Star Harbor this time of year.

“Come on down, honey,” someone yelled. “We want to see the rest of you.” When he saw a buff guy waving madly, Theo realized he was the object of the man’s attention. Some women joined in the fun, hooting and hollering. Theo had forgotten that he wasn’t wearing a shirt. Realizing the way he must look—a big guy with a bare chest…and maybe nothing on underneath—he simply smiled down at the throngs, shook his head, and shut the window.

He gave a heavy sigh. His brother Cole was right—Theo needed to get out of town, return to his roots, and get started on his latest novel.  He wasn’t making any progress by staying in SF.  He’d hit a brick wall, and none of his usual tricks to jumpstart his writing were working.

Even tonight—on Halloween of all nights—he’d chosen to skip a friend’s party because he had a glimmer of an idea for his book. But when he’d sat down to write, the idea had disappeared. He’d been at it for hours before he’d given up and decided to work out. His Jack Sparrow costume hung in his closet, unworn. He’d thought he was so clever—the author of swashbuckling adventure stories dressing as a pirate for Halloween. He’d hoped the costume would provide him with some writing inspiration. Instead, it had just made him depressed that he hadn’t written a sentence. He couldn’t bear to put it on.


He had thought he was wasting his time in SF. Now, he was certain. He needed to return to Massachusetts. To the crisp autumn air and the gorgeous fall foliage, the briny waters of the Cape and the smell of wood-burning fires. God, he missed it, no more so than when he was alone and feeling sorry for himself. This was the kick in the pants he needed to get back in the right mindset. And now he needed a game plan to get out of SF and back to Star Harbor.

First things first. He’d map out a timeline for his departure, arrange to rent out his apartment, book his flights…the list quickly grew exponentially.

He glanced over at the costume in his closet. Forget about pretend pirates. Soon, he’d be face-to-face with the real thing.


Let me know what you think of my bonus material and I’ll see what I can dig up for the release of Long Simmering Spring this coming May! I have a few deleted scenes you might enjoy…..

Also, I’m happy to be doing another giveaway! I have two copies of Robyn Carr’s excellent Sunrise Point that I’m giving away to two random commenters. Just leave a comment  below letting me know about a time when you thought about making a change. U.S. entries only, please, since I’ll be shipping books. Also, winners must be members of my mailing list (sign up here). Contest ends October 6 at 9pm Pacific time.

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The love for Star Harbor is still going strong! The second book, Blaze Of Winter (featuring Theo and Avery) released on September 10th, and since then I’ve been busy visiting lots of sites on my blog tour. Two weeks out, and there’s more!

Today, I am the featured interview on Modokker Book Picks! Random House is also sponsoring a Star Harbor scavenger hunt, where the winner gets a tote with free books! Finally, tonight at 5:30pm Pacific, I’m being interviewed on Canned Laughter and Coffee, so tune in to check me out.

And if you’re in the California Bay Area, on October 3rd, I will be signing paper copies of Blaze Of Winter at Barnes and Noble at the Pruneyard in Campbell. Check out my appearances page for more details!

I’ve really been enjoying hearing what everyone has had to say about Blaze Of Winter, so please, keep the comments coming!


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Blaze Of Winter comes out today! Hooray! I absolutely loved going back to Star Harbor to write Theo and Avery’s story. And because it’s Star Harbor, their tale is really romantic with a whole lot of sexy thrown in!

Here’s the official copy:

Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.

Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who preordered or reviewed an advanced copy! As always, it’s been wonderful to hear what you’ve thought about the book! If you haven’t already ordered your own copy, here are the links:

ORDER Blaze Of Winter from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the iBookstore (Apple)!

Also, I’d be thrilled if you’d:

FRIEND or LIKE me on Facebook

SIGN UP for my Newsletter

FOLLOW me on Twitter

LIKE me (and the books!) on Amazon

VISIT my website

JOIN me on my blog tour

And if you’d like to start from the beginning of the Star Harbor series, my debut novel, Deep Autumn Heat is also available from all the major e-tailers: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBookstore (Apple) | Other Places.

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The Random House blog hop is over, and so is my contest. I have chosen three winners for the Blaze Of Winter ARCs (randomly, using one of those random picker things), and they are: Gale D. Sroelov, Karen Phillips and Donna Sing. Thank you to everyone who left a comment, and please stay tuned for more contests!


Oh, Labor Day! When I was really young, the first day of school was always the Wednesday after Labor Day.  As I got a bit older, the district moved up the start date to just before Labor Day weekend…this made no sense to me but I guess it let the kids get acclimated to school before taking a breather. I always marched proudly in our town’s Labor Day parade wearing my Girl Scout uniform (is anyone surprised that I was a Girl Scout? No?). Regardless, Labor Day was always bittersweet for me, and not just because it was the last day (until May of the following year) that I was allowed to wear white. Or seersucker. All kidding aside, I always thought of Labor Day as summer’s last hurrah—the last barbeque, last long walk on the beach, and the last lazy day to lie in the grass before fall would sweep me up in school, events, and crisp, brisk weather.

To commemorate the holiday (which honors the economic contributions of workers in our country), I’m very happy to be participating in this blog hop, which also commemorates the release of my second novel, Blaze of Winter. This book was one of my favorites to write because it features a sexy-as-hell author of swashbuckling adventure novels named Theo Grayson. When he takes a room at the Star Harbor Inn, Theo thinks he’s going to get some peace and quiet. He finds something else entirely—a gorgeous, guarded social worker who seems to be hiding out. Slowly, Theo breaks down Avery’s defenses until she has no choice but to fall in love with him.


If you’re interested in reading an excerpt of Blaze of Winter, click here. You can also buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBookstore (Apple)

So, back to the goodies! Random House is giving away some great prizes, including:

  • 10 Free romance books
  • 1 Grand Prize $25 Book eGift Certificate
  • 5 President Winner Prizes – Author Elisabeth Barrett will create a personalized promo prize pack

Sixteen prizes in total, and yes, you read that right! I’m preparing a personalized promo prize pack for five of the lucky winners! The contest ends on 9/15, so get hopping!

How do you enter?

Since I can’t, for the life of me, get the Rafflecopter entry form to appear on this site, please use this link to get to the Rafflecopter entry form.

Also, visit the other sites to get more chances to win!

1. Romance At Random 2. Ruthie Knox
3. Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews 4. Reading Reality
5. Storm Goddess Book Reviews 6. Manga Maniac Cafe
7. Full Moon Bites 8. Reading with Holly
9. Bookie’s Book Reviews 10. All Things Books
11. Good Choice Reading 12. The Write to Make a Living
13. The Book Diva 14. Bea’s Book Nook
15. Shawntelle Madison 16. Elisabeth Barrett
17. Socrates’ Book Review Blog 18. Shelley Munro
19. Insane Hussein Reviews 20. Books R Us
21. Jessica Scott 22. Book Flame
23. Manic Readers Guest Blog 24. My Book Addiction and More
25. SOS Aloha 26. Pump Up Your Book
27. Sharon Cullen 28. Under the Covers Book Blog
29. Musing Of A Bookworm 30. The Book Tart
31. Reviews by Molly 32. Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews
33. Seductive Musings 34. Romance Junkies
35. Love To Read For Fun 36. Cassandra Carr
37. BookHounds 38. Otterwise
39. From the TBR Pile 40. Love Saves the World (INT)
41. Sharon Cullen 42. So You Think You Can Write
43. Babbles From Scott Eagan 44. Bronwyn’s Writing
45. TE Garden of Book Bloggers 46. Bookshelf Confessions
47. Review From Here 48. Celticlady’s Reviews
49. Labor Day Hop 50. Romantic Reads and Such
51. In Love with Romance 52. The Bookpushers
53. Reviewing Romance 54. Queen of The Night Reviews
55. Queen of All she Reads 56. Romantic Crush Junkie Reviews
57. Saucy & Sinful Reviews 58. Romancing the Book
59. Book Faery 60. Harlies Books
61. Love, Laughter, Friendship 62. Ramblings From This Chick
63. My Secret Romance 64. Rambling Reads
65. Delighted Readers 66. suzy henderson
67. Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance 68. Blackraven’s Erotic Cafe
69. HEA Romances With a Little Kick 70. AJ’s Reading Nook
71. Blackraven’s Reviews 72. The Readers Roundtable
73. Dark Divas Reviews 74. T B R
75. Romance Book Club 76. Seaside Book Nook
77. Cheeky Reads 78. Mimmi’s Musings
79. Kindle Fever 80. Not Now…Mommy’s Reading
81. herding cats & burning soup 82. Kindles and Wine
83. Harlequin Junkie 84. Caribbean Accent Book Reviews
85. Sara Jane’s Eclectic Reading Blog 86. Sharon Hamilton Author
87. Coffey Brown Books 88. From the Bootheel Cotton Patch
89. Teena in Toronto 90. Me and Reading
91. The Romance Dish 92. All Things Books
93. Amber Kallyn 94. Book Review Diva
95. Leigh Ellwood 96. Me Want Food
97. Captain marketing 98. One Word At A Time, Joan Swan, Author
99. You’ve Been Hooked 100. The Things You Can Read
101. The Autumn Review

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to the prizes Random House is offering through the hop, I’m personally giving away 3 signed ARC copies of Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett. For your chance to win, in the comments section, please tell me the greatest thing you did this summer.

And because this is official, here are the rules for my giveaway (for Random House’s giveaway rules, go to their official blog hop page):


(1) Winner must be a member of my mailing list. Please sign up for my mailing list here.

(2) In the comments section below, tell me the greatest thing you did this summer.

(3) Three random commenters will be selected.

(4) U.S. only, please! (I’ll be shipping paperbacks).

(5) Contest ends 9/15 at midnight, PDT.

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The contest is over and I have chosen a winner (randomly, using one of those random picker things), and Marie Haney is the lucky winner! Marie will be getting a lot of 2-3 books from my RWA swag bag! Thank to everyone who left a comment, and please stay tuned for more contests!


As part of the lead-up to the release for Blaze of Winter (Theo’s story) on September 10th, I am thrilled to announce that I will be doing a series of giveaways. I have so much great stuff to send out into the world! It all started when I went to RWA (the Romance Writers of America National Conference), and returned home with a huge bag of swag:

 This ginormous “bag of happiness” is filled to bursting with delicious novels, just waiting to be opened and read, and includes books that span a broad range of genres: historical, paranormal, contemporary, series, women’s fiction, fantasy, and more!!

Okay, okay, I’ll calm down.

*Takes deep breath.*

There. I’ve composed myself. Mostly.

Simply because of sheer volume (there were some books I had to remove just to get a good shot of this beast), I’ll be dividing this beautiful monster up into lots of 2-3 books, probably by genre. If you win, you can tell me what kind of books you like best, and I’ll do my best to accommodate you.

I’ve also got some awesome Loveswept goodies – a few paper ARCs from Loveswept authors (*cough* Ruthie Knox *cough*) and some Loveswept gift cards good for free books! Plus, the latest books from Robyn Carr. You won’t want to miss anything over the next month!

Oh, and if you’re really eager to get your hands on Blaze of Winter early, definitely follow me on my official blog tour, where I’ll be giving away a NetGalley preview copy of the book at almost every stop!

Okay, but for today, I need to figure out to whom I should give the first batch of goodies, which will be a lot of 2-3 books from my RWA swag bag. Since I’ve been on a kindergarten kick (my oldest started last week, and you can read the saga of getting him registered here), why don’t you tell me your most interesting kindergarten experience? For those of us who have trouble remembering our own kindergarten experiences, feel free to share an interesting kindergarten experience of a friend or family member.


(1) Winner must be a member of my mailing list. Please sign up for my mailing list here.

(2) In the comments section below, tell me your most interesting kindergarten experience / kindergarten experience of a friend or family member.

(3) One random commenter will be selected.

(4) U.S. only, please! (I’ll be shipping paperbacks).

(5) Contest ends 8/31 at midnight, PDT.

Can’t wait to hear your stories!

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