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Archive for the ‘Slow Summer Burn’ Category

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!

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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

FLASH GIVEAWAY:

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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Thanks to everyone who left a comment! Vickie Dailey and Barbara Hopkins are the winners! 

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Happy New Year! I’m very glad to be back after taking the last two weeks of December off for vacation. Mr. B and I took the kids to Los Angeles. We skipped Disney, but had all sorts of other excellent adventures. My oldest is really into art, so we hauled over to the new Getty, and let him sketch to his heart’s content. Of course the little two followed suit, so I have a ton of photos of all three of them spread out in every single gallery, sketching away in their pads. We also visited the Peterson Automobile Museum, the La Brea Tar Pits (huge hit!), the beach, the Griffith Observatory, the Santa Monica Pier, and on our way back north, the Mission at Santa Barbara. Did I mention we drove? Oh, yes. We drove–our longest road trip to date, and all in all, I’d say it went really well. It was a really nice way to close out a very busy year.

Writing-wise, things were very busy. I had three releases in 2013 . . . the third and fourth Star Harbor books, Long Simmering Spring and Slow Summer Burn, as well as a holiday novella, Christmas in TahoeAlthough I only have one release currently slated for 2014 (an omnibus of the Star Harbor series containing all four Star Harbor books, which is on sale January 27th), there may be others, so stay tuned for news! Releases aside, I have an ambitious writing schedule ahead, including the first two books of my Connecticut contemporary series, as well as another novella! And I have a few speaking engagements and appearances scheduled so far, including later this month at Silicon Valley RWA, and at the Redwood Writers Conference up in Sonoma in April. I’ll also definitely be at the big national RWA conference in San Antonio in July.

I didn’t make goals for 2014, per se. I just did a detailed analysis of my work schedule, built the writing into it, and am going to hope for the best! We’ll just have to see whether I get it all done when I check in next January, but I’m optimistic. After all, most of the talks I give are on organizing time to write, so I’d better be good at organizing my own time!

One thing I absolutely must do is give away my huge pile of books/swag. I know I’ve said this before, but these books are taking up most of the available space on my dresser, and I think Mr. B is getting rather annoyed by the clutter. So let me welcome in the new year by giving away two (2) copies of Emily March’s excellent Reflection Point. Love this series, love this woman, and contemporary small town romance is the perfect way to start off 2014! Leave a comment letting me know if you have made any resolutions this year (or if you believe resolutions are simply made to be broken!). Contest ends Thursday, January 9 at 9pm Pacific and winners will be announced on Friday. U.S. only, please, since these are paperbacks!

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Sarit – you’re the winner! Thanks to everyone who commented!

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First of all, thank you all for making release week for Christmas in Tahoe such a success. It’s still not up at iTunes yet (I’m working on it), but the launch was successful at  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. The book got some lovely reviews (Heroes & Heartbreakers and Guilty Pleasures, to name just two), and readers seem to be responding really positively to the work, which makes me very, very happy!

So now I’m back to my regularly scheduled life, which means writing, teaching, ferrying children around to school, activities, and appointments, and generally not taking care of myself (more on this in a bit). I have two writing projects I’m *really* jazzed about . . . one is that Connecticut contemporary I’ve been talking about for a while. I’m about 40K words into that, but I temporarily set it aside to get out Christmas in Tahoe, and I’m super psyched to get back to it. The other is Tahoe‘s follow-up novella, which I’ve started to map out.

But . . . and this is a big but . . . during release week, my mentality shifted. Not a huge shift, but enough to make me realize that for most of October and the first couple of weeks of November (in essence, while I prepped for Tahoe‘s launch), I completely neglected myself in every possible way. And I needed to do something about it. Those who know me well know that I am a take-action kind of gal (sometimes this gets me into trouble). But my point is that I was going to act, instead of thinking about acting.

This is what I did: On Saturday morning, I woke up and got my kids breakfast. Then I rummaged around my room for my exercise clothing. It took a long time to find everything. Not a good sign, but I persevered. I ended up wearing a pair of street leggings, but I put them on because I was wasting time trying to find my exercise leggings. Then, before I could lose my nerve, I told Mr. B where I was going and ran out the door. Yes, that’s right. Ran.

I was going to run around my neighborhood once. It’s a horseshoe-shaped street that hooks onto a larger road, and I thought, “okay, I’ll just run around the block once and call it good.” But as I ran to the main road, I thought, “go big or go home.” So instead of going around my tiny neighborhood, I ran around the big block. I wasn’t sure how fast I should go, or if I’d even make it around the big block (I’d clocked it before with my car’s odometer as being a mile), but I started it anyway. My goal was to keep running, no matter how long it took, and not to stop. That was it. Don’t stop. Keep going.

Immediately, my glasses fogged up, I started breathing really hard, and my chest started to hurt, but I didn’t stop. Not even when the sweat slipped down into my eyes.

I wanted to give up so many times, but the one thing that kept going through my mind was that this stupid run around the block was a metaphor for EVERYTHING in my life. Don’t stop. Keep going.

So I did.

I made it home in one piece, but I’m embarrassed to say I promptly collapsed on the living room couch. My kids crowded around me. “What’s wrong with mommy?” one of them said. “Why is her face all wet?” said another. (This is how often they see me exercise.). Mr. B came and gently shooed them all away and kept them occupied while I collected myself.

I tell you this in the hopes that if I tell as many people as possible that I’m trying to turn over a new leaf — not so much in terms of the mentality to keep going, but the idea that I can take care of myself, in addition to taking care of everything/everyone else–then it’ll actually happen. So I’ll keep at it, and keep you posted.

And just for getting to the bottom of this ramble, I’m doing another giveaway! Because release week went so well, I’m giving out a bonus digital copy of Christmas in Tahoe to one lucky commenter. In the spirit of taking action, tell me what you’ve done recently for yourself. Contest ends Thursday, November 21st at 9pm Pacific.

Oh, and one more thing: Slow Summer Burn still seems to be on sale everywhere for 99 cents. Enjoy it while it lasts!

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Thanks to everyone who commented. Michele and bn100 are the winners, and I’ll be emailing you shortly to get you your prizes!  

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Last week, the universe conspired against me. If you look at my Google calendar, it’s totally crazy–booked solid from 8am-10pm every single day. Needless to say, I got pretty much zero personal stuff done, zero sleep clocked (but a ton of work done, of course) and by the end of the week, I just wanted to curl up and cry.

This will have to change.

Other things have to change, too. Like the exercise thing. And the eating right thing. And the taking time for myself thing. I think there are too many things, which seems daunting, but I’m going to start making lists, and hopefully everything will be better once I have my lists. I like lists. And friends. One of the things that made me feel better about the week was that S and T, two of my best friends, came over on Friday night and I served this delicious roasted lamb with carrots and potatoes, and white beans and French string beans and S brought a giant salad and T brought chocolate-covered brownies (!) and we drank some Pinot and it was good. Here are some pics of the feast:

The Roasted Lamb

The Roasted Lamb

White Beans

White Beans

Haricots Vert

Haricots Verts

And speaking of good friends . . . when I was at the RWA National conference this year, I was fortunate enough to attend the literacy signing. We were all seated alphabetically , and I was at one of the “B” tables with some truly remarkable and lovely authors. Sophie Barnes, Marilyn Baron, Ana Barrons and Christi Barth were all at my table (as Barrett, I had the honor sitting dead center). They all gave me some great swag. Sophie donated an awesome totebag, Marilyn gave me a SIGNED copy of Under the Moon Gate along with a cool bookmark, Ana offered a SIGNED CD copy of Betrayed by Trust, and Christi handed me a beautiful bookmark.

Swag From Some Lovely Authors

Goodies From Some Lovely Authors

So how about I divide up the swag into two groups? I’ll give it away to two lucky winners who leave a comment (and are on my mailing list – sign up here) telling me a good, recent friend story. Contest ends Thursday at midnight, Pacific time, and I’ll announce the winners on Friday. U.S. only, please, but international commenters are always welcome!!

Last but not least, I’m blogging with Fresh Fiction today, so hop on over there, leave a comment, and you could win a digital copy of Slow Summer Burn. And since everyone here’s probably read it, I’ll send it to a friend if you win!! Also, I’m doing a Goodreads Giveaway of two paper copies of Long Simmering Spring, so please friend me on Goodreads and enter the giveaway!

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Thanks to all who left comments! The winner of the paper copy of Long Simmering Spring is Sue G.! If you didn’t win, there will be more chances, starting . . . now! I’m doing a Goodreads Giveaway of two paper copies of the book, so please friend me on Goodreads and enter the giveaway! Have a great weekend, everyone, and I’ll see you next Monday!

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So here we are in September. Wow! I’m kind of in shock myself. As you may have gathered from my last series of blog posts, I’ve had my nose to the grindstone for the past month, thanks to work, school, Mr. B’s travel, the family, and everything else life has thrown at me. I’m not complaining. Everyone’s healthy and doing well. It’s just that there has been a lot going on, writing included.

As I was preparing the final blog post for my Slow Summer Burn blog tour (at Fresh Fiction next Sunday), I started thinking about how summer kind of ended before I even realized. And then I started thinking about this really awesome song by Stephen Sondheim called The Girls of Summer. It’s an anthem to regret. To not letting go, only to realize at the end that’s exactly what you wanted. It’s really hard to capture how sad the song is (in E minor and the sweeping lines of it just gouge your heart out) so I’ll just post the lyrics here, and I’ll encourage you to search for someone singing it on YouTube.

The Girls of Summer
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

The girls of summer get burned
They start the summer unconcerned
They get undone by a touch of sun in June
Plus a touch of the moon

The girls of summer get fooled
’cause soon the summer heat has cooled
And come September they can’t remember why
Things were hot in July

Not me
It’s too easy to fall
The moonlit sand, a faraway band, and that’s all
Not me
I don’t easily thrill – Never did, never will

The end of summer’s at hand
I thought the summer was grand
And here I am with the same undamaged heart
That I had at the start

The girls of summer forgot to run
The girls of summer were bound to lose
The girls of summer have all the fun …
I have nothin’ but blues.

So once I started thinking about the song, I started thinking about whether there was anything I regretted not doing this summer. Well, yeah, sure. Plenty. Not spending as much time with Mr. B as I’d hoped. Not getting a chance to truly get away with my family. Not reading as much as I would have liked. And the list goes on.

There was plenty of stuff I did get to do, though, so don’t cry a river for me. I got to spend tons of time with my kids, grilled plenty on the barbeque, hosted some really fun parties, attended RWA, and launched Slow Summer Burn. There’s more, of course.

What about you? Did you get everything done that you wanted? Any regrets? One commenter (who’s also a newsletter subscriber, so sign up here if you’re not yet a member) will receive a rare, RWA Exclusive paper copy of Long Simmering Spring (which was nominated for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards – keep those noms coming, please!). Contest closes Thursday, September 5 at midnight, and the winner will be announced on Friday. It’s a paper copy, so US and Canada only, please!

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Hi, all, and thanks for your patience! The winners of the amazing Slow Summer Burn bookmarks are Kathleen O, ButtonsMom2003, and Pat Egan Fordyce. I’ll be emailing you shortly. Thank you to everyone who commented, and just so you know, I have a couple more of these beauties lying around, and I’ll do another contest in the future to give them away!

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Wow! What a crazy Monday! I was expecting things to settle down after last week’s  successful release of Slow Summer Burn (thank you to all who came out to show your support, and the blog tour is still going on!), but no. Things were even crazier this week, thanks to three kids doing three different move-ups to new classrooms/grades/schools. It’s been brutal, and I predict the mayhem and madness in the Barrett household will continue at least through the end of next week.

But . . . over the weekend, a little package arrived. A totally awesome game-changer. Because look what was inside:

Slow Summer Burn Bookmarks

Slow Summer Burn Bookmarks

Yes!!!! SLOW SUMMER BURN BOOKMARKS!!!! These little beauties were made for me by Michele, one of my incredible fans. I got to meet Michele in person at RWA this year in Atlanta and she was just as lovely as you might imagine:

With Michele at RWA 2013

With Michele at RWA 2013

The bookmarks are about 10 inches long (26.5 cm for you metric folks), and the craftsmanship  is amazing. Here’s a detailed picture of the beadwork:

The beautiful beadwork

The beautiful beadwork

And there are little pictures of Val at the top of each one! That alone made me smile!

Tiny Vals

Tiny Vals

Michele, I can’t thank you enough!!! You have made my rough week a jillion times better.

And so, in case you hadn’t figured it out, this week’s giveaway is for three (3) of these incredible Slow Summer Burn Bookmarks by Michele. To win, you need to be a newsletter subscriber (sign up at the bottom of the page here if you’re not already), and leave a comment about how your week is going! Contest ends Thursday at midnight, Pacific time, and winners will be announced on Friday!

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Thank you all for the amazing release day support! I’m happy to let you know that the winners are Joanne B and angieia! There are still chances to win copies of the book at Romance@Random, Kindles & Wine, and Under The Covers! Good luck, and stay tuned for another giveaway next Monday!

 

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Slow Summer Burn is out today, and I am extremely excited to share Val and Cam with you all. I know many of you have been waiting a long time for the oldest Grayson brother to get his HEA, and I’m happy to say that day is finally here!

Final Slow Summer Burn

Here’s the official copy:

As the sizzling Star Harbor series concludes, the fourth sexy Grayson brother, a dedicated DEA agent, shows a high-society beauty the true meaning of love.

Cameron Stahl has everything, so why does she feel like her life is incomplete? A beautiful Boston socialite and a successful entrepreneur, she’s just opened her second boutique in Star Harbor and business is booming. But one searing look from Val Grayson sends fire through her body and shows her exactly what’s missing from her life: a real man who doesn’t play games and who makes her feel like the most desired woman on earth.

DEA agent Val Grayson has always looked after his brothers. Now it’s his turn to find love—though Cam is the last sort of woman he ever dreamed he’d fall for. When courageous Cam realizes she has the insider connections to help Val take down a major drug player within Boston’s political elite, he can’t stop her from putting herself in danger. But as the drug bust of his career looms, all Val cares about is saving the woman he loves before it’s too late.

People have been saying some very, very nice things about the book.

Heroes and Heartbreakers gave it a lovely “first look” review and it was an August recommended read at Contemporary Romance Café!

For those of you who’ve pre-ordered the book, thank you! If you haven’t picked up your copy, you can buy the book everywhere e-books are sold! Here are some links:

Amazon | Barnes & NobleApple | Google | Other Places

I’m also (blog) touring, and I’d love for you to join along. Today, I’m at Romance@Random and USA Today’s HEA, so please stop by and say hi! The rest of my schedule is posted here. There will be giveaways galore, including here!! For release week, I’m giving away digital copies of Slow Summer Burn to two newsletter subscribers who leave comments (if you’re not a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up here). And if you’ve already gotten your copy, I’ll send it to one of your friends! Contest ends at midnight on 8/15 and I’ll announce the winners on Friday!

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