Saturday, July 14, 2012

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

A flurry of activity kicks off the day a new book is released.  Especially when that new book is a Harlequin American Romance, like my June release, Rodeo Daughter.  By the time the book is available, I’ve spent more than a year writing and revising it with the help of my fabulous editor, Laura Barth, and  keeping my fingers crossed that the Art Department comes through with another terrific cover (for all my three books, they’ve hit three home runs).  Despite the efforts of so many people who come together to make each book perfect for our readers, Harlequin American Romances are only available in book stores for a short time.  So, I try to make the most of it. 

Long before the actual release date, I send out review copies and start bending the arms of my good friends, hoping they’ll let me kidnap their blog for a day.  But the fun really gets under way at the first book signing.  Here, I’m very lucky because Kaori Suzuki-Fischer, RWA’s 2011 Bookseller of the Year, is the New Business Manager at “my” Barnes & Noble, and she loves nothing better than filling the store with romance authors and their readers.  This time, the phenomenal Roxanne St. Claire (Barefoot in the Sand), Rachel Hauk (The Wedding Dress) and I teamed up to do exactly that. 
That’s me.
That’s Roxanne on the left, Rachel on the right.

Did you notice the bags of caramel corn I gave away to anyone who stopped at my table?
A family reunion in St. Augustine meant a chance to share Rodeo Daughter with some of my cousins and the only aunt I have left on my dad’s side of the family.  That’s Aunt Doris, off to the left.  She’s a great fan of the Oakridge Boys, and there are stories I could tell you about that, but it’ll have to wait for another day. 
From St. Augustine, hubby and I trekked up to Tallahassee where our son and his lovely bride make their home.  This time the trip, which normally takes about three hours, took quite a bit longer because I insisted we stop at every Wal-Mart and Target along the way so I could drop in and sign books.   Another book signing, this time at Books A Million, closed out the trip before we headed for home. 

Once we were back, I spent several days dropping in at book stores, Wal-Mart and Target department stores (pretty much wherever Rodeo Daughter was on sale in Central Florida).  But since I was on my home turf, so to speak, I found these drive-by book signings a tad on the expensive side.  One problem with writing for a living is that, strange as it might seem, I don’t get out much.  When I do, I tend to take advantage of it.  A blue ray player, a new phone system, several books by authors I’d been wanting to read, fishing gear and several full shopping carts later I decided that drive-by book signings, as much fun as they are to do, might not be the healthiest choice I can make for my pocket book. 

Now that July is upon us and four more terrific Harlequin American Romances are available, my promotional efforts for Rodeo Daughter are winding down.  As with all Harlequin releases, Rodeo Daughter will always be available as an e-book.  If you’d like an autographed book mark, just email me at, and I’ll drop one in the mail to you (N. America addresses only, please).  In the meantime, I’ll be hard at work on my next book for Harlequin American Romance and looking forward to the release of Rancher’s Son in November.