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Excerpt: Calling the Shots

Here is an excerpt from my hockey dad book, Calling the Shots. It's coming in October 2010 from Harlequin Superromance! There are purchase links on my website.

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Bryan was beyond late. He’d missed Allie’s entire practice. He just hoped she was still at the rink. He’d texted her that he was going to be late, but she hadn’t replied. His sister, who watched Allie when he was gone, wasn’t picking up either.

Not good.

So not good. People weren’t almost an hour late to pick their thirteen-year-old kids up from hockey. At least not people who were good at being parents.

He was going to have to arrange a backup plan for the nights he was coming in from out of town. One more arrangement he needed to get under control in this whole precarious mess he and Allie were calling a family.

He sure as hell hoped Erin’s new life was worth it.

He pulled into the drop off circle at the front of the rink. It was past nine o’clock—no one was going to complain if he left the Lexus there for a…

My Writing "Process"

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One thing writers love to talk about is process. What’s your process? Do you use charts or worksheets? Outlines? Do you wing it or do you have a plan? What kind of highlighters? Do you edit on screen or on paper? Do you collage or fill out character sheets or let it come to you during the book?

I can answer all of those questions about my process. I like to think I’m a fairly orderly, organized, and prepared writer. Except, once I hit a certain point in a book, the entire process goes out the window and the one word left to describe what I’m doing is desperation.

Will I ever be able to finish? Will this pile of nothing turn into something someone wants to read? Will my editor ask for the advance back? How many times can the word “just” possibly appear in a manuscript? Who typed this thing? Who thought this was a good idea for a book? How is this ever going to end? Am I really out of M&M’s again?

Etc.

I thought it might be fun to share some pictures of what my “process” looked like wh…

Top Ten Facts: Plan B: Boyfriend

In addition to doing FAQs about my books, I post lists of behind-the-scenes facts on my website. Here's the one for Plan B: Boyfriend.
Plan B is the sequel to The Boyfriend's Back. Included with the eBook version of The Boyfriend's Back, was an exclusive story set when the characters were in high school. You can see young Charlie and Sarah flirting with each other in that story. The eBook is still on sale if you want to check it out.
Charlie loves his Phillies, especially Jimmy Rollins. I'm not a Phillies fan (my team is the Pirates), but I knew Rollins's name because my niece named her hermit crab after him.
My niece also had a hermit crab named after Shane Victorino, but his name is too hard to spell so I didn't put Shane (the crab or the Philly) in the book.
Yes, we have bar like Wilton's in my hometown. No, I never ordered a Rob Roy there while wearing my cheerleading uniform. (I wasn't a cheerleader.) I did appropriate that story from a friend but …

FAQ for Plan B: Boyfriend

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I’m a technical writer. That means I write Frequently Asked Question pages (FAQs) at work. It’s become a bit of a tradition for me to post an FAQ when I have a new book out. (Previous FAQs for The Boyfriend's Back and His Secret Past.)

So here goes…

1. In the first chapter Sarah’s son gets suspended from school for bringing a knife in his backpack. Would a school really suspend a kid for that?

My friend’s daughter got the boot for a butter knife in her lunch bag. My husband said she must have been using it to spread anarchy.

2. I heard this book includes a Drunken Breakdown scene. What kind of research did you do before you wrote that?

Have you ever seen the movie Barfly with Mickey Rourke? I spent a few weeks immersing myself in that lifestyle, Heh. No, seriously. I didn't need to research to write that scene. I’m a writer. I make stuff up.

3. In the book, Charlie is obsessed with Jimmy Rollins from the Philadelphia Phillies. Are you a Phillies fan?

No. Like all good Pittsburgh Pira…

Reading: What's on Your 2010 List?

For the past two years, I've been posting this challenge in my blog (originally stolen from my friend, Diana Holquist's blog). I've thoroughly enjoyed the fantastic book recommendations and conversation so I'm going to post a new round!

How does it work? You post 12 books you're planning to read in 2010. Doesn't have to be all romance--it's tons of fun to see the range of reading we all do. Then we all sit back and enjoy the conversation.

Here are my 12.
The Foundling--Georgette Heyer. I really shouldn't admit this, but I've never read a Heyer book. (I hope they don't revoke my romance writing privileges after that confession.)

The Giant's House--Elizabeth McCracken. I read a memoir McCracken wrote and absolutely loved it. This one is fiction and includes a love story.

Double Play--Jill Shalvis. Shalvis was recommended several times in a best books post I did last year. I'm a fan of sports books, so I'm hoping for a winner here.

Playing wi…