Sunday, July 29, 2007

Top 5 Things to Do After Deadline

There's nothing quite like writers' guilt, which is what you get when you take a day to do something (i.e. read Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows straight through before someone spoils you) that is not writing. To avoid writers' guilt, I keep a list of the things I'm going to do after deadline. Call it the bunch of carrots before the horse, but it works for me.

So, in no particular order, here's my list:

(1) Buy a finish-the-damn-book present. In my case, this is always a piece of antique jewelry, usually late Victorian or Art Nouveau. The FDB present for the current book is an amethyst and pearl pendant. Hey, I'm worth it!

(2) See Hairspray and Becoming Jane. And what do these movies have in common? Costumes! I mean, I know Becoming Jane bears no resemblance whatever to the actual life of Jane Austen, but the clothes ... wistful moan ... You'll notice that the sixties have reappeared in the malls in the form of clothes, too, as a result of the Hairspray Effect. I'm no Twiggy, but I'm betting that adorable cotton trapeze dress with the U-yoke would look great on me!

(3) Read at least the next two books in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, to which I'm seriously addicted.

(3a) Go to Borders on August 7 and get the Season 1 DVDs for the above.

(4) Get a pedicure with a pretty nail-polish color.

(5) Do the onsite research for this current book that I couldn't do because I was writing it. Have research completed by the time book comes back for revisions.

Now, aren't those all fun things to look forward to? How do you reward yourself when you finish a major project?

Shelley B.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Congratulations Annie!

Congratulations to ANNIE SOLOMON! Her novel BLACKOUT was the winner of the 2007 RITA Award for Best Romantic Suspense!

GCP Ladies Hit the Streets of Dallas in Style by Megan Crane

Hooray for Grand Central's glorious ladies, Hummer and all!

Monday, July 16, 2007


We returned from a two week vacation yesterday. Rode through some lovely country, ate too many calorie-laden meals, spent too much time in a few too many casinos. In other words, we had a great time!

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to be home. Some of those hotel beds weren't the most comfortable, and my waistline can't handle another chocolate frosted donut from the continental breakfast counter. It was nice to be able to grab clothes out of dresser drawers and the closet instead of rummaging through a suitcase.

However -- am I not supposed to be refreshed and ready to plunge back into my routine with renewed enthusiasm? Isn't that what vacations are for, to recharge the batteries? If so, I need to invest in a better charger!

I suppose I can blame some of this lethargy on my husband. He set his alarm last night, but didn't set mine as he usually does, and I never thought to check, so I overslept a bit. Luckily, since I work at home, nobody but me cares that I was late to sit down at the computer this morning. And now the morning is almost shot, and I'm almost ready for a nap! Talk about slogging on Slow speed!

So I'm declaring today a Recovery Day. Maybe I'll run a couple of errands, get a couple of loads of wash done, and generally see if I can wake up and get moving. Maybe a stop at the local coffee shop for a large Mocha Latte is called for.

Anyone else need a day or two to recover from Vacations?

Shari Anton

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Rock and Role-playing

I live in a family of artists and entertainers. The four of us are always dashing about to concerts, booksignings, recording sessions, movie sets, workshops, and comedy shows. So it's a rare event when even my husband and I can coordinate our schedules for time off together, let alone business vacations.

But last month, the planets aligned! I joined him for a week in New England on his summer concert tour, riding along on the tour bus–he's the bass player for the classic rock band, America. And on his day off, we rented a car, and he joined me for a flurry of drop-in booksignings!

I think I could get used to this. The tour bus has all the amenities of home: satellite TV, internet access, microwave, refrigerator, espresso maker, and 12 curtained bunks, each with its own DVD player. Huge windows let you watch the countryside roll by without anyone seeing in. Best of all, there's plenty of room to recline in the leather seats and type away at a laptop on one's next novel! that the kids are in college...

This is a quick shot of me backstage at an America-Chicago double-header in Holmdel, New Jersey with various and sundry musicians and fans:

The lineup is (from left to right):
Me, Jason Scheff (Chicago), Gerry Beckley (America), unknown, Michael Woods (America), Pat Sansone (Wilco), unknown, unknown, unknown, Dewey Bunnell (America), Alan Sparhawk (Low), unknown, and Mimi Parker (Low).

A few things I learned while on tour:

1. If you're going to play on "The Today Show," you have to start setting up at 2:00 in the morning.

2. If you happen to get camera time in the crowd at "The Today Show," be sure to hold up a copy of your latest book. Oops.

3. David Gregory is REALLY tall.

4. There are no parallel streets in Connecticut, but there are 10 bookstores per square mile.

5. There are WAY too many fattening goodies available backstage at rock concerts.

6. Nobody, not even a rock star, looks like a rock star after a night of bus travel.

And a couple of observations:

1. If you sell 50,000 CDs, you hit the charts. If you sell 50,000 books, you may break even.

2. People will shell out $100 to see their favorite band perform. Nobody will pay to come to a booksigning.

The good news is, America is scheduling their fall tour of ENGLAND! I smell a research vacation...

Sarah McKerrigan...
Stories to keep you up all night!
LADY DANGER - Riding to the rescue April 2006
CAPTIVE HEART - Coming for you October 2006
KNIGHT'S PRIZE - Stealing your heart April 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

More Daydreaming

A few days ago, I read a small blurb in the paper about a private birthday party that some local man was planning. Now, today the country is going to celebrate its special day with fireworks and concerts and barbeques. But this fellow is going to have Eric Clapton play for him and 200 of his closest friends. (I live the suburbs of New York City, so there is serious money kicking around here. Hedge funds, which from I can gather means you sit down at a desk and money spills down from the heavens. Gobs of it.) The cost for one hour of rock 'n roll? $1 million for Clapton, $1 million for Clapton's charity.

So, one of my friends and I started thinking about what WE would have as a dream birthday celebration, if money were no object. Now, Eric Clapton ain't half bad! But as we both write Regency-set historicals, we came up with a more romantic idea. (Let me confess right now that we are both big fans of Dancing With the Stars.)

We decided that for us, the ultimate evening would be throwing a birthday ball at Chatsworth, the legendary country estate of the Duke of Devonshire. There would be glittering candles, masses of flowers, an orchestra, lobster patties, our friends dressed in swanky satin and silks . . . and Apolo Anton Ono, resplendid in his formal evening attire, to waltz with us until the wee hours.

That I would pay a million bucks for. Gladly.

So, as the fireworks fill the sky today, what would you all come up with for a fantasy birthday bash?

Cheers, Andrea

Monday, July 02, 2007

Diana Holquist asks: Who's Lips Are These? Guess Right, Win a Free Autographed Book

So I was going to blog about global warming and the current crisis in the Middle East, but then our dear Elizabeth Hoyt goes and blogs yesterday about men's lips.

Well, it just so happens, that I spent way too many hours last night watching a movie in which a man with sublime lips did lots of smiling.

What movie? Who cares? I couldn't stop staring at the young man's lips. Now, this young man--now, alas, not so young--is plenty famous. I adore him. And yet, until I saw this TWENTY-FIVE-PLUS-YEAR-OLD movie last night, I had forgotten just how amazing this man's lips were.

Who is he? Any guesses? How 'bout a signed copy of Make Me a Match to the first correct guess.

Happy fourth of July, all.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Elizabeth Answers Reader Mail

The other day, whilst going through e-mail from readers, I received this most excellent question:

Dear Elizabeth,
In your opinion, which male movie star has the best mouth to gaze at (clearly you have given mouths some thought)?
--A Devoted Fan

Glad you asked, DF! I have indeed spent time (some would say too much time) considering male mouths and what makes them aesthetically pleasing. In my learned opinion, a certain plumpness lends appeal. Let us consider Mr. James Purefoy:

Whoops! Mr. Purefoy appears to be nude. But do try to concentrate on his lips. Note the full bottom lip and sensuous curve of the upper. Mr. Purefoy wins special bonus points in this particular pic for the suggestiveness of his smirk.

Let us also consider Mr. Ioan Gruffudd, whose name is nearly impossible to spell correctly:

And whilst we are on the subject of Mr. Gruffudd, I'd like to make an appeal to movie directors everywhere: Can we all agree that Mr. Gruffudd looks better with scruff? Examine the following.
With scruff:

without scruff:

Or, y'know, you all can stop casting him in dorky roles. Whichever.
Where was I?

Oh, yes, plump lips. Keep in mind that too full lips on a man can turn horribly wrong--cf: Mr. Mick Jagger (shudder.)

It is important to point out that making a careful study of male movie star lips can, in fact, be detrimental. The other day whilst watching the BBC drama/mystery series, Wire in the Blood, I became so distracted by the curve of Mr. Robson Green's upper lip that I nearly missed the fine reasoning that led to the killer's denouement.

Note that Mr. Green's lips actually run counter to my previous argument re: plump lips. His are in fact rather thin. However, I believe the puckish lines of his upper lip more than make up for any loss of plumpness.

Finally, let us consider the sad case of a terribly talented actor who has no lips at all:

I am so sorry, Mr. Branagh.