Sunday, March 30, 2008

LaBatts Day

I'm late again. Jeez, maybe I should move my day. :-)

Anyway, something special happened today. It was LaBatts Day. Now, there are a few of you who may understand what I'm talking about, but for the rest, this is the scoop.

I live in Upstate NY state. That is not Yonkers. That's UP state NY, specifically Central NY around Syracuse and Rochester and yon. Every Spring, I have exactly one LaBatts Day. This is the day when the temperature goes above 40 degrees and the sun is out and it's a weekend--for the first time. On this day, I sit outside on my deck and enjoy one LaBatts beer. Normally, I don't drink beer. But this a tradition, just like Christmas and New Year's. In fact, far more anticipated than any other holiday because LaBatts Day welcomes in Spring, in all its glory, and gives us all hope that, yes, one day soon, all the snow will melt.

For those you living south of CNY, perhaps this seems rather dramatic but trust me, we need this. CNY winters are not for wimps and this year was no exception with 120 inches of snow. But as I sit outside, listening to the birds chirp and the sounds of Spring, I know that winter will soon be no more than a distant memory.

So raise your glasses, folks, it's LaBatts Day.

Please enjoy LaBatts Day responsibly.

Samantha Graves

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Congrats to Grand Central's 2008 RITA Nominees!!!!

2008 RITA for Contemporary Single Title Romance Finalist

Sexiest Man Alive
by Diana Holquist
Grand Central Publishing, Forever - (0-044-61798-9)
Michele Bidelspach, editor

2008 RITA for Historical Romance Finalist

The Leopard Prince
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Grand Central Publishing, Forever - (0446618489)
Melanie Murray, editor

2008 RITA for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements Finalist

Odd Mom Out
by Jane Porter
Grand Central Publishing, 5 Spot - (0446699233)
Karen Kosztolnyik, editor

2008 RITA for Paranormal Romance Finalist

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Hot

by Stephanie Rowe
Grand Central Publishing, Forever - (0446619019)
Melanie Murray, editor

2008 RITA for Romantic Suspense Finalist

Die for Me
by Karen Rose
Grand Central Publishing, Vision - (0446616915)
Karen Kosztolnyik, editor

Monday, March 17, 2008


Thanks to all who posted a comment on the Hot Husbands blog. Talk about awesome! Maybe Redbook should let us judge the contest next year :).

As promised, I'm giving away two ARCs of MAGIC IN HIS KISS. I did an old fashioned drawing -- I put everyone's name on a piece of paper, folded them up, and let my own Hot Hubby draw the winners.

Congrats to: Pat C. and Clynsg! If you ladies will contact me at with your addresses, I'll get those books in the mail.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful St. Pat's Day!


My Web Site
On MySpace

Saturday, March 15, 2008


A few months ago Diana introduced us to the Sexiest Man Alive contest. I have a new one for you. Redbook is having a Hot Husbands contest. You can go to their Gallery to see the entire list of nominees, and then vote for your favorite. Below is a sampling.

Meet Tim. His wife says, "He truly works to make a difference in the world with his businesses, and that spoke to me about what a good guy he was."

This is Patrick. Part of his bio says, "Although Marcella loves Patrick's chiseled body, she thinks what's hottest about him is the fact that he gave up a successful IT career to raise their children."

This is Anthony. His wife has been promoting him on MySpace, making friends and asking them to go vote for her husband. Since the man has appeared on several romance covers, I suppose it's only reasonable that she'd let us romance writers know about him.

Now, I can't find fault with any of these guys, or the other contestant's either. Redbook received thousands of entries and narrowed the number down to 24. Not all of the finalists are body builders or have chiseled bodies (though several are/do :)). Every one of them is praised as a great husband (naturally), and many of them are great dads.

What I want to know is: what criteria did Redbook use in their selection of the finalists? Was there a list of attributes/qualities a man must possess to make the final cut?

For instance:
Does he take out the garbage without being asked?
Does he know how to use the washer and dryer? And can he fix them when they break down?
Does he have more than a passing acquantaince with a dishwasher? (See that fix it thing above.)
Can he cook? (Grills don't qualify. Every man thinks he can use a grill. This is so Not True.)
Does he bathe/shave/change underwear often enough that you can take him out in public without being embarassed?
Does he expect you to be able to change a car tire? Really? Yuck.

Extra credit question: After over 37 years of marriage, does the man still think his wife is the hottest chick around? :)

Okay, so what do you think, ladies? What makes a husband really hot? What's the one thing you'd advise Redbook to look for in the next go around? On Monday evening, I'll choose two lucky commenters to receive an Advance Reading Copy of MAGIC IN HIS KISS.

Shari Anton
My Web Site
On MySpace

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

WWI--Writing While Intoxicated

I wonder if I should take up drinking. Serious drinking. Not just the once-every-six-months peach margarita I have at a Mexican bar. Or the occasional glass of Piesporter with dinner.

After all, a lot of renowned authors have been full-on drunks: Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Dorothy Parker, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway.

Some of my author friends swear they write better love scenes when they're a wee bit tipsy--something to do with releasing inhibitions and courting the Muse. Or maybe it's just getting the Inner Critic drunk so she can't pass judgment.

The problem is I can't hold liquor for squat. One glass of wine just makes me silly. Two glasses, and I'd be slumped over the keyboard while my forehead typed 57 pages of space bar into my manuscript.

I'd definitely have to build up my resistance day by day. Start with half a glass of light beer, work my way through a small snifter of sherry, move on to a full glass of Zinfandel, followed by an appletini, double shots of Scotch, and finally, a box of Cabernet.

Hmm. This could get pricey. I wonder if you can deduct Shiraz as a business expense?

Well, okay, I'm not REALLY going to take up heavy drinking. My writing might flow freely under the influence, but I'm sure I'd end up with a monster editing headache in the morning.

How about you? Are you a teetotaler, a social drinker, or a renowned author?

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
DANGER'S KISS - Flirting with trouble May 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

Best Romance Novel of 2007: Our Very Own Elizabeth Hoyt!

Since Elizabeth is much too high on caffeine and lost in Ohio (see previous post) to spread the news, I guess it's up to me: The 2008 Reader's Poll from All About Romance is in and the Best Romance Novel of 2007 is:

And the Most Luscious Love Story of 2007 is:

And the Best European Romance Novel Honorable Mention is:

Just in case this is getting too boring for you all, the Best Medieval/Renaissance Romance Novel is:

Also, our very own Eve Silver writing as Eve Kenin gets the nod for Best Cabin/Road Romance and honorable mention for best Sci Fi/Futuristic for:

Also, best villain honorable mention for Karen Rose:

Huge congrats to all our authors for winning these great honors!
And if you haven't read these books yet, for heaven's sake, why not?!?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Elizabeth & Jade Roadshow or Will Sign Books for Lattes

Okay, I admit it, I forgot to blog yesterday. So shoot me. But see, I had a good excuse. Really! I'm at the Celebrate Romance conference in Columbia, SC this weekend and in a fit of insanity my critique partner, Jade Lee, and I decided to stop and sign our books in stock at twenty-five bookstores.

Twenty-five bookstores.

I look at that number and the fact that alcohol was not involved in the decision making boggles my mind. So here are some odd and random observations about drive-by signings, mostly because at the moment my mind is very odd and random (har!)

* To date 15 out of 15 bookstores had no clue--no clue at all!--that two incredibly famous and talented authors were coming to sign stock. Despite the fact that all the stores had been called in advance.

* BUT bookstore employees are very nice to authors they have no clue are coming.

* It is more fun to sign at stores that actually have my books in stock.

* We love managers who offer us free lattes. This fact cannot be emphasized enough. Apparently, Jade and I can be bought for the price of a venti latte. Sad, but true.

* Nearly all the bookstores we have seen to date have been across the street or next to a) Target b) Panera Bread or c) Red Lobster. Sighting one of these stores is more reliable in finding the bookstores than the GPS system Jade has in her cute Prius.

* And speaking of the GPS, apparently Jade and I can zoom by an exit and immediately get lost even with an artifical voice telling us to exit in one half mile . . . one hundred feet . . . fifty feet . . . turn here, you dummies!

I hope that the nice lady that lives in Jade's GPS system doesn't give up on us for the trip home. And if you live in or nearby Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Lexington, Columbia, Spartanburg, Waynesville, Knoxville, Nashville, or Clarksville, for goodness sakes go out and buy a signed book!

Elizabeth Hoyt

Better late than never except when it comes to smoke detectors

Hi all!

I'm supposed to post on the 27th of the month, but it just got away from me. Besides, I really didn't anything interesting to talk about. What a difference a few days make.

In the past 12 hours, I have:

1) Been awakened at 5AM by my daughter freaking out because her smoke detector is going off in her room.
2) Finally finished the website-from-h*ll after a month of battling templates and Frontpage and Flash and Photoshop.

So, first the alarm. We all flew out of bed this morning and the house was full of smoke. One out of the five smoke detectors is screaming. The carbon monoxide detector is just sitting there doing nothing. So everyone ran downstairs, put on coats and boots (it was 15 degrees outside) and went outside while my husband tried to figure out what was wrong.

Turned out our furnace was belching black smoke. Everywhere. So we managed to shut it down, opened all the windows in the house (did I mention it was 15 degrees?) and no one passed out.

After the furnace guy came (and no, we will not have heat until tomorrow), I checked the safety devices in my house.

Now I'm a little fanatical about smoke alarms. I change the batteries faithfully every six months. I test them. I trust them.

The one in my son's room malfunctioned and the battery was dead but it never gave the low battery signal, the one at the top of the stairs never went off, the one near the kitchen never went off, and the one in the basement has mysteriously disappeared. We were saved by the one in my daughter's room. We were very, very lucky.

So my safety tip of the week is this: Check your smoke detectors monthly. Buy a new carbon monoxide detector every five years. And practice exiting your house in case of a fire, because we have and we were out the door in under a minute.

Onto more fun stuff! I have a new website at! I just (like 15 minutes ago) posted it. I'm playing with Flash on the main page so if anyone visits and has a problem, please let me know at

Until next time,
Samantha Graves