Feeling the Heat aka My Series Finally Has a Name!

Happy DanceWhen I wrote my first book, Love in the Afternoon, I wasn’t planning too far ahead. But then a funny thing happened. I liked my secondary characters, Matt and Kelly, so much that I had to write about them in The Winning Season, and then I liked the secondary characters so much in that book that I had to write a book about them too. And so now I have a series! Very cool, right? Yes, but not so cool if you can’t come up with a series name.

A series name is crucial these days when so many authors write books with characters that are connected in one way or another. It lets readers know that a) you have a series and, b) what order to read your books in if they aren’t familiar with them already.

The biggest problem I had when I tried to come up with a series name was that I’d started the series with a book set in Hollywood (with two soap opera actors) and then moved it up to San Francisco, where my hero plays for the fictional MLB baseball team, the San Francisco Blaze. My upcoming release, Catching Heat, also features a player from the Blaze, and my holiday novella released last month (A Christmas for Carrie) is connected to the series as well.

For months I racked my brain trying to come up with something—anything—that would tie all the books together, and after a few truly cheesy ideas (Hearts Ablaze, Hearts on Fire), I finally came up with one that I thought could incorporate all the books in this little universe I’ve created. So I sent my latest idea to my editor, Angela James, at Carina Press and, lo and behold, she liked it and shared it with the team. And they liked it too! So now when someone asks me what my series name is I can finally tell them!

It’s Feeling the Heat.

PS: That little stick figure doing the happy dance at the top of this post is how I would look if I had a picture of me doing it…only skinnier.

CATCHING HEAT ~ A Preview and a Giveaway!

After The Winning Season was released last July, one of the most often asked questions that came my way was: “What about J.T. and Angie?”

For those of you who asked, here’s your answer. J.T. Sawyer and Angie DeMarco get star billing in my next release, Catching Heat, and I’m thrilled to share the details with all of you.

Catching Heat - FinalLife has taught Angie DeMarco that all baseball players are womanizers, and her incredible one-night stand with sexy San Francisco Blaze back-up catcher J.T. Sawyer seemed to prove it. Determined not to give in to their sizzling chemistry a second time, she’s kept her distance ever since, focusing on her accounting job with the team. But now she’s laid off…and pregnant.

J.T. was hurt by Angie’s rejection, but with one more year with the Blaze, he has no time for love. He needs to spend the off season training hard so he can negotiate a better contract with a new team at the end of the year. But when Angie shows up on his doorstep, he‘s overwhelmed by wanting to not just do right by her but pursue a relationship with her. Hoping for a second chance, he proposes.

Angie agrees to marry J.T. on one condition: the marriage will be purely a business arrangement. But as Angie spends time with him and his family, and J.T. neglects his training to spend time with her, what begins as a union in name only slowly grows into something more—something that looks a whole lot like love and friendship.

Release date: February 10, 2014

Available for pre-order on: Amazon | B&N | Kobo  | iBooks

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And now for the giveaway details: To celebrate the upcoming release of Catching Heat, I have a few print copies of my first book, Love in the Afternoon to giveaway to four lucky winners. Because my books have been digital release only, a print copy is pretty rare. Of course, if you don’t care for print books, I’m more than happy to provide a Kindle, Nook or Kobo e-book copy of Love in the Afternoon or The Winning Season. Basically, it’s the winners choice! The giveaway is open internationally and will close at 9 pm PST on Saturday, January 11, 2014 .

It’s super easy to win. All you have to do is leave a comment below. Good luck!

One Crazy Summer

Can you believe summer is almost over? In just a few weeks, kids will be back in school, the weather will turn cooler, and before you know it, we’ll be talking about the holidays. This summer was pretty crazy for me. Especially the month of July. The week my second novel, The Winning Season, was released I was in Atlanta, Georgia, attending my first RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference. Also that week, I was participating in the Sizzlin’ Summer of Contemporary Romance Giveaway, with my fellow Carina Press authors, Kat Latham, Reese Ryan, Kelsey Browning and Tamara Morgan. As you can imagine, that week was hectic.

Giant TWS Cover

That’s me standing in front of a huge cover of The Winning Season. It was one of many covers that played in a continuous loop at the Harlequin party. I had to get a picture…who knows if that will ever happen again!

The RWA conference was amazing. I met some really wonderful people, attended several craft workshops and cried like a baby during both the keynote address by Cathy Maxwell, and the service awards luncheon speech by Kristin Higgins. What I learned was that I’m not the only one who agonizes over a book, or doubts my ability, or wonders if I’ll ever be able come up with a new plot. Being with my fellow authors made me feel less alone, and very much like I was part of a community.

I also got the chance to dance the night away at the Harlequin party, with my new friends and fellow Carina Press authors, Jodie Griffin and Brighton Walsh. I’m on the shy side, so I had to be cajoled into going and I’m sure glad I did. It was a blast and I got to see Nora Roberts shake her booty on the dance floor. She was on fire, people. I’m not even kidding.

Brighton Walsh and Jodie Griffen

Above are my Harlequin party partners-in-crime: Brighton Walsh (l) and Jodie Griffin (r). Two amazing and fun ladies. We had a blast that night.

Another highlight was afternoon tea with my editor, Angela James, and several of my fellow Carina Press authors. I’ve never been to an afternoon tea so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m not a big tea drinker, but when the server described one tea as tasting like an orange creamsicle, I knew that was the tea for me. It turned out to be a good choice – it was delicious. We were also served some lovely sweet and savory items. Of course, I munched on only the sweet items because that’s how I roll. LOL.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at the St. Regis. Pictured are my fellow Carina Press authors, Christie Barth (r) and Delphine Dryden (l).

Another cool thing was I got to meet one of my favorite authors, Julie James. She was very gracious as I babbled on and on about loving her books.

When I got home, Angela sent me the revisions for my Christmas novella, A Christmas for Carrie, which will be released on December 5th. I’ve also been polishing up the manuscript for my third full-length book, which will be released sometime in March. For those of you who’ve asked about J.T. and Angie from The Winning Season, this is their story.

And now that this crazy summer is winding down I, for one, am looking forward to relaxing a bit. Or at least until I start my next book. I’ve got the characters; I just need to figure out the plot!

Winners of the Sizzlin’ Summer of Contemporary Romance Giveaway

Sizzlin Summer Giveaway

Wow, what a crazy week! The next time I do a giveaway I’ll make sure to do it during a week I’m not traveling.

Without further ado, below are the winners of the random drawings:

$25 Amazon Gift Card:  Denise

Making the First Move by Reese Ryan: Nancy

Knowing the Score by Kat Latham: Rahey

Personal Assets by Kelsey Browning: Tracy

The Derby Girl by Tamara Morgan: Nicola

Denise, I’ll be contacting you about the gift card. Nancy, Rahey, Tracy and Nicola, I’ll be providing Reese, Kat, Kelsey and Tamara your email addresses and they will be contacting you directly about getting a copy of their books.

Congratulations to all the winners and a big thank you to all who entered. If you didn’t win, don’t worry, you still have a chance. The Sizzlin’ Summer of Contemporary Romance Giveaway is going on all summer. Check out this post and visit my fellow authors websites for details.

Sizzlin’ Summer of Contemporary Romance ~ Release Day Giveaway!

This giveaway is now closed.

MtFM CollageIt’s finally here! The Sizzlin’ Summer of Contemporary Romance Giveaway!

To get the ball rolling, I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky person who leaves a comment on this post. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, July 22nd .

In other exciting news, today is the release day for my second novel, The Winning Season!  This book was an absolute joy to write. I hope you fall in love with Matt and Kelly just like I did.

The Winning Season Cover

Kelly Maxwell has finally landed her dream job, publicist for the San Francisco Blaze. But the team’s newest member, handsome bad boy catcher Matt Scanlon, is refusing every interview. She’s got to get him to open up before the season ends, or she may not be back next year. And after everything she overcame to achieve her dream, Kelly’s not about to let that happen.

Matt Scanlon just wants to be left alone to rebuild his life and his career. After a year of masking the pain of a recent loss with hard partying and fast women, he finally hit rock bottom and was traded to a team he’s loathed his entire life—a team with little or no chance at the post-season.

Butting heads is getting Kelly and Matt nowhere but annoyed, and with the team’s schedule on the road, they can’t avoid close quarters—or their surprising attraction to one another. As the season winds down, Matt finds his growing feelings for Kelly have brought his numbed emotions back to life. But when betrayal shatters their fragile trust, winning it all seems more impossible than ever.

Available at:

Carina Press | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Books-A-Million | All Romance | Audible