See You at the Beach!

 

Get Your Tickets Now!

Way back in 2013, I was a fairly brand-new author, only about a year published. I was invited to my very first author conference/reader event . . . and I was SO excited!

That was Olde City, New Blood, which later morphed into Coastal Magic. I’m proud to say I’ve been a featured author every single year, from 2013 through 2019. This year, I want to see ALL of you there with me!

Why? Well, let me tell you . . .

1) AUTHORS. So many amazing authors will be there to hang out with you, chat with you, party with you, lunch with you . . . check out the full listing here.

2) PANELS. This year, they’re better than ever! You can hear your favorite authors talk about fascinating topics like how music affects our writing process, what alphas are hot, how we kill our favorite characters and so much more! Complete schedule listing is here.

3) MARDI GRAS. This year’s Coastal Magic falls the weekend before Mardi Gras, which means we’ll be partying New Orleans style!

4) SIGNING. Come get your favorite books and have the authors sign them!

5) GIVEAWAY. I’m excited to announce that I’m partnering with the awesome Hildie McQueen, Cynthia D’Alba and Darynda Jones to present a super-fun giveaway. All you have to do is find one of us–or ALL of us–and take a picture with us, post on social media and tag us–fill out your entry form (available on site) and you’re entered to win one of at least five AMAZING prizes.

6) BEACH. Daytona Beach in February/March. Trust me, you want to be there.

7) BABY. On a personal note, I’m thrilled to announce that my sweet grandbaby Delia Joy will be at Coastal Magic this year! This con is one where my daughters always join me for a special girls getaway, but this year, we’ll be adding one more generation. So if you’re there, you just might get a selfie with the famous Ms. DJ.

So why are you waiting? Get your ticket NOW.

Do you need more incentive?

The first twenty people who buy tickets and note my name in their ticket order WILL receive a FREE signed paperback that includes an Amazon gift card. This is not an entry–it’s an assured prize!

 

Buy Your Tickets Now!

The Real Crystal Cove

Does Crystal Cove Exist?

The question I am asked most often about the Crystal Cove books . . . is the town based on a real one? The answer is yes!

In 2013, I had just finished my YA paranormal romance series, The King Quartet, and I planned to write a spin-off series of those books next. However, one spring day, I was driving home from one of our frequent trips to the beach and suddenly, inspiration struck.

As I made the hour-long trek, the entire story of The Posse unfolded before me. I joked later that it fell into my lap, and that is honestly how it felt. I could see Jude, Logan, Matt, Cooper and the rest of the Posse as though we were old friends.

And it’s not surprising that where I saw them was in the quaint beach town I’d just left. New Smyrna Beach had won my heart over the year that had passed, once we’d moved from the west side of central Florida to the east side. I loved being able to drive onto the beach, and one of my favorite places to eat was a beach-front bar and grill called Breakers. I’d noticed, too, that a bed and breakfast was under construction on the main street. All of these factored into the story.

I’ve been blessed to spend many happy hours in New Smyrna since writing The Posse. Later, we stayed at the Riverview Inn, and that inspired parts of Abby and Ryland’s story.

So is Crystal Cove exactly like New Smyrna? Of course not. It is, in many ways, the skeleton upon which I hung the story and characters of that fictional town. I’ve never lived in New Smyrna Beach, so I see things from a very privileged outsider’s point of view. I’m sure that like any community, it has its troubles and drawbacks.

But if you want a taste of the Rip Tide’s famous burgers and atmosphere, check out Breakers. They don’t offer live music on Fridays and Saturdays the way Jude’s place does, and I added a deck on the outside, just because they needed it, but otherwise, it’s a close match. And if you want to know what the Hawthorne House is like, visit the Inn on the Avenue. Again, the bed and breakfast originally run by Abby and now managed by Cal and Alex isn’t quite the same. I’d described the interior before I’d ever seen the real-life component. But there are elements that are oddly close to its fictional component.

And if I had the chance to take my readers on a tour of New Smyrna Beach, I could show you the house upon which Jude and Daniel’s home was based, the area in which I envisioned Cooper’s house and workshop, the neighborhood where Emmy and her kids live. I could point out Matt’s surf shop and take you to the Riverside–eh, I mean the Riverview Inn.

I’ll admit, too, that whenever I visit NSB now, I feel as though if I turned my head just quick enough, I might catch a glimpse of Jude or Alex or Emmy or Logan . . . for me, this town and these people are as real as any other.

The Starfish Room at the Inn on the Avenue (Crystal Cove’s Hawthorne House)

The Riverside Hotel, which is known as the Riverview Hotel in Crystal Cove. The Cove version is actually set on a lot more land alongside the river.
The Inn on the Avenue (The Hawthorne House in CC)
Flagler Avenue (Main Street in CC)
Breakers (The Rip Tide in Crystal Cove)
Ahhhhh . .. the beach!!

Yes, I am a Nana!

I’m thrilled to announce that our first grandchild, Delia Joy, was born on Sunday, January 13th. She weighed in 8 pounds and is gorgeous!

A few pictures of her being welcomed to the family . . .

Why football romance?

 

Not everyone is aware of this, but until recently, sports romance was not considered a viable literary genre. In the old days–think ten years ago–the thought was that women didn’t want to read romance that featured men who played sports or women who loved sports.

That, of course, is ridiculous. These days, more than half of the viewing audience of any given NFL game is female–and advertisers know that. Just look at the demographics of most ads that run on TV during Sunday games, not to mention Monday and Thursday Night Football.

So why NOT football romance is probably the better question!

For me, personally, football has always been a passion. It was something I shared with my dad. He passed down to me a love of Army football, in particular. My dad and my husband both graduated from West Point. Army is my one constant in college football love; I’ve been cheering on Army as long as I can remember, and no matter what, I’ll be an Army fan until I die.

#GOARMYBEATNAVY

And there’s just something about a romance that happens against the backdrop of football that gives me an extra thrill. I’m not alone. Sports romance as a genre is h o t.  We like the teams, the ambiance of the game, the thrill of competition–oh, and we love the players.

I always knew I wanted to write football romance, so tackling the Keeping Score series was a pure labor of love. The story began with Leo, Quinn and Nate and then continued with Tate, Gia, Tuck and Zelda. Next will come Gideon and Sarah–and then a spin-off college football series.

Your Wildest Dreams, which releases tomorrow, is the book only peripherally related to the game, even though football plays a huge role in the story line. Eli Tucker might not be on the field anymore, but football is still a constant in his life.

Right now, the entire Keeping Score series is on special at Apple Books. The prequel, Young, and Book 1, When We Were Us, are both free this week. Hanging By A Moment, Book 2, is only 99 cents. Days of You and Me, Book 3, is $1.99. And finally, Not Broken Anymore, Book 4, is $2.99.

Of course, Your Wildest Dreams releases tomorrow!

So go get your football romance on! The Keeping Score series page is right here.

 

A Thanksgiving Favorite: Onions Eclaste

The photo above shows some of my oldest and most favorite Thanksgiving recipes. The typewritten paper is from my mother, with the instructions she sent me in Hawaii the first year that I prepared Thanksgiving dinner myself. The top left card is my Nana’s pie crust recipe, and the one with carrots is from Aunt Eleanor–for my favorite side dish, Onions Eclaste! And here’s the recipe.

Two large white onions
2 tbs butter
Swiss cheese slices
Cream of celery soup
1 cup of milk
Bread (you can use french bread or just plain sandwich bread, sliced and with the crusts removed–I make my own homemade bread the day before and use that. It’s amazing!)

Slice onions into rings and saute in the butter.  When the onions are soft and translucent, transfer to a casserole and place the cheese atop them.

In the same pan used to cook the onions, heat the soup and milk, blending together.  When it’s thick and bubbly, pour over the onions and cheese in the casserole.

Top with slices of bread and bake in 400 degree oven until bread is toasted and sauce is hot and bubbly. YUM!! (This is great as a leftover, too. I love it better the next day.)

Happy Thanksgiving!