Five for Friday: Feelin' the Fall Edition

I'm feeling all things fall today--even though it was 100 degrees again in Dallas yesterday (yuck!) after a week of lovely, temperate weather. And though I took August off from official #FiveForFRI posts, I was definitely busy enjoying the small, everyday beauty of life and loved ones. 

And speaking of, my list today is full of love...

  1. I've been taking romance novels, games, coloring books, and puzzles to the Dallas Public Library. (They've been coordinating drop-offs for the mega shelter housing Harvey evacuees.) Our community so amazing, and I thank every single person who sent books or money for wishlist items for me to drop off. Romance offers love and hope, even in the darkest of times. And, as always, I'm so grateful to be a small part of Romancelandia. 
  2. I'm relaunching my stories from the One Week in Love anthologies as standalones in the Destination, Love series, and Julia Kelly/Blake and Alexis Anne are, too. It's been a love fest on Slack and email as we send new covers and excerpts back and forth, remembering how much fun we had writing these together several years ago. 
  3. Y'all, my sweet Dallas friends and I just nailed down the date for our annual Friendsgiving celebration. We've been friends for about a decade now (though it seems inconceivable!) and we always try to get together during the holiday season--no boyfriends (though all are now husbands)--for an evening of merriment. It's possible I did a happy dance in Starbucks when the last RSVP came in. 
  4. And Lindsay Emory and I were able to get together again today for a Ladies Who Lunch--which we should really re-name because it's more of a power-lunch/hashing out plans for glorious world domination than ladies of leisure getting together to gossip. 
  5. Today included ART! I'm a proud member of the Dallas Museum of Art, and I was able to get advance tickets to the new Yayoi Kusama exhibition. It's more of an experience than art exhibition, and if you live in the Dallas area, I highly recommend seeing it! 

There's nobody I'd rather be locked in a dark, mirrored room with for forty-five seconds than you, Lindsay. Unless Chris Evans is available. In that case, you're on your own, Linz.

Destination, Love

I'm so excited to share the good news with you:

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I'm re-releasing my stories from the One Week in Love anthologies as stand-alone books this fall.

You'll still be able to get all four stories together in the print versions of One Week in Wyoming and One Week in Hawaii, and in the freebie eBook of One Week in December.

But now you can grab my stories (and exclusive epilogues!!) in my new series, DESTINATION, LOVE. And the best news? ***Scroll down for SPOILER ALERT*** 

Make sure you're part of The A-List so you get an exclusive sneak peek of the covers and a chance to win a copy of all three eBooks AND some other goodies I can't even talk about yet because everybody loves surprises!!! 

Oh, and speaking of surprises. Did September sneak up on you like it snuck up on me? There's still time to join our #ReadWritePlan extravaganza, where Lindsay Emory and I are encouraging our readers--and our author friends--to share a month's worth of organization hacks and inspo. 

Follow the hashtag on Instagram and Twitter...and I think there might even be some rogue posting on Facebook. (But since FB still doesn't love me, I can't see it.) We've also got a giveaway going on. With ARCs of our Mistletoe Key books. 

<insert Muppet Flailing gif of choice here>

Okay, if you're brave enough to withstand the spoiler alert, start scrolling...

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***I'm hard at work on Leo & Helene's story because everyone has been emailing me about it since One Week in Hawaii came out. (Heck, I've been emailing myself about it!)

The answer has always been "some day." WELL SOME DAY IS HERE. Kind of. The mysterious, Italian playboy and the French Prime Minister's daughter who help conspire to unite Drew and Joss in After the Fall are getting their own story! (Yeah, their love affair is going to be bananapants!) 

My production schedule for 2018 is still being set in stone. But you'll be the first to know. <3

 

Post-Con Workbook

Re-entry into "real life" after a professional conference can be tough; it's all-too easy to put aside everything you learned at conference for the demands of capital-L Life once you're home.

Never fear: the ladies of HBIC Nation developed a free post-con workbook just for you. Perfect for list lovers and those who need a little help setting (and sticking to!) their goals. It's an exclusive for citizens of HBIC Nation, so make sure you're signed up: https://hbicnation.com/state-of-the-hbic-nation

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What are *your* plans for total world domination? 

Romance Goes Viral: A Post-RWA Wrap Up

I’m just waiting for the mirror to crack from side to side. (Yes, that’s a super nerdy reference to “The Lady of Shalott.”)  But I feel the first stirrings of the dreaded Con Crud. Extreme lethargy, that weird inability to focus my eyes, and worst of all, the slight soreness at the top of my throat. Ah, the curse is come upon me! 

I realize this is where all of my friends who couldn’t make it to Orlando this year are cackling in barely-disguised glee. I’d do the same.

And I was so good: took my supplements and vitamins, probiotic-ed the heck out of my gut, plus I diffused magic essential oil blends in our hotel room. But Con Crud is a powerful force.

You know what else is a powerful force? Community. Romancelandia. Love. Hope. And do you know what #RWA17 was all about? Yep. All of those. 

I feel like singing and dancing—even though I don’t feel like singing and dancing at all because of the stirrings of Con Crud. I missed half of the sessions I wanted to go to (thank you, conference recordings for filling in the gaps!), I didn’t broker any multi-million dollar deals, and I certainly didn’t win any awards (except possibly: best sparkly caftan), but my time at con was just what I needed. 

Time with my people, serendipitous meetings with friends who used to only live in my phone screen, and connecting with total strangers (I know), is only part of what makes a conference a wonderful experience. (And I shouldn’t write “a” conference, because we all know that the RWA Conference is something special and unlike any other professional conference I’ve ever attended.) 

It's Romance New Year today.

And I love Romance New Year... A fresh start with that glowing ember of hope in my heart—and possibly a low-grade fever—and a renewed sense of purpose. Whether you attended RWA or not, you can celebrate today. 

What we do is so important. And in a world (and profession) that is often so hopeless, it’s beautiful to be reminded of all the Very Excellent People in our community and the incredible virality of our community.  (No, I’m not talking about Con Crud.) 

There’s nothing more powerful than the hope of an HEA. 

Be you a reader or a writer, that hope burns in us all. Hold fast to it. 

If you feel like your spark is fading, I encourage you to watch Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Beverly Jenkins’ acceptance speech. (FFD about 57 minutes in. And have tissues on hand.)